Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Radio Ads

So much for one word titles.

Radio ads are sometimes an incredible form of information and entertainment.  Images can be portrayed through pictures.  Sometimes, though, the ads can be a little....irritating. Creepy. Silly.

The creepiest ad I have been hearing recently is the anti smoking campaign ad, in which a woman suggests people record their voices for their grandchildren to hear.  Since the only voice her grandchildren know is the artificial one created by her artificial device.  It is the creepiest ad I have ever heard.  I cannot listen to it, I usually switch stations.  Not that I ever wished to smoke.  I abhor the smell.   But if you know someone who smokes, let him/her listen to it.

While searching for the link, I discovered that she just passed away. I was sad to hear that.  I hope some people quit today based on her video.

On a lighter note,
 the Grossest ads - D-I-N-O-V-I-T-E.
Do we really want to hear about stinky discharge from dogs' ears, smelly oozing pus from postules on the hairy body, breath that reeks,  body odors, emissions, and other disgusting descriptions of what is wrong with someone's dog? Ewww

Saturday, December 6, 2014


what's with flashing or honking friends as you drive by? I was at an intersection off of 306 this afternoon when I heard wild honking. I whipped my head around and shrieked to my kids, "what?! what is it? Do I have a flat? Did I run over a streimel? was it a streimel on a head? Is there a cop honking me? who is it? who is it?"

My kids stopped talking and just stared at me. I had a wild look and my whipping around flipped my shaitel into my mouth, and the ends got caught on my sunglasses. I was frightful looking.

Thank you to my friend who doesn't call me but feels the need to honk like a meshugana when she sees me.

flashing someone from behind them. I was waiting to turn a corner, when a minivan pulled up behind me, like really, really close behind me. then she started flashing her headlights. First I thought, "Are my lights on but they shouldn't be? Are my lights off when they should be on? Did I go through a red light? Was I suppose to turn?"
then I got annoyed and thought, no way is that female flashing her brights because I didn't make the left turn when there was a five second break between the 18 wheeler and the school bus. She must be kidding! I was really irked and distracted, then my youngest shouted, "Hey Ma! It's your friend _____!!"

when I drive, I drive. I flash my brights if it is 8:45 and getting dark and oncoming traffic doesn't have their lights on.

And I honk when someone is walking with their back to the traffic three feet off the shoulder. Or when I pull into a driveway to pick someone up.

You want to talk to me? great! CALL ME ON THE PHONE!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I will now be writing posts with a single word as the post title.
 twill be a real challenge for me, Miss Wordy.

54 people looked at my previous post!? 
I am the Sally Fields of blogging

What Is The Real Meaning Of Tzniyus?

Truthfully?  I have no clue.
I mean of course I do, but I don't feel like going into it.
A poster on my previous blog entry stated her daughter thought it might be Un-Tzniyasdik to give a picture of herself.  As a result, the boy declined to date her.

I don't agree about it being untzniyusdik.  They will be spending time together in close quarters, hopefully making eye contact.  That's what you do on dates.  He's gonna see her anyway, the picture isn't inappropriate for that reason.  But to nix a shidduch cuz you DIDN'T get a picture?

First of all:   Good for you!  Good for you and your daughter for not capitulating and giving in to this idiocy of demanding a picture.  I would venture to say that he was not Your Intended One.  I cannot imagine that H' (Hashem) would allow a bashert to slip through your hands because you didn't give him a picture.
I believe we can blame (cuz I love to do that) the shadchanim.
If every single shadchan out there would refuse to give pictures of girls, what would happen?  Boys would actually have to risk a date with someone who doesn't look like what they think or more often their mother thinks is the ideal look for their son!
And for you boys' mothers who say,  "you know what's involved for a boy to date? He has to give up seder, rent a car, shower/shave/get dressed, drive (let's say up to Monsey, for Brooklyn people that's practically Canada), pay for drinks/dinner/mini golf/parking/tolls, then drive back!  that's hours and hours and lotsa moola and what if the minute he walks in the door he doesn't like her looks? Let's avoid that problem!

Let's teach our boys that it's not just about looks! That you can attempt to have a conversation with someone who might not be "your look" but might prove to be interesting! engaging! cute! charming!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ho -Hum

I was really annoyed about 2 things today.  DIP3 suggested I blog about it.  As you all know, I haven't blogged in a very long time, and I told her so - plus the fact that I get no feedback.  To which she replied, "people read it, but don't respond".  And anyway, this is a good way for me to express my distress.  It's too long for a facebook post.

