It’s a deep freeze around here, folks.
When the work week ended with atrocious weather conditions and my favorite meteorologists reported an equally shitty-if-not-colder-yet-less-snowy forecast for Saturday and Sunday, I imagined myself as Wendy Torrance and my child as Danny from “The Shining.” Clear skies were in the forecast, but so were 40-50 mph winds and a “feels like -25” temperature throughout both days. Several inches of snow had frozen to the ground. We were about to be shut-ins for 48 straight hours, and when mama’s on a new diet rid of her favorite comfort foods, no one is safe. NOBODY, NO HOW, NOT EVER.
Anyway, we bunkered in, thinking it would be kind of fun. And, it was. Somewhere in the blur of the weekend, I had a few thoughts (brought to you by caffeine):
While watching a “Rocky” marathon, I wondered, “Why aren’t any movies made like this anymore?!?” Low budget, classic soundtrack, great story line, meaningful, unforgettable dialogue, Adrian at the pet store. And then I remembered: I’m a 34 year-old Generation X-er and I’m starting to sound like my parents did to me when I was a kid. It’s the circle of life!
* * * * *
On Saturday, I drank a cup of coffee… and then another one, and another one, and another freaking one, and finally, another one. The first cup in the morning is always delicious, and a few hours later, the second tastes alright. Anything thereafter in the same day tastes like shit and I don’t care who you are. Coffee’s only purpose at that point is to keep you conscious. Stuck inside with a 4 year old ball of energy wears on you quick, and if you’re like me and you’ve resolved to ditch sugary desserts and fun, fatty treats that you’d normally enjoy with your caffeine going on a whole week, people, a whole entire week, kicking and screaming seems like a totally acceptable reaction. I kept thinking about how, when I was a kid, my mom used to drink an entire carafe — what is that, like 12 cups? — of coffee on any given day by herself, and she’d eat Oreos with it. And one time, I asked her why she drank so much of it, and she offered me a taste. I scrunched my nose, because I thought it smelled weird. “Dip an Oreo in it,” she suggested. I did. And I hated it, just because I was 10 years old at the time and that was something old people did. “Gross, Mom.”
This weekend, I would’ve killed any asshole for a classic Oreo cookie to spruce up my coffee, Double-Stuff not even necessary. Lordy, I’m still drooling thinking about it.
Damn sugar anyways.
* * * * *
When it’s early evening, and you’re hyped on caffeine and ready to kill a person for anything that even slightly resembles a lunch cake (at this point a bar of soap looked delicious), you’ve gotta distract yourself. It was Sunday and we were in the final stretch of the great weekend shut-in of 2018 when I retreated to my home office and broke out the many boxes of watercolors I’ve collected, ready to throw something, anything, down on paper. I sketched out the Albany skyline, which is oddly attractive and interesting looking, and looking back I should’ve left it as a sketch. Buuuut here came the metallic watercolors (mistake no. 1), followed by various shades of blue that didn’t quite blend with the pencil marks (“this thing is getting uglier by the second”) and I just kept going and going and finally crapped out. I definitely did not create the next great American masterpiece, but it got me to thinking about how I grew to love that skyline the first year I lived in the Capital District. I’d cross the Patroon Island Bridge from Rensselaer to Albany County on every morning commute, and catch a glimpse of the city to my left. I loved it more each day, I think. That love grew as time went on, and I explored downtown more, and we bought a house in Albany County, and now, 6 years later, this place is my home. But that unusual, small-but-mighty skyline will always be the first thing I remember loving about Albany. I’ll never tire of taking photos of The Egg, the capitol building, the NYS Museum steps. All of these thoughts, brought on by a few watercolor mishaps. That’s why art is so damn cool, people.
And then, the weekend of old movies and coffee and paint and thoughts was over.