Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Tali!

The hits just keep on coming.
Happy Birthday to my little girl, Daddy's little Noopsie, Julian's princess...our very own natural treasure.

So let's take a stroll down memory lane. It's just about nine years ago right about now that you started your birth journey. My water broke just as I finished the Sunday New York Times which was rather considerate of you. I once commented when you were about two years old how you remember everything. And you replied "then there was water and I was coming down", and I said to Daddy, "my G'd, she remembers being born!". Although you were probably talking about being on a water slide, it would not surprise me if you were talking about your birth. You were a little old soul from early on. A studied pair of eyes that took in EVERYTHING. Aunt ShooShoo commented when she visited us in the hospital, "look how she follows our voices - Genius!".

So tomorrow is your birthday and we will continue our celebrations throughout the weekend. But on this first day of December, your ninth birthday, I wish for you this:

1) good health;
2) that no woe shall ever be more than your leaves tee can handle;
3) that you'll always be as spunky as you are today;
4) that you'll work hard to achieve your best;
5) you'll forgive youself when you've done your worst;
6) you'll always have that pragmatic but kind heart;
7) happiness in who you are;
8) knowledge that your family could NOT be more proud of you than we already are;
9) that the light that shines forth from you will never diminish.

Tali, a girl like you comes along once in a century. I will have to borrow a line that our friend Doug used to describe your droll outlook. I didn't say it but I know that I've felt it in my heart since the moment I first held you on my tummy -

"A girl like you is more rare than a unicorn and more precious than gold."

Happy Birthday, sweet girl. Dream big.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Procrastinatation**Clap Clap Clap** 101

You go first
I go second
Starting with...

Above is sing-songed to the tune of the Concentration clapping game.

Oh these are the weeks that will try a procrastinator's last nerves, but I seem pretty calm. Julian's birthday was yesterday, Tali's is on Friday. Thanksgiving just passed. Who has time for all this planning? Exactly!

But you know what? It all works out. I am sort of a slacker in the New York mom's department. I think, "hey, let's have a party at home to celebrate both birthdays this year". Then I mention it to a couple of friends weeks in advance...then all of a sudden it's a week away. Crap, did I call anybody else - because you know sending out actual invitations would be too conventional and well, time consuming. D'oh - work those phones. Hey look at that, everybody can make it that I call. The beauty of these in between birthdays. Nobody is ever away during this time of year. People are in between holidays so everybody is staying put.

Now what about the drummer? I saw an ad for a DRUMMING CELEBRATION in a local paper about a month or so back. I have it right here. I emailed the guy...he emailed back. Then the trail goes cold. So I call him tonight. We chat up about what the Drumming Celebration would entail and it sounds nice to me.

Drummer Guy: So when are you having the party?
Me: Well, this Sunday (sheepishly).
DG: Joking - Haha, yeah the party's going to start in half an hour.
Me: Haha, actually it started about half an hour ago, but there's this uncomfortable could you grab your drums and come over?

It's not much less absurd to the planners of the universe than that scenario. Hey he's a musician, he should know how to go with the flow. As it turns out, he has engagements on Sunday but could come towards the end of the party. In my mind's eye, this is how it's supposed to work out anyway. His other engagement is at a children's hospital for 50 kids. I say that's a) more important for him in terms of need for his service and b) more lucrative as well. So he'll come and do a party wrap-up at our place.

Everybody's happy! I know that I would drive an anal person insane, but that's why I'm not married to or am not best of friends (shall we say) with anal personalities. Not that there's anything wrong with being that way. I just am realistic as to how frustrated you might be in such a friendship. Better you should hear it from me.

Now back to those lists...

craft supplies - check.
strobe disco light for freeze dancing - check.

See you at the party. About 2-ish?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Julian!

There is a favorite Thai proverb that I have on a paper that I come across every now and again. I was cleaning out my desk drawer yesterday and there it was:

Life is short. We must move very slowly.

Today is Julian's fifth birthday!
Five years have gone by in the blink of an eye. Yet if I look back, a lot has gone into those five years. Funny that.

I just looked down at him as he slumbered away in his bed and thought...five years ago, you weren't quite ready to be born yet. Now here you are sleeping, hopefully a good night's worth for school tomorrow. We'll bring goodie bags and cupcakes to the classroom and celebrate. We'll have a party this weekend for you and Tali. But for today on your fifth birthday I wish you this sweet boy:

1) Good Health;
2) Happiness;
3) For life to be kind to you;
4) For you to achieve all that you can;
5) For you to derive as much joy as you give to others in life.

