life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

attacked by wild animals in my own kitchen!

the fierce cries! the sharp claws! the gnashing teeth! the brutality of it! I only managed to save myself by throwing a can of Bumblebee fancy white albacore at the brutes.

memo to self: don't forget to buy the Meow Mix on the way home tonight!

mmm....Greek food

I usually order some sort of souvlaki when I eat Greek, but ever since Suzanne made pastichio for dinner two weeks ago, I have been craving it.

craving satisfied, pastichio ordered from a local Greek place.

cinnamon makes such an interesting addition to a pasta dish, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year!

a little bit about the NYC celebration -- I've never been crazy stupid brave enough to go.

Countdown to euphoria
Monday, December 29th 2008, 10:45 PM
Related News
time to have a ball on New Year's

This is one celebration you can set
your watch by.
The annual New Year's Eve bash in Times Square peaks
with a worldwide television audience of 1 billion counting down the seconds
until 2009 arrives exactly at midnight.
With no room for error, organizers
spend the other 364 days of the year making sure everything runs like clockwork
when New
rings out the old and rings in the new.
"People think I only work
one day a year," said Countdown Entertainment head Jeff Straus. "Actually,
January is my second-busiest month."
Revelers will enjoy a new twist with
their "Auld Lang Syne" this year: A high-tech, supersize ball will drop down
from One Times Square, replacing the previous incarnation.
Live performances
in Times Square were planned by Ludacris, Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie and the Jonas
The bottom line: These are the numbers that add up to another
memorable New Year's celebration.

1: Ton of confetti dropped

40: Tons of trash collected last year

60: Seconds it
takes the New Year's Eve ball to descend

141: The height in feet
of the new mast holding the ball at One Times Square

1907: The
first year of the Times Square ball drop

1,875: Weight in pounds
of the New Year's Eve ball

2,668: Waterford
triangles on the ball

32,256: LEDs (light-emitting
diodes) on the ball, triple the number from last year.

revelers expected.

$24.5 million: Estimated economic boost in and
around Times Square.

If you want to read more about the Waterford ball, click here.

hitchcock would feel right at home

seen on the way to work this morning --- proof that not all birds fly south for the winter (click on photo to enlarge)

the crows I expected, but I especially like how the seagull rules the roost.

Monday, December 29, 2008

disboard bullies

just thought I'd get in on the action....

long time followers of Suzanne's blog will know her Webmaster Alex post.

I've been banned from the DIS more times than I can count...a few of them actually deserved, but for the most part....banned for being "songbird".

I wasn't blogging back in April, so let me say now...Alex, you're an idiot. you banned a lot of good peole for no reason at all. the "meanness" factor at the DIS hasn't changed, but the "stupidity" factor has increased dramatically since April.

is that any way to run a business?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

the tales of beadle the bard

my kidlets know how much I like harry potter...i had to buy 3 copies of deathly among my gifts this year was a copy of the new book...a charming and delightful book of fairy tales for the wizarding world...and we muggles enjoy them too.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

memories of Molly

for some reason tonight...I am thinking of my dog Molly.

Drew and I went to North Shore Animal League with the intention of adopting a puppy but wound up with a full-grown beagle named Molly.

she was the dumbest but the sweetest dog...

she liked to dig...I almost killed her when she used her digging skills on the foam cushions of my couch.

and who can forget when she escaped from our apartment and I wound up chasing her all through our Brooklyn neighborhood in my bathrobe? I never caught her...she ran around the block and then ran home.

but...she won a place in my heart forever...when Jen was a baby and learning to walk, she'd grab Molly's floppy ears and use the poor dog's head as leverage to bring herself to a standing position. and the dog allowed it...even slept under the crib at night to keep my little one safe.

Drew got custody of the dog in the divorce...the last time I saw her she was old...had cateracts and could barely see...but I think she recognized me...

