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Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel, Silicon Valley hangout.
Irene DeBlasio April 24, 2014 at 07:17 am
@Fritzi Silicon Valley is jam packed with workaholics -- they are so driven and committed to theirRead More inventions (which is why they work so hard). At the same time, they're sacrificing their personal lives. It's scary. I hope Americans don't abandon vacation time. We all need to rest, refocus and relax more. The big problem nowadays in financial. We don't save money, we might invest it but hesitate to use it on something non-essential. There are still plenty of ways to take a vacation without having to spend tons of money. Thanks so much for taking the time to read me and comment. I appreciate it.
Geraldo Cruz April 24, 2014 at 09:41 am
Finally able to log in, Ms. D. An interesting read on first world problems for those of us unable toRead More find jobs!
Irene DeBlasio April 24, 2014 at 10:17 am
@GeraldoCruz Welcome Back. It's good to see your name on a comment. I wondered if you'd movedRead More away. One of my twitter pals, Cherie, advised us to move to a vacation destination. It's a terrific idea if you can afford to move. Or, I suppose you could have a huge garage sale and use the money for transportation to a new location. In any case, I hope you'll land a job soon. I think new startups like Uber are really inventive -- anything you can offer through an app ramps up a more independent spirit. I applaud personal freedom. Why shouldn't we be allowed more choices? Remember these tech giants will be in Maui the beginning of May. If you like Hawaii -- and who doesn't? -- you might inquire about jobs there in Paradise. Thanks again for working through the problems with your sign in page. It's always a pleasure to read your comments.
Studio City's Farmers Market - Erica's picks.
Geraldo Cruz April 19, 2014 at 03:28 pm
Thanks for the advice for my Mom, Ms. D. I'm afraid I must object to your pooh poohing of frozenRead More pizza. It's fast, it's easy, it's inexpensive and it's good. I would rather be comfy and have it done in three minutes than to drive over the hill, battle for a parking space and wait for an overpriced pizza that will be cold by the time I'm home. I've given up cigarettes, meat, chicken, soda, pain killers and I rarely drink. I draw the line at Chinese food and frozen pizza so enjoy your restaurant on Melrose (which sounds delicious, I'll admit) and I will enjoy my bad-for-you, fast-food-ish circle of happiness.
Irene DeBlasio April 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm
@Snow You're right about people adjusting their intake according to age and activity. This is whyRead More it's impossible to create a one-size-fits-all-diet. Kids needs carbs when they're more active. I think we can all take the time to get educated about nutrition and find our own baseline. Then we can adjust the diet. The problem is that most people tend to eat whatever they like until there's a health problem. Thanks so much for joining the conversation. I really appreciate it.
Irene DeBlasio April 19, 2014 at 10:40 pm
@GeraldoCruz I rarely eat pizza but it's one of my favorite foods. For me, when it's a specialRead More treat I'd rather treat myself to an authentic one that's been handmade and has just come out of the oven. Lido on Victory Boulevard, east of Sepulveda has handmade dough -- I recommend it. In any case, you mentioned your mom's eating habits. I thought you might want to know a few basic facts about frozen pizza. DiGiorno lists calories as 279 (lower than I would have guessed for a portion). At the same time it lists carbs at 30 grams and sodium at 806 -- enough to get your blood pressure pumping. I'm very impressed that you've managed to give up so many bad habits and problematic foods. It also sounds like you are a very disciplined person. A little frozen pizza should not be a problem. The scary thing, for example, is when someone starts a kale diet -- they juice it every morning, make a salad of it for lunch, and put it in soup for dinner. There was a cabbage soup craze several years ago and a couple I know had that soup three times a day for months. Yes, they both lost a lot of weight but ended up with severe health problems and moved away to Canada for healthcare. Your comments are always good and I appreciate having you as a loyal reader.
Ah, campus life.
Irene DeBlasio April 16, 2014 at 06:17 am
@Snow I know Mindy Levine is a scientist doing research on projects dealing primarily withRead More chemistry but do not know what her proposal is. Please explain.
Snow April 16, 2014 at 10:04 am
Irene DeBlasio April 16, 2014 at 03:33 pm
@Snow I believe the horses are well taken care of and provided for. There have always been rulesRead More and regulations specifically for them. They are an iconic part of the New York experience. I worked on the John V. Lindsay campaign for Mayor of New York. When he won, he and Mary joined all his campaign workers on bicycles riding through Central Park -- he closed it down to vehicular traffic on Sundays. What a joyous experience - just the Hansom cabs and bike riders. Lindsay was a most inclusive Mayor. The new Mayor lacks the people skills to engage the cooperation he needs. I agree with you. It's not really about the horses, it's about money and power. New York is a great tourist destination -- it needs to have special attractions. I ice skated with my kids, visited the zoo and children's zoo, rode the carousel, climber Alice in Wonderland, sailed boats on the boat pond, went to the Paper Bag Players, museums, theater, Serendipity, you-name-it. I honestly love the carriage rides in Central Park -- there's no compromise. You might want to visit the post which follows this one. I just posted it this morning. See what you think about it. "Everything good is bad again"
Fort Hood - scene of tragedy again.
Irene DeBlasio April 5, 2014 at 05:17 pm
@GeraldoCruz Approximately 22 veteran per day are committing suicide -- about one per hour.Read More There's something terribly wrong with the system. I realize that thanks to skilled surgeons and medical advances wounded warriors are able to survive some horrific injuries. Now they need much more support coming back into society. The VA is overwhelmed but we need to refocus our attention on our own needs instead of using dollar diplomacy abroad.
