life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, April 30, 2010

NaBloPoMo redux

NaBloPoMo two months in a row?

well, why not?

I'm always game to try something new or different (within reason, of course!)

today I celebrate making it through the month of April with at least one post every day.

tomorrow I start on the month of May.

wish me luck.

and today, another version

Crosby, Stills and Nash:


Thursday, April 29, 2010

for your listening pleasure

I don't know why I didn't "discover" Jimmy Buffett earlier in my life. But now....after having seen him live last November....well, I've officially become a Parrothead. I would never have imagined it. This one is on my iPod, along with the crosby Sills version, and a few "covers" by Jimmy wannabes.


King Tut

I really really really want to see the new King Tut exhibit.

I missed the exhibit when it came to New York 30 years ago. Drew says it was magnificent. He says we "have" to go sometime this summer. I agree.

In 6th grade, when we studied ancient Egypt, I did a book report and presentation to the class on Tut's tomb. I have always been fascinated by Tut's story, and the story of Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb in 1922.


I am so excited.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

like it?

this is the house Jen will live in next year.



Zits....captures the parent-teen relationship perfectly



college stuff

Today's post on MidCentury Modern Moms sums up a lot of stuff I've told you guys before, so I won't repeat it here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

the show starts with a food temptation.  Several are tempted,  but Koli pigs out to save Sam.  The workout after that is rough on him.  but wow, O'Neal and the push-ups -- an Oscar-like performance!

then it's time to meet with the doctor....good news.

and then the second challenge...building blocks..you have to build and climb a tower....for a one pound advantage at weigh-in.  Michael helps Ashley....but Daris is the one who succeeds.  and there's a one pound disadvantage for the person who comes in last...so everyone needs to climb....and O'Neal takes a bad fall...scary!  he's OK, but he's got the disadvantage because he didn't finish the challenge.




then it's time for a beach workout.

OMG, poor O'Neal....his brother Arthur died...  I am in tears...

Last chance workout, very emotional for O'Neal...

Koli must weigh in first because of the "vote" issue, and he loses 10 pounds....despite the overindulgence.  Daris does well....Michael loses but not a lot...and Koli is safe from elimination...Ashley is disappointed...Sam weighs in...he's happy with a 6 pound loss...and he's safe.    Victoria needed four pounds, got only one...


O'Neal needs 4...gets 8!!!!  He's safe and Victoria is below the yellow line.

Sunshine is the last to weigh in...she lost ONE POUND!  she's in tears.

Michael is safe.  it's either Sunshine or Victoria, and Koli gets to make the decision.  He did this to save Sam, but now has to choose....he votes for Victoria and tells her she has to try harder....

and it was good to see Victoria and her mom finish the bicycle marathon at home.

Monday, April 26, 2010

dealing with emergencies

when Drew picked me up at the train station Friday night he told me the bad news: his sister Shelley called him from Newrk, NJ to tell him she'd been in a car accident.

Shelley had been accompanying a family friend on a weekend visit to relatives in Pennsyvania. the accident happened as they were driving through Newark. both women sustained injuries -- Shelley was treated in the ER and released, her friend was held overnight. the car, unfortunately, was totaled.

I won't go into the details of the accident, other than to say the car was hit by an 18-wheeler and careened into another car parked on the shoulder of the highway,

so on Saturday morning Drew and I found ourselves taking that hour-long drive to Newark,collecting the two women at the hospital and collecting their possessions from the car at the impound yard.

(a shout-out here to Officer Aviles of the 3rd Precinct for being so helpful!)

Not the way you want to spend a weekend, of course. but considering everything...not the worst possible outcome either.

so then on Sunday....

just hanging around with Drew....when out of the blue he starts complaining of pain on his right side...all the symptoms of appendicitis....had to take him to the ER... he was crawling all over the car on the way to the hospital...turned out to be a kidney stone.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

OMG

Have you seen these?


Plastic shot glasses on a beaded necklace....I spotted them in CVS, in the "seasonal" aisle, when I did a midnight run for calculator batteries the night before a statistics exam (Becca's, not mine.)

Do you really need to carry a shot glass around on a necklace? I mean, how much drinking are you planning to do?

On the other hand, you won't forget which one is yours, will you?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

war stories

Lately I have been hearing, quite literally, my father's "war stories".

