Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Boca Raton

Like “Jersey Boys”

My mother called up from her winter rental in Century Village, Boca Raton, Florida.

“Hey, Mom.  How you doing?”

“Good.  I saw a fabulous show last night.”

“Oh yeah?  What?”

“I forgot the name.   A singing group.  There is a show about them on Broadway.”

“I don’t know.”

“You do know.”

“Frankie…”

“You mean Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons?”

“Yes.”

“You saw Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons?”

“No.”

“Oh, you mean they had a production of Jersey Boys at Century Village?”

“No.  It was people doing the songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.”

“So, that’s Jersey Boys.”

“No, Jersey Boys is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  This had no story.  It was just the songs of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.”

“So, they were Frankie Valli and the Four Season imitators?”

“No, they were more imitators of Jersey Boys.”

“Jersey Boys ARE imitators of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  So what you saw was an imitator of an imitator.”

“But they were very good.  Now I don’t need to pay $100 and see Jersey Boys.”

“This reminds me of when you went to Italy last year and the tour bus ran out of time, so they took you to see an imitation of the imitation of the statue of David.”

“Next week, I’m going to see Tom Jones.”

“Tom Jones is coming to Century Village?!”

“No.  Someone who sings like him.”

“Then STOP saying you’re going to see Tom Jones.  You’re not seeing Tom Jones.  You’re seeing a Tom Jones imitator.  It is confusing me when you say that.  Say that you are seeing a Tom Jones imitator.”

“It says in the brochure, “Hear the music of Tom Jones.””

“Yeah, it is the songs of Tom Jones.  But you’re not really seeing Tom Jones.”

“Eh, if he is good enough, does it really matter?”

“So, why don’t you hire someone who looks and sounds JUST like me to be your imitation son.  That would be the same thing, right?”

“Maybe my imitation son would actually send me a Hanukkah card, hmm?”

Reality Television

After three days of searching to buy something online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I ended up with nothing. Everything I truly wanted, like a HD Camcorder with a built in GPS and electric shaver, was just too expensive.

If I was ever going to be a decent consumer, I needed more money. And fast. But how? Blogging was a dead end street. Writing? Only complete idiots go into writing to make money. I took a long, hard, cold look at myself in the bathroom mirror and accepted that I had no marketable skills other than being a “social media expert” (code for being on Twitter a lot, telling silly jokes)

When times are tough, and they are in America in 2009, there is only one option available for someone unskilled like myself — getting onto reality television. From faking balloon dramas to crashing White House parties, the best and brightest of our country know the route to success is not hard work, but landing a reality show on Bravo.

I sat down with my mother during breakfast this morning to discuss my options. I assumed she wanted “in” on the deal.

“We need to come up with a stunt that will get us attention.” I said. “Something that will knock any mention of health care reform off the news. We want America talking about us.”

“I don’t know. Maybe I could smash your car window with a golf club.”

“Eh. That’s old.”

“You would have better luck getting a reality show with Sophia,” said my mother. “Maybe you can get a show called “The Weirdest Marriage Ever.”

“No. I think the two of us have a better on-air dynamic. Besides, she isn’t talking to me.”

We took a few moments to brainstorm as we ate our Cheerios. I suggested that we try to come up with an idea that said “New York,” to give our gimmick some local flavor.

My mother had an idea.

“I saw on eyewitness news that they are lighting the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center on Wednesday.”

“Perfect. The cameras will already be there for our stunt.”

But what would be our stunt?

“I got it!” I shouted. “How about — right before they light the tree — we CLIMB up the tree — shocking everything with our daring ways! We would definitely get a reality show from that. Can’t you see the promotion? — “Mother and son who’ll do anything! Every week, a different stunt!”

My mother was not impressed.

“I’m too old to climb the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree anymore. And seriously, are you going to be able to climb the tree?”

“I can try.”

“Have you ever climbed a tree?”

“No, but I am sure there are branches that you can hold on to.”

