Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who Is At Fault?

I just read in the paper that a local bar, Fuze Box, has been ordered to pay a drunk driving victim $550,000 in compensation.  He was not a patron but was a victim of a patron of the bar.  Said patron was over served and made the CHOICE to get into his shiny Lexus and rear end a car unlucky enough to be on the road at the same time of night.  The victim suffered multiple injuries to his neck and spine and has had to have surgeries to repair the damage.  He did not have any choice in these events, but half a million dollars is certain to make him feel better.

But whose fault is drunk driving?  Is it the bouncer who let in the patron (who was apparently visibly intoxicated)?  Is it the bar tender who continued to serve him?  Is it his friends who should have taken the keys? Is it the alcohol manufacturer for making something that has the potential to do damage to others?  Or is it the person who chose to make a bad choice?

Usually I would agree that ultimately you are the only person truly responsible for your own behavior, but... Alcoholism is a disease.  You really can't pick and choose how it affects you.  Drug addiction (though also preventable) is a disease.  Nobody wants their body to be ravaged by crystal meth.  Sexual assault victims are not responsible when they are intoxicated.  They are so incapacitated that they can't consent.

So who is responsible for drunk driving?  There are commercials and bill boards to remind us to make smart choices.  There are check points to find those that should not be on the road.  There are laws that attempt to make the roads safer. 

Who is responsible:  the media, the police, lawmakers, the individual?  Certainly not the bar owners.  Just as simply as blaming McDonald's for the childhood obesity epidemic and for putting toys in the Happy Meal.  It doesn't make any sense.  And after this verdict, how many other bars are next?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

End of Year

I have reversed roles this week and sit here right now watching my students teach.  They eagerly signed up and prepared something to share with their peers.  Some of their lessons have taught us to dance, play charades, and complete an online crossword puzzle.  Still others reviewed Math and English, and others simply have presented information on a topic of interest to them.  Some lessons were highly involved and others borrowed from the Internet.  They have proudly stood at the front of the room and echoed many of the phrases that I use daily.  As I smile and think that at least they have learned something; I can't help but think about everything that they don't know.

They don't understand that a free lunch isn't really free.  They have never considered that the free education  guaranteed to them is such a privilege.  They don't understand that a birthday does not always guarantee that cupcakes will magically appear.  Or that next year the free field trips that they have always taken for granted may not be available.  Their sixth grade teacher might not have an endless supply of pencils, paper, pens, folders, notebooks, and patience.  I hope they value the time they spend at school and don't just consider it a mid-day meeting place of friends.

In ten years, they will be paying for their education, or earning their lunch, or some of them,  likely will be taking care of someone who is sitting in a classroom thinking about the end of the year.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rockin' On the River

Hi Friends!  Rockin' On the River returns tomorrow in Troy with the world's greatest 80's cover band:  Aquanett!!  Grab your teasing comb, ripped jeans and belly shirts and come out from 5-8 pm to enjoy some tasty beverages on the deck at Ryan's Wake, a pretzel with honey mustard from Brown's, and some great music.  If they kick it off with The Final Countdown, you know it will be an amazing set.  Stay tuned, they usually play three!

Oh, and Friends, best of all?  It's Free...

Check out the link for the rest of the summer lineup:  http://troyny.gov/mayor/Tutunjian/2011pressreleases/060711summerevents.pdf

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hey Dads!

I love the movie Grease!  I love the songs, I love the Pink ladies, and I love Kinicki.  I don't mind John Travolta (in that movie anyway) either.  When I was in college it was my go to late night movie and my go to fall asleep during the day movie.  (We didn't have cable...)  And though there were many memorable lines and lessons, my favorite comes from Frenchie when she tells Sandy that the "only guy a girl can rely on is her daddy."

So true!  Happy Father's Day to all of you dads, grandads, step dads, and god dads.  Thanks for aways being there when we need you.  And don't ever go away because we are never too old to not rely on you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011



Today in honor of Flag Day, I gave my students the Citizenship Test that those not lucky enough to be born in the USA take to ensure that they can stay in this great country.  There are some basic government questions and identification of places like the White House, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.  New citizens must also recognize and identify the basic rights they are about the earn and how to become an informed voter.  Lastly, the students were asked to write out the Pledge of Allegiance that they say, like clockwork, every morning.

Having been born United States citizens we don't have to earn our ticket to stay, we don't have to prove that we are worthy of such an honorary undertaking, and we don't have to give back our citizenship when we fail to pass the basic Citizenship test.  (Lucky for my 5th graders!) We are automatically given the right to free speech, education, assembly, fire and police protection.  We take for granted the troops that keep us safe, borrowing library books, mailing letters, free lunch, and any other social service that we might unfortunately fall prey too. 

We are citizens, we have earned it.  As citizens we should be thankful every day for the rights that were bestowed upon us with our first breath.  At the very least we should acknowledge our responsibility for keeping those rights.  Right?

Well, as we know our country also bestows upon its citizens the right to freedom of religion.  You can worship any (or no) god that you choose.  You can attend religiously your faith's services, enjoy the customs of your culture, and rest assured that no one will tell you which denomination to align yourself with.  You can also choose not to do any of those things and define spirituality in your own way.  You are a citizen.  It's your right.

Some citizen believers might choose a different path.  They might make it their life's work to covert you.   They might knock on your door and ask you to explain your beliefs.  They might leave reading material for you to "consider".  They might send their children to public school and tell them not to acknowledge the flag, national holidays, the Constitution, or even their own birth.

Why is it ok for some citizens to reap all of the benefits but refuse to be patriotic?  Why can they have the same unalienable rights as the rest of us but turn their backs on the country that makes their freedom possible?  If they are so devout, why can they not swear their allegiance to the United States before god?  Why can they refuse to complete a cause and effect assignment simply because there is a flag in the corner? 

