Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Miniature Earth

What if the world's population were reduce to 100...

The Miniature Earth

As your shopping this holiday season please consider making a donation to a nonprofit organization as a gift to friend or family member.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month

I wanted to take this opportunity to say Congratulations, Nicole!

November was National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo encourages people to participate by writing a 175-page (50,000 word) novel. The only thing that matters is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. So, your inner critic should stay home.

My friend, Nicole, has participated since 2004. I'm so impressed that she dedicates herself to 'getting it on the page'. I look forward to standing in line at Barnes & Noble to purchase her book Bridges when she publishes it.

Kisses and congratulations!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Color


Sony BRAVIA has done it again. Remember the commercial with the bouncing balls well this time they've used paint:

70,000 litres of paint
358 single bottle bombs
33 sextuple air cluster bombs
22 Triple hung cluster bombs
268 mortars
33 Triple Mortars
22 Double mortars
358 meters of weld
330 meters of steel pipe
57 km of copper wire

Check out the recent advertisement that they made in Glasgow, Scotland. Don't forget to view the Behind the Scenes when you are done so you can see how they did it.

Totally Fun!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Angels Here On Earth

My Grandfather passed away on Friday. He had a wonderful life and I believe that he is in a happier place free of pain now. While admitted to hospice he was in the company of angels.

My Mom shared stories of his last day here. The hospice nurses were the most gentle and compassionate people that she has ever witnessed. Bless you. My Mom also told me about Scooter. I've always believed that some animals have special powers, that they can sense things before we humans can and that they are blessings because of their unconditional love that they share.

Scooter is a cat who lives in the hospice ward. He has a 'sixth sense' according to the nurses - he knows who's going to pass and he keeps them company until they do. Even if the patient doesn't like cats Scooter finds a corner of the room and stays. Maybe Scooter does it to comfort the person who is dying, to relax them so they are comfortable, maybe to relax the family who is there to say goodbye or maybe he eases their pain. Scooter stayed with my grandfather - on his bed - until he passed away. There is a part of me who likes to think that he was there to greet him, to show him the way, to help him say goodbye and to comfort him.

I like the thought that there are angels here on earth - people and animals who comfort those of us in time of need, who are gentle and kind and who provide unconditional love. Thanks to Scooter, the hospice nurses, my family and to my friends, my family away from home, you're my angels.

I encourage everyone to enjoy an Eskimo Pie - a vanilla ice cream bar with chocolate coating - toast my Grandfather. One of my favorite memories is when my Grandfather would sneak up behind me and take a huge bit out of my Eskimo Pie. He'd smile really big, widen his eyes, lick his lips and laugh. Kisses, Gramps, I'll miss you.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Reality check - I come first...

I've recently reintroduced myself to me. Let me explain...

My job has been very stressful lately. I've been involved in a project that was supposed to end a month ago - well, that didn't happen. It has been very difficult and stressful. I, of course throw myself into a project and in doing so basically I now find myself drowning. The project still isn't done, it isn't my fault, accept that I don't have patience anymore and I'm exhausted.

I've decided that I need to embrace where I am. I need to accept that the project isn't done, that it is ok that I don't have patience, that it will take much more time than anticipated and that I deserve to take some time and focus on me in the meantime.

So last weekend I took Friday and Monday off. Friday I spent the day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art specificaly at the C├ęzanne to Picasso exhibit. Monday I spent sleeping and fighting a Fibro-flare. This weekend I'm still fighting the Fibro-flare which I think peaked on Friday so I've been laying low this weekend; watching movies, sleeping, hanging out with friends for coffee.

The past week has made me realized that I haven't been taking the best care of me during this project. Priority Lori . . stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Largest Limo in Manhattan

I took the bus last night home from work - about 5 avenues and 50 blocks. (Now, all of from back home city blocks in NYC are longer than the average small town Wisconsin city block.) I usually take the bus so this wasn't out of the norm. When I was still about 35 blocks from my stop close to home I realized that I was the only passenger on the bus. This is odd, never happens...this is a bus that is double long bus (I'm sure there's a name for this but I don't know what it is.)

At 30 blocks away from my stop the bus switched drivers. This normally happens quite often during my ride home. I was on the phone during this time.

At 20 blocks away from my stop I realized that the driver wasn't picking anyone up. I ended my call and moved closer to the driver and asked told him that I felt like I was in the largest limo in Manhattan. He said I was because the only stop he was making was mine.

The icing on the cake was that for those next 20 blocks we hit all the green lights. Now if there only would have been champagne involved that would have been fabulous!

