Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Older is better

Just like anything worth waiting for, each individual has an opportunity to become really cool as they age. When we are one year old, we self-actualize; when we're in our teens, we discover our friends; in our twenties, it's self-discovery; thirties, forties and fifties seem to be about the career and kids and after that? That's when things are interesting. If you've planned it right you're not scraping by or if you live simply, you're comfortable with it. There's no need to impress anyone (unless you tried to skip a step and never moved past it). Many people that I meet that are in their 60s and older seem to be really good listeners and often have a good sense of humor. That is my goal in life.

I was driving through Pound Ridge, NY on my way to work today and saw a wire hitting a tree and igniting it. The rain was pouring and putting out the fire right away but it was happening over and over. I didn't have any cell coverage so I drove to three empty homes...(people that must be 30-50 somethings that work) and I spotted a house with two cars in the driveway. I pulled in and walked up the grassy walkway soaking wet and saw in the window an older couple in their pajamas having coffee. I startled them but they opened the door for me. They immediately invited me out of the rain into their very modest and very Connecticut farmhouse (wood walls, rocking chairs and a stove fireplace)and after I told them what happened, the man, a former volunteer fireman, called who else but the fire department. The woman was filled with laughter and said that I made her husband's day for my deed. We talked for a few minutes and after he made the call, I kindly exited. I thought about all of the empty homes on that road that I drive by and the ones that are filled with people like that. They, to me, make up the community. They're the foundation that allows everyone else to go do the work we do while they are home when we need to use a phone or they are out doing the community service that we only do when we have nothing else going on. I don't know if that makes sense but it was kind of nice. Just talking with this couple for five minutes made me feel great all day. So, hats off to them for being so open and cool.

Friday, June 23, 2006

How nice are YOU!

Rules of the road: (1) No raking women with your eyes; glance quickly and respectfully. (2) Offer to share a taxi rather than fight over it. (3) Babies in strollers get right-of-way—until they abuse it. (4) Still no ogling girls—c’mon! (5) And skateboarding, are you kidding me? (6) Not everybody loves your dog as much as you do. (7) No bicycling on the sidewalk unless under the age of 6. (8) Pedestrians can die of secondhand smoke, too.
(Photo: Photomontage by Peter Rad)

A big topic of discussion as of late is ettiquette in New York City. NYC is defined by all five boroughs but most think solely of Manhattan here. These rules should apply to any city but New Yorkers get it. If you're rude, your going to have your life threatened but if you help people out, you make someone's life easier and you've done something good. The karma comes back to you. So here is how not to be a jerk.

Callers into a recent Brian Lehrer's radio segment on NPR (wnyc) commented that the worst experiences with rudeness have happened on the West Coast. Apparently people there think that if they help someone, that will embarrass that person, hence, they're doing a good deed by ignoring that person in need. I've lived there for 30 years of my life and I can say that people do look the other way and it's flipping bull shit. I have literally seen someone fall while Seattleites walk OVER the person and continue down the street. Sometimes people help but sometimes they don't. It's just rude. How much effort does it take to say "Are you OK? Can I help you stand up?" I have also seen people fall in New York (tripping over nasty curbs or in the snow) and people will (again, literally) jump in front of that person to help them stabilize. It's something to think about. Rudeness to strangers is unneccessary and I'm saying this to all you white suburban raised guys since it seems to be more prevelent with you. Ignoring ettiquette does not make a man. Now let that pregnant lady have your seat and pat yourself on the back for being a hero.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Solstice!!!

If you didn't make it to Stonehenge today, there are plenty of Solstice celebrations around the northern hemisphere. What better way to spend the longest day of the year than to be outside and in nature?


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pinchy the lobster snaps back!

Bravo to Whole Foods! They are no longer going to sell live lobsters or soft-shell crabs because the process of catching them, binding them, shipping them, storing them in a tank and then dropping them in boiling water is just too much. They will continue to sell packaged or frozen meats and seafoods, including lobster where the animals are killed in a humane way.

I hate how good their succulent tails taste but the fact that these little guys mate for life and can live to be over a hundred shows that there is something happening inside their little heads and hearts.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ignorance reigns! Since when has banning literature EVER been beneficial to a society? I am baffled that they don't see the irony of this. Maybe the Cuban-Americans involved have never read Farenheit 451.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Cheap Eats

"Cheap industrial food is cheap only because the real costs of producing it are not reflected in the price"

Our UnAmerican President

Why are we celebrating the death of Al-Zarqawi? The Pentagon showed us a portrait of his broken face in a beautifullly matted, gold frame. Is this going to hang in some F***ed up War Room? This is a human life regardless of whether he is an unethical or insane human being. Since Bush gained the title of President, people seem to be OK with hating each other for their race, religion or just perspective on life. He tells us that we're hated for our freedom (a yet undefined term) yet he is chipping away at the Constitution at every opportunity - more than any other president in history. This makes me cringe and want to scream because he is the most unethical and unChristian person I have ever heard of. To call himself Christian is complete blasphemy.

War never begets peace, Mr. President.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Why do you eat organic?

I saw the CBS 60 minutes segment on the CEO of Whole Foods. There is a bias against executives and big business for sure. After everything from Enron to Martha Stewart, we can't help but cast a weary eye on all corporate executives including the ones Costco and Whole Foods have. But as I watched the segment, the camera was out in a huge field with migrant workers on giant combines that are cutting spinach to be sold with the organic stamp and for a fleeting moment, I thought nothing more than about the health of those workers. Under 'normal' conditions, these are the people that are most exposed to the toxins that are sprayed on our food - spinach being one of the most heavily sprayed crops. But they don't have to wear masks like they used to. That is the reason I buy organic. The media portrays organic as being elitist. Yet the only thing that makes farmers and middle Americans hesitate (in medias eyes) is that this is an expensive move. Does the New York Times really want us to believe that farmers prefer pesticides on their food? The fact is, farming, like mining, is not an easy way to make a living but it is damn respectable and anything that we can do to help increase the safety and health of these people needs to be called 'progress'. We should not be looking for shortcuts but instead, look for ways to help the local farmers not only stay in business but be considered key conttributors to their local region.

Yeah, I'm open to trying new foods and that may make me 'elitist' but honestly, nothing tastes better than a tomato picked right off the vine and the smell of the leaves that rub on your hands. That to me is the essence of organic farming. It is the small farmer working with a corporation to distribute their whole food product while still making an honest living.