Tag Archives: Arnold Addison Court

Top ten list of blessings in my life

Greetings, readers. Today I thought I would go upbeat with the blog entry. Recently I’ve been telling you about all the things that have been bothering me in my life, and today I thought I would go cheery. I am grateful for many, many things, even though sometimes I don’t always show it. So here is my top ten list of things for which I am grateful.

#10. My late kitty cat Keekee. [Not too long after I moved into Addison Court, I’d say less than a year, a friend of mine was moving out. She could not take the two cats she had with her and asked me if I wanted one for free. I’m glad I decided to try it, allergies notwithstanding. She was my buddy for one week short of 12 years.]

#9. Princess Josie. [This cat is completely different in demeanor than Keekee. I love her to pieces, but she is a little more rambunctious than my former furry feline.]

#8. Meals on Wheels. [Although they are not always dishes which I would consider my favorites, I do eat most of them and feel blessed to have them at such an economical price.]

#7. A place over my head. [No, it’s not the family house that we used to own, but it is two nice-sized rooms with fully functional kitchen and I enjoyed the great view from the top floor for 13 years. With the new building going up next door though, I’m going to lose most of that view.]

#6. Sentimental items from my parent’s home. [When I moved to this apartment 13 years ago or so, I vowed to take as many paintings as I could get. It gives the apartment a hint of my former home. For that I am extremely grateful. I also have my mom’s desk and a bookcase of which we make good use.]

#5. Good neighbors and friends in the building. [As in any community, there are good neighbors and neighbors you’d like to run over with your car. I’m very happy to say that I have most pleasant neighbors, with only a few exceptions. I’m a very easygoing man and can usually work around any people who cause conflict. I’m glad that so many of my neighbors are folks I am happy to call friends.]

#4. Rebecca. [Every book I’ve ever done would not be published without Rebecca. Not only is she a good friend, she is a fantastic typist and an awesome editor. In her role as personal assistant, she has kept me from missing numerous appointment. Kudos to Rebecca.]

#3. Working technology. [Yes, I do like my Steam games, and to watch movies on Netflix. Sometimes I lose myself in a fantasy world of baseball, or I’ll spend and entire evening watching James Bond pictures. I’m happy for the technology to do so, i.e. my computer and gaming system to watch Netflix and YouTube on my TV.]

#2. A great bus system. [As chance would have it, my apartment is steps away from a bus stop, where many of the buses I take stop at. Though, during the summer time, when the buses run on reduced service, I find myself having to walk downtown a few blocks to catch buses at the main stop, called the College Ave, and Allen St stop. Sure, I’d love to have my own vehicle, but this is the next best thing.]

#1. And yes, it is in order, is that at least for now, I can still go to Bear Spring Camps. [I might have to stop after this year or perhaps after next, but I am going to milk it for all it is worth. Bear Spring Camps, and those people I have known all my life, are my truest blessings.]

There is today’s top ten list, on this cheery topic. I hope everyone enjoys it. Please pray for everyone who needs it, and if you are inclined to and can, please consider donating to a fund to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. Such a tragic loss. I plan to donate some money myself.

Until this weekend, have a fantastic few days, take care of your family, enjoy good weather if you have it, and as always, happy reading.

What a great trip I had and boy was it hot

Greetings, readers. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I go to Maine to cool off from the midsummer’s scorching heat. This year the average daytime temperature was in the upper 80s with one sunny day reaching 92. Yes, readers, I went into the lake for the first time in four years.

The rented pontoon boat, which the Trosts and I shared the cost of, was moored down at David’s dock this year because of my Goddaughter Ashley’s advanced pregnancy. The boat ran well … once we got it started. Getting the engine to turn over was another matter. Both David and I agreed it either had a clogged fuel filter or the fuel pump was starting to go bad. I made mention of this to Spencer, the owners’ son, who is now running the camp for his Mom and Dad. Spencer is the fourth generation of the Mosher family, on his mother’s side, to run the camp.

Our server in the dining room this year was a delightful young lady by the name of Eleonora, and as you can guess by her name, she is Italian. One of the family members, Joan, spoke Italian, and she and Eleonora, I’m sure, had delightful conversations. I overheard one of them, but of course I was unable to understand what they were saying. I hope Eleonora returns next year. I would very much like for her to be our server again.

Last year’s big upgrade to the dining room was new chairs. This year’s improvement was track lighting instead of the big flourescent bulbs. Once you got used to it, it was very nice. The only problem is from the front porch it was hard to tell when they flicked on the lights. In years past, there was no doubt, the entire dining room became bright, and it was time to eat.

The Thursday highlight was lobster night with live entertainment. This year, a man played an acoustic guitar while a woman (not certain if it was his wife or not) had a tambourine. They were quite good, but if the truth be told, both Dave and I agreed that they weren’t quite as good as the performer that Peg hired the previous two years; Dave suggested to me that he was probably all booked. One of the stand-by songs, which the campers requested and sang along with, was Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” That song has special meaning to me, for I performed it during one of my shows at Addison Court.

What will next year hold? Well, I did very well with my spending, so I already have enough money for next year’s camp. I’m going to get a part-time job around town, to get a little extra pocket change which will help. Mostly though, I am going to concentrate, at least through Christmas, on two writing projects. A story about a young man and his girlfriend in a Bear Spring Camps type setting, and also I am going to try to develop and write the pilot for my own original sit-com or drama. Wish me luck.

Okay, there’s the news from this year’s camp adventure. As I say almost every year, it is great to go on vacation, but once it is over, it is good to come home. I am taking a personal day off tomorrow, and Rebecca will take one next Thursday. But fear not, a new blog will be posted both days.

So until next time around, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe gave a personal and memorable show last Friday

Joe will remember December 2, 2016 for the rest of his life.

One of the reasons for that is the Going for Broke show, as he called it, that he performed in the community room of Addison Court for friends and a few special people. Regular readers know that David Trost, his buddy from childhood who he considers to be a brother, came to visit for a few days. Joe was happy to have Dave here for one of his shows. In attendance were also Joe’s girlfriend Traci and Traci’s sister and nephew. Joe included songs in the playlist for them and the show was one of his most personal performances. He shared with the audience that his first show was for his family when he was 10 years old, and he still enjoyed doing them for friends and loved ones. I will get into his actual show in a moment, after I talk about the special event in the middle of it, which is the main reason Joe will remember this day.

Joe finished his first set with a special song for Traci from the Rocky movie soundtrack, “You Take My Heart Away” by DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford. Joe sang this love song directly to Traci, and she got tears in her eyes. He finished singing, then got something from the next room. Joe approached her chair, got down on one knee, and proposed to a very surprised Traci while her family shared the moment. Traci joyfully said yes. There was a break in the show, while pictures were taken and congratulations were said. The second set, understandably, was a little difficult for him to focus on for a couple of songs.

The first set was tighter than the second set. Joe started the show with three TV show theme songs, from Eight is Enough, The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Love Boat. The first two themes are about family and the third is about finding love, which set the tone for the show. His next two songs were “Shout It Out” by B.T. Express and “Show Me the Way” by Peter Frampton. Then he performed the first of two Pat Benatar songs, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” after observing that he also does songs by female artists. He had two songs to honor family members. “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks was a request from Traci’s sister, and “East Bound and Down” by Jerry Reed from the soundtrack for Smokey and the Bandit was for Dave. He finished the set with three love songs that he sang with great feeling, obviously for Traci. “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain & Tennille, “(Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes” by Highway 101 proceeded the above mentioned “You Take My Heart Away.”

Joe was nervous leading up to the proposal, but he was able to focus on his performance as he cued up his playlist selections on his computer, sang, and periodically added some air guitar and air drums. The second set did not go so well, and he almost canceled it at one point.

