The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century Joey deVilla's Personal Blog Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:45:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Goodbye, sweet Camaro! Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:33:14 +0000

The business trip is drawing to a close, and I had to bid farewell to my new best friend this morning:

Photo: Joey deVilla's rental yellow Camaro and his accordion, side by side.

Click the photo to see it at full size.

I kept the accordion that got me the car in the first place, but I had to return the Camaro. Even the rental car pickup guys were impressed; I guess it doesn’t get out much.

As a way of saying goodbye, I blasted this song out of the stereo while zipping down the Mass Pike this morning — a song that will likely never be played in the car again, as it’s pretty unknown outside Canada:

For my American friends into ’80s alt-rock, this song might be more meaningful:

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Evil parallel-universe you vs. the real you: no contest Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:57:44 +0000

Comparison: How to tell the difference between evil parallel-universe you and the real you

Click the chart to see it at full size.

See the original at Medium Large.

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Chart of the day: Lunar eclipse vs. solar eclipse vs. apocalypse Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:00:12 +0000

Diagram: Lunar eclipse (earth between moon and sun), solar eclipse (moon between earth and sun), and apocalypse (sun between earth and moon)

Found via Enno Park.

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What I’m driving this week: The Yellow Peril! Mon, 23 Mar 2015 02:44:20 +0000

Headline: My ride for the week / Photo: A yellow Camaro in the a rental car parking lot.

Click the photo to see it at full size.

I’m in Concord, Massachusetts this week to pay a visit to the head office of my employer, GSG. Concord’s a bit of a hike from Logan Airport in Boston, so work arranged for me to rent a mid-size car.

When I got to the garage, the guy saw the accordion and asked if I could play him a tune. One AC/DC number later, he said “For that, you get a free upgrade. Take any car from those two aisles.”

One particular one caught my eye. “Any one?” I asked, just to make sure.

“I know which one you’re talking about,” he said. “Take it.

And so I did. It’s the car pictured above. It’s a couple of stripes (and one Autobot) shy of Bumblebee, so I’ve dubbed it The Yellow Peril.

I put the one Boston rock station I remember on the stereo and put her through her paces on I-90 and 95. She handles rather nicely.

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Anitra and me, summarized in a single illustration Wed, 18 Mar 2015 00:39:37 +0000

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Lifehack of the day Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:34:25 +0000

lifehack of the day

That’s me: always full of good ideas!

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How my day began Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:05:08 +0000

how i started my day

Click to see the life-giving elixir at full size.

Pretty nicely, I must say. The background is the view from my yard this morning; the foreground shows part of my complete breakfast.

In case you’re wondering, the cold brew mix that Trader Joe’s sells is pretty decent. Cut with water or milk, it makes a decent iced coffee, livens up a protein shake, and I’ll bet that it makes for some good mixed drinks and shots. At about $8, it lives in the cost-benefit middle ground between brewing your own and going to your local coffee shop.

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The unofficial photos from Anitra and Joey’s wedding Mon, 16 Mar 2015 13:30:09 +0000

anitra - joey wedding 01

The blog’s been quiet for the past couple of weeks, but I have a good excuse: I married Anitra on Saturday, March 7th, 2015, and the wedding and everything related have been keeping us busy. It’s been a week since the big day, we returned from our honeymoon yesterday, and we’re both back at work this morning after ten days well outside reality.

We won’t get to see the official wedding photographer photos for about another week, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any photos. I’ve compiled this “album” from pictures snapped by Yours Truly, best man Eldon Brown, “father” of the groom Dr. Domingo de la Fuente, bridesmaid Elizabeth Cannon-Dang, Rob Strickler, and guest and unofficial wedding cruise director Marichka Melnyk. Thanks for the photos, folks!

We had the big event at the Grand Plaza Hotel, which hosts its wedding ceremonies right on the beach:

grand plaza

Here’s an overhead view of their ceremony areas. There are two sets of palm tree “aisles” down which happy couples can march:

birds eye 1

Here’s a closer look at ours, the southwest-facing aisle:

birds eye 2

Here’s a scene from the wedding rehearsal, with Anitra’s uncle and our officiant, Rabbi John Fischer giving best man Eldon some instructions:

anitra - joey wedding rehearsal

Fast-forward a day to the next morning, and we’ve got Eldon giving me the traditional best man gift of booze, which in this case was a hard-to-find and very delicious Canadian whisky, served in the most appropriate vessels we could find:

drinks 01

And here I am with my father-in-law, who was greatly amused by the whole thing:

drinks 02

Male bonding:

drinks 03

We don’t buy into this “you can’t see the bride before the ceremony” nonsense. With a bride like this, I want to see here as often as possible!

