Category Archives: friends and family

My #9 Dream

It’s December. I love this month.

Filled with holidays and birthdays — mine, my sister Carol, and my granddaughter Aayah. She in fact is yet to be born as of this writing (her mom goes in to be induced on my birthday, December 9. Yes, my #9 dream). Fingers crossed that all goes well. For her birth, but also for everyone, everywhere in these perilous times.

It is also the 37th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, one of the most influential people of the 20th century and one of my personal heroes.

Many people will be singing his idealistic anthem “Imagine” on December 8, and I have always loved it too. But a deep favorite will always be his “#9 Dream.” Spare, elegiac, and spiritually cryptic, the lyrics are a stream of consciousness, born in a moment in time. He sings while the melody drifts. And lingers. And haunts.

Last month Virginia and I took a trip half way across Portugal to the medieval town of Tomar. It’s a place so laden with history, secrets and mysteries it’s impossible to describe without having to refer to volumes of writings about it (Wikipedia’s page here, is a fascinating start). Instead, I took the easy way out and let a few photos and visuals try to give a feeling of what it was like to walk inside the long ago past.

Using John Lennon’s music in a place so Catholic and Christian may seem out of place at first. But if one knows anything of Lennon, he was a seeker and sought out truth and meaning wherever he was.


Cuisine, Culture and the Cascais Coast

In this episode Aisha tackles preparing a Portuguese dourada (fresh caught Atlantic golden bream) for dinner, a trip to one of the most important private collections in the world (Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon), lunch in a hidden gem of a local restaurant, and a long, leisurely ride down the three kilometer boardwalk from Cascais to the beach at Praia da Poça, also known as São João do Estoril.

Every day I never tire of saying the same dang thing; “Isn’t this lovely?”

As the days of Aisha’ time with us come to a close, we see many beautiful sites and appreciate every one that passes before us. Doesn’t make knowing she will soon leave any easier. However. Que será, será, baby.


Lettin’ Loose in Lisbon

We set out to see the City. Not the pretty postcard shots and iconic landmarks that you can find on virtually every Lisbon photo ever taken. I have plenty of pictures of ancient buildings, grand architecture, plazas and fountains and hillside vistas.  We wanted to get closer to the everyday lifeblood of old Lisboa. Since it’s August and the height of tourist season — feels like all of Europe has descended on Portugal — we couldn’t escape all the crowds, but were always on the lookout for the little alleyway, the path of least congestion, or the side track that might lead to a different perspective of this city’s place and time. Although friendly and always welcoming, Lisboa does not reveal all her secrets at once. She wants to get to know you first. This was Aisha’s introduction. They got along just fine.


Aisha’s August Arrival

If you are one of the very, very lucky ones in this unpredictable world, you may get to have someone like Aisha in your life.  She exudes a love and appreciation of everything around her and emits a contagious vibration that works on everyone in her immediate vicinity. It’s like some kind of crazy smile virus. But don’t worry, this is something you definitely want to catch.


Alfama: The Oldest District In Lisbon

An ancient neighborhood (‘bairro’ in Portuguese) beginning on top of a spectacular hill. The Alfama district winds down to the Rio Tejo in a labyrinthine series of narrow streets, alley ways and storefronts that are the epitome of the word ‘quaint.’ We took some visiting friends there and got a soulful glance into this eternally fascinating city.


Guess Whose Play Is Going To Be Produced Off-Broadway?

This year’s lineup of 10-minute shorts explores the idea of CHALLENGES with plays that reflect various creative interpretations of the theme. Out of nearly 1,000 submissions from around the world, 10 short plays were selected for this year’s production!

10 Playwrights.

Bob Canning
Eugenie Carabatsos
Nelson Clark
Alex Dremann
Jim Gordon
Peter Kennedy
Dan McGeehan
Rosemary Frisino Toohey
Michael Weems
Nathan Yungerberg
10 Directors.

Raquel Alamazan
Janet Bentley
Page Clements
Ann Cooley
Ivette Dumeng
Crystal Edn
Joan Kane
Clarissa Marie Lignon
Gregg Pica
Jake Turner

That’s right, me, your humble Raging Traveler. Yes, the one whose picture is second from the end. Yes, the same guy who looks like he’s about to plant a big French kiss in the ear of the last fellow in line (he’s so handsome!). Seriously, it is a serious honor to be part of this group. I’ve been in communication with the director and she has a great cast; they’re having fun rehearsing the piece and bringing out the humor in what is a fairly dark story.  The festival is having a three week run from January 25 through February 11. So if you are in NYC…come see it! Very exciting as you might imagine.

So, as I jump through hoops to try and tie all this to a travel blog, Virginia and I will be traveling to New York City for the opening night festivities.  So much will be packed into nine days, including staying with daughter, Layla Angulo, and her daughter, our granddaughter, Aisha Carpenter, who just so happens to turn (my God you’re old, this blog should be called Raging Geezer) 19 the day before the opening!

Not only that, but…Aisha is an acting student at the very theatre and studio where my play is being performed (Hey, grampa kinda looks cool now, oui? What do you mean, non?).

Not only that, but…she will be acting in a one-woman show I wrote (sort of, be honest) for her later this year.

Not only that, but…there will be lots of interesting places, people and experiences to report on once we return, and each and every one of them I will share with all of you.

Before I go, let me leave you with one more bit of pride from my heart — as if I haven’t been Mr. Braggadocio until now. (Geez, isn’t this guy done yet? These toe nails aren’t going to clip themselves.)

Aisha just finished performing at one of Manhattan’s premier supper clubs, Feinstein’s/54 Below. And she simply, well, see for yourself.

Ah, yes, you are correct. I am one lucky so-and-so. Cheers and ciao for now.


When Power Meets Time

A place of dark secrets amid swirling rumors. We snuck inside and roamed through an enchanting nightmare from the not-so-distant past.


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