Monday, December 27, 2010


Christmas went quite well. Mary Anne, Steve & all the kids showed up. So did the West Wyoming kin. If Aunt Lauren & her family could have shown up all the northeastern Pa. relatives would have been here. There were all the usual minor irritations. The kids were somewhat ill & the food was entirely too fattening. Mary Anne & family were forced to go home early yesterday because of the big blizzard. Fortunatley it didn't amount to anything of any significance around here, other than slight snow & lots of wind. In New York, though, all the major airports were closed. I went to 8:00 Mass this morning at St. John the Evangelist in Pittston, with only insanely intense winds & somewhat slippery roads to bother me. Mike Aquilina, from EWTN, & his friend were there. Of course I got my annual card from Grace, Daren's mother, a few days ago. I'm still reading Cervantes' "Don Quixote". In only four more days, 2010 will be over. I still have to pay my K of C dues. It's just a matter of getting the money ready & sending it out to Wayne at my council.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Yesterday cousin Larry's daughter Jennifer gave birth to a baby boy. He's now the tenth Joseph among our relatives. I got a haircut at Rose Chairge's new barber shop in West Pittston yesterday too. It's right inside her husband's comic book store. It was a little hard for me to track it down but I got there eventually with no trouble. Aunt Lauren came over last night for a while when I was at confession at O.L. Sorrows. A few weeks ago Tom sold me a St. Monica's sweatshirt. I picked it up last night. I've been re~reading Cervantes' "Don Quijote", the classic picaresque novel. It's long & the small print gets me crazy but it's always been quite a favorite of mine. My nephew Michael just graduated from Hofstra University this past weekend so he's been quite excited lately. It's still insanely cold but I can handle it as long as the snow doesn't get any worse. Last week, from Monday until Wednesday, there was no priest at our church so I went to Mass each day at St. John the Evangelist in Pittston. This year is very fast coming to its end. We should most certainly hope that 2011 will bring us much better times.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Today is December 17, so Advent is coming to a close & Christmas Eve is exactly a week away. So far I've yet to get a haircut from Rose Chairge in West Pittston but I've kept track of her phone number so I can make an appointment for the upcoming week. Tonight, at 7:00, is a party over at O.L. Sorrows in honor of Fr. Leonard Butcavage. I'm taking chicken. He spent a few months with us recently & often returns for parties & special occasions. The weather has been very bitter cold recently but there haven't been any significant snowstorms, only a few that were slightly aggravating. Unfortunately the rest of the country has very bad blizzards. I got a Christmas card from Carole, my old supervisor from Citicorp, a few days ago. I've yet to get one from Grace, Daren's mother. I sent out a card to each of them two days ago. Of course we've been getting inundated with all sorts of left~wing manipulations of language & symbolism these days, as always, pretending that it's just another holiday season. Liberals always claim they have the right to control us for the sake of not offending the supposedly maligned minorities & other special interest groups. Yet another dark side of Christmas is the inevitable greeting card from at least one relative or acquaintance, always a tangential character, who appears to be harboring the very definitely mistaken impression that people are impressed by, or interested in, his, & his family's escapades from the past year. There's one of those in each crowd. These cards always seem to be filled with references to promotions, scholarships & glamorous vacations. They're more boring than offensive. Unfortunately there was just an extremely bad accident over by the Midway Shopping Center's parking lot this morning. I heard that a car was cut in half. That's quite a dangerous intersection. A couple of days ago I took advantage of some coupons for Dunkin' Donuts. I got a half dozen donuts & a hot latte'.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a major Feast day on the Catholic Church's liturgical calendar. It's a holy day of obligation. I shall have to go to 7:00 Mass tonight at O. L. Sorrows. I tried to go to Mass this Morning at St. John's in Pittston. I didn't know that their Mass would be only at 7:00 a.m. & other Masses later in the day. They don't have an 8:00 a.m. Mass today. Sadly, today also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of Beatle John Lennon by Mark David Chapman outside the Dakota building in Manhattan. It was a Monday night. I can still remember it as if it were only last night. Lennon's music, image & reputation, to this very day, are still a part of our cultural landscape. Even the very young, who hadn't even been born during the lifetime of the famed Swain of Liverpool, are quite smitten with him. Today's Tina's twenty~first birthday. She's cousin Gary's daughter. The weather lately has been very bitter cold but we don't get any snow beyond just the slightest dusting each day. So far there's no fog or icy rain either. Yesterday was especially cold. Buffalo has quite a bit of snow so I suppose we should all feel quite sorry for Maelene & her family.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Uncle Frankie's home from Fran's house. Aunt Lauren is visiting Noreen. Advent yet again beckons. As of today we have only three weeks until Christmas. Besides the slight snowfall on Thanksgiving we got some more last night & this morning. The weather's been very bitter cold but not unbearable. Tomorrow I shall have to lector at 11:00 a.m. Mass at O.L. Sorrows/St. Monica's. I need a haircut. I should suppose I could track down Rose Chairge's new place over on Luzerne Avenue in West Pittston but so far I haven't bothered. There are several other places that are much closer. A few days ago when I went to a neighborhood stationery to get the Citizen's Voice, they guy in the store gave me two two dollar bills for change from a five. Two dollar bills have been around since I was a kid in the eleventh grade & I don't usually get to see them in circulation. Unfortunately four days from now will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the murder of Beatle John Lennon in Manhattan by Mark David Chapman. It still seems as if it were only last night. So far I have yet to see an entire episode of the show "House". I've seen half of each of a few episodes though. It's not so bad so maybe I shall continue watching it. Vinnie & Michael like "Burn Notice". I like it too but it's not on until 10:00 at night. Perhaps I shall watch the reruns. They're on much earlier at a time when civilized human beings can see them.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Thanksgiving worked out quite well. Uncle Frankie, Fran & Lisa showed up. So did Mary Anne, Steve & all the kids. Sam's & Bridget's braces are finally gone. Michael & I got into our inevitable debates about theology & philosophy. It was a fattening time for one & all. To my chagrin there are still leftovers even now. Mary Anne & family only stayed from Wednesday until Saturday because Steve's band, Spectrum, had to play at a concert in Long Beach on Saturday night. I recently finished reading a biography of John Henry Cardinal (now Blessed) Newman, by Fr. Ian T. Ker, & have started re~reading Virgil's "Aeneid". Lately on TV I've been watching old shows like "Peter Gunn", "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" & "Daniel Boone". I used to like "Daniel Boone" & "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" when I was in grammar school but can't remember "Peter Gunn" except by reputation, except for the really famous instrumental, by Duane Eddy, that's the theme song. Herschel Bernardi was in it. I remember him from "Arnie". I also watch a lot of old movies on channel 72. After a long spell of exceptionally inexplicably nice weather we've gotten lots of cold & rain lately. It even snowed a bit on Thanksgiving. My headaches really kick in when the weather changes. Uncle Frankie's been visiting Fran yet again for the past few days. That means I'm back to picking up his mail each day. Wayne, from my Knights of Columbus council in Luzerne, recently sent me a notice about my dues. I shall have to get them paid soon.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Uncle Frankie's back, as of two days ago, from his trip to Fran's house. I picked up his mail each day when he was gone. Thanksgiving is only five days away. Everyone has been making preparations. Mary Anne & family will be showing up in a few days. In the 1980's I spent several Thanksgivings in North Tonawanda with relatives. It's too bad we can't have those days back now. This morning I went to Wilkes_Barre for our monthly Carmelite meeting. We meet at the Little Flower Manor on South Meade St. every third Saturday of the month at 9:00 a.m. Only a few people showed up this month. The weather's been very nice lately with occasional very violent thunderstorms including one in the middle of the night this past week. To my chagrin I always get very violent headaches when the weather changes like that. After tomorrow's 11:00 a.m. Mass the two churches in the Wyomings will officially be known as St. Monica's Parish. There will be a reception at St. Joseph's immediately following the Mass. It must be a stressful time for people who grew up with these parishes. Yesterday I called Jim, in California, on his cell phone. We often get to talk on Facebook anyway but he gave me his number so we could at least give it the more personal touch for once. This month we wish very happy birthdays to Steve in California, cousin Maelene's son Scott, & cousin Leonard's granddaughter Sarah(today), Wendy, two Javas & Kim.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I just got some very sad news a couple of days ago. Brother Edward Shields, the principal of St. Gabriel's, my old school, in East Elmhurst, recently sent out a Facebook message telling us about the death, last weekend, of Miss Geraldine Watzel. Miss Watzel was my second grade teacher. She was seventy six years old. My old friends & I have always remembered her so fondly. Although I'd never expected to see Miss Watzel again, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a few reunions several years ago at the old parish, where she showed up. Even after so many long decades she was still quite a formidable intimidating character. St. Gabriel's, now the La Salle School at St. Gabriel's Parish, was the most important part of my early days in Queens. My days in that neighborhood & parish have always been a memorable part of my life. Over the course of my educational lifetime I got very many exceptional teachers but Miss Watzel was among the very best & most memorable. I shall have to keep praying for the repose of her soul.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Uncle Frankie & Fran came over for dinner two weekends ago. Mary Anne, Steve & Bridget came in last weekend. Michael & Sam stayed home because they were too busy. This past weekend was fairly quiet. Uncle Frankie was visiting Fran. I checked his mailbox on Saturday but he didn't get anything. Now that I get channel 72 again, I've been watching a lot of old movies. That channel has all the really interesting classics including even the very old silent movies. Veteran's Day passed by a few days ago without any significant milestones. There were no really noticeable festivities around here. The weather lately has been unseasonably warm although the mornings can be cold & icy. Yesterday was the Feast of All Carmelite Saints. Today is the Feast of All Carmelite Souls. This weekend was St. Joseph's & Our Lady of Sorrows' parishes' last weekend in existence. As of next Sunday our new parish's name will be St. Monica's. I lectored at O.L. Sorrows' last Mass yesterday. I covered for Linnae. Fr. McKernan was gone for a couple of weeks to India recently. There were visiting priests while he was gone. I gave a double red cell donation last Monday at O.L. Mt. Carmel in West Pittston. Unfortunately I got a very bad headache on Tuesday & another one on Thursday. When I used to work at Citicorp in Farmingdale & Melville, around twenty years ago, Carole, who was then my supervisor, always complained that every time I gave blood I got a violent headache the next day. Unfortunately it still happens. Yesterday I went to Barnes & Noble in Wilkes_Barre. It was one of my usual trips over there. When I went to Price Chopper at the Midway, to get the papers & a loaf of French bread, there were a bunch of fire trucks & police cars there to help the local high school celebrate their having one the biggest game of the year. They led a big procession up Wyoming Avenue. Thanksgiving is now only ten days away. Recently I got my dues notice from Wayne at the Luzerne council of the Knights of Columbus. It's that time of year again.