You most certainly have brought happiness into every life that you have touched. When you were maybe one years old, Tali wanted to look up your Chinese horoscopes on a PBS site for the children's show, Sagwa. Yours said, "When you walk into a room, people smile". This fit you so perfectly then and it still does today. Your warmth surrounds you and shines into whatever space you are in.

I know that I smile every time that you walk into whatever room I am in. Who could ask for a greater blessing?

Happy Birthday ChooChoo - here's to many more happy celebrations.

And now for your favorite part - L'Chaim!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Happy Thanksgiving to all. Enjoy your day and to those of you spending it alone, there's always room at my family's table. Truth be known, they'd never notice another person is there. In the meantime, if you're looking for a little Thanksgiving entertainment, head on over to THE SNARK today.

But most of all - Happy Thanksgiving.

Safe travels.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Administrative details first - I'd like to thank my human friends here and in the family that voted early and often and made my win a hat trick in SAR'S CAPTION CONTEST! Sar, I think it's time to cook up a little (or big) template tag for the blogs to display. And this is going on my resume.

I have to say a special thank you to WEIRSDO as she left a link on my post about my robot yesterday to the Elbot link below. She thought that Elbot seemed happy with his robot lot in life, and I'm guessing would make me feel good by extension. I don't know if he did, but he was a good conversationalist - I am apparently somewhat average as humans go. He'll tell you. Put any preconceived notions about robots aside when you visit, or you will likely be insulted. Elbot does not suffer fools gladly. How would I know you ask? Let's just say, Elbot and I had a nice chat. We understood each other. He can be a bit snarky. Hey, I think a trip to CENTRAL SNARK is in order for him!

I am all about spreading the word of understanding of our fellow human beings and robots! So please, in that vein, go visit ELBOT. and tell him G sent you. And try not to use the words maybe...or perhaps.
Go on now, but be warned - he will try to keep you chatting.

Monday, November 20, 2006


This is a sad tale - a tale of a misplaced robot. She is struggling to find her place in this world. She doesn't know where that place is, she just knows it is not in this seat at this desk.

She sits at her office desk and answers in her head to her coworkers' queries. The answers are never printable in a family blog. What comes out of her mouth sounds intelligible enough and satisfies the office drones. They leave her office door. Sometimes she gives them the her head and says "now bugger off", which makes her smile. They think the robot is pleasant. Sometimes she gets up, does a deep breath and stretches and looks out her window. And dreams of going out to the car and driving to her real job which will not suppress her creative spirit.

In this new job, the robot knows she will showcase her real talents not some programmed ones that she has been trained to perform. She is a robot though and realizes we are all programmed in some way.

So while she is at her desk and writes and visits on human friends' blogs, she on some robotic fundamental level feels bad that she is doing so. After all, she should not be doing this on company time as this is not what she is paid to do. She is such a contradiction this robot. She rationalizes that it sparks her creativity and thus makes her own job more productive. Some of the humans read and leave words on the robot's blog.

She wonders if they suspect that she is really a robot. She doesn't think that they mind.

Friday, November 17, 2006

If It Weren't for Bad Luck...

That's right, brother, I'd have no luck at all.

Well, had a little work done on the house last year. Looks quite nice, if I do say so myself. But apparently it's not the form part that's problematic. Oh no, it's the function. Of course, we can't be sure of this apparently until part of the floor is ripped up (how much we won't know until the plumber comes for a visit tomorrow) . What's that? Just have the contractor come back? Well, if a Malaysian guy named Sunny (about 5'9", 165 lbs.) shows up in a green van, call me. He was last heard from on the way to the airport and a little hint - we're not the only ones looking for him so he may be a little hasty in his presentation.

You know, I make it a point to not use expletives in print on my blog. In print - it's there waiting to come back and bite me in the ass-trology chart, yeah. At least the utterances will just fly away like a $20 bill on a windy day being handed to the toll collector (there's that aforementioned luck). So I'll allow you to insert your own %^&*@# expletives if you'd like in the comments.

Or alternately, you could go vote for me in SAR'S CAPTION CONTEST. I'm looking to make this week a hat trick, how's about helping a dame down on her luck.

