So our friend the photographer...

Created this show to help the Project. I hope some of you who know of my Project enjoy this little show. This Monday I will be attending a press conference and after-VIP party with Little Steven and Debbie Harry. Debbie will be performing an acoustic set. Nice, no?

A is researching fecal coliform at the River Project. I have learned much about fecal coliform thanks to A's research on this subject. The presence of fecal coliform bacteria tells us that there is sewage in our beloved New York City water. Somehow, I am not surprised.

A is now taller than I am. I am 5'8". A is 12-years-old and is no longer in 6th grade studies, but entering 8th grade level studies. My, time flies.

The next stage of (no pun intended, really, even if this is about...) Shakespeare in Central Park, is the presentation of Two Gentlemen of Verona. So, more reading for us before we see that. And in the the cast line-up, you might notice, in the small print, that someone by the name of Rosario Dawson is scheduled to appear. They really are trying hard to nab a good audience. I can't help but support their efforts.

Please let me know that you are lurking or reading this. I am a bit distracted at the moment with the Project, but I do enjoy blogging when I can, and if it seems it is worth anyone's while to read this stuff.

And oh, yes, something that I have been meaning to share: I had a conversation with Joey Ramone's mother (Charlotte) two weeks ago about my homeschooling A. We talked about things that teachers in institutions don't pick up about our kids. Charlotte said that Joey's teachers clearly did not pick up on his innate creativity. Everything she taught Joey, he retained. "They feel safer with us, their parents, because with us, they don't have to feel so judged or stifled as with institutional teachers," she said. Charlotte owned an art gallery. Joey grew up in the gallery, and later the Ramones rehearsed in it.

Proof in the pudding, there?


Reference point: London

What a week.

I've been writing about my fabliau with the Big Project, and this past week, my reference kept returning to London.

Live 8, Ernie Fritz (the documentary filmmaker with whom I had been working) gets to go on a whim to London. He paid for a costly plane ticket to go with VH1 and manage the control room and hang out with Sir Bob et al. I was jealous.

Here in New York City, West Side Stadium plans aside, we still pushed forward with our NYC 2012 Olympic bid, for which CBGB was featured in NYC 2012 advertising. We lost. To London.

And then, G8. What a lesson for A. Who are the G8 leaders, A? I asked, on a whim, with no agenda at all. "Um, what is G8?" he asked. It stands for "Group of 8" leaders of the world. Can you guess who they are? We hadn't even talked about it while watching the Live 8 footage from last week. "Chirac, Putin, that guy Koizumi whose son likes CBGB, Bush, Tony Blair who played guitar and looked like a hippy and used to book bands as his job, Berlusconi, Schroder, and the guy in Canada." Yes, and now G8 includes the European Union.

OK, there was absolutely no prep for that, so I give him credit for at least knowing the countries of the G8. Paul Martin I'll forgive him. What was on the G8 agenda? We searched here.

And then there was this film. I highly recommend watching it, particularly as Richard Curtis directed it. Which means, a few surprises. Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald star in it, who I love. A watched it with me, but mind, there is an implied sex scene. Some questions we asked: Is it possible for one person to change the world? What do we have as a reference for such change? What is DATA? What was on the agenda for this year's G8? Did it achieve what it set out to do?

Unfortunately, the London bombings could have clouded all the eventful and positive stuff that happened in London earlier.

I did, however, watch repeats on television of all the good stuff that happened before the bad stuff. And I logged on to www.one.org.


Subway, Butts & Fear

About six days ago, I rode a subway train. When we reached a crowded stop, and the train doors opened, all of a sudden, a flashbulb went off from the passenger side. Some folks looked for the photographer. Most didn't, despite the "no photography on subway trains" rule now in effect since September 11. [La Mai's edit: I was incorrect on this, and fooled by many MTS station managers on this "rule"! See reader's comment below]

The photographer quietly and quickly put away his camera in his waist-case. He was dressed preppy-like, clean, nice. A professional on his time off. His movements seemed calculated, and if he knew that we were looking at him, he clearly had no interest in letting us know that he knew. Unfortunately, those of us who did notice that the photographer was Middle-Eastern looking, felt uncomfortable. I stared, and I know several others did, too.

Please note, La Mai has spent some time in Middle Eastern countries. I do not discriminate. This incident, however, was just too weird. In my 2 1/2 years living in the Big Apple, I have never reported "suspicious activity" and I consider myself a pretty alert kinda gal. One African-American passenger seemed clearly unnerved by what had happened, and stared the guy down until I got off the train.

Once off the train, I attempted to file a report with the station manager. The ridiculousness of what ensued was...well, just ridiculous. "Oh, he was probably just taking a picture of somebody's butt," she told me. No, really, this was not a butt-taking venture. There were no butts. At least not any sexy ones. He was taking a picture of the station platform and the door and the traffic there. I went into detail of his appearance, the camera used, the number of people at the station, etc.

She shook her head and wrote something down and did not ask for particulars of station or train car, did not ask for my name or contact info, although I had initially offered that information to her.

So much for citizen alertness. Sigh.

post-edit: It was not the photo-taking activity by the passenger that prompted me to speak to the station manager, but rather the context of the photo-taking activity. Tourists take photos on board subway trains all the time. So do I. It was something that you had to personally experience in order to understand. See my comment in the comments section.


OK, so...

Most of y'all just feel like lurking.

That is okay.

We thought A was going to start at the River Project weeks ago, but the new Head of Interns had not arrived until June. And the summer internships have started, and the Head of Interns is asking us to wait until Friday to start, until she gets all the high school students settled in.

In other news, A received a guitar as his summer gift. He has been playing so much that his chord fingers are completely blistered.

I am writing. I was asked to write a 500-word piece for a newspaper here in NYC. It is taking a long time.

Here is a photo of me with Ernie, the documentary filmmaker who had been filming my work: