Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just Plain Sad

So let me just start off this post with letting you all know that I have had the privilege of experiencing Nittany Lion Pride.  One of my best friends (to this day) attended Penn State University, and I also dated someone who went there at the same time, so I can say that I have spent a fair amount of time in Happy Valley, and I can tell you, there's nothing like it.  I will always be grateful for the time I got to spend there, lots of great memories for me.

That being said, the stories that have surfaced over the last week are disturbing, maddening and truly sad.  Sad for the entire PSU community, sad for the fans, sad for the people involved and especially sad for the victims.  However, this is NOT about football.  This is about doing the right thing, telling the truth no matter how hard it is, stepping up and possibly sacrificing everything but knowing it's the absolute right thing to do.  Because folks, here it is:  NO CHILD/MINOR SHOULD EVER BE EXPOSED TO SEXUAL ABUSE. PERIOD.  THAT is what this is about.  As the stories unfold over the next days, weeks, months, even years, I'm sure we will never come to know the full truth and I know we will all draw conclusions.  It's unfortunate that these incidents happened and it's unfortunate that most of the people involved did not do anything extreme to stop it when it was happening. 

For now, put the sports to the side and focus on the piece of this story that truly matters....the boys.  Joe Paterno will always be one of the most revered men that coached the game regardless of the outcome of this debacle, and PSU will always be one of the best places to play football....but what will happen to the victims?  What happens to the boys who had to endure the abuse?  As a parent, it's not hard to hypothetically put yourself in this situation...ask yourself, what would I do?  I would want to kill someone, and I wouldn't care who he is.  In a situation like this, no amount of wins, titles, or fans matter.  This is purely about doing the right thing.... 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years....

A friend and I were talking the other day about milestone anniversaries.  She was reminiscing about the loss of someone extremely significant in her life and it being 20 years since he passed and how for some reason, the milestone ones are harder to face.  It made me think, (especially with the anniversary of 9/11 looming), about anniversaries in general and the way we have come to celebrate or commemorate them. 

10 years ago, I was a newlywed, fresh off a 2 week honeymoon in Hawaii with a great new apartment in lower Manhattan, just a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center.  Of course I had experienced loss and tragedy to some degree up to that point in my life, but not the way I experienced it on Sept 11, 2001.  I've been thinking about this post for a few days and how I was going to approach it.  I can talk about the past, tell my story again, reminisce about that day, but no, I don't want to talk about that day I want to talk about the days that followed....the years that have passed since then, about moving on. 

Let me say this...NOT ONE DAY goes by that I am not reminded of Sept 11.  NOT ONE.  And not one day goes by that I am not thankful for the way Sept 11 turned out for me.  I am keenly aware of how different it could have turned out, but as luck or fate or whatever you want to call it would have it, all of the people I know who were supposed to be in those towers, weren't. 

We chose to continue to live in our neighborhood for 5 years after Sept 11, that was a good decision.  After we were able to move back home we were first hand observers of the activity that was happening at the site.  The things I remember most about the days, weeks, months and even years that followed are the workers, the volunteers, the smells, the sights, the sounds of rebuilding at all hours of the day and night, the tourists, the businesses reopening, the neighborhood coming back to life...of the feeling of solidarity that this city and our country would bounce back. It never even occurred  to us to leave. NEVER. We were moving on.

But as our family grew, so did our need for space and as luck (again) would have it, we moved to a new neighborhood with a beautiful view of lower Manhattan.  It's now 3,650 days later, and as I write this from my couch, the sun is coming up, and I am looking at one of the new structures that is rising from the ashes so to speak....Tower One is lit up and is getting taller by the day, and from the greatest city in the world it is a reminder for me of strength, resolve, and commitment.  I will celebrate that today while I remember those we have lost, the stories we have shared, and the images we have seen from Sept 11, 2001.  I wish you all a day filled with love, peace and celebration of your lives as we have all moved on in our own way always being cognizant of the past and hopeful for the future.  

