Curiouser & Curiouser

Life’s short. Get curious.

I Wasn’t Looking for Love… January 30, 2009

vday1This time last year, I was trying my damnedest not to be a Valentine’s Day Grinch, when along came the Girls!Girls!Girls! Valentine’s Day Edition to spare me the trouble. It was difficult for anyone (single, coupled, lonely, jaded) to not feel loved that evening as the whole night turned out to be a giant, singing, dancing (yes dancing) valentine from me and the girls to everyone in the audience.

We were unsure a year ago how many people would want to spend their Valentine’s Day at The Thirsty Ear (notably lively and energetic, but maybe not the first place to come to mind when seeking romance). But out of the cold and into the warm, candle-lit club they came in droves. So, this year it’s on again. For anyone who’s never attended a Girls! show, the quartet is made up of three ladies from other musical groups and myself. Our own projects run the gamut from rock to bluegrass, but we come together a few times a year to revive old standards (and a few not-so-old) in three- and four-part harmony.

So Columbians… or Columbusites… or those of you living in Columbus: If your plans for the 14th are looking a little, well, vague, allow me to clarify. No matter what you do earlier in the day or evening, arrive alone or with your date at The Thirsty Ear at 9pm and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ve never played a show that didn’t get a little out of hand (in the best sense of the phrase) at some point or another, so a good time is guaranteed.

See you there!



Obamicons – Hells Yes We Can.

Filed under: humor — curiouserx2 @ 6:16 pm
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flamingo1Now that the “Yes We Can” Man is officially President Obama, what to do with our campaign sticker fever? I mean they were good.

Damn good.

Never fear, my friends! brings us the ability to create endless twists on the symbol of hope we’ve come to know and love. Whether you use the template to venerate or villainize, the tool is easy to use and thus far has produced some clever off-shoots.

Check it out, and don’t be shy and self-conscious and keep these to yourself. (Like when Evil Twin takes a ton of stuff into the dressing rooms when we’re shopping and comes back out ten minutes later having shown me nary an item, claiming none of it “worked.” Psh.) Leave your fine (or funny, or bizarre, or twisted or whatever) works of art in my comments.

Also, soon to come: J and I won a free salsa dancing lesson tonight at the Capitol Theater. This could be hot. Like habanero sauce drizzled on smoldering coals hot. Like surface of the sun hot. Like Hillary Swank hot (tee hee – The Office, anyone?).

Or, you know, goofy, clumsy and ultimately disastrous.

Either way, I’ll be sure to report back, hopefully with both ankles intact.



They Call Me Whiskers, Cuz I’m Curious… January 26, 2009

Filed under: humor,life,pets — curiouserx2 @ 4:18 pm
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Thought it might be kind to post a Sophie Status Update. You might recall this stray kitten who let herself into J’s house on a night when she surely would’ve otherwise frozen to death, was taken in “just for the night,” was still with us the next morning and the one after that and the one after that, was mistaken for a boy for a good two or three days and was finally (and with feigned reluctance) named and allowed to remain indefinitely.

Well, not only has Sophie remained, but she’s stealthily stalked her way into all of hearts (even J’s roommate, who makes a good show of detesting her, was discovered studying with Sophie curled in his lap – at which point he tried to cover by pretending to strangle her – see Exhibit A below). Indeed, Sophie turned out to be painfully lovable. This girl has spunk, energy, imagination and the proverbial curiosity. I try not to think about what would’ve become of this amazing, little creature had she been left out in the cold that night (but I still do think about it, and it gets me all foggy-eyed).

One thing is for sure, though, she is definitely ours now. Or we’re hers, I’m not sure which. And soon she must meet Gabe, and THAT will be entertaining (mostly because Gabe is also curious, and Sophie still has her claws). But – that’s for another post.




Photospelunking January 25, 2009

Filed under: life,photography — curiouserx2 @ 9:29 pm
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l_69c4002d0d80457eb53ef52b75911114Quite the adventure yesterday (for which I am likely now paying the price – my head is killing me). My photographer friend, K, took us out to what was once a bustling military school just outside of downtown. The campus is still used in part as a vocational school, but the rest is made up of numerous hulking shells of withered elegance.

