Tag Archives: Humor

Oy Vey! The Matzah Balls!

Looks good, right?

Looks good, right?

A few years ago, I did a crap load of cooking. I was preparing for Passover, so I was doing what Jewish mothers do — cooking up a storm. I was Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray and Betty-freaking-Crocker — except the Jewish version.

So picture frizzier hair and a bigger nose.

That year, I made 3 times as many matzah balls as I usually would, to make sure that my family would have enough to eat for the entire week. It took hours, but no big whoop, right? These are the things we do for love.

After the brisket went in and the noodle kugel was finished, I realized I didn’t have enough room in my freezer. So, I asked my kind neighbor if I could use a little space in the freezer that she keeps in her garage. She said of course.

Passover comes and so do all the guests. I’m serving the soup, and I’m like where are all my matzah balls? I look in the freezer, in the refrigerator, in the garage. It’s cold enough. I’m thinking, maybe I stashed them in the trunk of my car. Sometimes I stick things there. I look everywhere. I only have 18 matzah balls. The thing is this: that year? We have 24 people at the house. Picturing, standing in the kitchen, confused and cutting matzah balls in half.

I believe it is written in the Torah.

Thou shalt not run out of matzah balls.

But I did.

I apologized to our guests.

Time went by.

Spring came and went.

Months after the holiday ended, I was sitting on my driveway in the sun when my neighbor asked if I would like to have my matzah balls.

“Because isn’t Passover coming up?” she asked.

You guys, I didn’t even remember giving them to her.

Suddenly I was like: Should I be worried? Should I call the doctor? Do I need to check about early dementia? Seriously, how did those balls get over there? Did they roll across the street on their own?

I followed my friend into her warm garage. She opened her freezer and next to the ICEEs, there was my long-lost Tupperware container filled with frozen balls. All 9 bazillion of them.

I obsessed about forgetting those matzah balls.

And then I got sick. For 15 months, I couldn’t cook or clean or even leave my house.

I couldn’t even think about making matzah balls.

It’s been a few years since I hosted a Passover meal.

At 32 months off Klonopin, I’m doing really well. I’m grateful to be alive, grateful to feel Spring in the air, hopeful that one day I will feel even better. I know all of this is part of G-d’s plan.

And this year, I plan to enjoy someone else’s balls.

#IYKWIM.

tweet me @rasjacobson

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Gingerbread House Rules: Wordless Wednesday

We’d never decorated a gingerbread house before so we don’t know the rules.

All I know is that we decked out our house (kinda) and set it on the counter to live.

Almost immediately, chunks of gingerbread started disappearing. The base was the first to go. Then the people. The walls crumbled, and eventually we were left well…this.

The state of our gingerbread house last week.

The state of our gingerbread house last week.

Do you decorate gingerbread houses? If so, what are your rules about decorating? And eating?

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates.

tweet me @rasjacobson

4 #SoWrong Moments by Steve Warner

SoWrong

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I stumbled on Steve from Brown Road Chronicles nearly 2 years ago when I saw a funny comment he’d left on someone else’s blog. I decided to click over and, well… that was the day I found the man I call “Cowboy.” You guys, he was singing a love song to his wife. {Or maybe it was to one of his goats. I actually can’t remember. But it was good.} I read a bunch of his essays, and I caught myself adoring this doting father and devoted husband from Michigan who tells stories about country living, old houses and dirt roads.

• • •

4 #SoWrong Moments by Steve Warner

My wife Kim and I are relatively experienced parents. We have two children, a soon-to-be 16-year-old daughter and a soon-to-be 13-year-old son. In parenting years, if the average kid moves away around 22-23 years old, I guess you could say we’ve been at it awhile. Parenting is not easy, but it’s not as hard as lots of people would have led us to believe when we started this journey.

On the other hand, we’ve had our share of mishaps and like most parents we’ve had a few #SoWrong moments along the way. We laugh about them now. Here are a few.

#1: SCARLET FEVER IS A THING.

My daughter and son have had their share of strep throat episodes. Kim has gotten so good, she can now diagnose strep throat approximately six weeks before they actually become infected. That wasn’t always the case.

It’s just Scarlet Fever. These antibiotics should help.

One of the first times our daughter had strep, being inexperienced with the whole “diagnosing your kid’s signs” thing, we kept putting off seeing a doctor, thinking “it’s just a little sore throat, it will clear up in a few days”. Eventually, our daughter developed this nasty rash all over her body and Kim took her to the pediatrician.

Later that day.

Her: Doctor says she has Scarlet Fever.

Me: SCARLET FEVER?! ISN’T THAT LIKE SOME DISEASE FROM THE MIDDLE AGES OR SOMETHING? LIKE THE BLACK PLAGUE? WE DON’T NEED TO PUT LEECHES ON HER LEGS OR ANYTHING, DO WE?

Her: Doctor says antibiotics should clear it right up… but next time to please bring her in a little sooner.

#2: KIDS ARE LIKE PARROTS

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“STUPID BITS!”

When my son was a toddler, we noticed when he’d get angry with something he’d say “STUPID BITS!” When he’d try to fit the square peg in the round hole: “STUPID BITS!” When Thomas the Train went too fast around the wooden tracks and his Caboose derailed and tipped over the whole train: “STUPID BITS!” Like much of the undecipherable shit that comes out of your kid’s mouth at that age, we didn’t really think anything of it.

Until one day my wife figured it out.

Her: You know what he’s saying, don’t you? When you get mad, you say “STUPID BITCH!”

Me: C’mon, I do not.

Her: Yes, you do!

Me: Next time the mower breaks down in the middle of the yard: “STUPID BITCH!” Next time I smash my thumb with a hammer: “STUPID BITCH!

Me: Accepting Father of the Year Award…

#3: FATHERS AREN’T SUPPOSED TO SLEEP UNTIL 3:00 PM.

3pmYou know that thing… where you’re at a party and you’ve had a few drinks and someone offers you a shot? Yeah that.

You know that thing… where someone offers you another shot. Yeah that.

A few years back, this happened and I ended up throwing up all over the place in the passenger seat of my wife’s car on the ride home — with my son sitting in the back seat “taking notes.” Thankfully he was young enough to not really understand the whole episode. But the next day I was sicker than I’d felt since my college days. I woke up around 8:00 a.m. New Year’s Day, somehow managed to hose off the car mats and clean out the car, then went back to bed.

I’ve blocked out many of the memories of this night but I will always remember hearing my son from downstairs, while I was lying in bed upstairs, ask: “It’s 3:00. Why isn’t Dad up yet?!”

#4: SOMETIMES SANTA CLAUS BRINGS BOOKS ABOUT SEX.

One Christmas morning, Kim and I sat around drinking Mimosas while the kids alternated between playing with their new toys and eating candy out of their stockings.

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Should come with Parental Warnings

This particular year, Kim had purchased books for our kids called “Pocket Scientist.” She hadn’t read through the books; she’d glanced at them and thought they looked like good, educational, stocking stuffers. There was a Blue Book and a Red Book and they explored all kinds of stuff: dinosaurs and animals and fossils and caves and climate and rainbows and the water cycle and trash and the environment and machines and rocks.

As we still had at least one “believer,” we labeled them “FROM SANTA.”

It was quite a surprise when we learned there was a section on how babies are made! Our children giggled aloud as they read how “the mother and father cuddle each other very close and the father’s penis gets stiffer so it fits comfortably inside the mother’s vagina.” Who could’ve guessed we’d have a conversation about erections on Christmas?

Believe me, I’ve got plenty more stories like these, but I don’t want to overstay my welcome  and, frankly, I have two teenagers: another #SoWrong moment is surely just around the corner!

