life in and around NYC is insane
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I've catered to the last-minute emergencies, real and imagined, for far too long.
I got home from work at 6:30. she waved at me but kept chatting with her friends on the phone and on line.
at 8:00, now that I'm settled in to watch Biggrdt Loser, she came into the living room and said "Will you go out and buy me lunch for tomorrow?"
and when I said "no", she told me I was selfish and uncaring.
"Well, why didn't you ask me earlier? I would have stopped on my way home or something.
she didn't have an answer to that. so she stormed out of the room.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I recently upgraded to Verizon Fios, with about a gazillion movie channels, and as I was cruising through the channels and the dozens of movies being offered...including many from the 1970's...I thought about a time before cable television, when you had to actually go to the movies if you wanted to see a movie. we're spoiled now, with our stadium seating and buying tickets on line before we go, but back in the 70's the idea of a "multiplex" was something new and exciting.My boyfriend and I would hang out at the Sunrise Multiplex, in the Sunrise Mall. We must have seen Star Wars at least a dozen times -- only paid for it the first time, snuck in many additional times after seeing another movie. It was much easier then.
With the advent of the multiplex, neighborhood movie theaters had the change their approach or close their doors. In 1976 the Farmingdale Theater became known as "the 76 cent theater" because it cost $.76 to get in to see a 4th-run movie. I saw Rocky there with my family. And my boyfriend took me there to see Carrie....(spoiler alert) his friend sat in the row behind us, and when the hand reached out of the grave...the guy behind me grabbed me...and they had to peel me off the ceiling.
sigh. Places like that disappeared when more people got cable and were able to watch HBO.
Last week I happened to catch the original Poseidon Adventure.You know, Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Roddy McDowell, Jack Albertson and Shelley Winters...and the sappiest movie theme song of all time. "... there's got to be a morning after...if we can hold on through the night..." Classic. I still cry when Mrs. Rosen hands the chai to Rev. Scott to give to Manny for their grandson in Israel. I hated, hated, HATED the remake.
and then, right afterwards, I caught the end of Foul Play, a 1978 comedy starring Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn, with a wicked funny cameo by Dudley Moore. He's seen dancing to "Stayin' Alive", from the iconic Saturday Night Fever -- the first R rated movie I could legally see, viewed at the Sunrise Multiplex, I must have played the soundtrack album a thousand times. Probably wore out the vinyl. I have a friend who lives in Bay Ridge, and whenever I go to her house I half-expect to see a young John Travolta strutting down the street swinging a paint can. I saw the Broadway version a few years ago, but heard Travolta's voice in my head every time the actor playing Tony opened his mouth. they simply cannot reinvent the wheel, Travolta owns Tony Manero and nobody else can really play him.
Now, does anyone care to run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum with me?
Friday, March 27, 2009
I came thisclose to stepping on a dead mouse.
yes, it was real -- I know what a deceased rodent looks like up close and personal. I live in the woods, after all, and cohabit with two feline family members.
memo to the MTA: the rat poison is working, now please clean up the bodies.
I am still nursing the scratches on my wrist, that you gave me at 34th street when you grabbed the pole to keep from falling.
five minutes later, I felt so sorry for the girl who broke your fall at 14th street. watching you fly through the air when the train started to move ...well, I didn't know whetehr to be scared that you'd hurt yourself or roll my eyes at your stupidity.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I love this musical. A timeless, tragic love story, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Sondheim, Jerome Robbins choreography...I memorized the original cast album, played it so often that I wore out the vinyl. I can give you a point by point description of what they changed for the moive (saw the movie on TV last week, it still makes me cry). I was in the chorus of a (very bad) high school production of the show (our Maria had dark hair but was very pale, our Tony looked more Puerto Rican than Chino or Bernardo). And I saw a revivial of the show on Broadway in the 80's.
what intrigues me about Laurent's current production ---some of the scenes and some of the songs are done entirely in Spanish. more authentic that way, he says.
I took Spanish all through junior high and high school, even took a few classes in college. I was very fluent back in the day, but I've forgotten most of it. still, I know the show well enough that I'd be able to follow along.
maybe I will try for tickets.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I am as blank as the page before me.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Jen went back to school today. she drove back with her friend Mike. they left here around 5:00.
Becca came home from DC this afternoon, she got back to the house around 6:00, after "the best week of my life!"
now I am counting the days until Passover, when Jen will come home, and I'll have both girls under one roof again.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
thanks to suzanne, I decided to join the party.
