Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Belated Christmas

There once was a tiny dog who lived in Brooklyn with his people. The dog loved Christmas and couldn't wait for it to snow so he could show off whatever new sweaters and toys he got to the other dogs in the neighborhood. His people were the only ones at home this Christmas and this made the dog very happy because he could be as loud as he wanted and his boy played and wrestled with him without fear of waking the neighbors. Christmas Eve came and he waited and waited.. watching from the window of the dark and silent building from his home on the 3rd floor (see tiny figure in the right window in the above photo). He watched and waited but there was no snow to be seen.. this made the dog and his people very sad.

"Oliver!!.. Ooooliver.. where are you?" The dog heard his boy calling him from the kitchen.. "Mmmmm" thought the dog, "My people are going to prepare their Christmas Eve feast!!" He decided he would take a break from watching for snow to guard the kitchen and keep his boy company while his girl cooked their meal.

Soon there was food on the table...Oliver sniffed and snuffed and wondered what was for dinner tonight.. he smelled London Broil and baby bella mushrooms with caramelized onions.. asparagus with lemon butter and new potatoes with sour cream and dill... Oliver's mouth started to water and he took a step back from the table to get a better view..

he noticed that there were only two places set.. he knew that his people were missing their family right now and figured they must be spending some extra special time together tonight... so he decided to go to bed early and begin his snow watch again in the morning..

"Good night Oliver!" called his people. As he walked away he heard them toasting quietly to each other.

In the light of the morning Oliver awoke to find the "Yule Log" burning brightly on the TV.. but no snow. This was disappointing to this small dog but he decided to embrace the tradition of the televised fireplace in New York with both paws and sat warming his nose for a few minutes before trotting off to watch his boy make breakfast.

The boy was on the phone with his family and the girl was waiting for her fresh cinnamon rolls to come out of the oven. The smell of bacon wafted through the air and Oliver decided sit by the window and take it all in.... especially the bacon smell!!!

Oliver did a good job guarding the breakfast his people had prepared. He was so sorry that he did not get to play in the snow on Christmas morning but he was happy he got to cuddle indoors and enjoy the nibbles his people shared with him throughout the day.

Oliver and his people missed their family this Christmas.. they missed them a whole lot. They know that one day they will be closer and able to once more share Christmas morning on Chickasaw Trail but for now.. loads of hugs and kisses to everyone who we missed and those that missed us back. Happy Belated Christmas.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

protest, demonstration and racism

I was witness to something today that I never thought I would see in person. Some of you who do not live in this area may not have heard about what happened in Queens a few weeks back. A young man was shot by police 50 times while coming out of a bar in Queens with some friends.. the night before his wedding. He was black. Apparently, the cops and the black community are particularly at odds in the boroughs. I am not going to even try to be eloquent about this or even think about what I am saying because the whole situation is fast becoming a fire storm.

First of all.. the cops would not say that what that cop did was WRONG - MURDER- a CRIME. That cop is a KILLER. It takes ONE bullet to kill someone.. maybe 2 maybe even 3 .. 50 bullets is an excessive amount no matter who you are what you do where you live.. a firing squad uses less than that. This cop actually had to stop and RE-LOAD his gun.. and CONTINUE firing. The least they could have done was come out and say that what that copper did was wrong and that he was a murder who was going to be tried like anyone else who had done something like that.. suspended fired.. anything.

So you conservatives out there are saying.. hang on.. what was the other side of the story.. I don't get it there must have been a reason this guy was blasted like that.. well that's what the rest of us would like to know as well. It took the police department almost a week to come up with a story about what happened that night.. then after they came up with that one.. they altered it to add a 4th person that "might have had a gun".. pardon me but.. what the _____ kind of story is that!?!?? I am not usually politically active.. I usually say "that is just terrible" to the sad police shooting stories you see on the news.. but this time.. all I could think was.. ARE THEY OUT OF THEIR MINDS??! they shoot a young man... they MURDER this guy.. BRUTALLY.. and then they can't even tell the rest of the world WHAT HAPPENED to provoke it?!?! have police relations gotten that BAD??

Today I was walking to a shoe store on 5th Avenue and I turned the corner to find cops everywhere and barricades all along the length of 5th. I asked the guy in Journeys if there was some sort of parade going on.. he said "F___ no! Its not a f____ parade.. its a f___ protest!!" The New Black Panthers and the NAACP had organized protest marches in all of the boroughs and Manhattan was the final march.. and it was just about to start.. there were very few spectators standing by the barricades, plenty of people pushing along the sidewalk with their shopping bags.. I stood right at the curb by the metal bars blocking my way into the street. There were rows of demonstrators blocking the street at various increments .. then it started. The NYPD leading the way with locked arms setting the pace for the demonstrators. They were followed by a group of demonstrators locking arms and chanting " 1, 2, 3, 4...." they were counting the shots that killed Sean Bell. Some shouted for those of us watching to join them.. some called out the theme of the protest " shopping for justice!!!"... then there were others. Angry,hurt, people. I was shouted at and called a "white devil" and a "cracker!!!" " You call yourself a Christian?!?! You are not a Christian.. you are a white devil you m__f__ cracker!!" "Your day will come Crackers".." today we march in peace.. tomorrow this will change."

I stood there shaking.. with fear.. with anger. I tried to take pictures and finally gave up trying to capture the sea of people passing I only got shots in the begining before the streets where crammed with demonstrators.. my hands were shaking and I couldn't stop crying. I was so angry at the NYPD for not saying they were wrong. I was angry at the people who thought I didn't care about this murder, just because I am white. Angry that I would not get the chance to tell them I agreed with them and that I think the NYPD is totally wrong. But all they could see was my skin and the shouts of "black power" seemed to sum up the mood. They did not care that I was on their side. I forced myself to stand there as long as I could.. to witness this event that should never have been necessary. I stood there to attempt to support their cause.. I did support their cause.. I do.. but for some I will never be anything to them but white. For the others who would allow me to state my opinion on the matter, if given the chance, I have expressed it.

Pray for New York City people. What has happened here and what is happening here is frightening for more reasons than I care to type out.

my shaky hands ...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mrs. Stephen goes to Washington

I went to DC last weekend to see my best friend Ellen. You guys already know who she is and what she means to me (see "Ellenbogan") so I will assume everyone one knows she is like my sister and that she is expecting her first little boy, Seth, in a few weeks (WOW .. it really is only a few weeks away!!!!). So I will dispense with the sentimental words and tell you what I saw and learned. Ellen's husband is a clerk to one of the supreme court justices ( I could tell you who but then the US Marshals would be forced to take me out ). Anyway.. he was working on Saturday (of course) and he and Ellen took me around on a behind the scenes tour.

Here are the points I found most interesting:

1) The supreme court was built in 1935 (interesting because I actually still remember the date)

2) The supreme court justices all have fireplaces in their offices - the original purpose of this was for destroying confidential documents

3) Each case that is heard by the court lasts only 60 minutes - each side gets 30 minutes to argue their side of the case. In this short amount of time the attorneys may field as many as 60 questions from the justices!!

4) Standing at the podium before the empty chairs that the justices would occupy during a hearing - frighteningly stoic and scary even when the seats are empty.

This is a street right behind the court.. these people lives steps away from some of the most powerful decision makers in our nation .. "A" street.. but take heed.. there is NO sign at the interesection ;)

This is a house for rent on A Street. It looks adorable right? Would LOVE to live there..

Here's how much it would be to live there.. so.. yeah.. we put our dreams away :)

The Supreme Court Christmas Tree.. in the mid-decorate..

The Marble Staircase that has no grout but is held up purely by the weight of the actual stairs.

THE hot seat!!!

The library.. reminds me of the New York public library.. but then all regal libraries look alike right?

I really had an awesome time.. I have never thought of visiting the Supreme Court but I am glad I had this opportunity... Soon Seth will arrive and Anne and I will get to figure out how to get the stroller to the court to have lunch with his Daddy... all things change and life moves forward .. and I am starting to not make sense so I am going to bed... I had an amazing time guys.. thanks so much for having me.. I thought about our judicial process all the way home.. it was so great to remember that sense of respect for this country and its customs that I used to have in college... somehow makes me feel more secure.. what makes me even more secure is knowing that people like you, David, are helping to draft the opinions that shape our country.. that is a good feeling.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What I saw in the subway today..

This is what I saw when I was in the subway after 10:30 pm.. only in New York.. or maybe the back room in a children's clothing store..?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Time Is Here.. Happiness and Cheer..

