Monday, March 18, 2019

"The Original Soundtrack" by 10cc

Do you like the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen? Well, I have a treat for you.

That song was inspired by an earlier tune by 10cc, a British band. In the Seventies, 10cc was the most inventive group of musicians working. Talented at writing and playing multiple instruments, they created amazing songs bordering on bizarre.

Their best album, "The Original Soundtrack," brought them critical and commercial success -- including a song that was hugely popular in the U.S. and is still played today -- "I'm Not In Love." Even if you don't recognize the title, you've probably heard the song on the radio. (Okay, maybe on your phone or computer, you streaming youngsters.)

The album opens with a three-part mini-operatic song called "One Night in Paris." As engaging as it is weird.

My favorite song is "Life Is A Minestrone," a truly weird tune. Infectious and weird. You have to hear it to grasp what I'm saying. Surprisingly, despite its oddity, the song was a hit in both England and the U.S.

Have you heard of this group?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

My First Novel

Inspired by my new vintage typewriter, I've started writing a novel.

Here's what I have so far. (There's a close-up in the second picture.)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Mother's Love

I can't think about my mom without laughing and then crying.

She came to mind today when I realized I don't have underwear. My clothes-drawer is almost empty and what remains is falling apart, having been purchased when Reagan was President.

Before my mother's premature death in 1990 from breast-cancer (she was only 54), I was never short on underwear. It would just "appear" in my drawer like magic. Three decades later and I'm still waiting for that trick to meet my needs. Sadly, it isn't happening. Time for me to grow up.

My mom monitored me more closely than the Stasi in East Germany. As a teenager, I resented her constant surveillance -- but I knew it was motivated by love. She just wanted to make sure I was okay. This is when I start crying...

How closely did your mom pay attention to you?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

My First!

I bought my first vintage typewriter today!

This 80-year old Royal was built in 1939, just as World War II was starting. I found it at Gramercy Typewriter Company, the last-surviving typewriter store in New York. Their staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable which was helpful 'cause I'd forgotten some of the quirks of these machines, like how to load ribbon.

The typewriter is in impeccable condition despite its age. It works beautifully and has a ribbon with both black and red ink. (I wanted that.)

These mechanical devices are sturdy and made from heavy metal. Fortunately it came with an original carrying case so lugging it home on the train wasn't as bad as I expected. Still it weighs about 35 lbs. so I got my exercise for the day.

Look out for letters from me!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Back To Normal

After writing the title to this post, I chuckled. "Normal" -- few people would describe me as that. What 60-year old man wears makeup, women's clothing and has a fashion-blog? Well... me. And the fact that you accept me is all that matters.

Anyway, the notion of returning to normalcy is a subject I haven't mentioned on social media because it concerns a private matter. But it's just you and me here, right?

Three weeks ago I had serious surgery. In a hospital with general anesthesia. I won't go into details but, as Hedwig sings, to walk away I had to leave a part of myself behind.

Recovery from the surgery was painful and hard. I had to summon up all the sisu I possess and the experience altered my perception. Now, more than ever, I cherish what I have. The precious gift of life will end all too soon, as I realized with sage clarity when facing mortality.

During this period I vowed that when I recovered, I would savor two of my greatest joys -- riding my motorcycle and wearing a pretty dress. Being able to do those things signals a return to normal life for me. During recovery, those joys seemed beyond my reach and I wasn't sure I'd get them back. But I have.

Yesterday, I unveiled my sport-bike from the Batcave and took her out. I'd forgotten how viscerally exciting riding is when you have a powerful machine and honed skills. I twisted the throttle hard, smiled when the engine roared and blasted off on my rocket-ship. The bike carved curves like a sharp knife moving through butter. My entire body vibrated with vivacity.

Today, I'm returning to my second joy. I found this fancy dress in a thrift-store for $3. Three dollars! How could I not buy it? It reminds me of the Eighties. What do you think?

Welcome to my world. Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Exotic Food

Do you want to have a taste of an exotic culture without hopping on a plane? You can by going to a new Asian food-market where I live (Long Island, NY). iFresh is a huge supermarket of Asian foods -- 85% I'd never heard of. Lots of strange vegetables in their large produce department, hundreds of varieties of noodles, and thousands of jars of odd delicacies. Just walking through this store feels like a trip to China.

For example, have you ever seen black chicken-meat? Black! I speculated that the plucked birds were dyed/marinated but later learned there's a special brand of chicken called "Silkie Chicken" whose meat is naturally black. How weird!

One great feature of this store is that everything is cheap. Even American products cost less than normal stores. I found white pepper (which is strikingly different from black pepper and is one of the secret ingredients in KFC's "11 herbs and spices") for only $1.99. Large bottles of flavored soy sauce are $2.69. You can experiment with new foods without worrying about price. Wild salmon is half the price of other supermarkets and looks very fresh. Plus there's a bakery section (where I bought Black Sesame Cake Roll [$2.50]) and a houseware section (where I bought beautiful ceramic bowls [$5]).

iFresh is planning to open a hot food section soon with Asian dishes none of us know how to make. I'll be going back. If you visit stores selling food of other cultures, you'll be surprised at their interesting offerings.