Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Reader

I had the chance to see "The Reader" tonight. Someone asked me if I liked it. Did I? I guess so. I I did not hate.  Would I recommend it? Not to pay $12.50. Definitely a rental. 

Quick synopsis: 15 year old boy gets sick in apartment vestibule,  meets older woman who helps him. He returns months later to say thank you after being in bed with scarlet fever. They begin affair (lots of nude scenes, full frontal male nudity, shots of Kate's natural breasts). He reads to her before lovemaking. She ends affair and moves away with no forwarding address. Years later, boy is now in law school attending a trial of nazi guards, finds out ex lover was a nazi guard. Lots of crying, soul searching..... She goes to prison... He is forever haunted by not coming forward with information that could help her case..... He can not connect with family, lovers, children.... They connect 20 years later.. There's more but it would ruin the ending

I don't know why but I just did not care or get some sort of something, something from this movie. I know I was supposed to be moved or cried but I just did not. 

Yes, the acting was exceptional from all the main characters. I can see why Kate Winslet was nominated for an Oscar but I wonder if there was some underlying WWII Nazi Concentration camp would this movie have the same buzz. If she were a brutal prison guard in English prison would we be talking about this. Ralph Fiennes did his tortured, soul bit. From the way this was shot, it looks like he's spent his whole never smiling. At some point in his life, he must have funny and charming because he obviously is able to seduce attractive woman as evidenced by the one scene. 

The one person who I think should have been nominated and is getting no recognition is the young actor, David Kross who plays the young Michael Berg as a teenager and college student. He was quite good for someone to play the awkward teenager in love and the thoughtful law student.

When I see movies like this I can see why the movie business is in trouble. Not that I want to see Mall Cop but really... 



Friday, January 30, 2009

Why I don't invest in a sled

Pros to living in New York City are many but the con is that when it snows it rarely sticks. This was taken in the morning on the way to school, looks like a lot right? Wrong. Within the hour it started to rain and all the snow was gone. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Saved $75 Today

Space in New York City is has/will always be at premium.  So like many New Yorkers I have a storage facility to keep all the extra stuff. 

Now that I am unemployed, I need to really dig deep and eliminate all uncessary expences. This made my storage space a "want" but certainly not a "need". 

Not having a car has made moving the stuff out a big pain. I have made 3 previous trips. As I was having lunch with my friend Sandra to discuss business related stuff, I asked her if she did not mind coming in from Connecticut earlier and helping me bring some stuff back to my apartment. She informed that she now was driving an Audi TT. You can see from the pic, it does not have a lot of trunk space. 

When she showed I was ready to go with a couple of bags but she thought we could get all of the stuff into her back seat AND WE DID!!!

No more trips back to the storage facility.  I can not tell you how happy I am. It has been such a pain and just never ending.  

That's $75, I don't have to shell out every month. Now I have to figure out where all that stuff is going to go since now its all sitting my 1 bedroom apartment. 

Free Giveaway - Kids Activity Book

Alex loved this activity book. It's from the National Eye Insitute and is designed for kids 6-8. It's all about eyes, eyes, eyes, parts of the eye, eye safety....


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lapse Catholic - A Prayer

After my peel, I decided to walk before heading home. Of course, I am not sure walking in 20 degree weather after stripping away a layer of your skin is good idea but it felt good to be in the fresh air.

My journey downtown took me down 5th Avenue past  St. Patrick's Cathedral. Without fail, I was always stop into say a prayer. 

Prayers are personal but this is an extraordinary time in our history and I think that we as a country, friends and family all need a prayer. 

So to 
  • President Obama (I prayed to God that you can get us out of this mess)
  • My siblings (John and Cathy, please stay healthy or work on being healthy, that you find a job that you like, Cathy your business continues to grow)
  • My family (Dave and Susan, stay healthy and continue to be the loving grandparents to all of us)
  • My friends (be healthy, hope you find love and happiness, businesses continue to prosper and grow, children always provide love in your lives, your visas come through)
  • Alex and me - I know you shouldn't ask God to help you personally but again as an unemployed single mom but I did. Keep Alex and me healthy and help me find a job. 
Finally, I lit a candle for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan that they can come home soon to be with their families because no matter what I am going through they are making the greatest sacrifice so we continue to live in the greatest country in the world. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I feel refreshed or should I say my face feels refreshed.

Sadly getting older means having to think about how to go about making yourself look younger. This especially since whether you like it or not, young will always be in. Also the thought of going on interviews looking old and haggard is not an option.

As an effort to stave off the deathly pallor of winter and get rid those pesky dead skin cells,  I went into today for glycolic peel. Normally, I go into see a dermatologist who I really I like and respect. 

Given these trying financial times, I wanted to check out the competition and scheduled a appointment at Sensitive Touch (not meant to be an endorsement.) I know that its my face and I shouldn't skimp but hey  again its a recession. $200 vs $125 promotion. Which would you choose?

The session took about 30 minutes whereby the aestician administered the many liquids/concoctions on to my face. There was some tingling but nothing life threatening.  It seemed that easy before you know I am bonding with our boss. 

And do I feel refreshed. You better believe it. 

I would recommend this highly especially versus the OTC glycolic peel, The OTC barely touches the surface of the skin. You need to have somone come in apply the stronger formula.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inauguration Day - One of the most memorable days of my life

Going to the inauguration has to be one of the highlights and more memorable days of my life.I am so happy that my friend Elaine suggested that we go. Of course, having family living in northern Virginia helped since all the hotels were booked. 

The day before the inauguration, we went into the city to meet friends (Donnell and Katya)  up from Miami for the festivities.  Donnell graciously invited us to a reception given by her congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her constituents at the Library of Congress.
After the reception, we took the opportunity to walk down by the Capitol building and stake out where we should try to position ourselves for the next day.  While we out walking past the day, Miss Aretha Franklin was rehearsing her inauguration song. What a treat that was to hear her person. It gave me goose pimples. 

The Big Day - January 20
Before I relive the day, I have to tell you that Elaine and I both got about 2 hours of sleep. We were staying out in the guest house which is isolated from the house so it can be a little creepy. 
Around 11:30, I heard noises downstairs and thought that Pop Pop had come to his office to work. It's plausible given that he does business in Russia, right. I fell back into a half sleep and was woken up some more noises. At this point, I am delirious and unlike other people who walk into danger, I am thinking well, if there is a serial killer downstairs, come and get us. I was still alive a few minutes later so I guess we were safe and again I try to go back to sleep, to no avail. 

Around 2:30 am,  right before the alarm was supposed to go off, I see a shadow coming up the stairs and I am thinking it's Pop Pop coming up to tell us we are late and we need to get going to the metro.  It turns out to be Elaine.  She had gone downstairs because I was snoring so loudly and the noises I heard were her walking around downstairs.  

Moving on to the big day, we drove to the Vienna metro stop leaving the house at 3:30 am to catch the first train of the day that was to depart at 4am. The Vienna  stop is the very last stop on  the orange line in Virginia. It was a smart move on our part to have someone drive us (thanks, Dave) and not park the car since there was a line to get into the parking lot. 

Once we got into the station, there was already a  line of people waiting to get into the metro station. Just as we were walking into the gate, the metro attendant told us to stop and wait. Don't you just love obnoxious people who refuse to listen. While the attendant was off helping people buy tickets someone pushed the gate open and we snuck through the turnstiles. All we could here was, "Stop, close the gate, you can't come through yet".  Seeing that the train was packed, we waited for the second train coming up the track. As we walked down to the end of the 2nd train, I noticed that the last car in the first train was half empty so we scooted across. Lo and behold, we  actually made it onto the 4am train as planned. Yeah!!!

The scene  as we came to each subsequent stops become more surreal as only 1 or 2 people could actually squeeze onto the train and by the time we reached the fifth stop, there was no way anyone could get on.

Our goal was to go the L'Enfant Plaza stop since that is the open stop closest to the mall. Good and bad idea. Yes, it was close but  L'Enfant Plaza is a major hub in which four metro lines converge. The scene to get out the station was a mad house and it was only 5am. There were hundreds of people all trying to get through 4 turnstiles. We got outside and there more masses of people.  We found ourselves at the gate to the mall at 5:30 with another 1 1/2 hours to wait.  This seemed nuts. After about 20 minutes, someone with some sense or someone who did not want unruly mob opened the gate and the people started streaming in. 

 This was truly the scariest part of the day. People in a hurry to get a good place to view the capitol starting pushing. You hear about these things but I have never experienced it. I was not afraid for myself but for 5 year old daughter, Alex who literally disappeared from my sight as the crowd starting really pushing to get in. She started crying hysterically. I am had fears she was going to get trampled but luckily this woman next to me starting pushing back and screaming at the people behind us.  Thank god this did not last long and we were through the gate. 

Once we got in, we ran into the section we had staked out and starting looking for the jumbotron. We knew yesterday, that we would never be able to see the Capitol from the first non ticketed section. We found space near a tree. 
Our location. Look for the third circle on the left down from the Capitol. We are in the crowd south of 4th street. The article is correct, there was lots of space in the section due to the police limiting people into each section for which I am eternally grateful because it allowed us some breathing room. 

All I can say is that were outside trying to stay warm from 5:30 am - 1pm. Around 9, they started playing the We are One concert which the crowd excited. People started cheering at the site of Obamas and Biden families. We all sang and cheered the singers coming on. Or at the least jumping up and down to stay warm. 

Then the networks started showing the motorcade and everyone being seated in the stands. Most of the intro was close captioned which really was odd, it was like watching C-Span, all pictures and sounds but no color commentary. 

Then the main event, you could feel the excitement in the crowd and all the flags waving and the cheering. I cried and teared up through most of the swearing. I really did think about how far we had come and only wished my father was alive to witness this day. 

This truly was memorable event in my lifetime and will never be forgotten.

That said, after the speech, we and 2 million people were off to get out of the cold. Imagine all those people streaming onto the metro, NOT. 

We ended up in the Air and Space Musuem trying to warm and avoid the crowds. Unfortunately, the station was closed and crowds followed us. It took us hours to get home since we got separate from Elaine and 2 out 3 stations I tried were closed. 

The only good thing was that we ended up at the South Capitol station and we saw Henry Waxman  and Ruth Bader Ginsberg leaving the luncheon. Yes they drove themselves in case you were wondering. 

Celebrity sightings aka celebrities they travel like regular poor folk
Saw Spike Lee day after the inauguration coming out of Amtrak
 Acela room 

Saw Ron Insana (MSNBC) financial analyst on the Amtrak back to NYC. Pic for those of you have no idea who he is. 

PICS are in subsequent postings

Pre-Inaugural Happiness

Washington DC Pics

The Day After - newspapers still rule

 No matter how you cut it, online news will never replace a newspaper headline reporting key historic events. 

People lining up at DC Amtrak to buy newspapers covering the inauguration. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Why do I continue to open my 401K statements?

I opened my 401k statement and saw it was down 24%. How depressing? Unless, I win the lottery (right), I will be working until I am very old. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Live at Buddakan - I could not resist the 70's reference

After 2 years, I am finally got to Buddakan. I wanted to go to fun and in place in honor of my friend, Elaine's stopover on the way to the inauguration.

I went through Amex Platinum concierge to book the reservation. Based on the fact that they weren't sure if I could a reservation and asked for a back up choice, I am assuming it is still a pretty hot place. Movie note: for those Sex and the City fans, it's the restaurant where Big and Carrie have their pre -wedding dinner.

As is the case with trendy restaurants, the crowd was attractive and nattily dressed even in 10 degree weather. We were seated upstairs overlooking the main room for which I was happy. I know the downstairs main room is the attraction with the ceilings and chandliers but it reminded me of the Hogwarts cafeteria; 30 feet communal tables, noisy and lots of horny kids.

I have to say that food was for the most part excellent.
Most notably, Hoisin Glazed Pork Belly (sounds icky but incredible taste worth ordering again), Sizzling spare ribs (exceptional)
Not so notably, General, Tso's dumplings (works if you like the general's chicken but nothing really special or memorable), ginger glazed carrots (Shirley was not happy with the selection and she was right not a great choice for some reason)

Service was excellent. I always like places that treat you like a celebrity even if your not because at the end of the day, we pay the bills.

All in all I would recommend going once for the experience but given all the great asian restaurants in NYC, I would pass on a 2nd round.

Note to owner: 2 bathrooms can not possibly accomodate 100 customers.

Pictures from the evening. As you can see, my picture taking ability leaves little be desired if the lighting is dark.

My Best Life - Following Suze Orman's Pledge

One of the Best Life segments on Oprah featured Suze Orman. You were able to view Orman's 2009 Action Plan for a limited time period. You got love it right. The power of Oprah and Suze makes a few million. 

There were a few topics that were helpful which I am going research and report back on a later date. 

One section struck a chord since its about really taking stock of how you spend your money.

Could you actually adhere to the following pledge that she asks of you?  I don't think I can. 

- Don't spend money for 1 day (maybe)
- Don't use your credit card for one week (How will earn points on my amex card? I actually have a better shot as just cutting up my revolve cards and putting everything on my amex card that has to be paid of at the end of the month. )
- Don't eat at  a restaurant for one month (Does that include pizza slices?Seriously, there are some days that spending $5 for 2 slices of pizza is all I can muster for dinner)

Let's see if I can pull this off in February. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

T-Bird Mini Reunion

I had some friends over for drinks today to toast our friend Elaine visit. This was stopover on our way to the inauguration. 

With the exception of one person, all of us met at grad school. I have to say that even after all these years we are pretty close and keep in touch. None have changed much since then except we are little older. 

There is nothing more fun that getting together for drinks, great food and laughs. One of the negatives of living in a "toy" house (Elaine's term) is that I can't really invite too many people over at one time. 

I hate Toys

Who designed this thing? I can not for the life of me get this thing to come off my tv.

Lightbulb Moment - Wow I am fat

Not much else to say. I think this is one of those forcing mechanisms that makes you realize that you need to change your life. 

I would have to equate this to someone who decides to go AA and says aloud " I am an alcoholic".

I will say it aloud, " I AM FAT. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is it a good thing that the Principal knows your daughter?

I have to say that the Principal at my daughter's school is a very visible presence. There is not a morning that goes by that she is not out walking the hallways when kids are coming in the morning. I find this refreshing and comforting that she is not one of those administrative desk jockeys that never interacts with the students.  She also really wants to get to know all the kids and seems to remember all the kids name. How in god's name does she do this?

Since September when we started school, I can barely remember the kids in the my daughter's class. More power to her.

Well today, the Principal stopped me as I was walking out of the building to tell me about her interaction with my daughter yesterday.

The Principal went into her class during their art session.

Principal - How are you?
My Daughter - Good
Principal - What are you painting?
My Daughter- "  a masterpiece"

I wish I could take credit for enhancing my daughter's vocabulary in prepartion for the SAT (kidding) but I owe the use of this word from "Fancy Nancy at the Museum."

Losing the battle of the wallet

Like most americans, saving has not exactly been in my vocabulary for the last few years. Spend, baby, spend is my motto. This is why my priorities are completely out of whack.

Today, in order to save money , I decided to walk 10 blocks in 20 degree weather rather than spend $2.00 to take a crosstown bus to my yoga class.  This compared to spending $25 at Children's place. My rationale was that I was saving $20 by buying long sleeve shirts now   so I don't have to pay full price next winter.  

This makes no sense. 

$2 vs $25
Warmth or credit card debt

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Twitter - I don't get it.

I have signed on Twitter and I am not sure why this site is so popular. Do you really want to know what I am doing or anyone is doing every minute of the day. 

Just asking. 

Drumroll please - Homework is lame

After worrying that the homework was going to be hard, it turned out to be more reading. We were already reading and tracking the books we read in a daily journal.  Now, we are reading more books that the teachers hand pick specifically for each child. 

The good thing is that Alex can pretty much read 95% of the books that were sent home. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

How the h**l is homework going to fit into our routine???

I just got an email from Alex's teacher that the homework log will be coming home in the backpack. The infamous backpack. I have no idea how homework or anything was communicated in the olden days. Now a days, if you don't check the backpack you are s**t out of luck.

I can not wait to see exactly what this homework is. I am not sure if I am happy or sad that it's actually going to begin.

On the one hand, I have been slightly miffed that the Talented and Gifted schools have been getting homework since September. Miffed might not be the right word, it's more like paranoid that Alex is already falling behind in KINDERGARTEN. I know instinctively this is ridiculous but given the nutty and competitive nature of New York City, I can't help myself.

The other side is that playtime is over and this is going to be our routine for the next 10 years.

Good thing I rearranged her room and move the unused desk into her room.

