Sunday, December 28, 2008
It has been a busy month for sure. Since December 1, I have been cooking non-stop. Aside from my daily dinners, I have made 8 trays of spinach pies, 2 plates of grapeleaves, fusilli with Bolognese, penne vodka, chicken francese, sausage with broccoli rabe, and a roast beef each for 20 people. That does not include Christmas dinner which was a stuffed turkey, lasagna, more spinach pies, more grapeleaves and a carrot cake for Thomas’ birthday which happens to fall on Christmas Eve. Today is Sunday after the door buster sales (which I never got to) and after a progressive dinner where I was the appetizer house (yes, more spinach pies and grapeleaves) I finished making dinner for my brother and his wife who were visiting from Minnesota. They are leaving tomorrow morning and as our last meal together, I made a roast lamb (his favorite) and lemon risotto. I’m tired and as I reflect back on all this, I have to say, I had a full month. The Friday before Christmas was my party for the football parents which was postponed when our winter storm hit. We had it Saturday with very little loss. The white elephant gift exchanges are the best and very funny. Here are some of the classy gifts: Then another 4 inches of snow came again on Sunday. I usually use a picture of some New York scene for my Christmas card because most of the time, I can never get the entire family together to get a Christmas family photo. But the snow kept everyone home. So I dragged them all out in front of the house and eureka, I got a good one: Although I didn’t get to send them out until Christmas Eve, Armenian’s celebrate Christmas on January 6 so I was well within time. My year can be summed up with the good feelings of this month and more. Thomas’ team finishing their football season as winners with him knowing he was a big part of that win. Anthony graduated Fordham and got a great job. Christine continues to work hard and started college at night. Tony and I will celebrate New Year’s Eve by going to dinner with close friends at a neighborhood restaurant. We have celebrated the eve there for the last 3 years. The restaurant has good food, music and most of all, I will not cook. I may not cook for a month (me, yeah right). Regardless, I am looking forward to being off work this coming week to sort pictures and organize my home and, despite economic turmoil, I think I had a very good year. So Happy New Year my friends and may the coming time be filled with magic for all. Love, Ginny
Sunday, December 14, 2008
It has been a busy time. It always is in December. My weekends are packed with shopping, cooking and football. My son is done with his high school football season. He is leaving a winner. The school's record is 52 wins in a row, no losses. It is awesome but over. Now, I am now watching the pros. It isn't as much fun, but I need something. In two weeks, it will be Christmas. I should be writing Christmas cards and finishing my shopping list. But I am not. I've decided I want to have a Holiday Party for the senior parents and players of the football team next Friday. The parents alone will be about 26 people and of course, the kids will be another 13. I must be crazy. Nevertheless, I wanted to do this maybe as a last hurrah to our life with high school football. Maybe because I haven't had a party this big during the Holidays for about 8 years. In any event, I'm doing it. But last night, I had a dream. The parents and players came over and I ran out of food. I woke up and immediately started cooking and cooked for the next 8 hours. My menu consists of penna with vodka sauce, chicken francaise, sausage with broccoli rabe, rigatoni with bolognese, spinach pies and grapeleaves. At one point of my life, when people would ask if they could bring something, I would say no, just come. Not any more. I now take anything I can get so I am getting some donations of appetizers and dessert. I also decided to add a roast beef to the menu - just in case. To top off the evening we are doing the infamous white elephant grab bag. This is where people bring a wrapped gift of something they have around the house that they no longer want. It does works out to be a fun exchange of gawdy, useless stuff. So there it is, my December. I don't know why but if I am not busy, I find ways to make myself busy. It is who I am. Hopefully, I won't make my husband nuts during the week. Oh, and if anyone doesn't have any where to go on Christmas, you are welcome at my house, really.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
(that blur with the ball is Tom on the carry) It is 4 am and I can't sleep. Last night, I had too much wine. Last night, I told another man I loved him. Last night it was 30 degrees with a wind child that made it feel like 20 and Tony, Anthony, Christine and I sat in an open football field for 2 hours watching Thomas and his team in the deciding game of the high school football playoffs. In spite of the bitter cold, we were sweating it out. Both teams wanted this to go on to the State Championship. It is sudden death to the losing team; as a senior, your high school football career is over and you want to go out a winner. It is a scoreless first quarter. I don’t know how they are playing in this cold and without sleeves (it compromises their holding the ball). I am wearing everything I can think of to keep warm, and my lucky heart necklace. I prayed to my mother every time I see Thomas go in – she can help him, I know it. It is second quarter. Thomas is in. The quarterback gives the ball to him. And he runs, and he runs. And it’s Forest Gumpish. He is running 81 yards with a platoon of defensive linemen after him. They cannot catch him. He scores and the crowd goes nuts. In the second half, the opposing team came back and scored. After the third, it was us 7, them 10. The wind kicked in harder and it is colder, if that seemed possible. We are now officially freezing. It’s 2 minutes into the fourth quarter. The quarterback hands Thomas the ball. He runs and he runs. He does it! Tom scored again on a 39 yard run. After a 3 point field goal by us and what seemed like the longest quarter in history, Tom's team wins 17 - 10. He did it, its huge and its all about my kid! He's only 17 years old and when he is 30 and 40 and 50 years old, this day will live within him forever. He will remember this bitter cold night when he brought his team to victory. It is what I live for as a parent – my child’s success all on his own. His abilities, his accomplishment, his 15 minutes of fame. As is the case after every game, parents, coaches, players, cheerleaders and whoever else go to the after-game celebration at the local pub. Everybody came up to Tony and me and congratulated us. It was the team, I said. No one player can do it alone. But it was Thomas' in the spotlight. He gave up summers for 4 years to practice and be with his team. He worked at this and deserved it. Coach came to our table. He said my kid was great and very coachable. I told coach I loved him because of what he did for Thomas. I also thanked my mom. His MVP Trophy for the Playoff Game.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I have been tagged by a good friend. You can either cut and paste these questions in an email or answer in a comment. Either way, I would love to hear from you. Here are the questions and my answers: 1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, my father's sister who died at age 5 2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? The day my son graduated Fordham - happy cries. 3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No, it is terrible 4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? I go for roast beef usually but love meatloaf from any German butcher. 5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 3 - boy, girl, boy 6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I would love to be friends with me. 7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Does a bear ----in the woods. 8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS Yes, but do not pay attention to them - I probably should 9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No, you do it and I'll watch. 10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Cheerios 11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Always 12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Not physically, but mentally absolutely. 13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Pumpkin (right now anyway) 14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? What they are wearing and if they are looking at me when they are talking to me. 15. RED OR PINK? Red 16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I wish I was taller. 17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST My Mom - every day 18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Of Course! 19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black. 20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Pumpkin ice cream on a piece of apple pie that I made. 21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? My iPod's 60s playlist. 22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Purple 23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Saute onions, anything cooking on the grill, honeysuckle 24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My daughter Christine. 25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Love her! 26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I love high school football and after all this time, I am finally getting it! I may start watching the pros next! 27. Hair Color? Above the dye, dark brown with burgundy undertones. Under the dye, I don't want to know. 28. EYE COLOR? brown 29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no 30. FAVORITE FOOD? I love Armenian, Greek and Italian food. That covers a lot of ground. 31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings, hands down. 32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Sex and the City (DVD) 33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Purple 34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter even though I hate the cold, I love skiing and comfort food 35. HUGS OR KISSES? All of the above 36. FAVORITE DESSERT? See #20 37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Hope lots of you 38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Many of you 39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The New Photography Manual 40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? ?? 41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? I don't watch TV but the last thing I watched were the election results. 43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles 44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME??? Greece 45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? No, but I am very interesting and a lot of fun, really. Oh, I do speak Armenian. 46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Washington Heights in NYC 47. ONE THING NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YOU I have no sense of direction and get lost everywhere I go.
Friday, October 24, 2008
The perfect Autumn weekend consists of: A drive in the country to see the fall foliage, which this year seems to show the most vibrant in colors that I've seen in a long time. Friday night at the high school football game where the team my son is on wins 37 - 0. Thomas has scored 5 touchdowns in the first half of 3 games so far this season! Saturday is at the food festival at my church. Every year, my Armenian church puts on a food festival for 3 days where the retired women of the congregation who make up the Ladies Guild cook for 4 weeks making the most delicious shish kabob, ground lamb kabobs, stuffed grapeleaves and cheese pies. It is my mother's cooking all over again. I am in the kitchen Saturday helping with a dish that is called kefta. This is a ball of 100% fat free sirloin made into the shape of a meatball then stuffed with a mixture of ground chuck seasoned with onions, parsley, salt and pepper. It is cooked in chicken broth. It may not sound like much, but any Armenian would remember their roots and think of their mother when they have this dish. It is very typical Armenian and very delicious. I would have taken a picture of it but I was too busy cooking and eating. I look forward to the day when I retire and be a Ladies Guild member. I want to be the one who makes the kefta. Here is one of the tireless ladies that I cooked with. Gloria - she has worked in the kitchen for 4 weeks prior to the food fest making 3,000 keftas. Doesn't she look awesomely happy for a woman who has been up for 18 hours. The completion of my fall weekend came on Sunday with the Mother/Son brunch for the football players and their moms. I have waited 4 years for this day. It is the day when the senior football players get up and, in front of their peers, say how they feel about their mothers. The truth comes out. Some say how they love their mom for being kind when the coach and the father is somewhat hard on them. Some of the players thank their mothers for doing their laundry, making their beds and feeding them. Some cry about how much they care for their mother. Some are funny. My son said he loved me because I supported him, encouraged him, made the best dinners he ever had and put up with him when his favorite NFL team loses which seems to happen every week lately. All I can say was, the day lived up to my expectations. The weekend ends with the traditional carving of the pumpkins: It is October - my favorite month. I wish I could have this good of a time every weekend.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The opening day of the high school football season took place last Friday evening. Thomas is playing. It is the night before the game and I am told to expect my house to be honored by being decorated by one of the cheerleaders for good luck. So Tony and I came home Thursday night to find this: and this and this and even this In my day, when I saw homes decorated with toilet paper dangling from the trees, it wasn't a form of admiration. It was trashing and usually to some poor kid who was being harassed at school. Somewhere along the line, I am imagining that some smart educator suggested that the way to stop this harassment was by decorating the house of a 250 pound senior lineman that nobody is going to dare mess with. It then became cool. My honored tradition takes place every week before each game until the season is over or the toilet paper freezes on the trees. It is high school football at its finest. I have even been blessed with a new fall wardrobe. This shirt: which I wear to every game and this 6" by 4" pin, which takes up most of one breast: (BTW, they won their first game - and he did carry a few times) Wish him luck.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The Trade Center then: The World Financial Center rebuilt and a work in progress: Tony and I were in downtown Manhattan this weekend to see the waterfalls. at Brooklyn Piers under the Brooklyn Bridge Downtown NY is being rebuilt stronger than ever. We are more beautiful now then ever. Love you all, Ginny
Friday, September 5, 2008
I have been voting since George McGovern ran against Richard Nixon. Since I have been known to generally voice an opinion on topics that I care about, and have been a registered Democrat since 1972, and read The New York Times, some of my friends and family think that that qualifies me to debate the current election down to minor details. I have had my position challenged at social occasions where the evenings have ended in a knockdown drag out exchange of words that have left the evening with the proverbial white elephant in the room. To say that I have had enough of this election is an understatement. Since the last election ended, this one started but in a more ferocious way than I have ever seen before. I have heard and been the victim of slander, rhetoric and insult more than any other time. Does this mean that when this election ends, another campaign will begin and with the same viscous attacks from the party that loses. God help me. Will someone tell me – who has the right to argue that their opinion is all right and others have it all wrong especially when they are playing Monday morning quarterback. Who reads every newspaper to get all sides of an issue. If you have that kind of time, I want your life. When is the rhetoric I hear from candidates going to stop and honesty come into the forefront of speeches. So here it is – my two cents. I am voting for Obama. Not that I think he is perfect, but I think he offers more than what I see in McCain and his pistol-packing mama vice president. Let me tell you from someone who worked full time while raising three young kids, it is not possible to do both successfully. So there you have it. My opinion –and my right to it.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
One year ago, I began writing this blog. At the time, I was starting to feel the daily circle of activity that revolved around working, doing for the kids and their school, shrinking to work, some involvement with the kids and hardly any with the school. I found I actually had time on my hands. So with the help of my good friend and talented blogger, Kristen, I found blogging – my modern day form of letter writing. Pre-email, internet and blogging, I would write letters to my cousins in Greece all the time. When friends moved away, I would write to them. Much like my blogs, they didn’t respond as often as I wrote, but that’s okay. When I get together with them and start talking about my most recent experiences, often times they say, “I know, I read it in your blog”. They never comment, but they are there. At first, I thought I would write about adult outings in new, fun places – life after kids. But I realized there wasn’t enough of that and the kids are not done with me. The roles, though have changed. Rather than be in their face, I’m on the sideline now. They talk and discuss and I lend my ear and my heart. Twenty three years of raising them has not gone by fast. I felt every day of those hectic schedules, good times and bad. I helped them solve life’s problems, trying to guide them to be independent thinkers with good values. I’m satisfied and breathing a sigh of relief those days are over. I think they are too. As I grow into the next blogging year, I’m not sure where it will take me. I’m a little unsettled lately. Some of my close friends who I've known through our kids are starting to move to more scenic places where they will see the ocean every morning at breakfast or never wear another winter coat again. There will be changes and new adventures for me and my husband but I'm not sure where or what yet. The predictability of life when all the kids were in school and planning around five schedules is almost over. Thomas, in this final year of high school, is playing a starting position on the school football team. It will be our last involvement with a high school for one of our own. Never again will I have to go to another Parent's Night or meet with the guidance counselor or get the dreaded phone call from the school nurse. I’m going to savor this last year like no other before it. Tony and I are going to every football game and can’t wait. As for my husband and I, we talk about more travel, moving and waking up to something scenic too. It would also not surprise me if we wound up staying in the same house forever. Right now, it's all a mystery, to be continued.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Coming back from California to life on the east coast was a bit of a rude awakening. The heat and humidity were horrible last week and then it thunder stormed almost daily. What am I doing here, I asked of myself. And then I remembered, to go to NEW YORK CITY of course and to see HAIR at Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre. You may remember that last year, I stood on line for my two free tickets to see Midsummer’s Night Dream where I dragged my husband whose enjoyment of Shakespeare could be compared to preparation day before a colonoscopy. This year, I saved him from his husbandly obligation and invited friends who actually wanted to see the show. I may be nuts, but the waiting in line doesn’t bother me. I never mind being outdoors on a nice day where I can read a book, meet interesting people, and fall asleep when I need to. My good friend Kim was just as eager as I was to see HAIR and agreed to the early morning start and long wait. We packing lawn chairs, some fruit and umbrellas and settled down to our spot. Our neighboring line-mates included singers and a cocktail waitress from a supposedly famous bar in the Village called Maria's Crisis Piano Bar who had finished work around 4 am, had the typical greasy breakfast and went directly to the line around 6:30 am. Coming straight from work, the waitress was decked in a black sequined pants suit being the snazziest dresser on line by far. They were quite entertaining. After surviving a torrential thunderstorm around 12 noon, Kim and I were handed our two free tickets each and drove home to rest up to return for the evening performance with our two friends, the lucky recipients of the other tickets. I saw the original version of HAIR back in 1969 but for some reason, it didn't make as much of an impression on me then as it did now. I loved this HAIR. The songs were fun, the production was lively and the set was colorful. I knew each of the characters from somewhere in my life. I remembered the music and yes, the nude scene, but had forgotten the story and how sad it turns out. A group of free spirited hippy friends (the tribe) are protesting against the Vietnam War when one of their members, Claude, receives his draft notice. Claude is torn between making his parent's proud by serving his country or burning his draft card like his other male friends. The play not only depicted the era perfectly, but also captured the idealism of youth. Life gets serious after school is over and sometimes it is met with confusion and rebellion. Things haven’t changed in 40 years. Seeing HAIR was the culmination of a truly wonderful day. So in case anyone wants to try it here are the tips I am passing on to get the tickets: • Bring a low lawn chair, some snacks (if you want), a good book, and rain poncho (or a big plastic sheet for cover). • Arrive no later than 6:30 am. • You can bring your own snacks but there is a deli that will deliver to the line – no kidding. The line monitor (the guy who tells you what the rules are) will give you the number and a delivery person on a bike brings your order. • You can leave the line to go to the bathroom, which is by the theater but you are not allowed to leave the park to go to Starbucks (unless you make friends with the line monitor who overlooks your Starbucks cups when you return). • No one can join you on line to get tickets unless they came with you in the beginning. • When tickets are distributed at 1 PM, go home, take a nap, shower and return with the lucky friends who you have chosen to be the recipients of your extra ticket. A picnic in Central Park (they allow wine) before the performance is the way to go. Lucky friends should provide the food as you were on line all day. • Know what you are waiting for. There were two productions this season, Hamlet and HAIR. To pass the time, and make friends with the line monitor, I asked him to tell me a funny story about waiting in line. He told me of a guy whom this week, stood on line for the usual 5 or so hours, got his tickets and went to the evening performance of HAIR thinking he was going to see HAMLET - and complained about it. At the end of the show, the performers invite some of the audience to come and dance on stage to the song “Let the Sun Shine In”. You know I was up there. Kim even got a hug from Claude! Maybe I’m crazy, but I didn’t mind the wait. I had to see HAIR. To me, it was sooo worth it.