damn you, Disney princesses! damn you all to hell!

Unless you have a little girl in your life, you are probably unaware that the clever marketers at Disney have amassed a sizable fortune by bundling the Disney princesses together as though they were the Justice League of America and have been selling, selling, selling the hell out of them. Not only DVD’s but clothing, books, knick-knacks, costumes, foodstuffs, dinnerware etc. The list is ENDLESS.

My problem, aside from the predatory marketing to children, is the message that some of the old guard Princesses send to my daughters.

There is, believe it or not, a Princess hierarchy with Cinderella at the top of the food chain. Next in line is Sleeping Beauty with the others trailing behind in various ranks of importance.


The older, most popular, stories carry the exact same sad theme. That is to say, at the end of each story each princess is either in a comatose state (Sleeping Beauty), dead (Snow White) or is destine to a lifetime of slavery and cruelty (Cinderella) until what? Until some man walks into their lives and rescues them from their horrible fate. I don’t want my daughters to grow up thinking that redemption and happiness will only arrive when they are “saved” by a prince. It’s a lie.

I’ve observed that each little girl tends to gravitate towards one special princess who becomes her “favorite.” When she was going through this phase, 7-Year Old Daughter, without any encouragement or guidance from me, thank God almighty, favored Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine, who were not only the more self-reliant Princesses of the bunch, but were minorities to boot! She didn’t get all wrapped up in the 1950s lily white suburban princess dream. Mulan and Pocahontas reject marriage at the end of their movies for a greater good! Go 7-Year Old!

Last night, 2.5-Year Old Daughter asked me to read to her. I told her to go get some books. She came back with a arm full of Disney Princess books. So now it begins all over again.

my cell phone jammer is outed in public

A man walked onto the train, took a seat three rows up from me, popped a Blutooth into his ear and started yammering about market conditions. Do you know how loud you have to talk when using a Blutooth? It was unreal. The woman sitting next to me started to gather her bags to move to another car.

“I have to leave. This guy is going to talk on the phone until we get to New York.”
“No, he’s not. Do you know what this does?”
“No way! Does that really work?”

It was glorious. I was the hero. It takes a certain kind of person to use a Blutooth on a train. It’s the same kind of person who would actually stamp its foot in anger after his call was dropped for the third time.

After that foot stomp, a passenger sitting in the row in front of us slowly raises his hand above the seat back and gave me a thumbs-up. He overheard my boast and approved.

I shouldn’t be so cavalier. What if the guy sitting in front of me was a Verizon executive? What if the guy using the Bluetooth participates in Extreme Wrestling matches?

* * *

A woman became so frustrated at the number of dropped calls on the train that she got her Verizon bill out of her purse, called customer service and started screaming at them. Do you know what? I let her finish that call.

* * *

I’ve had limited success with my cell phone jammer on city buses but on trains, it can’t be beat! Does anyone else have one of these things? If so, does it work for you on buses?

crazy jewish mother begets crazy jewish daughter

The best compliment I can pay to a play is if, at the end of the evening, I say to myself, “I wish I could have written that.”

Do you know who the actress Mercedes Ruehl is? She was in The Fisher King and some other pretty junky movies. I never really gave her a second thought as an actress. Last night I saw her play a crazy Catskills Jewish mother circa 1960 in the comedy/drama Broadway hit The American Plan.


The play had the requisite satisfying plot twists and the company all held their own, but things really took off when she was on stage. I have no memory of any of her film performances but her stage performance as a gargoyle who is hell bent on keeping her daughter at her side, even at the cost of her happiness, was memorable.

The daughter is played by Lily Rabe who was best known as being the daughter of playwright David Rabe and actress Jill Clayburgh. Her repeated successful turns on stage have allowed her to step out of her parent’s shadow. Huzzah.

random nyc pic


The Chrysler Building through Bryant Park branches in the early evening. I love how this pic turned out. It looks like one of those great René Magritte paintings with a daytime sky and a nighttime street scene.

There are many beautiful skyscrapers in New York City but the Chrysler Building is my favorite bar none. The closer you get to that building, the more stunning it is.

The Woolworth Building is also in my top five. The lobby features a series of carved wooden gargoyles that depict F.W. Woolworth (clutching money), the architect Cass Gilbert (clutching a model of the building) and other personalities of the day. In the lobby ceiling, you’ll find a Tiffany stained glass mural—the largest piece of Tiffany glass in the world!

The World Trade Center was always in my top five as well, even though it was scoffed at by architectural critics. But… yea… well, you know. I miss it.

what’s in the bag!?

I got tagged by *E* Deconstructed and this looks like a fun one so I’ll play along.

You’re supposed to post a pic of the bag you use on a daily basis, list how much it costs and then reveal the contents. While it’s true that, for the most part, men do not carry bags around, in New York City bags are a way of life for everyone because we use public transportation. It’s not unusual to see a man schlepping a bag around town. Please spare me your witless cross-dressing-do-your-shoes-match-your-bag comments.

I bought this bag, literally, about 15 years ago and have no idea what it cost. It’s made by Timberland. It has pockets and zippers. It’s functional. What else is there to say?


My Lenovo ThinkPad and slip-in carrying case (Lenovo bought the ThinkPad franchise from IBM. This laptop is less than a year old and it has given me nothing but problems almost since the day I bought it. LENOVO SUCKS. DO NOT BUY LENOVO PRODUCTS.), my iPod, camera, wallet, LG cell phone (mobile is a more accurate and descriptive term), an extra cell (mobile) battery, a lapel pin from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an umbrella.


My portfolio of work samples, a Playbill from the show I saw last night (The American Plan. Fantastic. Post TK.), the book I’m reading (Almost No Memory by Lydia Davis), a New Jersey Transit North Jersey Coast Line train table, my cell phone jammer, the manual for my camera, some paper mittens that 7-year old daughter made for me and my filofax (so old school, I know.)

Not pictured: a lot of boring paperwork, the New York Times and my ben-wah balls. Ha. Just kidding about the latter. I’m testing to see if you read to the end of the post. Feel free to post your own bag.