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Wow. Live journal let me log in for the first time in two years. And this.... was all I could think ofnto say.

Picking Weeds

When I was really young, before we moved to East Hampton, we used to live in a town called Selden. We lived about two blocks from my elementary school. To close for the bus to come pick me up, but in Kindergarten and first grade it was too far for me to safely walk by myself. My mom would pick me up every afternoon on her lunch break and then I would go to the daycare center at the racket ball club where she worked.

She always had time to kill, because my school was literally half a block from her job. She used to make small talk with some of the other moms in the carpool lane. Gossiping with the other moms for a half hour or so before zipping us across the street.

I remember there used to be this enormous grassy island between the parking lot and the bus loop. I remember running around it with my friends and picking bouquets of Dandelions and this small white flowers that were ground covers and giving them to my mother. I did it every day for weeks. I felt really really proud of those bundles of weeds. Like I was providing something. Pampering her.

I don't know why those weeds are running through a loop in my mind today but they are.
I can't shake the memory of them.

I've had better days.

Carrot Yam Soup

I wanted to quickly write this recipe down before I forget it.
It was really delicious and required very few ingredients (Plus!) but assembly was kind of a pain (drag!) but it was totally worth it, totally totally worth it. It was delicious, thick, rich, creamy (without cream!) hearty soup that was also healthy. Plus, I am a firm believer of carrots will heal me whatever ails me. It's like an auto-immune cure all.

Dana, has to eat a lot of Yams in the coming months. The only problem is she doesn't really like "sweet" vegetables. Every Yam soup recipe I found added brown sugar, or a lot oh heavy cream which she can tolerate but would rather I not use. I was going to go with once recipe, that involved baking the yams, but, it also involved heavy cream... and in the middle of the process I decided I was going to "go rogue" and just wing it. It's soup right?

Ingredients
1.5 pounds of yams cut into a small 1 inch dice
5 carrots peeled and cup into 2 inch dice
1 medium onion thinly sliced
6 cups (about 48 oz) of vegetable broth
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of tomato past
Salt
Nutmeg


- Put the broth in a small saucepan and heat on a low flame.
- Sautee the diced (sliced) onion in 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot on medium flame until onions are translucent.
- Combine the yams and carrots in a food processor and blend until finely chopped.
- Add the vegetables to the sauteed onions and cook on medium high heat until the vegetables are just soft. About four minuets in a covered pot.
- Add six cups of warm broth and tomato paste to vegtables and bring to a rolling boil, let boil partially uncovered for about 18 minutes
- Add batches of the "soup" to blender, and blend in batches, adding each completed batch back to the pot.
- Add salt and nutmeg to taste. Let simmer.

This soup was seriously amazing.
Even Dana liked it, and she is a soup expert/tough critic... dare I say Natzi...
My one regret was that I didn't make more because I am sick as a dog today and it would really hit the spot. Luckily Dana left the portion I set aside for her lunch in the fridge. Hopefully she won't mind if I eat it.

Right now I'm miserable and waiting for my dayquil to kick in.

I kind of ditched my last meme

I don't remember "What I was saying"... where I was..
I have been trying to do more writing "off blog" lately but, I think that this will be a pretty good exercise if I try to keep it as close to 30 days as possible. I'm going to give it a shot.


Day 01: Write 30 interesting facts about yourself
Day 02: Where you’d like to be in 10 years
Day 03: Your views on drugs and alcohol
Day 04: Your views on religion
Day 05: A time you thought about ending your life
Day 06: Your current relationship, if single discuss how single life is
Day 07: Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality
Day 08: A moment you felt most satisfied with your life
Day 09: What you hope your future will be like
Day 10: Discuss your first love and your first kiss
Day 11: Put your ipod on shuffle and write 10 songs that come up
Day 12: Bullet your whole day
Day 13: Somewhere you’d like to move or visit
Day 14: Your earliest memory
Day 15: Your favorite tumblrs (blogs)
Day 16: Your views on mainstream music
Day 17: Your highs and lows of this past year
Day 18: Your beliefs
Day 19: Disrespecting your parents
Day 20: How important you think education is
Day 21: One of your favorite shows
Day 22: How have you changed in the past 2 years?
Day 23: 5 people you admire
Day 24: Your favorite movie and what it’s about
Day 25: Someone who fascinates you and why
Day 26: What kind of person attracts you
Day 27: A problem that you have had
Day 28: Something that you miss
Day 29: Goals for the next 30 days
Day 30: Your highs and lows of this month

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On days like today

When the world really seems to suck, I try to remind myself that their is so much beauty in this world...




and it will still maul you and try to rip you to shreds.
No matter how many rhinestones you cover yourself in...

