Sunday, February 29, 2004
I was riding the subway today and a six year old girl and her three year old brother were sitting across from me in the car. The girl was showing her parents how well she could read.
"Do not lean on doors"
After patting her on the head a few times and applauding, the parents turned away to go back to their adult conversation.
Annoyed, the girl decided her brother would serve as the new audience. She decided to read him an advertisement that was posted along the top edge of the car.
The ad read: You may qualify for half-fare Metrocards if you can answer yes to any of these questions.
She read aloud to her brother:
You may candy for helper microwave if you can animals yes to all of the keepers.
Entralled her brother asked: "what does that mean?"
"It means you have to be quiet on the subway all the time or we can't get candy."
Friday, February 27, 2004
The following colloquy from an imagined Bush/Kerry debate is priceless:
Bush: (regaining composure) Massachusetts Liberal
Kerry: I don't like to talk about it, but I'm a war hero.
Bush: Bring it On
Kerry: No, I have three words for you. Bring ... It ... On
Bush: Let's Roll
Kerry: I'm coming, you're going and...
Bush: I haven't heard you talk like that since our Skull and Bones initiation week.
Kerry: ... don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Bush: (pounding a fist) The Almighty, Faith-based, Mel Gibson, God Bless
Kerry: Ketchup fortune, good hair, tall, I can still drink
Bush: Fake Vietnam stories
Kerry: That was Bob Kerrey
There's more... click the above link.
Via Mad Kane.
Two Bosnian brothers were told the reason that could drink all they wanted without ever being drunk was that they each had four kidneys.
Your blogmaster Dawn has the same ability, maybe I also have four kidneys.
The New Rules of Engagement
My oldest uncle and I were born on the same date -- 35 years apart. We had a joint birthday party once when I turned 8. He was my grandmother's favorite child. (I used to think I could parlay the shared birthday into being her favorite grandchild, but with no success.)
He was a semi-God in the Panamanian town where he lived with his wife and two kids. He was Captain of the Bomberos (Panama's fire department) and President of the oldest Lodge in the country. Four days before Christmas in 1990, he suddenly died of a heart attack. He was 44.
The funeral lasted 9 hours, everyone within 70 miles of Colon was there. The city shut down. Cars were lined up for miles to get to the gravesite --- and people... well, it looked like old footage from the marches on Washington.
To this day, if I meet a native Panamanian and tell them I'm his niece, it's always worth a boatload of cool points.
He was a widely respected and adored.
He was also a "terrorist."
Well, to be fair, in those days they called them protestors, or at worst, rioters. But no doubt about it, he threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at U.S. Soldiers guarding the Canal Zone - a strip of land in the midst of Panama, that was occupied by Americans and declared a U.S. territory.
From what I know, through anecdotes and articles. Segregation was pretty fierce in Panama during the 1960s. Not just between blacks and whites, but between Panamanian and Americans.
In the Canal Zone, all the schools and municipal buildings flew the American flag, only American citizens could receive services at Zone hospitals (which were the best), the famous and fanciest hotels did not allow blacks and certainly not black Panamanians. Only American citizens could attend the Canal Zone schools.
In 1964, Panamanian high school students demanded that the Panamanian flag fly over all public high schools.
The Americans refused and instead decided that no flags would fly outside the Canal Zone schools.
For more than two weeks in the Winter of '64 riots broke out after Panamanian kids tried to fly the Panamanian flag over Balboa High School.
More than two dozen kids were killed by Zone police and soldiers and a number soldiers were killed by student snipers.
My grandfather forbade all his children from getting involved, my grandmother even threatened them with her evil eye.
But like most teenagers, my uncle ignored them.
He and his friends, armed with sticks, and stones and whatever else they could pick up on the streets, headed to protest the U.S. occupation and demand the recognition of Panamanian sovereignty.
Sometimes, his kid sisters went along.
They were gassed, beaten, trampled.
But in the end, triumphant.
Today, I watch stories about the uprisings in Haiti, Chechnya, and the Gaza strip and I think about my uncle the "terrorist."
For the most part they didn't have guns or sophisticated explosives, they faced tanks barefeet in their school uniforms. Then bloodied and scratched would tell their parents lies about falling out of trees or rough housing in the school yard.
Today's terrorists are just as young, just as reckless and -- I like to imagine -- equally defiant of disapproving parents, but now the geo-political world is much different.
They are the world's enemies.
Instead of tear gas, they face poison gas. Instead of throwing rocks at tanks, they are crushed by them.
And we are all safer because of it.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
With the attention focussed on San Fran and Massachusetts (even New Mexico, for goodness sakes!) I was beginning to feel all left out, here in the Big Apple.
But now the mayor of New Paltz has brought the attention back home! He promises to wed four same sex couples within the month.
