Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Things the bubble wrap and packing peanuts protected

When I went through my Aunt's belongings after she died, I found a lot of the genealogy I was looking for, a few things she held onto after a life in the entertainment industry and other assorted artwork and memorabilia. I took what I could that day, which was not much as I was on foot and traveling by train, and let my Brother, who is the executor of her estate, know of a few things I might like to eventually have.

What she owned is now in storage, and the company shipped me a few of the things I had asked for. Somehow I received more than a few videotapes of single song rock videos that I could not use, but I do have the home videos of trips she took to Yellowstone Park and Europe in the early nineties. As I watched the trip in Europe I marveled at how happy she was, and how much fun she was having reading about where they were for a guidebook as her husband played around with his new video camera.

One of her drawers had a number of original scripts and screenplays from various productions her company produced in the eighties and nineties. I mentioned this to a coworker and she suggested I donate them to my library's theater department. I got a name of the librarian, gave her a list of what I had and she let me know which ones they can use for the Theater and Research Institute. There will be a little note on the script or in the record that they were donated in honor of her. I am very, very pleased this was able to happen.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A few hits to fill in the blanks

This was a good little record by the Fine Young Cannibals back in 1989. It was a year I do not remember too well. Too much drinking, a few too many drugs and general unhappiness/uncertainty. At the end of the year we moved to Ohio, leaving the alcoholic comfort zone of lousy pay for the mystery of a big city. If I stayed on I would not have survived. The next decade was a combination of being broken down and breaking myself. Bad career decisions were made, one after the other. A marriage fell apart. The next decade seemed to repeat itself with financial strain replacing the alcohol. These days the stressors are different but profound and worrisome. I've found it harder to reach my son when the show in his head is greater than that around him, or if he's in pain. It's hard for him to tell us that, and it weighs heavy.

Then this song becomes the show in my head -

"Oh I know that times are bad
and they make you want to cry
Don't be sad, we'll get by"

All I can say is, maybe.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Reply: Let's Be Naughty Together

If anyone wants the phone number let me know. But you have to let me know how it goes with Cindy.

"hey there babe, I finally got a moment to read your profile and gotta say loved.. loved.. loved it!.. I'm feeling a bit naughty today would you like to put me over your knee.. pull my panties down and spank my naughty bottom? (please and thank you) ;)

if this sounds like fun to you hit me up my phone is 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX txt me!!! .

talk to you soon babe. im getting wet just thinking of you..mmm..!

xox Cindy

Thursday, March 17, 2016

So many links, so many mysteries in the hunt for facts

Finally opened up the genealogy binder that I found (in the last place I looked) in my Aunt's apartment and started plugging data into an online family tree database. The site linked me to some other previously unknown to me distant relatives so the tree has a few more branches.

My paternal great-grandparents came from Clitheroe, England, which I knew. But I have his naturalization documents from 1888, which is very cool. The family all settled in Fall River, Mass. and many of them moved to Brooklyn/Queens in the 20's, which is when my father's parents met. They were married in 1928 in Brooklyn at a church that still stands. The Irish on that side I have going back to the early 19th century and those ancestors came from Derry or Dublin. There are also ancestors who lived in New Hampshire and New Brunswick.

My maternal grandmother's story is sometimes painful and difficult. She was a twin, her brother did not live a year. Her Mother died in 1910, she was put in an orphanage then her father died six years later of TB and was buried on Hart Island. Her Mother also had a brother, but he was shot in the head in 1913 and I'm trying to find the documentation of that event. Did he shoot first? My Grandmother's Grandmother had a number of children, none of whom seemed to live past 1910. This is frustrating when you cannot find anything, but the thrill of recovering history happens when you can match a name.

My Mother's Grandmother came to the U.S., alone, from Poland in 1893 and settled in New Britain, Ct.. She married her husband, also from Poland in 1897 and lived in New Jersey for a time before they moved to Brooklyn. I do not know too much of my Mother's Father, neither did she, so I have not really traced that side of the family.

I also have a lot of pictures, none of them written on so I have no idea who all these ancestors are, and there is no one left to identify them that I know of. I do not like lost history, so I will plug away from time to time and get people identified and noted properly. As a librarian/cataloger/archivist it is something I have to do.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A trio I did not want to report

Found out yesterday that my Father-in-Law's Cousin's Wife died. Finally got to meet her during our last visit in June. Lovely woman, who had a very subtle and vicious sense of humor. She and her husband were both doctors, helped build hospitals in India in their missionary work. Good people, who sent us a cool quaich, for our wedding, which we used in the ceremony. They also gave me a great word to use in Scrabble. Hoping the best for her husband of at least fifty years, who faces life without his partner.

Was also very dismayed to hear of the death of Monica Harris in a car accident on Thursday. She was the Wife of Joseph, aka Logic, a poet whom I have come to know though his visits to Columbus. They were both just here a couple of weeks ago with their baby, their third. I cannot imagine what he is going though. It's very hard for my brain to deal with three small kids having to grow up without their Mother. This is a family that has been broken, but will be strong. They also need help. A GoFundMe page has been set up on their behalf. If you can, please consider a donation.

After he announced he had pancreatic cancer a few weeks ago, I figured death was inevitable but did not expect it to be so soon. Pat Conroy was one of my favorite writers. His use of rich, expressive language was an incredible skill. His work was a pleasure to read. His best, and worst traits were that he talked to much. Would have loved to have got to hear him read and tell him thank you. That there will be no new Pat Conroy work makes my world a sadder place.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A vaudeville trick

Was thinking about pith helmets last night and this morning, and the colonialism they ended up representing. To me the helmet was something Groucho Marx wore in Animal Crackers, part of a costume. Then I realized Captain Spaulding was probably a poacher, or even worse.

Everything becomes problematic, if you really want to parse through it enough.

The original excitement over the Ghostbusters trailer quickly became but aren't there enough sassy black women who are not scientists the way the while women are depicted in this film.

Ten years ago today, I mentioned pith helmets in a live journal post.

I did not know this while I was thinking of the pith helmets.

Years ago, I did dress as Groucho for Halloween, and wore a borrowed pith helmet. I do not think my costume was problematic even though I put lamp black on my eyebrows and upper lip.

Ghostbusters 1984 is as good as Animal Crackers, but not Duck Soup. I hope Ghostbusters 2016 is better than A Day at the Races, or at least The Big Store.

No, I do not know what any of this means - other than I want the best for all of us.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Double secret filtration

My social media feed is looking more and more like the ad block of the nightly news during October of a national election year. How many different ways can it be said that a person does not like another person?

Quite a few I guess with all the memes, links and other sources of dislike.

Can only unfollow so many people. I know they're passionate. I get that. It's great.

It's also overwhelming. Very overwhelming to see the same links over and over. Dozens of links to the same John Oliver video. Wow, it is funny, but his audience is the converted.

So I am filtering out a word for the time being, to see how much that cleans up my feed to what I want it to be - and to keep my blood pressure down.

Now it's back to cat pictures and Hamilton/Rent mashups.