Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A new car!

Yay for me! I picked up my new car today. It's an Infiniti G35x. Very cool - nice features. I have to get used to it - figure out where my seat should be, etc. But - way cool. Not as much trunk space as my old Maxima, but I can live with that. The days of my golf clubs living in the trunk passed a couple of years ago. It's Lakeshore Slate with a stone interior. I'm happy. Oh - and it has a hump! It's rear wheel drive. I haven't had that in forever. I had forgotten what it was like to have a hump in the back of the car! I was a little nervous going to pick it up - worried about whether or not I had made the right choice. I'm actually still a little nervous - but that's just because I'm not used to it yet. I love having all the voice commands. I can plug my Ipod in to the stereo system. The backseat does not have as much legroom as the old Maxima does, but it has the same as the new Maxima does - so no loss there. I don't have fold down seats anymore - but I hardly ever used that. I'm happy to have a color car too - I chose the grey Maxima - but something said to me this time around "get a color" and I think I got a quite nice one!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Photos

My favorite city.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happiness is....

celebrating 4 years of being married to a wonderful man. He's not perfect, but that makes him a good match for me because I'm not perfect either. He's got beautiful eyes, a wonderful smile, the greatest butt and I just love him. He's a good man. I'm a lucky woman.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The end of the hoseless summer

It had to happen. Summer has to end sometime. So did going hoseless. I've never gone hoseless on a regular basis before. It was liberating. I can't do it through the winter because I am too pasty. Since I lost weight before the summer, I wasn't so worried about needing to be sucked in. And I wore open toed shoes a lot more this summer, so I couldn't wear hose with them. (Note all you people who do wear pantyhose with open toed shoes and sandals - it's tacky.) I was worried at first about thigh rub - but that wasn't an issue except when I was trying to uncross and cross my legs. Baby powder did become my friend, as I hate the feeling of my feet sticking to the bottom of my shoes. All in all, going hoseless was a great way to celebrate summer!

On another note - it looks like I've finally decided on a car. I thought I had decided on sticking with a Maxima two weeks ago. The 09 retooled version is a great car. Only problem is, their leasing rates suck big time. So - on a bit of a whim, I e-mailed the local Infiniti dealer. Much better rates. Now - it is a 2008 - but still a brand new car. I had thought early on that with many of the cars I might be able to snag a good deal on a new, but last year model car because of the timing. I was right. The dealership just opened about 5 minutes ago, so I will be calling shortly and saying "Let's make a deal." I may have to turn my Maxima in a month early or have two cars (and two payments) for a month - but since I'm saving $2k per year - difference between the cost of the Maxima and Infiniti - I think I can eat the one month payment.

Oh - and if you've noticed that I've been doing a "Happiness is" post on Wednesday's lately - well - I'm saving that for Thursday this week.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Photos

I visited Yankee Stadium for what I expect is the last time Wednesday night. Here are some pics I took with my point and shoot. There's Joba mid-pitch, a shot of the facade, a couple of Derek Jeter including the famous "butt out for an inside pitch" stance, and Freddy Sez - a Yankee Stadium fixture. If you ever watch a Yankee game and wonder what that tinny noise you occasionallyhear coming from the stands - it's people banging on Freddy's frying pan. Every game, he has a different sign with a saying for the day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happiness is...

being surprised with tickets to a Yankee game before the Stadium closes. I know - not a good season for the Yanks. Odds are pretty good they won't be in the playoffs. I think the tragic number is down to 4 or something like that. But - I did want to see a game there this season before the Stadium closed. A called me this morning on my way to work to say he had gotten tickets for tonights game. YAHOOO! I have no idea where they are - but it will be fun. I think I'll bring my little camera and take some pics.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Update the guest bedroom?

Here is a picture of our guest bedroom. The color on the walls looks bluish sometimes, but it is actually called Beacon Grey. I want to get new linens for the bed. The bed is brass. I've given some thought to seeing if I can spray paint it some other color - maybe to match the chrome light fixtures. I also want to replace the night stand, which is a reddish brown. The dressers in the room are a medium brown - my old Ethan Allen set from childhood - so they are antiques! hehehe Seriously though, they are almost 40 years old! But first priority is the linens. Any suggestions? I'm looking for something a little less frou frou, something with nice clean lines.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's been a good weekend

UCONN won yesterday. The Giants and Yankees won today. Does it get much better? These are some pictures of our tailgate party.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 years ago

It seems incredible that it's been that long. I'm going to post about my memories of that day. I didn't know A then, so the memories don't actually include him. Maybe someday I'll post some of what he's told me about that day and the days after, but some of that stuff is kind of tough. Before I get into my memories, let me give you a link to a very cool blog. It's about building awareness of different conditions, situations, etc. Today they are doing a 100 word project. They asked people to write about 9/11 in 100 words. It's worth a read.

