Friday, December 09, 2005

Hi guys!

I've been trying to pull together a second e-mail for everyone but a blog seems like it might be more fun. With a blog, I can write a small amount of stuff when it's fresh and you can have a look, well, whenever. (I promise-- no quizzes!)

Elusive Cows

Well, I'm striking out with the cows so far. Last e-mail, I had found a dairy farm to do some volunteer work on, but I had to pass on that one as they also raised veal. I haven't eaten veal in 25 years, so being around even a partial veal farm was not something I wanted to do.

After that farm, I found another dairy farm owned by a retired orthopedic surgeon. I left my information with him (a week or so before Thanksgiving) but he hasn't responded yet. I'm surprised because he was rather enthusiastic about it. Perhaps soon.

Soup Kitchen

In the mean time, I hooked up with a local "Food Bank" in Poughkeepsie on a volunteer basis and went in for my second shift yesterday (Thursday). What a terrific experience it's been so far! To be doing something useful, for no compensation, I wish I had discovered this years ago! I plan on doing it on a weekly basis for the near future. Will have more on this next time.

(Four's) Company

Well, a few changes here. In addition to Ken, the owner of the house, I now have two additional roommates. "Gary" has taken the spare bedroom and "Anthony" has taken the attic apartment. Anthony works with Ken at the real estate office and Gary is a manager at the Food Bank where I am volunteering. Ken introduced me to Gary a few weeks ago. That's how I caught the idea of volunteering at the Food Bank. Ken volunteers there sometimes too.

Music-wise, everyone has their own niche. Anthony listens to a lot of Motown and Broadway, Gary plays a lot of Shirley Bassey and Fleetwood Mac, Ken listens to tons of country western and sappy 70s love songs, and I usually have on a great radio station out of Woodstock (WDST 100.1 FM) that the word "eclectic" doesn't begin to describe. Everyone has headphones as well so it all goes smoothly.

Everything seems to be working so far (there are three bathrooms!). With the addition of Christmas coming, the expected "honeymoon period" of living together is clicking along. There's now a monster Christmas tree in the hallway, four stockings on the fireplace, and Anthony decorated the entire living room with all kinds of colorful Christmas things.

A Little Pudgy

With three Italians in this house, and one "honorary Italian" by way of South Korea, everyone here likes to eat. Someone is always bringing something in, or making something for everyone! Couple this with less walking now that's it's colder outside, and I'm feeling a bit thick around the middle!

The Tale of Festivus

"Festivus", Ken's cat who I mentioned last e-mail, has such a terrific, easygoing personality. But since my last e-mail I discovered just HOW Ken came to own Festivus.

Several years ago a young girl came to the front door with a small black kitten in her hand. She said to Ken that the kitten was wandering around Ken's front yard and did he know who the owner was. Ken said he'd never seen the kitten before but that he would keep it if she didn't want it herself. The girl said she couldn't keep it so Ken took it.

Cut to two years later.

Over time, and by way of neighborhood chatter, it was discovered that the young girl had stopped at 5 other houses on the block that day with the same "lost kitten" story- but with a different kitten each time!

End result- the girl got rid of her unwanted litter of kittens and it was learned why Festivus spends so much time visiting all the neighbors. She's visiting her brothers and sisters!

New Film

I've been trying to catch-up on the zillions of films that I've missed the last five years or so. I may be the last person to hear of these films, but if not, here's some suggestions (beware of "spoilers" in the links!):

"Garden State"
Just see this film!

"Around the Bend"
A kid, a father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather come together for a roadtrip, of sorts. This is not just a "buddy movie". It transcends to all audiences. Required viewing for Christopher Walken fans. And Michael Caine is priceless. Very funny. Very touching.

"The Off Season"

The reviewer on hated this film. I liked it. It's an extremely creepy ghost story starring one of my favorite actors Larry Fessenden. I didn't like the ending very much though and felt a bit cheated. See this film only if you want a good "creep out", but are okay without a satisying ending.

"Turtles Can Fly"
The first film made in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Produced in the Kurdish north, the film centers on a kid named "Satellite" who earns the name from his ability to install satellite dishes so the village elders can watch the war. The film features mostly non-actor Kurdish children playing themselves. Heartbreaking, funny, an incredible film.

New Music

Want to expand your Ipod a little? Here's some songs you might want to give a listen to:

Kristen Hersh "Your Dirty Answer"
Required listening if you're a fan of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain". This song has a twist though.

Everclear "Brown-Eyed Girl"
A song so heavily identified with Van Morrison, it's tough to believe that anyone could cover it and actually add something to the song. These guys do in an ingenius kind of way. While respecting the original version, they infuse their own take on the song- and the whole thing works wonderfully! You won't be disappointed!

Michael Stipe (w/Natalie Merchant) "Photograph"
If you're a fan of REM, or Michael Stipe, you might also wind up wondering why this song didn't get more airplay and become a major hit.

Mick Jagger (w/Dave Stewart) "Old Habits Die Hard"
When was the last time Mick Jagger made you feel pain in your heart? In this song, he will. I've made copies of this song for several people so far and each one has had the same reaction. They loved it. It just might be impossible NOT to be affected by this song.

Adam Sandler "Werewolves of London"
Sandler plays it straight while still having fun with the song. The instrumentation is a bit different from the original but it's a ball to listen to! This song is on the Warren Zevon tribute CD "Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon".


Once again, "transition" is very much a part of life these days but I'm feeling more settled-in every month. I've met some people here that I very much enjoy spending time with, I seem to be establishing roots, and I can't wait to spend time on some of the water in the area this coming Summer.

This Blog

By the way, the name of this blog is taken from the Neil Young song "Comes a Time". It's always been a favorite. I hope a bit of the spirit of the song is here as well.

So, this is basically a running journal that you're invited to stop in and read. Starting a new life, in a new area, I suppose I need the extra connectivity right now. And you'll get to read what's been happening if we go a little while without seeing each other or talking on the phone.

Ducks vs. Penguins

Geez I almost forgot! Here's a "Ducks vs. Penguins" soccer game! This will need a high speed connection and turn on your speakers!:


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