My father turned 18 in February 1945, and was drafted into the army shortly thereafter. He was discharged on Friday December 13, 1946, and always considered Friday the 13th to be a lucky day. While he's technically a WWII vet, he served mostly in post-war Europe.

My father's family never expected that he would be drafted. He'd been ill as a child and had a heart murmur, which kept him out of gym class all through school. In theory he was drafted for "limited duty", but when he arrived at basic training in Georgia he was expected to do the same activities as every other new recruit.

Georgia, where they heard his Brooklyn accent and his very Jewish surname, and they wanted to see if he had horns on his head.  ah, the "good old days."

Georgia, where he met Manny from the Bronx, who coincidentally had the same surname. They would become friends....and after the war my father would spend a lot of time visiting Manny and his family in the Bronx -- including Manny's cousin -- my mother.

I have heard, countless times, about the hot Georgia sun and eating watermelon right off the vine.

I've heard about how he came home for leave after basic training, and because there was Jewish holiday he was able to get a few extra days of leave ....all the men he trained with were sent to Japan, but he,and the other Jewish soldiers who were on leave at the same time, was sent to Italy.

I have heard how we was seasick on the troop ship going to Europe, but the ship coming home seemed like a pleasure cruise.

I heard how he wrote to his mother in Yiddish, because she didn't speak or read English. and how, when he neglected to write, she wrote to his commanding officer -- and his commander told him to write home so his mother wouldn't worry so much.

There's a photo of him, in his Army uniform, standing in front of the Tower of Pisa. Many years later, after he retired, he took my mother to Italy, and they posed in the very same spot.

I've heard the story of the Swiss watch many times. My father has blue eyes, and his hair was blonde, so in an American Army uniform...well, if you didn't hear his name, you wouldn't have guessed he's Jewish. So when he went out with his non-Jewish friends....

...there were three of them, they had leave time and headed to Switzerland. In those days Swiss watches were the top of the line, so of course the three friends decided they had to buy watches for themselves and family members back home.

When the three men walked into the shop, the shopkeeper turned to his wife and said, in Yiddish, "three rich Americans, we'll jack up the prices."

The other two men bought their watches while my father browsed.

Then my father found the watch he wanted. It had Hebrew letters instead of numbers. remember, this is before there was a State of Israel, so such a watch was a rare find. My father knew he must buy it for his father. so he asked the shopkeeper for a price.

The shopkeeper told him "you don't want that watch." but my father insisted he did want it, he had to have it.  So the shopkeeper said to him, in Yiddish, "You're Jewish?"

My father nodded his head.

The shopkeeper said "Are you going to tell your friends what I said when you came into the shop?"

My father shook his head.

The shopkeeper gave him a very good price for the watch.

My father still has that watch, and it still runs.

I always thought the "watch" story was my father's best war story....until I heard about the Sistine Chapel. The first time I heard this story was just a few days ago.

Seems my father and two of his friends decided to visit the Sistine Chapel. and while they were there, Pope Pius showed up!

My father has no love for Pope Pius, he thinks Pius didn't do enough to save the Jews of Europe from the Holocaust...yet he tells the story of meeting him...

The three American soldiers were the only visitors to the Sistine Chapel that afternoon, and therefore got a private audience with the Pope. the other two men were Irish Catholic, and they kissed the Papal ring. My father, of course, did not, and that's how the Pope knew my father wasn't Catholic. The Pope spoke to my father, gave him a blessing....blessed all the religious articles my father had purchased for his neighbors back in Brooklyn...one of his Brooklyn neighbors died happy, holding a rosary blessed by the Pope and carried to Brooklyn by a Jewish G.I.


Friday, April 23, 2010

toys to send to your frenemy's child

Janet's post last week reminded me of two toys Becca had as a child....only these were NOT toys that delighted me.

The first toy was a cat.  a cute, furry white cat.  a cute, furry white cat that meowed every time it moved. 

the first day she had the cat, she was holding it in the car.  she fell asleeep and the cat wound up on the back seat.  and it meowed every time I hit a bump.  and I was driving on the Long Island Expressway for 45 minutes...listening to that cat meow for 45 minutes.

the cat had a battery-ectomy that night.

the second toy....