Friday, December 26, 2008

wisdom teeth redux

so today my wisdom teeth and I parted company.

vicodin is our friend.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center

Call on your angels
Come down to the city
Crowd around the big tree
All you strangers who know me
Bring your compassion
Your understanding
Lord, ow we need it
On this New York City Christmas

Yeah I'm sending you a merry New York Christmas
and a prayer for peace on earth within our time
Hear the sidewalk angels echo halleluja
We understand more, now more than ever

So call on your angels
You're beaten and broken
It's time that we mended
So they don't fade with the season
Let our mercy be the gifts we lay
From Brooklyn and to Broadway
Celebrate each and every day
of this New York City Christmas

Yeah I'm sending you a merry New York Christmas
and a prayer for peace on earth within our time
Hear the sidewalk angels echo halleluja
We understand more, now more than ever
Merry New York Christmas

Call on your angels
Come down to the city
Let's Crowd around the big tree
All you strangers you know me
Bring your compassion
Bring your forgiveness
Lord how we need it
On this New York City Christmas

Yeah, I'm sending you a Merry New York Christmas
And a prayer for peace on Earth
It's not too late
Yeah the sidewalk angels echo hallelujah
We understand them
We understand them
Merry Christmas
Yes, a New York City Christmas
(Oh Christmas)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mandy's latest

I don't know why the feed from Mandy's blog doesn't update properly here, but I make it my business to check every so often for her words of wisdom. she found the best craigslist posting!

what makes me laugh even Becca, my darling 16-year-old "let's-go-see-what's-cute-at-Abercrombie-then-maybe-stop-at-Mecca-Sephora" shopaholic who just got her learner's permit wants an Xterra!

don't you think...

...that if the "check oil" light comes on, the driver might actually check the oil?

I've got Jen's Chevy today. I got into the car and saw the message on the dashboard.

asked her "how long has the light been on?"

"a couple of weeks."

granted, she only drives the car when she's home from college, so she's only driven it for a day or two since the light went on....

Monday, December 22, 2008


I've mentioned Becca's involvement with Key club and Spanish Club.

Now let me brag on Jen's involvement with Jumpstart. She plans to be an elementary school reacher and she's doing Jumpstart through her college.

Jumpstart college students serve in three different roles: Corps Member,
Volunteer Coordinator, or Team Leader.The Jumpstart Corps member
position is open to college students committed to Jumpstart’s mission to work
toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed and who
are able to serve 10-12 hours per week (for a total of at least 200 to 300
hours, depending on the site) during the school year. Corps members partner with
children from low-income backgrounds to help them build skills crucial to school
success. Responsibilities include participating in two two-hour Jumpstart
sessions each week with partner child and team, participating in two team
planning meetings each week, serving four to six hours each week in a preschool
classroom during the regular school day, communicating with partner child’s
family and sharing strategies for helping the child, participating in intensive
pre- and in-service training, and attending periodic service days, usually held
on Saturdays

Sunday, December 21, 2008

chanukah greetings

happy chanukah!

Happy Chanukah

home again, home again, jiggety jigg

so Becca went to the party after her boyfriend went home.

so I had to wait for both of them to come home.

it's going to be a loooong winter.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

mmmm....Chinese food

Becca's boyfriend is here for the evening. so we decided to order Chinese food. on the menu tonight: vegetable and bean curd soup, bbq spare ribs, imperial shrimp, sesame chicken and beef with Chinese vegetables.

I was going to pick up the food myself, really I was. but Jen has my car tonight...she asked if she could take mine because hers has no heat. and I just blew out my shouldeer tying to scrape ice off the windshield of Jen's Chevy (my de-icing spray is in my Corolla. which is at a party across town) so I ordered delivery. I will de-ice Jen's car tomorrow - provided we don't get more snow. (looks like Long Island will have a white Christmas this year.) makes perfect sense to a 16 year old to wear suede UGGS in the snow and complain that her feet are getting wet, but to laugh at Mom's snow boots as "fugugly". the last laugh is on you, Becca least MY feet are dry.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I am Minnie Mouse's mom

Jen has a job tomorrow. She will be playing the part of Minnie Mouse at some corporate Christmas party.

my two youngest sisters attended a performing arts high school. one of their dormer teachers runs a talent business. they provide talent to corporate functions. every year they provide cartoon characters to a corporate client's Christmas party. my sisters have been working the party for many, many years. when my kids were younger they would sometimes go to the party with their aunts.

but a few years agoone of my sisters gave up her role (though she still goes to the party) and let Jen take over.

