Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mad drivers

I enjoy a fast ride as much as anybody but it annoys me when drivers check how fast their cars can go 0->60 on a residential street. On Friday, I was crossing my street with SiM when I noticed a Honda Odyssey zooming towards us. Thank Gd, he slowed down a bit, apparently realizing that at his previous speed he won't necessarily clear us.

I blessed the car and its driver as they passed us. To my amazement, the van soon pulled into one of the neighboring driveways. Apparently, the zooming madman is my neighbor and a father of a few kids. I wanted to share my thoughts on speeding with him but unfortunately by the time I finished strapping SiM into his car seat, the zoomer was gone.

What kind of urgency is there for these fast driving moms and dads? Do they think it's ok to speed on a residential street as long as it isn't their street? ( or in case of my neighbor, as long as their kid isn't walking on it?) Do they think at all?!


Thursday, November 19, 2009


this is not a post on to-pacify-or-not-to-pacify or any of its derivatives. It's just my reflections on something I saw...

Today I was coming home from a grocery store and towards me, on a narrow sidewalk, walked a woman with a double stroller and a couple of kids in tow. When we approached each other, I gave her way and in the process I noticed how tired, even spent she looked. I also noticed a happy-looking three year old with a pacifier in his mouth.

A three year old with a pacifier in his mouth. It made me think for the next two minutes it took me to walk home. A paci in a mouth of a three year old is like a pregnant stomach to some people. They feel compelled to comment, try to remove it (pat it in a pregnant stomach case), tell stories from their experience. But in both cases, NoOne cares for these displays of attention. I saw how tired the mom looked, and I think I know why the three year old had the pacifier.

In short, it's socially unacceptable for a stranger to solicit advise on, for example, use of laxatives to someone who looks constipated and it's just as unacceptable to give advice on pacifiers or/and prenatal demeanor.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mazal tov to Moishe Holtzberg

"Thousands Mark Anniversary of Mumbai Terror Attack, As Moishe Turns 3 Celebrating His Upsherin " reads one of the articles in VosIsNeias.

It's been a year since terrorists murdered close to 200 people in Mumbai including Moishe's parents and 4 other Jews in Chabad house, Hy'd. My memory of this event is very clear still. The horror, the disbelief, the relief unon hearing that Moshe was saved, praying and hoping against hope that there were survivors in the Nariman house.

So, thank Gd for little Moishe and happy birthday to him. Hashem should comfort the families of the victims. And in words of the hero, Sandra Samuel, her message to the world is "to carry on life, be strong and that's it."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What's your name

Today, while on my way to pick up Eh from school, I met one of my neighbors. She wished me mazal tov on the new baby, asked me how we both are.

As we were parting, I said 'Good to see you, Rivky!'
"Hmm... Rivky is my upstairs neighbor. My name is Malka.' my neighbor replied politely.

I apologized for my mistake and told Malka that from now on, I'll call her by her right name.
However, two hours later, to my great embarrassment I remembered having a little chat with Malka before that ended with 'Good to see you, Rivky!' and 'I'm sorry, I won't forget your name now!'

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I think I'll keep my day job

While on maternity leave and nursing, I have some free time to read, watch the cooking channel, or eBay. Sometimes I choose eBay.

While pregnant, I managed to eBay and purchase too many items. So at this point in my life, I tried my luck as a salesperson and attempted to sell some of my maternity stuff. I listed one of the maternity dresses that I bought in a lot. I didn't wear it because it wasn't my speed and used.

The dress sold for an obscene $70. Albeit new it costs close to $200, I described the dress as having minor signs of wear, and I was naturally excited that it raked in so much. My excitement was somewhat short lived. Here's a condensed story in form of emails...

Sally Hazel (SH): hi, I sent you an invoice earlier today with two different shipping quotes (2 different services). Please let me know if you didn't receive it for some reason. thanks, Sally
[Paypal indicated that buyer was from London. After I emailed her an invoice, I received a 'request for total due'. I sent the above email as an explanation of my invoice.]

