Sunday, January 30, 2011


I know that you will find this hard to believe, but I am not on Facebook.  Call me crazy, but I keep up with all of the people that I really care about and love when we are together and they unexpectedly share a photo with me.  When my friends get married, I attend the festivities.  When they go on vacation (and I don't go with them) I ask them about their adventures.  When they have cute little babies, I visit and take my own pictures.  I am really not interested in their shopping, cleaning, cooking, or bathroom habits.  Plus, if someone was ever to "defriend" me, I might have a hard time with that.  So instead, I blog and friends that are interested in what I think, not what I do, check in.

It is hard, however, to visit with my friends and family and not hear about the latest post on Facebook and this one just supports that fact that I never will be a part of that social media. 

Apparently there has been a lot of chatter lately about cancer on Facebook.  Not surprising because according to the American Cancer Society more than 11.7 million people were battling the disease in 2007.  Athletes wear pink in support, consumers buy products with pink ribbons in support, and people (including myself) walk, run, and donate time and money in support of this horrible disease.  Cancer is in the media, on TV, and mentioned on Facebook because it affects people's lives. 

On old friend of my sister, let's call her Peter, saw these posts and felt compelled to comment.  Her comment however, was about how alcoholism is also a disease and why should we focus so much on cancer when people like her are suffering from the effects of alcohol.  WHAT?

I have seen the effects that alcohol can have on a person and feel for those that have to live with someone that chooses alcohol over them on a daily basis.  But the fact is, though a disease, an alcoholic chooses to start drinking.  They choose to continue drinking because they like the way it tastes or makes them feel.  It becomes a habit and an addiction and takes tremendous strength to overcome.  But they can choose to "cure" themselves; get help and stop drinking.

Cancer patients don't choose which cells metastasize.  They don't undergo chemotherapy because it tastes good.  And they certainly don't begin radiation therapy because they like the way it makes them feel.  They can't put down their hospital gown and simply walk away from cancer. 

That, Peter, is why people talk about cancer. And why it is very hard for me to feel sorry for you, on Facebook or not.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


My old high school has recently added a multi-million dollar addition, including a state of the art gym.  This Friday, they have invited former students, athletes, and fans to join together in celebration of the old gym where we shared many a PE class, dance, basketball game, and  pep rally.  All are encouraged to get together for one last hoop game and join hands in singing our Alma mater.  (Oddly the name of said Alma mater escapes me.  Probably because in the 6 years I spent there it was never mentioned...)

Like all former "Joe and Jane HighSchoolers", I have many fond memories of times spent in the old gymnasium.  The battles with Spa Catholic, cheerleaders back flipping down the court, sitting in the big bleachers, MM leading the "Hold 'Em, Contain 'Em" cheers.  And the heat?  Who could forget the temperature of those epic battles.  There was no opening the windows in those days.  We would jump on any advantage in our own gym!  But sitting through a game with today's players doesn't really spark nostalgia in me.  Somehow it is just not the same. 

I recently brought my young daughter to a game and was stunned at what I saw.  The gym was crowed, but with opposing fans?  The home team was trailing, the entire game?  I was struck by the total lack of pride and sportsmanship shown by both the players and fans.  What should have been an outstanding game, turned into a foul fest in which the home team could not make a shot.  They were trounced and had given up by the start of the 4th quarter.  One player may even have been sent into the game for the sole purpose of injuring an opposing player.  At least somethings never change...

By the end of the game, the fans had stopped cheering and the police were clearing the court.  I left with a feeling of disappointment and wondered how it had all changed since I last sat proudly in those stands.  So maybe a basketball game isn't the way that we should remember those great high school years...

Instead let's peg our jeans, loose our socks, unzip our jackets and head to the old gym for...  a dance.  After a brief stop at the tracks of course!  Anybody know where you can get a two liter of Bartles and James these days?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wedding Saver!

Hi Friends!  My wrist is feeling better, but I still have to wear my bionic arm so this post will be short.  I just felt the need to comment on a local (from Arizona?) wedding planner who abruptly closed shop and left many DJs, photographers, and videographers out of thousands of dollars.  And many couples heartbroken...

It seems that WeddingCombo is attempting to save face by sending an email to it's jilted clients explaining that they had to close shop due to a proposed sale blah, blah, blah and that its owner, Ian McGaughey, will be making restitution.  What a jerk!! 

