...is never drink gin with an Englishman.
The rest of the story is still a little fuzzy.
Monday, January 31, 2005
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Monday, January 24, 2005
So, it snowed here. Not as much as was feared. Far, far less than say, at my dad's house. They got 3 feet. Not a typo, that's really feet, not inches. Had to clear a place for the dog to pee so he wouldn't get buried, or stick.
We got about 15 inches. It's inconvenient but not impossible. It's our transit system that's kicking our collective Big Appled Ass. Check out www.ny1.com and read the article about the fire on the C line and the other fun we've had.
However, the snow does have lessons to teach.
15 inches of snow is too much snow for you to be able to rock your car out.
No. Really. Trust me.
This evening I was walking the dog past a couple of people digging out their mid-range SUV. There was an older gentleman watching them. Finally he spoke up, "Is that 4 wheel drive?"
All I could do not to break in, "Sir, SIR! 4 wheel drive does not give one the ability to levitate. By definition one's 4 wheels must have something of substance upon which to DRIVE." You frigging idiot.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Today's Sports headline for one fo the NYC papers is "$22 Million, the Rocket's Arbitration Demand".
For those of you not following along with the home game, this is a salary demand from a famous pitcher being made of the team that he decided to play for after he retired.
I admire Roger Clemens greatly for his natural talent as well as the way he's grown and worked to stay in the game. His work ethic and his gift for nurturing what he was born with and crafting his game to go with the flow of aging is an example from which many a young pissant whiner could take a lesson.
However, I'd like to see a player in his position say, "You know, just pay my expenses and I'm in for the year. I don't need a salary." Or even, "I'm in at last year's rate but please forward my checks to (fill in the charity of your choice)" Wayne Gretzky could have done this when he moved to the LA Kings to be closer to his wife. Yet, the Great One was in the middle of his career, it would have been a dangerous move on some levels. The Rocket is retired (if we're to believe all that press around the time he left the Yankees), he's playing for his home team, and he's made a boatload of cash from salary and endorsements over the course of a career that spans more than 2 decades. He's in the perfect position to hearken back to the days of yore, the time when the salary was a perk and athletes played for the love of the game.
I know, I know I keep harping on this playing for the love of the game thing. It's my thing, you're going to have to deal.
I'm just sick of spending the off season disliking athletes whose performance I admire. I can't be the only one who gets a little seasick moving from tears and cheers during the playoffs to disgust and flabbergastion as contract demands and compromises are made that could buy and sell me (and many of my less fortunate brethren and sistern) 10 times over. It's true, I far prefer this mild annoyance to the fury I feel at ass monkeys like the Big Unit who want all the money and the endorsements that come with playing for the Yanks but can't handle the pressure when they get here. Big Unit, no wonder he's an ass.
But just once wouldn't you like to hear, "Sure, I'm playing, but use my salary to give season tickets to that cool chick down at 117 Hudson."
Monday, January 17, 2005
If you're a fan of Third Watch (9pm Fridays on your local NBC affiliate) I've got something for you to look out for during the rest of the season.
Living in New York you wander by TV shows and feature films shooting pretty frequently. Living in a sketchy area of Brooklyn it's less frequent. However, Sex in the City fans will recognize a tarted up version of my sketchy neighborhood as the neighborhood that Miranda moved to in the final season. Today it was Third Watch. I happened to be walking along Myrtle Avenue in time to see some stunt work going on.
So, sometime (probably soon since they weren't camouflaging the snow and frigid temps) when you see an older model maroon Volvo sedan ram into a hearse leading a funeral motorcade and land crunchingly in a random American made grey 4 door, that's like 4 blocks from my apartment. I'm walking up on the crowds of people standing around and I see a Volvo parked oddly and a man declaring it ready so I stopped. I mean, something was going to happen and I'm always in the mood to check out the inner workings of film and TV so I stopped. A couple of seconds later they put the motorcade in motion, started the Volvo and I'm thinking, "Hey, I bet this is going to be a crash." and then CRASH. Well really more Crash. They were going pretty slowly. But, as they warned you in Driver's Ed, even slowly you can cause some significant damage. The hearse spun around 180 degrees and the Volvo was imbedded well into the back seat of the 4 door. Very cool.
