Sunday, March 31, 2013


We were invited to spend Easter with our North Carolina friends and we brought Jade Dumplings and candy-light goodies:

The mustaches were a hit:

With kids of all ages:

Especially when you use multiple ones!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Family Math Night

Last night the girl and I went to Family Math Night at her school:

It was a fun family event where they served a nice hot dog dinner, followed by a little math competition where you got to solve various math problems, like this one:

The teacher graciously gave me a thumbs-up when I handed in the correct answer.  It was also nice to walk the halls of the school a bit and see the girl's artwork hanging:

There was also some cute math-themed performances like this dance and song these girls did about mathematical slopes to the tune of Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts":

And then, the grade that brought the most participants to Family Math Night would get to pie a math teacher and the vice principal.  To the 6th grade kids who brought in the most folks, this was definitely the highlight of the night.

For me, it was solving those math problems--I still got it, people!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What I missed while I was gone

While I was up in NJ/NY for 3 weeks, I missed the arrival of this cutie on February 21:

Also the girl played in the District Honor's Orchestra and performed a unique "solo" where the first chairs of violin, viola, and cello played a piece entitled "One Bow" where they had to share (take turns using) a single bow to play the piece:

Needless to say, I wish I was there for these events, but I'm sure there will be great events to look forward to in the future.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

So Long New York/New Jersey

As my 14 hour train ride back south started, I snapped a few Hipstamatics as I left wintry New York and New Jersey:

Though it was real cozy inside the train with my lovely Dunkin Donuts coffee and bagel!

Or maybe too cozy with a seat partner who refused to put her luggage (or any of her other loose bags) in the rack overhead (despite my multiple offers) and liked to wedge her big purse between us:

Oh well, good thing I had multiple naps to keep me occupied.

Leave the place crawling

In my final days in NJ/NY (after 3 weeks), another trip to the ER (which resulted in another stay) for my mom--though I have to say, this hospital has a sweet setup with a nice place for me to set up my laptop within sight of my mom. Kind of cozy, right?

I got to shovel a bit of snow:

Got to meet up with a wonderful friend from SoCal visiting her daughter in New York.  They sweetly invited me to join them for post-show dinner after they saw the Broadway show "Once" (which they loved):

And then I took them to a bar where my BIL's brother's was tending bar:

And folks, we stayed until it shut down at 4AM. I was due to take an Amtrak train 7 hours later, around 11am (and of course, first had to go back to my sister's in Brooklyn--where the two trains back got me there around 5:30AM) which made for a bit of rough travel, but it was soooo worth it to see my lovely friend and her equally lovely daughters and their friends!

Great way to cap off this trip!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Benefit for John Dolan

Through my friend Dean, I heard about a fundraiser to help John Dolan after he was attacked with a baseball bat.  I don't know John personally (though I might have seen him when he was in Wighat, decades ago) but I'm miserably familiar with the financial stresses that come with major medical care of a loved one.  And for what it's worth, John's case is a doozy.  Besides that he literally had his neck broken and skull split open with a baseball bat, he was between jobs at the time of the attack and has neither a job, unemployment benefits, nor insurance during this nightmare.

I have to say that even with insurance, it's amazing how much the stuff that isn't covered adds up and can become overwhelming to the point of tears.  I can only imagine how devastatingly staggering it must be when there is no insurance. And frankly, just as stressful, there are the usual expenses that still need to be covered--rent, food, utilities to name the basic few. Remember when I said I was tired of complaining? Well, this is clearly an opportunity to be a part of light and hope for someone who is mired in darkness and despair right now.  If this speaks to you, I hope you'll consider contributing to John Dolan too. If you take the time to read the story posted by his sister, John Dolan has a long road ahead in terms of recovering from such a violent attack.  I don't think my small donation alone would alleviate the the financial burden of his long recovery but I know collectively, we can help ease some of that pain and provide light, encouragement, and hope for John and his family.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

HIghlight in Park Slope: Most Adorable Hider

When my nephew went off hiding, I had to give him 4 stars for being the most adorable hider:

Though his satisfaction at revealing himself after such a great hide is pretty darn cute too.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Highlight of Union Square: Time Machine pix with Dan

I headed into Manhattan and met up with Dan for coffee in his nabe, at Union Square's Coffee Shop.

To go along with the Time Machine theme, here's that July 4th Freedom Cooler pic of us in 1996:

And here we are nearly 20 years later:

As always, I had a great time catching up with Dan.  He produces, directs, and edit documentary-style shows (like A&E's Parking Wars), and I'm really looking forward to his next series--though I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Criminal Defense would get the green light again.  He was telling me about a lecture he recently gave on documentary film-making and his highlights were character, story, and access.  The first two were fairly obvious and self-explanatory to me, but I really appreciated articulating "access"--as in, access to information that isn't typically available.  To me that really is the part that grips me--I think that's why I enjoy reading biographies a lot--sharing the background, history, and behind-the-scenes that illuminates a person's character.

I also appreciate that as a documentarian, he is down with taking pictures and composing them well.  I loved that he was talking about "framing this selfie" to include the Coffee Shop.  I totally love the composition!

I did a little walking afterwards and came upon what used to be a dance club called The Limelight.  I remember going there a couple times in the early 90s (no, I never saw Michael Alig):

And now it is this:

Limelight Marketplace.   Sigh.  Now I feel old.

Highlight of Fort Greene: Time Machine pix with Dean

Lucked out and was able to catch up with my friend Dean in his neck of Brooklyn, Fort Greene.  Wildly, at my mom's house, I found this pic of us before I met up with him.  This pic is about 20 years old which I can only tell because my sister was clearly still in high school (or junior high?):

And here we are over 20 years later:

Totally appreciate he was up for my fave photo theme, Funny Face. It was really great catching up with him and kvetching about our first world problems. Plus I got to meet his friend Mariko with her dog who was born deaf and with one eye. He was ridiculously cute and very devoted to her.

See what I mean? So cute.

Highlight of Tribeca: Time Machine pix with Mike and Tom

Got to hang out with Mike and Tom last weekend as well, so to continue my Time Machine pix series, I pulled up this old pic from over 20 years ago:

Though the three of us originally got together again last St. Pat's, it's always good to see these guys again.  This is us nearly 25 years later (and obviously for me, a strong cocktail later as well):

We had a great time catching up at Authentic Bar B Flat where they make great creative cocktails--a lot with a Japanese twist. I had a Shiso Mojito, where instead of mint, it was shiso leaves instead. Unique and still refreshing. Looking forward to trying a new one next time--

Highlight of Sunnyside: Time Machine Pix with Dec

I was lucky to meet up with this lovely family in Queens:

And we tried out a Korean restaurant called Natural Tofu.  It started with a great cold radish soup:

And of course, my favorite part--the ban chan (side dishes)!

But the best part was digging up this old picture of Dec and me from over a dozen years ago:

And bless Dec for having the good humor to recreate it with me!

Adorable toddler into a handsome teen, right?

I really feel time flying when the kids are growing up so fast!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Funny Face!

One of my very favorite activities with my nephew is making funny face pictures with him:

Working on it with his little sister:

Though she's not quite there:

But I'll give it some time. In the meantime, she makes up for it with cute cupcake-butt pants: