Monday, October 31, 2005

8 large bags of candy later (3 full shopping bags) we've turned off the lights and the door knocker is still clanking against the door. We've allowed Betty to tell the kids we're not coming to the door... Paul and I sneak upstairs and only hope our house isn't tp'd.


One of the first things we were told by neighbors is "you moved here just in time for Halloween - prepare yourself". Another neighbor elaborated and told us we should buy about $70 - $80 dollars worth of candy and now I read in the Ridgefield Press than we may get as many as 1,200 Trick or Treaters!! I have a new mailbox with numbers that I painstakenly hand painted - I cannot risk getting it egged which means, off to CVS I go to buy bags and bags of Snickers and Hot Tamales.

Trick or Treaters aside, this holiday is for the adults in this town. People are going crazy with life size witches flying into trees, skeletons hanging from trees, blinking eyes in bushes and it doesn't stop there (read the attached link to learn about the haunted pirate ship).

Betty the bulldog is going to FREAK out.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Being an adult means you have a capacity to admit when you are wrong.

I'm so tired - Tiiiirrrreeeed of people saying the Right is Conservative and the Left is Liberal and you have to be one or the other or else your a wimp with no personal opinion. Is it that the media is filled with idiots like Anne Coulter that tell us this and after a while, we start to believe that's how everyone is? The stress that people feel in their lives is not because of hurricanes and the flu but because we're being told to hate our neighbors. When did we stop respecting our neighbor for his or her own belief regardless if it was our own, and look at him with a cautious eye? If we can't trust our neighbors, who can we trust? As an adult can't we just keep an open mind and be flexible and willing to change and learn as life keeps unfolding in front of us?

The extreme personalities that we hear in the media may be passionate and honestly believe what they're saying but they are mentally retarded because they cannot embrace the fact that life is not black or white. In order for us, as neighbors and Americans and children of this planet who are only here for a short while to ever get along, we better stop tooting our own horns, listen to our neighbors and make up our own minds... just because you are smart doesn't mean everyone else is stupid, Stupid.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks, May You Rest In Peace

Friday, October 21, 2005

It's all good

OK, it has been a few rough weeks with the stress of moving, a new commute to work, a cold that just won't quit and a bit too much rain for my liking but the sun is shining and it is Friday. There may be a bit more rain this weekend but I'm cool with that - my eyebrows have been waxed, the basement has remained dry through this weather and we've got friends coming over on Saturday night for a drink or two and then dinner at Koo (more on Koo later).

The only thing that could top this is if some friends & family that live in Massachusetts and New Hampshire visit soon. ;) XOXO, Kel.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Below is a recent email from my good friend Susan. She's an amazing woman whose non-stop energy has always inspired me. Even while fighting breast cancer, she remains a giving loving person where most people would want to withdraw.
Hello everyone! It has been a while since my last mail. The seasons have changed and life is moving on a bit. I hope this mail finds you all happy and healthy.

I have been back at work full time for awhile. I think I am to the point now of having more stamina and feeling more “normal” everyday.

In addition to going back to work you all know I did the Breast Cancer 3 Day this summer and am toying with the idea of doing it again next year. In September I helped raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Power of a Promise Luncheon as a table captain. And in a full circle of events I joined my doctor and friend Pat Dawson at the Swedish Medical Center Foundation Wellness Luncheon to raise funds for the Swedish Mobile Breast Care Express. This is the mobile unit that came to campus at Microsoft last year and with out it I would not have caught my cancer diagnosis. I attribute the use of this great resource for saving my life.

So with that yours truly has been featured in a couple of articles to help promote the Swedish Mobile Mammography Breast Care Express. The following article was on page three of the King County Journal In addition Microsoft’s internal newsletter the Micronews ran a story Oct 14 high lighting the Mobile Unit on campus and emphasizing that Microsoft employees use it! I can’t send you the url but here is a segment of the article:

“A year later, Susan Woerdehoff returned to work from visiting her chronically ill father. It was her first day back with the MXPS CRM team, and her e-mail inbox brimmed. She realized that she had a mammogram appointment at 10 a.m., and was tempted to skip it. But she also realized that the Swedish Hospital mobile unit, a walk-on mammography clinic, was only five minutes across campus. She attended the appointment. Days later, her life changed.

Woerdehoff learned after additional tests that she had a cancerous lump in her left breast. Luckily, the cancer was caught early, and through surgery and radiation, she is in remission and doing well. Taking one hour out of my day to go to the appointment saved my life,” she says. Despite all that was going on in my life then, something made me to go that appointment. What I do know is that if I’d had to drive to the appointment, I would not have gone. The Swedish mobile unit is a great resource.”

Please pass this info along to encourage others to get checked. Tell your mother’s, daughters, sisters and co-workers. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Early detection saves lives!

Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.



Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tipping Etiquette?

So here I am at work with a dollar bill in my purse and a dead car battery. I've called AAA and they are on their way. Should I be tipping this guy when he arrives? If so, how much? Keep in mind that it is pouring - POURING rain.

