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August 2007

Martha, Martha Everywhere

Skylands3872ext Why is Martha Stewart stalking me? Everywhere I go, thisLong_pond11_3 woman seems to own a big, chunk of real estate. Most obvious of course, is her home in Katonah, a hamlet in Westchester.  Martha has been engaged in a battle to trademark the name "Katonah" for a furniture line, and local residents are not amused.

But there I was, a good eight hour drive north of Westchester, minding my own business on a little coastal tour boat, when the Ranger points out a roof top nestled high up in the woods, with a commanding view of Seal Harbor. Who owns the place? Martha Stewart.

I don't think the name is going to lend itself to marketing, though. Seal Harbor dinnerware? Seal Harbor sheets and towels? Seal Harbor chairs and tables? Uh oh -wait. A jaunty, nautical theme? Navy blue stripes? With a tiny, preppy -looking seal insignia? Can she trademark the image of seals themselves?

One thing's for sure. With Martha, it's bound to be a bad thing.


The Beautiful Maine Coast

Here are some more photos of the beautiful Maine coast. First, we hiked up Cadillac Mountain. Here's what it looks like from up top:
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Also below (I am sorry I'm so bad at mastering lay out of the blog) is a view from Bar Harbor to Bar Island during low tide. Normally, Bar Island is a true island, but you can walk across the sand bar during low tide which is just what we did.




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Once we went over to Bar Island, things got even better. Below (I think!) is the view from Bar Island, looking back at Bar Harbor. By the way, we have barely spent any time in the town of Bar Harbor, which is crowded and touristy.
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And finally, here is sunset from Cranberry Island, which is one of dozens of small islands in the area.




Good Location College

Acadia3 How kind of The Boy to choose to attend college inAcadiabeautifulcoast the state of Maine. Since he is going on an orientation camping trip, and the real school orientation doesn't begin for five days, we decided to pass the time up here getting to know the area. Here are some photos from Acadia State Park where we went hiking today.
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Morebeautifulcoast


Deliveries

Babydelivery I dreamed last night about my obstetrician. Dr. Feldman retired at least 10 years ago, and I haven't needed his obstetric services since long before that, but I'm not surprised he showed up in my subconscious. After all, we delivered The Boy to college yesterday, he delivered The Boy more than 18 years ago, so we were all up to the same business.



Just As I Suspected

Nosuvneeded Just as I suspected, there is really no need at all toAnti_suv_1 own an SUV. We managed to pack most of the Boy's worldly goods - that includes pretty much all of his clothes, shoes, athletic gear, some books, a guitar, a computer, storage boxes, sheets, towels, comforter, laundry bag, toiletries, posters and whatever else a kid takes to college - in the trunk of a sedan. PLUS we included his sleeping bag, sleeping roll and fully packed backpack for his freshman orientation 5 day wilderness camping trip.AND we got The Boy in the backseat too. True, we are going to bring his ice skates - for some reason those were the back-breaker - up over parents weekend. But I made it through all these years, carpools and now this without owning one of the behemoths, and I'm very proud.


Your Tax Dollars at Work Again!

Drunk Another press release from Westchester County has landed in my inbox that yet again makes me contemplate how our tax dollars are spent. This just in: "New recruits at the county’s Police Academy  will get training Monday, Aug. 27 on enforcement of underage drinking law, with a focus on the signs of intoxication."

Let me get this straight - new police recruits, who tend to be in their 20s, need to be trained on what drunks look like? Let me save our government some bucks right now with these hints. Drunk people tend to slur their words, have difficultly focusing, a bit of trouble with their coordination, often smell of alcohol and generally do stupid stuff. OK? Let's move on to the next  class.


Countering Bridges’ Dark Allure

By KATE STONE LOMBARDI
Published: August 26, 2007
TARRYTOWN
Colwe600
THE teenage girl was standing at the edge of the Tappan Zee Bridge, and for just a moment she hesitated. As Ernie Feeney quietly approached from behind, the girl’s gaze was fixed on the state troopers who had arrived after getting word about a “jumper” on the bridge.

Mr. Feeney, of Cornwall on Hudson, who supervises a tow-truck crew that patrols the bridge, grabbed the girl around the waist and pulled her to safety. But in the brief time it took him to get out of his truck and reach for her (“we’re talking 6, maybe 10 seconds,” he said), he had a flashback to another jumper years earlier.

In that case, he had been just a few seconds too late. As a man leaped, Mr. Feeney managed to catch him by the back of his pants.

But then Mr. Feeney’s arm hit the railing — hard — and he lost his grip. He watched as the man plunged to his death.

Mr. Feeney, 50, a burly, bearded man who has worked for the New York State Thruway Authority most of his life, said that saving the young woman, an 18-year-old Bronxville resident, last month, made him feel slightly better about the earlier loss.

But like other bridge workers, he would rather not have to deal with jumpers at all, a bizarre occupational hazard for which he has little training.

The Tappan Zee — like other bridges in the area — has been getting attention lately after the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. But bridges present another danger: as magnets for would-be suicides. In the last 10 years, 27 people have leaped to their death from the Tappan Zee. Far more have been talked down.

Mental health experts have long studied bridges’ dark allure.

“People who jump think they are passing from one realm to the next, from life on land to the water,” said Gary Spielmann, a former director of suicide prevention for the New York State Office of Mental Health. “Some people are unconsciously trying to return to the womb. It’s a fantasy, and it’s a very public statement.”

It is also a horrible way to die, said Mr. Spielmann, who is now a consultant to the New York State Bridge Authority. Hitting the water from 200 feet above is akin to landing on concrete. (His description of the condition of the bodies fished out of the water is too gruesome to repeat.)

Recently Mr. Spielmann helped draft a plan for the authority to help prevent people from jumping off area bridges.

Most jumpers are ambivalent, he said. Intervention — preferably in the form of a human voice — is essential. To that end, the plan calls for installation of call boxes on railings connected to Lifeline, a suicide prevention hot line.

Such boxes have been on the Mid-Hudson Bridge since 1984, and with them, 74 people have been talked down. The authority recently installed call boxes on the Rip Van Winkle, Newburgh-Beacon, Kingston-Rhinecliff and Bear Mountain Bridges. Now the New York Thruway Authority, which manages the Tappan Zee, is moving forward. Last week it connected four call boxes on the bridge, two on each side. Mr. Spielmann calls the hot lines “a human barrier” and says that because they offer help, they are better than physical barriers. In addition, physical barriers add weight and stress to thebridge, interfere with maintenance and can pose a hazard to drivers.

The authority’s plan also calls for more worker training, including basic dos and don’ts for workers like bridge painters and tow truck operators who come across a suicidal person. (For instance, “Help is on the way” is far less threatening than “The police are coming.”)

Mr. Feeney last saw the girl he saved sobbing in the back of a police car.

“I was surprised she was so young,” he said. “I hope she gets help. This one felt good. It felt better than last time.”

E-mail: westweek@nytimes.com


The 1970s - Groovy!

Girl190 She's got long, straight blond hair, wears an embroidered shirt and bell bottoms and carries a suede bag that looks suspiciously like the one I toted around in high school.

Meet Julie - the latest in the very expensive and highly successful line of American Girl dolls. Julie represents the 1970s, and according to the company will have divorced parents and live in San Francisco. Oh - and she has an Asian friend, Ivy.

Math isn't my strong suit, so  when I first learned that the company's marketing staff figured that Moms could relive their own childhoods as their daughters played with Julie had gotten it wrong. Certainly women who were children in the 1970s don't have 7 or 8 year old girls now. Why, I myself was a child of the 70s, and my daughter is 22.

But wait - I went to high school in the 70s.  Airlifts off Saigon rooftops, Nixon's resignation, gas rationing - I was a teenager for all that. When I was playing with dolls, the backdrop was far different - the assassinations of John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Burning draft cards. Huge political upheaval.

Maybe American Girl will come up with a groovy 1960s doll some day. Her wardrobe will be covered with peace signs. And I can play "let's go to Haight-Ashbury" with my grandchildren. Sheesh, I feel old.


Boy Launch Countdown

Usesforvinegardoinglaundryga1jpg T minus two days until take off. We take The Boy to his college freshman orientation the day after tomorrow. I keep thinking there is more that I should be doing, but the Boy remains calm and says all is under control. Today, though, we are going to have a refresher course on Laundry 101. I taught The Boy how to do laundry a few years ago when he was going off on a trip, but it's been awhile, and I still do his wash at home.

The College offers a laundry service, but The Boy scoffed at the notion of paying a premium to have someone else wash his clothes. ("It's one thing at home," he noted.) I'll be keeping it basic - just whites and colors. I don't think The Boy has anything that qualifies as "delicate" anyway. Unless you count the emotional state of his mother, that is.


Connections

060110_macbook_pro1 Right now I am sitting about three feet away from The Boy, the one who is leaving in four days for college. We are engaged in parallel play, logged on to our matching Macbook Pros, playing each other songs from itunes, reading each other stuff off the Internet and typing away in our own somewhat connected little worlds.

The Boy finally introduced me to video chats. We can chat to each other live while looking at eachPost070217_apple_macbook_pro_in_r_2 other. I see this as a major boon - I'm envisioning him panning to his dorm room so I can see how it's decorated, introducing his friends, not to mention us having long soulful chats about life. Needless to say, this is not his fantasy, and he is already wary about my abusing this technology.

Before you alert the Black Hawks, I am going to try my hardest not to be a Helicopter Mom. Wait - what's the sound? Chop, chop, chop, chop.....


I'm Not Going to the Store Pasta

Rscn8498 It was early evening, pouring rain, the cupboard was relatively bare and I was NOT going to the grocery store. So here's what I came up with - pasta with tuna and capers.

Saute some chopped onion (about 3 tablespoons) in olive oil. After they are softened, add a can of stewed tomatoes, about 1/4 cup of capers and a 6 ounce can of tuna. Simmer all this together while you are cooking whatever pasta you have on hand. I had half a box of ziti and a quarter box of whole wheat fusilli and I cooked both of them. I served the sauce on top of the pasta and grated Parmesan cheese over it. Savory, tasty -  and all stuff that was already in the kitchen cabinet.


Bad Mom Hall of Fame

Blankets Today my son went shopping for his freshman year college stuff by himself. You know - the extra long sheets, the storage bins, the reading lamp, all that kind of thing. He just went to Target with a list (which, again he made by himself) and picked it all out.

I seem to remember this being a rite of passage when my daughter went off to college. There were several trips to Bed, Bath  & Beyond and to other places as well. We did everything together.

This morning, though, I had to work, because I was rushing to finish a column, and I also wanted to go see my Dad who was having a minor "procedure" (don't you love the medical euphemisms?). Anyway, my son pretty much got what he needed, but I felt bad that I wasn't with him.

The other day on her Today Show appearance, my friend Carin said one of the benefits of the Empty Nest was working without guilt. That may be the only thing about the empty nest  I'm looking forward to.


Fox Hits New Low - Really.

0_61_061807_anchorwoman Honestly, how low can Fox Reality TV go? Now they're promoting a new show called "Anchorwoman." Here's the premise - take a bleached blond, extremely busty, 24-year-old former bikini model and set her up as a news anchor for a local CBS affiliate in Texas. Watch her try to read the cue cards and deal with the -no kidding - resentment of her colleagues.

It's hard to marginalize women in journalism, trivialize the profession and engage in extreme sexism all at once, but I think this show has managed to do it all. Heads should role for this, starting with the geniuses at KYTX, the station that agreed to it.


Rice Salad

Rice_salad I bet you think I never cook anymore. OK - I have cut WAY back both because it's summer and we've been traveling a lot, and my kids weren't around. But this weekend everyone was home and I was back at the stove. On Saturday night, I made lemon chicken and rice salad. I kind of made up the rice salad but it turned out really well. At first, I was upset that I was out of Uncle Ben's rice, which I standby. But I went with jasmine rice and it worked out fine. I cooked the rice, cooled it and tossed it with a light vinaigrette. Then I chopped up and added the following: 3 scallions (white and green parts), about half of a large jar of green olives, a large yellow tomato (happened to have the yellow, but any kind would do) and a bunch of dill. It was pretty and a nice change from pasta.


Gathering the Clan

Familystudies The civilian Iraqi death toll for this month alone is appalling. Peruvians are struggling in the wake of a horrible earthquake, combing through the rubble for loved ones and coming to terms with enormous loss. A dangerous hurricane is baring down on Jamaica.

Believe me, in the blog blathering about day to day minutia, I haven't lost sight of any of this. I just have no insight - only general sympathy and sorrow -to add to this news. And an instinct to gather up my family and pull together closely.

This weekend has been a joy because for the first time in two months, I have had both of my children home.  The Boy has returned from his summer job in Maine (though he departs a week from today for college) and his sister came home for the weekend to see him. There was one moment - when they were both still asleep in their childhood beds - that I had this wild thought to secure the perimeters, seal them into the house and keep them where I want them.

Friends, in their efforts to counsel me on the looming Empty Nest, console me by saying that their independence is a good thing. One is in college and the other employed, i.e. no one is in Baghdad or Afghanistan, or in rehab or in prison. It's all good stuff. Fair enough. But it certainly has also been good stuff to have all four of us around the dinner table again.


Check Out Today Tomorrow

Today Set your alarm clocks or your TIVO - my friend Carin is going to be on the Today Show tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 a.m. For some reason, I am more excited about this  than she is. Which is funny, because she offered to include me on the show - as part of a panel of empty nest Moms - and I refused in horror, overwhelmed with anxiety at the very thought of being on tv.

Anyway, she will be promoting her new book, "Beyond The Mommy Years" which I have already read and highly recommend. And it's not too late to weigh in on what she should wear. Visit her blog at www.tivolady.com, and scroll down two or three posts. There you will be treated to a photo of the outfit that she wore on her last Today Show appearance (back in the 1980s) and can see two options for tomorrow's look. I voted for pink.


More Brilliant Parenting

Beinstein1_3 Could there be a more narcissistic product name than "BabyBeinstein2_3 Einstein"? When I first heard of these videos, I nearly vomited. "Baby Mozart," "Baby DaVinci," "Baby Beethoven," "Baby Monet." These are videos that are meant to create genius infants, who of course would reflect well on their genius parents.
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  I couldn't help but take glee in the recent study by theBeinstein5_3 University of Washington and the Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute that revealed that not only don't these videos benefit babies from 8 to 16 months old, but they actually may be harmful. Researchers found that babies who were plopped in front of the t.v.  for an hour every day to watch these silly things had less vocabulary - six to eight fewer words - than little ones who didn't watch.

Beinwt3ein4_3 Disney, which owns the "Baby Einstein" franchise, is up in arms about the study, questioning its methodology and  calling it "just plain wrong." One thing is for sure - the videos are just plain profitable, bringing Disney about $200 million in retail sales every year.

Well, I'm sorry, but it doesn't take an Einstein to know that holding, talking to and playing with your baby is more stimulating than having the tiny thing watch tv. Sheesh.



Star Moms

Dinalohanlindsay Look, I'm not into Mom-bashing. And I don't need to pile on Lindsay Lohan, who is back in rehab again after another DWI incident. But I came across a quote from Lindsay's Mom, Dina, that I could not let pass. This was in a profile of Lindsay that appears in the September issue of Elle Magazine. (Yes, I'm not above reading a celeb profile- are you?)

The interviewer asked  Lindsay's Mom if she worried about her daughter's late nights out. (This was before the actress' most recent arrest.) Here is what Dina Lohan said: "Lindsay is so much more protected being a star. She's either being photographed or the security guy is with her. She gets more supervision than most kids. You know that ad, 'It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?' Well, I know where my daughter is!"

Where do you even begin with this kind of parenting? I begin with sympathy for Lindsay, who has been working since she was 4. Where was this kid's guidance? Why wasn't her Mom trying to protect her?


How Does It Know?

39158_wallpaper400 There's an old joke where one guy asks another to name the greatest invention of all time. The guy answers, "the thermos!" "The thermos?" says the other guy. "Not penicillin? Not the wheel? The thermos?! Why?" And the first guy answers, "It keeps cold things cold and hot things hot. How do it know?"

How do it know indeed! This is exactly how I feel about my Iams Multi-Cat Cat food. These dry kibbles promise: "promotes healthy weight for cats in multiple cat households." And it does! My big fat cat trimmed down a bit, and my little thin cat put on some needed weight. They both look pretty good. These cats share a food dish. How can this possibly have happened with one cat food? Or, in short, how do it know?


Warning System or Cause for Alarm?


By KATE STONE LOMBARDI
Published: August 12, 2007
Colwe190 MAYBE the third time will be a charm. Certainly the folks at Entergy Nuclear Northeast, which owns the Indian Point nuclear power plants, hope so. On Aug. 24, the company faces a third deadline to get its new $15 million emergency siren system up and running. So far, the process has been pretty discouraging.

The system was supposed to be working by the end of January. Entergy received a 75-day extension from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. But on April 12, three days before the second target date, 31 sirens failed to sound during a test. After Entergy missed the April deadline, the N.R.C. fined the company $130,000.

With the August deadline less than two weeks away, Entergy officials said they were optimistic.

“We’re confident we’ll make it,” said Jim Steets, a spokesman for Entergy. “Obviously, there’s been pressure. It’s been real hard for the folks putting the siren project into place because these are capable, dedicated people frustrated by working through the complexity of the system and dealing with the criticism of it not being in place.”

It’s not surprising that they’re taking some heat. The public’s confidence has been sorely tested. If Entergy can’t get a siren system to work, it’s understandable that opponents are asking if it might have more serious problems running the nuclear facility itself.

The sirens are meant to alert residents within 10 miles of the plant of an emergency. The company is replacing its existing system, built in the 1970s, with a higher-tech model. The 155 new sirens have four-way speakers and backup batteries and can be activated by cellphone, radio signal or through the Internet.

So far, testing of the new system has exposed one problem after another. Sirens that were supposed to be heard miles away were inaudible in several areas. Alarms that were meant to be tested silently blared unexpectedly, startling residents who had not been warned.

Meanwhile, residents are being protected by the old system, which also has a history of failure, going out of service for hours at a time.

Mr. Steets said that two problems had led to delays in activating the new system. First, because it covers municipalities in four counties (Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Rockland), the process of getting permits for the sirens was cumbersome. Second, there were unanticipated difficulties with activating the sirens by radio signal.

“This is the very latest technology,” Mr. Steets said. “It’s a tough challenge, and the topography here doesn’t lend itself to communicating through the airwaves.”

All of these difficulties come in the midst of Entergy’s application to renew the nuclear power plants’ licenses for another 20 years. Indian Point 2’s license expires in 2013, Indian Point 3’s in 2015. The application process takes nearly three years.

The siren problem has no bearing on the relicensing. Neil Sheehan, an N.R.C. spokesman, said that the application review focused on two areas: programs to manage the effects of aging on the plants, and preparing an environmental impact statement.

The question of emergency preparedness — which of course includes the sirens — is part of N.R.C.’s daily oversight, Mr. Sheehan said. Should Entergy miss the third siren deadline, Mr. Sheehan said the N.R.C. would consider additional fines and other enforcement options.

Even if the emergency siren system isn’t formally part of the relicensing process, the plants’ opponents are making the connection. Lisa Rainwater, policy director for the environmental group Riverkeeper,, said, “For the communities around Indian Point, this siren debacle has become symbolic of Entergy’s inability to run this plant.”

She added that the plants’ problems were hardly limited to the sirens, citing the plants’ high shutdown rate, leaks of strontium 90 and tritium, and what she called a chilling work environment that discourages workers from identifying safety issues.

But no one, even the plant’s fiercest critics, should be rooting for the sirens to fail again this month. If you live within 10 miles of the power plants, as my family does, the stakes are too high for anything less than success.

E-mail: westweek@nytimes.com


"Mommy!"

Norskogsbadet I think I've crossed over. After slogging at the computer all day, I decided to take a late afternoon break and go swim some laps at the neighborhood pool. When I was done and resting a few moments, I heard a little girl call, "Mommy!" And I didn't turn my head.

That may not sound like a big deal, but I have been turning my head at the sound of "Mommy" for more than 20 years. Of course it's been quite a few years since my kids have called me that. It's "Mom" or - when they are irritated - "Mother" or sometimes even "Hey Ma!" But even after they stopped using "Mommy" I still reflexively turned when I heard the word. Until this afternoon. I just didn't.

Of course, on this particular afternoon, one of my children is working in Maine and the other is working in Manhattan. But it was never a logical thing anyway. I was "Mommy" anywhere, any time.  Now it seems I'm not. I don't know when it happened. But it makes me feel blue.


In the News

Hellokitty1 So many delicious stories in today's papers that were easy to miss. Let's start with the way Hong Kong police have decided to punish errant officers who are coming into work late, parking illegally, or even worse, littering. This tough band of cops (and the Hong Kong police are known for being scary) will pay for these crimes by being forced to wear "Hello Kitty" armbands. This is meant to humiliate the macho law enforcers. Better yet, the police force once before tried a similar approach, making the offending policemen wear  tartan armbands. The policy failed, because the police evidently brought them home as souvenirs. Can't wait to see the first "Hello Kitty" armband on sale on Ebay.20061029spidermonkey2thumb_2

A brief in the NYT Metro section tells of a passenger flying into LaGuardia from Peru via Fort Lauderdale, who snuck a spider monkey on board. No one noticed the primate until the second leg of the flight. I don't know about you, but that sure reassures me about the crackerjack airport security delivered by the TSA.
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In other news, a woman in Germany had a 3.14 inch pencil removed from her brain. The woman, 59, has had the pencil in her head since she was 4 years old. Evidently she was carrying the pencil, had a fall, and  according to this woman, "it bored right through the skin and disappeared into my head." Not surprisingly, she added, "It hurt like crazy." The best part of this story is the computer scan of the pencil inside the woman's brain.


Getting a Jump on My Next Column

Tappan_see_2 This headline is in poor taste, and not even quite accurate. The column that will run this coming Sunday will be about the siren system at the Indian Point nuclear power plants. But today I did some reporting for the column after that, which will be about people who commit suicide by jumping off the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The folks who work on and around the bridge call these people "jumpers" - thus the tacky headline. Today I interviewed a man who supervises the tow trucks on the bridge. Last month, he saved an 18-year-old girl who was on the ledge. He was able to grab her around the waist from behind. She was ok and it was somewhat redemptive for him. About 5 years ago, a man jumped, and my tow truck guy grabbed onto the back of this guy's pants just as he was going over. But my guy couldn't keep a grip and the man fell to his death.

In the last 10 years, 27 people have taken their lives by jumping off the Tappan Zee. What a horrific way to die. The Thruway Authority, which manages the bridge, is taking steps to try to stem this tide. But you'll have to read my column to find out how. I can't give it all away up front.


Why Doesn't She Listen?

Brooklyn_2 I don't know why my daughter doesn't listen to my advice. First, I told her she couldn't possibly find a job online - that you had to know someone. She promptly found a terrific job on careerbuilder.com. OK, that was lucky, I said, but there is no way you are going to find an apartment that way. You absolutely have to know someone who knows someone who spoke to a building super who... you get the picture. And you can guess the rest. She found a great sublet in Brooklyn on Craig's List. There is nothing like having a 20-something child to make you realize how totally old school you are.

That said, we went to visit this daughter in her new digs yesterday.  It's a 4th floor walk-up. She has two roommates, both actors. They each have their own rooms, and share the kitchen and small living area. She has roof access (where she has done a little sunbathing) and is in a neighborhood that seems quirky and interesting and full of young people. It's about a 20 minute subway ride to work. She is very happy with her situation and loving her independence. It sure is lucky she has me to give her all this great guidance.


Who Knew?

Bangs1 A recent New York Times article in the Style section noted that bangs are back. ThisBangs2_3 was startling news, mainly because I hadn't realized they had ever left. This is what's great about hanging on to your wardrobe and your hairstyles - what goes around comes around, so your old pedal pushers can become stylish capris and your 1970s groovy embroidered shirts are suddenly being featured again at Bloomingdales.

I have had the same hairstyle since the fourth grade. Bangs across my forehead and Bangs3_2 shoulder-length hair. I began reading the bangs article with some satisfaction, thinking about all the time I'd saved by not being a slave to style or fashion, when I came across these two sentences on the subject: "Some see them as cute and playful. Others think they're anything but, especially on those over 30."Bangs4_2

Oh my God. Why wasn't I told before this that wearing bangs is like a middle-aged woman dressing in a teenage wardrobe? I had no idea you were suppose to age out of Barette bangs. This is shameful.

So now I have begun the long process of growing them out. This is not pretty, and requires me to pin the bangs to the side of my head with a barrette. Now I look like a middle-aged woman trying to look like a six year old.


Something Tells Me It's All Happening at the Zoo

I do believe it. I do believe it's true. (For non-baby boomers, this is a reference to the Simon and Garfunkle song.) Here are some photos taken on our trip to the San Diego Zoo by my friend Sally, one of the top three funniest people I know. (The other two are The Boy and my sister.) The one exception of zoo photos is the picture of the sea lions, which was taken from a sail boat on our last evening in San Diego. Prepare to say, "Awwwwwwwww!"
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Koalazoosmall_2 Sealionsboat2small_2 Zooflamingosmall_3