Sunday, May 12, 2013

Time to Move?

TV Stevie and I love living in our city. Yeah, we had concerns about the Chromos' schooling, but they both ended up just fine. But the neighborhood is changing, and not for the better.

A couple of weeks ago, someone paintballed my house, 
Porch window with paintball

my garage,
Lower left corner, upper right corner
and two spots in the right door.
TV Stevie tried to clean these
but they left stains
Close up of paint ball damage to garage door
the stop signs, and a couple of neighbors' houses. 

Last night, someone stole our gas grill. Off our patio. It was nestled in an ell of our house, where the laundry room meets the kitchen. 
The grill was wedged in this corner, between the table and the two walls.
You can see the missing "foot" in the lower right hand corner of photo.

And some . . .  person . . . walked off with it. Except the loose foot. I'm tempted to fill that with the dog doo another . . . person . . . left on my lawn and see if the criminal comes back for the missing piece.

I realize the police must deal with more "important" crimes, and they're doing the best they can given budget cuts and the current climate. A few paintball marks pale in the face of the violence, drugs, gangs, etc. I absolutely do not expect them to patrol my little side street on an hourly or even daily basis. 

But my city needs to deal with quality of life issues. Without quality of life, the people the city want to attract aren't going to come, and if they do come, they won't stay. Quality of life isn't just about getting drugs off the street, stopping the random shootings, gangs, etc. It's about being able to unload your groceries at the side of your house and not stepping in dog doo; it's about sitting out on your patio on a summer evening without trepidation; it's about not finding smashed bottles on your sidewalk. Again, insignificant in face of other issues. The Chromos call these First World Issues. I'm a spoiled American woman. 

If we invest in another grill, I'm going to spray paint the following message on it:

STOLEN FROM insert my street address.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Musical Icon of My Youth: Melanie

TV Stevie and I went to see Melanie last night.


Well, most people I've talked to recently know her by her hit, "Brand New Key." Yet TV Stevie and I immediately think of "Lay Down Candles in the Rain" when we think of Melanie. A lot of folks remember her as a one-hit wonder, and those folks are dead wrong.

The thing that struck me about the concert was her joy. She performed with her son, Beau Jarred Schekeryk, and their joy at working together filled the theatre.

Melanie Safka and Beau Jarred Schekeryk at the
Catherine Cummings Theatre in Cazenovia, NY
Between songs, Melanie told stories about her music. There was no set playlist -- in fact, she took requests from the audience. As TV Stevie said, "You didn't mind that you weren't familiar with all the songs -- she was just that good." Her voice has withstood time. She told us that she never had a pretty voice, but rather, an expressive voice. Which is probably why I've always liked her music.

Her son is an amazing guitarist. Incredible guitarist. He mixes flamenco with other styles and . . . the result is indescribable. At one point, Melanie cajoled him into playing a solo as a Mother's Day gift to her. Oh. My.
He even played with the guitar on his head. I'm not talking strumming. I'm talking the flamenco plus method.

Beau Jarred Schekeryk playing guitar on his head.

Beautiful People (dedicated to Richie Havens)
Already Gone
I Tried to Die Young
Jamming Alone
Fantasia Melody (Beau, see above photo)
Baby Day
Look What They Done to My Song
Brand New Key
Love Doesn't Have to Hurt
Angel Watching
Lay Down

After the concert, she signed CDs and photos. I bought her newest release, "Ever Since You Never Heard of Me." She told me I would really enjoy it, and that it was the last album produced by her late husband.  I thanked her for her music.