My mother continued to express her doubt.

“Besides, it is too dangerous. Some NYPD cop might just shoot you off the tree, and you would fall flat on your face, like King Kong. And then, there will be no reality show at all.”

“That’s true.”

I went back into thinking mode, or “put on my thinking cap,” as they used to say.

“Eureka!” I said, knowing that people are suppose to say “Eureka” at moments like this, even though I’m not sure why. “We can both streak naked across Rockefeller Center during the tree lighting — right in front of the tree — right in front of the cameras.”

“It’s going to be freezing outside.”

“We’ll just be outside for a second. Then we’d run into 30 Rock to get dressed. I know a soup place around the corner where we can warm up with some hot chicken soup.”

Then my mother said something that completely changed the tone of the conversation.

“I just realized I can’t do this with you on Wednesday!”

“Why not?” I asked, already disappointed.

“I’m flying back to Boca Raton tomorrow. Time for me to be a snowbird again!”

“Back to Florida? Tomorrow? Already? For how long?”

“Until April. Back when the birds and flowers return.”

“So, you mean — I’m back to living on my own?”

I bowed my head, acting like a drama queen.

“Don’t look so sad. You should be happy. The place is yours now. Your own little bachelor pad. Don’t you have those BlogHer and Kirtsy parties this week? Why don’t you bring a few of those blogging babes over here for a little partying and “getting it on!” I know you have been having dreams about ****ing ***** and ****** and ******* and especially ****** in the ******!”

“Mom, that’s disgusting!” I said, in total shock. “I’ve never heard you talk like that before!”

But when I looked up at my mother, she was drinking her orange juice, looking as if she never made that outburst at all.

“Huh? What are you talking about?” she asked, confused. “I said I am going to Florida tomorrow.”

“You didn’t mention anything about having wild parties in the apartment?”

“I said I HOPE you keep the apartment clean.”

“So, who…”

“Yoo-hoo!”

I felt a tapping on my thigh. I looked down under the table.

“Penis, is that you?!” I asked. It had been ages since I had heard him talking to me. I totally gave up on this crass literary gimmick hoping to never see him again as I made my blog into something more “classy,” hoping to appeal to a more educated demographic.

“Surprised to see me pop up like this?” he joked.

“I thought we were done with the cheap sex gags on this blog.”

“Sorry about that, sucker! You can’t keep a good Penis down.”

“But why? Why this sudden reappearance?”

“Reappearance?” he chuckled. “Oh, Neil, I never left. I NEVER LEFT.”

Florida Vacation Photos!

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West Palm Beach, Florida

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Delray Beach, Florida

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Sophia and My Mother

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The water was much warmer than at the beach in LA.

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I kept on seeing these hunky guys on the beach with no hair on their bodies, so I tried to shave my back, but mostly just cut myself.

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Palm Beach — the good ol’ days (for everyone except the guy pushing the chair).  Look at the contrast in expressions.

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The Flagler Mansion in Palm Beach.   Flagler is the man who “created modern Florida” through his building of the railroad and his somewhat shady dealings with the government.   Our tour guide was a very well-dressed older man who I think just lost his fortune in the Madoff ponzi scheme and was forced to take a job giving visitors tours of the mansion.

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The Flagler Museum offers a “high tea.”  It was fun, but the sandwiches were so measly that we went out to lunch afterwards.

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There are canals all along the coast, and drawbridges everywhere, especially in Fort Lauderdale.   I was surprised how patient  the drivers were, waiting in their cars with no honking.   This would not happen in New York.

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I know everyone is waiting for me to make fun of Century Village, with all the residents at “death’s door,” but it really wasn’t that bad.  Sure, there was a good amount of senior Jewish kvetching about their aching backs by the former New York residents, but let’s give kudos to modern science for keeping all of us alive longer, and in better health.    Here is my mother and a couple of her friends talking about the younger man who is taking a shower in the apartment next door and the size of his penis.   (Ha Ha, my mother was NOT happy with that post, because she just told all of her friends at Century Village to read my blog — and the first post they read was…)

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The “Clubhouse” is the central attraction at Century Village, much like the Student Union on a college campus.    Inside this nice building is a gym, a library, art studios, card rooms, and a theater.    Thousands of people live in Century Village and they have their own bus system.

