Archive for the ‘general’ Category

Help preserve Woodstock history

July 25, 2011

As of this post, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is 27% of the way towards their goal of raising $12,000 to preserve a sign from Max Yasgur’s farm, the site of the 1969 Woodstock music festival.  Please help if you can.  To learn more about the project and Kickstarter, go here:


Sunday morning

July 3, 2011

Walking in Cleveland Heights at 7am, the morning after a thunderstorm:
I saw 1 bunny rabbit, 1 chipmunk, and 1 squirrel, followed by 1 large tree limb on the ground. My route took me north on Meadowbrook (downhill) to Westminster, to Corydon, to Stratford, to Scarbourgh, where I stopped to look at the 1938 Historic Landmark House for sale, which you can see here: (  I heard 1 dog barking, and saw another one being walked further down Stratford. Car traffic increased considerably during the half-hour I spent in the neighborhood, for when I started, I crossed the streets almost without looking. On my way back, I waited for a red light to cross Lee Rd.

To see my full route:

for the love of Sweet Valley

May 21, 2011

If you know me, chances are you’ll know how much I love the Sweet Valley High book series, published during the 1980s-1990s.  These books have been a constant in my life since at least middle school (i.e., for 20 years now), and yes, I still read them.  Thanks to eBay and public library book sales, I own an almost complete run of #1-100 of these 1/2 inch paperbacks.  The series continued after that point, but it lost some of its innocence and appeal to me around #95.

The reason I write today, though, is to exclaim over the latest edition to the SVH oeuvre – a book called Sweet Valley Confidential: 10 Years Later.  Written by the series’s creator, Francine Pascal, who by my count never wrote one of the original books, this sequel catches up with the characters in their late 20s.  In short, I loved the book.  But there were some obvious problems that I simply cannot accept, and I created an errata list.  This is not in any particular order, though the first few are particularly egregious mistakes:

1. Though he’s only mentioned once, the correct name of Lila’s father is George, not Richard. p. 119  Lila was a major supporting character, as Jessica’s on-again off-again best friend.  She barely appears in this book.

2. The twins’ parents could not have been members of the country club since the girls were 12. see p. 215  I don’t think I’m stretching my knowledge to say that belonging to the club is never mentioned in SVH.  This is especially important because belonging to such a club was the kind of life Jessica aspired to in high school.  Also, there’s the fact that in book #1 the family gets a “new in-ground pool in the backyard.”

3. See pages 164-166 and 277.  This is simply an problem of continuity, in which we learn that Bruce’s parents died when he was a senior in college.  The book later implies that this happened 10 years ago, which is not possible – more like 5 years ago.

4. Continuing the Bruce problem, on page 26 he is referred to as a high school junior, when actually he was always a year older than the twins.  Change to senior.

5. What does the new book mean by the restaurant called “Pizza”?  Is this supposed to be Guido’s, or the Dairi Burger?  Why not just keep one of the old names?

6. On page 193, A.J. Morgan could not have been in 7th grade with the twins, because he moved to Sweet Valley in HIGH SCHOOL.  There’s a whole book about Jessica pursuing him as a new student (Slam Book Fever, #48).

7. Similarly, to my knowledge, Todd does not appear in the series Sweet Valley Twins (which was created after SVH).  Therefore, he could not have been in kindergarden with them. (as I said, I’m a purist)

8. Back to A.J. Morgan for a sec – on page 223 he is described as having blond hair.  No, sorry, he was a red-head in high school.  If he’s going to have blond hair ten years later, I want to see the word “dyed” in front of blond.

And last but not least, in the recap section at the end of the book, p. 283, Mr. Collins’s son was named Teddy, not Sam.  I also would have liked a recap on the members of the high school rock band The Droids.

If there’s one reason I have a problem with all of the above mistakes, it’s that the author supposedly has a “bible” of facts about her characters that should have prevented many of these simple errors.