I guess that's good news.  He stole their money and should have to give it back; or go to jail.  I really don't understand why he hasn't been arrested yet; you can't take people's money and not give them the clothes, food, wine, good time that they have paid for.  There must be some obscure (aka dumb) law in Arizona that is shielding him.  (See previous post, haha.)

Anyway, for anyone that is in need, or knows someone in need of a fantastic wedding photographer (and videographer) please check out  Murph did my wedding and my husband and I couldn't have been happier!  He took over 2,000 pictures and they were not all your typical posed shots.  I have the most unique album our there and cannot recommend him more highly.  He is also one of my best friends and since you have to pay for the photographer to attend the reception, you may as well invite someone fun!

Check out this link to view our wedding video.  It makes me cry every time!  Happy tears of course:)

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Pub Crawl on my face

Well Friends, we had a blast crawling through Saratoga in Siberian winter temperatures!  We even made it to the midnight toast back at the Parting Glass.  Me?  I ended up flat on my face in their parking lot.  Thanks to my wonderful husband...

You see we thought it would be a  good idea  to, after drinking for a couple (ok 8) hours, race across the ice and snow covered parking lot.  I was winning and almost to the door of the warm and inviting last stop when suddenly I was lying face down on the frozen pavement.  It may have been a trip or a tackle, but just the  same I landed rather awkwardly on my wrist. 

Oddly I didn't feel  any pain la st night, but this morning said husband had to brush my hair and help me get dressed.   The doctor couldn't  tell if it w as broken, but put me in a bionic arm cast and scheduled a follow up xray next week.  Just  in  time to go back to work;  Super!

Needless to say, I may no t be blogging much  this week because my hand doesn't see m to work.  (T his has  taken me about 20 minu tes to  type.)  But don't  fear, I will be back just as soon as I can.

And wear your pajamas inside out tonight.  We may be having another snow day  tomorrow!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pub Crawling

Hi Friends!  Leaving in about an hour for a pub crawl in Saratoga.  First stop?  Parting Glass!  Last stop?  Parting Glass!

If you are in the neighborhood, join us...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wall of Fame

The I Smile Studio in Colonie Center has the fantastic program called "I Grow".  You pay $20 and have your child photographed every month until their first birthday.  Each time you go, you get to choose one free sheet of pictures and get a percentage off any additional sheets that you purchase.  They document your little one as they change during the first year of their young lives.  After 12 months, I Smile throws a birthday party for your child and they send you off with a collage of memories.  (I read somewhere that you should put a number (sticker) on your child and photograph them every month, but this is SO much better.)

A good friend (and new mom) turned me on to the program and my daughter and I have gone six times now.  Our first session was pretty comical because she didn't wake up until the photographer took all of her clothes off.  We had ten pictures of a cute, little (and I mean little) bugger happily snoozing away; and two pictures of a screaming, red-faced, miniature crazy person.

Subsequent sessions have included boppies, tulle, Santa, sitting in a sleigh, laying on both her belly and back, and even some projectile vomiting... all over the photographer.  I would have been more sorry if she hadn't missed every cute face my little one made that day.

Overall, the experience has been fantastic!  The photographers are very kid-friendly and (most) are so patient that I want to take them home with us. 

Today, was by far our favorite.  My bundle of joy was smiling, laughing, and the perfect client.  Proudly wearing her polka dotted headband, she laid on the floor, sat in a wicker chair, and happily played on a bench.  To top it off, she is now prominently featured on their Wall of Fame.

Second floor, Colonie Center.  The beautiful girl in the black velvet jumper, large white frame.  Check it out!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Slowly but Surely

(114.5 hours and counting)

So I went in to work today, just to dip my feet in.  I am clearly NOT ready for the swam dive yet!  But I figured that I had better test the water so that there are no unexpected surprises next week when I have to actually leave the house on time, show up for work, and be productive.  DAMMIT!

Surprisingly, it was pretty smooth this am.  In fact, my daughter barely noticed that I was leaving.  When I put on my coat, she was playing blissfully in her bouncy seat and eating her hand.  She did keep looking at my dad with a "Why are you at my house?"  kind of look.  At least she wasn't crying... Shouldn't she be crying?

