songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, February 15, 2019

#skywatchfriday -- sunrise in the woods

The woods behind my house...


Thursday, February 14, 2019

another this and that

Well, it's Valentine's Day again.  Drew and I officially got engaged on Valentine's Day in 1986.  Ironically, our divorce became final ten years later, on February 14, 1996.  Since we've been back together, we try to remember that first occasion and not the second.

And yes, our daughters think we are crazy.

Jen and I are going to the gym tonight, a little mother-daughter bonding on the treadmill.  Her boyfriend has school tonight.  He's studying nursing, wants to be an RN.  Smart man.

More aggravation with My Stupid Knee: the bureaucratic nonsense I have to endure so that the pharmacy ships my medication to my doctor knows no bounds.  What are they shipping, gold?  platinum?  diamonds?  Makes me roll my eyes.

It's going to be a very full weekend.  Lots of plans.  We're seeing Spamalot  Sunday night, and we've got reservations at a couple of nice restaurants. 

Then on Tuesday we're going to the accountant to do our taxes.  Ugh.  I'm not counting on a refund.  As long as I don't find myself owing money to the IRS, I'll be just fine. 

My newest toy:

Canon Powershot SX530 HS 16MP Wi-Fi Super-Zoom Digital Camera 50x Optical Zoom Ultimate Bundle Includes Deluxe Camera Bag, 32GB Memory Card, Extra Battery, Tripod, Card Reader, HDMI Cable & More

Yes, my phone takes decent photos, but I wanted something more.  It's not the fanciest camera, but it looks like it will be fun to use.  The camera arrived yesterday, and I can't wait to start playing with it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wednesday medley

Terri's questions this week:

1.  I think St. Valentine's Day is for everyone, whether you have a romantic love interest or not.  I received a Valentine card from my sister (thank you Patti!) - case in point.  It is all about LOVE, not just romantic love.  What are your traditions for celebrating Valentine's Day?

Yes, the focus of the holiday does seem to be on romance, but when my daughters were little I used to give them cards and candy. 

I don't have any real traditions.  My boyfriend likes to take me out for a  romantic dinner.   This year we decided to wait until the weekend, so tomorrow night I'll be at the gym with my older daughter; her boyfriend has classes tomorrow night, so we're making it a "girls' night"  of sorts.

2.  When you were in elementary school, did you decorate a shoe box and deliver those little valentines to all your classmates?   Perhaps in Sunday School?

I don't remember a shoebox, but yes, we always had a party at school, exchanged cards and ate lots of candy.

3.  Do you enjoy playing Cupid?  Have you ever introduced a couple who really clicked?
Nope, I don't play matchmaker.  Playing with matches a girl can get burned.(You knew there'd be a Fiddler on the Roof quote in here somewhere.)
4.  Which traditional Valentine's Day gift would you rather receive:  Chocolate, flowers, or a card with a personal message?
My boyfriend is big on buying cards and candy.  I seldom get flowers from him, or from anyone else.  I think I'd like to get more flowers.
5.  What is the best movie to watch on Valentine's Day?
Casablanca.  We'll always have Paris.
6.  Tell us something random about your week!
Not Valentine's Day related, but I do get to see some interesting things on my way to work.  Last week I saw TV production trailers parked on Water Street, the sign said Blacklist was filming.   
This week the trailers are gone, and in the same spot I saw this guy:
This rat has been a NYC union tradition for awhile now.  I'm curious if he makes appearances elsewhere in the country.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


We’ll call him Jack, though that’s not his real name.  He’s a friend of a friend.

He’s 63 years ol, but looks older.  Gray hair, gray beard, weathered face.still dresses like the “hippie” he was in his youth — jeans, boots, a t shirt from a classic rock band, a bandanna tied around his head.  You can just imagine him sharing a smoke with Jerry Garcia.

He’s twice divorced, with grown kids from his first marriage , so he’s basically on his own. He supports himself with his Social  Security benefits and a low-paying job sweeping up and running errands.

A few years ago he suffered a stroke, which as left him with significant cognitive impairment.

Last year Jack ran into a bit of legal trouble.  He was summoned to jury duty, and one of his friends told him "You don't have to go, I'll take care of it."  She didn't "take care of it."  He got several additional notices from the Commissioner of Jurors, which he gave to his friend, who did nothing.  Then he got a notice threatening him with arrest, and he was scared.

So I went to court with him, and explained to the clerk that Jack should be exempt from jury duty because of his post-stroke impairments. 

One note from his doctor, and Jack no longer has to worry about being summoned for jury duty. 

I still want to kill his "friend", she could have saved him a lot of grief if she'd sent the doctor's note when Jack brought her the first jury summons.

Last week, Jack told me he had another problem, he needed my help again.  His Social Security checks are direct deposited into his bank account.  Last week he went to the bank to withdrw the money, and found out his bank account was frozen.

Apparently he owes thousands of dollars to the neurologist who treated him when he had the stroke.  the neurologist has a judgement against him, and filed a lien against the bank account.

As an attorney, I'm curious to know how that happened, since Jack never got any legal papers from the doctor's lawyers.   But nevertheless, the lien was filed, and Jack can't get his Social Security money out of the bank.

First order of business is for Jack to go to Social Security and cancel direct deposit — that’s something you can’t do on line (I know, I tried.). And then I'm sending him to a free legal clinic to see if they can help him get out from under the judgment.

What is wrong with this country anyhow?  The amount Jack owes the doctor is at least  2-3 times what Jack earns in a year, maybe more.  And Jack tells me he had medical insurance... It's just crazy.

And there's more.

Jack smokes.  He's been smoking cigarettes since his teens.  He went to the doctor a few weeks ago about a persistent cough....he had a biopsy, and the results are not good.  He was recently hospitalized...

I am so worried for him.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Music Monday

For this week's blog hop, we're told to choose whatever songs we want.

Since Thursday is Valentine's Day, I've chosen some love songs.

Let's start with some Blondie:

And move on to Freddy Mercury -- yes, I love Queen.

How about some Styx?

And let's finish it off with some Fleetwood Mac

No, wait....let's do a bonus hit. 

How about some Barbra?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bob Howard’s. — some photos

Bob Howard's General Store

So who knew a postcard could cause so much excitement?

It can when the postcard looks like this:

Bob Howard's General Store is a retro candy store.  They sell toys and "old candy", i.e., items that were common in the 1950's and 1960's, but are difficult to find these days. 

Drew has been a loyal customer for years, but I went to Bob Howard's for the first time last February.  You can read  my post  here.  I wound up with an assortment of candy that included  Mallomars, Sugar Daddy, Sugar Babies, Bonomo Turkish Taffy, a candy necklace, Good & Fruity, Bottlecaps ...

Our visit last year coinsided with "free egg cream day."  An egg cream is a beverage that was once popular in the candy stores and lunchonettes of New York City. It's made by mixing Fox's U-Bet Syrup (no other chocolate syrup will do) with cold milk and seltzer.  It's very frothy, very refreshing, and very nostalgic. 

Well, a day or so after I received my birthday card, Bob Howard's posted on its Facebook page that the annual "free egg cream" day would take place on Saturday February 9.

It was a bit chaotic in the store. Customers were treated to free egg creams, gummy bears, pretzel rods, and popcorn served from an old fashioned vending machine — the young woman serving the popcorn kept feeding dimes into the machine. I picked out a lot of nostalgia ina candy wrapper — a Sugar Daddy pop, Bonomo Turkish Taffy, Charms, rock candy. When I paid for my candy, the owner added a few additional items — gummy butterflies, a Mallowmar, a candy necklace, and Necco conversation hearts. And for my birthday, a wooden triangle game. It felt like I’d knocked five decades off my age.

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