House tours

June 6, 2010

Now that I have my dream job and plan on staying where I am for quite a while, my next dream involves real estate.  I’ve also always been interested in architecture, going back to at least the age of 10.  It will be a year or two before I’m ready to buy my first house, and until then I intend to immerse myself in the history of residential design and learn as much as I can about anything house and home related (obviously, I will have to get cable so I can watch HGTV!).

Today was my first adventure related to houses – an event sponsored by the Cleveland Artists Foundation called Cleveland Goes Modern III.  I got to see inside 2 wonderful examples of 1950s modern architecture, meet the home owners, and hear about how their renovations maintained the integrity of the original design and/or materials.  It also gave me a chance to explore a new area to the east of where I live – Mayfield Heights and Gates Mill (about a 20 minute drive).  Below are a few pictures of the houses:

Front, Carl Droppers designed, 1956

Back of above

close-up of fountain

2nd house, designed by Robert Little, 1952; view from back

pond situated behind where I was standing in above

look at all that glass! (all windows were replaced in the mid-1990s for energy efficiency)

The interiors of both homes were equally beautiful, but my photos did not turn out as well as those of the exteriors.  This was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and I plan on going on more house tours this summer, as they seem to be a popular event around here.

a note on the name

May 23, 2010

Now that I’m no longer living under “them western skies,” the question was asked, am I going to change the name of the blog? After thinking about it for several weeks, and considering other names that might work, I decided not to change it. Technically I’m still west from where I grew up, but geography is a very small part of what the name means to me. I feel like “them western skies” is as much a state of mind as it is a place; it is the idea of traveling to places unknown (which I continue to do), staring into the sun as you drive or ride, and following the road to wherever it takes you.

random notes

May 8, 2010

first, the weather.
It’s early May, but still cold. There were some record-breaking warm days in April, but apparently it’s true what they say about Cleveland going from winter straight into summer. And I learned the other day that this is due to the lake warming up – then once it’s warm, it takes a while to cool down, so I’m hoping fall will be nice and long.

second, concerts.
I’ve only been to one show in the month or so that I’ve been living here, and it was a great one – I discovered a band that I’d previously only heard about (never listened to), The Apples in Stereo. They’ve been around for years, I think since 1992, and their new album is like a trip back in time, reminiscent of ELO, catchy and fun to sing along with. I went to see their opening act, Generationals, who are two talented guys with a girl drummer, from New Orleans; their album, Con Law, was my favorite release of 2009.

third, sports.
I’m still following the SF Giants in baseball, because, frankly, the Indians suck. Basketball, on the other hand, Cleveland does well – due to the Cavs being in the playoffs, I quickly became a fan and following the games in the paper (next season I’ll try to see one).

fourth, other activities.
It takes me a while, on purpose, to get used to new routines. So most days I drive to work, and then back to my apartment, and that’s it. It’s a fun drive, too, just over 7 miles each way. I’ve tried 3 different grocery stores, not counting Whole Foods, because I know what to expect there. I still have one or two more local chains to try, as well as find a farmer’s market and perhaps a food co-op.
On Cinco de Mayo I went to the Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood to have a margarita. It’s an upscale place, and so crowded I could only stand at the bar, but the drink was one of the best I’ve ever had and I can see myself going back for happy hour.

Until next time. Oh yeah, I love my job 🙂

I am a rock

April 10, 2010

To paraphrase Paul Simon, I am my own time zone. It’s Saturday night, almost 9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, and I am caught between the two zones. For example, in California I would call my parents at 6pm, because it was 9:00 in Pennsylvania. Now that I’m back East, I still want to call them at 6:00, forgetting that it’s dinner time. Or it might be 11:30am and the call I would have made last month to a friend in California has to wait because it’s only 8:30 in the morning there. That is perhaps the greatest challenge in moving across the country. Time remains the same no matter where you are and regardless of which clock you follow.

new apartment photos

March 17, 2010

front of building

As many of you readers know, I’m moving to Cleveland for a job at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

my apartment is the top corner

I found this apartment on Monday, two days ago, and quickly decided it was the best place – great neighborhood in Cleveland Heights, and about a 20 minute drive to where I’ll be working (not the museum, but a new building for the HoF’s library and archives).

