Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top Ten Reasons To Say No To A Second Date

Ever tried to say no to another date with a guy, but the shadchan was a PS of the pushiest sort, and would hear nothing of it? An expert in the field, Bad4 helped me come up with some excuses to try for this week's Top Ten Tuesday:

10) "His eating habits are too complex. I just couldn't cook for him."

9) "He is sickeningly hairy. Ugh. Just ugh. Sorry... Oh, and tell him that before he goes out with another girl he might want to check out Brookstone's sale on nose-hair trimmers."

8) "Anivusdik isn't the word. He spent half of the night telling self depreciating stories. I got it. He's crud. Next time set me up with someone who has a little self worth."

7) "Not to insinuate that he's cheap, but haggling over four cents with the waiter seemed to be a little much, dontcha think?"

6) "His IQ is about comparable to his age, which doesn't say much for either."

5) "I wouldn't want my in-laws moving in with me, you know what I mean? I'm saying...they didn't just happen to be in the same restaurant as us, did they?"

4) "Nothing personal, but I really look down at him. Literally."

3) "Erm, when you told me that he is about 29, you meant give or take fifteen years, right?"

2) "I don't want to insinuate that he lives above his means, but should a checkout boy really be driving a Lamborghini?"

1) "I get queasy when I think about the way our kids would look."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Footprints In The Snow

(I wrote this poem when we had that big snowstorm. I wrote it in my head, standing watching the snow through the window. Didn't get a chance to post it 'till now, so here it is.)

My entire world is wrapped
In a blanket of snowy white.
Nose pressed to the frosty glass,
I am mesmerised by the sight.

Falling flakes illuminated,
By the soft glow of the moon,
and I am amazed all over again,
at the perfection in my cocoon.

The contrast is apparent
With a quick glimpse to my right
A slushy mess covers the road,
As the cars drive through the night.

But back inside my little world,
Perfection is all that you see,
A gorgeous blanket of clean white snow-
It's what's surrounding me.

Suddenly the stillness is shattered,
As a visitor breaks the spell,
Muddy footprints in place of perfection,
In which I wanted to dwell.

My world was just so clean and neat-
Now look what happened to it!
The shiny blanket of fresh snow,
Ruined when a stranger walked through it.

But looking at those dirty footprints,
That savagely wrecked my world,
I start to marvel at the simple truth,
That is now being unfurled.

A person's world is their cocoon,
To keep it fresh and new.
And they have to be wary of strangers,
That might come traipsing through.

Because once the footprints are there,
The damage can't be undone.
The muddy tracks still remain,
When the night makes way for sun.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Take on the Married-Friend Issue

"I don't have any married friends. Once they get married they are not my friend anymore."

I asked last week if you agree or not, and it sparked an interesting discussion. Here's my take. It's rather length, knotty, and fragmented in my mind, so let's hope that it comes up clearer.

The first issue is, how a person defines a friend. As one commenter so aptly put it, it depends how "emotionally married" they are. The girl who said this quote- proudly, I might add, is the kind of girl who sees friendship as an all or nothing proposition. Partial, or halfway friends don't make it on to her radar screen.

She had explained the quote further, saying, "before Rivka got married, she would spend half her time at my house. She knew all of my cousins, and went to their vorts and weddings. Now, a cousin of mine is getting married and Rivka didn't even hear about it until yesterday!"

She looked at me, expecting pity. I didn't offer any. "So why didn't you tell her earlier?"
She looked at me funny. "What do you mean? I don't speak to her often enough to tell her all of these little details."

So, in her case, a friend is someone who you speak to multiple times per day, see at least once a day, and share every tedious detail of your life with. Now you see how this quote makes sense. A friend who gets married and moves to a different town will not be seeing you once a day. And most likely, especially in the beginning, the newly married friend won't be speaking to you multiple times per day, sharing the minute details of her tedious existence with you.

If a person has a more sane, healthy, and balanced approach to friendship, this quote will not ring quite as true. Take me for example. Most of my good friends are married, yet I view them as friends every bit as much as before. Is our friendship the same? No, most definitely not. I mean, our conversations when they were single didn't revolve around which maternity stores are best to shop in, or how tired one is after having their baby scream half the night, or even about washing dishes and doing laundry. And yes, we talk less often. But I am confidant in my friendships, I know that regardless of the number of times per day (week? Month?) that I speak to her, we are still friends.

Another issue that we need to factor in is the amount of time elapsed since the wedding of the friend in question. If someone reading that quote has a close friend who had just gotten married, say, within the past month, this quote would ring truer than it does for most folks. Because yes, while friends remain friends regardless of what you find on their finger, it is normal and healthy for them to drop off the face of the planet for the first month or so after their wedding.

Then of course, there are the ensuing months of sickeningly newlywed behavior, which is really not so sickening. It's kinda supposed to go that way. "Yeah, so it was really funny. She said tha- husbandhomegottago." Click. In fact, I'll never forget the first time my friend spoke to me when her husband was around. It was the symbolic departure from the little cocoon of newlywedism.

The next, and hopefully last issue (this post is taking way too long to write) is the issue of "friendlys." These are the people that I wouldn't quite label as a "friend," but are not simply a "classmate" or a "coworker." I find that with friendlys, the above quote is completely true. Before she got married, we may have spoken together every couple of weeks, give or take a few accidental meetings in the grocery store. Now that she is married, I simply don't feel the pressure to keep up. And neither does she. And that's why we meet at simchas and feel dumb, because we last spoke at the vort of whoever is getting married at that wedding, and we used to sort of be friends.

In conclusion- oh forget it. I got more important things to do than conclude. You decide what you think. Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Top Ten Reasons I Find My Family Hilarious

Motzei Shabbos, we had some married siblings over, and they were staying due to snow. After all of the kids were in bed, we sat down to play a great game. I mentioned it once before in a post, but I figured that for this week's Top Ten Tuesday I would share the laughs with you. We had a great time, as you will see below.

A quick overview of Loaded Questions, for those unfamiliar: Each person takes a turn reading a question from a card, which everyone else answers. Another person reads all the answers, and the first person has to guess who wrote each answer. Although I have been doing some reviews on here, I get nothing for telling you about this awesome game, but I certainly enjoy it!

10) At some point during the game, everyone got fed up with everyone else's fiddling with various electronics, and so we voted unanimously to take everyone's cell phones, ipods, laptops, and any other gadgets and place them in the corner of the table, out of everyone's reach. The next question, "How can you make a million dollars right now?" had a brilliant answer from my brother. "I would sell all of the electronics on this table." Oh, the joys of the electronics age! (JSYK, MP wrote, "if I had a way I wouldn't be sitting here playing this dumb game")

9) MP wrote some awesome answers, and will probably be featured the most in this post, as she is the only other family member my readers "know." When asked "What is the biggest advantage of being tall?" MP's answered showed the direction of her entire life. "Good for shidduchim"

8) "If you had wallpaper with one person's face plastered over it, who's face would it be?" MP "would have pretty wallpaper, without anyone's face on it"

7) My brother's answer drew pity from the crowd. When asked "What is the worst place to be stuck waiting" he answered, "for the bathroom in yeshivah"

6) I am apparently the only one who really thinks long term. "What are you really glad not to be doing now" had some short term answers, I was the only one who was glad that I am not "burning in gihennom"

5) "What is the meanest thing you can say to somebody" (which, incidentally, is the question that sparked the above linked post) had an answer that could only come from someone who is currently in the child-rearing stage of life. "When are you due?"

4) My brother tricked someone. When the question was "What luxury would you like to enjoy just once?" We were all sure that "a shopping spree at neiman marcus" was MP's. Nobody had a hard time guessing that I wrote "an unlimited shopping spree in the apple store"

3) When the question was "Which three words come to mind when you hear the word black?" most of us thought of black people. MP wrote (don't laugh) "clothing, clothing, clothing." The funny thing is, my married brother, who's knowledge of fashion is restricted to his wife, said "well, it has to be her, because she only wears black." Yeah, wise guy. Her and the rest of the frum bais-yaakovy, MP types.

2) One of the questions, asked of course, by MP, was "In your opinion, who makes the most stylish clothes?" I answered, "not the people who make mine." And she didn't even get it right!

