Thursday, May 31, 2012

Three Years Ago

he died for me, for all women. He died because he believed in women; he believed we could make our own choices; he believed that we deserved self-determination.

RIP Dr. George Tiller

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Today on the Merritt Parkway: a bumper sticker "Live is short. Play with your dog."

An inspiration for me--especially with an older dog.

Recently in the neighborhood: a zebra striped Volkswagen van. I saw it up close yesterday. It had bumper stickers about Woodstock and the Dead. The driver's and passenger's seats were covered in tiger striped material. A tray between those seats held a vase with a flower.

Then the driver returned. He could have been sent from central casting. A man approximately in his late 60's with a long grey beard and wire framed glasses.

Happy Blogiversary--Late Again

I thought I had started my first post on May 23rd and posted it on the 24th. Imagine my chagrin to realize my first post was officially posted on the 23rd so I am late in celebrating myself. Hopefully, I'll get it right next year. But how cool is it that my blogiversary is one day after my birthday?

It's weird to think that I am beginning my third year of blogging. It doesn't seem that long. Last year was a tough sophomore year--only 86 posts. I did 100 in just over half a year in 2010 and 73 so far this year.

Despite my lapses, I enjoy blogging. I don't have many readers and I've been hesitant to promote myself. First, I wanted to make sure I would continue to blog and not just abandon this site after a short time.  Then I heard people complain about the banality of others' facebook updates or being too busy to read "all those blogs." I probably erred on the side of reticence. After all, telling people, "By the way I have a blog" is not the same as demanding they read or comment. So I think I'll send an email out and see if anyone is interested in reading more.

But regardless of the few readers I may have, I'm happy to write here and share thoughts and ideas. I hope that someone appreciates them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to me

I like my birthday--I'm not crazy about my age--but I still like my birthday. My mother took me out to lunch and Jeff took me out to dinner. Jeff brought home a selection of three desserts--I chose part of each. We're also having some prosecco.

It's good to be recognized and celebrated. Everyone deserves that for one day.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

On the Outside Looking In

I've never been a part of the in crowd.

I've always been okay with that. I wasn't a pariah--I had my own friends. I didn't need to be with the popular kids. I remember a girl in high school who desperately tried to be part of the in crowd but always looked pathetic. "John can get his dad's Riviera tonight." Even back then, that didn't count.

I find it weird to see the same in crowd vs. the out crowd as an adult. I've seen it at high school reunions  (which was somewhat expected) corporate settings, and most recently and inexplicably at the dog park.

One guy at the dog park apparently doesn't like Jeff and me. Obviously, that's his privilege but I find it weird when he's so blatant--he invites everyone to his house except us right in front of us. Yesterday he offered wine to someone who arrived with me but not to me. Guess what, he's not even in the in crowd, he's another wannabe.

Good thing I'm used to being on the outside looking in

Friday, May 18, 2012

"I Love Omar Vizquel"

I said that earlier tonight as Omar appeared at bat against the Mets, who at the time were losing badly (and just to be clear lost badly.)

I didn't know that Omar was still active.

I don't know how I learned to love Omar Vizquel--I thought it was in the 95 World Series in Cleveland, but he was with San Francisco that year. I'm a National Leaguer and don't see much of the American League teams (or even the NL West Coast teams.) Obviously, I saw him somewhere and he impressed.

Here's to Omar, the second oldest player in the major leagues

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"I've got my crossroads feeling--

I've only had it three or four times in my life. That night in the Café Royal when Everard hit the waiter--" She stopped dead.

That's a quote from my favorite book, "I Capture the Castle" which deserves a post of its own soon

Maybe that quotation is a little melodramatic for what I'm feeling now but I feel that I'm in a time of changes.

The spring test prep season is over. I've only got a few students for the June tests. I'm worried that I might not have any students after the first week in June. Although I've had leads for other work--both contract and full-time jobs, nothing's panned out for me.

Spike has health issues--he has an under active thyroid which we are treating but also is losing protein in his urine. The latter can be a symptom of many problems, some of which are difficult to diagnose. We've already spent a few hundred dollars on inconclusive diagnostic tests. We'll spent whatever we need to keep Spike healthy, but I wonder how valuable all these tests are. The latest test cost about $120 only to eliminate an infection that the vet and I thought was unlikely.

My birthday is approaching. Birthdays are another new year--a time to think about plans and goals.Unfortunately, I'm falling short.

In three weeks, I go on a writer's retreat. Usually, I get a lot of writing done at retreats but not last year. So I'm trying to psych myself up to write--to get into a creative mood.  The last thing I want to do is to put pressure on myself but I don't want to leave my creativity to chance.

Then there are the Mets. They got off to a good start despite dire predictions. Sometimes they look great; other times it's like amateur hour. I don't know from one day to the next what team will take the field.

My crossroads feeling--as Yogi Berra said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mets Sweep!

Tonight the Mets completed a sweep against their National League East rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.

No one predicted this--even with the Phillies' injuries. In this improbable season (except perhaps to Mitch Williams) the Washington Nationals lead the NL East. The Nats are the only NL East team with a winning record against the Mets at 2-1.

 A few more trends that give me hope.

The Mets are five games over .500 for first time since 7-19-10. 

The Mets have come from behind to win 11 times this season, the best in the majors.

I know that it's early in the baseball season, but I have hope and heart.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Triple Crown of Holidays

Today is:

Cinco de Mayo: To many here in the US, it's an excuse to drink margaritas. In the Puebla region of Mexico, the date commemorates the victory of the outnumbered members of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla. It's a day to celebrate unity, pride and patriotism.

Kentucky Derby Day: While not a holiday per se, it's another reason to have a party. Jeff and I often make mint juleps and race bets. This year, Jeff's away and the Derby has lost some of its appeal to me. I read recently that the horses are raced at too young an age and it's dangerous for them.

Spike's Half Way Day: Today Spike is eleven-and-a-half years old. When it clears up, I'll take him to the park. Perhaps we'll  have lunch at a restaurant with outside seating. Later he'll have a frosty paw. My priority today is to make him happy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spike Dog Park Photos

Jeff's away this weekend so I snapped a few pictures of Spike at the dog park today to email to him.

Thought I'd share them here as well.

The Night Before

The lyrics of this song don't reflect the meaning of this post title, but I haven't heard it for a while, so here goes:

It's the night before the May SAT; I have seven tutoring students taking it tomorrow. I advised them to take it easy tonight, relax and get a good night's sleep. At least two of them have other plans: one is in a play and another in a dance. Maybe they will be tired enough to get to sleep easily and not get stressed.

I've been lucky with my tutoring students. They are genuinely interested in working to improve their scores and I enjoy working with them.

Good luck to all.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


on the walkway to our building's back door

I guess someone lost a shoe in the parking lot. 

Or could it be a shrine of sorts?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Life as a Feminist

For some women, there is an a-ha moment when they suddenly realize that they are feminists.

I can't think of a single defining moment or event in my life. I saw things that were annoying, stupid and wrong. Why did women in TV chase scenes always fall and twist/sprain/break ankles? Why were classified ads segregated by Help Wanted--Male and Help Wanted--Female? Why was it acceptable for defense attorneys to put victims' sexual history into evidence in rape cases?

I remember a friend said that women's lib was stupid: I wondered what she was afraid of.

I remember a boyfriend said I couldn't believe in women's lib because I wore skirts: I wondered WTF.

I remember another guy told me he was sick of my women's lib shit when I said I had problem with one of his favorite Grateful Dead songs, Jack Straw. That song opens and closes with the line, "We can share the women we can share the wine." Once again, I wondered WTF.

I remember my sister telling me that I talked about women's lib, but I let [my boyfriend] tell me what to do. Unfortunately, she was right.

Believing in feminism didn't make me a perfect feminist. Hell, there is no perfect feminist.

My feminism was a work in progress; it is still a work in progress.

Just a few examples: feminism means not being judgmental about women's looks; feminism means defending women, even women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman, when "progressives" insult them with misogynist slurs rather than challenge them on their views.

An example of what I aspire to be is here: