Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I hope you won't think any less of me (than you already do) after reading this. I offer it as a cautionary tale. Also, as a reminder that lists might be a helpful thing and something I endeavor to keep in the New Year. It's on my list here somewhere.

Our hapless office assistant Narnia (name changed to protect us all) is big on gift giving. I have never once been able to use with any enjoyment a gift that she's given and I am quite easy to please. I also believe the act of giving transcends the item...usually. It's just the items that she has chosen (or actually bought in mass quantity and told me about) are never something that are well, to my taste or are useful. For example:

- a polyester Christmas ornament scarf that I have absolutely no use for as I don't actually celebrate Christmas. Not that I have anything against Christmas, it's just I'm Jewish and even if I weren't, would still not have such an item in my wardrobe. Off to the donation pile.
- a scarf that has some gold thread through it that itches me like sandpaper. I won't give it away as I wouldn't want to subject this on even the neediest human.
- this year it was a tea light holder (sure, sounds promising) with the word "HOPE" emblazoned in big letters. My first thought was "I hope she'll stop giving me gifts."

"I gave one to my best friend too!" she proclaimed. Right to the garage sale pile.

With these evil thoughts dancing through my head, it was my just comeuppance that I totally blanked on buying Narnia a Christmas present. I bought for the teachers, various school related people - everyone on that list in my head, except Narnia. When did I discover this? As I showered before leaving for work yesterday morning. There must be something to the ole shower waking you up thing as I jumped into reality. What to do? Narnia doesn't go to Starbucks, so a gift card there was out. This was my only option as no other stores were open before my arrival, except the newsstand. Today's paper? "Look Narnia, what a great horoscope you have for today!" Magazines? A bag of Skittles? Come on - think woman, think!

The only viable option was to gift something of my own. Horror of horrors! I looked on the shelves in my room and saw a little silver bird that I always liked and then another little glass paperweight-ish item that I had a perfect gift bag for as it turned out. I held them up to Scissors, telling him of my predicament and asked his opinion on which I should give.

"Give her the bird" was his reply. After I stopped cracking up as funnier than his actual advice was the fact that Scissors didn't really grow up in the States and did not at first realize what he had just told me to do. I gave her what I sold as a paperweight and is currently resting comfortably on Narnia's desk where I can still have visitation rights.

I called my friend Jennifer to tell her of my predicament and had tears streaming down my face laughing as she asked between her own laughter "You gave her something from Montauk? Was it some crappy souevenir item with Welcome to Montauk on it?"

"Yeah sure", I continued "here Narnia, I bought this in the summer thinking it would be a perfect Christmas gift for you. Enjoy!"

I assured her that I scoured the item to make sure it made no mention of its souvenir origins. Once certain, I polished her up and wrapped it.

I believe a list may have saved me this predicament, but then again Narnia would have had to make the list. Maybe I'll start that list now, while it's fresh on my mind.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Monday, December 24, 2007


Twas the night before Christmas
and this family of four
had baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies
and were eyeing one more.

The Christmas Story marathon
played on the tv all night
and served as the backdrop for the
brother and sister to fight.

The brother finally collapsed
in a heap on the floor
when they heard the jingling
of bells outside of their door.

The Dad cracked the door
as the Mom felt fluish
and there sat Santa looking puzzled
"you know with Christmas story playing,
you don't sound Jewish."

The Dad pointed up to
the mezuzah on the door
and to the dreidl still spinning
from Chanukah on the floor.

They gave him a plate of sufganiyot
or jelly donuts to you
The mom wrapped a blanket tighter
did we mention she had the flu?

Then we heard Santa exclaim as
he drove out of sight
Never mind those cookies and milk
It's these donuts I like!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Well this blogging for a year and a half has its benefits in the form of reprisal of old posts, or traditions as we like to say. This was from last Christmas Eve, but what the heck - it was fun!

So Merry Christmas to my friends and best of everything in the new year.


Sunday, December 23, 2007


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I hopped on the subway with the kids and landed in Grand Central Terminal where we enjoyed their laser light show that is on around the Holidays through December 31st. They're an easy crowd - Julian just was happy to ride the trains and Tali wanted a hot chocolate from Starbucks. I wanted to buy a few gift items from an African craft booth in Grand Central's Holiday Fair. With only that, we killed four hours this afternoon.

Scissors stayed home with Louie who is recuperating from a delicate surgery. He was neutered. No more making time with the cute beagle or the cocker spaniel with the pink bows in her hair for him. He's recuperating quite nicely though.

Just a quick note to say hello, not much else. Just want to get my little blog here up and running for the last week of 2007.

Some items from the craft fair:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Visit to the Nursing Home

"I can't bear the number of funerals you go to once you get older. I have to find a way to adjust to loss or sentence myself to a life of grieving. So I focus on the immediate, on my children." Jack Nicolson in an interview I read online earlier today.

I understand how my Mom felt attending the funerals of close friends and relatives. It's hard to watch your generation disappearing. It's harder becoming the older generation. After the last of my father's brothers passed away a couple of years ago, a cousin from that side said "Now the top shelf is gone, no more Johhnie Walker Black. We have to go to the middle shelf." Always the alcohol references on that side of the family, but pretty funny just the same.

I miss my Mom - she loved to hear stories about the kids and so many times I've thought "oh I have to tell Mommy that..." or "Mommy's going to laugh at that one..." and then a tear or two forms. It's sad, but necessary - all part of the grieving process. But then I smile. Smile at the memory and our conversations which often centered around the kids.

On Monday I received a call at the office that Julian had thrown up at school. I made a couple of calls and arranged to have him go to my mother-in-law's home until either I or Scissors got home. He stayed home from school yesterday even though he was quite fine. I took him to the nursing home to bring some things for Grandpa. The residents are getting to know Julian although they don't always remember him. He's taking to pretending he's one of the residents and using Grandpa's long shoe horn as a cane and walking the halls talking. I then found him outside one resident's door ushering the resident into his room with a sweeping motion saying "come in." We then went downstairs to the sitting room before we left whereby Julian pretends that he's talking to Louie our dog on the payphone. It's just Julian and myself and Grandpa and one other little lady resident who seems quite vexed that Julian is on the payphone as witnessed by the following exchange:

Resident (sitting stonefaced with a grimace frozen on face): "He's going to hurt himself with that cord."

Me (the uncaring Mom): "It's okay, he's playing pretend."

Resident expression tightens. Julian runs back over to Grandpa and I, then back to the phone.

Resident: "Holler at him! He should hang up that phone!"

Me (the slightly off kilter visitor): "I'm going to holler at you if you keep yelling at my child." Mutter under breath "old crank".

Resident makes a pffft noise at me. Notice that her grimace has turned to a slight smile.

We both feel better now that we've gotten that off our chests and Julian off the payphone as it turns out.

You see why I need to write a blog? Not because I have such great stories to tell but because if I'm not kept off the streets, I may be harassing little old ladies in nursing care facilities.

No good can come of that.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Tonight marked the start of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. It's a joyous, fun and fattening holiday celebrated with anything drenched in oil. Um ummmm. Latkes, soufganyot (jelly donuts), and pretty much more of the same.

So Happy Chanukah and enjoy!

I've done a couple of posts over at Central Snark which explore the proper spelling of Chanukah and a little rap about playing dreidl. Do stop by, it gets lonely and I end up eating all of the gelt myself.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Rabbit Rabbit and good luck in December.

Today is Tali's birthday. She turns 10. We also determined (in that same birthday aging conversation that we were having with Julian) that next year we'd have to go to the toes to count her age.

I was attempting a video upload but something isn't cooperating and I've got to cut my losses as I have to decorate, wrap, and go to bed. Instead I've put in the still photo of the video. Maybe later?

Each year I think that my heart would burst if it swelled with any more pride for my children. But each year it doesn't and each year my pride just continues to grow with good reason. Tali, have the happiest birthday and the most wonderful year. May you be happy a good percentage of the time, have grand school lunches, continue to play and practice your violin, and just enjoy. But I don't need to tell you that, for if anybody knew how to laugh and see the fun in life, it is you.

Happy Birthday to the girl who makes most adults look scatterbrained on a good day - our own Noopsie, Tali Rose.

Apparently Tali's video did upload, so let's see (she'd like to showcase a more polished piece, but I thought this was just grand anyway):

Note: The Birthday/Rabbit illustration is a print from the shop of Spiral Forest Studio in Etsy

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Today is Julian's 6th Birthday! We were talking in the car on the way home from Tali's violin lesson this evening and considering that we'd now have to go to our second hand to count his age. Quite a milestone.

This video is from this past year some time. It just wouldn't be right for me to do a post about Julian and talk about the joy and love that he's brought into our family, without sharing a little of that light. Here is Julian doing what he loves to do (and our very first YouTube). Okay, so my camera hand needs a little work, not important (Ben when you judge this and you shall, be kind).

You may get some idea why Julian's Chinese Horoscope from his birth year read, "When you walk into a room, people smile." We haven't stopped smiling since.

Happy Birthday to our own natural treasure, the boy with a magnet in his heart. Happy Birthday ChooChoo!

PS: Mommy's Mommy, this one's for you; we know you'd appreciate it. XOX

Monday, November 26, 2007

Because it smelled like you

There was a necklace
Given for a birthday or a Mother’s Day or
Just any day

Given with love
Returned with the scent of the wearer
You never know just how much that will mean

You just never know.

Today I'm wearing a necklace that I had given my mother. When I took it out of the box that it was kept in, I smelled a familiar scent right away. It reminded me of my Mom. I put it around my neck and picked it up and smelled it and just held it in my hands softly remembering my Mom. She loved jewelry – I do too. Sometimes in a visit, I would notice a ring she was wearing and try it on. The next step in our little inside joke would be when she’d say, “borrow it – for a week,” with a smile on her face because weeks turned into months…

Life is that way, weeks turn into months and we forget that our house being clean or magazine-ready isn’t that important. But sitting with a loved one and sharing a laugh or a memory is.

Just feeling sentimental, that’s all.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Time to Give Thanks

That would seem an odd thing to do two weeks after one's Mom's passing, but that is exactly what my entire family is doing today. I hope that I violate no privacies and I certainly won't mention names, but this has been a roller coaster of a week for a dear brother and our entire family.

My niece who gave us all practice in praying was in a very bad way this week. A very bad way - well she must have been and must be in great pain to think that the world would not miss her sweet face. I won't and just can't go into details but she is sitting up and in a regular hospital room and having Thanksgiving with her Mom and Dad by her bedside. We almost lost her this week after losing my Mom two weeks ago.

Thankfully we are instead back to mourning our Mom's death. Somehow that made a little more sense. Somehow there was comfort in that sadness. Somehow we could do the everyday things little by little, bit by bit and still be sad from time to time.

Life has taken on a strange patina in these past two weeks. But I'm thankful. Thankful for my family, thankful for love and thankful for loss. For without it, we'd forget how lucky we really are.

Oh yes - and I'm thankful for all of you that have stopped by or sent emails. Your words of love and support won't soon be forgotten. I am touched from the very bottom of my heart. Thank you.

And to my Mom - thanks. Thanks for showing me without ever telling me what makes a great parent.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. It's good to be back.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Long Journey Home

Time is the only healer and music a salve for the feelings of grief my family and I are feeling.

In Honor of my Mom: February 18, 1925 to November 8, 2007 - touched so many, loved by all.

Her strength, wisdom, beauty, sense of humor, capacity for love and forgiveness are unequaled. We'll miss her more than words could ever convey.

In the link below is the Robert Plant and Alison Kraus collaboration called Raising Sand. The whole cd is beautiful, YOUR LONG JOURNEY in particular seems to have been sent to us right about now. If you care to hear the song or any of the album, click "Listen to Album" after the jump.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


After Doobie's succesful audition which Dusty reported on at Asinine News, Hobbes offered her the role of Anastasia. The other animals also landed some nice parts with one of them landing Frederick.

The buzz here is palpable. Wardrobe is already being consulted.

Just a note to all who may think Doobie the fancy bear - she is more than the finery she donned for the audition. She does not walk around dressed in such clothing on a daily basis. Mostly she may be found in her NY Rangers sweatshirt. In fact, she was showing off her acting chops.

Hobbesywood here we come!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Tali has broken her blog break over at Muffin-land to announce her wish to be considered for a part in the film version of Gone With The Captists, the long running saga at Stuffed Animal Tales.

She's quite excited about the prospect of landing a part.

Drop by to see her audition. I believe other parts are open if you're interested in auditioning.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Say Anything

Now I know why people post something, anything just to stay in the loop. Mainly because when you don't, it just gets more difficult to schedule time for writing, musing, posting.

That sucks. I've got to work on this.

When I have time, I'll fill you in on the joys of our doggie adoption. We love Louie! How fun is it to run down the block with your two kids trying to get Louie wound up and on the chase with calls of "C'mon Louie, let's run"? Both of them laughing all the while with Louie at first in hot pursuit, then easily taking the lead (with Mommy panting hanging onto the leash swearing at her shoe choice). I love watching his easy glide as his ears drift back in the wind.

And because we are, I won't quit you blog. We're going to get through this lack of posting thing. By just posting. Something. Anything.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Good luck in November. I don't always do a RabbitRabbit post, but it's Julian's birthday month so I thought this picture was perfect. We could all use a little luck, don't you think?

This is a photo of a hand painted linocut from the artist, Sonia Romero. Her work can be found in her Etsy shop, sheridesthelion or (She rides the Lion).


Monday, October 29, 2007

A Touch of Lace

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I love best friends.

Jennifer and I have known each other - our whole lives. Well, more accurately she and her family moved into the neighborhood when we were about five years old and have been making deals over charms collections ever since.

I love her because she is the most straightforward person I know. She is also a borderline hypochondriac in the most lovable way. She calls and says "I think I might be dying." I will answer "We all are Jennifer. Do I get first pick of your jewelry?" We talk all the time - every day or so. We don't get together as often as we'd like and that's our own fault.

There were six of us - three sets of sisters who grew up playing dolls, roller skating, talking about boys, riding our bikes to the library, etc. We grew older and went our separate ways. One to California, one to Texas, one to Florida, one to Pennsylvania and two in New York - Jennifer and me. We've all stayed in touch, some better than others (she said as she looked meekly around). Thankfully Jennifer lives in Brooklyn and I in Queens and we talk all the time from work.

She never reads my blog and could not be bothered. Not because she doesn't like how I write, on the contrary. She thinks with my family's colorful history, I certainly have a good story to tell. I never tell that one. It's a long one and well where to begin? At the beginning...

The girl child was born on a hot July day. Before there was routine use of air conditioning, before people thought to seek relief in any other way but on the stoop or in front of a fan, with a little cornstarch powder on your neck. Now that was luxury. She was the seventh child born to this family and that in and of itself should have been a good sign. Her mother is fond of telling her that her hair was a strawberry blonde that people would often remark upon. That and the space between her front teeth. Mr. Burns would look at that space and say with certainty that she would be a singer. Mr. Burns is probably rolling over in his grave.