1) For anyone who thinks I am making up the Perfect aspect of MP, here is her unedited answer to "If your picture would be on the Most Wanted List, what crime would you have committed?" Sit down. Her answer: "Being too perfect." I kid you not.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Product Review: What Could Be Better?

When the promo team over at CSNStores.com contacted me about doing a review, I thought long and hard about which product I would like. It's not every day that I do product reviews, and it's certainly not every day that I get to pick the product to review.

I spent an inordinate amount of time on the sight, cookware.com. I contemplated some new pots, or perhaps a cookware set. But I nixed those choices, figuring that until I have my own kitchen, a product like that would only be exciting to my mother. My thoughts turned toward gadgets, as they generally do. But I still couldn't think of a good product to order.

Later that day, as I sat in the local coffee shop with some friends, shmoozing over some cappuccino, I realized what I need to order.

I went home, hurried back to my computer, and checked on Cookware.com. I was astonished to discover their immense selection. If I ever open up a restaurant and find myself in need of a commercial sized coffee machine, I would definitely look for one on cookware.com.

After sifting through the hundreds of coffee makers, finding the cappuccino machines, then sifting through the $700 dollar coppuccino machines, I found what I was looking for. A DeLonghi cappuccino/expresso machine, priced at 39.99. The list price for the machine was somewhere in the seventy dollar range, but I don't know how that compares to other sites.

According to the specified procedure, I posted a preview post, then emailed my contact at csnstores.com with my product number. Within minutes, I received a confimation email from CSN stores, with my order, the shipping information, and of course, the best part; a price reduction to $0.00, by virtue of being an "advertising partner."

As simple as that.

Wednesday afternoon, halfway across the world for a Chanukah party, I get a text from MP: "there is a box here for you." Naturally, I spent the entire party dreaming about cappuccino. When I got home at about 1 in the morning, a time which would drive any sane individual into bed, I tore open the box, and stopped just short of actually making myself a cup of expresso in the middle of the night.

The next morning, I was out of bed extra early. Only to discover coffee isn't included. ;-) One trip to the local coffee-selling shop later, and I was proudly fiddling with steam knobs and mesh filters. And then-

The world's most delicious cup of coffee. Ever. No jokes.

That night, I couldn't eat supper. I'm sure you understand, it was fleishigs. And that would mean no cappuccino for hours. No can do.

Anyhow, just to return to the service and the sight of CSN stores, I was really happy. Obviously, when receiving the product for free, one's standards would be a little lowered. On a whole though, I would definitely shop again at csnstores.com.

So head over there, check out the awesome selection, easy navigation ad great prices at CSN Stores, and if you are a real life friend, what are you waiting for? C'mon over for some cappuccino!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Still Winning

On a short busy Friday such as the one past, it is so easy to lose focus. Here we were, running and rushing, all day, trying to make it in time for shabbos. Making beds, setting the table, baking cookies, and of course, greeting guests. Nobody had a spare moment to breathe.

When the entire family came breathlessly panting into the room, hair dripping, shirts half buttoned, ready to light the menorah, I got my reminder.

The various men took their turn lighting their menorah, then their respective wives took their turns lighting the shabbos candles. After each of the men had lit, it was the children's turn. I watched as my oldest brother sat there, his youngest daughter in his lap. In their hand, they clutched a small colored candle. Together, slowly, word by word, my brother and his three year old daughter recited the words of the brachos. As if he had all the time in the world, my brother helped my niece pronounce each word. I looked slighly to the left, and I saw my mother's prized picture. It was a photo of my father, holding his oldest son, the aformentioned brother, in his lap. The picture was so life-like, you could almost see the movement, as my father took my brother's hand in his, held that colored candle, and slowly, carefully, recited the brachos with him. I looked once again, at my grown-up version, and marveled at the way history was repeating itself.

"This is what mesorah really means," I thought to myself. One father teaching a mitzvah to his son, who in turn teaches it to his daughter. IYH, one day, she too will have a child with whom to light those colorful Chanukah candles. Because this is Torah, this is Mesorah. This is what the Greeks didn't want.

Sorry to tell you this Greeks, but thousands of years later, we are still winning this war.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Five Months Late

I know it's been five months since I promised a story on my fiction blog, but I finally posted one!

The story behind it (and probably all future stories on that blog) is that I was driving, saw something, and started imagining the details of the lives of the involved parties.

The end result was this.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Can "Marrieds" be "Friends"?

Line from a (single) friend:

"I don't have any married friends. Once they get married they're not my friend anymore."

What's your take? Agree or disagree?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top Ten Signs It's Chanukah

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, we are going to explore some of the classic signs that it's Chanukah. Thanks to all of my friends who helped me with these.

10) You can easily tell which families on the block are Jewish and which aren't. Just check if their lights are inside the house or outside!

9) You offer your cleaning lady a homemade donuts and she declines, stammering in broken English that she has had more donuts in the past few days than she knows what to do with.

8) Lines from "Chanuka USA" are constantly running through your head.

7) Miraculously, nobody works late.

6) Family time! Oh, hey, let me just take this call, it's really important....

5) Those huge gallon-sized bottles of oil are constantly empty, no matter how many times you buy a new one.

4) You reach into your pocket for change for the parking meter, and all you pull up is a milk chocolate coin with "glicks" embossed on it.

3) Pimpled faces, grease mustache, and confectioner's sugar dusting on everyone's clothes.

2) The most yeshivish among us get to practice their gambling skills without anyone getting suspicious.

1) The kids never seem to be in school. It's a modern day chanuka miracle; the school gives vacation for a day and it stretches for eight!

Monday, December 14, 2009

What Chanukah Is Really About

It seems that lately, chanukah has become about donuts and latkes, dreidels and gelt, and of course, presents and parties. It's easy to forget that chanukah is really about the triumph of torah over nothingness, of light over darkness, of our ability to follow the torah and mitzvos. I wrote a post about it last year, when I was a brand new blogger, and had a grand total of four readers, so I am linking it here for the benefit of my numerous new readers. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Taste of Her Own Medicine

This grocery line is taking forever. Oh, there, two lines over. Isn't that Mrs. Grossman, the high school teacher?
Yes, it is her. Let's hope she doesn't notice me. I don't like her. She is the teacher who almost gave me my only detention in four years of high school. It took all of my charm to wiggle out of that one.

I really don't have time for a confrontation now. She will want to hear what has transpired in the &@%# years since I graduated. I don't feel like discussing it with her. Maybe this lady with the heaping cart will let me go ahead? No, she doesn't look friendly.

Mrs. Grossman is looking around. She's gonna notice me in a minute. Ok, she's looking in my direction. Here we go. Now the glimmer of recognition is on her face. I guess I didn't change much since high school.

"Hi SD!"

Why is she pausing. Oh, I'm getting the look-over. I hope I pass. She's looking down. Oh man. I'm wearing my shortest skirt today. But I lost weight. It falls lower! I know it's long enough, I looked three times in the mirror before I left my house.

She must agree, her eyes are headed back up. To my face. To my eyeliner. It's all BigChamor's fault Mrs. Grossman! She's the one who forces me to wear eyeliner every morning. "It makes your eyes stand out so much more," she had said. But that's exactly what Mrs. Grossman's anti-eyeliner speeches were always about. Making your eyes stand out. C'mon, Mrs. Grossman! My eyeliner isn't that dark!

Ok, she agrees. Her eyes have moved back down. What is it this time? My shoes are aidel. We already established that my skirt is long enough, right?

Ok, that was quick. Eyes are back up to my head. Oh man, how could I forget? My wet hair! Mrs Grossman had a campaign against that too! But Mrs. Grossman, I just came back from the gym. Not showering would be a complete lack of Kovod Habriyos, and you waged a war against people who were lacking in that front too, right? See, I'm really being GOOD Mrs. Grossman!

Finally, she's talking again.
"How are you?"

"Baruch Hashem, I'm doing good."

Big smile. Keep it there. Smile bigger. I said Baruch Hashem, see, I'm good Mrs. Grossman. Can I finish paying and go now?

