life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, July 29, 2011

got a text message today

From my good friend Kim. She’s in WDW right now. She texted me about Disney Crocs flip-flops. I am ecstatic.

Let me explain.

Kim and I met on the DIS, that wonderful/awful Disney message Board. She lives on Long Island – just a few miles down the road from my boyfriend, actually. She owns DVC and makes trips to Disney frequently.

A few years ago, she and I took a trip together on her DVC points – her husband and kids didn’t want to go that year. We stayed at Beach Club Villas. She flew down Wednesday morning and flew home Sunday night. I worked Wednesday, and flew down after work – and after a 4-hour rain delay at the airport. Since both of us were WDW veterans, there was no pressure, and we had a relaxing trip, which included a swim every afternoon at the hotel’s main pool (Stormalong Bay, a huge lazy river) and drinks on the balcony every evening before bed. We spent a lot of time in EPCOT, since we could walk there, but saw the other parks as well. Highlights of the trip included riding Expedition Everest and Toy Story Mania, shows at EPCOT (the Abba tribute band and Off Kilter), a character lunch at Askerhaus in Norway (yes, I am a princess) and a wonderful dinner at the Contemporary where they put a glow cube in my drink.) We ate lunch at Morocco and I bought some jewelry there, and had a fascinating discussion with the cashier who noticed I was wearing a hamsa – an important symbol in both Jewish and Moslem cultures.

So when Kim texted me just now, it brought back a whole host of good memories.

But….about the Crocs….

By the end of the trip my feet were very sore from all the walking we did. We were at the Contemporary and saw Disney Crocs. I tried on a pair of flip flops – green shoes with an orange insole. They’re “Disney” Crocs because they have a small cut out of Mickey’s head just above the thong that goes between the toes. Kim convinced me to buy them, telling me that they were very comfortable and would help with the sore feet. I bought the shoes, but my feet were so sore by then that nothing felt comfortable.

But Kim was right, those crocs are truly the most comfortable shoes I own. I’ve since bought another pair of flip flops, two pairs of clogs and two pairs of ballet flats from Crocs. Not with the disney decor, of course, but still ...

Kim just bought another pair of Disney Crocs. She tells me that the Crocs now come in colors other than green and orange. I simply must check it out.

good thing we're going in a few weeks.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

aging parents

Drew is in Florida right now, dealing with a host of issues surrounding his father.

Drew's father is going to be 88 next week. A few years ago, he sold his house and moved into an apartment in an assisted living facility.

Last year it became clear he could not longer handle his financial afairs, and he gave Drew a power of attorney.

Last winter his medical condition worsened, and he kept bouncing between the hospital and the rehab facility. He hasn't been back to the assisted living facility in months, he's been in a nursing home for the last few weeks.

Drew went down to see his father, and to empty out the apartment and put the furniture in storage (he'll move it to New York later), and to arrange his father's finances so that the nursing home gets paid. Handling the finances has been frustrating and time consuming, but I think he finally got everything taken care of.

Before the trip, Drew told me he was looking in to bringing his father back to New York, that he was looking for an appropriate facility around here. Honestly, i don't know if that's feasible anymore.

Drew thought he knew what to expect when he visited his father. He hadn't seen his fahter since last summer, but he'd been talking with the health care providers all along. When whe went to the nursing home on Monday, though, he was shocked. His father's condition has deteriorated considerably.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shocked and sad

Substance abuse ruins lives. I just found out about one such life shocked me to learn that someone I know and trusted ruined his life that way.

I was in the hospital delivery room. I'd just given birth to Jennifer and was feeling overwhelmed. My OB/GYN asked me if I had a pediatrician picked out. When I said "no" he told the nurse " call Dr. G".

I met Dr. G a few hours later, after he examined my baby girl and pronounced her to be "perfect". It was the beginning of a relationship that lasted 20 years.

I loved everything about Dr. G. He had a small but busy and successful practice. He and his staff really cared about his young patients and their nervous parents. He took the time to learn about his patients' lives as well as their medical conditions. He was the reassuring voice on the phone at 3 am when the kids were ill. When Becca had brochiolitis and couldn't breathe, his confidence that everything would be ok kept me sane and grounded.

I knew something about his personal life too. How he was divorced from his first wife and had two great kids. How he married his receptionist, a woman with four kids of her own - it was sad when that marriage failed.

But I never would have suspected he had a substance abuse problem.

The last time we were in his office was March 2009. Jen was a college freshman and Becca was in her junior year of high school. Jen had seen the doctor at the student health clinic for what turned out to be a very minor problem, but the doctor said some scary things and we both felt a second opinion was warranted. So we went to Dr. G.

He told me that he'd be there for my girls throughout their college years, that he treated patients until they turned 21. That he'd take their calls from school if they ever had a question or medical issue to discuss.

Two months later, seemingly out of the blue, I got a letter from Dr. G stating that he closed his practice and transferred all his records to a pediatric group practice. No explanation was given. I wondered if he was sick. I wondered if he was joining Doctors Without Borders. Lots of thoughts occurred to me, but losing his license wasn't one of them.

I didn't know, when I'd seen him in March, that he was already on a downward spiral.

So I found another doctor for the girls - not a pediatrician - and moved on.

But Dr. G's situation remained a mystery. And not knowing bothered me. So yesterday I did some Google-ing. Found a website that tells a physician's credentials, office hours, sanctions against him, etc.

In February 2008 Dr. G was given conditions to meet in order to keep his license - including enrollment in a substance abuse program. He failed a drug test in March or April 2009 - right around the time we were in his office. The State of New York suspended his license indefinitely and he voluntarily surrendered his California license, and he closed up his practice.

