Thursday, March 31, 2011

There's Plenty of Time Left!

Here is the list of everything I've done for Pesach so far.

Impressive, no?

I'm usually not the last minute type. But since Purim (the official start of Pesach Thoughts; starting earlier than that is simply madness. The only person I know who began Pesach cooking and cleaning before Purim is my grandmother, A'H, who had a second oven in her basement and would have the (homemade) gefilte fish cooked by Tu B'Shvat.)

What was I saying? Yes, Purim. Since Purim, someone has been sick (Yaakov, who shared with Nadav, who shared with me, I haven't really slept so much in a week 10 months 7.5 years a while), and I've been busy with actual work. Like the kind I get paid for. Because so far, I have not been hired as the Rose Family Pesach Coordinator. It's more of a volunteer position.

Anyway, I did finally get around to at least opening my Pesach documents. The cleaning list, the shopping list, and our notes that we keep from year to year to remind ourselves not to buy yet another cheese grater.

This year, the helpful notes reminded me that: "The cord for the hot water pot is in the soup pot." Good to know! Don't worry, there's not soup in the soup pot also. At least not yet. Hopefully the cord will be taken out by then.

Also, "Tell Rachel about Aviv Wheat Bran Matza." Rachel, consider yourself told.

So that's a start. It would help things if I could stick Nadav in a bubble and just roll him around for the next two weeks (two weeks left? Who said that?) so he doesn't leave a trail of the ground up bits of former food that always seem to be stuck to him.

Wait! I did something else! On Monday I am planning to take the kids for sandals! See? I mean, you can't chew on sandals at the seder (there are for sure kitniot in them), but it's something!

Ha! Looks like the Rose Family Pesach Coordinator is back in action!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bad Mommy (yet again)

Well, Nadav is crying in his crib. He has a nasty cold. ("Now With Extra Snot!") We tried everything - holding, rocking, bringing him out onto the mirpeset so he can look at traffic (usually a sure-fire calmer-downer, but nay, nay this night, my friends.) So, my motto is, if he's gonna scream no matter what, might as well let him scream in his crib.

Of course, thanks to my trusty news source (Facebook, natch), crying it out is soooo not in vogue anymore. In fact, if we let our children cry themselves to sleep, we are - let me make sure I'm getting this right - teaching them that the world, as represented by their parents, is a cruel, heartless, and uncaring place. And when they finally do fall to sleep after a screaming bout, it's not that they've learned to comfort themselves, oh no, it's that their brain actually shuts down due to the overwhelming pain of abandonment!

Overwhelming pain of abandonment! Wow! This makes all my other parental transgressions seem so minor now! Letting them eat cereal for dinner? Not really paying attention to their highly intricate stories and just making "hmmm" noises every so often? Bribery, threats, general neglect? That's all nothing compared with the overwhelming pain of abandonment! I'm so glad I have something so dramatic and profound to inflict on my poor unsuspecting children. And something else to feel guilty about! Oh, truly this is a joyous day!

...Wait! Where are you going with my Parent of the Year trophy? Get back here now!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Question to Ponder

Purim. It is now over. It was so exhausting to live through it - in a "baruch Hashem" kind of way, but still - that I cannot possibly rehash it without having to take a nap in the middle.

So I leave you with this question:

Why is the death of Vashti not actually mentioned in the megillah?

Never does it say, "And lo, Ahaseaurus [or something] killedeth his wife, Vashti, for she listened to him not. No, ye, she verily did not listen to Ahaseurus. And soeth, he said thusly to her, 'Vashti, my wifeth, I shall slay you now.' 'Oh yeah?' did Vashti respond to the king, 'That's what you thinketh, Aha--' And so Vashti died, and is it not recorded thisly in the Chronicles?" *

We've got a whole bloodbath later on - Hangings! Mass killings! Dead bad guys! - but the death that was the catalyst for the entire story? It's just "implied?" How do I know she was really killed and not just voted off the castle? I need closure!

So why is this so, oh Learned Loyal Readers?

* I know what you're thinking - King James totally would have hired me!

A Thought

Discuss: Baby sherpas.
(No, not little babies that carry your stuff up Mt. Everest.)
You hire a guy (or a gal) to shlep your baby around on hikes.
Great idea, brilliant idea, or inspired idea? You decide.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guess What It's Time For?

Well, it looks like enough time has passed for me to collect some more random thoughts and present you with another edition of Ramblings! Maybe one of these days I'll do a "Best of Ramblings" post.

