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Props or Post?

It’s going to be post. A real Wuss-out Wednesday post, in fact. For one reason, I’m too flustered to do anything but sit here and type a few words. Sorry, kids, but you know this usually happens on Wednesday (and other days, you don’t have to point that out) (you know who you are).

I have mentioned I am in a play at Ilion Little Theatre. It’s called Busybody, and I have a sizable role. We have rehearsal tonight. At our last rehearsal, two nights ago, I made a big deal about needing rehearsal props and said I was going to bring in a bunch of stuff for my character. I wasn’t trying to be more actressy than thou. It’s just really hard for me to pantomime and not have magically disappearing whatever.

Last night was the only night I didn’t have any place to go in the evening. I had a list of things to get done, one of which was to gather props. Long story short, I did one thing on the list and that wasn’t it. In my defense, what I did was pretty important. I made White Trash to contribute to my workplace Christmas feast on Thursday. It is important to me to participate in these things. And many people like to eat White Trash.

Full disclosure: when I got home from work today I had enough time to look for props. And I had time while on breaks at work to write a better blog post than the one you’re now reading (oh, I hope somebody is reading it).

Unfortunately, I had a bad headache most of the day. It had dissipated by the end of the day, but I still felt all vague-headed and stupid when I got home. And I still had things I had to do. I had to take my dog for a walk and figure out what to wear to rehearsal. The latter was not as easy as one would think. For one reason, there is a part in the play where I have to shove a piece of paper down my front. This is not so easy to do in a turtleneck, as I discovered at the last rehearsal.

Wait a minute, I just realized something: the piece of paper I have to hide in my shirt is one of the props I had meant to gather. So by taking the time to go through my closet and find a shirt I could hide a piece of paper down, I lacked time to find the paper to hide. It was a lose/lose situation! Had I just worn the damn turtleneck, I would have had time to find the paper to hide but been unable to practice hiding it.

I know, some of you are snorting that a piece of paper is hardly a difficult prop to find. You’re right. I can probably manage that one. Anyways, while I was writing this nonsense, time has passed and I really have to finish getting ready to head out for my rehearsal. On the brighter side (for me, anyways), now this is done. I can hit Publish and not have to worry about this after rehearsal.

One final note: My Freudian slip was showing just now: I accidentally typed a space between Pub and lish. That’s right, folks, all things considered, I would rather just hit the pub.

A Christmas Present I Once Bought

Yesterday I wrote about how I could not seem to write about a Christmas memory, because I got all bogged down in talking about how broke I was. Today I cut out all that stuff as well as a couple of paragraphs about some other presents I bought that year. Here is my story about a Christmas present I once bought.

So there I was with not much money to purchase Christmas presents. It was the early ’80s, later than five-and-dime stores but before Dollar Stores were ubiquitous. I was walking through Riverside Mall in North Utica with my sister Diane. I lacked a present for my sister Cheryl. A housewares place had a display of odd lot silverware out front, 50 cents a piece.

“I’ll get Cheryl a fork,” I said, just only kidding. Cheryl had just moved into an apartment of her own.

“That would be a good present,” Diane said, “because when I ate over there we used plastic forks.”

Of course my parents got Cheryl a full set of silverware, so I felt I had been properly cast into the shade. However, Cheryl was quite pleased with her gift. As she left our parents’ house Christmas evening, she said, “I’m going to go home and eat something with my new fork.”

I wonder if she still has it.

More Writing About Not Writing

Well, it is not yet Tired Tuesday it is no longer Wrist to Forehead Sunday, yet I feel I qualify for both of those days. The annoying thing is that I did so write while at work today. I wrote at least a page before my shift started then a few paragraphs more at lunch time. I felt it was not contemptible. And yet. And yet.

What I really feel moved to write right now is an explanation of why I am not publishing what I wrote earlier yet. We’ll call it a Middle-aged Musings Monday and that will make everything OK (I do like giving things names) (I’ll write a blog post abut that one day).

After writing about Steven’s first Christmas gift to me (yesterday’s post), I thought it might be fun to do a week of Christmas memories. By age 51, I have quite a few. I have even been thinking about one particular Christmas lately. The reason I have been thinking about it is that I was broke then and I am broke now. I quite naturally began my post with that thought.

After a sentence or three I thought, “Somebody is going to tell me to stop whining.” You can’t tell tone of voice from typing. I felt I was being matter-of-fact about things, but no doubt some readers would hear whining. I wrote a few more sentences trying to dispel any notion that I am not facing my circumstances with cheerfulness, fortitude and a sense of humor (I’m not, really, I daresay I do whine, but wouldn’t it be nice if I did have cheeriness, etc.?).