I got into blogging last year because of Suzanne. I've known her on message boards for awhile, but I've gotten to know her much better since entering the blogosphere. I've also met several others whose blogs I am starting to love, and look forward to meeting even more bloggers now that I've joined the party.
So I guess that means I have to introduce myself.
I am a single mom from Long Island. My older daughter, Jen, is a college freshman, going to school in New England. Younger daughter, Becca, is a high school junior. I am also an attorney with an insurance company, with offices in Jersey City, NJ, a really "wonderful" commute. I sit on the board of trustees at my synagogue (which means I do a lot of volunteer work there!), and I am active in various fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, currently planning for this year's Relay for Life.
I like ot take photos, so you'll see many of them in this blog. I've posted video taken from my phone, but I haven't tried to post stuff I've taken with my Flip yet.
so please come in, sit down and make yourself comfortable. I'll make a pot of coffee and we can chat.
the prizes I'm interested in include the following:
Provided by: Sydney Andrews
Prize Details: Win a fabulous bracelet of your choice. Visit Sydney Andrews to see your choices. ($46.00 value) Are you interested in becoming a consultant?
12 — $20 gift certificate to The Gift Closet
Provided by: The Gift Closet
Prize details: Pamper yourself with this $20 Gift Certificate to The Gift Closet! Choose from my handmade Shea Butter, Soy Linen & Body Spray, Scrabble Pendants, or Scrabble Magnets!
14 — $43 in products
Provided By: Andrea Hatfield- Scentsy Consultant
Prize Details: 1 Scentsy Warmer, 1 Scentsy Bar and 1 Scentsy Room Spray - winners choice!
15 — Two winners will Win a pair of ChicBud Earphones with Swarovski Crystals
Provided by: The IE Mommy
Prize details: Earphones that fit your fashion, style and personality! Listening never looked so good! (Value $45.00)
16 — $20 gift certificate to Ladybug Limited
Provided by: Ladybug Limited
Prize details: Ladybug Limited has hair accessories for lucky bugs! The winner of this $20 gift certificate can choose from any of the no-slip clippies, fabric button clips or ponies, or hand-printed custom clips or ponies.
17 — Fire polished Czech Bead Bracelet (sized to fit) and Pierced Earring Set (color based on availability)
Provided by: Jenna’s Jewels
Prize details: Mom deserves a little pampering! Jenna’s Jewels will donate a $35 bracelet and earring gift set to one winner.
49 – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook: Budget Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love
Provided by: Pudget: Losing Weight On A Budget
Prize details: These two great tools will help you during any phase of your weight loss journey.87 –a 6-piece “Insider’s Beauty Collection” of Avon products
Provided by: callwhenyougetthere.com
Prize details: This set includes a beauty bag, long-lasting lipstick, Kabuki face brush, mineral makeup (face powder), Anew eye cream, mascara. ($60 value)
Friday, March 20, 2009
Anyhow, I was 14 years old in 1974, and my parents decided to take us on vacation. Vacations were kind of rare for our family. so a road trip to Williamsburg, VA was a big deal to us.
The trip almost didn't happen. we had a flat tire on the Jersey Turnpike and spent hours in Cherry Hill replacing it.
In Maryland I learned a lesson in race relations. There was a rest stop on I-95 that was designed to look like a southern plantation, and even in post-Civil Rights era Maryland, de facto segregation still existed. upstairs, near the restaurant, the ladies room was clean and well-stocked -- and all the parrons were white. downstairs, near the building entrance, the ladies room was a shambles -- and all the patrons were African-American. pretty shocking for a girl from Long island.
what I remember most about our stay at Williamsburg are little things -- like my parents struggling with these every morning at breakfast (it was new technology back then):
and in those pre-GPS days, my dad had the uncanny ability of getting lost on the way back to the hotel -- we wound up in the bus station every night.
or how my twin sisters, just a few weeks before their 7th birthday, had to check out every public restroom everywhere we went.
Busch Gardens hadn't opened yet, so Williamsburg was all about the history. I'd been to living history museums before (Mystic, Old Bethpage Village), but nothing as grand a scale as Williamsburg. I think this is where my interest in history solidified. I especially remember a candlelight tour of the capital building, wandering through the maze at the Governor's Mansion, and the museum at Jamestown, with its wax figures of Queen elizabeth and her court -- I'd never really studied Elizabethan England before, but afterwards I found it fascinating.