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The lobby of the Clubhouse is as nice as one at any Hyatt Hotel.

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The clubhouse has several enormous Las Vegas sized card rooms.   My mother played canasta, mah jonng, Scrabble, etc.    Let’s admit it — this isn’t that much different than the stupid games we play on Facebook.   At least here, the residents are playing with REAL people, face to face.

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The entertainment offered to the residents is surprisingly good.   While I didn’t go to any of the recent shows, they included an ABBA and Beatles tribute band, Chubby Checker, and a night with Robert Klein.   Robert Klein!   Hey, I guess we all get older.   Would it really be that surprising to have Prince and Janet Jackson performing for us when we are at Century Village?

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Here is some belly dancer at a Greek restaurant that I am throwing in, just for the sex appeal.   We were there for the early bird special!   Since I was one of the younger men there, she invited me to dance with her.   Sorry, no video camera.

My mother returns to New York at the end of the month.   This year was an experiment, and she seemed to enjoy skipping the New York winter for three months.    But I’m not sure she’s ready to spend ALL her time playing canasta just yet.  I think she misses the big city.

As for me — and what I am doing next now that she is returning? — I certainly can’t live with my mother forever.   That is too weird, even for me.   I would grow despondent and spend all my time on Twitter.   Uh-oh.

So what is my next step?   Ha, I’m not going to tell you!   I’m going to keep it vague — just to keep you coming back to the blog, in the same way that you keep on watching “Lost,” despite having no idea what the hell is going on.  In fact, isn’t that WHY you watch it?!

The Canasta Group of Boca Raton

My first observation when I moved into the retirement community at Century Village was the lack of men at the clubhouse. The ratio was 2-1.

“Where are all the men?” I asked.

“They’re dead,” said Rita, my blunt neighbor, a former buyer at Macy’s.

That made sense, as the women lived, on the average, for another seven-eight years after their husbands had passed.

My name is Birdie. Two years after moving to Boca Raton from Queens, my husband, Sam, a shoemaker and amateur trumpeter, collapsed as he was in line waiting to buy a 12-Pack of Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda at Publix. As his heart beat its last solo, Sam tightly gripped a can of his favorite soda in his wedding-ringed hand.

“Damn, and the soda was on sale!” he said as his soul floated to heaven.

Sam was a good man.

Today is my 76th birthday. In the morning, Rita drove me to the Bagel House on Glades Street. Rita always drove at 5 MPH, so it took us a half hour to go three blocks. Rita never learned to drive in Brooklyn, so after her husband, Donald, died of a stroke, she took driving lessons with an Israeli driving instructor named Tal, and after ten lessons, she knew how to navigate the roads, well… barely. Rita could drive to the Bagel House, to Publix, and to Walgreens, but she didn’t venture much further than one mile from the retirement village.

At the Bagel House, Rita and I met up with Eleanor and Sunny. We played canasta as the Century Village foursome known as the “Dorseters,” named that because we lived in the “Dorset section” of the complex. At the Bagel House, I ordered my favorite breakfast dish – pastrami and eggs, with an everything bagel and cream cheese. Normally, I would order the non-fat cream cheese, but since it was my birthday, I felt that I should treat myself special.

After breakfast, we all returned to Rita’s apartment for our Wednesday afternoon canasta game. We were mid-way into the game, with Eleanor in the lead, the Stella Dora cookies almost gone, when we heard the sound of running water. Rita gave me a knowing glance.

“Should we?” asked Rita.

