Over a year ago, someone left a comment here in reference to a book that was in the process of being created, with the theme “feelings.” The authors performed web searches using the keyword “feel.”  That search brought them to this entry, in which I stated: I just want to feel like a normal, healthy person.

The person who left the comment asked if I would allow them to publish the photo of me knitting on the beach (also from the above-mentioned entry).  I responded with a “yes,” and soon received an email advising me that there were thousands of applicants, and I would hear back if I made the final cut. I honestly didn’t think anything would come of it.

Several months later, I received notification that my photo had been selected to be included in the book, We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion.   Even though I signed a release form, I still found it hard to believe that this was actually going to happen.

Another email arrived today, informing me that the book is due to be released on December 1st, and I will be receiving a complimentary copy. I also received an invitation to attend the launch party on December 5th, in New York City.

How cool is that?

Song of the Day:  Fame by David Bowie

Bring Out Your Dead

July 13, 2008

I finally saw Spamalot!  A local community college offered a bus trip to NYC yesterday for the unbelievably low price of $11.  (The train costs $30.)  I went with my mother, my aunt, my cousin, Kathy, and her friend, Bob.  When we got to the city, we split up.  My mother, aunt and cousin had already seen Spamalot, so they went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Bob and I headed for the TKTS Discount booth, and, fortunately, Spamalot was among the listed shows.

Before the performance, we had lunch at Bistecca Fiorentina.  It was the best meal I’ve had in a long time. For an appetizer, Bob ordered grilled octopus and squid.  I had a mixed plate of roasted polenta with Gorgonzola cheese, a stuffed mushroom, zucchini with béchamel sauce, eggplant Parmesan, and a roasted, stuffed red pepper.  It was way too much food for me, so I shared with Bob.  Still, I barely had room for my lobster ravioli entrée.  Even with Bob’s help, I couldn’t finish it.

After we ate, we headed over to the Shubert Theatre.  I was very excited.  The play certainly lived up to my expectations.   It was so much fun!  This was my favorite number.  Hilarious!

At present, Stephen Collins (the father on 7th Heaven) is playing King Arthur, and Drew Lachey (former member of 98 Degrees, along with his brother, Nick, who was married to Jessica Simpson.  Drew was also a “Dancing With the Stars” winner.) plays Patsy.  Marin Mazzie is the Lady of the Lake.   What a voice!  I had such a good time.

The only downside was the physical pain.  I’m really hurting.  Sunshyn and Texas Peach are right.  I most definitely should not have done all that backbreaking gardening, and, yes, I am crazy.  The pain is worse than it was when I was out on disability.  I keep hoping it will get better, but it hasn’t.  I don’t know what I’m going to do…

To add insult to injury, I’m not sure the garden will flourish.  The layers of compost, etc., aren’t as deep as they should be, but it’s the best I could do.  Please keep your fingers crossed.  It would be devastating for the garden to fail after all the hard work I put into it.


Song of the Day:  Not Yet Dead from Monty Python’s Spamalot

Spinelli Salutations

June 15, 2008

I’m really down because of the return of the scary headaches (and, yes, Michael, I did think they were gone forever). However, my spirits were lifted a bit this morning thanks to an email from my Bradford buddy, Allison. She went to a meet and greet at the Manchester Animal Shelter in New Hampshire yesterday. Much to my surprise, Bradford asked about me, by name. I wasn’t expecting that at all. He is such a sweetheart.

There’s going to be another fan event in NYC next month, but, unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend because that’s the day I’ll be coming home from a vacation at the Jersey shore. Actually, I don’t know how much of a “vacation” that’s going to be. My daughter, Leigh, begged me to go because the presence of an adult is required for many of the rentals. Against my better judgment, I said yes. There will be five young people… and me. This should be interesting.

My aching head wants to bury itself into a pillow, so I think I’ll go back to bed for a while before I have to go visit my father.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Song of the Day: Father Figure by George Michael

Name Dropping Part II

April 27, 2008

Thank you to everyone who shared experiences in the comments section of my last entry (or via email). I really enjoyed reading about your celebrity sightings. LA mentioned seeing Armand Assante, and that reminded me that I did, too. He was at a Bob Dylan concert at our Civic Center several years ago. I spent almost as much time watching him as I did watching Dylan. He (Assante, not Dylan!) sure is easy to look at.

There are a few others I forgot to include. When I was 13 years old, my grandmother took me to California. During a tour of the 20th Century Fox studios, one of the men who played the Lost in Space robot (Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!) got on the tour bus and talked to us. For a kid who was a big fan of that show, this was pretty exciting.

That was my second “celebrity” experience. The first was when I was quite a bit younger, and got the autograph of a pro-football player during a family vacation in Florida. (This was at a training camp, so perhaps it was a Miami Dolphin?)

A few years ago, I had dinner with author Da Chen. He was the guest speaker at a library conference at a local restaurant. After he spoke, Mr. Chen sat at my table, and was a charming dinner companion.

I saw Todd Rundgren at our county fair. I ran into Ric Ocasek (lead singer of The Cars) and his wife, Paulina Porizkova, at a rest stop on the Taconic State Parkway. (They live in the area, as does Liam Neeson, who once waved to my mother as she drove by while he was on horseback. Robert DeNiro is another Hudson Valley resident. My brother has been in his house to service the fire extinguishers.)

Back to Ric Ocasek… My daughter, Leigh, was very young at the time, and we had stopped because of a bathroom emergency. Mr. Ocasek and his wife were exiting the building as we were trying to enter. He heard the rest stop employee turn us away because the place was closing. We stressed that it was an emergency, but the employee still wouldn’t let us in. Mr. Ocasek turned back and spoke to the guy. He urged him to “let the little girl use the facilities.” The employee relented, and Leigh was able to use the bathroom, thanks to Ric Ocasek. We expressed our gratitude, and he and Paulina gave us big smiles and waved as they left.

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In other news, I took a personal day on Friday to visit a SUNY college campus with Leigh. It went very well (no bathroom emergencies!). I’m really hoping that Leigh will follow through and attend this college in the fall. It’s very difficult for her to move outside her comfort zone, but she knows this is a necessary step towards accomplishing her goals. Positive thoughts would be much appreciated.

Reading:  No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Song of the Day: Let’s Go by The Cars

Name Dropping

April 24, 2008

In the comments section of my last entry, LA wrote: “Another round of Miss Steph hangs with the Stars. Just think of all these famous folk sitting around going, ‘WOW! We met Miss Steph!’” That cracked me up, but it also got me to thinking about the celebrities I have met (or spotted).

While I didn’t actually meet these two people, I did pass them on the streets of New York City – Gary Sandy from WKRP in Cincinnati and Mary Tyler Moore. I shared an elevator in Saks with Peggy Cass. (Or was it Shelly Winters…? I always get those two mixed up.) I saw Kelly Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuleos, at our local mall. (No, they weren’t shopping; they were fund-raising.) I once stood next to Stephen King at a Bruce Springsteen concert.

Now for the more up close and personal experiences… I’ve already mentioned hanging out with the members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and soap stars Steve Burton, Bradford Anderson and Derk Cheetwood from General Hospital… I also met the members of The Manhattan Transfer after their performance at The Waldorf Astoria back in 1978. Alan Paul was particularly friendly – he gave us hugs.

Many moons ago, I stood on line at a Sam Goody store in NYC for five hours to meet (and smooch!) Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin. I met radio personality Don Imus at a local car dealership, of all places. Anthony Perkins and his wife, Berry Berenson, graciously posed for a photo (after Mr. Perkins’ performance in Eqqus on Broadway). James Earl Jones lives in this area, and I met him when he spoke at a school assembly. Even though they’re not exactly celebrities, I was privileged to meet two of the Holocaust survivors from Schlinder’s List (also at a school function).

My daughter Leigh, and I met Tony Lovato, the lead singer of the band, Mest, at a drug store in NYC before a concert. He surprised me by shaking our hands. A few years ago, my daughters met the members of the Australian band, Steriogram when they performed at a local club. They went out to eat with the guys after one of the shows. I don’t know how this came about, but the group members decided to call me from the restaurant. It was late, and I was already asleep, but I got a big kick out of the rather lengthy message they left on the answering machine. They called me their “tour mum,” and requested a home-cooked meal the next time they were in town. I would have done it, but they haven’t played here since then.

I did get the opportunity to meet them in NYC. Lead singer, Tyson Kennedy, emailed my daughters to invite us to an MTV taping. Joss Stone was the other featured artist. I ran into her in the ladies room but didn’t know who she was until she later took the stage.

Although not a celebrity herself, I met Barry Manilow’s mother. She was sitting in front of us at one of his concerts (yes, I went to a Barry Manilow concert. BLUSH.), and, when the show was over, she turned and said, “That’s my son.” We didn’t believe her, and scoffed, “Suuuuuure he is!” We asked why she didn’t have better seats, and she said she had front row seats on opening night, but wanted to sit in back with the fans during this particular show. We rolled our eyes, and yeah, yeah, yeahed the poor woman. She kept insisting, but we still didn’t believe her. That is, until we saw her getting into a Rolls Royce with sonny boy shortly afterwards! (I recently read that Mrs. Manilow used to wear a T-shirt that said, “I’m Barry Manilow’s Mother.” Hah! She really did want the whole world to know!)

There are probably others, but I’m too tired to give it any more thought tonight. Now I’m wondering if any of you have rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, or had a celebrity sighting… If so, please share your experiences in the comments section.

Song of the Day: Celebrity Skin by Hole

Jingle Bell Rock

December 15, 2007

I’m a Christmas card junkie. I love to send them, and I love to receive them. My “fix” is holiday spirit.

The cards are still rolling in over here – the bulk of the holiday cards I receive usually arrives over the week before Christmas. Still, I’m pretty sure I can safely say that I’ve already received my favorite for this year (unless another should arrive with a very large check).

This one (note the arrow) came as a complete surprise, and really made me smile.

Here’s a closer look.

As I opened the envelope and got a glimpse of the contents, I blurted out to Rebecca, “He freaking rocks. I hope he has the best life ever.”

That goes for all of you, too.

Song of the Day: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree