Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Bonus

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

Storage solutions

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 Moon My Man

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.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What Inning Are We In?

Ah, the Super Bowl. To me, it has always been a reason to have a party.We decorated the house in Giant's colors. I made the traditional Sunday sauce with meatballs, sausages and chicken cutlets and enjoyed the company of our friends to cheer the local team. It was a great game; four hours and I didn't understand one thing that went on in the game - again. I admit it. I am football challenged. I can't tell you how many times people have tried to explain the game of football to me; my husband, his niece, my son, various friends. It all makes sense when I am at the game. I walk away, and one week later, I'm at square one. I am hopelessly unable to get what a down is, why it is a good thing and know when it happens. Trying desperately not to make a jerk of myself, I scream with joy when others do hoping my cover up will not be discovered. My husband says I am like Hot Lips Houlihan in the movie version of MASH. Towards the end of the move, the MASH unit plays a football game against another MASH unit. Hot Lips is the head cheerleader. A gun is shot and she cries "Oh no, they shot someone". Colonel Blake replies, "That marks the end of the first quarter, you blithering idiot". I am the blithering idiot. Fine - I accept the role of the blithering idiot for the sake of comic relief. Now, I am on a mission. I have until my son's football season which starts in August, to figure this game out. I am making a plea to those of you who can educate me on this sport. If anyone is willing to comment with a written set of rules of the game of football (abridged version please), I will use it as a cheat sheet at my son's next game. I may even throw in a prize of a Sunday sauce dinner. In the meantime, I will be in the kitchen making the sauce. Good Going Giants!!