30 December 2005

Good-bye 2005

I can't say I'm really sorry to see this year go. It hasn't been particularly bad or anything, but I feel ready to move on.

I really look forward to seeing the changes in Zoë this year. I can't believe she will be 4 in less than 3 months. By this time next year we will be registering her for kindergarten. Amazing! She is such a wonderful little girl. She has grown up a lot this year and I am sure this coming year will bring a lot of exciting things for her like learning to read and write, doing more and more for herself, and all things l look forward to doing with her for the first time like ice skating and maybe a Broadway show.

My big question is what are my New Year's resolutions and what do I want to accomplish in the year ahead of me. I don't count weight loss as a resolution this year. I am carrying that one over from last year. Yes, I have put back on a few of the pounds that I lost over the last year, but I am sure I will lose those and hope to continue and lose a few more this year.

I think my resolution for this year is going to have to be another old favorite -- I want to get my finances in order. We still have too much debt and not enough savings so we have to keep working on paying down the debt. I want to encourage Husband to find another job where he makes a somewhat more consistent and hopefully a slightly higher income. He is miserable in his current job and that really affects a lot of things. I want to try and get us on some kind of budget and I need to curtail the frivolous spending. I bought a lot of clothes and shoes in the last year -- that needs to slow down. I hope to be able to take a real vacation again someday. Maybe not this year, but hopefully by 2007.

27 December 2005

Christmas is over

The presents are all unwrapped, the food has been eaten and eaten and eaten, the stocking have been emptied, and the lights have been unplugged. I am feeling fat and finally relaxed. An awful lot of work goes into that one day and I have to say I am glad it only comes once a year.

Despite my complaints, Zoë had a good Christmas and that makes me very happy. Santa brought both things on her wish list and a whole bunch more stuff. She's even been happily playing with a lot of her new toys. She's not usually that big into toys -- strange as that may sound. Santa brought a pink Doodle Bear and a bell from his sleigh (just like in the book The Polar Experss). But, I think the best present from Santa may have been the two pair of scissors (toddler scissors, of course) that were in her stocking. You may recall from my post in the spring that Husband threw out her scissors after an unfortunate hair-cutting incident. She is so happy to be allowed scissors again.

Zoë got so many toys that I actually put some away to play with at a later date. Anything that she didn't want to open immediately I put away for a rainy day.

I'm not yet sure what my best present was. I got some really nice things and I was definitely spoiled so I definitely can't complain. I have a few returns to make, but that can be fun too.

Now, I have several dozen hours to put in at the gym in order to undo all the eating damage I have done in the past week or so.

24 December 2005

The stockings are hung

by the chimney with care in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

That reminds me, I once lost a spelling bee because of the word chimney. Needless to say I have never misspelled it again.

Our annual Christmas Eve party has concluded and now comes the relaxation portion of the holiday. Just as my husband likes to go skiing because he looks forward to the afterward (sitting in the lodge, drinking hot chocolate, feeling flush from the exercise/outdoors), I feel the same about our annual party.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

22 December 2005

5:54 am

Why is it that on the mornings when I set my alarm I always feel that I could easily go back to sleep instantly, but on the rare mornings that I allow myself to "sleep in" my eyes pop open some time before 6 am? This morning I woke at 5:54 to be precise and I was wide awake and ready to go. What is that about? I used to think it was because when I didn't have my alarm set I was afraid I was going to sleep too late, so I tried setting my alarm for later, but that didn't work either. Without fail, I still wake up earlier than necessary.

At least it gave me time to shave my legs.

20 December 2005

"Holiday" sweaters

You've seen them on some of the 40 and 50 something women around your office and around the mall -- the "holiday sweater." It's a phenomenon I will never understand -- or be a part of.

17 December 2005

Dessert Party

Tonight is a "dessert party" night for Zoë. Whenever husband and I go out I let Zoë have lots of desserts -- thus the party idea. I arrange a plate for her with cookies and candies. It is something I started when we were going through a strong bought of separation anxiety and it has been quite effective. I know, sweets probably aren't the best reward, but it works. It gives her something to look forward to rather than worrying about me not being home.

Meanwhile, tonight must be the biggest party night of the holiday season -- with the exception of New Year's Eve, of course. We have been invited to three parties all in the same night. Husband and I are hardly social animals so this is quite the unusal occurence. We are going to do our best to attend 2 out of the 3 parties. I am looking forward to putting on my party clothes in a couple of hours and hopefully getting into the holiday spirit a bit more. Christmas Eve and our own annual bash is only a week away now. Wow. Is it just me, or does it seem like the Earth is spinning a little faster these days?

15 December 2005

Happy un-Birthday

December 15 is my un-birthday. It isn't my half birthday, but a completely fake birthday. When I was young my parents managed to get a fake birth certificate for me saying I was born December 15, 1970 -- exactly one month earlier than my actual birthday. The reason for this was to get me into kindergarten rather than having me wait another year. For years I had to celebrate my birthday in school by bringing cupcakes on December 15. My birthday parties were around December 15 and I only celebrated my real birthday with my family. At some point the whole thing just went away. I think it was when we moved when I was in 5th grade. Every year the date December 15 stands out in my mind whenever I hear it until I remember, as I just did, that it is my un-birthday.

Right now, I could go for a cupcake. Yellow cake, buttercream frosting, and a candle. And maybe 20 5 year-olds singing happy birthday.

12 December 2005

Christmas Tree Chopping

This past Sunday we went to Jones Tree Farm in Shelton, CT for our annual Christmas Tree chopping. As has become our tradition we went with my brother, my sister-in-law and my niece, Sophia and of course, we brought our dog, Spanky. I was really looking forward to it this year because Zoë was so excited about it. Unfortunately, Zoë had a jealous attack that kind of put a damper on the fun. I was holding one of Sophia's hands while my sister-in-law held the other so we could help her walk through the snow and Zoë just did not like that. Among lots of other little bad behaviors, she kept asking to be carried which was just not possible given how much she now weighs and how much snow we had to trudge through. And every time husband or I said no, we wouldn't carry her, she started to cry or whine. Part of me felt angry about it because she was ruining what should have been a lot of fun, but the other half of me just felt badly that she still feels so jealous of Sophia. I know she is only 3 and it is my job to help her with this kind of thing, but it doesn't stop it from being frustrating.

When we got home that afternoon and I finally had to send her to her room because her behavior was getting out of control, I realized I needed to talk to her about it. I did my best to explain to her that I love her more than anyone, but I also love Sophia and I don't get to see Sophia every day or even every week so when we're together I like to play with her. I told Zoë that didn't mean that I loved her any less. And just like she loves her Aunt, Sophia loves me too. I said, "You're my number 1, 2, and 3. Sophia is just number 4."
"I want to be number 4," was Zoë's reply.
"Then what can Sophia be?"
"I want to be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Sophia can be 7."
"OK," I agreed.

I just hope a little of what I said got through.

On the bright side, we did get a beautiful tree. It is a white pine and it is huge! Apparently white pine is a native Connecticut species of tree. I keep calling it the tree that ate our house. Husband put the lights on last night tonight we will decorate it. Zoë can't wait to put the star on top.

11 December 2005

Pride and Prejudice

I went to see Pride and Prejudice for the second time tonight. It wasn't exactly my choice to see the movie for the second time, but it turned out to be really good -- again. It really is one of the best film interpretations of the book that I have seen. There's only two things that bothered me about the movie:

  1. Keira Knightley's very obvious wig. I'm really not sure why the wig designer couldn't do a better job or why they couldn't have just given her hair extensions.

  2. The bite on Sixteen Candles ending. I haven't read it recently, but I don't remember that scene from the book. I'm not sure, but I think Ms. Austen would have been embarrassed and appalled.

10 December 2005

Second snow of the season

This storm had a much better reception. It was the perfect snow storm, actually. It started around 4:30am Friday so it didn't make getting home from work Thursday night difficult. It snowed heavily all morning making the morning commute treacherous thus all the local schools were closed including Zoë's daycare. And, best of all, my office was closed! Therefore I didn't even have to try to really work from home with Zoë here. I did some work, but nothing much. It stopped snowing around 11 and it warmed up so a lot of it just melted and we were able to get out of the house and go out for lunch by 1pm on Friday.

06 December 2005


There is a piece in today's NY Times about an eleven-year-old girl who...

...was taken to the hospital three months ago with a terrifying catalog of injuries.

Her teeth were broken, her face was swollen, her chest had old and new burns. She was extremely thin, her abdomen was sunken, she had cuts and sores, and her temperature was 81 degrees.

But the most severe injury was in Haleigh's brain: her brain stem was partly sheared, doctors said, leaving her in a vegetative state.

My question is -- how could anyone do that to a little girl? I just cannot wrap my mind around it. I don't even want to begin to understand it.

04 December 2005

First snow of the season

Woke up this morning to find it snowing and about an inch on the ground already. Usually I enjoy the first snow -- it's pretty and makes everything look clean. This time I just found it depressing. It's just the start of another season of complaining about the weather.

02 December 2005

NY Times 10 Best Books for 2005

Today the NY Times named the 10 best books for 2005. I do usually consider the NY Times to be an authority on subjects such as this -- most subjects actually, but I have to raise a red flag because "Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld is #3 on this list. That book just wasn't that good. When it was first gloriously reviewed back in January I giddily rushed right out and bought a hardcover copy at full price. Sadly, I was disappointed. The book left me very flat. There is nothing new or particularly revealing in this book that makes it any more special than a hundred other books that were published this year. I would really like my $21.95 back.

