Random Blog A Musing Farf: October 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006


Husband and I went to Palm Springs, CA for a wedding this weekend. We were literally in CA only 24 hours and spent more time in airports than at the resort. Luckily, this is where the most interesting part of the weekend took place.

Normally, I am opposed to checking baggage for any trip that lasts less than 5 days. However, with the new rules limiting gels and liquids we decided that in order to accommodate the tools needed for Husband’s extensive hair and skin routine and my make-up, it was easier to check luggage. Thus freed from any gels and liquids on our person, we headed to security worrying only about whether we remembered to wear socks without holes.

Standing in the security line in the Palm Springs airport, a TSA guy noticed Husband’s Mets t-shirt and chatted briefly with us about Beltran’s depressing at-bat. As the TSA guy walked away, a woman in front of us in line turned asked, “As a fellow Mets fan, can I ask you a favor?” Assuming she would ask us to stop rehashing the sad last couple weeks, we agreed and she then asked me if I was carrying any gels or liquids. Figuring that in the desert heat she was in desperate need of moisturizer (I know I was!) I shook my head apologetically and told her that it was all checked. At that point she asked me to carry her bag onto the plane.

Husband and I were shocked into dumbfounded silence for a second. Hadn’t we just passed ten bold-lettered signs telling us never to take a bag for someone? And does rooting for the same baseball team make us close friends? She went on to explain that she was carrying more than the allowable amount of gel/liquid and she just anted me to carry her bag through security and then she would take it back. I refused. I mean really. I saw Brokedown Palace and although I am sure prison in Palm Springs is better than Turkey, I don’t really want to sample either option.

(As an aside, I never did see that woman get on the plane so it is possible she is still being stripped searched in California)

I related the story to some strangers upon landing in Newark and we all laughed at the woman. Then, expecting the same reaction I called Mother and told her the story. She told me that she has asked people to carry her luggage and they have complied. Father has also asked people to carry his bag through security and they have agreed. Is it just me or does this seem like a huge security breach?

I wonder too if there aren’t some racism and class issues at play. While neither my parents nor anyone else with who, I associate would ever judge anyone by the color of their skin, I wonder if my parents would be so quick to carry luggage for someone of Arab descent or who was poorly dressed? Terrorists come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Timmy McVeigh looked, by all accounts to be a nice white middle class kind of guy, but you would not want to carry his luggage through airport security. The woman at the airport in Palm Springs was white, but would she have even dared to ask someone to carry something on-board if she wasn’t? And while we did not report her to security for asking, would I have been more nervous if she looked less like me?

Ultimately too, it may be a generational thing. My co-workers (all about my age) would never carry something though security for someone and neither would Sister, but Law Firm Partner, who is closer to the age of my parents could not understand why I would not have taken the bag.

So in the end, I went though security with only my own luggage and the flight was uneventful. Exactly like it should be.

Friday, October 27, 2006


As readers of this blog (and those who know me off-line) already know, I have been trying to end a friendship with P. The thing is, we used to be good friends, but now, whenever I see her or speak with her, I am struck only by how boring, bossy, selfish and ridiculous she really is. So, I took the advice of friends and started phasing out the friendship. I returned calls less often and when I did call back, I made sure to always be on my way somewhere so that the call had a definite end time.

Last night, I realized that I have owed her a call for over a week so, on the way from the subway to my apartment, I tried to call her. I got voicemail and left a message secure in the knowledge that another week or so could go by without my having to speak to her. But then, something disturbing occurred to me. In the past, before I started my avoidance campaign, if P received a voicemail from me, she would call back several times and leave long messages until she either reached me or her cell phone battery died. She never waited a week between calls and lately, whenever I call her back, I get voice mail.

Was she screening me? That is impossible! I am supposed to be screening her! She can’t avoid my calls if I am avoiding hers. I didn’t do anything wrong to end the friendship – she did. Now I can dislike her and be indignant that she should screen my calls. How dare she be so rude????

I called Suzanne to tell her this little story and she likened it to, when the nerdy guy has a crush on you and you tell them to go away and turn them down for dates. So eventually they lose interest and then you feel like a loser because even the nerdy guy doesn’t like you anymore.

But then, something wonderful happened. She called me back within minutes. (I did not answer because I was doubly mad and thus, still avoiding her). And then she called again this morning. And emailed me to say she was sorry she missed me yesterday. The nerdy guy still likes me. Now if only I can make him go away….

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Often, while at work, I do not receive emails. Husband, Sister and Very Important Client (VIC) have all complained to me about this problem and I have taken to having people email my personal account, even if the communication is work related. Worse, not only do I not get the message, but the sender does not receive a bounce back message, so neither I nor the Sender ever have any idea that the communication was lost.

This is incredibly frustrating – especially in an age (and profession) where most communication is through email and often time-sensitive. Worse, sometimes when VIC sends an email to other people in my office (and includes me on the header as well), everyone else will get the email and I will be out of the loop concerning important information. I have mentioned this to the IT folks at my office several times and one, in particular has been really helpful.

So, yesterday, Husband sent me several emails to let me know about some things that have come up on our calendar. He received a message telling him the email was undeliverable and today sent me the error message. The following email chain ensued (read top down):

-----Original Message-----
From: ALSMTP1@Corporatelawfirm.com
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 12:34 PM
To: Husband
Subject: Returned mail

--- The message cannot be delivered to the following address. ---

amusingfarf@abc.com Could not deliver in a reasonable time.

-----Original Message-----
From: Husband
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 12:28 PM
To: A Musing Farf
Subject: RE: Returned mail

Your server sucks -- this is the 2nd returned mail message I have received today in respect of e-mails I sent you yesterday!

-----Original Message-----
From: A Musing Farf
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 12:53 PM
To: IT Guy at Office
Subject: FW: Returned mail

Emails are still bouncing back to folks when they try to send it to me. Usually there is no return message to the sender, but in this case there was. Can we look into why since it keeps happening?

-----Original Message-----
From: IT Guy at Office
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 3:29 PM
To: A Musing Farf
Subject: RE: Returned mail

A Musing Farf -- looking more carefully at the returned mail message Husband got, I see that it was sent to you at ABc.com, not BAc.com -- he spelled our domain name wrong, transposing the "a" and "b". This explains that one -- but still does not account for the others. Meanwhile, IT Director is scheduling a look at our Exchange server soon as there have been other mysteries as well. We WILL get to the bottom of this.

