28 December 2012

Two Weeks Later

Its been two weeks since my life and my whole families lives were completely rocked by the shootings in Newtown.  I can't quite believe it has only been two weeks.  It feels like so much longer, but I am no closer to understanding or to feeling like some change has been enacted to prevent this.  I know that both of those things are a long way off if they are even possible.

I've never been one to care much about the New Year, but this year I think I do.  2012 was tough year in so many ways.  There are some definite challenges on the horizon in 2013, but I am looking forward to turning the page on this year and getting a fresh start no matter how illusory that start is.

One good thing I can take away from this year is what I have learned about myself.  I have a new sense of myself and what I can handle as well as what is really important to me.  I think adversity can bring better self-awareness and I'm grateful for that small thing.  I know it will help me immediately and hopefully well into the future.

A quick update on my family...

My nephew and niece are doing OK.  There is still a lot to deal with for both of them, but I think they are looking forward to starting their new school next week.  I am sure there is some trepidation for them, but I believe they crave the normal routine.  I hope it will be helpful more than scary.  We spent Christmas Eve with them and it was such a treat to see them running around and smiling -- eating candy and playing with new toys as elementary school kids should be doing.  My brother and sister-in-law are hanging in there.  I worry about them as they've had so much to deal with in these last two weeks and the end of the worry will probably never come for them.   Their lives are just as changed as their children's.  All of us are in awe of our remarkable luck that we still have my nephew with us and that this time hasn't been the nightmare of our imaginings.

17 December 2012

It has been awhile...

It has been awhile since I've written a blog post.  I was starting to think that maybe I didn't want to write in my blog anymore.  Those of you who know me, know I tweet a lot and I'm on Facebook constantly.  I started blogging as kind of a public journal, but then it did turn into a way for me to keep my friends up to date and a place to record unique and mostly funny things.  Little by little, it seems like Facebook took that over.  I mean, who doesn't love instant gratification, right?  And for so little effort, it is a double bonus.

But just a few minutes ago I opened Twitter to write something and just as quickly, I closed the window and moved on.  It occurred to me that I haven't been able to tweet anything since Friday.  Since the horrible school shooting.  I am stultified by so much of this, but mostly by a desire to not make less of the grief that those who lost loved ones are feeling.  How can anything I say be relevant next to the pictures of these beautiful babies or the stories of the heroic children and first responders?  I have nothing to add on gun control or mental health, so many of you have said it so eloquently and angrily for me already.  All I can add is a simple "me too" to those posts.  I have no funds I am starting to help victims, no vigils I am planning.  All I have is my own overwhelming sadness and anger.

Then I remembered my blog.  I'm pretty sure I know everyone who reads my blog and they are all good friends.  I want to share with my friends the way I am feeling and what I have experienced.  They can read or not read and either way is ok with me.  And if by any chance you're reading this and I don't know you personally, I hope you'll understand my desire to share in this way.

My niece and nephew are students at that school.  My family is incredibly lucky because they are physically unharmed.  My niece is 8 and in 3rd grade.  She did not see anything and for that I am grateful.  She is terribly affected by losing her principal and other friends and teachers and I don't really know how she's doing, but she seems to be OK.

However, my nephew who is 6 was in one of those classrooms.  He saw the gunman and he escaped in the bathroom with some other students.  The story is still unclear, but he knows what happened and when the police office carried him out of the room he was told to close his eyes, but he didn't.  So, he saw the dead bodies of his teacher and his friends.  There were two first grade classes.  All the kids except one were killed in one class.  5 kids from my nephew's class were killed.

When I think of the terror he must have experienced I start to cry.  When I think of what he lost in those short moments, I am overwhelmed.  His life is forever changed.  And he really is still a sweet and innocent baby.  When I think of the terror everyone who faced that gunman felt and think that was the last thing so many of them felt, I want to scream.  When I think of the parents who lost their sweet and innocent babies, I want to crawl into my bed and never get out.

When I see the victim's families I am reminded at how easily that could have been me and my family.  That terrifies me.  If anything happened to Zoe, I know that I could not go on.   The fear makes me want to keep Zoe home from school and never let her out of my sight.  It makes me want to stay home and hide.  

But I know if I do that, this gunman, and all the others who have struck fear in my heart over the course of my life, they win.  And as my mother wisely said, not only do they win, but I lose.  So, I sent Zoe to school today and I went to work.  I faced the news and read all the reporting of the day.  It was hard and I am glad to be home now, safe with my family.

