recuperating from stress or exhaustion

After an exceptionally long overwhelming drive, or any other prolonged source of aggravation, exhaustion and stress, I just like to hang around and to rest.   Conveniently there isn’t any one and only thing that gets me relaxed.     I don’t necessarily have to go directly to bed but I at least have to make sure that I don’t have anything extra on my schedule.     Coffee always helps too.   Unfortunately I don’t ever get to have any before a significant trip because it always drives me crazy.     I have certain extremely seriously annoying problems under those circumstances.   If I have no place else to go, though, I can have some and it makes me feel so especially nice.     I often read too, or spend time online.   These days I spend a lot of time reading online anyway.      Another thing that keeps me relaxed is practicing my guitar.   Conveniently with all my distinctive interests, there are several sources of rest and relaxation I can resort to.    There’s one last thing i simply must explain quite clearly: I’ve absolutely never been able to stand the telephone so I make sure I avoid it entirely no matter what.     


the week in review

The past week has been very good but quite uneventful.    I see absolutely no reason whatsoever to be even the least bit afraid to relive it, but there’s no reason to be insatiably interested in going back to it either.   I’m simply enjoying all the nice summer heat.    I only got a slight headache one day so I could most certainly do without that.    Bridget and Sam are constantly playing music full blast unfortunately on their stereos, and he even plays his guitar too loud.   That’s always a major problem during the course of any week around here anyway.    Perhaps I should have gone to the beach, right down the street, a bit more frequently.   Sam said that he’ll never been able to get over the fact that I’ve lived so close to water-Long Island’s canals and South Bay, and the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania-ever since I was  twelve years old and I haven’t been absolutely constantly at the beach.    I’m most certainly quite happy, of course, that the past week has brought with it no major trouble for me.    The minor annoyances have been harmless and I haven’t been in any trouble.    I’ve been trying yet again to figure out James Joyce’s “Ulysses” because Bloomsday was a few days ago.     Although I should really like to see many weeks that are quite similar to this past week, there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever to zero in on this one specifically.

musical tension

Having studied classical and baroque mandolin and guitar for ten years under the best professors at the New England Conservatory of Music I knew I was ready. Here I am, though, playing a duet, Weiss’ “Fantasia In C minor”, at Lincoln Center with Professor Ennio Baggiagalupe, a student of the great Segovia. Now we’re only practicing backstage but soon we shall be forced to face an audience of snooty longhairs. Baggiagalupe, the Maestro, is such a merciless taskmaster. The ticking of the clock is too loud and slow. There’s no turning back.

s.a.t.u.r.d.a.y night!

Saturday night has always been such an exceptionally nice quiet relaxed time for me.   Unlike earlier decades there’s nothing especially good to watch on television.    I’ve never been in the habit of going to parties.     For some reason I don’t even think I’ve been missing out on anything anyway.  Although I can quite thoroughly enjoy the occasional Saturday night party-there’s no rule against inviting me to a party-my typical Saturday night is just quietly sitting around without any specific plans, simply taking each thing as it comes my way.    Sometimes I watch a DVD.   Everyone knows how I’ve always so thoroughly enjoyed old television shows and movies.    Lately I’ve really been getting exceptionally interested in my computer too.    The internet is quite a weakness of mine.   As anyone can see, after having gotten to know me, I’ve always had quite an obnoxious side.   On Saturday nights, though, I can be quite quiet and inconspicuous.   saturdayI can take advantage of the nice relaxed quite atmosphere and circumstances by playing the guitar, drinking tea, or perhaps reading a book or periodical.     Now that I have to spend so much time with Mary Anne, Steve and Bridget, they may want to do something every once in a while.   I occasionally get mixed up with them for certain kinds of things.    One weekend, a few months ago, Mary Anne, Steve and I, along with Mark, Laura and a few other people, even spent both Friday and Saturday in Manhattan.   I’m most certainly not entirely averse to something like that.    As a change of pace it’s exceptionally interesting.    It would drive me nuts, though, if it ever were to happen on a regular basis.    I’ve been noticing over the years that I quite enjoy an occasional trip like that.    Unlike many people, though,  I have absolutely no patience whatsoever with the kind of lifestyle that would involve something like that on a regular basis.    I realize that there are very many people who thrive on constant activity of that nature.    I’ve most certainly done my share of trying to keep up with the party animals in my crowd.   It’s quite a bit more trouble than it’s worth though.    Just let me have a lot of time to hang around and relax, with only occasional spurts of activity for a change of pace.   That, and finishing it up with an early bedtime, can make for a fine Saturday.


