Wednesday, September 29
open your eyes america
well i must say im looking forward to the kerry-bush debate
DUBYA is such a friggen low IQ, dult that I'd just like to see a smart guy like Kerry whoop his ass,.well verbally at least
but the other thing is
im just scared shitless that there are so many ignorant people in this country
who think the baby bush is so "FOLKSY" that they're not bothering to take note of little things like oh the erosion of their human rights for example
as a woman
i can't fathom 4 more years of bush because its fairly certain that by the time this little trust fund baby is done, women will no longer have the rights to govern their own bodies..
as a gay person
i can't tolerate 4 more years of bush because there is no doubt he will just work his little heart out to obliterate gay rights in this country
as an American
i can't stand the notion of 4 more years of watching the human rights so many great heroes and heroines gave their lives for be chipped and chipped and chipped away at
but im scared
im scared the little turd is gonna win on the redneck vote
the ignorant vote
the big money vote
the right wing christian vote
the anti gay vote
the pro-life vote
its just so scary
recently i asked a sort of down and out hispanic man who used to work for me
who he was voting for
he said "bush"
I said why...
he said "well if you can't beat em
join em....last time i voted for Gore
he won and we still got vote
now im voting for bush since hes gonna win anyway"
i was like umm
you actually are stupider then you look
(thought that was impossible)
then i realized with horror
that it was guys like this who might re-elect the baby bush
so yeah im looking forward to the debate
mostly cause im hoping it will be loud enough
and clear enough
to open up some eyes that have been nailed shut
Monday, September 27
Asbury Park New Jersey
this tired cowgirl has actually been far too busy catering weddings
running to meet nervous and NEUROTIC BRIDES!!, paying bills, ordering food,
and a thousand other things to even think about politics, the world, the economy or anything else for that matter
hell i haven't even had a chance to shave my legs
and trust me honey...they are starting to look SCARY..
the glamorous life of a NYC caterer
but on other news
two truly exciting things have happened in my creative life
neither of which shall i mention now
cause i don't want to jinx myself
but both would entail
this saucy lady
being center stage in a whole lotta good attention
when and if these things happen i will let you know
but till then im shutting up
and talking to my higher power
on other news
ive been spending a whole lot of time in Asbury Park New Jersey lately
the town (they call it a city but no way honeys its a town)
that was the highlight of my week as a kid
rides, amusements, skeeball, the board walk, cotton candy
was the highlight of my week as a teen
(clubs that didn't ask me for ID)
but fell into the most horrible ruin
a sad decaying dinasaur of a forgotten era
finally bouncing back
and hopefully the big developers will restore it to its GLORY DAYS
not knock down the deco structures and put up
boring new buildings
ive watched citys and towns rise and fall before
its actually the reason i now know i am officially no longer a spring chicken
but rather a fall chicken
i saw miami fall, remember the last bits of its jewishy catskills ish era
and then krapolah, crime and cocaine
but then i watched it rise again
and rise and rise
its till rising
i watched asbury park, fall, fall, fall, fall, honey it fell for a long ass time
and a few fake risings that fell flat on their tuchas
but now thanks to a grass roots movement by the gay community
its rising for real
and its exciting to watch
reminds me a bit of what its been like to watch the east village here in manhattan rise up
come on and rise up
and oh FYI
that Bruce song (and no i am not a Bruce fan) my city in ruins
was actually written for Asbury Park
im little annie architecture these days
watching the rising of fallen angels
Ill keep you posted
Thursday, September 23
holy macaroni honeys
this has really been an old home week here at Rossirant!
three blasts from my long ago past found me by googling into Rossirant!
First there was the lovely lady I met again at my 20 (gasp) year highschool reunion who bravely outed herself to me and to anyway else she damn well felt like.. I only spoke to her in the last few moments of the reunion and felt a pang of sorry that I never knew her in high school..
but she was with the prep and jock gang and i was with the stoned and stoner gang (surprised?) and our worlds did not cross especially in a high school which would segregate on the basic of how much mone your daddy made..
