Thursday, October 26, 2006



In a week and a half my favorite New York City day of the year arrives - the New York Marathon. Despite my love for my son's kung fu class, I am grossly disinterested in sports. The one exception is the Marathon. I really love the Marathon.

Most years, I don't realize it's happening until the day of the event. The runners go down McGuiness Ave. which is literally one block from my house. I watch it on TV and time it right so that I can hot-foot it down to the race just as the runners are coming down McGuiness to start up the Pulaski Bridge. I love the race because of how it equals the playing field in terms of race, gender, and ability. Of course, there is a "winner" and there are many gold medals athletes. But, there is an entire other thing going on in the marathon with athletes that should be taken no less seriously. People "run" using wheelchairs, on crutches, with cancer, and some just walk most the way. In the spirit of the marathon, spectators get no less excited than when the African men run by. In fact, sometime they get more cheers. And, besides, the African men are maddingly beautiful.

I, myself, am preparing to join in some physical activity. This is highly unusual. My idea of activity is walking to the Mark Bar around the corner. I have tried yoga. In fact, I've been to Kripalu 3 times. But, no matter how kind the instructor and other stundents are, I never feel secure in my body. I always feel like someone is judging me. So, I'm taking up ice skating - no one can do it!


Although I am hardly politically correct and this blog is not a soap box it is difficult not to mention politics. Foley's pageboys are the least of our worries.
Check this out:

From the Dept of Labor's website...

"If you have a disability, you may have trouble finding a job if your disability means you can’t perform at the same level as someone without a disability. Employers may not want to hire you because they think the work you can do doesn’t justify paying you at or above the minimum wage.

The Minimum Wage Act 1983 helps some people with disabilities to get work by allowing Labour Inspectors [from the Department of Labour’s Employment Relations Service] to give minimum wage exemptions. This means a lower minimum wage rate is set for a particular person in a particular job for up to a year."

Did I understand that correctly?

"December 25, 2005 — Company documents show that ORC Industries Inc. is paying at least one nondisabled employee at its Brownsville manufacturing plant below the federal minimum wage, a practice that is against what law and “immoral,” according to labor and civil rights experts.

Another ORC worker who says he has a mental illness, for which he is medicated, also receives less than the minimum $5.15 per-hour wage, even though his illness does not affect his productivity, he said.

Former Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall said paying an able-bodied adult below minimum wage in a manufacturing plant was “obviously illegal” and “immoral.” Civil rights lawyers consulted for this article said the latter instance was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, among other laws.

ORC is a tax-exempt nonprofit that exists to employ the disabled. It receives contracts from the federal government to manufacture military apparel at its Brownsville plant."

Despite documents presented to The Brownsville Herald by ORC employees and interviews with local workers, ORC spokesman Rob Geist wrote in an e-mail, “ORC Industries does not pay nondisabled workers less than minimum wage.”

Yep! Employees are legally allowed to pay workers with disablities below mimumum wage because they are less productive. Funny, I know lots of "normal" people who don't do shit at work - and get a big paycheck!


Tonight, I am very excited to go see Andrea Baker, Jessica Baran, and Michael Zeiss read for the lauch party for Harp and Altar. Harp and Altar's goal is to publish many poets who have never had anything previously published. I love their motto, Baudelaire's "The poet is of no party."


Mom: Want to watch TV?
Jeff: Yeah! It's better than reading this boring book!

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