Amazing Allie

the doll was programmed to "interact" with your child, not just to repeat phrases but to use the right phrase depending on what your child was doing with the doll.  Beca fell in love with the doll when she saw it on TV.









 



So I spent $60 for the doll.

Alas, reality was not nearly as fun as the commercial. after playing with the doll for the first...and last...time, she changed its name to "Annoying Allie".

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day 2010.

for your viewing pleasure, some of the natural wonders we saw in the Caribbean:


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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

prom season will soon be upon us!

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)
Prom season -- that truly wonderful and exciting  dramatic and terrifying time of the year.
If you've been reading my blog you've seen me post about prom season before. 
I never went to my high school prom.  I didn't have a lot of friends in my class, and my boyfriend at the time had very little money.  It didn't make sense for us to spend all that money, so we wound up going to the movies instead. 
Not so with my daughters.  I have been living the "prom drama" life for 4 years now.  I've got the gray hairs to prove it!
The dress...the shoes...the hair and makeup...do you know that there's actually a magazine called Your Prom that gives fashion tips?  Limo or party bus?  What after-prom activites -- a party at someone's house, a trip into NYC for a show at a comedy club?    Just the planning alone can cause gray hair for the parents.
Our school's prom is for members of the senior class and their invited guests.  Prom is held the same weekend as graduation, the kids have their last hurrah on Friday and then graduate on Sunday.  It's supposed to cut down on a lot of afterprom excesses...."supposed to" being the operative words.
The school has very strict rules, all seniors and any other student from our school who will be attending prom must come to the anti-drugs and alcohol lecture, and the student must bring a parent.  Parents must sign permission slips for their child to attend prom. I don't know how much this helps...
When Jen was a junior, her core group of friends were seniors.  She went to the prom with her best friend,  who wwanted to be more than just "friends'; he had a major crush on Jen.  Unrequited love=major teenage drama. 
But that was nothing compared to the drama form Jen's senior year.  I did NOT like the boy who asked her to the prom -- what do you think of a young man who says to a girl "I"m going to ask you to prom as soon as I dump my girlfriend"?  Yes, he really said that to Jen. And Jen went out with him anyway -- they dated for several months and broke up just a few weeks before prom.  They decided to go together "as friends".  Bad mistake. They did the pre-prom photos at his friends' house, took a party bus with his friends, planned to go to an after-prom with his friends. But  from the moment they arrived at the prom itself, the young man opted to pretend Jen didn't exist.  She wound up hanging out with  her two best friends since kindergarten, went to after-prom in their limo -- and I think she had a better time that way.
Believe it or not, Jen had prom drama last year, too.  How does a college freshman find prom drama?  By dating a boy who is a year younger than she is, of course.  And of course, they broke up just before prom.  Right after she bought that non-refundable prom dress in the outlet center ($450 dress for $100, but where will she wear it?)  Not to mention, she paid for her own prom ticket, and he never gave her back the money.  Lesson learned, I think.  Or perhaps not....
Becca entered "prom world" last year, relatively free of drama.  She attended two proms, actually.  First there was a junior prom at another school with a boy she was dating. .... though that fizzled out right after prom.    And she went to our school's prom with a friend  -- Becca's prom date was a friend of the boy Jen was dating last year.  After-prom was a party at someone's house, not very adventurous (thank goodness!)
But this year Becca is a senior, it's her prom she's planning.
The gray hairs are starting to sprout already, and prom isn't until the end of June. 
It seems Becca's core group of friends wants to rent a beach house for their after-prom.  There are about 40 kids involved, they want to go to the beach house after the prom Friday night and stay until early Sunday morning.  "Mom, nothing is going to happen ....these are all the 'goody-two-shoes' kids in the class...don't worry"
Famous last words.
I think I'm going to need a valium to get through this year's prom season..... 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

the show starts with a competition....who can hold coins the longest? sunshine almost made it, but Michael won the challenge. glad they both got money, though.

I can't stand Suze Orman...but it's nice to see Danny again.

Second challenge -- 2 people will win a brand new car....

