Saturday, September 23, 2006

889 Friday Deliveries & Shopping

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yesterday I delivered the museum's "Pilot Log"s to the Stockade area of Kingston, and Sawkill Road, Lucas and Hurley Avenues, and down Broadway. For the Stockade area I parked behind the Gov. Clinton building (where I had delivered copies to Assemblyman Saland's office), loaded up a tote bag with about 40 pounds of Logs, and walked all over the Stockade. The weather was perfect - low 70s, sunny, enough breeze to lift my hair, but not enough to chill.

The Stockade area is full of seventeenth and eighteenth century houses, many stone, and mostly full of lawyers' and doctors' offices, so it was nice walking around and looking, and, by delivering Logs, I finally got to see the interiors of many of them. I walked miles! Felt like it, anyway. Six hours of delivering, 48 miles on the car.

Last night my right heel hurt when I put weight on it. Probably pulled a muscle or tendon or something with all that walking on old uneven slate sidewalks. Carrying weight. It's a bit better this morning, but I think I'll stay off the treadmill for a while.

Some sections of Kingston can be rough, like the side streets around upper Broadway. Knifings and muggings. I was delivering to a security firm on upper Broadway, and there was a little Hispanic grocery next door. I was thirsty, so I stopped in. Nobody behind the counter. Front door propped open, back door to alley propped open. I picked out a bottle of guava juice, and one of iced tea, and a nectarine, and waited. Nobody. I called out. No answer. I stepped out the back door and called. No answer. I'd have just left money on the counter, but nothing was marked with the price, so I didn't know how much. Finally, with trepidation, I looked at the floor behind the counter. No bloody body. Whew!

More calling out the back door produced a child, who ran up the outside back stairs yelling for Mom, and finally a woman came down and took my money. And then left again. I guess they aren't too worried about shoplifters.... Strange.

Last evening I checked out my winter clothes. I've already replaced most of my slacks, but the long sleeved tops are now all too big. Last winter I'd gone from large to medium, but wore the large anyway. Now I'm into small, and large is just too large. My old bras (38DD) are also mostly too big. So I went shopping last night and bought about eight long and 3/4 sleeve knit tops and sweaters - and before anyone gets excited, I didn't pay over $10 for any, and before you get disgusted, they really are very nice. And four new bras.

I really do think that with the fattening of America, they've adjusted sizes up. Like, will someone please explain to me how a 36D bra fits into a "small" top? And keep in mind that I don't like my clothing tight. I don't like horizontal stretch folds across the bust or lower back. I prefer things a bit loose, skimming. When I lose the rest of the weight, will I have to shop in the teen department?

I've decided that I look best now in pastels (OMG! I'm turning into a little old lady!), and all the tops I bought are very pretty pastels. The stores cooperated this season.

I had planned to go to the Catskill Game Farm today, but it's cloudy and threatening rain, and a visit to Catskill GF would be depressing itself, so I'm not going. I might regret it. I haven't been there in at least ten years.

The Catskill Game Farm is a large operation up the road that functioned as a zoo, essentially. I think originally they were breeding exotic animals for zoos and so on (hence the "game farm"), then they started letting visitors in, then they started getting more zoo-like, then starting with a little train around the grounds they added carnival-like rides and water stuff. But the best part, the part everyone remembers, the part that's been there as long as I can remember, is the feeding pen.

The feeding pen is a large area full of deer, goats, llamas, whatever, and you can buy a box of crackers (cheap) and go in to feed and pet the beasties. Of course they crowd around, and children love it. Daughter and I were there one time when she was small, and we had trouble with animals stealing the crackers right out of the box. So I put the box on top of my head, where the deer and goats couldn't reach it, and handed crackers to Daughter one at a time. Pretty soon I noticed people were laughing at me. I reached up for a cracker, and found a llama nose. He'd been following behind me, stealing crackers. Llamas think four feet eleven inches is exactly the right height for a dinner table.

Anyway, the game farm has fallen on hard times. A while ago somebody went in at night and shot almost a whole herd of exotic deer. They've had continuing problems of that type. Then there was a report, true or not, that they were selling excess animals to those places in Texas that offer people the opportunity to "hunt" tame penned large game. That lost them a generation of customers. Now the state has passed regulations on water parks that CGF doesn't feel they are subject to, but the state does, and they can't afford to upgrade. So, they're closing. This is their next-to-last weekend. End of an era.

Some animals will find homes in other zoos (the rhinos and big cats, among others, probably will easily find homes), but the fate of the deer and goat herds, and the gopher tribes, is not so clear. There's to be an auction, and many people were upset at the idea of an auction, so CGF says they'll "vet" the bidders to ensure the animals don't end up as dog food, but ....

So, that's why it would be depressing, more so with icky weather, and why I might regret not having gone.

Friday, September 22, 2006

888 Ticket Seller

Selling tickets at the Unger/Mason/Bala concert a few weeks ago, at the Maritime Museum. You can see just the tip of the Sloop Clearwater behind on the right. The performers used the deck of the Clearwater as the stage. The Rondout Creek is behind. It's wider than it looks in this photo - it got foreshortened or something.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

887 Woods, Deliveries, Dinner

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Hairless Hunk came by this morning. He's going to finally get started smoothing and grading the woods. I was worried that he'd let it go too late. I'm not sure brush spray will work once the brush has gone dormant.

I delivered a bunch of "Pilot Log"s for the museum today. I did the Albany Avenue/Ulster Avenue/Lake Katrine sets. 45 miles, 4 hours. It wouldn't/shouldn't have taken so long and so many miles except that I had to keep going up and down the roads because almost nobody has put up a building number!!! It was my understanding that for extended 911 service, all buildings had to have a number displayed, of a certain size and placement, visible from the street. Nada. I was looking for (like) #938, and I saw #354, and then didn't see another number until #1345! I made at least four trips the length of Albany/Ulster Avenue.

At one point I saw a fire house ahead, and I thought "Well, they'll have a nice big number - they should be a good example - then I'll know whether I've passed what I'm looking for." No number. On the firehouse. No number. This is ridiculous.

Luckily I had the cell phone. I had to call three places to find out where they were.

I was also getting very upset about the street signs. If a sign existed on a cross street, which was not guaranteed, about half the time it was twisted 45 degrees, so that it couldn't be read as you came up on it. I had a very detailed map (but no block numbers - around here there aren't "blocks", streets are laid out every which way), and I figured I could just count how many streets to pass before I had to turn, but ... egads! ... you can't tell the difference between a side street and a parking lot entrance on the lower part of Ulster Avenue. (That whole section is so very ugly, depressing.)

Speaking of "no blocks", that's increasingly a problem in the village. Traffic has been increasing exponentially, left turns out of side streets, or at the major intersection in the middle of the village, are getting near impossible during most of the day. Usually, one gets around that problem by turning right and then left around a block. Kinda hard when there are no blocks. People are increasingly turning right, then left and swing through a business parking lot to go the other direction. It's only a matter of time before business owners start getting upset.

This evening I went to the Third Thursday buffet dinner in Poughkeepsie. I ate too much, and now I'm bleck. Roman was there, and again it was uncomfortable. I sat across the table from him, and stared over his left shoulder all evening. I didn't want to look at his face. We do much better on the phone than in person.

More deliveries tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

886 Where Does the Time Go?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I can't believe it's late September already. I'm not ready for this!

I got out and delivered some pamphlets today, and stopped by the museum to return the sponsors list. The volunteer coordinator and her teen daughter were there trying to get the annual dinner invitations out - all by themselves. 500 envelopes to address, return address, stuff, stamp, and seal. So, end of deliveries for today....

I have set aside 24 bundles to deliver tomorrow, in the northern sectons of Kingston. At this rate, it'll take me a week to get it all done.

Somewhere in there I've got to wash my hair.

885 Stories

Behind every window there's a story.

I look at windows as I drive past houses, and I wonder what stories are there. What fascinating plots. What secrets are hidden. What no one talks about.

We read novels, and we don't realize that there may be an even more shocking story in the house next door.

Or our own, if we paused to think about it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

884 Tuesday, Mapping

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sign seen on the side of the road today, warning of road construction ahead: "... USE ALTERNET ROUTE".

I spent several hours this afternoon at the museum, mapping out routes to deliver the pamphlets. I had a problem last week with board members delivering pamphlets to sponsors without telling anyone - so I'd call someone to ask how many they wanted, and they'd say they already got them. I apologized for bothering them, and felt foolish. Somebody isn't communicating.

Today I discovered something worse. The gift shop ladies and I had counted and rubber banded bundles of pamphlets for sponsors, and the bundles were labeled with the name, address, and count. The bundles were in boxes under the bookshelves in the gift shop. I went to load them into the car today, and just by chance I picked up one lone pamphlet and looked at the tag with it. The tag said "count 30". Uh, where's the other 29? There were a few other loose pamphlets, and there was an orphan tag not attached to a bundle. It looks like someone helped themselves without even thinking about what all those rubber bands and labels meant. How stupid does someone have to be to do something like that? Or narcissistic?

So, anyway, I start delivering tomorrow.

The volunteer coordinator asked me to represent the museum at some big show in Yonkers, in mid-October. She said nobody else will do it, and that's what usually hooks me. But I really don't want to "represent" - I'm too shy for that - and I don't want to go to someplace in the city. I'll go to the airports alone, but anywhere else I want somebody else along. Somebody who knows where we're going. Luckily, I have something scheduled that weekend, so I have been saved from overcommitting myself.

When I went to Newark airport on Friday to meet Sister, I went down the parkway, and then straight across a highway into the airport. No fuss. There's another route that involves several different roads, one particular part where you merge into a multi-lane highway from the right, and then within mere feet you have to take an exit on the left. It's all very hairy. Every time I have ever gone to that airport when a male was driving or navigating, that's the way we went. On the way back to the airport on Sunday, I was telling Sister about it, and I said that's the boy route. We're taking the girl route.

I've found that to be generally true, that males will go through all kinds of gyrations to save the smallest bit of time or mileage, whereas women will usually take the straightest simplest route. (Generally, folks. Generally.)

Before arriving at the reception on Saturday, I had been told it was "behind a biker bar", that a tent would be pitched on the grass, and the grass bordered a pond. My expectations were not high, but I guess that was her purpose. She tends to downplay everything. I sometimes wonder if she really sees things the way she describes them.

Actually, it was beautiful. The "tent" was a semi-permanent white pavilion with multi-colored flowers twined around the ceiling braces (a bower!), and set on maroon smooth stone ground cover. The "tiny" dance floor was small, but it was stable and smooth, and at one point we had close to twenty people on it. The "grass" was beautifully landscaped, with paths through flower beds, flowers, flowers, and more flowers, gazebos, little arched bridges, those flower-covered arches over the paths (I forget what they're called), big old oak trees, and a dock on the "pond", which was actually a lake with white herons wading in the shallows and fishermen passing in boats.

I guess there's nothing else I am allowed to say about the day. Except that Sister, Niece, and I were very tired because there was a LOT of noise in the hotel parking lot Friday night, and we didn't get a lot of good sleep. I'd got maybe four hours sleep Thursday night, and Sister and Niece had traveled Friday. So by Saturday evening we were dead tired. Niece fell asleep in the back seat of my car heading back to the hotel that night. Sister and I heard a cell phone ringing somewhere in the car, and weirdly, we couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from. It rang over and over, and we couldn't find it. We figured it was probably under Niece, but we couldn't wake her up, she was dead to the world. I was cracking up - three blondes in a small car with a ringing cell phone, and we can't find it!

Monday, September 18, 2006

883 I May Possibly Be Back....

Monday, September 18, 2006

This past weekend I went to a mysterious something-or-other in a mysterious place.
I picked up some unidentified people at an undisclosed airport.
There were other unidentified people at the something-or-other.
I didn't see nuthin'.
I didn't hear nuthin'.
I don' know nuthin'.
Maybe I wasn't there.
Maybe I shouldn't have been there.
The end.

Yeah, I'm annoyed. Read the comments on the previous post. I'll try again when the steam blows off.

882 I'm Back

Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm back, but I don't have time to say anything. I need to go to the museum this afternoon. And whether I go there or not, I definitely want to get outside. It's supposed to be in the low 80s today. There won't be too many more days like this, so I don't want to miss it.

Topics when time:
With Sister & Niece, kitten and avoidance
Daughter & Hercules' reception
- Overheard
- Setting
- Dance
- Chickie Chickie Boom Boom