What #SoWrong parenting moment do you most want to forget?

tweet us at @stevetwarner & @rasjacobson

The Devil Made Me Do It: A #SoWrong Moment by Jess Witkins

Jess Witkins is a fantastic blogging-buddy. Funny and friendly, she is honest and tells it straight. Jess is an adventurer who will do anything for a good story, as you will see today.  A glutton for all things pop culture, Jess is on a quest to listen better, learn better, write better, love better, and sleep better. Check her out at The Happiness Project. Follow her on Twitter at @JessWitkins.  Thank you for being here today, Jess. xo

SoWrong

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The Devil Made Me Do It by Jess Witkins

What you need to know is that I came crashing into the party on a Friday night fish fry just before my parents’ 40th birthdays.

They already had a family.

They weren’t planning on doing the diaper thing again.

Because I grew up surrounded by people much older than me, I’m mature for my age. I got A’s in school, graduated college, found a well-paying job, and I pay my own bills!

I am a picture-perfect citizen.

One would assume I have control over my bowels.

Let me explain. My boyfriend and I take a vacation together each summer. We’ve traveled to Portland, Oregon and eaten Voodoo Donuts; we’ve visited Toronto, Ontario and viewed the skyline from the CN Tower. Last summer, we decided to take a road trip out west. Starting in the Badlands, we made our way to Yellowstone National Park. It was a fabulous trip.

Except for the day we toured Devil’s Tower.

That August day, the temperatures climbed into the 90’s. Being a mature adult, I was prepared! I packed and wore sunscreen. I drank water all morning. I used the bathroom before we left.

It didn’t matter.

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This is Devil’s Tower.

We started our hike around the base of the tower. We weren’t too far in when I felt something rumbling in my gut. We sat on a bench for a minute, enjoying the view.  I considered telling my boyfriend to go on ahead so I could quick run back to the bathroom.

That’s what I should’ve done.

But nah, the pain went away, and I figured I could hold it.

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Jess wearing sunscreen & sporting water like a responsible adult.

It became crystal clear, halfway around the tower, that my mind and body were not at peace. In fact, they were in deep negotiation. And things were getting heated.

When the cramping got so bad that I had to sit down again, I started weighing my options.

You see, I couldn’t skulk off somewhere: there were other hikers. One poor unsuspecting family was giving their children piggy back rides nearby. I couldn’t take a crap behind a tree, they’d see me! It was either stay on the bench and breathe or walk right over the cliff behind us.

I wish I’d chosen the cliff.

Because that’s when I pooped my pants.

The worst part was telling my boyfriend what had happened. How would he ever look at me with any sense of romance or mystery again? I consider myself a dignified person. But I’d just crapped my pants. In public. And we still needed to hike halfway around Devil’s Tower.

Nothing will ever compare to the cold, wet, mall-walker sprint that I made during my descent from Devil’s Tower. And my boyfriend, wonderful man that he is, tried to cheer me up on our journey.

“You’re almost there! You’re doing good! On the bright side, I don’t smell anything!” he shouted.

Making my way to the crowded public bathroom, I took note of the collateral damage. Well, the underwear was a goner. It didn’t stand a chance, really. I was just lucky I wore full coverage cotton panties that day and not a thong.

I shimmied out of my undies, wrapped my soiled mess in TP, and dumped everything in the plastic bin where women leave their unmentionables. Then I said a little prayer for the park custodian, cleaned myself up, and walked back to the car.

So the moral of the story, kids, is sometimes even the best of adults crap their pants. Oh, and always bring an extra pair of clean underwear when traveling.

Or, you know, a diaper.

Has this ever happened to you? Of course I don’t mean YOU, but someone you know right? Besides me and Al Roker? Huh?

 tweet us @rasjacobson & @jesswitkins

NOTE: The winner of the GoGoSqueeZ giveaway is Brown Road Chronicles! Congratulations Steve! Send me your mailing address within the next 48 hours!

Don’t Lick The Minivan: A Review and #Giveaway

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When my son was an infant, I knew I was doing everything wrong.

I was sure of it.

Looking around, I saw smiling mommies bouncing quiet babies on their knees.

Meanwhile, I had The Screaming One.

I was failing Motherhood-101, and I had no one to confide in.

Leanne Shirtliffe’s book Don’t Lick The Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Kids has hit the stores, and — boy oh boy — do I wish I had it 13 years ago.

While living abroad in Thailand, Leanne gave birth to twins, William and Vivian. After a bit of a rocky start, Leanne found the babies (she lost them on the way home from the hospital), the right nursing bra (not so easy in a country where boobies are slightly less bodacious than ripe Canadian ta-tas), and she started to find funny everywhere.

You know those days when you’re feeling like you’re the world’s suckiest parent with rotten-good-for-nothing kids?

Leanne teaches us to find humor in those low moments.

She tells us how:

  • Her husband left the babies with drunken strangers. (Sorry to throw you under the tuk-tuk, Chris.)
  • William liked to pee. Everywhere. On everything.
  • Vivian drew on the dining room table. Using a Sharpie. (The permanent kind.)
  • The twins carved their names into her minivan’s paint…with rocks.

She sucks at crafts.

She’s anti-glitter.

She let her son sleep next to a turd.

Leanne has this way of making us see the humor in the exchanges we have with our kids. When you are suffering through life’s most unfunny moments, remember we are all partners in this ordinary, extraordinary thing: raising tiny humans. And Leanne? She reminds us it’s okay to laugh with them – as well as at them.

Because Leanne is yummypickles, one person is going to be able to win a copy of Don’t Lick The Minivan.

What do you have to do to win?

Leave me a comment telling me a naughty thing you did as a child that you thought was hilarious OR tell me something naughty that one (or more) of your kids did that was heinous at the time, but you can look back at now and laugh. Kind of.

Can’t wait to win a contest? Buy Don’t Lick the Minivan on Amazon.

Buy Don’t Lick the Minivan at Barnes & Noble 

They even have an audible version. Listen to the sample.

tweet us @rasjacobson & @lshirtliffe

NOTE: This contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Random Number Generator will be helping me on this one. One winner will be announced on my blog on May 27th. If that person doesn’t contact me within 24 hours, I’ll select another winner. Don’t be that turd.

• • •

Ain't she cute?

Ain’t she cute?

Leanne Shirtliffe’s book, Don’t Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to my Kids, has received glowing endorsements from Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), Jill Smokler (Scary Mommy), Kirkus Review, and others. When she’s not stopping her eight-year-old twins from licking frozen flagpoles, Leanne keeps a blog at ironicmom.com and teaches English to teenagers who are slightly less hormonal than she is. Follow her on Twitter at @lshirtliffe.

NOTE: Michelle from Steadily Skipping Stones recorded a fun interview video with Leanne on her blog! When you are done reading this post, click HERE to hear Leanne answer silly and serious questions from her fans.

When Vacation Lowlights Become Highlights

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The other night, I asked my son to tell me his favorite memory from our recent vacation in The Happy House. It was a good one. We swam in the pool and the ocean. We visited with neighbors and spent a day at Magic Kingdom. We planted palm trees and went bike riding. We even had a dinner party where guests came over to watch Syracuse University get crushed by the Wolverines in The Final Four.

“Sitting in my rocking chair and eating pie,” my son said.

Seriously. That was the highlight?

But then I remembered.

When my brother and I were young, we went on a family vacation to Florida with our parents. For weeks, they told us we were going to have the best vacation – ever.

After a long flight and what felt like an even longer drive, we made it to our hotel It was nighttime, and we were all exhausted, so my father left us in the car and went to check in at the front desk. After a while, he returned with a map, a compass, a walkie-talkie and a survival guide.

Not really, but it would have been nice if he’d had that stuff.

Because we walked in circles forever, trying to find The Nepa Hut.

Apparently, the clerk had given my father explicit instructions. We were supposed to walk down a path to where the crushed shells ended, take a left, then a right, being careful not to fall off the pier into the ocean. Eventually, we’d see a gecko sitting on a rock. Or something. I don’t really know.

What the guy at the front desk should have given us was a flashlight.

It was so freaking dark, we couldn’t find our damn room.

Dragging our bags behind us, we wandered back to the lighted lobby where my father confessed we were lost.

