Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two years ago today

Today marks the two-year anniversary of our move to the East Coast. Hard to believe, really. They always say that time flies, but it's more than that. Life flies.

When we moved here, our daughter was a freshman at NYU, trying to figure out her life's path. Now, she is a junior planning to apply to PhD programs in philosophy to pursue her dream to become a philosophy professor.

As for Jeff and Mary, two years ago Mary was working as an online teacher while we sorted everything out. We had no full-time work and weren't sure of much of anything. Now, we both have good jobs at Columbia with amazing benefits. We own a small but comfortable co-op apt in Riverdale and an investment property in Paris. Not bad for two years!

Like everyone, we are feeling the pain of the recession, both in our own lives and those of our friends and family. Amazing what just two years can do in that regard.

Which makes us hopeful that two years from now, the economy will be turning around, and our lives may be even better than they are today. We are looking forward to seeing what a new administration will do, and whether or not our country can put itself on a better path.

The only thing that hasn't changed for us in two years is that we miss our family and friends so very much. Yes, we have started to form new relationships here. We have met some lovely people with whom we hope to have long-lasting friendships. But that does not mean we have stopped thinking of the people we left behind in California. On the contrary, we think of you every day and are thankful you are still in our hearts, and we in yours. Thank goodness for email and cell phones!

So here is a virtual toast to two years in NYC!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday, March 27, 10 pm

That is when our episode of "House Hunters International" airs on HGTV!

Two things about this:
1) We no longer have TV, so we can't even watch it at home
2) We aren't able to watch it even at a friend's house, because it is the same night we are going to see Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon in the play "Exit the King"!

HGTV will send us a DVD about a week after it airs. Maybe we can find someone here to tape it for us, so we don't have to wait quite so long to see it.

Mark your calendars! We just hope we don't look too ridiculous, that's all. You know how they edit these, um, reality shows to make things more interesting ...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kitties are fine and healthy

Chelsea (16), Emma (nearly 14) and Sophia (8) are weathering the NY winter better than we are, as evidenced by their perky appearance above. I think it helps that they've been indoor kitties all their lives. No dodging cars and varmints for these felines. Nothing but constant warmth for these fuzz balls. Click on the photo and you'll see a larger version of the trio.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Excuse me"

Our NYC lesson for today.

On the NYC subway, the words "excuse me" never mean "excuse me." They always mean ... well, here's a selection of possible meanings:

1) Get your fat ass out of my way so I can get on the train
2) Get your fat ass out of the my way so I can get OFF the train
3) Take those ear buds out of your ears so you can hear me ask you politely to get your fat ass out of my way so I can get on/off the train
4) Move your crap (aka backpack--which should NEVER be worn on a crowded train; giganto purse; giganto briefcase; giganto purse, briefcase and backpack; overflowing grocery bags; suitcase) so you can get your fat ass out of my way so I can get on/off the train.

That about covers it.

It also works when trying to shove oneself into a seat surrounded by people who are, frankly, taking up more than their fair share of space.

"Excuse me" said twice would include all of the above plus a curse word in front of "fat ass," "way" and "train."

So now you know what "excuse me" means on the NYC subway.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Teeny tiny computer

Mary is typing this blog entry on a teeny tiny computer she just bought--a Dell Mini, with an 8-inch screen. The keyboard is pretty small, so it is taking some time to get used to it. She bought it to take with her to work so she could write at lunchtime. Her old Dell laptop is very large (it is a widescreen) and really too heavy to carry around, especially with her back troubles.

So she decided to buy a used Dell Mini from the Dell Outlet. Didn't even know there was such a thing until recently.

It certainly doesn't appear to be used; it's in really good shape. Has everything she needs, including wireless Internet access and even a tiny Webcam (Skype, anyone?).

Amazing that a computer can really be this small. It is still amazing that we can have computers in our home! Remember when they took up whole floors of buildings?

The times, they are a-changin'. Well actually, they have already changed!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Working out

No, we don't make resolutions. But Mary had decided a few weeks ago that she wanted to possibly join a gym. Never a gym rat, though, she has always been the type who enjoys exercise classes, walking, playing tennis, swimming and such.

But there may be a gym she's willing to join: the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. She decided to do a trial run by buying a card worth 10 classes, just to see how she liked going there regularly. So far, she has been taking two classes a week. And what a pleasure they are! Not only are the teachers good, but all the people she has interacted with have been really welcoming and friendly.

After her card is up, she may decide to fork over the $ for a membership. It's an amazing facility, complete with a gorgeous indoor pool, huge fitness room, clean-as-a-whistle locker rooms and more. Check it out here:

Suppose you could say, the gym is working out!

The goal is to replace a few pounds of flab with a few pounds of muscle, without losing any major weight. Can she do it? We'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Kobe Bryant Show

Last night, Jeff, Mary & Rachel saw the Lakers play the Knicks! It was the first time Rachel had seen the Lakers play live, and the first time for all of us to see Kobe in person.

What a player. It was like watching a ballet. Any move he wanted to make, he made. Any shot he wanted to take, he took. He was absolutely mesmerizing--all of us are still in a beautiful haze created by watching Kobe Bryant on the court.

He scored 61 points, the most any player has scored in Madison Square Garden. Needless to say, the Lakers won the game, 126-117.

Here are a few quick snapshots from last night. GO LAKERS!!! KOBE--MVP!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A few views from the weekend

A bit of whimsy for the weekend with the ice cream and duck. The winding sidewalk is our view every day as we head down to the subway (Manhattan College is inside the fence on the left). Mary just thought that building looked cool (on the Upper West Side, near 76th/Broadway). The colorful chairs are outside Rachel's dorm downtown.