life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, October 29, 2009

help me....

Becca has big news....she passed her road test today and is now officially a licensed driver.

that means I am now the mother of TWO teenage drivers.

GEICO, please be kind....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

a meme

Joyce-Ann posted this one -- one word answers -- I'm not tagging anyone either, but feel free to do this one:

1. Where is your cell phone? bed
2. Your hair? blonde
3. Your mother? travelling
4. Your father? travelling
5. Your favorite food? chocolate
6. Your dream last night? Caribbean
7. Your favorite drink? Diet Pepsi
8. Your dream/goal? millionaire
9. What room are you in? bedroom
10. Your hobby? internet
11. Your fear? money
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? independent
13. Where were you last night? meeting
14. Something that you aren't? tall
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. Wish list item? car
17. Where did you grow up? Long Island
18. Last thing you did? ballgame
19. What are you wearing? nightgown
20. Your TV? on (always!)
21. Your pets? cats
22. Friends? supportive
23. Your life?full
24. Your mood? wistful
25. Missing someone? daughter
26. Vehicle? Toyota
27. Something you're not wearing? jewelry
28. Your favorite store? Macy's
29. Your favorite color? purple
30. When was the last time you laughed? earlier
31. Last time you cried? yesterday
32. Your best friend? boyfriend
33. One place that I go to over and over? Florida
34. One person who emails me regularly? Shelley
35. Favorite place to eat? ethnic

feeding the masses

just bought two bags of Halloween candy. I have to make a presentation to my coworkers this afternoon. I plan to put the candyon the conference table this afternoon when I make my presentation. consider it a bribe to keep them all awake and alert.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Biggest Loser Tuesday

Weigh-in day.  down  just .2 lbs, less than I thought.  but last week I lost more than I thought I would, so I guess it evens out...

Wednesday lunch.  I ordered Chinese.  there was enough food on the plate for 2 meals.  thought I'd save half for tomorrow and wound up eatin gthe whole thing....

Friday night Mexican...Saturday Japanese...Sunday Italian...good thing our meeting is canceled for Tuesday....

as for the show --  hard for me to focus this week, I keep flipping over to Fox to see the Yankee game.  when the show begins, Tracey is in tears because the black team made it clear they thought she'd be voted off.  Cry me a river....

digging for keys for a mystery prize...something new tonight.  reward is a trip home.  nice.  and they can choose to go or to give the tickets to the black they sent the black team home. Abby's mom...what she said about Abby being full of understated and bittersweet.  the other reunions are sweet, too.

good to see them all sticking to the program while they're home, too.  that's inspirational.

watching blue work out....I had to get up and do some exercise too.

the restaurant scene was pure torture.

meanwhile, back at the ranch....I always wanted to say that!!!  glad to see the blue team at the food bank.

the last chance workout....and Rodriguez scores ....  and Daniel cries about his mom....and the bases are loaded, one out, Cabrera at the plate...yeah, I know, distracted.  what can I say?  I love NY baseball.  and it's 3-0 New York...

it's weigh-in time   blue team had a huge advantage, they get to weigh in first.

Tracey pulled a 4 pound loss, she is NOT HAPPT.

Rebecca and Liz are also disappointed.  Allen and Rudy do well.

A bad call at the end of the 3rd inning, it should have been 4-0 not 3-0 (baseball again -- sorry).

Black team comes to, apporaches the scale....

the team needs to lose more than 45 pounds to beat the blue team.

Amanda does well.  Shay does well.    Abby does OK.  Dina does well.  But they still need 26 pounds to beat the blue team.  Danny prays for a miracle  -- and pulls a 15 pound loss.  and it comes down to Daniel.

And it's 5-0 NY on Rodriguez' home run in the 5th inning....

And Daniel's on the scale....and he GAINED a pound.  OMG.....he cna't understand it....

so blue team prevails.

black team goes to the elmination room.  Danny is safe, everyone else is up for elimination, and it's going to be a hard decision for the team.

Commrcial break, and it's back to the Yankees, who are once again in scoring position...Posada and Cano....

Posada in a run down, double play....are they both out or not?  the inning continues...but they fail to score....

Back to the vote....Dina or Daniel?  Shay's vote is the last....and Dina is voted off....

Next week's episode looks intense.

and the Yankees win, 10-1.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

shopping trip

The girls took this photo at the Betsey Johnson outlet. Can you believe they are wearing the same dress? They both look great, of course, but the dress looks very different on Jen (in the blue) than it does on Becca (in red).

autumn color



the artistry of Japanese cooking

Ever since Drew and I got back together, we have been on a culinary "world tour" of sorts -- everything ethnic or pseudo-ethnic on Long Island. tonight we went to Benihana, the famed Japanese steakhouse. So ok, it's a chain....but I think they do "Japanese steakhouse" better than most of the smaller places around here.

In most restaurants, the preparation of the food is done in the kitchen, what matters is the presentation. Last week we ate in a Chinese restaurant where the platters of food arrived adorned with flowers carved from vegetables. In a Japanese steakhouse, the hibachi chef cooks the food in front of you -- the preparation of the food is the center of attention, the evening's entertainment. At Benihana the chef prepares the food without a lot of cutesy tricks and corny jokes, so that the artistry of his cooking technique is the focus. I found myself really enjoying watching him.

From the website:

In Japan, the preparation of food is an art form. At Benihana, we have elevated it to the art of entertainment, with chefs skilled in the teppanyaki — or hibachi — cooking tradition, to the delight of diners and their appetites.

Characterized by an intricate combination of presentation and knife skills, teppanyaki cooking has developed into a highly refined and beautiful form of expression. Benihana is proud to have introduced the elegant art of teppanyaki cooking to America when our first restaurant opened in New York in 1964.

and the food ....well, we started off the evening with Haiku coladas (pina coladas with a swirl of strawberry mixed in), and dined on shrimp and steak and fried rice, pretty standard fare but oh so yummy....and finished off the meal with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Songbird salutes the 70's

Steve Martin at his best

The guy sure looks like plant food to me:

born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia:

and with the banjo:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Biggest Loser Tuesday

weigh-in day -- and despite my continued self-sabotage, I managed to lose 1.6 pounds! way to go!!!! of course, the fact that the escalator in the PATH station -- all 6 stories of it -- came to a complete stop when I was halfway up and I had to walk the rest of the way -- well, it didn't hurt that I got my exercise before weighing in.

I've stayed close to the program during the week, but haven't really found an exercise groove.

As for the show --

Missed the first few minutes of the show, turned on the TV just as Tracey won the golden ticket. Man, that girl could use a Dale Carnegie class or two, she managed to alienate EVERYONE when she chose the teams.

LIz was so upset, and now she is just so determined...for revenge.

And Dina...has a good friend in Rudy.

The challenge, for videos from home....loved the Cleopatra imagery! and the "pull your own weight" comments. no surprise that the blue team won, but Liz is still out for Tracey's blood....and the kindness Rebecca shows Dina....and Liz shows Danny....

Weigh-in time: Tracey feels the daggers on her back as she walks to the scale. No one celebrates when she loses 7 pounds.

blue team has a good weigh-in.

And then it's black's turn. wow, Danny and Daniel did very well.but OMG, Shay! 16 pounds!

And when the black team won, Tracey's face was...well, she kind of knew she was in trouble, didn't she? Liz wins immunity and ... by the time they left the weigh-in they knew who they were sending home. But then Coach Mo is an idiot to fall on his sword.

OMG, Tracey's sob-story act is too much! But they vote out Coach Mo....much as they hate Tracey they see him as the weak link...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

attended a great concert tonight

 The Turtles Featuring flo and Eddie, Felix Cavelieri's Rascals and Tommy James and the Shondells.  three groups whose popularity peaked when I was in elementary school. 40 years later, they're still going strong.

concert was at Westbury Music Fair. small venue, not a bad seat in the house.  10 rows from the stage and we had a perfect view.

it's theater in the round, the stage in in the center of the room and it rotates 360 degrees.  makes for an interesting performance.

but I thught it was really rude for the audience to leave before the show was over -- 1/3 of them walked out while tommy was singing Mony Mony and missed his encor of Sweet Cherry Wine.  I know parking is a pain at the Muisc Fair, and there's only one exit, but still...please stay until the show is actually over.

enjoy the music:


four months until my cruise and I am already in vacation mode:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

a taste of the Caribbean --- William Ruiz -- Taino Rhythm -- live in Penn Station

Happy anniversary

it's my blogger-versary today. one full year of being a member of the blogosphere.

