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Showing posts from 2012

Travelling through continents and time with Sinatra

I just updated my goodreads.com list with the latest book that I finished.  I had set a goal of reading 62 books and I did it, there were books that got read in a couple of days and there were books that took me a while.  I traveled through these books to Australia in the Light between the Oceans (and winced as a mother for both women in that book), I went to Norway and Sweden and realized yeah that idyllic life the media here keeps telling us about - not so much - there are violent and bad and good and oh yeah people are people everywhere even with an exorbitant tax rate and universal health care.  There were the times I cried for the senselessness of wars (Iraq Yellow Birds and Homefront or Vietnam The Things they Carried) and the survivals (Argo and Unbroken).  "Oh my " trips to the red room - spank me now - and crazy twists with "Gone Girl" - still shaking my head from that ending. Rediscovering Somerset Maughan and travelling through the 20s (Chaperone) and th…

Merry Christmas

So the final wrapping has been done...the cookies for Santa have been bought....and I am ready to enjoy the next couple of days with my family.

As an atheist I do not get anything except a smile when people wish me a Merry Christmas.  I know that there are those out there who do not like it because they are of a non-Christian faith, or of no faith or just a pain in the butt but for me it is a better thing to say than ...I hate you ..I hate this season...or anything else that does not bring to mind the smell of fir trees, glittery paper and overall a spirit of giving. 

Christ was a man whose basic goal was to spread a message of love and kindness....for me he did not need to be more because if we all spent more time being kind to others well would the world would be just that much better off. You need to understand the message even if the messenger means different things to you.  We need to stop asking for others to be exactly the same as us and remember it is the differences that make t…

A wrapping I will go..high ho..

Deep breath in and out and in and out....I just read a wonderful blog about trying to squeeze all things in as a Mom...and at this time of year K you nailed it....I hesitate to even glance at the still growing list of stuff I have to do.  The presents were given for Hanukkah, not bad considering I am not Jewish, well except for one night. Oh ok I missed one night...kids came home and orbited me like planets around the sun ...tired I did not gently in my best Brady Mom voice ask (oh ok I may have been a bit snarky ...I was tired ..eye roll) "what is it?"...and then the disappointment until I lied...yep I lied...told them of course I did not forget ...come on how could I forget...seeing the light in their eyes as I told them their gift was.........$5 each of Itunes Apps...in center field Mommy catches the ball - strike 3 and the crowd goes wild!!!! 


Then on to ordering Christmas presents, buying said presents in stores, hiding said presents in deepest parts of basement ...lucky…

I am not ok....yet

I am not ok - have not been all day since I heard about the shooting in Connecticut.  I was not ok even before I knew how many children were killed ...and I was most certainly less ok when I found out the total number of victims.  I am not blaming a god I do not believe in and I find no comfort in trying to convince others of anything other than they should find comfort where they can.

I am not ok today - and I have not felt this powerless, shocked, angered, sad, and confused since 9/11.  I do not blame the tv, the mental health system, politicians or gun makers.  I do hope that getting a gun is something that requires more screening than it currently does in many places and maybe the question or really who needs anything other than rifle for personal use?  I mean automatic weapons - what the f*&k are you hunting? It is not ok to have lax gun laws - they need to be much stronger. Though let's not kid ourselves they will not be a magic shield they will be a deterrent in many c…

Days go slow but years fly by

I just recently heard this expression and I thought it was brilliant.  This time of year always makes me stop, blink and wonder where did the year go???? 

I remember being a kid and thinking the year 2000 -- wow big deal - and then Y2K - and now 12 years into the double Os and that seems like so long ago.  I look at Facebook and wonder how my high school friends could possibly have high school kids of their own ?  I read my sons' Santa letters and know these are going to be a thing of the past sooner than ever ...gone will be the magic that they have in thinking that there is someone out there who grants wishes just because they wrote him a letter.  

