Dracula stood pacing at the gate…reblog for Halloween 2013

Dracula stood pacing at the gate…

“My friend, my friend, you have arrived so late!”

“So sorry, so sorry, please do forgive.                                                                            Now what is it you want, so I can live?”

                                                                                                                                                                 “Please, oh please, more blood, more blood, yours so fine:                                                             Loving, intoxicating, like a Merlot wine.”

“In return, my dear Dracula,                                                                                                    what will you have for me                                                                                                 where is my reward  promised in the hours so wee?”


 “The reward, your reward are nuggets of gold,                                                                       those heartfelt words I occasionally unfold.”                                                                             The nuggets of gold, the spices of life,                                                                                         the times when I help you in strife                                                                                                 that is your reward for giving me life.”

“Dear Dracula, Dracula                                                                                                                

that is not enough.                                                                                                                          

I know your thirst, I know your hunger pain,                                                                  

I wish I could help with my heart and my vein.”                                                          

“But the clock is a ticking, ticktock it calls,                                                                      my time so precious; I can hear the footfalls.”

“So Dracula, Dracula                                                                                                                             Adieu, my dear friend                                                                                                                        I bid you a source of blood so sweet,                                                                                                  your ravenous hunger, it will finally deplete.”


Dracula can be a metaphor for anything, bounded or unbounded, that sucks our life blood from us. 

Baseball…my Father died 8 years ago today, baseball was his favorite game

play-ball: painter and information can be found by play-ball 

play-ball  “it is the bottom of the ninth the bases are loaded and …”

 The music would play, the action would begin, in the 1960s on the black and white TV.  I am reading the book Underworld by Don DeLillo and the first section took me to a 1950s baseball game.  They were there, the adults of my 60s childhood:  Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, and Jackie Gleason, at that one game.

The crowd moves with the action of the game as does the city, the nation, recorded in real-time, live on the radio, live in those pages.  There is no Internet, there is no buzz, there is no one in the seats watching on the big screen overhead or on their iPhone, and there is no one twittering about the beer that Jackie’s guzzling.

Real time, one pitch, one ball at a time.  And the movement, the movement of the players as they work for the goal mirrored by the movement of a young man through the streets of NY gliding through the concrete, dodging people to save his baseball, the winning baseball, the baseball that landed in his section of the stadium.  The baseball of possibility and hope.

It’s warm and cold now, this week in 2012, a normal September feeling.  Driving past Cornell Wednesday, I decided to get out by the polo ring and take a walk.  You can still park in that area and not get a ticket.  I needed to stretch my legs and open my mind… FOUR hours on the computer, too much.  Walking past the polo building, then past the tennis building, I thought I saw it, a baseball field.  So I took a walk down…sure enough there is a baseball field with a big no trespassing sign.  No one around, and  maybe  one place left without a  video camera, besides, what were they going to do, shoot me? I walked the bases, not once, but twice.

My Dad loved the Yankees and he loved complaining about their leaders, especially Joe Torre.  I have no idea why.  No idea, he never told me and died soon after baseball season was over 8 years ago.  He took my brothers to Yankee games -I guess because that was the guy thing to do.  My friend Bev’s parents took three of us in 1973 to see the Mets in Shea Stadium.  I don’t remember anything about the game except that I fell in love with New York City and that my friend Bev loved Tom Seaver.

The only time I played baseball it wasn’t really baseball, it was softball, and I played fifth and final substitute in 6th grade.  One day feeling all confident in my shortest person in the Class of 1973 status body, I said something cocky as I played outfield behind the second basegirl.  As if to show the team by showing me, Coach Russ  shot the ball right at me.  I tried to catch it but it hit my nose first, ouch! And then he said! “See who is laughing now.”

So that is pretty much my history with baseball.  I enjoyed my walk around those bases yesterday. I felt the sanded grit under my feet and the possibility of a slide into 2nd or 3rd or the ball throw from 1st to 2nd and the runner out.

“Its Perez on 3rd base, batter up.”

“And Perez gets it to the 2nd baseman, just in time, ladies and gentlemen, he is out.”

I ended my walk, went to the Cornell Orchard, came home and took my dog Moby for a walk, a good walk.  The commentator could be heard

“And it’s Perez, trying to pull the dog off the deer scent.”

  “It’s Perez holding her own as the dog pulls her toward his destination and she pulls him back.”

At midnight, I opened my book, Underworld. I am way past the baseball game, the quiet of life without electronics: I have written a blog; corrected a student paper on line; placed a cell phone call; land line call; and posted to twitter twice.

Yep, way past the world where the ball has left the street kid’s hands…

copyright claireaperez@gmail.com

Billy Hilfiger, I wish I’d known ya! a picture and a song say a thousand words



Every now and then, some random story moves me as this did today.  My cousin posted this YouTube video as a tribute to Billy Hilfiger.  After watching the video, I wished I had known him.  The Hilfigers, yes all related to Tommy, are a large clan.  I’ve known a few of them.  Technically they lived down the street from me growing up, about 3 miles away, in Elmira NY, 1970s.
 What I like about the video is that with one lovely song and many good pictures, I feel I’ve learned something about a life, though probably unconventional and short, that was very well lived.  A picture, and a song paint a thousand words.  Rock on Mr. Billy Hilfiger, Rock on.


The girls, the spa, and the food

When it came right down to it, the food was delicious.

At the spa, I enjoyed a Greek wrap and Mimosa for lunch. The wrap’s flavor came from a combination of the black olives, feta cheese, and a delicious dressing lightly glazing the wrap contents.

Dinner started out disappointing because again, we could not get into the Italian restaurant across from our lodging. But, one door shuts and another opens and we went to a cozy booth in a little restaurant down the road.

My main entrée was delicious: tender pot roast resting on  a mashed potato mountain and topped with gravy. The best part of the meal were the Utica Greens, Utica Greens | SAVEUR http://po.st/IZCAFg via , L ordered for the table. Wilted greens, onions, smothered in cheese, breadcrumbs and whatever else went into this dish which I hope to make sometime soon. All this food enjoyed with a glass of Merlot and laughs as we discussed our high school days.

Breakfast, back at the spa, included delicious cups of coffee, almond croissants, homemade granola, and cut fruit.

In between our food fest events, we took spa treatments, checked into the lodge, and chatted randomly. Jobs, home decor, food, heart-break, kids, food, vacations, aging, food, family reunions, Hometown news, next spa meeting, food.

30 years earlier, my friend M and I swore off the topic of food. We would not become our  aging parents, talking about food. We would not talk about the intricacies of a manicotti recipe or the turkey stuffing or the latest food magazines.

Toward the end of one conversation I turned to M and said, “We are doing it again: talking about food.”  We had covered: manicotti, turkey stuffing, and recipe on p. 91 for escarole in the Wegmans’ food magazine.

Cest la vie.

When we went to the parking lot to say goodbye, I pulled out my bag of gifts.
For each spa girl, one homegrown spaghetti squash. We all laughed.

I thought L would already have one since she has a lush garden and had brought a gift of homemade blackberry preserves for all of us, but she did not.

We all chuckled, got into or cars, and drove in our respective directions. I’m looking forward to our next meal.