On the way home we stopped in Washington, DC for an afternoon. we didn't spend a lot of time there, just stopped to see the Lincoln Memorial, and took a walk past the White House. Nixon resigned the presidency a mere three days after we'd been in DC.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The purpose of my trip was to bring Becca to Washington for her NYLC conference. Here's Becca preparing for the conference (click on the photos to enlarge):
and mugging for the camera on the plane:
and her ultimate destination:
Becca met up with the program cooridinator in National Airport (I refuse to call it "Reagan"), and I was free to explore DC for an entire afternoon. I've been to the District several times, and I knew exactly what I wanted to see. I majored in History in college, and I have always had an interest in viewing the monuments and memorials to our Presidents and war heroes. My touring plan was very ambitious, do-able only because I was alone and motivated, I think.
I took the Metro (I am always amazed at how clean, quiet and efficient the trains are) to Smithsonian Station, then walked towards the Washington Monument.
Didn't go into the Monument. Instead I headed down towards the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson memorial.
Alas, the cherry blossoms haven't bloomed yet, but the view from the Tidal Basin is magnificent.
Next it was the FDR Memorial. the memorial is divided into 4 "rooms", each representing one of Roosevelt's terms. Since I came from the Jefferson Memorial, I actually started in 1945 and worked my way back to 1933, but since I know quite a bit about FDR, it didn't really matter.
Next I walked over to the Wrold War II Memorial. this memorial sits on the mall, at the end of the Reflecting Pool across the street from the Washington Monument.
I walked down the mall to the other end of the Reflecting Pool. The Korean War Memorial is on one side of the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial on the other side, so fo course I visited all three.
Korean War Memorial:
and, of course, the Lincoln Memorial:
Then I walked back up the mall to the Washington Monument, looked for the bullet holes but couldn't find them, so I walked back to the Metro station and hopped on the Blue Line back to the airport. I spent maybe 4 hours touring monuments. I know I've given it very superficial treatment here...but I was truly moved by the sense of history, by the wisdom of our leaders and by the sacrifices immortalized in our war memorials.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Becca will be spending the next 6 days at a National Young Leaders Conference sponsored by the Congressional Youth Leaders Council. I am flying to Washington with her (she was nervous about flying alone and having to find the program advisers in the airport), but she'll fly home alone -- I'm coming back to NYC later this evening.
The Congressional Youth Leadership Council (CYLC) offers educational leadership
conferences for an elite group of outstanding young people from across the
country and around the world, whose nomination provides them with unmatched
enrichment opportunities in a distinguished academic environment.
She's really looking forward to the program. She's going participate in political discussion and simulations of the political process, and she's going to take tours of a few of the sites of our nation's capital. Maybe she'll even get a chance to meet some political muck-a-mucks.
Becca is seriously considering a major in political science, and this trip is going to be wonderful for her.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Jen and Amanda and Stephanie, two of her friends from school, are headed to Fort Lauderdale tomorrow, for five days of sun and fun.
they're staying with Amanda's grandmother, so they're not truly "on their own" and I don't think their trip will be too crazy.
but my baby is growing up!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Becca is taking the SAT tomorrow. by the time she enrolled for the test, she was closed out of the test center in or school district. the closest test center that still had seats available was in Lake Ronkonkoma, which is about a 25 minute drive from here. Neither of us had ever been to Lake Ronkonkoma, and we had no idea where the school was.
so, at the suggestion of her SAT tutor, Becca and I decided to do a practice drive to the test site tonight.
I am sooooo glad we did.
seems there's a difference between "Lake Ronkonkoma" and "Ronkonkoma", the school says it's in Lake Ronkonkoma, but it's acctually in Ronkonkoma, and the directions we got from Google Maps were just plain wrong. And my GPS was no help either.
we rode around Ronkonkoma/Lake Ronkonkoma for about 45 minutes (with memories of looking for our hotel in Boston coming back to us) when we quite accidentally stumbled on the right street and miraculously found the school.
of course we made sure to copy down our own directions.
can you imagine if we hadn't done a practice drive, if we'd gotten lost on the way to the test?
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
for those who don'tknow, the Wall Street station is a horror show -- a very narrow central platform separates inbound trains from outbound trains, and very narrow stairways lead passengers up from this underground sardine can towards daylight. at 8:45 in the morning it can ben quite crowded and frenetic.
and tempers are short around Wall Street these days. (gee, I wonder why?)
when I got out of the train, I met up with two of my colleagues from work -- Alan and Mindy -- who were also headed to the seminar.
so we start to walk up one of the narrow stairways....when there's a commotion at the top of the stairs.
