life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, October 31, 2010

a Halloween treat

here it is, in full, one of the greatest Halloween-themed music videos of all time.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

more on the office loon

remember I told you about her here?

The story doesn't get better.

she seems to be in control of herself these days.

BUT


she's totally clueless on the job.  two steps behind everyone else, and that's on her good days.

part of the problem, I'm guessing, is that she's going through some major "stuff" with her 16 year old daughter -- the girl has been ill and there's a whole issue with school attendance.

I don't think she'll be here much longer.

it's sad....but it's frustrating to deal with her. I sit near her, so I'm the one she asks whenever she's got a question -- and her questions show that she's completely "out of it".


sigh.

Friday, October 29, 2010

NYC street scene

On any given day in NYC you're likely to see someone handing out "stuff". Up in times Square they hand out coupons for discounted admission to comedy clubs and Madame Tussaud's. Walk a few blocks and you'll find someone handing out menus for the local take-out restaurant. Walk a few blocks in the other direction and you'll be handed a postcard or flyer for something you don't want your kids to see. As I was walking into Penn Station the other day someone handed me free samples of a new Cream of Wheat flavor.

And, of course, you're going to see lots of people handing out the free newspapers.

There are two freebies here in NYC, Metro New York and AM New York. I'm not sure who publishes Metro, but I know that AM New York is published by Cablevision -- the same people who own Newsday. Both dailies follow the same marketing strategy -- handing out free copies, especially near subway and railroad stations, during themorning rush hour.

The thing is, most of the time you never notice the person who is handing out the flyer or the product or the newspaper, your attention is more focuesd on the "stuff" than on the person delivering it to you. You never think about the person, never wonder why they would take such a thankless job that requires them to stand outside in all sorts of weather...

But I've been noticing one of the women who hands out the free newspapers. Her post is on Vesey Street, near the entrance to the E train, and I walk past her on my way to the PATH station.

She's an older woman, I'd guess late 50's or early 60's. She always wears long skirts and dark stockings, and either sneakers or Oxford type shoes. and she has a hat, a big floppy beige hat, that ties under her chin. She wears this hat in all kinds of weather, summer and winter. I don't know if I'd recognize her without that hat.

I have to admit, I'm curous about her history and why she's doing this job....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

ferry ride

I don't do it very often ... but every now and then, when I have to travel between my office and corporate headquarters ... I will splurge on a ferry ride on New York Harbor. Sailing past the Statue of Liberty is always a treat.
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it's amazing what kids remember and what they forget

My daughter Jen had no idea I used to be a courtroom attorney.  as far as she's concerned, mom works for an insurance company and always has. 

she's wrong.  I was with a law firm before she was born, went to work for an insurance company when she was an infant.  and when she was 7 I went back to a law firm, spent 3 years there before coming back to an insurance company.

on the other hand, Jen knows that my sister is an excellent trial attorney -- until recently she was an assistant district attorney in NYC.

Jen and I are about to be sued over the auto accident she had last may.  I won't share the details, obviously, since this matter is going into litigation.  but I was stressing over it a bit.


so my darling daughter told me I should talk to her aunt to get myself calm, since Aunt knows all about these things!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

rainbow over lower Manhattan

I work in Jersey City, on the west  bank of the Hudson River, directly across the river from the World Financial Center and Ground Zero. When I leave my office at the end of the day, I have to walk one block east to the river to catch the train back to NYC,  I generally leave work around 5, maybe a bit later, which means that at this time of year it's nearly sunset when I leave.

It was raining when I left the office today.  But the sun was shining in the west, and it cast a glow on lower Manhattan.

and a rainbow.




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Politics and all that

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

Do your children agree with your political views?

My political views lean to the left...I call myself a moderate Democrat with liberal leanings.  I must admit, my political leanings are very similar to those of my parents.  My mom was a committeewoman for our local Democratic Party back in the 70's, and my first political experience was stuffing envelopes at Democratic headquarters during the town council elections.  I participated in a number of political rallies in college -- my mother compared me to Barbra Streisand's character in The Way We Were -- took several courses in political science and served as an intern in state government.

