Sunday, December 31, 2006

It was so very merry!

These are pictures from Christmas. So! Let's see what we got here! First, there's Jon with a parrot on his head at the Goodman Christmas Eve party. Then there's Betsy with the stocking that she made for little Fy! You can tell by his expression that he was very impressed. Next we have me and Matt with Windmillman at the party (please note these are not in order: Betsy was not wearing pajamas at the party.) ;-) The next one is all of us at my grandparents' house on Christmas Day (Matt is thinking about holy chips.) There's my grandpa laughing at the story my dad wrote for him (did you know my dad is a writer?) And then there's a few of us opening presents in the morning. All in all it was very festive and joyous and oh man, in a few hours it'll be time to start celebrating New Years! I guess that means I gotta go!

Long-lost pictures!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Merry Christmas

The day after Christmas I had to go meet with a professor to hear a lecture I missed because of work. It was about transnationalism, and he told me his opinions about the future of North America. I listened, and eventually it shifted over to 9/11. I was telling him how painful it was for me when I was in Mexico and saw people cheering about the towers. He thought for a moment, looked me in the eye and told me he would've applauded too. I winced; it felt like a slap in the face.

This simple statement showed me our propensity for hate. It just comes so naturally to us, the desire for revenge; it dulls our heart from the ability to feel compassion. It happens all over the world, every day, but the scale is so large that we see it as a political problem. We see tanks but we don't see the people inside them; we don't see the darkness in our hearts that's so eager to rationalize suffering.

This is why I am so very thankful for Christmas. So thankful for Christ, who conquered evil with love, who showed that grace is the only antidote for hate; forgiveness, the only way to end these cycles of revenge we find ourselves in. So thankful for God, who loves us despite the blackness of our hearts, whose grace is overwhelming.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Now that everything's official....

I can announce that KELLY is moving back! YAY! Her and Fernando are headed to the twin cities this summer for-to-stay. I think Ms. Imelda was in need of a cute pair of boots and needed an accompanying climate (am I right?) ;-)

Anyway, I for one am really excited. And so is Fy. Just look at him.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

That snake picture was really starting to gross me out, so

here is something much more pleasant to look at: fyo! You can see him in the background, peering at Matt like he always does. Maybe you are thinking, "but where are they?" Well, that is our apartment! So, if you can't recognize it that probably means you should come visit us. :-)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Amazingly disgusting!

This gentlman was recently featured in Time magazine for being one of the newest additions to the Guinness Book of World Records. His feat? Holding the record number of rattlesnakes suspended from his mouth.

So awesome.

Which leads to the next logical question: what world record would you want to hold? And whatever it is, would you do it wearing a derby hat? I hope so.

Friday, November 24, 2006

i am thankful!

(in no particular order)

-for Fyodor, how he leaps on me every morning to wake me up, and bites my toes; for all the ridiculous things he does throughout the day that make us smile.

-for Matthew!, for he's a jaunty good fella. and he has the best eastern bloc accent, and the best toothy smile, and he makes the best onion rings, and he'll bend over backwards for you. really. not just me, for just about anyone. and i think he is amazing.

-for my mom & dad, how just being near them feels like my engine's been jumpstarted.

-for my in-laws, for their hospitality and kindness and understanding.

-for my sister & fernando, how i know (just know) they will always have my back.

-for megan & brian, though frankly i would be even more thankful if i got to see them once in a while... (we miss you!)

-for friends to laugh with and make sushi with and play euchre with -- friends who notice if you're worried or stressed, friends who do what they can to make things better.

-for our grandparents & aunts & uncles & cousins - seriously, guys, you're like family to us. ;-)

-for God how he gives us hope and pushes us forward.