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Every time my husband and I go on vacation we think about what it would be like to live in the place we are visiting. So far we have considered a move by the beach at Newport, RI, to a hilltop villa in Tuscany and now, a small home or townhouse in Carmel. I can’t believe it took me so long to get to California but maybe the reason why is that I would love it so much that I would have wanted to move. California is awesome. We arrived in LA, drove to Solvang, stayed in Carmel, went on to Sonoma and ended in SF. I didn’t have a bad meal and loved seeing the view of the water everywhere. I realized I should never pack for my lifestyle but for the lifestyle I am going to (no dresses necessary). I spent a lot of days in fleece. My husband grew a beard, which actually looks very nice. There is still so much we haven’t done in CA and so many restaurants we have yet to experience. I thought Point Lobos was the most scenic place on earth. Tony loved the scenery of Monterey and was also excited about the Red Bull motorcycle race at Laguna Seca. I know he imagined the thrill and beauty of Highway 1 on a bike. I, on the other hand, would be happier on a cable car in the city. The narrow, winding road around Muir Woods which we mistakenly took thinking we were going to the Pelican Inn which was only 100 yards from the base of the road did me in. Next time, I will read the map more carefully. Everyone at home seemed to survive without us. I give my kids credit. We arrived Saturday morning on the redeye to a perfectly clean home and no signs of the parties that probably took place at least once or twice (or more) the last 10 days. I don’t know what they ate but in the fridge I found 5 boxes of ice cream (all different flavors), a carton of hot pockets and the leftovers from the dinner I made 10 days ago. So be it. Part of the enjoyment of the trip was thinking of how I would love it if the kids would be there too. There in is where the problem lies. We could move to the city of choice and enjoy the breathtaking scenery and perfect climate, or move to where the kids wind up. It is hard. My mother stayed in the same house she bought with my father until the day she died. Tony’s mother was in 14 houses, mostly in Florida, all within the last 20 years. I don’t know what feels right except that for now, I hope to travel more until I do know what I want. Next year, I want to go to California again. We’ll see. Family In Sausalito
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It is finally here. The vacation I have planned since February starts tomorrow. Tony and I are going to California. The itinerary is to start in Solvang (the land of the movie Sideways), drive up the coast to Sonoma and end in San Francisco. Tony will be going to the Laguna Seca motorcycle race on Sunday. I, luckily, have a cousin who lives in San Francisco who will enjoy keeping company with Tony at the race while I am tooling around town with his lovely wife. I have never been to the west coast except for business and that wasn't much fun. Tony hasn't at all. The kids, oh yeah, they will be home alone. Honestly, it doesn't worry me that they are home. It worries me more that both my husband and I are traveling together. A feeling of danger came over me this week. My organizational skills kicked in. I'm flying to the land of fires, mudslides and earthquakes. What if I don't come back. I quickly pulled out my will. OMG, it hasn't been updated since 1997 when Anthony was 11! This will not do. Even if I am not around, I can't be leaving this planet without a plan. I know this is morbid but I am a realist and need to have things in order. I called the lawyer and asked to have the will updated before Tuesday. He said not to worry, most deaths occur within five miles from one's home. Very comforting, very lawyerlike. I typed up a While We Are Away sheet of things the kids should know about the house (empty dehumidifier every day, when the garbage is collected, where the electric panel is and what it does, who to contact for what). I have an emergency contact sheet that is hung up on the cork board in the laundry room. It once included the phone numbers of the nearest relatives, schools and doctors. It now includes my lawyer, accountant and financial adviser. I'm hoping they won't have to use it but just in case they should know I was thinking about them. I would have loved to have taken them along but schedules between 3 kids and 2 adults gets impossible to coordinate. Last year, I planned a week in Newport thinking the kids would join us. They didn't. It's okay, I get it now. I'm thinking they wouldn't want to go to the places in CA that we would be going to anyway (maybe). I'm packing tonight. My husband always tells me I overpack. Well what do you expect when I read that the temperature is 88 degrees during the day and 55 at night. The Mark Twain expression "the coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Francisco" keeps popping into my head. I like to be prepared clothingwise for anything. Doesn't everyone take 6 pairs of shoes? When we come back, we will have some new pictures, some good wine and hopefully, we will all be safe. We're California Dreaming, on such a summer's day.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Last night was awesome. Went into the city with another couple to our new favorite restaurant in the meatpacking district. They have waiters that make you feel as if you were in Italy and the cuisine is a special Italian. You have to go. Upon arriving home a little after 11, Tony and I decided to watch a little Saturday Night Live before going to sleep. Lo and behold it was a rebroadcast of the very first SNL hosted by George Carlin in honor of his death this week. It is one of those rare times when you stumble on something good unexpectedly like when you get that parking space only steps from the front door (and its not handicap). It's your lucky day. The show was a little raw but the original players were all there - Belushi, Curtin, Radner, Chase and others. There were two musical guests, Billy Preston who did Nothin' from Nothin' and Janis Ian who seemed a little nervous singing At 17. I was trying to stay up long enough to see if they did the weekend news segment but I couldn't. In any event, it was great to see the show again even for a little while. SNL made it acceptable to be home on Saturday nights when you didn't have a date or a place to go. Now, it makes me feel good when I can stay up to see it for at least the first half hour.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Birthdays are not always magical but I can say, I had a nice day yesterday for mine. The day started when I came into the office to find my cubical decorated like this: They do this to everyone in the department so we all get a chance to look silly for the day. There is a committee (yes, a committee) that cooks up some goodies and buys bagels and muffins to bring in. Then it was home to my loved ones. It's always a good day when I can get my entire family to be with me for dinner but, being it was my birthday the kids all made an attempt to be there. We had a lovely dinner (which I made) and had nice conversation, and a few laughs. Three awesome kids, one great husband and many good friends. Life is good, and I'm so not done yet.