Given all the press that the NY Times has given Ms. Sittenfeld -- including allowing her write nasty reviews of fellow female author's work, my only conclusion can be that there is some serious nepotism here. I mean really, how can you even put "Prep" in the same room with "Saturday" by Ian McEwan or "On Beauty" by Zadie Smith? Something is rotten in New York.

29 November 2005

ADD day

All day today I felt like I had ADD. I would start one thing, get distracted by something else, and on and on not really getting any one thing completed until I couldn't take any more and just shut down my computer and left at 4:56pm. It just wasn't even worth waiting the extra 4 minutes. Nothing good would have come of it.

My guess is it was the fault of the Godiva chocolate that arrived at my office today. 3 huge golden boxes full. I had 2 or 3 pieces. I'm not a big fan of truffles -- they are too much for me, but I do flip for the cherry cordials. The Godiva ones are good, of course, but in truth I would rather have the Cello Chocolate Cherries that appear in CVS this time of year. I think I prefer the fake chocolate and the fake liquor to the real stuff. That's probably a little pathetic, but what can you do. I'm just a little white trash at heart. The Godiva caramels, however, cannot be beat.

Perhaps I better skip the grande latte tomorrow?

27 November 2005

Belle of the Ball

Last night was my father's uncle's 80th birthday party. It was a big shindig at a catering hall in Queens. There were lots of relatives I haven't seen in a long time and an open bar. Zoë was the belle of the ball in my estimation and she seemed to have a fantastic time. I'm not sure what was the best part for her -- the 15 balloons she got to take home that had tied to her wrist all night, the shirley temples I let her drink, or the attention she was lavished with.

I survived another Thanksgiving

Too bad for the turkeys, but I managed to survive another Thanksgiving. This year wasn't too bad -- no major disasters, but I am still dreaming of the day I spend Thanksgiving on a warm sandy beach sipping colorful cocktails. A girl can dream.

21 November 2005

"Walk the Line"

We saw Walk the Line last night. Frankly, it was a compromise choice, but in fact, it was really good. I've never really been a fan of Joaquin Phoenix, but he really did a great job as Johnny Cash. Overall the movie was a bit like "Ray," the white version, but it was a lot less trite. I definitely recommend it.

Thanksgiving blues increased

Now that the very week of the dreaded day is actually here, I am feeling a sense of impending doom even more so. I have taken the week off from work in an attempt to take some of the sting off. Actually, that has been my tradition for the last few years now and it seems to help. On Wednesday my husband and I are going for retail fest at the Palisades Mall. That should really help to bolster me through the day. Especially since Zoë will be sleeping over my Dad's house Wednesday night and that means Thursday morning will start out quiet and slow. I'm still not sure that will really help.

19 November 2005

Night time evil-doings

It seems that strange demons are possessing my daughter in the night these days. Instead of going to sleep as she is supposed to she has been getting up and trashing her room. At first it was just taking the extra blankets out of her dresser and putting them all into the bed with her and then it was taking out all the blankets plus half the books on the bookshelf and tons of the little annoying stuffed animals tossed randomly around the room. Last night was the topper, however, when she decided to rifle through all her dresser drawers and re-arrange them and then do the same in her closet. Upon discovery it would be an understatement to say that I was not amused. After the previous episode to last night I told her that if she did it again I was going to take all of the toys out of her room and so that is exactly what I did at 10:30 last night. I removed every single toy with the exception of stuffed animals and piled them all up in the hallway. I was so furious with her that I was still angry this morning when I woke up. I am the one who spends the time to clean and organize her room. I spent one whole day of my one week's vacation this summer simply re-arranging and re-organizing her bedroom. To see all that effort so easily trashed is infuriating. Especially because she was supposed to be sleeping. I want to trust my daughter, but sometimes she makes it very difficult.

Nothing makes you feel like a good mom like yelling at your child until she is shaking and crying. I guess I won't be getting that mother of the year award after all.

17 November 2005

No more nap time?

It's hard to believe, but I think Zoë is going to give up napping soon. She has been skipping her naps at school a lot lately and when she does nap she has a hard time falling asleep at night. As much as I have often enjoyed those couple of hours to myself on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, I will be very happy to be done with nap time. It will make planning the day so much easier if I don't have to incorporate a 2 to 3 hour break right in the middle. So far the best benefit has been that she is sleeping later in the mornings. Some mornings I actually have to wake her up. This is the same kid who would regularly be up at 5:45AM less than a year ago. The later mornings are a big relief.

At the same time it is hard to believe my little baby is growing into such a big girl already. I know I am hardly the first parent to say this, but it all really does go by so quickly. When you first bring home a baby everyone tells you that, but it is hard to understand -- especially when the day-to-day is so rough going. Then all of a sudden you wake up one day and your baby is turning 2 then 3 and then she isn't even a baby anymore.

16 November 2005

The Paper Clip Project

Last night, just by chance, I watched an excellent documentary called "Paper Clips." It is showing on HBO. I'm not sure if the actual documentary itself is good or if it is just the subject matter that is so compelling. It is about "The Paper Clip Project" that was done at Whitwell Middle School in Whitwell, TN. As part of a study on the Holocaust the eigth grade students decided to collect paper clips for each of the 6 million people murdered. They chose paper clips for their symbol because paper clips were invented by Norwegians and Norwegians wore them on their lapels as a silent protest against Nazi occupation in WWII. To date approximately 30 million paperclips have been sent to Whitwell Middle School.

From their website:
The paper clip collection has become a part of the "Children's Holocaust Memorial" created by the students, staff, and community of Whitwell Middle School. The Memorial contains 11 million paper clips housed in an authentic German transport car honoring the lives of all people murdered by the Nazis. And eleven million other paper clips are contained in a monument honoring the children of Terezin. Eighteen (for chai-Hebrew for life) butterflies (the Christain symbol of renewal) enhance the grounds around the rail car. The students, staff, and community of Whitwell Middle School have transformed the car from a death car into a symbol of renewed life honoring the lives of those murdered by the Nazis. For generations of Whitwell students, a paper clip will never again be just a paper clip. Instead, the paper clip is a reminder of the importance of perseverance, empathy, tolerance, and understanding.

In addition to collecting paper clips they also received thousand of letters and at one point several Holocaust survivors came to the town to tell their stories. The whole thing is very, very moving and I highly recommend it.

15 November 2005

Thanksgiving blues

I know it is probably un-American of me, but I really hate Thanksgiving. The fact that it is rapidly approaching is depressing me. I have had so many awful Thanksgivings that I couldn't even begin to explain, but it truly is a day that I dread. I don't like turkey, I don't like cranberry sauce, I don't like sweet potatoes and I especially don't like that green bean casserole made with the Chinese noodles that everyone else seems to love, but that isn't even the half of it. My fantasy is to someday spend Thanksgiving day drinking many colorful drinks on a beach somewhere they have never heard of Thanksgiving. A girl can dream...

14 November 2005

Food in NYC

How come all the food is so much better in New York City? It just isn't fair that we can't get anything remotely as good out here in the 'burbs. We took a spontaneous trip into the city yesterday to get out and enjoy what was probably the last of the nice weather. Did a little furniture shopping and then after a stop at the playground at Union Square park we stopped at City Bakery for a snack before heading home and we had delicious cookies and muffins. Maybe it was the day and maybe it was the best chocolate chip cookie I ever had. I can't be sure. We then took Chinese food home from my favorite place, Sammy's Noodle Shop and went home and pigged out some more. A good time was had by all.

10 November 2005

The tables have been turned

The tables have been turned on me this week. Tuesday afternoon as I was changing back into my work clothes in the gym locker room I realized that my shoes had completely come apart at one of the seams. My toes were hanging out and it looked ridiculous. My first thought was to go up the road and buy a new pair of shoes, but since I am trying hard to curtail my spending I decided to just put my gym sneakers back on and anyone who didn't like it could go...

I really liked this particular pair of wedge heel suede loafers and they weren't very old and I hadn't worn them that many times so I was feeling a bit disappointed about them falling apart. When I got home from work I promptly threw them both in the trash. In the kitchen trash can.

Later on that night I told my husband what happened because he had been with me when I bought those shoes. And then he floored me when he said "Want me to drop them off at a shoemaker for you?"

Honestly, this never occurred to me. "No, they're ruined," I said.

"I'm sure they can be repaired." Husband said.

"I already threw them in the garbage." And he didn't even laugh at me when he offered to get them out of the trash for me. I told him not to bother. He let it go at that, but I am still amazed that for a change he was the voice of reason where as my behavior was utterly ridiculous. Wonders never cease.

09 November 2005

Why do the women have to grind the corn?

Today I spent the day with one of my oldest friends. We figured out that we have known each other for about 23 years now -- since 6th grade where we first bonded in feminism in Mr. Corica's Social Studies class. We both got in trouble for demanding to know why only the Mexican women grind the corn and never the men. Apparently Mr. Corica did not have a sufficient answer for us and we were likely relentless about it. I can't remember what that note home said, but I think it was something about us being disruptive in class. Talk about inhibiting young minds! Poor Mr. Corica. He was probably very glad to get us out of his class.

It's funny to think that this friend has known me through so much from a mutual love of Garfield to losing our virginity to college to marriage and now parenthood. She is about to become a mommy for the first time very soon so we will share that too. We both have changed so much over the years and yet in my minds eye she is the same in looks and everything else.

07 November 2005

Good Night, and Good Luck

There was a time when I thought of George Clooney as just a pretty face who desperately wanted to be perceived as more than that. Turns out he is more than that. A lot more. He's one smart (and talented) cookie.

Yes, in case you haven't guessed by now, I saw George Clooney's film, Good Night, and Good Luck this weekend. It was gripping from start to finish. And even though I already knew the story going in and how it all worked out in the end I found myself tensing up in parts. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a perfect movie. Some of the side stories and the supporting cast were a little thin and underdeveloped. And I have to admit I couldn't look at Robert Downey Jr. and not think "drug addict." But overall, it was really excellent. For sure there will Oscar nominations.

Honestly, I never would have guessed that George Clooney could direct and write let alone act as well as he did. I look forward to more from him.

04 November 2005

Fancy meeting you here...

at the gym.

For the last few weeks I have been going to the gym a few mornings a week instead of just at lunch time. Up until today I haven't seen anyone I know. This morning at 6:30am (while looking my best I am sure) I ran into a colleague, Zoë's pediatrician, and a neighbor. Needless to say, I felt slightly more conspicuous than I usually do at the gym.

Let's hope that was a rare occurrence.

03 November 2005

Men going to the movies

Husband and male co-worker friends wanted to see that Keira Knightly vehicle, Domino. Yes, I know Keira Knightly was the main reason they wanted to see it. She is undeniably hot. So, hot chick plus guns equals movie my man must see. Starship Troopers anyone???

Anyway, tonight was the night they planned to see the movie. They showed up at the movie theater at what they thought was the appropriate time only to realize the movie was not playing at that theater. Not only wasn't it playing at that theater, it wasn't playing at any theater.

My theory is that one of the guys checked the movie listings about 3 weeks ago and never checked again. Oops.

Husband and friends had to settle for burgers and beer. That would have been my preference anyway.

02 November 2005

Candy overload

How many pieces of Halloween candy can you eat in one day? I think I am going for a record today. Seems like everyone at work brought in their extra candy today and I just cannot resist. Especially when I am at my desk all day making schedules in MS Project and filling out my own performance appraisal. Ugh. I can feel the break out coming on from all the chocolate! I for sure will be hitting the gym tomorrow and the next day and the next and the...

Truth be told: it is totally worth it. I love candy. I only go to the gym to support my candy habit anyway.

01 November 2005


All-in-all I would say we had a very happy Halloween. Zoë dressed up as a witch. It wasn't the costume I would have chosen, but it was what she wanted and she was quite happy about it. Plus she looked quite cute.

Of course we went out trick-or-treating and Zoë made sure to tell everyone that she was just wearing a costume. She would lift off her witch hat and say, "It's just me, Zoë I'm wearing a costume."

30 October 2005

Maureen Dowd

I have to say that I really love Maureen Dowd. I just this instant finished reading her piece in this week's NY Times Magazine, "What's a Modern Girl toDo?" Just like so many of her op-ed pieces, it really hit the mark on so many things. And in this case, things that I have thought a lot about. She can analyze a situation like none other. She even references that Louise Story piece about Ivy League women that got me fired up. I was excited to read at the end of the article that is piece is actually an excerpt from her forthcoming book "Are Men Necessary: When Sexes Collide." I just added that one to my amazon.com cart.

29 October 2005

First Sleepover

Tonight will be Zoë's first sleepover. Rather I should say, this will be her first real attempt at a sleepover. My Dad is going to take her to see Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and then to McDonald's for dinner and then back to his house to hopefully sleep over. My husband and I are going to a pumpkin carving party tonight, but we don't plan to be out too late just in case we have to pick her up. I actually think she won't have too much trouble going to sleep -- the problem will come if she wakes up in the middle of the night or in the morning when I'm not there. I am very curious to see how this will all work out. I really, really hope it works out well.

27 October 2005

No milk!

I had to keep Zoë home from school today because she was sick at school yesterday. I won't go into detail about the kind of sick it was, but the school rule is that kids have to be sickness-free for 24 hours before they are allowed back at school.

Took her to the pediatrician after picking her up and the doctor handed down a terrible sentence for my poor child. No milk! No milk for at least 4 days! No milk! That is like telling most adults no coffee. When Zoë wakes up in the morning the first thing she wants is milk. The last thing she has at night is milk. She loves milk above all other food or beverages and possibly most people.

Last night at bedtime my husband tried to pass off rice milk as regular milk, but she wouldn't even drink it. Luckily, she was too tired to question why it tasted so funny. This morning my husband and I semi-argued over whether or not we should tell her why she can't have milk. I was in favor of being honest and he was inclined to just tell her we didn't have anymore. I didn't think that could hold up for 4 days. He conceded and after a short crying jag, she seemed to recover and understand. The good news is that we seem to have found a somewhat acceptable substitute in chocolate soy milk. I am calling it "filk" -- as in fake milk. Zoë likes that name too. As a matter of fact, she just asked me if she could have more filk.

I don't think she will be able to go back to school tomorrow either. She was sick again this morning and again a little bit this evening (I don't mean throwing up -- the other one). Despite the fact that she has as much energy as usual and you would never know she was the tiniest bit unwell, I wouldn't want to send her and then get another call to pick her up. That would be bad. Her class is having a Halloween party tomorrow and I had signed up to bring cookies. I don't have to still bring them, do I?

My New Toy

I am happily writing this post on my new iBook G4. Yay! There is something wonderful about a brand new computer. And while I have had laptops for work before, this is my first laptop of my very own. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning.

25 October 2005

Yet another rainy day

Actually, raining is what happened last night. Today it just seems like the sky has sprung a leak. It's cold and wet and our scarecrow was knocked down from the storm. Poor Goofus.

OK, I don't really believe, but do you think it is possible that God is trying to tell us something? Katrina, Rita, Wilma...what's next? We must repent people! Please. The mold is growing mold around here.

6 years ago today I was luxuriating on a beach in perfectly dry, sunny, and warm Aruba -- either that or I was getting looped at the swim-up bar. Oh, how I long for that honeymoon now.

24 October 2005

My Kid is the Greatest

Sometimes I go someplace with Zoë and she is definitely not the best behaved kid around and then there are those times when she is just wonderful. Yesterday was one of those wonderful days. I am feeling so proud of her and so lucky to have her. I want to hold on to this feeling. Wrap it up and save it for one of those other days.

21 October 2005

Hussein Lawyer Found Dead

Raise your hand if that news surprised you at all...

Good, no hands.

My question is this: Is it really a good form of protest to kill the defense attorney of someone who is on trial for crimes against humanity? OK, Hussein and his posse murdered thousands of innocents and there is no doubt in my mind that he is a criminal, but theoretically this lawyer was also an innocent so wasn't that just more of the same? I could better understand if someone had actually murdered Awad Ahmad al-Bander, the guy who this attorney was defending.

Shopgirl review

I know, I am breaking my own rule by posting while at work, but I am just so excited. I just finished reading the review of Shopgirl in the NY Times and I am so happy because it is a fantastic review. I really loved this book/novella and have long been anticipating the movie, but anticipating with concern because it could have so easily been badly done. I can't wait to go see this now. It's only open in New York and LA right now, but hopefully soon it will make it out to the 'burbs.

Movies movies movies-- I love the movies! I would really like to leave work right now and go see one, but I'll have to settle for reading the reviews and eating microwave popcorn.

20 October 2005

Personal Development Program

It's that wonderful time of year when I get to evaluate my own performance at work. I have to give myself a rating and commentary on how I've performed my own goals and how I've met company expectations. Then I submit this to my manager who puts his feedback next to mine and some crazy formula goes in to determine how much of a raise I deserve. So, here's what I'd like to know: Who invented this system? Is there anything more torturous than this? It is the workplace equivalent of sitting in the dentist chair. It is a very careful line that one must walk when filling out the form. Too positive and you're full of yourself. Too negative and you're not going to get the credit you deserve. I am in a particularly tough situation this year because I am in a new job with a new boss. I have no clue what his feedback is going to be. I really wish I had more of an idea before going through with this. Big, long sigh.

OK, I must go. My Tylenol PM are waiting for me.

18 October 2005

Madonna = puritanical parent

Who would have dreamed that Madonna would become a puritanical parent?

That seems to be the case according to a forthcoming interview with the "Material Girl." An excerpt can be read here.

Apparently young Lola and Rocco are not allowed to watch TV, read magazines or newspapers, and are punished with chores. According to Madonna "TV is trash." Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Where would Madonna be without TV -- MTV to be specific. Give me a break!

I wonder what she really thinks goes on while she's out on tour? Do the nannies enforce these strict rule too? What do you think little Lola is going to do when she gets a little taste of freedom in her teen years? Can you say big-time rebellion??? Jeez.

