Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kids These Days

I get very frustrated when people start to complain about "kids these days".  Now you may disagree with me but I'm pretty sure that I'm right about this one.  Kids are kids.  They always have been. They always will be.  They will take your breath away when the girls put on their first high heels and the boys put on their first tuxedos.  They will inspire you to be the best person that you can be when you see their first independent act of compassion.

And they will make you shake your head in despair when they fuck up.  And they will fuck up.  I fucked up.  You fucked up.  Everyone fucked up.

So here's what's annoying me (had you caught on yet that I was annoyed).   I truly resent when people hide behind a societal "kids these days" answer when young people perpetrate crimes and terrible acts of cruelty.  Please don't act like this is something new.  Take a look at the Leopold and Loeb murder.  Rent Rebel Without A Cause.  This is nothing new.

The one thing that I do think is new is the societal acceptance of a lack of accountability.  The fact that you had poor parenting is not an excuse.  We live in a time with really significant access to information and resources so I think we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard of accountability than any generation that came before us.  (I need to add the caveat here that I understand that I am very privileged to be white, middle class and living in the U.S.  I know that there are people in the world that don't have things as easy as I do.  But I can only speak from my own experience here.)

A young man jumped off the George Washington Bridge this week because his roommate and the roommate's friend webcasted him having sex with another man.  He was 18 years old.

Don't blame facebook.  Don't blame the web.  Don't blame the kid for exploring his sexuality.  Don't blame society for lack of communication.  Don't blame George Bush or Barack Obama.  Don't blame Lindsey Lohan or Marilyn Manson.

Blame these young adults for an astounding act of cruelty.  They are currently only charged with invasion of privacy.  I feel that it should be upgraded to at the very least include a hate crime.  

Maybe I'm so frustrated by this because they chose an act of love and passion--which, let's be real here folks, we all, as human beings crave--as the weapon of their cruelty.

I will be lighting a candle for the young man who took his own life tonight and for his family.  The unfairness of their loss is almost too much to contemplate.

And I will also be lighting a candle for the legal system to hold the people who caused this terrible thing to happen to be held accountable for their actions.

They suck.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Knitting Group

also quilts!  (Okay--one of my knitting groups.) 

A teacher who was retiring from a local school offered us a lifetime of ties and those quilting girls jumped on it like a duck on Junebug! 

I don't quilt.  I barely sew.  But I can open up a tie and iron the silk nicely so the really talented quilters can get to work.

They made this beautiful wall hanging that is being raffled off THIS SATURDAY to benefit the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society.  Tickets are $5 each or 6 for $25.  If you're interested in tickets, leave a note in the comments with your email and we'll make it happen.

There's lots of knitting go on here in the Y.O. and I promise more news soon. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

A La Familia

I know you're not supposed to have favorites but I do.  And damn--they live very very far away.  But Annie and Shesh are just about the most wonderful people you've ever met.  They're my cousinsfromIreland (we always say it likes it is one word) so on a gorgeous September Saturday, I got to take a ride down to the Jersey Shore because they're here visiting.

This is where they live.

 I mean really.  Could you just die?  I would never leave.  It's just about the most beautiful place in the world.

So a crowd of us got together yesterday to hang out with them.

The picture's a little blurry but I think you get the picture.  (And yes, for you regular blog readers, that's Lucy the dog in the lower left hand corner.  We were at my cousin's farm and she had a ball.)  (P.S.  I was just proofreading and as I looked at this picture quickly, it looks like we are in Ireland--niiiiice!)

Yes, I said my cousin's farm.  Which always raises the question, which kind of cousin are you?  Now you need to understand, that I have a huge boatload of cousins on my father's side of the family.  Not so many first cousins but when you start stretching it out, it immediately becomes overwhelming.

But guess what?  I know the cousin rules.  I have a chart.  And once you get the chart down pat it's really easy.

So when I got home last night, I pulled out the chart and figured out the relationship.  So my Grandmother (Anne) had a brother named Patrick.  Patrick's daughter is Annie who married Shesh (his real name is Tommy--I have no idea why we call him Shesh) and they have three awesome kids--Mary, Hugh and John.

So Annie is my First Cousin Once Removed and her kids (who I just love) are my Second Cousins.  Poor Shesh--he's just an in-law but we treat him like blood.  Hugh (who I might add I hope is reading this because I don't think he as ever come to visit) got married this year and we watched the video.  It was just lovely.  The bride's family has a lot of great singers so, as a surprise, they all got together and sang them out of the church--so much better than that formal march you always here.

My Second Cousin John joined us for a while via Skype.  That shit is just amazing.

That's Shesh with the computer and my Mom in the pink blouse.  By the way, if I told you how old my Mom is you would never believe me.  Proof that sunscreen and moisturizer are your best friends.

This is my niece BrattyGirl with her Third Cousin.

That cute little muffin is my Second Cousin Once Removed.  Are you following this?  I think I'm obsessed. 

Did you catch the purple converse sneakers on SCOR (I'm going to start calling her Score to go with the acronym--I think it suits her.)

So print out the chart and do your own family.  I'm thinking about taking down the big picture in my dining room, covering the wall with oak tag and doing a family tree.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's a Great Place to Knit Socks

After 44 years, I finally got called for jury duty.  I actually got called in March but didn't receive the summons until after the date I was supposed to show up so they gave me a postponement until September. 

