Saturday, October 15, 2011

Supporting the Occupiers

The word went out on a NYSUT blog and on various Facebook sites about an Occupy Wall Street Solidarity Event to be held this afternoon in front of Albany's Capitol building. Despite threatening  skies, the Handsome Husband and I traveled down to attend. The HH* was there as an impartial observer for PlanetAlbany, he said. I, however, a card-carrying NYSUT member, intended to participate.

Arriving a little early, we strolled through a near by park, stopping at a memorial.The inscription on it seemed timely:

The demonstration was a little slow getting started, but eventually, by my count, over two hundred people showed up.
The crowd was older than I would have predicted. There were some young folks, but I think they were in the minority.
NYSUT's Solidarity Committee led off the speeches. (NYSUT stands for New York State United Teachers.)
The signs were many and varied...
...and no one seemed to mind having his picture taken. I did ask.
Warren Buffett would have agreed with this sign, below.
But now we were getting into a touchy area, at least for me. I'm not exactly pro-war, but as long as Americans have skin in that game, my kid or anybody else's, we'd better fund it.
Veterans for Peace, like the fellow below, make me nervous. Such a nice-sounding name, but I don't think they are very peaceful. Look them up on the web sometime. I mean, am I wrong about them?
Before the event got under way, a couple of troopers showed up. The troopers asked the NYSUT folks if there was anything they needed. Hmmmm...that's a bit different from the 60s.
Across the road, three mounted Albany policemen watched the goings on, but they never came nearer.
This gentleman from the IWW had an interesting homemade drum set.
The banner below refers to a controversial case from the capital region. Much has been written about it. You can find many links to news stories here. 

If folks who look like this...

...keep showing up at events like this ...

...somebody's got to start paying attention.

Will the varied movements and concerns help or hurt? I don't know.
But I admire the folks who are getting out there.

You should come next time.

*HH = Handsome Husband


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Occupy Albany

The Handsome Husband and I trotted down to Albany this evening to check out the general assembly meeting for Occupy Albany.
Held in the Grand Street Community Arts Center, perched on the edge of an iffy Albany neighborhood with not much parking, the meeting was packed when we arrived. As the evening wore on, the crowd thinned a bit, but a good crowd was still there when we slipped away two hours later.
As you might expect, there were a fair number of students at the assembly, but older folks were present, as well. (I, of course, immediately spied the lady knitting next to the "Occupy" sign, above.)
The HH* and I think there were about 300 people in the hall.
 Eventually, we found seats. This dad in front of us was trying to get his toddler to go to sleep.

One of the coordinators for the meeting was a young man who looked a lot like a young John Belushi. I kept thinking he might do something Animal House-like but fortunately, he didn't.
Overall, we were impressed with this earnest group. Whether or not I can dust off my 60's/early 70's liberal credentials and actually participate in this occupation remains to be seen. What I do think is that this movement is spreading and that it is long overdue. 

When the HH and I left, work groups were being formed to plan for the occupation of Albany. There will be another general assembly next Sunday, October 16 at 5:00 pm. Check out their Facebook page or website for more information and updates. And also check out the HH's political opinion blog, PlanetAlbany, for a more professional reporting of this evening's meeting.

* HH = Handsome Husband


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Little sprouts

When granddaughter number one came along a few years ago, her parents, who are in the restaurant biz, named her Marjorie Sage.

 It wasn't long before a pot of sweet marjoram and purple sage appeared on my porch in her honor.
When granddaughter number two arrived last January, she, too, received a food-themed middle name. She's Francine Ginger. I read online somewhere that you could grow a house plant from the ginger root sold in grocery stores. So wa-a-a-y back in February, I purchased some ginger and carefully tucked it into a pot.

And waited.

Nothing happened.

Summer came along and I set the pot outside.

Nothing happened.

Fall arrived and I began cleaning up pots and tossing out things that had gone by. Just as I was about to hurl the contents of this pot into the compost pile, I spied a green shoot. Could it be...?
 Yes, there it is. At long last, a ginger sprout.

You live too far away, Franny Ginger, for me to watch you get bigger each week.  For now, I will have to be content with tending these little sprouts, grown in your honor.

Did you ever see two happier sprouts than these?
I can't wait to see them and their cousin Lexi at Thanksgiving this year.
(Alexia gets a pot of Flowering a-Leeks-ia in her honor. It's a reach, I know, but it's the best I could come up with.)

Wishing you all a flavorful harvest season!