Rants & Reflections

Had my ticket to loserdom stamped shortly after midnight last night. Listening to the “70s on 7″ on the ride home from dinner (which is, of course, a major entrance ramp on the freeway to loserdom), and a song came on that I hadn’t heard in 35+ years, but it instantly transported me to my best friend’s basement-with groovy wood paneling, a built-in aquarium, a train set, a sewing machine, KerPlunk, and a turntable that perpetually spun our favorite album: K-Tel’s Music Express. It was that precise piece of vinyl that resulted in my joining right in last night as Disco Tex & His Sex-o-lettes crooned their mind-numbing single, “Get Dancin.” What a horrifying moment of revelation for my…


Someone made my day on Wednesday. As I sifted through the assorted bills, catalogs, magazines and circulars that clog up my sturdy black mailbox, I spotted a small white envelope that was hand-addressed in swirly script to ME! I smiled when I saw that it had been sent to “Mrs. David Reiser,” and it made perfect sense when I saw that the return-address sticker had the name of a very dear, nearly lifelong friend of my beloved late grandparents. The darling and ever-sassy Helene is 93, and although she uses email and has my email address, she chose to put pen to paper and write me a letter. I was tickled pink, and I tucked the handwritten note in…


The 89 Club

Friday afternoons, I get an email updating me on some of my kids’ grades. Not all teachers use the online grade book, but those who do enable me to log in and check test and assignment scores, overall grades and any missing assignments. And what repeatedly kills me is when I see that my kid has an 89.3% average in a class. Almost in the A range-but not quite.

It inevitably brings on the “If only…” complex.

“If only I had turned the page over and seen that last problem.”

“If only I had gotten one more vocab word correct.”

“If only the teacher added in extra credit now instead of at the end of the quarter, you’d see that I have an…


This Brady Bunch Life Tip is inspired by the very first episode of The Brady Bunch, titled “The Honeymoon” (original air date September 26, 1969).

8 Ideas for Keeping Your Cool in Times of Stress 1. Know your triggers. Can you avoid a situation that you know may trigger stress? Can you develop some useful tools to help you from losing your cool when you encounter a trigger?

2. Stop yourself from reacting instantly. Realize that you can control your emotions, and remind yourself not to overreact.

3. Treat your body well! This includes getting enough sleep, doing physical exercise to release frustration, and limiting your caffeine intake.

4. Lighten up and try to find some humor. Is this something that seems catastrophic in…


Matt’s D’var Torah: Toldot

I wanted to share Matt’s D’var Torah (the lesson he presented about the Torah portion he was about to read) for three reasons:

1. I love the lesson he chose to teach.

2. He looks so handsome!

3. He was born with profound hearing loss, and there was a time when we didn’t know if he would ever speak English, let alone be standing in front of 500 people about to read from the Torah! He has used a cochlear implant since he was four, and in a wild coincidence, we realized that his implant had been activated nine years to the day before his bar mitzvah…how cool is that?!

This was an incredibly proud evening for Matt, as well as for all…


Our Blessing for Matthew

One of my absolute favorite parts of bar mitzvah prep is writing the parents’ blessing that I get to read to my child in front of our guests at the service, and this time around was no exception. What a joy to write from the heart about my youngest baby and my hopes, wishes and dreams for him! I highly recommend this exercise to all parents at some point. It doesn’t have to coincide with a bar mitzvah or other special occasion. It doesn’t need to be long or be particularly eloquent and elaborate. And you don’t need a microphone and an audience of 500 people to hear it! This heartfelt piece took only about an hour to write,…


A Baby Smile = A Ray of Sunshine

It’s a mundane Monday morning, but I just had the best pick-me-up I can imagine.

Out running errands. An eye exam – at 45 I finally need the lowest power reading glasses. (You’re welcome, dining companions who’ve kindly been holding up the menu across the table for me to read.)

And then Home Goods, which gave me my first earful of “Silllllver belllllls…” this season. Seems everyone is already out Christmas shopping, so I got into a rather long line to buy two very unimportant things. I settled in, and looked around at the thoroughly unenticing impulse-buy items like mini-Kleenex imprinted with Santas and candy canes that they’re hoping we suckers will snag en route to the register.

The lady in front…


So here’s my question: What happens when the last hopeful girl on earth to provide cheer, encouragement, optimism and compassionate advice just ain’t feelin’ it no more? When the mood of the country has plunged so deep into the abyss that she can’t muster

the energy to be the ray of sunshine so many people count on? When she’d rather just stay inside the blithe and peaceful home she’s created than get swallowed into the angry, depressing underbelly of the world outside her windows? Because it’s happened, kids. My glass has officially dipped below half-full. The last upbeat optimist has left the building.

If you have any brilliant solutions or advice for me, would you kindly let me know? (Perhaps…


As the mom of four teenage boys, every one of the last 6,800+ days has been a learning adventure. I recently decided to reflect on some of the—uhhhh—let’s call it “wisdom” that my guys have imparted to me directly, as well as several axioms I’ve learned while parenting them. I’m proud and simultaneously a little horrified to share a bunch of these insightful (i.e. questionably useful) nuggets of knowledge. But here we go nonetheless:

  • Humans smell markedly better when they use soap in the shower.
  • Wise-assery is hereditary.
  • Wearing a blue blazer improves behavior.
  • “Please” and “thank you” are still cool.
  • When your team loses, a good night’s sleep erases some of the sting.
  • The older your driver’s license, the less of…

  • Click to play an original video in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you’re due (or overdue) for a mammogram or MRI, please call today to schedule it! Don’t let breast cancer join your list of regrets.

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