Archive for August 2013

No Invitation   4 comments

Monday through Friday, 7:00 –  7:25 AM, you’ll find me in my recliner, cup of coffee in hand and cat in lap. That’s because I’m addicted to the Today Show, and for those  twenty-five minutes of news, Matt, Savannah, Al & Natalie are my friends,

The gang

After that, with the show devoted to other stuff, they’re background noise, as I try to get one housekeeping  chore or another out of t he way before I go to work.

But last week, my curiosity was stoked by the steadily growing throng of pre-adolescent and adolescent girls staking their claim to Rockefeller Plaza so they’d have prime viewing space to see a band  called One Direction – 1D for those in the know.  It started out on Monday, exponentially increasing each day, until Friday, the morning of the concert, the hysterical crowd stretched from Fifth to Sixth Avenues and 48 to 50th street with an estimated 18,000  girls filling every square inch and their screams rising up to at least the tenth floor of the  office towers penning then in . Mind you – maybe 300 of them might, just might be lucky to get a glimpse of the boy band.  But  for each girl, being able to add their screams  to the other 17,999 was worth it to them

It brought to mind Beatlemania, and I couldn’t help contrast my viewing experience in a much quieter, less connected era.  I loved Paul, John, Ringo, and George, (and yes, in that order), but let’s just say I was an armchair fan, making due with watching their three celebrated appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. “Ladies & Gentleman, Four fine lads all the Way from Liverpool – The Beatles”!!!! And the girls in the audience would scream every bit as frantically as the 1D’ers,

Now, the Ed Sullivan Show was a viewing staple in my house,

ed sullivan show

but, after sharing the Four Fine Lads with my parents and brothers for their first two appearance, unlike the 1D girls, by the third go round, I was determined to have a solitary viewing .  So I quietly slipped away to watch the TV down in the basement room, where at least if I couldn’t scream, I could unabashedly let those tears run down my cheeks. I’ve never figured out why the sight of young rock idols brings forth involuntary tears in adolescent girls.

Don’t ask me why but my father came down a few minutes later. Knowing him, he probably just wanted to keep me company. And what timing! He settled into an armchair just in time for “Ladies, and Gentleman, all the way”  etc, etc.  Out trotted the Beatles, their hair bouncing and flouncing  with every step. They immediately launched into  Love,  Love me do. (I don’t know how I remember these things –  I just do.) Well, they hadn’t even gotten as far as  “You know I love you”  when Daddy  hauls himself out of the chair and marches to the door in a huff, proclaiming over his shoulder as he left the room.

” I can’t watch these sissies with that long hair.” Long  hair?” Now I ask you? This is how they looked at the time.

on Ed Sullivan

At any rate, Having been raised to be respectful, ( and wanting to live at least fifty more years) I refrained from asking  “Who asked you to come down here in the first place?’

Which brings me back to last Friday morning, and 1D.  Being curious as to just what kind of hunk of boydom would motivate 18,000 girls ,with fall closing in and with it an end to sleeping late,  to get  up at God knows what hour  to come down and join these seriously die-hard fans who’d been sleeping on the streets of New York for five days,  I had  to see them, and hoped they’d begin their concert  before 8:30 when I’d have to leave for work.

Ah, I was in luck. the screams grew in intensity as I bent over the bathroom sink, brushing my teeth. I straightened up and padded barefoot into the living room,  toothbrush in hand, as  Matt Lauer, serving for me as a twenty-first century Ed Sullivan, yelled into his microphone,  “Here they come, One Direction!’  I grabbed my glasses for a good look as,  five  young men, in their late teens(?), early 20’S.s (?)  in disparate types of out on the street dress, emerged from 30 Rock and bound up on stage.  My attention was drawn to one, who had a flannel shirt tied around his waist, a la yours truly when I get hot raking leaves in the fall leaves.

As  the cameras zeroed in on him, I  took in his scruffy beard, somehow out of keeping with his youthful face, and his carefully trimmed short hair. I turned on my heels and returned to the bathroom. I didn’t say a word, but a thought was resounding in my head,  “Short hair! I don’t want to watch this.”


And then the echo of a long ago voice – “Who asked you to come out of the bathroom?”

