Monday, August 31, 2009

If It Ain't Broke...

I looked at my brother in alarm. "What in heavens name are you doing LT?" MP looked over and put in her shrill comment, "Oh my goodness!! LT you're gonna break that!"

Things might sound hysterical here, but really, it's business as usual in my house. Mom comes home with some kind of small appliance, or any other electronic gadget, and the men of the family see a need to take out their tool-box and fix it. Female pleas that the object is straight out of the box, and thus require no fixing fall on deaf ears.

See, keeping things simple is a very feminine idea. Take last erev sukkos in my house. My brother suddenly remembered that one year the rain was so heavy that the shlak on our sukkah accumulated enough rain to cave in. Why he remembered it now, at least four or five years later is beyond me. And why he decided that we could not go into sukkos without a fancy pulley system for the shlak is completely beyond me. But he is of the male species, and therefore he thinks differently than I do.

The scene grew ludicrous though, when we women, for some inexplicable reason, decided to ask for the kitchen back. "C'mon, we almost have our pulley system working! Can't you guys go someplace else to cook?" How silly of us, wanting to cook in the kitchen, of all places.

Then there is the time that my brother decided to "fix" the fridge. Mind you, none of the females in the house ever figured out what needed fixing about the fridge, but apparently it was a big job, because LT called his friend over to help him. Naturally, this endeavor took place on erev shabbos. Naturally, we were kicked out of the kitchen so they could work. Naturally, the fridge got pulled out and gallons of water somehow found their way onto the newly mopped floor.

I am not quite sure what our little fixer-men did, but I do know this. Three days later the fridge was in shambles and my father was sure that LT could fix it. Try talking to a man about something like this... Call me sneaky, but I went behind the male backs and called the PC Richard warranty service and they took care of the problem. And LT? He thinks the problem righted itself, due to the genius that created it (the problem, not the fridge.)

This is not my only such story. Once, my brother took the kitchen phone apart, "to see if he could make it work better." Funny, the men in my family make so much fun of the women for talking on the phone too much, but I guess we didn't talk enough to discover the problem - that takes a man.

That time, my mother got smart. She took one look at my brother sitting at the table surrounded by masses of tools, screws, nuts, bolts, and those little things that a woman can't ask about without getting herself mocked, and she went out to the local store to buy a new phone. Here's where diplomacy comes into the mix. My mother came home and told my brother that she bought a new phone to use while he fixes the other one. I'm pretty sure he is still working on it.

It's not only LT, it's all my brothers. BT has been known to collect drills, not something a female would ever be able to comprehend. And BB, who is less mechanically inclined has been known to master-mind some of the more ambitious endeavors. And don't get me started on my father, who is the duct-tape champion of the universe.

And it's not just fridges and phones. It's toasters and coffee makers, battery testers and rice cookers. Computers, sandwich makers and even irons are subject to the male-fixer treatment.

A wise man once said, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." On second thoughts, it must have been a wise woman. Her husband was the one who said, "if it ain't broke, break it, then you can try to fix it."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Great Enigma: Roller Coaster Rides

From our perch high atop the Ferris wheel, my sister and I had a panoramic view of Hershey Park. We surveyed our surroundings, and discovered that our thoughts were running along the same track. Neither of us could figure out why there were so many people lined up for the various roller coasters.

Think about it. You pay a fortune to buy your way into an amusement park, only to stand in line in the sweltering heat, amidst masses of strangers, all of whom are sweating as much as you are. When you reach the front of the line, you are allowed the privilege of sitting down in a little cart. It is then that you get strapped in by a mechanism that looks like it was modeled after something from a Spanish Inquisition torture chamber. Then the cart pulls away, and the best part is still ahead of you.

You look ahead at the enormous track, yet all you can see is the massive incline looming ahead. When you reach the top, you experience a brief moment of total terror as you look down and realize that there is simply no way the cart will remain on the track. But it does, and you do survive, if only by a stroke of complete luck.

Best of all, when you come off, you get to see a screen where they have your picture splashed across it, in huge, so the entire world can see you in your moment of terror.

We looked at each other, and we knew there was only one way to explore the intricacies of the human mind and spirit, and solve, once and for all, the enigma of the roller coaster. We'd have to ride one.

As the Ferris wheel began to spiral downward, we chose a nearby wooden coaster, and promised ourselves we wouldn't chicken out. We reached the bottom, and we knew we'd have to do it. We dumped our bags on my mother, who sat down to wait on a nearby bench. I felt a lump in my throat, and suddenly I knew what a convicted criminal feels like as they are waiting for their execution to be carried out.

My mother looked at us with knowing glances, having gone through similar motions with many of her other kids already. "You'll be ok." I looked at some little kids strolling past us and onto the line, and felt really embarrassed. "I'm not scared! I feel like Christopher Columbus setting out to discover America. Or maybe like Louis and Clarke as they embarked on their famous journey across the United States!" LMM looked at me and laughed, despite her nervousness. "No you don't. You're terrified!" I had to admit that she was right, and then I took leave of my mother. "Bye Ma. If I don't make it, I don't want anyone to inherit my iPod. I want to be buried with it."

We stationed ourselves online, and found it to be very short. With terror in her voice, my sister commented "There must be a reason most people are staying away." I tried, unsuccessfully to comfort her. "Don't worry. The fatality rates are very low on these things. Probably less then twenty percent." She's not very good at math, so it was kind of wasted on her.

Another cart pulled off, and we heard shrieks somewhere in the distance. In unison, we fooled each other. "That's coming from a DIFFERENT roller coaster, right?" We moved up in the line, and suddenly we had to pick which seat we wanted to wait for. Then the people ahead of us pulled away. Both me and my sister were shaking. "Why are we doing this SD? We must be crazy!" I wanted to answer, but I could barely choke out the instructions. "Just say some tehillim."

So as we pulled off, tehillim on our lips and arms gripped tightly onto the bar. Almost immediately, we were headed UP. The feeling of dread I was experiencing at that point is indescribable. "Would this be billed a suicide or an ordinary accident?" As I lurched back in my seat, I felt bad for the guy in the back. "He's going to get the brunt of the weight on him when this thing can't make it up." But we did make it up, though by then I wished we hadn't.

During the split second that we were atop the hill, before we were sent hurtling down, the thought that was running through my head was rather morbid. "Why did I just say tehillim? I should have said shema and viduy!" Miraculously, after that drop, as we headed up the next incline and around the sharp bend, I relaxed a little. I still sat in terror for the rest of the ride, but something changed. As we came lurching around the final stretch, and the words "Finish Line" came into view, I couldn't get over the little ripple of disappointment I felt.

We got off, shaking and dizzy, and headed past the photo booth. Our picture was easily spotted, as we were the ones who had the Malach Hamoves posing with us in our picture. Well, you couldn't actually see him in the picture, but from the looks on our faces it was obvious that we were staring him straight in the face.

Mom was waiting for us at the exit. She looked at her two pale, shaking daughters, and inquired as to how it went. I could barely talk then, but I managed to breath "awesome." My friend, also eager to hear how my first roller coaster ride had gone, sent me a text "How was?" I had trouble answering, but I managed a quick text. "Awesome. As soon as I stop shaking I'm gonna find another roller coaster to go on."

I thought to myself, "what was so good about it? Why did I like that so much?" and I couldn't figure it out. With the great enigma left unsolved, we headed back later in the day, determined to come to the bottom of it. Three more consecutive times on the same roller coaster, and we had the art of posing for the on-ride-camera down pat, yet we still couldn't figure out what was driving us to go.

On the way home, as the effects of the coaster started to wear off, I asked LMM, "what were we thinking? Why did we go on that roller coaster....four times?!" her answer was very enlightening, coming from a fifteen year old. "You did it to prepare yourself for dating." Ouch.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top Ten Differences Between A Bridosapien and A Bridezilla

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is dedicated to Bas~Melech, who recently underwent a species change.

We have this little bet going on, about how bad of a kallah she'll become. She's asked me to lay out the details of my bet, so here they are, in Top Ten form.

1) Bridosapien: "Look at my Kallah bracelet! Isn't it gorgeous? My mother-in-law actually gave me a few options, but my chosson and I think this was the nicest.
Bridezilla: "Isn't my bracelet gorgeous? My kallah bracelet! Can you imagine? I'm engaged. Yikes I have so much to do and I don't know how I'm gonna finish and I'm crazy and what was I thinking. Help!"

2) Bridosapien: "I don't know how you should cut the bangs on my shabbos sheitel. I wonder what my chosson will like. Should I text him and ask him?"
Bridezilla: "I don't know! How does everyone wear their bangs? How am I supposed to know? I'm getting married in a few weeks! Is it gonna be done in time?I'm so nervous you won't have it for me in time and I'll have to wear my weekday sheitel to my wedding!

3) Bridosapien: "I wonde if my chosson will like the way this jumper looks on me?"
Bridezilla: "This jumper makes me look so fat! It's no fair what am I supposed to wear to my sheva brachos? I know my chosson isn't gonna like it an I'm getting married in a few weeks and I have nothing to wear! Nobody cares..."

4) Bridosapien: "I think the invitation will look gorgeous with my name and my chosson's name [dreamy eyes] but obviously I think it will look even more gorgeous with our monogram embossed."
Bridezilla: "Absolutely not! I will not get married if my invitation doesn't have an embossed monogram. No way! You don't care about me! It's my wedding! Nobody will come if my invitations don't have embossed monograms!"

5) Bridosapien: "Oh no! My chosson is coming for shabbos and it's already Wednesday afternoon and we barely started cooking! Help! I absolutely MUST make my mother-in-law's triple chocolate fudge, mocha, peanut butter, crispy surprise cookies. She says they are my chosson's favorite and I want him to be happy."
Bridezilla: "Doesnt anyone but me care that my chosson is coming for shabbos? Don't you get it? It's WEDNESDAY already! Just two more days to prepare! Isn't anyone going to help me? And where did somebody put that recipe my mother-in-law gave me? I left it right here on the kitchen counter on Sunday, how dare someone move it? I can't call my mother-in-law and ask for the recipe again, that would be sooo embarrassing and she would think I am so irresponsible and nobody cares about me...." [tears up]

6) Bridosapien: "Why isn't my mother-in-law picking up? I need to call her to say good shabbos! I guess in the meantime I'll have to call my chosson, then I can call my mother-in-law back.
Bridezilla: "Why isn't my mother-in-law answering the phone?! I bet it's because she doesn't like me and doesn't want to talk to me! I can't believe it! My mother-in-law hates me! Everybody hates me! I'm getting married soon and I have so much to do and nobody cares!"

7) Bridosapien: "I'm so overwhelmed. I must call my chosson and make a list of all the things I need to do before my wedding."
Bridezilla: "Help! I have so much to do and nobody is being helpful and it's never going to happen and how in the world am I ever going to get married if everyone just sits around doing nothing! Forget it. I'm not getting married!" [sobs]

8) Bridosapien: "Ugh, my chosson is going to be so disappointed when I tell him that they don't have these shoes in my size."
Bridezilla "I can't believe they don't have these shoes in my size! [weeps] Nobody cares that I'm getting married in a few weeks!"

9) Bridosapien: "I don't know what color the napkins at the wedding should be. Let me text my chosson and ask him."
Bridezilla: [crying] "How am I expected to decide on the right color of napkins when I'm so overwhelmed with shopping and sheitels and everything else? Just discuss it with my mother-in-law an decide. She probably won't like my choice anyway!" [weeps louder]

10) Bridosapien: "I am so NOT a kallah type. I'm totally level-headed and my chosson even says so.
Bridezilla: "How dare you accuse me of being a kallah type! It's not funny I have so much to do and you are being so mean to me! My chosson even says I'm so normal!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Bet is On

It started out as a little discussion. SD and Bas Melech trying to decide if it's possible for a girl to get engaged and remain a homo-sapien. I maintained that it's not possible, while Bas Melech, obviously bearing a hidden ulterior motive, claimed it could be done.

"Just wait till YOU are a kallah," I said, in as smug a way as one can via gchat. "You won't just be a brideosapien. You'll be a bridezilla!" That got Bas Melech pretty scared. I couldn't see her face, but from the general tone of her IMs, I'm pretty sure it was turning more colors than there are in the rainbow. "No! Not a bridezilla! Anything but a bridezilla!"

So we finally agreed that Bas Melech could be a total bridosapien, but the bridezilla thing was left open. "We'll just have to see."

Turns out, we'll get to see sooner than I imagined! Last night, my phone rang. Caller ID read: Bas-Melech. I had already heard the exciting news, so I picked up with a loud "Mazel tov!" The first words out of her mouth were a demonstration of the pressure I'd applied. "I'm NOT gonna be a bridezilla!!"

So the bet is on. Any instance of bridezilla behavior on her part, and I drive directly to Bas Melech's house and dump a cup of ice cold coffee on her head. If that doesn't work, we resort to more desperate measures. But no pressure Bas Melech. Really, none whatsoever. Mazel tov!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Pony-Tale

It was a hot day, and I was waiting in the car outside the grocery store, waiting for my little sister to pick up a few things.

While observing the people walking into the grocery store, I noticed an interesting phenomenon. All of the girls, even those a good couple of years younger than me, were parading into the store with their hair down.

Now, this is definitely not a new discovery. It was not something very shocking. But I couldn't help thinking how ridiculous my fellow frum girls are. I never set much store by this "wearing your hair in a pony is bad for shidduchim" thing. I mean, seriously, are people going to ask why I wear my hair in a pony? And if they do, can't I say that I am the type of person who doesn't like to waste my time, and ironing my hair each morning seems like a bigger waste than any other? Same goes with money. I don't know where the MP's priorities are, but why would someone get their hair blown daily, when there is ice cream to be bought? And who's to say a girl can't look prettier in a pony?

So either way, I wear my hair in a pony. Weekday, shabbos, vort or wedding. The only times in the last year that I actually wore my hair down, was a couple of close friend's weddings and vorts.

Oh, and then there was the time that I decided to have some fun with my coworkers. For no good reason, smack in middle of the week, I ironed my hair straight and wore it down. I walked into work, and my coworker looked at me knowingly. "Did anything interesting last night?" I smiled in mock embarrassment. "Sorta." she pressed on, and my evasive answers made her fairly sure that there was an impending simcha. It was so successful, that the next day I wore my hair down again. I'm pretty sure all my coworkers felt really sorry for me, when I stopped wearing my hair down. "Poor close to getting engaged and it's all over now."

So I sat there looking at these girls, who probably spent a good deal of time and/or money making their hair look nice and straight, just so it could be worn down. I was pitying them, for their slavery to fashion, feeling proud of my independent thinking, when a girl walked into the store, and my thoughts went haywire. The idiocy of our culture hit me like a ton of bricks, an I was suddenly unable to hold back the loud, mocking laughter.

The girl who had acted as a catalyst for these thoughts was a girl I knew from high school. She is probably a year or two younger than me, and she got married recently. And here she was, parading into the grocery store in all her newly-married glory....wearing a pony wig.

Are you laughing at the ridiculousness of our society yet? Seriously, when a girl is single, an has to wash her hair nightly, she has to make extreme efforts to wear it down. But when she gets married, and is fully expected to wear a decent wig, blown and looking nice, suddenly, she isn't cool if she doesn't have a a pony on her head.

Something is wrong here. Seriously wrong. Can I officially be embarrassed of our society?

Edit: If you wear your hair down because you like to, or because its comfortable, and plan to wear your sheitles down also, then obviously this post is not directed at you. :-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Top Ten Words I Learned From My Brothers

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is dedicated to my brother, who is coming home from camp today. I've been bugging him for help on this via text message for days, and I feel kinda bad that I can't tell my family about my blog, cuz he should really get to read this...

10) Yeshivish- this is a multi-faceted word. It can be used to describe many things. The thing that I find funny, is that a self proclaimed yeshivish boy uses the word "yeshivish" to insult things. "This washing machine doesn't work right. It's so yeshivish!" "Look at that car, it's so banged up it looks yeshivish!"

9) Karg- it took me a while to figure this one out. All I knew was that I was continuously described as Karg. When I refused to give my brother some of my ice cream, and earned the title of Karg, I figured it out. In English, I'm stingy.

8) Teef- This one still hasn't been explained, so if anyone feels like enlightening me, I'd appreciate it. It seems to have a negative connotation though, unless I miss my bet.

7) Mashehu- this isn't really a yeshivish word, but I found it funny when my brother said that the sink has a mashehu coming out of it every now and then. Why couldn't he just say it's leaking?

6) Grada- this one is grada hard to explain

5) Mamish- this one is so common, we forget that it's such a yeshivish word. But it is. In fact, this is the ultimate yeshivish word. It's mamish yeshivish.

4) Fest- this one hasn't gotten me a full explanation, but I'm starting to get the picture of it. I asked my brother what fest means, and he couldn't think of an explanation for me. So I asked him to use it in context. "A festa zach." Hmmmm... I asked for more info. "What would be a festa zach?" He couldn't think of it on the spot. Finally, someone else piped up, "eating chulent late at night is a festa zach!" Does fest mean heartburn?

3) Zach- I'm pretty clueless as to the benefit of using zach over thing is, but millions of gemara kups can't be wrong!

2) Lechoira- I asked my brother for a translation of this, and found his answer very enlightening: "it bietzem means the same thing as mistama." Wow, how eloquent!

1) Matziv- le'maase, the matziv is that girls and boys don't only come from different planets and engage in different past times, but they don't even speak the same language!

And, as my brother said when I finished hounding him for definitions of yeshivish words: "don't think you can speak yeshivish now. If you want to speak yeshivish you have to go to yeshiva or get married."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Clipping The Wings Of Creative Expression

"Look Mommy!" With those words, my (then) three year old sister shoved her latest play-group-art-creation into my mother's arms. It was Erev Shabbos, Parshas Lech Lecha, so naturally, my sister has made the standard plastic-bowl tent, stapled to a paper plate, complete with four doors to commemorate Avraham Avinu's tent. My mother was proud of her daughter, and her obvious Parsha knowledge, and decided to test her. "So tell me sweetheart, why does the tent have four doors?" My sister seemed to find the answer obvious. "Cuz that's how my Morah made it!"

I understand the Morah's thought process, I really do. I was once a day-camp counselor. She is thinking that there are 20 kids, all of whom need their projects to be completed before the mommy's get there, plus there are lunches to eat and diapers to change's simply so much easier to do the project yourself, scribble the kid's name on the back, and tell them they did such a beautiful job on the arts and crafts.

So you think that when your kid grows up, and they are old enough not to be fooled like that, they will come home with their own artistic creations, rather than their Morahs, right?

Unfortunately, wrong. The other day I was at a neighbor's house, when the girls came home from day camp. They have a number of girls of varying ages, and they were all toting a box, which they proudly told us contained their major arts and crafts of the summer. The girls opened their respective boxes, and I blinked, sure I was seeing double. One by one, the girls removed a beautiful lamp, surely an expensive project. But at closer inspection, I couldn't believe my eyes. Each lamp looked identical to the other. It seemed ridiculous to me.

This past shabbos, when I was in their house again, I chuckled to myself, as I noticed identical lamps shining from each bedroom, some bedrooms twice. But then I found it sad. Isn't this just another way that we don't let children express themselves, that we don't let kids be a little different? Why is our society so insistent on everything being MOTS (More Of The Same)?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Don't Take Me For Granted!

Dear SD,

Hi, I'm writing to let you know that you've insulted me lately. I am so good to you. All day, every day, I am at your side, helping out. Whenever you need me, I'm there.
You don't realize how much help I really am to you, do you SD? You probably don't think about all the times that you would be late for an appointment, if I weren't on hand, ready to help out, to push you out the door, to remind you that it's late.
You know, you always think you don't need me, that you can replace me with other, easier to use and more reliable companions, but I'm here to tell you that you are so wrong.
So I'm here to tell you: I will no longer help you. I will no longer remain on hand at all times. In fact, I will play dead. I'm sorry SD, I really am. After such a year long relationship, I feel bad to desert you like this, but i feel we have no choice.
Hopefully soon you will recognize my value, you will recognize the importance of me and my availability. But until then I'm afraid I have to be on strike
Perhaps one day soon you will learn that I am not to b taken for granted.

With deep regrets and much sadness,
I remain,
Your Watch

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Top Ten Games They Should RE-Invent

(With thanks to BigChamor, who helped me write this at 2am.)

1) The game of Life: Economic Recession Version- Instead of losing your job and picking a new career, you wait ten turns before you get a new job. And you lose your car and you need to hitchhike.

2) Memory: The Eineklach Version: All bubby has to do is pick up two kinderlach from the same family and name them!

3) Obamanopoly- Collect money as you go around, then put all of it into the middle. Free Obama tee-shirt with each purchase!

4) Parve-Cheesy- Parcheesi for folks who want to play it after the shabbos meal.

5) "Ring"o- Bingo for kallahs. Put your chosson's name on each box. Each time you mention his name, cross off a box. See how long it takes to get the whole board!

6) Rush Hour: Boro Park Version- There is no way to win. You just sit and wait for everyone to leave the board, then you go home.

7) VeggieLand- for today's health concious parents. We don't want a game that encourages kids to eat candy. We want to encourage kids to eat their spinach!

8) Stratego: The Iraq Version- this game has no end and no winners. Mission Impossible!

9) Guess Who (Your Shidduch Is)- all pieces have a black hat and white shirt. "Does your shidduch have a blue an grey striped tie?" "Mazel tov! Your shidduch is Yaakov Friedman!"

10) Old Maid or Alte Bochur: solve the shidduch crisis or be the only one stuck without a match!

Monday, August 10, 2009

In Appreciation of Technological Advancements

Yesterday's post seemed to take technology for granted, so now I'm going to post in appreciation of technology.

I got my first digital camera five years ago. This may not sound like a lot, especially to readers who are older than me, so allow me to carry you back in time for a glimpse of digital photography technology.

Five years ago, when I got my first digital camera, film was still sold in every drug store. At school functions, people were likely to pull out a disposable camera to take that cheesy photo of themself and another girl, smiling big. The few who had digital cameras didn't bring them to school. When I brought my camera to school, people thought I was showing off.

The other difference was the size and looks of the digital cameras of five years ago. In those days, a digital camera was a large, clumsy, boxy looking thing. Their screens, quite different from the 3" LCD screens of today, were small, an inch at best, and hard to see. Their coloring was all wrong. Also, the quality of the pictures was awful. A printout from the best digital cameras looked like a cheap photocopy of an old picture.

Now that I've reminded you how things were, let me tell you the biggest difference in the world of digital photography over the last five years.

When I was in best buy, purchasing my new camera, my father mentioned that I would need a memory card for it. We asked the salesman how much it would cost, and he replied that I could get a 256 megabyte memory card for $95. I decided against it, deciding to use the included 32 megabyte card instead. I used it for a while, taking a couple of pictures at a time, then deleting them. After a few weeks, I decided to splurge. I went back to best buy and bought the card. Words can not describe the thrill I felt that afternoon, in a park, able to take up to eighty pictures!

Time progresses, and I eventually ran out of space. I bought a 512 megabyte card. Then, I had the thrill of a lifetime: a 1 gigabyte card! I was in ecstasy as I went to my school play, carrying a camera with enough memory to take a picture with every girl in the school.

No long after that, I bought a 2 gig card, then a four gig card. An yet, I've never spent as much on a memory card as I did on that first one. Today, looking at one of my favorite websites,, I saw an 8GB memory card being sold for twelve dollars and seventy seven cents. If my math is correct (and it probably isn't. Perhaps Thinking Out Loud, who loves math, will help us), that first memory card I purchased was about 250 times the price of memory cards today.

Just to put things into perspective a bit...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cool New Technology or Missed Social Cues

I was standing in line outside of traffic court, head bent, eyes downcast, trying my best to look apologetic. I was conducting a whispered conversation with a friend, trying not to let the rest of the line into my personal life. Suddenly, I was disrupted by a man who obviously didn't share my personal philosophy on public versus private phone conversations.

He seemed to be conversing with his wife. I was a little annoyed by his loud tone of voice, but he looked about sixty years my senior, so I figured it was only fair to respect his failing hearing. The man told his wife, in numerous loud, perhaps even yelled sentences, that he is standing in line at traffic court. "Yeah, so I'm here, standing in line. Yeah....exactly.....yeah so I'm here in line with my fellow criminals." At that point, he looked around the line to see who was chuckling at his lame humor. I too, looked around the line, and saw that nobody found him funny. I took pity on him and chuckled. He looked at me excitedly, then proceeded to tell his wife that people (he must have been seeing double) are finding him funny.

Tho conversation continued on for a while, and it was memorable enough for me to re-enact for my father later that day. I mentioned that there was something that struck me as odd, perhaps amusing, about the whole situation, but that I couldn't quite place it. My father's response was so on target I couldn't get over it.

"Some people still haven't figured out that it's no longer cool to have a cell phone."

Isn't it true? Similar to the way a new driver expects admiring eyes from all other drivers, as he has passed his road test, this man wanted us to know he recently bought a cell phone. Yet, just as the new driver fails to realize that all those other drivers have obviously passed their road tests also, the man failed to notice one key detail; his fellow criminals (his joke, not mine) were too busy making phone calls, texting friends, typing emails, and surfing the web, all on their cell phones of course, to notice his new toy.

It's kinda like my father's first email enabled device. Now, granted that old dinosaur was a far cry from today's sophisticated blackberries, PDAs and smartphones, but he was still able to knock the socks off of a lot of people who were still using their phones for nothing but phone calls. (For the children reading this, yes, there was a time, actually not that long ago, when a phone was just a phone. It wasn't a camera, web browser, mp3 player, texting machine, gameboy and phone all rolled into one!) Nowadays, a person with the oh-this-is-so-cool-I-can-get-email-right-on-my-cell-phone mentality is nothing but a fool.

Suddenly, with this realization, a lot of behaviors make so much more sense. The kid who hasn't figured out that many people have friends. The housewife who hasn't figured out that dishwashers are no longer a rarity. The guy who still thinks an Internet connection is up and coming technology. Often people are behind the times, and so all they want is to be noticed.

My proposed solution: give them the attention. After you inflate their ego a bit, feel free to show her that you also have a dishwasher.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things You Should Know

10) Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly top ten list.

9) Top Ten Tuesday will be published weekly, except when it's not. I will try to post one each week, but putting pressure on is a sure way to generate writer's block, so there are no promises.

8) Top Ten Tuesday is not guaranteed to be funny.

7) Top Ten Tuesday is not guaranteed to be original.

6) Top Ten Tuesday is free, a public service to the general population of the world. Please enjoy it.

