Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Day After...

As I left the apartment this morning to run a few errands, the street was deserted, almost devoid of automobiles.  Where yesterday not a space could be found, today the street resembled a bowling alley.

As I drove up to the Avenue I was the only person in sight.  Nothing was moving or parked on the street.  It was as though the weekend had been a dream, never actually happened. Strange, but I know they will be back again soon. This week is usually the drought before the deluge which will not end until Labor Day in September.

It promised to be a hot and humid day (it was already 84'F as I left) so I wanted to get everything done and out of the way.  I also wanted to stop for a bottle of gin, since payday was yesterday.  It turns out I crossed off all items on my lists and was back before 11 am.

The AC tech arrived shortly thereafter and couldn't get water out of the hose to cool down the compressor, so he took all my ice in a giant storage bag to try to do the job.  Bother!  The ice maker is slow and delivers small half-moon cubes.  One fits nicely in a shot glass. He left promising to return later to check out the results. In the trade-off between ice and AC - the AC wins hands-down.

Took a walk up to the Farmers Market for a loaf of ultra-sourdough bread and returned with a quart of snow peas, a bunch of Swiss chard, and a small head of bok choy.  Yes, there is a stir-fry in my future. It's quick after a work day.  Walking home I noticed the temperature in town stood at 92'F though it felt much hotter.

I found an old recipe for a Puttanesca Sauce, the AC tech is working on the compressor as I write, and I can feel the air becoming cooler. I'm tackling this one tonight. I have forgotten how good the sauce is, remembering only how friends used to rave about it.  If it turns out well I'll post the recipe, if anyone is interested.

There are few ice cubes in the freezer at present, but there may be a few more by 5 o'clock.  A small, 2 pound bag at the market around the corner is ridiculously expensive, but if I must - I must.  At this place a 12 oz. bottle of Coke costs you big-time, but their fresh sushi is about the same price.  Go fig!  The store is owned by the  best sushi house in town and they supply it to the store (right across the street) fresh every day for lunch.  A fresh take-out sushi lunch, talk about luxury!

I look forward to my Puttanesca Sauce, thank you very much.

And so it goes.
*

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

A couple of thoughts and images from others:

"You know, Peace Dove, if the United States of America
 wasn't always warring with somebody, it might decide that
Memorial Day is just too tragic to be celebrated as  a
holiday."
From HERE.


From HERE. Thank you, Peter.

And so it goes.
*

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Weekend Update

Although forecasters predicted rain every day since last Thursday, it's never happened. Every single day has been beach-prime and folks are taking great advantage of it. I am seeing more people the color of boiled lobster than I have in years past.  Sun Screen, Anyone?  The stoopid suffer, because...(fill in the blank)

We served over 200 lunches yesterday, over 300 today with both evenings booked solid. We stopped taking reservations yesterday for the rest of the weekend.

I was up to my eyeballs in lipstick lesbians today thanks to the Indy 500 boasting woman driver Danica Patrick,  for the first time.  They took over the lounge area, knocked back Happy Hour cocktails and cheered the driver on.  She didn't win, but came in a respectable third place, pissing off a few (male) pundits, which made the women happy to see them eat their words.  It was a festive, communal time, enjoyed by us all.

The Delaware State Treasurer and his wife dined with us today.  A few local politicians suggested the restaurant, if they were to visit Rehoboth this weekend. They're a fine and extremely kind couple. They picked my brain regarding menu items that might fit his dietary requirements.  They enjoyed the attention, service, food, and said they'd be back again.

My shift ended later than usual, so I knocked back a quick AS (after shift) cocktail as the bar began to fill and get very loud.  The dining room began filling with big parties holding reservations, so I headed for the door. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper coming into and leaving town.  The image above captures those leaving town at about 5 pm. (click to embiggen)

As I walked home, turning onto my street there were no available parking spaces to be had. All was quiet as usual, except for a bit of conversation and light music emanating from a patio cookout a few doors from my place. It's good to be home.

Olives greatly reduced the stress of the day as I contemplate a supper without use of stove or oven (since I have no AC at least until next Tuesday) and something that will go nicely with a spinach salad. Oh, decisions, decisions, decisions!

And so it goes.
*

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

A fine beginning:

I think this is one of the sweetest pictures ever.


And so it goes.
*

To Quote Princess Leia

"IT'S SUMMER BITCHES, HERE THEY COME!!!"
Or something similar in nature.

The tourists arrived today as if they were shot out of a canon. The Highway and local roads were jammed with happy folks tired of winter and ready to enjoy the sun, sand, good friends, good food, and (thankfully) margaritas.

They were welcomed by a clear sky and low humidity; a perfect day for the beach; perfect day for exploring Rehoboth; a perfect day to relax and get into the spirit of this wonderful season.

The restaurant was very busy for lunch with returning visitors from last year, as well as new ones visiting because their friends recommended the restaurant.  This happens all the time, I am happy to say, these guests are never disappointed.

Not a sour apple in the bushel.  And although we were training 2 servers and 2 bussers, everything went smoothly.  It was all good.

I enjoyed a Long Island Iced Tea as my AS cocktail and was joined by one of the chefs. We talked about the mundane technical stuff between kitchen and dining room until I said, "Whoa! Let's just enjoy this day, because they will be fewer as we head into the season."  She agreed.  So, we talked about food.  Well, surprise, surprise!

As I walked home I was stopped by 3 (count'em 3)  people who were: 1) looking to purchase a parking permit, 2) a B & B, or 3) a family restaurant for dinner.  Well, all 3 were easy for me.

Back home the AC isn't working well.  Can't seem to get the temperature lower than 78' F, which is OK with the lower humidity, but the rest of the weekend is looking grim.  Informed the landlord this morning, but doubt any action will be taken before next Tuesday - after the holiday weekend.

Bother!

And so it goes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Gulf Coast Syndrome"

Contradicting the tales of the horny fly-boy I wrote about earlier this month, this is an ongoing story and still being covered, if only in local small news outlets.  Certainly not our darling MSM. This story comes from a small paper in Colorado, and that's no joke.  In fact, none of this horrid story is a joke.  From the Colorado Springs Independent:
 "This is the best-hidden secret perhaps in the history of our nation."

Dr. Mike Robichaux speaks into a microphone while standing on a truck bed in the shade of a massive tree in his yard in Raceland, La. He's wearing a blue polo shirt and jeans, and his white-gray hair is parted neatly. The former state senator, known affectionately as Dr. Mike, is an ear, nose and throat specialist in Lafourche Parish and self-described "too easygoing of a guy." But today, he's pissed.
"Nobody is fussing about this," he says.
Robichaux invited his patients and dozens of others to speak about their situations. Outside of neighborhood papers with names like the Houma Courier, the Daily Comet and Tri-Parish Times, their stories exist solely on blogs and Facebook — unless you visit Al Jazeera English, or sources in Germany, Belgium and elsewhere in Europe.
A Swiss TV crew asks me why U.S. media aren't talking about this. It's a good question.
In the wake of the BP oil disaster, thousands of Gulf cleanup workers and residents have reported illnesses, with symptoms as tame as headaches or as violent as bloody stools and seizures. Nonprofit groups and teams of scientists are looking for answers using blood tests, surveys, maps, and soil and seafood samples.
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB), a nonprofit environmental group, recently completed its survey of coastal Louisiana residents and found a dire need for medical attention. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) began its "Gulf Long-Term Follow-Up Study for Oil Spill Clean-Up Workers and Volunteers" (GuLF Study) to follow the health of 55,000 cleanup crew members over 10 years. It's the largest study to monitor the disaster, but it won't be treating its participants. GuLF Study leader Dr. Dale Sandler says the illnesses "need to be taken seriously."
"People are sick," she says.
So where is the help?
'Driving me crazy'
Behind Robichaux, cars line a gravel drive along the bayou. Guests pull up chairs around the truck bed, cameras are rolling, and members of the media outweigh the guests 10-to-1. A year after the April 20, 2010 wellhead explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers, spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf for more than 100 days, and closed fisheries and businesses along the Gulf Coast, some people are finally listening.
"We wanted to be proactive and go out there and get it cleaned up as fast as we can, and do whatever it takes," remembers charter boat captain Louis Bayhi, who worked for BP in the early days of the disaster. When his crew made it to shore, he went through a triage tent where doctors asked how he was feeling — but his complaints of headaches were brushed off as seasickness, he says.
Months later, Bayhi still hasn't been paid the $255,000 he says he's owed for his work in Vessels of Opportunity, a BP-administered program wherein private boat-owners assisted with cleanup efforts. He's visited hospitals for severe abdominal pains, but he doesn't have health insurance, and no insurance provider will take him on, he says. He lost his home, and he and his family — his wife and his 2- and 3-year-old daughters — now live with his wife's grandmother. The family visited Grand Isle beaches in August, where his kids swam in the water and played in the sand.
"My little girls now have more toxins in their blood than I have. That hurts more. I blame myself," he says, fighting back tears. "I let them go and swim and play in the beach, but at the same time those sons of bitches said it was safe."
Bayhi's story is not uncommon for many living on the Gulf Coast.
One of the first "whistleblowers" in south Louisiana, Kindra Arnesen, a fisherman's wife in Plaquemines Parish, became a public face of mysterious diagnoses and chemical exposure symptoms last summer. Others have come forward, like 22-year-old Paul Doom from Navarre, Fla., who says he swam in the Gulf last summer and now experiences daily seizures and is in a wheelchair following a stroke — with hundreds of doctors he has seen unable to explain why.
Clayton Matherne is a former professional wrestler of 15 years, and at 295 pounds, he looks it. Yet Robichaux says, "When I first met him, he was dying. Literally dying."
Matherne was an engineer on a support boat near the Deepwater rig when it exploded, and says crews sprayed dispersants directly on top of him. Matherne wasn't provided a respirator. Since May 30, 2010, he's suffered paralysis, impaired vision and severe headaches, and he frequently coughs up blood.
"I don't know why things are happening like this," he says through tears in a YouTube video dated March 25. "But it seems to get worse and worse every day. ... It's driving me crazy. ... I laid in bed last night and prayed that God would just let me die, you know. I'm tired of suffering, you know. I'm tired of watching my family suffer."
Matherne's wife Becky says her parents are supporting the family, now that they've lost their house. She says she and her husband have been approved for a home through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Making them pay
"It's really not like anything I've ever seen, and I've been doing this 25 years," says Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) director Marylee Orr. LEAN started receiving health complaints from Gulf workers and residents in the explosion's aftermath. The group purchased $10,000 worth of respirators (about 200) and protective gear for oil cleanup responders, but BP wouldn't allow the workers to use them, she says.
Stuart Smith, the group's attorney, argued that the Master Vessel Charter Agreement, the contract fishermen signed to participate in the Vessels of Opportunity program, didn't account for the health and safety of the workers.
Smith has served as lead counsel against more than 100 Big Oil cases and currently represents at least 1,000 clients along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida tackling BP and others involved with the Deepwater rig. His clients include the United Commercial Fisherman's Association, the Gulf Coast Charter Captain Alliance and hundreds of sick Gulf workers. (The firm is scheduled to face Transocean Ltd. — the company that owned the rig — in court in February 2012.)
"They did what they did," Smith says. "My job is make them pay for it."
Working with LEAN and Smith is a team of researchers and scientists across the Gulf Coast led by environmental scientists and toxicologists William Sawyer and Marco Kaltofen. The team has collected seafood samples for safety tests and sent blood work to Metametrix, a clinical laboratory in Duluth, Ga.
Results from one patient's volatile solvents blood screening show higher-than-average levels of ethylbenzene and xylene, two compounds present in oil. According to Metametrix, adverse effects that can follow exposure to the compounds include "brain fog," hearing loss, headache and fatigue; continued exposure to xylene can affect kidneys, lungs, the heart and the nervous system. The patient's blood work also showed the presence of hexane, 2-Methylpentane and 3-Methylpentane and isooctane — all compounds that are present in oil and gas.
LEAN also reported three divers from EcoRigs, a nonprofit marine science group, found high levels of ethylbenzene and xylene in their blood tests after diving in the Gulf near Grand Isle and the Mississippi Canyon, the site of the Deepwater rig explosion. Their symptoms include bloody stools, bleeding from the nose and eyes, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps and dizziness.
From July to October 2010, LABB and Tulane University's Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy performed 934 health surveys of residents in Terrebonne, Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes at seven survey sites. The results show three-quarters of respondents reported an increase in coughing, eye irritation, headaches and sinus irritation.
Grand Isle resident Betty Dowd, who suffers a persistent cough, says its residents need blood work "to find out what exactly is causing these problems. Whether it's BP or not, we just need to know where it's coming from."
Pointing to the health and lack of long-term studies of Exxon Valdez victims, 9/11 cleanup workers and FEMA trailer residents, LABB director Anne Rolfes says she hopes the survey results serve as a warning sign. "We don't want to be in a situation 10 years from now ... where we wish we would've done something," she says. The data should be used "not just to study people but treat their problems," she says. "We don't want to end up in 10 years with data on a bunch of dead bodies."
The report recommends the government provide better access to health care (including mental health services). Only 54 percent of respondents had health insurance, and just 31 percent sought treatment.
The rest is HERE.