Lost 3 pounds - no idea how that happened

I have obviously fallen by the way side in writing everything down here as it does take a bit of time so I am going to keep a running log and give the highlights. 

Friday - Sat was a lost cause. Friday, I went to my friend Carmel's annual soup and salad. You would think that they would not be an issue. It's the champagne and wine that gets me everytime. I don't even know how many points I drank. 

Saturday was spent feeding my hangover. I think I actually had 2 breakfasts, one because I got up so early and the second one when alex got up 3 hours later. UGH!!

Sunday - I got back on track but did not do any exercising at all but had great intentions to do so. Darn those intentions. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Look forward to waiting for 8 hours to see the 44th president

I along with probably millions of people tried to get one of the 5000 bleacher seats that were sold to the public for next week's inaugural parade. 

My friend Elaine and I spent most of the morning strategizing on how were going to try to buy the tickets. I even called American Express to see if they could get tickets. Just imagine the two of us, with  2 phones redialing over and over again at the same time trying to get tickets online. I stayed on for a good 30 minutes even though I knew they were gone. 

Amex called me at 2 telling me that they couldn't even get tickets and they were sold out in 20 seconds. 

 I know there are scalpers who bought a lot of those tickets since as soon as I stopped trying, I went on ebay and the tickets were being sold for $2000.  Isn't there a law against marking up tickets by that much????!!!

I guess we will be bundled up with the other millions of people who will be braving the weather to see the 44th president be inaugurated. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Teen Years are going to be ugly

Look at that face? Its the face of  a smart aleck who seems to have all the come backs.

Somehow, I have lost control of this child. The listening has gone the way of the wind. I just don't get it, I know she is testing me. Give me a f, ladies and gentlemen.

For the most part, we have good days but it's a daily struggle for her to listen the first time. Forget 1-2-3 magic, that works sporadically. The praising technique works but not enough to eliminate the sassy back talk.


Its a streak - day 2

Went to the gym and did cardio for 40 minutes. 
Grade B+  as I should have done strength training as well. 

23 points total - Grade A 

Water - 3 glasses  Grade C 

mini bagel with 1 tsp butter  3 pts
1/2 cup 1% milk  1 pts

4 oz chicken 4 pts
lettuce/tomato/dressing  2 pts
1/2 cup pasta   4 pts

2 soy nuggets  4 pts
1 cup of pasta   4 pts
1 cup broccoli  0 pts
1 tbl parm cheese  1 pt

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Food Journal - Jan 5

Not bad on day 1. I decided I would grade myself going forward. 

Working out. Grade = F
I had the best of intentions to workout but Time Warner Cable held me back. I went to drop off the cable boxes as I have switched to the Verizon Fios (the channels that are filmed in HD are really worth the time and effort to switch over) but the line was impossibly long and I had no intention of dragging the boxes to the gym and then to pick up Alex. Maybe that's an excuse but...

Daily total =  29 1/2 points. My points total is b/w 24-29 points. That seems like a lot but it's not.  Grade = B+ 

Water - 2 glasses   Grade = F 

Late night eating Grade A 
Something is wrong when you are wondering into the kitchen at 10 looking for something to eat. I had to talk myself down from the ledge and force myself to close the fridge. I was not hungry!!!!!

oatmeal 3 points
1/2 c blueberries 1.5 pt

4 oz grilled chicken  5 pts 
1 Tbl olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing 4 pts
Snack (watching Oprah discuss her weight gain...)
5 carrots 1 pt 
1 tbl TJ ranch dressing 4 pts

4 oz hamburger with bun 7 pts
1/2 c mushrooms  0 pts 
couple of mangoes 1pt
1 cup 1% low fat milk 2 pts 

cup of grapes 1 pt 

Sinking in the Quicksand

 Instead of starting to look for  job, I am buying a pair of slippers at Filene's Basement. Afterwards, I sat looking out at the square overwhelmed by the task at hand and where to begin in my search. 

There is so much whirling around in my head that I feel like I am sinking. 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shows to watch this week

So happy the holidays are since it means reruns are over. Yeah!!!

Here's a recap of what I think you should be watching:

Psych - Fridays @ 10 on USA network
The mentalist is basically a rip off of this show but not funny. It stars my favorite fake psychic Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend, Burton "Gus" Guster (Dule Hill from the West Wing). I like this show for various reason, its funny, written well, has black co-star who is not just a sidekick but an integral of the show, set in Santa Barbara, also includes my favorite LA Law actor Corbin Benson.

Gossip Girl - Monday @ 8 on CW
I love this show which has surprised me since I hated season 1 but somehow the writers have hit a groove. Sadly, only 4 people on this show can truly act and having any chemistry togther. Oddly enough it splits the demographics; Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick showing that english actors do better american accents than vice versa) and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), the prep schoolers and Lily Bass and Rufus Humprey. I am sure they did not do this intentionlly but is always the case with shows that CW seems to aim at the 12-24 demo but us older demo comes to the party and gets sucked in.
Nip/Tuck - Tuesday @ 10 on FX
This one is toss up as to whether I will watch this all the way through. It has become so ubsurdly over the top it's jump the shark and gone so campy, I am annoyed. For those not in the know, its about a couple plastic surgeons who now live in LA tranplanted from Miami.

Grey's Anatomy - Thursday @9 and Private Practice @10 on ABC
GA is on its last legs unless Shonda and her team get it together. There have been glimpses of its former glory but not enough in my opinion to keep me going.
PP is really on its last legs. It is does not bode well that they had to move the show after GA to improve the ratings. Again great cast, just dont care about the characters.

The Rollercoaster of Dieting aka here we go again

It's a new year with the same resolution to lose weight again. 

I have been on a diet since I was 15. I have tried pretty much every diet out there - Atkins, South beach, weight watchers, the zone, slim fast, diet pills, zone food delivery ..... All worked but I always went back to my bad habits. 

The difference between now and then is that I actually was able to lose weight with little effort. Ah to be young and have a high metabolism. 

Now its a huge struggle. I feel as though I am on the  treadmill from hell. 

I have no excuses. I am not one of these people who haven't the vaguest idea what a true portion size is or that sugar is bad for you.  I also know that eating late at night is bad for you, actually its not bad for you if you are having a true snack versus a bag of chips or another full meal.  Sadly, I cant even blame depression or filling some void or  other issues, I am just plain bored. 

I am somewhat struggling as  to which diet I should start so I am going with Weight Watchers since I know the program.  Since I have this blog, I am going to actually journal what I eat so I have someone watching over me.  

Stay tuned.

Give me your thoughts on how you were able to lose weight. 

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The trickle down impact to losing your job.

They say that for every finance related job that is lost in New York City, 4 people will be impacted. 

That is certainly the case for me, it's only 3 people, my cleaning lady, and 2 babysitters. 

I was laid off before Christmas, so the babysitters who pick Alex up after school were the first ones to be told that they did not have to pick her. 

The impact to them is not so dire since both have full time jobs and are losing $30-$45/week. That may not seem like much but I am sure in this economy its a lot.  I am not too heartbroken over this one since I like picking Alex up from school everyday. 

The cleaning lady on the other hand is another story. I don't care what anyone says, I really love having someone clean up my little 600 square apt but more importantly, do my laundry every week. I can not express the excitement that I feel on Thursday when I open the door and my apartment looks and feels  so wonderful.  Alex has even come to love Thursday for the same reason since her room looks all picked up with a freshly made bed. 

Yes, it's indulgent and probably somewhat decadent but the trade off is that I get to spend more time with Alex.  Let's face it, the downside to being  primary/only breadwinner is that you have to do everything. Doing laundry and cleaning my apartment is not how I want to spend my weekends especially in nicer weather. 

I could not bring myself to tell her I did not need her before Christmas but it had to be done and now its back to the drone of doing laundry every week. 

Wah, the violins are playing....

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Day at the Museum

After our playdate with my friend and her adorable daughter, we braved the bitter winter cold and headed to the Natural History Museum/Hayden Planetarium.

Since my friends lives uptown, I try to get a quick museum trip in so I at least get some culture in even if its only for  15 minutes.

I also like to take my daughter since it provides a reinforcement of the artists she learned about last year. She so far can identify Jackson Pollock, Degas and Matisse.

Unfortunately, my daughter was not interested in making the trip to the Met and insisted that we go the Hayden planetarium because she was "forgetting the planets". This I find hilarious request, since we literally race around the museum taking each item in less than 15 seconds,  this would include all the animal exhibits.

