Sunday, March 9, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
"Bless me Father for I have sinned
She had big brown eyes and silky skin
Bless me Father, I couldn't resist
Oh Father, you have no idea what you missed."
"Bless Me Father" by the Saw Doctors
We stopped by GRACE, the restaurant formally a grand church, last evening after taking in the ArtWalk. We didn't have dinner, just a glass of wine and a couple of teasers off their bar menu. This place setting nearby caught my eye. It's Restaurant Week around the city, and tonight we'll be meeting Paulie and Bon at the Top of the East, then on to David's for dinner and some catching up since Christmas.
We've never been David's but always hear great reviews.
Looking forward to great food and better friends!
Sending out Birthday wishes to my sis in Lakeland today. We share great memories. Locked away with her Nancy Drews is one I'll always keep close.
Happy Birthday, Connie!
Friday, March 7, 2014
Did you think that Springsteen was the only one that got himself a Jersey Girl?
I've let my guard down a bit this morning. I guess you could say I'm having a weak moment. Back in the summer of '76, Elenka and I packed our van and headed out on our own version of 'on the road'. We left in June, headed south to visit my aunt in Raleigh, North Carolna, on to see an ex-roommate in Greenville, and then back to Jersey for Judith's wedding. After that great day, we turned left and began a meandering, ever-changing path to the West coast. Every day was truly different.We never really knew where or when our day would end. We loved it! Without a doubt, it was one of our BEST summers EVER!
This portrait was taken a day or two after our return to our apartment on South Street.
Just a couple of the 'beautiful people'.
Enjoy a little of me and HER.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
That was Al Pacino in Godfather 3. There's probably a more appropriate line somewhere in Shakespeare, but it escapes me right now. The line also appears in the Sopranos, as the guys are sitting around 'practicing' it humorously. Pretty funny, but yesterday wasn't. In my latest post, I was praising, with tongue tucked firmly in cheek, the fact that I had seen evidence of melting snow. Then suddenly... Whack! You wouldn't think a 1/4 inch of snow would wreak havoc, but it did, including a fatality nearby. My short traverse to work proved to be the the trickiest of the entire winter. After the plows took to the roads early, it was like attempting to make your way across a frozen lake. And wouldn't you know it, when I started down the huge hill on Rt. 35 I was facing both a large, reckless plow and a 18-wheeler heading my way.
"Bless me Father..."
It was hairy, but I got to the bottom safely.
I'm thinking positive here.
In the 40s this weekend...
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Holy Crap, Batman.
I saw something yesterday that shocked the daylights out of me.
I'm still breathing heavy.
I'm still breathing heavy.
My hands are shaken'.
No, I didn't inherit 1 million dollars.
Nope, didn't see Bigfoot in the backyard.
Nada, a UFO didn't land on my roof.
A winning MegaBucks ticket didn't appear on my kitchen table.
No such luck... Heidi didn't show.
Elenka didn't let me have a doggie.
No sir, I didn't turn vegan overnight.
Uh Uh, this ex-Catholic didn't return to the flock.
The Loch Ness monster didn't show up in Sebago Lake.
The 'fountain of youth' still escapes me.
In all this snow, the Yeti didn't knock at my door.
I wasn't abducted by aliens at midnight.
Are you sitting down?
Gawwwd, I don't know if I can get this out.
I'm so giddy!
Are you ready for this?
If you are pregnant or have heart condition, please leave this blog at this time.
I SAW some melting snow on the pavement coming home yesterday.
I SAW some melting snow on the pavement coming home yesterday.
*Happy Birthday to my brother Marchin today! Hopefully, my luck holds out, and we'll travel to Ireland together someday. That would be very cool!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I think, I'm going to have to check this Spoon place out.
I'm getting hungry.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Anyone out there keep a diary or journal?
I kept a diary once. Well, not really. To get a Cub Scout merit badge one summer, I had to write a daily account of the comings and goings of eleven year boy for 60 days. I wrote not much more than a few words per day with pathetic stuff like: 'made my bed, played baseball, ate fish sticks'. Quite ridiculous really, but I got the badge and eventually threw the diary away. From time to time I've kept a journal, but it was basically for some course I was taking towards my college or masters degree. As a frustrated writer, I've always thought it would be a good thing to do.
To tell you the truth, this really is my journal.
The blog started as a place to display images I've taken, but it's evolved.
These days it's a place to write a bit.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Well, Marchin, Annie's Mom and I took in the Class "A" Championship Basketball Game at the Cumberland County Civic Center last evening. It was sure to be a game for the ages as they say. You had the clash of the unbeatens. Both the Portland High School Bulldogs and the Hampden Academy Broncos entered the game with identical 21-0 records, with the Broncos on a run of 43 wins in a row, but after the 'dogs ran off 17 unanswered points mid-first quarter, it was all but settled. At the end, the scoreboard told the tale 54-40. The Bulldogs hoisted the Gold Ball and brought the curtain down on the high school basketball season. Before the game, Marchin and I took a rush down memory lane and raised a couple of Narragansett Lager beers. The brew has been away for many, many years, but now it has returned. Way back when I was just a tyke, my Dad would do yard work and the Red Sox were always blaring on the radio, advertised by this stalwart of New England. 'Brewed in Narragansett Bay, off the coast of Rhode Island' so the lady said, there were always a few of these cans in the frig at our place on Stevens Avenue. I remember a couple of times I'd crawl up on Dad's lap, and beg for a sip or two. Just a couple of the guys sharing a beer and me learning the nuances of a great game, as the radio cried...
"Hi Neighbor. Have a 'Gansett."
Saturday, March 1, 2014
When I was a kid, early mornings on snowy weekends I was often out and about. There was no pressure of waiting patiently by the radio to hear Portland school called off. Long before most of my pals were stirring, you could find me at the corner either at Deering Drug or Howard's Variety sitting on a counter stool sipping a hot chocolate and thumbing through one of the latest teen magazines, Sports Illustrated or a copy of True Detective. Mrs. Sloan, Bud and his brother were always so obliging or at least they didn't seem to care. I usually was there an hour or so, and they were good places to hear the most updated comings and goings of the 'regulars'. There were a couple of times that Bud asked me to man the shovel and clear off the sidewalk for the early comers.
He always threw me a couple of bucks.
He was no fool.
He knew they'd be coming back his way soon.
Man, I drank a lot of vanilla Cokes at that counter.
Friday, February 28, 2014
I could go on forever.
Maybe I need a support group.
I've even caught myself smelling the compost pile once.
Give me something new, and I'll take a good long draw.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
I've been blamed for lots of things in my life. I must admit that for most of the charges, I stand guilty as charged. However, believe it of not, there were lots of times growing up that I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. For example, I and others had nothing to do with burning Lewis Lumber Company down that fall evening. We seemed guilty, but we were proven innocent. But I know who did. I had nothing to do with the large, back field that caught fire that afternoon after school. But I know who did. Did I find mischief? Sure did. Did I do a few things I regret now? Sure did. Was I ever framed for a deed I had absolutely nothing to do with? Absolutely not. Somedays, I wish I had been.
It would have made a heck of a story.
By the way, I am framing this weekend.
Does that count?
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Well, no it's not really a treasure, or even an item that's treasured. It's our summer sprinkling can sticking its head up giraffe-like from under snow. Since the appearance of robins are still a ways away, I'm placing this in the corner of a harbinger of spring. I really know it's coming. I'm going to keep repeating this to myself today, as I peer out my windows at snow showers. Well, on the plus side of the ledger at least, the 'dusting' will cover up all the dirty snow staring at us around here.
See, even in dark hours, without robins, I can keep things positive!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Let me see.
How many days until Florida?
Monday, February 24, 2014
The NBC broadcast was embarrassing. Jingoism is alive and well and 'living' amongst us. Why, why, why when a US skier comes in 24th is he interviewed first, leaving the winners nowhere to be seen. To be perfectly honest, I want to see the great Olympic athletes compete and win their medals, NOT just the US athletes.
Oh well, with the almighty dollar in control of the Games, this will never change.
Bottomline: what I watched, I enjoyed.
How about you?
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Mid-afternoon last week and the set of lamps at the Post Office are a glow already.
Heading into Portland this morning to meet Paulie for breakfast and get this day off to a fast start. We're going to a new place at the bottom of Brackett Street called Omi's. I think it's short for Naomi's. I'll fill you in on the details of my visit later today.
Well, I enjoyed a mild Mexican Roast, while Paulie took his double Espresso in fine fashion. We met Naomi, the owner of 5 months. After serving us, she ventured to the back, plopped herself into an overstuffed chair and regaled us on the trials and tribulations of running a small coffee shop in the dead of this cold, Maine winter. It's a small cozy spot, consisting of a couple of rooms of mixed-matched furniture and sunny window seats in the front. There'a small lending 'library' in the front too. Books, fine coffee and comfortable seating: a pretty good combination. The artwork on the walls was nothing to write home about, but I will return.
The coffee itself is enough of a draw.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
This world can be a rather mysterious place, even for a pretty normal guy.
This is The Pilgrim. It's an apartment building on West Street in the West End. Walk in and ring his room. He'd buzz me in. I remember it always being toasty warm on mornings in winter. Bear a bit to the right and 'call' the elevator, and it was usually there in 30 seconds or less. Slide the heavy brass to the side and open a cage-like inner door and you were in. The ride to the 3rd floor was fast and the short amble down the hall was always met with the door ajar to let me. I'd sit at the small table overlooking the street below or take a place on the couch, and we'd talk about just about anything: antiques, our old farmhouse, a cruise that was in his future plans, some politics or even a course in Celtic he was planning on taking. I miss those visits. J- does too. We often travelled there together.
Dad's been gone since Christmas Eve 1997.
Here's another little secret of mine.
Until last year, I would drive out of my way not to venture down West Street.
It was too hard.
Once about 5 years ago, I took a 'wrong' turn and found myself on the street.
I focused straight ahead.
Wouldn't look to the right.
I guess I'm better now.
I took this photo last week.
I really like this building.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Here I am walking among the driving snowflakes Tuesday afternoon, just around the corner from One City Center. I had a choice to make, a respite from the weather. My choices were two: a wine bar here on the right or a favorite coffee hangout across the street. Decisions, decisions, decisions. It was around 3:30 PM; I decided on a hot java sitting at a window seat watching the storm go by.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Mustard brown, pink, light blue
All in a string.
Where have you been
All of my life?
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
These traps will have to wait out another 'snow event' though.
Nine inches more said to be on the way this afternoon.
Ha! It's spitting snow already.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Well, sort of.
I've heard the tales from my father and others about frigid winters in the city.
How cold was it?
It was so nasty that Portland Harbor froze over, and you could actually walk the 3 miles or so to Peaks Island. My father said he did it with friends. I don't think I'd attempt that these days, but in my youth... I do think I'm a bit smarter today then back a few years. Elenka has regaled me of the time she and friends walked across Sebago Lake in the dead of night. Knowing her cautious nature, I've got to believe some alcohol was involved in this episode. The harbor does freeze over from time to time though. I do remember seeing a good deal of the harbor solid ice sometime in the Seventies, not all the way to Peaks though.
The scene depicted here today was after a stretch of below 0° temperatures for a couple of days straight.
All I can say is, if it froze to Peaks, that must have been some bone chillin' weather.
What's up with winter?
We just returned from a snowy wedding in Jersey, and there was more snow there this year than I've ever seen.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
To Daniella and Christopher:
May these next many, many years not go by in a blur.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
If it doesn't stop, this crap could be here in June.
I'm crying uncle!
Let me check my reservation for Florida again.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Lots of love to spread around today.
Passing along some LOVE to my special Valentine, Elenka!
And Happy V-Day to all!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
I just kind of liked this bit of color down at East End Beach, and the shadows added to the intrigue. I took this picture about a week ago. On this blog, some days I try to picture the city with recognizable images, like the photo of steeple of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception yesterday. However on others I post photos that I like, pieces of the city that grab my eye. Most not recognizable at all, unless, for example, you might own or use these skiffs during the summer. I follow rules. Most days, I post a single shot. Another rule, my rule, that I try to follow is that I don't post collections of photos taken together on consecutive days. Most weeks, I'm pretty good at that. My thinking is that I could never capture every single piece, so I shoot lots of different location photos. A different particle of the jigsaw puzzle that is Portland.
When I head into the city, I always have one of my cameras.
However, I love Sundays.
Most 'rest days' I'm shooting.
That's how I do it.
Work the magic!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
No, religion is not a fear of mine.
For me, water can be difficult. I'm not talking water at the beach here. I'm talking about deep ocean water. There's a mysterious, gothic quality to it. What do they say dreaming is all about? Working out difficult problems in your real world? My most reoccurring, disturbing dreams over the last few years have progressed beyond forgetting my high school locker combination to some horrors of height. I'll find myself somewhere on a rugged mountain top clinging in an impossible situation on a ledge with no way up or down. In another favorite, I'll find myself atop a church steeple like this one and no foreseeable rescue in sight.
On second thought, maybe there is something to this religious thing.
I've left out real life fears like the stock market, retirement and losing my car keys.
Some days, I'm better off just not thinking.
So, beware snakes, getting shocked, ordering food in a foreign country or struggling through a bad tuna tetrazzini recipe.
Face your fears!
Well, sort of.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
That's the mantra to be followed in this scene.
Sometimes, taking the easy way out doesn't get you the rewards that you are seeking. Then again, I hear of some that have plopped down a few bucks, at a local convenience store, playing the lottery and are set for life. I don't play poker. I don't play the weekly big tickets. I don't enjoy a good gamble. However, one or twice, when the pot looms the largest, I'll throw a buck here or there. I don't expect to walk away with anything, but it makes me feel a bit better in some strange way.
Most make their way down an escape to safety.
Today, I'm climbing to daylight.
I might pass you on my way up.
Monday, February 10, 2014
I did once.
It was that crazy newsboy instinct inside me. During my four years away at college, Mom subscribed to the weekly paper and had it delivered straight to my dorm mailbox. It was always four days late, but I looked forward to its arrival. I must admit I mostly skimmed it except for the sports' pages, but it brought the city, that I had never been away from, right to my bedside off in Western New York. For an emotional kid, who missed home more than I led on, it was an anchor I needed. College life had enough distractions that would lead me astray, if I let them. It's arrival was a constant reminder to 'stay the course'.
And that life was not always 'full speed ahead'.
It must have worked.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
"Close your eyes and I'll kiss you..."
And with that Ed Sullivan introduction and the first chords and words of those fab guys from Liverpool, I think my life changed, 50 years ago tonight February 9, 1964.
I had been alerted to this event by my sister and some of the girls in the neighborhood. The Ed Sullivan Show was a Sunday night staple in our Stevens Avenue house. I sat through shows filled with Perry Como, Teresa Brewer, Jackie Mason, the Lennon Sisters, Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence, that mouse Topo Gigio and the zany Banana Man, but this night was different.
Mom said, "They sure look handsome in those suits." Dad just sat back and shook his head and smiled. I was moved by the music, and when I saw the reaction of the girls in the audience, I knew I wanted some of that.
I changed forever.
I took the pledge: the hair was going to grow.
One night at college in a bar, I was approached by 5 girls, who said I resembled 'Harrison', and for the next 3 years or so, if I ever ran into them, they called me "George".
I'm quite sure a couple never really knew my real name.
But I didn't care.
My love affair with music, I can honestly trace back to 50 years ago tonight in front of that round screen Philco with the family.
Call me crazy, but I've always had a weak spot for Revolver.
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Well, the 2014 high school basketball schedule has run its course, and it's Tournament Time. In Class A (largest enrollment schools) Boys, it's the top 3 and then all the rest. I have to chuckle. Some years it certainly is wide-open but not this year. The local sport pundits caution that this might be the year of the underdog. I say, not this year fellers! Portland High (18-0), Falmouth High (17-1) and Bonny Eagle High (17-1) are the class of the 17 schools. A couple of points here-- Portland dispatched all comers, including a solid beating of Bonny Eagle on a neutral court in their only meeting. I was in attendance to see Falmouth manhandle BE in a Holiday Tournament game. This game did not count in the standings, but said a lot. There was no stopping the Yachtmen's height. Falmouth played a quirky schedule, all Class B teams. They'll play a full Class A schedule next year, but how will they fare next week playing the A schools? Bonny Eagle has lost the last three years in the Western A Final. Is this their year to finally take the last step to a State Final and a chance to hoist the Gold Ball?
Don't bet against PHS Bulldogs in the Western Maine Finals.
It might be quite a State Final against Hampden Academy (#1 in Eastern Maine) also 18-0 this morning.
I've got a funny feeling about Bonny Eagle though.
This just might be the Scots' year.
Let's play the games!