Friday Faves: Things I’m Obsessed With This Week

Friends, I know. I am a terrible pen pal. Honestly, this is probably why I don’t have any friends from grammar school. I’m just not great at staying in touch.

But I’m trying to turn over a new leaf.  I’m going to attempt to lift this blog from the hot and humid ashes of New Jersey in July on a little more regular basis. I’m hoping this doesn’t go the way of my knitting career or the time I thought I’d learn to speak Italian. Let’s just say, I remain monolingual.

So while I’m figuring out how to tell you about my second child moving out of the house recently or the surgery I had on my old lady foot, I thought I’d share a few things I am ob-sessed with lately. Here they are in absolutely no particular order:

  • Melissa Clark’s new cookbook, Dinner: Changing the Game. Historically, I’ve stopped actually cooking dinner — like, chopping or roasting — by this time in July. Usually by this point of summers past, we’re eating a lot of hamburgers or takeout. And I can’t tell you the last time I bought a cookbook and back in the day, I used to buy a lot of them. But with the interweb, I find there’s no need to pay for something when you can get it for free online. But this book is worth it and full of tons of great dinner ideas. So far we’ve made both the Harissa Chicken (you can get harissa at Trader Joe’s) and Sausage and Cauliflower (with cumin and Turkish pepper — which you can get at World Market) twice, but my 20yo has gone through and marked about a dozen other recipes with post it notes.
  • Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid. I’m on a reading roll and in under three days gobbled this slim novel that weaves a little magical realism with the story of a city under siege and the plight of refugees.
  • Broken Open, by Elizabeth Lesser. This is literally (okay, not literally) the Bible for figuring out how to make lemonade out of the lemons that life throws your way. I read it 8 or 9 years ago when my marriage was falling apart yet for some reason, it resonates even more now. The quote from Anais Nin in the book’s prelude says it all: “And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
  • This Ted Talk video. 
  • This New Yorker cartoon.
  • Selina Meyer. I’ve been watching Season 5 of Veep and during each episode, think, “I need to write down some of these lines.” The things they say are off-the-charts hilarious and vulgar. But neither pen nor paper was required to remember this beauty, which I’ve used already on numerous occasions (if you don’t like cursing, please do not click).

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I Would Not Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

I may be undead but at lease my hair looks good.

I may be undead but at lease my hair looks good.

Dudes, the news is not good.

On the cusp of tonight’s season finale of The Walking Dead, just prior to learning what terrible fate awaits Glen and Maggie (you know last week’s reunion was a wee too happy for that show) and what weird shit is going on at Terminus (because you know if something seems too good to be true on that show, it usually is), I discover that my own fate in a zombie apocalypse is in peril.

It turns out that in a ranking of all 50 states and the District of Columbia for likelihood of surviving a zombie threat, New Jersey ranks at the very bottom. THE VERY BOTTOM. Even below Mississippi.

I find this news rather terrifying.

I even thought I did my part in preparing for a sudden zombie uprising by learning to shoot a firearm not that long ago. I kept joking with one of the gals who was part of the group, another Walking Dead lover, about how we were going to rock the zombie apocalypse. There was even a zombie target we could have bought in the pistol range’s shop.

Maybe we should have learned to shoot crossbows instead.

Anyway, I really want to urge all my fellow New Jerseyans to get their shit together so we can survive whatever havoc brain-eaters bring to our state. I mean, we survived Snooki, right?

When I wasn’t obsessing over the zombie apocalypse this week, I had this to say:


Credit: Randjelovic.zzz

Credit: Randjelovic.zzz

This is What 47 Looks Like

“Why is everyone turning 50 this week?” my 11-​​year-​​old son asked yesterday and I have to say, it certainly felt that way this weekend.

I spent most of Sunday recovering from back-​​to-​​back 50th birthday parties the day before. On Saturday afternoon the kids and I helped our neighbor celebrate his milestone with a small group of friends and family and lots of pictures from various stages of his life. Later that evening I attended a surprise dinner at a local restaurant for a high school friend hitting the big five-​​oh with a mix of his old and new friends plus lots of red wine. (READ MORE … )


photo-15The ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ of Gwyneth and Chris

It can’t be easy being Gwyneth.

