Monthly Archives: September 2010

saved by the special font

when i think about ways to spend $27,600,000,  this just never crossed my mind.  i am wondering, is it just me?  is there anyone out there who knows someone who  was killed by capitals?

i usually write in all lower case but it has nothing to do with safety.  who knew it may be saving lives?

The Capital of the World is going lower-case.  Federal copy editors (federal copy editors?) are demanding the city change its 250,900 street signs — such as these for Perry Avenue in The Bronx — from the all-caps style used for more than a century to ones that capitalize only the first letters. (i wonder if this has anything to do with keeping the federal copy editors employed? how much $ does a federal copy editor make anyway? i should look into this for possible future employment.)

Changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives, the Federal Highway Administration contends in its updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, citing improved readability. really?

At $110 per sign, it will also cost the state $27.6 million, city officials said…

It appears e.e. cummings was right to eschew capital letters, federal officials explain.

Studies have shown that it is harder to read all-caps signs, and those extra milliseconds spent staring away from the road have been shown to increase the likelihood of accidents, particularly among older drivers, federal documents say.
The new regulations also require a change in font from the standard highway typeface to Clearview, which was specially developed for this purpose.
for further enlightenment, read full story:


i will try not to spend too much time today thinking about the federal officers reading e.e. cummings and federal documents that explain to them how a millisecond  may increase the likelihood of accidents in older drivers.  rather, i will focus on just doing my job trying to figure out how to get a mere $500k government grant to fund the research that will save the lives of the 24,000,000 people suffering from diabetes instead.

“changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives.”   hmmmm. . . .


“The sense of danger is never, perhaps, so fully apprehended as when the danger has been overcome.”
Arthur Helps


Ike Ditzenberger, Teen with Down Syndrome, Scores Football Touchdown!

By Kathryn Hawkins. Posted on September 28 2010

On Friday, the Snohomish, Washington football team were on the losing end of a game against opponents Lake Stevens, behind 35 to nothing. So the Snohomish coach decided to try a different tactic: the “Ike special.”

Ike Ditzenberger, a 17-year-old player with Down syndrome, was called out to the field. He would be given the chance to score a 51-yard touchdown—and, even though it would keep Lake Stevens from scoring a 35-0 defeat, the opposing football players were happy to give the teen a chance to score on the field. As he ran, they chased behind him, some falling to the ground. For Ike, the moment was pure magic.

Though Ike may not be the best player on the football team, he has a true passion for the sport, and is ecstatic when he has the opportunity to play. His coach, Mark Perry, tries to give Ike a chance to play for at least a few minutes in every game. “I make him a deal. ‘If you keep your shoulder pads on and your mouthpiece in, you’re going to get a play,’” he told the Everett Herald.

And while Ike couldn’t quite save the game for his team in this case, the joy on his face more than made up for the loss.

Watch the wonderful video of the “Ike special.”


“True happiness…is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Helen Keller

September 29, 1905

this is gram on her 80th birthday. today she would have been 105.  i still think about her every single day and always when i make my bed in the morning.

gram was a master bed maker. she used to let me think i was helping her make the beds at the lake house when i was a little kid.  i can still see her pulling the sheets up really tight after making the most perfect hospital corners at the bottom ends.  then gram would turn back the top  part of the sheet just the right amount and flatten it out  using several firm swipes of her hand  – then  tuck the sides real tight under the mattress.  you could easily bounce a quarter on any bed gram made.  next came the bedspread.  she would flip the bedspread high into the air and then center it perfectly onto the bed making sure it hung down on both sides exactly even, swiping her hands across the top of the bed again and again.  it never came out less than perfect.

gram was one of the kindest people i ever knew –  the kind of person you just wouldn’t ever want to disappoint.  that is why to this day, i can never put a pair of shoes on a table and why you could bounce a quarter on my bed.


happy birthday, gram.  i miss you –


“May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.”
– Irish Blessing

room with a view

“Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves by.”
– Saint Augustine

“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

yay for you!!

54 million dollar smile !

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: Once-broke single mom Garina Fearon wears a $54 million smile yesterday.

She’s been homeless, bankrupt, a robbery victim and assaulted on the job — but radiant Rikers Island guard Garina Fearon now has 54 million glorious reasons to start living la dolce vita.

The 34-year-old single mom from East New York, Brooklyn, who has endured a lifetime of hardship and poverty, told The Post she’s the mystery winner of last Friday’s Mega Millions drawing. . . .

