My byline snap
Notice I said catch-up instead of catsup or ketchup. We all (or those of us who hang on every word of dialogue in Mad Men at least) know there’s only 1 ketchup.
I digress – anyway, here are some blog posts from my other spot out here on the internet, Moms@Work.
Also, excitedly enough for me, the print edition of the May/June issue of Women@Work is now available in all sorts of lobbies and waiting rooms around town. Grab one, why don’t you and read my piece on page 59. Don’t forget to linger over my name on the page listing of contributing writers!
Filed under Boys, Education, family, ideas, moms, Moms@Work, Observations, politics, Schools, Spring, travel, vacation
Maybe 10 or 12 years ago, my friend Amy turned me on to Aimee Mann. I don’t recall exactly how it happened, but it involved a show at The Egg and an extra ticket. I don’t think I had any familiarity with Aimee Mann’s music beyond her ‘Til Tuesday stuff, but she hit me big. There was something appealing about her soft voice and her hard to take lyrics that I found powerful and moving. In the Egg’s lobby, immediately after the show, I bought two of her cds. A fan was born.
Through the years, I’ve listened to Aimee Mann with an enthusiasm which bordered upon obsession. When I was feeling positive about life, she made me appreciate my happiness. During the more emotionally challenging times, I knew that Aimee Mann understood my struggles and she kept me looking ahead. Her music is penetrating and she has written moody music for movies (Magnolia soundtrack) and revisited childhood classics with her contributions to the I Am Sam soundtrack and her cover of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
I caught her show a few years ago in Washington Park, a venue that didn’t necessarily suit her, in my opinion. Thursday night, on the invitation of two dear friends, I headed down to Hudson’s Club Helsinki to check her out again. The gorgeous space that is Helsinki, perfectly matched the intimacy of Mann’s music and she and her band put on a terrific show. Opening act and collaborator, Ted Leo, seemingly the result of some sort of merging of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, was a bit weak as a solo act, yet he shined when he shared the stage with Aimee. She was funny as hell – self-deprecating and quick-witted in the same way her lyrics tend to be. Her observations, along with her black-framed glasses, were sharp and defining and it was a memorable show.
Although I failed at capturing a photo of she and I together, wearing our strikingly similar outfits of short shorts and nerdy eyewear, the night overall was perfect in every way.
Thank you, Amy.
Thank you, Aimee.
This is my happy face.
Maybe it is because this was the first place I ever truly skied. Perhaps it is a result of the stunning panoramic views in every direction. It may be because of the friendliness of every staff member I’ve ever encountered. Or, it might be because of the all-things-considered reasonableness of the price of a lift ticket and rentals. This past Sunday, the spectacular weather was definitely a factor.
Whatever it is, I absolutely love Belleayre Mountain. If you know me, you are aware that my general expectation is not “perfection.” I actually find it to be a bit overrated as a measurement. Yet, Sunday, I heard myself saying “perfect” an uncountable number of times. It truly was a day of skiing that I will have a hard time ever matching, much less surpassing, regardless of how many seasons I revisit those slopes.
Why was it so special? Well, the drive south was beautiful, as winter and spring continued to switch places for a few days. Getting my equipment and lift ticket was a breeze, and I was on the chairlift within 20 minutes of parking my car. The snow was soft, the sun was blazing and the sky was blue. I was traveling light (sans boys), hanging with Aloysius and his next generation, and feeling absolutely giddy on sunshine and life. To all of you who weren’t there – I’m sincerely sorry you missed the opportunity to feel the joy of gliding down a mountain with the warmth of the sun on your back. Or the simple happiness of a tasty beer sipped al fresco midway down the slopes. Bliss.
Upon my return to Albany, the only way I could possibly punctuate a day that glorious was with a terrific dinner at the Capital City Gastropub and my first TasteeFreez visit of the year. It may not get any better than this, but, no worries, I’ll continue to keep trying. Kisses – Silvia
That would be a sundae – with nuts.
Filed under Aloysius, beauty, Eating, Exercise, favorites, Recommendations, road trips, skiing, snow, sunday, upstate New York, winter
Can’t you practically smell them?
Here’s what you missed if you didn’t get to the NYS Museum this past weekend. My photos are preceded by some taken by Times Union staff photographer, Michael P Farrell. I’m in good company!
I spent most of my childhood in a village nestled in a valley between two (smallish) mountains. Each of these mountains was home to a (smallish) ski resort. Despite the proximity of these places to experience skiing, I personally never availed myself of the opportunity. Skiing was always a bit beyond the budget, a fact that I recognized and accepted without question.