I am grieving for my brother and sister-in-law and my niece and nephew and the hard days they have to face at funerals this week and then as life goes on, in facing the victims families including their own next door neighbors.  I am grieving for all 26 of those people and their families and for the family of the gunman.  I am grieving for the fact that Zoe has to know about something like this.  And selfishly, I am grieving for myself, for what this has taken out of me.  It is small in comparison, but it still hurts.

I am hoping for some peace and for some change.  

08 October 2012

21 September 2012

Oh! Here's my blog

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.  The truth is I was almost killed by work, but I managed to pull through and survive.  I don't even care to re-hash, but I did learn some really good lessons in the last 6 months or so.  I'll share them with you now:

  • It is OK to say no.  When you only have about 3 free hours in a week and someone invites you to do something you're not that crazy about doing, it is OK to just say no.  Well, no thank you is generally more appropriate.
  • It is possible to spend multiple workdays simply answering emails as they come in.  At the end of those days you are exhausted, but feel you've accomplished exactly nothing.
  • Jellybeans can be taken medicinally.  
  • Rob is completely capable of getting Zoe where she needs to go with the things she needs to have.  
  • Smartphones can feel like anchors.
  • When someone else is making dinner, just sit down and be happy about it, don't even ask what you're having.  
  • Good friends are incredibly understanding about these kind of epic work situations.  Families are too.  Even Zoes.
Speaking of Zoe, there's so much to say about that incredible girl, but I'll save that for a well thought out post.  Tonight, as I finally feel like I've returned to the land of the living and not perpetually working, I wanted to get something up on this blog for posterity.

26 May 2012

On being a pin cushion

Let me start this off by saying I am fine now.  I am on the mend and will be good as new in no time.  

On Monday I was scheduled for a minor surgical procedure much like the one I had last summer.  Since that procedure went so easily I really wasn't concerned about this one and was really just annoyed by the inconvenience and timing since work is so crazy right now.  

I should have realized things would not go as smoothly when the nurse was starting my IV for the procedure tried and failed twice and then had to call in another nurse to finally get it in.  It doesn't hurt a lot in the scheme of things, but it doesn't feel good either.  

Next thing I knew I was waking up from surgery and getting ready to go home.  That part is a little fuzzy.  However, I was definitely in more pain than the last time.  The pain continued the next day.  Pain killers helped and the doctor said the pain I was experiencing was probably a side effect of the anesthesia.  By Wednesday morning I was sick and couldn't keep anything down and I was directed to the ER where I was admitted, cat scanned, and pumped full of IV antibiotics -- once the IV was inserted after 2 attempts.  I was told that I may need more surgery and that they wanted to keep me for observation.  Re-scan revealed that I could go home after a full night and day of observation.  

If you've ever spent a night in the hospital you know there is very little rest involved.  It was a long night that included one more IV insertion when I accidentally pulled mine out in the hour of sleep I managed.  I finally got home Thursday night.  Yesterday I felt better, and today I feel better still. However, I look like a heroin addict so I have to be a careful not to get arrested this weekend.  

Let's not forget poor Zoe.  This was an awful week for her.  She was scared of me going in for surgery to begin with and seeing me so unwell was really hard for her.   My mom and Rob were scared too and I hated seeing all of them so upset and worried about me.  It is my job to worry about them.  There were a lot of things I hated about this experience like the pain, like interrupting everyone's life, like needing to be cared for, but I hated that part the most.  

I am grateful to my family who have taken such good care of me.  My mom has been simply amazing and I know am incredibly lucky.  

20 May 2012

How Boys Plan

Rob, my brother, and a friend are planning a camping trip for next weekend.  They waited until the last minute to try and reserve a camp site at a campground and since it is Memorial Day weekend, there are no sites available.  Instead they've decided to scope out a friend's property in Massachusetts somewhere to see if it will be suitable.  Below is an email conversation I was able to appropriate on their plans for scoping the site.

Gregory = friend = Bluedog
Jon = my brother = TheBoy
Rob = ZoesDad = Lunchmeat

I've re-created it in chronological order and certain details have been deleted to protect the innocent and/or unknowing.


Subject:  Recon Sunday

On May 18, 2012, at 6:57 PM, Gregory wrote:
Can you do a recon run on Sunday to Doug's place on Sunday?
Spoke w/Rob - he is in. 2.5 hr drive, hoping to find somewhere out in the copious nearby woods to make camp.
I'm thinking we park at his place and make NE towards Ford Brook - looks like it's only a few hundred feet from his property. Google this address:
On May 19, 2012, at 12:06 AM, Jon wrote:
I'm up in NH this weekend, but we're coming down on Sunday so I could potentially met you there and ride back with you. Let me know what time you'll be there and I'll try to synch up.

