life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, May 31, 2010

memo to my daughter

I have no problem sharing my shampoo and conditioner. Use them any time you want. But please. ..when I get into the shower and reach for my conditioner I expect it to be there. ..not in your beach bag. If you need conditioner at your friend's pool, use a travel bottle.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

NaBloPoMo

It is an interesting exercise in self discipline. This month I stretched myself, did NaBloPoMo for the second month in a row.

Sorry, folks, but I don't think I'm going to try for three.

Maybe we can do it again in July.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hair!

So Wednesday night Drew and I went to the theater.

The evening began at Ellen's Stardust Diner.

We love this place, we  ate here on St. Patrick's Day.  The restaurant's "theme" is the 1950's.  The waters wear bowling shirts, the waitresses wear poodle skirts.  the place is advertised as "the home of the singing waitstaff"   the person who just took your order may be the next to grab a mike and belt out a tune.







although there is something slightly disconcerting about two girls in poolde skirts singing the latest Lady Gaga  song...you know, the one about her cell phone ringing constantly while she's dancing at the club....
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I ordered sliders, Drew had a corned beef sandwich.

Next we walked around Times Square...it was full of tourists, not to mention Marines and sailors (it's Fleet Week, after all.)  Saw some guy dressed as Spiderman, but alas I missed the Singing cowboy -- though Drew said he was out and about earlier in the evening.



Anubis stands guard on 44th Street


We plan to see the King tut exhibit later this summer.  (FYI, since I took these photos with the Droid, if you got to Photobucket and ask for information on the photo, you will get the latitude and longitude where the photo was taken.)

Our destination for the evening:


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notice who is in the cast?  alas, both Diana and Ace were on the west coast that night, doing the "Idol" finale.

Live theater is a real treat though, because you never know what might happen.  In Act 1, for example, the actor who was playing Woof must have been ill or injured, because his understudy took over the role in the middle of the act.  In Act 2, Claude's body mike died, and someone slipped him a hand held microphone.

of course, the losers behind us needed a lesson in theater etiquette -- in your own home you can talk all you like, but in a theater you need to shut up and listen to the actors.

I was too young to have seen the original production of Hair, but I knew the plot and had heard most of the music.  still. the show managed to surprise me as well as delight me.  a lot of the concepts, which were very radical and shocking  in 1968, are more commonplace now, but are still relevant to our lives -- sexual relationships and roles, drug use, conformity/nonconformity/, self discovery, protesting wars overseas vs. patriotism....

Overall a very enjoyable evening.

Friday, May 28, 2010

sorry, Amazon

I love you for most electronics, but when it came time to choose an e-reader, I chose the Nook.


can't wait for it to come, I've got a lot of books I want to read!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

TV the vast wasteland. or is it?

so I'm lamenting that there's nothing to watch on TV, and then I go and post three times this week about reality shows.  go figure.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

my children are driving (me crazy)

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

So I successfully taught two daughters to drive.

Now I have two daughters who firmly believe "have car, will travel."

I'm sort of used to it with Jen.  shes had her license for two years now,  she got her car right after she passed the road test.  That first summer, she relished her new-found freedom, driving all over our community. She drove to work, she drove to the store, she drove to hang out with her friends.  Oh, my, did she hang out with her friends!  I spent many evenings waiting to hear the car pull up on the driveway, unable to sleep until I heard the car door slam.  We had many long discussions about what time was reasonable for a young lady to come home at night, especially on a weeknight when mom has to go to work in the morning.

Becca  got her license a few months ago, and got a car just a few weeks ago...and already she's starting to drive all over creation. She drives to school (she's a cool senior, you know), to work, and to hang out with friends.  Haven't had an issue yet about staying out late, but that's primarily because she has to be at school at 7:15 in the morning. I just can't wait to see what happens this summer!

I think my daughters appreciate why I worry.   Becca had a minor fender-bender one afternoon  a few weeks ago -- more scary than anything else.  Just some minor damage to the front fender, but she was shaken up enough that she called my mom to come down to the accident scene.   And then she got that flat tire on a Saturday night...and AAA left her out there for so long, her friend's dad finally came out and changed the tire himself...

