Monthly Archives: January 2010


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It’s links week here on Mel’s Rockpile! I’ve gotten a batch of fresh attention (and let’s face it, stale attention is not the kind we want) for this rambling mess of a blog and website, so it’s time to show the love with shout outs and linkbacks (so 2005 and 2002, in that order).

First, big thanks to one of my few real local internet addictions, All Over Albany. Varied, funny, and perfectly willing to point people to my half-edited tale of Kay Sage, the Albany girl who wed a prince of Spain. Oh yeah, and became an excellent surrealist painter. And married Yves Tanguy. And barely looked back after leaving the family manse in Menands.

Thanks also to Nichelle at DanceAdvantage, who from time to time has featured my ballet photographs on her website, which is a wonderful resource for dancers, dance parents and dance schools – something we’re involved in on all three levels. This week she featured one of my artsier efforts as her Sunday Snapshot, which brought a flurry of attention.

In the cycling world, Belgium Knee Warmers is back, and I’m also enjoying the back and forth at Red Kite Prayer, whose forum members sure do click through to sites! I promise more bike geekery for you folks. And as a result of one of my rants there, I got a note from Share The Damn Road, which makes, among other things, jerseys that say “Share The Damn Road”. Since my only-thinking-of-my-safety spouse won’t allow me a South Park jersey that says “You Guys Suck,” and since I haven’t yet found my dream jersey that says “Hang Up And Drive!”, these offerings go to the top of the wish list. (But guys, seriously: “Hang Up and Drive!”)

And locally, I’ve run across a couple of sites that are as interested in local history as I am: Paula’s Albany Daily Photo and her Albany History blog. If you’re the kind of person who sees what used to be there instead of what’s there now, give them a look. And keep coming back here, there will be more local history in the near future.

And for your current amusement, don’t miss my new feature, Torn From Yesterday’s Headlines!

Albany Girl Weds Prince of Spain

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As I was preparing the new section of my website, Torn From Yesterday’s Headlines!, I was organizing a set of newspaper clippings I had found in the course of doing genealogical research that had no relation to my family history but that were too interesting to ignore. And among those clippings (virtual clippings, mind you, found through online services) was this magnificent article from 1925, “Albany Girl Weds Prince of Spain.” Now, you would think that would merit more than an inch and a half of attention, but perhaps it was a busy news day. In any event, the whole story goes like this:


Daughter of Former State Senator Becomes Princess of San Fuastino

Rome. March 31 – (AP) – Miss Katherine Sage, daughter of former State Senator Henry M. Sage of Albany, N.Y., was married today to Don Ranieri Bourbon del Monte, prince of San Fuastino [sic]. The ceremony was performed by Cardinal Lega in the Church of San Tandrea, next to the Quirinal palace. Ambassador Fletcher gave the bride away. The new American princess has been an art student in Rome for the past two years.

Never mind the paper’s misspelling of San Faustino, the point here is that you would think that if an Albany native had become some kind of princess, that someone would know about it around here. Well, it turns out that Katherine Sage was, in fact, pretty well known.

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You tube

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You ain’t seen nothin’. You and I will stick together. You and your symptoms. You are my girl. You are my sunshine. You are not needed now. You baby. You be my baby. You belong to me. You belong to me. You better watch out. You bowed down. You came along. You can bring your dog. You can close your eye. You can do it. You can run. You can’t always get what you want. You can’t blame that on me. You can’t catch me. You can’t catch me. You can’t catch me. You can’t do that. You can’t get what you want (till you know what you want). You can’t make me. You can’t resist it. You can’t sit down. You could make a killing. You didn’t have to. You didn’t mean anything to me. You do. You do. You do something to me. You don’t love me. You don’t bring me flowers. You don’t have to be strong. You don’t have to go. You don’t have to tell me. You don’t have to walk in the rain. You don’t know. You don’t know what love is (you just do as you’re told). You don’t love me. You don’t love me anymore. You don’t mess around with Jim. You don’t miss your water. You don’t satisfy. You don’t wanna know. You don’t know like I know.

