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Aren’t You Glad It’s Wuss-Out Wednesday?

I must admit that on the whole I have enjoyed the weather more this summer than last summer. Last summer we had a flood at the very end of June, then all I can recall is day after hot, sticky, icky day, with mud everywhere and no relief. This year, it seems that every so often we get the relief of a not so hot, not so humid day. I kind of wish today was one of those days.

I’m pretty sure my perceptions are not completely accurate. Then again, some would argue that the reality we perceive is in fact our only reality. Ooh, there’s some half-baked philosophy suitable for Lame Post Friday. I bet you’re all glad that today is Wuss-out Wednesday, so I shall not philosophize.

So my point is: Monday was a dreadfully warm day. I dealt with it with as little drama as I could manage, because I knew Tuesday was slated to be much worse. It was. But I lived with it. Thursday was supposed to be delightful. Naturally, I thought Wednesday (today) would be in between. And it wasn’t. It was the worst day yet!

It may have been because I was working at a different machine. WHO CARES WHY??? I was a heat injury. I couldn’t write crap at work, and I can’t write crap now. Oh, wait, it seems I am writing crap. Sorry about that.

Full disclosure: I really continued to read my Ann Rule book at work. It is quite compelling. But even without this distraction, I fear my brain has melted into a little puddle somewhere between my medulla oblongata and my abdomen. Do you suppose tomorrow will be as delightful as promised?

Probably Not Disco Lights

When I found out Steven had to get up early this morning, I knew it would be a good opportunity to run. For one reason, the temperature was supposed to be over 90 later. I know, it is a good idea to train in all sorts of weather. Sometimes I have to give myself every advantage. As it turned out, conditions were not ideal in the pre-dawn hours, so I don’t have to feel like I’m too spoiled.

I got right from my bed into my running clothes and out the door before I well knew what I was about. I’ve found that is often the best method, especially when you are as good at thinking up excuses as I am. I hit the pavement at 3:36, two minutes earlier than I usually do for these early morning runs.

I congratulated myself on getting out while the temperature was still reasonable and reminded myself to watch for skunks. It was Garbage Day in Herkimer. I didn’t even see any cats and for the longest time only saw one car. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (that was the title of a movie I saw once) (I didn’t like it).

Since I had not run any hills recently (don’t judge), I thought I would do the one by Valley Health. As I approached it, I thought it really was not that bad of a hill. I could try something more challenging next time. I was only slightly out of breath at the top of the hill. Must control my breathing. I know from experience that if I have a VCD episode while running I feel just awful for the rest of the day (that’s Vocal Chord Dysfunction, a breathing problem I suffer from). Around Valley Health and down the hill.

Ah, downhill. All you have to do is move your feet a little and let gravity do the rest. Just enjoy the view, I always tell myself. Only there wasn’t much of a view, because it was still dark. I decided I would not run down by the high school as I often do. Too dark. Safety first for Mohawk Valley Girl, I thought, composing my blog post in my head.

I soon realized that although the temperature was reasonable it was quite humid. Once again I had forgotten my head band. If only my glasses wouldn’t fog. They fogged. I may try running in contact lenses.

It occurred to me that I had not seen any lights on in any houses. I started looking for some. It always makes me feel better to see lights on in houses. I feel that way when I’m traveling too, especially all by myself on a Greyhound bus (although I have not been there in a number of years, thank God). Good grief, not even a bathroom nightlight to lighten my load.

As ran down Prospect Street I thought I heard a vehicle driving through a parking lot. I was immediately suspicious. Why would a car be going through a parking lot at this hour? It was coming up behind me. And slowing down! It was my paper deliverers. They have a wide territory. I believe I’ve mentioned how much I love my efficient paper deliverers.

The lady waved to me as she walked up to a house with the paper. I waved back. I was close enough to exchange Good Mornings before she got back in the vehicle. I tried to think of something clever to say, but nothing came to mind. When I caught up to them at the next house I said, “I’m stalking you.”

“I don’t mind,” she said.

Then I turned a corner and went on alone. I saw a few lights on, which made me feel happy. Then I saw some flashing blue lights. Probably television, I thought, but I also thought it might be a secret after-hours club with some unusual disco lights. I speculated on what the password would be if I knocked on the door for admittance. Yes, these are the silly thoughts that amuse me as I run.