This actually feels really good....

This is a letter we received from our liason at the Trevor Project.


Hi Dana,



I've reviewed our text donations coming in on June 28 and we've received 52 since then, which equals $260. There's no accurate way to tell how many you have personally generated in that time, but I'd determine with confidence that the majority are due to your blog since we average 4-6 text donations per day if we haven't specifically posted a call to action about it. So yes, you are making a difference. :-)

Perhaps we could set a goal, which might help encourage people to donate? $1,000? I can provide updates on how close we are to reaching that goal every few days.

Also, not sure if this is helpful, but it costs $15 to answer one call to The Trevor Lifeline. So for fundraising purposes, we often equate $15 to saving one life. When looked at in that perspective, $1,000 would save 66 lives. $260 has already saved 17 lives. :-)



Thanks,

Ryan



Wow. It's not a tremendous amount of money, but it does feel really good that we are going to be able to sponsor about 17 phone calls to the suicide prevention hotline. I guess we are going to keep posting it, until we reach the 1,000 goal.

Please if you haven't taken the time to do so yet (or you want to do it again)

You can text your five dollar donation quickly and simply, using your mobile phone, text: TREVOR to 85944 to donate $5.00 to The Trevor Project. Right now, you can spend your coffee money on making a REAL difference without even having to get up and find your credit card.

or if you would like to make a more substantial donation in Jeffrey's name you can do so at

www.thetrevorproject.org/donate.

I implore all of you to look deep in your heart and donate something. The five dollars in the grand scheme of our lives is not something we will miss, but when put together it can make a world of difference.

Open Letter To Starbucks

This is the open letter I wrote to Starbucks and sent to their Human Resources and Customer Service Department this morning discussing an incident I witnessed yesterday. This man was cruely and visciously fired and humiliated. Then I had to be subjected to the rantings and mocking of him while he was in the bathroom trying to collect himself. It disgusted me that she tried very hard to do things, "By the book" to get away with her obvious homophobia.

Weather he was unjustly fired or not.
If it was because he was gay or not is really not the issue and ultimately can't be proven.
What can be proven and what is undeniable is that his sexuality should not have been mentioned AT ALL.
Something should be done about the fact that it was. I am posting it in here but I ask that people also leave a comment on the word press blog, the link we sent directly to the Starbucks headquarters in the hopes it will drawn attention to just how many people are offended by this reprehensible behavior.

Please forward the wordpress link and comment. Every little bit will help, honestly...
I didn't sleep last night after witnessing it. I'm sure if you had been there you would have been equally offended.



Dear Starbucks,

I am writing this letter to you as a loyal customer with concerns. I know probably 90% of the letters you receive trying to solicit something from you probably start the same way, but this is different. When I say, I am a loyal customer I mean you have had me for the better part of my adult life, hook, line and sinker. I will spend the extra $2.50 for a cup of your coffee. When I worked in Hoboken I would walk an extra three blocks for your coffee, walking past a Dunkin Donuts, Panera, Macdonalds and two bodegas to purchase from you. Every morning I drink my coffee out of one of your ceramic mugs and I have for years. A dozen of them line my shelves, (even the poorly conceived “Father’s Day” argyle mugs from 2005 that have metal bottoms which means I can’t pop it in the microwave to reheat) I only buy Starbucks for my home consuption. When you roll out a new product, I flock to your nearest location like a moth to a flame. I mourned the loss of the Chantico and I even rushed out to try that banana mocha abomination (a match made in hell) blindly following your suggestions like a lemming. I know, and speak your “lingo” that grates on me like nails on a chalk board and is sometimes so complicated I feel like I speak a second language. I even, as much as I am ashamed to admit it, buy most of the adult contemporary CDs you peddle in the front of the store. By the time I reach the front of the line somehow the newest James Taylor CD or whatever swing jazz collection you put together seems like something I can no longer live without. I am your disciple. I am part of the Starbucks machine. I am your dream customer because whatever your company puts into the market, I have and I would have continued to buy. I never felt bad about my commitment to your chain either because I felt like you were a company that was ethically sound. Your commitment to free trade, The Starbucks Charitable Foundation, your appearance as a diverse work environment. These are all things that I as a customer felt good about. I felt like I was supporting a company that although huge, I felt you were doing your best to “do good” and leave a positive mark on the world.