I was not happy with this turn of events since I try to avoid crowds especially at museums. Amusing isn't it, I live in a city of 10 million and I am trying to avoid crowds. The best strategy to avoid this is get to the museum before it opens  so at least avoid the crush of people. Alas, this was not meant to be.   Every exhibit was wall to wall people, it was hard to look at anything let alone read the exhibit labels which again is a joke since she  is just interested in looking at the exhibits and not listening to the drone of my voice.

The one thing that made it worthwhile is that she is  drawing and writing in her journal about the dinosaur exhibit (the pic above.) I love this stage of her development since it actually means she is finally stopping to think about what she is seeing and reporting back on it.

All in all a fun day.

The downside to living in a full service building

It is Jan 2 and I have yet to give out the bonuses to the workers in the building. Frankly, given my financial situation (no job), I shouldn't be giving out tips this year.

But seriously,  just giving the minimum $40 for a years worth of services seems like a paltry sum to withhold. Right???

UGH!!! The guilt.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Trip to the movies Happy- Go- Lucky

Just came back from seeing Happy-Go-Lucky. On the one hand, I was surprised that  the theater was packed but on second thought I am sure that many people were looking for a pick me up movie on the first day of the new year. I was certainly looking for a movie with a happy message and it delivered.

Quick synopsis. Poppy, a quirky elementary school teacher who is always happy and positive no matter the situation. This movie pretty much follows her day to day life, interacting with her mates, colleagues and family. There is  story line involving her learning to drive with this odd, driving instructor who has some issues regarding immigration. 

At first glance, you are thinking that all will end well but this a Mike Leigh movie (Vera Drake, Secrets and Lies) so there are some pretty realistic situations. Poppy  is  actually quite good at being serious when she needs to be, This movie will appeal to you if you like quirky, english movies and are good at listening to north london accents. For me it was a little tough in some situations and I have seen plenty of english movies. There are some quotable quotes and some laugh out loud moments from various characters. 

The one thing I liked about this movie is that she is one of those people who always says hi when she enters a store or smiles at strangers on public transport and the person she is addressing always ends up looking like a wanker.  I am always in envy of those people because i truly think we should all be happy and positive as it helps your overall mental health. 

But since I live in NY, I can see how this person would be annoying since New Yorkers are always in a hurry, have no need to be nice and are skeptical that a friendly person is getting ready to scam them.    

My takeaway from the movie is tryyyy to slow down and be a little outwardly friendly versus walking through life with a scowl.

Given the choices out today, I would recommend this movie since it seems all the movies are just too much for me right now. 

What was your favorite movie of the holiday season? 

2009 New Year's Resolutions

Here we go again. Like everyone else, I have a whole slew of resolutions that I would like to start and every year and each year,  they go the way of the wind. So again, we will try to accomplish something. You guys can keep me honest as to how I am doing.

1. Lose weight/Exercise more/Get Healthy - like Oprah, I have reached new heights in weight gain. I have been fooling myself for quite some time that I have not gained weight. 3 incidents have brought me down to reality that I need to get back on track.
  • My fat clothes are now my regular clothes.  
  • At a party last month, a friend was telling me how easy it is to get up  to the Target in Riverdale.  In the same sentence, she  mentioned that there was a Lane Bryant that we could also stop by on the way up. OMG, I have never been in a Lane Bryant in my life. I realized at that moment that she obviously thought I was that fat and should be shopping there.
  • My daughter made a comment that my tummy was a big as my brother's. Last time, she saw my brother he weighed over 300 pounds (he as since lost 60 pounds.) 
2. Get a handle on my finances and pull together a budget. Like most people, I have no idea how much I spend each week. Since I have recently lost my job, I don't have the luxury of being a spend thrift. Given the job market, who knows how long I will be unemployed and I just can't afford to spend as though it's 2007 (I long for 2007 when all was right in the world.)

3. Begin dating again or at the least "look" like I am looking.  I said this last year and I did absolutely nothing towards this goal. If I was seeing a shrink, I would link the cause to the weight gain. Who wants to date, when they don't feel attrative.

4. Start a small business or the least begin the process to start a small business.

5. Find a job, I like. Yes,  I have to find a job to keep a roof over our heads but I would actually like to find a job I like.

I know its seems like a lot but I look on this year as "YES WE CAN" year.