Love the idea of camping near Doug's place. Will it be OK to use their bathroom?

--- On Sat, 5/19/12, Rob  wrote:

I'm picking Zoe up from a sleep over girly party then in ready to go, I would prefer to drive if thats ok. 

On May 19, 2012, at 5:42 PM, Gregory wrote:
I'm driving, bitch. What time do you want to be on the road, and where do we meet?
See attached pics for recon info. I am not sure how far back Doug's property 'officially' goes, but I'm pretty sure they are out in the sticks enough that it does not matter. Unless Ellie has a problem with it, because we know wives exist solely to destroy our fun.
From: Rob
Subject: Re: Recon Sunday
To: "Gregory
Cc: "Jon
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 8:26 PM

It looks ok, I'd like to be closer to moving water but otherwise it's great. Next year Navaho country!
On May 19, 2012, at 11:32 PM, Gregory wrote:
SITREP 19 MAY 2012:
2: BLUEDOG SQUAD DEPLOYS FROM NORWALK 20 MAY 2012, 0830 (give or take). ETA TO LZ 1145.
In other words: Let’s keep in touch and drive separately – probably the easiest. Michael and I will hit the road ASAP in the morning. According to Doug it is a 2.5-3 Hour drive. Address is above, see ‘LZ’. Rob, you get Zoe, do your morning stuff and strike out on your own. Let’s plan on a Noonish arrival at Doug’s
I looked at the maps I could find, and there is some type of brook a couple of hundred feet NE from his yard. I am hoping there will be a good spot or two out there – does not seem to be any ‘civilization’ in an area fanning out from his lot. I’m hoping to set up a low-impact tent zone out there someplace. We’ll see. Jon; Rob and I will be ahead of your schedule. Let’s try to keep a cell/text line open to determine if you need/want to detour on the way back from NH.
Until Ops Commence: Bluedog Out.

 Re: Recon SundayFrom:
Date: May 19, 2012 11:48:17 PM EDT
To: Gregory
Cc: Rob 

Roger that Bluedog, over and out.

15 May 2012

Sad, Sad, Sad

Sad fact #1:  I missed my blogiversary!  April 13, 2012 marked the 7th anniversary of ZoesMom.  That's pretty significant and I'm very sad I missed celebrating.  I'll mark the occassion now by linking to a post from about 7 years ago.  There's not much to it, but it is something I would still write today.  May 12, 2005

Sad fact #2:  Here it is May 15 and I haven't posted since April 20.  I didn't even realize it had been that long.  I have been so busy with work that by the time I get home and get a chance to sit down I can't usually keep my eyes open long enough to think of let alone type a blog post. 

Sad fact #3:  I am having serious trouble with the work/life balance thing as well as the mother/person thing these days.  No doubt I have mentioned this enormous project I am working on -- it is definitely the biggest project I've worked on and it is all-consuming.  As a result my mothering has really been sub-par.  I've tried to explain to Zoe that it is temporary.  It really is only another 7 or 8 weeks, but when you're 10 that is a lifetime.  I know that.  The part that makes me feel the worst is that when I do get time away from work in the evenings or on the weekends, I crave being alone.  No Zoe, no Rob, no one.  I should take the time I have and give it to Zoe when possible, but at the same time if I don't take the time for myself, I am awful to be around.  It is a tough call.  Luckily (hopefully) I have many years to make this up to her. 

On the bright side this enormous work project has been opening up some cool opportuities for me and it really has been the the most interesting thing I've ever worked on.  I feel like if things do all go well and are well-received this could mean even more interesting things come my way. That's exciting. 

20 April 2012

Almost a Week in Photos: 4/14 - 4/19

There was a lot of beautiful weather in the past week and I did my best to document it.

This is my Dad at breakfast in Oscar's in Westport.
Breakfast is his favorite meal of the day.

This photo was taken from my car on the first real topdown day.
It was fantastic!

Zoe on a bunk at her sleep away camp.
We went for an open house and as expected, she love it!
This is a jade plant that is on my desk.  It has been growing a lot so
I wanted to take a photo to compare in a few months.
This is the view from my office window on an incredible day.
It was really hard to stay inside and work on this day.
A cool sunset.  The photo doesn't do it justice, but it was amazing.

Zoe trying fly fishing at softball practice.  What??
There was a guy practicing his technique when we arrived at the
field and he let Zoe give it a go.

18 April 2012

A Night without Zoe

Zoe is on school vacation this week and because I have to work this week and my options for childcare are limited, my sister-in-law graciously agreed to have Zoe sleepover Sunday night to Monday and bring her home Monday night. When we got home from dropping her off on Sunday night both Rob and my mother were complaining about missing Zoe already. I know some of it was exaggerated for fun, but I still got the real sense that they were truly missing Zoe after only a couple of hours and what would really amount to one missed bed time and one missed morning with her. I have to report honestly that I didn’t feel the same.

