Sunday, December 23, 2007

Chili Dog - Hold the Babushka

Looks like those demented elves got ahold of this little guy.

Friday, December 21, 2007

If it's Tuesday it Must Be Belgian

I love waffles but I hate it when I see the term "Belgium waffles" on an ad or listed on a menu. Belgium is a country. Belgian is an adjective used to describe people or things from Belgium.

You wouldn't say "France fries," "England breakfast tea," or "Spain omelette," would you?

Of course, you could always call them Flemish waffles, but I doubt they'd be big sellers.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Have Yourself a Tacky Little Christmas

Well, I'd take my head off, too, if I had to wear this thing. But creating holiday sweater styles is a very serious biz, according to the Style section of today's New York Times:
We may not remember that there are real, sophisticated people coming up with ideas for these things at companies like Coldwater Creek, Talbots, Marisa Christina, Quacker Factory and Berek every year, not some committee of demented elves pulling subjects at random from Santa’s bag of tricks — i.e., ice-skating penguins, fiber-optic candy canes, halls-decking bunnies and so on.
That's because the demented elves are too busy making tacky holiday outfits for dogs.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Driving-Me-Nutscracker Suite

Why does every company in the universe use "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" to sell its products during the holidays?

I've heard that tune so often lately that I'll bet even the sugarplum fairy is ready for a little Springsteen at this point.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hooked on Jewphonics

Chanukah Chanukkah Chanukka Hanuka Hanukka Channukah Channukkah Hanukah Hanukkah
Chanuka Chanukka Hanuka Hanukka Channukah Channukkah Hannukah Hannukkah Channuka
Channukka Hannuka Hannukka Kannukah Kanukkah Kannuka Kanukka Ckannuka Ckanukka Ckannukah Ckanukkah.

Now we know why there are no Jewish spelling bees.

Happy Chanukah!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Where the Streets Have One Name

Hey street-namers, what's your frickin' problem? Is street-naming the new brain surgery? Is it really so hard to think of more than three or four names for the streets of one neighborhood?

Or do you get sadistic pleasure knowing that directionally challenged people like me hear the "Psycho" theme music whenever we drive in certain areas of town?

La Jolla, CA (a few miles north of San Diego) is a good example. Why is there an Executive Drive, Executive Way, and Executive Square all in the same block? Why does La Jolla Village Drive intersect with Villa La Jolla Drive? And why in heck does North Torrey Pines Road intersect with itself?

I feel like Sisyphus, except I'm pushing my rock up the same damn street every time.

Monday, November 26, 2007

If it's Kislev it Must be Tuesday

Everyone is saying that Hanukkah is early this year. But Hanukkah starts at sunset on the same day each year on the Jewish calendar, the 25th of Kislev, which, this year falls on the 4th of December on the Julian calendar.

Next year, Hanukkah will begin on a totally different day on the Julian calendar but will fall, as it always has, on the 25th of Kislev.


This is because the Jewish calendar is based on the Earth's rotation on its axis, how it revolves around the sun, and how the moon revolves around the Earth. It's a big, complicated formula that, if I really thought about it, would keep me up at night.

Jewish months begin when the tiniest sliver of the new moon is visible. Some years have 12 months, others 13. And a year with 13 months is called a "Shanah Me'uberet" (pronounced shah-NAH meh-oo-BEH-reht), literally: a pregnant year.

Oy, and no wonder. With such a complex calendar who could keep track of their period? I'm surprised every year isn't pregnant.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Buffalo is Where it's at

University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. WTF?

That's the official name of what I grew up calling UB or SUNY Buffalo (not to be confused with sunny Buffalo, which refers to its three days of summer). Call me nitpicky, but I have a problem with long, convoluted names.

It sort of makes UB seem like the one and only school in the entire Empire State.

As a former Buffalonian (yeah I know, that sounds like a person with exemplary herding skills) I have enough trouble defending the honor of my birthplace. And I really hate what appears to be confusing and redundant branding for a very good school.

You gotta wonder, however, about their English department.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How Jews Are Like Pilgrims

It's getting close to Thanksgiving and I can't help but notice the glaring similarities between Jews and Pilgrims.

For example:

*Some Jews wear big black hats; some Pilgrims wore big black hats.

*We got the heck outta Egypt because of religious persecution (and very unfair labor practices); the Pilgrims left England for the same reason.

*Every year we celebrate our freedom with a big meal - the Passover Seder. The Pilgrims started the Thanksgiving tradition as a tribute to their free lives in the New World.

*In 17th century New England, the Pilgrims controlled the media and economic empires. And the big machers now? You guessed it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vagina vs. Vajayjay - Thinking Outside the Box

You say vajayjay, I say vagina. Let's call the whole thing off. Please.

This is such a silly argument. Who cares what you call the land down under? It's yours; call it whatever you'd like.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sox Appeal

Curse? What curse?

The Bambino is dead; long live the Best Damn Team in baseball.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

San Diego Fires

I'm very lucky. I live in an urban area of San Diego that has not yet been directly affected by the fires. Many friends and colleagues have had to evacuate their homes and don't know if they'll be coming back to unscathed structures or just a pile of ashes.

If you want to help the fire victims by making a cash donation online, please visit the American Red Cross, San Diego Chapter.

Or, if you're local and want to donate goods or volunteer, please visit Volunteer San Diego.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why Sports Needs English Majors

"Who has played for the most different teams in the post season?"

Or, better yet, who on the Fox Sports programming staff can put together a grammatically correct sentence? Yep, this was one of the trivia questions posed to viewers during last night's Red Sox game.

And of course, my first reaction as a Jew was, "Why is this team different from all other teams?"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Twelve Angry Menses

When it comes to female plumbing, clearly it's the ovaries that call all the shots. Even sans uterus, I still get PMS because my ovaries have gone WiFi and picked up on someone else's menstrual signal.

It just kills me. I no longer ride the tubular schmata, yet I still experience the joys of considering a trip to Krispy Kreme and the gun shop on the same day.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

And Bring a Little Sweatah

I know everyone thinks we Heebs run the entertainment industry, control the media, and have our hands in all things financial.

But what most people don't realize is what we really want is to give everyone the ability to access their Inner Jewish Mother.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Trouble with Angels

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. What the hell kind of a baseball team name is that? It sounds like someone is taking himself a little too seriously. Who named this team anyhow? Thurston Howell III?

Yeah, yeah I know the real reason for the convoluted name change. The latest owner wanted to "re-brand" the Anaheim Angels as an LA team because LA is a more recognized market.

But a clause in the contract requires that "Anaheim" stays in the name. So now we have to deal with this silly mouthful of a pedigree.

In the meantime, I'm counting on the Crimson Hosiery of Boston to kick some serious Halo derriere.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Sox Rock!

Last night with a Red Sox win and a Yankees loss, the Sox clinched the top spot in the AL East. The regular season is over and now begins the gut wrenching, nail biting, hair tearing post season.

And for Sox fans, October means a steady diet of beer, pizza, ESPN, and Xanax.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Nerd Club of the Air is Back!

In early August, KPBS in San Diego canceled one of my favorite public radio shows, "A Way With Words."

I'm thrilled to tell you that today, after a couple of months of hard work, co-hosts Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, along with their producer Stefanie Levine, announced the show's much anticipated resurrection.

From what my sources tell me, the new show will be better than it's ever been and much more accessible to listeners.

So if you're a big Word Nerd like me, gather up all your questions about dangling participles, word origins, weird phrases, and punctuation mysteries, and check out their site. And don't forget to sign up for their email newsletter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Finally - The True Meaning of Laundry Petroglyphs

About a month ago, I bought a few new bras. They seemed more delicate than my other bras so I thought I'd take a look at the washing instructions on the tag.

But all I found were three symbols that made no sense to me. There were no instructions, just these three shapes that looked like something from a pre-school lesson plan. And they were tiny, too.

So I've been afraid to wash my bras lest they explode or something. But then I found a website to answer all my laundry symbol questions.

It was like I'd just come down from Mount Sinai. Thou shalt not bleach.

Ride The SLUT

Many cities have catchy acronyms or nicknames for their light rail systems. Paris has the Metro, London has the Tube, Boston has the T, and the Bay Area has BART.

But the Seattle neighborhood of South Lake (a combination of three areas: Cascade, Denny Triangle and Denny Park) has a name for their new transportation system that should attract plenty of riders - the SLUT - the South Lake Union Trolley.

This is why we hire marketing consultants.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Avast Me Heebies!

Tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so naturally I had to do a little research to see if there were any Jewish pirates. Such a treasure trove of information I found!

It turns out that when the Sephardim were run out of Spain in 1492 some of them became notorious pirates. And there was even a Moroccan pirate who was also a rabbi. I'd hate to be the kid who had this guy do his bris.

One of their ships probably had a parrot named Herschel whose repertoire consisted of:

"Be careful with that sword; You could put out an eye."

"Plank, schmank; Make the prisoner call his mother."

"Discover Florida? You should live so long."

Friday, September 14, 2007

I Racked My Brain - But I Just Don't Get It

Like anyone else who doesn't live under a rock, I realize that this country is breast-obsessed.

But the Jingle Jugs Tour and its battery operated "Jugs that Jiggle" gets the booby prize for low brow and tasteless. Yeah, yeah the group gives 10% of their profits to breast cancer causes just to stay on the edge of political correctness, but give me a break!

Now anyone with $39.99, or $49.99 if you want to customize the sound, (the standard model comes with the soundtrack "Titties and Beer" by Rodney Carrington. Nice.) can own their own "trophy rack" that jiggles to tacky music.

And with the holidays fast approaching, now you've got the perfect gift for the man, or woman (you never know) who has everything.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I've Grown Accustomed to Your Typeface

Nerd. Wonk. Geek. Propeller head. Call me what you will, but I'm dying to see the new film "Helvetica." This documentary provides a veritable font of knowledge about the typeface Helvetica, and sounds pretty interesting to me.

From the New York Times review:
"Overlong but fascinating, Mr. Hustwit’s documentary posits Helvetica — a sans-serif typeface developed in 1957 at the Haas Foundry in Munchenstein, Switzerland — as an emblem of the machine age, a harbinger of globalization and an ally of modern art’s impulse toward innovation, simplicity and abstraction. Its versatility is showcased in shots of storefronts, street signs, public transportation systems, government forms, advertisements and newspaper vending boxes."
Of course, this film probably won't be up for any awards because of the obvious typecasting.

L'Shana Tova Tika Tevu

It's that thinky time of year again. Tonight begins the 10 Days of Awe, the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

To all my Jewish brothers and sisters - have a sweet and happy New Year and an easy fast.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Have I Got a Deal For You

I could understand it if the tickets were for a lifetime of floor seats for Knicks games, or field level seats behind home plate for the Boston Red Sox, or orchestra seats for the Metropolitan Opera.

But spending $1.8 million for a lifetime of choice seats at a synagogue in Miami?

Yep, Temple Emanu-El in South Beach is using eBay to auction off two seats in the front row that will remain in the owner's family for life. And the bidding for the coveted pair starts at $1.8 million.

I get that it's a great tax write-off and a really generous endowment for the temple, but, oy vey, that's an arkload of sheckels for a couple of seats in shul.

Then again, the winner also gets free parking and two custom made yarmulkes and prayer shawls. So, what's not to like?

Well, here's the caveat. Under the rabbi's constant gaze, there's no way you can nod off during the sermon. And don't even think about pretending to daven while listening to the World Series during High Holy Day services.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Another Shocker from the Who Knew? Files

Kissing is more important to women than it is to men.

Yep, it's true. In a study conducted by a team at SUNY Albany, over 1,000 students filled out sexual behavior questionnaires, and - guess what? - women consider kissing a key prelude to sex. (Can I get an "Amen"?)

But the guys? Kissing, schmissing.

The study shows that women are all about the lip lock. And here's part of their reasoning: If a man doesn't have the kissing thing down, then it's likely he can't, er, dance so good either. If your new guy covers your face with his mouth and shoves his tongue down your throat, you know he's probably really good at CPR. But as a fine-tuned love machine? Not so much.

The men surveyed are partial to wet, tongue kisses if they have to suck face, but can easily skip kissing altogether and go right to the main course.

And this is just one of the many reasons why lesbian recruitment is so darned easy.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Men Prefer Looks to Brains - Who Knew?

You're not going to believe this.