So she returned the favor.
"The violent, controversial crucifixion scene in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" has proved too much for one unfortunate woman.
Kansas resident Peggy Law, 56, collapsed from an apparent heart attack on the film's opening day, Wednesday, Feb. 25 while watching a morning screening sponsored by a Wichita radio station, according to news sources."
Via Commenter Alceste
The NY Post has a story about the "coming out" of Elvis Presley's granddaughter, Riley. Best line is from her mom, Lisa who says that Riley's birth in 1989 "kept her own life from spiraling out of control."
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown criticized Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill, yesterday. Upset about the non-existent Bush policy on the Haitian crises she called the President's policy on the beleaguered nation "racist" and his representatives "a bunch of white men."
"Noriega later told Brown: "As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man," according to three participants."
Brown's race was not identified, but she reportedly responded "you all look alike to me."
Without spoiling the episode for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, last night's Angel demonstrates that Joss Whedon wasn't watching the show last year.
Not that it was bad, but it's just been done.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
A woman declined a marriage proposal in front of an arena full of basketball fans.
That is so something my friend would do. Poor, poor guy.
Via Intl/News (Really great news blog! No more need to read Drudge.)
"Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton said Tuesday that both Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and opposition leaders have accepted his offer to travel to Haiti to help broker a peace agreement after a U.S.-backed proposal was rejected."
If Al Sharpton brokers peace in Haiti.... well, I don't even know how to end that sentence.
"By the labor of your hand you shall eat food until you return to the dust from which you were created, because dust you are, and to dust you will return; but from the dust you are destined to arise to render an account and a reckoning of all you have done, on the day of great judgment."
---- Genesis 3:19
I love that today you can tell who all the practicing Catholics in the world are! Hello out there!
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Commenter Rdan pointed out that Kerry is also opposed to gay marriage, making for a "clear choice" come November. Apparently, Edwards is opposed to gay marriage too, but as Instapundit points out, there is an alternative:
I didn't say it was a pretty one.
It's funny, because it's true.
What lesser-known Simpsons character are you?
Brought to you by the good folks at sacwriters.com.
Via Green Frog. (Although she did the dog one, I'm all about the boob tube.)
After some surprising comments from Russia President Vladimir Putin that the fall of the Soviet Union was a regrettable act and the sudden disappearance of his main rival for the presidency, I have been keeping an eye Russia.
Today's news is chilling:
"President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia dismissed the prime minister and his entire cabinet today, saying he wanted a new team to be in place to set new policies after next month's presidential elections."
More to come...I'm sure.
New York Times is reporting that President Bush will back constitutional amendment "to protect marriage."
Monday, February 23, 2004
Ok, just kidding, I'm a lawyer who blogs, no way is there ever enough said. 'Sex and the City' ended well, I watched, I cried, I suffered through the 'Curb your Enthusiasm' that followed.
I faithfully followed 'Sex and the City' from the year I got cable (2000) until last night's finale. Much better fans than I, have written lovely things about the finale and the meaning of the show (here are two right off the blogroll: CandiedGinger and Green Frog!) so I don't have anything to add on that front.
But as a self-appointed expert on television, I felt that Sex and the City ended exactly the way it should. So many shows twist themselves in unrecognizable, hour-long messes, trying to end in a clever, unexpected way that faithful viewers are left confused and cheated. (Admit it, Elaine and Jerry should have gotten married. Roseanne's dream sequence was bo-gus and .... dude, how did the X-Files end? oh yeah...fuck you, gimme back the Cigarette Smoking man.)
So few writers can pen an end that rewards the diehards (Buffy and Xena spring to mind,) but the good folks at SATC did what they have successfully done for six years. They did it well and did it right. And did I enjoy it?
I saw the old guy's announcement on 'Meet The Press.' I was impressed with his defiance. Although I think that he should wait and see what happens with the Democratic primaries before announcing, (he shares many of Kucinich's views and should see if Dennis gets the nod before running against him) he certainly has valid reasons for running and he should. As for any spoiler talk, if the Dems are so concerned Ralph is going to pull so many votes with his platform, why don't they adopt his platform or at least incorporate its best features. Nader's presence makes it hard for the Demoratic candidate to bolt to the right, as a liberal Democrat, I only see this as a positive.
Nader voters are not necessarily Democrats.
Ralph's protestations to the contrary, he probably won't pull voters away from Bush, but he might lull Repubs into thinking that he's definitely ruining it for Kerry and that might depress turnout on the Right.
Ahh, I love the smell of politics in the morning.
Saturday, February 21, 2004
The White House has announced that one of the Bush family pets, Spot, has been put to sleep. The First Family is quoted as being 'deeply saddened' by the loss.
Dudes, in two administrations, and twelve years, can't anyone come up with a new catch phrase for expressing executive remorse?
