Two Holidays...In Scranton we have two extra special local celebrations: St. Patrick's Parade Day & La Festa Italiana. Since I don't drink & generally speaking hate parades, St. Patrick's Day really isn't my cup of tea. Besides, the parade is held in mid-late March, which can be less-than-ideal weather in these parts. The Italian Festival though is just great. A quarter of a million people, lots of food, nice weather and did I mention lots of food? I took a walk downtown this evening (the festival actually starts tomorrow) and it was relatively busy. Lots of bands playing on sidewalks, people walking around, a car show tons of stands being set up for the festival. If anything, I felt kind of dork-esque walking alone with a camera. That comes with the territory though, and besides, I came to terms with my dorkicity a long time ago.
2001: A Space Odyssey...I watched this on Blu Ray the other day and was reminded of just how great a film maker Stanley Kubrick was. While the special effects don't hold up as well these days, it's still a great story. Then there is the music. The Blue Danube Waltz is what you usually think about when the music of 2001 comes to mind, but for me the song I find the most captivating is Aram Khachaturian's Gayane Ballet Suite (Adagio). If you are familiar with the movie, this is the song that plays when you first see the space ship Discovery headed to Jupiter. Here's what I'm talking about...
There is something rather sad...lonely...I don't know...about the piece.
Labor Day...Along with the Italian Festival comes Labor Day, which also marks the start of the "campaigning in earnest" season. I'll offer no suggestions except one: it is going to be a brutal few months. A bad economy, a weak Democratic majority, a GOP fighting schizophrenia (Tea Party vs. establishment), and a relatively slow cycle for news all make for a bruising political season. November can't come soon enough.
Yard Work...I was off today and spent most of my time getting some much needed yard work done. I enjoy doing yard work, as it provides a sense of immediate accomplishment that I don't always get with my professional endeavors. The only negative today was the oppressive heat and humidity. Rumor has it that will be changing tomorrow.
Blogger Meeting/Politician Feeding Frenzy/Debauchery...The next blogger soiree (a word, by the way, that is mighty difficult to spell correctly) will be held on September 17th at 5pm in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre neutral zone town of Pittston. Details HERE. Tom Borthwick promises that there will be fisticuffs and the like, so no doubt a splendid time awaits. As for me, I'm a solid "maybe" in the attendance department. Okay, I guess that's probably more of a "yes", but begrudgingly so. No offense to the organizers, but I'm just not really a social butterfly, so anything that involves having to interact with other humans is somewhat disconcerting. Oh, and have I ever mentioned that I'm a corporate trainer (actually training department manager) by trade? One would think such an occupation would mean that I actually get my rocks off on talking to folks, but one would also be thinking wrong. For me, teaching a class on retirement plan investments to a group of 30 people I don't know is far, far easier than having to make small-talk in a bar. Okay, I'm thinking that this blurb has already gone past the TMI stage. Time to move on.
Glenn Beck...In response to another blogger's posting (names withheld simply because I choose to do so), I've mentioned Glenn Beck 7 times in postings prior to his Whitestock event last weekend. Just wanted to note that for the record.
Condolences....go out to Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty and his family at the death of his mother. If you judge a parent by the quality of their children, then Mr & Mrs Doherty were experts in the field.