Monday, July 23, 2007


This past week I found out a friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The doctors have decided not to treat him with chemo but rather send him home as there is nothing they can do for him at this point.

Obviously this was not happy news.

I've known him for about 10 years and he is a good friend. When I heard the news by phone I had to just sit afterwards and reflect on our friendship, our memories made so far and certainly about life in general. I mean, did I think this friendship would last forever? Of course no relationship lasts forever. Even in the best and longest of friendships when one person dies there remains another who will feel sad. So since we know that nothing, and no relationship lasts forever in the first place why are we sad when it ends? Don't tell me that it is just natural.

Actually it sounds to me that through our evolution so far we haven't learned and accepted this basic idea so far. I mean billions of human beings have populated this planet and we still get happy and sad for the same reasons as we always have according to history.

What are my emotional options? I could:
Delve fully into celebrating the present and our friendship, after all, he might live longer than we think, knowing I'll still lose him.
Pretend this is not happening. In which case I'll still lose him.
Try to forget about him after he dies.
Try to remember him after he dies, after all the soul continues on forever.
Can I do all of the above??????????

He called me today saying he expects me to come and visit again during the week. What if he doesn't make it to the end of the week? There is some part of me that is soothed knowing that every memory of our time together has been a happy one. And giving thanks somehow alleviates much of the sadness. Somehow by saying 'thanks for the friendship Harvey' to myself I just don't feel as sad. Maybe I'll keep trying that.

Living goes on. New friendships are created. Old ones continue to be enjoyed through the recordings in my mind.

thanks for reading.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Rubin Museum of Art

Wow, yesterday I went to the Rubin museum of art. It is on west 17th street and is dedicated to Himalayan art.
5 floors of Himalayan art.!!!!!!!!!!
We arrived just in time for the one hour guided tour. It was magnificent!
There was also a resident artist who we got to see 'in action' as he progressed along with the painting he has been working on for more than 4 months (and it was nowhere near finished!). It was particularly fasicnating because the painting was not being done with paints as we currently know them - i.e. oil based etc - the artist had pieces of rock which he would grind to powder and mix with water to create the pigments he needed. wonder it's taking him so long :)

To do this kind of painting it must first be drawn out by pencil. We were informed that students of this subject - back in the day of about 2 millenia ago - had to master the pencil drawings first. They were not allowed to touch pigments until 9 YEARS after beginning their training.
I would have never survived!!!!!!!!!

Feel free to check it out yourself, either on line or in person. Here is the website:


Monday, July 9, 2007

Yep, summer...

Ok, so last week I posted 'where is summer' because I was wearing my sweater.
Today, as I write this I am wondering how many articles of clothing I can remove!

Tonight for the first night I will be sleeping with the a/c on! (sorry global warming!)
Mind you, I'd rather be hot than cold any day.
I'm a tropical/mediterreanean weather gal. I'd rather sweat than be bundled up. I'd rather feel the sun on my skin (but not a sun worshipper) than the icy winds on my face.

Interesting comment about air conditioning though, I met someone from Singapore a few years ago and he told me of a speech given by the economic minister there at the time. The minister credited widespread employment of the air conditioner with boosting the country's productivity. Without it, he said productivity had been lower in the past. Very interesting huh?

I visited Singapore two years ago in the summer. Not as hot as Arizona can be in the summer. About the same as NY in my opinion. But I did notice the constant signs in store windows - "We have air cond" (and they say air cond not a/c or air conditioning!) It really was, is, a big thing for them!

Monday, July 2, 2007


I'm wearing a light cashmere sweater today at work.
Cashmere sweater in the summer????
It's a high of 77degrees F. Is this what the beginning of July usually like? I've been cold for so long that I can't seem to remember last year summer.
Now, no need to rant and rave to me about how you can't stand the hot and humid weather. I'm not asking for sweltering humidity but come on...I wanted to put away cashmere sweaters by now! In fact I tried - I had it dry cleaned a few days ago and then realized instead of putting it in storage I had to keep it with me because the weather the next day was going to be rather cool.