So here I am again this time of year and wondering where to next?  I mean how did I get to be 45 ???? I often joke with a good friend about how long we have been friends - because it seems that 15+ years could not really have gone by since we first met.  I am not one to want to repeat stages of my life - they are great memories and I am…

'Tis the season of gift giving

I am going to go against the PC grain here - not surprising knowing how I am such not a fan of the political correctness movement.    I love Christmas and the whole decorating, present buying, way NY looks during this time season.  I cannot wait to put up a tree and the way it smells inside the house, getting out the decorations which as you hang them bring back memories of either the family moments I spent with my parents as some are from that time or of my first tree in my own first apartment (Charlie Brown tree for sure but mine) and of the things we have bought, gathered, made with my husband and the boys.  I do decorate my house, the menorahs they made sit proudly next to Hanukkah bear which is next to the Nutcrackers on the fireplace mantel.

I love the way lights up and decorations - and yes the crowds can be annoying - overall I find people are in better cheer.  Here is where the optimists reading this think everyone is in better cheer, the pessimists remember the angry driver …

To card or not to card ....

It is increasingly obvious that many people are  no longer sending handwritten cards - even at holidays.  If they still send things via mail it often is the holiday picture cards with a preprinted message. 

Now I have a wonderful friend who makes her own cards - while I am always impressed by these treasures, I also know I do not have the time or patience to ever take on such a big task - cannot wait for the one she will send this year (Claudette - no pressure - ha!).  I also have a good friend whose company makes this beautiful stationery (Hampton Paper Designs that would be you of course) including the holiday cards - a good option as they even have one where if you must do the holiday pic you can slip it in.  However, this too takes a little pre-planning which I swear I will do every year but to date have not been all that successful in sticking to.  

I like a selection - from the whimsical to the ornate - I actually select each one,  as I write out a message on each, for the recipie…

Thanks for the memories

I try to be and am pretty appreciative of my life on a regular basis - yes I have the New York "ahh come on..." gripes about the things I encounter, people can aggravate me but overall I really am a pretty optimistic person.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday - it was not always, as a kid of course I loved my birthday and Christmas (oh stop it - gifts for a kid and the magic of both of those are pretty cool).  As I get older though I realized how wonderful Thanksgiving really is.  

First as an immigrant it is one of those holidays that pretty much everyone, unless you are a total jerk - that's right a jerk - and have no intention of assimilating (which begs question of how smart can you be also - if you hate it here umm why you stay ???) - then you celebrate Thanksgiving.  Now to add to the American flavor of this - pretty much everyone makes the turkey in some form but the part that makes it the States is that it may be surrounded from the the traditional sweet potatoe…

The world of child care

Right before Hurricane Sandy hit the East coast there was a horrible story that was making news in this area.  It was the horror story of a mother who came home to find her two young children dead, stabbed in the bathtub by the nanny that had been hired to take care of them.  A nanny who by all accounts was a part of their family, someone who they had visited in her native country.   I cringe as I write this and cannot close my eyes for fear that I visualize any part of this. 

As a mother this a story that makes my stomach turn.  The devastation this must cause is beyond my willingness to imagine.  The story though, disgustingly, does not end there.  It led to the judgement phase.  From the left - questions about whether this high income family cared for their children, and if they had employed someone for low pay who was unstable.  From the right - questions about mothers hiring help, mothers working, mothers ability to mother in a world where women do not define all they are by being…

In the aftermath of Sandy

Those of you who know me personally are aware my family and I were among the many who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. If you are a New Yorker you tend to take all weather advisories with a touch of "yeah right" cynicism.  After all for many years we have had bad snow storms as our most catastrophic weather event - and as much as they aggravate me (oh stop it for all of you who want to tell me that it is pretty - it is when you are inside, outside it is a pain to shovel, move out of the way, and no I do not want to ski, snowboard, or sleigh) they are manageable. They are expected when you live in the climate I do.  They are "natural".  All other warnings people tend to think are exaggerations and things that we send money for to other states when they get walloped.