Fw: Hi Larry

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


A while ago I started using the discount card they have at Price Chopper. Not having had any idea which gas stations accepted it, I first took it to the Unimart in Exeter. The guy behind the counter mistakenly told me it was for Turkey Hill. The lady at Turkey Hill in Exeter told me it was for Sunoco. I took it to Sunoco on River Road in Plains & the guy there told me it was for only certain Sunocos. Eventually I found out that it's accepted at the Sunoco on Main Street in Pittston. Columbus Day & Octoberfest went by without any festivities. At least I didn't attend any. St. John the Baptist in West Islip, my high school, called me with a recording advertising their Homecoming Day. There must have been a nice time on Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst for Octoberfest. I always used to enjoy attending things like that. The St. Jude novena at St. Mary Help of Christians, on Main Street in Pittston Junction, has been going quite well so far. It lasts until Wednesday night, his feast day. So far I've gone there each day, or night. Last night it rained but it was a nice rain. the weather has been awfully unseasonably warm lately. When I was a kid Halloween was always bitter cold. We used to have to wear very heavy winter clothes under our costumes. This month's birthdays are Georgia, Nicolas, Tony Jr., Tammy & Joseph, among the relatives. For friends, there are Frank, Earl, Jim, Cathy, Brian. Uncle Frankie comes over once in a while lately but recently he went away to visit Fran at her new house. Fr. McKernan left this past weekend to go to India. He's visiting Mother Teresa's sisters for two weeks.

Friday, October 15, 2010


In September my Aunt Mary died in New Jersey. She was a distant relative. On October 4, Richard died. It was the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Although he wasn't a real uncle, we'd always called him Uncle Richard. He was Uncle Joe's brother & had always been around. I showed up at the wake in Exeter & funeral in Plains. I was supposed to be a pall bearer in case they needed me. They had enough though. I was supposed to drive in the procession but I ended up going with Gino & Michelle. On October 6, Uncle Larry died. It was the Feast of St. Bruno the Carthusian. He was married to Aunt Norma. After Richard's wake & funeral Gino, Michelle & I went out to Long Island for Uncle Larry's wake. Unfortunately we took a bit of a detour through Manhattan. I ended up staying with Mary Anne & her family overnight. She, Michael & I went to Roosevelt Field Mall so he could get his first suit for a job interview. I got a chance to see all the New Yorker relatives & other connections at the wake. My mother spent a few days in the hospital so my parents weren't available. Today's the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila, a favorite Carmelite patron of mine. Among other things, I've been reading David Limbaugh's "Crimes Against Liberty". It's quite an anti_Obama philippic. Beatle John's seventieth birthday was on October 9. Tomorrow I shall have to go to a Carmelite meeting in Wilkes_Barre. They're at the Little Flower Manor on South Meade Street every third Saturday of the month at 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


My father's seventy seventh birthday on Saturday started out as an absolute mess. My mother got violently sick around 1:00 a.m. & that led to nothing but trouble. By Sunday though she got better so we went out, with Uncle Frankie, to the Outback Steakhouse in the Hub in Wilkes_Barre. All ultimately ended up working out quite well. I even ended up getting a coupon for another free visit to show for it. My birthday went well too. Mary Anne & family called. I wasn't home when Michael called but I showed up in time for Mary Anne. Two Saturdays ago the owner of the local Catholic radio station, JMJ750 am, stopped me in the parking after 8:00 a.m. Mass at the Oblates' Seminary. He asked if I should be willing to do some volunteer work for him & his wife from now on. Their names are Ed & Carol. Ed told me to show up at 1:30 on Monday. I got there a bit early & was kept waiting because no one else showed up until quite a bit after that. I started working with Bob the engineer, who showed me a lot of things I shall have to get to know how to do. Lynn Marie, from our young adult group, was being interviewed by Carol & two other women, Arlene & Anne Marie. I called Lynn Marie last week to see if the young adult group was still in existence. It's still advertised in the Catholic Light. She said it's gone until further notice. Fr. McKernan's bible study group at O.L. Sorrows has been doing quite well so far. Happy birthdays this monthish also go out to Jo Anne from Queens, Maria's cousin Roseanna (Dino's wife), my old pal Henry from S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale's mail room & the postal service in Melville, Mike from high school & cousin Mike, as well as to Eddie & Jessica, two of the cousins' kids. I've probably already mentioned a couple of them. By now we have gotten through most of the annual novena to St. Therese of Lisieux at the Maronite church of St. Anthony & St. George in Wilkes_Barre. As usual I missed a few days. I got a cake & cupcakes at their bake sale. Most of the times I go through that neighborhood I see policemen constantly pulling people over. There's a high crime rate in that part of the city.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


My fifty first birthday is tomorrow. Hay fever's been getting me crazy for the past quite a few weeks. I haven't had any bad headaches lately except for one a couple of weeks ago. Uncle Frankie & Fran came over for a while one night last weekend. She's been doing quite well with getting settled into her newly purchased house lately. I've been doing a lot of reading these days. Besides classic poetry, I recently re_read Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" & Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass" & "Alice In Wonderland". The Beatles & their musical contemporaries were all greatly influenced by Carroll's work, & by classic literature in general. Glenn Yanik showed up last Saturday morning, at O.L. Sorrows for a meeting of his men's group. Fr. Leo was there too. We shall be meeting at the Oblates' seminary on 315, on October 2 for a meeting with Bishop Bambera. Mike Aquilina, a Catholic apologist from EWTN, who was raised in Pittston, will be there. I lectored at 11:00 a.m. Mass last Sunday. The new schedule is now official. Michael called last week. He's home from Costa Rica. All went well for him & his friends over there. Although it was during the time when Hurricane Earl struck nothing bad happened anywhere near them. To my chagrin the summer will very soon be over. The weather lately always seems to be very cold, & frequently foggy, in the mornings. It gets very nice during the main part of the day though. There were a couple of thunderstorms a couple of days ago. We really need the rain so I didn't complain much.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