“No,” said Birdie. I have been brought up to say “no,” even when I didn’t know the meaning of the question. I especially said “no” to Rita when she asked a question. I love Rita, but our personalities are quite different, and I know that a question from Rita, a firecracker despite her two hip replacements, always meant trouble. This time, I understood Rita’s question, and what it entailed.

“What are you ladies talking about?” asked Sunny.

Rita beckoned to us, and we all gathered at the window, stepping behind the yellow couch, a wedding present from Rita’s in-laws, that Donald insisted that they take with them to Florida from their old apartment in South Philadelphia. Rita never was sure whether his reasons for shipping the couch were romantic and sentimental about their marriage, or his perennial nature as a momma’s boy, wanting to keep the memory of his mother alive with the couch.

“Oh my,” said Eleanor, as we all looked through Rita’s living room window into the shower stall of the adjacent apartment, Apartment D. The bathroom window in the other apartment was ajar. A young man — 30ish? — was taking a shower, unaware that his entire body was visible to whoever was in Rita’s living room. The young man had a broad chest and strong legs.

“Who is he?” asked Sunny.

Rita explained that he was the son of the woman who had just moved in, a snowbird renter, like many of the tenants. The son was visiting for the week. He was recently divorced.

Rita had already mentioned to me, in private, about the young man’s daily showers.

“You should come over and take a peek.” she said.

I told Rita that I wasn’t a sleazy voyeur… like her.

“I’m a grandmother!” I said, tossing my white hair like an ancient supermodel.

Twice, during the last week, I ran into the young man while walking the Dorset corridor, as I made my way to the laundry room. When I passed him by, I felt a sadness surrounding him. He nodded, but never spoke.

“Every afternoon, like clockwork, he takes a shower.” Rita told the other women, sounding as if she was one of those retired women who become a docent at the Bronx Zoo, volunteering just to get out of the house. “A very interesting shower.”

It was a beautiful South Florida day. Rita, Eleanor, Sunny, and I peered through the slats of Rita’s blinds, gazing at the naked young man taking a shower, the steamy stream of water hitting his body as he pleasured himself.

“When a man strokes his c*ck with his right hand like that, does that mean he is right handed?” Eleanor asked.

The women laughed at Eleanor, a retired second grade teacher with a New York accent. They never expected her to say the word “c*ck.”

“Donald used his left hand.” said Rita. “Although, sometimes he used his right hand. He was ambidextrous.”

“Marvin used both hands at once.” said Sunny.

“Tiny Marvin used both hands?” asked Rita.

Sunny nodded.

“Tiny Marvin had a dick the size of a kosher salami. I just wish he had been a better kisser, God rest his soul. But he was blessed him with a penis to die for, so I guess you can’t have everything in life.”

I was very uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation. I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family, and my dear, but strict, mother always avoided talking to me about the birds and the bees. Sex was for procreation and was to remain hidden from sight and thought.

I wanted to say to my friends, “Maybe we should return to our canasta game…,” but my lips could not form the words and I was unable to move away from the window, as if a magnetic force was keeping me fixed in place.

I sighed, accepting the fact that I was enjoying the young man. He seemed lost in his own world, his masculine hand moving up and down over his hardness. Who was he thinking about? Was he making love to a stranger or his wife? A childhood sweetheart? A movie star? A chance encounter on the beach? Was he making love to the woman the way she liked it — first entering her slowly, then faster, than slower again, as their bodies became one? Could his lover taste his sweaty salty lips as their tongues intertwined in a passionate dance? Was the woman as wet and eager as I had been herself in my younger days, when I used to make love with Sam after Shabbat dinner, riding him on the easy chair in the living room until he came inside of me, and I muffled my own cry so as not to wake up the two sleeping kids.

The young man in the shower had long brown hair, was tanned, and his penis stood proudly, at full attention, reminding me of that old photo of my husband when he was dressed in his captain’s uniform on that Navy ship, saluting the American flag. Captain Sam Horowitz. So handsome.

