Monday, July 20, 2009

Last night I dreamed that I lost both my kids on the beach. I was frantic and ran to the police station to report it. There I was told that I had to wait 24 hours to file a missing persons report. I insisted that they couldn't make it 24 hours without me but the cop was adamant. It was horrible and I woke up shaking. Guess it doesn't take Freud to figure this one out.
I've always hated the thought of growing older. I come from a long line of women who proudly lie about their age and thought that getting old was one of the worst things that can happen ( aside from the alternative-nod to Kane). Now I'm discovering another horror- having your kids getting older. While I am amazingly proud of the incredible people they are growing into I get sad as they need me less and less and as their lives become less weaved into mine. My D is off to Italy for 4 months and I can not wrap my head around the fact that I will not be seeing her for so long and won't be talking to her all the time! Is it too late to say I changed my mind about letting her go? draft

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

random stuff

1. I can not believe my son does not know who Farrah Fawcet is. Isn't that hair,that smile and that red bathing suit eternal?

2. It's obvious who killed Michael Jackson. That governor of South Carolina will do anything to get the news media to leave him alone. But I think doing in Billy Mays was over the line.

3. Watching my son plopped in front of the TV and not being able to yell ' turn that off and get to work' is really quite frustrating. Though perhaps not as frustrating as seeing him watch TV when he has work to do!

4. If your 17 year old son gets up everyday and goes off to work without a complaint or any sign of exhaustion or illness is there a legitimate reason to make him stop coming home at all hours? Aside from the fact that I want to?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Wow- several folks e mailed me to offer comments, suggestions, etc about my last post. My friends are wonderfully intelligent and insightful; but who didn't know that. Not only were the responses welcome but I was surprised at how flattering it felt to have people read what I wrote and be effected enough to take the time to comment. It must be mind blowing to be a real ( published) author and have 100s of people write to you in reaction to what you wrote.

Also I just realized that when I hit publish it actually sends the whole post to people. I thought that might be annoying so I'm changing so I just send an e mail that lets you know I've posted and a link. If you want me to go back to the old way just let me know!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

reorienting my brain or at least my attitude

Ah too long, I know but not due to having nothing on my mind I assure you. I've just been pondering how to walk that fine line ( or even where the hell the line is) between expressing my thoughts and maintaining some privacy.Well not really my privacy so much as my kids who I tend to blog about. Perhaps I lack the complete disregard for privacy that is necessary for a true blogger.
I've been trying to completely change the way I deal ,emotionally, with my son. He knows where he wants to be in terms of college and what he needs to do to get there. His goals are totally within his grasp. So it drives me completely insane when he comes home from school and instead of working he talks to his friends, watches hulu, and updates his facebook. I have pushed, punished, and pleaded all to no effect. So I've decided that he has all the information and abilities he needs to achieve and if he chooses not to use them there is really nothing I can do. If he doesn't wind up accepted to a college he wants, it is his decision, not mine. While of course I'll be upset I can't spend every day of the next months stressed out of my mind. So I'm taking a lot of deep breaths and doing a lot of shoulder shrugging. I still nag, of course, but I'm cutting out the obsession and dwelling!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

out with the old...

I never kept a car for 100,00 miles and really wanted this to be the one. But not all dreams can come true. Somewhere around 91,000 miles the car started to give the fatal signs that it was about to become, unlike many wives, not cheaper to keep her. The steering column began leaking fluid, a vale needed replacing...So against my will I was off car shopping. I was determined to buy a hybrid and went by the Toyota, Ford,and Saturn dealers. First let me say that judging from my limited exposure to two Ford dealers under no circumstances should these people be receiving any bail out money. Given the state of the economy we expected to be swamped with kindness in every dealer. In both the Ford dealerships we went into we were met with indifference and neglect. Maybe everyone working there is independently wealthy and just has the job to kill time?
The sales guy at the Toyota dealer was amazing; the perfect blend of competence, and friendliness you want in a salesperson. In addition they were giving some great deals on the 2009s and were overly generous on a trade in price on my car. We loved two of their cars; one being the Toyota highlander hybrid SUV. A really nice car, everything you could want. But I had to be honest with myself- I really no longer need 7 seats. After so many, many years of car pools to school, sports, dance and bar mitzvahs it was hard to admit that I no longer needed to be chauffeuring large groups of kids around night after day. Weird and sad.
So I stepped away from the SUV and am now the proud owner of a Toyota Prius! Pretty exciting. I just picked it up last night and am finding it quite fun.
So in well fell swoop I saved the planet and stimulated the economy. What did you do today?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

