Saturday, October 30, 2010

We made the rally !!!!!

We did the rally!

How fabulous.

We got there just in time to get a small patch of grass in front if a tv screen.
People from all over. 150,000???? As far as your eye could see.... Sane reasonable
funny people!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Washington DC day before the rally.

In DC now....after a sleepy ready train ride from NYC.....checked out the Sanity Rally site and happy to see such a cross section of people here....gray haired retired folks....young folks and those of us in between.

Deciding right now our plans for tomorrow. I don't think we have any chance of getting near the stage unless we get off at dawn...which we won't.

Happy to be here.....happy to feel the energy of so many people....happy to feel there is a choice.

Checking out the Rally Site in DC

NYC eats

About the size of a horseshoe, this almond macaroon cookie must have
been the original manna from heaven.

Eats in NYC

The famous Carnegie Deli pastrami son looked at me and said...."How do I eat this?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fun night

Son Tom joined me this evening in NYC and we headed off for The Pee
Wee Herman fun. The show opened this week. The
original Ms Ivan and Jambee were in the show too.

Pee Wee looks
exactly the same.... Still fits in the same little suit.

Sent from my iPhone

Pee wee goes weeeeeeeeees

I couldn't resist after the give Pee Wee a bit of a

A good day in NYC

My big city mojo is back and I had a great day in the city.....
Starting with an omelette at the Carniege deli (but don't get juice
here 5 bucks for a small glass ...did they hand carry the carton from
Florida ?)

Then...a trip to the Diamond district where I haggled and at least
felt comfortable with the deal... I got on a small gift I needed. The
diamond district is pretty amazing...and comprises dozens of merchants
in about two solid blocks of the midcity. Sometimes there are
individual stores but most of the time it's stores inside of stores as
you walk inside and confront dozens of booths owned by individual
families. Traditionally the families have been Jewish and many times
Hasidic Jews who are very conservative and walk around with black
hats, long topcoats and sport curls in the side if their face.

I was looking for something small and simple so I bypassed all the
rows upon rows of diamonds and gems and settled on working with David
who had a large supply of small interesting charms. I had passed his
shop the previous day and he gave me a quick quote of 80 dollars on a
charm I was interested in. When I greeted him the first thing he said

I've been thinking about you. Yesterday I gave you a bad quote.

I was happy ....thinking the price was too high.

Yes, yes, he said....the price should have been 90 dollars.

15 more dollars just because I came back? I exclaimed....and so the
dance began...I walked away he called me back...and eventually I paid
50 dollars for the baubles which I thought was fair... But I sure had
to work for it!!

I headed for the seaport afterwards to look at old NYC photos then
took a bus uptown. Hmmm it was an express bus and I ended up at the
United Nations which was not where I wanted to go but hey I never saw
the UN

I love this town ... It's always something .

Rubber ad in Times Square

Okay a condom ad....a really big condom ad.... Lol

Monday, October 25, 2010

End of a good day

I'm in my hotel room nursing the good ache of someone who walked many
NYC blocks today.

After a delicious lunch ( ending with a good cup of coffee and
tiramasu)... I headed over to the Jewish Heritage museum.

I was worried it would be death-centered but instead it had a level on
Jewish culture, level on the Holocaust and a level on Jewish culture
today. All nicely done including a sculpture garden where I sat on a
stone bench quietly for some time. I had such a nice time at Battery
Park and found a sweet spot un the sun and engaged in more people
watching and listening. I say listening because there was a group of
4 older black nannies who were sitting in a bench not far from me who
were laughing and teasing each other. They sat with big strollers
parked in front of themselves and a small tribe of gleeful children of
various colors and ethnicities.

Their laughter was rich and good-natured and musical. It gave a
Sound to the view....It gave story to the view.

I reluctantly left my seat and headed to the subway and to my next
destination...the diamond district.

A friend gave me some names and told me to check out the district. I
was totally unprepared for the experience. Many of the stores have
multiple booths inside tended by different families and businesses.
As sio. As I walked in men and women started waving me over ... Look
at this...look at this.... Very good price. Best price ever.

After my calm morning ....I couldn't change gears very well and left
the stores to window shop. But there was no peace there
either ....because many shopkeepers make eye contact with you while
you are outside and beckon you in. I just laughed and shook my head.
I did spot a beautiful old charm that a friend if mine would love
but....I am planning to go back first thing in the morning after a
strong coffee and good breakfast. Maybe then I can haggle with a
little success.


I am in NYC ..on day 2.

Arrived yesterday and what was I thinking?

Took a shuttle instead of a cab and bumped through the city an hour
before getting to my hotel. And my room is just okay not exactly what
I like....I even asked to change it once already.

But today it is sunny and I've navigated the subway down to the
Battery Park all by myself with no problems and changed my sons flight
status so he doesn't have to fly through storms and I feel at ease.

It's going to be a good day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What can I say?

"I want to go," I said to my husband.

He didn't even bat an eyelid....this type of informational request/statement was how I started my trips to Bali, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Africa.

"I want to go," this time I pointed to Jon Stewart.

My hub seemed least I wasn't suggesting a trip to Mongolia (not yet at least.)

"Go," he said....shrugging his if it was inevitable...aren't all wives asking all husbands for a trip to Washington D.C. at this moment?

So I ran upstairs to my computer and 5 minutes after "The Daily Show" ended I booked a hotel room close to the White House and The Mall...and the Rally.

Good the morning I was going to upgrade my room but the Hilton and every hotel nearby was booked solid.

So I was going to Washington D. C. to do something.....walk/be with/ stand up for people who aren't shouting....who aren't wringing their hands that the end is near....but saying....we need to be civil and sane...and have conversations about where the country is going....and let's use facts too....real facts....versus political facts.

Then I told me son....who said...."Can I come?"

"You would go with your mother to see Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert in DC?"

"Sure" he said....shrugging his shoulders. (The men in my family specialize in shoulder-shrugging)


Then I was thinking....Geez...New York City is just a hop and skip away and its been so long since I've been there and just walked around solo.....and enjoyed myself...went out to eat...went to art galleries...maybe shopped a bit.

So now I was going to DC and spending a few days in NYC.

So I mentioned to my son I would go on ahead of him for a few days....and he could fly into Baltimore and catch the train to DC and meet me.

He looked funny.

Then....I remembered he is young and not quite a world traveler.

"So you want to fly into NYC and go down with me?"

"Sure." More shoulder shrugging.

"Do you want to spend a day in NYC before we go down and look around?"

Sure...(you guessed it) shrug.

But now I lost my quiet time in I decided I better go to NYC a few days ahead of the days I originally planned.

Looking at the flight schedule I realized Southwest had changed their flight times...and I would always arrive late in the I hunted around and discovered a solution.

I would fly to Chicago...check on my dad's headstone, visit my "Auntie" then take an early flight out of Chicago to NYC.....therefore arriving before noon....and getting a good start on the city.

So that's how it came to be....I'll be leaving for Chicago on Saturday, going to NYC, going to DC's all very logical and I thank Jon Stewart for his help in putting this together.

Although I have had a few stray thoughts cross my mind....that going to this rally is absolutely insane...and there could be thousands of people there...and we'll never see anything....and this could be a crowded nightmare.

Oh well.

Shrug shoulders.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Girl's Alright.....

She's alright.

We were supposed to get lab results last week...but an emergency surgery at the Vet changed her appointment till today.

Her surgery was canceled a couple of weeks ago....because of a very low platelet and white blood cell count. The Vet worried she might have had a rare form of feline leukemia.

But today he sounded happy.......her platelets were normal...her white blood cell count almost normal.

"Just keep doing whatever you're doing for another couple weeks."

I scratched her ear then her belly....then kissed her on the head.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The salad that wasn't so innocent.

It's always nice to know no matter how smart you are....or how cognizant you are of your time or lack of can always overextend yourself with no way out.

Meet the new chairman of a major Silent Auction.

How did this happen?

I was taken to lunch by an wonderful woman....and somewhere between my 26th and 27th bite of salad....I think she asked me to chair the wonderful if I would say easy it would be for me because I had good organizational skills.

I know I must have paused....but somehow....before the salad was gone....I had said yes.

Now I feel like I'm walking around with a sword hanging over my I head. I have to gather 100 "interesting" items. This is a major fundraising event for a very good and deserving non-profit it's important to get a wide variety of items that would excite people to open their checkbooks.

I just started ....I have a committee.....and I have 14 items....that means I have 86 items to go. 86 interesting items or donated services.

The sword above my head goes poke poke poke.

The auction isn't till Feb....but no matter....I feel the need to harvest the stuff all now.

Preferably by tomorrow at noon....which ain't gonna happen.

What was in that salad....that made me think I could do this?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another milestone

My daughter is getting married next fall and decided to tone down the wedding and the glitz....and use a good chunk of the wedding budget as a down payment on a sweet little house in Columbus, Ohio.

I was thrilled she was being so practical.....the house is neat and tidy and had been well loved by the previous owners. It is a little dated....there's pink tile in the kitchen and a very funky orangey pink bathtub and toilet on the first floor.... but all that can be changed with time. Structurally it was sound.....and had a functional and comfortable layout.

This week....after my trip to Chicago....I drove to Columbus to meet up with my hub and son to work on the house for a week after the loan closed..... buying a few new fixtures.....caulking.....washing windows....and of course...putting up new curtain rods and drapes.

