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FROM THE MIND AND PEN OF SUZANNE
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04/13/09
Suzanne’s blog News
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 8:30 am

Dear fans,

As of 2008 Suzanne’s blog has morphed into a youtube channel. She now videotapes her blog entries and they can be seen on youtube. Please search for realunderdog and you will find it.

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01/02/07
“Language Caroling”
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 1:18 am

Where I went to high school, the tradition just before Christmas vacation was to have a Nativity pageant, followed by a formal dinner involving both students and faculty.

One of the customs during the dinner, between the main course and the dessert, was for the students in the different foreign-language classes assemble in front of the piano and sing carols in the respective languages. The carols could have originated in one of the deployed languages (French, Latin, Spanish), or they could have originated in a different language and been translated into one of the deployed ones. I called this ritual “Language Caroling”.

When I started high school, I was studying French; the songs used by the French classes were old-time carols which originated in that tongue; the French classes never seemed to go for more modern carols. There were very few carols that originated in Latin; songs in Latin were mostly church hymns. The Spanish students used both old-time Spanish songs and modern carols translated into Spanish.

I had French in my freshman and sophomore years, but switched to Latin for the other two years; I felt Latin was my calling. But in my first year of Latin, those students were dominated by a fourth-year student who was also president of the glee club; she selected the songs to be used at the Dinner that year. Actually she choose only “Silent Night,” and used a professional translation rather than have the students attempt their own translation. She didn’t even give us our song sheets until we were gathering together in the dinner room at the given moment!

The rule was that the different language departments had to look over the lists of available songs for at least a week before thanksgiving vacation. By the day before Thanksgiving, they had to decide on their selections so that they had the whole time-span from resumption of school after Thanksgiving to the day of the Pageant and Dinner to practice. But during my first Latin year, the students didn’t rehearse that often. I wanted to get them together to practice during the last few minutes of their daily classes, but instead was overshadowed by that one dominating girl.

The following year, my senior year, that girl had graduated and now I was on top. I insisted that the Latin students be more conscientious in preparing and presenting their program for the next Dinner. As early as October I began looking over possible traditional songs – not necessarily Latin originals – and translating them, if there were no professional translations available. “O Come All Ye Faithful,” though a Latin Original, was not allowed because the Angel Choir sang it in Latin during the course of the Pageant.

Besides having the Latin students select their songs by the day before Thanksgiving, I spent Thanksgiving vacation making beautiful folders containing the musical scores. The French students had always put the word Noel on their folder covers; I made sure the Latin students folders had the phrase Pax in Terra – “Peace on Earth.”
Since different levels of Latin classes met at different times during school day, I asked permission from my teachers to leave my other classes a few minutes early in order to give some singing practice time to those students.

On the day of the Dinner, the Latin students gave an excellent presentation of “Angels We Have Heard on High” (which had a chorus in Latin anyway) and Hark the Herald Angels Sing” after having rehearsed frequently and received well-printed scores bound in beautifully decorated folders.

After I graduated, I still kept in touch with my Latin teacher so that I could still provide and prepare song scores and folders for the Latin students. I doted on them for years afterward; the Latin students’ repertoire increased dramatically. After one time that they used “The Little Drummer Boy,” The teacher said that song was a sensation among both users and listeners.

However, after 1984, with the retirement of the headmistress of the school, Language Caroling mysteriously disappeared from the Dinner program. Hence I believe Language Caroling had been her idea. Several times I have written the principals and some of the language teachers to resurrect it, but it never has been.

I still have my old book on which I wrote many pages of carols, hymns, and church services, many of them my own translations. Maybe some day I’ll condense it to a sensible number of songs, but most of them focused on Nativity. If I were asked to be a singing soloist around Christmastime on stage or TV, I’d want to sing those carols in Latin. On TV, there would have to be subtitles in English. People could very well recognize the melodies, but would have to realize that the words are in Latin.

5 comments
12/20/06
Suzanne VS Santa Claus
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 9:54 pm

With Christmas just around the corner, numberless customs and habits are on our minds. We have to remember the real meaning of the holiday: yet one element has taken far too much precedence.

No, it’s not commercialism that’s too important. For centuries before there were big retailing and merchandising circuits, there has been the problem of too much attention on Santa Claus. Though St. Nicholas really did exist in the early Middle Ages, in time civilization has exaggerated his importance, to the extent that not enough time, energy and hype is focused on Jesus and His birth. Instead we propagate Santa Claus far too much and in doing so, mislead our children as to what Christmas is all about.

We must consider that the holiday is named Christmas after Christ. It is not called Nicholmas, Santamas, or Santa Clausmas.

In over-glorifying and overrating Santa Claus, we make him a false god, in violation of the First Commandment “Thou shalt have no other gods beside me.” We are also guilty of many inconsistencies, which contradict virtues and morals we teach and expect our children to have.

We teach our children not to lie; yet we deceive them about Santa’s existence. Numberless parents are guilty of deceiving their children – lying to them, though the parents deny that it is lying – when parents would not tolerate their children telling lies. We were deceived by our parents, who did not tolerate our telling lies: we knew better than to lie as we grew up, but then we willfully repeated the fraudulent pattern. We always make the excuse “It’s just a little white lie,” but we must remember that another of the Ten Commandments forbids lying, and in a minimum of words. This Commandment does not make exceptions for what civilization terms white lies.

We involve our children in fantasies like Santa yet we say the children should be concerned only with reality. We make Santa a compulsion, not an option, for our children: we coerce them into believing in Santa and other established fantasies like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. But after a while, we turn the tables. We object to our children imagining things like imaginary playmates, heroics, journeys, etc.: yet we impose fantasies like Santa passing them off as reality. There is a difference between self-devised fantasies and outwardly-imposed fantasies that are fostered as reality. Imposition of fantasies as reality in not only dishonest on grownups’ parts, but also inconsistent when they coerce the children to go for reality only. I was such a victim of this pattern of brainwashing followed by table-turning. I was not allowed to read comic books, humor magazines, watch TV sitcoms, or write fiction because all those entities were not the truth, not real. I was bullied by other children, as well as by grownups, to be concerned with reality only. Because these zealots were never scolded or punished for their actions, I didn’t see anything wrong with preaching against fantasizing or deceiving children about Santa when I – and goodness knows how many other people! – had been bullied and manipulated against the use of the imagination.

We make our children sit in Santa’s lap and confide in him, yet we also teach children , “Don’t talk to strangers,” (which is what the Santas are) and ”Don’t let strangers touch you. Santa Claus is not a family member or anyone else children interact regularly like clergy, teachers, doctors, etc. Because we market Santa as unseen but omnipresent behavior monitor who keeps records (You better watch out! You’d better not cry! He’s making a list and checking it twice… who’s naughty or nice… He knows if you’ve been bad or good…”), he becomes an entity to be reckoned with not a “jolly old elf,” but an authority figure like the school principal who can intimidate children, and who we expect our children to come into physical contact with!

