What If

Let’s do a little hypothetical today:

7pm

Tuesday

August of pandemic time.

New York City.

Five people are waiting for a bus.

Bus arrives.

Person A decides not to pay the fare.

Person B says something to them about needing to pay the fare.

Person A uses an object to attack Person B with.

Person B is bleeding and injured at sight.

Person A runs away.

What do you think about the above scenario?

  1. Should people be required to pay for mass transit or should cities provide free mass transit?
  2. Should you say something if you see someone not following the rules?
  3. Is skipping out on a fare enough of a violation for someone else to get involved in?

Would you get involved if you saw someone doing something wrong? What are you personal parameters for situations where someone is breaking the rules?

Is it OK to break the law or not follow rules because we don’t want to, or because we think the law/rule is somehow flawed?

So we now all have our thoughts on this hypothetical scenario….

What if I told you that this situation wasn’t hypothetical? That this happened at the bus stop directly under by bedroom window? That my daughter and I heard the screaming and ran to the window and saw the bleeding victim and people around trying to help him and making sure an ambulance got to the scene? That the object was a skateboard? That the scene was witnessed by at least five people including someone who lives in my building? That the police came to our building to look at the security camera footage?

Have your thoughts changed at all?

What are your thoughts on any, or all, of this story?

Discuss…

No. No. Yes. No. No. Yes.

I don’t like pedophilia. I don’t even like typing the word.

I also don’t like:

  • abuse of any variety
  • bullying
  • rape
  • incest
  • harassment
  • gaslighting
  • cheating
  • emotional blackmail
  • regular blackmail
  • misogyny
  • embezzlement
  • burglary
  • mugging
  • shoplifting
  • smoking
  • drugs
  • drug abuse
  • alcoholism
  • over doses
  • suicide
  • parents who skip out on children
  • racism
  • sexism
  • xenophobia
  • homophobia
  • anything that means someone is going to be hurt physically or emotionally

Does this mean that none of these subjects should ever be addressed in movies. television, books. music, podcasts, whatever?

A few months ago Netflix had on it’s rotation a movie that involved teenage prostitutes, I believe. To be honest, I didn’t even look at this show enough to want to watch it, and I didn’t even want to click on it because I didn’t want to be counted as someone interested in the subject.

But boy did I hear about the controversy.

My daughter told me we had to get rid of netflix because they shouldn’t show a movie that is pro pedophile

So then we began a conversation about censorship.

Who determines which subjects can be shown, and which ones can’t?

My daughter argued that we don’t ever want to give pedophiles a voice. And I agree with that statement. Pedophilia is wrong. Always.

Personally, I am really worried about the current addiction crisis. I think the amount of people we are losing to drug overdoses is ridiculous.

Do you think they should stop making movies. TV, books etc. that show drug use as being a thing that people do?

I have a whole list of things that I don’t like. A whole list of things that I don’t think people should do. Things that are bad for all involved.

Should we not ever discuss any of these things?

How do we determine a taboo topic? Do we elect a jury to decide what is decent and what is not?

We have a ratings system for movies, and warnings on songs and TV shows. Yet, the very people that these warning are supposed to protect are very often the group that is targeted for those songs, books and shows.

When I was a kid, Porky’s was a really raunchy popular movie. I remember seeing it, and I don’t believe that I was 17 yet. Nor were the vast majority of kids in the theater.

When I was twelve my Mother told me that I wasn’t allowed to read “Forever” by Judy Blume because it was about premarital s-e-x…

How quickly do you think I got my hands on that book and read it?

What about WAP?

Does censorship work?

If we stop producing things with those taboo topics, will people stop doing these bad things?

Is it better to try to have conversations about these topics?

Do you think that there are certain things that should not be discussed in books, movies, music and/0r any form of art?

