Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
So this post is going to be a weird post. I’m very rarely struck dumb by people, but today I was, and I’m compelled to write something about it.
Earlier this morning, I was in a clothing store looking for a hat since it was so cold and I’d forgotten mine at home. I found one in the children’s section that was on sale (yes I know, I have a small head). Waiting on line, I noticed some weird looks being exchanged by people in front of me. They were staring at the check-out girl. She appeared to be a frail young woman in her late teens or early twenties. I couldn’t see her clearly enough to be sure because her shoulder-length hair was combed straight down across her entire face.
If you’re imagining Cousin It, you’re on the right track. In fact, one woman in front of me hummed the Addam’s Family tune under her breath to her friend. I don’t think they were being malicious–who has any idea these days why young people do certain things or choose to wear their hair a certain way? Another older woman behind me nodded toward the check-out girl and remarked that a day doesn’t go by when she sees something utterly bizarre, and why do young people have to be so strange? A second woman commented that the girl was slow and holding up the line because she couldn’t see what she was doing under all that hair. I shrugged casually and replied that maybe the girl wore her hair that way because she was insecure about a facial disfigurement or maybe she had scars, instead of it being some teenage fad or fashion statement. I don’t know why I said that, I just did.
When it was my turn to check-out, I walked up to the register and said hello even though I couldn’t see the girl’s face or eyes, other than a minute sliver of nose. She said “hi” back. I then joked that I was lucky I had such a small head to be able to shop in the toddler department for hats. She laughed quietly at my self-deprecation and placed my tiny hat into a bag. While I was waiting, I noticed that she had several inch-long white scars on each arm, which appeared to be short, precise cuts lying diagonally on her skin. I recognized the scars because I have some myself on my forearms (to read more on my personal experience, click here). When she handed my my receipt, I said I hope you have a wonderful day. She replied, “you too, miss,” in the sweetest, tiniest voice I’ve ever heard. I can’t even describe to you what I felt in that moment, but it was such a tide of emotion that I was rendered speechless. I also realized in that moment that what that poor, courageous girl was covering under all that hair wasn’t a fad or a fashion statement … she was hiding what she didn’t want seen. I understood it just from the tenor of her voice. And whether those scars on her forearms were self-inflicted or not, all I could think about was how freaking BRAVE this girl was.
I wanted more than anything to hug her and tell her that she was beautiful and that I admired her so much, but I didn’t. Instead I walked out to my car and sobbed my eyes out. It took me thirty minutes just to pull myself together to drive out of that parking lot. And I’m still thinking about her. It’s moments like this one that make you realize what true courage is … that this amazing young girl would brave ridicule with her hairstyle and the marks on her arms, and yet still choose to put herself out there. I was floored.
And so I write this post for the things I wanted to say but didn’t feel I could at the time for whatever reason–maybe I wasn’t brave enough, or maybe I felt it wasn’t the right place or time, or maybe I thought it would have embarrassed her, or maybe I was wrong. Who knows? But I want to say it now. I need to say it now.
So to the young girl I saw briefly yesterday (and to all people who show up each day even though life may not be easy because of some disability or handicap or perceived imperfection): YOU are beautiful. YOU matter. YOU are perfect. And YOU inspire me.
Tuesday, December 25th, 2012
Hope you guys have all been good this year, otherwise you’ll find coal and skulls in your stockings!
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
Maybe your hearts be full, your spirits light and your eyes full of wonder on this special night.
Thanks for your friendship and support over the past year — it means more than you will ever know.
MERRY MERRY! HAPPY HAPPY!
Friday, December 21st, 2012
Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
The Fourth of July (also known as Independence Day) celebrates the day that the United States declared itself independent from Britain on July 4 1776. Traditionally, people in the USA celebrate with barbecues and with their families, and then watch the fireworks all across the country once night falls. In the NYC area, the most famous fireworks are the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks released from barges over the Hudson River. This year the Macy’s Fireworks theme is Ignite the Night, and will begin at 9pm.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July 2012!
Sunday, September 11th, 2011
I’m not entirely sure I want to write this post because the memories are overwhelming. But I know that I must, if only to express my gratitude that my husband is here with me, and that we have been incredibly blessed to build a beautiful family and wonderful life in New York post 9/11. Living in New York, many people have their stories, and so much of those are about loss. It is devastating. I can hardly bear to watch the coverage on television this morning, remembering all the names of the people who died on that fateful day. It’s just heartbreaking.
Today marks a day ten years ago when I was sure that my newly married husband of one year was one of the WTC victims. Standing at the base of the towers on the ground level just as the second plane hit, my husband was caught in a falling nightmare of metal, flame and human bodies. Slammed to the ground by the aftershock, he picked himself up and started running, helping those he could along the way. He did not wait, like so many others to see what was happening, he just started walking uptown, mercifully escaping the sudden subsequent collapse of the towers. My office at the time was at 40th and Park, where I was watching the news coverage in horror with my colleagues and friends … knowing that my husband’s subway stop at WTC would be right after the first plane crash. My heart literally stopped. Cell phones were out, and all I could see and hear were the sounds of utter chaos on the television. I’ve never prayed harder than I did at that moment, and all I could think in my head were the words willing him to come to me, repeating over and over, “please be safe, please just get here, just come to me.” And somehow impossibly, he did. Somehow he heard those words and he walked over 60 blocks, never looking back, not stopping even when things appeared to be safe. He didn’t stop until he got to my building. I will never forget the moment I saw him standing at my office door at 99 Park Avenue hours later, looking a little worse for wear in a torn and bloody suit, but thankfully, alive. It is a memory I will never forget.
Today also marks a day when I explained to my seven year old son what happened on 9/11 2001, and showed him pictures of the once majestic Twin Towers in downtown NYC. We talked a little about terrorism and hate, which was a little more difficult. I wanted to educate him but I didn’t want to scare him. I’m sure it will come up again in future conversation once he processes it. I also explained to him that his daddy managed to escape the WTC unlike many others who died that day. Watching the memorial briefly on television where a little girl was reading out the names, he asked me, “is that one of the little girls who doesn’t have a daddy?” I could only nod, yes.
So much loss, all because of hate. It is numbing. My thoughts go out to all those families who have lost loved ones, all of the heroes who fought valiantly to save lives and lost theirs in the process, and all the troops and everyday people who still fight to protect our freedoms every single day.
In remembrance, Nine Eleven, 2001. Those lost, we remember you, we honor you, we love you. Those who survived, like my husband, we are so incredibly blessed to have you with us and we love you.
Thursday, November 25th, 2010
“I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without you and be happy.” ~Anne Frank
Let’s be thankful for all that we have! Enjoy the holiday!
Saturday, September 11th, 2010
Sunday, August 29th, 2010
What’s that about a back door? Someone infiltrating and infecting my bits and bytes? Sounds ugly, doesn’t it? Don’t panic. It’s all sorted now, site is clean and healthy.
But honestly, it’s like a personal slight, the horridly public announcement that you have a contagious infection, and everyone should stay away or they could catch it. Is that a scarlet letter, or what? Anyway, initial shock and shame aside, I guess it was inevitable at some point according to all the posts and information out there about malware, spyware, crapware, etc. It happens, and if you don’t protect your site effectively, you could be vulnerable to attack.
So the short story is that my site got hacked with additional unauthorized users added and malicious software embedded into the code, which of course got tagged by Google and was eventually marked as a “site that may harm your computer.” Super. Enter immediate panic on my part. What to do? What to do? WHAT TO DO?
Thankfully, Media Temple, my hosting provider, along with my wonderful webmaster/husband got right on it and cleaned out all the malware (while of course I’m still running around like a chicken with its head cut off). We then requested a review from Google (via their webmaster tools – request a review) to confirm that the site was clean, which they did very quickly (thank you Google!), and now we are back to normal. Phew.
As Google puts it, “the price of freedom from malware is eternal vigilance.” Here are some general tips to protect yourself if you have a WordPress (or any other) website.
1) Use strong passwords
2) Keep WordPress updated (older versions can have known security issues) or harden WordPress
3) Backup your files (database, theme files, plugins, media uploads)
4) Monitor your site regularly including new or abnormal database user accounts and changes to source files
5) Keep local computers safe with up-to-date anti-virus software
6) Stay current with the latest security news – Google Online Security Blog or US-Cert (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team)
If your site has been compromised, don’t panic (easier said than done, I know). Contact your hosting provider for help, and follow Google’s step-by-step information on Cleaning Your Site. You can also refer to the WordPress FAQ My Site Was Hacked for additional information specific to WordPress. StopBadware.org also offers good information, tips to protect yourself, and forum advice from people who can help you.
Remember, use protection! That’s good life advice too.
Monday, May 31st, 2010
How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! ~Maya Angelou
Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the last Monday in May. Memorial Day commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in military service. It was first implemented to honor soldiers who died in the American Civil War, but was expanded after World War I to include American soldiers who lost their lives in any war. It is a day to honor heroic Americans of past generations.
Remember those heroes who died for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Sunday, February 14th, 2010