But she found me by googling up her home town and then thru that and a few other twists landed in Rossi Rant land!
Just amazing. So Howdy gay sister if you read this, nice to hear from you!
and sorry I thought you were a cheerleader?
although I think you may have been the one I referred to as CUTE.
Then came my two sisters from my very first job in NYC, selling the New York Times over the phone. Oh honeys there are several memoirs in this story and yes I will get my lazy tuchas in gear and write them.
But trust me, the 17 year old punk, runaway Rossi, selling the Times over the phone at night, sleeping with my boss and the secretary and a male phone sales guy was quite the story..
Now boys dont get your hopes up that was my last boy toy and that was 22 years ago, now Im strickly no dickly..
anyway P and N got in touch because P was googling up the sunset beach resort on shelter island and i guess I'd had a few things to say on the joint, voila she found me.. and now we are all back in touch
N had a baby
and both are in long term relationships
and all is so lovely
that I feel a need to write a hallmark card right now
15 year relationship
here it comes
okay im over it
for bringing some old sisters back to the roost
technology is just a freaky thang
Tuesday, September 21
Please Move Stupid
okay i dont know if i have PMS, hate the world
or have just been meeting up with biggest jerks in the friggen universe lately
perhaps its D all of the above
but let me just tell you a little bit of what ive been going thru lately
in the past week
one client who felt that even though my waiters and bartenders worked their little hearts out that 7% was more then enough tip for them
cause you know normal things like 20% even 15% well that was far too rich for a bunch of lowly waiters that he will never see again
nice... it's called KARMA
then there was the wedding guest who thought it was funny to throw a lit cigarette on my back while i was outside waiting for the car service
oh lets see
today i had a guy whos wedding is not happening for A YEAR
but was furious that i would not hang up on my other call and talk to him
cause hes more important then all my other clients
not sure why
next up you have the dweebs who live in my building
who think that locking the gate is far too much hassle even though
we've already had several robberies
so i run after them like a little idiot and lock the gate after them
cause they are kids
and i am mom
then you have the confrontational prick
who thinks everyone on my block is a pig except him
yep its okay for his dog to piss on all the cars in our lot
but nobody else better do it
then oh lets see
we have the clients who are having events in the winter of 2005
but fee obligated to call me up on a Sunday morning
cause you know time is running out
my fave motherfucker
and that is the stinky old bitch with the cane
who sits outside my doorway all damn day long
and sneers at me when i step outside
take a %$#^& bath you old bitch
and move on!
i need some midol
Saturday, September 18
Days of Awe
Some things are worth repeating
and in honor of the high holidays and the "911" anniversary I thought this one was
Folks who have read my memoirable link
or read the 911 writings here
or read this piece on Mcsweeneys
have already read this
but for those who have not
and even for those who have
I thought it was worth a second peek
3 years later
spending Rosh Hashanah at Ground Zero remains
one of the most powerful if not the most powerful
moment of my life
I will never
Days of Awe
NEW YORK, NEW YORK — On September 16th, after spending every day since the 11th walking up and down the West Side Highway, trying to volunteer but finding no one who would take me, a woman whose wedding I was supposed to cater called to tell me it was canceled because the city had turned her party space, Seamen's Church Institute, from a maritime museum and party location near the South Street Seaport into a home for hundreds of rescue crews. There was no electricity, no plumbing and no running water, and they were trying to feed, clothe and give counsel to anyone who could get to them.
By the time I showed up at Seamen's, Billy and Dominic were already there, unloading trucks filled with supplies. Billy and Dominic are the security guards at the Institute, sweet men whom I've gotten to be pals with over many years of catering events there. Dominic's head was wrapped in a flag, and he hadn't shaved in days. They were both wide-eyed and pale.
"We were trapped in the tunnel when it happened," Billy said. "I had to walk out and leave Dominic. He told me just go, go."
The best man at Dominic's wedding is among the missing. "There's no way! He was on the 76th floor!" Dominic said. "I can't think about it.... Just keep moving! I've been here since Day One, haven't been home in a week."
It didn't take much to get me on board. "She's a chef," Dominic told the man in charge.
The man in charge gave me a volunteer pass, a hard hat, and a ventilator mask, and I was put on a pick-up truck en route to ground zero.
"She's going to St. Paul's!" someone said.
"Where's St. Paul's?" I asked the driver.
"Next door to the Millennium Hotel. They say it's stable."
We were led through police barricades and armed guards until the truck finally dropped us off at the church.
What I saw was an old brown church, with a row of port-a-johns to the right and a long stretch of tables to the left. The tables were covered with everything from hot dogs to thermoses filled with coffee. There were boxes of doughnuts, eye solution, Band-Aids, hundreds of apples, and thousands of bottles of Gatorade on ice. Dozens of firefighters, cops and construction workers were in line to eat, and a small group of women were doing their best to keep up with the hot dog requests on two small backyard barbecue grills.
I added coals to the dying fires, threw on a few more packs of hot dogs and looked for anything resembling a pair of tongs.
St. Paul's dated back to 1762. It had been the place George Washington prayed, and here it stood still, covered in dust and dirty but unharmed. Each step leading into the chapel held a different box of clothing or supplies: socks, flannel shirts, work gloves, second-hand hard-hats. Inside, on some of the wooden pews, policemen sat collecting their thoughts. Soldiers napped in the back rows.
My grills were set up in front of the church's cemetery. Two-hundred-year-old tombstones, so old their inscriptions had long since eroded, poked out from piles of burnt and charred papers from the World Trade Center. I looked at one piece of paper, a bit of banking business of some kind, a cover letter from a fax.
"Have you been given the drill yet?" a woman asked me. She was stuffing the hot dogs into buns.
"If you hear the alarm, you've got to run around and out of the gate. Then run as fast as you can, that way toward the Seaport."
"Okay," I said.
- - - -
On my second day grilling for the workers, I was taken on a cold drink-run to the place called the Hole. I went with one of the guys, pushing a wheelbarrow filled with ice and Gatorade. The Hole is the deep, collapsed area at ground zero. The Hole is adjacent to the Pile, where the debris is piled more than seven stories high.
Soldiers guarding the Hole let us by, allowing us to go to the tent set up less than one hundred feet from the debris of the second tower. Smoke and steam rose out of the wreckage as firefighters on their fresh-air breaks sat unfazed a few feet away. Nothing I'd seen on the news had prepared me for this. Sharp burnt bits of metal stuck up fifty feet or a hundred feet &151 I have no idea how high. I had to crane my neck to find the top of the debris. Shards of bent, broken metal rose up over my head. The background was total destruction.
"I'll take one of those!" a silver-haired firefighter said, and I handed him a Gatorade.
"Where you from?" he asked.
"I live here," I said.
He took off his helmet and ran his fingers along his scalp. "I'm sorry what they did to your city. We just flew in from California to help out."
I said thanks and felt dizzy from the sight I was still catching in my peripheral vision.
The tent was full of firefighters, and they cheered when we poured ice into their cooler of warm sodas and energy drinks. We handed around the cold Gatorades.
"I haven't had something cold to drink since 6 a.m.," one of the guys said. It was sometime after noon.
- - - -
Later that day, Seamen's delivered two hunks of steel they'd welded into grills. They were four-foot-long pits filled with charcoal that sent up smoke and fire so intense I had to throw down a burger and then jump back. The legs were too tall, causing Hector, the tallest griller among us, to stand on milk crates just to flip the burgers. I kept up on the backyard grills.
When shifts changed, fifty rescue workers at a time showed up hungry for burgers. They settled for hot dogs only when we ran out of burgers. Someone said we fed a thousand people on my second day.
"You guys are the best," said a carpenter from Queens.
"No. You're the hero," I said.
"Nah. We're all in this together. It's you guys feeding us and the people who run up with eye wash the second you rub your eyes, and the people cheering you on as you drive in. That's the reason I can do what I do, because you all do what you do."
"Thank you," I said.
"Do you know how many times I've heard that since I've been out here? I can't even count them." He walked away shaking his head.
