Posts Tagged ‘Mah Jongg’

Last year’s blog of the same name see “Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one”  drew  a LOT of hits, so I thought I should write an updated version.  This is not my original quote, although I wish I had said it.  Brad Paisley, country song-writer and singer is the author of that wonderful phrase.  It says so much, implies so much and inspires much.

2013 brought the usual  delights, disappointments, thrills, chills and surprises that seem to come along every year,  It was a very good year in that we were blessed with a new grandson, Thomas Fletcher, known as Fletch.  Business was better than last year and that’s always good.  I do love to travel although we haven’t done much since we bought the cottage at the shore,  we did take a trip to Old Quebec with Stacey and Matt (Peter’s sister and hubby).  That was delightful, however we really didn’t expect snow in April!

The One about Stephen R. Covey

The One about Stephen R. Covey (Photo credit: kndynt2099)

With each New Year comes the resolution to lose weight, eat healthier,  and exercise more – they’re practically universal these days.  I’m going to try to learn some Italian, perhaps switch my blog to my own domain name, work smarter and not harder which may mean delving back into Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Effective People.  And on the other hand, I’d like to win more at Mah Jongg and Scrabble lol, lol.

I’m hoping all of above is not contingent on just luck because I don’t have any black eye peas in the house and if we don’t eat them tomorrow, well you never know….and I don’t like to tempt fate!

Your book starts tomorrow (even though it’s already today) and I wish you all plenty of ink to write long and happy chapters.  Happy New Year to all my readers and followers.  Thank you for sticking around and your comments are always welcome and so very appreciated.


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I have just found the perfect Foodie gift for my Mah Jongg group or your Bridge Club or your Book Club gang.  When we play Mah Jongg it is usually on a card table and there is hardly room for the racks and the tiles let alone the glasses of wine and nibbles on the table.  I often hope that I might be able to reach another surface with my wine glass because I’m always afraid the glass of red wine will get knocked over and Oy what a mess!

In my group we set up the snacks in a convenient location but not on the table; Of course everyone wants to bring their  carrot sticks, cheese and crackers and chips to the table with them and again we have this cramped situation with either people eating off of napkins or the possibility of a dish falling to the floor. 

Well, I’ve got the solution!!! Nibble Coasters!!

Two In ONE!

Two In ONE!

Isn’t this a fantastic idea?  I love it.  It was being offered at URBAN OUTFITTERS but they’re sold out.  You can find it on Ebay  or Convenient Gadgets.  This ceramic coaster works just as well with a coffee mug and a cookie.  Fantastic!!

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If two weeks ago when I last wrote a blog, I thought it would be two weeks before I sat down at the keyboard again, I would have said, “Oh no, not me, I’m committed to blogging”.  Well so what happened?  I’d say one part life happened, one part physic overload and one part computer game junkieness.   I just made up that last word.

Work has been feeling like 24/7 and I have to get a handle on that.  I’m letting a client/customer run my life and she/he has me jumping through hoops.  Of course I’ve had enough therapy to know that can only happen with my permission.  Oh those intelligent sounding, pragmatic answers are just so…..what?  I don’t know, just so true? hard to do? Yup all of that and more.

And then the worst thing is this new word game that I started to play on Facebook.  If Steven Covey could only see me now, spending hours in Quadrant 4 – time wasting and my numbing!  My Scrabble addicition was bad enough, Lexolous was getting intense and now this – Word Wonder or something like that.   All I can say is it’s a good thing I can’t seem to go any further without paying, something I refuse to do.  Hey even us junkies have our limits!

Lots of things have been going wrong too lately – time-consuming and annoying.  We’re not talking life or death here, just annoyances that seem to piggyback on one another.  Here’s how Monday went:  My intention was to pack up the cottage as quickly as possible and get back to NYC because I knew I wouldn’t be around on Tuesday all day.  That’s a perfect example of my neurotic guilt and sense of obligation.  Gee do you really have to be at someone’s beck and call every day, all day?  OK, well I hustled around and got food packed, windows closed and locked while Peter filled the bird feeders and gave the squirrels fresh corn.  Now for the record, I did strongly suggest we put the car into the garage on Sunday night as well as drop off some stuff with Jane at the hotel.  Didn’t happen – now it’s Monday morning and I’m short-tempered and curt barking orders as to what needs to be done to get this show on the road!   BAD KARMA!  The Metropolitan would not start…. Are you frigging kidding me? We drove it Saturday night to Spring Lake and back. Now it’s raining and it won’t start.  Of course I didn’t know it wouldn’t start because I had already left for the garage to pick up a picnic basket I was lending to a friend in Manhattan and to put away the booster seat we had to purchase when Finley was with us for 3 days!

