Category Archives: religion

Time to Cry Tuesdays – Grieving is not for Sissies


I know, quite a blog post title to resurface with, but hey, it’s Tuesday. What do you expect?

I like to find the humor in most situations. This grief thing is surely putting a damper on my style, but I work hard at trying to find a way to laugh when I can.

Today I have hit new heights. Amongst the odds and ends of things on my to-do list today, snuggled nicely between ‘call to have the sprinkler system serviced’ and ‘fax e-file forms back to the accountant’ sat this ominous listing:

Call the cemetery to inquire about the sod issue.

Really? The sod issue? Why should there be an issue about sod when we are talking about a grave. Should grass not be a given? Shouldn’t our lowest expectation of a cemetery be that they would lay some sod on a final resting place (Yes, I realize this sounds like a cemetery marketing piece) Apparently not, because they told my Dad that they only lay sod in the fall. So, I decided to call them myself and get to the bottom of this.

First call yielded a recording:

We are experiencing unusually high call volume at this time. Please try again later. (seriously!!!! People dying to get in today… ba dum bum)

Second try:

Me: I am calling about having sod put down on a grave for an unveiling* in June.

Her: I am sorry, we only lay sod in the fall. If we lay it in the spring and we have a hot day, it burns. And we care for it if we put it down.

Me: Were we told that last spring at the funeral (as if we would remember). Or did you send us a notice, like ‘hey, if you don’t want a dirt grave for your loved one you need to order sod in the fall’

Her: No, we don’t.

Me: Hmmm, you might want to consider putting that in your packet. Can we put down our own sod?

Her: Yes, but you will have to take care of it.

Me: Do you have a sprinkler system (yes, after I said that I realized it is probably unlikely and frowned upon to start digging in a cemetery, but I had a momentary loss of rational thought from this conversation)

Her: We do not. Your other option is that you can wait till the fall and we can rent you a grass matt for the unveiling for $10 a square…

with this I sort of lost my mind and said:

Me: Are you kidding me?! More fees! This is like a Larry David.

Her: Who is Larry David?

Me: OMG… Seinfeld? The Larry David Show? Ring a bell?

Her: Oh, never heard of him. Never watched it.

Me: That’s too bad. Ok, so basically you are telling me that my father, who is in his mid 80s, will have to lay sod himself on his wife’s grave so we don’t have to look at the same raw dirt that was there the day of the funeral. And if we want said sod to stay alive, we should drive there a couple of times a week from Long Island to New Jersey to water it. And this you do not find both horrifying and hysterical at the same time.

Her: Well, when you put it that way…

Me:  You should REALLY see if you can find re-runs of Larry David.

Yeh, grieving is not for sissies, indeed.

*Unveiling: Within the first year after the passing of a loved one, mourners and their family gather at the gravesite for a ceremony called the Unveiling, the placing of the tombstone. At this event, a grave marker is put into place and the monument is formally dedicated.

Source: (who knew there was such a url?)


Filed under humor, loss, religion, Time to Cry Tuesdays, Uncategorized

Time to Cry Tuesday – I Am Jewish

I struggled with whether to post this here, and whether to use its title. Not for any other reason than I believe that there are certain topics that are personal. Ones that are sacred and are not about link love, blog traffic or public discussion. I have always held to the idea that religion is either something you are born into or you choose. And sometimes it is something that you consciously choose to abandon. I do not think it is something that should be pushed on others, used to breed hatred or a vehicle to define someone. Sadly all three are the root of some of the most horrifying chapters in history.

All that said, this public declaration of what it means to this young man to ‘be a Jew’ moved me to tears. Even more so as he is someone that my kids know from camp. I have written about this camp here before, many times, and its effect on our children and ourselves. The core of this place is its pride, the sense of belonging, of being part of a tribe.

See where I am going with this? In this crazy world of ever-changing social rules with its constant shifting of how we live our daily lives and relate to one another, there is something so important about that sense of belonging. It breeds the most important thing of all – a sense of self. It is easier to thrive with the continuity of something that you can count on; something that makes you feel ‘at home’.

I relate to the words of this young man. I am not a religious Jew, Judaism is simply part of the fabric of who I am. I do not live a ghettoized life – hey some of my best friends are Goyim (ok you had to be a Jew or around them to get that joke, and yes it is counter to everything I am saying here. Hey, I am a wiseass, what can I say). To a highly religious Jew I might not be considered Jewish. And yet it matters not.

This video is the embodiment of a young suburban Jewish man who has fallen victim to every stereotype and yet is still able to articulate his Jewishness. He is considered hip and current yet the content of his message would hold true even when my dad was his age.

He does not preach. He does not try to convert. He does not ask you to validate his Judaism or to argue its validity.

It is simply a declaration.

I am pretty sure this would translate to any culture or religion, and I am equally sure that the parodies of this video will be abundant in the weeks to come because… well, because that is what social media breeds. However, I do not think that any of that will dilute its message.

Enjoy, and feel free to comment.


Filed under communities, religion, Time to Cry Tuesdays

What do Jesus and Sushi Have in Common?

Tough question, right? I am sure you are squinting at the details of the back of this car trying to find the answer. Disclaimer, no religious disrespect intended, I am just a lover of parody.

I came across this little gem of a Subaru in the supermarket parking lot. At first glance I thought, wow, this is one religious dude. On second glance I saw that this guy was hysterical. A closer look at the left side and I saw this:

Classic Jesus fish, or Ichthys. Not  so classic Sushi fish.

Panning  to the other side of the car I found these little gems of religious parody:

The ever popular Vegan fish. The FSM fish (I will get back to that one) and the completely irreverent Theory of Evolution Darwin fish. In the center was simply an empty fish. I think that one was trying to stand out. Or perhaps it was the void of religion in contrast to the other parody of religion types. Nonetheless they all clung proudly to the back of the trusty Legacy.

I had to do a little Googling on FSM and here is what I found. This stands for Flying Spaghetti Monster. Here is what Wikipedia served up for me on this.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is the deity of the parody religion[1][2] the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarianism.[3] In 2005, Oregon State physics graduate Bobby Henderson wrote an open letter about a “Flying Spaghetti Monster” as a satirical protest against the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to permit the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools.[4] In the letter, Henderson parodied the concept of intelligent design by professing belief in a supernatural creator that closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs. Henderson further called for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism to be allotted equal time in science classrooms alongside intelligent design and evolution. You can read the rest here. (totally worth the click to see the artwork on that page)

In closing, all I can say is this whole thing only cements the idea that I MUST meet the person who drives this car.


Filed under absurdities, religion, signage

9/11: From Horror Comes Hope

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

This year instead of looking back on the horror that was, let’s look forward to the thriving neighborhood that will be. Don’t read that wrong. I am a firm believer in never forgetting. This is a solemn day that deserves respect and reverence. But I believe there is always a place for hope.

In case you missed this NYT article, here are the plans for what will be a completely new piece of New York. One that will both remember what we have lost and give hope for what we will gain.

In this time of insanity surrounding the protest of the building of religious institutions and the burning of sacred texts, is it not time for us to be the America we have worked so desperately to defend and preserve?

Enough hatred.

Please feel free to remember anyone you have lost or hope you may have for the future, but do not feel free to preach hatred in these comments.


Filed under communities, current events, New York, New York City, politics, religion

Florida Soundbites

Florida: Day 4 and leaving.

I thought I would wrap this one up with some funny things that were said or seen over the weekend. But first I would like to give a big shout out WHAT THE HELL to the two women who just sat behind me in the Jet Blue terminal at PBI. I am an hour early for my flight because I love airports my brother’s flight was earlier and I am literally one of 4 people at the gate. These two blabbermouths had to sit in the seats directly behind me and yack away…

in a foreign language. SERIOUSLY!

