life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, January 31, 2011

ice and and snow....

I am so beat down by this weather...enough already.....

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The orange cat

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...and Redford is his name....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Last year for my birthday Drew gave me a gift card for a local day spa.  I put it aside, don't know why....used part of it today for a manicure/pedicure.  Plan to use more of it in 2 weeks for a body treatment/massage/facial.

Lesson for the day -- take care of yourself, pamper yourself, it's worth it.

Friday, January 28, 2011


It's been a looong week.....

No major plans for the weekend.  Just glad it's here and I can kick back and relax.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sunshine and snow

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This is getting ridiculous

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Snow day

The view from my window this morning. This is getting ridiculous!
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jimmy Buffett falls off stage in Sydney, Australia


(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

No, you never stop being a parent....but parenting college students is a very different world than parenting younger children.

the Oscar nominations were announced today, and I've seen 5 of the 10 films that were nominated for Best Picture.

My coworker has seen only one of the films -- Toy Story 3. Seems her 3 year old is obsessed with all things Toy Story. Generally speaking, she and her husband don't go out alone very often -- an event or movie must be deemed "babysitter worthy" before they will choose to go.

That was me just a few years ago. Sometimes I miss those days.

I'm really enjoying the freedom I have now.

but I'm also looking forward to the time when Jen and Becca have kids of their own, and when something is deemed "baby sitter worthy" they call on Grandma to take care of the little ones.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

i felt so bad

My usual morning routine:  I head out the door and start up my car, walk to the top of the driveway (it's a 90 foot driveway) to retrieve the morning papers (we have The New York Times and Newsday delivered every day), place Newsday into my car and throw the Times onto the front porch for my mom so she won't have to traipse up the driveway in this brutally cold and snowy weather.

So this morning....just as I threw the newspaper....the orange cat jumped onto my, the paper didn't hit him, but it scared him so much he scampered away....

Monday, January 24, 2011

the orange cat ..again

So he's been hanging around our yard, looking for a free meal....and trying to get into the house any time someone opens the door. He tried to follow Daisy and Mr. Kitty into the house many times.  My mother and I are joking about his "immigration status", and I keep saying he's looking for his green card and eventual citizenship in our home.  My mother says no, he's got a temporary visa only and he's not going to overstay his welcome.

Saturday afternoon, my sister invited him into the kitchen, and he slept on a towel near the space heater all afternoon.  Ditto Sunday afternoon.  Mr. Kitty was quite jealous when my sister was petting the orange visitor.  My father addressed the cat as "hey, you!" and I joked that he needed a name....and my mother said those dreaded words "animal shelter", which my sisters ignored.

Last night the temperature dropped to single digits.  Guess who spent the night in our downstairs bathroom?  It really was too cold for the poor cat to be outside. 

Anyone taking bets on when this cat will get a name and a permanent bed in our house?

MTV and Skins

My girls are in college, living away from home and choosing what televison shows they care to watch. 

Nevertheless, when I read Christina's blog today ...well, add my voice to those who are objecting to MTV and its show.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


We went to s place called Southside tonight....very casual place, started life as a fish store and added cooked order your dinner at the counter and carry it to your table....I had lobster bisque and a seafood scampi over pasta -- mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp....

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I have a gift card for a spa... Wanted to use it today, since the cold is sapping the life out of my skin.

The spa just cancelled and rescheduled for next week.

Guess I'll have to play spa at home tonight.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

movie review -- The King's Speech

Excellent movie.  Colin Firth was great as King George VI.  How difficult it must be for an actor who is so fluent with language to portray someone who stammers and stutters and can barely speak in public!  Geoffrey Rush as Lionel, the speech therapist, and  Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth made perfect foils for Firt;  their smooth speech made Firth's impediment all the more obviousl I did not recognize the actor playing the archbishop,  Derek Jacobi has not aged well.and was that really Claire Bloom as Queen Mary?  she was so regal!

Definitely one of the better films this year.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

enough with the snow already!

Drew may or may not be going to a weekend retreat for his union.  the objective is for union reps to learn contract engotiation tips.

They've scheduled the event for a lovely resort in Montauk.

He won't go if he's got to drive out there in a snowstorm.

hard to believe it, but...

Today is Tu B'Shevat, the Jewish New Year for Trees.

With all the snow still on the ground, it's hard to think about an Arbor Day- like holiday, a day which signifies the first blooming of trees in Israel.

Custom is to eat fruit, especially fruits that grow in Israel, and/or to eat a fruit you haven't eaten in awhile.  Some people also plant trees.

The Kabbalists even created a Tu b'Shevat Seder, similar to what we do at Passover, but focusing on agriculture and renewal.

So with another snow storm predicted for tonight....I hold out hope that spring will eventually come...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

comings and goings

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

So yesterday was the first day of class at Becca's school.  Her second semester of college!  She spent most of Monday packing up her things -- most of which she never unpacked when she came home in December.  and, of course, she and I went shopping for groceries on Sunday because "the food in the cafeteria is awful."  And we made a quick stop at Barnes & Noble -- she's her mother's daughter, she loves to read for pleasure.  And my sister cooked, of course -- Becca went back to school with  home made matzo ball soup, pot roast and brownies.  And you know she hit me up for $$$ before she left for the dorm. 

One of the biggest lessons Becca is learning isn't in a classroom, it's in the dorm.  Her dorm is set up as apartments that can accomodate 4-6 students.  Her apartment is set up for 6 -- it's got 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms as well as a living room and a kitchen.  There are actually 7 girls living there (there would have been 8, but one girl dropped out the first week.)  The girls are learning to live with each other, and sometimes there are stressful situations -- conflicts about doing the dishes and cleaning up the common areas, buying supplies, when to be quiet so others can study -- typical college roommate stuff.  She's not happy, but she's learning to deal with it.  She tells me that overall she gets along with all of the girls -- except one.  Apparently the young lady doesn't have a concept of "private property" -- she's gone into Becca's bedroom more than once to "borrow" Becca's things without permission, and Becca now keeps her bedroom door locked when she's not at home.  Becca doesn't mind sharing her pots and pans and dishes, but keep your hands off her clothes!

And then there's Jen.  When you have a house off campus and a car of your own, you don't have to worry about when the dorms are open or closed -- you can come and go as you please.  Her spring classes start next Monday, so she's going back to school on Saturday.  But she's already been back to school twice since Christmas -- once for the New Year's Eve party, and again last weekend for her housemate's birthday.

I was a little nervous about her being up at school last weekend -- my Jets fan daughter in New England, with a house full of Patriots fans!  Even her boyfriend is a Pats fan...He watched the game with her, and she didn't gloat -- too much -- when the Jets beat the Pats. 

The situation kind of reminded her about the Giants' Superbowl victory a few years ago -- Jen and I were driving up to Connecticut during the game because we were planning to check out a college the next day.  Jen's friend Billy kept texting her the whole time we were in the car, giving her details about the game.  She got a text from Billy that the Giants won the game....just as we arrived at our hotel.  When we walked into the hotel lobby, the first thing I noticed was a giant TV...and the long, sad faces of the hotel staff and other guests as they watched the post game show....I almost feared pulling out my NY driver's license....Was that really 3 years ago?

Sigh...time is flying by...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

He's ba-ack

Our orange friend is back. He ( gender now most definitely determined) got into a fight with my neighbor's black cat, so now he looks a bit bedraggled. My sisters brought him into the house and fed him but my mom threw him out - she said she doesn't want a third cat.

So tonight the cat is still sitting on our porch, eating the cat food my sister provided and crying to be let in.

Want to bet we will acquire another cat by the end of the week?

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the orange cat

When I got home last night I was greeted by a rather large orange cat -- gender undetermined-- was sitting on my porch, crying as if it wanted to come into my house. 

We have two cats, neither of which is orange.

This was a full grown cat, not a kitten.  Clean, well-groomed, very friendly (wanted me to pet it) and looked well fed and healthy.  Although it did have a stub, as if its tail had been amputated long ago. Or perhaps one of its ancestors was one of those breeds that doesn't have much of a tail. Obviously someone's lost (or abandoned) house cat. 

Apparently the cat cried to my sister before I came home, because there was a small bowl of cat food on the porch.  After the cat greeted me, it returned to the bowl and chowed down. 

The cat was gone this morning.  I do hope it found its way home.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Old friends and face book

I "met" Shlomit on line about 12 years ago. We both posted to a message board at iVillage, a board for Jewish moms. Although she was living in Tel Aviv at the time, she is originally from Long Island, and we got together when she and her kids came here for a visit.