Jen loves kids and she has a great time working the party.

interesting contest at work

I was asked to create a trivia quiz for our department. Each person was asked to give a piece of weird ifnormation about him or herself. For example, I once met Sarah Jessica Parker.Another example: This person gave new meaning to the words "business trip" (I used my business trip story). the person who gets the most answers correct wins a small prize. so far we've had some very interesting guesses.


never try a new recipe when you're baking for the company bake-off, you dont' get started in the kitchen until midnight and you have to leave for work by 7.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life, the Universe and Everything

Suzanne is my inspiration tonight, though I did see one of my friends do this on facebook too.

SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen over 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, check which ones youve seen, paste this here.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2:Dead Man's Chest
()Boondock Saints
( ) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
( ) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x ) Airplane
Total: 6

(x) The Princess Bride
( ) Anchorman
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
( ) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
( ) Anger Management
() 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
(x ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 10

() Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
( ) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
() Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
( ) American Pie
( ) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 10

( x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x ) Harry Potter 3
(x ) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 16

() Finding Nemo
() Finding Neverland
() Signs
(x) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
() White Chicks
() Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
() I, Robot
( ) Robots
Total so far: 18

( ) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
( ) Meet The Parents
( ) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
Total so far: 20

( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
() Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
() The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
( x) Flubber
Total so far: 21

( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 22

( ) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
() Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
( ) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 23

( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Slevin
( ) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
( ) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
(x) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far:25

( ) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
( ) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 27

( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
( ) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
( ) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x ) The Terminator 2
( ) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 32

( ) X-Men
( ) X-2
( ) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
( ) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday (both version, should I count this twice?)
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
() Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
() Shrek 2
Total so far: 35

( ) Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
() The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf's Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
(x ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 38

( ) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
( ) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
( ) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 41

( ) Baseketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three
Total so Far: 41

( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total so far: 44

( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Hulk
() Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
( ) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
Total so far: 45

( ) Kill Bill vol 1
( ) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
() Army of Darkness
Total so far: 45

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
() Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 51

() The Matrix
() The Matrix Reloaded
() The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
() Team America: World Police
() Red Dragon
( x) Silence of the Lambs
() Hannibal

Total 51

Monday, December 15, 2008

I miss cheerleading

or rather, I miss watching the kidlets perform.

at various times my girls have been involved in dance, music, cheerleading, acting...activities where it was my obligation, sit in a theater or on the bleachers, for an eternity while other people's children perform, just for the pleasure of watching my kidlets do their thing for a few minutes.

now Jen is in college and busy with classes and volunteer work and her social life.

and Becca's high school interests have evolved from "performing" to "participating".

I am glad they're pursuing their interests.

but I miss seeing my kidlets "on stage".

what book am I?

not sure this is entirely accurate, but....

You're Ulysses!

by James Joyce

Most people are convinced that you don't make any sense, but compared
to what else you could say, what you're saying now makes tons of sense. What people do
understand about you is your vulgarity, which has convinced people that you are at once
brilliant and repugnant. Meanwhile you are content to wander around aimlessly, taking in
the sights and sounds of the city. What you see is vast, almost limitless, and brings you
additional fame. When no one is looking, you dream of being a Greek folk hero.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

the 10th man (or woman)

Rabbi is in Florida, and the Cantor is running services at the synagogue.

at 8 PM my phone rang - I am in the Cantor's speed dial - he needed me for a minyan (a quorum) for evening services. mourners cannot say Kaddish unless there are ten adults present.

