Saturday, December 12, 2015

In faith formation class this week, we made evergreen sprays with clothespin ornaments for decorations.

We also presented our giving tree to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I have had some troublesome students in a semester that has been good overall. I was thinking today that in the past, a plagiarism case would always trigger me to write here. Now it barely warrants mention. But -- I've found another, first time in two years. I also know another student was trying (unsuccessfully) to cheat. Yawn. Three weeks to go.
I Don’t Have One

Fourth grade was the first time Gwen noticed Samantha. The year before, the girls’ school switched from dividing classes by hamlet where you lived to sorting kids into two sections, based on "ability." Prior to this, Gwen had been with her kindergarten peers for three years, while Sam’s kindergarten class had also been together, with different teachers for Grades 1 and 2. With the switch to tracking, they wound up in the same class, but she still wasn't on Gwen’s radar screen. Their fourth grade teacher, Miss Innis. changed that. Miss Innis was in her 30s but she seemed ancient. She was the definition of an old school marm: Hair in a bun, stiff, thin and bony, brittle, with plain attire that featured high collared shirts, buttoned up to her chin. Gwen thought she looked something like Olive Oyl. She wasn't particularly mean to either Gwen or Sam, but she wasn't nice either. She didn’t single kids out for ridicule as some teachers did; she was equal opportunity mean. The whole class was terrified of her.  

To illustrate sets in math, she told the fourth graders to get into groups if their houses had two or three or four bedrooms or what their fathers did for a living (worked for IBM or owned businesses or were teachers etc.). That day the question was about dad’s job. Sam didn’t go into a group and when Miss Innis asked why, responded "I don't have one." Sam was suddenly noticed by everyone in class, including Gwen.

The second time Gwen thought about Sam was during that same year in school. Just when the students were poised to leap from the flutofone to a "real" instrument, Miss Innis yelled out, "who's Catholic?" Gwen and a handful of other kids timidly raised their hands. Sam was Catholic, but her hand either wasn’t noticed by Miss Innis, or she was too scared to raise it at all. The brave souls who raised their hands were herded across the street to the church for religious instruction, and so missed instrumental music and were never able to be in band. Sam didn’t go across the street and didn’t miss music, but she also didn’t join the band until much later, in high school. The band was chosen to march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade one year, and Sam wanted to go. So she volunteered to play the cymbals, and once the trip was over, she quit the marching band.

Despite those two incidents in Grade 4, Gwen considered sixth grader to be the actual start of a friendship between them. It was facilitated by Gwen’s  “best" friend Amy, whom she’d met the first day of kindergarten. Amy had been put in the "other" section of class after Grade 2.  As a result of the scrambling, she became friends with some kids who lived near Sam. Sometimes Amy would be invited to the party of a girl in her class that Sam was also attending. They got to know each other, eventually Amy invited Sam to her house, and since Gwen and Amy were always together, all three girls became friends.

Once they knew each other better, Gwen found out that Samantha did, in fact, have a father. Sam’s parents divorced when she was six months old and he was remarried and lived four hours away. Why she said she didn’t have one when Miss Innis was clumsily trying to teach sets was a mystery. Did she not know what he did for a living? Was he a drunk who didn’t  work so it was easier to pretend he didn’t exist? The latter explanation didn’t occur to Gwen until years later.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Perhaps it's obvious from my last post, but I am pretty teed off about the state of the village. After the loss of Stewart's last year, I wanted to continue to work outside the system, but I got co-opted! I spent seven months trying to work inside the system, and was dissed, disregarded and disrespected for my efforts. Eventually I sent a FOIL request to DOT, and the results are at the following link:

Friday, October 23, 2015

I've been doing social media for my department, and as a result, I am a little uncomfortable writing anything on my own personal accounts that has anything to do with teaching. But there have been an abundance of challenges this semester! Not that it isn't a pretty good semester overall, but...

Friday, October 16, 2015

AHA American Hero Therapy Dog Hudson the Railroad Puppy came to visit our faith formation class on Wednesday!

We're doing a giving tree for Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

I have been very busy with social media at work, teaching faith formation, and friend visits. Plus my usual duties. So this explains why I have not been writing here very often.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I turned 54 last Friday. It was one of those years where the number struck me. I'm not that hung up on age, have never been overly traumatized by milestones. But every so often a number doesn't seem like "mine" and it's never the ones ending in zero or five. Last time I remember feeling this way was 46.

This lovely wooden tub full of mums was delivered:

And here's what the card said:

LOL. Bob had a cold and the florist must have thought that's what he said (I don't call my father "Pop.")

It has been a good year for tomatoes, plants still going strong:

Also got two wonderful bottles of handmade Chardonnay:

In other news, faith formation starts tomorrow. Seventh grade this year!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Taken yesterday from my office window: 9/11/01 Your Are Not Forgotten

And, my 2001 story, Sirius.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I'm trying to wrap my mind around what religion says it's OK to marry four times, have kids while unmarried, break the law and judge others, but doing your job and issuing marriage licenses to Gay couples means you will burn in hell? Years ago, when I was an administrator, I was assigned to a project that involved keeping records for system-wide animal research. I oppose animal research, and went to my boss and asked to be removed from the project. He did, without question or a hassle. If he had not, I would have resigned. Simple as that. What is wrong with this mean-spirited, publicity monger drama queen? Grow up Kim Davis. If you can't work out a compromise that satisfies your twisted conscience, you should quit and stop taking taxpayer money.

Second rant, Walter Palmer, the murderer of Cecil the lion, is scum. He asserts that he did nothing wrong? And that his family has suffered? They do not know the meaning of suffering. How scary is it that amoral people like him walk among us?

Friday, September 04, 2015

Here is the first story. Here is the second.

This is what publicity has done to the swimming holes in the Catskills. Being named "the Best" is not an honor, it is a nightmare. How can these people be such disrespectful slobs? Are they so ignorant they can't understand "leave nothing but your footprints, take nothing but pictures"  ?

I wrote to Governor Cuomo expressing my concerns, and received the following response yesterday from DEC:

 Besides the things they outline, I think the State needs to conduct a public education campaign to shame the tourists who have no clue how to behave in a beautiful and sacred natural place. Step up enforcement too! Fine them!

And Travel & Leisure (& should have to pay for the clean up, enforcement, and public education campaign.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Story Four of Four
by Gina Giuliano

The service was held on a magnificent August day. Gwen thought there was something surreal about the setting. The scene was strangely evocative of the last time Gwen had seen Sam, at a swing concert over a decade before. The crowd consisted of the same type of tidy, refined folks, but on this day they were gathered not to listen to music, but to honor the memory of loved ones who had donated their bodies to the medical school.

Gwen had dreaded attending, not because she didn’t want to honor Sam, who had died three months earlier from a lifetime of alcoholism and bulimia, but because she feared one of Sam’s crazy sisters would be there. She knew this was irrational, as the risk was minuscule. Even in the unlikely event that they cared enough to want to come, none had the resources to make the trip. The cliche about not having a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of was not an exaggeration in Sam’s family’s case, thought Gwen.

This was what drove Gwen to attend: Someone should be there to represent Sam. Two weeks after Sam’s obituary appeared in the newspaper, Gwen contacted the anatomical donor program to ask when the memorial service would be held. She didn’t expect to get a response, because she assumed if Sam wanted her to know or to be there, she would have listed Gwen on the donor form or had someone contact her before or after she died. But Sam didn’t. Gwen didn’t blame her. Maybe Sam felt Gwen didn’t care. Whatever Sam’s wishes, however, the program’s staff did indeed respond with an invitation. So Gwen went. Jack went too, toting chairs for them along the cemetery’s winding paths on one of the hottest and most humid days of the year.

The director of the anatomical gift program spoke about the many reasons people have for choosing to donate their remains. He said some believe in research and teaching, others want to spare their families the hassle of a funeral, and for a proportion it’s financial. Gwen added another to his list: There is no one to spare from the hassle. The director probably didn’t mention Sam’s reason because people in this category didn’t have any family or friends in attendance. Except for Sam, that is.

After the director, the hospital chaplain issued a vanilla blessing that could have been applied equally to Moses, Jesus, Mohammed or Zeus. Then two medical students spoke. One was bubbly and so plagued with "upspeak" that Gwen thought, “Maybe she expected? Someone to jump in? And answer her questions? Or is this how? She always talks? Didn’t her advisor? Try to help her?” The other monotonously droned on in a whisper, and Gwen suspected all the senior citizens present heard not a word she said. The message of the speech was something trite fancied up with New Age lingo, about healers being good people. Afterwards a man sitting next to Gwen remarked to the woman with him, "young people should be taught public speaking."

