Monday, July 30, 2007

Jury Duty!!

In Queens, one is served their Jury Summons in the mail with instructions to call in to see if your designated code number has been selected. Every night beginning on an assigned date, you call a toll free number to see if you have been summoned to report to a dank, depressing court house in the middle of nowhere. I was instructed to begin calling Friday, 27 July. I did, and was not so summoned, but I had to call again tonight. My luck just ran out. I am to report tomorrow by 8:30. I have managed to dodge this bullet for many years, this time I must bite it.

The first time I was summoned to Jury Duty, I was in my mid 20s. I made past the exhaustive voir dire and all the way into the jury box before being dismissed by one of the attorneys. I went into it feeling proud to be part of the system. I envisioned the process as being somewhat regal. Maybe too many episodes of LA Law, but I expected intelligent attorneys, a somber learned judge, crisp bailiffs, and an interested jury pool. I came out of it very disillusioned. Even in the late 80s early 90s people went into the jury room dressed like they were going to to pick their kids up from school. The attorneys were disheveled, and that is being kind. The judge consistently dropped twenty five cent words that he used incorrectly. He was so in love with the sound of his voice that he blessed us with his fractured oratory for 40 minutes!

Oh well, that was nearly 20 years ago in Manhattan. Maybe Queens County Courthouse will be different. I will let you know in a future post...

r.

My Mini Vacation

There are few things better than taking a couple of days off from work, and all associated computer endeavors! It isn't quite as relaxing as a full blown vacation, but definitely required every so often.

Thursday, my girlfriend and I went out to Shea Stadium to watch the Mets play a very sloppy game against the Pirates, and loose 8-4. Seats on the first base line in the Loge section. Great for foul balls and the tee shirt grab.

Friday, I took Christopher all over the city. We had to drop his buddy, Connor, off at day camp on Houston and the Bowery. We grabbed a cup of coffee and walked up to the Trader Joe's in Union Square (needed some 2 Buck Chuck for later in the evening). From there we took the subway up to Times Square. Chris just HAD to go to the Toys R Us flagship store to peruse their Star Wars action figure section. From there we walked up to 58th and Park to the Borders store to purchase the Harry Potter book. The nice man at the checkout counter saw me with a child in tow, and gave us a poster of the cover art. Then walked over to Columbus Circle to grab some lunch from Whole Foods, and had ourselves a picnic in Central Park. Chris started reading HP and The Deathly Hallows, and was as absorbed as if he just picked up a new Spidey comic! Returned home around 4 or so. Friday night was wine and girlfriends.

Saturday, Chris and I went to see the Mets play a much better game against the Nationals. They won 3-1. A friend of ours gets tickets all the time from various business associates. This time we were just behind home plate, very front row of the Mezzanine section. Definitely NOT the seats you want if you are trying to shag a foul ball. Chris brought his mitt, but came away disappointed. We watched the second game of the double header at home....they lost.

Alas, Sunday was dedicated to getting the chores done. But I can't complain. We had a great extended weekend. The only downer was that my husband was working all 4 days. But It was really a nice treat to spend some time with my son, one on one.

And here we are Monday morning. Back to the grind, but much more prepared to handle whatever comes my way.

r.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm Outta Sorts!

It's only Wednesday, and I feel like I've been run over by a freight train! I'm just exhausted in every way imaginable, so my patience level is down around zero. So, today, I think I'm gonna indulge myself and rant about the idiocy of the general public, myself included.

Idiotic Incident The First

I absolutely HATE littering. Completely unnecessary, gross, ignorant, inconsiderate and beyond all excuse. I don't think it has ever occurred to me to leave my detritus in the world. My son certainly knows better. This morning I ran into a bunch of twenty something year old idiots who decided that they should unwrap their breakfast sandwich on 35th Street, and toss the wrapper and the bag it came in on the sidewalk! Seeing as how I am in such a FINE mood this morning, I said out loud, "Why the FUCK would you DO that?!?!?!" All 4 or 5 of them turned around to gawk at the crazy beotch who addressed them in this manner. Did I leave it alone? NOOOOOOOO. Went on to call them fucking pigs. They probably had themselves a good chuckle, or hurled an insult or two in my direction. I couldn't hear them, as I was jamming to Montgomery Gentry on my iPod.

