Presumed Guilty: The Injustices of Mexico’s Justice System (via )

We’ve got the DVR set up for this one.

Presumed Guilty: The Injustices of Mexico’s Justice System IN DECEMBER 2005 Antonio "Toño" Zúñiga, a young man who worked as a street vendor in Mexico City, was abducted by police and accused of a murder he didn't commit. He was held without charge, and there was no physical evidence connecting him to the crime. He had no link to the victim, and no motive. Witnesses could testify he was working at the market and provide an airtight alibi for the time … Read More


Powwow in Queens

Since we now own a car, we can go to random places on a whim, such as today’s adventure to the Queens County Farm Museum, which was hosting a Native American powwow.

We ate a fry bread taco, a Cajun flavored pickle and slurped down homemade lemonade — an essential in the 90 degree sun.

The farm is incredibly charming and I will definitely go back and explore in the fall. There’s a food stand with fresh produce, flowers and eggs. We took home onions, corn and one of the prettiest bouquets I’ve ever seen.


Cruising Around the Oh-So-Lush Catskills

We’ve been spending a lot of precious summer weekend time in the Catskill Mountains of New York, or “upstate” as locals might say. Our aim is to perhaps buy a house, a place we’d escape to on the weekends. So far, we’ve seen a couple of houses we really like, and lots of other houses that are lovely, but have at least one major negative against them — loud highway noise, lack of privacy, crumbling wall conditions. And we’re keeping our search limited to properties that have at least several acres and water on them, such as a stream, lakefront or swimmable pond.

We may bid on our favorite house this week (which is perched high above a set of waterfalls, something I’m a total sucker for) though we’re not sure yet, as we’re waiting a contractor’s report that we summoned after noticing some exterior damage to the logs (it’s a real log cabin). We’ve learned that buying a home means you have to be patient and not get emotionally attached to anything. If his report reveals repairs we can afford, then it’s Big Decision Time for us.

I don’t have any good photos of that property we’re currently considering (and let’s face it, if we’re lucky enough to get it, you’ll soon be bored to death by an abundance of photos of said house), but I took quite a few others that give you an idea of the natural beauty to the area. These are all in Sullivan County.

Ooodles and oodles of green.

I bet she makes tasty honey.

I'm drawn to willow trees.

In the winter, this view would look quite different. But still freakishly charming.

I watched turtles and frogs frolic in this pond.

This plant -- which also grows in Astoria -- reminds me of Mexico.

I can't wait to have a wild garden.

Along the Willowemec Creek.

New-to-Me Musica: Band of Horses

I spent the past few years living in Mexico, and now that I’ve been back for a few months, I find I’m still getting caught up on a lot of the great music that popped up while I was away. A recent find is Band of Horses. Who are, of course, performing at this October’s Austin City Limits — a festival I’ve been dying to go to since its inception. (Sigh. Will I ever go? WILL I EVER GO? EVER!?)

They make purty music.

Yay! An Exceptionally Tacky *and* Sexist Restaurant Opens in Astoria!

I remember first learning about Hooters when I was a teenager, and just like the time when I learned that women didn’t always have the right to vote, I was appalled. Who are these women willing to work there and wear that stupid t-shirt and be treated like objects? And why would a man want to go there and treat women like that? Something told me that women’s suffrage and Hooters were parallels — men go to Hooters to pretend women don’t have the right to vote. Why? Because a lot of men have fragile egos and the pseudo-experience of forcing a hot woman to give them a hot meal somehow lifts their fragile egos, as fake as the whole exchange might be.

OK, that’s my interpretation, and I’m sure that’s just scratching the surface. Because it’s got to be more compelling than that, or else the novelty would wear off and this trend wouldn’t be spreading and seemingly getting even more stupid. Right?

So, it’s with an even more confused brain that I reveal to you a new Astoria restaurant disturbingly named “CANZ a City Roadhouse.” This tacky, poorly done double entendre name is no match for the web site, where almost all plural words are spelled with a “z” at the end — even “pretzel fingerz” gets bastardized. I have NO IDEA why the “z” is better than the standard “s” and why “CANS a City” wasn’t good enough, but then again, I don’t get the whole concept.

In case you haven’t gotten the totally fucking hilarious joke yet, the “CANZ” part of the name is referring to the mammary glands of the female reproductive system, which hold mysterious powers over the human male, while also referring to “Kansas City,” known for it’s great barbeque, a type of food that also holds mysterious powers over the human male (OK, and female).

And how do they follow through on the promise of “canz” being part of experience? Well, these women who I’m going to assume are waitresses — wait, I mean, waitressez — are displayed on the web site.

(Wouldn’t it be awesome if you showed up to CANZ a City Roadhouse and all these lovely ladies were actually in the kitchen, washing dishes or cooking the food? All that humidity ruining their false eyelashes and blow-outs? Big food and water stains getting tangled up in their hair and rinsing out their fake tans? Ah, a girl can dream.)

Before I get any hate-filled comments from people who take life too seriously, I’m not actually that worked up about the boob-ness of the place. Time has taught me that we still live in a sexist world, and places like this are relatively harmless on the scale between equality and slavery.  What really has me angry, though, is the name. It’s like we’re taking leaps and bounds into the Idiocracy Mike Judge predicted. Or shall I say, leapz and boundz.