And now for some "light" entertainment

Get it? Light entertainment?

There is no lack of decorated tree in this city .. indoors







Or out





And then there's celebrating without trees but still well lit






And of course, the Nutcracker

Its Practically the Weekend

For some of you Saturday and Sunday are just another day or two following Friday.

For others its a reprieve from the same old same old; getting up early going to work or getting up early to get the kids off to school or even getting up and working at home.. whatever.

To me it means two days of self indulgence and pampering between errands I can't get done after working all day.

I still get up at the same time because we have one cat who gets his meds at 7, the other doesn't think weekends or days off mean a later breakfast. Try ignoring a little ball of fluff with a tongue like sandpaper.

Husband works at home and sleeps in so all my mornings are sort of quiet with the comforting background sound of news on the TV to punctuate my routine of waking, making coffee, feeding the ever under-foot Rose, giving the front page a scan while bringing in the paper, checking emails, and of course the Gaggle, showering, doing my teeth AND my face then dressing and racing out the door in time to catch that bus.

But come Saturday morning I can take all the time I want as long as I can walk out the door by 9:30 to get to the first of my ritual beautifications by 9:45.

Its a tough life but someone's got to do it.

Sundays as some of you have learned is GreenFlea (not to be confused with that annoying Greenlee) and usually coffee or brunch with my friend Wendy.

This time of year is holiday shopping time. I head off to the stores with my friend Donna; some years we have done our shopping in the small shops of Connecticut towns like Litchfield, New Preston, or New Milford even venturing up to Great Barrington.

While I've been running round town in pursuit of this gift or that I've taken some photos of the holiday decorations and while this has nothing to do with where I started this entry its an excellent example of how I can turn a simple statement into a long story with much digression.

So come back later and I’ll share some of the fun holiday lights and decorations (I forgot the damn camera USB)

Morning Ride



Its an interesting ride in the morning on the M104 .. the bus, which I 'catch' at 79th St., rarely crowded, almost always arrives at 79th St at the same time .. 7 ayem-ish .. if it's early (meaning before I get to the stop) then I must wait for the next bus which comes along after the empty bus which reads NOT IN SERVICE and speeds by.

Almost every morning this woman gets off at 79th St. She stands in the doorway waiting for the bus to stop then she steps off s-l-o-w-l-y does she know this pisses me off? Get off so I can get on, dammit.

I always sit in the same spot unless someone else is in my seat. I like sitting back facing the exit door because once the heat is on you can suffocate .. sitting opposite the exit door means every few blocks someone gets off and the door opens letting in icy refreshingly unheated air.

At 67th St. there's an Asian woman who gets off. She waits til the bus stops then scrambles to get her things together; usually she's been eating a muffin, so she must wrap it up, grab her backpack any other packages she's got with her and then she literally runs for the door. Every morning I sit there watching wondering why she doesn't get herself together before she gets to her stop.

At 60th St. there's the man with the orthopedic aprés surgery shoe and the crutches. He limps slowly, pathetically from the bus stop onto the bus. He pauses as he gets in, leans back against the guard rail by the driver's seat, props his crutches and begins to look for his Metrocard .. sometimes the driver, in annoyance, closes the doors and begins to pull away from the stop leaving the man to stagger to a seat. I wonder if the driver wonders if the man will fall. I do.

Then there's the woman who gets on at 57th St. She must bath in Shalimar because even if I am reading with my head down, unaware of where we are, I can tell she's getting on the bus because the Shalimar precedes her. And I always begin to cough. I wonder if she knows I cough because she is polluting the air.

There used to be a bus stop at 44th St./Broadway where I got off and crossed over to get coffee at Starbucks on the corner at 43rd St. but one morning about 6 months ago the stop was discontinued. I won't bore you with the story of how I wrote to the MTA to ask WHY and got the stupidest response.

The ride takes me about 20 minutes and this time of year I don't read, I listen to my iPod Shuffle and look at the changing sky, the holiday decorations or I invent imaginary lives for the people who ride along with me.

WTF?

Apologies to all my faithful readers .. apparently Google ate all the photos and left behind those rude red Xs ... good news is its not just my blog.. its a Google Blog Epidemic!

NEVERMIND ...

Lost OR Found

I was on my way to meet a friend on Saturday afternoon and as I waited on the corner of 79th/Broadway I looked down and saw these black bras in the crosswalk .. I snapped a photo and wondered if they'd been lost or tossed and why .. later in the evening recounting this to husband I decided to share that photo and some others I have taken which always make me wonder .. are they lost .. or found ..













MORNING AFTER ..

The only reason I am up is because my tummy insisted.

I really wanted to sleep in.

At 3ish I woke because I heard this 
noise I couldn't place. Husband, of course, was sound asleep. I sat 
up and listened. Yup.. a strange sort of .. well I can't describe it without 
telling you what it WAS .. it was Rosie with the leg bone of the 
Tandoori chicken my sister had for dinner.

She was sitting on the floor 
at the foot of the bed licking/gnawing the chicken bone.  I got up, took it 
away from her and went into the kitchen where the garbage can was 
overturned. Empty food containers and some food (clearly 
NOT things she wanted) were strew on the floor (its a good thing our 
kitchen is small .. ).  I cleaned it up and tied the top of the 
garbage bag (someone should have emptied it during halftime) and then 
looked around the living room. Gus was all innocent perched on 
the back of the couch. I found pieces of chicken bones on the 
floor near husband's desk too. I was more worried she could have 
swallowed a bone and choked than that she made a mess but it was 3 a.m. and lecturing cats does no good so I went back to sleep.

I swear at times its worse than having kids.

Other than the Tandoori Chicken incident we had a really nice day, 
though my sister coming over at 6:30 caused me to be so hungry I ate too 
much.

Indigo, my favorite Indian restaurant, was closed so I ordered from another called Earthen Oven. 
 They cook with a lot more spices and specialize in curries which is a good thing, but different than the style of cooking at Indigo, not bad different .. and while I love 
spice, I like the Indigo version of Baingan Bharta (fire roasted 
eggplant) better .. we had that, Vegetable Biriyani (rice w/ 
veggies), Palak Paneer (creamy spinach w/cubes of cheese) and Garlic 
Nan which would have put my mother's overuse of garlic to shame. 
Washed it all down with almost the whole bottle of Malbec; then 
after a brief respite of chat we had warm Sour Cream Walnut Apple 
pie from The Little Pie Company.. oooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Is it any wonder my tummy is rebelling?




Leftovers? Anyone?

LOONS! BIG LOONS!

Every year I want to go to W. 77 Street to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons be inflated. It almost always rains or its freezing cold ... one year the husband and I went in the rain. Pictures werent very good.

Once I worked for someone who lived in 6 West 77 .. there was a party every year, one year I got a couple of memorable pix:







This year my cousin Erica, who along with her awesome husband Ben, a pilot in the Air Force, was going to be in town. They have an adorable two year old, Alexandra, and wanted her to see the balloons .. as she told me: BIG LOONS!

Erica, Ben and Alex trained in from the 'burbs meeting me on 79 St/Broadway at 7 pm. whereI was astonished to see the streets filled with people... with children .. more people than I have ever seen on Broadway on a winter night ... we walked along Broadway to W. 77 St with a zillion others .. between Amsterdam and Columbus we passed a Mini Cooper belonging to The Big Apple Circus where little balloon animals were being blown/twisted into animal shapes for kids.



It was then I discovered my night setting sucked. Photos were coming out streaky and blurred.. Ben, bless his heart, showed me how to cheat the ISO, so now all we needed was to be able to see the balloons.

Ben wondered if showing his Air Force ID would get us closer .. not only did it get us closer, the police let us walk down 77th across from where the rest of the zillions of people were slowly moving en mass on the Museum side of the street.






When Alex reached out wanting to touch a BIG LOON, one of the policemen offered to walk her over so she could .. and she did.. of course there was very little light so its a badly blurred photo but still ..




















It was a truly magical experience .. when Alex saw a few older kids with balloons on strings she wanted one; we asked where they'd gotten them and were told at a restaurant near by .. as we were discussing if we should go see if we could get her one, a man with a little boy holding 2 offered us one..



And I got some quasi nice shots of the BIG LOONS.. and met some really nice cops!

Tilting Windmills



After months, okay 2 months, of haggling and hassling with the PITA that is my Medical Flex Spending account overseer I spoke to someone who actually can think.

She reviewed the paperwork (I have submitted twice on 'Claim Verification' forms only to be told they need to be submitted on 'Pay Me Back' forms. HUH? Do these people think I opted for one form over the other because I felt like it? NOOOOOOOOOO. I was told which form to use by these PITAs. Clearly they think this money is their's .. hello .. its MINE .. my Pre-Tax dollars at work to reimburse me for medical spending the other PITA Aetna doesn't cover partly or completely.) and will be sending me a check.

I guess this Windmill Tilter can take the rest of the day off .

Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like (pick your own holiday, insert it here):

I was on both the East AND West sides today and I have to say Eastsiders you aren't decorating enough .. except for the windows at Bergdorf the place looked like .. any other time of year ..



Here's how the Westside is dressing up