-----Original Message-----
From: A Musing Farf Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 3:31 PM
To: Husband
Subject: FW: Returned mail

You are an idiot :) Well, at least this time it was not my server!

----Original Message-----
From: Husband
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 3:50 PM
To: A Musing Farf
Subject: RE: Returned mail

Not an idiot, just a very fast (and occasionally inaccurate) typist (I had a loaner laptop yesterday while they were fixing my own laptop, so I had to type in your e-mail address instead of pulling the correct one out of my e-mail contacts list). That being said, I've encountered this problem numerous times w/ your server while using the correct e-mail address.

----------------------End email chain------------

So, IT Director and IT Guy at Office pulled this email and others to look at the timing of them. IT Director then came into my office to complain about the tone in Husband’s first email and to tell me he was insulted that Husband said our server sucked. I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t. He informed me he was personally insulted that Husband maligned the server and wanted an apology. I offered the apology (mostly to end the conversation) and retreated back to my office to re-read the email chain. I still don’t see the big deal. IT Director said the above email chain was a permanent black mark on him. I don’t see it. I see it as us having a constant server issue that aggravated Husband (VIC has offered the same sentiments but he did it to my personal email since the work email never came through).

So, in a childish effort to add a black stain to IT Director’s soul, I would like to publicly announce that I agree with Husband. Our server sucks. I never get emails and when I do, it takes hours for them to arrive. My apology was insincere to IT Director (I mean, he called me “Young Lady” and then accuses me of unprofessional conduct over an email send by Husband? Even my parents don’t call me that!) and not only does our server suck, but so does he.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Despite my last post, it just occurred to me that there is one issue where people do consider me somewhat of an expert: Abortion rights. Unfortunately, I have also started employing the same ignore the news tactic when it comes to abortion rights. I stopped following legislation because, again, no one seems to care about my letters and my representatives in Congress vote the way I would want so I am really only preaching to the choir. Sure, I still help to run Haven Coalition (with the help of the fabulous Suzanne who was, incidentally, published in the Metro today on a non-abortion related topic) and arrange housing for women coming to NY for second trimester abortions, but I am not an active participant in the pro-choice community and no one at a NYAAF conference would know me by name. I am actually okay with that. I don’t consider what we do to be very radical or cutting egde – just pragmatic and frankly, I hate all those “rah-rah, let’s march on Washington” folks.

Yesterday I spoke with a woman named Tanny, who needed to come to NY for a second trimester abortion. She was 23 ½ weeks pregnant and this week was pretty much her last shot at an abortion before it was too late. In keeping with the Haven policy, I did not ask her why she waited or make any judgments. She was waiting for emergency funding to come through to help her pay for the procedure and in desperate need of a place to stay. I told her that if she came to NY, we would provide housing – even if she did not end up at one of the clinics with which we usually coordinate. I was incredibly impressed with her resourcefulness and lined up housing for her. She was supposed to arrive this morning for a 9am appointment. At 3pm, I called the clinic and asked if she still needed housing. The social worker told me that she had not come to NY because at the last minute her funding fell through.

I can’t help but feel responsible. I had the Haven phone turned off yesterday (we do not host patients on Monday nights) and today, when I checked the voice mail, there was a message from Tanny. In the message, she pleaded for a return phone call and asked if there was any way she could be housed Monday night. (We had no hosts, but I probably would have just done it myself). She also asked if there was anyone who could donate the last few hundred dollars to fund her procedure. Sure there were. The Haven volunteers are nothing if not generous. Besides, after spending a ridiculous sum to throw my dog a birthday party, I could talk to Husband about helping me out with funds for a more worthy cause. But, I did not answer the phone and Tanny never came to NY.

So, I write this as a public apology. My head is back out of the sand and the phone is always on. I am sorry for letting you down Tanny.

I got excellent news today from Husband. The California trip is back on. We are still only going overnight and not for the three nights originally planned, but I am excited nonetheless. Now I just have to call Sister and have her pick me up some Ambien so I can sleep on the plane. I can not stay awake on airplanes because I am afraid of flying (well, not so much flying but crash landing. Flying is just fine) and if I am awake on the plane, my imagination, which is overactive and predisposed to melodrama under the best circumstances, will analyze every noise and bump until I am nothing more than a jumble of frayed nerves. By the time we land, Husband’s shoulder will be bruised and he will no longer think my fear of flying is “cute.” So, I sleep on planes, blissfully unaware of anything but open skies.

I sort of like being blissfully unaware of things sometimes. I have stopped reading very much about the war in Iraq for the same reasons I sleep on planes. I am not sticking my head in the sand – I know we are immersed in a losing war with no hope of a quick withdrawal – but after writing letters to my congressional representatives, campaigning for folks who are anti-war and giving money and supplies to organizations promising to support the troops, I have come to the conclusion that no one listens to me or really cares how I feel about the war. Reading daily about how many soldiers have died does nothing but make me more upset and only increases my frustration.

But today some of that started to change. (Not my distain for the “rah-rah, let’s march on Washington” folks, that is pretty much firmly entrenched in my being). To start with, while I was mindlessly working on the New York Times crossword puzzle during my subway ride (ok, I lied, it was not mindless – today was particularly hard for a Tuesday) I noticed an article that mentioned how some of the bloodiest fighting has recently taken place in Iraq. My eyes were drawn in and I continued reading the paper until I shook with rage at not just the happenings in Iraq but also Darfur.

Perhaps I should have been paying more attention to something besides the Madonna adoption controversy, but I probably can't sustain interest.

Monday, October 23, 2006


This weekend taught me a valuable lesson. Bar Mitzvahs are way more fun than weddings. The music is better and you get cool hats and blow up guitars with which to play. Plus, nothing strokes your ego like having a 13 year old call you skinny in the bathroom.

Husband, Sister, Brother and I all spend the weekend with Mother and Father in Connecticut so we could attend the Bar Mitzvah of a close family friend. Tiki, although not invited to the festivities, seemed to have the best time as he ran out in the country and chased balls and squirrels.