We moved to the small town where I grew up in 1963. The dates are fuzzy in my mind, but Jennifer moved there shortly thereafter. That's a long time to have such a wonderful friend.

Life's pretty good, I guess.

PS: Hey Jenn, they really like chocolate too. Just saying.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Whatever Happened to Baby G?

I saw her somewhere. She can be found spinning tunes in Central Snark on the weekend. Well not live, but that's one post. One of the co-administrators of the blog, who is her NBFF, has some really tough things happening lately and she's not posting. So all of the co-administrators of whom she counts herself one, are rising to the occasion and trying to do posts there. She's trying to whip up a post for TheSnark right now I think. Did I mention she's also serving as editor for Humor-blogs.com for the blog reviews?

It's just when Dieselpresented Humor-blogs.com reviews as something fun and easy and did he mention fun? Well she couldn't refuse. She likes writing and wanted to give it a crack. She actually does like doing the reviews.

I know she longs for those halcyon days of writing a post, rereading it, rereading it again. Thinking it to be exactly what she wanted to say at that moment in time and publishing. Then rereading and correcting a typo and rereading and well you get the picture.

The truth is it's been pretty hectic of late for her. But mostly it's all good and it's life and did we mention she might be a tad distractable by nature? She'll get her act together I'm sure and figure out the balance of it all. When she does, oh she'll be back with a vengeance.

What's that? Oh no, she's fine. She's just resting here, that's all.

Now scram.

Baby Jane Hudson

Friday, October 19, 2007


the new King of Queens.

Louie became part of our family today. We don't know how we've lived without him. Okay, gotta go walk him.

Have a wonderful weekend.

PSSST: Drop by Central Snark over the weekend where you can find me spinning tunes.

UPDATE: Two weekends ago, my brother-in-law called and asked "so do you want a puppy?" He then went on to recount Louie's tale of wanderlust (or escape from a chain gang, we're not sure). My brother-in-law and SIL found him near their home where they spend weekends. They are animal lovers and of course, took chase and rescued him. Signs were hung all over the area, vets, humane society, police all contacted. They brought him to a vet to see if he had a chip imbedded with his information - nothing. They've had him for a month and would have kept him, but they are a one dog household and Hershey already rules theirs.

My reaction was of course we wanted a dog. It was Scissors that needed working on. He basically refused and I called the next day and told my BIL that we would be taking the pup. I'll spare you the details leading up to Louie's arrival except to say that Scissors really warmed to the idea. He want from complete disagreement to agitated resignation. Real progress. They brought him to our house yesterday and when Scissors walked in and Louie went and jumped up and put his little paws on his lap, it was like the scene from The Grinch That Stole Christmas - his heart grew three sizes larger that day.

Guess whose side of the bed Louie slept on last night?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

How I Got My Thing Back

Where last we left off in this tale, our relaxed heroine (me) had returned from a seaside vacation with her family to be greeted by next door neighbor who has construction underway in his home.

And action!:

Yuri: Okay, so here's vut's happening vile you were gone. Zhere vere a bunch of robberies in ze neighborhood.
Me (alarmed):Oh no! What would you call a bunch?
Yuri: Zhree - zat's not important

I begged to differ but didn't at that point.

Yuri: Vut happened is zees - ze guy came and took a package from your porch and zey found it at one of the homes in the bushes. Maybe he try to use it to pretend like he's a delivery man to go up to ze houses.
Me: Gasp in horror: That was my Thing!
Yuri: Oh zat's good, I zought it was my computer, heh heh. Anyway, I talk to ze detective and he told me ze story. So you're gonna call the precinct and ask about it.
Me: I guess zat's, I mean that's what I'm going to do.

Me: Phoning Local Precinct: Hello, my name is G Lampshade. Apparently a package containing my Thing was stolen from my porch and used as a ruse to gain entrance to some homes in a string of burglaries that occurred in my neighborhood.
Desk Officer: Mam, you'll have to come down to the Precinct as how would we know that it's your Thing that you're calling about without identification?
Me: Fine, I'll be there tomorrow.

Scene 2: The heroine has decided to walk to the Precinct to inquire about her Thing. Her daughter is along for the trip as they will be going farther on to finish a book report in a local library as Yuri's construction has hit a fevered pitch. As they walk, the heroine bravely tries to assure child that she has nothing to fear going into a precinct possibly mixing it up with some perps as Mommy is here. Child replies "I think you're the one who's nervous, Mommy." Heroine mutters, "Me? Nah." she reassures daughter by clutching her hand even tighter.

They arrive at the precinct with the daughter soaking up the whole dingy atmosphere. They approach the desk officer:

Me: Hello, my name is G Lampshade. I called last night about my missing Thing that was stolen from my front porch.
Desk sergeant (in slight Russian accent): Vel, vy don't you call the post office?
Me: Because they didn't take it into evidence - the NYPD did.
Not one to be put off (after all I've watched every Law and Order series) ask, "Isn't there a detective handling this?"

The desk officer calls upstairs and immediately speaks to the detective in question. He gives my name and the detective came downstairs with full knowledge of the case. My Thing was indeed taken into custody and was being dusted for prints. The detective calls over another detective to ask where it is in the process.

Both of them then asked: "Was it of value?"
Me: "Well, uh, maybe not just yet. But perhaps in the future."
Detective 1: What did it contain?
Me: Well I'm not exactly sure. It's a thi, a work of art.

The detective took my name and number and assured me that he would get it back to me as soon as possible and I agreed to calling my Art Source to see if I could obtain another.

We leave the precinct only hearing one curse word (and that was out of an officer's mouth), seeing no perps and with a crush on the detective.

On to the library we went where after a series of unfortunate events (including but not limited to wacko parents and overzealous beginning readers) which prevented daughter from completing book report, we arrived home. Scissors is in the driveway and mentions, "the detective dropped by and left your package. It's inside."

I run inside excitedly to open THE THING! At first, I was mad that the detectives gave it back. Bear in mind that The Thing was conceived not really as art but as "a quarterly periodical in the form of an object." I forgot that last part and had in mind art when I opened my Thing:

Okay, okay so it's not as if I have to hang it on a window which is sort of annoying because maybe I would have if we had a standard size window in the house in need of a shade. Then the thought occurred (well actually not my original thought but that of the creators) that it could be hung anywhere.

We have a spot picked out in the downstairs hallway but I realize it could possibly send a negative message to Scissors' clients that his work is in need of forgiveness.

Anyway, that will only be on sunny days.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


It was Yom Kippur. A high stakes gambling ring had gathered in the back room of the synagogue. The game started off friendly enough but as each player was eliminated, the tension in the air grew. A guard stood firmly at the door.

The final two players were at the table. At this point, they had each taken a standing position surveying the game before them, their posture slightly stooped and leaning over the table. Spectators gathered round, elbowing their way in to get a front row view. The one player seemed intent on avenging her twin's earlier ouster; the other coolly studying the board as she tapped her pile of bills. With one more roll of the dice, victory was declared. As the winner gathered her earnings about her and picked up Park Place from the floor, a familiar voice cut through the excitement.

"Let's go Tali - services are over."

Any resemblance to a real life scenario is purely coincidental.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Anybody home?

I'm sure I'll be back to some reasonably normal posting schedule by the secular New Year. Really, any day now. Well, there's Yom Kippur coming up.

How about after I break the fast?

You all have every right to delete me from your blogroll, but here's hoping you won't. We'll talk soon - okay?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rumors of my disappearance...

...have been greatly exaggerated.

What? You didn't realize that I was gone?

No, I was not stuck on the teacup ride at the boardwalk nor was I held at watershooting flowerpoint by a deranged clown or The Insane Clown Posse.

I was, however, and not necessarily in order of importance or occurrence - at the beach; collecting seashells; eating pancakes; buying walking sticks as art; eating fish and chips; drinking a latte; walking; chasing my kids; swimming in the pool; laughing; getting sunburned; crying; claiming a package containing "The Thing" from the 112 Police Precinct after it had been stolen from my front porch and used as a ruse to gain entrance to another home in order to burgle it; helping my daughter finish her summer homework; going to an art exhibit; buying school clothes/supplies; trying to put the house in order and realizing Sysophus was actually a slacker; thinking about writing a story about a cemetery groundskeeper who kept a continuous chess game going as he worked; having a latte; reading about hipsters and finding out that "berries" is the new term for benjamins/cash/clams/shekels/; daydreaming; fantasizing; riding waves; dining under the full moon looking at the ocean; playing "tag you're it" with Julian; being accused of having too much fun with Julian by Tali; making it a little joke whenever Tali would accuse me by saying "what's that? I'm busy having fun with Julian right now." Having a latte.

Taking pictures of some people that I love - well one in particular:

and two more in particular (warning: shark attack in progress:

Catch of the Day

Dropping my camera into the water. Digital Dementia. Having a latte. Basically trying to get back to a more accelerated pace to gear me up to go back to work and re-enter society. Wahhhh. Oh and missing you all.

Did you get my postcard?

Weather is here - wish you were beautiful.


PS: I have been alternately snooping about but not commenting much. I will catch up. I also see absence indeed makes the heart grow fonder as two bloggers that I am terribly fond of, Shari and Weirsdo have bestowed some lovely awards upon me. Thank you both so much. Don't think I won't make a whole post about them. You both made my day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Well, okay.

And just like that - I will be on vacation until sometime after Labor Day (the American holiday that signifies the end of summer). Tomorrow is my last day of work!

On Thursday, I will take the kids to one of the towns on the Jersey Shore to give them a slice of Mommy history. Actually, I always felt cheated that we went to beaches without boardwalks when I was younger. The one we will visit has a boardwalk and the kids can get the flavor of a day at the beach mixed with pizza, cotton candy and games of chance. Oh and throw in an amusement ride or two.

I think I'm more excited than them! It will be just a day trip. The beach is quite nice there, but it's the kitsch factor that is really drawing me to visit.

We'll then head out for our annual end of summer pilgrimage to Montauk which is fast becoming a fine family tradition a couple of days later.

I'll probably be on a blog-light schedule but I will try to get around and catch up with my faves who I've missed a bit of late.

I did visit my Mom this past weekend at my brother's house. She is recuperating quite well. I did talk her out of invading Iran. Her face has healed amazingly well and her arm is coming along nicely. I was teasing her that I was going to take a picture for my blog. "You're not putting me on your blog!" Sorry Mom, too late for that. But alright, no incriminating pictures.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


You know getting information funneled down in a large family can sometimes prove to be very much like a game of telephone.

But firstly - thank you all for your caring words regarding my Mom. She is in the hospital and so far nothing specific is showing up in the tests (MRI/catSCAN, etc.). She is having a stress test tomorrow and all things being equal (to what, I'm not sure), she'll be going home by Thursday. She has a hairline fracture in her forearm and of course, contusions on her face and near her eye. Answers as to why this happened may not be evident.

The truth is - this is one tough woman. When she blacked out, she fell down with the impact of a boxer being knocked out and got herself up. My brother and I joked that raising ten children can do that to you. She actually never went to the hospital at that juncture because apparently in Anytown USA, volunteer ambulance corps come and check you out and leave that option up to the patient. The patient in this case is 82 and has just passed out and looks like she has gone twelve rounds with Mike Tyson. My mother being stubborn as she is, called her sister to take her home instead. My sister was then called who took my mom to the hospital where she is undergoing the various tests.

By the time this information gets to me (#7) in the hyperbolic family game of telephone, she has jumped from an airlifted ambulance as she refused treatment, taking a doctor hostage in the process. Still home for a cup of tea though.

My family has a slightly warped sense of humor, but thankfully my mother can still appreciate our odd takes on life such as they are.

It's hard living far away (and having small children) as I can't just drop and run. But I will see her this weekend and she will be staying at my brother and SIL's house as she recuperates.

So thanks for your good wishes. I'll keep you posted when she invades Iran.

Monday, August 13, 2007

On parents aging and such...

I sit here alternately staring at the screen and then hopping links to other blogs. I have been so erratic about posting of late - both in timing and topic. I think back and recall there were a few pretty good posts - just about life, some pretty funny as I remember them, some not so funny.

I wasn't going to blog about this because sometimes Reality Avoidance Therapy works best for me. I'll deal with it, but in my own quiet terms. The topic today - Parents Aging.

As some of you know, I come from a large Irish Catholic family before I jumped ship to Judaism about 12 years ago. I am the seventh of ten children. My father passed away in 1989 and my mother has since lived on her own more or less (wayward sons and divorces disturbing the relative calm of what's on sale at Shop Rite).

Tonight my sister R called to tell me that my Mom had a "spell" in church this morning and went outside whereby she must have blacked out and fallen. A priest came to her aid and she was taken to a hospital whereby they treated her physical wounds and released her! Her face is badly cut and bruised and swollen which just makes me cry. This is a woman who has barely a wrinkle thanks to good genes and Oil of Olay applied religiously. That just makes me cry - her soft skin being bruised up in such a violent way.

Anyway, the big guns were called in (which is my sister Susan) and she came over and brought my mom to a hospital proper where she is indeed being held overnight for observation and some tests (CAT scans, etc) will be performed.

My mother does not live right around the corner so I cannot just hop into the car and run to the hospital. I will go tomorrow or Tuesday based upon what we find out tomorrow. I feel sad for my Mom as I see the signs of aging taking their toll. Her hearing has gotten worse and for various reasons, she has refused a hearing aide. She probably should not still be driving but she said only half jokingly when I mentioned something to her a year or so ago "they'll never take me alive!" This, as we imagined a scenario of her home being surrounded by police requesting her license over a bullhorn, which she wouldn't hear as she turned the television ever louder behind the barricaded front door.

I look forward to her quick healing and me being able to joke with her that I told her no good can come of her hanging out in church so often. We'll have a good laugh of which she'll only hear half. And we'll have a cup of tea.

Just like old times.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Absence of Malace

The last thing I remember hearing, in addition to the flight departures in the background, was "$6 please. That's $6 m'am." I must have extended my hand and paid as the yellow gate bounced up and I drove through. But what happened next was unbelievable yet expected - my car slowly but surely made the steady climb skyward as Tali waved to the people on the Airtrain.

It all seemed so matter of fact. We'd wished for such a vehicle on many an occassion when 20 extra minutes would have been welcomed, but this was really happening. We landed in time to watch some reruns of The Simpsons that Tali has been taping. Yes that's how I used my time that was given me - like magic! We zipped through the commercials and then I didn't feel too well.

So it seems my squandering of the gift of time made my stomach turn sour and for the past two days I've stayed home from work. Although I wasn't DEATHLY ill - a sick instance is a sick instance as I always joked with my mother (and did today as a matter of fact). One day - phoney; three days - doctor's note; two days - just riiight.

Today was the best because I just decided to actually rest a bit as I had caught a glimpse of myself and I didn't look well quite frankly - dark circles under eyes/skin pale. I took an extra glimpse in the mirror to see how I could recreate this look for the office tomorrow. I clicked on the television and caught the last hour of High Anxiety which warmed me right up into 70's mode for Paul Newman in Slap Shot which was next. Can a day get wasted any better? Jaws wasn't on. I taped One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest for future viewing. Urged onward (or backward as the case may be), I downloaded some 70's radio gems from iTunes - Magnet and Steel (not the original version which has me pissed), Right Back Where We Started From, and Car Wash. Come on now - line dance!

I think I have sort of been coming down with this mystery malady and have felt even more underwhelmed of late. Pardon me if I haven't made my way about for a visit - nobody likes entertaining somebody who looks like the Corpse Bride. Well maybe you do.
I'll be around soon so don't forget me and leave a light on - never mind, I've got one on my head.

Stay tuned for answers to the hotly burning issues raised by my crafty post last week (this means you FirstNations)! Glue guns - hot or not? I was going to put some links up here, but I have these shows taped and I uh - what part about feeling blah don't you understand?!

Good night loves - actually I think I'll go read myself to sleep.

"I don't know what it is - I've gotta give in.
High Anxiety - xiety - You wiiin!"

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

That was some party!

Diesel's book release party that is. Time to get on with life here at Simply Said. You did go buy his book, right?

It's hard to keep up with blogging. Life takes over and sometimes lack of motivation trumps all. Not that I'm not motivated - just not with the written word. My zodiac symbol is a crab and sometimes I like to withdraw into my shell and so I do things like this:

or this:
I am so inspired by beauty in the form of art and interiors (and exteriors) and design. I get a couple/three (love that old saying) magazines along those lines. I have been pulling out sheets in which something catches my eye. In reading some of the design blogs on my blogroll, one or two in particular talk about creating your own "Inspiration Books" and so I started my own. It's crazy, but I spent a good part of the afternoon hours Saturday doing this as Tali designed something with her "Ello" toys nearby. Julian was at Grandma's and Scissors ~ where the heck was he? Hmmmm. Anyway, I find it soothing beyond belief.

So that's my idea of fun. What's yours?

I love this little picture showing Julian's chivalrous side as he insisted on carrying Tali's book for her into violin class this evening. Did I mention we had Julian with us because Scissor's car broke down and I had to swoop down, rescue Julian, toss Scissors my charged cell phone for him to call a tow and off to pick up Tali from camp to deliver her to violin. All done in time somehow.

Good night Irene!

Thursday, July 26, 2007



I've called you here for an important dispatch. One so important that I thought a PressConference necessary.

You've been waiting for it without even knowing what you've been waiting for.

Diesel of Mattress Police and founder of Humor-blogs.com is publishing a book! A funny book. A witty book. A well written book. If I seem rehearsed, I'm just trying to remember what he told us to say about it. Yes, of course he told us what to say - the guy is a control freak. He has allowed for our varying levels of endorsement of his witty tomb and has even gone so far as to recommend possible posts:

"Diesel, the twisted genius behind the humor blog, MattressPolice.com, has announced the publication date for his first book! Antisocial Commentary: From the Secret Files of the Mattress Police, is a hilarious excursion through the mind of Diesel"
Twisted genius - I'll say. Who else but a twisted genius makes a tree house for his kids with a front door that opens to a 20 foot drop? Twisted genius indeed.

"You may be wondering how in hell a hack like “Diesel” gets published. Simple. The same way every other hack gets published these days: He self-published the book through Lulu.com. You know, the place that ranks just below Kinko’s as a reputable publisher?" Why the thought did cross my mind, but it all makes perfect sense now.

Okay, all of the above is meaningless, here's what's important:

BOOK TITLE: Antisocial Commentary: From the Secret Files of the Mattress Police.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: compilation of some of his best posts, plus some original material.

The book is going to be published on 8/15, but he'll start taking “pre-orders” at MATTRESS.POLICE.COM today, 7/26. It will retail for $11.95 + S&H, but you'll be able to pre-order a signed copy for $9.95 with free shipping.

Mostly you should buy it to help pay for the mounting medical bills associated with casting his poor kid's arm from falling out of the aforementioned treehouse.

No really - you should buy it for the same reasons I plan to:

- Help support a fellow blogger bud.
- The guy really is funny and writes well.
- You can use it to even out a lopsided table (his suggestion).
- It's a summer read - you won't even have to think while you read it. Actually that's not true, but if I know Diesel, he'll be happy to do that for you too.
- Two lattes would set you back ten bucks. Diesel is like a jolt of caffeine on a quiet day, so you won't even need to drink coffee as you read his book.

Okay, the real truth is that Diesel did not pay us to do these posts, he doesn't have to. He's a mensch, and makes you want to support his efforts. His success would be our success as we'd be that happy for him. The best is that he is most certainly not a hack - he writes well, with humor, sarcasm and wit - all from his own funny (albeit twisted) view of life.

So head on over and read up more at his place. Go on, nothing to see here folks. Move along.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Tale of Summer Boredom

Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World" played on the little transistor radio on Marnie's blanket in the yard where she sat out under the tree, painting her toenails and wondering about summer friendships. Marnie always felt that somehow her summers never quite amounted to much. The truth is in this small town, whose did? But that was Marnie's problem, she dreamed of being away from this small town, if only for a week, a month - imagine for a whole summer!

She read books in which children went to camp, learned how to ride horses, solved mysteries, even kissed boys (that she could do in this crummy town, she thought somewhat repulsively). At thirteen, she knew of girls who did just that, they were fast becoming pretty popular. Not Marnie, she was somewhere stuck between tomboy and wanting to feel a bit more girly - not too much though. Toenail polish was as far as she ventured. She found those kind of girls to be just stupid.

Sure her parents took her and her three brothers to their uncle's little cabin near Lake Silverfoot for a long weekend each summer. Once they'd even gone for a whole week! But it just smelled moldy and made Marnie feel a bit sad, even though she had fun playing in the lake with her brothers. She even made a friend or two to play with. Once there was a boy named Claude who she was playing with and remembered saying that her favorite color was brown because his was. That was two summers ago. Oh how her brothers had made fun of her for that one, she still remembered.

She continued to paint her toenails as Jobie peeked through a space between fence planks. She ignored him as she mostly did when she wanted to be alone with her thoughts. "Wanna go bike riding Marnie?"

"Not now Jobie. Maybe later" she answered without looking up, humming along to the radio.

"Roller skate?"

"I'm waiting for the 4:30 Movie to start - it's Gidget week. Maybe after supper." Marnie offered.

Jobie gladly accepted "I'll call for you later Marnie!" and with that ran to go find some of the boys to scare up a game of wiffle ball. He didn't have far to go to succeed.

Another summer of Jobie and bike riding over the bridge passed the commercial waterfront along the river and back. Could be worse, Marnie tried to convince herself unsuccessfully.

She went inside and put on Channel 7 just in time for the music to kick up and Gidget Goes Hawaiian to roll.

"Someday, I'm going to surf there" thought Marnie as she settled into her favorite movie viewing perch with her legs hanging over the overstuffed armchair. Never mind that she had barely tipped her toes in an ocean. Marnie's dreams were already intertwined with the movie.

She smiled inwardly as MoonDoggie and Gidget did the Twist on the beach.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dis Organization Part II

Another area where it can become frustrating trying to fit the "yes I am a together and organized person" profile is navigating the password Yellow Brick Road to gain entrance to the paperless Emerald City that awaits us online.