1. Tzitzit. We reward little boys who have (sort of) mastered using the toilet by presenting them with something that makes their newly acquired skill really, really difficult to do. Raise your hand if you have ever witnessed a small boy doing a frantic pee pee dance while attempting to remove his tzitzit.

2. I would like someone to invent a Weasley clock, but for shul. For those muggles among you, the Weasley clock was a device in the Harry Potter books which told where each member of the family was at all times. So the hand would move to "traveling" for example, when Mr. Weasley was on his way home. Ahhh, good old Mr. Weasley. Love that guy. But I digress.

How great would it be if we had a clock at home that told us what they were up to in shul? So you could plan exactly when to leave in order to get there for the important parts (adon olam and kiddush)?

"Haftorah - time to get dressed!"

"Oh - finished kedushah! Time to leave!"

I would have paid large sums of money on Simchat Torah if I knew when there were at hakafah #4, so we could get to shul with just enough time to dance a little and go under the tallit for Kol HaNearim. Instead, I never plan correctly, and we're either rushing and sweaty or get there way, way too early. Not sure which is worse. (Also, I haven't exactly been to shul in months, but that's another post.)

3. There are two new blogs on the blogroll. One is by none other than MOMZ, who started a new blog called "diettalk." No, that's not "Die, Talk!" as I originally thought. It's "Diet Talk." Momz is on a diet because she needs to have lots of energy for when she and DADZ move to Israel and watch our kids on weekends so we can fly to Paris and stuff. Right, Momz?

Then there is Isreview, in which our intrepid Reviewer tastes new products on the Israeli market and tells us all about them. Be thankful that Daniela has tasted the new "sour krembo" so you don't have to.

4. The Chanukah miracle on Purim: We manage to take a holiday of only one day and make it last a whole month!

Gotta run! Time for dinner!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Mystery of ToTh

I think it's time we cleared up the facts and myths surrounding ToTh.

Q. What is ToTh, exactly?
A. ToTh, or, more accurately, the Festival of Toth, is a weekly holiday celebrated every Thursday night with takeout. Hence, the name: "To" = takeout; "Th" = Thursday.

Q. When was ToTh started?
A. Our sages instituted the Festival of Toth when they made aliyah. It was brought down that in galut, when Sunday was a vacation day, the husband would often take care of Sunday night dinner, thereby giving his righteous wife a break from the cooking.

However, upon arrival in Eretz Yisrael, Sunday was suddenly a working day. Which meant the righteous wife had to prepare dinner Sunday night. Which the righteous wife was not at all pleased about. So she said thusly to her husband: "I needeth a night off. I hereby declare it shall be Thursday night. You shalleth prepare dinner on Thursday. However, you may not cook or get my kitcheneth dirty at all." The husband was left with no choice but to order takeout.

Q. Thank you for that insightful history lesson. Who decides what is for ToTh?
A. You're welcome. And the decision rests entirely with the husband. The righteous wife wants nothing to do with dinner. The husband decides, orders (or picks up, if he shall so decide it shall be Ofer's Falafel, for they do not delivereth), pays, and cleans up.

Q. Are the children included in the Festival of ToTh?
A. Hold on one moment. I must get down on the floor and rolleth around, convulsing in hysterical fits of laughter.
The answer to that is no. Usually, the children are asleep (unless one is reorganizing the contents of her tik, which seems to be a thrice-weekly activity) when the husband arrives home. They ate their Thursday night "dinner" consisting of yogurt or oatmeal hours before. Why spend money on takeout food for children who are happy with oatmeal and yogurt, I asketh you???

Q. Do you celebrate ToTh when Donny is away?
A. Yes. Obviously I have to be maykil and do the deciding and ordering myself. But if I don't, my choices for dinner are oatmeal and yogurt.

Q. Can ToTh be celebrated any other day?
A. Excellent question. Occasionally, ToTh is celebrated on Shabbat, in which case it becomes ToSh. Once in a while ToMaSh is celebrated. But ToS, ToM, ToT, and ToW are celebrated only on very rare occasions. A sage must be consulted in those cases.

Q. What dress is appropriate for ToTh?
A. Pajamas. Duh.

Q. Thank you so much for explaining this holiday so clearly. I feel like I am truly ready now to accept the Festival of ToTh upon myself.
A. It's our pleasure. Amen amen amen.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Middle-of-the-Week Ramblings

Ramblings: Good any time of day or night!

