Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Only Human

I've mentioned before that my husband and I both enjoy offbeat, quirky films.

The cover of this DVD sold me immediately when I spotted it at the public library.

And Tuesday night, watching this Spanish film, we were not disappointed. Silliness -- simple silliness -- and quirkiness abounded.

Family dysfunction -- evident in many of the quirky films I see -- was at the core of the film, as was the Israeli-Palestinian potential for a personal relationship. As was human sexuality and human frailties.

On the range of 1 - 10 for quirkiness, I give the film an 8...and recommend it. (I give the grandfather's performance a 10!)

After all, we are all... ONLY HUMAN.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sad Update

I'm sorry to say that the toddler whom I asked you to daven for the other day passed away.

Our synagogue sent an email informing us of this, as the family lived in Toronto for a while and belonged to our shul before they moved to Los Angeles.

May they be comforted among the mourners of Zion. May Rafaela rest in peace.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Orthodontia and Only Simchas


Mark, aka PsychoToddler, I know you'll like that "Toothpaste for Dinner" bit above that I found to be appropriate for this post.


Over the years I've more or less cast off my Yenta cape. And that's a good thing. But one thing I can't forego since I've discovered it, is the http://www.onlysimchas.com/ website. That site is food for thought.




It is rare that I know people on the site, posting engagements, weddings, births, graduations, aliyas and photos to accompany these announcements. I am primarily well out of the age league of most of the newly engaged couples or newly married couples or new parents couples, but it is so clear to me that many young ladies aspire to make an appearance on the site, in whatever fortuitous circumstances they find themselves in.




What is the primary common denominator I've noticed among the young women whose pics are featured? They all have gorgeous teeth!!!! You can't always tell the quality of someone's hair from a photo, but you can certainly see if the subject is giving a broad smile for the camera and projecting whiteness and straighteness in her mouth.




Am I generalizing? I don't really think so. Since I was told about this site about three years ago, the "perfect teeth" syndrome is something I've seen over and over again in the photos. Why don't you take a survey and view some pics too. Tell me I'm wrong.




I don't think Photoshop has a hand in these winning smiles on the site; but no doubt Dr. Friedman/Cohen/Ames/Delgado and Grazier do. Or else maybe Mother Nature simply smiled down upon the chosen few and by osmosis passed along a winning, natural smile.








In any case, pearly whites love to appear on Only Simchas! Maybe the site should feature a photo section and call it: "The Day My Braces Came Off." You never know... As a result, shidduchs might be in the works just a few years earlier!

Oy! What People Will Stoop To... or....

DESPERATE STROKES FOR DESPERATE FOLKS!


...LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters Life!) -- Actor Tom Sizemore, best known for battle-hardened film roles in "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down," was sentenced Monday to 16 months in prison for violating his probation in a drug possession case.

But the 45-year-old performer must return to court Tuesday for a hearing on whether he will receive credit for the time he has spent in residential drug treatment facilities.

The actor admitted in court last week to violating his probation on a previous felony drug conviction and tearfully pleaded with the Los Angeles Superior Court judge for leniency, begging her, "If you would please just give me one more chance for myself."

Sizemore was on three years' probation when he was arrested May 8 outside a California hotel on suspicion of methamphetamine possession.

The actor's probation for a previous methamphetamine possession conviction was revoked in 2005 when he admitted to using a prosthetic penis in a bid to fake a urine test.

But he checked into a psychiatric hospital for treatment of chronic depression and drug dependency, which a doctor said he has battled for years, and a judge later reinstated his probation

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Prayers Are Needed for a Toddler

If you can, please daven/say a prayer for Batya Rafaela bat Hadassah, a young toddler in Los Angeles who nearly drowned in her family pool this past week. Her family used to live in Toronto, but moved to Los Angeles a couple of years back.

She is on life support.

May we only share good news.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Trivia Tidbit

I happened to read this obituary yesterday. Note the paragraph highlighted in color. It was just last week that I wrote a post about Pale Male and linked to information about him and his sweetheart.

Lola Wasserstein, mother of playwright Wendy Wasserstein, dies

The Associated Press
June 20, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lola Wasserstein, an inspiration for many of the characters in the works of her daughter, playwright Wendy Wasserstein, has died. She was 89.

Wasserstein died of natural causes on Saturday at her Manhattan apartment, another daughter, Georgette Levis, said Tuesday.

