Saturday, June 28, 2014

Yes, I Chart my TV Shows

It's interesting how television has evolved through the decades. From only one snowy channel to innovative and interesting cable programming. In fact there are so many shows I like to watch that I keep a seasonal chart of what's on and what day they are shown. The best part is that if I miss a show, which invariably I do,  since some of my favorites are on at the same time, I can stream them on my computer the next day, or purchase a commercial free version at Amazon.

And yes, I know we are mad at Amazon, because of it's heavy handedness with one particular publishing house, but I still use Amazon, when its better for me...Oy my younger son says I'm being selfish. I can't wait until he passes the collegeman self-righteous stage of life. But I did buy him a membership to Barnes and Noble so he can buy his books for school from there instead of Amazon. Interestingly, I had to buy the latest Robert Galbraith in paper form from B&N too since Amazon didn't seem able to carry it. It had been years since I read a hardcover book instead of on my Kindle. I had forgotten the sensation. Meanwhile, I downloaded the Nook app to my iPad mini. Just in case I had to join the boycott of Amazon in favor of another author I liked. I also plan to order some  magazines on it too. Might as well...right?

R&I is shorthand for RIzzoli and Isles; Notice the politically incorrect Tyrant...can't stand the yahoos who think its Islamaphobic, don't these dolts actually watch the news?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Night Music

For those young at heart, and old enough to have danced to the Bee Gees and disco....




Saturday Night Fever was the hit movie and John Travolta became a household name.....





Did you see the cameo of Fran Drescher?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Terminal City by Linda Fairstein

Linda Fairstein's newest ADA Alex Cooper novel is a fun, edge-of-your-seat story filled with little bits of politics, law, human frailty and alot of New York City history. Terminal City is simply the latest in a long line of great reads filled with the  mysterious twists and turns of a good book. To anyone who has been reading the exploits of ADA Cooper, the list of characters here are quite familiar. Certainly there is Alex, the brilliant assistant district attorney, head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, paired up with her erstwhile companions, our two favorite police detectives, Mike Chapman, and Mercer Wallace.

The book begins as a hunt for a serial killer who has decided to announce himself in one of New York City's oldest and most distinguished hotels, which, by the way, is about to receive a visit from POTUS. Throw in a nod to the cannibal cop case, replete with smarmy legal aide attorneys, the misplaced loyalty of that thin-blue-line, a criminal judge just getting his feet wet on the bench, and you have yourself some very exciting and interesting legal juxtaposing. A command performance with the City's new mayor also comes as a bit of a surprise to everyone involved, and only adds fuel to an already creepy fire. Meanwhile, in the middle of wrangling the evil that haunts our streets, Alex has to deal with her own personalized member of Satan's legion in the guise of Raymond Tanner, the escaped  serial rapist/sadist from her last novel, who seems to run quite under the radar and stalks Alex's life.

However, in this novel the central character is not really the latest madman to run afoul of our legal trio, but it is a building of old great stature. A building imbued with the dreams, hopes and fears of all who pass through her on a daily basis. She brings forth excitement, promise and trepidations of the unknown. Your breath catches when you see it from the train window. Grand Central Terminal is the eye in the storm that is New York City.

Whenever a person thinks of New York City, humanity's civilized brilliance comes to mind. Individuals marvel at the amazing creativity that comes from a people that could erect a City filled with such wondrous examples of living concrete and steel. The forethought and prescience needed to shepherd a City to this level of greatness bespeaks minds not beholden to the rules and formalities of any era. It is New York City's ability to exemplify the grandeur of the old and incorporate the best of the New World that typifies it's way of life. Grand Central Terminal is a  testament to the planning of those who built New York into the center of finance, art and culture that it is today. Grand Central Terminal is a symbol of American ingenuity and bravado. Yet New York City is a funny place; there people take pains to honor the greatness that is modern civilization, while simultaneously dealing with, and at times ignoring, all the evils that haunt humanity.

Grand Central is the story. It also just so happens  that our legal trio find a murderer living in its bowels.  Grand Central becomes the scene of murder, insanity and the boogeyman of our nightmares. And as our protagonists delve into murder and mayhem you travel through the history of Grand Central. You learn to understand her secrets, her charm and the pull of her aura. You understand how and why Grand Central means so much to so many. This story is as much about the lengths that humanity goes to in order to preserve all that is good and unique about our world, as it is about those that would destroy that which we hold most dear. Parallel worlds that come to an apex on a clear-see-through walkway at the top of one of America's premier symbols.

This book is a terrific read. Take it with you to the pool, the beach, the country.  It will stay with you. In fact, I bet, the next time you walk through Grand Central Terminal you will definitely spend alot of time looking around and trying to figure out her secrets. I know I will.

"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to the mayor of New York City in 1975, upon learning of plans to demolish the majestic Grand Central Terminal. (p.377)



My other reviews of Linda Fairstein's novels:
Night Watch 
Death Angel


Elise
Note: I was given a copy of this book to review.

SALE Shopping and the Joy of the Deal

Or what they tell you is a deal. You really never know. I also find it really hard to believe that the stores and the manufacturers are not making any money on your purchases. That just goes to show you, that there has to be an incredible markup on products if the stores can sell items at 50% off and still make money. Or could it be better for the store to take a business loss, offset its gains and abracadabra, these billion dollar businesses end up paying no taxes.

Either way I have been having fun perusing the online sales. Everyone has them right now. Of course, my focus has been on the handbags (yeah I know I could use some psycho therapy for my obsessions, but retail therapy is alot more fun). There are actually some bags being sold for 70% off. Now, there are reasons for that too...they can be ugly. However, if you have had your eye on a swanky designer bag, the one you like just might be on sale. Well, it might not be the exact one you wanted, but it might be close. Even your perennial favorites like  Coach, Rebecca Minkoff and Michael Kors have been on sale. It pays to check it out.

Don't be afraid to shop the big named retail stores too. They are all having sales: Net-a-Porter, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Lord and Taylor, Landsend..

The boutiques stores too are trying to rid themselves of their spring and summer goods as well. Best part is if the clothes fit, its perfect for today. Anthropologie....

Athletic product lines are also having huge sales. Champion, Modells, Sports Authority

Remember come July 4th the stores turn towards Fall and everything turns to falling leaves and Halloween displays start appearing. Scary thing though is when the Christmas lights come out in August.

But until that time...have fun.


Elise

Just a little note: If you can't find what you want on sale at a big store, try the product makers website. Sometimes they have sales when merchants don't and vis-a-versa.

FYI: I receive nothing for linking to any of these stores. I'm just passing on what I found out on my own.







Thursday, June 19, 2014

Suddenly....you have to think about heart disease

All of a sudden you have to start seeing a cardiologist. Then because your cholesterol is up, then down, then up again, they insist on putting you on lipitor or some other cholesterol lowering drug. Now you eat right, exercise and only cheat once in a while on your diet. But apparently it's really not enough. You also  have a family history where the women, once they hit menopause and that estrogen stops inserting itself into your body, the bad cholesterol decides to have a mind of its own.

I suppose I should be thankful for the drug. Hubby's doctor actually put him on  a "preventative" statin since he was in his late 30s. His father died very young from heart disease. Yes family history plays a role in how you are treated too, not just your blood work.

In truth heart disease is the number one killer of women in the USA. Many people think it's breast cancer, but that killer is down the list. Sadly, heart disease in women is generally ignored and since women don't exhibit symptoms like a man (of course) doctors tend to overlook what is really happening with them. So do go to a cardiologist. Get your cholesterol checked and make sure that you stay healthy.

As for me. I am not looking forward to taking a pill. My mother and grandmother had side-effects from the statins, which were so bad that they stopped taking the drug. But my father took statins with no problem. So maybe it might be a good thing. I have no need to be sick from meds, but you don't know if you can tolerate the medicine until you take it.

Honestly, these doctors give you a pill to save you and it's that pill which kills you. So not happy right now. But I'll keep everyone posted.

Heart disease info from the Mayo Clinic. 
National Institutes of Health
American Heart Association- Go Red for Women 


P.S. Doctor just called and because my carotid artery study was very good, and that I am overwhelmingly healthy, the doctor said to just keep everything up, watch my diet just a little better and then we will see what my blood says in a year. So no pill right now. YEAH


Elise

Monday, June 16, 2014

Celebrating a Good Nights Sleep...Menopause Be Damned

Something happened about a decade ago I stopped sleeping. I would fall asleep, but wake up around 3AM and never get back to sleep. I can critique every show that is on TV at that time of day. I guess I should be glad that I live now during the era of cable television. Heaven knows what I would do with myself in the middle of the night if there was nothing to watch. Believe you me, telling me to read a book is not going to work in the wee hours of the morn. Yes, this became a habit.

OK, my nocturnal sleep habits also had to do with menopause, I not only awoke, I awoke soaked from head to toe and invariably had to change my pajamas. Hot flashes, you see don't just happen during the day. It's a really interesting occurrence. I fall asleep freezing, because I try to keep it cool as much as possible ( to try to avert a soaking) but it seems that does no good. Of course, I am not quite certain how I would fare if I kept my bedroom at a normal temperature. Who knows, I might just flood the bed all together.

