Sunday, March 26, 2017

Friends and Online Stuff

It's not often a long lost friend comes back into my life. Meet Nina ... We both grew up in Brooklyn attending Brooklyn College, but as I was one year older, and graduated early, we never met. We went on to become teachers but in different schools so again we never met. We married and started our families about the same time. Nina had boys (2) and Ellie had girls (3) - just what we both wanted. Somewhere along the line Nina and I met through our husbands and we all became friends. I always thought she looked somewhat like me - the same height, build, hair, eye color, and complexion.

As life moves on ... and people get busy ... friendships change. I basically stayed friends with the women who lived in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn while Nina and Sy moved to Fort Lauderdale. The years, or should I say decades, passed as our lives followed similar paths though never touching. All of the children grew up, finished college, married with families, and are professionals. One of Nina's sons became a doctor - the other a Hollywood producer/director - Jeremy Alter.

Segue - March 2017 ... Last week, my ex-husband Ralph, who is deceased, showed me Nina's face but never explained why. I decided to search for Nina on Facebook ... and there she was after all these years ... Ellie sending an email. Nina emailed back immediately telling me she had searched for me for years but not as Ellie Crystal (maiden name). She had only known me by my married name, Levine. (There are Ellie Levine's in NYC but younger than me.)

Yesterday, Nina and I had our first catch-up call. We discovered that around the time I decided to leave Ralph to pursue the next part of my journey, she left her husband, Sy. Ralph moved to Scottsdale and Sy to LA. Though Ralph passed 11 years ago, Sy is still alive and well and still selling insurance.

Nina's interests in the esoteric took her to astrology where she and a friend had a call-in radio show for years. She still teaches piano and ... well, you know what I do. She is not into the tech world at all and said she recently got her first smart phone. We didn't have time to talk about reality so I'm not sure about her thoughts on that subject. To be continued ....

With friends moving to Florida, I may have to visit again. My friend, Pat, just sold her design business and is moving May 1. John, the friend I sometimes vacation with, is selling his house in Tampa and considering the East Coast of Florida. Now we have Nina .... and most importantly ... George in Fort Lauderdale.

Speaking of George... He's coming to spend time with me at the end of May. Yeah! As my computer is five years old and freezing up from time to time, as of late, I decided that would be a perfect time to get a new computer as George has always helped me get all my tech stuff together. I'm on the fence about getting a 27 inch iMac (smaller than what I'm used to), or a Mac Mini, and using my old 30 inch monitor which is now starting to get black pixels. I know what you're thinking ... go new. Also Mac no longer makes a separate monitor which is needed for Mac Pro (too much computer for my current needs) and Mac Mini. Ok ... I think I'm going to go with the 27 inch iMac and pray that my current Mac Pro lasts two more months. What do you think, George? FYI -The next Mercury Retrograde is ... April 9 - May 3, 2017 so that's helpful.


From the NY Times ... Landmark internet privacy protections are nearly certain to be dismantled. Within days, the House is expected to pass a measure that the Senate approved last week. It would allow internet service providers to track and share customers' browsing and app activity without obtaining their permission. Republican supporters of the legislation said the regulations, created during the final days of the Obama administration, were onerous and stifled innovation.

The GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act collapsed as the House leaders pulled the legislation in the face of a revolt among Republicans. The decision exposed the civil war within the party and raised questions about the consequences on the Trump administration's aggressive agenda and next year's midterm elections. The president, in a telephone interview, argued that the situation would turn out in his favor. "The best thing that could happen is exactly what happened - watch," he said.

For a year, NY Times reporters have been following Syrian refugee families and the Canadians who have helped them resettle in Toronto. Now, in Month 13, the sponsors are trying to let go. The everyday Canadians who stepped up to help are stumbling, as are the Syrian families trying to go forward on their own. "The honeymoon is over," said one sponsor, a retired teacher. This is just what I blogged would happen. Cultural differences and emotional issues were destined to create problems.

This is a cycle. A wet winter has blanketed the ridges of the Sierra Nevada range with a remarkably thick snowpack, which is beyond welcome after years of drought. The snowmelt will trickle down to irrigate crops, fill glasses and help sustain life in an arid state. Our collection of maps and photographs lets you share in the relief.