How Can I Help

Did you ever watch New Amsterdam?

New Amsterdam is one of my background shows. It’s a network medical drama, which means it is not usually too deep. I can put the show on in the background when I am folding laundry or going through paperwork. You don’t need to pay 100% attention to the show because it is quite easy to figure out what is going on.

New Amsterdam is set at a fictional hospital in NYC- however the real place it is based on is just down the block from my apartment. What’s fun about this is it’s often filmed in my neighborhood. Random fact: the wardrobe trailers were on my block last week- I saw Iggy’s and Bloom’s and Casey’s trailers…was tempted to knock but I was with the dog…

But anyway…

I watch New Amsterdam.

One episode last spring focused on the vaccine. The fridge were they were storing the vials broke, and they had a limited amount of time to use the doses. Max, the protagonist Chief of the hospital, suggested a social media outreach to get people in to get them vaccinated as quickly as possible.

This strategy worked as soon there were people lined up to get their shot. Middle class people, mainly not persons of color.

Max, the picture of liberal do gooder, was not satisfied with the people on the line. He didn’t want to distribute the vaccine to middle class people because he felt that there was no barrier to them getting vaccinated. He wanted to reach the people who, he thought, really needed it.

So he went to low income areas to try to get them to come out and get vaxxed. Turns out most of them were vaxxed already…

In the end, much of the vaccine expired and needed to be thrown away.

Take whatever moral that you want from this story…

But I must ask…

Even though some people proudly wear the liberal crown, and vow to fight for justice for all, are some of these do gooders really just saying that they know what’s best for everyone? That everyone should follow the path that they follow? That there is only one way to do things, and it’s the way that they do it?

Doesn’t being treated equally mean that we all have the right to do what we do and do not want, bounded by the laws of society?

Does being treated equally mean that you should be told how to act?

Can extreme do-goodism even be classified as policing? Do it my way or else?

Max has a tagline- “How can I help?”. His goal is to make things better…And it’s a well meaning goal- don’t we all love the image of the knight galloping in on his trusty stead, armed and ready to right the wrongs? Don’t we all love a super hero?

But, you know, reality…

In the fictional setting of the show, Max very often gets his comeuppance. His idealized utopia is often met with harsh reality. Every week we see how Max, in his attempt to fix the problems of the world, takes a step backwards.

Max’s way might not be the right way…

The question I’m left with is:

In a world where we want to fix things, who is to say how they should be fixed?

I Don’t Want Kids

Scenario One:

Two people meet. They fall in love. They decide that they both really want to have kids. They may or may not live happily after.

Scenario Two:

Two people meet. They fall in love. They decide that they both DON’T want children. They may or may not live happily after.

Scenario Three:

Two people meet. They fall in love. One wants children. The other doesn’t. Then what happens?

Let’s play with scenario three for a second.

You and your significant other get along great except for this one nagging little detail. You don’t agree on children.

  1. Do you break up with the person?
  2. Do you go along with the wishes of the other because your love is too pure and you’re not leaving your soulmate over this?
  3. Do you spend your life convincing the other person of your side and coerce them into doing what you want?

Scenario Four:

Two people meet. They fall in love. They both decide they don’t want children. After being together for X years, one of them changes their mind and decides they want children.

What happens next?

Everyone is entitled to change their mind. We all grow and change and whatever. But what if you change your mind about a big thing? Whether or not you have a child is a big thing.

  1. Do you split with the person because you really want a child and they don’t?
  2. Do you coerce your partner into doing something that they don’t want?
  3. Do you trick your partner into having a child?

Should anyone be forced to have a child if they don’t want one?

Raising a child is a lot of work. Having children is a certain lifestyle. I completely understand why someone wouldn’t want to have a child.

Having a child is a wonderful experience. It’s a different path, but worth the time and effort and money. I completely understand why someone would want a child.

I get both sides.

But what do you do if you and your partner aren’t on the same page?

What Inspired Me August 29

  • Went to New York Historical Society- I love history so this is a place I try to get to a few times a year. Saw interesting exhibit on Katharine Graham- Publisher of the Washington Post. Much of the exhibit focused on how difficult it was for her to be a female publisher in the 60’s/70’s and about the early days of the Women’s Movement. Contrast this with an exhibit of some of the dresses worn at Truman Capote’s Black and White ball in honor of Graham. I can’t help but wonder if the clothes will always be what is talked about when talking about women
  • I continue through Egypt at the Met- always very interesting to see
  • Took my niece to see Free Guy- didn’t expect to like it as much as I did- quite a charming movie
  • Of course- took my niece to Max Brenner- which has the most ridiculous desserts- the fondue plate was quite tasty. And large…
  • Riverside Park brings goats in to clean up some of the foliage- part of the park is quite hilly. I just think the goats are adorable!
  • While at Riverside Park, took the time to walk aside the Hudson and check out some art installations. It was about a million degrees out when we went, but hey- that’s NYC in the summer
  • I decided to take a pic of sun setting at Citi Field- much better than what was going on on the field…