We tell children that Santa brings presents on Christmas Eve, but we do not allow children to witness his arrival. We say, “Santa comes only when children are asleep.” Since Santa does not deliver the way we say he does, we forbid our children to stay up so that we will not get caught in a lie.

We have our children sat out snacks for Santa, yet we frown on snacking and obesity. We say Santa is a fat man. ABC World News once remarked that if Santa ate all the snacks left out by the millions of households, he would gain several tons overnight – a lethal health risk! And we are a society obsessed with dieting, loosing weight, and feeling guilty if/when we overindulge during the holidays!

We coax our children into writing letters, or other direct communications, to Santa when we do not push them into doing likewise with other fictional characters like Mother Goose, the Good fairy, cartoon characters, fairy-tale characters, etc. We push our children into many customs and habits focused on Santa that we do not push them into involving other themes.

We finish our Thanksgiving and Christmas parades with Santa rather than tableaux representing what these holidays are really about. We do not give Pilgrim-Native American or Nativity entries (if/when there are any in these parades) anywhere near the hero’s welcome, red carpet treatment, or media coverage that we give Santa Claus. Such misdirection of attention and priorities misleads the children as to what these holidays are really about.

We perpetuate Santa in numberless ads, publications, toys, and especially motion pictures and do not give equal time, energy or hype to Jesus.

If we expect our children to be virtues, we must stop that fraudulent patterns of previous generations; refusal to do so will mean penalties we must pay.

We must stop overuse of Santa in Christmas themes.

If we can afford to preach “reality only” we must show Santa the way the real St. Nicholas dressed – in a church bishop’s religious habit. We must tell only the real story, and not propagate a multitude of lies.

We must not impose customs and habits focused on Santa, when we do not do likewise with other fictional entities, on our children.

We must focus more time, energy and hype on Jesus that Santa. Though the unwritten rule seems to be to separate religion and state, we must remember other people whose birthday we celebrate as holidays, even though those people were not divine.

I have suffered greatly for the deceit, ordeals, and bullying at the hands of other people I was taught to love, respect and obey. If it could happen to me, it could happen to numberless other people for goodness knows how many generations. This is the twenty-first century; we must reform now or pay heavy penalties!

3 comments
11/29/06
Ocean City screening & Cape May Film Festival
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 9:58 pm

On November 4th, my documentary was shown in Ocean City, NJ in the Music Pier, which is built on a structure that juts over the ocean like a stuck-out tongue. Mark Soifer, the Director of public Relations, arranged the event. So many people showed up that we had two showings. The first group cheered and applauded enthusiastically, giving me a standing ovation, but the second group responded more quietly.

On November 18th we had another showing in Cape may as part of the New Jersey State Film Festival. This film festival had many showings in many different venues simultaneously: such a format reminded me of First Night on New Year’s Eve, with many performances happening in different locales simultaneously in the heart of town.

As in Ocean City, there were two showings. When the first show was finished I was called up front where the emcee presented me with a trophy for Artistic Excellence. I was so thrilled and honored! I’ll probably put that trophy on a shelf where I put awards for general performances rather than Underdog, even though a lot of the movie focuses on my Underdog appearances.

When the documentary is shown, there is always a question and answer period immediately after. I’m glad to answer questions and give insight, but in every place there are always young children, sometimes no more than 8 to 10 years old. I am worried about these children, because some Howard Stern related material is included in the documentary. I didn’t think such an inclusion was a wise idea. Young children who don’t know anything about this vulgar man are exposed to his profanity and exploitation of innocent victims when these children see my film. So I’m afraid the film will be branded unsuitable for very young children – who are likely hearing of Underdog for the first time.

Since the Cape may showing was on November 18th, and in midday, I was unable to appear in New Rochelle’s Thanksgiving Parade, which was that morning! I had to make sure I was still in good graces so that I’ll be welcomed back next year.

4 comments
11/28/06
Halloween Parade Tour 2006
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 9:45 pm

My Halloween parade tour is over now: I was in seven parades altogether. There was supposed to be eight, but Wildwood, NJ got rained out.
I started in Sea Isle City on the 20th. I was a Greek Goddess, using a one-shouldered yellow gown I had premiered in Cape May Last Year. I won Second Place for my age group: the only other contestant was in a chicken suit!

The next evening I was in Williamstown, NJ. They really need to revise their judging system: they only have Small Floats, Large Floats and Costumes. There are no other categories. I didn’t win anything there, there were three prizes, but they all went to kids! I wore a flamboyant yellow gown and cape that I had won Second Prize for in the 2001 New Year’s parade.

The next day, October 22nd, I was in Cape May. It was here that I did the first of my two planned Prince Vlad Dracula appearances, to mark his 575th birthday. I prepared a commentary, which one of the registrars took with her to give to the emcee. Judging took place during lineup, however. I looked around for judges and then pirouetted several times for them to get good looks at my historically authentic costume. When I reached the reviewing stand while processing, I made lunging and spearing movements with my long stake! No, I didn’t jab anyone. I won special prize rather than First, Second or Third in any age group – Best TV or Movie Character. I saw some young boys dressed as Dracula the vampire, but they won nothing for it. I was the only Prince Dracula!

I had three days off during which I worked on the special Christmas costume I need for December. On the 26th I was in Ocean City, where my documentary film My Life as an underdog was shown on November 4th. At the insistence of the Director of Public Relations, I did Spectrum the Ghost King. But I was not judged: I was only a guest celebrity.

The morning of Saturday the 28th I was in Ventnor, just south of Atlantic City. I was doing Supergirl. Because of rain the parade was being held in the gym of the local grammar school. I was called to lead the procession around the perimeter of the room, and hen do some Supergirl dancing in the center of it. Here, as in Ocean City, I was a guest star, not a contestant. Only the children were in competition here.

Though the Wildwood parade was cancelled, I should mention that it’s judging system needs revision. They make only one age division, at age eight, making many still quite young children on equal terms with teen and adults.

On October 30th I was in Cape May Court House, NJ for my second Dracula appearance. I did narrated dance just before the judging. This site is traditional for me to do a performance as well as be in the parade. I won Best of Class in my age group: there was only one other adult entry. One man won a trophy for Count Dracula, but his family was with him, obviously representing a family of vampires. As in Cape May, I had been the only historic rather than imaginary Dracula.

On Halloween itself I was in Toms River, for the second largest Halloween parade in the country. I was Spectrum again, but won nothing. I didn’t think I had a chance against pirates, monsters, maniacal killers, a deep-space robot, and one girl swathed in pink tulle. When I returned to Wildwood Crest, where I was spending the night, I danced alone on the empty beach, supposedly inhabited by myriads of partying, dancing ghosts!

