Sunday, January 27, 2008

the scent of desire

im reading this really great book by rachel herz called the scent of desire . being an individual who is quite sensitive to smell this is right up my alley. ive aways noticed that sometimes when i find someone irritating i realize that it is their scent that irritates me, not their lack of sense of personal space. one of the concepts of this book is that sense of smell is very close to memory. also, if one has no sense of smell one can't enjoy food . it can cause depression and in extreme cases suicide. case in point: diet cookies arent as tasty as real cookies. diet cookies lack sugar. sugar makes cookies smell divine. women in particular are more sensitive to smell and unknowingly use their sense of smell to find a mate much more so than men who are more visual. unwittingly women find men whose genetic makeup to be different than theirs to actually smell best. interestingly , this is a problem because women on the pill are more attracted to men whose scents have a more similar genetic makeup to their own and when they go off of the pill are no longer attracted to their husbands' scent!!! i cant say for sure that any of this is true for a fact, however i am very drawn to men who have a scent that i really dig, and the scent is their personal scent , not cologne. if a guy doesnt smell good to me its definitely a deal breaker.

mirror, mirror on the wall....

how far would you go for the sake of vanity?? a nose job?? lids??? hair dye??? face lift?? how artificial are you willing to go? if i had grey hair i would definitly want to cover it. i still look pretty young, and if i had grey hair it would really age me, especially as a single woman. hair dye is as far as i would go. i have a small nose, but i could understand why someone might want to get a nose job if they had a really bad one. injecting botulism into my face hardly sounds enticing (via botox). some people who have their lids done can barley close them afterward . plastic surgery isnt able to replicate the natural elasticity of a persons facial skin which is essential in recreating a youthful appearance. i think that i have a unique appearance that i acutally like. it must be scary to have elective surgery . to go under the knife when its not medically be that vain. ive seen before and after pictures from some of these plastic surgery shows and many of the "before"pictures are just as presentable as the "after" photos. its equally sad that people cant just age in peace. one should try to look the best that they can without surgical enhancements. so many people who've tried age - defying plastic surgery dont really look that much younger. furthermore, if they hadnt done any plastic surgery, at least one would get to see the true expressions on their faces.

Friday, January 25, 2008

full house murder mystery!!

heath ledger was found in his manhattan apt. a few days ago. at first i thought it was suicide or a drug overdose. after all why else would such a handsome actor wind up dead? but now im thinking that this is getting very interesting. it seems he had been mixing in in with the simian anorexic mary kate olsen. me thinks there might be a full house murder mystery on our hands!!its the snl version of full house!! or maybe mad magazine's version!! poor heath, murdered by a blond monkey. the monkey had anorexia anyway , which could have killed her, but she decided to kill him instead. she should have left heath alone and killed herself .oh well now she's in a league with courtney love who people blame for killing curt cobain!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

film fanatic

today is the last day i will be attending the ny jewish film festival which ends tomorrow. one of the films i viewed today was "film fanatic" about a haredi guy in israel who put together a bunch of dvd movies on very frum themes and sold them to his haredi target market. these films were so 'low budget' that they were almost like home movies . dvds went where videos could not have because the haredi do not have tv sets, but apparently they do own computers! eventually , when this filmmaker realized he needed better monetary backing he actually made a film that others beside the yeshiva community might watch. still pretty kosher, but he employed chilonim to help out. film fanatic is two and a half stars out of a possible five. its entertaining, but not great. i wasnt totally convinced that the yeshivish community would welcome any type of films in to their homes like the movie made it seem.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