My mother must have caused a fuss because we ended up with a guide.

Once in the room, we started to unpack. Someone went to the bathroom.

I heard the flush.

And then I heard my father. “Oh no! he begged. “Omigosh! No!”

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Click for photo credit

You guessed it. The crapper was overflowing. Water poured over the lip of the toilet, spilling onto the floor until the tiles were soaked.

Though my mother threw towels onto the tile floor, the icky water would not stop, and the carpet outside the bathroom door was soon drenched.

While my father dialed housekeeping, my mother chastised him for using too much toilet paper.

My brother and I couldn’t stop laughing. The poopie geyser in the bathroom? That was the best.

He and I danced around the ever-widening wet-spot as our father warned us to keep away from the bathroom door.

It’s one of my favorite vacation memories.

Memories are weird. If I think about it, I suppose it isn’t so much that I love the fact that our toilet overflowed. It’s more that my parents had set this expectation that our vacation was going to be totally awesome, and even when things didn’t go to plan, we found a way to make the most of it. I love the memory of all of us being together, flailing around, figuring things out, being perfectly imperfect with each other.

I suppose if my son forever remembers kicking back in a rocking chair eating a slice of raspberry pie, well, as the kids say, that’s the shit.

What is one of your weird vacation memories? What about memories involving toilets?

tweet me @rasjacobson

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My Sleeping Bag Coat

When I moved to Rochester from New Orleans in 1995, the sunflowers in my backyard turned their yellow heads to face a blue, cloudless sky. That fall, the leaves on the maple trees turned red and yellow and brown and fell at our feet, but the sun stuck around. One October weekend, my husband and I hopped in his car to scout out a grape festival. Everyone kept saying how unseasonably warm it was. We hardly heard them as we scooped gobs of pie directly out of the tin and into our mouths. Standing there in our short sleeves, it seemed the warm weather would never end. Clearly, moving to Western, New York had been a delicious choice.

One October afternoon, a friend came to help me unpack the last of my boxes.

“Where are your coats?” she asked.

After five years in New Orleans, I didn’t have many. I held up my denim jacket, a green raincoat, and a few sweaters.

She shook her head. “You’d better get a good coat. Fast.”

But I ignored her. Because what did she know? Everything was so cozy in our apartment, and the afternoon light never stopped streaming through the stained glass windows of our apartment.

And then it happened.

One morning, I went outside to find everything blanketed in white. Shivering, I brushed off the windshield and hopped inside to turn on the heat. And after work, I drove directly to the nearest mall to buy my first sleeping bag coat.

Let’s be clear. My sleeping bag coat isn’t pretty. It isn’t fashion forward. But once the temperatures fall below 40 degrees, I am never without it. Black and puffy and filled with down, I wear it all the time. While I make breakfast. While I do the dishes. While I run errands.

I have even slept in my sleeping bag coat. Several years ago, we had a major ice storm. Trees cracked and power lines went down. People lost power for over a week. It was mid-April, and I could see my breath in my house.

Recently, I realized sleeping bag coats are kind of a Rochester thing.

Everywhere I go, there they are.

In the grocery store.

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 In a restaurant.

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Out for a walk.

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At Target.

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At the pharmacy counter.

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And again at the pharmacy.

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I know some ladies will argue that fashion should always come first. In my experience, these women are usually in their 20s. They often live in warm weather climates and wear bikinis with 5” hoochie-mamma heels.

In Rochester, we have to be pragmatic.

Because when it is cold for nearly six months of the year, we have to wear boots.

And hats. And scarves. And mittens.

We do the best we can.

We really do.

Cut us some slack.

Eventually it will stop snowing. The daffodils and tulips will dare to poke their heads out of the cold hard earth, and the trees will decide to sprout leaves. Things will green up. The thermometer will register above 60 degrees. Then, and only then, will I dare to step out of my sleeping bag coat.

What is the signature look in your neck of the woods?

I’m linking up with the fabulous folks at Yeah Write. Click on the hat to read good stuff from other peeps.

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tweet me @rasjacobson.com

The Annual De-Gift and Re-Gift Party

Some of you might remember the Seinfeld episode where Tim Whattley re-gifts a label maker that Elaine Benes has given him. That dang thing ends up getting passed all over town. If you don’t remember, here’s a quick refresher:

Don’t remember that?

Well then surely you remember when Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer accidentally lands on “The Island of Misfit Toys,” where unwanted playthings with cosmetic or physical flaws live until the island’s ruler, King Moonracer, can find homes for them?

Why am I babbling about old label makers and effed up toys?

For several years now, the members of my neighborhood book club have gathered after the winter holidays and, in lieu of discussing a book, each of us brings one gift that is so freaking craptastic we just have to get it out of the house.

And give it to someone else.

You know, because one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.

Last night was our Annual De-Gift & Re-Gift Party.

After everyone ate their fill of yummy nom-noms and slurped down some wine, our host told us it was time to get to it. We circled her coffee table where all the bags of horror sat sagging in their repurposed wrapping paper. The rules for this year’s swap were quickly established.

Same as last year.

  • We would go in numeric order.
  • When it was someone’s turn to pick, that person could either select a new gift or steal a gift that had already been opened.
  • Once an item had been swapped three times, that item could no longer be stolen.
  • Don’t leave unwanted gifts at the host’s house. Or else.

Our host handed us numbers that she had scribbled on slips of yellow paper. I must have been born under a star or something because I got the highest number, which meant that I was going to see most, if not all, of the goods that came before it would be my turn to pick, thus ensuring my victory would be sweet.

Here’s how it went down.

Kate went first. Reaching into her bag, she revealed two pairs of holiday socks and the windshield scraper Santa might use on his car. You know, if he didn’t have a garage and the reindeer were tired, and Mrs. Claus needed to pick up a few items from Bed, Bath & Beyond up there at the North Pole.

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After she showed everyone her goods, Kate burst into laughter and confessed that she’d picked the gift she’d tried to dump on us brought to the table last year. Like the mythical holiday fruitcake, Kate’s bag o’crap had returned to her.

Bonnie wound up with some fabulous sunglasses and other sundry items. Every single item in her bag was solid gold. Unfortunately, they cannot be shown here. (Look, I am not a fool. And I know not to look one particular gift horse in the mouth.)

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Liz unwrapped a frog ring, which broke the instant she put it on her finger. But she also got the Wine Bottle Sock Monkey, which she assured us would make a great puppet for her sons to play with.

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Cindy #1 took home the enormous cranberry scented candle that thought it was a lamp. Seriously, check out that shade. The thing weighed eleventy-six tons. Look how excited Cindy is!

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Cindy #2 scored a pair of faux-gold earrings circa 1986. And look! She’s set for Valentine’s Day with the Spin-The-Bottle-Button.

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Lori got the Garden Gnome Salt & Pepper Shakers. I know that someone out there would love these. But probably not Lori.

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You cannot really appreciate the bedazzled, super glittery handles on the faboo 4-piece cheese spreader set that Mary Jo landed. At first, we thought the handles were filled with Goldschlager. But no. Everyone agreed the spreaders were very functional and stabby.

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Theresa selected a well-endowed snowman whose nether region consisted of three different color candles. When this fact was called to everyone’s attention, the embarrassed snowman promptly lost a leg. (Look at the poor snowman’s face!)

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I peed in my pants a little when I won the box of Whitman’s chocolates. I told you my ending was sweet! That’s called punny foreshadowing, people.

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No matter what we tossed in the donations pile brought home last night, we were all winners because caring is sharing. No. Because each time the members of book club get together, we learn more about each other. Once, I Tricked My Book Club Into Writing. (They forgave me.) So whether we yadda yadda yadda about books, share life lessons, or trade playthings from “The Island of Misfit Toys,” it is always a delight. I am blessed to have these women as neighbors and plan to enjoy our ever-evolving reindeer games for a long time.