“What a good-looking young man,” said Sunny about the naked man in the shower, as she fanned herself with a take-out menu of the local Chinese restaurant. She was diabetic and always hot, but now she was hot for another reason. I could see Sunny’s nipples harden. I was always jealous of Sunny’s full breasts, still womanly despite her age, not sagging like mine.

I was feeling dizzy and tried to pull herself away from the window for a second time.

“C’mon, ladies, we have a game to play. We’re too old to be…”

“Nonsense,” said Rita. “Last week, I went out with Seymour Miller to Ben’s Deli for dinner. We’re not too old to be enjoying men.”

“There’s a big difference about having a deli sandwich with Seymour and THIS!” I said, always the moral center of any group, always the party pooper.

“The deli sandwich was the appetizer.” replied Rita. “He spent the rest of the night eating out my p*ssy in his apartment.”

“Oy!” said Eleanor. “I mean… WOW!”

“Randall was always reluctant to do that because he thought my vagina smelled like fish,” said Sunny.

“Donald said the same thing!” said Rita. “Stupid men. When I told Seymour what Donald used to say, he laughed. “I just had herring for dinner at Ben’s, true? I love the taste of fish!”

“What’s Seymour’s phone number again?” joked Sunny.

“Eventually, the darling man exhausted himself with all his work and fell asleep right between my legs.” continued Rita. “All night, as he snored, I could feel his breath against me, like a warm ocean breeze against my most sensitive spot. It was such a tender and warm feeling.”

I had to hand it to Rita. She had a young spirit. I wondered what Sam would be thinking, watching from his Laz-e-boy chair in heaven — as four old women in their seventies transformed into peeping Tom-isinas, and acted like shameless hussies. Sam would probably be laughing. Drinking a Dr. Brown’s soda and laughing.

A month ago, I bought myself a vibrator online. When I received the vibrator in a plain brown wrap envelope, I was surprised at the shape. The large purple object seemed more like a sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art than a human penis. I never owned a vibrator before, although I had friends who swore by them. I decided to try this model after I read about it on my daughter’s “mommy blog.”

Lisa, my daughter, became upset when I once commented on her blog, so now I make believe that I never read it. The whole concept is foreign to me. Isn’t there privacy anymore? Do others really care about her baby’s poo?

“Who reads this anyway?” I once asked Lisa.

“A lot of people, Mom. You just won’t understand. I’m very very popular. I’m considered one of the top 10 influential mothers of 2008, according to Online Advertising Magazine. Mothers come to me for advice. I’m my own brand!”

“You’ve only been a mother for three years. What do you know about being a mother?”

“That is soooo typical of you. You can’t appreciate my accomplishments. Being a mother nowadays is a lot different than when YOU WERE A MOTHER. It’s much more complicated. It’s a juggling act — being a mother, being a businesswoman, being a role model for other women.”

I didn’t tell her daughter about the vibrator. Lisa would have said, “That’s gross.” I was also hurt when Lisa made the comment, “When YOU WERE A MOTHER,” as if I wasn’t a mother anymore. This was further proof that Lisa knows very little about being a mother. A mother is always a mother. She has so much to learn.

The young man in the shower groaned in a deep animalistic manner. His body flew back as he had his orgasm and the bottles of shampoo and conditioner, sitting on an unsteady shelf, fell on top of him, as if the bottles were pissed at him for coming too soon, before they had their own orgasms.

The women of the canasta group laughed at the comedy of the attack of the bottles, as the man covered his head for protection and his dick rocked side to side. The young man turned towards the window, hearing the giggles, and the four women — Birdie, Rita, Eleanor, and Sunny — jumped back like little girls, the blinds quickly closing in a click. The retirees ran back to the table, their hearts beating from all the excitement and drama.

“OK, whose turn is it?” asked Eleanor, the sensible school teacher, hoping to return everyone back to the canasta game. She picked up a pencil, out of instinct, as if she was about to take attendance.

