Thursday, April 26, 2007


[Provocative giggle] "Thank you for calling 1900-TALK. Mmm. "

[Thick male voice] "1900-TALK is known universally for its 97% success rate with a guarantee of permanent, lifetime conjugal contentment.

You must be (exactly) 18 to call this number. If you are under 18 we will be legally responsible to marry you off to a Meislish rebbisheh einikle.

[Male Voice, very-very quickly]

In the event you have not intended to contact 1900-TALK, or have not dialed this incomplete number, please continue to hold the line.

There will be a brief silence for the next 60 seconds. Please stand still while one of our representatives stares at you to evaluate you. 1900-TALK reserves the right to ask you to turn sideways, the other way, around, look away, hold your arms up, show your hair, smile, move, walk, turn again, converse with a friend, tell you to act natural, stand on your head, yawn, fix yourself, fake laugh, blush, die, revive, thank you for your cooperation. Section 246-D, NYS Havah Nivalilah. See our website for further details.

[Smokey, provocative female voice resumes]

Our automated prompts have recently been updated to enhance the personalized search query. Please listen carefully prior to entering your selection.

1 –Enter your two digit weight and 5.8 height followed by the pound key. Your profile will be processed after a complete stranger says it's not true. If you do not fit those bodily digits please leave a message in our voicemail box explaining what you were thinking.

2 – Press two and deposit: “ninety nine dollars, and ninety nine cents” for each of the following minutes. You will hear several clicks while our system retrieves a gelt shidduch. Our Gelt Shidduk Platinum Option is packaged with a state-of-the-art ceremony, knakadigeh match, 9 generations lifetime kollel learning, shpitzle headgear, 500,000 dollar home and many more including our bonus feature of a groom or bride.
[quickly] Only eligible millionaires can benefit from the supreme love criteria.

3 – If you are from a broken home, por favor marka numar usinta and a sfardisha meidle will come on the line to marriage you, mucha gracias.

4 – If you are over 21 please continue to hold. Case personnel will be with you shortly. The estimated wait time is: “one thousand years, and one Tuesday, and fifty six minutes”. Calls are answered in the order that they have been received. If at any time your call is ‘skipped’ please hang up and give up.

5 – If you are a nebuch a divorce’ or if you are leider a bum, please marry each other.

6 - If you know your party’s extension, due to a previous beshow encounter, and would like to request an additional encounter, dial delete+delete for reputation and prospect removal. 1900-Talk takes enormous pride in offering love at first sight - only.

7 – Hey girls, got the looks? Are you a roytah maude, a red head? Congratulations. You can put on a wig already.

8- If you or your family has any history of illness or poor health, for example: grandmother has diabetes, second cousin epilepsy, or you had a nosebleed at age five, please fax medical records of entire family to us and we will hook you up with someone with bipolar disorder .
[Quickly] This crucial new feature is to credit the laboring of The Honorable KJ Rebbetzin.

9 – To cancel your order, please change your levish. Shidduch will be obliterated automatically. Otherwise, order will be shipped, wedded, charged, implemented and will produce off springs. No amount of hitting all keypad numbers angrily will change that. Ha-ha-ha. Please try me. There you go. Engagement still on. Ouch, not there, it hurts. Please review your hashkafa before blaming it on us. Okay – okay, you’re breaking the phone. I think she’s crazy. She’s crazy. Co su t yo r l cal rab … It s n t gon w rk… top it!
o der sta us – a tive! !

That’s true love children. Thank you for calling 1900-Talk.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

O' Baby

Every so often Yoelish wakes up in the morning especially enthused, the birth of a brilliant idea rousing him from slumber. "You know what just occur to me that we do?", he'd say to this snoozeaholic' "Listen to this great plan for a minute. It's about you, us!"

Then he'd explain. I can't repeat verbatim, but in general he says something like this:

"I think... how about... this plan: we get YOU very, very fat! But not only that, we make you sickly, and vomit daily, and dangerously moody, and sensitive to smell, and unpredictably and ravishingly hungry, and slow in motion, and breathless, and full of stretch marks and varicose veins, all bloated and blown up, a lot of nighttime heartburn, and also, prodded by a doctor where you like it least? And then we'll get you to the hospital to be hooked up to monitors and huge needles, with scrunching, crunching contractions and hell-raising pushes of the pelvic muscle. After that you'll have postpartum depression and temporarily give away all our other children!"

He'd sit up with a jolt, extra pleased with himself, and ask exceptionally cheerily "hu?! What do you think?! I think it's time! C'mon, you want it too"

I'll tell you what I think, and I'll tell you what I want!