Then I started to ask myself, am I even that broke? After all, I still have cable television and the occasional bottle of wine. I haven’t started stealing the dog’s food nor even applied for SNAP benefits. These reflections led to some half-baked philosophy about people crying poverty when the rest of us see none. This was not a Christmas memory! What the hell, Mohawk Valley Girl? So I skipped a line and jumped into the story I had intended to write, trusting to be able to clean it up later.

By the end of the day, I felt dissatisfied with what I had written. I felt certain there was a better blog post about that Christmas. And perhaps a Lame Post Friday post about comparative poverty or cheerfulness and fortitude. After work as I walked my dog, Tabby, I pondered my options, bearing in mind that I have rehearsal tonight and I was feeling more and more tired. I thought about writing about the walk I was taking. Then I thought about writing about why I could not publish the post originally intended.

And reading back over what I have written (I know, Truman Capote, it isn’t writing, it’s typing), I kind of like it. I will strive to be a little less tired on Tuesday.

It Wasn’t a BB Gun

In lieu of my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday, I offer a personal Christmas Story (I was going to say a story about a Christmas present from my past, but I thought that might be getting too cute) (but that I could get away with it in a parenthetical comment).

I thought of the story after reading another blog post (once again procrastinating writing my own blog by reading others’). The blog was Return of the Modern Philosopher. The post was about buying the perfect present for a girlfriend. This is the story of the first Christmas present my husband Steven gave me.

We had just barely kind of sort of started dating in late November. In fact Steven went home for Christmas and said to his mother (as he told me later), “I think I have a girlfriend.” In the meantime I was saying to my friends, “He’s NOT my boyfriend,” largely because I did not want to jinx it (I never had many boyfriends, despite being quite the looker in those days) (no, really, I was cute, and I wore really short mini-skirts).

Steven was going to school at the time and had a couple of papers due. I remind you that these were the days before computers were common equipment for these things, so I offered to type them for him. I love to type. We arranged that he would drop them off at my apartment while I was at work. This was a new apartment I had just moved into, living alone for the first time. In fact, I was not even fully furnished.

I had told Steven the story of how I had a craving for tuna noodle casserole (my dietary needs were simple in those days). After working till nine, I walked to the grocery store and purchased the ingredients, then eagerly walked home only to find… I did not have a can-opener. I ate noodles and butter instead. It was a funnier story when I told it. I used gestures.

You probably all know where this is going. Steven dropped his papers off to me at work with a cute, self-deprecating smile, telling me he had “put a little something” in with them. Yes, it was a can-opener.

I have told that can-opener story for years. I now have a sneaking suspicion it is a funnier story when I told it. I must have used gestures.

However, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday. Now I can go back finishing out my weekend with my wrist properly on my forehead saying, “My blog post wasn’t very funny today!”

Mohawk Valley Girl, Canine Rescuer

So there I was, not many ideas of what to write a blog post about and feeling rather poopy in general, so I decided to take Tabby for a walk. I thought at least it would improve my disposition; walking usually does, especially with Tabby. And I might be able to write a blog post about it. The walk itself was fairly uneventful, till the very end.

Just to set the scene, it was about 4 p.m., the sun soon to go down, the sky white-grey, the air cool. It wasn’t as cold as this morning, luckily, because there was not much wind. It had been warm earlier, so some of the snow had melted to gushy mush on the streets and sidewalk. Wet had seeped in through my sneakers. After a while I felt light, feathery precipitation on my face.

As we were getting back to our house, we saw a little brown and white dog running down the street. He had a collar but no leash and no person in sight. Oh dear! I called to him but got no response. What to do? Call dog control? Do I have their number? Call the cops and ask for dog control’s number? The dog started running down the middle of the street. This was not good.

I put Tabby in the house, pausing to wipe her paws (in case she’d picked up some rock salt on our walk; can’t be too careful), grabbed a few treats, and went back out to find the little guy. He was way down the street. Two cars came along but luckily didn’t hit him. He started back towards me then turned down Church Street. I ran to the corner and after him, being careful not to slip on the slush and land on my tush (hey, that rhymed).

The dog was at least half a block ahead of me. I slowed to a walk so as not to scare him. I tried calling to him and holding out a treat. He was having none of it. He turned down Prospect. I was gaining on him, alternating running and walking as indeed he was. At last I caught up, but he did not seem interested in the treat. I persisted, talking nicely to him and hoping he would decide to like me.

A fellow on a bicycle across the street called to me that there was a car coming up behind me. I couldn’t be bothered with cars. That car could just hit the brakes, couldn’t he? But one can’t count on cars doing these things for cute little dogs. The situation was desperate. I scooped up the pooch. He was not happy about it. I hoped he wouldn’t bite me.

“Help!” I called. “It’s not my dog,” I explained. “He was running down the street and I didn’t want him to get run over. Now I’m scaring him to death!”

The bicycle fellow’s house was nearby. He called me over and went to the door and asked someone inside for a phone. I could feel the poor dog’s heart beating. I didn’t know what to do. Bike guy said he would take the dog in but was afraid his dogs would not like it. I didn’t think I could carry doggy all the way home with him being so upset. Finally I asked could I borrow a leash just to get him home.

“I can bring it back later,” I said. He said why didn’t he just follow me home and get it. Good idea.

The dog was OK once he was on the leash. He trotted along nicely, stopping to sniff things as dogs like to do. As we walked up Bellinger, my new friend said, “We may have found his owner.” A lady at the end of the street seemed to be calling for a dog. He rode ahead to see. It was our lost friend’s person!

“Oh, thank God!” I said as she hurried down the street to scoop him up.

“He got off his leash,” she said. “I’ve had him fifteen years! Thank you!” she added to both of us.

“We’re dog rescuers,” I said to the bicycle guy, handing him his leash. “Thank you!”

We wished each other a Merry Christmas as went our separate ways. Tabby was happy to see me, if a little confused. I realized I was silly running off on my own for a rescue. If I had brought Tabby, that dog probably would have come right to us. After all, boy dogs usually want Tabby to be their girlfriend.

So that was my adventure, complete with happy ending.

Not a Famous Post

As I sat at work I thought (yes, I can work, sit and think at the same time, although in general I am not a fan of multi-tasking), I cannot compose another blog post on the fly, sitting at my computer, typing off the cuff, Lame Post Friday or not. After all, there have been other Lame Post Fridays where I have handwritten in my notebook (my preferred method of writing) perfectly nice posts, an acceptable level of silliness for the day, readable, humorous (or did I flatter myself?). I’d link back to a few, but I’m awfully tired right now.

Yes, as you have guessed, I did not write anything earlier. I tried and tried to think of something. All I could come up with was something I have posted as a Facebook status:

If we know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer etc., why would we NOT recall the most famous reindeer of all? Hello! Famous? Does that not mean well-known? If we do not recall him, he’s NOT VERY FAMOUS, IS HE? (I guess I didn’t need the caps there; I’m getting a little cranky).

I was mentioning this at work and a co-worker, who knows I am Mohawk Valley Girl, thought it would make a good article. I thought it would make kind of a short one but did not despair of coming up with at least a couple paragraphs. Then as I pondered the question, I remembered something. In the Regency Romances I read, the characters often use the word “famous” the way we used “awesome” in the ’80s or “amazing” these days. Not for its literal meaning but just to mean really really good.

Oh dear, there went my blog post. And now I am really tired (I think I mentioned that earlier). And I have rehearsal to go to (I know I mentioned the play I’m in). But look, I’m over 300 words. That’s more than respectable. Happy Friday, everyone.

A Serendipitous Snack

I first heard of That Little Place on Main in Little Falls, NY some time ago when I visited the Little Falls Historical Society. The intern said her father recently opened it (it came up in a conversation). The Place had already closed that day, and I did not make it back to Little Falls at a compatible time until recently.

Full disclosure: I did not go to Little Falls specifically to go to That Little Place on Main. My friend Phyllis and I were adventuring with no set plan. We thought we would stop somewhere sometime for a cup of coffee and a snack. While driving down Main Street, I saw it! And the Open sign was lit up! I pulled right into a parking space almost directly in front of the Place. How’s that for serendipitous?

Inside was a traditional, homey diner with a long counter and booths. I saw more seating available in a small back room. We sat at a booth and looked at the Specials Board till the waitress brought us menus.

I got a piece of cheesecake while Phyllis ordered French fries. We both had coffee. The cheesecake was delicious. I helped Phyllis finish her fries, because they gave her a heaping mound of them. Yum! The waitress kept our coffee full. I made plans to return soon and bring my husband Steve.

That Little Place on Main is located at 28 W. Main St., Little Falls, NY. Phone number is 315-508-5083. They also have a Facebook page which features photographs of delicious-looking food. I think I’m going to have to make this Place a regular stop.

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