Rant, shmant…Cell Phones. WTF? Week 11

As you see, the parents are not paying attention to the kinder (child)
As you see, the parents are not paying attention to the kinder (child)

 

Cell phone courtesy: Please turn ‘em off – therapy is in session

Answer: 60 to 125 times a day

Question: On average, how many times do we check our cell phones each day?

So, I ask you, are you average, above average? Stellar perhaps? Just how tethered are you? Can you give it up? Would you? I have to admit, mine goes everywhere with me. Apple had me at, “iHello.” And to be honest (we are in therapy after all) the phone is my least favorite feature. It’s that dreamy camera—the ability to capture my kinder (kids) in every escapade imaginable. Kodak moments? Not so much (who prints when we can swipe?). Between the Mrs. and me, we record every waking moment of our lives with Little and Big. Second children no longer have to grow up unnoticed (and needing therapy); Little is in just as many pictures as Big.

please watch this short video…my mishpocheh (family) in action. That Kenny, he’s got the making of a star! Nu? Thank you to my nephew, Max-a-lah,  for making such a video!

What on earth did we all talk about before everyone on the planet got a smart phone? I vaguely recall long, lovely, limitless, uninterrupted time to myself. I walked the dogs (furry first children) and was totally one with them in nature. I could run to the store and pick up a script without a care. I actually peed without bringing a phone in the bathroom. The Mrs. and I, we schmoozed (chatted) about everything, snuggling on the sofa watching Olivia Benson kicking some major butt!

There were no electronic farts, noises, beeps, or music telling me about a new email, a tweet, a status update, a news alert, or a lightening strike within my immediate proximity. I was not instantaneously answerable to anyone. I think I was still okay? I managed to meet with friends and family and not call if someone was 10 seconds late (of course, I’m Jewish, so I imagined them dead by the curb, or on a respirator in the hospital, but which hospital? Oy). I knew how to dress for the weather because I walked out the front door to check. I was up to date on the news and current events; I definitely held my own during many a ‘water cooler’ conversation. My landline rang and I let the answering machine get it. Yes, I was a proud screener.

I’m positive we talked more before smart phones. I used to take time out of my day to write letters and send cards to people for special occasions. Now, I can text or instant message birthday wishes, Mazel Tov’s or even my deepest sympathies. Why even say how I feel? There is an amazing array of emoticons for every expression. Feelings? Feh!

Oh Siri, how I love and hate you so… Like Google on crack, so many answers you have? This techno age is meshuggeneh (crazy). Being connected is so easy, yet I look around at restaurants, on the train, even walking, and everyone is looking at his or her phones. Talking to each other? Not so much.

Was life better before? Is life better now? I don’t know. I do know life is faster now. Yet, somehow, it’s a lot easier to feel disconnected, being so connected. It’s a shonda (a shame). WTF?

 

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Rant, Shmant, at least I can vent…Week 6

 

Shhhh. Please be quiet...therapy again! Yup.
Shhhh. Please be quiet…therapy again! Yup.

My rants of the past few weeks have been a little on the ample

Like politics and racism, just to give you an example

Today I’ll take it down a stretch and act a bit more tranquil

And leave my lefty, liberal thoughts and opines, for some of you will be thankful

 

I despise it, laundry the charge that never ends

Despite the amount you do, it continues and transcends

If we had one, we could bagroben (bury or hide) it all deep within the basement

Then the Mrs. and the Kinder (kids) would look at me with such amazement

 

The clothes are always inside out and the bin is overflowing

The stench gets rather pungent and the hallway somewhat glowing

It’s never in the hamper rather scattered all about

What is dirty, what is clean? Is something regularly I shout

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Please use your towels more than once do you think this is my only job?