In all these parades, I saw maybe four little boys dressed as Superman. I asked them did they make moves suggestive of flying, but their mothers said they were too young to think of anything dramatic. There were three girls dressed as Supergirl – in different parades, not at the same site – including one in Ventnor, where I, too, was Supergirl.
Of course, there were always a number of vampires – female as well as male. One little boy dressed accordingly won First place in sea isle City in his age group, but he was called simple “the vampire” and not Dracula. There were no Princes Vlad, except for me at Cape May and Cape May Court House.

With Halloween and Halloween parades over for another year, I’m already thinking about costumes for the next year. Spectrum if definitely in for Toms River since that’s on Halloween itself, but I have to think about whether I’ll repeat Dracula in any sites – as the obvious Count, since next year marks the 110th anniversary of the Vampire novel!

Only a couple of weeks later, I’ll be involved again with parades – Christmas parades. Several locations have their parades as early as the weekend before Thanksgiving: the parades last through about mid-December. I have twelve Christmas parades altogether between November 19th and December 9th. The busiest weekend is Thanksgiving weekend: there are five parades within a three-day span. For six parades that I’m to be in during November, I’m doing Underdog. Unfortunately I won’t be in any parades Thanksgiving Day. Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia are all snobs!

There are six parades in December, but for them I’m doing two other characters: the Snowflake Star Fairy, which I created last year: and a new one for which I’ve been laboring all these past months – Fairy of the Golden Snow.

I had been looking forward to one Thanksgiving Parade per se which is on Saturday the 18th – New Rochelle, New York. Unfortunately, this is the first time in eight years I have to skip it – because my film documentary is being shown in cape may, NJ that same day at a time that it makes it impossible for me to travel to both sites. My documentary, My Life as an Underdog, has been seen at film festivals several times this year, DC, Atlanta. Coney island, Ocean City, Baltimore and now Cape May

1 comment
10/21/06
Soon it’ll be Halloween!
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 2:04 pm

On Sunday the 15th I’m going to Baltimore to be on a TV show Children’s Corner. It’s handled by the same people who make the other show, Top of the Morning.
I’ve been asked to do Underdog, but I’ll also be doing Spectrum the Ghost King in conjunction with Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, soon it’ll be time to start my tour of Halloween parades! This year I have eight altogether. I’m using a number of different costumes among these parades. Some costumes I have to decide on in advance, since I have to fill out applications ahead of time. Other times there is no registration until the day of the event, and I choose my costume depending on weather.

During the warmest weather I can wear costumes that sometimes bare the neck and shoulders, without a conspicuous covering. But in the cooler temperatures I wear capes with the staple garments. The colder the temperature, the more covering I need, with thermal underwear when it’s really cold. No doubt when we went trick-or-treating as children, we chose store-bought costumes we liked; but the costumes offered no protection from cold, and we had to wear coats or jackets that concealed the costumes! The coats clashed with the costumes rather than complimented them. When I make my costumes, I thing about what time of year I’ll be using them. If a staple garment by itself is not enough protection from the elements, I also make an outer wrap which blends with, compliments, the basic garment. Most Halloween parades take place after dark, when the temperatures are not as warm as in midday. But there are two which are in the daytime.
In two of the Halloween parades, I’ll be doing Dracula. No, not the vampire - the real Dracula, aka Vlad the Impaler! I may have mentioned before that since he was born in 1431, this year he is 575 years old! In both the sites, there are reviewing stands, the emcees will be provided speeches that will alert everybody about the milestone birthday and who I’m supposed to be.

The last of the Halloween parades is on Halloween night itself; that ‘s in Toms River, New Jersey. It’s the second largest Halloween parade in the country, topped only by Greenwich Village in New York! But it would be very difficult for me to get to and from the New York site, and still get back to the Jersey Shore where I’ll be staying for the nights of the 30th and 31st. Toms River is rather easily reachable by public transit. Since the parade is on Halloween itself, I’ll be doing Spectrum; I’ll also be doing him on the 26th, in Ocean City.

Since Ebony, my cat is black, she is perfect for Halloween! Unfortunately, the buses and hotels I have to use will not allow her to accompany me. For most of the parades, I’ll be commuting to and from the sites, but for the 30th and 31st I’ll be boarding the cat with my vet. Only last week, my hometown held a free rabies clinic. Ebony was due for a rabies shot; now she is vaccinated for next three years.

I am not debuting any new costumes for the Halloween parades. But I’m still working hard on a costume I’m planning to use for most of the Christmas parades. And after the first of the year, I have plans for several new outfits; I’ve already purchased some of the fabric since they were on special in craft store chains.

3 comments
10/19/06
Perverts @ Fall Festival In Woodbury, NJ
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 9:16 pm

On October 7th I was in the annual Fall Festival Parade in Woodbury, New Jersey. Since this parade is always held on the first Saturday in October, it’s close enough to October 3rd or sometimes on October 3rd! – Underdog’s anniversary- that I always do Underdog for it. It’s also covered by local cable TV, so that I’m on TV when I reach the grandstand. Some emcees who are on call year after year are heard to say on video, “What would the parade be without Underdog?”

Unfortunately Woodbury is also probably the worst site for Howard Stern related harassment from discourteous spectators! Five or six, this time, there were whole groups of hecklers shouting with all their strength, and not a policeman in site! These perverts didn’t care that they were abusing their right of free speech, or that I risked being banned from future parades because of them! Two of these perverts were children, a guffawing girl who looked about fourteen, and a boy of no more that ten: this boy could not yet have been born when I appeared on Stern’s TV show.

Immediately ahead of me was a car containing three young beauty queens. Between the car and me was a walking couple. They took offense at my telling the harassers to stop, because the man bore down that I was scaring the youngest of the girls, who was his daughter, and who looked no more than six! He didn’t even care to hear my explanation which, if this couple had bothered to listen to, would have made their hair stand on end!

The police department in this town was very familiar with the harassment problem, it having existed since 1992! One officer pledged to keep patrol on me on his bike, but he didn’t followed through. Three times, when the procession was temporarily halted, I had to run to officers I caught sight of to point out harassers to them.

At the reviewing stand, where my performance really counted, hecklers were yelling even then and there, so that their cries were picked up by the TV crew to be heard any time someone reran the event! I could sense the stress and tension in my face when I was before the cameras because these perverts were rude and persistent.

Two brothers who live in my apartment complex are fans of mine, and had promised to serve as bodyguards for this event. But they did not follow through; I was in dire need of their assistance.

Sometimes I have been advised that hecklers do their business because I’m dressed as Underdog; I should dress differently at these sites. But that advice has proven futile: perverts continue to harass me about Howard Stern, even with his much smaller audience
On satellite radio, no matter how I’m dressed or when I am. Even when I’m in civilian clothes, some manner less rogues still make trouble for me.

6 comments
10/09/06
Underdogs 42nd birthday
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 2:48 pm

On October 3rd cartoon superhero Underdog turned 42. I hope that everyone celebrated his birthday appropriately by having a cake that included red and blue filling.

7 comments
Two painful Dracula contest memories!
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 2:45 pm

Two painful Dracula contest memories!

