When Doubt Set In

Neri4.jpg This is me in the 2nd grade at St. Philip Neri. I had always romanticized the lives of the very religious, but by the time this photograph was taken I had already lost my naivete. When I got to the 5th grade I announced to my mother (shaking and terrified) that I could no longer in good conscience go to church. She told me it was my decision and that was that. (Or was it the 6th grade? It was right after confirmation.)

I bring this up because I’ve had to contact nuns and priests for this book and apparently, they still scare me. I just called a nun back and even though I need the information I was calling about I was so relieved when they told me she wasn’t there! I was like, “YAY! Oh wait, no. I need that answer.”

I’m waiting to hear from the Diocese of Belleville, IL about a report a priest made about a possible poltergeist, demon or guardian angel, and from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington about a request for an exorcism that was made in 1958.

For the record, everyone has been great and patient with me. They’ve explained concepts and procedures, and given suggestions where to find things when they couldn’t help me. (<--- See? Still trying to make sure I never get sent to the Mother Superior.)

A Winter’s Tale

at2.jpg I always promise my friends I won’t put up unflattering pictures, and unfortunately, I don’t like how any of my pictures from Saturday came out. So here is a picture of where Adrienne’s son Josh lives. It’s this little building, tucked at the end of an alley. Do you see that tiny gray door at the center right of the picture? Josh and his roommates live in there. If you walked by you’d wonder, ‘do people live in there?’

But it’s the best building. It has such a wonderful hidden feel and it’s great inside. I’d love to live there. It’s like something out of the book A Winter’s Tale. In the book, Mark Helprin (the author) describes how people in New York at the turn of the century occupied every nook and cranny.

I’ve typed in the part I thought of below. Josh’s isn’t quite like this, but seeing his building made me think of it. Helprin is talking about two girls, called spielers, who take this guy home. First, they have to travel to get there. It’s like an exaggeration of getting out to Brooklyn from Manhattan.

“It took them three hours to get there. They crossed several small rivers and five streams. They wound down a hundred crooked alleys that looked like opera sets. They passed over great bridges, through commercial squares where men ate fire and meat was roasted on swords, and by half a dozen wide doors that led far into smoky factories that pounded like hearts …” It goes on.

Then they kinda get to the spot, but the girls live “… not in the tenements themselves but within the hidden square they formed. They went through a dark whitewashed tunnel and discovered a vast concealed court surround by perhaps a hundred buildings. In the center was a broken garden not yet revived by spring, except for a dense growth of weeds. At it’s edge, dwarfed by the tenements, was a little shack. The spielers lived not in the shack but in it’s basement. They descended through a cellar door and found a small dark room with a tiny window near the ceiling …” And it goes on.

It’s a great book, one of my favorites, although at the same time, too something. The author is embarrassed by it now, I’ve read.

I had such a great time seeing my friends, and I love their kids and their kid’s friends, and their relatives and their new husbands. Okay, there was only one new husband but he was great! (Hi, Charlie!)

Finn is Ready for his Close-up

model.jpg I swear this macro function turns every cat into a supermodel. Or … maybe … my cats are the most gorgeous cats in the whole wide UNIVERSE. (This is what I tell them.)

I keep meaning to say, I have to turn off the comments section on every post after a week or so, because it eventually starts filling up with spam comments for sex with hookers in the UK. So, I’m sorry if you try to comment and can’t.

Today I’m going out to Brooklyn to see friends I have known since junior freaking high school. Who have sons who are long out of junior freaking high school. Hey, Chris and Adrienne both have two sons. Have I noticed the perfect symmetry of that before? And I have two male cats! (Yeah, yeah, I’m the losah. I KNOW.) Chris is the one who just got married on New Years Eve. And I posted a picture of a slightly drunken Adrienne at my wedding a few months back.

Hopefully I will be back with embarrassing pictures of everyone tomorrow.

Bleecker not Bleeker

Picture missing! Where it went I know not!

Regardless of the fact that I have walked down Bleecker Street pretty much every day of my entire adult life, I learned from someone here in the comments section that Bleecker Street has a “c” in it. Who knew?? (I can’t remember who it was and I can’t find it now, I’m sorry, or I would totally give you credit for enlightening me! You knew!)

This is an original advertisement for the recently deceased Gian-Carlo Menotti’s opera The Saint of Bleecker Street which proves the spelling. But I checked a street sign when I went out and sure, enough, it’s BleeCker.

Meanwhile, in my life, this poltergeist chapter is still kicking butt, and I’m thinking I will not make a drumming gig tonight. I’m in an all-percussion band called the Manhattan Samba Group. But what can I say, I like to stay in at night.

Oh god. Just kill me now, I suppose.

Glitter and Doom

metmus.jpg These nice men were cleaning the steps at the Met yesterday so we wouldn’t slip and break our necks.

The show that my friend wanted to see was Glitter and Doom: German Portraits from the 1920s, and it was the better show. It was amazing, but horrifying. It leaves on the 19th, so get there now if you want to see it. The paintings of prostitutes were overwhelmingly, disturbingly sad. It’s such a terrible roll of the dice, what you get in your one shot at life. You’re born — and what are the odds of even being born, it must be incalculable — and you’re plopped down in midst of this one moment of history and circumstances that bring you to what was portrayed in these paintings, and then you die. That’s it. No second chances.

Unless you are convinced by the research of Ian Stevenson, who I just learned died on February 8th. I wanted to interview him last year, but he was already too ill. Stevenson did research in reincarnation, and I’m not familiar with that work, but I have some stuff bookmarked and I hope to include a brief over-view in my book.

Rest in peace, Dr. Stevenson. And come back soon, if that is, in fact, possible.