Rants & Reflections

Life Really IS Good!

Just had to update the story about my experience with Life is Good:

I had mailed back the other customers’ orders and forgotten about the whole debacle when my dear friend, SueClegg, suggested on the blog that I contact the corporate office and let them know what had happened with Jakes Good Newport. So I took a few minutes yesterday to go on their website and send a short email to their customer service folks. It says that you’ll get a response within 48 hours.

This morning I got an email that said:

Hi Andrea,

I’m so sorry for what you experienced with your order from Jakes Good Newport and I want to thank you for taking the time…

Sighhhhhh. Why do ethical dilemmas seem to fall into my lap so often?

Over the weekend I went online to order some Life Is Good stuff – a couple pairs of flannel pj bottoms and some cute t-shirts to wear with them (oops, now I’ve shattered the illusion that I sleep in sizzling lace-and-mesh teddies). I searched around for inventory with the best pricing and shipping, and settled on a place out of Newport (my feelings about RI notwithstanding). The stuff showed up yesterday by USPS in a squishy mailing envelope, which I finally got around to opening last night. Inside was a plastic bag from the store filled with my purchases, and sticking up through the top of the…

Dear Fabulous Ladies,

As you know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and once again I’m taking the opportunity to share publicly my heartfelt gratitude for my own immense blessings and to shout from the rooftops about the critical importance of early detection and prevention.

Sadly, I don’t know a soul whose life hasn’t been touched in some way by breast cancer. In the past year alone, unfortunately I can say with confidence that either you or a woman you adore has had a scare or has been diagnosed or is undergoing treatment or has tragically lost her battle. So I take this opportunity to remind you, my friends, that you are empowered to make a difference for…


Like throngs of other tri-state Jews contemplating the Yom Kippur fast, early last evening I found myself clutching a number at the appetizing counter at Zabar’s, before our dinner reservation in midtown. (And just in case you were wondering, they had long run out of sturgeon, and weren’t getting any more before the holiday, much to the dismay of many who had been waiting patiently.) We had planned for our little culinary detour by stowing an icepack-filled cooler in the back of the car, and Lady Luck smiled on us by freeing up the corner parking space right in front of H&H, just as the light at 80th Street turned green.

We were hardly alone in our quest for smoked…

Doing a Mitzvah

I promised myself that since I’ve been writing furiously about food all month on the other blog, I wouldn’t blather on about life here unless something extraordinary happened.

Well, yesterday it did.

Yesterday was possibly the most thrilling and fulfilling day of my Jewish life.

Yesterday I wrote a Torah.

You see, some people join country clubs wherever they move. We. Join. Temples. Yes, we currently belong to three houses of worship in three different states—and we only recently lapsed our membership at a fourth, on Nantucket, since we don’t expect to return there in the near future.

But as soon as we move to a new community, we make introductions at the local temple, and our summer location was no…

Honeymoon of the Wired Age

Dreamy and glam as it sounds to be savoring this swank beach paradise with the one I love—and without kiddies—it’s not the honeymoon that it seems. There is no time off for my other half (mostly by his own design, but occasionally by someone else’s) and so every potential relaxing or romantic moment is interrupted by what he deems an extremely urgent phone call or the gentle vibration of his beloved crackberry or some earth-shattering document that absolutely must be signed that very minute and faxed/overnighted back or a form that must be input on the system as soon as humanly possible under threat of torture by running out of Bombay Sapphire.

And when he’s not toiling on all…

U-Haul? U-Hell!

Dropped all four boys for a month at sleep-away camp yesterday for the first time in, well, EVER!

Despite our intention to kick off our first major chunk of time alone together in over 14 years driving home in one car, the “guaranteed” U-Haul trailer we were going to load up and then dump near camp was, ummm, invisible at the pick-up location. Trying to get to the bottom of the situation was a barrel of laughs in phone prompt hell. At the end of the process, I apparently got to speak to the president of U-Haul—a lady named Gina with no last name! (She must be close personals with Cher. And Madonna. And Sting.) She was so polite and…

Mission Accomplished


Our middle school handed out the coveted Bedford Awards today. The only awards given at the school all year, they are essentially recognition for good citizenship. There are 300 kids in each grade, and only about 30 kids per grade receive the award. Each grade’s teachers select students who:

  • are respectful to peers and others
  • show extra effort
  • are active participants in school-wide activities
  • are friendly
  • are responsible
  • help out without being asked
  • work above and beyond what is expected

I am proud to share that one of my boys received a Bedford Award this afternoon.


And so did his brother.


And so did HIS brother.


Yes indeed, it was a Reiser Brothers trifecta! I guess you could call it a sweep.


You may remember the story…

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

I must admit I’m overwhelmed by people’s interest in Matthew’s new cochlear technology. I mean, I’m sometimes interested in cool stuff about friends’ kids, but I didn’t think most folks really gave that much of a hoot about the mundane happenings of my kids.

But for some reason people seem to have a fascination with hearing technology, and so I thought I’d chat a little more in depth about our family and hearing loss.

There’s no childhood hearing loss in either of our families, just garden variety late-in-life loss for a few uncles. (My Great Uncle Joe, a character who lived into his late-80s, lauded not the guy who invented hearing aids, but the guy who invented the off switch!) So…

Floral Solution

Cracked me up that only one reader—some anonymous, complete stranger from Cranston!—had big enough cojones to write their comment about my floral dilemma on yesterday’s blog page rather than email it to me! As it turned out, people’s opinions were almost evenly divided between “screw her” and “awww, be nice.”

At the risk of sounding like Randy Cohen, author of the New York Times’ “The Ethicist” column, I ended up doing the right thing, only because I knew the sender of the flowers. Had they been from some random person, I would have had those peonies on my counter faster than it would take Speidi to accept yet another fame whore op. But my conscience said…