Friday, October 16, 2009

and the rain rain rain came down down down

we are right in the midst of a nor'easter.

or rather, two nor'easters.

wind and rain yesterday, wind and rain today, wind and rain tomorrow and wind and rain on Sunday.

coastal flooding watch in effect.

there is a real possibility I will NOT be at Jones Beach on sunday for the breast cancer walk.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Biggest Loser Tuesday

Weigh-in day -- I was up a pound. Considering how many ways I found to sabotage myself over previous 2 weeks, a one-pound gain was not a bad thing.

found weight Watchers breakfast sandwiches in the frozen foods ailse at the supermarket Thursday and just had to have them. 4 points per sandwich, not bad at all.

but the fat-free fig newtons -- blech. they taste awful! did you know that the calorie count for one fat free cookie is exactly the same as the calorie count for a regular cookie? and the regular cookies have more fiber than the fat free version. so why bother with the fat free version?

The show:

No exercise for Tracey. Oh, boo hoo (all sarcasm duly intended).

No use of the kitchen, menus only -- and I think the restaurant deliberately screwed up the orders. Loved the trip to the Mexican restaurant.

The immunity I don't think I could have done it, I hate heights. I used to jump off the high diving board when I was a kid, but now way. So proud of Shay for holding on for 10 full minutes. It comes down to Daniel and Allen, and neither man wants to give up. and Daniel wins!!!

Last chance workout...oh, no, Coach Mo!

And the weigh-in. Daniel is definitely "playing the game", I don't believe his denials. The purple team is safe from elimination -- Shay is so upset! Julio falls below the yellow line. Pink team FINALLY has a good week! And brown falls below the yellow line.

And Julio is voted out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I run for hope, i run to feel, I run for the truth, for all that is real...I run for life

2005 was my nightmare year.

the words that dominated my year:

the words I focused on: hope. cure.

uterine cancer at age 45. and a song that played on the radio as I drove to Good Samaritan for my treatments:

It's been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Everyday that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast
If you ask her why she is still running
She'll tell you it makes her complete

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend I run for life

It's a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I'm still learning the lesson
To waken when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I'll tell you I run for us all


And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers
Running for more

One of the things that saved my sanity during that terrible year -- the American Cancer Society helped me find Look Good, Feel Better

Four and a half years later...I am in the habit of "giving back".

so now I participate in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

looking good, Melissa:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

hail the world traveler

well, not really...but I am typing this from my room at the Embassy Suites in Washington, DC.

Becca and I flew down this AM -- LGA to DCA. took the Metro from National to the hotel. Becca successfully navigated the streets from the DuPont Metro station to the hotel....but tomorrow we're taking a cab back to the airport.

we got lucky this morning, we got here just before 11 and our room was ready.

I do like this hotel. The lobby serves as an atrium, with each floor arranged as a balcony looking down to the lobby.

We have a lovely 2-room suite. there's a living room with a couch, an armchair chair, a table with 3 chairs, a bar sink, a and a TV. there's a closet that hides a small refrigerator and a microwave. the bedroom has two queen-sized beds, and a second TV. the bathroom is kind of small, but there's a second sink in the bedroom.

After we got settled in, we took the 5-block walk to George Washington University. Ate lunch at the TGI Friday's on campus. then we headed over to the admissions visitors center for an information session and a tour of the campus.

the school is in a fabulous location, it's part of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, within blocks of the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the State Department, etc. Lots of possibilities for internships here.

During the tour we saw the strangest site....a group of GW students, maybe 8-10 of them, walking up the street with pink foam whales on their heads. Can't figure out what that was all about.

