And Another Thing About Spielberg’s West Side Story

Published March 20, 2022 by Sandee

I’m embarrassed that I shot my mouth off about how much I like the 1961 version of West Side Story to a friend from Puerto Rico. He was offended by the original. No excuse, but each time I watched I commented on how wack it was that there were only two Puerto Ricans in it. Tito said it was fluff. He was right.

It’s the artistry of the choreography that’s so compelling. West Side Story is a musical. It’s supposed to be over-the-top. The New York street accents are stereotypical, but that goes with the over-the-top framework of a dramatic musical. Gang members are pirouetting on a basketball court.

It’s hyperreal. But I appreciate that it reflected the period that it was in. Spielberg recreated elements of that period through the lens of 2021, which ironically makes it unrealistic, something he was implying about the original West Side Story.

In Wise and Robbins’ 1961 version, the dance at the gym was sexy, which an article I read said as well. That was the point at which I turned the 2021 version off. I couldn’t take anymore. Spielberg’s back story and psychoanalyzing sucked the energy out of the dancing. In the original, the way those dancers moved was supernatural. Russ Tamblyn’s the man, by the way. The dance at the gym is my favorite scene in the original. I finally went back and watched the rest of the 2021 version and reaffirmed my opinion about it.

Enough people liked Spielberg’s version and needed to see all the psychoanalysis. Spielberg should have made a completely new movie about all the issues he wanted to address. A realistic remake of a musical is a different movie.

And…ah…anybody notice that one black dude that inspired Spielberg to include the black gun salesman and black subway passengers in his movie?

Miss you!

Published February 8, 2020 by Sandee


So long since I used to blog everyday in New York. I live in Durham NC now — why the heck didn’t I come here sooner? I love it! I have two jobs here but I’m still living in an Extended Stay hotel. I might make my move to get an apartment or house in April. Until then…

Auntie Sandee

Shooters Are Plotting As We Speak

Published August 4, 2019 by Sandee

Create small, interconnected communities that allow us to take better care of each other so we’d be less likely to hurt each other. It would be a long haul.  I’m throwing it out there. Use old tribal customs as a template. Combine principles from tribal and hi-tech culture. Hahaha! –no! Get on it, asap.

I don’t care who’s in office, the same motivators run the show, greed, materialism, and the cultural values that come from that — flimsy values that warp your mind.  Shit just gets redistributed when someone else from a different party gets elected. It’s within the same framework. It’s a game of whack-a-mole.

Shooters have done their thing through each administration. You can’t blame any particular president. The media needs to generate their own income. They have to make sure we remain dependent on them. They need money to maintain their genteel lifestyles. They had been told that this makes you successful. They run these stories with step by step coverage, leading us to the next installment. It’s disseminating ideas for diseased people. I’m not saying don’t report shootings, just scale it down! 

More importantly, don’t fucking print the shooter’s name! That way we can lump it all into a phenomenon, as opposed to giving these losers fame. We can more easily view it as a national  health crisis when we stop focussing on the perpetrators. But this a conversation that’s already been started. How dumb is this?

Why does the media, over and over, stupidly keep naming these bastards? Why are we so diseased? How do we take care of this national health crisis?

IS the media to blame?

Come to the Cemetery

Published March 27, 2018 by Sandee

20160710_161920It — has been a while. I don’t even know any of you anymore! To write you tonight, I cleared my blog of spider webs that have accumulated since 2016. Memories of 2012 and 2013 when I wrote here religiously take me to the time when I didn’t see what I see today — what it actually feels like to be 55 — what being a veteran cemetery worker feels like. Yes — no, this post’s not a cheap ploy to let you know I’m still doing evening lantern tours at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, probably one of the best things about my life. But, you might find yourselves there, alive, participating happily, lantern in hand — we have daytime tours, too.

Come to our fabled cemetery and we’ll visit fascinating people who turned their lives into gold. We’ll visit a very unfortunate actress and a vampire’s lair. There are some quirky mysteries that will keep you wondering. And of course, we’ll visit Washington Irving, who created the mystique surrounding Sleepy Hollow still today.

Here’re quotes from satisfied participants — let’s see if I remember correctly exactly what they said — okay, here we go:

“I had the time of my life!”

“Do you live here?”

And following’s a conversation between me and a VERY satisfied participant. “I’m coming back next week to take your tour!” “Sure you don’t want to try another guide?” “No! We want yours again.” Seriously, there are more things people said, but I want to save the space.

If you don’t live in New York, that’s fine. Tell the people who you know in New York. But it really doesn’t matter if you live in New York because we get people from all over. Some drunken Australians came once. Tours start this weekend, March 31st, so here’s the link:

I plan on coming back in here at some point in the future and sharing what’s going on. For a preview, I did get a couple of really positive rejections of a short story I wrote. Both magazines said they weren’t standard rejections and encouraged me to send more work, and I did, but they rejected those, too. Also, I will be re-working the novel that was rejected, standardly, by agents, after finishing off my latest short story. In the meantime, I had my collection of short stories edited professionally and it’s on We retitled it, “Confessions of a Footfreak and Other Mean-Spirited Tales.” One woman who bought a copy said they’d make great x-mas presents — I swear to God. So, here’s the link for that one — you’ll definitely enjoy it:

I don’t want there to be too much more going on in here so I’m going to leave now. But I’ll be back! It used to be fun in here and sometimes weird, and sometimes it was a compulsion. So maybe it’s good I got on the wagon a while.

Until next time!







Punk Ass Police Officers

Published July 7, 2016 by Sandee

Why does the police department continue to hire punk ass police officers – pussies – pussy racists? I saw the video. Two hefty men had Alton Sterling pinned down. They were obviously capable of subduing him, but decided to shoot him point blank in the chest. What a joke – they were defending themselves. Ha! Why does this continue to happen? Because a culture that demands fierce competition for resources and consumerism requires monsters, pariahs, inferior people, etc. You need a way to keep the “others” back. As black people, the lie says that we’re it. We’re too busy trying to live day-to-day to be thinking about all of this. We work to get the nice things that we see advertised – things they tell us we need, and the lifestyle that comes with it, despite the reality that this culture isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s bullshit and it’s killing us.

This is age-old. Nothing new. But wouldn’t it be nice with all this “superior” technology if we could figure out a better way to relate to the environment and to each other – if we could adopt a healthier way to live? I guess not.

People keep complaining and crying about police killing black people, but that isn’t going to do shit. Those Occupy Wall Street People and Bernie Sanders were sort of on the right track. And a lot of people along the way tried, but the people controlling the reins have too much sway. Consciousness about what’s really going on can be easily dulled in a day-to-day existence controlled by media and business titans.

This system requires that a large portion of people be cut out of the competition, so jails, and fucked up neighborhoods filled with “bad people” are required. The behavior becomes actualized by the “bad people” watching television and reading the papers – and these reporters will always be reporting – as they need to keep themselves employed. I read something like this in a New Yorker article written by an economist AFTER I had come up with this conclusion long ago.

Does this culture require this? There should be some kind of psychic shift to stop this shit from happening. Within the current culture that we support, should we just expect this to continue occurring while we shop for our theater screen televisions, McMansions, and computerized stoves? As it stands, this country is so “advanced” that it perpetuates barbarism in sophisticated ways and kills black people and screws others at warp speed. What an accomplishment. I vote for interconnected communes where you could take care of people. Other than that, continue to witness the bloodshed.


Published June 2, 2016 by Sandee

A stupid setting in my brain gets me to believing that Prince and I would have been compatible lovers. I’ve had a couple of “encounters” with known musicians. One guy almost got up to my apartment, but I had another guy living here and had promised to make him dinner, so it didn’t happen.

I believe that something like this could have happened with Prince. My girl, also a huge Prince fan, says, “Keep hallucinating.” Ha! It’s part of my pain now – that he would have been accessible but now he’s not here.

He was four years older than me, just like a couple of my boyfriends growing up and some of the dudes who were interested in me back then – those photos of Prince in the 70s with that blow-out ‘fro — they remind me of the brothers from my neighborhood. There were a few of those short guys in our neighborhood – like Prince – and they were mackin’ hard. I know those short guys like that – they can be slick as hell. Prince evolved from that brother-from-the-hood style, but it remained part of his swagger.

