life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

my heart hurts

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

graduation overwith, the summer is now in full swing.

that means the girls' lives are taken up with summer jobs and social activities.

for Jen, that means she's finished her summer school class (she did very well!) and has started her job as a counselor in a day camp.

for Becca, that means working the same part time job at the mall as she's done since last fall, with hopes of picking up additional hours now that she's about to turn 18.

and, of course, both girls have cars/friends/social events, so they are like phantoms, floating in and out of the house.

and my heart is hurting, because I see my babies growing up and growing away from me.

and it doesn't help that I've had nasty arguments with each of my daughters in the last few days, arguments about small things and about funadamental relationship issues. I feel so broken right now....

last night, the Cantor at our temple called me and asked me to be the minyan maker, the requisite 10th person needed in order to conduct a prayer service. so of course I went. and found myself in tears as I read the words form my prayerbook.

Heal us, O L-rd, and we will be healed; help us and we will be saved; for You are our praise. Grant complete cure and healing to all our wounds; for You, Almighty King, are a faithful and merciful healer. Blessed are You L-rd, who heals the sick of His people Israel.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Inherited a claim file from another analyst. She completely missed the point -- did work that was totally unnecessary and didn't do the work that the file actually required. So now I'm cleaning up her mess.

Yes? No? Maybe?

thinking about NaBlPoMo for July....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

some photos from the weekend's festivities

Becca and her date

mother and daughters

the flowers:

I love the dress!

father and daughters

graduation day

the formal graduation pose


the graduate with her diploma  -- she graduated with honors, of course. and as a member of National Honor Society

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

graduation time

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

On Sunday Becca will graduate from high school.  There will be a ceremony at the high school, she and her classmates will wear cap and gown, and we will listen to speeches and musical performances. 

I will be in tears, my baby girl will be a high school graduate. 

I am already in tears over the family drama going on.  Let's just say no one is happy, no one wants to compromise and I am in the middle with everyone mad at me.

But on Sunday my baby will graduate.  On Sunday I will put on a smile and be oh-so-proud of my little girl.

She'll be headed off to college soon.

They say you should give your child roots and wings.

I hope I've done both. 

Can't wait for her to stretch those wings and see where she flies.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

so sick of family drama

I won't go into details, but let's just say I made a mistake a few years ago that's coming back to bite me hard.  live in a topsy turvey world, where what I believe to be the right course of action is considered "crazy" and where the dysfunction that is my extended family is considered "normal".  So right now I've got seven people mad at me, including both of my daughters.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Toy Story 3 -- spoilers

If you haven't seen the movie yet you may not want to read this blog post right now.

I loved the movie.  started crying right at the beginning when we were watching the "video" of Andy as a little boy.  loved how the toys tried to get Andy's attention by stealing his cell phone.

so who knew Barbie could be so clued-in on political philosophy?  Loved metrosexual Ken and got a huge kick out of his clothes frm the 60's and the 70's.

loved Buzz Lightyear's Spanish mode.

Mr. Potatohead's encounter with the pigeon was hilarious.

of course the ending made me cry.  but I am glad the toys found a new home with Bonnie.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Toy Story III

We are planning to see it tonight.

I saw the first two movies with my children when they were little -- the first came out in 1995 and the second in 1999.  those movies were about a boy named Andy and his toys.

what I loved about both movies was how the story played out on two levels. the kids took the movie at face value, the parents saw the deeper meanings.  and the jokes that were aimed at the parents, not the kids...well, of alll the movies I saw with my children, the toy Story movies were among the most memborable.

In this third installment Andy is now grown up and headed off to college.  Just like my girls.

the newsppaer reviews promise the same kind of movie as the first two....

I know I will be in tears by the end of the evening.

My review will appear sometime over the weekend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

age is just a number....

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

Ever notice how kids are so very accurate about how old they are?  As if getting older was reaching a goal. 

"I'm 4 1/2"  (and you'd better not forget the "half")

"I'm almost 9" (said the day after an 8th birthday).

A few days ago Becca told me "I'm 18 years old!'  no she's not...not until July 8, that is.

and then Jen said "I'm 20 ...."  and her birthday isn't until November.  My firstborn is still  a teen, at least for a little while.

And isn't it funny how that all changes when you turn 21?  I mean, adults are described as being "21+".  Milestone birthdays, like 30, 40 and 50, are cause for fear, panic and midlife crises.  I mean, Jack Benny was perpetually 39, wasn't he? 

This is a banner year for me.  I celebrated a milestone birthday this year.  And my baby is about to graduate from high school and go away to college.  I figure I can either freak out royally, or accept what is and embrace the future.

My grandmother used to say "Age is just a number, pick one you like."

I think I like the age I'm at.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

karma is a bitch

Pete Werner article

Sunday, June 13, 2010

in stereo!

Yesterday both of my girls asked me for gas money.

In unison.  In clear, stereophonic sound.

Lord help me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

it's the last day of school FOREVER!!!

well, it's the last day of high school....for Becca.

the next two weeks of school are devoted to final exams and statewide testing, but her classes all had final exams during class time, so she has no obligations at school until graduation rehearsal June 24.  the prom is June 25th and graduation is June 27th. 

I was all teary-eyed this morning, thinking about my baby back when she started kindergarten....and she told me to stop it and just go catch my train to work.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

as I face the empty nest

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

Becca's approaching graduation from high school, and all that it represents,  has put me in the mood to reminisce about when my children were little.

Summer 1996.  Becca was 4 and Jen was a few months shy of 6.  We took a vacation to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens, with a stop in Washington, DC on the way home.  there were six of us -- me, the girls and my three sisters -- crammed into my Corolla as we drove from New York to Virginia and back again.

For the adults, it was a way to revisit a vacation we'd taken with our parents in 1974.  for the children, it was something new, exciting and fun.

some of the highlights of the trip:

-- playing carnival games in Busch Gardens.  especially whack-a-mole.  we won several stuffed animals for the girls.

-- this was just after the Atlanta Olympics, and we got to see an Olympic-themed display of gymnastics talent at Busch Gardens

-- this was also when Disney's Pocahontas was popular, and we got to meet the "real" Pocahontas in Jamestown  -- who explained why the movie was totally inaccurate.

-- we got to eat in one of the authentic taverns of Williamsburg, and were entertained by period musicians

-- the walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial is interminable in the heat of summer.

-- never buy new shoes for your children just before you go on a vacation where you'll be doing a lot of walking.

-- minor miracles CAN happen.  there's a playground in Busch Gardens.  I was sitting on a bench watching Becca play.  when she disappeared from my sight, however, I got up to look for her -- leaving a tote bag on the bench.  the bag had a change of clothes for the girls, some snacks, etc....nothing irreplaceable.  didn't realize I'd left the bag on the bench to several hours later.  my sisters searched all over the park, to no avail.  we checked with Lost and found, without success.  about a week after we got home, a package arrived from Busch Gardens -- the tote bag, and most of its contents!

-- and be careful about tricks you play on your kids.  we were in the restaurant at our Williamsburg hotel, and the girls were getting antsy waiting for our food.  My sister told Jen "close your eyes and count to ten, and when you open your eyes the food will be here."  unfortunately, there was a thunderstorm in progress, and it knocked out the power while Jen had her eyes closed!  it was so dark in the restaurant we could hardly see....

-- speaking of tricks...if I am not mistaken, this was the trip where....well, we did most of the long-distance driving at night, hoping the girls would sleep in the car.  the girls woke up just as we were crossing from New Jersey into Staten Island, and for the next 45 minutes as we continued towards our Long Island home, the girls were very active ....even annoying.   I think they were excited to be coming home.   just as we approached our sister said "If you two don't settle down and behave, I'm going to have to get off the highway and wait for you to settle down  before we can continue on home."  of course, they didn't "settle down"...and got very nervous and teary-eyed when we exited the highway...until a few minutes later, as we drove past their day camp and they realized they were almost home....then they LAUGHED!

there are times when I truly miss those days!

Monday, June 7, 2010

so she bought a car

a 2006 camry solara, a two door model, back with gray interior, with a sunroof!

my auto insurance just doubled.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

concert review

so the evening began on the deck outside the theater...local DJ's "the Wise Man and Frank" from B-103 hosted a pre-show party.

they asked trivia questions about the music of the 60's...and I won a pass to Dangerfield's Comedy Club because I knew that the Foundations recorded "Build Me Up Buttercup".

Westbury is a small venue, theater in the round, with a rotating stage, so everyone gets a good view of the performers. Five acts, each a superstar in the 60's, each performing for 30 minutes.   Mark Lindsay joked "I'm back in the 60's...MY 60's."  and Rob Grill referred to the evening as "the Senior Tour".  Everyone knew the songs, we'd heard them all a thousand times.  I think the best acts of the evening were Mickey Dolenz and The Turtles.

If they bring back the tour next year I am sure we will go.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

reunion tour

picture it.  summer 1985.  A pair of 20-somethings, anxious to relive childhood memories, head to the Jones Beach Theater (before the days of corporate sponsorship) one evening for a concert featuring The Turtles, the Buckinghams,  the Grass Roots and Gary Lewis.

that same couple will proceed to the Westbury Music, the Capital One theater at Westbury...tonight to see:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

the unfairness of life

You get up in the morning, take a shower, wash your hair....apply deodorant, body spray, anti-frizz balm...don freshly-laundered garments....

