Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sunday Explorations

Hey, Friends.

This past Sunday was a pretty nice day here, so I decided to go out and do a little exploring. Keep in mind that a nice day in early March in New York means that is was a balmy 41 and sunny outside. That might not sound too great to you, depending on where you live, but since it came after two big snowstorms with another storm looming on the horizon? It was pretty damn nice.

Daylight Savings Time pretty much kicked my ass. After a morning of lazing about and drinking coffee to try to feel like a functional human being again, I decided I should try to go out and enjoy the nice weather. Where to go? I didn't want to go anywhere I had been too recently -- it gets boring after a while. I wasn't sure exactly what trails or parks would be clear of the recent snow, either. The rail trail looked okay in some places -- the warmer (warmish? Probably still counts as too cold to be outdoors if you live someplace where it's perpetually 70 or the like.)  weather had melted a lot of the snow on paved surfaces. So...maybe someplace where there is some pavement would be okay.

I decided to head out to the Roosevelt Farm Lane Trail because I remembered a lot of it being paved.

Apparently my memory is for crap, or I really overestimated the melting abilities of the sunny days after the last storm. This is what I found upon my arrival:

Well that's more snow than I was expecting.

You can't really tell from the picture, but off to the right is the path. Clearly other souls braver than I had already been there and had hiked right on in. They probably also had the foresight to wear something other than sneakers when they set off. I did not make such a wise decision. Hiking around with cold, wet feet for a couple of hours was not on my list of things to do that day. This was as close as I got.

I got back in the car and started driving. I didn't know where I wanted to go, so I figured I would just decide on the fly. It makes it more of an adventure, right? I'm so glad we agree, Friends.

I was headed South when I saw the sign for Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel. I drive past this sign fairly frequently and always mean to stop but never do. Let me fill you in on the background.

I have been there exactly one time. A friend was having her all-in-one "Get Saved" Baptism/Communion/Confirmation celebrated there. I had never seen it done that way before, but it was for an adult so maybe that is how it works. My family always went to Holy Trinity and we had done theses things in stages: Baptism as a baby, First Communion when you were little, and Confirmation in high school. My point, and I do have one other than discussing religious ceremonies, was that I remembered the chapel being very pretty. It also had a really cool area where the Stations of the Cross were outside. I know, you might not find that to be something that should be qualified as "cool". Personally, I had never seen the Stations of the Cross anywhere other than spread out along the walls inside of a church so my mind was blown. 

Back to the original exploration story.

I saw the sign and decided that it would be a perfect time to stop and see the chapel. They have mass there, so I assume everything will be plowed and clear. 

I should probably mention that the chapel is on the property of the old Hudson River State Hospital, a former psychiatric hospital that has been abandoned for years. You can find some shots of the interiors of the buildings right over here and here. Added bonus: there are also rumors that the place might be haunted.

Feel free to call me a dumbass, Friends, but I kind of forgot about that part of it. Yeah, the place had been closed for years and the buildings abandoned, but I wasn't planning on going in to any of them. I was just going to drive through a little bit of the campus to reach the chapel. Shouldn't be anything too bad, right?


So very wrong, and I'm glad I had this idea in the middle of a sunny afternoon. That might have made it worse, honestly, because I could very clearly see that there was not another living soul around.

This is one of the first buildings you come to on the campus:

Rather obvious that no one has been here for a hot second.

It gets even better when you get a closer view. Yes, I did get out of the car to get a better look.

I kinda feel like the zombie apocalypse might start in a building that looks just like this.

Not just abandoned, but condemned! If the big red X doesn't give you a slight case of the heebie jeebies, then the orange sign denoting some kind of danger ought to do it. I didn't feel the need to explore any closer than that at the time. A big red X generally translates to "It might fall on your head". I've also read way too many books about such uplifting subjects as the Black Death and other plagues, so my brain dredged up the fun fact that it could also denote that there were bodies inside. I know that's ridiculous and far-fetched. Doesn't stop my brain from acting like some sort of demented Filofax.

