In this issue

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 July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774

The Book of (Grocery) Lists

By Lenore Skenazy

JewishWorldReview.com | If you're trying to understand America in all its joy, desperation and weirdness, there's just one book to consult: "Milk Eggs Vodka."

It's a book of shopping lists.

Yes, real shopping lists — a few hundred of them — reprinted in all their crumpled, stained and misspelled glory. They represent just a fraction of the thousands of lists collected over the past decade by oddball/genius Bill Keaggy, who hopes you'll send him any lists you find, too. He just loves them.

So do I! So do untold legions! Keaggy's grocery list website, grocerylists.org, gets a few thousand hits a day. Why?

"You really get a glimpse into people's lives," says Keaggy, a graphic designer when he's not stopping to pick up the detritus of modern life. A grocery list is like a diary, he says — utterly honest and not written for public consumption. Short and mysterious, it is the haiku of everyday life:

"Squirt gun, hot peppers, strawberrys, bee trap, pie pans."

Read it and you can feel the sun beating down on a birthday party (and hear some kid screaming).

"Buns, vodka, wine, chips, vanilla ice cream, kitty litter."

That one just made Keaggy laugh.

"Prozac, kid hair de-tangler, Ibuprofen, Fiber-All, Sensodyne."

As Keaggy notes in his unfailingly wonderful marginalia, "wow. Your life sucks, my friend. Constipation, headaches, aching gums, kids with knotted hair. No wonder you're depressed."

Aside from the lives revealed by these lists, there are also the demographics. A yuppy shopper's list includes, as if by law, goat cheese, shallots and pastry crust. Quiche alert! But the list written in fat, preteen letters, with smiles in all the O's, says, "Food — Thanks Mom! Pizza Lunchable, Taco Lunchable, Gatorade Rapid Rush-Blue, Cooler Ranch Doritos."

"I'm not so sure this list should have been labeled 'food,'" Keaggy observes.

Maybe not. But here you have a totally candid picture of what one girl — possibly representing one entire generation — wants for lunch. A few years later, will it be buns, wine and vodka? Or Prozac and Fiberall?

Though Keaggy didn't write this book as any kind of study, he has come to a couple of conclusions, including the fact that old people really like cookies. (He can tell an old person's list by the shakiness of the writing.)

After collecting at least one list from every state, he also found that 41 percent included some sort of bread and that 37 percent included milk. Half had some sort of personal-care or cleaning product, and just 6 percent were looking for liquor. Adds Keaggy, "Yeah. Right."

The most fastidious shoppers write their lists on the back of envelopes and put coupons inside (and sometimes forget they're there). The most frazzled write lists such as: "Spaghetti. Sauce." Or even shorter lists: "Celery!" And the most honest write things such as, "Bud Light, good beer." That's not commentary; those are two separate items.

And then there are the lists that can break your heart: "1 lb hamberger, cheeseburger mocornoi, bread, butter, lunch meat. If enough money — chips."

It's not just the spelling that hurts.

After years of loving all these lists, Keaggy gradually realized that shoppers were wasting time and possibly money by not being organized. They were returning for single items ("Celery!") and being vague about their needs ("Get supper things"), so he created a checklist to help them. It lists just a few hundred items by department — simplicity itself. Yet it has been downloaded tens of thousands of times.

If you ever find one of these lists, kindly send it to grocerylists.org, P.O. Box 752, St. Louis, MO 63188.

In the meantime, don't forget: BUY MILK!

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Lenore Skenazy Archives

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