Her top priority is taking care of her ailing mom.

“I’m from Jamaica,” Fearon said. “I have a sick mother. She has diabetes, and I’m going to buy my mom a house in Jamaica.”     f ull story

yay for garina!  i wish you well!!  good  front page news today.   🙂


“This moment deserves your full attention, for it will not pass your way again.”

bad cabbie!

A traffic jam of cabbies was herded into a Manhattan courtroom yesterday to face charges of cheating some 77,000 riders in the most “widespread con operation” in the industry’s history.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. hit 45 of them with the felony charge of scheming to defraud by charging the double-rate suburban fare for rides within the city — punishable by up to four years in prison.

Yesterday’s round-up began when drivers were lured into appearing at TLC headquarters at 40 Rector Street at 8 a.m. yesterday — until then, 31 had still been on the road. All 59 drivers knew they had been implicated in the overcharge scam, but the letter they received said they were there for “settlement conferences.”

When they arrived, authorities ushered them into a room, told them to stand against the wall, and arrested them.  🙂 “It’s not fair. It was tricky,” said Hassan Chowdhury, who allegedly stole nearly $6,000 by hitting the Rate 4 button 3,126 times.  tricky? “I would expect this from a Third World country, but not from a civilized country like this,” he fumed.   that’s funny.

read full story in the ny post


“Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not the wits enought to be honest”
– Benjamin Franklin

buses that can drive over traffic

Instead of spending millions to widen roads, a Chinese company has come up with a new futuristic bus design to counter traffic jams.

Enter the 3D Express Coach. Developed by the Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Company, the vehicle is able to carry up to 1,400 passengers at a go while reducing traffic jams by some 30 per cent.  full story


cool.  i wonder if they have a special ez pass.


“Inward calm cannot be maintained unless physical strength is constantly and intelligently replenished.”
– Buddha

september 20, 1941

your beauty is forever, sis.  happy birthday.

Make me an instrument of Thy peace

Where there is hatred, let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is error, the truth

Where there is doubt, the faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

And where there is sadness, joy

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled, as to console

To be understood, as to understand

To be loved as to love

For it is in giving that we receive

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life


we arrive on the planet for a great adventure. with each trip we will be great teachers to someone somewhere.   we will touch lives and change the paths for many people and we will have no idea when it’s happening. that is why we must always do our best and always be kind.  i don’t know why and i’m not sure how it works but i’m now clear on the rules.


“The arts provide recreation for the soul.”
– Linda Mayrose

sock season

it’s 52 degrees at 6:00 am.  the leaves are beginning to turn yellow.  it’s almost sock season and  roxy’s mom is sporting her fall fashions.  i spotted her wandering around the parking lot this morning in her flip flops, bifocals and extreme bed head with a full length, sky blue, fleece bathrobe covered in white clouds and a zipper front.


“Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade before the public. Never clothe them in vulgar or shoddy attire.”
George Crane

subtle differences

in the several months i’ve spent in suburbia, i’ve noticed some remarkable differences from life in nyc.  here are just a few:

1. in suburbia, they have hillbillies selling furniture door to door out of an 18 wheeler, similar to the one pictured below.  they ring your doorbell and claim they’ve driven all the way up from tennessee, or some place like that, to deliver a shipment of furniture to a store.  if you haven’t shut the door in their face (which most of the suburbanites would find just to rude to do – another subtle difference) they continue on with a story about arriving at the store only to be told the store did not have the money to pay for the shipment.  then they invite you to take a look at the contents in the truck.   no thank you.

2. when i took ivan to the vet, i saw an suv with a  horse trailer pulling out of the parking lot.  i never noticed that in the city.

3. baby deer pop out into the middle of the street all the time, every single day. and people are afraid to drive in the city??

4. in the city i could count on a friendly greeting and some small talk from at least 7 people on my 6:00 am walk with ivan.  in suburbia, so far i’ve seen bunnies big & small, cardinals, blue jays, deer, chip monks, squirrels & no people.

5. even the mice are different.  the mouse currently living in my kitchen only comes out at night – never to be seen.  the only evidence is mouse poop all over the kitchen counter.  i see it every single morning when i go in for my coffee. city mice know to poop on the floor.  they are also bold enough to walk around right out in the open – even walk right over your feet  (see rodents).