Hindsight being what it is, that little white area on the right-hand side of the door intrigues me. I didn't really notice it until looking at the picture on my phone once I was home. I honestly can't remember if that was a hole in the door and you can see inside, or if it was the only bit of shiny metal on the door and it is reflecting a shadow.

Back in the car, and the drive through the campus continues. There are plenty more abandoned and boarded buildings. You turn right and go past an area with a bunch of low buildings, and that was probably the creepiest part to me. They were far from being in the worst shape -- much better than Pilgrim Home in the shots above -- but it felt like there should have been lots of people around. 

I kept following the signs for the chapel, and on the next turn the road runs along a stone wall with a gate in it.

Gate to Nowhere

I don't know what's on the other side of the gate. Maybe it is private property. Maybe it's a cemetery. It might be a whole lot of nothing. All I could see were trees. I will note that the gate seems to be the sturdiest part of the wall, as most of it looks like it may tip over at any minute.

The road goes down a fairly steep hill, and eventually you get to the entrance to Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel.

Hello, Angel! I'm so glad you look less creepy than the rest of the property!

Continue down the road to the final curve, and you are greeted by a statue.

This is good. I feel like I could definitely find sanctuary here if zombies should come busting out of that first building I saw.

The chapel looked beautiful, situated among all of the trees. I really don't know why I didn't take a picture of the chapel itself.

Unfortunately, nothing beyond the parking lot itself seemed to have been cleared. My seasonally inappropriate choice of shoes had once again thwarted my plans. I would not be getting a close look at the Stations of the Cross on this day. This was the best shot I could manage.

You can kind of see them, along the wall in the back.

There was also a small shrine. I'm assuming it is to the Virgin Mary, since they usually are. Again, snow thwarted my attempts to get closer.

I didn't notice until I was turning the car around that there was also a big crucifix outside on the other side of the chapel. That part was still covered by snow. Clearly I will have to return again on a day when there is no snow on the ground.

I headed back up to Creepy Land and my exit from the campus. It almost felt like some kind of warning when exiting and seeing the angels' backs.

You're on your own after this point, kid.

You can sort of see the low buildings I was talking about in the background of that shot. 

This would also be the time when I realized that, at some point, I had turned off the radio in my car. Why? I have so many reasons.

-- Even though you are absolutely allowed to go to the chapel and it is open to the public, it still kind of felt like I was trespassing on the drive down there. I don't want to get busted by driving around with my radio blasting.

--It felt disrespectful. Not just to the chapel, but to the whole area. It was totally quiet beyond the sounds of traffic from the major roadways nearby. That shouldn't be a surprise since the place has been abandoned for years. It seemed wrong to disrupt that stillness with my radio.

--I don't know about you, but I always find myself turning down the radio in my car when I'm following directions, especially near the destination. It's not like music is suddenly going to impact my vision and make me unable to read road signs or numbers on buildings, but I do it anyway.

--I want to know if something is suddenly going to pop out at me. It could be wildlife scampering across the road, a security guard telling me to get the hell out of there, etc. (Like zombies! Cause that idea hasn't left my brain since seeing the first building.)

After leaving the campus and returning to civilization, blessedly filled with traffic and living people, I decided to head home. That was enough fun for me on my Sunday.

So what did we learn today, Friends?

  1. I really need to learn to wear appropriate footwear on my adventures.
  2. Abandoned buildings can still give off a creepy vibe, even in the middle of the day.
  3. My imagination is more than happy to assume the zombie apocalypse could start at any second given even the slightest provocation.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

I Didn't Say It Was a Good Decision

Hey, Friends.

It's been a while. I didn't really have much to say, so rather than bore you all to tears I just didn't post anything. You didn't miss much. We had a storm here in the North East at the end of last week. You might have heard about it. I lost power for about a day, which is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I have friends who still haven't gotten their power restored yet. I consider myself lucky that mine was restored so quickly. I think it also helps that I live in a more heavily populated area near major intersections that need functioning traffic lights. There are some pretty terrible drivers on a good day, but it gets much worse when they are free-styling how to deal with a busy intersection.