Because he was fearless, he did what he wanted to do and everybody was cool with it. I was heavily influenced by rock ‘n roll later in high school so I was ready for Prince on that level. We also probably had some of the same wild ideas about sex.

In reality, he dated mixed, light-skinned, and white women, which I don’t have issue with. But would I have been his type? Paha! Not to mention he was well beyond those crazy days that I hallucinate about — see where this is going.

This lover that I’ve concocted from the Prince persona does not exist, which makes it an interesting study. It’s a figment of my imagination.

More will be revealed. Thus far, I’ve thought about the difficulties certain people in the industry have with personal relationships, icons particularly. I’ve done some dime store psychology on the Prince situation. What compelled him and why? What fueled his fire? – oh but my God he was hot as hell. Check out his “Head” video from ’86 — or when Mel B interviewed him at Paisley Park and he’s in complete “bedroom voice” (I got agitated just typing that).

All that hotness exploding out into the stratosphere might cost you crucial elements on a terrestrial level, just saying. This is the energy from him that’s reverberating here causing my delusions, I’m sure. So, we’ll see how this thing plays out. Thank y’all for listening — oh but for real – my phone’s ringing just now — and my ring tone — the Prince wail from “Do Me Baby.”

Damn U.

Published May 26, 2016 by Sandee

purple nebulaWith magic, sometimes you’re not aware that a spell has been cast. All these years and I didn’t know that Prince had more to do with me than I realized. The dude had fairy dust around him. I attached to that ethereal thread in his work.

“I Wanna Be Your Lover” was constantly played on the radio when I was in high school, but it was the movie “Purple Rain” that reeled me in as a black girl who loved rock ‘n roll. I “grew up” with Prince.

I didn’t know him, but it feels like I did. That one freaky black musician has transcended. If it was only the sex it wouldn’t be a problem. I’m absolutely deranged now that he’s gone. He left me fired up all the time. I’m not the only one — I see the comments in his YouTube videos. One guy said “I think I was impregnated by this video, and I don’t even have a uterus.” His comment got almost 150 likes.

Who wears mascara and lace, flirts with men, screams like a girl and gets all the women? Prince. That pan sexuality thing makes me insane. Later in his life, there seemed to be a denial of all that wild behavior. I see it this way – he had his battles like everyone else. The music industry is no joke. Either way, he could do no wrong in my book because he contributed something valuable to the culture.

I’m saturating myself, clicking repeatedly on concerts, videos, and interviews – he flirts with Mel Gibson on the Jay Leno show, which he had visited a few times. He seemed to like Jay Leno – wow! It’s interesting to see him so animated and “human” on this show because he’s normally quiet and mysterious. And what a sense of humor. But watching him hold his guitar – it’s too much. You are aware of his fingers. He moved with that guitar like a dance partner –sometimes he humped it to get his point across.

He put joy and life into his music. It’s truth. If he wasn’t a charismatic genius those movements might be hideous. He built on musicians before him, but he’s an authentic artist. I’ve seen him play drums, piano, and of course the guitar, but he played 27 instruments.

After Prince’s death I said that I got it — the universe needed Prince to work his energy from the outside – he had an amazing amount of it. A lot of the energy that I feel now is terribly sexual – painfully so. You can have sex with dead icons in your head. But the craving isn’t going to be satisfied. What I want is not real. What am I grasping? I gotta work this thing out — I might be posting more thoughts on this thing. It’s been a year since I’ve posted so you know this is serious. I’m fortunate to have a best friend to commiserate with — we go back and forth back and forth about it for days. Help me Jesus!

Those old videos aren’t really “porno,” like I jokingly told my friend. Like everyone’s said, they’re about God. I had read that Scorpions regard sex religiously. I do. And from Prince’s legacy, I have inherited something beyond me. Maybe after I get more sleep and take care of some issues that I’m dealing with I might be able to channel my muse with more equilibrium – but for now, as Prince said — damn u.



“I don’t like nightmares,” my three year old nephew said, with his eyes closed tightly.

