life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, January 31, 2009

I should have named her Ariel!

so last night Jen called me from school and asked me to buy a DVD "before Disney puts it back in the vault." the DVD she wanted was a prequel to the classic "The Little Mermaid".

Jen has always loved Disney movies, but I think "Mermaid", in all of its incarnations (movie, TV show, sequel, prequel, Broadway show, soundtracks, Disneyword performances) has always been her favorite.

on Jen's 3rd birthday, my sister Andrea -who has long red hair- borrowed a mermaid costume. Jen was so excited! she wanted to wear the costume. fortunately I had some pretty green fabric in the house, which I wrapped around her like a sarong, and she was overjoyed.

so of course I went out and bought the DVD for her.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

cute little monster, isn't he?

this is "Hungry", the mascot for Weight Watchers' new "Momentum" program.

everyone at the meeting yesterday would like to have one. hey, if Ty can make Sasha and Malia doll, why not make a "Hungry" doll, too?

I'd keep mine on my desk at work, for inspiration.

same reason I watch "the Biggest Loser" every Tuesday night.

I'm trying to find my groove.

or actually, "rediscover" would be a better word.

I lost 70 pounds...then stopped eating right and stopped exercising, and gained back 40.

last night I did a 30 minute workout and thought I was going to die.

I'm doing "Relay for Life" in June, I've got to get back in shape for it!

pink tulips

bought myself a little pick-me-up on this dreary winter day

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'cause I like to brag on my kids

if you can't see the whole picture, click on it to enlarge.

Here's Jen in the dress she wore to senior prom:

and here's Becca in a dress she wore to a friend's sweet 16:

oh, the weather outside is frightful

don't let my smile fool you, I am HATING this winter weather!

normally our winters on Long Island are relatively mild, maybe a week or two of extremely cold weather, maybe one or two snow storms. this year we've been hit with one storm after another after another. and I am sick of it!

you have no idea how miserable I am right now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Inspired by Jibber Jabber -- 1776

Jibber Jabber commented on Suzanne's blog and mentioned that 1776 is one of her favorite soundtracks.

it's on my hit list too. I'm a Broadway baby and majored in history in college. I own the DVD of the movie, starring William Daniels. and after seeing Brent Spiner in the Broadway revival, I bought the CD of the revival cast.

my ex husband -- all 5'4" of him -- played John Adams in his high school production.

Remember that old series, St. Elsewhere? Ed Flanders, Ed Begley Jr., William Daniels, Howie Mandel, Denzel Washington, Mark Harmon, among others. A lot of black comedy and inside jokes.

the series was set in Boston. In one story line, William Daniels' character, Dr. Mark Craig, visits Philadelphia (I think his character was supposed to have gone to medical school there). And during that episode, he sings one line:

"It's hot as hell in Philadelphia!"

when I saw that show on TV, I almost lost it!

school calendar = tears

I visited the school district's website today. and there it was.

the 2009-2010 school calendar.

the first day of school. each vacation day. the last day of classes. graduation.

Becca's senior year, laid out on a neat sheet of paper.

the last year my life will be governed by a public school calendar.

when the girls were little I figured out "Jen will graduate from high school in 2008 and Becca in 2010."

2010. wasn't that an Arthur C. Clarke novel? it seemed so far away.

and now it's almost here.

and I'm not ready to let her go.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Benjamin Buttons -- spoilers

I saw the Brad Pitt movie this past weekend. It intrigued me enough for me to find the original short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Other than the name and the central premise, the short story bears little resemblance to the movie.the original story had a sense of wry humor. Set in Baltimore, with the main character born in 1860, it had a sense of history but little romance.

The movie, however, is a bittersweet romance, told in flashback and set in New Orleans, with the title character born in 1917. I liked the care that was put into the story line -- from the clock that ran backwards to having Benjamin grow up in an old age home to Benjamin and Daisy finally being in sync with each other. I am amazed at the make up and digital photography that made Brad Pitt look older/younger than he really is.

The story is told in flashback, Daisy's daughter is reading Benjamin's journal to Daisy as she lies on her deathbed in 2005. What I really didn't "get", though, was the juxtaposition of Hurricane Katrina with the story line. I didn't see how the impending storm had anything to do with the doomed romance. Florida trip this winter

One of the perks of being on the high school cheer team, or the high school dance team, was the annual trip to Central Florida for competition. With neither of my girls on a team this year, I am bereft.

I have wonderful memories of these competitions, especially the Florida trips. the girls and I had vacationed in Central Florida many times from 1998 through 2001, visiting Walt Disney World 5 times and Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure once. We hadn't been to Florida since 2001, and going back with the teams was a delight.

Jen's sophomore year the team went to a competition at Universal Studios, and Becca and I went with the team. The next year, Jen's junior year and Becca's freshman year, the dance team went to WDW in early March and the cheer team went to WDW in mid March. Ditto last year. (The dance team also travels to Myrtle Beach for a competition at the end of March, but that's a different story.)