From the Mouths of Non-New Yorkers   1 comment

I was in the city Saturday to have lunch with my oldest friend J.J.  Let me explain – She’s not my most elderly friend, but the one I’ve had the longest. We met when I was in 3rd grade and she in 2nd, in the school lunch room  Being a busy body, I noticed she was having trouble getting the noodles out of the chicken noodle soup her mom had poured into a thermos bottle.  I moved over, and helped her. Having met at lunch, we still keep our friendship going, meeting from time to time to share this meal. And Saturday we were meeting at a restaurant on the Upper West Side.

Although we were both born and raised on Manhattan, neither one of us still lives there.  I was taking the train into the city and she was driving from NJ.  Since I arrived at Grand Central Station  with lots of time to spare, and it was a 3 S days (superb, summer,  & sunny) I considered walking over to the West Side instead  of taking  the subway. The decision was made when my cell phone rang. It was J.J. She was stuck in traffic on the Jersey Turnpike. I had plenty of time to dilly dally.

I walked up to Fifth avenue and ay yi yi.


Oh yes, it’s tourist season.

But I plunged in, and went with the flow. Until I heard  two gems that brought me to a halt – both from the mouths of visitors from overseas.

Gem #1

Location –  5th Avenue and 50th Street across the street from St Patrick’s  Cathedral.

Speaker – a woman (perhaps German) speaking to a tour operator: “Ah St. Peter’s Cathedral? Yes.”

It was all I could do to suppress the urge to say NO. St Patrick’s!!!!!!!!

I mean even if she was expecting to see the postcard perfect St Patrick’s,

St Patricks

And thrown off by its present appearance as  it undergoes restoration


Give me a break. How much bigger could the letters be?



Gem #2

Location  – Still on Fifth Avenue – a few blocks north, at 56th Street.

Speaker – another woman – possibly from a Mid-Eastern country, speaking in an excited tone to her husband . Tramp Tower! Tramp Tower. In her defense, this was most likely just a matter of her accent,  but still I had to smile.  For you non-New Yorkers? Ever watch Celebrity Apprentice ? Recognize the building?


DSCN0788No? Then in the words of  The Donald  – “You’re fired!”

These were all, as the young folks would text,  LOL moments, at the expense of tourists. But as I headed west on 57th St. I recalled J.J’s words when she’d call to tell me she’d be late.  I was dismayed to realize her years in New Jersey were weighing heavy on her.

Jersey people always supplement their location with their exit on the NJ Turnpike


Or the Garden State Parkway

Garden State

My cousin lives in  Hazlet, but just in case you’re not sure, he’ll supplement it with Exit 117. When I used to summer  at the Jersey Shore,  if  you asked me where our group rental was, I’d say Manasquan (period). But if you’d asked one of my Jersey house-mates, they’d have said Manasquan, exit 98.

And so when Jackie explained “I’m still at Exit 11” I had not a clue and had to ask . Where  is that”

Just on case you’’re on the Turnpike  and looking for Woodbridge NJ.   It’s Exit 11.

A Tree Makes A Deal   3 comments

I’m back to anthropomorphizing nature. And that’s not a good thing. Humans are humans and nature is nature. I leave it up to you as to the state of my sanity. But some  things do make  you stop and wonder.  Previously I considered whether  there was such a thing as suicide in nature. Today I tackle fear. Can  tree fear  for his life, and can he bargain with me

It all began when I drove up the  road on my way home from work and noticed a huge biggie of a branch had fallen on the slope bordering my property. The good news – he showed consideration since his fall was  nowhere near the house and additional points in his favor – the fallen limb was not blocking the road,  so it called for no action on my part.


But what led me to my mental meandering is the  timing. You see,  my neighbor had contracted with  a tree cutting service  – a substantial one.  Most tree-cutting in the neighborhood take 2, maybe 3 hours. But I knew from day 1 this would be serious because  the company left  its truck in said neighborhoods driveway over night. Ditto for day 2.

The result:


No, that doesn’t really show you what occurred. This is more accurate.


And this:


So you see, what I,m thinking is that one of my trees, by dropping that dead branch, was panicking and sending me  a message. I will shed my excess baggage in a non-threatening manner if you promise to let me be.  Which tree? I think it was him.