Monday, June 23, 2008
I've always been a little embarrassed about my going to Woodstock in 69. When I tell people I was there, everyone wants to hear my story. Unfortunately, it really isn't a story worth telling except for the fact that I somehow got there, saw a handful of acts and came home. That alone though makes me bigger than a rock star to my kids and their friends. This weekend I went to Woodstock - the site of the actual concert in Bethel Woods. It has been almost 40 years and being it was covered with half a million people and I was dodging rain a lot, I remembered little of the actual topography of the farm . I was nowhere near the stage and spent most of the time hanging out with people I had met, keeping dry. (See my post from August 17, 2007). But I wanted to go to Woodstock and see the site and new museum. I bought tickets for the Ringo Starr concert that was to take place this past Saturday. In 69, I was in a VW bus with 3 girls and the guy driver. This time, I’m with our two good friends who own a beach front home in Newport and my husband in our E-Class Mercedes. :-). The concert, although I looked forward to it, was secondary. It was the site and museum that was the draw for me. As we exited off the highway, a neon sign revealed that the concert was canceled. The truck carrying the equipment broke down at the Canadian border - they said. Well okay now. Sometimes life works out. The museum was very well done. It took you through the early 60s leading up to the Woodstock weekend with memorabilia and photos of the festival, and then progressed to how the festival influenced life afterwards. The artifacts included the 3-day tickets, like the ones I still have, with their price of $6 per day. There was a copy of the programs that never got distributed. There was a list of the original line up that changed last minute when the first act got stuck in traffic forcing Richie Havens to open the festival. Towards the end of the museum, a little booth with a computer was set up to allow Woodstock alumni to relate their experience. I clicked on a couple of the stories and found I wasn’t the only one who didn’t see many of the acts, swim naked in the lake or get stoned on acid. There were others, just like me, who were there with people, they may never see again, at what turned out to be an experience of a lifetime. Aside from the great, overpriced T-shirt I bought in the gift shop (click on the picture above to get a good look at it), I left with a renewed feeling that I really was lucky to have been part of something good that embodied my generation and will never happen again. When we left, we went to the spot where a monument was placed where the stage was to have been. A woman offered to take the picture of the four of us in front of the plaque. She said she overheard us talking and realized I was at the concert. She wanted to hear my story. So I told her, although I didn't know it then, I know now, it was far out!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I was a June bride. A little corny but I was. I always wanted to be married in June. I had my wedding dress picked out when I was 17. It was a variation of a style my mother made for one of her customers, only more beautiful because my mother made it for me. It was a very simple silk, jersey gown that was cut on the bias, somewhat full, from the neckline down. The material gathered with a belt my mother hand-beaded in the design of the Greek key. She told me later that when she started to cut the material, her expertly skilled hand shook. I remember my mother yelling at me while she was making the belt. I was so skinny then and every time she went to fit me, I had lost more weight . I was so nervous. Not because of getting married. I was just worried that I wanted everything to be perfect. I think the belt would go around my thighs now. On June 5th 1982, the day was hot, humid and raining horrendously. Unlike the strapless, backless and shear gowns of today, the dress my mother made had long sleeves with a high neck. Heaven forbid any part of me was exposed prior to my being a legitimately, married woman. She was proud, prim, and proper. I was sweating to death. Last Thursday, Tony and I celebrated our 26th anniversary. We went to NY for cocktails and dinner (guess who's idea that was). The evening started as it usually does when we go into the city, with us stuck in traffic for over one hour and with my husband swearing at everyone that can't move fast enough or change lanes quick enough. He hates traffic jams and it happens on a regular basis when we go to the city. But it was our anniversary so he bit his tongue and I tried to keep him amused. We discovered a few new places in the Meat Packing District where the crowd is not all under 30 (or under 35 or 45 and so on) and the females (like me) are women not waifs. We had cocktails here and dinner here. It was great. We laughed about being together for 26 years and not having anything in common. I pleaded with him to get an apartment and move into the city. He showed me his ideal house plan - this. We are hopeless or maybe hopelessly in love. I suppose if we continue to go for cocktails and dinner, we could survive the rest of our lives like this.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
It's not spelled incorrectly. That is how it is referred to here, The Jersey Shawh, not shore - shawh We drop our Rs here in Jersey (or as they say, Jeasey). So it is the first weekend of summer and a considerable number of the population is down the shawh, uh shore. Each of the Jersey shore towns are distinct to different age groups. Its a shoreline that almost follows the generations in order. Starting with the most southern tip you have Cape May known for its Victorian B&Bs and good restaurants which attract childless couples, seniors and families with children between 10 and 16 years of age. Just north is Wildwood and Wildwood Crest where families with very young kids go. Then there is LBI (Long Beach Island) for families with teenagers. Then comes the towns furthest north of Cape May, Belmar and Point Pleasant. Belmar and Point Pleasant cater to the college age and above crowd. Now it starts to get rowdy with Tiki Bars and clubs. Finally, there is Seaside - the party town for high school seniors and juniors particularly after-prom or on Memorial Day weekend. In recalling the first time I got together with a group of girls to go to Seaside on Memorial Day weekend I was excited for a week before. It was like getting your first pair of high heels and finding a place worthy of wearing them. We rented some junky motel room which was fashionable decorated in a orange and brown shag rug. We had a plan to go to thee hot club on the boardwalk - with fake ID of course. Mine was so terribly fake, I didn't get in. But the night wasn't a total loss. I stood outside the club with all the other under 21s who didn't get in and found consolation on the beach - with a bottle of some horrible, cheap wine. Of course, I got so drunk, my night ended with me staring at the ceiling of my hotel room bed, hoping the room would stop spinning. Typical ending. Even now, writing about it makes my head hurt. So here it is 30 years later, and all the shore towns are the same as they were then. I wonder how that happens. Seaside has not lost its draw. It is still the place to be as a teen and on Memorial Day weekend. That crummy hotel is probably still there (and probably with the same shag rug) and booked to capacity with kids drinking their cheap wine or maybe now, expensive Cuervo but still getting sick off the balcony. This Memorial Day, I am sitting home. For those of you who didn't know, my poor husband came down with phenomena last week and after 4 days in the hospital and, oh the worse, missing his son's Fordham graduation, he is home recuperating. Luckily, he is practically as good as new. Also luckily, my kids are not down the shore. The older ones have been there, done that. Thomas, well next year he will be a senior and there will be after-prom. Let's hope he keeps his head from spinning.