Category Archives: life

blargh

Started a steady temp job and coupled with the volunteer work with IAJGS I had no time or leftover energy to blog for what turned out to be four to five months. Then I ended up so overwhelmed and exhausted from the intense learning curve of the job that I had to make the painful decision to stop the volunteer work. Not surprised by this difficult decision but definitely feel a lot of guilt.

Feel blessed and very lucky to have found this steady gig, though of course the “temp” part of the job is a little scary in this economy. As a workaholic, a trait both inherited and not-so-proudly earned, I would like more security that comes with a full-time status of course, but I am grateful so grateful to have a job.

Pickle Sisters

Pickle Sisters

It’s definitely a pickle, to be a workaholic who ties so much to the job, but I am trying to work hard but not too hard, do a good job but not be too OCD (difficult for me), and look forward with a semi-positive approach (newish for me).

This is Grumpy SXSW Week, when most of my online friends are in Austin going to see loads of great bands and eat amazing food. I am always semi-tortured by wishing I could join in the glut of music-going and incredible fud eating good times, surrounded by a lot of folks who have made such an impact on my music-listening recent past. But the rub of wishing I could be there is countered by the fact that in New York, most bands come through here if I really wanted to see them. And it’s a physical and mental feat of strength to see so many shows in such a concentrated amount of time, standing on cement and walking all over the place. So that’s another pickle.

There have been some recent stories in the New York Times about this hoarder who has to vacate his apartment. And today I spent the day with my friend Jafe helping him with his apartment. He’s a fellow collector and clutter addict. I admire him for the hard work he’s done to improve his environment. Slowly but steadily things are getting really good for him, and I’m so happy for him.

Having some continuing sleep issues, but I try to listen to this Keith Jarrett Köln Concert segment. It helps a lot. But the sleep problems are still there. I tend to pass out early, sleep for a little while, then wake up and not be able to get to bed and get the full 8 hours or whatever would be ideal. Hope to figure it out and get over this but it seems like the sleep things might be ongoing for a while.

Wikipedia editing has continued, which has been a really nice way to do a bit of volunteer work, as it were, while only doing it when I get inspired or have pockets of energy.

Was going to write something more personal and hand-wring-y, but can’t seem to put pen to paper here, so it stays bottled up while I think on it.

Favorite movie of recent past, In A World… by the surprisingly fully-hatched talent, Lake Bell. Here’s the trailer.

 

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Beards and baseball

Magnificent beards…

My postcard friend aaronofohio (see: http://instagram.com/p/f5lI4_D1ou/) is the litmus tests of great beards to me. He posts frequent pictures of his beard and I just love the pictures so much.

Aaron’s beard is red, full, and magnificent.

So it’s the very end of October and during this extremely frustrating time — career and life-wise — I have been living like a church mouse, not spending money. Which means a lot of time spent Hovel Chez Moi. With the TV to keep me company. Which means it is a Wednesday night in October and I am watching baseball while trying to whittle away on my various passion projects semi-successfully.

Bearded Red Sox baseball player

Bearded Red Sox baseball player

Is it just me or has the television gone all hillbilly? I am just loving this — it’s like saying “add more banjo” to any good country song: “Add more beard!” And the woollier the better.

Omaha-Kansas City Royals

The TV experience — especially the audio of a baseball game being played — brings me back to my childhood, where one of the great things we used to do on Saturdays (after spending the day at my dad’s office) was go see the Omaha-Kansas City Royals play night games at Rosenblatt Stadium (RIP).

Even though they were an expansion team, I loved the Omaha-Kansas City Royals. The games were hypnotizing, the rhythm of the pitching, runs, strikes. And the snacks were great. The peanuts that left crunchy shells on the ground. And those frozen ice creams that came in the circular tub with a flat wood spoon-like thing.

Bob Fromkin - during the Fromkin, Fromkin & Herzog era

Bob Fromkin (June 1969)
during the Fromkin, Fromkin & Herzog era

I think we sat near third base in my dad’s partner’s box — we almost always had these great seats. Bless Bob Fromkin. I have fond memories because of his generosity.

Today the team has been renamed (a time or two) to the unrecognizable and sort of dumb — in my opinion — Storm Chasers and they play at some other stadium in Sarpy County. Rosenblatt Stadium is no longer.

Johnny Rosenblatt, Camelot

The stadium was named after former Omaha Mayor Johnny Rosenblatt, who was the first Jewish mayor of Omaha and was, per Wikipedia, responsible for bringing the Omaha-Kansas City Royals to Omaha (along with the College World Series).

