Monday, November 30, 2009
Crosstown by taxi in rain
At the clinic, the receptionist told me my shrink had opened his own waiting room away from the main one. The main room had Oprah on TV. I went to the new room, no TV, a woman took my appointment paper & handed me a card that said she was a licensed social worker. She didn't seem to be doing any social work. "We have coffee," she said, pointing to a drip machine & pot I could smell contained old & burnt brew. Fortunately, I'd brought a Smithsonian magazine. I was the last patient. We rushed through. I couldn't identify the WQXR classical music he plays softly. Game I play every appointment. He asked me if was drinking. He always asks that. "I don't drink," I said once more. Never been my thing. It was my mom's thing, which is why he asks, & it didn't give her the personality of Elwood P. Dowd. The last time I was anywhere near tipsy was three years ago, slurping champagne from a bottle at the WFMU Christmas party in celebration of a staffer's engagement. I remember the most recent time I was more or less drunk: A warm summer night in the early 90's, drinking Long Island ice teas on the balcony of a friend's condo in South Brunswick, a neighbor yelled at us to shut the hell up. I slept it off on her couch & the next morning her husband, who had conked out early & snored loudly, made silver dollar pancakes.
Afterward, I walked the 15 minutes downtown in a drizzle to the Main Library. I had a list of three books, all available, checked out a total of five, walked across the street & caught the #52 bus, which drops me a block from my apt. I should use that bus more often. The 6:15 bus, near the start of its route, was nearly empty. If I get on the wrong #52, it takes an alternate route away from my neighborhood, & I'd have to get off as far away as the walk I was avoiding. Also, the little, clean Dunkin' Donuts by that stop near the main library & courthouse closed & moved two blocks away into a gas station across from the hospital, Same conscientious owner as the regular DD by the Branch Library. It'll do fine at the new location.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
South Amboy NJ
Saturday, November 28, 2009
(Someone took the chutney.)
But I hope ND coach Charlie Weis is fired, & quickly. Notre Dame games are always on TV. I don't know how many parts of Notre Dame games I've watched over the past three years where they were out-coached, out-motivated, or both. Too many. The two qualities Notre Dame football almost always had through the Lou Holtz era were first rate coaching, & motivation worthy of a religious cult. They get smacked down annually by USC, no surprise. As with Big 10 teams - which ND pretty much is now is but for stronger academic requirements - it'd take a crazy year for them to be better than the best team in Pac 10, Big 12 South, & the SEC. (This would've been a good year to try). But Navy? UConn? A horrid Michigan? So it goes. & if one hates Notre Dame, it's like hating the Yankees - so much more fun seeing them lose the big ones when they're good but not quite good enough.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I have opinions on what went wrong with legalized gambling in Atlantic City, save them for another post.
Atlantic City's less fortunate go to Jean's Kitchen for a meal and something more: hope. Her guests include homeless, senior citizens, veterans and low-income families --- including many children. They have one thing in common: they are hungry and they rely on Jean Webster's Kitchen for what may be their only nutritious meal.
Sister Jean’s Kitchen is the only program in Atlantic City providing meal service to an unrestricted population for unrestricted periods of time, while offering informal referral to needed social services.
Hardy varieties of flowers still blooming here, & I heard crickets the other night in the sun-warmed places around the bank parking lot. There's a rose landscapers plant - hardly call it delicate-looking - that never gives up. It's like the bush was bred for the tundra.
Ordering some inexpensive flannel shirts online. I don't get to the two good, clean rummage shops here often enough to grab nice ones when they arrive, & the two decent new clothing discount stores downtown (Walmart quality & prices) don't stock many - they're more into selling cheap knockoffs of designer clothing for teenagers. I have noted a small but hopeful tendency among certain high school kids to dress more creatively yet simply, the beginnings of a counter-gangsta conformity trend (?) that (I think) is coming out of L.A. It looks like a combination of urban & suburban, maybe skateboarder culture creeping in. Some are even shaping baseball cap brims instead of the knucklehead flat style that practically advertises the adolescent wearer* flunked English because he couldn't read the reasonably hip, easy books the young, friendly female teacher assigned. I don't pay much attention to that stuff. Perhaps Carrie, my City of Angels (not the baseball team) connection, can enlighten me.