Jen does NOT share my love of politics.  Every once in awhile I will hear her say something that shows she's aligned with the rest of the family in her political thinking, but it's really not something that interests her.  Of course, she was majorly disappointed that her 18th birthday --  in November 2008 -- was a few days AFTER Election Day.    But this year she' probably won't even vote -- I couldn't even induce her to get the absentee ballot by telling her she could vote for a good friend's father.

Yes, Jen is friends with the daughter of our local Congressman, a friendship that goes back the middle school when they attended each other's bat mitzvah party -- and is unimpressed with how "important" the girl's father is.  In fact, one summer she went to travel camp with the Congressman's daughter and the daughter of the man who was running against him!  The kids had no idea their fathers were political opponents until the camp trip to Washington, DC included a personal tour of Capitol Hill....

But Becca, on the other hand...Becca has embraced politics and political science.  In high school she participated in a program -- I forget the name of it -- where she spent a week in Washington visiting political leaders and participating in a mock Congress.  Now that she is in college, she  is seriously considering a major in political science.  And yes, she leans to the left.

What made me laugh, though....Becca and her friends went to a political rally.  Not to participate, only to observe, as part of a class assignment. The behavior of the participants was more at issue than the substance of their arguments.

It was a Tea Party rally.  My very liberal daughter went to a Tea Party rally.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

My news first:


My week had its ups and downs.  some days I couldn't eat all the points assigned to me, other days I went over by a lot -- thank goodness for the 35 weekly bonus points.  Walked over 5 miles at Making Strides, felt exhausted because I haven't done that much walking in awhile, but I calculated that I earned 11 activity points -- close to a week's worth!  bottom line -- I lost one pound.  Not great, but better than nothing at all. 

As for the show:...My DVR is all backed up with 3 episodes of The Apprentice, two of Survivor and one of Biggest Loser.  It may be awhile, folks....

Monday, October 25, 2010

I won!

If it's November, it must be that I'm going to a concert with tickets that I won.

Last year was Jimmy Buffett.


This year I'll be seeing Smokey Robinson.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This will be funny for the lawyers in the crowd -- jury duty

Now, you all know that I am a lawyer. I graduated from law school in 1984. spent 10 years of my life working at various litigation-based law firms, but found my niche working in-house at an insurance company.

A number of years ago I was called for jury duty. No, lawyers are no longer exempt from service. Here in New York, you are very likely to serve jury duty without ever setting foot inside the courthouse. when you get your jury-duty summons, there are instructions on how to call in to see if you have to report to court. You generally serve on telephone standby for 2 weeks, and if you're not called to court during that time, you can consider your duty done.

I was summoned to court on the very last day of my telephone standby.

When I got to court I was made a part of a 25-member pool. The lawyers were to pick 6 jurors and two alternates from the pool for a civil trial.

I knew they would never choose me.

If I'd known one of the lawyers I would have been dismissed right away, but since I didn't know any of them (there were three parties involved in the suit) I had to remain in the room for the entire voir dire.

So they asked 6 people to take seats in the jury box, and they began their questioning. It seemed there was an auto accident....in the town next to mine...in an intersection I could describe in my sleep....and one of the parties lived in my town.


But the killer question came from the plaintiff's attorney. "Do you work in, or do you know anyone who works in the property and casualty insurance industry?"

I had to wonder what the auto adjuster might have said! After all, if it was an issue in the case....

So they continue to question people, dismissing some and choosing others.

Finally, after they've chosen 6 jurors, it's time to choose the alternates. And that's when they called my name.

Now, at this point I am sure that all of the lawyers had used their peremptory challenges to get rid of potential jurors they didn't like. which meant they couldn't get rid of a juror unless there was "cause" -- such as bias.

So the plaintiff's attorney starts asking me questions. What's my name, where do I live, do I work outside the home?  I could see him scrawling a note, reminding himself to ask more questions about where I live....

And then he asked me what I did for a living.


So I told him.

"I am a property and casualty attorney for the XYZ Insurance Company."

And after he picked his jaw up off the floor....he turned to the two defense attorneys and said one word: "Cause?"


