Monday, September 30, 2013

Fighting the Bug & Cruising the Carolinas

                                      Jean               Marie                 Rita

My two fellow ghost hunters and I have been dying to head down to North and South Carolina to enjoy the history, the ambiance and the ghosts. We got all three!
After driving for nine hours (we got lost a few times; they left me in charge of the map) we finally reached Wilmington, North Carolina.
 We visited the battleship USS North Carolina and learned about its part in World War two, and encountered a two ghosts; young sailors who had died during one of the ship's battles. Later, we   hit the local restaurants. The people of the south are so very friendly.

 I had been on antibiotics for three days already to fight my infected sinuses and ear infection, and I really thought that I was getting well; I was wrong!

Next day, we headed towards Charleston, South Carolina and after getting misplaced a few times (yeah, I had the map, again) we reached our destination.

Sunday, we set out to see the sights with me ignoring the fact that I was feeling worse instead of better. We visited the Boone plantation and slave houses. The mansion was closed because of a festival, but we intend to hit the mansion on another day, soon.

 But visiting the slave house had a sobering effect on me. Being an advocate against human trafficking, I was extremely touched by the suffering endured by the slaves. When will we ever evolve mentally and spiritually enough to realize that no one is free unless all people are free? There is no equality unless all are equal. With all the hate out there, I’m beginning to have my doubts that we’ll make it to the end of the year.

Oops, sorry, it’s my fever speaking out. After visiting the planation, we headed to the dungeon and provost where the pirates were held before their trial. Like I said, love the history of a region and want to learn as much as I can. But the dungeon was a bit moldy, not enough to bother healthy people, but someone like me; very bad!

I felt horrible; fever, sneezing, you name it; I felt it. We had a ghost hunt scheduled in one of the oldest cemeteries and didn’t have time to go back to the hotel, so I grabbed some rest on a park bench.

At the cemetery, sick as I was, I felt the spirits there; took a few pictures and used our equipment. I have an extremely good shot of a spirit globe and will post this when I get home. Someone touched my friends and me on our arms and neck, plus, there were other signs. I’ll post about this when I’m feeling better.

friends went to a battlefield today, but I stayed home to rest, and hopefully, give the antibiotics a chance to work. So I watched T.V. There are really strange shows on television during the day.

I will touch base with all my zombie snacks as I travel. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I’ve been fired as navigator. I don’t know why?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Update from Marie of Gilbert Curiosities


Hi my little zombie snacks!! Just a heads up that I won't be blogging as much as usual for the next week.

I'm heading out on Friday morning for another adventure. Got my bags packed; my equipment safely stored; and my rosary beads, holy water and bible in my backpack.

Heading out for some serious ghost investigations with my friends. Don't know what we'll find, but a looking we will go.


I'll catch up on my Sleepy Hollow Reviews on my return and post them on

I'll catch up on my News from the Dark Side and my Lilith Returns as soon as I return, as well as any interviews in my in-box.

Hold the fort until I return; look out for the shuffling dead. Yes! I'm talking about Congress! But also look out for zombies.

I'll post on Facebook and Twitter when possible.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Goodbye Dr. Ruth Patrick


Ruth Patrick was born in Topeka Kansas on November 29, 1907 and died on Monday, September 23, 2013; she was one hundred and five years old.  One hundred and five years is a long time, but Dr. Patrick didn’t waste one day of those years.

                                                   Dr. Patrick is fourth from the left

She was an Environmental Scientist working eight decades at the Academy of Natural Sciences on 19th and the Parkway in Philadelphia. She was called “The den mother of ecology” by the Harvard University biologist, E. O. Wilson.

What did she do? Well, she was the nation’s authority on river systems and had devised a model called the “Patrick Principle”, which was used to gauge the health of a body of water. She was an activist and an authority on diatoms.

Diatoms are single cell organisms that scientist use as indicators of the quality of water found in streams and rivers. She knew her stuff and people knew it. She was the first woman environmentalist to be appointed to the DuPont Company’s Board of Directors. She advised President Johnson on water pollution; Ronald Regan on acid rain; worked with Congress on legislation that led to the nation’s primary water pollution laws. Congress listened to her, Presidents listened to her, and corporations listened to her.
She was a petite woman who received the National Medal of Science form President Clinton in 1996. You can go on line and learn about her many accomplishments, but I wanted to talk about the Dr. Ruth Patrick that the staff at the Academy grew to love and respect.