A recent scientific study
has proven that (drum roll) men prefer hot women.

Apparently, those geeky folks in white coats at the National Academy of Sciences spent time and money to come to a conclusion that falls in the "Duh!" category.

This brilliant deduction was probably cited in the footnotes of the Rosetta Stone, and if you check out a few cave walls, there are likely several petroglyphs that deliver a similiar message.

So what's the next Big Scientific Revelation from this group? Discovery of fire changes everything?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I See London, I See France

Queen Victoria is probably having a party in her grave right about now.

Atlanta, Georgia is considering adding an amendment
to its indecency laws that would ban exposure of undergarmets in public. The point is to discourage kids dressing in hip hop style clothing, including baggy pants that sag low enough to show a hint of skivvies. Thong sightings would be a big no-no, too.

But then the proposed amendment takes it even further. No form of undies, including bra straps and sports bras, can be exposed at any time. Give me a break. Bra straps? Jogbras? There are swimsuits that reveal more than most jogbras.

And on a hot day, there's nothing more freeing (well, naked would actually be more freeing, but that's a whole other legal issue) than exercising in as little as possible, and for women that usually means a jogbra and a pair of shorts.

Plus, what's even worse, Atlanta lesbians would lose an entire summer wardrobe.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Me-ga-Dik: Truth Or Phallusy?

I don't mean to focus on the phallus, but I couldn't help but share this bit of spam I received today:

"Dames always giggled at me and even chaps did in the urban lavatory! Well, now I laugh at them, because I took Me-ga-Dik for 4 months and now my shaft is truly more than national."

So, how does one's shaft go national? He must have done really well in the regionals.

Monday, August 20, 2007

No Hos At This Hoedown

I watch a lot of baseball, and when you watch sports on television, you're subjected to ads for three things: trucks, beer, and erectile dysfunction remedies.

This commercial, showing five down home men a-pickin' and a-grinnin' as they sing about the joys of Viagra, made me wonder if it was produced by the people at Saturday Night Live.

Apparently - amid, er, stiff competition - the Little Blue Pill is trying its hand at a different approach to advertising - there are no women in the spot. Just a bunch of middle-aged guys in flannel shirts having a jam session.

And, weirdest of all, they're singing about how Viagra keeps them from straying. Now that I've got good wood on-demand, it's all just for you, baby.

Right. And the dog ate my homework.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Frying Pan, the Sandwich and the Smoke Alarm

Relax all you Narnians; this isn't a sequel to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." It's the Chronicles of Grilled Cheese Part 2. (For Part 1, see January 12, 2007 entry.)

After nearly burning down the neighborhood during my last attempt, this afternoon I successfully made myself a grilled cheese sandwich. And I didn't hear a peep from the smoke alarm.

Being a big geek, I looked up the recipe online (yeah, I know - only the lamest of the lame need a recipe for grilled cheese) and added one little touch. Canola oil spray, which made it taste kind of weird, but at least this time I was able to actually remove the sandwich from the pan.

Tomorrow paella!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The 3-Ounce Brain Rule

I didn't have time to buy decent snacks before going to the airport, so just prior to boarding my six-hour flight from Boston to San Diego, I stopped at a Wolfgang Puck sandwich kiosk located right outside the security checkpoint.

I knew that if I opted to fly without food, my in-flight choices would be a limp, tasteless and still-frozen sandwich for $5 and a snack box consisting of such healthy items as potato chips, a candy bar, cookies, and pork rinds for $3. So instead, I purchased a turkey sandwich on focaccia bread (which, despite its supposed lineage, wouldn't even pass as Wolfgang Puck's step-child) and a very overpriced bottle of water.

I'm well aware of the three-ounce liquids in a Ziplock bag rule. But I figured that because the sandwich stand is within spitting distance of the security checkpoint, and subject to airport and TSA scrutiny, my unopened bottle of water would be safe. And there were no signs indicating passengers must consume beverages purchased at this kiosk prior to going through security.

Silly, silly me. Once my carry-on bag reached the bowels of the X-ray machine, an alarm went off and one of the TSA agents screamed, "Bag check!" My potentially life-threatening water was whisked away to an undisclosed location, and I had to go find another kiosk inside the secure area in order to purchase a terror-free bottle.

You know what really terrifies me about air travel? I think the TSA shares one brain, and you never know which airport has it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wayward Word Nerds Unite!

Last week while I was vacationing on Cape Cod, I heard that one of my favorite shows on public radio had been canceled. "A Way With Words" produced at KPBS in San Diego, had aired in several cities across the U.S. for eight years, and was a font of knowledge for word nerds like me.

Taking a moment to put down my 18th lobster roll, I exchanged a few emails with my good friend "A Way With Words" co-host, Martha Barnette, to find out the scoop. The show might be experiencing a temporary hiccup right now, but it'll be airing again at some point from somewhere else. You can bet on that!

If you want to know more, visit Martha's blog.

If you're a word nerd and don't know about the show, you can visit their new website to find out about past episodes and podcasts, and to track the new show's progress. And tell all your word nerd pals, too.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

P.S., Your Cat is News

I never watch television news. In fact, the only thing I watch on TV these days is either baseball or coverage of Le Tour de France.

And here's why. Tonight's teaser for the local evening news? A clairvoyant cat that can predict death.

Maybe he should get a job with Nielsen Media Research.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma Chameleon

I am a comma chameleon. My commas, as well as other punctuation, have to adapt to the particular style of each editor for whom I write. I'm usually pretty good with periods, question marks, quotation marks, and the like.

But commas, boy, they baffle the heck out of me.

And just when I think I have an editor's comma style down pat, it changes. All the commas I thought were needed end up swimming with the fishes. Or my sparsely punctuated pieces get a comma carpet bombing.

And serial commas? You know, the ones that should (or should not) go before the "and" in a series? Fuggedaboudit! Sometimes I just toss a coin.

If you're comma curious, visit this blog written by my good friend and language expert, Martha Barnette.

From what I understand, she has a pretty good handle on the comma sutra.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Do a Little Dance, Make a Little Love, Double Down Tonight

Mirapex is a drug that treats restless leg syndrome. People who suffer from RLS have an uncontrollable creepy, crawly or burning sensation in their legs.

According to the documentation, side effects of Mirapex could include - and I'm not making this up - increased sexual desire or the urge to gamble.

