Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh Me too!

Reflections at Dawn

I wish I owned a Dior dress

Made to my order out of satin.
I wish I weighed a little less
And could read Latin.
Had perfect pitch or matching pearls,
A better head for street directions,
And seven daughters, all with curls
And fair complexions.
I wish I'd tan instead of burn.
But most, on all the stars that glisten,
I wish at parties I could learn
to sit and listen.
I wish I didn't talk so much at parties.
It isn't that I want to hear
My voice assaulting every ear,
Uprising loud and firm and clear
Above the cocktail clatter.
It's simply, once a doorbells' rung,
(I've been like this since I was young)
Some madness overtake my tongue
And I begin to chatter.
Buffet, ball, banquet, quilting bee,
Wherever conversation's flowing,
Why must I feel it falls on me
To keep things going?Though ladies cleverer than I
Can loll in silence, soft and idle,
Whatever topic gallops by,
I seize its bridle,
Hold forth on art, dissect the stage,
Or babble like a kindergart'ner
Of politics till I enrage
My dinner partner.

I wish I didn't talk so much at parties.

When hotly boil the arguments,
Ah? would I had the common sense
To sit demurely on a fence
And let who will be vocal,
Instead of plunging in the fray
With my opinions on display
Till all the gentlemen edge away
To catch an early local
Oh! there is many a likely boon
That fate might flip me from her griddle.
I wish that I could sleep till noon
And play the fiddle,
Or dance a tour jete' so light
It would not shake a single straw down.
But when I ponder how last night
I laid the law down.
More than to have the Midas touch
Or critics' praise, however hearty,
I wish I didn't talk so much,
I wish I didn't talk so much,
I wish I didn't talk so much,
When I am at a party

Phyllis McGinley

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Love Is...

What Love means to a 4-8 year old. A group of professionals posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?' The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think.
'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.' Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different..You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.' Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.' Karl - age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.' Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK. ' Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss' Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.' Bobby - age 7

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,' Nikka - age 6

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.' Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.' Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.' Cindy - age 8'

My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.' Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.' Elaine-age 5'

Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.' Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.' Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.' Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.' Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.' Jessica - age 8

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where Thin People Roam, and Sometimes Even Eat

Librado Romero/The New York Times

Manhattan is far thinner than the nation, the state or the city's other boroughs, according to the study released Wednesday by Senator Gillibrand, which relied on federal data on body-mass index. For Brian Ermanski, a slender yet muscular painter who lives among the trendy boutiques and bars of SoHo, the news that Manhattan was the thinnest county in New York State was no surprise. What shocked him was that, even still, 42 percent of Manhattanites were overweight or obese — a figure he found vaguely disturbing, as if it gave his borough a bad name. “It’s probably more like 20 percent overweight down here,” said Mr. Ermanski, 28, sitting on a bench outside Balthazar, the brasserie that is a crossroads of the neighborhood, where he spends an hour a day watching the beautiful people go by.

“It might even go down to zero percent during Fashion Week, when all the models are here,” added Mr. Ermanski, who attributed his slim frame (5-foot-11, 160 pounds) to a combination of healthy and unhealthy habits: daily two-mile walks, weekly soccer, and breakfasts of coffee and cigarettes. Manhattan is far thinner than the nation (with 67 percent of the population overweight), the state (nearly 60 percent) or the city’s other boroughs (58 to 62 percent), according to the study released Tuesday by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand that relied on federal data on body-mass index, a calculation based on height and weight.

Manhattan’s wiry and willowy were eager on Wednesday to dissect how they brought home such an honor. First and foremost, they said, Manhattan is a place where people walk. Even subway riders need to climb stairs. Storefront yoga studios, parks and pedestrian-friendly streets make working out relatively easy. Beyond that, Manhattan is the national capital of disparate subcultures of the skinny: Aspiring models. Nightclubbing hipsters. Gay men with the time and money to chisel their physiques at the gym. Park Avenue society matrons who remain preternaturally slender into their 70s, the “social X-rays” satirized by Tom Wolfe.

And, too, Manhattan is a borough of extreme inequality — in socioeconomic status and obesity rates, which generally correlate. The island’s poorest areas, like Harlem, have high rates of obesity and diabetes, and advocates are working for improved nutritional education and access to healthy foods there. Meanwhile, the borough’s richest swaths have the lowest obesity rates — and, some argue, an obsession with thinness. “My mom always says, ‘The smaller the dress size, the larger the apartment,’ ” said one lifelong Upper East Sider, who said she did not want to be named because she disapproves of the maxim.

What better place to test that hypothesis than the Exhale gym and spa, looking out on Madison Avenue from the banklike Carlyle Gallery building. (As if to prove the point, the gym sits directly above the Douglas Elliman real estate office advertising a “Trophy Mansion Townhouse” for $22 million.) Behind a front desk that offered $1,600 Caribbean yoga weekends, a core fusion class huffed and puffed to an instructor’s stentorian count and a Corey Hart song. The gym’s director, Susan Tomback (5-foot- 7, 118), said that for women who can afford leisure and child care, exercise is “a lifestyle thing,” not a chore. “All the neighborhood women drop their kids off and come here,” said Ms. Tomback, 29. “It’s like a club. They go to brunch afterwards at Sant Ambroeus,” the ladies-who-lunch mecca on the next block featuring $22 salads.

For an even more rarefied crowd, there is Verve Private Training, sharing the fifth floor with the Gagosian Gallery, a temple of contemporary art. There, Mary Ann Browning gives $300 coaching sessions designed to produce the narrow hips required to wear, say, Carolina Herrera. Leaving with a bottle of spring water was Gail Zweigenthal, a former editor of Gourmet magazine, where she had to balance Manhattan’s twin obsessions — eating well and looking good. “I exercise so I can eat,” said Ms. Zweigenthal (5-foot-3 ½, 114; like many residents of the Upper East Side, she was quicker to give her weight than her age). “If I feel fat, I can’t enjoy eating,” she said. “This is unhealthy — that if I gain a few pounds, I’m not happy — but it’s the truth of me.” Now training to be a psychoanalyst — she wrote a master’s thesis called “Food Beyond Pleasure” — Ms. Zweigenthal lifts weights and walks three miles a day. “Look at my cute little triceps!” she exclaimed, pinching them. Fear can be a motivator, too.

“Our closets are filled all these expensive clothes that are like swords of Damocles, because we may not fit into them anymore,” said Simon Doonan, (5-foot-4, 135), emerging from the Crunch gym on Lafayette Street, where men on treadmills could be seen through the windows. Mr. Doonan, 56, the creative director of Barney’s — the designer emporium where real estate brokers lunch on chopped salads — said he did not want to appear “fatist.” Yet, he admitted, he notices the weight of people in other states. “I’m appalled by people my age who can’t get through the airport without a wheelchair,” he said. Fashion, indeed, is merciless. Intermix, a designer boutique, doesn’t usually carry sizes larger than 8, said the manager of the Madison Avenue store, Lynn Bacci (5-foot-8 ½, 137), who works out to fit into skinny jeans and tank tops.

Chuck Ortiz, 52, a plumber from the Bronx who was ordering $5 sandwich from a halal cart near Intermix — chicken, his version of a diet — scoffed at the way Upper East Siders spend money to get thin “when there’s a park right there.” A brawny 6 feet, 220 pounds, he said he stays fit by hiking and working hard renovating the Surrey Hotel.

Nearby, in Central Park, New Yorkers’ willingness to exercise in public was on display — not only defined pectorals but also jiggling thighs. Meanwhile, Verve’s founder, Ms. Browning, supervised as Ilene Zatkin-Butler (5-foot-4, 118), a lawyer who has dropped three pants sizes under her tutelage, fast-walked on a treadmill. “Everything is in excess in Manhattan — whether it’s how beautiful you are, how thin you are, or how hard you work,” said Ms. Browning, (5-foot-8, 119, and healthy, she added with emphasis, “No eating disorders going on here!”)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Glasgow Bruce

It was bring your son to work day! Going to have to write about someone/something else soon... 14.07.09 Hampden Park... Glasgow needs to get its transport sorted...but Bruce was fantastic, we got wet, mainly because we can't read and didn't realise the Rohans were for trekking in Goa and to protect from sandstorms... We stayed at Malmaison which was once a Greek Orthodox church apparently... In a room like this & had breakfast here.