Another delicious year in the Smarto Household for Thanksgiving! This was my first significant block of time at home since I moved to my new apartment in East Liberty, so I was looking forward to spending some quality time with my family (and enjoying a home-cooked meal like only Mom can make).
We haven’t had a Halloween costume party since the legendary high school party that ended when the cops showed up (I guess we shouldn’t have hired that Ska band to play after all.) But since we are a few years wiser than the last time, we decided to throw a huge Halloween rager.
A common occurrence around my house that happens when Nathan visits; I sit on the back-porch with him while he puffs on a cigarette. Usually, being very knowledgeable about insect species, he picks off a few from the porch lights, tells us a few things about the creature, and lets it go back in to the wild. But tonight, he found something fairly unique.
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park has become a little serene getaway for my festival-buddies and I. I first heard about the Ledges from my friend Jeremy, and have been to a few festivals here before, but this was my first ‘Hookah’ weekend – a festival with headliners Ekoostik Hookah. In a very impromptu decision, that involved only about a half-hour of packing, my friends Nathan and Lanie hopped in my RV and we headed west towards Ledges.
Last weekend, I finally made it to my first ever Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh. An event many of my friends have gone to, I have never had the chance to go until this year.
Since 1983, the PVGP is a race and car show that draws about 200,000 spectators. With over 2,000 cars on display, it is an opportunity to see rare and exotic domestic and imported automobiles.
Every year for The Great Blue Heron Music Festival, Nathan and I attempt to make some sort of serious art installation. Last year, we made an animatronic flying bird that turned out to be very challenging due to its mechanical complexity, so for the 2012 Festival, we decided to attempt something a little more… static.
The pursuit of Italian Dual Citizenship feels like a long process of two steps forward, one step back. The tightly woven fabric of complications intrinsic to Italian bureaucracy, American bureaucracy, fading historical records and difficult language barriers creates an insane obstacle course that one must navigate to obtain their second passport.
For a man of such potent verbosity, I’m curiously at a loss for words after the 2012 Great Blue Heron Music Festival. Because this music festival has lodged itself so deeply in my ventricles over the past several years, after the festival is over, I surrender to a torrent of emotions that range from deeply, almost manically jubilant, all the way to homesickness and longing after the watermelon is smashed (a tradition marking the end of the festival).
This month, with Blue Heron poking its fingers deep in my pockets, I had to alter my approach to translations a little bit.
Originally, I had intended on asking Audra DeFalco to translate my documents. When she gave me the estimate, it was more expensive than I hadexpected. However, I’m compelled to tell you some wonderful things about Audra even though I eventually ended up using a different translator.
I’m just about ready. I have all of my documents, finally, and translations are beginning.
I’m doing my best to avoid a horror story at the consulate…
After doing some more research on other people’s experience with the Philadelphia consulate, I’m growing more and more concerned about some small discrepancies with my application. Specifically, the spelling of some first names.