Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Letter from Claverack June 30th, 2017 Beginning the weekend of the 4th…

July 1, 2017

At some point, I decided this was the year I was going to get over my fear of grilling.  Last night, I grilled a steak using a Bobby Flay recipe.  And asparagus on the grill: c’est magnifique!  Put the spears in a plastic bag with olive oil, salt, pepper, a couple other spices and grilled them for three minutes on high.  I’m hooked.


So today I went to the market and got boneless pork chops and was going to broil them about half an hour ago but thunder rattled the house and rain fell from the skies.  My mouth turned down.  However, the sun has returned and I am going to try it, pork chops on the grill.

It is Friday, June 30th, as I write, the beginning of the long 4th of July weekend.  As I ran an errand near the train station, I saw visitors piling off the train, bags in hand, being greeted by friends, relatives, lovers and others.  Zagat, today, sent an email which had an article about 8 reasons to take the drive to Hudson; all of them being restaurants.

You can read the article here.

As someone who is here most of the time now, I took a bit of umbrage with the list.  It included Grazin’, a diner restaurant with local beef and I will need to give it another try because when I was there, it wasn’t good and the wine was south of awful.

It included Fish & Game, which is, I’ve heard, a good restaurant and I haven’t been there because it opened with an attitude.  I’ve been around the carousel too many times to need attitude.  [Hey, once I had “my table” at Ma Maison in Los Angeles, which was cool while it lasted.]

It included, deservedly, Swoon Kitchen Bar.  I don’t go there often; my ex left me for one of the waiters there; that has weighed on me ever since but it is great.

It did not include, and I think it should have, my beloved Red Dot, which is one of the hubs of Hudson nor did it include Ca’Mea, which I think should have gotten a mention nor Vico, which has upped its game lately.

We are a food town.

And now, in a break in the rain, I did grill but not the pork chops I bought as most of the recipes for grilling told me I should brine the chops and that takes some time so I grilled some sausage and finished my asparagus.  Oh, so good.

Beyond my little world, it has been a bit mad.

Our President has created a twitter storm over his tweets about Mika Brzezinski’s “bleeding face lift.”

Even Paul Ryan found it too much.

Several news sources, including conservative ones, thought maybe he should have been in a meeting rather than tweeting.  But no, President Trump was tweeting and creating a painful moment for his party.

And, today, NASA had to issue a statement it was not operating a slave state on Mars; it was NOT sending children there to be body parts for future colonists, a claim made by a guest on “The Alex Jones Show,” which airs on 118 radio stations.  Alex Jones is most famous for claiming that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and was interviewed by Megyn Kelly on her new NBC show, which isn’t doing so well.

As I sit here in my very hygge cottage, I am astounded by what is going on out there.  We have a President who seems devoted to Twitter attacks more than he is about governing and who, according to a variety of reports, starts his day at 6:30 AM speaking to lawyers about that pesky Russian matter.

And he is going to meet with Putin at the G 20 Conference and has been asking his advisors what he can offer Vladimir Putin.  What?

There are times I feel I am living in an alternative universe.  And I know I am not the only one.

So, doesn’t it make sense I want to conquer my fear of grilling?  That’s concrete in a world that seems spinning out of control.







Letter from Claverack 11 07 2016 God help us, it is almost over…

November 8, 2016

How could this not be a strange night?  Tomorrow we will be voting [if we haven’t already] for the next President of the United States.

This has been the wildest, most contentious, most upsetting campaign I have ever witnessed in my life.  It has been appalling.

Reading Steven Saylor’s mysteries set in ancient Rome, the democratic process then was even more horrible than now and maybe not by that much.

In some ways I have worked to insulate myself from the craziness.  Returning home from New York after a quick round trip, I came into the cottage, turned on the floods over the creek and reveled in my home and the beauty that surrounds it.  It is my anchor in this time of troubles.

While it is unbelievable to me, there is a path to victory for Trump.  On Sunday, I lit a candle at church, praying that path would not be found.

Soft jazz is playing as I write this, another comfort in all of this.

Because I am having cataract surgery on Wednesday, I may go to bed not knowing who will be President.  If that happens I will be afraid to open myself the next morning to the news.  In the past week or two I wrote to a Republican friend of mine that I was terrified Trump would become President.

I have not heard from her since…

Apparently, his team has found a way to control his access to Twitter and has “cut him off.”  No more Tweets from The Donald.

Several newspapers have reported that Ivanka Trump is attempting to distance herself from the campaign.  On my way to lunch at Sarabeth’s at Lord & Taylor, I passed the Ivanka Trump Collection.  No one there.

What I find horrible is that Trump’s supporters feel that even if loses, they win.  He has given legitimacy to their radical views.

We have always been a flawed republic and I am just praying that we get through this most flawed moment successfully.

In the meantime, the jazz plays and will continue to play no matter who wins.  No one will take that away from me in my lifetime.

Comey is, I suspect, on the coals after announcing today that the emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer amounted to nothing and so there will be no FBI movement against Hillary.  The Daily News trumpeted:  NOW you tell us.