Going on these trips is a lot different than watching your child participate in the local coaches' association competitions, sitting in the bleachers all afternoon just to see your child's 4 minutes of fame. there's a lot of bonding among the girls, and among the moms as well.

It starts at the school, the girls, the coaches and the moms all meet to catch the bus to the airport. the girls all wear their team warm ups and carry their competition gear in their duffel bags (you want all your competition gear in your carry on, just in case the airline loses your luggage). Until you return to school a few days later, the girls will be together as a team. There will be some drama, of course (they're teenage girls, after all), and a lot of bonding over shared experiences. total strangers will see the girls in their warm ups and ask a dozen questions about the competition, and wish the girls luck (or, on the way home, strangers will see the trophy(ies) and congratulate them). I know, I know, some people don't like the cheer teams and dance teams at Disney, though I must say, our girls were well behaved ... unlike some other teams I've seen there...

It's a package deal. You stay in a hotel with many of the other teams from your competition and/or other competitions taking place nearby. There's no place to really practice for the competition, so the coach will find a grassy area at the hotel do run-throughs to keep the girls focused on the reason for being here, because there's also plenty of time for lounging by the pool, visiting the theme parks, shopping for souvenirs, enjoying team dinners...

Competing in a large venue, such at the Hard Rock at Citywalk or Disney's Milk House, can be a bit overwhelming for girls who have only competed in high school gyms. The crowds are huge and the performance space can seem enormous. There's a professional DJ and an MC, the competition is being videotaped, and photographed with stop-action photography. the good news is, you don't stay for the whole competition -- only for your division, which may be only a few teams.

Right now it's freezing here in NYC, and I have an overwhelming desire to see palm trees....but in truth I think I miss the whole team spirit thing, the mother-daughter bonding, the being part of something, more than I miss the actual trip to Central Florida. I mean, I could go to WDW again, with my kids or with friends, but it wouldn't have the same "feel" as being on a team trip.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

you tell your 6 million friends on facebook but you don't tell your mother?

Jen told me she won't "friend" me on facebook, it would be "too weird".

she went back to school tuesday after 5 weeks of Christmas vacation.

her boyfriend stopped by monday evening to say goodbye. as soon as he was gone Jen ran upstairs to sign onto facebook.

I didn't find out until yesterday that she changed her facebook status to "single".

the boyfriend's "goodbye" meant "I'll see you next time you're home."

but Jen' "goodbye" was more along the lines of "don't let the door hit you..."


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

DISboards nonsense

found a new blog today. Love it.

I've posted there under various names over the last 10 years or so. it went from a sweet little board that was Pete Werner's hobby to ....well, a real nightmare. that a board devoted to all things Disney can be such a nasty, racist, childish (not childlike) place....

loving the inside scoop, though.

Did I ever tell you how "songbird" was banned from the DIS?

I was a poster in good standing for 3-4 years. Even booked my trips through Dreams Unlimited, back when Pete was careful to distinguish between the disboards as a hobby and Dreams as his business.

Pete and Webmaster Alex were struggling with server issues, the disboards would go down more often than they'd stay up.

then Pete announced cosmetic changes to, which feeds into the disbaords forum.

Like all other members of the forum, I was frustrated. so I was a bit sarcastic. I posted something to the effect of "would you buy a house if the front door had just been painted but the electrical system kept shorting out?"

I was banned by the great man himself.

wish I'd saved the nasty e-mails he sent me.

yeah, I was sarcastic, and I'm sure I hit a nerve.

but he made a lot of $$$ from my vacation planning, and from the referrals, I've never used Dreams Unlimited again, and I've never sent another person there either.

the resiliency of the teenage heart

tragedy struck our home Thursday night. Becca broke up with her boyfriend.

the boy she swore she would love forever.

"forever" lasted about 8-9 months. I guess in teen world that constitutes a lifetime.

the ex is a nice kid, I liked him and I liked his parents. but to tell the truth, he's "geographically undesirable" -- he doesn't live in our town, it's20 minutes of highway driving to get to his house. I won't miss that drive at all.

on Saturday I noticed she wasn't wearing her own coat, she was wearing a red and black lacrosse team jacket.

there are two high schools in our town. Becca goes to High School West. their school colors are red and white. the other school, High School East, uses red and black for its colors.

at least this time she picked a boy closer to home!

I'd say her recovery is complete.

one million bagels!

