The Best Motto

Gd, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannon change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

You woke up this morning - Congratulations! You got another chance!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Of course, I am posting it on the last day, but it is still Hanukah! So, here is to understanding the true meaning of this wonderful Holiday, to our spiritual survival, to remembering our unique and important role in the Universe, and, most importantly, to His Miracles and Blessings!

Let the light of our collective Menorahs show us the true way!

Happy Hanukah!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


When I was a kid in a late, unlamented step-mother country, I always resented the fact that my Birthday was in the end of November, meaning in the middle of nowhere: after the break for the Celebration of the Glorious Revolution, and before the New Years and Mid-Winter break. Basically, I did not like to go to school on my Birthday.

I still do not like to go to school, or worse, to work, on my Birthday, but the appreciation of the timing of my arrival into this world changed dramatically: now it is close to Thanksgiving, so it always puts me at least in a good mood, if not exactly festive. So, here is to another year of my life! As always, this year was filled with things both wonderful, the most notable of which was my first trip to the Caribbean, and the opposite of wonderful, one of which was my friend of nineteen years proposing the break up via e-mail.

As a whole, I was really not in a mood to celebrate this year; but, as always, I did attempt. My attempts consisted of taking the day off, having a relaxed and very enjoyable breakfast out with my sis, and then going on the town and blowing my non-existent money on my favorite things: books and chocolates. My wonderful mom also hosted a family get-together with magnificent and plentiful food, and my siblings threatened me with presents coming in the immediate future. Again, my plan to get drunk was nixed this year, and again due to my being on meds: this time it was not just antibiotics, but a combo of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory. But, thank G-d, the meds worked, and in the process my MD discovered my B12 deficiency, so, hopefully, more energy coming up pretty soon:)

But, honestly, celebratory spirit was really quiet low this year, and mostly it was due to (yes you guessed it) the election results. I know I have already offered my opinion on it, and I know it may sound illogical; I really do not care. To me these results signified only one thing: people who do not appreciate the beauty of this country, or do not realize or appreciate the multitude of blessings that come to us simply by living here, have summarily surrendered USA to people who openly hate it and are proud of it. So, while waiting for Thanksgiving, I could not stop thinking about very familiar, but not the less lamentable for it, human trait of not appreciating the multitude of good things we do have. And then came the Thanksgiving itself, and the horrible murders in Mumbai, the thoughts of which still bring tears to my eyes.

As I mentioned before, I am slowly approaching middle age. So, naturally, a person is expected to gain certain wisdom at this point. So, what did I gain in all those years so far, aside from becoming increasingly sarcastic, jaded, and pessimistic? The cornerstone of wisdom actually came to me when I was twenty two, in that memorable summer of taking statistics and secretarial courses (at the same time, but in different schools), meanwhile battling a strep of a six months duration. Anyway, while studying the bell curve, and especially its application to the matters of human IQ, there is a simple and clear pattern, and remembering it usually saves you from numerous occasions of pre-hypertension blood pressure: 64% of human population (the ones between first standart deviations on each side) has very average intelligence. That's it!

And that is the wisdom for the ages! Majority of population consists of people whose outlook on life is, well, just average. They never ponder the deep meaning of anything, and will swallow any and all lies, providing that the lie will guarantee them quite existence and fatter wallets, to which end they aspire their whole lives anyway. Then add to this the fact that even if people were born with good brains, they were not necessarily taught to expand and exercise those brains; moreover, around half the people with decent brains and educations use those to commit sins against the rest of humanity. This picture, of course, is very rosy, but, once you absorb it, the life becomes that much easier.

What else did I learn? It's wonderful not to conform and live according to logic, and not the opinions of Mr. and Mrs. Jones next door. Unfortunately, the people who will most suffer for your uniqueness, aside, of course, from you, are the ones who are closest to you and love you the most. It is fantastic to be a woman, but it is a man's world, and you will not have an easy lot, no matter which road you will choose. Nobody, and I mean, nobody cares about your level of eruditeness or your college GPA, but everyone will comment on your style of dressing yourself (or the supposed lack of thereof). Your good manners will not impress the scofflaw; moreover, those manners will get you pushed away, pushed around, and stepped on your toes. Very few good deeds are appreciated, and even fewer go unpunished. And commitment to work earns you the opportunity to pick up the slack for all the not so committed co-workers, plus ulcers and the above-mentioned hypertension. Basically, to quote one of my favorite movies: "The world is being FedExed to hell in a hand basket" (and has been for a while, by the way).

