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Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Favorite Martian

My favorite Martian has to be Matt Damon.

I am not a movie critic nor am I a movie reviewer...but if I was a reviewer I would give all my stars (excuse the pun) to "The Martian".

I felt a lot smarter having watched the movie because my favorite Martian explained along the way what he was doing to solve a problem.  Not that I understood it, but hey, I was impressed someone was listening in all those science classes I did so poorly in. Good for him...

Think of gun fights, no rapes, no violence of any kind. Add to that, people of all races cooperating to help this one astronaut get home. There is some strong language in places (I feel I must warn about that) but concentrate on the enormity of the problem and how no one gives up, or says it can't be done.

I love a movie that inspires me instead of terrifying me.  I mean besides the whole stranded 30 million miles from home thing, that could be terrifying, but you know what I'm saying, right?

How handy was it that is was the botanist left behind? A genius botanist, and listen to this, he made water! California take note...who knew you could do that?

Also - note to self; do not attempt space travel without duct tape. It seems to be the universal go to product, and the only thing in the movie I completely understood.

Problem with the thieves at the movie theatre...not only is popcorn and a coke $14 but matinee prices end at 4 on Saturday. There are quite a few people at Century Theaters I shared my disappointment with.  Thieves...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Filling a Prescription

Filling a prescription should be easy, in the past it has been easy. And then a hiccup, a road block, some misinformation and the prescription doesn't occur....for days.

When it comes to waiting on folks to unravel a tangled ball of yarn I admit a weakness of impatience.

When it comes to waiting for a doctor to respond, I admit impatience.

I have been requesting a refill of some medicine for over a week. The doctor issued the prescription 3 weeks ago, but he didn't send it to the pharmacy.  So when I tried to refill the prescription I was told by an automated voice that I had no more refills.

That starts the launch sequence.

I call the Pharmacy, the pharmacy calls the doctor....

Doctor waits 2 days to respond, his response is sent to the main office, the main office waits 2 days and sends the response to the pharmacy.

The Pharmacy looks at the prescription and the MG is wrong.  After 2 days they send a message to the doctor, the doctor waits 2 days and sends a response back to the pharmacy.

The pharmacy never calls me, the doctor of course never calls when I called to check on the prescription, I find out it was never refilled, then they tell me the whole story (without all the wasted time, I figured that out on my own).  I call the doctor's office, they say they will send a message to the doctor who will respond within 24 hours.


I get in the car and drive to the doctors office, I tell the receptionist the situation and ask her for a paper prescription I can give to the pharmacy.  She tells me the message has been sent and I should hear something within 24 hours.


I make direct eye contact with her and say, "I will wait right here while you ask the doctor to write the prescription."

"You'll wait?  It might be a long time."

Seriously? It has already been a long time. but this is about honor now...

She shrugs and disappears, when she returns she tells me it may be 30 minutes. So my message to the universe is my phone is almost dead and if you don't hear from me again I was last seen in my doctors waiting room.

Forward my mail please...... address it to "tenacious"

Note - I did wait, she did return and I did get the prescription refilled.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Girl Just Trying To Have Fun

If you're like me and can't get enough of errands on Saturday read on.

This Saturday is the day I fulfill a promise to go exercise with a friend. As we drive there she tells me about the whole operation.  Do what you can, don't do anything to hurt yourself, don't worry if you throw up or pass out.  


I have no intention of passing out in front of people I don't know, I would rather pass out in front of people who would feel obligated to take really good care of me.

Then the woman next to me passed out.  


Isn't this the kind of thing they put on warning labels? Don't operate heavy machinery, don't spill this coffee in your lap....don't go to exercise classes where people could pass out.

I worked around what didn’t look fun.  My burpees were lame, my push ups were against the wall and forget  "running man".  I knew my water would break and I'm not even pregnant.  The woman who passed out spent the rest of the class on the ground, feet propped up, a fan focused on her face and an ice pack on her head.  Good to know.

Then a few errands. Go to Kohls, return stuff to Walmart, get gas, haircolor at the Beauty Supply, Sam's for water, chicken and Asian Salad.

It wasn't as easy as you might think.

I watched a woman at Kohls stand for 15 minutes in front of the shoes I wanted to try on. Since the aisles are 10 inches wide there was no room for both of us.  I found shoes but turned around for one second and a salesperson (something I wasn't even aware existed at Kohls) came through and put my box back on the shelf!  And not where it was before so I search then find the shoes.  I go stand in line, to check out only to hear I had saved $68 dollars with my coupon.  Kohls mysterious language of finance. Mark it up to here, discount it, and then try and fool you with a huge number you saved. 

Now gas! The line is forever long so when I finally get to the pump there’s a sign, a very small sign, that reads credit only-no debit.  I look at my debit card and reluctantly drive away to get back in line. Now the line is twice as long so I skip to my next stop...... 

I arrive at the beauty supply to buy my hair color but it isn't on the shelf. I drag an employee away from staring out the window to find it. Then the story they always tell when they don’t want to look for anything is my color is discontinued. Argh!!  As I leave (without hair color) a woman with a Yorkie in her purse asks if she should dye her gray hair blonde. Of course! Not happy with my approval she and the Yorkie ask every woman in the store including the girl with the nose ring, tattoos and blue hair.  

Now Walmart!  I walk in with my bag for the return counter and try to get past the gatekeeper. She puts a sticker on every item I am returning. I have 20 packages of dowels, a broken mixer and some chocolate chips. After 20 minutes at the return counter I feel as though a prison break had occurred. Armed with $42 on a WalMart gift card and endless spending possibilities I buy 3 cantaloupes, a knee brace and a pumice stone.

Now to Sam’s where I walk all the way to the back of the store for bottled water and find they have moved all the water.  A prank Sam's Club pulls often, they like to load up pallets of products then fling them around the store.  Big box store fun.

Then back to the gas pump where the lines are still long but this is errand number last so no choice. Next to me I watch 4 guys pushing a truck to the pump.  

That is how long he had been in line.

Now, who has more fun than me?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Stay in the light

The other day I was annoyed, mad, angry, cresting on a tantrum because I didn't think there would ever be enough time to write.  I have to work and when I am not working I think about work, which translates to me that there isn't time to do what I really want to do.  (I make these leaps often, see my husband on this.)  I know there is a bestseller just under the surface if only I had the time.......uh, oh sure....bestseller...more time should do it, right?

 Blah, Blah, Blah...

As I considered being shortchanged with the whole unfairness of it all, the madder I became. What an unhappy emotion anger is! It robs us of finding solutions or feeling hope. Steeped in anger I was standing in such darkness I couldn't see that this episode was strictly focused on me......

I, I, I, I.

It is true that concentrating on ourselves simply does not provide the right amount of light to create, stay positive, be productive or have hope. But I was too mad to realize that.

I, I, I.....

Then this came to me...

"Creativity cannot occur when anger is your dominant emotion."

I know that wasn't my thought because I was too mad to be smart.  After that idea settled on me a brilliant article on creativity showed up on my emails, which led me to reassess.  The ideas were positive and full of possibilities. It was easy to see my flourescent anger as it glowed alongside what the article was offering.

As my anger abated I realized lots of writers have day jobs.  After all, Chekhov was a doctor.  (Maybe that's why he wrote short stories.)

Who knows if I have a bestseller, or even another readable sentence in me? What is obvious is I am the only one standing in the way of finding out. Creativity ends at the base of anger.  Outside of Mein Kampf what has ever been written in anger that lives on?  Twitter, Facebook and texts are the graveyard of so many careers, relationships or futures when in the hands of angry people and a keyboard.

We must believe we can accomplish what we have been called to do or it will never happen.

Nothing is created with inertia, because energy is required to be creative. What are high energy emotions?  Hope, faith, charity, love, optimism, belief in ourselves and those around us.  Tell your spouse, children or any other loved ones...."I believe in you, I trust you, I love you."

Just watch their reaction after hearing that....they will simply fly!

And then turn those words to yourself....stay in the light.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Vacations Should Be Celebrated!!

Vacations should be celebrated...and the memories shared.

We started in Charleston South Carolina.  My daughter was living there for the summer so we caught up with her and happily let her show us the city. This was the first place of many where I took "before" shots.  I am thinking there might be a diet intervention for me soon.

First place always has to be to the water...... a faraway picture of Fort Sumpter where the Civil War began.

Then we stopped at the African Episcopal Methodist Church to pay our respects.  Ashleigh moved to Charleston 2 days before the murders and lived only a mile from the Church.  The front is covered in flowers and there is a feeling of peace and hope there.  The incredible act of forgiveness on the part of the victims families is what diffused this unimaginable experience....simple forgiveness.  Justice must be served and they will continue to miss and grieve for their family members.  But because they forgave, the healing will be easier to access and pain is somewhat lessended. The city of  Charleston embraced this church and it's members, you can see "Charleston Strong" on sides of buildings everywhere.

My husband added his name to this enormous wooden emblem which doubled as a card so to say.

