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.")