Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ben Franklin said it

"In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."

Today being April 15 we know taxes are certain. We bitch about this inevitable truth. Then there's death. We all know our number will eventually come a calling, but it's not exactly an easy topic to raise or discuss, especially with loved ones. I'm thankful to have had this dialogue with my parents. I consider myself lucky that both of my parents are still alive and quite active in their late seventies.

Long before discussing death with my parents I've always known when the question of burial or cremation has been posed, the answer is cremation all the way. My family is fully aware of my simple wish. To keep a portion of my remains in Colorado and scatter the rest of my remains over the place where I share the fondest of memories--a tiny cove in Laguna Beach.

I admit I've never been able to adequately articulate my reasons. My mother recently shared a poem she penned about her own wishes, which I couldn't have expressed any better.

This I am certain of.


At two thousand degrees the End quickly nears.
In a room full of flames, the flesh flows like tears.

Liquid and smoke emerge from the sludge,
Where is this person? One simply can't judge.

Impurities of body no longer in tact,
A vanishing mass, an impossible fact.

Hours later, disin te gra tion complete,
Dust and ashes in piles so neat.

Half will remain at a well-chosen spot
With corpses as neighbors whose bodies are rot.

The remainder will scatter to Ediza on high,
The Eastern Sierras she has chosen to lie.

--Phyllis Bricker

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Pee

Dogs do it like our yellow lab, Koufax.

He does it every day to mark his territory.
It's his way of reminding the other dogs who meander by that he is king of the cul-de-sac.

And now my lil' man who I've always affectionately called monkey is following suit.

Apparently one of Hunter's preschool classmates decided to shower the playground slide during recess. Naturally, like all curious boys who want to be just like their friends, Hunter imitated his pissing pal.

Monkey see, monkey pee.

I have to admit, it wasn't easy containing my laughter when the school administrator informed me of this oh so serious transgression.

I can recall many a times when nature's calling (mostly while out in nature by the way!) was an urgent matter. I don't think I'm unlike other parents who encourage their sons to unzip in the name of spelling relief. Trust me, if us gals could do the same, I'm sure we would, but we know there's shame in squatting.

Today Hunter informed me of his new mantra:

"Pee inside, not on the slide!"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I love the Denver Post Wednesday food section, even though I'm still lamenting the demise of my beloved Rocky Mountain News. The food section is chock-full of recipes I rarely attempt as I'm a can opener and bake-at-350-degrees-for-one-hour kind of gal. Thankfully, my 7-year-old daughter, Hannah is a chef in the making.

What I love most about the food section is the weekly grocery store circular inserts, especially when major religious holidays overlap. You know Christmas and Hanukkah long since referred to as Chrismukkah. Now that spring is in the air so are Easter and Passover, which I've dubbed Eastover.

The ads boast Easter specials and sentiments left, right and center. Here are just a few examples from today's paper.

"Hop into savings!"

"Easter basket essentials!"

"Easter entertaining!"

"Fill your basket with savings!"

"Buy 1, get 2 free bacon!"

All this begs the obvious question--where are all the Passover deals and salutations?

How about a buy 1, get 2 free tins of coconut macaroons. Or buy 1, get 2 boxes of oh so flavorful matzo.

Neither do you see smoking deals on lamb shankbones to set the Seder plate.

Gefilte fish greetings anyone?!

Guess it's not so unusual for us chosen people to still get the short shift when it comes to supercharged holiday marketing.

Maybe it's because us Jews are simple people. We don't plan elaborate scavenger hunts for chocolate eggs, peanut butter eggs, creme eggs, caramel eggs, marshmallow eggs, robin eggs, yellow chick and pink bunny peeps, jelly beans...

We're just thankful to celebrate our exodus from Egypt and liberation from slavery.

And how does one keep up with the Disney Princess and Clone Wars' egg dying kits? Or the plethora of Easter must-have toys to fill junior's already overflowing pastel basket?

Let us also not forget choosing just the right wine to accompany your ham, roast, turkey or chicken.

Our choice?

Manischewitz wine. Easy. Three flavors--concord grape, cherry or blackberry. Take your pick for that perfect Passover brisket.

Thankfully, my local liquor story is open this Sunday as I'll need it along with a bottle of Easter Excedrin.

Happy Eastover--I'm over it!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due!

A huge shout out to Mark Crowley and David Sundusky!

I had the wonderful opportunity to be on their radio show, Your Brand Radio this afternoon. As all of you know, it's a constant struggle to garner media awareness for meningioma brain tumors. I'm fortunate to have two tremendous advocates in my corner who are elevating awareness because of their interest.

Neither of them are personally affected by a meningioma, yet they are encouraging dialogue and pushing to get the word out about the most common primary brain tumor.

Thank you for the pre-publicity for the inaugural National Brain Tumor Awareness Month in May.

If you'd like to tune in or even download the podcast:

You can also chime in on the discussion:

Thank you Mark and David!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Lil' Man

In the blink of an eye you turned five.

Five years ago on this very day no joke, you decided to make your 3 1/2 week early debut. Hunter Harold Holzemer or Triple-H as your dad affectionately dubbed you after your first wail.

And even though you live up to this day's reputation, what endears me the most is your sweet, sensitive side. The side that still insists we have snuggie time every evening even though I am fully aware of your delayed bedtime tactics. The side that proclaims with outstretched arms, "I love you taller than the trees!" The side that when unsure of the answer to a particular question, you'll just shrug your shoulders and simply say, "Acause." Works for me!

Then there's that way you look at me with squinty eyes and your chin jutting out to the right doing your best pirate imitation.

And how could I forget the way you hold your most prized possession? A misplaced prize that has had an army of adults turning an entire house upside down in search of many a time! The tears. The promise that he will be found. He being a stuffed dog you received upon your arrival. A dog simply known as and called dog. Dog the dog.

No longer plush. Missing both eyes. Missing nose. Missing quite a bit of stuffing. Left ear safety-pinned at cheek. Even as you sleep, you somehow always manage to wrap dog's left ear around your left thumb and tightly tuck dog's head under your chin. Holding him ever so close. I've witnessed that contented smile of loving another spread across your sweet face as you drift off.

It's the same expression I wear for you.

Happy Birthday Hunter, my lil' man.