August 20th, 2004

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No, I really AM Ted Kennedy!

From the NY Times:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 - The meeting had all the hallmarks of an ordinary Congressional hearing. There was Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, discussing the problems faced by ordinary citizens mistakenly placed on terrorist watch lists. Then, to the astonishment of the crowd attending a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Mr. Kennedy offered himself up as Exhibit A.

Between March 1 and April 6, airline agents tried to block Mr. Kennedy from boarding airplanes on five occasions because his name resembled an alias used by a suspected terrorist who had been barred from flying on airlines in the United States, his aides and government officials said.

Instead of acknowledging the craggy-faced, silver-haired septuagenarian as the Congressional leader whose face has flashed across the nation's television sets for decades, the airline agents acted as if they had stumbled across a fanatic who might blow up an American airplane. Mr. Kennedy said they refused to give him his ticket.

"He said, 'We can't give it to you'," Mr. Kennedy said, describing an encounter with an airline agent to the rapt audience. " 'You can't buy a ticket to go on the airline to Boston.' I said, 'Well, why not?' He said, 'We can't tell you.' "

"Tried to get on a plane back to Washington," Mr. Kennedy continued. '' 'You can't get on the plane.' I went up to the desk and said, 'I've been getting on this plane, you know, for 42 years. Why can't I get on the plane?' "

The hearing room erupted in laughter....


Whole story here.

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Personally, I want to see the camera recording of this...
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    amused amused
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Do The Right Thing

So I spent from 9 to 2 up in Sandy Springs visiting the senior community I might be doing a web site for...

...and come back a Downtown that was like Do The Right Thing -- LIVE!

This is the scene:

I'm up the Peachtree Center MARTA escalator. I see a group of white tourists frowning over the area map in the station entrance. As I get to the top I see this black guy there and they ask for help getting to the MLK Memorial. The guy offers a couple of options -- walking 7 blocks down Auburn or taking the train to MLK station. I pause for a second to helpfully offer that they might snag the bus on Auburn since it's awefully hot out.

Well, I should have saved it because I am, of course, a racist pig. The guy stiffens up and snarls at me: "YES, you COULD do that, but don't mind her because all these WHITE PEOPLE are always trying to keep us black folk from mixing with the tourists." I walk off as he is starting on some other comment about me being "racist fool" -- so I turn around and shout (yes, shout) at the guy: "You know, I happen to LIVE here TOO and I like to HELP visitors!" I should have added, "Unlike you, who will probably ask for a HANDOUT for your 'help," which will probably get these people LOST!"

So I walk off pissed that suggesting bus usage is a capital offense.

THEN I get near the corner of Poplar and Forsyth, where I'm going to cross. Right as I get to the corner I almost run into this particularly crazy old mentally ill woman who wanders around shouting. Then right behind her, standing in the middle of the street is this huge black man who would scare some people but who I just ignore since I *know* what he wants. He doesn't disappoint: "Have some money for food?" he asks. I say no because I always say no because if I always said yes all the street people in town would have a full supply of cigarettes and alcohol, which is what they spend the money on.

ANYWAY, I walk past but as I'm cross Forsyth I hear this SHOUTING. Naturally I assume this is some other street person having a fit or yelling about God, but no, this is Quickie, the manager of the bar on Poplar Street and he's RUNNING up the street screaming at the man who's out there asking for money. Quickie is this very short Italian guy and he's there yelling "Get the fuck OUT of here! You have been begging all day and bothering people ALL DAY, ALL WEEK, and I am fucking sick of it, so get the fuck out! You can't just stand in the middle of the street. You're going to cause a fucking accident! I'm going to call the fucking cops!" Robert de Niro could not manage as good a performance as Quickie. I feel like sending him fan mail. Or at least going to the bar tonight.

I got back in my building relieved to escape. Damn, it must be hot out.
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    angry angry
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The retirement community

Oh! And aside from the rude homecoming, my day has been pretty good. I got all dressed up in a suit for my client apppointment... which I ended up late to due to big confusion over the pick-up at the MARTA station... but which went well anyway. I don't know if they're going to choose me but I hope they do. Not only is it a big money contract but I really like the project.

And I loved visiting the place, which is a 300-unit independent living community. Sue, a board member and my original contact for the job, took me up to visit her mother Mary afterward and we had lunch in the very nice dining room. It was like a restaurant except everybody was old, which is great since I love old people. I get on very well with the elderly, no doubt because I spent a ton of time with them as a child, especially when my grandmother lived in a place like I visited. Mary's condo looked more like mine than most of my neighbors -- very old fashioned "clutered" place, comfortable, antiques. Mary was 91 and although a slow walker, complete "with it" and still enjoying her ice cream. She's onle on two prescription drugs, which is better than I can say! I hope I get to go back there again. A 1/2 day of taking pictures of the garden, pool, etc., would be fun.
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    blah blah
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(no subject)

I was reading the Wikipedia for the Sistine Chapel when I came across this rather naive line:

"Michelangelo used male models, even for the females, because female models were more rare and costly than male ones."

Somehow I think it was more because using male models meant he'd get to see their precious nekkid male bodies, which all over the ceiling are glorified like hell, even if some of them are supposed to be women.