A Sign of the Times

So one lazy morning when I could not, should not, would not go gently into the underbelly of New York which we fondly call the subway, I took a cab.  I know, I know, in a recession, the cost of a cab is like taking  candy from my child’s mouth or food off his plate.  Then again if I lose my mind, then I would not be able to put candy in his mouth or food on his plate.  In fact, it was a “wellness” initiative that should be covered by insurance deductibles.  Every urban dweller should get a few moments of peace (and Urdu or other language) once in a while.  But, as usual, I digress.

So back to life inside an air-conditioned, yet still stale-aired, cab (an oxy-moron only city dwellers can appreciate).  I was just reaching to turn off the video screen (provided courtesy of the Taxi and Limousine Commission in recognition of the global shift toward ADD as an evolutionary goal) when I spied the following sign in a liquor store:

Yes, a LIQUOR STORE, advertising 50% if you come in between 8AM and 10AM.

Are alarm bells going off?  I know we are all seeking solace somewhere in this economic meltdown (Thank you, GOP — NO, I will not accept sharing the responsibility, you greedy bastards), but this, THIS, says we are hurting.  And hurting DEEPLY.

Food for thought or, more appropriately, elixir for numbness of the mind.

Let’s Party Like It’s 1929

If I read the news, I will go into that bad place in my head that holds all my fears of being destitute and homeless.

The stock market is tanking, confidence is tanking, the economy is sputtering, unemployment is high and nerves are frazzled.  At first, everyone was talking about a double-dip recession, then about, PHEW, how we escaped the double-dip and now, how it looks like a triple-Lutz-followed-by-triple-pike-nosedive recession.

No prognosticator today can know for sure what the Monday morning quarterback will say with a certain smug clarity (after all, he who survives gets to write the history). 

But that doesn’t stop the pundits from scaring me to distraction.

How cool is technology?

Here is the crazy thing: I am typing this entry from my iTouch. This may not seem a big deal to those who are tech-savvy, but for me, this is awesome. Useless technology for sure and not as easy as using a laptop.
Definitely worth knowing for the times I simply must blog from the scene of the bloggable event.

The Monday Morning Blues

My sister resembles my father in the way she gets out of bed in a happy mood.  My brother resembles my mother’s father in the way he gets out of bed (or did when we were kids) in a less-than-kind or communicative mood.  I am in the middle:  I am low energy, slow motion and hit the alarm six or ten times before staggering out of bed.  That is why lawyers’ hours in NY — in the office by the crack of 10:15am — work for me.

POB (partner of blogger), who wakes up at 5:30am, takes our son to school.  But today, she had to wake up even earlier to catch a train for an out-of-town meeting.  

I had to take my son to school.  That meant that I had to start slamming the alarm at 6:00am.  (For most of the year, the sun has not risen at 6:00am so in my book it is still the middle of the night.) 

Clearly, POB is a blessing in my life because our son would be a truant if I were responsible for getting him to school.  AND she made coffee for me.

In bizarre proof that gene replacement therapy works by osmosis and hypnotic suggestion when kids are asleep, our son is just like me in the mornings.  Which makes POB even more of a ROCK STAR.

We soldiered on through getting dressed, eating breakfast, washing up and brushing teeth.  (I am talking about both of us, here.)  Neither of us could talk but we grunted as humanely and endearingly as we could.

I dropped our son off at school and arrived at my office at the crack of 8:15am.   I need a nap now.

Behind the scenes at my son’s 8th birthday party

First, let me say that my son had a great time.  Second, let me say that POB (partner of blogger) and I did the least we could do.  Everyday we star in our own MasterCard commercial.  In this case, paying for an all-in party at Chelsea Piers bowling alley, $___; seeing your kid smile, PRICELESS.

We were greeted by the shift manager, a friendly enough woman. She failed to enunciate when she said her name and between the thumping music (which I forced them to turn down) and my middle aged ears, I couldn’t catch her name.  Not to worry, my middle aged brain would have forgotten it in seconds anyway.  She asked who was the mother and we both said, “we are”.  Shock and consternation showed on her face.  She then asked, “are there two birthday boys?” Ok, maybe she was thinking she needed to charge extra or maybe she was worried that there was some foul-up.  But this is NEW YORK CITY on GAY PR IDE WEEKEND.  (As for our family, we’re here, we’re queer, we are sooooo over it.)

