A Few Additional Things I'm Fond Of:
- My favourite place in the whole world is the ocean, particularly deserted locations that have interesting creatures to find, like the quiet beaches of Block Island, RI, the Big Island of Hawaii, and St. John, USVI. I am devoted to echinoderms (especially crown-of-thorns sea stars), and like cnidarians, cephalopods and sponges a lot, too. I have my PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and Enriched Air Diver scuba certifications and also love tidepooling, snorkeling and free diving. My favourite island is Hawaii, which I have visited over ten times and love in a million different ways (the creatures, the trees, the feel of the air, the people, the coffee, the food, the music, the language...).
But South Glastonbury, Connecticut is a blissful place to live. After 10 happy years in East Berlin, CT, I moved here in August, 2011. Glastonbury is a beautiful town on the eastern banks of the Connecticut River that manages to feel both sophisticated and rural at the same time. The very best thing about living here is being surrounded by farms and orchards. I ♥ farm stands! I am also a huge farmers' market supporter; some of my favorites are Middletown's North End Farmers' Market, the Wethersfield Farmers' Market, the Coventry Regional Farmers' Market, and the Keauhou Farmers' Market. Great places to find farm stands and farmers' markets near you are Local Harvest and FarmFresh.org.
In addition to local foods, I love reading about and trying unusual foods,
especially ones that other people consider weird or disgusting, such
as various types of offal. I am also fascinated by exotic fruits and have sampled a pretty large variety.
The Cook's Thesaurus, the Food Lover's Companion, FruitsInfo.com and Trade Winds Fruit's Tropical Fruits Database are invaluable resources. When I want to research restaurants, I rely on Chowhound, Citysearch, and MenuPages. Since I hate making phone calls, OpenTable is the greatest for reservations. The Food Timeline and eGullet Forums are also highly entertaining and educational.
I take great pleasure in sending creative-looking slugmail and using interesting stamps, and I'm fascinated by certain types of nature illustrations, like Louis Renard's Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes, de Diverses Couleurs et Figures Extraordinaires, Ernst Haeckel's Art Forms in Nature and Albertus Seba's work. In a similar but much more contemporary vein, I love Lisa Studier's woodprints (one of which I proudly own), Jill Bliss' illustrations (have a number of her creations!), Lisa Stevens' c-urchin ceramics (ditto), and Helle Jorgensen's fiber art.
I have also adored Remy Charlip (whose books I collect--the older and more beat up, the better) since I was a child, and I have a real weakness for 1960s children's science illustrations, like the ones in encyclopedia sets, Herbert Zim books (René Martin illus., especially), Golden Guides, and early Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science books. In the non-illustrated book realm, I really like Oliver Sacks' writing, particularly The Island of the Colorblind (cycads!) and Uncle Tungsten, and John McPhee's books The Founding Fish and Oranges (haven't read any of his others yet, but I'm planning to!).
I have recently become a huge colonial gravestone geek (winged heads!) and love exploring local burying grounds. My favorite carvers are Jonathan Loomis, Ezra Stebbins, the Upswept Wing carver, Peter Buckland, and of course good ol' Gershom Bartlett. I am pretty obsessed with James A. Slater's book Colonial Burying Grounds of Eastern Connecticut and the Men Who Made Them and I am dying to get my own copy of the papers of Dr. Ernest Caulfield.
My favorite musicians are The Band and Bob Dylan. For lyrics to alternate versions and unreleased Dylan songs (basement tapes!), Daniel Martin's "It's Not a House, It's a Home" Page is essential.
My favorite charities are Connecticut Farmland Trust and Bat Conservation International (help fight white-nose syndrome; it's decimating bat populations across the eastern United States!), Oceana, and The Nature Conservancy. I like all four of these a lot.
Other things I can wholeheartedly recommend: neem, kukui, rhubarb, shad, eels, Kona Mountain Coffee, Aloha Massage Academy,
The Modern, Pahu i`a, Lupa, Maine Diner, Five Fifty-Five, Rise, Ye Sea Slugs!, Milo in Maine, Angela Adams, City Bench, Ask MetaFilter, and, of course, Etsy.
Personal Photos (semi-old at this point, but still fairly representative):
- At the ocean:
Examining a snail on foggy Cooneymus Beach (July, 2000) and past my wrists in clay at Vail Beach, Block Island, RI (July, 2001).
Showing off a dried sea urchin at Kiholo Bay in Kohala, HI (Feb., 2002) and searching for chitons in St. John, USVI (March, 2002).
Writing in my ocean notebook, wet from snorkeling through an alien world of seaweed at Mansion Beach, Block Island (July, 2002).
Hands full of brittle stars and crazily happy, both at Wawaloli Beach, near Kona, Hawaii (September, 2003).
Crackling with salt, inside the wreck of the Gamma, Grand Cayman (November, 2003) and utterly content celebrating Ocean Day in Watch Hill, RI (July 19, 2003).
- A few additional favourite spots:
On the back step after planting flowers in the pouring rain, 2001.
In the driver's seat of my New Beetle, May, 2002.
Under "MY TREE," the Gifford Pinchot Sycamore: on my birthday, 2002 (smiling so much my face hurt), June, 2002, and April, 2003.
With our new plane, a Piper Warrior II, August, 2006.