I only have about ten such for different applications at work. I've tried to start keeping everything the same, but it doesn't always work out that way as there are also different log-in names. For instance, first initial/last name; last name/first initial; caps/no caps; space/nospace; must have 2 numbers, 1 character and one animal reference. That's not including personal life passwords for various bill paying, blogging, flickr, etc.

Today I attempted to log in to one such place. Sorry, this does not match. Okay try another combo - nope. Shall we ask your secret question? Sure.

Place where you met your husband? Simple - NY Rangers hockey game. Wrong.

Okay, more general - NYC. Nope.

Madison Square Garden! Nope.

The backseat of a car? Hah, just kidding.

I am sorry to report that as a result of this run-in, I now have no idea where I met my husband, although he seems convinced of the above so now I'm not sure if he is, in fact, my husband.

Then to add insult to injury, when they finally degrade you enough by the smarmy "Forgot your password? Just enter your email" No record. I just know there is a tech person sitting back popping nachos into his mouth saying "What's up, you again? Write it down, biatch!" The truth is that I truly have a great memory, but it seems to fail me with so many options out there. I mean if I only log in sporadically, the chances of log-in success dwindle accordingly.

Once you try to gain the next rung of the recoup the password ladder, the inevitable, "Enter code letters as they appear below" subdues you into thinking your sign-on is imminent. Imminent if you had dropped acid and are looking through a funhouse mirror as that is the mental state you'd need to be in to decipher the code. The DaVinci Code may have been easier to solve (actually that whole book was one predictable pile of..., but I digress). The caps are actually small, the small are numbers and the numbers are that reference to an animal that I mentioned earlier.

I know we are supposed to be moving towards a paperless society but until such time that we just place our eye up to the screen and gain access, I will be a slave to the password scrawled on paper somewhere. And it will get changed and it won't be written down...you follow.

Now can somebody please tell me where I met my husband?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Ball of Twine

That's sort of how I've been feeling of late - a big ball of twine. A ball of twine which has a giant cat batting me around, in fact.

The balled up feeling is my emotions which can, you know, get the better of me at times. Although you'd never know it from the outside (unless you live with me of course). The good news is that I was home today and got to catch up on some much needed paper sorting/pocketbook cleaning (where does it all come from, I ask!) and generally trying to get my house in order. Considering the cleaning woman was here yesterday, shouldn't be too hard, right?

Ah, the cleaning woman, yes. The one who left a note addressed to my husband (as he basically works from home and is there to let her in) "Scissors, la puerta es mal." Well yes, if you consider coming unhinged mal, then yes indeed it was. She of the slippery fingers cleaning school. Not slippery as in stealing - G-d forbid, but breaking which may or may not be worse. But really, if I don't have (and have often been without) a cleaning person, life gets really out of whack! As although Scissors works from home and handles cooking - cleaning is an elusive sort of category to him. He's not a slob, but then again, he's not exactly neat.

The truth is that I am a bit of a dichotomy. I am a neat person and like everything to be in place and my home to be comfortable, yet I'm disorganized and still working on the perfect filing system and thus spend time that I could be...well, blogging, looking for a certain paper. It's maddening to say the least. The truth is that I hired a professional organizer several years back who started me off. She was also a decorator and so we got into painting and decorating and well, I did get rid of a lot. But once I'm off the beaten path, it's hard getting back on. And we never got back to my filing system! Damn her (or really me for never picking back up where we left off).

All this is to say, time to get away for the weekend and just unwind (that ball of twine again).

Hope you all have a good weekend and the sun shines upon you wherever you are.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

Women in Art

You know, I just thought it would be fun to pass along some of the inspiration that comes to my eye on any given day. I'm a giver. So take a look:

I found the inpiration while being inspired at Creative Swoon.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Rabbit Rabbit


I was just thinking that it couldn't hurt to kick off my birthday month with a little luck!

Above print from an art site called LITTLE PAPER PLANES

Thursday, June 28, 2007

If I said you had a beautiful blog...

...would you hold it against me?

That's just me being plain silly (the damn P key is stuck on my laptop now so it takes about three strikes to get it). I haven't been _osting much lately and it's not so much that I have nothing to say (one might argue blogging is one big "nothing to say" fest) but lack the time in which to say it. Perhaps motivation has been fairly used up by the evening when the opportunity might just present itself. That's of course, discounting the days when I fall asleep mid-story on one child or another's bed.

Today was the first day of camp. I drove Tali and Julian and Scissors met us there as I continued on to work from there. This morning as we were all in various stages of dress and readiness, Julian was walking around in his underwear and swim goggles. He seemed rather pleased with himself but then came to me and said "the kids are going to make fun of me."

I said "Of course they're not, you're friendly, I'm sure you'll make lots of new friends." I gave him a big hug and he quickly forgot that train of thought. Fast forward to Julian's introduction to the new small group and the little boy who shall hereinafter be referred to as "Pipsqueak" saying "Julian, that's a girl's name!" Julian first bellied up to the offender and said "It is not!" and turned to me and said "see, I told you they were going to make fun of me." This funk lasted for all of two minutes before they were gathering to leave and Scissors met him at his first activity in which he was having a wonderful time.

Of course, it stayed with me the whole day. How would Julian do? Would he be able to manage the changes throughout the day? Would he eat his lunch? Would he go to the bathroom under a new schedule? Would someone be watching him at the pool? Would the thunderstorms hit and he be scared? Would he cry as easily as I might if I gave into it? The answer to all of above were just as you'd expect.

He did fine and I held back the tears...until now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

5 Meme

I'm in a genuine slump. I'm averaging one post per week (well not counting my Saturday Spins). Forget about making it around to my favorite places. That's the down side. The up side is that today is the first day of summer and hope springs eternal. Living is just a little easier (or so the song goes).

During one of my visits to a favorite place in the blogs, Stuffed Animal Planet (the former ex-Pansi Files which was f/k/a the Pansi Files), I noticed that I had been tagged for this 5 Meme that's going around not unlike the bedbug plague that I understand is taking Manhattan - ewwwwww. Perhaps Mrs. Weirsdo felt guilty as I was not nominated by her as a blog that made her think. However, she does not seem to be a person motivated by guilt so I think that shoots a hole in that theory. As I recall the instructions were to remove the top blog and place yours (meaning mine) at the bottom. Would the idea be to visit some new spots? I guess that would be an objective. In turn, I should tag five people which well, I'm just not a tagger. But if you would like to do this and let me know that you have, I'd even maybe mail you a tchotchke. Time to clean out some things anyway.

1) Bipolar Notes From Underground (off meds)
2) This Side Of Reason
3) Full Moon Rising
4) Stuffed Animal Tales
5) Simply Said

Next: select five people to tag. Oops, covered that above. I basically cut and pasted from Weirsdo's post. "Be sure to try and make them feel really guilty if they don't want to play!" That last part was Mrs. Weirsdo's. Come on all you people that I haven't tagged but YOU know who you are! I said that I'd send you a tchotchke.

What were you doing ten years ago?

Let's see - ten years ago I was busy being pregnant with my daughter Tali and hiking in some gorge in Vermont with Scissors. No I was not barefoot. Well not as we hiked anyway. I recall we stayed at the lovely Quiche Bed & Breakfast in Vermont whereby they advised upon checkout that they'd be happy to have us back - alone or when our child was 12. Having Julian, I understand their request.

I was still a desk jockey with the same company/different location. Somehow the group I worked with just made it all the more bearable...or the complaining eventually became a harmonious chorus. We even had a sit-in for one of our coworkers who was going to be transferred (not of his own volition) whereby we sang "all we are saying is give Steve a chance." Proud to say I orchestrated that one. Steve was transferred just the same.

What were you doing one year ago?