The Borough of Wyoming is celebrating the 125th anniversary of its founding this year. There are all sorts of things going on this weekend in honor of this momentous milestone. The weather, ever since our recent rainstorms, has been cooling down a bit. Our mornings are always very foggy lately. Fran & Uncle Frankie came over for supper last Sunday in honor of her new house. She's been very busy with it. Today we wish Jo~Anne a very happy birthday. She & I were really good friends as kids in Queens, on 92 Street. We were in the same class at St. Gabriel's. Because yesterday was the Feast of St. Monica, & she will soon be the patroness of our new parish, the priests over at O.L. Sorrows & St. Joseph's held a vigil on Thursday evening with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & evening prayer at St. Joseph's. After that there was a really nice party & all the regulars showed up. I've been reading a lot lately. I've been reading a lot of poetry by Robert Frost & Carl Sandburg. I've also read Thomas Merton's "The Other Side Of the Mountain". My hay fever's been getting me crazy lately. A few days ago I went to the CVS in the Midway on Wyoming Avenue to get something for it. I ended up getting CVS's version of Claritin. I only take one pill each day. It's been working out fairly well so far.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Pittston's annual Tomato Festival is now under way. I made sure I showed up for the first day yesterday. One of the things I regularly get some chances for each year is the San Cataldo Society's basket of cheer. I'm such a regular with them by now that the guy I spoke to at their stand, Carmine, even recognized me from last year. Early in the morning, immediately after 8:00 Mass at St. Joseph's, Bob gave me some really nice big tomatoes from his garden. I wanted to make sure I got a really nice haircut so I could be ready for tomorrow's lay Carmelite meeting in Wilkes_Barre. We meet each third Saturday of the month at 9:00 a.m. at the Little Flower Manor on S. Meade Street. We are always looking for new members. Tomorrow Judy & Yvonne will be there for their annual visit. Recently when I drove over the bridge on Eighth Street I noticed that Rose Chairge has moved because of all the construction. I have no idea where she is so I went to a new place this morning in Exeter. I went to Gerald's Hair Fashions. It's the first time since I've been living here that I went someplace else. As a kid, though, I used to get my haircuts at other places around here. The lady who cut my hair was named Vicky. She did a really nice job. Fran got her new house so we're all really happy for her. Uncle Frankie showed up yesterday. There doesn't seem to be anything new with him lately.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Today's the infamous Friday the 13. There have been a lot of birthdays lately. Mary Anne's birthday was three days ago. Uncle Frankie's was yesterday. He, my parents & I went to the Pittston Diner by the Pittston Bypass to get something to eat. Today is my cousin Maelene's(Mary Ellen) birthday. She lives around Buffalo. July 21 would have been Daren's birthday. She died in 2005. Her mother, Grace, sent me a card. Yesterday was also cousin Java & Nunziata's thirty seventh wedding anniversary. The annual bazaar for St. John the Evangelist Church in Pittston started yesterday & will last until Saturday. They never let it go until Sunday. I didn't go yesterday because it was such a rainy day & those things have all their main attractions outside. I shall hope to go later today. It starts at 5:30 each day. Pittston's world_renowned annual Tomato Festival begins very soon. It goes from Thursday, August 19th to Sunday, August 22th this year. Be there or be square. Lately I've been reading a lot, including Carmelite books & classic poetry. I've also been listening to my usual bottomless pit of old music, ranging mostly from the 1960's to the early 1980's.

Monday, August 09, 2010


A few days ago a woman called from a political organization. I know those surveys are unavoidably necessary but she drove me crazy for around ten minutes with all sorts of annoying repetetive questions about my opinions about the Pa. politicians & how they stand on things. Mary Anne, Steve, Sam & Bridget came in on Friday night & left last night. Michael's enjoying his big trip to Costa Rica. This month has many birthdays & we had quite a nice party for them all. All the gang from West Wyoming showed up. All their birthdays are this month. Sam did a lot of work over the weekend. He, Steve & Bridget helped my father with the garage too. Steve, Uncle Frankie, the kids & I went, as always, to Jitty Joe's last night. Sam's favorite singer & musician these days is Jack Johnson. Johnson does a really nice version of Beatle John's "Imagine". Recently I got the new schedule for O.L. Sorrows. Now that Rocco's back I'm not on the schedule that frequently anymore. One individual makes quite a difference. My hay fever has been going crazy lately. I've been doing quite a bit more coughing than sneezing. There's a bit of a drought these days besides the excessive heat. After a brief respite the temperature this week will be back up past ninety degrees.

Monday, August 02, 2010


August has always been quite an especially big month for birthdays among my relatives. Yesterday was Jamie's birthday. He's my cousin Alan's son in Michigan. Today is Fran's & Elaine's birthday. They're both cousins too. Yesterday my parents & I all went to Uncle Frankie's house for a party for Fran. Immediately after the party, though, she was forced to go home because it's such a long trip for her. I lectored at 10:30 Mass yesterday at O.L. Sorrows. It's nice to see that Rocco's back on the schedule. On Saturday night there was a big fund raiser put on by the local firemen. I didn't bother to show up. Everyone at Mass yesterday wondered why I wasn't there. Gino & Michelle, Uncle Frankie & Fran went there for a while & they too were surprised that I never bothered with it. The big annual Tomato Festival in Pittston is also coming up this month. I should suppose that life as we know it will cease completely if I dare to pass that one up. It's been raining intermittently around here these days. We haven't gotten enough though. On Friday night I saw "Rosemary's Baby" & on Saturday night I saw "Dr. Doolittle". They were both really famous when I was a kid.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Saturday morning's lay Carmelite meeting went well. We meet at the Little Flower Manor on South Meade Street every third Saturday of the month, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Anne & Mary Elizabeth were there for a while but they had to leave early. Barbara couldn't show up because she got very sick from all the bitter cold air conditioning at the meeting in Middletown. They really overdid it that day. Last Sunday I won twenty dollars on the money wheel at O.L. Mt. Carmel's family feast. This Saturday I won a basket of shampoo, soap & bath products. I lectored at 10:30 Mass yesterday. Amazingly my cousin Maelene's son, Joey, turned thirty on July 16. They live in North Tonawanda. I can still remember when he was first born. At times like this I feel like such an old geezer. Uncle Frankie & Fran came over for a while yesterday. She had to leave early but he stayed for supper. It rains every once in a while lately, including this morning but it's not enough. I've never been able to help getting a kick out of the really nice green border around the otherwise parched grass on people's lawns these days.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


It's been raining all day today at least since this morning. Lately we've gotten frequent small rainstorms but not as much rain as we really need. People's lawns have been dying with brown grass all over the place except for the few people who have zoysia grass. Unfortunately Aunt Lauren's sister-in-law Joyce died last week. Although none of us knew her my mother & Uncle Frankie went to the wake yesterday. My father wasn't available because of a doctor's appointment. Today is Maria's birthday. She's cousin Gary's wife. We wish her a very happy birthday. Lately I've been reading a couple of Carmelite books. I just finished, yesterday, "The Institution of the First Monks" & started re_reading "To Quell the Terror". I've also re_read most of Jane Austen's "Pride & Prejudice". Unfortunately I shall have to get some exercise eventually. My extra weight has yet to go away. Long_time N.Y. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner died early yesterday morning of a massive heart failure. I've never liked sports but this really caught my attention.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I went to yet another Carmelite day of recollection on Saturday morning. It was, as always, in Middletown, N.Y. I drove, in a summer shower, to the Little Flower Manor in Wilkes_Barre to meet Rosemary. From there, she drove to a local school in Clark Summit where we got together with Barbara to go the rest of the way. As always Fr. Mario, Theresa, & Jim & Rosemary were there with all the other regulars. I was especially happy to be able to see Marie, Carmela & Debbie from the Seaford chapter too. They told me all about Fr. Stanislaus & Fr. Vitalis. As always they served a really nice continental breakfast & lunch. There were lots of things on sale from the book store too. It was quite an absolutely exhausting day though. I woke up with a very annoying headache on Sunday. The weather on the way home was slightly weird. It rained for a few seconds at a time in certain places only over specific spots. I've hardly ever seen anything like that before. Rich, the oldest of the Ronald's three kids, turned forty on Saturday. I went to the last night of O.L. Mt. Carmel's annual feast last night. While I was there I won twenty dollars on the money wheel. Fr. Phil & Fr. Jackson were there. Fr. Phil said that our next meeting would probably be sometime next month. Yesterday Danny showed up with a picture, for my parents, of all the kin from the Fourth of July. He wanted to know if Gino & Michelle were home because he had one for Aunt Helen. He also found a pair of sunglasses & a watch that one of the kids appeared to have forgotten to take home.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