back to reality

Ok, Florida was fun but coming home- not so great. My son had been sick for a bit while I was away which really stunk. Nothing worse than a phone call from your kid telling you he has a fever and feels awful when you are a plane rde away. Massive Mom guilt. Thankfully I have great friends and one scooped him up,took him to the Dr. for me and even dropped off his script at the pharmacy. I arrived home on a Tuesday evening planning to use the next day to settle back in before work on Thursday. At 2:30 that night, my son, woke up with 101 , so school was ,again, out of the question. Wednesday morning on the way to drop the very dirty dog off at the groomer my car starts to buck and shake requiring an immediate detour to a mechanic. He informs me that under no circumstances should I drive it home. Great. Once again, I was rescued by a friend who dropped me at home where I spent the rest of the day running up and down the stairs to bring soup and water to my kid. One nice thing, the weather is nicer at home than in Florida!

back from florida-Real Version!

Back from my annual girls trip to Florida! I can not believe we have been doing this for almost 15 years through 2 pregnancies, a house change or two, a friend change or two, 2 snow storms, but all in all pretty intact. Movie night continues unchanged; a grat chick flick with popcorn for dinner and ice cream for dessert, chopped salads for lunch and the essential trip to Loehmanns. This year for the first time ever we had terrible weather; 7 straight days of cool, cloudy and gray. Some days were so cold you couldn't even be outside. Now anyone can get along when the days are sunny and the biggest decision you have to make together is pool or beach. But it takes true friends to be able to hang out together in crappy weather and still have a great time.
What to do in Florida when the weather is bad and you are burned out from shopping? What else but look at houses! The bad economy has hit Florida real estate pretty hard and the agents are able to show you house after house of foreclosed properties. All the houses are empty and while they are in good shape the bank doesn't bother to keep them up the way a homeowner would; the landscaping is let go and the refrigerator and washer dryer have been stripped. I have this vision of walking into a bank in Florida and seeing hundreds of refrigerators piled up in the lobby. Maybe they give you one if you open an account instead of a toaster or an electric blanket. One house was unbelievably depressing. It seemed liked the owners must have left in the middle of the night. There were open boxes of cereal in the kitchen, a basket of dirty towels in the (former) laundry room, and a half painted wall in one bedroom. What was as depressing as the fact that these people abandoned the property so quickly was the fact that there is so much available that no real estate agent even bothers to clean it up.
The girls left on a Sunday and I got to spend two great days with my folks. Still lousy weather but we had lots of fun. Off to another Loehmanns with Mom, a house stocked with amazing food; lox, madelines...and great dinners out. It was terrific being together.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Book Club

Joining a reading group often feels like joining a new table at the high school cafeteria; an experience filled with nerves, anticipation and possibly horror. I've been in three so far. All three offered intelligent interesting women, some great discussions and a good choice of books. However...The first one was a group that had been together for quite a while before I joined. In addition, they all knew each other outside of group. The first few minutes of each meeting were filled with social chatter about events that they had all participated in and people they all knew; all except me of course. Not so much fun. The second group was much more warm and welcoming but unfortunately I joined in it's waining days. The 'leader' had left for personal reasons and the group just had trouble hanging on without her. On occasion only 2 or 3 us even showed up. It disbanded. The third group I joined right from it's formation which eliminated the new kid in town syndrome. Most of the women do know each other in some way better than I do but it's not cliquey or snobby or in any way mean! The women are bright, interesting, prompt, and all around nice. Still first date nerves never really go away. Showing up to a total strangers door, hoping you have something interesting to contribute, wondering if you talk too much, or maybe not enough. Well, I am loving it so here's hoping third times the charm.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


So my S took the SATs for the first time in December. I didn't tell anyone, including him, when the scores would be posted. Yea, I know that was wrong; they're his SAT scores not mine, blah, blah, blah... Trust me, heard it loud and clear in the car last night. Nothing more indignant than a wronged 17 year old. In my defense I thought if the scores were good I wanted to be able to have the joy of telling him and if they were bad I didn't want him to find out while he was in Florida visiting my folks. Obviously that defense didn't hold much weight with him.

