Thursday, November 30, 2006

Someone Please Explain

Our dog is special to us, but he's not unlike any other dog. So can someone please explain this canine habit/ritual.

What is with this circling about five times in the same place and then settling down? I was lying on our bed the other day, and Max jumped up to be with me. He circled a spot a good half dozen times, then lowered his body to it. Not a minute later, he jumps up, moves to another spot on the bed, does the same, and settles. Again, not a minute passes before he's doing it a third time. Finally, ah...FINALLY...he finds an agreeable place, lowers himself and settles in for the long run -- or at least till I get off the bed: whichever comes first.

And as long as we're on the topic of canine questions...

What's with the habit, but in Max's case, not a regular one, of doing his business somewhere outside, then hoofing/kicking his legs backwards? As I said, Max doesn't do it all the time, in fact, rather infrequently. Tyson, the pug, did it just about every time he did his business.

If I keep noticing any other "MAXims" I'll post about them...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Will 19 Years Do...?

Found a job posting just now for a Copy Editor/Proofreader...which is exactly what I do. It's a U.S. based company, so there's no way I'm relocating, but I just wanted to read the job description and its requirements.

It's very clear that they're DEFINITELY in need of a copy editor/proofreader!

• Excellent knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation is required as this position is the quality control point between creative/production and printing.
• Must be extremely detail oriented and able to work within set, tight deadlines at maximum efficiency. Must thrive in a fast-paced work environment. Must be organized and able to arrange a daily work schedule based on priorities. Must be flexible in regards to scheduling and be able to shift priorities quickly. Must meet deadlines.
• Must be able to work independently as well as with a team and be a self-starter with initiative. Must be a team player, excellent communicator, amiable, flexible and someone who enjoys working in a fun environment (sense of humor encouraged). This position will occasionally require evening and/or weekend work.
• Extensive knowledge of Chicago Manual of Style preferred. Must be sensitive to advertising copy and use this "filter" when reviewing work.
• Must be able to follow the established process for work flow.
• Ideal candidate must have a college degree in English, journalism, or related field or equivalent work experience.
35 years' experience as a proofreader/copyeditor; additional related experience helpful.
• Agency experience preferred but not mandatory.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

...I Love You the Most

My three children and I have somewhat of a routine whenever we say goodbye or goodnight to each one. I usually say "Good night, I love you," or "Goodbye, I love you." My children top that with "I love you more." Then I say, "I love you the most." To which I hear something like, "I love you the best...." I respond, then hear something from the other like "I love you the tallest.... I love you in the morning.... I love you at night... I love you in China.... I love you in India.... I love you every day...." This goes on and on till one of us stops the volleying of "I love you's."

My youngest son, over the year, has expanded his repertoire: "I'll love you when you're dead... I'll love you when you're with Hashem... I've love you when you're a cloud in the sky..."

Today, however I got the sweetest final retort, before he walked out the door to go to school: "I love you wherever I go, [even] when you're not there!"

As Long As We're Talking Turkey...

Firstly, to all my blogging friends living in America, or American expats living elsewhere, I want to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Canada is a step ahead of you, and so Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated in October. Interestingly enough, though, I really don't know any Jewish Canadians who celebrate the day. Why is it a bigger deal in the U.S., for Jews and others?

In any case, I'm sure you'll fill up with chicken and turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie and pecan pie and roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes and whatever else makes us your family's or friends' traditional Thanksgiving meal.

So, as long as we're talking about food...

It occurred to me the other day that I display certain habits when I eat certain foods. Not necessarily GOOD habits, mind you, but more like quirky ways to eat these foods. Let me illustrate.

I was eating shelled sunflower seeds -- not right out of the pack, but I put them in a small bowl, and proceeded to eat them like an anteater attacking his enemies, seeing how many I could stick on my tongue at once, my face in the bowl.

Of course, it was rather late at night, and nobody in the family was around to watch me. I don't imagine I would eat sunflower seeds this way with an audience.

I began to think of other foods I eat in particular -- read: PECULIAR -- ways.

Pizza. I love pizza, and the cheesier it is, the better! I will bite into a piece, then start wrapping the cheese 'round and 'round my finger. Again, not usually done in public.

Back when I was in junior high, I sometimes would go to a bakery near my school after school, or even during lunch hour. I'd buy an eclair. In those days, the eclairs were filled with whipped cream, not custard or just plain vanilla-type pudding. I would not, could not share my eclair. It was a special treat just for me, and when I'd get home I'd rip open the paper bag it was in, and use it like an underplate. I'd take one bite out of the yummy pastry, and then I'd start dipping my finger into the whipped cream -- over and over again -- until the cream was gone and just the flaky-dough dessert remained. Again, nobody could watch me eat like this. I was aware of how King Henry VIIIth I must've looked, being gluttonous and eating my pastry in an uncouth way.

As a kid, I'd often put Cheerios on each finger and eat them that way, one at a time.

And of course, I'd swish Jell-O type desserts in my mouth and then proceed to gargle, which angered my lovely, "yekke" mother.

I'd bite the ends off of licorice sticks and use the licorice as a straw.

And it was always a treat -- still is -- to get a beef bone with marrow in a bowl of soup. The soup would disappear quickly, and I'd gnaw on the bone and noisily suck up as much marrow as I could.

And yes, when I was young...and still very SKINNY...I used to take the ends of a challah loaf and sop up the sauce/gravy from veal roasts and roast beef that my mother would prepare, the sauce dripping onto fingers and chins and kitchen counters. Not a pretty sight!

I do know how to eat nicely, regardless of what you may think, based on the above information. Invite me for a meal and I'll prove it to you. Just don't give me chopsticks; I am still a shlemazel when it comes to using those, and simply can't.

Many of you may be saying "Ewww, what else does Pearl make a spectacle of when she eats?"

And I ask, "What food/drink items do YOU have a weird way of eating? Do you eat that way in public, or only in private?"

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Honk for Every Occasion

The car horn in my Honda Civic sounds like a sick duck. The car horn in our Honda Odyssey minivan doesn't sound much better. In other words, these are not horns to be taken seriously. It's the loud cursing inside the interior of the vehicle that accompanies the beeps and bleeps and honks that I emit that might have more impact...were my windows rolled down!

This morning I did the first shift of getting my kids to school. As I entered the school driveway, a car ahead of me suddenly decided to stop a bit over to the side. Although it was my friend's husband, I gave a honk to indicate my annoyance that he'd suddenly stop and make me have to maneuver around him. I didn't knew if he saw me or not.

But while I was parked in the appropriate drop-off spot, letting my kids out of the van, my friend's husband drove past and gave a double honk. Was he answering my single honk? I first wondered. Then I realized that his must've been a greeting honk, as if he were saying "Hi, Pearl. I want to say good morning to you."

That's when I realized that he must've misinterpreted my annoyance honk for one of greeting, as well.

That's when I realized that I need to personalize my car horn and its honks for different occasions.

When I'm annoyed at another driver, or drivers, my horn should sound like an elephant about to charge through the jungle.

When I want to greet somebody, my horn should sound like Glinda the good witch's titter.

When I want to get someone's attention -- to let them know that they can move into traffic ahead of me, or that the light signal has changed color -- my horn should sound like Slyvester Stallone's raspy "Yo!"

And if I'm just cruising aimlessly, happily along city streets or country roads, the horn honk should sound like a "Yee-haw!"

I do know that you can personalize car horns to play bits of songs -- perhaps when the mood strikes me to hit my horn, one day you'll hear Donna Summer's "Bad Girls" bleeping and people will indeed get out of my way!

Until then, if you hear a duck honk behind you, or beside you, take a good look -- no doubt it'll be me waving hi...or giving you the finger!

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Birthday Poem

The 18th of November
A "mazeldik" date
Belongs to someone special
So don't be late...

In wishing her a happy birthday
It's her 51st, you know,
No wonder Cruisin' Mom
Has that special glow

It's the reflection of all those lit candles
Sitting upon her cake
She's more than half a century old
In life, there are no double-takes!

Let's hope she gets what she wishes for
With every candle that she blows out
Now don't ya'll forget to write her
And give her a birthday shout.

If anyone knows Carrie Fisher
Do share the news with that gal
Maybe she'll also give a shout-out to Randi
And they'll soon become great pals.

So, to our birthday girl, CM
Your friends in blogland say,
"Hope your birthday 's wonderful
In every special way!"

Happy (early) Birthday, Randi.

