Never Forget

Each year on 9/11 we stop for a moment to take a breath not just to think about what happened in 2001, but all that has happened since then.  I am confident that we are living in a better country and a better world today. I will continue to believe in the American spirit and continue to honor the freedoms that so many people gave their lives to protect. Thank you to the men and women who serve our country and remind us that we are truly privileged to live in a country that values its people.

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“In all we do every day, in our attention to the micro as well as the macro, we strive to make New York City a better place. We work to help those who are without in our own city and, in so doing, serve as a model for what can be done elsewhere. In that way and in many other ways, each of us as individuals and collectively as Robin Hood, honor the memory of 9/11 and the spirit of what has been done since. This is a part of what it is to Be Robin Hood.”

– Emary Aronson, Managing Director, Robin Hood Relief Fund

My Country Tis of Thee

This weekend I visited our great nation’s capital. I am embarrassed to say that this was only the second time I have been to Washington D.C. Either way, it was an incredible weekend and I ready to move there – that is unless the next election doesn’t go my way…

One of my favorite people in the whole word is moving to Washington D.C. next weekend. I am so excited to have my friend (who will remain nameless because she is paranoid about internet exposure) closer to New York and foresee many more girls weekends in our future.

From 2002 – 2005, we spent this weekend every year swimming our hearts our at the Ivy league Championships. While we weren’t roommates in college, we always roomed together during that swim meet. It was a funny coincidence that we got to, again, spend this weekend in a hotel, hanging out. And this time, I think we were both excited to have the focus be on something other than swimming, shaving, swimming, sleeping, swimming and eating Wheaties. Instead we walked around the city, looked at apartments, checked our neighborhoods and took in some of our country’s great history.

The absolute highlight part of the weekend was when, as we passed by the White House on Friday night, I saw the silhouette of a dark and hansom character taking a late evening stroll in the yard…

No, not President Obama… even better….


How freaking cute? I think if Bo were to meet my niece Bexley – there might be our own Royal wedding. Take that Will and Kate.

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Oh and did I mention that Abby came into the city for Sunday brunch? Yah, I didn’t think one weekend could pack so much fun either!!!!!

My Thoughts on The State of the Union

I really wanted to write a blog today recapping my thoughts on the State of the Union address last night. Sadly I got caught up in work today and seem to find myself unable to commit the solid amount of time that a post like this requires. Thankfully, a fellow blogger over at pink brief case wrote one that is right up my alley!

Click to read her State of the Union Recap

You are seriously funny. Let’s be friends?

I was able to get a few of my own thoughts down that weren’t addressed in her post:

1. Really Hillary, you think it is appropriate for a woman of your age (and not to mention stature) to wear a headband? Hopefully you aren’t accessorizing like that when you go and meet with President’s of foreign countries. I can’t see Mahmoud Ahmadinejad taking you too seriously wearing a blinged out head-piece – unless it was a tiara. And let’s be serious Hill, you know I love you, but you are no Kate Middleton.

2. Michelle –  you look awesome (as per usual)! I don’t care what type of job your husband is doing, you are transforming fashion in the white house and I support it. Rock on.

3. Debbie Bosanek, (AKA Warren Buffet’s secretary) I am so sorry that your boss continues to make an example out of you. Not only does he and others continue to call you a secretary (I am sure you official title is something much more dignified like “executive assistant”) but has he even asked you if you are comfortable being forced into the lime light as a tax victim? And who knows, maybe you are an investing genius and you are actually making more than old Mr. Buffet and that is why you pay more in taxes. Geez, give this poor woman a break already! At least they seated her next to Laurene Powell Jobs, that’s pretty baller.

4. Vice President Biden, are you checking you text messages? I know you are number two in line, but number one is talking. Show some respect.

Finally, on a related but different note, how much does Mitt Romney look like Guy Smiley from Sesame Street? I can’t decide if that makes me like Mitt more or less…


You’ve Got My Vote

Last night I decided to watch my first debate of the Republican presidential nominees. I have to say, one guy stood out to me and is definitely getting my vote.


Even with his recent Gawker/Lana Del Rey scandal and his excessively orange skin, Brian Williams is certainly my favorite GOP candidate.

What? He isn’t official running for the nomination? Hmm, could have fooled me – reports indicate that Williams spoke 2,137 words during the debate, only 819 fewer than Ron Paul (and I KNOW that guy is in the running).


The Call to Serve

On this day of remembrance, for all of the Veterans who have given their time, and sometimes their lives, for our country I cannot help but feel a little disheartened.

Over the past 200+ years well over 1 million soldiers have paid the ultimate price so that we can continue to live our lives in the land of the free. The land of opportunity. The land where all men are created equal.

I am forced to ask, have we continued to honor these sacrifices? With so many people living in poverty, is this truly the land of opportunity? And where the zip code you are born into determines your destiny, are all men truly created equally? I am not sure that the soldiers who fought to protect our freedoms would think so.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our country and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. But I am concerned about our future. With a country divided and no one willing to work together, how are we expected to move forward?

After 9/11, the country came together in way that I am not sure we will ever see again. American flags were hung outside every home and people across our nation came together to grieve, to mourn and to stand up for our freedoms. It is what we do when faced with adversity that truly defines us. After 9/11, I could not have been more proud to be an American.

And now, our country is faced with adversity again.  And instead of stepping up to the challenges that face our country together, we are crumbling apart.

As a nation, we have prospered because we’ve always had citizens willing to stand up and answer the call to serve in hours of need. Our national resolve has been expressed by the millions who have worn the military uniform. Today, the call to serve our nation is of a different kind.  Today the call to serve is extended to all citizens, not just those in uniform. The call to serve our own citizens who are struggling. The call to come together and find real solutions to the problems that we face. The call to compromise and give more of ourselves than we have before. We must remember, we are not the 99%. We are not the 1%. We are the 100%.

I know that we have the ability to respond to this call. We did it after 9/11. We will do it again.

Thank you to the all the men and women who have served our country and fought to protect our freedoms. We, the American nation, will not let you down.


The Black and Whites in Life

I appreciate the black and whites in life.

As a swimmer, I loved having clear-cut information about who performed better. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind, at the end of the race, who was better (on that day). In other sports that I played, like field hockey and soccer, it wasn’t as obvious who was the most talented player on the field, or who had the best game. Yes, there was a winning team and a losing team, but that isn’t the same. I don’t understand how people can compete in sports like figure skating, gymnastics or diving where the scoring is so subjective. Clearly my competitive nature wouldn’t hold up well in those arenas.

Much to Matt’s frustration, I love following the rules. I like knowing right from wrong and I interpret the rules as black and white. This is probably the biggest contention between Matt and I. When it comes to rule following, he is MUCH more grey.

While I see a locked door as a clear sign that I am not supposed to go in somewhere, Matt sees it as a mental and physical, challenge to find his way in. While I see a door marked “private” at the back of a bar as a clear indication that I shouldn’t go in, Matt sees it as a special VIP room just for him.  Thankfully, he has great friends who are always there to break the rules with him or to bail him out if he finds himself in trouble (as he usually does).

Growing up in my household, there were a lot of things that were black and white, but none more apparent than smoking. My father is a pulmonary physician (aka a lung doctor) who sees the negatives that come from smoking on a daily basis. Lung cancer, COPD, and emphazima are the black and white outcomes of smoking. The World Health Organization estimates that over 100 million deaths have occurred over the course of the 20th century due to smoking. There is no rational for smoking, no grey area. I still remember when my dad visited  my 2nd grade class to talk about the harmful effects of smoking. He brought in a real lung, enclosed in a glass case, that was from the body of someone who smoked the majority of their lifetime. It was shrunken and black. The effects of seeing this have stayed with me my entire lifetime. Afterwards, my class wrote thank you notes to my dad, and each one contained the shaky handwriting of an 8-year-old, saying they would never start smoking. In high school, many of these same classmates did in fact start smoking. My dad had saved the pile of thank you letters, and 10 years later, I gave them back to the original authors. They read their own 8-year-old statements, swearing off cigarettes forever. I am not sure how successful I was in encouraging these people to quite smoking, but I hope I helped them see this subject as a little more black and white.

Over the weekend, our country celebrated Independence Day. 234 years ago, on July 2nd, our founding fathers succeeded in achieving a legal separation from Great Britain. Two days later, the Declaration of Independence was signed containing the basic principles that our country rests upon today. A day before the document was signed, John Adams wrote a letter home which contained his wishes for our future celebrations:

“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

While his prediction was two days off, I am confident that he would find our annual celebration of our nation’s birth as quite adequate. It doesn’t get more american than fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, and family reunions.

The 4th of July is truly a black and white holiday and for that, it is far and away my favorite holiday. There aren’t any religious affiliations, gifts to give, or hallmark cards to buy. The expectations are that you use this day to remember what is great about our country and why we are proud to be Americans (something that has been lost of late). A day to celebrate our freedom and thank those who made it possible. A day to eat a hamburger, sing patriotic songs and watch the fireworks in the sky above. A day to wear red, white and blue. A day where political parties should be forgotten, and the unity that we have a country should be remembered. A day to be American.

 It really is that simple; it is black and white.