And now it's snowing again. It's supposed to be a pretty bad storm according to the forecast. The library even closed for the day, although I already had the day off since I have to work Saturday.

What's the point of my rambling? I'm getting there. Just chill out, have a cup of coffee (that's what I'm doing) and relax.

My parents are away for a few days, so I have to go and take care of their cats -- both indoor and the feral cats that hang out in their yard. I stopped by last night and loaded all of them up on food in case the roads were too bad to get over there this morning. (Don't worry about the outdoor cats, Friends. My parents have built them little houses in various parts of the yard, complete with warm fuzzy blankets inside to snuggle up and keep warm.)

I woke up this morning to see the alert that work was closed. I was more than a little surprised to look outside and see that the roads looked perfectly fine. Less than an inch of snow, and that was only sticking to the trees and grass. This was great though because now I could go and feed the cats at my parents' house again. I still wasn't thrilled that it was snowing again, but at least no shoveling was involved at this point.

This is my "not happy about the snow" face, taken in my parents' drive way. It's also my "I'm not putting on makeup just to go buy coffee and feed the cats" look.

All the little fur babies were happy to see me. The indoor cats were all lonely and wanted to be cuddled. The outdoor cats were stoked to see me and met me at their food bowls. One of them was giving me a look that said, "You're late. Breakfast was expected much earlier than this."

I went home, and the snow kind of tapered off to nothing. Not that I want to get all of the snow that was in the forecast, but what the hell?

I got distracted by the internet, and a couple hours later I noticed that it was snowing again. Maybe the storm is arriving now. Let's go look outside and see what's happening! I can at least fill the bird feeder. (I make my own fun. And it might be of the boring variety. Sorry if you're just figuring that out right about now.)

Nothing. There is a whole lot of not very exciting things happening.

And then the coffee kicked in and my brain decided to start coming up with ideas. Enjoy my inner monologue, Friends.

The roads still look perfectly fine. Maybe the storm is just arriving a little later than expected. It's not snowing that hard right now...and I'm kind of bored already. I'll be stuck in the house later if it gets really bad out, so why not take advantage of the situation and go out and take some pictures? That is an awesome idea, brain! But where to go? Don't want to go too far just in case the storm suddenly kicks in to high gear...but some pictures with the snow would be really pretty. Rail trail, maybe? It should still be clear and passable if the roads are clear, right? Worst case scenario it's not and a different destination will have to be chosen. Decision = made.

So I threw on some boots and a coat and headed off to one of the trail heads. In what should be a surprise to no one, I was the only person crazy enough to be there today. Shocker.

It was snowing a bit harder than when I left, but nothing too bad. I figured it would still be fine to walk around for a while and take a few pictures.

Looks fine, if a bit desolate. 

The creek looks pretty

I had just finished trying to get the above picture when I noticed that the snow had started to change. No longer was it the little flurry it had been when I left my house, or even the bigger flakes that it had been when I arrived. It had now progressed to little freaking pellets that were bouncing off of my coat and everything else. I decided that was my cue to leave.

I hadn't gotten very far on my walk at all, so it was a short trip back to my car. I tried to get a picture of the little ice/snow pellet things that were sticking to my hair and coat. It looked like some had dumped little Styrofoam balls all over me. 

The picture came out weird, Friends. That's the best description I have for it. I don't know if it's because I was wearing mostly black and everything else was very light colored. Maybe the camera (I use my iPhone, kids) couldn't focus well on the little white pellets falling in front of the white picture on my hoodie. Maybe my hand was a lot less steady than I thought it was. It came out with this white foggy thing going on in the picture -- not quite a double image, but not really a continuous streak like my hand was in motion. I have no idea what the hell I did to make this happen, and probably couldn't do it again if I tried.

Look at the little pellets!  Also, the rabbit on my hoodie might be possessed. 

I'm happy to report that even with the little pellets falling and my hoodie looking like it has it's own ghostly aura attached to it, I made it home without a problem. 

Was it the best decision to go out and try to take pictures during a snow storm? Probably not. Don't be like me, Friends. Stay inside where you are probably nice and warm. Watch the snow fall and drink a cup of hot cocoa or something.

