Friday, May 23, 2014

Praise Tlaloc...

last evening, the skies favored us at 7420 with another 0.3 inches of rain.  as i went tp bed the radar indicated new development to the south moving in this direction.  i got up to answer my bladder's call around 4:30.  i could hear the sound of sprinkles hitting the lens of the tube light.

there's no better sleeping than with the sound of rain on the roof. being the son of a dry land cotton farmer, the first thing i did this morning was check the gauge.  another 0.5 inch!

throughout the morning the rain has continued to fall, the gauge is inching its' way toward 1.0 since i emptied it last.  almost 2 inches total in these last days.

glorious! but not anywhere near to drought busting.  a report in the news indicates it would take 18-30 inches over the next 6 months to break it.  doubtful, at best.  but with the generosity of tlaloc and with a little help from el nino, maybe we can put a dent in the mean old drought anyway.

it continues to rain.  gentle, soaking, life giving.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Praise Tlaloc...

it's been so dry, for so long around here, folks in these parts have just about forgotten what rain looks like. for days the local weather gurus have brayed, "rain is coming". not just a chance of rain on one day but good chances for rain every day through labor day.  it's been so dry  for so long I, for one, have been afraid to even hope.

yesterday afternoon, I watched the radar showing good rain showers coming up from the south but passing to the west and to the east of little a-town.  here we go again. it has seemed over time that promising radar returns appear to be taking dead aim at the city only to split apart, skirting around and reuniting on the other side. but last night the clouds continued streaming up from the south, and wonder of wonders, they held together blessing us here at 7420 with 1/2 an inch.  not a downpour, not a drought breaker, just a gentle shower over several hours.

the wondrous smell of petrichor was a bonus.

here's praying for more rain in the area today and in the days to come. being almost 40 inches behind the norm over the past 3 years the parched earth can use any rain we can get and all that mother nature will give.


New York, NY... postscript.

after a week of agonizing about losing/having my cell phone stolen, Monday brought a resolution. I'd heard back from the port authority-- "'your phone hasn't been turned in to us". with that news, I decided to bite the bullet and investigate how much replacing my cell was going to hurt.

wonder of wonders, i  was in for a rather pleasant surprise.  amber, at the att store on I-40, was able to upgrade me to an iPhone 5s, no surprise there i guess, but in the process of reviewing our account was able to lower our monthly bill by $53/mo. that included the monthly installment for the new phone and without signing a new 2 year contract in the deal.

dumfounded, flabbergasted, stunned-- you choose the descriptive word, but i walked out with a new iPhone 5s, a lower monthly bill and big shit eating grin on my face.  the wife was pretty happy about this particular turn of events as well.

sometimes good can come from a bad thing. for once in my life, i fell into a pile of dung and came out smelling like a rose.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

new york, ny... it's a helluva town 7!

we last visited the big apple a year or so before 9/11.  during that visit we took in the view from atop the world trade center. the skyline has changed, the city seems to be under renovation at every turn.

it is even busier, louder, if that's possible. there are still hordes of people rushing to get somewhere at any time of day and into the late evening. but there's a different feel.  on our first visit all one saw was a sea of black and gray.  things have loosened up sartorially, here and there a splash of color pops up.  there is still the blank stare of concentration on passersby in a hurry to get there. but there's a much friendlier feel to the place, an excuse me from one bumped into.  before i thought most of the people to be rude. this trip, most everyone encountered was friendly and helpful. experiencing a 9/11 can make a people realize that we only have today, maybe.  one can never know what that next tick of the clock might bring.

they were probably there on our last visit, we just didn't see them, but there are parks everywhere. islands of beauty amongst the towers stretching to reach the sky. tulips were in bloom, the tallest i've ever seen. people passed through or paused to sit and reflect, to take a moment to ease the tension of the day.

another thing struck me, that is the relative dearth of overweight people.  perhaps it's from all the walking entailed in living in this city.   I don't know but fatties were few and far between. no walmart beauties allowed.

speaking of walmart, not a one in sight.

this trip we dined from a food truck most every day. gyros, hot dogs, sandwiches, smoothies, you name it-- all made up on the spot, not basking under a heat lamp for hours before serving. tasty, affordable, i recommend you try one if you ever make it to the city.

so much to do, so little time. NYC, i promise i'll try to get back before another decade passes by. you're a helluva town!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

new york, ny... it's a helluva town 6!

the only downer in the almost 5 days in the big apple came on the day we left, in the very last moments of our time there.  it happened as i was getting out of the cab at LaGuardia. either my iPhone dropped to the floor of the cab or fell to the ground as i was exiting. 

i was just clearing the security screening process when the awful realization that i didn't have my cell phone dawned on me.  oh what a sick feeling.  by this time we had already checked in at the gate, checked bags and processed through security screening, so the cab was long gone.  there was no chance to rush out to try to stop the driver.  and of course, the phone is pass code protected so that if anyone had found it there was no way for them to answer my  frantic calls or texts.  i had "find my phone" installed but that does a helluva lot of good when it's not activated and/or turned on. for now it is out of service with my provider.