"She was an inspiration to all of us," said Levis.

Lola Wasserstein was a model for the character of Tasha Blumberg in "Isn't It Romantic," an untraditional Jewish mother who takes dance classes and wears skirts over black leotards.
She also inspired the mother character in "The Sisters Rosensweig," as well as the off-stage mother of character Holly Kaplan in "Uncommon Women and Others," who urges her daughter to find a boyfriend.

Wendy Wasserstein died last year. Another daughter, Sandra Meyer, a prominent marketing executive, died in 1998. Levis is owner of the Wilburton Inn in Manchester, Vermont.

Wasserstein was an avid dancer who took classes in jazz and modern well into her 80s, her family said.

"She was very tiny; she was 4-foot-8-inches (1.4-meter). But she never realized that because she was so dynamic," said Levis.

Born Lola Schleiffer in Poland, Wasserstein came to the United States in 1931. She was married to Morris Wasserstein, an inventor and businessman who died in 2003.

Wasserstein is also survived by her son, Bruce Wasserstein, a Wall Street deal maker, who was instrumental in saving the nest of two red-tailed hawks on the ledge of his Fifth Avenue apartment building. The hawks are widely known as Pale Male and Lola -- the latter in honor of Lola Wasserstein.

Levis said the family planned a private funeral, and a "Lola party" next week for extended family and friends "where we'll sing `Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.'"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Fancy Name...

...FOR THE SAME DIRTY JOB!

I saw this ad on a local hospital career website.

Hmmm...an Environmental Services Partner.

I wondered what that could be...



Environmental Services Partner
We have a number of temporary (five months) part time opportunities for Environmental Services Partners who will dry and wet mop floors and stairs, collect garbage, clean washrooms and replenish supplies, vacuum and spot clean carpets. You will also carry out terminal cleaning procedures as prescribed by established procedures in preparation for new admissions, can clean isolation rooms according to specific Infection Prevention Control protocols.

The successful candidates will have a Grade 11 education (or recognized equivalent), the ability to read, write and speak English competently, preferably previous Environmental Services experience and 1 year of related experience in a health care facility. (Related experience and potential will be considered) You must have attended WHMIS training, have the ability to work with minimal supervision, and must be willing and prepared to operate all housekeeping related equipment including swing buffer, high speed burnisher and automatic scrubber. You must also be prepared and able to use all personal protective equipment including CBRN gear, full faced-mask, and tyvek suit. Must possess an Infection Control Core Competency Certificate, be able to lift 20-30 pounds, and prepared to respond to and attend to Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) incidents.

Interested candidates are invited to submit a resume

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

June 24




This coming Sunday is a busy one for us.


My daughter is going to a b'day party in the morning in the center of the city. We have to pick her up early from there and drive way north-west to my three kids' final swim lesson for this session.


After swimming, we are stopping in at my friend's father's 95th birthday party (he should be well).


After that we go home to prepare for my son's 12th b'day party, which is actually a sleepover for about a dozen or more boys. You can check in with me on Monday around noon and see if ALL my hair did not turn gray overnight!


And somewhere in that full day, we will go visit my parents...for it will be, G-d willing, their 51st wedding anniversary.


Last year, their 50th anniversary, was special -- with a celebratory dinner at an upscale fleishig/meat restaurant for family and close friends. People came in from the U.S. to help mark this wonderful occasion.


This year, their 51st anniversary will be special -- but low-key. There are no celebration plans that I know of. But my dear parents will be celebrating being together...for as I recently said, it has been a most difficult year or more with regards to my father's ill health. It has been terribly difficult on my mother, too, as she has to deal with the daily physical and mental and even emotional changes that my father goes through.


My parents take marriage very seriously and they are devoted to one another, having found their beshert in each other all those years ago...and marrying six weeks after meeting each other.


Compromise, picking one's arguments, and patience have been the key. There have been many physical and emotional hurdles to leap over throughout the past 51 years, but my parents keep doing so...hand in hand....together.


May they be blessed with many more happy, and G-d willing, healthy, years together, and may our family be able to mark each June 24th with a L'CHAIM!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

From Kol Nidre to George Gershwin

Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of going out with my husband -- a rarity -- to Roy Thompson Hall to see the Toronto Symphony performing with master clarinetist and Klezmer interpreter Giora Feidman.

