Monday, July 12, 2010

Ballad of the Black Gold

As I type, BP's supposedly got their new and improved cap over their blown oil well. It seems to be working!!! I'm hoping. I'm about overcome by the prospect, and I can't imagine how people closer to the problem are feeling. I don't care if it's BP or a government entity that does it, I don't care if it's wrong or right or cheap or expensive. I'll take anything short of the nuclear bomb that's been proposed. Just stop the damned oil, stop the damned oil, stop the damned oil, that's all I care about. There's still a lot to do and a lot of wrong going on. I can't believe BP is still allowed to be in charge of cleanup, because they've made almost nothing but horrible decisions that exacerbate the problem. But stopping the flow helps everyone turn a corner.

My day job's been fairly busy. I may have another interior decorating job to do soon--toes crossed so I can type! Can't say much more about that, but we'd definitely appreciate more in our savings account. I know we should feel incredibly grateful that we even have savings, because many Americans don't.

It'd be nice if I can start the decorating job this weekend, because there's no NASCAR Sprint Cup race. It was good to see David Reutimann, who'll never be in the new Hall of Fame, prove to everyone that he can win the right way, without a rain delay. But I hate that Tony Stewart hasn't won once this season. My friends have been teasing me, saying he seems to be happier since the woman who accompanied him to the track earlier this season hasn't been there. You know, that's why I didn't marry him--he can't seem to have a relationship and a championship at the same time. Well, that and I met this really brilliant, beautiful, downright amazing girl before I ever even heard of him. Her birthday and the anniversary of the day we met are coming up quickly; I'm trying to figure out what I should do for both.

I damn sure wouldn't be in NYC if it weren't for her. I've been sort of regretting it the past couple weeks. The MTA made a lot of service cuts, which is making bus rides take longer and connections harder to get. We've thought about using the subway more--we try to avoid it--but that won't help much. I missed my truck. I sold it soon after moving up here, because it's super-hard to find legal parking, keep the gas tank filled, and maneuver it through the streets. It's just an expensive pain in the ass to have a personal vehicle if you're not rich, even if it were, like, a Smart Car and not a big truck.

The heat was absolutely oppressive last week. I couldn't believe even my home state of Florida was cooler. We tried to keep our electricity usage down, per Con Edison's understandable but rather forceful "requests." We kept only two small fans going in the basement while we were out, for our cats and rabbits. (They prefer the basement in summer because it's cooler than the rest of the house.) We turned the AC off while we were out and unplugged everything but our refrigerator. Our AC went to 78 when we were home and no lower, though our skinny little brick row house felt like a pizza oven when we walked in. Even so, we had a couple short blackouts while we were out. We had a very reliable teenage boy on our block, who's fed and played with our cats while we were on trips, come over to look in on them. We figured we'd assumed responsibility for those cats and we could take care of ourselves better than they could; we also thought they wouldn't look as good as us with their legs waxed.

I nervously looked at the blackout maps at work--everyone did. My office usually has flat-panel TVs blaring out various cable news networks, and occasionally daytime sporting events as a treat for us minions, in the halls. Those were turned off, and I didn't miss them one bit. My herbs got mostly dried out, including my mint plants. I needed to cut them back ruthlessly once the heat calmed down some. I had the idea to lug a glass pitcher for sun tea, a box of Bigelow's Plantation Mint, and some dried mint leaves to work. I made strongly mint-scented black tea using the oh-so-abundant solar power coming through our windows, and it was a hit! The next day, I brought more mint leaves, another pitcher, and some cheesecloth to make a second all-herbal mint blend. My job became keeping both types of mint tea coming! It was pretty good, because I work in a department that nobody likes to visit unless they have to. The mint tea was better at luring people than the candy dish full of Lindor balls I tried once.

Summer in NYC isn't all bad. L'Ailee lounged around the house in bikinis most of last week, thereby showing me just how worthwhile it was to move up here for her. We have the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and the Shake Shack. And we have tons of free and cheap concerts! L'Ailee and I went to see Rosanne Cash at Governor's Island for Independence Day. Being in our mid-thirties, we were the youngest there by about ten years that we saw. Awesome concert, though--I love her voice, and I know I'll love her new CD and autobiography coming out.

I passed up Lady Gaga performing for the Today Show, unlike a ton of other people. I preferred to crowd up with my good friend Yemaya O'Reilly for the launch party in Prospect Park last night. (If you like African pop and hip-hop music--or think you might--do pay that site a visit!) About 20,000 people came for that. There was no room to dance or hardly breathe, and there were people being kept out, and I was tired today, but it was sooooo worth it! Talib Kweli (who we also saw a few weeks ago), the Roots, members of the cast of Fela!, and Nice and Smooth with the encore! Nice and Smooth was part of our high school soundtrack; Yemaya and I turned 16 again and squealed when they came out. I am extremely glad I have a Twitter account, because that's how I know about those shows and the locations for the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck.

May you all find some joy in your summer some way--or your winter, if you're on the other side of the world--wherever you are.

Links, links:

I've linked to this before, but this is the real hip-hop song of Summer 2010. Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli's project) with the Roots, "Ballad of the Black Gold"

One thing I love about L'Ailee is that we love some of the same weird things. Like the Future is Wild series and book. We both felt just a little spooked by Paul the Psychic Octopus. So might you if you'd watched scientists speculate that the next form of intelligent life on Earth will be descended from the cephalopods. Come on, Squibbons!

Mayor Bloomberg finally got one right! There have been people just absolutely losing their shit over a mosque being built close to Ground Zero, and of course Faux News fanned the flames. Bloomberg calls the idea of investigating the mosque un-American.

Wall Street's hiring in anticipation of an economic recovery.

I find myself saying that "some people really cherish their ignorance" a lot. Now I have solid scientific proof.

A British comedian named Jackie Clune has a bisexual history, absurd expectations, and a headful of stereotypes. She shared just how rigid and mean-spirited she can be in an article about leaving "committed lesbianism" and becoming married to a man and a mother of four. And the lesbian and bi women of Great Britain breathe a sigh of relief...

Kyle Busch, the 25-year-old who unknowingly competes with Kevin Harvick for the position of "L'Ailee's Favorite Driver," was once a wide-eyed boy who wanted driver autographs. Including Tony Stewart's.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are moving to a new arena, and with it will come ice girls--women in tight pants and short tops coming out to clean the ice and give out freebies. I didn't like the idea, but thought it might be hypocritical of me to condemn it outright, considering the many games of Cyanide I've played while watching hockey games. I'm still not going to be completely furious, but Kim and Zoe at Puck Huffers make a very good case against them. One of my very favorite kids is a girl who wants to be a Pittsburgh Penguin when she grows up; if she inherits her parents' height and keeps playing the way she's been, I'd like to think our team will have more to offer her than a chance to audition while wearing a crop top and conforming to absurd grooming requirements.

Finally, the Onion gets it right once again: Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Paves Way for Gay Sex Right on Battlefield, Opponents Fantasize


Casdok said...

Oh i do hope BP's cap is working and continues to work.
Glad your mint tea was a hit :)

Dr. Deb said...

What a ton of links to view! Today, 7/14 is like a steam bath. Howz it by you?

BostonPobble said...

Fingers crossed with the BP cap. Feel free to send mint tea up this way. Alaska is sadly lacking in mint tea. And Big Gay Ice Cream Trucks. Feel free to send them as well. Aw, hell, I just may have to come back to the northeast. lol