Thursday, November 25, 2010


For eleven years I made Thanksgiving for 45 people. This included 6 pounds of chopped liver (ok, so we like to have a little left over…) 5 pounds of grapes, 4 chocolate cakes and fruit pies, 3 turkeys, 2 enormous trays of mashed potatoes, and 1 very, very busy but happy me.

Both sides of the family came from DC, Philly, Boston, Manhattan and Queens and our little New Rochelle house rocked.

I guess I’m allowing myself to look back at it this year because for the first time I don’t feel the guilt or the pull anymore about that time in my life.

I—and we all—have moved on.

Today I was a guest at my fabulous “little” sister’s—the same one I used to put on the back of my bicycle and take to the playground when I was 15 and she was 2.

The dinner was yummy and elegant and our baby twins (dressed like Thing 1 and Thing 2) played non-stop with their big cousins Sarah, 6, and Goldie, 3.

I am thankful for the human ability to move on.

I am thankful for my 4 children—and for the 2 step-children I will get to

see as soon as their mother learns how to move on.

I am thankful that I still have healthy parents and fantabulous sisters,

and that we are a close family.

I am thankful to my best friend Sruli who lets me touch him whenever I want.

I am thankful for my energy, even if I am not so thrilled with my appetites.

I am thankful that I circulate within a world-class group of true artists

and thinkers and kindhearted friends.

I am thankful that I have enough income to live in a nice house with 2 cars,

a full closet, a full freezer and a full liquor cabinet.

I am thankful for the hundreds of Bar and Bat Mitzvah Moms and Dads, the Brides and Grooms, Rabbis, Cantors, Ministers and program directors who put their musical and life-cycle trust in me and my band.

I am thankful to the State of New Jersey for being more fun than the State of New York even though New York is cooler.

I am grateful to the Obamas for really really trying.

I am thankful that I am in a country where I can truly change things about my life that aren’t working, whether it be a marriage, a business or a philosophy, and so can you.

I am thankful for each new day—and each yesterday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Routine Cleaning

Since last writing I have gotten a new car windshield for an inspection I thought was this year but turns out to be next November, performed my favorite Moishe Oysher song, ran a kick-ass Bat Mitzvah, partied on the Staten Island Ferry for the 50th (!) birthday of my super-cool friend who looks maybe 30, raked leaves with the babes running rampant, had dinner with the parents in Qveeeeens, and got my teeth cleaned.

This last item happened today.

It was not a good week for the thighs. Only 2 gyms and more than 2 binges.

A little too spread-happy with the peanut butter on the wheat thins.

A few too many chicken wings.

Extra chocolate-enrobed pomegranate blobs.

HALVAH. (oy do I love halvah!)

Too many after 10:30 dinners.

A gingerbread muffin from Dunkin.

Too many crunchies and not enough crunches.

Found myself lumbering (lumbering!) up the stairs.

But enough of the Torpor and Turpitude.

I am BACK. Gym tonight and everything.

And last night we found ourselves at Eddies-the-bestest-ice-cream-




Ok, I made Sruli get banana in addition to his rum raisin (who the hell gets rum raisin anyway?) so I could have exactly 2 spoonfuls, but that was it.

Anyhow—today at the dentist.

So the hygienist was at my teeth in a major way, with that Mr. Thirsty thing sucking up all my crud and me spitting every 5 minutes anyway, and I’m kicking myself for not remembering to Chapstick beforehand ‘cos one’s lips lose all succulence from staying open that long, and she is talking and talking.

And talking. She is in her “mid to late thirties” (who says that? Why can’t she just say 37 or something?) and she can’t find a man and she is despairing and she’s been working since she’s 16, and my babies (who were, G-d Bless ‘Em, adorably destroying the Lego table in the reception area under Sruli’s watchful eye) were sooooooo cute, and she is really ready to be a mom, and dating is a disaster I should know, and ridiculous besides, and girls today are so aggressive and she isn’t.

I couldn’t say anything for obvious reasons, and what is there to say anyway, so I grunted sympathetically. Oy. Nebikh, Mizkeyna.

40 minutes of this later, my teeth were done. She smiled in that semi-crazy way some women have.

I felt that rush of feeling very lucky to be me, and a second rush of wanting to be rid of her quickly, this woman with no good things about her, lest her

sad-sack cooties infect like the dental decay pictured in all the brochures around us.

We looked at each other one more time, “I ran the marathon last week,” she said. “The whole thing. 26 plus miles. I’m in good shape.”

Yes, she is.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


What is the cure for jealously? Maturity? Resignation? Spreading it around and being generally (but more evenly) jealous of more people?

Does anyone consider him/herself a jealous person?

I know lots of jealous people—not one of them I.

Until yesterday, when I was furious at Sruli, frustrated with Sruli, exasperated and exhausted and just wanted to yell and yell and make him stop talking.

We were working on plans for our new summer camp and it hit me that he came up with the fabulously fun daily schedule, the cool plan for associations with other businesses, the better email to send to someone important and the better strategy for dealing with another someone important. Oh, and the name of the camp, too.


I’m the one with the fancy advertising pedigree and a piano-top full of writing awards, idea awards—I mean, I actually got awards for ideas.

What do I do with this situation—and where do I hide the body?

I think being jealous makes you fat, too.

Stress, cortisol, it’s all bad.

Come to think of it, he comes up with lots of good ideas for our music business, too.

He observes, he learns, he puts things together.

He can surf the web like nobody else and found me English lyrics for this song I needed yesterday in 2 seconds after I had been searching and searching and kept getting this damned video of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.

He gets us fabulously cheap vacations.

I love hearing what he thinks about every single thing even if it’s a little too much about religion.

He has, naturally, come up with many wonderful diet solutions for me all of which would work if only I would really follow them.

(Eating wise mostly normal, BTW, but I am including one cider donut and one piece of blueberry pie, but it’s been a few days and I’m really, really eating much less. At today’s (excellent) Bar Mitzvah I barely ate and did not touch the yummy challah or the ice cream with a thousand toppings...)

I ask him every 10 minutes if I look thinner. He actually looks at me up and down before he gives his answer. It’s always a minimally optimistic yes.

He also found me free links to Mad Men, The Social Network, Sex and the City2 and a site that gets you amazing Coach bags for 66 dollars.

He also arranged for all my bills to be paid online and takes out the stinky diaper pail.

He will do anything for the babies, his daughters, my big boys, the dogs, the turtle, the fish and me.

His ideas are more advanced, his thinking more forward, and his philosophy more universal. He is really smart. The smartest person I know.

Which brings me to the smart way I figured out how to deal with it.

He works for me.