And they were nice to him and agreed i should be dismissed.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

bar mitzvah speech

Once again I am called upon today to represent the Board of Trustees at my synagogue, to make the presentation to a young man on the occasion of his bar mitzvah.

After the first time -- in which I was so unbelievably nervous -- I'm actually very comfortable standing in front of the congregation.  After the political upheaval we went through last year and the abuse the board members experienced when they spoke at meetings with the congregation, telling a young man he's wonderful and that his parents should be proud of him is a piece of cake.

Friday, October 22, 2010

the glass jar

It was such a simple thing, but it gave me such frustration.

In the fall of 1992 or 1993, Dunkin' Donuts ran a promotion. If you made a purchase in the store you could buy a glass cookie jar shaped like a pumpkin for about $5.

It wasn't a big deal, but I wanted one.

there was a Dunkin' Donuts on Queens Blvd., across the street from our apartment. I'd stop in several times a week to buy coffee and a donut. And every time I went in, they had just run out of the jars.

Finally, one afternoon ....I scored pay dirt. they actually had the jars in stock.
Made my day. Made my month!

Took the jar with me when we moved to Long Island, and took it with me when I moved back home with my parents. The lid broke when the kids were little. I was so upset, mostly because of all the trouble I'd gone to when I bought the jar.

funny thing is, you can find that jar, or dozens like it, all over the internet these days. thought I'd go find one...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NaBloPoMo prompt -- What's the first play you ever saw live?

Funny, I wrote about mine last month - Fiddler on the Roof of course.

So instead I'll write about another play I saw live.


I was in junior high, probably 8th grade, when we had a field trip to the city to see a musical.

We saw Shenandoah  with John Cullum.  It's a Civil War story, lots of tragedy amid the music and dancing.  What was really neat, though....after the show was over, Cullum came back onto the stage to talk to the school groups, to tell us about the theater and performing and to answer all our questions.  It was amazing!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Parental nightmares

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

When you send a child off to college, to live in a dorm away from home, you expect that there will be issues.  Your child has to learn to take care of him or herself without your supervision, maybe do chores that you would have done at home, organize his/her time, learn to live with roommates, deal with homesickness, loneliness and all the stuff that just goes along with being 18.  the usual ups and downs, the stuff you've seen me blog about as my girls explore college life.

You expect that your child will be safe at his/her school, that school security makes the campus a safe haven for students.  You expect that difficulties with roommates can be resovled, that the residential life staff can come to the aid of kids who are having difficulties adjusting to dorm life, that everyone will get along. 

I guess that's why recent news stories sent shivers up my spine.

A shooting spree at the University of Texas.    Fortunately the gunman didn't shoot anyone except himself..  Reminded me of what happened at Virginia Tech a couple of years ago, but with a better outcome.

A shooting at a Seton Hall frat party left a young woman dead and several other party goers injured.  the gunman had been denied entrance to the party and just randomly shot party guests in retaliation.

But the one that scared me the most....what happened at Rutgers.  It was national news.  A young man committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.  Seems the young man's roommate and another student thought it would be "fun" to secretly videotape the young man's sexual encounters and broadcast the video on the Internet.  I suppose they thought it would be "amusing" because the victim happened to be gay.    the result -- one student dead, two others facing up to five years in jail for their "prank".

such a horrible invasion of privacy by the stranger you happen to be living with.


I cannot imagine being the parent of one of the victims.


And I cannot imagine being the parent of one of the perpetrators. 

As much as you hope you your children remain safe and happy outside of your presence, you  also have to be concerned that your children absorbed the morals you tried to teach them, that they are caring and compassionate and that they exercise good judgment.

It's a scary world out there.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

So I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting. got on the  scale and almost cried, I'd gained back a significant amount of weight since last time I was a member.  Wish me luck as I try to take it off again.



the show starts off like gangbusters -- there's a red line this week, the one person below the line will go home.    there's a temptation challenge -- cupcakes!  you have to find the prize by following clues.  the prize is a one-pound advantage, but if you save it, it grows by another pound each week.  Adam wins the challenge.

and then come the regrets, some of the players who ate the cupcakes are upset with themselves.

next is the celebrity chef with the low calorie dessert options. Curtis Stone makes low cal cupcakes.

and then the scheming.  and the workout.

and Elizabeth's drama over the asthma attack.

and then the weigh in starts.  there's a red line and a yellow line....

