The World According to “Apps”

With all the mechanical knowledge that every kid we know has how is it possible that the grown ups around them are slipping backwards? And— not just with how to download, update or successfully install a new computer program. Algorithms really? I read the definition three times and couldn’t get it. From Mayor Bloomberg to Mayor De Blasio WHAT? Would Joe Lhota have triumphed over this mess?Was there an Al Gore Florida counting error? Did everyone think De Blasio would reverse bike lanes? New York, New York, what a wonderful town. The city that never sleeps. We are the role up your sleeves and take car services home in the middle of the night from your job population. Rudy,Rudy even you are looking good. Our populace is struggling to understand this ill elected head of our city. 

With no dress rehearsals and slim second chances what is happening to the “if you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere city? Subway slashing exists with more severe Marla Hanson tragic endings. How about the Mayor backing Al Sharpton in his disdain toward our police force? Oh and carriage horses- a visual landmark and a throwback to the Trader Vic days. The Plaza Hotel, a euphoric experience to behold. Who remembers luxuriating in the plush red carpet walk downstairs to sip a Mai Tai. Love those little umbrellas, still.


The Four Seasons Restaurant closes in July. Loehman’s is now replaced by shop at Barneys for a $3,000 handbag. But – it’s still a 30 minute wait to sip hot chocolate at Serendipity. I miss the long ago and far away error. Mayor Beame, Lindsay everyone looks better, like them or not.

So the bigger issue I chose not to address this morning- Is there a stronger punishment for multiple abortions? To be continued… One nexium day thank you! 


Short, but Oh! So Sweet

Distance yourself from the offender- the goal of the day, week, and happier New Year. When isn’t it prudent to take the first step toward wonderment? We stay above the fray, make sure our Vit. D levels are new guide appropriate, strap on our confidence and still proceed with caution. 

The times when we get hit standing still are unavoidable. When it’s them not us we question why the “them’s” are still around. There is confidence in knowing we can’t bubble wrap ourselves against the offenders so we accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives whenever we can. The “you know when you know’s” often play out in the “we should have know better’s.”

One more chance to scotch guard our feelings by meditating our way to lemonade. 

When drama adds trauma to our new found stability we bolt the hell out of there. At this point we have paid off our emotionally limiting mortgages, have a mortgage burning party and marvel at how the lemonade was there all along. The only inertia for going forward and shopping in the aisle of good and plenty is the treadmill of time moving under our clay feet. Why Wednesday? Because we can.  


Dancing As Fast As We Can

World Book Encyclopedia, The Merriam Webster Dictionary and The Thesaurus– versus Google, Kindle, Amazon prime, Facebook, Instagram, and a myriad of search engines plus.Our days of licking our fingers to turn the pages are virtually over. Although I still love a hard cover over a battery operated read. Who else can easily bring to mind memories of brown paper bags with pencil calculated totals of grocery store purchases? Anyone else struggle thru long division or angles and intersecting lines geometrically speaking? How about looking up Ticonderoga and cutting out pictures from National Geographic Magazine for a cut and paste project on Africa? Oh, and carrying that erstwhile science project to school hoping it wouldn’t spill or rip. 

What happened to Ed Sullivan on Sunday night, Tom and Jerry Saturday mornings and yes the guilty pleasure of Luke and Laura’s General Hospital Wedding? Some days going at a slower pace with the absence of having to re-boot anything is high up on my “only if” list.

My iPad lost internet connection over the week-end. As I re-visit the feeling of panic (and I imagine I am not alone)- I find it bluntly disturbing. If we step back and chronicle the speed at which life has reinvented communication it can take our breath away- literally. Some days it  

 feels like a race to get to the front of the line to buy coveted tickets to a favorite concert. What happened to the languid walks home from school, stopping for a milkshake and French fries and lingering to avoid homework time? How bout dialing a phone, getting a busy signal and wondering which friend your best friend was talking to? “Can it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time re-written every line?” Tell me Barbra can you relate? So just for today, I will pay less attention to the frequency of sound as my messages come in. I will take pause at my full world of electronics and explore some old hand written behaviors. And then I will resume my modern world routines, turn up the dimmer on my light and wonder where I misplaced the bag of pencil sharpeners. I know I have them somewhere.

Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

And William Greenberg – Hammentaschen for dessert. With comfort food on my mind at 7:49 Saturday morning I look at this two ways. First, we are home one week, which feels like one month and my daily routines are just kicking in. Second thought is that my PTSD- (post traumatic stress disorder) as we are facing placement decisions is wearing off. And I quote- Home is where the heart is, hang your hat and stay for awhile. “Love begins by taking care of the closest ones- the ones at home.” Mother Teresa. As we prep our terrace for spring and continue 

planting our “roots” at home I am even more grounded in my belief that there is “No Place Like Home.” The way it looks at night, the smells thru the kitchen door and the recuperative power of my bed, my remote and my morning coffee in no particular order are the things I long for. 

I am now mired in the “carry me over the threshold into a new phase of life.”

I know that the four walls that define me now have very little to do with location and everything to do with mindset. What about the mind and the heart catching up? What’s so wrong with staying put? We add and subtract on a daily basis as our priorities shift. We alter our equations of activity and hope for vitality. 

We buy new vegetables and bake an apple pie. We go about our daily routines and know that New York is our kinda town. As long as life keeps offering you the three for a dollar kinds of deals- take them. Only stir the pot when you’re making chili for your favorite Sunday game. Have some hamburger sliders, big bowl of pasta and your drink of choice. Celebrate “everything”

 until further notice. Try living the -go with the flow deals -that were impossible in your youth when format and construction were optimum. As long as love wears a smile, we’re up with the roosters and we stop for that overdue massage- Let’s proclaim everyday our own private holiday. And now Ella sing to me your version of Blue Skies.

How Long Has This Been Going On?

Took flight from the law- The lead story this morning about the Jet Blue Stewardess who was caught smuggling cocaine in her roll on luggage was shall I say eye-raising. 

Hey guys, what happened to my hard to find shampoo samples and my small bottle of liquid Chanel face make-up you confiscated a few years back? Was this the first time she did this? Was there a slip up in “the cut” some of her cohorts were getting? Well it took the focus off who has a prettier wife in the resume of candidates. 

In 1997 Quentin Tarantino had a hit movie called Jackie Brown. I loved it, bought it and played it over and over again on my Betamax until the tape got tangled. Pam Grier played the lead character, a flight stewardess who smuggled money for her arms dealer boss, (Ordell Robbie), played by Samuel Jackson. Indeed she gets caught. The fiction plays out with her trying to enlist her bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster) who happens to fall in love with her, to help her make off with the money.

Life imitating art. Quentin and his askew insight into the deranged side of human behavior directed this one brilliantly. 

When will someone say “Uncle?” At what point will the state of this world in which we are living demand the proper attention for one and all. How much longer can this miasmic like state of disbelief continue?

The stewardess got caught, but at one point in her scam? The candidates mudslinging is now below the belt, after months on end of repetition. I always believed playing by the rules was the means to a successful end. When will our “United” States of America use laser beam intensity and pull the plug? How much more of this outlandish charade and abusive treatment can possibly be allowed?The loud and strong message is ear drum shattering. 

Everybody knows the trouble we see. How often do we turn off the news only to turn it back on where we left off?

Our country is in a state of mass destruction and reaching prodigious proportions.

The future looks bleaker as November gets closer. How is this possible that our choice for leader is like a blocked artery? At least there is a method of repair with that kind of blockage. When will someone insert a baloon, clear out the plaque and announce an independent party run? Bloomberg- can you hear me now? 


I Love Lucy and She Loves Me!

The Arnaz’s – are they more Lucy and Ricky or Ricky and Lucy? How bout the Kramden’s, Ralph and Alice, determined and stubborn or accommodating and reliable. Those were the shows we grew up on. We watched sassy and funny, deliberate and over the top. A little Morey Amsterdam slap-sticky. The Rob and Laura’s and the Ozzie and Harriet’s were like our parents friends that they played Canasta and had coffee and ….with. The years of rabbit ears and “no you get up and change the channel.” So maybe Peggy Lee had it right.”Is that all there is my friend? If that’s all there is then let’s keep dancing.” Reliable, although ultimately a goal when assessing the “what matters most in life, “offers an initial feeling of let me experiment my way to the “reliables.” .And I quote- Be honest with yourself about what success really means to you and about what’s truly important in your life. You may find that it is already much closer than you think. Ruben Chavez.With a healthy provocateur by our side hopefully we come to understand that “making things work” is optimum for success. Not necessarily resignation, but rather a focus on the benefit of making peace with what feels better than not. Where we want to be at the end of conversations.