That deeply saddens me.
A more in depth study of the overuse of 'deeply saddened,' here.
Friday, February 20, 2004
If you knock over a fire hydrant, a geyser of water does not come shooting up, like the commercials and movies would have you believe.
Not that you should be knocking over firehydrants, but well, it's good to know.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
*Sigh* He's Ever So Dreamy
Via Alarming News
Poster courtesy Allah Pundit. (If it shows up, it's been flashing in and out, so if it's gone, pardon the red x).
John Edwards was in New York City today and I missed it! :-(
I called my bestest friend in the whole wide world today to tell her we missed our chance to tell John Edwards we want to marry him.
She yelled at me for dropping the ball.
But hey, we can drive up to Rochester next week!
Actually, I think we'd both be willing to donate the highest amount allowed by law for individual donors, if John Edwards would have dinner with us. (Anybody have connections to the campaign?)
I could make my world famous Rice Krispies squares.
Don't worry Peter, I am still voting for Dennis.
(I'm just saying that John, I love you.)
A reverend is running a class that uses 'The Simpsons' to turn kids onto God.
"God is not mocked in this show," Miller told ABCNEWS' Dan Harris. "Sincere religious belief is not mocked in the show. And those are some of the few things that are not mocked in the show."
Ummm... okilly dokilly, if he says so.
Seriously. Go ahead. Try.
(Turn down the volume on your computer speakers though, my whole hallway now thinks I'm a huge Cindi Lauper fan.)
Via Echidne of the Snakes
GET UP OFFA THAT THANG
The thing about starting a new job is that everyday, at least for a few weeks, you'll be making a first impression.
So for a former late-riser, business way casual and sneakers-wearer, I've had to make some pretty drastic adjustments. 7:30 wake-ups, suits, and *gasp* shoes.
It's the latter that poses the most difficulty. I have pretty messed up footsies due to bad genetics and 12 years of ballet dancing, so I've always preferred sneakers and flat shoes to heels or fancy boots. Furthermore, now I have a longer commute on the ever-crowded NYC subways and I'm travelling at the traditional rush hours.
The combination has caused me to think a lot about chivalry.
My friend's brother, an adorably well-raised, young man complains that he hates taking the subway from Manhattan's Upper east side to Brooklyn because he has to stand for most of the hour-and-a-half long trip.
I couldn't believe that not one seat would open up on the whole trip and asked why he was standing so long. Basically, he said he couldn't sit, if there was a woman standing, so he always ended giving up his seat.
See? adorably well-raised.
My subway ride is probably 35 minutes door-to-door, but in heels, it feels like two days.
As I stand rocking back and forth in sub-human crowd conditions, I scour the cars looking at the faces of the seated -- those lucky bastards obliviously reading their papers and drinking their lattes. I especially loathe the sleepers.
My eyes implore "C'mon mister...get up. Get up. GET UP!!!!!!"
It worked once. But truth be told, I think I may have said the words out loud instead of just thinking them.
Oh well, I got a seat and was happy.
But for the most part, the adorably well-raised don't ride the Q train from the ECB to Midtown during rush hour. The cold, selfish, seat-grubbers do and the rest of us are left only with bitterness.
That and racial profiling.
The hippie looking white kids will most likely get off at the NYU stop, the middle aged Asian women, the Chinatown stop, the business suit wearers, Penn Station and so on...
I don't know what these people are complaining about, at least they are sitting.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
You really can find anything on the Internet!
For those of you who hate to click:
"The boy spotted his own photo, taken when he was 3, on a Canadian missing children's Web site a few months ago and told a teacher about it, authorities said. The teacher contacted police, who then confirmed the story with Canadian authorities. "
The police have arrested the 17-year-old's mother and placed the boy in a foster home.
The story reminded me of when I was little and used to search for evidence that I was adopted. Of course, I was hoping that I was a long-lost Jackson, but that's another story.
No seriously, I'm stealing a page from Candace and sharing one of my wacky dreams.
Well, not all of it -- I'm still not sure what the whole duck swimming with the bear part was about --- but I dreamt I was working on the Clinton/Edwards presidential campaign!
As I am mildly psychic, there's my bold prediction for 2008.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Grand Jury declines to indict officer who fatally shot a Brooklyn teen last month. Raymond Kelly has some 'splaining to do.
According to this article, the lead in Mel Gibson's 'Passion' was struck by lightining.
We may never know what the Pope thought, but it seems God has clearly weighed in on the issue.
Maybe Donald Trump could incorporate this into 'The Apprentice?'
You are Snoopy!
Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Via Green Frog.
All weekend I've been watching footage of couples standing, sitting, reclining in long lines in front of San Francisco's city hall, waiting for marriage licenses and wedding officiation. Then there were the fauz C-SPAN clips of legislatures (mostly in Georgia and Massachussetts) debating motions to amend the state constitutions to ban gay marriage.
One Georgian legislator warned that the Republican administration was forcing a special session, during a holiday weekend, in order to inject hate and discrimination into the state Constitution.
The amendment passed. And pending approval in the other chamber of Georgia's legislature, it'll be put on the ballot in November.
Hate was derailed a bit longer in Massachusetts when the body adjourned without any decision.
It's sad really.
I remember when the issue of gay rights was explored in 1993 with respect to gays in the military, I thought, this is a no-brainer. Of course, gay people are allowed in the military. Of course, gay people can serve as scout leaders. Dude, what does one thing have to do with the other?
Silly me, I was just a foolish teenager then. Those older and wiser decided that a 'see no gay people, hear no gay people' approach was the way to go. Troop morale and impressionable boys and all that.
So what's the sitch with gay marriages?
No morale issues, no youth to be corrupted by all the gayness --- no problem.
Wrong again, kid.
The sad thing is I am surprised everytime.
We have a constitution and a jurisprudence that says you can't discriminate against people based on sex. Where is the little asterisked fine print that says "* only if they are gay"?
I've looked, it ain't there.
If Jane wants to marry Tom, the state allows it. If Jane wants to marry Lisa, the state forbids it. How is that not impermissible discrimination against Lisa because she is a woman?
Now I've heard the oh-so-clevers opine that if we allow Jane and Lisa to wed, then we have to allow brothers and sisters to get married. Or polygamists. Or beastialists.
Of course, it's not all true.
Gay marriage should be allowed simply because our laws prohibit gender discrimination, nowhere does our law say only men can have two wives or only women can marry their siblings or only men can bed their goats. Nobody has those privileges, so denial is not discriminatory.
We have had a long history of denying rights to people based on their skin colors, nationality, gender, accents, etc. and every time we have eventually come out on the side of equality under the law (if not in the real world.)
Why can't we learn from our history and skip this embarrassing "debate" about who can be second class citizens and who can't be?
Please, stop surprising me.
Sunday, February 15, 2004
According to the Daily News, Teresa Heinz told Elle magazine "she would jokingly warn her first husband that if he ever strayed, "I'll maim you. Not kill you, just maim you." "
Is it just me or does anyone else kinda hope the rumors are true, just to see Teresa go medieval on Kerry?
From Frank Rich's column: "There are plenty of Americans to laugh at, starting with the public itself. If we are to believe the general outcry, the nation's families were utterly blindsided by the Janet-Justin pas de deux while watching an entertainment akin to "Little Women." As Laura Bush put it, "Parents wouldn't know to turn their television off before that happened." They wouldn't? In the two-plus hours "before that happened," parents saw not only the commercials featuring a crotch-biting dog, a flatulent horse and a potty-mouthed child but also the number in which the crotch-grabbing Nelly successfully commanded a gaggle of cheerleaders to rip off their skirts. What signal were these poor, helpless adults waiting for before pulling their children away from the set? Apparently nothing short of a simulated rape would do."
It's a great piece, so if you're registered with the old gray lady's online outlet, read the whole thing.
Saturday, February 14, 2004
There a liberal has said it. Now, stop bitchin'.
In particular, I hate that because of terrorists my library has removed the after hour drop box meaning I have to stand on line to return my Buffy the Vampire Slayer books.
Yeah, that's right. Books.
Friday, February 13, 2004
OK, maybe just say no to three large cups of double cappuccinos is more accurate. I swear, right now I can see the future, read minds and make objects levitate.
Russian leader laments the end of the Soviet Union, calling it a national tragedy that only benefited the elites.
John Kerry told Imus that there is no story and very smartly moved on without further comment.
According to the British press, there was no affair.
I'm starting to find saying 'Good Morning' everyday, oppressive. I'm downgrading to the head nod and smile. Maybe an audible grunt if I panic.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Does John Kerry have a girlfriend? Possibly an intern with whom he had an affair?
Does this leave John Edwards or Howard Dean as the heir to the throne?
OH MY GOD!
I grew up in a very strict Catholic home. My mom taught Sunday school, we went to church every week and despite making less than 20,000/yr., we gave money to the church every week.
On my bedroom walls were: a Mookie Wilson poster, a picture of the Challenger crew and Jesus. As a teenager, I taught Sunday School and served on the altar during mass as a reader (these were before the days of altar girls!)
Religion was very important. And to me, it still is.
However, while it played a large role in our private lives, it never drove or changed the things we did publically. My mother worked as an nurses' technician in a women's clinic; she distributed contraceptives, assisted in reproductive procedures and counseled young women about all their birth control/reproductive options. She did her job.
In school, I had friends who were Prostetant, Jewish, Atheist, Agnostic, Buddist, etc.; I've never been about the prostelizing or conversion. I've always been sternly pro-choice.
That was the American way.
Lately, all that seems to be changing. Last week the news reported the story of a pilot who, just before take-off, did a poll of his passengers to find out who the Christians were, and then, proceeded to call the non-Christians, nuts.
There was of course, the Presidential candidate who said his favorite philosopher was Jesus and the Chief Judge who wanted the Ten Commandments greeting him when he arrived for work each day.
There are the crazies who think that 9/11 and every national disaster before and since is divine retribution for our societal sins. The loons who think our government should be about the business of converting the Middle East to Christianity. And the nutsos who think Allah calls them to kill infidels (pick your own link.)
This morning I came across this story about a phramacist who wouldn't fill a morning after pill prescription for a rape victim because of his religious beliefs. (Rick may need to add Ekerd's to his CVS crusade to-do list)
These stories stand out because they seem to cross this invisible line that we've drawn in our society, but on closer inspection, I wonder if they are really any more far out that the government opening an investigation into a costume malfunction on the grounds that it corrupts our youth or the fact that our money and courts are founded on a trust in God. (I mean, if anybody really thinks that 'God' is anything other than the Holy Christian Trinity, I've got a piece of the shroud of Turin to sell you.)
Even Joe Lieberman had to run as some kind of "Judeo-Christian amalgam" and he was still distrusted on the basis of his religion.
One of the early keys to the success of the American experiment was the separation of church and state -- it's continued separation is no less important today. Unfortunately, the argument pops up in seemingly innocuous places like the pledge of allegiance or Christmas trees in the town square, or 'May God continue to bless America' at the close of national addresses, but the ramafications can be serious.
Private persons are free to be as holy and religious as they want, but our greater society must jealously guard its secularity, or God help us all.
It's official. I wear glasses.
I'd been cruising that gray area between 20/30 vision for a couple of years, but this past week I realize that I'm holding papers much closer to my face and my back is developing a hunch from my bending toward the computer screen.
So, is there an orientation committee or a welcome wagon for the newly vision impaired?
I remember hearing that glasses wearers shouldn't order soup at a business lunch due to excessive fog.
Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Already busy hunting for Osama bin Laden and the elusive White House "leak," the Bush Administration is now undertaking the task of finding an Alabama National Guardsman who can confirm that President Bush showed up for his ordered duty. Upon hearing the news, O.J. Simpson faxed the White House asking that they immediately inform him if they happen to come across "the real killers," during the search.
Gov. Howard Dean has finally announced that he plans to drop out of the race for President. The former front runner said he realized that his no-wins, no-campaigning strategy was doomed to fail... what? General Clark quit? So two candidates are out?
Huh? Dean's still in? He thinks the no-win, no campaigning strategy will lead him to the nomination in July?
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Bill O'Reilly apologized this morning on GMA!
"My analysis was wrong and I'm sorry."
I just got the worst ID picture card I have ever had in my life.
I mean, plum awful, but the thing is, I don't take bad pictures. Not only because I am naturally adorable, but I have a great smile, a sparkling personality and the camera loves me.
Of course, thanks to the ability to save pictures digitally, losing the card will not result in my getting a better picture.
Oh, woe is me.
Monday, February 09, 2004
I thought President Bush's interview with Tim Russert went very well for the embattled President. (Note to Google Bombers, let's get that one going!)
President Bush always does much better with the one on one interview format than a) any of his surrogates and b) delivering speeches.
I only rolled my eyes a few times during the interview and laughed out-loud at him, only once. ("I said I wanted to have the military fight and win war." Duh. )
I think it's a combination of journalists not wanting to burn the proverbial bridge to the Oval Office and his not worrying about pronouncing lines, but if I were the Bushies, I'd set him up with Cokie next.
P.S. Did you ever notice that you can't spell Karl Rove without Karol? Just an observation completely unrelated to any blogresses.
Losing My Religion....Yeah, That's Me in the Corner
Have you ever been to a church revival?
From movies, I get the sense that out in "the country" they involve tents and folding chairs. Well, in "the city," they involve dilapidated basements and folding chairs.
My Godmother, who God bless her, has managed to marry and divorce the same man three times all the while maintaining the same look of shock and hurt after he cleans out her bank account and splits.
After each "shocking" departure of the husband, she joins a new church. Each successive cult er sect… meets in a basement rattier than the last. Unbeknowest to me, my mother bought tickets for the two of us to attend rat trap number three for a fashion show and pot luck.
Located in what can only be described as the ghetto's ghetto, rat trap number 3 was an unheated, unpainted, urban dungeon. While no signs pointed to a clearly marked exit, there were holes in the wall that looked big enough for me to squeeze through in the event of an emergency.
There were two rows of 12 tables arranged against what was left of the walls and folded chairs placed around the tables. I grabbed a seat toward the back of the room behind a pillar and my mom sat across the table from me.
Various churchwomen came by to introduce themselves and peddle wares (Holy beads, mystery water, $5 raffle tickets for a dinner for two at IHOP. Pass, pass, pass.)
My Godmother came by after fifteen minutes to say hello.
She was dressed from head to toe in yellow and white striped cloth.
"Traditional African dress."
If I wanted, she knew a guy that could make me the same outfit for $200.
Dinner began by passing around the plastic jug of Manishevitz wine.
The high priestesses (all dressed in yellow and white stripes from head to toe and called "Matron so and so") came around to bless the tables and expel Satan.
By this point, I was lustfully eyeing the hole in the wall.
"Hmmm, I wonder where it leads? Maybe there's buried treasure, a magical portal…or rats…"
I stayed put.
I scanned the room and spotted a table with a few people my age. I briefly made eye contact with one guy who looked attractive from the side, but when he faced me, it was a whole other story.
It's like one of those magic pictures that if you stare too closely a whole other image pops out.
But by eye contact, it's all too late; I smiled quickly and went back to swirling my "wine" in the plastic red cup.
A few minutes later, Mr. Magic Picture was standing beside me.
He had that look in his eye.
"Hi, Sistah. What’s your name?"
"Stacey." (Stacey, in addition to not being my name, is 23, teaches fourth grade and lives with her boyfriend in Queens. I chose the alias in honor of the future Prime Minister of Jamaica a couple of years ago.)
"Yeah, he's a firefighter."
(This was a new addition, I didn't know Doug fought fires until yesterday.)
"Oh, ok Sistah. Enjoy the evening."
"That wasn't very nice."
"God Bless, sistahs. Are you having a good time."
Saved by Matron Providence!!!
Everyone at the table looked away.
Undaunted, Matron Providence continued…now she was looking straight at me.
"Praise Jesus, are you having a good time young sistah."
Apparently, I will give an affirmative answer to anyone asking me a question while standing over me with a wooden cooking spoon.
"And how about you, Mommy?"
My mother shrugs her shoulders and says "Eh."
My mother, apparently, does not share my affliction.
Matron Providence glared and left.
She hadn't been gone twenty seconds, before a woman in jeans and a plaid lumberjack shirt stumbled over, holding a half finished bottle of Heineken.
She leaned back to take a swig and knocked into the man sitting at the head of the next table. In over correcting her stumble, she fell -- face first -- into my table.
I saw her (and the open beer bottle) pouring straight for me, so I deflected the bottle neck with my hand and sent the liquid spilling into the lap of the lady next to me.
She jumped up from the table and the drunk lady's head slammed into the table.
Everyone's eyes were on me, my eyes were on the hole.
Rats be damned; I'm outta here.
Suddenly, the Reverend Bishop Rabbi appeared on the altar.
"Behold, the sin of inebriation. The Lord said for you to have a little wine, not beer. Repent."
The drunk lady stood up and fell to her knees. Shouting something about redemption and a closet, she downed the last drops left in the bottle.
"Israel, behold the false idol, not made of gold, but of alcohol and drugs. Cast it out."
Now, everyone was shouting and casting until the drunk lady was saved.
"OK, dinner is served." Matron Providence was back.
People lined up in front of the steam tables for dinner.
Drunk lady was there too, but now she was wearing one of the yellow-striped cloth numbers…ahhh a morality play…
Great. Seriously… I could probably take the rats.
The rest of the evening was uneventful…well, actually, I have no idea. After the people started lining up, my mother decided she'd had enough and we snuck out through the basement door. (Silly, Dawn…crawling through a rat hole, what are we on 'Fear Factor?')
We hailed a "cab" (ok, an old man driving a 1973 Chevy) and headed back to the safety of the ECB.
The Old man had on conspiracy radio and decided to share with us his information about the blood-drinking, Pirate Society, Skull and Bones, that Bush and Kerry are in, which plans to get rid of all the black people in America by 2008.
My mom shot me a look that said "on second thought, let's crawl through the rat hole looking for treasure."
More to come...
(I have the best office chair ever...no, really, this is the best piece of furniture that has ever been made available to me. Ever.)
Ooh and free transportation!
Saturday, February 07, 2004
Howard Dean should wait until finishing one losing national campaign before starting another.
Reportedly, he's jockeying for Veep.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
First: There isn't really an officer and a gentleman in "An Officer and a Gentleman." Same guy. Now, you don't need to rent it.
Second: I saw a homeless man on the train today wearing six different gloves on his hands, not one a pair. There were some strays in his pocket as well. That's what happens to that one glove you lost on subway! Now.... I've just got to find all those one foot socks.