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Motherhood is not what I expected. Some of the most insulting thoughts and words ever bestowed on me have been by the very people I spent countless hours in labor giving birth to. At some point of their lives, well after the age of reason (whenever that was), my children have called me a psycho, looser and a nut job. This along with loosing my dignity in efforts to entertain them and their friends at sleep over birthday parties where I dressed as a witch and flew around the yard waving my arms with a plastic pitchfork trying to scare them (unsuccessfully), supervising the painting of pumpkins which led to one of the kids spilling half the paint on her pretty $40 dress that I then felt obligated to pay for, and sleeping on the deck, under the stars in the camp-out sleepover where the only ones who slept were those not at my house did I realize how hard this job actually was. I should have just taken them to Chuckie Cheese. Today is Mother's Day. In the past, I have gotten some very special gifts that my children have made me. From Anthony a rock covered with stamps. The topiary from Christine that is still in my bedroom. And the fake ruby ring from Thomas that I carry around for good luck. Motherhood is an adventure. I have my moments, some bad, some good. There are gifts I have gotten from my children that they don't know they gave me. Thomas has given me the opportunity to be part of the Armenian community by being involved with the youth group. I am somebody to a lot of people because I am a youth group leader. My daughter Christine has taught me the latest fashion trends. It was because of her I wear skinny jeans and shop at Urban Outfitter and people at work look at me as if I am cool. And Anthony. This week, Anthony, my oldest, is graduating Fordham University. He is the first person in my family to graduate college. Although it is great for him, it is also his gift to me. Awesome. Today, my kids gave me a Mother's Day present - an IPhone. It was great. I felt like a kid at Christmas. What impressed me the most was that they knew that I wanted this. Thank you my loves.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Throughout my life, I was reminded of the death and destruction that fell upon my family simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am Armenian – 100% and this week as every week around this time of the year, there is always a remembrance of the genocide that took place April 24, 1915. On that day, the Turkish government carried out their plan to rid their country of the Armenian population in much the same way Hitler planned the systematic destruction of the Jewish people. All Armenians have a story of someone in their family that either lived or died during this massacre. Mine involved my father. His father, who because he was among the prominent citizens of town, was one of the first to be taken from his home and never seen again. My father, his mother, brother and sister were forced to walk across the desert in what was labeled “the death march”. They somehow made their way to America, except for his 3-year-old sister who died of starvation en route. I was named after her. Growing up in NJ, our social life was only with other Armenian families. We lived near Armenians, spoke Armenian in the house and participated in only Armenian functions. I could only have Armenian friends (think how many of those there were in public school) and my brother and I were not allowed to join after school activities that did not have anything to do with the Armenians. That pretty much limits ones social life to being home with parents and their friends and hopefully, someone who was among them that was of our age. That may sound unreasonable but it was not within my world. Most Armenian parents of the genocide generation practiced that same philosophy of child rearing. Things loosened up for me in high school, but my cousin, even at age 16, wasn’t allowed to leave the house without a grown-up. Many of us from that age can’t ride a bike or swim. These were considered dangerous sports and unnecessary. Keep the kids close and pray they will be safe. There are a lot of good things about being from an Armenian household. We always had company over, even during the week and the cuisine is the best. We always knew there would be a lot of people over when the night before, my mother, an excellent cook, worked most of the night to make our favorite foods.We hold family above everything. The remembrance of the massacre by my generation is once removed from the horrors of the massacre. We grew up hearing about it but never experienced it. We didn’t know it then, but we were held close more for them than for us. They needed to feel we wouldn’t be taken away or led on a march somewhere. Our lives are better now because of the struggles of our parents and grandparents and we respect and love them for it. Today to commemorate the massacre, there is a rally in Times Square. to bring attention to the genocide and how the Turkish government still refuses to acknowledge that this systematic killing took place. I won’t go. Today, I will remember my father, who now as a parent, understand him more and more. Azat & Thomas on their wedding day
Friday, April 11, 2008
As a child, I was pathetically un-athletic. Couldn’t ride a bike and never learned to swim. I blamed these shortcomings on my over-protective parents. Having come from foreign countries where they survived wars and genocide, they were convinced that any physical activity outside of cleaning the house would have lead to my death. Then I had kids and I was insistent that they do all the things I couldn’t. They were enrolled in swim classes and learned to ride a bike like normal children. On their own, they even went on to enjoying the winter sports like ice skating, hockey, snowboarding and skiing. Every winter we would head up to Mountain Creek where they would ski for hours and I would sit in the lodge contently reading a book. Until one day. I think kids keep you young. You show them your world and they open yours to what’s new, trendy and different. So it was because of them I was at the mountain every weekend. But it was my husband who decided we needed to get out there and try skiing. So it happened seven years ago I took my first lesson. The instructor felt I should get on the chair lift as so I did. After my first fall, I said oh no and proceeded to walked down the slope. If you think skiing is hard, try walking down the bunny slope. You would think I would have gone back to the lodge and the book but, for some reason, I couldn’t give it up. I have this thing you see. I do something and if I don't get it right, I do it till I do - to a fault (ask Tony about my countless attempts to make chili which I finally gave up at his insistence and one too many bathroom trips). Anyway, I was determined to get this skiing thing down. So after two years on the bunny slope, it started to grow on me. It wasn’t just the skiing; it was the mountain scenery, the feeling of doing something during the winter months and learning a sport that I enjoyed. I went to the mountain to practice during the week. And after a few years, I was even comfortable on some blue trails. But seven years later, my kids had gotten away from it and Tony has moved on to another risky sport (motorcycling). I only skied once this winter and alone. Then at the end of February, one of my closest friends, Chris who now lives in Houston, called me up, feeling she wanted to get away and suggested a long weekend together. I immediately responded that I wanted to go skiing somewhere. I wanted to experience real snow, wide trails and towns geared for the skiers . I am talking to Chris, a girl who grew up in Canada, skiing. Within 24 hours, we booked a flight to Calgary with hotels in the Canadian Rockies. I have to say my excitement was also tempered with the thought that I might be in over my head. For a girl who had never skied outside of New York or New Jersey and was over 50, was I taking on more than I should? But I had to do this. I wanted to do this. So I did it. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did. It was the most awesome experience I have ever had. We skiing only one day but one perfect day.We stayed at the Sunshine Lodge at the base of the mountain where it is ski in/ski out to five chairlifts going to different mountains. After getting warmed up on two of the mountains, we felt we could move on to a bigger elevation. (Check out the trail map.)We got on the Angel Express chair lift. It started up and up and kept going and kept going and still going. We looked at each other and said “OMG, what have we done”. I was thinking, I probably wouldn't be able to walk down this mountain but maybe I could just stay on the chair lift and go back down. But I didn't. When we finally arrived at the summit, Chris asked a man who was with his family where the green trail was. He had a smart English accent and told us to follow him. He advised if you don’t know where you are going, you could wind up on a black trail. So we followed him every inch of the way. He told me what to do and I did it. I skied fast to keep up the momentum and dug in to keep my balance, just like he told me. When I reached the base it was with an exhilaration I have never felt before. We broke for lunch at the lodge where I had the best chili ever (so that's what it is supposed to taste like). I was in one piece, no injuries and my spirits were as high as the mountain. I thanked my Liverpool guide and his family for giving me the guidance I needed to get me down the mountain and decided I was done – at least for now. Chris and I, joined by two other girls (we were girls this weekend) spent the rest of the weekend in the town of Banff. It is full of skiers mostly from Australia and England who come to ski – lovely. We stayed here and ate a delicious meal here and a great brunch here and woke up to views like this all around us. The Main Street of Banff Lake Louise The water is that color - no touch up here. The girls of the weekend. Aren't my boots the best! I now know how my husband feels when he takes his motorcycle trips. Beautiful country, a little risky and you end the day with a nice glass of wine. I tip my glass to Chris, my Liverpool guide and my husband and kids for making me get out there. I finally can say, I can do one sport. One for my bucket list.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I'm taking some time off from blogging. I haven't been as happy with it lately and am thinking of redesigning it, changing my focus and possibly moving it to another domain. I also want to concentrate on some other avenues of creativity that I hope to bring to the new blog. Thanks to all who have been readers. When I'm back up, I'll send you a email notice. So for now, in the long term, enjoy life and in the short term, have a Happy Easter.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Another Saturday night and I aint got no body. That was the song that said it all. When I was younger, I would have rather died than admit that I was home watching TV alone. Even though , back then, they put good shows on Saturdays. I think the night started with All In The Family and the evening would end with Saturday Night Live. With any luck the guest host would be someone like Eric Idle with George Harrison as his musical guest. A lot of times, it was that good. This Friday night I went to a blues club with girl friends. It was a funky bar in Montclair. The kind I went to when I was in my 20s. I probably was the oldest person at this bar in age but it didn't feel like it. It just felt good being out, doing something I don't usually do. Usually, I go out with my husband or friends and we go to dinner. I love eating but it is good to do something different so you can talk about it during dinner. When I mentioned to friends that I went to this bar, they said, "Oh my, I remember Tierney's from my college days". If they were with me Friday, they would have said, nothing has changed. The place looks the same except that it is not smoky now. Nice. Where was I that I didn't go to Tierney's during my college days. Oh right, I didn't go to college. But I am going to college now - an online college, so shouldn't I get the college experience by going to a college bar. Yes. Maybe that explains why I went to Tierney's. The food wasn't bad, I had a nice time. I listened to a blues band and enjoyed the company of my friends - all for under 30 bucks. Makes sense to me. So now it is Saturday night. I made a nice dinner for both my husband and me. Had some wine and we plan to watch a video which I will probably fall asleep on well before the credits. There never is a good show on Saturdays anymore and I can't stay up long enough to watch SNL. I'm so busy during the week that I welcome the chance to be home and enjoy the time relaxing. That is Saturday night now. But it was fun to go to Tierney's. I realized, I enjoyed doing something that wasn't part of my normal routine. Why shouldn't I. It's not because I haven't grown up, I just haven't grown old.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Anyone that knows me knows I am a huge Eric Clapton fan. I've seen him in concert about 6 times. I bought his Crossroads collection of CDs before I had a CD player. My kids would have been named Eric and Layla had my husband not put the kabash on that immediately. On Tuesday, I went to the Steve Winwood/Eric Clapton concert at the Garden. The concert was awesome. Clapton is still god. Stevie Winwood is perfect with him . I am perfect with them. I look at them playing and hear my youth come back. "Had to Cry Today" (which they opened with) was moving. "Can't Fine My Way Home" (which they ended with) turns me to mush now as it did then. I am 21 again and invincible. I have no responsibilities. I work to make money to go out. I go to concerts and see The Who and John & Yoko and so many others. There are clubs and dancing awaiting me. It is Thursday, or Friday, or Saturday, and I am at the Electric Circus on St. Marks Place. Or I am at Mother's in Greenwood Lake. I was a regular at the Back Fence in Greenwich Village. In Jersey, it was this little dive called The On Tap. Just hanging out, smoking and drinking with people, just like me. I am back in 1972 and haven't aged a bit. Fast forward to 2008. I am 36 years older and so are Clapton & Winwood. I'm still going to concerts and they are still playing. I understand the music more. I get a rush (yeah, rush) when Clapton does his blues solos or with Winwood's voice singing, "Georgia". The crowd is my age but that distinct smell has exited with the no smoking laws. We all grow up. Occasionally, I will go to a club (not often but I do). I start the night earlier than I did and leave earlier than I did. I go to work the next day or even 2 days later, exhausted. The young interns and 20 somethings in my office do this all the time. I don't. I try not to show how tired I am and struggle through the day. I'm not done yet. I heard that Clapton will play Atlantic City in the summer. I will go. I hope to go to concerts and clubs until I die. I hope Clapton and Winwood do too.