I am irked that it is acceptable to ask for a picture of The Girl when suggesting a shidduch.  Mainly I am bothered by this, because I think it is just plain disgusting that without even meeting a girl face to face, a boy will nix her immediately.  I get it if he doesn't like blond or red.  Actually, scratch that, I don't get it at all.  Ever hear of hair dye? or buying a different color sheitel? But that's not even the issue!
How do you nix meeting someone just because she isn't "the look" you want?  If all the other details about her are a match, just meet and shmooze.
How vain and empty headed are these heilig boys we are running after. 
This isn't the same thing as meeting a girl once or twice and then deciding she just isn't attractive.  Gosh!

The other thing that has been irking me all day is hearing stories of people using 70 or 110 or 200 AMEX credit cards to buy merchandise.
It doesn't matter if it's Halachically acceptable. Is it within the spirit of the law?
Even if your brother in law personally called up AMEX and asked "them"  (who? some secretary?) and "they" said it was ok to buy one $400 item with 13 credit cards, each of which would be swiped 3 times to pay for said item.

There is just something so tasteless about this whole..... chap.

and how on earth did they get all those cards? A picture on vinnews had a guy with what looked like 100 cards.  Can you imagine his credit score?

If you're paying off debt, guess what! If it's on the credit card, it is still debt!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's Kosher....

I saw today that chicken livers under Rabbi Weismandel were $4.99 @ lb, while chicken livers under KJ (Kiryas Yoel) were $7.99 @lb.
They looked exactly the same, so I asked The Meat Guy why the $3 difference per pound.
 He shrugged his shoulders and said, "maybe they toiveled the chicken first".

Ha!!  An awesome sense of humor buried in the meat department of All Fresh!

I guess he sells the stuff, but isn't a fan

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Letters From The Past

This past Sunday my husband and I undertook a very long overdue project, one we have pushed off doing for a long time.

We emptied out our attic.

It's almost like an IRA account, constant contributions over the years, but penalties if you withdraw anything.  That's kind of how we treated the stuff up there.  We did go into our attic frequently, to take down and return suitcases, The Pesach Stuff, The Succos Stuff, The Chanuka Stuff, The Machzorim.  But for the most part it was storage of things we didn't use but didn't want to discard.

One of the collections gathering dust is a box of papers and things from our pre-marriage status.  And in that box are letters. Cards. Communications. Newspaper clippings.
"A-Ba-Ni-Bi-O-Bo-Hay-Bayv-O-Bo-Ta-Bach wins Eurovision, the sign of stupidity..." (this clipping was in Hebrew and my husband had to translate while gasping for breath at the Israeli humor).

My favorite box: the Nachas box - with reports, awards, report cards (not all such nachas) of my children.  Old class photos.  The Rosh Hashana and Chanuka and Mother's Day cards,   love notes, angry notes, refua shelaima cards, birthday cards, all from my children.

Of course I spent waaaay too much time rereading everything. 

But all this is just to give you an idea of how...old everything in my attic is.  And to lead into my feelings of how fast the years went by,  my yearning for a time long gone.

Letters. Letters. and more Letters.
Between my husband and his cousin in America (he grew up in Israel) who he connected with one summer after a visit.  This was in the 70's, when people didn't call frequently. Thin light blue airmail letters, where you wrote on every available space.
Letters between my husband and his uncle, aunt, brothers, grandmother.
Birthday cards.
All the letters I wrote home from my seminary year in Israel. That my mother saved.
50 or 60 or 70 postcards from my father, who traveled often (still does!) throughout the United States. Photos of wheat fields and combines and tractors and big cities and famous midwestern landmarks.
Birthday wishes from my siblings.
Mazel Tov letters when my husband and I got engaged. Some in Hebrew, some illegible, all lengthy and wordy and shmoozy and some weepy.  (We had hoped to move to Israel.  My sisters' letters, one excited I would be living there during her seminary year four years in the future, one from a younger sister sad she wouldn't see me often).
And eventually, Mazel tov cards and letters for the birth of our children.  From my beloved grandmother, A'H.  A brother in Yeshiva in Israel.  An old friend.  A relatively new sister -in-law.
And beautiful, sometimes sappy, sometimes mushy, definitely loving and young and excited-about-our-future letters and cards from my husband.

To all of you young people from a generation that texts, emails, instagrams, tweets-  it won't be the same for you.  Even if you save every electronic communication.  It won't smell and feel like the past, like a time gone by.  Reading those old emails and texts will not take you back to those memories, won't remind you of where you were, will not be a physical lasting reminder of the beautiful relationships and correspondence you once had with your loved ones.