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a long-standing relationship with bagels. Part of it is ethnic compulsion -- I think it's in the genes. Part of it is family history -- my late uncle was a bagel man, owned a store in Newark and later had a shop on the East Side.

and part of it is that they are a little bit of carbo heaven.

of course, I am a bit of a bagel "snob". A real bagel should be boiled, not steamed, before it is baked. and those weird flavors -- like blueberry or sun-dried tomato -- you know, the things my uncle would never have added to his bagels -- just don't cut it for me. and those horrible doughy things they sell in the supermarket freezer section -- don't get me started.

when I was in college, in Albany, NY, most of my classmates were from NYC or Long Island, and we used to beg our parents to bring us "Guyland bagels", because what was sold as a "bagel" in Albany just didn't compare. it must be something in the water.

in fact, when I used to go down to Southwest Florida,I saw advertisements for bagel shops featuring "authentic New York bagels" -- they came pretty close, but....

so I was amused when I heard that Bagel Boss, the biggest bagel store on the Island, sent one million bagels to DC for the Inauguration. I am trying to visualize what one million bagels must look like.

I think it looks like a little slice of heaven.

here's the news story -- I wish I had a picture to go along with it.

Bagel shop sends 1 million bagels for inauguration

HICKSVILLE, NY. (NBC) - A taste of New York City will be waiting for those at Tuesday's presidential inauguration.
A Long Island bagel shop is sending one-million bagels to D.C. for the event.
The owner of Bagel Boss decided to give out one million bagels and schmears to people attending the big events in D.C., and the workers in Hicksville are glad to be a part of history.
Regular customers say the rest of the country should have a taste of real New York bagels.
Bagel Boss managers say it took 14 trucks to carry the bagels down to Washington.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the Obama Inauguration

It occurred to me today that, for the first time in my life, the President of the United States will be younger than I am!

I was born in 1960, my sister in 1961. Obama was born in 1961.

He's a member of my generation.


the torch has been passed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

snow again

the view from my bedroom window...I am starting to HATE snow.

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the joys of parenting a teen

it was snowing when I drove Becca to the party tonight, and I was so glad it was a sleepover because I didn't want to have to pick her up at the end of the evening. not that the birthday girl lives far - it's only about a mile or so - but I dislike driving while...while...while the snow is falling.

so you can imagine my joy several hours later, when Becca sent me a text saying she had a headache and wanted to come home.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

watching her grow up...

Jen will be headed back to college on tuesday. she's an education major, she wants to be an elementary school teacher.

she's spnet most of Christmas break doing what college kids do at home -- sleeping until noon, partying with her friends,driving all over town, hitting mom up for cash.

but she did something else as well.

my friend Jenn is a high school teacher. and Emily teaches elementary school.

Jen spent a day shadowing Jenn, and a day observing Emily. and discussing her own career objective with them.

and I marvel that this is the same child who just 4 years ago thought school was getting in the way of her social life.

Friday, January 16, 2009

This is all grandy's fault!!!!!

Grandy blogged about cleaning her desk awhile back as she prepared to relocate to another desk in her office, and I laughed.

oh, the irony of that laugh.

two years ago my division went through a major reorganization, which resulted in many large departments being split into smaller, more manageable departments. my department was one of the affected departments, and I was assigned to the new department. in july 2007 the new department was relocated to a different floor.

well, 18 months later, we're going to relocate -- back to the floor where our former colleagues have remained. we're likely to be moving by the end of this month.

I have been with this company for 6 1/2 years. this will be the third time I've had to move, so I've weeded out some of the trash, but still...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

and another view from my window


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a view of the plane and rescue boats in lower Manhattan


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a front row seat to the news

If I walk over to the window and look north, I can see the plane crash site.I can see the fireboats and ferries, and lots of rescue vehicles on both sides of the river. At first I couldn't see the plane itself, but now that they're towing it, it's become visible.

A US Airways jet crashed landed into the Hudson River near Manhattan this afternoon, plunging its approximately 150 crew and passengers into freezing waters after apparently hitting a flock of geese. The plane was submerged in the icy waters up to the windows, and rescue crews had opened the door and were pulling passengers in yellow life vests from the plane. Several boats surrounded the plane, which appeared to be slowly sinking. An armada of boats, including at least five commuter ferries, as well as firefighters, federal officials rushed to the scene before the Airbus A320 could sink into the murky depths. The plane crashed in the area of The USS Intrepid, near 43rd Street, on Manhattan's West side shortly after it took off at 3:26 p.m. from LaGuardia Airport. It was unclear how many people were able to escape. “Prepare for impact" - all that was said by the pilot before the landed in the river according to passenger Alberto Panero in a phone interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Somehow the plane stayed afloat and we were all able to get on the raft," said Panero. "Some people were on the wings and had to wait there but most of the people were able to get on the raft." "I don't even know how to put it into words right now," he said. "I actually grabbed one of the seats, that was the first thing that came to my mind. Some people grabbed the inflatable one. Immediately there were folks coming to us and throwing life jackets to us and helping us get to safety." "There were a couple of people who took charge and started yelling for everyone to calm down," he said. "Once people everyone realized we were going to be ok, they settled down." "I can't say 100% but I'm pretty sure everyone was able to get off," he said. "It was just like a car crash, the impact." "I saw it hit the river," a caller who witnessed the crash told WNBC Thursday. "It just came crashing down into the river. I was wondering why it came down so low; there's no airport around here."
Ferry boats surround a US Airways aircraft that has gone down in the Hudson River in New York, Thursday Jan. 15, 2009. It was not immediately clear if there were injuries.
WNBC's Tim Minton said a pilot had reported he'd hit a flock of geese. One report said the geese may have disabled two of the engines.
The plane was en route to Charlotte, N.C., and had 146 passengers and five crew members aboard.
"I'm on the 27th floor of my building, sitting on my couch," another viewer told WNBC. "I got up and said, 'Oh my God, they're gonna land in the river.' I watched the whole thing." "I saw what appeared to be a tail fin of a plane sticking out of the water," said Erica Schietinger, whose office windows at Chelsea Piers look out over the Hudson. "All the boats have sort of circled the area. ... I can't tell what's what at this point." Experts said that Canadian geese are one of a pilots worst nightmares. A 4-pound bird exerts more than 6 tons of force if hit by a plane traveling 200 mph -- some geese weigh up to 15 pounds. A U.S. Air Force plane crashed during takeoff at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska in 1995 after a collision with geese. Twenty-four people died. Birds caused another Air Force plane to crash during its approach to a runway in the Netherlands in 1996, killing 34 people.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hurricane Gloria -- a memorable storm