making trouble

today i saw the best movie at the jewish film festival so far. i viewed the film "making trouble" directed by rachel talbot , presented by the jewish women's archive. the movie is about funny jewish women , featuring molly picon, fanny bryce, sophie tucker, joan rivers, gilda radnor , and wendy wasserstein. joan rivers, though not the youngest of the lot, is the only one still alive. the movie began with four younger comediennes -judy gold, jackie hoffman, and two others whose names escape me- sitting at katz's deli talking about being a jewish woman in comedy as well as introducing the legendary ladies of comedy. the first great lady of jewish comedy featured was molly picon. she grew up in philadelphia and started up in vaudeville and subsequently starred in many yiddish films and plays. to me she is legendary even though id never heard of her until i happened upon her 1980's autobiography at the library. after reading about her life i took out many of her films from the library and became a huge fan. the woman did somersaults eighty!! one of the most touching scenes presented was how molly went to the d.p. camps after the holocaust and performed for the survivors. in an interview she spoke of a mother who held out her small child and begged molly to perform saying "my child has never heard laughter, perform for her!" and she spoke of child survivors who she had performed for outside who insisted she perform even in the rain. and she did! it was also amazing to see film clips of and exuberant molly playing a teenager in yiddle mitn fiddle at 36 yrs old.
next up was fanny bryce who was quite a star in her time as well . my parents have always remembered her playing baby snooks. fanny bryce was so popular that a betty boop cartoon even features her in cartoon. fanny bryce was a beautiful woman , but since she didnt possess the blonde haired , blue-eyed look of the time , she became a comedic actress instead of the romantic lead. she even eventually got a nose job to look less jewish. to me , from the footage , she looked very jewish, but was not ugly. apparently she did not have a yiddish accent , but affected one when she performed.
sophie tucker , who id heard of, but knew the least about was also featured. she grew up in connecticut to a frum family and after a brief failed marriage and the birth of a son , she went off to become a performer at the tender age of 17. to me, she seemed the least jewish out of all of the comediennes featured, although her life was very much entwined in the jewish community. her father was a doctor and when he treated prostitutes they would say that they were actresses by trade. so when sophie embarked on a career in show biz you can imagine what her family thought! sophie's grand - niece was featured giving insight about her aunt. eerily this niece very much resembles her great aunt.
joan rivers was featured and when they showed a recent act of hers it was heartbreaking. she's done so much plastic surgery she looks more like jocelyn wildenstein than jocelyn wildenstein herself. ive seen old footage of joan rivers before, but this was the first time id seen old footage of her as an adult. she truly was funny from the start. the thing ive always liked about joan rivers is that she never denies her jewishness, in fact she owns it. upon viewing her pre-plastic surgery self, i realize she never needed any to begin with.
gilda radnor was always my favorite on saturday night live. i read a lovely book about her by alan zwiebel called 'bunny, bunny' years ago . alan zwiebel was featured in her retrospective in the film . they featured my personal favorite snl faux commercial for jewess jeans. i hadnt seen it in years , and it was just as funny now as it hadbeen then. they also featured a snl channukah skit with bill murray and john belushi where gilda lights the menorah and says one of the brachas over the candles. and of course they featured lisa lupner and roseanne rosannadan.
last but not least was wendy wasserstein. i admit that ive only read a few of her works , but she was truly amazing. it is so unfortunate that she died so young. i met her in person when she did a book reading at barnes and noble when shiksa goddess was published. wendy was such a regular person. she appeared to be the type of person you 'd want to be friends with. she was so real. her interviews for this film were taped right before her passing. in fact she passed away before the film was made. it was hard to watch those recent clips of her because she looked like she was in so much pain. thankfully there were other clips of her where she was more vibrant. its so sad that her life was cut so short. when the sisters rosensweig came out they wanted her to change the name because it sounded too jewish. they said that people in the boondocks couldnt relate to it. to which she replied "people in the boondocks dont have sisters?"
i wished the film would never end, but alas it did. it was perfection . i highly recommend it. it was a fabulous retrospective with an equal mix of facts i had already known and facts i was honored to learn.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

murder of a hatmaker

i saw another film at the jewish film festival today. it was called "murder of a hatmaker" . it is the story of a french jewish high fashion hatmaker who ultimately met her death in auchwitz. it was a beautiful film . it showed life in france for jewish people before the war. what was wonderful about the film is that one got to really see what kind of life this woman led and get a sense of her beautiful creations before finding out her ultimate fate. i think that its important to celebrate the lives of those who unfortunately lost their lives during the holocaust besides just recounting how they perished. both aspects are equally important to be remembered.
after the film the filmmaker who is the niece of the hatmaker spoke. she resembles her deceased aunt very much. my most favorite , yet chilling response the filmmaker gave was that she did not feel that there is much anti-semitism in france nowadays, when asked about the current state of anti-semitsm in france. i hope her opinion is correct, but im not quite sure where the truth lies.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

avi and david

there's a new kosher cafe on the scene called avi and david's on third avenue between 61st and 62nd . it kind of reminds me of how mom's bagel's was , but smaller. they are under the ok supervision and are milchig. they claim to be open 24 hrs except for 3 hrs before sundown on fridays until one hour after shabbos on saturday night. they have been open for the past 6 months unbeknownst to me. the bagels are really yummy. its also a nice alternative to mendy's which is in the galleria bldg (on 57th st.)

