The city I live in just lost one of its most legendary characters,  and in a place that boasts a cannibal killer and a serial murderer, that’s saying something.

I met Paul approximately forty years ago, when I was a high school student.  He was mad as a hatter, and even back then, the ravages of alcohol were evident.  He had the yellowest eyes I’ve ever seen.

Despite his mental instability (that’s putting it mildly), Paul was extremely intelligent, and was said to have been absolutely brilliant before whatever happened to him happened.  Some people say that he had been a Professor Emeritus of Literature & History at Vassar College; others say he was an accomplished chemist.  Among the many rumors about him, the most persistent was that Paul had a lot of money.  Yet he was often homeless.

In the 1970s, I spent quite a bit of my leisure time at a nightclub that featured live music; sometimes it was local talent, and other times it was major recording artists.   In between sets, Paul would roller skate across the stage, wearing a buffalo head hat with huge horns, a gigantic bow tie and enormous sunglasses.

Everybody knew Paul, and everybody I talk to has a story to tell about him.  Much to my delight, students often include him in their “I Am Frompoems.  The funniest incident from my own personal experiences with Paul has to have been the time he handed me a rose in a New Paltz dance club and asked me to go out to dinner with him. When I declined, he pulled down his pants and mooned me!  That memory still makes me laugh.

Rest peacefully, Paul.

Song of the Day: Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

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

Yesterday, questioning of a rape suspect at the Sheriff’s headquarters turned into a three hour standoff.  The suspect grabbed a detective’s gun and fired.  The bullet grazed a detective’s head.  The suspect then barricaded himself in an unoccupied office.  About three hours later, he shot and killed himself.  Streets in the area were shut down for hours, and residents were evacuated.   This is the fifteenth shooting in My Little Town since the beginning of the year.  Fifteen shootings in less than five months.  I feel like I’m living in the Wild West.

In more pleasant news, I went on an architectural Art Deco walking Tour of Manhattan a couple of weeks ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it (although I most definitely did not enjoy the resulting pain).  We visited the Daily News building, the old GE building (it was like Oz inside) the Waldorf-Astoria, Rockefeller Center, and, my favorite, the Chrysler Building.

I had another positive experience last weekend when I attended a Reiki training session given by My Friend.  During the attunement, I was amazed to feel a powerful surge of energy flow through my fingers. This is some seriously cool stuff.

I’m running late on time, but before I go I want to wish Daniel a very Happy Birthday!

Song of the Day:  My Little Town by Simon & Garfunkel

Just like Pagliacci did

March 14, 2009

My Friend treated me to my first live opera experience last night. We went to see Cavalleria Rusticana & I Pagliacci, featuring Teatro Lirico D’Europa (European opera touring company). I enjoyed it very much.

We had a bit of a retiree reunion at the Opera House. Three former co-workers were there, one of whom is in her seventies and looks amazing.

Not much else has been happening, except that our washing machine needed to have the timer and a belt replaced. This has been a particularly bad month financially, with the $940 gas & electric bill, $162 for the furnace, and now $222 for the washing machine, not to mention the new car payment plus insurance. Oh my aching pocketbook.

The repairman just left, and I have a lot to do, so, in the words of the immortal Porky Pig, “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”

Reading: March by Geraldine Brooks

Song of the Day:  Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson

Say Hello to Oblivion

December 6, 2008

The title of this entry is a quote from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  It pretty much sums up my most vivid memory from last year’s holiday season, which is today’s Holidailies prompt.

After Christmas dinner at my sister’s house, most of the guests were in the living room watching I Am Legend.   At one point, my mother and Ex MIL began to converse, loudly, I might add.   It was very distracting, to say the least, and made it difficult to hear the movie.

Those who were sitting on the floor made a big show of moving closer to the television.  Then the volume was turned up.  Still, the talkers took no notice.  They were also oblivious to all the dirty looks and huffing and puffing and harumphing and teeth-sucking and heavy sighs.  Finally I blurted out, “People are trying to watch a movie!”   Only then did the two women become aware that they were being disruptive.

On the way home, Daniel told me that he enjoyed the oblivious behavior more than the movie.   He thought it was pretty comical.   In retrospect, I have to agree. The movie wasn’t very good, anyway.

Song of the Day:  Oblivion by Macy Gray

Whole Lotta Fun

October 25, 2008

I actually went out last night!  Me, the person who is almost always in bed by 8:30.  We didn’t get in until 2:00 am, which is only a few hours earlier than the time I usually get up.

Of course, I am paying the piper today.  But, I don’t care.   I had a good time.

Daniel and I went to see my brother and his Led Zeppelin tribute band.  The place where they performed is located in “The Boondocks,” an hour away from where we live.  It was worth it, though.  The music brought me back to my youth, and I was very proud of my guitar virtuoso brother.   Highlights were a blistering version of “Achilles Last Stand,” and their tour de force encore, “Whole Lotta Love. ”

Rock on, little brother.

Another thing I’d like to talk about is money, or the lack thereof.  As I mentioned in a previous entry, I am feeling pretty stressed out over financial matters.  Things are really tight.

Last year, Leigh attended a community college where the tuition was dirt cheap.  This year, she’s away at school, so our financial burden is greatly increased.  Incredibly, the only state aid we get for each of my daughters is a paltry $250.  That barely covers a couple of textbooks.

We live pretty simply.  Much of our furniture has been handed down from family members or purchased at yard sales.  The few pieces that we bought new were “assembly required,” in order to keep costs down.  We don’t have credit card debt.  In fact, I don’t even have a credit card.

My clothes are bought off clearance racks and from thrift shops.  Our grocery list is created according to what’s on sale that week.  Daniel brings leftovers to work for lunch.  I bring a granola bar and fruit or a peanut butter sandwich.

Because of our financial situation, we’ve been living with some pretty shabby pieces of furniture.  One was the loveseat in the living room.  Our darling dogs destroyed it.  The cushions were stained, and there was a spot that had been chewed all the way down to the frame.   I covered that spot with an afghan, but there was nothing I could do about the stains.  They wouldn’t come out, no matter what I tried.

Another ruined piece of furniture was the sofa in the family room.  This was a hand-me-down from my sister, who bought it at a yard sale, so it was pretty well worn.  The foam padding was visible through the rips on one of the cushions (on both sides).

Also in the family room is a chair that was given to me by a co-worker when her boyfriend moved out of his apartment and in with her. The chair was pretty beat up, but beggars can’t be choosers.   I put a slipcover on it, but it wasn’t a good fit, and constantly had to be re-tucked.  It looked sloppy.

These unsightly pieces of furniture were really bringing me down.  I had to do something, but couldn’t afford a new sofa, loveseat and armchair.  Thanks to a half price sale at Pier One, I was able to buy these two chairs to replace the loveseat.

Stretch slipcovers worked wonders on the family room sofa and chair.

Now I just have to train the dogs to stay off the furniture…  Sigh.

Song of the Day:  Achilles Last Stand by Led Zeppelin