Daily Archives: July 15, 2009

Chez Papa Ernie’s

We went out to eat tonight at this new restaurant / steakhouse. Its owner is a well known caterer and previous restaurant owner. The décor was not impressive. I didn’t appreciate eating opposite a painting of the back end of a cow, nor the fake cow hides on the tables. The waiters were dressed in denim shirts and jeans – too casual for my liking. The place was packed and the noise level was deafening. We brought the average age of the diners down by 30 years. The prices were fair considering it’s a kosher restaurant.

The service was prompt but the server was way too fresh. As soon as I had sat down he materialized with the menu (as I said, prompt) but he just had to make a comment about how much he liked my shoes. (pink espadrilles which lace up around the ankle).

The food came within 10 minutes and I must say my steak was cooked to perfection and all the sides were delicious and well presented. I cleared my plate. My dinner companion was not pleased with what she ordered, unfortunately, but didn’t send it back. The waiter came to clear away our dishes, looked at my empty plate and said “it’s always the skinny ones that can pack it away”. I thought that was highly inappropriate and forward. There is a huge difference between being charming and making the diner feel skeeved out.

The food was good but I was very disappointed in the ambiance. I expected more from Ernie. But this place has been open only 5 weeks, so I guess I will have to give it time. If you go, just make sure you take the door to the right. One on the left is to a massage parlour.

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Because rolling is too much effort!!

t-sweater_bigI have seen it all now. A tefillin sweater , coz it’s just so hard to roll up your sleeve when you need to daven. Puhleeze!!

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Handshaking – leads to mixed dancing?

I grew up Modern Orthodox and as such never spared a thought to hugging uncles, shaking hands with parents’ business associates etc, slapping a male playmate who took my toy… But the world I now live in is vastly different.

We are not supposed to touch members of the opposite sex. Period. Ever. Unless we are married to them or directly related. Even in business, we are not supposed to shake hands with the opposite sex.

I don’t know that I agree with this. If someone is unaware of this rule and he puts his hand out for me to shake – it looks awful if I don’t shake it. It’s rude and makes us look bad. I know a person who would say “sorry I don’t shake hands” – and I would always cringe every time she said it.

We are not supposed to touch opposite sex people in an affectionate manner – derech chiba. Is handshaking affectionate? It’s business. But, wait,  I am starting to hear whispers of the slippery slope argument. If you permit yourself to shake hands, maybe if they want to kiss you hello, you will have no problem with it. It IS business after all. Next thing you know you will be dancing at their weddings – even if it’s only business.

My rule of thumb is that if someone extends their hand to me I always shake. Sometimes when I feel the situation warrants it, I will proffer the hand, but that happens rarely. The problem becomes more serious when you live in a place like Montreal, where the two cheek kiss is as acceptable as a handshake in certain business settings. Obviously only people you have worked with or met before will greet you this way – and having an exisiting working relationship you are able to explain that it’s not acceptable to you for religious reasons. But that’s easily explained ONLY when there already is an exisiting relationship. Meeting someone for the first time – and rudely ignoring that hand, well, that’s just plain ridiculous in my view.

There are those that call handshaking negiah and would be scandalized to see a male /  female handshake in our world. I disagree. It’s a terrible aveirah to embarrass someone or have him think us Jews are standoffish.

So all things considered, I shake (I do not stir).

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Quick non scientific poll

Women – Do you cry too much? Do you cry a lot? What makes you cry? Are you a self described cry baby? Does your male partner cry too? What do you think of that?

Men – do you cry? When? Do you think your wife or female significant other cries too much? Do you think crying on your part is threatening to your masculinity?

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Mousey Mousey Come out of your Housey

So I am sitting here in the quiet early morning, savouring my coffee and checking my FaceBook, and out of the corner of my eye I see something small moving. I swung my head around to look and it was a rodent, a rat I thought. I was sure I was seeing things. Then I saw it again and I screamed. I did the whole “stand in the middle of the bed and scream like a banshee while clutching the covers to me” stereotypical thing. Woke up my boys who came running to save me from the rodent monster.

I was a quivering mess, stammering “there’s a rat there’s a rat there’s a rat”. (I am such a wuss) The two oldest quickly got their fly swatter and a garbage pail and stood in wait. After 20 seconds they saw it and started chasing him excitedly, while pointing out to me that it was too small to be a rat, it had to be a mouse. The kids ran all over the apartment chasing it, trying to trap it. I kept imploring them not to kill it, just get it the heck away from me and my brood. I sent one of the others downstairs to get the super.

All the while I am totally freaking out. My little men made total fun of me – “Ima, it’s just a little thing, what are you so scared of?” My little Prince ChatterBox stayed with me and promised to keep me safe, but I just kept feeling my flesh crawl.

It took a long 20 minutes for the super to get here – with his traps and food etc. and during that time a friend called to let me know that mice like to poop in shoes so I should check them – do you freaking know how many pair of shoes I have? And to check them all for rodent droppings? Can’t I just get new ones??

The traps are down, the super also got his little dig in too – as have many other people over twitter and FB. Yes I know it’s a tiny little thing. I know I am bigger than it. I know it can do me no harm. I know that LOGICALLY. Emotionally? – get it the heck away from me right now!!! Now I have to wait for the little mouse to die. I don’t want it to die, I just want it out of here. I don’t do crawly things. I am scared to put my feet on the floor. I so need to shower – I am scared it will pop its head out of the drain. (Over reacting much??)

I don’t think I can be here all day – I will be waiting to hear the click of the mousetrap…. Poor little mousey.

The kids are sitting in the kitchen eating breakfast as if nothing happened – the thought of food right now just nauseates me. But the kids have had the best entertainment in years, and it didn’t cost me a penny. (oh the stories they will tell about their mother in camp today…..)

ETA – while this was happening my oldest also told me I should text the KoD to drive up from Monsey and save me.

KoD texted me : you should get a nice TAIL out of this….

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Packing Up and Moving

So it’s no secret that the kids and I are waiting patiently for our Visas to come so that we can move lock, stock and barrel to be with our KoD in NY. I have slowly started decluttering, but not having a fixed moving date yet makes it hard to be motivated.

When the visas do come through it will be a whirlwind of packing and boxes and selling furniture etc. I need tips on how to do it all peacefully, calmly, efficiently and without losing my mind. Any help?

Movies in The three weeks

I am so confused. I was brought up that during this period of mourning on the Jewish calendar we have no parties, host no weddings, don’t listen to music – live or otherwise, even acappella –and there is no going to the movies or to the theatre or any live entertainment. I didn’t grow up ultra orthodox. We were modern orthodox as were many of the people around us.

So last night the new Harry Potter movie came out. My boys didn’t even think to ask me to take them because it’s the three weeks. A no brainer. But in reading FaceBook and Twitter many of my more religious friends did just that – went to the movies to watch it. Now these are people that I would think know that in the 3 weeks we don’t go to movies.

Is it a North American Jewry thing, or am I machmir by default?

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wednesdays wacky signs

divorce