That was the case, until yesterday.
Which is why I am writing to you today.
The sentiments above, about me being a loyal customer were not written to solicit anything from you. I do not want free coffee or a refund. I ask, as a loyal customer for the past 15 years that I have your attention. Your time and consideration.

Yesterday when I walked into your Centereach, Long Island location I saw one of the most brazen and unapologetic displays of homophobia I have ever witnessed in my entire life. What was most concerning about it was it was perpetuated by not one, not two but THREE of your employees and it was directed towards a fourth employee. I don’t know this man, but I know his name is Jeffrey because the woman (who seemed to be in charge of this circus) loudly scolded, spoke to in a condescending manner, humiliated, and then let go. In the middle of your store. Two feet away from my table. Then when Jeffrey, who was visibly shaken went to the bathroom to collect him self, the women at the table went on a long, ranting homophobic rant that lasted about five minutes. This rant transpired two feet away from my table where I sat with my daughter. A three year old child, with two mothers. I have never, in my entire life seem such a gross and unapologetic display of ignorance and intolerance. The most horrific aspect of it was that it was by someone that your corporation put into a position of power. I have never, ever in ANY context seen ANYTHING so unprofessional in my entire life. I was horrified that my daughter was exposed to that.

The whole incident spanned about 15-20 minuets. It looked like it was a sit down discussion about something that had happened in the store, an earlier problem. What that was, I couldn’t be certain. I do know however, the fact that Jeffery’s sexuality was brought into the conversation (and it obviously was for me to know about it) is inappropriate. The woman (Who I will refer to going forward as the “Manager” although she may have been someone from Human Resources) spoke to him in a sharp condescending manner. She told him that they were not interested in his politics or beliefs and his thoughts were down right offensive to his co-workers. They did not want to hear about his personal life. When Jeffrey pointed out that they ALL talked about their personal lives (during the course of the conversation I learned that the manager had a daughter that went to tennis camp and another one of the women had a birthday coming up so the irony and the hypocrisy of that statement was mind blowing.) That his beliefs were not welcome at Starbucks. She went on, an on and on talking about leadership building workshops where she learned to “Keep it to herself” (again I will remind you of tennis camp). She was even so condescending to tell him,

“It might not be today, it might not be tomorrow, but ten years from now you will thank me for this…”

For what? For for letting him go for speaking about his personal life? For learning to put up with bigotry in the work place?

She kept reminding him, “You are not fired but….” as if to say, you are not fired but you are really not welcome here anymore. I assume this was a clever HR move so he would not be able to collect unemployment. He told her that he felt like he was being FORCED to leave because he felt like the “problems” at that location were not being addressed and the workplace had turned into a hostile environment. She in turn told him that if he was not, “Part of the solution, he was the problem.”and his two weeks notice would not be needed. He asked if he would be marked by the corporation as “un-hireable”

She smugly looked at him and said,

“Well I don’t know. It’s not looking good for you.”

Basically threatening his professional future.

Know, I am not going to swear by what the original confrontation was. I only heard bits and pieces, but I know that worker was attacked and humiliated on the middle of your shop floor. I don’t care what his offense was, that sort of business should be conducted in a back room. I also know, the “manager” was not willing to listen to him and personally attacked him several times with snide, condescending comments. Telling him, in the subtext of her words that he was “Less than” and his personal belief system was no longer welcome at the shop.