At this time of year in 1978, I was in two contests; both time I played Dracula. This year is not a multiple of 5 or 10 years since 1978, but the dates, September 17 and 25 were on a Sunday and a Monday respectively, the same way they are this year.

I have mentioned previously about repeated identical alignments, every few years, of all the dates of any one-year occurring on various days of the week. This year had the same date-weekday alignment as 1865, 1967,1978,1989 and 1995.

The September 17 contest was in Wildwood, NJ held by a Boardwalk walk-through horror castle, which was ending its first season that day. It was called Castle Dracula! When I saw an article about it in the local newspaper during the summer, I went head over heels over that title. The article had a photo of one of the female “haunts” who worked there; she wore grotesque face makeup and a black hooded robe. Unfortunately, that was a very general look that could be found in numberless other commercial haunted houses; since this one named itself after Dracula, it should have kept its exhibits authentic to the definitive name. I contacted its manager to let him know I was a Dracula expert & for him to consider authenticating the “products.” A tourist brochure for it said it was “removed stone by stone from the Carpathian Mountains,” but its shape wasn’t at all like the honest-to-goodness Castle Dracula overlooking the Arges River. And the exhibits were not at all authentic to the Dracula story in either the historic or fictional sense! There were a great many unrelated and cliché horror topics within the exhibits which could be found in countless other houses of horror. It was a castle of corruption and, to quote one double-crossing friend, a monumental fraud. It’s true horror was its lack of authenticity.

The participants in this contest—a masquerade contest—represented a great many familiar characters that were either horrific or grotesque. There were some other “Draculas” among the contestants, but they were all vampires. I was the only one dressed as Prince Vlad!

I had been told the judging would start at 2pm, but instead the manager of the castle said it would not be until 5:00! For the next 3 hours I wandered around the boardwalk adjacent to the castle, trying to interact with other contestants who took little or no interest in me. The manager took me inside the castle lobby to introduce me to their resident vampire. I remember I said to him, “Meet your historical counterpart, Count!”

Two other people I met there were husband and wife “image makers”, as they advertised themselves, who were photographing some of the contestants. They seemed interested in my unique approach to Dracula but they nagged me to take a ride on the roller coaster which was part of the castle complex. I refused, as I had an unpleasant experience as a child; this couple scolded me and branded me a coward for spurning a scary roller coaster while going all out for a scary character!

When it was finally time for judging, the manager said contestants were to process, one by one, down a narrow ramp which had been cleared in front of the castle. Contestants were to be judged and rated according to originality. Any dramatic presentations they might have prepared were welcome. I was glad to hear this, since I meant to make dance gestures when it was my turn. Only a couple of years later, when I started participating in Sci-Fi convention masquerades, I would remember this event when the sci-fi masqueraders were encouraged to make presentations! The manager when it was my turn, emphasized that I deserved an extra big hand for appearing as the real-life Dracula.

I thought I had a really good chance, and had done a good job, when I was placed first among ten finalists. I was certainly original, but there were several cliché characters among the other finalists. But when the final winners were announced, I burst into tears. Not only did I fail to make the top three, but the three who were chosen were very unoriginal. The top prize went to a Frankenstein’s Monster which, although magnificently constructed, was strictly copycat Karloff! The contestants had been told originality was the key; yet the top prize went to a design that had already existed for some 50 years.

Spectators crowded around the winners and congratulated them; they ignored me completely. Whoever said that participation, not winning, was all that counted was sadly mistaken.

The two “image-makers” saw me crying and offered to take me out to dinner. I accepted since my return bus was not for a couple of hours. But after we finished our meal, they expected me to pay my own bill! They had not made it clear beforehand that I was expected to pay for my own meal. I had a couple of dollars which I gave them, and in the following days had to send them a check for the balance. This day had proved disastrous.

In the months that followed, I returned to the castle many times to implement authenticity, but the manager and the board of directors refused. They preferred money to authenticity; they chose to exploit the name of Dracula to attract tourists to a fraudulent facility. I was expelled the following year. For years the castle stood as a thorn in my side, but it finally burned to the ground, a target of arson in 2002!

Also in the months following the contest, the “image makers” tried to set me up as one of their feature attractions. But they were very nosy, irritating couple, who took unflattering pictures of me and provoked me into many arguments. Sometimes they would make dates to meet at my home only to come hours earlier or later than said, and being drunk while they were there! I renounced them after the Castle Dracula board fired me.

The other contest was on September 25th in Philadelphia. I did not find out about it until I arrived at work that morning and one of my co-workers asked me about it. I thought she meant the Wildwood contest, but no - it was a different event. I looked at a brief newspaper article.

The Philadelphia chapter of March of Dimes was having a Halloween haunted house next month and wanted a mascot, in the role of Dracula, for it. I did not have a piece of my costume with me! I had to get permission from my boss to go home and get it, be in the contest, and then finish out the day.

I felt I had a better chance this time because this contest was strictly Dracula rather than a hodgepodge of horror themes. When I returned on the bus to John F. Kennedy Plaza, where the contest was to be held, I saw a coffin on the stage. I saw a radio station mascot, in a beaver suit, and a couple of other contestants who, fortunately, weren’t dressed anything the way I was. I was prepared to show both side of Dracula this time.

The emcee was to interview each contestant one by one. I was first and gave an impressive explanation of how I was impersonating the authentic, real-life Prince Vlad. The emcee then called for me to get into the coffin and rise out of it, but I said that would have to wait until I changed my costume to that of the vampire. I would be called back.

The contestants that followed were two female vampires and a young man with so much face makeup that a judge tried to eat it! I thought I had an excellent chance when suddenly, another contestant, late in arriving, appeared. He was in the cliché vampire costume and was lame in one foot, using crutches! All other entrants had to get into the coffin and ascend from it, but they all needed assistance, especially the crutch walker.

It was now time for me to be re-evaluated. The emcee called me back as I went through dancing motions and lunges with my sword, as he explained about the real Dracula. Then I put down my stake and removed several costume pieces in order to change to the vampire. I stepped into the coffin and sank down, thinking, “This is how it’ll be when I die.” I held my breath, then opened my eyes and started to rise. Suddenly I realized since I was surrounded by walls, Dracula actors had hard times climbing out because they were enclosed! Cameras never showed every detail of the ascent. The emcee shouted, “Somebody help her out!” But I doubled one leg under me, took a deep breath, and rose to a standing position on the inhalation! I had risen without help, the only contestant to do so, and stepped out.

But I ended up second, by a hair, to the crutchwalking mock Lugosi! I was a Dracula authority; I had made a sterling presentation; I had risen from the coffin without assistance; and had come second to a cliché vampire who had needed help! I received no compensation. There was a newspaper photo the next day of the entrants, but I was left out!

Both contests had proven insincere in that they awarded top honors to cliché material and snubbed a conscientious, authentic Dracula impersonator!

3 comments
09/10/06
September 11 2006
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 9:29 pm

The month of September brings several anniversaries. Star Trek fans worldwide will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the original TV show. September 9th also marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Carolyn Muldowney, my paternal grandmother. September 6th thru10th marks the 550th anniversary of the real Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, being crowned prince the second time.

Of course there is the fifth anniversary of 9-11. When I first found out about the attacks, I thought it was a case of domestic terrorism, like the Oklahoma City bombing. But when I found out the 9-11 attacks had been masterminded by foreigners, from the Middle East, I felt we were in for still more trouble. I remembered a 1998 made for TV movie, Earthquake in New York, which depicted the Empire State Building collapsing in the same manner as the Twin Towers. I regretted that I did not have real superhuman powers so that I could rescue people in need.

If the real Dracula were still alive, he could take deserving action by impaling masterminds of 9-11. What a gruesome and symbolically appropriate deed to have those devils on display, writhing and screaming in agony, on the sites of the Pentagon, the former World Trade Center, and the place in Pennsylvania where United 93 crashed. In order to honor that day I baked a memorial cake.

If any of you are going to gatherings held on the 11th you should see if organizers are doing any commemorative actions. While a moment of silence is no doubt respectful, you might suggest that five minutes of silence are observed. One minute for each of the five years that have passed since that dreadful day.

51 comments
09/05/06
Back To School - Suzanne Style
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 11:25 pm

September 1, 2006

Once September begins, it means the end of summer, although summer is not officially over until about the 20th. But it’s the end of fun times and back to school for millions of children and teenagers.

I always was depressed when I had to go back to school, because it meant being saddled with a multitude of topics, and being pestered by parents and teachers to get good grades. Some topics, I had more trouble with than others, but I was pressured to excel in all of them. I always was told I had a big enough brain to be a genius, but never made the honor roll. I was castigated for failure to do so.

But what I hated the most about returning to school is that it meant encountering discourteous students who gave me a bad time and made trouble for me. I would be repeatedly told, “Ignore them, and they’ll stop bothering you,” but results were not what I was told they would be! The higher in grade levels I ascended, so did the bullies, who became more resourceful in course of time so that their misdeeds increased in cruelty. It was most nightmarish in college, because I had to live on the campus during the week. Those students allegedly were grown up, and had access to me day and night. But their misdeeds were abominable, and when I reported them to the faculty, instead of acting grown up and accepting their penalties, these malefactors called me “big baby” and threatened to do me in! These wrongdoers were not expelled from school for their atrocities.

I’ve stated before that these bullies deserve to be severely punished later in life, when they last expect it - most likely in that their children will be bullies, so that they, the previous bullies now parents, will have to take action and be forced to remember their previous misdeeds!

3 comments
08/24/06
Baby Parade, Manhattan Cable, Dracula and Supergirl
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 11:06 am

August 20, 2006

Over the past 10 days I had several appearances, one of them a very crucial anniversary.

On the 10th I was in Ocean City, NJ for their Baby Parade. It’s the biggest and oldest in the country, but it has much more than babies. It allows children up through age 12 to walk the boardwalk, accompanied by their families. There are also a few marching bands, floats and guest celebrities. This was one rare occasion in which I did not play a character. I processed as myself, but still wore one of my self-made costumes. I used a yellow gown that was decorated with ancient Greek-Roman motifs.

Sunday the 13th was my birthday. I was able to show my self off in that I was in a Puerto Rican parade held in Atlantic City. Again, I was myself and wore a self-made yellow gown. Why yellow, you might ask, for both occasions? Yellow is my favorite color, ever since I was very little!

After the parade, I went home and had birthday dinner with my folks. I made sure to supply a birthday cake – pound cake with chocolate icing. The most important of my presents was white fabric that I need to make a gown that will have mostly satin-stitch embroidery rather that cross-stitch for a gown Im currently making.

On Wednesday the 16th I went to New York to appear on Checkerboard Kids, a Manhattan Cable show I hadnt been on, I think, two years. The 16th was very crucial in that it was fiftieth anniversary of the death of veteran horror-movie actor Bela Lugosi. Naturally, I danced Dracula.

I had the TV studio get hold of a large table, which they draped over to make it my coffin from which I rose! And in the second number, when I was making the symbolic change from historic to fictional Dracula, I vocalized in the grip of my seizure. The vocalizing was carryover from when I took dance lessons, more than 30 years earlier, with the Group Motion Dance Company; they emphasized vocalization (not spoken words) as well as bodily movement.

Friday the 18th I was in Ocean City again for the finale of Weird Contest Week. I did Supergirl
Once Weird Contest Week is past, it feels as though summer is over. Though summer doesnt officially end until about September 20, it feels over for me once the above series is past. I have no more Shore appearances until late September.

8 comments
08/16/06
Elvis, Groucho and Bella Lugosi
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 2:06 pm

Suzanne would like everyone to know that even though August 16 is usually remembered as the anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, there were some other important artists that died around that time in 1977. Suzanne believes that these artists do not get the acknowledgement they deserve.

Groucho Marx - August 19, 1977 (three days after Elvis died)
Zero Mostel - September 8, 1977
Leopold Stokowski - September 13, 1977
Maria Callas - September 16, 1977
Bing Crosby - October 14, 1977

Another important thing to remember is that August 16, 2006 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Bella Lugosi. In his honor, Suzanne will be appearing tonight on Manhattan Cable Access as the guest on the Checkerboard Kids Program. Suzanne will be dancing her Dracula dance.

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06/29/06
Atlanta Film Festival
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 7:04 pm

June 26th

Only 3 weeks after being on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” I took to the air again-this time to Atlanta, GA for the 30th annual Film Festival. My Documentary was on the list for Saturday, June 10th.
I was booked on Delta. It was great to use Delta again, as it had been the first airline I ever used when I took my first plane trip 30 years ago!
Atlanta Airport had moving sidewalks as in “The Jetsons” but I did not use them.
I wore my Underdog costume to the screening since the organizers had asked me to do so and to do a live performance after the film. While waiting in the lobby I had my picture taken with Jake Jacobson, the festival director and several other VIP’s. Several people asked me to autograph their program books.

The film was well received. Since I was so used to seeing actors on the TV screen, I could not get myself excited about seeing myself in bigger proportion on a movie screen. After the film, I was asked a number of questions. One was about Asperger’s Syndrome, that I had been diagnosed with about 2 years ago. It had existed for perhaps centuries, but had not been medically defined until recently. One questioner was a medical worker who had patients with the same condition; he said I was a good role model for those patients since I achieved much despite the obstacles.

I did Underdog numbers for my live performance. The first time I opened my cape, several people cheered and took pictures. Afterwards we went to a party given for all the filmmakers. It was in a crowded nightclub
And since it was noisy I did not enjoy myself.

On the flight back I was on the right side of the plane, I could see Atlanta in the distance when the plane took off. I waved. How long would I have to wait before I could take another plane trip, anywhere?