William Bauer April 7, 2014 at 02:06 pm
You have once again cut to the root of the "Catch 22" problem. Today I only take bloodRead More pressure medication. Gone is the Xanax from my past which made me feel suicidal. Gone is my daughter's Abilify, which made her feel the same way. These are effective drugs if working in conjunction with close monitoring and feedback. All too often physicians use a scatter gun approach. IE: "Oh well, if this doesn't work let's try this instead". We are human beings, not automobiles where if changing one part doesn't correct the problem try another. All of the troubled shooters have the same common denominitor, troubled people given meds indiscriminately. We must monitor these people and especially our vets and give them the care they neeed and deserve. We owe them no less.
Irene DeBlasio April 7, 2014 at 04:47 pm
@WilliamBauer Big Pharma spends a lot of money on advertising. If you try to watch networkRead More programs you are constantly bombarded with commercials for drugs. It becomes so annoying to be subjected to cute animal youtube videos and nonsense during the supposed "news" interspersed with commercials for Cialis, Viagra, Axiron, etc. The side effects are listed in a matter-of-fact way. "If you're dead, stop taking the product." The drugs, especially the SSRIs are given to people who often stop taking their meds. It's a terrible dilemma -- patients must be monitored. Aside from the vets and others with psychological and mental problems we have the issue of gun-free zones. Why not paint a target on these places? If the troops at Fort Hood were trusted to go into battle why are they not permitted to carry guns? I would think that at least high-ranking officers should be allowed to carry. We can crack down on the sale of guns to people under medical treatment for mental illness but we probably cannot control the illegal sale of guns to people who really want them. I agree, our veterans deserve the highest level of care. Thank you, as always for your thoughtful comment.
Show me the pie chart.
Lucien Lacomb April 3, 2014 at 09:16 am
Americans was accountability for their hard-earned money. They want value for programs they areRead More paying for -- and leadership. With so many living in poverty, who can blame them?
William Bauer April 6, 2014 at 07:22 pm
Den Mom, once again your thinking outside the box should be relayed to the people who are running(?)Read More our country so they could at least learn the rudiments of here to begin. Your post should be required reading. Keep them coming!
Irene DeBlasio April 6, 2014 at 10:10 pm
@WilliamBauer For a second I thought you wrote "to the people who are ruining ourRead More country" which is also an apt phrase. I don't appreciate being told about all these cuts we must make to our military when people in office are spending millions to hobnob with the rich and famousl for a few hours and go globe-trekking around the world taking far too many vacations. When elected representatives are not even performing their jobs and recklessly spending hard-earned taxpayer money to go off on fundraising trips that's outrageous. Americans want to see the value we're getting instead of paying the nonstop bills for people with spending addictions. Especially those who try to bully us into accepting their ideas on how to live. Thank you dear friend for all your support.
Ugly Americans ready to travel.
Irene DeBlasio March 28, 2014 at 09:46 pm
@David You bring up a good point. Manhattan/Malibu types visiting in Nebraska or vice versaRead More probably suffer a certain culture clash. We're a vast country with regional customs, foods, ideas, accents and beliefs. You're right -- plenty of conflict right here in the USA. What do you value -- southern efficiency or northern hospitality? I seriously doubt that President Obama is ramping up his discussion about same-sex marriage with the Saudi King tonight either. As visitors in another state or part of the country we should make an effort to blend in and have the grace to shut up and listen. We must find a way to remain grounded in our own principles and to be respectful of other people's beliefs. We can try to dress in a reserved fashion and try not to be pretentious. Thank you, David, for adding the most important dimension of travel - to participate and observe new ideas, new surroundings and to always show tolerance.
William Bauer April 7, 2014 at 03:04 pm
I traveled in Europe last July and saw first hand some prime examples of "Eht YlguRead More Nacirema". As one who speaks fluent German I was able to listen to some of the feedback from the native denizens regardng their foreign visitors as to manners and dress. What happened to:"When in Rome do as the Romans do"? We should not be barbarians. Keep them coming Den Mom.
Irene DeBlasio April 10, 2014 at 07:24 am
@WilliamBauer Did you notice that many of the Europeans, especially the younger generation, try toRead More emulate Americans? I think it's sweet to see so many locals in the major cities wearing American baseball caps and blue jeans which have been ironed. Our governments might be clashing but for the most part the natives appreciate everything about being American. Thank you for commenting.
Hey Bossy, knock it off!
Irene DeBlasio March 21, 2014 at 01:43 pm
@AlexandraBylczynski I have a hunch they're bored billionaire CEOs with too much time and money onRead More their hands. I'd suggest they either volunteer for military duty or at the Veteran's Administration. They might get a glimpse of reality. Thanks so much for reading me and registering your opinion. (The check is in the mail -- or to not offend the bossy gals, the check in no longer in the male, it's in the female.)
Nancy Crueger March 21, 2014 at 02:01 pm
Well, I'm certainly not going to bully anybody into reading your articles. That just defeats theRead More purpose. But I am very happy to be bossy enough to let people know they're missing some very good and often profound writing if they don't read them. I always look forward to your next reflections, and your often singular approach to a subject. Do keep us happy!
Irene DeBlasio March 21, 2014 at 04:07 pm
@NancyCrueger I am so flattered. Your comment reminds me of a classmate who had enormous drive butRead More was never bossy. She was gifted with organizational skills, could delegate duties, apply her knowledge to a project and bring out the best in her team to reach the final goal on time. Whether it was the school paper or yearbook she was a proven leader. I enjoy the company of bossy people too but I don't necessarily consider them to be great leaders. I once had a female boss who was a chicktator -- downright domineering. I would have welcomed a bossy one. Thank you for the kudos -- they make me happy. Keep coming back.
Americana at Brand and The Grove will probably survive.