She looks like she is trying to think of a way to continue this conversation. I better get ahead of her. Ok, I can sign the credit card slip. Slowly. Think of a strategy. Ok, that might work. Pick head up high. Walk past her lane, toward door.

She is finished putting the groceries on the belt. Do it, now, before you lose your courage!

"Goodbye Mrs. Grossman."

She is looking up. Now. Do it. Look down. Scrutinize her shoes. Yes, they are the same shoes she wore in tenth grade. Now up. Look at her sheitel. Wow. She changed it. It looks like she finally caught up to the style she missed in tenth grade. Now back down. And up, one more time.

"Have a good day!"

Make grand escape, now. Ignore Mrs. Grossman's trademark "look" that is probably fixed on my back.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Daily Dose Of Ego-Booster: Big News for BOSD

My entire family, as well as most of my friends are in complete agreement. My ego needs no inflating. But apparently the promo guy from CSN Stores didn't know that when he emailed me.

I was with BigChamor when the email came through, and I'd bet my head started visibly swelling. How could it not, when I get such a glowing email from some random strangers, people who came across my blog when searching for good sites? They like the look and feel of my site? Niiiice.

After a bit of an exchange between myself and the kind folks over at cookware.com, a site specializing in cookware sets, we decided I'd be doing an honest review of a product they'd send me, gratis.

I hurried over to cookware.com, excited to pick my prize. Aside from cookware sets, which had been mentioned to me, I noticed that they also have all sorts of exciting kitchen gadgets, tools and other useful things. The website was easy to navigate, the prices seemed good, (though I must admit, I am far from an expert on prices of kitchen equipment) and the selection was enormous!

As far as the service, the speed, the delivery, I'll let you know how it goes when I receive my new toy. Until then, head over to the site and see for yourself what it's like!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top Ten Signs A Store Is Out Of Your Price Range

SD went shopping yesterday. The most monumental thing that happened to her is that she discovered she has very expensive taste. And that she speaks in third person about herself.
Anyhow, since it is Tuesday, this weeks Top Ten is for those who can't spot the expensive stores (such as myself) here are some clues, some ways to know that you've stepped out of the World of Retail and into the World of Overpriced Cult Followers

10) Everything in the store is covered in some ugly logo, and the bigger the logo the more digits the price tag has.

9) You wonder if the decimal point on the price got lost along the way.

8) You pick up the bag for closer inspection, and discover that it's attached to the display table with a complicated security cord mechanism.

7) There are only three items in the whole store. And four salespeople.

6) You wonder if a second mortgage on the house will earn you the pair of boots you're eyeing.

5) As soon as you walk in to the store, a salesperson and two security guards latch on to you, asking if you are SURE you don't need help.

4) There are no price tags in sight.

3) So you ask for the price and the saleslady just gives you a LOOK.

2) Ordinary safety tags make way for complicated electronic tracking devices...and they are attached to every pair of socks

1) You can't pronounce the name of the store.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Ulterior Motive

Don't tell anybody, but I've got a confession. I think I want to get engaged for totally wrong reasons.

I mean, it sure ain't the jewelry. I don't care for shiny things. (Perhaps if they'd institute a Kallah iPod instead of the Kallah bracelet that would entice me.) And, once we are being sickeningly honest, I might as well mention that I am completely terrified of getting a daimond ring. I don't think I've ever had a ring that lasted more than a month before it retired itself to the Great Missing Jewelry Bureau in the Sky.

I certainly don't needa experience the brido-sapienism thing, cuz frankly I'm guessing that lack of concentration and spacey-ness is something similar to a low blood sugar (minus the shakiness, dizziness, and racing heart - I hope) and I hate when that happens.

And while sure all the typical reasons are factors in my desire to get engaged, that's not what causes my real burning desire to get engaged. Again, I am sure I shouldn't be admiting this to the world wide web, but I'm a VERY curious person.

Am I the only single who will admit to being deathly curious about what kind of guy that I'm gonna marry? People love to speculate about my dude.

"You're probably going to marry a quiet guy, SD. Like, you'll be the louder of the two." Others have an entirely different perspective on the matter. "SD, I wanna be around when you are married. You two are going to be one hilarious couple." And then there are those who simply get on my nerves by adding to my curiosity. "I wonder what kinda guy you are gonna marry SD. Do you ever wonder?"

And of course, there is the ever-present question. The one we are expected to have an answer to at the snap of a finger, much like a trained dog or perhaps a circus animal. "What type of guy are you looking to marry?" How in the world am I supposed to know? I haven't met him yet!

Sometimes my curiosity is burning. It's not that I'm lovestruck (again, I haven't met him yet, unless he is my friends five month old baby, or my neighbor's seven year old son that I used to babysit for. I'm pretty sure those are the only guys I've ever been introduced to.) It's just one of those things that I think of in specific situations. I might be deliberating over my order in the ice cream store when I'll suddenly get this burst of curiosity. "I wonder what flavors of ice cream he likes." Or when I am still up at 2 am. "I wonder if my dude will be (horrors) an early to bed early to rise sort of guy." And of course, when I see people serving (gag) gefilte fish. "Whoever he is I sincerely hope he doesn't like fish. If he does, he is cooking it himself. And serving it himself. And clearing, washing dishes and disinfecting my fridge by himself. He just doesn't know it yet."

So yeah, I wanna get engaged for a bunch of reasons. But right now I'm just so curious. What is he like?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Top Ten Philosophies To Live By

I had a very busy week, but I didn't want to miss a Top Ten Tuesday. And so, presenting an unoriginal top ten list. These are some very important life philosophies that a person should always bear in mind:

10) Alcohol and calculus don't mix. Don't drink and derive.

9) Be nice to nerds, chances are you"ll end up working for one.

8) Remember- The IRS has got what it takes to take what you've got.

7) Start your day with a smile and get it over with.

6) Fat people are harder to kidnap.

5) Never trust a skinny cook.

4) If your brakes ain't good, make sure to have a loud horn.

3) Always smile. People will wonder what you are up to.

2) If at first you DO succeed, try not to look astonished.

1) A mind is a terrible thing to waste and a waist is a terrible thing to mind

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wise Woman-1 PS-0

(Firstly, a note. The following woman's name is not actually Mrs. Huffenmyer, but that's my family's generic name for a person who's real name we can't mention - read: guys/girls family members date - and obviously I can't mention her real name, which is definitely rather unusual.)

A professional shadchan called a woman I know, Mrs. Huffenmyer. She launched right into it:

"With a name like Huffenmyer, you'll have to compromise on something for your daughter's shidduch. What will you give up on?"

Mrs Huffenmyer, a very wise woman, answered this Professional Shadchan without missing a beat. "I guess we'll have to give up on the privilage of having you as my daughter's shadchan."

Don't you just love a wise mother?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Happiest Day of My Life

Only people very close to me know that my life has been very rough over the last six months. Well, I don't know that anyone knows this, but now that the issues have been resolved let me tell you what happened.

"M"y gum is yellow (lemonade flavor) orbit sugar-free gum. For ages, I wouldn't go anywhere without a spare pack of "my" gum. Erev Pesach, I depleted my stocks, figuring that I would suffer through a week without "my" gum, but after a week I would stock up again and not have to go without "my" gum for another 51 weeks.

I don't think any words can properly convey the shock, horror and disappointment I felt when I went to the local grocery store and didn't see my gum. I figured that the shipment was delayed or something, but I'd have it in another few days. Some days later and I still was without gum. Again and again, no gum.

At some point, my desperation reached obsession levels. I began going into every grocery store, conveniance store, even frum gas station in every frum community I passed through, in the hopes of finding "'my" gum somewhere.

This went on for months. More than six to be precise. And as long as my gum was not in my hands, no happiness could have ever been complete.

And that, my friends, is why I am here to tell you that yesterday was the happiest day of my life. No I didn't get engaged, no it wasn't even because of the first birthday of my blog, but you see, today is when I walked into a candy store, having given up hopes of ever being re-united with my long lost gum, and there, right next to me was a package of MY GUM! Not just one package, there were about twenty packages of it!

And I bought all twenty.

The lady looked at me weird, and made a comment about having enough gum for a while. But I didn't care. Me and my gum are together again! My happiness is back!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

BOSD Turns 1!