they call me mellow yellow, quite rightly

After a long hard day, or whenever I have free time available, I often like just to relax for a while by not bothering to do anything.     Lately I haven’t been in the habit of watching television, though sometimes I watch a few “Seinfeld” reruns with Steve.    Most of the shows I watch are old.  As a general rule I watch decades-old reruns on METV, or one of my DVDs.   I haven’t set food into a movie theatre in quite a long time but I’ve seen a lot of very good movies on DVDs.   Frequently I get something to eat, and I most especially enjoy coffee or tea.    I was always really active in the parishes I was in before I came to Long Beach so I can soon start getting involved in St. Mary of the Isle too.     Reading and writing invariably do me quite a world of good.   Ever since I got started on writing blogs I’ve been trying to write at least a significant amount each day.   I especially enjoy interactive sites like and  because I get to read other people’s blogs and to get a lot of feedback about mine, from them.   We exchange quite a lot of constructive criticism.   Now everyone knows about my conservative worldview and obnoxious sense of humor.     Besides that I also read constantly.   I read quite a lot of classic prose and poetry, theology and philosophy, and many periodicals I get through the mail and online.    It’s April now so I have to figure out whether there’s a Barnes and Noble close to here so I can renew my card.   It expires at the end of the month.   I use it to get a ten per cent discount on each purchase.   As everyone knows I’ve always been quite smitten with music, especially from the 1960’s though now that I can listen to online sites I get more easily to hear quite an exceptionally wide variety of styles.    That’s a perfect form of relaxation for me.    Lately I’ve really been practicing the guitar quite conscientiously.    Of course a top contender for my favorite way to relax and to get away from pressure is simply not to bother with anything or anyone.   I truly enjoy peace and quiet for its own sake.    Since unwelcome noise has always driven me crazy,  the ideal way for me to relax is merely not to bother to do anything specific.    Just hanging around and minding my own business alwaysrelax does me quite a world of good.    Solitude keeps me happy and sane.   Under those really quiet isolated circumstances I don’t necessarily bother either to do or to think of anything specific.   I just hang around.   Lately since I don’t have a car available, I walk back and forth to Mass each morning.    That’s turning out to be quite an especially beneficial experience for me.    The nice weather, combined with the ability just to hang around alone for a while, besides providing me with quite a significant amount of exercise, really keeps me relaxed.    Conveniently it’s never been unavoidably necessary for me to have only one specific thing in order to relax.   I’m flexible enough that all these circumstances work out well for me.