Ok, so it took a few screams in all of our ear canals to get the point across (remember there was the thumping, party tape playing — another gift by the gay community) in order for the manager to understand that there were two Moms and that all was the same as planned.  Phew.  One small step for us, one giant step for GAY families.

My dad arrived early but not as early as usual so I was tempted to start a police manhunt to track him down.  (He is almost 90 and I worry.)  I waited outside and caught him as he was passing the place.  He noted the loud music and then I wondered to myself, how can he hear the loud music but not hear me screaming “DAD!!!!” on the pier.  A cosmic puzzlement.  One of the moms of our son’s friends asked Dad, “whose father are you?” (as in is your daughter POB or Blogger?).  My dad misunderstood the question, and answered, “No father.  Two moms.”  He came over to me later and suggested that someone didn’t realize the family dynamics and whether he should have a word with her.  G-d bless my Dad.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the mom-in-question already told me about the mis-communication. So, I said, “Another time, Dad, and thanks.”

It is my son’s day, but I need to have a moment about my Dad.  Sometimes, being the sandwich generation has it joyful moments.

I have spent the day putting together Star Wars lego battle cruisers, whatever.  Every parent can relate.  That’s why we don’t march in the parade.  Who has time when there are Lego projects and Little League and Hebrew School and birthday parties?

I get emails from my college friends asking about the birthday party.  I did NOT tell them (not that I wouldn’t but we had facial moisturizer to discuss).  But one is “friends” with my sister who posted pictures of the event.  You can run but you can’t hide.

Tennis, anyone? a New York happening

I work in Rockefeller Center, so there is always something happening with the Today Show outdoor events or Radio City Music Hall.  But today, there were periodic wild eruptions of applause and cheers.  It made me curious.

I was hungry around lunch time and I decided to take a walk even though it was HLAH (hot like Africa hot) and see if I could figure out the cause of the commotion.

On one of the pedestrian walkways, HSBC and Prince (racquets) had erected a viewing stand with a huge TV so people could watch parts of the Wimbledon tournament.   They also built a  grass tennis court and invited passersby to play.  So, I took off my shoes and blazer, grabbed a racquet and started hitting with a tennis pro.  I had never played on grass before — the surface is fast and the ball doesn’t bounce up. 

If someone asks if I have ever played on grass, I say, “sure, on the streets of New York City.”  No one will believe me, but it is true.

And so it goes

After four days of being free of all family and work obligations, and being totally concentrated on re-uning and having fun, life resumes. I am in better shape this week than most, having eschewed the Dartmouth “boot and rally” battle cry [Blogger’s translation: If you have drunk too much, just throw up (i.e., boot) and keep drinking and playing beer pong (i.e., rally)].

I think people are tired of hearing me talk about Dartmouth, and POB (partner of blogger) had heretofore only heard me mention it in passing and only in relation to my dear friends from there.  So, it is surprising to most (including me) that I would drone on about it.

Who said, “youth is wasted on the young”?  So true.  I wish I could go back to the College on the Hill now as a 46 year-old.  A community waiting to welcome me back after 25 years of ignoring it.  The Prodigal Daughter returned and was embraced as if no time had passed.  That is extraordinary and humbling.

But if I had to choose that dream world or my life before the weekend, Dartmouth (and the dream) loses by more than the football team used to lose to everyone (except, of course, Columbia).  I guess I am belatedly enjoying the gift given when I was far too young to enjoy it and make the most of it — four years devoted to making me a scholar/athlete/artist.  Of course, I wasted the time and am none of these things.

What this weekend did do was make me want to redouble my commitment to accessible college experiences for everyone, without the overhang of outrageous loans, etc.  Because having prosperous parents shouldn’t be the litmus test.

And so it goes.  Back to life and the mundane and magnificent.  And back to supporting my tax dollars for higher education.

I am your mirror (just one more reunion story)

We were at a sit-down, dressed-up dinner on the lawn in front of the library at the College.  We were sipping champagne in a beautiful setting and we were nostalgic and wistful and glossing over the really bad things that happened there.  It felt like we were in a film about British aristocracy before World War I.  My inner snob was momentarily overwhelming my otherwise egalitarian (and self-satisfied) character.