-and for all the other nice things, like flamingos & coconuts & prehensile tails & a newfound enjoyment of swiss cheese & screen plays being finished & apartments with wallpaper & milwaukee & cute kids who give me bags of chilli powder & not being allergic to the cold & glasses & prison break & lost & electric guitars & etc.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Senate abducts dozens at gunpoint

I was just checking my email, and these little newsbriefs flash up on the screen when I log in, and what did I see but "Senate abducts dozens at gunpoint." What on earth?! I thought. However, I had already clicked away by the time it registered as being very strange. When I clicked back, it turns out my tired eyes had blurred two headlines together "Gunmen abduct dozens" and "Senate ---" (well, who knows what. I clicked away when I saw they hadn't abducted anyone - what a relief!)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


So. Above is a photo of Tony Jaa, a master of, among other martial art forms, Muay Thai, which originated from Jaa's native country (Thailand, naturally.). It's a crazy style of leaping around, hitting people with elbows and knees, and being generally awesome. To see it in action, you could watch Jaa's two biggest movies, Ong Bak the Thai Warrior, and The Protector, which exited theaters a month ago.

And guess what... I was driving home from the DMV of all places when I saw a sign on a brick building, here in Waukesha (of all places), that advertised classes in Boxing, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai.

Insert my face here, everyone!!!


PS: by here, I mean put my face over Tony Jaa's face.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


This is a little late, but let's be honest here... news this big does not diminish over paltry mortal days. Blow the trumpets and the zithers, for at 87 pages, as of October 19th, Black Forest has come to a FINISH!

The editing process has begun, which I think will take about a week, if I'm lucky. That should polish it to my liking. Anything after that will be up to producers, agents, and directors to decide.

PS--87 may not sound long enough, and it probably isn't, but after the editing, it should be all good.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I THINK we can safely say

we have 1 friend* here!

(that is, combining one girl who is maybe 3/4's friend and another who has potential and therefore is maybe 1/4 of the way along.)

(by friend, i mean someone who i could perhaps invite over to hang out without them thinking "wow, that's weird. i don't even know you...")

anyway, so: three cheers for us!!!

ps. okay, there is maybe one more who i would say is 1/8 friend (in that we would like to be friends with him and have talked to him once.) matt in fact played guitar with him! while he rapped!! it actually sounded really good, we think maybe we'll buy his album (such that, if we never make it to true friend status, we can at least have a nice business transaction under our belts. kidding.)

*by friend, i refer to new acquaintances, not good ol' steadies like WINDMILLMAN or the the MADTOWN CROWD (of two.) :-)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A hap-hap-happy

late birthday to Fernando!

May all your wildest dreams come true! (Especially those of moving to Chicago) :-)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sometimes I wish

that Matt had a nice Irish brogue.

Speaking of brogues, I recommend read "Teacher Man" by Frank McCourt, which is kind of the antithesis of teacher-books -- which means that I totally dig it.

I'm not sure if I used the word antithesis correctly. Does it mean opposite? And if you want to then say that something is not the antithesis, can you just say it is the thesis? (Or would that be going too far?)

Saturday, September 16, 2006


One of my longest standing desires has finally been satisfied. As of 9/11/06, I officially require glasses! For those of you who don't know, I've thought for about twenty years that I look better with glasses, and I've always been jealous of those who wear them. You can imagine how I felt with the advent of readily available Buddy Holly and Malcolm X-style glasses in the late nineties and up until the present. Well, my wildest dreams have come true. I'm getting glasses**!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd like to thank my parents for giving me two eyes that work basically pretty well, but need a little help from their friends. Thanks to my wife for always supporting me. And thanks to you, members of the academy who made this possible. I love my life!

* The spectacles in this photo are not mine. I was borrowing them for fun at the time of the photograph. Mine will be at least AS awesome, if not a little more.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I forgot

how totally fabulous "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" is. :-)

Friday, September 08, 2006

New SURVEYlance Technology

The Ultimate Survey [you will take it if you know anything at all]

1. What is your name?

2. How old are you?

3. Have you any siblings?

4. What is your favorite article of clothing?

5. What is your favorite variety of potato chip?

6. What is yoru preferred type of shoe?

7. What three things are you most looking forward to right now?

8. If you could arrange an incredible 4-band show, what bands/musicians would you choose, and in what order?

9. Cats or dogs; which is better?

10. Which would you rather eat, and how would you prepare it?

11. What is the worst food you have ever tasted?

12. GUITARISTS: what company would you most like to receive an endorsement deal from?

13. NON-GUITARISTS: how silly are you?

14. If you could start a band right now, what would it sound like, and what would you call it?

15. If a genie offered you any car in the world in mint condition, what would you wish for?

16. Do you have any phobias?

17. If you could build a sprawling mansion in any country/region of the world, where would you build it?

18. What is your ultimate career ambition?

19. What CD are you listening to right now?

20. What is the next CD you plan to purchase?

21. If you were to write a survey, what would be your ultimate goal in doing so?

22. What is your opinion on music and software piracy?

23. What is your strangest possession?

24. Where would you like to retire to?

25. What is one thing that most people don't know about you?

26. If you could instantly learn one language, which would you choose?

27. What do you consider a fair price for ostrich meat (by the pound)?

28. What is the last movie you saw in a theater?

29. Where are you right now?

Monday, September 04, 2006

I'm engaged!!!!!