My first 9/11 memory is simple. I arrived at work, sat down at my desk and turned on my computer as I always do. My home page is MSNBC.com. There was a little banner headline saying that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I thought it was a small plane. So I called my sister who worked on the 89th floor of 1WTC (the first one hit). I got her voice mail, just left a message saying that I had heard about the plane was just checking in to make sure she was okay. Really - I thought it was a small plane and no need to check in with her - but I have relatives that in the past have heard something as simple as that there were fire trucks seen at the WTC and they call to make sure L is okay. So - that's why I called, I really didn't think it was anything to worry about. Almost as soon as the phone was in the cradle, it rang again. It was L saying "I'm okay." She said they were trying to find her co-workers who were in the back of the office. I thought she was in the building. I still had no idea how big this really was. I didn't have access to a TV. Talking to my older sister, I learned how huge this was. I called L back asked her if she was evacuating. That's when I learned that she was not in the building, had only been just leaving her apartment to go to work when it happened. Thank God. One big memory I have is calling my older sister back and telling her repeatedly "stop crying, take a deep breath, she's okay, she's not in the building." I have no idea how much time was passing with all this. I think it all happened pretty quickly. I have an e-mail - my boss saved it for me - telling him that I would be skipping our regular 9 am Tuesday meeting because I had to try to find my mother in Ireland before she saw it on the news. Mom had gone there with her brother and sister, their spouses and a couple of cousins for a family wedding. We kind of forced her into the trip - had major regret after what happened. Anyway - for the first time that I can remember, Mom had not left all her contact numbers for her trip. I called around to various relatives/friends that might have it when my cousin called. Her mother had left the numbers. I couldn't make an international call from my phone at work, but one of my staff had a daughter in the Navy, so hers was set up for it. She had to show me how to do it - I kept flubbing it. Turns out, Mom and her siblings and the spouses had gone on a 2 day tour of Galway, so I left a message at the hotel and with my cousin's brother-in-law. Some time later my uncle called. They had stopped for lunch and saw it on TV - just what I didn't want. Apparently my aunt and uncle saw it first and decided not to tell Mom, but then she saw the TV and just collapsed into a chair. None of them had an international cell phone, but someone on their bus did and loaned it to my uncle to make the call. When I told him that L was okay, she had gone in late, I could hear him relay the news. My mom then got on the phone. All she did was cry. She would later proudly tell us "I didn't cry that day." I told her - uh - yeah Mom - you did nothing but cry when you got on the phone with me. I finally left my desk after talking to her and went downstairs to see the TV in the lounge. 2 WTC had just collapsed, 1WTC was still standing.

I remember my boss coming in and us talking about how many residents we may have lost. The town I work for is a bedroom community for NYC - about 50 min to midtown by train. A lot of our residents worked there. In the end, we lost far fewer than we had feared.

I spent part of the day online in a chatroom with friends. One friend, Carole, lived in mid-town. It was hard to call into or out of the city, but people in the city could call each other. So Carole was calling friends of friends, finding out if people were okay.

My sister had been able to get to midtown and went with a friend to a bar with a payphone. She called me from there and gave me a list of people to call to let them know she was okay. At that point, she didn't know what had happened to her co-workers who were in the office already. She thought they may all be dead. In fact, they all survived. There front door was practically impossible to get out. They got out through the file room. Amazingly, they had just cleaned up the file room a couple of weeks before, unblocking the door. One of them had been in the file room when the plane hit and was trapped under a file cabinet. They got her out and went next door into a law office. At some point, someone from the Port Authority came up and led them to a stairwell. They got down a ways to - I think - the 72nd floor where the stairwell ended and they had to cross. There were no lights, so they used the light from a cell phone to see their way. Amazing.

I think it was on this phone call that 1WTC - my sister's building - had come down. She said to me "I have no computer, I have no phone, I have no shoes." That just has always stuck with me. Like many New Yorkers who walk to work, she wore sneakers in and changed to shoes in the office. She kept her shoes under her desk. Sometimes I wonder if any of her personal belongings survived - a picture, something on her desk - but her co-workers told her that her office was in flames immediately, so I doubt anything survived.