Important thing is to remember those BP commercials showing all is well and back to normal in the Gulf of Mexico are nothing more than expensive, well produced propaganda. Or, as we say in the real world, "lies" that are going to be revealed sooner or later.

And so it goes.
*

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The 4 Things Meme

Maybe I'm too old for these things.  I found it difficult to provide answers to some of the questions. Anyway, borrowed from Ur-Spo  So, here it is:

4 Things I need to spend more time on in my life:
1. Living
2. Physical activity
3. Long hot baths
4. Being a better listener

4 Things I need to spend less time on in my life:
1. Finances
2. Worrying about understanding SS and Medicare
3. Listening to stories from my previous life
4. Correcting inaccuracies in those stories.

4 Things I wish I could spend more time on in my life:
1. Photography
2. Seeing old and new friends spread far and wide
3. Traveling
4. Myself

4 Things I love about myself:
1. My love of musical theatre
2. My gut instincts
3. My warped sense of humor
4. My love of music

4 Things I hate about myself:
1. Nothing
2. I don't hate
3. Other people seem to do that for me
4.  It's a waste of time

4 Things I love that I used to hate:
1. Anchovies
2. Jicama
3. Living alone
4.  Having my picture taken

4 Things I hate that I used to love:
1. Fresh corn on the cob
2. Television
3. Airports
4. Desserts after supper.

4 Things towards which I look forward:
1. A vacation/holiday
2. Visiting my older sister before she dies.
3. A cruise/tour to Alaska
4. Working to live, not living to work

4 Things I dread:
1. Assisted living
2. Being incapacitated, unable to communicate
3. Not having a love in my life
4. Medicare and Social Security

4 Things I once believed in but no longer do:
1. Heaven
2. Hell
3. Bad things happen to good people
4. G*d gives you only what *he* knows you can handle

4 Things I now believe that I didn’t use to believe:
1. Myself
2. Karma
3. Intuition
4. Treating mean people with kindness pisses them off

4 Things I love to do despite being bad at it :
1. Sing
2. Write
3. Grow things
4. Sleep late.

4 Things I hate to do but I do anyway:
1. Scrub floors
2. Do-it-yourself stuff.
3. Edit myself in confrontations
4. Shop for clothes.

4 Things I did of which I am ashamed:
1. Believing that my Ex and I would be together til death, etc.
2. Believing my Ex wouldn't screw me out of everything, including his gifts to me.
3. Not standing up and walking out at the closing of the sale of our house
4. For 30 years believing I was nothing without my Ex

4 Things I did for which I am proud:
1. An AIDS buddy and caregiver.
2. The youngest member of the Mattachine Society in NYC
3. Participated in Stonewall disobedience events
4. Got arrested during a march against the non-war in Viet Nam.

4 Things I didn’t do that I regret:
1. Continue my love of dance and choreography
2. Attend film school in Prague
3. Stand up to the bullies in high school
4. Learn to play a musical instrument

4 Things I want before I die:
1. Peace
2. Being pain-free
3. Visit a few of our National Parks
4.  Experience love one more time.

And so it goes.
*

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Day With the Doctor

And I don't mean Dr. Who.  At least that would be fun.

The 6 month follow-up visit (carousel of crazy) occurred this morning at 8:30 with plenty of word salad, but a lot of questions were answered. Though some left me with more questions - for another time - after Medicare kicks in at the end of July. Pulse was elevated, but otherwise all vitals were within normal ranges and I have a new scrip for blood work which will be drawn tomorrow before work. 

After checking my eyes, ears, nose and throat, the Dr. determined that I should continue taking the OC allergy medication and gave me a sample of nasal spray to use twice daily.  Shortly after arriving home I followed his instructions of 2 sprits up each nostril, and felt better within a few minutes.  Wow!  Just WOW!

The Dr. faxed a prescription to the pharmacy for a new Arthritis pain killer that I hope will relieve the pain in the hands.  It's going to be expensive, but I really need relief to get through the summer season. I just hope it helps. Can pick it up tomorrow morning, also before work.  Dr also suggested that I take Tylenol along with the scrip and although it never relieved my headaches, he said it seems to work with this drug very well.  What have I got to lose other than money I don't actually have?  And if it works, it will be well worth the cost.

For obvious reasons I didn't make it to the Farmers Market and it seems that Summer has arrived already.  The temperature outdoors is 89' F.  A huge, uncomfortable jump from the past week of 60s and 70s.  A real shock to the system. Unable to stop the sweating, I have reluctantly closed the windows and turned on the AC - set at 78'.

On another note, the small indoor plant I purchased at Home Depot just before moving in did not grow at all for a year.  Same with the tiny "Lucky Bamboo" I picked up while on the IKEA Furniture Fling last October.  All that has changed.  Both are growing/sprouting and seem to like their new environment. The strange plant, that I was drawn to for some reason, with waxy looking leaves is sending up a shoot, the likes of which I have never seen before. I am taking daily photos of the new shoot and will share them when I know what the end result will be.  The bamboo is pushing forth new leaves every few days.  It has grown 3 inches in less than a week.  Amazing.

New life and new growth always make me happy.

And so it goes, round and round, and round...

*

Monday, May 23, 2011

Who Really Controls America.

I had forgotten this part of one of his concert recordings.  I found it last night and my jaw hit the floor.  Indeed, what short memories we Americans have. George Carlin nails it.  And Wiki Leaks is just more proof.  Watch this short video of a longer rant and see what you think.
Much to think about here. So many valid points made is a short 3 minute clip. Wow!

And so it goes.
*

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sun, Sand, Sidewalk Sales, and September.

I know, I know.  It's been 4 days since the last personal post and the excuse is in the title. Work has taken up most of the time and it's been worthwhile, believe me.

The restaurant has been extremely busy since Wednesday and with some staff still in college it has been a challenge to the existing wait staff to get up to speed for the season.  The doslocosguys have been wonderful as usual, ready to pitch in and do anything necessary to take up the slack.  One slides behind the bar to ease the pressure while the other delivers food to waiting tables, and help me to bus and clean them for the next seating.

Due to the arthritis in my hands, I am only allowed to handle plastics and other unbreakables, (they never allow me to pick up dishes or glassware) and then I can clean the tables and set them up. Yesterday there was a 15 minute wait for lunch, and today it was up to a half hour!  And it's only May!!!

Yes, the weather and the huge Spring Sidewalk Sale in town was a big draw, and then there were our regular local diners coming in for one last visit before the tourists appear and the parking meters and fees kick in next week.  We won't see them much during the summer unless it's a special occasion, so that's been fun.

As my shift ended this afternoon the doslocosguys asked if I was prepared for the season, and I said,  yes. It was a strange question to ask just before Memorial Day weekend.  I quickly added that I would appreciate some time off come September.  They smiled.  I know what they were thinking and they knew what I've been thinking.  They know about this blog, but I doubt they've read it. They are far too busy running the 2 businesses and the season starts this coming week. Besides, my life is anything but interesting.

I really need a break.  By September I hope to have put enough money aside to afford a short break (without pay) if only to have a change of scenery and some rest and relaxation.

Meanwhile, I hope I'm ready for whatever is thrown at me these coming 3 months.  It's always a challenge and, as Dr. Spo would say, "jolly good fun".  I agree.

And so it goes.

*

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rapture Bingo, Score, or Excuse Card

This gets posted tonight, not only so you can ponder what tomorrow may bring, but because nothing gets in the way of celebrating Caturday on this site. NOTHING! (Click on the image to embiggen and weep.)


Enjoy your last night on earth. I will miss your emails (not!).

And so it goes.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rapture Weekend Forecast


Just so you know.

But wait.  I thought the rapture allowed those of us left behind a few months to enjoy the quiet, sanity, and stability of the planet,  before it got blowed up.  

And so it goes.
*

Some Real News, Please!

After my shift today as I sipped a Golden Margarita, the news broadcast of the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia was on one of the screens at the bar.  I swear that for a half hour (or time it took to finish the cocktail) all I saw were images of bin Laden, Schwarzenegger, bin Laden, Lohan, Trump, bin Laden, May 21, 2011 end of the world, (featuring a PT Cruiser driving around Rehoboth Beach plastered with banners proclaiming "The End" sponsored by "Family Christian Radio" - how embarrassing!) Palin, Boehner (weeping, of course) and, bin Laden. 

Thank G*d there was no sound. 

News Flash to the media:  Like Elvis and Anna Nicole, bin Laden is STILL dead and 24 hour coverage got old a week ago. He is under the sea playing with Sponge-bob and Nemo, perhaps. Wanna send a camera crew?

Seriously.

Could we have some real news from around the country not involving idiots, people behaving badly, or dead people?  Ya' know like, real people dealing with the bloated Mississippi River, winning or losing everything they own (we lose too, big time!), the upcoming goat rodeo in Washington, DC, the investigations of the banksters, folks going bankrupt or losing their homes (remember them?), and the war on women's health???  Just askin'.

A rush hour traffic update finally broke the spell.  I knocked back the remains of the Golden, grabbed my things and headed for home.


Let me reiterate that I have no TV service at home; not even basic cable.  I get all my news online and find it mystifying that I have to go to news sources outside of the country for the real news of the day. It simply boggles the mind.

And so it goes.
*

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Santorum Bumper Sticker

So, he's running for President, eh?

If you don't know the history, go and find out more, HERE

More later.

*

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just a Thought: Family Values Republicans


Nothing but rats, that's all.  They are all talk.

Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to The Times on Monday that he fathered a child with a household staffer some 10 years ago.  This gives a whole new meaning to 'pumping you up' doesn't it?

A Facebook Friend

Sent an invitation...



Don't know if I can make it.  I am sure the restaurant will be filled with  happy revelers, drunken partygoers, relieved neighbors, those of us left behind. Sigh.

And so it goes.
*

And the Rains Came!

As a result, no magic will be performed this day.  Bother!

Oh well, it's still a day off and I am getting other things done.  Laundry, a bit of ironing, and downloading the most recent shots from the little Canon that I take with me daily. (Blog buddy Ron got me into the habit.) I thought I'd share some of these with you all. (click any image to embiggen.)

DL Dining Rom decorated for Cinco de Mayo.
This tiny bungalow has 1 BR, 1 Bath, 2 window AC units & no heat. - price = $400,000!
Stove, very old stove. 
Those are not stains on the burners, just wear from usage.  The markings, barely visible, read "Frigidaire - Product of General Motors U.S.A." The left front burner is acting up again.
A single Iris in a bed of other lilies that will bloom later.
Kentucky Derby Day at DL. That's Eddie's lovely picture hat festooned with Birds of Paradise.

Jealous, aren't ya?  As you can see the race is just about to get started.  Doesn't he look excited?

Derby Day with Sasha and the Dos Locos guys greeting customers.
Words cannot do justice to the craziness you are seeing here. I posted a pic of a larger group HERE earlier and forgot I had taken these.

Bumper sticker on car on my street a few days ago.  Love it.


 
HRC Flag over the patio of a neighbor's house.
Sun setting behind hotel and water tower as I head home from work last evening.

The Pollen this year is said to be the worst in 2 decades, and I believe it.  I've been wrestling with allergies a lot lately and not getting enough rest, so I'm happy to be at home rather than out running errands in the rain.

More later.
*

Monday, May 16, 2011

From a Good Monday to a Magical Tuesday

A good day at work as I spent a third day training the new host/server and had fun with customers in-between proof-reading the new menu for the other restaurant which is due out next week. Not a busy day, just busy enough to keep the servers busy and the trainee occupied and asking questions.

Arrived home to find 3 blank messages on the voice-mail and have no idea what that means.

After living in yet another box since last spring, I finally installed the webcam awhile back (I may have written about it) and downloaded Skype as well.  Too bad there is no one to call and test it.  I am such a dweeb when it comes to this sort of thing, it's very sad. I haven't even been able to search for contacts; I can't figure it out.

The webcam works well, but, oh never mind.

While supper was cooking I decided to purge my "friends" list on Facebook. Those who never post, or reply to posts, have connections to my previous life, and those who make a hobby of collecting "friends" only to see how many they can add to their trophy list, were the ones unfriended.  One person had 13, 000 "friends" so I will hardly be missed.

I feel better now.

Tomorrow is a day off and I have magic to do.  It ought to be interesting and fun.

And so it goes.
*

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Normal Heart on Broadway, Finally.

It's about time!  I was unable to see the original  at the Public, taking care of a friend in the process of dying at the time.  From HuffPo:
The first production of "The Normal Heart" opened in 1985 for a record run at The Public Theater. Drawn from the years between 1981 and 1984, it is an autobiography of activism in the midst of a new disease that inexplicably began killing once-healthy young men. It is thick with politics, heartbreak, and fear.
Twenty six years later -- and with approximately 33.3 million people worldwide living with HIV -- the production made its Broadway debut.
At the center of the story is Ned Weeks (based on the playwright, Larry Kramer) the founder of an AIDS activist organization (based on Gay Men’s Health Crisis) from which he is expelled because of his short temper and hostility.
The play opens at the dawn of the AIDS crisis, when the disease was a mumbling terror in the community of gay men, a sudden death sentence with no medical explanation. Weeks (played by Joe Mantello) becomes quickly mired in the inexplicable deaths of those close to him. Furious at the lack of information, he organizes. Here lies one theme of the play: one must keep fighting, no matter how poor one's reputation might become, how peculiar one's tactics or how many friends one might lose.
As did Kramer, Ned fights Mayor Ed Koch to have him acknowledge the disease; he fights the New York Times to have them cover it; and he fights the medical establishment to have them treat it. He fights with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who do their best to continue living lives of sexual caprice in spite of so many terrible, nebulous warnings. He makes enemies.
It is not a wholly flattering depiction on the part of Larry Kramer: he draws Ned as an organizer and combatant, but also a name-caller and a hot head.
Reviews of the 1985 show questioned the level of activism in the play -- whether the characters were cutouts serving an agenda rather than a plot. Frank Rich, for the Times, described some of those scenes more heavily steeped in the politics of organization as resembling, "a parochial legal brief designed to defend its protagonist against his political critics."
Early productions may well have played that way, but The Normal Heart of 1985 was a very different story from the 2011 production, and certainly did not have half as powerful a cast. Today, the leaders of nearly every organization challenged in the script have been replaced many times over, and those lines that maybe once reached audiences and critics as hyperbolic or hysterical now ache with prophecy.
Ned Weeks is a ranter, a geyser of statistics and evidence, of legal questions and well-worked debate. It's hard to breathe life into some of these monologues, these massive tirades. But Mantello seems to understand that what the audience needs here is not just to listen to every fact listed. He turns lecture into theater and makes us understand why it is Ned fights the way he does. One can portray a certain dogmatism without being dogmatic.
These were the years when no one knew why they were dying. No one knew how AIDS was transmitted -- if it was sexual or not, if it could be transferred by a cough, or a sneeze, or a kiss. When Ned holds his dying lover in his arms, all his ranting at authorities, his name-calling and anger make sense.
On the night of the play's debut, the crowd was not a knot of young activists in t-shirts and jeans. They were finely dressed, young and old. Many men wore handsome sport coats and glasses, accompanied by lovers and friends. There was an immense warmth at intermission, a chatty conviviality, pats on shoulders, laughter that faded only when the lights went down for the second act.
From the last row of The Golden Theater, Larry Kramer, seventy-five years old and dressed in black, listened to his audience. Soon, sniffing had become weeping. One woman just a few seats in front of the playwright broke down in tears. For the curtain call, he took the stage before an audience already on its feet.
What had once been a polemical treatise had become something more. After two and a half decades, the audience had the ability to see what the production could accomplish theatrically, not just politically.
I would dearly love to see this one.

And so it goes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Gulf, BP, and Horny Fly-boys

A new frequent customer (who, when not stuffing his face, spends time putting the moves on one specific server) happens to be an Air Force pilot who flies out of Dover AFB here in Delaware. (Google it.)

In passing, he mentioned to the server that he was flying to NOLA this weekend for about a week. The server told him that New Orleans was my hometown and suddenly he was all over me; damning the critics of BP and the stories of local residents losing their health and way of life. Telling me he spent 4 months in the Gulf last year, fishing with buddies and eating all they caught.  And it was all good. Uh-huh.

I said nothing.

Then for reasons unknown, he said that he was sent to the Gulf  "in search of any oil that may head into the LA wetlands" and found none.  Really?

It appears the US government (at the request of BP) sent this horny fly-boy to the Gulf long after the well was plugged and any oil would have dispersed or sunk in stages to the bottom while creeping slowly with the tides into the estuaries and marshes, killing everything it touched.

He insisted that the locals had done very well financially, thanks to BP, since everything is hunky-dory and back to normal now.  Wait!  What?

When I asked if he'd had personal contact with residents and business owners (purposely mentioning names of local activists) he made a sour face and said that they were "looking for a free ride" and if they lost time on the water unable to do their thing, they were well compensated  by working for BP.  In other words, "nothing to see here, move along"

He didn't answer the question and it was obvious that he was familiar with the names I threw out.

This guy is a creep, a tool, and a troll who does and says what he is told.  He's part of the reason the Gulf story is no longer covered by our great and wonderful mainstream media.

The server, who already has a boyfriend and told him so, wants nothing to do with this guy. I don't blame her, neither do I.

The server and I shared AS cocktails and I filled her in on what I learned about this guy.  She made a sour face and left without finishing her drink, as her boyfriend arrived to take her home.

I finished my drink and while walking home wondered what was to become of the Gulf of Mexico with all the diverse forms of life and culture, and how any thinking human being could allow this slow death to happen. I mean, what's the point?

And so it goes.
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Caturday Betrayal


You never know who your friends are...

More later.
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger Alive? Or, Only on Life Support?

Blogger finally returned to life after more than 2 days without offering the ability to post, comment., or post comments.

I don't know when this revival occurred, but it had to be after 9 am this morning.  The comments waiting in the queue vanished today, even though I had the moderation emails, they were no longer available. There was a post waiting in the queue, as well, which has disappeared into the ether.

Blog buddie Peter suggests that I pick up stakes and move this carnival of craziness over to WordPress, and that option is looking tempting this evening.  It sounds all to easy to me. I will chew on that bone for a while and get back to you.

Oh, Jeez!  get your minds out of the gutter!

More later...hopefully.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Artichokes: You Can Love Them

Just came across this written by one who has no idea of the real enjoyment of artichokes and the thought of stripping to the hearts without enjoying the leaves is, to my mind, criminal.  I have so much to add to this tripe, but won't post it because most people don't care for artichokes and the work required to truly appreciate them.  Here goes:

Amazingly -- even though a good portion of artichokes are inedible and preparing them is a somewhat arduous task -- artichokes are ridiculously versatile, and they're wonderful cooked any number of ways, with any number of other ingredients.

Steaming or Boiling Artichokes
Artichokes look unlike any other vegetable -- they're actually a type of thistle -- and they can be a lot of fun to eat if you steam or boil them in salted water, which is how most people have had them. They take quite a bit longer to cook than most vegetables; you'll know they're done when an outer leaf pulls away easily from the base, which will take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, sometimes even longer. The outer leaves will remain mostly fibrous but contain flavorful meat at their base that you scrape off with your teeth (preferably after dipping in olive oil, melted butter, vinaigrette, or mayonnaise), while the inner leaves are fully edible. And once you strip away all the leaves, you're left with the wonderfully tender, silky, and flavorful heart and stem.

How to Trim Artichokes
No matter how you're planning to cook them, you'll have to do a little trimming first. If you're steaming or boiling, cut off the top third or so -- there's virtually no edible material there -- then remove the very toughest outer leaves, the bottom 1/4 inch of the stem, and any pointy leaf tips. If you want to remove the feathery, inedible choke before cooking, pry open the middle of the artichoke and dig into it with a spoon to remove any fuzzy bits little by little. If you decide not to remove the choke before cooking, just eat around it and scrape it into the trash once you've gotten down to the heart and stem.

And so it goes.
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Royal Wedding: Entertainment Rehearsal

Or, not...


And so it goes.
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rapture Contradictions and Discrepancies

This is a real TV ad for pre-rapture sale at a jewelry store in WI.  The guy is a looney shyster for many obvious reasons.

In no particular order (cause since I found this I can't think my way through it in a rational manner):

You are leaving to be with Jesus.  Right?
Worldly possessions are useless and needless.
Jesus was not a fan of any show of wealth.
Why not give your wealth to the poor who are being left behind? 
Remember the eye of the needle and camel?  Guess not.
If you are really giving in to the gold temptation and pay by check and then close the account prior to the rapture, you may not be in good standing with your savior...just sayin'. Use a credit card instead. He may not be able to trace the transaction for a few days. 
Having worked in fine jewelry sales for the past 14 years, I can also testify that his guy is a shyster of the slimiest order, because fine jewelry is ALWAYS 50% off.  Except in his own private state - of mind.
Anyone read the gospels? Because when Jesus returns on the 21st., this guy may just see his jewelry cases overturned in protest. Hey, it's a possibility. Jesus can get pretty pissy at times.  You should really read those gospels.

I'm buying popcorn and can't wait to wave good-bye.

Note:  As I typed the last 3 sentences above there came a crash from the kitchen.  The clock affixed to the wall with one of those adhesive hooks fell to the floor and shattered in many pieces.  I wonder if Jesus (or the 3M Company) is angry with me...or is it truly the 'end times'?

And so it goes.
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A History of Social Conservatism

Written by Republican Ron Hill who says he writes/speaks for the "rational wing of the Republican Party."  Just wanted to share.
1860: Social Conservatives claim that slavery is supported by the Bible. Churches even split to create the Southern Baptist and the Methodist Church, South; completely separate denominations from  Northern churches. Social Conservatives claim that tradition, history and religion are on their side.

Social conservatives lose. Society doesn’t devolve into race wars as predicted by social conservatives.

1919: Social Conservatives use the Bible, morality, and family, to argue for prohibition.  

Social Conservatives win.Violence ensues in many large American cities as gangs fight to bring alcohol to people. Moonshining takes off, creating more crime. Unsafe, unregulated alcohol poisons many Americans.  

1920: Social Conservatives use the Bible, history and tradition to justify why women should be denied the right to vote.

Social conservatives lose. Women get the right to vote.  Society doesn’t fall apart as predicted by social conservatives.

1933: After seeing the results of prohibition, the country votes to legalize alcohol.  

Social Conservatives lose. Violence and accidental poisoning drops off as America becomes a safer and freer country.

1955:  Social Conservatives claim Elvis and Rock and Roll are evil and will lead to mayhem and a breakdown in the social order. Movies are evil, and playing cards are a sin.

Social Conservatives lose; Rock and Roll is still around, Elvis Presley didn’t lead young people into Satan Worship. Society continues to function.

1964:  Social Conservatives argue that the Bible, tradition, and history justify Jim Crow in the South. They warn that society will fall apart if blacks are given equal rights with white Americans.

Social Conservatives lose, society doesn’t fall apart but becomes stronger. 

1980′s – present:  Social Conservatives take over school boards in the South, and insist that “abstinence only” sex education be taught, despite overwhelming research that “abstinence only” sex ed is a huge failure.

Society loses, especially Southern families, as Southerners lead the nation in the rate of sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, and unwed mothers. Nonetheless, social conservatives claim to be “pro-family”.

2000- present: The Family ”Research” Council, The American Family Association, and Americans For ”Truth” About Homosexuality are used as “expert” witnesses by reputable media despite lacking any academic or scientific credentials that would qualify them as experts on gay issues. Like their predecessors, they use the Bible, history and tradition to defend their positions, along with a healthy dose of lies, distortions and fake research. Eventually, these groups are labeled as “hate groups” by the KKK and Aryan-Nation busting Southern Poverty Law Center because of their repeated lies and distortions of truth. Nonetheless, the media continue to use them as “expert” witnesses and many Republican presidential candidates continue to associate with, and defend them.

Society loses, as social conservatives twist facts to support their own private religious beliefs. American families are directly harmed by these “pro-family” groups who teach Americans lies about their own family members.  

Fortunately, the history of social conservatism is one of repeated losses – and each time social conservatives lose America became a stronger, more free society.  Of course, as they claimed with ending slavery, allowing women to vote, and abolishing segregation, social conservatives now claim that  allowing gay Americans to have equal rights will somehow lead to society falling apart. Their is no logical reason to believe this is true, but they like to claim it nonetheless. Fortunately, polls show that Americans – even Republicans, increasingly see through the lies. It’s only a matter of time before gay equality is the law of the land and social conservatives are proven wrong once again.

For the rational wing of the Republican Party
Ron Hill

 “And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism’.”  — U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, aka “Mr. Conservative” 
h/t PHB

More later.
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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Derby Day at Dos Locos

The Kentucky Extravaganza Picture Hats! Everyone looks for the big Picture Hats on Derby Day and we didn't want to disappoint. Smile and say Mint Julep!!!


I warned you, and if yesterday's post about our looney tunes atmosphere didn't convince you, or the photos from Halloween for that matter, this should leave no doubt about Mucho Locos at Dos Locos.  The photo includes from left, Eddie (server), Me, one locoguy (yes that's a bird of paradise flower in his hat), Duglas (server), and the other locoguy. The hats were created, glued and ribboned by the doslocosguys in the early morning, honest to G*d.  Sorry about the image quality but it was shot using an i-something and leaves much to be desired. There were many more, this is just a sampling. But there it is.

Fortunately for me, the pre-race show was in full swing as my shift was ending, so I only had to endure about a half hour in my picture hat before the clock struck 4 and the hat disappeared as I turned into one very tired civilian enjoying my AS cocktail at the bar.

Of course, the hat went back on whenever someone wanted a picture of a few of us.  And yes, the big picture hats were worn until the derby's end. And no one batted a single eye at the spectacle.

That's Dos Locos!

And so it goes.
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Happy Mothers' Day



Heh, indeed.

More later.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cajun Got His Groove Back

And just in time. 

Slept like a baby last night, woke refreshed, made a coffee, put a John Pizzarelli in the CD player, and enjoyed a breakfast of eggs over medium with sourdough toast smeared with butter.  Heaven!

Took a swing down to the boardwalk before heading to work.  It was crowded with families, folks with pets and kids on bicycles even at that early hour.  All the markings of a good day.

With a full compliment of servers we opened 10 minutes early because people were already waiting.  That's how it began and continued throughout the day. There was a new person to train and as I was explaining the unique nature of the restaurant, reality hit us square in the face.

A couple of gay guys, their "mom" and sister (regulars for years) were having a great time when a young straight couple arrived with 2 sweet little girls and a baby.  Initially they were not happy to leave the huge baby carriage outside, but following a bit of convincing (actually seeing another family leave theirs) they relaxed - sort of.  I had to seat them next to the happy group because Dad had to keep his eye on that carriage. They were obviously from DC or Philly because no one has ever stolen a carriage in Rehoboth Beach.  No One!

Before you could say Cinco de Mayo, the 2 parties were laughing and interacting, then Mom took the baby to her table so the young mother could enjoy her meal.  Shock! Dad isn't happy, but says nothing. "Grandma" and baby are having a jolly time.  She's bouncing him around and cooing sweet things and he's got a grin from ear to ear, then falls asleep.  The young couple is amazed.  This can't be happening, right?

Everyone in the front of the dining room is enthralled by these goings-on, smiles are everywhere, and none of this is lost on my new trainee. (I had to remind him a few times to close his gaping mouth) Soon the boss shows up and wants to know why I seated this "family" at 2 separate tables.  I explained the situation and he let out a howl of laughter.  He joined the chaos by taking the baby from Grandma and it was clear that the little tyke was eating up all the attention.  Poor mom and dad were confused by all this until I explained that the crazy man holding their 7-month-old was one of the owners and how he's watched kids of customers grow up over the years, delights in having them around and eventually becomes the crazy "uncle" to many of them.

Toward the end of their time with us, I approached the mother and said, "well, I suppose you never expected to acquire an instant family."  She replied, "no, and this is the first time I've been able to enjoy a hot meal in a restaurant since he was born.  That lady is a gem." As things were winding down, there were proper introductions all round and everyone left happy and content.

When it was all over the trainee stared at me and said that nothing I could have said would have prepared him for something like this.  And, he is absolutely right.  This is the "stuff" that happens in the place and I am so happy to be a part of it all.

Continuing to listen to Pizzarelli while I prep supper. Nice bookend to the day.

Next up:  Today is Derby Day, as in Kentucky Derby.  Oh, G*d Help Us! 

More later.
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Cellphone Caturday



I'm just grateful that my damn phone works!

More later.
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Arthur Laurents - R.I.P.

At 93!  Well done, Arthur. 

The writer of musicals that changed the theatre forever, including West Side Story and Gypsy. You made the world happy and sad, but above all, you made it think differently about the musical theatre.

Three little words could sum up this legacy, "Sing Out Louise!" with two others coming in a close second, "Smile, Baby!"

More later.
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Cinco de Mayo: MoJo - NoGo

The first six-day work week and I've not adjusted well. And the full week of Cinco de Mayo festivities hasn't helped. Earlier mornings and later evenings at the restaurant are taking a toll, so all I want to do is enjoy my AS cocktail, walk home, cook something for supper, read email and news updates, take a shower, crawl under the covers, and turn off the lights. Thunderstorms are forecast for tonight, so that will help me sleep better.

Don't get me wrong here, I love Cinco de Mayo and all the madness it brings to our guests and all of us, but...no lead time to gear up has left me sputtering by the end of each day.  Today was the worst. My energy level with staff and customers was fine.  I just feel off, sluggish, slow-witted and trying way too hard. That may be why I feel so spent. I didn't even have the energy - or focus - to participate in the "5 on the Fifth" photo meme.  Maybe next month.

Damn!  Where are those Mary Janes when I really need them?

The forecast for tomorrow is for a perfect beach day, so we may not be busy and I can regroup to prepare for Mother's Day on Sunday - another very busy day for the restaurant.

I will finish my martini and check off the items listed above and see what tomorrow brings.

And so it goes.
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Museum Marks 30 Years - The Emergence of HIV/AIDS

I still have these buttons and many more from over the years.  I would very much like to see this exhibit, but not sure I could handle the memories of the chaos, hate, disrespect, and outrageous fear that seared those years forever in the minds of those who survived and/or were caregivers.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will mark the 30th anniversary of the emergence of what became known as the HIV and AIDS epidemic with a three-part display and website beginning June 3.
“HIV and AIDS Thirty Years Ago” will look at the public health, scientific and political responses in the early phase (1981-87) of the global pandemic. This showcase will be located in the museum’s “Science in American Life” exhibition, which focuses on the connections among science, culture and society in American history. The display will feature photographs, magazine covers and other graphics plus equipment that Dr. Jay Levy used to isolate the virus in his lab at the University of California, San Francisco, a copy of the Surgeon General’s 1986 report presenting the government’s position, samples of the drugs AZT and Retrovir and public health information pamphlets from AIDS service organizations. The website will be available at americanhistory.si.edu/hivaids.
In “Archiving the History of an Epidemic: HIV and AIDS, 1985-2009,” the museum’s Archives Center will show how individuals and society were affected by the epidemic through a selection of archival materials from its collections, including posters for the 1993 movie Philadelphia with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington and the 1989 film Longtime Companion; brochures, photographs and other popular culture materials; and quotes from oral histories of people affected by the epidemic.
The rest of the story is HERE.  

More later.

MN State Rep. Steve Simon Comments Go Viral

This is powerful talk.

From the YouTube description:
Representative Steve Simon (DFL Hopkins/St. Louis Park) says a proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment is largely about religion. He says if sexual orientation is innate as science is showing us, and not a lifestyle choice, then God created gay people. He asks how many gay people must God create before we accept that he wants them around.

The video is here.  I didn't embed the video because I am anxious to see just how viral this one goes and listen for the sound of right-wing heads exploding.  Take a look and help pump up the numbers.

More later.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

If Only Bin Laden Had Been Killed 13 Years Ago

The following made sense to me and so I will share it with you.  This is the last I will post on this subject.  The maniac deserves no more bandwidth or ink. 
The killing of bin Laden at the hands of U.S. forces is likely to be a cathartic moment for the world -- almost as if a war has come to an end -- but his termination comes much too late.
And the war is not truly over until the real mastermind of the al Qaeda operation -- Ayman al-Zawahiri -- is brought to justice.
Bin Laden -- a figurehead of the ugly face of extremism and an example of how any faith can be perverted to serve political (not religious) goals -- should have been taken out when the CIA became aware of his role in the August 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
He should have been taken out after the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen's coast.
He should have been taken out on September 12, or 13, or 14, 2001.
Instead, bin Laden evaded capture and lived on as a leader of a terrorist organization and embodiment of what the "War on Terror" was all about.
Bin Laden and his murderous hive of followers became the bogeymen that justified the invasion of Afghanistan. The Taliban was tossed out of Kabul and U.S. forces chased al Qaeda throughout the world, but bin Laden lived on and became the haunting example of what could happen unless the U.S. adopted the strategy of preemptive war.
Regrettably, U.S. foreign policy came to be branded by bin Laden.
Finish reading it HERE.

And so it goes.
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Just a Thought: Disco Lawn Care


More later.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesdays in the Park with Farmers

It ain't Sondheim, but what is?  My single day off could not have been more rewarding. Breezy with temps in the 70s and a clear sky, who could ask for more?

Just returned from the opening day of the Farmer's Market in the park a few blocks away. It will appear  every Tuesday from 12 - 4 pm (or until vendors sell out) through mid-September.  It's a small venue with only room for about 20 vendors, their vehicles and tents.  Not all spaces were filled, but there were still good things to be had.

It's too early for the much-sought-after local produce, but I did snag a few goodies that made me very happy. Sourdough bread topped my hoped-for list and I was first in line for that one. The loaves are huge so half will be frozen because they contain no preservatives.

Found bunches of fresh green onions (or scallions) large and sweet enough to make leeks jealous.  Swiss Chard was also available and I can't wait to braise it.

Another small baker was there selling little, half size focaccia, about 8" square.  I bought one topped with baby spinach, tomatoes, onions, and feta cheese.  It smells heavenly.

Then I spotted the creative sausage maker.  O.M.G.!  Of all the samples tasted, his new pork with broccoli rabe, spices, and sharp provolone found its way into my bag.  No idea how it got there... I'm sure a few of his other inventions will make their way to my place in the weeks ahead.  Makes me wish I had access to an outdoor grill. So many ideas racing through the old brain. 

There was a local farmer selling herb, tomato, green pepper, pole bean, and squash seedlings - hardened off and ready for planting.  Made me yearn for my old garden as I stared at them remembering how I used to start mine from seed, as well.

I was too excited and focused to take pictures, but they will be coming soon.  Promise.

All items are stored, a shower taken,  a bit of the focaccia consumed, and this post is done. Now I get to prepare supper and wait for the clock to inch its way to the 5 o'clock hour.  Then, it's olives all round!

And so it goes.
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama is Dead! Yawn...

Reading the news of Osama's death this morning left me with a strange feeling of emptiness; sort of like that shared after-sex cigarette - only 10 years too late.  Nothing more. An anti-climax, so to speak.

The Bush/Cheney administration let him slip for years so they could create (out of whole cloth) the "war on terror" which, btw, isn't going to end with Bin Laden's demise.  They used him to generate fear and scare the crap out of America for their own benefit, and succeeded.

With Bin Laden's death  America has won absolutely NOTHING! I noticed the unending coverage on TV today never even touched on that subject.  Are we surprised?  No! Three words - Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya.

The "Aha" moment for me was when I got to work this morning and none of the Muslims even addressed the death. They knew he was a dangerous embarrassment to their religion, but had nothing to add to the conversation.  The gleeful bloviating of the talking heads on TV was a real turn-off for them, as it was for the rest of us. And yet it went on and on and on all day.  Was anyone watching all that time?

While I do hope this killing will bring some sort of closure to the families of the victims of 9/11, it is an empty victory. 

So, what have we got?  The bogeyman on dialysis is no more, but the core beliefs, hate, and mind-set remain in the minds of his followers. Do you think anyone in this world is safer now?

Think again.  More to come, I just had to get this off my chest.

And so it goes.
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

FBI Files: Early Gay Groups No Fan of the Mob.

OK, you want to take some pride in our GLBT history?  Well here is a treasure trove of information released late last year by the FBI. Since I was an activist during the years reported, I take special pride in some of these documents.  As you will read, the FBI had no idea what to do with our activism and honesty.  Here's a taste:

Released FBI files reveal that early gay rights groups such as the Mattachine Foundation or Mattachine Society, the Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance took on the Mafia which in the late 1960s and early 1970s had a near-monopoly on their watering holes.
Indeed, no less than the mainstream Time magazine reported on the courage of gay activists in their campaign against the wise guys in its "Gay Pride" article from the July 13, 1970 issue:
Homosexuals, as Gore Vidal has noted, are one of the last minorities in the nation about whom it is still safe to make public jokes. That may not last much longer. * * *  And with the proliferation of such radical groups as the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance, they are taking to the streets. Hard on the heels of Women's Liberation and the Black Power movement, hundreds of male and female homosexuals in New York and Los Angeles wound up "Gay Pride Week" with parades that displayed, in turn, an angry solidarity and outrageous camp, proving that homosexuals are capable of some assertive wit about themselves and their sexual preferences.  * * * With cause, the homosexuals were protesting police harassment, Mafia control of some gay bars and other injustices.
The Mattachine Society was ringing alarm bells about mobbed-up gay bars long before the famous June 1969 Stonewall riots outside the Genovese-controlled dive.  For example, an August 1965 article from the Eastern Mattachine Magazine states:

In June, the Nassau County police department reportedly completed an investigation into fires which destroyed five nightclubs "catering to sexual deviates."  (See Eastern MATTACHINE Magazine, July 1965, page 9.)  A reputed member of the Cosa Nostra and two aide were arrested as a result of this investigation in which a famous establishment in Island Park, New York was closed.  * * * Arson and the connections of the proprietors are acknowledged facts about south shore bars.  It is the public and the State Liquor Authority who are responsible for criminal activity by their denial of our right to assemble and -- just as those other "keepers of our morality" who banned alcoholic beverages in the 1920s -- they are no better than the criminals they engender.
This historic post is at FRIENDS OF OURS and an awesome reporting job it is.  Follow the links to the FBI files on the activism of The Mattachine Society, Gay Activist Alliance, Gay Liberation Front, and learn more about our history. You owe it to yourself and to those who will come after.

While the activist methods are very different and more sophisticated today, it is important to know our history so as not to repeat mistakes of the past. And there were plenty of them!

And so it goes.
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