Did a year pass by already? I'm sitting in the same spot - maybe I've been sleeping or blogging. Pass that bong. Just kidding! I did just start my blog a little over one year ago. I was crying at Julian's graduation from his preschool. I think I might have been having lunch and meeting my NBFF for the very first time. Ah, a heady year it's been.

Five snacks you enjoy:

1) My mother-in-law's honey cake with a cup of green tea
2) chocolate anything
3) Twizzlers or the even lower rent - NIBS
3) a scoop of ice cream (was that my subconscious - I gave myself two 3's)
5)(no sneaking in an extra). Only because I thought of these for some odd reason on my drive home tonight and have not had one in a good 30 years - Hostess Butterscotch Krimpets. Ooh the memory of its pre-fab goodness has me smiling.

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:

Sitting here, I can barely think of one, yet start any song on the radio and I pretty much can sing along. Does that count? I've been mulling this meme and in the shower this am, I sang:

1) Don't Leave Me Hanging on the Telephone by Blondie (Parallel Lines is one great album - note to self: dig that out)
2) then driving in my car with no radio on, I sang - Sam Stone by John Prine to see if I knew all the lyrics. I did.
3) Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen (I was singing along with the radio and of course, the windows were down and the volume was up).
4) Cecilia by Simon & Garfunkel (my little theatre troupe consisting of myself, my sister Roni and our 4 neighborhood girlfriends performed this one when we put on a variety show in The O'Neill's backyard. We couldn't have been even ten years old. If memory serves me well, I believe the crowd grew hostile and demands were made for refunds. We tried to mollify them by throwing boxes of Good and Plenty candy into the crowd (I know that jingle by heart..."Once upon a time there was an engineer...").
5) This is your spot - leave a song in the comments and let's see if you can stump me.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
"What's all this subjunctive "were" business? I plan to be a millionaire one day!" Could not agree more Weirsdo, although aside from playing Lotto once a year, I'm not sure what I am doing to advance the cause.

Just the same, a girl can dream:

1) hand in el resignation!!! and begin to really explore what makes me happy.
2) fix up the house (or sell it)
2) travel
3) Help family out and support favorite charities (this could of course be seen as the same thing - I'll speak to my accountant).
4) make sure kids are in proper schools/programs/doing something they love
5) Get Scissors season soccer tickets...at Wembley Stadium!

Look at that in proofing I see I've snuck in another #2. Ah well, I'm a millionaire now, I can do that.

Five bad habits:

1) laziness
2) procrastination
3) fidgeting
4) staying up late
5) losing my temper (I should have put that first, but I was procrastinating.)

This could be my list - it's Mrs. Weirsdo's. I cut and pasted to make answering easier. Although for #1, I wouldn't say lazy but perhaps, motivationally challenged. #3 - I'm not a fidgeter, in fact you could replace fidget with sloth. #5 - thanks to the wonderful world of meds - I'm no longer a temper loser. So I'll see Weirsdo's #5 and throw in - using curse words or cussing or swearing or whatever you would like to call it. Not a lot, but it could be construed as a habit. This could also be construed as losing one's temper I realize. Note to self: speak to doctor about meds.

Five things you like doing:

1) reading
2) hanging out with my kids/especially family day Sundays
3) appreciating pretty things/design/collecting pictures of same as inspiration, for instance:

4) blogging/writing (had to combine the two) It seems I write so little of late. I'll try to do better - for myself at least.
5) trolling through flea markets, craft fairs, art shows.

So that's the meme as I recall it. Please do one and let me know when you have. Remember those tchotchkes! And remember to come visit me in Central Snark over the weekend where we let the music spin.

Shabbat Shalom and have a great weekend all! And if you're in NYC, drop by The World Financial Center and look for a gaggle of bloggers dining by the waterside. Take my advice - keep walking.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The White Shirt...and Chest Pains

On my way home the other evening, I decided to take a little shopping detour. Scissors called me to say, "I'm not feeling that well".

"I'll come home then." I said only half irritated as I thought "some people will do anything to stop me from shopping."

"No just don't be long."

"Okay then - be home soon."

As I fumbled the cotton of the white shirts (because you can never have too many white shirts and I seem to not have any) in Banana Republic, my cell phone rings. "I'm having a chest pain." Scissors tells me.

"A chest pain!" fumble fabric, "I'm coming home now." May G-d forgive me that I had the presence of mind to make a couple of mental notes for future reference on my way out the door.

I rush home in the car and swing the household into Battle Station Butterfly Emergency Mode. First call Scissors' doctor's office who says that I need to take him to the hospital ER. We're all pretty level headed for an emergency except for Scissors who insists that I shouldn't call the doctor, he'll be fine. Tell him to get dressed. Tali instructs me to go into the other room when I call Grandma so as not to get Julian upset. Julian hears me mentioning the doctor and comes in to tell me "I hate to see Daddy in pain." Sweet child. I assure him Daddy's okay but we have to take him to make sure everything is alright. We drop the kids at Grandma's and head on the road but not before Grandma asks if I've eaten.

We get to the hospital and the emergency room is pretty full but not terrible. Finally Scissors gets called in and has blood drawn and an EKG done. The EKG is normal and we have to wait for the bloodwork. He's wheeled to the back and wait we do. His pain is not strong and is more of a dull ache at this point, yet he rates it a 6 when the nurse asks. I tell him that's why women have babies because he most certainly is overstating his pain index.

Besides the poor old people who have been given a break from their nursing home setting to have a little vacation in the hospital, you have your various and sundry ER characters. First up - the patient released from the hospital after surgery, in for more pain killers yelling "Nurse! Doctor! Nurse!! Nobody gives a F*&$!". Next we have the dapper drunk who we first thought was a doctor until he fell into Patient Number One's bed. Apparently he has missed a flight to LA having gotten tanked in the airport and instead will wake up in a Queens ER. He is being pumped with coffee and accusing everyone of taking something that he has most certainly lost (or been alleviated of) in his drunken stupor. We then have a man of I'd say Afghani decent perhaps who is becoming hysterical because his brother went out to get something to eat. When the brother returns he begs of the doctor to take good care of his brother. The doctor asks if they have insurance. That seemed a bit callous to me. The answer, in short, was no. The doctor said he'd be back. Um hmmm.

Scissors and I were taking this all in from his bed - him lying down, me sitting on the end - as if it were a new comedy series. We needed to pass the time somehow. Long story short, he was not having or did not have a heart attack, but still not sure what caused the pain.

I went out to call home and let Grandma and the kids know that Daddy's okay just being held for tests. I go back in and drop in the Bathroom. As I am in the stall the phone rings and Tali is calling asking if we're coming home soon. I walk out of stall to wash hands and tell her we'll be home soon when a man walks out of one of the other stalls. I laugh and say "Am I in the Men's Room?!" and he laughs and says "I'm not sure, I think I may be in the Women's Room. I said uh oh when I heard you on the phone." We both laughed, and washed our hands.

Back in the ER, we finally get all the tests back which are all good. We leave with no real knowledge of what caused the chest pains but with a few laughs and an ER bill. Scissors saw a cardiologist the next day and will be having a stress test next week. So we'll see what it is and go from there. Hopefully nothing and just as I told Julian "maybe Daddy ate too much and he has heartburn."

On the way home I said "you really didn't think I needed that white shirt, huh?"

"Very funny G, take me home."

And home we went.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Asleep at the Wheel

I was sitting at my desk shuffling papers so as to put them in the right priority of what to put off first when Narnia alighted my doorway and just launched into a conversation as if we had been talking all along. She talks in this incredulous tone as if she's giving you the most amazing news. It might be a cultural thing - she's originally from the Philippines.

