Random Blog A Musing Farf: April 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I know it’s been a while since I have sat down to write anything and I am going to try and be better about it, but work has been really busy lately and my real-life volunteer activities have taken over so much of my life that finding time to sit and write has become impossible. Plus, when the weather is nice, I will do anything I can to be outside instead of in front of a computer.

This weekend, Husband was out of town and Tiki the Wonder Dog and I spent all day both Saturday and Sunday in each other’s company. We played in the yard, went to long walks and even worked on learning new skills in a freeshaping class organized by the ever fabulous Jenna. (Note: Poor Tiki had walked about half the length of Manhattan that day and slept through most of class). We also cleaned out my closets. Tiki was actually really helpful in this as he provided me company and happily ripped up any old clothes that were thrown on the floor. He even pounced on a bug that got into the apartment, thus protecting me from any potential attacks by MOUS (Millipedes of Unusual Size).

When I cleaned my closets, I got rid of all sorts of clothes and shoes that I knew I would never wear again. I made a pile for donations – clothes/shoes that no longer fit or are in good shape but out of style – and a pile for trash – clothes/shoes that were in such poor condition that they could not be worn. I spent about 10 hours on this project and by the end, my drawers and closets were in perfect order. Husband came home and I proudly showed off my work, only to have him remark, “I didn’t know they were a mess before so I don’t notice the difference.”

But really, I did more then just clean out my closets this weekend, I also did some major thinking about where I am in life, where I want to be and what was holding me back. And, while cleaning out the clutter in my closets, I also cleaned out the clutter in my life.

Not unlike my closets, unless you looked really closely, you could not see that there were areas of my life that were messy. But I knew it and dealing with the clutter kept me from concentrating on the things I love.

So, I made amends with P (who really seems to be getting better). I let go of my anger about her behavior leading up to my wedding and tossed it out along with the cute Steven Madden shoes that has so many holes the cobbler would not even try to fix them. I also made an important decision not to teach SCUBA this summer. I love diving, but was really sick of teaching classes so this summer, when I go diving, it will be because I want to be in the water. I had forgotten why I loved the sport until I finally realized I could do it for fun again. Now I can’t wait to get back into the water.

I also took a small step back from Haven Coalition in that I am not going to work the phone this month. Sure, I still help run the group, but not having to deal with clinics calling this month is a welcome break. It’s been years since I have taken even the tiniest hiatus and, although with the recent and unfortunate Supreme Court decision, it is probably not the best time to do this, it is better for my mental health. Plus, it’s leaving me free to concentrate on some of the reorganization that Haven needs. And while we are on the topic of stepping back – this will be the last semester I help Stitch teach his class. Too much work and he gets all the glory (and pay). I don’t have time for this anymore.

Finally, I have realized that being part of two volunteer groups (NYC Shiba Rescue and Haven Coalition) is as much as I can handle. I am not even going to pretend to be part of the book club whose meetings I never attended, I stopped volunteering to fundraise for political candidates (always hated doing that anyway) and decided to spent my free time doing things I love.

Would someone who met me know that I felt there was too much clutter in my life? No. But its nice to not only realize what I need to do (or not do) to be content while also coming to the realization that I just don’t look good in red.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I wish I had some excise for not writing recently, but really, it is just good old fashioned writers block. I have all these great ideas on the subway in the morning and they disappear by the time I arrive at my office. Bah!

But today, a story has stuck with me and I can’t let go. The shootings at Virginia Tech gave me nightmares last night and I have not been able to shake an uneasy feeling all day. After all, Brother is in college in a small idyllic setting not unlike the Virginia Tech campus. The fact that it could have been his school (and thus him affected) has been eating away at me all day.

Of all my immediate family members, I talk to Brother the least. It’s not for any real reason except he tends to have a very different schedule than I have and time between calls just gets away from us. I realized that if something had happened to Brother, it would have been a couple of weeks since we had last spoken and I would never forgive myself.

It’s funny because Brother is almost 21 (although his ID says he is almost 23 – Hahaha) and I still picture him in my mind as the little kid with the bowl cut that used to call himself “Lonny Deroony” and pretend to me a game show host. In my mind, “What Utensil Am I Thinking Of” is still the most fun game he knows (the answer was almost always spoon) and there is nothing in the world sadder to him than at the end of the song “On Top of Spagetti” when the meatball gets squished. And none of this is fair to him.

I left for college when Brother was only 7 years old and I remember when he first came to visit me at school. He was so proud of himself because he had learned to tie his shoes. And when he came the next year and I took him to his first concert (David Bowie and Nine Inch Nails) and introduced him to Vice President Al Gore, he went home talking about how delicious the molasses cookies were at Starbucks. But now, I need to let him grow up.

It’s really hard to do this. I picture Brother’s college friends as a bunch of children at some sort of extended overnight camp. But, when I read that a 19 year old was adult enough to purchase a gun and kill 33 people (including himself), I am forced to look at college students as adults capable of feeling – and inflicting – great harm. And I realize that Brother is not at some isolated overnight camp as a small child, but instead an adult with experiencing real world dangers and situations.

So, in the end, this rambled mess is my way of expressing my relief that Brother is safe today at his college and a semi-promise to him hat I will try to start treating him a little more like an adult and a little less like someone who still sleeps with a pair of ripped jeans instead of a baby blanket.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Sister, Husband and I often hang out together. Generally, Sister and Husband both spend the entire time expressing their desire for more fulfilling careers. Sister would like the ability to one day do whatever it is she does on an international scale and Husband would like to work less hours. This week, both of them got their wish.

