Borrowing a cup of sugar, and other November excitement

Was this some sociological experiment, a sorority hazing, or some reality show prank?

Stop_Take_a_Break2It was a REALLY busy month in November. Besides church on Sunday and daughter’s rehearsal on Monday nights for a production at church in March, and choir rehearsal on Thursday nights (except on Thanksgiving):

6th – The church choir sang, for First Friday, VESPERAE DE DOMINICA by Mozart, with a dress rehearsal on the 4th.
Earlier that day, I went to the urgent care place. Four days earlier, I had a standard #2 pencil in a pair of pants poke through my pants pocket, and I managed to jab my left index finger enough that it drew blood. I didn’t know until later that a piece of the point embedded in my fingertip. So the doctor “froze” my finger, and removed the piece of graphite.
7th – Albany Symphony Orchestra concert. Actually, I ended up not going, and The Wife went with a friend because we couldn’t get a babysitter child watcher for The Daughter.

8th – After church, I recorded a piece for possible inclusion on the church’s YouTube channel. It sounded OK, but there was too much light, and I ended up rerecording it the following Sunday.
9th – Saw my doctor for a follow-up visit after hernia surgery. Said I was good to go, but in a more poetic form that I wish I could replicate.
11th – I spent my Veterans Day working on some items for the Friends of the Albany Public Library. That evening, a group of dads from the church got together.
13th – Polina.
14th – In the morning, a meeting of Friends of various Friends of Library groups. Not incidentally, I’ve been asked to write an article about Friends groups for the New York Library Association journal, due at the end of the month; as of this date, I have written precisely nothing, in part because the Wife had this presentation at a conference which involved not only her use of the computer but extra watching of the Daughter.
I got a very necessary, actually overdue haircut, mostly for the beard, which I don’t get shaved clean because of the discoloration from the vitiligo on my lower face. That evening, the Albany Public Library Foundation gala.

15th – One of our choir members, Alex Rosa , is a senior at the College of Saint Rose, and he gave his senior recital, which was quite good. Afterward, his parents, who are lovely people, put out a nice spread of food to eat.
17th – The Laurie Anderson movie at the Spectrum.
18th – At work, I gave a talk to a Chinese delegation from one of the larger provinces. They primarily wanted me to talk about intellectual property – copyright, patent and trademark – but they were most attentive during the brief section about credit scores. Afterward, as is their custom, they gave me a gift, which looks like this:
WIN_20151118_20_54_56_Pro
Yes, it’s a wooden comb.
21st – We saw the Capitol Steps, an American political satire group that “put the MOCK in democracy” at The Egg, a performance venue at the Empire State Plaza. The group, which initially included Congressional staffers from both parties, “has been performing since 1981, and has released over forty albums consisting primarily of song parodies.” The Wife and I saw them several years ago at Proctor’s in Schenectady.

Among other things in their rapid-fire presentation, they addressed the Greek financial crisis with songs from the musical Grease. It ends with one male cast member reciting a talk in which he reverses some consonants regularly; Borge W. Gush, e.g. it’s not only funny, it’s difficult to do.

22nd – We traversed over an hour to some school in an out-of-the-way location in western Massachusetts to see the premiere performance for the season of the Albany Berkshire Ballet presentation of The Nutcracker. The Daughter had done this production thrice, always as an angel, but her friend and former classmate “Elsie” has been, over eight years, a clown, a party child, and finally, Clara. She was really good, always staying in character.
nutcracker
Then Elsie’s family, our family, and some other friends went out to a Friendly’s restaurant in East Greenbush, NY; all the Friendly’s in Albany County closed many months ago.

Our family told the story about how, shortly after the Wife had come home after dropping off the child sitter the previous night, some young woman rang our doorbell, after 10 pm. We’ve had such a rotation of students as neighbors that we didn’t recognize this one. She had some yellow makeup, or something, caked on her face. She wanted to borrow a cup of sugar for baking, which we gave her, after putting our watchcat in the basement.

The discussion at Friendly’s centered on whether this was some sociological experiment, a sorority hazing, or some reality show prank. Collectively, we thought the idea of “borrowing” a cup of sugar, from a stranger, a couple of hours before midnight, was bizarre, with the 24-hour Price Chopper only three blocks away.

Elsie’s older sister allowed that, when she was living in an apartment in New York City, she went to neighbors’ apartments, including ones she didn’t know, looking for a ladle for a punch bowl, because, as I said, pouring punch from a mere cup would have been SO declasse. If you had been there, this would have been a hilarious exchange.

26th – Movie (reviewed eventually)
27th – Travel to Oneonta, about 75 minutes away, for Thanksgiving, returning the next day.
28th – Movie (reviewed soon)
30th – Take off day to work on many items, including agenda for Friends of the APL meeting that night. That paper that hung over my head like Damocles’ sword was finished; whether it is any good remains to be seen.

Uncharacteristically, December should be less busy, after this week, with only a wedding and the usual Christmas church events on the agenda. I might even participate in Trouble with Comics again.

Red Chuck Taylors (Five Photos, Five Stories #5)

When I was at the game show JEOPARDY! in 1998, I was wearing my red Chucks through the entire warmup.

Red_Converse_High_Tops_Chuck_Taylor_All_Star_Canvas_SneakersI swore I told this story before, but I cannot find it.

For reasons that defy logical explanation, I have long had a grand affection for red Converse sneaker, the Chuck Taylor variety, preferably high tops. I have other colors, but I tend to favor the red ones.

Moreover, it’s the color that gets the most unsolicited, and usually positive, comments, usually along the lines of, “I wish I had the guts to wear them.”

Someone gave us a Christmas ornament some years back that looked like red Chucks.

When I was at the game show JEOPARDY! in 1998, I was wearing my red Chucks through the entire warm-up, then, got all tradition in changing into uncomfortable, relatively new shoes for the actual games. I was convinced that was a fatal error on my part. I might have fared better with the Chucks.

We bought our current house in May 2000, a week before our first wedding anniversary. I was in the backyard, removing some branches. Unfortunately, someone had thrown some used lumber in the pile, not immediately visible. I stepped on a nail, which went through my red Chucks.

I pulled the nail out, and hobbled what felt like an interminable distance to the front of the house, hopped up to the front porch, opened the front door, and yelled to my wife. She replied, “I’m upstairs!” I replied, “Come DOWN!”

She drove me to the urgent care place, 20 minutes before it closed. They numbed my foot, before removing little bits of my red Chuck Taylor sneakers from the hole in my foot.

I may have thrown them away after we got home.
***
Note: I have been nominated by my buddy Lisa over at Peripheral Perceptions to participate in the Five Photos, Five Stories meme, which simply says I should post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

The problem is that almost all my posts are stories and have pictures. So I’m cheating and writing only one new post. And I’m nominating YOU!