Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccine

books and music

JFK Thanksgiving Day proclamation 1963
JFK Thanksgiving Day proclamation 1963

Without a doubt, it is Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccine.

Because of the vaccine, I could go out to eat with my friends, such as Carol, Karen, Bill, Michael, Cecily, John, and Mary, as well as my wife and daughters.

My church is meeting in person as of June 20, as well as on Facebook. The choir has restarted rehearsals in person as of October 10, with only fully vaccinated people, which is everyone.

The Wizard’s Wardrobe is a program, started by two members of my church. “Children spend time with a special tutor just for them — to read, write, and explore the wonderful world of books. My wife and I attended the Readers Theater benefit on October 4. The featured readers included William Kennedy, Brendan Kennedy, Joseph Bruchac, Elizabeth Brundage, Ashley Charleston, Ted Walker, and Ayah Osman.

The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library had its Literary Legends Gala on October 16. I got to tell Bill Kennedy that I heard him and his son read from Charlie Malarkey and the Belly-Button Machine (1986), 12 days earlier. Last year’s event was online, while this one was a hybrid.

I wouldn’t have been comfortable going to my high school reunion or certainly taking the bus home without the Pfizer shots. Yes, it’s a Thanksgiving for the COVID vaccine.

In spite of

As much as I complained about ZOOM and its ilk I’m thankful for the chance to have participated in the Thursday Bible study group. I got to see my niece Rebecca Jade perform over a half dozen times, including with Dave Koz.

I streamed some movies, not the best way for me to view them. But I got to see ALL of the Oscar-nominated shorts. Usually, I get to watch only a fraction of those films because they don’t all make it to this market.

I’m still on ZOOM for the Tuesday Bible guys, the Dads group, and certain church meetings. My sisters, in two different states, and I in a third, meet at least three weeks out of four. The Olin reunions took place remotely.

Lessee, what else?

I’m fiscally solvent. This allows me to order things via mail order, such as all of those blue masks and music that I don’t REALLY need but want. I also got a bunch of baseball books from Jack’s widow and music from the collection of my late father-in-law.

I had a brief but significant moment of mutual forgiveness with an old friend.

My mother-in-law lives much closer. This makes her and her daughter mighty happy.

I’m glad that Arthur and Kelly and fillyjonk and others are still blogging. Chuck Miller is still plugging other blogs each Saturday.

I’m sure there’s more, but this will do for the nonce.

FFAPL Literary Legends Gala 2021

Eugene Mirabelli, Lydia Davis

The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library is having its Literary Legends Gala 2021 on Saturday, October 16 from 6 to 8 pm. It will be held at the Pine Hills branch of the Albany Public Library, 517 Western Avenue. The first six annual galas were in person. The one in 2020 was, no surprise, virtual. This year’s event will be a hybrid because that’s what 2021 looks like.

The FFAPL “provides critical financial support to the Albany Public Library in order to help the Library provide education, literacy, career development, cultural enrichment, and lifelong learning.” These include supporting specific Library programs and projects, beyond the budget and scope of APL.

Our guests

The honorees are Lydia Davis and Eugene Mirabelli, each a professor emeritus at SUNY-Albany.

Lydia is a short story writer, novelist, and translator. “Her honors and awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, as well as the Man Booker International Prize.” I bought her Collected Works (2009) in 2013 when she was honored by the Friends, a predecessor of FFAPL.

I attended Gene’s book launch for Renato! earlier this month. It is revised and reassembled from three of his earlier works. At the reading, he read from chapter 3 of what was part of The Goddess in Love with a Horse. It was so engaging that I bought the collection. Thirty years ago, I met Gene a few times, then hadn’t crossed paths with him until this year. He is just as engaging now as then.

The event

The gala features an online auction, already started and going on through October 16. And you don’t have to be in the Albany, NY area to participate. Here’s the link.

Tickets: ONLY A LIMITED NUMBER OF IN-PERSON TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE. All In-Person Tickets are “Honorary Committee” tickets at $125 each. All in-person attendees must show proof of vaccination. Virtual tickets are pay-what-you-wish, with a recommended donation of $25.