peyton place

i read the book peyton place when i was fourteen. at the time i thought it was a really great read until i realized that's what the frum community is. peyton place. i went out with this guy a few years ago and i remember telling a friend about it years ago not thinking she would ever meet him seeing as my friend isnt frum and i am. fast forward to the present and now she actually did meet this chap , ill call him shmuel, and now she wants to know even more sordid details seeing as she would like to date him. thank goodness i never told her EVERYTHING about shmuel to begin with because i know that my friend, lets call her rachel seems to remember everything i actually did tell her. i never told rachel why we broke up or why i wouldnt ever date shmuel again, because i never wanted to and now i even less would want to tell her the details. i've told rachel too much already. boy, it just goes to show that you never can be too careful about who one confides in !

Monday, January 14, 2008

the savages.

i saw the movie "the savages" yesterday. i think the movie was a true depiction of our times. two single siblings are forced to deal with the aging of their father . as a single person i could really relate. fortunately neither of my parents are as old as mr. savage was. it really gave me pause to think. i think the point of the movie was that each sibling was so involved in their own lives that they didnt even think about relating to one other until forced to do so. in a way it made singlehood less scary. we may be alone in so many ways, yet we still have our families (parents, siblings ).its not the same as having spousal support, but it does count for something.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

the ripe old age of 33

as a frum person its quite interesting to ponder at what age one is considered old, especially a frum single person. for myself i would have to say it was 33. before 33 i had no qualms about divulging my age. after 33 i did. i never forget how i came to this horrifying revelation. i was registering for a shabbaton and the organizer asks me how old i was and not missing a beat she answered her own question and said, " you're 32, right?'" at which point i didnt correct her. 32 was my age the year before when i had registered for the shabboton this woman had ran the year before. this is when i realized i was officially old. i was officially old enough to want to hide my true age. suddenly i wasn't young anyomre... at the ripe old age of 33.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

opening day at the jewish film festival

yesterday was opening day at the jewish film festival. i saw two movies yesterday . i saw tehillim and hebrew lesson . tehillim was about a modern orthodox woman whose husband leaves her and her two kids and the aftermath. the father in law was a bit more religious than his daughter in law. one of the film producers was in attendance. i found it quite enjoyable, but for those who like films with nice pat endings it may not be .
the second film that i saw was called a hebrew lesson ,which was directed by david offeck who also directed number seventeen which was the movie about identifying the unidentified victim of an israeli bus bombing. one of the directors (not david offeck) was in attendance as well. hebrew lesson is an engaging as well as disturbing film. it chronicles the lives of two chinese women, one german woman , and one peruvian woman who are in an ulpan in israel and are all involved with jewish israeli men ( i know ive said that i normally boycott these types of films, but i didnt realize there was such a strong theme of intermarriage in the film.) the last individual featured at the ulpan was sasha a jewish russian born man. what i found disturbing was that at the expense of making an interesting story it made it seem like the majority of people who want to make aliyah to israel are non-jewish women involved with jewish men. what i found disturbing was the way these people who were presented as the "new Israelis" aren't even jewish. although, to be fair they did broach the subject of the german woman converting and without giving away her whole story, there was alot of dialogue with her about this especially since she was German. they were teaching judaism as just a culture to fit in with. although i cant say that i have any concrete plans to move to israel, it made me feel at least more strongly than usual, that i should move to israel just to make sure that jews will actually comprise a majorty of new olim. i think that they sacrificed a little bit of reality to make it more interesting. they wanted to make israel seem so cosmopolitan that anyone would want to live there that they didnt show why it would be so special for an actual jewish person to want to live in the jewish state. the few stories they showed that were jewish stories of new olim such as the russian guy and the parisian jewish ulpan teacher were uncomfortably overshadowed by the stories of the non-jewish olim. one of the chinese olim went so far as making a documentary about the illegal chinese immigrants to israel, which actually made one begin to question what the identity of an israeli is based on . is being jewish the essence of being israeli? moreover, IF this can be a question, what a sorry state the state of israel is in.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