anitra - joey wedding 05

Here we are from another angle:

anitra - joey wedding 05b

Time to head to the lobby, where our big event was already posted:

lobby sign

A quick gathering of Team Groom, featuring my mom, Yours Truly, and my groomsmen Eldon and Richard (who’s also my brother-in-law):

anitra - joey wedding 05d

I was ready to get the party started:

anitra - joey wedding 06

Here’s the last photo I snapped as a free man! It’s of my view of the “aisle” before I made my way to the front:

anitra - joey wedding 05c

And here’s my last walk as a free man:

anitra - joey wedding 05aa

I was raised Catholic, she was raised Protestant, the officiant’s a rabbi, and the ceremony combined Jewish and Filipino wedding traditions. Here’s a Jewish tradition, where the bride walks around the groom three times, in a process I call “circling your prey”:

anitra - joey wedding 05a

Post-ceremony parasol pix with the bridesmaids:

anitra - joey wedding 02

And now the bridesmaids and groomsmen:

anitra - joey wedding 03

Here’s the mandatory “Ocean’s Eleven” pic:

anitra - joey wedding 04

Here’s where we had the reception: the Presidential Ballroom, located on the Grand Plaza’s penthouse level:

ballroom 1

As my friend George put it, it’s a classic James Bond villain’s lair waiting to happen, and it’s also reminiscent of the reclusive billionaire’s hotel from Diamonds are Forever:

ballroom 2

ballroom 3

Here’s a closer look at the “sweetheart table”:

ballroom 4

A quick welcome to the guests before we all descended on brunch:


Here we are at our Star Trek-like table, with me sitting at Mr. Sulu’s post, and Anitra as Chekov:

anitra - joey wedding 09

Of course there was some accordion playing:

anitra - joey wedding 10

Anitra looked amazing, but in my opinion, she always does:

anitra - joey wedding 07

love this photo:

anitra - joey wedding 08

Here’s the wedding “cake”:


At the end of the reception, a couple of hours before sunset…


…we made our way to Bongo’s Beach Bar, where we had the less formal, unofficial part of the day that stretched well into the night:

anitra - joey wedding 11

aftermath 2

anitra - joey wedding 12

anitra - joey wedding 13

anitra - joey wedding 14

Here’s a view from the bridal suite the next day:

suite view

Before we left, we went for the first of many walks on the beach as husband and wife:

beach next day anitra

beach next day joey

…and when we got to our car, we saw that one of the guests left us a geekily appropriate gift: a pair of twenty-sided fuzzy dice:


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T-shirt of the day: “You had me at the proper use of you’re” Sun, 15 Mar 2015 11:51:56 +0000

you had me at the proper use of youre

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Our wedding site, for the curious Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:22:00 +0000

wedding site 1

Now that the event has taken place and we’re husband and wife, I’ve opened up the Anitra and Joey wedding site to the public. It wasn’t all that hidden in the first place, since it lives at

It’s got all the details about where and when, plus a little background info about each of us and how we met:

joey met anitra


The location was the wonderful St. Pete Beach, located on a barrier island just off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida, and the venue was the Grand Plaza Hotel, a striking building reminiscent of the Whyte House, the hotel owned by reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte from the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever. The wedding took place at 11 a.m. and was followed by a brunch reception, which in turn was followed by an after-party at Bongo’s, a bar right on the beach:

wedding site 2

wedding site 3

If you’re feeling particularly wacky or generous and have a couple of bucks to spare, our Honeymoon Fund is still open:

honeymoon fund

Also: if you’re thinking about having a wedding in the Tampa Bay area and want to know about my experiences talking to various vendors and venues, feel free to drop me a line at

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Friends in high places (or: What happens when you invite the President to your wedding) Mon, 09 Mar 2015 12:27:05 +0000

white house wedding card

Click the photo to see it at full size.

This was in our mailbox when The Missus (I can really call her that now!) and I got home the day after our wedding: an envelope with a White House return address. I’m so pleased that my close personal friends Barack and Michelle, while they couldn’t make the ceremony, took the time out to send me a lovely card, complete with a coupon entitling me to a free drone strike to be unleashed on the person or location of my choosing.

But seriously: if you’re looking for an interesting goodie to add to your wedding scrapbook, send a wedding invitation to this White House address…

The President and First Lady
The White House
Greetings Office Rm. 39
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20500

…you too can get this official response, as well as an addendum to your record in the NSA database. All this for the price of a stamp!

I still have a couple of invitations left, so I’m going to try these addresses:

Mickey and Minnie Mouse
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, California 91521

Pope Francis
Prefettura della Casa Pontifica
00210 Citta del Vaticano, Italia

I’ll let you know what I get back.

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My second-last dinner as a single guy Fri, 06 Mar 2015 05:00:28 +0000

second last dinner as a single guy

The barbecue was nice, the company of best man Eldon was good, but I’m ready to get married now, thank you very much.

