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November, 2003

November 29, 2003

League Day at The Thing About Men

Several league members had a pleasant afternoon at The Thing About Men today thanks to the cast and company manager.  We were able to get front row seats at the student price of $26.25 and stay for a talkback with Ron Bohmer, Marc Kudisch and Danny Gurwin.  It was a small but enthusiastic group of us!  We bought the tickets when the box office opened at noon and then went around the corner to Westside Brewing Company and had a great lunch.  Wouldn't you know, I actually forgot to bring my camera today.  This was a bad thing since Ron suggested after the talkback that we take a picture of the entire group together.  If I'd brought my camera, I'd be posting it right now!  As it is, I'll have to depend on someone to email a picture.  I finally met Annette from Kansas and it took awhile before I actually made the connection, believe it or not.  She introduced herself as Annette, mentioned Kansas and I still didn't get it until lunch, when I finally said, "Oh, you're Annette from Kansas!"  Duh!  Anyway, Annette took pictures of all of us in the restaurant and several people had cameras for the company manager to take the group picture, featuring Ron and Danny.  The company manager (sorry, I can't remember his name) said that if someone emails the picture to him, he'll post it on the official site.  We thanked him for his generosity and he said that when they see an enthusiastic group, they like to encourage that and this idea of providing a special discount and talkback for league members was brought up at a meeting.  It was a terrific afternoon, reminiscent of league events in the past.  Thanks to Suz for handling the arrangements, including lunch reservation, and to Ron, Marc, Danny and the company manager (who shall remain nameless, I guess!) for a very enjoyable time.


November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving!

That's all I have time for now, the kitchen calls!  Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


November 25, 2003

The History of Thanksgiving


Here are some tidbits from The History Channel about the first Thanksgiving.  The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 and was most likely a traditional harvest feast.  What foods were served?  Historians know that venison and "wild fowl", probably turkey, were served but many of our traditional trimmings were not.  Vegetables may have included pumpkins, peas, onions, beans, lettuce, radishes and carrots.  Plums and grapes and nuts, such as walnuts, chestnuts and acorns, would have been available as well.  Now, I don't know about you but I'm not interested in trying acorns.  I'll leave them to the squirrels.

Sweet potatoes and potatoes were not common at the time and corn was dried out at that time of year so you wouldn't see them on the pilgrim's table.  And you can forget about all our desserts.  The pilgrims wouldn't have had the sugar for all those sweet dishes.

Here's something else I found interesting: 

  • The pilgrims didn't use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers. They wiped their hands on large cloth napkins which they also used to pick up hot morsels of food.
  • Salt would have been on the table at the harvest feast, and people would have sprinkled it on their food. Pepper, however, was something that they used for cooking but wasn't available on the table.

So, there's your history lesson for the day.  Unlike the pilgrims, I'll be baking pies tomorrow morning before work.  Let's face it, we do enjoy our desserts!


November 23, 2003

Sorry, Mr. Turkey.  We're defrosting you starting tomorrow!  Doesn't look happy, does he?

Well, it looks like I'm back in business with the site here.  I needed a little Billy Honig tech support to figure it all out but it's ok now.

Back to after-school sports tomorrow when wrestling begins.  I hope the bus arrives on time because I don't have time to sit around and wait, not this week!


November 22, 2003

New computer!

Six hours later, I'm making the first journal entry on the brand new computer, my birthday/Christmas gift.  It's beautiful, a hp pavilion 4560 notebook.  I knew that once I got my hands on this new toy, nothing else would get done for the rest of the day.  I was right.  I've been playing with it and installing programs and setting it up for six hours!  I've moved the site here and, hopefully, everything will work correctly.  Actually, this is kind of a test.  I hope it publishes alright.

Stay tuned!


November 19, 2003

Thanksgiving a week away

Here's a quote from Benjamin Franklin on the choice of the bald eagle as the symbol of The United States:


"I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country: he is a Bird of bad moral character: like those among Men who live by Sharping and Robbing, he is generally poor and very often lousy.

The Turkey is a much more respectable Bird and withal a true original Native of North America"

I'll bet this guy would agree with Mr. Franklin and wonders why we're eating turkey for Thanksgiving if Franklin thought so highly of the bird!:

Sorry, but I am looking forward to my turkey dinner!


November 18, 2003

Today in Civil War History

From history channel.com:

1863 : Lincoln travels to Gettysburg

President Lincoln boards a train for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to deliver a short speech at the dedication for the cemetery of soldiers killed during the battle there on July 1 to 3, 1863. The address he gave became perhaps the most famous speech in American history.

Lincoln had given much thought to what he wanted to say at Gettysburg, but he nearly missed his chance to say it. On November 18, Lincoln's son, Tad, became ill with a fever. Abraham and Mary Lincoln were, sadly, no strangers to juvenile illness: they had already lost two sons. Prone to fits of hysteria, Mary Lincoln panicked when the president prepared to leave for Pennsylvania. Lincoln felt that the opportunity to speak at Gettysburg and present his defense of the war was too important to miss, though. He boarded a train at noon and headed for Gettysburg.

