Saturday, December 20, 2008
I see that the Friday storm left 6 to 8 inches of snow on the Cape which is a lot of snow for the narrow land.I have it from a local expert that it was a very nice storm and no wolves were seen making their way up the cape.I recall being in Provincetown one winter weekend when old man winter really delivered a storm and the harbor was quite beautiful in snow.Another year I stayed with friends in the Hyannis area and the night before New Years Eve we went to P-Town for dinner.Napis it was but on the way we stopped at Pond Rd. Beach in North Truro and watched from the bluff bayside as the winter sun set on Provincetown then went to the Surf Club and played pool before dinner.I wish I had photos of that night.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I was on the bus today coming back from Trader Joe's when we stopped at a light and I saw this old guy come out of a store who looked familiar.Then it dawned on me he used to shop at a grocery store I did under the mall that moved out several years ago.I recalled him because he was dressed like always.Plaid Pants,White Loafers and a loudly colored Rayon Golf Shirt.But what stood out in my mind was the last time I saw him and a like dressed friend in the now closed grocery store.In the grocery cart was a case of Fleet Enemas,A quart of Jack Daniels,A quart of Beefeater Gin,a tub of sour cream and a jar of Peanut Butter.They may have been buying more but that's what I saw and it stuck with me.I was thinking Geez what the heck kind of things are these two old dudes up to? So it was interesting today to see he's still around.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Another great day of rain and low clouds.I love it!!.There was even snow falling in Malibu today though it did not stick.But all day the interstates north to San Fran and east to Las Vegas are shut down due to snow in the mountain passes.I started the F.Scott stories last night and read till nearly 3 a.m..I'd forgotten how much I really liked them in my younger days.L.A. is supposed to reach about 39 tonight downtown which is chilly and great reading weather under the covers.I hope we get a lot of rain this winter.It's really funny to watch folks around here put on gloves and down jackets when it gets down around 50.Bunch of Wimps........
Monday, December 15, 2008
Just loved today.It got to around 60 and rained hard off and on from last night through this Eve.Plus more rain on the way this week and next!Even though an L.A. rain storm is a wimp to anyhting from back east I'll take what I can get.A good night to read Chandler and his rainy L.A. night descriptions.Come to think of it I read all the Chandler at once and it has to be a good twenty years or more.I might just have to dig through the shelves cause I know they are here someplace.I love this time of year cause one never knows when you open the door if a surprise box is going to be there.Today I almost fell over a big Omaha Steaks styrofoam cooler.Last week it was two boxes from Amazon.My best hallway story happened years ago when my old roomie from the beach Charlie was in town staying with me and I think my friend Jeff from Florida.Charlie had borrowed my bike the day before and rode it all over Venice and he complained on waking up how sore he was from riding all the day before.I was between girlfriends then and as we are leaving my Apt. Charlie says very loudly"Man my Butt is killing me!" and as we head down the stairs there is my older neighbor Eve giving me a look and I felt like saying"I'm not Gay,not that there's anything wrong with that".Finally I saw the hat lady saturday at the grocery store for the first time in a few months.Of all things she had a paperbag hat with a big black vinyl band around it.I told her it wasn't very X-massy and she said"This is my mood right now"I told her I hoped to see her wearing something with little X-Mass ornaments on it and Candy Cane earrings next time I saw her.She laughed and said she could do that.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I've lacked anything to say of late but today was one of those days where things just kept eventing.I started out going to the local drugstore to get some drugs then mailed a box of Trader Joe's goodies to my friends in Pittsford.The freakin shipping cost almost as much as the contents.Then it being near noon I walked down to the newstand picked up a copy of the Friday NYTimes and then ducked into Subway for a Tuna Sub.Sitting at my little table paper and sub in hand I looked up to see this guy who looked oddly familiar to me entering and it was as he was walking back out with his sub it dawned on me it was Lenny of Lenny and Squiggy fame.My celeb siting done I walked up to the bank then crossed the street to the mall.Took a quick look at the puppies in the puppy store then headed down to B&N.On the way you cross Westwood Blvd. three floors up on a wide enclosed walkway so I sat down in a comfy chair to look out upon the west side of L.A. when I noticed a few feet awawy from me a X-Mass tree made out of Pointsettias.It was really cool.I counted 13 levels top to bottom.I bought a copy of the Collected short stories of F.Scott Fitzgerald as I haven't read them since college and this upcoming Benjamin Button film brought the book to mind again.I took the bus home and leaving the bus I came upon the school kids at Saint Timothy going from school to church.This brought back a flood of memories of my Catholic School days and as I'm all awash in the good old days what appeared to be second or third graders followed up the students into church dressed as Mary,Joesph,Angels,Sheperds and Wisemen.It was so cute I almost went into to watch but figured a lone middle aged man carrying a book of Fitzgeralds stories wearing a well worn Red Sox hat might seem a bit "odd".A Happy Full Cold Moon to you all.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The property has about 5 acres going up the hillside and has a barn way up by the road.My late friend Anns parents built it around 1960 and her two brothers had houses at one point up the hill since sold and one brother bought a summer place across the lake that is much bigger but doesn't have the memories.Right after High School Ann's parents bought the big modern house above their property,floor to ceiling great room windows for the five acres from the Iniv of Rochester.That house was the kids house and we had many a great Toga party there not to mention all night charades.They sold off that house years ago but kept the land and when the brothers built their houses they put in wooden walkways connecting each with the lake front cottage all over that hillside complete with night lighting.In between the cottage and the guesthouse in the second pic is a deck with hotub and thecottage has a great Fla. room on front thats hard to see.
I put up the Pine Bank shot because it is the latest in a series of places lost.Pine Bank was put up for sale by my friends brother in law recently.It was our hangout on Canandaigua lake from high school and well beyond and if I had the 1.5 mill asking price I'd buy it in a minute.It led me to think of some of my favorite places also gone to me forever.The two houses I grew up in.My old Fraternity House in Brookline,Mass now a sort of private home.The Surf Club in Provincetown now a restaurant instead of the best dingy dive bar on the East Coast.My friends house in Indialantic,FL. where I spent several great holiday seasons,My Uncles Hunting Camp in Canisteo etc.It's mostly part of growing up and older but losing places we love can be as hard as losing people we love.The Frat house really grates on me.I had visions of going back for alumni weekends to visit but never got the chance as Brookline gave us the boot.Pinebank was a place in later years where we went to relax.It was sort of off by itself but right on the lake and a place one did not ever want to leave once you got there.As we grow older memories of places instead of the actual places seem to take over.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
I went and bought my Squash today and another Pumpkin Pie.But what do I see but King Crab for just under 9.00 a pound so it's King Crab on Tues night and they also had Raspberries for 1.00 a package which was like 4.00 off so I had to buy two packs of those.The only thing I was sort of bummed about was when I got home I saw the stickers on the two Butternut Squash said they were from Mexico.Now I've got nothing against the produce from there but this is Thanksgiving after all an American tradition and since I was eating fresh local farm raised Butternuts a few weeks ago I bought off a farm stand in Naples and in Wolcott N.Y. I feel a little cheated.Also I will mention I think the Butterball holds up best on the Weber.If I'm going to spend 75.00 to 80.00 for one of those breed turkeys it's going in my oven.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I picked up my 14.5 pound Butterball Turkey for the Weber Grill on thurs and have named this years Turkey "Pierre" just because the Bruins are in front of Montreal right now and the Canadiens have had a lot of guys named Pierre play for them.It's an attempt to get the Turkey off the Bruins back.I thought I had everything I need so I could hunker down till Turkey Day but realised I forgot to buy a big ol butternut squash and bread for turkey sandwiches.Plus I bought a Pumpkin Pie but already had a slice so that will be gone by Monday.So I'll have to make one more trip to the store this week to get the missing links.