This immediately made me feel like a bad mother. After all, if her father and her grandmother were missing Zoe so much, shouldn’t I be missing her too? Do I not love her enough?

I mulled it over for awhile and the realization I came to is this: Zoe’s being gone for a night was a break for me and only me. The only thing truly different for Rob and Mom was that she wasn’t around. Of course I love having Zoe around. I do everything for her. And right there is the crux of the issue. I do everything. Yes, Rob helps and my mother helps – a lot, but I am the one who is truly responsible for all her comings and goings, her needs, her schedule, her clothes, her everything.

So, while Rob and Mom continued to complain about missing Zoe, I erased the bad mommy thoughts and went to bed with a smile on my face. I was able to go to bed when I wanted, set my alarm for later, get up and shower and leave for work when I was ready and I was quite relaxed about all of it. Zoe safely returned to us on Monday night and all was well. She had a terrific time with her cousins and her aunt and uncle, and I too, had a brief holiday.

10 April 2012

Title Nine Indeed

Softball season for Zoe started up this week and it really got me thinking.

I never played softball.  I never played any sports really.  OK I swam when I was younger, but if you blinked, you might have missed my high school career.  As a young girl I took ballet, but it wasn't strange that I didn't do any other sports when I was older.  None of my friends played sports.  There were some "jock" girls in high school that impressed/scared the hell out of me, but I never even considered I could actually play any of the sports they played.

These days girls can play every sport under the sun and in most cases it seems like our local high school has a team for it.  In elementary schools girls can start playing soccer, basketball, softball and lacrosse through the town leagues.  That did not exist at all when I was a kid.  To be clear these girls on the teams are all kinds of girls -- from the kind that wear pink and hang up Justin Bieber posters to the kind that wear their brother's clothes -- not just the "jocks."  It seems like most girls play at least one sport.

I think because it is something that was so completely incomprehensible to me at her age it gives me a real thrill to see Zoe out there playing basketball, field hockey, softball and even just tag with her friends.  She looks so confident and natural out on the field/court/playground.  I love seeing her in a uniform all sweaty and involved in the game and then smiling and laughing with her friends.  I love how she feels about playing games or sports.  I'm jealous of all that physical confidence and I hope it lasts her entire life.

06 April 2012

What are you saying?

I spend a lot of time in meetings and there's nothing like a meeting to bring out the jargon, metaphors, and cliches.  These all make me cringe, but nothing is more painful to me than when these things are misspoken.  So, I thought I would share the joy with a few of my recent favorites:

  • When the devil gets into the details
  • Follow on
  • I'm being tongue in cheek
  • Planful (this is an actual word, but it is an awful word)
  • The Ask is that your team... (what they mean is "request")
  • Moving the bar
  • On-boarding
  • On a go-forward basis
  • Collab (because it is hard to say collaboration)
  • Dial in (used in place of phone number)
I know I am not the only one who suffers actual pain from these kinds of things.  After all there are many, many websites dedicated to corporate bingo.  Please share some of your favorites.

01 April 2012

TV in Bed

In case I haven't mentioned it I've been working on a mega project. It is exciting to be project managing the biggest project I've ever worked on, but it is fairly all-consuming too. I've been working long, rather intense hours and I am exhausted at the end of most weeks. As a result I have found that around 2 or 3pm every Saturday and Sunday I crave lying in bed and watching TV. And a lot of times I actually manage to get there.

It feels ridiculously and deliciously indulgent to crawl under the covers on a Saturday afternoon. It also feels kind of selfish and counter to my normal approach to weekends. Generally I've always preferred cramming my weekends with every possible activity, but now I find myself weighing potential plans against lying in bed and watching my TV. Activity or something Zoe needs? Of course I'll go. Dinner with friends and opening weekend of the Hunger Games? Yes, certainly worth getting out bed for. High school version of Beauty and the Beast? Not so much. 30% off at Banana Republic? I'm on the fence. Really.

Not sure if this craving will continue after this project is completed, but for now I'm going with it rather than fighting it. And in a way I hope I do continue the indulgence once in awhile.

21 March 2012

A Decade of Zoe

In honor of Zoe's 10th birthday, I've decided to post 10 pictures of Zoe from her first year.  (Mostly because I couldn't choose only one.)

That might be more than 10, I lost count.

But can you believe that baby turned into this girl?