Buyer (B): Hi, I am now confused. Did you send me shipping quote for the US or the UK?I am now in the US NOT in London. Let me know and I'll pay straight away. Many thanks, Violetta

SH: Hi, I sent you a bill for your London address. Please change your address on Paypal and I'll be able to send you another invoice. sorry for the inconvenience, Sally

B: [Requested total from the seller]

SH: hi, I cannot change the bill until you change your address. sorry for the inconvenience. thanks, Sally

B: Hi, I've changed the address but it won't let me change the country! so now it seems as though canal street is in the UK... Hmm... Does that work? Thanks and sorry for inconvenience..Violetta

SH: hi, please confirm your shipping address. paypal is giving me a hard time. thanks, Sally

B: [emailed her address]

B: Hi,I just received the dress and I am unfortunately not at all happy with the condition. What you described in the listing as 'minimal piling present under arms' is in reality heavy piling, especially over the right breast, in very plain view. I wouldn't have minded light piling under arms but I think the dress is not at all in the condition advertised. Please advise as I wouldn't have bid $70 for a dress in such poor condition. Many thanks, Violetta

SH: hi, Sorry you aren't' happy with the dress. I thought I described it accurately ( I even asked a second opinion before listing it). Please ship it back and I'll refund your $. Or you can drop it off in Midtown during business hours if that would be more convenient ( let me know and I'll give the the exact address).Thanks, Sally

SH: I just thought of something else. If the dress fits you- to save you the time of returning and me of relisting the dress- you can bring it to cleaners to remove whatever piling bothers you. I'll issue you partial refund. Let me know if that's something that'll work for you, thanks, Sally

B: Hi, I'm sorry but in the condition it is in I don't think the dress is worth half what I paid for it, even if drycleaner managed to work miracles.I can come drop it off tomorrow. Could you give me an address? Also, would you refund Paypal? Many thanks Violetta

SH: No problem, I'll refund your account as soon as I get the dress . but since I didn't hear from you yesterday and my friend who works on Lexington only works Mon through Fri, please ship it. Thanks, Sally

B: Ehhhr... It's Saturday tomorrow so you wouldn't be able to receive it by mail before Tuesday anyway?!? I find your inflexibility disheartening. Oh well.

SH: Shrug. I'm bending over backwards to accommodate you with a return of an item which is normally not returnable ...I wasn't able to reach my friend for exact address . I'll email you by Sunday with the address . Please return the dress by Mon between 9-5 business hours. Thanks, Sally

SH: My friend will be at work tomorrow from 8:00 till 5:00 with a break for lunch from 1:00 to 2:00. The exact address is ... You can call 212-...and ask for... - she will meet you in the lobby, if you do not want to come up. Thank you.

B: still awaiting your address for return. Please advise. I'd like to be done with this as soon as possible. Many thanks, Violetta

SH: I mailed you the address and Even her phone number yesterday. If I don't get the dress tomorrow I won't be able to take it back. Thank you, Sally

B: You have not emailed me anything yesterday. You said in your last correspondence with me that you would have sent me address on Sunday but you didn't.I DIDN"T, repeat DIDN'T, receive ANYTHING from you yesterday and I check my email several times a day.If this is a clever trick to avoid returning an inappropriately advertised item, then know that I will not hesitate in opening a Paypal/Ebay dispute and I will not hesitate in leaving you a negative feedback.Please advise as soon as possible as this is getting ridiculous.Violetta

B: I just saw this [the email with the address in the city] in my Ebay inbox. It was clearly sent today NOT yesterday.

SH: Please cancel this transaction [trying to recover the fee ebay charged for the sale that didn't happen].

B: Happy to cancel transaction after I receive the refund.Many thanks Violetta

B: Please advise Re: refund

B: I really think that as a gesture of goodwill you should have refundd the entire amount (USD 74.95).i'd like to remind you that had you been accurate in your description there would have been no need to return the item so it is really cheap on your part to not refund postage.

PS. I still await for the transaction to be cancelled and wonder why I felt any sympathy at all for pregnant cheep Violetta?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Expensive cheese

No matter how frequently and how carefully I try to cut my baby's nails, she manages to scratch herself. So for the most part of a 24 hour period, I keep her hands covered with special undershirts that have little mittens at the end (the proper name of this garment eludes me at the moment).

Whenever my baby's hands get released from their 'jails' they are a bit smelly. Last week, at the beginning of another round of let-baby's-hands-breathe, I apologized to the babysitter for baby's smelly hands and explained that I didn't wash them yet. But the babysitter wisely replied " No need to apologize. The baby smells like an expensive cheese...The smell is wonderful."

I instantly realized that she was right. I'm not a fan of expensive aged cheeses but everything about baby smells is quite delicious and wonderful. And incidentally, her nickname now is (Expensive) Cheese.

When I gave the baby her first official bath today, I told both of us that the cheese nickname may now have to be changed. But, I didn't change it just yet.