Tag Archives: NYC

The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, the Silkwood Shower … and Other Notes From a Quarantine.

After almost three weeks of being virtually entirely reliant on food delivery, yesterday I woke up early and headed to the store. I went in search of toilet paper. I went in search of toilet paper and came home without toilet paper and I don’t need to tell any of you why that is. Apparently Americans are currently wiping their bums at an alarming rate, because you can’t find the stuff anywhere and I’m starting to get nervous and may or may not have just purchased some dodgy TP on Ebay.

I’m pretty sure I spent the entirety of my time in the store touching my face, so once I got home from the store, I promptly stripped down and reenacted the Silkwood shower scene, which for those of you too young to have any idea what I’m talking about is this:

Image result for silkwood shower

I had assumed yesterday’s shower was my big grooming effort for the week, but alas I spoke to a NYT reporter about life in quarantine/extreme social distancing (day 21!) and the paper sent over a photographer to photograph us in our natural habitat (from a distance) which mostly involved me unloading and then loading the dishwasher and washing my hands while singing nothing because there are no songs left for me to sing.

Let me just say this, and I hope you’re all ok with a bit of profanity: I’m pretty sure that when this article comes out I’m gonna look like an enormous asshole, which is all but impossible when a photographer comes into your home and you’re pretending that your own little corner of disfunction is anything but that. (When you’ve basically only been in the company of your own family for 21 days, interacting with a stranger is awkward. Also, try convincing your now-sixteen year old son that the best way to celebrate his big birthday is with the very family members who he’s been penned in with for three weeks, a random photographer and a tub of Clorox wipes.)

I’m also going to look like the kind of woman who thinks it’s ok to show up for a photo session in leggings and a dirty black sweatshirt that was clean hours ago but is now covered in all the food I’d been shoving into my mouth all day. In my defense, I thought I’d upped my game by removing the regular leggings I have been wearing nonstop for 21 days and put on the shiny pair I save for special occasions but I’m pretty sure there was a piece of pasta stuck to my butt the entire time, so shiny or not I’m still gonna look like an enormous asshole with penne on my backside.

I cannot say anything else about the pasta or all the rest of the rest of the food I consumed today because there is just so much of it and I couldn’t even tell you what I ate. Except for a chickpea pancake. I have decided that if I eat chickpea pancakes once a day I’ll be balancing out the meat consumption in the house and counteracting all the other crap I’m consuming. So far, being a smug vegan does not seem to be working. I feel revolting. All the time.

We awoke to snow here in New York, which seemed to taunt us for the first hours of the day. Every time I looked out the window, the snowflakes (which eventually turned to freezing rain, because why not?) seemed to whisper — oh, you want a snow day? oh, I’ll give you a snow day! In fact, I’ll give you about 21 days in a row. How about them apples?

I do not like them apples. I do not like them at all. I may have wanted a snow day but I didn’t want this. And now there is photographic evidence of this endless snow day… and plenty of it is of me unloading the dishwasher and of me washing my hands.

Which I’m about to go and do again, and while I’m at it, I suggest you do the same. Also, check your butt. I think you have some rice stuck to it. You can thank me later.




Filed under Coronavirus, Quarantine, Uncategorized

Drip, Drip…

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a resolution, but this year I told myself I’d take one picture a week – specifically, a picture which encapsulates the kind of week I’ve had. Last week I wanted to post a cute picture of the minivan as we returned from our road trip to the Great White North, but I didn’t know which picture to post. I had a few choices:

1. The pic of the new brakes I had to put on the minivan before we left. (Not myself, but by Bruce, my well-named and flawless mechanic.)

2. The pic of the fresh dent I put in the back of the van when pulling out my driveway as we were leaving.

3. The pic of the heating vents in the ceiling of the minivan dripping onto our heads as we drove through Quebec.

4. The pic of the tire pressure light which goes on each time the temp drops below 20 degrees. That light all but imploded as we dropped to -25 in Montreal.

In the end I couldn’t bear to post a pic of the minivan – I hardly want to encourage it. Instead, this week’s pic comes from M – in yet another attempt to subtly remind me to replace the toilet paper.

As I have already made clear, I do not believe in replacing the toilet paper. Other things in which I don’t believe: those crappy little snack-size ziploc bags and the half sheets of paper towel.

Consequently, we have all thawed out from our week in the Great White North; even the minivan. It is now 30 degrees in NY and it feels like Maui. Aloha!


Filed under Canada, driving, Minivans, New York City, Road trip, toilet paper, Uncategorized

Lamb testicles = No school

On Sunday M took Efram to Queens to pick up some chairs I found on Ebay. (You’ll see a picture of those once I’ve cleaned them up.)

“You should take him for lunch,” I suggested. “There are a ton of interesting ethnic restaurants in Queens.”

Queens is very large and personally, I find it impossible to navigate. But I’d given M the perfect challenge/gift: in the name of father-son bonding, find a restaurant and eat without me watching you.

Sure enough, the chairs were located in a warehouse which was located near a string of Bukharian restaurants. I have no idea which one they chose, but I did receive the following text from M:

“Guess what Efram ate? Hint: it’s number 48.”
… And the following picture:

Later that day, I asked Efram how they tasted.

“Like gefilte fish,” he said.

Oy. A nation of Bukharian (Central Asian) Jews are rolling their eyes somewhere.

Interestingly, Efram was unable to attend school yesterday due to a stomach ache. Mind you, he often has a stomach ache on Monday mornings. I didn’t want to damper his culinary curiosity, so I didn’t bring up the testicles.

But it’s hard to ignore. Here’s a recipe for truancy, kids: Lamb testicles on a Sunday = No school on Monday.


Filed under children, food, New York City, Uncategorized

Bronx is Beautiful

It’s (almost) wordless Wednesday, and I snapped this on my run through Van Cortlandt Park.

My goodness, how I love New York.

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Filed under New York City, running

Ay! Santa Maria!

Last week, each afternoon I picked Sidney up from preschool, she climbed into her car seat and exclaimed: “Ay! Santa Maria!” (Nobody believes me, but I swear she even did so with a soupçon of Spanish.)

At first I was sure I was mishearing her.

I wasn’t. “Ay! Santa Maria!” All. Week. Long.

Now, I know that Riverdale Temple is Jew-ish. Last December I was just fine with Jingle Bells and a Kwanza song about a candle at the “Winter Party.” Still, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Santa Maria coming home. At first I thought it had something to do with NYC’s Universal Pre-K program. In exchange for subsidized pre-K, there are restrictions on when religion can be taught — basically only after the UPK session is finished. But this made no sense, if nothing Jewish could happen until the afternoon, how did Santa Maria sneak in? And isn’t she something of a religious entity?

I obviously wasn’t bothered enough to to ask anyone other than a three year old, but I kept asking Sidney until I got a response other than: “Ay! Santa Maria!”

Finally, on Wednesday I got an answer.

Me: Sid, who is Santa Maria?

Sid: It’s not a who, it’s a thing.

Me: I see. Can you tell me more about this thing? Is it a picture of a woman holding her dying son? Is it a triptych depicting the remarkable life of a woman and her child, complete with gold leaf? (Ok, I’m getting carried away. But this was where my mind went: Had they taken a field trip to the Cloisters? It’s not where I would take a class of three and four year olds, but I’m game…)

Sid: It’s funny that you don’t know this, but Columbus sailed to New York on the Nina, the PITA, and the Santa Maria. Ay! Santa Maria! (She will not stand corrected on that second ship.)

And there you have it. Riverdale Temple and my almost-four year old totally schooled me.



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Filed under children, New York City, school

Is there meth in this honey cake?

Every year I get a flu shot and every year, without fail, I get the flu…or a virus which does a mean flu impersonation.

I stumbled into the local pharmacy yesterday to pick up a box of Advil Cold and Sinus, on the advice of my doctor. Before I was allowed to buy a box I had to sign a log and hand over my ID. I asked why and the pharmacist looked at me blankly and said: “Didn’t you watch Breaking Bad?”

No, I have not seen Breaking Bad. I also haven’t read a word of Fifty Shades of Whatever. At some point I may have to explore both in order to be culturally relevant again, but for now I’m blissfully ignorant.

It turns out that in NY they keep track of it when you buy pseudoephedrine, which is a meth ingredient.


I am not making meth at home. I’m making honey cake, which is a lot less interesting but I suspect will get me into less trouble. (I made a batch for Rosh Hashana which came out dreadfully wrong, leaving me to wonder aloud whether anyone really eats the stuff anyway or whether it’s really the fruitcake of Rosh Hashana — necessary but unloved. It turned out that the failed honey cake was remarkably popular, which goes to show everyone that I really know nothing at all.)

Wishing everyone a happy and a healthy (flu-free) New Year.


Filed under baking, New York City