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I Tunes

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I knew. I (heart) metal buildings. I ain’t done wrong. I ain’t gonna suffer no more. I ain’t got you. I ain’t the one. I alone. I am a grocery bag. I am a man of constant sorrow. I am a rock. I am a rock. I am a rock. I am a tangerine. I am history. I am not your broom. I am sincere. I am sincere. I am the law. I am the lucky one. I am the sea. I am the walrus. I am the walrus. I am weary (let me rest). I been burning bad gasoline. I believe. I believe. I believe. I believe in miracles. I believe to my soul. I call out her name. I can hear music. I can make it if you can. I can make it with you. I can see clearly now. I can see for miles. I can take or leave your loving. I can taste it. I can wait. I can’t be satisfied.

I can’t believe it. I can’t breathe. I can’t control myself. I can’t explain. I can’t figure you out. I can’t forget you. I can’t get behind that. I can’t get my head around it. I can’t get next to you. (I can’t get no) satisfaction. I can’t get over you. I can’t get you out of my mind. I can’t give you anything. I can’t help you anymore. I can’t hold on. I can’t hold on. I can’t hold on. I can’t hold on. I can’t let go. I can’t let go. I can’t let go. I can’t make it. I can’t make it. I can’t make it on time. I can’t pretend. I can’t reach you. I can’t stand it. I can’t stand it. I can’t stand up for falling down. I can’t talk anymore. I can’t tell the bottom from the top. I can’t think about dancing. I can’t turn you loose. I can’t win. I can’t turn you loose.

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Down the Hudson

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I was treated to the pleasure of a train ride down the Hudson this week. They used to be a deadly part of my routine – grab the 7:05 to NYC, race through the subways to catch some more-or-less meaningless meeting way downtown, maybe get a nice lunch somewhere but often enough not, and try to catch a train that got me back home not too late for supper. That’s all the hassle part, but the ride itself is wonderful, a journey down the scenic Hudson River, with many views seemingly unchanged since Hudson and his crew sailed up the river 400 years ago. This time it was a stunning arctic landscape, broken up ice clogging the waterway from Rensselaer all the way down to Salt Point, where it suddenly opened up again. It was stunningly beautiful, and I had no company on the way down, nothing to do but think thoughts and write them down. And on the return trip, in the dark with nothing to see but the occasional lights of a bridge or the ice breaker docked for the night, I had arranged to ride back up with a friend, also a cyclist from my corner of the world, and so we talked about local roads in detail that must have been painful to anyone around us, delighting in comparing the steepness of hills, our county’s inattention to things like shoulders and road signs, and the most enjoyable ways to get from A to B while also passing through C, D and E. Delightful. I wish I could say how many times I’ve taken that ride – it’s hundreds, in any event – and although it can be wearying and trying and Amtrak’s doing the best it can is often not good enough, it’s still a gorgeous ride through some of the most beautiful terrain in the country.

So far

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So far, 2010, the first year of the teens and the first year to know what the name of its decade is since way back in ’99 (fin d’autre siecle), has been a parade of snot, bitter cold, and just enough snow to be annoying and not nearly enough to be useful. Blowing and drifting, for those who don’t live here, means that shoveling is without purpose and that a road can be clear for a mile and then suddenly not, where a particular twist in topography drives a wind across a bend and causes the crystals to keep sweeping across. Brakes are not your friend on snow and ice – you need to know how to roll across it, though my intent for the day is to teach eligible (for driving) daughter how to slide across an empty parking lot today. Took a couple of nice tokyo drifts myself, strictly on purpose, strictly to test the slickness of the road and not because it’s in any way fun to slide two tons of big blue truck across slick pavement.

Otherwise, staying hopped up on snotballs, the deadly combination of Sudafed (no, not the real stuff, I can’t take the pharmacist’s suspicions) and Benadryl, cutting down on the surplus material on the DVR. I’ve seen so many movies in the last few days I can’t remember where one ended and the other began. The Wayans Brothers’ “Dance Flick” is highly recommended, by the way. Musically, it’s the week of The Weakerthans. Computerwise, it’s the week of family history discoveries and, thanks to the shiny new iMac upstairs (the old one only lasted nine years, can you believe that?) we’ve got the silly fun of “Plants vs. Zombies.” There is no game more fun than this.

Off to slide in the snow!