I wasn't really focusing on the show at this point, I was having a idscussion with Jen about...well, stuff...

got my focus back halfway through the weigh-in.

Burgandy is up. She needs more than 6 pounds....she lost 5.  She takes in as a motivator.  But she beat Mark, who falls below the yellow line.

Ada also needs 6 pounds to be safe.  she lost 10!  She goes to the top of the board!  Burgandy falls below the line.

Jessica's turn.  Seven pounds, right on the edge between safe and below the line.  Jesse is below the line.

Brendan loses 11 pounds.  He's safe.  Elizabeth is below the line.

Frado is up, needs 9 pounds.  He lost 20.  He's safe. He goes to the top of the board.  Lisa falls below the yellow line.


Adam is up.  He hasn't used the one pound advantage.  He needs 9 pounds to be safe.  He lost 10.  Jessica falls below the line.

Sophia is the last person to weigh in.  she needs more than 5 pounds to be safe.  she lost 2 pounds.  she's in shock!  and heartbroken.

she's below the red line and she's going home.




Frado hs to decide who to save from elimination.  Let the campaigning begin.



Dramatics from Ada during the workout.

bob is annoyed at the yellow line being in the middle of the board, that the girls are mostly the ones below it.  What radical idea is he going to do now?

He takes them to his house for a meal!

Burgandy needs medical attention -- her foot hurts.  The doctor puts her foot in a boot.  He's taking her out of the challenge.

So that means she's up for elimination unless Frado saves her....but he saves Jessica.


They have to unroll a carpet the length of a football field and then race back.  the first three back are safe, the last will be up for elimination.

Jesse and Mark finish first, it's up to Lisa and Elizabeth.   Lisa finishes the challenge.

Jesse and Mark go help Elizabeth finish the challenge.

and Burgandy goes home.

and next week, new players.


OMG I didn't realize Sophia coaches cheerleading!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer --- Jones Beach 2010

What a lovely day for a walk!

didn't go last year -- the rain -- but here's my report from 2 years ago. it's important for me to go to this event, I am a survivor and the American Cancer Society was there for me when I was sick.

this year was a bit different, I didn't have a daughter with me.

this year's album is here.

the beach was gorgeous.

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new roof on the water tower:

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registration tent

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Survivor's tent:



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the walk begins

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real men wear pink...fairy wings!

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a pink gorilla!


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and, of course, yours truly

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Blogoversary

My first blog post was October 17, 2008.

Celebrated my first anniversary here.

Can you believe I've been doing this for two years?

I'm inviting you all to a cyber party.  Let's celebrate!







Saturday, October 16, 2010

NaBloPoMo prompt == Where were you and what were you doing ten years ago?

In the year 2000....some of my life was the same, some of it very different.

I mean, I still live in the same place as I did 10 years ago, with all the same people....well, not entirely, I'm still with my parents and two of my sister, but my other sister now lives in an apartment and my children are away at college.

10 years ago -- it was the year Jen turned 10 and Becca turned 8, they were in elementary school, and very involved in Hebrew school and dance class and gymnastics and all of that sort of thing. Drew and I were very much estranged, and the girls had a whole different life with them on alternate weekends.

I was still with a law firm then, still going to court, drafting briefs, etc.Loved the work, hated the hours, needed a change. made that change 2 years later, when I found the job I have now.

two of the highlights of the year were the trips I took to Disney, in February I went with just the girls, and in August I took my three sisters as well as the kids.

and that was the year that NYC was the baseball capital of the world. the Subway Series was absolutely amazing! I rooted for both NYC teams throughout the playoffs, but ultimately my heart belongs to the Mets, so I couldn't celebrate the Yankee victory.

and that was the year of Y2K, our biggest fear was the coming "computer failure". that was before we knew what real terror was.

it was an interesting year, wasn't it?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rennaisance Faire

In keeping with the NaBloPoMo theme....we had a little play time last summer at the Renaissance Faire.


