Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"Hello? Is This the Person To Whom I'm Speaking?"

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Sometimes "progress" is actually really backwards. So many children these days do not understand the simple days of yesteryear: rotary telephones, AM radio, b & w television, NO REMOTE CONTROLS, getting up to answer the telephone (not having a machine picking up the call) REGARDLESS of who was on the other end. The list of course goes on and on.

Yesterday, en route home from work I made a stop that set me behind schedule. So I called home to let the family know when I was nearing our neighborhood.

My daughter answered in her eight-year-old sultry voice. "Hello."

"Hi." (I sounded more or less like myself, no need for a sultry voice here)


"What are you doing?"


"Who's there with you? Where's your father?" (at this point, I disguised my voice somewhat)

"He's here, helping us do homework."

"He is? So... where's your mother? Let me talk to your mother please!" (further disguising my voice to more of a bass tone, trying to throw my daughter off and let her think it's a man on the line)

Pause. Laugh. "Hi Mummy!"

"What? (trying to sound gruff) Let me talk to your mother!"

"Hi Mummy. I know it's you," she says, laughing.

(back in my regular voice) "Did you recognize that it was ME putting on a fake voice?"

"No...I didn't have to. I saw the phone number!"

Ha, so the joke was on me. Call display will get you (almost) every time!

"Andy Hardy" Comments on "Dorothy"

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Please click on the linking title.

Danny Miller, whose writing I discovered around the same time that I discovered Neil Kramer's Citizen of the Month blog, is brilliant. He is eloquent, he is bright, he is well-immersed in cultural and entertainment trivia. He'd probably be a rather wonderful guest to have at a dinner party or at a casual gathering with friends, with his tales of department stores, old theaters, old houses, public figures and rubbing shoulders with movie industry types.

Picture a dog who shows surprise. What does the dog do? He sits, looks and holds his head askew, as if asking, "What? What was that you said/you did? What exactly was that all about?"

Picture Pearl. Picture Pearl reading Danny Miller's blog. Picture Pearl, her head askew. Picture Pearl smiling. Picture Pearl typing furiously to let others know about Danny Miller talking about THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Picture yourself hurrying to his blog. Picture yourself reading his latest post. Picture yourself smiling. Picture yourself singing:

When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around
Heaven opens a magic lane
When all the clouds darken up the skyway
There's a rainbow highway to be found
Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun
Just a step beyond the rain...

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
There's a land that I've heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true
Some day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow
Why oh why can't I?

Soul Light

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Soul Light

I place the tin candle holder on the tray,
light a match
and hold it steadily at the candle’s wick –
watching as the flame slowly comes to life,
rising higher and higher.

This candle, this soul light,
will burn for at least twenty-four hours.

A small window of opportunity
To bring you back to life.
To recreate for others all that you were.
To share with them all that you represented.
To give your neshama a spark once more.

I say a silent prayer and remember.

A Writer's Anxiety Dream...Comes True

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Last month, I posted about an odd anxiety dream I had. This evening I found out that the dream more-or-less has come true.

The launch for the annual Canadian Jewish literary journal, Parchment, is this coming Sunday morning. A fellow poet had told me that she'd already heard before Rosh Hashana from the editor that she was to read some of her accepted poetry at the launch. But she hadn't been told which poems to read. In other words, the literary project had grown quite scattered this year...

As I hadn't heard anything about whether or not my poetry was accepted, and it was so late in the game, I made the assumption that it's not. Especially too, since I hadn't been contacted about providing an updated bio. But I was sort of planning to go to the launch anyhow to hear those writers/playwrights/poets whose works HAD BEEN ACCEPTED. But could a rejected poet like myself feel comfortable amidst published ones? So it was truly going to be just a spur of the moment decision as to whether or not I'd go on Sunday.

Tonight, out of curiosity, I went on to the journal's web site. It had gotten updated since the last time I checked, and now referred to the 2005-2006 new edition...complete with an index. And MY name was in the table of contents and bio listings. I was curious to see what was written, as I hadn't been informed that a poem of mine would appear in the journal, and as I'd never been asked to submit a bio this year. The bio said that it was my third appearance in this journal, and then the rest of the blurb was the same I'd submitted last year. Okay, so they made something up. Not exactly what I'd have said AGAIN, but it's still something, I guess.

The problem is that (at least online, but probably in the actual book too) the index lists my current married name (I think I must've submitted the poem under it), but the bio (already pseudo-set from last year) lists my maiden name and married name, which is what I prefer for my published writing.

So...had I not by fluke looked at the web site earlier, and just gone this coming Sunday to the book launch, the complete dream would have come true: going to the venue, being handed a book and being told that I do have stuff published in it, seeing that they got my name wrong...or at least partially wrong.

In spite of these "kvetches" of mine, I'm once again honored to have had a poem accepted in this prestigious publication. I had submitted two, but this accepted one has never been published, while the other one already appeared in the Canadian Jewish News and in The Book of Ariel, Robert Avrech's two-year-long project memorializing his son, Ariel Chaim Avrech.

My published poem is entitled Soul Light and is about the ner neshama/memorial candle.