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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cadbury eggs, cannolis -- diet starts anew the day after Easter

I am halfway through my first-ever Cadbury cream-filled egg. Make that three-quarters. Hold on a sec.


Several weeks ago, more than a month before Easter, I bought one Cadbury cream-filled egg at the Stewart’s on North Broadway, where I filled up the tank using my Price Chopper Advantage points to save maybe 50 cents a gallon off of what I thought then was a ridiculous amount for gas but what seems today like a bargain.

Anyway, I snagged the egg at the checkout, remembering that once upon a time my husband casually mentioned that he liked them and remembering that when I wait for the day before Easter to buy Easter candy, the shop cupboards are bare. I didn’t want to take that chance.

Then, during the week before Easter, I heard the new WGY morning gang drooling in Cadbury anticipation and coincidentally needed once again to deposit my paycheck into my gas tank. So at the checkout I bought a second egg and stashed it away, to find out for myself what all the cream-filled fuss is about.

I had to eat the egg tonight, which is the end of Easter Day -- not for religious reasons, since I am Jewish and Cadbury eggs have, I am confident, nothing to do with the real Easter story, but because Skidmore College’s Dr. Paul Arciero, who is conducting an exercise and nutrition study in which I am a participant, gave the group his blessing to stray – but only on Easter.

Actually, I started Easter morning with a cup of cottage cheese and a fabulous cannoli from the wonderful new Rainy Days Cafe and Bakery in my husband's hometown of Mt. Morris, N.Y., so the diet was pretty well shot by 10 a.m. I’ve been meaning to write all about Dr. Arciero's 16-week study since it started 12 weeks ago, and I will write about it (as I vow to redouble the nutrition efforts, effective immediatey), but not today. Today is about Cadbury cream-filled eggs.

Now that I’ve indulged, I can say with assurance that the best thing about a Cadbury cream-filled egg is that the ingredients and information about nutrition, if there is any, are printed in type too small for the naked eye, or even the eye adorned with lineless trifocals, like mine. Plus, the printed information is folded and crinkled around the egg-shaped egg, ensuring its illegibility. And it is impossible to gently peel the world’s thinnest foil that is the egg’s wrapper without it shredding in your fingers, eliminating whatever miniscule chance you had of reading it.

It’s probably all for the best. Next time, I’ll stick with the cannoli. Um, I mean the cottage cheese.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Civil discourse: Canceled for lack of interest

Really. Civil discourse: Canceled for lack of interest. No kidding. Only one town official RSVP’d for a free seminar offered by the League of Women Voters of Saratoga County and The Saratoga Vital Aging Network. Every city and town council had received an invitation to attend “Keeping Civil Discourse Civil,” a nationally recognized program that trains community leaders to deal constructively with tough conflicts, enabling them to find common ground. So the event, which was open to the public but geared toward public officials, has been canceled. “We naively thought that in the wake of the shootings in Tucson our public officials would welcome techniques for dealing with inflammatory rhetoric and engaging in meaningful dialogue about controversial issues,” Barbara Thomas, president of the league, told me Friday afternoon.The event was intentionally scheduled for an evening that did not conflict with a Saratoga Springs City Council meeting.The lone town official, by the way, was from Milton. Kudos to the one person who thought the event was worth one evening.Civil discourse is more than common sense and courtesy. Being able to communicate constructively and work through differences to achieve goals are skills. Some people are better at it than others, and there isn’t anyone who couldn’t benefit from at least some training.Too bad the public couldn’t vote on which public officia


Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Sound of Music" a delight -- catch it April 10 in Schuylerville

“The Sound of Music” presented by Schuylerville Community Theater this weekend is a real delight. I went because my friend and colleague Beverly McKim and her husband, Dale, were in the cast. But as good as they were, especially Dale -- who can’t help but command the stage, whether singing or just acting – the whole cast of kids and adults oozed talent. All of the youngsters did well, but Anna Belden as Gretl, the youngest of the seven von Trapp children, was a scene-stealer. Even if I hadn’t known a soul in the cast, I would have found the show truly entertaining and well worth the $20 admission. You still have time to catch the show at 7:30 tonight (April 9) or at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon (April 10) at the Schuylerville High School Auditorium. Just head east out Route 29 (Lake Avenue); it’s less than 10 miles from downtown Saratoga Springs. Read more about the show at; Thursday's What's Happening section featured the families involved in this community theater production.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weekend in Santa Fe and Southwest's Sun Roof Surprise

My gal pals had a two-Margarita advantage on me by the time I shuffled into the Santa Fe Hotel bar Thursday evening, tugging a carry-on bursting at the seams. I missed happy hour, but at least I didn’t miss my connection. Storms added an hour to the Albany-to-Orlando flight and delayed the Orlando-to-Albuquerque leg of the journey by another three. On the bright side, the roofs of both 737s remained intact the entire trip. That’s better than an extra bag of peanuts. Though only a long weekend, this was a real getaway – no checking e-mails. So I didn’t know about Southwest's sunroof surprise until Saturday evening when I went to the hotel business office to print out the boarding passes for Sunday’s trip home. Right there only AOL home page was the news. Swell. Well, we figured, the planes on Sunday would be really, really, really safe. Duct tape fixes everything. For the first time, I paid close attention to the location of the emergency exits and the procedures for breathing through the oxygen mask, blowing into a life preserver, and kissing your butt goodbye. The Santa Fe weekend was the latest girls’ get-away for me and my former Saratogian friends Paulette and Ruth. We mean to do it every year, usually meeting in the east, though the last trip, 27 months ago, cleverly caught Chicago during the worst ice storm of the season. So this time we picked a warmer venue and a shorter trek for Ruth, who lives in California. Got an e-mail Monday morning from Paulette saying her connecting flight was delayed about six hours. She didn’t pull into her driveway in Pittsburgh until 3:15 a.m. – almost 24 hours (give or take, given the time change) after we’d hopped onto the shuttle from Santa Fe to Albuquerque. Next time, we agreed, we’ll meet somewhere we can all fly direct. Paulette might even drive. No more six-hour layovers. And no more missing happy hour. If Southwest keeps its planes in one piece, we’ll be all set.

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