And Jen had  an accident one night while driving home in the rain, she rear-ended an SUV, hard enough for her airbag to deploy.  She's fine, but the car...not so good.  I just "loved" getting that phone call, and having to pick her up after the car was towed.

But may I say "thank G-d for the airbag, there wasn't a scratch on her"?  Last month, her friend Joe was in an accident that put him in the hospital for almost a week....he's still dealing with the repercussions....

Can you see my hair turning grayer?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

First, my update.  I got fed up with myself, bought a new bathroom scale and downloaded several interesting apps to my itouch.  I am back on track, at least for the moment.  Wish me luck.

As for the show....it's the final four ....they all go home.  they are preparing for a marathon.  Loved the cameo of Curtis, fresh off of Celebrity Apprentice

Then of course we have the Jenny Craig commercial with Valerie Bertinelli and Jason Alexander singing about how he was fat but now he's skinny.....

Second hour, they're all working out...

and they're running the marathon in the cold and rain, each for a good cause -- $10k for the charity of their choice...the sun comes out and so do past season winners...

and from the other room I hear the cast of Glee singing "Piano Man"...well, why not?  first Madonna, then "Total Eclipse of the Heart"...though I thought my kids were supposed to hate my music....and then an Aerosmith cover?



the marathon continues...

Daris beats Tara's time!!!

and as they finish the marathon....the commercials promote Jillian's summer show...


and then it's weigh-in time...the final weigh-in before the finals....two will be in the top and will automatically make the final three...two will fall below the yellow line, they will plead with America to be allowed to be in the final three...

Michael lost 23 pounds at home...he's at 299, a victory.

Koli is up next...he lost 13 pounds...he's not happy, he's disappointed it wasn't more...

Ashley is next...she needs more than 16 pounds to be above the yellow line....she lost 18 pounds...she's in the final 3...


Koli is below the yellow line....

Daris needs more than 13 pounds to stay above the yellow line...and he GAINED 2 pounds...he trained for the marathon but didn't focus on weight loss...Jillian says he sabotaged himself...

Daris or Koli, which one will America choose? now we get to vote...

stay tuned for the live finale....

Monday, May 24, 2010

and then the show came on...

Celebrity Apprentice last night.

they had to create a Snapple campaign.  compassionfruit tea for Holly and diet tropical for Bret...
so we finally get to see them going crazy as they are putting their ads together...Bret is frantic because he's doing too much but Holly is playing it safe...and Bret forgot his script!

  but he manages to ad lib...and do the funny commercial...

and then it's back to the live show and the fired celebrities come onto the stage.  and what on earth did Cyndi Lauper do to her hair?

Holly thinks Bret's concept is too much Bret and not enough Snapple...

and Bret's daughter shows up at the presentation...it's the girl who is pre-diabetic.

live show, more celebs come out to the stage...

Donald makes jokes about Strawberry and the Mets...Straw's opening a restaurant in Queens?  wow, maybe we will try it!


 first we see Holly's spot...not bad.



then  after Donald has a moment with a Make A Wish kid, it's Bret's turn.

  he's so nervous about the presentation..."tropirocka" sounds interesting once he starts speaking from the heart.

it was a cool commercial!  he nailed it!

the execs talk about both campaigns...they like both, though I think they leaned towards Bret...

then the boardroom...taped after the task...both campaigns have merit and drawbacks...diet vs. regular, labels, commercials...bret is snappple-ish, Holly could serve on the board....




and now it's time for Donald to make a decision...

and back to the live show.  Bill Rancic and Joan Rivers come out...Joan thinks business-wise it's Holly but emotionally it's Bret...Bill focuses on what Holly has done, and says the popular decision may not be the best one...

so now Donald asks the celebs...Blagojevich says "go with your heart not your head."

and then he brings out Holly....and then Bret...standing ovation time...I am in tears...he hugs everyone...the "get well" posters fill the audience...Holly is crying...she says her son is pulling for Bret...

I am so happy to see Bret looking well and making jokes.

Holly says she's already a winner because Snapple is marketing her beverage.

Bret talks about his charity, Holly talks about hers...

and then Cyndi sings...

and then Donald asks for final comments, and takes a commercial break before naming the Celebrity Apprentice...


a Snapple commercial that features...The Donald. 


and we're back....


and the winner is.....

Snapple will match the grand prize, so both charities will receive $250K.  Snapple rocks!!!!!

Donald still has to choose, though...


he loves Holly and is proud of her but he hires Bret!  more hugging, more tears....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Celebrity Apprentice

so, OK, I don't have much "appointment TV" anymore, but one show I do watch is Celebrity Apprentice.  It's weird seeing people who would ordinarily be superstars in their own milieu vie for the chance to work for Donald Trump.  you get to see a side of people you've never seen before...sometimes you see the inflated ego or the bitchiness come out of someone with a squeaky-clean public image.  All in the name of charity, of course.

this time around, though, the two finalists are both nice  people who are personally affected by the charity they're playing for -- Holly's son is autistic and Bret is a diabetic.  Holly is more driven and organized, Bret is more creative.

But Bret gets the sympathy vote, I think, because since the show was filmed he's had a series of medical emergencies...appendicitis, a brain hemorrhage, a mini stroke, a hole in his heart....


Sunday night TV  should be fascinating.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I must be the kiss of death

Why is it, that as soon as I find an interesting blog, the person decides to stop blogging?  It's happened to three or four blogs I've liked so far....

Friday, May 21, 2010

fashion show!!!

Tonight the auditorium of Becca's high school turned into a reasonable facsimile of Bryant Park during fashion week.

The art club held its annual fashion show, proceeds to benefit a worthy nonprofit (this year that meant a literacy program).

the theme this year was Grimm's Fairy Tales -- the authentic stuff, not the sanitized Disney versions.  Dark and mysterious.

Most of the designers created clothes, but one young lady created an entire jewelry collection.  She had her models act out an entire skit with a fairy tale theme -- and she cast Becca as the Evil Queen (type casting?).  Betsey Johnson loaned her a strapless black dress.

Rebecca rocked the runway (where have I heard that before?  oh, yeah, that was the theme for her bat mitzvah party....)

of course, I forgot my camera and video camera, and had to rely on my cell phone to capture the moment -- forgive the poor quality....

Here's a shot of the models and designers before the show -- that's Becca in the front row in the little black dress.



and Becca on  the catwalk




video


here's a posed shot:


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sitting here wondering

Where have all  the good TV shows gone?  I used to have a lot of "must see TV".  But now it's just one or 2 shows....Or maybe I'm just busy these days...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

it's all downhill from here

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

Becca's senior year, that is.




In New York, the school year generally runs from just after Labor Day until the end of June, with graduation scheduled the last Sunday in June. On the high school level, the last two weeks of June are devoted to statewide subject matter tests called "regents exams" and/or school-prepared final exams in core subjects. In our school district, students are expected to finish all of their regents exams by the end of their junior year. In thier senior year students are expected to take six academic periods (we have a 9-period day) incluidng English and social Studies, as well as gym. The senior year can be academically challenging or as fluffy as cotton, depdning on which classes the student selects.



Becca has always been academically motivated. She took two Advanced Placement classes in her junior year -- US History and English Language. For her senior year she chose a challenging program which included four Advanced Placement classes -- US Government, English Literature, Statistics and Psycholgy. I hope she did well; a good score on these exams can translate into course credit at her college in the fall.



It's like taking four college-level classes that meet every day, and taking two electives as well. There were times when the workload was frustrating, to say the least.



The AP exams are given the first two weeks of May. So now she is essentially "done" with high school. she won't have any exams during the last two weeks of June. From now until her last day of classes (June 11) she can coast.







I am finding it hard to believe her high school days are winding down....that soon it will be prom and graduation and then off to college...







..and songbird's nest is already feeling a bit emptier....







...and I am thinking of the days when I used to post on message boards about my "chickadees"....







....the two grown up young ladies who inhabit my world cannot be mistaken for "chickadees" anymore....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

 first, me....

haven't been following program, haven't gone to a weight watchers meeting in ages.  starting to feel gross and uncomfortable, maybe I should start eating healthier and possibly doing workouts...  did you realize how much merchandise the show  generates?  maybe it's time to buy something inspirational.














and the show....


We are coming close to the end now. It's the last week on the ranch; this week there won't be a yellow line.  Instead there will be a red line, the player who falls below it will automatically go home.  and then we will know the final four.