 Dr. Ruth Patrick was a friendly patient woman who enjoyed talking with any of the staff, who took the time to sit with her while she ate her lunch in the Academy’s cafĂ©. I would sit and chat with Dr. Patrick if I had some free time from my busy day. But, believe me, I wasn’t the only staff member that sat mesmerized as she talked about the collection of diatoms, or the research expeditions that she went on.
She talked about her father, Frank Patrick, a lawyer with a love of nature. It was he who gave the young Ruth her first microscope. She talked about the early years at the Academy during a time when woman were not readily accepted in the field of science. She was proud of her work. Dr. Ruth Patrick was a woman who inspired others to greatness. She was a friend.
Some people will read about her in the obituaries and say, “She lived a long life.” But to those of us, who got to know the woman behind the scientist, we’ll say, “Not long enough.”
Goodbye Ruth, you'll be a hard act to follow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Sisters Learn the Meaning of Old


My sister Lucy retired from her Crossing Guard job and with me in between jobs; we have more time to hang out together. Lucy and I are in fairly good shape; we walk several miles a day; run after grandkids; leap tall buildings in a single bound…well maybe not leap…more like trip.

Lucy joined a senior citizen center in South Philly that offers exercise classes every day and has a room with all kinds of weight lifting and muscle building equipment. She wanted me to join with her.
“Why should I exercise with a bunch of old people?” I asked, folding my arms in protest.
        Me and Lucy

“Because we’re old,” was her counter. Who me? NAH!
Anyway…I joined the center with her because it was a chance for two sisters, who have been working ever since they were seven years old, to finally do activities together.

We signed up for the exercise classes which included a zumba routine. Most of the women in that class were at least 80 years old, while the others were closer in age to Lucy and me. The instructor teaching our class was about my age. Piece of cake, I thought to myself. Turning towards Lucy, I foolishly said, “This will  be easy.”                Wrong!!!!!!
Hells bells and flab on a cracker! The instructor gave us one heck of a workout. Calling out commands like a drill sergeant, she had us moving body parts that I wasn’t aware even existed. Lucy and I were huffing and puffing and falling all over our own feet.
What about those women who were in their 80’s and I think there was one close to 90? They were doing just peachy fine; didn’t even break a sweat. WTF!  

Lucy and I will continue to go to the gym every day, but we might wear a disguise, especially 
 if those old ladies keep laughing at us.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gilbert's Review of Cold Justice.


There’s a new cop show on T.V. and I love it. It’s not your typical cop show; it’s a reality show. Cold Justice, produced by Dick Wolf, is TNT’s new hit which is on every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. The two female stars are real crime fighters.

Kelly Siegler has been a licensed attorney in the State of Texas since 1987. She is a dedicated and successful Prosecutor; she tried 68 murder cases and never lost. She worked her way up to Bureau Chief of Special Crimes. This crime fighter is tough on criminals and compassionate to victims.

Yolanda McClary was with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for 26 years with 16 of those years working the crime lab. Her cases involved murders, suicides, sexual assaults, etc. etc.

It’s a hard town and the crimes match it. Yolanda McClary was the inspiration for Marg Helgenberger’s character on the T.V. show, C.S.I.

These two ladies along with a former Houston Homicide Detective, Johnny Bond work as a team with other law enforcement personnel to bring closure to an old case by re-examining or re-creating the crime scene (if possible), re-questioning suspects and witnesses.
Do you know what this means? It doesn't matter how many years have passed; a murderer can still be caught. If I was a family member of someone who was killed, I would want someone like these two amazing women, doing everything in their power to bring the guilty to trial. Sometimes, the show ends with the case going to the grand jury and the killer behind bars.  Go on the Cold Justice site to see all the cases and what new facts have been discovered. And follow these caring crime fighters on twitter and Facebook. We have ourselves a pair of real superheroes

Cold Justice has won the Steampunk Granny Award of excellence!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Meet the Amazingly Talented Rudy Caporaso

Last year, I had the pleasure of watching a very talented young man perform at the Laurel Hill Cemetery. Who would have thought that you didn’t have to be dead to enjoy yourself in a cemetery? But enjoy we did. The show was fantastic. Rudy Caporaso and his entourage sang songs about death and dying that had the crowd tapping their toes and singing along.

