life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, April 29, 2012


3 weeks.  3 short weeks.

Jen will graduate from college in 3 short weeks.

She did the paperwork months ago, she's got her cap and gown.  She is two term papers and two final exams away from completing her college career.

Seems like it was only yesterday she was a baby in my arms.  And now she's all grown up. 

When you hold your baby in your arms, you wonder what she'll be like as an adult.  Will she share your hopes and dreams for her or will she follow her own path?

With Jen, it was a bit of both. 

And when I look at her, when I listen to her speak, I am so proud.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I lovee this!

La Casa Latina and Iron Man II

In what has become the pattern to our Saturday nights, we went out to eat this evening, then wound up at Drew's house to watch a movie on TV. Dinner tonight was at La Casa Latina. Place got good write ups in Newsday and the Times, so when we snagged a Groupon we had to try it. I love Latin American food, liked it even before our cruise 2 years ago -- we made port in Belize, Roatan and Cozumel, and were fed a ton of rice and beans in each port. Our meal tonight began with delicate fish tacos, followed by pupusas with salsa and a vinegary slaw. Salad was fresh and crisp. I ordered the Honduran platter -- shell steak, rice, beans and a plantain accompanied by something called crema - sort of like sour cream but with a vinegar undertone. It also came with a fried egg, which I gave to Drew. It was supposed to come with avocado, but they forgot to give it to me and I never missed it. Drew ordered the Parrillada Mixta -- steak, chicken and sausage with rice and beans. I seldom order dessert, but I had heard that they make their own flan. Turns out it's a cheese flan, firmer in texture than most custards, covered in caramel sauce and served with fresh whipped cream. We shared one dessert, and that was plenty for us. Maybe next time we will skip the meal and just order the flan and coffee! Tonight's movie is Iron Man II. Drew is educating me so that when The Avengers opens in a few weeks I won't be lost. Loved Iron Man, loved Thor and really loved Captain America. Haven't seen The Hulk, but I remember the tv show where Bill Bixby used to turn into Lou Ferrigno. So I'm looking forward to The Avengers. La Casa Latina on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 26, 2012


When I was in high school (way way back in the 70's) I took a class called Film and Filmmaking.  The class was developed by one of my favorite teachers, Mr. A, as an alternative for seniors who didn't want to take a more traditional literature class (and it also kept the AV Squad nerds busy). I was an English nerd, and took the class IN ADDITION TO my regular English class - I was in Ms. G's section of Film and in AP English with Mr. A.   I remember when Mr. A's children bought him an uber-expensive Betamax (remember those?) so that he wouldn't have to set up his projector every time he wanted to watch a movie at home.

We saw many movies over the course of the year -- Shane; Citizen Kane; Singin' In The Rain.

But one of my absolute favorites was Casablanca.  Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Heinreid, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, and Sidney Greenstreet in a fez.  WWII storyline, filmed in black and white.  Exotic locale -- Morocco.  What a glorious movie!

When it came time for each of us to do a project based on one of the movies we had seen, I chose Casablanca.  I found a real treasure in the public library - not only did the book provide history of the film, analysis and commentary, but it also had each frame of the film reduced to still photography, with the dialogue printed beneath.

I've seen the movie many times since then, I have it on VHS and DVD.  But you miss so much when you watch a movie on the small screen.

Last year Drew and I went to the multiplex for a one-night-only showing of The Wizard of Oz on a real movie screen.  This is a movie I'd seen hundreds of times on tv/video/DVD.  Had the dialogue committed to memory.  The movie was so different on the larger screen!  There were background details I'd never seen before.  We were amazed at the artistry.

Tonight we return to the multiplex for a special screening of Casablanca.

Can you tell I am excited!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The misery of the common cold

Last week in the hospital I heard a patient in another room coughing so hard I would have sworn he or she was coughing up a lung.  I thought "I hope I don't catch something!"

Sure enough . . .I have a cold.  A lousy, miserable cold. 

Now, when I am seriously ill, I am so busy fighting whatever it is that I forget to be miserable.  A life-threatening illness?  A condition requiring surgery?  I put on a positive attitude, bond with my caregivers and do battle with whatever it is that's ailing me.

But a cold is different.  Everyone gets colds, and we all suffer through them, so no one is inclined to offer much more than a Kleenex and token sympathy.

When I get a cold, my ears become my vulnerability.

About 8 years ago I had a spring cold that blossomed into sinusitis.  I was so congested that I felt like my head was wrapped in cotton.  Still, I muddled through, living on tea and Sudafed, until I realized I was no longer able to hear anything with my right ear.  That's when I finally realized I needed a doctor.

Diagnosis: bilateral otitis media.  An ear infection, involving both ears.

I'd never really been bothered by ear infections when I was a kid.  But here I was, a grown woman in my 40's, with an ear infection.

It was pure misery.

And now, every time I have any sort of upper respiratory tract ailment . . .those nasty viruses just love to set up residence in my ears.

So forgive me while I whine . . .but my ears hurt.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grumble grumble

So the last two weeks have not exactly gone as planned. Five days in the hospital, missing the Moody Blues concert and that expensive car repair followed by the rained-out ballgame . . .

So it's Monday morning.  Still cold and rainy.When I checked on the status before I left the house, the railroad was running on or close to schedule.  In the 10 minutes it took to drive to the station, the entire branch had meltdown.  20+ minute delays. 

At least it's running, right?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hot dogs cooked in beer? No. Strawberry cream pancakes? Why not?

So we got up this morning and immediately began to check weatherbug and for a status. Frankly I was a bit surprised that Drew didn't just say "forget the game" because of the miserable time we had at Jones Beach last summer (I'm surprised he didn't freak when I bought Jimmy Buffett tickets for this August, after all the complaining he did that night!). It was drizzling when Drew, Marc and I headed out to Citi Field. The rain got heavier when we got into Queens. We decided we'd park the car, collect our Tom Seaver bobbleheads, have some lunch and see how things went. Last summer, when Drew and I were at a ball game, we found a hot dog stand that cooks them in beer. I had never eaten a hot dog prepared that way, but Drew has fond memories of a restaurant called Zum Zum's, which prepared them that way. So we got to Flushing Meadow, and I could practically taste the hot dog . . .and the parking lot gates were closed. The attendant told us the game had been postponed. We never even got out of the car. By now, of course, we were all famished. So we headed to Denny's. I prefer Denny's to IHOP - more civilized. I am really liking the build your own pancake special. Drew and I had buttermilk pancakes with white chocolate chips, strawberries and whipped cream. Yum! I ate mine without adding syrup, the pancakes were moist enough on their own. Marc felt the chocolate chip pancakes were a little too sweet, but he liked the strawberries and bananas on top. Denny's on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Boulder Creek and all that

Boulder Creek Steakhouse on Urbanspoon We had planned to go elsewhere tonight, but due to my afternoon in the tire store our evening had to be rearranged. Boulder Creek is one of our favorite chains. The ambiance is 19th century Colorado mining town. The lobby contains a huge fireplace (inactive on this warm spring night), as if you were in some mountain lodge. At dinnertime the wait for a table can be substantial, but at 8 pm we were seated immediately. Tonight we started with an onion bloom -- a whole onion batter dipped and deep fried, and served with a creamy yet zingy dipping sauce. I like this presentation better than onion rings. One bloom can easily be shared by a small group of people. We brought more than half of it home. Steaks come with your choice of two "sides" -- keep in mind that soup and salad are considered "sides". Tonight we each chose the house salad, which is primarily iceburg lettuce with a few pieces of cucumber and some grape tomatoes. Not very exciting. I ordered "The Cowboy", a bone-in ribeye, and garlic mashed potatoes. Drew ordered a special called "Dodge City Ribeye", which was served on a sizzling platter with mushrooms, onions and peppers, and creamed spinach. Everything was done to perfection, can't wait to eat the leftovers. A word about our waitress. She tried her best, but missed the mark. She forgot to bring our bread -- said she was distracted -- and when she did bring it, gave us bread plates that were wet and dirty. She kept our soda glasses filled, but forgot to bring the water we asked for. She almost dropped Drew's sizzling platter in his lap. And at the end of the meal, told us she would bring us take-home containers and the check, but forgot to bring the containers. But at least she wasn't hanging at the bar watching the Rangers game, like some of her coworkers. Overall a satisfactory meal. Keeping the place on my favorites list.

Car repair

So ok, I drive an old car.  95 Toyota Corolla. Sandpebble beige. Bought it new in May 1995.  It's got 162,000 miles on it, give or take.  First time I ever bought myself a brand new car.

I love this car.  My daughters spent their childhood being transported in this car.

So Saturday morning I noticed that the driver's side front tire was low.  Very low.  Took the car to the discount tire store to check things out.

Well, it turns out I had 3 very old tires on the car -- replaced one tire about a year ago when I hit a nail, but I can't even remember the last time I bought tires.

And then the mechanic showed me the struts.

Can you believe they were original equipment?

  17 years and 162,000 miles on the same struts?!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rain rain go away?

We need the rain.  We're in a drought so bad that the weather service has been posting red flags, and there were significant brushfires out east last week.  We had virtually no snow this winter, and our last significant rainfall was back in January.

So I should be pleased to hear we are going to get rain this weekend . . .some showers on Satuday followed by a real soaker all day Sunday.

Yeah, SUNDAY.  The day I have tickets for the Mets-Giants game.  Tom Seaver bobblehead day.

Friday night at Chen's

Chen's Buffet City on Urbanspoon We come here often. It's an inexpensive option, will never replace a dinner at a good Chinese restaurant, but good value for the price. When the place first opened last December there was always a wait for a table, but the hype seems to have died down and tonight we were seated immediately. Sushi is good, though there isn't much variety, most steam table items are flavorful and the Mongolian wok is a good option. Dessert is somewhat lacking unless you like the chocolate fountain. Staff is attentive. And we usually find coupons in the Pennysaver.

Ellen's and Evita, another NYC night

Ellen's Stardust Diner on Urbanspoon I am sure I mentioned, at least half a dozen times, how much I love Ellen's Stardust Diner. It's not about the food, it's about the experience. I've been coming here since the 90's, and still enjoy it -- the retro feel, the party atmosphere. The home of the singing waitstaff, your server will be taking your order one minute and belting out a pop hit the next. Lately the place has been uber popular, and they don't take reservations, but even when the line is long the wait for a table isn't. I must warn you, Drew and I are not shy people. Do not come here with us if you would be offended by our singing along with the performers. In fact, that's what got me into trouble tonight. One of the waitresses sings "Different Drum", which was a hit for Linda Rondstat but which was written by Mike Nesmith. Yes, THAT Mike Nesmith, good old "Wool Hat" from the Monkees (and they said the Monkees weren't "real" musicians!) Anyhow, I know all the words to that song. "you and I travel to the beat of a different drum, can't you tell by the way I run every time you make eyes at me?" So she starts to sing, I start to sing along, and the next thing you know, she's got the mike in my face . . . Screen names notwithstanding, I haven't sung for an audience since I was in my high school chorus. Hope I did a credible job! I should mention the food, of course. We usually order burgers here, they come with killer waffle fries. Drew had a bacon cheeseburger and I had sliders. Huge portions, we can never finish . . .and I have yet to order dessert. The dessert menu looks yummy, though. Then it was off to the Marriott Marquis Hotel, a place where I love to hang out. Tonight our ultimate destination was the Marquis Theater, which is inside the hotel. I have always loved the wall of Broadway show posters just outside the theater. The show itself . . .well . . .usually you will hear me say two or three things about a show and how much I loved it. Today I'm going to be much more detailed. Bear with me, ok? The original production of "Evita" was a huge deal when it came to NY after a successful London premiere. I can still see the TV commercial in my head, Patty Lupone on the balcony, singing snippets of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina". The cast album -- two vinyl records -- contained virtually the entire libretto of the show, and I played it over and over, so that by the time I actually saw the show I'd committed the entire score to memory. If I hear the songs in my head, it's Patty Lupone and Mandy Patinkin whose voices I hear (loved them in concert last January, as you recall). I remember the whole look and feel of the original production. Hot, vibrant, exciting. Minimalist set and characters who didn't need a backdrop. To say I loved it would be an understatement. Then came the movie. What a disappointment. I am convinced that people who say they like the movie never saw the stage production and so had nothing to compare to the movie. The movie was very grand, the scenery was lush. Madonna was gorgeous (though songs had to be altered to fit her limited vocal range), Antonio Banderas was gorgeous, the music was gorgeous. The movie was . . .meh. As played by Madonna, Eva became the saint she pretended to be. All the nasty, sarcastic lines sung by Eva on stage were either expunged or given to another character. She was made to look like a victim instead of victimizer. Very frustrating. So now, tonight's show. A revival is not a recreation, so there was a lot that was different from the original stage production. I did find myself comparing the two, and I still prefer what I saw in the 80's. But this production did not disappoint me. You need a strong leading lady to play Eva, and two strong men to counterbalance her performance. I did not know what to expect from Michael Cerveris as Peron. I know he has an impressive Broadway pedigree, but I know him only as the Observer on "Fringe". Ricky Martin as Che sounded like stunt casting. And Elena Roger is an unknown quality as far as I am concerned. Didn't like her performance, I didn't think she was dynamic enough. And her voice isn't strong in the upper ranges. On the other hand, loved the guys, especially Martin. Didn't know if he could transition from pop to the theater. He was amazing. Loved the sets. Very lavish, it felt like Argentina. The song Weber wrote for the movie, "You Must Love Me", has been added to the score, and it works better here than it did in the film. What I really liked was the use of the Argentine tango, the dance serving as a metaphor for sex and power and how the two are intertwined. Tango steps even show up in the waltz between Eva and Che. It's fundraising season for Broadway Cares. Cerveris gave the collection speech in English and in Spanish -- which pleased the heavily Hispanic audience. Drew bought a poster autographed by the entire cast. He's going to hang it next to the one he bought when we saw "How To Succeed" last year. All in all, another wonderful NYC night.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Prisoner is Free