140 keys on the hill, only 2 start the cars...it's pouring rain and the ground is muddy...it's windy...they have to run up the hill, grab a key, come back and try it in both cars, then go back up the hill again....Andrea wins one of the cars....the look on her face was priceless. everyone else is focusing on the other car now....and O'Neal wins the second car and gives it to Sunshine.


some tearful personal history from Victoria during the workouts....and then they're all throwing each other into the mud.

last chance workout and Jillian gets revenge for being dragged through the mud...

and weigh-in time happens....

sunshine did not have a good week, and O'Neal hoped to be below the line so that Sunshine would be safe....but it's Andrea who first falls below the yellow line...will it be Sam or sunshine with her below the line? and Sam lost NOTHING AT ALL!

so it's Sam and Andrea....and time for the vote...and Andrea goes home.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Songbird Salutes the 70's

OMG Airport 1975 was on TV last week.

"The stewardess is flying the plane!"

how absurd.  yet they made it work.  and made a real nail biter.

and the cast list was amazing.  Charleton Heston, Efram Zimbalist Jr., George Kennedy, Gloria Swanson,  Helen Reddy, Linda Blair, Sid Caesar, Myrna Loy, :Larry Storch, Norman Fell, Karen Black, Jerry Stiller, Erik Estrada, Sharon Gless  -- some famous, some rising stars, a few on their way down ...

and they created somethng that was so easily parodied -- with great success -- in Airplane.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

oversized wine glass....holds a whole bottle of wine

who would ever need this?




Saturday, April 17, 2010

what celebrity's death made you cry?

I cried the night Harry Chapin died.

Harry lived in Huntington, NY. I grew up in a community that's part of the Town of Huntington. In 1975 Harry played a concert at my high school -- it was just Harry and his guitar in the high school auditorium. Before that concert I'd heard his one or two hits on the radio, but after...well. I became a lifelong fan.

I saw him again when I was in college, at a Town of Huntington Arts Council event. Or maybe it was the Performing Arts Foundation. He autographed a frisbee for me.

And then we saw his concert in Schenectady. this was a big-deal concert, with his entire band. Amazing.

I always admired his work with the World Hunger organization.

July 16, 1981. Harry was supposed to give a free concert in Eisenhower Park. A group of us got to the park early, set up a blanket and our boom box, and were just hanging out....when the DJ played not one, but two Chapin songs. You almost never heard two of Harry's songs back-to-back, even on Long Island stations where he was considered a home-town hero.

And then the DJ announced that Harry had been killed in an accident on the Long Island Expressway while driving to the concert. The shock waves that rippled through the crowd...

I loved his folk-rock beat, I loved the stories that he told through his music.

So, for your listening pleasure, here's harry singing his number one hit:



Friday, April 16, 2010

lusting after electronics again

this gadget would be perfect for me!!!!!  I ALWAYS have something to read with me...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

tax day -- have you filed yet?

Let me tell you how it will be;



There's one for you, nineteen for me.


'Cause I'm the taxman,


Yeah, I'm the taxman.

Seeing as how I live in one state and work in another, I have the joy of filing two state returns along with my federal forms.  Oh, joy, rapture...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

proof positive that she's his daughter

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

My ex-husband Drew has a reputation (well-earned) as the person most likely to lock himself out of his car. that's because he's done it many, many times.

I remember one occasion, long before we were married, there was a party at my house, and my then-boyfriend Kenny had to unlock Drew's car with a bent metal coat hanger.

And then there was the time, a few years later, when we planned to drive upstate with some friends for the Rennaisance Festival. Back then cars came with two keys, one for the trunk and one for the ignition. Somehow he managed to lock the trunk key in the trunk -- along with our picnic cooler full of food; it wouldn't have been so bad, except the car broke down just before we got to the Tappan zee Bridge -- on Labor Day weekend, so that he didn't get his car back for several days....

Yes, I married him anyhow, knowing his penchant for locking himself out of his car.

Jen won't let her father touch her car. Seems that there was an incident last year....Jen and Becca were at Drew's house to celebrate Passover. the girls stayed until about 2:30 in the morning. It was time to leave, Jen mentioned that she was having some sort of maintenance issue with the car -- I think a tail light was out or something. Jen has a habit of leaving the door locks in the "locked" position. She had the key in the ignition, but the car door was open....and Drew didn't realize the locks were engaged when he closed the door -- with no one inside the car. I have an extra key to Jen's car, but she wouldn't let Drew call me -- instead they waited for AAA. (When Jen took her car up to school, Jen made sure to take a second key with her, just in case...)