This time the predictions were right...though the winds and rain as they were actually happening did not seem to be strong enough to cause the devastation it actually did.  The thing that always strikes…

Trick or treat

Halloween - that time where kids dress up, candy is bought last minute so that it makes it to outstretched little hands on Oct 31st rather than in outstretched adult mouths as soon as they get in the house.  I grew up in New York in the late 70s and the city was pretty much fright night 365 days a year.  Crime was out of control, the city was falling apart, Son of Sam, blackout where it all went wrong, streets were dirty, there were garbage strikes that added to the stink already there and let the rats run amok, strikes were the horrid yet necessary fashion of wearing sneakers with work clothes came to be as people walked over bridges to work.  This was the city of graffiti subways and basically every bad movie you have ever seen - well it was not far off.  We would have cheered for Charles Bronson as a vigiliante - we did in the form of Guardian Angels minus the killing.  The city was going bankrupt. So much for the good old days. 

Into that my friends and I were not exactly "enc…

The Art of Seduction...ohh Mr Grey

Still finding it difficult to believe that after all this time Fifty Shades of Grey discussions are still going strong - the term Red Room has become part of our daily vocabulary and who knew so many people liked so much kink???  If the books were not enough there is the movie which is a seduction in itself with it's tantalizing "I wonder who?".

My highest read blogs, which keep getting read worldwide (THANK you), are about the trilogy.   It is fascinating, voyeuristic look into the fact that women out there are enjoying sex and sex talk as much as the boys  - so no need to hide your Playboys, well there is a need to hide them because 1) we will probably dissect every picture and tell you how it was photoshopped, siliconed, waxed, covered blemishes with foundation and come on you really think anyone's lips are that size without a little botulism? and then we will promptly spout off some feminist tag line while stomping to bathroom to wonder how we will never look like…

School days daze....

I am one of those parents...you know you probably are too...the ones that like to go all the orientations, meet the teachers, actually discuss things back and forth with teachers to ensure your child is doing the most he can.  I am sometimes tempted to skip the orientation, and just got the principal talking to for looking "bored" I was actually tired but you revert back to student deer in headlights when a principal calls you on something, since of course I already heard much of it from my older son's time in the same grade/school. I start the relationships with the new teachers by letting them know that I am here to partner with them not to "assist" them do their job because after all - shocking as this is for many parents today - I am not trained to be a teacher in the school.

I really like the schools in the area we live in.  Yes, I was admonished for not doing SAT level prep work prior to buying a house on test scores, reading accomplishments...of the distr…

Christopher Columbus...

In 1492 he sailed the ocean blue...and since the politically correctness movement he has encountered more choppy waters than ever. 

I think Columbus was fascinating and incredibly ahead of his time.  Think of how hard it was to have to prove that his science and math were right against all around him who based on myth and the all powerful religious establishment (who favors lack of knowledge even to this day) that persecuted him and anyone else who had the nerve to just ask a question.  I do not agree with his actions against the natives that he encountered on his travels but I also do not lessen his accomplishments because of those actions.  He was a man - a human - with flaws and attributes, he had both more than most of us.  I love when people say how they would not have acted as he did - I believe it because am pretty sure they would not have struggled to prove their brilliant hypothesis and they are after all more evolved in their understanding of people (or one would hope).  He w…

The birds and the bees...let's talk about s.e.x.

One of those things that I am not sure any of us as parents are quite prepared for, no matter how liberal you may think you are, is the idea of talking about sex with our children.  It starts to haunt us as soon as they start looking at belly bumps, and we no longer tell them those stories about storks and cabbage patches - no we are of the "there's a baby in there dear" generation , and asking about when will the baby come out.  It is easy to answer at that point but a little twinge hits us -- oh are they going to ask how the baby comes out or worse yet ...how the baby got in there...stork anyone????

I have liked boys for as long as I can remember.  I distinctly remember Petru's (Peter) shirt and close cropped blonde hair, he was 5 and I was about 4, we played in the back of our apartment building ...I was smitten and if you think I am making this memory up I can assure you I am not - I do not remember much about him but his little blue shirt and the hair and that he…

My Andy Rooney moment

Hard to focus this week on a blog...do I join the melee and say I have no compassion or understanding for the mindless violence over a cheap YouTube video? Or the idiot filmmaker who made a movie that is just meant to insult and incite for no reason? Do I comment on Scientology's noted apprehension about the upcoming movie The Master? Complain about the Ramapo, NY public school district that has been hijacked and looted by Ultra conservative Orthodox Board Members who are doing to others exactly what was done to them in years past -- excluding based on faith? Maybe I could just listen for the latest nonsensical totally voodoo crap about vaccines, evolution, solar systems, and a host of other scientific facts - doesn't matter how often you prove those people wrong - it is not about science or fact but about the Snake Oil salesman pitch - they are more interested in Kate's boobs than in not being boobs themselves!  I could get all on my soapbox about how discriminatory and o…

Eleven years ago....

