Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Are Our Morals?

Usually, I keep things really light hearted, here. However, given the recent controversy over Troy Davis' execution, I began to think more about the death penalty, in general. Do I agree with or disagree with my country giving the ultimate punishment, murder in the form of the death penalty? Now enters the ethical dilemma.

Is murder okay if it is to punish for a horrific crime, in which someone killed another person or persons? Any eye for an eye, so to speak? A huge part of me believes that the punishment might be greater to live out the rest of ones days in confinement, living with the guilt of one's actions. Death might be an easy escape. I've never been to jail, but have heard enough about it to know that it doesn't sound like any cake walk (mmm, cake). Then, there's another part of me (that I'm slightly ashamed of) that says, "why should I pay for such a disturbed human being to have their basic needs met." They don't deserve that. But don't they? Doesn't everyone deserve their basic needs to be met? Isn't that what our forefathers believed for the great nation of the United States of America?

Even beyond whether murder in the form of the death penalty is just, who is worthy of passing such judgement on a fellow human? I certainly don't feel worthy of such a godly task. What if, in 1 out of 1 million death penalty cases, an innocent was wongly convicted and sent to their death. Is that okay? Is it par for the course? Should the jury, who sent that innocent person to their death, suffer the same punishment for being wrong? Should the prosecution, for the role they played in a wrongful conviction? Wonder how common the death penalty would be if those who send a person to their death were liable to suffer the same fate if they were proven wrong. Ah, but then, the justice system would be greatly flawed, wouldn't it? People would be shy to decide harsher punishments for fear of suffering the same consequence, if wrong. Jurors can't be responsible to that extent, can they? They have to make their best judgement based on the facts presented to them. That's what they've sworn to do.

Is America eons behind other progressive nations on this issue? Is it easier not to think about such things?

I'll end with a quote that I saw regarding the Troy Davis issue:

"If we are to err, let it be on the side of deliberation and mercy, rather than the unsettling finality we have seen pursued by the state of Georgia. Should we choose those better virtues, we might all sleep better."

I'd quite like to solely remember: "if we are to err, let it be on the side of diliberation and mercy (period!)."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thrifty Answers

The thrifty item from yesterday's post is: the black turtleneck!

Miracle Miaya was the winner who guessed correctly!

Shoes - American Eagle (for payless): $14.99
Black Skinny Pants - the Limited, circa, mid/late '90's (given my budget back then, there's no way I paid more than $39.99 for them, so that's the price I'm going with): $39.99
Black Gap Turtleneck - thrift store purchase: $3.99
White Old Navy Quarter Sleeved White (pheasant type) blouse - $19.99
Red & Black Scarf - Jun Lee: $6.00

Grand Total: $84.96!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thrifty Thursday!

One of the items I'm sporting, below, was purchased at a thrift store. Can you guess which one it is?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bike Rally

Recently, I attended a bike rally for (bike friendly) safe streets. Some people biked from Midtown on their lunch break for the event. I just walked a few blocks. There was a good turnout, so I'd consider the rally a success. People sported signs, some even had ghost bikes (which made me really sad). Have you heard of ghost bikes? When I first saw one, it was just after a local cyclist was hit by a car, and subsequently died from his injuries. Since, the art school is close by, I thought it was an artistic statement and tribute to that cyclist. Well, turns out, it's a national thing that started in St. Louis in 2003.

I don't necessarily agree, as I think that shared lanes are progress, but hooray for freedom of speech and us all working toward a common goal!

Ghost bike. Sad.

Monday, September 12, 2011

NOLA, Part Deux

The second morning, I woke up way too early (because I absolutely cannot sleep late. Nap, yes...sleep past 8am, nope). After breakfast, I took a walk around the neighborhood. I passed under an expressway and noticed this:

I loved the colorfully decorated columns and the use of the space as additional parking. It's doubtful that I would park under an expressway (mostly because I am super protective of my body and belongings), but love the idea.

Then, we took a stroll down Bourbon Street to meet up with friends. It's actually quite clean in the daytime.

After cafe & beignets at Cafe Du Monde, we walked to Hotel Monteleone for a cocktail at the famous carousel bar!

Then, we headed out for an airboat swamp tour. I was a bit petrified - I don't like being reminded that I am, in fact, not the top of the food chain. Therefore, I don't venture too far into oceans and/or swamps. However, I'm a team player! There were alligators on display at the tour lodge:

And in the swamp:

Did you know that spanish moss used to be used for medical stitches? It's true. If you peel back the fuzzy outside, there's a black string like lining. When it's exposed to air, it becomes difficult to break. However, with the fuzzy outer liner intact, a string of spanish moss easily crumbles. Wild!