Gratitude Saturday: August 28

Let’s See:

  1. I am grateful that my daughter is settling into college nicely and so far likes her classes and her internship
  2. I am grateful that I didn’t receive an OMG text from my sister till 5:22 PM on Saturday which is an entire day and a half from her arrival in the NY metro area
  3. I am grateful that I got to spend some time with my sister and my niece
  4. I am grateful that my Husband can now work out of my daughter’s bedroom, even though he calls it Siberia
  5. I am grateful that I haven’t slapped my Husband for saying that him working two days a week out of my daughter’s bedroom is Siberia…

My Month in Books: August

BookAuthorHow I Heard about BookRating
Miss Benson’s BeetleRachel JoyceRead Author Before1
The Last Days of NightGraham MooreCollege Book Club2
The Reading ListSara Nisha AdamsEntertainment Weekly3
Make Yourself CozyKatie Vaznot sure4
Miss Buncle MarriedD.E. StevensonTSLL5
When the Stars Go DarkPaula McLainGMA Friday Pick,Goodreads Newsletter, Read Author Before6
Death Comes at the EndAgatha Christiesaw a museum exhibit book was based on7
The Only Good IndiansStephen Graham JonesBarnes and Nobles Recomendations8
  1. So I finally found an Agatha Christie book that I didn’t like. Though I heard BBC is doing a production of it, so I will definitely watch
  2. Miss Buncle was written in 1934. It’s always interesting to read about women from early in the 20th century
  3. Miss Benson’s Beetle was quite charming…not exactly historical fiction, but it takes place post WWII Englandish…
  4. Of course I fit in a self care book…
  5. I really didn’t like The Only Good Indians, but I think there are people who might like it. It’s not necessarily everyone’s style of writing
  6. My first and second favorite books make for good book club choices

So What do You Think About…

Let’s go hypothetical.

You are about 28 years old. Have a job on a path to a career. You are content with your life.

One day you go to a party and meet a person. You and the person hit it off and decide to go out on a date.

After your first date, you think you can envision a future with this person.

Yay for you! You found a person!


When do you start bringing up the “important” questions?

2nd date?

5th date?

What do I mean by important things?

  1. political leaning
  2. religion
  3. where you want to live
  4. long term goals
  5. children

I’m sure there are a bunch of other things, but you get the idea of what things I consider important, things that could impact a future relationship.

Do you talk about these things, future type things at the beginning of a relationship, when things are fresh? Do you risk losing the person because you are “moving too fast”?

Do you wait and risk being in love with someone, only to find out that you have irreconcilable differences on things that matter?

How do you know when it’s the right time to bring up tough subjects?


Do you just avoid discussing them?


Pink Ribbon

I had my mammogram a few months ago.

For those of you who have never had a mammogram- it sucks.

I’m pretty sure that the person who invented stilleto heels and corsets is the same person who invented the mammo machine…

Your breasts are literally pressed into a machine. You have to hold your breath. They need multiple angles to make sure they see everything. And if you have large breasts, let’s just say they are going to readjust you and snap quite a few pictures…

I don’t know anyone who looks forward to their mammo. It’s this necessary evil check list item that they tick off and breathe a sigh of relief.

For some people.

Some people choose not to have mammograms. Some people choose to play Russian Roulette with their health…

Some people are scared, or busy or whatever…

But I guess it’s your body your choice, so I won’t be telling anyone what to do.

But anyway…back to me…and my breasts

So I got my mammo.

Then I had to wait for the results.


Isn’t waiting for anything the worst?

I was quite lucky that I got my results back that afternoon…first I got the actual lab results, which is all in medical jargon. But I understand enough to know that I had no signs of anything bad. In fact, my breasts were labelled as “fatty” not “dense”.

It’s the only time you want to see FATTY on your medical results…Fatty breasts are good…

Let’s hear it for the girls…

A few hours after the lab results I got the letter…

Dear LA,

We are pleased to inform you…

I felt like I got into college…They’d reviewed my submission and found my breasts acceptable…

The letter went on to say that I should continue to monitor my breasts for further developments…and I should feel free to contact them if I have any concerns…because my breast health is very important to them…

Is your breast health important to you?

Give and Tell

When I walk the Manhattan Streets with my dog, I often get asked for directions, most commonly, how to get to the subway. I guess I have one of those friendly faces. Or they figure if I’m with a dog I probably live in the neighborhood.

Most often I tell them the way- two blocks west on 23rd…if you want to go downtown cross the street. Don’t forget to change trains at Union Square I say, and send them off on their merry way.

Occasionally, if someone seems totally perplexed, and if it’s not too out of my way, I walk them to where they should go, or give them a head start…

Which leads me to my next thought: Is it better to give directions, or is it better to lead someone someplace? Think of it as a variation on give a person a fish they eat that day, teach them how to fish they eat for a lifetime…

Do you ask for directions?


Do you ask to be led?

I know I am a directions person. And I like to get my hands dirty. I like to put into action what I’m trying to do. I need to experiment. I think it comes down to being visual. I don’t really like to listen to things other than music. Can’t do audio books…I miss half the story…

And I certainly don’t want people doing things for me.

I don’t want people telling me what to do…

I like to read a variety of sources. I like to ascertain the pros and the cons. Then I formulate an opinion. I give myself the berth to allow my opinion to change over time…

But I am definitely not following the Pied Piper around.

I don’t jump on a bandwagon because it’s popular or on trend. I don’t see the need to do something just because everyone else is doing it.

I like to be in charge of my thoughts and actions.

I know I am far from perfect. But I own my choices.

Yet I realize that there are people who want to be told what to do. People who want to be led.

I don’t really understand this point of view…

Why do people want to be led? Why do people want to follow?

And don’t tell me it’s because everyone can’t be leaders. That’s a cop out of an answer. You can create your own path without being a “leader”.


Your assignment today:

Give me the pros to my con…

Is It a Problem

So I was going to Target…(I’m beginning to think I could write a book of essays just based on my trips to Target…

Let me set the location of my local Target: It’s on a busy street in Manhattan. There are always people walking these streets and there are always cars, trucks and busses.

You get that this is a busy, highly trafficked location. I can not stress enough how many people pass by here…

So I’m approaching Target…

And I see a young girl outside the store, with a man who I will presume to be a relation (I have to take a guess here as I have no real knowledge)

The girl is about three/four years old.

The girl is just wearing her underpants.

What are my thoughts at this moment?

  1. I am a Mom. I know how hard it is sometimes to get your kid to wear things, like socks and hats. I understand that clothing can also fall under that umbrella.
  2. If we were at the park and this was the sprinkler, would this be an issue for me?
  3. Would I be as worried if this were a little boy running around in his underwear? Am I being a sexist?
  4. Do I have a problem with nudity? Am I a prude?
  5. It’s not especially hot today
  6. Gee, if I did a sex offender map, the whole neighborhood would probably light up. This is an area with SRO’s and shelters. While some of those people might be down on their luck, some of them might not be (FYI- when my daughter was under 18 I needed to volunteer at the soup kitchen with her because so many of the people who visited were registered sex offenders. And the place we used to volunteer at wouldn’t let her serve people: we could only do the prep before it opened to the public)
  7. Is this guy even her Father? Sorry, I totally had to wonder this…I know it’s wrong but this is still a young kid
  8. Is it any of my business what this kid is wearing, because really, is there anything wrong with a child being outside in her undies?
  9. If someone were to take a picture of her, and send it, would it be distributing child porn?

If you saw a kid on the street wearing just underpants, what would your thoughts be?

I chose not to do anything. Because really, I don’t know the situation. Is it fair for me to intrude on this scene when I have absolutely no facts?

Was my course of action the right one?

I don’t know.

How do you know when to intercede in a situation?

If you were me, what would you have done?

What Inspired Me: August 22

  1. Let me start with this- my daughter went back to college….
  2. Secondly- the best thing about driving home from DC is stopping in Baltimore for Chaps Pit beef. I have no idea what pit beef is, but I know it’s delicious
  3. I love fried green tomatoes (whistlestop optional) – these were pretty good
  4. We did a brief sightseeing jaunt in DC before we headed home-
  5. Had a wonderful in person book club- helped that we all liked the book
  6. Bryant Park has a wonderful “reading room”- outdoor tables and books and magazines. They also sponsor reading/writing events for free. I attended a memoir writing workshop given by Cullen Thomas. He is a wonderful speaker and hope to eventually take a class with him. He also is a cross between James Marsden and Rob Lowe, which in LA speak means he’s quite attractive.
  7. My Tea Society celebrated Coco Chanel’s birthday at Bergdorf Goodman. We had a lovely tea followed by a little quality time at the Chanel counter. There just may be a new lipstick in my collection…every black dress needs a red lipstick every now and then
  8. I saw Aretha. Jennifer Hudson is quite good- however the movie is quite average overall
  9. On my way to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden I experienced subway delays/issues….It was only a track fire and not someone letting their girlfriend drive the train though (true story). As I stood trying to figure out how to get to the garden, all I could think was first subway issue in 18 months- we’re back baby…
  10. Lost Leonardo very interesting if you are an art geek
  11. Obviously- I took time to get in as much self care as possible!!!