I am sooooo not going to tell my husband about this little drama, as he is convinced that I'm going to get myself killed one of these days mouthing off to the wrong crowd. But really, I'd be willing to bet their mammas taught them better than that!


Idiotic Incident The Second

When I was a child, and became frustrated trying to do something, my grandmother would tell me, "Rebecca, there is always more than one way to skin a cat." While a gross visual, the concept is an important one. If you are trying to accomplish something and your first method doesn't work, try another method!! The guy who does the billing for my company about blew a freaking gasket when his first choice report didn't yield the results he expected. Rather than choosing to look at a different report that actually gave the same information, albeit in a slightly different format, he chose to butt heads with absent data. Even AFTER being presented with a workaround! I gave him the figures from an alternate source, then queried the tech staff as to why the preferred report wasn't functioning properly. They corrected the mistake, problem solved. But only after frustration level was ramped up to a ridiculous level.

To compound matters, he he couldn't seem to stop trying to look down my shirt the entire time he was having his hissy fit!!!


Idiotic Incident The Third

This should be filed under Reading is Fundamental. A new client of mine just received her first invoice. She, very reasonably, got out her contract Schedule A and compared it to said invoice. She then picked up the phone and called me with her questions. Which she then proceeded to answer on her own while reading her contract to me. This is by far the most benign idiotic incident, as it really didn't arouse my ire in any way, it just made her feel silly. Eh, her dime!

Thank God I am taking the next two days off from work! Maybe I'm just hormonal, but I need some extra sleep and some stress relief. I am envisioning a bottle of vin rouge, a mani/pedi and a hot tub. Two out of three's gonna have to do, as there is no hot tub in sight!


r.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Am Charlie's Sister

Funny where one can take inspiration. I have been reading several blogs lately with a family theme. It got me thinking of my own family of origin. A couple of months ago, I wrote about my father, I write frequently of my son, occasionally of my husband. Now, it is my brother's turn.

My brother, Charlie, is 18 months younger than I, almost to the day. As is often the case in wartime, the child was conceived just before Dad was shipped overseas, and born before the end of his first tour of duty in the Vietnam war. His father's namesake, Charles was an absolutely adorable baby with a elfin face. Growing up, I was completely convinced that he was my mother's favorite, since he was both the baby of the family and a boy. In hindsight, I really don't think she had a favorite.

As far back in our childhood as I can remember, Charles was irritated with me for being the older sibling. His resentment was fueled by the fact I always had slightly more privileges than he did: I could stay up a little later, had a bigger allowance, etc. What he didn't realize was that I was also held more accountable both for my own behavior and his (since I was older, I set the example), and I always had a few more chores than he did. Charles always thought he'd catch up to me both in age and size. Since he is approaching 40, he is no longer as eager to surpass me in age. He had only to wait until his mid teens to surpass me in height. We fought bitterly, probably for dominance, and probably because each was convinced the other was favored.

Even in his very early years, that boy was always in trouble. He was a smart kid, but performed poorly in school. He was mischievous when he was very young, borderline criminal when he was older. Before he even hit his teens my mother had him sent to a boys correctional/group home facility. At the time, I was too young to fully understand the ramifications for him, me, or the rest of the family. All I knew was that my brother seemed to be the cause of a great deal of tension, and now he was going to not be there anymore. I have a much different understanding now, both as an adult and as a parent. It has haunted me for years.

Charles was always more courageous than I. Growing up in a strict household, my acts of defiance were quiet and small (a form of passive aggressive behavior I learned to perfect, and have been working to disavow). His acts were much more overt. I admired him for that, and I still do. He can confront things immediately and head on, that it takes me weeks to build up the stomach for. Until his early 30s, he thought nothing of pulling up stakes and moving on. When he was done with a place, either because there was no work for him, or he just became restless, he packed his car and went. I have 3 pages in my phone book with addresses for him in Texas, California, Colorado, Georgia and Arkansas!

Charles has since settled down. He has been married for about 10 years, and has 3 kids of his own. His eldest daughter looks just like him! Charles named her for me, an honor that I will never fully deserve.

While we stay in touch, it can be a little strained. Our frames of reference are out of kilter all together. Our family history isn't really a shared one, since he was out of the house basically since he was 9 or 10, with only brief intervals of being home. We both grew up as de facto only children in parallel universes, it seemed, his universe being a type of bizarro world. He never blamed me for it, and it wasn't my fault. Neither of us had much control over the situation. But I think we both learned a great deal from it.

r.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thank You, She Says Creatively



The other day, Epimenides bestowed upon me the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you very much, Epi. One of these days, I might actually post a piece of fiction or philosophy here so that I can be more deserving of his esteem.

Below is a list of blogs that I keep up with that truly are creative. I am one short of the requisite five nominations, but quality is aways better than quantity. Without further ado...

Random Magus' blog is always well written and topics deeply thought out. It is always a treat to read.

Flying Pink Elephants. This blog has the most beautiful and widely varied photographs. A fellow publishing maven, her posts are a joy to read.

My Bucket of Parts. Uncle Phatato can write, draw and takes great pictures. He is truly creative, and a lot of fun to read.

Three Beautiful Things (3BT). The author lists 3 things every day in which she finds beauty. Some are very minor, indeed, but the way in which she describes them reminds us all to see the joy in our daily lives.

Of course, there are rules....
1) If you have received an award simply choose either the dark or light background image and save it to your files, then post it proudly on your blog!
2) Pass the award on to five other people, you can choose any of the awards from the series, you do not have to pass out the exact award you received. Choose whichever of the awards below that you'd like to give out. You can give out one of each or five of the same one, whatever you prefer.
3) You can change the size and color of awards to suit your blog, that's up to you, it's your blog, just leave the titles the same.
4) Please link back to this post so that people can read these rules and so that the meanings of the awards will not be lost.


r.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Going to Extremes

There is a family here in the City that has turned back the clock about a hundred and twenty five years in their household. It is a one-year experiment to create as little waste as humanly possible. He dubs himself the No Impact Man. Anyone who stayed up late enough to watch Nightline last night will know what I am talking about. Another family I heard about in the news recently decided to try to remove all products made in China from their lives. While that is next to impossible, I am not sure that No Impact Man has it any easier.

The Beaven family decided to eat only locally grown unpackaged food, reuse everything they possibly can, compost in their kitchen (odorless, for the most part), not use any form of transportation, and, for the coup de grace, shut off their electricity. They have, therefore, eschewed all prepared foods, travel over scooterable distances and, heaven forbid, television.

I have to admit, I am intrigued. I am not sure I want to go without electricity or any extended travel, but the rest of it I have given more than just passing thought. Who doesn't remember all the food scares coming out of China. The head of that country's Food and Drug Administration was executed for taking bribes in exchange for looking the other way. Also in the news recently was the fact that of all the tons of food imported by the US, none is tested, and only a few containers inspected to see if they contain what the documentation says they should contain. WHAT? That's absurd! Here we are worried about who might bomb us to kingdom come, and all a terrorist really has to do is poison the unguarded, imported food supply!

All of this has made me take a much closer look at what my family consumes. My husband likes to shop the sales. If apple juice is $1.29 a bottle, he will buy 4 of them. If I buy the juice, I buy the organic Motts. We were talking about this the other night while preparing dinner. Brian was sipping 'generic' apple juice out of the bottle (yeah, we do that in our house...). It had stamped on the bottle "made from concentrate in China." What? Why? There are several states including my own that are big apple growers. Why on earth are we importing THAT? Does it have to do with immigration legislation? If so, pass the laws, make the illegals legal, and let's eat the apples they pick! I am admittedly somewhat oversimplifying here, but my dander is up.

I have decided that I will now be much more conscientious about purchasing locally produced food. It will require some research, but I think my family will be better for it. The Union Square farmer's market is a great place to shop. If I save my pennies now, I can buy into an organic produce cooperative that has a drop off right across the street from my son's school. All that produce comes from New York State. I can also purchase meat, dairy and poultry from upstate farms.

If I want to go to a grocery, I go to Whole Foods. With four locations in my neck of the woods, it is the most sane place to buy organic foods, packaged or unpackaged. That store also lets me know what products are grown or manufactured locally. We have one local Trader Joe's. While that store is cheaper, it is so unbelievably crowded, I cannot abide shopping there.

My husband shakes his head and says to me that "regular old food" was good enough for me for the last 40 years. But I remind him that much has changed over the past 30, especially. Farmland used to begin a mere 45 miles away from city limits, in the eastern parts of Nassau County, and western Suffolk. Cabbage, potatoes, broccoli, etc. as far as the eye could see. No more. A few smaller family farms here and there in Suffolk County, sod farms, and vineyards. I'd rather do without takeout food, and reduce restaurant dining than put food on my table the quality of which I cannot know.

r.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Not Your Usual Rush Hour!

It was a horrendous commute for a huge number of New Yorkers tonight. There was a huge steam pipe explosion on 41st Street between Lexington and Third Avenues. Apparently it was installed in 1924, and was 24 inches in diameter.

You can view the story here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=3391889. No one was killed in the accident, but one poor guy died of cardiac arrest.

My girlfriend's law office is right at the intersection of 41st and Lex. She saw a huge plume of steam, then mud rising up, and she's on the 19th floor! She, and everyone else, was evacuated from every building for several surrounding blocks. Many were covered with the debris that was shot heavenward, then fell back to earth.

Only one entrance to Grand Central Terminal was open, and the Metro North rail road was running close to schedule. Subway service was a mess: much of the Lexington Avenue line was suspended from 86th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge. Engineers are now assessing the soundness of all surrounding structures, and the Department of Environmental Protection is testing for asbestos contamination. Residents were told they could not return home until later tonight. We'll see about that. If asbestos is present, a haz-mat team will have to be brought in.

This whole event scared the bejezus out of all of us! New Yorkers are always hypersensitive to this kind of disturbance. I am very grateful that everyone I know that was near the disaster site is safe. One good thing came of it. We decided that The Subway Inn at the corner of 60th and Lex would serve as a meeting place in the event of a disaster. We can have a pint, then walk across the 59th Street Bridge if we need to.

r.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Day My Husband Became the Right Reverend Brian

In April of 2005 my good friend attended her father's wedding in Las Vegas. After a night of partying at the reception and beyond, her long time boyfriend popped the proverbial question. She, of course, accepted. The drunken phonecalls began at oh, about 3am Vegas time, so let's call it 5 or 6am on the East Coast. I can't for the life of me remember what I was doing that night two and a half years ago, but I would imagine it involved a bottle of wine. I missed the call. Voice mail captured the happy unintelligible rejoicing.

One of the first stops they made upon their return to New York was to our house, where we celebrated the occasion in style. The wedding was to be in September of the same year. Niether of them are religious, though the groom was brought up Catholic. They decided they wanted a simple outdoor ceremony. Problem was neither of them knew anyone who could officiate, and unless you travel to City Hall, you cannot be married by a Justice of the Peace in the City of New York. They decided my husband should officiate. He, of course, humbly accepted, assuming it could be done.

Now, how to get my gnostic Greek husband ordained. Ah, of course. The Internet. Genious! They Googled "How to become ordained online." This search yielded a surprising number of results. They, over a tumbler or two of whiskey, selected a 'church' with which they felt they could be affiliated. With their payment of $14.95, they hit the "Ordain Me Now" button. Brian is now a card carrying minister, legally able to perform marriages, funerals, naming ceremonies, and other rites. He may not, however, perfom exorcisms, circumcisions, or animal sacrifices.

On September 10, 2005 The Honorable Reverend Brian P. officated the wedding of our two dear friends. It was a gorgeous day in Astoria Park. The bride was beautiful. The groom handsome. There were 75 or so people in attendance. The reception was held at the Bohemia Beer Garden, to which they all paraded with noisemakers, and general rowdiness. Beer Garden personnel roped off an area and erected a canopy. We had beer, wine, schnitzel, and red velvet cake. The general public did their usual thing along our perimeter. It was grand!

Who says you have to spend 20 grand on a wedding. I think they got it all done for decently under 5.

r.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Oh, My Aching Body

This weekend we, or more accurately, I, decided to move furniture around. An entire hotel full of Crate and Barrel furniture that was being liquidated, so a few friends and I decided to rent a U-Haul and have a look-see. I told my husband about it, including the fact that for 100 bucks I could score a 27" TV with a DVD, VCR built in. He handed me his wallet, and said have at it! Off we went. Where was my husband? He was at work, missing out on ALL the fun.

My one buddy picked up a bed frame, 2 nightstands, and a few other things. My other buddy picked up a really pretty mirror, mini stereo, and assorted other appliances. I got the aforementioned TV. Paid the lady, loaded the truck and headed back to Queens. Once back home, Joan decided she was getting rid of her couch. Great! Chez RP needed a new couch. Since we had the truck, we decided to do the move. We maneuvered the beast out of the house, down the stairs, onto the truck, off the truck, up FOUR flights of stairs to my apartment. Pant, heave, curse, sweat. Then we had to get the TV up the stairs. Oh, my God was that thing heavy, and very awkward to carry. It required several pauses, and changing of the carrying guard to accomplish. Fine, put it all down, eat, shower, bring Christopher to his buddy's birthday party.

Then my little angel begged to spend the night at his friend Connor's house. Who am I to thwart him. With an unexpected night off, Brian and I went down to 6th street in the City with another couple with whom we spend the day moving. For those who don't know, 6th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues is THE place for Indian food in Manhattan. The entire block is one kitchy Indian restaurant after another, each with a guy out front trying to convince passers-by that HIS is THE place to eat. We had a great dinner, and a mediocre bottle of wine. Poor Shelby fell asleep in the car on the way home!

Now, if I was smart, I would have taken some Advil BEFORE the muscles started screaming. But, I hate medicine of any kind, so I didn't. Sunday rolled around and we picked up both kids and took them to the Harry Potter movie (awesome, btw). Brian then took the kids at the park, while I caught up on chores and rearranged what was newly acquired--still unmedicated. So here I sit two full days later with sore bicepts, forearms shoulders and back.

r.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summer School Update

Last month I was concerned that my son was having trouble with math. He wound up failing the subject in 5th grade, and was sentenced to summer school. Though he was promoted to 6th grade, it was with the caveat that he pass summer school math. We decided to get him a one-one-tutor, rather than place him in a more school-like situation. He goes 3 days a week for an hour at a time. He brings home a ton of home work. At the risk of jinxing things, he is doing GREAT!

Friday evening, I had an opportunity to talk to his tutor. She said that based on the material she received from his teacher, she had very low expectations for him. Then she started working with him. He is not only getting the material, but acing it. Scores between 95 and 100 on his tests. I grade his homework each night with similar results. It is to the point where she is no longer just giving him 5th grade material, she is giving him 6th grade material. The test he took Friday morning was from the 6th grade book and he got a 100!!!!!! HA! I knew he could do it! More importantly, now HE knows he can do it.

While I am estatic with his progress, for me it still begs the question why. Why did he not master this material from September to June, but does in such a condensed program? Was it that his plate was so full that math was the thing he chose to let go? On several occasions, I studied with him, he seemed to get the material, then took the test and either failed or eeked out a high D, low C. It was frustrating for everyone. He became so frustrated that he just shut down, and could no longer let knowledge in. What a difference a month makes!

