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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 17, 2009 / 27 Menachem-Av 5769

The Mother of All Parties

By Dave Barry





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Things are tense in our house. Our daughter is about to turn 4, which means we have to hold a birthday party, which means my wife is, at the moment, insane.


Like many moms, my wife believes that a child's birthday party requires as much planning as a lunar landing—more, actually, because you have to hire a clown. Serious moms plan birthday parties months in advance, choosing a theme—Bob the Builder, Disney Princesses, Snoop Doggy Dogg, etc.—and relentlessly incorporating this theme in every element of the party, including invitations, decorations, music, games, craft projects, snacks, cake, entertainment, favors, little gift bags for the favors, ribbons for the little gift bags for the favors, name tags for the ribbons for the little gift bags for the favors, and on and on until the mom has lost all touch with human reality. If you want proof, go to one of the Internet sites devoted to birthday planning, such as birthdaypartyideas.com, where moms report, in detail, the deranged lengths to which they have gone to stage birthday parties for small children. They sound like this:


"Our theme for Meghan's third birthday was 'The Enchanted Fairy Forest.' To create a 'forest' in the family room, I made full-size 'trees' out of fiberglass, which I painted brown and festooned with 17,000 'leaves' I cut by hand from green felt, accented with live squirrels that I caught using a galvanized-steel trap baited with Peter Pan creamy peanut butter. For the 'forest floor,' I brought in four tons of mulch with a Lawn Boy yard tractor. For the 'sky,' I used the actual sky, which was visible because I removed the ceiling and roof with a chainsaw, which is when my husband, Ed, left me, but the overall effect was well worth it."


You think I'm exaggerating, but that's only because you haven't browsed "birthdaypartyideas.com."


It would be different if dads planned birthday parties. First off, the party would be about a month after the child's actual birthday, which is when Dad would remember it. Dad's party theme would be "delivery pizza," which would also serve as the cake, the craft project and the party favor. The entertainment would be pulling Dad's finger. The kids would have just as much fun.


But of course Dad is not entrusted with birthday-party planning, at least not in our house, where the entire massive burden falls on my wife, causing her to become increasingly unbalanced. Last year, our theme was "The Wizard of Oz," and my wife decided that, among many other touches, we needed to transform our front walkway into a Yellow Brick Road by covering it with a roll of yellow plastic that she bought from the House of Really Slippery Surfaces. On the day of the party, it was raining, so I suggested that maybe, for safety, we should not do the Yellow Brick Road.


Her feeling was, yes, there could be injuries, even deaths, BUT WE WILL HAVE A YELLOW BRICK ROAD. And so we did.


Our theme this year is "The Little Mermaid." My wife was happy about this until she found out that another girl in our daughter's preschool class was having a birthday party two months before our daughter's, and her theme was ALSO "The Little Mermaid." It's the kind of nightmare you think always happens to other people, but never to you.


The other girl's parents are very nice people, but because they used my wife's theme, she viewed them as the enemy. She feared that their party would be better than ours, and these fears worsened when we got to the enemy house and discovered that the enemy mom had used a professional party planner, who had not only done serious undersea decorations involving gauze, but had also provided, for entertainment, a mermaid, a pirate AND a sea goddess.


"A sea goddess!" my wife said, and the despair in her voice was real.


But she is not giving up. She spotted some weaknesses in the enemy party's game plan: For example, there was no clown. If you can imagine. My wife has located a clown that she believes will kick the sea goddess' butt. My wife has other plans, which I will not reveal here, because you never know who could be reading this. Suffice it to say that when the day comes, we'll be ready. For my part, I will do exactly as I am told.


But if I hear a chainsaw, I'm gone.

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Previously:

Summertime, and the livin' can get a bit fishy
The best summertime vacation is a good ol' staycation
It's summer and the Bridezillas are in full bloom
America's space cadets have an idea that's completely outside the box
This party animal is following the yellow brick road
My diet plan is a surefire way to lose your spouse
Here's a vacation the kids won't forget anytime soon
I'd rather read about walnuts than Britney Spears
Birthday pinata duty has me feeling a little batty
Can't we all just get along? Are you a meshugena?
I've got a few pet peeves about sea creatures
Some common grammar queries axed and answered
Grads, the world is your oyster — and it's shut
It's Barbie's world — the rest of us just live here
35 years later, it's a flight of the conned chords
Trout fishing makes me blooping crazy
Duct-tape daredevils
When it comes to buying, my wife shops — and I drop
I've found a guy who can write this column better me
After all these years, still not ready for my closeup
Let's watch out for those conjugal phrases
A trip to North Dakota puts me on the map
Kicking and hugging
This dad has a severe case of wedding belle blues
Thanks to the British, I've suffered another art attack
My vocabulary is just teeming with synergy
A brief emergency
It's time for me to come clean about my dirty ways
A ruff and ready playmate
Sticking it to bad drivers
The gravity of skiing
Warning: DO NOT READ WHILE SLEEPING!
I had fun, fun, fun till someone took my Vega away
Attack on language from Shaq to shark
Defusing the turkey bomb
Driving While Stupid
I'm living in a perpetual state of confusion
Traveling with little ones is just plane crazy
It's time to unmask a more traditional Halloween
U.S. needs to shoot for a better class of criminals
Mountain man training involves some trash talk
Ten rules for making the world a much better place
A slide down memory lane reminds me I got burned
This latest research is enough to drive you nuts
Wrestling with night critters gives me butterflies
Silly songs get this old teapot into some hot water
Kids better wise up, or they're doomed to repeat
Overweight? I'm in training for the next Ice Age
The bleu plate special proves just ducky on this trip
Just weighting for the day I can build a better body
Better to light a single gift candle than to curse your wife
These camping tips will make for some happy trails
I'm shooting the rapids with eyes wide shut
People's bad grammar is enough to make me sic
Toilet water as a weapon? That idea really stinks
The carefree days of summer begin with the ants in my pants
Heartland's moovers & shakers are an udder disgrace
I've found a guy who can do this better than I can
If you really love Dad, give him a big box of nothing
Graduates, the world is your oyster — and it's shut
How to look good in a swimsuit — no ifs, ands or butts
Trip proves I'm the king of my own castle
The writer vs. the writher beats the Hil & Obama fight
Complain about gridlock? That's just a dead end
New phone tactics help me develop new hangups
For faithful readers, a course in Journalism $1.01
How to speak English very much better
When it comes to laundry, men are all washed up
This houseguest is ready to throw in the towel
Fixing your home can truly be a bonding experience
The lies about this mammal just drive me batty
In spin cycle of love, hard to be delicate
It's just not the time to thumb our nose at bagels
Latest fitness Rx for men is a yawn
My daughter's party, I'll cry if I want to
Sanguine ride on rabid transportation
One experiment worth repeating
Nothing like a good trip to help me see the light
The lord of the dance doesn't have anything on me
Invention clearly worth the brewhaha
Safe on the slopes
Why-oh-why-oh-why-oh…
A gross national columnist
Mr. Language Person: Weird word
I (cough) was a teenage smoker!
Frogs hop into the headlines
Great American turkeys
Mr. Fixit strikes again
‘Einstein Gap’: It's all relative
Lost in space
The Trojan Twinkie Caper
MR. LANGUAGE PERSON: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!
Feeding your worst fears
Sock it to 'em, sartorially
The rubber band man
Does public art make sense?
Needling the birthday boy
On calamities (in the sky and on your head)
Modern medical mysteries
Bored games
Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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