Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What does it take

to get me out of blogslumber? This is what it takes to wake me up.

Once again, the solution to every problem in the universe tastes just like chicken. And once again, schmaltz is really useful.

This is why I love America.

Monday, November 21, 2005

My wife

incidentally, is really cool. My new laptop & old clunker were not talking to each other, and I was too busy & incompetent to resolve it.

In comes the Mrs., who successfully networks those two plus her own, and last night I finally got a chance to start transferring all the old crap to the new machine. Plenty of it is junk, but the old one is in bad shape, so I'm dumping stuff on the new one & I'll hopefully sort it & clean it out over there before the old one gives up the ghost in the machine.

Anyway, the wife is pretty neat.


was all birthday parties, all the time. Youngest had two in succession, then oldest one in the afternoon. I got to sleep in a little, which was good because I stayed up late watching the hockey game I had taped in the afternoon. I took youngest to the morning party, which was fine except I couldn't leave.

Pass the parcel, projects, pizza, and ice cream cake. Over & done by noon, home, grab some lunch. Mrs. heads off to the Kosher Krispy Kreme donut party, and oldest & I entertain ourselves. Youngest returns, fell asleep in the car & transferred successfully to the couch. Oldest off in a friend's car to her gymnastics party, & Mrs. & I get to have uninterrupted conversation with her out & youngest asleep.

Oldest returns, youngest awakes, dinner, bed for oldest, youngest comes down & hangs out while I watch the hockey game. She goes to bed, I waste TV time & computer time, then off to bed after midnight.

Plenty to do, not much accomplished.

The weekend

was actually nice. Sunday was not the most accomplished of my days, but more on that in a bit.

Despite the lateness of our shoppitude, all the food was succesfully cooked. Cholent went up and turned out delicious, matzah balls were done on time, and family arrived with time to spare. A nice dinner and the kids actually in bed by 9PM. Like morons, however, the adults stayed up talking until midnight, so we were a little wiped the next day.

Especially given that a certain small person arrived in our bed sometime around 2:30 AM. I actually didn't notice until she started kicking me at 5:30AM, which got some extremely grouchy grunts out of me. Eventually we all dragged ourselves out of bed, got kidlets breakfasted, and everyone aside from Mrs. Skinny headed off to services.

Mostly peace & quiet at services, although youngest (clearly underslept) hung around at the beginning, half asleep on my shoulder. She disappeared off to groups after a while, returning later towards the end of services. Which would have been fine, except I was leading services at the time and she came over, quietly but insistently requesting I remove a lollipop wrapper for her. The presence of her uncle nearby, who offered to take care of her helped not a whit, so I led and unwrapped at the same time. Mind you, I've never led services in recent years WITHOUT one of them in my arms, hanging on me, or whispering loudly about whatever they need. I managed not to screw up anyway.

Lunch involved some other friends we invited, which was fine except my sister in law is quite the liberal and the husband of the friends (though I didn't know this before) quite the conservative, but after the initial salvos we got off politics and lunch was lovely. By the time it ended it was time for afternoon services, then a little more home until the end of Shabbos, when the cousins & all decamped for home.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I should point out

that I'm a confused, discombobulated, witless dope.

Relations are coming for shabbos, and we've known about this for weeks. We even have a menu written out by Weds night. Some of the things are cooked already.

And yet, knowing that I have to make both Cholent and Matzah Balls,* do I have all the ingredients I need for either? Well, I know you'll be surprised, but no, I don't. No meat for the cholent, no seltzer for the matzah balls.

What, I hear you cry, does that mean when Shabbos begins around 4:20?

It means that half the food still needs to be made and I will be a lunatic when I get home. Moreso than usual, of course. Well, the Lord does want us to appreciate the day of rest, and what better way to do that then spending Day of Rest Eve running around like the proverbial Gallus Domesticus, Decapita?

*It should be noted that Matzah Balls in Cholent is a tasty idea; take the uncooked dough, form into balls, and put into the cholent pot where they will cook overnight and end up delicious. Cholent in Matzah Balls, on the other hand, would be disgusting and the sort of sick, twisted thing that dopey, sophomoric "fusion" cooking types would come up with, and charge you $18 apiece for.

Good news

As both a short altitudinally challenged person and a fan of AC/DC, I applaud Angus Young being named "greatest short dude of all time."

It's about time the tallocentric world took notice of us underheighted people.

Gives more meaning to the AC/DC lyric "It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock & roll."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

As to why

I have been away, I'd say it's a combination of blogennui and busyness. My neighbor's mother passed away last week and it's been a busy shiva week for us as well, of course, for her.

Mrs. Skinny co-organized the meals for them, took over carpool, etc. I was over there twice a day for services, did some shopping, and helped out where I could.

I can't remember if anything else of consequence has actually happened. I made nacho stuffed shells on Monday, which freeze nicely and will give me lunch for a few more days. Last night was Chocolate Chip cookies, some for new neighbors & most for the weekend - my brother, sister in law, & two nieces are coming for the weekend while their house is being painted. My nephew decided to make his plans elsewhere, so we've only got the girls.

Oh, and I did have lunch with my friend Peter on Tuesday. There's a group of Medical Archivists that meets periodically in Manhattan, and I try & make lunch plans with Peter when I'm in the City, which is increasingly rare. We always end up at the expensive place a couple of blocks from where I used to (and he still) work(s). Considering he's not Jewish, it's nice there's a restaurant I can take him to that he likes. Kosher restaurants are sometimes a little on the cheesy side, and if you don't keep kosher they don't measure up.

Anyway, it's a steak place I go to when I feel like I have too much money & nothing to spend it on. The steak is unbelievable, and it's one of the few places where I pick the plate completely clean, so it's worth the expense. It was a nice chance to catch up with him, and I was out of the office for more than half the day, which doesn't hurt.

Thursday Three

Terry notes I've been a bit absent from blogging. I brought a note:

Dear Mr. Possum,

Please excuse my son from blogging. He had a slight case of the Plague.

Epstein's Mother.

Anyway, here's T3:

1) If you had an unlimited amount of money, what sort of house would you like to have?

A larger house that contained a backyard ice rink and a Super Chexx hockey table. It would also be the sort of house that other people clean for me. I'd also like a large workshop area with someone to teach me woodworking.

2) If you decided to chunk it and go the full Thoreau route, what sort of hovel would you like to have?

See #1. I am most definitely NOT the Thoreau type. I like indoor plumbing too much.

3) What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the house or apartment you live in right now?

I'd like a bigger yard. It was one of the choices we had to make when picking a house, and we chose the recently rebuilt house/small yard over the beaten up house/large yard combo.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Workin' in a coal mine

Goin' down down down.

Anyway, T3 this week:

1. What is the thing you like best about your job?

When I'm a smart-aleck, I say the fact that nobody bothers me, sometimes for weeks at a time. See the boss once a month unless I need something. When I'm not, I like answering reference requests most. I don't do a ton - this is the first year in the five I've been here that I'm going to answer more than 50 requests. They're fun because sometimes it's a neat search to find the answer to a question, and it's best when I don't have to think of a question to ask.

2. What one thing--mind you THING (i.e., not people)--that you would like most to change about your job?

There's a few, not the least of which is the pay. I think I'd like to be able to hire an assistant, which is not likely to happen anytime soon.

3. What do you wish people knew about your job that you think they don’t?

First off, I wish they knew that I don't handle medical records. I get a bunch of calls looking for people's charts, and I have to explain that I don't touch those. More importantly, I wish people understood how much I help other people do their jobs. I don't think people get that while I may not make money for the organization, I do an awful lot for the people who do make money.

Not while I'm blogging, maybe, but other times.

Monday, November 07, 2005

la la la la la

::skinny dance of joy::

Mamma's back in town, and all is right with the world.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Referrer log funnies

Somebody was looking for skinny black girls. I will give the searcher the benefit of the doubt that they had no nefarious ideas in mind, but short of my changing both gender and skin color, I can only hope they were severely disappointed.

I like this one "bic lighter etching" It does sort of eliminate the need to "come up and see my etchings" when you can pull them out of your pocket, but I imagine the post in question was less than helpful

This search is simply beyond me. Aside from the fact that the query string apparently doesn't work, I can't for the life of me figure out why Camilla would be here. I mean, I know her stall is all mucked out & all, and we've got her favorite oats, but...

I am also proud to announce that I was result #119 on the list of sites under the search "shaving cream fight." Please note that proper form is to stand back to back, holding cans of barbasol approximately waste high, tabs removed. Take ten paces, turn, and fire. While straight razors are not used by orthodox Jews, feel free to finish the job properly with the gilette product of your choice.

Marquess of Queensbury rules, if you please.


I remember Demers a bit as a coach. Other than my beloved and [GASP!] in first place NY Rangers, I also keep tabs on the Detroit Red Wings, where he coached for a while. I also used to read the Hockey News avidly, so I was up on things around the league.

Demers was a talkative guy, and I seem to recall him making points very emphatically in that stereotypical French Canadian accent (shoot dat puck, score dat goal.) It's kind of amazing to think that the guy kept illiteracy a secret and yet climbed to the pinnacle of hockey coaching with a Stanley Cup win (Canadiens, 1993).

People can accomplish a lot in life with drive & determination, but you still wonder how anyone can function, much less succeed in life when they can't read. And to keep it hidden for 60+ years?

More power to him for pulling it off.

I should point out

that this morning was the kind of carpool morning I dread. Not quite carpool from hell, but certainly carpool purgatory. Neighbor needed to be elsewhere, so she asked if I could take the kids to school. Oldest would now be late, but there weren't really other options so I said OK.

Everything is hunky-dory until we get the first non-related-to-me kid. She's gotta sit in the middle between two boosters because the other kids are smaller. As it is oldest is sitting in the front seat (BAD BAD BAD DADDY!), as I drive a Civic for crying out loud, and there's barely room for three teeny weenies in the back. Picked up child starts whining that she doesn't want to be there, not in the middle, not next to youngest, not...

Fortunately it was dad there, and he had a train to make. "Sorry, kiddo, here's where you gotta be." Down the block to get last kid. Ring ring ring. Nobody home. Call Mrs. - "is the kid at his cousin's house?" What day is it, asks she. Thursday? Yep, he's there. Drive the block there, whine whine whine. My youngest joins the sobfest. Dad's phrase that pays, my lovely child, is "too bad."

Cousin's house, ring ring ring, no answer, side door, there they are. Dig seatbelt out from under whiny non-related kid, head over to school. Mercifully only a block away. Kids out one by one, up the stairs into the arms of loving teacher, whining & crying from all three. A cheery goodbye from VERY late dad & oldest, & off to her school.

Mamma's return can NOT come soon enough for me, for a wide variety of reasons.

Thursday three time

In a way, I think this list of question ties in very nicely with Jordana's post about postmodernism. There's something so Deconstructionist about using blogs to explore the reasons for blogging. I imagine there's a PhD to be written in here somewhere, but I'll leave that to the incomprehensible babblers to assemble so no one (including their mothers) will read it.


1) If you have a blog, why did you start it? If you don’t have one, do you think you might start one? Why or why not?

Do I have a blog? Do I have a blog? That's a tough one, hmmm.

I have a blog, in fact, and I imagine at least one person is reading it. Besides me, I mean. I started it because somehow or the other I ended up at Terry's place and decided it was a neat place to be. Terry and Jim noodged me over the edge into starting my own. I had toyed with the idea, and couldn't really decided if there was any point. Why would anyone read it. I swiftly learned that there's no reason to worry about that in the blogworld - most blogs are there for no reason at all. So why not contribute to the dreck out there?

2) What blogs do you read most often?

Terry's & Jordana's. I check out the others on my roll semi-regularly. During election season I was reading the National Review 7-8 times a day. I've given up on it as my interest in politics has diminished, and I need to work a littlebit. I don't have the energy to get too deep into other blogs.

3) Finally, what do you consider to be the greatest strength(s) and most profound weakness(es) of blogging?

For me the purpose of my blogging & blogreading is social. I clam up at cocktail-party type social events, but I can get a lot of the same interaction online, and I can express myself better with strangers by writing than by speaking. With that in mind, one strength for me is the ability to find like-minded people to socialize with. I don't need to hang around blogs with people I don't care for - I can always find another place with a more appropriate crowd.

Another is the wide variety of opinions and perspectives out there. It's a great place if you really want to see how other people are thinking and understand how the other side of whatever believes. It can also serve as the check on the media that I think this country needs. You've got millions of tinfoil hat brigaders for every successful Bush National Guard Records events, but those few successes are a useful check.

I'll agree with Terry on the negatives - too many trolls and troglodytes for anyone's taste. It's much easier and safer to be a putz, call someone names, and act like a fourteen year old when you can do it anonymously. The blogosphere simply gives the neanderthals a new space to act stupid.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

So, tell me

have you ever been to a meeting where some folks seemed determined not to get with the program? Where the answer to everything is "I don't think we can do that"? Which really means "Why are you making me do my job properly?" and "How can I stall this and/or blow it off so I don't have to do anything?" Where something that would be really cool, is absolutely necessary for the organization, and in the grand scheme of the universe is simple and cost effective is still not really where some people want to go?

Hmm. Me neither. Nope. Never. Not even as recently as this afternoon.

I'm Alone! I'm Alone!

Holy crap. I'm alone!

Mrs. has headed south to our friend in the DC area who just had a baby a week ago. Figuring that an extra pair of hands would be useful, she hit the road at 8:30 last night to give her friend more tons of baby paraphenalia and a week's TLC.

The result?

Yours truly gets a week alone with the miniature tornados. It's not a terrible thing, but it's a mite complicated. Youngest starts school at 8:15 around the corner; oldest starts at 8:15 five minutes from work, which is 20-25 minutes away. Youngest finishes school at 2PM, except on Tuesdays when she has gymnastics after & gets out at 3; oldest finishes at 3:45, except on Tuesdays when she has Arts & Crafts, & gets out at 4:30.

Getting the picture?

Happily, neighbor we carpool with has agreed to both take youngest at 7:45, as well as drive all week. Grandparents will be called into service on several of the days. All in all the logistics will be resolved somehow. I feel a little bad about overloading neighbor, but we did cook her dinner for her birthday on Sunday, and I made a pile of mint fudge as a birthday present, so we're trying to even it out a little bit.

Oddly, despite being alone with the kids, we were far more together and on time today than when Mrs. is around. I wonder if this means something?