The Dow jumped 371 points once Comey announced there was no reason to pursue Hillary Clinton.

I speculated that Comey is cooked, having lost the respect of nearly everyone.

Today, Janet Reno, the first female Attorney General, passed away.  Sadly, I had almost forgotten her, though she weathered all the storms of the Bill Clinton administration.

Oklahoma suffered an earthquake today, linked, perhaps, to fracking.

And, really, can I make a request of the universe?  Let’s end daylight saving time, okay.  I am sorry. It just doesn’t seem worth it.  I am discontented this year, as I am every season when it happens.  Is there really a reason for this?

In New Delhi, the air is terrible and schools are closed.  It is worse than Beijing.

As the Iraqis advance on Mosul they are finding mass graves with beheaded men and I have no idea how they justify their behavior.  But they do.

It is not late and I am tired.

I am tired of this election season which has worn me beyond all reason and it will be over tomorrow, after which will come the next rancorous season and I will be here.


Thank you for reading.

I am honored.





Letter From New York 03 02 15 It pays to be polite…

March 2, 2015

It is mid-day and I am at the Acela Lounge in Penn Station, where I have been doing emails and catching up on the Season Finale of Downton Abbey, which I missed last night. It was cold this morning when I left the cottage but the predicted six inches of snow failed to materialize but my understanding is that more is set to come. My morning train was filled with folks bemoaning the length of this winter as well as the depth of its cold.

The world outside the Acela Lounge is more chaotic than it is in here.

Netanyahu seems to be striking a more conciliatory tone now that he is on American soil. Speaking this morning at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual policy conference he stated that similarities between the US and Israel are greater than their differences and that we would “weather the current disagreement.” He is also making a point of saying he means no disrespect to Obama.

It appears, according to reports from CNN that a growing number of Americans disapprove of the speech and of Speaker Boehner’s invitation. I am going to be fascinated to watch this play out.

In the meantime, Iran is being slow to cooperate with the UN’s nuclear watchdog.

In the Mideast, the attack on Tikrit has begun and there are reports that Iraqi forces are making some headway. What is interesting is that one of the leaders of the military operation appears to be an Iranian General. This is not the first attempt to re-take Tikrit. The others were rapidly aborted.

IS has also taken to social media to denounce Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey and to encourage jihadi to kill him and Twitter employees in the San Francisco area. They are upset that Twitter has taken down accounts that have been traced to them.

IS wannabes, Nigeria’s Boko Haram, have beheaded two men they accused of spying.

In Cairo and Aswan, two bombs exploded, killing two and injuring nearly a dozen.

In better news out of Africa, President Pohamba of Namibia has been awarded the $5,000,000 Mo Ibrahim Foundation prize for good governance. It is the first time the Award has been given since 2011 and only the fifth time in its history. Good governance in Africa is hard to find.

Eyes in America are turned toward the 2016 Presidential Election. Senator Marco Rubio is apparently about to announce he is throwing his hat into the ring, after calling Hillary Clinton so “yesterday.” He has also joined the illustrious list of Americans who have been declared by Venezuela asa “terrorists.”

Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, once a frontrunner for the nomination, keeps slipping further and further behind in the race. Weighing him down this week is a New Jersey judge’s decision that it was illegal for him to withhold payments to a retirement fund.

The Bill O’Reilly saga continues. Today it is about his claim that he was just outside the door when George de Mohrenschildt, a figure in Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories, blasted himself to kingdom come with a shotgun. There apparently exists a recording of O’Reilly calling in on the day of the suicide from Dallas, saying he would head down the next day.

If true, it still won’t hurt him at Fox News.

There was a break while writing today’s blog. I went out to see my doctor and get my shots, vaccines and drugs for India. I have a slightly sore left arm and pills in my knapsack. The typhoid vaccine comes in pill form these days and I start it tonight, every other day for eight days and I have Cipro in case I get a case of Delhi belly. I received a call, a text and an email from the visa service telling me I could come in and pick up my passport with visa. I didn’t have too much trouble after all; it only took three tries to fill out the forms correctly.

Let me end with my favorite story from this week’s The Week.

A Londoner, late for a job interview, pushed, shoved and cursed the man in front of him as he was exiting “the tube.” He arrived in time for the interview only to find that his interviewer was the man he had pushed, shoved and cursed.

He did not get the job.

Letter From New York 01 10 15 After all, it’s the Sabbath…

January 11, 2015

When I woke to a bright and sparkly morning, I picked up my iPhone and used The Weather Channel app to ascertain the temperature. Much to my surprise, it had plummeted to zero degrees with a wind chill that made it feel like minus sixteen. My eyes dazzled at the screen.

It doesn’t usually get that cold here but that cold it was. I checked the water faucets in the kitchen that generally freeze up when it gets that cold but was relieved to find they were running. I made coffee and went back to bed to read The Week, my favorite magazine.

You could feel the cold seeping through the walls. I was grateful for my comforter and flannel sheets. Curling up in bed, I sipped my coffee and read, wrapped in my warmest robe. It was a lovely way to spend a couple of cold hours this morning after waking earlier than normal.