The next part reminded Jack of the Truman Show. A series of speakers read the list of donors, and medical students put a carnation for each name on the joint, single casket. They walked around over and over in a big circle surrounding the crowd, all in the same order every time. The same students must have passed Jack and Gwen ten times.

Mourners could go up and place a flower on the casket when their loved one’s name was read. Jack whispered, “do you want to go up?” but Gwen vigorously shook her head “no.” The chance of a crazy sister encounter was extremely small, but it was not zero. As predicted, though, no family was evident when Sam’s name was read.

Gwen couldn't help thinking of Sam's antics if she had been sitting there. She'd have made them laugh inappropriately, probably imitating future Dr. Upspeak, and the people nearby would shake their heads “tsk tsk tsk,” as the concert goers had shushed Sam, all those years before.

Afterwards, they lingered a while, visiting the flower-covered casket, and looking at the nearby headstones for prior years’ donors. Jack snapped a few pictures. Later, Gwen noticed that the tombstone he’d photographed had bird crap obscuring some of the letters. Sam would have found that funny. Gwen imagined her doing her favorite Cheech and Chong routine, “Looks like dog sh-t, Smells like dog sh-t, It IS dog sh-t!”

Goodbye Sam, Gwen and Jack. Reflecting on Donna’s death, it struck me that there was no longer a need to write in the third person or to change names to protect the guilty. Perhaps there never was, as the first three stories in this series: The Sweater, Competing Conversations and Tacos Anyone? were never published anywhere Donna would have seen them. But the anonymity was always more to protect Donna from other friends of long ago, most of whom were naive to her situation, than because Donna might encounter the stories and be hurt. Not outing her remains important to me, but I made the decision that I was not going to hide her afflictions if someone asked “why?,” as many did, stunned when they learned of her passing.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

L-R: Martin Eckert, Marty Giuliano, Elwyn Davis
The Diary of Elwyn Davis is finished! (*Pretty much.) I just ordered 1974-1975, the last volume. This is the cover, from an April 28, 1960 Onteora Record story, "Census Taker On the Job!"

Some more ephemera, from the 1990s. Had many good times here, when Main Street was admittedly blighted, but nothing like 2015.

^I do have some future tasks planned, but the big lift is over

Saturday, August 08, 2015

A facebook friend has been posting that Donald Trump is like Bif in the Back to the Future movies. LOL. I hadn't thought about it before but he sort of does look like him, and his casinos are the pinnacle of tacky, just as in BTTF. What I had been thinking, though (this will come as no surprise due to my disdain for reality television and much of pop culture), is that we are living the movie Idiocracy. People on both the left and the right should be careful what they wish for regarding his candidacy. I think he will probably implode eventually (and that may already be starting) but what with the obsession of many people with being plugged into garbage like Survivor 24/7...this a-hole could be elected. He can then appoint the latest winner of The Amazing Race (is that still on?), a Kardashian (or two), Caitlin Jenner and the dude from the Jackass movies to the cabinet.

He said something in response to the question about all the times his companies have gone bankrupt that really frosted me. He said it was legal. Oh how I wished to channel my follow-up remark into the panel: What is legal is not the same thing as what is moral or ethical or right. What a scumbag. How's that for plain language?

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Bob noticed on news reports about the killing of Cecil the lion that the monster's photo is flashed and he is described as a Minnesota dentist, but his name is rarely highlighted. So I am going to post it here with my wish: Walter Palmer is the name of the coward who murdered Cecil. May the scandal & the shame follow him for the rest of his miserable life & may this horrific act be the only thing associated with his name even after his days are done. Oh, and EXTRADITE Walter Palmer.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Front flower bed is filled with purslane! Tried it raw in salad last night. Its pretty bland. Texture is fine. One nice thing, it does not seem to be a haven for bugs, so it is much easier to clean than watercress or burdock. Next we're going to try it cooked. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Bob was organizing a cabinet in the utility room and came across a treasure: A sweater that my mother knitted almost 45 years ago for our dog Pud. Here I am with Pud in about 1972 at a Bennett school fashion show, modeling a dress my mother made while Pud wears the sweater. After Pud died in 1986, the sweater was passed along to Penny Poodily and when she died in 1999, I must have stuck it in the cabinet. Rosie is my first dog since then who is small enough to wear it. It's still in like new condition and it fits her perfectly!

