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One Reason Why I’m Tired

I will tell you about my Tuesday.  The Mohawk Valley was hit with the nor’easter which I suppose is plaguing the entire state.  I can only suppose, because I have yet restored any real television to my television set (long story, not very interesting) (although I do not rule out making a blog post out of it at some point).  I arose in the morning with trepidation, prepared to dig out my driveway prior to departing for work.

Imagine my delight when I found that shoveling was not yet necessay.  I merely had to clean off my car.  I could see snow heavily falling, though, so allowed extra time, which I definitely needed.

Oh, the roads sucked.  I reflected as I drove down Rt 5 at 30 miles an hour, that a year previously, I had turned around in such conditions and gone home.  Full disclosure:  if my husband Steve were still alive, I probably would have yesterday.  In fact, Steve would have urged me in strong terms not to go in at all.  (“You’re NOT going to work today,” was the way he put it the time I turned around) (yes, I disobeyed a direct order, but let us not discuss the dynamics of my marriage).

Driving up Ilion Gorge was an adventure.  It was a decision whether it was better with or without high beams, because of all the snow.  The light reflects each and every flake, you know. I decided I liked it better with.

I further reflected (see what I did there?) that my drive was a metaphor for my current life.  I was going slowly.  I could not see very far ahead.  I was just trusting to be able to reach my destination (one day when I didn’t even try to get to work, I later learned a fallen tree had blocked the road anyways).  It was not much fun.

Actually it was a little fun.  As often happens, I had to laugh at myself.

Further trials and tribulations were in store for me as the day went on, but I see I am over 300 words.  I do not care to tax my readers’ patience at this time (but do not rule it out at some future date).



Driving Myself Crazy

So yesterday, although tired, I managed to type in over 600 words.  That is probably not going to happen today.  I am tired once again, but from less healthy exertion.  I drove through Utica (NY, for non-local readers) to a very busy section of New Hartford. Christmas shopping and rush-hour traffic!  Yikes!  I can’t believe I used to drive that route five days a week when I worked in New Hartford.  What a pain in my big fat butt.  But it was worth the trip to pick up my new glasses from EyeQ of CNY.  I wanted to write a whole post raving about my awesome new glasses and how wonderful Diane and Dr. Carrock at EyeQ are.

Well, one problem, other than the tired part, is that I can’t take a decent selfie.  How can I properly rave about the fabulous frames Diane helped me pick out if I can’t post a picture?  They are pretty fabulous.  I haven’t had really bold glasses in a long time.  Oh well, perhaps somebody will take a picture of me in the near future and I can post it here.

In the meantime, I need a blog post for today, at least enough of one to count for a Wuss-out Wednesday.  Perhaps I should have gone on at greater length about my drive through traffic.  Believe it or not, the construction I drove through was not the worst part; that went pretty smoothly.

Hmmm… no, nothing else is coming to mind.  I’m just going to throw in a picture of Nosferatu and call it a night.  Happy Wednesday, everyone.

He is not going Christmas shopping.


Left Lame for LiFT

Last night I drove to the Utica Zoo for a dress rehearsal of Much Ado About Nothing, the play I am in with LiFT Theatre Company.  We are doing a performance there Aug. 1 as part of Utica Monday Night.

I rarely drive to Utica any more and still more rarely to that section of it, but I was fairly certain I knew my way.  I got on 5S and took the Culver Street exit.  I got a definite emotional flashback as I drove over the Boilermaker 15K Road Race Start line.  I did not run the race this year but I’m thinking I will in 2017.  I was pleased to note Boilermaker landmarks (or at least things I remember noticing the times I ran) and pictured the spectators cheering as thousands of runners surged past them.  Oh, the press of humanity!  Oh, the thought of the long run ahead!  The excitement, the nerves…  I did mention I was having a flashback, didn’t I?

I also noticed Proctor Park, a place I have only driven by.  I have often thought I would like to go for a run along that path, only I’m not sure where is a good place to park. No doubt I could find that out.  That will be something to pursue when my running routine needs a shake-up.  As I drove by the National Guard Armory, I had flashbacks to my short stint in the guard after I got out of the army.  I remember a fellow who worked for the guard full time said his kids called it The Castle.

I started to get a little nervous when I got on the Parkway.  It was not that I was having more flashbacks, but I was not completely sure where to go.  I thought the zoo was a simple left hand turn and all I had to do was look for signs, but I have been known to mess up the simplest of directions.

