silver linings of polio and other travel tidbits

While searching for some travel items on Amazon, look what I found! I typed in “travel accessories”, in case you want to try it. I’d be curious to see if you come up with similar items.

Product Details

Simran SM-60 Universal Power Strip 3 Outlets for 110V-250V Worldwide Travel with Surge/Overload Protection by Simran

(Okay, that makes sense, but not for my needs. Let’s continue.)

Rick Steves Travel Gear Clothesline by Rick Steves

(Again, okay. I’m skipping the photos, since you get the picture:). It’s a rope.)

iPad Mini 5-in-1 Accessories Bundle Rotating Case for Business and Travel, Green by Gearonic

Product Details

Classic Accessories Fairway Travel 4-sided Golf Car Enclosure (Fits most two-person golf cars) by Classic Accessories (Jan 12, 2009)

(Hmmm. What else is there?)

CTA Digital PS Vita Travel EVA Protective Case with 4x Game Storage Pockets by CTA Digital (Mar 5, 2012)


humangear Gotoob Travel Bottles 3-Pack Medium 2 Ounce by humangear

(Boooring. Wait–I need that.)

Product Details

Pinterest by Pinterest, Inc (Aug 15, 2012)

  • $0.00
  • Available instantly on your connected Android device
  • Get inspiration from DIY, Travel, Food and other categories.
  • Apps for Android: See all 5 items

I think I’ll stop here. I’m not pinterested. (Sorry.)

I did order a few things for myself in preparation for my travels next week.

I made the reservations back in August, but it’s really hard to wrap my head around it that I’m actually taking off. Now, how to pack for over 2 months with one suitcase and lots of different weather possibilities? Australia was a breeze compared to this.

Israel is a complex country, in case you hadn’t heard. (I’m not going to discuss politics now. Enough people are doing an awful job of it without me joining in.)

Even the weather is complex. It can be gorgeous in the winter; it can also snow. We pray for rain in the winter. I will be there for long enough to have to really mean it. So I have my waterproof boots and shoes (yes, the 7 1/2 in the Land’s End actually is the right size, thankfully). I have layers. Enough to make an archaeological dig.

But I think I’ll skip the golf cart enclosure, although perhaps, if it rains enough, I may regret my decision.

Oh–the title?

Of course, you may have read about a polio outbreak in Syria and in Israel last month. I did, too, but I didn’t actually process that it may refer to me. Even though the Israeli healthcare system (the US should really take better notes) has taken care of it pretty well, it still could be lingering in certain areas. And should I take a risk or not?

I called my doctor and asked should I get a booster shot for polio? Does my blood work show if I am immune? Do you have on record that I had polio as a child? Please make sure to tell the doctor that fact–am I more susceptible because of it, like chickenpox/shingles, or does it create immunity?

Well, in the realm of the added unexpected, the nurse called back to say that the doctor said I was immune because of having it as a child.


Who ever thought that would come in handy some day?


Torah, rabbis, and outfits

A humorous note because it looks like we’ll need to find the humor this week.

Today, after ISHI’s first dvar Torah (sermon) of the day, given in honor of an upcoming wedding tomorrow (which we will miss due to the funeral of our SIL’s grandmother), the mother of the groom asked how he came up with such great speeches that really fit every occasion. I told her first thanks, and then proceeded to reveal that it was really like getting dressed for an occasion. You look at what you already have, figure out what’s the best fit for that day, and then accessorize to make it special. Because really, most rabbis have a handful of basic ideas that they re-clothe to suit the event.

Oh! Suit. I see that works, too!

Sometimes, you treat yourself to a new outfit for really special occasions. But as you get older, you realize that’s not really necessary at all.

After all, there’s nothing new under the sun.



i really wish i had taped the conversation

I promise you I’m not going to remember the whole thing and it won’t be as funny as it actually happened.

My father called me to ask me what it is that I want him to read. I thought he was going to thank me for the Fathers Day gift that wasn’t supposed to arrive before Sunday. So I said, “What?”

He said that he got a Facebook message that I wanted him to read the article  “Do powerful women need to tame their unsightly bulges?” Was it because it was written by an Israeli woman?

“Um, no, Dad. Facebook didn’t single you out. I recommended the article to all my friends.”

Except I should have been able to say, Dad, don’t read this. You don’t need to know about the undergarments of the rich and famous. But I suggest that you all do, unless you are an 86 year-old man.  Here’s the upshot:

With our dollars, we support the very object that constrains us. When we wear shapewear, we buy into messages that equate women’s power and abilities to the size and shape of their silhouettes.

But enough of that. He was off to look at all the other things that I had suggested. He still didn’t get that they weren’t personal suggestions, so I played along. Thankfully, he skipped over my next suggestion from A Mighty Girl (GREAT site!):

After he realized it wasn’t a photo of any of his great-grandchildren, he skipped along.

And then very surprisingly, he skipped over my next suggestion of Why do Israelis live so long?, since he’s usually interested in living, and zeroed in on the next one.