As is often the case with bitter cold, it was bright and sunny so the day had a cheerful feel to it. Bright light flooded the living and dining rooms and warmed the house.

Around the time that “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” started broadcasting I was out upon my errands, checking mail and going to Kohl’s to find a birthday present for Alicia, the daughter of Nick who helps me on weekends. I opted for an educational toy that would help her learn how to spell, feeling I had exhausted the princessy things at Christmas.

It was wonderful this afternoon to watch her tear through her presents, seeing, for a moment, the world through her three-year-old eyes. Really magnificent.

So, fresh home from her party, I’m having an exciting Saturday night in Claverack, writing my daily edition of the blog and doing laundry. Later I will watch an episode or two of Marco Polo on Netflix and then head for bed.

I actually did not do emails today. I was taking a break. I made sure on my iPhone that I wasn’t missing anything important but I didn’t dive into them on my laptop. That can wait until tomorrow. Today, I wanted a little respite from the world.

Brunching at the Red Dot, I only scanned the headlines of today’s NY Times. Even when I was reading The Week I felt like I was studying history because it is a look back over things I have been following all too closely during this past week.

No, today I wanted a bit of rest from the trials and travails of our world, from the constant staccato of events from all over the world that bombard us by the minute. I eschewed the Twitter feed and only checked Facebook to make sure I had missed no birthdays.

It was a time to concentrate on the here and now, the little world around me, centering myself as best I could. I have felt the pressures of the world all week and have listened to that staccato beat of bad news and today I just needed a break.

Today was a day to enjoy shopping for a three year old, to wonder at the geese on the creek and to enjoy the deer that gathered in my yard while watching the sunlight dance through the barren trees of my property.

It was the Sabbath.

A Tale of Two Towns, A Tale of Two Worlds

June 19, 2009

A Tale of Two Towns, A Tale of Two Worlds
June 18, 2009
An interesting week…

When I started writing this I was filled with images from my college-like road trip with several friends as we attempted to get home last Friday night when service was halted due to a rockslide on the tracks. My desire to sleep in my own bed was visceral and shared by my companions also wanted to be at hom. Four hyper-responsible adults became young adults again, momentarily celebrating the joy of being on the road. We laughed, exchanged stories, commiserated and celebrated ourselves while sharing wine and food as we were being driven north. It was a remarkable moment incorporating youth and adulthood. I cannot completely share its wonder with words. Finally we all reached home and hearth and I slipped into the welcoming arms of Morpheus.

The following day was centered on the Flag Day Parade that consumed Warren Street [think Main Street] in Hudson; Flag Day is Hudson’s 4th of July – the parade went on for two hours with every volunteer fire department, school marching band, etc. making its way down the street to the riverfront. It was a celebration of small town America, of a way of life that seems slipping away.

A column in the NY Times mused on how Hudson’s Parade was perhaps no longer a town celebration but a show for the upscale newcomers. I don’t agree with that – Hudson is an interesting mixture. The town’s inhabitants and newcomers are mingling together and there is an interesting community evolving. Beyond Warren Street the earthy grittiness of tough town Hudson still exists, a town once best known for its brothels – not the antique stores that have recently made it famous.

While we were celebrating Flag Day, across the world a drama was beginning to play out – Iran was holding elections. We were celebrating the adoption of the flag, our symbol for all that we feel America stands. Going into the Iranian elections there was a sense of buoyancy. The generally unpopular Ahmadinejad looked to be toppled by a rival, Mousavi, in the June 12 election.

Iran and the world seemed giddy at the chance for change. When results were announced Ahmadinejad was said to have won by a landslide.

Iran is a young country; a majority of the population is under thirty. That majority, largely supporting Mousavi, did not take the announcement well, smelling a rat in the ballot box. The protests have now been going on for four days and look like they will be continuing – the marches continued today to mourn those who have died. The protests have taken on the mantle of something larger. Internally and externally, the protests are being carefully watched to determine if this might not be a brewing revolution.

Thirty years ago youthful Iranians brought down the pro-Western and much despised Shah. Now youthful Iranians are chafing under the rule of the Islamic Republic of Iran and were pinning their hopes on Mousavi. All polls pointed toward his winning. Against them the landslide nature of Ahmadinejad’s victory did not seem plausible, hence the beginning of the protests.

To the surprise of ruling elders, efforts to suppress the protests have been outmaneuvered by the use of Twitter. Yes, Twitter. While the current rulers are curtailing access of regular reporters, young Iranians are using their mobile phones to “twitter” out pictures and short commentaries that are now being followed breathlessly around the world. Major news organizations are closely scrutinizing the photographs to make sure they are real and most seem to be.

Social networking tool, Twitter, is being used by Iranians to coordinate the actions and disseminate information when normal outlets have been closed to them. So significant is the role of Twitter in this series of events that what is going on in Iran is beginning to be called “the Twitter Revolution.”

Twitter is helping Iranians move toward a day when they can have a Flag Day for themselves, hopefully to celebrate the same kinds of freedoms we honor on our Flag Day. One of their flags colors is green; it’s become the color of protest. I will wear some green in solidarity today.