life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, October 31, 2011

poor cat

She has a mass in her abdomen. He prescribed drops for the eye infection and sent her home.

Sigh. . .

Still dealing with the sadness from Drew's cat Cookie . . .

And right now my sisters are at the vet with our cat Daisy.

Daisy is 16.  She has always been tiny, but strong and healthy.

She hasn't really been eating or drinking much lately and now she's skin and bones.  And lethargic. And it looks like she has some sort of infection in her eyes.  I picjed her up this morning and started to cry.

I think I already know what the vet is going to say.

Mr. Kitty just spent a few days at the animal hospital, he had a very treatable infection. He's home now and doing fine. I think my sisters are hoping the vet can treat Daisy and she'll be ok, too.

I am not so optimistic.

So true!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another lesson in the rituals of mourning

As if my children needed additional "lessons" . . .

Both girls were upset when Drew told them about Cookie.  She was their cat, they picked her out at the animal shelter, they chose her name.

Drew decided to have the cat cremated, and he wants to spread the ashes in the back yard.  Cookie was an indoor cat, she never left the house, but she loved to sit on the window sill and look at all the activity in the yard.

He'll get the ashes in 2 weeks.  And when the girls come for Thanksgiving we will have a little ceremony to say goodbye.


A sweet ginger cat who loved her human family unconditionally.  Drew got her 11 years ago, when she was just a kitten.  He took Jen and Becca to the animal shelter to pick out a cat.

Drew is devastated.  And I'm trying to figure out how to tell the girls.

RIP Cookie

Monday, October 24, 2011

The tablet ate my blog post

Love my new tablet.

I have an app for blogger.  Lets me type pists and save them to the tablet if I don't want to publish immediately.

Spent 20 minutes during lunch typing a post.

Tablet lost its 3G connection.

And I lost my post.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

OMG -- too funny!

So tonight Drew and I went to the movies . . . Saw the latest incarnation of "The Three Musketeers" in 3D (can you imagine Orlando Bloom as a villain?)  movie was ok, kind of fun to watch the fight sequences in slow motion and 3D.

Afterwards he surprised me with reservations at PF Chang's.  We were there last winter . . . I even wrote a detailed review for Urbanspoon . . .and it was time to go back.

So we ordered from the prix fixe menu.  Dinner for two includes two bowls of soup, one appetizer, two entrees and either two mini desserts or one larger dessert to share.

So he had the egg drop soup and I had the hot and sour.  We ordered steamed pork dumplings. Cridpy honeyed shrimp and Mongolian beef.  He had the cheesecake and I had "The Great Wall of Chocolate."  food was good, service was mediocre.

We finished dinner and went out to the car.  I took out my phone and opened my Urbanspoon app to see if I wanted to update ny review.

So first I had to read my review from last March.

And I started to laugh.

Tonight' s menu was identical to what we ordered back in March.  And the service was just as lacking.

No need to update the review . . .

Thursday, October 20, 2011


It's time for Jen to renew her driver's license.  Can't believe she's been driving for four years!

Anyhow, she didn't think she'd need a vision test.  The DMV recently dropped the rule.  But then the governor reinstated the rule.  She could go to the DMV to do the test, but she's away at school. . . So she went to an optometrist.

Who told her she has an astigmatism in each eye and needs glasses to drive.

Jen wore glasses for an astigmatism for a brief time in elementary school, but her opthamolgist decided she didn't need them anymore . . .

Her father wears glasses.  I wear glasses.

So we were not surprised.

But Jen was shocked.

So tomorrow she' s going to the opthamologist.  Who is also a family friend.

I think she's hoping he'll tell her the optometrist was mistaken.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Once again I have participated in this very important event.

Every year I swear I'll get up early and beat the traffic to Jones Beach.  And every year I wind up in a traffic jam trying to get into the parking lot.

But eventually I park, and make my way to the registration tent. . . You can see the penants flying long before you reach the tent.

When I first started walking, Jen walked with her cheer team and Becca walked with Key Club, so my time wasn't my own.  But now I can visit the Survivor's tent and take my time talking with other survivors.  I can collect my pink t-shirt and other badges of my status.

The weather was warm today, I took off my sweatshirt even before I hit the boardwalk.  But it was windy, I had to use bobby pins to keep my baseball cap from flying off.

I love to see all the walkers . . .school groups, unions, corporate teams, local hospital employees, friends of cancer patients. . .today I saw a group of fire fighters in dress uniform.  Most walkers wear pink. . .many wear slogans like "Fight Like a Girl" or "Hope Starts With Me."

