austin wrap up

the best laid plans. I did have every intention of blogging austin as it happened, but...well....

so day 2. and this sucks because now I have to remember. okaaayyyyy, did I tell you about the alamo?? I had to actually look back. nope. okay, here's the deal. it's a movie theater where every other row is removed and replaced with a long table with menus underneath. before the show and during the show, up until the final 45 mins, you can order anything you want. the menu ranges from bar food kind of stuff like pizza, to comfort food like grilled cheese and mac and cheese, to restaurant food like steak and salads. and a full bar, which I did not partake. I did have a tall frosty dr. pepper. I saw the wrestler, and it was seriously fantastic. I didn't know much about it and wasn't thrilled that it was the only movie playing, but I couldn't really pass it up. and it was great. I watched some of the scenes through my fingers (the extreme wrestling was, well, extreme) and I didn't understand the reasoning for the extended strip club scenes (I rarely do, I consider them the price of getting asses in the seats) but mickey rourke...I hated him before this and seeing pictures of him at the golden globes makes me think I still hate him but he was perfect in this role. anyways, that was a big highlight.

going back to the earlier part of the day, I woke up and went over to a local salon and had a massage. it was only a half an hour and I told nicole that massages actually can make me tense up. I am so freaked out about being relaxed - wait, my shoulders are tensed! I'm clenching my jaw! I'm thinking about the rest of the day and I missed like 5 minutes of backrub! - that I can't enjoy it. then I got a haircut and...surprise. I didn't like it. why do so many people think that the answer for coarse hair is layers? no! I should tell stylists that the only tool I want them to use to cut my hair is a razor. you cannot cut into it like it's a pumpkin. oh well. I only just lost 3 months of my life with that. well, 6 if you count the 3 more months it'll take to grow these layers out.

then it was a walk around town, then the alamo.

wait. the massage and haircut was day 3.

whatever, these are the things I did in austin. I did more walking and taking pictures at some point, I took a bus to what I thought would be the shopping district which turned out to be just a mall, and it was the worst bus ride I have had since elementary school, I ate brisket at stubb's, and I got a tattoo.

all in all, I loved the city. it would have been better with a car, I can tell you that most definitely. while I liked downtown, I would have loved to see some of the sights that weren't walkable, and some of straight up texas. I guess in that way, taking that hideous bus ride at least afforded me the chance to see more rural and less city areas. it's like the part of vegas that rebecca and her clan took me to when they came down to visit... it was not typical vegas. not that I love strip malls and fast food, but it's neat to see how the real folks live. what the names of their supermarkets are, what style most of the buildings are, the signs for their roads and their names. I find that stuff interesting.

I'm glad to be home. of course, I returned to a car that wouldn't start and had to be towed, but whattayagonnado. (and I was informed that for my inspection, that expires at the end of february, I will need front and rear brakes and a new windshield. total cost, just shy of $600. nice, right?)

[the tattoo is of a nautical star, red and black, on my left inside forearm. there are stars on everything, it seemed, in texas, and it seemed very fitting.]


austin day 2

first off, here's the pics. I'll be adding to it.

second. I am drunk.

third, I am tiiiiirrrreeeddddddd. I have so much to tell you about today.

fourth, I'll tell you tomorrow.


blogging austin

I'm on one of my solo vacations - this time, austin texas. everyone asks why...well, because it was cheap. and it seemed cool. cool people have gone to austin. and now I have too.

so, got up extremely early to catch a ride with jarrett to the airport. he left today too, only for las vegas. this is a trip we've taken together since we started dating. it has not sat well with me that he's going alone this time. to stop myself from sinking into a well of self-pity, and because it's been a while, I decided to go on a vacation too. I had already saved up money for vegas and taken the time off, so I figured what the hell. and roundrip airfare plus 3 nights' stay plus some extras (shuttle, interweb, etc) came out around $330. yeah. so I'm here till wednesday.

