Wednesday, November 13, 2019

New this century!

Some of you have already seen these photos of the car I want, but here's the follow up as well:
Drove to Tracy today [11/12] to check out the purple PT cruiser, and it's wonderful, [even under the hood, some of the parts are purple] and I made a down payment, and will probably pick it up this Sat. [or next Tuesday if  the checks haven't cleared]. I was going to have my old Toyota painted, but the Maaco in Antioch has closed! I was going to take it to the one in Fairfield next week, but don't have to since I'll have a new [for me] car. 
And, for more serendipity, on my way back from Tracy, I stopped at my nearest-to-home gas station to wash the dirt off of my windows [between the smoky dust, morning dew, and bird do, they needed it]. The man at the pump across from me came over, and said that he worked at a nearby body shop, and, would I be interested in having a 6" square of white paint on the edge of my left bumper removed?
"How much?"
"$15," he said, "and I can do it while you wash your windows."
"Okay," I said [that paint blotch had been bothering me for a couple of months], "It really needs a new paint job, but Maaco's closed," I lamented.
"It doesn't need a paint job, it needs a 'clear coat.'"
"How much does that cost?"
"I can do it for $120," he replied, "Let me give you my number. Are you interested in selling the car? Call me when you are. . . ."
What a nice day! My front bumper looks great. My first time in Tracy, too.
Have I told you how much I like my sleepy little beach town? Often, and for good reasons.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Main Frankfurt

After my peaceful stay in the German countryside, I took the bus back from the Hahn airport to the Frankfurt train station. Riding through Frankfurt, my impression was that it's huge and impersonal like Chicago. Supposedly, my hotel, the Tokyo Inn was close by. It was! It was literally around the corner from where the bus dropped me off. I don't think the bus could have dropped me any closer. It's a big chain that's very convenient, well equipped, and comes with a free European & Japanese style breakfast buffet, including miso soup. I really thought of Kim. She was so interested in Japan and Japanese culture and had been there many times. [At this point, I hadn't heard that she'd died.]

By the way, the blue in these paintings is the original 'Prussian Blue.'
 Although the room was small, it was quiet, and did have many amenities including a safe, and a soaking tub in the bathroom to go with the Japanese toilet which basically does everything but the dishes, and you can make the seat warm or cool.

I was tired, so I went to the train station to buy some munchies - there was even a Burger King in the food court, but I settled for some ham & cheese croissants, and a marzipan one, too. On my way in, I noticed a man sitting on a bench, and it looked like he had a cigarette hanging out of his nose!
As I drew closer, I saw that it was too thin to be a cigarette, so then I pondered why he had a lollipop stick in his nose. As I drew even closer, I was appalled at the condition he was in. His eyes were closed. And I still have no idea what the white stuff was that was dripping out of his nose, and he might have been dead. I did report him to one of the security guards. 
After I bought my munchies, I went out of the station and took the street back towards the hotel since I didn't want to see that guy again. I was cutting through some bus stop areas when I went past two young Asian men sitting on a bench in one of the bus shelters snorting a white powder off of one of the guy's Rolex. Welcome to Frankfurt!

I enjoyed my quiet dinner and my single malt, took a long bath, and actually slept quite well.

The next day I spent shopping and exploring after ravaging the buffet and washing it down with three cappucinos. I went to a currency exchange to buy some Romanian money, checked out some galleries, had lunch, and went back to the hotel for a while.

Later in the afternoon, I went for a walk down by the river.

On my way I passed this bench near the river, and loved the chair someone had put out.

There was a lovely outdoor restaurant on the river bank, and I went inside to check it out. Unfortunately, it was a seafood restaurant, and I can't eat it. But, while I was there, I decided to use the restroom. The picture below is of the baby-changing station. Just adorable.

Walking across the river at sunset.

Headed back to the hotel, but didn't find any restaurants I liked. So I headed across the street from the other side of the train station, and found an Irish pub that looked great, but it was packed to the gills with people watching a soccer game. I kept going down this large street away from the train station when I passed this "Canadian Street Food" restaurant!  What!! I've never even seen a Canadian cuisine restaurant [except maybe Tim Hortons?], and I live near SF. What could their cuisine be? Only thing I could think of was poutine? Jackpot!
Couldn't believe it; had to try it.

 Picture's kind of dark, but it says BBQ Pulled Pork Poutine.
Poutine is delicious, but is not really on anyone's diet.

I went in and ordered the Montreal Poutine [What do you think, Alex?]
It came with mushroom gravy and a side of mayonaise, and was pretty good.

Sated, I returned to the hotel and packed for my flight to Bucharest on the morrow.
Arose early, had another good breakfast, and took the train to the airport.

Bye, bye, Toyoko Inn - I'll be back October 14th to fly back to Dayton.

Friday, October 11, 2019

frankfurt v. frankfort

Silly me! When I booked my trip to Frankfurt [Main], I thought I'd
booked a room at Frankfurt, but it was Hahn, not Main. Right airport,
wrong town. The man at the info desk at Main called Hotel Venezia
for me, and they told him they were 100 km away, and there was no
shuttle. They told him I could cancel my reservation, but then I might
have the same problem, and would just have to spend more time
dealing with it after a loooong flight from the US. He also told me
there wasn't anything to do in Sohren, except that it was close to the
Hahn airport.

So I decided to take the bus to Sohren, Germany, rest up, and make
plans later. It was a beautiful trip through the brightly-colored
countryside. The Hahn airport is one of the smallest I've ever seen,
and it had the best prices as well. I went inside the terminal, which
was more like a small shopping center, and asked at information for
them to call the hotel. While I waited for the shuttle to arrive, I had
cappucino for one euro, and raspberry gelato for 1.5 euro! Sohren is
absolutely charming, and I'm glad I stayed! I did change my four-
night reservation to two, since I was flying out of Frankfurt Main to
Romania. My hosts were great, their on-site restaurant was excellent.
I had dinner there the first night of his tortellini and a beer, and when
I paid the bill, he asked about adding the room to it? After he did that,
his wife came out of the kitchen and told him I was staying another
night. "Really? Almost all our guests only stay one night.'' [He's
Italian, and his wife was born in Sohren.] It was a very restful visit.
I think I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Does anybody know what time it is?
Does anybody care? [lobby clocks - none of which have the correct time]

This hotel was absolutely beautiful. The restaurant had a cigarette machine in its foyer!
When did you last see one of those? Actually, the streets of Sohren were spotless,
except for the occasional cigarette butts.

So, the next day, I walked up the hill to find a bank, but they were all closed. Good news is everyone
took Visa, and I figured I could find a currency exchange in Frankfurt. It takes a max of 20 minutes
to walk from one end of town to the other, even dawdling, but I really enjoyed this glimpse into a
tiny town in Germany.

This was a war memorial about halfway up the hill.

Just next to this lovely window was an amazing local bakery. I had a coffee and pastry and listened to "If You're Going to San Francisco" on their radio. Fortified, I continued my trek on up the hill [and I went back early the next day for coffee and more goodies for my plane trip later.]

Heading back down from the bank view.

Hard to see, but I enjoyed watching this man trim and pick his grapes.

Another interesting building purposely painted this way.

Had to stop here - a cross between an Eastern European deli and a Dollar store.

Gothic church and view of nothing beyond it.

Rainbow paint store next to the lane back to the hotel.

Cool junque in the lane close to my hotel. Note the ancient John Deere in next photo.

Gorgeous window on the landing on the way up to my room.

My sink is amber, and the toilet is purple.
I went to their restaurant for dinner. I think they were my best choice. I checked out the menus at the other three in town. Tonight I tried the canneloni with more beer, and when I visited their restrooms, the women's fixtures were a dark rose porcelain, and the men's [I was the only person downstairs, so I peeked] were lime green. Amazing color schemes, but didn't take my camera with me.
Leaving tomorrow. More later.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

reunion at last

2019 marks my 50th school reunions. I attended two different secondary schools, so my first reunion was in September, and my next one is Oct. 18-20. In between, I'm off to Europe for a month.

I flew to Dayton on 9/10 and stayed with my sister, who also attended Walnut Hills, in Dayton for a week, and on Friday the 13th we went to Cincinnati, and listened to the school's 80 piece chamber orchestra, and there were about 80 of us. Afterwards, we had after school snacks! After that, we checked into our hotel, and got ready for the bar party at the Banks down by the Riverfront. After we parked, we walked across the street toward the river, and watched a lovely sunset, swung on the swings, and hung out with the Reds mascot:

Cathy tired early, but I stayed another two hours, and had a ride back to the hotel with two fellow alums who were staying at the same hotel.

On Saturday, we went back to school for a very good pancake breakfast, which was followed by a tour of the school.

Walnut Hills High - Sursum ad Summum
Yes, it's five times the size of Monticello! When I attended, there were around 2000 students.
There are now 3000 students, and 6000 on the waiting list!
Cathy and I skipped that, and instead went to Burlington, KY to have lunch at the Tousey [one of my all-time favorite eateries] House.

Although I had my 30th reunion shirt, I really liked our new one, and wore it to lunch.

After that, I really wanted to see the poster exhibit at the Taft Museum. We were both surprised how much the place has expanded, and how beautiful it was.
One of my favorites.

This is one of the original printings on silk!
Saturday night was the big dinner and party at Memorial Hall. Leeds gave both of us a ride to it from the hotel, and at the event, I ran into Camille Bush, who used to sit in front of me in home room. She joined us at our table along with a grade school friend of mine, Chris Dux. Dinner was a buffet, and then they chose 8 of us for a trivia contest, and Leeds, Bernie [another grade school friend of mine], and I were chosen as contestants. I was chosen because I'd been a member of the Latin Club! They had a fabulous 60's band, and a great Motown band, and lots of Graeter's ice cream and other goodies for dessert. The dinner was over around 11, and there was an after-party that was supposed to run till 2 am, but the three of us skipped that, and went back to the hotel.