The event got more horrific, when he, who had kept his composure through the entire incident, not once raising his voice despite being attacked, got up from the table to go to the bathroom to cry in private.

Then the three women turned on him like Vultures.

“I’m done. I’m done. Nobody wants to hear it anymore. I don’t care who he is dating. I don’t want to hear about it.”

“He should not get upset at the things people say to him. He should be used to it. It’s not like he turned gay yesterday.”

“I used to listen to it, now I’m just sick of hearing about it.”

“Nobody does, but it’s over now. You won’t have to hear about it anymore.”

It went on, and on and on.

The focus of their discussion then when he left the table, was not about an incident that occurred in the previous days. It was about how they were intolerant to his lifestyle, nobody wanted to hear about the fact that he was gay, they didn’t want to be exposed to that. The focus was not about his poor performance as an employee but their intolerance towards him as a person. I sat at there at my table with the impression that,

This man, this Starbucks employee was losing his job, because he was gay.

Whether that was the case or not. Whatever Jeffrey’s offense might have been… that is how one of your loyal customers perceived the events as they transpired based on the actions and the statements of your “manager”. She was bigoted, intolerant, insensitive and no matter how upset she was at Jeffrey, her comments and sentiments should not have been overheard by one of your customers, gay or not.

So I guess the biggest irony is, that nobody in the Starbucks that afternoon wanted to hear her politics, the very thing she was scolding Jeffrey for.

When Jeffrey returned from the bathroom she asked him for his keys. She was pretending to be sensitive and offered him her card if he needed to talk. Which disgusted me because, she was anything but concerned for his well being.

I followed Jeffery out of the store horrified by what I had just witnessed.
I said to him, “That was unreal. That was “bullshit” and I was so sorry.
He walked away at first, then he approached me and said, “Thank you.”
I hugged him and he said,

“I came to this company because I thought it was supposed to be better. I thought that it was a positive and tolerant work place to work. I was passed over for promotions, they hired from the outside, I fought against their vendetta. I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t have a chance here.”

I hugged him again.
Disgusted that something so ugly, so cruel could happen in this day in age in America and that the perpetrator was basically patting herself on the back. Not caring that she had not only destroyed this man’s life, but that she also humiliated him and threatened his future. She was going to sleep soundly that night. She was going to get away with her gross display of how disgusting one human can be to another if they have a position of power and slap a fake smile across their face.

I walked away from Jeffrey and I started to cry. At how cruel we can still be to each other. How awful I felt for him. I strapped my daughter into her car seat and I thought about how in this society we are so self congratulating as we scream to the rafters promising our children,

“It gets better!”

I found myself wondering, “Better than what?”
What I saw on that Starbucks floor was pretty awful.

I have had friends tell me, to boycott. I have had other friends tell me that Starbucks is a positive and tolerant corporation. The latter has always been my impression. I don’t think this is how Starbucks wants themselves represented. However, I think you should be aware of the people who you currently have representing you and the way they are doing it. I am hoping by bringing this to your attention, you will do the right thing. As you can tell by the tone of my letter I am not a political activist. I am not militant and I do not have an axe to grind nor am I looking for a soap box. I’m pretty boring to be quite honest with you. I do not even march in pride parades and I swear I own not a single thing that has a rainbow on it. I don’t celebrate my diversity, That’s simply not the type of person that I am. In fact, I’m more the type to wallow in how mediocre I am. I am an average American who just so happens to be gay. I live my life, I raise my family and I hope to also leave a mark on this world that is positive. I do not like seeing anyone hurt, abused and degraded. I know that should go without saying, a sentiment akin to “All babies should be fed.” but after yesterday, and what I witnessed, I feel like it has to be said.

I want to still be able to walk into a Starbucks with my head held high. I want to drink your drinks, speak your code and even buy your newest record releases, even though they make me feel middle aged and unhip… and feel good about it.

I want you to restore my faith that you are the company I always thought you were.
Please don’t let this incident go unnoticed. Do something, anything you can to make this right. Please protect your (former) employee. Take a step, and take action to protect basic human dignity. To protect equal rights and equality. Please do something. I don’t want you to lose my business forever.