13 March 2012

Eleven Questions Meme Part 2

As a follow up to the Queen's Eleven Questions, I was tagged with these Eleven Questions by Ms. Musings.  As before, I am not fully following the rules but here are my answers anyway.

1.  How do you mark the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend?
These days it is when I shut down my PC and put it away in its case.  That is my signal that unless something dire happens, I am off duty until Monday morning.

2.  What is your idea of luxury?
Hotel living.  Has to be a nice hotel, of course, with a real down comforter and a nice bathroom.  What's more luxurious than not having to pick up after yourself, having food of your choosing brought to you, throwing your dirty towels on the floor, or fancy soaps in the bathroom?  A nice hotel can feel downright decadent.

3. Tell me a book, a drink and a food that all complement each other.
Fluffy novel and candy.  Water to drink if you must.

4. What is one thing you love about the house (flat, apartment, yurt, whatever) you live in, and one thing you would change?
I love the location of my house.  I chose my house because of it.  Walk to town, walk to the beach, walk to the train.  Close drive to everything else.  For me, that is perfect.  However, I would change the number of bathrooms by adding a master bath.  I would really, really love to have a master bath (en suite of course).

5. What is something about yourself that you have made peace with?
I really enjoy chick lit/romance novels.  For a long time it was like a dirty little secret, but now I'm out in the open and happy about it.  If you're judging me by what a read, so be it.  I don't think anyone is doing that though.

6. If you’re browsing in a real world bookshop, what will make you pick up a book that you’ve never heard of by an author you aren’t familiar with?
The cover.  I do tend to judge that first.  An attractive cover (that is not part of a woman's body with no head) draws me in every time.

7. If you could (or do) have it your own way, what’s your decorating style? (Plain, floral, girly, austere, classic…?)
Contemporary with a touch of whimsy, but only a few tchotchkes.  I share the decorating at my house with my mother.  Her tastes are more mid-century modern with a nod towards antiques and tchotchkes.  Our tastes mesh well, I think.  Neither of us are very girly or floral and we both love the color red.  If you've been to my house, you've seen that.

8. What never fails to cheer you up?
A candy store, going to the movies, planning a vacation and most of all, Zoe's laugh.

9. What are you going to do when you retire that you don’t have time for now?
Read, go to the movies, go to the theater, go to museums, bake, and drawing/painting.  I do some of these things now, but not nearly as much as I'd like.  Especially the last three items.  I find it very hard to make the time for those things while working and raising Zoe.  I often wonder what I will have time for when Zoe is at college, but I don't like thinking to hard about that either.

10. Given the chance, which house in literature would you move into, and why?
Pemberly?  No, that might be a bit too grand for me.  OK, I'll take Tinker Grey's NYC apartment in Rules of Civilty.

11. What don’t you wear, not because it doesn’t suit you, but because you don’t think you’re the type of person who wears that style/colour/a poncho?
Floral prints.  I never wear them.  I've made occasional exceptions for truly abstracted florals, but anything truly floral you would never find in my wardrobe.

06 March 2012

Eleven Questions Meme part 1

The Queen decreed that I should participate in this meme and who am I to refuse?

Here are the rules:

  1. Post the rules
  2. Answer the eleven questions that were asked of you by the person who tagged you
  3. Make up eleven new questions and tag eleven new people to do the meme
  4. Let them know you tagged them

And here are the Queen's 11 Questions:

1. Have you ever liked a movie more than the book? If so, what movie(s)?
That doesn't happen very often, but I will say most recently it happened with Hugo.  Admittedly the book was for children, but even so, it was quite good.  However, the movie was spectacular.  It was my pick for the best picture Oscar (although I knew The Artist would win).

2.  Um opening for Oh I don't know.  I don't go to concerts.  Never went to many as a kid.  I did see New Order a lot, but I can't honestly say seeing them again would be my dream.  I guess I'd like to see the Beatles, but I would hate all that screaming.  Concerts tend to make me claustrophobic.  So really any good singer-songwriter like Amos Lee or Adele or the like in a very small venue with a very small audience  would be a dream concert. Fill in the blanks. (You can fill them in with performers dead or alive.)

3. If you're making dinner and don't need to take into account anyone else's tastes but your own, what do you find yourself having over and over again?  
Grilled cheese on sliced sourdough bread with apple slices on the side and a good book to read while I'm eating.

4. You get to interview the author of the book you are reading right now. What's the first question you'd ask?
I am currently reading After the Party by Lisa Jewell so I think I would ask Ms. Jewell where she came up with the idea for her previous book, The Making of Us.  (BTW, I just ready Ms. Musing's reply to this question and I bow to her literary supremacy.  My goodness that woman knows her stuff.  I'm just her fluffy-headed friend.)

