Archive for April, 2009

Put some clothes on!!!

This week, summer prematurely came to New York and with it, came a few discoveries.  42-15621069

1. People on the East Side spend a lot of time on their knees, while people on the West Side spend a lot of time on their food.  How else to explain the plethora of tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils sprouting from every tree-trunk garden  from East 69th Street to East 91st Street, and the presence of Zabars, Citarella, H&H, Barney Greengrass and Fairway in roughly the same area on the West Side of town?

2. When your children scooter to school, it is unwise to wear your brand new bright yellow beaded Rafe flats.  You will get blisters.  You will bleed.  The yellow will turn orange.  And not in a good way.You don’t want orange shoes.

3. Whichever Ice Cream your child wants from the Ice Cream vendor whether it’s neon green shots, disgusting Sponge Bob ice with gumball eyes, or even the basic Ice Cream sandwich — said vendor will be out of it.

4. I am old.

No,  this isn’t about my upcoming birthday (Sunday – feel free to leave birthday greetings right here in the comment section.  No.  Really. Do.)  This isn’t about saggy knees, or brown spots, or elbows that look as if they’ve been crumpled up in the back of a drawer for a few decades.  No, I know I am old because I am consistently horrified by what “young girls” are wearing.

Yes, it seems I have jumped right from young mom in trendy threads, to disapproving Grandma in hip-high underwear without stopping at middle-aged woman still trying to be relevant.

But seriously.

Is there some rule that if you are female and possessing of a bustline you must display it so prominently that one might think your are at a State Fair, vying for the blue ribbon in Breast Augmentation? (more…)

April 28, 2009 at 10:01 pm 7 comments

Only in New York…

traveling-mom-logoThis past Wednesday, I had a day that could only happen in NY. The first part of my day will reassure anyone considering a family vacation to New York City that Manhattan is a surprisingly friendly place. (Here’s my friendly native New Yorker tip: NO ONE who lives here EVER EVER EVER calls it The Big Apple. Never.) The second part of my day will convince anyone who is on the fence about this town, that coming to New York is a really really bad idea. In other words, I had the kind of day that epitomizes New York: complicated, surprising, diverse, friendly, and scary…all at the same time. So what happened? Click here to read the rest of this post on Traveling Moms.

April 26, 2009 at 10:04 pm Leave a comment

More Alike than I Thought: It’s all in the Genome Sequence

23andme_logoTake a guess as to how statistically similar you are to any other random person in the world.

8% maybe? 20% 33%?

The true number, according to the 23andMe geneticists, is anywhere from 63-69%.  If the random person happens to be your same race, that number jumps to  between 73% and 74.%  And that’s just the part (or SNP’s – look it up!) that they look at.  Overall, the similarity number is closer to 98%.

Whoa.

I know, I know.  We all have 23 sets of chromosomes (hence 23andMe – don’t worry, I didn’t figure that out for a while either.) We all (mostly) have two arms, two eyes, two kidneys, one heart. (well, everyone but my sixth grade English teacher.  Only someone without a heart could make kids diagram sentences for hours on end.)

It kinda makes you think, doesn’t it? So many of our society’s ills are based around our (perceived) differences: racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia. Certainly the latest You Tube phenomenon, Susan Boyle, has brought up the ever-present “look-ism” we as a culture all engage in.

Those opposed to Gay marriage see gay people as “other.”  Guess what?  They’re MORE THAN 50% genetical identical to you.  How about those who have problems with those of a different race?  Can I hear another “more than 50%? Those people you don’t like because of their religion? Ditto.

I know, we’re all different from each other.  Each of us is unique. And I know, too, that we are not our biology. A large part of who we are is how we think, what we feel, how we behave.  But still.  Differences tend to define us.  But we are way more similar than we are different.  And maybe, just maybe, if more thought about things that way – well – it may be a cliche.  But maybe, just maybe, the world would be a better place.

Full Disclosure: this post was sponsored (but not influenced) by 23andMe.

April 23, 2009 at 7:00 am 1 comment

The Third Grade Overnight

traveling-mom-logoI don’t know about you guys, but I didn’t spend the night far away from home until I was eleven and went to sleepaway camp.But these days, lots of kids as young as 7 are going away to camp. Seems odd, doesn’t it, when everyone accuses our generation of parents of being overbaring and overprotective? Just a thought.

ANYWAY – my nine year old twins are going on the third grade overnight this coming week. One night only, in a campsite, in Upstate NY.

Click HERE to read the rest of this post on Traveling Moms.com

April 18, 2009 at 9:46 am Leave a comment

What? Me Worry? My 23andMe Results

23andme_logoI spoke to a geneticist at 23andMe today (as a paid blogger for them (full disclosure here) I get that courtesy.) and told him that it seemed to me that I was (genetically speaking anyway) completely average in every way.

“Didn’t you see the Diabetes?” he  asked.

Well, yes.  According to my 23andMe genetic analysis, I am significantly more genetically disposed to Type 2 Diabetes than your average person. I had seen it, but I didn’t care.  I figured that environmental factors were way more significant than genetic ones, and since I’m not obese, I don’t smoke, and I don’t have a sweet tooth, I sort of dismissed the whole thing.

As it turns out, my English Major self was scientifically correct: genes account for only 26% of risk factors for developing diabetes.  74% of your risk has to do with how you eat and other environmental stuff. Not to worry. Case dismissed. (more…)

April 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm Leave a comment

Bagels are Kosher for Passover, right?

ICB064028 had a bagel for breakfast today.  Normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal.  Maybe not the wisest choice, given the tagline of my blog– but not such a big deal, either.

Except that I’m Jewish, it’s Passover, and I’m not supposed to be eating bagels. I’m supposed to be eating Matzoh.  So I’m feeling a bit guilty.  Mind you I don’t feel guilty the rest of the year when I eat cheeseburgers (I’m not “supposed to” mix milk and meat), lobster (no bottom feeders, either), or fry up some bacon on a Saturday morning. (Too many “not supposed to’s” to count.)  I’m not a religious person at any time during the year.  My husband and I even belong to a Humanistic Synagogue, which celebrates and affirms the cultural and ethnic aspects of Judaism, without all the higher power stuff.

I’m not kosher ; I almost never go to synagogue (even the Humanistic one); and though my family and I do celebrate Shabbat most Friday nights, it’s about a two-minute ceremony, after which I may serve roast loin of pork. Seriously.

And yet.

I feel guilty for eating a bagel. -Click to read more about what a bad, bad, Jew I am!>

April 11, 2009 at 2:46 pm 1 comment

Spit Happens: Taking the 23andMe Spit Test

23andme_logoI am a terrible spitter. Seriously. I am one of those people who, when she tries to spit (like, say after getting a mouthful of gnats while running on a summer day. And yes, I sometimes do run. Not a lot, but sometimes. Hey, it isn’t easy finding time to run)

ANWAY, I am one of those people who, when she tries to spit, ends up with a chin full of drool. I’m not even good at spitting out my toothpaste. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve found toothpaste IN MY HAIR after brushing. Of course, I only find it after it’s dried and stuck together in a little clump on my head, because realizing that it was there while I was standing at the sink would just be too easy, what with the ability at that moment to rinse it out and all.

Honestly, it’s not as if it’s been a big issue for me. Spitting is for old men, tobacco chewing baseball players, and babies, when they eat something they don’t like. It’s not like I’ve aspired to be the Michael Phelps of spitting. Honking a lugey has never been high on my list of to-do lists, not to mention to-do-well lists.

I even think the word is awful. Spit. Sounds like an expletive, doesn’t it? No really, say it really loudly and with a bit of anger in your voice. See? Now go wash your mouth out with soap, you naughty girl, you.

Even the clinical alternative to the word spit, “saliva,” seems salacious. It sounds like one of your “female” parts, the uterus, the vulva, the saliva.

So I’m not a spitter. You can imagine, then, how I felt when I saw the amount of saliva I had to produce for 23andMe. (I couldn’t help but notice that the thing you have to spit into for 23andMe is called a vial! Get it? Vile/Vial. Accident? I think not!)

But you know what? It wasn’t that bad. I think my problem with spitting has always been the distance thing. Projectile spitting is not my forte. Spitting directly into a little tube, however, was perfectly fine. Gross, but fine. I got all the saliva in there without too much difficulty.

Once I had the spit, I took a look. I haven’t seen that much of my own saliva in one place since I was fitted for a retainer in seventh grade. But this spit was different, special. It was sort of like a test-tube baby. All this promise in a tube: the promise of learning about my heritage, delving into my genetic make-up, solving, perhaps, the mystery of why I’ve never, ever, been good at math.

Who knows what all this spitting will bring? Maybe I’ll start to associate spitting not with old men and phlegmy handkerchiefs, but with knowledge and medical breakthroughs. But for now, I think I’ve spit enough. Excuse me while I go wipe my chin.

Full Disclosure:  I am a founding member of the 23andMe and me Pregnancy Community, which sponsored this post.

Part of the mission of 23andMe is to increase research into pregnancy and pregnancy related issues.  You can be a part of it (even if you don’t spit!) The more women who participate by answering surveys, the better the reasearch will be. If you are currently pregnant  or have been pregnant before please visit http://www.23andme.com/pregnancy and complete a short survey.

April 9, 2009 at 9:58 am 1 comment

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