But, if it is not one thing, it is another with this dog. He was totally normal on Sunday, running around, playing and taking up the entire couch for his naps. So, Husband, Sister, Mother, Father and I all went to see Flags of Our Fathers. (Note: This movie was very boring and I really don’t recommend it unless there is absolutely nothing else to do. Who cares what the names were of the guys who raised the flag? I never knew who they were to begin with.) When we returned, Tiki was lethargic and shaking. We rushed to the doggie emergency room, where after extensive blood work and x-rays, they determined that he had a slight fever and a possible intestinal blockage – most likely from eating a “foreign body”

Agh! We just recovered from sprained ankle and now this! I am pleased to report that Tiki feels much better today. The fever is down and he is back to acting normally. And, he successfully passed the test where he does not eat for 24 hours (If he got sick, he would fail, but my doggie just got hungry) so whatever poor creature met its end at the teeth of my puppy, is passing through. I can’t wait to see what it was. :)

Mother was amazing and drove Husband, Tiki and I to the ER and waited with us and Father was patient and waited at the house for us to come back so as to give us all a ride back to NYC.

But then I was nervous. Husband and I were supposed to head to CA for a friend’s wedding next weekend, and even though Husband’s parents are excellent dog sitters, I did not want to leave my baby alone. But then, Husband’s work interfered, not an unexpected event, and our 4 day trip was shortened to two days. All would right itself! But now, as of today, it looks like our trip is cancelled. Too much money to change the flights and not enough time to make the wedding. Sigh.

I was really looking forward to the trip. I need a vacation. People keep reminding me that I “just took a honeymoon” but that was almost 6 months ago and I don’t think it is selfish to want a weekend away. Poor Husband though. He really needed it more than I did.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I am really sad today. Watching the Mets lose to the Cardinals last night with the bases loaded int he bottom of the ninth ripped out my heart. I started to cry. Husband cursed and threw his rally towel on the ground. The loss was made all the worse because the Mets had been so close to winning. The biggest disappointments can only come on the heels of a euphoric high.

Sitting near me during the game was a child of about 7 who, even at the lowest mements of the game, kept reminding his father that "You gotta believe." When Beltran struck out looking to end the season, he turned to his father, eyes full of tears and whispered, "But Daddy, you said this was a magic season."

So, with that poignant moment, ends another baseball season for me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Wow. What a night last night. There is no feeling like watching your team play baseball in October and win a game to stay alive. I have basically forsaken all work today in the pursuit of tickets to tonight’s game (successfully obtained just a few hours ago) and now am trying to postpone an arbitration prep until tomorrow so as to not miss even a second of today’s game.

At lunch today, one of my coworkers asked me while baseball was so important to me. I gave her the flip answer of a sports fan – the fun and excitement really bring out a certain euphoria in me – but later started to really think about how baseball in general and the Mets in particular, have affected my life.

One of the first songs I ever knew was the “Meet the Mets” song. I remember walking in the backyard of the house in which I was born and singing that song with my mother. I don’t even remember my first game, but I do remember watching Lenny Dykstra hit a home run to win an NLCS game in 1986. My father bought me a teddy bear at that game (appropriately named Lenny Dykstra) which still sits on a shelf in my old bedroom.

Fast forward to 1998 when my boyfriend (a Red Sox fan, clearly the relationship was doomed to fail) and I lived in Connecticut and would drive either to NY or Boston almost every Friday night to catch a game. This was a special date and only twice did we invite anyone else to come with us. Those Friday nights were just about the only time in our relationship where we both felt comfortable enough with each other to really be ourselves.

Then in 1999 and 2000 when I was still living in DC, but no trip up to NY to visit Sister was complete without a trip to Shea or Yankee Stadium. In October of 2000, I bonded with strangers in a bar during the World Series and cheered with Sister at Shea during another game (although she is a Yankees fan, Sister and I do well together at Subway Series events). In 2001 I went to 39 losing games in a row and considered myself cursed. And my very first conversation with Husband was about our mutual love for the Mets.

But there is more to it. This year, with the Mets in the playoffs, I have reconnected with some old friends. Both N and A were once good friends of mine but we drifted apart as friends sometimes do. This week, I have had a chance to reconnect with both of them and cheer on the Mets together in their battle for the pennant.

And tonight, Mother and I bought tickets to attend the game and, as if by magic, we were able to secure two more tickets so that Sister and Husband could also come along and sit a mere 6 rows behind us. Its not just about the game but that whenever I am at Shea, I am surrounded by those I love most, doing what I love most.

During the Division Series this year, Father commented to Husband that my smile at the game was equal to the smile on my face during my wedding. And why shouldn’t it be? Surrounded by those I love and watching my team play great baseball – I was almost as happy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I am really annoyed at the JCC. A few months ago, I signed up for a cooking class on Wednesday nights and, after my first class, absolutely loved it and could not wait to come back. Then the Mets made the payoffs and I missed a class to go to the game, but no biggie as the teacher told me I could make it up next session. But now, between baseball, work and my mom’s 27th anniversary of her 23rd birthday, I will miss a total of 3 out of 5 classes. A waste of money and a frustrating interference with something I really want to do.

You see, I think I am a really good cook trapped in an ignorant person’s body. I love baking and generally can make great cakes and pies (if I do say so myself) but in those cases, I am following a recipe and thinking of the chemical reactions present in baking. I want to be like Husband and know meat is done because I can just sense it. I want to look at a chicken and immediately have the know-how to rub a delicious mixture of oil, garlic, rosemary and who knows what else under its skin. I wish I had spent more time watching my mother in the kitchen when I was younger.

So, I emailed my cooking teacher (who blogs yummy recipes) who nicely let me know that I should contact the JCC and let them know what was going on. I did and expected a reaction something along the lines of, “If there is space, you can join the class next session.” Instead, silence. I called and emailed to let the Culinary Director know about my plight but she never responded. Now even an email to let me know she got my calls/emails but could not help me. It’s not like it’s hard to reject someone over email.

Three hundred and ninety dollars later, I will have only attended one cooking class. Double disappointment on losing the cash and not learning a really cool skill.

I am one of the few people I know who enjoys going to the dentist. Really. I love my dental hygienist and my dentist is pretty nice. Plus, I have never had a cavity or any real dental problems so I don’t cower in anticipatory fear whenever someone mentions the dentist.

Anyway, I was chatting with the dental hygienist today and telling her all about married life. She herself is recently married and asked me how the first year was going and reminded me that the first year is supposed to be the hardest so if things were going well now, the rest of our lives should be smooth sailing. We both talked (well, she talked and I occasionally gargled assent with a mouth full of dental tools) about how marriage means compromises that didn’t exist when you were just dating and laughed about how both of our husbands refuse to go out for brunch, but have no problem consuming the same meal if you call it a late breakfast.

The dentist, Dr. Magnani, then came into the room and overheard our conversation. He recounted a story to me about how he came from a family with almost no women and his wife came from a family with almost no men. As a result, Dr. Magnani always expected the toilet seat to be up and his wife expected it to be down. Not long after Dr. Magnani and his wife were married, he heard his wife yelling in the middle of the night. It turns out that he had left the toilet seat up, and in the dark, his wife had fallen into the bowl and needed help dislodging herself. He began to leave the seat down.

Then, he explained to me that marriage is not unlike dental floss. Each person is holding a side and if you don’t really care about an issue, then when the other person pulls, you let them. If you do care, you pull and hope the other person comes to you. But, neither teeth nor marriages are healthy when both sides of the floss get pulled constantly. Neat. I will try to remember that.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I had an interesting conversation with Suzanne this morning. She asked me if her friend could use my apartment this weekend while Husband and I were away (of course, the answer was yes) and began talking about how the friend and she had known each other since they were nine years old and, except for a brief time in high school, had been friend since.

That made me think of FL. I met FL when we were in third grade. We met on the school bus and were instant best friends – a friendship that lasted even when we went to separate high school and colleges that were 300 miles apart. When FL got married, I was her maid-of-honor and when she divorced, I was the shoulder upon which she could lean. My role was to support her and never judge her actions too harshly.

Over the past several years, however, my friendship with FL has been on a steady decline. No big fight or anything. We just grew apart. Her views are so different that I can not even image that we grew up in the same place. For example, when I told FL I was engaged, she exhaled an audible sigh of relief into the phone and exclaimed, “Thank G-d. I thought you would be one of those New York women who wake up one day at 40 and realize they have nothing.” I was outraged and explained to her that even if I never married, I had great friends, a very fulfilling career and a close and loving family. She countered that all of that was meaningless and if you were not married, you were destined to die alone in your Manhattan apartment and rot there until the smell got so bad that the super came to investigate. Geez. I didn’t realize that being single also meant friendless and without family.

Then FL became pregnant and I called to offer my congratulations. I told her how excited I was for her and mentioned that I hoped Husband and I would one day also have children, although we wanted to wait a few years. FL’s advice to me: “Children are the Lord blessing your marriage. Without children, you are living a lie and your marriage vows are meaningless.” Hmmm, at least that explains how she justifies the affair on her first husband with the man who later became Second Husband (although it does not explain how her Second Husband would justify it since he himself was married with children at the time of their affair). But there I go judging…

Most recently, FL became pregnant again and called me with the news (we only speak about twice a year at this point). Since she had so much trouble getting pregnant the first time, I asked her if the second time had been difficult. “No,” she told me, “it was easy because I have discovered the best way to solve fertility problems without medical intervention.” I asked her to share the information and told her I wanted to pass it on to my friends who were having trouble conceiving. I quote the conversation because it was too good to leave anything out.

FL: It’s so easy. Think about it. What race has the most trouble getting pregnant?
Me: Race? Huh?
FL (slightly exasperated at my lack of understanding): Yes, race. White People!
(For the record, both FL and I are Caucasian)
Me: Ummm, ok.
FL: Black people and Latinos have no trouble getting pregnant. That is why there are so many more unwanted pregnancies for people of those races.
ME: I am not sure that is entirely accurate and even if it were I think it has something to do with access to resources more than –
FL (cutting me off and getting more excited): It’s all about tampons. White people use tampons and it stops them up but black people and Latinos don’t use ‘em so they get pregnant.”
Me: That makes no sense and is not even true across the board. I know plenty of African-Americans and Latinos that use tampons.
FL: (totally dismissive) No, they don’t. Anyway, I know it’s true because I stopped using them and then got pregnant a few months later.

Wow. I did not know what to say to that. But, there was more! FL then went on to tell me how she and the family were moving to a new home because the one they had been living in was blown down by a hurricane. She was not fond of her current neighbors anyway and I inquired as to why. She explained that the couple was interracial (He was black and she was white) and they had lots of “mixed-race kids” that were always hanging around wanting to play in the yard. Sensing that the yard was not the issue, I reminded her that her children were also a mix of two different races. FL is white and her husband is Latino. But, FL explained to me that it was different with whites and Latinos because, “Latinos are like white people who are tan from living so far south.” Speechless, I hung up the phone and wondered how we had ever been friends to begin with.

My guilt from yesterday has vanished now that I know Tiki will be all right. (Huge THANK YOU to everyone who inquired as to how he was feeling and tolerated my first time mommy worrying). He was kept in “down time” all day yesterday in day care, but was still limping when Husband and I came to pick him up for the vet appointment. Other than the limp he was fine though – jumping and running and acting very excited. Of course, being a first time parent and all around hypochondriac, I had immediately assumed the worst and thought that Tiki had Hip Dysplasia or some other horrible thing. But, it turns out that my baby only has a bad sprain on his back right footsie - most probably for attempting to scale the rocks in Central Park over the weekend.

The fix? Anti-inflammatory pills (dipped in honey for easy swallowing) and a solid week of rest. No running, no jumping and no wrestling with his Daddy.

So, while Tiki foot heals, the rest of him is getting restless. It is horrible when you are confined to bed for medical reasons but otherwise feel fine. It makes people cranky and restless and apparently affects dogs the same way. Tiki wants to run and play and pretty much tried to engage every dog he saw on Columbus Avenue this morning in an all out wrestling match.

Maybe it’s the weather, but I have to say that I sort of feel the same way. The concussion banned me from any exercise for two weeks (I have just finished week one) and my muscles are twitching and my legs ache to run, or at least go for a long walk. (I could do the long walks but this time of year, it is too dark after work to walk through the parks and anyway, its cold and the Mets are on television).

