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June, 2009:

A long life filled with sorrow, hardship, and frustration.

I’m sorry to say that my son is in for a long life of hardship, sorrow,and frustration.

And I can’t do a thing about it.

You see, my son is more than likely going to be a Cubs fan.

His grandfather, his uncle, his great uncle, his cousins, and even sometimes his mom are all Cubs fans. And not just regular crazy Cubs fans. I’m talking dyed in the wool, wears Cubs underwear, watches every pitch, bought a house near the field so you can walk to the games kind of Cubs fans. And you know what that means.

Sorrow. Hardship. Frustration. (you can almost see it on his face now. Or is that spinach?)

His grampus gave him a cubs hat, and while we didn’t go to a game, or watch one on TV (I’m trying to limit the amount of tragedy that enters my household) I thought he could practice watching a cubs game.

I’ve attached the slide show below, but if that doesn’t work, try this url (you’ll also get my super observant titles of photographs if you visit the link)


Granny’s Cats

I’ve been following a new site http://www.oldjewstellingjokes.com; which is EXACTLY what it sounds like– video of older Jews telling jokes– the setup is great, the idea is great, and as one of my facebook friends remarked recently “The link is gold!”

They recently asked people to contribute jokes that they’ve heard older Jews tell– so I contributed a couple of stories about my Granny…

You can read that contribution on their website here: or if you read it below, you also get to see a picture of my Granny!

Enjoy– and if you have any stories or old jokes, either send them to the website listed above, or post them in the comments!


Granny’s Cats

My Granny was born December 31, 1900 and passed away December 24, 2004. She had an eighth grade education, and in 1938 her husband left her and her three children, disappearing for parts unknown. My dad was a year old at the time.

Granny started a jewelry stringing business (called Woodman’s, which was her sister’s husbands name — she felt that Gertsacov was far too ethnic) and did jewelry work well into her 90’s. Her brand of expertise in pearl stringing was legendary, and some of the finest jewelry shops still sent their most precious stuff to her. Jewelry stringing is a lost art. She strung the pearls of many society ladies, politicians’ wives, and gangsters’ molls — she did them all.

Granny always came off as kind of a hard person. She lived a hard life through the Depression, but she loved several jokes that she told and re-told through the years. She liked these because they were clever, had word-play, and you had to understand in order to get it. She didn’t like slapstick and physical comedy that much, which is kind of surprising, since I ended up as a professional clown and performer. She saw me perform several times, and always said “Marvelous, Marvelous.” But I don’t think she ever really loved it. Ah well.

Here are a couple of her favorites: (some of them are more along the lines of a little routine she would do. She was a woman of routines.)

About a person who was a chatterbox: “She is a woman of VERY FEW WORDS.”

On getting into a car to go home: “Home, James, and don’t spare the Hosses.”

If you were feeling ill: “You’ve got to go home and get into bed with a nurse.”

And this was probably her favorite joke:

I know a woman who sleeps with cats.
Now ask me who it is.

(the person asks, who is it?)

Mrs. Katz!


and sometimes Mrs. Nussbaum.

Aaron and the Bumbo

Well, it looks like Aaron may have outgrown the bumbo seat– here’s his successful escape attempt using pluck, derring do, and a little bit of luck. It’s about 1.5 minutes long

Urban baby

We went to a friend’s house on Saturday for a barbecue in NJ. It was very nice, it was very suburban, and the people were incredibly nice.

Aaron had a great time hanging around with the people who smiled at him, eating lots of goodies and treats, and playing with the two dogs of the house.

The one thing he didn’t like was sitting on the grass.

We realized that it was his first exposure to grass (HEY, before you call Protective services on us, we live in an urban, non nice grass environment– and he’s a September baby, meaning it’s been pretty cold for most of the time he’s been alive) Anyway, sitting on the grass made him pretty uncomfortable and more than a little crybaby-ish) Not sure if he was frightened of bugs, didn’t like the tickly feeling, or just prefers the concrete.

He’ll have plenty of grass time over the next few months to figure it out and grow to love the green.