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Author Archives: mohawkvalleygirl

My Weekend: Ritz to GRAVE

Me and my disreputable LiFT friends.

I thought if I led with a really cool picture, my readers would forgive me for another post where I ain’t got nuthin’.    Yes, I said “ain’t got nuthin’.”  A double negative, the word “ain’t,” and a phonetic spelling of lazy pronounciation.  Lots of no-nos!  Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! (That was my evil laugh, in case you did not recognize it.)

I had a busy, tiring weekend.  The above photo is members of LiFT Theatre Company participating in the Ritz and Ragtime fundraiser for the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica.  That was my Saturday night, and I spent a good portion of Saturday afternoon getting my costume back together and generally fretting about it, as I tend to do about such things.  We had a lot of fun and got to see one of the famous mansions at Rutger Place.  I’d like to find out more about the Landmarks Society and participate in future fundraisers.

Sunday was taken up with A G.R.A.V.E. Murder, the murder mystery fundraiser for the Herkimer County Historical Society.  That was a lot of fun, too.  We met at my house, so naturally I had to fix a few snacks.  We had a lot of laughs, too.  Now I must get on with learning my lines.  You might think I would already know them, since, you know, I wrote it.  But not so much.  Anyways, it will be easier than learning Shakespeare.

Expect to hear a lot about this in the next few weeks.

After A G.R.A.V.E. Murder, I may take a break from theatrics for a while (even from being a drama queen in real life, if I can manage it).   Many of my friends shake their heads or laugh and point when I say that, but I really need to work on some other things in my life.  On the other hand, if the Landmarks Society wanted to do a murder mystery fundraiser…

 

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What Does My Body Know, Anyways?

I felt sick to my stomach this morning, so I did not feel like going running.  However, I’ve found that sometimes the counterintuitive thing is the right thing to do (OK, why is my computer underlining “counterintuitive,” one of my favorite words by the way.  I looked it up in Webster’s, it is so spelled right!)  (OH, computer wants me to hyphenate it, counter-intuitive.  Well, I’m not going to, so there.)

Where was I?  Ah yes, running, although my body seemed to be telling me not to.  Oh well, my body is a well-known lazy bum, as is my mind on many occasions.  Additionally, I wanted to work up a good sweat so a shower would feel extra good.  So I got ready to go.  No worries about being cold, as we’re getting a last little bit of summer before the equinox.  Oh, anybody who is going to screech, “TMI!” if I mention bras, don’t read the rest of this paragraph, because you know I don’t want to hear that.  I took the unprecedented step of wearing three sports bras.  The first two I put on did not feel secure enough, and I was too lazy to take them off and start over (others who wear D cups or above will understand).

It was grey and foggy out.  I like fog.  It’s so mysterious.  I headed down German Street toward Valley Health.  That is about the only hill I am up to these days, but I hope to build myself back up.  As I slowly made my way up, I reflected that at my age I can’t just jump on and off the running wagon.  It takes much less time to get out of shape and a lot longer to get back in.  By the time I reached the top of the hill I was seriously considering bagging the running and switching to walking.  Ah, long leisurely walks.  How pleasant would that be?  Other people stay in great shape by walking.  That could be me.  Then I thought of a few of my friends that run and felt that I really am not ready to quit that club just yet.

I had originally meant to run immediately back down the hill and around the sidewalks nearer my house.  Then a street that went downhill and ended in a cloud of fog beckoned me.  Of course I knew what was there:  it is a housing development I have run through many times.  Still, it felt like more of an adventure to turn.  I ended up not going down the hill (which I would only have had to run back up) but took the next left.  I admired some of the houses.  Many were ranch houses build into hills so the garage was in the basement.  That would be handy.

There are some major hills in that area (I call it “the suburbs,” although I know that is not strictly accurate), but I managed to avoid them.  Eventually I made my way to Lou Ambers Drive so I could stop and get a drink at the spring.  I looked up the hill to Herkimer College and sighed.  Another week, maybe two, and I might be ready for that one again.  The spring water tasted good, but I still had a ways to go to meet my goal of 36 minutes (I did 33 last week).  I’m sure those times don’t seem very impressive to some of you.  Well, it’s where I’m at, I might as well own it.

I ended up running faster as I neared the 36 minute mark, because I wanted to get all the way home and not run for more than 36 minutes (hey, don’t judge, I was tired!).  I almost ran too fast and had to go by the house or run up and down the driveway a couple of times (don’t judge, but you can laugh at me if you like, I do).

As I finished my cool-down walk, I realized I was still sick to my stomach.  At first I thought, so much for the counterintuitive solution.   Then I thought, hey, I’m no worse off.  My stomach may still have been upset and this way, I got a run in.  And now I’ve gotten my blog post written.  On the rest of my Sunday chores!  I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

 

More Fun with my Theatre Friends

I am sitting on my couch in my husband’s bathrobe (oh, don’t say TMI, just be happy I’m not sitting around naked!), waiting till it’s time to get ready for tonight’s adventure, which I wrote a blog post about two days ago (perhaps you read it).  I did accomplish one thing I meant to do: I emailed out character sheets and scripts to the cast of my next theatrical endeavor.

