Do you remember that movie Kicking and Screaming? I think I lost the dvd in the divorce, but remember it as being about a kids’ soccer team and it was cutely funny. Well, let me tell you something, being a soccer mom isn’t remotely amusing. Practice three days a week and double-header games that begin at 7:50 on Saturday night are not cutely funny to me at all. As a matter of fact, they’re really annoying and inconvenient. Why are 13 year-olds beginning games at 9:20 pm? Is the dome in Latham that heavily scheduled, and if so, shouldn’t some thought be given to building another one in addition to the two already in use?
I understand that team sports are a positive influence in my (any) child’s life, but I guess I’m a little new to the game. I was pretty active as a kid, yet I don’t recall playing on any teams outside of school other than a softball team when I was a teenager – and I walked the 2+ miles to practice and games. Uphill, both ways, naturally. I don’t use my own mother as a yardstick for appropriate parental involvement, but don’t recall her ever coming to one of my games – or my even anticipating seeing her sitting in the bleachers. It just wasn’t expected.
These days, as Griffin follows a 90 minute morning practice with 3 consecutive afternoon/evening games kicking off at 4:40, I wonder how parents with multiple children with multiple activities do it. Do they drive minivans because they actually sleep in them? Is it that the parents have completely yielded their lives to managing their children’s lives? I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in doing that. Call me selfish if you will, but 5 hours of soccer leaves me wanting to do a little kicking and screaming of my own. Where are my cleats?
During my run the other night I got to thinking about a new building being constructed on New Scotland Avenue. I think the previous building on this particular lot was affiliated with a house of worship, and this new construction is a church, I believe. What strikes me each time I run by, is the lack of a BBL or Columbia Development sign. This building is identified as a Bunkoff project, a name refreshingly unfamiliar to me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no personal beef with either BBL or Columbia, but I am so weary of seeing their names on so very many of the building projects in this city, our city. There must be other outfits out there capable and prepared to add to the landscape of New York State’s capital city, right?
It seems to me like Albany has been on the cusp of “happening” for decades. The individual pieces grow tantalizingly close to falling in place, but something prevents them from locking firmly together. Could it be the city’s leadership? Is it possible that the mayor and his preferred business associates have been so busy taking care of each other that they’ve neglected to take care of anyone else?
A few years ago, federal funds came into my neighborhood and sparked a renaissance. Streets and sidewalks were improved, lighting was added, and independent businesses started to find a home in the Delaware Avenue south area. Individuals invested their time and resources and together are forging an identity for our little piece of Albany. Christ, I made up a word for it and it stuck – DelSo, my home.
Imagine if more citizens and neighborhoods start doing this? What if other residents start taking ownership of their blocks? If folks began saying that it isn’t okay for one builder or developer to “own” the opportunity to create the landscape we all share? Maybe those established contractors could take on the task of mentoring some of the smaller outfits as they strive to get in on the action? I know, I know, I’m an evil socialist or something, right? That might be the case, but what definitely is true is that there needs to be a greater distribution of the opportunities presented by sharing a city of nearly 100,000 people. It’s time for something new, folks. Please share your thoughts.
When I see you wearing your baseball cap sideways, I know you think you look like this:
Hate to break it to you, but, in reality you look way more like this:
Now you know. You’re welcome.
I’m a bad Capitalist. I have no urge to accumulate possessions or wealth, I only aspire to pay my way fairly through life. I am always able to see that someone needs something more than I do – that $3 that rounds the tip up to a nice even number which doesn’t require change, those extra few bucks in my checking account that the Regional Food Bank
could use since my pantry is more than sufficiently stocked. It isn’t as if I believe people shouldn’t have to work or that it is unreasonable to expect adults to make a contribution to society, particularly when they are able-bodied and healthy, it’s just that I can see that I have more (fortune, opportunity, smarts, survival skills – you pick) than many others and I’m good with sharing. And I will never understand why anyone feels the need to have a net worth of X billions of dollars.
Do you think that being a multimillionaire somehow provides a person with a more meaningful existence? Are their thoughts really worth more than mine (Warren Buffet
aside)? Are they happier and more fulfilled? I don’t think so.
Should the president of my union
being making $345,987?? I don’t think so. Does the fact that he is, make me sick to my stomach? Absolutely. Is his position comparable to that of President of the United States
, who receives a salary of $400,000. Yes, yes, I know there are numerous factors beyond mere salary when it comes to compensation, but, really? I don’t think the job descriptions or responsibilities are all that similar between those two positions.
This morning I made my second visit down to the tent city known as Occupy Albany. I arrived with 2 loaves of freshly baked bread and a sense of guilt that I was not doing more to support a movement that proves that residents of my country are not afraid of making people, including themselves, uncomfortable when it comes to examining the deterioration of our country’s values and sense of priorities. I left with regret that I can’t do more to support their activities other than bake bread, take some photos and publicly acknowledge their efforts. What can you do? And – what should we all do?
