Monthly Archives: June 2008

Sleepaway. 10 for 2.

As I mentioned in my Jeep packing post, BOTH my kids left this time. 

Sleepaway camp, that kidtopia in the mountains of upstate NY that they dream of all year. 10 for 2 translates into living 10 months in anticipation for the 2 that they are at camp.

For anyone who has never experienced this, and certainly parents who did not have sleepaway in their childhoods, it sounds absurd to send your kids away for the summer. Mine both started at 10. It is his 7th summer and her 10th! She is a third year counselor and group leader and he is a waiter. Waiter/waitress summer is the ultimate summer at this camp. They define themselves by this year, he will forever be an ’08 and she an ’05. I met someone recently who went there and he told me he was an ’88. I had to explain to others what that meant.

At breakfast yesterday a friend asked me to explain this camp. What was the lure that kept these kids coming back year after year, some well through their college years, others through grad school and sometimes beyond if they are teachers.

This friend happens to be the grandmother of 2 ‘legacy/legend’ counselors at the boys camp. One of them is 24, has graduated UPENN and taught in South America for the past year. My point being, this is no lazy slouch. In trying to explain, I told her this:

To start, I went to this camp. I know first-hand what keeps them going back. My husband, brother, in-law siblings, cousins and even my mother and aunts went there. My kids are known as third generation (a prized status, I might add). There is actually a fourth generation family. We are very jealous.

So what is the IT? The best explanation would be the sense of family, of belonging to a place and it to you. A culture of acceptance that no matter who you are or where you come from, this place is yours. Athlete, musician, artist, actor, outdoorsperson, offbeat personality, wise-ass – they are all accepted and embraced equally for who they are. This place is the level playing field where kids form relationships with other kids they would otherwise never hang with. Relationships there last a lifetime. Our kids are friends with the children of our camp friends!

Many camps can make this claim. But when you see generation after generation sending their kids, the proof is in that action. Some claim it is a marital dealbreaker. If the spouse does not agree to send their unborn kids to this camp the wedding is off (you think I am kidding, don’t you?)  A few years ago I asked my son why one of his counselors did not come back and he said, “oh mom, he had to be a lawyer” This kid had been in law school and still going back!

30+ years later when I step foot on that turf I have a sense of coming home. Of being somewhere that makes me feel that I have finally struck a balance.

There is no greater joy than to watch your kids experience that kind of childhood euphoria that you have known. When they tell you about their time there, they know that you fully understand. It is a bond that transcends the parent-child relationship. You are them and they are you. What a gift!

It is bittersweet when they leave us now. They are at an age where they do not compromise our lifestyle, rather they enhance it. When they were younger (and needier) we counted the days to have our time to ourselves. Now we feel the void in a different way, maybe one of foreshadowing.

But we still have the same response when other parents ask us what we do all summer without our kids…

Whatever the hell we want!

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How many Jews does it take to pack a Jeep?

Or as my father-in-law says, “Seven Jews, Nine Opinions”.

I guess you could say as a tribe we have a tendency to over control a situation and discuss our options ad nauseum.

Yes, my friends, once again I find myself reducing things into small spaces. This is the abbreviated version of the dorm room packing. My daughter (and her stuff) are on the move again. And this time she is taking my son with her. Sleep away camp! (more on this in my next post).

Picture this. A bright and sunny Saturday morning in June (the mother’s month from hell). In the past 30 days I have helped her pack and move home from college, pack (a minimal amount of stuff) for a 10-day trip to Israel, and now, after sending the oversized trunk and duffle up to the adirondacks via trucking company, we are in the business of trying to fit 4 19-year-olds and their weekend of stuff in a Jeep. The catch here is that the plan is to go camping at the Dave Matthews concert on the way. So along with all the other nonsense du jour, we must find a place for the tent. (note the ihome in the middle of everything, this is a very rustic camp we are talking about here).

There we were, four girls and their parents (and of course the dog), everyone (including the dog) with an opinion (or two) of what should go where in the car.

My daughter, “Guys, did I not tell you to pack light?” 

The only solid piece of advice from the whole experience was from the mom who suggested that putting the tent at the bottom was probably not a great idea since that was the item that needed to be taken out first. (she must have had practice with this).

A half hour later and many discussions about ‘the best way to get to Saratoga” (Jews also love to talk about how they have the best route to… anywhere, actually, must be all those years of wandering) they are on their way.

Oh, and of course they never went camping. When a guy from camp offered a place to stay at his parents summer home on Lake George AND a ride to the concert to boot, the well placed tent seemed less than desirable.

Anybody else jealous of her life?

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Blogging before brushing my teeth


is this a sign of poor oral hygiene?

i think not.

i have had the nasty habit of checking emails before getting out of bed for years. there is something about that laptop sitting on the night table that is so alluring. the thought process is ‘let me know right off the bat what my day is going to be like’. sometimes it is because i am in the middle of a project with the west coast or recently with europe. then i sit there like a kindergartener counting on my fingers trying to calculate what the friggin time conversion is. (never great at math).

but mostly, i am just a junkie. for information. for connectivity. for… who the hell knows. leave me alone, this is a pretty harmless and clean habit!

now the blogging so early. that is just plain fun. usually it is news related (yes the TV is on also!) but mainly i like to lie in bed and this makes me feel productive while i am there. 

 

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Bowling for Tampons?

I kid you not!

http://www.dittie.com/bowling/

i must admit that i procrastinated for a good 10 minutes bowling for tampons today instead of getting my work done. (if any of my clients who were waiting for their jobs are reading this i am only kidding). go ahead, play for awhile. i dare you to stop after one frame. a tip: i prefer nikki with the purple ball. once i figured out her curve ball i bowled a 257!

thanks to a post from my new friend at findingblanche, (hi wendy) i have been introduced to the site for dittie, a new tampon. seriously, do we need a new tampon? don’t tampax, playtex and OB basically have all our preferences covered?

and the bigger question is what on earth possessed these guys to position a tampon to be ‘serious about making your period more fun’. again, my favorite line comes to mind:

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

could this possibly be a marketing strategy conceived by ANYONE who has ever bled?

i personally am sans uterus after too many fibroids crowded my womb and i got fed up and yanked that baby out. (too crass?, whatevs). and i have to be perfectly honest. i just don’t feel all that left out about not having the opportunity to have more fun with my period. 

oh, one more plug for findingblanche, she has the most hysterical joe cocker vid on her blog that you must watch. 

wait, did i just use the word cocker in a tampon post…

 

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Filed under humor, marketing, products, women

Bras Save Lives (or mammary survival techniques)

Ok, believe it or not there is more underwear in the news this month. This one is pretty amazing:

BERCHTESGADEN, Germany, June 23 (UPI) – An American woman was rescued from a mountain in Germany after she used her size DD bra to get the attention of nearby loggers, officials said.

The 24-year-old Colorado woman had been missing for three days before a helicopter crew spotted her colorful sports bra, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

The woman said she attached the bra to a cable used for moving logs down the mountain.

I mean no disrespect to this woman or her rescuers but this report begs the following question. However indelicate, and certainly not politically correct, do you think if she were just a B that she still would have been saved? Was the size of the cup a motivator for the rescuers? (“Hey guys, there is a woman with huge boobs up there with no bra on, let’s go find her!”) If not, why did they bother to report the cup size? Kind of absurd, no?

I heard this on a promo for the 11:00PM news so I googled it and you would never believe this but I found ANOTHER story about life saving bras:

May 17,2006 TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – A 44-year-old woman escaped serious injury from a gunshot Sunday thanks to her seat belt and a thick bra strap, authorities said.

That must have been one hell of a bra strap!

Wait, did I miss something? Is this National Foundation Garment week?

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Filed under current events, fashion, humor, women

The Naked Truth

File this under more crazy lawsuits in the news. Actually, this one makes sense to me. I have always been a fan of creating an intellectual property.

If you have ever been in Times Square you are no stranger to the Naked Cowboy. 10 years ago the image of this guy in tighty whities (not hanky pankies) might have been a shock. But these days New Yorkers just pass him by as if he were the typical NY street sight that he is.

In this era of creating a brand, Robert Burck has trademarked the Naked Cowboy signature look (underwear, white guitar and cowboy hat) and has made several television and movie appearances in costume, including for a televised audition on the American Idol reality TV program, the lawsuit said.

I am pretty sure this guy is a genius.

It seems that our naked boy is suing Mars, Inc., the makers of M&Ms and their ad agency for creating a billboard with a blue M&M dressed in his outfit. 

Now, I have been in the PR/marketing and promotion biz for way more years than I care to admit. For the life of me I don’t understand how these guys thought they could get away with this. Alright, so maybe it is a stretch to know that this guy actually trademarked his look. But he has been around way too long and has been too recognizable an icon on the streets of our great city for an agency to not do their due diligence and confirm that this would be cool. (oh right, the agency is in Ohio – no offense to my Ohio friends). They are claiming that the campaign is a parody and they have a first amendment right to use the image. A bit of a stretch, no?

This crazy cowboy is going so far as to say he does not endorse this product and made mention of Type 2 Diabetes. (I work on a Type 2 Diabetes drug, maybe we should look into signing him as our celeb spokesperson!). Another bit of a stretch. Would he not except large sums of money to endorse the product if offered it? I mean really, are we to believe that a guy that has made a living for the last 10 years wearing underwear in Times Square in all kinds of weather is driven by some lofty set of morals?

This all gets me thinking. Perhaps I should trademark my look. What? You think a black t-shirt and jeans is not available for trademark?

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Filed under current events, humor, lawsuits, New York City

The Thread (vol 1)

i know many of you out there have ‘a thread’ or two that you participate in. but this… THIS is is the mother of all threads. (threadnocentric, am I?)

this sucker is populated with all sorts of people that would not otherwise find themselves in a social network. certainly not all together. most do not fit the profile of online community members. and yet, we find ourselves there and we cherish it as if we are a family. the thing that ties us together is that we all went to the same college. we live all over the country, have drastically different lives, come from varied backgrounds and yet we all relate to each other. some of these people were friends of friends and i first met them on the thread. now that i think of it, i have never met some of them in person!

this is another place where i have laughed so hard i could not breathe, gotten infuriated with a post as if these were my blood relatives and sadly cried like a baby at the loss of one of our own – way too young (this one is for you, Janie B, up in that big blogfest of the cosmos, oh how you would love this).

the picture in this post was taken at a party one year after the thread started. one of our more creative members saved a list of what people said throughout the year and then wrote the top comments on pool noodles, throwing them in the pool when she arrived. (yes, she is a genius).

our conversations range from family, business, art, politics, current events, sports, music, nonsense/jokes and everything else you can imagine. sometimes the banter is so great i will feel the need to post some excerpts here. some of this stuff is really priceless.

a few weeks back this came from one of my favorite members (thanks DN, you rock):

Gay Marriage – Why do “anti-gay marriage” people believe they have the moral high ground? The newspapers of every city are full of stories about heterosexual couples physically, emotionally, sexually abusing and even killing each other or their children. Not that gay couples don’t do that, too… I just don’t know of any that do.

Right to Choose – If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament

Euthanasia – It is amazing that people who are in terrible pain and knowing they are going to die in a few months can’t take their own life with dignity. It doesn’t surprise me that religious (I use that loosely) people want to make sure everyone gets as much suffering as possible.

Am I kicked off the thread yet?

of course he was not kicked off. we wanted more! it is not that we all always agree, but there is always something said that makes you think.

and thinking is something we ALWAYS have time for.

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Filed under friendship, humor