The Declaration Of Independence: While our nation started as an imperfect set of laws, opportunities and rights, we are ever evolving into a country leaning toward equality. I’ll sit out the rainy holiday and contemplate how lucky I was to be born female where I have a chance to thrive.
The low, rumbling voice behind me in the subway stairs tonight was barely audible, and I was astounded by its icky suggestion once I understood. Fight or flight? When I reached the sidewalk, I stepped aside to see what cretin was saying this. He turned off the bright boulevard onto the same residential street I needed to take. After a few yards opened up between us I resumed my walk, passed him and again he said what he must have thought was suggestive talk. Now, I was tired and hungry and had a broken a nail, so I exploded, flinging every vulgarity at him, pointing, threatening to call the cops. When I get really angry my voice goes all urban, but it worked. He scurried away like the cockroach that he is. A dignified-looking man was nearby and I felt compelled to apologize if I was offensive, explaining that the creep “needed to be told off.” The nice man agreed and I safely continued home, feeling a little bigger and prouder with every step.
It was Saturday. It was sunny. And the photo challenge theme was Spring. All I wanted to do was take my first breath of ocean air for 2014. This beach is actually a massive state park, and a beautiful Spring day is perfect for repairs and preparations for the busy Summer season to come
I have a fantasy party based on this CNN article listing the ten happiest countries in the world. I would invite one ordinary person from each country: a teacher, cop, accountant, construction worker, firefighter, machinist, doctor, you get my drift. We have so much to learn from them, why not over beer, wine and appetizers? I feel that a full-on dinner would be too stressful and detract from my global happiness search. But appetizers and wine from each guest’s country can really get a conversation going.
In August, 2012, I finally had the opportunity to visit Stonehenge. I’ve always wanted to physically be there, to experience the wonder of these ancient stones. The sky cooperated, getting cloudier and moodier. Sadly, it was part of a bus tour so my time there was limited. I promise to return, with a picnic lunch and time to spare. I’ve experienced several things on my wishlist: parenthood, living in the area where I now live, seeing a few places other than my native New York City. It’s such a big world, though, and I have always wanted to experience more of it. There is so much to see and learn and eat. Our national history and my family’s history are interconnected with that of so many other places. A bucket list seems like a great idea until you start throwing more and more ideas into the bucket. The bucket is never satisfied. It is always hungry. (This post was inspired by this Daily Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/dust-wind/ Why not visit there and see how other bloggers were inspired?)
Can’t get it out of my head: I have this crazy urge to make something. Something involving a glue gun or Mod Podge or dropcoths. I want to give it away, just for the fun of creating happiness in someone I love.
One of my daughter’s Christmas presents was a gift basket of tree ornaments that I made. Total cost: about ten bucks. Her delight was immeasurable.
That was four months ago and I still smile when I think of it. To top that, I thought I’d learn how to fold dollar bills into flowers and make her an Easter bouquet. There are instructions all over the Internet; I just need to devote a few hours to learning this.
And that’s the problem: inspiration is everywhere. I want to make unique and beautiful stuff, but real-life responsibilities and real-life socializing get in the way.
And besides, some ideas are just wacky. I needed a little plant to replace the dead thing in my windowsill terrarium.(Yep, made that.) It was winter so with few options, I dropped in a packet of coleus seeds. The terrarium is now full of seedlings reaching out of the now-lidless glass. New plan: somehow extricate the plants intact, repot and present to someone with an actual garden, keeping one for the sill. (That’s a dropcloth job!)
Last Fall I glued dried moss to a picture frame, hoping to make a spooky home for a Halloween picture. That stuff does not adhere, I now know. I was vacuuming stragglers for weeks and ended up just throwing the would-be frame away. Wise move, since there’s no room to store good ideas gone bad.
Wouldn’t it be great to devote a whole room to creative endeavors? Unfortunately, that would be one underutilized space.
Winter is done, at least in this hemisphere. I’m always amazed that little crocuses manage to grow through cold, hard soil. And this year is no different. A small swarm of gnats buzzed in the shopping area earlier today, and we’re seeing longer days and some sunshine. My shower curtain rod no longer holds icy pants dripping snow melt; soon that will be replaced with sandy towels.
The hope of warm, balmy nights and long, fun days has me so giddy that I made my “to do” list for Summer 2014. Oh yes, if I have to do a “to do” list for tasks and chores, I’m going to make one for the pleasant stuff too:
Go to the beach more. What’s better than feeling the ocean rush against my legs, smelling salt air and sunblock? And I’ll wear the polka dot bathing suit. I will start loading up on beach reads now.
Live music under the stars. Even better, dancing to live music under the stars!
Barbecue. Not at home though because the City of New York doesn’t permit using fire escapes for anything except escaping fires.
I will become an expert on local outdoor cafés. Maybe some will serve barbecue.
I will visit cool museums.
i will ride my bike.
I wonder if I can still “jump in” in jump rope?
Road trips! Just keep driving until I find something that amuses me. I amuse easily so this shouldn’t be too far.
This summer will inspire some good posts. At least, that’s the plan.