I can understand certain drugs affecting libido, but intensifying the compulsion to gamble? I mean, what are the odds?

Then again, maybe they meant gambol.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bake Me a Lyeberry Pie

Okay, how is it possible that an adult in a customer service position for a fairly well-known website pronounces the word "library" as "lyeberry?"

And he's a tech support person, too.

I was having a problem with my online library on a site that sells podcasts, and I would think that if the guy heard the word pronounced as "library" enough times, he'd habituate.

Things like that make me berry, berry kwazy.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Take Me Out Out OUT

Last night the San Diego Padres lost to the Atlanta Braves 5-4. But the big gay contingent at the game won by a landslide.

My friends and I had no idea it was Gay Night at the ballgame when we bought our tickets, but we're really glad we could be there to further the Gay Agenda against the handful of hate-mongering right wingers who tried unsuccessfully to turn a warm summer night into a firestorm of hate and ignorance.

They stood outside the stadium in bright red shirts handing out poorly written (always an issue for me) fliers packed with incendiary lies about our unhealthy influence on children.

It was Kid Floppy Hat Night - kids under 12 were given free Padres floppy hats. I tried to snag one with my "I have a very small head" argument. Didn't work.

The haters were trying to point out to the crowd that we homos were a threat to "traditional family values" by being at the same game with a bunch of kids, most of whom couldn't tell the gay baseball fans from anyone else. (We're the ones drinking the micro-brews.)

When one of the zealous right-wingers tried to hand me a flier, I looked him right in the eye and said, "No thanks. I'm gay." One of my friends with her son in tow added, "And we have kids!"

And, by the way, the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus sang a beautifully harmonized rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner." Land of the free, and the homos are brave.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Seven "I Wonders"

According to the L.A. Times, as of 7/7/07, the New Seven Wonders are: The Great Wall of China, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Maya ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico, the Colosseum in Rome, and India's Taj Mahal.

But what about the Seven I Wonders? What are the seven things that people seem to wonder about the most?

Well, if I were asked:

*Why do birds confuse cars with toilets?

*Why does the person with the loudest voice, and the need to constantly hear it, seem to sit behind me on every cross-country flight?

*Why does the city's waste management crew pick up the recycling on my street only when they feel like it?

*Why can't the American League and the National League agree on the designated hitter?

*Why are iPod earbuds so big? (For some of us it's like trying to stuff a couple of Oreos in our ears.)

*Why does my WiFi network sometimes choose to ignore my computer, even when I'm two feet away from the router? And why doesn't yelling help?

*Why do some people have an innate and frighteningly accurate sense of direction, while others (who shall remain nameless) instinctively go the wrong way every time?

Friday, July 06, 2007

I Think, Therefore (No) iPhone

I may be a card-carrying member of the Apple cult, but the iPhone just isn't one of the must-have gadgets on my list. Someone even offered to give me one for my next birthday but for the same money, I'd rather have the latest Airport Extreme and a set of noise canceling headphones.

And all the hype - oy vey - you'd think the Messiah had come. (The Jewish one; We're still waiting.)

David Pogue, technology writer for the New York Times, has written several articles on the iPhone's debut. But his music video proves that even hardcore techno geeks get the joke.

Monday, July 02, 2007

If You Build It, They Will Spit

I know there's no crying in baseball, but what's up with all the spitting? Every time I watch a game on TV, the camera will zoom in on one of the players just as he's spitting something gloppy and nasty out of his mouth. Sometimes there'll be a close-up of a guy who actually has strings of drool dangling from his lips. Nice.

And it's not just the guys who keep matzo ball sized wads of chewing tobacco inside their mouths. They all do it, and they do it all the time. Before batting, before pitching, standing in the outfield, or just lounging in the dugout. It doesn't matter. Baseball is like a big, gross spit-a-thon.

And then there's the whole gnarly sunflower seed thing. If you watch closely, you'll notice ball players have a habit of throwing fistfuls of unshelled sunflower seeds in their mouths, cracking them open with their teeth, eating the seeds, and then letting the shells cascade out of their mouths.

I sure hope none of these guys are involved in paternity suits because every ball field is one giant DNA paradise.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I See Dead People

There's an exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Man that I wish I could see. It's called Bodies - The Exhibition and it's an in depth look at the human body and all its parts.

Why can't I see it? Because I'm a blood-and-guts wimp, and the idea of seeing a real live (well maybe not live) cadaver all opened up makes me light-headed. And not in a good way.

I've had a couple of medical procedures done where the doctor offered to set up a monitor so I could watch every grisly moment. Being drugged, strapped down and cut open, and then watching it all happen is just way too Hannibal Lecter for me.

Being a wimp is really disappointing; I'd love to see that exhibit. I'm sure it's fascinating and I'd probably learn a lot. And I could participate by giving a live demonstration of the art of human regurgitation. But I'd probably lose my museum pass.

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's Massachusetts, Baby

Three years ago, former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, expressed his concern that his once Pilgrim-ridden state would become the Las Vegas of gay marriage.

And I'm still waiting for the white clapboard drive-thru chapels with John Alden impersonators performing an assembly line of homo nuptials.

But leave it to Ellen Goodman to put it all in perspective.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Driving Miss Moses

The Pope recently issued the 10 Commandments of Driving. At first I thought this was a joke. I mean, is he kidding? Roman drivers aren't exactly all about road rules. Just try to merge into one of their traffic circles. It's like one never-ending chariot race.

And what about the Jews? Where are our 10 Commandments of Driving? Now, if it were up to me, these might work:

*When two (straight) couples drive together, the men sit in the front and the women sit in the back

*Consult at least three different maps because the directions from your car's fancy schmancy GPS are probably wrong

*Drive 5 miles under the speed limit just to be safe

*Leave an hour earlier than necessary because "you never know"

*Wear clean underwear incase you get into an accident

*Don't take the shortcut

*When you come to a four-way stop, argue with all your passengers about who has the right of way

*Even though your 13-year-old son is now a man, he still can't drive

*If Bubbe can't see over the steering wheel, it's time to take away the car

*Driving on Shabbat is okay if you don't live near the rabbi

*Bring a little sweater

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Paging Dr. Heimlich

Can someone please explain to me why some sushi rolls are so darned big? I eat a lot of sushi and sometimes the rolls are comfortably bite-sized, but other times I feel like I'm wrestling with a seaweed wrapped hockey puck.