*Same guy who looks utterly baffled by the gadgety little media player he probably stole.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Hungry & the Heartless
Of course, I support Corzine. But I recognize there's two sides to this. Christie isn't unsympathetic, but he takes office in a month & doesn't want any new decisions on spending before he gets there. The state already contributes. Demand has increased & prvate donations haven't kept pace. My gripe is about the kind of online comments this topic generates, & the deteriorating situation itself.
PATERSON -- With the recession draining the budgets of soup kitchens and food pantries around the state, Gov. Jon Corzine today said he is working on an emergency proposal to dig up more state funds for organizations that help feed the hungry.
But Gov.-elect Chris Christie — who had called for a freeze on new spending before the legislative session ends and he takes office in January — said he is leery about expenditures by the outgoing administration as the state grapples with a projected $8 billion budget deficit.
The people decrying government "give-a-ways" of a necessity as basic as food, & demanding private charity do more, are just as likely to say the charities themselves are bunch of commies, including Catholics, because they don't discriminate enough among the hungry & feed the undesirables, drug addicts, drunks, & illegal immigrants. Or maybe they want more Bible-thumping on the menu, which even the Salvation Army doesn't lay on too heavy. All of the larger food pantries look for some verification of need from those expecting to pick up a box of food every month. Some of them give first-timers an emergency bye. The kitchens, the free meals & Saturday sandwiches are available to all comers. Not even many people who can afford only the Burger King value menu want to sit down & share a simple meal with the needy & homeless just to save a few bucks. But on the other side of the serving table & in the kitchen are volunteers who drive in from the 'burbs to help out, signing up for regularly-scheduled duty.
Even in the current economy, there's no legit reason food pantries in Jersey should be short & free kitchens unable to pull together large enough pots of stew, with bread, & a donut for dessert. Americans waste food like nothing else, in restaurants, in supermarkets, in home kitchens. Dunkin' Donuts tosses 30 gallon garbage bags of edible cake donuts - the kind without fillings - into the dumpsters, & the birds & squirrels gather daily to tear those bags open. It's logistically difficult to collect the prepared food while it still can be eaten; organized donations of canned goods are more sporatic than on-going for civic & religious groups. So supermarkets collaborate with food pantries to make it easy for those who don't want to dig through their kitchen cabinets or buy extra & deliver it themselves to a collection point. They'll add any amount as low as a dollar to a shopping bill & purchase & donate the food for you. Nobody has to actually rub elbows with the poor to keep them from starving. Of all our social problems, the collection & distribution of much more food to pantries & free kitchens in an economic downturn is possible, because it's something Jerseyans will do if they are constantly reminded & given convenient opportunities to contribute.
Many of those "poor" are unemployed or underemployed working folks with families, not eligible for food stamps, but behind in their mortgages & other bills. Would you want to choose between feeding your kids & losing your house? Or selling a reliable car you need to find employment? There are thousands of seniors relying on cheap or free senior center lunches to help make ends meet, & those lunch programs may rely on The Community Food Bank of NJ for some of the food.
Put it this way: Anyone who thinks state guvmint does too much to feed the hungry has an even greater obligation to pick up the slack. Except for the anonymous heartless bastards on the NJ.com comments pages.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A ride to the library
When we carried the stuff up here, I showed her the other room, where the ceiling had to be repaired, disorganized storage now but can be turned into useful space with the addition of the same heavy duty snap-together plastic shelving she uses in her basement. If I just separate the boxes of books from everything else in there, it'll fall into place. For all my clutter, I once had a simple filing system that allowed me to locate any document & paperwork. The individual files were messy, but I knew a desired document was in a specific labeled file & all I needed to do was dump it out dig a bit.
With a little more effort I could usually locate a book. Mainly I want access to my art books, small collection of rare poetry & Jerseyana, & books by friends. I've carted boxes of fine books to poetry readings to find them good homes. Just take 'em. I 'm not a true bibliophile, never was. When you read & have lots of interests, you find books you want at cheap prices. Before the Internet, I valued reference books of all sorts. But it's been a long time since I've been tempted into Bag Day at a large library book sale.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Last fall, Campbell Soup started an ad campaign that said its Select Harvest soups were “Made with TLC” while labeling Progresso soups, from its rival General Mills, “Made with MSG.” Progresso responded with its own campaign, and then both companies complained to the advertising review division, which recommended withdrawal of some ads from both sides.Like the campaign for governor in Jersey this year - more advertising, fewer voters. Progresso now says no MSG on cans, & introduced "high fiber" minestrone, which just means they put more beans in it & it's less watery. The "TLC" in Harvest soups went into a label redesign. (Guys still prefer Campbell's Chunky varieties, advertised during NFL games.)