Can you believe it??! Matt popped the question* on Saturday evening, and presented me with a sparkling, snakey ring! I said yes! I then quickly promenaded inside to show my parents (who had been watching out the window). Then we realized that Matt had not asked for my hand, so he asked. They said maybe, if you can beat us at euchre. It was a passionately-played 3-rounds. In the end, he won me. (Next, they wanted to play for Fyodor, but we said nooooo. They would've meant it too.)

*Footnote: Yes, I am already married. Have been for three years. To Matt. However, I lost my rings** and have since then been pressuring Matt to make me an honest woman.

**Footnote: We thought*** they might turn up when we moved out of our place in Florida, but they were nowhere to be found, not even in the couch where
strange things turn up.

***Footnote: We later arrived at the conclusion that Fyodor must have swallowed them, because he was once caught in the act trying to swallow Megan's.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Guess who we got to see!

Some of my favorite people ever!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

All your base are belong to us.

*We have no interweb!
*There will be no further posts for many moons!
*Not on your blogs either!
*Please still stay in touch though!
*Who am I kidding - I will update this thing from the library sometimes.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

No one even elbowed me!

I just got back from Piggly Wiggly, and as I was standing in line (after someone pointed out that I could be in the express lane, and after someone else let me cut ahead even though I was in no hurry, and after someone else gave me a coupon that I didn't ask for), I was thinking about how nice small towns are. How people are just plain nice. Then this older gentleman behind me started in, muttering about our bad luck in getting such a slow cashier. I was trying to think of something courteous to say when the cashier said, "Well Gilly, if you keep actin' up like that I'm not checkin' you out at all." To which Gilly responded, "Well that's what I was hopin' for, you can just put my groceries on the young lady's bill." (It was so funny!) Then, on my drive home, (as I was still marvelling at how different this is from south Florida,) a truck pulled out too fast in the rain and almost ran over some young guy on a scooter. I mean really, almost ran him over. The kid used the moment to re-light his cigarette, nodded to the truck, and then drove off.

I love it here. (Oh yeah, and the picture? That's Matt and Windmill-man; they live in Wisconsin and look how happy they are.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Don't miss it; don't be late!

Maybe you have been wondering, have those crazy Goodfellas been admiring livestock recently? The answer is yes, yes we have! We went to the state fair with the Goodmanskis, ate creampuffs and fried-zucchini, watched a dancing chihuahua perform, and saw the Tom Green Show! (Yes! The Tom Green show! Unfortunately it turns out there's two people named Tom Green.)

One thing I did not see? A cow with a plastic plate in its side. Not that I particularly want to see one, but I thought this was something Saunders made up for Civilwarland In Bad Decline. (Have you read it? You should read it.) Now that I know that it truly exists, I know for sure that I live in the future. (Also known as post-1999). (Would post-1999 ever come, I've been wondering?) (And now it's here, and this era has been ushered in by a see-through cow? Who knew?)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

i wish it was my place to forgive

(and i wish it wasn't presumptuous to write this) --

but i've been thinking about 9/11 and everything that's unraveled since then. i can't help but feel like we are on the brink of a third world war. it would take so little - iran supporting hizbullah, or really any nation at all publicly supporting a terrorist organization. we're already divided into sets of allies, and the twin towers provided such momentum (why couldn't we have seen it then?)

i wish we could have responded with grace. i have been reading about how history has changed because of nonviolent responses - for example, the berlin wall came down after a world-wide day of prayer, culminated by a march that slowly approached the wall - an unarmed crowd singing hyms. it came down without a single shot. stalin once sarcastically asked how many troops the pope has - i guess now we know. i also read of a beloved romanian priest who was fished out of a river with his eyes and fingernails ripped out (during the communist era.) thousands of people took to the streets and marched to the government offices chanting "we forgive, we forgive." it impacted that country, it changed history.

i wish we could forgive. i wish we could meet their hatred with grace, rather than becoming who they thought we were all along. (i'm sorry to use the word "we" loosely - i'm referring to the national image we have acquired after abu ghraib, haditha, guantanamo, the rape/murder of the iraqi girl, and etc.) anyway, i apologize in advance. i know this is pretentious, and i know there's nothing wrong with justice...i just so-badly wish that things had turned out differently.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

ique viva!

happy birthday to my sweet abuelita lolita, who turned 85 yesterday and really showed us how it's done. :)

Monday, July 31, 2006

and meanwhile

{from Time}

"They created a desolation and call it peace." -Fouad Siniora, Lebanese Prime Minister, decrying Israel's incrusion into Lebanon by quoting 1st century Roman historian Tacitus. Speaking to Western diplomats, Siniora asked, "Are we children of a lesser God?"

"Hope over fear. Liberty over oppression...Let there be no doubt- today Iraq is a democracy." -Nouri Al-Maliki, Iraqi Prime Minister, addressing a joint session of the US Congress last week and boasting of his country's political and social progress since 2003.

"Is he living in Iraq?" -Debbie wasserman-Schultz, Democratic Representative, Florida, on the dissonance between al-Maliki's depiction of a blossoming Iraq and the country's escalating sectarian violence, which he barely mentioned.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

me oh my!

this has nothing to do with the picture, and not really anything to do with anything other than that today is a perfect day (but not like the lou reed song, which is sad). this is a perfect day as in: a perfect day.


and also, in church today (while the preacher gave this beautiful sermon), i had a sort-of-epifany about teaching which finally finally made me really excited about my job again. which is awesome because at one point teaching got me revved up more than anything, and i thought i had lost that, couldn't find it anymore.

one last note: i got a winter coat and winter boots (me oh my with fur on the top and a wedge heel, for those who are interested! only $10 holy smokes!) and so i'm even kind of excited about the winter, and and and in a few months i am going to get an incubator and hatch chicks with my class! anyway, this is beside the point though. a lovely day.

Friday, July 28, 2006

who got to churn the butter?

last night, after many rounds of dirty ernie, we played the king of card games: eucher! in the end, a victory dance was performed by 3 of the 4 people in the bottom picture (one person was told that if he was going to be in the background, he had to at least look distraught -- can you guess who it was?)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

perhaps you have been wondering, how is fyodor?

he is good.

and i love him love him love him love him love him.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Take this survey or else. >:(

Copy and paste the following, and respond, if you wish. Please wish.

1. Which do you prefer: slamming a vestigial finger in the door, or drinking hot Coke?

2. Which is worse: getting punched in the nose, or being violently ill?

3. Which would you least enjoy: being maimed by a shark, losing at the $1,000,000 level on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, or realizing you have no future?

4. Which would you rather excel at: mimery, ventriliquism, or growing a mustache?

5. Which would you rather eat: uncooked bacon, or cooked hand?

6. How awesome are you?

7. Who would you rather look like (and we're talking the spitting image here): Santa Clause, the Jolly Green Giant, Osama bin Ladin, or Ursula the Sea Witch?

8. Who would you prefer to have as a roommate: Carrot Top, Tom Cruise, Elizabeth Taylor, or Gallagher (the guy who smashes watermelons with a mallet)?

9. If you were a pet, what kind of pet would you be, and who would you prefer to have as an owner: Paris Hilton or Michael Jackson?

10. Which movie would you rather live in: Office Space, Snakes on a Plane, Pride and Prejudice, or Field of Dreams?
- m(att)

Friday, July 21, 2006

the fellas of the Goodfellas

My dad used to (and sometimes still does) look at me with pride and say, "Oh, son of my son," and sometimes continue on to say "...of my son of my son..." and on and on. I never understood it, and it drove me crazy. The other day, he did it again, and after I reminded him once again that it made no sense, I pointed out that Fyodor would certainly qualify as the "Son of my son" for Dad.
The "son of my son" rode behind my head just like this for a good two-fifths of the trip up from West Palm Beach. That's my boy!