Ignorance is bliss. I always had the warm fuzzies when I thought about Dr. G. Now I am shocked and surprised and disillusioned and saddened. You trust your doctor with your life. You trust your pediatrician with your children's lives. I feel like that trust has been betrayed even though I can't point to anything that suggests he gave the girls substandard care.

I'm wishing I never opened Google yesterday.
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's Too Darn Hot

Sunday, July 17, 2011

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The crisis du jour

Cracked windshield ... Becca was parked at her boyfriend's house and the neighbor's kid was playing ball ...
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

What a game!

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The view from our seats

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The hat

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Let's Go Mets!

So today Drew and I went to Citi Field to see the Mets-Phillies game. We've both been Mets fans since forever.

We drove to Queens, got off the highway at Flushing Meadow Park, right near the remnants of the New York State Pavillion (think "Men in Black") and parked in a lot on Roosevelt Avenue, across the street from the stadium - had to walk up to the el (The 7 train) to get across the street.

The Mets had a rich history at Shea, but for some reason when Citi Field was built, the designers made it look like Ebbets Field to salute a team that abandoned this city over 50 years ago. You enter through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Drew got a bad sunburn on his bald spot when we were in Niagara Falls. So before we left the house I reminded him to take a hat. He showed me the hat in the car. But just before we reached the Rotunda he realized he left the hat in the car. "sounds like an excuse to buy one," I said.

Imagine our surprise ... Today was a promotional day, and the giveaway was... a baseball cap.

With a 4 pm start time, we ate lunch at the stadium - hot dogs cooked in beer and seasoned fries with cheese.

Lots of Phillies fans at the game ... I can well imagine the traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike!

This season the team is saluting the '86 Mets. Jesse Orasco threw out the ceremonial first pitch today.

I love all the Mets traditions ...from the chants of "Let's Go Mets" to Mr. Met the mascot to the huge red apple that pops up behind the outfield whenever a Met hits a home run - we saw the apple twice today.

We chose a great game ... The Mets beat the Phillies 11-2.

And as we walked out of the stadium and headed back to Roosevelt Avenue...a guy dressed as Spiderman played his sax, a woman handed out free samples of Wheat Thins Stix and a bum solicited donations with a sign that read "I'm not going to lie, I need a beer."

Only in New York.

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Harry Forster Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981)

I've blogged about Harry Chapin before, you al  know I am a fan.

Every time I drive through Eisenhower Park and see the band shell (now named after Harry), I think about the night he died.  We were supposed to see him perform that night, and instead learned that he'd been killed in a traffic accident on the Long island Expressway.

I can't beleive it's been 30 years.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Paul McCartney is doing two concerts at Yankee Stadium this weekend....and I won't be there.

Loved the concert at Citi Field.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

RIP Rob Grill

Monday, July 11, 2011

Words of wisdom

If you happen to find yourself in Greece sand a visit to the Oracle at Delphi is on your agenda, make sure you wear sunscreen and sneakers ... and bring along plenty of bottled water.

Jen says the climb up the mountain was difficult. She didn't bring water and practically drowned herself in iced tea when she came back down the mountain.
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Sunday, July 10, 2011


Had to pick Jen up in Boston after her European excursion.

Had a lovely day.  Did the Duck tour, the Skywalk in the Prudential Center and the Freedom Trail.  Ate dinner in the North End -- Italian, of course.  Took lots of pictures.  Maybe I'll even find time to post them eventually.

Lately I've been so busy doing stuff I haven't had time to post.  sorry about that.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Florence, Italy

According to Jen, the best thing about the city isn't the art, the architecture, the sense of's the gelato.

Friday, July 1, 2011

turtles? really?

So Jen is now in Europe enjoying a 10 day "field trip" with her classical mythology class.

She left from Logan Airport, in Boston -- she goes to school in New England.

She didn't know any of her fellow travelers until she met them at the orientation program a few weeks ago. But the child who is not afraid to fly to Italy for 10 days with a group of strangers was nervous about flying from New York to Boston alone. So I flew up to Boston with her, and spent the afternoon in the city before flying home again.

So Wednesday morning Jen and I headed over to the JetBlue terminal at JFK for a short flight to Logan. And found out there'd be a slight delay in our plans because of an "earlier incident" at JFK. 15 minutes, not terrible.

It wasn't until I was flying home later that I caught the news report:


Love is in the air at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. More than 150 turtles crossed over an active runway and disrupted air traffic on Wednesday so that they could continue their mating season.
The diamondback terrapins were trying to get to an ideal location to lay their eggs. That's a sandy area that happens to be across Runway 4, according to Carol Bannerman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The turtles were primarily female, and the fertilization of their eggs occurs in the water, she said.

More about the turles

Flights were temporarily halted at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport on Wednesday morning after about 150 turtles ambled onto a runway.
JetBlue first tweeted news of the slowdown: "JFK is experiencing delays as the airport clears turtles off the runway."
Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico said flights were delayed only about 15 minutes.
A photo provided by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Wednesday shows turtles captured for relocation at New York's JFK airport.
“We had about 150 turtles coming out of the bay this morning," said Marsico. "They crossed the runway to a sandy beach area to lay their eggs."
The diamondback terrapin turtles were gathered on runway 4L, plus nearby taxiways, starting at about 6:45 a.m., NBC affiliate WNBC-TV in New York reports.
The turtle migration occurs annually at the airport, which is located near Jamaica Bay. The turtles typically head out of the bay to nest on the beach each summer. Marisco added that "staff has been out there since quarter to 7 this morning relocating them.”
Allison Steinberg, a JetBlue spokeswoman, said the airline saw no significant delays. "All traffic was moved onto a different departure runway and we are seeing very little impact now.

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