I had seen pictures of the home...but when I arrived late in the evening....I stopped the car in the driveway and just smiled at how cute and almost gingerbread-like the house was...with it's awnings and detached garage and funky awnings.

The first day went hub put up a new ceiling fan and fixture in the kitchen...and I attacked some dusty windows on the second floor. The second day we still had a busy chore list but now there was a problem.....I had tossed and turned all night ....and realized that my daughter was building her first permanent nest in a city 750 miles away from where I live.

My heart went into a full blown ouch.

Of course she had gone to college in Ohio.....and of course she had a job in Ohio after school....but somehow it still felt like she was living with us... just gone off for a while. Hauling her furniture....her yearbooks.....her mementos up here....meant that she was leaving our house for good.

Leaving our house for good.

There's a lot written about Kindergarten blues...when you drop your child off for the first day of school....and then there's going-off-to-college blues.....but why was I so unprepared for the first-nest-away-from home blues?

It caught me totally off-guard....especially since I had known about and followed the purchase of this house for a couple of months.

Yet the ouch was big....and although I kept working I was in a total funk. So much of a funk...I neglected some work I had to do on two volunteer projects and must now shame-faced send out a bunch of data to a whole committee of people almost two weeks late.

But I just couldn't get mind was willpower felt wimpy....and all I could do is feel the pain of yet another life stage upon me. Oh yes...of course....this is a happy moment...and I smiled and laughed and hugged her a lot.....but inside....inside I just felt this sense of loss....this sense that she has parted from me permanently....that she is a young woman with her own life now.

My mom harped on me to come home after college and I remember how crazy I thought she was....wanting me to live in Chicago and pass up a job in understand.

When your children move far away.....there are no Sunday suppers....or quick shopping trips together....or a dash over to borrow something. Of course we will see her....and now Columbus, Ohio is on my calender for spring...for summer to plan the wedding....and probably for the holidays.

But despite all the entries on the calender.....I still feel a the empty spot in my heart.

To counter this feeling which I'm still struggling with now that we are home ....I remember the image of my daughter I saw while sitting on her front steps.

She didn't realize I was there because of the tall thick bushes which line the front of her house......she bent over and brushed some mulch back into place...then stood up....cocked her head...and smiled at her house. Her eyes sparkled....I could sense her excitement....her pleasure....her determination to make this first little house a warm and loving nest.

And this she will do....

and this is what I must do....let go....and be supportive and happy for her.

But ouch.....ouch ouch ouch....

and I'm now envious of families who live close to each other.....and have the chance to drop by and say hello....and do something's a complete reversal of what I felt like when I was her age...when my only thoughts were of independence and living someplace interesting and far away from my parents.

Oh...wisdom has such a heavy price.

Friday, October 01, 2010

A bit off.....

So I'm here at a hotel in my parents' old neighborhood.

I arrived in Chicago on Wednesday morning and everything has been a bit off.

I stayed the first night in a Westin Hotel near a mall and the first thing that happened when I arrived there....was a tuff with the doorman. The hotel has a classic U shaped driveway and I parked off to the side to register. The doorman stopped and wanted my keys. I tried to explain I was just checking in....but he insisted that an emergency vehicle might come swooping by and he might need my keys. Remembering I had my money, camera and all my valuable up on the passenger seat....I declined to give him the keys.....and he started to stamp his big fat foot at I took off ...parked the car......and walked in. Oh suddenly he was all sweetness and nice probably because he was worried I would say something at the desk.....which I didn't...but it seemed like a thoroughly stupid exchange.

I went shopping....and couldn't find a dress....I always come home with a dress.....but not this time.

I visited my parent's graves.....and discovered my dad's stone lacked the picture and the engraving.....i.e. they hadn't done any work on it....I was angry since they sent me a bill asking for the a visit and a few phone calls and things were straightened out....but still I felt bad things were not completed for my dad.

The City of Chicago is throwing in its iffy charm too....every major road in my parent's suburb is under where ever you sit in long traffic lines and ride over strange exposed pavement.

The piece de resistance today was .....losing my cellphone....I drove all the way into my old neighborhood to get a picture of a home my grandparents had rented before they moved into their house. I stopped at the corner coffee shop and apparently.....left my cell phone on the son called me when I was back at my hotel to tell me my phone had been found in got in the car.....drove through Friday afternoon traffic back.

Now I'm tired and grumpy....and still trying to digest the thought that my parents, who lived a few blocks away from this hotel, are both gone. That I really don't have anyone in this town makes my little city in the south feel sweet and charming.....makes me realize my little city is now home.

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with a translator who will hopefully read my mysterious grandfather's birth certificate.....or at least the part of the certificate I have.

Perhaps the news will be interesting....I hope it's not like the trip has been....a bit off.