Volunteers are positioned along the path to hand out bottled water and cheer on the walkers . . . Today I was high-fived just for being a survivor.

It's so strange to see the boardwalk so crowded you can barely move, and almost no one on the beach itself.  Though today I did see a group of cheerleaders stunting on the beach today.

You walk 2 1/2 miles along the boardwalk and turn around and walk back.  There's a memorial on the fence at the turnaround point.  It gives me immense satisfaction to add my contribution to the fence every year.  It's proof I'm still here!

And today . . . Senator Schumer was there, at the starting point of the walk, to greet all the walkers. . .I am a political junkie and a fan of the Senator, and was thrilled when he posed for a photo with me.

All in all, a great day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The song was released 40 years ago today.

Some things are ageless.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Writers block

For some reason I cannot think of anything to blog about!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bayville Scream Park!

From the ridiculous to the sublime ... Or visa versa.

Spent Saturday morning in synagogue, observing Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year.

Saturday night...Bayville Scream Park.

Bayville is a small community on Long Island Sound, not far from Oyster Bay (we drove past the Teddy Roosevelt statue ong our way).  When you stand on the beach in Bayville you look across the water to Westchester - my GPS actually placed me in Rye.  No wonder they wanted to build a bridge here!

The bayville adventure park is right across the street from the public beach. During the summer there's miniature golf, bumper boats, a video game arcade...

But after Labor Day the park is transformed.  There's a toned down version for young kids during the day ...

But at night ... Creepy!

There are five haunted attractions.  Creepy decorations, fog machines, strobe lights, lots of atmosphere. 

The actors talk to you, scream at you, follow you...but they're not allowed to touch you.

Drew and I have been going for a few years now, but this year we brought friends with us.

We have a great time playing along with the actors and watching the teen girls' reactions -last year Drew had a bunch of girls screaming before they even got into one of the haunted attractions just by banging on a wall and doing a maniacal laugh.

Each of the five attractions has a back story and a theme of its own.

First up was Bloodworth Manor, a Gold Coast mansion with a dark secret.  Very gory.

Next was Temple of Doom, a maze with a theme right out of "The Mummy".

Evil in the Woods is at the back of the park and actually feels isolated.

Uncle Needles Fun House.  Clowns gone bad.

And last but not least, Zombie Pirates.  Tortured Drew a little by singing the pirates song from POTC ...we got stuck on the ride at Disney for 25 minutes last summer.  Yo ho yo ho a pirate's life for me.

We ended the evening next door at Ship Wreck Tavern ...a nautical themed restaurant with and outdoor tiki bar.  There's a huge fish tank behind the bar.  A second tznk is home to two huge Moray eels.  We sat next to the eel tank and watched theme while we ate.  Hot wings and shipwreck burgers.

Can't wait to go back next year!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

the solemnity of the day

Hear our prayer
We have sinned before Thee
Have compassion upon us and upon our children
Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, and famine
Cause all hate and oppression to vanish from the earth
Inscribe us for blessing in the Book Of Life
Let the new year be a good year for us

Friday, October 7, 2011

New toy!

Just got a tablet - a Samsung Galaxy7.  No it's not an iPad but it's still great fun.

Yom Kippur...again

Yom Kippur, a Day of Remembrance.

We fast and pray, separate ourselves from the physical world and seek the spiritual. We record the passage of time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Of wanderlust and travelogues

As my 50th birthday approached (can you believe it's almost two years ago?) I knew I needed to celebrate in a big way, and began planning a Caribbean cruise. I, go someplace where I'd never been before, to see unfamiliar parts of the world.Just about the time we were planning the trip, I won two tickets to a Jimmy Buffett concert. Jimmy's music was perfect, it set the tone for the partying that followed on the ship. I'd never really been a fan of his before, but after that concert I was hooked. A true Parrothead.

And so I read his books....Tales From Margaritaville, A Salty Piece of Land, Swine Not, and his autobiography, A Pirate Looks at Fifty, the last being a bit of a travelogue, describing the special trip he took to Central America to celebrate his 50th birthday. Gee, why would that hit home?

Jimmy's themes of growing older but not up, of life being an adventure, of the need to party and have fun, synced perfectly with my mood as I planned my birthday trip.

A few months ago I visited San Diego on business. I'd never been to the West coast before, and Southern California was so different from anywhere I'd been before -- my travels until then were limited to the East Coast, Canada and the Caribbean. The 6 hour flight across the country, and the dramatic differences in the landscape there, made me realize just how little of the world I've actually seen.

