Thursday, June 29, 2006

Want 'Em, Need 'Em, Got 'Em**

Blogroll Me!

Am I a needy person? Sometimes.

Sometimes I need attention; sometimes I need privacy; sometimes I need reassurance and a sense of security; sometimes I need to retreat while other times I need to soar.

And over time I've decided that I need a blog. I need my blog. I need others' blogs.

Yes, I had a life BB (Before Blogging) -- and I certainly have a life with blogging.

A fellow blogger once implied something, which my brain just won't shake off. He implied that the blogging world is just that: a world of bloggers. We are strangers, who primarily continue to be strangers.

But I beg to differ. My already-rich world has certainly expanded. Because over the years I've had dwindling patience to read novels (I read 8 hours/day for my job; it saturated me), reading blogs has become, in a sense, my open door to learning about the world. I've learned many life lessons by reading the words of people who put their hearts on the line. I've learned about music, politics, current events, medicine, literature. I've learned about psychology, sociology, religion and the culinary arts.

Reading a blog is not always the equivalent to reading a newspaper or a magazine. I may get insight to a situation, but it is a first-hand account, a personal retelling that creates color for its readers, creates the need oftentimes to comment.

I think I can count a number of bloggers as friends, and not merely acquaintances. Perhaps it's because I choose to often correspond offline, and so we step outside the perimeters of our posts. We have a first name, and a last name. Our personal histories, our impressions are shared.

And it is about sharing. "Listening" when someone else "speaks." Offering up advice, a personal POV, an editorial or literary critique, etc.

Over the past several months, in my blogging world, I've watched babies being born, family members being sick, beloved friends and family members dying. I've watched people prepare for aliyah, people preparing for marriage, people finding their way in this world. Mazel Tovs, messages of condolence, Yasher Koachs have been exchanged. I've watched blessings pass through cyberspace time and time again -- blessings for good health, blessings of compassion, blessings for happiness.

All in my little community of bloggers.

My path has crossed with people whose paths would probably not have crossed mine in the real world: a fifty-year-old funny gal, a Hollywood screenwriter, a mystery author, a former actress-turned-businesswoman, children's authors, a funny teacher in NJ, fathers in the Midwest and near the Capitol, doctors on the West Coast, a Swiss miss, gifted writers who are half my age or more, parents who've had to live through terrible personal challenges and wear a cloak of grief.

I want these people in my world, I need these people in my world, I've got these people in my world.

And I am truly blessed...


** The title of this post hails back to my childhood when friends collected sports cards and other collectibles. The person would sort through the collection for friends, in order to do some trading, and a refrain of "Got it! Need it! Want it!" could be heard.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hit the Twilight Zone Music

Blogroll Me!

This morning, my youngest was up, dressed, watching TV and wanting breakfast. I said, "Soon," and headed for the computer to do a write-up of my parents' party. I quickly thought, "Maybe I should give him breakfast first," but I knew that the show he was watching would temporarily provide him with food for thought.

So I started typing my post, using, links, Google images, and heartfelt words, and before I knew it, 50 minutes had passed by. I was ready to hit Publish when I saw that my computer had frozen, and nothing I'd written could be saved and published later. I was DISAPPOINTED to say the least, P.O.'d to be more accurate. Maybe I just wasn't meant to publish that post.

Yup, G-d works in mysterious ways... breakfast for children should come before blogging for adults!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Edge of Outside

Blogroll Me!

Because of a post I'd done about THE BIRDS by Hitchcock, I was recently made aware by e-mail of a documentary series soon to be released on the TCM Channel (Turner Classic Movies).

Here is the press release:

Turner Classic Movies Turns the Lens Toward the Fringe of Cinema in EDGE OF OUTSIDE, July 5
New Documentary Features Interviews with Martin Scorsese, Peter Falk, Spike Lee and Others

In a year that saw independent movies taking center stage at the Oscars, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) explores the uncompromising vision, creative spirit and maverick determination of independent filmmakers, both classic and current, in its first fully in-house produced original documentary, EDGE OF OUTSIDE , premiering Wednesday, July 5, at 8 p.m. ET.

EDGE OF OUTSIDE kicks off a month-long movie festival dedicated to filmmakers who have worked on the edges of Hollywood. A complete movie schedule is attached.

A tribute to the fight for artistic freedom in American independent cinema, EDGE OF OUTSIDE features original interviews with Martin Scorsese , Peter Falk , Ed Burns , Spike Lee , Henry Jaglom , Arthur Penn , Gena Rowlands and John Sayles as well as friends and crew members who worked with classic filmmakers, including Nicholas Ray, John Cassavetes and Sam Peckinpah. Offering an intimate look at the various issues, creative and personal, financial and emotional, this documentary illustrates the struggles endured by many classic filmmakers to create a personal vision, a vision mirrored by many contemporary directors today. EDGE OF OUTSIDE dispels the notion that an independent film is simply a low-budget film, instead defining the genre by the maverick filmmaker's ability to infuse his or her films with creative spirit and determination.

The documentary also illustrates the work of several maverick filmmakers including Orson Welles , Stanley Kubrick, Nicholas Ray , Samuel Fuller , Sam Peckinpah and John Cassavetes . Each of these directors took a different approach to producing films, whether part of the Hollywood studio system or not. Some have been able to survive within the system, others felt it necessary to be on their own and others were banished because of their fierce independence. However, their adamant drive to create a personal vision, despite many obstacles, exemplifies the significant influence they have had on the independent film movement of today.

“Classic films aren't represented only by box-office blockbusters and Oscar® nominees,” said Tom Karsch, executive vice president and general manager of Turner Classic Movies. “Turner Classic Movies takes pride in recognizing all cinematic accomplishments, no matter how small or large the director or studio, and bringing those triumphs to viewers' attention.”

EDGE OF OUTSIDE is directed and produced by Shannon Davis, senior vice president of original production for TCM and executive-produced by Chris Merrifield, vice president and creative director of TCM on-air creative.
Turner Classic Movies, currently seen in more than 70 million homes, is a 24-hour cable network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a TimeWarner company. TCM presents the greatest motion pictures of all time from the largest film library in the world, the combined Time Warner and Turner film libraries, from the ‘20s through the ‘90s, commercial-free and without interruption. Expanding TCM's role as a curator of movie history, the network recently launched TCMdb, one of the Internet's most media-rich interactive movie databases. For more information, please visit .

Now I don't get the channel, but hopefully some of you do, and will tune in.

Lights, cameras, ACTION!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Letters from the Heart

Blogroll Me!
G-d willing, this Shabbat, June 24, my parents will be sharing a special day: their 50th wedding anniversary.

In 1956, on a visit to Toronto from Switzerland my mother met a wonderful man. A survivor -- in every sense of the word. Six weeks later she was married to this wonderful man, and thus started a wonderful life...with three wonderful kids...and a wonderful and warm environment in which to raise them.

True teammates, true helpmates. We should all be so fortunate in life to share such a special relationship.

Along the way, however, as in many marriages, there were speed bumps; not everything was paved with gold, even if it was perceived to be. Health issues, several serious health issues made for those speed bumps, so for that reason, thank G-d, my parents have reached this memorable time in their lives.

Fifty years is a long time to be with the same person. Imagine half a century together. Some couples can't even stand to be together in the same room for 15 minutes; they tolerate one another, but silently despise each other. And yet they stay together in this unhealthy environment for whatever reasons.

My oldest brother arranged a dinner for the closest family and friends at a restaurant on Sunday evening. No doubt, it will bring back some memories for my parents who I believe married in a shul and then had the seudah in a Kosher restaurant all those years ago. Thank G-d some of the same guests from 1956 will be in attendance this Sunday 2006; unfortunately, many others have left our lives and only photographs and memories remain...

I'm generally known in the family circles for my birthday/special occasion limerick type poems, and I toyed for a while with the idea of writing something more sentimental or designing something even catchier. When my oldest brother married, I wrote cover copy for a book jacket -- about my brother and his wife-to-be -- and one of the designers at work put the package together. It was unique and very personal, and it would have been nice to do something equally creative for my parents.

But of course, I resorted to my poetry, familiar and true. And here is the result:

Letters from the Heart: A Special Poem for Two Special People

A is for Adler, the eagle soaring above

B is for Basel, left behind in search of love

C is for care, what you both do for each other

D is for devotion, which you’ve shown as father and mother

E is for each, ‘cause each day you show us your heart

F is for finish, you try to finish what you start

G is for Germany, where Dad lived a few years

H is for home, created with both smiles and tears

I is another word for ego, which neither one of you displays

J is for Jerry Joseph, your second child along the way

K is for kindness, which you represent with love and pride

L is for Lilli, who came along to become your bride

M is for Michael, the number one son, your bechor

N is for nice, for which you both get complimented galore

O is for ours, ‘cause you taught us each to share

P is for Poland, we’re so glad Jack got out of there

Q is for questions, of which you’ve each answered many

R is for relatives, even though few, we’re glad to have any

S is for simple, the kind of life you’ve made your own

T is for thankful, for surviving the medical emergencies we’ve known

U is for unity, something that has helped keep you bound

V is for valuable, as in the marriage that you found

W is for wishes, hopefully at least some of yours have come true

X is for Xtra, wishes to be granted for you

Y is for yesterday, specifically 50 years ago

Z is for zee end, no more letters you know.

Having used all twenty-six letters
Of the English alphabet
I hope this little verse of mine
Has certainly met
Any and all of your expectations
That I might write a ditty
For such a special occasion
It is important to be witty.