Highlights November 22

Brownies- first thing baked in my new oven
Guess who got their hair colored?
Three things came to mind when I saw this: 1) Is this cultural appropriation? 2) This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in awhile 3) Should I send my Mother in Law one just to see her reaction?
Levain is known for making the most decadent chocolate chip walnut cookies ever. I prefer their chocolate brioche, which I think is a worth a visit to NYC for. FYI- they are branching out to other cities!
This is from Oath Pizza. You get to choose your own toppings in a very stress free way. It’s more flatbread than New York style crust but it is delicious. Shout out to the amazing guy who helped us. We got there when it opened and he singlehandedly got all the ovens heated, got ingredients sorted, handled a boatload of pick up orders as well as in person customers- with a smile and great attitude.

The results of last weeks survey:

Do You Plan of taking the COVID-19 vaccine when it comes out?

Percent

Yes, but I plan on waiting at least three months

28.00%

Yes, as soon as I’m eligible

28.00%

Not sure

24.00%

No, I think it was too rushed

12.00%

No, I am anti vax

4.00%

Maybe, depends on who developed it

4.00%

Haven’t thought about it

0.00%

No, I have a pre existing condition which precludes me from participating

0.00%

Maybe, depends on where manufactured

0.00%

Below you will hopefully again find a two question survey about the vaccine: you may have to click on my actual site in order to participate.

Gratitude Saturday November 21

As some of you may know, there was a huge ransomware/cyber hacking thing last month that caused many companies a whole bunch of grief. One of these companies was Barnes and Noble.

This attack directly impacted me because I was unable to access my ereader library on my nook app.

Which means I didn’t have the ability to read the books that I was reading at the time, nor open the new book that I had purchased for about a week…

As a rule, I use the Barnes and Noble app because frankly, I give Amazon enough of my business: they don’t need to own my reading as well. And I’m still a little bit annoyed that they helped put bookstores out of business and then opened physical stores…

But anyway…

I admit that I am grateful that I was able to access a book via Kindle so that I had something to read.

I am grateful that my personal info was not compromised during the hack.

I am grateful that Barnes and Noble was able to get the show running again and I was able to read my books.

I am also grateful that somehow my daughter’s online reading wasn’t affected (she wasn’t stupid enough to think that deleting the app and reuploading it would solve everything) and she was able to continue reading her text books. Could you imagine saying to your Professor “Sorry I couldn’t read the assignment. My reading app was hacked.”? Talk about a dog ate the homework story…

Anything Can Happen Friday November 20

I’m not a particularly good artist, nor am I particularly good at math or science…so give me a little tiny bit of leeway…

In the “illustrations” below, it is imperative that the roundish, very heavy object move from A to B.

Assume that the diamonds represent people-

Which box best represents where the people should be standing to have the best chance at moving the object?

Why?

Side note: This post was originally written yesterday because I am not good with diagrams and boxes and such, and has thus been altered at least six times (and it’s only 9:05 so it’s only been up for 65 minutes) because I was focusing on the minutia instead of the overall goal. I need to keep that in mind, that you have to give all things equal focus because it’s realy easy to not look at the big picture because you’re so focused on the small. Look at that…I learned something today!!

Can You be Both at Once

Can you be a person of faith and a person of science?

Or

Can the two things not mesh inside of the same person?

I would like to think that one can be both a person of faith and a person of science, but it doesn’t always appear that others think this way. For some reason, we have begun to think that faith and science are diametrically opposed: that a person who regularly practices a religion can not possibly understand science, and vice versa.

But is that really the case?

Of course there are science deniers- those who will revel every time science gets it wrong. And of course there are others who will go out of their way to espouse that there is no higher power because it doesn’t make sense or can’t be proved. But the average person: do they really have to pick a lane?

I was raised Catholic, but not the church going sort. Baptized, communion, confession, confirmation: check, check, check and check- but Sunday mornings found us watching Abbott and Costello movies on channel 11. Catholic, but it was just a word for me.

As I aged I began to distrust organized religion. FYI- this goes for all religions. I thought of religion as a way to separate us from one another. Another form of labels. Why did we need to find ourselves different from others? Can’t we look for the commonality?

