life in and around NYC is insane
Monday, November 30, 2015
So for our last disco hit of the month, I thought it would be appropriate to play this song:
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Neighborhood decorations are going up.
Every year we look forward to two houses, side by side. One has a Christmas spirit. The other has a wicked sense of humor.
Showing you would be better than trying to explain the joke.
So here goes:
Saturday, November 28, 2015
I read that the outlet center where Becca used to work had unbelievable traffic jams. Drivers were complaining it took hours to leave the shopping center, even after the police brought in extra officers to help direct traffic. So glad Becca doesn't work there anymore.
Speaking of Becca, she hasn't said anything to me, but you don't have to be a detective to figure out she broke up with the boyfriend. He seemed nice enough, but I didn't think they were particularly well matched.
Jen is planning to spend Christmas Day at her boyfriend's house. I like her boyfriend, I think they make a nice couple. He took her to a Jets game for her birthday, he knows how to please my daughter.
We have a small get-together planned to night, celebrating a few birthdays at a Chinese restaurant. I did my birthday shopping before Thanksgiving. Should be a fun evening.
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Friday, November 27, 2015
Thursday, November 26, 2015
It's going to be a bit weird, though. The first holiday without my father.
Found myself thinking about him today, first while watching the parade on tv (he loved the Rockettes), and later, while I was picking up an order at the bakery and saw a cake I knew my father would love.
Still, the rest of us will gather around the table and overindulge. And be happy together.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, everyone..
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015
With more than one shiva house, and the holiday approaching, it's hard to get a quorum.
But I was not the only one reciting Kaddish last night.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Next month we will be seeing the Roundabout's revival of Noises Off. I saw the 2001 Broadway revivial , with Patti LuPone, Peter Gallagher, and Faith Prince. Wonderful farce, I loved the play-within-a-play. And yes, Peter Gallagher really did touch my knee -- we were sitting in the front row, and Gallagher literally climbed over us to get onto the stage. I hope the current production will be just as good.
Fiddler on the Roof is being revived this season. Yes, again. Fiddler was the very first Broadway show I ever saw, and I have always loved it. I saw the Alfred Molina revival a few years ago, and I saw a road company at the Tilles Center. I'm thinking I might like tickets for this production as well.
but what I really want to see? Something Rotten. Can you imagine? A musical about Elizabethan England, with Shakespeare as a sort of rock star? It's got to be entertaining, I'm sure.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Sunday, November 22, 2015
It pretty much followed the book, lots of action as Katniss and her team invade the Capital. But the interpersonal relationships aren't as noticeable. President Coin's manipulation of Katniss, and her plan to become Snow's successor instead of a democratically elected leader are more obvious than in the book, while Gale's complicity in events that Katniss finds repugnant is downplayed.
Overall I enjoyed the movie, but in hindsight they would have done better if they didn't break this novel into two movies.
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Saturday, November 21, 2015
Can't imagine why.
I also bought popcorn, jelly beans and Melba toast. Apparently we must emulate Peppermint Patty.
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Friday, November 20, 2015
Good news! A recent study says coffee is linked to a lower risk of dying form heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurological diseases and suicide. Now I can argue that my coffee habit is part of my health regimen!
It's blockbuster movie season again. Two weeks ago Drew and I saw Spectre. Drew is a huge James Bond fan, but the only Bond films I've seen are Skyfall and Moonraker. I really enjoyed the film, but I'm sure I missed all the subtle salutes to the prior Bond movies.
This weekend we plan to see Mockingjay Part 2. Should be interesting. I read the entire Hunger Games trilogy, Drew did not, and for once I know more than he does about what's going to happen in a movie.
And, of course, we're looking forward to the new Star Wars movie.
I'm starting to think of Jen as my "phantom child". Really. We live in the same house, but I haven't seen her in almost a week. She is out when I am home, and she is home when I am out. I'm glad she's living her life, but I miss her!