I have lost my focus. I feel restless and irritable. Tasks which are normally easy and enjoyable are now annoyingly frustrating and have to be done over and over. A post-hearing brief, one of the easier things I generally have to draft during a day, had taken over a week and is still far from finished. I can’t even motivate to go to the movies.

So, I sit here at work, procrastinating again, and staring out the window as it drizzles slightly and eagerly anticipating that first Sunday in November when Husband and I go for a long walk through Westchester. In the end, I think all either Tiki or I really need is a change of scenery.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I don’t think I can have children. The guilt is too great. Right now, Husband and I are the happy and proud parents of Tiki, our cute, smart and totally lovable Shiba Inu. Although deep down in our hearts, we know he is a dog and not a child, we can not help but treat him as our first baby. He had a first birthday party, complete with cake and ice cream, goodie bags and other doggie friends. He goes to day care during the day and we willingly change social plans if we think that Tiki will be too inconvenienced . Last night, while watching the Mets game, Tiki stretched out on the couch and Husband sat on the floor so the dog could nap undisturbed. Get the picture?

Late last night, Tiki developed a limp. He was fine all day, playing in Central Park, going for a jog with me though Riverside Park and chasing other dogs in the dog runs. He was fine when we got home and seemed perfect until he got up from his nap. Then, he started to limp. At first, Husband and I figured that his foot fell asleep but the limp did not really get better. And this morning, he could barely walk.

He did mange to walk to day care and his leg seemed to get batter as we walked, but then when he tried to lift his leg to pee, he could not stand on the injured leg. At day care today, they told me he was whimpering and having trouble walking. We have a vet appointment at 8pm this evening. I know Tiki is being well taken care of until then, but I can not help but worry that something is seriously wrong with him and I am wondering if I should leave work and run his to the doggie ER (yes, we have one of those nearby) for X-rays. I feel awful that Tiki is crying and I am not there to comfort him and scratch his chin the way he likes.

I am trying to be responsible. I have two briefs due this week as well as a hearing so to leave now would mean I work until 4am every day this week. But I am having trouble focusing because my little man is in pain. And he is the dog. What will happen if I ever have human children? It’s my first taste of working mom guilt and I don’t like it.

Saturday was SWCNBN’s wedding. It was one of those perfect October days where the air is cool and crisp but the sunny skies make it really pleasant. SWCNBN was a stunning bride and amazingly calm as she handled the wedding day crisis (torn dress hem and ripped veil) that send most brides over the edge (a little double sided tape and no one could tell the difference). Plus, I give SWCNBN huge credit for letting me check the Mets scores during the pre-wedding dinner on Friday night and even letting me watch the game on television after dinner. Mets lost (Arrgh!) but otherwise the weekend was perfect.

In a totally modern twist, the groom was taking the bride’s last name. So, instead of becoming Mr. and Mrs. Groom, they will now be known as Mr. and Mrs. SWCNBN. (Luckily for me, SWCNBN’s last name is as easy to pronounce as her first name is difficult). There is no political reason for this. Both bride and groom like her last name and the groom has no real connection to his own last name.

This is one of the reasons that SWCNBN is so cool. She is not political or radical. She is a total pragmatist. If they prefer her name, why take his? If she hikes every weekend, why get a diamond wedding ring if one that she can “beat the crap out of” is cheaper and less likely to sustain damage in the mountains? See, she makes these really simple life changing and potential fraught with political meaning decisions without regard for the life changingness of it or the politics.

Very cool. I sort of wish I could do that.

ps - a hightlight of the wedding was watching Husband try and do the Thriller dance, all alone on the dance floor, while sober. As soon as pics are developed, I will try and post some!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I need to apologize in advance to SWCNBN. Her wedding is this Saturday and I am totally excited for it. I have been working on my Matron-of-Honor Speech and even practiced saying her name until I think I have it down. (There is an “a” like apple sound and not a “eh” like an old man going deaf sound in the first syllable). Tomorrow morning, I am heading to NJ to spend the day before the wedding with her and get our nails done, have lunch and do all of the fun girly things in which SWCNBN almost never indulges.

And, while I have been counting the days until the wedding for months now, I will be distracted. As most people know, my beloved Mets are playing the in NLCS. My plan was to go to yesterday’s game and get my baseball fix live and in person. Then I was going to watch today’s game on TV and on Friday, there was a day off. All my attention would be devoted to SWCNBN and since Saturday’s game did not start until long after the wedding will have ended, baseball would not interfere with this most special weekend for someone I consider a best friend. But now everything had changed. Last night’s game was rained out and the make-up game is Friday. Oh sure, I can check scores on my cell phone, but it’s not the same thing as being there, or even watching it on television.

I remember 6 years ago; I was still living in Washington D.C. and taking the USAir Shuttle from D.C. to LGA back and forth at least every few days to go to games. The Mets were playing the Yankees in the World Series and I was in town, not for the game, but for a friend’s birthday dinner. (For the life of me, I can not remember why in the world her dinner was in NY. Was she living here? I have no recollection. I think I am losing my mind.) We were going to a restaurant on Madison Square Park, which happened to be across the street from Live Bait, a cool dive bar with televisions that were playing the game. The restaurant at which we would be dining did not have any TVs and so, while everyone else had cocktails and waited for a table and without a second thought, I left the party and went across the street to watch the game. I did not get to see the entire game, but I did see the famous Mike Piazza/Roger Clemens broken bat incident and I have never quite convinced myself that I did not doom the Mets in that game (and ultimately the Series) by leaving to go to dinner.

So now, I am faced with the same dilemma. And this time the choice will be just as easy as it was six years ago. I will stay with SWCNBN and check the scores on my cell phone. If we are hanging at out the house with nothing to do and the game in on television I will watch but if she wants to do something else, I will not ask her to wait “just until the end of this inning” (unless its two outs and the tying run on base or some other exciting moment). I will be the perfect Matron-of-Honor and hopefully, all of the good karma I generate will result in a trip to the World Series for the Mets. And if it does, you can bet I will be watching.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


A plane crashed into a building in Manhattan today. According to news stories, one person is confirmed dead (maybe the pilot?) and there is no evidence to tell whether it was an accident (that is my guess) or terrorism. Last night, within a couple blocks from my apartment, two people were killed after being struck by two separate vehicles approximately a block from each other. My first thought to all these tragedies was the same: This could be a major inconvenience for me.

