my book of poetry about September 11th, 2001...and after Available NOW at -click here

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ransom is an English Name

Often when we are asked about our heritage we first point out that mom is Italian, so we have a clear sense of where we come from on that side of the family. But on dad's side of things the path from the past is not so clear cut. So as we journey to England this weekend in search of facts about William Shakespeare, I will be keeping my eyes and ears open for everything and anything Ransom.

While I am third generation Italian on my mother's side, the Ransoms have been in America for centuries. There are records of them participating in the American Civil War on both sides. Just how far back we go I have not looked into very closely, afraid I may find some nefarious and unsavory facts about my distant relatives. Yet, curiosity is getting the better of I will be keeping in touch form the Motherland as we make our away into the heart of England.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Much Ado About...Irene

We get a bucket of brown water every time we have a wind driven rain, so Irene just forced more water through the leaky windows.Lots of twigs and leaves, and one big branch down in our immediate vicinity. I will be going to work in a few hours where I am sure to be dealing with the hardest hit areas.We are all fine here and have weathered the storm safely. We do now know all the verses and chorus to "Good Night Irene" which we sang between episodes of "Rescue Me" on DVD. After this shift I will be on vacation. Next stop...Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rinse Cycle

August rains began in earnest around 2:30 AM this morning. The streets of Brooklyn New York are being given a serious wash down. Unfortunately all the detritus of life not neatly collected into bins for waste is washed into the city sewer and makes its way to the waterways of this our fair city. But it's hard to be depressed when even the air is rinsed to a fresh fragrance of late summer. Here nature wins at last. Like the biting freezing cold of winter, the summer rains pervade and overwhelm the senses in a good way. There's no sound like the hissing whoosh of passing cars slowed to a human pace by downpours. Pedestrians present to their environment seek shelter beneath colorful umbrellas. Floods flash as streams and brooks overflow their confining banks, leaders spout, and roofs in need of TLC become known to the sad inhabitants of not so dry rooms below.Its a day for the movies or indoor games, bending your elbow, tour a museum, write poetry, make love. Get on the phone and keep in touch with those far away. Listen to music. Write a letter, with pen and paper. No Yankee game I'm sure, and the Mets are in Arizona. Stay safe my family and friends. Keep dry, but be thankful, for in Texas they are in a drought that is reminiscent of the dust bowl. Love rain over me!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Call Me a Radical

With the news full of the gloom and doom of economic disaster worldwide, I never thought that my conservative behavior over the past ten years could be considered radical, but now I don't know.

During the housing bubble we resisted the urge to be seduced by the temptation of 120 percent financing. We actually paid off all the outstanding balances on our credit cards with what we earned from our jobs, and we are now considered "dead beats" by those companies because we pay our bills on time and do not have to pay interest or fees.

We actually managed to start a modest savings program and, aside from student loans which are on their way to being repaid, we are debt free. The only thing we own is pictured above, a now "used" truck. I am not bragging. We still pay way too much in rent for way too little space. We got rid of our storage locker because the price kept going up. The same space they offered for $75.00 a month for first time renters, is going for twice that if you are a longtime loyal and consistent customer.

I consider us truly blessed. Too many of my friends are being devastated by what has happened. For once the government should make a productive use of "Imminent Domain" by seizing every foreclosed property in the United States and return those homes to the very people who have been duped by disingenuous mortgage lenders and banks. Homeowners who fell victim to schemes and get restored to their homes in that way should pay what they can afford based on their incomes. Talk about stimulating the economy, once banks have a vested interest in what people make, lets see how fast and how many jobs get created.

I don't know, I'm just saying...

Monday, August 8, 2011


that mid-summer is well past and the dog days are upon us I am taking a moment to get present with the things we've done thus far...we start in Essex, CT where we did a sunset sail on the Mary E. AND saw Bill in "The Producer's" at the Ivoryton Playhouse centennial.Took a break to go to work (yuck!) And then... proceeded to Cape Code with Cyndy and V for a wonderful mid-week day at the beach. Next stop for Jen is Chicago and her ATHE conference. And then, as labor Day looms we're taking a leap of faith (considering all the gloom and doom on Wall Street) and we are making the pilgrimage to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare in preparation for Jen's course she's teaching at Marymount this coming semester.

As you can see by the photos I am very plump these days...fat and happy as the saying goes. I am like the stock market. I lose...I gain. Life goes on. If you would like to check my flesh out...I mean see me in the flesh...check out Rebstock 2011 this Sunday in Tompkins Square Park. It's free.(

The novel is in the final chapters of its first draft. The pace has slowed somewhat but I am still on track for a September deadline. More about September and the marking of ten years since the 9/11 attacks next month.

Finally this: "They all want you to borrow anyhow. Banks, car lots, investors. The whole thing's geared to invisible money. You never hear the sound of change anymore. It's all plastic being shuffled back and forth.It's all in everybody's heads."

from Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard first performed in 1978.