And as we’re gathered here today
To wish Jack and Lilli all the best
We’re also wishing them gesundt and glick
For living out the rest
Of the years they have together
Let’s round it up some more
‘Bis a hundred und tzvanzik
May your brachos be ever more


An Explosion of Mid-Blog Crisis

Blogroll Me!

You've heard of a mid-life crisis, in which a person decides -- consciously or subconsiously -- that they need to try something new, that they're tired of something old, that something is missing from their life.

Lately I've seen a trend of what I can only call a mid-blog crisis.

When I have been visiting some of my favorite blogs, I suddenly see posts that are self-questioning. These bloggers are wondering aloud if their blog has met their needs and those of their readers. They wonder if their blog has taken the right direction for them. They wonder if their blog has done what it was meant to and has reached a point of no return. And yes, some bloggers have gone the next step, said goodbye and stayed away.

I, too, have questioned my blog at times and have received many pep talks from readers who encourage me to continue, who tell me they enjoy what they're reading, who tell me they'd miss me.

I think each one of us needs a little ego stroking when we blog, unless we're so confident in ourselves and what we have to say, that we might as well be on our own island. But admit it, isn't it nice when friends compliment you? And isn't it even a touch nicer when strangers come out of the woodwork to do the same, and tell you that what you have to say is worthwhile?

Some bloggers resurrect themselves, whether on their blogs that lay dormant for a while, or whether in a new format. But interestingly enough, their "voices" don't change; their style doesn't change. They are the same entertaining writers whom we missed.

I kept a detailed journal for so many years. The night I got engaged, I happened to be at the end of one of the books -- I wrote about my engagement and had my fiance write a few words in the book, too. Then I signed off with "Chazak, chazak, v'nitzchazek," closed the cover and said goodbye to journal writing. It was as if I no longer had "the need" to do so.

Perhaps blog writers feel that sense of completion too. "I said what I had to say, and that's it...there ain't no more."

Well, you bloggers know who you are. I hope you only take a brief hiatus, not a permanent departure. You'll be missed, and hope you send us postcards at least, which read: "Having a wonderful blog-free time. Wish you were here."

So, to all you bloggers suffering from a mid-blog crisis, I say, at least pop in once in a while and tell us how/what you're doing. You'll notice that no doubt there's lots to say--and POOF!--that will be a new and fun post right there.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

School's Out for the Summer...

Blogroll Me!

My three children finished school today. They completed grade 5, grade 3 and SK.

"Yashar, yashar, kadimah."

Their report cards were glowing, and they each had wonderful relationships with their teachers and classmates. All in all, a positive year for them.

Yes, I truly didn't want to be working full-time anymore, but no, I didn't want to leave under the circumstances that I did. But I will say this much: I am thankful that I had 2 1/2 months with my children while at home.

What a difference it made...being able to take them to school and pick them up from school. Being there when they woke up in the morning, and being there to give them an after-school snack.

I felt a connection to the children, I felt a connection to the school. It was a good feeling.

(I also noticed just how many live-in nannies help run the households of the school's population, and just how many minivans and SUVS and extended-cab trucks help chauffeur the kids in these households!)

I'm not sure what I'll be doing in September, once they're back in school, but I hope that my children will continue to get to see my front side and not just my backside as they've had for all these years, as I was part of a full-time workforce.

The schoolyard, I've noticed, is just like life. There are fun things, there are dangerous things, there are friends to make, there are bullies to avoid. My children are primarily laughing, I've noticed, while in the schoolyard. They are busy with sports and acrobatic tricks on the jungle gym, they are interacting with all ages and plainly just having a good time amongst the crowd. Witnessing all this makes for my own romance. Who needs to read these books when you can live out your own love for your husband and children!

Is He Ezzie? (say this really fast!)

Blogroll Me!

The phone rang this afternoon. It was a long-distance ring and I number I didn't recognize.

"May I please speak to Pearl?"
"Pardon me?"

"May I please speak to Pearl?"
"Hi, Pearl. This is Ezzie Goldish."
"I'm sorry, who?"
"Ezzie Goldish."

So, so much for first impressions, huh?

Let me explain...I'd walked into the house not ten minutes earlier so my head wasn't quite there yet; I didn't recognize the phone number or voice; because Ezzie was on a cell phone, his voice was breaking up from time to time, so I didn't hear him clearly; I thought if I was going to hear from Ezzie, it would be tomorrow. So I WAS COMPLETELY THROWN OFF!

I knew Ezzie was coming to a wedding in Toronto, knew it was this evening, but assumed we'd speak tomorrow. What a nice surprise to hear from him!

The irony was that just after 2 p.m. or so, I left my parents' house, where I'd taken my daughter for a lunch visit, and headed northward home.

Sometime closer to 2:30, Ezzie arrived at the home he'd be staying in overnight for the wedding. I happen to know that family, know where they live...about a three minute drive south of my parents.

Ezzie was going to be leaving the house around 5:30 to go to the wedding at a social hall in the north end of the city. That social hall is a 3 minute drive north of where my husband works.

Unfortunately, there was no way we would be able to meet this evening...unless I'd become a Jewish wedding crasher. Listen, anyone can dress up in the right clothes, put on the right jewelery and accessories and walk right in to the chupah or kabbalat panim and mingle with the rest of the guests.

I joked with Ezzie that if I'd crash the wedding, I'd have to be like a limo/car service driver and hold up a sign saying "MR. GOLDISH."

We're not sure we will get a chance to meet tomorrow, as he's somewhat south and I'm somewhat north, but even if we don't, at least we had a chance to have a nice (according to me; for Ezzie maybe it's a different story altogether!) conversation that ran for about 45 minutes.

I teased Ezzie and said that he could be my son 'cause I'm 44 going on 45. He thought that for some reason, I along with several other bloggers, am about 37. DO I HEAR 36 or 35? Going, going...yup, GONE!

I'm a fairly good judge of character, and from Ezzie's blog, and from our conversation and a few emails, I sense that Ezzie is a good hubby, a great daddy, and and all-round nice guy who makes a good friend.

If we do get to meet, I'll add to this post. And if we don't meet, I'll say that it was really nice of Ezzie to call, good that he managed to catch me, and here's hoping that this TO-RON-O Pearl one day meets up with this fine young blogger!


Okay, well, Ezzie and I did get to meet briefly after all. I was going to my parents this morning with the kids for a late breakfast, and while there, called the family where he was staying. Yup, he was still there for a short while, so I said I'd be right over to say hi and bring a little something for Elianna. (a kids' book, which my kids also have, and one I love giving as a gift -- it's called BABY LOVES)
Max the dog and the three kids chose to join me, and we headed over and found Ezzie packing up the car.
I can say: he does look like his photos, and he's pretty tall at 6 ft, so I had to look up at him when we talked. We just shmoozed briefly about the wedding he'd attended and some of his friends.
I hoped he wasn't embarrassed by the fact that I'm a married woman who's twice his age and I came around for a brief chat. Blogging isn't so familiar to everyone and certainly meeting other bloggers/strangers isn't either!
But now I can say I spoke to Ezzie and I met Ezzie; and he can add me to his list of bloggers whom he's met and tell people that even though I'm Canadian I sound he also pointed out.

"Skinny" Is In the Eyes of the Beholder

Blogroll Me!

I'll admit. I'm not as slim as I once was.

I look at my daughter, with her long legs and skinny-minnie waist and think, "That was me many years ago."

What can I say? I discovered I like to eat, I like to nosh. I guess I got comfortable once I got married.

Okay, I also did give birth to three kids in less than five years, so there was still plenty of baby fat jiggling around. I guess jiggling around enough for idiotic, rude people to ask, "Are you pregnant?" or "Are you expecting?"

Well, I had to learn to come up with quick comebacks for these unwelcome comments: For "Are you pregnant?" I learned to answer, "No, this is just baby fat...from the last baby!" And for "Are you expecting?" I learned to answer, "No...but I was expecting you to ask that!"

My size is not ideal, but thank G-d I'm still tall, because otherwise I might be called, "short and fat". Right now I'm just tall and a little overweight.

Yes, I can do something about it...and sometimes I do. I watch what I eat, I exercise more, I don't just eat for the sake of eating. But I should do these things more often, shouldn't I?

I went to my doctor today for a follow-up from my annual physical that I had a couple of weeks back. I'd been fearful of the results, knowing that my family's medical history has begun to change, and that diabetes, hypertension have been written onto the medical charts of other family members. I did not want those showing up on mine.

Thank G-d they didn't, and I had great feedback. I asked my doctor to look back at my weight over the years I'd been with him. Yes, I'd had some pre- and post-pregnancy weights in there, so there was real fluctuation over the years, but realistically I know I'd feel better if I were slimmer again. I wouldn't have lower back pain as I do more and more lately; I'd have more energy to deal with my kids; I'd have a more positive self-image; shopping wouldn't be such a horror movie. (every time I go into a change room, I look in the mirror and do a silent scream when things don't fit.)

After I went to the doctor I went shopping, primarily for items for my kids, but came across a couple of items for me -- one a skirt, the other a sweater. The interesting thing about the skirt is that I bought one that is too snug, and at least one size too small for me. But it was the last of its kind, I liked it so much and the price was more than right. I bought the skirt with the hope that perhaps with watching what and how I eat, and exercising more, I WILL be able to fit into it, perhaps by the end of summer.

The sweater was a definite, and cozy fit.

When I came home I modeled both the skirt and sweater for my family. My youngest son had run upstairs to watch TV, my oldest son was eating dinner and not really interested, so that left my husband and daughter for whom to model.

My husband wished me luck in fitting into the skirt, as is my goal. My daughter announced it was cute, and her stylish eight-year-old self told me how I need to wear the accompanying scarf belt with the knot to the side, rather than the middle.

