Jun 25, 2013


I was doing just fine.  Really.  I was.  I managed to actually get out of the bed, dry my eyes, blow my nose, and sit up in the buggy like a real live person.

"What ever happened to keeping your crazy on the inside?" I wondered as I poured my morning coffee. "The way you're carrying on, you'd think that you had lost a close family member.  For pity's sakes!  You didn't go this far over the edge when you really DID lose close family members!  What the heck is WRONG with you, anyway?"

So I got on with the business of things until Aunt Chrissy told me that his funeral is going to be on Thursday at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

And I puddled all over the place again.

No, in case you were wondering, I never met or dated or married or touched or talked to or even came within the same zip code as James Gandolfini.  But I loved him as though he were my very own soul mate, imported straight from New Jersey its Very Fabulous Self....just to make me giddy.

James Gandolfini was the only reason I actually put my glasses on my face some days.  And watching him in The Sopranos was a ritual that I performed as a way to forget about reality for a few hours and go deep into a world full of gabba-gool and Christo-fa!

Yeah, I lived in New Jersey for six years, but I never really "was" Jersey.  I tried.  Really.  I did.  I came home to Hoosierville and impressed the dickens out of anybody who would listen with my tales of life on the shore and all of the amazing things you could find there in the way of food and family and attitude.  I admit it. I became a total wanna-be from the moment I laid eyes on the Garden State Parkway, and planting myself in front of Tony and Carmella and the gang made me feel like I could fit right in rather than get laughed out of the neighborhood for calling it pasta and sauce instead of noodles and gravy.

Then there were the moments when I watched other things with my boy in, like The Mexican and The Last Castle.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  He's going to be remembered for his portrayal of the world's favorite white terry cloth bathrobe wearing mafioso, but to me he was also a guy who could make ice melt with those limpid pools of deep brown love once he set them on you.

Oh.  Sorry.  I got a little lost there, didn't I?

From the time I could begin remembering, Mom carried a coin in her purse that she always said was her good luck charm.  All I knew was that it was about twice the size of a quarter and had a church on it.  I'm sure that she probably told me a thousand times where it came from, but all I heard was something about New York and a cathedral called St. John the Divine.  I don't know if Mom got the coin during a visit there, or if it was given to her by one of her brothers as a souvenir, but she carried that thing every day of her life and then it passed along to Aunt Chrissy and moi as our very own good luck charm.

Over the years, we've kind of passed it back and forth as a little secret way of bolstering each other up during tough times.  We've never actually said it aloud, but when the coin change hands there's an implicit "Boy, are things sure screwed up for you!" that necessitates the transfer of the coin and all of its hopeful good luck.

So as I was sitting and minding my very own business yesterday, Aunt Chrissy walked in and handed me the coin.  I figured that it was her way of saying "Snap out of it!", but instead she just let me hold it for a minute and then she told me that James Gandolfini would have his funeral in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

And I bawled all over again.

OK.  I'm done now.  Sorry to let my crazy on the outside, kids, but it was getting pretty full in there and I'm almost afraid of the permanent damage that would have resulted from me going one more day with a smile plastered on my face and a simple "Fine, thank you.  How are you?" coming out of my mouth every time somebody in polite society asked me how I'm doing.  So, finally, we're moving on.

Stitching continues on the Rishfied canvas.  I'm concentrating on the center flower and hope to make some significant progress this weekend when we get together with some lady friends for a little Saturday afternoon stitch fest.  I'm so excited about it I can barely keep from prancing around, but I've promised Aunt Chrissy that I will take my medicine and not "be me" no matter how hard it might be to just fake a little normal for a few hours.
Is it just me, or does this look exactly like the progress pic that I posted nine months ago?


Stewey sends his love.  He has his very own obsession at the moment, so we're currently in an "all Liberace all the time" mode around these parts.  I swear, if I have to watch Behind the Candelabra one more time I'm going to break something.  When you combine that with the fact that I keep finding rhinestones all over the damn place, it's any wonder I haven't gone further round the bend.