My mom and dad -- and Johnny Rosenblatt -- at Highland Country Club (I think?)

My mom and dad — and Johnny Rosenblatt — at Highland Country Club (I think?)

The Jewish community in Omaha is (and was) small. And it is weird but when people are shocked that I grew up in Nebraska, I guess a good part of that time I grew up within the loose framework of that community, though we weren’t religious and weren’t only friends with other Jews.

I know I definitely felt like an outsider, maybe not just the Jewishness but my mom came from Brooklyn and we definitely didn’t have a conservative upbringing. At all.

Grandpa Irv, my mom, my dad, Grandma Pearl

Grandpa Irv, my mom, my dad, Grandma Pearl

Though these pictures sure tell a different story.

The young couple: My parents

The young couple: My parents

This Camelot like image didn’t last long, though I like the way it looked later, when I was a little girl.

At Memorial Park

At Memorial Park

This was supposedly at an Anti-Vietnam War Protest at Memorial Park — not far from the house on W. 53rd and Farnam where we lived during that time (yes, a couple of blocks away from where Warren Buffett lived/lives). But to me it looks more like a picnic (it’s probably mis-labeled).

We moved to Lincoln in 1970 or 1971 after my parents separated and got divorced. But we’d visit Omaha on the weekends and go to these great baseball games with our Da. It was a pretty great part of my childhood….

My hood…

I wrote this for the local neighborhood association. Since I haven’t been working nights I have been able to go to the last couple of monthly local community meetings, officially, the 24th Precinct Community Council.

Inspector Nancy Barry, NYPD 24th Precinct

Inspector Nancy Barry, NYPD
24th Precinct

I have been really impressed with how much information is communicated, and it seems like Inspector Barry works really hard to maintain good relations with the community. From a cursory search, it looks like she was previously posted to the Lower East side.

This is the version I wrote that has more details. For the “official” much-edited version, see The West 102nd-103rd Street Block Association’s blog entry.

The next 24th Precinct Community Council meeting is on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm. The meetings are public and are very interesting, especially if you live in the neighborhood. Meetings are held in the upstairs meeting room at the Bloomingdale Public Library — across from the police and fire department stations on W. 100 Street.

Fingers crossed <knock wood> my long-term temp position will start before then so I won’t be able to go to meetings going forward. #sad. The West 102nd-103rd Street Block Association will continue their great reporting on the meetings.

CRIME CORNER: News from the 24th Precinct

INSPECTOR REPORT

Missing Autistic Boy – Search Continues

Inspector Nancy Barry said the NYPD are still looking for the autistic boy, Avonte Oquendo, who has been missing since October 4. Flyers are located here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Avonte-Home/414437158656906?sk=photos_stream. NYPD is asking for anyone’s help if anyone has seen him please contact the detectives.

Spike in Crime in the 28 Day

Inspector Nancy Barry from the 24th Precinct went over the CompStats (http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cs024pct.pdf).

Highlights of Spike in Crime

  • A homicide in the Douglas Houses (875 Columbus Avenue) on September 17. Victim Jose Gonzalez found in apt by home attendant with bullet hole to his head. Detective squads working very hard to make an arrest
  • Shooting in the Douglas Houses (840 Columbus Avenue) on September 28, 11:30 pm. Corner of West 100 & Amsterdam. Victim shot 3 times, a group of people had a dispute. An arrest not made at this time
  • Shooting October 15, 12:30 am at 88th & Amsterdam. Victim Javier Rodriguez in critical condition in the hospital
  • Any information please contact the 24 Detective Squad

The Precinct is not used to having shootings, just so happens they have happened recently. The Precinct is getting additional resources, are working closely with the Housing Police, Narcotics.

