because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

Just Say No (Thank You): Bar Mitzvah Tales, Part 3

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When replying to a formal event – where the hosts have sent you an actual printed invitation and provided you with a pre-stamped return envelope  — it’s proper etiquette to return that card with a yes or a no response, preferably by the date that is requested on the response card.

The whole point of providing reply cards is so that your host can receive a pretty accurate count as to how many guests will attend the event and begin to figure out table arrangements. It also helps us figure out how much booze to order and how many chickens and cows we’ll need to kill.

If people don’t send in their cardy-card-cards, your hosts are stalled in their planning.

Since we have just completed this stage of Tech’s bar mitzvah, it occurred to me that people are having trouble completing their response cards.

Never fear. I am here to help you.

It’s super easy if you plan to attend.

Here, let’s practice.

We’d love to attend.

(Check appropriate box. Stick envelope in the mail.)

And things are just as easy if you can’t attend.

Watch.

Sorry we can’t make it.

(Check appropriate box. Stick envelope in the mail.)

You can even write nothing at all.

(Just check appropriate box, and stick the freaking envelope in the effin’ mail.)

Getting people to return their reply cards is one thing, but I can’t tell you how — upon receiving a reply card — I’ve wanted to holler like Meatloaf: “Stop right there!”

For the life of me, I can’t understand the people who feel compelled to tell me more than I need to know.

But this is why I know that in lieu of celebrating with us:

  • 2 people will be on a fishing trip
  • 2 people will be attending a rock concert
  • 2 people will be catching up on an entire season of The Voice
  • 2 people will be at home because they “wouldn’t feel comfortable around so many Jews.”

I know, right?

Is your mouth hanging open?

If these fine folks had just stopped at “Sorry we can’t make it,” everything would be much less…

…uncomfortable.

At least we know where we rank with these people: somewhere below sea bass, Roger Waters, and a DVR filled with forgettable television singing performances.

Also, I learned that while a few Jews are acceptable, apparently, there is a tipping point.

(Still wrapping my brain around that one.)

In all seriousness, ‘tis the season of special occasions. If you are invited to a formal event, remember, the people who invited you, actually want you there, so don’t be a schmuck and make your hosts track you down and find out if you are coming.

People planning a big party know not every invited guest will be able to attend, so if you can’t make it, no worries. We understand. People make plans: often long-standing plans.

My son’s bar mitzvah falls on June 23rd, the first weekend where school is out for the summer in these parts. There are a zillion graduations. And weddings. And plenty of other conflicts. We know this.

If you know you can’t attend a party, just send the dang card back. Your hosts will be sad, but they will simultaneously love you for having such good manners.

But.

Think about the way you reply. Choose your words carefully.

Channel the minimalists who seemed to understand less is often more.

What is the most lame RSVP decline response you ever received?

What Happened To This Binder?

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Today I am offering a highly personalized, handwritten card from me to THREE lucky winners!

Whaaaat?

It’s not like I over-ordered my 2012 New Year’s cards or anything.

Probably.

Seriously, y’all! This is a good prize! Three people are going to get to see what my whole family looks like… including the elusive Tech Support!

As always, there are strings attached.

Look at the picture below.

Your challenge –should you choose to accept it — is to:

Tell me in 50 words or lessWhat Happened to This Binder?

Seriously? What happened here?

Leave a fabulous comment in 50 words or less for a chance to win.

This one will NOT be determined by Random Number Generator. I will pick my THREE favorites, so write me a cool story. All blogoversary winners will be posted on June 2nd.

Time for me to sit back and relax and read your words!

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What the Deuce Does INDICULT Mean?

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Cover of
Cover via Amazon

It’s the last Monday of the month, and you know what that means?

What do you mean you don’t know?

The last Monday of each Month is Made-It-Up Monday.

I throw out a 100% made-up word and ask you to:

  • define it
  • provide its part of speech, and
  • use the word in a sentence that indicates how the word could be used.

Why? Because it’s fun.

And because someone gave me the book The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words From Around the World.

Did you know that in Japan, the word “bakku-shan” means “the experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front”?

Somehow, I’m guessing that is not a real popular word with the ladies.

Anyway, I can’t find the right word on the word-shelf to fit my mood or predicament, I just make one up.

The last time we did this the word was HUFFALOFTUS.

Remember, the first person to use the word even remotely close to the way I do shall receive linky-love. And by that, I mean I will announce your identity in the next Made-It-Up Monday post next month and link up to your blog, so folks can head over and check out your stuff.

If you are not a blogger, don’t worry. If you guess the meaning, I will highlight your name in bold and let everyone know how smart you are. If you are looking for a new job, you can put “uncanny ability to define 100% bogus words” on your resumé and direct prospective employers here. I will totally back you up.

Our last winner got a whole spread, so I won’t redo.

Continuing alphabetically, this month’s word is: 

INDICULT

What the heck is that? Define it. And give me a sentence in which you show me how you would use it.

You know, if it were a real word. 😉

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SAVE FERRIS from Westley’s Awful Mustache in #MMM2

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Look Who is Chillin' With Ferris & Cameron

Where have I been all day?

What do you mean?

I’ve been out having a fabulous day, that’s where I’ve been.

Just like Ferris would have wanted me to.

First, I went to Victoria’s Secret and tried on underwear.

It’s true.

Then I had an iced latte.

Then I danced for a while. Afterwards, I took a shower and gave myself a cool hairdo.

I looked a lot like this.

I did.

Seriously.

In case you haven’t heard, Ferris Bueller has made it to the Semi-Finals of Clay Morgan‘s March Movie Madness tournament.

Now Ferris needs your support (again) to make it to the finals of this Best Movie Protagonist competition.

Ferris is up against some stiff competition, namely Westley from The Princess Bride. I can hear you moaning now. Some of you are bound to love The Princess Bride. I know. It’s a great flick, but I have serious reasons as to why Westley needs to go down.

  • Westley has a mustache that looks like a third eyebrow.
  • Westley has a decidedly un-sexy ponytail.
  • Westley is “mostly dead” for much of the movie.

Seriously is this the kind of hero you want to come out on top? Don’t get me wrong, Westley has some witty lines, but I don’t think he is really an epic hero.

So why should you vote for Ferris Bueller?

  • Ferris is always alive during the entire movie. He is never even partially dead.
  • Ferris is always there for his friends and his love.
  • Ferris is never attacked by Rodents of Unusual Size. In fact, Ferris would have been able to charm the rodents and make them love him.
  • Ferris is able to do something to the time/space continuum so that he was able to do more than any one person could do in a single day. That’s because Ferris is magic.
  • Ferris does everything we wish we could have done but were too afraid to do — and he never gets caught.
  • And of course, there’s the whole joie de vivre/seize the day/live life to the fullest because you might not be here tomorrow thing.

So this is (almost) it.

Click over and SAVE FERRIS one more time. You have until noon EST Saturday to do it.

Should Ferris win the whole thing, I will sing a song with all the names of the people who helped bring me to that final victory. So if you’d like to hear your name in song… SAVE FERRIS.

Enjoy this clip my family helped me make to show you how much I am in it to win it.

On an unrelated note, what are you wearing right now?

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

Vote Bueller for March Movie Madness 2.

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I’m in an airplane.

Seriously.

I’m stuck on an airplane right now as Clay Morgan opens the polls for Day 4 of his Second Annual March Movie Madness Contest.

Cover of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off Buelle...
Cover via Amazon

I picked Ferris Bueller as the movie protagonist that I am prepared to fight for.

Because Ferris knows how to be a friend.

He knows how to sweet talk his parents, the lunch lady, and the school nurse.

He always has a Plan A and a Plan B and a Plan C.

Because he is smooth.

He knows how to work the system.

Everyone loves him.

Only Principal Rooney, Ferris’s nemesis, doesn’t appreciate the gifts that Ferris bestows to the world.

Even his sister, who claims to hate him, comes through for Ferris in the end.

So why does everyone love Ferris Bueller?

Because he is on a universal quest to have fun.

He takes risks: not dangerous ones.

He does the crazy, silly things we wish we might be brave enough to do.

It is that kind of ethos that will always triumph.

Sure, Ferris is a rich kid who has almost nothing to complain about.

And guess what? He doesn’t.

He helps his friends overcome their fears.

He shows them love.

And a good time.

He reminds us all to cherish every moment of every day.

And this is why you have to go over to Clay’s blog and vote for me Ferris right now!

The polls open at noon.

I don’t even know who Ferris is up against.

But VOTE FERRIS BUELLER!

Do it for the little, geeky rebellious part of you that aspires to do something a little naughty.

Like sing Danke Schoen in public.

On a float.

And say something nice to Clay while you are there!

Look at the brackets. Who do you think is going all the way? IYKWIM.

Tweet This Twit @rasjacobson

An Urgent PSA From The Folks at MLA: How to Cite a Tweet

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This is an emergency.

Apparently.

The folks at the Modern Language Association have decided there is a proper way to cite a Tweet.

I’m sure there were extensive meetings about this.

Long meetings where people interrobanged and used interjections.

Brace yourselves:

Click here for the rest of the story.

This is, of course, extremely important because students use lots of tweets in their papers.

Or something.

Mostly, it’s important because the MLA realizes nothing new has happened lately in the world of grammar.

And booksellers like to sell updates to their many style manuals.

You know, to stay timely.