Then we meet past winners Helen and Eric.  OMG, Eric gained back almost all the weight he lost!

Michael is having a hard time...he's still extremely overweight even with the huge weight loss on the ranch and it's hard for him....

it's the "put the weight back on" challenge.  it's a $10,000 challenge.

Daris wins.  and trades his winnings for a one-pound advantage at the weigh in.

then Bob took them shopping for clothes...with Tony Romo.  they are inspired by a pro athlete.

they all get to see what they looked like when they first came to the ranch...

this week is a lot of filler, isn't it?  the trip to Subway ....pure product placement.  then the meeting with the doctor to see where they are.

last chance workout time...push it to the limit.


weigh-in time.


the person with the highest percentage of weight loss will get a visit from chef Curtis Stone.  the one with the lowest will fall below the red line and go home.

Michael is up first.  he's lost 12 pounds.  a new record for overall weight loss!  his mood is so different  than it was earlier.

Koli is up next.  he needs 8 pounds to beat Michael and be safe...he lost 13.  he's in the final four.

Daris gets on the scale next.  he needs more than 6 pounds....he lost 10....

and he has a one pound advantage...welcome to the final four...


Ashley is nervous, can she keep up with the boys?    she needs more than 8 pounds...she lost 7. but  she set the record for most weight loss by a woman on campus!

and Michael makes the final four.

and the last one on the scale is Sunshine.    she needs more than 5 pounds to beat Ashely and make the final four.

it's very tense....

but she lost only two pounds.  she's below the red line, and Ashley makes the final four.

and Sunshine is in tears...but she's so proud of what she's done.  and she gets to throw out the  first pitch at a Twins game.

the preview for next week....

the final four go home for 30 days and come back to the ranch for a final weigh in...and someone actually gains weight and sabotages themselves?

"must see TV" indeed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

vacation planning

convinced Drew to take a road trip to Niagara Falls over the summer.  let the planning begin!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

street fair find

"murano" glass pendant and earrings. don't yu just love it?



Saturday, May 15, 2010

I bet he has another pair just like this one at home

what was your first car?

Mine...well, I didn't have a car of my own until I was 22 and in my second year of law school.  I learned to drive on my mother's Buick, and from age 17 (when I got my license) to age 22, I spent a lot of time saying "Mom, may I borrow your car?"

But then, in law school, I needed wheels to get to an off-campus internship....


...and so my parents gave me my dad's 12 year old Oldsmobile Cutlass, affectionately referred to by my family as "the Rustbucket" because the body was rusting out.  Don't laugh, it ran....

Even after that idiot walking through the dorm parking lot filed my gas tank with a garden hose, it ran.

The first car I ever bought for myself....well, I owned a Buick for about 3 weeks,  bought it used from an auto dealer, drove it for about 5 minutes before it broke down, returned it under the Lemon Law.

the first new car I ever bought for myself was after my divorce.  Bought myself a brand new 1995 Toyota Corolla.  Sand pebble beige.  gorgeous car.

It's got 150,000 miles on it.  I am trying for 200,000,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ah, Friday

It's been a long week, busy at work and busy at home.  I am so tired ....I don't just want this weekend, I need it.

Drew and I going to a movie tonight, going out for Chinese food with friends tomorrow night.  Nothing terribly exciting.  but that's just fine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Broadway geek story

Once Upon a Mattress is a nice musical comedy based on the fairy tale "the Princess and the Pea", but with a few risque twists.  Main characters are Princess Winifred, Prince Dauntless, King Sextimus, Queen Aggravaine, Sir Harry and Lady Larken.

Originally done in the 1950's, the show was revived on Broadway in 1996. Sarah Jessica Parker played Winifred in the revival.



My sisters and I saw the production during previews, before opening night.  Loved the show. 

After the show opened, we got a mail-in offer from Theater Development Fund for discount tickets, and decided to take the girls.  (At the time Jen was about 6 years old and Becca was 4; they were experienced Broadway veterans,   they'd already seen Beauty and the Beast.) With TDF, you picked two or three days on which you wanted to see the show,   and they pick the performance and  the seats.

We got very lucky, we got a group of seats in the very front row of the theater!!

And then my sisters mentioned that the actor playing Sir Harry was a friend of theirs from college.  So after the show, we went to the stage door, and my sister told the security guard to ask Sir Harry to come out...he brought all of the principals, including Sarah Jessica Parker....who took one look at my girls and said "You two were sitting int he front row, I could see you the whole time I was on stage!" 

to be honest, I don't know if that was true, or if she said it because Sir harry mentioned it. 

either way, it was wonderful.  she was soooo  gracious.

so I felt I should share a f youtube finds-- Sarah Jessica Parker as Princess Winifred:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

NOT cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms

Today's post over at Midcentury Modern Moms is a re-post of something I wrote here last year.  so I guess I'm going to have to come up with something else for today's post here, since I have committed to NaBloPo Mo for May.

so let's see, what's new with me?

Busy at work, of course.  Not a bad thing, especially these days.  Haven't seen any movies lately, haven't read a good book, and TV's been dull.    Uploaded a bunch of classic rock CD's into itunes.    tried a new Greek restaurant in Bellmore, ate shish kebob and gyro and rice pilaf, and drank a lot of    white wine -- a lovely zinfandel. Planning to see the new Robin Hood movie this weekend, and we're also meeting an old friend for dinner -- Chinese food.

Just the usual, dull, ordinary stuff.

Which is not a bad thing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

the makeover episode...it's amazing to see the transformations.  and the guest star...Ashanti.

and then the challenge.  climb the ladder over the water and don't fall off...easy.  winner gets a one pound advantage.  first player to fall into the water gets a one pound disadvantage.

Ashley is the first one to hit the water...after only 3 minutes.  Everyone else is much stronger....it's finally down to the gray team and Daris,,,

Sam's out, it's Koli or Daris,,,and after 2 1/2 hours it's Koli.

time for the last chance workout.

and then the weigh-in.

Koli first, he's got a one pound advantage....15 pounds!  even before the advantage that's formidable.

Michael's up next...9 pounds...might not be enough.

Daris gets on the scale next...he needs more than 13 pounds to be safe....he lost 9 pounds.



and Koli is safe.

Sunshine goes up to the scale.  she needs more than 7 pounds....she gets nine!!!!!



Sam needs more than 10 pounds....he lost 2.  he's below the yellow line...but he looks good! 

and finally it's Ashley's turn.  because of the one pound disadvantage she needs more than 7 pounds....she lost 10!!!  she holds the reocrd for the most weight lost by a woman on the ranch.

so it;s Sam and Michael who fall below the yellow line.  it's Michael's worst nightmare.

it's a tie, which means the person with the lowest percent of weight loss is the one to go home.

so Sam is the one to go home.

but he reached his goal weight on the ranch!!!!

and found love on the ranch too....with Stephanie!  he's happy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

song lyrics -- ever notice?

No one writes a happy song about Mondays?

Monday Monday -- the Mamas and the Papas

Manic Monday -- the Bangles

Rainy Days and Mondays --the Carpenters

Monday Morning -- Fleetwood Mac

Permanent Monday -- Jordin Sparks

blue Monday -- Bob Seger

I don't Like Mondays -- Boomtown Rats




No, wait, I was wrong....there's always an exception to the rule....


Come Monday -- Jimmy Buffett

Come Monday, it’ll be all right
Come Monday, I’ll be holdin’ you tight
I spent four lonely days in a brown L. A. haze
And I just want you back by my side

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day --I Owe My Mother

1.  My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE 
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
 

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
 

3.  My mother taught me about TIME  TRAVEL
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
 

4. My mother taught me LOGIC
"  Because I said so, that's why."
 

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC .
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
 

6. My  mother taught me FORESIGHT
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
 

7. My mother taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
 

8.  My mother taught me about the  science of OSMOSIS 
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."
 

9. My mother taught  me about CONTORTIONISM
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"
 

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA  . 
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone." 


11.  My mother taught me about  WEATHER
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it." 


12. My mother  taught me about HYPOCRISY
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"
 

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF  LIFE
"I brought you into this world, and I can take  you out.."
 

14.. My mother  taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION 
"Stop acting like your father!" 


15. My  mother taught me about ENVY
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do." 


16. My mother  taught me about ANTICIPATION
"Just wait until we get home." 


17. My mother taught  me about RECEIVING 
"You are going to get it when you get home!"
 

18. My mother  taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."
 

19. My mother taught me ESP
"Put  your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
 

20.  My mother taught me  HUMOR. 
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
 

21. My  mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT 
"If you don't  eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up." 