Seriously, I became so desperate I even tried OTC sleep medication. Heck, I even tried melatonin, which is a useless piece of crap. The only thing that melatonin did was make me terribly depressed. No, I haven't try any prescription meds recently, since I had tried ambien once in my 30s and it turned me into a zombie. Meanwhile, the OTC meds also leave me hungover the next day and I only use them when I haven't slept through the night for at least three days.

So any night that I get a sleep that lasts over 5 hours I celebrate. Last night was such a night. After watching the season finale of Game of Thrones (another post for another day), I turned over and went to sleep. Next thing I knew it was 6:30 AM.

Huzzah.




I suppose eventually you get so tired that nothing will wake you up. And yes I still woke up over-heated, and soaked. But at least I can enjoy that cup of coffee, not to stay awake, but simply because it tastes so good.



Elise



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Don't Mess With those Trekkies

Patton Oswalt....






In truth, that would have annoyed me too.


Elise

Having fun at a big box store

Every weekend I go to the big box store. The one closest to me is BJ's Club. Now many of my friends take the daring route and go over the Tappen Zee into Rockland County to buy at Costco. They think its a better store. I think avoiding that awful bridge traffic  is what is better for me.



In any event these stores are a shoppers paradise. I feel like a kid in a candy store. Whether its clothes, food, gadgets or laundry detergent, the idea that I can buy in bulk, at cut prices, is just so much fun. I also peruse their book stand to see what I might download to my kindle (Shhh don't tell anyone.)

Is the joy I feel during these shopping excursions a sign of me getting older? Absolutely not. It's a sign of me being wiser. Granted if I didn't have three men at home to feed it wouldn't really pay for me to go to these big stores, but I do and it does.

Now does that mean its the only food store I frequent? Absolutely not. BJ's doesn't carry everything I need so invariably I actually end up at three supermarkets over the weekend.

Am I a little obsessive about what I bring in my house? ....Ummmmm....Yep.

Oh and on another note, who thought of the name BJ's anyway? Everytime I ask if anyone wants to come with me, my 20 year-old breaks out in laughter. Youngmen can be soooooo immature.





Elise

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday 13th: Bad Karma or a Happy Wedding Anniversary?

First why is Friday the 13th a bad luck day? To understand you need to return to the period of the Crusades. The Knights Templar, the fighting monks of the Catholic Church, were charged by the Vatican with protecting pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. The Templars were created from the first knights to enter Jerusalem during the original Crusade of 1099. They took their name from the Temple Mount, where the Holy Temple stood.

To this extent the Templars also became one of the wealthiest and powerful groups in Europe during this period. One of the businesses that they ran was to become Europe's wealthiest bankers. Their financial acumen basically challenged the authority of not only the Church itself, but all the monarchs in Europe. Meanwhile, it was on a Friday, April 13th in the year 1308, that king of France took his revenge on the Templars. He arrested them on charges of heresy at their main stronghold in France. A sham trial was held, the leaders were tortured by the Inquisition. They were found guilty of everything from holding black masses, to sodomy, to other heresies and perversions. The Knights Templar was destroyed. Their lands and monies confiscated by the French crown. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church refrained from intervening, except to disband the Templars. Recently the Church released ancient papers showing that they had found the Templars not-guilty of the charges.

Anyway, I'm not Catholic, but Jewish. Historically, its important to remember that the Knights Templar persecuted Jews. On their way to the Holy Land, crusader knights would slaughter entire Jewish communities throughout Europe. In fact, the original crusaders, when they entered Jerusalem, the first thing they did was to round up all the Jews (men, women and children) into the Great Synagogue, bar the door and burn the building  down. It is actually estimated that 6 million Jews were murdered during the period of the Crusades at the hands of crusaders. (That number is eerily prominent throughout Jewish history) Meanwhile, it is important to note that the European attitude towards Jews during the Middle Ages was the Knights Templar's view. They exemplified the societies in which they lived.  (To those that think the Holocaust was an anomaly in European attitudes towards Jews needs to think again.) In fact, sadly it seems, if you look at Europe today, antisemitism is back in full force and growing.

Honestly I really don't care about Friday the 13th. It holds no mystery, no bad luck, no evil omens of any kind for me.  I fact, in some way, I think Friday 13th bespeaks some really interesting karma.

(Sis says I need to get over history. But in truth, history is history and you need to remember who you
are and where you come from. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.)

