Sunday, January 30
Memory is a funny thing.
Something you get used to as a part of your fabric
The day-to-day reality you live in, can disappear
And within a few short years…may barely register in your being..
Growing up, I always had the sense that as an American, I had nothing to fear except Russia. We were a world power, but not THE world power.
Someone far away lurked this strange nation filled with wide-faced people in big fur hats that matched us in power and weapons and were ready to use them at any moment.
Then the Communist super-power of the Soviet Union fell and like magic America became THE SUPER POWER of the world. I no longer worried about being “Nuked” from the fur hat people. I began to see them as human beings. I even began to see them as allies.
I remember a time in the world when liberals loved Israel, when they embraced the tiny little nation surrounded by enemies. Now many liberals denounce Israel at every turn.
Every time Israel protects itself against terror, they scream for the protection of the terrorists. I worry, I worry, I worry what will happen to the tiny country if America were ever to turn her back on them. I, it should be noted, am a liberal.
I remember the World Trade Center. The every day sight I saw walking downtown.
The everyday peak of the skyline I smiled at from my roof.
I never liked the buildings. I thought they were ugly and new, devoid of the charm and the wonder of “Old New York.” The “Empire State Building” was much more my cup of tea, but the towers anchored the skyline. The two boys holding down Wall Street, they were an essential part of New York. Now they’re gone. I still look for them when I go on the roof, but now it’s hard to remember exactly where they were. I stopped holding my breath every time I go below Canal Street. I’m having trouble remembering the smell that used to sit on my clothing. In a few short years, I wonder how many of us will think about them at all.
My friend M, wears a necktie on which is the emblem of a small round piece of plastic that we used to fit into “45”s when we wanted to play them on our record player. Only vintage enthusiasts and people over the age of 35 remember this piece of plastic. I remember when cassette tapes were a big deal. It was strange to go into the record store and buy a cassette. A lot of my friends still had “8 track” players. I used to go into the back of “Jacks” music store in Red Bank New Jersey and look through the imports from England. They came in brown paper sleeves, the new intruders, punk rock from the U.K.
It was so exiting to buy the contraband music deemed vulgar. It made my heart race. I haven’t held an album in my hands in years. I have long forgotten about all the obstacles that came with playing them, the scratches, the having to go back and turn them over every half hour, while in the middle of a party, how easy they were to break.
I remember feeling safe. I took it for granted. It started sometime after the fall of the Soviet Union and ended on “911.” It was that feeling of invincibility that children have. It’s a feeling every child has a right to have. That feeling ends the first time that child realizes their mortality. I lived embraced in that feeling. No it was not safe in the day-to-day way. I’d lived in New York during the early 80’s in the worst of neighborhoods. I was never going to be able to walk across a park at night without listening for footsteps. It was a large safety, a safety of country. It never actually occurred to me that someone could reach in and blow up parts of my world. We all lost our virginity that day. It’s the reason George Bush is our president now. So many people feel un-safe. So many people think he will make them safe again. I, of course, believe very much the opposite. Sometimes it feels as though I am the only one who can see what a monster he is. It’s a lonely feeling.
I remember a time when you could talk about politics and it would not result in such angry, ugly backlash. These days, speaking out against the president might wind up having you called an “Anti-American.” I have even been told that I will rot in hell by right-wingers who hate me because they feel being anti-Bush is being anti-God. I have also been horribly denounced by friends and peers for being pro-Israel. I’ve almost forgotten what it was like to be able to talk about a wide range or world events without fear of fury. Now people watch what they say. No one wants to ruin a party with a screaming match about Iraq.
I remember what it was like to write, without feeling that what I wrote had to mean something, in some little way it had to make the world a better place, even if it was just the tiniest smidgen. I don’t know when this started. I guess it was “911.” But now I write and hope and wonder if I might just fix things in the universe, just a little, make some miniscule difference amidst all of this. I don’t write as often since this happened. I thank all the higher powers for this blog, or I might not write at all.
What do you remember?
