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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reunion

Today I went to an all year reunion of my high school.  I attended an all-girl Catholic school in Brooklyn, The Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School, and graduated 55 years ago. 


Almost 40 years ago, they closed the school and the building is now used for a school for the deaf, but every year they let us hold our reunion there.  When I first walked in and saw everyone, my first thought was, "Who are all these grey haired women".  Then I realized, they are all my classmates.  We had a wonderful day starting with a small reception, followed by Mass and then dinner.


This school was very strict.  Here is our dress code, we didn't have to wear uniforms.  The issue of the stockings made some of the girls very imaginative.  Of course, we didn't have air conditioning, and nylon stockings were very uncomfortable in the warm weather.  Some of the girls would use their eybrow pencil and draw a line up the backs of their legs to simulate the seam of the stocking.  After a while, the nuns caught on.



As you can see by these rules, they were teaching us to be ladies, 50's style.  Today I was a rebel, I wore dangling earrings and a pullover top.  It's a reminder how far we've come.  I saw several pictures of our class trip to Washington, DC (which we took by train).  We all wore hats and gloves.


I also entered the school by the center doors which were restricted to clergy, faculty and special visitors.  Today, we were the special visitors.


When I saw that the program called for our reception being in the gymnasium, which was on the 4th floor and I was on the first floor, I hesitated for a moment.  But, things have changed, we were now allowed to take the elevator.  I guess they didn't want all those old ladies climbing 4 flights of stairs.


It was a good day although I didn't see many of the "girls" I knew, but that shouldn't have surprised me because I didn't make many friends there.  It was a very large school, there were at least 300 in our graduating class and I was very shy in my teens.


There will be a special reunion for my class in September which I'll attend, maybe I'll see more people I know.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Obama Campaign

Have you seen the latest t-shirt offered for sale by the Obama Campaign?  I have and I think it is utterly classless. 

I know that standards have been very relaxed lately, too relaxed in my opinion.  You hear vulgar language all over now, but I would think that the president of the United States would know better than to advertise that his office has no control over their speech.

In case you haven't seen it, his new slogan is, "HEALTH REFORM STILL A BFD.  We all know what that means.

Since the president has been mentioning his girls in speeches lately, I wonder if they will be proudly wearing these shirts, or they only for the common people.  Those ignorant enough to support him.

How can we expect anyone to respect the office of the president, or even our country when he resorts to such common street language.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gossip

You know that old stereotype about ladies gossiping while getting their hair done?  I think it's just a rumor.  I've never heard any good gossip, but I have heard some other good stuff.

Yesterday, I travelled up to Queens to my usual hairdresser.  I know I should get someone here in NJ, but she's so good and I like to see the old neighborhood.  She was telling me about her day working in a nursing home where she takes care of the patients' hair.

While she was there, she met a woman who was visiting a friend who was a patient.  The visitor mentioned that she was 84 years old and still drives and EVEN skis, something she only started doing when she was 46.  Remarkable, I hope I'll be as active when I'm that old.

We also got to talking about sleep.  The customer after me mentioned that she doesn't sleep much.  She only sleeps about 3 hours, then gets up and usually has something to eat like a sandwich.  Then she'll get another 3 hours sleep.  This woman only weighs about 100 pounds.  Maybe I should try her way of doing things.

While we were on the subject of sleep, I mentioned my FITBIT and how I'm able to track my sleep and my exercise.  Suddenly, everyone wanted to see this great little toy.  They all wanted to know where to get it.

Then we went on to talk about other meaningful things like cats and dogs and helpful neighbors, but there was no juicy gossip.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Food Police

Mayor Bloombers of the once great city of New York strikes again.

It appears that he is very concerned about the homeless and their diets.  For years a local synagogue has been donating freshly cooked foods to city shelters.  Now the mayor has decreed that these shelters shall no longer accept food without a nutritional label.  He's very concerned that the homeless receive the correct portion size and limit the salt contained in the food.  The food served in the shelters should only be provided by the city.