So I went on line and the scores were not good. We weren't expecting to have the world set on fire as it was only his first time but even our modest expectations weren't met. So what did I do? I did nothing. I told no one; not my son, not my husband, not my best friend, not my mom. You know the reasoning, if I don't tell anyone maybe it's not real, maybe it will just go away. Its not the end of the world but I know how disappointed my S would be and I just didn't want to see him go through all the anger/disappointment. Of course after a day or so I did tell my H and last evening when my S got back from Florida I told him also. He was, as predicted, angry, upset and dissapointed.
But the real question, will this motivate him to work any harder and do any better the next time around? And is there anything I can do about it?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

thanksgiving with the cousins

Thanksgiving weekend was great! My Mom was one of 3 sisters and all of us kids (cousins) are pretty close in age. We spent a lot of time together when growing up; always at the holidays of course but lots of sleepovers and socializing other times as well. In high school ,the ones of us closest in age, would sometimes wind up at each other's parties or date each other's friends. In college two of us travelled through Spain together. Now we live all over the country; Pa, NJ, Kentucky and Oregon and Thanksgiving is the only time we are all together. Every other year all the far away ones pack up their families and fly in. It's great to be together and I worry about the future when we the Aunts may lose their ability to force them all to do so. Of course since I know my parents and Aunt are immortal this is not really an issue.
This year Thanksgiving was at the shore. We are no longer 'the kids' and even the real kids are either in college or just out. Luckily, we still have a 3 year old boy (Ar)and a 4th grade girl (Is) to add some excitement. With 20 people everyone gets a food assignment. Are we the only family that also assigns liquor? Given my strong domestic skills I was assigned pies, Cesar salad, veggies & dip and beer. My husband had to provide the cosmo recipe and assume bar tendering duties. Mom got bloody mary mix and everyone got wine along with their food duty. Yes, we had too much food and the Aunts worked too hard; a given at any holiday.

My cousin Ellen ,besides bringing the turkey, found a zillion hours of old family holiday films and condensed them into a 30 minute DVD. There were the now college kids crawling around on the floor, ripping open Hanukkah presents, and searching for the afikomah. Lots of drunken renditions of Had ga yaw at Seders and the 'traditional' Thanksgiving pinata (don't ask). And of course, the plays! Every holiday the kids got dressed up and after hours of rehearsals put on elaborate plays. Watching the films was an absolute riot. We could not stop laughing ; how the dinner ever got in the oven I don't know.

That night my husband and kids went back home and I stayed over. I got to spend the whole next day with my cousins and am happy to announce that the Monopoly obsession continues in our family. When the 'college' kids were younger they would set up a Monopoly game at my Mom's house at the shore and play for days and days on end. It was an intricate part of our family time and was even the theme for my son's bar mitzvah. This year I set up the game and started playing with my 4th grade girl cousin (Is) from Kentucky and the 3 year old boy (Ar) from Oregon. Impressively, Ar did pretty well for about 20 minutes before growing bored and wandering off with the racing car. We continued the game with Is' dad ( my cousin) filling in. An addict was born.
When I arrived at my Aunt's house the next morning Is was waiting outside with the game all set up on the dining room table. Her Mom, who I love, and high school brother, also pretty fabulous, joined in and dad acted as her financial advisor. We played for hours and finally had to take a break for some black Friday shopping. Fortunately the excursion was fast and we were back at the board in a few hours. I gave her the game to take back to Kentucky and expect she will be a shark by the time I ever get to visit.
The great thing about Monopoly is how passionately everyone plays. As my cousin says as soon as you play you can see why the game has been around forever. It equally enthralled the 10 year old, the 17 year old, and the 40 somethings. What I love is how passionately and how individually everyone plays. The 17 year old was dead serious and playing for blood, my cousin was obsessed with getting as much land as possible, his wife, eternally optimistic, and Is burst into tears anytime someone bought a property she had her eye on. I suspect she will go far in this world. Eventually I had to say good bye and head back to my folks to get dressed for dinner. Dinner for 11; just the 'adults' in a great byob. Mercifully it was pretty empty which allowed us to be as loud as we wanted and , most unusually with a large group, to talk to everyone at the table. Still, impossible to catch up on a full years worth of life in 2 days and i reluctantly said my good byes at the end of the evening. The next day I headed back home but that's for another entry!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back to reality

