Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Living for the City/Sity (thanks, Stevie Wonder!)

My verbosity comes with velocity

and I definitely have a curiosity...with words.

and a generosity...with words.

Hopefully I'm not a monstrosity...with words.

I prefer to be considered a Travelocity...with words.

Is this poem a pomposity..with words?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh, Isn't It Nice To Dream?

Do any of you ACTUALLY know anyone who was written up in the New York Times' wedding/social pages?

I like to look at them from time to time to see how people present themselves to the world and to their intended spouse and future in-laws.

Of course, I could never have appeared in there.

Pearl Adler, of Toronto, Canada, is to wed Ron Saban on December 19, 1993 at the Paradise Hall, with Rabbi J. Burak officiating. She will gladly take on the Saban name as her own, even if it means a hassle with having to change all official documentation and her nameplate at work.

Mr. Saban, who was born in Israel and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, is a controller for a medical lab. Ms. Adler, who was born and raised in Toronto, is a copy editor with Harlequin Books, Inc.

The couple met briefly in synagogue when Mr. Saban was dating one of Ms. Adler's friends. A year later, someone officially set them up. The rest is history.

The not-so-young couple will reside in Toronto, and will honeymoon in the early part of 1994...their destination being wherever they get the best sell-off vacation!

The couple's parents prefer not to be mentioned on this page; they are extremely modest people. Suffice it to say that they are very happy with the upcoming nuptials and with their children's choice of spouse.

Interesting Meme I Spotted

Album cover meme
1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”or click

The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"or click

The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”or click

Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

Keep It? Toss It? Keep It? Toss It?

I am what one would do you say it?...a PACK RAT! I hoard items for what I deem sentimental value or because I think they might prove to be needed at some time in the future.

In my parents' house, there is a place for everything. In my house, there is everything and no place to house it!

I used to collect all, and I mean every single one, of my kids' art pieces when I lived in our last house. One day, I figured, one of them might grow up to become an artist, and they might want to review the chicken scratch artwork they did in preschool. It wasn't even as if I was displaying their drawings, but I was boxing them and drawering them scattered throughout the house.

One day, before our intended move, my husband insisted I toss much of the artwork. "Save a few pieces from each child" was his suggestion. Believe me, when I say it was difficult to do.

When I think about what I saved, it was probably the same piece done by each of the kids when they were each in that same grade. So it might've been a Purim megillah (times three) that I saved from senior kindergarten, and a Rosh Hashanah letter written to the family saved from grade two.

Since we moved over five years ago, I have cut back on some of the collected artwork, but I have still saved many other items.

Yesterday, I spent a few morning hours going through my armoire drawers -- normally meant for clothing, but not in my case! -- and gathering all types of cards I've collected over the years. All the birthday cards for each child and for my husband and myself, anniversary cards, our engagement cards and wedding cards. I categorized them in large manila envelopes and put them together in a clear box, which I'll shelve in another bedroom cupboard.

I have other boxes such as this in my walk-in closet. They house other written collections: an entire five year or so letter collection from a pen-pal I had in Long Island from the time I was about twelve; a collection of earlier b'day cards and postcards and mail that I wanted to keep over the years. I truly don't need all these bits and pieces of my past, 'cause I don't even make the time to take these boxes down from the shelves and give up three hours to read through their contents. I'm just afraid that if I do toss them, I'll be sorry.

I've learned through experience, though, and from hearing stories, that it's easier to do the tossing yourself than somewhere, years down the road, having some family members just dump everything because the contents of such boxes have no meaning to them.

Sometime last year or the year before, my mother handed me an envelope. It was filled with congratulatory cards she'd received when I was born back in September 1961. I'm so glad she never tossed those cards, but knew exactly where in the house she could retrieve those cards from to pass along to me. I'd like to think that one day I might do the same for my children.

"Here, Avi/Adina/Noam, here are all the birthday cards you ever received from family and friends."

AVI: "What am I supposed to do with these?"

ADINA: "Thanks." And she'd probably proceed to look through them, laugh and remember friends' names and personalities.

NOAM: "What am I supposed to do with these?"

Sometimes I wish I weren't so sentimental. But then again, I volunteered, doing archival work for many years, and I think that all my collections -- which might not really mean much to others -- tell a story and reveal who I was, who I am, and who I might (still) become.

All those journals, letters I wrote while spending six months in Israel, snippets of ideas that never yet became literary pieces, reveal more about me than just what's on the surface.

Anybody want to learn more about me? My archive hours are Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. No sign-out privileges.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Worthy of a Smile

I received a comment today on a blog post of mine, and the person also told me this wonderful little tidbit, that is worthy of being shared.

When my niece Sarah was 2 (she is now 20), and was put on the phone to talk to her Nana (my Mom) and give her a Sabbath greeting, little Sarah says, in a sweet and earnest voice: "Good Shopping Nana".

Camp...for the Non-Camper

I've never been to overnight camp...or I believe in America it's called sleepaway camp. But I did recently sort of get to go to camp and experience it through the eyes of Mindy Schneider, in her wonderful book NOT A HAPPY CAMPER.
Although the book came out in 2007, I, the quintessential "late bloomer" recently discovered it.
The book became, for the most part, my Shabbos reading for a couple of weeks. It helped pass the hours, as I lived -- can't even say "re-lived" -- a Jewish overnight camp experience in Maine.
Not just any camp, but Camp Kin-A-Hurra. Isn't that just the best name!? I kept wondering if it was real or made-up. Saul Rattner, the camp owner, must've really tried to ward off the evil eye as best as he could, but once you begin reading this book, you'll discover that the camp and the campers don't have the best mazel!
Do take the time to sit back, put some bug spray on your arms, suntan lotion on your nose and wear a wide brimmed hat as you prepare to delve into Mindy Schneider's camp world of yesteryear -- the early seventies.
You'll laugh, you'll smile, you might even cry...from laughing so hard. Mindy has captured the culture of being a young teen in the 1970s, hoping to have her first boyfriend by summer's end, and making some new friends along the way.
There are photos, camp songs, and secrets tossed the reader's way throughout the book. All together, they make for a fine nostalgic walk down memory lane...if you can avoid the poison ivy, that is!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When News Items Are Within Reach

We all know of the tremendously tragic airline crash that happened last week in the region of Buffalo, New York. It is a horrible news item that just makes peoples' ears and eyes open.
We read about the victims, we read about where they were coming from and where they were going to, we read about their accomplishments and their families and their personal lives.

In their deaths, each one comes alive.

My family and I traveled this past weekend to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, Ontario. It was a long weekend in Ontario -- Family Day on Monday -- a government's excuse to break up a long, dark winter. It was also President's Day in the U.S.

We went for shopping in Buffalo and for waterpark fun in Niagara Falls.

And in spite of the spirited, fun and relaxing reason for this family getaway, it was marked by a harsh type of reality.

We checked in to our Buffalo-area hotel late Sunday afternoon, and I noticed several men in the lobby. Each time we went back down to the lobby for whatever reason, I noticed these men wearing fire and ambulance service jackets. I had a thought surface at the back of my mind, and on Monday morning, when I went to the lobby, that thought was firmed up.

There, in the lobby sitting area, were tables filled with about a dozen people eating breakfast -- most of them wore jackets with American Red Cross identifying them, and there were others with NTSB -- for National Transportation Safety Board -- on their jackets and bags. They were casually eating breakfast and watching the TV screen from time to time. When the news reporter started talking about the memorial services and the counselling services and news items about the airline crash, they were all attentively watching and listening to the TV screen.

I spoke to one of the Red Cross women: "I guess you're here dealing with the horrible crash."

Her: "Yes."

Me: "How far is it from here?"

Her: "About 5 miles."

Me: "It was truly horrible, and must be so difficult dealing with this incident. You must need counselling yourself afterwards."

Her: she laughs and says "You're right...and I'm a mental health worker myself."

I wish her strength and offer up my hope that she will not have to deal with such a tragic ordeal for a long, long time.

While checking out, I spoke to the desk clerk and told her how I noticed all the emergency personnel staying at the hotel. Our hotel was in a semi circle with about 3 other hotels surrounding it. I said, "These hotels must be filled with more of such personnel."

The clerk said yes, then told me that the families of the victims were staying in the hotel across the driveway from ours.

We can choose to listen to news items or we can look away from the TV screen details as they're described and depicted repeatedly. But when you're in the area of such a tragedy and tangible hints of it surround you, you really can't avoid the harsh reality.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, co-workers and communities of all the victims of Continental Airlines Flight 3407...those on the airplane and the one victim on the ground, in whose home the plane crashed.

May they all rest in peace.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Tushie Lady Is Born

Okay, so I'm fortysomething these days...edging slowly but surely to fiftysomething.

But when I was twentysomething, I was enjoying "thirtysomething"...with all its family dynamics, friendship dynamics, work dynamics and a wonderful cast.

I was a fan of Polly Draper who played Ellen, and Melanie Mayron, who played Melissa Steadman, a great photographer.

Turns out that aside from being an actress and director, Melanie is an enterprising businesswoman who, together with her father the chemist, has come up with a line of products -- diaper cream and a barrier cream for adults.

This line called Mayron's Good Baby has a cute intro story "behind" it. You can read about it at Melanie's blog.

A clean bottom is a happy bottom, so ...bottoms' up...with Mayron's Good Baby.

Whining about Wine

Got a mailing into the house from a wine/beer/liquor outlet and was perusing it today.

Even if these wines were Kosher, you would not see me buying any wine product that is called FAT BASTARD!

Could you imagine me hosting a dinner party and serving wine, handing a glass to a cherished friend and saying, "Here you go, Fat Bastard!" Don't think that friendship would last too long thereafter.

Nor would I be supporting DAN AYKROYD's label with his name on it. Is that supposed to sell me on his product? Yes, I know he's become a vintner, but I associate him with comedy, with Second City, with Saturday Night Live, with the Blues Brothers. Not with grape stomping and corks and bouquets.

I would find his vintage more appealing if his name were hidden in tiny print on the bottom of the back label, and if he just had a catchy name for his libation: Smooth & Rich. Okay, so maybe he is also smooth and rich as a person, but I'd never automatically assume that name is associated with Dan Aykroyd unless I read it somewhere.

A few years back I read about a wine that came in cartons. CARTONS? My kids' juice comes in cartons, milk comes in cartons. How could wine come in cartons? French Rabbit Wine? Merci, mais non. Pas pour moi.
Believe it or not, I'll settle for the old and familiar Manischewitz at times, Bartenura Moscato at other times or Rashi Joyvin. You can leave the Fat Bastard out of my wine cellar!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Slap My Wrist NOW!

I think I'm being punished from above.

I'm quite a nitpicker about typos and have begun to point them out to people more freely...but in a nice and "creative criticism" way.

Okay, I'm tired right now; the phone woke me up at 7:30 this a.m. from a deep sleep, and there's lots of stuff on my mind. But that is no excuse for this typo I just saw that I wrote...and that I have no way of retracting.

I found out about someone's father passing away and wrote in a guest/memorial book on a chapel website just now. I hit send, then reviewed my words.

"...may your father rest in peach."

Oh. My. G-d.

Not only is it a typo, it is a glaring, hideous error that thoroughly has embarrassed me. What will the mourners say when they read it?

I've looked through this guest/memorial book many times and have spotted lots of typos here and there and have silently wrist-slapped the person for their mistakes.

OYYYYY. I've become one of them.

I could go on and make jokes, nervous jokes about that particular typo I made, writing "peach" instead of "peace". But I won't.

Suffice it to say that I'm publicly embarrassed. My name is perpetually in that memorial book, assigned to what was supposed to be words of comfort. Turns out they became words of advice re. fashion colors!