And it all arrived right on time this time around.  So Friday night, I called the number and, good news, I didn't have to go in.  Then Monday night, I called the number and, good news, I didn't have to go in.  On Tuesday night (insert minor chord here), they said I had to go in.  Now honestly, I really wouldn't mind serving on an actual jury--it's just the thought of all that bureaucracy that makes me shiver.

I packed a bag (two knitting projects, two magazines, diet coke, water, a book and a sleeve of Ritz crackers) and hauled ass up to White Plains yesterday morning.  I generally avoid White Plains at all costs because it's a bear to drive in.  All the streets are one way and there are lots of buses and odd little traffic patterns.  It's not that it scares me or confuses me--it just insults my sense of good municipal design.  

But I made it through downtown to the parking garage at the library.  Where I was immediately accosted by a woman in a party dress (cut down to there!) and six inch high stiletto heels.  She was going to jury duty for the first time as well and didn't know what was going to happen and oh my God she was so nervous aboutit but she never gets out of the house except for work which she hates and they're mad that she's at jury duty and aren't these shoes great she got them on sale at Bloomingdales and her husband who is not really her husband but they've been together for seven years and they have a kid together and he's Albanian but she doesn't care what anyone says about Albanians because he treats her like a queen and does everything for her except marry her.  Whew--all this before I even put the money in the meter.  

And she didn't shut-the-f-up for the entire day.  Holy crap.

So I worked on these.  
They're Cookie A's Summer Socks (I think that's what they're called) in Knit Picks Stroll in Dusk.  They're a fun knit and go really quickly and, honestly, you don't have to pay too much attention to the pattern so they're perfect when you're stuck with a woman with typewriter mouth.  

As the day progressed, the shoes lost their charm for her when she got a big blister.  She had a pair of flip flops with her (silver glitter naturally) but she didn't want to put them on because then she would look like (and I quote) a white-trash chooch.  I don't know if that's how you spell chooch but I don't really need to know.   I would like you to pause for a moment now and think about what I might possibly have had on my feet.  Yes, they we were flip flops.  Cute ones but flip flops none the less.  So I looked like a white-trash chooch which I guess is kinda cool.  

By the end of the day, I actually got sent to a court room, watched the first round of voir dire.  Had to go back today.  Got voir dired myself and then sent packing.  It was a civil case and would probably have been interesting but I have an ethical problem with the law that the case was based on so I told the truth that I couldn't be fair and impartial.  I also told the truth about knowing the judge's brother which she very funnily asked me if I would be able to not hold that against her.

Laughed my butt off at the guy in the eye patch who had been a private investigator in Alabama.  They didn't pick him either. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Just a few things

1. I'm not going to rant about anything today. Aren't you happy about that?

2. I left an ingredient out of my salad recipe. You're supposed to add 1 teaspoon of oregano to the dressing. It's been fixed on the post.

3. I am making a boat load of this salad for a party tomorrow. Burned the crap out of my thumb and made a huge mess in my little tiny kitchen but, damn, it smells good in there.

4. The blog has been quiet all week because I twisted the crap out of my right wrist last Saturday. It was more of a range of motion and weight bearing kind of injury and luckily, I could still knit. Good thing I'm a picker.

5. If your knitting group is offered ouzo, definitely accept it. But then don't complain if you have a headache the next morning and have no idea how you got that tattoo with Elizabeth Zimmerman Forever in a heart on your ass.

6. This my friend Pat.

Give her a break! She was painting her deck. She cleans up real purty!

This is what she has in her yard.

Jealous? Well you should be. There are a boat load of overripe tomatoes roasting in the oven right now (the ripe ones are too precious to roast) with tomatillos, red onion, jalapeno and garlic. There will be soup.

And the basil leaves are rinsing as I type this. There will be pesto.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I've had enough. I find myself sitting here on the eve of 9/11 and I'm wondering when, if ever, is enough, enough.

I think it may finally be the time for us to learn a lesson from the people who have created so much misery. Because you know what--they don't try to be nice. And they're not nice. And guess what? They really get their point across. (I know this is a very simplistic description of all of this but bear with me--I try not to swear on the blog.)

So here's what I would like to have happen in the next few days.

1. President Obama--Please don't ask that crazy man to "listen to the good angels". Do what the rest of us normal, intelligent Americans are doing. Say--out loud, Prez, say it out loud--dude, you have every right, as an American, to do whatever the fuck you want. But as an American, I also have the right to say you are one crazy, dangerous motherfucker.

2. Charge the bastard with treason. It's a hangable crime in the US of A to put our soldiers in danger. Freedom of speech does not extend to me telling the Russians our secrets (and p.s. who the hell cares about the Russians anymore) so it shouldn't extend to people who are putting the lives of people who are putting their lives on the line for us in danger. (I need to add the caveat here that I don't believe in the death penalty--I'm just trying to make a point here.)

3. I don't need to see another 9/11 documentary. I saw it in person. I felt the glass in the air on that pristine blue skyed morning. I watched the towers from the window of my office perfectly framed by the George Washington Bridge. And I didn't open the shades in my office until April. So stop worrying about your Emmy. There were outstanding documentaries made by people who were actually there. Nine years later, you are just pandering to the pain that a lot of people live with every day. Please stop.

4. Be kind to each other tomorrow--and really, every day. Let's do a reality check here kids. For the most part, people don't hate each other over ideology. They hate each other over actions. I know it's hard but I'm willing to do my best to be kind.

So on 9/11 2010, I ask you to join me in celebrating our democracy. Celebrating our diversity. Rather than choosing tolerance, choose acceptance. And let's actually act like the Americans that we always say, so loudly, that we are.