...and you step outside, into hot, humid, heavy summer air....

and within minutes you look like you slept in your clothes and haven't showered in days....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

auto shopping

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

So last week I mentioned that Jen was involved in an accident, that her air bag deployed and that she walked away without a scratch.

The same cannot be said of her car.

I bought the car two years ago, right after Jen got her driver's license.  Paid $2500 for a 1996 Chevy Cavalier -- the car had 150,000 miles on it, but the engine had been replaced when the car had only 70,000 miles on it (that must have been a story!).  I expected the girls to share the car, I never expected Jen to need a car at college, and I expected the car to last about 3 years, maybe 4 if we got lucky.  (I don't believe in buying brand new, expensive cars for teenagers, even if I could afford it....which I can't.)

Well, when Jen called me and told me that she had an accident with the car and that the airbag went off....I knew even before I saw the car that it was time to say goodbye to the Chevy.

So now she is without wheels.  and she needs a car.  She's got to drive to the local college for her summer class right now, in a few weeks she'll start her summer job, and when she goes back to school in the fall she will be living off campus --- and there's no public transportation.

In other words, she needs a car.

She's about to take another step towards becoming a self-sufficient adult.  She is buying a car of her own.  I'm giving her a little money, and her father is giving her some as well, but the balance will come from her savings account -- all those summers of hard work are about to pay off.  Of course, I agreed to put the car -- whchever car she chooses -- on my insurance policy (but only after she agreed to take a defensive driving class to lower my premium). 

so yes, that's my daughter over at the used car lot, looking at cars in her price range, learning terms like "carfax",  deciding which automotive features are "must haves" and which she can live without.  Her money, her decision.

Of course, that she decided to bring her aunt (affectionately known in legal circuits as "the pit bull") to negotiate the price...well, that shows she's using her head, doesn't it?

Wish her luck on her search, ok?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bon Jovi/Meadowlands Stadium

:ast Saturday night at Meadowlands date with Bon Jovi.

The drive to the Meadowlands Sports Complex was easy. Once we got there, once we paid for parking...that's when the oddessy began. Twenty minutes later we finally found the parking lot. Then it was a 15 minute walk from the lot to the stadium.

Here's a shot from where we parked:


You can see the remnants of Giants Stadium next to the new Meadowlands Stadium.

and here's the remnant of Giants Stadium up close:


and the new stadium:


We sat in nosebleed territory:


an usher told us "If you want to work here, they take you up to the very top row of the stadium to see if you freak out...we actually have people freak out when they see how high up they're sitting."

Stadium food was...well, stadium food. burgers, hot dogs, pretzels...

opening act: Kids of Survival. Not bad but not great. then it was One Republic's turn to take the stage -- they sang for about 230 minutes, including their two big hits "Apologize{ and "Stop and Stare".

And then it was time for Bon Jovi to take the stage. they played -- and Jon sang -- for over 2 1/2 hours.

Here's the set list:

1. Who Says You Can't Go Home
2. We Weren't Born to Follow
3. You Give Love a Bad Name
4. In These Arms
5. Born to Be My Baby
6. Just Older
7. We Got It Goin' On
8. Raise Your Hands
9. When We Were Beautiful
10. Superman Tonight
11. Captain Crash & the Beauty Queen From Mars
12. Bad Medicine
13. It's My Life )this one is my favorite)
14. Love's the Only Rule
15. Lay Your Hands On Me
16. Living in Sin
17. I'll Be There For You
18. Something for the Pain
19. Diamond Ring
20. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead /Jumping Jack Flash
21. I'd Die For You
22. Work for the Working Man
23. Someday I'll Be Saturday Night
24. Keep the Faith
25. Dry County
26. Wanted Dead or Alive
27. Livin' On A Prayer

Didn't even try to take photos or video, we were so high up ....

A few thoughts about the crowd. For the most part people had a great time, singing and dancing to the music. but....

Drew and I wound up in the "drunk and rude" section. I don't have a problem with anyone enjoying an adult beverage. ..but if you spent most of the evening at the beer concessions stand and the restrooms then you probably should have saved the money you spent on the ticket and just gone to a bar. And for that matter. .. please stop running your mouth about how he's not doing all those great songs from the 1980' must have escaped your attention that they're calling this "The Circle Tour" because his most recent album is called. guessed it.."The Circle".

Getting home was an ordeal, too....first the long walk back to the parking lot, then the long drive out of the sports complex...then the GPS error taking us 13 minutes out of our way...and the hour-long wait at the Lincoln tunnel toll booths


a great evening, despite the hassles...

Biggest Loser Tuesday

the season finale...a little anticlimatic I thought.  first America chooses Daris and  Koli is eliminated.  Then we meet all the eliminated players.  no surprise that Kolik wins  the $100k.  then the finalists...Daris, Ashley and Michael...comes down  to Ashley and surprise thagt Mikchael wins.  and another season  comes to an end....yawn....

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