Anyway, I grabbed my bag, dusted off my ID badge and left the house, crying.  I drove the two short blocks to school (there is a snow emergency ok?) and found there were no more spots in the lot.  Super! 

I only lasted 4 hours, but I think that is a good start because my regular school day is about 7 hours.  I am more than half way there; practically to the top of the diving board!

When I came home, said daughter greeted me cheerfully from the window and seemed very excited to see me.  Then she proceeded to fall asleep and take a nap...

Happy Days!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day II

Waking up to your car buried under inches of white fluffy snow and the neighbor's snowblower humming away, brings an instant smile to my face!  Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it also causes me to immediately turn on the TV and read through the scrolling school closings that beckon along the bottom of the screen.  Suddenly I am wide awake and estactic... And it's only 5am!

For those of you that have to brave the commute to work, I feel for you.  Those slippery roads, crazy drivers, and SUVs that zip along like its 75 and sunny;  driving white knuckled to a job that you really can't stand?  I feel for you.  I really do... sort of.  At least you can take vacations during March and October.  And fly on those $49 days that pop up randomly on Southwest.

For those of you home today, like me, here are my top 10 things to do on a snow day.  Feel free to add your own faves!

10. snow shoe with a buddy (or adventurous sister)
 9.  do donuts in the nearest parking lot
 8.  make homemade soup and let it simmer and perfume your house all day
 7.  sleep in
 6.  take a "nap" with someone warm and cuddly
 5. build a snow man
 4. catch up on all of your DVR'd shows
 3. sleigh ride
 2. sip hot chocolate with marshmallows
and the best thing to do:  NOT WORK!

Enjoy Friends :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Back to the Grind

Today is Monday, January 10th.  In exactly 171 and a half hours I will be returning to work full time.  I have been on an extended vacation since June 25th of last year.  A vacation that began in the glorious heat of summer and will end in the biting cold of winter.  I could have spent my time traveling the world: eating, praying, and loving; sunning myself while sipping umbrella drinks in some exotic locale; learning a foreign language to use in my world travels; or simply laying on my couch enjoying the monotony of daytime television.  But instead, I was lucky enough to spend my days with my five month old daughter, watching as she slowly became aware of the world around her. 

In those five short months, she has done some pretty incredible things!  (By little people standards I mean.)  She has nearly tripled her birth weight, has learned to sit up and roll over, recognizes her name, and speaks in a foreign tongue that I would compare to the Vietnamese that my pedicurist uses when she is talking to her compadres in code.  She loves music, taking baths, chewing on her blue Soothie, and monkeys of all kinds.  She is one of the few children that does not like being in a car but that is another post.  She wants very badly to walk and talk and I know that she will very soon proudly bear her first primary tooth.

I have enjoyed every (well almost every) moment that I have spent with her and suprisingly have become accustomed to being a stay-at-home mom (YIKES).  But as I plan to return to the teaching profession, I am so worried that I am going to miss the next milestone that she masters by being away from her each day.  Her first word (in English), her first crawl or belly walk, and those first wobbly steps toward independence.  My husband is afraid that I am pushing her to grow up too fast because I have given her juice from a cup and am trying to teach her sign language, but as I sit here today I don't want her to get a day older without me being right beside her.  I don't want to miss anything by being with other people's children all day.

Before I became a mother, I would jokingly tell people that I had 21 children.  Children that I looked forward to seeing each morning; children that I was so proud learned to write in cursive and divide using 2 digit divisors.  I loved hearing their stories and encouraged them to do their best every day and to make me proud.  They made me laugh (and cry) and I missed them when we had extended breaks or when they graduated to the next grade.  Often I felt that I spent more time with them than their hardworking parents and I was thankful that I was able to witness small milestones in their day that their moms and dads could not. 

Now I am that parent who may miss out on something extraordinary.  And it is breaking my heart...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Women's Little Christmas

Hello Friends!  It's another installment of Irish History Thursday...

Today is January 6th and to all of you Irish Catholics out there it is the 12th day of Christmas.  As the 12 drummers drum and gives away a gift certificate to Yono's (love that blog!), most of us are still busy putting away Christmas gifts, laying stale cookies to rest, undecorating our houses,  and setting our tree out to mulch.  About 2000 years ago, three Wise men were completing their journey to view a small infant wrapped in swaddling clothes.  The devout among us are celebrating The Epiphany (and of course are in church right now rejoicing!), but most of us are just going about our day, working in and out of our homes.  But ladies, stop right now! 