Link to my film at the Atlanta Film Festival is here
http://atlanta.bside.com/?_view=_filmdetails&_template=atlanta&filmId=2225089&

1 comment
06/19/06
Memorial Day Parade
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 9:27 pm

June 1st

Memorial Day was another big trip for me, although not nearly as far distant or as long as my West Coast trip had been. I was to go to Falls Church, Virginia-about 15 miles west of DC to be in a Memorial Day parade.

I’ve been in this parade every year since 1990-except for 1993 when I didn’t have enough money. I always use Amtrak to get there. I start from Philadelphia and go as far as New Carrollton, Maryland, where the Orange Line of DC’s Metro system begins, and use the Orange Line to get to Falls Church. The subway stations in that system are much cleaner and brighter than Philadelphia’s and New Church.

My costume was the one-shouldered Grecian gown I had made with a lot of silver decorations as well as little gold. I also wore the silver lame cape I used in 1989 for Underdog’s 25th anniversary. Why so much silver? This parade was the 25th Memorial Day Parade, so I had to be symbolically dressed.

I was well received by the observers, but I had no way of knowing if any of them had seen me on Jimmy Kimmel, because no one made any Kimmel-related remarks. On the contrary, there were still some perverts, about a dozen, needling me about Howard Stern! Even with his decline to satellite radio, and my having been on Jimmy Kimmel, a few nasty perverts still chose to stick thorns in my side! New wounds over old ones!

It was also disheartening that despite sixteen times in this parade, I still didn’t win a trophy. I was in the walking category, but no consideration was taken for individuals vs. big groups. I had better luck in some New Jersey Christmas parades who included a category “Individual or Small Group.”

The same way I had done aboard the planes, I sought a window seat aboard both my trains. In returning, I saw dense woods along side the tracks most of the time. When returning from the Baltimore Christmas Parade in December along this same route, night has come by that time so that I couldn’t see street or house lights due to all those woodlands. I had my cross-stitch rose embroidery project with me to keep busy while on the move.

At the end of next week I have another big trip-to Atlanta Film Festival where my documentary is scheduled to be shown on June 10th!

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My experience on Jimmy Kimmel
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 9:00 pm

Sunday May 21st through, May23rd was a monumental adventure for me. On Monday the 22nd I was booked for the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” national TV show on ABC. First time on national TV since 1997, but that was cable, not network. It was also my first plane trip in almost nine years.

Boris (the director of the film about me) was going with me. Richard Brown, my friend of 20 years and connection with Jimmy Kimmel, had asked me to be on it in order to plug the documentary.

It was a good thing that the show was paying for my transportation and lodging, or I could not have afforded to go. I was being treated like royalty.

Since I hadn’t flown since before 9/11, there was much more heightened security at Philadelphia airport. But I got through baggage checking and security inspection much faster than I thought I would. Philadelphia airport had enlarged itself tremendously since I was last through it. For years it was shaped like a giant hand; now it had more fingers with extra forked fingerlets! I was going out on US Airways. When I first new it, it was called Allegheny Airlines, since it was headquartered in Pittsburgh.

I asked for forward window seats aboard both my flights. All my life I’ve always liked to observe the passing scenery when traveling. I asked for the right side of the plane for heading out, and the left side for returning.

It is always thrilling for me when it’s time to take off, with the plane zooming down the runway and then taking to the air. I imagined I was Underdog taking off, since I was asked to be in Underdog costume for the TV show. I thought of all the times I ran and then made several leaps to “take off” as Underdog in parades.

I had seven drinks on board: four cocoas and three orange juices. Outside the plane, and heading for the baggage claim area, I wanted to yell “There is no need to fear: Underdog is here!” but I was not in costume. Unlike many other performance trips by bus or train, I was in civilian dress.

The pickup driver met us as we collected our bags and we headed to the Hotel. We used La Brea Avenue and crossed Wilshire and Hollywood Boulevards in doing so. The hotel was rather old-fashioned with a pool and courtyard outside my room. The room was actually a whole suite about the same size as my apartment. Boris and Leon, the producer of Boris’s documentary, accompanied me to the room and helped me unpack.

There were no printed lists of TV channels. Searching around with the remote, I found the TV Guide Channel with its lineup grid (so vital!) and wrote a list. I noticed that some of the extra nut packs I was given by the flight attendant were actually mini-pretzels so I ate those and saved nut packs to bring to my home apartment staff as souvenirs. It was past midnight, and raining, by the time I was ready for bed.

The next morning it was still raining. In getting out my costume, I met with panic. I searched thoroughly in my suitcase and the closet, and found that I had forgotten my trunks! What if my tights sagged as a result, in the middle of my performance? When I told Boris about it, he said he and Leon would take me out to eat and to a store where I could get another pair of trunks. What relief!

They arrived just before noon-and the sun was out.

We went to the “101 Café” where I breakfasted on something I had anticipated: scrambled eggs and bacon. Then we went to a Target store where I got a pair of red shorts with white stripes down the sides. Maybe they would also serve as Supergirl trunks, if I revived her for July.

Back in my room, there was a message that the show’s escort would come between 3:30and 4:00. Since the escort and I were to walk, not drive to the studio, I decided to stay in my costume going to and from the studio. But when I was on my way, not one tourist apparently recognized my costume or me; no tourists accosted me or asked to be photographed with me.

We had to use building’s back entrance to get inside; Richard met us there. He took me to a large room which was to be my dressing room, with my name on a side panel by the door. Richard said thus was the largest dressing room and that at one time it had been Jimmy Kimmel’s office!

Boris and Leon joined me in the room a little later and talked while I had to go onstage and rehearse my number. A live band was to play the music I had asked for, “Funkytown” but there were no vocalists. I had to practice my number twice so that I knew hoe much of the song the band would do; I was limited to 90 seconds maximum to perform. Then after catching my breath, I would be interviewed by Jimmy.

I was growing increasingly nervous as time went by. I wanted to do a good performance, naturally; but I was afraid that Jimmy would poke fun of me and embarrass me in front of the whole country, the way Howard Stern had! But Richard said since he had known me for 20 years, and worked closely with Jimmy-who asked for me instead of my having contacted the show first-that Jimmy would not be snide or crude.

After rehearsal, we had some free time so Boris and Leon took me to see Chinese and Kodak Theaters. Now I saw that the stars on the sidewalk were only 15 inches across, not three feet, as they had appeared to be when photographed on TV programs. When I saw the Walk of Fame outside the Chinese Theater, I saw it was an open courtyard before the entrance; TV footage had led me to believe that it was a long stretch of sidewalk. I recognized many names there, but was not eager to find any particular one. Neither did I put my hands or feet into any of the prints to see if the sizes were the same. I saw maybe four costumed characters, but I did not speak to any of them. Boris took pictures of me in front of both theaters. But I felt so dwarfed and insignificant among all this grandiosity. No tourists recognized me or accosted me.