I FINALLY uploaded the photos.

You can see the whole album here.

A few highlights:


Drew in the stockade:

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and shooting archery:

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there was lots of music:

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And dancing:

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Her Majesty the Queen:

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And Robin Hood:

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the Living Chess game:




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the Pickle vendor made us laugh:

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and the end of the day, the Joust:

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

How did your parents meet?

My dad is a veteran of World War II.  He was drafted at age 18, did his basi training in Georgia and served in Italy at the tail end of the war.

One of my dad'sArmy buddies was a guy named Manny.  they had a lot in common -- they were both from NYC (my dad from Brooklyn, Manny from the Bronx), they were both Jewish, and they had the same surname -- a fairly common Jewish surname.

After the war, my dad began hanging out at Manny's house in the Bronx.  and met Manny's cousin, a girl who was about 7 years younger than Manny and my dad.

That girl would be my mom some day.  But when my parents first met, they were just friends.  It wasn't until much much later that they began to date.

Their first official date was at Yankee Stadium, they saw Joe DiMaggio play. and did I mention my dad is from Brooklyn?  A Dodger fan in enemy territory.  He must have really wanted to impress my mom....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

update from the college world

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

 So both girls were home for Columbus Day weekend.

When I say they were "home" I mean they used this house as a pit stop.  It was just like having them here all summer...they'd pop in for a few minutes on their way to somewhere else.  Though (for reasons I'll discuss later) Jen wound up staying home a bit longer...

Let's start with Becca first.

This was her first real visit home.  Yes, she was home for the first night of Rosh Hashanah, but she didn't stay overnight -- after dinner she went back to her dorm.  And she'd gone to dinner with me, and a week later had dinner with her father in the city.  But this was the first time "home", sleeping in her own bed, seeing her friends, etc.   You should have heard the comment she made about  "showering in my own bathroom for a change."

Becca seems to have become a real Manhattanite.  She loves living in NYC, she's oh so comfortable taking the subway or hailing a cab.  what a difference from the girl who  insisted I go with her on the subway they day she went to summer orientation at her school.  She's loving her classes and feels like a kid in a candy store when she looks at the course catalogue.

Jen was full of news.  Mostly about  incidents at the house.  I'm thankful for her male room mates, who threw out some party crashers. And they had a mystery "guest" -- someone broke into the house in the middle of the night and fell asleep on their living room couch.  The male room mates dealt with the "guest" too.  I am beginning to like the idea of Jen living with guys.  ("don't worry, mom, they have their man-cave downstairs and the girls have their bedrooms upstairs.")

Jen needs to call her landlord, she's got a serious electrical problem in her room.  the lights will spontaneously turn themselves off, then turn back on awhile later.  But her room mates were teasing her, telling her it was a ghost....they named the ghost "George".   "George" apparently followed her to school one day -- in her poetry class one day the overhead light turned itself off, then on, then off again.

While Becca is overjoyed at picking classes for next semester, Jen is a bit overwhelmed by her choices.  She has to register today, and she felt a bit rushed about the whole process.

She stayed home a few extra days, as I said, but not for a happy reason.  A friend of hers passed away.  The young man, who she'd known in high school, was living at home and attending school locally.  He died in his sleep Friday night, and his father found him Saturday morning.  The wake was Tuesday and Wednesday, the funeral will be on Thursday.  Unfortunately it's not the first time Jen has lost a friend.  Everyone hug your kids tonight....

It was good to have the girls home, if only for a few days.  good to catch up on what's going on in their lives.  good to see how well they're handling  their college careers.  But it's so clear to me how grown up my daughters are, how they're moving into their own lives....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NaBloPoMo prompt --What do you do to make yourself fall asleep at night?

Usually I watch TV.  I have a "sleep" button on the remote, I can set the TV to play for an hour and then turn itself off.

On a normal night Jay Leno is my bedtime companion.

Biggest Loser Tuesday

Officially joined Weight Watchers but didn't go to the meeting because I was having a business lunch with counsel.

