South Florida Living

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If you have ever visited one of the many communities in South Florida, this will not surprise you. The level of detail is astounding.

You have to believe that this was not written in the spirit of prevention. I would like to know how many poor people got locked in there before this very detailed set of directions was drafted.

I keep envisioning the condo association from Seinfeld spending the better portion of a month drafting this sucker.

The scary thing about this is that I am surely the most likely person to get locked in there. In fact, this was the third time I had thrown out the garbage and the only reason I noticed the sign was because my dad told me to take my cell phone.

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Filed under absurdities, carry a camera, family, humor, signage, travel, Uncategorized, vacation

Time to Cry Tuesdays – Grieving is not for Sissies

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I know, quite a blog post title to resurface with, but hey, it’s Tuesday. What do you expect?

I like to find the humor in most situations. This grief thing is surely putting a damper on my style, but I work hard at trying to find a way to laugh when I can.

Today I have hit new heights. Amongst the odds and ends of things on my to-do list today, snuggled nicely between ‘call to have the sprinkler system serviced’ and ‘fax e-file forms back to the accountant’ sat this ominous listing:

Call the cemetery to inquire about the sod issue.

Really? The sod issue? Why should there be an issue about sod when we are talking about a grave. Should grass not be a given? Shouldn’t our lowest expectation of a cemetery be that they would lay some sod on a final resting place (Yes, I realize this sounds like a cemetery marketing piece) Apparently not, because they told my Dad that they only lay sod in the fall. So, I decided to call them myself and get to the bottom of this.

First call yielded a recording:

We are experiencing unusually high call volume at this time. Please try again later. (seriously!!!! People dying to get in today… ba dum bum)

Second try:

Me: I am calling about having sod put down on a grave for an unveiling* in June.

Her: I am sorry, we only lay sod in the fall. If we lay it in the spring and we have a hot day, it burns. And we care for it if we put it down.

Me: Were we told that last spring at the funeral (as if we would remember). Or did you send us a notice, like ‘hey, if you don’t want a dirt grave for your loved one you need to order sod in the fall’

Her: No, we don’t.

Me: Hmmm, you might want to consider putting that in your packet. Can we put down our own sod?

Her: Yes, but you will have to take care of it.

Me: Do you have a sprinkler system (yes, after I said that I realized it is probably unlikely and frowned upon to start digging in a cemetery, but I had a momentary loss of rational thought from this conversation)

Her: We do not. Your other option is that you can wait till the fall and we can rent you a grass matt for the unveiling for $10 a square…

with this I sort of lost my mind and said:

Me: Are you kidding me?! More fees! This is like a Larry David.

Her: Who is Larry David?

Me: OMG… Seinfeld? The Larry David Show? Ring a bell?

Her: Oh, never heard of him. Never watched it.

Me: That’s too bad. Ok, so basically you are telling me that my father, who is in his mid 80s, will have to lay sod himself on his wife’s grave so we don’t have to look at the same raw dirt that was there the day of the funeral. And if we want said sod to stay alive, we should drive there a couple of times a week from Long Island to New Jersey to water it. And this you do not find both horrifying and hysterical at the same time.

Her: Well, when you put it that way…

Me:  You should REALLY see if you can find re-runs of Larry David.

Yeh, grieving is not for sissies, indeed.

*Unveiling: Within the first year after the passing of a loved one, mourners and their family gather at the gravesite for a ceremony called the Unveiling, the placing of the tombstone. At this event, a grave marker is put into place and the monument is formally dedicated.

Source: shiva.com. (who knew there was such a url?)

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Filed under humor, loss, religion, Time to Cry Tuesdays, Uncategorized

Breast Cancer Calling

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I was on the phone with a colleague today and my call waiting clicked on. Our conversation:

She: Do you have to get that?

Me: Nope, it’s breast cancer calling.

She: Never a good idea to answer breast cancer when it calls.

Me: Yup.

It got me thinking, whose idea was it to have that come up on caller ID? Was this specifically requested because they believed you might pick it up and donate? Do they even know that caller ID is coming up this way? Should I call them back and let them know? And if I do, will I be obligated to make a donation, no matter what the organization is?

Ok, maybe it is a little noisy in my head.

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Filed under absurdities, charity

The Funeral Director and the 3D Printing Biz

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This headline is just too good to be true, right?

A Yorktown, NY funeral director has decided to venture down the path of a new revenue stream. He has started a business called Mini 3D ME, creating 3-D figures of people. These are incredible. The detail is really astounding. I would imagine he is going to take the business far. The possibilities are endless… wedding cake topper, trophies, grandparent gifts, sports licensing, celebrities, corporate applications. The franchise opps will be incredible.

Ok, lovefest aside, this guy is a funeral director. Anyone see the humor in this?

“You are creating mini-identical replicas of people,” he states. Anyone who has had the misfortune of sitting at that awful conference table at a funeral parlor with warped family members and an uncontrollable  sense of dark nervous humor can see how the addition of one more friggin’ option like this might just be the last straw. Being one that gets the giggles at inappropriate times, the idea of the funeral director pulling out grandma and grandpa under glass, immortalized in resin to, as he put it, ‘freeze time and create lifelong memories’… well you can see what I mean.

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Actually, I think it’s brilliant. I wish him well. And truthfully, sort of interested in opening a store myself. Again, another business that is in dire need of a good graphic designer. Perhaps I should start soliciting these people for work.

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Filed under absurdities, products

Time to Cry Tuesday – Launching

launchingIt is always a good idea to leave your comfort zone, zip code, generation, cultural norm… anywhere that makes you see the world through a lens that is too similar to your own. Homogeneity breeds tunnelvision.

Like most, I socialize with people who are within my age-group and life stage, give or take 10 years. Most people do, I suppose. But this weekend I had the delightful experience of having 2 meals with a combination of 6 20-somethings, all in different stages of launching. The fact that they are among my favorite people on earth made it even better. Oh and 3 of them were blood relatives, the other 3 being the next best thing.

Listening to their plans, goals, opportunities… their exuberance, their joy, their energy… it was all so inspiring. And refreshing. And made me not only remember what life was like at that age, but to look back and realize what a wild ride it has been since then. They all genuinely respect our opinions, look to us as sounding boards. They have crossed over from the know-it-all teens to respectful young adults who want input. Not a single one had that millennial attitude that we hear all too often.

They are all still fresh, unspoiled. They have not yet been burnt or battered. But they will be at some point, everyone gets some piece of life’s not so pretty parts. But I am confident they will all take it with grace. They are built that way. I have seen each one of them navigate some tough things this past year and they all rose to the occasion.

We live in exciting times. I am envious of the climate that allows them to start their careers when so much is possible. Creating a business from scratch is not only possible, but the initial outlay of cash is minimal and access to funding a reality (think kickstarter, etsy, quirky, angel investors). These 6 are all so very different. Their career paths are equally different. Perhaps that is what makes the energy between them so exciting.

For now, it was simply lovely to be in their presence. To feel them shine. To bask in their opportunities. To be proud and inspired at the same time.

Next weekend? Sky diving? (probably not)

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Filed under carreers, family

Baby DJ School

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Oh those Brooklyn hipsters, they make us yuppies of way back when seem like we did not indulge our children. I am usually saddened by the race to adultify babies. Having been through the whole raising of the kids thing, I want to stop these parents and tell them there is plenty of time for them to become little hipsters and ‘mix music that is super dope’, just not while they are still drooling on the soundboard. But then I fear I am becoming that woman who stopped me on the street over 20 years ago while both my kids were screaming and told me I would miss these days. (that day, I have never missed, btw)

We saw this flyer while walking down Bedford Street and I had to take a picture. A little further investigation, and I found this HuffPo piece on the place. The woman who started it is definitely a genius. I am all for someone being entrepreneurial and preying on the insecurities of the tragically hip. And she has great cred. DJ and composer Natalie Elizabeth Weiss  has shared the stage with LCD Soundsystem and Dirty Projectors. She could, however, use a little graphic help. Just saying. (cute kid, though)

But this mom?  I sort of wanted to punch this mom in the face:

Samantha Al-Fayez, the mother of one of Weiss’ new students, told the Wall Street Journal that her 1-year-old Julien “loves gangsta rap.”

Seriously, Samantha?! Why is your 1-year-old listening to gangsta rap? I shudder to hear his first words! When he calls you mutha, don’t come crying to us when he figures out the second half of that word.

I am happy to report that Weiss does not play any music with profanities for the kids.

Hipster wholesome!

I did so want to make fun of this whole thing but honestly, for the older kids this is quite fabulous. Check out this 4-year-old. I love him. And his dad is a riot. The kid totally gets it, no?

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Filed under absurdities, childhood, music, New York City, parenting

Wine and Wisdom

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Friday night could not come fast enough this week, and with it came a lovely bottle of Ramsay Pinot Noir. This bottle was quite delicious. I highly recommend it.

As if drinking a nice bottle of wine over dinner on a rainy night with my husband and son was not pure heaven enough, this label topped it all off. For those reading on a mobile, here is what it says:

Even though I know how to use a Smartphone, I’d still rather go dancing than watch television, and I find nothing more satisfying than singing with my friends next to a fire. We are here so briefly that missing a single opportunity to connect with people seems a crime. That’s why we drink wine – it softens the hardness of the day and loosens our tongues so that we may confide in a friend, share the day’s events with a spouse, or sparkle with a lover over a romantic dinner. That is why we are alive – to be together.

Thanks Ramsay… great way to end the week!

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Filed under stress, wine, work