10 years have passed and not a day goes by that I don't remember...NOT ONE DAY.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where Does The Time Go?

I have a feeling this will be the title of a lot of my's relevant to so many things, in this case...back to school.  Today is the first day of school in New York City, and I officially have a First Grader!  It's funny how everyone tells you how time flies.  Hoq before you know it they're in school, going to college, moving out.  What no one prepares you for is the shock to your system as the milestone day hits.  I was just watching my boy, who is currently sleeping soundly, and marveling at the thought that he is old enough to be in first grade.  When did that happen?  When did he learn how to talk? walk? voice his opinion? Those days seem like yesterday, not years ago! 

I want him to love school.  To learn and to grow and to be smart. I want him to have friends that he will keep for a lifetime.  I want him to experience the joy that comes with exploring the world beyond our city, (which in itself is one big exploration project).  I want him to have what every parent I know wants for their be safe, to be healthy and to have everything they dream of. 

Having an almost 6 year old boy can certainly try your patience.  Mine is inquisitive, challenging, bright, adorable, stubborn (boy, is he stubborn!), independent ("you can just leave me here and come back and get me Mom, it's ok"), loyal and an excellent button pusher!  For all the qualities that can drive me crazy, he is one of the sweetest, loving, caring boys I know.  He melts my heart on a daily basis and I am hard pressed to put into words how very proud I am of him.  And I'm so thankful he chose me to be his Mom. 

Happy 1st Day of 1st Grade!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Way To Keep It Interesting!

In a week of crazy: earthquakes, insane baseball game scores (22-9 Yankee's win), and now a hurricane, do we need this? I mean really?  What.  Is.  Happening???  As I type this, the sun is shining and I have just returned from getting a few cases of water and snacks at the store.  My house is in a flood zone along the Brooklyn waterfront.  We're not leaving it.  Besides, by the time it hits here I'm thinking it will be a category 2 with some strong rain and winds however, my actual concern is the flooding after the storm blows through.  We've had a lot of rainfall this year so far and I'm not sure how much more water we can take on without it overflowing.  But, as we have proven in the past and will continue to do so in the future, New Yorkers are a resilient bunch of people.  We'll weather this just like any other day.  That's the best part about these things, in the aftermath of a blizzard, a blackout, an earthquake, even a terrorist attack, most people step up and pitch in, and I have no doubt that will happen on Sunday too.  I'll be tracking the storm with everyone else, hoping for a slow down or a course change and watching the rain fall over NYC.  Stay safe out there. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shake, Rattle & Really???

Alrightie then....Just when I thought there had been enough moving and shaking going on in my office over the last several weeks with the strike and all the stuff that went along with it, it was nice to have a day to catch up and take a breather.  But I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business (which on occassion I'm not doing), getting some work done, I noticed I was "moving".  Could it be the delirium of the overtime I have been working kicking in?  Could it be the high protein, low calorie power lunch I had just consumed?  I realized no was the answer to both of these questions as I looked around and noticed that I wasn't the only thing moving...everything was!!  I immediately stood up and all of my co-workers were on the sales floor wondering what was going on, burst pipe? construction accident?  what could it be?....OH, right, earthquake...Excellent!!  My office is on the 11th floor in a mid size building in midtown Manahttan, it's good to know we can withstand some shaking!

But here's what I ask of whomever is in charge of earthquakes out there....Can you please take your earthquakes elsewhere, like say...the arctic tundra where there is zero population and thousands of miles for you to experiment with?  I for one would greatly appreciate that.  Keep the shaking out of my city and sorrounding areas please.  Thanks so much!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Over...Or Is It???

Got some excellent news on Saturday morning (as I was coming off a week of long days/nights working)....the strike is over!  Woo! Hoo!! That was such a great text message I got from my boss :)  Then I found out the particulars...the Union would go back to work under their old contract (um, what?) for the time being, until the new one was hammered out.  Ok, so I have a few questions on this...
1.  Is there a time frame for the new contract to be completed or can the Union work indefinitely under the old contract?
2.  Are we allowing ALL of the Union members back to work, or are we penalizing the ones who were unacceptably horrible to their peers?  (you know what the answer SHOULD be).
3.  I have a feeling some of the people who were out there covering the abandoned jobs may feel a little jilted that the company is willing to take the Union back under the former this a sign that the corporation is bending?  Please let the answer be NO.

While I'm beyond estatic that my friends/co-workers are coming back to work tomorrow, I'm a little skeptical about the outcome of this 2 week nightmare.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that negotiations are addressed expeditiously and a resolution is reached soon, everyone's hard work should not be in vain.  Just sayin'.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Shock And Awe

It's been a long time since I wrote a blog entry, I know, and really there is no excuse as there is plenty to be yelling about these days.  The last few weeks have been insane for me and all of my peers at work.  Our company is on strike and for someone who has never experienced anything remotely close to this, every day is a new hurdle, a new challenge, a new feeling and a new education.  I'm calling this post "shock and awe" and I'm breaking it up into 2 sections....

Shock:  I am whole heartedly shocked that there are human beings that can be so despicable toward the people they work with that it renders me speechless (which is nearly impossible).  I get that strike's bring out the crazy in some people, and I can understand trying to get a message across by picketing and chanting. I am also a big believer in standing up for what you believe in. However in this instance, I question how many of the people who are on strike actually know what they're standing for? Are they educated on the issues their leaders are fighting about?  It makes me wonder....What I cannot understand is the vandalizing the property of the company that they work for, spitting at their peers, heckling, harassing and abusing, throwing objects at others, putting their own families in harms way....WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE???  Not nice. Not nice.  While I am not personally out on the front lines doing the jobs for the people who abandoned them, I am in contact with my friends daily.  The stories are unbelievable and the actions of the strikers are horrific and it makes me furious that this is happening.  Put on your big boy pants and come to the table and negotiate.  This is a different country and a different economy than it was 100 years cannot expect no change.  And oh by the way, there are 45,000 people out there that would be more than willing to do the jobs you walked out on, no one is indispensable. 

Awe:  I am in constant awe of the people who have have been deployed to cover the jobs that have been abandoned.  With no knowledge of these job functions these individuals have attended intensive trainings and spent countless hours learining these jobs. They have been sent all over the country to fill in, to work insane hours in all kinds of weather, to take the abuse and to not talk back.  They have been pulled away from their families, their daily schedules, their comfort zones.  They work for weeks at a time without days off, 12-18 hour days...and the list goes on. They put up with the harassment, the heckling, the torture...and not one of them has cracked at the pressure (and I'm sure some of them have wanted to).  Some of them have been documenting their experiences in blogs such as:  They amaze me, they make me so proud to know them, they make me protective of their well being and they deserve to be thanked a million times over.  I am amazed by each and every one of them. 

I pray that this strike comes to a resolution soon so I can have my friends back.  I also know that once everyone is back to their "normal" jobs, none of us will ever be the same again.  This has been an amazing experience, one that I would have preferred to have avoided, one that I hope to never experience again. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Day....

I have a lot of thoughts about Valentine's Day....some are hearts and flowery, because let's face it, I'm a girl and I love the hearts and flowers idea, except I love it every day, not just on 1 specified day a year.  Some  thoughts are a bit jaded mostly because this day has become another day to buy things and I think the true meaning is lost there.  In researching the meaning of Valentine's Day (what did we ever do before Wikipedia?), this day was a day that was recognized by the church until fairly recently, 1969 to be exact.  I wonder how many of you remember that it was called Saint Valentine's Day?  (that's the catholic school education showing up here).

So, back to my reasons for loving it:  yes, I get the requisite flowers and candy and now that I have a child, hand made cards with glitter and hearts with adorable adolescent handwriting declaring his love for me and that's the best stuff.  My parents send small gifts to all of us and it's always fun to watch Wyatt open the box of goodies, that puts a smile on my face.  We make cards for Wyatt's school mates and friends, painstakingly making sure each one has the correct spelling and attention to detail on the candy bag, because let's face it, all the kids want is the candy!  Those are the things I love.