But the class was not ready to go back to their studies.

“He’s certainly a good-looking young man.” said Sunny. “We should introduce him to one of the yoga instructors at the clubhouse.”

“Nice body,” said Rita, as she munched on a Stella Dora cookie.

I stood up, feeling nervous, as if I were about to make an important announcement, or a toast, or a commencement speech.

“I enjoyed giving Sam blowjobs in the morning,” I told the other members of the canasta group. “Last night, I used my new vibrator for the first time, and as it hummed inside of me, I thought about my husband. And the humming reminded me of his trumpet playing. And a little bit of his pacemaker. I miss him.”

“I’m sure he was in heaven, playing his trumpet, and missing you too. Probably playing with himself, if I know men,” said Rita.

“I hope so,” I replied. “Or at least having a good time up there with someone else. He deserves it. As long as he’s not f**king my late sister, Miriam. She was always stealing my boyfriends. What a bitch.”

The other women laughed again. It was turning into a memorable day. My phone rang. It was Lisa, making her obligatory Wednesday afternoon phone call/birthday call. I shut off the phone.

“I’ll speak to my daughter later.” she told the others. “Right now, I’m enjoying my birthday with my girlfriends.”

Reunited

In one of the most astounding and innovative marketing campaigns in social media history, personal blogger Neilochka, knocks a PR grand-slam in his “Citizen of the Month Loves Mothers” blitz. In a carefully coordinated appeal to the his main demographic of mommybloggers, blogging professional Neil Kramer proves his commitment to those issues important to mothers nationwide by traveling thousands of miles in the snow to visit his mother in Boca Raton, Florida.

My Mother’s Bad Yoga Instructor

Danny from “Jew Eat Yet” asked me a question, and since it was a lengthy one, I will paraphrase it for you, “What the hell are YOU, a full-blooded American male, going to a blogging conference for WOMEN?”

The answer is simple. I don’t think in terms of gender. We are all individuals with passions that are unrelated to our chromosomes. This does not mean there aren’t difference between the sexes. Anyone man who has ever spent a weekend with a weepy, irrational, hysterical, overemotional woman who needs more “hug time” knows exactly what I am talking about. Also, as a believer in the literal truth of the Bible, man is always first. We were on Earth first, so it is natural that we should be the dominant sex.

As ordained by religion and the natural order, women must follow two ironclad rules in their relationships with men —

1) Women must always have an orgasm, or at least fake it well enough for the man to feel he did a job well done, so he can go to sleep feeling like he is “the Man,” and brag to his friends at work the next day.

2) Women must ALWAYS take care of men when they get sick, and expect nothing in return. Men can build skyscrapers and blow up cities, but they are not trained to care for themselves when the dreaded cold-bug hits.

It has been a sad week in Queens. For the last two days, I – a man – have been home alone with a cold, and it should shame women worldwide. My previous two caretakers, Sophia and my mother, were both unavailable, enjoying the sun in Redondo Beach, CA and Boca Raton, FL.

“I’m sick, Sophia,” I said on the phone.

“Sorry, Neilochka. I got a Russian Dialect coaching job with “Heroes” and have to make it to the studio. Bye-Bye!”

I tried my mother.

“Mom, I’m sick.”

“Make yourself some soup.”

“What do you mean — “make” the soup?”

“I can’t talk now. I’m playing mah jongg, and then I have my yoga class, and then there is a show at the center with ABBA imitators! Take care of yourself. Bye!”

Clearly, these two should have their “women licences” revoked. But I will have the last laugh, because God is a MAN, and he works in mysterious ways.

Anyway, since I am trying to promote myself as an EXPERT storyteller, I figure I should tell you some sort of story, so I don’t undermine my own brand name.

Here is a story that my mother told me about her weekly yoga class that takes place at the clubhouse in her retirement village. Please note — this is my mother’s story, not mine, so don’t judge the quality of the tale by your usual high standards.

My mother’s yoga class meets in the clubhouse. There are about 25 women, from ages sixty to eighty. The instructor is a young yoga instructor in her twenties who has a regular gig at a studio. Although she has modified her sessions to be more appropriate for seniors, she doesn’t seem to be very comfortable with older people. In fact, she makes the common mistake of treating seniors like they are children in grade school.

Some of the women have cellphones, such as my mother, and the instructor makes everyone put their phones on a table in the front of the room, turned off, so the ringing doesn’t ruin the meditative mood of yoga. The instructor considers the atmosphere of the room so essential that she has told the class that if a student’s phone rings, “she will have to leave and not return to the class for the rest of the year.”

“That’s pretty harsh,” I told my mother.

“She’s very serious about her yoga,” answered my mother. “She knows a lot.”

I have no idea how my mother can judge this instructor as “knowing a lot” since my mother has no experience with yoga at all, but I didn’t say anything, and let my mother continue with her story.

Last week, while the class was doing some relaxing yoga position, and gentle music was playing, one of the phones on the table started to ring and vibrate. The tall, skinny yoga instructor jumped up, her bones shaking with anger.

“Who’s phone is that ringing?” she asked, pointing a long finger at a flip Nokia sitting on the table.

No one answered. The women in the class, sitting in the dimly-lighted room, looked side to side, waiting for the culprit to come forward, but no one volunteered. Was the owner of the ringing phone afraid of being booted from class? Were the others covering her ass? Would the seniors stand in solidarity, announcing that the phone belonged to “them all” and that they would not be intimidated by this jerk?

If this was a cartoon, steam would be rising from the yoga instructor’s head (which is not a very good sign about yoga’s effectiveness in making you a calmer person).

“Do none of you have the dignity to step forward and tell the truth? Surely ONE of you must know who OWNS that phone?”

The instructor flipped on all the lights to glare into each woman’s eyes, searching for the truth like Jack Bauer involved in an interrogation.

“If none of you have the moral fiber to come forward and be a real person – I am cancelling today’s class. All of you. Leave. Class is cancelled today!”

The women started to leave. An Orthodox Jewish woman, the oldest in the class, picked up the flip Nokia. Everyone turned to her. The instructor shoved her face within inches of the culprit.

“What is wrong with you? Why didn’t you admit that this was your phone ringing?”

“Huh? I can’t hear very well…” she answered.

Her phone started ringing again.

“My son just gave it to my this weekend. I don’t even know how to turn it off!”

My mother, who just figured out to turn off her own phone, showed the woman how to press the button to turn the phone off, and then the rest of the class left yoga for the day.

Christmas Day Tidbits

Merry Christmas!  Peace and Joy and hopefully, good presents for all!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Holiday Concert.   The talent was amazing.

My mother is now at the airport en route to Boca Raton.  She will be there until the end of March,  “trying out Florida” during the winter months.  She will be fine there.  She has already been invited to a Florida New Year’s Party, as well as to be part of a weekly mah jongg game in her complex.   The six month chapter of me running home to Mom has come to a close.  I’m back on my own.

Metalia complained about the lack of Hanukkah songs for women to sing.  I think the holiday  is too geared for children, in an attempt to compete with Christmas.  It is especially difficult to find a sexy Hanukkah song for a rocking woman.   So I came up with something for the hot Jewish babe to sing to her man after lighting the Hanukkah candles:

Menorah
(sung to the tune of the Kinks “Lola”)
midi accompaniment here

I met him in a deli down in ol’ Soho
Where we ate corned beef and we read the temple’s To-rah.
T-o-r-a Torah

He was tall and strong with eight candles in hand
I asked him his name and in a New York voice he said Menorah
Me-me-me-menorah   Me-me-me-menorah

Well, I’m not the world’s most religious gal
But when I lit his candle, it really made me go, “Wow.”
Me-me-me-menorah   Me-me-me-menorah

Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
How he made me as hot as a latkes pan
Me-me-me-menorah  Me-me-me-menorah  Me-me-me-menorah

Well, we spinned the dreidel and we kissed all night
Under the flickering candlelights
He took me home so not to end our date
And he kept it up for eight nights on straight!

Well I’m not the world’s most religious gal
But when I looked at his lights, well I almost fell for my menorah
Me-me-me-menorah  Me-me-me-menorah

(fade out)

Mom, Don’t Forget to Wear Your Hat

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At some point in every adult’s life, the "child" begins to worry about his parents.  This is a passage of life because before that, it was the parents who mostly worried about the child.  For some, this happens at an early age.  A parent could be sick, unattentive, or die early, making the child mature early. 

This was not my case.   My parents never wanted me to worry.  Instead they were the ones who constantly worried about me.

Today, there’s a blizzard in New York.  Tomorrow, my mother will schlep from Queens into Manhattan to go to work.  I called her tonight and told her "to dress warm" tomorrow — knowing she had a bout with pneumonia last year.  It reminded me of when I was a kid and she used to make me wear a hat. 

Are our roles reversing?

She enjoys working downtown, but at some point, she might want to retire.  Would she enjoy being in the nice weather during the winter?  She recently visited her friend Shirley in Florida. Shirley lives in one of those "retirement villages" in Boca Raton.  My mother says she "wasn’t crazy about Florida," mostly because it made her feel older than she actually feels inside.

My mother brought up an example:

"Shirley and I went to the clubhouse for "Movie Night."  They were showing "Bull Durham."  Halfway through the movie there was a fire alarm.  Everyone got up to exit the clubhouse, but there were so many older residents with walkers and canes, that it took everyone twenty minutes to exit the clubhouse.  It ended up being a false alarm — but we skipped the rest of the movie, not wanting to wait another twenty minutes while everyone sat down again."

After she retires, the logical next step would be for her to move out here  — maybe during the winter months — assuming I’m still living in Los Angeles.  After all, I’m the only child.  But where would she live?  My mother doesn’t know how to drive, despite having a New York State driver’s license, which is the funniest thing in the universe to me.  My mother said that if she moves here, she’ll take a refresher course in driving.  Little does she know that if she is going to drive around Los Angeles, that’s the time when I move somewhere else.

All in all, my mother seems to be doing pretty well since my father’s passing.  Although she says it is "too quiet" at night, she’s been going out to concerts and movies on weekends.  In May, she’s even going with two women friends on a bus trip through Spain and Portugal.  That’s something she could have never dragged my father to do.

I’m still such a kid myself — still unsettled with work and marriage.  I wish I could be more of help to her, instead of it always being the other way around.  But, let’s see — at least I have my blog to entertain her with during the day!   I know she reads it every day, because I see her in the stats — she is my most consistent reader.

Although, this weekend, we did have a little mother-son discussion about my blog:

"Neil, one of my friends who I play Mahjong with reads your blodge and she wanted me to tell you something important."

"Is this Suzanne we’re talking about?"

"Yes, how did you know?"

"Because she’s your only friend who would know how to find a blog online.  What did she say?"

"She said she likes the blodge  a lot.."

"Blog!  Blog!"

"OK, blodge… but she has one small complaint.  There’s too much of "that thing.""

"What "thing?""

"That "thing" you talk about too much."

"What are you talking about, Mom?"

"That "thing" you talk to."

"Oh… that "thing.""

"Yes.  She said to just "cut it out."   I mean, not the "thing."   Don’t cut off the "thing."  She meant to "cut it out" of the blodge… to stop talking about the "thing," not  to cut your "thing" itself, G-d forbid."

"I understand, Mom.  You didn’t raise an idiot."  

"And I agree…"

"About what?  Oh…"

"I… um… who in the world talks to their "thing?""

"Yeah…"

"So, anyway…"

"Uh…well, uh…so, Mom, (changing the subject)… are you watching the Olympics…?"

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