Published July 5, 2015 by Sandee


Two weeks ago, I had a great time visiting The Historical Society of Tarrytown & Sleepy Hollow. I did “research” and enjoyed the “Victorian Secrets” exhibit with 19th and 20th century “unmentionables.” The curator there is wonderful.

Later, I had a nightmare worthy of a Twilight Zone episode:

I’m upstairs in the old Historical Society house ready to take a nap in a bedroom. It’s dark. In bed, my back faces the door. It opens suddenly and there are footsteps. Somebody comes to me in the bed, huffing out angrily, yanking the blanket roughly to cover my backside. The footsteps are fast-paced toward the door, which slams shut.

I get up and call out for the curator, my host, thinking that I’ve upset her. Creeping to the door, I call her name again. Opening the door, I don’t see anyone. I look down and to the left. There’s a mannequin from the “Victorian Secrets” exhibit, kneeling on the floor — glaring up at me!

She had stomped into that room with her Victorian morality to pull the blanket over my butt!

That dream scared the BEJEZUS outta me! Needless to say, I woke up immediately.

Wonder why on earth I’d have a dream like that — check out the rest of the cool photos!



Look! I’m “researching” — it’s what you do at the historical society!


No, this doesn’t mean that I’m going back to Africa.

Published June 22, 2015 by Sandee

When Africans sold slaves to Europeans, I imagine they didn’t know that it would turn into an evil institution. Slavery existed in Africa as a different institution than when it was introduced to the west. In Africa, slaves owned slaves who could buy themselves out of slavery and travel freely, etc.

Some people (including other blacks) think blacks and Africans come from inferior and barbaric cultures, and that we need to sit the hell down and appreciate what Europeans have done for us. But we didn’t need anything before they got there. And, please, I’m not referring to Egypt, where some of the people don’t even consider themselves black. Egypt has an ancient history that’s compatible to the way that Europeans think about “progress,” so black people here today want to claim that as part of our history, but most African Americans don’t come from there. I think we should find new ways of describing “progress.”

There was this African interviewed for Humans of New York who spoke about the degrading image of Africans covered in flies, begging and holding their hands out, helping to project a negative image. It has become part of the propaganda. But there are scientists, doctors, and engineers in Africa. Unfortunately, in the States, the stereotypical goal for blacks is still to become either a singer, dancer or sports star.

Nowadays, with the environmental issues that we face, and with the problem of fake food, etc., people can really appreciate the simple wisdom of those African proverbs that speak of mother earth. Certain indigenous tribes couldn’t even grasp the idea that anyone “owned” land, because it belonged to everyone. But now since the natural institutions of Africans have disappeared, superficially, it’s easy to blame them for a degraded state of existence, instead of remembering where they had come from, which a lot of us back-to-nature folks are trying to get back to.

And some African leaders have been corrupt — not to condone the behavior, but we’ve all been tainted with the idea of owning a lot of stuff (maybe it’s too late to turn back).

One culture isn’t better than the other. We should respect everyone’s contribution, without the underlying tone of hierarchy. It may be the only way we know how to relate to each other now, but it should change. We should have a different way of relating to the environment, and see simply that nature used Europeans, creating an environment that made it necessary for them them to move outward, to help us move closer together; as opposed to seeing one group as superior to the other.

It wasn’t innate genius in relation to others that propelled Europeans to start the swell of technological “advancement.”Africans and blacks are just as capable of learning and absorbing knowledge that inspires this kind of expertise.

But we all know of the practices that prevent that from happening, beginning with slaves and blacks being prevented from learning to read and going to school at the inception of this nation — this shit still exists today in subtler ways.

When people complain about racism, gun violence, and political corruption, etc., I think about how we just go round and round in circles with the same shit happening. Charleston, Newtown, unarmed black men being murdered — this is not the end. Now that we’ve figured out ways to get more resources to the masses with technology, we need to figure out how to distribute them in healthier ways.

Under the current market system, I don’t think it’s possible, because it requires cutting large percentages of the population out of the competition, and that involves propaganda. Or, maybe we should continue to promote a system that encourages murder, excess and degradation — and the use of anti-depressants to deal with it all. How sophisticated and advanced is a society such as this?