**2:15 update**

It would seem that storm has finally decided to get serious about the snow. Good thing I headed home when I did. 

I learned nothing from my earlier adventure and went outside to shoot this for you, Friends. And then I proceeded to shut the back door hard enough on the way out that the lock flipped, and I had to trudge around to the front door to get back inside. Again, don't be like me. Stay the hell inside and take pictures from the window. I should really listen to my own advice.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Art Show

Hey there, Friends.

You might recall that last year, right about this same time, there was an art exhibit that featured the talents of the library district's staff. Don't remember? Feel free to click right here for a recap.

Last year I really had no idea what I was doing, or what to submit. You were all kind enough to give me some feedback, and I narrowed down my choices from there.

I still don't really know what I'm doing. I like taking pictures. It's a hobby. I don't expect to make any money from it. I have no idea how artists determine which works to show in an exhibit, or what to call them, or what price to list. My only goal is not to come off sounding like a pretentious ass.

I wanted to be a little more focused this year, or at last give the pictures some sort of unifying theme. I decided that I would only use pictures that I had taken at the Boardman Road Branch Library over the course of the last year. I could call the series Boardman Views and not worry about coming up with individual names. Offers accepted for the price. I'll be amazed if I get any, but that's not really the point.

I narrowed it down to twelve that I had taken that I really liked. I showed that group to my parents and had them choose a final five. I'm not impartial. I love them all.

Without further ado, here are my contributions to this year's staff art exhibit.

My little part of the exhibit

Turkey out for a stroll on a snowy day

What's the story, Morning Glory?

Butterfly in the garden

Mushroom near the parking lot

Snowy view

Thursday, January 11, 2018

In Case You Haven't Noticed, I'm Awkward

Hey, Friends.

Ever had one of those nights where you just cannot get to sleep? That was me last night. Oh, I tried distracting myself -- reading, watching television. Nothing was working. I tried listening to some music. That helped somewhat, but instead of drifting away into peaceful slumber I wound up in that place of sleepy introspection. You know that place -- when your brain starts to ponder and dwell on things, and you cannot figure out how you got on this train of thought but now you're kind of stuck in this inescapable loop of navel gazing and self analysis. It's not a bad thing, but it kind of makes you want to punch your brain and ask why you have to do this now when you just want to get some damn sleep.

Last night my brain decided that it would be super fun to lay there, half asleep, and dredge up a memory from ages ago that I hadn't thought about in years and use it as a platform to to go over all the ways I am a socially awkward human being. Oh yeah.

I fully admit to being awkward in social situations. I know this. I'm much more of an introvert than people may believe.

For some reason it never bothers me at work. I can talk to the patrons with no problem whatsoever. Part of that is that I have been there long enough that I know what I'm doing and it has to be something truly weird to stump me. I know part of it is also that I have on my "work mode" hat, and I know that dealing with  the public is a large part of my job. It's not that I don't like people. I love people. It can just be very draining at times, and sometimes I just want to go home and not see another person for a while. I need to recharge a bit.

It's definitely when it comes to being social that I tend to get fucking awkward.

As odd as it may seem, I kind of prefer being in a large group and not knowing anyone. Seems like it should be the opposite, right? I'm fine with the introductions, chit chat and small talk. In a large group odds are there will be someone there who is much more outgoing and charismatic, who will draw people in and keep the conversations going. I'm perfectly happy to hang back and let them do the talking, join in if I have something relevant to say after getting more of a feel for the group. I'm not saying it always works well. Sometimes the person dominating the conversation turns out to be a total self-absorbed tool. That's my time to wander off and find another conversation, or see if a side conversation sparks off with other people who are getting the same vibes.

I'm much worse in small groups. There's not as much chance to hang back. There is more pressure to feel like I have to say something to ward off one of those uncomfortable silences when everyone just stands there looking at each other. I know it's not my duty to carry the conversation or anything, but I end up feeling like I have to say something. I guess that makes me a nervous talker as well. I don't want people to be uncomfortable or have a shitty time, so I will just babble to fill the void, hoping someone else joins in.