it wasn't so very long ago - in my lifetime - that women did not count in the minyan.

it was my honor and my obligation to be number 10 tonight.

that cat is far too clever for her own good

so I am blogging from my cell phone...lying in bed, on my back...Daisy jumps up onto the bed, plants herself on my chest, wanting to be petted...and pushes the cell phone out of my hand!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

paying it forward, a holiday giveaway

from Suzanne

1. Be one of the first three bloggers to leave a comment on this post, where the first word in the comment is "Yes". By saying "Yes" as the first word, you signify you want to participate in this giveaway. Being one of the first three to say "Yes" will then entitle you to a handmade item from ME!
2. Winners must post this challenge on your blog, meaning that you then must Pay It Forward, creating a handmade gift for the first three bloggers
3. The gift that you send to your Three Friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember: It’s the Spirit and the Thought That Count!
4. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate Linky Love!
5. If you are not one of the Top Three Commentors on Today’s Post, you’re still a Winner in this Time of Grace and Giving. Please take this Symbol of the Seasonal Spirit and post it on your blog; start your own Pay It Forward Chain, and encourage your Bloggy Friends to do the same!

Santa's helpers

Becca and her friend A.

Both girls are members of Key Club and officers of Spanish Club. today Key Club had a day at the local Sears, the members of the club had to help underprivileged children pick out new clothes.

later, the Spanish club hit Toys R Us and Bed Bath and Beyond, they'd raised almost $900 and decided to spend it on toys and bedding for underprivileged children. As President, Becca was in charge, and she had all the money -- the adviser trusted her to safeguard the cash. she and A have to bring the purchases to school on Monday.

I am proud that Becca is so involved in community service!

wisdom teeth

let's just say I wish I could make mine disappear right about now. I am not a happy camper.

I had one pulled 20 years was fully erupted but had rotated 180 degrees, so that the back of the tooth faced the front of my mouth. took me four days to recover enough to go back to work - and that was when I was young and healthy.

the other 3...the dentist said "watch and wait".

we had to revisit the issue today. one must be extracted. one is likely to need to be extracted. oh "joy".

I'm Mr. HEatmiser...

I have that song...and the Snowmeiser version...stuck in my head. wish I had my camera last night when Becca put on the red cowboy hat, picked up the cane (a candy cane prop from a long-ago dance pageant) and began to sing and dance to the music...for her boyfriend.

Friday, December 12, 2008

feline follies

I was standing in the kitchen this morning, trying to decide between the strawberry yogurt and the blueberry yogurt, when I heard a commotion on the stairs....

little miss Daisy cat, all of 6 pounds, racing down the stairs.

with Mr. Kitty, the 20-pounder, chasing her all the way down.

she ran into the living room and jumped up onto a chair.

and he stayed on the floor but tried to swat at her with one of his paws.

he's just playing, but she DOES NOT LIKE IT! not one little bit.

as the plaintive meowing proved.

of course I rescued her. I sent Mr. Kitty outside to terrorize the neighborhood squirrels. He's too fat to actually catch one, but he does like to chase after them.

commuter rant of the day

so guys, how about honoring a girl's personal space? I know we're called "straphangers", but when you're holding onto the bar over my head I would really appreciate it if you don't use my shoulder as an armrest. and I do NOT like the feel of your backpack or briefcase shoved into my spine!

but what happened today takes the cake.

Long Island Railroad cars are not meant for comfort, but c'mon, did you really have to...?

Picture it: a bench of three seats facing a second bench of three, so that six people can be accomodated (barely), three people with their knees rubbing up against the knees of three total strangers. picture sitting in one of three seats on an airplane, with the row in front of you turned around to face you.

so this morning I found myself sharing this configuration with three men....I had an aisle seat facing one of the men, and the other two men sat near the window, leaving themiddle seats unoccupied. As I sat down, the guy facing me decided he needed to stretch out his legs...and literally put one leg between my two feet. and didn't take the hint as I struggled to get comfortable, i had to actually ASK him to remove his foot from my personal space!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I don't care whether you are selling soap or salvation

Do you really think you're going to successfully sell it by haranging a captive audience on a moving subway car? today I had a full 15 minutes of someone loudly describing how he knows with all certainty that my fellow passengers and I are going to Hell because we don't "believe". train was full to overflowing, so moving to another car wasn't really an option. I was so glad that this train made A LOT of noise as it travelled between stations. I am sure the preacher is sincere in his belief. but please don't infringe on my relative peace and quiet as I read my newspaper on the way to work!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Eve plans

My sister's best friend, J, has become a member of our family. Every year J and her 3 boys invite us to spend eithe rChristmas Eve or Christmas Day at their house (it depends which holiday J's sons are spending with their father).

this year we are invited for Christmas Eve, which also happens to be the 4th night of Chanukah. J always has a tiny Menorah in her house, her late father was Jewish, but it's too small to actually use for lighting candles. So I guess we will be bringing one of ours.

another meme

I got it from Suzanne, who got it from Saffa.

What you do is highlight the things you've done. Italicize the things you want to do, and leave the ones you don't in plain text.

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii. (I will get there, someday)
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland. (I've been to Disney in florida more times than I can count, but never the one in California)
8. Climbed a mountain. (does driving count?)
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. (I had a very brief solo as Aunt Eller in Oklahoma. and an even briefer one as a chorus member in Plain and Fancy)
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. from the beach-very cool
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables. once -- not very successfully, though.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise. cruised to the Bahamas on my honeymoon.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language. tried, but didn't succeed.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David.
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater. used to go when I was a kid, my sister and I would fall asleep in the back of the station wagon while the parents watched the movie.
55. Been in a movie. no, but the kidlet was in a TV commercial once.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.I got my gallon pin a long time ago.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. on the to-do list.
67. Bounced a check. not intentionally, though
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem. also on the to-do list
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House. August, 1974, three days before Nixon resigned -- we went to the White House but didn't go inside.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life. saved my then-3-year-old sister from drowning
90. Sat on a jury. (no, but I sat in the jury pool -- got disqualified because I'm a lawyer)
91. Met someone famous. several, actually -- my sister went to high school with Ralph Maccio, I've met several celebrities, including Sarah jessica Parker
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit. I'm a lawyer, also a litigant.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.
100. Read an entire book in one day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the wind is HOWLING!

I can live with cold, I can tolerate snow, but the howling wind....too much.

Chanukah event at temple today

we have a party for the children -- we hire a magician -- and we also sponsor a crafts fair. I was afriad we'd have a low turnout today because of the snow, but we had a nice sized crowd.

my job today -- the social action committee is collecting money for toys -- every year Rabbi goes to Jerusalem and brings Legos, which he gives to children in hospitals. we also collect clothes and etc. for a local social services organization and for a local outreach center. we had a succesful day, $250 for the Legos and a lot of nice things ofr the outreach program.

though I wasn't happy about being at the center of the latest drama -- being aTrustee on the board means I have to deal with the bickering and politicking. groan....


Saturday, December 6, 2008


I had a delightful afternoon shopping with Becca. Normally I dread shopping during Christmastime, there's no place to park, the crowds are rude and the salesclerks ar harried, but today was not bad at all.

the day began with whining. Becca. a/k/a the shopaholic, wanted to add to her copious wardrobe, but I didn't have the cash to indulge her addiction.

remember how I had to go to social security to replace our missing cards? the new ones arrived in today's mail. when Becca went to put hers in her drawer, she discovered that she had several gifts cards....they were given to her at her sweet 16 last summer, and she'd forgotten about them. she had cards for Bloomie's, abercrombie & Fitch and sephora.

so off we went to the mall.