I've spent the days since beating myself up for being so careless.  the phone had already survived being dropped into a curbside rain puddle and now this. what to do now? i could have called 311 while i was still in NY but was unaware of the option.

once i got back home i started grasping at straws in an effort to get the phone back.  i paid $49.95 to list my phone as lost in hopes of getting it back.  I'm fairly certain this is a scam aimed at desperate saps like myself.  the fee is for the listing, which i would guess, legally, the site has done what it said it would do, i.e. allow me to file an item as lost. i can't seem to access the list for info contained within. how can anyone having found a black iPhone 4 in a red otter box case access my info? nor can i access a list of found items.  I have little hope this effort will lead to recovery of my phone. $49.95, down the drain!

I've filed a service request online with 311 NYC giving the particulars (for free).  as advised, i called the numbers listed, yesterday.   a very helpful officer at the 17th precinct checked for my phone then gave me two numbers for precincts in queens (LaGuardia is in queens).  i spoke with officers? at the 107th and 155th precincts as well but my phone has yet to turn up there.  I left a message with the LaGuardia lost and found clerk and filed a report at

whether any of this will be of any avail? i have my doubts.   hope is dimming that i'll ever see my iPhone 4 again.  it's insured but there's no telling how much replacement will cost.  there's a price to be paid for being an inattentive dumbass.  anguish in spades so far and another hit to the old pocketbook coming.


Monday, May 19, 2014

New York, NY... it's a helluva town 5!

and on sunday we saw 2 shows.

the second was "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", an irreverent rock musical featuring Neil Patrick Harris as a trans-vestite/sexual cabaret singer from Hitler's Germany.  The angry inch is the name of the band but also refers to now missing anatomy.

I was a little nervous about how our friends the Drs. V would receive the show but they at least professed to like it.

NPH was phenomenal in the role.  I had seen him in several interviews coming up to the performance in which he intimated that he/Hedwig would interact with the audience in an often biting bit of repartee.  All in character of course, as (s)he was when (s)he called out a couple coming in late to their seats in the front row.  "have trouble getting here? I was on time-- and I came all the way from Germany". cue the raucous laughter.

A great evening of musical theater.  I've not seen the other nominated musicals but I'll be surprised if he doesn't win for best (s)he-male in a leading role.

If you get the chance, put aside your puritan pride and treat yourself to Hedwig.   a fun, fun evening.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

New York, NY... it's a helluva town 4!

again on sunday, we saw two shows.

the first was "Sistas", a musical with a loose story line staged in the attic of the character's recently deceased grandmother.  it celebrates the prominent women of color in music over the years--
althea gibson, mahalia jackson,  dianah ross, aretha franklin, dionne warwick, gladys knight, ella fitzgerald and others. 

very entertaining! perhaps surprisingly, it was written by dorothy marcic who is white.

not surprisingly, black theater goers made up the bulk of this audience as well. white or black, we all were blessed with a talented cast of women putting on a helluva show.


Friday, May 16, 2014

New York, NY... it's a helluva town--3!!

on saturday we took in two shows.

the second was "of mice and men" with James Franco and Chris O'Dowd.

I don't recall having ever read "of mice and men" so the story was new to me. James Franco was good but it was easy to see why Chris O'Dowd received a tony nomination. Not being familiar with the story I had no idea where it was headed but spent the last moments of the play saying "oh, no! George (JF) is gonna shoot Lennie (CO).  And he did, but I guess that was in the script.

A powerful production, humorous at times, evoking ever more empathy for Lennie as the play went along.

glad I saw it.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

New York, NY.. it's a helluva town-- 2!!

on Saturday we took in two shows.

the first was "Raisin in the Sun" with Denzel Washington.  I've never seen a production of the play but I read it on the plane to NY. The read did not prepare me for what I saw on stage.  Any written word is open to interpretation.  Whether this was a directorial decision or an actor's choice, what read as a somewhat somber piece came off as laugh out loud funny but still moved me to tears at the end.

i'm a give me a musical any day over a drama kind of guy but this production was oh so enjoyable. sure there was Denzel, and he was good, but the heart of the play is the female characters.  I laughed and I cried.  It was great!

on a side note, the producers may have stumbled on a recipe for getting the black audience out in numbers-- that is Denzel + Raisin. The audience, at least for this performance, was 90% black.  And they had a magical Broadway experience, as did I.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New York, NY... it's a helluva town!!

got back last night from a long weekend in the big apple.

Friday night we took in the NY Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall. If you've never been there, the main floor seating section is probably football field sized with three tiers of seating along the sidelines and the end zone opposite the stage. Basically the symphony plays in a 3 storied box but with better acoustics. AFH is, in a word, cavernous. Our seats were in the second tier at the 5 yard line. Not the best sight line, not sure how that impacted our hearing the program.  I do know what it did for my neck. It gave me a crick.

I was excited to hear the Philharmonic play, to hear the guest violinist. I wanted to garner an idea of how our ASO and the Globe News Center for the Performing Arts measure up against this world renowned symphony and hall.

I won't say that I wasn't in awe of both but somehow I was left wanting.  Maybe it is the size of AFH  or our seat location.  Maybe it is because we are ASO season ticket holders or  maybe it's the intimacy of the GNC.  Maybe I was just tired after a long day of travel. Maybe I'm just more invested in our ASO.  Whatever the reason, I prefer our little band of players and our hall.  Maybe that's just me buying local.