Actually, on a truly happy note, I was married on the 13th day in the month of June. So invariably, as today, my Wedding Anniversary falls on a Friday the 13th. Happily married now for 32 years, this is a good day for me. So no black cats, broken mirrors or  spilled salt worries for me. Champagne, chocolate cake and someone else making dinner is in the works. I call that wonderfully lucky.







Elise

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When culling the Facebook page becomes a needed reality

So, if any of you read my blog Raising Asperger's Kids you know that I have gone on an autism hiatus. I have also decided to get rid of those who I can't relate to on my Facebook page. You see most, if not all of my FB friends are from my autism advocacy and beyond that I think we have very little in common. So I am trying to determine who to keep and who shall I let go.

The reality is that most of the people that I interact with are nice and sweet and have nice and sweet friends. We can even disagree on politics, but do so in such a respectful manner that it makes it fun and not something to avoid. Unfortunately that is not how it is with everyone. So I will be culling my on-line herd. I have done this before and it added so much to my calm. Also if I post a comment on one of your posts and it goes unrecognized or you don't answer a message I sent you, I have decided that you have no use for my friendship. So adios.

I think as part of my self-awareness hiatus I am going to once again decide that I am not the world's helper. I am going to realize that even if you are an autism self-advocate, I can find my information elsewhere if you chose to be friends on-line with disrespectful and emotionally infantile people. If you insult who I am on any level, or have friends that do so, I am going to wave you a very big good bye.

I wish everyone well in their lives. I hope your points of view make you very happy and give you solace. But I am tired of the annoying that happens with people none of whom I even know IRL.




Elise

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Welcome to My Home

We redecorated our foyer. This is what now greets our guests....

This is a hamsa (charm against the evil eye also considered the hand of God) inscribed with the Hebrew word "Shalom," which means hello and peace (Yes it also means goodbye, but only if you are leaving.)





My Good Luck Charms




Elise


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I take it back...found me a pair of little sexy summer sandals....

Well I tried to find sexy summer sandals just one more time and huzzah I did. (Yeah for me!)

On the advice of a friends I happened to venture into TJ Maxx for some lightweight work out clothes. Meanwhile, walking around the store I happened upon sandals very similar to these from Lauren by Ralph Lauren....


Yes, my big fat feet are just so ever slightly wide for the shoe (I have a nasty little bunion, which I refuse to have surgically removed.) Unless you are dealing with a total fashionista-bitch or a creepy someone with a foot fetish, noone will really notice the ever so minimal little overhang anyway. So for half price, $30,  I bought myself some sexy little sandals.

Oh yeah I also found some really well priced workout pants that will allow me to exercise during the warm months without feeling like I am in a volcano. Honestly, it's not easy to function in a gym, if you are sweating so profusely you have sweat dropping into your eyes and you can't see a damn thing. Well hopefully no more of that.





Elise

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The moment when I came to the conclusion that I can't wear skimpy sexy little sandals anymore

I was determined to buy myself some fun, girly and sexy summer sandals. No more of those good for you shoes that makes you feel old and frumpy. Truth is that I am not a shoeaholic, I am a shoe phobic. I buy shoes because I have to wear something on my feet. Then after awhile I realize that they hurt and I return to my dansko clogs.

Well I was determined to buy myself some nice pretty sandals this season. I have decided that I didn't want anything clunky or "good for you."I wanted to be sleek and sophisticated.



So I went on a sandal hunt. Considering there are still Memorial Day sales all over the place I figured I could find some rather nice shoes for a decent price. WRONG. The only thing I saw that might have worked were some Gucci's for around $500. Now remember I had an issue with a Gucci product recently. Gucci does not stand behind their products and I wrote about that HERE. Moreover, the idea that I would actually pay so much money for a piece of  leather attached to a toe-thong is ridiculous.



I did look at the classic Jack Roger sandal. But not only did they no longer have the color I wanted,
they too were really skimpy. As were every other pair of sandals I saw. It was almost as if you ended up not really wearing a shoe at all. OK, I suppose that is the idea. But it really can't be good for you if all you have on your feet is something that is going to send you to a podiatrist. Actually, I also own one pair of fancy sandals with a bit of a heel, if I ever go someplace where I have to get dressed up.

Reluctantly, I had to come to the realization that perhaps I really did have to return to fitflops or Merrills for the summer. For everyday, I do have my dansko sandals from years ago and they are still in good shape. But you do need a change of shoe. So back to the local store I went and fitflops I did buy.




I think they will be OK. Not exactly elegant, but apparently they are the shoe of the moment. Or so I am told.





Elise