I just got off the phone with my dad and best friend Kim. Both still live in the county where I largely grew up from age 5 till I left for college. Columbia County is largely rural but the centerbase is Hudson a town that has a split personality. On one hand Hudson has had a rebirth. Antique dealers and NYC style restaurants populate Warren Street and it is an artsy fartsy place to go. Last time I met my gal pals Eileen and Karen at Mexican Radio, Mary Stuart Masterson was there working on a film she was producing. On the other hand it has had two murders in the last month and has a lot of gang activity. One of the murders was gang style because a Crip or Blood crossed over into the others turf. The Latin Kings also have made Dudson a home.
It is just to freaking easy for the welfare base to hop a train or carjack a vehicle and drive up the Taconic to Columbia County and get on the rolls there. Even after they've been kicked off in NYC. The police force is a joke they largely look the other way at the drug activity. The school system rates as one of New York States worst. My dad said the kids when they leave school for the day are defiant. They will walk in the middle of the road and not move. Part of me says just run them the fuck over fewer freeloaders on the taxpayers dole.
Kim and I are plotting to fix her mother (Barbara) up with my father (Frank). Kim stopped in to see my dad the other day and asked about Thanksgiving and my dad replied its just another day for me and the dogs (Max an ancient standard poodle age 14 and the new puppies Skye and Scout girl standard poodles) . I typically spend Thanksgiving with my mom who I live nearby and we go to family friends (Judy and Jerry of the Boston Bus Trip saga). Lets just say our respective parents have reached that age where they are acting old. Everything is a struggle, the world has gone to hell.. blah blah blah. My mom is so unlike that. Full of piss and vinegar like her sassy daughter IG.
Kim has been my best friend since about 5th grade when we were paired up because we both loved to ski even though we went to different elementary schools. I went to Greenport and she to Claverack. In 6th grade we finally were in the same Middle School and High School together. We went to different colleges (me first to University of Vermont and then on to Colorado, she to St Rose). Once we graduated we hit many dead shows together and I saw her thru a bunch of marriages. Over the years we had our battle royales including one fist fight over boys of course, times when we have been pissed at each other for a year or more but in the end we have an unconditional love for each other. Almost like twins we can finish each other's sentences before they are completed and people who listen to us are like WTF.
Thank goodness Kim is the earthmotherly type she is. She told me that she was hosting a 17 year migrant boy for Thanksgiving. Columbia County is known for its apples and every year Mexicans by the truckload come to pick the apples and work the fields. They work hard and long hours. The lazy welfareloaders who inhabit Hudson are too good to make an honest days wages hence the farmers bring in the Mexicans. This boy is enrolled in school and on the High Honor Roll but is here illegally. His parents left him and returned to Mexico because they didn't or couldn't afford to keep him and he is living in a barn afraid he will be sent back to a life he doesnt want to return to. Now that just plain sucks. I say let the kid who is here and believes in the American Dream stay and ship the gangstas and inbred yahoos who will never earn an honest living and who replicate like rabbits out.
When I read what I just wrote I am conflicted. Ive always been pretty Liberal on most social issues (healthcare, education, the environment) but fiscally conservative. I guess I could be classified as a Neo-Liberal. But I hate the welfare system and have some pretty strong opinions on issues where I take the other side from the normal Liberal and Democratic points of view. In fact Ive probably become more Libertarian. Where once I read Slate.com I now head to Reason.com. Im not sure if its because Im getting older and God forbid jaded or if its because the American public in general doesnt live up to my expectations because they are without a clue and reluctant to change. I always think of the lyrics from Ants Marching:
Driving along on this highway
All these cars and upon the sidewalk
People in every direction
No words exchanged, no time to exchange and when
All the little ants are marching
Red and black antennae waving
They all do it the same
They all do it the same way
My other beef of the week is how gas prices rose from about $2.29 a gallon to $2.36 because of some alleged pipeline issue. MY ASS. We all now its because everyone is over the river and thru the woods this week, on the road for Holiday travel and Black Friday shopping.
I just managed to piss away an entire morning with a blog post, phone calls and combing thru the ads to plan my Black Friday shopping excursion. Oh, and I made Cinnamon buns too. What are holidays for.