The Post in Which I Need to Unbuckle My Belt

December 1st, 2014 § 4 comments § permalink

Why’d you let me eat so much? Seriously, this past weekend was one of total gluttony. My parents and my sister stayed with us a couple of nights, and for the Turkey Day itself, Adam’s brother came with his wife, his kids–Dutchie and Lalune–and his wife’s sister. His wife and her sister are ACTUAL twins as opposed to the Tweedle Twins who are twins in name alone. The real twins swear they’re not identical. I don’t believe them for a second.

Surprisingly, everyone got along quite well and the only ones arguing this past weekend were my sister and me. My sister and I have some deep philosophical differences that threaten the very core of our relationship. She is a do-gooder who likes to follow the rules. I am in the “more bourbon!” camp. Never the twain shall meet:

Tweedle Twirp: The recipe calls for three tablespoons of bourbon.
Me: Put in five.
Tweedle Twirp: I’ll put in a smidgen more.
Me: Put in five.
Tweedle Twirp: There. That was almost four tablespoons.
Me: That wasn’t even close four tablespoons. Put in five.
Tweedle Twirp: It’s good like this. And now to cook it so it burns the alcohol off.
Me: Noooooooooooooooooooo!

Needless to say, I spent the entire cooking day following her around with a bottle of Basil Hayden topping off every dish she had touched.

The second argument we had over the course of the weekend involved children. I am all done with babies. I’m really not much a baby person to begin with. Especially newborns with their pink faces and wobbly necks. But after spending the afternoon with Lalune, who is about eight months old and just about the most laid-back baby you’ll ever meet, I realized it’s not that I don’t like babies, I just don’t like my own babies (nothing personal, Doodles and Pie). Other people’s babies are great! You play with them. Smell their pretty heads. Nibble on their toes. And then hand them back. It’s freakin’ perfection! But I don’t have enough babies in my life. Which is why I’ve suddenly decided that my childless–excuse me, “childfree”–sister needs to have a baby. Luckily, Doodles and Pie jumped all over that.

“I’m not having a baby,” Tweeds said.

We threw reason after reason at her.

All she did was keep repeating, “I’m not having a baby. I’m not having a baby. A baby is not an option. I am not having a baby.”

Little sisters suck.

On a good note, the minute my mom got to the house, she started in on the house projects. She built a new work bench for Adam in the basement. She said to me, “You know you can re-cover those ripped bar stools? If only you had the fabric, I could do it for you.” I’m not ashamed to admit, I forewent all my Black Friday reservations for an early morning trip to Jo-Ann Fabric to get fabric in time for my mother to re-cover our bar stools before having to catch her afternoon flight home. Do I feel guilty making her work in her final hours of vacation? If you don’t know the answer to that is “no,” then you haven’t been reading my blog for very long.

Ugh, my pants still hurt. Seriously, don’t let me eat so much next time, okay?

April 13, 1775

April 14th, 2013 § Comments Off on April 13, 1775 § permalink

Keaton and I are both nursing injuries so instead of our Saturday morning run, we decided we’d take a civilized walk in Lexington. We were going at a brisk pace, taking in the chilly, but pleasant spring morning. Other locals were walking as well.


Yet we were fairly we were startled by a lone Redcoat.

He took a look at my iPhone, shot me an evil eye, and said, “Witchcraft!”

Moving along, we noticed that the British seemed to be setting up camp.


And they were well armed.


We were only somewhat reassured to see the Minutemen were gearing up, though they look to be a ragtag bunch.

Yet, as we were headed back to our cars, we were forced off our path by these soliders, and we were bolstered by their confidence.

Tomorrow morning we’ll all head out to the Green in Lexington. I’m just hoping there won’t be any trouble there.

The Plagues

March 24th, 2013 § Comments Off on The Plagues § permalink

Twas the night before Pesah, when all through the house
the mother was stirring, with gefilte fish on her blouse.
The haggadot, homemade, were printed with care,
In hopes that Elijah soon would be there.

The hamtez was gone, not a crumb of bread,
While visions of haroset danced in her head.
And boychick in his yarmulke, and matzah in wrap,
The table all set, at which no one better nap.

On Friday after school, the girl was playing with a friend after school at the playground. They bent their heads together to tell secrets, as second grade girls are wont to do, but all I could see were images of the letter sent home a couple of days earlier: “second grade… lice… nits… check your child…”

“Pie, watch your hair!” I yelled across the climbing structures.

On the way home, I reminded her, “You have to be careful! You don’t want to get lice!”

She thought for a moment and then said, “But wouldn’t it be appropriate? After all Passover is Monday night and lice was one of the plagues! We’d just be re-creating one of the plagues! That would be okay!”

I looked at her and couldn’t tell if she was serious or not. So I said, “Listen, you really want a plague? I’ll cut myself when I chop the apples. Blood was a plague. And I’d much rather have my blood than any lice in the house.”

That seemed to appease her. Now I just hope she doesn’t hold me to it!

(For the Duchess and my other goyim friends:
note: the underline h is a guttural sound, the ch
Pesah=the Hebrew word for Passover
haggadot=the plural of haggadah, the book we read at our Passover meal, which is called the seder
hametz=the leavened foods that are forbidden during Passover
haroset=a yummy mixture usually of apples, nuts, cinnamon, honey, and sweet wine, which symbolizes the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves when making bricks
yarmulke=the head-covering men and some women wear)

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

December 17th, 2012 § Comments Off on The Most Wonderful Time of the Year § permalink

Don’t you just love that post-holiday feeling? The presents have been given. The food has been made and consumed. The decorations put away. Just that post-holiday glow as you prepare to head on your winter vacation? I know! It’s probably my favorite time of year, too!


Wait, what? Your holiday hasn’t happened yet? You’re still in the throes of shopping, cooking, stressing? Suckas! We are so done! “It’s the most wonderful time of year…”

And I received an awesome present to boot from my hubby, who when he goes rogue off my Amazon wishlist, always manages to get it right!

That baby is going to be framed and hung in my office!

By the way, those of you who are here reading my blog. Take a break and go read this new blog on the block: An Awesome Person’s Blogs. It’s okay, I’ll wait. Did you see that? Did you see who has a blog now? Yep, my boy, Doodles, has started his own blog, and I’m embarrassed to admit, he’s updating more than I am. So go on. Subscribe to it. Read it. Comment on it. You won’t be sorry.

Okay, now back to me, because that’s what really counts around here. I’ve been working, working, working on my novel, and I sent it in to my agent. Whoo hoo! And she turned it right back around to me to work on some more. Just what every writer wants to hear.

Which means I need to go get myself another Old Fashioned. Because I need to write drunk. The editing will come later.

All I Want for Christmas

November 6th, 2012 § Comments Off on All I Want for Christmas § permalink

I enjoy the celebrations, traditions, and rituals of Judaism. I’m happy–and proud–to be Jewish. While I have enjoyed looking upon Christmas from afar, I’ve never longed for a Christmas tree or Easter ham. I did fine without Santa. I can occasionally celebrate with my goyishe friends, but really, it’s a take it or leave it kind of thing.

Nothing has ever tempted me about the Christian faith. Until I saw this (via my old office mate, Simon):

And, oh, did a mighty sharp pang of envy slash through me. It is something to behold. Perhaps, just perhaps, a smaller set, to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah?

Why Is This Child Asking So Many Questions?

April 9th, 2012 § Comments Off on Why Is This Child Asking So Many Questions? § permalink

The good news is Pie is still alive. The bad news is I may still kill her. I love her. I love her little brain. But we seem to have re-entered the question phase. It’s nonstop. Last Friday I was in the midst of Passover prep. We were hosting a seder for 17 of us. And the girl would not stop talking. “How much longer till people come over? Are we having bisket for dinner? I mean brisket? Where is it? What are you making? Can I eat chips over Passover? Why potato chip and not corn chips? Can I have pasta? Can I have cream cheese and jelly on matzah? Will you spread the jelly thin? Daddy spreads it clumpy. How much longer till the seder? Can I sit next to Jasmine and Cee? I’m bored. What can I do? But I don’t want to set the table. I wish I had school today. How much longer till the seder?”

Finally I screamed, “The youngest is only supposed to ask four questions! Four! You’re over your limit by about 137!”

To which she said, “Why are there just four questions?”

Seders are over. The first night we hosted, the second night we went to a friend’s house. Ours was a loose affair–it started early (before sundown) so we wrapped by 9:30. The second night was at the rabbi’s house, so it was more traditional, but extremely lively. We had to do “homework,” research a rabbi, and luckily Doodles is old enough that I was able to pawn the job off onto him. He did amazingly well–when we all went around the table reading from the haggadah, we had the choice of reading in English or Hebrew. About 80 percent of us chose English. Doodles chose to do the Hebrew and he did beautifully. Pie napped, so she was able to make it till the bitter end (which was shortly after midnight), but Doodles fell asleep after dinner on my lap. Of course, I made the mistake of telling Pie we’d be there till at least midnight, so starting at 8 p.m., she began asking, “Is it midnight yet? How about now? Now? Is it midnight now?”

I haven’t posted much about my Martha tendencies, but Passover brings them all out. Each year I make a new haggadah.

A year or two ago I made a Passover bingo that keeps the kids busy during the meal (bingo gets you a piece of chocolate).

And last year I embroidered and sewed my own matzah cover because I couldn’t find any I liked.

Next year, I’ll make a matching afikoman cover as well.

In the meantime, Passover lasts until Saturday at sundown. Which means I have to figure out what to feed a boy whose entire diet consists of chicken taquitos and pasta and bread and brie (verboten, verboten, and verboten! Unless he’s willing to eat the brie on matzah, which I doubt). As long as he doesn’t ask me any questions about it, we’ll do just fine.

Valentine’s Day According to Pie

February 14th, 2012 § Comments Off on Valentine’s Day According to Pie § permalink

Pie: You give out 18 percent of your love on Valentine’s day.
Doodles: That sounds like a scientific fact.
Pie: Valentine’s Day is the day you dance with someone you love and that’s you, Doodles!
Doodles: I’m honored and all, but that’s not going to happen.

The End of the Year as We Know It

December 31st, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

South Beach has gotten to me again. It’s sucked me up and spit me back out. But I come up momentarily for air to say Happy New Year. It’s been a year of ups and downs and ups again, but overall it was a good year and I hope 2012 continues in the same vein. Happy New Year from the only one in my family still awake!

The Laundry Chronicles

December 22nd, 2011 § 3 comments § permalink

I’m ashamed. I’ve done something that’s just so… wrong. I feel so dirty. Which will sound a little ironic when I tell you the horrific thing I’ve done.

I’ve– I’ve–

God, it’s hard to spit this out. But I must. Deep breath. Okay. Here it is. I’ve done the laundry. And not just once. I did it three times. I know! It’s horrible! Please don’t tell Adam about this. I don’t want him to know that I’ve located the machines and figured out what the “Oxi-timed” cycle is. (I’m sure he’ll never see this, here on my very public blog; I’m guessing his eyes will just skate right over this, in shocked disbelief.)

I can explain. Seriously. I had good reason. Not that there is ever a good reason to do laundry. But we had a Hanukkah party on Sunday.* A rousing party with bourbon and latkes and sufganiyot** and a lively time was had by all.

The next morning I was not in the mood for much. Except to try and count exactly how many whiskey sours I had consumed while flipping latkes. And how many glasses of champagne I had at the post-party party (yes, people, I am cool enough to have a post-party party. Deal.) The last thing I wanted to do was household chores of any kind, which included making food for my children:

Me to Doodles: Do you want to buy lunch today?
Doodles: Nah. Nothing looks good on the school menu.
Me: I’ll pay you a dollar to buy lunch today.
Doodles: Five dollars.
Me: Forget it. I’ll make you lunch.
Doodles: Two dollars.
Me: You’re on. Go tell your father to pay you two dollars.

Yet, soon the house was clear and all that was left was an oil-laden stack of linens and my clothes from the night before. The stank of oil was harshing my hangover, so I reluctantly made my way down and surreptitiously stuck the items in the wash. I had them out and put away before Adam ever knew about it.

But then that morning crises struck. It was pajama day in Pie’s class. She wanted to wear her Hanukkah pajamas. But I wouldn’t let her sleep in her pajamas if she was playing in them outside all day. But Hanukkah was starting Tuesday night. So? Adam can wash the pajamas. But Adam had the NERVE to decide to go to New York to be part of the team that rings the opening bell of NASDAQ the day his company spun off into it’s own company.

Which left me alone. With dirty clothes. And a girl with a sad face who wanted to wear Hanukkah pajamas.

And so the descent into the laundry room occurred again.

A side note that is really not a side note: I have two pairs of jeans. Really I have four pairs of jeans, but two are ones that a friend pressured me to buy because they actually look good on me, but frankly, they’re too expensive for me to wear on a daily basis so they sit in my drawer unless I’m going to New York, at which time they come out and say, “Hi!” And of the two I have left, one is my favorite pair of Gap Boyfriend jeans that they’ve discontinued and which also have a lovely hole in them. The other pair is a pair of Target jeans, which suit my meeds. But with just two pairs of jeans in play, I’m constantly begging the laundry guy to do laundry so I can have clean jeans. Adam has yet to understand that jeans on the floor means, “I will wear these again if I have to, but if there’s a load of laundry being done, these jeans would be much happier going for a spin.” And so my jeans can go weeks without ever experiencing the soothing relaxation of a shower of water and soap.

This week I broke down and bought new jeans. Four pairs. From Target. Actually online Target, because even I am not crazy enough to weather Target the week before Christmas, no matter how much of my thigh is exposed in my hole-y jeans. They didn’t have my “short” length, but the regular length is serviceable. But new jeans require a washing. Because I hate that indigo-dye look I get when I don’t wash new jeans. So the new jeans went into the wash. By my hand. Although in all fairness to me, they never made it to the dryer and are sitting there, sad in the washer, shivering in cold, waiting for an unsuspecting Adam to find them and eventually move the near-dry pants to the dryer. Because, although I bought four pairs of jeans in order to ensure that laundry is near never needed, I can’t bring myself to complete the process for a third time. Because the third time’s the charm. And I’m so not charmed.

You’re pretty sorry you stopped by my blog today, aren’t you? Well, they can’t all be days of wine and roses. Or even bourbon and sufganiyot. Sometimes there’s laundry involved. It’s an ugly world out there, people.

*Yes, I know that Hanukkah hadn’t started on Sunday. But we always hold our party on the Sunday of Hanukkah only this time there was some conflict. Something else happened on the Sunday of Hanukkah this year. A big guy in a red suit? The birth of the Christian Messiah? Not sure, but something took precedence over our party.

**Traditional Israeli fried donut served on Hanukkah. This is not your Dunkin Donuts donut but a completely different animal. Kosher animal, of course. Minus the animal part.

Holiday Happenings

December 9th, 2011 § 4 comments § permalink

–I’m getting old. I went to Adam’s office party last night. I did not get drunk. I did not saying anything that could potentially get Adam fired. I did not embarrass myself or anyone else. It was a whole different world. There’s no way around it, people: Getting old sucks. I miss the old days of post-party shame and humiliation. If nothing else, it gave me lots to blog about.

–I cannot stop listening to She & Him’s version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

–My son’s e-mailing has gotten a little out of control. He has mastered the emoticon. He sent me an e-mail with the subject line “look what I can do” and the text read, “Dear Mom, [e-mail full of emoticons] From, Doodles.” I wrote back, “Yes, but can you put your dirty clothes in the hamper? That would REALLY impress me!”

The boy? The boy wrote back,

Dear Mom,
Yes I can put my dirty clothes in the hamper I just chose not to!

He apparently also chooses to ignore punctuation.

–I’m not ready for the holidays. I’m not ready for the holidays. I’m not ready for the holidays.

–My son got his holiday ‘do. A red faux-hawk. He wanted blue, but it was too dark to really show. So red it is.

–Next week I’m going into my kids’ classrooms to make latkes. But it’s not really making latkes. According to the e-mail sent out, it’s “Hanukkah Cultural Enrichment.”

All right. Time to deck the halls in boughs of potatoes. Or something. This house is lacking in cheer, and my children are demanding I change that. Fa la freakin’ la.

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    I read, I write, I occasionally look to make sure my kids aren't playing with matches.

    My novel, MODERN GIRLS will be coming out from NAL in the spring of 2016.

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