"A cute little blog with six posts, four comments, two readers, and eleven and a half months since it has last seen a post."

That's probably how I would have described the way BOSD would look on November 25, 2009...back when I started it, on November 25, 2008.

But now it actually is November 25, 2009. It's been a full year since I started this blog.

It's hard to believe that BOSD is a year old. It's hard to believe that in the past year, I posted 183 times. It's hard to believe that in the past year this blog has received 2,313 comments. It's hard to believe that in the past year this blog has seen over 20000 hits, 34 followers, and close to a hundred subscribers on google reader.

Blogging has been one of the most fascinating things I've ever done. It's rekindled my love for writing, it's reminded me that people enjoy reading what I have to say, and mostly, it's made me some excellent friends.

And now, as payback for being a devoted reader, (if you aren't a devoted reader you might want to stop reading now;) I'll share the most fascinating (in my mind) reason that this blog is actually a year old.

Throughout my life, I've written, or rather, shall I say, attempted to write, in numerous journals, diaries, and other forms of self-chronicling. None of them ever succeeded.

In fact, none of them ever survived my next pesach cleaning-turned-dejunking, when I would read the two entries I had written, decide that I've matured and changed since then, and that I don't need or want to remember what I had written, nor do I want to risk having my journal found by a curious and unscrupulous individual who would ignore my dire warnings about anyone turning that first page without permission. And thus, inevitably, my entries were torn out and shredded, and the now-empty journal was returned to its place on the top of my closet, not to be seen for another year or so, when the next unsuccessful attempt at diary-keeping would start. In a way, I really regret having torn those pages up as a child. It would be great to go back, now, as an adult (well, I'm not REALLY an adult, but I play one on TV) and read those top secret thoughts I had deemed worthy of recording for posterity. Either way, you can sleep easily tonight because you aren't missing out, as I'm certain I wouldn't have shared them with you either way.

Back to my blog and it's (relative) longevity, perhaps you are now capable of understanding why I am so shocked, amazed, and pleasantly surprised at this turn of events. This blog, if one would call it a personal journal, has beaten my previous record by about 11 months, 3 weeks and 4 days.

(Here is where this blogger turns mushy.) It's really thanks to you. As you know, I love the feedback I get from all of you, but I don't think that even I realized until now just how much your comments keep me writing.

And so, as I hand over the mike to the next speaker at this grand birthday bash, I want to conclude with a thank you to my amazing readership. Here's to the next year of posts, hopefully with a few new characters this year!

(Anyone who wants to give me a birthday present should feel free to leave a glowing comment filled with praise or some warm reminiscing about their favorite BOSD moments over the last year.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Top Ten Posts You May Have Missed

It's been almost a year since this blog began, and I know that many of you have only been reading recently. Therefore, for this week's Top Ten Tuesday I decided to point out some of my old posts that you may have missed. Here goes:

10) A Blob of Something Different - This was the first post ever, and it explains why this blog got its, er, creative name.

9) The Big BUT - Why I cringe when someone says they have a shidduch for me.

8) The other meaning of TBB - TBB is an acronym with a dual meaning. Read about it here.

7) MP...Kinda HTBT - If you want to understand what I mean when I say "MP" you should probably read this post.

6) Golda Perel Schwartz - Chazal say k'ney lecha chaver, and I did just that.

5) Free Fun In NYC - The only thing that would have made this day more fun is if MP had been there to be embarrassed of me.

4) My Shidduch Plan of "Attack" - This post is one of my personal favorites because I got it back on my IRL email address as an email forward. Sweeeet.

3) Developing Normalcy? - People are just weird.

2) A Comment About Comments - Don't make me say this again. I love comments.

1) The Legacy of Lot's Wife - Don't ask me why this is my favorite post, but it is. It's SD style philosophy I guess, with an explanation of why I shouldn't sit in traffic too long.

Enoy all of these posts, and comment on them (even if they are almost a year old!).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Shidduch Suicide

Let's set the stage.

I spent shabbos at my married brother's house, but he had a number of other guests, and he didn't have room in his house for me, so I slept at a neighbor. After the meal, and the requisite polite chit chat with my family, I was glad to escape to the neighbor. I smiled smugly as I looked at my watch. I was mentally calculating what 12 hours of sleep would do to my energy level the next day.

Turns out I was a little hasty. I knocked on the door of the neighbor's house, and she came to the door. It was obvious that she felt pretty awkward at that point. I'm not sure why people always feel compelled to strike up conversations out of politeness, but that's precisely what she did.

There isn't much you can ask a frum single girl, especially one you don't really know, so she started with a quick "what do you do?" And that is how I came to be speaking to one of the world's most Perfect people. When I say perfect, I mean one of those sickening species who manage to look like a model in a shabbos robe and a pre-tied tichel.

When I found out that she was a sheitel macher, things got even more interesting. We started discussing my hair, which is, as you may recall, one of my favorite features. She must have been one of those girls who got married straight out of seminary, because she was overly concerned about my hair-ironing habits. If I thought she was concerned when I said I've never used bio-silk- EVER, that was NOTHING compared to our next exchange.

"Well, I don't have to worry about it too much, I rarely ever iron my hair." She wasn't convinced. "But even just for weddings and things, your hair could get ruined from the iron." I smiled smugly back at her, "yeah, but I only wear my hair down to weddings if it's a really close friend. If not, I just wear it in a pony."

That's the point at which I was very happy that she was sitting throughout our conversation, as falling flat on the floor from shock would have probably been pretty bad for her Perfection. It took her a minute to recompose herself and answer. "But you can't! That goes against ALL the rules!" She saw I wasn't convinced, so she went on. "Seriously, you aren't allowed to wear a pony to weddings, you are in shidduchim!"

I have to say I pitied her at that point. She didn't know that she was talking to SD, a cruel and heartless blogger who not only prides herself on breaking rules, but also plans posts in which she bashes the person she is talking to - even as they are talking! And so as she went on, and I wrote my post in my head, we discussed the rules, and which are the worst to break.

And because Mrs. Rule-Follower is a Perfect hostess, and I got a great night's sleep in an awesome bed, I now have a moment to think about this rule-breaking, something the Perfect People would probably call "Shidduch Suicide", otherwise known rather proudly, (by weird Internet folks,) as Bad For Shidduchim. Call it club initiation, call it embarrassing, but either way, I'm wondering; what rules do you consider "unbreakable"?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Open Letter To A Fellow Yid

To my fellow yid,

I am writing this letter to you with a big smile on my face. I feel that I have to tell you what happened, what an amazing event your actions orchestrated.

You probably didn't notice me. We were both in a local non-jewish store on erev shabbos, close to shabbos. Because we live in a predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, people like us are surely a common sight in that store. I assume you were there for the same reason as me; it was close to shabbos and you needed a few quick things before shabbos. I was behind you in line. I watched as you payed for your groceries, and then I watched you take your bags from the bagger. I don't think you expected anyone to notice what you did next, but I did. I saw how, just as you took the bags from the young man, you handed him a dollar. I don't either think that you expected the following scene to take place.

You picked up your bags and left, but I was still there, watching the scene unfold. The happy man looked at that dollar, then looked back at your retreating figure, exiting the store, and a huge smile lit up his face. He called out to the cashier, "Hey, dude! Look what I got! That man just gave me a dollar!" The cashier wanted to know which man it was, so the bagger clarified. "That Jew who just left the store, he gave me a dollar! Isn't that nice of him?"

It was so nice to watch, but the bagger wasn't even finished. He called over to his friend one register over, and proudly showed him the dollar. Soon the cashiers and baggers were all discussing the nice Jewish man that gave his bagger a dollar.

I was so impressed by the newfound respect these non-Jewish men had for myself, as well as the other Jews in line. It started to hit me that the actions of one man can influence many. Because of you, Reb Yid, a bunch of non-Jews will go home with a better perspective on Jews. And who knows what the future will bring? Who knows what decisions these men might make, and how one simple dollar might have affected those decisions. And it's your zechus, and I thank you.

With respect,
a proud Yid,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not Funny At All

Being sick is not funny.