my plan was to park near Bloomingdale's, so I started searching for a spot in that lot. eventually I saw a car about to pull out from a spot as far away from the store as you could be and still be at the mall, and I pulled up...only to realize another car was also waiting for that spot, and he'd been there first. I was in the better position, I could have blocked his way and "stolen" the spot, but Becca and I agreed that we should do "the right thing" and let him have the spot.

so I kept hunting. finally found a spot at the other end of the mall -- right near Macy's. in fact, if I were any closer to the door, i would have been inside the mall.

our first stop was Abercrombie & fitch. Now, I was really surprised Becca still had her gift cards from this store -- when Becca had her party last June, Jen was still working for Abercrombie and had an employee discount, and I assumed Becca would have taken advantage of that. apparently not. anyhow, the cashier today was a classmate of jen's and asked how she's enjoying college.

next we went to Bloomie's. Becca really likes Juicy Couture (who doesn't?), but the stuff is prohibitively expensive. today everything Juicy was on sale, and bloomie's was also running a promotion -- for every $100 you spend today or tomorrow, you get a $15 gift certificate good anytime monday or later.

then we walked to the middle of the mall, where Santa holds court, and there was a woman from Godiva handing out coupons for free truffles.

so we made an unscheduled stop in godiva. now, we could have just taken our free truffles and gone, but I'm not comfortable doing we bought a box of chocolates -- and got a fre bar of dark chocolate as well.

next was sephora -- Becca's version of the promised land. she's a member of their rewards club, so when she went to pay for her eyeliner, the girl behind the counter told her she'd earned enough rewards points for a free gift.

then, on to macy's. Becca realized she had a card for macy's, too, but wouldn't have gone into the store today if we hadn't parked where we did. Becca like expensive perfumes, but that's the kind of thing I reserve for special occasions. yet she had a card for the store, so she indulged herself with a small bottle of Dior. and got a cute Dior bag as a free gift.

by the time we picked up our sandwiches at Panera, Becca was telling me "this was the best day of my life," and attributing our good fortune to karma for doing the right thing in the parking lot.

For a nice Jewish girl I am terribly obsessed with

Christmas ornaments and outdoor decorations.

I've discovered I like taking photos of Christmas displays. n they're all so pretty, aren't they?

but I'm not the one who has to clean up the pine needles< am I?

why is it

that cats with white fur wlll only rub against your leg when you're wearing BLACK PANTS?

Friday, December 5, 2008

more music from the underground

as seen in Penn Station....

the Wall Street tree

(last year's photo, but I can assure you, it's the very same decor this year)

new favorite hand cream

there's a woman in my office who sells Avon. I buy a few things from her occasionally.

Last year at Christmas she gave me a small "customer appreciation" gift, a small tube of Moisture therapy Intesive Hand Cream for Extremely Dry Skin.

I never opened it, I threw it into the desk drawer and forgot about it.

until today.

I don't have "extremely dry skin", but I do like hand creme.

this stuff is amazing. my hands feel so soft and smooth, it's like I spent a small fortune at the nail salon.

Santa's g-mail box

(stolen from a friend)

(click to enlarge if you don't see the whole image)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the more things change, the more they stay the same

my father is a retired school principal.students in his junior high feared him.

one technique he loved to use...when a student was sent to his office because of some misbehavior, he'd sit the child down, give him the "look" (I once met a former student of my father,as an adult he still remembered that "look"), hand the child the telephone and say "call your mother." the student would become upset. he'd repeat, "call your mother and tell her what you did." by that point the tears would begin to flow. that's when he'd walk the kid back to class, and everyone else would wonder "what did he DO to you?"

well, myy sister's best friend -- actually she's almost a member of this nutso family -- is a high school teacher. she has looked to my father as a mentor. she uses 21st century technology to achieve the same result....

she has studnets who will sleep in her class. she whips out her cell phone, snaps a picture of the offender, then threatens to send it via e-mail to the offender's mother.

bad mommy moment from the past

All this talk of Christmas ornaments reminds me of a "bad mommy" moment I had when Jen was 2 years old.

we had a Christmas party at my office, and everyone was encouraged to bring their children. Becca was only 6 months old, so I decided to leave her home with her father while I took Jen to the party. She had a great time, running around the cubicles and playing with the other kids.

and then "it" happened.