Back at the studio, there was a Green Room which was being catered. But the foods were all combinations, spices and mixtures I didn’t care for. The caterer asked if he could help; I asked didn’t he have something simple since my tastes were very basic; he offered to get me chopped roast chicken breast and a plain roll. His efforts proved successfully satisfactory. I was also drinking a lot of orange juice, since I had a lingering cold. When I stopped rehearsing to catch my breath, a stage minion named Josh promptly fetched orange juice and promised he would bring more after I had done my actual performance.

Richard met me back in the dressing room to rehearse the questions that would be likely asked. I knew I had to be concise, but I had to make my points clear also.

When it was time for me to go on stage I had to pray on Our Father!

I could not see the other segments that preceded me. I went onto the “Future Talent Showcase” stage in front of a giant prop star and behind a gauze curtain. I could see a live audience of maybe several hundred. Then I feared again. Once the curtain was opened and I was exposed, would some attendees, recognizing either my costume or me, hurl Stern-oriented jibes at me, and spoil everything? Their cries would certainly be picked up by the mikes.

Jimmy introduced me and the curtain opened. Afterwards, onlookers remarked that I looked nervous, but that was because I was afraid I would be heckled or mocked. The music started and the audience clapped their hands in time to it.

I did my figure-jogging well, and thankfully enjoyed myself because the audience behaved themselves. But
Since the band had no vocalist, I felt it odd that if the audience recognized the music, why didn’t they try to sing it?

When I finished, the audience screamed their heads off with delight. I had done figure-jogging successfully on national television! Jimmy came over so that now I saw him close up for the first time. He acknowledged me again and shook my hand, then said there would be a commercial break.

Josh promptly came over with the promised orange juice and I concentrated on catching my breath and preparing to be questioned. The performance had gone well, but would Jimmy be snide?

When we came back on the air, jimmy questioned me about the origins of figure-jogging, and why it should be an established sport, even an Olympic sport. Then he asked me about my involvement with Underdog, since I had been asked to be in costume. He didn’t mention the subject of Boris’s documentary until almost the last minute, and stated that it would be shown at the Atlanta Film Festival next month. He asked fewer questions than I had been prepared to answer, but thank God he didn’t make any snide or comic remarks.

He remarked that that was the end of the show and bade goodbye. The audience howled again, and I waved to them and the cameras.

Back in the dressing room, Boris, Leon and Richard congratulated me. It had gone excellently; I said they should thank God for it! It remained to be seen if I would be asked for additional appearances if this one were received well.

On the way back LAX airport had very long check-in lines. Underdog is leaving! Goodbye, LA! Will I be asked back?

When we were landing the plane was coming down very fast. Again I thought of the movements I made for parades, this time those ones for when Underdog was making his landing at the end of a parade. WE were on the ground and Underdog was home. During the trip I had not seen any cats, although I had seen a few dogs, once home I was happy to be reunited with my cat Ebony. I spent Wednesday and Tuesday getting back to my regular routines and compiling the blog. Now the story is complete for the public to enjoy.

7 comments
05/21/06
Jimmy Kimmel Live 5/22/06
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 12:14 am

May 20th 2006

I have invented movement styles as well as spontaneously choreographed dances. Next Monday (5/22) Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC will have me demonstrate “Figure Jogging” as well as have me talking about a documentary film about my life,” My Life as an Underdog”.

I came up with the idea in 1979 since jogging/running was being marketed as a big fitness fad, since when I danced I took alternately landing footsteps; and since other sports like skating, gymnastics, synchronized swimming, diving, boxing and rodeos had been made into art or entertainment as well as athletics.

“Figure Jogging” involves jogging and running in time to musical numbers within a confined area, with the feet always landing alternately, and using basic steps and several different events, to make jogging an exhibition and entertainment.

Make sure you are watching this Monday!

9 comments
05/09/06
Shelley the Mermaid
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 2:45 pm

May 4th 2006

Today I went to Ocean City, NJ for an annual tradition that is one of the many daffy events dreamed up by Mark Soifer, the Director of Public Relations.

The first Thursday of May is always designed Martin Z. Mollusk Day. It works similarly to Groundhog Day, in that a live hermit crab is placed on the beach surface and then scrutinized to see if it is casting a shadow. According to the superstition, if the crab throws a shadow, summer will arrive one week early.

However, since a hermit crab is very small, someone has to bend down and look very closely, almost getting sand in his face, to determine whether or not there’s a shadow!

Mr. Soifer makes a mountain out of a molehill by having Elvis impersonator sing “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hermit Crab” and by having me sing “Some Enchanted Morning,” his own parody of “Some Enchanted Evening.” He’ll sing with me but his singing is very poor; he leaves bulk of the singing to me.

For this event, I always do a character I originated which fits the maritime location: Shelly the South Jersey Mermaid. Here’s how she came to be:

I started making goodwill ambassador appearances in Ocean City in 1988. I became aware of two character mascots: “Trash Buster” and “Martin Z Mollusk” both created by public relations director Mark Soifer.

But these mascots were both male. There was no female mascot that represented the beach/ocean locale. A hermit crab was authentic, but Trash Buster was a humanoid superhero that would make crusading appearances out of the immediate area. I thought: why can’t there be a mermaid? Mermaids are very popular fictional entities and are natural with the Oceanfront locale.

When I first mentioned the idea to Soifer, he wasn’t all that excited: he put the idea on the back burner.
I kept thinking: If I got the OK for a mermaid character, how would her costume be designed? Would I have to encase my legs and feet and have trouble moving around on land?

Then in1989, when I visited Philadelphia fabric store, I saw a photo of a woman in a bridal gown. The skirt was very narrow and had a big flounce at the lower hem. It was as though the layers of fluffy net, which constitute the skirt in a ballet dancer’s tutu, had been sewn on the hem rather than at the waist. The flounce was termed a fish tail. By using a skirt design like this, I would have my feet free for normal walking.

I also recalled that when I played with “Barbie” dolls as a pre-teen, one of the flashy gowns sold at that time had the same principle of long narrow skirt with bottom ruffle.

It wasn’t until about 1992 that Mr. Soifer finally agreed to my creating and portraying a mermaid mascot. He said she should not represent just Ocean City, but the whole shoreline from Brigantine (the next town north of Atlantic City) to Cape May, the southernmost town in the state. Her costume should be traditional seawater turquoise, not the white and royal blue that were Ocean City’s town colors. If the mermaid was to represent that much shoreline, that part of the state was called the Southern Shore in travel brochures. The mermaid’s name should start with an S for alliterative purposes. Mr. Soifer thought of Sandy, after the beach sand, but the sand was dull grayish-white when the mermaid costume was supposed to be turquoise after the water. Then he thought of Shelley, to go with the decorative seashells. I knew where there were shell-shaped sequins and buttons to use on the costume.