Lucien Lacomb March 16, 2014 at 09:56 am
You are so resourceful. You should become a consultant for some city.
Irene DeBlasio March 16, 2014 at 01:44 pm
Political leaders seem to inherit their posts by Divine Right - they won't let other people have aRead More chance to contribute or lead changes. I'm learning that we can't really change direction from within our government because too many people will not step down, because of cronyism, because the government is broken and nobody is listening to the people. We have people in congress who have been there for 20, 30 and 40 years or more who refuse to step down. They like the pay, perks and pensions too much to allow someone else a turn at bat. This is why we don't have a responsive government that cares about our poverty-stricken, our veterans and the broken middle class. They want the power and control. The only way we can change direction is from the outside. Many thanks for your vote of confidence and the very nice compliment.
Irene DeBlasio March 26, 2014 at 09:55 pm
Another mall retail store Brookstone ready to declare bankruptcy. Mall stores and fast foodRead More franchises collapsing. How can malls survive?
St. Catherine's Church, Pelham, New York
Irene DeBlasio March 10, 2014 at 04:07 pm
@nonoise I wish I could help but I'm not in charge of all churches. I have no idea which churchRead More this is but my post is actually about St. Catherine's in Pelham, New York. Have you gone to the rectory to ask Father Ortiz to alter his sound system so it doesn't bother the neighborhood? I'm sorry this is so distressing for you and other neighbors but you might visit him personally with your complaint or round up your neighbors and get a petition started. I recommend that you never visit a Muslim country. On a visit to Istanbul for example, you hear a very loud "call to prayer" from minarets five times a day. Traffic stops and people scramble to wash in public fountains, run to the Mosque, drop their shoes, grab a prayer rug and file inside for prayer. Others learn to practice acceptance and tolerance.
Katharine Albertson April 11, 2014 at 03:15 pm
You have always been good.
Irene DeBlasio April 11, 2014 at 05:52 pm
@KatharineAlbertson You have always been a peach! Perfect!
The balconies of the French Quarter.
Irene DeBlasio February 28, 2014 at 03:40 pm
@NancyCrueger What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas but what happens in New Orleans stays with youRead More -- in your heart, mind and spirit for the rest of your life. I once caught a tootsie roll from a passing float on Canal Street too. I never ate it -- kept it with my collection of beads. Are you sure you didn't get the plastic baby from one of the king cakes? I'm glad my post triggered a few happy memories for you and your daughter. People often ask how they can help the residents of the city to recover after Katrina. The very best way to help is to revisit and treat yourself to all the riches the city has to offer, especially the fabulous food, music and culture. I appreciate your taking the time to read me and comment.
chloe February 28, 2014 at 10:15 pm
I love this piece. I'm obsessed with southern culture and this just makes me even more so! I'veRead More always wanted to visit New Orleans. I'm not sure if I'd be quite prepared for the craziness of Mardi Gras though. I'd like to go at a normal time(well I don't know if there is such a thing there) to really experience the true culture n"awlins has to offer. Powdered sugar and all!
Irene DeBlasio March 1, 2014 at 08:41 am
@chloe Southern hospitality is a great antidote to northern efficiency. When you travel to NewRead More Orleans always choose a companion who will appreciate the culture and customs. I highly recommend taking a tour of some of the incredible surrounding areas such as the plantations. Too many people look at these glorious places and can only think in terms of how slavery was wrong. They are judging history and missing the point. We should honor these talented and strong people. Without them we would not have our bridges, skyscrapers, roads, tunnels, dams, monuments, gardens. We wouldn't have their rich legacy and pride in a job well done. Go with an open mind and heart. Expose yourself to the Civil War with the realization that it could happen again when people cannot show tolerance and practice acceptance. Most hotels in New Orleans can arrange tours for you. I suggest you visit Lake Pontchartrain and San Francisco Plantation for starters. The temperature right now is in the mid 60s. New Orleans is always enjoyable -- except for hurricane season. I'm so glad you enjoyed my post and took the time to comment. I always feel enriched when readers share their thoughts with me.
Always look for the catch of the day.
Irene DeBlasio February 20, 2014 at 07:57 am
@GeraldoCruz Many thanks. If you have any suggestions you would like to add please consider addingRead More them in a comment on my blog or post it on one of the community boards. We're trying to warn others about potential health hazards because many times a tragic situation must happen before the FDA or any consumer group takes action. Small children like those fruit cups and as it happened with lots of toys imported from China plenty of dangers were lurking. Thanks for being such a loyal reader.
Geraldo Cruz February 20, 2014 at 08:40 am
No suggestions, Ms. D. I just wish your blog were easier to find as I enjoy reading it.
Irene DeBlasio February 21, 2014 at 10:12 am
@GeraldoCruz I'm flattered to have a few loyal readers like you who read the posts and comment.Read More Many thanks for sticking with me. I'm powerless on layout or editorial matters -- happy you always manage to find me. Keep coming back.
The cake that Frank licked.
Irene DeBlasio February 14, 2014 at 01:00 pm
@GeraldoCruz In a dreadful economy savvy people downsize everything. I'll need to talk with CousinRead More Guido but you can bet they're not wearing their Bruno Magli or Gucci loafers -- let alone Air Jordans. Their designer suits have been put into storage. I think the only status symbol allowed is the haircut -- there are a couple of famous barbers and they're permitted in the big house to visit their best customers. No other perks or status symbols to my knowledge. The judges who are trying the Mafiosi court cases are huddled together in a minivan in the evening and brought to a seafood restaurant in Mondello. All the lights are turned off when they enter. They run to the special dining room upstairs - then the lights in the restaurant go on again. Their driver/body guard has a table of his own near the entrance. It's a wonderful comedy. I'll let you know about the footwear.