5. If the world becomes one in which all new novels are only published in digital format, what will you miss most?
Browsing shelves of new books in bookstores.

6. If you had been gifted to play any musical instrument brilliantly, what would you choose to play? (Or maybe you are so-gifted. If so, what do you play?)
I am rather un-gifted in the musical arena, but if I were to be gifted, I would want to be a singer.  I was in the chorus all through school and I truly love to sing.  I just wish I had a good voice.  

7. The "war between the sexes" has been around since the beginning of time. What do you think is the biggest problem between the sexes today?
The biggest problem is any notion that equality has been achieved.  It has not.  Just because women are in the workplace and women are leaders in government and some men stay at home with their kids, does not for one second mean that we have achieved equality.  Women CEOs are still called that, same with Women Senators, and even Women Athletes.  As a woman working in the corporate world, it is something you think about all the time.  

8. If you could switch places with any celebrity for three months, with whom would you like to switch places?
Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine.  If I was going to be any kind of celebrity it would have to be a musician, preferably a rock star.  Rock stars can be fashionable, or not.  They can be political, or not.  They tour, they go on TV, they often make it into movies.  And if they f up, people cut them slack, because, hey, its rock and roll.

9. You can eat at any restaurant in the world. Where would you eat?
That's a tough one.  I'm not much of a foodie, but I do like a nice dining experience and atmostphere.  My favorite thing is to eat outside so, right now, I think I'd choose the outdoor shack on the beach at the hotel in Aruba where I spent my honeymoon.  

10. What book do you wish you hadn't wasted your time reading last year?
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.  Great concept, terrible execution.  A complete disappointment.

11. Would you like me to answer all these questions myself?

OK, don't tell the Queen, but I am going to break the rules.  I have already been tagged with another eleven questions which I am happy to do, but I can't come up with yet another eleven and there's no one left for me to tag.  So, I'm taking a chance and breaking the chain.  Please forgive me.

28 February 2012

A week in photos: 2/17 - 2/23

The week before last I had the idea that I would try to take at least one picture every day and then once a week post the pictures with captions explaining why I took the pictures.  I carry my phone with me everywhere I go so it should be pretty easy.  I know this isn't a radical new idea and that there are whole sites devoted to this kind of thing, but even so, I thought it would be fun.  I was almost successful with this last week.

So here is a week in (iPhone) pictures February 17 to 23:

Friday 2/17:  This was taken in Grand Central Station while I was waiting for Emily to arrive.  That was a truly fabulous day!
Saturday 2/18:  This is my nephew's birthday cake made by my brother and sister-in-law.  I posted a picture of it on Facebook and people said it reminded them of the old MTV ads.  I can hear the music in my head now...
Sunday & Monday 2/19 & 2/20:  I spent a lot of time lolling in bed this long weekend.  It was lovely.
Tuesday 2/21:  Tuesday it was back to work after a four day weekend.  It was rough to get back and especially when my view was of the water and yachts.

Wednesday 2/22:  This is the view from my office.  I love it on a sunny day.
Thursday 2/23:  This is my car thermometer.  It was so warm that I didn't even need a coat.  Given that the average temperature in CT in February is closer to half that, I'd say this day was remarkable.  Oh and you can see my cute new iPhone case in the rearview mirror.

22 February 2012


Zoe calls my mother Ima.  All my mom's grandchildren call her Ima.  Zoe was the first and that was how she said "Grandma" when she was a year old.  Ima just stuck.  Over the years we've learned that the name we thought was so unique is actually the Hebrew word for mother and that lots of people use it for both their Mom and their Grandma.  To me, it will always be a Zoe invention though.  Kind of like "milky bop" for her bottle.

Tonight at dinner we somehow got on the subject of the book "Watership Down" (no idea why) and I suggested that Zoe might like to read it.  My mom told Zoe that it was a parable.  Zoe then asked what a parable was and my mom told her to go look it up on her iPad.  Zoe said, "Why should I look it up on my iPad when I can just go to Ima.com?  She knows."  We got a good giggle out of that because anyone who knows my mom knows she could have a site called Ima.com that had the answers to stuff like that as well as figuring out the square root of 324.  (The answer is 18, by the way.)

Of course I had to then go and google ima.com, but unfortunately the URL is already being used here.  However, the google results for "Ima" did turn up some interesting results including the Indianapolis Museum of Art and even more fitting, Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

21 February 2012

Tuesday Shoesday: Color Blocking

It has been too long since I've done a shoe post!

These days I'm really liking the color blocking I'm seeing in lots of places.  I think it looks cool on some of the clothes I've seen, but really hard to wear well.  Instead (and not surprisingly) I prefer this look in shoes.