Monday, September 18, 2006

National Singles Week

So, there's a whole week set aside to celebrate being single. Who knew? National Singles Week.

At first I thought that this sounded ridiculous - there's a holiday to celebrate being single?!?
Come on - - I don't need a reason to celebrate being single. I do that whenever I go out to dinner with friends, go to a movie alone, out dinner alone... who am I kidding, if I had total control over the situation I wouldn't be single. It sucks. I love my independence but the 'lonely' is miserable.

But, if you read the article from ABC News that I linked to the title above you'll read that there are many options for us single people to aide us in finding love and thus not being single any longer...my favorite - www.democraticsingles.net. Oh, there is a site for those of you that want to date republicans but I'm not sure why anyone would consciously date a republican. (giggle - the liberal me showing my colors, sorry)

Ahhh, back to National Singles Week.

Congratulations to all my single friends - celebrate your singleness. Kisses and love to you - anyone want to go grab a drink and check out the other singles in NYC? Census says that 50% of the people living in NYC are single. I wonder where they all are?

Friday, September 15, 2006

New York in Autumn

The Union Square Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning during September and October is my favorite place to hang out. I take a cup of coffee and usually buy a muffin from a vendor and then I walk and watch. I love the colors that the Autumn harvest brings to the market. The food just pops because the colors are so vibrant. Going early and watching the restaurant people pick up their orders is fun but for me I prefer the late morning 10:30ish time. You get a nice mix of regulars and then others who just stopped by to take a look. The more crowded the more fun to watch.

I strongly recommend the crab cakes from the fish guy (PE & DD Seafood) – but it means you must get there by 10:30 or they’ll be gone.

Walking in Central Park through The Ramble makes me feel like I’m back home in Wisconsin hiking. I can escape the city a little – I highly recommend it!

I love Autumn - - hmmm I think I’ll need to plan to travel to Paris and Southern France next year at this time.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A little sunshine on Saturday

I traveled to Brooklyn on Saturday (and those of you in NYC know that the weekend subway schedule is always an adventure especially from the Upper East Side to Park Slope) to visit a friend who is feeling a little down.

As I left my apartment I decided to pick up some flowers - I chose sunflowers because they are her favorite. The clerk wrapped the stems and I was off. As I walked down the street to the station people looked and smiled as I passed them.

In the station a man was playing an accordian and it was kid central on the platform so he as playing children's toons. The children were dancing and having fun - one little girl walked up to me and said, "Pretty flowers, they make me smile."

The 6 train was crowded but everyone around me kept looking at the sunflowers and smiling. It was as if the flowers were a little ray of sunshine. I transferred to the R train and happily it was pretty empty. I took a seat in an empty part of the train. An elderly gentleman with a suitcase moved to sit near me. He kept looking at the flowers and final engaged me in conversation. He complimented me on the flowers said they were beautiful and then he thanked me. I told him that he was welcome but I wasn't sure for what. He chuckled and explained that he had a terrible morning. The flowers not only made him smile but they also brightened his day and inspired him - once he got home he was going go back out and buy some flowers for himself.

It reminded me that happiness can be found in the simplest things.

After the gentleman left a woman sat across from me - hipster - funky red and blonde hair eclectically dressed - she had a sketch pad and as we rode in silence I noticed that she sketched the flowers. At this point the R train got more and more crowded and I started to watch people. Everyone who noticed the flowers smiled.

In this busy busy city and how annoying the subway can be at times - hot, crowded, smelly - I enjoyed my ride to Brooklyn Saturday morning. The flowers brightened so many lives. And when I arrived to greet my friend I thought she was going to cry - they are her favorite flowers. It had been a long time since someone had given her sunflowers and even though she had had a terrible week I'm happy to say that they too brightened her day.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

what to do what to do

What do you do when a project at work is totally so overwhelming that it keeps you up at night? My brain isn't turning off enough to allow me to go sleep? Hmmm, this has been my life for the past few weeks now and I have some coping mechanisms that I'd like to share with you:

vodka
good wine
chocolate
sleep (whenever you can get it even you're late for work)
extend the deadline of the project
and more vodka

The most important things to remember are that you can look exhasted (it's NYC most people look tired), you can work tired (just drink coffee), drink to sedate (it's sad but it works) and more vodka or chocolate depending on the time of day is always the best answer.

Ahhhh, stress!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Streaming Music

I love to stream music while at work. My excuse - ipod does not allow me to transfer the music from it. I can only add music to my ipod from a computer not the other way around. So, I can't transfer my favorite music from my home computer to my work computer without burning a cd and bringing it in.

So, I've recently discovered this great site called www.pandora.com. Pandora is site that the Music Genome Project started. I like it because I can create different stations based on my mood. Songs stay in the station by you voting on whether or not you like it. Songs are also suggested by Pandora based on the type of music and other similarities. So, I can have one station with the music my brother would listen to (read previous post - My Recent Music Addiction) and many others based on other preferences.

The other cool thing is that I can go home at the end of the day, go online and pick my station from Pandora to listen to.

Check it out!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Recent Discoveries Living in NYC

During the past few days I've discovered a few things:

I can participate in a focus group, watch a few movie trailers, provide my opinion, spend an hour of my time and get paid $50. Yahoo!

I can go out to eat and the bill will sometimes provide me with the tip calculation; i.e. 18% = $ or 20% = $. I'm not sure how to take this - if I should be offended - if I should be thankful for the assistance. It makes me question if the general public knows how to do math? And, what happened to tipping 15%?

A woman can wear a fanny pack, carry a purse and a larger purse and look absolutely ridiculous. Note to self that no matter how old I get I will never ever participate in this fashion statement.

The icey guy/girl will happily always be located on the corner of 122nd and Adam Clayton Powell in the afternoon if the sun is shining. Yum!

I love NYC.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Being Center of the Universe...

...well, at least my Universe.

I was congratulated today for being the center of the universe again. (Long story about why, so you'll just have to understand that it was a very appropriate statement.) I giggled.

I do have a way of demanding attention - always have. All of my family and friends who are reading this and have known me most of my life will completely agree. I was the child that made all the noise - talked incessantly. Whether I demanded attention in a positive or a negative way I didn't care as long as you were paying attention to me that was all that mattered. Psychologically speaking I'll blame my Mom & Dad - I was the first born and the first grandchild on my Mom's side of the family. I got all the attention - once my brother came into the picture - I had to demand it. He was soooo cute and quiet - unbelievably quiet. He didn't speak until he was three. He didn't have to - I did it for him. hee hee

I would hope that I've grown out of it - at least a little. I certainly am aware that there are things that are much bigger than me in this world. But, I will admit that I do still like to be the center of my universe.

Thanks Michael for reminding me that I was back in control - at least for the moment. Kisses.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My Recent Music Addiction

I have such an eclectic taste in music!

On my ipod currently I have: Josh Ritter, Drive by Truckers, Train, Allison Krause, Jodi Martin, Hem, Alicia Keys, Ben Taylor, Amanda Marshall, Missy Higgins, Pat Benatar and Stevie Nicks. Now, thanks to my brother, I also have 3 Doors Down, Nickelback, Godsmack, Creed and Fuel to name a few.

Yesterday in my mailbox my bi-monthly issue of Paste Magazine was waiting for me. I love this magazine! In every issue is a cd with usually 20+ songs. It's great! It introduces me to new music and I really enjoy the articles. Check it out!

By the way, this is not going to be a magazine that offers a lot of music that my brother likes.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Hoops & Yoyo

Yes, for those of you who don't know this sounds like a strange title for my blog entry and you're probably wondering what it is all about. Well....

Work has been a little stressful this week (I'm beginning a major data conversion project that is expected to last until the end of September) and I joked with my boss that I was either going to gain 20 lbs eating my way through the stress or become an alcoholic and enjoy multiple martinis. My boss told me that the drinking might be more fun. :)

Anyway, to keep me on task and to allow me to giggle every once in a while I've decide to chew gum (this will also help me not eat) and visit the Hoops & Yoyo website. They make me giggle. They are a pink cat and a green bunny that Hallmark has created. They talk, sing, have e-cards, a newsletter and other fun things on thier site. Visit them and say hi for me.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Symphony in the Park

Yes, yes I went last night after much debate. As I left work and was walking in the heat I decided that I was already sweaty and gross so why not go sweat some more. I joined my friend Jen, her boyfriend Michael and their friends on the Great Lawn for good wine, conversation, friendship and the New York Philharmonic.

It was hot! Then it sprinkled and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees. The music started and it was a wonderful evening ending with fireworks - which always make me feel like I'm 6 years old.

As thousands of people left the lawn it started to rain. Oops let me correct that it started to pour. The thunder was loud, the lightening bright, the wind strong and the rain came down so hard. Happily I had an umbrella but I still was soaked by the time I walked home. The rain was amazing but even more amazing was thousands of adults walking in the rain as if they were kids again. Joy!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Old news...but...