As usual, I debated with myself how long I should run. I ended up doing 30 minutes ending on not really a sprint but an accelerated pace, followed by my usual cool-down walk with Tabby. I confess that when I got out of bed and for at least the first third of the run I was NOT in the mood for it. That changed about the time I realized that the complaints were all from my grumpy brain. My legs were just quietly pumping along as if they could run for days. I felt pretty pleased about that, and happy that I could spend the rest of the day telling myself, “At least I ran.”

It’s A Crime

I did not write a blog post while at work today. I spent my time before my shift and on each break reading a true crime book by Ann Rule. She is the BEST! I love true crime. I guess the best I can do for this week’s Middle-aged Musings Monday is a couple of paragraphs about my crime obsession.

It seems to me that many people love murder. Murder mystery novels crowd library shelves. Many movies feature murder, mysterious or otherwise. And on television… it’s everywhere! Truth, fiction, police, amateurs, hit men and even the undead, although many would argue that they don’t count. I am not alone in my obsession.

I do enjoy a good fictional mystery, on the page or on the screen, but lately I am really addicted to the true stuff. I have written about this before, how I watch many shows of varying degrees of cheesiness. I only wish I had seen a good one lately, so I could write about that.

The novel I am having so much trouble writing (and I KNOW I have written about that here) is a murder mystery. Perhaps one of the reasons I am having so much trouble with it is that I am not spending enough thought on the actual crime. Silly me, I keep thinking about the characters. Well, I will have to work that out for myself.

Well, that is over 200 words. I am having a plethora of not very good posts lately and for that I apologize. Tomorrow I plan to go running early in the morning. I hope and trust that will offer enough interest for a decent Running Commentary. If not, I believe there is a library book sale I can attend. Ooh, maybe I’ll find another Ann Rule book.

It Wasn’t Jack Daniels

Anybody who saw yesterday’s post, about how busy I was and that I was hosting a gathering last night, will not be surprised that today is Wrist to Forehead Sunday. I hesitate to share the information, though, because people always get the impression that you behaved MUCH more badly than you actually did. Admit it, some of you are picturing me dancing on tables drinking Tequila straight from the bottle. You think I ended the evening on the bathroom floor, only happy that I made it upstairs and the toilet is handy.

Well you can quit trolling YouTube for embarrassing videos of me that you can submit to World’s Dumbest (although part of me would be thrilled to be included on my favorite show). I wasn’t that bad. And I don’t feel that bad today. I’m just tired, drained and a little brain dead. Typical Sunday these days, no matter what kind of Saturday I’ve had.

But here’s a bit of half-baked philosophy for me to consider on some future Lame Post Friday: why do people so often assume that other people are more drunk than they really are? It has happened to me more than once: somebody looks at a picture of me with a big smile on my face and says, “I guess you were drunk.” Is my life so pathetic that people think the only reason I would have to smile so widely is Jack Daniels?

I’ll speculate on possible answers another time. In fact, at last night’s very enjoyable gathering, I don’t think anybody took any pictures, so I have no big wide grins to explain. And I’ve managed to type in over 200 words, so I’m back to enjoying my Sunday. I hope you are, too.

Cross It Off the List

I guess I’ve already used the title “CRAP! I Forgot to Write my Blog Post!” In my defense, I’ve been busy. I’m having people over tonight and my last minute nature has asserted itself in full.

It really should not have been such a problem. It’s not a big party or a theme party or even really a party. It’s a few friends hanging out on my deck, weather permitting, in my living room otherwise. A few snacks, a few drinks, a few laughs. What could possibly be the problem?

I did not even foresee a problem this morning. I got up early (but still a little later than my work-day rising time, yes!) and took a long, easy paced run, taking plenty of mental notes so I could do a Saturday Running Commentary. I wrote a few postcards, as I like to do on a Saturday, and walked to the post office with my dog Tabby, which she likes to do. I could have done a Pedestrian Post.

When I got home, after checking Facebook and talking to a few family members on the telephone (you can’t rush into these things, my mother always says), I made a list of everything I wanted to get done. Yes, write a blog post was on the list. It was a long list. I did a couple of things and paused for a snack. Had to keep my strength up, after all.

My list, other than blog post and novel, which are on every to-do list I create, consisted of cleaning chores and cooking chores. I had some semi-ambitious cooking plans so thought I might do a cooking post. As I ran hither and thither around my house attempting to clean, I thought I might do a cleaning post.

I guess my astute readers have by now guessed I am doing a Why I Didn’t Write a Blog Post Today post. On the brighter side, now I can cross Write Blog Post off my list. Hope you’re all enjoying your Saturday.