I love that bearded fella in the nightgown from the bed across the carpet, for my life I do, but I don't want to hear all that fuss around another pregnancy. When he ever attempts to mention a combination of the words "baby" and "more" my face freezes over with a stepford smile only a married man can understand to crouch from. I look at him in my morning mode, while making a mental note to send him away first after the heartburn and pushing. If I say I want it, that's one thing, but him?

My husband is suffering from Birth Control Anxiety Disorder, according to my expert diagnosis. That's the result of a drastic, spiritually defeating change of pace in his life. Before he got married he'd been assured that he's getting a woman, a few truckloads EPTs (maybe even some free stretchies and sweater-sets) and soon enough, the dozen or so children would be generated. He'd be able to give kiddish in shul for all to come, make vacht nachts, drag a troupe of boys with him in shul, make sizable bar mitzvahs and eventually, knakedige family celebrations. The notion of having less than ten kids never crossed his mind. It wasn't a possibility.

When I first started to trigger his BCAD disorder by mentioning cutting my supply to him of babies, after a fair share of physical and emotional pressure, his reflex was to repeat like a broken record player that "m'meg nisht,", you're not allowed, and "nobody does!". Eventually, it wore him down. I'd like to say it was the hat-stand I bought him as a gift, but maybe it was just that babies made him snap. Or even more likely, the sleepless nights made his wife snap, and that really left him desperately running for a rabbi.

I proposed the strategy. Walk into the rabb's house, learn a bit of something Lashon Kodesh for good luck, and then proceed to take the sponge-tichel clad rebbetzin hostage. Yoelish should call 911, and tell the police that he's not letting go of the wife or the shep-weapon lest the rabbi gives away a two year break. Then he could come home with some of their soup, (might as well do it all the way) and we'll celebrate the heist.

I didn't get the soup, but somehow, someway, I got a nice hetter, much to my husband's surprise. From then on, if a kid wasn't on the way (and sometimes even if there was) we get those guilt ridden BCAD morning rituals where Yoelish wanted another kid NOW.

To cure my absence of typical annual maternal yearnings, I attend the "Boineh Oilem" party once a year. The ladies come to the party having left all their valuables at home, except those with a an inbound valuable. We sit around, yelling above each other's voices about nursing clean and nursing clean and nursing clean, and by the time the speakers would be through we'd all nod in agreement that we better not complain. On the walk home, late at night, all of us would talk about how ungrateful we are for always complaining when others have nothing.

I do sincerely feel sorry for couples that have infertility issues, but I have trouble comprehending how 16 for me would make it better for them. What I do know, while I'm not eager to go through child bearing again so soon, is that I love my children with everything I got. Every single one, deeply.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Shtible

Mazel Tov!

Here's the link to my new room, Shpitzle Shtible, where I'll be writing and discussing "sefarim" of all genres, each post consisting of a book review on any random title.

Feel free to hang your comments anywhere over its walls!

And please, shush during leinen ;)...


Monday, April 16, 2007

JIB Awards

The Jewish Internet Bloggers Awards are coming up!

I haven’t been sleeping much lately. The anticipation! I toss and turn wide-eyed in the wee hours of the morning. And like, then I don’t even have enough energy to do my daily abs-squats with the 50lb weights on my lower torso, or the 500 mile run with my personal trainer Santos Ulasita. I shouldn't really admit but I haven’t been eating lately either. I’m on the beans-only-diet y’know (I endorse this AmAzing program,!). Miracles, just, miracles. My sponsors put me on it and only two hours later I’ve shrunken into the ‘after’ photo. You surely understand that I must fit into my Oscar De Lerenta gown, which will go with a Gucci diamond-studded tichel over my newly-died-blond shpitzle. To that I’ll have my 14K gold kallah pearls. Ya-ay! I mean, the excitement of all this! The paparazzi, the reporters, the red carpet, the dates, the celebrities! Gosh!

I'm so nervous. I’m hyperventilating. Get me a paper bag! A papaper babag. Hoo, hoo.

Breath. Breath. Breath.

Kay. I’m cool now. No, really, I’m totally cool. I’ll have some of my beans though, please.

Anyway, so I’ve been naturally (duh!) vying for the award. This is my first year in Blogywood and I totally, totally deserve it. So I go down to the JIB website to check out all my nominations, all the while arching my back like my best BFF Pariz, and guess what! Hundreds of freakin’ blogs are being nominated, most of which I’ve never heard of! Is this about the indies now? Is that it? They call it “art”, hu? "Sinai Mountain", that makes it to the top, and why? What about my blog-buster music you pickle heads! Cheap sob liars y'all. They go about pretending that those stupid **** ****! @#$#------

(My publicist is back-spacing everything I write. Darn idiot.)

Well, (no, I’m not apologizing!) I have been preparing my un-acceptance speech. (No, I’m not apologizing!!! Did you ever?!) At least I’ll be able to go up there and chuckle into the microphone and say “this has always been my nightmare. Thank you so, so little! It was only with you guys that I could have not done this” and cry into the hostess’ chest with overwhelming thanklessness.
I decided that this rainy week will be a fine setting for me to pen my long and exceptionally brilliant speech. I’ve been sitting here in my twin size bed, next to my adorable pet Yoely, my pink laptop, and it’s just flowing out of me! God, I have so many talents, I keep on discovering more. First my beautiful voice and now this!!

I have about 1,256,549.25 written pages now. My therapist is so proud of me; she says that it helps me further develop my aura and psychic powers. It was just like that, I started to write about the people that helped this non-victory come about. I started with my parents. Man, like my therapist said, my parents are at fault for EVERYTHING. Even the liposuction disaster. So I wrote about them, about the way they raised me with a family of five million children in complete poverty and gave me away to the damaging foster care of Camp Machna Rav Tov. It’s a very sad story the way they abused me. I’ll be telling it on Oprah.

Then I proceeded to write about my education; teachers, principles and who-knows-who-else that were roaming the Bais Rochel brick building. I mean, I devoted five pages to the secretary in charge of the copy machine herself! These people tortured me while they were teaching me all their dumb genius ‘stuff’. I mean, I know we need to learn all the scientific theories, college ligature, a major and Jewish Torah, but they didn’t have to do it so often as five minutes a school year! It really affected me, and caused my allergy to the bedika-mit-a-bendel. So many high-leveled too-challenging studies to memorize can cause permanent brain damage (as it did for me).

Those pages of essay I already wrote are awesome, awesome. I am even using the Merriam Webster Dictionary of Great Epithets to help explain the traumatizing story. There are gonna be a lot of bleeps, especially when I write about the neighborhood from like, my hometown. Oh, man, those people from the Williamsburg Ghetto! Only because of them am I here today not winning anything. It's their credit! There'll be for sure one page for every person who stared at me. I’m still in the middle of my crocodile leather diary with that. Then the people that told on me to the Satmar school and caused my depression. All the guys that I didn’t date – also an awful story for which I have a book deal already. And I was totally deprived of stuff because of these people's treatment of me, like, I mean, the stores that didn’t sell Madonna, the theaters that didn’t have a screen, the dressmakers that made all the hips big, the shaver manufacturers that invented electric shavers and the company that designed celibacy-till-marriage and then the company that made open-back hospital gowns and the sfardisha mikvah ladies. And of course, the maker of the human hair Indians.

Gotta return to my essay. This whole break I took now on this blog interrupted my flow and ruined the speech. Ugh! How much more are my parents going to torture me?! When will this stop?!


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Chassidic Anthem

Sung by Shtrimpkind

You out there
Watchadoin today,
Gochaself some rainin’
Gochaself some blues...

You can't hear no music
To get your spirits up
Cuz it's time o’ year
The sfirah, man
And the boombox
Is banned.

So turn up the volume
Listen to me rap
All'll get bettah
In a big white snap.

Mah children and their daddy
We’re makin music sway
We’re all dancin’ and swingin’
Our bodies away
My little baby gurl
Is bangin’ the drums
While my big ol’ man
Pointin’ pinky and thumbs.

Yo you out there
Watchadoin today
Aint nobody singin
Duddi’s or Lipa’s beats
Aint nobody listenin’
To Yom-Tov-Erlich’s leids
Can't nobody play
No music today.
And with the spring away
The whole crazy delay
The sun gone astray
We need some spirit on dis day!


Pop. Pop, O!

Tap, tap, tap.

Hip-hip, clunk.

So baby,
Don’t you be shy now
And all kind of crap
Turn up the volume
Listen to me rap
Shake and clap.

Yeah, me teachas in their kupshtik
Duster and it all
Gonna be real proud
Of this bangin’ doll!

Hallo, gleibmir,
Eech ken tsee zingin
Vee dee faryirige shney
Ubber eech trey
Yo, seiz a mechey
Shukkel in drey!
Yeahhh, gits a shrey!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Humor Me

Pesach passed in a blur. It came and went in a dizzying cycle of changing from white to floral to white to floral tichel, or in clockspeak, from night to day to night to day. Our yom tov was a lot of the ordinary extraordinary. The weather didn’t catch the drift from the fires we stoked before Pesach began, and it remained cold on most days. The seddar was uneventful; there were the loud yawns from the ladies, the red-eyed coughing fits from the men who overdosed on handfuls of bitter murrar, or the little ‘thieves’ under the table heisting the afikomen. Eliyahu the Prophet – drunk as ever - winked at me upon shuffling in at his turn in the haggada, patted his belly to indicate he’s filled it steadily, and then downed his designated extra large cup. Nothing special you see, just your typical yom tov.

On the eighth day of Pesach, when we expand our food choices to mixing matzah with liquid, we were beating up eggs and matzah crumbs in a matzah-ball kneidle mixture, when my sister mentioned a letter in the newspaper Der Blatt decrying the age-old kneidlemaker joke. For those unfamiliar with it, the tradition is to send a child up and down to the neighbors to borrow a kneidlemaker. It's a gesture that we're finally sharing food and utensils with other families, unlike the previous days of Passover. Some neighbors would remember the prank from the previous year and laugh at the innocent child in the doorway. Others would go searching their cabinets thoroughly, making a mental note to get that kneidlemaker immediately after the holiday.

Ha, ha, ha. The kneidlemaker, really, for you out there that are now digging through your shelves, is one’s hands moving in circular motion to form the ball. Ah-hahaha! Not so funny, but a good effort to coax a laugh.

My father usually entertained us during that Passover meal of hot chicken soup and freely floating grayish kneidl, by telling tales of his own kneidlmaker stories. We'd be guffawing at those mean-spirited adults. It was a legend, an old legend, from Europe even, the kneidlmaker.

In the letter to the yiddish newspaper the author calls to stop the humiliation and child insensitivity of the old kneidlemaker joke. My family discussed the argument that was raised, acknowledged the cruelty involved in it all, and then, without much opposition, murdered the tradition.

I stood by, in this egg-shell of a world, without saying anything. There isn’t much to advocate in a joke on kids, but it’s just another example of a society that lacks a good measure of humor.

Reminds me of a world I grew up in. My family is not the one to huddle around tables at family gatherings and have loud animated conversation. We don’t dance at weddings with wild steps, or make fun of ourselves. Humor, especially the effort to produce it, has been renamed ‘corny’ and partnered with a swift move of the entire mouth to one side. Exaggerations and lies have become synonyms. Making fun of yourself in Yiddish is “machsteech tsi-nar”, you're being a fool. And what’s left, ego intact, is making fun of others behind their backs.

Needless to say, I too, at the ripe old age of eleven learned to hang one leg over the other and be ‘mature’. Forget funny, big, witty, real or light. “Oy, whew.” [pull down the blouse, pat hair] “So, vooz titsech epes?” [Cock the head.]

My first movie really reminds me of how seriously we take ourselves. Ahh, who could forget their first movie, hu? I was about 16, maybe 17, and I didn’t see another show before months, maybe years, later. But that was one movie I wound up watching after a supposed shopping day with a supposed chaperon supposedly with different friends. I pounced at the opportunity.

We sat at the edge of our seats, our rears mostly in the air, eying the audience for school spies. We were ready for more action from the back door than from the screen itself. There was something uncannily similar between one lady holding hands with a bald guy in the front seats and our school principle. To this day I could swear it was her in disguise.

The film began with a wife losing all her assets to a cheating husband in a bitter divorce. I can remember every detail like today. “Shoin, at least she didn’t have children” my friend whispered to us. At least she didn’t have children, that woman Chrissie or something. 35 and divorced! How’s she ever gonna get married again? Probably gonna get a gurish. We were concerned.

In a spontaneous move to improve her life, the protagonist moved to the nowhere, doomed by a place full of bad omen. When she entered her creaky little house we were shocked to look into the screen, as a wild bird flew clear over Chrissie's head. Wide eyed and appaled, we watched. The audience chuckled.

As she trotted up for her second story, all the stairs came crumbling under her weight and she landed with a jolt. We gasped. The audience laughed.

She got her tub running for a nice warm bath, and out came blasting in every direction, gooey brown water. The faucet itself flew off straight across the room. We looked on horrified. The poor woman. Divorced and now this?

Later, her window broke in a cold and harsh blizzard. Alone, in that old house. She huddled at the radiator for a bit of warmth when her electricity went baboom, sparkle – and gone. Darkness. She sat there in the cold, curled up in a blanket, without heat. The audience giggled with every development. I dabbed myself with kleenex. My friends looked equally somber. I blew my nose. We quietly cursed the movie. A comedy? Chrissie was a walking disaster in her social encounters and said all the wrong, morbidly embarrassing things. My ego bled.

The movie ended, after many an agony, with a sour improvement. I wiped my eyes in my sleeves and we all left, red noses marking our faces.

A good few comedies later, and I’m starting to remember this first one as the best one yet. For all it’s awful events, it told me a bit about how much easier life is with tougher skin and less sensitivity. It's also told me that above all disasters, those theatre-goers must have loved the three hollering chassidic girls best. Let them audience laugh away, those child abusers, I'm writing a letter to Der Blatt about that.

In light of all this, my summer’s resolution is to use my kneidlemaker on the keyboard more often. Seriously.