Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Boring Bailout Blog

Hello, dear reader. You are spared! I was all set to have a big belabored blog about the bailout. But after listening to CNN, Fox, BBC, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, - don't think i hit CBS.. and reading, reading, reading newspapers on both sides of the border I just couldn't bring myself to be one more mouthpiece talking about it. I am pretty pissed off about the whole mess cause a few people were making major money at the expense of many. Yet, I'm not naive enough to think that it will self-correct.
But, I've decided i will not blog about the bumbling boobs blustering about the bailout. I can't do anything about it except pray that some sense gets knocked into the people who CAN do something about it.

So how about a few random photos about what else we got ourselves into this week: We dashed back to Long Island for the Homecoming Game (aka excuse for reunion with old football buddies) at C's Alma Mater, The United States Merchant Marine Academy - King's Point, one of the five US service academies just in case ya didn't know. Charlie's buddy, the infamous Harvey, is in the KP Athletic Hall of Fame and there's also an annual award given out in his brother's name, so we visited their plaques. These guys won the Lambert Bowl in 19___ oooh nevermind the year. It's the first and only time it has ever been won by Kings Point. Now, for bonus points and a free KP souvenir, can you name the year? Ok, that's an unfair and obscure question, but you can find anything on Google and after all there's a free gift of unspecified value involved.
This is Coach Martucci (Da Tucch). Tucch is the coach of the running backs for the KP Mariners and was football cohort of Charlie's, the Class of 19__ , let's just say the disco decade.

Thankfully KP won the game so the Coach was quite the jovial fellow at the racuous post-game celebration with some of the ol' gang.

Charlie was smilin' all night, of course except when the camera appears. He even was smiling when he was trying to pretend that the pre-birthday cake they brought out that said "Happy Birthday Charlie" was not for him. (and I'm not gonna try Denise's trick to get him to smile http://thesandelstars.blogspot.com/ )

So, what's a trip to NY without stepping out in the City that Never Sleeps? I got these photos from sensospeciale off Flickr bec. DUH! i didn't have my camera when we walked through Times Square but we did walk right by this Vote sign (see it way up there?) and the I heart Ugly Betty neon which is above the Toys R Us store. Not too many years ago, I remember Times Square as a crime-filled den of porn stores, ugly theaters, and general debauchery. Now, it's all glitz, glamour, ticker tape and tinsel and just an eensy bit of ye old tyme debauchery.

We took the subway and the Long Island Rail Road everywhere..such good public transportaters (look it up: it's a Scrabble word for sure) we are.

But then, sad news came. We lost a Hollywood icon and humanitarian. Paul Newman was my first and only movie star love. Ever since I watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, I was completely hooked by those steel-blue eyes and the chiseled Adonis looks and then seeing him in The Sting clinched my undying adoration. But, to keep the romance going, he turned into one of the country's most generous philanthropists donating millions to charity through his Newman's Own line and founding the Hole in the Wall Gang for seriously ill kids. Awwww... guys like that should live forever.

So we're back to town after the quick weekend and we are STILL having a little leftover summer!! We wore shorts and rode our bike the other day and it's supposed to last a few more days. Now C is off to Saskatoon, Sasketchewan listed as one of the most attractive cities in Canada....is that for real? While you're googling the Lambert Bowl, look up Saskatoon on Google Earth and see if you can see the grain silos.

Only days till the big 6-0 birthday. not going to mention whose...

(oh..and go visit http://dreamscountrygirl.blogspot.com/ cause she posted a recipe just for me! la la la la la la)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What are your blessings?

We had a Pet Blessing at church this Sunday. Pets bring such joy and as we learned, part of spirituality is seeing the sacred connectedness between all things. And we saw them all! BIG dogs, small dogs, tall dogs and short dogs, red fish, blue fish, one fish, two fish, and Fox in Socks. (just kidding) How about that sweet squeaking guinea pig, a squawking bird, a striped corn snake, some fraidy cats and even a little boy's super worm. Each one of them and his/her owner was officially blessed and of course we were blessed to have them in our presence. Nobody ate anyone else and only one cat hissed at a guy who used to be a veterinarian. He must still have that office smell on him. The church's 'official' photographer forgot her camera, Doh! but I cajoled this one out of the step-in paparazzi. You can see just a smidge of the organized chaos. [side note: hoping all the pets and people displaced in Texas by Hurricane Ike are finding the strength they need to make it through these trying weeks.]

