Archive of ‘LWOAM’ category

My Reading Status

Sometimes I think it would be a wonderful idea to set up a GoFundMe page to feed my reading habit. My desire for more books–new ones, old ones, fiction, nonfiction, business or biography–is insatiable. Take a look at my current reading status and you will see what I mean. (For your convenience, I’m adding links to Amazon if you want to purchase a book for yourself).

Actual Books On My Nightstand 

I’m in the middle of 4 real books right now:

  • The Other Einstein (Chapter 9, page 95) – This is an interesting read based on the true story of Albert EInstein and his first wife Mileva “Mitza” Maric who was just as smart as he but has the extra challenge of studying physics in a men’s world in the 1890s. I’ve been enjoying this book off and on. It is an easy read and I will continue reading because I enjoy Einstein’s clumsy attempts at winning her affection while her laser-like focus is on her studies. But, I’m in no hurry to finish it and it isn’t as interesting as…
  • The Book of Unknown Americans (Page 157 – no chapter numbers)  – Truth be told, this was our book club pick from 3 or 4 books ago. The characters have depth and their immigration story and assimilation into America is not one that I’m as familiar with as I’d like to be. I wish I had finished this book in time to talk about it. Maybe my book club friends will allow me a few minutes to discuss before we talk about our current book (which is Before We Were Yours – an excellent read and one that I finished!)
  • Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault: Essays from the Grown-Up Years (Chapter 4 page 60) – If you are close to my age, you probably read the comic strip Cathy as a kid. Heck, you may have cut a few out and put them on your fridge because they were so true and so funny. This book is by the creator of Cathy. She writes essays about her life in a way that makes me LOL as if I was reading her comic strip all over again.
  • I See Life Through Rose`-Colored Glasses (Essay 24, page 96) – Lisa Scottoline is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read several of her mystery novels which are mainly based in Philadelphia. Her fictional stories are always engaging page turners, but when she writes essays based about her actual life, I’m all in. She is the kind of writer I want to be when I grow up.

Plus 1 Book on My Kindle

  • Herding Tigers: Be the Leader Creative People Need.– I honestly don’t know what page I’m on because I’ve jumped around a lot…and its a Kindle. Page numbers are optional. But, if you lead a communications department like me and work with incredibly talented and creative people this book may come in handy.

So, if I set up a GoFundMe page, would you support me? My to be read (TBR) list is even longer than this list. This is part because I’m a sucker for summer reading lists. So far, this list includes:

Barely…

Have you ever been so exhausted you cannot even exchange pleasantries with the people you love anymore?
This is how I’ve felt for the last few hours.

Barely able to hold a conversation without snapping at people (even though really I didn’t mean to-sorry!).

Barely able to sit down without taking a brief nap.

Barely able to finish the dishes.

Barely able to hold a coherent conversation.

Barely able to write this….zzz

I’ll do better tomorrow. I promise.

Happy Easter and Passover everyone!

Good night.

Prepping for Passover

I’m a little behind on my blog posts right now, but I have a good excuse. I’m hosting a Passover seder on Saturday night and the whole mishpucha will be here. Parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, kids and cousins will gather around my dining room table (and partly into the living room) to hear the Passover story.

I’m actually pretty excited to open up my home for this holiday. Typically I’m the house for Break the Fast during Yom Kippur. Since everyone is starving when they get to my house, no one complains that the food was ordered instead of home made. As long as it isn’t late getting to the table. Being trusted to host a Passover seder means you’ve hit the big time in a Jewish family. It’s a lot of coordinating from the food to the set up to the service, led by yours truly.

Some of my best family memories took place around the seder table. When I was little, we had somewhere around 30 people at my aunt and uncle’s house every year. I don’t know how she did it, but having her and my mom in my corner is making all of this much easier. Back then, she cooked and set it all up. My uncle led the seder.
Everyone had a part. It was amazing.

My seder will not live up to that caliber, but I know it will still be wonderful. And I have a lot of people cooking the traditional meal of brisket, chicken, matzah kugels, matzah ball soup, and so many vegetable dishes plus dessert. I’ve rented a table and chairs, ordered flowers, cleaned my house (well almost done with that) and all that is left now is to set the table with all the accessories-including the finger puppets depicting the 10 plagues.

A seder AND a puppet show! You are impressed now, right??

I expect my Passover experience will lead to a lot of blog material so I will end for now, but there will be more to come.

Ever Have A Day Like This?

At 5:30 this morning, I checked my calendar and realized I had 5(!) meetings today.

The thought of that many meetings in stuffy conference rooms made me want to crawl back under the covers. Lots of thoughts raced through my head. Maybe I could call out sick. Maybe I don’t have to attend all 5 meetings. Maybe I should block out time for bathroom breaks and eating.

Upon looking at my calendar again, I made up my mind and reluctantly got dressed. I’m too Type A to miss that many meetings and I know my Jewish guilt would eventually kick in. My first meeting was to on-board a new employee. Since I’m her boss, I kind of needed to be there. My 11 am was a full-on team briefing which we haven’t had in over a month where everyone could attend. I didn’t want to be the only one to not show up.

Following those two meetings, I thought I had a break to read and answer emails, check in with my other direct reports and maybe get a little lunch and cross a few things off my to do list. But no, scratch that. My 1:30 was moved up to 12:30. Honestly, THIS was the meeting I could have skipped if I had the guts. But, I was the one who called the meeting in the first place so I was sort of obligated to be there.

My 2:30 meeting ended promptly at 3 pm and I went back to my desk forgetting I wasn’t done yet. I had one more to go. And I was 7 minutes late.

Ever have a day like this? Please don’t let me be the only one.

Reclaiming My Time

Recently, someone asked me why I’m participating in this blog challenge?

He wasn’t being rude about it. He was just curious. Seriously , what’s the point of stressing out and searching for an idea for my next post. Then, slave away over a warm laptop, choosing the right words and fighting off writer’s block and self doubt each day until I publish 30 consecutive blog posts?

The answer is simple. I’m reclaiming my time.

Time is a precious thing. Use it or lose it. Waste it away on mundane tasks or channel it towards something you love to do. In the end, it’s up to me.

I love to write and my biggest excuse for not writing is that I never have the time for it. But, to be honest, that really isn’t true. Instead of watching re-runs of The Big Bang Theory, I could be writing. Sort through piles of paperwork or write? Fold laundry, take out the trash, do the dishes and other household chores — heck I have teenagers for that now. I choose to write.

Reclaiming my time means creating space for me to do what makes me happy. I also hope it helps me establish a writing habit. I’ve never really had one before. If you asked me what my process is or how many hours I write a day, I couldn’t answer because I thought it depended on the day. But again, it’s just not true. I may have to wake up a little later or skip out on the antics of Sheldon, Leonard and Penny.  And that will be okay, because to me writing is time well spent.

A Prom Dress Shopping Complaint Letter

Dear Department Store Conglomerate,

A few weekends ago, my daughter and I went shopping for her senior prom dress at your store in King of Prussia. Your selection was lovely and we easily identified several gowns we liked until we found the one she loved. Right there in your dressing room, her face lit up when she saw herself in the well-lit mirrors. We all knew this was the dress for her.

I didn’t “check-in” on Facebook at your store and when I paid for the dress I didn’t sign up for your member rewards program or provide my email to get a receipt. I simply used my credit card and walked away with the dress of her dreams.

I knew once I handed over my email address to you, I would give you the authority to send me whatever deals you wish for as long as you’d like in order to lure me back into your store. Yes, I can always unsubscribe to emails, but that’s not the point. I thought I beat the system.

Sure enough when I returned home 30 minutes later, I found several Facebook ads from your department store. Just 30 minutes later! Geez, you guys are fast!

Was I micro-chipped without my knowledge when I stepped through your doors? Did someone from the store scout out the parking lot for all the cars within a 300 foot radius of your front door, run license plate numbers and steal my right to be left alone?

I was annoyed to say the least. I specifically chose not to give you my email because we only shop at that store for special occasions. And, I honestly am doing you a favor so as not to waste your time, printing or postage on little old me.

I just wanted the dress.

I’ve heard of people who live off the grid and while I don’t see myself doing that anytime soon, I see its merits. I just want to be a 40-something year old woman who has control over who can enter into a marketing relationship with me. Is that too much to ask?!

So, thanks for the selection and the memory of when and where we laid eyes on the perfect dress. Please keep your ads to yourself.

Much appreciated. 🙂

The Writing Sweet Spot

I imagine one day I will turn a bedroom into a writing haven for myself. The room will be cozy, but not in a distracting way. I’ll have a comfy chair to curl up in and an ottoman to put my feet up, plus a writing desk situated by the window. Thus offering me two places to write my page-turning memoir or novel. The room will be well lit and there are plenty of places for all my books. I may even put a twin bed in there for cat naps between moments of brilliance.

But, I’ll also sit in my beautiful room and suffer from writer’s block because I could be in the perfect setting with no one home to interrupt and hours of free time on my hands and nothing inside of me to write.

So then I wonder, why bother with my own writing room when an idea can strike at any time. I can be at the baseball field watching my son play and a story line will come to me. I could be eavesdropping on an incredibly loud conversation between a parent and a coach on a cell phone while standing in line at CVS. A conversation that you want to walk away from but also desperately want to hear what happens next.

Honestly, I need only a few things to find my writing sweet spot: a notebook or my laptop, a good pen, a place to sit and a fantastic idea. All of this and the above sticker so people think twice before interrupting me.

 

 

At the Flea Market

Did you know today is National Eight-Track Tape Day?

It doesn’t get nearly the social media attention it deserves, especially when it competes with National Pet Day. But, you could say this plastic covered, music technology means a lot to me.

Before I was a mall rat with my ’80s big hair and off-the-shoulder, neon tops, I was a flea market chick. The Berlin Farmers Market in South Jersey was my hangout on Saturdays and Sundays. For a good part of my childhood, I’d accompany my dad on weekend trips to the flea market which was complete with colorful characters and lots of “collectibles.”

When I was there, I learned to keep an eye on the merchandise, talk to customers and make change as I helped my dad with his record business. Known as “Bob the Record Man,” he carried pretty much every rock album produced in the ‘60s, ‘70’s, and ‘80s genre, plus ’45s for the random jukebox owner that stopped by. It was an impressive collection and my dad was incredibly knowledgeable about his inventory, even though he never listened to it on the radio and preferred Oldies ’98 and‘50’s rock and roll music.

He also sold eight-track tapes which came in everything from the Beach Boys to the Bee Gees. If you are too young to remember albums, you certainly won’t know what these things are but just know that they came before the modern age of cassettes, CDs, the iPod shuffle and on-line streaming. Eight track tapes were cumbersome, but revolutionary at the time. After all, you couldn’t plug in your turntable and take it with on a 6 hour car ride to Boston or Williamsburg while listening to your favorite bands (I’m just saying…). So, the eight-track was the way to go.

To keep me busy and out of trouble, I had a few important jobs at my dad’s outdoor record stand and most of them were related to the eight-tracks. I alphabetized them. I applied the price stickers. I re-alphabetized them after a customer carelessly took them out and then replaced them anywhere they could fit in the box. And most importantly, when someone wanted to purchase them, I was at the ready to test them out in my dad’s tan Malibu station wagon. This was my favorite part of the job. At the age of 7, I was so excited to climb behind the steering wheel and turn the car key towards the windshield and then insert the tape in the proper way so it would play. I was careful not to jam it into the player which could cause the outer plastic casing to crack and certainly affect a $5 sale.

When the crowds faded, Dad & I would sit on the car bumper with the trunk door wide open to provide shade on hot sunny days. We played the Beatles eight track tape almost every weekend and ate funnel cake while talking about random things. A nice treat for a hard day’s work.

And now, whenever I hear Baby You Can Drive My Car, I’m immediately taken back to those days at the flea market—even if I’m listening to the song on the XM radio Beatles Channel.

Happy National Eight-Track Tape Day!

Top 10 Random Thoughts

  1. Happy National Siblings Day to my sister who amazes me with her quick wit, her resilience and her ability to pull the perfect movie quote out of thin air that relates specifically to whatever we are discussing at that particular moment. INCONCEIVABLE!
  2. Happy National Siblings Day to my son and daughter. I am incredibly grateful for both of you and love the fact that you get along with each other more often than you fight and you always have each other’s back.
  3. Don’t panic about the college admissions process. I’ve read so many articles about it over the last few years and the overwhelming amount of advice and information out there will make your head spin. But know this: Yes, it is stressful. Yes, you will doubt yourself (why did I let her stop taking piano lessons?). Yes, it is not fun. But, they will go to the university where they were meant to go. You got this. Trust your kid and trust the process.
  4. After a rather large kitchen renovation last summer, everyone in this house seems to still have trouble locating the dishwasher which is less than a foot away from the sink they are dumping their dishes in.
  5. Thank God for Randy Rainbow (pictured right). He is the only thing that is getting me through the Trump administration these days. If you need a good laugh, stop reading and go check out his YouTube Channel. This is one of my favorites. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
  6. Passover is coming and just like every year, I wish someone would consider re-branding Passover candy packaging. It looks so unappetizing especially compared to the brightly-colored Easter candy it sits next to at the supermarket. Also, did I mention I’m hosting a Passover Seder for 23 people next weekend? I should stock up on egg matzah.
  7. I love baseball for lots of reasons (Go Phillies!), but mostly because I think there is an element of kindness to it. Don’t know what I mean? Watch this.
  8. Spring break is next week for the kids. Soon after that will be the senior class trip, senior prom, Memorial Day and then high school graduation. And soon enough, I’ll be packing my daughter up to go to college. I wish time would slow the hell down and let me catch my breath.
  9. I had a dream about my grandmother the other day which was odd because I rarely dream about that particular grandmother. All of a sudden, she was there smoking a joint. What do you think that means?
  10. It took me over an hour to come up with 10 random thoughts. 🙂

The end!

Hugging It Out

Flattery won’t get you far with me, but my kids know a big hug will every time. Lately, I seem to be getting a lot of hugs and you won’t hear me complaining.

My oldest is counting down the days until the end of her high school career. She has a bright future ahead of her and she is excited about it. I’m sure leaving the nest gives her some trepidation. We’ve all been there. It isn’t easy. We have been her safety net for the last 18 years and soon she will fend for herself at college. Of course, we will always be there for whatever she needs and offer our words of wisdom and support. We just won’t be right by her side or waiting in her dorm room for her to return from class. Actually, I think she would be mortified if we did the latter.

So, I’m getting a few extra hugs from her lately. It is extra nice because I admit I’m having a hard time with this big change too. This isn’t like going away to overnight camp and I’ll pick her up in 3 weeks. This is quite a reality check and it is happening sooner than I’m willing to admit.

When she hugs me, my only rule is that she must let go first because I’d hold on forever.

My son is getting in some hugs of his own these days. He was always one to cuddle up next to me and snuggle when he was little. He’s too big for that now, but I’ll take a great big bear hug from him anytime. After all these years, boys are still a mystery to me. I’m never quite sure when he needs one and when he just wants to be left alone. I think it’s his way of checking in with me before he goes off with his friends. Or maybe he just wants to give me a hug just for the hell of it. Either one works for me. I don’t need a reason to get one of his hugs.

Mainly, I think it is his way of showing me that even though I nag at him to clean his room and use a bath towel more than once before throwing it in the hamper, he loves me as much as I love him.

Hugs are the best, especially from my teenagers, and I’ll take every single one of them in for as long as they let me—without question.

 

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