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!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Can't Buy an Idea

Well perhaps I could.

There is that book that I saw with writing prompts for blogging "Nobody Cares What You Had for Lunch". Hey - speak for yourself! I know my fellow bloggers are dying to know that I had "the big salad" with feta cheese, olives, carrots, assorted other veg with a green tea and an apple afterwards.

Sounds healthy no? Then I guess I don't need to mention the 6 or so Entenmann's Mini chocolate chip cookies that I had after dinner. Now that is not helping in my goal towards a more svelte me. It's my achilles heel - cookies/sweets. I love good food - my lunch was perfect for me. But let me loose with sweets around and then what? You expect me to control myself?

Yes I know - don't bring it into the house - I didn't.

You know what? Nobody cares what I had for dinner or snack either.

Until I really have something to blog about, how about you go talk to yourselves at HUMORBLOGS.COM?

Now do I need to get a wrong number call at 11:06 PM? Luckily I was up blogging. No need to wake the rest of the family. "Hello, is the kitchen still open?". Is he trying to tempt me? Not even the old "Is your refrigerator running?" prank.

Why didn't I take his order - damn! Now that could have been something to blog about.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Remember this sage advice, with it you'll go far!

Happy Mother's Day to one and all because even if you're not a mother yourself, you are the reason someone is. See? Everybody's a winner!

In a true Mother's Day moment, Tali just brought her plate of leftover pancakes on a platter to me and said "Happy Mother's Day!". Julian then proceeded to eat off the plate. Everything as it should be.

Enjoy your Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I Feel Lucky!

I'm on a roll. I won this lovely print from the artist's little blog contest. The blog name is Wolfie and The Sneak. Go take a look at her work - she has an Etsy shop as well. Quite lovely.

Then lo and behold, someone near and dear to many of us, Mo'aa held a contest to scoop up one of her lovely Chrysalis that she had made in honor of the arrival of her beautiful grandson. That's right - I, G, will be welcoming one into my home any day now. First I had to answer an intricate series of questions, such as what is my first AND last name. This US mail expects so much information. Should I have been suspicious when they both asked for my social security number? I didn't think so either.

Can a Caption Contest Win be far off?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Too busy to blog...

but not too busy to pander. What chutzpah!

I'm in the finals of the Caption Contest over at Diesel's Mattrees Police. Just CLICK HERE and cast your vote (for me hopefully). Don't even waste your precious time reading, just click on G's "south by southeast" caption. My NBFF, Neva is also in the finals, but she won last week and she said that you could vote for me. Not in so many words, but she didn't say that you couldn't.

That's all for now.


As soon as work stops expecting me to work, I'll be around for a visit. Miss you, love you, mean it.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

An Addiction is Born

Gather round children. I'm about to let you in on a secret pleasure of mine...bordering on an obsession. It's not quite there yet, but it's brewing, so to speak.

It all started off innocently enough back in the wintertime when two parents at Tali's violin school were drinking a foreign beverage. "What's that?" I ask. They explain in far too much detail for me to recall, words sticking out such as taro, cassava root, black tea, tapioca balls - the last bit I remember, "bubble tea". They boasted of its energizing quality and smiled enthusiastically about its taste. They then pointed me in the direction - a certain Chinese Bakery on Main Street in Flushing, Queens where I could procure the drink.

Off we went in search of. The first stop landed us in a Chinese Bakery but when I asked what type of tea they served - they offered up a Lipton. No thanks, says I but lean in a bit conspiratorially and ask "Say, where can I get a bubble tea?"

"Oh bubba tea!" they say enthusiastically and point me in the direction of a Tea Shop on the opposite side, corner. Off I go and sure enough go into what seems to be the mecca of Bubble Tea .

After I place my order and wait, my very own Bubble Tea arrives. The first sip goes down a little hard, with a tapioca ball catching in my throat. With each sip, the flavor becomes less foreign, the chewy tapioca balls less...chewy. I enjoyed the drink but was not abandoning Starbucks any time soon.

Springtime comes and I stop by to get another Bubble tea which Tali and I laugh sounds like it's being pronounced "bubba tea" which actually isn't far off I've come to learn. I'm really enjoying this - just the refreshment the afternoon calls for.

I find myself thinking of bubble tea and wondering when the next time is I'll be in the neighborhood. Last weekend seemed to be a good time. I hit the spot at around 11:30 am, get out of my car, feed the meter and walk up - what's this? Closed? It's almost noon! Back into my car. I decide to check out another possible purveyor of bubble tea, closer to home. Park, get out - what's this? Relocated to 80-02 Roosevelt Avenue!? That's out of my way! I feel a bead of sweat forming and tell myself I could go home now without a bubble tea and be just fine. Instead I walk around the block to the last possible location that I know of. Score! There in all its lovely Asian minimalist aesthetic is a new Bubble tea shop! I go in and order, trying not to appear too anxious, casually asking about how long they've been here as they begin to make my tea (all the while muttering under my breath..."come on, you're not going to Taiwan for the bubbles, let's go man"). On the surface I am cool as I get handed the tea and good wishes for my day. I turn for the straw the size of a garden hose and head for my car.

I sip, it's not as good as the original bubble tea place from which I originally scored. Not bad - just not as good.