This year, Rev’s Theatre Company performed Six Feet Under (and above) at the Laurel Hill Cemetery and the show was a tremendous hit for both the living and dead. Rudy has graciously agreed to be a guest on my blog. Thank you so much, Rudy for visiting.  

Tell my readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to be a performer?

I had a rather classic start-pretending, always dressing up and putting together kids’ shows in the back yard. A seminal moment for me was my elementary school’s production of THE WIZARD OF OZ. I was desperate to play the Scarecrow. A girl I was friendly with in class wanted to play the Wicked Witch of the West and the teacher overheard me “coaching” her. Well, our teacher/director made my female friend the Scarecrow and I was given the part of the Witch, which I successfully played to great schoolyard acclaim. And I had indeed been bitten by the proverbial theatre bug. I have been told, by the way, that people still marvel at and wonder how I “melted”.

What kind of music do you enjoy singing?

I’m mad for popular old songs, anything from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and I’m there. The Great American Song book is the bomb. I know of these songs from my grandmother and my mother, this is where my love of this music began. I have a 1940’s cabaret piece which I perform with three lovely and talented young ladies, based on the recordings of Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. This cabaret is a personal favorite of mine, and I am presently developing a 1930’s cabaret which I’m excited about.

Tell us about the REV Theatre Company. How was it started? Who are the people behind REV?

REV Theatre Company was created by my (life) partner Rosey Hay and me. I was simply tired of the life of an itinerant actor for hire, and seemingly very little artistic control in my life in regard to theatrical endeavors.
Our mission:
REV Theatre Company brings a fresh contemporary vision to existing dramatic works and company created new pieces. Although telling the story is paramount, of course, we interpret and transform the material we work with, changing and intensifying our vision using exploratory and developmental workshops.
Our creative process for both classical and new work constructs a world of juxtaposed components: classical text with interjected original writing (including text from other plays as well as documentary material); music from varied time periods; intensely physical and choreographed staging; highly stylized production numbers; stark and striped down design; performances in urban parks and public spaces; site-specific pieces and non-traditional performance venues; audience-immersive theatre experiences everyday objects and materials used in unusual ways and as surprising design elements.
REV’s educational outreach programs are also an essential part of our mission. Our goal is to make live theatre accessible to everyone by appealing to a widely diverse audience and by developing and creating cultural activities to enrich the lives of young people and families, particularly those who are underserved in the arts. We bring free professional productions geared to family audiences and accompanying children’s workshops particularly to low and middle income families especially in underserved communities as we are committed to developing new theatre audiences.
REV Theatre Company productions challenge, provoke, energize, and above all entertain our audiences through the accessible, vivid, passionate worlds we create on stage.

Who designs the costumes?
Since REV’s inception, I’ve been responsible for designing the costumes and sets for all our productions. Creating this opportunity for myself was also a big reason why I was so keen to begin our own company. I’m a very visually-oriented person and have also always been interested in and drawn to these elements of theatre production.
I love my theatre company and I am happy to continue to work with and for it. I am also a Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Scranton Shakespeare Festival (2 productions later and entering our 3rd year) and I do a great deal of theater educational outreach with kids which I find terribly rewarding.
If you could, what Broadway Show would you want to star in?
I don’t mean to sound superior or be dismissive, but these days, if I am honest with you and myself, Broadway simply doesn’t interest me as much as my own personally motivated and invested endeavors. I am committed to pursuing a more unusual, unique and non-traditional theater path.

What other shows are you planning on doing at the Laurel Hill Cemetery?

We might as well bring back our Graveyard Cabaret for a third incarnation in Laurel Hill Cemetery. It’s a terrific venue for this piece, we all love working there and the cabaret has been so popular, and I am pleased to say, such a success.
We brought the cabaret back this year because it did so well in 2012, and to quote Philly’s Citypaper review-
Free drinks plus cabaret plus cemetery ambiance equals a big win. No Rest for the Wicked is a total blast. Between climbing on top of tombstones and literally dancing on people’s graves, the troupe marches through the hour-long set with blazing enthusiasm. Working from a catalog that included familiar death-related joints: like Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” and Nirvana-by-way-of-Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” and lesser-known songs like “Pistol Packin’Mama” and “Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair”, the performers deliver lively, rousing arrangements. Cabaret is frequently defined by its setting and Laurel Hill Cemetery proves to be pretty damn ideal.
And we’re doing spectacularly well this year-last weekend’s performances were both totally sold out, and we’re close to selling out the performances this weekend. But don’t let that deter any would-be ticket-buyers- we can find you seats if you buy tickets at the door.
We would revisit the piece of course, and re-vamp it but it’s likely we will present it in Laurel Hill for the Fringe in September of 2014.
By the way, you should know that we are presenting the Graveyard Cabaret in Forest Hill Cemetery in Dunmore (just outside Scranton) at 7;30 PM on October 26th as a Benefit for the Scranton Shakespeare Festival.