William Bauer February 17, 2014 at 04:55 pm
i don't know what these people are thinking by boycotting the Olympics with the great PRRead More opportunities whille ignoring the terrible human rights abuses going on all over the world. They could use a "trip to the woodshed." As usual I appreciated your timely message and Ms. Crueger's input, among others. Keep them coming Den Mom!
Irene DeBlasio February 18, 2014 at 10:54 am
@WilliamBauer The US Olympic Team trains for years in order to compete and participate in the mostRead More wonderful global event which can bring opposing nations together. I don't understand why President Obama chose to ignore the great opportunity he had to show his tolerance and acceptance of other people's values. He could have taken the high road by attending with a small group of gay people. He seems to prefer White House extravaganzas with pop musicians and basketball players, not exactly great role models. Instead of leading our exceptional young athletes he went off to the desert to meet the King of Saudi Arabia, while the First Lady went skiing and the Vice President went on vacation. Sadly, our government doesn't seem to be representing us at all. They seem to think only of themselves. Many thanks for your comment. I always appreciate hearing from a dear old friend.
The Party at the Plaza for the Fab Four.
Alexandra Bylczynski February 10, 2014 at 05:12 pm
I never met the Beatles, but I did work in their agents' Chicago office. As such, I was lucky toRead More have gotten comp tickets for their Chicago and Detroit concerts. They were phenomenal -- when I could hear them over the screaming. I also had tickets for NY and met a lot of fans while congregating outside their hotel. On the day of the concert, I learned that a singer friend of mine was performing at a small, cozy, QUIET, nightclub in town and my plans changed. I made arrangements to see my friend's show, headed to "the hotel" where the fans were always gathered and began vetting the crowd until I found two girls in tears who didn't have tickets and handed mine over to them. I have to admit it felt good, especially when they asked for my autograph when they learned I worked for the Beatles' agent. Your adventure still trumps mine, but it jogged a nice memory for me.
Irene DeBlasio February 10, 2014 at 06:21 pm
@AlexandraBylczynski I heard one of their songs on the radio in New York and asked my husband ifRead More his company, MacFadden-Bartell might want to do a paperback book about the Fab Four. They said yes to the project and we divided up the research. He got to meet them at the airport on arrival that freezing morning with the media circus. I went to the cocktail party at the Plaza and we both went to Carnegie Hall. The paperback sold out immediately (50 cents). Years later I saw the book in a used bookstore window in Burbank. The bookstore owner wanted $40 for it. Outrageous for a slim paperback. I took out my driver's license and asked for a discount -- I can always use an extra copy. We bargained for a while and he sold it to me for $8 -- I happily paid it because there aren't that many copies around anymore. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story. It's heartwarming to know there are caring and generous people around. Blessings to you.
William Bauer February 17, 2014 at 02:50 pm
I thank you for sharing this wonderful moment with us. It is no surprise that the memories are soRead More fresh after 50 years. I truly appreciate everything you submit. Please keep them coming.
Tenth Grade Graduation.
Irene DeBlasio February 7, 2014 at 05:45 pm
@GeraldoCruz Many thanks for revisiting the post to let me know. I appreciate that.
Irene DeBlasio February 7, 2014 at 05:51 pm
@LucienLacomb I know many retired people who would happily volunteer their services at communityRead More centers to help the homeless and immigrants who are eager to learn English as a second language as well as our customs and history. Sadly government does not encourage us to use our local resources. I guess it's a matter of control. Many thanks for being a loyal reader.
Irene DeBlasio February 7, 2014 at 06:01 pm
@chloe The American Dream seems to be slipping away. You're right. As voting citizens we must tryRead More to elect new people as our representatives in order to bring innovation and new beginnings. Always remember that this is a Constitutional Republic -- not a Democracy. We put people in office to represent us and they work for us (not the other way around). I see couples and single parents stick an ipad in front of infants nearly every day. It's distressing. I don't understand why they even bother to have children. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I hope you continue to read my posts.
Siwanoy School, Pelham, New York
Irene DeBlasio February 1, 2014 at 06:30 pm
@NancyCrueger How flattering and gratifying it feels to receive kudos from such an erudite scholar!Read More You exemplified the best and brightest of our classmates while I struggled and crawled along. Thank you for taking the time to read me and comment. The brain of a dyslexic is very much like a faulty computer -- it has trouble receiving, processing, storing, responding to and communicating information. As with a computer it sometimes becomes necessary to close all the windows and shut down for a while, then reboot. I reboot after a power nap every afternoon and feel energized. Now about those evil genies -- you need a firewall and good security system. If they're not available I can summon my cousin Guido in Sicily and ask him to bring his Louisville Slugger. He aims for the knees but tends to swing wide. Yes, that's sweet Jere Ann way on the right. xoxoxo
Lucien Lacomb February 1, 2014 at 09:52 pm
Does you cousin Guido make house calls? I can think of a few stops for him to make in Washington onRead More behalf of the American people.
Irene DeBlasio February 2, 2014 at 07:43 am
@LucienLacomb Cousin Guido is busy taking lessons from Tony the Butcher right now. He wants toRead More move into a legit business and is trying to loin all he can.
Gliding to Harry's Bar for dinner in Venice
Irene DeBlasio January 26, 2014 at 10:53 am
@kinder1.maree Your mention of your birthday is so vivid. When my dear sister had a short time toRead More live she said that her only regret was never having visited Venice. I arranged for a trip for us and your memory is so similar to mine. She and I took a gondola ride down the Grand Canal to the Piazza San Marco and heard the music from the Florian Café. There were wonderful scenes of tourists and locals enjoying the magic of Venice -- just like a scene out of "Summertime" with Katherine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi. My sister died of cancer eight months later. Thanks so much for sharing your own memory with us.
