Gratitude Saturday August 8

We had a tropical storm blow through here this week. Uncharacteristically, much of the city lost power. I am grateful that we did not lose power.

Fun fact- when we lose power in a highrise, we are unable to flush…

 

Favorites Friday August 7

Ok- since I’ve freaked you out with my rhetoric this week…I’ll give you my favorites! Play along any way you want!!

  1. Favorite Pixar Movie: Toy Story 3
  2. Favorite One Hit Wonder: hmmm- this is tough: I’m going with Aha “Take on Me” or Modern English “Melt with You”- I don’t know if they are technically one hit wonders, but I can’t recall a single other thing they did
  3. Favorite Ride at Carnival: I like a Haunted House, but I really don’t like rides
  4. Favorite Thing in the Sky: Stars- which I rarely get to see
  5. Favorite Sport you wish you were pro at: tennis
  6. Favorite Dr. Seuss Book: Yertle the Turtle
  7. Favorite outfit: black sleeveless dress, white and black oversized waffleknit cardigan, black knee high boots, silver heart necklace, black button earrings
  8. Favorite Car Color: Silver
  9. Favorite Pasta Dish: Cacio y pepe (which I had last night so you get a picture on Sunday)
  10. Favorite Family Guy Character: never seen it

I See You…

Ok- now that we are all being tracked all the time…

Or those of us with smart phones…

For the uninitiated- about two months ago a signal was sent to all smart phones. It contained a COVID19 contact tracing thingy (if you don’t believe me, go to settings on your phone- it’s there- hopefully turned to off)

Now that we are on the same page, what do we think about how easy it was for our phones to be tracked, therefore how easy it was for us to be tracked?

I have mine turned off. I also have location services off on my phone (which basically means I can’t use maps to get exact directions) Yet, even with location services off, somehow I still get a google timeline each month of places I’ve been…

So no matter what you do- someone somewhere knows where you are. Probably Tim Cook or Sundar Pichai…

I realize that tracking someone via their phone is neither hard nor new. My family and I share an Apple password so I can just click “Find my Iphone” and know exactly where they are in about a nanosecond. When my daughter was in sixth grade, riding the subway, this was useful for my fraught nerves. And my family is aware of this, so we are all complicit in the quid pro quo of not looking unless there’s an emergency or issue.

But still…it’s there.

Does knowing that your exact location is stored somewhere make you change your actions?

Are you less likely to do bad things because big brother is literally not figuratively watching?

I remember when those car tracking devices came out. They were marketed as safety features to put on the car of a young driver- you would know where they are at all times. But I always wondered how many times they were used to check up on a spouse suspected of cheating.  Isn’t that a great thing for a psychological thriller? Scorned man finds his wife’s car and deflates tires knowing that she will probably have to call him…Or something like that.

While we are on fictional scenarios of trackers gone wrong, what about the potential for a hacker to find out all the places you’ve been, and then blackmail you? Or a  la Ashley Madison, publish a list online of who was with whom, when where and how?

The government knowing is probably the least of our worries. I’m guessing the common man/woman/whatever, or as stated Google or Apple,  is more problematic… (FYI- on my android phone, I must go to Google to view the tracker)

So what do we think about, with the push of a button, someone, somewhere will know exactly where you are at all times?

Discuss the real life implications of this, but feel free to throw in some fictional teasers…

or

Discuss how anything being done to quell the wrath of COVID19 is worthwhile no matter what the cost?

This version has been modified from what was originally published because I thought of something while I was in the shower

Lack of Understanding

A few weeks ago I was walking home from errands. I had bags in my hands, mask on my face, and I had to go to the bathroom.

As I approached my building I saw two of my neighbor friends sitting on folding chairs in a little alcove in front of my building (this is the modern high rise pandemic equivalent to the old fashioned stoop) They were talking to another neighbor…

If I didn’t have to use the bathroom, I would stop to chat. One of these women is my book club friends and the other is my movie friend. We always have much to discuss.

But you know…woman of a certain age, lack of bathrooms, small bladder….