And, then . . .

And, then

From stage left, I heard a loud booming voice breaking through my revelry, rising above the din and seemingly causing the sumptuous scenery to fall away: 

“[Blogger], I hear you have a partner!! How could I have been your roommate for a year in college and not have known you were gay? 

I think you’ll agree that I am pretty intuitive?!

So, I decided you didn’t know either.  Am I right?  I am right, aren’t I.  Yup, I knew it. 

You look great by the way.  You have a son.  Did you have it or did she or neither?” 


And I thought my sexual orientation was just about me.  And I thought people didn’t ask about paternity and maternity in polite company.  Nah, this is reunion after all, and I am “radically” different than I was 25 years ago.

I adore this person.  And her comments were so authentically “her” that I just smiled, laughed and enjoyed the feeling of 25 years just melting away. 

Beauty Hints

The craziest people in our class are plastic surgeons.  You might expect that they would wield knives, but not necessarily for good or ethically neutral purposes if you know what I mean.

So, one of our group compiled a list of beauty secrets:

1. Still a #1 choice in the lip category — Chanel. Twinkle is a bit more gold tone, and Blizzard more rose. Both are frosted, not matte. Chanel gloss stays on well and is very moisturizing. Unlike regular lipstick and some other glosses, I find it has no taste. I am giving this product 4 out of 4 stars, with a high $$$. Available in most department stores.

2. Trish McEvoy. Excellent cosmetic line in general. I use her pressed powder and eye shadows. This line sells the items with magnets on the bottom so they all fit neatly into one small compact organizer. This is a mid-tier price line for cosmetics, but very high $$$$ for skin treatments. I use her Beta Hydroxy pads, but I cut them in half to stretch them further. Her Beauty Booster moisturizer is expensive, but could change your life.

3. Trish McEvoy lip products. Really love her Esential Lip Pencil in Baby Pink. These pencils are not like some other pencils which are liners or stain — these are all over coverage like lipstick. They are not drying. I use her lip gloss over the pencil in the Very Sexy shade, which is essentially clear. But these lip glosses are very moisturising and also have no taste. The lip pencils and glosses come in other shades, but Baby Pink and Very Sexy are my choices.

4. Cle de Peu under eye concealer and liquid foundation. These are very $$$$$ products, but if you have dark eye circles like me you would pay any amount for the concealer. The foundation is like silk and does not break my skin out like many other products. Has SPF 22. Have only seen this line at Neiman Marcus and Saks — recommended by In Style magazine.

5. Yonka Masque for Sensitive Skin. Had a facial with this line of products at Mandalay Bay. My skin felt like a baby’s butt. I called the spa afterward to get the name of the products. Sold only in salons, I prefer the Trish McEvoy beauty booster, but love the masque.

You cannot go wrong with this list.  The provider of the list looks FABULOUS!!!!!

Gender Neutrality and other things

At Reunion, we stayed in the dorms.  Because there is one (count with me, ONE) inn in the entire town.  Don’t think Jesus in the manger.  Think Daniel Webster, as in, “it is a small college, Sir, but there are those of us who love it.”

Our dorm was a “gender neutral environment”.  None of us knew what that meant.  We felt a little dumb asking undergraduates who weren’t alive when we were at the College to explain it.

Apparently, all the bathrooms are co-ed but the toilets and the showers are single room occupancy only.  But the toilet is separate from the shower.  Maybe teenagers and 20-somethings don’t have to pee before they shower (let’s not imagine the Seinfeld episode, for surely it will blind us), but 46 year-olds do.  So we have to go from our rooms into the hall way into a toilet and then out into the hall way and back into the shower.  Too many opportunities to flash too much flesh even though we were wearing our granny bathrobes.  And, as earthy as some of us (me) are, we all wore flip-flops into the shower, because as one said, “there is hair in there and it belongs to someone we don’t know and that is just gross.”

I believe I overheard someone saying she Purelled her feet after taking a shower but I could be making that up.

And, and, many people complimented me on my fragrance.  It was my friend’s bug spray.  I’ll get the brand and publish it in another blog.