Here are some of my favorites:

These Steve Madden wedges use a fantastic color palette, but they look
a bit hard to walk in with that high platform.

These are from Banana Republic and look like a perfect choice for work.
Too bad they are sold out already!

And I can't leave out Kate Spade who does it brilliantly and incredibly wearable.
These are on my spring wish list!

What shoes are you thinking of for spring?

19 February 2012

It's good to be Zoe

I think that if I am every reincarnated, I want to come back as Zoe.  She has a truly ideal life.  Let me give you an example of what I mean by giving you her detailed weekend activities:


  • 9am Basketball game attended by Rob, Ima (aka Marcy's Mom), and me.  They didn't win the game, but it was a well-played game.  Her best friend is on her team so they got to hang out as well.  
  • Doughnuts immediately after the game supplied thoughtfully by the coaches since it was the last game of the season.
  • 12:30 go to her cousin's birthday party.  She may have been the oldest kid there, but it did not stop her from running around and having a great time.  Cake, goody bag, etc.
  • 4pm we dropped her off at my Dad's so she could go ice skating and then to dinner with him.
  • Dinner was followed up with frozen yogurt.
  • Sleep late
  • Go out shopping with me for a birthday present for another cousin and leave the store with new jeans, new t-shirt, and a (very pretty!) dress for a wedding we are attending in June. 
  • Go out to lunch with Rob and me.
  • Spend afternoon playing Poptropica (her favorite video game)
  • Going to see the movie Hugo tonight.
I'm afraid I've spoiled her completely rotten.  The upside is that when you ask her, she freely admits she has a great life.  At least for now.  I know when she turns 13 or so, she'll no longer agree, but let's hope by 23 she remembers all this great stuff.  

10 February 2012


Today I had a meeting with a senior executive in my company. It wasn't me alone, but a few of us went into the NYC office for the meeting. The senior executive was a woman and as it turned out she and I were the only women in the room. Of course that is not unusual for me especially since I work in IT, but today I noticed. Maybe because the woman exec is so senior in my company. I know I am certainly impressed by her. Everyone (or at least every woman working in corporate America) knows that the higher up the chain you go, the fewer women you see.

Sometime after the meeting a colleague and I knocked on her office door to ask a few follow up questions and I have to admit that I didn't necessarily hear everything that was said because I was completely wowed by this woman's office. It was a nice size and certainly well-appointed, but the thing that made it so amazing was the fact that two of the walls were floor to ceiling windows that faced west and north from the 25th floor in the heart of Times Square. You could see west all the way to the Hudson and there was a perfect view of all the jumbotrons and other enormous signs and lights that make Times Square what it is. Now this is an office, I was thinking to myself. This is an office I could aspire to.

So often I feel the challenges of being a woman in the corporate world. I've been held back and insulted and any one of a number things that don't happen to men. Rarely do I feel empowered as a woman and rarely do I feel I have the same chance for promotion and success as a man. But as we were walking out of her office and I glanced back at the view I thought, someday. Someday I think I'd like that. And it might just happen.

06 February 2012

Something happens to girls in 4th grade

That is what Zoe's teacher told me the other day when I went in to meet with her about Zoe's homework.  She said, "Something happens to girls in 4th grade.  They get cool."


This has been coming on gradually, but it came to a head the other day when I realized that Zoe did not bring her homework home for the third time in a row.  Boy was she in trouble!  She ended up with no TV for a week and I paid a visit to her teacher to discuss her "problem."  We set some new homework rules and now that Zoe knows she's being monitored more carefully she is back to being a good homework doer.  It was a mini-crisis for certain, but that sentence won't leave me.  Something happens to girls in 4th grade...  What's going to happen to my little Moodgie?  Is she going to be too cool to be called Moodgie?  Does that explain the recent difficulties with picking out clothes in the morning and changing outfits 3 times?  The other night she asked me what she should wear to go to her cousin's play -- and that was 2 days away!


Of course when I questioned her about this she then said "I just want to look pretty like you always do."  So my baby who loves me, and thinks of me as "pretty mommy" is still in there.  I just hope "cool" Zoe doesn't eat her all up.

Before I conclude, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to my own mother for all the grief I may have given her over clothes to buy or outfits that needed changing.  I don't recall it, but if I was like this, I'm so sorry.  This might also explain why my mother has all the patience in the world for Zoe's outfit picking/changing -- she (perhaps) had a lot of practice!

