House on Haunted Hill

October 3rd, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I watched House on Haunted Hill last night. This movie terrified me as a child, and I still feel unease watching the scenes in the basement, when the gaslights go out one by one. I wonder where that was shot? I know the outside of the house is a famous Frank Lloyd Wright house (the Ennis House), but I couldn’t find where the basement scenes were shot.

I started googling the actors, and found a few sad stories right off the bat.

Carolyn Craig, who played Nora, killed herself when she was only 36! I can’t find anything about her death, but she got a divorce earlier that year. Maybe that contributed? She’s buried in an unmarked grave which makes her death even sadder.

Richard Long, who played Lance, died of a heart attack when he was only 49.

Alan Marshall, who played the doctor who planned to murder the Vincent Price character, had some sort of “chronic nervous condition which ended his film career.” That part got to me. I wonder if he also got anxiety attacks? He died when he was 52.

Carol Ohmart, who plays the wife who conspires with the doctor to murder her husband (played by Vincent Price) didn’t have an easy life, but it looks like she had a happy ending. Good for her!

Leona Anderson, who played the terrifying floating ghost who turned out to be the blind housekeeper, doesn’t have a particularly sad story, as far as I can tell. She was a former silent film actress, who later made a career out of pretending to be a terrible singer. She lived to 88 and died on Christmas day in 1973.

This is another laundry shot. I took this because this guy waited forever to get a cab. I became utterly fascinated by him, because anyone else, I think, would have searched for a better spot. He was only a couple of blocks away from a much busier corner.


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Anxiety and Swimming

October 2nd, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I just remembered, when I was in my twenties I went through a period of having severe anxiety attacks. One therapist told me to think of place that was the safest, calmest, happiest place I could imagine and to go there whenever I felt anxious.

What I imagined was this: swimming in a very tropical setting. I actually got the idea from a neighbor’s pool where I had grown up. They dug out a pool on the edge of their woods, and then they put even more flowers and plants around it. So when you swam in their pool you were practically surrounded by trees and vegetation. It was really lovely.

I simply took that further and imagined myself swimming in a body of water that may not even exist, it was kinda like a quiet river, but in the tropics with large, colorful flowers, and great big lush greenery all around. Whenever I got scared I would just swim lazily along, looking around at this magical scenery around me.

It’s interesting that I chose swimming, of all the possible places I could have put myself. But swimming is good for anxiety, in reality. Like almost any physical activity. The abundance of nature was key to the comforting aspects of the fantasy, though.

From last week, when I was sitting in front of the laundry, watching dogs go by.


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September 29th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Because the world can’t have enough pictures of my cats. I just opened an Instagram account, but now I have to get back to work writing so I haven’t experimented with uploading a photograph yet. But I had to choose the username stacymhorn because stacyhorn was already taken. Imposter!


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When Charity Got a Bad Name

September 27th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

As some of you know, I’m working on a book about Blackwell’s Island, which was the name for Roosevelt Island in the 19th Century. They also called the island Welfare Island from 1921 – 1971, because back then welfare was not a dirty word. The word was associated with compassion, and looking out for your fellow man/woman. This doesn’t mean that people didn’t despise the poor back then, they did (not everyone of course).

The pillars pictured below are all that is left of the Hospital, except I am having a hell of a time tracing the history of this hospital. It started out as the Penitentiary Hospital, then it became the Island Hospital, presumably because it wasn’t for inmates alone, then Charity Hospital, and finally City Hospital.

It’s unclear to me though if Charity Hospital and City Hospital were the same building. There are contradictory records. Historians don’t agree.

Anyway, I just came across a terribly upsetting story involving Charity Hospital. I can barely read about it much less write about it. We shall see if it makes it into my book!

City Hospital Remnants, Roosevelt Island

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Pope Watch

September 25th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The thing is, I’m not going to be in any part of town the Pope is going to be in. And I’m feeling kinda lazy. My choices:

8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly. (I slept late and was feeding the cats and sitting down to coffee. Where I am remain.)

11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center. (I’ll be on my way to meeting my friends for lunch.)

4 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem. (I’ll be sitting at my computer thinking, ‘That’s a lot of subway stops away.’)

5 p.m. Procession through Central Park. (You need to have gotten a ticket, which of course I didn’t do. But it might be fun to be on the periphery, watching the crowds and being part of the excitement.)

6 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden. (Invitation only, but there were will also be thousands of people in the area, hoping to get a glimpse and this is even closer to me.)

A picture of my group at the VR Hackathon I participated in this summer. I’m always the teeniest. Anyway, I love my group. Can’t you just tell they’re all great??


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