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."
 

23. My mother taught me about my  ROOTS
"Shut that door behind you.  Do you think you were born in a barn?"
 

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
 

And my  favorite:  25.  My mother taught me about JUSTICE  
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you
 !"
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I am having a love affair...

...with Greek yogurt.

no, really, this stuff is amazing. so much better than Dannon or columbo. it's rich and creamy, and just tart enough to be interesting.

plain, it works on a baked potato -- better than sour cream.

but mixed with honey or fruit....ambrosia from Mount Olympus. the food of the gods.




Friday, May 7, 2010

so what's on your "to do" list this summer?

and by that I mean, what fun things do you have planned?

I don't have much yet, but what I've got planned....

Bon Jovi at the Meadowlands Memorial Day weekend

Jimmy Buffett at Jones Beach at the end of August

Hair in a couple of weeks, and another Broadway play, Everyday Rapture, in June

the King Tut exhibit

the NY Renaissance Faire

the backyard pool


not to mention, Becca's graduation and everything that goes with it.  I've waited 18 years for that one.

it's going to be a terrific summer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Looking up

NaBloPomo's theme for May is "Look Up".

We look up to the sky when we are hopeful.  We look down towards the ground when we are submissive, depressed, sad.

Lincoln once said:

“I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

 

I mean, how can you look at the night sky and think that we are alone in this universe?

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Road trip and other stuff...

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

Road trip!!!   Headed up to Jen's college this weekend to empty out her dorm.  We drive up Friday night, empty out the room, and drive home Saturday.    Jen plans to come home with us, then head back to school on the 12th, she's got a final exam on the 13th, and then she'll check out of her dorm and begin her summer.

It's hard to believe she's almost done with her sophomore year of college.  Two years have gone by so quickly!

I remember the day we moved her into her freshman dorm.  The four of us -- Jen, Becca, their father and I  --  drove up to school  in his minivan the night before move-in day.  I wasn't able to get a reservation close to the campus, so we wound up staying at a motel about half an hour away.

The next day we drove  back to the school and into utter chaos.

There isn't much parking available near the dorms, so you have to pull up to the building, empty out your vehicle and then move the vehicle to a distant parking lot.  then you carry everything upstairs to your child's room and try to find a place for all of her "stuff".  You can tell whose child is a girl and who has a boy just by the amount of "stuff" piled up on the lawn outside the dorm.

Some 8  months later you reverse the process.

When we moved her into her dorm this year, we felt like old pro's.  So moving her out of the dorm shouldn't be too much of an issue.

Next year, alas, we don't get to torture ourselves at Jen's school.  She's moving off campus. Five students will be renting a house in a town about 15 minutes away from the campus.  The house has a large driveway, so when we help her move in we won't feel rushed or hassled.

Not that we escape entirely.  Becca's dorm is in Manhattan.  No parking whatsoever.  Can you imagine the mad dash we'll have to accomplish when we move her into her dorm?

Here are a few pictures I took of Jen's freshman room:






Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

In a case of "no good deed goes unpunished", I worked late on Tuesday and wound up missing the first half of the show. got home just in time to see Koli win immunity. didn't get to see much of Texas.

felt bad for the teenager Jillian was talking to, I hope she was inspired.

good thing Koli has immunity, he lost a mere 1 pound.

Sam's turn. 6 pounds, not bad.

Sunshine's turn. 4 pounds.

O'Neal's turn. He lost time from the competition for a funeral. he needs to have lost more than 6 pounds. he lost 5.

Michael gets on the scale next. He needs more than 7 pounds to stay above the yellow line. He lost 15 and he's so excited!!!

Daris is not feeling confident about the weigh-in, or the week. he loses 5 pounds, he's safe. O'Neal falls below the yellow line.

it all comes down to Ashley. will it be her or sunshine with O'Neal below the yellow line? she needs to have lost more than 5 pounds. she's afraid of the yellow team/gray team alliance.... 6 pounds, she's safe and she's in tears.

so it's O'Neal or sunshine. you KNOW what O'Neal will do.

will they honor O'Neal's request, or will they send Sunshine home?

O'Neal is going home....

and next week is makeover week!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Next to Normal -- theater vs. real life

anyone see Next to Normal?

I saw it last year.  It's a Broadway musical (note I did not say "musical comedy").  The main character is a housewife who is bipolar, delusional and battling the demons in her own mind.  the themes include whether to stay on medication that makes her numb to the world, experimental treatments, and the effect her illness has on her family.  serious and dramatic material for a Broadway stage.  made for an interesting evening of theater.  the overriding theme is one of hope....but the story is scary.  mental illness is scary.

experiencing it on the stage is one thing.


seeing it played out in the next cubicle is something else entirely.

we jokingly referred to her as "the office loon" because of oddball behavior we'd all observed.  but this week her eccentricities crossed into a different realm:  delusional, obsessive and alarming.  now her previous odd behavior makes sense -- it's clear she's been suffering a psychiatric disorder for a long time. on Friday the human resources department sent her home with instructions to have her psychiatrist approve a leave of absence and short term disability benefits.

she's a woman my age, perhaps a little older, with two teenage daughters.  I've been working with her for about a year and a half. 

it's scary.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

just another saturday in New York City

So yesterday Drew and I took the train into NYC.

first we headed downtown to Chinatown.  I hadn't been to that area in ages and ages.  The neighborhood never changes.  Crowded sidewalks, shops with their wares spread out on the sidewalk competing with sidewalk vendors, the smell of fresh fish veing sold on Canal Street (your dinner can crawl into your shopping bag if you like).  On Mott Street you can buy all sorts of stuff -- handbags,scarves, Chinese fans, silk dresses, toys....

Restaurant row is on Mott Street too.  the restuarnats all used to be Cantoneses, but now yu can find a variety of cooking styles, incuding Hunan and Sezhuan, and even Korean, Thai and Vietnamese.  Our favorite chinatown place, however, is a traditional Canonese place called Wo Hop.  

There are actually two Wo Hop restaurants on Mott Street -- a street level restaurant at 15 Mott that can seat about 150 people, and a .much smaller space in the basement at 17 Mott.  Osetensibly they have the same menu, but people will line up and wait to eat at 17 Mott even when 15 Mott is half empty.  we planned on a late/lunch/early dinner to avoid the crowds.

the ambiance is ....well... think about your local storefront Chinese take out place, only with waiter service.  just a short step up from fast food.

but the food is....amazing.  they have a few spicy dishes ---they have to in this day and age -- but we stick with the traditional Cantonese food when we're here.  won ton soup, lo mein, sweet and pungent chicken....

had to laugh when ...well the waiter, a chinese immigrant, was struggling with English when he took the order of a Hispanic family that was also struggling with English ....so he took their order in Spanish (typical New York).

after we ate we wandered about the neighborhood for awhile....even headed up Mulberry Street to wander around Little Italy for awhile.  really wanted a cannoli from Ferrara but we were too full from dinner, and we didn't think the pastries would survive the trip home.

Next up up, a subway ride to Times Square.  it's a pedestrian mall now, and we decided to sit awhile and people watch,  we left there around 6:30, to walk further uptown -- we had tickets to see Sondheim on Sondheim.  As we walked up 7th Avenue I saw a large contingent of police and firefighters headed down towards Times Square.  I said something to Drew along the lines of "something is happeneing that we'll see on the news tomorrow."  and I was right:  'Very Lucky': Cops Comb Foiled Times Sq. Bomb Clues

the show was ....well, if you love Stephen Sondheim, this was a magnificent tribute to the man and his music.  there's footage of sondheim -- interviews from years past as well as interviews done just for this production -- where he talks about his life and his work.  and o the stage a magnificent cast sings some of his best....Vanessa Williams was wonderful. Tom Wopat ....was replaced by his understudy at last night's performance (ah, well...).  but the real treat is Barbara Cook.  79 years old and still in good voice!  I saw her one-woman show about 10 years ago, and was amazed even then....she's been singing Sondheim's music for awhile now.....
















overall, a wonderful NYC evening....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Because I am a Broadway geek...

and I have a "thing" about Arthurian legend in its many incarnations....

and because it's may, of course....

Vanessa Redgrave as Guenevire

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