This concert was being held in honor of the 150th anniversary of Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto's largest reform temple. (more familiarly addressed as "The Church on the Hill" because of its Gothic architecture and location) I wasn't there on behalf of the temple, but because theater balcony tickets on gone on sale this past week at a very reasonable rate, and I asked my husband if he'd like to go to this concert and help celebrate Father's Day that way. He gave the thumbs-up sign.

Now, you have to understand: I was raised on classical music, attending symphony concerts and sometimes opera/operetta and musical theater. My husband wasn't. So he really has to want to do these things with me, and that's not often the case. But I told him who Giora Feidman was and my husband welcomed hearing Klezmer music.

Giora truly has a way with that instrument. He makes it talk; he makes it sing; he makes it cry; he makes it shout! He gives the clarinet a life of its own, while doing the same for the music he is performing. From "Kol Nidre" by Max Bruch to music from "Porgy & Bess" by Gershwin, Feidman gave every piece of music his personal stamp, infusing each movement with a trace of Klezmer. Even the piece "Two Tangos" held some Klezmer themes.

He introduced the Porgy & Bess bit by saying it has Jewish undertones, and proceeded to use "It Ain't Necessarily So" to demonstrate it. And I just found this bit in Wikipedia to help back up the fact:

"In addition to being influenced by New York jazz and southern black music, many biographers and contemporaries have noted that for many numbers Gershwin borrowed melodies from Jewish liturgical music. Gershwin biographer Edward Jablonsky has claimed that the melody to "It Ain't Necessarily So" was taken from the Haftarah blessing,[16] and others have attributed it to the Torah blessing.[17] Allusions to Jewish music have been detected by other observers as well. One musicologist detected 'an uncanny resemblance' between the folk tune Havenu Shalom Aleichem and the spiritual It Take a Long Pull to Get There.[18]"

The concert was lovely; the company was good (when I wasn't nudging him when he was "OVERrelaxing") and it was a nice way to end Father's Day.

As for Father's Day, I told my husband earlier that each day is Father's Day... Mother's Day...Valentine's Day...a birthday...an anniversary...a gift in itself. And the reason I say that is that earlier in the day, I went to my parents' home and was able to with my father a happy Father's Day in person. He's had a very difficult past year and a half. Things could have been so different already. I told my mother yesterday that I'm thankful I can visit my father in his own home. And not in the cemetery. (Perhaps this sounds morbid, but it's reality)

And as the sweet, rich sounds emanated from Giora Feidman's clarinet, I couldn't help but think of those fathers no longer around to enjoy this music of life.

Friday, June 15, 2007

"P" Marks the Spot




This morning, as I do most mornings, I took Max to a park where, I discovered a couple of months ago, other dog owners congregate in the morning to let their dogs play.


Max must already sense this morning routine of ours -- take youngest to school, head to park -- because he's raring to go when I ask my son if he's ready to go. And Max begins to whimper loudly and effectively almost immediately after I drop my son off at school, and take the five minute car trip to the park.


Sometimes I arrive at the park for "shift 2" -- which is the after 9:00 a.m. group -- and other times I'm still there with some remaining from "shift 1". Today was a combo of groups.


One of the few dogs that stayed with Max and I was a black "Pugston" -- a cross between a pug and a Boston terrier. A beautiful, swift creature, who ran like the wind and could keep up with my Max as they played in the field. Spencer, the Pugston, had chased Max onto the field, while his owner was still on the other side of the fence talking to a departing "dog parent."


I crouched down to pat Max and then Spencer was beside us. Suddenly that darn dog lifted his leg and proceeded to pee -- on me!!?? I was quick enough to react and leap up and exclaim out loud to his owner, "Your dog just peed on me."


Apparently it's not the first time he's peed on someone. And in all honesty, it's not the first time a dog has peed on me. Many many years ago, I was in Israel and visiting a cousin in Be'er Sheva. I was in the backyard with my cousin's wife and dog and suddenly that pooch lifted his leg and marked the spot...with me standing on the spot!


Who knows dogs? Why do they mark the spot even if a human is standing right there?
I mean, I like wearing fragrances and body spray...but "eau de chien" is not one of them!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pale Male




The other night, I watched this PBS special for the second time. I was equally moved by it the second time around, as I'd been the first time, when I saw the documentary a year or two ago.

