You Can’t Take It With You

by Randy Reichardt on 29 October 2014 · 0 comments

in Miscellaneous

.: I am in the midst of my 27th trip to NYC. Ostensibly, the reason I came this time was to attend a Knovel Library Advisory Board meeting, which happened on Monday and Tuesday this week. Now it’s Wednesday morning, and I’m preparing to check out of the hotel and move to the Upper East Side (East 91st Street) for the next four days.

Last night I saw this play, and really enjoyed it. I especially loved Annaleigh Ashford‘s performance. Annaleigh plays Betty on Masters of Sex. She plays Rose Byrne’s sister, and her character dreams of being a dancer, so most of her moves on stage are that of a ballerina. Clearly she had taken ballet lessons, because she moved easily and fluidly back and forth, to extremes that had the audience roaring with laughter.

I’ve also seen two movies: Gone Girl and Birdman (Or: The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.) One of the fascinating aspects of Birdman is that the movie is made to appear as one continuous shot.

Tonight it’s dinner at Strip House with my friend, Barbara.

Upcoming on Friday, I’ll be spending most of the day with my friend, Nisa. We will go to Roosevelt Island, have dinner, watch the Village Halloween Parade, and then we’re going on the Haunted Halloween Walk, which is probably one of these. Saturday night it’s the Justin Hayward concert, then home on Sunday morning.

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LaGuardia Side Bar

by Randy Reichardt on 28 September 2013 · 0 comments

in Miscellaneous

I want to tell you this story, not because I was the Good Samaritan here, but because it’s an example of how we must treat someone we meet who is in distress. I think I’m writing it more for me so I can remember exactly what happened.

I arrived at LaGuardia on a flight from Edmonton via Minneapolis around 17:00 this afternoon. While waiting for my luggage, I hit the restroom for a moment, and when I returned, I noticed a fellow passenger fussing about with her luggage, which was a large hiker’s-type backpack and a couple of other smaller bags, likely made of linen and string, to hold clothing. As I got closer, I noticed that her backpack was in really bad shape, parts of it torn badly, and she was unfolding what appeared to be (and was) a sleeping bag that was damaged beyond repair. Other clothing and a towel were on the ground, soaking wet.

I started to talk to her, and she showed me all the damage done to her belongings – a section of her backpack had been shredded, severing a pocket and losing its contents, and busting the buckles that connect it together. Her bath towel was soaked and filthy, her sleeping bag destroyed, and the backpack in really rough shape, probably damaged beyond repair as well. The cuffs of a nice sweater had also been shredded. She started crying as she explained that this was basically her entire belongings – she was coming to NYC to work on a tall ship for six weeks before returning to the west coast, and everything here was what she needed to live on the boat for the duration. She told me her name was Alea, and that she didn’t know what to do now.

I asked her where she was headed, and she said Yonkers by way of Grand Central Station. She wasn’t sure how she’d get to GCS – I told her I’d help with that. Then I said I’d check with Delta Baggage to ask for assistance. I found the desk, but they were busy, so I went back and motioned her over. When she started talking with the Delta customer rep, she broke down crying again. The Delta rep listened closely, treated her with respect and dignity, and was brilliant and caring – she took all her information, asked her for estimates of the worth of the damaged goods, and her contact information. The Delta rep confirmed that she would be fully reimbursed for her losses.

I told Alea that I would take care of getting her to Grand Central Station. I had booked a car to take me to my destination on E91 Street when I arrived, so I called Carmel Car Service and told them that I had another passenger who needed to be driven to GCS, and that I would pay for her ride. (It was a pittance of an additional amount.)

After she settled with Delta, the rep came around the desk and gave her a big hug! We went out to the centre island and while waiting for the car, chatted quite a bit. She told me about how excited she was to come here to work on this tall ship, where she would be teaching children about environmental stewardship, sailing, and many other things. Finally the car arrived, we continued sharing stories, and eventually dropped me off at my destination. We hugged each other and I told her everything would be ok. She couldn’t stop thanking me, and I told her I was obligated by Canadian law to help people in situations like hers.

Pay it forward, my friends. It feels SO good when do can help someone else through a miserable moment in their lives, even if you don’t know them.

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30 Something

19 September 2013

Today is the “official” 30th Anniversary of the first day of my employment at the University of Alberta Libraries. I remember the sequence well: I was interviewed on Friday, 09 September 1983, for a contract position in the Science & Technology Library. The job was basic reference, and I would be working from 13:00-21:30 M-Th, […]

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Dark Days At The University of Alberta

23 August 2013

Hard to know where to begin. With the announcement below from President Samarasekara, a new era begins for the University of Alberta, one in which what was once a university with a goal of becoming one of the top 20 in the world instead will become one in which it will slowly descend into an […]

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Stanley Kubrick Exhibition – Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Photos by Emily Nguyen

21 July 2013

.: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently featured an exhibition on Stanley Kubrick.  On Facebook today, I discovered a set of photos taken by Emily Nguyen during her visit to the exhibit in November 2012.  A must-see if you are a Kubrick fan.  I am grateful that Emily has made her photo album […]

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Samantha Schultz Performing “It’s Too Late”, Featuring Vanessa Collier

16 July 2013

.: Samantha Schultz is a multi-talented Edmonton musician who I have had the good fortune of knowing for the past few years. She writes and sings her own material, and can deliver the goods when singing cover tunes as well. Sam recently graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and at the Berklee […]

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