songbird's crazy world Long Island restaurants NaBloPoMo March 2015

songbird's crazy world

life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, February 27, 2015

In the spirit of the NaBloPoMo theme

The theme this month is "make".

Well, I am terribly impressed with myself because I actually "made" something.

Well, "assembled" would be more appropriate.

But I am still impressed that I managed it.

My childhood was spent in the pre-feminist world, where girls took home economics and boys took shop.    There were two memorable weeks in junior high where  we girls were sent to woodworking shop and the boys took our place in the home economics room, but that was just an experiment.

Where a woman doing home repairs/construction was fodder for a sitcom; she'd screw it up, make the situation even worse, and her husband would have to rescue her and do the repair or call a professional.

That is, until Archie Bunker's new neighbor, Irene Lorenzo, showed us that women can do plumbing and carpentry and home repairs, too.

Still, it was never something at which  I really excelled.

But necessity leads to a learning experience.

My office at work shall I put it...cozy.  My desk  ... not the largest.  As in, there's no room for my brand new printer on the desk.  I had to have another place to stash the printer.  Hello, "assemble it yourself, no tools needed" shelving unit.

It was touch and go there fore awhile, but I think I did OK.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

of valves and valves

So Monday morning I made a return trip to the repair shop where I bought my brand new tire last week.

It seems the tire was a bit low.  Not quite flat, but definitely not fully inflated.

Turns out, the tire had a leaky valve.  Mechanic swapped it out, and I was on my way.

In a way, it was a weird coincidence.

On Monday  my sisters took my mom to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital for evaluation.  They're trying to determine if she should have transcatheter aortic valve replacement. 

That's a less  invasive procedure than open heart surgery, where the surgeon uses a catheter placed in the femoral artery to place the new valve in the heart.

My dad had  procedure two and a half years ago.

A marvel of modern medicine, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Vacillating between anger and pity

Drew and I were watching a movie Sunday afternoon when Marc came home. And then we had the eruption.  Knew it was coming, but it was still frightening to see.

The shouting was so loud that it scared the cat. She was skittish for hours afterwards.

And the words that came out of his mouth. The paranoia. The feelings of self doubt and self pity. The total lack of self worth or self esteem. Inadequacy.  Depression.  Anxiety.  Irrational thoughts.  Panic.

He's not functioning on a normal adult level. After what I heard, I'm surprised he's functioning at all.

And he's irrationally blaming Drew for his own issues.

I almost didn't believe Drew, but now I've heard it for myself.

And he's refusing to get help.

We both think he belongs in a psychiatric hospital.

It's scary.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NaBloPoMo prompt: Have you ever attempted to make your own clothes? Tell us about the results.

When I was in junior high, back in the Dark Ages, girls took Home Economics and boys took Shop.

I did well in 7th grade, with units on shopping and cooking and nutrition.  I enjoyed cooking.  I never became a great chef, I've had my share of kitchen disasters, but I can put a decent meal on the table.

And then came 8th grade.  And the focus shifted to other domestic arts.

Learning to crochet was fun.  I wasn't very good at it, my stitches were uneven. But I persevered, and actually followed the pattern and completed the hat.  Even wore it once.

Then came sewing.

You had to pick a pattern, cut the fabric and sew the garment.   I don't know how my mother survived bringing me to the fabric store so that I could buy my supplies -- she'd break out in hives anytime she got close to a sewing machine.

 I chose a pretty, cap-sleeved  A-line dress and aqua fabric.  It was a dress I really wanted.  I imagined myself wearing the dress, twirling around  in it, feeling like a princess.

 In hindsight it was probably  way too ambitious a project for a girl who had never done any sewing before.  But I had high hopes.

And then I sat in class every day and struggled.  Threading the needle took forever.  I couldn't get my seams straight.  The thought of adding the zipper scared me half to death.

The other girls all finished their projects before I sewed a complete side seam.

Ultimately the teacher sewed the dress together so that I could pass her class.

