(The Last Two) Fridays on my mind

12/9: I’m lying in bed and my wife says to me, “Albany schools are CLOSED because of the snow!” Groggy, I’m thinking, “Yeah, that’s nice. So what? We live in Albany, but you don’t teach in Albany, we don’t have a kid going to school in Albany schools.” Had I been more awake, I would have picked up on the nuance; if Albany schools are closed, then virtually ALL the schools are closed. And indeed they were, including the two where Carol teaches. Except the school in Rensselaer, who went “Nyah-nyah” to everyone else when the storm wasn’t as bad as many had feared.

This meant I could go to racquetball without taking Lydia to day care first, as her mother would take her.

We had a babysitter that night and went to hear the Albany Symphony Orchestra at the “acoustically perfect” Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Friends at church, Philip and Marilyn, had tickets they couldn’t use. The first segment was the world premiere of Dr. Michael Woods’ “funk and jazz-inspired” “Places of Light”. It was enjoyable, but it reminded me in places of 1970s and 1980s television detective show theme songs such as the Rockford Files and Ironside. The next part was Spirituals at the Holidays featuring 6 African American spirituals newly re-imagined by leading American composers and sung by young African American baritone, Nathan De’Shon Myers. Not only was he great, but the pieces were as well. The dialogue between the singer and the horn player in the last piece was tremendous.

During the intermission, I saw a number of folks I knew, many from church. Then there was this woman who looked VERY familiar, but who I could not place. It appeared she was having a similar experience. I told her my name, and she told me hers, then suddenly I knew EXACTLY who she was: she was, and maybe still is, the best friend of my ex-wife. We had a pleasant enough time, though, when my current wife comes over. Naturally, I had to introduce them. Carol says, “So how do you know each other?” The woman and I look at each other uncomfortably, before I said, “We have a mutual acquaintance.” Almost immediately after that, I noted who the “mutual acquaintance” was. I’m not so sure why I was being so coy about it at first.

The second part of the sold-out concert was Beethoven’s 5th. The tune is so well known as to invite parody. There’s the Fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murphy that appears on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. P.D.Q Bach does a hilarious “New Horizons In Music Appreciation” that sounds like footbal play-by-play on this album. So the conductor took the first four notes quite fast, and the reply more elongated.

Even married folks need to date.

12/16: Carol’s two schools are each delayed two hours, which means she only has to go to the latter. I check the listings and the day care is not on the list at 6:25. So, I take Lydia on the bus, only to find the day care, which was open last week, was indeed closed. The problem is that I have 25 minutes until the next bus home, and freezing rain’s coming down. I thought to stop at the Dunkin’ Donuts, but I had no cash. So I stopped at the drug store, put her in the cart, and rode her around for 15 minutes, buying nothing. We went out to wait for the bus in a fairly sheltered area, loitering in front of a not-yet-open shop. I drop Lydia off with her mother, try to get back downtown in time to play some racquetball, but it’s too late, so I head to work. I call Carol at home and say,that I’ll come home if she wants to go to her second school. But she’s already decided that she doesn’t want to go out if she doesn’t have to in this weather.

And it’s a good thing I’m at work, because others were not. This storm, with far less snow, was worse because of the ice, and some of the folks at work weren’t making it in at all.

It appeared to me that the administrators of the schools that closed on the 9th felt so badly to lose the day that they stubbornly (and wrongly, to my mind) decided to be open on the following week, when it was far more treacherous.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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