17 October 2005


I went to see the movie Elizabethtown last night. Husband and I were supposed to be going out for our anniversary, but we had a babysitting snafu so the best we could manage was a movie. The movie we both wanted to see, A History of Violence, was not playing until 10:30pm (way too late for a school night) and after ruling out the chick-flick In Her Shoes (my choice) and the too shoot 'em up Domino (his choice) this was the only thing we could agree on.

Overall, it was extremely disappointing. Not to mention disjointed, uneven, and utterly ridiculous (not in a good way) in parts. It was as if Cameron Crowe (writer and director) actually wrote 2 scripts for 2 different movies, cut them up into individual scenes, through in a couple of other random moments, tossed with salad dressing and filmed. The results were not so good. And there is just no getting around the fact that Kirsten Dunst is not very talented. Orlando Bloom was no tour de force himself. He wore the same hang dog expression for the entire 123 minutes -- even in the final moments of the movie when we are beat over the head with the "moral" of the story.

My advice: Don't bother, but if for some reason you feel you must see it, wait for Netflix.

16 October 2005

Full Moon

The following is a transcript of an actual conversation that took place last night in my car:

Zoë : I see the moon.
Grandma : Me too. It's a full moon.
Zoë : What's it full of?

14 October 2005


I woke up this morning to the sound of rain hitting the roof (not to mention every other exposed surface) for the 8th time in a row. I can't take any more. It was nearly impossible to drag myself out of bed to face another day of this rain. I feel as though I may start to become amphibious.

In the words of that great and wise purple dinosaur, Barney...
Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun please shine down on me!

I know this rain is making me extra grumpy too. When I arrived at work this morning to my great irritation I saw one of my cans of Diet Coke with Lime sitting empty on a co-worker's desk. This is not the first time this has happened. Unless I was utterly desperate, I would never take someone else's diet coke (or anything else for that matter) from the community fridge. The fact that she feels so free to take it without so much as a word to me really puts me on edge. Being extra grumpy has made it very difficult to even be civil to this person today.

I would really like to go home, get under the covers and watch bad TV with the lights out until I fall asleep.

11 October 2005

Brave little Zoë

As I mentioned in my last post, we spent Sunday and Monday in the town of my college alma mater -- Ithaca, NY. We happened to be in town for the Apple Harvest Festival held on The Commons. I can't recall ever going to one of these when I was a student and living in Ithaca, but it seems to be an annual tradition. Besides lots of apples and foods prepared with apples there were some other attractions including a live band, a Ferris wheel and a pony for pony rides. The first thing we encountered as we approached the commons was the Ferris wheel. As far as Ferris wheels go this one was pretty small and looked a little rickety. Someone asked Zoë if she wanted to go for a ride on it and without a moment's hesitation she said yes and ran to get in line. I was surprised at her enthusiasm and lack of fear. Whoever asked her if she wanted to go on the ride had no intention of actually going on with her and everyone else including husband chickened out so I was left to take her. We waited on line in the drizzling rain for about 15 minutes and then finally it was our turn to get on. Zoë was completely fearless as we spun up into the air over and over. "I can see New York City!" she cried happily, mistaking one of the few tall buildings in Ithaca for the NYC skyline. Then the ride started to slow down and somehow we ended up stopped at the very top of the ride. Anyone who has ever been stuck at the top of a Ferris wheel knows this can be a little disconcerting. Initially I was pretty calm figuring that we would get going in a minute. After a few minutes it started to get to me, but I tried to hide it. Then Zoës turned to me and said, "I'm getting a little frightened." Honestly, she said it just like that, very matter of factly. I told her to just hold onto me and we'd be fine. She wrapped her hand around mine and snuggled a little closer and that seemed enough to satisfy her. By the time we reached the ground my knees were a little shaky, but she was just as excited as ever and laughing and laughing.

I should not have been surprised when she gamely hopped on for the pony ride or dragged her father onto the dance floor like she had been doing these things all her life, but I was. When did she get so brave?

08 October 2005


I took Zoë to the mall this morning for a quick shopping trip. While we were in Gymboree, one of my favorite kids' clothing stores, we ran into one of Zoë's daycare classmates, Sabrina. We were browsing in the store when all of a sudden I heard a little girl saying, "Hi Zoë." At first I didn't look up but when Sabrina came over to us, I realized she was talking to my daughter. I don't think I had ever met Sabrina before and certainly not her mother. This has happened to me a number of times now and each time I am struck by the fact that Zoë already has a part of her life that does not include me. I don't mean to imply that I feel badly about that, but rather, I am amazed by this. It is hard to imagine her out in the world on her own and yet I know she will get more and more so as the years go by.

Speaking of friends, I was thinking about our neighbors who are our friends last night. Their daughter and Zoë are already friends. They will start kindergarten the same year, wait at the same bus stop every day and basically go through all the steps of growing up together. If neither of us move away, it is highly likely that these two little girls will be friends for at least the next 15 years if not a lot longer. That is so funny to think about. Especially when you consider how much they will change. I will enjoy looking back on those Sesame Place pictures with them someday.

Tomorrow me and the family are headed up to Ithaca, NY to visit my alma mater -- mostly some friends from there and not really the school itself. As if in honor of that event, it has rained incessantly today. It has been one of those days where you think it can't keep raining like this and yet it does.

06 October 2005

Things that happen magically

This morning I realized that there are a whole bunch of things that happen by magic in my house -- if you're my husband, that is. I'm not sure, but I think he might even be under the impression that some things regenerate themselves. Here is a list of things that he would not ever do on his own on room by room basis:

  • Replacing the toilet paper roll (you knew this one would be first -- it is cliche, but so true)
  • Replacing the bar of soap in the shower
  • Replacing the toothpaste tube
  • Putting more Q-tips in the dispenser
  • Buying more of any of the above items plus his shampoo, his hairspray, whatever that stuff is for his electric razor, and bubble bath and shampoo for Zoë
  • Cleaning out the toothbrush holder
  • Washing the bathroom towels and bath mats
  • Emptying the garbage can


  • Changing the sheets on our bed
  • Bringing the tea cups and assorted dishes that migrate into our room back down to the kitchen
  • Turning off the computer when done using it
  • Pick up dirty clothes from floor and putting clean clothes away
  • Shutting off his closet light
  • Picking up or cleaning anything in Zoë's room -- this includes making her bed, putting her laundry away, shelving books, taking out the garbage, and putting toys away
  • Bringing down any sippy cups left in Zoë's room


  • Emptying the dishwasher
  • Wiping the counter tops and stove top
  • Buying groceries -- especially essentials like milk, eggs, orange juice, juice boxes and chicken nuggets
  • Adding things to the shopping list when we are running low
  • Making Zoë's lunch for daycare
  • Washing the dishtowels
  • Cleaning the floor
  • Taking out the trash or the recycling

Family Room

  • Putting toys away
  • Putting DVDs back in their boxes
  • Putting CDs away
  • Dusting
  • Throwing out the old TV Guide
  • Opening or closing the blinds

I am sure I am forgetting things on this list, but it sure would be nice to live like he does. Sigh. I know I can ask him to do these kinds of things and most of the time he will do it, but it is annoying that he doesn't feel any responsibility to do them on his own. Maybe that is my fault because I just do them, but what are you supposed to do when there is no soap in the shower? I'd have to spend my whole life nagging and writing out lists of things to do. A couple of years ago I went away for 4 days. I left on a Friday. I usually do the grocery shopping on Saturday mornings so it needed to be done. There was a full list on the fridge. When I got back on Monday night I was amazed to discover that he had not gone to the store for anything. When I asked him about it and pointed out the list on the fridge he said he didn't even think of it. Amazing.

03 October 2005

L'shanah tovah

Rosh Hashanah starts tonight at sundown. That's about as Jewish/Hebrew speaking as I get. My family will eat a traditional brisket tonight while I have chicken. I'm not that good at the Jewish holidays.

Actually, I just googled "L'shanah tovah" for proper spelling and learned a lot more about Rosh Hashanah from the website Judaism 101. This is a pretty good site for learning about all things Jewish.

For example; the greeting "L'shanah tovah" is a shortening of "L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem" (or to women, "L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi"), which means "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." In case you're wondering what you are to inscribed in, that would be the "book of life." According to Jewish belief God has "books" that he writes our names in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books are written in on Rosh Hashanah and sealed on Yom Kippur.

Another thing I learned is that the new year according to the Jewish calendar will be the year 5766.

To celebrate in my own way I will be taking the day off from work tomorrow to go and help out the NYC economy. My credit cards are already trembling!

P.S. Spell check wasn't much help with this posting!

02 October 2005

Dakota Fanning headed for rehab

OK, I made that up, but how much longer do you think it will be before that is true. Dakota Fanning is 11 years old and has more movies coming out in 2005 than just about any other actor. 5 movies released in 2005 and already 2 more slated for 2006. Are her parents slaving her our or what? Does she ever get time off the set? I agree that she is quite a talented little girl, but haven't all those "E! True Hollywood Story" episodes taught us nothing about the affects of success in Hollywood at a young age? Her parents are begging for her to be royally screwed and one day there's going to be a new reality show just like the one that debuts tonight on VH1, "Breaking Bonaduce". A train wreck of a show about a train wreck of a person. It's just 20 more years until "Destroying Dakota" airs.

29 September 2005

Who really is the new Chief Justice?

