Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Poem by David

My friend David wrote's the first time anyone has ever done something like this for me.
Thanks David!

Rapping with Susan from Jackson Heights
Learned she likes geeks many megabytes
Physics is sexy
As well as Olesky
And a cool blogging she does many nights.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A question

So, do you think Sarah Palin is "gonna" donate the designer clothes?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'll miss...

Tonight I was going to the "History Meet up" group at the Sony building on Madison Ave....the same building my daughter works in. I was early, so I went up to visit Erin for a little while prior to the group starting. While sitting on her desk, chatting....she told me that she and her boyfriend have been talking about her moving in with him when her lease is up in June.

He lives in Syracuse.

She lives in NYC.

I live in NYC.

Intellectually, I know that she's going to have a life with someone, as well she should...and a family. And, I can honestly say I'm looking forward to having grandchildren too (as long as they call me Hunny.) Even understanding all these things though, I found myself tearing up when she said it. It's nice to be able to stop and see her once in a while on my way home from work, or spend a Saturday or Sunday with her, going to Trader Joe's or out to lunch. I will miss being able to do that. I'll miss knowing she's nearby, even though I don't see her even weekly.

One more thing to get used least I have time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Conversing in a line

Tonight while out with my friend David, and waiting on line at the movies, we overheard the three women in front of us talking about the movie W. David happened to say that he'd heard that the movie was well researched and an accurate one about George W.

"They should have made it eight years ago, before the first election," one of the women exclaimed, and we all chuckled.

It was an amusing comment, and yet I've been thinking about it, and wondering if the outcome might have been different had George had a movie made about him then.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I hate that sometimes I shop to make myself feel better. Not "big time shopping" though. Not like the shopping that people who have the "spending disease" do.

Yesterday, because I was upset by something that was not within my control, and really was not about me at all.....I bought some plants. On my way home from work I passed the florist on my corner and noticed that he had a whole bunch of Boston ferns outside...they were really nice and full and green. I was surprised to find that they were only $10 each, so......of course I bought two. My arms were pretty full of work stuff, so I had to make two trips to get them. When I got home and took them out of the plastic they had been wrapped in............they were the size of flippin' bushes! They're HUGE. The one in my living room takes up the space of a small chair. Although my bedroom pretty much has nothing but my bed in it, so that bush doesn't look as big as it really is. I need a tall person to come over and help me figure out how to hang them up. I have to find a tall person.

Tonight after work I bought a cookie case I feel like making cookies, two bottles of wine, a Yellow Tail Reisling and Spring Splendor, by Pindar. It's a good thing I'm not a drinker, or having two bottles of wine might be a problem. From the liquor store I went to the corner fruit and veggie market and bought a bunch of bananas and some raspberries, and then went into Lety's, the very nice bakery/coffee shop in my neighborhood and bought some of those really hard-as-rocks cookies that you need to dip in something hot in order to eat.

Not what one would call a "comfort spending spree" probably, but somewhat comforting for me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I just cannot help myself!

This is not a political weblog....but just I cannot refain from posting about Sarah!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Obama, McCain and Science

Please check out ScienceDebate 2008. Posted you'll find both Obama and McCain's answers to 14 important science related questions.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Eve Ensler on Sarah Palin

Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist best known for "The Vagina Monologues", wrote the following about Sarah Palin............
"Drill, Drill, Drill

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears.

Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them.

It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story-- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves.

She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan.

She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered.

The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently.

She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters.

I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet.

It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable forhumans.

It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack.

It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction.

It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing.

It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalismand aggression.
If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill."

I think of teeth when I think of drills.

I think of rape.

I think of destruction.

I think of domination.

I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent.

I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?"

Eve Ensler
September 5, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

As a woman, I'm offended

I have no idea who wrote this and a friend of mine thinks it a piece of campaign literature....but, it matters not to me. I'm giving whoever the person was, a standing ovation!

As a woman, I'm offended by John McCain's decision to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. It is clear that the decision is primarily driven by politics, by the belief that to get Hillary's supporters, all you need to do is play the gender card.

I respect what Palin has done in Alaska in terms of calling out corrupt politics, and I'm sure that McCain does too. But being a whistleblower and working towards a clean state government are not qualifications for the (vice) presidency, especially not in times like these. We need whistleblowers and we need people who will work to clean up the government, but we need so much more than that.

McCain is not a young man. The most important quality in a vice president is their ability to be the president should something happen. It's one thing to say that Obama is not ready because he hasn't spent enough time in Washington, but he has worked on issues at many levels and he is very well connected globally and engaged in global political issues. There's nothing that indicates that the same is true of Palin.

Palin is the Governor of a state with severe economic issues. What has she done? She played protectionist politics to keep a dairy company in business when it was clear that they couldn't compete and they still failed. Trying to protect failed business plans is not the path towards economic growth. Her current plan, although not yet implemented (thank god), is to destroy the environment and put at risk future generations for economic prosperity today.

As a woman, I'm offended. Women have long borne the responsibility to protect the environment and future generations. How can she turn her back on this to reap short-term political and economic rewards?

Palin marks her identity by noting that she's just a soccer mom. She is respected politically for questioning powers that be. She is respected by evangelicals for not aborting her son after learning that he would have Down Syndrome.

As a woman, I'm offended. Palin has the right to choose what she does with her body, and I respect her decision, but I also demand the right to make my own choices. Feminism isn't about aborting - feminism is about the right to choose and make decisions about our bodies based on what is best for everyone involved in the social context in which we live. A woman's personal choice alone does not make her eligible for presidency.

I voted for Barack, but I deeply respect Hillary. I am in awe of the work she has done and that she continues to do. In 1992, I would've (could I have) voted for her in a second over Bill. 2008 is different and I think that Barack is bringing to the table something far more important. My choice of Barack is not a diss on Hillary. For the first time in my life, I made a choice about who to vote FOR not who to vote against.

Palin is not Hillary. Palin lacks the experience, the connections, the political stature, and, most importantly, the deep respect for women and women's issues that Hillary has.

As a woman, I'm offended. I'm offended that McCain is choosing a woman who is clearly ill-equipped to be the president of this country in an effort to woo over Hillary's supporters. I'm offended because McCain's decision is one of the most misogynist ones I've seen in recent history. Does he honestly believe that women in this country are so stupid as to believe that any woman is a substitute for another woman? That all that us women boil down to is our XX chromosomes and estrogen? C'mon now.

Don't get me wrong - I want to see women in the highest positions of power in this country. But I don't just want any woman. I want women in power who have earned the respect and worked to achieve said power. I want women who are chosen because of what they have done, not how they look in a political power game.

I was expecting McCain to choose a woman. I figured that's why he waited this long. I was expecting him to go outside of the DC circuit and my latest musing was that he'd choose Meg Whitman. Sure, she'd be controversial as hell, but damn is she a professional power house. And, unlike Palin, she actually knows something about economics. Her experience as CEO of a major international company has given her tremendous experience that would complement McCain tremendously. She's financially self-sustaining and appealing to the economic conservatives that the Republican party lost under Bush. Sure, she's controversial and I'd hate to see that kind of corporate-ness inside the White House, but she's beyond qualified and capable. Palin is an entirely different picture. She appeals to the social conservatives because of her personal views, but she lacks anything resembling the qualifications to be president.

As a woman, I'm offended.
I wasn't going to vote for McCain before, but I had at least respected him and what he's done for this country. He's completely lost any ounce of respect in my mind. His decision to choose a vice president based solely on her gender is absolutely antithetical to every value I hold dear. Our sisters, mothers, and grandmothers did not fight for women's rights only to have a woman toted around as an accessory in federal politics. I am confident that Palin is a smart, compassionate, and capable person, but she lacks the qualifications, experience, and long-term thinking to be president. This isn't about DC. She hasn't even done anything worth mentioning in Alaska. For McCain to tap her for this position is just outright offensive.

On the anniversary of women's right to vote in this country, Hillary asked the crowd if they voted for her or for the people that she's trying to serve. In asking the audience to vote for Barack, she asked them to move beyond individualist-politics and focus on the issues at hand. My hope is that women everywhere took that message to heart. This isn't about getting a woman into the White House. It's about creating a future that we want to live in.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Backyard fireplaces.....

Tonight is one of those beautiful, late summer evenings here on LI, where I am visitng my family for Labor Day weekend. In my previous life we had a backyard fire place that on nights like this we would start a roaring fire in and sit around, drinking coffee and listening to the screech owl in the woods nearby. I would often have a fire, even on mild winter Sunday afternoons. I would sit outside with an afghan around me, smelling the scent of the burning wood and listening to the pop and crackle as it book and hot drink in hand. These are the sort of things I feel nostalgic about at times, and wish that maybe I could have again......that, and someone special to share them with. continues to tug at my heart.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The summer of '75

Lately I’ve been listening to B103, the oldie’s station out here on Long Island. I’ve never been one for actually turning the radio dial to an oldie’s station, yet when I hear those songs I always find myself singing along. Imagine my surprise to realize I AM AN OLDIE! I just never visualize myself this age, perhaps because I don’t feel as old as my birth year indicates.

This weekend is “The Class of ‘75” weekend on B103 and wow, I’ve heard songs I haven’t heard since then….primarily because I ‘m an “adult contemporary, alt rock, heavy metal, top 40” radio listener. I do believe I may have to add “oldies” to that list, now that the realization has dawned that at least according to the radio; I really am an “oldie.”

America, singing Ventura Highway, Neil Diamond’s Cracklin’ Rosie and Free’s, It’s All Right Now are just a few of the songs I’ve heard while out in the car today…..songs that now go back over 30 years, making me one freakin’ cool “oldie.”

I may be an “oldie” now, however…..I am one dame fine “goodie.”

(I do not lack for self- esteem.)

When I turned 50 last year my daughter very kindly said, “You know Mom, 50 is the new 40.” Since I don’t even feel 40, to me age really is just a number. However, those songs brought back to me how different my life might have been had I chosen to take the path with the arrow pointing toward “the unknown” during the summer of ’75, instead of heading down the one I thought was the safest.

A few years ago I veered off the “safe path,” although in the end it turned out not to have been very safe and I’m now traveling down the one marked “unknown.” It’s still very unsettling in many ways for me to be on this particular road; however I’ve found it comforting to from time to time, change the radio station to the oldies one, and let myself think back to a time when my life was not so complicated.

Isn’t it amazing how music can bring you back to another place and time?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Becoming a cliche'

While standing on line at Duane Read this afternoon, I just happened to look down at the items I picked up to purchase. In my arms was a bag of dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses, a bag of Mint Chocolate M&M's, a $.99 cent bag of Frito's and a package of maxi pads. At that moment I was horrified to find that I had become a cliche'!

I put back the M&M's and the Frito's. I kept the Hershey Kisses and of course, the maxi pads...which was the item I went there to shop for in the first place. I shared the Kisses with my staff though..... so as not to consume them all myself.

Perhaps this is sharing a little too much information, but hell, who really cares anyway. I thought it was rather funny at the time.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Speaking of old adages

I’m reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is one of my favorite lines so far…….

“Because God never slams a door in your face without opening a box of Girl Scout cookies (or however the old adage goes)....”

Make mine Thin Mints, please...or no, maybe Samoas......or, how about one of each!

I’ve always hated the line, “When one door closes another opens.” The Girl Scout cookies seem like a much better option to me.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Train Travel

I was surrounded on my train ride home tonight by a large number of very attractive, very nice smelling men...............all of whom were gay! The Sunday evening trains are filled with gay men who frequent Fire Island on the weekend and do the same thing I do on Sunday night...return home. It was a train full of eye candy. When I got to JH, I discovered that I had missed the Queens Gay Pride Parade and a street fair that went along with it.....this was a day to be gay. (Well, maybe not really.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Random musings

Published in The Long Island Advance, May 29th, 2008

It’s not easy to come up with something witty, relevant, amusing, or important to write about every week and I’m always impressed that Mark, Brian and Sarah seem to do it so effortlessly here in the The Long Island Advance. There are times when I’ve written three pieces, one right after the other, times when I’ve woken up and written at 3 AM, and other times when it’s a bit more of a chore to come up with anything to say at all. It’s easier for me when there’s some sort of drama going on in my life that I can’t help commenting on, or I find some kind of amusing disparity between living in New York City, and living in Patchogue. I haven’t had a four column run in a long time and right now, all I have are random thoughts running through my head.

Since the deadline for this week is looming I’ve decided to just sit down and write, and see what happens. It’s kind of an interesting exercise to do that once in awhile. I took a writing class over the winter where the teacher suggested carrying around a marble notebook in which to spend at least 30 minutes per day writing. I was not good at that. I usually have a notebook handy, but when I don’t, napkins, discarded flyers or the margins of newspaper work just as well.

I’m a “when the spirit moves me” kind of writer.