“Who’s Julian Lennon and why should I care about what he says?”

“No, Dad. It’s not about who he is. It’s that he’s giving good advice about Facebook. You should do that, Dad. I’ll walk you through that now, if you want.”

“What should I spread?”

“No, Dad. Do you see at the top right corner, where it says your name and then it says Home? Click on that, please.”

“Yes it says Hot Women. Is that right?”

“No, that’s not for now, Dad. Not on the Home part, but next to it, with the little arrow. Now see where it says Privacy?”

“You wanted me to look at undergarments but you won’t let me look at the Hot Women?”

“You can look at it later, Dad. Right now let’s go with the privacy.”

So we went on a bit longer until he actually did click and get the right setting, but always threatening to go back to his women.

D#1 said that what a shame that his granddaughter who was visiting him couldn’t have done it for him.

Nope, no shame in this at all.

Thank G-d he didn’t look at the article about the Asparagus Opera.

because friday’s a short day

I will borrow freely from an old Monday Morning Memo (January 16th, to be exact), because I lovelovelove these quotes below!

This photo of Tom Grimes was taken in March, 2008, when he was emcee of Wizzo’s 50th birthday celebration in Tuscan Hall.

Tom is known around the world as President Plenipotentiary of that
famous time-wasting society,
The Worthless Bastards.

Brett Feinstein of Virginia is Vice-President. He’s VP because he wastes less time than Tom but he is definitely a bigger bastard.

Here are some of Tom’s recent thoughts:

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s an action worth?”

“Art opens the door to our vast, unconscious library.”

“Written words let me dawdle. Spoken words make me dance. I prefer to dawdle.”

“What you didn’t do is what you did” (My son explaining how his dad gets in trouble.)

“Hamlet was a sniveling intellectual who babbled for most of his storied play… then he shut up, cut to the chase and cut people up. There’s a lesson to be learned there.”

oh gosh he must have been reading my blog!

From here and here. If not more. I know I wrote those after he did what he did, but still…

This was recommended by a friend, but I just took the opportunity to watch it. That’s life, in a nutshell. We have to take the opportunity, but we never know if we’re doing it too when we should. And since we don’t, we just have to be prepared to be amazed.

Wait for it.

I think you’ll be glad you did.

And if you don’t think you have time to watch it, just remember to look up.

come to think of it, she didn’t say communication

I’m continuing from yesterday’s thoughts, about the woman who said the three things about marriage–commitment, communication and…

Not only couldn’t I remember the third, but I misremembered the second. She didn’t say communication. She said responsibilities.


I still can’t remember the third.

It definitely wasn’t humor, either.


Pottery Barn Fail

Inception-ally unfortunate…

December 22, 2011 •

Gary, every dreidel you’ve spun has stopped. Face it – you’re not in a dream, my parents really are staying with us for a week.


In case you’re not familiar with Catalog Living, you should be. Not sure about the comment, being an in-law myself and always concerned that I don’t overstay my welcome so that I’m welcomed the next time. But do you see something odd about the dreidls? I looked a little further, thanks to a comment on Facebook that drew my attention to a little fact, and then I wrote this email.

Dear Pottery Barn,

Your DREIDEL VASE FILLER is filled with dreidels with the wrong letters! I don’t know who made the product for you, but it is sadly wrong. The first letter in the series should be a “nun”, but it looks like you have a “bet” or a “kaf”–it’s hard to tell from the photo. But it’s clearly not the “nun.”

What a shame.

I’ll let you know how they respond, if they do…

Have a nice day!

really? this is your list?

The Magic of Words

Dec 16, 2011

This week’s theme
Words borrowed from Yiddish

This week’s words


with Anu Garg





noun: One who deals in inferior goods.


From Yiddish shlak (evil, nuisance) + German Meister (master). Earliest documented use: 1965.


“Schlockmeister Ed Wood was supposedly the world’s worst director.”
Philippa Hawker and Jake Wilson; Top 10 Films; The Age (Melbourne, Australia); Jul 17, 2010.

“You’re a Harvard historian, for god’s sake, not a pop schlockmeister looking for a quick buck.”
Dan Brown; The Da Vinci Code; Doubleday; 2003.

Your comments

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From: mysending
Subject: this week’s words

Really? I thought for sure you’d mention the word “shvitz”. That to me is a marker of how Yiddish has entered the American language. But I guess schlockmeister is more prevalent, or interesting, or however you figure these things out!

True story:

Years ago, I met someone who presented herself as Jewish, but I just couldn’t figure out where she belonged in the range of Jewish experiences. It was a very hot summer day and we were outside waiting for a camp bus to come bringing our big girls. I said, “Whew! I’m really shvitzing!”, or something similar, but for sure using the word shvitzing.

She said “What?”

Oh then I knew. She was definitely not an MOT* from birth.

Or from New York.

Or Hollywood!

*Member of the Tribe. Just sayin’.