Is it me or does our new chief justice of the supreme court look like a cross between Greg Kinnear and Dick York?
Greg Kinnear:
Greg Kinnear

Dick York:
Dick York

Chief Justice Roberts:
John G. Roberts

Ballerina Zoë

After I picked Zoë up from daycare today I took her over to the Danskin store to buy a leotard, tights and ballet shoes for the dance class she is starting tomorrow. She looked so darn cute in that outfit. It reminded me so much of my own ballerina days. I was never very talented, but I did enjoy the ballet classes at Ms. Pollard's school. That was almost 30 years ago! I hope she likes the dancing. She is such a physically coordinated kid that she should do well if she enjoys it.

27 September 2005

Another follow up to a previous post

Seems I wasn't the only one who got angry over that NY Times article about a career path toward motherhood.
Here are a few others who had similar feelings:


And the list goes on here: http://www.feedster.com/search.php?q=%22louise%20story%22&q3=&offset=30&sort=date&limit=15&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

It's so nice to know I am not alone.

Targasm revisited

No, unfortunately, I did not have another targasm...

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today, Slave to Target, and I noticed that they used the word "Targasm." I really thought I invented that word way back in July when I wrote this post: Targasm so I sent off an email to the writers at Slave to Target. I felt a little silly immediately afterward. Surprisingly they responded almost immediately and credited me on their blog here. It definitely got me a lot of hits on my blog, which I certainly appreciate, but I then felt even sillier. I even started to doubt myself -- maybe I didn't invent the word. I emailed back thanking them for the credit, but said they didn't need to put it in such and obvious spot. They emailed back again saying it was no problem but also sent me some links they found when googling the word "targasm." My usage of the word does not show up on the google list until the bottom, but mine is the earliest dated usage. So, it very well could be that I did, in fact, invent the word. I'm still not sure. I do appreciate the graciousness of the women at Slave to Target. If you haven't checked out their blog and you love Target, you really should go there now.

26 September 2005

Cheap or realistic?

On Sunday we took Zoë to Silverman's Farm. It is officially autumn so I thought it would be fun to pick some apples and maybe some pumpkins. At Silverman's Farm they also have an animal farm (completely un-Orwellian) and on their website they say there is "a small admission fee." I assumed it would be a dollar or two. That sounds small to me. So, we arrive at the farm and decide to visit the animals first. Zoë loves animals -- as apparently most kids do, because it was quite crowded for 10am on a Sunday. Turns out by small they mean $3 per adult and $2 per child which is a total of $8 for my little group of three. For your average family it would be $10. Not exactly my definition of small, but I was happy to go along with it because Zoë was so excited. As you go in, they give you a little white paper cup for the food for the animals. You have to pay an additional twenty five cents for each quarter cup-full of corn that your child wants to feed to the animals. For us that amounted to an additional $2.50. Luckily, the feeding ended abruptly when the donkey ate the food cup and all and no more quarters were needed. It was fun to see Zoë run around excitedly and be mesmerized by all the different animals so I would definitely do that again -- even though it cost almost $13 for about a half hour's worth of entertainment. I more enjoyed watching the people over the animals. It was quite a crowd. A lot of NYCers in the "country" for the day all in their LL Bean uniforms. Husband and I felt out of place because we didn't have our fleece vests on. Luckily I did wear my capri jeans and he had is cargo shorts.

Next we moseyed on over to the apple picking. The first thing I see is a long line of people waiting for a tractor to take them up into the apple orchard. The next thing I see is the sign that says how much it costs to pick apples. $24 for a full bushel and $14 for a half! I found that outrageously expensive. I could go to my local super market and buy the same amount of apples for half the price. I've been apple picking before and I know it can be a lot of fun, but I also knew that we would have had to tell Zo&eml; to stop doing this or that and to come here about a thousand times before we even got into the tractor. Then, especially given the proximity to nap time, we would have pciked apples for ten minutes before she ran out of energy and then we would have had to wait again for the tractor. It just didn't seem worth spending $14 for 10 minutes of apple picking. My husband agreed, but then he also said we were cheap.

Zoë was momentarily disappointed about not going apple picking, but she felt immediately better when I let her pick out a gourd. It's her "decoration" as she calls it because when she asked me what the gourds were for I told her they're for decoration. After that she had a hot dog and apple juice that came in a red plastic apple followed by an apple cider doughnut. Next came 20 minutes of running around the pumpikin patch. All that was followed by a 3 hour nap. All-in-all I'd say it was a really good day. Anyone who knows me knows I would gladly throw $14 away if it was for something I thought Zoë would really enjoy and I just don't think I'm cheap. Do you?

22 September 2005

A career path to motherhood???

There's an article in today's NY Times titled "Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood." Written by Louise Story. The researchers in this article are asking women college students if they will continue to work full time once they have children and many of these young women are saying that they will stay at home once they have kids.

Before I go any further let me say that I absolutely think that stay-at-home moms work hard and there is a lot of good things about being a stay-at-home mom and I definitely don't look down on stay-at-home moms. At the same time, I don't consider myself a lesser mother because I am not a stay-at-home mom.

That being said, what women out there had a clue what they really wanted when they were a 20 something co-ed? I mean, can you really take seriously what these women are saying -- especially when they actually have no clue what either the working world or child rearing will be like? Come on Ms. Story and give us all a break. If I actually followed through with what I thought I wanted when I was a 20 something college kid I wouldn't even have a kid right now! Life is way too unpredictable to make these sweeping and potentially dangerous statements. Are we going to go back to the days when the only reason a woman went to college is to get her MRS degree? Do you really have to make this kind of decision at 19 or 20?

The other part of this article that really annoyed me was the mothers of these girls who then felt validated by the fact that their daughters want to stay at home too. Is that what you need to feel good about yourself -- for your kid to do exactly what you did? I mean these kids are students at Harvard and Yale. As far as I'm concerned that alone pretty much validates your job as a parent. How do the working mom's of these women feel about this? Ms. Story hardly represents this issue in an unbiased way adding only one quote (of about 10 or 12 quotes) where one of these college women was in favor of working full time and happy that their mother did too.

The point that was really missed here is the fact that our society still does not make it easy for women to work and be mothers. There is no support to do both. Quality daycare or a decent nanny is very expensive and a lot of women are put in the position where they would simply be working to pay the daycare or nanny. It’s hard to feel like its worthwhile in that situation -- especially given the pressure put on women to stay at home. Men never face the dilemma. No one would think a man a bad father because he worked full time. Granted it is probably not easy for a man to be a stay-at-home dad either. But that is the problem. We need to change more than the lip service on this and really change our society. Maybe if women had a longer maternity leave they would feel more ready to go back to work at the end of their leave? Maybe if daycare were a little more affordable, more women would choose to go back to work? Maybe if working part time were not looked at as a career path killer in corporate American, more women would choose that option?

20 September 2005

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

It's getting closer and closer to Halloween and that can only mean one thing...Halloween Candy of course! The stores are inundated with "fun size" M&M's, Snickers, Skittles, Mike and Ikes, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Mounds, Almond Joy, Nestle Crunch, Twizzlers...I could go on and on and on. I have never quite worked out why they call these small size candies "fun size," and I usually prefer to buy my candy in "movie size," but I love it when candy of all kinds is everywhere. I love that there is an entire holiday dedicated to the pursuit of candy. Costumes - shmostumes, they even make Halloween Peeps!

17 September 2005


Just read The New Yorker review of "Proof" and have decided to take that one off my list of must-sees.

The review, written by the very hard to please, but very often right Anthony Lane basically bashes Gwyneth Paltrow, but I suspect that Anthony Hopkins as a mad genius has grown tired too. Let's see...how many times has he played a genius gone mad (levels of madness or genius may vary):
Red Dragon
Hearts in Atlantis
Surviving Picasso
The Silence of the Lambs

And there's at least one more I can't think of where he is a writer and lives as a shut-in. Oh well.

In Proof's place on my list I will put "The Constant Gardener" which I hear is very, very good. I'm not a big fan of John Le Carre, but the reviews have been quite good and I do like Ralph Fiennes.

16 September 2005

The Movies are Coming!

I am so glad to see that we have finally reached the far end of the desert that was this summer's movie season. The only oasis since May was Bill Murray's "Broken Flowers." (OK and "Wedding Crashers" was funny, but hardly worth writing home about.)

Looks like lots of new and potentially good flicks are coming soon to a theater near me.
The next movie I will probably see is "The 40 Year-Old Virgin," ut here are some of the movies I am really looking forward to:

Thumbsucker A standout from Sundance.

Everything is Illuminated Liev Schrieber's directorial debut.

Proof But I will definitely hold out for the reviews before plunking down my $9.50 'cause this one could definitely go either way.

In Her Shoes Based on the book byone of my favs, Jennifer Weiner. I really enjoyed the book and the movie should prove to be an excellent "chick flick."

Elizabethtown Despite Kirsten Dunst this looks like it might be good.

Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney directs. Could be good.

Shopgirl I really liked this book.

Pride and Prejudice Did they need to make yet another movie of this book (one of my all-time favorites)? We shall soon find out (sometime in November).

There are, of course, at least 30 other movies coming out between now and the end of 2005 and there could be some other gems in there that I am not yet aware. I am just so overjoyed that the drought is over. I better book some babysitters because I can taste the popcorn already.