 "Sorry, Mo-ther.  You've got your crazy obsessions and I've got mine.  Get over it already."

I hope that this finds y'all well and safe and happy and healthy and stitching to your heart's content. 

Can you believe that it's June already?


  1. It's definitely sad that's for sure. I'm one of the few humans in this country that hasn't watched The Sopranos...I've seen some of the episodes but I plan to watch the whole series as soon as I finish Breaking Bad. I'm always behind and tend to watch things once they're over and in reruns or via rental.

    Life ain't fair that's for sure.............and seeing the Liberace movie once was enough for me!

  2. I totally get it! I always planned for him to be my next ex-husband!!!!

  3. Coni -

    What do you mean you can't believe it's June already? In six days it will be July!!!!! :-) It's heating up here in Tucson. Last night the weatherman said that Saturday and Sunday will be 111 and 112 respectively. (We are always cooler than Phoenix so I feel sorry for them!)

    I know where you are coming from re James Gandolfini. I loved his acting because he felt so approachable. Like if I met him on the street, he'd shake my hand and say: "Nice to meet you!" and mean it. It has also made me look my own mortality in the eyeball. I'll be 64 in July and he was only 51. I'm also trying to get my weight in line and be healthier but will I make it in time? I've been pondering things like this lately.

    Back to happier notes--I really love the progress you are making on your current piece. I've tried to search out a canvas like this but I'll be darned if I can find one to even price. Any suggestions on where to look? Hugs to you and Stewey, and of course also to Aunt Chrissie.

    Pamela in Tucson

  4. I Totally know where you are coming from! I have had several teary moments the last several days when I see or hear anything about "Tony"

  5. I am verklempt and I'm so glad there are others who have been devastated by his untimely death. He was just the best. Glad you're back! I was gettin' worried.

    1. Oh and I was seated every Sunday night at 9 p.m. to watch The Sopranos for 6 years too.

  6. I've never seen the Sopranos either, and totally didn't get it when you posted the picture. But now I do :) And your "crazy" is *you* and absolutely wonderful so feel free to let it out whenever you want , LOL!

    Also, I just wanted to say that you and Aunt Chrissy are really lucky to have each other! I don't have a sister, but if I did, I hope we'd have a rapport like you two do :) Reading about all your cute and kooky traditions is awesome! The lucky coin is super cool ;)

  7. I totally understand! Loved the man! He was the best! It is hard to understand how these things can hit you like they do when you never really knew the person. But I have spent many hours with Mr Gandolfini. Wonderful hours!

  8. You feel what you feel. We were actually in Rome on that day. I feel that if you have to go, best to go somewhere that beautiful, and after a fabulous day with your child. :-(

  9. My deepest condolences to you and all the rest of the world. I never got to watch the Sopranos either, but I sure was sad when I heard the news. Cathryn

  10. I feel your pain.. I loved watching him in the Sopranos also. Way too young to die.

    Your canvas is looking so beautiful! I love the design and the colors.

    Hello to Stewie, Aunt Chrissy and Bosco too!

  11. Coni, You have lots of company in your sadness. I had just recently watched the entire series again, 1 or 2 episodes a night that I dvr'd from HBO. I was once again struck by the magnificent acting. And seeing the series all in a piece gave me new insights into the characters, especially Tony. And it sounds like Gandofini was a special person, extraordinarily generous and modest.

  12. So very sad. I don't live far from his home in Jersey and I feel the need to drive by, sort of a final 'salute'. WWHHHAAAA.....

  13. I'm still devastated that he died before I ever got to see the show, given that it's supposed to be the best one in history or something. Is HBO ever going to let Netflix stream its content?

    I'm in love with the snippets you've posted of this Rishfeld thing and have been digging back through your old posts to try to figure out what it is and who it's for, but until I succeed, I'm just going to enjoy your progress. The flowers on the red background remind me of medieval tapestry, but a little more surreal. I wonder if you'd consider posting it as a work in progress on Kollabora, the crafting community I'm part of. I've been looking for embroidery inspiration lately.