Friday, January 28
the bitch is brewing
i dunno know honeys
but this cold is far too much for my nyc nerves
i went around the corner last night to meet a pal and her new boy toy
and felt like i got frostbite in the two block
after meeting her new boy
who is from shri lanka
i pretty quickly felt i had NADA to bitch about
nada at all
still on the hunt for the last kitten
still no sign of her/him
on other news
i catered a cocktail soiree for 125 party planners
and honey there is no more difficult crowd to cook for
they have seen it all
eaten it all
and are bored and jaded beyond all reason
one piece of chive out of place
and it would be hell
but it was a blast
and a huge hit
and now im
rolling in the aftermath of having
kicked some tuchas
its always nice
when you are a neurotic
to be reminded that you are somewhat
fabu upon occasion
on other news
i must say
it was great to take a break from politics
and world events
to save kittys for a week
sorta my back to nature thing
but i do feel my inner bitch
boiling to the surface again
so get ready
this lull is just about over
i am woman hear me roarrrr
Thursday, January 27
last kitty post
okay i promise this will be my last kitty post
i know you non-kitty folks
are probably getting bored out of your wazoo
i found zoro a home
hes till living in my bathroom
but now he will go the great kathleens
home in brooklyn
she comes to get him tonight
its a happy ending for cutie pie
no sign of the last kitten
heard she has been living in a shed in a community garden
also heard another snow storm is coming so wish me luck
i have to pick up momma
today and keep her in my basement for a few days
momma is scary
so wish me luck
i really am ready
to go back to my
no more kitty posts
Tuesday, January 25
saved another sweetie pie
after nearly giving up
i caught ZORO in the snow last night
Zoro is my fave of the kittens
he (we think)
white with a black mask
was first to let me touch him
first to the food
first to come when called
honey the poor thing
after probably days trapped with no food
lord knows where
he came out and walked into my
but never hissed
never tried to scratch or bite
Susan the rescue expert came over and gave him a little bath
and flea medicine
even clipped his nails
and just a few squeaks came out of him
ive got him a large cage filled with a hammock
and cat litter pan
that he thinks its a bed
and hes doing fine
i feel like keeping him
but my two old cats would ruin his sweet life
or ruin mine
so im gonna let susan keep him
or find him a home
but dang hes sweet
now theres just one lone kitty out in the cold
the most timid of them all
hes my next project
i can go back to my regularly scheduled life
whatever that was
Sunday, January 23
well here i am in the friggen snowstorm/blizzard
of the north east
not sure what the difference is
between a huge snow storm
and a blizzard
but this sure feels blizzardy to me
i got up early yesterday am to try and trap the last two kittens before the blizzard
so far i caught mom
who i sent to be fixed and boarded at the vet
caught the first sweet little girl Taco
and managed to catch who i thought was Tacos twin sister Nacho
but Susan was quick to inform me that Nacho was a boy
and a rather mean one too
so i dont know if she will keep nacho or not
but she did keep him for a few days
and we are getting him fixed today in the blizzard
so wish us luck
then susan brought by two traps and we tried in vain all am
to catch the last two kittens
Zoro my fave
and little blackie
who is sweet and timid
but no luck
and then the blizzard started
so i can only hope they found a safe, warm, place to hide
i know they havent eaten for days
its hard being a rescue mommy
on other news
i actually went out in this white madness last night
all the way from the lower east side
to 109th and columbus
for my good pal Mihas
that he just insisted i come to
it was a crazy
cab ride from hell dear
but i made it
and so did a lot of other
very stoic new yorkers
we are a sturdy lot
so we drank kvetched
and then it was the roller coaster ride home
today i am staying put
talking La c into lighting a fire to sit in front of
and staring out my window
in hopes that a kitten might peer its little head out
speaking of which
both of my 16 year old cats
and it sounds like dueling fog horns in the night
Friday, January 21
By the way
for those wondering
I was in complete denial yesterday about the baby Bush's inauguration
partially because it's just too sad and horrible to realize that a smidgen over half this country actually re-elected the biggest idiot , liar, anti-rights advocate, war monger and out and out yahoo...i have ever seen in office
and partially because well
i just hate the guy
being a democrat
and more so
being a pro-gay, pro-choice, humanist
in this country
is a painful
i'd like to tell you a bit of what it feels like
being lets say an orange skinned
with a passion for dancing
a passion for dancing so great
that you can not stop dancing
at the slightest tune
your feet start to step
your hips start to shimmy and shake
all your life
while it was considered a bit bold
a bit irregular
stepping to the beat
it was also
because you live
then one day
America elects a man
who makes it known
that he believes orange skinned people are not entitled to the same
basic human rights as other skinned people
day by day
he keeps shutting off
and turning the volume down on the music
and every day you read about someone going to jail
for dancing in public
for dancing to the wrong songs
for dancing in the wrong way
and half the country scream out in outrage
but the non orange skinned people
and the people who don't dance
antd the people who can't dance
and the people
who like to dance a little but can live without it
and the people who love to dance but are too scared to
they re-elect this president
for a second term
they give reasons like
"you can't uproot a president in a time of war"
"he's a republican and so are we ..we love our orange skinned friends
but our daddy was a republican"
"he's a cowboy..a real man..."
