No Man Should Have Power Like This


I know I’ve already posted about the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter, but I’m so excited about it, I’m posting about it again. There are now more than 75,000 backers and the total is up to $3.5M. If you love reading, if you love supporting literacy, if you love LeVar Burton, if you love Reading Rainbow, donate $5!

And check out the Funny or Die spoof of the Reading Rainbow theme song.

I will post about my birthday trip to Block Island this weekend…

Here’s a teaser: a photo of Cindy the zedonk.


The Hellfire That Is “Romantic Jail”


I’ve been online dating off and on for about eight years now. I came across this article by Katie Heaney the other day and found it terribly funny and terribly depressing. I’d like to add a 7th category of message, under which most of the messages I receive fall. I would call it something like “Least Amount of Effort Possible” or “I Didn’t Even Glance at Your Profile for a Millisecond” or “Your Cat Could Write a Longer Message.” The majority of the messages that I receive are one sentence long. And they usually read “Hi, how are you?” or “How is your weekend going?” The prize for minimal effort goes to the guy who sent just one word, “cute.”

Online daters, what is the worst/funniest message that you’ve received?

My usual expression while surfing (Courtesy of
My usual expression while surfing
(Courtesy of


Out of Balance


I’ve been bad about balancing my checkbook lately. Am I alone or do others fall behind, too? Filling out line items for the entire previous month seemed daunting, which led me to do one quick computation and write the following in my checkbook (second line):












This reminded me of an interaction I had with a customer rep from my bank that took place a few months ago. I lost my ATM card and I called to request a replacement. The customer rep needed to verify that I was who I claimed to be. The only way this could be done was for me to give her my account’s most recent deposit amount. I tried in vain to recall the amount, and she said, “You can look at your checkbook.” I replied, “I don’t balance my checkbook!” This was met with hoots of laughter. Luckily I realized that I could look up the deposit amount online.

I really do balance my check most of the time, Mom. Sometimes life just gets in the way…


Genie Breakthrough


At work this morning, I overheard three men, on separate occasions, being asked if they watched the Super Bowl. As each one replied “No,” I thought to myself, “These are my people.” A place in which men don’t even watch sports!

So, I had a genie breakthrough yesterday. I am still feeling the aftereffects of relief and awe. For months, I have been trying to find how/when/where my maternal great-grandparents entered the States. All I had to go on was some oral history that said that they came through Mexico because one of the children (Great-Aunt Gertie) had something wrong with her eyes.  My great-grandpa worked for the railroad (allegedly), and their first child was born in Turkey and the second in Egypt. They then ended up in California and Pennsylvania, having three more children. To add to the mystery, my great-grandparents have very common Italian names, and they changed the spelling of their last name at some point (Grandi to Grande).

The stars aligned somehow and I tracked down Aunt Gertie on a passenger list from New York. I hadn’t been looking at New York passenger lists, because my mom had been told they came through Mexico. There she was, with her parents and younger brother. I read the names a few times out of disbelief. They came to New York from Brazil in 1903. Brazil! And the document said my great-grandpa was a sculptor. A sculptor!

But the intrigue is far from over. The fam (or maybe just Great-Grandpa) possibly left the country and came back two other times.

According to later census records, they had been to the U.S. in 1902 and 1904. Oh boy. And the passenger list also said that they had been to the U.S. in 1902. Did they come to California and then leave the U.S., just to come back a year later? Their destination on the 1903 passenger list was the small coal-mining town in Pennsylvania where they settled.

Well, that’s enough genie talk for now. I’ve been sitting here typing with my teeth whitening strips on. Day 2 of 14! I’m not causing irreversible damage to my teeth, right??