Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reflections of One Week in The Life....

This past week has been huge for me and I am not sure that I have fully taken in the import and impact.  Sometimes time just keeps moving without much pause to reflect and so I have been ruminating about the week's personal highlights.  

On Monday, April 22, 2013, my husband and I joined a select couple thousand to witness, celebrate, and honor Barbra Streisand. The Film Society of Lincoln Center chose Ms. Streisand as this year's recipient of the Charlie Chaplin Award. As soon as it was announced, I was on it.  I had to be there.  No other talent had impacted my life at such an early age.  Funny Girl was life changing watching that performance and time and again trying to emulate that voice and style. Funny Girl was a world that I couldn't get enough of and saw it multiple times.  It was my introduction to the Ziegfeld Follies. It was my introduction to life in New York City. It was my introduction to life in the theatre. I was 9 when the movie was released.  Huge impact and my love for Barbra Streisand grew from there.  If I were to be honest, I loved them all, even the clunkers, but if she sang...heaven.  I owned everything she ever uttered in song.  In my college years, I was honored to star in a one woman show by the great Robert Freedman about a woman who was obsessed with Barbra.  It was the perfect capping for a youth filled with love and adulation for such an incredible woman.  Of course, it didn't really cap my love at all.  My love and admiration grew as Barbra's life's evolution continued:  embracing Judaism, politics, directing, love, and self.  She is an extraordinary woman.  No one will ever touch her achievements.  It was a spectacular evening and was well worth finagling 2nd row tickets to see all the fantastic people from her life that stood up and declared their love for her.  The piece de resistance: Bill Clinton.  Oh, what a night!

When I was 12, I found another extraordinary woman to adore.  Bette Midler came out with her first album: The Divine Miss M.  I lapped it up, loved every song, and was introduced to so many different genres of music.  I couldn't get enough of her.  For my 13th birthday, my sister bought me tickets to see her in concert!  Can you even imagine how incredible for a 13 year old to get all dressed up in vintage dresses and go with her sister to Berkeley, California and witness greatness. It was a mind boggling performance. Nothing ever topped the greatness of a Bette Midler concert.  Since that night, I have seen her multiple times.  She was always the one to see.  If you see the movie Divine Madness, you'll see a little bit of me in the front row.  So, when it was announced that Bette Midler was coming back to Broadway in a one woman show as Sue Mengers, talent agent extraordinaire, I had to get tickets.  It was proving harder than I thought to purchase tickets but finally, success.  We went and from the moment the 80 minute play began, I was in heaven.  What a fantastic melding of two incredible women.  
I bought the "I'll Eat You Last" t-shirt and enjoyed every single moment and nuance of Bette Midler's performance.  She was flawless and another experience not soon forgotten.  

I feel blessed that I have glommed onto these women as great examples of talent, humanity, and empowerment.  It is unbelievable to me that I got to see both women in the same week.  Only in NYC, but I could never have imagined a seven day period that would bring me Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler!  Stellar!! 

Sidebars:  Not understanding how so many shows are finished for the season.  It's not even May sweeps yet!  The Good Wife ended Sunday night.  Left me cold.  The Voice still soars as the best singing competition show on TV.  The Amazing Race has its season finale this Sunday.  All My Children and One Life to Live were revived yesterday on the internet.  Interesting to hear how that goes. Celebrated 29 years of marriage yesterday. NBA playoffs still going. Don't hear a peep of support from my Bay Area friends about the Golden State Warriors.  What's up with that? What's up with that?  Enjoy your Tuesday.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mash Up Number

So many thoughts have been swirling this week.  Some serious, some not.  First off, if I have to hear anymore news people telling us what website the Boston bombers used to build the bomb, I am going to scream!  They keep telling us it is a step by step how to make a bomb site.  Really?  Seriously?? Do they need to tell us everything?  Can't some things be kept quiet for the safety of all of us?  I often think we are told too much.  I am on a need to know.  Maybe there could be a website for those that want all the information. I know that it's the freedom of information act, but seriously?  Why would you tell people how to do anything that can harm people?  Ugh!

On to the FAA and the sequester.  I can't stand everyone in D.C.  They are not serving the people of America, they are serving themselves and a few.  So, this week, TSA workers and air traffic controllers are on furlough schedules.  The first day, New York's LaGuardia airport had plane delays of up to 1 1/2 hours.  Do you hear that D.C.??  We, the people, are being inconvenienced because you can't compromise and negotiate!  We should put all our Congressmen and Senators on commercial flights and delay their flights for hours.  Just keep them locked in their seats on the tarmac for hours.  Our elected officials need to feel the pain that we are feeling. 