Here's what I don't love....the expectation sorrounding the day...the "what do you get for Valentine's Day?" questions....I don't love the idea that there's only 1 day devoted to celebrating the person/people you love.  And if you respond, "flowers and candy", you get a look like that's not enough.  I told someone I don't "do" Valentine's Day (as he held a jewelry bag in his hand) and it turned into a big discussion that ultimately was a waste of time. Celebrating your love for someone should be an every day thing...I would actually forgo the hearts and flowers for a daily dose of love and appreciation and garbage taking out.  I don't need jewelry, in fact, it's a bit ridiculous that this day has turned into a big jewelry day.  For me, jewelry should be given as a reason to celebrate a milestone....a significant birthday, an anniversary, or the birth of a child, not Feb 14. (Unless of course one of your significant days mentioned earlier happens to fall on Valentine's Day).  Oh, and by the way, who cares what I get for Valentine's Day???  That's why I don't love it...loving people has turned into a competition that I have zero interest in competing in. 

So now I'm interested to know how you view Valentine's Day?  There is no right or wrong answer just a fun little poll for my post next year :) Please take the poll to the left of this post, I'm looking forward to the responses.

For now, I'm off to do some Valentine's day shopping of my own and I truly wish each of you a Very Happy Valentine's Day...make sure the people you love know it :)  xoxo

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Days

We got 19 inches of snow last night....which prompted a snow day for the NYC public school system, this is not a frequent occurance around here, the schools have only been closed 7 times since 1978, so I guess 19 inches of snow qualifies for a closing. So, this was my first official snow day since I was a kid myself...and man, snow days are challenging! I have the luxury of being able to work from anywhere I can get an internet connection, so it's not uncommon for me to be at my kitchen table every so often working, however, on those days, I'm typically alone and can power through and get my stuff done. I do have to say that I am a fan of going to the office, I need adult interaction, socialization and all that stuff....working from home is NOT a good thing for me. So you can imagine when I turned on the TV this morning to NY1 (our local NYC channel) to see the red banner scrolling across the screen "NO SCHOOL"...Wyatt was estatic and I was shocked! We only live 2 blocks away, surely we can walk to school! So...we had a snow day. Or more accurately, we had a 5 year old bouncing off the wall day. Being the mean mom that I am,when I heard a bunch of our neighbors downstairs shovelling snow, I suited up my own kid and sent him out to help, which he did for 1 hour. Surely, I thought that would exhaust So then I allowed some time in front of the TV playing the Wii, still not tired. Then, we trudged through the snow to a friends house for a playdate, the kids ran around like little crazy people for an hour or so and then we trudged back home...STILL not tired...after more shovelling and more Wii playing and dinner making and homework doing he finally, finally decided it was time for bed, a mere 5 minutes earlier than usual. Where oh where does he get the energy??? I'm exhausted!!! Snow days are not my cup of tea! I have already checked the school website for tomorrow and I'm happy to report NYC public schools will be open for learning and I will be going to my office for some social interaction that does not involve video games and whining...well...maybe some whining. Happy snow everyone!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Cold winter days make me browse websites for vacation destinations! It's currently 24degrees in NYC, there's snow on the ground but at least the sun is shining so that makes it bearable. We're hosting a playdate at the moment, 2 of Wyatt's BFF's are over, playing with all the new toys he got for Christmas, and arguing at the same time...ah to be 5! When can we go to the park???? The energy level in kids in the winter is crazy and it forces creativity in parents....we've been baking, drawing, coloring, playing video games, board games, card name it to keep busy. I have no idea what I would do if we didn't have school!!! So, I want to know...what do you do in your house to keep busy in the winter???? I'm taking suggestions! (and researching tropical destinations....)