Lucien Lacomb January 27, 2014 at 04:33 pm
You are so right about those big ships. Explorer of the Seas -- a 3.000 plus passenger ship hasRead More now 600 ill passengers and must return to its home port. The smaller ships do not force passengers into the dining rooms or any public rooms at the same time. Illness probably stays better confined. I would never want to go on one of those floating condos -- there's always some problem. Thank you for the good advice about ship travel.
Irene DeBlasio January 29, 2014 at 03:57 pm
@LucienLacomb The one and only place where I enjoy sailing on a large ship is in the Caribbean --Read More the more the merrier. Having lived in Puerto Rico (where my father owned a factory) after a while most of the islands begin to look alike. The accents are different but most Americans go to the area to buy duty-free merchandise, lie on the beach and drink. I was on a tender boat returning to our anchored ship once and three very drunk passengers fell overboard. We circled around until the crew were able to secure them and lift them back into the tender. There were only about ten people in the dining room that night. The Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic are so much better to visit on a small ship which can get into more exotic ports.
Whose Child is Next?
Irene DeBlasio January 18, 2014 at 08:54 pm
@RuthSalvatierra You are so right. Bullying has reached epidemic proportions and the dropout rateRead More at the high school level has skyrocketed. Parenting, or the lack of it is a huge problem. I believe a small percentage of school shooters crave the attention of their own parents and act out in order to be noticed, to make themselves important. Recently I spoke with a neighbor who claimed that as a child he attended private school where achieving excellence was the norm. When his parents divorced his mother sent him to public school and he encountered the opposite. Kids tried to outdo each other gang-banging, swearing, doing drugs and drinking. He was bullied and dropped out of school because he was so petrified. Now he's in his 40s and regrets having dropped out. He's enrolled in classes gather enough units to finally get his high school diploma. He says he's exhausted coming home from work and trying to be a caring father and husband but he's determined to reach this goal for himself and he's nearly there. You seem to have turned out very well despite your ordeal. Kids can be so cruel to other kids but without parental guidance they end up with a distorted picture of life. I appreciate hearing from readers like you who have opinions and are willing to share them. Blessings. I hope we can all take the action you speak about starting now.
Lucien Lacomb January 19, 2014 at 04:05 pm
Thank you for the update about the Roswell, New Mexico school shooting. You are so right to pursueRead More your children's task force. The children need it. There are so many kids who would benefit from testing and tracking for mental illness. Thank you for championing their cause.
Irene DeBlasio January 19, 2014 at 05:14 pm
@LucienLacomb As you can tell by reading other posts on my blog I've been committed to this causeRead More for a long time. Children don't vote so it seems nobody is watching out for them. There are so many threatening forces out there. The homeless children, foster kids, adopted children who face trauma along with threats from society including pedophiles, pornographers, abusive and toxic parents -- something more must be done to protect them. Children who suffer from mental and psychological illness and learning disabilities are suffering in silence. We must do something to help.
Stress is Good.
Irene DeBlasio January 12, 2014 at 07:56 am
@IlonaSaari Wine and cheese? It's the perfect stress buster. So are hot chocolate or warm milkRead More with cookies or lying on the beach in Hawaii under swaying palms with the faint music of a slack-key guitar and the sound of the surf. Too many people would rather pop a pill or two and that becomes a real problem. They're not treating the source of their anxiety, they're treating the symptoms. This practice backfires sooner or later and they end up in a 30-day wonder program which practically guarantees return visits to rehab for chemical dependency. So, Brava! I bet a delicious onion soup made by Richard would have a calming effect too. Thanks for visiting your old neighborhood. Keep coming back.
Lucien Lacomb January 14, 2014 at 09:28 am
Do you use the Hawaii beach imagery for self-hypnosis? It seems perfect for a relaxation technique.
Irene DeBlasio January 14, 2014 at 10:20 am
@LucienLacomb To paraphrase Mark Twain -- giving up smoking is easy. I've done it dozens of times.Read More Yes, in my quest for a smoke-free life I spent 10 years on and off trying to find the solution. I tried walking, running, dancing, cigars, acupuncture, doing aerobics, Yoga, meditation and self-hypnosis. I became adept at using self-hypnosis to the point of falling asleep each time I imagined myself lying on a lounge on the beach in Hawaii (my head shaded by palm trees, my legs in the sun). I kept this technique for power naps. I discovered that the Nicoderm patch worked well for smoking cessation and slapped that patch on everyday until I was ready to toss the cigarettes. Addendum: If I'm ever diagnosed with a terminal illness I will probably go out and buy a carton of coffin nails and smoke 'em.
The Los Angeles DeBlasio family in a Hansom cab in New York City.
Larry January 17, 2014 at 08:43 am
Typical republican response, name calling. I agree with Jonathan. And moreover, the horsesRead More "are" going to be taken off the streets and the poor "are" going to be helped thanks to our great national progressive movement. You can't stop progress!!! Oh and I'm sure your parents or grandparents had wonderful memories of slaves cooking their food and rubbing their toes. But guess what? That's right, you just can't stop progress. RIP lady.
Irene DeBlasio January 18, 2014 at 12:26 pm
@Larry Who do you suppose built all the greatest cities, monuments, bridges, skyscrapers in theRead More world? Slaves! Somewhere down the line your ancestors depended on slaves too. Whether they were Native American, Chinese or African American -- they built the world. We should honor that legacy but let's not confuse it with equality. Enjoy the rebirth of Tammany Hall and the Progressive Era. "The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." Aristotle
Larry January 21, 2014 at 11:09 am
What's your point? You're pro slavery? Let's recap, your for cruelty to animals, against taxingRead More the rich to feed the poor, and your pro slavery. Next thing you know you'll be "calling" yourself a christian. Unbelievable!
You may think that this is the end. Well, it is.
Irene DeBlasio January 4, 2014 at 05:10 pm
@KimMiller Whoever believed that you could keep your healthcare plan and your doctor must beRead More delusional. I never believed that for one second. I'm sorry but we happen to agree with you. What idiots are you referring to?
William Bauer January 4, 2014 at 05:10 pm
I hope it comes to pass.
Irene DeBlasio January 4, 2014 at 07:37 pm
@WilliamBauer It never will -- the House would never return a seat to any community. There's tooRead More much money and power at stake. We can dream, can't we?
Swan song for Old Man Usta.
Irene DeBlasio December 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm
@WilliamBauer You can't imagine how flattering it is to have a childhood friend as a loyal reader.Read More I am blessed. Now about that sonnet -- we usta make New Year resolutions which we felt only sabotaged our efforts in life. We promise only one resolution for 2014 and that is to write a sonnet. I hope it doesn't matter whether it's the Italian or Shakespearean format. Blessings and Hugs to you, dear old pal. Thanks for the comment -- keep coming back.
Ruth Salvatierra December 31, 2013 at 02:28 pm
Loved USTA. I USTA to be young and USTA live in those GOOD OLE DAYS. Perhaps when 2014 finishes weRead More will be able to say now that is more like what it USTA to be. I'm a cockeyed optimist. One thing we can always count on is the great writing you share with us all. God Bless and a Happy New Year!!
Irene DeBlasio January 13, 2014 at 03:47 pm
@RuthSalvatierra What a wonderful compliment! I thought Old Man Usta had finally died but amRead More delighted that you found him. Thank you so much for being so supportive. Stay close by -- I need you and all the other generous people who enjoy reading my posts. Blessings and Hugs to you.
My beautiful old home in Pelham Manor, N.Y.
Irene DeBlasio December 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm
@WilliamBauer It's so gratifying to have my old Pelham pals read and comment here. Then again, ourRead More Pelham High Class was one for the record books, wasn't it? 127 hard-working, sober, patriotic, caring and loving people -- 34 of whom were honor students. I attribute that to parents who cared, a close-knit community and a fabulous school with lots of after-class clubs and activities. I was always busy after school - ice skating, horseback riding, chorus, field hockey Spanish Club with FiFi Liboz -- and somehow I helped my Mom with errands, walked the dogs and did homework. My sister and I were allowed to listen to the radio for an hour or so at bedtime. I remember Lux Radio Theater, Inner Sanctum, The Phantom, etc. I actually think it helped our imagination and creativity. In any case, take care dear pal. Thanks for being a part of those formative years -- I believe our bonds are stronger than ever. xoxoxo
Arius Brightwing December 22, 2013 at 02:44 pm
I loved reading your memories. I was wondering, with all the big gatherings, if you had any pets asRead More a kid. Thanks and happy holidays!
Irene DeBlasio December 22, 2013 at 09:05 pm
@AriusBrightwing We had a Jack Russell named Duke and he carried on like royalty -- very snooty andRead More not the least bit cuddly. Molly was a huge old springer spaniel given to us by the Colonel and his wife who taught my brother at Peekskill Military Academy when he retired. He and his wife moved to a retirement village where pets were not permitted so we inherited Molly at the age of 11. We also had a cocker spaniel named Cookie -- spunky and overly active but he thought Molly was his mother and would cuddle up next to her to sleep. We also had a black and white cat named Melvin -- I got his as a tiny kitten. When Melvin was a little more than a year old he had 4 kittens. What a shock! It turns out, well you know...his name was changed to Melvina. Yes, we had lots of pets but I was the baby of the family who had the fewest chores so I got stuck feeding them, walking them and making sure they had cushy, warm beds and lots of exercise. It was so sad when Molly died a few years later. We all missed her so much, it was heartbreaking. What a great question and a wonderful name you have. Thanks and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Cheers - A Remembrance Toast
Ilona Saari December 15, 2013 at 08:33 am
Loved your memory epic... so, of course I had to tell you about our first annual Ojai ChristmasRead More party (last nite) after over 30 years of hosting our big Christmas Eve bash in Studio City. This year we started small... 22 people for cocktails and tho no one made Rob Roys (perfect or otherwise) we started the evening w/ a pretty in red champagne cocktail compliments of a bit of cranberry juice - then moved to chardonnays, pinot noir, or a bit of scotch, vodka (chilled, of course), gin or bourbon... Richard made some amazing appetizers of poached salmon, a creamy shrimp dish, tuna spread and fauz chopped chicken livers - oh and a eggplant 'caviar' spread... It was fun and was in keeping w/ your piece as a few people attending were from the 50's cocktail era - tho there's been a real resurgence toward those cocktails again which is kind of mad men wonderful - everything old becomes new again...
Ilona Saari December 15, 2013 at 08:42 am
Love and miss PJ Clarke's... for 20 years I lived a few blocks away on 55th bet. lst and Sutton andRead More would walk to the bar and meet friends for a juicy cheeseburger or a steak Diane... while researching my last book (a suspense thriller in NYC), I was bummed to find out that that wonderful ole tavern that survived the demolition of the block and stands alone against a towering skyscraper has been 'franchised' and sort of replicated elsewhere in the city. Was so sorry to learn this, then see this the last time I 'went home'.... doing that just made one of my favorite ole haunts less special.
Irene DeBlasio December 15, 2013 at 10:08 am
@IlonaSaari Elaine's, RIP. We'll never see the likes of Ms. Elaine K, again. Goodbye to the UESRead More and all the fine folk - Felker, Plimpton, Maas, Heller, Talese, Wolfe. Tip of the hat to Joe Allen's for delicious hamburgers and Sardi's for being the hotspot -- especially upstairs on any opening night. Sad about PJ Clarke's. I truly miss Herb Sargent and the talented writers who created SNL. Glad to hear you and Richard are thriving in Ojai - Bravi. Just don't go too far north. It's a big state and we need to keep the middle from collapsing under the pressure of the north and the south. Blessings and Hugs
For Sugar Plum Fairies
Geraldo Cruz December 10, 2013 at 10:28 am
Ms. D, I am curious... what is something you would want for Christmas?
Irene DeBlasio December 12, 2013 at 05:04 pm
@GeraldoCruz I never get tired of Crazy shirts -- the perfect clothing for Californians. IRead More wouldn't mind a Grandma's blueberry coffee cake either. I sent in a donation to Wikipedia and hope we can all spare a few dollars just for them.
William Bauer December 12, 2013 at 06:33 pm
I sent a donation to Wikipedia and they sent back a most gracious thank you note.
Keeping relevant and classy
Irene DeBlasio December 2, 2013 at 10:20 am
@GeraldoCruz Zorro, Batman and Dracula wear capes. In other words, capes are usually only worn byRead More vampires, superheroes and magicians -- not Trader Joe! Although I once saw Leonard Bernstein leaving his home in Manhattan wearing one. He actually looked fashionably elegant as he swept away into his waiting limo. In any case, don't look for a cape at Trader Joe's -- most people are looking for 2-buck chuck. What makes you so special? Note: you won't find one at Whole Foods either, just a parade of Lexii and Priii. Superfood is a marketing tool with little or no scientific basis. It is purposely misused to fool the public into believing that they're getting huge benefits from anything marked thusly. My parents lived to be ancient -- they ate everything they wanted. Nobody told them about superfoods or capes. If you truly want a cape I suggest you get in touch with Jeff Bezos. He can probably send you one by drone in 30 minutes or less (delivered right to your door).
chloe December 3, 2013 at 07:34 pm
Unfortunately very true. Working at two restaurants these phrases are used in every conversation IRead More hear. Even as a waiter I have to use the same phrases over and over. I feel like a robot. A lot of them came from Shakespeare. It's to bad he's not around now to come up with some new ones.
Irene DeBlasio December 4, 2013 at 07:41 am
@chloe I applaud your ambition and stamina - working two restaurant jobs! Brava! It must beRead More difficult to be a server on your feet all day trying to please customers. I owned and operated a boutique and did all the buying, kept the books and did some of the selling -- I had an excellent sales associate I could rely on. Still, it's a demanding job working with the public and trying to please their different tastes. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and comment. By the way, is that menu item gluten-free (that phrase must drive you crazy). Keep up the great attitude, even when you feel like a robot.
Home, Sweet Home in Pelham Manor, NY
Irene DeBlasio November 24, 2013 at 02:04 pm
@chloe What a wonderful compliment -- I'm so flattered. Nearly every holiday was celebrated at myRead More house. My mother and father adored entertaining. We sometimes had formal New Year's Eve parties with a small musical combo and dancing. I only wish more people took pictures in those days. As for the yams, I don't know if that's still a holiday menu option anymore. Toasting marshmallows at a cookout is still fun though. Many thanks for your comment. Keep coming back.
Barbara Krause November 25, 2013 at 08:42 am
I know that our parents would be pleased to know that we all still gather and celebrateRead More Krausemas--Thanksgiving and gift exchange.
Irene DeBlasio November 25, 2013 at 05:27 pm
@BarbaraKrause Hello neighbor, thanks for taking the time to read me and comment. Glad to hearRead More you still have family gatherings -- that's what it's all about. My family have all left and are probably celebrating without me somewhere... Happy Thanksgiving to you -- with hugs.
Yes, they can!
chloe November 18, 2013 at 11:35 am
What about condi rice?
Irene DeBlasio November 18, 2013 at 02:03 pm
@chloe Doctor Condoleezza Rice is unquestionably qualified to become president. She will not runRead More however because people associate her closely with President George Bush and the war in Iraq. The fundamental reason for going into Iraq was the belief that our intelligence was correct in claiming that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Good question -- many thanks for your comment.
Irene DeBlasio November 18, 2013 at 02:19 pm
@GeraldoCruz @LucienLacomb I agree with many of your opinions -- both of you. I understand whatRead More you mean when you mention the possibility of Hillary mentoring another woman -- namely Gillibrand who is the Junior Senator from New York (having taken over from Hillary). I agree with Cruz -- we should support the best person for the job -- it should never be a gender-specific matter. I too feel that would be discriminatory. However, I doubt there has ever been a time in the past when so many women have been elected to lead their countries. As for your assertion that the Tea Party has shot itself in the foot -- I feel it is a strong movement and will become even more powerful with more Americans than ever feeling disenfranchised and helpless about having a voice in government. I would agree with you about term limits but we already have the ballot box and have the ability to vote people out of office just the way we voted them in. I think we'd benefit by having fewer things legislated and regulated altogether. Too much legislation tends to limit our freedoms. Kristi Noem might be the dark horse newcomer that Republicans need. She is unknown -- sort of like a guy named Barack Obama. Thank you both for your very astute observations and for participating.