My first real chance to ski was as a newlywed. We were visiting with some friends in Vermont and the plan was to ski, with borrowed equipment, from the condo to the base of the hill where we would purchase our lift tickets and enjoy an afternoon of outdoor activity. Sounds fine, right? Skis over my shoulder, I joined the others for the walk through the parking lots of the condo complex. We arrived at the place where we were to snap into our skis and I looked down that hill, the whole time thinking about my lack of health insurance, and just knew it wasn’t happening for me. I happily went back to the condo and read the afternoon away, relieved to have avoided the certainty of a broken leg.
Years later, I had a one hour private ski lesson at Bousquet Mountain in the Berkshires. At that point I was a fairly accomplished cross-country skier and, other than the icy mound I had to face as I disembarked the chairlift, I was pretty comfortable negotiating my way down the hills after my lesson. Skiing was a fun activity, but not something for which I felt a burning excitement. I was content with the affordability of cross-country and I loved the fact that I could keep my equipment in my car and take advantage of the opportunity to ski at a moment’s notice. Winters began to feel much shorter.
Other than a winter triathlon that I participated in (“competed” in being too strong of a word), I didn’t ski again until this year and, I want to tell you, something has changed. Skiing suddenly seems like a lot of fun and I am very much looking forward to getting back on the slopes with the frequency allowed by my budget and calendar. Maybe it’s all the running I’ve been doing, but I find downhill skiing to be easier than cross-country. The ability to turn as I glide down hill, as opposed to skiing down the hills at Albany Muni on long skis without real edges, makes controlling my speed much more manageable. My legs are strong and although I expected to feel some residual soreness after my day at Belleayre, I didn’t have the slightest muscle tenderness to remind me of the fun I had enjoyed.
Speaking of enjoyment, Aloysius and I brought along our generation next boys and planted them in Kids Camp for the day. It was an investment ($100 + lunch), but we enjoyed knowing they were getting some quality instruction (2 to 1 ratio with the instructor) while we were exploring the mountain. We had a great view of their activities from the lodge, beers firmly in hand, and they seemed to be having a good time together. As far as the little guys enjoying the whole skiing thing, the jury is out on that. I can tell you they probably had more fun than their teacher who noted that although the boys might be the best of “vacation buddies,” they certainly weren’t the best “learning buddies.” What can I say – they’re lively boys. They’ve got years ahead of them to learn to love to ski. Trust me.
Filed under Aloysius, Boys, Camp, Exercise, family, friends, Recommendations, skiing, snow, upstate New York, winter
A close second, I might add. Just for the record, my most favorite is “fete,” but enough of language. Here are the pictures which tell a thousand words! Seeing as how everyone at the
fete event looked like a million bucks, let me add a few additional words of the text variety:
- This was a really fun crowd with many familiar faces. Not one person declined to pose for a picture and I didn’t hear a single complaint while I worked the crowd.
- The staff at the
Hilton Crowne Plaza Albany Hotel were all professional and pleasant.
- It was fun shooting pictures of some of the same people from Thursday’s event. It didn’t feel indulgent or redundant – the faces you see in both photo sets are the faces of the folks who make the restaurant industry happen.
- The Times Union merged my two galleries with another set of photos taken during Friday’s Grand Tasting event – you’ll know mine by the credit in the caption.
- Personal shout out to a former student and his lovely fiancee* ~ It made my night to see you! And I told you that you weren’t a Republican – thanks for listening.
*two French words in one post – Mon dieu! That’s 3…
Filed under Albany, art, drinking, Eating, Events, favorites, Food, Local, Observations, Recommendations, Restaurants, SEEN, upstate New York, Wine, winter
Despite the fact that the conditions were dangerously icy yesterday and I fell multiple times, jamming my thumb really hard once and landing on my ass hard enough to create a bruise that I almost felt compelled to name, I absolutely LOVE cross-country skiing. If you haven’t given it a try because you mistakenly believe it to be for old, slow people, you, my friend, are sadly mistaken. We’re at the point where we need a new snowfall to get the conditions back to where they had been for the past couple of weeks, but my own skis are in my car for the duration. There is no better time to be had than tooling around
Albany Muni Capital Hills with a couple of friends and a flask filled with homemade limoncello. That is upstate winter living at its finest!
View from a lower trail
Snow goddesses abound!
Spectacular sunsets, too!
Filed under Albany, beauty, Exercise, favorites, friends, Local, Normanskill, Recommendations, snow, Uncategorized, upstate New York, winter, x-country skiing