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More KvetchLibs

January 14th, 2009 2 comments

Kvetchlibs are Madlibs for people (Jews) who always complain. Fill in the missing words to customize your own personal kvetch:

I just had a colonoscopy.  The doctor took one look at my ________ and said “I’ve never seen such a ________!”

I’m terrible in bed. Every time I ________, I ________.

My poor aunt Sylvia. She went to the hospital. They found a ________ in her ________.

We went on a tropical vacation. The weather was so hot, I thought my ________ would ________.

Last year we all went to  ________ and got ________ from eating ________.

My ________ is such a crook! He charged me ________ for ________.

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All-ergies; Everything to Sneeze At!

January 7th, 2009 1 comment

Moving

Oy, what a week. I had to move out of my place in Culver City (that’s a story for another blog post). I hate moving. Packing really butts up against my obsessive-compulsive disorder. It takes me hours, it seems, to pack a box. First I must sort and then clean everything going into the box — even electrical cables get Windexed prior to boxing.

Needless to say my grumpy Korean partner became even more grumpy (and, by extension I suppose, more Korean) and threatened to pack those dirty cables if I didn’t pick up the pace. Of course I couldn’t have that. He won. I picked up the pace. At least I convinced him to label the boxes, another OCD-inspired affliction of mine.

So we finally finished, packed our possessions in a U-Haul and unloaded them in a friend’s garage in Silver Lake, where we will be staying temporarily. We finished rather late in the evening. Both exhausted, we headed for bed. Not our bed, of course, but Maria’s guest bed. It’s comfortable but a full-size. A tad too small for the two of us. We made do.

What I couldn’t hack, however, was the down pillow I found under my head. I asked Lee to switch pillows with me. His was a poly-filled, hypoallergenic number. I had to have it! I made the move for a pillow switch. Grumpily, he asked what I was doing (the maneuver must have awakened him, but this was a matter of life or sneezing!). I explained that I was allergic to feather pillows. Allergies

He was perplexed. Not only could he not understand how someone could be allergic to feathers, he couldn’t fathom how I even knew I was.

I explained that at an early age, perhaps four or five years old, my mother told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was allergic to everything. There was nothing on the face of the earth that would make me sneeze and features were just the tip of the Greenberg (iceberg).

Dust, mold, mildew, grass, pollen, dust mites, bees, you name it. They all contributed to my bouts with hay fever. And if the mere suggestion of being allergic to everything wasn’t enough, I was taken by my mother each week to the allergist for shots for all of these supposed allergens.

A scratch test, when an allergist literally scratches allergens on a patient’s arm and then waits for a reaction, is the typical method of discovering whether or not one has allergies. I did not have scratch tests, however. My doctor and I relied on my Jewish mother’s word. In those days a Jewish mother’s word trumped any test any doctor could perform.

From childhood on, my experience with allergies has been a constant and arduous process of elimination: To find out what doesn’t make me wheeze.

Sneeze graphic from: Allergy Help.


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Kvetchlibs

January 1st, 2009 3 comments

Dear Alan,

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about this new concept called Kvetchlibs which are basically Madlibs for people (Jews) who always complain. It’s a way for us to save time by systematizing our tendency to always be dissatisfied.

You merely need to fill in the missing words to customize your own personal kvetch.

Here’s three of them off the top of my head:

  1. I can’t believe I ate ________ and now I have such a pain in my ________ .
  2. I loved animals until a ________  ________ed on my ________.
  3. My cousin ________ is such a putz.  She paid ________ for a ________ .

I know I’ll have about twenty more by the end of the day because I am that kind of obsessive Jew.

May your new year be no worse than the old one!

Jaffe

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“…my sister, my daughter.” Err, my sister, my mother.

February 19th, 2008 No comments

My last spate of blog entries came in late January and, due to circumstances completely under my control, I decided I was too glum to write.  Don’t get me wrong, my misery, perhaps more than anyone I know, enjoys company. Though, on second thought, enjoys is the wrong word as I haven’t enjoyed anything at all since… Well exact dates aren’t important and clearly are not the point.

If you’ve read all of my entries you know I’ve been staying part of the time at my folks place in the suburbs on Long Island and at my sister and brother-in-law’s place in Northern Westchester. At my sister’s place there are the kids. They are completely distracting in the best possible way. I can’t get work done because I’m literally compelled to watch them and listen to them all the time: Telling each other stories; Playing — quite adeptly — on the computer; Singing, dancing and writing; and, Sometimes fighting. But they are a joy and being there is a joy as well.

It’s not quite the same at my folks house.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother as if she were my own mother (Although she actually is my biological mother I prefer to keep some ‘healthy’ phycological dysphoria on this one to keep me from jumping). I also love my step-dad. He and I have lots in common, including an unhealthy obsession to with computers and gadgets. But I’m isolated on an island of neurosis. There is never a soul on the street, or in the ‘development’ (this one created just after Levittown and in much the same way: A cookie-cutter Long Island nightmare).

Levittown, Long Island, NY

This Our house is also a hotbed of ADD, OCD, perhaps bipolar disorder and your run-of-the-mill neurosis.  My mother is a worrier and it informs everything she says and does. And, if one is not careful, it leaches out and infects everything it touches. Worrying, my friends is a disease — unless of course someone is actually following you with a gun or, G-d forbid, the government starts to mass produce yellow Stars of David.  In cases like that however, active resistance is best and any worrying should be purged tout de suite.

That perpetual progrom that resides just below the surface of most Jewish women’s brains just makes them and, in particular, their first-born sons crazy.  

Save it for when we really need it mom!! There are enough Republican Jews (akin to African-American members of the Ku Klux Klan) out there that are going to need a megadose of reality at some point! Until then…

So I’m back on Long Island searching for the impossible: An inexpensive yet perfect apartment/office in Manhattan.

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Good to the last drop! But not in my bathroom!

January 3rd, 2008 No comments

So what I’m going to tell you actually happened on the 7th day of Hanukkah, December 11th, but I’ve been too depressed to blog. Everyone says that being depressed is actually the best time to blog, but that’s a blog topic for another blog post… Menorah

 

 

So back to what I was telling you. You already know, or you should, that I’ve been forced to live with my mother and stepfather due to a horrible moving mishap. And you may not know that while my mother is a lovely, intelligent, intuitive person that looks incredible for her age, she is also insane.

I’m absolutely sure she is obsessive compulsive, to a fault. And she has a Type-A+++ personality. She is overbearing, as any OCD, ADD Jewish Mother should be, and I am the object of her domineering need to obliterate me with her love. (Reading this would kill her!)

The Flying Nun

 

 

 

For more than 2 weeks I had been putting up with the Hovering Jewish Mother (Sally Field’s Flying Nun has nothing on my mom!) when she finally broke the camel’s back with that proverbial straw. I had just returned from taking a tinkle to “my” desk in my sister’s old room when I heard a knock on the door. I really did not want to answer but I did. She opened the door and had a coy, almost coquettish grin on her face. I knew I was in for it but I really had no idea just how far in.

“I really have to teach you how to pee,”

she said with a silly grin on her face. 
 
As if I hadn’t heard what I clearly had heard, I replied,

“What?”

She said,

“I had to teach your step-father how to pee correctly too.”

As if that confession would relieve the retched strains of embarrassment I was now feeling. 

 
I was already broken, like a prisoner of war, and all I could muster was,

“We are not having this discussion.” 

That was it. She had, at the very least, just undone years of therapy. What a waste of time. Of money. And I had nothing left. Yet she went on.

“Alan, this is serious. You’ll ruin the marble floor! Marble is porous!”

I told her I’d be more careful and then, after she left and had closed the door behind her, I searched the floor for my balls.

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