But before I go off on a tangent…

Just because I don’t “practice” religion on a daily basis doesn’t mean I don’t have faith.

It does not mean I do not believe in God.

Yet…

I also believe in science.

I am a big believer in proof. I love a good if/than statement. I am always searching for answers, conducting my own sort of research projects.

I am always analyzing data.

Always.

It’s what I do best, my superpower. I look at variables and I come to conclusions based on the evidence before me…

But that doesn’t preclude me from thinking that there is a higher power…

Before you can have proof, don’t you need to have some sort of faith?

Didn’t early explorers have faith that the earth was round?

But that’s my opinion. I have no evidence to be right or wrong, I only know how I feel.

But what do you think?

Do you think that science and faith can be found on the same shelf?

What do you think of the quote?

Discuss…

Two songs today cause I forgot yesterday

My Egg Challenge

Over the summer, my daughter and I ate at a café in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Once the famed spot of immigrants beginning a new life, now the gentrifying area takes in young kids trying to begin a new life. And next door to Russ and Daughters, traditional Jewish appetizer store (which means lots of smoked fish) sits Good Thanks, a café which has the best scrambled eggs that I’ve ever eaten.

Oddly, not knowing that I was going to write about these eggs this week, my daughter happened to go there for brunch last weekend, so I was able to get this handy picture.

Scrambled eggs are a food that if you like, you probably have a certain way that you want to eat them. I happen to like mine soft and fluffy. These are the perfect example of ethereal scrambled eggs.

But anyway…

Since I ate these eggs, I have been trying to recreate whatever magic they put into them.

Which means I’ve eaten a lot of eggs, with some results being better than others.

I haven’t exactly recreated the beauty of sitting in an outdoor cafe, sun at my back, taking bites of the rich yet light slightly peppery, slightly salty, creamy decadence that these mere eggs have become. (serious kudos to food reporters who are able to describe what food tastes like because it’s harddddddd)

But…

I’m getting there.

First of all: creme fraiche. I mean the real stuff that is probably three times the cost of sour cream, but no lie…the slightly thicker, slightly less sour of creme fraiche is clearly one of the keys. I mix the cf a little bit before I add the eggs. First off I think it takes out the initial chill, and secondly I don’t have to whisk the eggs as much.

Speaking of whisking- use a small one. It’s all about delicacy. Forks need not apply.

Sea salt and just a crack of pepper into egg mixture.(you add more pepper upon completion)

Small non stick skillet, but you still add butter to the pan. The buttery taste is something that you want- so make sure bottom of pan is coated…

The lightest of flames under the pan. If I could heat the pan using a low wattage blow dryer I would: that’s how low I want the flame. You want these eggs to cook slowly.

Put egg mixture into barely warm pan. Let them set for about five seconds. Then you slowly push the mixture into the center, letting the runny parts of the egg escape into the pan. You gently keep doing this so the eggs in the pan start to resemble a rose.

Do not flip the eggs!!

you cook them through by slowly releasing the loose parts to the pan…

Cover them briefly at the end to give them a finish…

It’s not perfect, but I’m going to keep trying.

Now I know you’re asking yourself: Does LA really want us to recreate the eggs the way she likes them?

Nope.

Make your eggs any way you want to.

What I want is for you all to just keep going.

I want you to figure out what you need to do to get you to tomorrow.

Other parts of the country, the world, are experiencing what I felt back in March and April. And it sucks. My friends from other parts of the country were texting yesterday about how bad their areas are getting, and I had nothing positive to add. I can empathize, but that doesn’t do anyone who is in the moment one bit of good. Everyone’s personal experience and viewpoint are different…and frankly, I’m not ready to relive these memories especially as they can reoccur at any time…

But…

You just have to keep going, trying, doing… Whatever it is that makes you smile…just keep trying. Get a goal in mind and just do it…keep your head and your heart going…figure out the ingredients, check your utensils, find the right temperature…and do what you need to in order to get to the place that you want to be.