already I am homesick. I miss my kids. I really am enjoying being here but it's a bit of a...I don't even know how to finish the thought. it's always good for me to get away, because I'm the kind of person who needs a reset every few months. my head gets too crowded and I have to be alone and have to be completely independent so I get back to center. these are usually vacations where I am deeply introspective...but the last trip and this one have been a little less helpful because I'm introspective every week thanks to therapy. but I'm here, I can't leave, so I will make the most of it.

as I twittered, my first impression of texas was brown. I had a layover in chicago (I know, right? kinda out of the way.) and there was at least 6 inches of snow on the ground. something like 12 degrees. everything was white - cirrus clouds, as it was still snowing, and snow on the ground as we approached. dipping below the clouds in texas, everything was brown, taupe, cream, beige. austin texans have no accent. well, a little - it comes out sounding more valley girl than twang.

my hotel is not really a hotel - it's efficiency suites. so I have a kitchen and a table and a desk and a bed and a comfortable chair. a little habitat. I asked the girl at the front desk about a store and places to eat. and if it's safe to be out at night. flashbacks of the toe guy. she said it's safe to be out at night but not past 6pm. not sure if that even qualifies as night. it was 5:15 at the time, and the store was 5 blocks away, but I threw caution to the wind (her explanation was that there are alot of homeless people around so it makes it scary...grain of salt) and went to eat at someplace called opal's. was a shiner brewery at one point. everyone there looked like me or my friends. refreshing to be at a night spot with no tbp and excess skin. (tits be poppin.) very hipster but not pretentious.

I had poblano pepper stuffed chicken breast, spanish rice, roasted peppers. and a shirley temple. tipped extra well. then I went on to the store - a mammoth whole foods. hotel didn't have complimentary shampoo - or they did, but you had to ask - so I figured I'd buy some. organic shampoo is fucking expensive. got some milk, cereal, noodles for lunch tomorrow, cookies, vegetable straws. alotta $, but still cheaper than eating out.

now it's 7:41 local time and I'm already indoors for the night. well, that's the thing about being on vacation alone. it's never for the night if I don't want it to be. but my body is tired - I only got 4 hrs of sleep - or slept for 4 hours in 20 min increments. and catnapped on the planes. so my body's tired.

mission is to keep busy and/or pass out so I am not wondering what is going on in vegas. it's a battle I probably won't win. but, as my tattoo says, I have to let it go. but it still hurts.

more tomorrow. I didn't bring my camera with, wasn't sure of the lay of the land - too bad, there was tons of stuff I wanted to take pictures of. tomorrow. I brought my stuff to upload everything so it'll be on flickr.

wish me well.


christmas cheer

the kids - both of em - and I put up decorations today, including the tree. and the meds must be working because it was the most enjoyable tree putting up and decorating that I can remember EVER. seriously. oh and look at this...bella just came in the kitchen playing with the princess coach that was her big present last year. this marks the second time that she's played with it, the first being last christmas morning. it's a before-christmas miracle!

aaaaanyway, things are going well in the milliceccobach household. which I'm always afraid to say.

what do you want most for christmas? and I don't want these "world peace, the love of my children, actor X naked on my bed" answers. I mean really truly. like what you'd want someone to get you if you had the balls to ask. ready, go!


pasquale j colancecco in pictures

I have my brother's computer in my kitchen. his screensaver is a slideshow of all of his pictures. I thought I'd list out what he had. it gives you a feel for what was important to him and what he liked. all of these pictures are different.

pink triangle
60s mod girl
snowy park
geno's steaks
city hall
bridge in philadelphia
telephone operator
obama "hope"
phila skyline
william penn
phila skyline at night
art museum at night
telephone operators
logo for blondie (the comic)
telephone operator
phila skyline at night
independence hall
love statue
phila skyline at dusk
obama "hope" small
little rascals
art museum in the early morning
outer space
little rascals
aids ribbon
old picture of city hall (1800s)
frozen bridges in perkasie
80 celebrate
red ribbons marching
musical notes
little rascals
little rascals
little rascals
telephone operators
outer space
american flag peace sign
wm penn at night
aerial view of phila
house on warnock street
milky way galaxy
cobblestone street in phila
aerial view of phila
ben franklin bridge
art museum at night
laptop computer
aids ribbon
pink triangle silence = death

I'm sorry they taught me to hate you, and that I listened to them.


world series of election birthday, rip

so much groundbreaking lately. the phillies won the world series and although there are people who don't understand why that's important to alot of people, it just is. and it was fantastic to see the city be so united and excited. there were enough aspects of it that didn't go my way personally to make it bittersweet in some cases, but overall, I was thrilled. then we had the parade, bella's birthday, trick or treating, and a grown up halloween party all in the same day. overwhelming. I learned of a death in my family on sunday, one that was shocking and upsetting and ultimately thought provoking and full of guilt, and then election day was yesterday. I feel like everything is different and I'm a little overwhelmed again.

of course, bella turning 4 was the least surprising and most special. she was very proud of herself for being 4, and is loving her presents. she helped me vote yesterday, too, pushing the "cast vote" button. she wanted me to vote for balack kobama, marock co bama, and then finally ba-rack-o-ba-ma. she says it very slowly.

so I did want to say because I'm annoyed right now. I turned on the radio to listen to stuff about the election, and instead, I'm hearing about the station's new calendar and all the mostly naked girls in it. really? oh and miss february was also the winner of philly's hottest underboob. I hate society sometimes. barack, save us from female objectification!!

from bella:

I love you. cookies are my favorite snack. peanuts are like fruit and cantaloupe. trees come from pineapple trees and apple trees, giggle. my dollies have ponytails and sometimes have tutus.


because I felt compelled.

this morning, I woke up and started doing my thing. it wasn't until I was driving into work that I realized it was 9/11. and, as I had in the past 2 years or so, I didn't really give it alot of thought. as the day progressed, I forgot about it. nothing about the day was different. but I had to drive home around lunchtime and while I was in the car, there was a block of songs on a local radio station that were a tribute to the victims of 9/11. in between songs, there were brief snippets of accounts of the day. so I listened. and I found myself getting emotional and getting goosebumps.

that day, that block of time - weeks? months? - after that day, I do have to remind myself to remember. it feels like a long time ago. there are plenty of things that happened around the same time that I have no trouble recalling. I don't know why remembering this takes a tribute from a radio station. so I feel like I want to put this out there today.

my friend tracey emailed a distribution list at cdnow, where we worked. a plane hit the WTC. I figured like a prop plane, something small. then people started going into the caf, where we had tvs. seeing everything, it was horrible. being at work, it was numbing. my sister was stuck in orlando and planes weren't flying. it was the only help I felt like I could give to a horrible situation. so I went about it with gusto. I got her and her family onto a train the next day to get back to philadelphia. you had to call over and over to get through on a cell phone. that was all I was able to do, and when I was done, I went back to feeling totally useless. everyone wanted to help - we gave supplies and shirts and water, almost none of which made it to where it needed to go and little of which were ultimately used. we had vigils and prayer meetings and we all came together like a family. political cartoons showed lady liberty crying. I listened to the local news radio station constantly, listening to stories and news. I cried alot. I helped trent understand. it consumed me for a long time.

I cried the next year, when compilations of stories and footage were released.

I felt sadness the next year after that, when those compilations were re-released.

this year, I forgot.

when I do remember, I remember how sad everyone was, how sorrowful the situation was. and how horrifying. women shouting at tv cameras to ask if anyone had seen their husbands, their daughters, their sons, or their friends. the compilation movie that pointed out that the thuds you were hearing during the footage of firefighters in the lobby were actually bodies hitting metal and concrete from people who felt it was better to jump than to burn. the people in rural PA, and washington, who were overshadowed but still hurting just as much. the mothers whose children were being cared for and now were gone. the firefighters and volunteers who were trying so hard to find survivors who weren't there.

maybe that's why we can forget, maybe the reality of the situation is too hard to hold onto for very long. there are people whose lives were touched personally by 9/11 that will never forget, and I'm sure that there are others who for whatever reason will never forget, but I will forget.

I just have to remember to remember.