A co-worker paid me back today for lunch that I bought last week. She paid all in ones - made me feel rich. (giggle)

On of the bills was a Where's George stamp. I haven't seen one of these in years. I remember all the hype back in 1999/2000 that this made. Articles were published about it in all the top magazines and it was on the news. Basically, people stamped currency with a wheresgeorge.com stamp in the hopes that people would then register the bill online thus the bill could be tracked as it exchanged hands all over the world.

I remember doing it when all the news first came out so I thought wow this bills probably been all over - I'm curious so I'll register it.

My bill had no activity since it was first registered in 2003. Totally disappointing! It made me wonder if anyone does this anymore and sure enough Gary Wattsburg is the top user he's registered 512,583 bills. It made me wonder - who has that much time?

Friday, July 14, 2006

She's a Star!

Adrianna is a star!

Check our the article in BusinessWeek Online and while you're at it check out her blog.

Kisses.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Back in the city...

I'm back... I'm like a little kid when I fly back to NYC after being away. I landed at La Guardia at 11:20pm Sunday night and as we made our decent I was like a little kid. I always take a window seat (when possible) and I was like a child looking out the window trying to get a look at this city that I call home. To my amazement not only did I get a fabulous view of the Manhattan but a beautiful view of a lightening storm just north of the city. What an amazing site!

I had a wonderful vacation and no matter how many times I make the trip - there is a part of me that still misses Wisconsin and small town life - I grew up in Richland Center. Call me a little narcissistic but it is really nice to have family and friends lavish you with attention and beg you to move back home.

Most of all, no matter how many times I've had to say good-bye and will say good-bye in the future it is always difficult to kiss and hug my brother and my niece good-bye. I miss you little brother - always! By the way, we're wearing name tags because this picture is from October 2005 when we volunteered at Hale House - not so you can tell us apart. :)

It is nice to be back in NYC! My cats missed me and welcomed me home with meows and purrs.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Blog lazy...

Yes, I've been blog lazy lately - again. Sorry!

I'm away from NYC, visiting my family in rural Wisconsin. It is very relaxing! I wish had a digital camera so I take photos and share them with everyone - maybe next time.

It is always a little bit of an adjustment getting off the plane and riding in a car that isn't a yellow taxicab, seeing green trees and grass everywhere, walking in a town of 5,000 people where everyone knows everyone and the tallest building is four stories tall.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bikers for Babies - Photos














Here are a couple of pictures from the
Bikers for Babies Hale House event.
All photos by Shahar Azran.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Bikers, Harleys and Babies

Tomorrow at my job - Hale House - hundreds of motorcyclists will deliver diapers and baby wipes to the children.

If you are near 122nd street in Harlem tomorrow come check it out - there's nothing like the sound of hundreds of Harley Davidsons.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I've been blog lazy lately...

I apologize - I've been pretty lazy lately posting to my blog.

I've been very busy at work creating a donor stewardship plan, donor cultivation plan and expense and revenue budgets for the annual fund - not really blog worthy yet it has consumed my thoughts for the past couple of weeks. Even when not at work my mind has been working.

Today I went to DTUT and surfed the internet. I downloaded some new music; Camera Obscura, Drive by Truckers and Jack Johnson. It will allow me to divorce my thoughts from work by creating a distraction through music. Thank you little brother for the ipod - I don't know what I did before - I use it all the time - it's a great way to unwind!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sometimes my ‘what the f*&^?’ comes out…

I was on the subway to 14th Street to meet Adrianna for dinner – reading a book – minding my own business and a kid gets on the train. She sits next to me and proceeds to suck her thumb. SHE WAS AT LEAST 10 YEARS OLD! What the f*&^?

I walked from 12th St/7th Ave to 13th St/5th Ave and on my way there I was behind a woman who was so going for the in new tapered shorts that come to knee with heals look but SHE SO GOT IT WRONG! Her shoes were expensive five inch heals, her shirt very trendy, her purse expensive Louis Vuitton, her shopping bags from expensive stores but she was wearing wrinkled khaki shorts – the kind that come mid-thigh and have a cuff. What the f*&^?