Because then you realize that the destination might not be the most important thing…that the way we handle the journey means more…

28 Summers

One of the more popular I wish I were on the beach reads this past summer was 28 Summers by Elin Hildebrand. I am about to reveal a major plot point so tread accordingly. SPOILER ALERT: though, what I reveal will become apparent after two chapters…

28 Summers is about two people who meet, fall in love, and realize that there are obstacles that will not allow them to be together as a couple. I know…I know…originality is key here…

As the couple embarks on their first weekend together, they manage to watch the movie “Same Time, Next Year” which is about a couple who meets up for exactly one weekend a year for a whole bunch of years…

So guess what the couple in our book decides to do?

I think the title sort of gives it away…

So the question of the day: What do you think about this controlled way of having a “relationship”?

Imagine being able to see only the best parts of someone? To never argue with them about who threw out the garbage and whether the toilet seat is up or down or has been left on massage by accident?

To look at someone with only love and lust? Can you imagine that? To see someone with fresh eyes for three days a year? To not speak to them or contact them for the other 362?

Would you be able to only see, touch, speak to this person for only three days a year?

What if your partner approached you and said that they wanted to have a weekend off from the relationship once a year?

What if they didn’t, but this is what they’ve been doing on their writer’s retreat/fishing weekend?

Ok….

Now that I may have planted a seed of doubt into everyone…

Is there merit to a relationship such as this?

Obviously, I know there are downfalls. Jealousy. Cheating. Morality.

But, could there be plusses?

Discuss:

Randomly chosen song of the day:

My Perfect House

I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate whether or not I wanted to leave NYC…

Living in very tight quarters has left me with a longing for a little more space…and just certain amenities. So I’ve spent an hour or twenty daydreaming about all the things that I would want…

First off, the place. Ideally I’d like to be within walking distance of a town with a Main street. I’d like my main street to have:

  1. Movie theater/performing arts house
  2. At least two restaurants
  3. Tea Room
  4. gallery/historical society
  5. BOOK STORE
  6. Well stocked grocery
  7. Store for sundries
  8. Thrift store
  9. Arts and Crafts store
  10. Funky boutique
  11. shoe/sneaker store
  12. Library

In this perfect town, I would love if the venues had classes or lectures or some other way to learn things.

As for my house, I would love to have the following:

  1. screened in porch with a gas fireplace and big comfy chaise, and small herb garden
  2. Master bathroom with soaking tub, make up vanity, large rainfall shower (massaging toilet sear optional)
  3. Large master closet with a closet system
  4. nook for a desk and a chair with an ottoman as my workspace. Should have big window
  5. kitchen with adequate storage and counter space. Five burner stove and dishwasher. Dedicated space for my very heavy mixer
  6. Large utility closet/storage space

My yard:

  1. small flower garden where I can learn about flowers
  2. archery set because I would love to get better at this
  3. covered porch for me to sit under
  4. fire pit
  5. I haven’t decided if I want a spa system

Has pandemic made you think of moving somewhere else?

What are some of your dream items for a new abode?

Random Song of the Day:

Highlights November 15

This is the panel from the toilet at a restaurant we went to. I don’t think I need a toilet seat massage…though the heated seat wasn’t bad
Of course, being 2020 and all, my stove broke. This is my new toy. It has a bread proof setting….
This is the berry pie I made when I realized that the oven wasn’t working properly. Pie was tasty if not pretty
I was not able to Zoom into my tea party meeting. But I enjoyed my teas anyway
New Amsterdam is based on Bellevue, which is near my house. They often film in the neighborhood
This is a sesame pancake from Kent Dumpling House. It is one of my favorite cheap eats.
My daughter turned 19 this week…
Ahhh…me and Jane…

Below is a survey, one question. If you can’t see it and want to participate you may need to go to my actual page. Results will be shown next Sunday.

Randomly selected song of the day!!