the music man


Because I was born in September of 1959, the first decade of my lifetime was virtually precisely coeval with the 1960’s.    Musically and otherwise the 1960’s have made quite an indelible mark upon my lifetime.    My childhood was filled with all sorts of musical influences.    I was four and a half years old when the Beatles first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show”.    To this day they’re still undeniably my absolute favorites.     That era was known for musical variety shows like “Sing Along With Mitch”, “Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour “, and “The Dean Martin Show”, among several others.     As a kid I was always smitten with the sounds of  songs like Petula Clark’s “Downtown”,   Zager and Evans’ “In the Year 2525”, and  Mary Hopkin’s “Those Were the Days”.    Whenever I’d go to a doctor’s office I’d keep obsessing over songs like Percy Faith’s “Theme From ‘A Summer Place'” and Mason Williams’   “Classical Gas”,  among others that were played in waiting rooms.    The folk, jazz, country and other musical styles of that era have always been quite a major love of my life.    Although I’ve never been even the least bit willing to humor the liberals, I’ve even  always  thoroughly enjoyed the protest songs of that era.     Along with all that I made sure I joined the glee club at my grammar school, St. Gabriel’s in East Elmhurst, as soon as I was old enough.    Brother Edmond and Brother James, of the De la Salle Christian Brothers, taught us all the then-current popular songs as well as Christmas and Easter songs and show tunes.   Brother James played the guitar quite well and Brother Edmond, with his fine baritone voice, sang an exceptional version of “Edelweiss(Blossom of Snow)”  from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music”.     I even took guitar lessons for a while at one of the local public schools, P.S. 127.    My parents were always quite happy to humor my sister and me about our tastes in music.   They enjoyed country music, Edith Piaf and other standards they grew up with so that widened my horizons even more.     Eventually the 1960′ s became the 1970’s.   That era started out fairly well with  Carole King’s “Tapestry” as well as James Taylor, Led Zeppelin and a few other holdovers from the 1960’s.    Eventually, though, disco started to become popular.   My teenage years saw the rise of tacky styles in music and dress.    There were good singers and bands too, though, like the Doobie Brothers, Elton John, Grand Funk and a few others.    In my imagination, though, gone forever were the days when everything musical was perfect.    Even most of  the then-current music I listened to generally tended to be the latest album by someone like Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin (a variation of the Yardbirds).    I had become such a musical snob and purist.    I continuously picked fights with all the kids in school, as well as the public school kids, defending my claim that even in the best of 1970’s music, there was something missing compared to that of the previous decade.      Unfortunately I’ve never been terribly comptetent musically.   My strengths seem to lie more in writing and story telling.    Maybe that’s why I’ve always so thoroughly enjoyed the songs of the 1960’s.     It was an era that included songs like Joan Baez’s “So We’ll Go No More A-Roving”, based on a poem by Lord Byron, Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus” , based on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland”, and Yoko Ono’s “Who Has Seen the Wind”, based on a Christina Rossetti poem.       The music I grew up with has profoundly influenced both my adult musical tastes and even my entire life in general.    Although the singers and musicians of my early days could never possibly get me to agree with their liberal political and social agenda, they’ve most certainly shaped my imagination and given me ideas and interest which I may never have otherwise gotten.


Source: via Emily on Pinterest

Steve’s fiftieth birthday is tomorrow so my parents, Fran , Lisa & I went to Long Beach on Friday to attend his party.  Fortunately there was only a little too much trouble with traffic in Douglaston on Friday & absolutely none whatsoever yesterday.    Mary Anne, his mother, & the kids arranged a really nice time for one & all.  His family, as well as friends of his & Mary Anne’s from work & their neighborhood were there.   Jonathan & Maria were there too.  They remembered me.  Jonathan even said he remembered me because of my guitar & my lifelong obsession with John Lennon.  One of the major disadvantages of a party like that is that I always make quite sure I eat & drink entirely too much for my own good.     Mary Anne & Steve recently got a dog, a mixed~breed terrier named Sadie.  It’s really nice & quiet.  I have never liked animals but I don’t mind having it around because it’s so exceptionally well~behaved.   It was abused by a previous owner.    In certain ways Long Island has changed quite a bit since I lived there so it was very interesting for me to be able to check out all the new things that have been going on around there.   The Sunrise Mall in Massapequa is under new management.    The shopping center where Barnes & Noble & Tower Records once were is now entirely different.   Mark & Laura were their with their kids.  So were Frank & Tillie with their kids.    I was especially happy to see Gary & Maria, & Larry & Rose & their son Eddie.    Right before the party my parents & I, along with Larry & Rose, went over to Amityville to visit Aunt Norma.   Maria showed up while we were there.    Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the Carmelite meeting, so I left a message with Barbara’s husband asking him to explain my circumstances.   I also called Donna asking her to cover for me because I was supposed to lector at 4:00 Mass on Saturday.