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Political Post

Disclaimer: The following is mostly for my USA friends.

Are you a political punk?
Do you let other people tell you why they have the political views they do?
Or do you get disgusted and dismiss them?
Can you listen to what they have to say without judging them as a person? Geesh..that's a hard one, eh?
Do you try to persuade them that their choice is just plain WRONG or that it will bring untold damage to the country for years to come? It's sort of like persuading your son, daughter, or best friend that their girl/boyfriend is not right for them by pointing out their (completely obvious to you) shortcomings. Not only does it not work, but the more you try to make your case with smart remarks that express your disdain, the more they dig in their heels and defend their love for that person even more. They have to resist you, even if some tiny part of them starts to see your point. Falling in love feels great and many people fall "in love" with a candidate.
So, instead of trying to convince the person that you are RIGHT with your views, ask them a question about their views and then listen to their answer. It's pretty hard to change minds just by pointing out what YOU don't like about THEIR candidate which is probably exactly what they like. You can't change anyone's mind by bullying.
We must try to DISCIPLINE ourselves to resist the urge to make fun or disparage, and instead use what we've learned about people in love. We have to acknowledge and honor their FEELINGS (now THAT one is hard!) and then craft and ask questions that will help them understand your viewpoint. They don't have to agree - but at least maybe they'll have a better understanding of why you feel the way you do.

It'll take practice to really listen and acknowledging folks who have different views but sometimes we can learn a bit in the process. Ahhh, democracy! Be sure to let them know that it's ok to disagree with you. And then be sure it IS okay to disagree with you. Political differences don't have to make enemies.
For sure I've probably lost you, but if you're still there, What do you think?
(the above is adapted/paraphrased/semi-plagiarized from friend Terry Nicholetti at http://www.getworkingnetworking.com/)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Silver Lining in a Mighty Cloud

Y'all know that Hurricane Ike hit the Texas Gulf Coast with devastating force. Galveston Island is completely trashed and uninhabitable. Houston got a big wallop too. Nearly everyone we know is still without power which in that heat and humidity is NOT at all pleasant. Here's some photos of the damage in our neighborhood. We were extremely fortunate to be spared any house damage but some of our neighbors didn't fare so well. This first photo is of a 100' pine tree that fell from our neighbor's yard across our driveway. This is the other side of that same tree from the other side of our property. It goes from our neighbor's yard all the way to the other property line.
A good Samaritan came by with a chainsaw to free up the road. Does it look like a logging camp?
Our neighbor's Ford Mustang resting comfortably under a giant pine.
This is another neighbor's house smashed in by Ike's fury. The boarded-up windows didn't help. Cost her $2500 just to get the tree removed but everyone is ok.
Our next-door neighbor has published more on http://www.foto.lenfu.com/ in gallery format. While so many folks are dealing with monumental losses, we are feeling mighty blessed that all of our family, friends and doggies are safe and sound. (Next up: Comments tutorial.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

It's a POP QUIZ!
Take a look at the following photos...all of them taken on our recent trip to a certain City..somewhere.. Can you guess? don't spoil it by looking ahead. If you make a comment on the blog and only ON the blog and your guess is correct, I'll give you a prize. For some of you the delivery may be a wee bit delayed, but it will be a prize nonetheless. So comment. it's not hard. click on comments....

Photo 1) Is that Cameron Diaz up there? Photo 2) Buildings built opposite each other with a dome you can barely see in the middle. Notice no windows on the outside!

Look at the reflection closely and you'll see a church in the midst of the buildings downtown in the City. The condo around it bought the airspace above the church so if the church ever decided to sell, they wouldn't lose their view. So far no real defining photos to give it away, eh? But see the hint on the left side of the photo??

And another reflection of The Tower from a city sidewalk.

Look at this cool sculpture of fans outside the baseball park in this City. (hint: the park has a retractable roof) I should have said under my Quirks post that I'm a baseball FANatic and hope to make it to every MLB ballpark someday.

Oooh, look. E-talk on location all set up for Int'l Film Festival...awaiting arrival of celebs and celeb-gawkers. and LOOK who showed up to see us. The papers said he was promoting his new movie but I knew better. We're over HEeeere, Bradddd!
Here's another hint:
This beach borders on the 14th largest lake in the world and is the deepest of a set of 5. Now THAT was a big HINT!