I'm not sure exactly what happened. it involved a woman who was headed up the stairs and two young men who were headed down. she was screaming at them, something about them putting their hands on her. I think there may have been some shoving and/or slapping. one of the guys may have been pushed, he started to fall down the stairs, but caught himself before he bumped into anyone else.
Mindy was in front of me, and she took off like she was under attack. I looked back at Alan, his face was white but he was otherwise ok, so I ran after Mindy. I saw transit employees run past me towards the commotion before I caught up with Mindy. She was visibly shaken and crying.
and I knew she was flashing back to September.
back in September, Mindy was waiting at a train station at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. a psychiatric patient stabbed and killed a total stranger, and Mindy was standing right near the victim and saw everything.
Alan and I got Mindy to calm down and then we got out of that station as fast as we could!
without going into details...she had a personality conflict with the teacher, and I agreed with her that the teacher's behavior towards her ... what should have been a private matter between Becca and the teacher became very public, the teacher said something to Becca in front of the entire class...and the teacher didn't have her facts straight...
at first I was going to call the teacher myself....but for now, she wants to talk to her guidance counselor and the teacher tomorrow, take control of the issue herself.
I'm proud of her for dealing with it herself, but I'm starting to feel a bit obsolete.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
in this case, "they" means Haman and "we" means Queen Esther and her Uncle Mordechai.
Purim is a happy holiday, sort of a cross between Mardi Gras and Halloween. costumes are involved, fun activites like carnivals and shows are planned. and you get to eat Hamantaschen, triangular pastries designed to represent Haman's tricorner hat. during the reading of the Megillah, the story of Esther, you can use your noisemaker to drown out Haman's name. in synagogue!
there is feasting - and drinking - involved.it is said that you're supposed to drink until you can't tell the difference between Haman and Mordechai.
I just got back from synagogue...we had a lovely party tonight. come on by my house, I've got plenty of Hamantaschen and rugelach...
Friday, March 6, 2009
the young lady in the photo, as you may have guessed, is my daughter Becca.
the young man will be recognized by fans of American Idol.
yes, that's Anthony Federov, former top ten contestant on Idol.
there's a whole story that goes with the photo.
Becca celebrated her 15th birthday on July 8, 2007. She had a birthday celebration before her actual birthday.
I posted about it on my message board, The Nesting Ground. Here's what I wrote:
so Becca decided to make her 15th birthday a "girls night out". there were 15 of us -- my two sisters and I chaperoned 12 teenage girls -- Becca, Jen, Jen's friend Crystal and 8 of Becca's closest friends.
I'm sure you can read 12 different versions of this story if you read facebook or myspace, because of of the girls had a wonderful evening and couldn't wait to tell everyone else about it.
we asked all the girls to meet at our house, where Becca served chips and dip and entertained her friends on the back deck. then we loaded up the cars -- two minivans I rented for the occasion -- and drove into Manhattan. when we got into the cars I had the urge to say something "cute" like "Cinderella, your carriage awaits", because when Becca was a toddler she used to kick off her shoes in the car and I would make a "Cinderella" joke. but I refrained from goofy comments.
we parked the cars in a garage on 45th street, right near the marriot Marquis. our first destination was John's Pizza we ordered pizza and sodas and garlic bread and salads. yum! and the waiter brought a dessert with a candle in it for Becca in honor of her birthday.
then we walked uptown. my "Cinderella" joke came back to haunt me then. Becca was wearing these lovely gold mettalic shoes, they had a 2 inch chunky heel. somehow she managed to break the heel of her shoe. my sisters dashed over to the M&M store on 49th street and bought her a pair of flip flops.
the rest of us went to 50th street to the snapple theater center. snapple theater info and more info this is a great little theater complex, in the theater district but considered "off Broadway" because of the size of the house -- each theater in the complex seats under 400 people. by the way, the restroom graffitti is a whole bunch of those "snapple real facts" like you get in the bottlecaps.
our destination was the the Jerry Orbach theater. fitting, as the show we saw was the fantasticks -- Orbach was the first to play El Gallo when the show opened at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in 1960 (it ran until 2002, and was revived at the snapple in 2006.) we had really really good seats. we were sitting in the first and second rows. right next to the orchestra pit.