I'm both better and worse one on one. I like to think that my social awkwardness just makes me complex, but I'm sure I also come off as a hot mess. All evidence in this post to the contrary, I suck at talking about myself. Give me any other topic to talk about and I'll be much better. Ask me direct questions and I'm more than happy to answer, but my brain will literally draw a blank if you start with some random, "So, tell me about yourself," nonsense. I will not be able to come up with a single interesting thing to say beyond my name and where I work. How I wish I was kidding. Happens all of the damn time. It's like I suffer mass amnesia on all other facts about myself -- hobbies, goals, dreams. Nope. All gone.

But wait, Friends, it gets even better!

If I actually get the chance to meet someone I admire? Guaranteed that I'm going to be a mess. I like to think part of it is just me being starstruck. I don't know about you, but I don't often get to meet people whose work I have admired for years, most particularly in a one-on-one scenario. I try to talk myself into a place of calm, give myself pep talks: remind myself that he or she is just a person, just tell them I love their work or why it has struck such a chord. I can do this. I could write essays about this shit, so just gather up some of those words and use them. Never works.

That exact situation is what my brain had decided to ruminate on last night. I'm going to keep it vague, but several years ago I had a chance to meet an author whose books I loved. Did I tell him that I loved his latest book? No. Did I find the words to describe how much I liked a certain passage he had written. Nope. What did I say? I told him that he smelled really good. He laughed and said it was one of the nicer things someone had said to him. I was mortified. Why in the name of all that is holy had that decided to pop out of my mouth?! I mean, it was totally true, but damn. I really wished that I had just stayed in my silent mode rather than blurt out the first ridiculous thing that popped into my head.

Why am I sharing all of this with you, Friends? Well, consider it fair warning if we ever meet -- especially if you are someone I admire. I'm almost certain to make that go horribly wrong in some manner. I promise I'm much better with basically anyone know, as long as you don't ask me to tell you all about myself.

I'm also hoping that by writing this all out my brain has finished sorting through all of this nonsense and I will be able to just drift off to sleep tonight with picking up where I left off last night. This could also backfire completely and be utmost in my mind because I just wrote about it. I'll find out one way or the other pretty soon. I know I get shy and weird. I don't like being the center of attention. I have accepted the fact that I'm very awkward at times. I just want to be able to get some sleep and not dwell on it tonight.

Kudos to you if you made it to the end of this rambling. Give yourself a cookie or something as a reward.

And no, we're even going to go into dating. I'm actually pretty good on a date. Before that? Not so much. The guy cannot be subtle about it if he is interested. I will not even remotely pick up on it. I just assume he is being nice and friendly. The fact that he might be flirting doesn't even register. So yeah -- still awkward.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Rest In Peace, Wiz

Hey, Friends.

Sad news to report today. My oldest cat, Wiz, passed away this afternoon. You might recall having seen a picture of her wearing her jaunty Easter chapeau at some point.

Easter Wiz

She was very mellow, and always down for wearing a costume, even if she didn't look terribly amused about it.

If you want to be technical about it, she was my brother's cat. She opted not to make the move to Texas with his family a few years ago. By that I mean she hid in their house in an unreachable place until three days after they had left, then she finally came out.

Wiz came to live with me when I bought my house about 7 years ago. She was here when I adopted Jazz-kitty, and she made it very clear that she was the one in charge. Most of the time Wiz ignored Jazzy, sometimes she would give Jazz-kitty a smack just for existing, but they would huddle together if something scary happened - like a loud noise, or anyone they considered "stranger danger" to be in the house. For the most part they got along just fine, like regular siblings.

Can't leave if you can't get to your suitcase

Wiz never was big on traveling, and she never wanted me to go anywhere either. She knew what the suitcase meant and would camp herself on top of it to try to deter me from leaving.

This is my rug.

One of her favorite things to do was to lay on her rug on the front porch. She got all the benefits of hearing and smelling the exciting things outdoors without actually having to go out there. Each autumn we had to go through a period of me trying to prove to her that it had indeed gotten cold out again. This meant having to open the door to the front porch several times each evening so Wiz could wander out there and determine that, "Oh, it's not warm out here any more. Guess I'll come back inside." It usually took a week or so for her to grudgingly accept that she would have to wait for spring and stop crying at the door constantly.

As I'm sure you are all aware, here in New York we are currently having a winter storm. I never thought I would say this, but I am so thankful for the shitty weather! Work closed early today, so I never had to go in. I got to be here at home with Wiz. I was able to be here with her, to cuddle her and tell her how much I loved her when she passed away. For that I am extremely grateful. She wasn't alone, and Jazz-kitty was nearby looking on.

Snuggling on the couch last night

Rest in Peace, my sweet Wiz. (2001-2018)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Year In Pictures

Hey, Friends.

I know now is the time when everyone starts writing up their year in review, reflecting on the past and looking toward the future. I'm not going to do that - not really.

2017 was a shitty year. I'm not talking about politics (although that does contribute to it). Everything and anything that could go wrong seemed to feel the need to do so this past year. There were good things too, of course. I'm not trying to get all maudlin on you. Let's just say I'm looking forward to the new year and leaving this one behind.

So, rather than rehash the entirety of the year, I decided to do it with pictures. I know, I know, that everyone does that "Best 9" thing on Instagram. I'm guilty of having done it as well. Mine always seems to come out with a group from the same time period, so I decided to go back and find the picture with the most "likes" from each month. Since you seem to enjoy reading my ramblings here...well, I assume you do since you keep coming back...I'll give you the story behind each one. Okay, so I'll give you as much of the story as I remember. Don't get too excited. Sometimes it wasn't much beyond, "Oohh, that's pretty!" or "That looks so cool."

Ready to go on a year long adventure with me? Let's do this thing.


It's a turkey in the snow. I took this from the window next to my desk at work. I love the turkeys! They wander around the property at work all of the time. I don't get turkeys by my house. Work is like my own little wildlife safari some days.


I have no clue. We shall label this as "Oohh, pretty!"  I thought I knew where I had taken it, but looking closer that can't be right. 


It snowed last March. A lot. That would be my house, flying snow courtesy of my Dad and his snowblower. That would also be my abandoned shovel sticking out of the ground, waiting to dig out the snow underneath my car.


I made this!  My friend and I went to Paintbrushes and Party to do this very cool Hamsa Hand painting. We got a hand template to trace, and the rest of the painting was up to each individual.


This was taken at Mole Mole, which you can probably guess as it says that on the car door. It was also my birthday.


This was taken at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York. I was in Liverpool for a work conference. We got to eat dinner at the zoo as part of the conference, and then had time to walk around the zoo while it was closed to the public. It was very cool.


This was taken in the garden at Vanderbilt Mansion. I love walking the grounds there. Instead of taking a picture of the statue from the front with the reflecting pool, I went around behind it. 


We were at Holy Cow Ice Cream. I went with my brother, my niece, and my nephew. It must have been shortly before the end of the kidlets summer visit if my brother was here. The sky looked really cool, and I remember my nephew was super tired after baseball camp at Marist. This might also have been the day he declared that he had "Swamp butt". I still don't want to know what that means.


View of Poughkeepsie taken from the Walkway Over the Hudson. The views are always gorgeous, and I go there frequently. 


No, I did not go to Texas this October. They were busy recovering from the hurricane that had recently devastated parts of the state. This is from the Wikipedia entry, if you didn't click the link.