Have any of you seen the special, or know about this?
Nature shows might come across as boring to some people, but for others -- such as myself -- they are vehicles that leave us in awe of G-d's creations.

Gullible Me...& Perhaps You?

Just after posting the last bit, I decided to GOOGLE the story, and this is what I came up with.

Guess that's why "shmirat halashon" (guarding of one's tongue) is so important; we don't always know if what we're telling/repeating is, in fact, truth.

(I just realized this post will be read before the other one, as the latest posts go on top. Oh, well...)

A Brain Twister (came through email)

For those who have served on jury...this one is something to think about .

Just when you think you have heard everything!!

Do you like to read a good murder mystery? Not even Law and Order would attempt to capture this mess. This is an unbelievable twist of fate!!!!

At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, (AAFS)President Dr. Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story:

On March 23, 1994....... the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus, and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide..

He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency. As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

The room on the ninth floor, where the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun! The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife, and the pellets went through the window, striking Mr. Opus.

When confronted with the murder charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant, and both said that they thought the shotgun was not loaded. The old man said it was a long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, assuming the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident..

It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.

Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder even though he didn't actually pull the trigger. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

Now comes the exquisite twist... Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder.

This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window.

The son, Ronald Opus, had actually murdered himself. So the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.


A true story from Associated Press (Reported by Kurt Westervelt)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

...and Here's the Reason Why

Here are the responses:

1. Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
2. Birds of a feather flock together.
3. Look before you leap.
4. Beauty is only skin deep.
5. No use crying over spilled milk.
6. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
7. The pen is mightier than the sword.
8. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
9. Spare the rod and spoil the child.
10. A watched pot never boils.
11. All that glitters is not gold.
12. Where there's smoke, there's fire.
13. Beggars can't be choosers.
14. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
15. Charity begins at home.
16. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
17. Beginner's luck.
18. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
19. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
20. Close your mouth while chewing.

Elie Is One Smart Cookie...

In my quiz post yesterday, I wrote that Elie and Miriam would no doubt enjoy this brain quiz -- assuming, of course, that Elieand Miriam would read the post...assuming, of course, that Elie and Miriam read my blog pretty regularly...

Well, a resounding yes....at least about Elie. (I haven't heard from Miriam re. the quiz.) He reads my blog. He read that post. He enjoyed the quiz.

However, since his system does not allow him to comment on posts anymore, he sent me his responses. I think they're worthy of their own post. I am certainly impressed. After all, as this post title says, "Elie Is One Smart Cookie." My next post will have the answers; you can see for yourself just how Mensa-like Elie is.

Here are Elie's answers:

1. Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minikin.

Twinkle, twinkle little star

2. Members of an avian species of identical plumage congregate.

Birds of a feather flock together

3. Surveillance should precede saltation.

Look before you leap

4. Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.

Beauty is only skin deep

5. It is fruitless to become lachrymose over precipitately departed lacteal fluid.

Don't cry over spilled milk

6. Freedom from encrustations of grime is contiguous to rectitude.

Cleanliness is next to godliness

7. The stylus is more potent than the claymore.

The pen is mightier than the sword

8. It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative manoeuvers.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks

9. Eschew the implementation of correction and vitiate the scion.

Spare the rod, spoil the child

10. The temperature of the aqueous content of an unremittingly observed saucepan does not reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

A watched pot never boils

11. All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.

All that glitters is not gold

12. Where there are visible vapours having their prevalence in ignited carbonaceous materials, there is conflagration.

Where there's smoke, there's fire

13. Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.

Beggers can't be choosers

14. A plethora of individuals with expertise in culinary techniques vitiates the potable concoction produced by steeping certain comestibles.

Too many cooks spoil the broth

15. Eleemosynary deeds have their incipience intramurally.

Charity begins at home

16. Individuals who make their abodes in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting petrous projectiles.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

17. Neophyte's serendipity.

Beginner's luck

18. Exclusive dedication to laborious enterprise without interlude of enjoyable diversion renders John a tedious fellow.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

19. A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of a small green bryophytic plant.

A rolling stone gathers no moss

20. It behooves the garrulous to render impenetrable the buccal orifice during mastication.

Chew with your mouth closed

Monday, June 11, 2007

DogGONE It!





