I'm in about the same place as the Seestergirl. I'm doing my best to clean this house so that no one having dinner and a beer here tomorrow night gets thoroughly grossed out by the dust bison that are collecting in corners of the rooms from a dog, two cats, a four-year-old, and Dan and me tracking through our own place on a regular basis. So there is all kinds of random crap going through my head as I'm doing all the sweeping, mopping, and disinfecting.
Just got an email from my Queens synagogue's listserve concerning these events last month. It seems that my friends and former neighbors, as residents of the borough of Queens, are now living in a disaster area. Yep, those whose places are now damaged and/or flooded out from the events of August 8th can now head to a FEMA Disaster Assistance Service Center in Flushing to demand money from the guv'mint for their losses. Good luck to all of you. You will surely need it. I'm not kidding.
Speaking of recovery funds from the government, a fellow dog parker informed me this morning that she and her boyfriend are now ready to start their renovations. After receiving a Winding Goat Path Home "gold letter" similar to what Mominem got...down to the dollar amount they were entitled to...they appealed the decision and got their money, which was deposited in a new joint account by the state. My friend informed me that not only do they have a travel trailer they themselves purchased from a dealer, since they want to avoid the FEMA formaldehyde fumes, but that they are transferring their money from the state to yet another account in the event the state decides to take back those funds. The things folks are doing to preserve themselves and their quasi-sanity. And, in my neighborhood, when I say quasi-sanity, I mean it. I'm not kidding.
I thought about a little something that Ray posted this past week. I have two words for him:
Okay, a few more words. Prejudices against Jewish folks in the form of overt discrimination such as restricted hotels and quotas at colleges that limited Jewish enrollment, and covert discrimination most everywhere else, gave rise to folks like Arnold Rothstein, Ben "Bugsy" Siegel, Meyer Lansky, "Pittsburgh Phil" Strauss, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, and other charming folks with great nicknames. Yeah, a good number of these infamous crooks were sick in the head and even sicker with their nefarious doings. But the intriguing thing about a number of the lesser known gangsters is that, if they had families, they made it a point to conceal their business from their children. Many of them still had ties to the Jewish community's institutions and even helped in whatever way they could with the early years of Israeli statehood (mostly in terms of supplying money, guns, and ammo to the folks fighting the Arabs and trying to help displaced persons from the European concentration camps break through the British blockade of Palestine's borders) . The difference between these folks and your basic petty criminal is that, though they embraced a life of crime for themselves, they wanted better for their children and put themselves in a position to get it, no matter how illegal. These folks still had some semblance of hope. Where is the hope for the future in the actions of the poor today? That despair is what we have created and institutionalized, and what we all must work hard to change.
After reading this, I've got a few books for folks to read:
The Provincials and The Lonely Days Were Sundays, Eli Evans
The Jew Store, Stella Suberman
Troubled Memory, Lawrence Powell
New Orleans, Carol Flake
The Temple Bombing, Melissa Fay Greene
anything by Harry Golden
The South can put Jewish people between a rock and a hard place. Even today. I am really not kidding about this.
Things in the local City Council-At-Large race are getting pretty bad. The other day, Dan nearly got Justin to run, but he balked at the qualifying fees involved. When Dan left for work a couple of days ago, he kissed me goodbye and said, "Let me know if I'm running for City Council." I thought about it. I really did. Dan's commute would most certainly be one hell of a lot better. Too late now, though, unless everyone wants to do a write-in campaign. I would advocate doing a write-in on the ballot for this lady, however. If they won't give you paper at the polls, write it with a Sharpie on the voting machine. Would I kid you? Don't answer that...
This Saturday, I will officially become a soccer mom. The little guy starts soccer games then. He has some stylin' silver and black Adidas cleats that I couldn't resist, some little shin guards, and his kicking feet all ready to roll. He even volunteered to mop the floor just now. There's nothing like seeing my kid with a sponge mop Murphy's Oil Soap-ing the floor as best he can. I hope the guests will take note of that gorgeous floor, because I will be doubly proud. The floor is clean - and my guy had his hands in it. He is truly growing like a weed.
I kid you not.