Yesterday Barbara called to see if I really intended to attend Saturday's Carmelite day of recollection in Middletown, N.Y. Later last evening Rosemary called to confirm our driving plans. Rosemary & I shall have to meet at the Little Flower Manor in Wilkes_Barre at around 6:00 a.m. From there we shall join Barbara in Scranton. We just went to Middletown very recently. Judy & Yvonne will be at the meeting & they also have to come visit us next month. They show up once a year. On Tuesday I started re_reading Jane Austen's "Sense & Sensibility". Since I've already read it quite a few times, & seen the movie with Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet a few times, it gets a lot easier to figure out each successive time. The heat wave continues although today, so far, seems a bit cooler than yesterday. My car still doesn't have air conditioning although I tried a while ago to get it fixed. Some things are simply entirely hopeless. Yesterday I gave blood in Plains. My appointment for a double red cell donation was for 4:00. I got there around 3:00. Unlike the last time I went to the Waterfront Banquet Facility for a blood drive, it was exceptionally crowded. Yesterday hardly anyone showed up so I got finished slightly before 4:00. My New York K of C council gave each donor a full meal. Here we just get water, juice & muffins or cookies or something. They also gave out a free coupon, as usual, for three pints of Friendly's ice cream. One of the volunteers said she recognized me because she lives on Tenth Street & goes to St. Cecelia's. Fr. Leo McKernan is now the pastor at St. Joseph's & O.L. Sorrows. He showed up for 8:00 Mass at St. Joseph's this morning. He's our fourth in the past two years.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


We're having quite an exhausting heat wave lately. Even I'm a little taken aback & I've always been quite fond of warm weather. Today we wish a very happy seventieth birthday to Beatle Ringo. Yesterday, believe it or not, marks the fifty third anniversary of the day when Beatle John first met Beatle Paul. Today we also wish a very happy birthday to Michael, my cousin Mary Ellen's son in North Tonawanda. Unfortunately he didn't get to show up in Hilldale for the Fourth of July this year. At least the weather was much more manageable then. The Depends team were able to beat the Pampers team quite easily. When cousin Larry started complaining about a few things he didn't have to include the weather on his list of grievances. Chris, from the Red Cross blood services, called yet again yesterday to remind me that I promised to got to the Waterfront Inn in Plains at 4:00 this afternoon to give a double red cell donation. As of today we shall have a new pastor at our churches. It was Fr. John Polednak's last day. He celebrated 8:00 a.m. Mass. Fr. Leo McKernan shows up later today. He will be in charge from now on.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Yesterday was the last day of 2010's family reunion. This one was a bit of a milestone because it was the fiftieth. It all started in 1961. On Sunday, Gino & Michelle threw a nice big surprise party for Aunt Helen at the Checkerboard Inn in Trucksville. A splendid time was had by all. Aunt Helen's not a blood relative. She was married to Uncle Rego who died in 1993. She's the youngest of the oldest generation of us. Some of the kin went to the Italian graveyard to visit the deceased family members' graves right before the party. As always the weekend's conversation ranged from sports, trivia, religion & politics to nostalgia, philosophy & music. I haven't gone into the pool in very many years. Oddly my cousin Danny asked if I've ever been thrown in. In our crowd, getting thrown into the pool is quite an entirely inevitable rite of passage for the very young. He appeared to have forgotten that when I was a kid & young adult he, more than anyone else, was the one who always threw me in.

Saturday, July 03, 2010


We're all in Hilldale. Today's Larry's & Rose's thirty fourth wedding anniversary. This month also abounds with relatives' birthdays. The festivities started early yesterday. As always there's quite a large unruly crowd of relatives. Mary Anne & Steve are here with the kids. Michael's even brought Erin with him. Last night we spent a while on the patio playing in a sort of ad-hoc band. We shall be playing our annual softball game & taking a picture later today. Unlike previous years I haven't gotten any significant sunburn in recent years because I no longer take any chances like that. With any luck Vinnie & I shall be taking Anthony for ice cream later. All the intellectually inclined cousins are, as always, trying to drive each other nuts with drastically incompatible points of view about life.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


This past Saturday morning I went to the monthly Carmelite meeting in Wilkes_Barre. Seven people showed up. After the meeting Sr. Mary Robert opened up the gift shop for us. I promised Barbara that I shall be going back to Middletown, N.Y. again on July 10 for another day of recollection. Now I know exactly how to get there really easily. Father's Day went really well this past Sunday. My parents & I went out with Uncle Frankie & Fran. We went to a Chinese restaurant in one of the malls in Wilkes_Barre. It's one of those all-you-can-eat places & we all really overdid it. I've never really liked Chinese food but nobody ever bothers to listen to me. After we left Uncle Frankie, Fran & my mother went to Wegmann's for a while. My father & I went straight home. Mary Anne & the kids all called up to say happy Father's Day. I got a very violent headache at night after I went to bed. I lectored at 5:00 Mass on Saturday. Starting on July 7, Fr. Leo McKernan will be our new pastor. As of November we shall even have a new name for the parish. From then on it will be named St. Monica's. Yesterday was cousin Larry's birthday so I made sure I sent him a happy birthday e mail. The July 4 weekend is coming up very soon so many of my relatives will be getting ready for a big time. It's the fiftieth anniversary this year.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Yesterday I went on one of my typical jaunts to the Barnes & Noble by the Wyoming Valley Mall. While I was walking around KrissyKrissyKrissy came over to me & said hello. She & Ed were in town visiting his parents. They recently went to Jason's wedding. Jennifer's birthday is today so we shall all say happy birthday to her. Sam's birthday went well yesterday. My parents made sure they called to wish him a happy birthday. He wasn't home but later he called back. Mary Anne's & Steve's twenty second wedding anniversary was June 4. Amazingly I can still remember their big day as if it were only yesterday. Finally & at last, Brianne gave birth recently to her little daughter, Nina Genesee. This kid really took her time. Brianne & Matt are quite happy. So far I haven't done much walking in spite of the conveniently warm weather. Yesterday, though, I made sure I walked for a few minutes outside. I truly should try to get back into the habit from now on. I've been doing a lot of reading these days. I've been reading the autobiograpy of Bl. John XXIII & poems by Emily Dickinson, William Butler Yeats & John Milton, among other things.

Monday, May 17, 2010


We have to wish Aunt Lauren a happy birthday. Yesterday was her big day. The lay Carmelites' Marian day of recollection went really well on Saturday. My father drove me over to Anne's house before 7:00 a.m. She, her daughter Mary Elizabeth & I left for Middletown after a few minutes. we were there by around 8:30 in spite of Uncle Frankie's having absolutely insisted it was at least a two_hour drive. We went on Rtes. 81 & 84. Rte 380 was up there too. Port Jervis is on the way. The weather was really nice. That was only my second time I've ever been to the shrine. I went there once in 1995, around the time Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. I went when Fr. Mike Kissane was vocation director, to see if I should become one of their friars. That's when I first met Fr. Mario Esposito & Fr. Brocard Connors. Fr. Brocard died a few years ago. Fr. Mario was in charge of the day of recollection. Yvonne De Thomas & Judy Knidds showed up from Pa. Theresa, & Jim & Rosemary Lancelotti were there from Middletown. Dianne Massiello was the only one I recognized from the Long Island people. The food was really good & it was very crowded. It's an especially nice place with lots of nice scenery.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Today is my cousin Vinnie's birthday. He's around five years younger than I. Raised in & around Buffalo, he's now a policeman in North Carolina. For some reason I always seem to back away from oil changes for my car. Yesterday, though, I made sure I made an appointment at A&A because of my upcoming trip to Middletown, N.Y. on Saturday. I'll probably not even end up driving anyway but I didn't want to take any chances. I couldn't stand the phone call because they kept me on hold for over six & a half minutes. I got there slightly before 8:00 a.m. today. All worked out quite well. I took a biography of Emily Dickinson with me to keep me occupied. It all lasted only for slightly under an hour anyway. Immediately after it was all over I went to the Unimart in Exeter to get the papers. Then I went right over to see Uncle Frankie. It rained violently all last night & the weather's been miserable all day so far too.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