I couldn’t sleep and I don’t have cable so my options were limited at 11pm est. I could watch David Letterman with guest Paris Hilton or Jay Leno with guest Keanu Reeves. I decided that Keanu was the lesser of two evils. Well, I was wrong. My biggest issue (I’ll put aside how trite and monotone he is): what was his publicist thinking allowing him to wear what he wore? A black suit (the jacket was too small), a worn t-shirt and brown work boots! Why did he think it looked good? Did he show up at the studio late wearing jeans and the t-shirt and they decided he should wear a suit? The suit jacket was too small! It came half way up his forearm when he fidgeted in the chair and talked with his hands. The t-shirt was too big and looked like he had worn it for years. But the kicker – the shoes – work boots? What the f*&^?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Identity Stupidity

This morning on a very crowded bus I was seated and minding my own business, reading when a woman who was standing next to me proceeded to make a phone call. I and the ten people immediately around her couldn't help but overhear her entire conversation. Her phone call was to someone about her amended tax return.

During her call she proceeded to very clearly give out the following information: her entire name, her entire social security number, her current address and her former address, her children's names, her marital status and how much she should be receiving from her return. Now, I'm an honest person so even though I have a great memory and could reiterate all of this information - I won't. I also won't call the IRS to ask them to redirect her refund check to my address so I can steal her money even though she made it sooooo easy for me do so.

What the H*&%^ was she thinking giving out that much personal information in a public setting? Why are people so stupid? Maybe I should have said something to her but I didn't. All I could think as I got of the bus was stupid, stupid, stupid!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Today - 666

So today's date is 6/6/6. There is actually a phobia and there's a word for people who have a fear of the number 666- Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Say that three times fast.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Birthdays and friends...

I love birthday parties/gatherings. Most of my friends tend to gather at a restaurant or bar to celebrate their birthday. It's an opportunity to meet new people and have a good time.

Recently my friend Jen invited me to a birthday celebration for her boyfriend Mike. We celebrated at Calle Ocho. The sangria was fabulous and it was so nice of them to quarantine off the section for us (giggle, I know we as a group ultimately conquered it).

As Jen's friend it was nice to get to know Mike better and as we all know, what better way to do that than to meet his friends. He has great friends! It was also nice to see Sarah, Mina, Samira and of course Jen. (Sarah, I hope you made it home ok.) Jen, it's nice to see you so happy. Kisses!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Hey Beautiful!"

For those of you who don't reside in NYC - when the weather gets warm the "Hey Beautiful" comments start to fly. I like to call it New York's hey beautiful culture.

I exited my building today to get a sandwich at the local deli only three blocks away and I was bombarded with "hey beautiful" four times. Ok, I honestly found is flattering but mostly because it was done in good taste - no hand gestures, no creepy kissing noises, no looking me up and down just "hey beautiful".

Now, I know that there is this whole push to put the 'creepies' up on a post - you've heard about Holla Back NYC, right? This is where people post pics and comments of the creeps in NYC who feel the need to urinate in public, fondle themselves, make sexual and inappropriate comments and for public lewdness to be posted. Now I'm all for calling the crazies and harassers out and posting their pics - so post away. I, however, feel that the "hey beautiful' comments aren't too intimidating as long as they aren't coupled with obnoxious gestures or gawking.

So, remember gentlemen, keep it simple and say it like you were saying it to your mother, sister, daughter or aunt - no lady appreciates feeling like a piece of meat.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Dr. Seuss...

I boarded the bus this morning on my way to work and I was reminded about a scene that I witnessed earlier this week - it still makes me giggle to think about it.

The bus I usually take is often populated by parents taking their children to school in the morning. It is also one of those buses that is twice the length. I often see the same people. Wednesday morning in the middle of the bus, across the aisle from one another and facing each other was a father and a daughter. She was about eight years old and he was wearing a tall red and white striped Dr. Seuss hat and a suit and tie. I giggled to myself at the hat as I walked by.

As we pulled away from the stop they started to play Rock Paper Scissors. Side note: did you know that there are professional RPS competitions? I had no idea. The girl and her father giggled and teased each other - they were having fun. They continued to play for twenty blocks and 5 stops.

As we approached their stop they continued to heckle each other about the game and who was winning. As they walked past me to exit the bus the girl said, "Dad, remember when you pick me up this afternoon you have to wear the hat. You lost the bet last night so you have to wear the hat." This made me laugh out loud - after they exited the bus of course.

I still wonder what he lost at and I love that he kept his side of the deal and wore the hat in public.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Gala Dinner in NYC

Last night I attended Hale House's 37th Anniversary Gala last night at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers. I work at Hale House, in the fundraising department but had very little to do with the planning of the event and I must say - it was a fabulous time!

The venue was beautiful, food was awesome, centerpieces were stunning (thank you Katrina Parris) and the entertainment was over the top. The Hip Hop Church Choir performed, Leslie Uggams (one of Hale House's honorees sang) and members of the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band woke everyone up after dinner. They were so awesome! People are still talking about the steppers today.