And even though you're supposed to eat the whole piece at once, I was always taught that it's not polite to jam your mouth with food, so the only way I can consume one of these monster makis is to take it apart. But then it becomes a big mess, and I end up flailing around in my soy sauce like I'm fighting a rip current.

There's probably some secret sushi eating technique that Japanese kids are taught as soon as they begin teething. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Me Talk QWERTY One Day

I'm so envious of people who can type quickly while not looking at the keyboard. I hunt and peck with my two index fingers and, although I'm pretty fast, I'm not very accurate, even though I look right at the keys. I think my fingers are faster than my brain.

So if I get a 4.0 in traffic school, I may reward myself with a typing class. And if I do really well in typing class, maybe I'll take a cooking class. That is if I get the okay from the fire department.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Highway Robbery

Now I know how the city of San Diego is attempting to climb out of bankruptcy. The court fees for my recent red light ticket came to $409. And that's before traffic school.

Give me a break! I didn't steal the freakin' traffic light, I drove through it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

I think I've sat shiva long enough for Tony Soprano. It's time to let go and move on. But there's a group of diehard fans out there who insist on picking apart the symbolism of the final scene in the diner that's followed by a disconcerting 10-second black screen.

Just like everybody else, I had a WTF moment when I thought the DVR had stopped recording before the episode ended. But David Chase added that final ellipses to let us come to our own conclusions.

Was Tony shot? Was he indicted? Were the onion rings any good? And who listens to Journey anymore?

One theory is that the shifty-looking guy in the tan Members Only jacket who goes to the men's room as the scene ends does a Michael Corleone and shoots Tony when the screen goes dark. After all, when Tony and Bobby were sitting in a boat on a lake a few episodes back, Bobby tosses us a bone when he says, "At the end, you probably don't hear anything, everything just goes black."

I think if you're really losing sleep over this then you should get out the Ouija board and ask the spirits. Oh, and while you're at it, find Jimmy Hoffa.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Don't Ask Don't Tell...Don't Stop

This is something I used to wish for when I was at (all girls) summer camp.

Apparently, several years ago, the U.S. Military looked into a "non-lethal" chemical weapon that would cause enemy troops to become homosexual, find each other irresistable, start a major shtup fest, and forget about fighting.

I think we should try it out on the red states first and see how it works on the gay marriage issue.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I'm Just A Squirrel Who Can't Say No

Apparently, the squirrel population in San Diego's Balboa Park has gotten so out of hand that park rangers are giving female squirrels birth control pills. Guess they couldn't find any teeny, tiny condoms for the boys. And if I hadn't heard this from a police officer, I would've thought it was just another nutty urban legend.

At first the park service was using poison to stop the squirrel explosion, but other forms of wildlife were dying, too. Duh!

Wild Bunny #1: This looks yummy!

Wild Bunny #2: Oh, don't eat that. It's squirrel poison.

So several dead rabbits later, someone came up with the bright idea that if they could offer the squirrels worry-free shtupping, there'd be fewer varmints to deal with.

I can just imagine what it's like chasing down a bunch of squirrels every day and then trying to give them pills. How can you tell if you've given each and every girl squirrel her pill? And what if one of the smarter ones squirrels away all her pills in a tree somewhere and then sells them on eBay?

But here's what really puzzles me: Why in heck is the city spending money on squirrel birth control when an abstinence program would be so much cheaper?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I Wuz Framed

Actually, I was in several frames courtesy of the San Diego Police Department. I got nabbed by one of those sneaky red light cameras. And as much as I'd like to deny it was me, there I am in full color gripping the steering wheel with a WTF look on my face. The other three photos show my car going through the intersection as the light turns red. Nice.

I was sure it was yellow. Or amber, at least. And this whole red light camera thing is so Big Brother. Luckily, it was a good hair day.

At first I thought the big flash from the camera was a bolt of lightning since I'd promised not to run another red light the last time this happened. And then I thought it was the lights of a police cruiser signaling me to pull over. During the last alleged red light incident, I had the opportunity to argue with an actual cop. I think he also cited me for driving in pajamas (it was very early), but that's another story.

So now it's back to traffic school where I'm sure there'll be a three-hour section on how to distinguish primary colors.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Feeling Is Mutual

Here's the latest buzz from the joy toy department. Apparently, the Vibrating Ring makes everybody happy.

Think about it. This could really soup up your Jildo.

And why does this sort of thing always end up in my mailbox? (That was a rhetorical question, by the way. No need for any smartass answers.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bada Bing Bada Boom Bada Gone

They're whacking everybody. And I mean everybody. Christopher, Bobby, and Sylvio are all gone. The final episode of "The Sopranos" airs next Sunday, and I've already put the black wreath on my door. Symbolically. Jews don't do wreaths, but you know what I mean.

I'm not a big TV fan, but I love "The Sopranos." I love all that existential angst layered on top of "this thing of ours." The way Tony and his boys spit out their words in that melodic (to me, anyhow) north Jersey accent. The way pious Carmella rationalizes her opulent lifestyle and stands by her man.

And the way David Chase, the show's creator, made so many of us sympathize with a bunch of misogynistic killers who all seem to have hearts of gabagool.

But next week it's all over. And we know Tony's going, too. Either by his own hand or by a hailstorm of bullets from a few of Phil's goombahs. Tony's a very bad guy and we all know what goes around comes around. But do we really want him to go away forever?


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Losing My Religion

I'm so tired of having Jehovah's Witnesses ringing my doorbell and asking if I'd like a pamphlet about Jesus. And I appreciate the whole freedom of religion thing, but some religions seem to have more freedom than others. But I digress.

I know these people have the right to go door to door selling Jesus, but I hate hate hate it when they ring the doorbell of a house with a mezuzah. Hello? We're Jews. We're not looking to switch teams. If you're such a big religious scholar then you should be able to recognize Hebrew.

And that thing on my doorpost isn't a crack pipe with a note from my mom inside.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Whole New Meaning for Woody Woodpecker

Need to rekindle your relationship? Maybe a Jildo is just what you're looking for.