My big trip to Middletown, N.Y. is coming up. It's for the Carmelites' annual Marian day of recollection. I called Barbara & Ann yesterday to make sure I got all the arrangements right. To my undying chagrin Barbara is entirely too fond of the phone. She talks for an entirely unnecessarily long time. I'm supposed to meet Ann at her house in Pittston at around 6:45 a.m. on Saturday. We have to arrive at Middletown by 8:30. I went there once in 1995, when Fr. Mike Kissane was their vocation director, to see if I should become a friar. I still take the paper over to Uncle Frankie's house each day during the week. Fran is frequently home on weekends so I don't often have to be bothered then. My parents' anniversary party on Saturday went well until the end of the night when my mother got a bit ill. She was feeling very poorly on Sunday too. Mary Anne went back home, on the Martz bus, on Sunday morning. Fran took her to the bus station. Sam's induction into the National Honor Society was last week. Even though spring has been here for quite a long time already, we still have very cold days. It's very easy to get sick & tired of the bad weather.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

--- On Mon, 11/5/07,> wrote:

From: <>
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-----Original Message-----
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See what's new at and Make AOL Your Homepage.
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Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2007 17:40:34 GMT

Please note: forwarded message attached

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See what's new at and Make AOL Your Homepage.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The weather's been unseasonably cold lately. Yesterday it was raining in the morning, as it had been for a few days before. Now the rain's gone but it's as cold as it usually is at the beginning of autumn. Today marks the fourth anniversary of my big move to Pa. In all that time I've grown accustomed to all the innate oddities that characterize this particular neck of the woods. Because I have kin from here I've always known about the distinct fruitiness that only exists here. By now I've gotten to know all sorts of local yokels whom I could never have otherwise gotten to know. I've always been subjected to the accent anyway so that's no big deal. Every day, except for most Sundays, I go to Uncle Frankie's right after 8:00 Mass, to make sure he gets the Citizen's Voice. The only catch is that I can't handle all the junk food. I've been getting terribly overweight lately. Yesterday I made sure I mailed out the forty dollars for my trip to Middletown in a couple of weeks. It's for the Carmelites' Marian day of recollection. Tonight, assuming there's no change of plans, I shall be going to the meeting at O.L. Mt. Carmel in Pittston. The Scranton Diocese now has a new bishop. Msgr. Joseph Bambera's first day in charge was this past Monday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Download now or watch on posterous
GettingOfftheElevator.wmv (4789 KB)

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

--- On Mon, 2/8/10, Ron Testa <> wrote:

From: Ron Testa <>
To: "Ron Testa" <>
Date: Monday, February 8, 2010, 9:31 AM

Sometimes you think you pushed the wrong button.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010


To my chagrin, I was forced to miss this past weekend's big reunion over at St. Gabriel's. It was for Sr. Bernadette's & Sr. Catherine's milestone anniversaries & St. Gabriel's seventieth anniversary. Jo Anne & her mother went. Jo Anne said that of all the people from our class only Mike & Margreen were there. I can't even remember Margreen. Of all the kids in our old crowd I can only remember a few dozen well. Today would have been Aunt Mary Theresa's birthday. Tomorrow Uncle Frankie, Fran, my mother & I shall be going to 8:00 a.m. Mass for her at St. John the Evangelist Church in Pittston. After Mass my father will be joining us for breakfast. Every morning for the past to weeks I have getting the Citizen's Voice for Uncle Frankie & taking it over to his house right after 8:00 Mass. This past Sunday I called Kelly Stuart to find out about the details for the Marian day of recollection for the Carmelites in Middletown, N.Y. in May. It will be on the third Saturday of the month so it will have to replace our usual meeting. Last weekend's meeting worked out well. The new people stayed after the meeting for their formation classes. This month marks the fortieth anniversary of the Beatles. Pope Benedict XVI recently released a statement commending their brilliant talent & forgiving them for all their checkered past. Of course Beatle Ringo's not all that impressed.

Monday, April 05, 2010


Easter worked out quite well. It was entirely too fattening but quite enjoyable. I got a card from Grace, Daren's mother. Mary Anne & family showed up. She got here first last week, then Steve & the kids on Friday. They all went home together yesterday afternoon. Uncle Frankie, Fran & Lisa showed up yesterday. Michael, Sam, Steve & I were playing the guitar for quite a while. I lectored at 10:30 Mass yesterday. My mother, Mary Anne & the kids were there. Gary called yesterday to wish my parents a happy Easter. The spring weather has arrived. It's still too cold in the morning most days but most of the day is very nice lately. Today is Sean's birthday. He's the Ronald's son. A few days ago was Doriana's birthday. She lives in Italy. Today is also Dyngus Day. That's another name for Easter Monday. In certain Catholic cultures, it's considered quite a big occasion. I recently got a much_needed haircut in time for Easter. When I called Rose Chairge for an appointment she somehow recognized my voice in spite of my infrequent haircuts. I must have quite an exceptionally distinctive voice.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Jo Anne just recently sent me an e mail reminding me of St. Gabriel's big reunion next month over in East Elmhurst. It's on April 28. As far as I know it will be at Bruno's. It's in honor of Sr. Catherine's fiftieth anniversary of her profession, Sr. Bernadette's (a principal of ours) sixtieth anniversary of hers, & St. Gabriel's seventieth anniversary. Yesterday the weather, once the day got rolling, was very nice. I should hope this will portend the end of all the bitter cold rainy weather & that we can count on a nice spring from now on. Today is St. Patrick's Day. In spite of what people may think I'm technically only half Irish. Fran & Lisa came over for corned beef & cabbage on Sunday. The parade in Scranton worked out very nicely although I, unfortunately, didn't go. It's the third biggest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country, surpassed only by New York & Chicago. I even met Robert F. Kennedy at the Manhattan parade right before he died. The Oblates' novena for the Feast of St. Joseph continues. I've gotten there most nights so far. Of course, old faithful Cheryl called on Saturday to ask me to cover for her on Sunday morning last weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Yesterday was Jim & Lori's silver wedding anniversary. Jim & I were really good friends as kids. I hope it was a really happy day for them. Sunday was David's birthday. He's cousin Alan's son. Today is Mike's birthday. He & I were classmates in high school. We can wish a very happy birthday to them both. Barbara called a few days ago about some details that have to be straightened out for the Carmelites' records. There has been a lot of confusion with them lately. I got in touch with John & Marie from New York. They could only tell me when my date of profession was. The weather has been getting amazingly nice around here & this coming weekend we shall even be back to daylight savings time. There's still very little snow on the ground but otherwise all bodes well. I'm still playing my guitar on a regular basis. Those magazines help quite a lot.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


It snowed for a while last night as I was on my way home from St. Cecelia's after 7:00 Mass. I'm getting plum sick & tired of it by now. This morning I sent out my K of C dues for the year. I always seem to send out this council's dues at the last minute. Tonight I have to go to another meeting over at O.L. Mt. Carmel. I should hope Lynn Marie's feeling better. My car's mileage recently got up to 135,000. As of last month, I've had it for a full fourteen years. Today is National Grammar Day. I absolutely despise any disrespect whatsoever for the English language. Any attempt at cramming liberal ideology down our throats, by way of language, gets me crazy. Lately I've been listening to a lot of old albums, mostly from the 1960's. There's a lot of variety in all that old music.

Monday, March 01, 2010


The snow lasted for quite a while over the weekend. It came down over the course of three days & today there's a slight drizzle. Dave was very helpful. He shoveled quite a lot of the snow. I went to confession on Saturday at 3:30 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Pittston. When I got there I noticed that the parking lot was filled up. When I got into the church I overheard someone mention that Justin Cardinal Rigali & our new bishop were there. I knew they'd be showing up but I must have forgotten it was this weekend. I made sure I stayed for 4:30 Mass. After Mass I met them both in the Seton Auditorium. Uncle Frankie came over for supper yesterday. He's been getting around more each day lately. I got a headache yesterday. Oddly whenever I get a headache my right eye always gets really bad looking. Today is the first day of March so spring will soon be upon us. I just got a letter from the Red Cross on Saturday. There will be yet another blood drive at St. Joseph's Church on Sixth Street in Wyoming next Sunday.


St. Joseph's Church,   94 East 6 st. Wyoming Pa. 18644... Sunday March 7, 2010... 11:30 am to 4:30 pm

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I dread the big upcoming snowfall

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Today's weather has been very bad so far. The weather we were threatened with as early as yesterday is now upon us. There's sleet coming down & the temperature is very damp & bitter. Yesterday I went to the Guild in Scranton. It was the very first time I ever set foot into Scranton alone. I took the GPS with me. That thing has a mind of its own. I should have gotten onto Rte. 81 without doing exactly what it told me to do because it took into the the city by way of a nice but out_of_the_way road I'd never even heard of before. On the way home it made me get off 81 onto an exit by the airport that was a bit out of my way. I got the book I wanted. One of these days I shall have to go back up there again to see more of the city. Eventually I want to go to the Borders over there too. Today is Beatle George's birthday. He would have been sixty seven years old. Scranton now has a new diocesan bishop. I just found out this morning, at Mass, about the appointment of Msgr. Joseph Bambera. I should only hope he turns out to be much less controversial than Bishop Martino.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I didn't get to eat any meat yesterday because it was a Friday

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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Uncle Frankie's been recuperating fairly well so far. He's been out of the hospital for a couple of days. Sam has been doing quite a good job painting the kitchen. The smell isn't too intense but it gets annoying after a while. Steve's supposed to come in today to pick him up. My monthly Carmelite meeting, on South Meade Street in Wilkes_Barre, was this morning. It's at the Little Flower Manor each month. Including me there were seven people who attended. Unfortunately there were a hearse & other limousines outside getting ready for a funeral cortege. In a place like that they always have to face up to deaths. I ended up not eating any meat yesterday because it was a Friday. I was forced to eat quite a lot of salad, potatoes & crackers. Lately I've been drinking tea more frequently. I used to drink it quite regularly & I've been renewing my old habit. Yesterday I went to Wal_Mart on Oak Street in Pittston to get a a GPS mount for my car. The salesman I met in the electronics department suggested I go to the automotive department to see a wider selection. It was a good thing I took him up on it because by going there I saved ten dollars.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Happy Friday! It's time yet again to do our big weekly cha cha!

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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Thursday, February 18, 2010


Today is Yoko Ono's seventy_seventh birthday. Beatle John would have turned seventy in October of this year. Sam started painting yesterday. He's been doing quite well so far. My father took Uncle Frankie to the hospital & things got out of hand for a while but everything eventually worked out. I went out to get pizza at Sizzle Pie. Unfortunately Sam doesn't like onions & they always put onions on pizza. Because it was Ash Wednesday there was no meat on the menu. On the way home I stopped at the Turkey Hill gas station next door. I ended up driving Uncle Frankie home in my father's car through quite an annoying snowstorm. Tonight I shall be going to O.L. Mt. Carmel for a meeting.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Today's the very first day of Lent. It is a day of strict fast & abstinence

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Yet another snowstorm has come upon us. It started last night. Although it hasn't gotten out of hand so far, it's still getting everyone crazy. My nephew Sam, from New York, is supposed to come in on a bus on Thursday. I should hope he at least gets a break. Uncle Frankie's back in commission. He showed up for a while yesterday. He & my parents went shopping for the paint Sam will need. On Saturday I was supposed to lector at 5:00 Mass but Cheryl ended up covering for me. Today is Mardi Gras. Traditionally it's the day before Ash Wednesday each year. I'm still practicing my guitar. I've been using a guitar book I have that covers all the technical details quite well.


Today is Fat Tuesday.  Tomorrow is AshWednesday

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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Saturday, February 13, 2010


The weather is still an absolute nightmare in other places but it's reasonably nice here. Aunt Lauren just told my mother yesterday, on the phone, that Noreen got hit very hard with snow. Tomorrow is Benjamin's birthday. He's Aunt Lauren's grandson. It's also Anner's(really Anna) birthday. She's an old supervisor of mine from Citicorp in Melville. Yesterday I went to Barnes & Noble in Wilkes_Barre. I need the exercise & it's entirely too cold to walk a lot outside. We wish a very happy Valentine's Day tomorrow, to all who qualify. Lately I've been thinking quite seriously of finding out how to apply to get onto "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire". I've always been quite annoyingly knowledgeable about a wide variety of things. I could pass for a combination of Diane Chambers & Cliff Clavin on "Cheers". Later today I have to lector at 5:00 Mass. Over the course of the past two nights I saw two Hitchcock silent classics. I watched "Easy Virtue" on Thursday night & "The Ring" last night.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I finished reading the book by Etienne Gilson yesterday, although I still have some of the appendix left. Yesterday I drank a cup of hot tea with lemon. It was quite enjoyable & I'm thinking of getting back into the habit. A couple of days ago I saw Alfred Hitchcock's "The Farmer's Wife", a silent movie from 1928. Yesterday's weather was an absolute nightmare but at least it was only temporary. We got eight inches of snow. Everything was, as always, closed down for the day. I shoveled the sidewalk & driveway but it served no purpose. It was just really good exercise. As always my windshield wiper, on the driver's side, flipped out on me. At least it's easy to fix. This morning Dave came over to shovel all of it. I'm quite happy my trip to Washington wasn't this week or I should have been forced to miss out on it. As always I've been practicing "Norwegian Wood" on my guitar.


Yesterday I listened to a lot of songs on the Woodstock concert album.  Why can't anything sound like that anymore?

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010


I gave blood at St. John the Evangelist Church on Sunday morning. It's the church I was baptized in. Originally my appointment was for noon & I intended to go to 10:00 Mass. However, I ended up giving blood slightly after 10:00 & attended 12:15 Mass. The Super Bowl went well. Fran & Uncle Frankie came over. Everybody except me watched the big game. I didn't bother with anything except the Who. They were quite good even though Roger Daltrey & Pete Townshend are the only ones left. Unfortunately we all ate entirely too much. I watched Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" again over the weekend. Yesterday I went back to Barnes & Noble over in Wilkes_Barre. It's a good idea to walk around somplace like that to get exercise. It's too cold to walk outside. I recently finished "The Merchant Of Venice" & have started reading Etienne Gilson's "From Aristotle to Darwin & Back Again: A Journey in Final Causality, Species and Evolution" just in time for Darwin's two hundred & first birthday, which he shares with Honest Abe.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Today it's time to wish a very happy birthday to Fr. Frank Pavone, a big name in the pro_life movement. We also say happy birthday to my cousin Alessandro, who lives in Italy. Last night, I entirely mistakenly went to O.L. Mt. Carmel in Pittston, expecting to attend a meeting. Last month, though, wasn't an isolated incident. They're always going to be on Thursdays from now on. Tonight's the next meeting. Aunt Lauren came over to visit yesterday for a little while. I'm still trying to figure out how to play "Norwegian Wood" on the guitar. It seems to get a little easier each time I pick it up. The weather is still too cold but I can handle it fairly well so far. Valentine's Day is coming upon us. Yesterday I got a Reese's peanut butter cup in the shape of a heart. The blood drive at St. John's Church, in Pittston, is going to be this Sunday. I got a card in the mail from the blood people yesterday with my Columbia magazine.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


today is the Feast of the Purification of Mary

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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The weather is still consistently ice cold. I've been trying to learn to play the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" lately. The version in the "Acoustic Guitar" magazine makes much more sense than the version in the large Beatle book I have. Yesterday I also read a few more pages of "The Merchant Of Venice". Today is Groundhog Day. Alas our friend Phil saw his shadow so we can expect yet another six weeks of winter. Today is also Nicolas' birthday. He's the older of my cousin Mark's sons. Judy, from the Carmelites, called me a few days ago. Aunt Lauren called my mother yesterday. Yesterday I went to Dunkin' Donuts in West Pittston & got a bagel with bacon & eggs, & a hot chocolate, for breakfast. I've never been in the habit of eating breakfast but I have a lot of coupons.

Monday, February 01, 2010


The weekend was bitter cold but very nice & quiet. The temperature was consistently in the teens. The only thing that bothered me was that Cheryl called on Saturday & asked me to lector for her at 5:00 Mass. She's a real pain. They were selling tickets over there for next Friday's night at the races. I used to like those things at My old Lindenhurst Knights of Columbus council. My mother & Fran went shopping for a while on Saturday afternoon. Yesterday I went to Barnes & Noble for a while. I got the latest issue of "Acoustic Guitar" magazine. Today February begins. On Saturday I saw "Diary Of A Country Priest" again & last night I saw "Wild Strawberries" again. Unfortunately I got a little bit of a headache yesterday but it wasn't very bad. I took a couple of Excedrin for it. Yesterday I listened to the Beatles' entire "Abbey Road" album.