6. quarters.  in nj people treat quarters like they’re made of copper & nickel, which they are.  in ny, people treat quarters like gold.  in the city, all people who make under $150,000, need quarters for laundry and parking.  lots of quarters,  and we collect them whenever possible.  we pay with dollar bills when we have exact change, just to get quarters back.   it’s a bit disappointing when store clerks give back dimes and nickels  instead of quarters.

7. one could live in just about any neighborhood of the city and be within 2 or 3 blocks of organic cottage cheese.  in the suburbs it’s a 10 mile drive to a store that carries just 1 brand and it’s not even the kind you want.  there is no place that sells frozen yogurt. no pinkberry, not even a tasti-delite facsimile. no frozen yogurt – that’s it – none. you can’t get that here.

8.  there not a vegetarian restaurant within a 4 zip code radius.  (think –  white plains to the seaport)

9.  there is no delivery.  no one delivers anything. ever.

10. in the suburbs when you ask about finding a good restaurant, people often direct you to a strip mall.  i will not dine in a strip mall.


“I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.”
–  Willa Sibert Cather



good morning sunshine

morning sunshine*

“I think, what has this day brought me, and what have I given it?”
~Henry Moore

gotta love it to live it!

it’s true – you really have to have a huge love for nyc to put up with some of the hindrences.  unless of course you’re a gazillionaire – which is on my list of things to become before i die.

in the city it is not unusual for people to live in a glorified closet, and for that, the rental ad may read something like this: “giant one bedroom with huge closets! completely renovated in great neighborhood and rent stabilized – pets OK. $2,048.00 ”

they will never mention that it is really just one small room with a bathroom that you cannot use if you want to shut the door.  and the ad will never reference the roaches. ellen degeneres once did a show from nyc  and interviewed people who live in very small ny apartments. one girl told ellen that she could cook food on the stove while sitting on the toilet. she probably answered an ad like the one above.

on the internet you can look up reviews for specific buildings or management companies.  here is one right from a building just 4 doors down the block from my old place on e. 73rd st:

416 East 73rd Street:

This gem of an old-school New York tenement has it all !

here are the comments to this ad from some people who live in the building:

? Totally unpredictable hot water!!!
Enjoy creating exciting new and interesting shower choreography as you dance around and away from the sometimes-steady stream of “scalding-no-freezing-no-lukewarm-no-freezing-no-scalding” water. Fun for the whole family!

? Thoroughly unreliable heat!!!
Imagine the thrill of purchasing extra blankets AND a space heater just to make it through the night!

? Regular building-wide power outages!!!
No tenant should ever have to settle for the boredom of predictable electrical service — Enjoy your status as a frequent shopper at the candle store. BONUS: Pleasure abounds especially for the home-based businessperson looking for some variety (or a sponatneous break!) in the working day.

? Missing super!!!
Tenants benefit from a dedicated superintendent who maintains a slum-level professional demeanor while managing to not actually live on the premises or be available for city inspectors.

? Mold in the front hallway!!!
For those who think that they don’t have the time or energy to keep a houseplant, this building has you covered. Offering one (1) major leak per six (6) -month period, as well as the requisite “plaster and paint only when the city is called” service, residents enjoy a daily fix for their flora fetish. Just walk on in and “get-your-plant-on!”

? Loose tiles on the stairways!!!
Living on the edge requires total investment. Show your commitment to the cause by bringing a friend along to guide you as you carry your laundry down the stairs. Fun social time and good training — for your friend’s lookout skills as well as for your own ability to roll-through a fall!

? Faulty Front-Door Buzzer!!!
If you are the type who just loves to exasperate delivery people, a special treat — It can take upwards of four (4) attempts to buzz-in. Imagine their frustration as they HEAR the buzzer but don’t actually experience the OPENING of the door!

? Unmarked Floors!!!
Thrill to the confused sounds of your guests (or firemen, or emergency workers) as they overshoot your floor because it’s not marked! Floors are denoted with a letter, apartments with a number — “1F” would denote a sixth-floor apartment. It’s fun to play “Guess-which-floor-we’re-on”!

? Filthy floors!!!
It’s a known fact that peeling paint in hallways is much less distracting when it is not reflected in a too-shiny floor.

