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latest by jen

The space between dreams

Fevered dreams Unfulfilled chills Can’t shake ’em off. The space there between awake and asleep Hot outside Cold inside A mystery understood only by the archetype of me. If I could write the space there between awake and asleep it’d be a bestseller. The book of the month for vampires and demons that dwell inside the space between dreams.

Life Lessons of Learning to Ride a Bike (Part II)

Who knew what a wealth of life lessons teaching your kid to ride a bike would provide? (Who knew, actually, what a wealth of life lessons parenting, in general, would offer. Not me! Can I have my money back? Just kidding… sorta…) Three years ago, I remarked on the magical moment of “letting go” a parent and child both experience when the child finally decides to ride a bike solo. But what about when a …

Smushy mushy heart

Smushy mushy heart springs back like Silly Putty even when it’s broke.

The small victories of a working mother — flash poetry

“There’s a clean shirt in your backpack!” <Door slams! Bam!> First to sign up for parent-teacher meetings. Small victory. Showed up on time — early pick up, after all. Small victory. Pushed the migraine aside (til tomorrow) in order to be present today for preschool Chanukah party, songs, dance, and black light. Huge victory. Grater?!? Where’s the grater? Found it. And it’s clean. Ready to make latkes. Here you go. Take it. Take the potato, …

Love Song for a Vampire

If I had nothing else to do in my life right now — no full-time job, no school, no household chores, no parenting, no community commitments — I might decide to drop everything and pursue a journalistic investigation of music and memory. Truth is, I am doing this already on a very personal level. For those of you who follow the blog, you might have already sensed my budding fascination in some of my recent …

A virtual cure for anxiety is almost here

This morning, my hair dryer caught on fire. Which is a lot better than my hair catching on fire — which actually happened once, the first time I visited Israel in 1992 and forgot to use a converter before I set my curling iron to my bangs. I lost half my bangs that day … which was probably a good thing, in hindsight. I sensed something was wrong this morning when I started to smell …

Both sides

On my drive home from work, I play a game sometimes. I choose a song to listen to on YouTube. When it finishes and when I get to a stop sign, I look through the suggested songs at the bottom and choose one. That’s the game. I typically get through three or four songs this way. (I have a 25 minute drive but not so many stops along the winding mountain roads.) I play this …

The almost, so-very-lost, art of the letter

I’ve been finding letters. Long lost letters. Long saved letters. Long ago, written-by-hand letters. As and Es and Is strung together to form laughter and love and pain. Through my veins runs remorse then retraction as I read the letters aloud. Loopy script Straight uppercase caps Bubbled Oooos and lowercase bees All of them stamps of time and postmarks of personality Who knew then that you were a poet, dear Friend? Who knew that you …

Turning away from evil

I had a dream last night. An epic, Joseph Campbell/ CG Jung type dream. The part I want to share with you involved a snake. Back off, Freud wanna-be. Before you go analyzing me, let’s take a journey together. It wasn’t really a snake — more like a supernatural serpent demon type thing — the body of a serpent but the head of a monster — that most everyone else around me was mistaking for an …

I’m a zombie; really, truly, deeply

“As an immigrant, I feel both frustrated and grateful. Frustrated because I can’t communicate how and when I want to. Yet grateful for that fragile window of time in which I must pause. I have no other choice.” Read the full piece about how I really, truly am… a zombie.

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 …

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  • Nonfiction |

123 days

There are 123 days left until 40. 1 – 2 – 3 and like that I will be Over the Hill. Which hill? The hill there footsteps away? The Tel? Tell me. It’s a curious time. This tick tocking of clock measured quietly uncertain alone without labels I’ve grown accustomed…
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  • Parenting |
  • Writing |

A trail of pebbles

I hardly blog about parenting anymore. It’s not because I don’t have opinions to share or thoughts to express. It’s that I finally arrived at a place where I understand that most of what I say or think about parenting is either obvious or worthless. Obvious to the older or more…
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  • Books |
  • Events |

Between us, there are books

It’s not difficult to spot us. Those of us in love with old books. We have shelves full of them. We smuggle them into our homes despite the eye rolling of our spouses, our parents, our roommates. We tolerate repetitive sneezing due to dust and the mildew and the ancient tree…
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  • Modern Life |
  • Parenting |
  • Relationships |

Husband Envy

It’s not the first time I daydreamed I was Nicole Krauss, authoress all-around good woman good Jewish but not so Jewish writer I could aspire towards and as a matter of curiosity exactly one day (perhaps only hours!) older than I. But today most of all when I learned husband Jonathan…
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  • Writing |

Why does my story matter?

This is my question today. And usually every Wednesday. Or Tuesday. Depends. Why does my story matter? Okay, so I can weave words in a way sometimes that makes you almost cry that makes you remember the time you had blintzes in that cafe on 2nd Avenue that makes you…
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  • Nonfiction |

My kid plays in abandoned buses and I photograph him

Does this photo of my 7 year old “driving” an abandoned bus deserted in the industrial park on the kibbutz we live on instill feelings of longing in you? Envy? Or pure, unadulterated fear? It’s rusty, that bus. And filled with trash. And likely painted with lead paint. Maybe you…

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