Pictures will follow in a few days.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Autumn in NYC

So, for the past few days it has felt like Autumn in NYC! Yuck, yuck and double yuck! It's only been 64 degrees both days and the wind feels like it is blowing in from the North Pole and thus making it colder. It's the end of May for goodness sake!

According to weather.com it is going to be warmer - 10 degrees warmer - tomorrow. Should I trust them and not wear a jacket? I so can't wait.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Saturday at DTUT

I hang out at DTUT on the Upper East Side quite often on the weekends. It’s a great coffee shop; laid back, fabulous music, couches, chairs and at night they serve beer and wine. Sometimes it is difficult to find a seat especially if there is an event going on in back but if you go late morning on the weekend you’ll have no problem. It’s very much the neighborhood coffee shop.

I have to admit that I’m a little surprised, not exactly sure why, but I am, that there is also a mutual respect that the patrons have for one another. There is free wireless internet so there are many people with their laptops. The mutual respect plays out most when someone needs to leave their seat to visit the counter or the restroom. No one takes everything with them - we all leave our computer on the chair/couch, our bag on the floor and go about our business. It’s a little amazing that we all return to our seats with everything right where we left it. I guess I shouldn’t be so amazed but the small town girl in me still is.

Added note: today at DTUT there was a birthday party - it must have had a princess theme. Young girl (age 4 and below) exited past me dressed in their princess outfits. Absolutely adorable!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Books, Books & More Books!

I love to read. I currently have three books started at the moment. My mood dictates what I read - and my book club schedule. I'm currently reading A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi and a book of poetry entitled Another America by Barbara Kingsolver. I also read The New Yorker every week.

My favorite thing to read, though, is a magazine entitled The SUN. It has been around for decades. It's very liberal, it carries absolutely NO advertising (I love this about them!), it often publishes articles that you would never find anywhere else because of their opinion, outlook, personal nature and/or risky topic and the black and white photography that graces its' pages is stunning. They'll even send you a trial issue for free. I strongly recommend that you sign up for a copy - if you hate it just write cancel on the bill.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The view from my desk...

Looking out my window at work I can see a garden. It's not a garden on the ground. I work in a brownstone in Harlem and my office is on the fifth floor. Across the street, on top of another brownstone is a roof top garden.

Often at the end of the day the woman and her children are outside tending to the plants that they have on their roof garden. I can see that they are growing some small trees, climbing roses, herbs and flowers. I also suspect that there are many things planted on the floor of the roof that I cannot see for they often bend over to pull weeds, plant and move things. Today, I realized I'm jealous.

The day here in NYC started out with cold pouring rain. A very damp and dreary Monday - the kind that makes me wish I had stayed home in bed. Around 4pm the sun started to come out and blue sky appeared. Movement started to occur across the street on the roof and all I could think about was the lavender that I planted 6 years ago next to the stone steps at the house that I used to own in Wisconsin. The wild asparagus patch - I wonder if the woman who bought my house enjoys it as much as I did. The vegetable garden that I would plant each spring. The tulips, bleeding heart, lupine and other perennials that grew on my property. I miss gardening.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

S'mores - mmmmm!

You've had s'mores, right? A toasted marshmallow placed on a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers. I'm sitting at DTUT a coffee shop on Second Ave between 84th & 85th in NYC and three little girls and their Mom are making s'mores.

Now my memories of making s'mores as a child are very different. Growing up in the Midwest meant that we went camping. S'mores were made over a roaring camp fire. The art of making a s'more then was to put the marshmallow so close to the coals of the fire that even the inside of the marshmallow got gooey but not too close that the outside of the marshmallow would burn. Truly an art!

I guess it doesn't matter how you make a s'more whether it's while camping or as fondue - just that you have. If you haven't you should! There's nothing better than gooey marshmallow and chocolate - the graham crackers are good, too - but only there to hold the melting chocolate and gooey marshmallow together.

By the way, thinking about camping brings back memories of snipe hunting. Hmmm, sounds like a topic for a later blog entry.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I'm not Wonder Woman - unfortunately!

As a young girl growing up the 70’s I wanted to be Wonder Woman. You know the television series that aired from ‘76-’79 with Lynda Carter in it. She used a lasso, she could be invisible, she had extraordinary strength and she threw that Frisbee/Boom-a-rang thing. I used to pretend that I was Wonder Woman as a kid.

Well, carrying my laundry home yesterday I wished that I was Wonder Woman and quickly realized that I am definitely not! Very disappointing! I also realized that I can never carry 25lbs of anything five and half blocks again.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Gov't Wake Up!!!

