Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I have been so extremely busy both in and out of the house beginning with my always fun First Friday ArtWalk.  The night was warm and I had gotten a call from my friend New Orleans Dave ~ who was manning Lisa's Studio at NU Arts asking me if I was going to come up.

I had already told Lisa I would stop in and water her tomato plants she has growing there so I told him I would be leaving soon.  After a busy afternoon I hadn't had more than a few minutes to relax before heading out with, obviously Lisa's my first stop.

I found Dave sitting in Lisa's studio with the lights off.  There were barely any people around so he was obviously bored ~ used to a more energetic crowd in New Orleans than Pittsfield on the second floor with not much street traffic.

I was eager to get started checking out Art.  I look forward to seeing the new Artists each month, especially if they are in attendance and are interested in chatting.  I was also sympathetic to Dave.  I had babysat my friend Diane's studio before and I thought I would lose my mind despite the semi steady flow of foot traffic.

I found the lights to encourage people to come in, found the water bottle and solicited his help with the plants in the window closest to him to give him something to do for a second and I misted the plants in my window and watered the ones that were already transplanted.

We chatted for a bit but I was out the door and off exploring the various artists who were on display beginning with a very cool Student Art Show 7th grade to 12th grade at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. I really enjoyed the various art on display from all age groups.

It delights me to see the variations on similar projects.  That, to me shows some really thought was put into the projects. I had my little camera and took some shots ~ some better than others as always.  I really need to figure out how to use all the features on that thing one of these days!

Mark V. Mellinger had some interesting Mixed Media across the street at the Downtown Pittsfield, Inc..

It was indeed different and varied work which I saw in this show.  I really liked the paintings the best ~ and my favourite was this final picture above.

There were not too many artists about, but what I had seen so far had been interesting.  I had told Dave I would be back in 15 minutes and I still had a minimum of three places that I wanted to check out ~ maybe four so I scurried over to the MarketPlace Cafe to check out the work of Autumn Doyle.

I was thinking she was someone I had met out and about and I was correct. I did not know she was an artist prior to this.  I like her work.  It is unique and creative.  I hope my pictures do it justice.  I love the bird piece she did and the painting which pops out at you.

We both share the same views about showing at the Cafe ~ it is awkward to view without feeling like you are intruding on someones meal ~ one gentlemen was gracious enough to remove himself from his seat so I could get a picture ~ for which I was thankful!

 As I headed down the street to utilized what time I had left of my ArtWalk time I snapped this picture.  I was hoping the rain would continue to stay away as I hurried Over to the Kinderhook Real Estate  to check out Marlena Leondards' Pastel and Watercolors and get a peek at Karen S. Jacobs Oil on Canvas at Unusual Wedding Rings ~ both located at 137 North Street.

 I was having a wonderful conversation with Karen when I remembered Dave..., she was very kind to share the fact that she had retired and begun doing Art again after a number of years away from it.  She enrolled in school and had such a great time!  She was very inspiring and had some work which I was really drawn to!

I really need to figure out where the zoom is on the camera!  Those far shots are not nearly good enough to show how good her work is but you get the idea!

I had been noticing Judy Albright's work in the window for a couple of days prior to artwalk.  He fun Pastel Paintings in the window of Steven Valenti Clothing for Men ~ always a wonderful display on their own ~ Judy;s paintings added touch more fun to the window displays.

I snapped a few inside and out ~

I headed over to Mack Waggaman's show at the Berkshire Community College Intermodal Gallery at the BRTA.  He had some really interesting art.  I really liked it.  Sadly the artist would not like any pictures of his art on the Internet so if you are curious go over to the bus station ~ you may be lucky to catch someone there after 1 and before 4 but don't count on it.  I have tried a few times to catch it open without success.

After that disappointment I figured I had spent my 15 minutes and then some, considering I was chatting with a few of the artists and a couple other random people I encountered along the way.  I headed back up to see how Dave was faring.

I was hoping he had a room full of art enthusiast and was in his glory.  That was not the case.  He was funny in his misery.  I was prepared to hang out until Lisa arrived from work but that was not to be.  I got a phone call and had to leave my entire Art experience where it was.

I was pretty satisfied with the art all in all.  I saw some new artists.  I was hoping to be back to head over to the Whitney.  I hadn't been in two months!!!  It was not to be since I got held up.  I did get a ride to the store and was able to bring soda home to my son without having to lug it three blocks so all in all life was pretty good.

This was just the beginning of my very full weekend.  I had accepted an Ushering gig.  I woke up around 4 a.m. not feeling too good so I just slept until I felt better.  When I woke up at a decent hour I was fit as a fiddle with errands to do which did not include much computer time.

I had to walk to the bank and pick up the rent so my landlord could get it the next morning.  He was in fact the reason I woke up at about 9:30 ~ phone ringing and a mad dash down the stairs and through the entire house.

I really need to get working phones upstairs.  I am going to break my neck one of these days sprinting for the phone before the machine picks up.  It was good cardio anyway!  The sun appeared to be out and I made a tea and put on the weather channel to check the rain status for the evening.  It looked like I had a 30% chance of rain while I was out.