15 September 2005

Quoted in Parenting magazine

I have been quoted once again in the October issue of Parenting magazine.

But don't get nervous, I'm not giving advice or anything. I volunteered to test products for them and I am this time being quoted about applesauce.

Unfortunately, its not on the website, so if you're really interested you'll have to pick up the magazine. Honestly, I think my husband is the only one who is truly impressed by this, but never-the-less it is fun to see ones name in print in a nationally distributed magazine. It's the closest to actually being published I have ever come.

I actually have quite bad luck in the getting published department. The one magazine that ever agreed to publish one of my poems and asked for more folded before I could provide more. The one website that agreed to publish a running article of mine My Inner 16 year-old) also folded before posting even one entry. Oh well. I can't say I've ever really tried that hard, but someday I hope to try harder.

14 September 2005

the terrible threes

Is there such a thing as the "terrible threes"? If not, we're inventing it at my house these days. Seems like every little thing sets off some kind of whining or crying. My new position towards this kind of behavior is zero tolerance. That probably should have been my position all along, but I was too concerned with peace-keeping. She has to push it until I get angry with her and she is punished in some way (time out, no dessert, etc.) before she can return to decent behavior. I don't understand it and I definitely don't like it. Big, fat, huge SIGH.

The most frustrating part is that when Zoë is behaving she can be the sweetest, smartest kid and so much fun! I love that side of her so much and when she is behaving that way I try to give her all kinds of positive reinforcement, but it just doesn’t seem to last.

12 September 2005

Thinking about 9/11

I was quite disappointed in yesterday's New York Times coverage of the anniversary of September 11. I don't think the story needed to overshadow the victims of Hurricane Katrina or the mess that has been made of/by FEMA, however, I thought more was warranted. Despite that, there was one article I thought poignant. It was the cover story of the special section and it was about all the things that didn't happen because of the turn of events that day. A "what would have been" kind of thing for the several people interviewed for the story.

I will never forget exactly what my day was supposed to have been like. A regular work day at my office on 38th and Madison followed by dinner at my favorite West Village Chinese place -- Sammy's Noodle Shop. I was supposed to meet my mother and my aunt there. I was about 10 weeks pregnant with Zoë that day and I had hoped to stop into the Motherhood maternity store downtown on my way to dinner. Some of my clothes were getting too tight to wear, but I hadn't told anyone at work yet so I didn't want to go maternity shopping on my lunch hour. And I was sooo looking forward to Sammy's scallion pancakes! I remember flashes of actually feeling disappointed and angry about not getting to do those things and feeling like I would never be able to do them again. I felt childish and so selfish to be thinking those things at the time, but I couldn't help myself. It was something so much easier to think about. When I think about all the things that could have been, I know that I was lucky that day.

I had a similar feeling some months later when I finally visited ground zero for the first time. I had gone to see the absence of something and that was so strange. So many people lined up to look at an absence. Also to remember what was and to ponder what might have been. "What if I had been in that stairwell...?" "What if I had been on that plane...?" "What if that had been my mother...?"

09 September 2005

Fall Vacation

We're going up to Cape Cod for the weekend for a family wedding and Zoë keeps referring to it as our "fall vacation." Luckily a weekend away is enough to qualify as a vacation in her book. I can't say the same, but it will be nice to get away for a little bit. I could use the break. Seems like I have been so grouchy lately and I can't really explain why. I have been unmotivated at work and short tempered at home. Not exactly a good combination to win friends and influence people. Hopefully everyone will just chalk it up to PMS or something and I am going to do my best to get it together this weekend. Being away might be just the ticket as they say. Let's hope...

Alright, time to get back to packing for the big fall vacation.

06 September 2005

Second thoughts...

Perhaps this would have been better...

"I have to let you know. Things are up in the air right now."

Not sure.

And I broke my no blogging at work rule, but today it was like being at the library and it only took 2 minutes for that posting...OK, really, no more blogging at work.

Latest entry

Here's my lastest entry in the New Yorker cartoon caption contest:

I'm going to have to call you back. Things are a little all over the place right now.

01 September 2005

Bad Cop

If one had to assign "good cop" and "bad cop" to my husband and I as parents, I would undoubtably be dubbed "bad cop." I try to be fairly strict with the discipline especially because so many people in Zoës life spoil her rotten. I am actually in favor of her being spoiled rotten in some ways, but I still would prefer her not to behave like a whiny brat. I doubt I am the strictest mother that ever came down the pike, but if I tell my daughter that something she is doing is making me angry it does instill fear in her. She knows I mean it when I say I will take that toy away or no dessert, etc. My husband, on the other hand, is a complete softy. He gets mad, but he gives her a hundred chances. Probably his biggest threat to her would be, "I'm going to tell Mommy about this." Zoë has him wrapped tightly around her little finger and he is so happy to be there that I really wouldn't want it any other way.

The part that confuses me about all of this is that despite the fact that I am the strict one, Zoë still wants it to be me to put her to bed, give her a bath, make her lunch for school, pick her up, drop her off, etc. All things where she could get away with so much more with her Daddy in charge. Bedtime is the best example. It is an absolute treat to Zoë if I am the one putting her to bed. I read exactly one story, put her into her bed, sit in her room for a couple of minutes, kiss her one last time and then leave the room. If I have to go back in for any reason I am outwardly annoyed with her. When my husband puts her to bed he will read a story and then some poetry and then they'll look at an astronomy book and then once she's in bed he'll tell her a story and then sit in her room until she falls asleep. Actually, he usually falls asleep first. If she wants water, he will bring it. If she calls out to go potty again, he takes her. So, why on earth would she prefer me to put her to bed??? Must be the same reason why I am the only one who can get her her milk in the mornings -- her "milky bop." ("Bop" was her word for bottle when she was just learning to talk and as soon as she was able to put two words together out came "milky bop." That one has stuck and I think probably will stick until she no longer wants a "milky bop.")

31 August 2005

Blogging about work

Looks like Jeremy Blachman, the not-so-anonymous lawyer, has been reading the same issue of People magazine that I recently read. His editorial in today's NY Times is all about why he thinks it should be OK to blog about certain things about work. Actually, in my opinion, it was kind of a fluff peice that didn't do much besides state some obvious points. I think he only got published because he was recently outed as being the author of the famous blog, Anonymous Lawyer. It was a strange editorial to find on the same page with Maureen Dowd and editorials about New Orleans, but it did make me chuckle to think this guy used the same source as me.

Of course, I read that little editorial at work today and I managed to hold off writing about it until I got home.

28 August 2005


bil·dungs-ro·man or Bil·dungs·ro·man
A novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character.

That really is a word! I kind of thought Jay McInerney made it up for his New York Times review of Benjamin Kunkel's debut novel, Indecision. Seriously, that is a new one on me.

So is wanderjahr: a year spent wandering or travelling itinerantly; also called Wanderjahr
Etymology: the original German word meant a year taken to travel and perfect one's knowledge or skill after an apprenticeship

The only thing missing from this review was Sturm und Drang. Since when did Jay McInerney start teaching English at Frankfurt University?

OK, all that aside it does seem like Mr. McInerney liked this book so I may need to add it to my "to read" list. Also noted in the review is that a new novel by Mr. McInerney is due out soon. This struck me strange. Is it just me, or does it always seem like Jay McInerney and Brett Easton Ellis always publish around the same time? The last coincidence being the publication of Model Behavior and Glamorama within maybe months of each other. (I could look it up, but I am too lazy. All my energy for google was spent on the GermanGreman lesson. )

Are Jay and Brett locked in competition for most literary figure born out of the 80's Vintage Contemporaries scene OR are they actually the same person and deliberately publishing at the same time to throw us off the scent?

Maybe I am over thinking this...

24 August 2005

Visiting niece

My niece has been staying with us for the past few days. She is 17 months. I forgot how much more work that age is! You have to watch her every second. I am amazed that I actually forgot what that was like so quickly. Comparatively, I have it a lot easier now.

It has also struck me strange what a different baby my niece is compared to Zoë. She is quiet and timid where Zoë is boisterous and nosy. She is easily amused and a great eater and Zoë is neither. Now I think I understand what parents of more than one child mean when they talk about how different their kids are. My niece will be a big sister in about 6 more months and now I am very interested to see how that baby will be different in his or her own way.

I went to my first bookclub meeting last night and it was a lot of fun. I'm sorry I never did this sooner. It was a very informal conversation and everyone in the club is very smart and very nice and extremely well read. (I did not divulge that I was currently reading a Roasmund Pilcher novel. Although most of them are into the Harry Potter series which I don't exactly think of as high-brow.) No one was particularly argumentative or dominating. It was quite a success. The next book we read is "The Day of the Locust" by Nathanael West. It was published in 1939 and is about Hollywood. Should be interesting.

This idea of not posting during business hours is going to be hard. I was tempted today, but I managed to hold off.

P.S. Thanks for the comments from my readers. Glad you haven't given up on me. :-)

22 August 2005

Return from hiatus

It's been awhile since I've posted. I kind of fell out of the habit when I took my week's vacation. We didn't even go away, but I tried hard to stay away from the computer for most of the week. Coincidentally, there was this article in People magazine that same week about bloggers who have posted about their jobs and consequently lost their jobs. I was then caught up in a little bought of paranoia and I have now decided that it would be prudent to no longer post during business hours. Even if I write an email to myself and post it later, that would be better. There remains some chance of getting caught, I suppose, but my blog hasn't exactly become the talk of the town. I think I average about 2 visitors a day and after the last few weeks of being dry my two faithful readers have probably given up on me any way. Despite that, I shall persevere at blogging.