I then modeled the sweater on top of the skirt, and it was a nice, and classic combo.

Daughter piped up, "Mummy, you look skinny!"

Two seconds later, youngest son comes running down the stairs, TV remote control in hand. Now you have to understand that this child usually does not hear me when he's watching TV and I speak to him, even while standing beside him. I can repeat myself several times and he's oblivious to my presence. But THIS he heard, and came running to check for himself.

"Ema's skinny? Yeah, you ARE can do magic!"

Okay, so, kid, if I can do magic, here's my mantra:

Let these pounds disappear
From me to you.

Let me slip into something
A little bit smaller
Please make it fit
And make me look taller.

If I lose twenty pounds
To Las Vegas I go
'Tis my reward
I want you to know

If I lose twenty more
Along with my tushie and hips
I'll visit Vegas again
To see Gladys Knight & the Pips

I'll revisit my clothes
That were kept stored away
And I hope a size 12
Will then fit me each day.

Now that's not a tiny size
But such is not my style
And size 12 is pretty ideal for me
I haven't been it in a while.

My size 12's haven't gone out of style
They are a classic fit and cut
For anyone who's skinny
And doesn't have a butt or gut.

I hope to report
That many pounds will disappear
And after a while
It will be made quite clear.

It's mind over matter
That begins the weight loss
Show your food and drink
That you're the boss

You make the decisions
You choose what you eat
And once in a while
You can have a small treat.

Yes, I'm a magician
My son is quite right
Those pounds will disappear
And I'll again be skinny and slight!"

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Blogroll Me!

"Chizuk" (m., pl. "Chizukim"); encouragement, derived from the root "chet" "zayin" "kuf," meaning ;" to be strong;" as in "The Torah teacher gave his student ‘chizuk,’ ‘encouragement,’ in his study of Torah."

I was at shul this evening to listen to a dvar Torah given by a congregant at seudat shlishit (the third meal). Afterwards I was talking to another congregant, someone I don't know too well, but whom I enjoy speaking with whenever I'm at shul.

She's friendly, has an "open face" so to speak, is someone to learn from and emulate. Her four children range in age from 16 to 25, so one would think that we don't have much in common, and she is about 8 years older than I. But she is a warm and wonderful person to know. I usually go home and tell my husband about our latest conversation.

In talking to her this evening, she threw back at me almost what I just described about her. She told me how she always enjoys speaking to me, how I'm friendly and open with my thoughts, how she perceives ME to be calm and laid-back about my kids (I straightened her out), how we can talk even though we're of different generations.

I responded: "You know how there are Jewish Mutual Benefit/Benevolent societies? Well, I think we're members of the Mutual Admiration Society!"

She laughed and told me that she goes home and thinks about our conversations, and the greatest compliment she gave me tonight is that she said I give her a tremendous amount of chizuk.

Me? Giving HER chizuk? She's a businesswoman who's done a more-than-fine job, with her husband, of raising 4 children with clever Jewish heads and warm Jewish hearts. She is a fine woman with a good head and heart of her own.

What great pearls (or in my case, pearlies) of wisdom do I offer her that she'd equate it with chizuk?

But you wanna know what the greatest irony of the situation is? With her declaration that I offer her chizuk, she was giving me chizuk right back!


I usually don't name names in my posts, but I will. This woman, of which I speak so highly, is named Rosanne Teplitsky. She used to be an art teacher at a local Jewish day school for children with learning disabilities, but not too long ago, decided to wear a different hat. The result of that new hat is "Praline." Read the following:

The newest entry into kosher chocolates is Praline Chocolate Creations, at 1118 Centre St. in Thornhill, the first to service the kosher market north of Wilson. It’s no wonder co-owners Rosanne Teplitsky and Eti Kaufman sought to open their doors two months ago in the highest populated Jewish city in Canada.
Teplitsky said, “I was looking for something fun, something that would make people smile.”
She too hasn’t had any previous experience in chocolate making but she does work with a professional chocolatier one day a week. The interior of Praline looks like a jewellery store.
Teplitsky said, “It was designed by my daughter,” complete with glass cases filled with truffles and goodies instead of diamonds and rubies.
Teplitsky added, “Of the 700 square feet I rent, almost 500 is devoted to chocolate making.”
The inventory includes truffles, both dairy and parve, Teplitsky said, adding that “we have glass and leatherwear, which can be filled for gift giving.
“We are the only store selling kosher, parve fudge in North America.”

Rosanne Teplitsky brings her own brand of sweetness to life. Chocolate! Now isn't that a variation on chizuk?

One Year Ago

Blogroll Me!

One year ago this weekend, I was wearing a new skirt for Shabbos dinner.
I wore that same skirt to shul this Shabbos.

One year ago this weekend, it was VERY HOT & HUMID but with a BALMY BREEZE.
This Shabbos it was the same weather.

One year ago this weekend, I was in Los Angeles.
This Shabbos I was in Toronto.