? Overflowing Trash Area!!!
Recycling is blissfully ignored in the common area — Tenants enjoy poor markings and unclear delineations for all types of materials to be recycled. Trashcans are left regularly to spill over — We take pride in our refuse in this building and we like to display it on the street!

response to above review:
Funny…. but sadly it’s true. I feel sorry for the lost delivery boys! How about the padlock on the basement door to keep the city inspectors out? Makes you wonder what is being hidden down there besides a boiler that doesn’t work properly!  At least the mice that frolick in the rubish in front of the building are being well fed.

read here

if your not from the city and you’re just not sure you believe this is really true, have a look at this video.
youtube video

still, i love it.



”I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.”
– W. C. Fields

(i actually know some very cool peeps in philly – but this quote made me laugh so hard i just had to use it – sorry april!)


there are just no words necessary


and if you’re an eel eater, please stop reading my blog.

thank you.


you many want to note this:

“In Spain, attempting to obtain a chicken salad sandwich, you wind up with a dish whose name, when you look it up in your Spanish-English dictionary, turns out to mean: Eel with big abscess.”
– Dave Barry


“We must be able to distinguish what is helpful and what is harmful. We need to practice Right View when we shop, cook, and eat,”
Thich Naht Hanh

peace to all


it’s still crystal clear in my mind.  i was personal training in 2001 and my days began at 4:30 am. i woke, showered, walked ivan and cabbed it uptown to make my first appointment at 6:00 then another at 7:15.  my 9:00 appointment had cancelled that day and i walked down park avenue from 89th street to my place on 55th and 1st, admiring the amazing blue color of the sky.

i had left the television on for Ivan who happily greeted me when i arrived home at several minutes before 9:00 am on september 11th, 2001.  as i walked through the living room i saw the tv showing the 1st tower on fire. i thought it must have been a movie.   i called my brother who worked right across the street from the wtc.  he assured me it was just an accident – a plane had accidentally hit the tower. instinctively i knew it couldn’t be right.  the sky was so clear, how could that happen?  as he described what to him looked like a ticker tape parade going on outside his window, i just knew this was more than an accident. i saw the 2nd plane on the television at the same instant my brother screamed “i’ve gotta go!” and hung up the phone.  it was 2 hours of the worst panic i’ve ever experienced before i heard from him again. he had made it to a ferry boat and was crossing the river heading for nj.  he attended 25 funerals in the following weeks.

i have never prayed so hard or cried so hard as i did on that day.

2 of my brothers who serve as volunteer fire fighters in nj came in to help with the rescue efforts along with thousands of others.


“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

8:46 am

tomorrow’s a new day

having nothing more exciting to do, today i looked up the lifespan of a bear.

32 years.

when i clicked on the link i got an added bonus and discovered that turkey buzzards live to be 118.

then i went to the library and rented a movie.  the girl with a dragon tattoo.  i just put it on and the audio is in swedish.   i will go to bed now and start over tomorrow.

i predict that if you clicked on that link you don’t live in nyc.


“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
Wayne Dyer

laugh daily

this blog is hysterical.


i’m still laughing from friday when i read this story.  back to work – – but 1st i will check on allie’s blog again.




“A laugh is a smile that bursts.”
– Mary H Waldrip


it seems like the end of summer is here. it was 52 degrees this morning. apparently i’m not the only one concerned about the lack of sunshine as the days begin to shorten.  here’s ivan storing some vitamin d for the months ahead.


“Love is like grass. If you fall on it, it may leave a stain and some temporary pain. But you’ll get over the pain, it will eventually stop hurting. Now maybe the stain ruined your favorite pair of jeans, or maybe it was nothing special that was ruined, but either way the stain remains there.”
– unknown

a particularly nice outfit

for this labor day weekend!


did you know that the first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City?  it became a federal holiday in 1894.


“The work of volunteers impacts on all our lives, even if we are not aware of it.”
Anthony Worrall-Thompson



“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed…It feels an impulsion…this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.”
–  Richard Bach

hurricane hysteria?

it’s on every channel! it’s headline news!

very interesting how the weather people can find so much to say about something that has yet to happen.  they do it with blizzards a lot too.

i wonder if the peeps from the post are over reacting. here’s what they have to say:

“Hamptonites thought they’d be preparing for the end of summer — instead, they’re preparing for the end of the world.
Hurricane hysteria gripped the East End yesterday as Hurricane Earl barreled up the coast and threatened to crash the Labor Day weekend bash with brutal, tropical-storm-force winds.”

preparing for the end of the world?  wow – i better call tracey and see what her plans are.  she spends most weekends at her place out east – i would hate to see her waste the weekend preparing for the end of the world.


“Just living is not enough… One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
–  Hans Christian Andersen