After the tour we made a stop at the bookstore to buy a GW t-shirt...we always buy college gear after one of these tours .... and now we're back at the hotel. Not sure if we'll go out tonight or order room service -- we're both wiped out. tomorrow we will have breakfast at the htoel and then fly home.

Friday, October 9, 2009

started a new blog

songbird's birthday cruise blog

All about our upcoming Caribbean cruise.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Aruba, Jamaica ooh I wanna take ya
To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why don't we go
off the Florida Keys
There's a place called Kokomo
That's where you wanna go to get away from it all

Bodies in the sand
Tropical drink melting in your hand
We'll be falling in love
To the rhythm of a steel drum band
Down in Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica ooh I wanna take ya
To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why don't we go

Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Way down to Kokomo

To Martinique, that Monserrat mystique

We'll put out to sea
And we'll perfect our chemistry
By and by we'll defy a little bit of gravity

Afternoon delight
cocktails and moonlit nights
That dreamy look in your eye
Give me a tropical contact high
Way down in Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica ooh I wanna take ya
To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why don't we go

Ooh I wanna take you down to Kokomo
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Way down to Kokomo

Port Au Prince I wanna catch a glimpse

Everybody knows
A little place like Kokomo
Now if you wanna go
And get away from it all
Go down to Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica ooh I wanna take ya
To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why don't we go

Ooh i want to take you down to Kokomo
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Way down to Kokomo

Aruba, Jamaica ooh I wanna take ya
To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why don't we go

Ooh I want to take you down to Kokomo

Biggest Loser Tuesday

I had a training class on Tuesday, so no WW meeting ....and no weigh-in. Just as well. It would not have been pretty. Sigh.

Here's that little bit of "bling" I mentioned last week.

Looking at the clothing catalogues -- the plus-sized clothing catalogues -- and I have become determined to someday be able to shop in a store that does not carry plus sizes.

As for the show...

the week's theme is "choices".

First choice: weigh-in advantage....or training with Bob and Jillian...interesting choice. Tracey is nuts! Coach Mo does not look happy.

Uh, oh...stress fracture...poor Abby.

Second choice: the temptation -- control your diet or control the game. the power to dictate who goes below the yellow line. Control the weigh-in. Wow! Cupcakes....nothing but cupcakes....Antoine and Tracey...and Tracy wins...and everyone thinks she's crazy, a wild card...

And I am not liking how Jillian is berating her. It's deserved, but come on...

Third choice: the challenge -- the winner gets immunity -- each team must get 500 lbs up the ramp. 25 pounds at a time over a long distance or 10 pounds at a time over a short distance?

Green team -- Allen the firefighter -- wins immunity.

And everyone else finishes the challenge anyhow. and they prove that no one faces a challenge alone.

Last chance workout, and the focus is on the girls, because everyone assumes Tracey will put the girls on the scale and not the guys.

So now it's time to weigh in...

Green team has immunity, so their weigh-in doesn't "count". Drama with the pink team -- will Tracey keep her word and pick Rebecca, or will she stab the pink team in the back and pick Amanda?

She picks Amanda, saying "you did great this week...." but Rebecca and Amanda feel betrayed. And Amanda lost 5 pounds!!! Which means pink is safe from elimination.

More drama with the orange team...Shay or Daniel? Same BS -- she said she'd pick Daniel but she ultimately picks Shay, with the same line about "Shay did well this week..."

And Shay loses 6 pounds, not enough to be safe. And Daniel gave her a pep talk. And Rebecca is upset and angry. The orange team is below the yellow line.

The last team to weigh in is purple. Tracey chooses to represent her team, Coach Mo told her he couldn't do it. She needs 2 pounds to stay above the yellow line. She ate the cupcakes and didn't work out with a trainer....And she lost 11 pounds! Mo lost only 1 pound. And there's NO APPLAUSE.

Last choice of the night: Red or orange....who goes home? Red team...they both have strong support systems back home, Shay does not....the Red team offers to sacrifice themselves so Shay can stay...the tears were flowing....

So Sean and Antoine have to go home.

And next week's previews....looks like Tracey may have some real problems.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Interesting video

Anne Frank

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