"Making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, Harvey inflicted tremendous damage across Aransas County.[48] Wind gusts were observed up to 132 mph (212 km/h) near Port Aransas.[49] In Rockport, entire blocks were leveled by the hurricane's winds. The city's courthouse was severely damaged when a cargo trailer was hurled into it, coming to a stop halfway through the structure. The gymnasium of the Rockport-Fulton High School lost multiple walls while the school itself suffered some damage.[48] A Fairfield Inn in the city was severely damaged.[50]One person died in a house fire in the city, unable to be rescued due to the extreme weather conditions.[51] As of August 28, an estimated 30–40 people remain unaccounted for across Aransas County, including 9 in Rockport. Nearly every structure in Port Aransas suffered damage.[48] By the afternoon of August 26, more than 20 in (510 mm) of rain had fallen in the Corpus Christi metropolitan area.[37] All of Victoria was left without water and most had no power.[48]"

My brother and his family were lucky. They were away during the hurricane, and they suffered very minimal damage. The area around them was not so lucky. So no, I didn't go to visit this year. Instead you get to look at a picture of a sunflower in the garden at work.


Taken at Esopus Meadows Preserve. I love that sign, and the way the clouds and the sun were creating such different lights. You can also see the lighthouse in the background. It was right after this that I got home to find out the sad news about my neighbor.


Right now you're probably wondering, "WTF? It's an envelope."  Yes, it is. It's a card I got from two of my favorite little library patrons. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and people liked it. The best pictures aren't always fancy.

Officially, Friends, we have reached the end of our year in review. Wasn't that fun? I thought so. I decide to add a couple of bonus pictures that I really loved and which didn't make the list. Read on if you wish, or feel free to quit now. You might already have quit and I'm just talking to myself at this point. 


Lili (my niece) and I went to see One Republic at SPAC back in August. It was a road trip and concert experience all in one! We go to a concert each summer she comes up to visit. Who knows what we will see next year? I had been hoping to take her to see Heffron Drive again this past summer, but there was no tour here which makes me sad. :(

Bonus #2

I really love this picture. No one else seems to love it quite as much. To each their own. This was taken in an abandoned building in Beacon, down by Long Dock Park. I was out for a walk/hike with my friend whom I always refer to here as Gertie. I wrote a whole post about it back in April. See the cool things you miss out on when you won't go play in the slightly decrepit abandoned buildings with me, Gertie? You could have seen this up close and personal. 

And now we really are at the end, Friends. 2017 is almost over, and I say good riddance to it. I hope 2018 brings all of us love, happiness, good health -- all the good stuff. See you next year!

**And PLEASE: if you go out and party this New Year's Eve, please be responsible! Don't drink and drive. Or do anything else and drive. Be sober if you are driving, that's the point.**

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Follow Up That No One Asked For

Hey, Friends.

I know, I know. It's been a while. I hope you are all doing fine, celebrating a very nice holiday season.

I meant to write this up and post it last night, but then I got distracted by following Chrissy Tiegen and her LAX to LAX flight adventure. I'm not saying it's a good excuse, but it is what it is. (Okay, so I'm still kind of following it now. Will she make it to Tokyo this time? Will she end up back at LAX again?) I'm going to try not to be distracted and get this finished.

As you can see from the above title, I'm pretty sure that most of you are not going to give slightest bit of a shit about this update. I know people are still concerned about what happened with my neighbor, Walt. I still get asked about it. I don't know anything else, but I promise to let you know if there are ever any new developments. I think we have gotten just about all of the closure on that situation that is ever likely to happen.

This is an update that no one asked for, Friends. It's silly, probably teetering on being ridiculous. Back to the way my world normally functions, really. The idea to do this popped into my head as I was getting ready for bed on Christmas Eve, and it wouldn't go away. The holidays are all about love and joy, spending time with family and friends. I would love to give everyone who bothers to read my little blog here a present. This is it, kids. I'm hoping to give you the gift of mirth -- a little laughter and amusement, even if it is at my own expense.

Now that I've wasted your time with all of this rambling, let's get to the actual update...

You might recall that I wrote a post as a birthday present for someone back in September. (Don't remember, or didn't find your way here at that time? You should really click that link, kids. I'm sure you're smart enough to follow along just fine without doing so, but it might make a hell of a lot more sense if you read it first. Go ahead. I'll wait.)

Are we all back and up to speed now? Excellent.

As you now remember because you just read it and have an attention span greater than a gnat, I managed to score an amazing thrift store treasure. Like I still can't get over the fact that this t-shirt even exists, much less that it made it's way to a thrift store in Poughkeepsie.