Two nearby banks have given the event organizers permission to use their parking lots for the event, Citizens Bank, 501 Western Avenue (enter from the West Lawrence St. side), and Trustco Bank, 1084 Madison Avenue, both nearby.

August rambling: look to the Founders

148 Bonnie Meadow Road in New Rochelle, NY

Simon Bar Sinister
Underdog villain Simon Bar Sinister, and a former NYC mayor

When Even the IEA Sounds an Alarm on Climate, the World Must Listen. “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans, and land,” – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Burnt parts of Pacific forests are landing on the Atlantic.

Lying about vaccination status. Some people are going to intense lengths to get unauthorized COVID booster shots and When it comes to COVID vaccines, look to the Founders for answers

The Once and Future Coup

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Housing Discrimination and Emergency Medical Services  

After The Fall. Ben Rhodes raises a hard question: How did America get from the pinnacle of our Cold War victory to this sorry place?

Persepolis “Banned” in Commack, NY

Nearly 14M Individual Tax Returns Still Need Processing

The lie of “expired” food and the disastrous truth of America’s food waste  problem

Re: Simone Biles:  Olympians Are People First and Sports Culture’s Toxic Masculinity and ask yourself the questions on this decision tree

Gender inequality in esports

The Cleveland Indians/Guardians a teachable moment?

Are journalism programs properly training students to navigate harassment?

How Rudy Guiliani Went From 9/11’s Hallowed Mayor to 2021’s Haunted Ghoul

Sure, we got a billion bucks lyin’ around someplace (new Buffalo Bills stadium on the public dole?)

The worst money we’ve ever spent

7 Questions About America (from My Danish Husband) I Just Can’t Answer

Explaining the Different Post-Colonial Trajectories of Ireland and Haiti

Childhood of Some (In)Famous Americans

The culture

There’s a reason for the “k” in “knife”

The floorplan of 148 Bonnie Meadow Road in New Rochelle, NY — home of Rob and Laura Petrie and their son Ritchie.

Mark Evanier:  Flying the 747 (1970)

Dream of the Green Turtle, in mid-1944, arguably the first East Asian superhero

Poetry on Vinyl: An Interview with Jeff Alessandrelli of Fonograf Editions

The Oatmeal: Why it breaks your brain to take a compliment and You should love yourself and Leaving your pets at home

Colour trends of the year

Now I Know:  The Village That Went Dark and Was Proud of It and The Staircase With the Traffic Light and  Happy Belated Birthday, Australian Horses! and The Hidden Danger in the Walls of Your Old House and Why Congress Gets Free Men’s Magazines and Where’d the R in Mrs. Come From? and The Bugs That Make Danger Glow and There was once a Mickey Mouse gas mask. Here’s why and  The Great Cookie– er, Biscuit– er, Cake Debate of 1991

FFAPL

2021 Literary Legends Tickets on sale NOW. The program is on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at the Pine Hills branch of the APL. Support the Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library and join us as we celebrate this year’s honorees, Lydia Davis and Eugene Mirabelli. General tickets

The Friends and Foundation were very sad to learn that former Friends president Paul Hacker passed away in July. This follows the news about David Colchamiro, who passed away in June.

MUSIC

Sharp Little Pencil: Loving You Today

Find My Way – Paul McCartney and Beck

Drive My Car – MonaLisa Twins

Mr. Popeil – “Weird Al” Yankovic. (RIP, Ron Popeil.)

Overture to La Cenerentola by Giachino Rossini

Rough Boy – ZZ Top

Coverville 1366: The Depeche Mode Cover Story III and 1367: Tribute to ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill, and Cover Stories for Tony Bennett and Martha and The Vandellas and 1368: Track by Track Album Cover – Who’s Next

Footsteps in the Snow by Claude Debussy – Des pas sur la neige (Préludes – Book I)

A Musical 

Love and Mercy – Libera

Contrafactum – noun: A composition that makes use of an existing piece of music with different lyrics

Stories Behind 12 of Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits

10 Beatles Hits That ‘Rip Off’ Other Songs

Inside the Making of Prince’s Posthumous Album, Welcome 2 America

Plugging stuff: UREC, FFAPL gala

The 8th annual Literary Legends Gala will be held on October 16th at the APL Pine Hills Branch.