 Go for a walk around the block by yourself, take your inventory and Mia culpa your way to one big break. Love the things you love with more intensity, reduce your self grandiosity and embrace the wisdom you’ve achieved not when you got up, but when you were reaching there. 

So for Lucy and Ricky, his next gig as a bandleader with a baby or two thrown into the mix was what they were looking for. The cherry on top was their sit downs wth Ethel and Fred on a luxurious vacation to Beverly Hills. Live life not as the hall closet that stores coats and umbrellas, but the walk-in in the master bedroom where the gowns and lace scarves luxuriate in their space. So Peggy, if that’s all there is, i’ll take a double.img_2929

How to Win Friend’s and Influence People

“Understand people’s anxiety- Always have a suntan-” Aristotle Onassis- Dale Carnegie just “Got it!” Simple, kind and ever so real. He won friends’s and influenced people he never met. His book has staying power like the Daily News, Al Roker and Facebook as a daily read. In the absence of gossip, no pictures of grandchildren (your honor I am guilty), and long before the “if you don’t forward this email to 10 people you won’t win the lottery” his ideas prevail. The words and suggestions he offers outlive any self-help guide I’ve ever read. Possibly the prototype for all The Chicken Soup for the Soul publications. Helen Gurley Brown told it like it was through red lipstick and panty hose and we listened- well maybe some of the time. We peaked at Dr. Ruth and her idea of the perfect orgasm. I watched, I must confess, early on when Phil Donahue had Jean Nidetch (founder of Weight Watchers) talk about how an extra apple each day could help us loose lbs. but–Oh Dale, how your words resonated loud and clear upon first read and today when I need a reminder or two. That unpleasant look I got from so and so the other day had everything to do with her and very little to do with me. People project their feelings and own bias when their defending the one side of the story they didn’t hear. So the coming attraction as I see it is Dale Carnegie for Presidential advisor. His first lesson would be on winning where it counts the most. In my life, and getting up there is high up on my list daily, I have never heard such blasphemy dished out daily and thrown across our television screen. This morning we heard the candidates are up to wife bashing. 

So who doesn’t have a “quiet something” they don’t want revealed? But seriously, how much more do we as people united have to bare before someone pulls the plug, screams out Kidding or a lunatic with a weapon pulls the trigger? I long for the days of my youth when playing stick ball and hopscotch in the street were after dinner activities. With a sense of delight I remember the smell of a brand new pink Spalding as though it were yesterday. I miss my days of playing Jacks, designing on my Etch a Sketch, and sharing made up stories of how it will be when Barbie marries Ken. One guilty pleasure I recall was chewing double bubble (not knowing I was helping my dentist enjoy his summer home with each bubble that landed smack across my face.) Oh the 60’s where art thou now? Our country is bleeding out of control. The lessons the candidates are imparting to the children of our nation are emotionally brutal. No it’s not ok to bad mouth anyone’s wife. Please do not speak to anyone in that tone of voice. Don’t look when someone’s pants are down figuratively. And by the way, if your invited to a friend’s home for dinner and they serve your least favorite dish, it’s one meal, you’re a guest, eat it anyway. With luck the dog will be lingering around your feet throughout the meal. Dale,  come out, come out wherever you are!


Shall We Dance?

“What it’s liked to be loved by you? I will love being loved by you.” The King and I ultimately centers around the love between Anna and the King of Siam. The score by Rodgers and Hammerstein offers sing out loud words that “whistle a happy tune.” The children play a pivotal role in getting the grown-ups to see eye to eye. Isn’t that the case so often with the “out of the mouth of babes,” concept. The unfiltered, knee jerk reactions, the know no limits behaviors offer so much clarity laced with wisdom. Kids tell it like it is. They don’t need to be asked to “tell.” The uncensored beauty of raw emotion is priceless. How special that shame, bias and restraint does not kick in readily in the emotional growth process. Silly, strong and ever so determined to claim an identity to call their own is how they roll. Bathroom humor becomes hysterical, the word “no” seems impenetrable and the words “yes you can pick two toys,”the wonder of wonder. With complexity and simplicity they approach the world. As the grown up observer of a whole lot of kids growing and growing and growing at record speed I am privileged to be watching the process from the left side of the front row. Leslie Stahl’s new book is called “Becoming Grandma”. -The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting. She will be interviewed at the 92Y this month to tell how this book came about. And I quote- she was hit with a jolt of joy so intense and unexpected, she wanted to “investigate” it- as though it were a news flash. She researched and met with scientists and behavioral therapists to help understand the physiological and therapeutic effects grandchildren have on grandmothers and grandfathers. 