So I'm reading the Truro,MA news site the other night and there is a story about some 63 year old lady getting busted for selling cocaine and smack.The investigating and arresting officer was a Sgt. Dave Perry and I thought the name rang a bell.I emailed my buddy from Babes days who lives in Rochester now and asked him"Is this our old friend officer Perry?" and indeed it was.We were pretty well acquainted with officer Perry back in the late 70's when we were all a lot younger and did foolish things.But my friend Tom's crowning moment with the officer came one July afternoon when we were cruising down Route 6 in his 64 chevy pickup which he had bought a few weeks before.Unknown to me he had put the plates from a VW he had the summer before and we had cruised around in all summer till it died.Officer Perry however on this fine summer day noticed my friend Tom had car plates on a pickup truck and pulled us over.We all got caught up on what we had been doing since last summer when we had"met" a few times and we laughed and then he wrote another ticket and we said we were sure to meet up again real soon which we did during a rather loud night party at our compound in the North Truro Family Camping Area on Highland Rd.It's good to know after all these years Officer Perry is still on the job.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
On Monday I went over to Trader Joes and while waiting for the bus to come home in 90 degree weather I noticed a bunch of Oak Trees down Westwood Blvd. The thing I noticed were not only were the leaves turning a rusty red they were also dropping leaves.Now I know this happens but sitting on a bus bench in hot weather just seemed odd.Today while waiting for the bus I looked up the street to a slight rise and what at first I thought was stationary turned out to be a truckload of Port a Potties coming down the street at me.It's a strange thing to see the blue of the pottie buildings gleaming in the sun as the truck drives past.I wonder if the driver makes use of one instead of pulling in some place.Finally last night on the "Trout Towers" blog there was mention of musical folks named Kenny and I mentioned Kenny Rankin.That led me to see if the Kenny Rankin album was on CD.In the summer of 81 that LP was played a whole bunch in our North Truro bayside cottage except for Wed which was Reggae Day.The album was produced by Don Costa who did several classic Frank Sinatra albums.Now Kenny is very low key but this album is an unknown gem.He does great vocal versions of When Sunny Gets Blue,Heres that Rainy Day,While my Guitar Gently Weeps,On and On and a beautiful Groovin along with a few others.So I found out the CD is no longer in production but I bought one of four new listed on Amazon.I still have the LP but I had to get the CD once I found out it's not being made.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I went outside earlier to get some Parsley and thought at first my neighbors were having a fire in our fire pit but it was dark on the patio.It wasn't till I was back inside and walked into my bedroom I realised I was smelling smoke from the fires North and South of here.Now that I know I've been smelling smoke all night though it is unusual because I'm not that close to either fire.Speaking of neighbors it was Sweetpeas 5th on Friday and she wanted to go to a place called Crickets at Santa Monica airport where you can actually get fried crickets(They have normal stuff also).She likes them and Knuckle Sandwich claimed tonight he had a fried scorpion there last night though it was a passing thing he mentioned tonight as they were leaving so I'll have to ask his parents.I gave Sweetpea"If you give a Cat a Cupcake" book and some other one about a small duck(without Gilbert Gotfried's voice).She gave me a piece of her really good chocolate pudding type B-Day cake.Did I ever mention here my idea to do classic books in audio form with Gilbert Gottfried as the reader.I think it's a real money maker.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I'm happy to report that I visited both the Century City Mall and Westside Pavilion Mall this week and both are fully decorated for X-Mass.In fact some of the bigger stores are also decorated in the malls.I really don't know why they bother taking the decorations down.I solved it a few years ago when I just left the icecicle lights in my living room window and a small artificial tree with lights in my livingroom up all year.They have been there four years now.I turn the lights on Thanksgiving night and leave them on till orthodox X-Mass or my Feb B-Day whatever mood strikes me.The only thing I put away is my snow white small stuffed Bumble from Rudolph which sits beneath the tree.He wouldn't stay white if he was exposed to L.A. air all year.I just dust off the tree and lights and I'm good to go.If I buy a real tree I put it out on the patio with just clear lights so we can have fires in the pit and look at the tree.The only other thing I need to do is nail the X-Mass Moose stocking to my front door.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I made several trips down to Naples,N.Y. while home.Naples sits just beyond the end of Canandaigua Lake and was always the far end of our stomping grounds back in the day.When we were holed up at a lake cottage it was the closest place for supplys.It is a beautiful little village and I have been going there since I was a wee lad.One of the big things in Naples is grapes and the Grape Festival which was a few weeks before I came.The Grape festival is big time now and even the fire hydrants in the village are now purple.Wine is made of course but the Naples thing I most enjoy is Grape Pies.Nowdays in fall Grape Pies are all over.It used to be you pulled up at a farm scattered around the main and back roads grabbed a pie and left your money in the box and those are still around but now there are folks really selling them big time.There's Monicas Pies made famous by the Food Network who has a whole cottage industry going with pies then there's the farm market south of the village that sells Suzies Pies my fave.There are signs with arrows pointing down side streets in the village for Cindy's Pies and the little lawn chair you see with Mom's Pies when you leave Bob's and Ruths restaurant now closed for the season that also sells grape pie and in the past grape ice-cream and shakes. Others are Laurie,Brenda, and the many farmhouses.I have yet to see a man's name in front of the pies being sold though there is one farm stand above Naples that carries the family name .There's Grape Bread,Grape Tarts though I'm surprised Widmer or one of the other Wineries hasn't tried making a premium Grape Soda.Then there are the Grape Vines themselves all around the area though the ones running down to the lake are vanishing fast as Canandaigua Lakefront property and other Finger Lakes lakefront is fast approaching Lake Tahoe prices.I may be biased but the Finger Lakes are very beautiful country any time of year but in fall I think they are most beautiful.Lots of backroads and the main roads are two lane.Rolling hills down to long blue lakes and lots of farms producing all kinds of good food.*This post covers some of the same blab as Cider and Grape Pie from October or Sept but I'm getting old and the memory goes.I had an uncle that could tell the same story several times during the course of a party and not recall telling it earlier.I'm going to reach that point at a much earlier age than he did.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Back from roaming around my home stomping grounds and this time it was harder than ever to go west again.Of course being on vacation and working and living there is a whole nother story but the pull is getting stronger.I ate a lot especially grape pie and Rochester Dogs at various places including the Rochester Hot chili type sauce on them and have discovered my stomach will no longer tolerate hot sauce mutiple days in a row.Bought some Maple Syrup an old neighbor and her husband make on their farm from their own trees and had a lot of good meals at friends houses and at restaurants.I became addicted to the Broccoli and White Cheddar Soup Wegmans sells in their hot soup bar and am in love with the sub rolls they use for sandwiches which have a nice outer crunch.As for the pics I am on the left On the Erie Canal and on the right In the Erie Canal.It was Halloween Day we took my friends late brother in laws trawler from Fairport,N.Y. where it had been for two weeks in a better effort to sell it back to the Marina in Macedon where we took it last fall to spend the winter.It was another nice cruise and this time six were on board.We docked and while the boat was being tied up I decided to jump onto the dock.I jumped ,slipped a bit and my right knee buckled on me at which I lost balance fell onto my side and bounced/rolled off the dock into the next slip which was empty except for the water.It was just like in the movies when you hit the water wearing cool weather clothes.I went down thinking okay thats far enough now lets go up but that did not happen right away and when I came up went down a bit again then came up sputtering.The dock was to high to climb out and when they said I should swim back out to the back of the boat and it's ladder I showed them one of my fingers worked.I wasn't about to swim into deeper water with sixty pounds of wet clothes on me.Then my friend said to swim towards the front dock which I did and found I could touch bottom there.I then paddled under the dock and crawled under it onto the rocks by land where I slip slided my way onto dry land looking like swamp thing my pants and shirt now sporting a nice sheen of green slime.Some one produced a blanket and a bottle of brandy and I stood there looking like a deranged Indian Chief.In a final twist this lady with us had a digital camera.Lucky Me.We all had a good laugh and I took a lot of nautical ribbing the next few days.I think of all those times in high school and college wasted jumping out of boats and never fell into anything and now this.One morning there was a dusting of snow so I headed south towards Naples where the hills and fields had a bit more snow.It was quite beautiful.I drove by one field of Pumpkins and each one had a little white hat of snow on it.A few days later driving by the same field the snow was gone but crows were scattered about on tops of the pumpkins giving them a comical halloween look.To top it off I missed my flight in Chic to L.A. on Thursday and spent the night at Hyatt Regency O'Hare eating 13.00 Cheeseburgers and 16.00 single malts.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
On Wed way to early I'll be heading east till Nov 6th so I doubt I'll be putting up any nuggets of wisdom till then but one never knows.Still might take the train to NYC or if I can talk a friend in Rochester who worked at Babes with me and whose parents live in Wellfleet take a quick trip out to the Cape.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Reading the Rochester paper tonight I saw another Barn lost outside the city this time by a young lady who drove her car into it in the wee hours and somehow both her car and the Barn burned.She escaped but was charged with DWI.This Barn was out by Mendon Ponds Park one of Monroe Countys park system and it's a very large and beautiful park with rolling terrain and a rich glacial history of eskers and kettle drum ponds.In high school my parents house was above the far south end of Powder Mill Park which is about 5 miles away from Mendon Ponds.In the mid 70's when we ruled the area both parks were our high schools territory and the parks were seperated mostly by miles of country roads made for driving between.Pittsford was pretty much the last suburb south of Rochester in those days and so we were on the edge of well to do burb with country and the two parks were our playground.These were the days when 18 was the legal drinking age so add that to the drug culture of the time and we had a lot of fun.One early fall night in junior year several of us were in a friends dads medical supply van which was a ford with a Uhaul type back end.This one though was open from cab to storage area and we were over at Mendon Ponds and decided to put a picnic table from there in the back of the van.We did and were sitting at the table with the back door up playing cards ,drinking beer and smoking doobs when our friend decided we should drive over to Powder Mill and see what was going on.So off we went with the table and the party back door up over to the other park where a park ranger dude fell in behind us and when we pulled up in Shady Rest he asked us what the heck we were doing with a park oicnic table in the truck.We told him we had driven over from another park but since he had found us halfway through his park told us to quit telling him BS and get that damm table out of the truck and put it on the lawn before he called the police.So we did and I kept thinking late that fall when they rounded up all the tables before winter and stored them by the park office somebody from Mendon Ponds was going to call Powder Mill and say it's the strangest thing but our count shows we're missing a table from spring and the Powder Mill guy would say that's funny cause we have an extra table and the story would start of the migrating picnic table between parks.Of course the grounds guys who worked in both parks at the time were bigger heads than we were so they might not have actually counted but when you visit the parks these days it's like the secret police are watching your every move.You need a permit to do just about anything but drive through in your car and I like to think we caused that.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
After riding a few beach cruisers at a bike store in Santa Monica last week I have a jones now to buy one and it's amazing how cool beach cruisers have advanced in the past ten years.I have my mountain bike but the new beach cruisers are easy to pedal and there are some really nice designs.There are even stretch,three speeds and low riders.I saw a few I liked online under two hundred including this nice pale yellow with light brown seat, mfr. forgotten right now but when I went to this bike store they had the Nirve Paul Frank Helicopter pictured below for 340.00 and I almost bought one yesterday but decided to wait till I get back from my trip.The Helicopter looks even cooler than the pic.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Well I couldn't hold off on the Halldor Laxness novel till flight time and picked it up a few nights ago.Like the other two novels of his I have read this one is hard to describe as so far it's all over the place as to what kind of book it's going to turn out to be but like the other two it's saga like in the telling and for me so far a delight albeit a strange one.No matter what Laxness is a wonderful story teller no matter how odd the folks in it are and in old Iceland they were odd indeed.The sly humor in light of the incredible poverty is one of his gifts.That something like a scrap of paper to write on is a luxury is something hard to comprehend.Dave(Nnyhav) if you are out there have you read this one?It seems to wander a bit more than Independent People and Icelands Bell but I'm in a 130 pages of about 600 and beginning to think this might be my favorite so far though in Independent People you sort of knew what things were about right away as to the story and this one just seems like it will ramble till the end.As for the Russian book of horror stories I liked it fine till the last one a short novel"The Double" by Dostoevsky which I haven't finished.It just seems out of place here and it also seems like the whole story could have been a longish short story instead of a short novel.It reminds me a bit of Peter Taylor for years writing those great collections of classic American South short stories and finally winning a major award for his novel"A Summons to Memphis" which is basically one of his short stories made far to long and not nearly as good as his wonderful stories.In other things after being 67 on Saturday it was 96 today and more of the same on Wed before it drops to the mid 70's again.This weather plays havoc trying to shake a little cold.I may post again before next Wed but then I'll be back east till Nov 6th so doubt I'll be posting here while on the road.I still might make it down to NYCity by train or perhaps a short trip out to Truro depending on what happens but usually once I land in Rochester in the fall and park myself at some friends Finger Lakes cottage or one on a little bay off Lake Ontario out towards Syracuse along with time in Rochester I wind up doing very little except enjoying the countryside and it's gifts natural and manmade.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Tonight I dusted off my turntable which I had not used in a good four years and found it still worked.I did it because I was moving some of the 1000 or so LP'S I still have many of which I don't have on CD.The first one I played was an Eric Anderson LP with "Time Runs Like a Freight Train" on it.Then I found"On the Road to Freedom" a 73 album by Alvin Lee and Myron LeFevre(sp).Lee being the Ten Years After frontman that has a great song on it called"So Sad" by Hari Georgeson with this great slide guitar which I knew right away was George Harrison but several friends did not(blame it on pot).I even played my original Dark Side of the Moon LP and it still sounds pretty good.I almost like some of the scratchy sounds of some of my well played LP'S and some I'm sure have never been put on CD.I wonder if McKendree Spring is on CD.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Well after being 100 on Wed today I had to close windows for the first time since May and Sat is forecast as 65 and maybe some light rain but it will be the low grey sky that one gets along coastal L.A..That said I lost my voice yelling tonight during the Sox-Angels game until J.D. Drew came up big-time!.After that I was bemused because the local Fox station at 11 cut into the Simpsons rerun to run extra on the Simpson verdict.Like a black guy in front of an all white Nevada jury ever had a chance.There you go Joe,bringing up the past again...or whatever she said doggone it.I'm expecting Gabby Hayes to pop up in her family tree or at least the guy who recited Authentic Frontier Gibberish in Blazing Saddles.Dumb and Dumber doesn't begin to describe McCain/Palin.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
While waiting for a bus in Santa Monica after a doctor visit today I saw a beautiful 57 ford go by and it brought to mind the beat up smoking 57 Ford my friends brother had in North Truro in the summer of 1979.That summer My friend Tom his brother Dave Guiler and I rented a place a little north of Babes that were sort of glorified motel rooms.The bldgs had just been moved there from somewhere else and next to us lived two of the Babes girls above us three Truro lifeguard gals one of whom was an on again off again sort of high school flame of mine from Pittsford N.Y. and in a seperate bldg in back was an older dude and his gal with a beat up old chevy wagon with Miss. Plates who fancied himself a writer but mostly just smoked and drank whiskey while sitting outside at his manual typewriter and then got into shouting matches with his lady.Dave worked for some brothers(Morton?)in Wellfleet the name of whom escapes me that were big trash haulers and had a wicked huge beach party called the Garbage Mans Jubilee each summer(I survived two of them).As a result Dave's route included the Airforce tracking station in North Truro and he had a PX card which meant he could buy beer on Sundays which in blue law Mass. at the time made him a good guy to know.Dave also was a doorman on occasion at the Wellfleet Beachcomber and one foggy night he,his brother Tom and I drove there from North Truro after a few.Going down the narrow two lane road to the Beachcomber on a moonless foggy night the headlights decided to quit from the moisture.So Tom and I leaned out the window as the lights went out then came on and we made our way slowly to the Beachcomber in the 57 Ford laughing and sipping cold beer feeling how great it was to be alive and young on Cape Cod in the summer.I recall that night that the Beachcomber was full of really good looking girls but it also had two sisters of a girlfriend from the summer before who did everything they could to remind me of their sister the minute I started talking to a girl that night.For some reason on the way home the lights came on and worked all the way back to beautiful North Truro and the moaning of Highland Light.By the way it was 99 today in Los Angeles and 95 on Wed forecast just after I had two nice fall nights.Sat's high is forecast as 68 but it is back to 90 on tues.I can't wait to go east and some chill in the air nights.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
This has to be one of my favorite words in the English language.Just reading it brings to mind sunsets with a sky that is not quite clear but infused with wood smoke from fires and a slight chill that hints at winter.Even here in L.A. I caught it a few nights back right before sunset standing outside smelling someones fire for the first time this fall a slight haze in an otherwise clear sky.A friend sent me the Misoulanews.com link today to a special section on James Crumley and it's five pages of great tributes to him one of which is hers.I wish I had a bunch of dollars so I could book a deluxe sleeper room on every Amtrak route in the west and just ride the train for a few weeks with a good supply of Bourbon and Single Malt and all the Crumley novels just reading and sipping.Of course after riding the western rails I'd probably have a dream where I was at a nudist resort near Jellystone Park with Yogi and Boo-Boo.Sweet Pea and I planted some bean seeds today because the ones I gave her before were two years old and even though she keeps asking me if I watered her two little pots I told her it's been three weeks and nothing so I don't think they are good anymore.These seeds today were from a vine this summer so hopefully I can help her transplant these before I go east.Knuckle Sandwich has decided he is going to be Charlie Brown this year for trick or treat but no word on Sweet Pea.I have been back east the past several years for it so have never seen them out but Sweet Pea turns 5 the week after I return in November so we have to do a good party.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
This weekend is the Naples N.Y. Grape Festival meaning over 50,000 to 100,000 souls will be descending on little Naples consuming grapes,grape pies,wine and other food.I just read an article tonight that the grape crop is really down this year because of wacky weather and that some ladies are not selling pies.I am now freaking out that when I get down to Naples in a little over two weeks Grape Pies will be hard to come by.I know that's probably not true but no doubt I will dream about it at some point.Speaking of dreams while I have had some doozies of late I usually can relate certain things in them to something I read or saw a few days before but last nights dream of being at a tropical nudist colony in Australia with Marcia and Jan Brady and then watching a croc get attacked by a lion by the resort bathroom while trying to coax out Jan has me baffled.To top it off a bright green and white stretch limo drove by with United on the doors which is a cab company in Los Angeles that uses those colors.Maybe it's the switch to Honey Nut Cheerios from the regular the past week.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Well after making comments about the different books the other night I happened to glance way right from my computer(What I like to call the Sean Hannity bookcase)and my eyes came to rest on a hardcover four book set of Fitzgerald I picked up from BOMC some years back.Three of them I've read many times but the 4th one"This Side of Paradise" I only read once 73-75 so either from junior year to the year after high school.I find after 30 plus years I recall very little of it but I am enjoying the read.All Fitzgerald was so wide eyed hopeless romantic to me then that I pictured myself in every page(well that and the weed I was smokin) and now I find myself a little less enchanted by it but still in love with the prose and style.Now reading it I don't project myself and my world as it was back then into it.On another note a great American Writer that not many know about passed on Wed.James Crumley was a crime writer but not really.His novels were outside the basic crime thing.He was like Chandler if Chandler had been on Acid and Speed at the same time.The closest before him I can think of in style is Nelson Algren sort of.Great writing and his novels are well worth a read.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
One of the groups I visit online is now doing a readers talk on Edith Wharton's "House of Mirth" and somebody put up the illustration below from an edition they found.It was common in that day to illustrate books though Wharton detested it I know in this book.If you click the picture on to enlarge a few readers pointed out that Lily though a young woman seems to have the old matrons"Hens Breasts" going on in the illustration.Another reader pointed out the washerwoman screams drag and when I saw it said not only drag but Chris Farley in drag.I mean it's a dead ringer for him.After this was put up the talk sort of turned into remarks on that and the late Mr. Peniston another character so I'm waiting for it to get back on track.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I posted this quandary in one of my Yahoo groups but I firgure I'd add it here also.My current reading pile is down to one book the Russian short horror stories I mentioned the other night and I freak out when I only have one book.I found a History book to add but I'm stuck on a few novels.I have on the bed trying to pick from"The Woman in White" by Wilkie Collins,"A Passage to India" by E.M. Forster,"World Light" by Halldor Laxness and"The Octopus" by Frank Norris.I'm leaning towards"World Light" but Laxness is not well known so I'm thinking that would be the book to bring on my flight in October.I picture pulling it out and the young Nordic Blond next to me saying."You read Laxness? I'm from Iceland also.I'm on my way to Rochester to visit my very old blind aunt and don't know a soul there.Maybe you could show me around?" Thank you Halldor! We'll be sitting on a blanket in one of Rochester's beautiful parks looking at the fall color while she drops grapes and Herring in Sour Cream into my mouth.
