Archive for July, 2006

by this treatment of the blackout in Queens.
Let me start out by saying that I fully recognize the energy crisis in our fair country, and I freely admit that we are a very litigious society. I do not think that New Yorkers are better than anyone else. I do not equate an ‘ickle blackout’ with a hurricane. My household pays extra each month for green power. We have nary a non-EnergyStar appliance in our home. We use non-chemical cleaners, have cork tile in the kitchen, reuse grocery bags when I can’t fit everything into my cloth one. I care about conservation. I practice conservation. There are things I wish I could do but am constrained by the co-op rules–I can’t install solar panels. Can’t plant a tree to shade my a/c. Can’t police other residents of the building to ensure they are using their a/cs sparingly and refraining from running major appliances in the high-energy use hours. Most certainly can’t run down to Times Square and turn out the damn lights that keep it daylight until, well, daylight.
This blackout, however, is nothing like the grocery running out of your favorite brand of bread. It bears no resemblance to camping. It has nothing to do with not having your organic coffee and sauna in the morning after you do your yoga video.
The blackout means that people are sitting in brick boxes stacked atop other brick boxes with buildings on every side. Most have no cross-ventilation. Most were built in the 1970’s where a/c may not have been prevalent, but fans certainly were. Many elderly people and families with small children live in Queens. The number without power at the peak was up around 25,000 customers (an estimated 100,000 people.) The blackout began on Monday, July 17th. Today, July 27th, power has been restored to everyone. And the reason for the blackout? Poorly maintained subterranean cables. A big part of the reason it was not fixed sooner? Initial Con Ed estimates were that 2500 people were without power based on complaint calls.
So let’s just get all of this straight. Con Ed underestimated the initial number of customers without powerin a region historically heavily hit by outages, using cables that are fragile and aging affecting people in varying degrees from all walks of life. 90,000 additional people were living on reduced voltage meaning that elevators, air conditioners and refrigerators did not work.
You’re absolutely right, guys. I don’t know what I was thinking. It’s exactly like that time I went to the grocery store and had to buy white bread instead of whole grain. Seriously, fuck you and your high horse.

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I have spent the better part of the morning finishing the essay what ate my soul. Or, rather, the essay that reminded me how much writing helps to sort things out. Or, perhaps, the essay that allowed me to finally understand what I learned in therapy.
The long and short of it is this:

It might, just possibly, be done.

I don’t know whether to congratulate myself or throw up.

Finishing it means finding a home for it. That means putting something more personal than I have ever written out there in the world for people to judge. That scares me.
I like to think I’ll handle rejection with dignity. I like to think I understand that sometimes a piece is simply not what someone is looking for at the time. I like to think a lot of things about myself, but in the back of my mind I’m completely terrified that rejection will cause me to stop writing again. And that is a fate worse than editing.

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It’s only marginally worse to physically attack an opponent on the pitch than to toss around insults. Brilliant. I am rather disgusted at the whole Zidane 3-match ban-Materazzi 2-match ban, but I really can’t say any more about it than I already have. Suffice it to say, I think FIFA shot itself in the arse with this one. I expect a spate of tribunals every time a player has an altercation with another. Either that or they’ll have to set up an elaborate microphone system with interpreters so as to catch every ‘fuck off’ that’s uttered. Can you imagine? And then the eventuality that millions of dollars worth of equipment would be destroyed the first time someone went for the headbutt to the sternum. Perhaps FIFA could hire some church ladies to police. You know, washing out mouths with soap, tugging players off the pitch by their ears. Paul Doyle at the Guardian has a really good piece about this, but I can’t be arsed to link it as I’m awaiting a houseguest and ever so slightly hung over.

Thuram to Barcelona, which is not so great for Arsenal. Here’s hoping he’s on tour this summer so that I might bask in his majestic presence.Of course, I’ll have to wear my Francia shirt now.

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Thuram Thuram Thuram Please, M Wenger.

No Senderos for three months? Heaven help us. How long is Clichy out for? Please, I don’t ask for a lot, but Thuram would be nothing short of perfect. Perfect abilities, perfect attitude, perfect intellect. What a boon he’d be. I’m sure I’m preaching to the converted though.

I do agree that getting more forwards or wingers would be a bit…Chelsea of us.

Everybody and their brother has been on about ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ Cole. Frankly, I come out on the side of don’t let the door hit you in the arse. What good is a player, no matter how talented, who doesn’t want to play for the team he’s on? No heart, no glory.
In my (admittedly far-fetched) daydreams, I would convert Sulley Muntari of Ghana to left back. He’s young enough to make the switch, capable of those gorgeous sprinting runs that Ash makes, and can defend as well. Am I crazy? Probably. Alls I know is that if Flamini can hold things down ok, Muntari can as well (and probably better.)

Have I mentioned the husband and I are taking our liebling to see Barcelona play Red Bull in August? We’ll be sporting our Arsenal shirts thankyouverymuch.

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And it’s not lost on me how many names I dropped in the last post despite my insistence that I don’t care about celebrities 😉

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It is a very unsettling thing to wake up at 6:30 am and look out of the window to see three trailers, two large trucks, and a row of sound equipment. That’s right, CBS is filming a television show in the several blocks surrounding my apartment. Without a Trace, in fact, so at some point y’all might well see the very streets Lucy and I meander when it’s not hot enough to fry an egg on the windshield of a car.
I’ll tell ya, I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing. On one hand, I think it’s pretty cool that I can take Lucy out to the balcony and show her all of the gear and people that it takes to film a television episode. She’s never seen trailers (hell, I’ve never seen trailers) and we do love our vehicles. On the other hand, I’m very sensitive about being one of those people what peaks under blindslats at the goings-on outside. It’s far too old-ladyish or wannabe celebrity sighter for my sensibilities. What can I say–I’m a Leo and terribly curious.
The truth is, I’ve lived in NYC for close to 6 years and can count on one hand the number of famous folk I’ve spotted–Rudy Giuliani on 9/11 and Q from Star Trek. And both of them had to be pointed out to me. I might have seen Q Tip from Tribe Called Quest on the subway, and another possibility that I saw Kurtis Blow, and possibly Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray, but I truly have no idea because, honestly, I don’t much care. I like people’s work, but I don’t really want to meet them. There, I’ve said it.
I understand the autograph thing, I understand the gossip thing, I understand the thanking of people for their performances, etc. What I don’t understand is getting so wrapped up in it that in the course of day-to-day life one can recognize these people in the most mundane of circumstances. For example, on the subway. The guy who might have been Q Tip was wearing really cool shoes. I’m a shoe-starer. Voila! Other than that, short of him busting into ‘Jazz’ I’d have never even looked up. The guy who might have been Mark McGrath sat across from me on the subway and honest-to-god had the most retardedly knowing smile on his mug when I looked up from my book that I came close to shouting out, ‘Yeah? Your music sucks.’ Well, it does. Had he been going about his business I’d probably have kept on reading. Bear with me, this is probably going somewhere once I get some coffee into me.
I am not so jaded that I don’t see how cool it is that there is a television program being filmed in my immediate vicinity, and will most likely watch said program for shots. When I shared a dressing area at Searle with the What Not to Wear crew, I did in fact go back on my word about not watching it to see how they handled having other people in shots (I felt vindicated as well as it was a very heavily edited episode. Kind of like I personally threw a chink in Stacy’s perfectly coiffed, impeccably styled, terribly snide existence. Sad? I would’ve thrown a kitten-heel at her if I had one.) Sure, it’s fun to see famous people in person. I just don’t feel like
I’m just jaded enough, however, to know that these are just people doing their jobs, television is make-believe, and we’ll all collectively breathe a sigh of relief when tonight comes and things go back to normal.
In fairness, though, when I met the President of Liberia I almost cried after shaking her hand. I would reckon she’s a fair bit more important than a tv personality though.

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Early reports have Juve, Fiorentina and Lazio relegated to Serie B, with AC MIlan staying in Serie A but barred from the Champions League.
Points docked are reported to be:
Juve -20
Fiorentina -10
Lazio -6/-7
AC -10 – -15

No word yet as to how Real and Chelsea will be dividing up their haul of the players (har)

Of course, I am crossing fingers and toes that Arsenal can pull off getting Lillian Thuram. I think he’d be a fantastic asset not only in defense but also for bringing Eboue along. Of course, I’m definitely biased to Thuram.

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