Where were you in September 1985?

I was working in a law firm in lower Manhattan and living in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, with my roommate Eileen. It was my first apartment and (with the exception of my college dorm) the first time I was living someplace other than Long Island.

Two of my best friends at the time were classmates from law school. Linda and her husband lived in Garden City, Long Island, and Debbie had an apartment on the Upper East Side. the three of us would get together frequently for dinner, theater, etc., and we'd usually wind up back at Debbie's for a sleepover. That's where I was the night before Hurricane Gloria.

It was already raining when the three of us got up to go to our respective jobs. We splurged on a commuter van downtown instead of the subway. By the time I got to my office the rain was very heavy, and the winds had kicked up.

My firm was on the 27th floor of the building, and I could hear the wind rattling the huge glass windows. I was there maybe 10-15 minutes when the maintenance crew came to put huge strips of masking tape on the windows -- I suppose to keep them from shattering.

a few minutes later the building management announced that they were closing the building and we should all go home.

that NEVER happens in NYC!

down in the subway the transit cops were clad in horrible orange rain gear. there was already some flooding and a few train delays.

as soon as I got off the train in Brooklyn I stopped at the local deli to stock up on a few grocery items -- having lived through a few prior storms, I was anticipating power outages and/or other problems which might prevent me from shopping. But in Brooklyn, no one else seemed to be stocking up as if Armaggedon was headed our way. Culture shock!

eileen and I rode out the storm in our apartment, doing housekeeping chores and watching TV. As soon as the sotrm was over, life in our neighborhood returned to normal. I missed out on the downed trees and power outages that the storm brought to the Island.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

how my mother got her skylight

when we moved into the house in 1968, my mother decorated our new den in a sort of Spanish/Tudor style -- dark wood floor, dark panelling, stucco and beam ceiling, dark brick fireplace, red and black upholstery on the sofa and lvoe seat.

shortly theerafter, she decided the room was "too dark". she wanted a skylight in the room.

but with four kids and one salary (my dad made good money, but still...), it wasn't likely that the room would be redone any time soon.

fast forward ten years to 1978.

the Long Island Ice Storm of janaury 13-14

Light snow spread across the island during the morning on Friday January 13 and continued throughout the day, with most areas averaging around 3 inches of accumulation. During the evening the snow mixed with sleet and freezing rain and eventually turned to all freezing rain which became heavy at times and continued through the night.

As the ice accumulated, power outages began to occur during the late evening and towards midnight, they began to become widespread across large parts of the island, especially along the north shore. In much of New York City, the temperature overnight rose just above freezing, preventing serious icing damage there, but on most of Long Island, temperatures stayed below freezing throughout the entire event resulting in one of the worst ice storms in decades. In fact temperatures following the storm did not reach freezing during the next several days and much of the island remained without power into the following week. The governor of New York activated the national guard to assist with the cleanup on Long Island and utility crews were brought in from hundreds of miles away to help with the repair of power lines.

As many homes on Long Island were finally getting their power back on Tuesday, January 17, a new storm dropped another 3 inches of snow during the day, compounding the utility repair problems for a while, although the snow changed to a cold rain during the evening, which continued overnight as temperatures remained in the 30's. A little farther to the north the precipitation remained as all snow and the 10 inches of heavy new snow combined with the weight of the previous snow and ice caused the collapse of the improperly designed roof of the Hartford Civic Center just hours after a crowd had witnessed a college basketball game there (miraculously, there were no injuries). On Long Island, the new storm had the opposite effect, resulting in improved conditions as the rain and temperatures barely above freezing was just enough to knock most of the ice off of trees and power lines by Wednesday morning. This gave utility crews a better chance to complete most of the power line repairs before the next major storm struck Long Island just a day and a half later.

All of Long Island was coated in ice. we live in a wooded area, our house is surrounded by trees, all of which were completely glazed.

we had...still have, actually...a mighty oak tree, taller than the house. one of the branches of that tree -- as thick and as tall as many full-grown trees -- became so heavy that it broke off from the tree and came crashing down -- right through the middle of the den roof. took a piece of the chimney with it as it came down.

we were without electric power for (I think) 2 days, not sure how long. my parents sent my younger sisters to stay at a freinds' house, since the friend never lost power, but the rest of us were pioneers for a day or so. and while many of of neighbors were able to stay somewhat warm by burning logs in their fireplaces, we could not... I remember one night, sleeping in all my clothes, with my coat on, and under two blankets. the dog was more than happy to curl up under a blanket with me, but the poor cat didn't like that feeling -- and spent hours running from room to room to stay warm. school was cancelled for almost a week.

when things returned to normal, my parents called in a contractor to re-do the den.

the hole in the ceiling where the tree had come crashing through was dead center -- a perfect place for a skylight, don't you agree?

thanks, Suzanne...I think -- Honest scrap

I don't even know 7 people in the blogosphere! I will do my best, though.

Suzanne has given me an award. The Honest Scrap Award.

The rules for the Honest Scrap award: The honorees are to: A) first list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep! B) pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap.

OK, here goes:

1. I am terribly, horribly romantic and idealistic. I truly expect the happy ending, that love with conquor all. I know this is terribly illogical, after all, my marriage was hardly a storybook. We had some good years and some bad years, and a very acrimoneous divorce. but I am still looking for the prince to sweep me off my feet.

2. I was picked on a lot in junior high, and even a few times in high school. It took me until my 40's to learn how to effectively deal with bullies.

3. I do have a mean streak. My ex (Drew) and I went to Fort Lauderdale, FL, for the wedding f one of his childhood friends. It was a second marriage for both the bride and the groom, and between them they had four sons. We stayed with the happy couple and slept in bunk beds in the room belonging to two of the boys. I didn't know the bride, the groom, or anyone invited to this wedding. the night before the wedding, there was a bachelor party, and Drew left me with the bride and her friends while he went drinking with the guys. At the end of the evening he was the only one sober enough to call the bride and ask her to come get the guys. I wound up all by myself, in the bride and groom's house, with a bunch of sleeping children and the ugliest palmetto bug...I was so pissed off about being left behind. Yes, I made Drew sleep in the top bunk.

4. In college, my boyfriend and I seriously thought about eloping to Maryland. Cooler heads prevailed. We did get engaged, but never married.

5. I can't hold my liquor. Two drinks and I'm buzzed, three and I'm on the floor. I found this out my freshman year in college, when my roommates had to put me to bed during a party in our dorm room.

6. I can't help but feel catty about my daughter's former dance team. The coach was so horrible to my daughter when she cut her from the team that I can't help but wish they'd fall on their faces at their next competition. I think my daughter got over it, but I haven't. I feel guilty, because some of those girls are still friends with my daughter, and I'd love to show school spirit. So say a loud "me-ow" whenever you see me mention dance team.

7. You know those packages of Pepperidge Farm cookies? When I am upset/depressed/angry/frustrated, I can eat a whole package of Mint Milanos in an afternoon.

8. I am a terrible housekeeper. Right now my bedroom looks like it's been ransacked by burglars. sort of like in that Bette Midler movie.

9. Back in high school I had a wonderful teacher, Mr. S, who had an enormous influence over my life. In 10th grade Mr. S decided to hold a mock trial, with everyone in the class playing a role. We put Napoleon Bonaparte on trial for war crimes against the people of France. I was one of two students assigned to be defense counsel. We won. I think that victory was better than any I ever had in a real courtroom.

10. I did something truly stupid on my honeymoon. We got married at the end of June. We took a cruise to the Bahamas --the Premier cruise that combined a trip to the islands with a short visit to Disneyworld. We spent a day on Premier's private island. We were warned about the sun and told to wear a t-shirt if we ventured into the water. I wnet snorkeling that morning in a t-shirt, but after lunch I forgot to put the shirt on beofre returning to the water. that night they served lobster for dinner, and I couldn't eat it because its red shell was the same color as my back.

Now, as for who I should tag.

1. Grandy. Hers is one of my favorite blogs.

2. Janet. i love the pictures of the Roo girl.

3. Amy Because we should all go green.

4. tpgoddess0103 Her blog always has some interesting story.

5. gypsydoodlebug She hasn't posted for a few days, i suspect she's enjoying WDW again.

6. Daisy and 7.Ora b. I read them on Mid Century Modern Moms and love their stories.

Now I have to get busy and start e-mailing my victims blog buddies.

Monday, January 12, 2009

the January blahs....