Friday, January 29, 2010


My mother's birthday went quite well yesterday. The phone rang constantly. Mary Anne & her family all called. So did Fran. As of today I have finished reading "A Midsummer Night's Dream". The weather has been bitter cold since at least early this morning although yesterday's snow is gone. Originally I was supposed to lector for one of the Masses but I switched with Cheryl a few weeks ago. I still have the raisins I got from Vinnie for my birthday a few months ago. Since I'm not in the habit of eating raisins on a regular basis they've lasted quite a while. Rich is constantly trying to get things done on Facebook, Twitter & other sites for his client, Mark Spencer.


It's time to do the Friday dance, cha cha cha!

quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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Thursday, January 28, 2010


When I first left this morning there was a pretty heavy snowfall. I have no idea of exactly when it first started but it came down quite a bit. Today's my mother's birthday so her partying will have to be restricted to the weekend. Michelle called yesterday because it was her birthday too. Uncle Frankie came over for a while last night. I started re_reading Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Obama's State of the Union address was on last night but I didn't bother to watch it because there are so many other ways available to find out about it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Happy Feast Day of Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz, whom some of you may know renovated (or renewed) the Marians of the Immculate Conception in 1909 as the order was only down to one member. If you'd like to find out more about Blessed George, you can read about him at this link:
quisque me ad cenam vocarit, valeat.   

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This morning when I first left St. Joseph's there was a very slight snow flurry. Yesterday was Larry
's wife Rose's birthday. Today is Gino's wife Michelle's birthday. Tomorrow is my mother's birthday. There are a lot of happy birthdays to go around this week. The coffee pot has been on a fairly good streak lately though often it messes up & doesn't work well. I'm practically finished with that book of essays about Bl. Titus Brandsma. When I've finished it I shall have to start something new. Yesterday I needed gas so I went to the Unimart in Exeter to get ten dollars worth.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Yesterday's weather was somewhat like a spring shower early in the day. After a while, though, it got bitter cold as the rain continued. There was flooding in Pittston & its general area. Places on Long Island are also flooded. So far today things have gotten much nicer. Maria called my parents a couple of days ago. It was really good to hear from her. There's a really good musician in northeastern Pa. these days. Mark Spencer has been getting a lot of attention lately on Myspace, Facebook & Twitter. I should hope you will all be willing to listen to his eclectic playing. He & I have never met but I know his manager, Rich. It's really nice having a working odometer in my car again. Until recently I had been forced to bluff my way past people who wanted to know about distances between places.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Yesterday my parents & I went to see Uncle Frankie, Fran & Lisa. It was for my mother's birthday party. All went quite well. Today is Noreen's birthday. She's my cousin. This morning I went to AA in Exeter to get my odometer put into my car. It's been raining since yesterday afternoon but it's only a spring shower today with temperatures over fifty the last time I checked. That's why I didn't mind the trip. It all took only a little under & hour & was very inexpensive. Now I can count on having no more car troubles for quite a while. While I was there I hung around & looked through the store. I should get some of the car cleaners they have. My steering wheel needs a new cover too. I'm still playing my guitar quite regularly & I seem to be getting a little better. Unfortunately I haven't gotten any new magazines or anything lately to be able to play from.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Yesterday I went to Washington, D.C. I got up at around 3:10 a.m. My father took me to the Assumpta Council at 5:30. Mass started after 6:00. The bus ride was nightmarishly uncomfortable but it worked out really well. We walked around all day outside when we got there. To my surprise I saw a priest who was a dead ringer for an usher at O.L.P.H. in Lindenhurst. There were people there from the Diocese of Rockiville Centre but I didn't recognize any of them. On the way home we stopped at a really nice restaurant in Maryland. There were a lot of donuts, coffee & water on the buses too. The trip took four and a half hours each way. We got back to my council at around 10:30. I borrowed a cell phone from a guy in the Plymouth council so I could call my father to get me. The trip was extremely painful physically but at least my nerves didn't bother me. Of course I woke up with a bad headache in the middle of the night but it went away when I took an Excedrin. There was a little rain & snow in Maryland & Virginia on the way but Washington's weather was nice. It was so crowded that we couldn't get into the building where the spokesmen were appearing. During the trip we watched pro_life videos & the movie "The Bells Of St. Mary's" with Bing Crosby & Ingrid Bergman. Today it's time to say happy birthday to Brianne's husband Matt. Tomorrow's Jim's birthday. He & I were in the same homeroom in high school. Now we're back together on Facebook so happy birthday to him.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Yesterday's slight snow didn't amount to anything. Last night I made sure I got one of my big green bags out of the cellar so I could take it with me on the trip tomorrow. I ended up having to spend quite a lot of time going back & forth downstairs anyway. This will be my first trip to Washington since the 1990's & I've really been looking forward to it. Yesterday the UPS truck came with my odometer, thanks to Steve. I called the AA in Exeter to make an appointment to get it installed. The guy on the phone said I could have an appointment tomorrow but I'm not available. I got one for Monday. As always I shall be there at 8:00 a.m. Today is my cousin Alan's birthday. He lives in Michigan. We wish him a happy birthday. Saturday will be Matt's birthday. He's Brianne's husband in New York.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It started snowing this morning. My parents were saying that an ambulance paid a visit to one of the old couples in the neighborhood during the night. I should hope all goes well for them. Nothing much of any significance has been happening to me lately but that will all change on Friday morning. I shall have to be in Luzerne, at my Knights of Columbus council, bright & early to be on the bus to Washington, D.C. I shall start getting things ready, a little at a time, over the course of today & tomorrow. The bus ride may get me a little crazy since I've never been able to sleep on a moving vehicle. I shall have to take something with me to read. Ever since I got a bag of coffee over at Dunkin' Donuts last week, I have really been noticing how theirs is so much better than the other brands. I'd never even think of getting any from Starbucks. Theirs rivals Sanka for the worst of all possible fates worse than death.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The weather has been cold & rainy all morning so far, ever since yesterday. My father got a little sick last night so Uncle Frankie came over to help. I called Ada last night to make sure I explained to her that I can't possibly get to the meeting on Thursday because I have to get up too early on Friday. She wasn't home so I gave her mother a message. I also called Chris Calore to make sure all the details have been taken care of. He has everything he needs. He must have gotten a lot of people to show up. There are two buses & they are both full. I'm still trying to get used to the slight confusion of my new set of car keys. Until recently I only needed one key for the entire car. Now I need one for the door & one for the ignition.

Monday, January 18, 2010


On Friday my key got stuck in my ignition but it's all over now. Steve even found me an odometer so it's just a question of getting it from him. I should most certainly hope my car troubles are over. Originally I wasn't on the schedule to lector this weekend. Cheryl, of course, called though, at slightly after 9:00 on Saturday night. I ended up having to cover for her at 10:30 Mass yesterday. Over the weekend I watched a couple of more Hitchcock movies. I saw "Secret Agent" & "The Thirty Nine Steps" on Saturday. They're among his oldest. I've seen them both before. I also watched "A Man & A Woman" again. It's all in French so I needed subtitles. The them song was a big instrumental hit for Ferrante & Teicher in the 1960's. I recognized it as soon as I heard it. It rained last night & the weather was cold & damp this morning.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I saw "Sabotage" again last night , with Oscar Homolka & Sylvia Sydney. Go Hitchcock!

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I got my car towed away last night. When I drove it home from the library yesterday all seemed to have been going well. When I parked next to the curb, though, & tried to get out, the key wouldn't come out of the ignition. I got somebody from West Pittston to fix it for me. I got it back this morning. Because of all the trouble I was forced to miss the Carmelite meeting. I ran into Anne at 8:00 Mass at the Oblates' Seminary on Rte. 315 so I told her I couldn't make it. Steve called this morning. He's found a guy who can help me get an odometer. Saturn's out of business so we Saturn people are going to have a very hard time from now on whenever any little thing happens. Today we wish a very happy birthday to Tim. We were in the same class at St. Gabriel's in East Elmhurst. Last night I watched the very old Alfred Hitchcock movie, "Sabotage". The weather today has been very nice so far. I was surprised to see that it's been forty degrees at least since 7:00 this morning.