And then you remember Stendhal’s quote about the fact that there are many more great people than you think (at least I think it was Stendhal’s). And every morning, on the way to work, you see your old neighbour patiently waiting for Asses-A-Ride, so he can go to his wife in a nursing home. And on the way from work, you see a girl with a crutch giving her seat on the subway to a pregnant woman. And another guy on the subway rides extra four stops, so he can try and pick you up because he was fascinated by you repeatedly laughing out loud while reading a romance. And every 9/11 anniversary, you remember ordinary people like Todd Beamer and Amy Sweeney, who acted with courage and patriotism in the face of horrible odds.

Oh, and the character from the movie? He found out that he is about to be a father right after uttering that wonderful sentence.

So, here is to another year, better things to come, and all the G-d's Blessings! L'Chaim!


There is a reason why I do not moderate comments to my blog at all. That is because I actually enjoy getting them, no matter what (especially when they tend to confirm my original opinion). I do not care if they are signed or anonymous, or if they contain objectionable language or sexual innuendoes; although, with all due respect to my friend, I draw a line at the c- word.

With all that in mind, when some comments leave me with the impression what a person did not understand, or did not want to understand my opinion, I would like to clarify it. When other comments suggest that I really should not be thinking and feeling what I was thinking and feeling, I feel the need to remind them that this is one place where I can freely express my thoughts and feelings.

Which brings me to a fairy recent discovery: the phrase "constructive criticism" is in actuality an oxymoron. Because when you are criticizing somebody, that automatically implies that you think (and maybe rightly so) that you are more wise, knowledgeable, or experienced, at least in this particular instance.

On that happy note, happy blogging and happy commenting!


"And once again, Republicans are asleep at the wheel while another close election is being openly stolen by the man whose contributions to Western Civilization include the "Planet of The Enormous Hooters" sketch on "SNL."
Ann Coulter

"What is "public service" anyway? Prostitutes perform a public service, and it's one I'm sure even Charlie Sheen would agree is more important than the one performed by most politicians in Washington. True, it's inherently unfair to place both prostitutes and politicians under the "public service" umbrella – unfair to prostitutes. If a prostitute was a "public servant" in the way a politician is, you'd drive up, she'd get in, you'd hand her $50, she'd kick you out, keep the $50, steal your car, loan the spare tire to GM and then drive over to spend the night with George Soros.

And what happens when a politician does in fact perform a true "public service" –such as, say, helping keep the country free from a terrorist attack for over seven years? That politician is rewarded with a dismal approval rating, is mocked by the media and called a "war criminal" by the very public that was an unwitting recipient of that valuable public service.

If anybody in the United States Congress is reading this, please put into motion legislation
that would ultimately prohibit the use of the term "public service" as applied to any politician. Ironically, this would be your greatest act of public service ever. "
Doug Powers

"Where liberals are concerned, one thing you can always count on is that they regard themselves as morally and intellectually superior to those who disagree with them. And, yet, surely there must be liberals somewhere who possess enough common sense to realize how absurd it is when the city council of Berkeley, Calif., instead of dealing with potholes and street vendors, came up with a resolution condemning the Iraq war, or when a grand jury in Willacy County, Texas, recently decided to indict Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales. Aren't there any liberals who find such things even faintly amusing?

It does occur to me now and then that we are well on our way to becoming a banana republic, but with a lot more bananas than republic.

The other day, during an e-mail exchange with one of my readers, Don Melquist, he explained how a Judas goat would be used to lead a herd of sheep aboard a railroad boxcar. I said I understood the goat's function, but I could never figure out how the animal could then make its way past all the sheep and out the door. Mr. Melquist, who had been raised on a farm, explained that goats are extremely agile and could easily get through a bunch of bleating sheep in order to receive their food reward. He finished up his report, stating, "Goats and sheep may seem rather similar, but there is a huge difference in their habits and intelligence."