I realized that the basket would not fit in the car the way it was packed now and you know I didn’t pack it that way!  So I unloaded the whole car and re-arranged everything and put in the picnic basket.  Still raining and where is he anyway?  I called his cell phone and he informs me the car won’t start!  Ay yii yi!  I lock up the garage and zoom back.  He’ll have to call our auto mechanic who just installed a new starter last week.  That’s right, last week.  We’re leaving it out in front of the house and the mechanic will see to it – we leave.  I realize that I’m wearing soaking wet shoes.  Why am I not wearing my usual flip-flops?  Well because I was thinking ahead and wanted these espadrilles to be in NYC so I could wear them on the bus tomorrow to West Hampton.  Do all espadrilles have roped soles?

BAD TRAVEL KARMA is an all day thing I guess, because by Monday evening when I have to get myself to East 50th Street to meet my Mah Jongg group, things are still going badly.  I left the apartment in plenty of time with the intention of taking the cross town bus to 2nd Ave and then switching to the 2nd Ave local to go south.  But as I walked out of my building, I saw the cross town bus heading up the block – I had just missed it.  I waited a while and no bus came.  So I walked to 2nd Ave and one block south to the bus stop and waited and waited and waited.  Not one but two Select (express) buses went by but no local. I kept looking at the time and said to myself “take a cab”.  I hailed the cab down and just as I was about to open the door I realized that I did not bring my handbag with me and had only my Mah Jongg money and no credit cards.  “Sorry” I say to the driver, “I made a mistake”.  This being New York, he’s probably used to a lot of crazy people.  Still no bus.  The Select bus stops two blocks north so I take a long look up the avenue and don’t see any buses coming and decide to walk north to that bus stop.  Walking as fast as I can in my flip-flops I scurry northward.  As I am approaching the block, I see that a local bus has stopped there and if you can picture a woman of a certain age and somewhat overweight trying to run in flip flops down the busy block then you are probably laughing your you know what off right now!  The bus pulls away.  Buses wait for no man or woman either by the way!  The express and local stops are both located on this block.  I’m sure another bus of either type will appear on the horizon soon.  WRONG! Almost 10 minutes later, an express bus pulls up, I get on and thank God for the air-conditioning because I had clearly worked myself up into a physical and mental frenzy.  

Yes I made it there, late of course and missed the first round, oh well no big deal.  However,  bad luck follows you around stuck to your shoe like a piece of toilet paper.  I sit down and start to play.  My hand looks pretty good.  I’m not going to go into the strategies of Mah Jongg here but you must always be careful not to throw someone else’s winning tile.  Because if you do you have to pay double.  Well you know where this is going…I threw the tile.  Now I had to pay her double her hand.  Oh but she was also East and therefore she gets doubled again, and Oh she threw doubles so she gets doubled again!  And Oh the bettor bet on her so she also gets the same amount of money.  When I tell you I lost $8 in one round, you can believe I was ready to pack it in for the night!  I actually had to owe the bettor $2 and pay it off as I won other hands!  

I sure hope tomorrow is much less uneventful!

English: blue espadrille from Los Espadrilles.com

Espadrilles ARE NOT water proof

May the craks and bams be with you!

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English: Albert Einstein, official 1921 Nobel ...

Albert Einstein

Seriously, yes I am! I know I have been MIA for a couple of weeks and one might think the worst;  like “oh dear, she must be really sick” or “oh my things must be going badly for her right now”…

Well I’m here to say NOT SO!  I have been busy, busy, busy.  And of course I am over-committed so unlike Einstein, for some reason I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all that I want to do and I have pushed off writing a blog.  On the other hand since I am a staunch believer in the fact that people do what they want to do all the time, I may have to try to be more honest with myself and my readers.  

It’s true I have been working and the fruits of those labors came true when I was able to list a property for sale in my building.  It took a few visits and a lot of time spent staging it but it was well worth it.  I put it on the market on Friday and the first showings and Open House were on Sunday and on Monday we had one offer, on Tuesday we two offers, on Wednesday we had three offers. On Thursday I l left town to fulfill my other business obligation.  It’s not very easy to serve two masters in two different states even if they are adjacent.

Someone will surely suffer or both and neither will be happy and then I’ll be out on both accounts.  So this weekend I have to settle the issue and am dreading the conversation.  I don’t want to let anyone down, I commit and I stay with it, I take responsibility to a degree that actually is self-destructive by putting other people’s needs above my own.  This time my own level of stress has been so great that I am going to push through my anxiety and confront the issue.  So many factors to consider.

So busy with two jobs, running between two states and all the rest of life’s miseries still in place, although I haven’t written any blogs in two weeks, I have found time to play Scrabble, I did get a pedicure, I did have breakfast with a friend, I did play one game of Mah Jongg and I did go out one night to dinner and a show with friends and I did go to the doctor’s one day.   Well that’s the truth dear readers and I did all that rather than try to write a blog.  

Did I have writer’s block? No, my friend Gail has sent me several articles I have saved because I want to use the material.  There was one reason I postponed and postponed and it began on Mother’s Day.  I wanted to write a loving blog in memory of my mother but instead we were out and then back in the car to NYC and then back into a grinding routine.  My birthday followed shortly after and I wanted to write about this particular birthday and my mother.  I started many times to formulate it in my head.  I knew it was going to be heavy and so I kept procrastinating.  Memorial Day came and went and we had company and we went to a barbeque and we went out to dinner and then we worked here in NJ and then home again-still the blog haunts me.  

I may have to try to write it soon, I think it will be cathartic.

This weekend is for seeing a first cousin who I haven’t seen since she was little and I have no idea of how many years have passed. She and another first cousin who I have never met – And this is on my mother’s side….the unwritten blog is sending me a message. But doesn’t it know I have to work tonight, tomorrow, tomorrow night and Sunday and then drive back to NYC really early Monday so I can go to work there?  Have mercy!

It happens to be pouring rain outside this morning which is making the whole yard a deep bright green.  I glanced out the window and am wondering where the newspaper is, perhaps it floated away.  

Have a delightful day, I’ll be back.

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Hey it’s Monday and therefore, we should be posting some Six Word Memoirs.  A BIG BIG thank you to Susan and Heather who sent in a Six Word Memoir.  As you can see, it’s really easy-just think about life, love, kids, work, whatever and sum it up in six words, no more, no less.

1. Planning to make a transatlantic crossing. – Heather

2. And that’s my 6 word memoir!!! – Heather

3. Where in the world is summer? – Susan

4.Snowed in, soup’s on, staying warm – Me

5. Me versus MAC vs Printer-LOSER – Me

6. Mah Jongg tonight, come home Jokers! – me

Come to me tonight!

Come to me tonight!

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AND I thought the stroller was a nightmare!  And by the way, it still is and more about that later…  To my DELIGHT, Finley Ray was dropped off with me on Monday afternoon to spend the night!  Chiara had an afternoon appointment with a nursery school counselor – YES! She is paying someone to advise her as to what Pre-K schools Finny should apply to next year!!! And to edit  the essays necessary to accompany the applications and to prep her prior to the interviews! Oh Lordy, welcome to the Manhattan Olympics of nursery school registration, where only the fittest, richest and cleverest survive – and I’m talking about the parents, not the kids.   With handbook literally in hand, notebook filled with locations,  tuition costs and possible number of applicants accepted, my daughter is armed, ready and determined to do battle with the system.  Like any combat-ready soldier, she has studied the terrain, interrogated former warriors, negotiated and lined up support and allies for each front (nursery school).

There’s no one as fierce as an  elephant when it comes to defending, nurturing and fighting to protect her young.  In the animal world that is!!  Meet the Manhattan Mommy who is trying to get her angel into the best nursery school.  There are hundreds of private nursery schools in Manhattan and yet as in any competitive event, there are ranked players, in this case, the very best of the best schools – ones where amongst a list of qualifications, costs and curriculum, there’s  a list of all the renowned and sought-after private elementary schools their alumni have gone on to be accepted.   A case of the cream rising to the top.

To participate in extreme sports, one must begin training early on and so NOW, when Finley is a year away from eligibility and NOW when Chiara still lives in Boston and NOW when she doesn’t even know what neighborhood she will be living in…she has girded herself for battle, jumped into the foray early on and is pursuing a tactically proven course, hopefully to success!!!

Finley Ray Clark, Cinderella, Finny

Mesmerized by Cinderella

And then there’s the portable crib!  Chiara arrived with what seemed to me to be the third incarnation of a portable crib.  The last one was a pack ‘n play;- although it took up more room in our already-crowded den, at least it didn’t require the Army Corps of Engineers to put it together!  I actually did it myself.   Well not so with this compact, lightweight everything is in the bag crib. To be fair, Chiara did offer to put it together, BUT I said no, because really how hard could it be? Very!!

Monday afternoon had several challenges, not the least of which was that I was hosting Mah Jongg that night.  Soooo I prepared some hors d’oeuvres, set up the table and tried to do some work on the computer too.   I have to admit that at about 5pm  I still had more to do and to make Fin some dinner, – so I resorted to a favorite Grandparent ploy; Cinderella!  The movie afforded me enough time to get ready for the Mavens but not enough to put together the crib and give Finley a bath.  Okay so we’ll fore-go the bath but I gotta get the crib up.  I could not believe the number of pieces that came out of that bag; so many metal rods!!! I was sweating and fumbling and then the door bell rang!  Shit, the ladies were arriving.

Finley is supposed to go to bed some time between 7:30 and 8:00pm and I thought we were going to be 5 players that night and I would be able to read Finny a book and put her to bed when I was the bettor.  That did NOT happen; there were only four of us, and as I said the ladies had already arrived and here I was still struggling with the crib. Thank God, Paulette came to my rescue.  She could see how frustrated I was – trying to set up the Mah Jongg Mavens with wine and the game and get the crib together.  Finally Paulette figured it out and we pushed and pulled and forced the bars in place.   By this time, it was already 7:30 and we hadn’t played the first hand yet.  I took Finley into the dining room with me where she flashed a beautiful smile to everyone and sat on my lap watching the game.   About the time I thought she should go to bed, the game was under way and we had so many  delays with my trying to change her and get her in the mood for bed, that I should have known this wasn’t going to be easy.  BUT much to my surprise she did lay down in her crib and she had her Baa, but didn’t  want to get into the sleep sack.  Well ok, I’ll turn the air conditioning off in that room.  Ten minutes later, I’m back at the Mah Jongg table and we’re  actually going to play the second-hand.  I am sooooo happy she went down without a fuss and no book either.

Spoke too soon… the monitor was blaring the sounds of a woeful soul in the other room.  I thought about letting her cry a little but the ladies would have none of it!  “Let her sit with us”  and “don’t let her cry”.  So out she came with real tears rolling down her cheeks and that settled it – she would sit on my lap for a while more.   Soon we were teaching her craks, bams and dots.  She recognized the Green Dragon in no time and as I sat with a pair of flowers in my rack, Finley noticed that there was a little house on one of them and announced to all that I had a “castle”.  That little precious!!!  She finally went to bed at 9:00 but only after  I read Curious George.  I did convince her to get into the sack which although she doesn’t love it, it is part of her nightly ritual and as we all know rituals work.  Some more hugs and kisses and squeezes and I laid her down to sleep.  We won’t tell Mommy she didn’t have a bath and she didn’t brush her teeth.  But she did go to sleep and I did get to play Mah Jongg.  Unfortunately winning is another thing.

Mah Jong tiles, Mah Jongg tiles, green dragon, red dragon, soap, white dragon

The Mah Jongg Dragons

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Museums Special Section – Recalling the Craze for a Game of Chance – NYTimes.com.

Tonight seems to be the night for revisiting old friends and old blogs.  I love to play Mah Jongg and my friends know it – I received at least 3 copies of this article and I had the paper myself.  Last Thursday, an article on Mah Jongg appeared and I’d like to share it with you.  My love of the game developed a couple of years ago.  It’s not genetic, my mother didn’t play, my grandmother didn’t play, I’m not Jewish and I’m not Asian but I do love to play certain games and I like to collect things. So 14 Mah Jongg sets later (these are big items to collect!) I have become a discriminating owner of some unusual sets.  There is a picture in the article of a score card I’ve never seen before.  Anyway,  I think you’ll enjoy the article.

Circa 1923 Mah Jongg Scorecard

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May the craks and bams be with you

It was my night to host the “ladies of the tiles”. Lilli, a full time Mah Jongg substitute and my friend, Paulette filled in for our missing members. I’m pretty sure I lost more than I won, but the Pinot Noir was excellent.

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