One year ago this weekend, I was invited for Shabbos meals to a friend's home, and was treated just like family.
This Shabbos I invited friends and family to Shabbos meals in my home.

One year ago this weekend, our pug, Tyson, died.
This Shabbos our shih-poo, Max, was full of life.

One year ago this weekend, I was out of town over Father's Day.
This year I'm in town for Father's Day.

One year ago this weekend, I made long-distance calls to my father and husband for Father's Day.
This year I can celebrate in person with both my father and my husband.

A lot can happen in a year. I thank G-d for both my father and my husband.

Happy Father's Day to two very special men in my life.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Blogroll Me!

My oldest son is 11 today. That means I've been a mom for 11 years. That means I became a member of the parenthood club 11 years ago. That means if you look closely enough, you might count a few more wrinkles and a few more gray hairs.


I know I have good children, decent children, happy children. And this past year has been somewhat of a character study for my husband and I. We've watched as eldest son evolved as a person with wonderful interests, and a pleasant and mature personality. Although he's two years from being bar-mitzvahed, G-d willing, if you didn't know it, you'd already think he is 13. With the addition of glasses and braces in his life in the past 4 weeks, and with his height -- he's up to my collarbone already, and I'm 5'7" or slightly taller -- he appears older.

I wish you, A, only good things. May Hashem continue to be kind to you, may you continue to be a good student, a wonderful son and brother and the happy and decent person that you already demonstrate to those around you.

Eleven years ago, you were born, but had to remain in hospital an extra couple of days when things were a little awry. But thank G-d we could bring home a healthy infant. You were released from the hospital on Father's Day...but wouldn't you know it, we'd already celebrated Father's Day -- and Mother's Day! -- a few days earlier, when you arrived.

Thanks for making me a mom -- specifically YOUR mom . Happy birthday, little buddy, and many more.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Endless Love" Revisited

Blogroll Me!

Lionel and Diana, seemingly good friends of mine, were a tad jealous that Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand's "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" had been redone. They insisted I do the same with their bestselling song. Of course I had to indulge them... So here, for the first time is "Endless Blog."

ENDLESS BLOG (Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie)

My blog, there's only you in my life,
One of the few things I write.
My first blog, you're every keyboard opportunity that I take,
For you spare moments I make.

And I, I want to share all my words with you,
No other blog will do
And your I's -- and spell-check -- they tell me how much you care
Oh yes, you will always be, my endless blog.

Pearlies of Wisdom, a title as good as any one.
My blog certainly has not just begun.
For as long as I need to, I'll keep typing away,
Even if not every day.

My blog, I'll be a fool for you I'm sure,
You know I don't mind.
'Cause you, you help bring comments to me.
Oh, I know I've found in you, my endless blog.

My blog, I'll be a fool, for you, I'm sure.
You know I don't mind.
And yes, you'll be the only one.
'Cause no one can deny,
This blog is funny and fine.
I give you all I've got,
My blog, my blog, my endless blog.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rainbows...of the Garden Variety Kind

Blogroll Me!

I have always loved rainbows. We're talking since I was a child...and I'm in the middle of my fourth decade right now, so that's a long time.

As a kid, whenever the sky was dark and menacing following a rainstorm or a thunderstorm, but I caught a glimpse of a rainbow peeking through the gloominess, I'd run through the house shouting, "Come look...there's a rainbow...come see it!"

For some reason, perhaps because rainbows have a magical, awe-inspiring and mystical sense about them, I never thought they could be captured on film. As a young teen, I'd traveled on a frosty December day to Niagara Falls for a Jewish youth trip, and suddenly saw a rainbow over the Horseshoe Falls amidst the iciness of the scene. Still not believing the photo would develop to show the rainbow, I was thrilled when it did. That personal misconception of mine was gone.

But you have to admit that rainbows are beautiful with their spectrum of colors, a beautiful palette for the eyes. They are something to view and appreciate, and for that reason we are to say a special bracha/blessing upon viewing one.

It is rare for me to see a rainbow. An oil spill on pavement can sometimes provide the closest thing to a rainbow; look closely at a fine opal and you will see something of a rainbow in the stone; my diamond engagement ring reflects the light and creates color prisms on the ceiling...but still not a true rainbow.

I have recently discovered how to bring a rainbow into my everyday life. I go out to our backyard, turn on the garden hose and cast a mist spray over our vegetable garden or lawn. Voila! A rainbow.

And I am a happy little girl once more...

(that is not a picture of our backyard; however we also have a playhouse/storage in our yard)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

You Don't Read My Blog

Blogroll Me!

Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond performed "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." It received several nominations for the Grammy Award in various categories, but the song did not win, even losing out in one category to the Canadian singer Anne Murray (who, apparently, doesn't live too far from my house), and to the Doobie Brothers in another.

Nevertheless, I've made it a winner. I have reworked the lyrics for the new millennium version. Imagine me singing it with Michael Buble...

You Don't Ready My Blog

You don't read my blog
You no longer leave any comments
It's not my URL you type in anymore
When you come through the door
At the end of the day

I remember when...

You couldn't wait to read me
You used to hate to leave me
Now after plugging in late at night
When it's good for you
And you're feeling all right
Well you just hit EXIT
And you turn out the light

And you don't read my blog anymore

It used to be so natural
To post about anything
Used-to-be's don't count anymore
They're just a number in the stats
'Til they get wiped out

And readers, I remember
All the things you taught me
I learned how to laugh
And I learned how to cry
Well I learned how to love
Even learned how to spy
You'd think I could learn
How to tell you goodbye
'Cause you don't read my blog anymore

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ahoy, Matey!

Blogroll Me!

I can't spend too long on this post. I have to get busy and learn some new lingo: pirate lingo. As in: "Walk the plank." "Arr." "Ahoy, matey."

And I need to find me some pirate clothing: maybe Wardrobe still has that puffy shirt from Seinfeld, which I can borrow. And I need an eye patch, a bandana, some britches and fine calfskin knee-length boots.

Why this sudden interest in pirates, you wonder? Well, I was on a short while ago, looking at job listings for Toronto, and under part-time I found this most sensational (tongue-in-cheek) opportunity:

Reply to:
Date: 2006-06-06, 8:31PM EDT

Tired of your current job (or lack thereof)? Perhaps you'd prefer one in which you can: - Work as a member of a close-knit team - Travel - Learn about the industry that Forbes listed as the "3rd fastest growing in North America" in 2005 - International Piracy. - Advance quickly, regardless of education level or prior experience I am looking for a dedicated crew to accompany me on an open-ended expedition to South America, where we will pillage cities, board merchant vessels and conduct raids on the ports of small nations. No experience is required, although skills related to sailing, gunnery, hand-to-hand combat and pirate accents are a plus. The successful applicant will also be: - Motivated and a self-starter - In possession of a HS diploma - Able to work individually or as a member of a team - Able to work under intense pressure and rapidly changing conditions - In possession of a boat, or a good credit rating and thus the means with which to aquire one 10-15 positions are available immediately, however captured ships will need to be crewed shortly as well. The Ship is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome applications from members of protected groups, and will make any reasonable accomodations to workers with disabilities.
Job location is Carribean/South Atlantic
Compensation: $2000+; free uniform; travel expenses; room and board; dental
Telecommuting is ok.
This is a part-time job.
This is a contract job.
This is an internship job
no -- Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
no -- Please, no phone calls about this job!
no -- Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
yes -- Reposting this message elsewhere is OK.
yes -- OK to repost to Job Developers for Persons with Disabilities.

Okay, men, I am ready to plunder and pillage. Count me in.

Monday, June 05, 2006

And Now A Word from My Boys...

Blogroll Me!

This post is cross-referenced on Our Kids Speak.

Scenario One:

While driving home from school today, my oldest son (11 in two weeks) announced "I hope we go fishing this summer"!

I asked: "Who's 'we' "?"

Me, Abba, and Yossi bracket Les." Yossi is known to some people as Yossi and to others as Les. My son gave our friend's name the distinction it deserves...

Scenario Two:

Dinner time. I doled out into everyone's bowl a yummy pureed veggie soup I make every now and again. It's been such a hit with my kids and visiting family and friends since day one. And I thought today would be no different.

Youngest son (6) did not want to eat the soup. Silly me took the time to argue about it because I wanted him to at least have a few spoonsful. I reminded him that he's eaten it before, and he was adamant that he didn't have a taste for the soup, explaining, "I didn't even like it that Shabbat when I ate three bowls of it!"

CROCS (TM) Are the Now Thing

Blogroll Me!

Oh. My. Gosh.

My daughter has become a sales agent for this new trendy shoe called Crocs. She has come up with just about every reason why it's a worthwhile shoe, never mind that she wants them...needs them....has just got to have them!

I made the mistake of telling her that I had a couple pairs of clogs when I was a kid.

" had clogs, I can have Crocs!"

She is not willing to have knock-offs; she "needs" the real thing. And suddenly so does my youngest guy -- he wants them too. Several of my daughter's school friends have them; several of those friends have little brothers who are friends with my youngest son...and they have them.

So, since yesterday afternoon, I have become a croc hunter. Look out, Steve Irwin, I'm your newest competition!

Update: Monday evening:

My daughter is the very happy owner of a pair of pink Crocs; my young son is unhappy as there were none in his size. These are a very POPULAR shoe and apparently there are back order wait lists for customers at some locations.

I "met" my daughter halfway and told her these are an early birthday present -- she was okay with that and mentally scratched off the IPod that was on her birthday wish list. "It's okay...I wouldn't even know how to download onto it."

A big sigh of relief from Mom.

A Seraphic Session

Blogroll Me!

Next Sunday morning, June 11, is the 3rd Annual Ariel Avrech Yahrzeit/Memorial Lecture, being held at the Young Israel of Century City, in Los Angeles. The guest speaker will be Rachel Friedman, a world renowned scholar on The Five Books of Moses, and The Prophets. The title of her lecture is: How Can We Come to Know G-d?

Of course I would like to be among the audience, and for a time hoped it would be possible, but not this year... I did make the trip last summer, thinking it was high time that I meet the Avrechs and honor the memory of their very special son at the annual yahrzeit lecture.

Although I feared I might have set a precedence in traveling across the country -- if I made the effort to attend the lecture once, perhaps everyone expected me to attend each subsequent one -- I was certainly not sorry I made the trip. (I am sorry, however, that I didn't get to meet Cruisin' Mom that day, who also attended the lecture.)

If anyone lives in the Los Angeles vicinity and has made the time and effort to read Seraphic Secret, or The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden, and has gotten a taste of what Robert Avrech is all about, and has gotten a taste of what Ariel Avrech was all about, do make it a point to honor the family with your presence at the lecture.

Tell them "Pearl sent me...!"

Sunday, June 04, 2006

It's a Sad, Sad Situation

Blogroll Me!

Sometimes I wonder if certain posts are not meant to be written. You sit and type away and edit a post for 45 minutes or longer, and then in a flash the post is gone for whatever reason. That just happened to this post, but I'll try to re-create it.

It's almost a year ago that our family took its first road trip to Florida. My children often reminisce about aspects of the trip and the other day I was reminded of an aspect of the trip, a rather sad one that I never wrote about on our return home.

We'd been staying in Kissimmee, Florida, and spending most of our days at Universal Studios and its neighboring theme park, Islands of Adventure. And we knew that we were going to still be in Florida over the American long weekend, and planned how we'd spend July 4: we'd go early to Universal, but not stay extended hours. Instead we'd come back to our hotel, relax, make some dinner, then go back for a movie at the City Walk, and by the time we'd come out of the movie, people would have begun gathering for the July 4th fireworks at City Walk, just outside the theme parks.

All was going to plan, but when we drove back to our hotel, Howard Johnson's Enchanted Land resort -- now, I don't know why it's called Enchanted Land or a resort; nothing enchanted or "resort" about it! -- we saw several police cars on the parking lots, a couple of K-9's and even a helicopter circling the area from above. My kids asked to go swimming before dinner, so we gave in and headed off to the pool. I came a bit later than hubby and the children and saw that a hotel staff member was unlocking room doors with a police officer by his side, and they were performing room checks. When I got to the pool, my husband told me he'd asked at the front desk what was going on: a child had gone missing about 90 minutes earlier. We were disturbed and kept a close eye on our children alongside us in the pool.

An officer questioned my husband and I in the pool, asking how long we'd been there, if we'd seen a little boy, etc, and questioned the few other people in the pool and on the pool deck. My husband and I got the heebie-jeebies and began to look suspiciously at people and kept our children in our sight at all times. It was disturbing, but we remained in the pool for about 40 minutes, then headed to our room for dinner and to prepare for our big July 4th night out.

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was well past midnight and immediately, I saw a news truck on the premises, and as we drove past the pool, we saw yellow police tape cordoning the area off. We hurried to watch the late night news, and were shocked by what we learned:

To think that we'd been swimming in the deep end and somewhere below us lay the body of a boy was so very heartbreaking and shocking.

We kept asking the how and why questions of ourselves and realized that no way would one of us seen him -- the water was that dark and thick-looking. And in researching this piece, I learned the following:

KISSIMMEE -- Across Osceola County, residents and tourists are stepping into communal pools and spas that failed Health Department inspections at least once this year.A review of county Health Department inspection records this year found that more than one in five bathing areas has been shut down since January for chlorine or acidity violations.
In most cases, the problems were corrected within a day or two.Another 23 pools or spas were cited for pH or chlorine violations but allowed to stay open because the operators corrected the problems on the spot.The 133 pools closed by the Health Department -- 22 percent of the 607 pools and spas it checks -- ranged from the Remington subdivision's wading pool to the swimming pool at Howard Johnson Enchanted Land on West U.S. Highway 192 where a 7-year-old boy drowned two weeks ago in water that was too cloudy for bystanders to see him struggling.The Health Department, a state agency, inspects all public or commercial swimming pools, hot tubs and wading pools at least twice a year. When inspectors find too little or too much chlorine or a pH reading that's too high or low, they watch the operator correct the problem or they close the pool.

We were at the hotel for another day and a half, and I was truly anxious to leave the scene of this tragedy and head for home. Our hearts were bleeding for the family of this young boy...this family who had come to spend a holiday weekend in a supposed "enchanted land" and instead were faced with an unspeakable horror.

I know that this July 4th, I will be thinking of them and thinking of their tremendous loss...