While stopped at a stoplight I realized I ought to be in the left lane.  Glancing to my left, I thought I recognized a fellow cast member.  Perfect!  After the light changed I got in the lane behind him. Now all I had to do was follow!  Unless I was mistaken about who it was, I reflected, second-guessing myself as usual.  I watched for signs, just to hedge my bets.  The signs were readily located, and the car carrying my suspected cast-mate turned left where I saw I was supposed to.  A large arch reading “Utica Zoo” told me I was in the right spot. Yay!

Surprisingly, the parking lots were almost full.  I later found out it was a Special Night for some employer or other, so the zoo was full of patrons.  I saw a couple of spots but continued to follow my friend.  As I pulled in next to him, I hoped it was the fellow I thought it was, and not some random young man who might think I was a cougar type stalking him.  I guess I am old enough to be one of them there cougars, although I am not at all inclined to.  As regular readers know, I have a perfectly nice husband already.

But getting back to the subject of second guessing, I am now second guessing this blog post.  Who writes an entire blog post about driving from Herkimer to Utica?  What am I thinking, that every minute aspect of my life is fascinating?  I often say that there are worse things than having an ego the size of Manhattan, but surely there is a limit to all things (and I’ll call you Shirley if I want to).

On the other hand, this is Lame Post Friday.  Maybe I can make a play on words with “lame” and “lane,” since I was talking about getting into the left lane.  I have already used “Unsafe Lame Change.”  Also, I believe I changed lanes safely in this instance.  I also believe it is time to get on with enjoying my Friday and my weekend.  I have two rehearsals.  Perhaps I could write about them and not just getting to them.  Happy Friday, everyone.

LiFT will present Much Ado About Nothing at the Utica Zoo on Monday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m.  The show is free with admission to the zoo.  For more information, visit LiFT’s Facebook page.


On Second Thought, It Was a Delightful Sunday

Sunday I woke up feeling down.  Regular readers may recall that I partied rather heartily (for my age) with friends on Saturday and may infer that I was hungover.  Since I did not spend Sunday in acute physical misery (or even moderate misery), I feel that I was merely tired and a little let down that I was no longer hanging out on my deck amidst laughter and love.

Fortunately for me, relieve was close at hand with members of my wonderful family, most particularly our newest member.  Steven and I drove into Chadwicks for church with my sister, Cheryl, her daughter Dana, Dana’s husband, Dan; and Dana and Dan’s delightful eight-month-old son, Shepherd.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for a drive through the country.  We set out up Higby Road, admiring the scenery.  I could not help contrasting the drive with another time I went out Higby Road, and the weather was against me (I believe I wrote a blog post about it).  We found the church with no problem.  Being my usual dithery self, I first pulled into the parking lot then decided to park in the street (point and laugh if you must; it made sense at the time).  As I was walking back up the church’s driveway, a car almost ran me down.

“Get out of the way, old lady!” my sister yelled.

“Oh just run me over,” I said.  “Then you can go in there and pray for forgiveness.”

Dana and Dan were surprised to see Steven and me, because Cheryl had not told them we were coming.  As for Shepherd, he is almost always smiling.

Not surprisingly, Shepherd is a pretty popular guy.  The pastor came over to say hello before mass, confiding that he loves Shepherd to pieces.  I saw two young boys a few rows ahead of us turn around and smile at him, pointing him out to their mother.  As for Shepherd, he smiled at everyone, making unintelligible but friendly remarks.

Church almost always gives me a good feeling, especially when we sing one of my favorite hymns, which we did.  I didn’t know any of the other hymns, but since I vaguely remember how to read music, I managed to sing along.

After church we went to Salvatore’s Italian Bakery and Bagel Shoppe in New Hartford for breakfast.  They offer a wonderful pizza fritta (fried dough, if you are sadly unfamiliar with the delicious Mohawk Valley treat) on Sundays, but I opted for an everything bagel with cream cheese, which turned out to be just what my stomach needed.  Steven got egg, cheese and bacon on a French toast bagel.  I was impressed by the amount of bacon on the sandwich and fascinated by the idea of a French toast bagel, which I had never heard of before. Dana had a bagel with cream cheese while Dan and Cheryl enjoyed sandwiches with ham, egg and cheese.  Shepherd shared a little of the egg from Cheryl’s sandwich, although he did not seem particularly interested (I think he was still hoping to munch down on the beads I was wearing around my neck).