I know it is selfish and I would be lying to say that the sight of a dead body under a flimsy white sheet did not make me a little sick, but that was after I grumbled about having to get out of the taxi because the streets were blocked. And while I feel horrible for whomever lives (lived?) in the apartments now raging with fire from a place crash, I also really hope it does not affect my commute to Shea Stadium tonight. And a plane crash less than two blocks from the neurologist’s office means he won’t call me back today.

People who know me will generally tell you that I am empathetic to the plights of others. I try everyday to help make the world a better place and happily donate time and money to those less fortunate than me, but when real tragedy occurs, my first thought is how it will impinge on my life.

Even on September 11, 2001. I was at the World Trade Center site, I saw bodies falling out the windows and I was covered in hot debris, and yet, once I was safe, my only concern was how to get home from Brooklyn. Until I was safely back in my apartment, I did not think of the people who had been killed or stop to think if I knew any of them.

This isn’t even self-preservation. I can’t fault myself for running away from a burning building instead of into it. I do not want to die. But the plane crash and traffic accidents are not about survival, they are about the minor annoyances that life sometimes throws your way. I should be concerned about the burning building and I should feel awful the two people were killed in my neighborhood. A better person would…I think.

But maybe not. Maybe it is natural to think first about how things will affect you directly. After 9/11/01, I remember that Slate (or was it Salon? I can’t remember) published people’s real first thoughts upon hearing about the terrorist attacks. I was not so different. People were aggravated that this would mess up their child care plans or that a meeting for which they had spent all night preparing would be cancelled. There was even one person (I swear, if I remember where I read this I will link to it) that was, for a moment, gleeful because they were illegally parked and figured there was no way they would get towed.

So, while I can’t stop my selfish thoughts, I will acknowledge them for what they are and try to not speak them aloud. But I really hope there is no traffic tonight…

After much nagging my Husband and colleagues, I went to a neurologist for my head injury this morning. Dr. Safdieh was really nice and even understood that I wrote down the wrong address and was therefore 30 minutes late. He suggested I blame it on the concussion and don’t worry about it. See? Very nice. It turns out that I do have a concussion (which I self-diagnosed) and damage to the Occipital nerve, which basically means my eyes are not traveling together so things look blurry and like double vision. I guess I won’t be pinch-hitting at tonight’s baseball game.

For those of you that are curious, the Occipital nerve is pictured to the left. I am not sure how smacking the top of my head injured a nerve way down here in my neck or how something all the way over there controls my eyes, but I didn't ask these questions and the good doctor did not offer explainations of the mechanics. Perhaps I should have paid more attention in biology class.

Anyway, this is something that fixes itself eventually and I need to not do anything that may cause brain damage for the next couple of weeks. This includes going to the gym or anything that would make my brain bounce around. So, no more working out for me for a while. Unfortunately, I recently settled into a happy routine of eating cookies and ice cream and then just going to the gym for a while. So no gym means no more cookies and ice cream. And no more pizza for lunch.

In an effort to not gain too much weight during my gym hiatus, I have restarted my food diary. Back when I was trying to lose weight for my wedding, I kept a food diary of everything that went into my mouth (insert dirty joke here) and that helped me keep better track of what I was eating. Yesterday I had a salad, 4 chocolate chip cookies and an ice cream sundae and then some candy. Not exactly a healthy eating day. Today, so far (and remember it is not yet lunch) I have had only coffee and water. But when I walked into the office, I suggested to Fellow Associate that we go out for lunch so I am sure burgers and fries will follow. (Note: I just had lunch it is was actually cheese tortellini in spicy sauce with melted cheese on top. Yum.) My goal is to be back at my wedding weight by December 3rd so I can stuff myself silly when Husband, Photogenic Friend and Photogenic Wife head to Boston for the weekend. Not that some silly goal will keep me from eating hot dogs at tonight’s baseball game. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I am officially back into the dating scene. No, Husband and I are not separating a mere five months after the wedding so you can’t have your gifts back. But, we are making an effort to spend quality time together that does not involve sitting on the couch in front of the television until we fall asleep. So, we are going on actual dates.

On Friday, we went to Bond Street for sushi. Before dinner we showered and dressed in nice clothes. I put on make-up, which I almost never do. I even went for a bikini wax, like in the old days before an important date. (Even if I am the only one who knows I have been waxed, I just feel prettier) We splurged on a taxi and sat in the main dining room surrounded by couples having conversations where they went over basics like how many siblings they had or what they did for a living. Husband and I talked about nothing and everything. We laughed and teased each other. We split sushi and reminisced about our first few dates. Dinner ended but we were not ready to go home. We wanted more time together before the inevitable couch and television so we went to Sakagura (a sake bar with surprisingly good food) and had more sake and Otoro before going home to watch the end of the Mets game and walk the dog. It was like early in our relationship when we tried to impress each other with our grooming and wit, but without the feeling that if you say the wrong thing, you won’t get a call the next day.

I guess the date went well, because we scheduled our next date for the first weekend in November. This time we plan on hiking Bear Mountain (an annual event for us) followed by a fancy dinner at Blue Hills at Stone Barns in Westchester. He must like me to plan future events like this.

I think it could be serious.

Do you remember when you were a little kid and on the morning of your birthday, you would wake up really early with an excited feeling and just know the day would be special? I sort of feel like that. Now, the light-headedness and euphoria could be from the concussion I suffered this weekend, but more likely, I think it is because tomorrow, I am going to the National League Championship Series (that’s baseball playoffs for the uneducated out there) to watch my beloved NY Mets battle the St. Louis Cardinals for a chance to play in the World Series.

Fans of other teams may not understand the importance of this. Afterall, the Mets were in the World Series six years ago and got creamed by the Yankees. But this time is different. There is no other New York team to overshadow the Mets. Win or lose, it is all about them this year. In a recent “Man on the Street” Interview in the New York Post, someone said of the possibility of another Subway Series, that while he does not root against the Yankees (except when they are playing the Mets), he didn’t want a Subway Series because it felt like you were sharing your birthday with your overbearing cousin who always blew out the candles first and your aunt thought it was cute, but its your birthday too. That is sort of how I felt. Plus, on a totally selfish level, that means I do not have to fight Brother for baseball tickets (although I feel like a bad person to say that since it would be fun to go together since we are the biggest baseball fans in the family).