Ok, so here are some of the funnier things from the weekend:

My Aunt: My mother told me that she loved my father more after he was dead.

My Cousin: While playing a game with all the grandmothers when they were still with us (this was the generation of my grandmother) in response to body parts that come in pairs my Aunt’s mother (from above) responded, “Penis” This could explain why she stayed with her husband for so many years, even if she loved him more after he was dead.

My Mom: (in response to my dad saying that I had a great sense of humor) Yeh, especially when it comes to poo. (ok, my brother and I discuss bodily functions maybe a little bit more than average siblings).

My Dad: You have to understand all our weather comes from the West. It comes in from the Gulf of Mexico. That means we get used weather.

For a nice little wrap up, here are three of my favorite signs:

1. This billboard sits outside the road leading to my parents’ community. I believe it is placed there just in case all the Northerners of ‘the tribe’ had any questions about His existence.

2. This Derm seems to cover it all. Permanant make-up? WTF? What if you want to change color. Is it like the mood ring material? And would you really trust someone with your skin cancer that does permanent makeup?  Just asking?

3. I will close with the creepy child mannequin and the miracle suit poster, just because this says so much.

In closing, I will quote a dear friend who said this about visiting Florida,  “just remember that you are watching a movie in which you will play the LEADING role some time in the future.”

My answer to that is, “I only pray I will be so lucky.”

Thanks Mom and Dad for a great visit. And Keith, no one makes me laugh quite like you.

Let the Matzoh begin!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under aging parents, family, religion, road signs, things i've heard, travel

Bagel and Pap Smear with a side of Santa?

Oh yes, ladies and gent(tile)s, the CBS Cares pap smear commercial has a christian version. If you missed my post last week you can read about it here. In short CBS has created a campaign around gifting pap smears. (that would be a hell of an item to regift, no?) Here is the jewish version complete with cream cheese reference (ew)

Thanks to my friend 24 at heart, I have been made aware that it’s not just jewish guys that think a pap smear appointment is the perfect holiday gift. I’m not going to lie here, I am a little put off that the christian guy is so much better looking than the pap ‘schmear’ jew with the nasal voice. And who could resist the line, “Give her the gift that even Santa can’t deliver”. Check him out (what a babe!)

But… it gets better. You see CBS is an equal opportunity advertiser. So for all you guys out there, this babe is urging us to schedule you a prostate exam. Oh yes, this is not a joke. And the tagline from this sultry blonde would be? “Give the gift that says Merry Christmas, I love ALL of you”. Shouldn’t that have been, “Give the gift that says turn your head and cough?”

What, you say? No woman of the tribe hawking a prostate exam. Oh yes there is! And her line? Oh really, I can hardly type from laughing so hard, “This Hannukah, give the gift of a kosher prostate.” WTF!!!! Again with the food reference. And this hebropsycho has this creepy way of smiling when she says the word prostate, like she is about to… never mind, you know what they say about jewish girls.

Ok, I will have to admit that these are getting attention, but they are kind of like staring at the accident. Since when did secular PSAs go out of style?

I can’t wait to hear the hispanic versions!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, health, humor, marketing, religion

Recession Rosaries


Yep, you can’t go wrong with these babies. I give a lot of credit to this vendor. These are a nice blend of recessionary reaction, trend appeal and religious affiliation.

Ahhh, AND they make the perfect gift.

I should have investigated them further to see if there was anything different about them. I wonder if they had some recession specific markings or maybe it was just a tag. The tag would make more sense. We are in a recession you know, need to watch the bottom line on every SKU. And surely you don’t want to be left over with heavy inventory once the recession breaks.

Perhaps they could expand their products with another current event driven line like Swine Flu Rosaries; great for the religious school market. They could package them with a plaid surgical mask and a little bottle of Purell. Great Back-to-School gift item that no kid’s backpack should be without.

Sorry, it is quite obvious I have been in marketing and promotions for way too long.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, current events, health, humor, marketing, photography, products, religion, signage

I Saw Jesus on State Street


For a Jewish girl I have been writing an awful lot about Jesus lately. There was the toast tattoo in Pennsylvania, the Cheez-Its comparison at Mohonk and now this very interesting shot of two young gentleman carrying a door-sized image down State Street in Madison.

Religious zealouts of this type fascinate me. I always wonder what their agenda is. Do the truly believe they will convert others? Is it tribe pride? Or are they just plain crazy? Seriously, do you wake up one morning and say to your buddy, “Hey Bill, let’s get a big picture of Jesus Christ and stretch it on a frame. Then we can walk up and down State Street and through campus with it.” Yeh, well either that or “Let’s go get some brunch”.

Whatever, it’s harmless. And as long as no one is pushing a pamphlet in my face I am good with the act of self expression.

Plus, it makes for a great picture.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone

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Filed under absurdities, carry a camera, humor, photography, religion, signage

Cheez-Its vs. Jesus

cheez-its1It could have been a case of Woody Allen style Jewish paranoia, or perhaps it was simply a loss of hearing combined with a little too much to drink. But last weekend, while enjoying a weekend birthday celebration for a friend, her sister mistook the word ‘Cheez-Its’ for ‘Jesus’. We were staying at a resort that was short on Jews and I think the atmosphere led her to start hearing everything with a sort of Christian filter.

Whatever the reason, this made for a most hysterical encounter. In the spirit of always carrying a camera, and now a video thanks to my Flip Mino, I decided to do a little mini-documentary. I asked the question that has puzzled religious philosophers for centuries, “Tell me the difference between Cheez-Its and Jesus”.

Due to a severe case of bloganoia and in respect for the privacy of those who would rather not have the entire internet witness their Patron-induced silly behavior, I will not post the video but will share with you my favorite answers.

There is nothing better than getting a religious woman who is part of a Chrisitan Mom’s Ministry group to tell you this:

Cheez-Its are full of calories and will give you a fat ass, while Jesus will save you from your own fat ass.

Better yet, her crazy college friend who jumps in behind her with:

I beg to differ. In the middle of the afternoon when you are starving, Cheez-Its can be TRUE salvation.

From the original paranoid Jewess:

Cheez-Its smell, and as far as I know, Jesus does not.

And yet another misunderstanding but a funny one none the less:

Wait, there are different flavors of Jesus?! I think that would work very will with bringing in the younger generation and helping engage them. Oh, different flavors of Cheez-Its, never mind.

Anyone else want to jump in with an answer?

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under absurdities, humor, religion

Guerilla Holiday


No, my guests did not behave like primates. That’s the other gorilla!

A new record was set in my household this Passover. Menu writing to table in 23 hours. Pretty impressive, even for me.

There are those that cook ahead and plan for weeks. Their tables are set 2 days in advance (no Karen, I am not talking about you… specifically). Not me. I need to feel the pressure of impending guests breathing down my neck before I can move towards getting it together. Between work and social obligations there was simply no time to address this holiday (or any other, who am I kidding) before it was on fire.

In the past there have been many casualties: the year I spoiled the  chicken soup by putting hot matzoh balls into cold soup. Tip: this curdles the soup. Gary had to run to the Jewish deli for soup at the 11th hour that year. Or the time I dropped 2 dozen eggs in the driveway; very messy. But this year was pretty smooth. I did shatter both a tupperware of frozen soup (the soup survived) and one more crystal wine glass from my wedding registry (a miracle there are any left after 20-blah-blah years). Other than that is was smooth as silk.

Most important, I was surrounded by those I love. Sadly some were missing for out of state reasons, but we still had a great night.

And for the record, NO ONE cleans like Joanne!


Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog.

For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under family, food, holidays, religion