After breakfast (and an unsuccessful attempt to sneak Shepherd into our vehicle), Steven and I headed back over Higby Road.  The views are even better going back towards Frankfort.  When you are at the top of the hill coming down, you can see for miles: farmland, trees, mountains.  Steven was happy I was driving, so he could look his fill.  I managed to enjoy the scenery while still keeping us safe.

I arrived home in very good spirits, although as the day progressed I felt tired, hot and unable to write (see yesterday’s post).  However, it had been a wonderful morning, and I hope to have another one like it soon.

Salvatore’s Italian Bakery and Bagel Shoppe is located at 9270 Kellogg Road, New Hartford, NY, phone number 315-737-5757.  They are open Tuesday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.


This One’s Not About The Boilermaker

One trick that can help when you’re having trouble writing is to change your surroundings.  I tried that trick today with a trip to the Utica Public Library.  Full disclosure:  I also thought I could write about it for Mohawk Valley Living, my favorite magazine. They’ve liked pieces I’ve written about other libraries.  For another reason, a friend had told me the library was worth a visit because of its architecture.

So with lots of reasons, I set out.  I had one errand first, a stop at First Source Federal Credit Union to make a deposit in my Mad Money account.  This stop was a little bit sad for me, because I used to walk there with my dog, Tabby.  They did not mind if Tabby went inside; they usually gave her a treat. Well, Tabby is over the rainbow bridge now, and I mustn’t neglect my Mad Money account.  That task didn’t take long, and I was soon headed down the highway.

And decided to detour into Frankfort, to get a cup of coffee at my new favorite store, The Locavore.  Yes, I am trying to hydrate for the Boilermaker 15K so ought not to drink too much caffeine.  On the other hand, I was feeling down and dull and wanted a pick-me-up. I had previously had a Locamocha there which was delicious but wondered if I shouldn’t try something new.  The lady there recommended a Bulletproof, which included, I think, butter and coconut oil.

“It’ll fill you up,” she promised. “You can skip lunch.”

As a matter of fact, I had already eaten lunch, but I thought maybe I could forgo an afternoon snack. I really liked the Bulletproof.  It was indeed substantial.  I happily sipped it as I drove down 5S to Utica.  Soon I was on Genesee Street, looking around nervously.

I love riding on Genesee Street when somebody else is driving, so I can look around and admire the different buildings.  Driving is a little nerve-wracking when one is not used to it, which of course I am not.  Additionally, although I had noted that the library is at 303 Genesee St., I did not know how far down that was or even on which side of the street. Predictably, I could not see any numbers till I was practically there, and when I did see them of course I was in the wrong lane.

Just to give you yet another excuse to laugh at me (as if there is any shortage of that), I drove around the block at least three times looking for a parking space.  First I couldn’t figure out how to get into the parking lot.  When I found the entrance, the parking lot was full.  At least, there may have been a space in the last row, but the painted arrows told me not to go that way.  At last I found a space by the curb out front.

Do you hate posts that take you to the doorway then sign off?  Well, just in case you do, I’ll leave off at the curb, sipping the last of my Bulletproof before heading in to see if the change of locale will help my pen.  Spoiler alert: It didn’t, but it was worth the drive. And I thought the drive would be worthy of a Non-Sequitur Thursday post.


Tale of a Trip

I go back to work on Monday, so technically this is the last day of my vacation and the next two days are a perfectly ordinary weekend. In fact, my vacation is over now, because I would be home from work by this time if in fact I had gone to work today (still feeling a little gleeful that I did not). Therefore, I will feel free to make this yet another Lame Post Friday.

In fact, I went adventuring today. First I walked my dog Tabby to the post office to mail some postcards to friends and family. It began snowing as we left, and the snow came down thicker and thicker as we went. Tabby used to take exception to precipitation. When she felt rain or snow on her back, she would stop walking and look at me, apparently expecting to be magically transported out of the situation. Wouldn’t that be nice? Today, however, she walked along nicely, stopping to sniff the usual number of times.

I found myself laughing as the snow got thicker and thicker. Big, fat flakes and lots of them. It’s just my weird thing, laughing at bad weather (OK, one of my weird things, shut up). As we passed a lady headed into M&T Bank, I said, “I heard it was supposed to snow today,” in a conversational tone, as if I was wondering if it would.

“I didn’t believe them,” she said.

“Well, those weather guys don’t always get it right,” I said.

A short time after I got back home I got into my vehicle to drive to Utica, NY. I wore my insulated sweatshirt, because my good winter coat was still wet. I put the hood up instead of looking for a dry hat. I foolishly forgot my gloves so hoped I could get away without brushing off my vehicle. I could.