The damage was already done. Unit sales in the General Mills category that includes Progresso (called, unappetizingly, ready-to-serve wet soups) rose in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the same quarter a year earlier, said Information Resources, a research firm in Chicago.
But since then, unit sales of wet soups at both companies have declined every quarter. A UBS analyst, David Palmer, attributed the drop largely to the advertising battle.
Best Soup Ever? Suits Over Ads Demand Proof. New York Times
Article doesn't mention that these soups are about $3 a can, & canned soup eaters do like to stock up, so just maybe the economy hurt business in 2009 & more consumers are dumping frozen veggies & shaking parmesan cheese into house brand condensed.
My two supermarkets are in working class neighborhoods, 1/4 mile apart on the same street. Both are the kinds of stores where many shoppers have the weekly flyer spread out on the cart's baby holder, & a frequently heard phrase is a budget-conscious wife saying to husband, "Not that one, get the one on sale." Pathmark sells a lot of $3 soup when it's for sale under $2.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
East Orange NJ
A Cathedral for capturing Catholics
The building’s current incarnation as a community center where religious services take place has its new owners hopeful that the renovated Liberty Center will become a positive force in the heart of Elizabeth Avenue.Puff piece. I walk past this theater every so often, watched the renovation take shape. The route also brings me past some of Elizabeth's struggling, historic mainstream protestant churches, including the old but inclusive St. John's Episcopal downtown. There's some tough, rigid fundamentalists behind the bright marquee of The Liberty, but you have to look closely because they don't want to give it away in the slick marketing (that's why it's called a "community center"). Hispanic Catholics are one of their important target demographics, & to aid in attracting them these protestants have built themselves a fine & fancy cathedral. Yes, a church. But it is a Catholic agency doing hard, daily outreach to homeless here, & Catholic Pax Christi organizing lonely defenses of immgrant rights outside the isolated detention center in the warehouse district. I notice that, too.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Beautiful day. Made the supermarket-library circuit on foot for light exercise, picking up milk & one book. The library was busy at 4 on Sat afternoon. Neither Pathmark nor dollar store sold a simple little vegetable brush.
I wonder if full size e book readers will ever be inexpensive & libraries carry e versions of books?
Labels: home furnishings
Friday, November 20, 2009
The NJLM Convention
Joe did a lot of graphic art, newsletter, & brochure work for towns & public agencies, & the convention was a great place for him to informally network. I don't know the Italian word for schmooze, but whatever it is, Joe is very good at it.
It was an experience. For nearly 12 hours we wandered around, eating & drinking our way through a variety of open bars, hospitality suites, & corporate-sponsored buffets. Joe's out-of-pocket expenses for the trip, beyond gas, tolls, & parking, were the cost of a shared cab ride with some tipsy municipal employees, & the $20 it took him half an hour to lose at a $5 roulette wheel.
When we arrived in A.C., Joe found a way to get into the exhibitor & vendor hall at the convention center. Everyone else had convention passes dangling from their necks. We left there carrying several large bags of free office supplies, plus free baseball caps, teeshirts, & a variety of oddball items. Joe collected, studied, & critiqued brochures like paintings in an art museum. We took a free jitney back to Caesar's & deposited these in Joe's SUV. Joe asked around regarding later activities, organized a flexible schedule in his head, & we went out for a boardwalk stroll & admired the ocean for awhile. It was a fine November afternoon on the Jersey Shore.
After that it was pretty much all party. Joe met a guy headed for an Irish pub about a mile from the casino. The entire pub had been booked by a utility company. We hitched a ride. I never saw a bar so crowded, even on St. Patrick's Day. We could barely squeeze in. Somehow we managed to obtain a pitcher of beer, declining the bottom row scotch, & made our way to the back room. During this slow journey I encountered two writer acquaintances from Union County being propped up by the surrounding crowd, like a rush hour subway car. They said they were having an excellent time at the convention. Miraculously, we found two empty chairs in the back room, where a table contained a stack of corned beef sandwiches & condiments. One chewy bite told me I shouldn't take a second, I skipped it. We left when the crowd thinned enough to reach the door directly. A taxi pulled up, & Joe quickly asked the people who'd called it if they were headed for Caesar's & wanted to split the cost. They said yes & yes, & off we went.