At the invitation of a colleague, I recently joined a book club. The first selection I read for the club was Train by Pete Dexter. This is not at all the kind of book I would choose for myself. That can be a good thing, but unfortunately, not in this case. For reasons that are unclear to me, this book won the National Book Award. Huh? If anyone can explain to me what is so good about this book, I would be interested to hear it. Tomorrow night the book club meets. I am going to lay low on my opinions and not say that I hated it because I don't want to put everyone off right from the start, but I really hope the next selection is something different.

As an antidote to Train I am now reading Coming Home by Rosamund Pilcher. It is the literary antithesis. Say what you will, the book has 77 amazon.com reviews and four and a half stars.

And now I am off to watch the last episode ever of "Six Feet Under." I tivo'd it last night while I was at the movies seeing "Broken Flowers" with the continues to amaze me with his brilliance, Bill Murray. Its no "Lost in Translation", but it is a good movie -- definitely the best thing I've seen in a long time.

29 July 2005

Who Knew Hi-5?

During our recent visit to Sesame Place I noticed on their calendar of events that Hi-5 would be performing there in October. This was very exciting news because Zoë loves Hi-5 so we decided we would definitely come back in October for the show.

A couple of days ago I called to reserve seats and all 6 shows are all sold out! I couldn't believe it. Only one other family I know has even ever heard of Hi-5. We discovered it by accident ourselves. If I wasn't such a big watcher of TLC then our bedroom TV would not have been on that channel that fateful morning that Rob brought Zoë into bed with him because he couldn't wake up yet. In an attempt to catch a few more winks he switched the TV on and there they were -- hyperactive Hi-5. It was love at first site for Zoë. The show also airs on Discovery Kids, however, they don't air the show every day. I really don't know what the schedule is, but I think one morning a week they play 5 episodes back-to-back. I have a season pass set up for the show so we always have Hi-5 on hand.

The point is, I just can't believe they are so popular. I bet if you asked 10 parents only 2 of them would say they'd even heard of them. It's very disappointing that we couldn't get tickets. The Sesame Place website says a limited number of tickets will be available the day of the show so we are going to go anyway and try to get in. Worst case is we spend another day at Sesame Place -- somehow I don't think Zoë will mind. I just wish I had some kind of Sesame Place connection.

Big Bird

28 July 2005

The Worst and The Best

Why does it always seem like the worst moments I experience as a parent are followed by some of the best? It can be an exhausting rollercoaster.

Here's the latest: Last night my father offered to babysit so my husband and I could go out. We made plans to have dinner with some friends. I was sure to give Zoë fair warning about this so it wouldn't come as a complete surprise. As a matter of fact I told her about it yesterday morning and she seemed excited about having her "Papa" babysit. Probably because he lets her have all the candy she wants.

Last night as we were trying to get ready to go and I was going over the basics (brush teeth, go potty, etc.) with my father, Zoë was swinging around these plastic beaded necklaces rather violently so I told her to stop swinging them. About two minutes later one of the necklaces went swinging by my head. I turned to Zoë and said much more sternly, "Stop swinging the necklaces around or I am going to take them away." A complete throw yourself on the floor whining, and whimpering pout ensued and it was such a show. She just kept carrying on so finally I picked her up and took her into the next room to talk to her. While I was trying to explain that she could have hurt herself or someone else with the necklace, she started playing with something else and I told her to stop and pay attention to me and when she didn't my frustration got the better of me and I yelled at her. Of course, this made her cry. And then she really dragged out the whole scene to the point that we were now running late for dinner. Finally, I had to just leave her at the door hysterically crying. I really hate that.

It took me a good hour or two to relax and start to enjoy my evening out. I know she was probably tired and weirded out by the change in routine and all of that, but it was just such a messy scene that it really left me feeling badly. Like I must be a terrible parent.

Switch to this morning: Around 6:30 am a sleepy-looking tousled-hair Zoë comes wandering into my bedroom. "Good morning Mommy. Can you get me some milk?"
"Sure," I said getting up. "Just give me a minute to wake up." Zoë then wanders out and a few minutes later I make my way downstairs to find her sitting in her Blue's Clues Thinking Chair.
"What are you doing?" I asked her.
"Sitting in my thinking chair. Thinking."
"What are you thinking about?"
"You," she said so incredibly sweetly. And I kind of felt like it was her way of apologizing. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I really don't think so.

The rest of the morning proceeded without a hitch. She got dressed without complaint, actually ate some cereal for breakfast and when I dropped her off at daycare she gave me a big hug, a big kiss, and a big smile and then she ran off to play. It was the easiest drop-off I've had with her to date. I got back in my car feeling like I had such a good and happy kid -- like I must be doing something right.

27 July 2005

How to defeat the purpose of light ice cream:

Eat the entire pint, of course.

(Thank you to Haagen-Dazs dulce de leche light for quite an enjoyable night.)

25 July 2005

I even wore a suit!

I was so close to not coming in to work today. The weekend was a good one and I really wanted to continue the feeling for one more day. This was especially tempting because my husband is off on Mondays so he was leisurely drinking coffee while sitting with Zoë as I was leaving this morning. Also, the swimming pool was so delightful this weekend.

Anyway, the whole reason I resisted temptation was because of this important meeting that was supposed to take place at 2:30 today. This meeting was rescheduled for tomorrow at noon today. I debuted my new suit from Target special for this meeting. I am quite disappointed that I wasted both an opportunity to take a "goof day" (as my best friend's mom used to call the days she would take us somewhere great instead of school) and the debut of my new suit. I know no one really notices, but it makes a difference to me therefore it makes a difference in how I feel in these kinds of meetings. Oh well. I'll have to think of something equally empowering to wear tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the end of the day is near and I must get ready to go because I promised Zoë I would bring home some "jewelry" for her. Our neighbor's daughter, Hannah, has all these plastic bracelets and necklaces that Zoë just loves playing with. Went to Walgreens at lunchtime and they had nothing -- very disappointing. So, I'll stop at Toy's R Us on the way home hoping to find some stuff like this.

20 July 2005

My Night with Harold and Kumar

I really thought I would watch and episode or two of Six Feet Under and then fall asleep to the Nick Hornby book I am still trying to trudge through.

The cable gods intervened in my plans and instead I watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. This is the funniest, stupid movie I have seen in a long time. The tag line for this movie:

Fast Food. High Times.

It's priceless really. The guy who plays Kumar, Kal Penn, is really cute and I don't usually go for Indian guys. I especially liked the "extreme" guys and Harold and Kumar's Jew neighbors/friends Goldstein and Rosenberg (weirdly reminiscent of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern -- could it be???) who are also affectionately nicknamed Manny and Chevitz.

If I were still 20-something I would get high and watch this again. But alas, I don't do that anymore.

Wonder if Zoë will ever imagine that I would love a movie like this one? I know I cannot picture my mother watching it.

19 July 2005

Sesame Place hangover

We spent the weekend at Sesame Place -- frolicking in record-breaking hot and humid temperatures. Actually, it was a lot of fun, but I am just completely exhausted today. Strange muscles are feeling achy and I basically could barely concentrate on anything for more than 5 minutes in a row all day.

Best ride: Big Bird's Ramblin' River

Best show: Big Bird's Beach Party

Let's face it Big Bird has star power at this place. He is clearly getting the best deals. I wonder if he has a better agent than Elmo?

Pictures of the kid at Sesame Place to come tomorrow...

tonight I must nurse my hangover and catch up on Six Feet Under . I am 2 episodes behind!

16 July 2005


Yesterday I had an amazing Targasm! What's a targasm, you ask? A targasm is an intense, highly pleasurable shopping experience had at a Target store. It was truly the best shopping I have ever done there and believe me, I am an experienced Target shopper.

Here is just a choice sampling of what I walked out of the store with:

A suit. Yes, a suit. Lined jacket and everything. The only alterations needed is the pant hem.
Isaac Mizrahi for Target Madras Jacket.
khakis for husband
shorts for husband
Jaws t-shirt for husband
Hello Kitty sandals for Zoë
Rain boots for Zoë
hairbrush and comb
bubble bath
movie size boxes of candy (Mike & Ikes, Junior Mints, Good & Plenty, Hot Tamales, and Raisinettes)
Tositos Gold Tortilla chips
juice boxes
skim milk

And that's not everything. That is what I call variety. Grand total for this shopping extravaganza...?


Not bad, huh? Tell me where you can even buy a women's suit for that much? It was by far the most satisfying shopping experience I have had in a long time. Even better than my spring time spree at the Palisades Mall.

Hee hee! I can't wait to go back for more.

14 July 2005

One of those mornings

Did you ever have one of those mornings when every little thing pissed you right off? Yeah, me too. This morning, in fact. Husband and child could do no right and things are not much better at the office.

I knew I was in trouble when I wanted to smash all of the dishes in the dishwasher onto the floor because my husband's technique for loading the thing was getting to me. It's as if he throws the dishes, etc. right in there and doesn't even try for any kind of logical placement or efficiency. At least I had enough clarity to recognize the complete disproportion in my anger level to his lack of skill at loading a dish washer and kept my mouth shut thus avoiding a morning yelling match. That would not have helped my mood.

