June?

Wasn’t it just May? And February? Where does the time go?? Wondering what’s up with all these question marks? Sorry. I know I haven’t written in a bit, but absence makes the heart grow fonder right? So you must be very fonder by now, right? Right? Sorry again.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

- I haven’t been working out or doing a cleanse. Shocked?

- We finished up 10th grade and 4th grade. Piano lessons with Ms. Tatyana are over. Dasvidaniya!

- We started camp. Slept until 2pm. Started complaining about camp. Have already been to a beach, a mall and an amusement park in the 2 days that we’ve been off. Notice that I don’t incriminate anyone. I use the royal “WE”. I’m a good mom like that.

- Since I’m all caught up with The Good Wife, I needed another binge show. Hello Walking Dead. The zombie apocalypse, blood, gore and old fashioned romance. What’s there not to love? Although I’m not built for that. I know my limitations. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d never make it if the world ended. All that fighting-to-survive stuff seems exhausting. Here’s a quote from my other summer obsession, The Mindy Project, that explains it best – “You know my plan in an emergency is to count to ten and wait for death’s embrace.” Yep. That’s about right.

- After 42 years of obsessing if food is vegetarian or not – I’m eating Cesar salad now. To hell with anchovy paste! I’ve probable had 5 or 6 little fish by now. I’m a rebel. Not really.

- I’ve been taking random sunset pictures. From planes, trains and automobiles. Cause why not? Sorry, had to finish with a question mark. Is that annoying?

20140624-223012-81012819.jpg

20140624-223323-81203123.jpg

20140624-224528.jpg

Peace out NOLA

The conference ended yesterday and we all headed home after a long 7 days. Like every major event there are highs and lows.

High – we registered 755 people in 5 hours one day. That’s 151 people an hour. About 3 people a minute. No one had to wait. Not one person/family waited on line. That’s miraculous. Also miraculous? We fed, entertained, moved, and formed relationships with this group.

Low – I won’t go into the depth of how horrible the hotel was. It was a case study in bad service. If I were a hotel GM, I’d send my staff there to see how horribly wrong it could get.

In the end, and this is what I told my team, the odds were with us.

Because we had almost 800 people – not everyone had the same experience. Some folks loved the food, some hated it. Some folks made the best of New Orleans – some locked down and never went out. There were smiling faces in the crowd. Many of them.

I know my role on site. I’m the complaint department. I get it. I own it. I went on a daily apology tour, but that’s my job. That isn’t what I’ll remember. I’ll remember hugging a lot of people on the last day. I’ll remember the kind words we all heard. People telling me how amazing and committed my team is. I’ll remember laughing every single day with that team. Laughing hard.

New Orleans didn’t let me leave without a fight either. Flight delays. Turbulence. A missed 4th grade concert. I won’t even tell you about the hit and run I saw while waiting for my car to the airport. Another story for another day.

Here’s some random pics. The ballroom before and after. A beautiful plate of oysters (just because I won’t eat it doesn’t mean I’m not impressed by it!). My first Jamba Juice (too sweet). The stepping stone clings we had all over the hotel – helping people find their way. And then my view on the plane. A thick, cloudy fog that opened up to pockets of sun.

.

20140523-082110.jpg

20140523-082120.jpg

20140523-082134.jpg

20140523-082146.jpg

20140523-082156.jpg

20140523-082242.jpg

20140523-082258.jpg

20140523-082313.jpg

New Orleans – Day 3

It was a soft start to the conference. Our VIPs, some senior execs and about 110 of the 900 expected guests checked in.
Here’s what went down today:
– the ballroom/staging was set. Before and after below.
– our security operatives arrived (don’t ask).
– I yelled at approximately 3 people before 8am. Pretty good for a Sunday.
– we had birthday cake for one of the planners and I decided to pass on a piece and have some fruit. Or! I had a delicious hearty piece. Which one of these scenarios is more likely you think?
– we took our guests to a beautiful historic building called The Chicory for some live jazz and dinner. It was a perfect evening – complete with the largest piece of meat I’ve ever seen being served. A 65 pound roast called a Steamboat something or other. I spoke to the chef – he said it took 7 hours at 350 degrees. Have you ever? I know this sounds awkward but I’m obsessed with this piece of meat. Pictures below. Ofcourse.
– official kick-off tomorrow! Say a prayer to all the gods that you know and love for me.
– peace out

20140518-231407.jpg

20140518-232727.jpg

20140518-231446.jpg

20140518-231510.jpg

20140518-231529.jpg

20140518-231543.jpg

 

 

# bringbackourgirls

I can’t stop thinking about this. Am I living in the same world? No. I’m not. My world is ridiculous. My world is full of humor and love and fun. Sometimes it’s sad, frustrating and makes me crazy. But even when my world is tragic – it’s not that bad.
I have worries, ofcourse. I have a teen girl too. I worry about her constantly. But what I worry about are her grades, her social life, her circle of friends. I do not worry about her being taken from me forever while in a school room.
I don’t worry about militia selling her for $12 to another war tribe as a slave.
200 kids just gone? I couldn’t handle it. I’d go mad. Maybe this is how we get our lot in life. Those of us that would crumble are born in easier places. Or it’s just some sort of cosmic lottery.
And all we can do to help them is tweet a hash tag? Ridiculous.

Sounded good at the time

We had a very Mad Men afternoon yesterday. My sister and her dude joined us for a tour and tasting of a local PA Rye distillery. Aren’t we so folksy and interesting? Dad’s Hat is a local, hand crafted whiskey…err…rye. Rye Whiskey? Something like that. What I know for sure is that it isn’t a bourbon. Or is it a bourbon and not a Whiskey?

At the end of the tour we sampled 3 of their whiskeys. A white, a light brown and a deep dark brown. We heard about the hints of vanilla and pepper we’d feel on the sides of our tongue. We heard about the vermouth barrels that imparted just the right flavor to their product – smell that dry sweetness they said. We all nodded and agreed. Admittedly, it was a bit rough going down. But I got caught up in the moment. They told us the best way to enjoy the whiskey was with one perfect ice cube and maybe a twist of orange rind. I had visions of having this classic cocktail. I felt chic already.

We bought a bottle of the dark vermouth version – stopped at Wawa to get an orange and a bag of ice and headed home. We made ourselves a drink and sat in the sun. I took a sip and smelled the orange and the vermouth and the lovely notes of vanilla and quickly decided – I like wine.

But it was a really fun day. Here’s some shots I took. The man in the hat is Herman, the founder of the place. He wears a hat like his dad. Get it?

20140427-121810.jpg

20140427-121900.jpg

20140427-121927.jpg

Little Miracle

IMG_8579

 

Maybe it’s because I’ve been away for work for a bit and I’m overly emotional.

Maybe it’s because I worry about literally every situation my kids could possibly get into to. Past, present and future.

I worry they’ll grow up wrong.

I worry they’ll remember their childhoods painfully. Or without joy. Or not at all.

I worry they’ll never want to see us when they are no longer mandated by law to live with us.

I worry.

So when I came home to find this homework assignment that my daughter did it almost killed me with joy.

The assignment was to write about an ” Ordinary Miracle” in your life, and my daughter decided to write about her brother.

Waaaaa!! I can’t even think about it because it just makes me melt.

I am not allowed by the laws of teenagehood to show you the actual assignment, but let me tell you, it’s amazing.

I am really close to my sister, and my husband is super close to his sisters too – so the fact that she wrote about her brother as her ordinary miracle will bring a smile to my face for a long time. Forever maybe.

It was an extraordinary miracle to me.

IMG_1011IMG_3712IMG_5545IMG_7103

 

 

 

Poor me

Image

My conference ended today. I have a few more hours of work and then I’m on the red-eye home. But I did get to sleep in and enjoy my room for the first time all week. And I ordered room service. Look at the size of this French toast. And the size of the butter on top. Toasted coconut and a caramelized banana? Check. Although I miss my family a ton – this isn’t all that bad. Just sayin’ (the newspaper came with the breakfast. Bless their hearts)

Image

 

One more pic. Just to show off.

 

Ode to Putzing

For as long as I’ve known my father-in-law – a couple of decades – he’s used the phrase “I’m just putzing around” when asked what he’s been up to on a particular day. It’s classic Pappa Joe. 

I love putzing around. Humming about. Doing nothing of any importance or consequence. I’ve always loved it – I just never knew what it was called. So much of my time during the week is spent going from one efficient time block to another – it’s nice to wake up and putz around. It doesn’t mean you do nothing. No no no. It means you do stuff you want that leads to other stuff. Maybe you start a project, but you certainly don’t need to finish it. Maybe you go to a store where you need nothing and kill an hour. Or two. It’s like surfing the net – but outside in the real world. It’s passing the bagel place up the road to go to the better bagel place inconveniently located on the other side of town. It’s not about errands. It’s not about chores. It’s about a few hours of unproductive activity. 

Can you guess what I did this morning? 

 

A plague on both your houses!

Actually, no. The plague is on our house. Thanks for nothing Shakespeare.
It’s bad. Really bad. Super bad.
Stomach Bug 2014 is much worse than snowmageddon or sharknado.
Only the spry teenager has escaped so far. See, there’s a reason why they text, tweet , and Instagram. You can remain disease free.
I’m in bed. Waiting. Gross.
Here’s a pic of my night side table.
And of the cat. The only living thing allowed near me.

20140125-085655.jpg

20140125-085717.jpg
TMI? No . That would have been a pic of me sleeping on the bathroom floor last night.
Just sayin’

Domo Arigato NYC

Maybe it’s because I love it so very much that I have guilt. Yesterday’s post about how NYC can sometimes stink has me feeling bad. And because some folks reminded me that I sounded like a spoiled baby…waaaa….it smells bad. They said,” You know what smells bad? War torn Africa! Crime riddled Mexico! And small American towns with no good bagel shops. So chin-up! Get over it!”
So – like a cheap suit I’m folding today and telling you the good parts of my commute.

There’s this ridiculous view at the front of my building. Beautiful.

20140117-165421.jpg
Across from the pee block (ahem) is a little place called Underground Pizza. It completes me. Know why? Because it makes this…

20140117-165628.jpg
It’s the most amazing slice ever. On a side note, in college, my friend Maureen and I would go to this kick-ass pizza place called Broadway Joe’s. It was the best pizza in the city (they burned down and rose from the ashes in Upstate NY, but that’s another story for another day) We’d always get the same thing – a Sicilian slice. Then we’d ask the very Italian dude to scrape off the cheese and add more sauce. He’d do it – but he wasn’t happy about it. Then we’d load it up with red pepper and black pepper. Sigh. Good times. My college memories are of pizza not keg parties. I know you’re not surprised. (Tell me you remember this Maureen?!)
What was I talking about?

Last but not least – this is the Geisha that rides the subway with me every morning. We’re on the same schedule. She gets off at Fulton Street to go about her Geisha day. The first time I saw her I snapped a pic. Now I just pretend it’s normal like everyone else.

20140117-170509.jpg

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 400 other followers