Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Social Commentary

Something interesting happened at a restaurant yesterday. I am facing the front door when a homeless woman, about 50 years old, walks into the restaurant. The woman is very dirty, wearing a mound of winter clothes that barely show her face. She is carrying a large shopping bag. The young server, who was standing behind the counter, comes out to meet her, shaking her hands out in front of her as if to say, “No, not today. No.” The homeless woman mumbles something to the server, who then audibly says, “No” while continuing to move her hands. This seemed like a typical exchange you see in NYC- homeless people wanting to come inside where it is warm and the establishment keeping it from happening because of “no loitering” rules. But here is where the story takes the “interesting” turn: The homeless woman pulls out a wad of $1 bills and says, “Can I get a sandwich?” The server points to the homeless woman’s bag and there is an inaudible exchange, presumably about the bag. The homeless woman then shrugs and leaves. I sat in a sort of awe- having first agreed that the homeless person should not be loitering, I was stunned to find the woman turned away when she showed money and asked to be served. I know that businesses “reserve the right to refuse business to anyone“ but the situation still struck me as incredibly wrong...

Until she walks out the door. The hinge swings the door back to the frame that creates a vacuum seal keeping the cold out while and pushing in the air that had just surrounded the homeless woman. In a matter of seconds the restaurant takes on the most rank odor of urine and dirt and it hangs, like a cloud, for the next few minutes. It became clear to me why, in the face of a few crumpled bills, the homeless woman would still be turned away. Surely that odor would drive away many a customer and keep new customers from entering. But it made me so sad to think that even with money, that thing that makes the world go ‘round, she could not get a bite to eat. I asked myself- Was it possible for the server to accept her money but ask her to wait outside while the sandwich was made? Or is it just easier in society to say no to someone for a ”very good reason“ and leave it at that?

I left the restaurant soon after and headed home. A few doors down from my building I see the homeless woman sitting on the steps of a brownstone, eating a jelly donut that she had gotten from the bakery on the corner. She had jelly sauce dripping down her face, but that didn’t stop her from smiling and holding out an empty cup. She said something inaudible through the chewing while shaking the cup at me gingerly. I think she wanted money. Despite the previous scene, I said no and kept walking.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I laughed so hard I almost peed

I am not sure what is funnier: the website itself, or the fact some people have taken it seriously enough to send out tearful emails, en mass, condoning it.


PS: No kitties were harmed in the making of this blog entry.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Rumor has it

I have heard a rumor from several reliable sources that there are people who have been reading my blogs and (gasp!) have never left a comment. This means that I could have a whole legion of readers that are previously unaccounted for. Now, I do not usually subscribe to rumors, those nasty little things that made my childhood miserable. But it did get me thinking (read: fantasizing)... Could it be possible that some people read my blog and see my photos but hide themselves from me, denying me the satisfaction of knowing that I am not alone in the universe? Is it possible that someone actually likes to read the musings that come out of my little brain? My inclination is to say no, but these persistent sources claim otherwise.

Word has come in from these secret sources that these “lurkers” could be part of any one of the following groups:

• friends of my relatives, notably those relatives who live in Oregon
• friends/teachers from high school who randomly found me online but refuse to admit they “knew me when“
• drama students from a certain high school in Escondido, CA (which shall remain nameless but their mascot may or may not be a bird)
• bloggers from other sites who are stealing my ideas and improving on them (not too hard to do)

So as to eliminate this rumor as a cruel hoax, if you have been reading this blog (or visiting either my Flickr or Textamerica photo sites), please leave me a little message to let me know you stopped by. Let me know how you found out about my site, and if you have a website, give me the address some I can come visit you too. It’s no fun to blog without knowing people are reading it, so give me a holler and let me know you love (or are outraged by) my websites.

It would make me really, really happy! =)

Thursday, March 9, 2006

A part of me is missing...

Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I have been MIA for many weeks. Those of you who know me personally probably know why. My father passed away, somewhat suddenly, on February 1. He was only 69. It has taken this long for me to muster up the courage to openly talk about it. And still, I am having a hard time putting words to paper (or computer)- something I have always been good at.

My father was a huge part of my life. I don’t mean huge in the sense that we spoke every day, or he knew all of my deep dark secrets. I mean that, from a very early age, it was clear that I took on most of my characteristics from him- from my childhood bad temper to my predilection for bad puns; from my fair, Irish skin to my wide smile when cameras came out. Growing up I was the only one who really looked like him, and for some reason that gave us a bond. Not only that, but if ever there was a champion for the talents of a child, it would be my father for me. I used to joke that there was a 15 foot radius around my father in which he could smell out anyone who did not know he was my dad. He would immediately introduce himself (as he was wont to do with complete strangers) and let them know that I was his kid, “The Kid” as he nicknamed me growing up.

How do you express to people that your whole world is different now that your dad is gone?

I look at old people differently. I look at young families differently. Every time I hear the age of some older person, my mind immediately counts up how many more years they lived past my dad and then I ache for those years that I didn’t have. I can’t bear the idea that when I call home and say, “Hi, it’s me” I won’t hear him joke, “Me, who?” on the other end. I don’t get to go to anymore baseball games with him, a tradition we had for Father’s Day each year. This year was going to extra special because I was planning on going to my first Yankees game with him, a team he grew up with in NYC and now that I live here it would take on special meaning.

I could go on and on, and I might... in future posts. I just didn’t know how precious life was until my Superman was taken away. The man who always would answer “I’m fantastic!” even if he was recovering from surgery. The man who always waited up from me no matter what time I visited home. The man who stood at the front gate watching me drive away, no matter how late it was.

I miss him.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

This is what happens at my house every morning...

I love my doggie, but MAN, I HATE walking her in the winter! Can someone please tell the gods that it is March? Time for some heat!

Courtesy of my favorite comic in the world, Mutts

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