I would have stayed longer but, as I said, completely frigid (the weather, not me) and there was something on the street that was messing with the dog's paws enough to make her jump and twitch. So, I headed home to watch the finished product of such endeavors on my day off.
And it's what I saw then that makes me think how weird and random and a little bit awful it can be to live in a city this big with this much going on every single moment of every day.
Back behind me a few blocks there was a fairly significant non-fictional fire/rescue event going on. I saw at least 4 of the really big fire trucks with lights flashing. About a block past the fictional crash being filmed was the regular Myrtle Avenue traffic being held to wait for the go ahead from the TV people. In that block of cars was a fire rescue unit with lights flashing and siren politely turned off waiting to go and actually perhaps rescue people at the er, incident down the street.
I love New York!
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Now, I know that cleaning out one's refrigerator on a Saturday night could be construed as boring or sad or possibly even pathetic. I'm here to tell you that it's both cheaper and can be reliably more fulfilling than a night painting the town red.
You could pay $10 plus transportation and candy and the inevitable beer afterwards to go to a movie. And you could choose a thriller or a horror flick to get the maximum adrenaline rush. At home, for free you can you can get the same rush. "Ah, god, open the garbage can quick, it's dripping! Get it off me! Get it off! Agh!"
It's far more satisfying than spending the evening doing volunteer work. After all, the life you're saving IS your own.
The trivia contest at your local watering hole can exercise your memory. But isn't it harder to remember what used to be in that tupperware that now seems to contain only a foul smelling mist?
My kitchen, my entire apartment really, would be a fabulous field trip for a chemistry class. However, I think I'd be a better guest speaker for Home Economics classes. (Is that what they call them now?) My lecture/demonstration would be, "REAL Domestic Arts".
I could tell the students which foods start out solid and end up liquid. (Pretty much anything in the vegetable family.) Which ones start out liquid and end up solid. (Notably gravy.) And the advanced kids could help me figure out which ones pass through both those states and end up as that damn mist. (Anyone have ANY idea?)
I can dispel common myths perpetrated by uptight parents and teachers. Refusing to take your garbage out for a month does NOT in fact guarantee that you will get bugs...as long as you have a tight fitting lid on your garbage can.
I've got tips. Pretty smelling candles aren't just for the bathroom anymore. Especially during semi-annual fridge cleaning.
I could even branch out into sewing and home repair. Because yes, it's preferable to get out the needle and thread when your keys punch a hole in your coat pocket, but it's much easier and just as effective to get out the duct tape. Cross hatching the duct tape makes for longer lasting repair.
I don't want to see these kids go out into the world unprepared for the realities of keeping one's own house. It could be dangerous. And expensive, too.
Friday, January 14, 2005
As my hair gets longer and longer I'm trying to branch out and into new styling options.
Today it was muggy and pouring and icky and Friday so I decided to shoot for something that would work with the humidity curling factor.
This is what led me to aim for something akin to Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love.
By noon we were looking at something a whole lot closer to Brendan Fraser in Encino Man.
Perhaps I'm not ready for branching out.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
I just watched an ad by Philip Morris about their smoking prevention efforts. They mentioned a packet you can get online that offers advice to parents on how to talk about smoking with their kids.
Is there a section in there about what to say if you smoke and you don't plan to stop but you don't think your kids should? 'Cause that would be the best marketing ploy of all. Keep the customers you have while keeping the lawyers off your back.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
There's a thing in the parks of NYC called "off leash hours". In most parks from 9pm to 9am you can let your dog run off leash as long as he or she is "in your control".
I am very much in favor of these. I am even in favor of people who would like to extend off leash hours, particularly in the winter time. It's good for dogs, it's good for owners, it's good for everyone, really, since more people in the park makes for better safety.
However, my dog and I can't use the off leash rule. Emily is a wonderful dog, I couldn't love her more and she's been the perfect intro to dog ownership. But, she's got some issues.
When I got her she'd already been trained a bit. She knew to sit, she knew inside vs. outside to some extent, and she knew stay. It was the stay part that killed her. My friend found her staying obediently on a stoop. For over 16 hours. In the pouring rain. By the time she came home she had nothing in her stomach but the Power Bar a good samaritan had used to try and bribe her into a car. It didn't work, she wolfed it down and belly crawled back up the stoop to stay. She was also scared and shy and weirdly smart. Scared of dogs and people and doors and cars and rolling gates and some types of bedding. She ate so fast that the back end of her body would start to vomit but she had body and will of steel so the front end just kept swallowing until it had conquered. The house dog, Oscar, was the first dog she could stand. He was a bright, bouncy, border collie mix who completely modified his behavior to win her over. He finally lay down in the back yard totally still until she got curious enough to poke him in the neck with her nose. Then he'd chase her and she'd run and then she'd freak and he'd stop and try the whole game over again. As a result I have a dog who loves people more than anything but puts up this stragely aggressive front with a lot of other dogs. It used to be occasional. Then more frequent. Now she can't be off leash anywhere that she might run into other dogs we haven't already gotten to know REALLY well. Other dogs just don't understand that poke in the neck thing and other owners get downright crazy about it. She's never bitten anyone or harmed anyone of any species in any way at all. But once the growling and snarling starts I don't really get a chance to explain that. I don't think the dogs would understand even if I could.
So, she doesn't take part in off leash hours anymore. I still think she should get some grass under her feet every day. I also think that other dogs should too. And if they can do that off leash they definitely should be able to. Which means that I do my best to restrict our park time to on leash hours. It seems fair, 12 hours each and most of the 12 hours I've got to use are at times when it's not life threatening to be in the park. Which can't be said for the off leash hours. I'm happy to do it this way.
Some people? Some of the people whose dogs CAN do off leash hours? Don't think it's a fine trade. So, I've waited until after off leash hours are over and I head to the park to toodle around and get some grass or mud or snow under the pooch's feet and spend my afternoon dodging people blatantly ignoring the rule. I've had conversations with some of these people and others I can just see it in their eyes.
"My dog is fine, he won't hurt you."
It's not YOUR dog I'm worried about. The nightmare scenario that I see is my dog getting a little wigged, raising her hackles, maybe giving a well-meaning poke to your saintly dog and he takes it the wrong way. The next thing we know my dog is sitting at my feet, confused as Larry's other brother Darryl, waiting for me to remove the dog from her face. My girl leads with her face, too, the only times she's been bitten it's been on or near her eyes. I don't want to be scraping her eyeball off the bottom of the basin of the dog fountain after Saint Barks a Lot spits it back out.
So, if you see some of us - because it's an us, I see us all over the park, owners with the well peeled eyes watching for dogs on and off leash that wander into our path because their owners know that their dogs are nothing to worry about - walking with our leashed dogs, maybe running a little, maybe kicking a ball no farther than the reach of the extendable leash, could you please extend us the courtesy that we've extended you? Put your dog on a leash. It's on leash hours, after all, I wouldn't expect the same courtesy if it was off leash hours. Help me out.
Help my girl out. Please?
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Before tonight I might have said that any New Year celebration without bloodshed was a good one.
Well, after tonight I can broaden my parameters.
Yes, though I spent the evening in my pajamas, there was bloodshed at my celebration.
Not to worry, it wasn't mine.
Sadly, I didn't inflict the punishment.
There was a dog visiting. He likes cats. In a biblical knowledge sort of a way. I have always kept him leashed in my house because I know that this sort of love can be harmful. His girl felt secure in unleashing him tonight. My cat, Elvis, unleashed a can of whoopass in celebration. Apparently when she got to the scene there was a cat claw sticking out of Teddy's nose. EWE!
A lot of blood.
And yet, we had a pretty good time. Watched some bad TV (and some good), ate some yummy cheese, some luscious (cooked) chocolate pudding and drank a bottle of champagne.
So, my horizons are broadened, even a little bloodshed can't ruin the ringing out of the old year.
I'm looking forward to 2005. I have high hopes for it. But right now I have to get my chicken out of the crockpot.
New year's rocking eve indeed.