As for Becca...a couple of weeks ago she borrowed my car to run some errands on a Saturday afternoon. Twenty minutes after Becca left for the mall, Jen (who was home for spring break) asked me for my second set of car keys. It seems she had to go rescue her sister, who left the key in the ignition and locked the car doors as she got out....

Like father, like daughter.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Katyn

the Katyn Massacre  was a massacre of Polish nationals by Soviet troops in 1940.  there's a memorial to the victims of Katyn in Jersey City, at Exchange Place, right on the waterfront, at the entrance to Grundy Pier.Occasionally you may see flowers or candles left at the memorial, in remembrance of the victims.



Polish President Lech Kaczynski was on his way to Katyn for a memorial service when his plane crashed.  How fitting, then, that the Polish community of Jersey City remembered their fallen hero at the Katyn memorial:



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Biggest Loser Tuesday

My head is NOT into weight management right now...

...but at least I'm back to watching the show (it's up against Dancing With the Stars and American Idol, tough choice, but...)

I haven't seen last week's show and haven't read the recap, but it looks like Melissa is back...ugh.

we start with an immunity challenge...the first player to reach a 2% loss will win immunity. who will hit the button?  if you hit it and you're wrong, you're out of the competition.

so they start by working out.  and Melissa (ugh) is playing the game again.

and Vicky pushes the button...she needs 6 pounds...she just got back to the ranch and everyone thinks she's jumping the gun...sigh, she didn't make her goal.

the reward challenge...carry weights from the bottom of the pool to the scale...first one to get 100 pounds gets a spa vacation, and the last one to finish the challenge gets a one pound disadvantage at weigh in....after you're done you can help a friend if you want...  sunshine takes an early lead...with Sam and Vicky right behind...the bottom are O'Neal. Mike and Melissa...Sunshine and Sam are neck and neck...Sunshine wins immunity then heads out to help her dad...Sam goes out to help O'Neal...Mike and Melissa are in danger, Mike is in last place....everyone else starts helping Mike...no one helps Melissa...Mike finishes, and Melissa comes in last...

so now we're talking about hitting the button again...late night secret workouts...who will get there first?  Sam hits the button!   Melissa is pissed...

Sam needs 6 pounds....and he does it!!!  he lost 10 pounds!

Bob observes that Melissa is a game player and the game has turned on her.

and then it was time for another workout...



and then there's a commercial for the Droid and I'm drooling.  I'm drooling over something other than food, so that's a good thing, right?



nice to see that update on Shea, she's looking good!

weigh-in time, and Koli is up first...5 pounds, and he's so disappointed...

Daris is next....4 pounds....frustrating....

Michael's turn....he needs 6 pounds to be safe....he lost 9 pounds.

Ashley is up next and she's nervous.  she needs to have lost more than 4 pounds... she lost 7.

Sunshine weighs in....she wants to be under 200 pounds....she needs to have lost more than 3 pounds to be safe...she lost  7.  she's under 200 and she's crying.

and so his her dad.



and then it's time for O'Neal to weigh in.  he needs over 5 pounds to be safe.  he lost 8 pounds!


more tears.

Victoria (Vicky) is up next....she needs more than 5 pounds to be safe.   she lost 11!!!

  she goes to the top of the board.


Andrea's trun ....she needs 4 pounds...and lost only 2.   stunned silence followed by tears.

and a hug from Jillian.  she's below the yellow line.  Koli is safe.

Melissa is up last.  she looks like a witch.  she needs more than 4 pounds to beat Daris and stay above the yellow line (thanks to the one pound disadvantage)  and she lost 3 pounds...she would have been below the yellow line even without the one pound disadvantage...

Andreapleads with the house, then Melissa gives them reasons to keep her...she's logical and cool....she plays the game..."keep me because you can't beat me, pick off your biggest competition"...will her strategy work?


not a chnnce.

don't let the door hit you!

but you know, running a hlaf marathon is a major accomplishment....redemption?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Citi Field!

so Friday night was my second visit to Citi Field, my first to see a ball game.

It was a "balmy" 54 degrees at game time, and windy in the left field nosebleed seats...but we had a great time anyhow!