new york jewish film festival

tomorrow marks the first day of the new york jewish film festival. i can't wait. usually im one of the youngest atttendees and this is not because im that young. many of the films that are included in the festival are quite excellent, i just think that alot of "young" people, and i use that term loosely, dont often attend. perhaps this go round will be different. alot of the films go on to have lives of their own. little jerusalem was at the jff a few years ago and was later at the quad. the ritchie boys was shown at makor several go rounds. a personal favorite was "shalom y'all" about the jews of the south featuring the filmmaker's almost 100 year old grandfather who fled ny for the south. its especially touching to look back at now seeing as the filmmaker had grown up in new orleans. kinky friedman as well as a black jewish chief of police from south carolina were featured in shalom y'all. i think this year too many holocaust films are featured, and not enough just plain jewish life features. the jewish museum does a really good job organizing the festival. unfortunatley not as many orthodox jews attend as one might think would. of course every festival includes the requisite intermarriage film which i always boycott.

when online dating remains online dating

i truly am a fan of trying to find a man via the internet dating websites, however sometimes i feel that alot of men(and im sure women do as well) like to prolong the online aspect of the relationship before graduating to actually talking on the phone or better yet actually meeting the other person. when i suggest a guy call me , he decides he might im a bit before making that all important phone call step. or bettter yet, me and said prospective internet love interest have already gone out several times, but said prospective internet love interest would still prefer to email ask me out instead of actually phoning me. and this preference isnt because he's too busy to call or doesnt own a phone, its because he's too nervous to speak directly to me lest he say the wrong thing. when you email each date invitation can be so well thought out that he will never say the wrong thing. i view online dating as a means to meeting someone in person, not as a way of gaining another im buddy or pen pal. sure its scary to ask someone out directly, or speak directly to get to know someone else, but its THE ONLY way to truly get to know someone. but we all know this. and yes i have asked these types of guys to phone me directly, but i truly am looking for someone who already knows that directly relating to someone is better than virtually getting to know them. online dating is only successful when it becomes in person dating and when it doesnt remain online dating.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


as a child i always had heard that iran was a good place for jews to live. then came the revolution and i then met lots of children who fled iran for america. i always had thought that the revolution had made it bad just for the jewish inhabitants of iran. apparently i was wrong. as an adult i met persian jews who filled in the blanks for me and let me know that iran after the revolution was not really good for anyone.
i read the books of persepolis by marjane satrapi about a two years ago. they were excellent. i even saw her at barnes and noble last year when her last book came out. she is a truly incredible person with a very sharp sense of humor. she isnt jewish and her books are about how the iranian revolution effected her life as a western thinking iranian. i saw the movie tonight. it was very good, but the books are even better.

powerless blinking

people always say that life can change with the blink of an eye, well as i blink my eyes right now my life seems to always stay the same, and its not for lack of trying . although, on the more positve side some of the things id like not to change, like my rent and weight tend to always change. one thing for sure its life is never what one expects it to be. i thought that id be married with children by this age and now im not as confident that either will happen. perhaps i need to blink a little harder.

Friday, January 4, 2008

cherished alone time

there is nothing more amazing than being up late at night , enjoying the solitude of no phone calls being recieved... too late to place a phone call... not too late to savor a good book.... view an uninterupted tv program... cruise dating websites solo .... bake a midnight snack.... oh the pleasures of the sweet .... cannnot forget not to take for granted....

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

gilded lions and jeweled horses

there's a really cool exhibit at the american folk art museum about the jewish craftsmen who came to the united states from galicia and went from making synagogue art such as the lion and tablets carvings above the aron kodesh, to making ponies for amusement park carousels. there are about 3 floors filled with various displays of the lions with the tablets as well as ponies and lions from amusement parks . papercuts of mizrach are also displayed in this exhibit. i found this to be a really informative and enjoyable exhibit. it will be going on until march 23, 2008. it is definitely a must see!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

groundhog day moments

hopefully this year will be different and i wont perpetually be living another year of bill murray in groundhog day moments. i often feel like my life is always pressing the repeat button. id like for things to go a little differently and actually get to find love again this year