Sunday, September 28, 2008


Sam is getting a new pair of glasses. She lost the ones she got last year, the ones that my friend and trusted opthomalogist prescribed. Sam seems to be following in my nearsighted footsteps, although she's just a fraction sight-impaired. Sam wants glasses more than she needs them.

Every year my girls and I sit and read through the eye chart, responding to a series of "Is this better or worses?" We recite the characters line after line...."E V O T... and A P L O 5..." Gee, I remember those same lines from when I was a kid.

I started wearing glasses in the second grade and now at the ripe age of cough, cough have graduated to a built in bifocal. As I rattle off the familiar sequence of letters and numbers, I am not sure if i am actually seeing the letters or filling in the right answers from memory. I wonder if that could be a problem in diagnosing a prescription, because my vision with glasses could, in fact, be more crisp.

The American Optometric Association recommends an eye exam every other year for adults with no risk, up until the age of 61, after which they recommend an annual exam. Why can't they just scramble the letters every other year, or issue a new set of charts or send something to download at a reasonable expense to doctor's offices. I welcome change.

Here's what Sam picked out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

wishful thinking

(as seen in Ft. Lauderdale)
Thought it read 'Clooney.'

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


On a recent Saturday I ordered a bundle of services from AT&T. Ten days later on the designated installation date, eager for hook up, the man who appeared to install the satellite Dish, told me, "I can't give you Dish. You face the wrong way." I had asked the woman who signed me up if my Eastern exposure was OK for dish. "No problem," she assured me, and she and I spent 1 1/2 hours planning my technological future which now looked grim.

Up until this point, my husband was the one who took care of this kind of this stuff. I was quite successful at pawning off this busy work which involved long phone calls and lots of patience. I called my husband to tell him what the guy said, and he casually tossed in an "I told you so," which I casually brushed off. I called AT&T to cancel the whole bundle. I looked at the boxes of equipment AT&T had sent to me; they got my name wrong twice in one order.

Desparate for reliable tv and internet service, plus a new home phone so my seven year old can talk to her friends, I got in my car and drove a few miles to the closest Comcast office. I had tried to retain Comcast before, and had been told my apartment was not serviceable. When it was my turn with the customer service rep, I heard it again, "Sorry. You are unserviceable."

(Rewind: I had been to the office several weeks prior, after hearing that the apartment was unservicable, to prove that I was a new renter who did not stiff them on a bill. I cleared my name and was told everything was cool)

"What makes me unserviceable? What does that mean -- unserviceable? And can I do anything to become serviceable again?"

"No. I don't know what to tell you." Debbracca(De-BRA-kuh)turned her computer screen around to me so i could see the big "X". She told me to take it up with the property owners.

I was frustrated and felt a lump starting to grow in my throat. Why was this so difficult? I left, sat in my car and called the property manager who said, "Let me talk to her."

I walked back into the Comcast center. Debbracca saw me and I know what she was thinking -- "troublemaker." When she was finished with her customer, she beckoned me over with her hand.

"Look, can you please talk to my property manager. She says there's nothing she can do. Unserviceability is not coming from her direction."

Debbracca shook her head and as I was waiting for "Miss, you're not hearing what I am telling you," I heard this instead, "OK, I'm gonna talk to my tech guy."

Long story, still long but not exceedingly so: I am now serviceable thanks to Debbracca's patience, Rich the tech supervisor's willingness to help, Tony who hooked me up today, and me, who was surprised at my own tenacity.


When I asked my husband to leave, I didn't know how it would feel down the road. I just knew that we had to separate at the time.
The first time something went down the wrong pipe and I coughed and coughed and it was hard to catch my breath, I realized that what was missing was someone who cared to whack me across the back and make sure I was o.k.
The first time I got scared in the middle of the night and wondered why someone was knocking on my door at 3 a.m., I realized that what i was missing was someone to put their arm around me and tell me it was just some idiot. Instead I lay for another 30 mins, eyes wide open, body tense, mind racing.
And the first time, I had to run an errand late at night and leave the kids alone, I realized that if something happened to me, the girls would be alone longer than they should be and very scared.
The first time I rushed out of my office/bedroom at 4 pm to pick up the girls, and left a ton of paperwork in piles on the floor, I realized that no one would come home in the interim, shake their head, and judge my mess. That was a completely liberating revelation, and I was smiling big time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

walk to beat cervical cancer

There's a walk for cervical cancer on Saturday September 13th, 8 am - noon, in New York City. Go to to sign up.

Friday, September 5, 2008


As I wait in long lines at Wal-Mart (yes, I know I shouldn't shop there, but I do) I am often entertained by those last minute items that catch my eye at check out.

Take the limited edition Sickers "Charged," for example. Just when i thought the Snickers bar was perfection they go and give it a caffeine upgrade. As if the chocolatey peanuty gooey confection didn't already perk me up in the afternoon, now i can get an even better buzz. And if that buzz still isn't quite strong enough for me, I have this great idea of dunking my Charged bar into a steamy Starbucks latte.

Around five o clock, when that buzz wears off, and I wish I was drinking wine and eating guac with friends, but instead I am shuttling the kids to activities and squeezing in last minute errands, I may have found just the ticket to ease my stress. Orbit's new Sangria gum may be the answer. I wonder whether the juicy goodness will relax the tightness in my shoulders or if the hint of lime tartness will boost my confidence just enough to drum up conversation with the cute guy in front of me that I'm pretending to not notice.

Should I buy it for my kids. They like fruit flavor. But on the risk of triggering some sort of addiction, I decide against it. I kind of don't want to hear my kids clamoring for some more Sangria.