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latest by jen

Meditation on Yard Sales

I have a tendency to hold on. This tendency is so strong, I’m confident I will end up a haunting ghost in someone’s house when I go. I hold on to photographs, to letters, to my child’s sketches. I refuse to part with shoes I want to love but can’t because they give me blisters; nor can I say goodbye to the beat up stuffed animal I’ve had since sixth grade.  The t-shirt I received …

Craving life

One of the major down sides of social media for me is access to second degree sadness. I just don’t need it. Sorry if that sounds cruel, harsh. But it’s true. I’m a sensitive girl already. I feel people’s eyes. Their frantic glances, their furrowed brows. I’m pained by the way they walk with their head down low. I’m frightened when their steps get heavy behind me. I’m deathly afraid of a silence that emanates …

Don’t you remember you told me you loved me baby?

The first song I can remember singing in the shower started like this: “When I was young, I’d listen to the radio, waiting for my favorite songs When they’d play I’d sing along. It’d make me smile.” Do you know this song? Do you hear the tune in your head? Are you singing along with me? If yes, you’re already in on the joke. If not, play along for a few minutes. Humor me. The …

RIP Blockbuster: A pop culture haiku

(This haiku was inspired by “R.I.P. Blockbuster, You Frustratingly Magical Franchise, You” by Kevin Fallon in the Daily Beast) == RIP Blockbuster Video By Jen Maidenberg == Neighborhood stop for high school dates rated PG. Press play. Then make out. ==

Genius in a bottle

I hit my head this morning. Hard. On the corner of the stackable washer/dryer in the very tight space that is my bathroom/laundry room. After the stars stopped spinning, I waited. What was I waiting for? A stroke of genius. My flux capacitor. The only thing that came was a golf ball size lump on my forehead. Lucky enough, I’ve remained conscious since and can see straight enough to write this post. But sadly, my …

One compulsion leads to another

I wrote recently about this superpower I possess called synesthesia. How I see letters and words in full color. And how I am going to defeat fear once I manage to harness my power properly. It occurred to me this morning that my superpower might be the cause of quirky compulsions I also possess like the one that prevents me from listening to the Beach Boys in December, or drives me to listen to Van Morrison …

Carl Jung said life begins at 40

Carl Jung, man … his words are a treasure box of quotes waiting to be mined for social media memes. I was looking on Google this morning for a passage he wrote in his autobiography — Memories, Dreams, Reflections — and in passing discovered the above quote, not at all on the topic I was researching. Nodding my head, I quickly downloaded the picture and uploaded it to my blog, eager to share it with …

Hebrew Language Tip 135: Turn your curse word into a casual remark

What You Need to Know About Me Before You Read My Tip I like to curse. I think people who curse are cooler than people who don’t. I think people who don’t read blogs because the author uses curse words are over-sensitive. I used to have a blog called The Wellness Bitch. I like to scream, “Fuck,” really loudly when I stub my toe or drop something on it. When I say Fuck really loudly when …

The internet has turned me into a distracted tree killer

The internet, while seemingly a solution to the problem of the environmental impact of paper, is in fact turning me into a murderer. Of trees. For the past decade, I’ve been an obnoxiously devoted supporter of replacing paper with screens. I’ve forsaken writing, receiving, and hoarding handwritten letters in exchange for emails. I’ve replaced the amusing 20 minutes I used to spend browsing the  greeting card aisles of the Hallmark store in exchange for working …

What color is fear?

I have this thing. After half a lifetime of thinking it was either a special power possessed by only a select few, or a strange sensory birth defect that generally didn’t interfere with my life, I discovered it was a thing. With a name. Synesthesia. I see letters, and words, in color. Not all words, and not all the time — only particular words and only really when I pay attention to it. Months of …

How to survive parenting when you’d rather be getting drunk

I love my children. But some nights — especially Thursday nights (the Israeli equivalent of Friday night) — I’d rather be out at a swanky city bar with friends on my way to a Friday morning hangover than hovering over the bathtub trying to convince a screaming five year old that I have not even put shampoo in her hair yet, let alone allow it to stream into her eyeballs. On nights like these, I …

Whose writing do you want to make out with?

When I was a little girl, I would swing high on the swings next to Rachel or Lisa or Debbie who would be fisting two Twizzlers while simultaneously reaching with their feet for the moon. Rachel or Lisa or Debbie would say, “I love Twizzlers so much.” And I would say snidely, “If you love them so much, why don’t you marry them?” There is a period between the ages of 6 and 7 in …

The yellow bowl

I am obsessed with my child’s memory of me of this moment of this yellow bowl. This inaccessible ceramic yellow bowl perched high upon a dusty refrigerator will one day be dusty, too — an image sitting in a drawer waiting to be opened in my child’s memory. Inside the yellow bowl are rainbow jelly beans, Polish lollipops handmade by a retired couple sitting at a railway station. There are remnants of chocolate wafers, too, …

I’m no Katie Couric — but I really don’t want cancer

In order to be adequately prepared for a colonoscopy, you need to get to a point at which your poop looks like pee. It’s the one time in your life when yellow liquid shooting out forcefully from your butt is a WIN! I share this with you not to gross you out to the point of leaving my blog never to return, but in order to do my part towards colon cancer awareness and, like …

He gets like that

One of my dear friends turned 40 today. She was the first of my group of childhood friends to get her driver’s license, the downside of which, I said to her today, is that she also is the first of our group of friends to hit middle age. Of course, none of that statement is true. Our friends — the ones who celebrated her 17th birthday years ago — are now scattered around the world, …

10.12.13 dream haiku – R Rated Saturday

Check out Jon’s Dream Haikus. They’re fantastic!

My little Garden of Eden in Israel

There is a place I idealize here in Israel: Kibbutz Harduf in the Lower Galilee, an anthroposophic community with a unique approach to intentional living, and Israel’s largest producer of organic food. Before we made Aliyah I first learned of Harduf  from my (now) friend Haviva’s article in Zeek about local, organic living in the Galilee.  At the time, I was running my own consulting business in New Jersey, the main focus of which was …

What I learned from Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize win in literature

Oh Alice Munro: “For years and years, I thought that stories were just practice, till I got time to write a novel,” she told The New Yorker in 2012. “Then I found that they were all I could do, and so I faced that. I suppose that my trying to get so much into stories has been a compensation.” Thank you for your well-timed win and wisdom, Ms. Munro, if I may call you that. …

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  • Food |
  • Memory |
  • Parenting |

I remember you on white bread

Meatball Surprise Mom is away. Not like that one time fancy schmancy mozzarella with tomatoes from BJs unusual but usually some concoction something on the stove from scratch from what was in the fridge No I remember Meatball Surprise little Jason little Jen Pancakes log cabin syrup big glasses tinted lens…
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  • Education |
  • Family |
  • Letting Go |
  • Love |
  • Memory |

First love

Among my cardboard boxes, there is another. It’s plastic. A clear Tupperware container with a blue cover marked “Jen’s papers.” I laugh a little at this because the markings on the masking tape are in my mother’s handwriting and I would have expected it to read “Jennifer’s papers.” But Jen is shorter…
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  • Writing |

I don’t know why I’ve been dreaming ’bout the Echelon Mall

Tacos for 79 cents, mild sauce ask for extra and squeeze Children’s Place, a tunnel with carpet inside crawl through the storefront window My first Walkman wasn’t Sony downstairs at a stereo store in the corner next to Strawbridge’s across from Heroes World before Heroes World moved upstairs One time downstairs…
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  • Nonfiction |

My heart hurts with how much I love libraries right now

I’ve been suffering the symptoms of drought since I moved to Israel three years ago, but I didn’t know it until I swam again in a sea of books; otherwise known as the English Department Library at Bar Ilan University where I am currently studying Creative Writing. Where my heart…
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  • Letting Go |
  • Love |
  • Relationships |

Music is a Gift with Legs

I’m a big believer in the magic of books, music, and people falling into your lap when you least expect them to and when you are most ready to appreciate their messages. (For this reason, I’m about to download The Happiness Project since three people in as many days have…
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  • Writing |

Lay flat to dry

I’ve started to play with my label. It’s itching me a little. I tried moving my neck side to side to see if it would readjust comfortably on its own. Didn’t work. So I reached my right hand back over my shoulder. Stretched my collar all the way ’round front…

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