Not wanting to alert the male neighbor chatting with them that I did indeed need to pee and therefore couldn’t stop to chat, I mouthed

Sorry- need to go to bathroom

Of course, as I was on the elevator I remembered that I was wearing my mask, and my friends had absolutely no idea why I walked past them without a word…

So yeah…

another masked conundrum…

the art of the facial expression is obsolete…

Who Gets a Job

I was recently on my roof with friends/neighbors. As my daughter will be home for the foreseeable future because her school has gone virtual (this is a whole other blog post) someone at the table asked:

“Will your daughter be getting a part time job while she is home?”

To which person A replied- “She’s middle class and doesn’t need the money. She shouldn’t work because there are other people who actually need the money.”

Person B responded- “That’s stupid. Should your family earnings dictate whether or not you bring in a paycheck?”

Person C- “Is it fair for a middle class kid, who probably looks better on a resume, to take the job away from someone who needs experience?”

Person D- “Is it fair to penalize someone just because their parents make enough money to cover basics and have a little disposable income? Isn’t a work ethic something we should all have. And why should the parents provide everything? What’s wrong with a kid earning the money for what they want?”

This evolved into internships. My daughter has a unpaid internship for the summer, and is presently interviewing for both paid and unpaid internships for the fall. The conversation was much the same:

E: No one should take an unpaid internship because it shows the companies that everyone should get paid for work.

F: Middle class kids should only take paid internships because it’s unfair that some kids need the money

G: Middle class kids should only take unpaid internships leaving the paid ones for those who need the money.

You see you probably need an 8 sided coin to express the differing opinions on this subject…

So, does being between the ages of 16 and 22 and middle class preclude you from getting paid for work?

Should parents with disposable income provide the material wants of their offspring?

Should unpaid internships exist?

Should anyone who wants to work, whether paid or unpaid, just be able to do what they want with their time and energy?

Discuss:

 

The News, and Nothing but the News

A few weeks ago, I came into the apartment to find my husband watching NY1. NY1 is a channel owned by Spectrum/TimeWarner Cable and is specifically for NYC. They were most famously parodied on the show “How I Met Your Mother” when they used to show the morning newscaster reading aloud the headlines from the daily papers…so yes, that is true, we do indeed have a news channel where the anchor reads the headlines…

On the station that morning was a politician, let’s call the Politician Cuthbert. Cuthbert was having a press conference and was fielding questions from reporters. I watched the broadcast live and saw exactly what was said unedited. Cuthbert said some rather controversial things.

After the press conference NY1 asked some people for their reaction. They chose another politician from the same party as Cuthbert. Politician A stated- “I think Cuthbert needs to rethink what they said because I don’t think Cuthbert understands exactly what is going on and how best to deal with it.” Very diplomatic.

NY1 then interviewed a regular person. Regular Person 1 said “I think Cuthbert is &^%$% nuts. Do they have any idea what they’re talking about? I think it’s time for Cuthbert to get out of dreamland and take a step back to reality” (this isn’t the exact quote but I summarized because RP1 was really crazy about what Cuthbert said.

So after seeing this press conference, and watching two people of the same party as Cuthbert disagree as the the approach, i decided to follow this story to see how it was portrayed in the media.

The next day I got Newspaper A. Newspaper A gave the story two paragraphs, below the fold, in the second section of the paper. They toned down what Cuthbert stated and didn’t give any direct quotes, just summarized the press conference, actually omitting the  most controversial statement.

Newspaper B had it on page 3, big headline, mainly direct quotes of the press conference, minimum opinion, controversial statement in bold.

24 Hour news entertainment site C did not cover the story at all, or did it at such an odd time, or so minimally, the normal person might miss it.

24 hour news entertainment D made a very big deal about the story- highlighting the controversial statement.

We have entered an era where news is not reported, We have entered an era where figureheads decide exactly what stories will receive space during a broadcast or in print. The journalism basics of who, what, when where and how have evolved into

  1. who do we want to shine and who do we want to destroy
  2. what can we do to make this story more or less prominent
  3. where will this story create the most or least impact
  4. when can we drop a bombshell to switch focus to a different story
  5. why would we want to actually tell the truth
  6. how can we keep people glued to us so that our rating go up

A senior editor at a newspaper was fired for printing an op ed because the publishers did not like it because it went against what the paper said. It’s funny because I vaguely remember being taught that op ed means opposite the editorial page, and that things that appear here are usually in contrast to something the paper has printed. How do you let an editor go because they chose to print another view?

Can you trust anything printed or broadcast?