URECOccasionally, I would plug items for organizations that I was fond of/involved with on these pages. Then I cut back because they tended to be Albany-based organizations. Most of the readers of this blog are not from around here.

So I tended to plug happenings at my church, et al. on my Times Union blog. But now, I have no TU blog.

At the same time, I didn’t have all that much TO advocate for. And what I DID have to note was on Zoom, and except for sharing the home-grown music concerts of my niece during the pandemic, I just couldn’t muster the energy to get all that involved.

But now that I’m not so melancholy, I’ve rethought this. For instance, I should be promoting the Underground Railroad Education Center’s FreedomCon 2021 Zoom Series – Freedom Road: the Struggle for Justice Continues, especially since I’m one of the sponsors. The event has been going on since February.

Coming up these Saturdays at 3 pm, Eastern time:
Jul 24 Racist Violence is as American as Cherry Pie
Aug 21 Food Justice: Hunger, Child Poverty and Farming while Black
Sept 25 Destined to engage and collaborate: Examining the Social/Political Dynamics of Native Americans and African Americans in the United States
Oct 23 Building Community through Free Black Migration before the Civil War
Nov 27 Native American Lives Matter
It’s $10 per session.

Oh, and before that: the  July 4 Oration is back in person at The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, 194 Livingston Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. But NOTE: it is on Saturday, JULY 3 beginning at 11 a.m. It features “an enriching presentation by Rev. Roxanne Booth on The Third Reconstruction.” I’ve heard her speak before, and she’s quite good.

The talk will be followed by light refreshments. Bring a chair and a dish to share if you like. Oh, and “this program will be live-streamed for those unable to join in-person. Details will be available on or before July 1.”

Library types know how to party!

literary legends 2021The 8th annual Literary Legends Gala will be held on October 16th at the Pine Hills Branch APL.2021 Literary Legends Tickets on sale NOW. Support the Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library and join us as we celebrate this year’s honorees, Lydia Davis and Eugene Mirabelli.

“Last year’s gala was virtual and we are navigating the new normal and learning what will make our honorees and guests comfortable. Like you, we are figuring things out as the post-pandemic situation changes each week. Some things we do not yet know: there may or may not be a buffet, or a live jazz band. But there will be food, and there will be music! And our silent auction is back this year! Get your ticket and join the party!

“The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library provide critical financial support to the Albany Public Library in order to help the Library provide education, literacy, career development, cultural enrichment, and lifelong learning. We can’t wait to party with you at the library!”

Buy general tickets here or purchase Honorary Committee tickets here. Purchase your Honorary Committee ticket by August 6th to be listed on the invitation card. You may also buy an ad at either link. If you are interested in donating food or a silent auction item, please use the link here.

Mini-campaign to raise $ for Wifi expansion at APL

connectivity in Albany

The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library has launched a mini-campaign to raise $8000-$10000 this weekend for Wifi expansion at Albany Public Library. Have you stopped outside an APL branch this year, expecting to use get onto the WiFi?

The FFFAPL of APL is helping to make that WiFi signal available! This is vitally important in this continuing period of COVID-19, with many schools and offices remaining closed.

“The Albany Public Library (APL) is the key provider of broadband for those without a reliable internet connection at home. It will cost approximately $2,000 per branch for hardware and wiring. We aim to raise $8000, or enough for four branches, by Monday, October 19th.”

Information about the campaign may be found here .

This will be the organization’s first TEXT TO GIVE campaign. Please share the message:

Text “WIFI” to 518-547-1005 to donate!

with friends and colleagues tonight and tomorrow. Or send them

the link http://weblink.donorperfect.com/outdoor-wifi

to submit payment.