Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A New Resolution for 2011: Unsubscribe!

I subscribe to way too many email lists.  It is time to start weeding them out and clean up my email inbox once and for all. 

First, I went to Fandango. I recently purchased tickets to see Megamind.  It was very convenient - right down to printing the tickets out instead of standing in line on Christmas Day. But, after I saw the movie, I received 3 emails - one to confirm the tickets, one to see if I liked the movie (why do they care?) and one to offer me other tickets to buy. No thanks. Unsubscribe!

It took me a few extra minutes to figure out how to unsubscribe from  I don't need this website now that there is Facebook.  Apparently, unsubscribing is not good enough. You must close your entire account.  Of course, this option is not easy to find on the website. When I found it, I acutally yelled out, "A-HA, I found you!"  I was very pleased. Unsubscribe!

Then, I went to my work email account where I was recently put on a list serve called Atomic Survival.  This very scary email tells me all about the people who are out to destroy the world and what I can do to save myself and my loved ones.  How I got on this email list - I do not know.  Unsubscribe!

Now, if I could only find a way to unsubscribe from the emails that I get which are all in Hebrew.  Apparently, they don't understand English and refuse to release me from their strong cyber-grip.

Finally, there are the store websites that deliver sales information, coupons, free shipping and more.  These are the toughest ones for me to unsubscribe from.  For G-d sake, they provide me with coupons!!!  Why would I unsubscribe from savings?

I'll tell you why - because these companies email me once or twice a day and cause a blockage in my inbox that only a cyber-plumber could fix. Unsubscribe! (Except for maybe Barnes & Noble and Borders - I really use those).

So, here is New Year's Resolution #1 : When I give my email address to a website, I will look for the fine print and little check box that is always checked automatically for me to receive emails from now until forever.

Stay tuned for more resolutions and Happy New Year!   

Friday, December 24, 2010

Buried Treasures

While in the process of my home makeover, I have taken a lot of time to go through my closets, playroom, attic and shed. I've uncovered many treasures to keep and others to part with. Here is a brief list:

Baby furniture - Goodbye to strollers, booster seats and exersaucers. You did us good, but our kids are too big to play with you now.

Baby clothes - I parted with many clothes, but I had to keep a small sampling of how stylish my kids were as toddlers.

Maternity clothes - I had some great maternity clothes but now they too have been donated to someone who needs them. But, not before I went through each one and remembered my favorites.

Pictures from my bachlorette party - I couldn't throw them away but I hope my kids don't find them anytime soon.

My corsage from my senior prom as well as pictures of me at other formal dances. My daughter decided she liked my Junior prom dress the best.

Old diaries that I will probably let my kids read some day. They are living proof that I was once their age a long time ago.

Have to run, the next closet and piles of bags and boxes are calling my name. Feels good to purge lots of stuff and still take a walk down memory lane.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Jewish Kids, Happy Jewish Mommy

For 364 days out of the year, we are your typical American family.  December 25th is the only day that we are different from many other American families. We are Jewish and therefore do not celebrate Christmas. 

This morning, I asked my kids what they thought about not celebrating Christmas and if they felt left out.  I wasn't sure what response I would get.  With all of the decorations, music and specials on tv, it would only be natural that they would feel a little left out.

Happy to say though -  not my kids!

My daughter said, "We got our Hanukkah presents two weeks ago and it is our friends turn to get their presents this week."

My son said, "Christmas is very decorative."
Perhaps, they were dropping the hint that I should channel my inner Martha Stewart and decorate a little more for Hanukkah next year.  I can do that.  I've got a year to figure out how.

So, we can admire our neighbor's tree and Christmas lights down the street and not feel left out.  We will happily take any leftover Christmas cookies that they want to get rid of.  We can sleep in on Dec. 25th, then wake up and check the movie listings and finally see movies that we never got to see.  We will finish off the day with family and friends enjoying Chinese food and spending quality time together.

Scott & I can take great pride in the fact that two weeks ago we gave our kids the best Hanukkah we could - complete with dreidel games, menorah lighting, great Hanukkah songs and presents.  They went to a festive Hanukkah service, enjoyed Israeli dancing and a big chocolate feast of gelt and treats at our synagogue. Throw in a few Hanukkah parties thrown by family and friends and we can call it a great holiday.

Starting this Sunday, we can go back to our normal lives and ask the question that will be on everyone else's mind - what are we doing on New Year's Eve?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Gear Missing Alert!