On Sunday, we woke up early, checked out, and ran around like crazy buying Skyline chili dogs, White Castle burgers, and a 6 pack of Graeter's ice cream for our 60's Clifton reunion party from noon - 4 pm. We were ecstatic with the turnout of 30-40 people. Others brought Hitchin' Post chicken with all the sides, and lemonade. We also had Schoenling Little King ale.

Mount Storm Park in Clifton

My sister Cathy, Dan, & Bernie [we used to play Monopoly in grade school].
At both reunions we decided 10 years is too long to wait, and plan to meet again in 2024!

Off to a good start. Will try to keep up with myself.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Kim Currie Remembrance

Seems like a long time since I've posted here, and I'm already behind on writing about this year's European trip, but I wanted to write about a dear friend of mine who died on Sept. 24th, and whose memorial service will be held tonight [Oct. 5th] in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada.

Kim Currie [?I never knew her birthdate] - Sept. 24, 2019 Original Bad Girl

[That's what's written on the candle in runes]

Tonight is Kim's memorial in Etobicoke, Ontario. I remember her home there well. I'm sitting in my apartment in Kaunas, Lithuania writing this and meditating on my lost friend's life.
We met in the 80's at a WicCan Fest at the old UniCamp site. We were thrown together [literally] when the guys we were staying with found out that their 'significant others' had now decided to attend over the weekend. We had no idea!
Jim and Andy came and told me to pack up all my things and that they were going to move me to a cabin. The same had happened to Kim. We became friends instantly.
The last time I saw her was last summer at Fest. She had picked me up at the Toronto airport, and we stayed at a hotel overnight, and Ashley picked me up the next day. I thought we were close to her, but no, everyone was actually closer to Hamilton. Kim didn't come with this time, but the last time we were at Harvest Fest, our lewd, rude, and crude event was 'pin the penis on the pin-up guy' we had posted on the door of the 'B' [is for Bad Girls] cabin.
My fondest memories of her are her delicious Rose Mead, and ALL of the lewd, rude, and crude events. I still have the buns, boobs, and balls impressions made with poster paints on paper. I remember the lewd limbo; and when it was Isaac Bonewits turn, instead of shouting, "Isaac take your clothes off," we screamed, "Isaac take your hat off!"
I stayed with her during the Gaia Gathering in Toronto, and we all went to some Asian fusion bar, and sang and sang, and on the way home, I saw this elephant table in the hallway outside the W.C. and asked the owner if it were for sale? "$20?" I paid him, and Kim's boyfriend at the time carried it back to the car. It stayed at Kim's in Stouffville until my sister Cathy and I drove up from Dayton, OH for the Tribal Hearth gathering in February, and it now sits in her living room along with the 'Bad Girls' lava lamp, just next to the front door. We always had great fun together. When I was there in June, we had planned to meet on the American side at the casino in 2020. I was supposed to fly in to Buffalo and meet her there.
Now the only place we might meet again is in Freya's Hall. Goodbye, Kim, I'm really going to miss you!
-Prudence Priest, Oct. 5th, 2019
p.s. The photo is of the candle I'm burning for her during the remembrance ceremonial.

This side says 'KIM' in runes.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Lithuania Day

Just had to share this beautiful translation:

Labas visiems, 

I wrote about everything today, but I forgot to remind you that tonight is the time when Lithuanians worldwide will be singing the National Anthem, Lietuvos Himnas. This takes place at 9 p.m., EST. Lithuanians everywhere will be singing! Grab your tri-color Lithuanian flag and get outdoors and sing as loud as possible, so that your voice echoes with the words of freedom around the world. Sorry I am giving you such short notice.. 

Valio Lietuva! 

The Lithuanian National Anthem ("Lietuvos Himnas") is usually sung at Lithuanian gatherings throughout the World. There will be no better time than tonight to perhaps rededicate ourselves to the ideals set forth in Lithuania's "Lietuvos Himnas". I know of no other Anthem as beautiful and lyrically more meaningful than is ours.

"Lithuania, my homeland, land of heroes! Let your sons & daughters draw strength from the past. Let your children follow only the path of virtue, working for the good of their native land and for all mankind. Let the sun banish all darkness from Lithuania, with light and truth always guiding our steps. Let the love of Lithuania burn in our hearts And for the sake of our country, let unity blossom." 

Translated from the original by Vincas Kudirka 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Art Update

Finally finished my largest [18" x 24"] painting ever of the Dene
River in Scotland. I'll be entering it in several shows.
Here it is unframed:


 When I was leaving Scotland, my friend Faracy Moon Grouse gave me a hand-detailed print of "Persephone" which I also framed:

I gave her a copy of my hand-detailed print of "Mycale" [the Mother
of Gemini]: She was the first witch who was documented for 'drawing
down the moon.']
The photo is of another copy of the print. I often sell them at art events
I attend. Will start on my Lithuania and Sweden travels as soon as
I can catch up on everything else.