Brother-in-law quoted in WSJ and a family party game

My brother-in-law wrote his report about our annual Chanukah party here. He has to be nice, because he knows I read his blog. (I even send him the occasional unsolicited suggestion.) It was my idea to blog about the dancing on the side of the road.

Aaron was quoted today in the Wall Street Journal, in an article on poems about the economic downturn:

Wall Street bards are also writing about the economy’s victims. Aaron Katsman, a financial adviser, saw a panhandler on the New York City subway and penned “What’s a Dime?” a four-stanza poem about the encounter:

He’s probably just down on his luck,
What’s wrong if I give him a buck?
I’d help out a friend who is stuck,
Perhaps he won’t see me when I duck.

He posted the verse to his Web site and says “clients thought it was cute.” It also helped ease the tense conversations about frantic markets. “People don’t expect their licensed financial adviser to call up about the latest in iambic pentameter,” Mr. Katsman says.

I guess this shows that you have to branch out if you want to be noticed. You can find the whole thing here.

At the party, my teenage niece wanted to play a game she had learned at her father’s family’s party, so her mother and I made up the game boards. Each team gets a paper with nine numbered squares, with each square containing a word or phrase. The items in each team’s numbered squares match–i.e., they both fit into a particular category. For instance, if the category for square #1 is birds, Team A’s page will say Robin and Team B’s page will say Cardinal. The teams take turns guessing what is on the other team’s board–the winner is the first to fill in the terms in other team’s nine squares correctly. There’s no need to guess or name the category, but broader categories make the game harder. Our categories included gates of the Old City, first names of cousins (we chose siblings but no one realized–there are 22 cousins so far), and flowers. The kids, especially the teenagers, were completely engaged.

It can be hard to find games for mixed age groups–Mafia works well. I would love suggestions for next year.


  1. thanks for the plug.
    The party really was fun and we all need to get topgether more ofetn

  2. Oh, I finally figured out who you are!! From Barnard.

  3. Sounds like fun.
    Shavua tov!

  4. mother in israel says

    AK: At the brit? đŸ™‚
    Tesyaa, give me a hint.
    You, too, Mrs. S.

  5. You might not remember me, because I was a few years behind, but I’m an actuary and I remember you had an actuary in your family, too … we had some mutual friends, I remember.