The Mozzarella That Wasn't
Last week, I purchased 1.5 containers of shredded mozzarella from a supermarket chain, which I shall not name, but let's just say it rhymes with Shami Zevi. I was going to use this cheese in my lasagna, which holds a special place in our home as a Dinner Which Everyone In the Family Eats That is Not Pizza or Ice Cream. I like buying shredded cheese from this particular store because they have big bowls of it already shredded, so no need to wait.

However, as I was sprinkling the cheese on the lasagna, I noticed it was very fine. And not in a "Oh, that cheese is f-i-i-i-n-e" sort of way. I checked the sticker on the container. It said mozzarella. However, when I tasted it, it was most definitely parmesan. I was a bit disappointed because, much as I like parmesan, I didn't really think it would work on lasagna. So we had "noodles with sauce and parmesan" for dinner instead. I was considering going and complaining (for about half a second, till I realized it would involve leaving my house), and then I saw that I had been charged the cheaper mozzarella price for 1.5 containers of the more expensive parmesan. I could just hear the conversation:

Me: You sold me parmesan instead of mozzarella. I would like to register a complaint.
Cheese Dude: I sold you parmesan and charged you only for mozzarella? That will be 26.50 NIS, please.

So I decided to just keep the cheese and find some creative uses for it. Maybe build a ski slope for the Little People.

Pajama Girl, The Sequel
After all my bragging about how Ariella's Purim costume was going to be so easy, because she was going to be pajama girl, they decided this year, in her school, to have pajama day on Wednesday! Nooooooo! However, Ariella told me she could still do pajama girl for Purim - she'll just wear different pjs. That's my girl! Let's hope she doesn't change her mind erev Purim when all the costumes are sold out and she's forced to dress up as Contents of the Hamper.

Critical Thinking from Yaakov
After reading "Dirah L'Haskir" (a classic Israeli children's book, in which there is a vacancy in an apartment and different animals come to look at it and decide whether or not they want to live there), Yaakov informed me, "This story can't really happen. Because the nemala (ant) is walking instead of crawling!" So, the whole talking-animals-renting-apartments thing is totally cool, but an upright ant? Could never happen! The inner workings of Yaakov's brain. I will never truly understand them, but they make things interesting.

Time to Play: Where in the World is Donny?
Traveling once again, to Seattle. But fear not. Grey's Anatomy has been downloaded, and my box of Cocoa Krispies has been purchased. Donny who?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In Which I am Rejected

Many moons ago, there was a call for submissions to an Israeli English-language magazine. They were putting out their first humor edition and wanted articles that were, you know, humorous. So I figured I would submit something. The editors at aliyahbyaccident and I sifted through numerous posts until we found one we thought was humorous enough. We fixed it up and sent it off. I got an email saying that they received my submission and would let me know February time whether I had been accepted.

Well, I received the following email this week. (Note: Names have been changed to keep the identities private. Because if I put in the actual names of the magazine or its so-called "editors," then LISA might do good on her promise to hunt them down and shake them really hard.)


The editorial board of Pretentious Humor has discussed all the submissions, and
we are sorry to say that we did not find the material you submitted appropriate
for a spot in this particular issue.
("Appropriate?" I promise that my article contained very little nudity and no cursing.)

This is not meant to disparage your work. (We hate your article, but please don't take offense.) There is work we are not publishing which may be quite wonderful in a different context, (for example, if you were to shred it and hide little candies in it for children to find) or in the eyes of different editors (like ones with a functioning sense of humor; ours got flushed down the toilet. Hee hee, toilets!). Rather it is to say that we did not unanimously (one guy liked it, so we offed him) find these particular submissions congruent with our own vision of an issue devoted to Israeli humor. (As you can see, we are serious about our humor, because we use snobby words like "congruent" and "vision" and "issue." (Well, I guess that last one's okay.))

We sincerely hope you will submit to future issues of Pretentious Humor (because we get such a kick out of rejecting people!) And we wish you great success in the future. (Not as a writer, God no, but perhaps you would make a lovely throw pillow.)

Sincerely, the Bombastic (yes, I looked up that word myself) Editors of Pretentious Humor

But I'm okay with the rejection. I mean, my own editors at aliyahbyaccident LOVE me. They publish all my articles, even the ones with the lowbrow humor and cheap shots. Especially those. So don't worry that we will wallow in despair and shrivel up and stop producing the quality, quality blog posts you have come to love and expect from aliyahbyaccident. We will soldier on. Because, by golly, stuff happens in this world. And we will be there to laugh at it.