It's Christmas time. As I mentioned in that post, I have been wearing my lovely t-shirt as pajamas.

See? I am wearing it. No, you do not get a better picture. I remembered to take the damn picture right before going to bed. Hair is a mess, I'm rocking my glasses since I had already taken out my contacts. This is all you get.

I can report that Santa did not magically kidnap Logan and leave him under my Christmas tree. I'm okay with that. I don't really want to find out that Santa is involved in human trafficking. I'm going out on a limb on this one, but I'm also pretty sure that Logan would not want to wake up wrapped as a present in a strange location and would much rather be with his family and loved ones. Just a guess.

To be fair, today is the third day of Christmas. I also have not received: 3 French hens, 2 turtle doves, or a partridge in a pear tree. I don't know where I would ever put such a menagerie if I did get it. (No one send me any of those things! I do not want or need a Twelve Days of Christmas zoo!) 

That's the magic of Christmas, Friends. People are more hopeful. They are more willing to believe in the goodness of others, that something wonderful can happen at any second. It's the joy of making other people happy. It's the surprise of the little acts of kindness people seem more willing to bestow on others at this time of year.

So no, as awesome as my t-shirt is, it does not appear to have fantastic magical powers. It is super comfy as pajamas though, so I'm considering that a win.

And to make this a full update, let me address the questions that I'm betting some of you have. Okay, so it might be like one of you. I know I would want to know. Basically I'm answering my own questions that I would have if I was reading this somewhere else. 

At the end of the original post, I included a letter, which you can find below:

On the off-chance that Logan ever actually sees this and reads it...

Hi Logan.

We've never met. You don't know me, and I don't know you. I follow you on Twitter and I dig your music. BTR was great, but I really love the music you are making on your own and can't wait to hear more of it. I'm not a creepy stalker, I swear! I've seen countless posts in the last couple of days about your upcoming birthday, so I thought I'd share this story as a little gift.

Unless you hate it. Then we can both just agree to pretend like this never happened and go on with our lives. You can make music, I'll buy it and listen to it, and sometimes I'll reply to you on Twitter.

Are we cool?  Hope so.

Happy Birthday!

@tammyshampoo on Twitter

Now, let me try to read your minds and provide some answers.

1) Yes, a lot more people saw this than I ever expected. That post is now the second most viewed that I have ever written. Just to give you some idea of how insane I know my blog must look to anyone other than myself, my Top Five All Time Blog Posts are:

2) No, I have no idea if he ever saw it. He's a busy guy and probably has a lot of things to do beside reading my ramblings online. Plus, I'm sure he was celebrating birthday festivities and being inundated with birthday messages. I never got a response of any kind, which is totally understandable. He'd probably still be answering people today if he addressed every single individual. 

3) Do you hope that he saw it? Yes, and a little bit of no.

I wrote the thing as a birthday gift, so clearly I wanted him to see it. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. He's fucking mysterious like that. I'm honestly hoping he didn't hate it. We might be in the "let's pretend this never happened phase" and I am clueless. Hell, for all I know this post will make him think I'm some kind of an obsessed creepy stalker and he will block me and tell me never to darken his digital doorstep again. Yes, that's how my brain works, Friends. My mind comes up with all sorts of possible outcomes, and then frets about the worst case scenario. Anything else that happens or doesn't happen is still a better outcome than what my imagination conjured.

This is the important part, Friends. It was a gift. You don't give someone a gift with the expectation of getting anything in return. I may never know if he ever sees it. You all saw it and liked it, so it was kind of a group gift in the long run. I made some great new online friends because of it. That is honestly more than I ever expected to get out of it. The fact that people liked it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I think that about sums it up. I hope you all enjoyed my kind of pointless, holiday-inspired nonsense. If I brought you even a tiny bit of holiday cheer, then I will consider this to have been a success.

Take those happy thoughts and go out into the world and do something nice for someone else. Spread a little magic of your own.

**And it is the 12 days of Christmas. I can still wear my t-shirt and be ridiculous for a few more days.*