It's both good and bad being back to real life. I definitely miss the energy and excitement of volunteering. It was wonderful to have something in your life that inspires you and to be surrounded by people who are equally inspired. On the other hand it has also been nice to get back to all the regular day to day stuff I let slip. Since the election I finally managed to switch my closet from summer to winter, take the dog to the groomer, get a hair cut, manicure and a pedicure! Friday K and I drove down to Delaware where we had fun wine and beer shopping. Did I just confess to a crime in writing? Best of all I made plans to see friends and got to spend Sunday with my D. Saturday evening we spontaneously got together with some close friends; one of those relaxing evenings that happens all to infrequently. We hung out, ordered pizza and laughed a lot. It seems no matter how long you know people they still have great 'stupid things I did when I was young' stories. No one seems to tire of telling , or hearing those stores. I've hung out with my parents friends and they can keep me falling off my chair with stories of their misspent youth. ( You know who you are J & H) A good night. Sunday I had french toast with my D and we went off to Harry Potter day at the U of P museum. The museum is packed and if you're a harry potter fan it's the best. Wandering through the Egypt exhibit I ran into Hagrid, there were dementors in the bathroom, and I definitely saw Mad eye moody on the grand staircase. Quiddach practice was on the front lawn and the mirror where you see your hears true desire was down the hall from Diaogon alley. I saw my D, but they may have been because she was standing next to me! Afterwards we went to see the house she plans to live in next year. Great house;I loved it. In answer to Moms question, was it as much a dump as your college the house , the answer is a resounding yes. Total flash back to my senior house, also a century old falling down mess. I am sure I recognized several of the sofas as well as the beer can in the corner. Ah, the good old days. Coming up; a bar mitzvah ( not mine, thank goodness) Thanksgiving and winter break. Reality is not that bad.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

obama ( of course)

Wow, I'm still pretty dazed. Tuesday, I went to vote at 7am when the polls opened. I waited in line about 35 minutes but it was pretty pleasant. I think I saw half my neighborhood coming and going. People seemed in a pretty good mood, and no one complained about the wait. There were several babies and little kids, and even a St Bernard. (Must of been one of those newly registered voters). By 7:45 I was standing at my desk at the obama staging area. It is in the local Union hall , a very large, two story building with lots of offices and space. I've been working out of the very large main room which is actually divided into two separate areas. I got to do the same job I've been doing for about two weeks now and with the same woman; a great volunteer from New York who has been living down here for 2 weeks. We like working together and have a great system going. Totally smooth with no mistakes- not easy when things get crazy. Some guy came over to the table to start asking a zillion questions about what we were doing and tried to tell us to change stuff. We tried being polite but finally resorted to throwing him out. After that I told her we should refer to ourselves as the mean girls popular table and only let the 'cool kids' sit with us!
The volunteers never stopped coming; young people from Manhattan, union guys from the painters, carpenters and engineers union, families with kids in strollers, and tons of people who showed up on their own and were happy to be matched up with a total stranger to go knock on doors.
At 6:30 we stopped sending people door to door and instead sent them to every polling place in Upper Dublin and Ambler to help people out who were waiting on lines. Within 15 minutes most were back to report that there were no lines as almost everyone in Montgomery county had already voted!
So we got to put on the TV they set up for us and were all together when at 8:00 CNN projected Pennsylvania for Obama. Everyone was screaming, hugging and crying. It was an amazing moment. Our fearless leader ran around yelling it was all worth it! Hopefully he is now catching up on several months of missed sleep.
I am eternally thankful to Donna who allowed me to be a real part of this wonderful time in history. She worked so hard and never lost her cool no matter what was going on. Love her! It felt amazing to be able , in some very small way, to ut such a great man into the white house. Most of all it feels wonderful to think that I will be leaving my children a better world and a brighter future.
After Pa was called I went over to the neighbors to watch the rest of the returns. It was lovely to be able to celebrate with my husband and friends. Determined not to be a total mess the next day I went to bed after they called Ohio. So much for good intentions. At 11, when CNN called it for Obama my daughter started texting me and then my cousin from Oregon called! Poor guy; he wanted to share his excitement and all he got was a completely incoherent response. But since I was awake I wound up staying up to 12:20 to hear McCain's concession speech- very gracious- and the incedibly moving acceptance speech by Obama. Call me shallow but how amazing were those coordinated outfits with Michele and the girls. I think I may be almost as excited to see her as first lady and those girls grow up in the white house as I am to see him as President. I said almost! I was glad I stayed up to hear him , thought I didn't feel that way at work the next morning!
The whole thing is really moving and I love the way so many members of my family were a part of this historic moment. Both my kids were at the original rally way back at Independence Hall, my Mom made phone calls in Florida and at 1 in the morning my daughter found herself spontaneously swept along with a cheering huge crowd down to city hall.
Now the only problem- what will I blog about?

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Sorry it's been so long between posts. Though I'm not sure who I'm apologizing to; it's not like there are 100s of readers out there breathlessly waiting for my next post.
xoxo, you know you love me.( inside joke for any female under the age of 25).

But I have a good reason; any spare time I have I've been at the Obama campaign volunteering. I really love being there, it's so exciting and moving. I never feel tired or worn out when I am there but the minute I get home all the adrenalin stops and I just want to crawl into bed.