And students always need to have an up-to-date handbook to instruct them how to properly cite their research.

Now I suppose for certain types of papers, one might need to cite a tweet.

(Please, Lord, don’t let me get those kinds of papers.)

So this is good for me.

I have a heads up.

Now I can tell my students that tweets are not to be used in papers.

I can tell them they will need to go out into the world and actually interact with other human beings — even experts in their fields — and collect interviews.

And of course, I’m being snarky: I understand the MLA is acknowledging the fact that the Internet has changed the way everyone conducts research. Educators have to know how to cite everything from Facebook pages to PDF files to online video games. As teachers, we have to know how to cite all of these things properly because if we aren’t armed with the right tools, we open ourselves up to problems with plagiarism.

And that is the biggest pain in the butt.

So, um, like how do I cite a Facebook comment on someone’s Fan page?

Is there a rule for that yet?

Until I hear more on that, my work here is done.

You’re welcome.

What little nugget of information did you learn today? Does not have to be school related.

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

I’m Letting Go of Toxic People

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Minnesota state population density map based o...
Image via Wikipedia

When I was introduced to Nina Badzin’s blog, I turned into Usher and was like…”Oh my gosh, I’m so in love, I found you finally…”

Seriously, I fell pretty hard.

Nina tells it like it is.

If you read my introduction to her recent guest post here, you’ll see why I’m so excited to be a guest blogger at Nina’s today.

But

I’m also scared.

I’ve written about an issue that’s been hard for me to deal with in the past: toxic people.

Intriqued?

Follow me to Nina Badzin’s Blog, where I spill the rest of the story.

Click on Nina’s button, and you’ll be magically transported to Minnesota. (Or just click on the big, bold blue link above.)

Comments are closed here, but I will be hanging out in Minnesota — waiting to respond to your words!

I’m Afraid

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this morning

the little things scared me

i remembered

i’m afraid

of the dark and

dirt under my fingernails

stepping on thumbtacks

and the windows of my car getting stuck

in the down position

or the up position

i remembered that i’m afraid of rats and

cheese aged over 100 days

roaches

microwave rays

i’m afraid of potatoes

because i see

a similarity

between them and me:  i have too many eyes

work in disguise

have felt the earthy rot

from within

i fear i’m too noisy

and then {i fear} I’m leading too quiet a life and

i’m afraid

of that man

who enters daily

through my eyes

{he could leap out of bed and never return}

i’m afraid of dying

in an absurd place

near a tobacco stand or

on a street corner where

old people linger.

i’ve a fear of drowning

being held upside down

under water, tangled in seaweed

and ocean.  i’m afraid

of dawn’s outstretched arms

and the morning which screams

a promise between overlapping teeth

I’m afraid that

“Chicken Little” was right

{and the sky is falling}

i’m afraid no one will keep

the door open for me and

i’m afraid of being alone on the other side of the door.

i’m afraid of standing

beside buildings, so tall

not because they might fall

on me, but because cigarette smoke

and hate

drift upward

choke the sky

i’m afraid of the way my heart dangles carefree

on a string

and i’m afraid

that if you look in my eyes

you might see some ancient madness there

i’m afraid of being wrongly accused

afraid that i haven’t suffered nearly enough

but mostly i’m afraid of

my right hand, the way it guides me.  It is

much older than i, comes down gray as

an eyeball

is godless

and without it

i am not here, never was.

My mother once told me

that i should

never tell anyone

what scares me the most

that they would surely

use it against me

so if you ask me

if i am afraid,

i will deny everything.

Truly, I am afraid of posting something that is pretty controversial. I am afraid that I will lose subscribers. I am going to do it on 3/13. But I’m really scared. Tell me what you are scared of.

It’s Mardi Gras & MyNewFavoriteDay!

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There are TWO awesome things about today.

First of all it’s Mardi Gras, y’all.

When I was in New Orleans with Lisha Fink (The Lucky Mom) a few weeks ago, I made it to a bunch of small parades, and — yes — I lugged home thirty-five pounds of beads. Why are you looking at me like that? Those things are like gold. Do you see that one I’m wearing with the purple heart? Yeah. That’s a really good one. And the baseball beads my husband snagged? Also, outstanding.

There is definitely a hierarchy when it comes to Mardi Gras beads. I don’t wear just any old plastic beads. They have to be long and chunky. They have to shine. Does this sound crazy to you? I know. It kind of is. The thing is this: everything is topsy-turvy during Mardi Gras. Especially when it is a little dark outside and you find yourself jumping up and down in front of slightly scary looking masked people, begging them to throw you a little something.

As far as I’m concerned, I came home victorious.

{My fancy crap currently resides in a yellow bag in the basement.}

Hubby & I looking fancy!

And you know what else is awesome about today?

I’m at Shannon Pruitt’s blog “It’sMyNewFavoriteDay!”

I met Shannon at a Super Secret Underground Facebook Blogging Society.

She has a huge Facebook presence — which is incredible, and I can’t believe she even noticed me!

Shannon’s goal at her place is to have people recognize the most precious moments in their lives so that moments don’t pass us by so we can appreciate all we have in each day. You should totally follow her at @newfavoriteday.

But for now click HERE and check out the fun interview she did with me.

Do I sound like a dorkus or what? Tell me at Shannon’s place.

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson

Continuing Their Excellent Adventure: The Things Come To Rochester, New York

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Way back in September, Leanne Shirtliffe (aka: Ironic Mom) asked me when I might want to have the Things make a stop in Rochester on their Excellent Adventure, and I knew I wanted them during the winter. Duh!

There is so much to do here when there is snow. I figured we would go skiing, make snow critters, go sledding and ice-skating, have them help us make snow tunnels, and bring them inside to a roaring fire. You get the idea. When Leanne contacted me in December, I had to decline her offer because there was no snow in Rochester. She asked me again a few weeks later, and while we were still without snow – I figured by the time the Things made it to me, we’d certainly have some white stuff. But as anyone from this part of the United States can tell you, the weather this year has been positively wonky. Here is a pictorial about our time with the Things.

I swear Rochester is usually much more fun than is perhaps depicted here. Maybe.

• • •

In Rochester, this season,

winter’s been strangely mild.

No sledding, no skiing.

for adult or for child.

When one day,

I found I had nothing to do

I opened my door

And found Things 1 and 2.

They were positively chilled

Having spent the night outside

So I brought them in our home

To entertain them, we tried.

We wanted to show the Things

A most wonderful day.

We took off to Great Places

We took off and away.

Lake Ontario. Toronto, Canada is on the other side.

We drove to Lake Ontario.

We drove with great care.

And though I said, “Pull over carefully!”

Hubby pulled over There.

The Things thought this was funny. Hubby? Not so much.

When he parked There in that spot

Hubby rolled over a bolt.

And when his tire popped,

We felt the horrible jolt.

The Things thought tire shopping was fun. Hubby? No so much.

The Things knew stuff like this happens

As things sometimes do

So they didn’t worry,

No, they didn’t stew.

They played in the tires

That had been stacked, just so.

They played until the people

At the tire shop said, “Go.”

Want some bracelets? Check out http://GoGuiltyPleasures.com Julie will send some to you!

The next morning I found the Things

They were quite a sight.

They’d gotten into some trouble.

(I’d suspected they might.)

They’d found some bracelets from GoGuiltyPleasures

and seemed a little low.

But I untangled them and told them

we’d more places to go.

The Things liked learning about Brownie cameras. Hubby? Not so much.

We took the Things to George Eastman House

Home of Kodak fame

I explained that if it hadn’t been for George

Picture taking wouldn’t be the same.

Jim's Diner on Winton. Tell them Renée sent you.

We all began to shiver

So we drove to our favorite diner.

The Things showed good manners and exclaimed:

“This coffee couldn’t be finer!”

We took the Things to Lock 33

On the Canal called Erie.

We had no mule whose name was Sal

And the Things were mighty weary.

What

Still, we took them to Wegmans Market

Best grocery store under the sky,

And once inside the Things perked up

There were so many things to try.

Jimmy from Produce loved The Things

They thought the store was swell.

They hid in the red peppers

And in a pile of lobster shells.

We took the Things to temple.

To show them how services were led.

They were very respectful

And wore one yarmulke on top of their heads.

One night the Things seemed homesick.

I saw a tear near Thing 1’s eye.

I pulled out a postcard of the Rockies

and brought out the Canada Dry.

The next day, miraculously

the snow – it had arrived!

And Thing 1 and Thing 2

seemed amazingly revived.

Happy Things!

They watched Tech Support at Rochester Fencing Club.

And even took a class.

And while they loved their toothpick sabers

They decided to take a pass.

We took the Things skiing

They liked to go vroom

They liked when I went very fast

So I zigged and zagged and zoomed!

The Things at Bristol Mountain

When their stay was over

We said splendiferous goodbyes.

We gave the Things good scrub downs

And gave each other high-fives.

As I shoved placed them in an envelope

addressed for their next temporary stay

We agreed we would miss those Things

and sent them safely on their way!

Fare thee well, Things. We hardly knew ye.

**NOTE: The snow melted the minute I sent the Things overseas to their next destination. Yup, they are headed to Switzerland to begin the European leg of their Tour! {Watch the news for “global weirding” in Europe.}

To read more about where the Things have been so far, click HERE.

So what would you have liked to have done with me and the Things? In Rochester, New York? In February? With no snow? IYKWIM.

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