songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, May 25, 2017


So my latest "medical crisis"?

My right knee.

I'm sure you'll appreciate the irony that the reason my knee hurts is that I decided to stop being a couch potato and that I've lost weight and become more physically active.

My knee doesn't hurt when I am walking.  But it hurts when I'm exercising, when I do squats, hamstring curls, lunges, anything that puts weight on my right leg while my knee is bent.

And sometimes, when I'm sitting or lying down, if I shift position, I'll hear a "pop", and I'll feel pain shooting through the knee.

The physician's assistant at my orthopedist's office tells me that the X rays and MRI show I have an old injury, that I likely tore my meniscus years ago, and that I aggravated the condition when I started to get active.

He prescribed a topical cream, an anti inflammatory, that I can use for temporary relief.  And he is requesting authorization from my insurance company to give me injections in my knee -- a gel that will replace the missing cartilage,  that will cushion the bones and lubricate the joint.

The gel lasts about 6 months - one year.  The only permanent solution is a knee replacement, and he's not recommending that for me.  The gel will give me relief, and  gel has few side effects, so if I have to repeat the procedure, that's what I'll do.

But isn't exercise supposed to make you feel better?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


An Ariana Grande concert.  An arena filled with 21,000 fans, mostly tweens and young teens and their parents.  The concert ends, the house lights go up, people start leaving the arena...

And then, terror.  An explosion.  Terror.

The all-too-familiar images pouring in from Manchester, England.  19 dead, 50 injured.

I'm sick to my stomach.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Purse accessories

I'm not into designer purses, my pocketbook is a utilitarian item designed to hold my gear.  Really, it's something to schlep around.

So the accessories I get for my bag tend to be functional rather than decorative.

Here's one of my favorite gadgets.


Drew and I dine out fairly often.  When we are seated in a restaurant, I use this gadget to hang my pocketbook from the table, so that I don't have to place it on the floor.

Here's another favorite.  I hook it to my keychain, and hang my keys from the side of the bag, so that I don't have to dig through all my stuff when I need the keys.


I bought both items at Amazon.  It's amazing what you can find there, isn't it?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Alien Covenant

Going to the movies these days is a different experience-- reserved seating, reclining seats, so civilized.  The theater where we saw Alien Covenant even has a liquor license and a full bar.  Drew ordered pretzel nuggets, and they brought his order to our seats.

Drew keeps reminding me that he took me to see the original Alien back in 1979.   So of course we had to let Ridley Scott scare the living daylights out of us again.

And yes, he did scare us.  

A sleeper ship headed for a colony planet experiences technical issues, causing the crew to wake prematurely.  The captain discovers what appears to be a habitable planet close by.  There they find David, the artificial life form from Prometheus.  Terror ensues. 

Thoroughly enjoyable.

We saw the movie in the late afternoon, then headed to our favorite seafood place, Southside Fish and Clam, for dinner -- I had a mini crab cake appetizer and Parmesan-crusted tilapia, Drew had lobster bisque and mini lobster tails over linguini.

And home in time for Dr. Who.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

New toys

Yes, I succumbed...

My new fidget cube.


It joins the spinner I bought a few weeks ago.


Desk toys for those of us stressed out at work.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Stewart's All American Grill

Stewart's All American Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 We're fairly frequent visitors to the Willow Wood Shoppes.   And when we found out that Stewart's planned to open a restaurant there, we were very excited.  We are fans of their root beer and black cherry soda, and we had heard good things about their other locations.

So of course we had dinner there shortly after the place opened.

The decor is very very orange, and suggestive of Stewart's carhop roots.  I was amused to see that the top shelf behind the bar was not occupied by beer or wine (though both are available), but rather, by bottles of Stewart's sodas.

The night we were there, we encountered numerous service issues.  Everyone was friendly and trying really hard, but they missed the mark.  I attribute that to the newness of the restaurant, I'm sure they'll work out the kinks as they get more experience.

The food?  Fries were pretty standard.  My patty melt -- hamburger patty, rye bread, grilled onions, cheese -- was juicy and tasty.  And the diet root beer, served in a frosted mug, was as good as I expected.

The ice cream menu was intriguing, but we were too full for dessert.  Next time we may just stop by for a root beer float.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

political rant

I am at a loss to explain it.

The American Jewish community is not a homogeneous group. Most American Jews lead a secular lifestyle, affiliate with religious organizations that are part of the Reform, Conservative or Reconstructionist movements, and tend to be liberal in their politics and vote Democratic.

About 10%  of the Jewish population identifies as Orthodox or ultra Orthodox.  They tend to lead a more insular lifestyle.  Politically they tend to be conservative, aligning with white Christian evangelicals on issues such as school vouchers, gay marriage, etc.

One of the key questions American Jews ask every time they head into the voting booth is "which candidate would be better for Israel?"

There are as many answers to that question as there are American Jewish voters...

Though to be honest, American foreign policy, as it relates to Israel, has been consistent no matter which party has held the White House.  When Obama, as a lame duck president, ordered that the US abstain from a disastrous anti-Israel vote in the UN Security Counsel, it was a departure from decades-old American foreign policy.  Until then, Obama's policies were always supportive of Israel (though not necessarily of the Israeli Prime Minister).

The majority of American Jews voted Democratic in the 2016 presidential election.  The majority of Orthodox Jews voted for Donald Trump.   One of the justifications for supporting Trump?  Obama's policies were "bad for Israel" and Hillary's would be just as bad, or even worse.

So what happened?

Obama's deal with Iran over nuclear capabilities, so strongly objected to by Bibi Netanyahu...Trump promised to undo that deal, but has not.

Trump promised to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem "on day one", but now he's saying that the move is merely "under consideration".  He's even said that Bibi asked him not to move the embassy, which Bibi denies.

And he openly criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank (strongly supported by Bibi and Israel's right wing) as "not good for peace".

And then there's the fiasco with the Western Wall.  No sitting US President has ever visited the Wall, Judaism's holiest site.  Clinton, Obama and both Bushes visited the site as private citizens, either before or after their tenure as President, but not while in office.  The Wall, and all of East Jerusalem, were under Jordanian rule prior to the Six Day War, the Palestinians have asserted that East Jeruslaem is part of a Palestinian state, and every sitting president since the Johnson administration has recognized that an official visit to the Wall would be very controversial.  Trump is planning to visit the Wall when he's in Israel next week, but refused to have Bibi tag along.  Trump's people told Bibi "the Wall isn't in your territory."  Poor Nikki Haley had to mend some fences there.

And an Israeli spy, embedded with ISIS, is in danger of exposure and may lose his life, because Trump shared with the Russians classified information he received from Israeli intelligence.

Trump's Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is nowhere to be found.  Sheldon Adelson, who poured millions into Trump's campaign, is growing increasingly frustrated with Trump.

It's a nightmare.

And yet they continue to support him.

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