What with all the kale she’s got to juice, arms she needs to spin in circles with her friend Tracy the fitness guru and $350 Veronica Beard shorts she must ferret out for us to buy on her website, I don’t know where she finds the time to yell at her kids and watchTV like me. (READ MORE … )


photo-17That’s What She Said

So, lately I’ve drawn much of my inspiration for this blog from things going on in the news, mostly because there’s absolutely nothing going on in my life. Absolutely. Nothing.

It’s so bad that in the five-​​year memory book I try to write in at the end of every day, just a quick recap of what transpired in the previous 24 hours, I actually noted: Picked Nick up from karate. (READ MORE … )


photo-18Is it Cold or Allergies?

The worst part of feeling so lousy these last two weeks was not the hacking cough that actually caused me to vomit (I know, I’m sorry but it really happened) or the 90-​​minute wait for the five-​​minute exam with the nice, young doctor who quickly told me I had an upper respiratory infection and prescribed a Z-​​PAK. (READ MORE … )


How Not to Watch Netflix

This was funny:

I haven’t been talking about it much, well here anyway (in my regular life I tend to yammer on about it), but I’ve decided to take a break from wine. We needed some time apart.

I mean, how special is a glass when you have one every day? It’s like living in a non-stop episode of Cougartown.

Needless to say, I’ve been hitting the sack a lot earlier than usual.

On Friday, I tidied up after dinner, did my nightly straightening of the downstairs, and headed up to my bedroom around 9:00 for a date with House of Cards, Season 2, Episode 20.

A little earlier, my 11-year-old finished his nightly routine — which generally includes dodging soap, toothpaste and reading — and quite willingly got into bed and turned out his lights.

I slipped under my own covers, clicked on the Roku and scrolled over to the next episode of House of Cards in my Netflix queue. But instead of Francis Underwood’s plotting and conniving, I received this message:

Really, my generosity knows no boundaries.

Really, my generosity knows no boundaries.

I made a mental checklist of all possible culprits — which one of my four children could be simultaneously enjoying the fruits of my $7.99 monthly Netflix account — and determined that two were otherwise occupied that evening. But one suspect was potentially lying in the next room.

The call’s coming from inside the house!

I popped my head into my little guy’s darkened bedroom, so dark in fact that I could not see any of the discarded bath towels or gym shorts that were surely scattered across the floor of his small room, and asked, “Are you on Netflix?”

“Maybe,” came the little voice from far beneath the covers where he was hiding in his bottom bunk with his mini iPad.

Case closed. Hello Mr. Vice President.

When I wasn’t solving urgent mysteries around here this week, I was writing about this stuff:


IMG_0063Poop Happens

Today I would like to talk about poop.

Specifically, I would like to discuss animal poop, and even more specifically: my feelings about cat poop.

Because even though I’ve been a reluctant cat owner for, like, four years or something, I still haven’t been able to get a handle on all the poop she makes and just the whole kitty litter box thing in general. (READ MORE … )


IMG_1956 2The ‘Shizzness’ of Being a Mom

It happened at the stroke of midnight, just a few hours ago, the vanishing of one of my two remaining teenagers. In the blink of an eye and the tick of a minute hand, my oldest daughter turned 20 while I slept.

She joined her brother, now 21, in what I guess could be categorized as young adulthood (with the caveat that both are very much still on their folks’ dime), leaving one teen in my life. (READ MORE … )


photo-13The Secret to a Perfect SAT Score

“That is so not fair,” observed my 16-​​year-​​old daughter as she drove us around yesterday afternoon to do some chores while we listened to “All Things Considered” on the radio.

She had just heard about the changes coming to the SATs and, as she prepares to take the college entrance exam for the second time this Saturday, was agitated. (READ MORE … )



S’no Joke

IMG_3773Get out your onsies, kids, because it sounds like those of us living in and around New Jersey are about to get socked in once again by snow.

I don’t even care. I’m, like, waving the white flag and telling Mother Nature, “I give up.”

I mean, what’s the point? Especially now that I’m not working.

When I was, my job was to cover the news and newspeople — not necessarily me, mind you — get hard-ons for snow storms. We’d have higher ups urging us to post articles about when it’s coming, how much is coming, whether the local police and DPW crews were prepared. We’d cover it as it started to come down and then the aftermath, with our own photos and tried to get readers to post photos of their own — which usually meant pictures of patio furniture covered in snow. That always seems to be people’s go-to for illustrating the amount of snow that has fallen.

But now I can just sit in my house, in my onesie, all day long and play Walking Dead Monopoly while watching the snow fall outside my TV room window.

Now, if only this weather pattern would shift to take place during the midweek, when everyone’s already done all their food shopping because sadly, I’m still on a weekend hunting and gathering schedule. Which put me in my local Costco Saturday at about 2 p.m., which also happened to be the exact center of Hell on Earth.


And I needed stuff you can’t get around, like kitty litter and toilet paper.

I would have tended to all this earlier in the week but my high school girl and I decided fairly last minute to haul ass to the center of Pennsylvania on Thursday to check out Penn State as a potential college choice. And while it’s known to many as “Happy Valley,” as it’s the “happiest place on Earth,” on Thursday at around 2 p.m. it might also have qualified as the “coldest place on Earth.”

The college kids leading the tour, bravely walking backwards across icy paths through the sprawling campus, lacked the good sense to bring us into buildings rather than just standing in front and talking while the bitter wind whipped and snow obscured our vision while we stared longingly at the warmth of the library before us.

Anyway, that’s about as exciting as my life has been this week: Costco and college road trips. No accidents and all my teeth remain in my head (although I did have another dream this week about all of them just falling out, which I thought was a fairly common dream but have yet to find someone else whose had one).

In between, I squeezed in some of this stuff, in case you missed it:


IMG_0496 220 Days Unemployed

Greetings from Day 20 of my unemployment!

I am here to report to those of you still working that aside from the paycheck and insurance benefits, having a job gives one a sense of purpose each day. Being employed generally keeps one showering regularly and a reason to get out of bed in the morning besides coffee. (READ MORE … )


Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 9.25.41 AMBounce Your Muffintop

My friend Tara, who lives in Connecticut, and I have shared many of the same life experiences.

We both fell in love with boys at a certain military academy and the four of us found we had lots of fun, perhaps too much fun, together.

We attended each other’s weddings not long after college and then the babies started to come. (READ MORE … ) 



This photo of a model, presumably well under 40, is sadly taped to my frig for inspiration/agitation.

This photo of a model, presumably well under 40, is sadly taped to my frig for inspiration/agitation.

Bikinis After 40: Good or Gross?

To wear or not to wear?

That, my friends, is the question I struggle with lately at the start of each new swimsuit season.

Twenty years ago, wearing a two-​​piece wasn’t even an issue. In fact, it was 20 years ago this year that I put one on over Memorial Day weekend after having my second child that March. But back then I guess my body was a lot more elastic than the thing I’m working with today. (READ MORE … )


While the kids are out playing in the snow, don’t forget to like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter @AMyNameisAMy, subscribe to my blog (look over to your right) and hand me a glass of wine — not necessarily in that order.

Missing Teeth, Losing Kids and an Ode to the Minivan

The view during a snow shoe hike with a friend Sunday morning that took the edge off missing teeth and children.

The view during a snow shoe hike with a friend Sunday morning that took the edge off missing teeth and misplaced children.

Usually here on Sundays I do a little Week in Review thing cleverly disguised as just another post.

Really, I consider it a value-added day because not only do I usually tell a little story but I point out other posts I had written throughout the week that you might not have known existed, slipping through the Facebook cracks between suggested posts for Sparkle paper towels and what state people are told by a quiz they should be living in. Or maybe you just never got around to opening the email.

Just looking to help a sister (or brother, as is sometimes the case) out.

But after losing my fucking tooth last night, and really needing to make a very short story quite long, there wasn’t really room to tack on the requisite posts from earlier in the week. I mean, since this blog is written and posted on the Internet, there is actually an infinite amount of space, but I’m already pretty chatty — I use way too many words when writing these things, — and studies show that people reading anything online can deal with about 300-400 words at a sitting and until they click over to somewhere else.

I tend to run a little longer than that.

Anyway, now that I’ve really warmed you up and you’re practically begging for more (or conversely, ready to click over to Facebook), here are some of the very exciting things that have been happening in my life over the last seven days including the humiliating loss of a tooth, a rage against Valentine’s Day and a love story starring a minivan …


photo-6That Time My Tooth Fell Out

I tend to have recurring dreams, with many of the same themes cycling through my brain, night after night.

There’s the one where I’m packing a suitcase or boarding an airplane. I always seem to be taking off and never landing. (READ MORE … )



IMG_3118Valentine’s Day is Stupid

I am not a festive person. I do not come from festive people.

As such, I do not own colorful sweaters, necklaces that light up like Christmas tree lights or candy cane earrings.

It used to bum my children out that I didn’t want to create a cemetery in our front yard for Halloween or string twinkly lights in the front bushes in December. Isn’t it enough I buy costumes and put up a tree? Can’t they be happy with a wreath?

Seriously. (READ MORE … )


800px-08_Chrysler_Town_&_Country_TouringPutting the Sexy Back in Minivans

You might have read here that I am on a quest to bring the minivan back.

I’ve been rocking my Town & Country rental all week.

Since I started driving my shiny white beautyfollowing a little run-​​in with a tractor-​​trailer, I’ve started thinking a lot about – given all the vehicle’s bells and whistles, not to mention roominess – why so many of us parents insist on driving around the suburbs in big rigs. (READ MORE … ) 


IMG_3742Am I Stupid?

It happened again this week. For maybe the fifth time in his life, I left my youngest child some place he wasn’t supposed to be.

And he’s getting tired of it and frankly, I can’t say I really blame the kid.

Someone should take away my mom license. (READ MORE … )


photo-4Museum of the Fairly Ordinary Life

There’s a house around the corner from us, set along a busy thoroughfare running through town, which has had stacks of books piled up on an enclosed porch in front for as long as I can remember. The entrance is lined with curtained windows through which passersby can see mountains of books surrounding the room, piled high into the middle of each window. (READ MORE … )


Three is a Magic Number

photo(71)For those keeping track, I locked the keys inside my shiny, white minivan rental Friday night, bringing the number of not-so-great things that have happened to me this month to a total of three (well, four if you count that whole Kelly Corrigan wild goose chase).

So, as these types of things tend to happen in waves – often, I am told, in three’s – I should be done, right? Happy days are here again, and all that.

I’ve done plenty of stupid stuff over the years – one time I locked the keys inside my old minivan along with two of my young children on one of the hottest days of the year. Luckily the car had been running and the AC on full blast, the kids safely strapped into their car seats, my oldest son sucking happily on his Binky and staring at me through the window until the AAA guy arrived.

Another time I left the car running with the kids strapped inside to drop something off at a girlfriend’s house. In those days we were probably starved for grownup conversation and were having a full-blown discussion on her front stoop until we saw the van begin to back down the driveway. My oldest – probably around three or four at the time – had unbuckled himself from his car seat and toddled up to the steering wheel and put the van into reverse, not only setting the van in motion but also automatically locking all the doors.

This really happened.

Luckily, having locked myself out of this minivan one too many times before (see above), I had placed a spare key in a little magnetic box and attached it above the tire, which somehow as the car with my two young children was backing down my girlfriend’s driveway, I had the wherewithal to reach under and pull the box off the car, rip out the key, fit it into the keyhole on the driver’s side door, get in and stop the car.

Like I was a stuntwoman or something.

Interesting that I had the presence of mind to perform all of those heroics when I was in my 20s but on Thursday couldn’t even remember to get the driver’s license of the guy whose rig hit my car.

So in retrospect, the recent turn of events has been far less dramatic. I enjoyed my first week of unemployment – minus the car accident and all the snow days and delays from school.

And, when I can access its keys, I am having fun tooling around in my minivan and think it’s hilarious how impressed the kids’ friends are when they get in.

“Whoa, this is so cool,” said my young neighbor when I picked him and my son up from school the other day and he watched the side door automatically slide shut.

I think I’m bringing the minivan back (cue Justin Timberlake).

