Thursday, October 22, 2009

Laundry Room Library

One of the perks of my new apartment building is the laundry room, which has a few shelves of books in it that I've christened "the laundry room library." While waiting for my clothes to spin for the last five minutes of the cycle, I perused the books on the shelves and in that five minutes, became engrossed in Passing For Thin, Loosing Half My Weight and Finding My Self, by Frances Kuffel. A woman who by the way, I wish I could be friends with. I feel as if I've gone on this fascinating journey with her and become one of her cheerleader's along the way, even though the book is now five years old. She makes some interesting observations about what it was like for her to loose 150 lbs and how she struggled to become "a girl," yet that's not the point I'm making today.

(I also liked that she lives in Brooklyn Heights, very near where I work.)
One of Frances' interesting observations was her take on Internet dating. Those of you who read this blog know that I do it........sometimes reluctantly because I'm afraid to give up trying altogether. That, and I'm hoping to find someone to have hot sex with again one day, prior to being too old to want hot sex. I can hear that biological clock ticking down the seconds.
"So, it wasn't that he didn't like me," she writes. "He did. But the Third Law About Men is that they don't know if they're There or not. They think they are. They will pay money to list themselves at Match-dot or the Right Stuff or in the back of New York Magazine, but it's a twinge of loneliness that fools them into thinking they are ready for the possibilities of a companion. Like a headache, it passes but you keep aspirin on hand. Just in case. "

Case in point. My recent six week email exchange with an anesthesiologist who lives in Westchester. He wrote a great Craig's List post that I was really taken with. Our email exchange initially went well, and yet the man has no time to schedule a chat on the phone.

One of his last emails to me was "Coffee? When?"

My response was "Perhaps we can have a phone conversation about that."

Things deteriorated from there to the point where I surrendered. If you can't find the time to pick up a telephone in this day and age when our phones are practically attached to us, what hope is there that you'll actually have the time to meet for coffee? And yet his post was all about finding that special person, the one so many of us Internet-daters are looking for.
"They think they're There," has been my experience time and time again. You go on a few really nice, and potentially hot dates. You like them. They seem to like you. The kissing is great. The sex is even better. They have job and are responsible. And yet when a potential relationship with you appears, they stammer away with some lame excuse because the reality is they're afraid, or not ready or really just looking for some casual sex without the relationship.

For a while I thought I was just choosing the wrong men to date. Men who thought they wanted to be in a relationship, but when one presented itself found they didn't have the time for one. Men with big work lives.

But........maybe it's not me after all.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

RED email

I've gotten tired of receiving politically conservative email forwards, you know the ones I mean....they hit your in-box labeled "RED." I get them from one of my brothers and from a few acquaintances I have who must not have been paying attention when I was sending out my "Sarah Palin sucks" emails last year. In the past I would normally just hit the delete key, which is something I do regularly when my brother sends me forwards. I'm not sure what his motivation is, since I think it should be pretty clear to him by now where my loyalties lie. Maybe he thinks he can convert me?

Today I got a forward from a guy I went to high school with that sent me over the edge. It was a "What's wrong with this picture" email. When opened, there was a picture of a dollar coin with George Washington's picture on it and nowhere on it were the words "In God We Trust." I knew what he was getting at, but decided I needed to yank his chain just a bit. That, and he calls me "Sue," which is a huge no-no in my world.

My response started out with an innocent question (even though I already knew the answer), and a bit of humor.

"I'm not sure why this is a problem? Not to mention it would be a bit difficult when buying a train ticket from the vending machine, since all they use to give you change are dollar coins."

A few hours later, this was his response.

"Sue what will they take next"

(Maybe I'm being catty, but the again, the man refers to me a "Sue," and does not use punctuation.)

"I'm not really sure who you mean by "they?" The English pound note has a picture of Charles Darwin on it.......and if not Darwin, I'd like to see Einstein on a dollar bill...instead of a pyramid with an eye on top of it, which I'm sure is some sort of mystical, religious symbolism. I absolutely believe in the separation of church and state.

I think we're at very different ends of the political spectrum, Tony. I'm very much a political liberal. I believe in evolution, stem cell research, global warming, a woman's right to choose what happens with her body and that homosexuality is not a life style choice, but driven by biology. I have an intense dislike for Sarah Palin and after the first year of his first term, could not listen to one thing that came out of W's mouth.

I believe that everyone has the right to decent, affordable health care and don't think people should loose their homes or go broke due to the cost of medical care. I do believe that more restrictions are needed in regard to immigration and that we should do whatever is necessary to protect people from terrorists though. I'm not exactly sure where that falls in regard to my political leanings, but I do want my government to protected me and those I love from zealots to whatever extent possible.

It's interesting how political ideology evolves. I am a political liberal........and one of my brothers is an NRA card carrying conservative Republican....with a McCain bumper sticker on the back of his truck.... and we grew up in the same household. My bumper sticker (when I had a car), read "Well behaved women seldom make history." My mission is to never be well behaved. My refrigerator magnets read 'Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. -Thomas Jefferson' and 'Run Hillary, Run!'"

I have yet to receive a response to my reply, but it should be interesting. I'm normally non-confrontational and quietly use my delete key as opposed to making waves with someone who does not share my political ideology. I don't send the die-hard RED people the political emails I find inspiring, quite frankly considering it a waste of my time. My brother is never going to become a Democrat, or a liberal, and neither is Tony. I do however, cherish the inspiring emails that come my way from friends with whom I share more common political interests. I try to hold my tongue when discussing anything even remotely political with people like my brother, since it's not really worth boiling my blood over. Yet, for some weird reason, today I decided to take a stand over something as small as a dollar coin. Perhaps I was just feeling like misbehaving.........

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Movin' on up, the the upper-upper West Side

Having been very busy packing, and packing and packing over the past six weeks or so, I've neglected to write anything about my most recent move. I moved to Jackson Heights two years ago to live "in the city," which in my heart really meant living in Manhattan.....and last Thursday I made it here! How cool is that?

And, here it is, 5 o'clockish in the AM, and I'm up reading my email. It sounds as if there's a party going on outside on Broadway.....not something I took into consideration when I signed the lease. Who are these people and why aren't they home sleeping?? I'm thinking "white noise machine."

The move went well, and yes, I'm still unpacking and hope to at least have to bulk of it done prior to going back to work on Tuesday. It was really a lot of work though and I've decided that my kids are going to have to help the next time I do this...but....I made it. A bit tired and sore, but here nonetheless. I'm getting too old to do this sort of stuff by myself though.

Other than the fact that I've rented an apartment on Broadway, which apparently is just a tad sketchy up this far, it's going fine. I had the very expensive second "top lock" installed on my door yesterday, which considering all the activity on Broadway, I'm now feeling happy to have gotten. I've come to the conclusion though that my personality is really more suited for "the other side of the cliff," the side that the Cloisters is located on. I suspect that's where I'll probably spend most of my time. It's quiet and so, so beautiful.

I was loving the apartment until around 10 last night, when I opened the refrigerator door and a roach crawled out of the rubber gasket around the inside of the door. I was so shocked to see it there that it crawled back in before I could kill it. I just stood there with the refrigerator open for about 10 minutes, not knowing what to do, until I just closed the damn door and hoped it would die of the cold. I had such a problem with them in the other place that it was one of the reasons I couldn't wait to move. I had actually stopped cooking because I hated being surprised by them. I know that they're a part of city living that you just can't get away from; however, not in a million years will I ever get used to them.

So, for now I will resume unpacking boxes, but first I think I'll get dressed and go for a walk up to the top of the cliff, where it's quiet and peaceful. It's nice to have quiet and peaceful so close by. I intend to take full advantage of it. It's the best of both worlds....having the excitement of city life, and tranquility within easy reach...both in spite of critters like roaches.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Well, here it is, almost two years from when I last looked for an apartment here in the city (yes, I know Queens is not the city, but to non-city folk, it might as well be) and I'm almost ready to start doing it again. I really, really, want to move into's where I intuitively feel I belong. I might end up in Washington Heights, which is Manhattan, although in the upper reaches, but at least it's closer to where I want to be. Maybe one day I'll actually make it to where I want to be, who knows.

Right now I'm thinking about packing. I went out and bought packing tape and could conceivable start with books....but, I'm still thinking about it at the moment. Once the spirit moves me, I'll get going on it, but right now I'm practicing procrastination, which is something that I don't actually need to practice. I have that skill down pat.

Will keep you posted.............

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Senator Ted Kennedy

Just finished crying my way through Ted Kennedy's funeral. In spite of the drama surrounding his life and the demons he overcame, he became one of the most influential political figures of our time. His life was as tragic as it was inspiring and our world is all the better for having had him in it.

I doubt I will ever see someone of his caliber again in my lifetime.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Prepping for a movie

I'm writing this little piece from the bathroom, where I'm sitting, and waiting for "something" to happen. I just finished drinking THE MOST VILE STUFF EVER, or at least the first portion of THE MOST VILE STUFF EVER. I was already thinking "fuck" after the very first swallow. There's another round coming up and I'm not sure how I'm going to do it. I only got through drinking 3/4 of the first quart before I started throwing it back up. Now, I'm sitting here, waiting. So far, not much happening.

I managed to get to age 51 and avoid a colonoscopy, the "once you turn 50" test that many people dread. I think I'd rather have a baby. I have a lovely new doctor here in the city who while taking my blood pressure, also regaled me with tales of other patients who neglected to have their colonoscopy and the consequences of that inaction, and then she wondered aloud why my blood pressure was elevated? The turning point for me was a couple of months ago when I had a bladder infection. Never having had one before, I was sure I had some dread disease of the colon because I hadn't had the damn test done yet. I was thankful and felt stupid upon finding out what I did have (refer back to Cranberry Juice Cocktail), however, I called that week to schedule an appointment to have the colonoscopy done. Who would have thought two month would go by so fast, and here I am sitting in the bathroom the night before.

One wouldn't think that drinking an 8 oz. glass of vile liquid every 15 minutes for an hour would be so God awful, but it is! This is 2009, isn't there a pill someone can prescribe to make this happen? I'm beginning to believe those who have said that the actual procedure is nowhere near as bad as the prep.

One of my greater fears in regard to medical stuff has always been anesthesia and possibly not waking up from it. Yeah, I know....I do tend to be dramatic. At this point though, put me to sleep and pour this thick lemonaidy stuff down my throat so I won't taste it, please. Really, in 30 minutes I'm going to have to start the drinking again and I'm not sure I can do it. Just the thought of it makes we want to vomit. And, can you believe they have the nerve to call the stuff MoviePrep?

It doesn't appear that I'm going to be the poster-person for this particular screening procedure, even though intellectually I know that it's an important thing to do for myself, and that I shouldn't be trying to scare other people off. Perhaps by tomorrow I'll be singing a different tune.

I'm going to try and look forward to having breakfast with Ron, who has graciously agreed to escort me out of the hospital tomorrow when this is all over.........ahhh, tomorrow....when this is all over.

Ten minutes and counting.......really, I want to vomit just thinking about the next container sitting in the refrigerator......

OMG....two more minutes!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Opened the box.....closed the box

Tonight I though perhaps I would open the box my Airport Express came in and see if I wanted to make an attempt at getting it up and running. The first thing I took out was a CD, which immediately did not bode well for my going any further.

I’m technologically phobic……a gadget geek who can’t get the gadgets going. It’s probably not that I can’t, I just become intimidated by terms I don’t understand (nor do I have any real desire to understand them), and CD’s that I have no idea where to put. I can hammer a nail, chop fire wood, check the oil in a car (when I had one), however….I cannot bring myself to manage the technology in my life without the help of others. I want to use the gadgets, not have to take them out of the box and set them up. I want them to arrive in my possession completely functional, which in my world never happens.

According to all the Mac users I’ve talked too….they practically run themselves, unless you’re me. I didn’t even make it past the third step in the set up of the laptop, before I thought something was wrong and needed to be rescued. (There was nothing wrong, it was me.)

I surrender. I am not intuitive when it comes to technology, even Mac technology. I closed the box…..I’m just going to sit out here, quietly, and wait for the magic man to rescue me once again.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Too old?

I believe I am now officially "old." Although in this particular sense, I've always been so.

Last week my office neighbor sent out an email inviting those who he thought would be interested, to a gig his band had coming up this weekend. Initially I was quite excited about the prospect of going out to hear live music, until I found out they weren't going on until 10:30 PM. I never started my evenings when I was considerably younger at that hour, so what made me think that at 51 that might have changed? 

Perhaps delusion, wishful thinking, or temporary insanity was the cause. Really, I never stayed up past 10 PM if I could help it, at least until I was 25 and my first child was born. She was not the happiest of infants, so sitting up late into the night became the norm, which is when I discovered TV after 10, the 11 O'clock News, David Letterman and Saturday Night Live.

Don't get me wrong, there were times when I was out late, the difference was that I wasn't leaving the house at that time. At my age, I'm ready to be home by the time the White Throated Sparrow on my bird clock tweets and twitters, "It's ten o'clock. Shouldn't you be in bed by now??"

In reality I'm a wanna be night person who can't be, because she has a day job. Over the past two months I've had a self imposed bed time of 10 PM because I get up at 6 AM. That should equal 8 hours of sleep, which rarely happens. If I aim to get to bed by 10 I'm usually in bed by 10:30, and hopefully asleep by 11. I would have to start getting psyched for bed at 9:00 if I wanted to truly be asleep by 10:00. When I don't get enough sleep I both look, and feel like hell. It's one of the primary reasons I'm contemplating getting DVR from my cable company. The only TV shows I'm remotely interested in watching, are on after 10 PM. DVR would solve what I consider to be my late night TV viewing dilemma.

So, here it is, now 8:35 and I'm justifying in writing, why I'm not going out at 10 to see Dominick's band play. It probably would have been a good idea to have planned just a little bit better. I think that perhaps if I had gone to a movie and then to the bar, that would possibly have worked. Right now I'm sitting very comfortably in my rocking chair, barefoot and in my sweats, in the quiet (well, this is Jackson Heights and on a Saturday night it's never exactly quiet) with a cup of decaff. Over the course of today I traveled to Downtown Brooklyn, had my hair cut, walked around, came home, went out to the grocery store and shopped, came home, went out to run some other errands, came home, heated leftovers for dinner, and now I think I'm done for the day. I did not get in a car to do any of those activities, all of which required walking and carrying stuff. 

I'm tired......and when it comes to leaving the house at 10 PM to socialize, I'm as old as I've always been.
I do hope that Dominick will forgive me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Whine, whine, whine

In reading back over my past few posts, I've realized I've become quite a whiner.


Really, I need to stop.

My mantra at the gym recently has been "walk....breathe....relax.....walk....breathe.....relax."

It works, I just need to figure out how to do it more often.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The little old lady table

I've been relegated to the little old lady section of my local diner and I don't like it one little bit! It's liking having to sit at the kiddie table, only worse.

It's like "Sit here Susan. This way you can see what your life will be like in a very concrete way years from now." Of course I'm overreacting; however, I'm not sitting in that part of the diner ever again. It's just way too discouraging.

I know full well that I've chosen to be single at this point in my life, but there's something very discouraging about the prospect of maybe never coming to terms with the fact that perhaps I'll just remain......single. It's discouraging to think about. I've completely removed myself from the world of Internet dating because although it's been fun, making a connection is such a difficult thing to do. Maybe it's my personality type. Maybe it's my desire to not settle for, as Dean would put it, BTN....better than nothing.

Jeez....I went to the gym today, which usually makes me feel pretty good mentally, but wow...the little old lady section of the diner just really did me in.........

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cranberry Juice Cocktail

I spent the past two days thinking I was dying of some dreaded disease. Over the past few years every time some health dilemma rears its ugly head, I’ve given myself permission to overreact. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have a significant other in my life to keep me in check, to say to me “Don’t be ridiculous, you’re not dying.” Or, who in his best Arnold Schwarzenegger accent might say, “It’s not a tumor!” Sometimes I just need someone to reel me back in when I’ve fallen into the deep end of the pity pool.

It’s not a tumor……it’s a bladder infection. I feel pretty stupid, but then again, I am the person who has bid my friends goodbye, mostly in jest (but not really), when having to undergo general anesthesia, convinced that I probably wouldn’t wake up again. My family usually remains blissfully ignorant of my hypochondriac moments since they know me and would be saying “Don’t be ridiculous, it’s not a tumor.”

Part of this is that there’s still so much left that I want to do, that something stupid like a weird hospital infection, or “death due to not waking up from anesthesia” would put a serious crimp in my future plans.

And, for now…..I’m relieved to know “it’s not a tumor!”

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The cost of sweat

Two weeks ago I joined my third gym in a little over a year. Finding one that fits in with my lifestyle has been a huge challenge since moving to the city. There are gyms all over…. you wouldn’t think it would be so hard to do.

By far my favorite gym was Ultimate Fitness in Patchogue. It was the first place I ever encountered TV monitors on treadmills, which I initially found annoying since they blocked my view of what was going on in front of me. It became a moot point when I began climbing random hills on the treadmill with my eyes closed though. There were however, times when someone would catch my attention requiring me to peek around the TV monitor in order to watch what they were doing. I have to admit that there was one guy I used to run into and surreptitiously watch as he made his way from one piece of gym equipment to another. One day he walked into the grocery store just as I did and I couldn’t help discreetly following him from aisle to aisle…..just to see what he was buying. ….and really, I wasn’t stalking.

After moving to Jackson Heights, I joined Evolution in Astoria. My daughter found them and I had this insane notion that maybe we would work out together. Unfortunately we had very different schedules during the week and that plan never materialized more than once or twice. During that gym membership year I made it there on average about twice a week, which was a far cry from the five or six times per week I went when I lived in Patchogue, yet better than “not at all” when I was a commuter.

When the Evolution, $54 dollar per month membership was up in December, I started hunting around for where to go next. My boss has a membership to the YMCA, which she raves about. So, off to the YMCA I went. I joined, even got a few weeks of free personal training which was considerably more helpful then I ever imagined it would be, and my boss got “free gear” for referring me. My strategy that time was to join something in downtown Brooklyn so that I could go there directly after work, only most of the time I never finished early enough to actually do that, or I had other, much more interesting “after work plans.” I also found it annoying to always have to wait for a treadmill and then be limited to 30 minutes on it, and then having to wait to use every piece of weight equipment too. And then of course there was the whole issue of my just not getting there at all. The only upside to that membership was that there was no contract, all you had to do was give 30 days notice and you were done having your account debited $64 dollars per month.

As of two weeks ago I ended up back in Astoria, this time at Planet Fitness, which I joined on line, sight unseen. Pretty ballsy for someone who likes to try out whatever they’re buying. At this point I just need somewhere to go that is not going to cost me a whole bunch of money if I don’t actually get there on a regular basis. I always have good intentions, but reality often intrudes upon them.

Today was the first time I went in search of my new gym. Up until now I knew the address and that was about it. I must say, I wasn’t hugely disappointed. So they don’t give you two towels per visit, there are no TV monitors on the treadmills, (which I struggled to figure out how to use), and the weight machines are really very basic and no where near as “smooth” as those at the more expensive gyms. I found that I worked just as hard for $19.99 per month as I did for $64…..after all; sweat is sweat, no matter how much you pay to do it.

Monday, March 02, 2009


I had to put Bandit to sleep tonight and it was just so sad. She was never the easiest pet to have, but I loved her anyway. She truly belonged to me and wouldn't let anyone else hold her, or most of the time even get near her. I couldn't trim her claws, couldn't get her to the vet without tremendous difficulty, and she took off running whenever anyone came into the house, whether she knew them or not. Yet, she was completely devoted to me.......she adored me and I loved her in return.

Bandit and her two brother's appeared in our back yard on Long Island as little kittens. They would show up and sit at a distance, watching the kids play in the yard. You could tell right away that they were interested and curious. They were feral cats, born to a mother who I used to see skulking around, and who would take off the minute she saw anyone. I think that along with her looks Bandit inherited that trait from her too.

For a long time we had no idea what sex Bandit was and didn't find out for sure until we got them into a cat carrier and took them to the local animal shelter to have them neutered, which was when we found out that Bandit was a girl. Even though the three of them were still living outside we put them in our garage at night and made sure they had a warm place to sleep and food. Little by little we socialized them until they got over their fear and just wanted us to pet them and love them. We found a home for one of her brothers, and in the end, took her and her one remaining brother, Frankie in. Once they stepped through the back door they never went near it again. They were so happy to have a home.

Now the three of them are gone. It consoles me to think that we gave them much longer lives then they would ever have had if they had to remain outdoors, as so many feral cats do. We took care of them and loved them and they loved us back. Even Bandit, who could not help being a "fradie" cat.
I'm going to miss her dearly and already my home feels empty without her.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


VD Day, as Miles likes to say.....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sort of writing, but maybe not really.....

I have not written anything of substance on here in quite some time. I've been thinking, mulling, thinking some more. I write a line or two, and then nothing else. There are about 12 Word docs saved in my computer, some with a few lines, others with a few paragraphs. Perhaps if I combined them in some way an entire piece will appear.