Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Loooong Week Ending in a B-Day Show Me the Beef

With today being my 68th birthday culminating with our yearly visit to "One if By Land" (Barrow St. in the village) where I get my required annual dose of Beef Wellington, I feel I need to review the past week of intensive activity. Wait, let me get my cell phone calendar out, as I can't remember past Friday.

My fave table by the window
Much of the week, with the due date March 6 to get on the ballot, was focused on managing the MORE petition campaign along with fellow retiree Ellen Fox. The two of us took care of the petitions in the 2007 and 2010 ICE campaigns. Ira Goldfine and Vera Pavone had done the 2004 initial ICE campaign and Ira was a vet from the 70's NAC coalition campaigns when we ran full slates of 800 people so he taught me well. I will get into some details of the petition campaign next week.

Last Saturday we held a long-planned MORE event at CUNY (see videos on the MORE site) where we asked people who had finished to turn in their petitions and also sign batches we had prepared. While trying to manage that I was also filming the event and also working on a MORE commercial and it was a rainy day which always screws things up. That was one of the most hectic days of the week. But they were all hectic.

Sunday we went up to visit our friend Gene in the hospital at Mt. Sinai and as we often manage to do, find a restaurant to top off the day. We has to prep our house for the beginning of a massive reconstruction job on our damaged areaa starting on Monday so we had to get home.

Future kitchen and new bathroom
 So Monday early, Matt, our contractor, arrived with 2 young -- very young -- workers and I gulped - until he told me that Mateo is the son of Jose who had done an amazing job on our bathroom reconstruction in September. After they ripped out the storm-damaged dowstairs bathroom we saw turmite damaged wood and rotting ceiling floor boards above from leaks in the upstairs bathroom: instant decision -- rip that one out too to make it easier to do the work. Only problem is we can't claim Sandy damage to that one. Oh, well, easy come, easy go.

Future studio apt for when wife throws me out
My day times most of the rest of the week were taken with looking for plumbing supplies, toilet decisions, tiles, etc. I visit Loews and Home Depot every day and now know every plumbing supply place in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, my wife, who has become an internet bunny who can turn up info on everything was chained to the computer researching shower bodies. (Not bad for someone who has no idea how to turn on the computer.)

But in the midst of all this I had to focus on making sure most petitions were delivered by Thurdsday eve, a decision we made to give us time to make sure all was in place. Thus began a mad scramble to get "where we stand" info from an enormous number of people -- this was my end of the responsibility while Ellen handled the candidate info. So I was semi-panicky all week that if my plan didn't work we would not be on the ballot after all that work. And I drove everyone crazy, myself and my wife included.

And we are still sharing one car so she gets it in the day and I get it late afternoon. This has put a crimp in my ability to go to schools to put lit in boxes but the amazing beauty of the MORE campaign is that I don't really have to since so many people are doing it -- a revelation for me who had to shlep all over the city in the past elections.

Tues night I signed up to cover the Graphics Communications closing schools hearing on W. 49th St. and that was a surreal event where the audience was mostly Eva's Success People who were getting the building, a few teachers and most bizarrely the UFT district rep and school chapter leader who spoke with folders hiding their faces to make sure I didn't film them while not being all that worried that Eva's hired cameraman was doing the same. As I said, BIZARRE, but that's Unity Caucus irrationality for you.

Weds we were getting 3 deliveries: tiles, a frig and a freezer and I had promised to go to Murry Begtraum to film Julie's appearance -- and OMG how great did Julie do with a crowd of vet teachers under attack -- a group some people had predicted that such a relatively young teacher and an elementary special ed teacher to boot, might have trouble with. Julie never ceases to amaze me. But I will tell you just why I think she is so awesome another time. The must see video will be up in a day or two.

Thursday was the major petition delivery day and we set up meeting spot at COSI near Union Sq. And MOREs came from all over to drop off petitions. When the day started I wasn't sure where we stood but at the end of the day we were in good shape -- and a special thanks to someone I won't name here -- a non MORE member - who in one day, responding to my sense of panic - responded by getting us 80 sigs. When I got that news I was able to relax for the first time. If he reads this he knows that I owe him big time for making this effort. (But I won't wash his car).

Friday was the Bay Ridge Happy Hour organized by Kit Wainer and Mike Schirtzer and I got even MORE petitions back. Plus some bar food and a few bears. What a relaxing way to spend time with current and future MOREs. We need MORE parties and less meetings. (Next MORE meeting btw is next Sat, Mar 9, which I can't make due to all day robotics at Javits -- come on down to that too.)

Saturday was petition organizing day at Gloria's in Park Slope. And what a pleasure to see both my favorite Julies on one place. Julie and Jack dropped in to drop off petitions and my old partner in crime in ICE -- the always amazing Julie Woodward (the Under Assault blog), who had retired a few years ago, came down from upstate to help us. And I forgot the unique organizing skills she brings to the table. What might have taken us the entire afternoon was completed in a few hours. Boy have I missed her. Oh how to drag her back into this work!

Thanks to Julie W I was able to race home to get ready to head over to the Rockaway Theatre Co. postponed production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Howard Beach (due to the Ft. Tilden theater needing mucho reconstruction). We first hit our fave Italian restaurant - Ginos in Howard Beach. I was taping so got a good spot. The show was so amazingly well done with such talented people on every level of the producation I can't contain myself. I am going back next Friday and maybe Saturday too. I will try to put up some highlights. GO if you can. They are raising funds to restore the theater. My fave moment was seeing one of the wonderful young actresses, a middle school science teacher, see a bunch of former students who showed up to see her. I got a great pic but won't put it up yet -- will the DOE put her in a rubber room for hugging former students?

And here I am, waiting for my wife to return upon which we will go to yet another plumbing supply store, then head over to hang out with Gene who was released from the hospital yesterday and then on to my meeting with Mr. Beef Wellington.


  1. The happiest of birthdays to you. You are an inspiration to many. Enjoy this special day.

    Pat D.

  2. There's no way you're 68!

    The way you move from one rally to the next, always in the mix of those heavy-duty school closure hearings, making sure to comment on the absurdities of the DoE's decision and always prepare to videotape all these events. I'm impressed.

    May you have many more birthdays. Feliz Cumpleano always,


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