This picture was a random shot I was so blessed to take.  Two men meeting for the first time and then taking a moment to pray together.  Completely spontaneous and beautiful.

I watched the "Blue Moon" come up over the ocean at dusk.

The next day we took some time to explore Charleston....the yards, architecture and flowers were exactly what I expected from this centuries old city.  My husband who loves Crepe Myrtles was in heaven as every home seemed to have one!

 All kind of architecture...and churches everywhere.  It is called the "Holy City"

Even the jail was interesting....Creepy but interesting

 On to Magnolia Plantation....

The gardens were beautiful.....
 I felt like I was in a Pat Conroy novel....Or Nicholas Sparks?  My husband just kept looking for alligators.

And then the drive up the coast with a stop at a Cracker Barrel for the best biscuits I have ever had. We had the cutest waitress in North Carolina who added to her appeal by bringing extra biscuits.  She whispered in my ear how lucky we were that the best biscuit maker was working at the time....Biscuit bliss.

Then on to New Jersey for the family reunion.  It was quite sad because Grandpop wasn't there....he passed away 2 weeks before.  He and his brothers and sisters were the first generation from Italy.  Both sets of my husbands grandparents were born in Italy and came through Ellis Island.  They didn't know how to speak English, where to live or where to find work.  But they did it, and their history is less than 100 years this family has produced artists, judges, engineers, businessmen, entrepreneurs, teachers, editors and lots of children!!  

Thank you Remo Tagliaferri for your incredible life.

Everyone just enjoys being niece Krystle made pasta by hand for might have been hard work, but it was so worth it!!

 My Son-in-law Kacy is an honorary Italian

 Lots of very happy, sweet people

The next day we were off to explore New York City.  Look at this fascinating project.  The old "L" is no longer used. Remember the train above the street? So instead of tearing it down New York has made it into a park.  They call it the High Line and it is located on the west side of Manhattan.
The path through the High Line is 1.45 miles long and follows the old railroad tracks with flowers and trees on either side of it. There are lots of benches along the way to sit and just enjoy it all.

You can see the tracks through the whole a County Planning Commissioner I am always impressed with this kind of ingenuity.  It was totally unexpected, and incredibly beautiful.  Only when I looked over the side did I remember we were really in the city.

This is the view from my daughter and son-in-law's apartment, they moved there in May right after they were married.  On this night we rode the ferry back.....shades of "Working Girl"

The next morning we took the same picture, but in the light, then took the bus into the city.

 Raymond wanted to see the view of the city from the top of the Freedom Tower so we spent some time at the 9/11 memorial again before. This picture is an example of the constant care that is given to the names of those murdered on 9/11 at the Memorial. It is interesting to me to see the faces of those who come to the memorial, it is still  an inconceivable act.  When you look into the memorial the enormity of it all simply takes your breath away.  

   The view from the top of the Freedom Tower                                      

We rarely miss an opportunity to visit Little Italy which is also known as the land of Cannolis

Da Genaro Restaurant for Pizza and Calamari...on vacation food has to be exactly what you want, and you can order anything! The fresh Bread with Olive Oil, Basil, Parmesan and garlic was amazing.  I wanted to put it behind my ears it smelled and tasted so good.

Then a people crushing ride on the subway. Hot, crowded, impossible to breathe...but we were going to Yankee Stadium...who cares?  It was a Bucket List game...Yankees versus the Red Sox!!

The game wasn't very exciting, and then I think first baseman Mark Teixeira looked up behind first base and said, "Hey, the Tagliaferri's are here we better step up our game!" Those boys in the pinstripes rode that inspiration and won the game with several home runs and an incredible score of 13-3!  Winning the bucket list game?  Nothing better.

The next day we explored around where my daughter works. So we went to St. Patricks Cathedral, Rockefeller Plaza, Saks Fifth Avenue and Magnolia Bakery.

 On our way to the theatre, (I just love saying that) more pictures of the city.  The lights, the people...the constant truly never sleeps, or slows down for that matter.

We were able to see Matilda....and I think we saw the very best Matilda (there are 3 of course) the talent is hard to believe.  Children singing like angels, comedic dialog.  We loved every second of it.  The theatre was perfect, the acoustics were perfect, fabulous night.  My husband wanted to buy some bottled water in the lobby and when he was shocked with the 5 dollar price, the guy said, "Welcome to Broadway!!"  

Bliss on Broadway

And then my final shot of New York City.  A city that can frustrate you when you get on the wrong subway, or realize blocks in New York are way longer than the ones back will go broke with how expensive it all is and wonder how no one ever stops.  But it has a rhythm you cannot deny with a pull to come back and do it all over again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Has this ever happened to you?

