Monthly Archives: February 2011

happy day, peter!

celebrating today!  i hope you are too – happy birthday, peter!!


“You want life to be easy?  Go the the cemetery and lie
down, then life is really easy. Other than that life is a blessing and a test.”
– Peter

the search begins

today was day one of the “official” search for a new apartment in the city.  very exciting.  until i saw the available apartments, that is.   i did meet with a broker last week and saw 1 place — only problem was that she mistook the closet for a bedroom.  i gave the broker a list of  ‘must haves’ and we agreed to meet today and start over.  my list includes a minimum 500 sq. foot apartment with at least 2 closets, a bedroom that will fit my queen size bed, and it must be on the first or second floor – unless  it has an elevator, which would be unlikely considering my budget of $1700.  i explained that ivan was nearing 12 years old and i was unwilling to carry a 70 lb dog up more than 1 set of stairs in the event he got sick or injured.

the first 3 places were in a complex  as far away from the 4,5, & 6 trains as you can get & still be on the east side and in manhattan.  they were east of york ave and unless you’re wealthy enough to live in one of the lux apartments on east end ave & can afford to cab it all over town, you might as well live in hoboken where at least you could get an apartment with a bedroom that actually fits a bed for $1750 a month.  the first one was on the 3rd floor of a walk-up.  i reminded her that the list i gave to her stated that the apartment must be on the first or 2nd floor to which she replied ” oh, i thought you meant 2 flights up”.

the fourth apartment was on 86th near 3rd.  it had an elevator.  on the walk up 2nd avenue the broker explained to me that this apartment was an exceptional bargain at $1700.  if i wanted the place it would require a $350 deposit, $75 application fee $1700 broker fee, $1700 first months rent, another $1700 security deposit and a $300 move in fee that would be refunded upon lease termination if i did not bang up any of the walls on my way in or out of the building.    the apartment was being renovated but would be ready for march 1st move in.  march 1st is 2 days from today.

here is the living room.                              and the bedroom.


* kitchen                                                                bath room



luckily i know that the perfect place is out there and waiting – and tomorrow is another day.


“I think of it as an opportunity to find out how much money means to me, she said. So far, it means a lot more than I think is probably healthy.”
– Storypeople

truth: next exit

“There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself – an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.”
– Antisthenes


source: The School of Practical Philosophy

a day at the beach

yesterday i spent a good part of the day trudging around the city in freezing cold lousy weather looking for an apartment.  i completely forgot about my “happy, happy, joy, joy”  mantra i intended to remember and focused on my swollen feet instead.  i thought i was having a bad day –  then i read this:

The man crushed under an 8,000-pound police SUV on a Long Island beach last May doesn’t understand why he still can’t get his hands on the police report nine months later. . . .

Starkman  . . .  told The Post he was enjoying a day off last May 26 by sunning himself face-up on Long Beach, relaxing in a chaise longue with a cooler and a radio set to a sports station.

“The next thing I realized, I’m hit by this thing. It all happened so fast,” said a tearful Starkman, 44. “It was like the hand of God. I had no idea what happened.”

Witnesses immediately yelled to Long Beach Officer Paul DeMarco to stop — that he was running over a person — but DeMarco did not see Starkman or hear the shouts.  full story

“happy, happy, joy joy!”


“I do it for the joy it brings, cause I’m a joyful girl. ‘Cause the world owes us nothing, we owe each other the world.”
- Ani Difranco

happy happy joy joy

oh the joys of finding an apartment in the city.   “happy, happy, joy, joy”  that will be my new mantra for the next couple of weeks no matter what anybody says to me.

i haven’t yet viewed an available apartment – mostly because all the advertised apartments are just illusions.  out of the hundreds of apartments i see on craigslist and various other sites, only several actually exist.  the others are already rented despite the advertisement that is 10 minutes old.  but generally the person i call in response to the ad has “many others” they can show me.  so why don’t they advertise those instead?  also, since when is 124th street  considered ‘the upper east side’?    happy, happy, joy, joy. . .

in an effort to remain calm i have to decided to e-mail rather than call these peeps.  i made a list of requirements for the apartment i am looking for and asked that they contact me if they have a listing that meets all the criteria.  here are 2 of the responses i’ve received so far:

this e-mail was sent on wednesday to a person named jim who advertised a 1 bedroom on craigslist:

$1630 / 1br – 76th/Lex
Can I see this apartment Thurs. after 3:30 sometime?


on thursday, jim responded:

I’m sorry I,m jammes up. We will be showing tomorrow around 12-2. Are u available?

i did not respond.  on friday,  jim suffered an apparent memory loss and responded to my initial e-mail again:

Yes, please call me to confirm.

i wrote back this time:

I meant Thursday as in yesterday.


jim’s reply:

ok, IO can meet you in the morning before 12 to view. Sorry for that.

i went back to my first e-mail to jim which included the link to the apartment he advertised on craigslist to see if it was really worth having to deal with him and the page said that the ad had been “removed by the author”.  so i e-mailed jim:

The posting is gone from Craigslist – Was the apt. rented?


in response, jim wrote:

Still available. People get robbed & killed on We hate it, it should be shut down. U r too young.


here is another exchange with an agent who advertised on craigslist:

Is this a walk-up building?  If so, what floor?