Back at the casino, Joe played the wheel & we listened to a slick show band. Then we easily crashed a banquet hall buffet sponsored by a large bank by arriving just after it opened, with Joe chatting up a credentialed attendee as we passed a security man at the door too bored to check invitations - as Joe had predicted. It was not an open house event. There was a live jazz combo on a stage, carving stations for turkey, ham, & roast beef, a variety of tasty hot & cold finger food - I recall the baby asparagus on the veggie table. We wrapped & pocketed some pastries for snacking on the ride home.
We headed upstairs to the hospitality suites, stopping briefly in a few dull ones before hitting the affair hosted by Linden Mayor John Gregorio, in a corner suite with an outdoor balcony & lovely view. Gregorio was a familiar face & a gracious host in his tailored suit, personally greeting everyone coming through the door; his attitude was that if you knew where he was located, you were welcome. Gregorio had been mayor since the Sixties, excepting a period out of office while incarcerated. We met some people we knew, & a number of attractive women I recalled worked at Linden City Hall when I had lived in that town. The hors d'oeuvres were first rate, unfortunately, we weren't very hungry at that point. I had a top row martini mixed by somebody there who had mixed plenty of them.
We thanked the Mayor, moved on, & spent the rest of the evening in the Union County Democratic suite, where we again encountered the Irish pub writers, & assorted freeholders, & future gay Gov. Jim McGreevey, who was staying close to State Senator Ray Lesniak, who occupied the room's only comfortable chair & looked exhausted & hungover, eyes closed, rubbing his forehead, he probably felt like saying, "Oh, shut up, Jimmy & find me some aspirin." Joe & I had such a pleasant time there we lost track of the time & it was midnight when we headed back north.
Joe, I realized, had imbibed almost no alcoholic beverages, drinking wasn't his thing, or mine. We were more interested in the food & people-watching. He was sober. I was mildly buzzed from a few cocktails. But he could barely stay awake north of the Asbury Park exit on the Parkway, it became truly frightening after awhile. I offered to drive him the rest of the way home when we reached my place. He declined. The next day he said he might have pulled over & napped for awhile, he couldn't remember. He had gotten home intact. I hadn't seriously doubted he would, but I worried because I liked his wife & kids.
I've heard the Conference is no longer the big party loaded with freebies it was, when thousands of Jersey's city & municipal employees - the paper pushers & keyboard tappers - shared hotel rooms for a night, partisan divisions put aside for some generally harmless fun amongst one's own kind while attending seminars & panel discussions like "Emerging Technology and Its Effects on Local Telecommunication Tax Revenues." Too bad in a way. Take away their titles & they're mostly just office workers & managers with modest salaries, & most stay only one night & hang out with co-workers expecting no more than free drinks & fried shrimp & an evening playing the slots or catching a lounge show in Atlantic City, which is there for having a good time.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I passed it walking to & from the store. There were at least a dozen cops, uniforms & detectives, still on the scene, the whole intersection yellow-taped. Had to ask a cop where I could cross. "Follow the tape until it ends, " he said. A funky older taxi, probably owner-driver, had been blasted nearly on to a sidewalk , & around the corner on the cross street were two more cars, one embedded in the side of the other. Couldn't figure out the sequence, but it was the accident everyone on this stretch of road expects everyday, the way the knuckleheads come through here. One of those cars blew through a red light, & that car or one of the others was speeding. I'm sure the police sorted it out, they get these kinds of crashes often enough on U.S. Rt 1. This street is almost as crazy as the one I used to live on near very dangerous intersection; the police in that city at least occasionally parked a contraption that radars cars & flashes the speed to try to slow drivers down, & I think it worked.
I'm not completely incurious when I hear fire engines or see police questioning someone. But while I resided in downtown Rahway, I realized that the vast majority of the time there's nothing to see. So if you ignore what appears to be "action," the odds are very good you've missed nothing worth looking at. Entirely different from noticing something that ought to be reported to 9-1-1. If someone had told me there'd been a big accident up the street, maybe I would've gone to 7-11 a little sooner. Or maybe not.
Apotheosis of the Rose
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Private investigator Millhone lives very modestly in rented cottage behind a house, owns only one all-occasion dress. She usually wears jeans & a black turtleneck. Sometimes she earns a fat fee, but routine work is her bread & butter. She runs three miles every morning, goes though phases with gym workouts, loves fast food burgers & fries, & eats just about whatever gut-wrenching Polish dish gets served up as the daily special by the owner of Rosie's, the bar up the street. Her only close friend is her landlord, Henry - & old man & former baker who feeds her good home-cooked meals & gives her sound but usually unheeded advice.
I don't read police procedurals or novels about serial killers (except Tim Dorsey's series featuring lunatic Floridian dispenser of deserved justice, Serge A. Storms). I began a J.A.. Konrath novel last night promising humor. In the first few chapters it felt like a procedural, introduced two serial killers, ten Chicago cops were slaughtered, & the protagonist's mom & fiance were taken hostage with intent to torture & kill them. I closed it.
Labels: what I'm reading
Rutgers 85, Kean 49
Kean University is the Div. 3 state school around the corner from me. The Cougars have a strong program & coach, nationally ranked again this year, were terrific last year, & receive no media attention. I'd have liked to see this matchup midway last season when Kean was a well-tuned machine & Rutgers was breaking down under pressure at both ends of the court. Kean wasn't surprised they went to Piscataway & lost, but they were surely disappointed they didn't score more points. Just not big enough. The Cougars go back to Div. 3 now & stay ranked.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Harry Truman, from a most modest background, had learned the nuts & bolts of government at the county level before serving ten years in the Senate. It was only by comparison to F.D.R. that Truman seemed unqualified for the White House. He was. Roosevelt may not have confided in his V.P. , but Truman knew what the president's job entailed.
I don't understand why conservatives want Palin to be president. Why do they want to do it to a nation that elected their hero, Ronald Reagan - who took office with experience & stature, & decades of deep interest in national issues & policy? Do they hate America?
Labels: Grandma Palin
Monday, November 16, 2009
Servicio Puerta a Puerta
In the checkout, I got caught behind a young couple who presented the cashier with a stack of coupons plus two six month old rain checks from another Pathmark that were ultimately determined invalid. When I was done, I called the only cab company on my cell list & was told it would be 1/2 an hour. Not the usual ten minutes. This was for a 5 minute ride at most. I had to wait. But I figured I would sit on the bench outside, start reading one of the books, & it would go quick enough.
An idling armored truck was parked in front of the bench pumping exhaust. It was there for a long time.
The cashier who'd rung up my order went home. The air became chilly.
The other person waiting for a cab, an old lady with a cane & enormous amount of groceries filling two shopping baskets was picked up by another company.
A car from the Latino Cab arrived for someone, the driver gave me his card. I said I'd try him next time.
I called Yellow Cab again. The dispatcher didn't remember taking my call. I said it had to be Yellow it's the only taxi number on my phone. He said, "Sorry, I'll send a Red Cab right now."
A few minutes later a red Latino Cab showed up. Nice driver, they usually are. He helped me load my groceries. "Are you Yellow Cab?" I asked.
"Same company, " he said, "but we're Latino, we're red."
"I don't care where my drivers come from, " I said. But with the huge Hispanic population of Elizabeth, there has to be a cab company that guarantees Spanish speaking dispatchers & drivers. (Now I see in the phone book they have identical ad size & copy, but in English & Spanish).
Five minutes later I was home. Too much money for the distance, I think. Definitely too much for the wait.
Sunday evening, there were half-a-dozen fire engines outside, people gathering, looked like something major was happening up the street. I stuck my head out the window, none of the fire personnel were rushing around, although something was going on in the next block. Excitement of that sort doesn't interest me much anymore. But unless they started unrolling hoses, there certainly wasn't anything to see. So I closed the window. Eventually the vehicles all left, several responding to another call.
Took care of the most important call. It required important decision. Made two other related calls, one, though disappointing, at least gave me the answer I needed for planning on how to get to a doctor's office in Newark. The other can be resolved today or tomorrow. pestering the urologist office I went to last week to fax on what few records they have for me.
I had to accept that "convenience" was not possible, & that I was attracted to a specialist in suburban Millburn because the scenery is better, but in all other respects it would create additional hassles I couldn't justify. I know I can get to the huge medical office building in big, bad Newark. It's a bus/taxi mile from the train station, adjacent to the hospital where the doctors practice & teach, & there is special transit there if I can match appts to the scheduled trips, which I couldn't do for the long intake appt. Did talk the scheduler into 10 am rather than 8:30, so I could avoid rush hour.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Sea Bright NJ
Saturday, November 14, 2009
But I never got that stretch north of downtown to Sandy Hook. There,"beach front" homes are not on the beach. They're separated from the ocean by a state highway, a high rock & concrete seawall extending north into Sandy Hook & south into Monmouth Beach, & an artificial beach that has to be replenished & duned at great expense to the state & federal governments. The wall & beach are there to keep Sea Bright from disappearing into the ocean. The home owners on the other side of the highway "own" the part of the seawall directly across the street, with private stairways & decks & a walled off beach & keep out signs. This never made sense to me.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Scorpio: To reduce the amount of stress in your life, you need to hand things over to someone you trust. Delegate some of your tasks at work or at home to another person who could use the experience. You can't worry about adding stress to their life by doing so -- right now you should just be concerned about creating a few calmer, quiet moments in your own day.Yeah, sure. We're all surrounded by people who could "use the experience" of bearing our stress so we can be calmer. I just kept it simple.
1. Looked in on Gina's cats. They were fine. Meanie was pouty because she prefers having a human in the house. Borrowed $3 quarters from Gina's change jar for possible #4.
2. Called city agency to send some info on how I can get around the city more conveniently.
3. E mailed sister.
4. Ran load of laundry (A good thing to do next when you're in doubt what to do next. )
5. Charged cellphone battery.
6. Read my friend Rob O'Connor's thoughtful piece on Jack Kerouac.
Good thing I'm up & wide awake. A guy is jackhammering the street (8 am) & I'm merely pissed off rather than enraged.
After checking out what she's wearing, do we want to listen to Amanda Peet? Isn't Bill Murray lots more annoying than funny? I've become so uninterested in the second half hour of Letterman. Kid scientists is still a good bit.
Nasty flock of starlings out front, attracted probably by the dirt piles from the gas company street dig. But they couldn't get at the dirt because guys are working around it. Frustrated birds.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Fixing the ceiling
On the edge of a coastal storm, "Cloudy with a few showers. High around 50F. Winds NE at 20 to 30 mph" doesn't quite describe how bad the weather is. So I took a taxi home from the same location I'd walked back from two days ago.
Called my sister at 7 am to get her opinion on two options I had for dealing with a problem today. As soon as I asked, "Did I wake you up?" I realized what a dumb question it was. My sister has to do some serious partying or be on vacation to sleep that late. By 7 she's running a load of wash before she does whatever else she has planned for the day, which is why I didn't hesitate to phone her at that hour. She's also a Virgo to my Scorpio, for you astrology folks. It's an uneasy relationship but one - I recently had to concede - was not only necessary & useful, but which had been divinely appointed as a love her & you'll get even sorrier, buster matter. So I was stupid not to lean on her Virgoan big sister point-of-view when that was exactly what I did not have & she had to offer: The 7 am phone call.
Anyway, what we decided kept me home a few more hours, & as luck would have it, I was still here when two guys showed up to fix the ceiling in the other room, where a radiator leak upstairs had knocked down plasterboard, They finished by the time I did go out. I hope the quick work doesn't mean shoddy work, because I'd like to put stuff under the repair. I had desperately resorted to invoking my sister to get the repair done, I didn't know how else to pressure the man in charge of assigning the job. Personally, I like him, & he does have a lot of responsibilities.
"You know, Louie," I said to him on the phone, "my sister may have some reason to visit me sometime & she knows the kind of mess to expect from me. But if she saw that ceiling, she'd go ballistic & probably call the landlord or the city building inspector right then no matter what I said."
Louie went, "Oh?" But I could hear the concerned tone. This was a new piece of information about me, & a warning I'd delivered with some conviction in my own voice, like, maybe I don't have the temperament to deal with this but I know someone who does. You don't mess with somebody's sister. Less than a week later, after two months of forgetting about it or stalling, the ceiling is fixed.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
St. Martin's Day (or Martinstag or Martinmas) is November 11, the feast day of Martin of Tours, who started out as a Roman soldier. He was baptized as an adult and became a monk. It is understood that he was a kind man who led a quiet and simple life. The most famous legend of his life is that he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying of the cold. That night he dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. Martin heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clothed me."It's a good legend about sharing. There was no reason either of them should freeze. Jesus, as the beggar, wasn't demanding Martin go naked.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Brahms' String Sextet No. 1
But I did get through quickly enough to a service rep at the HMO & she did explain clearly what I needed to know.
The owner of this apartment building should put a No Loitering sign out front, & the sign should be intended for the miserable alcoholic guy from the third floor who was standing unsteadily out there at 11 am & asked me for a dollar. I'd just walked home because it was a nice day & I needed to clear my mind & think rationally, & I also saved myself return trip cab fare & picked up some decent orange juice on sale.
Now I am going to listen to Brahms' String Sextet No. 1.
Monday, November 09, 2009
vast urban prairie
The Amish ought to consider migrating there, as Lancaster PA farm property values soar with encroaching development.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
What happens to the official Phillies World Championship clothing?
Phillies title gear a hit far from World Series
Each fall and winter for the last three years, World Vision has sent to the impoverished around the world thousands of team championship caps, jerseys and T-shirts produced before the World Series and Super Bowl and then rendered unusable for marketing in the United States when teams don't win the title.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Mr. Lucky Theme
Nice set-up. The A100 is pretty much the same as the more collectable B-3 & could cost half as much. An old Yamaha DX7 synth up top, sound of the 80s.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Why Do Catholics Do That?
It's very different from Garry Wills' books. Wills is a dissenting apologist who explains why he remains a Catholic despite what he knows. Wills has a charming, almost devious way of sounding like a fairly progressive protestant in his Biblical expositions only to arrive at a "Tah Dah!" moment where you realize he's thinking & reasoning as a Catholic steeped in Thomas Aquinas. Could Wills convert to Catholicism based on what he believes now? I don't see how he could get through the Rite of Christian Initiation classes all parishes offer. He challenges the Church to kick him out.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
In addition to the recession & the state's economic woes, we had the sorry spectacle this year of a wave of corruption indictments against Democrats. In the middle of the campaign, Corzine showed he had no power over the South Jersey boss, George Norcross, who couldn't wait until after the election to topple Senate President Dick Codey, a popular Democrat in North Jersey. The Democratic Party has to get a better face on in New Jersey.
The surprise was Mayor Mike Bloomberg's narrow win. He needed to spend a hundred million to win. With a better financed campaign, William Thompson might have beat him. There was more resentment against his overturning term limits than he had thought, & he did poorly with minorities. NYC voters voted for term limits, & their will was ignored.
The Democrat has apparently won NY-23, the upstate congressional district where the national teabaggers, Palin, Glen Beck, etc., drove out the legit Repug candidate because she wasn't a lockstep wingnut & homobigot. But Obama carried the district last year. Even Newt warned them to let her to run her own race. Repugs had held that seat for like 100 years. Now they won't.
Virginia is a conservative state. McDonnell outspent & narrowly beat Creigh Deeds for attorney general four years ago. He only serves one term.
Labels: New Jersey politics
Republicans in Union County, who do control some towns, couldn't even field a third candidate for freeholder. What if Corzine wins the statewide election by a few hundred votes that one additional local Repug candidate may have generated with a spirited campaign? There are debatable issues here.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Humes Music Store
Morris Ave. is now anchored by popular Colombian-flavored cafes, with beauty parlors & other service businesses, it's been getting through the recession without many storefront vacancies. In fact, there's been a good deal of renovating over the past year. If Elizabeth ever had a candidate for a commuter retail & residential district, the stretch of Morris Ave. between the train station & Kean University was probably it. But the city was uninterested in master planning around the underutilized train station plaza.
If you hate the Phillies & Yanks so much that you didn't catch Johnny Damon's tenacious 9th inning, 2 out at bat & steal of second & third base last night, your loss. No more baseball this year when the Series ends.
Ordered free Windows 7 Upgrade. Haven't bothered learning much about Vista. I have no printer or scanner plugged in. I was given a scanner a few years ago that I couldn't use with old PC. If it works on this one, I can get a basic cheap printer, model determined by cost of black ink cartridges.
Rutgers women's basketball opens at home against Stanford on the 15th. Only ten players on the Rutgers roster, & Epiphanny Prince turned pro in Italy. Epiphanny was the go-to scorer but she wasn't comfortable as court leader & no one else was stepping up last year, this Big East season must have looked long, difficult, & unnecessary for someone with WNBA aspirations.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
No matter how well one treats them, after a certain amount of wearing & washing, one's "neat" jeans cross a threshold.