Joe was running his playlist off a website called Spotify, and needed an internet connection to play the songs. Because of some work being done in a nearby room, the connection he was using was off at the end of his break. We waited fifteen minutes, and then the show was able to begin again. Joe still had challenges. Last October, Joe was forced to postpone this show because of a sinus infection. Even though he is over it now, he was not able to rehearse as much as usual, and he forgot the lyrics a few times. He is also still recovering his energy and endurance and sat down for most of the second set. He said he was embarrassed, but we in the audience assured him we didn’t care if he sat, we just wanted him to be okay. He was still a little rattled, and had to start one of the songs twice to get the lyrics right. And then an employee brought in a big bin that had to be stored in the closet behind Joe, so he had to stop singing. With all these issues, it was not one of Joe’s favorite performances. But he persisted and gave his audience a second set.

He began it with a song for Dave, “Just Fishin'” by Trace Adkins, which was the song Dave danced to with his daughter at her wedding reception. It was a touching tribute to his buddy/brother. He sang “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson, followed by the second Pat Benatar song, “Heartbreaker.” Then Joe took out a picture of his niece for a song that he first heard when he was spending time with her one summer and sang “Pieces of Me” by Ashlee Simpson. Her photo stayed up for the rest of the show. His next two songs were for the holiday season, “Silver and Gold” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” both by Burl Ives. Joe’s next song, “Clyde” by Waylon Jennings, was added just five days before, but Joe knew it so well that he sang it perfectly. He finished the show with the two songs “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra and “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins.

Joe may have had problems in the second set, but he succeeded in giving us in his audience a personal show that touched the heart.

From Rebecca: Joe performed the Beatles last Friday, May 13th

Joe took a chance against the curse of Friday the 13th last week, with a performance of Beatles songs in the community room of the Addison Court apartment building. Except for a few problems, one of which delayed the show for half an hour, which I’ll get into in a moment, he defied the curse with a great show.

Joe did a bit of air guitar and air drums, but mostly he sang to the sounds of the Beatles playing through his speakers. Most of the songs were ones he had performed before in shows, but some were new for him, like “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” He started the show with “Twist and Shout,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and, and a new one for him, “You Really Got a Hold on Me.” Another song from his first set that he also performed for the first time was “Norwegian Wood (This Bird has Flown).” It has a different tempo than the others, and Joe did a great job adjusting to the change.

By the end of the first set, people were starting to join in the singing here and there. People were coming in and out of the room, and the audience size went from small to big and back again throughout the two and half hour show. But for one song, the one Joe has in almost all of his shows, the audience was spell-bound. He started “Yesterday” and it seemed that everyone got still and focused. By the end of the third line, we started singing in a low chorus, sounding mournful and reverent. Joe connects this song with a woman who lived in the building until she passed away, and he sang it for her in a tribute concert he did for her in July of 2013. He may not have been the only one thinking of Erin as we sang it with him. Looking back in the archives, I see that the first time “Yesterday” was in one of his show, in December of 2012, it was played on the cello. I remember that and it was uplifting and special, but I was more moved last week, as we all softly sang the song with Joe. Then he finished the set with “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” a song that lifted the energy and party mood again for the break.

Joe started the second set with two special songs, one to his girlfriend Traci Harter and the other a special request from the videographer. The one for Greg Brown, “And This Bird Can Sing,” was added less than two weeks before, so Joe warned the audience ahead of time that it would be rough. He did a good job with it though. Greg worked hard on the video and Mike Weaver did an equally good job taking still photographs.

The special song for Traci as a surprise, which Joe had to spoil the night before for unforseen personal reasons, was the theme song to Traci’s favorite TV show Reba, “I’m a Survivor,” by Reba McEntire. Traci liked it very much and was touched. She had someone record it on her phone, so she can watch it again. I used to watch Reba and knew the theme song, but the version Joe did was the full song from her album, which included lyrics I had not heard before. I was a little teary-eyed too, from the touching lyrics, and the sweet gesture of Joe singing them to his girlfriend.

Songs in his second set included “Lady Madonna,” “Come Together,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” and “Lovely Rita.” One song in particular impressed me. Joe sang “She’s Leaving Home” for the first time in a performance, and I was not familiar with the song before. In the chorus part, there is a section with lyrics from the parents in the story, sung a little softer and in between the main chorus lines. Most people would sing the more prominent lines, I think, and let the back up sing the softer words, but Joe did the opposite, giving voice to the confusion and hurt of the parents who don’t understand a daughter being so eager to move away from home. It was poignant and brought out the sad side of the piece. I thought it showed talent from Joe, to make that choice and to sing the section almost underneath the main part.

Joe was getting tired by the middle of the second act, and needed another short break, but he rallied. He finished the show with “Get Back” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise).

I mentioned that there were a few Friday the 13th issues, including the show being delayed at the beginning. The community room has a door to the bathrooms just behind where Joe was set up to perform. Just before start time, one of the toilets overflowed on the floor in the bathroom. The water had to be turned off at the pipe, and a maintenance man came through to fix and mop up. The mop was then left in view in a corner of the room, apparently the only place for it. Then later in the performance, a staff member had to bring back a big trash-gathering bin, go through Joe’s space, and return it to the closet. Joe understood, and stopped to let him through, then began that song again. Despite these challenges, and that he was getting tired toward the end, Joe gave it his all. It was a great show, that I enjoyed very much. We sang, we clapped, we bopped along, and we had fun. Good work, Joe.

We will get pictures of the performance up as soon as we can. It might be a week or two, but we intend to get it done.

Grand Theft Auto V … the most violent game I have ever seen

Greetings, readers. I watch some people play video games on YouTube. Many people, including my favorite YouTuber, Jeff Favignano, record these videos at least three times a week. One of the games they play is Grand Theft Auto V, as police officers chasing bad guys through the streets in cars. I was able to see the way it was played and liked this game. In the version with the police view, it is called LSPDFR (Los Santos police department first response.) It was quite intriguing. I was all set to buy a used copy of the game and try it. Then I found out how many mods you must have, updates, and other various rigmarole, and I concluded it was too technical for me.

I made the mistake of searching for other videos to see what else this game had to offer. I had heard that this was quite a violent game, but I didn’t know just how bad it was until last night. While I did not want to continue watching these videos, I wanted to see just graphic the game could be. Turns out, I was actually doing research for this blog entry. One unnamed gamer made several videos of his character with various rifles and machine guns, pumping bullets into anyone who moved. I noticed it was mostly woman. That person needs psychological help. Other violent atrocities included throwing a bomb at people, or throwing a molotov cocktail and watching people scream while they burn to death. OMG. Thumbs down to that one.

I was curious to see if there were videos dealing with sex in the game. There was way more content than I was expecting to find and I was horrified to know that children under the age of 18 can watch these YouTube videos. An example from the game is a young man in a fancy sports car picks up a prostitute, drives into a dark alley and then, in a first person view, the player gets to watch and listen to their character perform sexual acts. I believe there are three acts to choose from depending on price. The only good thing about this mod is that there was no complete nudity. Again, thumbs down.

On a gaming podcast, one of the people said that at least a player might not be out in the real world taking out their aggressions. That might be true. Personally, I believe it might have an opposite effect. People playing this game may see how easy it is to stab, maim, or kill and go out in the real world and try it. No, no, no. The more I watch these videos the more I hate this game. Not to be repetitive, but I will say if there was a version of the game that was only the police department, I might be interested in that. Besides that, this game is way too violent for me.

I’ve heard that GTA 6 is due to come out soon, and Lord only knows what that version will include. I think I am going to stick to baseball, football, and WWE wrestling games. They are much less violent. My rant about this horrid game is now over.

Just a quick update on what is going to happen in the next week and a half. There will be a blog post this Friday, and next week one on Wednesday and Thursday. I am taking a personal day on the 13th to perform a show for the folks at the Addison Court. There will be new pictures added in the picture gallery soon after the show is finished.

Until Friday, enjoy the next two days, take care and happy reading.

