mali ficos non vendemus.

In which we wax poetic, make glittering generalities, judge and are judged, and all that jazz.

Name:Alison Byrnes

Alison was born and raised in the seaside city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa. Showing her leadership qualities even in her youth, she was Head Girl of Collegiate High School for Girls in 1985. Alison grew up in Basildon and left school at sixteen largely unqualified. She spent time as a shop worker before embarking on a piano tuning course which she had to abort in the second year as the single, Only You, became a worldwide hit. Alison achieved an international reputation as a banjo player by pushing the instrument out of its familiar Appalachian settings and into new musical territory. Alison became the 1993 recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in documentary photography for her photographs of child labor in Asia. Since then, she has lived with exiled Tibetans in Nepal and India for over a decade, recording their culture and the challenges which exile has brought.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Everyone knows that I am obsessed with This American Life (acronym TAL). Much like "Seinfeld," everything in life relates to an episode. So I am the one who annoyingly contributes to people's conversations about their real lives with how it relates to an story on TAL. The studios, being a world without TV, requires that I fill the hole of silence in some other way (and my DVD player is so touchy it only responds to discs in mint condition). So, starting mid-summer 2005, I have been systematically working my way back through the show's archives. I just started in on the 2001 episodes last week, and have been rationing them more lately because I know the supply is finite.
Here are some favorites:
Heretics #304
Godless America #290
Family Legend #270
The Middle of Nowhere #253
My Two Cents (Act III) #236
Say Anything #234
Starting from Scratch #233 (The Puppy Channel Episode)
Time to Save the World (Act II) #231
You Are So Beautiful...To Me #228 (The Parrot Episode)
Ask an Expert #215
Didn't Ask to Be Born #209
House on Loon Lake #199

That's as far as I've gotten.
I'm now making a concerted effort not to bring it up anymore...


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