Pick up those scattered dirt-drenched things and stop living like a slob

It’s almost time to essen (eat) so we can’t change our clothes anew

And there are only three out of four of us who are neat enough when we chew

 

As for sorting out the colors from the others in the bin

When something is mis-washed or spun, it’s deemed a venal sin

If something should be hanging but somehow makes it through the dryer

You’ll find me running for the hills as if my hair were lit on fire

 

Darks and lights, black or white, what about the stripes

Lately there are too many categories and subsequent subtypes

Fancy little outfits, sheets, knits, towels, maybe a sweater

Farmisht (befuddled), I just put everything on delicate-cold, I’m trying to be better

 

As for the lone socks, I alone will simply not accept the pressure

For mix-matched wearing is quite fashionable, a real wardrobe refresher

Fargessen (forgot) and doing the same load for two to three days makes me go berserk

Yet heeding that annoying buzzer has not yet become knee-jerk

 

She who does the wash and finds gelt (cash) in the washer/dryer

While fun and gleeful, it’s just a bissel (little), not nearly enough to inspire

What is the point of folding when all the drawers are a complete mess?

Well, at least not mine, one out of four, of that I can confess

 

Putting away the farkakteh (pain in the tuchas-butt) laundry is a struggle I abhor

Perhaps clean clothes and such should be in a jumble on the floor

A baleboosteh (great housekeeper) I am not. And laundry, fun? No way

Nudist? Naked? Maybe? Just think of all those hours saved each and every day

linky 2-26-16 #FabFridayPost
linky 2-26-16 #FabFridayPost

 

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Our house is STILL covered in sick! Oy Vey!

Can these two really be the carriers?
These two, can they really be the carriers?

The Mrs. mentioned that our flat here at the Manor has become somewhat of a convalescence home. I added that we don’t seem to be restorative or showing any signs of improvement since last November when the first ‘–itis’ hit our mishpocheh (family). Our little petri dishes, Little and Big, share their cooties a bit too freely.

Keep the tune of a Hard Day’s Night in your head as you read this little ditty…

It’s been a hard long night, and we’ve been feelin’ just like dreck (crap, ca-ca)

Our skin has turned a dulling white we really are a pain in the neck

And when we get out of bed we feel the pain in our heads

Won’t let us see daylight

 

You know we work every day to eat real healthy and exercise

But no matter what we do or say

The microbes make us just wanna cry

Despite the Lysol clean wipes we can’t unclog our nose pipes

The bugs just won’t go away

 

When we sneeze, germs discharge all around us

When we cough, its like we were hit by a bus, bus yeah

 

It’s been a hard long day, how long can we endure this lack of zest

And the feeling of proverbial brech (to vomit) can leave us emotionally so depressed

The tsuris (heartache) is too much to take, what’s the point of awake

When we feel so feh (physically and emotionally disgusted)!

 

It’s been a long four months hosting germs ‘n feelin’ so unkempt

And it’s worth it just to hear you say

You must be overwhelmed and so farhklempt (emotionally choked-up)

So let’s get out of that bed and get our clothes on instead

It’s gonna be okay

 

When we sneeze, germs discharge all around us

When we cough, its like we were hit by a bus, bus yeah

 

May our homes soon be rid of these invisible nogudniks (bad guys, in this instance, germs) that lurk in our air. May our kinder (children) really use soap and sing the A,B,C’s twice as they wash their hands. Let the schmutz (dirt and grime, in this case, mucus) stop dripping from our many orifices.  Gutinue (at last, with exasperation), enimageough already!


A bie gezunt
(as long as we are healthy!)

 

May there be hope!

 

 

 

 

 

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Beauty and the Beast, Theatre Adventure!

Off to the Theatre!

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Finally, after much ado and a very long wait since Santa left them for us, the Mrs. and I took Little, Big and their Toffey (Grandpa—self proclaimed name that means The Old Fart) to see Beauty and the Beast. The traveling cast came to our fair city and we soaked in the culture like a plant thirsting for water.

First, as we waited outside for the doors to open, we grew beholden to the splendor that is The Academy of Music, located on the Avenue of the Arts in downtown Philly. Big, maven (expert) that she is, had been going on and on to Little about theatre, the stage and live performances. Just over 5 years ago, we took Big to see Mary Poppins at the very same place. She was plotzing (exploding with excitement)! We stood outside and took in all of the buildings’ magnificence, while purchasing soft pretzels the size of yardsticks. Theatre watching can bring out the ‘hangry’ in the best of us, and when in Philly, nosh (eat) like a Philadelphian.