It looks like the mayor is more concerned with limiting fat and salt from the diets of homeless people than with accepting good food from volunteers.  OR is this a way to expand the nanny state by making more people dependent on the services of Big Brother?  I don't like the way this is going.

There were good people donating to and working in homeless shelters on a volunteer basis and at no cost to the city.  You'd think in these times of tight budgets he'd welcome the donations.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Guilt


I feel just awful.  When I moved in my home six years ago, I bought a very nice white, upholstered chair for my bedroom.  It had a nice scale, a little smaller than the usual chair and it rocked.  It fit just perfectly by the bay windows.

Unfortunately, Crash and Burn also loved the chair, Burnie particularly.  Since I keep them in the bedroom at night, the chair had a lot of wear and tear with the emphasis on tear.  No matter how hard I tried to teach him, Burnie just wouldn't climb in the chair the usual way, from the front.  All he had to do was stretch his front paws on the seat cushion and pull himself up.  He either couldn't or wouldn't do it right.


He insisted on climbing up the back of the chair and then going over the back to land on the seat cushion.  As a result, the chair looks like this.

 

I decided the chair has to go.  We're having a bulk pickup tomorrow and yesterday I moved the chair out of the bedroom, near the front door.  A few minutes later I passed the chair and saw this.  I guess this is  Burnie's way of telling me that it's his chair and I can't take it.


 Today when I passed the chair, I saw this.

They're ganging up on me.  They hardly ever get this close to each other.  I feel guilty, but the chair has to go.

When I was moving it into the garage, I could hear them crying behind the closed door.  It's now outside, there's no turning back, but I suppose I'll have to get another chair.  Only this new one will not be upholstered, no more scratching and tearing of furniture.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

City vs. country

I'm a city girl.  Until about 12 years ago I lived in the city.  Then I decided to try country life.  I always thought it would be great to live in a house with a large yard surrounded by trees.  I even fantasized that if I ever won the lottery I'd buy a couple of acres and build a small cabin on the land and leave the rest untouched for all the animals.

After living on a 20 x 100 parcel of land, I was so happy when I moved to my small 3/4 acre part of the country.  I was thrilled with the trees and the deer who would wander through.  Even the chipmunks were so cute.  After I was there a few weeks, I realized what a city girl I was.  I really wanted to walk to the end of my property.  Every time I thought about that walk, I got very nervous.  Finally, my son came to visit and I got up the nerve to check out the rest of the property.  Of course, I asked him to come with me.  I didn't know what I would find, what kind of animals there might be.  We walked through the wooded area and lived to tell about it.

Here I am now in a semi-rural area.  Some of my neighbors who live near the wooded areas have seen some deer and the occasional wild turkey, but that's about it.  The other day, our community manager told me that she has seen a family of coyote around one of the ponds in our community.  This has made me somewhat uneasy even though I don't live near the ponds.

I never had any qualms about walking around Queens.  The only hesitation I ever had was when I would walk on the road through a local park.  Friends questioned the safety of such a walk through the park, but my answer was that I was more afraid of a rabid squirrel than any mugger.

I really like animals, but from a distance.  I guess the answer is that I like my animals in cages.  I'm such a city girl.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Current Affairs

Prepare yourselves.  This is going to be a very long rant.  I've been fairly good for a long time.  I haven't criticized the current state of affairs in a long time and I have a lot of thoughts building up in my head.

The first thing that is bothering me is the news reporters' mispronouncing the name of that Georgetown student who felt that she was entitled to free birth control.  A long, long time ago when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I learned that if there was an "e" at the end of the word, the first vowel had a hard sound.  Therefore, this name should be pronounced as Fluke (the same as the fish) and not Fluck as in luck.

One of the meanings of fluke in Webster's dictionary is "a stroke of luck".  That certainly has proved a fluke for the president.

