Is it just me, or do days always start off better if you listen to baroque music in the morning? Today's featured recording is Vivaldi Guitar Concertos.
I am home from work today, which SUCKS because I'm really hurting for cash these days. I woke up with an amazingly painful sore throat and very swollen glands. I feel like I gargled with broken glass and sand and then rinsed with cheap vermouth. I am waiting for the doctor to call back to tell me if he has any openings today.
Today will no doubt be an interesting one in New York -- is there ever a dull day here? (Yes, yes there is. Rainy dark Sunday afternoons when you're poor...not very exciting.) Bush is addressing the U.N. (what gives? I thought they were irrelevant?) and Kerry is apparently going to "hit Bush" (see below) at NYU.
As far as Bush and the U.N. goes, I think the situation is best summed up by a guy named Paul Freundlich, quoted in Molly Ivins' hilarious and yet depressing Bushwhacked:
"All right, let me see if I understand the logic of this correctly. We are going to ignore the United Nations in order to make clear to Saddam Hussein that the United Nations cannot be ignored. We're going to wage war to preserve the U.N.'s ability to avert war. The paramount principle is that the U.N.'s word must be taken seriously, and if we have to subvert its word to guarantee that it is, then, by gum, we will. Peace is too important not to take up arms to defend. Am I getting this right?"
So...I have this neighbor named Joan. Bless her heart. Perhaps it's just senility; she's a little unpredictable. She can be friendly (in an annoying, "I don't really know you...why are you talking to me?" kind of way), but don't let her find out you're a Democrat. Trust me on this one. Now, you probably all know that Manhattan is slightly left of center, politically. My humble neighborhood of Washington Heights is full of lefties. If you go to www.fundrace.org, and look up donations from zip code 10033, you'll find lots of Deans, Kuciniches and Clarks. It's perfectly acceptable to criticize Bush and his pals in casual conversation with neighbors and other assorted strangers.
Next door to my apartment building is this funky combination coffee house/bar (gay on Wednesday nights...and very fabulous, actually) called The Monkey Room. (Yeah, terrible name, I agree.) One of the barristas told me once that Joan got 86'd by the customers there. Apparently everyone was engaging in friendly Bush-bashing, and she couldn't take it anymore and went off on everyone. I mean, you know, this is a free country and we have both the right and the obligation to have and to express our opinions. I'd like to think that if I were in a similar situation in Bush country, I would try to engage people in intelligent debate (unless I feared for my life). But...Joan is crazy. See, there's a difference. Now, I'm not saying Joan is crazy because she's a Republican. (At some point I will address my beliefs about why it's okay to be a Republican, and why Bush is not really a Republican.) Joan is crazy and a Republican. So I'm told a big argument ensued but finally blew over and Joan took a seat and went about her business. (Full disclosure: I'm a little biased here against this woman because once I was having a first date at Monkey Room and she came along and sat down with us and joined our conversation and ruined everything. Fuller disclosure: okay, it wasn't going well anyway. But that didn't help.) Anyway, no sooner had everything calmed down when a guy came in from the patio out back and say, "Did that crazy Republican bitch leave?"
So I woke up this morning and decided I wanted a cup of coffee. I know, I'm not supposed to have coffee anyway, it's not good for you when you're sick, and somehow it doesn't seem right for a sore throat. But I wanted one. So as I'm coming down the stairs, Joan is coming out of her apartment. (She has a cute little red, white and blue GOP elephant thingie on her purse.) I'm guessing she's headed for Monkey Room. Now, I can also get coffee at Frank's Market around the corner, but Monkey Room is better, and also I wanted a toasted bagel with cream cheese. (I know, I know.) And you can't get that at Frank's. So I get out the door and I'm kind of looking behind me to see where she's going. She crossed the street, so I figured I was okay. (I just didn't want to talk to her...I'm sick, okay? My throat hurts. There's a very short list of people I'd actually want to speak to today.) But no! she was just going to the mailbox to drop something off, here she comes. I even made like I was waiting for the bus to see if she was going to Monkey Room. (Look, I really wanted the bagel, okay?) She was. So I had to go to Frank's.
The coffee was okay, but a little watery. No bagel. In the goodie case they had some croissants labeled "apricot." Mmm. If you've ever been to Italy, you've probably had those amazing cornetti with your morning espresso...fresh little croissants with apricot jam filling. So I figured this would be a most acceptable substitute for a bagel, and asked for an apricot croissant. The chick behind the counter looked at me like I was wearing an Easter bonnet. I pointed out that she had croissants in the case labeled "apricot," but she explained that today she had a surplus of regular croissants, and they were in the tray normally reserved for apricot danishes, of which she had none. Alas.
When I came out, Joan was ripping a flyer that said "Send Bush Packing" down from a light pole.
I'm done with Vivaldi and his guitar for now. I've moved on to Montserrat Caballe Sings Rossini, Donizetti & Verdi.
Now it's time to check out the news and see what's going on in the world outside of Washington Heights.