To be honest, it looks like someone got the bright idea to saw off a bedpost in the heat of passion. And what are you supposed to use for lube? MinWax? But I understand the Jildo is giving its silicone counterparts, er, stiff competition.

I guess some people march to the beat of a different drumstick.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Yankees Suck!

Just wanted to point out that the Red Sox are in first place in the AL East and 8.5 games ahead of the Yankees.

And I'm thrilled we let Roger Clemens get away. The Bronx Bombers can have him (for $28 million, no less). That guy is high maintenance and his ego is wicked lahge.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Yell Until You're Blue In The Tooth

Can I just say that people who walk around with those Bluetooth headsets wrapped around one ear look really weird. I understand that if you're going to talk on the phone and drive, it's safer if you're wearing a hands-free device. But, I'm sorry, when I see you walking around chatting on one of those things, it looks like you've got a big cockroach attached to your head.

And if I'm on the opposite side from your Bluetooth/cockroach ear, you look like you're talking, no actually yelling, to yourself.

Which brings me to my next kvetch. Why are cell phones actually yell phones? Why do people always seem to be screaming when they're talking on the phone in a public place? I thought digital technology made it easier to have a clear conversation. But it always seems that when I'm standing in line to buy a movie ticket, check out of the grocery store or mail a package at the post office (in other words, when I'm trapped), some crazy yahoo is telling his buddy fortissimo voce about how drunk he got the night before.

I wish, just once, that every Bluetooth headset would jump off the ear of its owner and morph into Gregor Samsa who would then lecture these blowhards on basic etiquette.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pass The Maalox

I don't like the word "gastropub." It means a bar or pub that offers high-end beers, a decent wine list and a menu that most foodies would appreciate. It's not a place for the Bud and beer nuts crowd.

But if a place like that is meant to stimulate my salivary glands, why does the name sound so darned medical?

The prefix "gastro" is derived from the Greek word gastros meaning "stomach." Hence, gastroenterology is the study of the digestive system and digestive diseases. And then there's gastric bypass surgery and gastroenteritis. Funny, my tummy's not growling now.

Call me a Philistine, but I just can't get from fluorescent lights and a barrium enema to cedar plank salmon and a '97 Bordeaux.

Friday, May 04, 2007

No Left Turn

A few days ago, published an article stating that left-handed women have a higher risk of dying. I almost proved that to be true at age six when I tried to fly by jumping off the top of the slide in my backyard. Instead of buying the farm, however, I hit a tree and broke my left arm.

And you know what they say, "If it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger." Well, it didn't kill me but it did make me feel a bit off-kilter because my sinister second grade teacher decided my bandaged left arm provided her with the perfect opportunity to squelch my gauche tendencies.

She forced me to write right-handed.

So I became just like the rest of my family - ambidextrous. My father, another born lefty, was switched as a kid, too, but still threw a ball left-handed. My mother is a true lefty but plays tennis right-handed, and my brother does everything lefty except writing.

And, despite my second grade teacher's intentions, I still do a whole bunch of things left-handed. But right after the big switcheroo, I got an F in penmanship for two straight years, and even now, a hand-written letter from me closely resembles the Rosetta Stone. Go figure.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

But Officer, I Swear I Was Going Only 5

I got a ticket for walking too fast on the Mission Beach boardwalk.

Okay, not really, but I could. There's a speed limit on the boardwalk - 8 miles per hour - and I'm pretty fleet-footed when I've got my game face on. With all the traffic along the beach, it makes perfect sense to make the public aware that going too fast, even on the boardwalk, can cause an accident.

But why 8 miles per hour? Why not 6 or 11?

And how do you track your speed? I've never seen a skater, jogger or walker using a speedometer. Maybe some of the more tricked out bikes have something that measures speed, but most beach cruisers are pretty scaled down.

So how the heck are you supposed to know if you're doing 9 and need to start thinking up excuses? Gee officer, I just bought these sneakers and I had no idea they could go that fast.

I can just picture it, a cop sitting in a beach chair with a burrito in one hand and a radar gun in the other. Yeah, that's where I want my tax dollars going.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Own Private Mile High Club

I'm an aerogeek - a person with an airliner fetish. No, I don't run around dressed up like a Braniff flight attendant circa 1967, asking "coffee, tea or me?" but I have been known to stop my car in order to watch a plane land. And if I'm at an airport waiting to board a flight, you can be sure to find me in a trance-like state by a window near the runway.

So when I found, it was like joining the Mile High Club all over again. Seriously, this site is a never-ending multiple airgasm. There are thousands of photos of airliners. All kinds, too. Vintage, military, commercial, private - you name it, they've got it.

During the Second World War, my dad was a gunner on a B-17 bomber and became a bit of an aerogeek himself. When I was about five years old, he started taking me to the airport to watch the planes take off and land. We'd sit in his Chevy convertible just beyond the fence where the runway ended, and stare in awe at the propeller-driven DC-6s and Lockheed Electras as they roared over our heads. Since then I've been hooked.

And here's something I'll bet you didn't know. At 239 feet, 3 inches long, 79 feet, 7 inches high, and the capacity to carry 525 passengers, the Airbus A380 is the largest passenger aircraft in flight today. (Thanks to fellow areogeek Cleocatra for pointing that out to me.)

Yeah, I know - Nerd Alert!

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green

I need to understand why the geniuses at Toyota who developed the Prius engine felt they needed to add an annoying beeping sound to the reverse gear. Every time I put the gear shift in R, my little hybrid wonder sounds like a giant piece of construction equipment on the jobsite of yet another condo complex in progress.

But only inside the car.

Here's the thing. I can hear it and my lucky passenger can hear it, but if you're behind me and about to get hit, you're not going to hear it. You see, I know I'm in reverse. I'm the one who moved the damn gear shift. So who's being warned here?

And I've been putting up with this since July. Finally fed up, I found instructions on that explain how to disable that relentless beep. I haven't tried it yet but if it works it'll feel almost as good as going 500 miles on a tank of gas.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Gayata, Mini Poofter or Lezbaru - Which One Are You?

Yesterday's New York Times presented an interesting perspective on the theory "you are what you drive." Apparently, certain types of cars can reflect one's sexual orientation.

According to the article, Miatas and Mini Coopers are perceived as gay boy cars, and if you drive a Subaru Outback you're probably on your way to the Michigan Women's Music Festival.

This sounds like fodder for a Learning Annex class on "How to Develop Your Gaydar."

Okay, I understand that stereotyping isn't going away any time soon, but I have a hard time believing one example in the article about a hetero woman who drives a Subaru Outback. She claims she lost her chance for a second date because the guy she was with perceived her as a lesbian. Give me a break. Maybe she needs a copy of "He's Just Not That Into You."

Or maybe Subaru should rename the car the Coming Outback.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's Like Deja Food All Over Again

It's Pesach - that time of year when we Jews remember our ancestors' exodus from Egypt by telling the story and eating foods symbolizing both the struggle and the celebration. And we do it for two consecutive nights. The same food. The same story. The same shpilkes when we realize we've been sitting for three hours.

It makes sense. We're Jews; we make suffering into a celebration. You ate too much last night? Fine, you'll eat too much tonight, too. And no kvetching, already.

If G-d had given us just one night of Passover, Dayeinu! (It would have been enough.)

P.S. Next year in Jerusalem.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Big Trouble For Moose And Squirrel

My ancesters were from a little town near Kiev and fled the Cossacks like every other Jew from that region, but I don't speak or read a word of Russian. Still, for some reason I'm getting a boatload of Russian spam.

Maybe they know that my last name is really an "Ellis Island Special." Or maybe they know that both my mother and my grandmother always had a gallon of nasty-looking borscht fermenting in the refrigerator. And my grandmother was born in Russia, but we had to practically bribe the rabbi to keep that on the down low at the funeral. She didn't want anyone to know, and made us promise to let her take it to her grave.

So, I hate to tell you, Boris and Natasha, but you're two generations too late. Your cryptic Russian messages don't mean a thing to me, and I can't imagine that your erectile dysfunction drugs are any better than the ones I hear about in English eight million times a day. Now maybe if you offered them in Yiddish. . .

Friday, March 23, 2007

Reaching Nude-Vana

I practice Bikram yoga between four and five times a week. For the uninitiated, Bikram yoga is also known as "hot yoga" because the classes are held in really hot rooms - like 105 degrees. My studio likes to keep their thermostat hovering around the 115 degree mark, and the best part of the workout is peeling off my sweaty clothes when it's over.

But if I were to take naked yoga, I wouldn't have to worry about my sweaty clothes, or anybody else's for that matter. I'd heard rumors of naked yoga classes popping up here and there, but a friend recently sent me an article that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle two years ago about one such class in the Bay Area.

It's not what you think. You won't find an orgy of writhing bodies tangled up with yoga mats. It's about experiencing yoga in the buff, which apparently helps you to hold the postures better because you can see all your parts. And it's also about learning to feel good about your body.

To be honest, I don't want to see all the parts of the people in my yoga class, especially when we're all bending forward, legs spread apart with our hands grasping our ankles. There's only so much I can take at 6:30 in the morning.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I Feel the Earth Move

Today is one of my favorite days of the year because at 12:07 am GMT, or sometime tonight in San Diego (don’t make me count backwards from GMT. I’m confused enough with this year’s over-eager Daylight Savings Time) the Vernal Equinox will occur.

Vernal Equinox, a Latin term meaning “equal night of spring,” marks the date when Earth rotates on its axis giving those of us in the northern hemisphere more direct exposure to the sun and longer days, and the rest of the world in the southern hemisphere the start of fall. Pretty cool, huh?

And if you’re a big geek like me, this stuff is fascinating. I also get a daily report on the moon’s size and position so I can track it in relation to each season. Yeah, I know – nerd-o-rama.

During my days as a baby dyke, I hung out with a group of women who celebrated the Vernal Equinox by dancing naked under the stars (it’s a new moon so there’s only a sliver up there tonight). As much as that sounds like a really fun thing to do, I live in a fairly urban area, and there’s nothing worse than sitting in the back of a police car with nothing on but handcuffs and a smile.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

So Shoe Me

These shoes look like the spawn of my grandmother's orthopedic clunkers and hookerwear. Trust me, I'd love to be a few inches taller but I'm afraid if I put these on I'd be walking around at a 45-degree angle, if I could walk at all. And they're not exactly flattering.

But these tres hautes souliers are being featured at Fashion Week in Paris. It seems that really, really high heels are de rigeur if you want to keep up with the latest trends.

So I guess this means if you want to wear shoes like this you'll need to have someone carry you to your destination, prop you up near a wall, bring you drinks all night, and then carry you home.

Hmmmm. I wonder if I can find a pair at DSW.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Coffee Kvetch

Will someone please explain to me why the number of cups etched on the side of the coffee maker carafe never, ever correspond to the number of cups you actually get?

When I make coffee, I fill the carafe up to the line indicating four cups. Now I know it's highly unlikely I'll ever drink four cups of coffee in the morning, even if it's decaf, but I know that in Coffee Maker Land, four cups really means one and a half cups. So this means making coffee requires doing a little math. Not something I do well when I'm awake, let alone half asleep.

Maybe it has something to do with the metric system, or maybe the designers at Cuisinart have really small bladders. I just want to understand why they think most people drink coffee from a thimble.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Toss The Baby Shower Out With The Bathwater - Part 2

Baby showers have always been a real mystery to me. For the most part, any kind of shower is a very heterosexual event filled with traditions and rituals that are nowhere to be found in the Lesbian Handbook. And the shower I attended last Sunday was no exception.

I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore when I got out of my car and walked up to the house. All the straight girls were wearing dresses, heels and make up. I was in typical Sunday attire: capri jeans and a t-shirt. What's up with getting all dolled up for a baby shower, anyhow?

But I knew I was truly in a foreign land when the games began. There was the clothespin game and the guess how big around the pregnant woman is game. And then there was a game where labels were removed from several jars of baby food and you had to guess what type of food was in each jar. Some were orange, others were a sort of yellow, and then there were a few jars in varying shades of green.

I picked up one of the green ones and said, "Oh yeah, I remember my little brother projectile vomiting this one. I think it's either spinach or green beans." No one paid attention to me after that.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Toss The Baby Shower Out With The Bathwater - Part 1

Have you ever been to a Babies 'R Us store? It's a cavernous place, sort of like a Costco with an inventory made up entirely of tiny pastel colored items. And then there's the totally robotic staff who accosted me the moment I stepped through the doors and immediately led me to a seat in front of an enormous desk in the shape of a half circle (a uterus, perhaps?). There I was greeted by a Stepford Shopping Assistant who insisted I needed a tour of the store.

I was looking for a shower gift and all I wanted was the list of gifts on my friend Laura's daughter's registry, but Miss Perky Promoter of Procreation wanted me to know everything about every teeny, tiny package of cuteness they sold. I just kept repeating my mantra of "no thanks, I just want the list."

Finally, once she'd figured out how to send the document from her computer to the printer, I was given a thick stack of pale yellow paper. Quickly scanning the first couple of pages, I pointed to something that didn't require a translation and said, "please show me where I can find this."

Meanwhile, the store was filling with mommies holding screaming infants and whining toddlers. I grabbed the gift from the shelf (a rather adorable snuggly), listened to the chirpy pre-programmed shpiel from the checkout robot, and ran for the parking lot.

Nine years ago when my GYN doc told me I needed a hysterectomy, I understood it would be very painful at the time, but once I was healed I'd be provided with unlimited rewards. Now I know exactly what she meant.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

ESL For Spammers

As a sanderson
By tudor do marjoram
Go aurora on sanicle
Or by subsitent
Go cartwheel he atone
Go shattuck by uppercut

Nope, this is not remedial haiku or some sort of interplanetary greeting. These are actual examples of message headers I found in my inbox this morning from spammers. What are these people trying to tell me?

Should I record them, play them backwards and figure out if Paul is dead?

Okay spammers, it's time to learn English if you want to get anywhere in the land of sleazy email scams. Maybe I should offer an online course in ESL for these poor fools. I mean, if they want to get the coveted 2% repsonse, at least their message headers should make sense.

And to boost enrollment I could throw in a Rolex or a few Cialis tablets as an incentive.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Homos

Finally, someone has found the link between music and homosexuality! Donnie Davis, leader of Love God's Way, an ex-gay ministry, has posted a list on his website of bands that make you gay. And it's a damn long list. Apparently all kinds of music can drag an innocent teen into the shame and debauchery of the homosexual lifestyle.

Okay, I get that bands like Queen and the Pet Shop Boys are on the list, but Cole Porter? Ravi Shankar? The Grateful Dead? And where are our favorites like Babs Streisand and Judy Garland? In fact, big lezzies like The Murmurs (featuring the very, very hot Leisha Hailey), Yer Girlfriend, and Cris Williamson are nowhere to be found, either.

Elton John has the warning "really gay" after his name. I didn't know there were varying degrees of gayness. And then there are Eminem, Jay-Z, and Ted Nugent. Apparently Nugent's on the list because he wore a loincloth at one (or more) of his appearances. And everyone knows that loincloths are de rigeur in the homo wardrobe.

So, thanks to Donnie's insight, I'm adding every Elton John album to my iPod. I want to know what it feels like to be "really gay."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

But I Have a Question. . .

I don't mean to get all Politcally Incorrect on your asses, but I'm getting sick and tired of the ever-growing acronym that's used to describe our homo community these days. Back when I was walking five miles to school during a snowstorm, we were called lesbian or gay. Then the bi-sexuals joined our cozy little Brownie troop. And then, more recently, the trannies.

Okay, so at that point we were LGBT. Kind of sounds like something on the menu at Carnegie Deli to me.

And then we became LGBTQ. I thought, "queer," hmmm. Isn't that a little redundant? But the Q is for "questioning." Okay, if you're questioning your decision to pick L,G, B or T, then you're simply labeling yourself to ponder your future label, right? It seems a little over-categorized to me. And unnecessary.

Heck, I must be questioning too, because I ask myself questions all the time. Is it cold enough for a jacket? Should I make a right or a left? Where the hell are the car keys?

Look, I don't mean to belittle a group of people who are unsure about their sexual orientations, but I gotta say, I'm dog tired of trying to spit out an acronym that feels more like a mouthful of alphabet soup than a description of a community.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Birds of a Feather

Can I just say that as a very ticklish person, this would be my worst nightmare.

But if it tickles your fancy you can visit artist Sandro Porcu's creation, called "The Bed," at the Alexia Goethe Gallery in the Mayfair section of London. In fact, you can even give it a try.

Kind of gives "going down" a whole new meaning.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Burn Baby Burn

I'm one of those people who's required to give the local fire department a heads up every time I attempt to cook. Years ago, when my mother tried to get me interested in cooking, I blew her off to shoot baskets in the backyard. At that age, I considered cooking to be about as useful as algebra.

Although lately I'm hard pressed to find a time when I've had to figure out the solution to (x2 + 2xy) + y2, I probably could have used a cooking lesson or two. Take today, for instance. I had a craving for a grilled cheese sandwhich so I went online to find a good recipe. I know, grilled cheese isn't exactly the Pythagorean Theorum, but if I'm going to turn on the stove, I want explicit directions.

The Kraft website made it sound so easy: all I needed were two slices of white bread, two slices of American cheese, and some butter. I improvised with whole wheat bread and brie. Following their directions to the letter, I buttered the outside of the bread, put one slice butter side down in the skillet, added the cheese, and then added the other slice of bread.

How hard could this be?

And the moment the bread hit the pan (at medium heat per directions) it burned like a red-headed kid on a July day, and stuck to the skillet preventing me from gracefully flipping the sandwich like in the photo on the website. The skillet required surgery to remove all the burned bread, and I'm back to shooting baskets and using the microwave.

Monday, January 08, 2007

New Year, New Kvetch

I know, I know. I haven't blogged since last year. It's not that I've been lazy. Well, maybe a little lazy, but I've also been busy. I recently ended a long relationship, and I'm living in a small apartment with an air mattress, one comfortable chair, a folding table and two folding chairs.

Let's face it - I'm camping. And we all know that Jews don't camp.

I do have indoor plumbing, and it's not like I have to rub two sticks together to cook or anything because I don't cook, unless you count microwave popcorn and whatever can be thrown into a Toast R Oven. But for all intents and purposes, this is camping. My life is in boxes, my furniture is in another city, and sleeping on the floor makes me feel a little off kilter. But my ability to kvetch? Sharp as a tack.

No wonder it took us 40 years to cross the desert.