Sister, who spent the better part of last week wondering if she would be lad off this week, had interviewed for an internal transfer within her company, but to another division. She was really excited about the possibility of this new job because, even though it was much harder than her current position, there was much more to learn and it put her in the right direction career-wise. On Monday, she received the good news that the position was hers and she will start in May.

Husband needed a new job desperately. His hours at Big Law Firm were unpredictable and we were both sick of his having to spend Thanksgiving Day on conference calls every year. Plus, there were often nights were Husband would not come home before midnight. I missed him. He had interviewed for a In-House job with a consulting firm and today, received the offer. This means that he will likely be home from work by 7pm every day (although, it also means he needs to actually start arriving by 9am). Plus, the commute is great. Just a couple stops on the train right by our apartment. No muss, no fuss.

I am really excited for both of them. And, as Father pointed out, for the first time in a long time, it was not me searching for the new job! As a way of showing them how excited I am, I am offering to let them take me out for drinks Saturday night to celebrate (hey, they both make more than me so no reason not to let them pay)!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Okay, another post about health insurance. As I mentioned in a previous post on January 26th (Blogger is not letting me link to it), my beloved Dr. Kendler moved to private practice and no longer takes my insurance. For the last few months it has been no more than a fleeting thought - a sadness that sort of washed over me when someone found my blog by Googling “Dr. Jason Kendler.” But, today, it became a big deal.

I have health insurance which is pretty comprehensive. I also have some eczema on my face which, in addition to being annoying, makes it look like I am constantly breaking out. I tried fancy face cream and even got a facial, but even the woman doing my facial told me to see a dermatologist. Luckily, I already have one of those as well. (As a total random coincidence, Husband and I have the same one, even though we both began using him before we had ever met. It’s like destiny!) Anyhoo, I made my appointment with Dr. Scheiner, only to be told I needed a referral. Here is where it gets tricky….

From whom was the referral supposed to come? I called Dr. Kendler’s old practice and was told no one there could refer me because they no longer had any doctors accepting new patients with my insurance and, even if they did, I would need to come in and see that doctor before they would write me a referral. I need a new primary care physician (PCP). So, unsatisfied with that answer, I called my beloved Dr. Kendler who, while totally willing to do anything to help me, could do nothing since he was no longer a participating provider with my insurance. He did refer me to a new doctor who would take my insurance though. Grrr.

I don’t want a new doctor. I want Dr. Kendler!!!! (Do you think if I throw an online temper tantrum, it will work and he will accept my insurance?) I remembered that my OBGYN once recommended someone to me. I called and made an appointment for a consultation with that person in the hopes that they will then refer me to Dr. Scheiner and I can get some topical cream to get rid of my eczema. It really should not be this hard. And still, I don’t really win because I am stuck with the new doctor option and have to accept the loss of Dr. Kendler. But at least this way, all the doctors are affiliated with the same hospital.

Now I try and picture how I would be feeling if instead of eczema that looks like pimples on my chin, I had something seriously wrong with me. What if I felt a lump in my breast or something equally scary? I would have to lose precious days of treatment by first meeting with my new PCP and then getting a referral. In this case, I only have to be unsightly for a day or so. I am really lucky. And of course, at least I have insurance at all. Many folks don’t have insurance at all and would think my little rant to be awfully petty. But still, I am mad….

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


One of the reasons I generally like my job is that the people are awesome. Consider the following email sent from the name partner of Small Liberal Law Firm to the entire staff with the title “Reminder”.

“Israel's Green Leaf Party would like to remind you that marijuana is not kosher and should not be smoked or eaten during Passover.”

I mean, how many people get that kind of email from their boss????

And then, of course, there was the moment when my co-worker came into my office to wish me a happy Passover, “I am so jealous,” she sighed. “Jews get the best holidays. You get to leave work early and have dinner with family on totally random nights.”

“Well,” I commented, “The only reason it seems random to you is that the work calendar generally follows a Christian calendar. We are always off on Christmas, no matter what day of the week it falls. And, if we followed a Jewish or Islamic or Hindu calendar, your holidays would seem random.”

My poor co-worker got so embarrassed that she did not think of that. It was really cute and so unlike when I worked at Big Corporate Bank and asked to leave early for Seder. I was told I had to take a half day vacation. When I protested, I was told, “That’s what personal days are there for.”

I pointed out that the office calendar was ridiculous because we were closed on Christian holidays and therefore people of other religions always had to use personal days for religious observance. So I asked Big Corporate Bank Boss if that meant that he never used his personal days. He had the nerve to reply, “Sure I use them. I use them to extend my ski vacations in Utah!” Now, I am sure he was trying to be funny but really, it was just annoying.

I would not do well in the corporate world. This is why I am lucky I have Husband. He does great in the corporate world and seems to thrive there. And, in a Passover miracle, he may also escape the bondage that is his lousy job!

As I mentioned in previous posts, Husband sought and was rejected from a job that seemed perfect for him. We could not understand what went wrong as the people in the group in which he was applying repeatedly told him that he would be a perfect fit for the position. But, when he met with the Big Boss, he was given a “no” with no explanation. Totally dejected, but not quite ready to give up, Husband asked for another shot. The people he interviewed with lobbied Big Boss on his behalf and, yesterday afternoon on the way to Seder, he received a call that they will interview him again. Yippee! Freedom is on the horizon!

I can barely imagine how great life would be if both Husband and I enjoy our jobs. See, a Passover miracle…