Spotted this amusing bit today on Reuters:


Bangkok:


Two Thai street mutts who became ace sniffer dogs at an airport near the notorious “Golden Triangle” opium-producing region have been fired for urinating on luggage and ‘sexually harassing’ female passengers. The pair, Mok and Lai, had been plucked from obscurity under a programme initiated by King Bhumibol Adulyadej to turn strays into police dogs, the Bangkok Post said on Sunday.


Mok, eight, and Lai, six, were welcomed by Chiang Rai police when the pair, local breeds, were sent to help them at the northern international airport. Authorities needed well-trained sniffer dogs to prevent any attempts by passengers to smuggle illegal drugs into the country. Mok and Lai became instant favourites. They obeyed the rules and did not make any serious mistakes. They won praise from police for their work in sniffing out drugs at northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai airport, near the border with Laos and Myanmar, but many passengers kept complaining about their behaviour.


They made some small errors — and that was enough to get them barred. Mok’s former handler Police Lieutenant Colonel Jakapop Kamhom said, “Mok liked to pee on luggage while searching for drugs inside. He also liked to hold on to women’s legs,” he added.“Both were just as good as foreign dogs trained for use in drug missions,” he added. “But they were stray dogs, so their manners were not as good as those of foreign breeds.”


Mok and Lai now work on a farm, herding chickens and pigs, the paper said.

Say What????

This came in an email.

See if you can translate these well-known clich├ęs and proverbs. Answers will be provided tomorrow perhaps.

(Elie, Miriam: I think you both will enjoy this brain quiz.)

1. Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minikin.

2. Members of an avian species of identical plumage congregate.


3. Surveillance should precede saltation.

4. Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.

5. It is fruitless to become lachrymose over precipitately departed lacteal fluid.

6. Freedom from encrustations of grime is contiguous to rectitude.

7. The stylus is more potent than the claymore.

8. It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative manoeuvers.


9. Eschew the implementation of correction and vitiate the scion.

10. The temperature of the aqueous content of an unremittingly observed saucepan does not reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

11. All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.

12. Where there are visible vapours having their prevalence in ignited carbonaceous materials, there is conflagration.

13. Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.


14. A plethora of individuals with expertise in culinary techniques vitiates the potable concoction produced by steeping certain comestibles.

15. Eleemosynary deeds have their incipience intramurally.


16. Individuals who make their abodes in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting petrous projectiles.

17. Neophyte's serendipity.

18. Exclusive dedication to laborious enterprise without interlude of enjoyable diversion renders John a tedious fellow.

19. A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of a small green bryophytic plant.


20. It behooves the garrulous to render impenetrable the buccal orifice during mastication.

Who Is Rich?

Who is rich?

* He* who goes to a community fund-raiser for a school whose students have physical and mental challenges, and thanks G-d that his children do not need the school's services.

* He who walks through the lobby of a children's hospital and thanks G-d that his children are not patients there.

* He who realizes that it's not always dollars that make "sense"!

* He who understands that praise is a gift, and shares that gift.

* He who puts family before self.

* He who makes a house a home.

* He who instills a "value" system in each of his children.

* He who makes strangers feel like longtime friends.

* He who gives more than he takes.

* He who believes that the pursuit of learning and studying is a lifelong adventure.

* He who thanks G-d for all that he is and all that he already has.


_______________________________________

He* can also mean she.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Auto Observations

This is a SMART car. However, to me, this car looks so dumb!

As I passed one today in a driveway, I thought: "How can anyone take this car seriously?"

Whenever I pass one, I announce to my kids in the back seat, or say to myself, "There goes a putt-putt." That's what I call them. Or I call them glorified golfing carts.

I laugh silently -- or aloud -- when I see one. I, for one, cannot take them seriously. They are cute, they are chichi, they are an attraction...but they look like too much of a novelty.

What's interesting for me -- especially after posting this -- is that the logo for the model is: "open your mind" (TM)

So open your mind, get a SMART car, and zip around the city in it...instead of on the golf course!

**************************************

I was driving in my neighborhood this morning and passed a car with something hanging from the central mirror.

It made me laugh to myself.

No. It wasn't a pair of fuzzy dice.

No. It wasn't a pair of baby shoes.

No. It wasn't a Beanie Baby. (tm)

No. It wasn't a Tefillat Haderech. (Traveler's prayer)

(DRUMROLL PLEASE.)