How can it be hard to believe that 11 years have passed since that Tuesday morning and yet feel like it just happened ???

There is not a lot to say about 9/11 that has not been said - thought - felt...but especially for those of us who were here in NYC, in Manhattan that day is a fresh wound.  It starts to scab but it does not quite heal  - it starts to scab but not ready to be just a scar. 

I look at what we lost that day -- our friends, a part of our city, people we did not know - and I think of who we in New York were that day - brave, quiet, helpful, kind, a unit of different religions, races, colors...we did not care who you were married to, or if you were married, we did not care if you were a Democrat or a Republican -- that day we were all Americans - quietly hanging flags and honoring the country that housed us by choice or by birth.  We were survivors and we were everything those without souls who brought this terror to us hated...we were different and we were one. 

I am sad wh…

Boobies - Tatas and Bazongas

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Sorry bit of a tease - not going to show you any of these...but am going to take a few minutes of your time to talk about breasts.  

This Sunday I and my 8 year old son will be doing the Race for The Cure in NY.  I have done this race in the past and this year I almost did not participate when the Komen foundation became a pulpit for an anti choice, anti woman platform by implying that they will not be funding Planned Parenthood.  They reversed themselves, sort of - still up for annual review, as the voices of men and women were heard loud, clear and in vast numbers that this would be an outrage.  They, of all people, should know the power of united citizens taking on a cause - they should have remembered that Planned Parenthood (contrary to the lies and misinformation the anti woman far right sends out does mostly family planning, prenatal care, gyn care for women without insurance, birth control options, breast cancer screenings, and yes some abortions - notice I put that last, becau…

Elvis and the American dream

Well, it's one for the money, 
Two for the show, 
Three to get ready, 
Now go, cat, go. 
But don't you step on my blue suede shoes. 
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes....as sang by Elvis

Thank you all for reading my blog about "Where is the Outrage?" -- the question I got over and over was "well what are you going to do about it?" - funny I was kind of asking the same thing of the unions and all those who are reading my blog.  Yet that is the fundamental issue here isn't it - we are all kind of looking around and wondering what if anything can we do about it?  The issues are soo large and they seem to be backed by money and power that we do not have ..or do we?

No I do not have millions in the bank - and I actually think that Mitt Romney should not be skewered for the "13%" he pays in taxes, because it is all legal.  There is nothing wrong with being rich Mr. Romney - good for you and your family but should the law really say tha…

Wow they grow fast

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.” Mark Twain

I look at my sons and amazed at how fast they are growing ...both physically and developmentally.  I feel sometimes that I literally blink and they sprouted up and matured a bit. 

It was only like 6 months ago that I was still helping them with bath time ...a ritual I really enjoyed ...and as of about 3 months ago they switched to showers - by themselves - and my sole contribution is helping them wash their hair  - though they still want me to sit in the bathroom while this happens and talk to them.  I will take it because exile cannot be far behind.  The talks range from my input on which super heroes would win if they fought each other, about their friends, what they want to see and a range of things - but they are the times that I feel as though they know if they can trust m…

Where is the outrage and the protests????

Let's start with full disclosure - I am a big believer in capitalism, abhor communism, have mixed feelings about unions and have voted for both parties and a write in once for Mickey Mouse as protest vote.  I believe that everyone should pay taxes at the percentage set for them and that the government needs an efficiency expert from the private sector.  I believe that no one wants to be average and that wealth to have more than just basic needs met  is what actually leads to innovation and hard work.  There should be a safety net, federal guidelines and laws that protect the environment, people and most of all a return to personal responsibility.  I am not all left or right or even middle - but find myself in all of those places depending on the issue. 

So now you know a little about me - tip of the iceberg - cause politics and history as well as trying to understand how I can make a difference are all topics that I can talk about for hours...which I won't here. 

What I want to …