Do we need to watch actual live coverage of things in order to know exactly what was and wasn’t said?

Do we need to stop watching news entertainment, stop reading news/entertainment papers?”

At what point do ordinary people take back control of how stories are disseminated?

Can you believe anything said on any “news” platform?

Are we “allowed’ to have an opposite opinion, or is anyone with an opposing view deemed as “stupid”?

Is the news media more interested in offering opinions as opposed to facts?

Are the news media only interested in ratings?

I’ll leave you with this quote:

You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war

Do we actually need the clutter that is known as news media? Or can we rid our lives of it like expired food and broken objects?

Discuss

 

Highlights August 2

Our local bodega cat
Exhibit on the Highline…Sam Falls Untitled
Grand a Central on a Thursday at 10am
Movie night…Sleepless in Seattle
Spa Night
Dining set up Ruby’s
Splitting brunch with my daughter…egg sandwich and corn fritters
New York Botanic Garden
NYBG
The Highline
The Highline
A new ice cream place opened in our neighborhood, Surreal Creamery….earl grey ice cream that took her two days to eat…this is the smaller one btw…
Chorizo quesadilla at Mexico Lindo

Gratitude Saturday August 1

Yesterday I was walking down 23rd Street. I watched a waiter from a diner exit the diner holding the arm of an older woman walking with a cane. I watched him carefully help her across a busy cross street.

They were masked, and I get that they weren’t socially distanced exactly, but I didn’t care. it was a moment of one person helping another.

I haven’t seen much human kindness lately, in a time when it should be abounding.

I am grateful for having witnessed this one seemingly insignificant act of kindness.

Maybe there is hope…

Friday Favorites July 31

Here we are- ready for another of edition of favorites! Play any way you like!!!!

  1. Favorite Food of All Time– Patty Melt
  2. Favorite Chick Flick– Ok- we all know I love “The Sure Thing” but that might be considered coming of age, but how about “Bridget Jones Dairy”? If that’s a rom com, then how about “bridesmaids”?
  3. Favorite cover song? Ok- if I were to have taken this question last Friday, my answer would probably be “Where did our Love Go” by Soft Cell…but this week I discovered a Chris Cornell version of “Patience”. As Patience is one of my top ten songs, and probably favorite love song, and Chris Cornell was brilliant,I nod my cap towards that…
  4. Favorite Fictional place I’d like to visit- Diagon Alley
  5. Favorite Bird-Woodstock
  6. Favorite Winter Sport- sitting in front of a fireplace with a book and a hot beverage
  7. Favorite Christmas Present- My family got me a spa day a few years ago. Clearly the winner
  8. Favorite hairstyle– I’ve had my hair in a bob since I’m about 22-
  9. Favorite Kind of House: Brownstone
  10. Favorite Way to Cook a steak: Medium rare as done by a steakhouse

Do I Stay or Do I Go

In these challenging times, everyone has an opinion about what everyone else is doing.

My sister in law (SIL) went to Florida last month to see both her mother and her mother in law.

The starting point is, was it reckless to go from New Jersey to Florida in the middle of a pandemic because you and your kids are bored?

OK- everyone has there own answers, which are going to be as varied, so we’ll just say that there are a great many opinions on this matter.

By the time they were on their way home from Florida, Florida had become a hot zone. They stopped in Maryland for COVID tests on the drive home, because her 15 year old twins were supposed to go to friends houses the following week and the parents of the children wanted the test.

Fine.

Then, it turns out, the parents of the friends her kids were supposed to stay with rescinded the invitations because the kids had just been in Florida and driven back up to New Jersey.

My SIL was annoyed at this- why rescind the invitation? They had tests? Her kids were looking forward to a week with friends because they are bored…

Switching topics just slightly…

My SIL calls my Husband. She tells him how bored their Mother is in Florida- how the visit made her feel so much better. She passive aggressively insinuates that my husband is being a bad son by not visiting his mother in Florida amidst the pandemic.

Switching just a little bit again…

My SIL is in the middle of renovating a new house- they are supposed to move in August. She is mad that my Father in Law won’t go from Eastern Long Island to New Jersey because he is afraid to travel amidst the pandemic. She actually blocked his texts and calls over this.

I have decided that my SIL is indeed the sun, and everything thing revolves around her…

Rant over…