Good times, bad times

The bast team to go from 100+ losses to winning the World Series two years later was the 1969 Mets

While there are a lot of pretty average days, pretty standard, some are noteworthy. Per the song, “Good times, bad times, you know I had my share.”

Wed, Nov 1: We had a dearth of trick-or-treaters the night before. Remarkably, I ate no candy.

I received a call from the younger of my two sisters. Then, my daughter rang me up, asking my opinion about something, which admittedly pleases me no end.

I have this project to work on, which I need to complete for monetary reasons. But it required a larger block of time than I had left, so I called a good friend from church instead.

Then, I took the bus downtown to the all-day reading of William Kennedy’s Albany-based novel Ironweed. It is the 40th anniversary of the book, which was made into a 1987 film starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. True confession: I’ve never read the book, although I tried about 35 years ago. Nor have I seen the film, made in Albany.


Yet I signed up to read one of the five-minute segments and promoted the event at a book review. I have long thought that it takes a while to become an Albanian, maybe 30 years. Perhaps I was trying to read it too soon. Also, I signed up for a 3:55 slot, so I showed up to the Albany Distilling Co. Bar and Bottle Shop, maker of Ironweed whiskey, at 75 Livingston Ave. at 3:15.

The event was running late, so I got to hear over an hour of the book before I read, including a couple of people I know. Each reader was to sign their segment of the reading text. Two people, one an organizer, told me, that I read particularly well, which was nice to hear.

Then, at 7 pm, the event moved from the pub around the corner to the Capital Rep theater, where the last of the celebrity readers completed the book, the last of whom was the 95-year-old William Kennedy. It was an extraordinary Albany event.

I took the bus home and watched Game 5 of the World Series. While both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers were only two years from 100-loss seasons, I was rooting for the Rangers, who won, because they’ve never won the Series, going back to when they were the second Washington Senators; the first Senators had moved to Minnesota.

BTW, I watched it recorded on the DVR. Baseball and football are way better, and faster when one can fast-forward through instant replay, manager/coach challenges, and commercials. This was a glorious day.

Lost day

Thurs, Nov 2: I had an allergist appointment, but I couldn’t find my wallet. I’d looked in all of the usual places. My wife took me to the doctor’s office in Corporate (frickin’) Woods. I learned my doctor is retiring, which made me sad because it takes a while to break in a medical professional.

With no bus returning downtown for a few hours, I took an Uber home. I called CDTA to see if my bus had retrieved my wallet; no. Then, I called two of my credit card companies to put a freeze on my account.

Earlier, my website provider, DreamHost had their site go down, but it was back online. Yet my site was still not available. I wanted to contact their support, but I was not able to. I COULD have requested a callback, but that would have cost $9.95. This ticked me off.

Instead, I went to CDTA and got a new bus pass. On the way home, I stopped for a sandwich. I got a notification from my Jetpack software that my site was up after six hours offline.

After trying to catch up with my email, eating dinner, and taking out the garbage, I went to church for the dress rehearsal of Lux Aeterna. This was the first time the two participating choirs and the orchestra, some 90 people, had practiced together. From my previous experience, this can be rough musically, and this was no exception, though it got better as the evening progressed.

This was a pretty sucky day and emotionally exhausting, though the woman at CDTA was quite nice.


Fri, Nov 3: I canceled my debit card and then did various chores. After the University Chamber Singers performed the first half of the First Friday program, it was time for the Lux Aeterna, which was an intense experience. It seemed to go well, from the audience’s reaction. And it was a pretty full house.

After my wife and I went home, I decided to scour the bedroom floor one more time. No wallet on the carpet, but I found it in a cylindrical item in which I had never put my wallet before.

Crisis over.
  This was a day of relief.

PS: There were several photos of folks at the Were You Seen segment of the Times Union for the October 21 Albany Public Library Centennial Celebration, presented by The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library. It went live two days later.

But just to show that some people read the print version of the paper, a few of the pictures, including one of Dr. Leonard Slade and me, appeared in the November 5 paper. Several people saw it before I did,

Ironweed’s 40th, Lux aeterna, RISSE fundraiser, FFAPL gala

Requiem and other texts

Here are four events coming in the next month that I want to plug. I avoid noting these here because most people reading my blog don’t live in New York State’s Capital District. Still, they’re all events I have a special attachment to. I’ve mentioned the last one before.

The NYS Writers Institute is celebrating Ironweed’s 40th anniversary with the first-ever marathon public reading of the novel written by Albany’s native son, William Kennedy, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and put the author’s hometown on the literary map.

The special event will begin at noon and continue through 8 p.m. on WEDNESDAY, November 1 (NOT Thursday, Nov.1, as the flier suggests.)

“It will be hosted at the Albany Distilling Co. Bar and Bottle Shop, maker of Ironweed whiskey, at 75 Livingston Ave. in the North Albany neighborhood where the author grew up and where some of the fictional scenes in the Depression-era narrative set in 1938 take place.”

To sign up for a time slot as a volunteer reader, visit:

The final chapters of Ironweed will be read on stage by the novel’s author and invited VIP guest readers, beginning at 7 p.m. at Capital Repertory Theatre, 251 N. Pearl St., adjacent to Albany Distilling Co. Reservations are required. Go to:

The ticket prices are a donation of $10, $25 or $50. All proceeds will go to benefit the food pantry and free meal outreach at Sacred Heart Church, 33 Walter St. in Albany, which was Kennedy’s parish when he was growing up.

“The novel takes place across three days — All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls Day — in the jagged, heartbreaking journey of Francis Phelan, an alcoholic vagrant and former Albany professional baseball player.”


Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus (RISSE) Annual Fall Fundraiser: Homecoming Open House

Sunday, November 12th, 2023, 2:00 – 4:00 pmRISSE, 715 Morris Street, AlbanyJoin RISSE as “we celebrate our newest neighbors and the newcomers who have made the Capital Region their home. The event will showcase performances and food from a variety of cultures from around the world.

“Learn more about RISSE, our partner agencies, and our collective work welcoming refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers to the Capital Region.”

Click Here to Register Now!

This event is free and open to the public. However, donations are appreciated and encouraged.

Lux Aeterna is a 1997 five-movement piece by Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943) perform. As First Pres’ music director, Michael Lister, noted: “It is a sensitive and moving setting of the Requiem and other texts and will be a time for us as a community to remember and honor those of who we have lost from our community over the several past years.”

First Presbyterian Church is located at 362 State Street, Albany, at the corner of Willett Street, across from Washington Park.  There is parking on the street and in the park. The music will be in the sanctuary on Friday, November 3, at 6 p.m., while the art display in the adjacent room will start at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. 


The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library (FFAPL) look forward to seeing you on Saturday, October 21st, as we celebrate 100 years of the Albany Public Library!  The Centennial Celebration will be held at the newly-expanded Café Madison at 1108 Madison Ave. Albany, NY, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Cocktail attire is suggested. Tickets are available via the link above.

The evening will feature music, a silent auction, a mystery wine pull, stationed hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar. FFAPL has partnered with Harding Mazotti’s Rideshare Home Program to provide free rides home from the event! Scan a QR code at the event to get a free Uber voucher for pick up at Café Madison (Up to $200).

If you plan on driving to the event, street parking and nearby parking lots are available after-hours, including the Pine Hills Library.

If you are not able to attend the event but would like to support Albany Public Library, please check out the online auction showcasing unique products and experiences from local businesses.

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