Put down that basket of laundry, return the toilet scrubber to that gross corner under your sink, and log off your computer.  Today we will join with our sisters abroad in celebrating Women's Little Christmas.  Tradition holds that today Irish men will assume all of the household chores so that we may go out and celebrate with our sisters, mothers, aunts, and girlfriends.  Bars and restaurants will cater to us women today, and our children and grandchildren will shower us with gifts of affection.  Yes, we have Mother's Day and Grandparents Day to look forward to, but Women's Little Christmas does not fall on a Sunday when roses exponentially skyrocket and you have to wear a carnation to brunch.  Today is Thursday, the perfect day to get your weekend started!  And head out for WNT (that's another post...)

Though the tradition has YET to catch on here in the states, let's band together ladies and pay homage to our Irish heritage.  The first pint's on me!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More Dumb Laws...

You really can't make this stuff up!  And in all of these fine states they actually pay their legislators...

From Sarah Palin and those crazy Alaskans:  It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane. How exactly do you get a live moose on a moving airplane?

From the Golden State:  No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 mph, and ladies you may not drive in a house coat.  Luckily, you can grow your own marijuana in what ever is comfortable for you!

And in Hawaii:  All residents may be fined as a result of not owning a boat and coins are not allowed to be placed in one's ears.  Good thing we don't spend a lot of time there...

Not to be outdone Massachusetts:  Candy may not contain more than 1% alcohol (DAMMIT), and at a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches.  Does three sandwiches constitute a base?

Our ecologically friendly neighbor to the north (east) Vermont:  Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.  Can we do anything on our own ladies?

Why am I not surprised by Tennessee:  It is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish, but you can gather and consume roadkill.  Those crazy Southerns have all the fun!

I could go on forever!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Did You Know?

Lawgirl gave me an idea to check out some of the dumb laws that exist in our great state of New York.  Did you know:

1. It is illegal for a woman on the street to be wearing "body hugging clothing."  Guess they have never been to South Pearl Street in the Spring!
2. A fine of $25 can be levied for flirting.  See #1 and every bar in the Capital District, especially when wearing body hugging clothing!
3. It is against the law to throw a ball at some one's head just for fun.  Sorry Dodgeballers!
4.  The penalty for jumping off of a building is death.  Imagine the passionate debate on that one:  "The fine should be $10!"  "No straight to jail they go!"  "Ok, death."
5. A person may not walk around on Sunday with an ice cream cone in their pocket.  Get it out of your system on Saturday, friends!
6.  While riding in an elevator, one must talk to no one, and fold his hands while looking at the door.  But what if you can't reach the buttons?
7. Slippers are not to be worn after 10 p.m.  When lights out are 9:55!
8.  Citizens may not greet each other by "putting one's thumb to the nose and wiggling their fingers."  But it's so fun!
9.  It is illegal to slurp your soup (in Ocean City.)  Luckily we only eat soup in Ocean City, NJ!
10.  It is illegal to disrobe in a wagon (in Sag Harbor).  That's why citizens gave up their wagons and invented Party Buses!

Princess Boy

I just watched a very interesting segment on the Today Show entitled "Princess Boy."  I had read about this young man a few weeks ago in People Magazine but today Dyson and his very brave mother spoke to Meredith Viera about their experience.

Dyson is a cute little 5-year old who prefers castles to tree houses, pink to blue, and dresses to baseball caps.  Initially alarmed, his mother was convinced by her older son to just let him "be happy."  So she agreed to let him be a princess for Halloween and to dress in little girl's clothes.  She also began to journal about her experience and eventually wrote a book to share her story.

I am not sure how I might feel if I found myself in a similar situation, but I can imagine how others in my life might react and that is unfortunate.  If my daughter decided to dress like a boy and play sports, my husband and her uncles would be ecstatic.  So why is it different the other way around?

With all of the disrespect, teasing and bullying in the world, I salute Dyson's mom for advocating for her son.  For allowing him to express himself.  And to let him be happy, no matter what color he is wearing!