Hope for the homeless, forgotten children
Lucien Lacomb November 16, 2013 at 03:21 pm
I have "adopted" a wounded warrior and bring him hot coffee and sandwiches a couple timesRead More a week. There's a touching granny and her grandson I see every so often. It's obvious that the elderly woman depends upon the young boy, who is probably about 12, to be her caregiver. I slip them a few dollars when I see them but hate to invade their privacy. Thank you for blessing us with this tragic eye-opener.
chloe November 16, 2013 at 03:31 pm
What a nice story. I was in Twains, a local coffee shop last night with a friend. A homeless manRead More came up to our table and I gave him a few dollars. He went up to an older couple a few tables away from mine and the waiter politely asked him to leave. The older woman said "no no that's alright ill buy him dinner." And so the homeless man sat down at the bar and drank some coffee and had a hamburger. It impressed me and my friend and reminded us to pay it forward. If only more people were like this woman. Perhaps the world would have potential to be a better place.
Irene DeBlasio November 16, 2013 at 04:57 pm
@chloe What a lovely story and gesture of kindness. A friend named George just emailed me and saidRead More there are so many handouts and entitlements available now, why is the homeless population growing? In the economic downturn so many people lost their homes to foreclosure, their jobs and their life savings that the only reasonable option for many was to get rid of unnecessary belongings, to downsize, to move and try to live without comforts. When factories close down people tend to move away to start a new life, to look for work in a more affordable place. Due to much better medications more veterans were able to survive horrific injuries but wait to be processed to receive benefits. There are multitudes who don't want to rely on government for anything because of lack of trust. What you, your friend and the woman who bought dinner for the homeless man did were beautiful random acts of kindness. As the say goes, what comes around goes around. I applaud your generosity.
Adult Baby
Irene DeBlasio November 2, 2013 at 07:40 pm
@WilliamBauer I'm grateful to be preaching to the choir and expressing thoughts that seem to beRead More ringing out in many communities. It isn't that we want to turn back the clock (although we must physically do just that tonight) but the fact that we were brought up as Americans who rank our individual freedoms at the top of the list. We believe in our Bill of Rights, our Constitution, our Declaration of Independence, everything which distinguishes us as Americans who have choices. When those choices and freedoms are taken away or compromised, we will unite and fight back to protect all that we believe in. Blessings to you and your neighbors. Teach your children well.
Geraldo Cruz November 3, 2013 at 10:37 am
Interesting piece, Ms. D. My kids are not home schooled per se, but they (well the youngest who isRead More still in high school) attend an alternative type of school. While the actual amount of time spent there is minimal I am more than happy with the quality of the teaching staff unlike ANY of the schools they attended in the LAUSD system. Let me tell you those teachers, and I know this edition of Patch was a rah rah sis boom bah site for both Carpenter and Walter Read with the old editor (who I assume had family teaching in or attending said schools?) ... those teachers were preoccupied with one thing: inundating the kids with practice tests and answers for STAR testing. It was all about what final score the school would end up with and how much they would allegedly improve. What a joke. My kids didn't learn much of anything and the whole no tolerance mentality in terms of bullying was almost as big a joke. I am not a perfect parent but I do what I can, I try. I think we all do. Anyway it was a(nother) good read and gave me much to think about.
Irene DeBlasio November 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm
@GeraldoCruz I understand what you're saying -- many parents desperately want their kids to go toRead More charter schools. They feel that their children are getting a better experience. The big question for the future is, with the exorbitant cost of a college education, will youngsters look into trade schools to be guaranteed jobs? In too many public schools the administrators and teachers have been pressed to show improvement of their students' scores in order to grab additional funds for the schools. I'm glad to hear that your child is performing well in an alternative type of high school. My only quarrel with education these days is the lack of sports, music, language studies and other electives which help a student round out his education. My public suburban school required us to take Latin which, at the time, I thought was a waste of time. To this day, when I read a word whose meaning I don't know I have a flashback to my Latin teacher explaining the root of a word. Latin, English and typing are probably the most useful subjects I ever took. As for a college education now, I'm sure that youngsters will gravitate more toward technology which may not require a college education. Salary is not necessarily the defining criteria of success anymore. In any case, a college education teaches us critical thinking and no education is ever wasted. Thanks for being a loyal reader who comments. I appreciate your participation.
Proposed Club Stead
Ilona Saari October 27, 2013 at 05:38 pm
Interesting blog, Irene (tho we are already 'forced' to pay for our health insurance - MedicareRead More <g>)
Ilona Saari October 27, 2013 at 05:41 pm
PS - all the islands except for St. Kitts, I've had the pleasure of vacationing before I moved toRead More LA... I missed those white sand beaches and clear aqua water - neither of which we find on the west coast. I even lived in a shack on Paradise Island in my 20's for 6 weeks, scuba diving and gambling in the one casino (Howard Hughes') on the island then. Hughes was suppose to be hiding up in the penthouse letting his hair, beard and fingernails grow.. ;o)
Irene DeBlasio October 27, 2013 at 07:03 pm
@IlonaSaari Hello Stranger! Did you ever stay at a hotel in St. Thomas up in the hills run on theRead More honor system? A bunch of veterans owned and operated it (they had been stationed in Anzio during WW11). If you took a beer from the fridge, you'd put a quarter in the basket. You could help yourself to a coke, some fruit, whatever, and drop a dollar in the basket and/or take change. It was such a hilarious concept but it actually worked. If anybody tried to take the contents of the basket there were always protectors hovering to keep an eye on the money. No doubt about it the beaches rank supreme on those islands. Living on the west coast we're fortunate to be able to reach Hawaii easily. I think the Hawaiians exhibit much more love of nature than any other people. It's always a thrill to watch the sun go down in Hawaii, to see the sun sinking into the horizon and to see that clap of green light when it finally hits, the applause from locals and tourists thanking the sun for another glorious day. It touches my heart. Thanks for visiting my post and leaving a comment. Studio City misses you and Richard. Blessings and Hugs to you both. Howard Hughes it seems lived nearly everywhere.