Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Because I expect more

I’ve realized that I am harder and expect more from certain groups of people. This epiphany came the other day when a Jewish acquaintance of mine told a story about someone else of the same faith who-- by her mere actions was perpetuating every Jewish stereotype you can think of. His point was that it made him angrier than if some rude racist had made the same remarks.

I too am Jewish and when another Jew does something stupid I feel like it makes us all look bad….Like Joe Lieberman.

When our government does stupid things, I’m angry that we ALL look bad to the international community.

But I’m even harder on women… because the stupidity is usually more obvious. I expect other women (especially those I know personally) to be smart about their actions and not perpetuate the myths of things like “women can’t drive” or “women just aren’t any good at math and science”. And I have ZERO tolerance for the “damsel in distress” act. If you don’t know how to do something that is one thing… but the helpless thing has got to go.

One woman I know (albeit not well) will whine about all the things she has to do until other people just do stuff for her so she will shut up. (Despite the fact that she has a maid and a nanny…which is another reason we are not really friends).

Do I hold women to a higher standard than men? (No, I don’t buy the helpless routine with them either.) But I do expect them to act for themselves, think for themselves and seek answers whenever they need to. I hope to pass that along to my daughters.

Sure, life is easier if you never do things for yourself, but then it’s not nearly as rewarding.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Aching for a new toy

Admittedly, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to gadgets and technology. Not as much as some but certainly more than most women I know and more than my husband. While other women yearn for $700 shoes, I yearn for PDAs, cell phones and iPods. I was giddy when I got my fiber optic internet connection and jumping for joy at my VoIP phone connection. It’s a sickness. I accept that.

So here are the symptoms plaguing me now… I got my first Palm Pilot about 5 years ago and used it religiously for awhile until a new job got me thinking that I needed to go back to a paper organizational system. I see that phase now as just a momentary lapse of reason. I’m back now. No more carrying around that archaic binder with that paper stuff inside. The problem is that now I want a new Palm. Does the one I have work just fine? Yes. Do I really need a new one? No. And yet, I find myself scouring the internet reading reviews, looking for the release dates of new items and looking on Ebay for bargains.

Then there’s the added ache of wanting a new cell phone. My two year contract with Verizon isn’t technically up until next August but they are taunting me with the fact that I am eligible for a new phone NOW. If I get a new phone, it means re-signing a contract with them for two more years which I don’t know that I’m prepared to do. And T-mobile’s phones are so much cooler…. :sigh: if I want to switch to T-mobile, I will have to wait until next August. That’s pure torture.

Perhaps I’ll go buy a pair of shoes instead.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Why I love Keith Olbermann

Unlike most others in the media, he isn’t afraid to say what many of us feel. Better still...he does so in a way that makes me want to stand up and applaud.
Watch his commentary from last night. Or if you prefer, please at least read the transcript.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

One beautiful morning in September

One beautiful morning in September. Five years ago.

It all changed.

How I look at the world. How I look at my leaders. How my heart breaks every time I see my beloved skyline. It pains me more than I thought possible every time I see that spot where the Towers used to stand. I will never get used to seeing that empty space.

And whenever I see a movie about NY with the telltale shot of the World Trade Center as the epitome of NYC. My heart skips a beat and a wave of sadness takes over.

I’m certain that the media will be filled with images from that day and I understand that CNN is going to run their coverage in real time from that day. I don’t want to watch… but something tells me that that I will.

I’ve lived in NY my whole life. I grew up in the suburbs north of the city. I’ve lived there, worked there and always considered it home. I’d been in those twin towers more times than I can count. Took every out of town friend there and was proud to show them off. When I got my first real camera at the age of 16, I went to the observation deck and took an amazing shot of the nearly parallel Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges just as the lights were coming on. Appropriately, that photo hung in my grandparents’ home for years since my grandfather was the one who taught me how to handle a camera.

I watched it all unfold live on TV five years ago. I happened to be home that day and like many others, I was glued to my TV that day and for days after. I wept for every person I knew who lost someone and even for those that I didn’t know. A week or so after the towers fell, I learned of a college friend (who I hadn’t seen in more than 15 years)…who never made it out of the towers that day. And I wept for him, and for his family, and his daughter who would never know first hand what a good man her father had been. But mostly I wept for the waste of it all. People who did nothing that day but go to work…or get on a plane.