Additional Incidents / Patterns

  • With the shootings two individuals with guns were arrested, one incident involved a police officer taking a .38 loaded gun off an individual (repeat offender) on the street
  • Following up grand larceny on supermarkets discussed last week. They were able to make two arrests, have another person ID’d. This was a “pick team” that targeted the elderly. Have picture of another gentleman they expect to arrest. They are closing in on some of these patterns, making good progress
  • Three transit patterns where cell phone snatchers in the train. They have someone identified, have his picture, so should be apprehended shortly, a repeat offender
  • A chain snatch – two incidents in 28 Precinct, two incidents in the 24. One arrest of a 14 year old, where they had his picture and his principal was able to identify him; another 16 year old, will be arrested soon
  • Up in assaults: 12 assaults, but the good news is that 9 of them have arrests tied to them. 3 are open (one is the shooting listed above). 3 were domestic related
  • Other two open, one was a friend, swung a bat. Assailant is a known perp.
  • Grand larcenies
    • Increase in car break-ins, arrest last night officers on Riverside Drive apprehended crime in progress. Midnight officers apprehended 3 juveniles. So are making arrests. Again, some break-ins are classified as grand larcenies because amounts are over $1,000
    • A few in restaurants lower end of Broadway (McDonald’s, pizza parlor), victims left bags and pocketbooks unattended. Male and female caught on video so will hopefully apprehend them. Crime prevention: Do not leave bags unattended
  • 2 Rapes (SVU investigating both)
    • 1 rape, an arrest was made by Housing. In Douglas Houses, female entered elevator, man approached and grabbed her, screaming, got assistance, police arrested suspect and he’s still in jail
    • 1 rape, a Not-A-Stranger rape, someone she met, had drinks with, she said she was drugged, so she knows who she is. Still to determine if an arrest will be made
  • Farther north of our precinct people are jumping out in the woods on people on bikes
  • In 24th Precinct only crimes were unattended property petty larceny at the soccer fields, which turned out to be one of the teen team members, who was arrested
  • Below 24th Precinct, Robbery on Riverside and 83rd Street. 70 year old man assaulted by 4 teens who took his wallet and phone, threw rocks

Prevention Measures

Officers are being deployed into the precinct in and around the area. They are giving the neighborhood a Scooter Taskforce, so you may see police on scooters. The Scooter Taskforce will be going up and down Riverside Drive. Because of spike in crime, on Wednesdays and Fridays you will see anywhere from 15 to 25 foot posts (uniformed police) on Broadway from 86th up to 110th and also on Amsterdam and other areas. At Deployment Meeting asked for and got additional help.

ACCESS-A-RIDE PRESENTATION

Russell Schmidt, Outreach and Public Coordinator, MTA presented information about the Access-A-Ride service that the MTA provides.

The Access-A-Ride Service website is: http://web.mta.info/nyct/paratran/guide.htm.
The Access-A-Ride newsletter website is: http://web.mta.info/nyct/paratran/onthemove.htm

Access-A-Ride program is for any person who has a physical or mental disability that prevents them from using the mass transit system. The service is mandatory, is a civil right. Any municipality that has a train or bus system must have a para transit system. NYC’s is the biggest in the country, most people registered, most vehicles on the road, most trips. Very innovative to simplify system for the users.

There’s no age limit on using the service. Approximately 19,000 vehicles on road every day, marked with Access-A-Ride, blue and white transit colors. Subcontract service to 14 companies, companies who work for NYC Transit. Each carrier has different name, but is numbered, have Automatic Vehicle Location Monitoring (AVLM) system so they know where the vehicle is at all times. Can go back 15 months into the tracking system to find out exactly where vehicle was, etc.

Operates 365-days 24/7 because the trains and buses also run (i.e., if the trains and buses are running, Access-A-Ride runs). Costs $2.50 each way (same fare as trains and buses). Can be taken one way or round trip.

How does one apply? There is an application process. Call M-F (9a-5p) 877-337-2017, 718-393-4999, TTY 718-393-4259 or TTY Relay 800-662-1220 or go onto website (http://web.mta.info/nyct/paratran/). They will mail application form within 5-7 days (don’t use the online form, it isn’t official, is for reference only!). They require a scheduled face-to-face Assessment Session after receipt of the application and a photo where they will assess eligibility. Must bring doctor’s note / information / diagnosis. They will pick you up and drop you off to get to the interview. You can bring a Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) with you, free of charge. Bring your walker, whatever mobility device you use to get around. They will ask you to show how you get around. Once you have gone through the assessment and have gotten an ID number you can begin using the service, even if ID card is being processed and is coming.

Access-A-Ride goes anywhere in five boroughs, is not only for medical purposes, so you can go to a ball games, museums, etc. If you have ambulette service use that, as it will only take you for the doctor, unlike Access-A-Ride, which will take you anywhere. Save the ambulette service for the doctor and use Access-A-Ride for other trips.

There is a new program, Access-A-Ride (AAR) MetroCard (http://web.mta.info/accessibility/access_metrocard.htm) that is an incentive program that provides a total of four free trips a day using the subways, local buses, and Staten Island Railway (SIR) for free.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE ANNOUNCEMENT

This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For more information: http://manhattanda.org/resources-victims-domestic-violence

So funny — and true

I saw this on The View today. Dan Savage is so on target. It builds but gets really good at 34:35.

he had this to say about it….