We set out to making a publicity blitz for this upcoming mascot’s inauguration. We circulated “Shelley, the South Shore Mermaid,” but then I had a thought. Visitors from the far south of the country might be there and think the mermaid represented that area! To make the title clearer, I had to make the change to South Jersey Shore, so that there would be no misunderstanding about what territory she stood for.

Shelley the South Jersey Shore Mermaid appeared for the first time on may 1, 1993, during Ocean City’s annual Spring Block Party.

There are some events, including Martin Z. Mollusk Day, for which Shelley is mandatory. But I’ve also done her in some locations farther inland. Her trademark movements are my feet kicking backward as though I’m swimming and my arms make stroking moves. When I’m not doing her in parades, I carry a gold shell-shaped party tray like a fan.

Note; To see the images of Shelley visit www.artofmadness.com check out My Life as an Underdog, Suzanne’s World and the B&W gallery

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04/11/06
April 6th, 2006
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 8:36 pm

April 6th, 2006

We have a strange coincidence this year that hasn’t been in a long time. Experts on Abraham Lincoln know that he was shot in Ford’s Theater on the night of Friday, April 14, 1865; and died at daybreak of Saturday, April 15. However, the coincidence is that April 14 of that year was Good Friday. And this year, April 14 is Good Friday! So we have a coincidental date with not just the day of the week, but also a major holiday happening at the very same date and weekday as for 1865!

Many years ago, one of the yellow phone directory pages had a series of calendars printed on it, showing all possible ways (14 altogether) that the days of the week and date numbers aligned themselves for a whole year at the time. The page also listed the years 1800 through 2050; to find the right calendar and alignment, you had to find the year you wanted and then refer to a certain numbered calendar. This way, I learned that 2006 has the same alignment as 1865, 1967, 1978, 1989 and 1995. The secrets are that New Year’s Day is on Sunday and it is not a leap year.

Only two days after Easter, there is a milestone anniversary – the one-hundredth anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake!

Numberless families are probably planning their Easter dinners now. Ham and turkey are probably the most popular (ham is advertised widely), but actually the most symbolically appropriate meat is lamb. Lamb has roots in spring in both the Old and New Testaments: it was the main course in the original Passover feast; and Jesus is spoken as the Lamb of God.

Unlike many parades, an Easter parade is an informal procession and judging of newly-acquired street clothes. There are no floats, bands, or costumed characters – unless you count the one in Disney World, which commercializes and distracts from the true meaning of the holiday. Two years ago, I made myself a blouse and skirt for Easter; I put a lot of embroidery on them, and participated in an Easter parade in Ocean City, NJ. But I was very disappointed that I won nothing, because, except for self-crafted bonnets, the judges took no consideration for self-made vs. store bought-clothing.

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04/06/06
April 6th 2006
Filed under: SUZANNE
Posted by: site admin @ 7:27 pm

With Easter just two weeks away, people throughout the world are now reflecting on the sufferings and death of Christ. There is something very important to be discussed here, not for religious purposes, but social and moral connections.

As children, when we first learned about Christ’s ordeal, we probably felt sorry for Him, but - more to my point - we felt indignant or angry over the people who made fun of Him, tortured Him, and set him up to be finished off. We said to ourselves, “How could anybody be that mean? Christ didn’t do anything bad. Those people were evil”

However, we fail to make the connection between Christ’s maltreaters and ourselves when we make trouble for other people by teasing, heckling and (worst) physically assaulting them.

I can best illustrate this connection by citing my own experiences. All through school, I was picked on and teased by both students and teachers. When I complained to these malefactors and insisted they stop, my parents said, “Ignore them, and they will stop bothering you.” But when I did so, or at least tried to do so, these hecklers did not stop bothering me! When they saw that I was paying no attention, they did not allow themselves to be ignored, and resorted to more drastic action. When Christ was sadistically teased, He did not retaliate; but His torturers did not let him of the hook as a result. They continued to tease and torture Him until he was dead. In my case, students continued to harass me until either I moved out of the area or the malefactors graduated.

The problem of students harassing me was worst in college, since I had to stay there during the week. There the other dormitory students had access to me 24/7. They committed discourtesies and atrocities that were strictly from malice and hate. Such atrocities were inexcusable because these students, especially the upperclasswomen, fancied themselves grown up. They allegedly knew everything, including right and wrong, but in reality were terrorists because they made me live in fear, expecting another attack around the next corner or the next day.

What connection is there between wrongdoers and Christ’s maltreaters? Christ says, in describing the Last Judgment, that His Father will say “Whatever you do/fail to do to My least brethren, you do/fail to do unto Me” Action toward others count for ill deeds as well as for good deeds. So when people tease and harass other people, they are maltreating Christ once again. The people who made trouble for me in the past – or who still make trouble for me today – fail to see the connection between their atrocities and the discourtesies against Christ.

Today I still suffer greatly, even after 15 years, from people who needle me about the profane, vulgar Howard Stern. I have explained incessantly how he contacted me to be on his former TV show but denied me the time or chance to do my homework. He ruined my good name, on the air, nationwide, maybe even worldwide, and created a false impression of me. Perverts still tease me about him, making false accusations. These hecklers have been warned, repeatedly, to stop; but they refuse to. The overwhelming majority of these malefactors are old enough to be parents or even grandparents, so that they’re supposed to know better. Some of them have even told their children, or groups of children like Scouts that they are in charge of, to yell Howard Stern’s name, or to proclaim that I am his great love, or even that I am pregnant by him (!), upon my appearing in public! Stern himself said in November ’02, on the air, that the public was not to bother me about him anymore, but the public has been brazenly defiant. These malefactors have made me lose face with police and event organizers, so that I have been banished from several locales and risk having other locales follow suit. I was made a sacrificial goat for other people’s misdeeds.

It is true that Christ said “father forgive them (His maltreaters).” But that does not mean that these troublemakers watched Him die and then went home as though it were just another day ended. At the moment Christ expired, there were an earthquake and storm, which gave al the malefactors, a deserving scare; they were haunted by their wrongdoings for the rest of their lives. Subsequent generations, even up through today, were taught to look upon those people with horror and disgust; those people became historically unpopular.

People who make trouble for others, or who used to do so, face penalties later in life when they least expect it. The most deserving comeuppance is if present or former bullies have children who are either bullies or victims. Either way, the parents – especially past or present hecklers – receive complaints and have to take action. Seeing their children repeat the pattern is nature’s way of punishing hecklers by forcing them to remember their own misdeeds – and, if they’re intelligent enough – see the connection between Christ’s suffering and the hardships they made others suffer.

If hecklers don’t wise up, they face punishment when they least expect it, in either this world or the next! We certainly don’t want to think of ourselves as being just as bad as the people who set Christ up to be executed! So that’s food for thought: when we think about Christ’s ordeals, how do we know that at some point in our own lives, even today, we make Him suffer all over again by making trouble for other people out of hatred or discourtesy? How can we be sure we won’t be remembered unfavorably by future generations because we were nasty to other people?

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