Home from the hospital and feeling ok.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Help! I 'm being kept prisoner in the hospital!

Deja vu!  Didn't I do this 5 months ago?

Curse you, Friday the 13th.

Pain started as I was getting ready to go over to Drew's house.  It wasn't bad, though, and faded out.  By the time I got to Drew's house, the pain was back. Told Drew and Marc to go get something to eat and went to lie down.

Shortly after Drew got back, Becca called.  She'd taken a bad fall on the sidewalk near school, hit her head on the concrete, and was feeling nauseated and dizzy.  There is a hospital one blick away from her school, Drew told her to take a girlfriend and go to the hospital.  She's ok, by the way.  Even posted cute pictures of herself in the hospital gown on facebook.

So I said to Drew, "if I didn't feel so lousy I'd get in the car and drive to Becca."

Then I realized I should be on my way to the ER myself.

Got to the ER Friday night, and I have been in this hospital ever since.  Even have the same doctor.  Only this time we are trying to avoid surgery.

So I am doing everything they tell me to do, so that I can feel better and go home!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Crazy screwed up family

The sad truth of the matter is that we are an incredibly dysfunctional family. My parents are in denial, seeing our bickering as the petty squabbles of children, when in fact there are so many deeper layers of emotion driving us.

My father infantilized my sisters. They are still his babies, needing his protection, and I am the older sister who should "know better". They can get away with all sorts of bad behavior, but if I engage in similar acts he is quick to chastise me. They are "daddy's little girls", they coo at him and sing to him and twist him around their fingers.

He treats me like an adult, and is often critical of my behavior. He's in denial about bad behavior on the part of the wonder twins. They are his angels, they can't have done that.

I suspect he knows he didn't do right by them, that he's worried about their future and who will take care of them after he is gone. What really aggravates him during an argument is when I start to mention my sisters' age and their need for employment. That's usually when he intervenes and tells me to be quiet.
As painful as it has been to realize that while my father loves me, he does not like or respect me, but I will be OK. I am an adult. I am a survivor. I can take care of myself.

I worry for my sisters, though. They are 44 going on 14. They have never been held to an adult standard of responsibility. As my other sister H observed, they never do anything they don't want to do. They have no marketable skills. They are going to be completely lost when my parents are gone.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Taking some time away from the bitchfest to talk about another great NYC night. Our evening began at the Stage Deli. We've been here before, and enjoyed the experience. I was pleased to learn they have a Passover menu.  I ordered matzo brei (a fried concoction of matzo and eggs) with mushrooms and onions.  It was served with sour cream and applesauce.  I will be enjoying the leftovers tomorrow.  Drew had a tongue sandwich, his usual deli fare. We were not disappointed. Stage Deli on Urbanspoon When we walked into the deli, shortly after 6, there was no wait for a table. The place was hopping by the time we finished our meal. Next we walked to Times Square, where, I am happy to report, Stanley Cup Fever is alive and well. Yes, that is a huge fountain in the shape of the Stanley Cup. Our destination was the theater, for a "new" musical comedy called "Nice Work If You Can Get It". Very frothy concoction featuring Gershwin show tunes, it stars Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara. Rich playboy falls in love with lowly bootlegger who is using his Long Island mansion to hide her crates of gin. The tone of the play is witty and sarcastic. Loved the scene where she sings "Someone To Watch Over Me" as she expertly handles a rifle. The audience really lived the performances. I can't wait to read the reviews when it opens on the 24th. Afterwards, Drew bought a poster and had it autographed by most of the principals. As usual, we walked back to Penn Station, where we were engulfed in a sea of Rangers jerseys. Yes, they won, so it was a good evening all around.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Food is love, part 2