Trust me. It's not funny callng your boss to say you are sick. Nor is it funny to hear your British supervisor chirp back at you that she will cover for you as long as you go and get yourself a hot cup of tea and get into bed.

Nor is there anything remotely funny about calling for an emergency appointment...at the dermatologist's office. And it's not either very funny to sit in a waiting room with eleven people ahead of you, fighting the urge to punch their pimply faces and rush ahead of them screaming "I'm the only one in here who is actually SICK! All of your acne treatments can wait!" And it's really unfunny watching those eleven people stare at you because you actually look sick. IS THIS A DOCTOR'S OFFICE OR WHAT???

It's not funny to hear the doctor tell you that you need to see another specialist. Nor is it funny to have that chirpy receptionist tell you that you have a $40 copayment for specialists. And it's least funny when you realize that you are gonna have to fork over that same $40 the next day.

It's not really funny to spend an entire day in bed. Nor is it funny to get up out of bed just so you can "go to bed." And it's not funny to get out of bed and discover that you can't really be out of bed after all.

It's not either funny when you realize that the "sick day thrill" of our youth is completely gone. Nor is it funny to realize that you just got hungry for the first time in days but you are too sick to get up and get food. And it's certainly not funny to find yourself bored out of your wits because you can't get up for your computer, and you can't sleep cuz you are in too much pain.

I'll tell you what is funny. The wifi that usually stops about five feet short of my bed was picked up on my iPod. That's funny! And comments from people who feel bad for me and want to entertain me might be very funny! ;-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

What Does an MP Do On a Frizzy-Hair Weather Day?

I have a confession to make.

I am a sneak. Yep, you heard right. I am a horrible sneak.

I wish I could tell you just how sneaky I am, but I can't, so I'll just give you a sneak (get the pun?) preview into my life as a sneak.

I was standing in the hallway that separates my bedroom from MP's. From the noises coming from her room, it was clear that MP either, a) had a friend over, or b) is practicing voice overs for a future career in radio advertising. Considering that MP is an aidel maidel who doesn't even listen to the radio, I figured it was the former. I could have barged in to say hi, but I decided to live up to my sneakiness. I stood behind the slightly ajar door to listen to what two MP's talk about in their leisure time.

Well, I wasn't TRYING to eavesdrop. I was waiting for an invitation. I'm not much of a barging-in type...

So anyway, the voices came wafting through the door. "Oh hey! Look at this juicy! It's nicer than the one I usually wear, no?" "Oh, yeah, hey, I like it! And look, it's only $98!"

At that point, I was laughing to myself, so it was hard to make out the conversation going on. I strained my ears and heard and indignant MP associate complain. "I can't believe they're selling this Juicy for 130 dollars! I just paid $158 for it!"

Aha, I thought to myself. Online shopping. It's what MP's do in frizzy-hair weather. I decided not to wait for an invitation any longer. I knocked and walked in. Sitting at the desk in MP's room was a friend of hers, who, to put it succinctly, makes MP look less-than-perfect.

I peered at the screen, though I'm not sure I had to at that point. Neiman Markus. Niiiiiice. They continued shopping for a minute, and then they noticed me. "Oh, SD!" said the highly Perfect Person. "I'm so happy to see you!" [Ed. note: ?!] "I need help putting songs onto the mp3 player on my phone." [Ed. note: oh.] And then she went on, "I wish I could get an iPod. I can't afford one." She chuckled, I snickered. I wanted to tell her that she should skip the "Juicy" and buy an $8 sweatshirt like the one I always wear, and then she could afford an iPod. But she must have a bit of a propensity towards ADD, cuz she went right on as if she hadn't asked me anything. "MP, I can't decide where I'm going for Chanukah vacation. I'm debating between LA and Florida. Wanna come?"

My ADD side kicked in too. I started looking around the Perfection Den. "MP, what's this?" I held up an odd looking water bottle. She snatched the bottle away, muttering "its just a water bottle." I held it just long enough to catch a glimpse of the printing on the side. Nordstrom. "Where'd you get it?" I wanted to know. She was slightly embarrassed. "Oh, some store...I don't really remember which."

Musta been a remnant from a non-frizzy-hair weather day expedition...

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This post is going to be one of those I-am-really-glad-my-mother-doesn't-read-my-blog-posts. It will also be one of those you-should-stop-right-now-if-you-are-a-mother-of-teenage-children-who-use-your-car posts. It will also be a you-shouldn't-be-reading-this-post-if-you-don't-like-self-glorification-by-bloggers kind of post.

The good news is, after the following line, it will not be one of those every-word-is-separated-with-a-dash-and-making-you-really-nervous-posts.

And so, with that glorious introduction, I invite my non-mom (oops! Did it again!) readers to read about my newest skill.

First, let me tell you how long its been since I first set my mind to learn it. I was in tenth grade, and my brother got engaged. One night, he had driven myself and a couple of siblings to a few stores. On the way home, we stopped for ice cream. ("Shhh, don't tell Mommy!") he sent us into the store, and we promptly came out with enough ice cream to make my mother wonder why we weren't touching her supper. My brother issued a command: all ice cream must be finished before we get home.

And so, we set our minds to the task at hand. For most of us, it was a pretty easy one. For my brother, it wasn't so simple. For starters, he had a newly transformed brido-sapien on his hands. Obviously, he had to continue texting her, lest she turn into a fearsome bridezilla. ("Why is my chosson ignoring me??? He probably doesn't like me!!!!) That occupied one hand. His other hand was busy with ice-cream eating endeavors. The problem is, he also had to drive, which takes at least one hand.

Do that math folks! 1+1+1=3 arms required to multi-task. To ordinary 2-armed people, this would be a monumental problem. My brother doesn't have a reputation as one of the brightest boys in his yeshivah for nothing. He texted with one hand, ate ice cream with the other, and steered with his knees.

Brilliant, huh? That was the first time I witnessed the amazing feat of knee-steering, and I haven't forgotten it since. Last night for the very first time, I achieved that lofty goal. I steered with my knees! It was such a liberating feeling! Here I was, driving, both hands free to do with them as I pleased. I still haven't figured out how to turn corners with my knees, but I'm totally proficient at bends in the road.

Anyone wanna go with me for a little drive?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Top Ten Tuesd- I mean Wednesday: A Glimpse into the Mind of a Brido-Sapien

I'm sorry this is late, as we all know that Top Ten Wednesday don't sound nearly as good as Top Ten Tuesday, and I should especially be ashamed of myself that my favorite BOS, Bas~Melech managed to get her post up in time and I, the ordinary Homo-Sapien didn't. But anyway, here are the Top Ten things on a Brido-Sapien's to do list.

If anyone wants a top ten list featured for Top Ten Tuesday (or Top Ten Wednesday, whatever the case may be) please email me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Noteworthy Event

I bought a new coat today.

Now, before anyone tries to tell me that my previous statement comes under the "nobody cares what you had for lunch" rule of blogging, let me explain something. That statement is a very noteworthy one, in that it affects each and every one of you.

No, it's not noteworthy that I got a wool coat for $60, though I think that's pretty cool. And it's not either so noteworthy that MP likes my coat. (Actually, I think that's something to be ashamed of!)

It's noteworthy in the same sense as my carrying an umbrella in the same city as you is noteworthy. My umbrella, though a shlep for me, is an insurance policy for the rest of the town that no rain will fall, no hair will frizz, and no clothes will get soaked. No matter what the weather forecast is, no matter what the clouds look like, if someone nearby is holding an umbrella you simply won't get wet.

And that, my friends, is why my coat purchase is so monumental to all of you. I forked over $60 so the rest of the world won't have to suffer through cold winters, through snowstorms and sleet, through frost and wind. See, I bought a coat, it won't be cold. Trust me.

You may all say thank you now.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

On A Personal Note

Listening to the live broadcast from world-champion Yankee's locker room last night, I noticed something interesting.

(If you aren't a baseball fan, please bear with me, this isn't going to be a post about baseball, I promise. If you are a bitter Red Sox fan, you probably don't even want to read this blog, cuz I do root for the Yanks.)

