Farewell, My Friend


Borders is going out of business. I went to my hometown Borders for the last time when I was visiting a few weeks ago.

Borders in Henrietta, NY










The manager had left a goodbye note of sorts at the front door. In it, he mentioned that the store had opened in November 1990. I was 15 years old. I honestly can’t think of any specific books that I bought at the store; I just recall many an afternoon and evening sitting at the cafĂ© with Daisy and Marge et al., philosophizing about life and perusing books and magazines.

The last book I bought there: Strangely enough, in the bargain section, I found a hardcover copy of A Lion Called Christian, my recent obsession. Kind of spooky…

I am sure I will be making visits to the Boston Borders up until the bitter end. But yesterday was my first visit.

Borders in Boston, MA










There is still quite a bit of inventory. I bought a travel memoir that I had just read about in a magazine, A Walk Across America. It’s the story of a young man who walked across America in the 1970s. One of my dreams is to drive cross country someday. I hope it comes true.

I will miss Borders. I fear for the future of bookstores, I truly do.

Photo Essay

Here’s a random assortment of photos from my recent jaunt west.

Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens







Hydrangea House at Sonnenberg. I had never seen so many different hydrangeas.


An orchid in the Orchid House at Sonnenberg







Big Sis and Lil Bro at Mt. Greylock


Looking down on Adams from Mt. Greylock summit

Back from the Homeland


Why does vacation time go by twice as fast as nonvacation time?

I’m back from my trip “out west.” I met Dad’s new kitten, Buddy; I met my friend Marge’s 2-week-old son, Ari. Mom and I went on jaunts to Naples (home of the Naples Grape Festival) and Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua. And then Lil Bro and I drove around the entirety of western Massachusetts before he dropped me off at the bus station in Albany, NY.

I thought it would be fun for the two of us to cruise around the Berkshires for a couple of days. But accommodations was an issue. I refused to pay $289 for a Super 8 motel room! Tanglewood, shmanglewood. I tried finding a cabin at a state park, but they were all booked. Then, I tried the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Score! There was a room available at a lodge in the middle of nowhere, Massachusetts. Well, Russell, Massachusetts. The lodge was very nice. We didn’t have much time to enjoy it, as we arrived at 10 pm and left the next day. But we did hike one of the trails that left right from the lodge before we left.

We left Russell and headed for Mt. Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. We drove through the park since we were short on time. We did hike one strenuous* trail at the end. I was practically crawling back to our car and couldn’t even speak because I was too busy panting profusely. I need more cardio in my life.

We continued west to Albany, had a lovely dinner, and slept soundly in our air-conditioned hotel room. The next day, we explored downtown Albany a bit before parting ways at the bus station. I slept for most of the bus ride, so it went by quickly.

I’ll put up a photo essay once I download my photos…


*The map said the trail was strenuous, I swear.

Picture Up


My second shot at movie extra-dom was much more fun than the first. Well, the first time was fun because it was the first time, and we actually made it on screen. But pretending to be in an airport security line and having to take off your shoes and put them in a bin on a fake conveyor belt o-ver and o-ver again gets old.

Last week, Abby and I were extras in a scene at a Norah Jones concert! That was way more fun. We had to cheer (surprise), but then we also had to do a fair share of booing. In the scene we filmed, in the middle of her concert, Norah invites the main character (Mark Wahlberg) on stage to sing a song to his woman. Unfortunately, he is a HORRIBLE SINGER. Well, the character. Not Mark Wahlberg, of course. So we had to boo him off the stage.

Norah and her band sounded great. She seemed sweet. And Mark Wahlberg was funny. After they stopped filming, he made comments like, “What’s your problem? I sound fine.” Etc. etc. Seth McFarlane (the writer and director) was also funny while directing us. He did some Family Guy voices and the extras ate that shit up.

The shoot started at 7:00 pm and went until 3:00 am. Abby and I ended up leaving a little after midnight, so we could catch the last subway home. No one seemed to care that other extras were leaving. There were literally thousands of us. So although you won’t be able to pick us out of the crowd, know that we were there! I can’t wait to see how many minutes that scene runs in the movie. My bet is around eight minutes. Eight hour-shoot for eight minutes…this is why some movie budgets are outrageous…