 "It's to hot to wear this sweater"

Friday, July 10, 2015

I was at a funeral several weeks ago. I had not seen the ex-wife of the deceased in a dozen years, She came up to me, hugged me, and said "I didn't recognize you before, you got old on me." I was floored! It wasn't the appropriate time or place to respond with something snarky, and I was so taken aback I probably could not have thought up something clever anyway, so I said "well, I am older than I was, that's life." What popped into my head was "and you got fat on me," which I probably wouldn't have said no matter the setting. I wrote it off to her grief making her tactless, but the truth is she is a crude, shallow person, and I suspect she always harshly judged my lack of make-up and other eccentricities. Add in no hair dye, clumsy orthopedic shoes and the march of twelve years -- hello! She simply couldn't help opening her mouth and (once again) erasing all doubt about whether she is classy.

Monday, July 06, 2015

On Saturday, we headed to Samsonville for the weekend. My sister was hosting a barbecue, and she said it would start at 2-ish. We managed to get to S'ville shortly after 2, and I was so happy that the rain stopped, the skies cleared, and if we hurried with our "opening" procedure, we'd get to the festivities at about 2:30.

Usually Bob patrols the yard when we first arrive, checking for problems with the fence and to warn unsuspecting critters that the Beagles are coming. We leave their harnesses on, and I generally stand on the deck and watch them when they go out to prowl the initial time. (They don't routinely wear their harnesses when they are in either house or yard because of this.)

But on Saturday we were in a hurry, so Bob brought Rosie and Harry (and Teddy) in the house, took off their harnesses, and let them out into the yard. We unloaded the Mariner, and I went into the bathroom. Bob called the animals inside. Rosie and Teddy came in, but Harry was nowhere do be found. Bob noticed a hole in the fence.

We frantically ran up the driveway and searched the nearby woods, calling him. We scoured the yard and looked under the sheds (a haven for groundhogs). There was no sign of him. Eventually Bob jumped in the Mariner and drove around, while I continued walking the driveway. When Bob came back, we stood in the driveway and talked about what we were going to do next. Right then, our escapee trotted up the driveway. We were so relieved! Suddenly, we both noticed something and simultaneously said "eww!"  Harry was holding a dead squirrel!We didn't scold him of course, as we were so happy he came back. We yelled "leave it!" and determined it was road kill -- there had been one in the road not too far from the driveway that was now gone.

Bob fixed the fence and we got to my sister's house at 4-ish. It seems Harry took Independence Day a little too literally!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Two completely unrelated things annoyed me. First, a convicted murderer escapes prison, commits suicide by cop, and now his young adult son claims wrongful death? Great. It isn't bad enough that New York taxpayers had to waste money in the courts and prisons on this killer, and then had to pay one million dollars per day to chase him through the Adirondacks. Now this kid, who may as well be the product of a sperm donor, is preparing to sue? Prediction: He won't get a dime. But he will waste the resources of the court.

Second. I received a solicitation call from the Hunger Action Network. They call me annually for a donation, but the caller said this was a second call for the year "because need is so great." I clarified this to be sure I heard it correctly, then told her that I can't donate twice a year, as I have other charities whose turn it is right now, including MHHS for Paws in the Park, and Senior Services for Meals on Wheels. She was very abrupt and hung up on me after a curt goodbye! Usually callers are very warm and thankful that I have been an annual donor for years. I assume she was irritated about Paws in the Park? One of those people who would whine that people matter more than animals?

Well I have news for this rude person. I support numerous charities; my favorites are animal shelters and rescues. I also regularly donate to Food Pantries of the Capital District, Hunger Action Network, Senior Services, two churches and Unbound, as well as a few others (such as organizations for which friends' kids perform fundraising activities). So, when HAN calls me next year for my regular annual donation, I am going to tell the (I assume) volunteer that I am choosing another Capital District food-related charity from now on, and why they shouldn't interrupt my dinner ever again.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Now here's a post that really sums up why I have zero respect for lawyers. That said, I tend to agree that no one deserves to be called a hero for doing a job competently, and even taking it one step more, we should not regard acts that are commonly labeled "heroic" today as unusual; instead such acts should be viewed as normal, expected behavior. Maybe if they were, people would routinely behave better. I don't know what planet the writer of this piece inhabits, but here in the real world, where folks know what's legal is not the same thing as what's moral, I'm impressed that Mr. Cook used quick judgment to end this costly and scary nightmare, and that he is such a good shot that he took him down, but did not kill the escapee. Yes, hero is used too casually, but I do believe that this NYS trooper can be called brave and I'm glad he's out there keeping New Yorkers safe..