Go write someone a letter. Now! And ask them to write back to you.
One day you'll cherish it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Am A Specialist

How do you define  Specialist?

Someone who is special?  Someone who specializes at something? Someone who has the experience to say they specialize? Something a person does to the exclusion of everything else?

Is experience linked to giving yourself the title of Specialist?

Or can it mean your education and training focused exclusively on one area of your field, and when you graduate, you are now a Specialist.  Can you call yourself that, if you've only worked for four months?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Focused Conversation

My husband is very succinct and to the point.  So when I repeat a story to him, his eyes usually glaze over after about 90 seconds because it takes me a while to get to the main point.  I'm really working on improving this conversation style, and after hearing a caller this morning on a radio show, I understand how my rambles sometimes sound to him.

"....hey Steve, it's Margie, I've called before, how are you guys?"
"We're good Marg, how are you doing?"
"Great, great! I'm going down the shore next week, not really the shore, nearby, actually past Atlantic City a little bit, I'm spending a week with my friend.  I go every year, over Passover, I'm not Jewish, she is, but we spend time together over her holiday, and I do half the cooking, there's a lot of eating, and I spend the time with her and her husband, I go alone, cuz I'm alone, that's a different story, and anyway, so her husband bought a Tesla, the electric  car you were talking about, and it doesn't even have the spare tire, cuz there's no trunk, I mean it's in the front, cuz there's no motor, and you have to pay separately for the tires! At least that's what I think he said, that it's a base price, and the tires are $400, and then what do you do without a spare, so he's thinking of giving it back or something, cuz he didn't even realize it didn't come with spare, or even a place to store it! So I thought you or your listeners might find that interesting".

Summary: Don't buy a Tesla, It doesn't come with a spare tire.

Of course to fully appreciate this conversation, say it without commas or periods, and use a Bronx accent.

I thought it was funny.

It's Not A Contest...

...To see who is having the most people possible for Yomtov.

This past week, pretty much every person I've met has asked, "so who's coming for yomtov, having a full house? A lot of people?"
I understand asking , "Are you're parents coming?" or the popular expression (yich), "your marrieds".

We've had this discussion before, how the women work very hard with shopping and meal planning and cooking, and it is overwhelming, and those outside the Tribe wouldn't understand cooking 16 meals for 10-20 people.  And yes, our pre-Pesach activity is almost exclusively focused on cooking (and clothing shopping).  But I always have the feeling of it being a one-upping conversation:

"Hey, how's the cooking going? Big crowd?"
"Yeah, the usual, my 5 plus my marrieds and my mom in law and her aid.  No big deal, really. Whatever.  What about you?"
"Well, we have a little break Shabbos Chol Hamoed, just the 9 of us."

But I think this week I will try to meet people with, "So, do you have a nice Pesach or Hagadda Dvar Torah you can share with me?"

Oh, and here's what's happening in our house!!
First days we are 6 people.  We are really looking forward to it.  Will be a very focused Seder, one guest, my single kids, us females can sing everything! Another guest or two for some meals.

Chol Hamoed and the last days, all my children, a few extra guests here and there.

I am looking forward to my meals with guests, and my meals with just my children.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Yeshiva World: Print Entertainment

You gotta love the comments.

DIP3 has categories for the types of comments on the jewish news websites:

The Grammar Nazis:
 "hey #3, maybe use a spell checker"
"you idiot, if you had graduated past 3rd grade you'd know it's YOUR not YOR or YOURE"

REAL TIME EXAMPLE: you mean CAVALRY.  they're not a christian group
You mean ” Cavalry “.they’re not a christian group. - See more at:
You mean ” Cavalry “.they’re not a christian group. - See more at:

The Gemara Quoters:
"I'm sorry, but in Avoda Zara Daf yud amud beis it clearly states, R'Yochanan holds differently, he says Rome was the most powerful.  So clearly the tanoim knew more than you, buster.  And we all know from other examples that Obama is Rome. And Yovon. And Haman. "

"#8, I've seen your comments and you always say you were a top bochur but clearly you must've been  out drinking coffee during the shiur because no gemara supports your opinion.  You sound ignorant"

 The Halacha Sticklers:
" you don't know what you're talking about, the Mechaber clearly states about this issue that devorim sheain bohem ...."

The Hashem Criers:
"Hashem! Hashem! Help your children! Your flock is begging You to answer its tefilos!"