My Trailblazer was set on “auto,” which is better than 2-wheel-drive but not as good as 4-wheel drive. I didn’t think I needed 4-wheel drive and, anyways, you’re not supposed to go over 45 m.p.h in 4-wheel drive. I headed for the highway. The streets in Herkimer were not very good, and people were driving surprisingly slow, and not pulling out in front of each other at the side streets. I was impressed.

Out on the highway, I felt I had best go slow myself. I could have left it in 4-wheel drive, because I did not go over 45 at all. There was a car behind me, following pretty close at first. I couldn’t worry about him. The last time I went faster than I wanted to because I was worried about the guy behind me, I spun out in a most terrifying fashion. That was on ice. At least this was just snow.

By the time I got to Schuyler, visibility was terrible. I questioned my decision to leave the house. Then I thought of the saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes,” to which I often add, “or drive five miles.” I decided the visibility was really no worse than nighttime. I could see directly in front of me, just not much further.

As I got closer to North Utica, things improved. There was still lots of snow, but I could see further. Now all I had to worry about was traffic on Genessee Street and the fact that I did not know where on Genessee Street my destination was. I had a house number but knew I could not count on numbers being readily visible.

Well, as usual, I persevered. I only had to circle around three times, and in Utica circling around is fun. I enjoyed looking at the houses I drove by. I felt triumph when I reached my destination. Then frustration when I realized that where I had pulled in was in fact the driveway for the house next door. Then triumph once again as I noticed the parking lots adjoined.

Perhaps tomorrow I will write about what my destination was and what I did there. Happy Friday, everybody.

Writing, Winter and Wuss-out Wednesday

Here’s a way to make yourself write: have something else you really, really ought to be doing instead. Don’t let yourself write while you do this other thing. Then put the other thing aside when you really ought to still be working on it, and write.

It’s fun.

OK, this is going to be a foolish blog post, but it is about writing, and some people like to read about writing. I know I do.

I mentioned yesterday that I had not written a blog post, because I was working on learning my lines for a play I am in. Of course I have not learned my lines yet (give me a break; it’s only been a couple of days). I brought my script with me to work, so I could work on them before shift and on breaks.

But I also wanted to write a blog post so as not to be composing at the keyboard after I got home from work (as, astute readers will have noticed, I am in fact doing). I had an idea to write about an old movie I watched over the weekend. I had composed a few sentences in my head while I worked (between dithering about other things, see yesterday’s post). I started to write.

I wrote two pages. My shift started. I thought of more things to write. During the first break I wrote them down. I finished a third page in triumph. I LOVE to write! Then I went back to work. I worked on my lines during lunch and the afternoon break. I still haven’t learned them all. These things take time, you know.

While I was working, writing and working, winter returned to the Mohawk Valley in the form of a LOT of snow. I had to brush off my SUV. Why oh why did I not buy a short, small car that is easier to brush off? I went to my husband’s place of employment, because I thought it would be a good idea if we switched cars so the SUV would be last in the driveway tomorrow.

Before going to his car and going home, I shopped. As usual this involved a lot of walking around and dithering (I don’t know why dithering doesn’t burn more calories; it certainly tires me out). I had to brush off Steven’s car, a little Dodge Stratus. I discovered that although it is easier to brush off a car that is not as tall as I am, it is still a pain in my butt.

Oh dear, those last two paragraphs were not about writing, were they? Well, they are to indicate to you why I feel too tired to type in the lovely pages I wrote while at work today. For another reason, they need editing.

All this by way of telling you, I am taking a Wuss-out Wednesday right after yesterday’s Tired Tuesday. More cynical readers are not surprised. Optimistic readers are disappointed. Kind readers will hope I get a good night’s sleep. I hope everyone will tune in again tomorrow, when it will be Thanksgiving, and we will all give thanks if I can write a decent post. As always, thank you for playing.

Foggy Wednesday

I apologize for having a Wuss-out Wednesday after my rather silly post on Monday. Um, and Sunday. Oh, I’m not going back and looking at how many lame posts I’ve had recently; the fact is today I haven’t written anything yet and I don’t have much to write about.

I drove through a lovely thick fog on my way to work today and thought I would write about that. We’ve had a lot of fog recently. I like fog. It is usually thicker in Ilion (where I work) than it is in Herkimer (where I live). This morning as I went out to my vehicle, I saw that the fog was pretty thick in Herkimer. I thought, “Awesome! It’ll be really thick in Ilion.”

Steven and I got lost in the fog on Higby Road once, but that is a big hill out in the country. I felt it was doubtful that I would get lost on my eight-minute commute to work. I drove at a careful speed (slower, but not too slow), looking around. The irony was not lost on me that I was enjoying looking at what I was not able to see. I took extra care as I went out German Street by the cemetery. I’ve often seen deer in that area. I would not care to hit a deer.

It was not too hard to see even once I got to Ilion. Walking from my vehicle to my place of employment, I continued to enjoy looking around, where I usually see buildings but this morning could only see streetlights.

Then I was at work, the sun came up, and the fog was over. I thought, “Huh. That wasn’t such a much.” So I didn’t write a blog post about it. And now I just did.

Sufficiently wussy, I trust.

There’s the Bridge!

Yesterday (Saturday) I set out with my friend, Phyllis, intent on having a Mohawk Valley adventure. I guess you could say we had one.

We headed to Little Falls, intending to visit the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts. For one thing, I knew I could purchase post cards there. I don’t often drive to Little Falls, but how hard could it be? Then again, this is me we’re dealing with.

We drove out State Route 5, which goes right into Little Falls. Perfectly familiar. And then it didn’t look so right.

“I think I’ve driven past my turn,” I said. “Oh, wait, no I didn’t.” And then I did. Oops. Well, at least I knew where it was now.

Little Falls seems to be all one way streets, but I found a place to make a left turn, went up a hill and waited at a stop light to make another left going back towards my turn. That was a steep hill. My SUV acted like it was going to roll backwards as I moved my foot from the brake to the gas, and I don’t drive a standard. Just to give me another challenge, the guy turning right from the opposite direction stopped directly in front of me to pick up a passenger. The guy couldn’t have gotten in at the light, I suppose.

No matter, we were headed towards the bridge I wanted.

“Go right where that blue car went,” Phyllis said. I couldn’t see exactly where the blue car was going because of a big truck in the way. From where I was sitting, it did not look like the turn. I was past it when I realized it was so the turn.

“Can I make a U turn here?” I asked, fully intending to do so anyways. However no signs forbid it, so I guess I was legal. I almost got in the wrong lane and missed the turn again, but Phyllis was watching and directed me.

Once I got on that bridge, everything was easy.

“I’m going to write my blog post just about the drive here,” I told Phyllis. So I did.

On the Streets of Ilion

Yesterday I mentioned running errands as part of the reason I was too beat to blog (ooh, that would be a good title for my next Wuss-out Wednesday) (I bet I already used it). Today (Wednesday) I thought I would wuss out with a short post about What I Did After Work Yesterday.

First I had to leave work late. Not because I was working, but because of Ilion traffic. You see, there is a factory in the middle of the village whose largest shift lets out at 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. I might work there, but this is not a work blog. My point is, there are certain directions it is not easy to drive in Ilion, NY between 3:30 and four p.m.

Actually, things let up somewhat by 3:45, so I was OK. I drove to the Salvation Army Thrift Store (also known as Salvation Armani; I love that expression) with little or no difficulty. I dropped off my donation, also with little or no difficulty. Then I drove back into downtown Ilion.

A little difficulty.

Nothing too bad, but Ilion is kind of weirdly laid out. No offense, Ilion. I grew up in Rome, NY, which I always considered kind of screwy. In Rome none of the streets are quite parallel with the result that many of them do not come out where you expect. In addition, Rome boasts many one way streets, most of them inconveniently located, as far as I’m concerned. So I always thought, growing up in Rome, other towns could hold no terrors for me.

Turns out, not so much. Um, I was not filled with terror; that’s just an expression.

I drove around and up Otsego Street to Kinney Drugs. Kind of a screwy parking lot (no offense, Kinney Drugs), but I managed it. Then I had to figure out how to get to Rite Aid (it was a drug store kind of day). There is a whole complex of stores, doctor offices and other businesses that I have yet to fully figure out. I drove around it.

I guess it didn’t make that good of a story after all (I know I don’t need “of” there, but I kind of like the sound of it). Perhaps if I would have found a street map of Ilion and really explained my course. That would hardly have been wussing out, and it is Wuss-out Wednesday. Hope to see you on Non-Sequitur Thursday (when Rocky the Squirrel says, “Again? But that trick never works!”) (and whoever gets that reference, I’m pretty sure they would only have said “Rocky says,” so, sorry, but I wanted to make sure SOMEBODY got it).