How will we get through 6th grade? I will be sure to avail him of a tutor at the first sign of distress. I will work harder at keeping my cool, and helping him keep his. I will do all I can to bolster his confidence and motivation. He is a very bright, funny, sensitive kid. Reminds me of the lyrics of P!ink tune: "Don't let me get me." Guess that's what we have to figure out how to do. Oh, and that therapist who suggested that perhaps he has a learning disability that caused him to do poorly in math? Pshaw. I don't freaking THINK so! Damn, vindication feels good.

r.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My Inner Hedonist

Most of the time, I am a very responsible person. I take care of my family, do well at work, I am considerate of my friends, and generally stay inside the lines. Most days, this is not difficult at all. I was raised to just get on with it, and I do. Lately, however, I feel very, very restless.

There is a part of me that wants to hang out like I did when I was in my twenties all over again, especially since I now actually LOOK BETTER than I ever did then. It's not like I missed my twenties. I definitely HAD them. I got married at 24, but didn't have Christopher until I was 30. There were many late nights. But I want to do it with my 41 year old head. In my twenties especially, I was defensive, very self conscious and afraid of being by myself. I'd never dance in public. I'd cling to whoever I was with for dear life. Now, on the few occasions I do get out, I march myself up to the jukebox, play my favorite (and usually OLD) songs and have a blast. I go places by myself without being panic stricken.

Maybe it is the stage of life I find myself in. Maybe it is the Gemini in me. I want to be social. Go out. Travel. Flirt and be flirted with. Dance. See things. Talk to people about new ideas. I've done several of these things in the last month or two and found myself in some very, ahem, interesting situations. But I felt alive! Don't get me wrong, I don't want to leave home or anything. I can just feel myself straining against invisible reins and, right now, it is driving me nuts.

r.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'd Like to Thank the Academy....


But seriously folks, thank you for nominating me for the Schmoozer and Thinking Blogs Awards. I appreciate the kind honor.

Below are blogs that I have frequented for some time now, commenting on most, lurking on some...They all offer unique and often funny opinions, stories or perspectives. For the most part, I ran into them quite by accident. Without further ado here are my 5....well, 6:

1. The Center For Improved Living. I came upon this one day under Blogs of Note and was intrigued. Since then, I have visited daily and responded to just about every call to action. It is also where I met several other blogs. I love people's answers to the questions posed. And the questions, though sometimes silly, are almost always very thought provoking.

2. Traveling Oma. This is the first entry I ever read on her blog: I'd Like to Recommend. It is a list of 100 things to do before one shuffles off this mortal coil. She just posted an entry on editing that I really enjoyed as well.

3. Foul Bastard. Though David has already been nominated, I second the motion. His writing is witty, friendly and accessible. His comments on my blog always kind and thoughtful.

4. Analysing It. Epimenides is the person who nominated me, and has already received the award himself, but still. Reading the thoughts of my counterpart halfway around the world is always interesting.

5. A Day in a Life. I really enjoy this blog of family life. My favorite entry was her anniversary list. It is warm, with a wonderful sense of humor.

6. Revelations For Life. Dwight always opens quite a can of worms, and most comments are very interesting and well thought out. His comments to my blog reflect that as well.

Now for the fine print:

Here are the rules:
1. If, and only if, you get the Thinking Blogger Award or The Power of Schmooze Award, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think, or have schmoozed you into submission.
2. Link to
this post and Mike so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative
silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

There are more I could name, but it says 5.....thanks again

r.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sweet Summertime, Summertime

Once, and only once in my entire career, I had summer hours. It was the last year I worked for a company that knew it would not last the year, so what the hay. Every Friday we were allowed to leave the office at 1pm, provided we arrived by 8am Monday through Friday so that the actual work week was the same 40hours. Having half a day Friday meant that you could get all your chores and errands done Friday. You had all of Saturday and Sunday to play. What's not to love??

Alas, I no longer have that privilege. I must toil until 5 pm on Fridays, go home make supper, maybe get to the track, and that's about it. To make matters more constraining, my husband works at least one day of the weekend, but we never know which in advance, and my son has summer school homework to complete. This past weekend, Brian's work day was Saturday. I was on a mission to get all our chores, errands done Saturday, and I did. I even got Christopher to get all his homework done. That left Sunday to go to the beach.