05 February 2012


I've had many, many sketchbooks in my life.  For some time I fancied myself some kind of artist or designer.  I even started a graduate program in stage design (costumes specifically).  When I quit that grad program for a variety of reasons I pretty much quit on art and design as well.  I continued to like art and design, but I stopped producing any myself.

Over the years I've had different fantasies about getting a new drafting table to work on, about different types of projects I'd like to try and even the feeling of spending time creating.  I haven't actually done much of anything in the past 18 years though.

I don't know if I'm any good or if I just like doing it, but I feel like it is finally time I got back to doing something.  I've decided to start small with a really small sketchbook and a couple of pencils -- one hard, and one soft.  I'd like to say I'd spend time on one sketch a day, but given my current schedule I think that would be setting myself up for failure so I am going to try for one sketch a week.  I'm even going to post the sketch here and that will be doubly good.

The first sketch I'm posting is actually from this past summer.  It is an idea I had to paint on our back fence.    I had hoped to translate it into actual paint on the fence, but my ridiculous health issues and a new job got in the way so I put it on hold.  However, I am really going to try to get it done this summer as I think it will look really cool.  I plan to sketch it a few more times with some actual fence so it will be more clear on how it lays out, but this is my first draft.

I know it doesn't look like much, but I am a little rusty. More next week.

03 February 2012

Watching TV

I simply cannot stand kid's television. I don't know what it is and I never thought I'd be this way, but when Zoe is watching her shows (see: iCarly, MadTV, Victorious, etc.) I am literally repelled from the room. Sitting down to watch TV together is something we rarely do.

Both my mother and Rob seem to have a much greater tolerance than I do. They can actually sit in the room. They might be reading or something else, but I can't even think when faced with those shows.

In a way, it's good. I do a lot of reading, writing or other things that need doing while Zoe watches TV. Also I am always sure Zoe goes to bed on time because I can't wait for her TV time to be over.

As a result of this I have often felt like I don't get to watch anything I want to watch. Like it is off limits to me. That's probably not entirely true, but that's how it feels. So finally a few weeks ago when my birthday was approaching I decided that what I wanted was my own TV.

I have to say it was one of the best self-indulgent things I've done. I haven't spent much more time watching tv than I did before, but now when I do, it is almost like a spa treatment. I get into bed and watch what I want watch when I want to watch it. (Then I usually fall asleep about 10 minutes later.)

It's the little things.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

24 January 2012

Tuesday Shoesday: New Kicks for Zoe

The other day Zoe said to me, "Mom, a bunch of kids at school have these sneakers I really like."  Then she paused and said quite sheepishly, "Can I get a pair?"  As if she was afraid to ask.  She should know that I recognize the importance of the right pair of shoes.  I was a little disappointed in her at that moment, but I got over it and I said of course she could have the cool sneakers.

But first she had to find out who made them and where to get them.  The next day she came home and reported they were made by Reebok, called Zigtech and were available at the mall.  They look like this:

The next weekend we headed to the mall and went to Kid's Foot Locker.  They had the sneakers, but not the color Zoe wanted.  We tried a few other places, but she was unwilling to settle.

That night when we got home I looked online and discovered that Reebok let's you customize this kind of sneaker.  The possibilities and design combinations were endless.  I was so excited to show this to Zoe since then she could pick out exactly what she wanted.  She eagerly sat down at the computer and started designing her perfect shoe.

About an hour later she gave up in frustration.  She could not figure out what she wanted.  I tried to help, but I just wasn't helpful as is often the case with Mom and clothes.  I even suggested she try Nike's version of customized shoes.  That was equally frustrating.  Finally, Zoe could take no more and declared that she no longer wanted sneakers and that we were to just forget it.  It was a shame, because there are some great, creative possibilities with being able to design your own, but I guess ultimately, there were just too many choices.

The next morning I happened to get an email from J Crew advertising some stuff from their kids' line and the email included a really cute, classic pair of Adidas sneakers for kids.  They just screamed Zoe to me.  I showed them to her and she fell in love instantly.  We are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of these:

In the end I have to say I am proud that Zoe recognized the importance of not only cool, but classic.

20 January 2012

Football Birthday

Last weekend I celebrated my 41st birthday. After last year's 40th fete, I didn't want much hoopla, just a quiet day with my family and some good cake.  It happened that the Giants' playoff game fell right on my birthday so I invited my family over for a football birthday party.  Not a typical birthday celebration for me, but in recent years I've gone from a half-hearted football fan to a full on fan so it seemed like a fun way to spend the afternoon.  As it turned out the game was super-exciting and ended in a win for the Giants so my birthday was complete.  The cake was delicious too, which really sealed it.

Rob, being the kind of guy he is, found this birthday card that he helped along to perfection: