My 10 year old got off the schoolbus yesterday and said that a first grade boy had told her that she "looks hot" and that he loves her. "What's the matter with him?" she exclaimed indignantly. "Doesn't he know that I'm an older woman?!"
I took Flash to the podiatrist last night to get rid of some painful "basketball calluses". The podiatrist said that Flash has very high arches and that one calf muscle is more developed than the other (that's OK, I love him, anyway). He said that could be indicative of a neurological problem and recommended a neurological consult.
Have any of you ever heard of such a link? Flash does not display any cognitive or motor impairments at all, and there's no other reason to suspect that anything might be wrong (other than the fact that Flash thought that this was a riot, and spent the rest of the night claiming that he was too neurologically impaired to do his homework or take out the garbage.) Are there any doctors out there that could shed a little light on this for me?
It's been one year since 8 innocent yeshiva boys were brutally murdered by an Arab in Yeshivat Merkaz Harav in Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post recalls the horrific event here. I expressed my thoughts The Morning After.)
So much has happened over the past year in Israel. The corruption case against the Prime Minister. The war in Gaza. The (still unresolved) elections for a new government. But not much has changed. Jewish children are still at risk for being attacked while they sit in school, or play in the park, or ride the bus. The children of southern Israel are still being targeted with rockets by Hamas. Their older brothers who are serving in the army are still at risk for kidnapping. Gilad Schalit is still not home. And the "leaders" of the Israeli government are still so busy fighting amongst themselves for power that the safety of their citizens is relegated to a distant second.
I've heard that the first year after a loved one dies is the hardest. You have to get through the first Shabbat without that person, the first Pesach, the first birthday... each day marks a first of some kind. You experience the pain and the loss over and over again as special days, and ordinary days, pass without having that person around to share it with. I can't begin to imagine how hellish this past year must have been for the families of the eight boys who were killed. As a parent, I can't let my imagination go there. I don't want to feel even a tiny drop of that kind of pain. I can only hope that something, anything, will happen to eliminate the possibility that Jewish children will be targeted and killed by crazed people who hate them for no legitimate reason.
If you can, please do a mitzvah today in memory of those eight innocent boys.
I haven't posted in almost a week because my computer was hijacked. I've been battling evil Trojan viruses all week. Last Thursday, my computer started acting strangely. It was running very slowly, and certain web pages weren't loading. The internet connection kept crashing, and e-mail could be opened sometimes, but not always. And then the pop-ups started. At first, they were innocent enough. One pop-up was for a diet program, another was for a celebrity gossip magazine. But then the X-rated pop-ups began. I got a quick shot of a body part that I never knew existed, shrieked, and immediately shut down the computer before my kids could see anything. I tried everything- Norton, Ad-Aware, Windows Update, Google pop-up blocker. I removed unused programs and cleaned my temporary internet file cache. I screamed at the computer numerous times. There was some improvement, but not enough. So I finally caved and paid $40 to download MalwareRemovalBot. I just ran it three times and removed all the viruses that it found. If it works, then I'll be back after Shabbat with a post that's been sloshing around in my head for a while. In the meantime, may we all have a peaceful and virus-free Shabbat!
I spent the day doing my taxes. Considering how simple my financial situation is, this shouldn't be too difficult. I make X number of dollars and I have X number of dependents. That's it. I don't own any businesses or real estate or IRAs or stock. I don't itemize deductions. I don't live in New York City for part of the year and in Yonkers for part of the year (for some reason this is a frequently mentioned scenario in the NY State tax instructions booklet.) Filling out my tax returns should, theoretically, take an hour or so. Yeah, right. It took me most of the day to decipher the insane instructions, figure out what applies to me and what doesn't, find and complete all the schedules, forms, and attachments, and make photocopies of everything. To make matters worse, NY State decided not to send out tax booklets this year (thus saving the state a whopping $1 million. Big deal.) NY State taxpayers have to go online to find and download the forms that they need, and to read the pages and pages of instructions. Now, why can't the tax bozos do things the way Leora does them? You should see her edition of Haveil Havalim. It's well organized, easy to read, and self-explanatory. It's really so pretty. It even has pictures. There's an element of clarity and simplicity that is a joy to behold. What a pleasure. If only the IRS could do their job as well as Leora has done hers.
The long and troubled history between the Catholic Church and the Jews took a positive turn today when Pope Benedict XVI met with "about 60 American Jewish leaders" (which leaders? it wasn't specified) in Vatican City and declared that Holocaust denial is unacceptable and that the Catholic Church was "profoundly and irrevocably committed to reject all anti-Semitism." The Pope also said that he is planning to visit Israel. While these sentiments are nothing new, it is important that they be reiterated from time to time, particularly in today's hostile anti-Jewish climate in Europe. The Church still holds a lot of authority in the minds of Catholics worldwide, and hearing the Pope declare again that anti-semitism is unacceptable might help a little bit in countries like Italy, France and Belgium which have large Catholic populations.
Now... what I'm REALLY waiting for is the United Nations to declare that anti-semitism is unacceptable. (Yes, I know, I'll be waiting a long, long, time...)
This guy has got you beat: "Eight members of a man's poverty-ridden family were shot and beheaded before their bodies were thrown into a river in eastern India after he secretly married a wealthy girl... Police in the eastern state of Bihar found the eight bodies floating in a river and have charged 15 people, mostly from the girl's family, with the murders. The girl's family invited the boy's family for a meeting on the pretext of settling the dispute, but killed all eight and beheaded them." source: MSNBC (Eight beheaded after wedding dispute in India)
No, this is not a post about my waistline (although that would not be an inappropriate title, I'm afraid).
This is about the huge unsightly bulge that I discovered in my kitchen ceiling on Friday, just 3 hours before Shabbat. It was perfectly round, like an upside down dome. I knew right away what it was.
It was divine retribution for not listening to my mother.
She had been warning me for weeks that the radiator in my upstairs bathroom was leaking, and that the water would drip through the floor and into the ceiling below. I'm always kvetching that I have too many things to worry about, and I didn't want to deal with this too. So I ignored her warnings. And of course, she turned out to be right.
I frantically called the plumber, telling him that he had to come over right now, before the bubble burst and my whole ceiling collapsed. He said he'd be right over, and showed up two hours later. It was now 1 hour before Shabbat. He came in, looked at the bulge and said "Wow!" (that was not what I wanted to hear). He pulled out a knife, cut a small slit in the latex paint, and held up a bucket. About a gallon of brown, smelly water came pouring out of the ceiling into the bucket. I gasped, my daughters said "ewwww!" and my son said, "that is so cool!"
Long story short: he fixed the leak by changing the valves on the radiator, charged me almost $400 (ohmygodIcan'taffordthis) and finally left 7 minutes before Shabbat. Flash had not been able to shower (because the plumber was working in our one and only bathroom) and so, for the first time in his life, he put on a suit and went to shul unshowered. (I hope God wasn't offended.)
Now I have two problems: 1) I have to get someone to repaint that section of my ceiling, which will cost more money. 2) I have to tell my mother. She will definitely say "I told you so".
Lesson: Mom knows best. Pretty much always. When will I learn?
I recently received this story via an e-mail that is being passed around. I have no idea if it is true or not. (If anyone does know, I would appreciate hearing from you.) If it is in fact true, then all I can say is wow... what a remarkably kind and generous woman Rivka Holtzberg a"h must have been.
Rivky Holzberg's Shlichus Lives On Submitted by Dena Gottlieb of Modiin Ilit, Israel, Thank you. Sometime during the shiva for Rivky Holtzberg Hy"d, a young woman came into the Rosenberg home. She told Mrs. Rosenberg that she had something for her, and handed her a small package. Curious, Mrs. Rosenberg opened it and gasped. Inside was Rivky's diamond ring and one of her nicer Shabbos dresses. "How did you get these?" The young woman gently told Rivky's mother, "Let me tell you my story." "I had been traveling in India. Somehow I ran afoul of the law and ended up in an Indian jail. You cannot begin to imagine what an awful, horrible, primitive place it was... The only redeeming factor is that the jails there are quite disorganized, and those who are in charge are corrupt. Somehow I managed to escape. "The first place I ran to was, of course, the Chabad House. Everyone knew that that's where you went when you needed help. Rivky welcomed me, fed me, and told me that it was vital that I get out of the country. I knew that - but I was very afraid. What if they would check me, check my passport? Then Rivky gave me one of her Shabbat dresses and her diamond ring. 'If you look very dignified, a well-dressed married woman with a ring on her finger, they won't look too closely at you. They will leave you alone. A woman with a diamond ring is in a different class. She's a respectable woman. She's not a criminal, someone who has escaped from jail. They won't bother you.' "I took the dress and the ring and as you can see, I got out safely. And now I have come to give you Rivky's dress and her ring that she lent to me." Rivky's mother took the possessions of her beloved daughter. Then she told the young woman, "I recently saw Rivky and noticed that she wasn't wearing her ring. When I asked her about it, she told me 'zeh b'shlichut.' It's on shlichus." *****************************
Via a comment left on my last post by Something Different, I discovered a cute blog called BOSD One Liners (what does BOSD stand for?) It's a compilation of one-liners, some funny, some insightful, some that you've already heard, and some that you haven't. I like this one, which was posted today: "People will walk in and out of your life unless you grab their hand and ask them to stay." Take a look at the site. Which is your favorite one-liner?
Made a birthday party yesterday for Supermangirl. Sixteen 10 year old boys and girls. Didn't know that any group of people could be THAT LOUD. My ears are still ringing. Seems to be affecting my typing and syntax. My daughter was SO HAPPY though. Totally worth it. Love rules.
The massive layoffs that are affecting Wall Street are having an unintended consequence. According to this NY Times article, the wives and girlfriends of investment bankers, stockbrokers, and corporate executives are finding that the stress of a failing economy is leading to the failure of their relationships. Apparently, these women are very upset that their husbands/boyfriends can no longer supply them with no-limit credit cards, expensive spa treatments, and luxury trips and dinners out. ("It's not what I signed up for" said one woman.) In order to more efficiently complain about this blow to their lifestyles, a group of "Wall Street widows" has started a blog called Dating A Banker Anonymous, "a safe place where women can come together – free from the scrutiny of feminists– and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships." The posts are absolutely hysterical, but the underlying tone of dependent, demanding women is really off-putting. I keep imagining a Jewish version of this: "Ladies, has your husband's kollel cut back on his monthly stipend? Are you being forced to buy non-matching outfits for little Suri, Chaya, Gitty and Shprintzy? Are you no longer able to have your sheitel blown out every month? Share your tearful tale at NotEnoughParnassah.blogspot.com!"