Dinner Tuesday night.  F prepared a meal for my parents, including chicken cutlets. I came home while my parents were eating, so my mother said "Grab a plate and come join us."

When I put some chicken on my plate you would have thought I was committing a heinous crime.  A started yelling about how I was taking food out of my parents' mouths, that F made just enough chicken for my parents to have dinner Tuesday night and Wednesday night, that she and F would not be home Wednesday night to cook for our parents.  That I had better be prepared to provide for my parents for Wednesday night.

But of course.  I am quite capable of putting a meal on the table, even during Passover.  I just don't think I should have to do so when my mother has two adult daughters living with her who have no jobs or means of support and who drive my mother's car and shop with her credit cards and do exactly as they please.

As it happened, my mother and I had the foresight to buy frozen kosher for Passover cheese blinzes.  Game plan was to make the blinzes and some egg salad, have a dairy dinner.

Got home around 7:45.  Found out my sister made egg salad before she left.  I made the blinzes.  We ate.  Not a big deal.

My mother suggested I take the leftovers for lunch Thursday. Wrapped up the blinzes, put what was left of the egg salad into a container, put everything into a brown paper lunch bag, put the lunch bag into the refrigerator.

Pulled the bag out of the fridge Thursday morning, and the egg salad was gone.  Since they don't eat eggs, and since the container was nowhere to be found, I assume they tossed it into the garbage.

And you wonder why I lose my temper with them . . .

Food is love - another tale from the screwed up family front

No, I am not making this stuff up, more's the pity.

We all have this picture in our heads of the stereotypical Jewish mother (or Italian, or Greek or whatever) spending her life in the kitchen, feeding/overfeeding her family to show that she loves them, providing food as a cure-all.  Bad day at school?  Here's some chicken soup.  Boyfriend dumped you?  Have a slice of home baked pie.  You get the idea.

I have the opposite situation at home.

F and A are fairly good cooks.  Baking has been their special hobby for a long time.  They are very good at it.

Which truly surprises me, because they put themselves on a crazy diet many years ago. They don't eat most of what they cook, and none of the things they bake.  Really.  They live on bread and bagels (no toppings - butter, jelly, cheese and cream cheese are not allowed), baked potatoes (plain or with mustard), pasta with nonfat tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesian, fresh fruit, salad without dressing. Nonfat frozen yogurt, and Twizzlers candy (there's no fat in it).  If a dish contains so much as a teaspoon of oil, they won't eat it.  At the Italian restaurant they order pizza with sauce but no cheese. At the Chinese takeout they order steamed vegetables, plain rice, sauce on the side, and bean curd and cabbage soup. Once in a blue moon they might have a bit of grilled chicken.   Diet is very high in carbs, very low in protein, completely lacking in dairy, completely fat-free.  Not particularly healthy, and eventually they will pay for it.

And while A is still thin, F is a good 30 - 40 pounds heavier, so I guess it's not all that effective. (Meow.)

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I struggle with my weight.  I've joined Weight Watchers more times than I can count.  My diet is not always a healthy one, but at least I know what good nutrition is and I strive for it.  My sisters do not. 

Anyhow, food has become a battleground.

At first it was just the baked goods.  The cookies and cakes would come out of the oven and would be absorbed into the ether.  If they baked it I am not supposed to eat it.

Next it was the chocolate and the soda.

My mother likes to buy chocolate, like Ghiradelli Squares or Lindor Truffles, to have at the end of dinner.  My sisters hide the packages, and dole out small portions to my parents.

Same thing with soda.  Sometimes my mother buys bottles or cans, sometimes my sisters use my mother's credit card to buy it.  The soda gets hidden and doled out to my parents in small portions.

The reason has nothing to do with my parents' consumption of these products.  My sisters have determined that I should not consume chocolate or soda purchased by my parents.

My mother gets very frustrated when she cannot find things she knows she bought and paid for.  But she doesn't do anything about it.  At this point I doubt there's anything she can realistically do.

So I have gotten into the habit of buying a lot of my own stuff, soda, snacks, etc.

It's one thing when the food my mother paid for disappears into the black hole.  I know my parents will eat it eventually.

It's quite another when MY stuff disappears.

My mother always kept a kosher home when my grandmother was alive. Grandma would not have eaten in our house if it wasn't kosher.  Since it was for my grandma's sake only, after grandma passed my mother stopped caring about kosher laws.

Except during Passover.

The laws during the 8 days of Passover are more onerous than kosher laws for year-round. Not only do you have to avoid nonkosher foods like shellfish and pork, you have to follow additional rules.  According to Exodus, the Israelites had to flee Egypt in such a hurry that they could not wait for the bread dough to rise, and baked it while still flat.  We symbolically recreate the Exodus by eating matzah and by not consuming any foods with leavening.  No bread, no pasta, no Cheerios, etc.  You're not supposed to keep any of the forbidden foods in your home during the holiday.  You're supposed to throw it out or give it away.

My mother is not particularly religious.  We usually take the forbidden foods out of the pantry and store them in the laundry room.  Things that would spoil, however, are given to a friend.  Why throw it out if someone else can use it?

So guess what wound up in the care package?  unopened packages of Kraft Easy Mac, Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, Jif to Go, Campbell's single-serving microwaveable soup . . .

But wait, aren't those items shelf stable?

Of course they are.  They were also mine.

Ah, well, I shouldn't have them in my possession this week.  And it's a blessing to give to others.  And her kids will enjoy the food.

But they should have asked.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Not just a river in Egypt . . .more

So the other day a fight erupted.  As usual it started with something stupid and escalated.

And my mother acted as if it was just the usual squabble among young children and told us to knock it off.

And my father ignored it until I started in on A about her being 44 years old and starting to look her age and how I wished she'd act it . . .that's when my father jumped down my throat. The wonder twins are still little girls in his eyes.

And when I said to my parents "This isn't trivial fighting. Do you know they told me I am not their sister, that I am dead to them?"  He replied "No one in this house would say that."

A little later, I was in the kitchen with my mother and F was in the dining room, I said to F, "Did you say I am not your sister and that I am dead to you?" She said "Yes," and started a tyrade about my behavior.  Which I cut off.  And turned to my mother to confirm that she heard it.

An hour later my mother denied that F had ever said it.

They really don't want to know, do they?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Worried about Jen

She graduates May 20 and I am so proud.

She has no definitive plans for her post-graduation life.  She has lots of ideas but nothing concrete.

She's the kind of girl who has a hard time dealing with change.   And she is scared.

And I don't know how to help her.

And I am so scared that she'll plop herself down on the couch next to the wonder twins and never get up.

Not just a river in Egypt -- another crazy screwed up family story

Several years ago . . .Jen was still in high school at the time . . .the wonder twins and I got into an argument.  It was a stupid argument.  A found an article in the newspaper about being 50-something and placed the newspaper on my bed . . . I was a few years shy of 50 at the time abd the article was meant as an insult. 

I'm afraid I reacted rather childishly.  I crumpled up the newspaper and threw it on her bedroom floor.

I don't remember how it escalated.  But somehow it wound up with me in my bedroom and her pounding on my door and screaming at me.  She said she was going to kill me.

From my vantage point she seemed out of control.  I called 911 and asked for an officer to come to the house to calm things down.

A jumped into the car and drove away, and wasn't here when the officer arrived.    So nothing ever came of the incident.

But to this day I am told that I overreacted and that I was wrong to call the police, that nothing terrible was going to happen and I should have just stayed in my room and ignored her.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bubba Gump and the Best Man redux

I can't believe I deleted my post about our theater trip last weekend.  So here I am, recreating it.  Or at least giving it a go.

The evening began in Bubba Gump's.  It's a kitschy chain, like walking into the set of the Forrest Gump movie.  Servers even ask trivia questions to entertain the patrons.  Very touristy, but we like it.

We were fortunate to sit near the window, with a view of Times Square -- the ABC News ticker and Toys R Us.  got to see a lot of costumed characters on the street -- the Statute of Liberty, Minnie and Mickey Mouse,  SpongeBob, Super Mario Brothers, even Elmo and the Cookie Monster, but alas, no Naked Cowboy.