It's cold, it's snowy, it's miserable. The excitement of holidays is over. the doledrums have set in.

trying to find something interesting and exciting to motivate myself.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

guess I won't be watching the Superbowl this year

I'm not really a football fan, but I do have a sense of hometown pride. alas. no New York team will be playing this year...

Last year - Giants vs. Patriots. Jen and I were in the car during the game, and she kept getting texts from her friends with score updates.

We were on our way from our home on Long Island to Hartford, CT. Jen had been accepted at Hartford and we planned to check out the school Monday morning.

Just as I pulled into the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Hartford, Jen told me "The Giants just won the game."

we walked into the hotel lobby. there was a huge flat screen tv in the lobby...and a lot of sad Patriot fans staring mournfully at the screen.

they gave us a nice room despite my NY driver's license.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

wish I'd had the camera tonight

so the previous post was a photo from my archives, from June 2008, at Becca's sweet 16 party. Jen is the one wearing the pink Betsy Johnson (it was the dress she wore to the prom in 2007) and Becca is the one in the teal and cream Betsy.

both girls went to a sweet 16 tonight and I wish I'd had the opportunity to take a picture of them. Becca was her usual gorgeous self in a purple strapless and my Tiffany earrings.


she borrowed a dress my from sister, a frothy black and white strapless that my sister had worn to the sweet 16 last June. (I'm sorry, but a 40 year old woman should not be wearing a Besty Johnson prom dress, even if she can fit into it!)

she looked like she should be modelling the dress. it looked like it was made for her.

I doubt my sister will ever wear that dress again.

Jen and Becca June 2008 --Sweet 16

if you can;t see my beautiful daughters, click to enlarge

jen and becca -- outside the club

Friday, January 9, 2009

a meme from Suzanne

New Years Meme

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

I was elected to serve on the board of trustees at my synagogue and appointed to chair several committees. Jen graduated from high school and went off to college. Becca turned 16 and got her learner's permit.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No, but I'm stuill trying
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not really close, but I felt great sadness. My parents have very close friends, they've known each other since I was in 3rd grade. their son was in my third grade class. You couldn't call us friends, we barely spoke to each other, but he died of brain cancer a few months ago, and I was devastated.

5. What countries did you visit?
None, unless you count the pavillions in EPCOT's world showcase.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
tranquility in my life, less stress. materially, I want a new car -- not going to happen -- a new laptop (maybe) and a new iPod, maybe the itouch (possible)
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
the day my daughter Jen graduated from high school. the day she started college. Becca's sweet 16 party.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
the work I've done for the synagogue.
9. What was your biggest failure?
a case i worked on but wasn't able to bring to closure.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
not this year, thank G-d.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
ipod nano.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
my kids, of course.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
my sisters and I aren't getting along at all and I'm tired of being baited by them.
14. Where did most of your money go?
I've got 2 teenagers, need you ask?.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The Election. my trips to Disney. My kids.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
"apple bottom with the fur...the whole club was looking at her..." so overplayed...and overused by every hip hop comeptition team in every venue we went to.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? not sure.
b) thinner or fatter? beating myself up because I gained back some of the weight I lost in 2007.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
time with the kidlets.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
fighting with the kidlets.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
friend's house Christmas Eve, home relaxing Christmas Day
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
still looking for that mensch
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Biggest Loser, American Idol, ER, Law & Order, Survivor, Countdown with Keith Olberman
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Not hate, but increasingly annoyed with someone.
24. What was the best book you read?
Read quite a few good ones, but I'd have to agree with Suzanne about Wild Fire by Nelson de Mille was the best.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Off Kilter
26. What did you want and get?
for Jen to get into a college she'd actually like.
27. What did you want and not get?
a winning lottery ticket
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 48, had a fight with my kids, and spent the whole day alone, shopping for myself.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
meeting Mr. Right
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
long silky hair (I deserve it after chemo in 2005), conservative business casual
32. What kept you sane?
focusing on the long term
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Billy Joel
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
not an issue, a politician. Hillary Clinton
35. Who did you miss?
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Made a lot of friends in the blogosphere. In real life, some newbies at the office.37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
that responsible, mature adults, leaders of the community, can be as bad as high school cliques.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

There's always tomorrow,
For dreams to come true,
Believe in your dreams
Come what may.

There's always tomorrow,
With so much to do,
And so little time in a day.

We all pretend
The rainbow has an end
And you'll be there my friend someday.

There's always tomorrow,
For dreams to come true,
Tomorrow is not far away.

We all pretend,
The rainbow has an end,
And you'll be there my friend someday.

There's always tomorrow,
For dreams to come true,
Tomorrow is not far away.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

sad memory

Grandy looked at the photos I took in the World Trade Center subway station, and asked “where are all the people?” Her question brought back memories of a time when the city was virtually deserted.

