Category Archives: middle school


Some signs of Spring could not be more welcome.

My favorite flowers are out and about…


Other are less welcome. Spring = Passover, which = an inordinate amount of preparation for eight days of unceasing constipation. I actually like the holiday. A lot. I just don’t like the feeling of dread that precedes it.

That feeling began last week. I was lying in bed, still in the clutches of the stomach flu, when Bennett came home from school and asked me two questions, neither of which put me at ease:

1. Where do you keep the flour?
2. How hot does the oven get?

It turns out that someone had taught them how to bake matzoh at school. He knew there were two ingredients – flour and water – and that the ratio was 2 to 1. I told him I thought it was likely that the two parts were flour. (This represents the beginning and the end of my baking expertise.)

Minutes later I was presented with this::


Spring apparently also = baseball, which is not a sport given much shrift chez nous. This is quite fortunate because it’s about as compelling as dry rot. But it seems that Spring in NYC means I have to see a lot of these:


Yankee fans — what’s with this oversized bumper sticker? Do you really need to be LARGER than all the other bumper stickers? I even saw one on the back of a Mini Cooper and the thing took up the ENTIRETY of the rear window. Is it really worth sacrificing safety to alert everyone in a two mile radius that you are a fan? Are we compensating for something that I don’t know about? (I have no allegiances, but I have noticed that these enormo-decals are on the backs of the cars driven by some of the more obnoxious NYC drivers. Discuss.)

These stickers remind me of those similarly wankerish oversized polo logos:polo

I want to smack the parent of every child I see in one of these. Really? Do they need to see signs of your affluence from space?

I envision a Venn Diagram of all owners of the bumpers stickers and polo shirts. Other than wankerism, what’s the common ground?


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Filed under baking, children, middle school, moving, NBA, snow

Stomach Flu (no energy for witty title)

It’s humbling. We are all equal in the eye of the toilet bowl.

Big props to the offspring for looking after things while I was bedridden. There were mysterious deliveries of food, paid for with wads of cash of unknown provenance. But the ship sailed on… Somehow they all ended up in bed, and they kept me well stocked with all sorts of liquids and antacids.

I don’t know if it was flu delirium, but yesterday I murmured to Bennett, after he brought me some more seltzer and a plastic bag (just in case): “I can’t believe you’re going to be eleven next week.”

“Uh, mum. I’m eleven now. Twelve comes after eleven.”

Holy life cycles Batman. How did that happen? I haven’t been flu ridden all year – how did I miss this?

(Consequently, absolute worst thing about the flu is daytime television. My brain hurts. I can feel it shrinking.)



Filed under children, middle school, New York City, parenting, Uncategorized

Othello (or how to hide a turkey in your bathrobe)

The modern version of the enemy of my enemy is my friend — when you meet someone new and discover you are both annoyed by the same things (read: people) on Facebook. For me, more annoying than the endless holiday shots (one should always be enough), the house remodels, the things you’ve just acquired that you can’t wait so show off to hundreds of people, or the posts you’ve cribbed from other people that’ll you’ll never give them credit for, are the food shots. Not just what you’re eating in restaurants, but all the food you’re making and consuming at home. It especially gets me this time of year, when food is front and center. (I’m about to get annoying, but keep reading because I think it pays off.) When I see all your cookie sheets lined up, or your turkey trussed and ready to go, I can’t help but think of people who don’t have enough to eat on Thanksgiving, or any day of the year; the ones who won’t be so stuffed by the end of the meal that they fall asleep wherever they are, even if that’s the living room floor.

But you see, I always get preachy and annoying around Thanksgiving.

When I was about eleven, I remember my mother making a turkey for Thanksgiving. I think it may have been the first one she ever made. I came home from school and found the bird defrosting on the kitchen counter. It was so large and so bird-like, so real, that I named it Othello (I’m embarrassed to say that I think it was because the best part of the turkey for me, was always the dark meat.) The next day the bird was out again getting herbed and trussed. Othello may have had a long, painful day, but he was happy to listen to the intimate details of middle school life and he did so without a single eye roll. The next day was oven day and I panicked. I knew that if he had a mouth, he’d open it right up and beg me to save him. True, he was already dead. But did I really want to add insult to injury?

It’s unclear what happened next. All I remember is that the turkey disappeared. It’s possible that I hid it in my bathrobe, stuffed it under my bed, and left it there, only to be discovered by Chester, our long suffering cocker spaniel. I just remember getting into some trouble. I’m not sure I was even at Thanksgiving dinner. (I do know that a few years later I became a vegetarian, the height of annoyance (I didn’t know about veganism back then, but if I did, I’d have jumped right on that annoying bandwagon.) I stayed a vegetarian for seven years, until I left the house and couldn’t annoy anyone anymore.)

I was at Thanksgiving dinner the following year. I believe that was the year I treated everyone to my graphic retelling of the Thanksgiving tale, complete with the spreading of white man’s disease and the rape of the Indian land.

Don’t worry. I’m getting paid back for my middle school behavior.

In spades.


Filed under children, cooking, food, middle school, parenting, Uncategorized