So, if you missed any of this past week’s posts and have no clue what I am talking about (car accident, minivans, what?), you can catch up here:


File:Viele Einkaufswagen

File:Viele Einkaufswagen

Weekend Warriors

During the many years that I stayed home to care for my young children, I made it a point to avoid any and all supermarkets/​warehouse clubs on Saturdays and Sundays. I could do that because I had the luxury of being able to hunt and forage for pantry staples like Pop Tarts and Tostitos while everyone else was at work during the week. (READ MORE … )




photoJust Like Me

I don’t know what I’d do without my friends.

They lift me up when I’m sinking, listen patiently to my many stories mostly about myself, celebrate my victories, teach me to knit (and then tolerate when I show up for knitting with nothing to knit), critique my resume, go speed dating with me, invite me to their homes to write and always, always share their wine. (READ MORE … )


photo-3I Went to See Kelly Corrigan and Had a Nice Beet Salad Instead

You guys, I have never tried to pretend that I am very smart over here. As a matter of fact, I often seem to be attempting to prove quite the opposite.

I’ve told you how I thought an undiagnosed case of scoliosis was the cause for my back fat and have shared pictures of myself on the Internet wearing a cheetah onesie (which I may or may not be wearing right now).



995268_10152146986632173_491263369_nChoose Happy

When I started to see all those posts this week of everybody’s Facebook movie, I was like, “Really? It’s not enough we need to complain about the weather and post those Throwback Thursday photos, but now we need to set it all to music?”

When will the oversharing end? (READ MORE … )


IMG_3729 Putting Happy to the Test

In theory, this is a funny story.

So, you know how yesterday I was all like “Be happy, bitches”? 

Well, the universe – or whoever’s running the universe (clearly having nothing better to do) – must have sensed my cockiness and thought, “This one’s a little too perky. Let’s throw her a real challenge today and shut her up.”


Being a Mom Never Ends. Dammit.

IMG_2049There are some things about becoming a mother that nobody ever tells you, and I’m not talking about how funky your bottom is for a while after giving birth or that your newborn will probably cry so hard at some point it will briefly not make a sound or that some day that same baby – with whom you spent countless hours up in the middle of the night trying to console – will tell you it hates you. Guaranteed.

No, those are the little tidbits you don’t even consider when you are pregnant with your first child and fantasizing about all the fun things you’d do together some day like visiting museums and joining up for mother-daughter yoga classes.

It’s not fucking happening.

No, the most critical piece of information that anyone who’s gone down that parenting road ahead of you has neglected to mention is that it never stops. There is no end to the job.

Which is funny, because I was under the impression when I took the position that it would be about an 18-year assignment.

You kept all of their fingers and toes in check, fed them the occasional vegetable and made sure they could read and they’d eventually go off to college and you’d get back to whatever it was you were doing before they arrived on the scene.

Like, having fun.

What I’d like to travel around the country and tell expectant parents is that they are signing up for a life sentence. Once that little sucker pops out into the bright light of day, there would be no turning back.

You are in it for the long haul.

(Someone should actually put that as a warning label on a box of condoms. Like how Trident used to use the “4 out of 5 dentists agree” line: “Four out of five parents agree that they should have used a condom.”)

I’m being reminded of this lifetime commitment this week as I watch one of my kids struggle with rejection and feel helpless, unable to make anything better. I keep going over in my mind what more I could have done, something I could have said that would have altered the course of events.

Because of course as parents we want to make the road of life less bumpy for our children. That’s why we cut their steak for them long past the point that they can manage a knife themselves or let them go into school a little late when they’re feeling needy or hand them a $20 bill for gas instead of making them dip into their own limited funds.

We want to shield them from life’s challenges, the many disappointments.

And when they do grow up some day and start making their way out into the world, you’re still connected. It’s like this thin filament that stretches as far as they go but is anchored to your heart. And when they feel pain and sorrow, you feel the zap of sadness, too.

No one told me how much I’d love them and that – even though they’d fly off and start their own lives – they’d always be my babies.


So, when I wasn’t fretting about one of my many children this week, I did have this to say:



The day my husband of 18 years moved out of our house for good, the mirror that had been hanging quietly over our bathroom sink slipped from its nail and crashed onto the floor below.