They put my name on the flier! I’m really on the spot now!

A G.R.A.V.E Murder is an interactive murder mystery dinner theatre.  I’ve done a few such in the area. Engaged To Be Murdered  and He Laughed Himself to Death at the Morning Star Methodist Church in Ilion were presented under the auspices of Ilion Little Theatre.  Who Shot J.S.?  was produced by and for the Herkimer County Historical Society.   Rubbed Out at Ruby’s was a slightly different interactive murder mystery presented by LiFT Theatre Company at the Overlook Mansion in Little Falls.   So you see, I have the bonafides when it comes to murdering people theatrically (my computer is telling me “bonafides” is not a word, but I don’t have time to look it up) (full disclosure:  I probably do have time to look it up; I’m just too tired and agitated).

Where was I?  Ah yes, A G.R.A.V.E. Murder.  G.R.A.V.E. stands for Ghost Retrieval and Verification Enterprises.  We are a company of ghost hunters, and our fearless leader was recently killed during a ghost-hunting expedition.  Were the evil ghosts he was hunting responsible?  Or was it one of his earthly colleagues?  Hmmmm…..

We begin rehearsals tomorrow (murder mysteries don’t take nearly as many rehearsals as full-length plays).  I have gathered a wonderful cast of marvelously talented people (I don’t say that just to butter them up; it is quite true and I’m sure they would agree with me).

My co-workers have been shaking their heads at me, reminding me that I had vowed to take a theatrical break after The Tempest,  yet here I am, pulling out Ruby’s long cigarette holder (don’t worry; they’re fake cigarettes) and writing murder mysteries.  But these aren’t full-length plays!  Tonight shouldn’t even really count, since I didn’t have any lines to learn.  All right, for the murder mystery I have some lines to learn (I’m not the dead body, after all).  Not too many!  Oh well, maybe after Oct. 14 I will take a real break.  If I don’t, you are welcome to say “I told you so.”  I will be too busy having fun with my theatre friends to worry about it.

A G.R.A.V.E. Murder  will take place at the Mohawk American Legion on Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m.  Cost is $22 per person and includes a delicious roast beef dinner.  There will be a Chinese auction as well as prizes for some who correctly guess the murderer.  Tickets may be purchased at the historical society at 400 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling 315-866-6413.

 

I Like Monsters

Hello, and welcome to Lame Post Friday.  I went running earlier, hoping to offer a Running Commentary Post.  Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, depending on how your tastes run, I just don’t feel like doing that.  I feel like posting pictures from monster movies.  Since I indulge myself on Fridays (and most other days when it comes to this blog) (don’t judge me), here is Bela Lugosi in a publicity shot from The Wolfman.

This is how I will look on Sunday, contemplating the approach of Monday.

I actually had been scrolling down Facebook trying to talk myself out of my monster movie picture cop-out when I saw this picture of Bela and I just couldn’t resist.  I went on to see what else I could find, skipping around to my favorite movie groups and pages.

Icons in coffins, what’s not to like?

I believe this is Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre (in the back).  I’m almost sure I’ve seen this before and cannot believe I have not used it in a blog post yet.  If I repeat myself, well, some things are worth repeating.

This is probably what he would look like riding a subway.

When we think of monsters, especially movie monsters, naturally we would think of Frankenstein’s monster, one of the first and one of the best.  I shall conclude with a less literary monster in another publicity shot.

I never knew that magazine had centerfolds.

Full disclosure:  I am not that familiar with the Planet of the Apes movies.  I think Steven and I watched the first one once, but I don’t remember that much about it.  I think we saw the remake and were unimpressed.  Then again, one could argue that these movies are more sci fi than horror.  But why argue on Lame Post Friday?  I’m going to have another glass of wine.  I hope you’ll tune in again for my other weekend posts.

 

Ruby But Not Rubbed Out

What an awesome poster!

I thought I would use today’s post to plug a fundraiser I will be privileged to participate in on Saturday.  “Ritz and Ragtime” will benefit the Landmark Society of Greater Utica on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Roscoe Conkling House, 3 Rutger Park.  There will be food, drinks, and entertainment.  I will be part of the last mentioned.

I’m in the red dress, being strangled.

Longtime readers may remember a little event called Rubbed Out at Ruby’s, which was presented by LiFT Theatre Company at the Overlook Mansion in Little Falls.  I wrote it and was featured as Ruby Van Rensselaer, a rich society lush, uh, I mean lady.  I am going to reprise the role on Saturday.  We aren’t going to present the murder mystery, or even a real story.  We just get to dress up and interact with the crowd in 1920’s character.  It should be fun!

I’m not sure how many of the original Ruby’s cast will be there, but I know some of us are really looking forward to it.