 Is this a giveaway?


Although it does give me a bit of worry each time we have a  heavy snow storm or wind storm, or Lordy Ms Claudie, a hurricane , I’d never ever think of it. After all,  How long do you think he’s existed?

But I will let you in on a secret. There is one tree whose time may be limited. As I used to say when I was a wee one and had no choice but to obey the parental units. “I don’t wanna but I will. ” If you promise not to tell him, I’ll give you a peek . After all, his fate has not yet been decided. Why would I want to end his life? Well #1. He is alarmingly close to the house.But he’s a strong one. When I moved into the House of Mars 14 years ago, he wasn’t as tall as the house. So the sky’s the limit. Ha-ha The sky’s the limit. No pun was intended!


Three years ago, during early  spring , The snow was very wet, thus very heavy. He shed a 12 ft  limb right next to the house, not on the  house so I choose to see it as his care and consideration. So he still stands.


But there are some arguments against  him.  He has strange feathery leaves, and he chooses to shed them early; which is  right around now.

So I have to start Fall leaf patrol now because these whenever it rains suckers stick to my flip-flops but mysteriously lose their adhesiveness as soon as I go in side and end up plastered to  the white tiles in the dining room and kitchen necessitating clean up number two!


Also not in his favor – the  sidewalk he’s starting to bench press. I don’t want any visitors tripping.


What do you think ? For him?  Or against him?

Meanwhile If you ever come to the  House of Mars, watch your step on the walk.

Posted August 12, 2013 by virginiafair in Uncategorized

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Logan’s Run Syndrome   1 comment

I mentioned last post how the Brother’s Mar came very close to finding themselves outdoors. My fear was not that they were trying to escape but that they’d panic if they found themselves outside. Truth be told, many is the time I’ve had the door open wide as I bring groceries in, and they do not even venture anywhere near the threshold. They started life as  feral kittens in the city who had the good fortune to be trapped along with their mother and litter-mates by a rescue group.


Early into their lives in the House of Mars, each has found himself outside. I came home from work the first time to find a bedroom screen on the ground and a missing Marceau. Frantic searching and calling his name turned up nothing. Twenty four hours later I arrived home  to hear him crying under the deck. Was he there all the time? Only he knows.

A few months later I returned home to find the dining room screen on the deck; Marcel’s turn. Fortunately, or unfortunately he had timed his venture with the first thunderstorm of the summer. Down came the torrential rain, and in came Marcel, preceded by his pitiful yowling. No, outdoors is not their cup of tea. You might say they suffer from Logan’s Run Syndrome.

For those who don’t recall Logan’s Run, and that’s probably the majority of the population, let me fill you in. The movie was out in the summer of 1976.


The plot imagined a future where we lived underground in a hybrid shopping mall / airport concourse  / type structure.


Due to space  restrictions, residents were only allowed thirty years of life. At birth, everyone  had a clear crystal implanted in the palm of their hands, and as they approached thirty, it  began to acquire  a red glow, which come their thirtieth birthday, glowed like a stop signal which made it easy to be hunted down and exterminated.

I became obsessed with seeing it for two reasons. I would be turning thirty in December of that year and experience it while I was still in the glow of my twenties. Reason number two. Farah Fawcett ( I believe she was till the hyphenated  Fawcett-Majors)  was in it . This was the  height of the feathered hair craze she started, and I wanted to check mine against hers.  As it turned out she had a cameo as a hair dresser. But I’m glad I saw it because it had the line of the century.


With his palm  dangerously near to light up time, Logan and a young woman, (not Farah Fawcett-etc ) decide to make a run for  it.


Of course, they have no idea where they’re going but they do find a tunnel after an adventure worthy  of Mad Max or Indiana Jones.escape

They crawl through a  crypt-like Capitol Building in Washington DC, whose tables and chairs are strewn with cobwebs and populated by lounging cats in all states of repose.


Finally they find a cave-like opening to the Great outdoors where they experience fresh air and sunlight for the first time.


At this point the young lady turns to Logan and whines  ( and it was worth sitting through the whole dreadful movie,  just to hear)

“Logan, I hate outside.”