Around this time I heard that On The Road is about to be made into a movie. And I realized I'd never read Kerouac's masterpiece, or for that matter, anything he'd written. So I downloaded it to my nook. Struggled through it. The writing style is brilliant -- he writes as if he's having a conversation with the reader, as if he's talking about mutual friends the reader is presumed to know. I was pulled into the book early on, by the beautiful descriptions of the glorious landscape of our country. But the Beatnik lifestyle, so shocking to the readership of the 1950's, is ready quite commonplace to 21st century eyes. And ultimately the plot leads to disillusionment and despair.

but how well I understand the wanderlust!

The last book I want to mention is John Steinbeck's Travels With Charley. I read this book in my teens, before I read The Grapes of Wrath or Of Mice and Men, before I knew who Steinbeck really was. It was a paperback I found in my parents' basement, with Steinbeck and his poodle staring out at the reader from the book's cover. The book romanticizes travel around the country...early on, Steinbeck relates that as he was preparing his vehicle (a truck with a cabin mounted on it), the neighbor boy is jealous and wants to go...anywhere...with Steinbeck.
And so did I...

Although the themes of On the Road are so very very different than Steinbeck's story, reading Kerouac made me nostalgic for Charley. So I downloaded it to my nook. I wonder what Steinbeck, who lamented the homogenized, technologically advanced society he discovered on his trip in 1960, would think of a device that does away with paper and the printed word...

The book was written in 1960, the year I was born, and I first read it in 1975 or so. Reading it now, in 2011, is an interesting experience. I see so much now that my younger eyes weren't able to capture...Steinbeck was 58 when he wrote the book, and although he doesn't elaborate on it, he was seriously ill, and he knew this would be his last chance to see the country.

But the love of travel and the joy of seeing new landscapes...that still rings out from Steinbeck's prose.

And yes, I can understand the wanderlust.

and yes, I want to go....anywhere...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

the ebb and flow .....

Time and tide wait for no man.
Geoffrey Chaucer

A single breaker may recede; but the tide is evidently coming in.
Thomas B. Macaulay

Jen called me yesterday using her friend Andy's phone.

As soon as I realized the unfamiliar number in the caller ID was Jen, I had to ask what happened to her phone.....

Seems she and Andy went to the beach's just a short walk from the house she's renting....and left their things on the sand while they waded into the water.

She didn't realize the tide was coming in....

At least she backed up all her data....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Time to whine

If whining and long descriptions of symptoms turn you off, stop reading this and move on to something more pleasant.

My greatest health challenge: cold and flu season.

Mind you, I am a cancer survivor. But when you are in treatment for cancer, it's a battle. No matter how ill you feel, you're in the fight for your life. So you put on your armor and engage in the struggle.

I have many friends who deal with chronic, debilitating illness. Having a cold or the flu is nothing compared to that, I'm sure.

But it's cold and flu season, so let me be a little self-indulgent for the moment.

Because I can't stand having a cold.

You know where it hits me the hardest? My ears.

You would think, after two bouts of bronchitis and a case of pneumonia that put me in the hospital for four days, that my lungs would be the most vulnerable to the germs making the rounds. You'd be wrong.

Spring 2004. Bad cold, major congestion in my sinuses. It felt as though my head was wrapped in cotton, everything filtering through the congestion. Sudafed wasn't helping and was making my heart race and bloodpressure skyrocket.

And then I realized I couldn't hear out of my right ear.

Finally gave in and went to the doctor. And heard those words "bilateral otitis media".

I knew what that was, I'd seen the pediatrician write it in Becca's chart countless times.

An ear infection. In BOTH ears.

In fact the doctor hadn't seen eardrums that badly blistered in .... Well, he couldn't remember when.

It took three weeks of antibiotics and Flonase to clear everything up.

Yesterday I felt it ... scratchy throat, a few sneezes ... and then that burning, itchy sensation in my right ear, the feeling that my ear is draining into my throat ...

All hail Dayquil, that miracle of modern science.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I know it sounds a bit bizarre...

Saw Camelot done at a regional theater today. One of my favorite musicals!

Ejoy this clip from the movie:

35 days

I think she can manage for 35 days. ;-)

Frustrated text message from Jen: "I hate that you had me so late in the year!"

Seems she is the youngest among her friends. They've all turned 21. And like all newly-minted "adults" they are enjoying their new-found status by socializing in the local college bars.

Where Jen cannot go because she is not yet 21.

Her birthday is in 35 days.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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