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We had tickets in hand and made our way up to the (nosebleed) seats, aptly called, Family Circle. We were sitting among young dapper dressed dudes and the many ‘Belles’ of this ball. Despite our ears popping and slight signs of altitude sickness, our seats were awesome. The kinder (kids) didn’t know what to look at first…the columns, the people, the orchestra pit, the curtains, the lights…sponges, they are! Once the play began, many kinder (children) kept twisting their necks to see the main spotlight and it’s keeper, located right behind us.

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The noshing (eating) took place immediately, which led to the insatiable thirst, which permeated throughout the performance. Toffey, always a mensch (warm, good soul), made the journey to the water fountain, many times.

The orchestra started tuning up. Big asked if they were practicing, and if they knew we could hear them. Soon, the magic of Broadway began. The most adorable thing from Little was this exchange:

Little: Mommy, are they for real, like for real live people singing for real live songs?

Me:     Of course they are sweetie, isn’t it amazing?

Little: No Mommy, I mean, like really. Are they alive, like us? Do they have for real families?

Me:     Yes honey. They are alive like you and me. And they have families and people who love them.

Little: Wow. I can’t believe they are for real life! This is so cool.

The show was fantastic fun. As you probably know, the Beast, he’s not such a bad guy. After a serious bout with vanity, and endless time as a nasty nebekh (poor soul) he becomes a haimish’a (warm and loving guy) schlemiel (dolt, oaf) to our Belle. Belle, kaynahorah (without an evil eye), saw the wonderful goodness and worth in this threatening-looking brute, and they become friends, and then later, friends with benefits. Everyone in the castle becomes human again and the evil spell cast his way was broken.

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When they sang, “Be our Guest,” we roared! When they sang “Beauty and the Beast,” we ‘awwwwwwwed.” The girls were dehydrated and hangry despite the pretzel-ators and the water fountain visits. They twisted and fidgeted all over the Mrs., very unusual behavior for my little madelahs (girls). Toffey loved watching the girls enjoy this experience, almost as much as he enjoyed the show. Me too

Later that night, after a nice, early dinner, we dropped Toffey off at his house and starting talking about the play on the drive home. We kibitzed (gossiped) about our favorite scenes from the play and what we learned. We talked about being good people on the planet, treating people with respect and dignity and knowing that beauty is so much more than skin deep. No one had to start a social media campaign stating that #BeastsMatter?

We landed just where most of my posts on this blog end up: #HumanityMatters.

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Rant, Shmant, as long as I can vent week 5

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Quiet please! Therapist is in session (with a loon!)

Privacy is driving me meshugener (crazy). Who has any? As a mom, or a parent/caregiver, when was the last time you went to the bathroom by yourself? Showered without interruption? Little and Big are always asserting and inserting their presence, no matter what seems to be happening. Last week, the Mrs. And I snuck away in the middle of the Parent Trap just to have a conversation. Nothing secret, sacred, or even sordid! We thought for sure that Lindsay Lohan as a kinder (child) would hold their stare. We were in the bathroom with the door shut, kibitzing (talking). Don’t you know, that not five minutes into our conversation, we hear a geshrei (scream) from Little, “WHERE ARE YOU?” Mittendrinnen (in the middle of) the scene where the parents see each other after all those years, they are banging on the door. Mind you, I’m still kvelling (overjoyed with pride) over how sweet they were, their genuine concern of the Mrs. and me, but c’mon!

After reading the news, I realize we have no privacy anywhere. There are cameras everywhere! One can receive a speeding ticket by mail with a picture of your offending car! There are satellite and surveillance cameras capturing our every move. Is my computer watching me type right now? Probably. What about the cloud? How many snoopers and cyber-yentas (gossips) are sifting through all of that stuff?

Do you read the terms and conditions every time you get a new app or open an online account? Not me! I read bubkas (nothing) and blindly click ‘accept!’ They are all in 8-point font and go on and on, using legalese, forever. They are designed to be unreadable. A shonda (shameful)!

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Somehow Facebook knows when I by something on Amazon. This changes my algorithms (is this what they meant in elementary school when they said we’ll use math our whole life?) that create my timeline feeds, and suddenly I see other things similar to or accessories for what I just bought. Is this kosher (legit)? Google knows more about me than my parents (well, that’s for another posting, I promise).

Which brings me to Tim Cook and the pressure cooker he seems to be schvitzing (sweating) in. Stand your ground Tim! Don’t give up the goods to the Bureau! You have gotta know that I’m all for stopping really bad, bad guys and terrorists. But this very big ask by the Elliot Ness’s of the world is one slippery slope for our freedom and liberty.

How many big corporations and retail locations have already been hacked? How can we feel safe knowing there can might be one piece of magical code out there in the ether that can unlock our iPhones and let everyone know how many friends we have to play Words with Friends with? This code can simply and easily undermine decades of security measures and advancements that have been taken by Apple and every tech company that we interact with, to keep out the uber-erudite hackers and cyber-gonifs (thieves).

Today, phones house everything that our desktops, laptops and tablets used to hold, or more. They are the gateway to our entire lives. I respect law enforcement and I cannot even begin to comprehend the kind of pressure they are under to keep us safe. But please, please, keep the back door locked Tim. This is one pandora of a box, kaynahorah (geeze-louise) we shouldn’t open! Be the alrightnik (successful) mensch (good person) that you are and continue to protect the world for my kids, and everyone else.

 

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Out of the mouths of Babes…Heaven

BFF's at the shore
BFF’s at the shore 

The Mrs. told me a story that I often replay in my head. Mind you, this detail is hearsay. She, Little and Big were at their ‘besties’ house for a play date after the start of the school year.

Big and her BFF somehow got on the topic of discussing heaven. Mind you, the BFF brought this topic up. She said it was the most beautiful place ever, with harps and pearly gates and great scenery. Her Grandma had told her all about it. She mentioned Jesus and angels and all sorts of things. Big, turning pensive for just a moment, replied to her BFF, “Well, I’ve been to Tuscany!”

Now, to be fair, ‘besties’ Mom, a true pragmatist, interrupted with, “Now M, we don’t know if heaven is real. Nobody has come back and told us about it. No one has let us know there are real angels…”

I love this! I laugh out loud every time it comes to mind. What a stunning answer from Big. From my perspective, Tuscany is, well, heavenly. The food. The scenery. The smells. Our time together with family…She just may be right? It was, to say the least, a great response!

For the record, I was raised Jewish. I went to Hebrew school and decided against becoming a Bat Mitzvah (rite of passage into adulthood, still deemed more important for boys than girls—think Barbara Streisand and Yentl; also, a ridiculously expensive party), because quite frankly, I didn’t have the chutzpah (balls) to stand up in front of a big crowd and read from the Torah (Scrolls containing the Five books of Moses), sing and speak Hebrew, and garner all that attention. (Remember, I did not have a voice until my 30’s.)

As a kid, we spent a lot of time vacationing in the Borscht Belt (very popular resort hotels for Jews located in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York). I use Yiddish in my writing, a very robust language that is dying, because it really drives home the point in a way that plain English can’t offer. I love this language. It reminds me of my very loving, very wonderful, Nanny Helen. A time when I was known as “Lisa-la.” I can almost smell the ruggaluch (wonderful sweet Jewish cookies) baking when I shut my eyes…I’m no maven (expert) with my Yiddish usage, but I do hope to keep it alive buzzing.

I don’t really practice Judaism. I love the culture and the Haimish’a (warm and friendly) feel, but I lost my faith when I lost my Aunt Mimi. No amount of prayer stopped her pain and suffering. No amount of prayer made her get better. No amount of prayer made me feel better about losing her. Prayer didn’t let me understand that she went to a better place. Azoy vert dus kuchel tzekrokhen. (Literally, this means: That’s the way the cookie crumbles!)

Please know and understand that I do not begrudge anyone with religious beliefs. In fact, I am a bit envious. I do practice Tai Chi and being a good person.

 

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All that being said, the Mrs. is a non-practicing shiksa (non-Jewish female). Many would find that alone a shonda (tragedy). I think it’s pretty awesome. Our kinder (the children), shana madelahs (beautiful little girls) that they are, learn diversity and acceptance (#HumanityMatters) right here, under our roof. That translates exponentially to the outside world, where it is so desperately needed. (It also provides the best of the holiday season, with celebrations of both Chanukah and Christmas.)

So that’s my shtick (funny story) and I’m sticking to it. L’ Chiam (To life!) and Zey gezunt (go in good health).

 

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Yesterday was a bad day, so today will just have to be better!

What number do I call?
What number do I call?

Warning: Yesterday was a bad day, physically, emotionally, and all the other ‘–ally’s’ you can imagine. Little, Big and the Mrs., I apologize for any shortness or biting sarcasm that you were subject to. I try hard not to have this happen, and I know that I am merely mortal.

It started bad from the get-go. The sleep thief, gonif that she is, must have stolen whatever good was needed from my slumber. My body did not feel good and that made Tai Chi difficult. My balance was off and my neck throbbed. Other body parts didn’t line up to cooperate so much either. I pushed through it. Coffee, made expertly (by me) thick and strong, seemed useless. I needed a day like this like a loch in kop.

Little, she woke up in some state of mind! Unfortunately, it was the same one she brought with her to bed the previous night. Magically, she started right in, not skipping a beat or missing a refrain from the prior cockamamie behavior. Some days, my little pisher can really carry on.

I searched deeply, counting backwards from 10-Mississippi to zero and back again, breathing consciously. My sunny disposition was nowhere to be found. Is there a locator app for that? I was tired and my body wasn’t right. I had one bar left on my occipital stimulator, so I knew that by mid-day, I would run out of power (I did). Not so good for a day before a snowstorm. G’zai gezunt…

I made school lunches from bits and scraps. Our kitchen held a startling resemblance to Old Mother Hubbard’s place. This is no dig to the Mrs., as we are artfully trying a new pennywise purchasing plan by food shopping just twice a month and holding to a fixed dollar amount. We still have some work to do here. (Insert feelings of failure, as said family provider. Some breadwinner…I know, but like I said, I had a drecky day.) Big’s Friday lunch remains were still in her lunchbox. Let’s just say, yogurt that sits ‘outside the box’ for three days does not yield a good result for anyone when the container is uncapped. Not an aroma fit for my dicey stomach. Oy. 10-Mississippi…

Luckily, Nona loaded us up with bagels and some fixings yesterday. It would be PB&J for Big, and due to Little’s allergies, sunflower nut butter and honey. Since I wasn’t spit-spot on, I mistakenly made both sandwiches peanut butter. Luckily, I checked myself, thus preventing a possible predicament of anaphylaxis (phew). I quickly made a third bagel sandwich correctly for my shana Little. Vey iz mer! 10-Mississippi…

The commute to work had its usual share of crummy drivers and folks giving me the finger for going the speed limit. (Really, when was the last time you either ‘shot the bird,’ or were on the receiving end of one?) I shout, “Gai cocken afin yom (go shit in the ocean)” from the top of my lungs in the car, windows closed. 10-Mississippi…hey, no one shot me with a bullet, so that alone was a mitzvah! Sunny Dee, is that you? Nope, just my sardonic wit trying to raise a smile.

NPR and XPN were still in the midst of their radio fund drives. Ugh…Just look at the damned scenery and breathe it in. 10-Mississippi… My commute traces the same locales that make up many Thomas Eakins paintings. It’s beautiful no matter the weather, my mood, or the mean-spirited, speed racers that occupy the road with me daily. Smidgeons of Jonas were still around and I was able to find parking close to the office. All good. 10-Mississippi…

I get to work, fire up the computer and start the day. I completely fake feeling fine and dandy with everyone. No one even raises an eyebrow or questions this; I am that good. As I walk downstairs to talk with a co-worker, I spot a mouse, flat-out dead in a trap in the kitchen. Of mice and women. 10-Mississippi…

Enough already. No more kvetching

Today is Tuesday. It will be a better day. I think Sunny Dee, my inner Mary Poppins, is back. Body still crapy and I’m still faking it, but that’s okay. I’m an expert. Snow dusted the cars last evening, so the 4-8 inch hype (one place where size matters…) from the weather advisory folk was wrong. The kinder will be disappointed. No Olaf building today.

I’m about to try some Tai Chi. Hope you all have a good day.

 

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