I'm not fond of the word patriot. I find it only gets used by conservatives to disparage people who disagree with them. But I am in complete awe of the people I meet at the Obama office who come in and work 7 days a week, 9am to 9pm. They are true patriots; sacrificing their personal lives to try and make the country a better place. Volunteers have been coming in from up and down the east coast; New York, Maryland, Washington, Boston. And not just young people. but tons of people in their 50s , 60s and older who pile into a car with some friends and come down to Pennsylvania to lend a hand for a few hours or a few days. One of the women I work with is from Long island and has been living in a generous strangers house for 2 weeks to help out.
A great shout out to my Mom who made phone calls today and brought home a yard sign for her front lawn. GO Mom!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pod & Kissinger

OK - so I know that economy sucks so why was Pod- a not inexpensive restaurant- packed on a Wednesday evening at 5:30. Is Penn wildly overpaying it's employees or was everyone there going to see Kissinger like I was?
My D kindly invited me to a symposium on how the future president would handle/effect international relations. Isn't she the greatest?
Lots of introductions by Penn president Amy Gutman, who either has wonderful hair or the worlds best blow dry, Mayor nutter, etc but the main discussion participants were Henry Kissinger and Robert Rubin , Secy of the Treasury under Bill Clinton. It was moderated by Frank Sesno, formerly of CNN. The 3 of them just sat on chairs in front of the audience and talked.
First I was surprised how thrilled I was to see Kissinger in person; kind of like that rush when you spot a famous person in a restaurant. I've watched him on TV for so many years and his voice, mannerisms, physical appearance was exactly the same. Best of all was how wonderful it was to see three incredibly intelligent and informed men sit around talking with nothing to prove. None of them are running for office and are all so accomplished that they are way beyond the point where they worry what people think of them. Of course they were insightful and fascinating bu they were also witty,funny, irrelevant and flippant. I felt like I was listening in on a great dinner conversation.
No matter how you feel about the effect he has had on our nations foreign policy Kissinger is definitely the linguistic master.
A few of the best lines...

It is essential for the new President to prioritize but unfortunately in Washington the urgent often drives out the important.

We need to start a conversation with the world's leaders in which we come not with the solution but with the question.
When asked if we should be negotiating with Iran he said that diplomacy isn't theology; someone doesn't have to be morally fit to be in the same negotiating room as us.
They both agreed that the world's opinion of us can not be fixed unless our financial state is in order and most hopefully agreed that tremendous problems = tremendous opportunities.
All in all, a fascinating evening.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

While I've always been obsessed with politics I never actually volunteered for a campaign before this one. Even thought I can only go for a few hours a week it's still very exciting and very interesting to see it all from the 'inside'.
Things I've learned:
1. There never seems to be enough buttons, lawn signs or bumper stickers to meet the demand. Although there's always "an order due in any day now" it never seems to be enough. I guess this demand is a good thing unless your the person who has to say no to the person insisting they need 30 buttons.
2. The rise in polls causes as much, or more, agita than joy for the folks in charge of the local offices. They fear, and rightly so, that volunteers and voters can get complacent and feel that they don't have to bother to vote. In this election where people could easily be lying to pollsters for all kinds of ugly reasons and in a must win state like Pa this could be a disaster.
3. Although it feels great to be doing even the little I am to help it's amazing to see how much time and energy people are willing to give. The paid staff works 7 days a week, a million hours a day and lives on whatever food people are kind enough to drop off. I was amazed by the numbers of people who drive 2 -3 hours down from other states to make phone calls and canvas. Each weekend we get a ton of New Yorkers who feel that Pa needs their help more than New York.
4. The people at McCain rallies really are angry. One of the staff went to the rally at Montco last week to hand out Obama literature and just to watch. He said he was curious if the 'angry mob' reports on TV were over stated. He said the anger directed personally at him was scary. People screamed at him to get a job, told him he was against the troops and really did shout out horrible things about Obama. He said he had never seen such a large crowd of incredibly angry people. I think it's great for people to be enthusiastic for their candidate ( even if it's not mine) but to direct such hatred toward the other guy ( or his staffer) is frightening. I think these people are angry about the economy and perhaps not living in a world where America is admired as a force of good. The McCain camp , intentionally or not, has directed that anger toward Obama as a person. While John Lewis may have been out of line calling McCain a racist the anger at these rallies reminds me of the way the white supremacists take the anger people feel about being out of work or in hard times and very effectively direct it against blacks and Jews.