Why?  Because our Constitution grants them that right.  What an oxymoron... Please pass me a cupcake as I sing Happy 234th Birthday to our Flag!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What a Weiner!


Anthony Weiner
1.  's wife is three months pregnant with their first child and is a close friend and advisor to Hillary Clinton.  She has been described as the Clinton's other daughter. No wonder he went to Bill for advice!
2.  's wife is a devout Muslim. She must really be loving all the juicy good news!
3.  has admitted to email correspondence with a 17-year old female from Delaware and was being treated for sexting at home.  Isn't home where all of this started?
4.  was granted by Congress a leave of absence to treat his obsessions.  Is giving him even more free time a good idea?
5.  should resign and return home to divorce papers and his rotary phone...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What's the Deal with Weiner?

What's the deal with this downstate Congressman?  Tweeting a picture of himself in droopy boxer briefs that were clearly in need of a good scrubbing.  Really?

It's not enough that you are an elected official?  It's not enough that you have a new wife, six figure salary and live in an upscale New York City neighborhood?  Nope you have to send illicit photos of yourself to young women half a country away to make yourself feel important. 

Wake up from cyber space, Anthony! You are 46 years old, skinny, balding, and your last name is Weiner.   I think it is going to take a lot more than a couple of tweets to impress some young "co-eds".  They walk over underpants that actually fit their "dates" nightly.  And probably make a few bucks in the process.  Not like the money they are going to make from you though...



Hi Friends!  I just left the best sale at Macy's in a long time.  Almost EVERY sandal, open toe, and strappy shoe is on sale.  And if you buy one pair you get an additional 15% off.  Buy two pairs and you get 20% off.  Or be like me and snag three pairs (1 fancy and 2 casual) and score an additional 30% off.  I saved over $83.00. 

Hello Summer...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Good Morning

There are two things that I love about mornings:  wake up sex cuddling and breakfast.  Since my mom reads this blog I will leave the first love to your dirty little imaginations and touch upon the second. 

I am a breakfast person.  I can eat bagels, donuts, cereal, eggs, juice and tea at any time during the day.  I love Bloody Marys with olives, Mimosas with extra champagne, and Poinsettias with rasberry cranberry juice.  Scones, cinnamon rolls, and muffins always have a place on my plate. I have also been known on occasion to eat cold pizza, french fries with gravy, and fountain soda as my first meal and call it breakfast.  I think about what I will have for breakfast as soon as I wake up.  I often think about what I will have for breakfast before I drift off to sleep.  And even more often I think about what I will have for breakfast (the next day) while eating breakfast (that day.)  It is just a meal that makes me feel good and I refuse to miss it.

The best breakfasts, though, are made by someone else.  They are served on trays, in white dishes, and come with strawberry jam and home-made biscuits.  Think buttery scrambled eggs, fluffy pancakes with syrup, and perfectly fried over medium eggs.  Rye toast cooked on both sides please!  Pass the bacon, ham, and sausage patties!  Top it all of with some home fries and I may need a moment...

Going out to breakfast is the best of both worlds:  you get the best meal of the day served to you and there are no dishes to clean up afterward.  Sure it costs you some cash, but that is why you invite your husband, father, or single best friend.  They will always offer to pay.  Nobody likes mornings, but breakfast makes them all a little more enjoyable.

Top three:  Hash brown Casserole at Cracker Barrel, Cinnamon Roll French Toast at Manory's, and the Fried Egg and Cheese on a Hard roll at Bob's Diner.

Good Mornings!


Friday, June 3, 2011


I sometimes take a long time to make a decision.  I think about it, talk about, think about it some more and usually come to my conclusion early in the morning when I want to fall back asleep but have already started thinking about that thing that I have to make a decision about.  I am usually happy with the decision and will go on with my life until I have to think about another one.

Other people, however, don't seem to put as much thought into their decisions.  Take for example, my old high school and their storied basketball program.  I was a spectator to a pretty unique and extraordinary era.  Our coach was the best.  He yelled and screamed and entertained us as much as his players.  And we yelled and screamed and watched in awe as his "Mob" won Colonial Council championships, Sectional titles, State titles, and even a Federation title.  People used to refer to the Glens Falls Civic Center as our "home away from home."  There was never a question about the teams Coach Mardigan fielded.  They were tough, they were prepared, and they were going to win.  There was also never a question about who was in charge.  He was legendary.

When it came time for Coach to retire and enter the Hall of Fame, there was also never a question as to who would take over.  It was obviously going to be a member of his staff, who had played under Coach, scouted for Coach, coached under Coach, and deserved his shot.  And without question, and any Varsity experience, he was given the job.

Flash forward five years.  We are again in need of a new coach.  The decision is obvious, right?  Wrong, the decision is completely wrong.

They have decided to go in a different direction.  They have hired a coach from a different class, from a private school.  A coach with little knowledge of the kids, and no connection to the community.  He may as well be from another planet.  He is of course counting on the community remembering that he graduated from the high school, which so did I so I guess that would partially qualify me for the job.  He played hoop, graduated, and left.  Just like so many others.  Except the rest of the staff that played under Coach, scouted for Coach, coached under Coach, and deserve their shot.

The administration has overlooked the best candidate for the job because of what they claim is a lack of experience.  A candidate who teaches these kids every day, has coached every one of them on their rise to the Varsity level, and who is fully vested in his community.  Its really ridiculous that age counts as experience and not the actually coaching itself.

Even more unbelievable is the fact the our Hall of Fame coach, the only coach in Section II to win a Federation title, a coach with 546 victories, wants to come back to the court that is named for him.  Somehow he isn't qualified either.  But I guess logic isn't the direction in which they are moving.