The Meshichists:
"Oy! We need mashiach so soon.....our tears are overflowing...."
"If this tragedy and travesty doesn't bring Moshiach what will, I know he's waiting in the wings"

The Lashon Hara Police:
"I think all of you posters really need to think about how what your saying is mamesh lashon hara and you might even be causing real anguish to the guy's family"

"I'm sorry to say this is real lashon hara your tattes would be so sad for this they survived aushwitz to have their kids waste ther time saying really lashon hara things about a man who supports his family and the hole comunty everyone nows he's a big bal zedada"  (errors intentional)

of course we also have those whose spelling is atrocious and do not heed the admonishment of the Grammar  and Spelling Nazis:

REAL TIME EXAMPLES: there are some ill education people in are community

But DIP3's absolute favorite is someone named Poppa bar poppa, who, according to her, comments on every single thread. Every day. In the Yeshiva World Coffee Room.

Look it up!

Does Hashem Care About Our Resume?

Shidduch resume, that is.

DIP3's resume is "different".
instead of writing  "summer jobs", it says, "how she spent her youth"
instead of writing  "our  mechutanim", it says "our new family"

And the clincher that is causing angst and concern by some well meaning friends...
instead of writing that creative, all tellling, very descriptive word  "references", I wrote  (please prepare yourself for daring, on the edge, risque language)  "the people who know and love her".

to back up:
Some good dear friends, very well meaning, have DIP3's best interests at heart, have told me her shidduch resume is too out of the box.  Too different, unusual, too much  let's make the effort to be different.

So I admit, yes, that's why I wrote it up more creatively.
her personal info (birthday, height, phone #)
how she spent her youth  ( summers)
where she went to school
her family (as it sounds: parents, siblings)
what she's doing now (name of schooling/degree)
our new family
the people who know and love her

So please tell me what you think:
does a resume like this indicate extreme effort to be wierdly different and radically dramatically in your face different to the point where you would automatically look and say "ewww! what wierdo people, SOOOOO not for us, I'm not even going to make one phone call to find out what these people are about"?

Or do you look at it and say, "Oh, cute, a little kitchy, whatever, I know the principal, I'll call her!"?

To me?  It weeds out those families who are not like us.  Who feel threatened or insecure if a list of names is written a little bit differently.
To paraphrase my sister The Eitza Lady,  "I don't think Hashem, who orchestrates all shidduchim, will allow a potential shidduch to pass by because of the way you wrote a list of names.  "

Hashem doesn't have a hidden agenda, and neither do we.  We just want a boy (or a mother) who will look at this resume, squeal with delight and say, "How cute, a little different, the girl must have personality, I love it!"

Which by the way, I think WAS a deciding factor in DIP1 and DIP2's shidduchim.  My sons-in-laws' mothers loved their resume.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Theme Panic

As a teacher, the word "theme" is a literary term.  "Thematic Units" - many books, articles, videos, and discussions about a particular subject.

But come Adar time, it has a different meaning... I have headaches, sweaty palms, roiling stomach pains... in short - Theme Panic!!

Yes, I am one of those who wishes she could have clever themes that tie together the food, packaging, colors, and poem- all to be a clever Balabusta who can create Thematic Purim Mishloach Manos!!

For years I railed against them - "let the theme be food you can EAT!"  "Those people are losing sight of the basics of the MITZVAH!"

Don't get me wrong, I would never make a mishloach manos of an orange and a brownie square in a paper plate stapled together to look like a Hamantaschen, as was popular when I was a kid.  Twas done by those uncreative, last minute mothers.  My mother made delicious and unique Mishloach Manonses.  I think.  One year I remember big pizzas.
 Once I received a mishloach manos in one of those fabric chinese-themed jewelry pouches.  about 3" by 3".  It had a miniscule bottle of some shnappsy thing, and I believe a single wrapped chocolate with foreign writing on it.  My little kids were eager to see it: " Oooh, oooh, What is it? What is it?"  I personally felt like shouting "WHERE is it? where is it?"

But I have discovered the keys to a successful Mishloach Manos:
glue guns
shrink wrap

nothing rolls around or falls off when you glue it with hot glue.
it looks very serious when it is shrink wrapped.

Of course, pointy things don't shrink wrap well.  But when you deliver it, you can always fake-trip, then apologize for accidentally tearing the tight shrink wrap

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Is It True That Bochrim Talk This Way After Dates?

It's a double standard.