So I was listening as the reporters were milling around the champagne soaked locker room, asking all of the various players how they felt, how happy they are to win, and a couple other typical questions. If you think about it, it's pretty dumb. If you ask a player who has just become a World Champion baseball player "how happy are you right now?" what do you expect them to say? "Not very"? Or perhaps "I'd rather be having my tooth pulled"?

But as there aren't many other questions one could ask, the players are all asked about their state of happiness and the like. So they interviewed Mark Texiera, and asked him what it feels like. His answer stunned me. I mean, it was simple, but fascinating.

"This is what you dream about ever since you are a kid." He went on to describe how this moment is a culmination of the dreams and hopes he'd had since early childhood. Now, I could go off on a tangent about "anu ameilim veheim ameilim," but I won't bother. Instead, I'll just point out how this whole thing takes on a totally different perspective when you think of it this way.

On the surface, the Yankee win meant a swarm of hugging men storming the pitchers mound. It meant 50 thousand fans all around the stadium cheering and screaming. It meant fans from all over streaming to their nearest Modell's to purchase "World Champion" tee-shirts, despite the clock striking midnight.

But it was so much more than that. It was also about one man by the name of Mark who toiled since the age of four to strengthen his game, to make the big leagues, to win games and ultimately, to win a championship.

It's like the time I was driving down the New Jersey Turnpike, alongside Newark Airport. A plane was coming in for a landing, and as I looked up through my sun roof, (to the backdrop of my mother screaming "eyes on the road!!") there was an enormous plane directly above me, not more than a few feet up onto the air.

On the surface, it was cool. A huge plane, so low I could practically touch it. But as I drove on past the airport, I got lost in some thoughts. Yeah, a plane that size holds a ton of passengers, but imagine what happens if we take it down to a personal level.

Coming in for a landing was, not a plane, but Kathy, an aspiring business woman who was headed to New York to meet with some people. The outcome of this meeting might jump start her career and launch her into stardom. Or this meeting might send it crashing down before it ever starts.

Landing at this moment in Newark airport is, not a plane, but Will, who's father is dying in a New York hospital. The fight was years ago, but Will hasn't spoken to his father since then. Now it's possibly his last chance, and Will is facing a battle against time. Will he make it to his father's bedside in time?

Suddenly, as I think of all the PEOPLE that are involved, life turns from a monotonous black and white into a wondrous display of color. Because I think to myself, I am here with my story, my history, my reason for being here, so must she. And he. And she. And he.

As Stalin said "when one man dies it's a tragedy, when a million men die it's a statistic." Each man has a story, yet when we come together we lose our individuality and our individual purpose. But If we stand back and remember that each and every person has their own unique story, their own wealth of experience that brought them to that point, the world is just more interesting.

We are all so busy trying to achieve our goals, we sometimes forget to notice that everyone else is too.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Top Ten Blogs I Wouldn't Follow

(Though this week's Top Ten Tuesday post wasn't a reader's idea, I do appreciate all of your awesome ideas and hope to see 'em up on here pretty soon. I continue to seek Top Ten Lists, so please let me know if you have any ideas!)

10) I Date Too Much: the chronicles of a girl who dates The Best Boy every night

9) Ewww Gross: fascinating lessons culled from fifth grade science class, changing diapers and the dumpster

8) Ten Million Sheep: a peek into the mind of an insomniac

7) Hair Conditioner World: a blog dedicated to conditioners of all sorts, Including formulas and folklore!

6) Just Me and Myselves: a blog about schizophrenia, mental health, and why we don't want to get treated

5) Why People Call Me Boring: a journey of self discovery

4) Lessons From a Lamp Post: how an inanimate object provides me with daily inspiration

3) A Day In The Life of a JAP: I mean it when I say I've got nothing to wear!

2) My Kid Is So Cute: Adorable episodes from the life of my month-old baby

1) Adventures of a Nosy Shadchan: ruining girl's self-esteem for fun and profit

Monday, November 2, 2009

Introducing: A New Species

I started discussing senior moments in my last post, but, surprisingly enough, I feel about a hundred years older now than I did then.

Firstly, I have to say that I find first time mommies adorable. Especially when they are your friends. I mean, we have already discussed the sequence of events that leads to a slow deterioration of the brain cells when a friend of yours undergoes that species change from homo-sapien to brido-sapien. Yesterday, I bore witness to an astonishing fact. The brido-sapien is nothing compared to the mama-sapien. I mean nothing.

Here sits a friend, who in recent months has shown signs of her complete re-entry into the human race, cooing at a little shriveled up Bundle of blankets as if the blanket actually knows what they are saying. Then she introduces me to the Bundle. I mean, this is a great friend, so by default I like her kid, but seriously. Do I need to be introduced to a one-week old baby?

Being introduced to my friend's five-month-old baby was weird enough. "Say hi, Yitzy!" But at least little Yitzy had the good grace to look up from the sock he was chewing and give me an adorable smile. The Bundle, on the other hand, went right on sleeping.

And then there was this whole method of introducing me. My friend cooed at her baby, "this is Mommy's friend!" I looked behind me, expecting to see my mother there. Mommy's friend? Me?How can it be? I'm just a kid!

Or am I?

Am I the only one who feels like the world is growing up too fast?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Senior Moments

When my mother and her contemporaries discuss senior moments, they are usually referring to incidents when they forget where their eldest son lives, or moments when they can't remember their grandchildren's names. This lady I work with, she's constantly having senior moments.

"Er, I can't remember why I came in here. Do you know.... what'syournameagain... oh, SD!"

Each time this happens, I smile smugly to myself and feel happy that I've got a good thirty years or so before these things happen to me. Turns out, I had a senior moment of my own yesterday.

I was at a friend's house, and her younger sister had a bunch of friends over. I always thought of myself as a really fun and friendly kid. Age gaps never really bothered me much, as I shmooze with my older sister's friends and my younger sister's friends as if they're all my age.

So I sat down to shmooze with them. One of the girls is a teacher, and they were working on something for her class. As we talked, I offered my help. Miss Teacher, whom, I might mention, was a frighteningly perfect specimen of a person, gladly gave me a chore.

I sat there cutting and sorting and mostly listening to these girls. Suddenly, as they giggled about something not-all-that-funny, I realized that you don't have to be fifty to have a senior moment.

As I looked at these girls acting so little, I felt so old.

And then I realized... I am old - to them! These girls are recent high school graduates. I might feel like we're "basically" the same age, but as hard as I try to pretend, I'm getting older, and these girls are quite a number of years my junior...

Excuse me, I must go soak my dentures...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top Ten Things You Didn't Need To Know About Me (aka I'm a Kreativ Blogger!)

Ages ago, G6 nominated me to be a creative blogger. I really shouldn't have waited this long to thank her, cuz it's not very often that I find myself being compared to a box of chocolate. :-D Not to mention, it's not every day that I find myself getting such Kreativ-ly spelled awards. Since it's Tuesday, I figured we could combine the seven items required to accept this award with a Top Ten Tuesday post.

Anyone who wanted to know more about me is lucky, cuz today you get not seven, but ten absolutely useless factoids about the great blogger SD!

Here goes:

10) I could probably be called Houdini II. In school, I never did a stitch of work, never showed up to class, and yet all of my teachers loved me and I never got into any trouble. o:-)

9) My first speeding ticket "happened" less than six months after I got my license. I was sure it would be suspended, but it wasn't, thanks to a clear and open miracle on the part of G-d.

8) I am considered a gadget freak, and I wear the badge with honor. Anything with a screen and buttons makes me drool. In fact, though I shouldn't be admitting this to the world wide web, the real reason I wanted an insulin pump (the first time I saw one, at the age of 12) was because it was another electronic gadget. Plus that meter they gave me in the hospital when I was diagnosed made me pretty sure that diabetes is so cool.

7) I love to cook, but I hate to follow recipes. Measuring cups and spoons are my archenemies. That's probably why I hate to bake, now that I think of it.

6) Most people don't find me very funny in real life. Those who do really get on my nerves.

5) My bedroom has two general states: oh-my-gosh-what-happened-to-this-place-its-a-disaster-zone-was-there-a-tornado-watch-recently or oh-man-you-are-a-sick-neat-freak. But, regardless of the cleanliness of my room - or lack thereof - I am insanely organized. I always know exactly where everything is. I also know if anyone ever touches a thing. In fact, I would probably be able to tell if someone just walked in, even if they touch nothing.