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It’s three days before the wedding, so OF COURSE I’m bleaching my clamshells Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:45:46 +0000

bleaching clamshells

And by “bleaching clamshells,” I’m not speaking euphemistically (a la this not-safe-for-work scene from Bridesmaids) this, but literally. They’re table decorations, and a few of them were looking a bit grungy.

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In honor of the upcoming wedding, in memory of Leonard Nimoy, and because Theodore Sturgeon keeps coming up Wed, 04 Mar 2015 02:53:41 +0000

t minus 4 days

Well, the wedding is this Saturday.

The big stuff’s been dealt with: the venue was secured months ago, and we’ve had all the relevant conversations with major service providers: the catering people, the hotel’s event planner, the videographer, the photographer, the DJ, and the rabbi.

Yes, neither of us is Jewish, and yes, a rabbi is officiating. I have an explanation, but I’ll save that for an entry I’ll post sometime after the wedding.

wedding weather

Weather these days is a little harder to predict, and even more so here in Accordion Bay, where the Gulf winds can make the sky change in very short order. After a cool spell, things are warming up here and the days are already beginning to follow their summer pattern: sunny in the morning, clouding over in the late afternoon with maybe a little waterworks, and then clearing up at night. Ours is a brunch wedding, with the really formal stuff done by noon, the reception done by four, and the rest of the afternoon and early evening dedicated Jimmy Buffett-ing it up at the beachside bar as we toast the sunset.

vulcan marriage or challenge

Click the photo to watch the episode (while it lasts on YouTube).

While getting the last of the things to bring to the wedding packed into boxes, I’ve had that classic Star Trek episode, Amok Time, playing on one of my screens. That’s the one where we learn that Vulcans mate once every seven years (not unlike a few fans of the show), where Spock’s wedding is undone by his bride, who’d much rather be with some other guy, and where he nearly kills his friend Captain Kirk in a fit of hormonal rage (and hey, we’ve all been there before, am I right, guys?). It’s in tribute to the upcoming wedding, the passing of Leonard Nimoy, and the fact that I’ve had conversations in which Theodore Sturgeon, who wrote the episode, come up no less than four times.

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“I’ve made a terrible mistake…” Tue, 03 Mar 2015 01:44:23 +0000


I hope that your present situation is better than this cat’s.

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That dress is turning up in some pretty weird places… Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:50:47 +0000

grady twins dress

All memes and no life makes Jack a twisted boy.

Found via Trish Thornton.

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Is this the black-and-blue / gold-and-white controversy that everyone on Twitter’s going on about? Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:37:29 +0000

black blue gold white

And do we really need science to explain it?

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A wedding picture frame for cousins Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:22:54 +0000


I saw this frame while looking around the local discount stores for some last-minute wedding decorations.

It’s a popular belief that the Southern US is a hotbed of cousin marriage, but you may not know that the United States is the only western nation with restrictions on marrying your cousin. Marriages between first cousins are legal through Canada, Mexico, and Europe, and it’s estimated that 1 in 5 couples worldwide are first cousins. The world is Shelbyville, it seems.

The taboo against cousin marriage has more of a basis in culture than genetics. It’s said that the risk of genetic defects in children of cousins is smaller than generally assumed: at most, 2% higher than the population-wide risk of birth defects, which is 2% – 3%. If those low risks still scare you, genetic screening can help those few at-risk cousin couples avoid it.

we can still be cousins

The real problem with getting involved with your cousin isn’t genetics, but social. As this article in Slate puts it:

You can move on from an ex-spouse or ex-lover, but there’s no such thing as an ex-cousin. How are your parents and your ex’s parents supposed to handle a nasty divorce or a breakup? How can they support their kids without antagonizing their siblings and their siblings’ kids? You’ve wrecked your whole family. It isn’t as bad as if you’d slept with a sibling, but it’s a lot worse than if you’d slept with a friend or an officemate. We don’t ban you from dating people at the office, but we don’t tell you it’s a great idea, either.

If you get into bed with your cousin, there’s no need for Uncle Sam to throw you in jail. If it works out, great. If not, you’ll find yourself in a jail no uncle will let you out of.

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Quantum orange juice Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:35:04 +0000

quantum orange juice

From concentrate and not from concentrate at the same time, this orange juice is part of Schrödinger’s complete breakfast. Or more accurately, the moment just prior to Schrödinger’s complete breakfast.

I’m beginning to realize that Florida is a quantum state.

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More on America and the metric system Thu, 26 Feb 2015 04:58:58 +0000

To this day, one of the most-visited articles on this blog is one from 2008, titled Countries That Don’t Use the Metric System, which points out that there are only three: Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States.

Since it’s from the era when George W. Bush was president, I ended the article with this smart-ass quip: “I say we let them get some decent governments first, then worry about getting them on the metric system.” I believe it’s that line that got the article all that attention, and all the back-and-forth fighting in the comments section.

If you like partaking in debates about the metric system, you might find this passage from the novel Wild Thing by Josh Bazell interesting:


I should pick up this book!

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