Tears aside, I am angry. I’m angry that our government let this happen. I do believe they did. Conspiracy theorist? Perhaps. The most moving film I’ve even seen has been Loose Change. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to. It will change the way you view the events of that day. I hope it causes you to question what we’ve been led to believe.

Five years and one day ago, I know I didn’t question things the way I do now. I never cared as much about who got elected the way I do now. And I never feared for the future of this country they way I do now.

Tomorrow I will be glued to my TV and my computer again. I will listen to most of the reading of the names and I know my eyes will fill with tears for the families of nearly 3000 people whose lives were changed forever one sunny September morning.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Over-used phrases that annoy me.

I am by no means a linguist, but certain overused phrases truly annoy me.

Like people who let “irregardless” roll off their tongues REGARDLESS of the fact that it’s a bastardization of proper English.

Another is “at the end of the day.” And those that use this phrase, use-it-to- DEATH. “at the end of the day, you have to consider blah blah blah.” “what’s important is that at the end of the day blah blah blah.” I don’t now what it is but whenever I hear that phrase used, it just makes my blood boil..and I stop listening.

What made me think of this is a news item I found on Think Progress
about the use of “stay the course” Apparently the President, who’s been known to practically tattoo this phrase on his forehead and claim it as his own, has now criticized the media for saying that this is his stance on the war. Excuse me? My first thought was “have any of these people read 1984?” (one of the commenters on the Think Progress piece had the same thought) I won’t even address the issue that the Iraqis did not drive those planes into the WTC, Pentagon and the field in PA on 9/11. I’ll save that for another day. But this is the same guy who claimed he was the “decider not divider” (and other pearls of wisdom) and whenever the Democrats even suggested getting out of Iraq, he just kept repeating “stay the course” over and over again as if it were his personal mantra.

Don’t get me wrong, if they’ve finally gotten it through their thick heads that “staying the course” is not the best strategy, then I’m thrilled. But don’t say you never said it….and that it’s not your “position.”

How do these people look at themselves in the mirror every day??

Irregardless of their intentions, at the end of the day, we still have to stay the course with this administration for another 864 days.

Yes, I am counting.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Today, my twin girls went off to kindergarten. YIKES! When did I become the mother of 2 elementary school kids. Today, obviously...but still.

Five years. The time it takes to be old enough to go to kindergarten...and ironically, the time it took us to have them. It was a long, emotionally taxing (and financially draining) five years...followed by the physically exhausting five years to get to the point this morning of putting them on that bus. I'm aging just thinking about it.

I'm thankful every day for them and for my husband who is a wonderful father! There was a point in my life that I thought I would never be anyone's mother. But thanks to several teams of experts, the support and optimism of my husband and a little bit of luck... I got to send my two beautiful girls to kindergarten today.

I'm very lucky.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Everything to Everyone

I've noticed a common phenomenon among women my age (myself included) ... I like to call it E2E Syndrome. (Everything to Everyone). Every woman in her 40s I know seems to be suffering from it.

We all work, have families, most with kids, some with husbands...but all sufferers find themselves torn. Torn between where you are and where you aren't. Not enough hours in the day to be wife, mother, daughter, girlfriend, confidante, employee and self. So of course, SELF is what suffers.

One friend asked me the other day if I wanted to get together once a month or so just to DO SOMETHING. I wistfully imagined something that didn't require us to cut anyone's food, take anyone to the bathroom or struggle to fasten anyone's seatbelt but my own.

Another friend commented the other day that she needed some sort of creative outlet but the best she could manage to accomplish was to commit to NOT working on the the commute home and devoting that time to reading a book.

It's not really good enough.

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband, kids, family etc... but I don't think this is exactly what the feminists of my mother's generation had in mind. Choices, yes. But too many choices have left us all with this tremendous sense of guilt and exhaustion.

Want to see the flip side? Today, my mother sent me this article which supposedly came from a
1955 issue of Good Housekeeping. I got a good chuckle out of it. I've since learned that it's a bit of an urban legend but illustrates my point nonetheless. Would any of us really give up the path that's been paved for us. I doubt it.

But I'd still like to pee alone every now and then and have a few minutes once in a while to be nothing to no one.