Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Farm Boy Reflects

In the NY Times today, Nicholas Kristof said "the tide of history is moving toward the protection of animal rights, and the brutal conditions in which they are sometimes now raised will eventually be banned."
Oh, I sure hope so, and I sure hope some people who read this column think hard next time they eat meat, especially pigs, who are so like dogs in most all ways but looks.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday Night Live in Hillsdale

There's Barbara, and Meryl right behind her, shortly before Meryl, Mark and I decided to call it a night. Saturday we spent many hours at the festival and we were not only tired but wanting to get back to the dogs. So the three of us headed home around midnight, on the long dark winding unpaved country roads. Lots of deer, lots of nervous driving. We arrived at the Solovay driveway, and right on our tail were a couple of impressive emergency vehicles, including a real fire truck. We got of the car, assuming we'd watch them drive on by, when to our surprise they pulled right in behind us. The rather large Captain approached in a hurry, "the smoke alarm is going off", and Mark and I threw open the front door and ran for the stairs, each grabbing a poodle and heading back out. Three guys ran through the house, while the three of us, two holding poodles, watched, stunned. The big guy came barreling down the stairs calling out to us, "the house has been ransacked, the closets have been emptied!" "Let me go look" was my response and I ran upstairs, into each bedroom, noticing that Leandra's room appeared to have every possible article of clothing in a pile on the floor. I took a quick look at the other rooms which looked pretty normal to me, ran back downstairs, and said to the Captain, "a teenage girl came home from camp today, I think that's what her room is supposed to look like." Meryl asked, "is this a Saturday Night Live sketch, and is that John Candy?" Meanwhile Mark was running around with two phones, the house phone with the alarm company, which only worked inside the house, and his cell phone with Paul on it, which only worked outside the house.

It took quite a while but the nice and concerned volunteer fire guys all left with their serious trucks, the three of us still standing around, half in shock, half hysterical, until Susan and Paul showed up and we got to tell the whole hilarious ridiculous story, and then again when Barbara, Steve & Alec arrived.

A wild ending to a great, long day. Oh, and I guess the conclusion was that the heat lightening in the air was what set off the fire alarm. Which, by the way, mostly rang in the fire station, or wherever, and not in the house. And the lightening preceeded a major storm that started moments after Paul left to go back to the festival to pick up Leandra and her friend. But that's another story.

Falcon Ridge

After driving for a day and a half with very patient dogs, we arrived in Hillsdale NY Thursday night. Barbara, Steve and Alec beat us there by several hours but Susan & Paul, whose home we all congregate in for Falcon Ridge, were away picking up their daughter Leandra from art camp. Alec greeted Mark and me and the dogs.
We enjoyed the use of the Solovay home and pool, and were joined on Friday by Judy Zerden (an old camp friend of Barbara's & mine) and her husband, Hank, on Friday. That night we saw and heard some great music. The Strangelings were wonderful, and the Friday night song swap, with John Gorka, Eliza Gilkyson, Vance Gilbert & Patty Larkin, was the big late night favorite.
When we woke up Saturday morning Susan, Paul, & Leandra were home and soon Barbara & Alec's cousin Meryl arrived from Bklyn. Saturday was a long day of music at the festival.
Janis Ian is as great a storyteller as she is a musician. Dar Williams & Eddie from Ohio were wonderful as always.
And Susan was brave enough to do some contra swing dancing.
A great festival, if a bit too hot, too cold, and too muddy at times, but greatest of all is being with old, good friends.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Abby & Doug

Last weekend we had dinner with Abby & Doug at The Fly, one of our favorite places in this town. Afterwards we had dessert and dogs at our house.

The possum who lives over our compost pile

A Virginal Goth Girl

"Our topic for today is The Twilight Saga, a series of extraordinarily popular books that you may never have heard of. The attraction is clearly the vampire hero, who is quite a hunk. Before you make fun of this, I want you to seriously consider whether you're interested in denigrating people who spend their leisure time actually reading books rather than watching 'America's Got Talent.'"
Read the rest of Gail Collins' NY Times OpEd piece on modern romance and the state of feminism.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Extra Helpings

I did a short piece for an online newsletter and you can read about it on the blog I do for the library .
I also got copies of the magazine with my article today and it looks fabulous!
Even my photo looks good and that is truly amazing.
I'm very pleased, and now just wondering if the check is in the mail....

Monday, July 7, 2008

St. Pete Pride - Guest Blogger!

Jen Obermaier has agreed to be my first guest blogger! Jen and Leigh went to the Pride Parade in St. Pete weekend before last, and here's the story.

Saturday, June 28 was a hot day in St. Pete. Those of us from Florida don’t usually go outside this time of year voluntarily, but this was a special day for us and attendance was mandatory. It was
St. Pete Pride, 2008 . There were an estimated 75,000 people in attendance.

Oh, and five pathetic protesters from Georgia who, in their effort to get all of us to accept Jesus Christ and renounce homosexuality, gave us important nuggets such as “Jesus is going to drop kick your asses to hell!”

We don’t have pictures of them, so we’ll have to do a visualization exercise together. Ready? Ok, you know the homeless guys that sell the newspapers in the middle of major intersections? Imagine five of them holding really nasty signs and one with a bull horn and a very shallow grasp of logic and you have it. There you go. No picture necessary!

The Democrats were out in force!

Tampa Bay’s O-Train energizes the crowd!

The diva Stephanie Shippae! She’s still around and looking fabulous after all these years.

Twirling rifles followed by rainbow flag spinning color guards.

Now that’s some hair!

One of the parade’s highlights: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The comedian ANT came down to celebrate with us. I guess he didn’t catch the weather forecast because he’s wearing not one but two black shirts and corduroy pants!
Note: he’s not from the south.

Thanks, Jen, and welcome back to the blog anytime!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Marley and America!

Marley turned four yesterday. He's the only one of our animals whose birthday we know. We celebrate the birthday of everyone else on October 1st each year. The dogs enjoyed special cupcakes from a doggie bakery while the humans enjoyed a sandwich and beer assortment. Oh, and cannolis that weren't from Little Italy but weren't bad at all.
Lorie and Kaiser had fun in the pool. Daisy did too, she swam so much she can hardly move today. She also killed one of the pool toys Kaiser brought over. Kaiser recently had a birthday too, he is now five and he can really swim!
My own birthday was a couple of months ago and Abby gave me this cool Zen Garden. Kaiser and I had fun putting it all together.
Jen and Leigh came to celebrate and relax too and brought Gretchen along. Gretchen approved of the cupcakes. She also enjoyed the drive in the back of Jen's brand new gorgeous gray Mini Cooper. And the humans thought it was a pretty fabulous little car too. We all want one.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Rove's Third Term

Republican strategists have been successful because they are so good at manipulating words, and outright lying. Rove is the best at this and he's taught others. The media, at least some of it, seems ready to stop buying into the fake scandals of Rove and his like. "If so, the campaign has just taken a major turn in Mr. Obama's favor. After all, if this campaign isn't dominated by faux outrage over fake scandals it will have to be about things that really did happen, like a failed ecomonic policy and a disastrous war -- both of which Mr. McCain promises will continue if he wins." Read Paul Krugman's whole column from today's New York Times Op-Ed page right here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Girl Effect

Yes, this world is in trouble.
Here is
one possible solution.

The Boys and the Subway

Kids who grow up in NYC are different from other kids.

Check out this entry from the Abstract City blog.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Surf's Up!

I've been reviewing books for School Library Journal for a very long time, but this is my first actual article for them! I did the web picks for this article too.
The hard copy even has a photo and an author bio!