Why is everyone so surprised that gas/oil prices have gone up so much? My Mom and I discussed the fact that food prices have gone up already. This shouldn't shock anyone either. Come on America - does the Government really care about the lower middle class and working poor in this country?

1. We go to war. A war that has gone on too long Yes, after 911 we should have done something but war - not sure that was the answer.
2. Real estate prices go up and up and cap.
3. Katrina hits and the American public loses what little faith they had in the Republican Government. (Those of us who are happily Democratic never had any faith and weren't surprised by Bush's government screwing up - after all he wasn't trying to save wealthy Texan oil owners.)
3. Oil/Gas prices increase dramatically.
4. Farmers are now having difficulty paying to run the machinery to harvest our food with, feed their livestock and they didn't make a lot money to begin with. Just because gas/oil prices go up doesn't mean that they can sell milk or grain for a higher price. Commodity pricing is set by the markets. Yikes!
5. This means that food prices are going to go up for all of us! And if those of you in the Midwest thought food was expensive - huh - join me grocery shopping in Manhattan. Shocking!

Just wait America - once gas/oil prices start to effect the farmers it is only a matter of time before it hits all the items that we buy. And once it effects the retail market - it hits the stock market. I dare you to watch the quarterly earnings results (end of June - more importantly at the end of September) for your favorite brands and/or stores that trade publically. Nabisco, WalMart, It could hit the stock market in a very negative way.

Government - it's not the wealthy in this country that keep the economy even. It's the lower middle class and working class poor! When is the Government going to start to pay more and better attention to those who actual make this country great? Remember it's the garbage men, factory worker, farmer, public school teacher, mechanic, etc that feel it the most (because their salary is low) after paying taxes not the CEO of some top traded company. Pisses me off!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Wait, I live in NYC?!?

Sometimes I forget I live in New York City. I know you think I'm crazy. How could I forget that I live in NYC? I don't mean literally - I know where I live - but it's so routine for me that it no longer seems romantic or fatastical. It's my life.

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest. There are more people living on my block in NYC than in my hometown. Crazy, right? Living on the upper east side, close to Central Park and working in Harlem also plays with your psyche a little. It's quieter. There isn't the hustle and bustle of Midtown. It seems more neighborhoody and less urban.

Occasionally, I'll go to meet my friend Adrianna after work near Madison Square Garden and I'm suddenly slapped across the face with - oh yeah, I do live in NYC. Oops, I forgot. By the way, I am so glad that I don't have to commute outside of NYC and race to catch a train at a certain time in order to get home. So, glad!

Trust me I miss certain things about my small town upbringing: my family, cards on Saturday nights, my friends, driving, not having to carry everything everywhere, hiking, the outdoors, the friendly atmosphere, the genuineness of people, how everyone says hello to each other, my theatre friends, hanging out at The Shed until wee hours of the morning and more than anything my brother and my niece. Kisses!

And then I'm shaken back to 'my reality' by the beeping of the bus lowering its' steps, the horn of a taxi and the city. I love it! I'll go walk through The Ramble later and pretend I'm hiking in the woods of the unglaciated corner of Wisconsin that was my home - by the way, did you know that once you are in the middle of Central Park you no longer hear the traffic and the city. Amazing!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Creativity Stifled

Commuting to work this morning I witnessed a parent stifling his child’s creativity and it was disheartening.

The little girl, not more than 4 years old, was hopping - simply hopping on one leg. Passing time while she waited for the bus. She wanted to see how fast she could hop. She was also counting out loud to see how many times she could hop before she lost her balance and fell over. She was giggling and being silly. She did this six or seven times and was enjoying herself. Her father suddenly corrected her. He tried to teach her that if she slowed down she wouldn’t lose her balance. Well of course that’s true but he was really doing was indirectly telling her she was doing it wrong. Is there a ‘right way’ to hop?

I wanted to scream, “pay attention to your child, she’s having fun losing her balance! Play her game – don’t instill your adult rules!” No worries, I didn’t scream but the little girl did. She wailed. I felt so bad for her. She couldn’t articulate why she was so upset. Her father completely didn’t understand. Her tear streaked face and sad eyes told the whole story she was devistated. I hope she’s brave enough to hop again in the future.

It's a shame that we have to grow up and lose a little of that creative imagination that we all had when we were little. When was the last time that you hopped? Or skipped? Or did something childlike? It's never too late maybe you should.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My Windows

Happily the windows to my little NYC apartment do not face the street. I have three windows on the back side of the building that face the middle of the block. I am directly across from windows in other apartments but happily they are at least thirty yards away. It's like living with a sibling that you never talk to.

