Thursday, January 21, 2010

A girl's gotta have dreams

There's a guy in our town who makes the most incredible snowmen ... well, they're snow sculptures really. He started making them a few years ago on the front lawn of his bed and breakfast.

This year they seemed to have left his lawn and moseyed on through town showing up in the village square, on the bank lawn, even on several properties where For Sale signs have been posted.

Cats, rabbits, lions, dogs, dragons ... we're always amazed by what he creates out of piles of frozen precipitation.

We built a snowman a few weeks back. But because the snow was only a couple inches deep, our snowman's body was breaded in dirt, mulched leaves and pine needles that had been sprinkled liberally all over the lawn. We topped it with spiky hair made with the help of brick forms.

Even the kids thought it was pitiful.

Two days ago, however, our pathetic snowman -- who seemed to have gotten dirtier as the days of its life wore on -- fell over and now looks like a lonely old drunk after a three-week binge.

The kids were thrilled.

Only their thrilled sounded slightly similar to horror.

ITTYBIT & THE CHAMP: "OH! The snowman fell over! The NO-MAN FELL OBER!!!"

MOMMY: "Don't worry, we can build another ... I hear there's snow in the forecast."

ITTYBIT: "Oh ... We don't have to build another one, Mommy," Ittybit explained. "Pretty soon the snowman man will get to our house, I just know it."

And no matter what I say to the contrary, she just goes on believing. A girl's got to have dreams.



Peint O Gwrw Pub is having its annual Foods Based on a Dare night. … That’s NOT what it’s called but that’s what it amounts to as the Scottish-style pub in the heart of Chatham raises a toast to the bard Robert Burns tonight (Friday, Jan. 22) from 7 to 11 p.m. Revelers will be treated to haggis, blood pudding and a shot of Scotch on the house whether their wearing plaid or not. King of the Forrest will entertain. Call 392-BEER for more information.


The Kinderhook Elks Lodge and Eat for a Cause will co-host a “Soup Line” on Saturday, Jan. 23, from noon to 3 p.m. to benefit local food pantries. Soups by local soup aficionados will be offered and judged. Admission is $5 plus $10 worth of donated food items. Those wishing to make and donate soup for the event are invited to call 392-5723. Soups can be prepared on premises at the lodge.

Eagle Mills Christian Church, 500 Brunswick Road, Corner of Rt. 2 Maple Avenue, Troy, is hosting a clam chowder dinner on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. Who could say no to creamy, clammy goodness served corn bread, salad and biscuits? Ok, maybe the lactose intolerant, but the church has you covered with Manhattan-style as well as New England chowders. Cost is $8 per person eat in or take out. For more information, call 279-1588.


The Schenectady Museum and Planetarium has the perfect thing for the 10-year-old computer geek in all of us: A special workshop on computer game development presented by area game makers, Vicarious Visions, the creators of Guitar Hero III, Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground, Transformers Autobots and more. Game designers will lead one hour-long workshops from 12:30 to 3:30 on Saturday, featuring game tuning and tweaking values, elements designers use to make a game feel right. For ages 10 and up. Space is limited so register in advance by calling 382.7890 x 224. Fees are $10 for members, $15 for non members.

Younger geeks might like the workshop The Children’s Museum of Science and Technology has going on this Saturday: The Chemistry of Toys. Participants will make their own form of Silly Putty, GAK and more as they explore the science behind playthings. Recommended for ages 5 and up, the workshop is free for members, and $2 for non-members plus museum admission.


The Annual Winter Festival at Grafton Lakes State Park gets underway before the crack of dawn Saturday. Pry yourself out of bed, grab some coffee and go ice fishing; contest begins at 5 a.m. Normal family activities, including kids’ contests, interactive displays, live native animals and sleigh rides begin at a respectable 11 a.m. and run through 4 p.m. Free.

Clermont State Historic Site will host its annual sledding party (safety sleds only) on Jan. 24 from noon to 3 p.m. Events include bonfire, snowman contest and refreshments. $2 per person. (Snow date for this event is Feb. 7.)


Time and Space Limited, 434 Columbia St., Hudson, will host a two-day film acting workshop hosted by acclaimed casting director Aleta Chappelle on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days.
Chappelle has cast numerous film and television productions, working with Francis Ford Coppola and Martha Coolidge, among others. Work sessions will cover audition technique, cold reading technique, improvisation and "On Camera" acting technique. The workshop is open to seriously interested teens, young adults and adults. The full $60 workshop fee must be paid in advance. For more information, contact

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