Saturday, December 29, 2007

Francisco De Nada

A lawyer who secretly published anti-nationalist chapbooks (which inspired an unsuccessful coup against his country's puppet regime) DeNada had always been a target of suspicion for his sympathies; military police agents traced his tracts to a printer and soon afterwards, members of DeNada's family mysteriously vanished. The young revolutionary was arrested and imprisoned for the next 7 years within a secret island labor camp, during which time he composed his epic anti-imperialist manifesto/poem, "El Jaguar"; he was denied writing instruments during the incarceration and memorized the entire 5,000 verse work while toiling in the jungle. Rumors circulated that he'd been executed until a band of comrades infiltrated the island security and aided DeNada in a dramatic escape to the mainland. He spent several years hiding with rebels in the forests of Mexico and small Central American countries until a group of North American editors and publishers helped him to secure amnesty in the US, where he lives and continues writing today.


The Norwegian beauty, Else, arrived as a student in a foreign exchange program and began working as a part-time employee while studying architecture. When she decided to remain in the country and continue attending night classes at the university, the Ticonderoga offered her a full-time position and a staff residence room, which she now shares with Maria. Together, with Nataliya, they comprise the hotel's housekeeping department, but it is Else who maintains the Ticonderoga's infamous "Lost-and-Found" collection. She is quite fond of our security chief, Julius (and if he weren't so self-absorbed, he might actually return her attention.) Meanwhile, Else is the oldest child in her large family and her pangs of homesickness and family affections are occasionally salved by invitations to the cinema from Samson and Sophie.


We know that Benjamin lives in a basement apartment beneath his parents' home. He's punctual, thorough and polite. To our knowledge, nobody on staff has ever held a sustained dialogue with Benjamin for longer than two minutes, but his messages are always succinct and his penmanship is altogether astounding; occasionally he receives messages from a professional cartoonist he worked (works?) as a lettering assistant for. On his days off, he paints hand-lettered signs and windows for various small businesses in his neighborhood, and is often seen studying manuals of typography.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Hope Diaz

The famous Puerto Rican dancer and performer Hope Diaz began working professionally when she was 10 years old, matured in the public eye, and by the time she was 18, had grown weary of her schedule and the limelight. Her mentor introduced her to the Baroness, who advised the young dancer and acrobat to take a professional hiatus and to concentrate on her studies. Hope did this, competing with her university gymnastics team and appearing only once in a university theater production, where she met student filmmaker Vic Vap. 5 years later, she made her acting debut as a minor (though) recurring character in a series of critically-praised (but seldom seen) independent short films directed by then-boyfriend, Vap. She currently works with the Baroness's charity to coordinate productions with her acrobat troupe and various local dance studios.


The son of prominent second generation (and infamously sparring) American journalists and newspaper editors, Emmet recoiled from the hypocrisy and turmoil of the political media spotlight he was raised around and, after dropping out of culinary school, traveled around the continent as the roadie for a number of punk rock bands. He returned home after several years and accepted an editorial assistant position with a local newsweekly before singlehandedly trashing the main newspaper office in a fit of indignant rage over the publication's endorsement of a corrupt state senatorial candidate. Months later, an old classmate, Mary Megan, found Emmet unemployed, drunk and homeless in a local tavern and recommended him for a job with the Troubador, where he masterminds the bistro kitchen menu.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Sylvia is an ambitious and hard-working young woman of action whose dream is to return home to the Phillipines to open her own hotel. There are theories that she was spurned by love or that she escaped from a troubled marriage, but no one knows for certain because she keeps mainly to herself, though she does live in the hotel with many of the staff. She is an attractive young woman, but presents an ambiguous appearance to the world and declines any suggestion of romantic attention (although Louis has noticed Sylvia's longing glances and shyness toward the striking Else.) Sylvia usually has a smile for anyone who comes to the front desk, and while she's just doing her job, we'll mind our own business, knowing how lost the Ticonderoga would be without her.