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Tag Archives: conversation

The Million Dollar Question Is…

You know, I am really, really sick of Facebook memes that ask if you would do something for a million dollars: live without the internet, stay in a haunted house, slap your cousin (watch out, Mary Beth!).  You would be amazed at all the stuff you can supposedly get paid a million dollars to do.  OK, now everybody, even though you have already spent your millions (I’m guessing most of you would do more than one of the above-mentioned or other chores), listen to me carefully, I’ll put it in bold caps, in case you need the emphasis:


Yes, I felt it needed all five exclamation points.

I have expounded in this space before about my abhorrence of hypothetical questions.  If only I could remember the titles of any of them, I could make a ping-back (something I have become very adept at doing) (Under the heading It Takes So Little To Please Some People: I get so proud of myself whenever I can do anything on the computer).

I know, I know, these questions are conversation starters, meant to stretch our brains in unaccustomed directions.  I guess it seems kind of silly for an alleged fiction-writer such as myself to rail against asking a questions that have no basis in reality.  After all, what is fiction but finding different answers to questions that begin, “What if…?”

Well, I stand by my grumpiness regarding the million dollar question.  For one thing, on no Facebook post I have seen has it ever, EVER engendered a lively conversation, just a whole bunch of people saying, “Yes,” “F***, yeah,”  etc.  The last time I saw it (today), the million dollar task was to stay in a haunted house.  I commented, “You are more likely to find someone willing to charge you big bucks for you to stay in the purportedly haunted house.”  Everybody ignored me, as, indeed, they ignored other affirmative answers and both silly pictures (a Ghost Busters t-shirt and an actual ghost).  I’m not miffed at being ignored; I’m just pointing out that this was no conversation starter.

Anyways, this is my blog post for today. You will note:  I did not whine about not being able to write a decent blog post.  I contend that I did not whine at all, grumpiness notwithstanding.  I’m going to call it a Bad Attituesday and drive on.



Not Wuss — Winter!

Winter returned to the Mohawk Valley last night (Tuesday, Dec 28).  I could hear sleet hitting the windows when I woke up in the night.  When I got up I saw the back yard was covered with snow.  Well, we knew it was coming.

I had planned to go running today.  For one reason, I could make a Running Commentary blog post.  For another, I’m getting fatter.  And for just one more, I promised myself I would run up the hill to Herkimer College before the end of 2015.  Perhaps the rain would stop before I got out of work.

During lunch I left stepped outside of my place of employment briefly.  Cold rain was falling and a bitter wind blew.  Even more ominous for my running plans, the sidewalks were covered with ice and ice water.  Yikes!  I could probably talk myself into running in the cold, POSSIBLY the rain (although I don’t usually).  Icy sidewalks, however, are to be assiduously avoided.  I revised my plans:  I would run in place on the mini-tramp while looking at a movie.  I might still have a Boris Karloff flick on my DVR.

I was feeling dreadfully tired by the time I got home, but rather than have a Wuss-out Wednesday post, I was going to try.  Then I saw a neighbor shoveling the snow from his front walk.  The neighbors on the other side had already shoveled their walk, as had other houses.  I felt I should be a responsible homeowner.

Shoveling snow is exercise, I assured myself.  Were the shovels on the back deck?  Yes.  I went inside only long enough to put my bag down then went out and got started.

It wasn’t long before I realized that while yesterday I had worn my work shoes home, today I had sensibly changed into my sneakers.  I told myself not to worry about it.  Even if my feet got soaked, I wasn’t going to be out there long enough for it to matter.  I would be out there maybe a half hour.  Half an hour is a good amount of exercise in the middle of the week.

I started on the sidewalk.  It was crunchy, iced-over snow, but it wasn’t too deep and it wasn’t too heavy. I had my reward right away when a nice lady came along walking her dog.  I petted the dog and chatted with the lady.  She said she had seen me walking a little white dog.

“Did you lose her?”

“Yes, she had cancer.”

She offered her condolences and I petted the dog again before they moved on.  I do hope to get another dog one day, possibly in the spring.

As I continued to clear the sidewalk, a gentleman from the apartment building next door came out and started shoveling the end of their driveway.  We chatted a bit about winter, commuting, and store-brand cottage cheese.  This shoveling wasn’t a bad gig at all.

When I started on the end of the driveway, things got a little less fun.  Between the snowplow piling more snow up and our vehicles going in and out of the driveway, the snow and ice was more stubbornly in place.  I worked away with determination.  I was rewarded with further conversation when the neighbor who lives on the other side came out and started shoveling their driveway.

I ended up shoveling for an hour.  I did not get the whole driveway done, but I cleared enough that Steven should be able to pull in and park.  I wasn’t sure I could get a blog post out of it but decided to try.  You be the judge:  is this better, worse, or about the same as one of my Wuss-out Wednesday posts?


Food, Drinks, Conversation

After the play on Friday (The Psychic at Ilion Little Theatre, it’s on again this weekend; go see it if you can), a bunch of us went to Applebee’s in Herkimer, NY for drinks, food and laughs. I don’t usually plug chain restaurants as Mohawk Valley Girl, but I have mentioned Applebee’s positively and I will do so again. We had a great time.

Steven and I got there first. I counted on my fingers how many were expected (I didn’t have enough). Was the big booth big enough? Should they push tables together? Two gentlemen at a nearby table volunteered to move if need be, but it was not necessary. Soon we were all seated around three tables pushed together (or was it four?) and sorting out with our waitress who went on whose tab.

Our waitress was fun and chatty. She explained her system of assigning us numbers. She was pleased to have such a large table, because her section was fairly quiet at the time. We ordered drinks. Some got appetizers, a few people got full dinners. Steven and I were still full from Sorrento’s, but we did sample a couple of our friends’ appetizers when invited to. Also, there was a large olive in my Perfect Margarita. That counts as a vegetable, doesn’t it?

Good conversation was, of course, our main reason for being there, as it is often my main reason for being anywhere (yes, I talk too much). Applebee’s was well-suited for that. A regular bar may have been too loud, especially for a large group like ours.

I stayed up way past my bed time. When I asked the waitress for our check, she said, “But I don’t want you to go!” I didn’t particularly want to go, either, but I sorely need my beauty rest (cue jokes about how there isn’t enough rest in the world etc.). I hope it isn’t too long before I have another fun night out with friends.

Low-Key and Gracious

Before going to the Ilion Little Theatre on Friday to see The Psychic, Steven and I met a couple of our theatre friends at Sorrento’s in Ilion, NY for a bite to eat and some good conversation.

The front part of Sorrento’s looks like a regular, low-key pizzeria, while the back room is what I call gracious dining surroundings. We sat in gracious dining surroundings. I had been a little worried about getting a table at six o’clock on a Friday night, but it was no problem. We were soon sipping wine and perusing menus.

I wanted something light and non-meat (Friday during Lent), so I chose linguini with oil and garlic, Italian dressing on my salad. Steven got a fish sandwich with french fries. The others in our party got fried calimari and spinach ravioli, respectively. The dinner also came with garlic bread, which was delicious.

While we ate, we talked about Ilion Little Theatre (ILT). Steven and I had missed the last dinner meeting, but we were told my name had come up. Some people had read my article in Mohawk Valley Living magazine, which was about ILT and the casting of our last production, Busybody.

It was a very good dinner. We’ve been to Sorrento’s many times before but not in a while, so it was good to eat there again, and a delightful start to our Friday night adventures. Sorrento’s is located at 86 Central Ave. in Ilion, phone number 315-894-9991. For more information you can visit their website at and you can Like them on Facebook.

At Least I Like Sourdough Bread

Yesterday I talked about a lunch under stress (good lunch, not bad stress, in case you missed it). I don’t always have stress when I eat out and I don’t get to eat out as often as I would like to. However, we were celebrating Steven’s birthday weekend last weekend, so I make bold to offer two eating out posts in a row.

One of my favorite things to do on my day off is to eat at a good hometown diner. The Mohawk Valley is blessed with several. Last weekend, when my husband Steven and I had a rare Saturday off together, we began our day with breakfast at Liz’s in Mohawk, NY.

Liz greeted us as we walked in and we sat down, admiring as always the rooster decor. Several specials were posted on the wall, but we also looked at menus. Decisions, decisions. At least I knew I was definitely getting something with toast, because Liz serves Heidelberg Bread. Yum!

I finally settled on two eggs over medium with homefries and sourdough toast. Steven ordered the same only adding bacon, cholesterol be damned. When I confided that sourdough was my favorite I learned that Liz doesn’t like it. Heresy!

“All the more for me,” I said, although I contented myself with one order.

The potatoes were perfection, and the eggs were just the way I like them, yolks runny, whites not. While we ate we got to chatting with two ladies sitting at the next table. One of them had seen us on stage at Ilion Little Theatre, although she had missed my most recent theatrical triumph. We both expressed a wish that Steven would be in another play soon. He is considering the prospect.

The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan was on the television, which led to a discussion about our dogs. We probably could have sat down with another cup of coffee and chatted for another hour. I do love conversation. Conversation and a good breakfast are an excellent combination for a Saturday morning.

Liz’s is located at 150 Main St., Mohawk, NY, phone number 315-941-5609. They are open at 7 a.m. 7 days a week with dinner Wed., Thurs. and Fri. till 7 p.m., Sat. till 5 p.m.