Anyone else have non-book-related book-club traditions? What else do you do in your book club besides drink wine talk books?

tweet me @rasjacobson

Make a Wish: It’s 12:12 on 12-12-12!

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Dad & me, dancing at my son’s bar mitzvah!

My father is 75 today!

My arithmetic-loving son wants permission to get out of class to call his arithmetic-loving grandfather to wish him a happy birthday at 12:12 PM today. You know, because he is missing out right now on account of having to go to sleep.

“Stuff like this only happens to certain people!” Tech reminded me. “You have to recognize it!”

Turns out TechSupport is right.

December, 12, 2012 or 12-12-12 will be the last date of its kind – when all three numericals in a date are the same – until January, 1, 2101. That’s 88 years from now.

However, there is a bit of a dark cloud looming over my father’s big celebration. You know, the thing about the world ending in 9 days — on December 21, 2012? We have all heard this prediction by now, yes?

It occurred to me that the usual gift I give my dad might not be the best choice this year. See, I usually make my father a calendar each December featuring photographs of family members. But if my dad only has 9 days to enjoy his present, I figured, what’s the point?

I started brainstorming cheap gifts other options that might be good to give my father, assuming the world is going to end in a little over a week.

Here’s what I have come up with:

51. Fruit From Harry & David. Because nothing says “I love you” like Royal Riviera Pears. I’m pretty sure my father could polish off a box of 9 pears in 9 days. On second thought, maybe I’ll just spring for the box of 6. Dad isn’t big on wasting things.

2. Tickets to a Show. Gotta tell ya. There isn’t much going on in Syracuse in the way of entertainment right now. But I think my dad would enjoy getting jiggy to some Gaelic music. He might love Enter the Haggis, scheduled to perform at the Westcott Theater a few days before things get ugly.

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Don’t think about your arteries. Just eat me.

3. A Gift Card to A Local Deli & Ice Cream Shoppe. My father stopped eating red meat and dairy over 20 years ago when he learned he had high cholesterol. Knowing he has just 9 days left, I’d bring my dad to a great deli and make start with a toasted sesame bagel loaded with twice the cream cheese. I’d encourage him to stick around for a hot corned beef sandwich with mustard for lunch. If he is a good boy and polishes off his hot pastrami & brisket and his knish, I’d send him to Carvel for a brownie sundae. Surely, this is not the time to be heart smart. Or kosher.

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Call me crazy, but I think my dad would dig this doll.

4. Sex Toys. With only a few days left to live, why hold back? I’m thinking it’s time for my dad to pull out the silk scarves and try at least five of the Fifty Shades with my mother. You know, if they aren’t already doing that.

mariuana165. Drugs. My father has never inhaled. With only a few days left on the planet, I would get him a baggy filled with green sticky bud, rustle up some magic mushrooms, maybe haul out that betel nut I’ve been saving for a rainy day, and give it to my father to share with my mother. What’s to lose? Those two crazy kids can stare at their hands for hours. They can ride unicorns down the rainbow or chat with imaginary parrots. Hell, they can take naked pictures of themselves rubbing food onto the green velvet wallpaper that’s been hanging in the hall since 1963. If they ration carefully, they can enjoy themselves for 9 days straight and never come down.

Of course, I don’t really believe the world is going to end on December 21st.

That’s why it is now necessary to smother my father in a some genuine daughter-love.

  • Thanks for coming to all my gymnastics meets and dance recitals, Dad. I felt your love radiating from the stands.
  • Thanks him for poking your pointer finger into the middle of my back. You definitely trained me to stand up straight.
  • Thanks for yelling at me that time I threw away the pennies. You were right. It was an ungrateful thing to do, and small change really does add up.
  • Remember the time that you sat me on a raft in the Atlantic Ocean, and I was scared, and you promised you wouldn’t let go… and you didn’t. Thanks for teaching me about trust. I know you do not make idle promises.
  • I need you to know that I could listen to you talk about anything for hours. That you set the standard against which I measure every man. That you taught me about learning from doing. About finishing what I start, whether the outcome is good or bad.
  • About standing by one’s partner, when everything is blue skies and cotton candy – but also when the toilet is over-flowing and there is poop everywhere you turn.

Oh, I also need to tell my dad that when I saw him on Saturday, I removed a particular object from his desk. The desk that he is careful to keep just so. Unfortunately, I cannot tell him which item I took or where I put it.

At first, he will freak out, but eventually he will realize that I am joking.

Like I’m joking about these crappy gifts.

We got my dad something cool, and – G-d willing — he will be able to enjoy it as he watches the next Syracuse basketball game, scheduled for December 27th.

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Happy birthday, Dad.

And congratulations on making it to ¾ of a century.

Whatever you are doing, please keep doing it.

PS: By the way, that thing we got you? That’s your Hanukkah present, too. No calendar this year. You know, just in case. So don’t hold your breath.

What gift would you recommend giving to someone whose special day falls between now and Armageddon?

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Motorhome Mayhem: A #LessonLearned by David N. Walker

Click on the teacher lady’s bum to see other folks who have written in the #LessonLearned series

Hi David!

David N. Walker’s blog Where The Heart Is is a tribute to the things he holds dear: his family and his faith. David is the supreme patriarch; a warm father and grandfather, he gushes about his children and grandchildren.

In Texas, they have that saying: “Go Big Or Go Home.” In the piece below, you will see David was trying to Go Big and Go Home.

I’m happy to have David here today as he shows a bit of his humorous side. You can follow him on Twitter at @davidnwalkertx.

• • •

Motor Home Mayhem

Everyone knows it’s important to read and pay attention to signs giving directions when driving. I mean, that’s too obvious even to comment on, right? Uh, not so fast there, Kimosabe.

My wife Sharon and I had spent the night in a Jellystone Park Camp-Resort that was convenient to Niagara Falls. After a delightful time at the falls and surrounding attractions, we got back to the motor home early to get ready for bed. We wanted to get an early start the next morning to get past Buffalo’s traffic rush before it started.

As soon as we got on the Queen Elizabeth Way headed for the border, we realized we weren’t the only ones who thought about beating the traffic. I don’t know what this artery looks like between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m., but it was plenty crowded even at 5:00.

Borders mean gated stops, right? We expected that, but we were amazed at how much traffic was backed up trying to get across. Glancing at the length of the lines in front of the various gates, I picked the next to farthest one to the right—a fortunate choice as it turned out. The only one farther to the right had several trucks in it, so I figured I’d get through quicker in this one.

Little by little I inched forward, one car-length at a time. When it was my turn to pull up to the attendant, I suddenly realized my motor home wasn’t going through that gate. Apparently I had missed a sign directing all  motor homes, as well as truck, to the right-hand gate, which was wider than the others.

What now? You don’t just throw a motor home in reverse when you’re pulling a car. No way the car will back straight. Besides, there was traffic behind us and in both lanes beside us.

Stuck!

As I pondered what to do, the Border Patrol agent came out of his booth and walked back to my window to tell me I was in the wrong lane. DUH!! Such useful information! I wanted to tell him I already had a wife to point out the obvious, but I decided not to antagonize him any further than I already had.

He told me I’d have to back up and move over into the right lane. I told him I couldn’t back up because of the tow car.

Have I mentioned there was traffic? About 10,000 unhappy drivers around and behind me. The nicest ones were just laughing at my predicament. Others were honking, and I’m sure there were a few single-digit waves.

I finally told the Border Patrol guy—who was being extremely nice, considering the circumstances—that I needed him to direct enough traffic out from behind me to allow me to back up. Meanwhile, Sharon would get in the car and steer it to keep it straight.

After a bit of organizing, we finally got ready to deal with all this. Mercifully, there was a lull in the truck traffic, and I was able to pull into the wide lane without further messing up anyone’s morning. The Border Patrol guy actually waved and smiled as I freed his lane to move once more.

Lesson Learned: READ THE SIGNS! They’re probably there for a reason.

Have you ever found yourself in trouble because you didn’t pay attention to the signs?

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