Do you realize how incredible it was in Boston that all the different agencies 
( FBI, CIA, Boston PD, Anti-terrorist, Boston Fire Dept., Homeland Security, etc.) worked together?  It seemed as if they checked their normal territorialism at the city gates.  It was sensational and inspiring.  It was moving to see all the people cheering the crime fighters and do gooders at the conclusion of the standoff.  Hear ye, hear ye, we, Americans, would do that for our elected officials if they would just talk, negotiate, compromise. I would help organize a ticker tape parade if they would just do what they were elected to do: talk, negotiate, compromise. Why is that so hard for them to do? They feel the love of the American people if they did their job.  Isn't that ridiculous?

I don't know if you are following the trial of a butcher doctor in Philadelphia, but it is polarizing the pro-life and the pro-choice factions.  It is a murder trial against a doctor who illegally and horrifically performed late term abortions. There were 5 or 6 bad abortions, but they can only charge him with one actual murder, but there were more.  People on the pro-choice side of the argument are horrified by the actions of this "doctor."  There is no other side.  He did heinous crimes.  That has nothing to do with the abortion argument.  Don't let the pro-lifers tell you differently.  Criminal acts are criminal acts.  There is no one on the pro-life side saying good job to the doctor.  This case shouldn't be used for any political arguments.  

Sidebars:  Correction:  Ready For Love pulled by NBC aired again this week. I guess they can't have dead air so....American Idol sucks and they keep talking about Mariah Carey being replaced by Jennifer Lopez.  Really?  Why don't they say it's time for Randy Jackson to go?  He's been saying the same things every single season.  The Voice is still the shining star.  NCIS was shocking this week.  NBA Playoffs continue forever.  If they go the full 7 games, the NBA Championship ends June 20th!  That's ridiculous.  The Bette Midler play opened to rave reviews, I'll Eat You Last. I can't wait to go! Neil Diamond is donating all the royalties made since the Boston bombings to the OneFund which supports the victims. What a great man!  Spring is finally in the air to stay, I think.  The NYC MS Walk is this Sunday. 

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Monday, April 22, 2013

A Matt-er of Fact

Friday morning, woke up to a ton of news out of Boston.  It was disorienting to see Savannah Guthrie on air before 7am.  Literally, I had to check the clock, the alarm, and the TV to figure out what was happening.  From that moment on, I was hooked.  Scarily, I didn't miss a moment of the stand-off in Watertown.  I was glued to Savannah Guthrie's measured reporting.  She showed up to work an anchor and a sidekick to Matt Lauer and after seven hours on the air non-stop, she left a star.  She was astonishingly good.  Savannah never jumped to conclusions, she differentiated fact from rumors and fiction. As the news rapidly came through producers, her blackberry, Pete Williams, Kerry Sanders, and the rest of the on-the-job reporters, Savannah Guthrie carefully sussed out the truth and the facts.  It was a remarkable reporting job and was reminiscent of the news people we have longed for: Walter Cronkite.  Congratulations to Savannah Guthrie!  

On the other side of this story is Matt Lauer.  Matt was sent down to Texas to cover the horrific fertilizer company explosion.  I am sure when he flew down to Texas on Thursday,  he thought he had the big story.  He's Matt Lauer, for goodness sakes. Boy, did he get hoodwinked.  The Texas story was totally overshadowed by the stand-off in Boston. As a matter of fact, on our cable system, when they finally went live to Matt, there was no audio for the first 20 seconds.  That's a long time when you only are getting maybe two minutes of live airtime.  If there weren't bigger things to worry about, it may have been the most embarrassing professional moment for Matt.  

Matt Lauer has been having a really tough time in the media.  The NBC executives through him under the bus with the Ann Curry situation.  They didn't protect his ass at all and his entire career has been besmirched by bad press.  The ratings are down and now that Savannah Guthrie rose to the top like luscious creme, where does that leave Matt? NBC and The Today Show put themselves in a pickle and I have no idea how they are going to get out of the barrel.  It's a problem with no easy answer.  

The other outstanding reporter from Friday was Pete Williams.  He has always been a very steady and assured reporter whatever he is doing but Friday...CNN wished they had someone like him.  As CNN and AP were putting out unconfirmed and incorrect information out about the bombers, Pete Williams would not speculate, suppose, predict, etc.  He only reported facts.  Not the "facts" that he wanted, but actual facts.  He did a superlative job. Though I hope that we won't have to experience anything like Friday's standoff again, if we do, I will definitely turn to Pete Williams.  We got to witness real journalism, which has been sorely missed.  

Watching the events unfold on Friday was reminiscent of watching the SLA shootout in the 70's and the Bronco chase of the 90's.  It was incredible viewing. Kerry Sanders on the scene reporting was as if we were there.  When he hit the pavement and continued to be on the air, was classic. NBC definitely won this reporting war. So hear, hear to Savannah Guthrie and Pete Williams.  

Sidebars:  I can't tell you how uncomfortable Miami Heat's Chris Anderson makes me.  I know we are taught not to judge a book by its cover, but his over tattooed body and mohawk hairdo is unnerving.  I would definitely cross the street if I saw him coming towards me. I really can't wait to see what all these over tatted people look like as they age.  I really don't understand tattoos.  Something permanent? Not for me.  Is Ryan Lochte getting the last laugh or is he as dumb as he seems?  Sorry for Eva Longoria that her much touted show, Ready For Love, was pulled after two episodes.  Fairly amusing that NBC thought it was that bad.  They are so desperate for ratings.  Can you imagine?? It was that bad. NBA playoffs began. The longest playoff schedule ever.  The next NBA team will be crowned in June.  LOL!!  Chilly in the east.  It was last year, too.  We always forget.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Let's Take Back Our Country

When I heard the Tea Partiers shout that over and over again since President Obama stepped into the Oval Office, it made me cringe.  It made me feel that the deep-rooted bigotry and racism was taking on a new form in this country.  Cloaked in rhetoric that was subversive but they got the point across.  The fear of a black man as President made many going insane.  They didn't know what to do with it.  It's as if all the dominoes in a row were kicked up in the air and no reasonableness could be found.  Fear is a huge motivator. Look what's happened with the NRA!  Look what's happened to the spineless Senators!!  Look what happened to the Boston Marathon!!!  Fear causes crazy.  So when the tea partiers started screaming, "let's take back the country," I was alarmed.  Seriously, alarmed.  

Now, though, I know how they feel.  I want us, the reasonable, compromising, American citizens, I want us to take back the country.  I want us to stand up and be heard, be counted.  It is time.  The NRA is loud, rich, and few in comparison to the entire number of citizens.  Even within the membership of the NRA, there are reasonable people.  So why do they have so much power that they control our legislative branches of government?  We need to level the playing field.  If we all stood together, we could raise the money that the NRA poisons our elected officials with and find others to stand up and be counted.  That in the same week that we suffered such a horrific tragedy in Boston, the Senate can not pass reasonable background checks, is insulting, absurd, and painful.  What are we doing?  Those Senators that didn't vote in favor of background checks should be both ashamed and replaced.  If they are that deep into the pocket of the NRA, or any other lobby for that matter, they shouldn't be allowed to be a representative. 

Our government system has become so corrupt that our representatives don't represent the people, but the big lobbying groups.  That is not how our country is supposed to work.  Our Senators and Congressmen are elected by the people but work for the lobbyists.  That is ass backwards and we are paying a deep price for it.  We need a Chinese Wall up around the reps.  Do you realize that many of our elected and appointed officials use their positions for stepping stones to riches? They take jobs in the private sector and make tons of money lobbying Senators and Congressmen.  This process is totally f**ked up.  The only chance we have is to take back our country.  Throw the bums out that are not taking care of the people's business and welfare.  There are far more of "us" than "them."  What do we have to do?  How do we do it?  Do you know?  Any ideas?  

This conversation will not end here. If you haven't read the outstanding editorial by Gabrielle Giffords in the New York Times, click the link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/opinion/a-senate-in-the-gun-lobbys-grip.html?_r=2&

Sidebars:  Ready for Love sucked me back in the other night.  Terrible, terrible, terrible, but what's worse are the promos.  They are so misleading and manipulative.  That's true for most of the shows.  I also can't stand when you are watching a show in real time, you can't fast forward, and they tell you what you are going to see after the long commercial break.  Don't tell me, just let me see it.  I don't need to keep getting drawn in; I'm already there. The President's speech today at the Boston marathon memorial service was full of piss and vinegar.  He's mad as hell.  If I had one criticism, I was concerned that he said that they picked the wrong city to mess with.  I would have rather him have said that they chose the wrong country not the wrong city.  It may be nitpicking but I am a self professed scaredy cat.  

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Loss of Innocence, Again

So many thoughts whirling through my head and my heart about the tragedy in Boston yesterday.  Words are cheap but I do think that news reporters were fairly even-handed and tried to correct misinformation quickly as more information was learned.  I have no doubt that the investigators will find who did this murderous and maiming act.  What I want is not to allow the killer or killers be glorified.  Don't give them what they want.  Do not give their names and faces air time or magazine covers.  If we can take the wind out of their sails, maybe we can turn the tide on turning killers into "celebrities."  With all the profilers out there, they must be certain that notoriety is a big angle, though I know no one has taken credit.  I'm sure that whoever is responsible is getting off on all the coverage, indirect attention, and havoc created.  

I hear the news people saying we are in a new era and this is how it will be.  I don't accept that.  Even if it is true, I don't accept it.  When I was a child, we had the assassination of a President, a Reverend/civil rights leader, and a Senator running for President.  Our innocence was ripped away but somehow we healed and the further away from the tragedies, childhood was restored.  Then we had the Vietnam War and the senseless loss of so many young men.  This was far more difficult to recover from because too many people we knew by then had a draft number, fought, were injured, or lost their lives.  It affected all of us up close and personal.  We had the disgraceful resignation by a crooked President.  Even then, years went by and there was distance, perspective. We enjoyed a peaceful existence after awhile.  I thought we would get through the rest of my lifetime without major incidence. 9/11.  Need I say more?  Forever changed.  

With this new devastation, our whole world has been re-rocked.  There are so many large events that are very difficult to keep everyone safe and sound.  Easy if there is one entrance, but with a marathon??? There is no way to keep a 26.2 mile stretch of a city completely protected.  More changes will happen. I can't imagine how right now.  But today, I want to say thank you to all the brave volunteers, medical staff, policemen, firemen, and armed forces that once again went towards the explosion not away from it. 

When we find out who did this, and we will, please let's not give too much attention to the name and face of the person.  It would be the first step to break the infamy chain that the country has so willingly supported.  

Sidebars:  My mind is just swirling with questions and my heart is heavy with the loss of innocence.  I was very happy that The Voice was not pre-empted.  It was definitely needed after 4 hours or more of breaking news. I appreciated that the networks gave us a break.  It's a beautiful Spring day in NYC.  Not a "care" in the world.  There is a lot of mindless programming on tonight.  Check it out.  I am done for now.  Sending healing thoughts.  

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Entertainment Round-up

My week began with fabulous tickets for Kinky Boots.  It had just opened on Broadway and we were so excited to see it.  They were discount tickets, too, that we bought weeks ago.  You know, when things seem too goo to be true....We didn't have great seats.  We had nosebleed seats that were so far away from the stage, that I could've been watching from a blimp.  The seats were so tight that my long-legged husband had to sit sideways.  Not happy, but thought we can always leave.  The play began and it was very entertaining.  Enjoyable. Not revelatory.  At intermission, I had to basically do a 400 yard dash to get to the restroom which was three flights down.  When we re-connected, my very long-legged husband was done.  Sitting sideways made his back was hurt.  I could've stayed, but I didn't feel very compelled and would rather have a leisurely walk home with my man. 

My big complaint is that whether we were sitting in "premium" seats or discount seats, we are all spending hard earned money for entertainment. If the theatre owners are going to continue to pack people in, then maybe they should be compelled to note the legroom.  Airlines do it.  It makes a big difference for some people.  In the "new and improved" Madison Square Garden, one can't cross his/her legs.  Anyway, that was my first theatrical experience this season.  

Tuesday night, I watched Eva Longoria's much promo-ed, Ready For Love.  I really, really wanted to like it, because I'd like Eva Longoria to have a hit, but not so much.  Again, it's two hours when it should be one hour.  It's The Bachelor with some changes, but too dull.  I fear its demise, but hope for Eva's sake that it is successful. I won't be watching, that's for sure. The Voice still is fantastic. 

Wednesday, we went to see Pippin. Now, if you were ever a musical theatre fanatic, Stephen Schwartz' Pippin is one of those scores that singers love.  Never got to see a production. Always heard that the book was very problematic.  We didn't sit together but near each other. The audience went crazy from the first note the orchestra played. I guess there were a lot of musical theatre queens in the audience.  I have no idea what it once was, but this production was stunning.  It took place under a circus tent with fantastic circus performers in the ensemble.  I started with tears streaming down my face with Magic To Do into Corner of the Sky. Andrea Martin was fantastic and stopped the show.  Fantastic.  This was well worth the time, money, and effort.  I would go again, as the four older women sitting behind me said.  They were going to buy more tickets. 

Went to the first screening of 42 today. I love baseball movies.  I basically love all sports movies, but this is a very important story to be told. I think everyone under 30 should see this. There is a generation or two that have no idea what black people went through in this country and with baseball as the backdrop...it's very moving. It is based on the true story of Jackie Robinson's journey breaking the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Well worth your money and time. 

After that, I watched the much talked about episode of Glee from this week.  I hated it.  They tried to do a school shooting episode, but it is both too soon and too complex to do in 42 minutes.  I didn't like the conclusion and can that really be it?  That show, like American Idol, has definitely jumped the shark.

So, that's my weeks entertainment round-up.  Enjoy your weekend. Don't take anything for granted.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

No, No Annette

There were so many thoughts about what to write, but with the passing of Annette Funicello, a little piece of me died.  Don't laugh.  I'm serious.  Annette Funicello was a huge part of my childhood.  I loved running home for the 3:30 movie after school for Beach Blanket week.  Can you imagine how heavenly?  A whole week of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon movies.  Absolutely divine.  Really! Life seemed so simple then with the antics and romance of all the Beach movies.  

When Annette Funicello announced that she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1992*, I was stunned.  I had already been diagnosed five years earlier, but her MS was far more debilitating from the outset.  She was brave, noble, and determined to keep going no matter what.  When the Annette Funicello movie was made, I sobbed like a baby to see her playing herself at the end of the movie "walking" her daughter down the aisle. She was clearly so compromised by her illness and yet was determined to follow through on finishing the movie of her life.  

I was at the hospital just this past Friday for an infusion and was talking about Annette.   Mentioning that I hadn't heard anything about her for so long or seen any photos. I knew that she must be suffering so or we would've seen her.  Never imagining that I'd be sitting at lunch today and get a CNN alert that she had died at the young age of 70.  I almost burst into tears, but it also fueled my passion for finding a cure.  I am certain that Annette's body couldn't take it anymore and I don't want her death to be in vain.  This is the month of the MS Walk all over the country.  If you know someone walking, please support them.  I am walking with my family and friends.  It is a fantastic way to raise funds and build a community.  I am sorry that it has to be around MS, but whatever it takes to bring people together for a common cause.  

I know that many people under the age of 40 probably have no idea who Annette Funicello is.  The movies that brought so much joy and fun to so many would be seen as so cheesy and silly now, but what the kids would be surprised to hear...they were cheesy and silly then.  The actors were getting the last laugh.  They were made just for the fun of it.  Starring vehicles for Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.  If you get the chance to see one, take the time.  It captures a simpler time. 

Sidebars:  Country Music Awards wiped all the other stations into reruns last night. I must say that the CMA's put on a very good show and end on time.  Lots of performances and a few awards.  Country music is huge and watching an event like the CMA's really points it out. The Final Four culminates with the last game between Louisville and Michigan. May it be a great game.  On NBC The Voice is on, too.  What to do, what to do? I'm down for The Voice.  Only the last five minutes of the game matters anyway. It's also Yom HaShoah, which is Holocaust Remembrance day.  There is a critically acclaimed hour documentary called 50 Children.  Worth DVRing.  Only one hour.  May cause a tear or two, but well worth it. 

If you want to donate to Team Podolsky for the MS Walk, click on the following link:

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* Read in the paper today that she was actually diagnosed in 1987, just like I was, but didn't go public for 5 years. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Can't Give An Inch

The recent rash of gun violence still doesn't get the NRA to say anything that could be considered reasonable and thoughtful.  The NRA's stance shouted loud and clear since the New Town tragedy is that everyone should be armed and gun control isn't needed at all. They want armed guards at all of our schools to protect the students and teachers.  Can we mull this over a bit?  In recent weeks there have been terrible murders, the D.A. and his wife in Texas (he was allegedly armed), the civilian at Fort Knox (lots of people with guns there), and the Sheriff gunned down in Virginia in front of the courthouse  (armed).  So how is the NRA's fully armed stance doing now?  Not a peep, not a word, nothing.  Wouldn't the NRA have more credibility if they would stand up and re-adjust their unyielding stance? Their argument is empty and they still can't step forward with any shift in position.  

Representative Carolyn Maloney from NYC is trying desperately to keep the fight for Federal gun controls alive.  She's put together a bill and you know what she's gotten for her commitment?  Death threats!!!  How can Wayne LaPierre not step forward from the shadows and denounce such actions???  It's unconscionable.  Can you believe that we may not get any gun legislation to the floor of the Senate or Congress because they are all too chicken and worried about their jobs.  

I don't think that our representatives in D.C. are much better than the NRA.  They are out for themselves and not protecting the people of the USA.  There is an overwhelming majority in this country that approves of new gun legislation.  Our Senators and Congresspeople are too scared to piss off the NRA. They are stripping every bill down to nothing meaningful and now we may not even get a vote on the floor.  It's a disgrace.  These elected officials should all be tossed out and get people that have a spine. It's feeling so bleak.  

I bow down to Governor Molloy of Connecticut for signing into law some of the strictest gun laws that were reached by both Democrats and Republicans. See it can happen, but maybe not on a Federal level.  

The NRA thinks the more guns the safer the country.  We have more guns and more gun violence than any other country in the world.  So how is that BS working? The NRA makes me sick.  They are a bunch of rich bullies  all in the pockets of the gun manufacturers, and, in turn, a large number of our representatives live in fear of losing their own jobs.  

Sidebars:  Honestly, I have so much more to say on this topic because my disappointment in humanity in America  is great.  Self over all.  How christian! I will put it to bed for now, but will address it again. Kudos to Magic and Cookie Johnson for being the parents that Earvin III deserves.  Hope many can take a page out of their playbook.  Shark Tank is on tonight. I am telling you that anyone interested in business or entrepreneurial ship, should be watching.  Heads still rolling at Rutgers. Happy weekend!  Happy Final Four weekend!!!!!!

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ruminating Leaning In

I have been thinking about Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In since all the television pundits started mentioning it a few weeks ago.  I read in the newspapers and on the internet quotes from the book.  There was so much advance criticism by men and women alike of her perspective of women in the work force.  I found enough dissension that I chose to read the book in its entirety on Spring Break.

I think Sheryl Sandberg is incredibly courageous to get the conversation re-started.  Her book is thought-provoking. I hate to give snippets of the book because it's my interpretation of her perspective and I don't want to turn anyone off. My intention is to turn  
on your curiosity, like mine was, to read her book.  She writes about when she was first offered the job at Facebook. She wanted the job so much and the offer was very good.  She admits she would have taken the job, right then and there.  Her husband told her that she couldn't take the offer. She had to negotiate.  No man would ever just say yes to an offer.  She was afraid of blowing the deal.  Her husband and brother pushed her to do what was best for her.  Negotiating with Mark Zuckerberg proved successful and the rest is history. 

Many of her critics said, what does she know as a super successful, financially sound, Harvard graduate.  Ms. Sandberg speaks of all women, not for all women. She acknowledges her fortune in business, but also talks much about women being their own worst enemies.  Second guessing, worrying about one's entire life when opportunities arise, lack of confidence, marriage, motherhood. She touches on many issues.  I was thrilled she wrote about her generation who were given many opportunities because of all the ground breaking and ceiling pushing of Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and the other fabulous women on the forefront of the women's movement and then...didn't continue pushing forward.  Stagnate. Backsliding. 

I am not doing justice to this book.  If I had my way, every high school and college female would read it before going into the workforce.  Males could get something out of it, too.  I am not being sexist, but women need to make far more progress in the work force.  Men already own it. Do I think everything she writes is absolute or true for all? No.  What I do think is that it made me think of my career and life choices.  What I might have done differently if I had the support and awareness after having read this book.  Lean In may become a movement.  I'd be all for that.  Women need to support women.  This is another first step.  I hope that we can complete the journey this time around.

Sidebars:  Lean In made me think about all the criticism, including mine, of Marissa Meyer and her choices at Yahoo. Wouldn't happen to a man.  I am going to try to be more conscious of my contribution to the negative chatter. Rutgers coach, Mike Rice, fired. Not far enough. The Trustees should consider consequences to the Athletic Director, the University President and anyone else who was aware.  Saw a piece today on the Today Show about an art exhibit in Berlin about Jews.  One of the exhibit pieces is a Jewish man sitting in a 3-sided Plexiglas box.  Museum-goers can speak to him, ask about Judaism, meet a Jew for the first time, etc. It is interactive.  In some ways, it is interesting. Shocking to me that 60 plus years after the Holocaust that there is still such a mystery about Jews, but I guess if you annihilate most of your Jewish population....On the other hand, what if it was a black man and not a Jewish man.  Would there be more of an uproar?  Which takes me back to Mike Rice.  If he had been screaming racial slurs, he would have been gone so fast.  Homophobic slurs takes a public outcry before you lose your job.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Vacation Reflections

I am ruminating a lot these past few days about travel and its effect on me physically and mentally.  Having spent almost two weeks abroad in Madrid and Paris with my husband and children, I have been struggling if my travel days are ending soon or do I have to modify the plan.  We did a lot on vacation but it wasn't effortless.  Eating and sleeping were challenging.  We, as a unit, didn't get on the same schedule at the same time. We did plow through when necessary. We went to the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Sofia Reina Museums.  We hit the highlights so we didn't overwhelm the brains and the bodies.  I feel very good about seeing these three museums.  We went to see a Flamenco dinner show, which was so hilarious and sad at the same time.  It's the "second" best show supposedly and we didn't plan in advance so the best show was sold out.  When we got there, there were maybe 8 people, all Asian sitting around the room. The dancing was enjoyable, but went on far too long and I felt so bad for the performers playing to such a small crowd. I was certain that the star dancer was mocking the audience members in Spanish, but we didn't know what she was saying.  If I had been them, I would have performed one hour and ended.  They certainly gave their all and they had another show to do in an hour. Ugh!  What a life, even in Madrid. No smoking in the restaurants! I feel very good about seeing Madrid for the first time.  It's a beautiful city and we only scratched the surface.  

We then journeyed to our favorite city: Paris.  I think I have been there nine times in my life.  Twice as a child and seven times as an adult.  It's a fantastic city; there's no doubt about that.  We have stayed in different arrondissements or sections, but definitely like the Left bank better than the Right bank and love the Marais, above all else.  This time we rented a two bedroom apartment in the 5th arrondissement on the Left bank. Near and around where we've stayed before, yet different. We were a block from the Luxembourg Gardens and the Musee de Luxembourg. The weather was still quite chilly and none of the gardens had bloomed.  There was a Chagall exhibit at the Musee de Luxembourg and we got tickets for that.  We arrived on time and waltzed right in. The only problem...too many people. A beautiful exhibit that couldn't be fully appreciated because there were too many people.  We were in and out in under 30 minutes.  Glad that we got a glance, but disappointed that we couldn't get any perspective. 

Other days we walked and walked.  I didn't plan the outings well, so by the time we got to the destination, I was spent. I felt unbelievably challenged, disabled, and tired.  My MS really seemed to get the best of me at times, which, in turn, brought on so much guilt.  But, you know what?  I don't think anyone cared as much as I.  It really bothered me.  It really did a number on my psyche and felt that this may be my last big trip. I am not going to  make any sweeping decisions. One day at a time, I say.  I do know that as many times as I've been fortunate enough to visit Paris, there are still things I haven't done or seen. So, it may beckon me again. 

Sidebars:  So much more to our travels than that. Both Google and Facebook are changing their looks.  Not liking either. Amazing Race in Africa was both intriguing and curious. How did the players run through and drive through the bush without fear of animals? Were there hunters with tranquilizer guns out of camera view? The Good Wife has been much better the past couple of weeks.  This weeks episode featured the actress who starred as Brody's wife in Homeland.  I think she messed with her face.  She looked odd to me.  Tonight The Voice is back for week two.  It is still the best singing competition of all of them.  Shakira is too adorable and will definitely broaden her fan base.  Usher has always been mysterious to me so it will be interesting to "get to know" him. The Final Four is complete: Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan, and Syracuse. Should be fantastic basketball! Be wary today; it's April Fool's Day!  

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