Not bad.  I was glad I had bought the black pants for the show.  I had to walk and I had no umbrella having left them 8 moves back on Forthill Ave another lifetime ago.  The things you forget when you move in a hurry!

I got back from the bank without any rain.  I had been half tempted to just go buy an umbrella but was eager to get home and relax before I had to go to the Theater.  I was already for the landlord and I didn't get mugged (joke).

It is always fun being around the Barrington Stage Crew.  They are very nice and have great stories.  They really do appreciate their volunteers, which I love!  It was ticketed seating and I was sort of used to the seating on one side of the Theater so I asked if I could have that side again, which I could.

Saturday night was another fun evening ushering at the Barrington Stage for the Zip/Stohr Comedy Show.  I caught a comedian and a half before intermission where I hung out at the end of the alley to make sure patrons did not leave with beers.

I had dinner plans with the guys after intermission so once the patrons went back inside I helped pick up the lobby and checked the ladies room before walking home.  I was a little fearful as I approached the Common.  It was dark and there has been a bit more trouble there than usual.

I made it through in one piece to encounter a friend of mine on his bike.  I could tell it was him with his new headlight shining and I greeted him and joked that it was too bad he wasn't on the other side of the park before I walked through alone ~ he said he tried and we both laughed and headed the rest of the way to my house.

The guys were at my house already.  Thomas had heated up the soup for me.  It was technically his dinner.  I just provided the Chicken Soup I had made the day before.  It is always a pleasure to have a great night and come home to a house full of people to hang out and eat with.

People feed my spirit.  So after a great two nights of people out in the world as well as in my inner Sanctuary of my home I was feeling WONDERFUL!  I still had the Finals of the Berkshire Idol the next day and had Sunday evening shows to look forward to as well with my son.

I had no idea what to expect on Sunday.  I know I was smart to wear my sneakers, expecting a bunch of young talent and activity.  It was less than a nice day.  It looked and felt warm here and there, but rain was coming calling for sure.

I made it up to the BSC and it was sunny and semi warm for a while.  Before too long however it began to get colder and spit out some rain.  I was in a good place on a rainy day for sure!  All of the contestants were seated in one area which was roped off.

They ranged from ages 7 to adult in three age categories.  The kids looked nervous.  I was on that side of the room ~ the opposite from what I was used to but it was open seating so I mainly just had to point out the contestant seating to the contestants and hand surveys and pencils out to everyone else.

The thinking was that people would remember their ballot books from the day before.  That was not really the case but it went pretty smoothly regardless. The show began with the MC calling up the youngest group up first to announce the 8 lucky winners out of that group to compete for first place, then the young adults and then the adults.

The contestants who made it went down to the green room to wait their turns to sing.  It was pretty entertaining and I watched all of the youngest and most of the second group before I began to wonder when they were going to call intermission.

I can only sit for so long myself before I need to stand ~ walk and stretch, so I made my exit between performers to see what I could find out, use the bathroom and have a smoke.  It had rained while I was listening to the performers.

The sun (or maybe the wind) had dried up a good portion of the rain leaving some puddles to prove it had happened.  I had a strong feeling there would be more rain before the night was over however by the look of the sky.  It was freezing with the wind and I regretted what I had worn earlier in the false warmth of the sun and knew I would have a cold walk home.

Turned out they were going to go through all of the performances before intermission and then during intermission the Ushers would go around and collect the ballots, the surveys and the pencils and they would tally the votes over the course of the 20 minutes.

We got to work collecting ballots and when they were all in I began the sweep of the semi empty Theater which was less than tidy.  Finding more than one offending M&M wrapper on the floor to go with soda bottles and a few empty water bottles.

I figured it would make the end of the day easier to get a jump on it and a couple of staff thought it was a good idea also and joined in.  It had been a long weekend and we were eager to find out who won and get back to our homes.

Finally they flashed the lights marking the call back inside.  Everyone headed inside and got to their seats.  When the lobby was empty I headed in and grabbed a seat.  It was very exciting to watch the runner ups and the winners announced.

I really had a good time and was half tempted to go to the reception they were having at Spice Dragon.  Once  I got outside I decided I really just wanted to go home and make a cup of tea and relax and get ready for quality time with Thomas.

It was really windy so I phoned my grand daughter to warm up my spirit and distract me from the wind.  She answered the phone and we discussed her birthday dinner.  I had asked the guys if they wanted to go to our special dinner out and they were less than agreeable to the idea.

I had an idea to see how Ainsley would feel if we made it a girls dinner and invite her Mom as well.  Lisa's birthday is 9 days before Ainsley's birthday and I thought it would be a nice bonding experience for the three of us.

Ains really liked the idea and said she would ask her Mom if she wanted to go.  She also asked if she could come over next weekend and you know me ~ the answer is always yes to my girl.  That really warmed me up and I promised to check my calendar when I got home and let her know.

Mother's Day is the only thing I have going on.  I knew that we would probably have Friday night since she would have to spend the day with her own Mom ~ (Gramma's are sooo smart [wink, wink].)  When we spoke during the week she told me she could come on the 9th after dinner!

So I am sure you are about tired of reading my ramblings.  I know this one has got to be a very long post.  I am not going to apologize ~ only for making you wait for it!  Hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading ~ until next time!

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