Dinner was shrimp (duh!), the shrimper's heaven -- fried shrimp, coconut shrimp, empura shrimp and cocktail shrimp, served with a side of fries.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Company on Urbanspoon We had an hour to kill after dinner, so we wandered over to the Marriott Marquis Hotel.  Love this hotel, it's a 40-storey atrium with glass elevators.  There was a black tie affair going on at the time, the Night of a Thousand Gowns, a LGBT charity affair.  Very flamboyant costuming,

Our evening ended in the theater.  Usually we go for musicals, but this time around we enjoyed a political drama, The Best Man.  Set in 1960, it's a prescient commentary on mudslinging vs. political dealism.


Passover last night.

It was the same as always, yet different.

When I close  my eyes and think of Passover, I hear my father's voice.  We do the Seder mostly in English, with my father leading the service and reciting key prayers in Hebrew.

But not last night.

Last night my mother led the service.

My father has become too frail and feeble to read the Haggadah.

He sat at the table and followed along, but did not actively participate.

I knew this was coming.  In the past few years he'd found it difficult to read at the table, but then again, he's been having difficulty with everything lately.

I am not a "daddy's girl" and through the years I have had my issues with my father.
But he's my father.

And this hurts so much.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Old traditions and new.

Last night at Drew's house.  I bought new Haggadahs for him, the 30 minute Seder. (Becca really didn't like it, but everyone else loved the brevity of the service.)  He made a turkey, instant mashed potatoes, jarred gefilte fish ...I make matzah farfel stuffing and baked a kosher-for-Passover cake from a mix.  New friends and old, gathered at the table.

Tonight at my parents' house.  Haggadahs that date back to the 1960's, with the crumbs of a thousand Seders in their pages.  Rituals performed a thousand times.  Home made chicken soup with matzah balls, turkey and brisket....

Old and new, past and future.

It's all good.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Don't you hate it when you accidentally delete a really good blog post?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Whan that aprill with his shoures soote 1 The droghte of march hath perced to the roote, 2 And bathed every veyne in swich licour 3 Of which vertu engendred is the flour; 4 Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth 5 Inspired hath in every holt and heeth 6 Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 7 Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne, 8 And smale foweles maken melodye, 9 That slepen al the nyght with open ye 10 (so priketh hem nature in hir corages); 11 Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, 12 And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, 13 To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; 14 And specially from every shires ende 15 Of engelond to caunterbury they wende, 16 The hooly blisful martir for to seke, 17 That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke. 18 Bifil that in that seson on a day, 19 In southwerk at the tabard as I lay 20 Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage 21 To caunterbury with ful devout corage, 22 At nyght was come into that hostelrye 23 Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye, 24 Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle 25 In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle, 26 That toward caunterbury wolden ryde. 27 The chambres and the stables weren wyde, 28 And wel we weren esed atte beste. 29 And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste, 30 So hadde I spoken with hem everichon 31 That I was of hir felaweshipe anon, 32 And made forward erly for to ryse, 33 To take oure wey ther as I yow devyse. 34 But nathelees, whil I have tyme and space, 35 Er that I ferther in this tale pace, 36 Me thynketh it acordaunt to resoun 37 To telle yow al the condicioun 38 Of ech of hem, so as it semed me, 39 And whiche they weren, and of what degree, 40 And eek in what array that they were inne; 41 And at a knyght than wol I first bigynne. 42 A knyght ther was, and that a worthy man, 43 That fro the tyme that he first bigan 44 To riden out, he loved chivalrie, 45 Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie. 46 Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre, 47 And therto hadde he riden, no man ferre, 48 As wel in cristendom as in hethenesse, 49 And evere honoured for his worthynesse. 50 At Alisaundre he was whan it was wonne. 51 Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bigonne 52 Aboven alle nacions in pruce; 53 In lettow hadde he reysed and in ruce, 54 No cristen man so ofte of his degree. 55 In gernade at the seege eek hadde he be 56 Of algezir, and riden in belmarye. 57 At lyeys was he and at satalye, 58 Whan they were wonne; and in the grete see 59 At many a noble armee hadde he be. 60 At mortal batailles hadde he been fiftene, 61 And foughten for oure feith at tramyssene 62 In lystes thries, and ay slayn his foo. 63 This ilke worthy knyght hadde been also 64 Somtyme with the lord of palatye 65 Agayn another hethen in turkye.

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