And I never wore it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Misadventures in the snow

 photo 20150221_221808.jpg

So Saturday night Drew and I decided to brave the bad weather for a belated Valentine's dinner.  The weather must really be eating into the restaurant business.  I can't remember the last time I walked into Red Lobster on a Saturday night and didn't have to wait for a table, but with 3-5 inches of snow predicted...

Dinner was delightful, we stuffed ourselves on shrimp and lobster and cheddar biscuits.

Anyhow, after dinner, Drew wanted to stop at the ATM across the street, in the parking lot at the mall.  It wasn't a full branch of his bank, just a drive through kiosk.

 photo 20150221_221800.jpg

Problem was, the bank closed the kiosk awhile back and removed the ATM. DreW wasn't aware of this because he usually banks at his own branch. The parking lot had been plowed after the first major snowstorm, but had not been plowed after the more recent storms. It was dark, it was snowing, and Drew didn't realize what he was getting us into when he drove into the lot.

We got stuck just as we were trying to pull out from under the awning.

So Drew tried to "rock" the car to free us from the snow. The tires were spinning, the transmission was bucking, I could smell burning rubber. I wanted to scream 'stop, stop, STOP!!!!" As I kept imagining ruined tires, a burnt-out transmission, or, worse, popped surgical stitches and a visit to the ER.

Eventually he gave up and called his emergency roadside assistance service. they sent a tow truck. The truck got stuck in the snow! Eventually he freed himself, but told Drew that the car was too far from dry pavement, that he wasn't able to connect the cables and couldn't pull us out of the parking lot. Really nasty guy, he just abandoned us.

Obviously Drew called the service to complain. They agreed to send someone the meantime, Drew 'rocked" the car again. I felt the same waves of panic. But this time he was able to back up the car the way we came in. We got stuck again, but this time it was closer to the entrance. The second tow truck was able to pull us out ...

3 hours and $56 later, we made it home. Car is fine, Drew is ok, but yeah, I want to scream "Go away, snow!"

Sunday, February 22, 2015

the promise of spring

So for  the past few days my Facebook news feed was filled with reports from Port St. Lucie.  The Mets have officially begun their spring training. Time to plan our trips to Citi Field.

The Jewish holiday of Purim will be March 4.  It's a fun holiday, like Mardi Gras, with costumes and parties and carnivals for the kids.    Purim is exactly one month before Passover, so as you finish off the last of those great cookies called hamantashen, you have to start planning your Seder

My mailbox is overflowing with catalogs featuring pretty spring clothes.

Did you know that in Ancient Rome, the New Year was celebrated on March 1?

Spring.  New life, new beginnings.  I guess I'm so down on this cold and snow that I can't help look for signs that better days are coming.

And as we transition to warm,sunny days...who knows what changes the new season may bring?

Saturday, February 21, 2015


I take it back, never mind what I said on Friday the 13th.  I am, after all, a bit superstitious.

After the attempted bank fraud, the flat tire resulting from my encounter with the pothole from hell, and the bad news I got from my accountant (It's never good news when he finishes a tax return and says "Please don't hate me" before telling you that you owe the IRS...), I've decided I need to change my luck.

I've taken to wearing this bracelet:

From  Wikipedia

-The hamsa (Arabic: خمسة‎ khamsah, Hebrew: חַמְסָה, also romanized khamsa, meaning lit. "five") is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and commonly used in jewellery and wall hangings.

The Hand (Khamsa), particularly the open right hand, is a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power and strength, and is seen as potent in deflecting the evil eye.


The name “hamsa” comes from the Hebrew word “hamesh,” which means five. “Hamsa” refers to the fact that there are five fingers on the talisman, though some also believe it represents the five books of the Torah. Sometimes it is called the Hand of Miriam after Moses’ sister.

Of all the Biblical heroines, I've always felt an affinity for Miriam.  So it's nice that the talisman I choose to wear right now is linked to her.


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