27 April 2009

NOT America's Next Top Model

A few weeks ago I wrote about my husband's bathroom reading material. Over the weekend a new catalog showed up called Northern Safety & Industrial. They sell things like hard hats and safety goggles. Admittedly that is unexpected bathroom reading material, but not in my house. What was unexpected was the modeling. Clearly the art director thought this was a completely different kind of layout. I couldn't help scanning a few of my favorite shots and adding my own captions...

(The captions are a little smaller than I thought they would be so let me know if you can't read it.)

 Northern Safey & Industrial

24 April 2009

Everyone else is doing it...

So why can't I? Bulleted blog posts that is. I'm thinking of starting a new Friday tradition.

My list of things I have learned this week:
  • Attending a funeral, even if you were not close to the deceased, is an exhausting, depressing experience.
  • Queens, NY seems to consist mainly of cemeteries and airports.
  • Even at age 38 I don't feel much like a grown up when I go somewhere with both of my parents.
  • Grilled cheese made with cheddar on challah bread is really, really good.
  • Going out for lunch is really the best way to eat lunch.
  • There has to be something other than a toasted bread type product (English Muffin, roll, etc.) for breakfast, but I can't figure out what.
  • 2 people I do not know have decided that this picture of Zoe is one of their favorites. I like this picture, but I am not sure why it would be a stranger's favorite.
  • I was never one for getting back together with ex-boyfriends, but I am overjoyed at getting back to work with an ex-co-worker.
  • Sour Patch Kids are surprisingly good.
  • They do not make an 18" kid's bike which would be the precise size that would be perfect for Zoe right now.
  • Zoe can ride her bike without training wheels!

19 April 2009

The Cosmetics Counter: My Alter-Blog

Because I've got nothing but spare time (ha!) I've decided to start another blog. If you read my posts here, you may have noticed I have a thing for make-up. I decided to turn that "thing" into a blog offering hints, tips, and product reviews. I am always trying out new products and I love to give advice so I've created my own forum. I hope you'll stop by the new blog here:

Make-up 101

And, if you're really interested, you can also follow my alter-twitter @makeup1oh1

18 April 2009

Posiedon found in Maryland

, originally uploaded by Marcyjill.

I just got around to downloading the pictures from our trip tonight and I had to share these pictures I took in National Harbor. The entire set is here.

What's really cool is that as you approach the waterfront area all you can see at first is this big arm sticking up seemingly out of the water. It is not until you are right on top of this do you realize that it is a giant man coming out of the sand.

16 April 2009

C, C, & C Tour 2009: Water, water, everywhere

I have 2 wet days to catch up on.

Tuesday was spent at Baltimore's Inner Harbor where we went to the National Aquarium.  I highly recommend this aquarium both for it's attractions and unique design and layout.  A great amount of thought went into the physical space which enhanced both the attractions and the actual getting around.  We saw everything from bottlenose dolphins and hammerhead sharks to the tiniest 2 centimeter seahorses.  I love seahorses.  They have to be one of the cooler looking animals in the sea.  Somehow we managed to spend almost 4 hours here.  

From the Aquarium we headed to our next hotel in a town that Greta the GPS has never heard of, National Harbor, MD.   Luckily Google maps has heard of the place so we were able to find it.  Upon arrival we could see why Greta hadn't heard of it.  This place looks like most of the buildings opened for occupancy about 3 weeks ago.  In fact, that is the case for our hotel.   It is a completely planned waterfront area designed to accommodate those visiting or working in DC.  It is less than 15 minutes to downtown DC from here.  There are at least 4 hotels, a convention center, at lease 10 restaurants and an enormous harbor area.  Very interesting place.  Unfortunately most of the time we have been here it has been raining so we haven't gotten to walk around much although I would like to.

Yesterday we made our way to DC in the pouring rain.  As Becky would say it was "bucketing."  We had hoped to walk around the mall, see the Lincoln Memorial, the White House and then go into the Air and Space Museum.  So much for that hope.  Because of the rain we spent a large chunk of time just looking for parking and by the time we did park and get to the mall area, we were so wet (even though we had umbrellas) we just went right into the museum.  As you can imagine the museum was very crowded.  My overall experience was not a good one.  I think Zoe was museum-ed out and that kind of crowd gets to my claustrophobia.  It is clearly a great museum, but Zoe and I were not really able to enjoy it.  Rob seemed to love it though.  He took pictures of every plane, space ship, rocket and flying machine they had.  Most of the time with Zoe posed in front.  I bet if we look back on those pictures we will see Zoe looking less and less thrilled to be photographed.  

The day ended on a good note with dinner with an old friend in downtown DC.  It was great to catch up with her and to sit, get dry and relax.

Today is our last day and most of the day will be focussed on getting home, but we've got all day and the sun is shining so I am hoping we get to enjoy some of that too.  

14 April 2009


   537 posts
     37 photos of Zoe (I think there must be more than that)
     28 memes (I think there must be more of these too)
     20 blogs in my community (at least!)
   100s of books
   100s of ups
+ 100s of downs
4 years of ZoesMom blogging

Can't quite believe  it has been 4 years, but I hope it goes on for much longer than that.  I love writing my blog, I love the comments from all my blog friends, and I love the friendships that have developed through blogging.  

C,C, & C Tour 2009: A meet-up

While yesterday probably won't go down as Zoe's favorite day on vacation because it involved shopping, I thought it was an excellent day. We started off with a lazy morning at the hotel, then headed out to the famous Lancaster outlets.  They have just about every outlet you can think of (except Kate Spade) and there is some really good shopping.  I was tempted in a few stores, but not enough to buy anything.  Rob and Zoe had more luck and despite her protestations, Zoe walked away with some cute things from Tommy Kids and a cool new pair of kicks.  

The best part of the day came next when we went to visit the one and only Emily!  And Bob, of course.  We were even lucky enough to catch a glimpse of their cat, Frances.  Emily and Bob gave us a tour of their house (their "manse") which is an absolute reader's paradise in addition to being a lovely home.  We also toured both churches -- the new and the old.  I especially loved the old church and I cannot believe I did not take a single picture.  I think I was just taking it all in, but my camera was right there in my bag and I didn't pull it out once.  Sigh.  They also took us to look at some Amish furniture, beautiful quilts, and we got to sit in the famous chair that is probably the most perfect reading chair ever, but at quite a prohibitive cost.  Bob made sure we didn't miss a highlight of the shops and that was really fun.  I now have all these mental images to accompany Emily's blog posts and a snapshot of their life in Paradise.  

We finished the evening with dinner at a Thai place where both Bob and Emily indulged Zoe in her magic tricks and know-it-all performance.  I'm not sure Zoe let any of get out two full sentences without being interrupted, but it was only in her attempt to impress our hosts.  She has already asked when we're going to visit again.  My answer:  soon!

13 April 2009

C,C, & C Tour 2009: A little more chocolate, a little less roller coaster

Continuing our stay in the great state of Pennsylvania, we went to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA yesterday. Since it was Easter it was sunny, but just a few degrees too cold.

Overall I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting/hoping to me innundated with chocolate at every turn, but it was much more of amusement park than chocolate factory. There were some good kiddie rides for Zoe and the gift shops offered every kind of Hershey product known to man so that was fun.

The best part, however, was the cultural diversity. Because it was Easter the crowd was largely of the non-Easter celebrating variety. There were tons of Indian and Asian families as well as a lot of Orthodox Jew families. I have to say that kind of diversity was unexpected in the middle of PA.

Funniest moment of the day happened back at the hotel when Zoe opened the drawer of the nightstand by her bed and said, "who's Holly Bibble?"

12 April 2009

Crayons, Candy, & Capitol -- 2009 U.S. Tour

Our latest road trip is off to an excellent start. We hit the road yesterday morning in the rain with the GPS programmed to Easton, PA the home of Crayola Crayon Factory.

I thought we would actually get to see how crayons are made, but there wasn't much on that. However there was room after room of coloring, crafts, clay, ans painting. Zoe was in heaven. We took home a big bag full of crafts and drawings. And although the place is a terrific marketing ploy it doesn't feel that way. The upsell is kept to minimum and they provide a lot of feebies to take home. Of course we did visit the Crayola store before leaving and filled another bag of stuff we had to pay for. What a great store! Who knew there were so many kinds of crayons? We even got a metallic set. I probably should have bought two of those -- one for me and one for Zoe.