We headed to Commander's Palace for dinner. It was wonderful. I had turtle soup for the first time. It kinda weirded me out, but was good. I had fish for the main course - meh, can't remember exactly what it was, but it was good. Then...creme brulee for dessert. YUM! It's extremely difficult for me to pass up creme bru-la-la. Others had delicious looking desserts, but come on...take a gander at that:

Hitching a ride on a streetcar. This one's name was not desire...desire was headed in the other direction.

The famous, Hotel Cirque:

After dinner, we made our way back to Frenchman's Street (it was the best, if you haven't gathered that already). Everywhere we went closed, shortly after our arrival. We ended the night at the Blue Nile. It was a huge venue. The band who played that night, was jazzy with a bit of hip hop funk, sprinkled in. Brilliant! I was super sweaty from jumping around, shaking my money maker!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Big Easy

A few weeks ago, I helped a friend celebrate her birthday in New Orleans. I was excited because it would be my first trip to New Orleans, but was nervous, because I can't hang like I could in the 'old days.' I know, it's pitiful. As they say in athletics, I had to "dig deep." My friends stayed here:

They enjoyed it very much; it's on a very beautiful part of Esplanade. I stayed just down the street at the Five Continents B&B. Unfortunately, my crap phone pictures don't do the B & B justice. It was so wonderful. Jess, who runs the place, was very welcoming. He offered a map with his top suggestions, a Five Continents card (so that I could just hand it to the taxi driver, if I couldn't remember the address by the end of the night), and the card of his preferred taxi company. Oh and the breakfast! So freakin' delicious. I'm completely sold on Five Continents. When I go back to NOLA, I definitely intend to stay there again.

This place, the Dufour - Baldwin House - was a few houses from where I stayed. From the front, it was quite impressive. I can only imagine what the interior museum and gardens look like.

Once, I checked in to the B & B, we took off towards Bourbon Street. I was parched, so I opted for a "hand grenade" drink. I asked the man behind the counter what was in the concoction and he replied, "I can't give out that information." That sounds perfectly legal and safe, so of course, I had one. After meeting up with other friends on Bourbon St. we set out for a night of fun. We walked by Jackson Square and took a look at the waterfront at night. Then made our way to Frenchman's St., as recommended by Jess.

Along the way, we saw this:

Really, NOLA? You'll only allow one? The next day, when we walked past the same place, they'd changed the sign to read, "one drink minimum." That's better.

Then, Frenchman's Street welcomed us with this:

A band of strangely clad musicians, playing the most eclectic instruments I've ever seen. One guy (wearing the saggiest pair of "tighty-whiteys" I've laid eyes upon) was playing what looked like a metal trunk. Another was playing something that resembled a beer bong/funnel. Um, at least, so I've heard. Of course, I absolutely loved it. I seriously heart anything odd or weird. What a wonderful way to start the New Orleans experience.

By the time we got there, we were pretty hungry. We stopped into a place called, "Praline Connection." It had really good reviews on yelp.

We started out with Alligator Sausage. It was so good, but really just tasted like any other amazingly seasoned sausage.

I don't recall what everyone had...I had rice, beans and okra. It was wonderfully spicy!

After a belly full of Cajun food, we found the Spotted Cat. It was such fun! I felt like I was in the movie, "Irma La Douce." Well, except for the whole, being a prostitute, thing. I was waiting for a strapping, young Jack Lemmon to come strolling through the door! :-)

Afterward, we went to a place called, "DBA," which was right across the street from the Spotted Cat. They had a zydeco band playing and a huge dance floor. Two local guys heard me saying how much I wanted to learn to dance to this type of music, and humored me for a bit. They ended up being a ton of fun. One of the guys was a cyclist, too. What. A. Blast! With another night to go. Watch out NOLA! be continued...either sooner or later...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thrifty Answers

Happy Friday! Here are the answers for yesterday's outfit. The 2 or 3 (I couldn't decide if one item really counted): The cream shoes, white suit jacket and the three string beaded necklace. The necklace was an antique store find. So, it's definitely used, but not technically a "thrift store find."

Here's how the outfit priced up:

Cream leather wingtip shoes - $3.98
3 string beaded necklace - $8.00
Linen Chadwicks of Boston pants - $25.00
Coral sleeveless shirt - $19.99
White George suit jacket - $5.00 (had to have it dry cleaned, which cost $6.50, so you could say that it cost $11.50).

Total cost of my Thrifty Thursday is: $61.97! Or, if you count the dry cleaning, $68.47!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - A Long Time Coming

Although, I have more Thrifty Thursdays that are posted, most of those days are almost an exact repeat of a previous thrifty day. This week, it's a mix of old thrify items and new thrifty items. Hint, hint...who's been paying attention??

There are two (kinda 3) thrifty items included below. Can you guess which ones they are?