Monday, September 15, 2008
On relative notes I got an email from my brother in San Diego today of my 13 year old nephew Patrick sporting a huge shiner and stitches in his nose.He's the goalie on his soccer team and saturday as he dove to make a stop he and an opposing players cleat got to the ball at the same time.I talked to him last night and found out his nose and cheekbone are also fractured and he gets surgery on the nose after the stitches come out.I was thinking how much the pic reminded me of one of myself a few years after high school right after XMass.But mine was the result of eating a couple of Rohr 714's and going to a friends parents house for a party where I drank and then on ludes and beer tried to drive my car which resulted in me getting beat up and my keys taken away so I didn't hurt myself.In the aftermath I wound up beating the crap out of a 5ft Santa light on the friends neighbors lawn as his mom happened to look out the upstairs window after they arrived home.This was years before Chevy Chase did it in Xmass Vacation.Anyhoo I couldn't tell my 13 year old nephew that story though I wouldn't put it past his dad to tell him it.My eldest nephew from L.A. area is spending fall semester in Luxembourg from Miami of Ohio.Seems they have a castle there.He's doing a blog on it and it's pretty well done.He and a few other guys are living with a local family with two young boys and my nephew is a big foodie so he's loving that part.His description of his weekend trip to Belgium and the hostels was priceless.When I finally wound up at my last college stop Northeastern the farthest I went was moving from a third floor room to a second floor room and then back to another third floor room at the old frat house on St.Paul Street in Brookline.Well that and offseason roadtrips to Truro and Provincetown with a carload of brothers.
I was reading a blog tonight I stumbled across a month or so back called"Fast Grow the Weeds". It's some lady and her husband and young daughter on a farm in Michigan and it's quite entertaining with lots of picks of veggies,ducks,turkeys,geese etc and tonight she had a pic of friend Rob playing bagpipes after a good rain.Now I have a special thing for the pipes.Years ago I had a noisy neighbor below me who would start up at all hours.I had a Bagpipe LP(I said it was years ago) which when she started getting out of control I would put the Bagpipes LP on point the speakers into the floor and crank it.It worked everytime.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I try to keep politics out of this blog but after watching the interview with Charlie Gibson and Caribou Barbie tonight I must say she's even scarier than I thought.If you switch two letters from Palin you have Putin and I'm not sure which one is a larger world menace if let loose.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
In October-November when I'm roaming around the old home sod in Western N.Y. two of the things I look most forward to are fresh cider and Grape Pies.The area around Rochester especially between Rochester and Syracuse near Lake Ontario is huge apple growing country.The Schutt's label below is from Webster,N.Y. a suburb of Rochester that was when I was growing up an almost weekly event for fall and into winter.We all piled into the ford wagon on Sunday afternoon for a drive out to the country and Schutt's.They are still there now open year round but driving out to the mill last year I was struck by what was once farm country is now pretty built up with tract homes around them.As kids it was all pretty much farmland on plank road.Schutt's always had cider pressed just by apple and mixed but My father and most of us loved the cider made from Northern Spy apples.As I was driving south to Naples last fall and going through Bloomfield N.Y. which I've done way to many times I noticed a sign for the first time ever."Welcome to Bloomfield,Home of the Northern Spy Apple"Either this sign was behind a tree for thirty years or I did not notice it.I was making the drive to Naples because the Naples/Bristol area is home to another Finger Lakes food heaven.That's the Grape Pie.One either loves or hates them and I love them.In Naples alone there must be ten different ladies making and selling them.During the Naples Grape Festival hundreds are sold.You can get pies,tarts,bread,Ice Cream,Milkshakes all in grape.Along the back roads farm houses have tables out front with home baked grape products and a box to leave your money in.Even the Rochester based grocery chain Wegmans sells Grape Pies but it's driving down into the country and buying a local one that makes it sprcial.I think my fave is Monica who has turned her pies of all flavors into a buisness and has been on the food channel but Monicas Pies no longer ships through the web site.I asked her last year and it seemed it was all becoming too much so she only sells at the store again.A local farmstand on the other end of Naples sells suzies pies who works for a local doctor my friend sells medical supplies to and I love those also.In fact suzie is saving a few for me cause hers were all gone by the time I made it down there last fall.When Suzies Pies run out the farmstand sells another ladies pies whose name I forget at the moment.There's even a sign for Mom's pies pointing down one side street.A slice of Grape Pie and some good Vanilla Ice Cream is about as good as it gets.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I'm several stories into the Russian stories book and I am really taken so far by Nikolai Gogol.His story"Viy" was the first in the book and so far the only one that could be called horror.The others I have read two by Tolstoy have dealt with the human emotions,greed,facing death and they all have been very good so far.There are a few more Gogol stories to come in the book and I shall look for more.I love the way he sets mood especially in dealing with outdoors.I think the two masters of setting are Hemingway and Mishima especially with color.Mishima blew me away with his use of color in settings when I read his four novel set in college especially in"Spring Snow"I'm trying to think of the three other titles in it."Runaway Horses",one with Temple of the Golden Dawn? and the other I'm drawing a blank.I also was amused to see Gogol wrote the novel Tarus Bulba(sp) as it was a favorite movie as a youngster.I first saw it on the late show on Sat night when I was like ten sleeping over at my Aunt and Uncles.Since I slept on a sofa bed in their living room I got to watch TV till I fell asleep while they played cards with friends in the kitchen.Tony Curtis and Yul Brynner in a great early 60's costume drama.Sort of a Romeo and Juliet of the Ukraine and Poland .Come to think of it Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas did"The Vikings" also another late night movie of my lost youth.
The two pics I put up down below tonight are two of the places I should be spending some time at when I go back to Rochester in a month or so.The Canandaigua Lake pic is looking towrds the South where a few friends have places.The cottages are generally more spread out and secluded towards the south end.Where this pic was taken is on the east side of the lake around the area where some friends and I rented a cottage one fall with the great idea of going to Finger Lakes Community College while living lakeside.In theory it was great but in reality it turned into mostly party time at the cottage with many late night runs in my 75 Vega Wagon to purloin car loads of fire wood from vacant summer cottages.We had a lot of fires and a lot of parties.My dear late friend Ann'S parents cottage was down on the west side way south where our gang spent a lot of time and after she was going out with my friend Russ who became her husband Ann's parent's bought this large modern house above their lakeside property and gave it to her and her two brothers.It was on a hill above the lake and had floor to ceiling windows in the huge living area overlooking the lake for miles.We basically furnished it with mattresses and chairs from our local bar Thirstys in Pittsford,N.Y. which would get tossed out the backdoor of Thirstys in the right before closing time and somehow wind up at the lake.The downstairs master bedroom also had a Bidet which none of us guys had ever seen before.A lot of Toga Parties at that place. The best thing though was the upstairs bathroom had wallpaper with ducks on it and the Kinks had a song at the time "Ducks on the Wall" Well that and the allnight charades games wearing Togas at least most of the time.The second pic is on the East side of Port Bay(The Wild Side) from the looks of the dance.Port Bay is a small bay off Lake Ontario about an hour east of Rochester where another friend has a cottage.It has one bar/restaurant that closes about ten at night but Port Bay is great becuse it's very rural and much more blue collar than Canandaigua Lake has become.I like this pic from the RV park on the other side of the Bay from my friend cause that's about as exciting as it gets there.Well that and the naked lady fountain up the road a few miles in the middle of the village of Wolcott.Also looking at the pic it's obvious the dude on the left chugging from a can of beer with a few other cans and a bottle around him is out looking for trouble.You can bet before the Lawrence Welk tape runs out he's going to be hitting on one of the ladies on the dance floor and fists will fly.Probably get banned from Bingo nights because of it.I still recall being at my friends Port Bay cottage several years ago in October and I was sleeping on the living room couch when around dawn I come awake to shotguns going off and from years of living in L.A. I hit the floor and as I do I realise where I am and it turns out to be Duck Hunters on the first weekend of the season.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