Going home, there was nothing but the news on the radio. Where I lived at the time, my evening commute was usually 20-25 minutes of bumper to bumper traffic. Not that night. There was almost no one on the road. I remember getting on the highway and seeing three huge dump trucks going the other way - towards the city - being escorted by a state trooper. They could only have been going one place.

I spent so much of that day on the phone, fielding calls from relatives and friends, asking about my sister. There were more messages when I got home. I don't remember taking time to feel much that day. I don't think I cried until I saw members of Congress standing on the steps of the Capitol, singing "God Bless America". Some people may have thought it was hokey. I thought it was beautiful.

So, that's most of my memories from the day. Maybe sometime in the future I'll share some of what my sister and A have told me about their 9/11 experiences. It's important that we never forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Day before The Day or Sometimes it's the little things

I couldn't decide what to title this post - so you got two titles.

Today is the day before the day. Tomorrow is 9/11. Who remembers what they were doing 7 years ago today? Probably very few. Maybe the widows and widowers of 9/11 victims. I hope they do. I hope they are happy memories. I wonder - do they dread today almost as much as tomorrow? Because today, they start bracing themselves for the pain of tomorrow's memories?

So, the other title. Sometimes it's the little things which mean the most, The small gesture that touches your heart. A simple act of kindness which means so much. Today, my husband and his co-workers are doing what may seem to others as a little thing, but to some people may mean a lot. My husband is a member of Rescue 1 in the FDNY. The FDNY - and the firefighting profession in general - is a big brotherhood. They take care of their own and the families of their own. Today, the active members of R-1 have split up into teams. They are going to the grave sites of all the members of R-1 who died on 9/11. They will clean the headstones and clean up the grave sites, removing dead flowers, etc. It is something small they are doing, but tomorrow, when the families of those deceased members of R-1 go to visit their loved ones, they will see a clean headstone. They won't see dead flowers or plants. It's not much, but maybe it eases their burden a little and maybe that's a lot.

Happiness is...

...a sweet smelling rose in your garden.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Moving Hemlines

I spent part of yesterday and today going through my closets, weeding out old clothes. Some things I hadn't worn in a couple of years thanks to weight gain. As I tried things on, most stuff fit, but I noticed I no longer liked them. Some of it was the shoulder pads. I mean SHOULDER PADS. I have big shoulders to start with. I must have looked ready to start for the Giants in these! There were suits with jackets that were long, compared to what I'm wearing today. There were several dresses that I never even wore and trying them on this weekend I thought they looked too old for me. Lord only knows what I was thinking when I bought them! Then there were the hemlines. As I tried on dresses and suits, I noticed that I no longer like some of the shorter hemlines. Now, I am of the opinion that as women get older and their knees start to become unattractive (why is that?) and they shouldn't be showing them off in short skirts. This isn't why I'm not liking the shorter hemlines for me. I think my knees look quite fine. (This really should have a picture - but who takes pictures of their knees.) Anyway, bottom line is just that my tastes have changed. I think. It was sad to say goodbye to some of the clothes - like the last two Fuck You Mike suits are gone. It was also great to rediscover others and say "Hey, they fit and they still look good." And best of all - there's now room for A to put his clothes in the closet!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Happiness is....

...a shady spot to sleep in.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Random Thoughts

*Sometimes I just really hate the finance people at our Board of Ed. They are stupid. They try to get away with things. And they are paid more than me. This is accounting people. We have rules and must follow them.

*There are places on my route to and from the Cape where the exit ramp is a 2 lane exit. Not everyone knows this, so they get to the far right way too early and therefore wait in line way too long. I'm not going to tell them though, because then I lose my little advantage.

*I wish that the MASS-DOT people would mark the EZ-Pass lanes better at the I-84 interchange - not the booths, I mean the lanes that will lead you to them. Or just move them to the far right or left. It will eliminate a lot of the lane jockeying.

*My dog is a good traveler.

*I wish the Cape weren't so far away. Or that I would win the lotto so I could retire and live up there all summer long.

*I had figured that the VP choices might help me make up my mind which way to vote come fall. I was right.

*I recently discovered the show "Big Bang Theory" thanks to A. I like it. My favorite is Sheldon.

*I took a lot of pictures this weekend at the Cape. I can't wait to download them.