We lost track of each other some time after that.

So lately I've been thinking of old friends. Part of it was because of Alan. And part because this month's NaBloPoMo theme is"friends". So I thought I might try to find her.

Hadn't done anything about it though.

So imagine my surprise when I got a "friend" request last week.

From Shlomit.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

square dance!

I chair a committee at the synagogue designed to bring activities into the building for our members over age 55.  Technically I am too young for my own committee, but I am having fun.

Today I did something I haven't done since I was 12.  We had an old-fashioned square dance.  With a caller.  It was a blast!

I said to Drew....we should find a place where square dancing is offered.... and go dancing again.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

another commuter rant ....and my 15 minutes of fame

Let's just say I am NOT afraid to voice my opinion. 

I've been commuting from the same railroad station since 1994.

In all those years, the county was responsible for plowing the commuter parking lots at the station.  The county emplyees did an adequate job -- nothing even close to approaching "perfect", but nothing to complain about either. 

This season, responsibility shifted from the county to the township.

Major disaster. 

Had a horrific storm Tuesday night night into Wednesday morning.  Didn't go to work Wednesday..  Got to the station Thursday morning and had to circle for almost an hour to find a place to leave the car.  Some of the lots were only partially plowed, some not plowed at all.

Our local newspaper had a facebook thread asking us to share our commuting stories.  So I did.  And a reporter contacted me and wanted to use a quote from me in her story!  The story was published in Friday's paper. 

The town sent plows to the station Thursday afternoon with the promise that "everything would be fine by the evening rush hour." .  Totally ineffective -- you can't plow a parking lot when it's full of cars.  In fact, my car got plowed in, and I had to call AAA to get it out.  The parking was just as bad Friday -- the town never sent the plows back Thursday night to finish the job. 

There's more snow predicted for next week.

It's going to be a looooong winter.

Friday, January 14, 2011

annual blog delurking day

OK, folks, talk to me.  I know you're out there, I can hear you breathing.

NabloPoMo prompt -- What do you prefer listening to, music with lyrics or music without?

What a question to ask a songbird!

Bet you all know the answer.

I'm always quoting song lyrics.  That's what makes the music come alive for me.

I like poetry, too, you know.

Of course, the music is important.  I do like instrumental pieces.  But I love how music and lyrics combine to create a song I can sing!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

snow day

just a little bit of snow in the back yard:



and the3 front:


I think there may be a car under there:


There may be something sexier than a man with a snow plow, but at the moment I can't think of anything:



Voila! A car:


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

growing pains

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

So the girls are home for winter break, and the conversations have turned to future plans.  Jen is well on her way to achieving her educational goals, though there have been a few twists and turns along the way.  Becca is trying to find herself right now; she's expressing dissatisfaction with some of her choices and is seeking new direction.

And then, of course, there are....boyfriends.  Becca has been involved with someone she's known since high school.  Jen, on the other hand, met someone at college.  Someone who is not from Long Island.  And it occurred to me that if the relationship goes somewhere, there's actually a possibility that my daughter may make her home in some part of the world other than where I live.

Each step, each decision, takes them further away from the little girls they used to be....I want them to become strong, confident women, with full and rich lives.

But sometimes the growing process really hurts.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

nablopomo prompt -- Write a post using the following words: oregano, football field, blackbird, hurricane, and loop.

Interesting prompt.  I think I'll try to use all the words, but  I don't want to sound disjointed -- I want what I write to be a cohesive story.

OK, here goes nothing:

I was never a fan of high school sports until Jen joined cheer leading.  Then I suddenly found myself attending a lot of football games.  Sometimes it would be hot, sometimes cold, sometimes rainy.  In bad weather the girls would cheer in thier windsuits instead of their uniforms.  The girls would all call or text each other to discuss wardrobe --- one time, one of the girls wasn't kept in the loop, and Jen had to loan her a pair of sweatpants  to wear over her uniform because of the weather. Honestly, the weather was so bad sometimes that the cheerleaders gave up and went home....yet the powers that be  didn't cancel the game.  I think they'd play in a hurricane if the referees would let them.