After finishing "A Good Man in Africa" last night I was going through my unreads and pulled out"Stories That Scared Even Stalin"I've had it for about a year and figure with fall coming on it's a good time to have a horror book of sorts bedside.I think I've pretty much gone through the Victorian,Edwardian collections I love so much though a re-read is about due but I'll take a crack at the Russians though I know they will be quite different stories.Many longer in fact the last in this book"The Double" by Dostoevsky is a novella at well over 100 pages.There are other stories some more than one by Tolstoy,Puskin,Chekhov,Turgenev,Sologub and Gogol whose opening story"Viy" several folks have told me is excellent.In the rest of the pile I have like 20 pages left in"Lewis and Clark through Indian Eyes" about 40 pages left in"The Discovery of France" and about 25 pages left in"Portrait of a Lady"All three have been in that state for some time.I have a thing of late that when I get to the end of a book I like I hate to finish it though James took awhile to get into.Any suggestions on another Henry James written in that style before he really got long winded would be appreciated.The Bostonians?,The Ambassadors? though if I recall that's a later book when he took a page to say three words.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Last night an online friends blog mentioned half frog men and I had to pull out my collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories.Then I had to start rereading and so I had some wonderful dreams.Today I went over to Trader Joes and while waiting for the bus I sat down on the steps of St.Timothy's Catholic church.I was thinking about Lovecraft and all of a sudden a little cloud came by in Sunny L.A. and I felt a large shadow behind me.As I'm thinking about the shadow I hear this odd droning sound and look up to see what looks like a sideways hummingbird coming at me.It wasn't a bird though it was some very large winged insect and it was coming low and then swerved right over my head towards the church.By now I'm talking out loud* and laughing a bit at the strangeness of it all.I glance across the street at the carwash and see two of my carwash buddies looking at me.I wave and hope they don't think I'm off my rocker.As for the insect I'm not sure what it was,maybe three dragonflys trying to save gas money flying sideways together or doing kinky dragonfly sex things but whatever it was it was big and droning.So tonight I put the Lovecraft back on the shelf and tonight I'll get back to my regular reading. *I do tend to talk out loud to myself.My neighbors have made mention and one sister in law once said I talk to myself almost as much as a street person off his/her meds.That was some years ago, today with those earplug cell phone attachments you don't know what the person is coming at you talking loudly.It ruins the old addage I knew as a kid that "Only crazy people talk to themselves"
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Today was my nephew Patrick's 13th birthday.I called last night to my brothers and my sister in law said they were at the track.I said what track and she said Del Mar.Patrick just called and he won the first race.I'm thinking my brother is taking his 12 to be 13 year old son to the horse track.His older brother was off doing something else.So I talked to a buddy from Pittsford days in Melbourne Fl. this morning and I tell him and he says"So,my dad used to take me to the track,we had a box at Finger Lakes Race track" I joked to him"Look how you turned out" and he laughed then said something unprintable and after I hung up I recalled his father owned and raised race horses on a farm he had folks run for him.The common bond is that both his father and my brother are Lawyers.So I talked to Patrick today and he said he won some money on the ponies.Today was also the 43rd anniv of the passing of my Mom's dad in 1965 at 67 years old.We lived next to my mothers parents then on a lot they had sold them and it was a few weeks after we had returned to Rochester from our month long camping trip out west through the Badlands,Grand Teton,Yellowstone and Glacier Natl. Parks.My grandfather was Belgian and raced pigeons.He had a coop in their backyard and that morning I was outside very early in our back yard when my grandfather saw me and asked where my brother Larry(the lawyer) was.I said he was still sleeping and he said go inside quietly and tell your mother you are going to go with me but don't wake your brother.I had two younger brothers also but they were sleeping also and he was only worried about my brother Larry because he was in those days a royal pain I was 10 at the time my brother 9.So I snuck over to my grandfathers and off we went with the pigeon crates in the trunk out along the river past the Univ. of Rochester a drive I loved in the fall but it was fun in the summer also.We drove out well into the country southwest of Rochester where we let the pigeons go and then drove back to Roch.I went back to our house and my grandfather sat down in his chair in the yard to wait for his birds and he was sleeping in it when my grandmother tried to wake him but he wasn't sleeping as I thought.He had a heart attack an died on the way to the hospital.It had only been about an hour since we had returned home.The rest of the day was a blur with relatives and crying and laughing and that night it was my brother Larry who went next door and slept at my grandmothers house something I was terrified of doing that night so I stayed home.The next day he tells us"I saw Grandpa last night" He was standing at the foot of my bed looking at me."All these years I've never talked to him about it again but I like to think my grandfather who wasn't a touchie feelie sort of person felt guilty about that morning and wanted my brother to know everything was O.K.
Friday, August 29, 2008
For the second time in two weeks my Seinfeld rerun station is running "Jaws" and since it runs so long it knocks out both Seinfeld reruns.I still fail to see how "Jaws" made so much money.The movie has virtually no plot but still manages to drag on for three hours.I have never read the Peter Benchley novel but he co-wrote the screenplay also.Even though it was filmed on Marthas Vineyard Benchley was a Nantucket boy and from my years on the Cape all I have to say is they must have REALLY hit the sauce hard on Nantucket in those days for him to write a book turned into a three hour movie in which a shark eats several people,really dislikes a boat and that's about it.Bad Cinema doesn't begin to describe this.I'd almost rather watch Mailer's"Tough Guys Don't Dance" again filmed in P-Town,Truro and Wellfleet.At least the actors in that flick seemed to know they were making a bad movie"
One of the books I am currently reading is one that was in a box of mysteries a friend sent for summer reading.But this book is real lit which makes me wonder why it was in the box but I'm happy it was.The writer is William Boyd and the novel is"A Good Man in Africa"I believe it's his first novel from 1981 and it's set in the mid to late 60's in a small African country where the main character,Morgan is a mid level diplomat who as the book progresses manages to dig himself into deeper and deeper doo-doo on seemingly small events.Much drinking,blackmail ,affairs,social disease and tge regular chain of things being stationed in a backwater.It reminds me a bit of "Money" by Martin Amis and a bit of"Our Man in Havana" by Graham Greene.The blurb on the book says he writes in the style of Waugh but I've never read any.It's full of that cyncical dry British Wit about the most common of daily rotines and I must say the best novel I've read in some years.I have heard of Boyd but never read any and several other of his novels now look promising to me.I was looking at reader reviews on Amazon and loved one from a Mr.Pineapples(Rural England)"I began disliking the main character in this plot-Morgan-largely because he was rude about the Welch-too much of that in the world today" Now that's funny because it reminds me of the style of the novel.Indeed I'm wondering if Mr. Pineapples in rural England is actually Boyd having a pull at our leg.Anyhoo Mr. Pineapples goes on to describe the novel as another excellent novel from Boyd or some such rot.If you like this sort of thing you won't be dissapointed and you can read Mr. Pineapples thoughts at Amazon under reader reviews.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
It was amazing tonight to watch an African American accept his parties nomination for President on the same day as Dr.Kings I Have a Dream speech.I was thinking back to 1968 when I was 13 and watched everything of that summers Democratic convention where the party was torn apart by the passions of the time.Even at 13 I realised the months leading up to it were some of the most intense in American History.The death of Dr. King in April and Bobby Kennedy coming on TV that night from Ind I believe and appealing for calm which helped a bit.But the next day we were off from Rochester to Florida with our camper and my father decided we should see what D.C. looked like that afternoon.As we approached the city the smoke rising was visible for miles and we entered a gridlocked Washington with our ford wagon and pop-top camper.Seeing crowds roaming in the govt bldg area I thought a few times we were going to be attacked from the angry look on faces but we got out of the city and I watched the smoke as we headed south shaken to the core.A few months later Bobby Kennedy himself falling to a gunman in Los Angeles just after his biggest triumph and probable nomination. The coverage of his funeral with brother Teddy's stirring and sad eulogy and the network coverage of his funeral train from New York to D.C. with over a million folks lining the tracks in between is something I'll never forget and oddly enough I saw only once again when some networks showed it on their full day coverage the day after JFK juniors plane went missing.It was strange seeing that footage after all those years and it was still just as emotional to me.The thing I noticed and I had not in 1968 was at some places along the tracks there were Whites and Blacks standing together.Then the convention itself with the riots in the streets and in the hall in Chicago and the warring factions of the party itself.All of that raw emotion of 1968 seems to have come to fruition tonight and I can't helpbut feeling some of the emotion the old civil rights warriors are feeling tonight.
I was talking to a friend tonight who was talking to a friend from our town who moved away after the 9th grade and in the past few years come back to Pittsford to visit my buddy.Anyhoo this guy lives around Dallas and told my friend Tom he was out on his patio the other night and clipped his toenails.He went inside to get a beer came back out and sat down when he noticed one of his clipped nails was moving.Then he noticed another and another and soon they were lined up and moving away from him.He told my buddy he thought maybe it was one of those Acid flashbacks they tell you about and he's staring at his nails moving off in line when he see's a fire ant underneath one and then the others.They marched the nails right off to their hole and vanished.Sort of remindsme of"The Married with Children" where little alien guys were stealing Al's smelly socks for fuel on their spaceship and no one believed him.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
In order to give equal time to the previous post I've been thinking about some songs I don't think I would ever get tired of.A song I could hear anytime anyplace and I'd think what a great tune.I think the top of the list and I don't know why except I've loved the song since the very first time I heard it in the summer of 70 after I got stoned for the first time at 15 when my parents sent my 14 year old brother and I out to Berkeley from Rochester to spend the summer with my 19 year old brother and friends.What they were thinking I don't know but thanks!That song is "Whispering Pines" by The Band.I know it's not one of their so called hits but I love the song.Though I'm not a big Beatles fan I do admire"I Need You" and it's by Harrison which makes it cooler.A bunch of Brian Wilson so it's hard to choose but probably "Don't Worry Baby" and"God Only Knows"."If You Don't Know me by Now" by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes.The Al Green version of"A Change is Gonna Come" he did live for the concert at the dedication of the Rock and Roll hall of Fame.Van Morrison and"Enlightenment".Several Bob Marley but tops would be the live version of"No Woman No Cry".The Live in Paris version of Burning Spear doing"We Are Going".Jerry Jeff Walker and"L.A. Freeway" the Isley Brothers"Who's That Lady".Patsy Clines"I Fall to Pieces" and Alison Moyet"Invisible".There are more but that's a good start.Oh and the late Roget Ducet(sp) singing "Oh Canada" at the old Montreal Forum.Even though the Habs are hated by us Bruins fans Hearing him sing it in Montreal was a treat.Oh and I know it's a Dylan song but I'm really partial to the version of"I Shall be Released" from the live Bob Dylan and the Band album.Finally the greatest country song of all time written by Willie Nelson but done by Faron Young"Hello Walls".The perfect song for the perfect voice.There is even a video online of it though it's from way back.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I was in my Trader Joes today and I often wonder where they get the music from.This store plays all kinds of things.Some days it's reggae off an L.A. station but most of the time it's in house music.I don't know what Trader Joes does music wise but sometimes it's big band other days old rock but usually a rock mix.Today I walked in and heard Areosmith and that Emotion song but then I heard the first notes of a song so vile I thought this can't be.I've avoided this song like a bad hit of acid since 1972 when it haunted my waking hours.On the school bus drivers radio,in the car,at the mall.I have heard it a handful of times since then and like a bad Poe strory it gives me pause and brings all sorts of bad things to mind.That song is "Alone again Naturally" by Gilbert O'Sullivan and when the clerk saw me looking at the ceiling in angst he asked me what was wrong and I said this song!.I hate this song!"Isn't it Paul McCartney" he says and I'm thinking you could confuse it with most of his dreck after the Beatles."No it's some Brit or something(the name escaped me till later) and hopefully he's dead." I said in reply.He laughed when I told him about how often that freakin song was played for over two months.Then I told him about 77 when I quit the campground in North Truro and went to work at Babes.The campground owner kicked me out so I borrowed a friends tent and got a site in overflow for a few weeks till I found a place to live at Horton's campground down the road from my old campground.The first ten days I'm there this guy next to me got up at 5.a.m. and cooked breakfast while he played a Harry Chapin 8 track over and over.Since I was a dishwasher at Babes I started a bit later around 7:30 than the rest of the boys but instead of sleep I spent two hours hung over each morning listening to that damm Taxi song over and over and over.There are others but none so vile as those two.The opening chords to"Smoke on the Water" still gives me the chills in a oh christ how many times can they play this song on FM in one day.Another time I drove from Rochester to Boulder with a friend and he had one 8 track of the Elton John album"Don't shoot me,I'm only the piano player" All the way across the country we played it.Freakin Daniel was leaving tonight on a plane enough times to rack up some big frequent flyer miles.There are others just on principal.The mere mention of Streisand or Celine Dion makes me wish I owned a sawed off shotgun.Then there's the special place in hell I have for Michael Bolton.I'd like to stop that caterwauling once and for all.There are others(You better hope I don't find you Morris Alpert) and they know who they are.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
This afternoon Sweet Pea,Knuckle Sandwich and Mom all came home wearing the same t-shirt.I asked why and Mom said we went on a field trip today.Mom works at Sweet Peas pre-school and Knuckle Sandwich has been going along most days during summer break though he went there also during his pre-school days.So while doing the dishes I got to thinking does anyone know someone who went to a field on a field trip?.Not once have I heard someone say that.Then I got to wondering how in the heck do they make brillo pads and decided it was time for a glass of Red.
The Albert Bierstadt below is now a postage stamp.I saw it today at the post office and though I love his work I don't understand why they just did one painting as a stamp instead of several of his works on one sheet.If it's about Yosemite he has a goodly amount.The other thing is this is not one of my favorites of his Yosemite paintings.It seems to me a bit unreal.I don't know of a body of water that size in the valley unless he painted it after a flood time.To me this painting always seemed to romantic a view.I would have picked another work but maybe that's just me.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I was reading a blog by Fred tonight actually two blogs.Fred is active in the Cape Cod music scene I found out and he has to know one of my Jug Band pals Tim Dickey.Anyhoo years ago when I first was in L.A. I went east for Xmass(83 or 84) and got a fare where I hit Rochester(Pittsford),Boston,Orlando then back to L.A..I took a whole bunch of powder back east and the last night in Pittsford went to the village bar Thirstys(Ed Sheridan another Jug Band member knows it well).I had a bunch of half and whole grams packaged and as the night went on I seemed to be doing a brisk buisness.After Thirstys we went to a girls apt in the city of Rochester and did more drugs and my friend dropped me off at the airport as the sun was coming up and I was spinning.Reaching into my pocket I found hundreds of dollars I hadn't had when the night started.Early flight to Boston and I'm starting to come down really fast.I land and my ex frat brother Jimmy is nowhere to be found.I'm outside with a wicked hangover by now and after several calls and two hours Jimmy shows up after waiting at the wrong terminal.We go over to the Marriot Long Wharf and get our room where we run into another ex brother in town from Chic with girlfriend.Hugs all around then off to the hotel bar which leads to an early dinner at Legal Seafoods and then Jimmy and I head off to Doyles in Jamacia Plain to see the Jug Band play.Between sets I'm backstage with the boys dishing out more powder and we stay till the end and party some more and get dropped off at the hotel in the Jug Band van.Jimmy vanishes on me and shows up ten minutes later with a partially eaten pizza he picked up from outside someones hotel room door after they left it out for room service to pick up.I finally drift off about 4 a.m. early monday morning and wake to find both Jimmy and I are lying on top of our beds in our underwear.The kicker is our curtains our wide open and right across a narrow wharf is a multi story office bldg. where ladies are typing away at their desks and since I can easily see them I assume they can easily see us.I wake Jimmy and we are laughing at the fact these ladies have been able to see these two passed out drunks in underwear for well over an hour.After another day in Boston it was off to Florida where things got worse.The last night of the trip I gave all the coke I had left away to this guy at a bar in Winter Park telling him I didn't want to see it anymore.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday I was at the grocery store sliding down the frozen aisle when I turn the corner and I realise I'm looking at the Hat Lady coming the other way except she's wearing a regular hat not one of her grocery bag creations and I blurt out "You aren't wearing one of your hats" She looks at me and says"Oh,so you noticed" and from the way she said it I half expected her to add Darling. Mind you this is the first time I ever spoke to her and I tell her I've seen you all over the westside for like six years riding the bus and waiting for it.She is smiling now and says"Perhaps you should be my Chauffer".I tell her I don't drive in Los Angeles anymore as I hate driving here and she says like Oh that's too bad.I walk off thinking maybe she didn't understand me saying I rode the bus and her talking about me being her chauffer when it dawns on me maybe she's one of these older ladies who has some vintage Caddy or Lincoln sitting home in her garage and she was saying she should get this classic out of the garage and let this young man drive her to and fro in it.So now I'm picturing myself driving a 64 Lincoln convertible with her in the backseat(I know the model year is really stretching it but it's my fantasy)I'm pretty sure she lives in a house a few blocks up but there happens to be a guy robbing elderly women who live alone in the wee hours in this area so the idea of staking out her block trying to see what she's got in the garage probably isn't a great idea.Maybe I'll buy a Chauffers hat and start wearing it on the bus hoping to run into her.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The pic of barns is a new poster from my hometown of Pittsford,N.Y.. I've slept in a few of those barns,made out in a few and done illegal recreational drugs in a few of the others back in my day.The third one down on center I'm fairly sure was the small barn in a friends parents back yard though it wasn't that odd shade of green back then and when they went to Canada for the month of July and or August each high school summer during the mid 70's and a few after his yard was the site of"The Barn" parties with Moe the black cat.The best thing was the barn was only a backyard and the hardware store parking lot walk over to the village watering hole"Thirstys" So there was a lot of back and forth between one and the other which was conducive for the flow of Recreational drugs.A few times in late 70's summers I drove home from North Truro on the Cape for a few days visit and went right to the house with the "barn parties" on Church Street knowing somebody would be there.The night of the great Brou HA HA(As the local weekly called it) in Pittsford when we took over Thirstys and things started flying after our annual clambake and the State Police were called in as backup to the Sheriff a few of the boys hid in that barn after running from Thirstys including a friend who was chased after giving a trooper the number 1 finger because another friend had opened the back door of a police car to release a captured friend and then was thrown in with him after he thought the trooper wanted to play pattycake instead of cuffing him.The whole night was sort of like the end of "Animal House" before "Animal House" was made a few years later.I'm just sayin.Of course the five guys arrested for disorderly conduct of about 50 of us became the "Thirstys Five" and were local celebs for some years.You see the trouble Barns cause.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Seeing Michael Phelps make history tonight was great and for some reason triggered my own gold medal moment that happened when I was 9. In 1964We took a two week camping trip to Cape Cod and Maine that summer and I still recall wearing my blue Cape Cod Mass sweatshirt for months afterwards.We went to Maine on the second week and camped in Acadia Natl. Park.We went to a place called Abel's Lobster Pound(still there) and for all I know my dad tried to claim we were long lost Abel relatives from Rochester,N.Y. to get us free meals.But my gold medal moment came in the campground.My two brothers and I each one of us a year apart would explore together leaving our older and younger(would have been 2)brothers to do their own thing.There were a lot of woods and big mossy rocks to climb around on and we met this kid named Artie who was okay for a couple of days but on the third day we ran into him and he was being a pain.One of these types who said things like my father has a nicer car and he could beat up anyone an annoying little twit.So we were building this fort and he starts telling us how crappy it was and kicking in sticks on it.Then he starts throwing pine cones and small rocks at us so I walk up and deck the kid knocking his glasses off and he gets up blubbering about how we were in big trouble now.So we avoided that arear for a few days and then on the third day I was standing on the road right where the trail led to our fort and I'm waving and smiling at the family camped next to us as they drove by when all of a sudden I hear Arties voice from the next car"That's the kid that punched me and broke my glasses dad" The car pulls up and the father gets out saying "I want to talk to you,you little ruffian" and at that I turn and am off down the trail like a jet engine.I'm running really fast and not looking back and then I look to my side and I spooked a bunny.I'm running side by side with the bunny for what seems like a good twenty five yards thinking man I'm keeping up with this freakin bunny when the bunny does a little right left fake and then takes off to the right while I keep heading down that trail leaving smoke.I ran till I was almost back to our campsite and was so revved up I didn't really feel it till I stopped.After that I stuck to the very edge of the camp roads only to cross and spent the rest of the time going through the woods.My brothers were across the street on a rock and saw the whole thing telling me they loved the look on my face when they saw the dad get out and then me taking off like a bullett through the woods.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I was reading my friend Susans blog"Trout Towers" which you all should search out since I'm a dummy when it comes to linking other blogs and she was talking about taking her kids blueberry picking and childhood memories when I thought what a great idea to "borrow".I sometimes recall moments like that with my brothers kids but as for my own childhood memories of the sort most involve our family camping trips.Most of these can be backed up with slides or photos but some just live on in memory.When we first camped we went to the Adirondacks each summer and my enduring memory is going to the dump at dusk of whatever town we were near.For in those black and White days the dump at dusk in the Adirondacks meant the Bears came out for pre theatre dining.It was like going to the drive in.A bunch of cars would be parked by the dump mostly station wagons and one by one the bears would appear to start ripping boxes open and eating garbage.Sometimes a dumb human would roll down the window of a car and offer food which brought the bears out into the audience.In 1965 we went west to the natl parks and the bears were all over.In Yellowstone where we camped the trash cans were in the ground at each site with the lid at ground level.My father one morning saw a small bear pull the lid off so he told us to stand behind the trash can for a pic.So my brothers and I stood while my father adjusted his lens and adjusted some more while the bear started taking backward glances at us and my father continued to play with the camera and just as he snapped the shot the bear rose and it wasn't so little anymore.Luckily the noise of the camera shutter spooked it and Yogi ran off into the woods.Another great childhood memory on that trip was some town in Wyoming ,Thermopolie or something close where my father made us all take the sulfur/mineral baths in a large indoor tub.My mother refused to go on the ladies side and she said we smelled like rotten eggs for two days.There was the trailer park in South Carolina where my brother yanked off a sink faucet and flooded the bathroom my father and the owner of the place digging a rather large hole in the ground to find the shutoff valve and the owner giving us the Stink Eye when we pulled out next morning and a year later in South Carolina a bit farther south in a trailer park on our way to Florida my father got a bargain price at the end of a meadow by some tracks that turned out to have 9 trains come through that night.I'll never forget the sound of the first one as it came close and then sounded as if it was coming right through our camper trailer.By the third one we were all laughing though you couldn't here us because of the roar of a wide open freight train by a meadow in the South Carolina countryside.Forget the tourist things I have a lot more of these memories than any Monument or battlefield.
Monday, August 11, 2008
August is a special month in B-Days for me.My grandmother's was August 10th,A sister in law is August 2nd,A good friend the 26th and one old girlfriend I got serious with is the 7th and my high school sweetie who I'm still in touch with turns 50 on the 15th.When we started dating she was a sweet 15 year old sophomore and I was a worldly 19 year old Senior.Plus my blog friend Susan turns out to be an August girl also.On saturday Sweet Pea went to a B-Day party a few houses down for a buddy who was turning 5.She's a sweet girl who's parents are both NYTimes reporters and not quite as friendly as her.She had a puppy party where they bring in a group of puppies for happy little girls to play with.I was thinking back that when I was a lad we really didn't have birthday parties where one went to a friends house and then the cycle began where if you were invited to this persons party you had to invite him to yours.I lived in simpler times.I recall going to only one B-Day party in the third grade where Joe Meizensahl invited a group of his Saint Margaret Mary guy classmates over.I think we all wore coat and ties and there were about 7 of us.Since his dad ran the Prince Spaghetti plant in Rochester I was looking forward to pasta and meatballs.Instead his mother served us homemade fried chicken with mashed taters,homemade gravy and green beans that I still recall to this day as some of the best fried chicken I've ever had.After, his dad showed Little Rascals shorts on a projector and then Joe's collection of old piggy banks that all did something with the coin.Myself I watched with half interest hoping that his mom would bring out the leftover fried chicken which she did.After that I always looked for his mom in church on Sunday.She was one of those ladies who back then had those little fox stoles with the fox's head still on.I used to hope we would sit behind one at church so I could study the face of the Fox wishing I could close my eyes also and sleep.That is until I became an altar boy and got to see the whole church thing from the altar where we felt like princes looking down on the rabble before us.That and sneaking some altar wine after mass.So happy birthday to all the Leos and other August bday folks out there.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
On Tues I talked to my old boss Claudia for well over 40 minutes and caught up on the past eight years.I found out her mother is still alive and living at her house in Germany.The guy leasing Babes from her is an arrogant ass and has done all kinds of things to our beloved restaurant he is not authorized to do in the lease and got info on some of the old gang.One was a youngster named Crit Bliss who was my backup one year while still in high school and then my last summer of 81 took over the Toastman spot in the kitchen when my buddy Tom went off to the real world.81 though was my last summer and it turned into a fairly short one when after three weeks I was in the Surf Club one Wed night with an old girlfriends dad(We were surf fishing as far as Mr. Worth's wife knew)when we ran out of money so I wandered over to the Bradford where my roomies were listening to Magic and the Reggae Stars but stepped off the curb at the Surf Club with untied wallabies and did a nasty ankle sprain.That led to a trip to the hospital all the way in Hyannis after I limped to the Bradford.There I was given crutches,a rather large supply of Percocet with refills and told to stay off it for three weeks.After three weeks of lying about in the sun and free drinks at the Surf Club in exchange for samples of said pain killers I went back to Babes but by the end of the first day back it was obvious my ankle was in need of more off time.I spent the rest of the summer playing country squire and Crit bless his soul retired my apron to the kitchen rafters of Babes with my name just like an ex Celtic.So I found out from Claudia and I just had it confirmed that Crit and his wife Diane own Luscious Louies Pastry and Cafe in Chatam,Mass.So if anyone gets to Chatam,a picture post card kind of Cape Place give him the buisness.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
This afternoon Sweet Pea and older brother Knuckle Sandwich were outside with their mom and knuckles little gal pal from across the street.Sweet Pea, 5 in Nov. was wearing her new bikini and after much running around instead of going to the park with the huge fountains they went across the street to the house of Knuckles gal pal to run around in a sprinkler.I found out though that sweet pea doesn't have a bikini.I heard it as a zoo kini and she seems quite firm about that.So after her Mom talked about it with another neighbor and Scout our friendly dog was scanning the trees for squirrels I went inside and as I walked across the back of the bldg to my stairs and past all our herbs and vegetable plants it dawned on my dim bulb of a mind sweet pea was saying she was wearing a zu kini(It's not a Bikini).That brings to mind a friend back east whose now 13 year old daughter came home after her first day of first grade and was telling her parents the names of teachers in her classes.Mr. Brown for Math,Miss Lebowski for reading etc and then gets to gym and says her teachers name is someone called Phys Ed.I still can get her going by bringing that up.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Seen tonight online"Woman Riding a Donkey fights off Lion with Machete" Now that is one of the best headlines I've ever seen.About the only thing that would have made it better is if she had a pet chicken on her head who attacked the lion also by pecking at it.I was looking at the Truro Treasures weekend for this fall and I notice there is no longer a Dump Dance but something called a Grape Stomp and Jazz fest though with only one band at Truro Vineyards.Finally are you all as fascinated by this whole Clark Rockefeller story as I am.Everyday some strange new twist comes to light.I can't wait to find out who this dude is though I keep looking at his current pic and see some Danny Bonaduci and a little Corbin Beronson(sp).Last night when I was reading his age was 58 instead of his being 48 and the German passport thing I was thinking some kind of Nazi Spawn but at 48 he's to young.Where did the money come from though and this is my fave bit.It seems when he and his ex-wife were spending off season on Nantucket for several off seasons he actually raised the rent he was paying himself.The owner of the place mentioned it in a Boston Globe story.