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I got a bonus. No not the monetary kind although that might have been nice too. It was the spare time kind you get when you just got an extra hour of sleep, or it is the day we set the clocks back. But I got a big bonus. It was on Friday. I got up in the morning ready to go through he motions of preparing for the work day and then I looked outside. It had snowed, it was still snowing and we were already under 6". The schools closed. Am I going to work - I said no, no no. I'm taking the day off. I think in the last 20 years, I have never taken a day off for weather. When I worked in NY all I had to do was get to the bus and then it wasn't my problem anymore. Working in Jersey, I can only remember one time, last year, when the roads were bad on a workday but I just went in late. But this day, with the snow still coming down and predictions that it would for some time, I said no, it is so not worth it today. I got up and made my Saturday morning breakfast, started to read my New York Times (I guess that tip I gave the delivery woman at Christmas paid off) and watched the Today show. They were in Miami doing a segment on spring break. I didn't even feel jealous. I was home, safe and ready to do the homework I planned for Saturday a day earlier. The night before, I had bought shrimp and fish fillets so to end my bonus day, I cooked up my kick-ass pompodoro sauce, made the spaghetti and with a bottle of Mondavi Chardonney had a snow day dinner with the entire family. Life is good. Now it is Saturday. My free day. So what do I do. I go to NY of course to take pictures. So here are the fruits of my day. And of course the streets without a drop of snow - that's New York
Thursday, February 21, 2008
It was warm this President's Day. The temperature broke 58 degrees. We promised ourselves that the first warm weekend day we would clean the garage. It starts out very civil-like "do you think we will ever need these bikes again, dear" or "how do we get rid of the plastic Santa Claus, my love". As the day goes on, we resort to "for god's sake, what ever will you do with this stuff. You don't throw anything away". That is my love to me. I'm not nostalgic - really I'm not. It's the Armenian in me that simply can't throw out good stuff that just needs a new home or that we may one day still use or that my grandkids will use. And I have good stuff. I mean the mountain bikes were bought from a bicycle store for $350 each and one day when my kids need the exercise, they will want that bike. The hockey net bought when Anthony was fanatically into roller and ice hockey is worthy of some kid who plays roller hockey in the driveway or ice hockey on the lake and whose mother has a mini-van big enough to cart it around in as I did. The plastic Santa Claus and 2 toy soldiers - how do you throw those out. Do you put them out with the garbage and watch them be thrown head in into the dump truck. Good grief that's Santa Claus! Then there are my ice skates. I can't throw out my ice skates or anyone else's. Ice skating was the first sport I did ever and besides, we might want to go to Wollman Rink one day. The roller blades, I learned to roller blade in my 40s after learning to ice skate and downhill ski. All this stuff is still in good condition. And the skis - no way are they going! I think part of the reason I can't part with this stuff is that it reminds me that I'm not afraid of it. I was never athletic as a child, teenager or young adult. Somewhere in my late 30s and 40s, I started to roller blade, ice skate and ski. All of this was a direct influence from my kids. Anthony started to do most of this stuff first. It caught my interest so I dragged the kids to the ski slope and we started to ski, then ice skate, then roller blade. So while the kids picked up on the sport within a week, it took me 3 years on the bunny hill before I ventured out to the green and blue hills. But hey, I loved being out there and who cares how long it took to be good. Unfortunately, that age thing gets in the way. I'm more afraid of breaking a bone than I use to. The lake doesn't freeze as often as it use to so I don't ice skate that often. Every time I go skiing, I feel a sense of satisfaction knowing I finished the day and am still in one piece. Now don't try and tell me I am as young as I feel. I do feel great. But I'm not as flexible as I use to be. So if there such a thing as a personal storage trainer this person will look at my garage and know that I will never go to Wollman rink or put on those roller blades and by the time the kids want to ride bikes again, those bikes will be outdated. This week, I called a friend and donated the hockey net to her son who plays ice hockey. I will keep my skis and skates. I don't care if I never use them. I want them. Between the 3 motorcycles, 2 cars, a snowblower and lawn mower I should be able to fit this in because it keeps me young.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
My husband and I will be married 26 years this year. Adding the 2 years we were together prior to marriage, I think it is safe to say, we are probably going to make it to death do us part. If I remember correctly, our first Valentine together, he bought me a box of candy. I bought him this jar of men's facial cream. Honestly, he wanted it. It was Clinque's line for men which was the same stuff that they put into the women's product but repackaged it so men would feel comfortable buying it. We probably went out to dinner too although that part I don't remember. What I remember is that we both knew without knowing, that we were on the same page. I wasn't a big fan of dating but it was the only game in town. Many times, it was a game. After what seemed as if I had gone through every style of man there was, I start thinking maybe my expectations are too high. Remember that song "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with". Luckily, I didn't have to. Tony and I met through a work situation. I was a print buyer; he was the printer. He spotted me going through his plant checking out a job and later called to ask me out. That was the way dating worked then. A couple of dates, it clicks and one day he shows up with his shaving kit. I see my kids and their friends. They date, they have long and short relationships, they fight, they have a great night and so on. Same process but part of it is communicated behind IM messages and thumb dancing each other through texting. One thing that hasn't changed is going to the clubs. Still part of the scene to look around the room to find the face you want to talk to. It is hard for me to stand by knowing they will have to go through some heartache until they find the one. I wonder if they will ever try online dating - or maybe they already have. I'm guessing the service works by plugging in your likes and dislikes and the computer comes up with someone who is similar to you. My husband and I would have never met that way. Putting it on paper, we have nothing in common. He loves cars, trains and motorcycles. I would rather be on the bus or walk. I get my news through The New York Times. He watches the History Channel rehashing WWII. He can only sleep in total darkness. I could sleep standing up. Before kids, every Sunday morning it was a trip to the fabulous German bakery for fresh rolls and danish with the Sunday Times for breakfast. Friday nights were for pizza in Little Italy. Saturdays often times was a drive to a car show. Then there were moments. The snow storm where we walked to our favorite neighborhood restaurant to splurge on Chateaubriand and good wine watching the snow. The monoply game where I woke up the next morning to the biggest mess I had ever seen in a kitchen. He introduced me to punk music and we danced at Hurrah's and Danceteria. I watch the kids going through the trial and error of dating hoping the process is kind to them. They will go through the heartaches, I'm sure, but I hope the day comes soon that they find the one worthy of bring the shaving kit or beauty bag.