Two Truths and a Lie

This was my son’s first homework assignment. The teacher used it as an ice breaker to get the kids comfortable with each other. At first, I judged and poo poo’d – as I tend to do. But then we got into it and it was fun. And I wanted to play the game too. So here’s mine, see if you can guess:
1) I can’t crochet
2) I can’t ride a bike.
3) I’ve met Brad Pitt
Doesn’t quit work as an ice breaker for us because you are the black hole known as the internet, you may not even be real. I just pretend you’re real so I don’t think I’m cray cray. Which I most certainly am.
Incase you’re not a robot, and you really want to know the lie…
It’s number two. I can crochet, although it’s always the same thing – a really nice, thick scarf. Which is basically the easiest thing you can do with yarn. Still counts. And I have met Brad Pitt. I ironed his shirt when I interned at ABC. When I handed it to him he said,”thanks”. See, totally met.
Another truth, this whole blog was just an excuse to name drop Brad Pitt.
Take that internet!

Why so mad?

A lot of people are getting pissed off about the ALS challenge.
What up with that?
I know I know. People are doing it for other reasons, they are missing the point. But are they? My 10 year old knows what ALS is. That can’t be bad. It’s silly and goofy. And it’s become a game for celebs to see who can do a better one. But so what? I’d rather see that then butt selfies. Butt selfies are all the rage.
Also – why do people get so pissy so fast?
Here’s what I know. I know that I’d rather see your aunt/husband/brother being doused with water for a cause than a news story about ISIS. Or Ferguson. Yes those things are happening. Yes those things are evil incarnate. And yes I read about them. But afterwards, I need something else. To function, to wake up tomorrow and know that this world is ok for my kids, I need something else. I need to see ice water dumped on Anna Wintour or George Bush. On a side note – I love Retired George Bush. He’s so warm and kind and…not dumb. I may have even voted for Retired George Bush. Maybe.
Anyway. Dump the f’ing water. Donate to ALS. Cool down and lighten up.
Here’s me and my crew doing it.

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“Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys”

A very smart woman told me about that saying. It sums up what I’m thinking many times during a work week, a chat with a friend, or a chat with my family. And then I remember that some of those people are my monkeys. And it is my f’ing circus. And then I’m exhausted.
But most of the time, I wish I could print it on cards and hand it out to people. And smile. And then walk away.
I gift this nugget to you.
You’re welcome.

Padawan lesson for the day

 Sometimes you’re the hammer, and sometimes you’re the nail.

I heard an amazing interview this morning on my way into work. Jeff Bridges was on The Howard Stern Show talking about his current movie, his life and his work. Stern is one of my all-time favorite interviewers, it’s like he knows exactly what I would ask a particular person. To me, his show shines when he interviews someone. It could be a celebrity, a musician, a hooker – whatever. He’s good at it. I’m almost always interested. Even when he brings on people I could care less about – the conversation sucks me in. 

Jeff Bridges was no exception. I like him as an actor. He’s been in some good stuff. But I’ve never had a burning desire to hear from him. Until now. Now he’s my Yoda. Don’t believe me? Google his quotes. He’s genius. He may be high, but he’s genius. 

He said lots of funny/interesting things this morning, but my favorite was the line above. He didn’t make that up, I’ve heard it before. But he said it in an upbeat, lively manner. In a way that implied he’s ok being both. Each has a job to do. One isn’t more powerful than the other. I’d always thought it meant that you were either succeeding or failing. I was wrong. To Jeff, it means you are doing different things successfully. 

Can you guess which one I was today? Which one were you?

Bros before….you know

We had a busy weekend. We picked up a kid at camp. We drove 3 hours to upstate NY and had a fun day with friends, came home, slept and then headed west to Harrisburg to see my family (and pick up the other kid).
We were also there to celebrate two birthdays and an Indian celebration called Raksha Bandhan (we’re efficient that way).
To be clear, there are hundreds to Indian celebrations. What can I say, we like lots of Gods and lots of ways to worship them. And by WE I really mean my people, not me. Because as I’ve told you before, I’m religious light. I dabble. The Catholic Irish Ukrainian dude I married is the same way. We do the big things. Baptism so the kids get into heaven? Check. Making sure they know how the Indian god Ganesh got an elephant head? Done. Mortal soul secured.
So we approach holidays in both religions with some whimsy. Don’t you think some of the problems of the world would be resolved with some whimsy? Whimsy is undervalued.
Anyway, back to the weekend.
Basically the celebration is about the bond between a brother and a sister. She puts a sacred thread on his wrist, dots his head with a red mark called a Tilak (red powder dye and water. Think runny red lipstick) and she feeds him something sweet. He promises to protect and love her and gives her a small gift. Lovely.
What happens if you don’t have a brother like me and my sister? You’re screwed ! Just kiddin. Our cousins step into the role for us.
Here’s some pics from the celebration. The last pic is of my cousins who payed dual roles, our brothers and the birthday boys.
Notice my sons face as my daughter feeds him the Indian sweet. Maybe next year she can feed him an M&M or something.
And speaking of tweaking tradition, one of the sacred threads resembled a football – so we chose that for my son. He missed the subtle cultural fusion we tried to create.

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Happiness is a grocery store

Shoprite

To fully comprehend this picture and the impact that it will have on my life, I have to tell a short short story.
We moved into our lovely neighborhood in 2006. It’s a charming little nook. A little gem lined with big Oak trees and regular sized homes all in a row. There’s a great walking/running/dogging/biking path that goes all the way through and is used often. We loved it immediately.
It’s full of kids and friendly neighbors that have become some of our closest friends.
There’s even a small little cluster of stores in walking distance.
When we first moved in, the cluster consisted of a Blockbuster Video(!), a pizza place, an ice cream place, a Kohls, a supermarket, a Starbucks and some stores in between. Some Friday nights were spent going from Blockbuster to pizza to ice cream. What can I say, we are easy to please.
But the true jewel to that center was the grocery store. It wasn’t special. But it was good. Good and close. Good and convenient. Good and easy. And then it was gone.
Since it left, our community has been reeling.
Blockbuster folded soon after. Coincidence? I think not. Yes, we still have pizza and ice cream and Starbucks. We’ll always have Starbucks. Once one of those opens up it does not shut down. In case of natural disaster, just run for the nearest Starbucks. It’ll survive anything (and there’s free wifi).

In the dark times since then, we’ve had nothing. Well, truthfully, we’ve had lots of things but really-close-grocery-store wise, we’ve had nothing. In our close community there have been rumors and rumblings about a Trader Joe’s. And then we heard some buzz about Whole Foods. But those things were a pipe dream. A fool’s wish. And let’s be honest, I’m not fancy. I just want a place to go get some emergency supplies (“I forgot I need to send grapes to school today” or “We’re out of milk. Again.” type of emergencies). A CVS drug store opened up down the road a few years ago. I remember walking in for the first time and seeing that they had a refrigerator section. I almost cried. Do you see how desperate I am?

About a year ago, maybe less, we found out that all our…ok my… dreams were coming true. My grocery store dreams were coming true.

Now we are just a few weeks away from the grand opening of a beautiful, new store. I bought a dress.

The whole center is a buzz. New paved parking lots. New crisp paint on the walls. A reason to get up in the morning! Just kidding. Not really.

 

 

 

 

 

Pit Stop

I was in midtown NYC at the beginning of this week for meetings and ended up right across the street from this spot.

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This is 345 Park Avenue. I can’t tell you how much happenstance is tied to this place. Or maybe kismet is a better word for it.
I stopped only for a minute to take this shot but a thousand things went through my head.
This is where my college boyfriend got a job during my Junior year, and during the summer, because I didn’t have anything better to do and was completely obsessed with him – I would take a train from our campus in the Bronx, walk through the park (couldn’t afford the crosstown bus) and sit in front of this building while he worked. For hours. Reading. Having bodega coffee. Staring out.
He’d come downstairs and find me there for lunch. We’d have a dirty cart pretzel and then he’d go back to work.
I didn’t do this everyday, but I did it often enough.
This was pre iPhone days. Pre 9/11 days. Pre 2008 melt down days. During lunch hours the entire front of this building would be full of people, they’d have bands come in, dancers I think too. There may have even been a fountain but I can’t remember.
I think about those days now and I just can’t imagine what I was thinking. Or what he was thinking! Ofcourse today I’d be called a stalker and dismissed. Thank goodness he didn’t know any better.
But that wasn’t the end of my time in this building.
When I graduated, I went from job to job. I tried my hand at alumi relations, and PR, and like all good Gen Xers I spent some days in advertising. All of this at big universities and companies (pre-job market hell days). I hated it. All of it.
By this time, my boyfriend had been out of school of over a year and was still working at the same building, same company – better job. He moved us out of the Bronx and into the city. He told me to quit my crap gigs and focus on something different.
I did.
I found a job at a non-profit focused on business eduction for students that raised money through fundraising.
I discovered a career that I had no idea existed – events.
I got engaged. Those were happy days.
Eventually the engagement led to marriage and marriage led to baby.
I had the baby and took some time off.
When I wanted to go back to work, my first interview led to a job. Luck? Kismet? Who knows. This job was with a company (and team) that would help define what my career in events would be – take a guess where the job was located?
It was also a happy chance that my now husband, father to our little girl, still worked there too.
It was where we met friends that we will know for life. It was where we went through 9/11 together. It was where we got pregnant again. It was a really important place that seemed like a lifetime ago.
Eventually my husband and I both left that building. Bigger and better. That’s what we always say.
This was the first shot of the building I took. I had an app open and didn’t realize I took the picture using a filter. But it seems appropriate.
A haze. A blur.

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