4) On the topic of my bedroom, my family calls it my cave. They say I spend way too much time in it.

3) My boss once read a report I did and told me I am in the wrong field. "You should be a writer." ;-) A friend (who obviously doesn't know that I have a blog) once told me that I should publish a book of shidduch jokes and stories. :-P

2) I want to marry a guy just like my little brother, LT, just a slightly more cultured version. Oh, and he doesn't need to fix things so much.

1) I have a pet beetle named Freddy. He is dead. :-(

Now tell me something interesting about you!

By the way, in case you can't tell, I am kinda low on Top Ten ideas. If you have any, please email me! Or you can post a comment and request that I don't publish it. Thanks!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Miracle Called Baseball

SD and MP sat together in the car, laughing, cheering, and acting like the very best of friends.

No, that's not a dream I had. Nor is it a line for the BOSD fiction blog. That actually happened. Here's the underlying story:

It was the fifth game of the ALCS. The Yankees has a 3-1 series lead, and a win would mean they had clinched their spot in the world series. Top of the ninth, Yankees down by a run. Two outs. Bases loaded. 2-2 pitch to Nick Swisher. And the pitch is called...a ball! It's a 3-2 pitch! Both of us, sitting in the car, screamed from excitement. One more bad pitch and the Angel's pitcher would walk in the tying run. The fans in Angel's Stadium are all going wild. And so are we.

This, I thought to myself, is the miracle of baseball. It's the reason we've converted driving to the store to pick something up for our mother, late one thursday night, into a cheering fest. It's the reason we are laughing together like old friends. Differences aside, we are simply laughing like two little kids.

When asked my father why he likes baseball, he always says: "Its nice to get all worked up over something but suffer no loss if it doesn't work out."

And it's so true. In the end, a few pitches after the one I just described the guy hit a fly ball to the out field and prolonged the Angel's season by at least one more game. But the moment was still there. MP and myself were still sitting excitedly in the car, talking about great plays we remember as kids. Talking about how Nick Swisher could have done an Aron Boone and hit a grand slam, securing his place in every NY paper's sports section. Talking about how good it is that our father was a White Sox fan when he lived in Chicago, because had he been a cubs fan we would have wound up fans of the Mets. Talking about...everything.

So while people complain that baseball is the most boring sport, about how there is waaaay too long between pitches, about how it's just a couple of minutes of excitement spread out over a couple of hours, I am realizing that those empty minutes where the sports broadcasters are trying desperately to fill the gaps between pitches are times when differences can be forgotten and bonds can be formed.

(I apologize to my readers who found this post gobledegook. I can lend you the official copy of the Baseball Rule Book that my father got me when he got tired of my questions.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blogger Meet-Up of the Year

I discovered something interesting tonight. Blogger's weddings aren't all that different from the weddings of ordinary people. There were some signs. For starters, when I first got to the hall, I went into the bathroom to fix my hair. There, on the ledge, was a bag with a laptop protruding. Yes, it belonged to a blogger.

Then, there was the whole identity crisis thing. Ordinary people go to weddings and introduce themselves as Sarah or Ruchi or Kreindy. Bloggers get this whole identity crisis situation going on:

"What's your name?"
"Which name do you want?"
"What do you mean which name?"
"Oh, sorry, I thought you were one of us...."

Most of us did provide both names, though I got a little bit of a pin prick in my inflated ego when I discovered that my blogger name wasn't even familiar to a couple of the people there.

The next sign that we weren't simple ordinary folks was probably between first and second dance when Bad4 went on a frantic search for a pen. (Who would ever think that a table full of bloggers would be praising the mini pen that MP bought me when she went to Israel?) The remainder of the meal was spent with Bad4 bent over her return card, scribbling notes in code - just in case there were any competing bloggers peering over her shoulder. (To that I simply say hmph.) That was followed by a lively discussion on what to post, and when to post, and who to post, after which we got up to dance again.

Then came the most comical blogging clue of the evening. Normally, at a wedding, if you see a group of girl going to dance with the Kallah, you leave 'em alone, not wanting to get into the "seminary circle" or the "college circle" or the "12 grade chessed head circle". But a group of bloggers doesn't quite look as homogeneous, and people didn't seem to realize that we were all together. On the second try, we managed to form a circle with the kallah, put her finger to her lips. This was our secret. I was waiting for the NS to come and ask us how we all know each other, but in true spirit of us incognito cyber-folks, we disbanded the circle and disappeared into the crowd.

It occurred to me though, that there were so many bloggers under that roof, if someone had (chas v'shalom) bombed the place, the whole Internet would empty out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Top Ten Ways To End A Bad Date

This top ten list was actually something I've been meaning to write since I started this blog.

My mother knows a girl who came home from a date and told her that the guy she was out with actually did what I wrote in number ten. Although I think ten is the least plausible item on this list, bear in mind that it actually happened.

Please also bear in mind that this list, as usual, is satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. And please bear in mind that BOSD and all affiliated parties (me;) are not responsible for the outcomes of any of the methods listed below:

A note from our sponsors: This list has been brought to you by Bas~Melech, who obviously knows the difference between a bad date and a good date. Thanks for your help my 'lil B-O-S!

10) Every time the car goes around a corner, say "vroooom vroooom vroooooooom!" You can lean in the direction of the turn.

9) Tell him/her "This is so much fun, it's almost like having real friends! Y'know, I don't have any friends and I'm enjoying this so much. Can we stay out another few hours?

8) Create a diversion. Vandalism works best. (Make sure to have your escape route planned beforehand.)

7) Burst into tears. If that doesn't work by itself, add an embarrassing explanation for your tears. ("Oh, I'm so sorry to be crying like this, but that last thing you said just made me realize how much I missed in my childhood...all because of my narcissist parents...[sob]")

6) Develop a serious and uncontrollable twitch.

5) Ask his opinion. Are nashim daitam kalos?

4) Partway through the date, switch over to another language. Yinglish is my personal preference. ("Yoish, did I tell you the story about when I cut up my brother a salad?")

3) "Can you repeat that again? I'm really only dating to gather data for my sociology paper and I want to include that last comment in my report."

2) Talk back to the voices you keep hearing deep inside your head.

1) If all else fails, simply say, "Ok, I think I've seen enough. Let's make like a banana and split."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Simple Gimple Says "Turn Left"

My parents came home with a new friend the other day. Naturally, when shabbos came, the discussion at our table turned to the name for our friend. MP suggested we name it "the GPS" but I accused her of having no sense of humor, and so she backed off.

My mother wanted to stick with something simple, like Gavriel Pinchas, but after a little coaxing we came to a "unanimous" decision. Our new friend's name is Gimple Paysach Silverberg. (No, it's not that I couldn't come up with a more creative last name, but my father awarded the last name naming rights to my mother as a consolation for calling him Gimple.)

As we started to get to know Gimple, we learned a lot. Firstly, I still can't get over how different he is than Goldy. While this blog seems to have an overload of posts highlighting the differences between men and women, I can't resist sharing some observations with you.

Firstly, as is typical, Goldy, being a female has a much better sense of direction than Gimple does. Gimple gets confused a lot, but really, who can blame him? After all, he's just a man.

On the other hand, when you make a mistake while Goldy is in the car, she starts nagging. "Off route, recalculating." I've been known to shout back at her sometimes... "So I made a wrong turn, so shoot me." Gimple, on the other hand, is more good natured about mistakes like wrong turns. He is more of the silent brooder type, as he quietly calculates a new route.

I haven't really conducted an exhaustive study yet, but I'd venture a guess that Gimple, a male, eats a lot more than Goldy does. In fact, Goldy sometimes eats so little I sometimes think she might be in shidduchim. (And for all those amateur shadchanim out there that wanted to suggest our new pal Gimple, sorry, but that shidduch has been redt already.)

Also, in typical male fashion, Gimple is astonishingly self assured. He will steer you into the most trafficky block of the city with more self assurance than an NS chosing me a diet. (The glossary is there for a reason. Ahem.) Goldy is pretty self assured too, but at least she doesn't repeat herself as often, know what I mean?

Anyhow, as indicated by the title, my family has a new game to play when they travel distances. Anyone wanna guess if MP finds it funny?

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Stint as a Tour Guide

From the security guard checking photo IDs outside the building, to the FOUR security guards manning the metal detector, the the marble floors and wood carvings, the entire building reeked of governemnt.

Thus began my tour of the US Mint, in Philadelphia PA. After a long treck through the visitors gallery, which had enough wasted coins in it to make my inner tight-wad want to scream, we arrived at the huge glass windows overlooking the coin production.

Wait, did I say coin production? Scratch that, the windows were overlooking...nothing. Plain and simple- nothing. All of the machines were still. There were no employees on the floor. There were no coins visible whatsoever. As we stood there, we were wondering why production was non-existant at three pm. "Perhaps it's their lunch break." My mother looked unconvinced, so I went on. "Listen, the walmart pain mixer guy was once on lunch break at 9 pm, so this is early." She didn't think that made sense either, so I figured it out. "Mommy, it's a recession! They cancelled coin production due to lack of demand! Nobody had any money so they don't bother minting it!"

The old couple nearby looked over, trying to figure out if I was serious or not. I managed to keep my face straight until they turned the corner. That's when my brother pointed out a metal grating, which seemed to have hundreds of stray coins in it. "Look at all the coins that feel through there!" I quickly corrected him. "No, the coins didn't fall through! Water is bad for the copper, they can't have a wishing fountain in the mint, so instead that's where the employees throw their pennies when they want to make a wish."

It was around then that my mother suddenly lost interest in reading all the signs, and she hustled us down to the lower level, where my brother photographed my finger touching the "do not touch" sign. Obviously, no photography is allowed in the building, so we killed two rules with one click. (Can I get arrested for writing about this on my blog?)

The most fun part of the mint was in the gift shop. My mother had to drag me out by my hair, as two employees tried unsuccessfully to keep straight faces when I asked if they give out free samples.

Here's something interesting though: someone overheard my recession theory on why coin production wasn't happening, and he told us that he had read an article about it and I am right. Apparently, people are desperate for money, and they are pulling out their coin jars and their penny collections, and so lots of old coins are back in circulation, lowering the need for new coins. Hey, I make a great tour guide!

The highlight of my day was, of course, on the way home. I was in the middle of merging onto the highway when I suddenly felt a huge load of pity for my friend BigChamor. Yep, you guessed it. My nose started pouring blood like a faucet. So if you were driving somewhere in Philadelphia yesterday, and you saw this girl swerving onto the highway, clutching a huge wad of tissues to her face, now you understand what happened.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cereal Boxes and Advertising Slogans

Remember as a kid, sitting at the breakfast table, bowls of increasingly-soggy cereal in front of you, fighting with your siblings over who gets which box?

I remember the cereal boxes with the maze, that was pretty easy, but if you examined each detail very carefully you could stretch it to take up the amount of time it takes to consume an entire bowl of sickly-sweet soggy cereal. There was one particular box that I loved, and despite our enjoyment of the particular cereal inside, my siblings and I continuously begged my mother to buy it.

There are a number of gimmick on boxes, such as Resses Puffs, which has a list of seventeen things you should do before you are seventeen. Sadly, I think I did about two of them.

One of the most intelligent boxes are those with recipes printed on them. Take Chex for example. Nobody in my family knows which kind of chex they like best. We just like the one with the recipe for "muddy buddies" on the box.

Some cereal boxes have gimmicks such as their own characters (i.e. snap, crackle and pop). Others have contests or even little prizes. But nothing beats the one I saw today.

I am sure that slogans are important to advertising. Surely a clever looking cereal box that also has a great slogan on it is a real winner. I hope nobody gets fired over this, but has anyone else noticed that the fiber one box has the world's most ridiculous slogan?

Cardboard, no.
Delicious, yes.TM

How come a pie of pizza doesn't need that slogan printed on the box? Imagine going to your local bakery and ordering a danish, only to find that it's been wrapped in a bag printed to say "this is delicious, not cardboard." Or what if you would buy a bag of chips with a "not cardboard" warning. Isn't that kind of ridiculous? If something is really delicious, they don't need to tell you that it's not cardboard, do they?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Top Ten Things I Learned On Sukkos

10) It is very comical when your niece goes to a Lakewood playgroup and learns to sing songs such as "Toiras Hashem temimah" or "toiv li, toiv li, toiras picha."

9) The aforementioned niece has a future career in politics. She spent the better part of hakafos worrying about when her tatty is going to "get a toirah" and why her zaidy "already got a toirah." She was also very concerned about why her tatty got "a red toirah" and why her zaidy got "a white toirah" and of course why the shul doesn't have "a pink toirah." ;-)

8) An impending rainstorm is the world's best way to hurry up a shleppy sukkos meal. "Ok, lets move on. There was a forecast for rain tonight!"

7) Kids are supremely tricky. One three year old managed to have "messes of dresses" read constantly all afternoon, simply by alternating between her aunts and her ever indulgent bubby.

6) Too many aunts/uncles/bubbies and zaidies spoil the child. One very clever 18 month old kid managed to outsmart a ton of adults by approaching them to open nosh bags....alternating between all adults. It's hard to give an exact total, but said 18 month old kid managed to get upwards of 8 nosh bags in the course of an afternoon.

5) Following the above logic, never, I mean never keep the nash bags in the bottom drawer of the pantry.

4) Chol hamoed trips will never be exciting enough for the teenagers who need to go back to school and win the you-won't-believe-what-I-did contest.

3) Regardless of the number of trips to the hardware store, the amount of hours spent designing, redesigning, planning, re-planning, building and rebuilding, men will nonetheless spend the majority of sukkos contemplating improvements to next year's sukkah plans.

2) Don't ever allow men to cook. Ever. Especially not on erev yom tov. And really not on yom tov.

1) The sukkah will never be big enough when there is a bee in it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Beste Zach

Shopping in the mall today, I discovered the true meaning of simchas Torah.

My sister was in a fitting room, trying on a skirt. She stepped out, asked if I thought it was four inches below her knee. We had a discussion on the length of the skirt, and then my sister went back into the fitting room to take it off.
I stood outside the fitting room, when the saleslady asked if she can ask a question. I replied with a friendly "Sure!" The girl turned and said "what is the deal with four inches? Is that a rule?" I explained that it's a religious thing, and as orthodox Jews we wear long skirts. But she already knew that.
"I know, I've heard people discussing it before, but I don't understand what it's all about." And so I launched into an explanation of the requirements for skirt lengths, as well as some insights into the various customs followed by various factions of Jews. As I finished, she gave me a rather sad smile and thanked me. "I am jewish too, but I don't know about this stuff. Thanks for explaining."

I walked out of that store feeling a mixture of happiness and sadness. This girl is jewish, just like I am. She deserves to see the beauty of Torah and avodas Hashem, just as I deserve to see it.

Today is sukkos and I am off from work, spending the day with my family, cooking for shemini atzeres and simchas Torah. And her? She is folding sweaters, helping customers and monitoring the fitting room. She probably isn't even aware that there is a holiday, a holiday that she can and should participate in. She is like the princess, kidnapped as a baby from her father's palace, and brought up by peasants. She might be happy and content, but there is much more she could have, if only she would know where she truly belongs.

And so, as I think back to previous years, to the joyous nights spent in shul, gazing from behind the table-mechitza at the men dancing enthusiastically around the sifrei Torah. And then I realize the truth and beauty of their words. "Lernen toirah is de beste zach...." It really is our treasure, our best thing.

Just as a side note, I did not forget about this week's top ten Tuesday. I wanted to post top ten ways you know it's sukkos, but one way had already seen it's own blog post (the bedding in the dining room). The only other one that really struck me was when I was baking a cake. I took the beaters out of the mixer dripping with cake batter. My father was standing in the kitchen, and under normal circumstances he would have stuck his finger in and tasted it before I put the beaters in the sink. Being sukkos, he instead grabbed the whole assembly from my hands and took off (in a run) to the sukkah. My brother followed close behind. The funniest part was, that the beaters came back clean.... ;-)

Have a good yom tov!