The girls would all be hungry after the game, and that meant going out to eat.  sometimes it would be pizza (with lots of good stuff, like tomato sauce, cheese and oregano), sometimes it would be burgers, sometimes ice cream....One time I took a bunch of the cheerleaders to Ralph's Ices, and we saw a whole bunch of blackbirds sitting on the phone lines, watching us while we enjoyed our ices.

I miss those days.

Monday, January 10, 2011

google ad LOL

so I've been writingabout Debbie Friedman, a Jewish singer.  A Cantor.  an expert in Jewish prayer and ritual.

so guess what ad popped up as a result?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Debbie Friedman performs Mourning Into Dancing

Influential musician Debbie Friedman dies

Influential musician Debbie Friedman dies

May her memory remain for a blessing.

Keith Olbermann Special Comment On Gabrielle Giffords Shooting

The violent rhetoric must stop.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sad tonight

Most of you will not have heard of Debbie Friedman.

She's well known in the Jewish world, not so much outside of it.

She is a singer/songwriter who focuses on religious themes. She sings in Hebrew and in English, with a style similar to the folksingers of the 1960's.

I first discovered her music in 1998. It was love from the first note.

When I was ill six years ago, her music provided comfort and hope.

Yesterday I learned that Cantor Friedman is critically ill. The woman who has given so many of us healing now needs prayers for healing herself.

There are certain performers who touch your soul. When they're hurting, it's like one of your friends is in pain. I have felt a sadness since I learned of Friedman's illness.

I am praying tonight.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

OMG talk about rushing the season!

Christmas is definitely over.  the Valentine's candy has arrived in the stores.  I wasn't surprised to see this:

but on the shelf right above it, I was amazed to see this:


Thursday, January 6, 2011

NaBloPoMo prompt - the day I was born

Everyone has a "birth" story, details shared by the family about the day you were born.  even if nothing momentous happened that day (other than the obvious), the family will recall the otherwise the ordinary circumstances and funny anecdotes that make up the story of how you came into the world.

My birthday, as you know, is February 18, 1960.   I was born 11 months after my parents' wedding.  My father says "people were counting on their fingers..."

My parents always joked that if I'd been born on the 15th, and had I been a  boy, my name would have been "Ben Hur (our last name)". My father, a teacher, took his classes to see Ben Hur (great movie, by the way, about Israel under the Romans in the first century.)  My mother went with them.  They joked about having the baby in the movie theater and naming him after the movie in hopes of getting some sort of prize from the theater management.

My father's birthday is February 17.  For his birthday dinner that year, my mother prepared one of his favorite meals  -- spaghetti and meatballs.  I've always been fond of pasta dishes, can't imagine why.

My mother says the day I was born was so stormy that the glass doors of the hospital blew right off their hinges.  That must have been a bit scary. 

Can't believe I'll be celebrating another birthday in 6 weeks....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

grad school search time, already?

(cross posted at Midcentury Modern Moms)

Didn't we just finish the college search?

Yes, I know we did.

But Jen is a junior this year.  And she has definite plans to start her Master's as soon as she graduates from college.   She'll get her BA in May 2012, if all goes as planned, and she should start grad school in September 2012.  She wants to take a program here on Long Island, and there are at least four schools she might consider.

So I suggested she spend some time now, while she's on winter break, looking at the schools she'd like to attend, finding out what sort of GPA they require and what entrance exams she needs and when she needs to take those exams.  I know, it's a little early....but she really should have an idea of what she'll need to do next year, when she's a senior and about to graduate. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mary Poppins tickets

Yes, they were a hit.  A big hit. 

So you will find us in the theater on February 5, sitting in the front row of the front mezzanine...

Monday, January 3, 2011

NaBloPoMo theme -- friends

Not feeling very erudite or philosophical lately, so I'll be keeping it light and fluffy around here.

but I did want to address this month's NaBloPoMo theme.

so here's a quote from one of my favoirte moives, It's a Wonderful Life:

No man is a failure who has friends.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Home sweet home

Drew's friend Miriam flew in from Israel to visit her mother, and while she was here she wanted to see old friends. So we spent most of the weekend with her. Drew and his sister have known Miriam since the mid 1970's. Old friends met new friends when we all wound up at Donna's house last night.

It's been a great weekend. But now I'm exhausted and glad to be home.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just back from dinner and dancing... It was great to party with a small group of friends. Hope everyone had a good Née Year's Eve!

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