Oh brother can you spare a dime?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Sure, you're saying, "I could be wrong but wasn't she just squawking about her birthday in July?". Well yes, that's true. But if you had paid attention (and I may just do a trivia quiz to check), I talked about my other birthday HERE. Okay, I see you're warming up - yes, my Jewish birthday. That's right - the day that I converted to Judaism, eleven years ago on the 25th of Cheshvan on the Jewish calendar. And that my friends, is today.

You know, when you look at life in retrospect, it sometimes is as if you are watching an old super eight film of yourself. I see it all passing through my mind. The coldish gray day - colder then it's supposed to be today when Scissors and I went to Brooklyn to go before the Bet Din (Jewish Court, comprised of three rabbis). A lot of living goes on in eleven years and a lot of water's passed under that bridge. Yet it was only yesterday.

Conversion to Judaism really requires of one a feeling inside that this is who I am. And I think of the story of RUTH in The Torah, in which she said to her mother in law, "your people shall be my people and your G-d shall be my G-d." I have never felt any question in my mind - "What have I done, is this right?". Oh that is not to say I don't wrestle with faith, I most certainly do. But what I know is that my family is Jewish, we live in the largest Jewish community outside of Jerusalem. When I am outside of New York, I am not home. My roots for my family are firmly planted here. We love to visit and see family and friends but we love to come back to our home.

I know there are various labels ascribed to Jewish factions - "Oh he's Conservative. Him? Modern Orthodox. They're mishigosh (Yiddish: crazy) - Reform". Our family blends all of the traditions so beautifully into the thread of our lives and we consider ourselves just that - living a traditional Jewish life. As in the story of Ruth, I do cherish my mother in law in many ways. She has been and always will be my Jewish parent. She's also a tough character.

That's okay, she's met her match in me.

So join in my simcha(Hebrew: joy) and we'll sing a round of simon tov/mazel tov (Hebrew: good sign/good luck) and make a l'chaim (Hebrew, in this usage - a toast).

To life my friends, to life.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Lady In Black

INTRO: The following is a story that I concocted that plays off the post my daughter has done today in MUFFINLAND. You may read her real life account there. You may also vote while you are there for a new moniker for me if you care to do so in her sidebar. I like "G" just fine but she thinks I need something a little more evocative. Okay now onto the story...

The little girl started off as a student in Suzuki Violin at just about five years old. She didn't really enjoy the beginning classes as they didn't even play the violin at first. She was impatient to make her instrument speak. But their teacher, Mr. Sam was lively and fun and that kept her going. It was as if she knew that she was ready to begin playing the instrument. She was right. She quickly moved from one book to the next surpassing the students who started before her.

As she grew a little older, she was afforded a bit more independence. Since she was at music school from 8:45 am until 1:45 pm (with time off in between certain periods for good behavior), it began to feel like home to her. Plus she had made many friends who sought her out during free time.

During one such time, she and her friends began a game of hide and seek. They weren't bad children, just a little bored with energy to burn - a bad combination for confinement indoors. On this particular day, there was a visiting orchestra from a school in Manhattan which was to perform in the concert hall at noon. But the children's playing led a woman dressed all in black to chastise them - "Where are your parents!". As she turned to see where they might be, she tripped and fell and was helped up by some people seated nearby. It seemed she had sprained her ankle.

The children meanwhile had made a hasty departure to go to their next class which was cancelled. The little girl's mother had a sense it was time to check to make sure that she was in her class and found the six children roaming the hallway. She redirected them to the concert hall to see the visiting orchestra perform. The orchestra played as they sat up in the balcony and the girl's mom applauded a little too loudly for the likes of this orchestra she thought. Then a door swung open and out hobbled a figure - it was her - THE LADY IN BLACK! The one who had yelled at them.

As the woman sang, her eyes scanned the audience and seemed to rest right upon the little girl (or so the little girl thought). She slunk down in her seat ever so slightly whispering to her mother "can't we go now?". Her mother just quieted them and they stayed until the end of the performance. The Lady in Black sang but it seemed that she winced in pain with each high note that she hit. After the performance, she was taken to the hospital where the sprain was actually a break. Although it was casted and she seemed to recover, she always walked with a bit of a hobble.

The girl continued on in her musical studies and never gave The Lady in Black another thought. The Lady in Black continued on with her now awkward gait and never forgot that girl with the blue eyes and her insolent stare. And that's where their paths parted until...