An Easy Mitzvah

In case I've never told you in my nearly-two years of blogging, I am a COUPON QUEEN! I'm a notorious collector of cents-off coupons or two-for-one, or whatever else I get.

Does that make me cheap? Not at all.

It makes me the point that I sometimes say to my husband who goes shopping and ends up buying something that he shouldn't have -- "Thanks for buying that. But YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE! I have a COUPON for it!"

People are amazed at what I save on, how much I save, and sometimes my husband tells people in this way: "This grocery was on at such-and-such a sale price. Pearl had a coupon for such-and-such an amount. At the end, the store had to pay Pearl!"

In any case, I cut all kinds of coupons that I think I might eventually use, and I trek them around either in my purse, or in a shopping bag. But I don't always stand there in the supermarket and look through them. And yes, sometimes the dates expire on them and I haven't made use of the coupons. Oh, well, the intention was there.

Which brings me to good intentions and the subject of this post: an easy mitzvah.

Knowing that I won't always use a particular coupon, but I cut them out all the same, I realize I can share them. Yesterday, I was in the supermarket and there was a frum man in the checkout ahead of me; I saw he had a particular item in his cart, and I knew I had a dollar-off coupon for that item but would probably not use it. So what did I do? I offered and gave it to the man! And he was most appreciative.

Not too long ago, I did the same with several diaper coupons I had in "my collection." Now my children haven't been in diapers for several years, so why did I even cut out those coupons? I don't know really, but maybe it was just G-d prodding me in the right direction to do a mitzvah -- I gave those coupons to a frum woman pushing a buggy in the supermarket, in which there sat a baby and toddler. I figured she could use them. And she was most appreciative.

So in essence, I am able to do a simple good deed by cutting out coupons. It never occurred to me when I pass these coupons along that I am doing it in order to perform a mitzvah; it is just my (thankfully) G-d-given nature to share, be friendly, and do nice things. Certainly not to earn brownie points. But yesterday, in particular, after I gave the man the coupon for Kleenex (tm), I realized I'd made him happy, I'm made myself happy, and in the long run made G-d happy.

So, people, get out there and start collecting coupons. You never know who you might just end up helping with a $1.00 off coupon for I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! (tm) or a 75 cent coupon for Pampers (tm) Wet Wipes or a $2.00 off coupon for Oil of Olay(tm) skincare products!

Mornings: Sometimes Something To Meow About!

Just for your information: in my humble opinion, this is a much better image than the one that got eaten up mysteriously by Blogger.

That Darn Google Image

My last post about mornings lost something: the attached image. I don't know where it went or why it went, but now some of that post makes no sense. So I'm finding another image to replace the first one.

Just bear with me...!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

O Happy Day!

I'm not a morning person, but I love mornings...contrary to this image.

I love the heavy sigh of my children as they roll over in bed and try to cover up with blankets even though it's time to get up for school.

I love the steam of the shower and the wonderful acoustics of the bathroom that allow me to belt out some American standards as I'm soaping up.

I love the dog getting up from his doggie bed and stretching his paws languidly in front of him.

I love opening the shades and peeking out to determine the weather.

I love the crisp air outside that tinges cheeks and noses with natural rouge.

I love the dewey grass, fresh from Mother Nature's body mist.

I love walking the dog and seeing the neighborhood slowly wake up: cars being warmed up, school buses hurrying past, children and parents hustling each other out the door en route to school, seagulls circling overhead seeking breakfast.

I love taking the kids to school and seeing them anxious to get to class or play with friends.

I love sunny mornings.

If it's a drizzly, ugly morning....


If it's a drizzly, ugly morning....


Monday, November 13, 2006

DIAL That Number

We were at my folks' house yesterday--the house I grew up in-- and our kids were with us. At some point, my daughter was downstairs in the rec room -- does anyone even have a rec room anymore, or just a family room or entertainment room?

In any case, my daughter runs upstairs very excited about something she wants me to see downstairs. I ask what she wants. She said she wants to know what something is. I say I can't come downstairs, to just tell me what it is or bring it upstairs.

"I can't bring it upstairs. It's plugged in."

So I try to envision the rec room and what she might be referring to.

She continues. "It's black and has a round thing on it (at this she describes it with her hands)..."

It hits me. A black rotary telephone. Our original black rotary telephone. My parents' telephone that they got when they moved into the house in 1958. (We were a one-phone family for many, many years.)

And I start to laugh. My daughter -- my children -- are not familiar with rotary telephones. Then I began to think of what else they've missed out on in the years they've been around: b&W TVs, typewriters, life without any kind of remote control, life without a microwave, record players, eight-track tapes, etc. They even learn how to tell time via digital watches! And kids learn to tie their shoelaces later on in their young years, when you can no longer find sneakers in their size with Velcro fasteners.

To that end, I think we should have some kind of survival show for kids, introducing the use of these appliances, electronics and tchochkes that they are not familiar with in their everyday lives. Let's watch them concentrate, get frustrated and try to figure out how these things work.

And if they run into trouble, let them use that black rotary telephone and DIAL INFORMATION!

Update: I was telling my husband tonight at dinner about this post. He corrected my error; my daughter KNEW it was a telephone, but she did not know how to USE it because it is a rotary one.

So my husband guided her in how to use it...and he had her call his cell phone, which he had with him. She could see the process ...or should we call it ''progress"?

My husband also reminded me of a nephew of ours who, a few years ago, saw me take an ice tray out of the freezer and he asked "What is that?" Even at age 7 or whatever he was, he was not familiar with a simple ice tray. Why? Because he had the type of refrigerator that provides ice cubes and ice water right in the door!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I Go Ga-Ga for GOOGLE....Images

I remember when I was in grade six ("sixth grade" to you Americans!) my English teacher tried something in creative writing. It was a springboard, as it were, for a photojournalism assignment.

Along the ledge in front of the chalkboard, she laid out several b & w pictures torn from magazines and we were to write a brief headline and piece about that photo.

I don't recall exactly what I wrote, but I do know it had to do with loneliness, and children, as it was a photo of an empty playground with an idle swing.

I've always loved photos and captions and trying to combine the two. There are always contests sponsored by magazines and newspapers to do exactly that: give a header to a photo, or a bit of dialogue to the people featured in a photo.

And I'm a fan of GOOGLE images...always searching for just the perfect one to accompany my blog posts.

So why don't we try an exercise, just like I did in grade six? You don't have to write a story, but you can write a header and/or a brief description to the pic.
These free-for-alls don't always work in blogs, I've noticed. People are hesitant to participate oftentimes. But I just want to experiment a bit, so let me have my fun!

Here are my contributions to the photos above:

re. top b&w photo: "A penny for my thoughts!"

re. top colored photo: "No, honey -- you're not supposed to close the Murphy bed with me still in it!"

re. Groucho: "Hmmm...and I thought he really meant that I should bite the bullet."

re. artsy image: "Psst...aren't we a couple of bad asses!?"

You may comment on these images or link to your own in the comments and entitle them or add some commentary.

So, Nu? Say Something Already!

Over a year ago, I worked on /freelance copy edited this book. It was quite a challenge for me.

I am not a native Yiddish speaker, and you could even say I'm not a Yiddish speaker, but I understand quite a bit. But even my father, whose mameloshen would've been Yiddish and then Polish, did not know all the expressions I had to verify. He explained to me that many of the expressions were regional -- so, if you lived in Lublin, you might've cursed differently than if you lived in Tarnow.

Go figure -- "gei in drerd" ("go to hell") would have to be phrased differently, depending on where you lived. In my mind, "drerd" is "drerd"!

In any case I was at the Toronto Jewish Book Fair last Sunday, looking at books on display, and spotted this Epstein book. It looked familiar to me at first, but I was a little "fermisht" and it didn't register that I'd worked on it. I picked it up and riffled through the pages and then it hit me -- yup, this book was my baby. I had a hand in it. G-d, I hope I did a good job with it.

...if not, Lita Epstein will be cursing me -- left, right and center!

So why not pick up this book if you can...and put it to good use. I'm sure you have friends and family members on whom you can try out these expressions! :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Numbers & Pearl Don't Mix

I can add; I can subtract; I can multiply; I can divide; I can figure out percentages. I can decide if a price I see on a tag or label is a good buy.

But that's about it.

Talk numbers to me -- I'm lost.

Talk investment returns -- and I'm befuddled.

Talk measurement conversions -- and I screw up with a recipe.

Is that why I married an accountant? I wonder.

And no, not ALL accountants are boring people, contrary to their reputation!

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's All in the Jeans...

...aka When a Spelling Error Just Won't Do!

The following job posting is available for the 2006-2007 school year:

Jewish Studies Middle School Half-Time Position

Requirements: Knowledge of Hebrew Language Arts, Bible Studies, Denim, T'fillah and Oral Law

C'mon, people, hire me already. I will edit your work before you post it for all the world to see!

"It's the law!"

(Denim is actually supposed to say "Dinim"--which means Jewish laws)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


* Extra Sensory Persuasion ... for the sake of this post!

How often have you found yourself saying, "Great minds think alike" when you find yourself having the same idea as another person. You might reach for the phone to call someone, and just then your phone rings and it's that person at the other end. You might decide it's high time you write a note to a friend, and before you attempt to write one, you go to your mailbox and find a note from that friend waiting for you.

I have always had that "psychic" relationship with my mother. I can forever hear her saying, after I've said something, "How did you know I was going to say that?" or "How did you know it was me on the other end of the line?" or "I was just going to call you" when it's me who calls her.

Surprisingly enough, I have that rapport with my husband, too. Even when we were dating, I "clicked" with him in more ways than one. "How did you know I was going to say that?" became a common refrain between us.

Tonight I had another taste of our connectedness. My husband went grocery shopping after Shabbos, in preparation for a light supper we're hosting tomorrow night for family.We'd decided he was going to buy sugar waffle cones -- something we never buy -- because we have ice cream at home, and that would make for a nice dessert.

When he was gone, I realized that waffle cones are rather big, thus take a lot of scoops per cone, and we probably didn't have enough ice cream to go around. So I decided to call him with a change of plans. Only problem was that his phone didn't get picked up and I was forced to leave a message. I said that perhaps instead of cones, he should buy waffle cone cups instead so it would be more appropriate for the amount of ice cream we have, and maybe some strawberries or berries to cut up on top and whipped cream to decorate with. (we've never bought waffle cone cups, and it is once every several years that we buy whipped cream)

Well, he came home, dropped off some bags, then went to the van to get more. As I unpacked the first bunch of bags, I saw a can of whipped cream. And I thought, "Good, so he got my message."

He walked into the house again and I said, "Good, I see you got my message."

"What message?"

"The one I left you. I was afraid you didn't hear it."

"I didn't check for messages.... I want to show what I got.... I decided instead of waffle cones to buy waffle cups. It'll be really a nice dessert." And he pulls a box of these out of a shopping bag.

"And I didn't buy them tonight, but I thought we could buy strawberries or berries tomorrow to put on top. I did buy whipped cream, though."

Another coincidence for the books.

I asked, "Did you really not listen to the phone message I left?"


"Please listen to it!"

I announced then, "There's a reason Hashem put us together!"

Friday, November 03, 2006


I was just looking at a job description (yes, I'm still looking for a full-time or part-time job) and saw this in the last line of qualifications:

Fluency in French is an asset, as is membership in/designation from The International Ass

No wonder this job is called PUBLIC AFFAIRS ASSOCIATE...!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Whitney & Bobby

Whitney Houston filed for divorce from Bobby Brown...


What the heck brought you two together? What the heck was keeping you two together for 14 years amidst the drugs, the alchohol, the arrests...basically, the nasty entertainment headlines?

Enough is enough.

Check Out These Links

I found this a link to this great website while visiting over at Marallyn ben Moshe's blog. Her blog ain't bad, either!

Link to and find out interesting and little known facts having to do with your birthdate. And while you're at it, link to and find out interesting and little known facts having to do with your name.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Seraphic Silence...No More

Seraphic Secret is apparently up and doubt, much to the pleasure of Robert Avrech and his many fine readers.

I hope you took my advice from several hours ago and reviewed some of Seraphic Secret's earliest posts.

There will be a quiz tomorrow.

A Seraphic Silence

I've been advised by the powers that be -- Robert J. Avrech -- to please let readers know that Seraphic Secret is temporarily silent.

Due to technical difficulties -- *&%$%^#%^!!!!! -- Robert is unable to post.

In the meantime, why not read some of Seraphic Secret's older posts? Why not start at the beginning? Rediscover the early days of this warm and wonderful blog.

Please make certain to have tissues handy. You might just need them....