A friend has reassured me that I just need to wait about 10 more years for global warming and NY will be as warm as I desire. But, au contraire! As a kid the summers were always hot in NY. Now, they've gotten a bit cooler I find. So so much for the global warming theory, at least as far as NY summer is concerned.

And then because it is SUPPOSED to be summer the building managements and transport management have of course all decided to put on the a/c full blast as if we were actually having a regular summer. So not only am I not happily warm outdoors, I then freeze further as soon as I step indoors!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As Lucy in Charlie Brown would say "Aargh!!"

Am I the only person who feels this way??? As far as I'm concerned, slightly chilled is best for champagne and not for humans....


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oh no, I've joined a forum

Joining a forum? yuck. No, that kind of thing is not for me. I can't spend all my time posting to people's comments.
So that's what I have always thought and acted upon.
Admittedly though I have felt a twinge of guilt at times that I have read postings of many forums and benefitted from the posters' advice and experiences. So I kinda felt that maybe I should join one or two - just to even say thanks for the benefit I've derived from their collective wisdom.
I tried to once. I posted but never saw my comments later on.
Discouraged, I never posted again.

Until now.

This time I joined a forum - yep, actually joined - with the intention of really posting my own initiated comments and continuing discussions started by others.

It almost feels like I am doing my civic duty.

And I'm enjoying it a bit. I joined a forum called the coconut diet forum. And no, I am not on a diet. But it's about using virgin coconut oil for cooking and as a supplement. I have used it for over a year and let me tell you the benefits are fantastic. This uncorrupted oil has been doing lots of good for my body. And I learned alot about using it by reading other folks' experiences via forum postings.

This time I decided to post my experiences with using the oil so that it could help others.
I was so proud of myself.

Then after creating a few posts for each one it said ' this post will be reviewed first'
I was surprised. Then when I read the guidelines (which of course I should have done before trying to create a post) it said that intially postings were not monitored but due to the increased traffic and contributors, it became necessary to filter things. Which I understand - it's always a few bad folks who mess things up for the rest of us and then rules get put in place.

But I was suspicious so I checked the next day to see if my posts made it through the review and they did. They were there!!

Now others can ask me questions about my experience with something that has helped me. I really feel like I am doing something charitable!!!!!!!! Hey, charity just went asynchronous and free!!!!!!!

I guess a great part of my hesistation has always been reading lots of posts on prior forums that are just nonsensical in my opinion - such as 'whasup' (as the only post!!) and such things. I realize now that kind of forum probably does not have posts reviewed beforehand.

THe forum I have joined has a lot of personal relevance and there is a lot of courtesy which I am really appreciating.

It just goes to show - once again, it is not the tool but how it is used.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pre course student survery

The lesson this week is all about preparation. I was almost overwhelmed with all the possibilities and angles from which one must prepare and want to say 'fuggedaboutit' (hey, tonight is the last episode of the Sopranos!).
Considering the likely diversity of the audience I could not help but think of the usefulness of pre-class surveys of any sort. Perhaps in a perfect setting the students would have all registered more than a month in advance and you could send them all surveys to assess their backgrounds/levels accordingly to prepare for the course.
However, I don't think final enrolment happens prior to one month usually and the list of students is always in flux.
What do you all think is the reality of pre-course testing? Has anyone had experience with it?


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Jackie Gleason in The Honeymooners

While everyone else is beginning to make plans for how they will spend their New Year's Day with family and friends (yes, there are lots of folks who are starting this early, darn their plan in advance souls!) I shall be free of any such needless thinking.

I shall have a great time and be entertained the whole way watching the Honeymooners. Hey, you think a birthday comes only once a year? or New Year's Day is only once a year, well you may be right but good ol' Jackie Gleason comes on just once a year too.

Yep, I'll enjoy watching how the male/female marriage dynamic and know that it persists over generations. I think it's a great way to start the year - be realistic about your resolutions, they are about as likely to come true as one of Ralph Kramden's hair brained schemes.

And if you think I'm just putting a damper on things then, 'bang, zoom and to the moon to you'...