I'd received a gift from one of our vendors, a centerpiece from the florist, evergreens decorated with a few glass ornaments. I'm Jewish, what do I know from Christmas ornaments? I didn't realize the ornaments were made of glass until Jen started playing with them, and one broke and she cut her hand.

I don't know who cried more -- Jen from the pain of that cut, or me because I was a horrible mommy that day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

escalator insanity

every day my commute to the office takes me through the Exchange Place Station (Jersey City) on the PATH train that connects New York with various points in New Jersey. the PATH is like a subway, but runs under the Hudson and is mostly a commuter line.

if you get off a train in Jersey and think you've been here before -- you may have seen that old Law & Order: SVU episode where the PATH station stood in for a NYC subway station.

the station is six stories below street level and is accessed via escalator. the escalator is decorated with these incredible light sculptures.

looking down while riding:

looking up from the bottom:

you can see from the photo that there are 3 escalators flanked by 2 staircases, all the equivalent of 6 flights of stairs. you can also see that one escalator is currently out of service. and this is where the insanity lies.

normally, it's understood -- like an unwritten rule -- that people who want to just stand and ride the escalator will do so on the right, while those who want to walk on the escalator will do so on the left. it generally works out.

but yesterday the PATH employees were in the station, telling folks "don't walk down the escalator, either ride one person per step or use the stairs." guess they were afraid the escalator would break.

did folks listen?

of course not.

as promised, the ornaments in the lobby

this is what hangs over our heads. literally.

NYC at Christmas

I was a little disappointed today, I went into Manhattan for a training class, and neither the tree in Liberty Park (or whatever they are calling it now) nor the tree in front of the stock exchange were lit. the lights were in place, but not illuminated. guess it's a bit too early in the season. so here's a photo from last year, this is the tree in the park on Liberty Street, across from Ground Zero.

a picture from last spring

took this with the camera in my phone (I love my Voyager!) last spring. those goslings must be fully grown by now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the lobby of my office building is now decorated for Christmas

in addition to the usual trees, fake gifts, poinsettias, etc., this year they've added something -- glass ornaments that hang from the ceiling, each of them probably 2 feet tall. if I can take a photo later I will post it, but in the meantime, here are ornaments similar to what's hanging over my head every time I walk through the lobby:

ads on this site -- too funny

ever notice that the ads on this blog seem to coordinate with the topics being discussed. marvelous technology, that...

one ad that keeps popping up is for something called


gee, I wonder why a site with the name "songbird" keeps popping up!


Becca is thinking of running track this spring.

apparently spring track is a "walk-on" at Becca's school. her best friend is a member of the team.

it means she'd have to go to practice...and I'd have to go to the meets whenever I can.

but she can always use another varsity letter -- she got one letter for her two years of dance team (dance and cheerleading are "stepchildren" of the athletic department, no matter how long you're on the varsity team you earn only one letter). and she could win a scholar-athlete award (dance team wasn't eligible for this award, though most of the dance team girls would have qualified if eligible)

and if she actually joins the team, I would love to go to the spring sports awards and smile at the dance team bitch coach.

Monday, December 1, 2008

well, well, well

genderanalyzer has changed its tune:

We think is written by a woman (76%).

song stuck in my head today

Dancing bears, Painted wings,
Things I almost remember,
And a song someone sings,
Once upon a December
Someone holds me safe and warm,
Horses prance through a silver storm,
Figures dancing gracefully across my memory...
Someone holds me safe and warm,
Horses prance through a silver storm,
Figures dancing gracefully across my memory...
Far away, long ago
Glowing dim as an ember,
Things my heart used to know,
Things it yearns to remember.
And a song someone sings,
Once upon a December

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