Although I have spent most of my legal career with law firms and insurance companies based in NYC or across the river in Jersey City, in 2001 I was fortunate enough to have found a job with a law firm on Long Island. During that time, I did many court appearances and depositions in the city, but I wasn’t in the city on 9/11 – my friend Shlomit says I had an angel on my shoulder that day. I watched it all on television, almost as if it were happening somewhere else.

9/11 was on a Tuesday. Reality set in a few days later, on Friday September 14. By then, lower Manhattan was isolated from the rest of the city, and people were starting to struggle to find some semblance of normalcy. The courts had reopened, and one of my cases was on the docket in federal district court in Brooklyn. The courthouse, on Cadman Plaza, is within a few blocks of the Brooklyn Bridge. To get there, you take the Long Island Railroad to Flatbush Avenue, then the subway to downtown Brooklyn.

It was a rainy, foggy morning. My railroad train was half empty – so many commuters had nowhere to go, their offices in lower Manhattan were closed. As I rode through Brooklyn, I looked out the window. I wanted, really wanted, to believe that the reason I didn’t see the twin towers on the horizon was due to the fog and rain. The subway was even deserted than the railroad train had been.

I got to court, only to find that my case had been postponed.

And then I knew what I had to do.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade runs from Remsen Street to Orange Street, along the East River. You can look across the river to lower Manhattan, or you can look out to New York Harbor and see the Statue of Liberty.

On that dreary morning the Promenade was empty. Across the river, where normally you’d see all the traffic on the FDR Drive , there was nothing save the movement of police and fire vehicles, and a huge, acrid cloud of smoke mingling with the fog and rain.

Had I planned it, I would have brought a prayer book with me, would have done more to memorialize the dead, the injured and the grieving. Since I had not, I recited the only prayer I had committed to memory:

Oseh shalom bimromav
Hu ya-a se shalom aleinu
V’al kol yisroal
V’yimeru amen

May the One who makes peace in the High Places make peace over us and over all of humanity, and let us say “amen.”

a meme from Grandy

this is one I got from Grandy

1. Have you ever been on TV?
YEP - the local cable news interviewed my in 1981.

2. Have you ever sung in public?
YEP - in junior high I was in the school chorus. in high school I was in the musicals. I actually had a solo, of sorts, when I played Aunt Eller in Oklahoma -- she sings a few lines in a couple of the songs.

3. Have you ever dyed your hair blond?
YEP - the first time was when I was 16.

4. Have you ever eaten frogs' legs?
Nope. never wanted to, either. don't tell me they taste like chicken, I know better.

5. Have you ever received a present that you really hated?
YEP - hasn't everyone?
6. Have you ever walked into a lamp post?
Nope. came close once -- damn text messaging.

7. Have you ever cooked a meal by yourself for more than 15 people?
YEP - my mom was supposed to do dinner for Rosh HaShanah one year, but she had to go to the airport to pick up my sister, who came home unexpectedly. I cooked the meal while on the phone with my aunt, who gave me step by step instructions.

8. Have you ever fallen or stumbled in front of others?
YEP - have you read my "business trip" post?

9. Have you ever done volunteer work?
YEP - of course.

See how easy this tag was? I encourage you all to fess up to your light poles and play along.

Remember, if you do play, leave a comment here to let me know so I can come check it out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

they eyes have it

some photos of the subway staion at the World Trade Center: -click to enlarge t get the full effect:

medical matters

When this message posts, I expect to be at the radiologist's, drining some godawful chemicals in preparation for my semi-annual CAT scan.

Most of the time I can forget that I am a cncer survivor. Most of the time I can feel almost normal.

But then I have to go for some test -- like the CAT scan -- or trek over to a doctor's office for a check-up, and it all comes back to me.

Can you believe it's been 4 years? December 2004. when I walked into Ilene's office, I knew I was having problems, but we both assumed it was hormonal -- just a few months shy of my 45th birthday, it wouldn't have been unusual for perimenopausal symptoms. Ilene scheduled a D & C for the end of January, 2005. I don't know which one of us was more surprised by the pathology report. But 2005 became my nightmare year -- surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. And a whole group of new friends, each with the same first name -- "Doctor".

four years later I am feeling healthy, far removed from those agonizing days.

but I am very high maintenance now.

And that fear is always in the back of my mind.

wish me luck, guys, for another clean bill of health.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

follow up memo to the MTA

not only do the rats continue to thrive in the 34th strret station, but I just saw a mouse in the World Trade Center station...and I am quite certain his name was NOT "Mickey".

Ready or not, here comes college

So it's the middle of Becca's junior year, and time for her to start her college search in earnest. She's more than ready to begin the adventure, she's been talking about where she wants to go to college since the moment she walked through those high school doors at the beginning of freshman year.

I, on the other hand, am still recuperating from Jen's college search. I couldn't really get her motivated in her junior year -- all her friends were seniors that year, so "college" meant her friends were leaving her. Consequently, everything we did was rushed. I think she was happy with her final decision, but I don't think she allowed herself to explore all the possibilities before she made that decision, and I think I may have heard some rumblings about "transferring next year..." (Lord help me).

