Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Next Stop, Assisted Living

I've been getting mail solicitations to join AARP for a few years, but this recent one in particular caught my eye because it included a free gift with membership -- something that actually looked useful. My daughter saw it laying on the counter, and laughingly asked if I was going to join. I told her I might, because the trunk organizer was kind of neat. "Trunk organizer?" she exclaimed. "I thought it was a diaper holder!"

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

From the Diary of Osama Bin Laden

Earlier today, while listening to the news on my car radio, I heard it reported that Osama Bin Laden had been keeping a diary. If it's anything like most people's diaries, one might assume that he kept an account of his hopes and dreams, as well as his day-to-day happenings, both exciting (to him) and mundane. Needless to say, I couldn't help but imagine what some of those entries might look like. Not only that, but just imagine what the diary itself looked like! Was it simple and utilitarian, made of goatskin? A fuzzy purple and glitter-accented number from Claire's? Or perhaps pink and pretty, with Hello Kitty on the cover. Tasteless? Maybe, but just think of the possibilities.

July 30, 2001: Dear Diary...One of these days, I will crash not one, not two, but at least three -- maybe four! -- planes into filthy American landmarks.

September 12, 2001: Dream has (mostly) come true!

December 13, 2001: My video was released today by the imperialist government of the United States and was a rousing success, but I still can't help but think that the caftan I was wearing made my hips look big.

November 3, 2004: This cave is cozy enough, but terribly dreary. It definitely could use a woman's touch. Perhaps it is time that I take a new wife.

January 19, 2006: So some news agencies are claiming that the voice on the tape released today is not, in fact, mine. Of course it is! Everyone knows that the Jews control the media!

August 24, 2007: Stewed goat, roasted goat, braised goat, goat in a blanket, goat fricassee, goat a-la-orange -- when will it end?

March 11, 2009: Abbottabad is rather charming for such a provincial town, but the view from this villa is lousy. Who thought to build an 18 foot wall? Stupid architect!

April 30, 2011: I am thinking of taking on a seventh wife, but my advisors tell me that it would mean I have to up my life insurance policy and pay higher premiums. Bah! What could possibly happen?

May 1, 2011: I have this funny feeling today that I just can't shake. Oh, never mind!

May 2, 2011: It's hot in here.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

In My Wildest Dreams

Although this didn't happen yesterday -- it actually took place about a year and a half ago -- I still find myself sighing in wonder about an event I never could have imagined. Not that what took place was truly unimaginable in any way, but given my family history and all that it involved, I feel like the luckiest person in the world. And it all comes down to this (much abandoned) blog.

On August 12, 2009 I received an email I almost didn't open because from the address and title, it appeared to be spam. The name, although not necessarily a common one like Smith or Jones, wasn't all that unusual, and the subject line said, "It's been a very, very long time." I figured it must be from a company I might have ordered something from way back when or, more likely, some kind of come-on for a sex site (I am forever getting emails offering me the opportunity to increase the size of my non-existent penis). But for some reason, I actually opened it.

It said:


I read your blog today for the first time and I could certainly relate to some of your insecurities, especially since we share some of the same genes.

I'm your long lost cousin Lori, yes your uncle Bernie's daughter.

Oddly enough, I live pretty close to you, in North Hills.

Would you be interested in meeting for a cup of coffee?


Lori, my first cousin, who along with her sister Carol, I hadn't seen (save for one brief meeting in 1989) on any regular basis since 1975.

I was stunned, immediately knocked into a daze. All I could say aloud was "Holy shit," which I continued repeating both outwardly and inwardly for some time afterward. But it sure didn't stop me from responding, and I dashed off an email immediately. We made plans to meet the following Sunday for breakfast at a nearby diner.

It was one of the most wonderful days of my life. And not long afterward, I saw Carol again, too, who as it turned out originally found my blog and passed the information on to Lori. And since then, we have been together on every Jewish holiday -- Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, Passover -- holidays that long held emotionally-loaded memories for me of my immediate family in all its dysfunctional glory, but were now replaced by a sense of peace I never could have dreamed possible. And every bit as wonderful, my children have been afforded the opportunity to celebrate these occasions as well -- with others, not just us, alone -- creating for them warm memories that will hopefully remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Life is good.