The dilemma right now is, do I tell you about how interesting it is for me to live in an area where I regularly pass women on the street who are not only veiled, but may also be wearing a chador, or do I try to describe in words what it was like to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge for the very first time, or do I tell you how I wonder what the people I work for now where thinking by hiring me, or that I found out first hand recently that a good friend of mine in a “man magnet?” Or, maybe since I’m so conflicted about what to write, do I try and tell you a little bit about all of the above, and then try to string some common thread between them all as a means to wrap up at the end? Perhaps I’ll just give that a whirl and see what happens. After all, I can always hit “delete” and start over again.

Having recently read the book Reading Lolita in Tehran, I’ve become fascinated by women who live in this country and who hopefully are choosing to wear a veil, and are not doing so because there are people in their lives who are trying to make them invisible. I could write an entire column on this subject. The only problem is that I have way more than 750 words to say on this topic. Since limiting myself word-wise is usually difficult, the implications of what wearing a veil means for women is a hard subject to tackle in 750 words or less.

My policy is “if it can be said in three words, why not use three paragraphs, or better yet, three pages.” I have a friend who writes for a living and who is always saying, “Get rid of the extra words!” He has no idea how hard it is for me to part with any of my written words.

I have now almost finished four weeks at my new job. I sit at my desk and sometimes wonder how it is I’m here, at this place with the amazing view. It’s easy to forget how hard I worked to get here and that maybe I do really deserve this. I think that oftentimes people forget that they deserve good things to happen for them.

And, since I’m on the subject of my job, words cannot describe what it was like for me to walk home from work over the Brooklyn Bridge last Friday. It was one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen, and to think that I was afraid that by moving to the city, I would miss the scent of sea air. How silly of me.

Now reminded of the scent of the ocean, last Sunday I sat down at the bay with my friend JoAnn, who was visiting from Florida, and I had the opportunity to witness first hand her abilities as a “man-magnet” and it was pretty darn impressive. Some guy walking his two dogs started a 20 minute conversation with her, all based upon the logo that was on her tee shirt. (And, if she was veiled and wearing a chador, he would never have seen the logo to begin with!)

And, here I am at 840 words with no common thread to string all these random musings together. Oh well, maybe next time individual columns based upon all the above will develop. One never knows what I might be writing about at 3 AM.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A lunch time field trip

This is what I did at lunch yesterday......

What I wish I knew

Published in the Long Island Advance, May 22, 2008

OK, so…I’m going to dip a toe into a pond that I would normally be afraid to venture into. Normally I stick to “writing what I know,” which is usually a good policy to have. Today it will be more like writing about what I wish I knew.

If I wasn’t working in Human Services, I’d like to think that I might have stumbled into a career as a scientist. I’m sure this revelation will come as a surprise to my family, but it shouldn’t. At one time I wanted to be a marine biologist and it was all I can remember talking about. The movie Jaws cured me of that dream. And, let’s face it, if becoming a marine biologist was really that important to me I would not have let a mechanical shark scare me away.

Although I love sitting by the ocean, or standing at the edge getting my feet wet, rarely do I go in, and the moment I do the theme song from Jaws starts to play in my head and it’s just not worth the anxiety I feel not knowing what might be swimming around under me. Hence a career spent in the water did not seem like a good idea in the end.

In my fantasy career world of today, I can envision being a geological archeologist, or some sort of environmental biologist. I’ve been able to satisfy this need by visiting places like the Museum of Natural History, by attending lectures on the arts and sciences, or just by sitting in my living room, watching the Discovery or National Geographic channels. Yet, as a rule, I don’t write about science not feeling anywhere near qualified to do so.

I do have a growing concern about our environment though, and last year I ventured into that arena and wrote about it. So, in an effort to stretch my abilities just a bit more and set out once again into uncharted waters, I’d like to tell you about Science Debate 2008.

I’m on a few science related email lists and is one of them. The people who run this website have for months been trying to engage those candidates running for the office of President of the United States in a debate to see where they stand on issues such as “healthcare, climate change and energy and how science can tackle them.” They took many, many steps in order to make their invitation to discuss these topics appealing to the candidates, yet none other than McCain responded, and he declined.

There seems to be a misconception within the mainstream media that people don’t want to hear about this, therefore having this very important invitation publicized has been almost impossible. In an effort to prove that people are interested in what those running for office think about science related issues, a poll was commissioned by Research!America and ScienceDebate2008 and conducted by Harris Interactive ® that showed that 85% of U.S. adults agree that the presidential candidates should participate in a discussion of this kind.

“’This topic has been virtually ignored by the candidates, but this poll shows that Americans of all walks know how important science and technology are to our health and way of life,’ said Shawn Lawrence Otto, CEO of Science Debate 2008. ‘We’ve heard a lot about lapel pins and preachers. But tackling the big science challenges is critical to our children’s future – to the future of the country and the future of the planet. Americans want to know that candidates take these issues seriously, and the candidates have a responsibility to let voters know what they think.’”

I don’t have room here to go into detail about what I consider a very critical issue for our country. Clearly it’s not about the political party you belong to though. We all belong to the human race and we should care about what those who want to lead our country think about climate change, global poverty, education and renewable energy.

The Long Island Advance is about as mainstream media as I can come up with in order to publicize what I think is a very important topic. If I’ve tweaked your interest even the littlest bit, please check out and see what you might do to help bring attention to something that is so important to us all. You don’t have to be a “wanna-be” scientist to have a desire to be well informed prior to casting your vote in November.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I want to feel comfortable NOW!

Published in the Long Island Advance, May 15th, 2008

The view out the window of the bright yellow lunch room is stunning. With the sun creating tiny pinpoints of light that dance and sparkle across the water, straight ahead in the distance I can see the Statue of Liberty, and out the window to my right, the Brooklyn Bridge and a view of lower Manhattan that can only be described as postcard like. Every outside wall of this office in Brooklyn has stunning views of the city and the surrounding area, and I can’t believe I work here.

Six weeks ago a new job fell into my lap and I’m still adjusting to the idea of it. While sitting in the office of the Associate Executive Director of my previous agency, he let slip that someone we both knew was leaving her job and the agency she worked for was looking to replace her. I think he immediately saw my ears perk up and was sorry he mentioned it. I usually have to debate things with myself prior to making a move, but this was a no-brainer. As soon as I left the office for the day I called her to express my interest, and here I am now, looking out the window at a view you usually only see in pictures.

It’s not just about the view though. From the moment I stepped foot in the door for my first interview, I felt intuitively that I should be there. Normally I am a little nervous when interviewing, but this was the most relaxed and enjoyable interview I have even been on in my life, and my intuition kept saying “This is the job you moved here to have.”

A position such as this would have had to find me, since I’ve never been one to job hop and I’ve only been working in the city for less than a year. I like to stay places for a long time, probably because I’m resistant to change. I have great affection and admiration for the people I just left and had decided to commit myself to being there for at least another year, in spite of the fact that the job I was doing was overwhelming and very stressful. That was until this new opportunity was presented on a silver platter. Initially thinking I would just inquire and go on an interview, once I stepped though the door, all I could think about was, “This is where I’m supposed to be.” This was the kind of job I had envisioned when I was looking to move, and here it was. Who cares that I know nothing about Brooklyn and will probably get horribly lost.

Last Monday I waked into my new office to find the entire back wall decorated with a sign that said “Welcome Susan.” How cool was that? It was nice to have that sort of greeting since this is the first time in a very long time that I have not worked for people I already knew. Their warm welcome took the edge off the anxiety I felt at having to go through yet another transition, even if it is a positive one.

It’s hard to be an “I want to be comfortable NOW!” kind of person, and have major life changes happen every six months. I mean come on, it’s been a week, why don’t I know who everyone is, what they do and where their offices are located? I have great patience when it comes to others, and very little when it comes to me. I’ve been working on it and as you can see, having limited success.

Soon I’m hoping to have an entire year where nothing changes; although that’s doubtful considering now I think I may be moving to Brooklyn in the fall.
(My cell phone picture does not do the view justice!)

What not to wear

So......tonight after work I was standing on line in TJ Maxx on 6th Avenue and W 19th Street behind a woman who I thought was a great candidate for the show What Not to Wear. She had on a bright orange top which was too tight, a pair of black Capri pants, a wide black patent leather belt, black and red plaid stockings and metallic silver was a fashion statement that just didn't work for her, nor do I think it would have worked for anyone. You have to wonder if some people look in the mirror before they leave the house.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A dinosaur in my living room

Published in the Long Island Advance
May 8, 2008

From the corner of my eye I saw it slowly lumber across my living room floor as if it owned the place. Rolling gait, antenna sniffing the air, it was a 350 million year old dinosaur living in my apartment, and it completely unnerved me!

When thinking about moving to an urban area it was not crime, or my initial inability to use public transportation and not get lost that made me just a little fearful, it was bugs. I hate bugs, even the ones that are supposed to be good for the environment. Tolerating them is about the best I can do and looking for a means to get rid of them, like my shoe, is usually my first response.

In the years I spent driving all over Long Island as a service coordinator I‘ve been in many homes, some in better condition than others. On one particular home visit I sat perched on the edge of a chair watching the roaches walk down the walls and scurry across the floor toward me. I was completely horrified by what appeared to be an army of them, all heading in my direction. Wanting to appear unafraid I calmly stood up, figuring my ability to see them and step on them would be increased if I had a better vantage point. In hindsight “the army” was maybe ten, but let’s face it, if you’re seeing ten roaches in one place; chances are there are a whole bunch more hiding in places you can’t see. Often times for me what I can see in my imagination, is far worse than what the reality is. In the case of roaches though, I’m sure my imagination was underestimating.

Knowing that roaches are common in New York City and have not only survived, but thrived since the age of the dinosaurs, I decided to just not think about them unless I had to. Not thinking about them lasted about three days, then for weeks I obsessively did nothing but think about them, talk about them, wish my cat would hunt them, and look for shoes to kill them with.

I spent weeks researching remedies to solve my bug problem. Having the exterminator come was out of the question because of the cat. Svetlana, one of my coworkers, suggested egg yolks, mixed with Boric Acid and some water, then formed into little balls and strategically deposited throughout the apartment. I boiled the eggs and bought the Boric Acid, then hemmed and hawed about it. How big should the balls of egg yolk be exactly? How much Boric Acid was enough, or too much? Would my apartment smell like hard boiled eggs, and most importantly, would my cat Bandit think that perhaps I had left little Deviled Egg appetizers spread about her new home as a treat? Little by little while mulling all these questions, I peeled and ate the hard boiled eggs.

The solution to my dilemma was not an hors d’oeuvre, strategically placed about my apartment. It was as simple as going to the grocery store to buy those little roach motels. It’s been three months since I’ve seen a roach and for a little while, I was breathing easier.

My latest bug scare goes by the name of “bed bugs,” an even creepier menace. It is not comforting to know that they’ve been around probably as long as roaches. I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on products to stave them off after having heard from one of my neighbors that “they” might be in the building. I will now discretely apply dust in the form of diatomaceous earth to the crevasse and corners of my apartment, as well as some sort of environmentally friendly spray I bought. I’ll wrestle my mattress and my futon cushion into protective covers, and hope for the best.

Who would have thought years ago when I was adding diatomaceous earth to our pool filter, or making Deviled Eggs, that one day I would be considering using these very same ingredients to exterminate real, or imagined dinosaurs from my home? Not me.

Monday, May 05, 2008

My first day at HeartShare

This was what greeted me as I walked through the door of my new office today.....I'm so happy to be there.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lost in transition

Published in the Long Island Advance, March 13, 2008

I continue to live with one foot tentatively in Jackson Heights and the other firmly planted in Patchogue, and it’s quite a stretch. Initially I was very homesick, and even anticipating being so, moving was much more difficult than I imagined. Then again, when one waits as long as I did to move away from home, there’s a lot of adjusting to do, especially when you consider that moving from the suburbs to the city has been, for me, like moving to a foreign country.

What I miss the most is the sun, the smell of salt in the air and the color green. Yes, there are trees on my block, however my apartment windows do not look out over them, and being on the fourth floor of a six story building means that even on a sunny day, it just barely glances across my windows, and only for about five minutes at sunrise. I can glimpse it from my kitchen window if I crane my neck almost out of it. It reminds me of those real estate ads that say “water view,” but don’t tell you that you can only see the water if you’re standing on your roof in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees.

My Queens neighborhood boasts three laundromats, four drug stores, seven restaurants, three bakeries, two banks, a few phone and clothing stores, coffee shops, including a Starbuck’s, Petland, Carvel, two McDonald’s, and a Burger King, all within in a several block radius, and yet I have this need to shop on Long Island for pretty much everything except groceries. It’s very inconvenient to have to carry multiple, and sometimes very heavy bags back to my apartment each Sunday evening. Getting home requires the train and the subway, and I feel as if I can now add the word “Sherpa” to my resume’. I’ve also found myself renting movies in Patchogue, watching them in Queens, and returning them the following weekend. Even I think that’s a bit ridiculous!

This past weekend I bought a rolling suitcase. I managed to stow away all my clothes, the laundry that I sometimes bring with me to do over the weekend, a package of four energy efficient light bulbs, a power strip, a small wreath for my bathroom wall, a package of plastic clothes hangers, and the perfume I bought in Ulta. It never occurred to me that I could have purchased almost all of those items in stores around the corner from my apartment. I have yet to venture to the Queens Mall or to find other of my favorite stores, probably because almost every weekend I’m here, on Long Island.

On one walk around my block you might hear Russian, Korean, Polish, Spanish or Farsi being spoken, and sometimes, even English, and on my way out to the street from the subway I regularly pass Peruvian musicians performing “music from the Andes.”

The sights, sounds and smells are so different that, for now, I am living in a foreign country, and I didn’t even need to apply for a passport to get here.

I think that as much as I love living in Queens, my head is still not there yet, or maybe it’s my heart that has yet to make the transition.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Window treatments...or maybe not

Clearly.........I do not have the knack for window treatments! am so frustrated that I could just chuck it all out my fourth floor window. Whatever made me think that draping a window scarf over a decorative rod would be easy? Where to begin?

Let's see....first of all I gave up on trying to screw the hardware into the molding, since the molding is probably 60 years old and hard as concrete. I nailed them instead. Big no-no...I'm sure. However, they're still hanging, at least for now. Then I had this mile long scarf....which although is now hanging after I used twist ties and pins, is of course uneven. It's probably a good idea not to do that other one tonight...or maybe ever.

I need:
1. a ladder so I can actually reach high enough to see what I'm doing. The step stool is just no cutting it.
2. a power tool in the form of a drill
3. Possibly someone taller than me who is also stronger then me to help
4. Someone to help hold the mile long scarf so there's a hope of getting it even.

If you don't look closely, or you aren't me, who needs things like this to be perfect, it probably looks ok. I'm hanging freakin' curtain in my bedroom. Once I get past the curtain rod dilemma, it will be way easier.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dishwashers, not just for dishes....

My good friend Miles has been very excited about moving into a new apartment, which is actually right next door to his old one. The one he's moving into has been gut renovated and will be brand new. He'll have an almost full size refrigerator as opposed to the "dorm" frig he's had since his landlord took out the one that was originally there. I never was quite clear about why that happened, but we're talking about Miles, so it could have been for any number of weird reasons.

Miles has been quite excited about his new apartment and in particular, about the dishwash that he now has. It's a mini dishwasher, perfect for one or two people, and that's all. Up until last weekend he was talking about how great it will be to have it....for storage. I believe he has another idea in mind.

Last year for my birthday Miles and his then girlfriend Judith invited me for a birthday dinner. While looking for something interesting to make, he stumbled upon a recipe for "Dishwasher Fish," only Judith panned the idea.

Yup, so now Miles will have his very own dishwasher to poach fish in, and he's begun threatening to actually do it. I've googled "Dishwasher Fish," and there really is a recipe for it. How crazy is that?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Goals, not resolutions

Over the past few years I’ve been pretty goal driven. It amazed me how well consciously working to achieve goals worked and now that my big three have been accomplished; I’m at a loss for exactly what to do next. I suppose getting used to a new job and a new place to live should be enough, yet somehow I’m feeling like I need more.

I’ve found myself *goal-less.* So, what better time of year to set some new ones than the “New Year’s resolution” time of year.

On December 27th I registered to take a writing class in the city one evening a week for the next seven weeks. I need to meet some new people and maybe make some new friends, along with possibly adding a little discipline to my writing.

On December 29th I joined a new gym. I’m hoping to go there at least five times per week. I’ve been missing the gym and I’m so out of shape. I’ve been managing my stress by snacking, instead of using the treadmill.

I would like to spend more time here in my new community and do more in the city…hang out with the friends I have here and also have my friends from my first home come in to visit.

Entertain…..that’s what I want to do! I want to entertain my friends, both old and new….and my family too….here in my new home!

Vacation! I would like to go on a vacation. It doesn’t have to be far away….just somewhere….away.

So, there you have it. Medium to small size goals…not resolutions…goals to work toward. Writing, gym going, entertaining and socializing, and a trip to somewhere…..

Oh, and one more thing. I would like to get the stupid wire rack I bought for my kitchen put together. I am so bad with the putting together of stuff....really, really awful.