Friday, June 25, 2010

to be on a pedestal

whenever people speak of the deceased they always seem to sound so unlike they were when they were alive. often people make them sound like they were the biggest tzadikim. it always makes me wonder if they are really talking about the person they say they are memorializing. i certainly dont remember them that way. certainly no one wants to memorialize someone in a bad light, but why fictionalize them so much? sometimes i want to shake people and say that i wish i had known the person they are talking about because the deceased that i had known by that name was not all that. of course i never would do this. but i sure feel like it. isnt there something in between? even when we speak of avraham , moshe and david hamelech we speak about their shortcomings and we still regard them as nothing less than tzaddikim.

Monday, June 21, 2010

status quo

life is really weird. for years things can be the same . nothing changes. ever. and then suddenly after many years of sameness it changes. poof! just like that. the change isn't always bad change , but its change. this is why one has to be flexible. things may seem like they will never change , but that do change . eventually. i guess this could count as a proof that one can actually be hopeful about achieving ones hopes, dreams and goals.

Friday, June 18, 2010

rabashkin chain calls

somehow i was the recipient of a rabashkin chain call. somehow these calls go through even though im on the opt-out list . this chain call begs everyone to pray that her husband is acquitted of all of charges against him. the voice that is seeking help is that of a woman who claims to be rabashkin's wife.
i usually tune out when i get these junk phone calls and today was no different. rabaskin's wife went on and on and on. the last thing she said was that rabashkin still has 6 unmarried children and a special needs child who need him. the first thing that came to mind when she said he has 6 unmarried children was that its a little tacky to be mentioning what the shadchanim might be spewing about the yichus of these 6 unmarried young-adults. a shonda. is having an unmarried child a reason to feel bad for rabashkin? his special needs child deserves rachmanas, but the single ones ? well im sure every parent of an unmarried child would like to stage a tehillim group on his/her behalf!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

confessions of a prairie b@#ch

little house on the prairie was my most favorite television show when i was a kid.
about a year ago melissa gilbert came out with a book and more recently melissa sue anderson and alison arngrim have released books about growing up on the set of the beloved tv series little house on the prairie.
alison arngrim's book came out yesterday and she had a book reading at borders columbus circle. i had been looking forward to this book reading for weeks.
seeing alison arngrim was like seeing an old friend that you have never met. it was also surreal to see nellie oleson all grown up. her voice is still the same pitch.
i always thought that alison arngrim must have had so much fun playing nellie.
often an actor is typecast for life if they have portrayed one character for a long time. eve plum of jan brady fame dislikes this so much that she doesn't like to address q& a sessions if they are about her previous brady life. fortunately alison argrim has taken another approach. she is a stand up comedian and has embraced the campiness of it all. she makes it part of her public appearances , her stand up gigs and it was the theme of her book. she has made it work for her. she appreciates the fact that so many have been touched by this thirty year old tv series. it was seven years of her childhood. she and melissa gilbert were bff's. it doesn't get much better than this.
listening to alison arngrim recount her days as nellie oleson was the most fun i have had in several months. it transported me to my childhood.
little house on the prairie was a wholesome show on screen as well as off. the adults tried to provide a child friendly atmosphere for these child actors. these child actors did not get arrested. none of them have died of drug overdoses.
alison arngrim enjoyed being on this show as much as those of us in the tv audience enjoyed watching it at home.
ive started reading alison arngrim's book confessions of a prairie bitch it is written with equal parts warmth and humor. i highly recommend it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

the element of surprise

when i was a little girl i loved surprises. i guess because as a child surprises tended to be good things like a surprise visit by grandma, a surprise birthday party or a surprise gift from a relative who had returned from an exotic vacation.
as an adult surprises are quite different. you get surprised at how much income taxes are each year, how high gas prices have climbed, and of course surprised at how life never seems to turn out the way you might prefer it to. im surprised im still single, im surprised how hard it is to lose weight. im surprised how unattracted i am to many blind dates. what happened to all the good surprises of my youth? did i use up all of the good surprises and now all that is left are the mediocre and bad surprises?
is it that all of the surprises these days are bad or is it that its easier to focus on the bad ones? im not sure. i am sure that i am a realist . i like to know what the deal is . good or bad. sometimes it is possible to consider all of the pros and cons and know what to expect. other times ... well other times it is not. as much as we try to have control over things we really cant because that isn't life. we aren't in control. life is surprise.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

the illustrated people

when i was a kid the only tattooed person i remember seeing was on the cover of ray bradbury's book the illustrated man. now i realize that part of the reason i did not encounter many tattooed people was because i lived in the midwest. but still. i dont think that tattoos were as much the rage years ago as they are now. it seems that so many seemingly "normal" folk have them. what are these people thinking? i realize that as a jew that the torah forbids tattoos , but lets get real. who wants to voluntarily inflict pain upon one's self? i for one do not. and does any twenty-something consider how ridiculous these tattoos will look when they are eighty? tattoos arent so easily removed . what looks hip at twenty-two is extremely un-hip at eighty. then again the only thing hip at eighty is a hip replacement. but you catch my drift.

Friday, June 11, 2010

boxed in

why is it that when i walk down the street in manhattan people always insist on passing me on the right hand side? i think that this is because not many new yorkers drive.
did you ever notice how people like to hang close to a building when they are walking down the street? i find this incredibly annoying. there could be barely a few inches space and the person behind me on the street will squeeze next to me just so they can walk next to the building. it is especially annoying when they want to do this when the building is to the right of me.
they say that walking clears one's mind, but sometimes all it does is fill my mind with stress when i have to deal the other people who share the sidewalk.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


as a kid i was not popular. i was not a total nerd, but i was definitely not popular. i did not remotely aspire to be popular.
with extensive singleness, there are lots of mutations left over from high school , namely the "in" crowd. i always thought the idea of the"in" crowd would discontinue after high school graduation. well try and tell the single folk that.
there is a crowd everyone wants to hang with so one doesn't miss out on all of the fun. and of course you have to be careful not to let the wrong people know about stuff otherwise everyone will have a "bad" time.
i used to live in a nerdy apartment building until a lot of the cool people moved in and suddenly
it was cool to live here. everyone who is anyone lives with in a few short blocks of me.
i look at pictures and i count how many people live in my apartment building and i can hardly believe its true. im living in a co-ed dorm!
all of this has come as quite a shock to my system. perhaps in high school or college all of this social status stuff would be fun, but i have bills and a full time job. im way too busy to be popular!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

shomer negiah redefined

after many years of shopping at glatt mart i have realized that there aren't very many frum people who are shomer negiah or nor too many frum people who have respect for personal space.
let me explain. whenever i am at the checkout counter checking out there is always someone behind me in line pushing into me while they unload their groceries onto the conveyor belt. i don't get it. are they just not getting any at home so they feel the need to bump into me in line at glatt mart? shoving someone in line is NEGIAH . they don't need to push me to secure their space in line. this is why i don't understand why all of this negiah is going on.
unless im just too exhausted i will confront the person who is touching me unnecessarily in line and tell them not to shove me as they are unloading their shopping basket. i think im going to have a new tactic and tell them they ought not shove and crowd me in line as i am shomer negiah and their behavior is thus inappropriate.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


greenberg the movie . what can i say? ben stiller should win an oscar for this movie. will he? probably not. but he should.
greenberg is about a 40 year old pseudo-jewish man who is let out of a mental hospital after recovering from a nervous breakdown and stays at his married with children brother's house while his brother is on vacation. he is extremely neurotic and narcissistic. his conversations are more like soliloquies and when he does actually listen to what the other person has to say he tries to psychoanalyse them . whenever i hear someone getting psychoanalytical on me i always suspect that they themselves are seeing a shrink(unless of course they themselves are a shrink!). as with roger greenberg many self appointed shrinks are trying to analyse others with the insight their shrinks have given them. this would be ok if everyone shared the same psychosis. most of us dont. in roger greenberg's case not too many people share his psychosis except for the fact that i kept thinking he seemed vaguely familiar. like someone some stupid shadchan has tried to pass off on me.
the other reason greenberg seems oddly familiar is how he is forty but is still stuck in the past. he loves the music of the seventies and eighties because this is the music he grew up with. this would be ok if he was able to appreciate the new stuff as well. i meet so many men like this and not too many women like this. its great to love the music you loved as a kid but doesn't it get boring to just listen to the oldies? i mean really , why not listen to newer music if not just for variety's sake?
greenberg is more of a character driven movie than a plot driven one. it is a movie that has a message . roger greenberg is stuck in the past. he could have been a rock star at twenty-five. now he is a carpenter. he is comfortable doing nothing. he doesn't understand why his forty year old friends have created families , relationships and meaningful careers. he is too warped to ever grow up. what seems cool at twenty wont always be cool. if you don't bother growing up the joke's on you. unfortunately its those around you who will suffer. if one is deluded enough one wont recognise one's own stagnation.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

family dinners

one of my fondest memories growing up was of my family eating dinner together. we weren't formal and they weren't prolific. i cant even remember what kind of conversations we had. i just remember that they were nice. they ended a long time ago. they ended when i went to high school and got home later than my other siblings. they would eat before i got home and i would eat by myself. i guess i must have eaten with my mom because she must have served me.
once i was in high school family dinners were just on shabbos. it wasn't the same as when it had been an everyday event, but they were still in effect .
once i graduated high school it was all over. i spent a year in israel and then i emigrated to new york.
time marches on and you barely have time to remember the details of childhood and then one day you do and you realize not only they are gone but they are long gone. they are just a glimmer in your mind's eye.