Or actually, it's no standard.  I wonder, if boys' yeshivos spent 1/4 of the time that girls schools do teaching midos,  if a story like this would come out:

We've all heard that bochrim discuss their dates. At length. Mercilessly.  Without kindness.  And we know that the girls do not.  They do not talk to their friends about their dates.  Unless they are close to getting engaged, or there is one friend who is a sounding board, close confidante.

So here's the story I heard this past shabbos.

A boy (yes, of course, from a Yeshiva that has a good reputation) returned from a date to his dorm.  Where, presumably, a bunch of other guys were hanging around.  He stated, **LANGUAGE ALERT FOR THE SENSITIVE AND YOUNG**, "the door opened and I thought, dammit, she's ugly".

What's the big deal, you might say?
I know all the disclaimers.  I know that looks ARE important to men.  (guess what guys, to us women, too. we just don't talk about it). I know that attraction is an extremely important main factor in a relationship.
The big deal is that this unkind bochur just announced to a room of other bochrim that this girl is ugly.  Never mind that it's in his opinion.  Never mind that of course, there might be a baal midos in the group who will not be mekabel this Lashon Hara.  Never mind that other boys might find this guy unpleasant, rude, obnoxious, and discount what he says.

It's disturbing because we ARE the people of the book.  We ARE supposed to be better than others.  This yeshiva has a good reputation.  The boys there do not go to college. They can't.  They have to be somewhat serious about their learning.  And of course, you're one step out the door of serious religiosity if you plan to plan on a plan for parnosa.

It's disturbing because this boy who spends his whole day and night studying and learning Hashem's beautiful Torah doesn't have the most basic sense of kindness and thoughtfullness.

........of course, I am sure the girl is not from a wealthy family.  That totally changes the picture, too.  Green can be very attractive, no?

Improv Anywhere, Humiliation Everywhere

At first I thought the concept of Improv was cute. Clever.  All those people standing still in Grand Central Station.  Shticky.  A kind of performance art that wasn't a naked woman with a pumpkin on her head and feces on her body channeling an ancient war god  (a combination of a few Doonesbury comic strips). 

But now I don't think so. At all.  While it may be "cute" to do things like walk backwards in Times Square, banging into people and confirming tourist's opinions that we are, in fact, a nation of fools (thank you to our President for establishing that), it isn't cute when people are publicly embarrassed or made fun of.  Of course when asked, I am sure they say something like, "Oh, ha ha, it's no big deal".  But really, no one likes to be made foolish.  Like in this clip:

ok, if the kid wants to run into the wall and look idiotic, fine. And I was a big fan of the Harry Potter books, so my issue, clearly, isn't with the subject.  I don't think it's funny to embarrass people on video. Period.  Making the ticket sellers question the boy over and over again, having random strangers not know what to answer.  Why is this funny?  It's like the whole premise here is to make people look stupid, foolish, or clueless! 

See, that's my whole issue! It's NOT just about the cleverness of a new way of making statements, it's How Can We Make A Statement, Even If It Inconveniences Or Embarrasses Other People!

Like the No Pants Day.  Can you think of a more highly offensive public display of selfishness and impropriety?  I am sure that there are plenty of people out there who are not living a religious life, who don't have the rules and lifestyle of modesty that I do, yet are highly disturbed by this!  A subway is not a beach, where you expect to see skimpy bottoms and unclad people. 

It's just plain disgusting.  This really bothers me.  A lot.  Do New Yorkers care?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mayonnaise, Ketchup, and Yiddishkeit

Those are the three things that YBS1 says you do not compromise on.

Mayonnaise, definitely.  Though once I began to bring Gefen Lite mayo into our home, our standards relaxed somewhat.  It definitely tastes better than Hellman's Lite mayonnaise.  And we are mayonnaise experts around here.  It is as essential to a Shabbos meal as challa and wine.

Ketchup, sad to say, seems to be only be tasty if it is Heinz.  Although I am not a picky eater, there really is a difference in the taste.  What actually prompted this was YBS1's observation that I bought a non-jewish brand of chummus *(which the brand calls "hommos", already an indication of not getting it right), and a jewish company's ketchup.  He thought this was problematic.  He is prone to grand sweeping all encompassing statements, as he said,
"What do these people know about making chummus? And what does Lieber's know about making ketchup?! and what about these off brands of mayonnaise ??"

and then followed his most profound statement of all,

"there are just some things in life you do NOT compromise on! Mayonnaise! Ketchup! and Yiddishkeit!"