5) Top Ten Tuesday might be serious sometimes. Like I said, no promises or guarantees.

4) Top Ten Tuesday is probably not an original idea. I did think of it without help though. Get over it.

3) Top Ten Tuesday is gonna be great. Read it. You know you want to.

2) Top Ten Tuesday is interactive. After I post my ten, please feel free to add to my list.

1) Top Ten Tuesday is listening to you. If you want to see a top ten list on a topic, please email me. :-)

Shame I don't have ten of my previous top (ten) lists, but here they are:

Which Top Ten lists do you want to see here?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Playing Mommy

I always thought motherhood was really easy. Seriously, there are millions of mothers out there, and only about half of them have gone insane. So I set off with Cutie and Fatso, two of my nieces, determined to be the world's best babysitter. Turns out.....

Hours later, I'm sprawled out in bed, while Cutie and Fatso are sitting at my desk, watching Marvelous Middos Machine on my laptop. I know their Tatty doesn't like them to watch vi-ee-ohs, but under the circumstances, I don't have much of a choice.

A few fun things about spending a day with the kids:

I can recite the entire Marvelous Middos Machine Songtape. (All good deeds should be done right away!) This, of course is courtesy of a very knowledgable young lady. ("No, SD, I don't like Lipa! No! Don't like shwekey either!)

I can't move my left arm...she ain't called fatso for nothing. And Cutie was insulted that I didn't have a double stroller for her, so we compromised: I carried her for five blocks, then she walked for one...

Joy can be found in the simplest things. Telling kids that FAO Schwartz is a toy museum is an old trick. Following that train of logic, the American Doll Place is a wonderful doll museum. We were nervous that they'd catch on and demand everything and anything, but I was amused and amazed that the kids were thrilled to run up and down the stairs, and take pictures of the dollies. I can't help but wonder how much happier we'd all be if we could learn to enjoy the little things....just like the little ones.

Kids rebound so quickly. They race around, fall flat on their face, cry for a minute, then they get up, smile and continue playing.

Kids are not easy to fool. I told my niece that I'd get her a small milkshake. That didn't work. "No, I need a big one cuz I'm so big!" it's hard to argue with such logic...

My day was exhausting, and I'm ready to give up. But then, I had to stop midway through writing this to pick up Fatso, who had fallen on the floor. She snuggled up in my arms, her thumb firmly in her mouth, her eyes closed, her arms wrapped around me. Then I knew...motherhood is tough, kids are tough, but all good things come at a price.

See you later....I'm off to play with the kids again!

(Please note: if this post seems like it was written by a person who was half was. Excuse me. I played mommy today.)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What Do I Love?

Inkstainedhands tagged me in this meme.
I gotta say, I find memes funny. I mean, by definition, bloggers talk about themselves. So why do we need memes to get us talking? Well either way, here are seven things I love. I tried to keep people, spirituality, and shallow things off my list, so it was hard. I mean, naturally, I love my parents, I love G-d and the Torah, and I love ice cream. I'm not sure what love is supposed to mean in this situation, nor do I love my parents the same way I love ice cream. That being said, here is my interpretation of the situation: (like I always say, satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!)

1) I love the feeling that I worked hard on something...and my efforts came to fruition.

2) I love making other people laugh.

3) I love writing. Any kind of writing.

4) I love spending time with old friends. (New friends who are reading this, don't get insulted! I love spending time with you too! :-)

5) I love cuddling a new born baby.

6) I love watching the rain falling outside when I am enveloped by the warmth, shelter and safety of my house.

7) I love when people come out of their lurkiness and tell me that they are reading my blog! (I especially love it when they don't do it as "anonymous")

I'm supposed to tag people now,i'm guessing seven of them, but I've always been different. I'm just gonna tag everyone to do this...why not? (In other words, I'm on my iPod and can't put in links and anyway I'm sure most people who want to do this already did...but if you do chose to tell us about yourself in seven random tidbits, please leave a comment in lieu of a link.)