I wrote back, "Sounds a lot like liberals and conservatives."
Burt Prelutsky

And now for the grand finale. Last week I spent five bucks on e-bay and got myself my very first own book by Edmund Burke. As I began to leaf through it, this is what I found almost immediately:
"It is better to cherish virtue and humanity, by leaving much to free will, even with some loss to the object, than to attempt to make men mere machines and instruments of a political benevolence. The world on the whole will gain by a liberty, without which virtue cannot exist."
You got to love those dead white male dudes!

Monday, December 08, 2008



One fine Monday evening I came home after a particularly annoying work day, laden with G-d knows how many heavy grocery bags. After this I proceed to do the usual "female" work: I cooked, cleaned the fridge, did a mountain of dishes, and straightened out the kitchen. All in all, I almost missed the Tonight Show with all this homegrown entertainment.

And in the midst of all this amusement, my brain began to wonder, and funny thoughts started creeping into it. Why, precisely, do I want to get married? Why do I waste my precious time going out with losers, chip skates, and obnoxious morons? Why do I humiliate myself over and over again (despite the repeated promises to self to cease and desist) with all those so-called matchmakers? Because this was a sample of the bliss that would be awaiting me immediately after Sheva Brachot (most of it before, come to think of it).

An overgrown baby who would moan and groan if he gets a cold (slight or otherwise), and moan and groan even more if I would get a full blown flu (not from taking care of me, mind you; just from the removal of the comforts due to him). His family would be nasty to me; I would be expected to be nice to them at all times; he would be nasty to my family whenever he is in a snit; my family and I would be expected to just swallow it and exercise diplomacy at all times. There would be constant complains about my housekeeping abilities, my cooking abilities, absence of home cooked meals, and my general (very lacking) time management (even if both of us work the same amount of time). There would be constant suggestions concerning my wardrobe and hair covering; and, believe me, one area where I am very tolerant of my fellow humans is their wardrobes. I would still be doing all the housework (very thanklessly); he would expect a hit parade if he washed his coffee mug. If he is in a bad mood, I would be expected to be understanding and supportive; if I am in a bad mood, I am a quarrelsome, bad tempered witch. I won't be able to spend time with my friends without him racking some kind of huge bonus; he would be able to just go with his friends at a whim. If he made a decision, he would just act on it; if I made a decision, I would have to employ major stratagems so wonderfully portrayed in "My Fat Greek Wedding".

Basically, men go through two stages of development: maturing and aging. In the process, somebody always have to stroke their monumental egos, always confirming their ideas of their superior mental powers and superior understanding of the world. Gloria Steinem and her coven can do any number of pushy, mean, and idiotic things; at the end of the day, it is still very much a men's world, and women come out on the losing end no matter what. And, the saddest of all, all those observations and conclusions did not come to me from books; they came from years of observing my married friends, relatives, and sundry acquaintances.

Jay Leno's "Headlines" calmed me down somehow; afterwards, I devised an intervention plan. When my sis finally gets her humongous professional portrait of The Fluffy Heads, I would ask for another one for my kitchen as a good reminder that such results are worth dealing with man's idiosyncrasies; I should also hint to people not to fight in front of idealistic and impressionable friends. And, most importantly, I shall revisit Hayden Rothwell.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Last Tuesday I finally got to do a humongous load of laundry, the exact dimensions of which I would be embarrassed to admit; but sorting through it made me think on New York's fall again.

When I was a kid, I hated the fall. After all, September First was The Dreaded Day. The day before one absolutely could not watch a movie after "Vremia", schlep with one's parent (usually Mother) to the flower market to buy an extremely overpriced and strange looking bouquet of flowers, make sure an ugly uniform and equally ugly knapsack (stuffed with office supplies American students should see just to appreciate their lives a bit more) were ready for the battle, and go to sleep extra early. And on The Day itself you had to perform the forgotten for a three-month period exercise of dragging yourself out of bed early, donning that ugly (never mind uncomfortable) uniform, picking up the ugly knapsack, dragging yourself to school, meanwhile mentally preparing yourself for nine months of almost uninterrupted torture of socialist-kommie brainwashing, occasionally interspersed with math and sciences. Oh, joy! On the side note, I actually enjoyed learning for learning's sake, even though I hated school. Ironically, it was American college that killed my appreciation of organized education, burned me out, and, for a while, crushed my fighting spirit (but that is a separate story). Suffice it to say, fall was not my favorite time of the year while I was growing up.