"My son picked me up last night and right between exits 51 and 52, a man just decided to go to sleep right there." her voice building to a crescendo. "Probably he just wanted us to go around him, my son laughed".

"Let me understand this correctly" I say, "the man was sitting in traffic?"

"No!" exclaims Narnia "he was just sitting there in the middle lane asleep."

"With no cars in front of him?" I venture.

"No, just sitting there so everyone had to go around him. We were in the HOV lane" she explains helpfully.

"From my way of thinking, why would the man decide he's too tired to drive and just stop and go to sleep right in the middle lane of a highway? Wouldn't he just have gone to the shoulder of the road?" I ask.

"Yeah, that's true!" Narnia cries.

"I mean what if the guy was dead?" I ask trying to hide my growing irritation.

"That's true, I hope he got home okay" she says.

"Me too." I offer.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Bad Moon on the Rise

I'm so preoccupied with getting Julian's summer camp situation resolved right now that my concentration level is flailing (starting off with the attention span of a gnat is not helpful). I've begun four different posts and they all went nowhere fast. I think that may be lucky for you. I'm in the zoned out pre-zone in which I can do nothing but look obsessively at design blogs. I am sure that will really help resolve the issue. In fact, I'm certain. In fact, perhaps Julian should stay home with Grandma and make pin cushions and throw pillows for the summer.

For those of you who are fairly new in these parts, Julian is my son who is five years old. He has some developmental delays which sometimes make life difficult for him, sometimes funny - but always interesting. The good news is that his difficulties are not such that they would warrant him to be in a separate Special Education year round program. This is unfortunately also the bad news because as such, he is not eligible for certain services that he receives during the course of the 10 month school year.

I won't bore you with administrative details but we would love for Julian to be able to participate in summer camp. We are having a difficult time finding the right fit. He probably will not be able to go to the same camp (as we had hoped) with his sister because the Board of Ed will not provide the needed assistant to shadow Julian (as he has in his school setting).

But we continue to seek solutions and try to provide what is best for Julian. Sometimes I feel as if I'm in one of those bad dreams where you're trying to run, but can't seem to get anywhere.

Speaking of running, Julian just won his little running race in his Class Olympics last week. It was a shining Chariots of Fire moment for sure.

I'll be round to catch up on all my favorite blogs (that's right, yours), once I can get an indicator of what direction we're even going. I hope that's soon. You may find me making pin cushions with Grandma. I really wish that I could sew, so that's a good start.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sophisticated and Funny

Today was sort of a day of trying to finally slam the lid shut on the winter clothes/summer clothes switchover. Don't think we'll be requiring wool for a few months.

At some point, it was just Tali and I home. I was in my bedroom sorting through some things and Tali kept popping in for mini discussions. One started "it's funny in an interesting way how some religions pray to a statue." which segued into "it's sort of like I believe in the Tooth Fairy. Not everyone believes in one, but I do. I mean who else could write in that little tiny curly manner that she does? And when my tooth suddenly falls out, how could you run out and get something and get it under my pillow without me waking?" I pointed out that she is indeed a heavy sleeper but she wasn't buying. "Plus my tooth fairy looks like me". This last bit because Tali did indeed ask her Tooth Fairy to draw a picture of herself. The Tooth Fairy instead directed her to four pages from the back of one of her fairy books and there she was in all her little glory. "Did you believe in the Tooth Fairy?" she asked.

"I did indeed" I replied. "still do". She smiled a satisfied smile.

"You're a good Mom in two ways - you're sophisticated and funny". she concluded.

"Why thank you. You're sophisticated and funny too." I said.

"I'm too young to be sophisticated" she replied.

"Well okay - a callous sophisticate in training" I offered.

She laughed.

The rest of the day was fraught with some tensions, but the fact that I ended up sophisticated and funny in my daughter's eyes, well I guess it wasn't a total loss.

"Here's to better days" said the callous sophisticate.

URGENT UPDATE: Tali has informed me that she said funny yet sophisticated which slightly alters my whole post. Carry on.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Guess What?

One year ago TODAY I started this here little blog.

145 posts later (yeah, yeah - big whup), I'm still plucking away. My laptop is showing signs of wear - the "X" key has popped off and the little mouse area (whatever that's called on a laptop) has the silver color rubbed off. I guess I am putting it to use, we'll not entertain arguments at this juncture whether such use is good.

Now not that I'm the world's biggest rap fan, but I seem to have a couple of songs that I happen to know, from where is not important. They are catchy, I must say. Sometimes, they make the soundtrack to my day. As I drove to work this morning I had what I think was Lil Kim's song in my head "Brooklyn style that's how we do it, real gangstas that ain't got to prove it." Yeah, that's me - a gangsta driving along in my Camry. Oy vay.

Then at work, I sent Narnia the hapless assistant an email before I left last night asking for certain information to be obtained. I opened the email this morning and her response was there in which she happily and efficiently replied "we didn't receive it". Well no we did not, that's what I was sort of asking you to get. Then a song by JayZ came into my head "I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one."

The day rounded off with my realizing it was one year ago that I started my humble little blog and what pops into my head - Eminem - this one I'll play for you.

Now before everyone gets up in arms, let's roll the disclaimer "the lyrics quoted in this post and video are not that of the blog author (well duh, I already told you who they were by) and the blog author in no way condones the misogynist materialistic plain fresh way these rappers speak". But you know what? Every era has its own rebellion and this is the current one. If I take such offense now, how will I ever infiltrate when my own children come of age?

"Cause it feels so empty without me..."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Running with Marigolds

We live in the city in attached homes. So far it's worked out fine. We don't speak to the neighbor husband on one side, but his wife is lovely in the "I'm married to a neanderthal but don't hold it against me" sort of way.

Anyway, Scissors mentions that someone has abandoned a pup by tying it to another neighbor's front door. So Julian and I go off to investigate. Since Julian has had a bath and his hair is still a bit damp I tell him to put a hat on. He goes and puts on a winter hat. Somehow it looks perfect with his little slippers and jammies. We go down a few houses to our neighbors and meet Amanda outside with the stray dog. He's a bit hyper and Julian runs home and brings back a marigold that he has brought home from school to show to him. He also brings a coloring book. I am quite happy about Julian's taking to coloring books as he's sort of avoided them up to this point in time. It smacks too much of work this whole grasping a crayon thing so the fact that he is asking me to color with him is a major milestone in my eyes! We color away - bears are purple and orange and pink and yellow (but I gave mine a gray suit to offset - worked quite nicely). And mostly I love that Julian has brought the flower to show the dog.

Julian then wants to take a little walk so I acquiesce and before you know it, we're racing and I'm holding the marigold and the coloring book, panting after him. Skinny little guy can move!

Get home and get him into bed and Tali is finishing her homework. I let her see the video that I featured in Central Snark this weekend by Balkan Beat Box. Here we go - "Why is that man not wearing a shirt?" she asks.

"He's a performer - they're a little less modest". I reply.

Now I see the woman in the tight white dress swilling beer from a bottle, which Tali zones in on but laughingly makes a comment about. I reply "At least I've only robbed you of half your childhood showing you half naked men and beer swilling women".

"Mommy, you crack me up" she replied.

So there's that.

Anyway, tonight begins the Jewish holiday of Shavuot and woohoo, I was here last year because I posted this joke last Shavuot:

Moses comes down from the mountain after receiving the Torah and says to the children of Israel:

"The good news is I got him down to ten. The bad news - adultery is still in". Badum bum.

Chag Sameach!