songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Neighbor disputes

Don’t you just love interesting neighbors?

House A belongs to a professional landscaper.  Absolutely gorgeous landscaping.  He did so much with his 6,000 square feet.  He’s even got a huge above-ground pool in the back yard.

A beautiful stockade fence separates House A from House B.  The fence was erected by the owner of House A.

Apparently the fence was erected for the sole benefit of the occupants of House A, to keep the neighbors out.  Apparently the residents of House B do not deserve the same consideration.

For example, when that lovely pool was installed, the workmen were encouraged to find the outdoor water faucet at a House B and attach hoses, so that the pool would fill twice as fast.

Some very ugly black piping — probably from the pool filter or heater — was laid on the ground, on House B’s side of the fence.

And more recently, the landscaper has ventured in to House B’s yard to prune and cut trees and shrubs whose leaves were falling into the lovely pool.  What was left after he finished the job was unsightly, to say the least.  Ugly, barren, ruined, horrifying..., House B’s residents and guests had to look at that mess all summer.

Would it be terribly evil if the residents of House B put up some of their own fencing, included a “No Trespassing” sign, and planted some lovely flowers along the fence to hide the ugly pipes?

I was thinking giant sunflowers.  They only grow to about six feet tall.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Escaping to Margaritaville

So I’m a Jimmy Buffet fan.    Back in 2009 I won tickets to his concert at Madison Square Garden, and had so much fun ... We saw him at Jones Beach the following summer, and the summer after that, and the one after that ...

We stopped going to the Jones Beach concerts, though, because ...well, the first time we went to Jones Beach, the tailgating was amusing.  But as the number of tailgaters increased, parking for the concert became an incredibly frustrating experience.

Well, Jimmy decided he wanted to expand his sphere of influence, and decided he wanted to try writing a musical for the Broadway stage.  Jukebox musicals are very popular right now.

We saw Escape to Margaritaville last night.  It was an enjoyable evening.

The show is playing at the Marquis Theater, the only Broadway theater that is actually inside a hotel (the Marriot Marquis). You enter the theater from the hotel’s second floor lobby.  The area in front of the theater entrance was decorated to look like a tiki bar.

The theme carries over to the bar inside the theater.

Had to have a pina colada in a souvenir cup.

The show is ...well...a bit contrived.  If you’ve read any of Jimmy’s fiction you’ll recognize the characters.  And it’s a simple boy meets girl plot.  But I often got the feeling that the dialogue was just a device to set up the next song.

I can see why the show didn’t get any Tony nominations.

Still, I love the music.  The singers and dancers were excellent.  Overall an enjoyable experience.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Bad weather, bad mood, and many minor annoyances

So it rained Friday, and the monsoon hit Saturday.  Not a great start to a weekend.

I’ve been meaning to go to Verizon, the Bluetooth in my cell phone is all wonky, but I never made it there this weekend.

And did I mention I cracked the screen on the iPad?

My Firestick went all weird on me.  Then it dawned on me that a Firestick is just a small computer.  Cleared the cache, and now I’m ok.

But the remote for the TV is wonky now, and probably needs to be replaced.

Here in New York we have a bottle deposit law.  When you buy soda or other similar beverages, you must leave a five cent deposit for each bottle or can, e.g. a six pack would require a 30 cent deposit.  Most supermarkets have an area set aside for recycling machines; you place the bottles or cans into the machine, and the machine prints a voucher which can be used towards your purchases in the store.  On Saturday I returned about $4 in bottles and cans, but when I ran into the store to buy a few things, I forgot to use the vouchers.

I also forgot to bring my own bags.  I live in Suffolk County, where the law requires supermarkets to charge five cents for each bag, so now cashiers are expected to bag your groceries before they total your order, so they can add the cost of the bags to your order.

But the good news...I am trying to declutter, and while going through some stuff, I found a necklace I thought I’d lost, one with a lot of sentimental vale.

Then I lost my favorite ring, the one Drew bought in St. Maarten on one of our cruises.  It was on a table in my bedroom, I accidentally knocked over the table.  Spent 20 minutes on my hands and knees looking for the ring, without success.

Then, when I came upstairs to go to bed, I found the ring.  It was on the other side of the room, far away from the table.

So I guess things are starting to turn around,

Friday, May 18, 2018

skyline and bridge -- #skywatchfriday

NYC skyline at dusk, as seen from the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn.

And my favorite bridge.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday HodgePodge

The weekly questions from Joyce.

1. What would you say is your biggest day to day challenge?

  Keeping all the plates spinning.    Keeping all the balls in the air.  Trying not to drop the ball.

2. May 16th is National Biographers Day. What's a biography you really enjoyed reading? Is this a genre you read regularly?

Not a biography per se, but I read Anne Frank's diary when I was a teen.  Her optimism and belief in the goodness of man ... in the face of unspeakable horror had a profound effect on me.

3. How important is keeping a clean house? Do you need to de-clutter your life?

My house, and my life, are extremely cluttered and in need of some serious attention.

4. You're the 8th dwarf. What's your name?

Just call me Stressed Out.

5. What's surprised you the most about your life or life in general?

If you'd asked me when  I was 25 what my life would be like in my 50's, the answer you would have gotten hardly resembles my reality.  But it's ok.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I am stressed, tired, cranky, aggravated, and certainly not at my best right now.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Cinco de Mayo fun

Had a great time at a local Mexican place for Cinco de Mayo.

Meet my new friend.

Here we are together.

There was a mariachi band, too.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

At the ballet

So last week I went to the ballet.

 It was a salute to Jerome Robbins and Leonard Bernstein, who both had long careers with the NYC Ballet before and after their fame on Broadway.

There were three dances.  The first was "Fancy Free".  It's 1944 and three sailors are on shore leave in NYC.  If that sounds familiar...well, you've seen their musical, On the Town.

The third dance was actually a suite of dances from one of my favorite musicals, West Side Story.  Of course I enjoyed the performance.  The dancing was amazing.

The second dance was unlike the first or the third. "The Dybukk", based on a Yiddish play, is about a dybukk, an evil spirit, who possesses a bride to be.  It is full of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalistic imagery, including two singers who perform Hebrew prayers.

The symbol chosen to represent the entire performance, pictured below, is a representation of a magical, mystic incantation invoking one of the Kabbalist names of G-d.  The design represents the infinite nature of the divine.  Very intriguing,

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