Becca is self-motivated and very bright. she's got good grades and will likely do well on the SATs. She's taking 2 AP classes this year and plans on taking 4 or 5 AP classes next year. She spent 2 years on dance team and earned a varsity letter, she's been a member of Key club for the last 3 years, and she's been a member (and now President) of the Spanish club, which is also a community service club(good leadership qualities). She's aiming very high -- maybe higher than she can reach. But then again, why shouldn't she? She's not quite sure what she wants to study when she gets to college -- something in the liberal arts or social sciences, I believe -- but she's got time to figure that out.

Deep breath, mom, it's going to be fine...I think.

feeling stupid right now

whenever it snows, the genuises who plow out the local train station pile up the snow in the corners of the parking lot, thus reducing the available parking space in an already-overcrowded lot.

well, all the snow from the New Year's Eve storm has melted -- or so I thought.

I was running late this morning (don't ask) and got to the station much later than normal. spotted an empty parking spot at the end of the row.

pulled halfway in, decided I needed a better angle, backed out a little bit...and got stuck on a huge mound of ice I never saw.

had to call AAA to pull my car out of the spot.

by now I was sooo late I thought I'd never find a legitimate parking spot.

but no sooner did the AAA guy unhook my car from his tow truck than I saw someone actually pulling out of a parking spot.

a little silver lining in an otherwise cloudy morning.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Have car, will travel

I am trying to decide if letting Jen get her driver's license was the best thing I ever did...or the worst.

Bright and early on her 16th birthday, which also happened to be Election Day 2006, my firstborn child took that gigantic leap into adulthood and made her very first appearance at the DMV. There she got to experience, for the first time in her young life, the torture that I, an experienced driver, have known for all of my adult life. Paperwork...wait for your number to be called...more paperwork...she was photographed, she took a written test....and was handed a temporary learner's permit.

So now she was legally allowed to get behind the wheel of a car. That's when the fun really began!

Four days later she had her first fender-bender. She wanted to make a left turn...I saw a car coming from the opposite direction...but before my mouth could form the words "don't turn yet"...she did.

Well, at least the only thing that hurt ....was paying the repair bill. and the insurance premium.

So off she went to driver's ed.

And failed the road test.


Third time's the charm, right? She finally passed the road test last June, just days before her high school graduation.

I bought her a ten year old Chevy Cavalier.

And I never saw her again.

Well, that's not exactly true, she does come home when she needs money for gas.

She went off to college in September, and the car stayed home. she needed to learn how to take care of herself...I wasn't going to add the extra responsibility of a car.

Good thinking, mom.

You mean you're actually supposed to check the oil when the "check oil" light goes on? Good thing I drove her car and saw the light beofre the engine seized.

So now she's home for winter break...and driving all over the ice and snow.

No wonder my hair is turning gray.

And my younger daughter Becca starts driver's ed next month.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart.

what I'm wearing today

ruby slipper nail polish:

Sunday, January 4, 2009

new year, new you....

today is reorganization day...gotta get the house in order. next weekend is time to catch up on paperwork.

time to get back to weightwatchers....I pay for membershp, Ishould actually follow the program.

and I am going to sign up for aquarobics over at the Y.

how's that for self-improvement?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

playing with the cell phone - another self portrait


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big, blonde and my hair done today


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Friday, January 2, 2009

chicken soup!

my dad doesn't do much cooking anymore...but when he does...he makes the best chicken soup in the whole world.

the whole house smells like chicken soup right now....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year introspection

I'm Jewish, so I get to do this twice...once at Rosh HaShanah and again for the secular New Year.

2008 didn't totally suck for me. of course, working for a company that received a government bailout certainly hasn't helped my cheery disposition, but even though I saw my stock drop from $50 a share to about $1.50...well,at least Istill have a job.

still beating myself up a little about weight...I lost 70 pounds in2006-2007 but gained back 40 in 2008...but I'm watching the "Biggest Loser" marathon today for inspiration.

kids are doing well. at lot of "lasts" for Jen in 2008, and a lot of "firsts" as she graduated from high school and started college. Becca celebrated her sweet 16 and refocused her direction in school.

my parents had a few health's going to be 82 next month...but they're doing well, all things considered.

the biggest change has been between me and Drew. we're rediscovering what we liked about each other before we hateed each other. it's a bit confusing for the girls, we've been separated/divorced since 1994, but I am glad to be back on good terms with him.

2009 should be fun and exciting. I am looking forward to the changes it will bring.

they LIED!

"machine wash warm, tumble dry low"...

I bought a lovely velour track suit 2-3 years ago. the label says you can put it in the dryer, but I was always afraid it would shrink, so I'd hang it up to air dry.

until last week. threw the track suit in the dryer. shrunk. ugh!

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