I’m puzzled about my low energy

Greetings, readers. Recently, things in my life have been on a definite up-swing. My daily schedule has stabilized, I now have a girlfriend, and the blog is coming along better than I’d ever hoped. But, yet, I’m taking more naps than ever before. I don’t think I’m depressed. I just feel a constant need to visit the sandman.

My therapist told me it might be because of the onset of the fall and winter season. At first, I agreed with her. But, I’ve been on a multi-vitamin for approximately the last ten days and I have even less energy. I have one thing to try before I call the doctor. I’m going to try to revamp my diet and cut out a lot of the junk food I eat. Wish me luck on that one, folks. If that idea doesn’t work, I will have to schedule an appointment with my doctor earlier than the one already on the books.

Helping to keep my mood up is my new girlfriend, Traci. We went out this morning and had a good time. But when she asked me what I was going to do this afternoon after work, I, without even thinking about it, said that I was going to take a nap.

I don’t feel suicidal, I don’t feel angry, nor do I think my anti-depression medication has stopped working, but something is amiss. I don’t like feeling this way. I’m not getting anything done creatively, and if I nap too much during the day, it throws my sleep cycle off.

Today, October 1st, began my brand new lease here at Addison Court Apartments. One thought that I had about my lack of energy, is that the building is mostly for seniors and handicapped folks. I’m not around people who do physical activities. There is no one to toss the football with or to get a pickup game of softball going. My physical activity, basically, consists of going to Panera Bread or our new Sheetz. I don’t know if lack of exercise makes one lethargic or not. I’m going to have to look into that. If it does, I might increase my exercise regimen before all the bad weather hits.

I’ll keep you up to date on how I’m feeling. Please leave me a comment or suggestion, either here or on Facebook, and let me know how you combat the fall and winter blahs.

Until tomorrow, have a good day, take care, and happy reading.

I plan to read and edit Four’s a Crowd today

Greetings, readers. The other day I was inspired by Rebecca’s husband Darren. As a lot of you may know, Darren is turning my play Kimberly into a novel. The third draft of Four’s a Crowd is finished. We were looking for readers, with what we call fresh eyes. That way they can pick up on any flaws in logic. So far no luck with readers.

I have decided to take on this section of the project to critique and edit it. Admittedly, I probably know the story too well, but I will try my darndest to stay objective and keep a close eye out for anything that needs correcting.

I don’t have goals very often but I have one now. The goal is to have the thirteen-chapter book read and critiqued twice by August 5th. I leave for Maine a day or two after that. While I’m gone, the project will be turned back over to Darren to make corrections and we will call that the final draft.

The step after that will be to communicate with lawyers, draw up contracts, and then find an agent. I’ve decided that this book is too good to be self-published and sit on shelves because we don’t know how to market it. Between now and August, Rebecca and I will look at a possible list of agents. We will have to have a query letter and also a sample of the finished work ready to send to the agents.

If this book is as good as I think it is, we may be sitting on the launching pad. I don’t think it is going to hit Oprah’s top ten list, but I see it selling much better than my first three books did, which were self-published. Darren’s worked hard on this project, as I did years ago. I’m hoping that Four’s a Crowd will at least get us on the map.

On to other things, my kitty-cat Keekee is looking me right in the face meowing for her dinner. Before editing, I’ll probably give in and give her what she wants. I am pleased to say she got a clean bill of health yesterday at the vet’s office.

Tonight I have very simple plans; reading, reading and more reading. Even though my eyes become strained quickly, I want to finish at least through chapter five tonight. I began using a color coded system in my editing process but that slowed me down tremendously. I think I will grab a tablet, have that next to me, and make my notes there rather than constantly changing font colors. To me the use of that time was counterproductive and I could have gotten more done.

On a whoo-hoot note, I signed my letter of intent to stay here at Arnold Addison Court apartments for another year. Yes, it is small and yes the Penn State crowd can get loud sometimes, but in the end I really like my place. I have no immediate plans to leave. If I’ve counted correctly, I’ll be starting my tenth year here come October. How time flies.

It’s time to get onto other work so I will wrap up with my usual ending, bidding you a good day, do take care, and as always, happy reading.