...years later, the girl after much hard work and dedication was to audition for a place at THE JUILLIARD SCHOOL in Manhattan. She awoke early that morning to give herself time to get there without worries. As she waited outside the office of the Director of Musical Admissions, she reworked intricate pieces in her head as she was wont to do. Just then the door swung open and out came the director of Admissions at Juilliard!

Their eyes locked as they shook hands and for the first time in years, the girl thought of The Lady in Black from long ago.

She raised her violin to her chin and set her gaze upon the woman and began to play. The director instinctively rubbed her ankle as she sat back in her chair to listen.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Calls from the Road

I had always worked in Manhattan until about two years ago. At that point, my company opened a new office on Long Island and I transferred there. I can't say that I don't miss the city. But what I surely don't miss, is rushing to the train station in the am and getting packed into one of the most crowded train lines in the city in the morning rush hour. However, it was during these train rides that I did most of my reading.

The upside of course is that I just get into my climate controlled vehicle (you just don't want to ever feel that rush of heat that slaps you in the face at 8:00 am on a sweltering August day in New York City subways). I shudder to recall. Plus I get to listen to the radio or a cd or both on my rides. Oh and nobody presses over from their seat onto mine, or makes rude gestures, or starts proselytizing or collecting spare change - I drop them off at school first.

Then there are the Calls from the Road. These are the calls to my Mom (that's where we coined the phrase) whereby we discuss what's going on in the family, what's happening with the kids and a general regaling of the week which invariably has us laughing. In this evening's call, there were several threads of discussion but our finishing one was about woman and hormones and the joys of womanhood. I was recounting how my daughter (who will be nine shortly) can be so obstinate and difficult on certain days - like it's not even her. Hey wait a minute...the thought hit me like a bolt of lightning. Oy vay, it's the start of hormones coursing through her little body. Which led to a discussion about what it used to be called in days of yore.

My mother: "My friend is visiting",
Me: "the curse"
My mother: "No that's getting married".

Haha. She still has that vaudevillian sense of humor and she's 82. And we chuckled on some of the old wive's tales and before you know it, I was pulling up to my house.

True, me mum's hearing may be going or is it gone? She's a bit stiff in her gate, but she's always good for a laugh or two. We do enjoy our Calls from the Road.

Listen for it coming to an NPR station near you.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What Color is Your House?

I'm not big on political blogging for a number of reasons - namely I am no pundit. But also I find the vast number of political blogs are so far left or right that it makes my head spin. It's a safe bet that when you return to my humble abode, all talk of politics will be put away with last night's dinner dishes (I should hope).

That said - it is the midterm elections and we'll wake up tomorrow with either a Red House or a Blue House, no in between. Well that's not exactly representative of the house that I live in - we're a mixed marriage in terms of politics. Although we agree on many key issues and have grown closer in viewpoint over the years, I still get "liberal" lobbed over the net at me and my husband ducks as I throw "right winger" at his head. Neither of us exactly fits the labels and are somewhat moderate in many cases. Our differences, however, are not in our fundamental beliefs - those we share and use as a springboard from which to provide a spiritual basis for raising our children.

One thing my household is united in politically (as is the case I believe for a large percentage of the American public), is the feeling that we need change. How that change is going to be effected is anybody's guess. Not such an easy task. Our country and our world is on a very precipitous perch right now and we're feeling a bit downtrodden. Where do we go from here? How do we bring about a conversation of how to resolve some of the wrongs going on? There are no easy answers no matter what your views are.

In that vein, a blog titled PATH TO PEACE has been started. It is set up by blogger(s) anonymously to "ensure that it does not have a hidden agenda for furthering the cause of any party, group, or individual". Well that sounds refreshing. It really seeks to create a dialogue from which to explore options of how to proceed as a country, as a world towards peace.

The sight has a proposed "International Bill of Rights" and asks whether you would endorse it. Considering a good deal of rhetoric and close-mindedness from both sides of the aisle, I say a blog like this is a breath of fresh air.