A loyal customer,
Melissa Donatuti – Alison
631- xxx-xxxx

http://networkedblogs.com/j5iD7

Jun. 1st, 2011

Let me start this post by talking about what a lunatic my child is acting like.
She is going through kind of a nudist phase. Whenever I turn my back for thirty seconds I turn around and she is naked. It's gotten to be a problem, I mean not a real ACTUAL problems but, it's crazy.

Like she will come up to me and say, "Pick a snack, pick a snack!"
So I will go into her snack cabinet to get something for her and when I turn around she is stark naked, wearing nothing but a grin, arms outstretched doing jazz hands, and singing...

"Ta-da!"

Like she has just done an amazing magic trick.
Then I have to chase after her to put her panties back on while she runs circles around me.
She also is going through this wild hair phase because whenever we put her hair in a ponytail she yanks it out and fluffs it up. So I feel like I'm chasing around Mowgli.

We have come to an understanding that panties are not optional. She can hang out in just panties, but she has to keep the panties on. She respects this, 90% of the time.

Just now she grabbed pots and pans off of her play kitchen and started banging them together chanting for juice. It's pretty loud because the frying pan is a REAL frying pan. It's mini but it could be used to cook an egg. A gimmick that appeals to some parents I guess. It's actually good quality, better quality than any of our real frying pans. Anyway she is banging them, running in circles chanting...

"Juice! Juice! Juice!"

So I get up to fill her sippy cup full of juice and all of a sudden I hear a loud

"WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!"

I turn around and she is naked (took off the panties en route to the kitchen) and hoisting the frying pan over her head and slamming it with all of her might into the sliding glass door in the kitchen. The door that faces our crazy landlords yard.

"Lily!"

"Whack!"

"What are you doing?!?! Are you crazy!!!???"

"Mommy I'm making music!"

"No you, are making an eviction notice!"

"A vision not is? I'm making a vision not is mommy!"

All I could think about was if my crazy landladies were in the yard (they always are) by the fence. That they would see this naked child with wild hair banging a frying pan against a glass door. I'm sure social services will be here any second.

My child is a savage.

That's all I could think, when she grabbed her juice and pranced her naked heiny back into the living room.

"My child is a savage."

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People are strange

Creepozoid.

The Stats/ My guests feature is totally weird.
I check it from time to time and I never think it is odd when people on my friends list check into my blog.

However there is one guy, who I haven't even spoken to in ten years (and who I know for a fact hates me) who checks in on a kind of regular basis. Honestly it's creepy for me. I haven't spoken to this guy in forever - not since I was living in Patchogue the FIRST time in my early 20's. Before I moved to Brooklyn. Before Jersey. Before Patchogue redux... etc. I mean ZERO contact. Why would we talk? He hates me, we were constantly irritated by each other.

It's just weird.
I didn't even KNOW he had an LJ until I saw his little icon pop up on my visitors feed the first time I ever checked my visitors feed. He is often in my top 10 most recent visitors - which shows he checks it pretty frequently. I did a little research and I saw that he only uses his own LJ a couple of times a year. Let me be clear I only went to his site once. So is his account just for stalking purposes? I'm not flattering myself to think that he has an LJ account to lurk me but I'm sure if he is lurking me he is lurking on others.

I understand that people read random people's journals. I have done it casually, or I have browsed the friends of friends feeds but I usually only read the blogs of people I LIKE or I like what they have to say... also I wouldn't lurk. I usually introduce myself one way or another and eventually friend them.

To just lurk on someone's blog that you hate - on a regular almost basis is totally weird and creepy.
Double the creep factor when you realize that my journal has been pretty much private for the better part of a year but he still keeps visiting.
It also kind of reaffirmed the things about him that annoyed me.

Honestly though - it's been over a decade -

GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON!!!
We never had a fight that I can remember. I think he knew that I found him annoying and that he HATED me. Whatever. I can't believe that after this long he hasn't been able to let it go.

FYI: I am making this post friends only as well because I don't want to give him the satisfaction of reading this and feeling justified in his continued stalking of my journal. I don't want to feed whatever grudge this is that he has created in his brain.