Going now to try and find solace and soothing in another cup of coffee and a cranberry-orange muffin...

12 July 2005

Hopes dashed by the NY Times

I just read the New York Times review of John Irving's new book, "Until I Find You." It's not good. The second paragraph starts:
Certainly Jack Burns, the hero of Mr. Irving's bloated and lugubrious new novel, is a victim in spades - and then some.

Not an auspicious start for a good or even mediocre review. And the final paragraph is this brutal sentence:
Jack's "melancholic logorrhea" might yield some useful therapeutic results, but in terms of storytelling, it makes for a tedious, self-indulgent and cruelly eye-glazing read.

Now I find myself in a bit of a quandary because I have literally read every word that John Irving has every published. I am probably one of a dozen or so people who really loved "The Fourth Hand." So, do I trust in the New York Times and Michiko Kakutani and skip this book, or do I risk extreme disappointment? The book is 800 plus pages so its going to be fairly time consuming should I decide to take the risk. My gut instinct is telling me to wait for it to come out in paperback, but read it anyway. At least the financial risk will be less.

Speaking of books, I am halfway through "A Long Way Down" by Nick Hornby. So far so good. I'm not overwhelmed with loving it. I can put it down, but I do find myself wondering about the characters and I am not at all sure where they will end up, which is a good thing. Hornby is a lot like Irving in that his characters do detestable things and yet we still feel sympathy for them. They become more than just their label in his words.

11 July 2005

Not all time wasted is bad...

At least according to this Reuters article. Turns out, I am not alone in the time wasting. Too bad I exceed the average 2 hours per day by about another X hours...

One fine summer Sunday

Despite waking up with a slight hangover (or maybe because of it) yesterday was an excellent day. It was relaxing and filled with good news. The morning was spent eating my husband's pancakes and drinking multiple cups of coffee while recovering from drinking my neighbor's drink creation of Twisted Tea over ice with a shot of Stoli Orange. (This is an excellent drink, but highly potent.)

At naptime my brother and his wife came over with their daughter and she and Zoë went down for their nap together and the 4 of us enjoyed a calm lunch. That is when the first piece of good news was delivered -- my sister-in-law is pregnant! Unlike with their first baby, they achieved pregnancy effortlessly. Last time was a full year or fertility doctors, etc. She is due March 8 -- making yet another March baby in the family. Something about summer really brings out the baby-making in my family! I am really happy for them -- and for me too. I love being an aunt.

After the girls woke up from their nap, my neighbors (same neighbors as above) came over with their two kids and we all hung out in and by the pool for the afternoon. It was so relaxing and fun to just lounge around and play with the kids in the water and be in the sun. It was perfection in a Sunday afternoon.

Then the next piece of good news arrived in the form of a phone call. My friend Miriam had her baby on Saturday night and mother and baby are doing very well. She had a very easy delivery and sounded a little tired, but otherwise great on the phone. The only sad part is that the bris will be next Sunday and we are going to miss it because we will be in Sesame Place that day. Miriam told me she arrived at the hospital at 8:45pm and delivered at 9:03pm! That is what I call speedy delivery!

The last bit of good news came just before dinner when I checked my email and finally found mail from our friends in the U.K. All of them are safe and well. Turns out they were moving and without internet access for 4 days. It is a big relief to know they are all OK.

We rounded out the evening with take-out Thai food with the neighbors (same as above) and kids dancing to blaring Tom Weber. Nice day -- I'll take 10 more just like it.

08 July 2005

Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips

Anyone who knows me even a little knows what a candy-holic I am. Not to be confused with a choco-holic. I like chocolate, but I also gotta have my pure sugar like Mike & Ikes or Good & Plenty or Circus Peanuts. And I gotta have it on a daily basis.

However, when I am really down there is one snack I crave -- Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips. They are good to the point of total addiction. Not only are they mood elevating, they are also helpful in relieving PMS and DMS (during ...) symptoms. I was first introduced to S&V chips by my college roommate. She changed my life when she got me to put down the pint of Ben & Jerry's Sweet Cream and Cookies and instead munch on some S&V chips. By the time I had reached the bottom of the bag my fingers were greasy, the corners of my mouth were burning, and I felt a whole lot better about being dumped or waiting for the phone to ring or something. I can't remember the crisis, but I have never forgotten the chips.

Needless to say, I am currently enjoying a bag of S&V chips now. Later I will curse myself for the grease and crumbs accumulating on my keyboard...


"Indeed, we all just lost a little freedom yesterday." (Thomas Friedman in his editorial for the New York Times today. If It's a Muslim Problem, It Needs a Muslim Solution.)

I am having such a hard time dealing with the recent bombings in London. So many 9/11 memories, feelings, fears all rushing back to the surface. That will just never go away. I feel so much empathy and sympathy for the people in London dealing with this. The innocent people who's lives will never be the same.

As my friend said the other day, I can't imagine how someone could think that setting off 4 bombs could affect some kind of positive change. It makes me so angry.

05 July 2005

My new goal...

If you read The New Yorker then you may have noticed that they have started running the cartoon caption contest as a regular feature. I have submitted a caption every week of the contest so far and although I have not yet won or even made it to the final three I am officially obsessed and determined to win someday. Here is an example of one of my captions:

Yes, I am sure your mother can't hear us from here.

The winning caption was:
Relax, honey—everybody gets buyer's remorse.

Is that really better? I don't know.

Anyway, its hard to believe it's already past the 4th. It was a glorious weekend and we even got to use the pool for the first time all summer. Last night we took Zoë to the beach to see the fireworks for the first time. Husband was convinced that she would hate it because of the noise, but, in fact, she loved it. She had a ball and despite the late hour, she behaved amazingly well. She was an all-around great kid all day yesterday. Here' a pic...

01 July 2005

Moisturizer madness

In the last week I have purchased 3 bottles of moisturizer. Yes, I do have dry skin, but its not that bad. Seems like the world of moisturizers has really expanded lately and its not just about scents anymore. It started with the bottle of Lubriderm with SPF15. This is a fantastic idea. I use moisturizer every morning and now just like the stuff I put on my face (Oil of Olay), my bod gets some sun protection too. And it is so easy to re-apply -- easier than sunscreen for some reason. Probably because it is thicker and doesn't smell like sunscreen -- it is fairly odorless.

Next came the Jergens lotion with shimmer. It was a total impulse buy because I liked the idea of it. The best part is that it really works. In addition to the moisturizing, it leaves a subtle shimmer on you skin. The shimmer doesn't last all day, but it is nice for an evening out. I like the subtle factor a lot because I was concerned it would be like a 14-year-old's body glitter. It has a nice. light scent too.

Finally the other day I happened upon another Jergen's product called Natural Glow. This is lotion with some sunless tanner in it. I've never really gone in for the sunless tanners before, but this intrigued me. I applied it yesterday morning and by the end of the day I could see that there was a change to my skin color. Again, a subtle change, which is good.

Now, my dream would be to have a lotion that has SPF 15, shimmer and a little sunless tanner all in one. That would be the ultimate summer moiturizer. If it could also be unscented that would be a bonus. Any cosmetic manufacuterers out there???

Yes, it's true, I spend an awful lot of time in CVS.

27 June 2005

The Waterslide

In the last year we have become friends with out neighbors two houses down. They have a little girl, Hannah, who is just about Zoë's age and we started getting them together for playdates this past fall. Over the course of the playdates Hannah's mother, Sally, and I got to talk quite a bit and she is a very lovely person. Sally's husband Ted helped us with the snow all winter because he has a snow blower. And they also have a little boy called Jack who just turned 6 and is very sweet.

This summer we have been hanging out with them more. Since I started my new job Sally and I now work close to each other so we have met for lunch a few times. And our two families have had dinner a few times. They are a lot of fun to be with and I feel lucky to have such good neighbors. The kids and the adults all get along very well.

This past Saturday was Jack's birthday party and we were invited over after the party to help try out Jack's birthday present. Ted and Sally bought him the Six Flags Banzai Falls Water Slide as a birthday present. This thing is awesome. I only wish I'd had something like that as a kid. The kids all loved it, but for me, of course, the best part was watching Zoeë.

In typical Zoë fashion she spent about an hour circling the slide. She watched the other kids go up and down, she played in the water at the bottom, and she climbed up to the top a few times and then climbed back down again. There were 3 little boys including Jack and 2 little girls -- Hannah and another. Hannah wanted no part of the slide, but all the other kids were going down repeatedly. Finally, after no special moment, just enough time spent assessing, Zoë sat herself at the top of the slide. She sat for about 5 minutes and then she went for it and at the bottom after she splashed into the freezing cold water, she had the biggest grin on her face. She ran around to the back and slid down about 50 more times until her lips were literally blue from the cold water. Despite shivering, she did not want to stop. That night all she could talk about was the slide. And the next morning she wanted to go right back to their house and slide some more. Luckily, Sally called to say they were going to set the slide up again in the afternoon if we wanted to come over. As if it were a question! It was fantastic to watch Zoë have so much fun. If I let her, I think she would keep sliding until she just dropped -- either from exhaustion or hypothermia.