Just writing these words gets my hearts racing. I am charged thinking about reading it. I can’t wait to hear her speak through interview about her feelings. I am in the know on this part of life. We don’t get it all for sure. When opportunity knocked I used my ironclad fist to beat down the barriers of being left out this time. My profound realization of the medicinal effect of hearing how much someone misses me, how they can’t wait to tell me that their next sleepover is this week-end, and when their eyes meet mine and we know, we just know this time together is second to none. There is unexpected Joy knowing that there is no course or preparation to be had for this ride of a lifetime. No prior experience needed. The heart to heart -(more Aunt G words) is the way to go a when your offered this gift. With the rush of adrenal I hit the ground running. I buy their favorite foods, I take out the art supplies and I wait to say ” who’s here” as they come running thru the door with a direct path to my Heart. I’m left wondering who has the upper hand in this joint tutelage deal? And so I always knew my favorite take away song from The King and I had deeper meaning as it’s always been “Something Wonderful.” 


Home Sweet Home

“New York is where I’d rather stayI get allergic smelling hay

I just adore a penthouse view

Darling I love you but give me Park Avenue”

Lyrics from the Green Acres sitcom- 60’s-70’s.

The best part of every vacation is the view of the Empire State Bldg. on the drive home from the airport. Happy away, happier home. Quite a typical response as I hear about many holidays away. I’ve viewed friend’s glorious vacation details unfold through photo albums. Volumes of unusual foliage, magnificent and astounding views of The Grand Canyon from the plane just to name a few. I have had my own breathtaking revery runs down mountains where seeing forever is the mainstay. Numerous walks through the streets of Italy and Paris looking for the best brioche and cappuccino spots. I’ve experienced the isolated glory of watching Leonard Bernstein conduct at the Vienna Orchestra one Sunday back in the 80’s. My memories are etched in the blessing dept. of my brain. And—then the welcoming smell of the street that houses my “bed.” The first night sleep at home is a popular item on top 10 lists everywhere. We go through weeks of mail, unbox our knowing Chinese Dinner and open our suitcases. The television goes on and we inhale the good. My everyday view of the world, my own backyard.
Being away worked to our advantage this time around. We found a pace and got our mojo in a place we will visit again. We look forward to exchanging the snow with sun and sand. On the precipice of change, a tightrope walk for sure, we realize that we can layer life, call New York home and still beach chair it through our grandparent years. I’ll take Breakfast in my own bed for 1000 please.

Procrastination is the Thief of Time

Fievel Goes West- The story of emigres mice who migrate west in search of the American Dream. The caveat is to escape being what the cat dragged in. Made in 1991-catch it if you can. A favorite take away song “Dreams to Dream.” So many movies based on fairy tales coming true. The when you wish upon a star. Makes no difference who you are moments. Kiss the Blarney Stone and rub the Buddha’s tummy. Superstitiously we try to will the ball down the middle of the alley and strike all ten balls at once. We carry a rabbits foot, a good luck 3 crack mah Jongg tile or an old hanky that once was mom’s. The come on now, don’t you know we create our own luck has little effect when we watch the proverbial horse come out out the gate.

So when I put money in the quarter machine at the casino last night and I won $157.12( I think the 12 cents was to keep me humble), I instantly felt the flush of winner come over me. As the days dwindle down on our time in winter camp I have this sense of urgency to use all the tickets of chance I was given. Should I go on all the rides at once? Perhaps save a few for next time? 

Moving forward is a safe bet when encouraging good luck. I have learned when the past comes knocking, don’t answer, it has nothing new to say. Beverly Sills said – “there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” When we adjust our sails and re- direct our energy at least we are heading where we want to go. As I pack my bags I am leaving with less emotional baggage then I came with. I have taken my lessons, polished them with hope and sealed them in the I’ll make my own luck compartment. Away we go!