The show:

Begins with drama as Tina starts crying she wants to go home.  Lisa joins in,  Bob cures the drama with an intense workout.  then there's drama at the workout.

Jilllian inspires the women to push harder.

Tennis with Anna Kornikova.  then a pop challenge for immunity at this week's weigh-in.  Frado wins immunity.

Followed by a surprise weigh-in.  Looks like the producers are trying to shake things up this season.

Frado lost ...3 pounds?  good thing he's got immunity.

Burgandy lost one pound.  She's in tears.  Tina lost 4 pounds.   Sophia lost 6  -- that's a big loss in comparison.  Ada lost 6.  Lisa lost 5. 

Then the guys.  Aaron --7 pounds.  Great, but not as good as the double digits of last week.  Adam -- 12 pounds.

Elizabeth is up next.  she needs to have lost more than 7 pounds.  she lost 3.  Adam is safe, burgandy falls below the yellow line.

Rick's turn.  He needs 7 pounds.  He lost 8.  He's safe.  Elizabeth falls below the yellow line.

Mark needs more than 9 pounds.  He lost 11 and he's overjoyed.  Aaron falls below the yellow line -- the first guy to do so this time around.

Jessica gets on the scale.  She needs 6 to be safe.  She got 7!  Tina falls below the yellow line.

It's Jesse's turn.  He needs 8 pounds.  He lost 10. Lisa falls below the yellow line.

Patrick comes to the scale.  12 poundds, he's safe.  Sophia falls below the yellow line.

It's Brendan's turn.  Either he or Ada will be below the yellow line.  He needs 8 pounds.  He lost 5 pounds.  Ada is safe and Brendan is below the yellow line.

Adam wins the weigh-in and can save one player.  the other six will be in an elimination challenge.

and the campaigning begins.

and the work out prep for the challenge with Jillian.  and the others work out with Bob.

Adam saves Aaron.

the challenge.  6  people are digging for 4 brass rings.  no brass ring means you're up for elimination. Brendan uncovers a ring only to have it snatched away....I was glad he found the next one.



burgandy found the last ring, leaving Tina and Lisa up for elimination.  Ironic, these were the girls who wanted to go home....and now they don't.

And Tina goes home.

Monday, October 11, 2010

my latest purchase

Yes, we are most definitely planning a Disney vacation next summer. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10/10/10

today's date is an interesting combination, isn't it?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy 70th birthday John Lennon

Friday, October 8, 2010

what's the oldest article of clothing in your closet or dresser drawer?

I mean, one that you actually wear, not something that's been in there so long it doesn't remember what the light of day looks like.

It occurred to me last spring that my favorite denim jacket was starting to look worn and frayed.  I mean, the "distresed denim" look is popular, but the jacket wasn't "distressed" when I bought it.


I bought it at the underground mall  at the World Trade Center.


In a store that went out of business at least two years before the towers fell.



I bought a new denim jacket last week. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Benihana!

Our favorite Japanese steakhouse.

I wrote about the place last year.

We went back last Saturday night -- the food is wonderful. I love the artistry of the food preparation, and the comedy of the chefs.

What was really funny, though?


Almost every table in the place was celebrating a birthday!  The staff will sing to you if it's your birthday, and bring a candle stuck in a sily-looking porcelain cat in lieu of a birthday cake.  (One table brought their own cake, and the staff was happy to serve it.)

Seems that the restaurant offers a free meal to anyone celebrating a birthday.  You join the club, and when your birthday is near they'll send you a coupon.  guess that brings in a lot of business.

We're going back in February ... didn't go last year because of the cruise, but this year....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

dinner with my daughter

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

So I was chatting with Jen, and she mentioned that she's planning to come home for Columbus Day weekend.  that's pretty much what I expected; most students at her school leave town for Columbus Day.

So I asked Becca when she plans to come home, and the response was "I don' tknow, I like it her."

And it occurred to me that my duaghter is living on the island of Manhattan, an island I visit twice daily during my commute to and from work.

So I asked her out to dinner.