Friday, June 12, 2015

I have a talent for investigation, and enjoy detective work. Toward the end of college, state troopers even tried to recruit me (that story is here). So I find myself very interested in the recent prison break story. I wish I could dig up some detail that would help to catch them. Something I was thinking today: seven days in the Adirondack woods can only result in being covered with black fly bites and Lyme Disease. They will wish they were back in prison.

Friday, June 05, 2015

This will be my last post on this subject! Once again, on the news...a story that made me incredulous. Again, there seems to be an increase in the number of stupid stories so maybe this is not an outlier, but the story asserted that there is a political left / right divide in the reaction to the Caitlyn Jenner and Duggar family stories. The only reason I'd heard of the Duggars was that something about them has appeared in my Facebook feed a couple of times in the past week. I didn't read the posted links, but was vaguely aware they have a reality show. So I didn't know the recent attention has to do with incest of abuse until I heard the news story. If there is a left / right divide on this, it hasn't been demonstrated in the posts of Facebook friends. My news feed has remarkably little on either story. But the MSM is obsessed. A left / right divide on two tabloid / reality television stories? What is this world coming to? The takeaway message for me: Stop watching the news. This scene from Billy Madison seems an appropriate message to the media.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Another post related to my last one. Bob was traveling yesterday and listening to AM radio in the car to help stay alert on the long drive. He told me that a caller remarked how the contrast between the media attention, and public reaction to another transgender celebrity is startling: in the former case, Chaz Bono. It's a good example, because it is unfair to compare a famous person to someone in ordinary life who is trangender -- of course the situations are going to be very different financially and publicity-wise. But Chastity was known to us almost since birth. I remember watching a story at the time of his transition (not on the news BTW, I believe it was on the Tonight Show) and I agree with the caller.  Certainly we can't really know these celebrities, but to me Chaz seemed sincere and the story was so much more compelling. Yet I don't recall any sexy magazine covers or courage awards. Is it because it was a woman to man transition? Is it because Bruce Jenner is now presenting as a woman who appears 30 years younger than her actual age? Is it because of the absurd choice of a "today" name nothing like the original (no one named their daughter "Caitlyn" 65 years ago)? Is it because of the obscene Kardashian connection?

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The media and some? most? all? people's obsession with celebrities (especially of the reality TV variety) has reached a new level of absurd with the Jenner / Kardashian daily coverage. Last night it was on the news! Now, I know our news is crap, but it struck me as ridiculous, a new low. I have been thinking about a wonderful passage in Mark Twain's autobiography that is so apt:

Olivia Logan’s notoriety grew out of – only the initiated knew what. Apparently it was a manufactured notoriety, not an earned one. She did write and publish little things in newspapers and obscure periodicals, but there was no talent in them, and nothing resembling it. In a century they would not have made her known. Her name was really built up out of newspaper paragraphs set afloat by her husband, who was a small-salaried minor journalist. During a year or two this kind of paragraph was persistent; one could seldom pick up a newspaper without encountering it.

“It is said that Olivia Logan has taken a cottage at Nantucket and will spend the summer there.”
“Olivia Logan has set her face decidedly against the short skirt for afternoon wear.”

“The report that Olivia Logan will spend the coming winter in Paris is premature. She has not yet made up her mind.”

“Olivia Logan was present at Wallack’s on Saturday evening, and was outspoken in her approval of the new piece.”

“Olivia Logan has so far recovered from her alarming illness that if she continues to improve her physician will cease from issuing bulletins tomorrow.”

The result of this daily advertising was very curious. Olivia Logan’s name was as familiar to a simple public as was that of any celebrity of the time, and people talked with interest about her doings and movements, and gravely discussed her opinions. Now and then an ignorant person from the backwoods would proceed to inform himself, and then there were surprises in store for all concerned:

“Who is Olivia Logan?”

The listeners were astonished to find that they couldn’t answer the question. It had never occurred to them to inquire into the matter.

“What has she done?”

The listeners were dumb again. They didn’t know. They hadn’t inquired.

“Well, then, how does she come to be celebrated?”

“Oh, it’s about something. I don’t know what. I never inquired, but I supposed everybody knew.”

For entertainment I often asked these questions myself, of people who were glibly talking about that celebrity and her doings and sayings. The questioned were surprised to find that they had been taking this fame wholly on trust, and had no idea who Olivia Logan was or what she had done – if anything.

On the strength of this oddly created notoriety Olivia Logan went on the platform, and for at least two seasons the United States flocked to the lecture halls to look at her. She was merely a name and some rich and costly clothes, and neither of these properties had any lasting quality, though for a while they were able to command a fee of $100 a night. She dropped out of the memories of men a quarter century ago. (Mark Twain’s Autobiography, volume I, page 151).

Now if only the Jenners & Kardashians and all their ilk would fade away. But instead of people realizing these are no talent losers and focusing on something, anything even slightly more real, relevant and important, these fools will instead be rewarded with book contracts and "courage" awards. (Really?!) BTW, I know this because (as I mentioned) it was on the news last night, not because I consume tabloids. Some empty-headed, snarky reporter was gushing over the brilliant marketing of Vanity Fair.  I don't think "brilliant" and "pop culture" are words that go together very well. Still, I guess it is a comfort to know the ridiculous already existed in the 19th Century; we did not invent it in the 21st.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today I learned that my friend Donna died. I have written much about her over the years, although I never identified her, and I never tried to get any of the stories published. If I looked up the old Facebook status "It's Complicated" in the dictionary, it might say "my relationship with Donna." But instead of dwelling on the difficult times, I will always remember how funny she was; she would do almost anything for a laugh. She was truly one of a kind. RIP my friend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It finally rained -- YAY. It wasn't a huge storm, but at least it was something. I finished grades, and now I'm in that day before students have access to them, so no outraged A- or B+ students emailing and demanding an accounting (yet). We had sad news yesterday, that one of Bob's cousins passed away over the weekend. And, I am irritated about something minor in the scheme of things...recently I've bought a few kindle books, and they don't allow lending! WTF? If I bought paper I could just hand it to anyone I want. This is a major downside of e-reading. What gives, amazon?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Working away on end of semester grades, which are due May 19. I have many ideas swirling around for writing and drawing but...they will have to keep.

I have been walking around barefoot because my shoes and socks are too hot (it has been feeling like July, not like May). I haven't worn no shoes in YEARS. I didn't think I'd be able to walk. Buess what? I can, and it feels good.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Happy May! The semester is really winding down, my last class is Tuesday. It was a pretty good semester overall.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I've been thinking a lot about ethical behavior (even more so than usual) and it seems to me that there is a shocking low level of ethics -- not just among the famous & well-known, but among the ordinary & little-known. It's depressing.

Somewhat unrelated, and it wasn't the spark for this post...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A reminder to continue to boycott!
Stewart's must groove with high-stakes tests.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Progress is being made on the addition to Campus Center. Also...a lot of noise!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tomorrow's image for the facebook group, but I can't resist early posting here.

Spring break! I hate having it in March, but whatever. I just finished a big project and I have a batch of essays and a few other details to do, but I'm looking forward to some "fun." I have seeds to start indoors, and maybe I'll do an Elwyn's Diary volume. Also...reading!

Friday, March 06, 2015

I guess you know when you don't even remember your "blogversary" that you have been at it a long time. Monday, March 1 was the 13th Blogversary of Gully Brook Press. I've sometimes posted more and sometimes less, but I've never taken a hiatus.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Sometimes it just feels like a home run.

Not that it's any sort of real victory, of course. The building sits vacant, sad, abandoned. We all miss Stewart's. And Main Street generally? The long winter has erased any optimism I might have had about the results of all our efforts.

Monday, March 02, 2015

I am not sure why these political appointees (lawyers no less) in this story would be so ignorant -- and foolish about FOILed correspondence. But on the subject of the truck's name, I call B.S. on the owner's explanation. Anyone who thinks "dago" is a tribute is a moron. She should be ashamed of herself.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 15, 2015 was the coldest day I can ever remember!! What a winter.

In other news, Rosie was under the weather for about a week. I was afraid it was serious, as she is quite old (exact age is unknown) and while her appetite remained good, and there was no real indication of what could be wrong -- her behavior change was worrisome and extreme. But -- it turns out it was a very bad molar! Dr. Tina said her reaction was more indicative of back pain, and that she's never seen a dog carry on so over a toothache, but that's what it was! She had it extracted on Wednesday and is now back to her adorable self.

Finally...this one draws blood.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

We've watched a bunch of movies lately, some in the theatre, some at home on roku (amazon & netflix). I'll mention only the notable ones. First, Gone Girl -- can't believe I had not read the book (although it's been a long time since I've read anything like it). It was excellent, and I think a contender for best actress. Next, The Imitation Game -- it was interesting and I liked it, but I don't believe it will or should win any awards. Like all biopics, it served its own agenda, and had many inaccuracies. Plus, if I had realized the guy from Sherlock (a show I can't stand) was playing the lead...I would not have gone to see it (so I'm glad I didn't know).  Then, the very best of the bunch -- Boyhood. I had heard an interview with the star on NPR, and disliked the gimmick so expected to not like it, and almost vetoed seeing it, but it was awesome! I hope Patricia Arquette wins best supporting actress. Finally, It Happened One Night, a 1934 Clark Gable movie that was great. Romantic comedies are a genre that I dislike, but this movie was clearly the standard that others have copied ever since. And, during a scene where the main characters are riding on a bus, the passengers sing The Flying Trapeze. I immediately remembered the song - -could sing every word:

Once I was happy, but now I'm forlorn
Like an old coat that is tattered and torn
Left in this wide world to fret and to mourn
Betrayed by a girl in her teens.
Now this girl that I loved she was handsome
And I tried all I knew her to please
But I never could please her one-quarter as well
As the man on the flying trapeze!
Oh! He'd fly through the air with the greatest of ease
That daring young man on the flying trapeze
His movements were graceful
All girls he did please
And my love he has stolen away
And my love he has stolen away!

Afterwards, I was curious about the origins of the song (and the lyrics, as the bus passengers sang "his actions were graceful" rather than "his movements were graceful" so I googled it.  I learned that it  was published in 1867, and is about a real circus performer, Jules Leotard. Also there were several verses, and a few alternate versions (which explains the minor differences in wording). In the 1930s it resurfaced in popular culture and was used in some movies, including the one I saw.
I am going to call this the winter of the never ending cold! I have had two in a row, and Bob is on what must be his third, which I will surely catch.

First week on campus was pretty good. The classes seem fine, anyway. And that's all I'm going to say about that for the moment.

I've made some really good Stewart's satire graphics lately. Not that they have budged, but I will never, ever give up. Here's today's (actually yesterday's as it is after midnight):

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Just a little over a week before my classes start. Thins are moving along in terms of being ready, which means I'm not good to go yet, but I will be.

We have our third economic development meeting for the village tomorrow night. The focus will be on the work Bob and I did so far.

Another very cold day today.

Friday, January 09, 2015

I don't get into fights on facebook, and I rarely post or comment on political subjects there. But it is interesting what you learn by reading it. Today I have learned that it's wrong to publish satire because it's disrespectful and might "attract" terror, and it's right for the state to force a 17 year old to have medical treatments. You might say I'm a bit alarmed since this  is exactly backwards in my POV.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

I am finally getting over my two colds in a row (!) [what a way to spend winter break] and so with a box of tissues nearby, I've made progress on winter session, next semester, advisement, and even the village comprehensive plan.

It is cold -- zero etc.

Bob turned a milestone age (55) on January 5 & we celebrated Elwyn style -- Ommegang & Oneonta (stolled Main Street & felt sad once again over Bresee's, stopped at campus and the Autumn Cafe, went to Brooks) on Friday, Yono on Monday. So not a month. but a long weekend.

I felt pretty bad about the French cartoonists being murdered by terrorists. I don't mean "as usual" over these type of sick events. In this case I have always loved drawing satire cartoons, and for a brief period (until a more mature sensibility set in at about age 16) I flirted with the idea of being a cartoonist "when I grew up." I know satire, whether as an illustration or in writing, often pushes people's buttons, and they may react with hostility. But to think they'd machine gun down a whole office. The world can be a scary place, but that's all the more reason to be vigilant about free speech.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

I submitted grades a few hours before the deadline on 12/22, and almost immediately came down with a bad cold. I didn't get enough rest due to the holidays, so have had some trouble completely shaking it :-(. Having a cold is so much worse now that the Main Street Stewart's is gone! Tissues...juice...ginger cream. All things I wanted and had to do without recently, and felt a pang at the reminder that the store is gone.