I'd like to believe it would be this simple and I'm willing to put the skeptic in me aside, perhaps with the breakfast dishes.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


ONCE UOPN A TIME, there were two girls who met in a funny land where words connect people. It is called The Blogosphere. They met at a place called WAKING AMBROSE (a blog, near as they could tell , that was dedicated to some dead cranky old man) where they became fast friends. Their names were NEVA and G, but they called each other "NBFF" which stood for New Best Friend Forever! They were silly like that. They each met a lot of nice people in this Blogosphere, and Neva had been friends with SAR - a real life belle, who encouraged her to visit Doug's place. The girls had each been shy to join in the fray that occurred daily at Doug's but before long G exclaimed to Neva "hey I can be as sarcastic as the next fellow" and Neva responded in her best Groucho Marx voice, "Well move over and let me talk to the next fellow"! From that day forward, they shared lunch in CENTRAL SNARK.

Long fairy tale short - the day came when the NBFF's would meet The Belle of the Brawl - Sar!

First G drove to Neva' s house and they hopped into Neva's super fast hotrod because as NBFF's they had a lot in common, like being late, and they had to drive really fast like 80 or 140 MPH or something pretty quick anyway. While Sar waited for her hotrod friends to arrive, she sipped coffee and dreamed of new threads to adorn her lovely self with. She was very sweet and didn't even hate the NBFF's when they were late-ish. She was gracious that way - a real belle!

Finally the three girls met! It was as if they had been friends for a long time and in many ways they had. They had a nice lunch together which seemed to stretch out a long while. When they told the waitress how they met, she acted like the three were celebrities. In all fairness, the three girls were pretty much the most excitement the place contained. They were so animated in their conversation and laughter.

After a lot of fun and silly picture taking, they parted reluctantly and promised to keep in touch. This fairy tale has a very happy ending because both Sar and G got homemade cookies from Neva as she is very nice like that. And they all went to bed that night with smiles on their faces and fond memories of a day spent with great new old friends.


Friday, November 03, 2006


Look at that gorgeous Fall Day. I'm not working today. I won't be home for most of the day either. This could only mean one thing -

A road trip, if you watch the video that I linked to, will include smoking, drinking, shoplifting, and making rude gestures to truckers. Come on, what do you take us for? A couple of teenagers?

The most exciting part of the trip is that we'll be having lunch with somebody known for her:

Did you guess? Well stroll through CENTRAL SNARK where all the details await you.

I'm sure you're doing something equally exciting today, so you know, enjoy work or whatever.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"You're my blue skies..."

This day started off pretty cranky in these parts.

Yup, started off raining, kid tantruming, having to go to two separate coffee establishment due to long lines or indecsive minds, evil office assistant playing Muzak which promptly had me envisioning myself dropped into a depression ad..."There she sits at her desk, the post that she just wrote disappeared, how can she recuperate from losing the only shards of brilliance her day would hold...". Back to the bad day - getting tapped on the bumper by somebody who was having a problem comprehending the Universe's Alternate Merge Theory and thus almost ran me off the road. When I did get out of the car to check, instead of finding a menacing smartass behind the wheel, I found a sweet young woman who very apologetically said "I had no idea that I hit you, what can I do?". I do feel slightly bad that my response wasn't something more comforting than "learn to drive".

The evil office assistant gets on my nerves for reasons such as the following interaction. When a coworker comes back in from the outdoors she feels the need to ask "Still raining?" even though the sun is shining brightly through the windows.

Hold on! The sun is shining! Holy Moses, that means I'm supposed to be happy! Hope springs eternal.

Have a nice day now.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


We interrupt the inertia of this blog at this very moment, to bring you a very important announcement. Today kicks off NaNoWriMo! No sillies, it is not another Jewish Holiday that I'm trying to slide in under the radar. What's that? You in the red - "Why didn't I bring this to you sooner"? Well, I am a procrastinator and very rarely see the value of something until it is upon me or perhaps, has even run me over.

Okay - you in the back, "What the heck is NaNoWriMo?". Heh heh, funny. No, "it is not where the detainees from Gitmo are being transferred". Well had you paid attention and been following along at one of the baddest MUTHA'S blogs around, you would have known that it is National Novel Writers Month!

Here's the lowdown - 30 days, write every day, yada yada yada - you've got yourself a 50K word novel at the end. No I did not say published - as if. Okay, every link above explains it just a tad better and with a bit more detail.

But since it starts today, I just thought it would be a valuable tool for every budding writer out there (not me of course).

Well, come on what are you waiting for? Wipe the Snickers remnants from your face and head on out!

I've got a plot to consider for the novel that I'm not writing.