July 5th, 2007


Sing out, Louise

When my mother was a little girl in Brooklyn, she sang on the radio. One of her contemporaries from the radio went to Camp Lincoln and Laurel with her and was the star of all the shows. In the camp picture, the two of them are side by side in the front row: my mother (second from left) at age 9 chubby with long braids, not a happy camper, the other little girl (on left) absolutely gorgeous with curly red hair and a big smile.

That other little girl was Beverly Sills (then Bubbles Silverman). Even then she had stage presence. They did not stay in touch. My mother sent me the picture when Sills was scheduled to give the awards at Stamford. I was going to get it signed and see if she remembered that summer at camp.

Beverly Sills canceled. Over the years, I thought of contacting her office and getting the picture signed anyway, as a surprise for my mother who could use a boost in spirits.

Now it's too late.

Summer in the city

My credit card bill has a computer-y charge of 7.95 that I don't recognize. Googling the name and phone number of the merchant gives nothing useful, so I'm suspicious. I called the phone number and got a machine, so left a message asking them to clarify this charge and call me back. That was Tuesday. If I don't hear back by the end of the week, I'll have to dispute the charge.

In the other direction, I got a check for 41.89 due to some sort of settlement with one of my mutual funds, minus a .58 management fee. This will probably cause headaches at tax time. Hey IRS, I do my best to properly account for this type of payment.

Speaking of accounting for gifts (sort of), I'm up to reading early February entertainment magazines which talk about this year's Sundance and all the swag the actors are "gifted" with. I'm so jealous. I carry my Sundance '06 tote bag all the time, but I bought that myself.

We were hoping to get this week's puzzles done Tuesday but they weren't ready until Wednesday. I had no holiday plans, so this wasn't a problem (Will had holiday plans, but they were late enough in the afternoon to be able to resolve questions). I wasn't able to load the puzzles directly to FTP (the second Sunday is a nonstandard Split Decisions, and the scrambling coding week begins Saturday and my batch starts Monday) and the person who showed me was out. So I did everything the old way, except I forgot to notify the print people that the puzzles were ready. Oops. They saw the files and confirmed with me this morning.

Even though I don't care about nature, I was struck how pretty the trees and greenery are around my building. As I approached, I saw my neighbor on his terrace, relaxing under a striped umbrella. I never use my terrace and have no furniture out there, but could always sit on a towel. After dark in the wind and rain, I looked out the door and noticed a striped umbrella near the terrace divider. I tried pushing it under but something was in the way. So I leaned around the outside, said "Hello" to the open door to my neighbor's lighted apartment, got no answer and dropped the umbrella back to his terrace. I saw him sitting under an umbrella today so I assume that was it.

Today I went to the copy shop to get my mother's camp picture scanned (see previous entry), picked up at-home mail (just one set of puzzles since Monday, so maybe I can catch up), checked out the "Wordplay" Tasti D-Lite store (which has a special offer on quarts but not pints, not the way to get my business), noticed there was no halal or taco vendor at 96th, and went to Gristedes. I had to settle for Ocean Spray Lite Cran-Raspberry (no MM as usual; they had Crystal Light already-made Raspberry Ice, but the powdered kind isn't too good), one chocolate chip muffin (the discounted 4 assortments didn't have good flavors), Edy's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream (a current favorite, not technically diet but the calorie count is low enough), diet tapioca pudding, store-brand provolone (more expensive than it used to be) and rice cakes to go with the cheese (it fits exactly!). I need to eat the FD salad, red pepper, cauliflower and zucchini before they go bad.

When I go to a bagel store, I sometimes ask what's hot and other times take pot luck. The last few times at the closest store I didn't ask and the bagel wasn't hot (though not stale). Today I also didn't ask but was pleased to feel a hot bagel in the bag. It was soooo good. I ate it on the street within 3 blocks.

Walking home, I could see the excavation through a hole in the fence around the construction. It's extremely deep under the ground and at 3 blocks long (though only 1/2 block wide), it's quite large. I felt a pang thinking of Ground Zero, but the WTC site is much bigger.

Thinking of stretching out on my bucolic terrace, I looked out the door and saw a buzzing insect. Scratch that idea. Ick, nature.