ATTENTION! Frustrated suburban mom is putting out an APB on 2 red gloves and a blue lunchbox with a J embroidered on the front. Gloves last seen on the small hands of a 7 year old boy. Lunchbox last seen in the company of a 4th grader on the school playground. If found, please post on FB so that I can come pick them up and don't have to spend more hard earned money on said lost essential items.
Suspects who lost the above items were properly interrogated at 8:15 am (approx. 15 minutes before we have to leave for school).

 "Where are your gloves?" "Bring me your lunchbox. What do you mean you left it at school?"

Typical Responses:

"I don't know."
"I was in a hurry."
The Academy Award Response for Best Child Performance of Coming Up With A Good Excuse - "Mom, the girls were chasing me on the playground and pulled off my gloves and I couldn't get them back." (Note to young son - you aren't being chased by 6 ft giants on the playground. Go get your gloves off the ground!).

Action taken: Suspects were provided with the same lecture that this suburban mom was given by her parents 30 (gulp!) years ago. It was probably as effective then as it is now.

So, how many pairs of gloves and scarves and lunchboxes will go missing from your house this year?

P.S. - An UPDATE: Gloves and lunchbox were retrieved from the floor of the backseat of this suburban mom's SUV. CASE CLOSED! (Note to self - give suspects the equally ineffective lecture about bringing their belongings into the house from the car).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Weird Travel Habit

Before I get on any airplane, I have to tap it twice on the outside to the right of the door - as if to say "Good plane - get me there safe and sound."  I know this is silly, but it makes me feel better about flying.

Yesterday, I flew back to Philly from Las Vegas. After boarding the plane and tapping the side of the plane as usual, I sat down in my seat and pulled out my People magazine. Much to my surprise, I found out that the cute guy who does those Old Spice commericals said his weird travel habit is to tap the plane three times before he boards his flight.

Wow! I was so relieved that someone out there didn't think I was crazy. But then I thought - how silly for him to tap the plane three times when twice works just fine!  

Okay, fess up - what is your weirdest travel habit???

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well, Excuuuuuse Me!

I am choosing between two companies to handle online payments for the new synagogue website.  I'm a pretty smart cookie but I don't know the difference between a Gateway and a merchant login.  And I couldn't tell you the ins and outs of encrypted credit card numbers to save my life.  

I'm sure that the representative I spoke to gives this speech 100x a day.  After he explained everything to me - while speaking at the speed of light - I asked him a few questions in an attempt to slow him down so that I could understand what he was talking about.  This was the sarcastic response I got -

"Ma'am, I'm not sure how I can explain this any clearer to you" 

I think someone needs to brush up on their people skills.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why I don't keep an "S-list"

Recently, someone asked me if they were on my "s-list."  I assured her that not only was she not on my list, but that I don't even keep such a list.

I think the concept of an "s-list" is just not in my nature.  There are many people in my life who love and support me for who I am and what I do.  There are other people who do not.  These people are not on any "s-list" because I don't spend my precious time worrying about them.   Why focus my energy on those who have wronged me and in turn be miserable?  What lesson does it teach my kids to be constantly upset and aggravated all of the time?

There is a great book that came out last year called "The Happiness Project."  It tells the true story of an author who spent a year focusing on things she can do every day to be happier in her life.  I loved this book and decided that I would much rather be a happy person too.  Here are some values in Judaism that prevent me from ever having such a list and keep me happy, such as:
  • Shalom Bayit - Family Harmony
  • Gemilut Khesed - Acts of Loving-Kindness
  • Hakhnasat Orkhim - Acts of Hospitality
By embracing these things in my own life, I will thankfully never have a need for such a list.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dear Weight Watchers...

Most of the time, I go with the flow.  I embrace change because I know that change is good and always constant.  While I appreciate your approach to a more healthy way of eating,  there are major changes in your program that take away what I love most about WW - convenience!

For instance, my points slider has become ineffective immediately as you are no longer counting calories in the mix when figuring out points value.  Now, you are asking me to purchase a $10 calculator to take with me to the supermarket.

My favorite Hungry Girl recipes are all labeled with the old points system. Not to mention that I already knew the points values of my favorite foods.  It is going to take a lot of time to recalculate all of that.

Hopefully, I'll get around to embracing this change in my life. It would have been nice if you waited until January to roll out the new program. Aren't we busy enough in December?