There are two other things I'd like to say.

1. For those of you who have a myspace, I (Matt, by the way) just signed up for one. If you'd like to see it, it's located at

2. This evening, we (2 McFalls, 2 Rogantes, Mapache, and myself) decided to watch the movie on the right. To my glee, that movie was Minority Report. However, the first 39 seconds proved too much for my poor sister-in-law, and we decided to watch Dreamer, a touching drama about a young girl's love for her horse. As you can imagine, I found time to post. :)


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

i realized the other day

that i don't pray specifically. and given that i don't pray specifically, it ends up like some homogenous slop of good-will. kind of like thinking in colors. (which obviously makes it hard to be fervent or even necessarily sincere.)

and i realized the reason i don't pray specifically is because it is such a big responsibility, to know what to ask God for. and what if i get it wrong? and how do you pray with faith when you believe that his yes's are just as important as his no's and wait's? i feel like i always preface things with "well, if you want to, but i understand if you don't, but please would you..?" and is it a safeguard for me, if things don't go like i so desperately want them to, or is it out of reverence? (or worse, is it laziness, not bothering to figure out what i should pray for?) either way, i would like to be able to pray like i mean it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

so so so ready to unpack!

things i am most excited to fish out of boxes:

1. my clothes (wadded up and wrapped around the dishes -- i have been rotating between the same 2 outfits, one of which is now stained! oh no!)

2. pasta, passion, and pistols: our murder mystery! (anyone ever done one of those? anyone want to come play?)

things i was most excited to discover: (in the array of things we left in wisconsin a year ago)

1. a magic eye book! (i spent 2-3 am looking at the 3d pictures (couldn't sleep (i slept too much in the afternoon because matt accidentally took drowsy cough medicine (which somehow made me tired too)) and then when i tried to sleep, my eyes kept shifting like that, trying to see 3d images in the weird mix of colors and patterns you see when you shut your eyes. at one point, it was comets, then later a cursive lower-case letter u. not very cool. and clearly i was overtired.)

2. i guess it's really just one thing.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Saturday, July 08, 2006

this is a true story.

one day, the rogantes and goodfellas were hanging out when BAM, SLAM!, a geyser exploded behind them! steaming water came shooting out! it took them a while to notice, but once they did, they were horrified. the water rose and rose, until the mapache was nearly-knee-deep in what appeared to be a never-ending sea. suddenly -oh my gosh!- a shark appeared! it was drawn by the site of the gaping wound on matt's toe! it leaped up and finished him off! no one could believe his rotten luck!

the mapache had a gold statue made in his likeness.


Friday, July 07, 2006

i know this is disgusting.

i really do. and i apologize. but we wanted to share a few pictures of our 4th of july, and so here it is! when we went to see the fireworks, matt hit his toe on a pipe sticking out of the grass. he almost passed out. (or was it blacked out matt? is there a difference? anyone know, anyone?) i don't know. he had to lay down because he was so woozy, so we watched the fireworks from there, where he collapsed. later, we bandaged his toe with my extra shirt (i was wearing two) and he made it back to the car okay. anyway, the fireworks were very beautiful. fyodor really enjoyed them too. a good time was had by all, despite the injury and corresponding amputation. (i mentioned that right?)

anyway, here is a picture of our 4th of july pie to even-out the gore.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

if the government...

had a new program where you could only choose 3 meals to eat for the rest of your life (on a continuous cycle) what 3 would you choose? bearing in mind of course that you may also choose 1 drink in addition to water, and 1 dessert.

these pictures are from MAROOSH by the way! where we ate for our 3-year anniversary! incidentally (or perhaps not incidentally?) i think i might choose one of my meals having hummus. but i will not divulge any more details at the present. other than to say that maroosh was a delight but i would not re-order the pistachio burma even though it was quite fancy!

Monday, July 03, 2006

a first few

our parents just left this morning for tennessee -- we had the most lovely visit! however, it turns out they must've taken most of the pictures, 'cause i don't have all that many. so, i will wait to get a few from them. for now, here is a picture of a cut-throat table-soccer competition, and a trick jon played on us ("hold on, i can't quite get it to take the picture...") !