We don't wave at one another. We look when we don't think the other person is looking. We draw our curtains to dress but witness each other in towels and pajamas. We know when the other has company, isn't at home and when they return. Yet we never see each other on the street. If we did I wonder if we'd say hello?

Who looks into your window? When they do what do you let them see?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Hazy Outlook

My view on the world today is a little hazy. Having Fibromyalgia can really make things look fuzzy when I don't feel my best. Chronic pain can overtake your life if you let it drag you down.
My theory is to accept it, embrace it and fight back.

Don't get me wrong I can have really bad days but happily today I'm still functional. I'm at work not laying on my bed at home. I'm alert and not tired but I feel like I'm moving through water. Anyone with Fibro would understand the weird sort of haze that surrounds me. I feel like I'm moving in super slow-motion, even though I don't look like it. It's difficult to explain.

Exercise will help! No dairy, no coffee, no alcohol, get plenty of rest, exercise but don't over due it, blah blah blah. I'll walk after work. Hopefully I can ward off a flare. It's too nice in NYC this week to not feel well.

For those of you who don't know what Fibromyalgia is - the best description in my opinion is on the Mayo Clinic website at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fibromyalgia/DS00079.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

On the Steps of The Met

6:00-6:15 pm
Friday, April 28, 2006

I took a detour on my way home last night. I sat on the steps of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I have a membership to The Met, thanks Mom and Dad. I visit often. Tonight I thought I’d people watch.
  • A group of 15 twelve year old girls with five moms were standing in a huddle. All the girls wore “I ♥ NY” t-shirts. It made me wonder, does anyone who lives in New York really own an “I ♥ NY” t-shirt? Scratch that. Does anyone who lives in New York ever wear the “I ♥ NY” t-shirt that their Mother bought when she visited that’s in their closet?
  • I wondered how many photos were taken by tourists and how many of them I appear in.
  • I heard nine languages other than English. Amazing!
  • Best conversation snippet that I heard as a couple descended the stairs. She exclaimed, “I love it. I love it. I absolutely love it!” He said, “Well, yeah – in a Jesus Christ kinda way.” I’ll always wonder what they were talking about.

By the way, thank you to the man whose job it was during this time to sweep the debris that can be found on the steps of The Met. Thanks for removing the cigarette butts, pebbles, bird shit and especially for scraping the dropped gum so I could sit and watch the people.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Are you kidding me? Politeness Laws?

Did any of you New Yorkers read the New York Times article on 4/16, "New York Leads Politeness Trend? Get Outta Here!"? Basically the Mayor has put new laws into place that will fine a subway rider $50 for putting his/her feet on the seat, fines for unruly behavior at sporting events and tighter restrictions on car alarms. Are you kidding me?

In a city where a nonprofit organization (The Doe Fund, Inc.) exists just to pick up trash - the Mayor and the City Council members are creating new laws?

Enforce the ones we have!

There is a garbage can on every street corner and I still witness people consciously throwing trash on the sidewalk and in the gutter on a daily basis. When was the last time that the NYPD wrote a ticket for littering?

Manhattan gets dirtier as you travel north. I will never get used to the litter that spans the streets and sidewalks especially at 125th and Lenox in Harlem. I feel sorry for the Doe Fund employee that is there every morning sweeping up the trash that someone so impolitely threw all over the place.

And politeness that is a whole different topic - when was the last time that you said hello to the person that you see everyday at the bus stop or subway platform, that the cashier at your grocery store was courteous and said thank you or that you said good morning to a perfect stranger? New Yorkers, I dare you to say hello to five people that you walk past today on the street.

Oh, and next time you walk past a Doe Fund employee who's cleaning your neighborhood sidewalk and street - say thank you!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

First Timer

Welcome to Your Window to My World!

I'm one of those people, by the way, if I'm walking or driving past a house/apartment and the lights are on inside with the curtain open - I'm looking in - and not just a glance - I'm pausing and looking! Don't we all have a little stalker in us? I'm always curious to see what color the walls are, do they have books or a piano, is it messy, would I want to live there...and then my mind creates scenarios to describe the people who do live there.

I'm also one of those people who 'people watch' while sitting at a coffee shop and makes up character stories for the people around me. Are they a dog or cat person? Do they prefer white or red wine? Where did they just come from? Where are they going? Why did they wear those shoes with that dress? Come on, you do it, too - admit it.

Visit often to catch glimpses to my world with my curtains open.