Friday, May 2, 2008

My daughter the model with a gut

I've been talking or half-joking a lot about pimping my kids to pay for college. I totally forgot about how my daughter's photograph has already been published!Last year we were approached by a photographer for the Daily News at the New York Botanical Garden. Sadie was not in a good mood for pictures. The photographer took hundreds and probably none came out good but I think she thought Sadie was so cute, she used a picture any way. Check it out the Daily News website for the online version of the "story". I never bought a copy of that day's newspaper, maybe I should, for her portfolio of pro-bono work. Oh wait, wrong career.

Caption: Sadie Star, 2, looks like a little flower herself as she points to the colorful display.

Heartbreak hotel

Each morning, before I leave for work, my younger daughter is gripping tightly as I struggle to put her down or pass her to my mother. My older daughter is standing on a step stool, waiting for a hug and a kiss. Before I step out of the door, I see my second daughter writhing and crying in my mom's arms, hoping I'll come back and take her back into my arms. As I walk out, I turn around and I see my older daughter's face pressed to the window by the door. I wave and look back a few times until I can't see her anymore.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Living Large

While my husband is eating, in the executive dining room, a daily hearty breakfast of toasted bagel with lox, tomatoes, onions and capers, fresh squeezed citrus juices, yogurt and who knows what else he’s cramming down his mouth, I’ve used our executive health services twice in the last 3 months.

I can only rave about the refined VIP services. They must be mistaking me for somebody else, but I like to play along. Let me describe how today’s visit went.

I called at 11:30 and got booked for a 12PM appoint – the same day! As I walk in, I’m surrounded by hardwood floors and Pottery Barn furnishings. After a few minutes of sitting on an abundantly cushioned sofa reading Town and Country magazine, someone politely interrupts me to apologize for the wait. The doctor will be with you shortly, she assures me.

A few minutes later, the doctor comes into the waiting area, greets me, shakes my hand and introduces herself and I’m almost pissed that I didn’t get to finish reading/daydreaming in the article about how Georgio Armani’s niece furnishes her apartment in Milan. In a regular doctor’s office, I’d be sitting on crappy, stained and un-cushioned industrial furniture with exposed bolts, reading a wrinkled pored over copy of something like Reader’s digest, waiting for an hour until some loud, obnoxious and uncheerful employee shouts and mispronounces my name with unmistakable irritation.

Back to my executive health nirvana -- There are no forms to fill in or long checklists of ailments to complete because the doctor asks specific questions, listens to you and takes down notes. Then the doctor takes your vital stats, not a nurse or assistant so there’s no time lost in “changing of the guard” as different employees parade in and out of your exam room.

Then I go to have blood work done. The phlebotomist wants to know if I prefer blood to be drawn from my left arm or right. She tries to reassure me because I don’t like being pricked with a needle. While she inserts the needle, she engages me in a banal conversation, she wants to verify that I’m wearing cashmere and how soft she thinks it is. After that’s completed, I’m invited into the wait area to eat or snack. This is where I hit pay dirt big time. Grilled vegetables, salmon, fresh squeezed Valencia orange juice, an array of cheeses, sesame crackers, non-fat apple muffins and on and on await me. I munch on some California roll, help myself to some shrimp kebabs and crunch on some steamed vegetable medley- cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. It’s like I’m at a spa. I can’t finish my food so I decide to carry out the leftovers. Someone asks me if I want a bag and I feel like a total chazer.

After I’m done, I check out with the receptionist, who provides me with the bill, perfectly folded in a ecru envelop, as if I just spent $10,000 on knick knacks. My tab? $15.

The only thing that can dampen the situation is how much information is released to your employer. I’m going to assume that it’s private but you never know. It’s obviously subsidized, insurance could never endorse or reimburse for the refined, service-oriented experience.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sushi - more American than apple pie

So my diatribe on sushi spurred some off-line outcries. Yes it's true, sushi makes me gag. This is a big step for me - I don't like admitting it- it sounds so unsophisticated that I don't eat sushi. I also hate sourdough bread. There.