What can I add?

I’ve been reading response after response to the bombings in Boston yesterday. Among the more moving was this blog post from a Boston runner, and of course actor Patton Oswalt’s Facebook post. I also liked the message NY [heart] B flashed up on the walls of BAM, and how they used the Yankees typeface for the “NY”, and the Red Sox typeface for the “B”. Referencing the long standing and ongoing sports battle between our two cities made it especially poignant to me (and they sent us a similar message on 9/11).

I again came across the cart I posted a photograph of the other day. This time the cart was closer to home and a cat was inside.

Jesus Christ, What Happened to America?

I just read this op-ed about Guantanamo Bay. Like so many other awful things I feel helpless to change, I’d stopped thinking about Guantanamo Bay. Obama said he was going to shut it down, and I was deeply disappointed when he didn’t.

I mean, mother of God, read this op-ed. What the hell are we doing?? If after all these years you don’t have enough evidence to put them on trial, let them go. This is just plain immoral and wrong and sinful, and frankly, if one of the issues of releasing them is that it would be admitting that they were wrongly held and therefore would make us vulnerable to lawsuits, then we should stand trial. We are supposed to be better than this.

I saw the movie 42 over the weekend. One of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Kirby Higbe, was traded when he refused to play alongside Jackie Robinson. In the movie they have Higbe complaining about being traded for speaking his mind. Without a shred of irony, he laments about what has happened to America, that America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Who knows if he ever really said this, but it represents a sort of blindness to injustice that still exists.

A picture of a coming storm. I took this while walking through Union Square.

Affordable Cruelty-Free Products

I just saw the most horrible animal testing photograph involving cats, it was on Facebook. In the text underneath it said that Clinique was among the companies who tested on animals. I use Clinique for some things because I thought they didn’t test on animals and apparently they do. I checked the latest list, and almost none of the major brands are cruelty free. Ah, it’s because China requires animal testing and if companies want to sell in China they have to test on animals. Well, to hell with that. I understand that’s a big market to give up, but again, to hell with that.

Now I have to find affordable cruelty-free alternatives. Fortunately, it looks like most of the things I use are cruelty free, just out of sheer luck. The main things I need to find are moisturizers, both for the face and body. It looks like finding something for the face won’t be too hard, although all the nice affordable drugstore brands are not cruelty-free, alas. Two products I’ve used in the past are cruelty-free, MD Skincare (not cheap) and Avalon (more affordable). But tracking down a good, affordable body moisturizer is going to be more of a challenge. Any recommendations?

I saw this unattended cart with a cat carrier on top while walking back home from my last oral surgery (I need to walk, it shakes off the horror from the surgery). There was no cat inside.

I think I’m Going To Have to Sit Out (or Nap Out) Grilled Cheese Day

Because I’m very very very tired. I am so tired I barely have energy to post. I’m so tired I’m going to miss a grilled cheese event where I think I’d get to sample all different types of grilled cheese sandwiches for a mere $15. But I’ve been cleaning and scrubbing for a week now. I need to curl up with a good book. Plus, it’s raining. And it’s cold again.

The windows of shoe repair shops are always among my favorite window displays. They’re usually extremely dusty because 20 years ago someone threw some old shoes that no one wanted anymore along with a few other semi-related objects in the window and it hasn’t been changed since. They’re like the Natural History Museum displays of shoe repair. With neon.

Shoe Repair Shop, New York City

The Magnolias are in Bloom

Although the most magnificent magnolia tree, the one in the yard at Grace Church, is not blooming yet. The ones below were in Union Square. Glorious, isn’t it? That’s New York City, folks.

It was so nice to get out of the house yesterday. We had the soloists and a few members from the orchestra joining us last night. Everyone was amazing, but I have to say something about the countertenor, Christopher Ainslie. Normally, I find countertenors a little jarring, but Christopher Ainslie had one of the most stunningly beautiful voices, I was mesmerized. Everyone was. My friends sitting behind me hit my chair afterwards so we could all gush about him. He’s going to be famous. Plus he’s gorgeous. Always helps. Seriously though, remember that name. Someone make a movie that requires a countertenor in the starring role and put him in it.

Also, last night the oboe player gave us a mini-talk about the oboe d’amore, the oboe of love. Then she played a snippet from Ravel’s Bolero and we all recognized the sound immediately. Isn’t it great that there’s an instrument called the oboe of love? What can I name similarly? The cats! From now on, whenever I come home I’m going to call out, “I missed you, my cats d’amore!”

Magnolia Tree, Union Square, New York City