The temperatures were just reaching into the twenties, and although the sun provided some added warmth, the minute we set foot on the creaking floor boards of one of the houses, the chill really set in. The downstairs rooms were largely whole, but the paint on the walls was badly chipped, creating a crackled finish throughout the home. Evidence of the rich colors once splashed on the walls indicated this place was once lively and bright.

Climbing up the narrow, rickety staircase (in four-inch heals, no less), a draft followed us onto the second floor. Here the rooms were in even worse shape. What had once been a feminine, pink bathroom was now strewn with shattered mirror shards and caked in a layer of dirt. The kitchen cupboards were all flung open as if someone had recently searched (fruitlessly) for a midnight snack. On the other side of the house, windows had been blown out completely, and the wind gusted about freely here. The whole shoot felt a little post-war, come to think of it.

When our numb fingers and red noses could take no more, we fled to Franklin Park Conservatory to shoot a completely different type of portrait. But the Fort Hayes images are my favorites – dark and borderline surreal, mysterious and lovely. They capture exquisitly the way that house felt. Looking forward to shooting here with Kevin again in March, when he’ll be bringing in a couple other photographers and models for an afternoon of photospelunking.

(To see more of K’s work, visit )






Grandview Fire Update January 22, 2009

Filed under: life — curiouserx2 @ 9:34 pm

Just caught wind of an event to help The Candle Lab start picking up the pieces. I’m hoping to find out more about events that aid all the businesses that were lost in the recent fire, but this one’s a great start. I’m all about getting my wine on for a good cause. If you’re a local reader, I hope to see you there. If not, I suppose I understand you not making the trip to Columbus and will forgive your absence this time 😉




“I’m Bringing the Camera…” January 21, 2009

Filed under: life,photography — curiouserx2 @ 4:47 pm
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“Never know when you’ll need it,” J said, slipping his little point-and-shoot into its soft, grey case.

“Indeed,” I replied, and we headed out into the frigid morning to run some errands and check up on Gabe. My plan was to stop at home first, then head over a couple blocks to Grandview Avenue to drop off some packages at the Post Office and maybe pick up a few things at the G-Eagle.

Mias non. It was not to be.

As I drove up Third, desperately trying to warm my fingers in front of the weezing heat vents, something caught my eye: an abnormally large and burgeoning cloud of thick, black smoke rising up from precisely the location I was headed.

My first thought? “Holy shite, we’ve finally burned down our house.”

Granted, there are quite a few houses in the area, and for me to think it was mine was a little silly. And, as I drove on, I came to my street and the source of the smoke was still further west. It had to be something on Grandview Avenue. Something big.

I jaunted over a couple blocks, because I could see that Third was blocked off ahead. I was able to take little Ida Ave. all the way in, parked next to the bank, and, from there, could’ve sworn it was the large church, St. Christopher’s, that had smoke pouring out of the roof. Jumping out of the car and moving along Grandview, though, I soon saw this was not the case.


As I came to the corner, where others were starting to gather, four ladder trucks came into view, all their ladders extended high into the air, hoses directed straight down into an inferno that had engulfed the entire second story of nearly a whole block of storefronts. Obscured by firetrucks and roped off from view was Z Cucina, the restaurant where I worked over the summer. I was sure it had to be gone as well, or at least in the process of being swallowed whole by smoke and flames.


J whipped out the camera (such strange prophecy that line turned out to be…), and fired off as many shots as he could before his fingers went painfully numb. (The temperature read 14 degrees when we got back to the car). The juxtaposition of fire and ice was both devastating and stunning to watch.


I’ve spoken with one of the owners of The Candle Lab (the fire is said to have started with an explosion on the second floor right over her shop). She says her stock is in pretty good shape, but the location itself was ruined due to smoke and water damage. She hopes to remain in Grandview, but may have to wait the year it takes to knock the entire block down and rebuild.

The singular bright moment in all this: J and I went back later in the evening, and were able to walk down the entire street, as I walked past the back of a firetruck, my heart jumped – Z was still standing, and, in fact, looked untouched and as if it could open for dinner service if it wanted to. There’s a hallway in between the restaurant and the rest of the stores on the block, and it seems this acted as a barrier to the fire. I’m so down for some duck legs when they’re ready to reopen!