There was an air about ground zero that was not filled with sadness so much as something like love. No one looked as though they had slept.
Steve, an out-of-work actor, had been there for a week. He threw foil-wrapped hot dogs directly into the Hole. The men working down there caught them.
"More! More! I need at least a hundred hot dogs," Steve said. He was wired and pushy, but none of us took it to heart.
Scott supervised the many drug store and clothing donations. He slept on a blanket on the floor of the church for a week.
"Are you with the church?" I asked him.
"Nah, I just found my way out here."
A pastor from another church came once to deliver ice and stayed for a week. His job was simple. He ran to Costco six times a day and bought all the burgers and dogs he could carry then drove them back to ground zero.
- - - -
Things changed on my third day. There had been no official statement, but everyone knew the rescue mission had become a clean-up mission. The pace of the workers slowed. There were no more news crews and no hurry in the air. People started to break down.
The dogs sent out to sniff for survivors had become depressed from only finding bodies. The crews took turns hiding, so the shepherds and labs could find them. When the dog sniffed out the guy who was hiding, they received hearty praise and hugs.
I went with a relief run to the Hole and handed out packets of trail mix to the crews. They loved the chance to eat something healthy and took handfuls of the packets. A sign on a nearby dumpster read, "Airplane parts, FBI."
The men have a look on their faces that reads, "It's over."
The Board of Health sent inspectors to make sure we wore plastic gloves. They asked us to wrap the apples in foil and cover the grills. The dust, they felt, was a health hazard.
"We're pretty sanitary over here," I said. "Are you worried we might be creating a health problem?"
"More like we're worried about your health," the inspector said.
One of the girls said they think the bodies might be creating a biohazard.
We were told that they would shut us down soon.
"These guys are going to be down here for months," the inspector said. "We want to come up with a long-term way to deal with this, working with the local restaurants that have been closed."
The inspectors told us not to use the huge steel grills, as they have no covers, so we added a third backyard barbecue grill, and I ran back and forth, turning hot dogs and replacing the covers on each of the grills.
A truckload of replacement volunteers arrived to give us a break, but no one wanted to go.
"I think tomorrow might be the last day they let us do this," Scott said, instructing the new crew on how to sort clothes and supplies. "I'll be here for as long as they'll let me stay."
I stayed until my eyes were blurry from smoke and then caught a pick-up truck back to the Seaport. Crowds of people took snapshots of us as we drove past, this motley crew in the bed of a truck with the American flag flying off a makeshift flagpole.
- - - -
On my last day at ground zero, I skipped Rosh Hashanah services and got out to the site early, but I was delivering food to a gloomy crew. The Board of Health had shut down our grills and any food production. We were allowed only to dole out pre-cooked burgers and sandwiches.
The trucks from Seamen's Church brought over a thousand peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. None of the rescue workers was interested in peanut butter and jelly.
"No more burgers," a cop said. His hands were raw, beaten. He said he'd been digging out nothing but body parts all day.
"They just want us to pack up," said Roger, the volunteer who seemed the most like our leader. He wore a hard hat with an American flag taped to it.
I stepped into the church in search of serving utensils and found a dozen rescue workers sitting in the pews, most of them with tears in their eyes.
I took my last walk to ground zero. I delivered a bag of a hundred peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the guards at the Pile. We were no longer allowed in to deliver them ourselves.
Back at the long row of donation tables set in front of the burnt-out shell of 5 World Trade Center, Brian, one of the guys who works for my catering company, sorted through boxes of underwear and t-shirts. He was organizing things to be sent elsewhere, perhaps to the Salvation Army.
As we commiserated on how this was a strange place to spend Rosh Hashanah, an amazing thing happened.
An army soldier with a long white beard stacked several Styrofoam crates one on top of another and placed a plastic shelf used to transport bread on top the crates, forming a table. He covered the table with a blue velvet cloth on which was embroidered the Star of David.
Then he set down a prayer book for the days of awe and a shofar.
As he began to recite the prayers, a group of Jewish soldiers gathered around him. Brian, some Jewish volunteers, and I heard the prayers and joined in.
Then, in front of the worst vision of death and ruin any of us will probably ever see, he blew the shofar. The sweet-sour mournful sound of the ram's horn pierced the air and resonated into the distance.
The women began to cry. We kissed each other. "La Shanah Tovah!" we said, holding each other. We were all strangers. We probably would never see each other again, but we kissed and hugged like family.
The soldier with the shofar wore a tallis made of camouflage. "Thank you so much," I said to him.
"Ah, it's nothing," he said, laughing and taking my hand in his. "This is the army. I do this all the time."
Wednesday, September 15
and Happy Jewish New Year to you all.
I wish you a nice slice of apple dipped in honey
so all the days of your year can be as sweet as a bite of apple and honey.
For moi (being an official high holiday Jew, which means I only drag my lazy old tuchas to the SHUL on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur)
this is one of the few days of the year, when I close up shop
go to the GAY synagogue and check in my life and myself
Am I the person I want to be?
Have I hurt others?
Am I being as honest with myself as I try to think I am?
Am I following my dreams or scaring them away?
Am I taking time to smell the coffee (green tea)?
Am I taking time to be kind.
I grew up being taught that this is the day the books open
and Yom Kippur is when they close..
That unlike Catholics who confess all the time
We basically cram it all into this window of time
return to our lives
cleansed and hopefully ready to do a bit better
but what I have also learned
is to use this time
to try and forgive
yes to forgive others
but also to forgive myself
in the end
and i screw up
all the friggen time
thats why i'm so cute!
Shana Tovah folks
and Ill bite the big apple in your honor
Saturday, September 11
September 11th, 3 years ago today
There are far too many words, spinning in my head this morning
if I really think about it
there are no words
there is only this day, this morning,
an anniversary of a now infamous date 3 years ago today
and many, many, many people feeling their hearts tear open once again
I wish you all peace
I wish you all strength
I wish you all love
Go, go out...
Do something nice for someone today
Add just a little bit of joy and goodness
to this endless pile of sadness
Tuesday, September 7
To Live In September
reading the goddess michele (small Victory);s web site today
i was reminded of the "911" anniversary coming up this weekend
funny how my mothers Yertzite ( know i spelled that wrong)
and the "911" anniversary seem to come closer and closer together
i guess i'd kinda pushed it out of mind
because like michele
i am ready and have been ready to move on
pretty much after the 2 year anniversary i made a decision to just
put it all behind me
but not dwell
but lately all the security here in nyc
and the riot cops
brought it screaming back
and even while i was in provincetown
i went to a september 11th photo exhibit
and wound up
losing it emotionally shortly there-after with my trusted pal debilah
so i guess it wasn't that i put it behind
but rather shoved it aside
but its three years later
and its time
and like i have felt from the start
i guess i still feel like i have no real right to grieve so much over this day
as i did not lose a loved one
or suffer a physical wound
only a wound in the heart
like so many of you
that day changed me
it truly and deeply and permanently changed me
as it changed many of you
as it changed this country and this world
and its important to take note of that change
i am not the person today
that i would be
if "911" had not happened
i dont even think the change was small
i think it was huge
i think it spun me around and spit me out
a very different person
i hope with all my heart a better person
i do lump september 11th with the death of my mother
for some reason
maybe because they both happened in september
maybe because they were both shocking
both such huge
bolts of instant loss
and oddly the lessons i learned were similiar
don't postpone life
don't ever postpone your life
because we never know how long we have
we could go to work tomorrow
and walk in the front door and never walk out
3,000 people went to work that day
that beautiful, crisp, sunny, clear morning
3,000 people never came home to their families, their lovers, their friends, their dreams, their lives
every day of your life
do not ever
postpone your life
i do this for my mother
i do this in some way to honor the many lost innocent souls
who will no longer have the chance
thats all i can do
and can try to do it to the fullest of my power
Friday, September 3
Elect my Bush for President Instead
I am horrified at the exploitation of September 11th at the hands of the Republican Convention now thankfully over.
I have watched travesty after travesty in these last few days in New York City and I sit here, absolutely disgusted and horrified.