I've actually seen more of Becca than I have of Jen. She was home last weekend. She hasn't said anything to me, but I think she may have broken up with the most recent boyfriend. I took her grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Have to make sure the poor kid has food to eat, after all.
We are in the midst of planning our Thanksgiving feast. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, homemade cranberry sauce, pies from Reinwald's, cookies and cannoli from Dortoni's...but it will be a very strange feeling on Thursday, our first holiday since my father passed away...
It looks like we have a plan for New Year's Eve. Chinese food at one of our favorite restaurants. Subject to change, of course, as the members of our happy group start griping and carping...I'd really rather go out alone with Drew...
Thursday, November 19, 2015
And when I go to the synagogue to say Kaddish for my father, I find myself in the company of people my own age, people I know because their children are the same age as my daughters. We shared our children's Hebrew school days. And now we share saying Kaddish for our recently deceased parents. I dread seeing the emails from my synagogue these days -- I am afraid there will be yet another announcement of a death.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Last night Drew, his uncle Les, Aunt Pi and I went to visit Marvin. The nursing home hosted its annual Thanksgiving dinner for residents and their families. While the nursing home will issue day passes to families who want to bring their loved one home for a holiday celebration, the truth of the matter is that many of the residents will be spending Thanksgiving Day at the facility. This dinner is an opportunity for families to do some celebrating with their loved ones.
The facility tries to make it festive. There was live music in the lobby before dinner, and the musicians followed us into the dining room. Real linen tablecloths on the tables, though everything else was disposable. The food was ... institutional ...but included turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. And there was real wine available.
Marvin was out of sorts at first.. But by the end of the dinner he was feeling better, and was glad for our company.
Later, Drew took inventory of Marvin's clothes. A few things have gone missing in the laundry, a few items are starting to look worn and torn. He needs some shirts, a cardigan sweater, a new winter coat.
Marvin is getting excellent care now. Drew made the right decision.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
It's a very different mood this time of year. The tennis courts are gated and locked, the picnic tables in storage somewhere, the playgrounds nearly empty, the ball fields deserted.
I started my walk by the lake.
Interesting patterns in the clouds, and sunlight on the water.
And just a few minutes later, the skies are almost clear.
Yeah, I do like to see birds.
This is near the Rose Garden, don't know why I didn't see it before.
There are still a few roses, even in November.
But you can see the fall foliage is past peak.
Monday, November 16, 2015
When we were in the city Saturday night, I couldn't help but how the Christmas decorations are already starting to appear, almost two weeks before Thanksgiving.
Look at Little Italy and Chinatown:
Penn Station was decorated as well. Macy's has its 34th Street windows done (the usual "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus") and is halfway to completing its Herald Square windows -- based on "A Charlie Brown Christmas".
Santa is already entertaining the children at Roosevelt Field Mall. (Big controversy over there, the public didn't like the modern, innovative setting for Santa, so the mall had to re-do the area with a more traditional theme.)
I went into Starbucks (land of the controversial red cup -- as if a coffee cup makes or breaks your holiday mood) because I wanted some of their instant coffee for my mother. Couldn't find it on the shelves, they removed it to make room for the instant pumpkin spice latte and peppermint mocha.
It's a bit overwhelming...
Rod Stewart, primarily known as a rock star, recorded a number of disco hits in the late 70's.
In this video, Rod looks like he's having a lot of fun...
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Saturday, November 14, 2015
I'm finding it hard to believe it's the middle of November already. The holiday season is fast approaching.
But then again ...
I've been using an app called Timehop. Timehop is all about memories. You give Timehop permission to search your social media accounts -- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Every day Timehop searches your accounts for posts made on that date one year ago, two years ago, etc.
Not to be outdone, when Timehop started to be come popular, Facebook launched a feature that allows you to see your Facebook memories.
So this week I was reminded that on Veteran's Day last year I posted a photo of my father, in his uniform, posing with his mother the day he returned home from serving in the US Army. I had to share that post again, I am so proud of my father's military service, and I am very much missing him.