Friday, January 15, 2010


This morning I took advantage of my gift card for Dunkin' Donuts. I went to the one in West Pittston. I got a hot latte with caramel, whipped cream & sugar, & egg whites on an English muffin. When I was in my old Knights of Columbus council I used to get their donuts every week at bingo games. Tomorrow I shall have to go to the Carmelite meeting. It's on South Meade Street in Wilkes_Barre every third Saturday of the month at 9:00 a.m. Last month two new women showed up. Nothing else is going on, so far, for this weekend. Today it's time yet again for our weekly Friday dance. As of today the trip to Washington, D.C. is only exactly a week away. Today's weather has been reasonably nice. There's no precipitation. That's always the best thing about a nice day. Every day I keep playing "Two Of Us" on my guitar. Eventually I shall get it right.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I went to AA in Exeter this morning to get my car inspected. It was an unusually easy time. My father took me over. Within three hours it was all finished & the price was reasonable. I need an odometer though. That's the only part that stinks. My mother's been a little ill lately so my father & Uncle Frankie went shopping for food yesterday. Lately I've been reading a book of essays about Bl. Titus Brandsma, & "Paradoxes of Faith" by Henri de Lubac. There's still nothing much on TV except the occasional game show, reruns of "Cheers" & few other things. My big trip to Washington is only eight days away. I'm sort of looking forward to it but it's a little new to me so it will get me a little crazy. The weather's still cold but supposedly it will get a bit warmer starting today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It's still unbearably cold but at least that's as bad as it's been getting. It's time yet again to get my car inspected. Yesterday I called AA in Exeter to make an appointment. I got one for tomorrow. I have to make sure I get my car there by 8:00 a.m. Sometimes I go to Jack Williams in Kingston but this one's much closer. Unfortunately they kept me waiting on the phone for pert near ten minutes before I got the satisfaction of an answer. Those things have always been so nightmarishly boring & frustrating for me. Today we have to say happy birthday to Vic from my old Knights of Columbus council. He still lives in the same general area. I've just noticed that Beatle Ringo, who will turn seventy years old in July, has a new album out. It's called "Y Not".

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


When I got up this morning it was snowing. As always it's not bad, just a nice dusting. The weather's still bitter cold though. I'm still playing my guitar. Unfortunately I've yet to get to a store to get a copy of the latest issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine. I'm really trying to learn to play "Two Of Us". One of these days I shall have to go to the doctor & get a check_up. It never hurts to keep track of things. I just found out, at St. John's in Pittston this morning, that they will be having a blood drive on February 7. I haven't given blood in a while so I should really like to go this time. I just can't stand it when they always call on the phone. My father went to the V.A. for a doctor's appointment this morning. Yesterday I got still more name & address stickers, in the mail, to add to the thousands of them I already have by now anyway.

Monday, January 11, 2010


The weekend went well. It was bitter cold though. When I got up yesterday it was about ten degrees outside. There's been ice on the car windows all three days since Saturday. It's the coldest it's been in quite a while around here. Uncle Frankie ame over for supper yesterday at around 1:30. This morning I made sure I went over to the post office to mail, among other things my money for the trip to Washington in a little under two weeks. Bob called last night to talk about a few things, including the trip. On Saturday I watched "My Fair Lady" again & yesterday I saw "2001: A Space Odyssey" again. I'm always living in the pop cultural past. Today is my cousin Anthony's birthday. He lives in Brooklyn. We get to say happy birthday to him.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


It's still violently cold although the snow has abated for a while so far. The roads are clear. Yesterday I called Chris to see about making arrangements for the bus ride to Washington, D.C. on January 22. It's the big annual pro_life march. All I have to do is to send the money to the address I got. The fee covers a buffet lunch in a Maryland restaurant. I've never gone on this trip before. I dread having to be at my Knights of Columbus council in Luzerne at 6:00 a.m. but that's what I shall have to do. They're leaving at 6:45 after 6:30 Mass. There was a robbery a few blocks away from our neighborhood recently. That's pretty weird since there's a state trooper barracks right on Wyoming Avenue immediately down the street from here. Lately Elvis Presley has been getting a lot of attention because yesterday was his birthday. I've never liked him very much. As far as I'm concerned he's like a lot of overrated media sensations.

Friday, January 08, 2010


It's been snowing ever since last night. Today's Friday dance will be quite slippery. As usual, I only did a few minutes worth of shoveling. Today is Nunziata's birthday. She's cousin Java's wife. They live in Florida. Uncle Frankie showed up yesterday. He & my mother went food shopping because my father felt a little ill. Yesterday I got the Catholic Light in the mail. The information about the annual Pro_Life March was in it. I want to call to make sure I make arrangements so I can go in a few weeks. Last year I was forced to miss it because of my having promised Fr. Walsh I'd be in church that day. The only thing I don't like about the trip is that it starts so early. We have to be on the bus at my Knights of Columbus council, in Luzerne, at 6:30 a.m. I never sleep anyway so for me it may not be that big of a problem.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


I got yet another fundraiser letter from St John's high school yesterday.  Thanks for thinking of me , Wally

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The weather has been a little colder than I like it today but at least yesterday's brief snowfall didn't amount to anything. It was just annoying & frustrating. We're supposed to have quite a bitter cold spell within the next week. Bob called yesterday but I wasn't home so I called him back. We talked for a few minutes. Last night's meeting in Pittston turned out well. Everyone except Jonathan showed up. Fr. Jackson only stayed for a few minutes. When I first got there the doors were locked & Lynn Marie, who had the key, was in her van rambling on with someone on the phone. Fortunately she only kept me waiting a fairly short time. Because of conflicts in people's schedules the next meeting is supposed to be on a Thursday. No one showed up at Mass at St. John's this morning until the very last minute. There were only a few people there because of their friend's funeral today.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


When I went to Mass at St. John's this morning all went well until I left. As sooon as I got outside I walked right into a snowfall. It's been coming down today more than usual. One of the major disadvantages of this weather is that I always feel abnormally cold even when I'm inside someplace & dressed in very warm clothes. Tonight I'm supposed to go to a meeting at O.L. Mt. Carmel. I hope it's at least a little better by then. My father called Sam yesterday. They talked about all the usual things. Today's my cousin Fabrizio's birthday. He's yet another Facebook friend from Italy. I'm still playing my guitar. I've never been good at keeping it in tune though. Other than that it's been working out quite well lately. These days I don't watch too much TV which is good. It's not worth bothering with anyway most of the time. I didn't see Uncle Frankie yesterday. Maybe he showed up when I wasn't around.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


The weather is consistently cold these days. There always seems to be a constant stream of very slight snow coming down whenever I go outside. Uncle Frankie came over for a while last night. Uncle Larry's birthday was on Christmas Eve. Java's birthday was on Christmas Eve. He's my cousin Mary Ellen's husband. Today is Gisela's birthday. She's a distant cousin of mine in Argentina. As far as I know she only speaks Spanish. She's on my Facebook friends list. Today's also Shannon's birthday. She's cousin Mark's wife in Michigan. Yesterday I finished that book & started re_reading Shakespeare's "MacBeth". I'm still practicing my guitar on a regular basis too. I'm trying to play the Beatles' "Two Of Us". As of this morning the toilet is still an absolute nightmare. Joe the plumber is supposed to show up to take care of it. He was entirely too busy yesterday.

Monday, January 04, 2010


Bitter cold weather continues. It's been snowing quite a lot lately. It's never enough to accumulate but yesterday as I was hanging around in church it got very violent for a few minutes. We still have no priest at O.L. Sorrows. A visiting priest was there over the weekend. On Saturday night I watched "Cool Hand Luke". Last night I saw "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly". I've seen them both at least a few times before. Uncle Frankie is home from his visit with Fran. I've gotten to the very last few pages of that book by Avery Cardinal Dulles. After I've finished it I shall have to start yet another one. The new year is getting under way. So far nothing spectacular has happened except that the toilet wasn't working when I got up this morning. Joe the plumber is supposed to come over tomorrow to fix it. He's not the famous Joe the plumber.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


there was a "Twilight Zone" marathon on the SYFY channel all weekend

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Yesterday was Doug's birthday. He's my cousin Michelle's husband. It's time to welcome 2010. It's kind of like a sequel to 2001. The first decade of our century is now over. I didn't even bother to stay up to greet the new year because there was nothing going on. I watched quite a few episodes of the "Twilight Zone" marathon on the SyFy Channel. Surprisingly when I got to St. Joseph's at 8:20 a.m yesterday the doors were locked. If anyone showed up for 9:00 Mass it must have been at the last minute. Only one woman showed up besides me & she left too. I went to 10:00 Mass at St. John's in Pittston. It snowed over the weekend. I only ended up having to do around five minutes of shoveling because it wasn't so bad although it was hard to drive through it while it was still coming down. Uncle Frankie is still visiting Fran. They called my parents yesterday to say hello & happy new year. One of the things I've always dreaded about January each year is that I shall eventually have to get my car inspected.


I slept through midnight for the new year

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