We are rather a suspicious-looking lot, aren’t we?

I wonder how it will be to mingle in character and not have to be dropping clues or even talking about the murder.   I’m sure my improvisational skills are up to it (in other words, I like to make shit up).  And if I miss the dead body, I’m sure there will be other murder mysteries. In fact, I may have a blog post about one soon (preview of coming attractions).  In the meantime, here’s a chalk outline to dream about:

Alas, no chalk outlines on Saturday!

 

 

I Think the Word was “Conflict”

It is Wuss-out Wednesday, and it is going to be a Wuss-out Wednesday blog post, and you can read it and enjoy it or ignore it.  You can do that as a reader.  As a blogger, I have to post (“The blog must go on!” I say in a dramatic tone of voice, posing in a half swoon, with one wrist to my forehead) (THAT’S IT!!! It’s Wrist to Forehead Wednesday! Damn!)

OK, now I’m getting silly.  I just searched WordPress blogs for Writer’s Block and find that I am not alone.  Oddly enough, not one of the posts I looked at claimed that “there just ain’t no sech animal” as Writer’s Block, a contention I have heard on many occasions (with or without the hillbilly wording).  They may have something at that, as I see I am over 100 words already.  It is almost never impossible to write SOMETHING.  But to write something good?  As Hamlet once emoted, “Ay, there’s the rub!”

I spent my breaks at work trying to work on a project which ought to have been done by now (I dare not tell you what project, because I don’t want people who know about it to know it is not yet finished) (in fact, already I’ve said too much).  I couldn’t do it!  I managed to write some notes, which is more useful than it sounds.  Then I started to write another note and completely blanked on a word.

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT???  I asked myself.  Have I gone senile?  Is it early onset Alzheimer’s? Yes, I am a self-dramatizing fool (see wrist to forehead pose in the first paragraph).  I daresay I’m no stupider than I was yesterday (cue jokes about how that is quite stupid enough).   Still, it is upsetting when one cannot think of a word or even a reasonable substitute.

I think I like it better when I share pictures from monster movies on these days when I just don’t have a blog post.  I may do that tomorrow on Non-Sequitur Thursday.  As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

 

Tired, But I Ran!

I have been trying to get back into the running habit, with some small amount of success.  I ran two consecutive weekend days, took yesterday off, and managed to run today.  Having written no blog post earlier (I DID write while on break and work AND after I got home, but it was not a blog post, sorry), I will attempt a Running Commentary, even as the little devil on my shoulder (you know, like they used to show on the cartoons, angel on one shoulder, devil on the other?) is whispering, “Tired Tuesday!  Make it another Tired Tuesday! You qualify!  You deserve it!”

Ahem, trying not to be distracted, I continue.  It was chilly and foggy this morning, but this afternoon was one of those when Mother Nature reminds us that it is still summer, even in the Mohawk Valley. I prefer to run in the fall weather.  I told myself that it certainly was not in the 80s, which I have run in, so I should just get out there and do it.  So I did.

Very slowly.

I had gone about three steps when I began to wish I had remembered to stretch before running.  I have gotten out of the habit of stretching before a run.  It is hard enough for me to start running anyways; I figured stretching was just more time for me to talk myself out of it (although full disclosure:  I have never talked myself out of running once the sports bras were on or even out of the drawer).  Additionally:  most sources say you should run in place for a minute and then stretch.  Oh, that is way too much trouble.  I thought, I begin running slowly, that will be my warm up.  And it has worked all right.  However, lately I have been thinking a few little stretches before the run might be a good thing to do.  Only now I am out of the habit.  Oh, the trials and tribulations!

So today I thought, should I pause right now and stretch?  I had just waved at a couple of neighbors sitting on their front porch, so I felt self-conscious.  Then again, they probably would not think anything of it.  Then again, stopping running was what I wanted to do more than anything else just then, so I was afraid of my ability to begin again once stopped.  I kept going.

It was soon apparent that I was not up to a long run.  That was OK, I told myself.  This was a mid-week run.  Twenty minutes was all right.  Just enough to get a little exercise, stay in the running habit.  No problem.  Oh, but it took a long time.  And it was warm.  Every bit of shade I ran through, I appreciated.  Of course I have had much hotter runs, and certainly more humid runs.  I have had runs where my feet, knees and back hurt more, where I have been longer without running, where it has been more difficult to breathe.

In short, I need to count my blessings.  I ended up running for 30 minutes.  This is how long I was running last week.  Sunday I upped the time by the recommended 10 percent to 33 minutes.   Oh, don’t shake your head at me and ask if I couldn’t possibly have lasted three minutes more!  Maybe I could have.  And maybe that three minutes would have tired me out so much that I really would have had a Tired Tuesday post, after NOT getting done the writerly chores I finished before making this post.

I’m going to call that a win.  I hope to see you all on Wuss-out Wednesday, for which I will make no promises.