Do Something Lame

I shall never forget the sad morning when I thought to myself, “I wish it was Thursday instead of Wednesday.” Then I thought, “You idiot, it’s Tuesday.”

Thousands of Monday through Friday wage slaves are nodding wisely in agreement (hey, I MIGHT have 1,000s of readers. It could happen!). Others are shaking their heads in disparagement. I think the ones that annoy me most are those that smugly chirp, “Do something you love. You’ll never work a day in your life.”

I have to take exception to that. I can’t believe there is any job you love SO much that there is NEVER a day that you wouldn’t rather stay in bed an extra hour, go to the beach, stay home and watch old movies, whatever. Perhaps it is a matter of proportion. These people feel that as long as MOST days they are happy to get out of bed and go to their job, they can gloss over the occasional bout of Don’t Wanna. I can only say, “That’s nice for you; the rest of us work for a living.”

Well, what’s wrong with work anyways? Work is what gets us stuff. What else but work gives one the satisfaction of a job well done? May I point out that many of us spend much money and effort WORKING OUT?

I think it is a matter of definition (and not the definition your muscles get if you work out enough; that’s different). I quote Mark Twain in Tom Sawyer. Work consists of anything a body is obliged to do. Play consists of anything a body wants to do. (OK, I’m paraphrasing. I can’t quote, because I don’t have a copy of Tom Sawyer handy).

He’s got something there. Then again, there is the school of thought that says we always do what we want to do. For example, I don’t want to go to work, but I do want to get paid.

I think both schools of thought have a point, but quite frankly, it is not the way people talk and I for one am not going to begin talking that way at my age. I will continue to WORK on my novel, and insist that I am doing something even though I DON’T WANT TO. So there.

Does anybody remember what I was talking about? I think it was Friday. Today is Lame Post Friday, my favorite day for half-baked philosophy. Getting back to the “never work a day in your life” folks, I argue thusly: That sort of job is not easy to come by. In the meantime, I attempt to get at least some enjoyment out of every day. And I can’t imagine any job where the day before my day off is not a pretty darn good day.

Happy Friday, all.

Faithful Memories

On my first visit to the Herkimer County Historical Society, several years ago, I was particularly struck by a portrait of a formidable-looking lady in masculine clothes. Our guide told us it was Margaret Tugor, a local educator of note. I wondered if anyone had written a biography of her. I had a vague thought of writing one myself but, as I don’t know how one goes about writing a biography, it came to nothing.

Flash forward to 2014 when I saw in the Herkimer Telegram that Bill Rosenfeld had written a book called Reminiscences of Margaret Tugor and would be giving a program on it at the society. I made immediate plans to attend.

Margaret Tugor was principal at South School in Herkimer NY in the early 20th century. In those days, the railroad tracks ran down what is now State Street, distinctly separating north and south Herkimer. Many poor immigrants lived in South Herkimer. South School was later renamed the Tugor School to honor Margaret Tugor.

Miss Tugor was a truly memorable character. Although she was a strict disciplinarian, she was very kind to her children and inspired them to do their best. She showed and demanded respect for all.

Mr. Rosenfeld had one prop to illustrate his program: Old Faithful. This was a wooden plank, a little larger than a ruler. It had been made at the Standard Desk Company by a former student. Old Faithful replaced a switch which had previously been used. Yes, Margaret Tugor ran South School at a time when corporal punishment was the accepted mode of discipline. Rosenfeld looked at Old Faithful speculatively and remarked that in memory it had seemed larger.

Mr. Rosenfeld’s program was very informal. He said he did not want to tell what was in the book, because, well, it was in the book. In fact a lot of the people attending had already purchased a copy. I was not one of them, but I am confidently expecting one on my birthday. Rosenfeld opened the floor to questions and said if anybody had any memories of Miss Tugor they could share them.

One man had been a student at South School during Tugor’s tenure and had felt the sting of Old Faithful. Another attendee had not known Tugor but had grown up hearing about her from his parents. A woman had taught at the school after it had been renamed the Tugor School. Many reminiscences were shared.

Rosenfeld said he hoped to inspire others to also record their memories of Margaret Tugor. He said he would like to see a whole shelf full of books about her. Judging from the memories and stories shared, this seems well within the realm of possibility.

I sat jotting notes about the various reminiscences in my notebook. Perhaps I shall write another blog post recounting some of the stories. Or perhaps I should seek out more people with more reminiscences and add to that shelf of books Mr. Rosenfeld would like to see.

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