It was a huge chai.

The kind of chai you'd imagine spoofed on an episode of Saturday Night Live. With some depiction of an old Jewish guy or a young, supposedly cool Jewish guy, wearing a more-than-oversized chai like this, hanging down to his pupik!

The car was a sedan. Thank G-d it wasn't a SMART car. Then I would have had two reasons to laugh!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Guard Your Tongue!!

Shmiras Halashon [guarding of one's tongue] is a pretty popular concept. So popular, in fact, that societies advocating it have risen up in many communities. Books talk about it, lectures discuss the concept, and people...? Shhh...not supposed to talk about it -- might be deemed gossip!

A few years back when a formal group was created in Toronto, a group whose aim was to teach about avoiding gossip, slander, idle talk, a girlfriend and I were talking about this group. Nothing bad, you understand, just talking.

She said that someone had gotten up in her shul to talk about the group and said that everyone should dedicate at least one hour a day to being aware of what one says and avoiding lashon harah. My girlfriend decided that 3 a.m. worked good for her!

In any case, I don't need a society to realize that gossip and slander are negative; I was raised to be aware not to talk idly or evil about people and things. But sometimes there is a thin line: am I talking lashon harah, or is it just positive criticism?

This evening I was laughing to myself when I came across this ad in a little magazine meant primarily for Toronto's Orthodox community:

Need place cards for your simcha? We have place cards that include 2-4 line poems to encourage Shmiras Halashon at a simcha...

At a simcha of all places! When you want to critique or discuss the groom's side of the family, or the bride's gown, the music, the decor...and most importantly...the FOOD!! No discussing, no hinting at, no passing references?

I'm guessing that some guests and members of the wedding party, or the bar mitzvah boy's family and friends are doomed.

Perhaps blogging is truly a form of lashon harah. I don't want to be a part of lashon harah. So I guess I just have to stop blogging....NOT!!! Thought I was serious, huh?

The message of this post is think before you write, think before you speak...and if need be, remember that more often than not, "Silence is golden."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Simple and Funny...Simply Funny

Rabbi Neil Fleischmann of NY's Funniest Rabbi wrote a one-liner that made me break out into a wide smile when I read it, and made a friend break out laughing when I told it to her over the phone, even though I didn't repeat it correctly. (I'm not too good at repeating jokes; I'm much funnier when I'm spontaneous...and cynical and sarcastic.)

I hoped as I read the joke that it was original, because I wanted to be able to attribute it to him.

Phew, it is original. And I have the good rabbi's permission to share the joke with you. Thank you.

Neil is pretty eclectic: he teaches full-time, he is rabbi in residence for senior camps held over Passover and other chagim, he is an actor -- doing comedy, drama and improv, he is a writer & poet. He is all-around nice and well-liked guy who manages to capture a lot of the world around him in the words of his drashot (sermons), his blog posts and his occasional photos.

Check out his blog. I've been doing so for well over two years...and happily so.




I knew I'd
gained weight when I asked the shadchan for a name and she said Jenny Craig.

Graphic...Novel


I just finished reading this book today; it's a graphic novel...a comic book for adults, if you so please!
I love Klezmer music and this presented a wonderful view of that genre...in a slightly warped way.
Apparently, the book was originally published in French and translated to English. It's a wonderful visual trip with the artwork that comes alive and characters who come alive through their lines!
Klezmer is Book 1 in a proposed series, and I look forward to following the adventures in subsequent books.
I love reading yet I also lost the capability to read as I used to...I find it hard to sit and allow myself to read, and usually read small items, along the lines of short stories or magazine articles. (this comes mainly from the fact that I worked in publishing for years and years, reading manuscripts, and the fact that I majored in English. I have no "setzfleisch" for reading) Thus this genre -- of graphic novel -- is perfect for me.
Next up, I have a copy of Neil Kleid's Brownsville to read, which I first read about on Seraphic Secret.
When you think about it, graphic novels have been around, but we just might have not "noticed" them: TinTin, for example. But now, one certainly does notice them; I go into the mega-size bookstores and find entire sections cordoned off as Graphic Novels, both in the youth/teen section and adult sections.
It's an easy, quick format of reading, being entertained and getting informed...all at the same time.
Hmmm...graphic novels.... I know I can write, but if I could only draw....