Monthly Archives: December 2013

From Rebecca: Joe the Mimic put on another performance of KISS songs

Last Friday, December 20, 2013, Joe gave us another performance of air guitar, air drums, lip-syncing, and singing KISS songs in the community room of Addison Court. He did a great job. We remembered to use Gatorade this time, so he did not get dehydrated like the last concert. Joe was once again his persona, the Mimic. Like last time, Joe arranged with a stylist to have his Mimic face make-up and black fingernail polish put on before the 1:00 pm concert, but this time the stylist couldn’t do it. Joe went up there without make-up – The Mimic Unmasked – like the KISS band in the 80s!

Each table had copies of the playlist. Joe greeted the crowd and pointed out that several of the songs in his line-up were new, songs he had not yet done in any concert. This included his first two songs, “Creatures of the Night” and “King of the Night Time World.” He moved from playing one musician to another, literally moving in the performance space, from left stage for one guitarist to right stage for another, to center stage for the lead singer, to sitting down back stage for the drummer. He would move from one position to another within each song, which kept the audience engaged. Some of the other songs on the playlist were “All American Man”, “I Stole Your Love”, “Firehouse”, “The Oath”, “Move On”, and “Shandi.” His final two songs were “Rock ‘N Roll All Nite” and “Black Diamond.”

During the intermission, a friend of Joe’s performed. Terry started at the piano, singing Christmas carols and taking requests. The audience was encouraged to join in to sing the familiar classics, especially “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Then Terry read one of the poems he has written, titled “The Christmas Star”, about the night Jesus Christ was born. It was touching and inspirational.

Then Joe was back for the second half of the show. Sometimes singing, sometimes lip-syncing, sometimes lead vocal, sometimes back-up vocals, arms always moving with air guitar or air drums, he put so much energy into each song. He filled the room with rock and roll.

Joe had photographs taken of the show and we wanted to have some photos in this blog entry. But, Greg Brown shot over a thousand photographs and downloaded them on Joe’s flash drive. We tried to go through them today, but that is a lot of photos and we ran out of time. We will have some photos up in the gallery soon, probably next week. We picked out a number to choose from already, but have a lot more to go.

Joe told me he didn’t do a good job on a few songs, which bothers him, but he sounded great to me. Rock on, Joe!

I had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas

Greetings, readers. I had an unusually festive and rewarding Christmas Eve. Not only did I do exactly what I wanted to do, but thanks to a service called Zipcar, I was once again able to fulfill my traditional annual light ride around the State College area. As a lot of you know, this tradition dates back to my childhood and is most important to me. I reminisced about Mom and Dad, and the Christmases we shared. Four years ago, I had to do it on a bus on Christmas Eve eve. That went okay until the bus driver asked me aren’t you getting off anywhere? It became horribly awkward as I explained to him that I was looking at the Christmas lights and just waiting for the bus to get back into town. Last year I rented a car from a more traditional company, paid lots of money, got a great car, but thanks to a snow storm the day after Christmas, almost got charged an arm and a leg extra. This year, with my Zipcar membership, I was able to rent the vehicle for only the number of hours I needed it; and even though I extended my reservation, because my friend wanted to find a place to eat, it was still a lot cheaper.

Christmas Day got off to a late start for me and I did not watch the yule log on one of the local TV channels. Netflix has a very similar burning fireplace with Christmas music tracks, so I could start it whenever I wanted, and I watched it about 11:00 am. Keekee and I had a very nice Christmas morning together, and then out of sheer habit I went to Panera cafe and realized as I was approaching the door that they were closed.

After resting in the early afternoon, I used another Zipcar vehicle – they have several in town – to spend some time with Godmother. It was a truly cherished visit, since I don’t know how many more holidays I will have with her. After that it was Christmas dinner at, of all places, McDonald’s. It was the only place open. When I got home at 5:00, I had some eggnog, played some PS3 Football, and took a nap. Along with writing emails and Facebook messages to family and friends, and of course the phone calls, I deemed Christmas 2013 a good solid 9.5 out of 10 for me.

Next Wednesday, Rebecca and I are going to have a half day, leaving me time to watch a parade and perhaps the first half of a football game. That will be after I enjoy the New Year’s Eve activities. I will be watching the ball drop in New York City, on the show Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. As many of you know, this is another of my many traditions; I always like to ring in the New Year with Dick Clark’s show. I might even get myself a bottle of sparkling cider and pretend it is champagne.

We are planning to write a blog tomorrow about my performance last Friday, which turned out to be called The Mimic Unmasked. More on that tomorrow. We plan to add photos too, if we can get that to work. So the blog entry might not be posted until close to 3:00 pm. Until then, take care, stay warm, be well, and happy reading.

Snowy start to the winter

Greetings, readers. I live directly across from a parking garage. The other day we had a six-inch snow storm. The following morning I watched snow removal crews quickly try to remove snow from the roof parking area. I wondered what the hurry was. That evening I got my answer. State College received another two inches of snow.

In this age of global warming and climate change, winters here in Central Pennsylvania have not been what I remember as a kid; very cold and very snowy. This year, however, at least for now, it appears that the jet stream is in just the right spot for storms to start on the west coast, dump lots of snow on Denver, continue on in the plains, get more moisture somewhere and deposit that on us. To make a long story short, we have had three snowfalls in three weeks. I’m not happy.