New York changed that; I love fall! The first indication for me (independent of calendars) is the secession of the dependency on air conditioning. They are live savers; but it is such a joy to sleep without them! First there is no A/C; then you can sleep with the open window; then you have to wake up in the middle of the night to get a blanket because you realized that you are freezing; then you have to actually start sleeping with your windows closed. All these do not necessarily come in order; moreover, they come and go as they please, return and disappear, then reappear at their own accord. The weather fluctuations, always crazy in New York, are especially erratic in the fall, and you never, ever know what to wear (that, by the way, why I was thinking of the fall while doing laundry: too many different things for the period allotted). Still, I love the fall.

My favorite, of course, are the changing colors of the leaves, especially the maple trees. It is such a pleasure just to walk around, observe the trees, and sink your feet into the ever increasing amounts of the leaves on the ground. Oh, what wonderful joy!

Autumn also brings to me the philosophical introspections (not that I am free of them at any other time of the year). This is the time when most things either die or hide for the winter; but for us, it is the beginning of the New Year: renewed hope and refreshed souls. Of course, Rosh Hashana if the anniversary of the creation of the human being, and originally, till the Generation of the Flood, the seasons did not change, and it rained only once in 4o years. Still, The Creator knows the future; so, what is the message and where is the connection?

On the lighter note, here is to the few days of wonderful weather, gorgeous leaves in different colors, and the fleeting (and the more enjoyable for it) beauty of the New York fall.


Here are more wonderful pearls of great satire from the incomparable Burt Prelutsky:

"as most of you are aware, homosexuals have been rioting pretty much non-stop ever since California’s electorate once again put the kibosh on same-sex marriages. They have picketed and vandalized Catholic and Mormon churches to display their displeasure, which suggests to me that, instead of “gays” being their euphemism of choice, perhaps “cranks,” “louts” or “bigots” might be more appropriate.
The one group of churches they haven’t gone after are the black ones, even though 70% of blacks voted in favor of marriage being limited to one man and one woman. What’s more, blacks were very vocal about objecting to homosexual marriages being touted as a civil right. The fact that, in spite of all this, homosexuals have given black churches a wide berth suggests that while gays may not always practice safe sex, they certainly practice safe demonstrations."

"Next, I don’t ever want to hear a Democrat claim, as I believe Joe Biden did, that paying taxes is patriotic. Paying taxes is about as patriotic as going to the bathroom. In other words, at times, it’s necessary, but it’s always compulsive. I believe that for a thing to be patriotic, it has to be done on a voluntary basis. I suppose a case could be made that if a person paid more than he owed, he was being patriotic. So, as an example to the rest of us, I would love to see such tax-loving liberals as George Soros, Mr. and Mrs. John Kerry and all the various Kennedys, pay at the rate they would if most of their income didn’t come to them in the low-taxed form of trusts and off-shore accounts."

"It’s no secret that I am not looking forward to an Obama administration. The notion that the liberals will control the House, the Senate and the Oval Office, for the foreseeable future makes my blood run cold. The mental image that first comes to mind is a bull in a china shop, but the ensuing damage in that case would be inadvertent. The bull, after all, isn’t looking to destroy the crockery. It is merely looking for the quickest way back to the farm and the cows, whereas the liberals are looking to create an America in their own cockeyed image. That makes me think of vandals taking knives to the Mona Lisa or firebugs burning down a virgin forest."

"Many people are questioning why Obama, the alleged agent of change, is filling his administration with a lot of Clinton re-treads. I am reminded of what took place in Germany after World War II. Suddenly, it seemed like all the mayors and bureaucrats were former Nazis. The explanation was that after a dozen years of Hitler, only the Nazis had the necessary leadership experience. Well, when you realize that since 1980, the only Democratic president was Bill Clinton, it figures that Obama would be forced to furnish his White House with second-hand goods from the Clinton thrift shop."