That two years ago, texting gloves were all the rage.
That three years ago we were still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
That in 2010 I went to a friend's birthday party at a local Mexican restaurant. She didn't have a party this year, I'll have to take her out to lunch or dinner.
That in 2009 I had a week-long battle with an adjuster at another insurance company, where the adjuster insisted on treating me like I didn't know how to do my job, and where I wound up calling the adjuster's supervisor to set matters straight.
It occurs to me that I've been writing this blog for over 7 years now...My very first post was October 17, 2008. Feels like yesterday.
Except ...when I started this blog, Becca was still in high school, and Jen was a college freshman. Now they're both adults, college graduates with full time jobs.
Friday, November 13, 2015
or tallit, or tallis
I was hesitant. I was uncertain.
I bought one that is decidedly feminine. White with a pink stripe, and a matching yarmulke to cover my head.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
My stylist does an excellent job hiding it...and please don't tell anyone....but there's a lot of gray in that mane.
Another of my favorite products:
I pour a small amount into my palm, rub my hands together, and work the oil through my hair. Or sometimes I'll put a little onto my hairbrush.
The website offers these suggestions for use as well:
Marvelous Oil can be used in any of 5 ways! Try a different use each day.
1. Pre-Shampoo Treatment: Apply to hair (wet or dry) before shampooing to help prime hair locks for gentle cleaning.
2. Boost Conditioning: Add 1 or 2 drops to your conditioner to help get rid of pesky knots and tangles.
3. Blow-Dry Protector: Apply to damp to help protect when blow drying.
4. Finish With Hi-Watt Shine: Apply to damp or dry ends to help smooth split ends and tame flyaways.
5. Treat Hair Overnight: To restore softness while you sleep, work into wet or dry hair and leave in overnight.
I think I might try #2.
So I was working the oil through my hair the other night, and I started to laugh.
There was a time when my hair produced its own oil. A lot of oil. So much oil that I joked about curing the energy crisis/oil shortage with just the oil from my hair. Back then, I scanned the drugstore shelves for products that would remove excess oil from my hair.
I wouldn't want to repeat my teen years, but...could I have some of that oil back now?
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
I re-joined Weight Watchers back in March, and I bought a Fitbit.
I've followed the plan, I've done the walking.
It's paying off. I've lost 36 pounds. People are starting to notice.
I still have a long way to go.
It's scary. I lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers a few years ago, but gained it all back,
This time I'm determined to lose even more, and to keep it off.
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
The SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank on November 10, 1975. I don't remember the incident. But in 1976 Gordon Lightfoot wrote a ballad about the ship sinking. Although he took some license with the facts (and corrected some of his lyrics later on), he pretty accurately described how the ship went down.
This time of year I obsess a little over that song.
So here it is:
Monday, November 9, 2015
Sunday, November 8, 2015
The problem with conventional body lotion is the mess. You apply lotion, and then you have to wait until it is absorbed before you can get dressed. Otherwise the lotion gets all over your clothes.
This is what I've been using all summer:
It sprays on and absorbs quickly. The instructions tell you to rub it in, but I didn't always have to do that. A quick spray and I was all set.
It leaves your skin lightly moisturized, soft and smooth.
It's not a product I can use in
That's why I like Olay's in-shower body lotion..
Replace your ordinary lotion with a revolutionary rinse-off body lotion! Ultra Moisture In-Shower Body Lotion works with the warmth and humidity of your shower to reveal soft, smooth skin after just one use.
You use it in the shower. The idea is that your wet skin will absorb the moisturizers more quickly, and you don't have to wait to get dressed. You cleans your skin, then use the in-shower body lotion, then rinse off.
This is the newest version of a product Olay has been making for years. Does it work better than a conventional body lotion? No, but it feels good and it's very effective.
The problem is, I haven't always been able to find the Olay in-shower body lotion. I never understood why no one made a competing product.
Well, actually, they have.
I found this in the drug store, and couldn't wait to try it. You use it the same way you use the Olay product.
The ad says:
Helps revolutionize the daily skincare routine with a different take on moisturizing. The three In-Shower body lotions will moisturize your skin right in the shower, leaving you with soft and smooth skin, without the sticky lotion feel.
Well, not quite "revolutionize", Olay's been doing it for years.
But the product?
It's creamy, it feels good going on, and it rinses off cleanly. It left my skin feeling soft and smooth. Comparable to the Olay version, definitely worth buying.
And then there's this:
The Jergens product is a bit different. It's meant to be used in the shower, right after you cleanse, but you don't rinse it off.
Why would you need this product, as opposed to any other Jergen's body lotion? They're trying to latch on to the gimmick of using the product in the shower, but it's not the same type of product as the ones made by Olay and Nivea. You don't rinse off after using it. You have to let the product absorb before you can get dressed.
Still, I had to try it. Sorry, but I didn't like it. It's oil-infused, it didn't absorb well, and it left an oily sheen on my skin. It smelled nice, though. I didn't hate it, but it's not a product I'm likely to buy again.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
A quarter of a century. Wow. Seems like yesterday.
The day we brought her home from the hospital, I cried. I was emotionally overwhelmed, so scared, wondering what I'd gotten myself into and how was I going to fare as a mother.
But eventually I got the hang of it.
25 years later, I am amazed at the beautiful, smart, compassionate, graceful young woman she has become. I cannot imagine my life without her.
Happy birthday, Jen. I love you.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Taco Bell is not very high on my list of favorite fast food restaurants, I prefer Chipotle or Salsarita's if I want fast food Mexican style. But Taco Bell's crunchy tacos...well, I was introduced to tacos in my college cafeteria (one of the few meals they prepared well), every now and then I get a craving, and the crunchy tacos at Taco Bell remind me of the ones I ate in college.
I did not have a good experience at this location. I made the mistake of parking my car and walking into the restaurant to order my food, when I should have stayed in my car and done the drive-through. There were a handful of customers inside the restaurant, and each of us had the same unpleasant experience -- a 20 minute wait from the time we ordered or meals until the time our food was brought to the counter. Meanwhile, drive-through customers received their food within 2 minutes of placing their orders -- when you're waiting at the counter for your food, you have a clear view of the drive-through window, and especially of the timer located above the window.
An employee had to be asked to refill the napkin dispenser, and he did not refill any other supplies. Tables needed to be bussed.
So next time I will use the drive-through. Or better yet, go somewhere else.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
One of my chief complaints: lip balm isn't as effective as it should be when my lips are dry and chapped.
But here's my new favorite product:
You apply it like lipstick, gently rub it in, remove with a wet cotton ball, then finish with your favorite lip balm. Leaves my lips smooth and soft, much better than just the balm alone.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The day was fairly warm, but the water was very choppy.
When I was at the beach for the breast cancer walk a few weeks ago, I parked my car at Field 4, near Central Mall, and I noticed that there were interesting mosaics in the pavement. So on my most recent trip, I had to see the mosaics again.
I also noticed a 9/11 memorial.
For some reason, the seagulls and the pigeons caught my attention.
Down by Field 6, there were a lot of birds on the roof of the bathhouse.
After I'd photographed the birds, I turned to take a few pictures of the high surf.
Something must have startled the birds.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Yes< I know ...those two weeks were surreal...
I've been fairly consistent about going to synagogue to say Kaddish. The morning prayer service lasts about 30 minutes, the leader usually speed reads through most of the Hebrew and I can' t really follow along. It gives me a chance to clear my mind, though. A few moments to pause and reflect, to prepare myself for the day ahead. It keeps me centered, focused, grounded.
The World Series is over, and the Mets went down in flames. Sigh. At least they put on a good show at Citi Field -- Tony Bennett, Demi Lovato and (of course) Billy Joel. Celebrities in the stands included Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, John Leguizamo, Dennis Miller, Matt Dillon. They may have won the baseball games, but we won the star power.
It's candy season at my office. It started with a few Mounds and Almond Joys in a dish in the reception area. Then there were the Halloween leftovers in the break room. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming...If I start eating candy, I may not be able to stop. the other night Drew had a ton of candy left over, there were only a few trick-or-treaters at his door, and I dove into the leftovers head first...made him put the bag in another room....
Though I have kept up on exercise. I even managed a trip to Jones Beach the other day. I'm not sure I want to join a gym. I'm doing well with workout videos, I'm working at my own pace and feeling good. I don't know if I'd be comfortable in a gym right now. Though if I join the JCC, I'll have access to the pool...recreational swimming (I'm not ready to do real lap swimming)...let me give it some thought.
It's Election Day, an off year, just town and county contests. What did Tip O'Neill say? "All politics is local." I think he meant that a candidate must address the concerns of his constituents. But really, local politics have a larger influence on the average person's life than all that stuff going on in D.C., right? Of course I will be voting.
Looking forward to next year, of course. I'm wondering how the primaries will play out, who will win the nomination of each party.
Monday, November 2, 2015
A lot of people didn't like disco. Some radio stations even sponsored "Disco Sucks" campaigns, where listeners were encouraged to destroy vinyl records containing the latest disco hits. Obviously I wasn't part of that crowd.
Nor was I t one of those disco types who spent every weekend dancing in a club. But I liked the beat, I liked the sound, I liked to dance. I have fond memories of The Rafters, a dance club I'd visit occasionally while in college.
The big movie of 1977 was Saturday Night Fever. Starring John Travolta and featuring a score composed by the Bee Gees, it explored the disco phenomenon. The music from the movie dominated the Billboard charts.
The movie poster featured Travolta, all black shirt and white suit, in an iconic dance floor pose.
It was the first "R" rated movie I'd ever seen. It made an impression.
And I can't help but think of the movie every time I drive across the Verrazano Bridge.
Sadly, the sequel was awful. And the recent stage version...not so good.
But here it is, the opening sequence, featuring Travolta's famous strut and the incredible vocals of the Bee Gees:
Sunday, November 1, 2015
I've been participating in this challenge for awhile now. The objective is to write a blog post every single day of the month. I joined the challenge in February and have participated every single month since then. I didn't succeed in October -- I managed to write over 31 posts, but I missed a few days of blogging. Overall I've enjoyed the discipline of having to produce something every day.
November is the big month for NaBloPoMo, the month with the most participants, the month where they give out actual prizes to some bloggers who meet the challenge.
There's no theme this month. I've free to choose my own theme, my own topics.
There's so much to talk about. Blockbuster movies. Broadway shows. Baseball. 1970's nostalgia. Music. Novels. Current affairs.
Restaurant reviews. New products I've tried.
Day trips and vacations.
My family, my relationships.
So here we go ...
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- Songbird Salutes the 70's: Donna Summer
- Two houses
- Another this and that
- Thanksgiving redux
- Happy Thanksgiving
- The 10th (Wo)man -- again
- I'm just a Broadway baby...
- Songbird Salutes the 70's: I Will Survive
- Mockingjay 2 (spoilers)
- Shopping trip
- another this and that
- of death and dying
- eldercare update
- Eisenhower Park revisited
- Tempus fugit, but really ....
- Songbird Salutes the 70's: Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?
- John Cleese
- Tempus fugit
- dry skin season part 3: oh, the irony
- an emotional high
- In Flanders Fields
- Songbird Salutes the 70's: The Wreck of the Edmund...
- Songbird Salutes the 70's: The Hustle
- dry skin season, part 2
- Happy Birthday
- Taco Bell
- dry skin season returns
- Jones Beach again
- another this and that
- Songbird Salutes the 70's: Disco
- Happy November!
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