Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Step Away from the Pink Box

The pink box appears on my kitchen counter, out of nowhere.  "Hey," it says.  "How you doin'?"  "I'm okay," I say.  "Hungry?" the box asks.  "Not really, I just had some toast."  "Toast?  How boring is that?"  "I like toast."  "Sure you do."  "I do."  "Come on," it purrs, "open me."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Lost and Found

                                     Come back to me...

Friday night, the eldest boy came home from his big adventure, after nearly six months away in Copenhagen.  At the airport, I could hardly contain myself, I was so crazed with excitement.  We parked and we waited and waited some more.  He gave us sporadic cell phone updates:  "I've landed."  "I'm waiting for my luggage."  "Got my luggage.  Waiting for my guitar."  And then, the final update:  "#%&! They lost my guitar."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I've Looked Better

                                  My New Driver's License Photo

Whenever I show my driver's license, I warn the cashier, "This is me, a long time ago."  Sometimes the folks behind the counter believe me, sometimes they don't, and I'm forced to call for backup.  "Sorry to pull you out of a meeting," I tell my husband, "but I need you to come down to Gelson's and convince them I'm me.  Bring a recent photo; a nice one, where my eyes are open."  Apparently, my super coiffed-up, mid-'90s hairdo, my rosy cheeks and youthful glow, don't exactly jibe with the current version I present to the universe.  My driver's photo freezes me at an ideal time in my life:  I'm in my 30s, my sons are young and innocent, my career is hot.  Best of all, I weigh the same thing I did in high school!  I'm sure I was lying at the time, but who cares?  According to my license, I'm really thin!  I can still remember the moment the camera flickered and I flashed my teeth.  If my photo could talk, it would say, "Check me out! Ain't I somethin'!" 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Time for the Jews

                                                Darlene Love


Friday, December 18, 2009

Did You Hear That?

"Did you hear that?" I ask my brother John.  "Hear what?" he says. "That."  "That what?"  "That guy talking about the Bruins."  "I figured it was Howard.  I know how intense he gets about his team."  "It's not Howard.  Howard's at work."  "You have a party line."  "No, I don't."  "Yes, you do."  "No, it's worse than that."  "What could be worse than a party line?"  "A sports radio station is coming through my phone line."  "How nice for you," John says, aware of the hell I go through on a daily basis.  I'm surrounded by sports nuts.  Screaming, raging, door-slammers.  Individuals who take their sports very seriously.  Over the years, I've found ways to cope.  Mostly, I leave the house.  But now, I find it cruel that the sports mania extends, inexplicably, to my own phone line.  I don't remember putting in a request for that. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Hanukkah Miracle

For years, it was my fate to slave over the ol' latke pan, making batches of crispy golden pancakes.  Such a fine latke-maker was I, dishing out slice after slice of heaven, that I came up with a lofty goal.  I'd work my way through the 1.5 million latke recipes that exist worldwide, one recipe at a time.  Call it overly ambitious, or slightly deranged, but I like a nice challenge now and then, and this seemed like a good one.  And so, every Hanukkah, I'd stand there like a fool, shredding potatoes until my fingers bled, chopping onions until I cried, and singing, "I made you out of clay" until coyotes howled in the distance. I'd fry and I'd splatter.  I'd count and I'd tabulate.  "All this work and I've only made a dozen.  What gives?"  In the process, I'd go through eight rolls of paper towels and set off, not just our smoke detector, but those of our neighbors, too.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh, Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel

Happy Hanukkah, courtesy of the great Tom Lehrer:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Total Gleekdom: Don't Rain on My Parade

Set your tingle meter on high, and check out Lea Michele on last night's "fall finale" of "Glee."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alarming Behavior

By nature, I’m a panicker. Am I proud of this trait? No. But there it is, out in the open, unless you already know me, and you’re nodding your head and saying, “Tell me something I don’t know.” It doesn’t take much to get my adrenaline pumping. I jump at the slightest noise. I startle easily. I’ve spent a lifetime just trying to calm down and catch my breath. I’ve tried meditation and yoga, behavioral modification and various numbing devices.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Attack of the Kiosk People!

                           "You're right, my hands are silky smooth!"

I confess. Kiosk people scare the #@!& out of me. Over the years, I’ve developed a strategy to deal with this untamed group. Yet there are times I get roped into their evil web anyway. Did you know that kiosk people are the most aggressive sales force in history? Well, it’s true. Avoiding these crazed product pushers requires determination. Walk quickly. Never look up. Never make eye contact. Once they snag you, it’s all over. Surrender your wallet and hope for the best. Kiosk people are relentless. And mean. They prey on your weakness. They profit from deflating your ego. Their industry depends on your dry skin, swollen eyes and myriad personal flaws. In record time, they’ll zone in on all your insecurities. The holidays are the perfect time to strike.  They’ll say anything to make you spend your hard-earned cash on miracle gels, eye creams, acne solutions, hair extensions and aromatic, microwavable neck pillows. All I can say is: Run! Run as fast as you can and don’t look back!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Memories in the Corner of My Purse

Once a year, I force myself to embark on my least favorite, most dreaded task in the universe. Of course, I meant to start this hellish chore months earlier, but no, here it is, December, and I’m finally on it. The other day, I took on the only place in the house that is truly mine. I have only myself to blame for its ungodly status. That’s right. I cleaned my closet. It was worthy of a horror flick. I frightened myself, and most likely, anyone near enough to hear me screaming.

How much do I hate this agonizing process? Deeply. The reasons are oh-so-many. For starters, closet-cleaning reaffirms that, despite my more-or-less neat and orderly appearance — if you catch me at a good time of day and the room you find me in is candle-lit — I am a TOTAL SLOB. Somewhere up in heaven, at this very moment, my mother has just overheard my sad confession and, while she isn’t the least bit surprised — this trend started early in childhood — she is still disappointed that I never got the closet thing together. I’m sure there are worse crimes, though none comes to mind.