I’m looking to move in March.  This is what I’m looking for:
No Fee, 1st or 2nd Floor or elevator , Dogs allowed, Queen sized  Bedroom,  Good Light,  Cable ready,  Heat / Hot water  included,  2 closet  minimum,  Laundry in building,  Below 100th St,  500 + sq. feet,  $1700 max

Please let me know if you have anything I can see that fits. If so, would you e-mail me & let me know?

Thank you,

from Sam<>
to laurie@xxxxx
date Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 11:08 AM
subject RE: Apartment wanted :)
ha me to


“happy, happy, joy, joy.”
– cags


horse secrets


“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
– Dr. Seuss

in lieu of dental benefits

my boss gave me tickets to the westminster dog show yesterday.  i went with my friend amen-ra,  which is the name he was given by his parents  -  it means ‘sun god’  in egyptian.   sometimes i just call him sun god.  here are some of this years contestants:






not surprisingly, the winner was the same as last year.  take a look at the one who captured the hearts of the judges:  2010 westminster:*



“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
– Groucho Marx

high voltage alert

i have some kind of strange electronic disorder.  you can read a little bit about it in a recent post i wrote here.  it has not subsided even a little.

recently i gave a talk at won temple which was video taped for the website. 2 days later the temple monk e-mailed to inform me that she had no idea what could have happened, but the video camera broke and my talk was not recorded.  she asked if i would be willing to come back and do it over in front of the camera?  how do you explain to a  monk that it has nothing to do with the camera.  i don’t know if boilers count as electronic devices, but right around this time my boiler broke too.

for the 3rd time since november, my itunes crashed completely.

on saturday i had a podcast interview scheduled.  when the interviewer called to begin the interview she was surprised to find that her recording equipment was not working.  she called me back 3 times to start over and each time the equipment failed.  since i don’t know her that well i kept quiet and resisted the urge to tell her she should simply pick another person to interview and her problems would be solved.   we rescheduled for sunday.

as i  left to drive into the city for temple i noticed the time on the clock in my car read  52.  the time remained 52 all the way into the city but fixed itself before my drive home in the afternoon.

this morning when i woke i turned on the lights over the vanity on my way into the bathroom.  with a very loud crackling noise, they all  blew out.  since i changed all 4 light bulbs less than 3 weeks ago, it must have been a blown fuse.  i probably shouldn’t attempt to deal with the fuse box – at least until after i meditate.

the cable box  clock in the living room which read 1000 again yesterday displays no time at all.  today it says “hold” – a clear sign that i made the right choice about meditating first.  (note: the living room & bathroom lights are on 2 completely  different fuses)

after meditating, i walked ivan. we arrived home to find all 4 light bulbs  on in the bathroom.  on my way out of the bedroom i noticed my alarm clock which  was working just fine when i woke an hour earlier, now reads 100.  not 1:00,   –    100.  i don’t attempt to reset it because i think i will just wait & see what it may do on it’s own.   i will check my e-mail instead.  once online, i see a giant banner across the top of the screen of my laptop informing me that my “shockwave plug-in has crashed”.

i should make every attempt today to avoid people who may have a pacemaker.


“One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering.
- Dalai Lama

mighty man

there is just one thing i will miss in nj and that is my good friend mighty man.  mighty man lives on a beautiful horse farm on river road with zillions of other amazing animals including a fox and 2 border collies not pictured in my river road photo album.  he is the funniest horse on the planet.  he’s generally way back in the far corner of his field snacking on a huge pile of hay when i arrive.  as soon as he sees my car coming down the dirt road he gets all excited and stomps his feet.  he waits for me to get out of the car and climb the small hill up to his fence.  he knows i have carrots for him.  we stare at each other for a while.  he always  waits for me to call him over.  i ready my camera, brace myself and call his name (which i made up, but he seems to like).  he begins to trot and then speeds up to a full gallop and i’m never sure he’s not going to break right through the fence and run me over.  here he is coming over to visit:


he has an enormous personality  - he’s more like a dog than a horse.  he’s also a giant ham and he loves the camera.  here are just some of his recent poses:








i plan to continue visiting mighty man even after i move, but i will miss seeing him almost every day.   i will still dream about riding him one day.

“One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.
Henry Louis Mencken

just one question . . .

i want to know what’s at the end of the universe.



“I’m only a four-dimensional creature. Haven’t got a clue how to visualise infinity. Even Einstein hadn’t. I know because I asked him.
– Patrick Moore