And which one of these boats is mine? It's the one with the orange sail cover.
Where ARE we? Another hint: Back in 1961 a UFO landed in the City and hit the ROM Museum and it was too big a job to clean it up, so it sits as it landed. ROM..there's a hint within that acronym.
Another must -see here in this City is Ed Mirvish's shop. Honestly, I feel really fortunate that I don't HAVE to shop in there, landmark or no landmark.
And here's Lady H, my partner in crime, who traipsed to absolutely every shop in a 900 block radius looking for the perfect trekking bag. I won't mention that she almost got us kicked out of one coat shop.
Did I mention that I'm a BIG baseball fan? So look closely, cause here comes your BIGGEST hints about where we are if you didn't get it from TOWER, LAKE, BIG TIME FILM FESTIVAL, MLB BALLPARK with TWO COUNTRY FLAGS.
I bet Cody would love to be one of those kids doing a dance on the dugout. Play ball! Can you see the pitcher's unique sidewinding style? Game was fairly slow with the home team leading 3-0 most of the way until the Devil Rays tied it up in the 8th inning and it went into extra innings...and thennnnnnn...the HOME team got a walk-off GrandSlam to win it in the 14th inning! Whoo hoo!

Now, make an educated GUESS about what CITY this is on the comments...there's a PRIZE involved!

Yikes, Ike!

The story:
Houston officials are telling residents to stay put because it's not safe anymore to try to hit the road to escape Hurricane Ike.
The Category 2 storm had 105 mph winds as of 5 p.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is expected to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday near Galveston, and by that time may have strengthened to a Category 3, forecasters say.
Ike is 900 miles wide, measuring the cloud cover at its widest point. On Friday, its tropical storm-force winds extended up to 275 miles -- the length of the Texas coastline -- from its center, for a total reach of about 550 miles.


Here's why I haven't had any recent posts. (must post photos from Toronto..must ..must) I've been spending every spare moment at the gym. oh yes, i have.. that's right. can't ya tell? Ok. I only went cause Superwoman Sharon forced me..even while I was on holiday!?! how wude! but here's my other excuse: Hillary and Beth have cajoled me into getting on Facebook which is 1/2 cool --1/2 a serious time waster. BUT, Sean Connery and I can keep up with our two university kiddos on there and quite a few cwazy relatives and maybe even some friends on there too. However comma I can't do BOTH blogging and learning how to be a facebook-er and paying attention to my hubby too. One of them might suffer! But you, oh faithful reader, readerS?, justice dept. eavesdroppers? go join facebook and add me as your friend. But don't forsake me here oh loyal one.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Oh no! I've been out of town and Denise and Sada both tagged me on their blogs. What that means is that I'm supposed to write 7 quirky things about me and then tag other people and have them do the same. Who knew blogs would turn into the next chain letters?

So here's 7 quirky things 'bout me:

1) I love, love being a grandma (thanks to Charlie's kids).

2) I don't like asparagus, melons, pickles, beets, angel food cake, and people who are rude. I DO love oysters..raw, fried, in oyster stew, any which way.

3) I want to learn how to play paddle tennis and I wish I could heli-ski. I also secretly wish I could make pies like Beatrice.

4) I've had job titles like shoe shine girl, babysitter, waitress, work-study library worker, commodities broker's sales assistant, student employment coodinator, national community organizer, executive director, senior communications liaison, rodeo clown, chief bottlewasher, and mom.

5) I've been asked many times if I could clone my husband. He won't be happy that I told you that but 'tis true.

6) I mostly live in my Jazzercise clothes all day. (ok..that, and a parka in the winter) and I not-so-secretly covet my friend Sharon's Lululemon stuff.

7) Thank to Denise Renee, I'm addicted to Country Girl's blog, and I haven't even met her. But someday soon hope to show her some Texas-sized hospitality. That and a little Goode Co. BBQ and she'll be our BFF!

I'm not sure my other tagees will be able to play along ... but here goes. Check out their blogs anyway.

CG, http://dreamscountrygirl.blogspot.com/;

Holly at http://hollyhiggins.blogspot.com/ even though Holly is off with Backroads Adventures to Italy. check out her near-death experience with a real bear just up the road in Canmore.

Charlie's niece's blog about her sweet young son who is facing continuing heart challenges. http://sullivanshealowing.blogspot.com/ or Laura's blog at http://burkina-adventures.blogspot.com (no update recently but when she's in Africa, it's unbelievable.)

and an excellent current events blog from inside China posted by my friend Jean's son, Tim, http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/china/