It's a little out of my way, but I'll drop by tomorrow on my way home to see if the original tea shop is open for business again. My worst nightmare is that the Board of Health has shuttered the place, although there seems no evidence of that.

Just the same, I'll ask around the neighborhood to see what I can find out.

Do yourselves a favor - don't have a bubble tea. No good can come of it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


...something funny, light, amusing.

She rushes around straightening up the couch cushions, shoving piles of clothing underneath. Oops, "Sorry Julian, come on out" They'll be here any moment, must have the place in order. Should I put out drinks? No! Don't want anybody getting tipsy and finding the mess I've stashed. How about coffee? "Scissors - lattes on the round!" I cry. "We're expecting company - the doors are going to be beaten down by visitors from The Mattress Police! I told you not to cut that damn tag off!"

I became an adjutant inspector today over at The Mattress Police blog. When I wiped the tears from my eyes, I wasn't really sure what an adjutant inspector did...or does or should do. It sounds terribly important though and I will try my best to live up to the irresponsibilities that such a post requires.

The truth is I can trace the genesis of Diesel's arrival on Central Snark. He seemed to appear like an alien from a space ship out of nowhere. Naturally, we all (Neva and I) dropped everything and surrounded his ship - looking in at him quizzically and then laughing at his audacity. And months later, we haven't stopped looking - and laughing. He's a funny guy. The kind of guy that you wished occupied the next office over so when that 3:00 lull hits, he could make you laugh and then you'd go home. Something like that. Instead I hit his blog at the 3:00 lull, he makes me laugh...and I go home. Give or take an hour time elapse.

Okay, I'm off to really clean up the place so that I can go to bed and dream sweet dreams...I wonder - will I have to wear a uniform in this new roll? It could make mornings getting out of the house that much easier.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Marilee, we hardly knew ye.

A big news item this past week was the resignation of the Dean of Admissions at MIT, Marilee Jones. It seems Ms. Jones overstated her academic qualifications when she first accepted a job in 1979 and never bothered to correct this as the career carrot was repeatedly dangled and she was promoted to higher level positions of increasing responsibility, topping out as the Dean of Admissions. Not shabby at all. As if that weren't enough, she drew the neon arrow to herself by publishing a book on navigating the college admissions maze. just had a little article on AOL about the percentage of resume padders and academic falsifiers - it's a pretty high number. Shame does strange things to people. I know, I have lived with it in my life.

Many of you know that I come from a large family - I was the seventh of ten children born to a charismatic dad who comes from a long line of alcoholism and a large family himself. He was forced out of school in or around 8th grade to help work and earn money for his family. He was one of the older boys and so the responsibility fell squarely upon their shoulders. Their father was out busy drinking apparently. My mother also from a large Irish family - did well by most standards and graduated high school and got an office job in New York City...until she got married I believe.

My father was not illiterate by any stretch of the imagination, he read and was often showing his prowess in those word games in the Readers Digest and the daily puzzles. But of course this does not an education make. He was however, pretty clever with the turn of phrase and would often win the slogan contests at work - a precursor to today's caption contests if you will.

Anyway, I digress. The topic is shame and growing up in a blue collar town whose entrance was dotted with oil tanks bordering the New Jersey Turnpike can make one acutely aware of that gnawing sense that you just don't measure up somehow. Of course being set adrift into the world without benefit of a formal education can present some interesting choices - earn a living or earn a living? I guess put that way, I'll earn a living. You see college was never even mentioned. There were certainly no institutions of higher learning in town and I didn't have any sort of mentor from my high school days. High School ended up being a turbulent time for me and try as I might, fond memories are few. Oddly I remember being in the top percentile when taking those standardized tests yet nobody bothered to figure out why I just wasn't applying myself in school. The reasons might have been too difficult to deal with I suppose.

But I survived and soldiered on and moved in with my older sister who had an apartment and set about the business of earning a living. Oy vay. I mean it was all legit, but nothing glamorous I can assure you. A job was arranged for me by my aunt in a certain hospital affiliated with The University of Pennsylvania. So close, but you see I was 19 or so and spent lunch hours "enjoying nature" with the doctors' kids, who were themselves working as they went to school. Everyone was so educated, I burrowed deeper into the shame that seemed my only birthright as I continued "to earn a living".

So fast forward to Ms. Jones' living a lie. Shame can be a debilitating thing to live with. I understand the misstep she made to secure a foot on the ladder upward. I do believe that she should have confronted this issue earlier and spoken to someone. But I also believe shame can become a sickness in and of itself, not unlike alcoholism in that you can be made powerless by it.

It takes work to see accomplishments that aren't on a parchment degree, yet they are there for me and they are not inconsiderable. I am extremely proud of the person I've become and my humble start in life has made me rich in many ways.

I did, however, have a conversation with my nine year old daughter recently in which she was herself mulling college:

"Mommy, what college did you go to?"

"Tali, that's an interesting question. You see..." I felt myself flubbing and faltered on "I didn't exactly graduate from college".

Her eyes went wide. I went on to explain that I didn't have a college degree and she said in her very pragmatic way, "You know, Julian and I are getting a little older and pretty soon you'll have more time for yourself. Maybe you could go to college then".

You know something Tali, you just may be onto something.