So we actually got a tree this year... our first Christmas tree. I have decided that actual pictures are a waste because you really can't get the full effect unless you are in the room and smell the sweet smell of the tree and get to inspect all the ornaments and things... but this at least gives an idea of what our living room looks like this holiday.. our tree is really short and fat - I think its really a cute tree :) I like its tree belly ..

This is our nativity that Mary and Larry brought us back from Peru.

So favorite Christmas music... Charley Brown Christmas of course!! Honestly I could listen to it all year long but I like putting it away and then hearing it again and remembering how much I missed it.. How about all you lurkers out there.. what kind of Christmas music do you listen too?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Stephen surprised me this past weekend with a trip to Montauk, a small Hamlet at the very tip of Long Island. This was his early anniversary surprise and our first anniversary weekend getaway. Both of us have been wanting to go to Montauk since we saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - more specifically Montauk in the winter time. There was no snow yet but the afternoon we arrived it was storming pretty bad and really cold. We ran out onto the beach to drink in the stormy weather. I don't know why it was so important that we stand there in that storm but it was and it felt so good being there. Right after that and after we had settled into our sweet B&B that Stephen found for us, we headed into town for dinner at the local hang out - Shagwong. The food was fantastic! There were even plenty of salty characters standing around outside the door (it is also a 'B-ah' -Bar). We ate and got warm and headed back to sit by the fireplace. All in all it was a wonderful long weekend of walking on the beach and collecting the smooth stones that dot the sand. It was more perfect than I could ever have planned. Can't wait until the next one.... happy 5 years baby.

The Sunrise Guest House where we stayed..

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Our view - we had a suit - fancy right?!?!

The magical storm - biggest waves ever.

The next day.. chilly and bright.

The smooth stones of Montauk beach..

So much of the beach was so natural..

my Stephen..

Montauk Lighthouse - they were serving hot cider and hot cocoa and cookies and chocolate lighthouses on a stick... very inviting and cozy in there..

On the way home... I think we might have invented a new tradition..

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rock Center Tree Lighting

Since my firm is in Rockefeller Center, we have a tree lighting party every year on the day that they light the big Rock Center tree. SO everyone has a cocktail and stands around muching on HDs until the big countdown then we all hang out the windows in the partners offices that are on that end of the building. Its pretty fun. Here are just a couple of shots I got from the 24th floor. As you can see.. there were thousands down there. People started lining up at like 4 in the afternoon. I don't think it was really worth the wait for them but hey.. what do I know??

I always love the Saks snowflakes and the Cathedral when its all lit up.. pretty festive.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Weekend in Tally

We went for a family reunion in Tallahassee, Florida. It was so amazing to get to see everyone and spend lots of time together visiting. I was not very good at taking pictures while we were there but I did get a few.

Larry AKA "Grill Master"... sometimes nothing beats good old burgers and and hotdogs.

Stephen worked up an appetite playing soccer with the younger cousins. We were so happy to take this break and we even got to visit with Katie and Ryan and Mason before #2 arrived.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Visiting Parents

Mom and Dad came to Brooklyn this weekend for a little visit. We always have such a great time visiting with them - whether here or at home. We did lots of eating and some walking around and a few tourist-esque things. Case in point the photo above - honestly, have you ever seen a more adorable picture of tourists??? :)


We took the same boat tour of the harbor that we took with John and Mariel. The weather was cooperative so that was a serious bonus since last week it was stinkin cold!!!

We went to Coney Island for lunch and grabbed a couple of Nathan's hotdogs. Dad and Stephen had an after-hot-dog cigar.

It was looking pretty deserted but still as carnival as ever.

Last but certainly NOT least ... dinner in Brooklyn Heights. No, this is not a picture of the restaurant (Noodle Pudding) where we ate. This is a picture of us being totured by a fire fighter. Dad asked them if he could take a picture of them at the firehouse.. and in return they said they would LOVE to take a picture of all of us dressed in their gear since they "love to torture the tourists!!". Well it is certainly a memorable picture and one that I would never have gotten if they were not in town. All things considered it was an experience I will always remember :)

We had a great time with you Mom and Dad. Next time we will make it Park Slope for sure. Come back any time! Love you guys!