Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Mysterious Affair in Brooklyn

This post will make the most sense to local kosher Brooklynites. Did you notice that about a month ago whole chickens - that previously were sold with all limbs attached - are now missing at least one wing and sometimes both? First I thought it was the Mountain Fruit schtick, but now that I have started shopping in Moisha's, I have noticed the same thing! Not that I miss them or anything because kosher chicken wings look like that have been on aggressive Rogaine therapy and are pretty much inedible unless you want to spend an hour plucking them. But I am curious nevertheless...

What's going on? Did they start purchasing their chickens from the abused bird shelters? (Just imagine that from the chickens' perspective. There you are at the shelter thinking that you are finally being rescued only to be slaughtered after they fatten you up. Unimaginable cruelty, I say. Unless, of course, these birds died of natural causes. - I'm going to pause for a minute and gag.)

Or did the chicken wings became the choice of poultry among the rich and famous and all of a sudden saw a sudden increase in demand? Or maybe they are using them to feed/torture political prisoners/war criminals and Madoff?

Here's another theory, maybe our patriotic kosher chickens are cutting off their wings to protest all the bailouts, stimulus packages and current economic situation? Or maybe their wings are falling off due to a lack of preventive care because chickens do not have universal health coverage?

Does anyone know what's going on?

P.S. For those who are not very familiar with the laws of kashrut, animals who were sick at the time of the slaughter or died of natural causes are not kosher by default. I was just trying to be funny, that's all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quote of the Month - April '09

Heartfelt mazal tov to David Letterman on his recent nuptials!!!

It is not quite April yet, and putting a quote in for March is kind of silly, really. But I couldn't let David's new-found happiness (do you detect a hint of sarcasm here?) go unnoticed. Hence, dedicated to this lovely and punctuated by Montana mud occasion is the quote of month, penned by the groom (or someone on his writing staff):

We can all sleep easy at night knowing that somewhere at any given time, the Foo Fighters are out there fighting Foo.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Did pregnancy make me a socialist?

Preface: there are several posts in my drafts folder discussing my thoughts and feelings during pregnancy. Since I made a decision not to discuss my last pregnancy on my blog, I will be posting them now, when having a little one prevents me from writing much and on a regular basis. So some of the things are a bit outdated (in regards to my personal life), but I hope you will find them interesting nonetheless.

Women are often accused of not being objective because they tend to follow their heart and intuition over cool headed logic. There probably is some truth to that. The older I get, the more I lose sight of the big picture and concentrate on personal details of the situation. Whenever I hear about a child abduction, my heart skips a bit, because that child is someone's baby, terribly missed and desperately wanted back. Then I think about the abductor and it occurs to me that he too is somebody else's son. This might not be a good example, but what I am trying to say is that personal experiences such as having kids definitely softened my heart and swayed my views.

One of those personal experience was hyperemesis gravidarium (check out this site more info, if you wish), in layman's terms, severe morning sickness during my last pregnancy. Those who don't know what it entails should consider themselves lucky because it is much worse than it sounds, and not only for the one experiencing it, but also for those around her. My case was not particularly life threatening and probably fell in the mild category, but many women have it much worse and it is considered life threatening. Without going into lots of distasteful details, my mild case required taking medication for several months to suppress nausea, involved stretches of time when I could not stomach anything even while being medicated, and at one time living on half a toast and a bite of apple for four days and at another time celebrating eating five Cheerios, the first meal in three days. Drinking presented even a bigger problem, resulting in two visits to the ER for hydration.

But in many ways, besides medical, my case was truly a lucky one:
1. I had a doctor who understood the condition.
2. I had a manager who was understanding.
3. I had an employer who provides decent medical insurance and good prescription coverage.
4. My company also gives a generous amount of sick days.
5. I had an understanding husband and family nearby to help out.
6. The pregnancy and the baby were wanted and expected.

It makes me shudder to think that even one of those things would not be available to me during this very hard time. Yet the reality is that for many American women that would be the case. An appalling number of our compatriots has no medical insurance. Many times these people are blamed for their situation and called irresponsible, but I had crunched the numbers (I won't bore you with those, unless you ask me to) and wish that were the case.

And even when you do obtain insurance, the battle is not over. Not all procedures are covered by all insurance companies. In my case, the medication prescribed to me for nausea, Zofran, is often not covered or covered only partially. How much does it cost? $1,000 for 15-20 day supply, generic. (Somehow, it is only half of that in Canada. Interesting, isn't it?) I needed three refills. If my insurance didn't cover this medication, I would have to pay $4,000 our of pocket for the luxury of being able to function. Luxury that - with all my being responsible and insured - would be hard to afford.

Where am I going? I have given this topic a lot of thought, even before I got married and thought of having kids. Now my personal experience more or less cemented my belief that medical coverage should be universal. It is appalling that the country as rich as ours does not provide this to all its citizens. That people who are on the low are being kicked by their health insurance carriers, and that hardly promotes recovery. I would support any viable plan to bring decent coverage to every American. The problem is, though, I have yet to see that viable plan.

Would this belief earn me the lable of "socialist"? Does it make me one? Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn...

(originally from 11/2/08)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Two days ago I discovered that DD's haircut is not even in the back. And now I have a dilemma that would probably occupy most of my thoughts if not for having an infant in the house. Nevertheless, I do have a dilemma: do I tell our in-house Edward Scissorhands or do I keep quiet? On the one hand, DD's hair is wavy, so the unevenness is visible only under careful examination. On the other hand, it IS uneven. But I am afraid that another trimming session might leave DD with her sister's peach fuzz, and no one wants that.

What do I do? (That is until I can take her to the professional hair dresser...)

Picture courtesy of Google images.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Ok, Ok. Sorry to keep you hanging like that, but I had a good excuse. I am NOT NOT NOT pregnant. Any more. Tuesday night SubHub and I had added a little (I use the term loosely) girl to our family. The baby and SubWife are doing fine. The 10 pound wonder (not exaggerating) is absolutely adorable, but like most infants doesn't let her mommy sleep, rest, shower and any luxuries of that sort. Unfortunately that includes blogging. I'll try to keep up, but I don't promise anything.

Hope not to disappear for too long.

P.S. Oh, and the cramps? That was labor. I would've been funny if after two kids I wouldn't know that I was preggers and actually went into labor. I actually wanted to write something like this in this post, but my head is fogged down by the lack of sleep and fumes emitted by my unshowered body . Being funny is hard labor (pun intended).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Am I? or Am I not?

I've been feeling kind of cranky for the last couple of days. Moody, fatigued, cranky, crampy. And then I had a thought. Could I be pregnant?

While I am running to the pharmacy to buy the test, you can entertain yourself with this.

Ok, so this is my shameless attempt to make you read recycled material while I am too busy/cranky/fatigued to write something new. But it is funny, if you like my sense of humor. You might even enjoy it.

Oh yeah, and Happy Purim to all of you out there celebrating!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Can't we all just get along?

Apparently not.

Warning: I am in a horrible mood. Really, really bad mood. So if you are looking for something cute and bubbly and sunshiny, head over to some other blog. Still here? Thanks, but consider yourself warned.

You know one would think that once a person reaches a certain age, i.e. stops being a teenager, some things become apparent without anyone pointing them out. That, for example, teasing people is not nice. Or that having the latest cell phone doesn't really make you have a cool personality. There's another one: listening loudly to the music causes hearing damage. And is annoying to your neighbors. Especially the ones with little kids. Especially at 1.30 am. On the night when we change the bleeping clock and lose an hour of sleep.

But no, some people just don't get it. Probably because they incurred irreversible brain damage from listening to their Walkmans on max. volume.

Last night since about 9 p.m. our neighbors were playing techno. So loud, my kitchen floor was vibrating. But the kids weren't asleep yet, so I basically ignored it. Now, I am not some sort of a music prude or snob. I love, enjoy and listen to it. And on some level I might understand the allure of turning the volume all the way up, if one is a teenager. Our neighbors, however, are no longer teenagers, they are a middle aged woman with three children in their twenties. Who are otherwise functional or so it seems.

Around 10.30 the music became less loud, and we were enjoying a relatively quiet night. When all of a sudden around 12 it started booming again. Us, being polite folk and all, didn't want to disturb people at 12, even though they were disturbing us. At 1 am our patience wore out, and SubHub went downstairs to explain that sleeping is a necessity for some people and vibrating walls and floors are not particularly conducive to slumber. When SubHub came home, I asked him what he told the bunch of young hoodlums. To my sheer astonishment, he said that he didn't talk to the young ones, he was talking to their mother. One would expect that it would've occurred to at least a 50-something year old woman and a mother of three that some things are just not appropriate. Are extremely rude. And even illegal. Not so...

This wasn't over yet. Today, around 2 p.m., I guess around the time when the young and the restless got up (I know they didn't go to sleep until 3 b/c I heard music coming from their apartment at that hour), they turned their techno on again. And if I thought that what I heard last night was the max volume, I was wrong. I guess these people do possess some basic human decency to not turn music on to the max in the middle of the night. I guess I misjudged them or something. I was in a dire need of a nap, but when I felt the bed beneath me vibrating, I knew that there would be no napping.

At that point I decided that if I were to suffer, it would be on my own terms. And if I had to get a headache, it would be from my own music. From the personal experience I know that nothing annoys non-Russian speaking folk as much as Russian rock. At the high volume. Well, maybe except Karmina Burana, but I am keeping that one for the time I go shopping and no one dear to me is in the vicinity.

So here's little something if you have to annoy your neighbors or just want to enjoy a piece of Russian classic rock.

P.S. Happy Women's Day! Almost forgot!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

SubHub Scissor Hands

A couple of months ago DD came home from school with bangs. I distinctly remembered that when she left, her hair was equally long on all sides. Not so when she came back. Turned out they were doing some project in school that involved cutting, and DD decided that cutting her bangs would be fun. Thank goodness she didn’t cut them too short, but that didn’t stop SubHub from mentioning to her several times a week that it wasn’t a very smart move on her part.

Last week DD asked to trim her hair. A bit. A little bit. SubHub is a man of many talents, and one of the things that he does at home is cutting kids’ hair. Actually, mostly DS’s because we like our little girl with pigtails, ponytails, French braids – you get the picture, we like to play with her hair. And we don’t like it when cuts her bangs.

Well, long story short (no pun intended), Friday afternoon DD entered the bathroom as our little fair and long haired princess and reemerged 15 minutes later with a shortish bob. To my bulging eyes and horror-filled “Huh?” sulking SubHub provided little explanation and kept sighing. This was NOT a typical SubHub behavior. He could only bring himself to talk about it half hour later when he said that our little angel didn’t have much patience and was twisting left and right, so in order to make her hair even, he had to cut and cut and cut. Enter the shortish bob…

It took us a few hours to get used to DD’s new look. She really looks very, very different with short hair. But we like it, mostly, I think. Between the two of them, they came up with a style that suits DD well and looks adorable. The scene of DD waking up one morning and demanding her long hair back hasn’t happened, yet. All in all, not terrible. And hair does grow back, right?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Name yourself or forever hold you peace or comment or whatever

Due to the recent unwelcome commenting activity on my blog, I decided to disallow anonymous comments. (The comment that broke the camel's back, so to speak, was taken down.) I was always peeved by people who would leave comments, but wouldn't name themselves - I wasn't even asking for the real name, just something to identify and/or address the anonymous. I am even more peeved when the comments are highly controversial and hostile - and again, without any identifying marks. I don't mind a good and fair argument on pretty much any topic (there are exceptions), but I refuse to enter into a dialogue with someone who wouldn't name themselves. Hence, no more anonymous comments.

I probably should moderate as well, but feel it's too much work, and I am not online often enough, so that might take the fun out of commenting.

I apologize if it causes somebody any inconvenience. I personally hate setting up user names and passwords that I constantly forget, but I felt it had to be done.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Humanitarian (?) help

According to, U.S. is offering $900M to Palestinians. That's almost a billion dollars, ladies and gents. Is this a part of some stimulus package? If yes, what kind of activity is it supposed to stimulate? Hamas and terrorism come to mind. Oh, wait, they thought about that!

She (Hillary, that is) said the U.S. aid package -- which must be approved by Congress -- has been "designed in coordination with the Palestinian Authority" to make sure the money "does not end up in the wrong hands."
Clinton was referring to the Hamas leadership of Gaza, which the United States has designated a terrorist organization. The Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank, is led by President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party is a bitter rival of Hamas.

Silly me! After all, Fatah recruits among the most kind-hearted and gentle souls. And as long as political geniuses decided to "make sure" Hamas won't get the money, I can sleep well at night, not worrying that my taxes are arming terrorists and being used against my family and friends.

Supposedly, most of the money will go to Palestinians in Gaza as a humanitarian help. That's over $600/head. Something tells me that those in real need, Palestinian women and children, a.k.a. the human shields, will scarcely see a penny of it. That "something" also tells me that I will not sleep well at night.