Sadly, the avenue, which had been such a beautiful little stretch of dining and shopping so close to home, will have to sustain this gap for some time. I just hope all those who lost businesses and offices in the fire are able to bounce back soon. I’ll be keeping an eye out for you guys. Hang in there.




The GHP Part III January 19, 2009

…. We met up with J’s Dad and sister at a little restaurant by the lake. It was late in the evening, and we were starving, and I looked like hell (still on the mend from my illness with a nasty, lingering cough that was oh-so-ladylike…), but I was excited to finally see in person at least two of the until-now fictitious characters in J’s stories. We arrived first, and ordered drinks, and as the two of them walked in, I felt this bizarre sense similar to what you might feel upon seeing Jude Law or Jennifer Aniston (or whoever) in your grocery store buying milk or kumquats (or whatever). I had seen them in so many pictures, and had such a crisp idea of them in my mind, and now, here they were, real-life people. And not at all scary. And, in fact, very much like myself and my family.

We had a great dinner, then headed home to pass out for a long night of much-needed sleep. It would be the last of its kind until we arrived back in Columbus.

There was much touring of the area, and the weather was unseasonably warm, so I fit in a run and we walked into town and around the local college campus. (It seems my campus-phobia is on the mend, and I may soon even be able to return to school, should I perhaps desire such things…) J’s older brother and mom flew in on New Year’s Eve, and his Dad decided we should all try this renowned soul food restaurant in Charlotte called LeWon’s. It was in a tiny little strip mall on a questionable side of town, and shared a parking lot with a gas station. The interior wasn’t much to talk about, but MY GOD. When they put that food down on our table, the smell was almost overwhelming, and everything we tried was phenomenal. We left stuffed and schooled. Never judge collard greens, mashed potatoes and candied yams by their cover.

From there, J’s parents took off for New Year’s in Charleston, SC, and the rest of us headed home to prepare for the festivities. The party began relatively early and wound down in the wee hours on New Year’s Day (actually, it even continued after that when, a few hours after some had finally gone to bed, others returned to make breakfast for everyone). What happened in between is hard to summarize, but the key moments were these:

-Evil Twin and In-Law return to join in the party.

-Massive, four-table beer pong tournament is organized

-At midnight, the hands-down biggest guy at the party pops the cork on a bottle of champagne, sends spray flying, splashes a bit on this weird, little guy that no one invited. Weird, little guy gets booted (by force) from the party. Peaceful merriment resumes.

-An hour later, flashlights are seen in the back and front yards. The local cops caught Weird, Little Guy who was underage and had an illegal blood-alcohol measurement. He sings like a canary and tells them where to find the party. They try to enter the house without a warrant, and we immediately usher the few underage guests (J’s little sister is only 18.) up to a little room upstairs. (Or, as one of the guest astutely put it, “We had to pull some Anne Frank sh#t on those underaged kids.”

-Cops try to search the house, but J reminds them that they have no right to do such things without a warrant, and appeases them, instead, by have all of us bring our I.D.’s to the cops. After ruining the mood for a good hour, cops let us off the hook, tell us to keep it down and finally get lost. Merriment resumes.

-We get a roaring bonfire going (by which I mean, Evil Twin and I use our pyromaniac tendencies to stoke the fire with empty beer boxes, random trash items and the occasional alcohol). Sparklers ensue.

Admittedly, I crashed early, but only because I knew very well that another night of partying would follow, and as my body is unaccustomed as of late to such hardcore debauchery, I knew I should rest up. The next night proved to be much of the same, with the addition of marshmallow-roasting and hot-tubbing. And this, my friends, is the origin of the newly-minted terms “brominizer” and “brominization.” Apparently the process of adding bromine to water is called brominization, but this also seemed the perfect descriptor for the excessive man-love that occurred as a natural effect of the joyous reunion of a large group of male friends and relatives. See below for examples.

And so it went, and there was plenty more I’m leaving out, I’m sure. But that’s a fairly accurate summation of how I went rogue for 11 days.

Thank you to all involved. We must do it again sometime.