Are all politicians essentially narcisists? Is there some cachet which I simply don’t understand in having one’s name emblazoned upon recycling bins, trash cans, a fleet of city vehicles and various signs around our city? I don’t believe the position of mayor is permanent despite the number of years Jerry has been on the job and I have to wonder what the eventual related expense of having his name removed from all of those publicly owned city assets will be. And why in God’s name is Gerald diminutized to become Jerry?
Years ago, I remember there being a sign welcoming folks to the New York State side of my hometown Greenwood Lake, a nine-mile body of water which straddles N.Y. and N.J. I can’t recall if it was Governor Carey or Governor Cuomo the first who decided that his name being on that particular sign was extraneous and more than a little self-indulgent. Since that time, decades ago the sign has simply stated “Welcome to New York, the Empire State.” Doesn’t that say all you need to know?
|image from upstatenyroads.com
Wouldn’t it make
cents sense to stop wasting taxpayer money feeding the egos of elected officials? I know who my mayor is – I even pulled the lever for him a couple of times in the past. I might even miss him when he’s gone, something which will eventually happen. I hope he takes his signs with him.
I don’t get to many movies, unless they’re rated G, of course. And those G rated movies I think more of as $8 naps anyway. I have been trying to see some of the Oscar nominated films, a task I take on every year about this time with mixed results. I’ve only caught three of the nominated films and they each left an impression on me. Note: an impression is not necessarily a positive thing.
The film I saw first while on my mission, was the critically acclaimed Black Swan, which I absolutely detested. The acting was very good and I loved the costumes and special effects, but the plot alternated between boring me to tears and annoying me. I can’t tell you how pissed I was to find myself in a theater, alone by choice, suffering through B.S. I don’t know what I regret more: selecting this movie or not walking out when it turned the corner to ridiculous. Next!
My oldest son, Liam, is a bit of a history buff, particularly when the topic is England. On his request we went to see The King’s Speech recently and I really enjoyed the movie – the story, the acting, seeing Helena Bonham-Carter wearing normal clothes… Colin Firth is incredible and it would be a crime (especially after the snub for A Single Man) if he didn’t take an Oscar home for his work. The only bad thing about this movie, as far as I can tell, is the absurdity of the R rating. As Liam said, there were way more F-bombs in Get Him to the Greek which had no historical significance. Out of the mouths of babes…
This past weekend I checked out one of the nominated documentaries, Gasland, based on the recommendation of a friend. I have to admit that I may have caught a wee nap during the middle of the film, but, believe me, I saw enough to completely enrage me. I mean, even angrier than the time I
wasted invested watching the Black Swan. Are you familiar with this movie? Essentially, the filmmaker, Josh Fox, is offered the “opportunity” to lease his land to a company interested in drilling for natural gas. Josh decides to do a little research prior to committing to having his land raped and what he learns is intensely disturbing. I don’t want to completely give the plot away, but suffice it to say that Dick Cheney’s Halliburton is involved. Enough said.
I’m hoping to see Blue Valentine
one night this week – or even at a matinee if the Snow God(dess) is smiling. What have you seen? Any predictions for Oscar winners?
When I was single, I kept a pretty darn tidy home. Perhaps my neatness was the result of the importance my mother always placed upon cleaning and chores. My brother and I were given numerous responsibilities as small children and, as long as I can remember, my chores included putting my laundry away, polishing my shoes and helping with the family’s laundry. As I added men/boys to my life, I’ve had to relax my cleanliness expectations to maintain my sanity, but some days I go into a hyper-cleaning mode. Today was one of those days when everywhere I looked, I saw something which displeased me… the little grates on the microwave… the vegetable bin in the refrigerator……the blades of the ceiling fans… As I again wished that our former cleaning woman could get legal immigration status, I dove in and began neatening up the external in the hopes that the end result would be a cleaner house, as well as a more tranquil mind. For the record, I don’t dislike cleaning, I just have a tendency to approach cleaning in a manner that is a bit ADD which prevents me from accomplishing as much as I would like. Particularly when thoughts like those below are streaming through my head at about 100 miles per hour.
- Why can’t we simply throw away (recycle, donate) things we do not need or use? Is it really necessary to hold on to stuff in a quasi-Purgatory?
- I love my Dyson vacuum cleaner but even without the commercials, I would know a man designed it. It works great, but it isn’t always intuitive, to me, how to dismantle it to use the “wand.” And, please don’t call it a “wand” if it doesn’t involve magic. I hate to be disappointed.
- When is this great “paper-less” society going to begin? I’m so sick of paper and mail and catalogs and don’t get me started on the campaign literature… I must admit, however, that I struggle with discarding personal notes and cards I’ve received and I would like to think that if I sent you something you would want to keep it, too.
- If we could discover a means to use dust as a source of power it would be the ultimate form of renewable energy.
- I know that one day I will miss cleaning up the boys’ splashes in the bathroom, but, right now I’d be happier if they just had better aim.
Filed under musings, Rants