I had been out of the house while he packed the last of his ties and running shoes, and hadn’t been home long after he left when I heard a thud overhead and the sound of breaking glass. (READ MORE … )


photo(97)The Divorce Diet

Looking for a sure-fire way to drop 5 to 10 pounds fast?

Forget what you read in all the magazines or the ads you see on TV.

My advice is to get a divorce. (READ MORE … )


IMG_0582What About College?

Anyone who has seen the Hungtington Learning Center commercial on TV — “Face it! I’m not getting into college!” – has had the pleasure of hearing a dramatic scene taken from the pages of my own life. (READ MORE … )



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Public Radio Groupie

IMG_0718Over the past year it seems I have gone from being a fan of NPR to becoming a downright groupie.

I discovered public radio about 15 years ago while scrolling through the dial, looking for something to listen to while driving around in my car on a Saturday or Sunday when the local New York AM radio shows I listened to during the week weren’t on the air.

I had already grown weary of commercial radio – I mean, how many Spice Girls and Boys II Men songs can a grown woman listen to on a drive to the supermarket? – and preferred talk shows that featured interviews with book authors and chatter about what’s going on in New York City.

I even started to turn the radio on in my kitchen as I went about my days folding laundry and cooking chicken nuggets because staying home to care for young children tends to be a strangely solitary experience. Like, you might be surrounded by people, albeit very small ones, but nobody really wants to talk to you. They mostly just want you to wipe their fannies and pour them another glass of milk.

Instead, I took comfort in the radio and spent my days in the company of personalities like Joan Hamburg, Arthur Schwartz, John Gambling and Dr. Joy Brown.

Their conversations filled my days with reviews of the latest Manhattan restaurants, recipes for turkey stuffing involving Ritz Crackers, interviews with the likes of Nora Ephron and Alan Cummings and love advice, like how you should not date until you’ve been officially divorced for one year (Thanks, Dr. Joy. I’m obviously going the extra-mile by waiting over three to jump back in.).

But all my radio friends would take time off on the weekends so one day while driving the half hour trip to my mom’s I discovered WNYC.

Everything was very calm at that station, even the long news pieces on wars, shootings in the Bronx or upcoming elections. It provided a nice contrast to the crying and complaining in my minivan.

But what I liked even better than the news was all the fun stuff playing on the weekends, like “Car Talk,” “This American Life” and the game show “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.”

I mean, what is cooler than a game show?

Over time, I just kept the car and kitchen radio tuned to public radio and the kids would groan when we’d start driving to the mall and they’d hear the voice of maybe Lakshmi Singh or Soterios Johnson.

“Mom, they sound like they’re on medication,” one of the kids would complain and  start speaking in a fancy monotone and the others would laugh along, mocking my station choice and invariably, their mother.

I didn’t care though. I might not always pay attention to every word that’s being said on the radio but it just makes good background noise. It makes me feel level and I’m hoping maybe I’m actually absorbing some of the endless information in a type of osmosis through my skin and becoming smarter as I drive around New Jersey in my SUV, which is a bit of an oxymoron, I know.

As it turns out, many of the fun shows playing on public radio are recorded in front of a live audience and I’ve weirdly been to a few of them lately.

I spearheaded the first effort, when I heard that the “A Prarie Home Companion” gang would be appearing at The Town Hall in New York. I went with my gal pal and fellow public radio fan and thought it was interesting standing on line in the ladies room before the show began and listening to fans compare how many shows they’d attended.

Note to self: Do not become one of them.

But don’t think I didn’t get excited when the familiar intro to Guy Noir began or clap with glee when the second half started with “Powdermilk Biscuits.”

More recently, a girlfriend asked if I wanted to go into Brooklyn to see her cousin compete on WNYC’s newest game show, “Ask Me Another,” which is hosted by the smart and funny Ophira Eisenberg and let me pretend I was a young hipster living in Williamsburg and not the suburban mother of four I have become.

Then last week, I tagged along with another friend back to Brooklyn to see a grand slam competition of The Moth, which features people getting up in front of an audience to tell true stories without notes (and coincidentally hosted by Ophira, so maybe I’m really a groupie for her). And while the evening’s show was not recorded for broadcast, WNYC has a “Moth Radio Hour” that highlights some of the best stories from performances around the country.

