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olt! is a way station and oasis on the ancient road from Bedlam to Bellevue, dedicated to free and open discussion of topics moving heart and spirit.
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Up on Union Square I watch a crowd form, a circle of people staring at the something in the middle. "Maybe it's one of those games where everyone stares at something to see how many stupid people they can get to look," the guy on the next bench tells his girlfriend, but then gets up to check it out.
He comes back: It's a cat frozen in a block of ice! I go for a closeup. It could indeed be a dead cat with blood at the bottom of the ice. One of guys in the crowd is ranting about cruelty to animals and how it was against the law, warning curious kids not to touch the block because of diseases.
A Park Ranger drops by, shakes his head and gets on his cell. I hear: 'It's the same guy again," then he wanders off. Seems he pulled that stunt before. I like to believe he is using a prop, a stuffed cat and some red dye?
I wander off as well ....
A collector I heard of had his study lined with racks of just Lone Rangers like these, not sure I would want to have those masks staring at me all the time. The one on the left I bought and sold some time back when there was a fad for them. He's in perfect shape, no face lifts from the looks of it, which is pretty good considering his age.
I looked for the better ones, like the dolls below, but these women were too expensive for me at the time, so I handed them over to someone who could afford them ... and Sheeba does look extravagant, doesn't she?
What we're looking at are carnival chalkware prizes, made in the '30s, '40s, and '50s, before plastic and stuffed toys took over ... if you were around then, you should remember. I don't ... t'was before my time ... ahem ... Got any in your attic? There were movie stars, comix characters, ships, dogs, ... some uglier than others. They were mass-produced in molds, then spray painted, and often dusted with glitter. Some show evidence of a tired spray painter doing his 467th snow white of the day and not really caring if her lipstick is in the right place, and certainly not worried about getting it straight.
mmm ... the skull is just for size comparison ...
Where to begin. Well, first, the place hasn't changed in ten, fifteen years since it opened in Chelsea and later here in the East Village and elsewhere in town. It's still the same tex/mex taste from way back, filling, heavy cheesy dishes, refried refried beans, with a hint of inoffensive ethnicity. But there is a table by the window which is a plus.
Mary Ann's is a place for tequila and beer; we order Cabernet, no doubt causing the waiter to drop the unfamiliar carafe while fumbling back in a dark corner of the bar and, as these things happen, he clumsily slits his wrist in the process ... well not actually cutting the artery. There is much noise dealing with broken glass, spilled wine and blood. There is a call for the emergency first aid kit.
After some time, a busboy with limited knowledge of English delivers cooling nachos but no libation. Three tries later with three different waiters gets us a full carafe of a pleasing Cabernet, at a very reasonable price yet. We enjoy East Village traffic passing our window during the rest of the meal, only slightly interrupted by a gawking street person until we realize he is staring at a tv screen up above behind, not at us.
Now the problem is the tip for the waiter. My position is that bad service should receive a sharply curtailed tip while Roomie thinks the poor guy deserves extra for wounds incurred in combat. He did come within a quarter of an inch of hitting the artery. We settle for a normal tip. At the door our waiter offers thanks, proffering his bandaged wrist, as we make our way out the door and waddle home through a darkening East Village.
dang, forgot to put my pudding in the freezer ... got to run ...
New York, New York
The one of an apparent male walking the possibly aroused horse and carriage, carrying an bucket for feed grain, I may get. The other appears to have a narrow cloth hanging out of the trunk of an unlicensed car with at least the rear window removed (shot/broken out) with a waiting chauffeur bears flowers. That these together represent 'NY, NY' commons is believable given the few real NY-ers whom I have known.
Don't know where you get the arousal from, neither the horse nor the carriage, and for that matter the guy with the bucket, look all that enthusiastic to me.
The yellow cloth in the second pix is a mystery but the rest of the car looked abandoned, burnt out in last night's riot?
go figure ...
Look closely under the horse near the left hind leg -- there is a sore or something less than really horny.
mmm ... there does look to be an odd bump ... I think we need someone more familiar with horse anatomy to chime in ...
In Germany the Christ Child comes on Christmas with gifts, Santa comes on St. Nikolaus Day, December 6. After all these years I still remember the last time he came to visit.
My Aunt was doing Santa that year. Cousin Walter had overheard the planning and told everyone, after swearing us to eternal silence of course. We weren't about to ruin things by letting on we knew as we're sitting there on the bench by the kitchen table enjoying my favorite Eierkuechelchen, with apple sauce as I recall, while going over the story of the Bishop who gave away his riches and was martyred for his kindness, and his assistant Belzebub with chains and a black bag to take away bad kids. My friend Fritz heard they actually dragged off a neighbor's boy in a huge bag, but then let him go on the street.
We wait an awfully long time, even the grown-ups get impatient. Suddenly, downstairs, the house door slams. Dead silence. Not a sound in the kitchen either. There is a lone step on the stairs. Great-Grandma stares at the door, hands clasped over her mouth, eyes wide open. Another ominous step is followed by a thundering crash of chains. I get goose-pimply all over and feel my hair rising. Walter starts sobbing.
By the time Belzebub crashes through door the three of us are huddled at the far end of the bench with our arms around each other, bawling. He jumps into the room, contorted, a chimney sweep black with soot, dragging a huge bag and heavy chains, heading straight for us. A deep, resonant "Zurueck!" orders him back. It's St. Nikolaus, heavenly, awe-inspiring, with flowing white robes, a tall Bishop's miter and golden staff. He is very much aware of all my bad deeds, some good ones as well. They're right there in his huge book! Belzebub argues over each entry, they check with the grown-ups on some, but by the time they're done, none of us will have to be dragged off. Belzebub is clearly disappointed. Now and then he even tries to grab us when St. Nikolaus isn't looking, our screams save us every time.
St. Nikolaus gives us Lebenkuchen and cookies, though later we discover there is nothing but coal in Walter's package. He warns us that next year we won't be so lucky unless we behave, then heads down the stairs shooing a reluctant Belzebub in front of him.
That was Santa's last visit. The following year they knew we knew, so the visit was called off.