Mr. President. You say you care so much for New York and what we’ve been through.
Then why the hell did you let them hold the Republican National Convention here?
How did you think the thousands of cops in riot gear, the national guard with their sharp shooters rifles, the helicopters, the planes, the SWAT team vans were going to feel to us New Yorkers who are still walking around with a latent case of post traumatic stress disorder?!
For me, I felt like it was September 12th all over again and the anxiety level racing through my veins has been non stop since Monday.
Then, of course, thanks to our incredibly unpopular mayor Bloomberg and our governor George Pataki who is convinced that kissing your ass is his chance to be a president one day, the protestors in this city have been treated like terrorists and criminals.
I could not believe that a few nights ago I watched hundreds of peaceful protestors arrested.
But what has shaken me to the bone is that last night many of them were just getting out of jail, 36 hours, 48 hours, 60 hours later. They were kept in damp horrible conditions where many of them got sick, without being charged.
Some of them, I believe are still in jail?!
The outrage was so great a judge ordered the city of New York to release them and because the NYPD did not. The city of New York is now being fined 1,000 per person, so we NYC tax payers get to pay the thousands of dollars because the NYPD was told to keep these trouble makers locked up until George W Bush is out of town.
Is this America?
Am I now in some kind of sick dictatorship?
I was disgusted when our former Mayor Rudy Guiliani stood up and essentially asked America to honor the fallen heroes of “911” by voting for Bush.
How dare you sir?!
Use the memory of 3,000 dead to coerce an election?!
That is disgusting.
How dare you Mr. Bush use the memory of 3,000 dead in such an exploitive way.
I was here in downtown NYC on September 11th 2001. I saw the towers burn. I saw the towers fall. I smelt the acrid horror.
I went down to the towers and fed, clothed and tried to comfort the broken battered rescue workers who were looking for their brothers, their fathers, their sisters, their daughters, their best friends.
What I remember about you Mr. Bush is that you were no were to be found in those first terrible days. You sat in the schoolroom when you got the news and just froze there wasting precious time as you blinked un-able to move, then you got in your plane and ran away.
And, okay, maybe as president you are supposed to run and hide when danger hits, but don’t paint yourself as a brave hero today, because when all the dust had settled, days later, you stood at ground zero and posed for the cameras.
Now you are in our great city again, exploiting our fallen heroes, bringing back all the horror of the most terrible morning for us all over again with security forces and alarms and sirens and guns.
Our own police department has turned against us, by throwing us into jail having largely committed no crime and keeping us there, un-charged, in the worst conditions; Guantanamo Bay on the Hudson and it is.
I went to Union Square Park last night for a candle lit vigil and I walked with my candle and la Cubana with her candle through thousands of peaceful protestors, I saw a woman who had lost her son in Iraq, and old lady sitting alone under a tree with a small one candle, thousands of people with signs proclaming their outrage,
hundreds of teary faces, I saw young men and women dancing to drums and artists, musicians, performers of all kinds using their art to show their heart.
Yes, there were plenty of super left wing radicals who I felt no association with, but there were also plenty of simple, fed up Americans who were worried for the future of this country if we have another 4 years of what feels more and more like a dictatorship.
I listened to George Bush speak last night. I listened to him exploit September 11th again and again. I listened to him excuse the lies about our war to Iraq yet again. I listened to him pretend that the economy is on the rise again and again despite all evidence to the contrary. I listened to the dog and pony show in Madison in Square Garden while thousands of Americans were outside crying and screaming and praying for an end to this regime.
I am not radical.
I am not a super lefty, as you know I am fiercely pro Israel and was fiercely anti Sadam and Fiercely anti Taliban.
But I do not like the way this president has lassoed our fear to take away our human rights.
I came very close to being arrested a few nights ago for walking in a peaceful, legal protest and maybe right now I would still be in jail or be sick in the hospital as my asthma was made full scale by the terrible conditions. Maybe today I would be damaged emotionally or physically and afraid to stand up for my rights again and that, I suspect is just what George W Bush wants.