"he's gonna make American safe"
how would you feel
about this country??
how would you feel today
in the land of the free
when the music was shut off
and orange was only
as a security alert
Thursday, January 20
well my entire life these days
can be summed up in one work
it all started a few months back
when we discovered the large female tabby with the cross eyes
we call her "Mommy"
had a litter in the garden next to our parking lot
the kittens were a couple months old the first time I saw them
and Mommy wouldn't let us anywhere near them
La Cubana built cat houses, (like dog houses with smaller openings)
in our parking lot and insulated them
and started to feed the kittys every day
there were two older cats, maybe 8 months old
both tom cats and wild
we thought maybe older kids of Mommy
so all in all- 4 kittens, 2 toms and mommy
and old tom- (daddy)
Daddy disappeared, we think died
and we wanted to catch the babies
but they were so attached to mommy we didnt have the heart
(a mistake now i think)
by the time they were 4 months old
i started the process of figuring out what to do
a whole lotta people gave me advice
"Catch them, spay them foster them
and try to domesticate them"
i cant and dont know how to catch them
have no idea how to foster a semi wild cat
and have no home for them
and feel bad about sending them back out to the cold
la cubana said "they have a great life here, they all sleep together in the houses
plenty to eat...spay them release them"
now the kittens are 5 months old
ive been able to pet a few of them while they were eating
and my favorite "Zoro" with the black mask
ate out of my hand
so i enlisted "susan" from a great local cat rescue place
called City Critters
she came over with her trap
and we caught a female kitten
i paid for her to be fixed and a full work up
and Susan agreed to foster her
at first the vet said kitty was totally feral
and could not be taken in
but a few days in Susans warm home
and "Nacho" first sign that Susan fell in love she named her
has turned sweet
Susan now says she will not send Nacho back
and she has also said
she will leave her trap with me
and if I have one of Nachos sisters fixed
she will take her too
Brad a local rescue boy
said he will take in at least one cat
so we're moving along
of course its snowing
and i havent seen any of the kittens for days
i am praying they found a warm place to hide in
but worried i wont be able to catch any
now that i have homes for two more
200 bucks a kitty
and there are at least 6 more
no vacations for moi
so here i am
looking out the window
at the snow
hoping my babies are all right
and before you ask
yes i am in love with Zoro
and want him
but i have two 16 year old cats
both near the end of their life
and the last time i tried to take in a stray
peed and vomited over every square inch of my home
so this is the best i can do
where are my babies
i hope they are warm
one should never name them
it makes it so much harder to say goodbye
Monday, January 17
To Honor a King
On Martin Luther King Day
I am reminded of all the forms of prejudice.
So many people marched with Mr.King partially to fight the opression of black americans and partially because they felt fighting for the rights of black americans might also do some little thing for their own human rights.
The first gay rights activists did not march in their own name but in the name of black americans in the years before the term "African American" was annointed.
It's easy in this PC climate where most prejudice is kept in whispers or in denials and where most businesses or employers would not even dream of getting away with blatant racism to forget. It was not so long ago when blacks and whites had separate rest rooms.It was not so long ago when blacks were not permitted to sit at the front of the bus or to sit at the same lunch counter as white folks.
Traveling around the country in a camper I remember the tail end of the 60's. I remember the 70's quite well too.
I remember a gas station that still had the faded etching of "whites only" above its restroom.
I remember going to restaurants and never seeing a dark skinned face. Never even thinking I would.
I remember too, moving into Rumson New Jersey and being told that the private beach clubs had only just starting letting Jews in 5 years back.
I remember the bully who threw pennies on the floor and told me "Pick them up cheap Jew!"
I remember the high school I walked into in 1978 and how the black students sat on one end of the cafeteria and the whites in the rest and no one thought it was strange until one of my best pals Jenny started dating Clinton a black football player and started sitting with him.Then I sat with Jenny too and all of the cafeteria stopped eating and started whispering about the two white girls sitting at the black table and about Jenny dating a black guy.
I remember letting Calvin Kendrix a black football player carry my books while I wore his jacket and we walked home together. My mother pulled up in the car and screamed for me to get into the house. I don't know what upset her more
that he was black or that he wasn't Jewish.
I remember going dancing with my lover Alison a beautiful black woman from Grenada and watching her be pulled aside by an assortment of black lesbians who told her things that amounted to, "she was a traitor" for being with me. One of the lesbians whispered in my ear "Leave our women alone."
I remember being gay bashed in Central park by two "African American" men
who saw my girlfriend and I kiss and started throwing rocks at us.One of them stuck in my leg.
I remember the gang of kids my lover and i observed. Their ages ranged from 11-16. They were black and Latin. They surrounded us chanting foul anti gay things and we didn't take them too seriously until the smallest one, the one who came up just above my waist, pulled a gun.
I remember Crown Heights Brooklyn in 1981. The Chasids drove around in station wagons, 10 of them with baseball bats. That's how they protected the neighborhood. I hung out with Hector and his family, the Puerto Ricans who ran the deli. The Chasids didn't like it; a Jewish girl hanging out with the Latins, but the deli crossed all cultural barriers. Even the Chasids bought beer there late at night when no one else was open.
I remember the era when black women and white women never went to the same parties. My partners and I threw the first party that set out to purposely get white and black gay women together. We said we are already women, already gay already a double and triple minority, why cut ourselves out further.
I remember the women who stayed and danced and the women who took one step in.. saw the diversity and turned around and left.
"Fuck them" we said, "narrow minded."
So it's 2005 and while the rights in this country of African Americans seem to be won on the surface, below the surface so much of the old sickness still sizzles.
It's 2005 and I do not have the legal right in this country to marry a woman.
Half this country seems so horrified by the notion of true gay rights that they would amend the constitution to stop us.
It's 2005 and people are still de-facing synagogues. Israel is still denounced countless times more, it is till critisized countless times more, it is still made to defend itself countless times more, then it would were it a non-Jewish country.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that the fight Mr. King fought is over.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that prejudice is gone.
It is still here. Sometimes the faces of its victims change, their sex, their color, their sexual preference, their religion, their country of origin.
Prejudice is still here.
Look into your own heart.
What kind of face makes your heart beat a little faster?
Do you see dark skin and walk the other way?
Do you see a Jew and feel contempt?
Do you see a Moslem and immediatey assume them to be a terrorist?
Do you see a gay person and say to yourself, they will rot in hell?
Do you see a woman and think, that you as a man are better?
Do you see a Chinese person and feel they are the same as Japanese, as Thai, as Korean as all other Asians?
Prejudice is alive. We keep it alive in our own hearts.
It's part of human nature and the worst part of it. I suppose it falls someone under self-preservation gone wrong.
Today I chose to honor Mr. King by searching into my own heart and by trying to figure out the people I am prejudiced against and by fighting against my own inner bias.
Can you do the same?
Sunday, January 16
the inner art war
well all the stars are doing the Tsunami relief thing now
and i think that's a very good thing
i've always felt that if you'd have the good forture to become a major celebrity
it really is a moral obligation on your part to use your fame for something good
instead of just screwing everything that moves, drinking, drugging and shopping..
i'd like to think were i ever to become a major celeb
i'd use my well known "punam" to drum up wads of moolah for all sorts of great causes
then i'd get to the screwing everything that moves, and umm the shopping
its a cold dreary looking sunday morning in nyc
i catered a ratherrrrrrr difficult wedding last night
the writer/painter in me hasn't been seen
since last time I went to provincetown
and i'm starting to feel like some sort of
but thats my own inner artist turmoil
acting up when it feels like its losing the battle with the job i do to pay the bills
all the creative folks out there go thru this
when not lucky enough to pay the bills thru the craft they are most passionate about
Thursday, January 13
50 million dollar party
is it me
or does it feel a bit gross
that in the wake of all this death and distruction
a two term president is spending something close to 50 million bucks on his inauguration party
i know ive said it before
but it just feels gross to me
i say scale down the party
throw a simple 10 million dollar event with all volunteers
and make a public gesture out of giving the remaining 40 million to the tsunami victims
talk about a world wide statement
bush doesn't have to worry about getting elected again
now all he has to do is keep the
dynastry alive by pushing his baby brother..
i just hate this guy
here's another big concern i have
as the very butt end of the baby boomers
i don't want my social security screwed with
i want to have it when i retire
i know the republican party is supposed to be all about less government
but whats next
deciding public schools are socialist?
leave my ss money alone
i just hate this guy
i really do
have i expressed this enough?
