Fly Again And Learn To

Currently a bit stinky.

We have been sick a lot. We had a hurricane and days in the dark. People around us suffered big losses and some are still without power after 10 days. My sister Daria’s house on LBI is covered with a layer of foul-smlling filth. My son in law is being deployed to a desk job in Afghanistan in the spring. There was an earthquake in Guatemala today. Sweetpea got sick, got better and is sick again. I feel ground down and so tired I’m considering making a casserole. Yes. I said a casserole. That might really happen.

Be Guarded By Monkeys

I have 2 usernames for Google and Blogger with a password each, one each for WordPress, two account numbers with passwords for the credit union, two usernames and passwords for my retirement accounts, a password for both my personal phones’ voicemails, a password for my laptop, a username and password for my work PC, for the database and my old work phone, a username and password for my work, personal and blog emails, a username and password for my blog’s service provider, for my cable TV account, for my AmEx, for my savings bonds and a pin number for my debit card. I have usernames and passwords for several blogs I frequent. This is not a complete list. I do not know my land line number at home.

My job wants me to choose a new password for my new phone, which has a new number.

I’m doomed.

And Face the Strange

The unnamed university sent out an email describing in cold, technical terms that its employees should come to work this morning, weather or no weather. This was followed by the city declaring that only emergency vehicles should be on the streets, so everyone stayed home and a good thing that was: once a road into the city was cleared, the ambulances and helicopters ran to the two hospitals all day. Even so: people gathered on the bridge, the flooded highway and in the parks to see for themselves what the rain had done and the river was doing.

Yesterday, as the eye of the storm sat over us, Pete and I got on our bikes and rode over to the family stores. Rainstorms have typically not been kind to the buildings that house the stores and this one was an outright bastard. We could tell the basements had been flooded differently, one more than the other, and both were draining. Boxes that’d been left on the floor were wet and there were too many of them for us to do anything to help the situation. Discouraged, we rode over to a house we’d promised to look in on and found that too had a full basement, draining after a flood. It was fortunate for us, then, that the catsitter arrived and though we had keys she plainly wanted us out. We rode over to the bridge over the river, where the flood raged and a carnival atmosphere prevailed. We took pictures that astound us still – and we were there.

We also went back last night to see the progress of the river’s recovery and we were not impressed. Though we walked this way and that, we could not find a clear, safe path to the unnamed university. I called Gianna, my boss, who lives three blocks from my house and whose picture window is safety glass for a reason, and told her there was no safe way across the river that wouldn’t end in a ditch on the back roads. She called this morning to say the head of the libraries had decided there was no safe way across the river, period. Thus, I had the first snow day of my illustrious career that involved no snow whatsoever.

This morning, we got on our bikes and went back to the bridge. For the first time, we could see the road along the river was under the river as it was currently constituted, horrible pun unintended. The water level had fallen remarkably, perhaps as much as ten feet, but the river is tidal and officials are saying tonight that by morning the level might be higher than last night’s. That would be very bad news for commuters. Pete and I are fairly confident we may be able to cross the river on bicycles in the morning – probably. Our housemate drives one of those rescue trucks for AAA. We haven’t seen him since Friday afternoon.

I had such a good snow day I made compound butter of sage and rosemary from my garden with a little lemon juice. In the winter, smeared under the crisping skin of a roasting chicken, this butter will remind us of the snow day at the end of summer.

They Were Calling It Your Cocktail Dress

Last night, Pete and I watched as the State Assembly fucked over 1 in 7 New Jersey residents by gutting public workers’ pensions and cranking up the heat on health insurances. The “debate” was broadcast on NJN, our state’s PBS station as I understand it because a vote was due later on whether or not the legislature would allow Governor Christie to sell NJN to WNET, a New York station. The specifics of that perplex me because I thought WNET came out of Newark, but I might be wrong about that part; suffice it to say the NJN people looked nervous on-air. Anyhoo, many members of the assembly cannot count public speaking as one of their magical powers and most speeches were incoherent. Some were better, heartfelt and distraught. Some made no fucking sense whatsoever as blue collar Democrats from urban areas struggled to explain why fucking over poor and middle class people was the right thing to do. One speaker from Camden couldn’t even finish a sentence without contradicting himself, so great was his cognitive dissonance. But this motherfucker took the motherfucking cake:

If this guy offers to "help" you, feel around for the knife in your back.

That’s Assemblyman Louis D. Greenwald, Democrat of the 6th District (Hamilton). He was the sponsor of the bill joining Republican union busting and Democratic need to please father figures by punishing women and minorities. Here is his statement, which he read to the assembly almost verbatim. We’ll get to that almost in a minute. Can I get a witness?

New Jersey’s economic reality cannot be ignored.

“As of the July 20, 2010 report from the Division of Pensions and Benefits, the post retirement health benefit deficit was $66.8 billion. On the pension side, the combined unfunded liability as of June 30, 2010 was $53.8 billion.

“These are real numbers that play a large role in our property tax problem, and these numbers are reality because for decades people from both parties failed to do the right thing to keep these systems strong for our public employees.

“As difficult as this is to ask people in this economy to pay more, this legislation will finally fix the fragility of this system.

“This bill will bring property tax relief, make benefits sustainable for the working families who rely on them and preserve collective bargaining for future negotiations. This protects both taxpayers and worker rights.

“It’s now our responsibility to safeguard these systems and make sure the problems that led to this legislation never happen again. That is our obligation and commitment to New Jersey property taxpayers and public servants.”

Yes, all that extra punctuation should go to a good home, but not mine: I have cats and a groundhog to feed, what with that GINORMOUS pay cut coming my way, courtesy of Louis Greenwald and other quisling Dems. I was discussing it this morning with Siobhan.

Tata: It was absolute torture to watch the speeches on the assembly floor. Many of those people should not have skipped public speaking – or any kind of speaking – classes in high school. Greenwald was particularly odious for his repeated claim that he was saving the pension system and benefits by gutting them. But what signaled to me that he is slime was when he turned to the gallery and said to the unions in an overly emotional manner, “This is not your fault.” Because I heard, “Baby, why did you make me do that to you?”

Siobhan: But he was saying “Baby, it’s not your fault that I have to hit you, but you have to take it.” That’s such a different torture and belittling technique, because, see, it’s not his fault and it’s not yours, it just has to happen!

It is my fond hope that Democrats up for re-election call my house for votes and support, because I will happily explain why they will get neither. Further, I hope working people help Greenwald seek other employment opportunities in November, since he is a vile substitute for a human being who should be shunned by decent people for what he has done.

Time To Play B Sides

I started the day with back pain I didn’t have time to deal with, so I stayed in bed for a few hours. That felt pretty good, but when I’m at home, something happens and next thing I know, I’ve been whirling like a dervish for an hour and a half. This morning’s something was the gear-stripping arrival of the lumber delivery truck, which I saw and heard through an open bedroom window. It was stupid and impulsive of me, but I leapt out of bed, scattering two indignant little black cats, and ran to the bathroom to splash water on my face before running outside to cheer on the lumber guy. I leaned on the porch rail and applauded as a smiling man pulled three 2 x 10s from the truck and lay them on the sidewalk running the length of the gravel driveway.

After an ice storm last winter, I sailed off the top of the back stairs and went bump bump bump to the concrete and later the treads developed portentious soft spots. Thus, I was goddamned overjoyed to see a different future in the old Magic 8 Ball. Stairs! Traction! Going about my business uninjured! Then I had to lie down.