Now, until recently "going out to dinner with Becca" usually involved phrases like "Mom, can we go to Applebee's?" 

But things are different now.  Becca is a college student and lives in an apartment on the Upper West Side.  it didn't feel like taking my daughter out for a bite to eat, it felt like making plans with a freind as we discussed which night was good and where we wanted to eat.   

We wound up at Cafe Fiorello, a fine Italian restaurant.  From our al fresco table we could look across the street to Lincoln Center.  We shared an order of fried shrimp and calamari, Becca had filet mignon (she took half of it home for lunch the next day)  and I had an excellent veal marsala and a glass of a very nice chardonnay.

And we had a long chat about what's going on in her life, how much she's loving colege and enjoying living in NYC, what classes she likes and what she's planning to study next semester (her school has a heavy-duty core curriculum, which doesn't leave much time for electives).  She seems to be getting along with her room mate and apartment mates -- there are minor issues, such as the level of cleanliness in the apartment -- my daughter doens't like to see dirty dishes left in the sink, especially dishes that belong to her but were used by another girl).  but for the most part, she's happy with her apartment mates, happy with her curriculum, happy with her decision to enroll at this school.

She had a fleeting moment of regret -- her campus is in Manhattan and looks like everything else in that borough, very urban and modern, and when she visited the school's main campus (in one of the outer boroughs) and saw a much more traditionally collegiate atmosphere, she briefly wondered if she made the right decision to enroll at the sattelite campus, but that feeling passed quickly because she truly loves to be in the  heart of the city.

After dinner we walked over to the local grocery store (you simply cannot call it a "supermarket" in Manhattan!) and she stocked up on a few essentials.  She was limited to what she and I could carry, of course.  (She's planning to come home for part of Columbus Day weekend, and the plan includes a trip to a real supermaket followed by a car ride back to her dorm.)  It is, after all, a mother's job to make sure that her daughter has enough to eat -- considering how "awful' the campus cafeteria is. 

I took my daughter home to her dorm.  And then, I went home. 

Wow, what a powerful statement.  My baby does not live with me anymore.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Biggest Loser Tuesday

My news first.

Missed the registration meeting for weight watchers at work, but told the organizer I'll join and will be there next week.

Now for the show.


I was glad bob and Jillian were able to bring back two more contestants.  Last week's show was cruel.

no teams, just individuals this time around.  no parents willing to throw themselves under the bus to give their kids a chance to stay on the ranch/

After the first workout they all meet with the doctor.  Lots of tears and fears and scare tactics.

then the lesson in healthy eating, and back to working out.

And then the sandwiches arrive.... OMG.

and weigh-in so early in the game?   and the yellow line has moved.  half the contestants will be below the yellow line!  Everyone started their weight loss efforts at home before coming to the ranch, and everyone is doing well on the scale despite being so nervous.   So many got good results but wound up below the yellow line!

and the one who won the weigh-in can save one of the players under the yellow line.

and those under the line will compete in a challenge to save themselves.

Rick picks Patrick, the only man below the yellow line.  the women will compete to stay in the game.7 players racing to 5 flags. the five who get flags are safe,  the two who are left will be subject to elimination.

I don't know the contestants well enough to root for/against either of them!  Tina or Allie?

And Allie gets sent home.

Monday, October 4, 2010

October NaBloPoMo theme: play

Yes, I like to play!

guess you kind of knew that already.

I like to do things with an element of fantasy -- rhe Renaissance Faire, the circus, Monster Golf, the Bayville Scream Park....


and, of course -- DISNEY!

to quote Captain Kirk:


"The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

mitzvah day, again - on my soapbox

remember last year?

we're doing it all again today.

it is a shonde that in the richest country in the world so many people go hungry because they cannot afford to buy food.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

gift I bought my daughters

Recipes are relatively easy, the food is very familiar and tasty.  Perfect gift for beginning cooks learning to feed themselves.  We have a copy of the book in the kitchen, and I downloaded a copy to my iTouch!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's October

 Halloween is coming.

Time to plan our next visit to:


Bayville Scream Park

Remember we went there last year?

Yeah, I'm just a big kid...

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