Monday, January 10
the bitch is back
well folks i am back
from the special events convention in miami
was quite the experience i can assure you
so here are a few highlights
the beach bash
that fed almost 1,000 folks in the event industry
with many food stations from local caterers, bars, entertainment
you name it but guess what
everyone EVERYONE forgot the napkins
so i just sat there and watched hundreds of party planners, florists, entertainment agents and caterers wipe their hands on their shirts, their seats, the sand
its all about the little things
you gotta remember the napkins
then came the wedding professional lunch
that managed to serve everyone in the ballroom but the four tables i was clustered in the center of
and when the large gentleman from Kentucky who was seated at our table complained he heard the chef yell to the maitre d on the walkie talkie
"We're out of food!"
somehow we did get fed and i don't want to know
I REALLY DON"T WANT TO KNOW
where our meat came from
although i did have to fight a temptation to see if the chef still had all his limbs
we stayed at
somehow oh neglected to mention that they were under construction
and that the construction would go on every ^%$#&** day starting at 7:00 in the ^%$#^&* morning!!!
but there were some super great things too
like the beach
bonding with my pal tralena
causing a mutiny on the bus when some local yocal would just not shut the hell up
about his truffle farm
and my fave was the great ensemble Ms Nancy put together to go the
super trendy eatery
which was a blast
Barton does fun wacko stuff
like serve "disco shrimp" in a blinking disco ball of ice
the popcorn shrimp is served from a spilling out bag of popcorn
and the fish comes sitting on a small plastic lounge chair
very very kitsch and cute
i especially loved the OLD miami table with the Tammy Faye Baker look-alike
the gigola right out of a "godfather" movie
and the scary old jewish-mobster looking guy who wore a silver briefcase handcuffed to his wrist all night
im ready not to hear the words
" oxygen bar"
or "team building"
guess im not the mainstream
corporate america type
the mango martinis
Tuesday, January 4
believe it or not
i have been roped into going to a 5 day special event convention
and honeys as you can probably guess
that is WAY not my cup of tea
but my good pal paid for my ticket to the convention
as a birthday gift
its in Miami
and i have a cold
and really want to thaw out
before going back to January NYC
so im going
my plan is to hide by the pool for at least a few hours a day
while the rest of the folks attend
all the educational seminars
( i know enough..my brain is on vacation)
then i will join up for the big parties
and one or two lunches and ok
a few seminars
call me lazy
but at least im going right?
and probably wont update here
till sunday night
when i surely will have some stories to tell you all
about what its like to spend time with a thousand event planners
and good thoughts
for all the sad ones in the world right now
Monday, January 3
how to help
so CLinton and the old bush are to head up the disaster relief
well if that isn't a HUGE PR boom for the baby bush i dont want is
drum up his dads old support and clintons old support to
his initial late and lousy response to all of this
you gotta wonder why colin powell just doesn't take over entirely
he's got a real handle on this i'd say
better then the baby bush anyway
at least we got clinton in there
who is the master of global shmooze
and knowing how to play the game to get things done
without alienating nations
so im glad
for the sake or the victims
who in the end
probably don't give a rat's ass where their help comes from
as long as it comes
here's what i want to know from some of my savy
and well informed readers (hint mike...liz....even the rarely agreed with here JR)
how do you know which source is the right one to give moolah to?
how do you know the moolah is going where you want it to go?
id love to hear some advice in my comments
about great sources to donate money and or items to
that will get to the people in need
and not anyones pockets
so fill me in
i wanna help
Saturday, January 1
a sad new year for so many
well its a new year
and its a gorgeous, sunny, almost spring like day
here in nyc
the warmest jan 1
i can remember in
well that i can remember
la c (yep la c)
took me to
a private members only arts club in gramercy park
oh it was very shi shi and all
felt like we had stepped back into time
into the victorian era
with gray haired great dames in ballroom gowns
lots of stained glass and mahogany
and a band playing tunes from yesteryear
at our table sat a british woman who told me her boyfriend was
on an island in the tsunami region and had started his own private relief fund by begging money from all his friends and had taken it upon himself to raise the money to helicopter in food for 2,500 victims for one month
now thats a hero
and what a special, sad but heroic new years he must be having
that kind of goodness of course, reminded me of the kindness, bravery and selflessness i saw so much of in those early days after "911"
that is, perhaps the only silver lining in this terrible black cloud of death and suffering
that so many care
that so many want to help
i understand today
on this lovely new years day
that for countless people along the indian ocean
this is the worst new years of their wildest imagination
so for them
i say a prayer
may this be it for your suffering
you've done enough
you've lost too much
you've suffered too much
may no more bad things come your way in your lifetime
may you find joy and happiness in the aftermath of your great sorrow
your pain is felt
across the globe
and although of course, you will not have a happy new year
i wish you one anyway