Third: Six days off is just enough time to get used to getting out of bed at 11 a.m., not enough time to readjust to waking at 8 a.m.
I'm in for one hellish week.
Fourth: Remember how I hated dial-up blogging. Well, imagine my surprise warm-fuzzies toward it when my former employer cut off my dialing-in privileges. D'oh.
Fifth: Everytime GMA (Good Morning America) does a segment on Janet Jackson at the Superbowl I want to write them a letter reminding them that three weeks ago, they showed not one, but two boobs at 7:45 in the morning, when they ran a clip of 'The Calendar Girls' where the women realize they need "bigger buns" for one well-endowed member.
Bet they don't want the FCC investigating that!!
"Man, New York needs to make it easier to evict someone."
Bad, Dawn. Bad, Bad Dawn.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
"Traces of the deadly agent, ricin, was found in the mailroom of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist ... hmm... the Senate Majority Leader's mailroom eh? I knew Trent Lott was just biding his time!"
--- Dennis Miller
Joe Lieberman is finally done. "I feel like a winner," he said in classic loser fashion. It was sad really, his speech was so long and boring even Larry King Live cut away.
Al Sharpton, well what can I say about Rev. Sharpton that he didn't say about himself? With no money and no political experience he placed above Lieberman, Kucinich and Dean in South Carolina. Did anyone else notice he was the only candidate not to thank God in his speech last night?
Wesley Clark: Oklahoma is OK with him. He lives to drop out another day.
John Edwards: Won with double digits in South Carolina, is still adorable as hell, voice or no voice.
Howard Dean: Tough Night.
Dennis Kucinich: Sigh.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Well folks, I am officially between jobs. Unfortunately, I managed to wake up at 7 o'clock this morning. A fact that's all the more disturbing, given that I could never wake up before 9 when I was working.
I so miss my blackberry. Its gentle buzz, its warm green glow, its oh-so-perfect palm sized shape...sorry, I promised myself I wouldn't cry.
Attorney departures are always compared to death. There's the wake: an office farewell party, complete with stale cake and alcohol; the obituary: a brief blurb in the daily fact sheet saying you've passed on, a bit about those you leave behind and an address where flowers and notes can be sent; the tombstone: a small "token" that the firm mails out a month later, replete with your engraved initials and dates of employment.
Of course, no termination would be complete without a last supper.
I was able to score a place at dinner with the firm's best senior litigation associate and her advisees at New York's famed "Daniel."
There are no words to describe how good dinner was. Although "little drops of heaven," come pretty close to capturing the fresh baked madelines!
Tortelloni, crab, truffle encrusted lobster, the signature seabass, parmesan baskets...oh my! Each course was better than the one before, all cluminating in the chocolate upside-down cake dessert!
Dinner was simply amazing and the company was great too. I found out that the aformentioned associate extraordinaire, is also a blogger!
Her site focuses on knitting, but there's also a good smattering of New York City living mixed in. (I'm impressed that after the past two snowy months, she can still be positively inspired by the snowfall... it takes everything I have not to call it a season, bunker down and try again in the Spring.)
The evening culminated in Daniel Bolud himself, coming over to our table to say hello (well, more like 'ello!!!!!) :-)
We were engrossed in conversation and so he evidently stood there for two or three minutes waiting to get our attention. When we finally looked up, he smiled gently and asked if we were enjoying the meal. We each had our own dessert, as well as two baskets of the little drops of heaven and two trays of various cookies. Less than ten minutes later, we were staring at two empty baskets, two empty trays and six empty dessert plates.
So with a smile he then adds "Have you had enough sweets?"
We said yes and then one woman asked if he was the chef.
At this point, he stands extra straight, looks her in the eye and says
"Yes. I am Daniel."
I knew I'd seen him on TV!
I took the company car home for the last time and at 11:58 p.m. was dropped off in the ECB.
With a belly full of french cuisine and three bottles of champagne, my wallet devoid my firm ID card and corporate Amex and my witty, bitty blackberry stripped from my hands...so it ends.
How long before people start blaming Bill Clinton for Janet Jackson's Sunday night peep show?
Monday, February 02, 2004
Timothy Stansbury, Jr. was killed on the rooftop of the Louis Armstrong Houses, in Bedford-Stuyvesant -- which is one of Brooklyn's public housing projects.
He was taking a short cut to a party by crossing over his building's roof, when he opened the roof door, he was shot by an on-duty officer.
Timothy was unarmed.
When I first heard the story, I thought it was just another case of a black kid shot by a police officer. Even the police commissioner said the shooting was unjustified.
But as the press reported more facts, it seemed that anybody - no matter what color - coming through that roof door would have been killed. I remember thinking, well at least he wasn't killed for being black.