Despite his son's illness, Lincoln was in good spirits on the journey. He was accompanied by an entourage that included Secretary of State William Seward, Postmaster General Montgomery Blair, Interior Secretary John Usher, Lincoln's personal secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay, several members of the diplomat corps, some foreign visitors, a Marine band, and a military escort. During one stop, a young girl lifted a bouquet of flowers to his window. Lincoln kissed her and said, "You're a sweet little rose-bud yourself. I hope your life will open into perpetual beauty and goodness."

When Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg, he was handed a telegram that lifted his spirits: Tad was feeling much better. Lincoln enjoyed an evening dinner and a serenade by Fifth New York Artillery Band before he retired to finalize his famous Gettysburg Address.

The Gettysburg Address was delivered on November 19, 1863.  Here is the only known photograph of Lincoln at Gettysburg on that day, courtesy of The Gettysburg Address (Library of Congress Exhibition) website.

And, in conclusion, in 1928 Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse debuts in NY in "Steamboat Willie".   So, happy birthday, Mickey Mouse!


November 17, 2003

Birthday Celebration

On Saturday, November 15, I celebrated my birthday (the big one!) with many good friends at Barrymore's in NYC.  We sure made a day of it.  We had lunch, which stretched almost four hours (thank you to the patient staff at Barrymore's).  We then moved the party uptown to the Promenade Theatre to see The Thing About Men, followed by a concert featuring Ron Bohmer at the nearby Triad Theatre.  Choosing that date, when Ron had his concert planned, allowed us to see several people from out-of-state, including Deb, Margaret, Michelle and Jen, who traveled all the way from California!  I was so busy, I didn't take many pictures.  I'm definitely falling down on the job in that department.  I'm hoping my fellow party-goers will share their memories with me.  Here is one picture of some of the celebrants at Barrymore's:

Jen, Deb, Liz, Margaret, Kelly, Susan, Diane



November 13, 2003

The Boy From Oz

How was it?  Well, let me put it this way.  I have no trouble spending money to watch Hugh Jackman on that stage for 2+ hours.  None, whatsoever.  Good thing because I must say that never before have I had so much fun at a bad show!  It's not exactly well-written.  It seems that they managed to cram every Peter Allen song they could into this show.  It's a little bit of dialogue, then a song, and the songs don't always move the story along very well.  That said, I think Mr. Jackman is amazing.  He sounds like, dances like and moves like Peter Allen.  He's great and the boy playing Allen as a child is equally as entertaining, an absolute delight to watch.  In fact, with the exception of the actress playing Liza, all the performances are top-notch.  The woman playing Judy Garland is just astounding.  It was so spooky how well she played that part.  I really wasn't impressed with the girl playing Liza.  Didn't do it for me.  Everyone else is terrific.  So, even though I don't think much of the show (and it will tank the minute Hugh leaves), I had a great time.  Of course, the Honigs and Kolbs always have a raucous old time, no matter what we see!

News flash.  It's cold out and windy.  Sigh.  Oh, stop.  I need to have something to whine about.  The weather is a good choice.



November 11, 2003

Catching Up

Tigger might be happy but I'm not enjoying this chilly weather, especially after the near-70 temperatures recently.  I'm just not quite ready to give up the warmth for the winter chill.  Yeah, I know it's inevitable but I like to hang on to some warmer temperatures for as long as I can.

Northport's junior varsity team ended their season Nov. 8 with a big win over Newfield, 32-0.  That makes it a tie season, four wins and four losses.  For the next week and a half, I only work an hour and 45 minutes a day in the high school.  It's not much money but nice to have a little time to myself to get a few things done.  Tomorrow night is my last ASL class. 

Interpreting Amadeus went well, even though we only had two in our "audience" and Sue and I knew both of them!  It is nice to have friendly faces greeting you but I certainly hope we have a bigger group for Sound of Music.  We did fine and only had some difficulties where we switched off parts.  Other than that, it was just fine.  Sound of Music should bring in more people as it's familiar to most people.

I recently finished reading Beyond the Battlefield, edited by David Madden.  It's about the lives of Civil War soldiers, what they ate and how they cooked, what they did to entertain themselves, letters, etc.  It's a really interesting book, very good.  Kelly laughed when she saw what I'm reading now.  Our Simple Gifts, Civil War Christmas Tales by Owen Parry.  It's a small book of short stories with Christmas/Civil War themes.  The stories are predictable but sweet and I'm enjoying the book.

Kelly, Kim and I are joining Jan, Eric and Lori this evening to see Boy From Oz.  As always, we're looking forward to a jolly old time!



November 8, 2003

Half century....Oh my!

Well, thank you, Pooh and friends!  Yes, folks, I've hit a milestone.  Bill and I celebrate our joint birthdays today.  Also in today's news, today is the last football game of the season.  And...it's suddenly turned cold!  I'm off to bundle myself up and contemplate dinner as I stand on the field, trying to stay warm!  Well, at least it's sunny.

Have a lovely day, all.


November 6, 2003

Amadeus tonight!

I think I'm ready.  I'm excited and nervous at the same time.  I'm nervous for two reasons, the obvious being that I'm afraid I'll screw up!  Otherwise, I'm afraid we won't have much of a turnout.  I tried to spread the word but it really was kind of short notice.

This is part of my horoscope for today, "For sanity's sake, keep a journal or create art that reflects your inner conflict."  Huh?  What inner conflict?  Well, here's the journal and I should be able to "create art" during the next couple of weeks because.....ahem......football ends this Saturday!!!!  I have two weeks before wrestling begins.  I do intend to work on some projects I haven't been able to do with very little free time and I want to get a jump on the Christmas preparations.

Bye, football practice!  Pooh and I are ready for some time off!

Off to begin my day...


November 1, 2003

What a beautiful day today!  I think it was near 70 degrees.  Only one more week of football so if the weather holds out, it won't be so bad.  There was a game today and Northport lost to North Babylon, 38-19.  Their record now is 3 and 4.  If they win their last game next weekend, they'll have a tie record, better than a losing record. 

I have no idea what will be happening after football.  There is a two week break before winter sports begin.  This student usually wrestles in winter.  After talking to the coach, I don't know if this will be approved.  The schedule is quite a commitment, including practices through all the vacations (Christmas Eve morning!), practices after school (of course), matches after school that end around 9pm, tournaments on Saturdays which last the whole day (7am-10pm) and a three-day trip upstate.  If it is approved, I won't see home much but I'll earn plenty of money.  Another choice is bowling, which will be easier but I don't know if he'll want to do that.  We'll see what happens.  The real problem for me will be the fact that Kelly and I will be making costumes for the high school play, which we do every year.  We've been looking forward to this one.  Apparently, they'll be doing Once On This Island and it's a favorite of ours.  We'd love to do costumes for it.  If this all happens, January will be a blur.  I plan to use the two week break to do as much as I can do to prepare for the holidays, including all the shopping, if possible.  I know I can get most of the baking done plus the crafts I wanted to do and haven't had time to do.

Here's a little Civil War history for you courtesy of History Channel.com:

1861 : McClellan replaces Scott

President Lincoln names George Brinton McClellan general in chief of the Union armies, replacing the aged and infirm Winfield Scott. In just six months, McClellan had gone from commander of the Ohio volunteers to the head of the Union army.

McClellan's prewar career presaged his meteoric rise to the ranking Union general in the first year of the war. The Pennsylvania native graduated from West Point second in his class in 1846. He served with distinction under General Winfield Scott in the Mexican-American War. McClellan left his successful military career in 1857 for an engineering position with the Illinois Central Railroad, and by the time the war broke out in 1861 he was president of the St. Louis, Missouri, and Cincinnati Railroad. He resigned to accept command of the Ohio volunteers with the rank of major general. During the summer of 1861, McClellan lead Union troops in a series of small battles in western Virginia that resulted in Federal control of the strategic region, and he earned a national reputation-though it is debatable just how much McClellan contributed to the achievements; in several cases, decisions by his subordinates were the main reason for the success.

Nonetheless, he provided Northern victories when they were in scarce supply. On July 16, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing his accomplishments in Virginia. Just five days later, the main Union force, commanded by General Irwin McDowell, suffered an ignominious defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run. In the aftermath of the debacle, many turned to McClellan to save the war effort. McClellan arrived in Washington on July 26 to take command of the disorganized and demoralized Army of the Potomac. He quickly began to build a magnificent fighting force, establishing a rigorous training procedure and an efficient command structure. He also demonstrated brashness, pomposity, and arrogance for many of the nation's political leaders. He loudly complained about Scott, and he treated the president with utter contempt.

Still, he was the only real choice to replace Scott. No other Union general had achieved much of anything to that point in the war. After alienating much of the administration by early 1862, McClellan moved the Army of the Potomac to the James Peninsula for an attack on Richmond. As a field commander, he proved to be sluggish and timid, and he retreated from the outskirts of the Confederate capital when faced with a series of attacks by General Robert E. Lee during the Seven Days' battles in June. In July, Henry W. Halleck was named general in chief, and much of McClellan's Army of the Potomac was transferred to General John Pope's Army of Virginia. After Pope was defeated at Second Bull Run in August, much of McClellan's command was restored to him. Lee invaded Virginia, and McClellan defeated him at the Battle of Antietam in September. Despite this victory, his refusal to pursue the retreating Confederates led to his permanent removal in November 1862. In 1864, he challenged Lincoln for the presidency as the Democratic nominee but lost decisively.


Lincoln's comment about McClellan was, "Give me a general who will fight!"  That's your history lesson for the day!

**Incidentally, the Pooh graphic is from a site I found called Pooh's CornerIt has some very cute graphics and I wanted to give credit.


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