Usually I do not write a blog about the weather, but with my performance coming up on Friday and other personal things going on, I’ve not had time to make a good top ten list or dive into any other topic. After Friday, we will all be able to get back to normal.

Next week, either Rebecca or both of us will let you know how the show turned out. Until soon, take care, have a great day, stay warm, and happy reading.

One week to go until show day

Greetings, readers. I will be doing what is turning out to be my semi-annual show for the residents of my apartment building, a week from today, at 1 p.m. So far rehearsing has gotten off to a very slow start, with not as much progress as I would like. Luckily, all the songs I am doing are from my favorite band, so I should be okay.

Yes, at 1 p.m. next Friday, the 20th, Joe, AKA the Mimic, will perform 21 KISS songs in a show that should last just over 2 hours with a break. Two friends of mine are going to provide what I call half-time entertainment, by singing Christmas carols while I rest and drink Gatorade. I have come to enjoy these shows much more than I ever thought that I would. I am generally a shy person, but under the right circumstances it seems I can be drawn out of my shell. This all started at a friend’s party with a DJ where I sang up to 20 songs Karaoke-style. I learned that these nice folks here at the apartment building like to be entertained and don’t really care if I don’t sing like Frank Sinatra. The motto is just do the best you can.

Since I have been fighting a head cold/sinus infection the last few weeks, my energy has been drained. I should be much more prepared than I am, but we shall see how it goes. I would hate to cancel it at this late stage, but I must be able to breath properly when exerting myself like this.

A slight notation about the weather here in Central PA. It has gotten colder in the last few days and we have had a number of snow storms varying in intensity. Another one is scheduled for tomorrow into Sunday morning. I shall keep my fingers crossed that Thursday night into Friday the weather holds up. I’m hoping to have folks come from out of town to see the show. But of course I would not want them to have to traverse in bad weather.

As for next week, we will have a blog entry of some kind up on Wednesday as usual. From there we will see. It will be a workday Thursday and then show day next Friday. So please readers, wish me luck, keep your fingers crossed. Have a wonderful weekend, stay safe, and happy reading.

Photos of my father in the Gallery

Greetings, readers. Today was spent finding and uploading photos of my dad. Several people have asked for them and I think putting them in the gallery of this blog is the easiest and best way to oblige. This is only a first step. For those who wish to have actual copies, I can still get them scanned and sent to you; except for the photo that melded to the glass and would rip beyond repair if we tried to remove it.

I apologize that this has taken so long but hopefully you will all agree that it was worth the wait. Please chime in with questions or comments and we shall respond.

I know that I intended to do a R.I.P. on Nelson Mandela, whom I admire greatly, but I feel that by now everything has been written about him already. I would like to say that it would have been so easy for him to lead his people to oppress the former oppressors, but he united the nation instead. He was a great man who changed that country for the better.

Until next time, with one of our usual longer blog entries, enjoy the day, take care, and happy reading.

Bad weather coming

Greetings, readers. The State College area is expecting freezing rain and then snow in the next twelve hours. Rebecca and I have some things to do before the storm hits. I am letting her go early. So this blog post will be short.

I have trouble in the winter, because of my bad balance from cerebral palsy. Ice on sidewalks and crosswalks is the worst. I am stuck inside during sleet and freezing rain and have to wait until it stops and the walkways get treated. We are expecting both this evening. Snow is okay if the sidewalks aren’t slippery. And I get along just fine after a snowstorm and the walkways are shoveled, though I go slowly as I watch my footing. I have fallen on icy sidewalks a few times in the past, and it was horrible. I am very careful to avoid that happening again.

I know there has been a lot of bad weather across the nation (and in other countries) recently. I wish all of you safety if you are going anywhere, comfort when you get back home, and that you stay warm and dry.

Before I close, I also want to say R.I.P. to Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday. Sometime next week, Rebecca and I will do an official R.I.P. piece about him.

So until next week, have a good weekend, take care, and happy reading.

Top ten list of things I will do by New Year’s Day

Greetings, readers. In my on-going effort to better myself, I have decided to make a top ten list of things I wish to accomplish, or at least get them underway, by New Year’s Day. Last year around holiday time I was depressed and did not decorate. So …

#10. Decorate the apartment with, at the very least, Christmas lights. [Already underway but not complete.]

#9. Make final preparations for my December 20th performance. [Practice, practice, practice.]

#8. Once the show is over, concentrate on my writing for a good solid five to six months. [Two firm ideas already in place.]

#7. Take back my bedroom. [I promised myself last night that on New Year’s Eve I will have my bedroom such that I can finally begin using it for the purpose for which it was meant.]

#6. Getting back to social functions in my apartment building. [I always enjoyed being outgoing. Time to get back to it.]

#5. Make my entire apartment spotless. [This is a huge one for me and will take the longest to achieve.]

#4. Get back into the habit of visiting my Godmother. [Her health is such that short visits are possible once again.]

#3. Do my very best to get up early and have a nice long day. [No more Mr. Night-owl.]

#2. I am going to donate something in good working order to the building’s community room. [This serves two purposes. Gets whatever it is out of my apartment and makes it so others can enjoy it.]

#1. Make final decision on whether or not to move. [Circumstances recently took place which might make staying where I am more advantageous.]

This rather quick top ten list was thrown together today because I was experiencing a pinched nerve in my neck, making concentration a bit difficult. I know I’ve been under the weather a lot lately but this shall soon pass and we will once again be hard at it.

So until Friday, take care, enjoy your day, and happy reading.