Vanderbilt Museum

September 1st, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I visited the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, LI recently, a beloved museum from my childhood. The exhibits are actually not too interesting for a child. In fact, I even remembered them as dusty, old drawers full of rocks, and animal specimens pinned to the wall. But for some reason I was and continue to be drawn to the place, there is something romantic about it, something that makes me want to be there. (Oh God, I just had a “I have always been the caretaker” flash of feeling about it.)

They also have a planetarium and I could NEVER get enough of that. I think they had a meteorite that I’d stare and stare at. This has been in space.

The exhibits are better than I remembered them. I can see how a child thought they were boring, but now I see their 19th century beauty (see here), although they were actually built in the early 20th century. But because it’s me I was sad for all the creatures that had to die to make them.

It got worse upstairs. Someone killed that little baby in the lower right. Who could do that?? Who could look at that little thing and kill it?? It’s not clear to me if William K. Vanderbilt II was the hunter, or his son William K. Vanderbilt III. I wish the crocodile in the next shot had got him.

Vanderbilt Museum, Long Island

Vanderbilt Museum, Long Island

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What do you do on your smartphone?

August 31st, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

I got an iPhone last year, I’m one of the last people to get one, I know, but I had to watch my pennies! I love it for the things I use it for, calls, texting, and copying documents for my book. But I don’t use it a lot as I see everyone else in the world doing. Everyone else is completely focused on their smartphones.

So from time to time I look over to see what is so mesmerizing. I can understanding how texting and communicating with others can be, or if you are looking something up on google. But often when I look over people are just playing a game.

That can’t be it. There must be others things people are using their phones for, and I’m just missing it when I happen to look over.

So my question is, what are you using the most on your smartphone?

Another picture from the memorial for Carolyn Kaelin. I took this during the fireworks display.

Fireworks at Carolyn Kaelin Memorial

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Carolyn Kaelin: A Celebration of a Life Well Lived

August 29th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The memorial for Carolyn Kaelin was one of the most astounding memorials I have ever been to. I got there late (thank you very much unnamed bus company) but of the people I heard, of course her husband, my cousin Bill Kaelin, was the most moving. The stories he told!

My absolute favorite of the stories he told was this, and I forget all the exact details except the important ones: she was invited to give a speech celebrating Laura Bush at some event. The speech she wrote focusing on Laura Bush’s contributions to education had to be submitted to the White House. They rewrote it, exaggerating other accomplishments entirely, to the point where Carolyn felt uncomfortable. So when she took the podium, with Laura Bush in attendance and surrounded by Secret Service agents, Carolyn dropped the White House prepared speech to the ground and pulled out her own original speech from her jacket pocket and gave that one.

Well played, Carolyn Kaelin, well played.

It is so like my cousin to not be crushed, and it must have been true of Carolyn as well, because afterwards we all went to Fenway Park, where, in addition to feeling the poignancy of the loss, I also had fun, God help me. But I think that was part of the point.

Carolyn Kaelin Memorial Fenway Park

All the bases were replaced with base-shaped flowers (home base was in the shape of a heart).

Carolyn Kaelin Memorial Fenway Park

There were signs around the field.

Carolyn Kaelin Memorial Fenway Park

They played Sweet Caroline and we sang along while pictures of Carolyn flashed on the jumbotron. There was a fireworks display to the music of Rocky Mountain High. Carolyn loved Colorado, and John Denver apparently. Bill wasn’t a John Denver fan though, so this was a sweet, final concession to Carolyn’s radio station choices.

This is Bill addressing the crowd, which was enormous. This was about half of it. Carolyn saved and touched a lot of lives.

Carolyn Kaelin Memorial Fenway Park

Afterwards we were allowed to walk around the field.

Carolyn Kaelin Memorial Fenway Park

This is me in the Red Sox dugout. Holy shit!! My butt is on the same bench that once held the butts of Yaz Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice, Freddy Lynn, and Jerry Remy (showing my age, but those were the years I lived in Boston, and I was there in 1978, says it all to Red Sox fans).

Carolyn Kaelin Memorial Fenway Park

Goodnight sweet Carolyn. Thank you for making the world a better place. And for being such a badass.

Carolyn Kaelin Memorial Fenway Park

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Cat Pods

August 28th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I think Finney would love one of these, to have a place where Bleecker couldn’t bug him. Except I think I’d need to buy him stairs to get up into it, which might defeat the purpose.


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Thank you Citywide Aquatics

August 27th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I just wanted to say thank you to Director John Hutchins and everyone else at Citywide Aquatics, New York City Parks and Recreation, for the fantastic Lap Swim program they run every year (for the past 33 years!).

Every year, all over the city, in all boroughs, we get to swim for free outdoors, and to participate in this really fun (and healthy!) challenge. I love it. I love swimming, the people I swim with, and the people of Citywide Aquatics. GREAT JOB everyone!!

Finney checks out my trophy. It’s not edible, so, who cares as far as he’s concerned.

Citywide Aquatics

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