Tonight, I will climb back onto the public radio bandwagon when I go with yet another girlfriend to see Ira Glass of “This American Life” speak at a theater nearby. She reached out to me about a month ago to see if I wanted to get tickets and I was like, “Duh.”

Ira Glass is like the smart, funny, Jewish man of my dreams and listening over the years to his show has introduced me to some of my now-favorite storytellers. I’ve literally pulled into my driveway or a parking spot at the supermarket and sat riveted to the radio, unable to turn off stories by David Sedaris (“Santaland Diaries,” anyone?) and Mike Bribiglia (“D-U-Why?”).

That phenomenon even has a name: Driveway Moment.

When I wasn’t listening to NPR in parking lots or going to see one of their shows this week, I had this to say:


tumblr_m5b3djsvv01qknpp3o2_250525,600 Something

If I were the mathematical sort, I would try to calculate just how many hours there were between fall and spring semesters at the university that my two oldest children attend.

But as I have a hard enough time counting how many times I’ve squatted on a ball or lifted a weight over my head when I work out, I am going to bypass all addition and assume it’s been around 525,600 (which is a standard measurement of something according to the song from “Rent”). (READ MORE … )


-1Adding Some Je Ne Sais Quois to Your Breakfast

I have a girlfriend who’s kind of a walking advertisement for the American Dream.

She grew up in working class Philly and was the first in her family to attend college, which she put herself through holding down a number of jobs on campus, and then went on to an Ivy League law school.

Clearly, she did not spend her formative years mesmerized by “Family Ties” and smoking out her bedroom window like some blogger we know. (READ MORE … )



The Basketball Diaries

DSC00210Oddly enough, basketball has gotten in the way of my blog this week.

No, I do not play basketball. I barely even understand the game, although I’ve had four kids play on travel teams and logged in quite a few hours sitting on bleachers over the years.

Someone tried to explain what “full-court press” meant during a game yesterday, and I think I’m finally wrapping my brain around that, um, maneuver. But I don’t think I’ll ever understand all that fouling. I’m never looking at the right place during play to figure that stuff out.

Currently, my 11-year-old son is playing on both a travel team and a rec team through our town and I’ve got about three games a week to pay attention to.

Not to mention all those practices.

Okay, it’s really not taking up that much of my time and I could probably squeeze my writing in really early in the morning, as is usually the case. If I could just get out of bed.

For whatever reason, that’s been the challenge, lately.

We did have one pretty late night this week, when I took my guys into the city to see the Knicks play the Heat and celebrate Dude Night 2.

I gave the boys the tickets for Christmas and unlike last year, when I tried to research the perfect game to go to and did a lot of Googling of team stats and asking guys I knew their opinion on the matter, this year I just looked for the date that worked for us and bought the tickets.

The boys opened the boxes the I had wrapped the printout of the tickets in with some new Knicks t-shirts, and my older guy was immediately like, “Wow!” when he saw they were “versing” the Heat (because “to vs.” somebody is a very real verb in my house).

“We gonna see LeBron!” he said, high-fiving his little brother and when he saw the confusion on my face, he asked, “Mom, do you know who that is?”

“Of course I’ve heard of LeBron James,” I said indignantly. “Who does he play for again?”

Since then, my older son has schooled me on a few things about the NBA and I came to terms with the fact that we were probably going to just watch LeBron wipe up the Knicks at the game Thursday night, and we were all okay with that.

We ate hamburgers at some pretty sketchy pub on 7th Avenue and walked over to MSG to claim our seats that I paid a million dollars for on StubHub, high above all the fancy people like Katie Holmes, Michael J. Fox and David Duchovney sitting courtside (I only know they were there because the celebs were featured throughout the game on the big video hanging over the court).

So we were amazed and thrilled when the Knicks not only kept up with the Heat throughout the game but pulled ahead in the fourth quarter and won.

It put us all in a great mood for the hour drive home to New Jersey.

We even added the win to our Big Bucket of Memories we started for 2014. On a yellow slip of paper, my little guy wrote: Mom, Max and I saw/went to our first Knicks game win! Agains the HEAT!

I can’t wait to remember that one in December.

