Wednesday, July 20, 2005

What is your favorite word?

Mine is "effluvia." It's the perfect description for the little bits of my life that float about in my environment.

I've added my favorite word to this terrific Web site. Now you do it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

15 minutes, no fame

I was recently interviewed by MsHellion. (See the rules of engagement at the bottom of this post.)

1. Who is your hero and why?
My (S)heroes are the suffragettes who fought for the right to vote for women. They were brave and committed. I wish I could be more like them in my own life.

2. What is your favorite yiddish word and why?
Shpilkes, prounounced: Sch-pill-keys. I love the sound of the word. It means nervous energy. Babycakes said our children had shpilkes when they were small because they never seemed to sit still for very long. I think it made them wiggle more.

3. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Just getting back from a trip abroad, my 10th in the past 12 months. I want to see the world and I plan to do it.

4. If you could rid society of one ill, what would it be?
Religious intolerance.

5. Given the choice, which would you be, a star or a planet?
A planet, and one with a friendly atmosphere for humans. Come visit me. I'll mix drinks.

Do you want your own interview?
- If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "Interview me." "Blow me" or "Eat me" are NOT acceptable substitutes.
- I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different. I'll post the questions in the comments section of this post.
- You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
- You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
- When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Mazel Tov

Babycakes took me to watch one of her relatives get married last weekend. Oy veh.

You'd think I'd know a bit about Jewish weddings by now, but no, there's always more to learn. At this wedding we were given a little booklet "... an informative guide about the many Jewish customs and traditions ..." I'd like share some of them:

B'Dekan -- where the groom greets the bride before the ceremony and lowers the veil over her face. I think he does this to be sure he's marrying the right woman.

Ketubah -- the marriage contract. The couple has to sign it before the wedding ceremony begins. Then they read it (in both hebrew and english) during the wedding. Most couples frame it and hang it in their house until they decide to get a divorce and then I think they throw it at each other.

Circling the Groom -- this doesn't have a cool hebrew name because it's stupid. The bride goes around and around seven times. The entire audience counts (silently, but you can see their lips moving). I think they only get married if she can still stand up.

The Chuppah -- this is the tent they stand under. You know it's not a Jewish wedding if they don't have a Chuppah. At some weddings they force the bridesmaids to hold it up during the ceremony but I'm glad they didn't do that this time. It was a long ceremony. Those girls can get pretty tired.

The Yichud -- apparently, the bride and groom go to a private place after the ceremony for "a short while." What's that about? Do they have sex? Right there in the synagogue? I didn't get enough information about this but I'll do some research and get back to you.

All in all, it was a lovely event. Babycakes told the bride's brother, "We'd invite all of you to our wedding but, as you know, WE CAN'T GET MARRIED." He said, "I can't do anything about that. I'm a lawyer, but I only do real estate."

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Obsessive + Compulsive = Nutcase

Some days it's worse than others.

The people who live with me are well aware of my towel folding neurosis. They see me coming with a laundry basket full of clean towels and they run. I just believe that there's a right way and a wrong way to fold towels. I happen to know the right way. I'll teach you if you want me to.

I could blame it on my mother. She wore sets of matching nitegowns, robes and slippers. Her underwear drawer was arranged by color. All of her shoes were in boxes stacked neatly on the shelf of the closet. The only time I ever saw my mother without her nail polish she was hospitalized. (Oh God, she must be really sick! Look at her fingernails!)

These days I spend a lot of time wiping off sinks. Every single time I walk into the kitchen that sink gets wiped. At work, I fill my coffee cup and then I wipe the sink in the kitchenette. I wipe the sink after I wash my hands in the bathroom. It doesn't matter if the bathroom is at home, at work, in a restaurant or a gas station. The sink gets wiped.

And I am constantly opening or closing doors. Doors have to be either all the way open or all the way closed. When they are in between I get nervous. The same is true for drawers or cabinets except that they must always be closed unless you are taking something out or putting something in. And it shouldn't take you very long to get that done. I'd say fewer than 5 seconds should be the optimum time to have a cabinet or drawer open.

And make sure it's completely closed when you're finished, okay?

Monday, July 4, 2005

Things I've learned (while spending the weekend in the woods)

When the Web site says the cabin "sleeps 8" the correct response should be BULLSHIT.
Even after Kelly pitched her tent (that's right) on the upper deck and Carolyn inflated her air mattress on the floor we still didn't have enough sleeping space.

Eight women sure can bring a lot of stuff for three days.
We had an entire box of videotapes (no, we didn't watch any) and I think a hundred magazines. Besides tents (!) and air mattresses and folding furniture and enough food to feed a small country we also had a complete, professional-grade karaoke machine (with two microphones). My number was a spoken-word version of House of the Rising Sun.

Even a half-mile hike can be strenuous.
The trail was nicely marked in the nearby state park -- .05 miles. What we didn't realize was the elevation change of approximately 500 feet. Imagine a staircase. Now imagine that there are no stairs, only mud, rocks and roots. Just a walk in the woods girls, we're almost there, really.

All the "cool" people wear my shoes
I just bought a pair of Chacos, which are very nice and I highly recommend them. However, I've started to notice that they are very, very popular. We came off the mountain long enough to eat pizza at the place where all the climbers, rappellers and kayakers hang out and I counted about 50 pairs of Chacos. I'm not sure yet whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I love air conditioning
Sweat and sleep do not mix. And getting completely naked was not an option. It was hot. Once again, the Web site lied. The cabin had a pretty poor excuse that they claimed was an air conditioner plus a fan. But we had ice. And tequila. And beer. I survived.