When you are addicted to channel surfing and the remote is broken frustration abounds.  My husband scowled at me as though the broken remote was my fault and insisted I call the Dish folks.

We were somewhere between a full on tantrum and a stroke.

I went on the computer to find the number to DISH.  I told them my problem then they told me their problem.  Our account was no where to be found, not by name, address or phone number.


"Ma'am, how do you pay your bill?  Your account number would be on the bill."

"My bill is bundled with the internet and land line, I never see the bill.  I gave you my name why can't you find my account number?"

"Ma'am go to your receiver and tell me the serial number."

"No, the cord is too short to turn it around on the shelf.  Why can't you just find my account number by my name, this makes no sense"

At this point my dogs have gone under the couch.

"Ma'am hit the menu button twice and when system info comes up the serial number will also."

"That does not occur when I hit the menu button, there isn't a system info on my screen."

"Ma'am what do you see on your screen?"

"It says, My Direct TV, search and browse, recordings, settings and info"

"It says My Direct TV?  Ma'am this is DISH Network."

Oh I said the only thing I could think of.

"Well, I guess that is why you couldn't find my account number, I am so glad I figured this out, thank you....good-bye"

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Little Marriage Advice....

Flowers by Ray Ray - Kelly Andrews wedding
Today is my anniversary....I have done the impossible for 36 years.  Ginger Rodgers said, "I do everything Fred Astaire does, only I do it backwards, and in heels."  I'm not minimizing my husband in our marriage because, he has done plenty of dancing and has spent a lot of time tryng to dodge my "heels".   Not wanting to make the plans for today,  I mentioned it was an even year and he was in charge of what we do.  Even with that I did suggest we go to the Bellagio for lunch.  Immediately he said, "The Bellagio Buffet!"  to which I said, "no buffet, I hate buffets, I eat too much and I feel like a tick afterward"

We ate at the buffet.  It's an even year.

Lesson 1.  Pick your battles. Most annoying things aren't nearly as annoying as you think.  Just start chanting in your head.  Insisting on being right all the time isn't as satisfying as you may think.  Sometimes just being quiet is a very good thing.

Lesson 2. To my gay and lesbian friends advice to you is the same as for anyone else. You have now gone from a comitted relationship to an institution with a 60% chance of failure.  The heterosexuals haven't been great with it.  I can help my gay friends with advice but not my lesbian friends, I am too conflicted since I think the woman is always right.  So lesson #2 is be loyal, in everything.  Don't say negative things about your husband to your mom, or complain about your wife to the family.

Lesson 3. Remember normal is only normal if it is your normal.  In our house I watch football and my husband watches the Barefoot Contessa.  I like to write, he arranges flowers, and I kill the bugs.

Lesson 4.  To the newly married....if anyone tells you not to go to bed angry....ignore them!  I cannot think of a worse time to fight or discuss, than when you are exhausted.  And most importantly when your spouse is going nuts, yelling and out of control, don't believe a single thing they say.  No one tells the truth when they are in "the vortex".  Might as well start chanting in your head again.

Lesson 5. To my friends with a suddenly empty nest,  don't panic and thnk you won't have anything to say to your spouse..  The kids will be back....there aren't any jobs out there they can support themselves with.  Problem solved you still don't have to talk.

Leson 6. To my retired friends.  Respect space because everyone needs time to think.  But more than that stay married.  The grass isn't greener., the men aren't better somewhere else and the women aren't prettier.  If you are having problems find a therapist work it out and then ride it out, it at all possible. Dare to believe you might be part of the problem.

Today I looked at my husband and said, "I would marry you again."  He said, "me too."

That's all I can ask.  And next year is an odd year, no buffet.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Wedding!!

My daughter was married in a wonderful young man.....

It was the most beautiful day, ever....our weather can be very tricky in May.  Maybe 110, or horribly windy...but not this was perfect.  

My beautiful Daughters
My children with the bride and groom
Her Brothers

Of Course there are bridesmaids!!


Their adorable little nieces

Time for the reception!!

It was such a happy day...

childhood friends who came a long, long way to celebrate with her

First Dance

And then everyone danced!!
Father, daughter dance to "That's Amore!" 

Thank goodness for my sister-in-law and niece, they taught us how to make the Cannolis!!

It did become too much for some

The reception started at 6:30 but it didn't get dark until almost 8

Just so happy...

The sparklers for the send off...a fireworks show and the DJ played "New York New York" since that is where they are living now.