Saturday, May 24, 2008

By the way ...

Jeff did finish the 145 miles, with bells on!

Are we there yet?

(This is Mary.)

This phrase came to mind this morning about two issues: the weather, and the Democratic presidential campaign.

First, the weather. The weather in NYC for the past several weeks has been--well, let's just say it bluntly: BAD. It's supposed to be spring, and yes, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. But the weather doesn't seem to want to be part of this glorious picture. It's been relatively cold (often staying in the 50s all day), it has rained a lot, it's been windy ... really a pain in the neck if you want to start wearing, let's say, spring-like shoes. The open-toed style doesn't cut it when you have to wade through active puddles.

This morning, however, it appears that we MAY have turned a corner. At 9:45 am it's already 65, with a forecast high of 69. The rest of the long weekend should be in the 70's. And the 10-day forecast shows some scattered T-storms one day, and a little rain (but with much warmer temperatures) a couple of other days.

Can you hear the angels singing, "Hallelujah!"?

The Presidential campaign: I don't dislike Hillary Clinton, and if she had been the nominee, I would have voted for her. But her latest error in judgment where she brought up the assassination of Bobby Kennedy--and then her misguided and miserable failure at apologizing--seems like the faux pas to end faux pas. I think it's time for her to step out of the race and support the nominee.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

145 miles??????????

As Mary writes this blog posting, Jeff is on the road, on his bike, covering 145 miles in one day: Penn Station to Montauk.

Is he nuts??????


But so are all the other people doing this ride (not sure how many--we'll have to wait for the official report from Jeff).

He had to leave the apt. at 4 am to get to Penn Station by 5. Who knows when he'll be home ... the train ride from Montauk to Penn Station is, like, 3 hours. And then it's another 45 minutes to the Bronx.

Meanwhile, Mary is preparing to paint the bedroom a soft shade of green today, and Rachel is going to spend time with some friends. So far, the weather is holding: spring is definitely here!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rachel's home!

With the help of a minivan and driver, we were able to move all of Rachel's stuff home from her dorm, and there was even enough room in the vehicle for us, too! :-)

Things are in a state of disarray in our Riverdale apt. now, but not for long. That's what storage units are for, right? We still have some room in ours here in the building. We were really lucky to get one, and it only costs us 17 bucks a month. It's not big, but it's big enough!

The next two weeks will be busy, busy, busy as we help Rachel prepare for a student-volunteer trip to Croatia. Hiking books, a sleeping bag, bug repellent ... plus about a hundred other things form our shopping list.

When she returns from that trip, she'll take a summer class at NYU and work until fall semester, when she will be winging her way to Paris for an amazing study abroad experience.

She has had an excellent year at NYU and has worked hard for the excellent grades she has earned (pardon us while we brag for a moment). She's really excited for the summer and beyond ... as are her parents, who are looking forward to seeing what exciting plans she'll have next!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Celebrity sighting

Mary was doing a little food shopping after work at Westside Market and saw Hayley Mills. Mary gave her a knowing nod and smile, and Ms. Mills smiled back. She is still quite pretty (and doesn't appear to have had any cosmetic surgery). IMDB says she was born in 1946.

Jeff wondered how Mary recognized her. Well, she played a character named Miss Bliss in a few episodes of a show Rachel used to like to watch when she was little, called "Saved by the Bell." By the time Rachel saw those episodes, they were in reruns--but nevertheless, that's how Mary recognized her.

IMDB also says she is in a current show called "Wild at Heart" on BBC, which is fitting since Ms. Mills is British.

But for most of us, Hayley Mills will always be Sharon and Susan in "The Parent Trap," singing "Let's Get Together," and Pollyanna from the movie of the same name. Mary also remembers her from "That Darn Cat!" with Dean Jones.

Friday, May 9, 2008

How Could I Forget?

Just realized I left one of the best books ever off my list--In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote. I just never got around to reading it , and I finally did so.

What a genuine work of art. Gorgeous writing, masterful storytelling, brilliant. If you haven't read it, I urge you to do so. Even if you're not in the mood for a true story about murder, this book will grip you tightly and stay with you for a long time. Capote was one of a kind. I never thought of him as an artist--only as a weirdo, frankly. I have changed my mind. I can't wait to read more of his work.

Subway reading list (by Mary)

Here is a list of books I have read in the past few weeks while riding the subway or the occasional bus, except for The Glass Castle, which I couldn't stop reading once I got home--along with a one-word commentary. Feel free to agree or disagree with my assessments.

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls: haunting
The War of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells: thrilling
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi: captivating
No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy: riveting
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy: pointless
The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank: bittersweet
Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut: odd
The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien: gripping
The Children of Men, by P.D. James: thought-provoking
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, by Tom Stoppard: hilarious
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams: genius
Angels in America, by Tony Kushner: inventive
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: classic

My next book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith, which has been sitting unread on the bookshelf for quite some time. I chose it because the autobiographical author of The Glass Castle, whom I came to admire somewhat from reading her book, said it's her favorite book. After that, I may revisit The Chronicles of Narnia for the fourth time.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Painting, painting ...

Finally decided to paint the apartment ... 5 months after moving in! Another benefit of having a tiny home: painting goes much faster! Seriously, our home in SLO was lovely, but it was difficult to paint--high ceilings, and the stairwell ... fuhgeddaboutit.

Pictures will follow soon! Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Rachel is finishing up the semester. Hard to believe she's halfway done with her undergraduate career. She's preparing to go to Croatia for a month, and when she returns, she'll be taking a summer-school class at NYU and working (not sure at what, but she'll figure it out). In the fall, she's off to Paris for the semester (lucky girl!).

As for us, Jeff hit his first anniversary at Columbia. Mary's is in July. We're making progress on the Paris apartment ... in fact, we may be on TV! We'll share info as we can, so stay tuned for that, too.

All in all, life is presenting some challenges, but it's all good. We feel so fortunate to have good jobs, a nice home, and pretty soon, a second home in our dream city. And of course, Rachel is a continual blessing.