After that we headed to our hotel in Lancaster, PA where they have an indoor pool. Zoe and I went for a pre dinner swim and just before bed she declared this "the best time I've ever had."

Today we woke up to Easter baskets, a delicious surprise from my favorite Easter Bunny, Rob. And now we're off to Hershey Park. I am going to OD on chocolate this week!

09 April 2009

The worst part of vacations...

...is that they end, of course.

However, the other negative thing is all the work that has to get done pre-vacation. Work for work to make sure everything is covered or rescheduled or just plain done and work at home like laundry, and bills, and hotel reservations. I feel like I have been going non-stop since last week sometime just so I can take 4 days off of work.

Even as I try to write this blog post I am instant messaging with my boss. It's is 9:35PM.

The fun news is we're taking another road trip and I will be blogging from the road again so I'm not going to say where we're headed. The trip is not as ambitious as Dallas, but involves a lot of stops.

See you on the road!

06 April 2009

The Easter Parade

I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of The Easter Parade by Richard Yates through LibaryThing Early Reviewers program. This is not a new book, but it is a good one. Here's my review:

It's all about the writing.

"The Easter Parade" is bleak to the point of almost being without any hope, but I couldn't put it down. I am sure that in the hand's of less-talented writer, this would have been a maudlin story, but in this case Richard Yates has created a beautifully crafted work of art. His characters linger in your heart and mind.

It is a compelling story of two sisters who lives are both stunted and destroyed by false hope, by alcohol and by simple circumstances. Reading it was a strange experience because despite the characters' sad, painful lives and experiences that made me want to turn away, the story was completely engrossing. The concise style moves this relatively short book along rapidly, yet you feel like you've understood every detail of the 40 plus years in these women's lives.

It seems that neither sister was capable of escaping their fate of unhappiness no matter what they tried. From the opening sentence "Neither of the Grimes sisters would have a happy life..." to the last painful moment, there is no relief, but if you look closely it does end with a spec of hope for the future generation. A hope for ending the family legacy of miser. It is a bit like applying a band-aid to a broken leg by the time it appears, but this quiet little upswing leaves you with a lot to think about.

04 April 2009

Cleaning your house is not enough

I haven't gotten out my soap box in awhile so I thought it was time I dusted it off.

Last Saturday morning at the gym I happened to see a piece on the CBS Early Show about working out while you clean. I was listening to my iPod and not the TV audio, but it wasn't necessary to get the gist of this piece. It had two extremely thin women in work out gear doing lunges while mopping, using a full laundry basket to do chest presses, carrying grocery bags like dumb bells, etc. The women were very serious in their cleaning and exercising. Towards the end of the segment a laughing male anchor joined when they were lifting bottles of laundry detergent. He was laughing with an "aren't you girls cute" expression on his face. Very smug.

I wanted to hurl my water bottle at the television. I restrained myself (lucky for the people working in the area below the ceiling-suspended televisions) and the piece disappeared, but was almost embarrassing to watch. The after shocks stuck with me. It made me really angry, but I wasn't sure if I was over-reacting. I brought it up with Rob later that day to see what he thought of it. He agreed that it was absurd and insulting. I felt more justified in my anger, but I still felt angry. I brought it up again with Becky on Sunday and she shared my anger and shared a similar story that had left her simmering in the same way. I felt even better about my anger and thus the need to pull out the soap box.

This piece says to me, "Hey lazy girl, cleaning the house isn't really work so why don't you make it worthwhile and work on that fat ass of yours at the same time. Don't worry, your husband will think it is cute and he'll be happy to have a clean home."

Seriously, is this where we still are with male/female relations? Are women, working outside or inside the home, still just Barbies who's real "job" is to look pretty and keep a nice home for her man? Those work outfits are fun for dress-up, but when playtime is over, get back in the kitchen and fix dinner. It sure seems that way in the eyes of the media. And with so many women anchors and women fitness coaches and women everything on these shows (aren't we diverse and appealing to women?!) you would think someone would wave a red flag when the idea of showing a stick skinny woman doing lunges with her mop was first pitched.

What do you think, am I over-reacting or am justified in my anger?