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth I was working my way through college as a salesperson at “The World’s Largest Department Store,” selling ladies moderately-priced sportswear. Back then the small petites selections in most stores that I knew of consisted mostly of sensible pants/skirt/jacket combos spiffed up with, maybe, a nice bow blouse. I was short, skinny, young and broke so I used my employee discount in either the Juniors or Girls departments. Nothing fit quite right.
Fast forward a bunch of decades and I can buy almost any look in a plethora of petites departments. This ranks right up there with flu shots, laptops and power steering as to why I love modern times. Gone are the days when wearing shorter clothing meant dressing dowdy. I can dress fun till the day I die.
I was born in Queens, one of NYC’s five boroughs. I was moved annually, back and forth, between Queens and The Bronx, until I was in the fourth grade when we settled in Bayside, Northeast Queens. While that has a nice bucolic ring to it, the section where we lived was mostly blue-collar families squeezed into noisy garden apartments. We were sited farthest from the Little Neck Bay that we were supposedly on the side of. The wealth increased the closer you got to the water. We were way south of that. It was probably the least hip part of the City.
Last night my daughter and I had a blast at Billy Joel’s concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The huge venue was packed, thousands of mostly middle-aged fans (and their kids, who grew up with this music) singing and swaying along with the gifted storyteller. He opened with Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway), which I find funny, this being 2014 and the song is from 1981. We may have been the only two, at least in our section, who cheered the line, “They said that Queens could stay.”
Pressure was next, with its raw truth. The lights and graphics added to the nervous energy of the song. (Off topic word of advice: if you listen to Pressure and James back-to-back you will need a drink or baked goods afterwards. But he didn’t play James so we were okay.) It was a weird going from that to the sedate This Is The Time.
It was a record-breaking four degrees Fahrenheit when I left for work on Tuesday. How do you dress appropriately and dodge hypothermia at the same time?
Sometimes, you don’t. I wore enough layers for my quarter-mile walk to the subway, and covered everything with a brown down-filled coat. The office was chilly; I suppose it’s impossible to keep a building toasty in that weather. Thank goodness for my cute old, chunky long white sweater!
So what is style? It’s partially dressing appropriately for the occasion, in this case, really cold weather. It’s having enough self-respect to wear the clothes that work best for you and fit you well. It’s the confidence to wear what you find attractive and comfortable. Like a cozy cardigan!
Are these writing challenges or thinking challenges?
The premise is that I hypothetically won a billion dollars. That’s a thousand million, or this much: $1,000,000,000.00 U.S., which would finance pretty much all my dreams.
I always wondered what it would be like to come from a wealthy family. So first, I would give each of my siblings a million dollars, the only caveat being that they not ask for more money. Ever. I have big ideas to pay for. I would pay my father’s rent for wherever he wants to live. This way, the landlord is responsible for repairs or maintenance. He is so used to doing these things himself that even as a wealthy man, I can imagine him replacing floor tiles or installing appliances.
I’d put a couple million into my child’s college fund to finance not only her Master’s Degree, but education for her someday children and grandchildren. We would become a dynasty! We would travel and meet and learn from interesting, peaceful and fun people from all over the world. Then I’d buy her a house.
I’d create a center for women in my area who are returning to the workforce, providing counseling, skills training, interview techniques and appropriate work clothing to get them started. Maybe one week’s worth. Everybody there is required to learn personal financial management. In return, each woman has to share her unique skill or talent with the other women. Let’s say “A” is a great cook, so she teaches cooking to B,C and D. “B” teaches tennis to A, C, D and E. “C” teaches basic home repair, “D” teaches sewing, “E”car maintenance. Ultimately you have a community of smart, knowledgeable, competent and employed women.
I am from a blue-collar family and it breaks my heart that so many of the manufacturing jobs that paid the rent and put food on our table are simply gone. I would build a clean, safe clothing factory right here in Queens, New York. I would pay fair wages and moderate benefits. The first things out of my plant would be clothing for the ladies at my women’s center, followed by my version of the stuff already in my closet. Hey, maybe you’d like these clothes as much as I do!
Of course I’d move to bigger digs. I want my new home to be wind and solar-powered and be so energy-efficient that I’m selling power to the power company. Gardens would surround the wind turbines, growing flowers, fruits and vegetables. My existing furnishings are welcome in my dream home; they’re modest but I love them. I have no idea where I would build this; my little utopia needs a lot of acreage. Maybe I’d build a few of these houses on this massive plot of land to form a family compound and name it after myself: Billionairessville.
None of this would happen unless I assemble a good financial team. I’d get my accountant on board first: he is smart, personable and ethical. I’d also have to study for an MBA so I can better understand the implications of this vast amount of money.
I’d better get me some good lawyers too. A billionaire can afford to speak her mind and be able to defend her freedom of speech in court. The vultures would circle the cash. It would be fun.
I live in an enclave, literally “the other side of the tracks.” This footbridge is a generally safe way to cross the busy Long Island Railroad between our section to the posher, more congested and more well-known area known as Forest Hills. We meet neighbors and local workers as they, too, commute and run their errands. In our east-of-urban setting, this is community.