The truth is though, armed police officers, with readied weapons only patrol certain rooftops.
On the Upper East Side, the leisure classes, have pools on the roof. In Morningside heights, the cool kids drink scotch and shoot fireworks on the roof; in the village, they tan on the roofs.
But not in Brooklyn, not in Bed-Stuy. Roofs in poor, predominately-minority, neighborhoods can't be used for social activities, they have been taken over my criminals and cops.
"Do you know what happens on roofs?"
Before I could guess, parties or David Letterman's golf tournaments, I got a litany of
the worst crimes imaginable: rapes, drug deals, beatings, murders. Cops patrolling the roofs assume anyone on them are criminals, and they are expecting the worst and are ready to do the worst.
The investigation in this case isn't complete yet, so I can't comment on the particulars of it. But it is sad, that simply because you don't have a fancy address, you're presumed to be a criminal when you climb out onto the roof.
Who are you?
Here I am!
Yesterday was the last day of tax free shopping in NY for items under $110.
Since I had to buy a new winter coat, I woke up early to hit the outlet stores. (By the way, don't ever buy a winter coat in the summer. Without exception, you'll lose 100 pounds and it'll be too big or you'll gain 50 pounds and it'll be too small. Trust me, it's how I know God exists and is pissed off.)
Anyway, shopping alone on a Sunday afternoon is great.
However, I don't recommend dancing around in your socks inside the carpeted dressing room. As fun as it may be to lip sync a choreographed "He's so shy," you are just building up enough static electricity to give a mother shock to the next person you touch.
Sorry, dressing room clothes check lady.
On a related note, have you ever mistakeningly asked a mannequin for assistance? Then, got really ticked when they didn't answer? And just when you are about to give them the whatfor, you realize your nemesis is just plastic and paint, so you look around to make sure no one else was watching you nearly engage in fist-a-cuffs with a doll?
Well...um...yeah, me neither.
Cialis is the new competitor for Viagra and Levitra. But the tv ad warns "erections lasting longer than 4 hours, though rare, requires immediate medical attention."
Sunday, February 01, 2004
The Whitey-Ricans and other bogeymen
In honor of black history month, I plan to focus on the role of race in our day and age.
As with most things, my understanding begins at home, in the ECB.
East Coco Beach is an all-black neighborhood. Oh, wait, there’s an elderly white woman who lives on the fifth floor of my building. She’s been there for thirty-five years, best that I can figure. She used to live with her husband, who weighed more than 400 pounds, but he died five years ago, and now, she’s alone.
White people work here though. The men who run the pizzeria (when I was a kid they were Italian, now they’re Polish), the librarians, the dress shop owner across the street and the cops: but they left everynight at 6. Except the cops.
After school and on school holidays, my mom dropped me off at my babysitter’s apartment. She was 80 years old and one of the kids in her care was her nine-year-old grandson, so we all invariably also called her ‘Grandma.’ There were eight elementary-school aged children at Grandma’s and six babies. Two of the girls were light-skinned black kids, complete with “straight hair,” five of us were brown-skinned and one boy was an actual shade of black.
He suffered, non-stop torment.
Blackie, Sambo, Kunta, nappy-head, Shaka Zulu, name it: if it sounded bad, he was called it. On most days, Chris, the oldest of us, called him stupid and black-faced and hit him on the head with the handle of a brush.
Black was definitely not something you wanted to be at Grandma’s.
In school, it was a whole different story.
There were two white children in my whole elementary school. Out of hundreds of children, there were two. Twin sisters in fact, and their mom taught the advanced section of fifth grade. But we didn’t find that out until much later.
They started the school in third grade, white interlopers in a class full of kids who had been together since kindergarten.
Tyrone pulled their hair, Jackie hid their books, Mark called them honky-tonks and whitey. No one played with them at recess.
I remember Sarah screaming that they weren’t white, they were Puerto Rican and everybody should leave them alone.
But Gabrielle messed it all up, and said it wasn’t true.
Thenceforth, they were Whitey-Ricans.
White was definitely not something you wanted to be at P.S. 235.
That was the extent of racial understanding, when I was very young. And obviously, it was ill-informed at best. When Grandma or a teacher would ask why we did this or that to the Whitey-Ricans or Little Black Sambo, we would cast our eyes downward, shrug our shoulders and say sheepishly:
“we don’t know.”
I saw a Diane Sawyer special a few months ago about how elementary school children viewed race.
Predictably, the black children said the white children couldn’t be trusted and the white children said that the black children were scary, although both sets of children admitted they had never met an actual white or black child, respectively.
Diane then said, well, then how do you know white/black kids are what you think they are.
One child closed his eyes real tight, squirmed in his chair, tapped his forehead with his fingers and suddenly blurted out:
“We just know.”
How times have changed.