The whole issue has been twisted.  It is not strictly about birth control, it is more about population control.  The mandate included free morning after pills which induce an abortion.  Of course, it is more palatable to the population as a whole to say "birth control".  Some of the arguments given say that about 96% of Catholic women use birth control.  That may be so, but I'm sure that 96% of Catholic women don't approve of abortion.

Now for all the hoopla about Rush Limbaugh.  I don't know why there has been so much fuss about his calling her a name, after all Ed Schultz used the same name to describe Laura Ingram.  Mr. Schultz received a week's suspension, but lost no sponsors.  Mr. Limbaugh, however, has lost many of his sponsors which by the way sponsor Ed Schultz's program.  They are cowards.

Commentators and comedians are free to use disgraceful slang words to describe conservative women like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman whenever they feel like it.  That seems to be OK, some campaigns even welcome $1,000,000 donations by a comedian named Bill Maher.  Do I see a double standard here?

There seems to be a double standard.

Unfortunately, Mr. Limbaugh's choice of language has taken the attention off the presidential mandate that religious institutions must provide free contraception and abortions regardless of their beliefs and rules.

The first amendment to our constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  The way I see it, this mandate prohibits the free exercise of religion by religious institutions because they have to pay the insurance premiums that cover abortion and birth control.

According to some polls, the president's stand on this issue and the entry of Miss Fluke into the matter has increased his favorability among women.

Well, this is one woman who WILL NEVER, EVER VOTE FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pipeline Accident

I'm not usually given to conspiracy theories, but I had to do a second look when I saw the headline on the TV.

I googled "pipeline accident near Chicago" and got this news story.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46626001/ns/local_news-chicago_il/t/weekend-pipeline-crash-could-affect-oil-prices/

Since it came from MSNBC and not Fox News, it must be true.  I thought the timing was interesting since a certain person from Chicago does not want another pipeline since there is a danger of accidents.

I'll let you be the judge.

Friday, March 2, 2012

FITBIT

This past Christmas my son gave me the cutest little gadget - FITBIT.  It will record every step I take each day, the amount of stairs I climb, the miles covered and the calories burned.  It also records my sleep activity, when I go to bed, when I go to sleep, how often I wake up during the night.  It also gives me badges for 5,000, 10,000 steps or 10 flights of stairs.  It also tells me that I sleep at between 90 and 94% efficiency.

He wasn't giving me a hint that I should exercise more, he remembered that I said I wanted to get a treadmill so I could exercise at home.  It's hard going to the Clubhouse to exercise, either I meet someone who wants to talk while I'm walking and listening to music, or all the treadmills are taken.

I haven't gotten a treadmill yet, been too lazy to shop.  The FITBIT has recorded my steps and I'm ashamed to say that I don't take that many steps a day.  Until last week, the total was under 5,000 a day.  They (whoever THEY are) say that you should take 10,000 steps/day to be healthy and 15,000 to lose weight.

A little over a week ago, I saw an article in Good Housekeeping that said you could burn about 150 calories, about as many as you would have by walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes.  All you have to do is get up during commercials on an hour of a TV program and march in place for a total of around 25 minutes.  Of course, you have to march with energy.

I felt silly standing there marching, so I decided to get up and walk briskly around the house during the commercials on evening TV.  This past week, I managed to exceed 5,000 steps every day since last Friday.  Today, I even did over 10,000.  That included  a walk outside which was around 1 mile.  I feel so fit and healthy.

But, back to the FITBIT.  I wore it to a friend's house one day and she was so interested.  She does a lot of travelling and walking on those trips and was curious to see how far she actually walked.  She bought one and showed another friend.  That friend want out and bought one.  My friend told me she walked 5 miles one day on her trip to the Galapagos.

Recently, another friend saw it and decided she would get one to track how much she walks around the community.

Maybe my son or I should get a commission for recommending it to so many other people.