The Year of the Dragon

According to the Chinese calendar, this is the year 4709 or 4710, depending on which website you believe. Any way I look at it, this calendar is making me over 120 years old. That’s not good. Maybe I’m not figuring this out right. It’s all too much math for me, but 60 or 120, I’m feeling it.

If you’re anything like me, you wake up in the morning, and before you even get out of bed, you know you can’t even swing your legs over the edge without experiencing some sort of physical misfunction. (Is that even a word?) Maybe ‘swinging’ isn’t such a good idea. Maybe, just maybe, those days are over.

OK. So tomorrow, the new approach to getting up will be a slow-motion sliding of the legs off the bed. And the feet don’t hit the floor running. They do a soft, easing to the rug after nose-diving into a pair of warm, fuzzy slippers. A little bit of bending, stretching, and moaning and then I’ll hit the shower.

There I go again. My verbs are way to physical. Hitting the shower is so far from what I do. I could explain this process too, but I won’t go there. Let’s skip to breakfast.

It would be fun to sit down to a morning medley of bacon and eggs, rye toast with actual butter, a glass of freshly squeezed OJ, maybe a cute little dish of mixed berries, and a cup of freshly brewed java.

Instead, I slap a banana and a fruity yogurt into a fancy lunch tote.

After letting the dogs out for their morning constitutional, and back in so they can sleep the morning away, (I’d like to try that.) I rush off to my job, where I make myself a quick cup of coffee and throw down some of that yummy yogurt.

I’m tired before I even start, because I haven’t slept well since Cain slew Abel, and I don’t plan on getting back home until it’s as dark as when I left.

I’m not having any fun.

Sounds depressing. I know.

I need to find a ‘happy place’. Or maybe I just need to stop and smell that java (see above). The aches and pains are going to be there, no matter what. It comes with the passing of time. It could be worse. I’m actually pretty fortunate. See, happy place.

Breakfast? I can do that on Saturday or Sunday. Or Saturday AND Sunday.

Fun? It’s what you make it, or so ‘they’ say, and ‘they’ seem to ‘say’ many things that are apparently public consensus. Like, ‘this too shall pass’.

Maybe, I’ll make Starbuck’s my Happy Place. Grab a cup of that coffee and just ‘grin and bear it’. ‘Let a smile be my umbrella’ and ‘live through the storm’ until June 19.

Until June 19. That’s when summer starts, snow days permitting, and retirement kicks in. And yes, I am using the proper verb – KICKS. It will be kicking in, while I’m kicking up my heals, and kicking the sand on the beach, and kicking myself in the head for worrying so much about nothing.

I’ll create my own Happy Place for a while and by then, maybe it will just all come naturally.


A.C. N.J. OK

When you think Atlantic City, you think casinos, pawn shops, gambling, beaches, hotels, and diving horses – or is that just me and am I just old? (rhetorical!)

Well here’s something to think about.


A Saturday afternoon at the aquarium. It may not be the Baltimore Aquarium, or the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, but it’s quaint and fun and near the beach. You can’t go wrong with that.

Gardener's Basin, Atlantic City, NJ

And maybe before you swim with the fish, you can stop at Gilchrist’s for a scrumptious breakfast. The pancakes look like fluffy flying saucers and the omlettes are works of art. It’s a small place, but there’s a wooden deck and you can enjoy a relaxing breakfast while watching boats pull in and out of the marina. All this and a friendly staff.

A crazy little shack beyond the tracks - Amtrak that is

There’s a t-shirt, etc. shop called Web Feet and an ice cream joint. For dinner, try the Back Bay Ale House with it’s yummy soups and, again, a deck to enjoy the great outdoors in the spring and summer months.

The Basin is peppered with other tiny shops that are currently closed, but it all makes for an whimsical, stress-free, satiating, charming, Saturday afternoon. Mark your spring/summer calendar, take the kids, or just get away for the day. Better yet, book a room at one of the many casinos and make it a weekend excursion.

This may sound like a commericial. It’s not. I have no special interest. It was just that I spent a fun day with a fun guy (yes Jeff) and thought I would share.

And, speaking of sharing, here’s a little antecdote from class today – just as a side bar. Good for a laugh. Good for the soul.

Me to my class: So we all had a nice long weekend. Did anyone do anything special they’d like to share?
Student: I went to see We Bought the Zoo.
Me: Oh! With Matt Damon
Student: (with a quizzical look on his face) No with my mom.


Tatem’s Biggest Losers

I know what you’re thinking and there’s a chance that you may be mistaken. This title lends itself to a few different interpretations, but the truth of the matter is, Tatem’s team of terrific teachers are on a mission. No, it’s not the mission of educating, though that is something they put a majority of their time and effort into. This is a mission of improved health, and yes, improved appearance. Apparently these things matter to the staff, because the challenge has been presented. The teacher’s are holding a “Tatem’s Biggest Loser” contest to see who can lose the most weight in a TBD amount of time. For a mere $10, each ‘contestant’ will build a pot and compete to see which teacher can trim down the most. Winner take all.

I plan to participate. It will be interesting. And Fun. I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve done anything fun together. But that’s just me.

So today I pigged out.

Breakfast consisted of a ham and cheese omlette, home fries, and rye toast. Not just any home fries. DEEP FRIED home fries.

And this was dinner.

And, a little something to cushion my hips – mint chocolate chip ice cream.

The game is on. May the biggest loser win. Good luck, everyone. Eat my dust. 🙂



You had to know I would start with this – New Year’s Resolutions. Does everyone make them? My husband doesn’t. That comes as no surprise to me. He doesn’t need to diet – he’s six foot, 187 pounds, and lookin’ good. Lucky him. I’m the one that wears carbs on my hips like a pistol-packing holster. He doesn’t need to vow an exercise regime for the next 365 days – he already does that. (Yeah, yeah. Big deal.) I’m the one that needs to resolve.

Over the past 8 or 9 years, I have fluctuated between 122 and 152 pounds, depending on which book I read, program I followed, gym I joined. I know one thing I resolve. I resolve to NOT EVER AGAIN say I am on a diet. OK. Good. Resolution number one.

Last night we spent part of our New Year’s Eve having dinner in Atlantic City, listening to a lounge act. We enjoyed ourselves. I resolve to enjoy 2012. Number two.

My request: Mack the Knife

As we headed for the parking garage, I looked out over Atlantic Avenue. The streets were lined with trees, bare of leaves, but splattered with tiny white lights. Pretty. Until I spotted a gentleman, and I use that term in its loosest sense, tossing an empty bottle into the grass lining the side of Caesar’s Palace – just about 5 steps away from a trash can. I gotta tell you, this really frosted me!

Glass walkway to Caesar's Palace

I resolve to be much kinder to Mother Earth (and try not to let the mothers that mess her up, mess me up!) Resolution number three.

Polar Bear Plunge - Jan 1, 2012 - Brigantine Beach, New Jersey

Fast Forward to this morning and the Polar Bear Plunge. Talk about resolve? These dedicated diehards got lucky this year. The temp was in the high 50’s. But STILL! I resolve to be as worry-free, care-free, and fearless as my Italian genes will allow me to be. Number four.

When it was over the crowd disbursed heading for the Rod and Reel Tavern for burgers and brewskies, the beach was left in it’s original state. That was pleasantly refreshing.

God's best work

Jeff in his 'winter' shorts. He will not give up the summer ghost.

Later Jeff and I walked on the beach.

I did make some resolutions. Not those I mentioned, but I did make them. They’re personal. But I will share one with you. I resolve to enjoy the moment. Live in the ‘now’. I’ll plan ahead when necessary, but not wish time away. What I have now is way too precious.