close-up of front door

third floor, view from staircase

I first thought the 3rd floor would be something to make me not take the place, but it’s not a bad climb, and a pretty one too!  This building was also the cleanest of the four I looked at.

view of kitchen from entrance

I’ve never had a dishwasher before… (see previous post!)

kitchen view from sink

Plenty of room for my table and chairs.

hallway, from the kitchen towards the living room

This hallway may be a candidate for all my Dylan concert posters.

bedroom view from door

bedroom view from radiator

There is no closet in the bedroom, but 3 exist in the hallway area, one of which is two bars deep and comes with hangers.  The closets also have high ceilings for more storage space.

living room view from door

living room bonus space, where a murphy bed used to be

living room view from opposite corner

I didn’t have a tape measure, but the living room is approximately 15×16 feet (steps).  There are 10 windows, including one in the bonus space, and one in the bathroom (no picture because it’s a small space).

a glimpse into facebook

January 28, 2010

This post is for all of you non-facebookers, so you can see what I’ve been up to.   And as a bonus, I’ll expand on some of the status updates for you- ooh, exclusive content! (in italics)

Jan. 17, 4:39pm – just saw Avatar in 3-D… so magical 🙂 went with Michele and her husband Joe; wanted to see it in IMAX, but that showing was sold out.  word to the wise – buy IMAX tickets in advance!

Jan. 18, 6:33pm – I just fixed my turntable! Couldn’t find the owner’s manual online, but consulted a different model’s and it had just the bit of info I needed.  And here I almost gave up… (this is one of those things I had avoided trying to fix for the last 2+ years).  For something I bought for $2 in 1996, I’m pretty psyched that it works 🙂 since then I also dusted off my tape deck and listened to a favorite Strangefolk tape to get back into the jam band mood.  oh, and the first record I tested out was Shakedown Street by the Dead.

Jan. 21, 1:55pm – bloomingdales just called… no, I didn’t apply to work there 🙂 but the level of service I’ve gotten there makes me happy I admit, I have a Bloomingdales habit.  But I’m keeping it in check, and I won’t go back until at least Feb. 8th (the start of a new credit cycle).  Or longer, considering that I just finished the book Not Buying It, a Year Without Shopping, by Judith Levine.

Jan. 22, 4:47pm – there were moments of brilliance today 🙂 gee I use the smiley icon a lot! Anyway, this status referred to my video interview for the Grateful Dead Archivist position.  I thought it went pretty well, though there were a couple times that I stumbled over my answers.  And then, a few minutes later, I added this comment: how great is it that I own the cassette single to the ONE song that I needed to hear right now? Reason enough to keep my tape deck… the song was Connected, by the Stereo MCs, which has the lyric “make sure you’re connected, the writing’s on the wall/ but if your mind’s neglected, stumble you might fall”

Jan. 24, 10:26pm – tonight’s movie – Cinema Paradiso. I loved it… I’m also in the middle of Twin Peaks, just finished the first season, and love it as well.

Jan. 25, 11:13am – I created a page called “I’m a fan of Terry Boom.” If you know Terry, chances are, you’re a fan.

Jan. 25, 4:36pm – going through old files today and I found a scrapbook I made out of purple notebook paper, documenting my love of Beverly Hills 90210, circa 1991.  Do you ever forget your teen idols? this was in the only box that I never got around to opening when I moved from New York.  yes, that was 2 years ago, but I’m making a honest effort at cleaning and throwing things away – not the scrapbook though!

Jan. 25, 6:04pm – my friend Jenna posted a link and the following to my Wall: this made me think of you 🙂

Lastly, about four hours ago – got my SAA membership paid for! I’m squeezing every penny I can out of UC.  One of the last things I did in December was submit a request to have my membership paid for, because I knew that I had just enough professional development funds left.  And today I got the email alerting me that the request went through.

new feature

July 18, 2009

in an effort to find more time for updates, I’ve enabled the Twitter widget on this blog.  So whenever I post something to my Twitter account (@stasia_k), you’ll see it in the sidebar.