this is a sweet little romantic comedy, with the emphasis on "comedy". the show opens with El gallo singing the signature song "Try to Remember".
all of the girls we brought to the theater are Broadway fans. in fact, Crystal is going to major in theater in college in September, Emily takes acting and voice lessons, etc., so we thought they'd love the play.
but the "bonus" of course, was Anthony Federov, former American Idol contestant, in the roll of The Boy. every one of the girls in our party swore Anthony was looking right at her while he was singing. and then Jen became part of the show! she was sitting in the front row, on the aisle. at one point El Gallo dropped his hat into her lap. then he asked her to return the hat. Crystal told Jen "throw it to him!" she did, but the hat landed at his feet. he quipped "You must pitch for the Yankees."
after the show, the girls decided to wait for Federov at the stage door. it was well worth the wait, Federov made Becca feel like Cinderella at the ball. he signed autographs and took pictures with all the girls. then he KISSED Becca. and he SANG to her -- "Happy Birthday Rebecca", Jen taped the audio on her phone and Erica did a video on her phone, which Erica is going to post on her facebook.
afterwards I thanked him for making Becca's night so special.(Lord help me, now what do I do for Jen's birthday in November? )
of course, all the girls loved Becca's M&M footwear, so we had to stop at the M&M store on our way back to the garage. and I had to run across the street to the Hershey Store. I bought some Hershey Kisses. we stopped at the Marriot Marquis (nicest public ladies' room in the theater district.) and that's when I gave Becca the chocolate and called it "birthday Kisses" (yeah, I know, too cute.)
then we piled into the cars and drove home.
Becca told me "this was the best birthday ever!"
afterwards we wandered into Fortunoff's to check out the sales -- the store is in bankruptcy and liquidating its merchandise.
that store is a landmark. back in the 80's it was my go-to storeevery time I had to buy a bridal shower gift. my ex and I did the bridal registry there.
and their kitchen gadget department was the best.
it's truly sad to see it go...
Thursday, March 5, 2009
about 2 months ago word came down from on high that the company was looking to consolidate space. therefore, my (new) department was going to be relocated.
they moved us back to the floor which houses our former department.
we moved on Monday. it's been weird reacclimating to the floor's layout, but it's been a lot of fun hanging out with old friends.
now I will be able to videochat with Jen when she's away at school. and Becca has videochat on her laptop as well.
welcome to the 21st century.
my father likes to tell the story of the 1939 World's Fair in NYC. the science pavillions had fancy new gadgets that seemed to be right out of the comic books --like TV . and the 1964 Fair and telephones with video capability, something only science fiction could dream about.
I am my father's daughter. the first time i bought a flip phone, I kept wanting to open it up and say "Kirk to Enterprise, beam me up, Scotty," and when I enter an address on the GPS I want to tell Sulu to enter coordinates on the navigational computer and set a course for....wherever. and come to think of it, don't our cell phones and PDA's and laptops and etc. serve some of the functions of a tricorder? Lord help us, we actually have vehicles with remote control start and sensors to tell us the outside temperature and even if we're about to hit something....
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
the new laptop has arrived. I am overjoyed to have a laptop that weighs half of what my dinosaur weighed, with nifty new gadgets like wifi and a webcam, especially since we set up a wireless network at home when we got Fios.
I have felt adrift since the dinosaur keeled over. I mean, I can connect to the net through my voyager...but as great as the phone is, its limitations are also readily apparent.
life is good.
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- your failure to plan is not my emergency
- it really must be spring!
- songbird salutes the 70"s
- subway follies
- congrats to Becca
- West Side Story
- writer's block
- March winds bring April showers...
- playing with the webcam
- the revolving door
- as if you didn't know already....aren't my kidlets...
- Ultimate Blog Party!!!!
- Relay for Life
- a little self indulgence is good for the soul
- Becca the lobbyist
- songbird salutes the 70's
- Becca at the NYLC
- even teddy bears buckle up on the plane....
- the house is TOO quiet!
- Washington trip
- Elle Woods Jr.
- hello, washington, DC
- spring break in florida
- it should be self -explanatory
- garbage in, garbage out
- random act of violence -- scary stuff in the NYC s...
- sigh...when do you let your kids handle their own ...
- number one song the day you were born
- Today is Purim, tomorrow no more, give me a penny ...
- ever have a moment that's just magical?
- the end of an era
- changes at work
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