We decided to go to Long Beach, as it is closest, and reachable by Long Island Rail Road. It was our first trip this year, and it was fantastic. Daytime highs were in the upper 80s, bright sunshine, no humidity, with a nice breeze on the south shore of Long Island. The water was like the cool side of the pillow.

My son who vowed never to enter the ocean ever again in this lifetime due to jellyfish sightings two years ago was an absolute selkie. I still have to have my husband take him to the waterside. I am a strong swimmer, and have lived along the ocean my entire life, but I cannot transfer my courage and respect of the ocean to my son. I am a complete worry wart where he is concerned, and would have him no deeper than his knees for the ridiculous fear the ocean would sweep him away from me. Daddy has much more confidence, and no such fear...off they go. I put on a little more sunscreen, and successfully coax a little more melanin to show through this Irish skin.

I love these days, when the sun takes forever to set. The day dawns early. And on the hottest afternoon, a thunderstorm pops up, breaking the heat. We don't have to rush, we can just be. At least until the alarm goes off on Monday morning.

r.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July Party

I hate when the 4th of July falls on a Wednesday! Any other day is fine...If a Tuesday, or Thursday, many of us working in corporate America can eek out a 4 day weekend. If it is on a Friday or Monday, or even over the weekend, a 3 day weekend is du rigeur. But WEDNESDAY?!?!?! If you didn't have the foresight to schedule Thursday off (and I didn't), you're stuck!!

My girlfriend, Joan, and her husband hosted a kick-ass 4th of July party yesterday. They held it out on their patio, which thankfully has a roof. It was a cool, gray, rainy day in Queens. She lives right near Astoria Park, so the police were out in force.

To celebrate American Independence, they decided to have the party catered--from a Mexican Restaurant. A funny twist. There was gazpacho, tamales, rice, black beans, guacamole, chips, the WORKS. It was fantastic fare, but I still have a hankering for a burger from the grill.

There was also some yummy sangria, tequila and a keg of beer. As discussed in this space before, I am a wine and whiskey kind of girl, so the keg, not so much. But man, I am still tasting the tequila this morning! Thank the Maker that the party started early in the day, so that by bedtime, we were all ready to go home and sleep it off.

My husband wanted to drive, but was prevailed upon to call a car service (another thing you gotta love about living in an urban center--absolutely NO excuse for drunk driving). Brian feels like he had his tail stepped on, as our friends told him in no uncertain terms that he was NOT going to drive, thank you very much. I hate tension, especially when I am less than sober. My answer to that sort of thing is to remove myself entirely. Perhaps not the smartest thing to do, but I really didn't want to be dragged into the middle of their argument, so I decided to gather my son, and walk home. Brian's penance? He had to walk over to Joan's house to retrieve said car at 6am.

r.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Ladies Who Lunch

Della, Esmee, Marianne, Shelby, Joan and Me at Maggies Place 47th & Madison, NYCFriday afternoon, I had lunch with a few of my girlfriends. Now this would not ordinarily be remarkable, but it is for me. For 6 years, Nov. of 1999 through Oct. of 2005, I worked in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, commuting 2 hours each way to work. My friends and my husband thought I was nuts to keep the job. But it offered some very interesting challenges, and a director level title...Then the company decided it was going in a different direction and my position was eliminated. Fired with 30 minutes to vacate the building. I spend quite some time very, very bitter about it. I didn't realize it, but I am DONE with that, and it is a huge weight off my shoulders.

For the past 16 months, I have been working in the City. It takes 35 minutes to get to work, including my Starbucks stop. I can walk EVERYWHERE, even walk home should the need arise. I can have lunch with my buddies, go out after work, work out, shop....wow. It is terrific. I now talk to my old boss on occasion. He is very connected in our industry, and recently praised me to the stars to someone looking to recruit me.

I know it is cliche, but sometimes getting fired is the best thing that can happen. It was! It didn't feel like it at the time, but is was truly a life changing event. And after 16 months here, it is time to move on again....This time, on my terms.

r.