It got me thinking about tipping. I always wonder if I overtip some people and should have tipped others. I always leave a couple bucks in hotels for maids regardless if its a W or a Hampton Inn. The lady who washes my hair at my salon always spends about 10 minutes on a scalp massage so she gets $5.00. The woman who cuts my hair charged $45. even though she is worth much more so I tip her $20.00. Keeping in mind that its probably a 40/60 split with the salon. She recently raised her prices to $75.00 and now I'm wondering... Is she going to think me rude for NOT leaving $20.00 but rather $15.00?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Anna Wintour, Vogue's Editor in Chief, deservedly got hit in the face with a tofu pie while leaving one of this weeks Paris fashion show. The reason being that PETA offered to pay full value to place an add in an upcoming issue and she rejected, instead, accepted blood money from furriers. Now, don't get me wrong, I eat fish, eggs and meat because I cannot get my protein sources from vegetables. So, I don't want to be the pot calling the kettle black but I cannot condone wearing fur, where the animal is bred and slaughtered for the purpose of fashion. That is straight up bullshit. If you think the animals are gently put to sleep and they are gently and lovingly skinned, you're completely living in lala land. In many cases, the animals - foxes, rabbit, mink, sheep, are pulled from cages and skinned alive and thrown in a pile with their entire nervous system exposed from their nose to their feet. They can breathe (barely) and see everything that is happening. It is one of the most violent and disgusting acts of human nature and if I had not see it with my own eyes, I never would have believed it. The point is, we have to take responsibility for those that cannot defend themselves. Give up fur. Nothing is more beautiful than someone with an opinion on something that matters.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Congratulations and thank you, Thomas Balsley for creating one of my favorite NYC parks!!

Thomas Balsley not only is awarded the 2005 Honorary Award by the ASLA, it also made the cover of the October 2005 Landscape Architecture magazine.

When Paul and I lived in NYC, we moved into a building that was brand spankin' new on 26th Street and 6th Avenue, which is on the border of the Flatiron district and Chelsea, there were two empty lots in between the new building and the previously existing mid-height brick buildings. This could have been used as another parking space during the week and part of the steller but dwindling flea market that resides in that neighborhood every weekend. Instead, I am happy to say, it was commissioned and turned into a shining example of modern landscape design.

As soon as it was opened in late 2001 and I walked through the 40'x200'
Capital Plaza, I loved it and here is why:
-cross sectional blocks of warm colors allow the space to seem wider than it actually is
-the 90' orange corrugated steel wall has elliptical cutouts that are backlit at night and during the day, the sun and its reflections off of buildings creates elliptal sun drops on the floor of the space.
-The 1/2 elliptical shape of the seating areas breaks up the spaces into rooms between the blocks in a yin-yang manner.
-The raised seating area has natural stone and zen plantings - bamboo and grasses. Very modest but planted in a way that looks very appropriate for the city and natural as well as create a natural bustling sound that dampens the city noise.
-The three ground level rooms each offer a different way of viewing the park: trees above, surrounded by grasses or an out-in-front people watching perspective.
-Large stones that are natural to the northeast look like the landscape architect molded the space around them instead of vice versa.

So, if you find yourself at 26th and sixth, take a few steps to check out what good modern landscape architecture is about.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Old memories

Last week I sent a change of address email to some Seattle friends. Turns out, my old boyfriend who still lives out in Seattle, his parents live less than a half mile away from my husband and me in this town of 40,000 people. Not only that but he was flying into town for a surprise party and did I (and Paul) want to get together for dinner at one of the restaurants in town. Sure! Let's see how akward this will be.

Living in New York you run into people you know or recognize on a regular basis. Sometimes they are former high school friends and sometimes they are celebraties but because you see them on billboards and magazines so often, you take a second glance like you might actually have a past with them. It's a strange sensation when you realize you don't actually know them or rather, they don't know you.

I've always had this weird thought that although there are people we can look up to, it is really up to us as individuals to get what we want out of life. We are all born and we all die, alone - some of us overlap generations and some of us live too short of lives. The strange thing to me is that it is just a fluke that we are all walking the planet at this moment in time. Out of the millions of years this planet has existed, here we are, right now, bickering over stuff that is really really, not important. So, why not just make an effort to co-exist in a positive, peaceful manner instead of trying to stand out as someone that is important. Because really, your not important in a way that doesn't matter.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The last 20 years in New Jersey

Last night was my husbands 20th high school reunion. He promised a good friend that they would go together and despite having just moved into our house and a ton of other things happening right now (can I just have ONE night to chill out - I mean, we finally got our cable and it's calling me) and on Thursday, Paul was offered a backstage pass to one of the best music events to happen in decades but of course it was on reunion night. So, our friend Mike and his beautiful and very pregnant wife who now live 1.5 miles away, picked us up and we headed to Oakland New Jersey for the 20th Indian Hills High School reunion. We got to the door of the Marriot and was told it was $180/couple but there was an open bar (for another hour)... we obliged and went in. Paul's yearbook committee friend Leslie was there with album in hand waiting to show these guys images of their past. Hey, Paul had hair - and lots of it!! He looks better now, as does Mike. Both guys were good looking but their personalities made that somehow not important. Patty and I wanting to eat our penne pasta and mashed potatoes while the guys were at the bar, plopped down at a semi filled table. The guys met us and immediately leaned in to ask "how did you end up sitting at the blonde table?" I looked up to realize that these women coming up on middle age and showing too much cleavage were not making eye contact with anyone other than themselves and seemed OK with that. I had to wonder why they didn't just all go out to dinner instead of shelling out the money to not talk with anyone. Later, Paul told us they bought a page in the yearbook and called themselves the PIGS.. Pretty Intelligent Girls. I guess every school has them. Interestingly enough, quite a few people haven't left - at all - and some even lived in the homes they grew up in or bought homes from neighbors and live down the street from their childhood home. So, the night was something they looked forward to but ultimately, it was anticlimactic. Reunions are meant to reconnect people but it seems all they really do is make people either long for something that was fleeting in the first place or hopefully, realize how much they've done in their lives.

Tonight will be the first gathering of the high school youth group at FPC. It's an interesting juxtoposition to have a HS reunion smack up against a bunch of kids that think they are in the prime of their lives. I wonder, what is the best part of being in high school? The innocence of it all, or leaving it all behind?

Oh, and by the way, New Jersey WAS the opitime of 80s hairstyles gone big - it's all true.