Here's a view of the stadium as you walk from the railroad station:

Citi Field

In front of the main entrance you will find the home run apple from Shea Stadium -- every time someone hit a home run, the apple  would pop up:

Home Run Apple

Number 42 -- that was Jackie Robinson's number:

number 42 -- Jackie Robinson's number

inside the stadium:



  Let's Go Mets!

when yu say Budweiser...

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you can see the planes landing at La Guardia:

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54 ddegrees, we're freezning to death, and this nutjob dedicated fan takes off his shirt.

dedicated fan

Home Run!

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(we saw the apple 4 times that night!)



conference on the mound:

conference on the mound



let's have a Pepsi to celebrate an 8-2 victory!

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even the elevator doors have the Mets logo:

the elevator doors!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big

BIG.

that's the theme for NaBloPoMo for April.

the first thing that popped into my head when I heard the thme was Big, the Tom Hanks movie from the 80's.  loved the scene in FAO Schwartz where they dance on the keyboard.

of course, that movie took place in New York city  -- the Big Apple.

how about the "BFD" t-shirt the Democrats are selling after biden's slip of the tongue?


then it was song lyrics -- first, from Disney's Carousel of Progress ride: "there's a great big beautifu  tomorrow, shining at the end of every day...." (Suzanne knows why I thought of those lyrics!)

and then Billy Joel: "Because you had to be a big shot, didn't you, had to prove it to the crowd...."

and "big girls don't cry...." (two different songs with the same lyric!  liked Fergie's song, but prefer the Frankie Valli song)

and "and a big yellow taxi took away my old man...don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got  'til it's  gone..."

or "big wheels keep on movin', proud Mary keeps on turnin'...."




how do you pull all these different ideas together for a "theme"?  it's a big job....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

on today's schedule ....accepted students day at Fordham

and unless we hear something totally horrifc, it looks like Becca will become a Fordham student in the fall.  In fact, she's already sent her deposit to the school.

she will be at the Lincoln Cneter campus, not the Bronx campus -- there are almost 3000 undergrads there, and many more grad students.  her "dorm" will be an apartment she shares with 3-5 other girls.  she'll be a subway ride and a LIRR ride away from home. 

it's not what I imaged six months ago, when she began this process.she was looking at big city schools, but she was looking at schools in other states.  initially she had her heart set on Boston University or George Washington...she wanted to be away at school.  she kept talking about going away and seeing new places.

but then again, Jen's decision surprised me a bit, too.  Jen wanted to stay close to home, she imagined herself at a school on Long Island, living in a dorm but coming home on weekends.  that is, until she got accepted to two schools out of state.  and fell in love with URI.

funny how things work out, isn't it?

so now Aries the Ram (the Fordham mascot) will join Rhody the Ram (the URI mascot, of course!) as Becca takes her place in the college of her choice.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Let's Go Mets!

I am headed out to Citi Field tonight...Mets vs. the Washington Nationals.  I've never been to a game at Citi Field.

I've been to a concert (sir Paul), but not a game.



I saw many games at Shea, of course.  But this will be a different feeling....a blend of old traditions and new.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

how we live...

The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on his tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came the date of his birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered the most of all
Was the dash between those years

For the dash represents all the time
That he spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved him
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

dealing with loss

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

Today's post was supposed to be a fluffy little piece about my daughters' prom woes.  (don't worry, it'll post eventually.)

Today Becca was supposed to miss school so that she and her dad could take a look at one of the colleges that accepted her.

Today Jen was supposed to be in classes, eat in the dining hall and sleep in her dorm.

Today I was supposed to enjoy a business lunch in a fine restaurant in lower Manhattan.

Instead, my daughters and I -- and my sisters and parents --  will attend a funeral.

My mother's younger sister passed away in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

My aunt's death was not unexpected.  she fell ill early in february, and got progressively worse until the inevitable happened.

My daughters are no strangers to the rituals of death, of mourning and loss.  They've been to the funeral of a schoolmate, a young man who died so tragically in an auto accident.  (Jen amazed her non-Jewish friends with her ability to read the Hebrew prayers.) and they've both had freinds who lost a grandparent, or a parent.  But still, they have never been "the mourners", the last time there was a death in our close family was my grandmother, back when Jen was in kindergarten. (how lucky we have been!)

so today my children experience a new role, one I'd prefer they didn't have, but yet one that is just so important ...how they handle this death will likely set the stage for how they handle other deaths of close family members.

their experiences are so different from my own.  my parents chose to shield us as much as possible from funerals and mourning...I remember seeing my parent sit shiva for relatives, I remember attending unveilings of their grave stones, but I never attended a relative's funeral until I was an adult, a married woman approachng my 30th birthday.  maybe that's why I felt so ill-equipped to deal with it at the time. 

and yet now I find great comfort in the words of the Kaddish.  Yitgadal v'yitgadash....as I recite it today in memory of a beloved aunt, the ritual prayers of our people will let me realize we are not alone in our mourning.

And I hope that my children will understand, and be comforted as well.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

Indulged in Passover wine....didn't see the show....catch up time next week?

Monday, April 5, 2010

when did you realize you were an adult?

when did you inexorably cross from childhood into adulthood? was it a gradual process, or was there some triggering event that made you say "I'm a grown up now"?

for me, it was the night my aunt died.

I was 31 at the time, with all the indicia of being an adult -- I was married and the mother of a 6 month old daughter, and was working full-time as an associate in a law firm.

the night my aunt died ... I was the one who was in charge, I was the one other adult members of my family relied upon. and that's what made the difference.

19 years later, I remember so many of the details. It was the weekend that Drew and Jen and I moved out of our one-bedroom apartment and into a two-bedroom a few blocks away. It was a chaotic move, we didn't hire a moving company but had a few friends help us pack and move everything ourselves. We'd managed to get everything into the new apartment, but hadn't really begun to unpack. We were exhausted, our nerves were frayed...

and my Aunt B called me to say that something was terribly wrong with her sister, my Aunt E, and could I come over right away?

let me backtrack by telling you that B and E are my mother's sisters. they, and my grandmother (who was in her 90's at the time) lived in the same neighborhood as I did, and in fact my aunts were taking care of Jen every day while Drew and I were at work. E had a lot of medical issues going on, she had high blood pressure that was uncontrolled even with medication, and everyone was very concerned about her health. B, on the other hand, was physically healthy but was being treated for a severe psychiatric disorder -- and one of her "issues" was being able to take care of herself instead of relying on others to take care of her.

From the information B gave me over the phone I realized things were very serious. I think a part of me realized E was dead even before I got to the apartment. It became a certainty when I opened her bedrom door and saw her lying on the bed. I couldn't say so, though, not with Aunt B and my grandmother. I had to go through the motions of calling 911, and allowing the paramedics to make that call. and then I had to make all the other calls -- to my aunt's doctor so that he could sign the death certificate, to the funeral home, etc., while trying to hold it togehter not just for myself, but for my grandmother and Aunt B. It wasn't until many hours later that I was able to track down my parents -- they'd gone out for the evening.

Hours later, when my parent sarrived at my aunt's house, I relinquished control of the situation to them...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

songbird salutes the 70's

youtube finds...reliving my youth

I practically wore out the vinyl on "An Evening with John Denver".

Look at that early-70's backdrop!



Saturday, April 3, 2010

owie

I'm sure I've mentioned that my cat...my sweet, delicate Daisy...has taken over my pillow.

One morning last week I woke up to find Daisy happily asleep on the pillow....

...and I had a lovely scratch across the back of my hand.

She must have mistaken my hand for a cat toy. After all, it was night...it was dark...


But cats can see in the dark....

And this is the same cat who captured a baby bunny last year...

Friday, April 2, 2010

my night at Riverdance

did I mention that Drew won a pair of tickets for the March 17 performance of Riverdance?

we had a wonderful evening.

our evening began at Ellen's Stardust Diner.

this place is knowh for its 1950's atmosphere -- the staff wear bowling shirts and poodle skirts -- and as the home of the singing waitstaff. I didn't have my RCA Small Wonder with me, and the phone's video recording is limited to 30 second clips, but here's a sample of what we saw:






Drew had a burger, but this is what I ate:



then it was on to Radio City Music hall and Riverdance.




I found some of the performances on Youtube:




Thursday, April 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo for April

Haven't done it since january, it's time to stretch my wings again.

the theme for April is "big". At some point I will have to discuss the theme, won't I?

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