Sister is much less selfish than me. She really had fun last week watching the Mets beat the Dodgers in the Division Playoffs and, even though she is a Yankees fan, she did a good job rooting for the Mets. When Father got tickets for us to the NLCS, he gave one to me and to Mother and then once to Sister. He also kept one for himself, which is totally fair since they are, technically, his tickets. There was no ticket for Husband. Husband was bummed but good natured about it. Then, without being asked (frankly, neither Husband nor I would have considered asking since Sister had a totally valid claim on the ticket) Sister offered Husband her ticket. That is incredibly nice of her and totally unselfish. See? I told you she is less selfish than me! Husband was so excited about the ticket he pretty much danced a jig down Second Avenue.

So, in sum: Mets awesome. Sister selfless. Husband lucky. LETS GO METS!

Monday, October 09, 2006


I am left-handed. According to Stanley Coren, this makes me more likely to die in a power tool accident (as seen as last week’s episode of CSI) and generally more clumsey than people who are right-handed. In fact, Dr. Coren’s book, The Left-Hander Syndrome, makes the claim that people who are left-handed die, on average, 9 years earlier than right-handed folks. At least, while alive, us left-handers tend to be more creative. Super.

There has been much written to discredit Dr. Coren, but yesterday, I was a walking advertisement for his theory. Now generally, I am the clumsiest person I know of, but my injuries are often minor – stumbling over nothing on the sidewalk and scraping my hands and knees, bumping into furniture and developing mystery bruises, etc. Very rarely do I cause lasting injury. Anyway, as any reader of the blog (or anyone who knows me in person) can attest, I am a rabid Mets fan and was very excited when the Mets swept the Dodgers to win the NL Eastern Division and advance to the NLCS. Serious good times. I was so excited on Sunday when talking about the Mets, that I jumped up on the steps of my apartment and smacked my head on the low ceiling. And I mean I really clopped myself. Everything went black for a second and I got really dizzy. I started to throw up. I could not shake the dizziness. I had a concussion.

So, to sum up. I got excited and jumped on steps which I have walked up and down countless times, knocked myself out and caused traumatic brain injury. And, depressingly, it had nothing to do with which hand I use to write.

And, while I am feeling much better today, I am still slightly dizzy and my vision is blurred. But of course, according to WebMD, the only treatment for a concussion is to rest and since it’s not like my job involves much activity, I am sitting at work nursing a headache. I wonder at what point I am supposed to seek medical attention. Do you think that I need to put left-handedness down on insurance applications as a pre-existing medical condition?

Friday, October 06, 2006


There is a lot of evil in the world. There is war, famine and annoying pro se plaintiffs who insist on endless depositions. But, who can care about that when the Mets are up 2-0 against the Dodgers and, if their pitching holds, may just win the NL East?

Not too long ago, an acquaintance of mine wanted to buy me a birthday gift and lamented to several of my friends, “I just don’t know what to buy her. What does she like besides the New York Mets and SCUBA diving?” None of them were able to offer an answer.

I thrive on baseball. When Husband and I were dating, I told him my dream was to get married on the pitcher’s mound at Shea Stadium and then throw out the first pitch to start the game. He thought I was kidding (I wasn’t). While I will pretty much watch any team that is playing, the Mets are far and away my favorite team and that is why this year, the post-season is so exciting. There is no better feeling than watching your team play baseball in October.

When I think about it, so many of my happy memories are ties to the Mets. I do not remember my first baseball game (and neither does Father, I asked him last night), but I must have been very young. One of my only memories from the house in which I first lived (until I was 6) is playing on a swing-set in the backyard with Mother and singing “Meet the Mets” together. And then, in 1986, when the Mets were down in the World Series to the Red Sox and I wore a Mets shirt to school that day. A teacher bet me one dozen brownies that the Red Sox would win the series. The brownies he gave me were the most delicious I had ever tasted. And then, fast forward to 2000. Flying from DC to NY and walking across the LaGuardia tarmac to a footpath that led to Shea. Watching the playoffs with Father and the World Series with Sister. And now. Last night with Father, Husband and Sister: Cheering and screaming, singing the Jose Reyes song and watching Husband try to moonwalk in the stadium. It was awesome.

Cousin M does not understand this obsession. Whenever I tell him I am watching a game, his reaction is the same, “You could not come up with something better to do?” But, despite his implications, the answer, especially in October, is no. I can’t. Nor would I ever want to.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I come from a broken home. Oh sure, my parents are married and I am in constant touch with my siblings, but we are deeply fractured. You see, Husband, Mother and I are Mets fans. Brother and Sister are Yankee Fans. Father is a Yankee fan too, unless the Yankees are playing the Dodgers, and then he roots for the Dodgers (harkening back to his Brooklyn days). With both the Mets and the Yankees currently in the play-offs, family discussions have become heated exchanges over who is more useless – A-Rod or Martinez. (Given the Mets current DL, I actually have to go with Martinez on this one).

Father is somewhat the calm in this storm. But he can be smug as he is Purveyor of Post-Season Tickets. As soon as it appeared that both NY teams were likely playoff contenders, Father made the following announcement.

For Mets tickets the priority is: Mother, Me, Husband, Father, Sister, Brother
For Yankees tickets the priority is: Brother, Father, Sister, Mother, Me (Husband would rather poke out his eyes with a retractable pencil than attend).

But what happens if the Yankees and the Mets meet in the World Series? The likelihood is that Father would only be able to get two tickets and maybe four to a world series game. We all lay equal claim. Well, not Mother since even though she is a Mets fan, she roots for Derek Jeter and not sister since she had trouble naming 5 Yankees players the other nights. Oh, I am tossing Husband to the wolves on this one since his work schedule is so unpredictable. So that leaves me, Father and Brother. And Brother lives in Ohio so that leaves me and Father. (Yes, I am sucking up for tickets to my wonderful, smart, handsome daddy who got me tickets for tonight's game and for next Wednesday, assuming the Mets get that far).