In the meantime, we’ve got another basketball game today, this time about a half hour from home, that should eat up much of my beloved Sunday and while there will be no LeBron or Carmelo Anthony on the court, it’s always fun to watch my little guy play.

When I wasn’t watching or driving to basketball games this week, I did manage to pen an ode to my new favorite wardrobe staple.


photo(92)The Polar Vortex Has Frozen My Sense of Style

By now, we are all well-versed on the potential hazards posed by the record-breaking temperatures that have plunged the country into a deep freeze.

Just turn on the TV for a couple of minutes and you’ll be immediately terrified by the mighty wrath of the polar vortex. (READ MORE … )



I was also excited to have a post featured on BlogHer this week, especially since I was really pleased with how it turned out.

photo 2How Not to Hate Your Teens

If you’re like me, you are finding that it’s not always so easy to like all the people who you’re living with. Much less love them.

At least once a day, I find myself in a combative situation or heated conversation with someone I gave birth to.

I even made that observation aloud to one of them this week, in the midst of one such episode, “This is not how people usually talk to me.”

But he just grunted and kept at it. (READ MORE … )


And I’d be remiss not to remind all you fine people that you can sign up to get new posts emailed straight to your inbox. You don’t even have to find me through Facebook.

Just fill your email address in the “Subscribe to blog via email” box, which is to the right of this post if you’re on your laptop or if you scroll way to the bottom if you’re reading this on your phone. Just keep scrolling, it’s there. Fill in your email address and then go to your inbox where an email will be waiting that you need to open to confirm your subscription.






Waiting for the New Year to Begin


My mom bought these bastards, that literally come in a giant tin bucket, online from Hahns Old Fashioned Cake Company in Farmindale, NY.

I’m finding it very difficult to embrace the New Year and all the new things I resolved to do and not to do when it still seems like 2013 around here. Actually, you could tell me it’s still 2011 and I wouldn’t really be all that surprised.

The problem might have a little bit to do with the giant bucket of crumbs that have been sitting on my kitchen counter since Christmas (wherein some evil genius decided to completely eliminate the pesky cake portion of coffee cake and package only the sugary topping) that I just can’t bear to toss in the trash.

It’s hard to resist all their little voices, calling out to me as I make my coffee each morning. I hate to be rude.

But the real problem is that I am surrounded, day in and day out, by people who are still on vacation. My college kids don’t go back for two more weeks and now that the holidays are over, they don’t really have much to do but watch Netflix and play video games.

And make paninis.

Just when things started to get back to normal and the younger two kids returned to school on Jan. 2, a Nor’easter slammed New Jersey and deposited those two back on the couch with the older ones the following day.

So I still feel like I’m in a quasi-holiday, snow day, everyday-is-Saturday state of mind.

I did manage to squeeze a little bit of writing in between using my vacation days this past week to load up – once again – on a bizarre amount of dairy products from Costco, take a quick trip to Delaware to see my dad and play untold hours of Walking Dead Monopoly.

Here’s what I had to say:


babies pix-1Blast From the Past

As noted on this blog ad nauseum, I pretty much killed 2013.

By now, we all know how I launched a blog, went to a blogging conference, traveled to Greece alone and kind of, sort of, tried to date (okay, not the greatest victory there). (READ MORE … )



photo 2How Not to Hate Your Teens

If you’re like me, you are finding that it’s not always so easy to like all the people who you’re living with. Much less love them.

At least once a day, I find myself in a combative situation or heated conversation with someone I gave birth to.

I even made that observation aloud to one of them this week, in the midst of one such episode, “This is not how people usually talk to me.” (READ MORE … )


And while I did not actually write this post this week, I did reference it on Facebook and folks seemed to like it. Maybe you will too …

DSC00672This is How I Miss Him

In the almost four years since my ex-​​husband moved out, there have been a few times that I really wished the guy was still around.

Like when it snows. Say what you will, but that man could shovel like a motherfucker. He’d be outside for hours, first clearing the driveway and front walk as the snow was falling and then again later, after the storm had passed. He’d clear a path in the back for the dog to get to a spot to do his business and when he ran out of stuff to shovel here, he’d start in at the neighbors’ next door. He never asked for help and we all stayed warm and cozy inside while he labored in the snow. (READ MORE … )