Rudy, thank you so much for visiting my blog and I’m sure my readers will be looking out for your shows. Thank you dear readers for dropping by. See you soon.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Weird News from the Dark Side, 9/20/2013

Okay, lets get this straight! Bill Nye does know science. People and dinosaurs did not live at the same time.

I've seen some very strange commercials in my life, but this one has to be right up there with WTF!

Okay, I'm on a mission to find the wackiest commercials. Here is another one.

Here are some totally worthless facts to know

Well, I hope this collection of crazy weird stuff will keep you busy until next week. Have a great weekend.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Graves, Authors, Dinner, Surgery


This was a busy weekend for me. No! I didn't get sliced and diced. Just fooling around with a movie poster.

Friday night my friends and I went to the Laurel Hill Cemetery to see a cabaret show put on by Rev's Theatre company's Rudy Caporaso and friends.


On Saturday, the authors of Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey were at Smithville, N.J. with many other authors selling books. Lots of writers wanted to join our group! We'll be open for applications in October.
                                                                 Dawn, Joanne, me

                                          Janice (seated) me, Jim, Dawn, Bob (seated)

Sunday night, I had dinner with my grandson Joshua and daughter Marie at an Italian restaurant to honor the Sensei instructors.


 Students and their families were there. Josh is a student of the Aikido Agatsu Dojo. Sorry, no pictures yet of the event, but will post as soon as I get them.
                                                Josh is student on the right

Today, my daughter who was in a very bad accident, but luckily survived with just a concussion and broken shoulder blade, finally had the plate removed.

I'm getting ready for my ghost investigation vacation at the end of this month, and will be heading to Charleston, South Carolina for intensive research.


                                            You guessed it! Blogs will be posted.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Theatre Among The Dead

                                                        Rudy Caporaso

On Friday the 13th, I spent the night at a cemetery. No, I wasn't hunting ghosts, although, they were there. This time, I was  at the Laurel Hill Cemetery for a show.

                                                from the left Jean, Rita, me and Shelley
My friends and I arrived at the historic cemetery with our beach chairs, picnic basket and a  large bottle of wine. 
Once settled in our favorite spot, we waited for the show to begin, and what a show it was.
 I’m talking about the toe tapping, finger snapping performance of Rev’s Theatre Company, which was hosted by the Laurel Hill Cemetery as part of the 2013 Philly Fringe Festival. The Six Feet (Above and) Under Graveyard Cabaret featured songs about death or near death, from artists like Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, Nirvana, and much more.
Rudy Caporaso, along with his two very talented accomplices, masterfully combined the backdrop of the cemetery’s gravestones and the graveyard ambiance to weave a musical tale of murder and mayhem.

This is the second year of the Graveside Cabaret and we enjoyed the show just as much, if not more, than last year. You need to get yourself down to the cemetery and quick. There will be two more performances.
Rev’s Graveside Cabaret will perform again on September 20 and September 21. The price is reasonable; 20 dollars.  And when you go, tell Rudy that Steampunk Granny sent you.
REV's site:

We also met the caretaker who told us an amazing story about the statue behind us. It's a story of intrigue, mystery, abduction and recovery.

My friends and I were promised a private tour, and more information about the upcoming ceremony to place this soldier where he belongs. Look for my follow up of this interesting tale in a few weeks.

Friday, September 13, 2013

News from the Dark Side 9/13/2013


Yes, my little zombie snacks, it's that time of the week again. I have some cool and some not so cool, but very weird news for your enjoyment. My editor sent me this image. I love it.

If only it really worked and I could hop over to Napa California whenever I needed another bottle of wine:)

This is a disgrace. Anyone who thinks this is okay, should be forced to eat the food produced by a chemical company

Leave it to the Daly show to add some humor and common sense to the Syria situation

From UPI.Com,  we have a bear walks into a bar video

What is green and goes  up in space?

And to help you get moving on a Friday morning, let me share this with you. Enjoy! See you next week