In 2000, I went to a Yankees-Mets World Series Game with Sister (Mets won that one!) and it is one of my happiest memories – spending time with Sister and watching my team beat hers. And then getting a seat on the subway on the way home and watching Sister forced to stand for the 50 minute 7-Train ride listening to jeers of “Yankee Fans stand” the whole way. She was a good sport though…

So, what kind of loving daughter/sister/wife writes a blog post just to publicly screw her loved ones out of baseball tickets? But this is what the post-season does to me. So to my fractured family - I love all of you, as long as you are behind me in line for tickets!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I have been involved in politics actively since 1992, when, instead of finals, I opted to volunteer on the Connecticut Coordinated Campaign after school. Unexpectedly, I developed a love of the political process and went on to work as at the White House under President Clinton, EMILY’s List and a variety of campaigns on the local, statewide and national level. It was awesome until Bush won in 2000. Like most people in my position, I went on to other things, but kept wishfully thinking of my campaign days. Now, as part of my job, I work on election law as well as labor law and I love the election part of it more than most people think is normal.

I also vote in every possible election. I vote in elections for President all the way down to local office and actually make an attempt to learn something about the people and/or issues being decided at the polls. Which is why the amount of people in my life who do not vote is something that disturbs me.

Today, at a campaign meeting for a race on which I volunteer my time, someone said that the two problems with getting people to the polls this year are overconfidence and apathy. In other words, people don’t care and those who do care, think their candidate will win by such a wide margin that their one vote does not make a difference.

There are many myths about all the people who have won by one vote and most are false. In fact, the only true one I could find is this from Snopes.com: In 1839, Marcus "Landslide" Morton was indeed elected governor of Massachusetts by one vote. Of the 102,066 votes cast by the good people of that state, he received exactly 51,034. Had his count been 51,033, the election would have been thrown into the Legislature, where he probably would not have won. "Landslide" also made the record books in 1842 when he won the same office again by one vote, this time in the Legislature. (In those days, Massachusetts governors were elected for terms of one year.)

But that is not the point. The point is that the American Democratic system was set up so that everyone (except minors and felons) have a say in who represents them. Want an end to that debacle in Iraq? Vote Ned Lamont. Want to keep abortion legal? Vote Hillary Clinton. Care about the environment? Vote for someone whose views are similar to yours. Otherwise, don’t complain when the values and ideals you treasure get whipped like one of Representative Foley’s Pages on game night. Oh, and if you live in upstate NY and are against the molestation of children you may want to vote against Rep. Reynolds, who knew about Foley’s emails but chose to say nothing.

Too lazy/busy to go to the polls? Vote absentee.

I’ll even make this deal with everyone who reads this and is inspired to be a new voter. I will research the issues and candidates for you if you promise to vote. I will arrange for an absentee ballot if you will be away. I will even help you to get transportation to the polls. All you have to do is pull the lever – and I won’t even ask you for whom you voted or (loudly) tell you why you were wrong. I’ll just be happy you participated.

Meet D.J. -short for Derek Jeter. I am not a Yankees fan. I am a Mets fan (more on that in a future post). Brother is a Yankees fan. So, in the spirit of naming pets after people who play sports (I have Tiki Barber), Brother has named his new Basset Hound puppy, D.J. And, when you look at that little face, how can you help but root for him?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Mother had a dream the other night that she was yelling at George Bush and telling him to stop the war already. Go Mom. She is much braver than me, at least in her dreams.

I have no problem yelling at complete strangers and my friends are usually quick to realize when they have made me angry, but I have a really hard time in casual social situations speaking up in front of people. Take this weekend for example. On Saturday afternoon, Husband and I were walking down our block to pick up Tiki from Doggie Day Care, when I saw this young woman throw a plastic cup in the flowerbed. She kept walking so I began to loudly exclaim, “What kind of person litters in a flower bed?” Then I called after her, “I think you walked passed a trash can and dropped your cup. What kind of person are you? Get back here!” I was totally ignored and the only person I succeeded in shaming was Husband, who (and likely not for the first time that day) wondered why I was crazy. But I was really mad. In Manhattan, your block is like a front yard and I hate litter.

In contrast though was an event slightly earlier in the day. Suzanne and I through a baby shower for Ex-Pat, who happened to be pregnant while back in NY for a visit. The even was a success and even Husband, who usually hates such things, admitted that it was fun. I thought it was enjoyable, except for the “Curious Incident of the Anti-Union Cousin.” I am a Union supporter. I work for Unions, believe in them and, as Husband will attest, will go out of my way and change even the coolest of plans if I see a picket line. I simply won’t cross them for any reason. (See where I get the nickname Pinko?) So, I imagine my surprise when I was washing dishes, to hear the following come from the living room, “So that is why anyone who supports unions is really out for themselves and trying to undermine the economy…” I wanted to say something, but did not want to start a runkus and gave Anti-Union Cousin the benefit of the doubt – maybe she did not know the long held beliefs of her host.

Nope. I heard Suzanne tell Anti-Union Cousin what I did for a living, and that just seemed to make her tirade continue at a louder decibel. I wanted to say something. I wanted to yell at her that if she spent just one second in her employee’s shoes, she may change her mind, but I did not. It’s a class thing. I do not walk into the homes of people who are anti-choice and lecture them, nor do I expect return treatment. And as a hostess, my role is to make everyone comfortable. And the likelihood of ever again seeing a Mid-Atlantic based cousin of a friend who lives in England is pretty much nil. So I said nothing and seethed. Now I think I wimped out.

So, here goes: Hotel jobs are one of the few industries in which uneducated and immigrant workers can start off in abject poverty and still have a solid chance of rising into middle class. Because of the power and work of unions, people in the Hotel Industry have access to health insurance and scholarship programs than enable them to send their children to college. Hotel workers are often uneducated and non-proficient in English and it is very easy for unscrupulous bosses to take advantage of the fact that these workers will not report dangerous or underpaid working conditions to the appropriate authorities. Anti-Union Cousin is lucky that she grew up in a home that offered her access to education and high paying jobs, but it is unfortunate that the same background that gave her so many advantages could not produce in her some kind of compassion for people who did not have the same head start.

It is also too bad that she was not taught basic manners, but that is a subject for another post.