Monday, August 4, 2008
This afternoon I took my paper outside to the patio and spent about three hours reading and picking amongst my plants.If there is abetter thing to do on a Sunday than hang out with the NYTimes I don't know it(except in Fall when you read it while watching the NFL games)I was looking at the top of our wall that sits about 5 and a half feet high where I have a narrow strip of dirt backed by the neighbors wooden post fence which sits above our wall.A few weeks back I scattered Bachelor" Button seeds across the whole top because they grow easily and then towards the front of the wall hoping they'll cascade over I placed every six inches or so Mounding Nasturtiums"Cherries Jubilee" from Renee's Grdens(seed company).They are both coming up quite nicely about two thirds of the way but stop suddenly behind a large potted Ficus on the patio.It's very strange as I have always had no problem with the far end of the wall sprouting seeds before.It's also a very straight line in the dirt where they stop.Not even a few seedlings popping up here or there in the dead zone.So I'll get some more seeds and sow hoping I don't have to go buy some small plants to put there and then everything will look strange.The other thing is in some places the seedlings are coming in thick and the packet always says to thin but I just can never bring myself to decide who lives and who dies so I just let them compete.The other thing is I'm sprinkling Cayenne Pepper along the whole area after I came out the other day and found a squirrel about to start digging amongst my seedlings looking for a buried nut.The funny thing is when I did the pots on the patio about a month ago the guy at the garden store tried to sell me a peanut plant.I gave him a look like"what are you a wise guy?" or maybe he was one of the squirrel infiltrators who take on human form to help bring about our downfall but not before we plant plenty of nuts.They were even in that movie"Best in Show"You don't think that whole rant by the guy with the good old boy accent about different kinds of nuts was just a coincidence.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
The previous pic of Manny is from last year when he hit the monstrous three run homer against the Angels in round 1 of the AL playoffs to give the Red Sox a 2-0 series lead.It was one of those Manny Homers that you knew was way gone the moment it left his bat and sent Fenway Park rocking.That was the Manny we all loved.Manny was our goofy relative we all put up with cause that's the way he was and New England has always loved individuals and lord Manny was an individual but in the past few weeks the whole Manny saga unraveled so quick I'm still not thinking it happened.Much as I hate to say it the Red Sox did the right thing in sending Manny away.Manny had gone way beyond eccentric with his actions of late and it became apparent Manny was a cancer in the Red Sox clubhouse and that his selfishness was growing day by day and when it really looked like to me he had quit on his teamates at least twice in the past ten days it was time.It's a sad end to a chapter but Manny has no one to blame but himself and his way inflated ego.We knew this day was coming but not so soon.I applud the Red Sox for standing up to Manny and his boorish agent.The new guy Jason Bay not only played for Chatam in the Cape Cod League but also for the Vermont Expos and he's a Canadian to boot!His dad was a diehard Red Sox fan from British Columbia no less.Plus he got out of Pittsburgh!Now back to regular posts.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I was sitting in my bedroom at my computer on tues morning when the earthquake hit and I must say it was the longest,strongest Iv'e felt in at least three years.Of late tough they have hit while I'm in bed which is a whole different thing than going through one sitting up.The tall bookshelf two down to my left dropped two books off the top of it where I have them stacked.The first one to fall was"The Woman in White" by Wilkie Collins and the second was"The Octopus" by Frank Norris which is a 1901 novel about the power of the Southern Pacific Railroad over Wheat Farmers and Ranchers in Calif.Both have been up there several years and both are still unread so maybe it's a hint.On ground level two piles of mostly cooking mags shifted revealing a slim(190) page hardcover I bought two years ago from HBC and was sort of wondering where it was"Lewis and Clark through Indian Eyes" edited by Alvin M. Joesphy which is comprised of essays by modern American Indians who are members of tribes Lewis and Clark encountered.So I picked it off the floor and read the first essay by Vine Deloria Jr. and it was excellent.He points out how Lewis and Clark is a feat because America needed to make it so for the Myth of the American Frontier.I have read a few books on the subject and a goodly amount of the men's diaries themselves and though Deloria simplifies a few points he is mostly right.The fact that French trappers and French/Indian halfbreeds had been through most of the area well before Lewis and Clark is hardly ever mentioned in the old U.S History texts and the fact that the French in Canada and into the west which was not U.S. territory at the time encouraged the interbreeding of French trappers and Indians in order to form a bond with them rather than confront them which became U.S. policy as the years went on.I look forward to the rest of the essays some of which are by women of said tribes.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
So friday I went to the office and decided to walk a few blocks over from my apt. and take the Santa Monica 5 bus because it's a lot nicer ride than the 7 route.The thing is the bus stop at the corner of Olympic Blvd. and Beverly Glen is one that I'm not fond of.For one thing it's out in the open,no shelter but the other reason hs to do with reading books and watching old movies about a)old time sea novels,b)gypsies.There is an odd small two story apt.bldg there done up old south plantation style in dingy white with green trim and made of wood.I'm amazed it's still there but what gives me the chills about it is a lady and her son who live there right in front of the bus stop.They are always there with the door open,both very large folks and the mother has a sign reading psychic/fortune teller hanging there.They remind me of gypsies from those books where gypsies are involved in every blackmarket trade there is.The way they come to the door each time I'm standing out there and look you over especially the mother who looks right through you,I am afraid to turn my back to them lest someone stick a hanky of chloroform over my mouth and I wake up on a ship bound for the Orient and the slave trade like a bad Somerset Maugham story.The other thing is though they are both very large folks they have a tiny little dog.Friday the son came out with the dog and went a few yards behind and next to me and stood and watched the dog waiting for it to do it's thing.The poor dog seemed a bit edgy about going with him staring then the mother comes to the door and stands behind the screen watching the dog like it going to the bathroom is a matter of utmost importance.It's a wonder the dog hasn't run away with all this watching his/her bowel movements.After the son came back to the door with the dog the mother opened the door and as he walked past her she gave me another long look and I expected to hear horses whinny in terror like Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein or is that Frankensteen.
Friday, July 25, 2008
I got an email from my friend Jim today telling me that the family scattered Mary's ashes off Cold Storage Beach on the bay side of North Truro about two weeks ago.Mary is now part of the beach she spent every summer on growing up and later summers when she went back to the Cape.The beach has always been special to me and now moreso.It'a great place to watch the day fade as the parking lot is on a hill with the beach below and has a straight view to Provincetown six miles away as the light fades and the lights come on across the water.I used to love going there late fall and even one New Years Eve before heading to Provincetown.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I called my friend in Rochester late this afternoon as he had been at his parents in Wellfleet last week and went and saw Claudia at her place next to Babes where she spends the summer even though she's leasing the restaurant.Tom dropped a bomb on me telling me that our kitchen mates younger sister had passed away on June 26th at the age of 45.I've been in a funk since then alternating great memories to great sadness.My first summer in North Truro(1977),I was 22 and Mary was 14 but the first time I met her which was me driving a bunch of us home from the Wellfleet Drive-In in my vega wagon with Mary sitting on the shifter right next to me I was fascinated by her.The next couple of summers she turned into a beautiful Irish American lass,brown hair that really lightened in the sun and a sprinkling of freckles.She also had a wise guy type of humor like myself and I had a mini/major crush on her though because of our age difference at the time I resisted.I had a thing with her sister off an on over the summers who was three years older than Mary and worked at Babes with me but Mary enchanted me.When she was 17 I ran into her walking out of Tess in Provincetown one day in 1980 and she raved about it.This was the Roman Polanski version and I went and saw it with her, me for the first time and that summer we hung out together.But it was that summer she started to display very erratic behavior and by the next summer was in a hospital back home in New Hampshire.For the next twenty years she was in and out of treatment for severe Bi-Polar as far as I know and it was in the last years she was out on her own with a job ,living on her own and falling in love,engaged to be married when a few months ago she was found to have a rapidly spreading Cancer.I never knew what was going on because her brother and sister really didn't give much info when she was first diagnosed and seemed not to want to talk about it over the next several years but I thought about her so many times over the years.So hearing of her passing today I feel so much guilt about being helpless to help her and just seeing that beautiful Irish face with the freckles and wishing I could hug her one more time.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I was just reading in the Cape Cod Times where some family had this painting hanging on the wall for years and in the family since it was bought back in the 1800's.Turns out the artwork is worth somewhere around half a million dollars.You see the same thing happen on Antiques Roadshow once in awhile.Someone comes in with a painting they bought at a yard sale for 10.00 or found in someone's trash and it turns out to be some artwork worth lots and lots of money.I keep waiting for the day I discover my lost masterpiece.Maybe I should cruise Beverly Hills trash cans.The closest I ever came to a famous painting was a copy my parents had on the wall when I was a lad of some fishing scene with nets drying and large sail boats in a harbor with old fish shacks onshore.Years later I was watching"Soap" and there in the Dining Room on the set was the same painting.I've forgotten the artist.Then there was X-Mass of 1969.We had moved from one side of Rochester to the other and it's country club suburb of Pittsford,N.Y..My brother and I were waiting for the bus downtown to meet my mother for shopping and next to the bus stop were some X-Mass trees with no price or anyone around sitting roadside.As we waited a guy pulls up and says "how much for a tree" I looked at my brother and he looked at me and we said something like ten or fifteen dollars and he bought one.We wound up selling three or four trees in the 40 minues we waited and though we asked at the Pancake house right behind the bus stop no one knew who owned the trees as we wanted to give him/her the money.No one showed up so we got on the bus and with the money bought my mom a large copy of a painting called"In the Highlands" by T.Banks a painting my parents still have now in their apt.Anyhoo, the Rochester Democrat&Chronicle several X-Masses ago asked for holiday stories and I sent them mine.It was used in the story but my Mom did not want her picture taken with the painting like the paper wanted.Which leads me to my favorite art thing the skit back in the early years of Saturday Night Live where Dan Ackroyd wearing a leisure type suit with Larraine Newman as his guest played a public access guy with a show named E Buzz Millers Art Classics.There were several howlers about paintings but it was one towards the end I recall"This one here is an Impressionistic piece-it's by Manet,an Impressionist,a French guy,called Le Dejenoai ser Larbe which means Picnic in the woods.Now,you look close.These two guys are having lunch and this broad hasn't got a stitch on!Bon Appetit,boys!"