Posted by: hatzihatzi | December 10, 2015

On being marginalized

This is pretty funny.


The Hebrew says something like “tag of earlobe that died.” If I may Jew-splain it to you, the first letter of the first two words (remember that Hebrew is read right to left) and the last letter of the last word should be “ch”es but are “t”s. It’s basically just the little foot on the letter that should be there and changes the message from “Happy Hanukkah” to “Tag of Dead Earlobe!”

Istar read some of the comments about this, and someone said she felt marginalized by it. I have to say, I didn’t. Lord and Taylor is making an effort. So they messed up. I mess up too when I try to speak Hebrew, but people still encourage me to try. That’s the only way I’ll learn. So I don’t feel othered or less than by the fact that they got it wrong. The fact that they tried, I think, shows the status of Jews in the US.

An opinion about the Dirty Dancing remake, however, made me feel marginalized. In that piece, the author wrote:

They are very Jewish, and it’s something that plays a part in the movie (note the early bit where the girls at the resort get to try on wigs with straightened ‘non-Jewish’ hair) and in the characters’ behavior.

And I just thought, no, it doesn’t. No, they aren’t. Truth be told, I didn’t realize the family was Jewish until I saw the movie at Hillel’s library under the category “The American Jewish Experience.” The only thing about the family that is Jewish are their noses and last name. We don’t see them using Yiddish (do we?). We don’t see them lighting shabbot candles. We don’t see them keeping kosher or eating Chinese food. The mother doesn’t cover her hair. Baby never dances the hora. Robbie mentions a bagel. I think that’s about it. Is it because pre-marital sex and abortion are ok in Judaism? That isn’t a Jewish trait alone. What makes them “very Jewish”? What did they do that a goy family wouldn’t have done? Is the whole idea of a family retreat a Jewish one? Did I miss that?

That observation, so different from my own, made me feel othered. I thought part of the point of the movie, the importance of the Houseman family being Jewish, was that they were like everyone else. Are only Jewish fathers hypocritical? Are only Jewish young adults idealistic? Do only Jewish girls carry watermelons?

So thank you, Lord and Taylor. The the laugh and the inclusion. And screw you, Forbes, for making me stick out when all we want to do is be a part of the larger culture.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | July 28, 2012

I am worthy of your ridicule

I think I pulled a muscle in my arm while putting on a sports bra. I didn’t even pull it at the gym. I pulled it at home, getting ready to go to the gym. It really hurts! But lest you think I’m lame for injuring myself while trying to put on proper gym clothes, in my defense, those suckers can be really hard to put on!

For more information, please see this instructive article on how to put on a sports bra.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | July 23, 2012

Lost in Translation

I know a lot of people who would prefer to read literature in the language it was written, and I really wonder how much is gained without the translation. A Russian friend told me that Brave New World was different when she read it in Russian with a pronounced pro-communist message that she learned with much surprise wasn’t in the original when she finally read it in English. (As an aside: the brave new world in Brave New World is my favorite dystopian world. When it comes to dystopia, it’s really not all that bad.)

I’m thinking about this now because this is decidedly not how E and I have decided to raise Q. E translates English books into Hebrew, and I fumble through Hebrew books in English. And we bought the Chronicles of Narnia in Hebrew because I hate them and refuse to read them to Q. (Seriously, I hate them. I tried reading the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe recently but my sister took the book away from me because it made me so miserable and turned me into a big bitch.)

This is our edition. Pretty to look at, if nothing else.

And today, Q was watching (and translating for me) a Hebrew dubbed Japanese cartoon of an American story.

Q calls it the yellow rocks. Yes, something is lost in translation.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | June 11, 2012

Dog fakes own death

I saw this video and was reminded of my cat faking her own death (and of course, Peter Pettigrew).

Posted by: hatzihatzi | June 11, 2012

it’s a pity

I’ve been reading up as much as I can about poison ivy and what it looks like and how to kill it (apparently, it’s pretty hard to do). One site I read said that a poison ivy rash will probably be the itchiest thing you will ever experience. I scoffed at this. I have poison ivy on my leg and back and am not very itchy. My itchiest experience was probably about a year ago when I had pityriasis rosea. It’s, well, look it up. It’s a rash that is so fucking itchy. When I got it, I first thought I had skin cancer, then ring worm, then psoriasis (damn you WebMD) until I finally went to the dermatologist who told me there was nothing he could do. Don’t scratch or I’ll get a secondary infection. He gave me some cream that didn’t really help the itching. It went away, but it was a horrible experience. I scratched until I bled on several parts of my body.

Q woke up this morning with spots all over his back. This isn’t poison ivy. My husband wondered what the hell this is and decided to take him to the doctor. Surprise! He has pityriasis. Along side poison ivy. Poor itchy baby. Now all he needs is chicken pox for some sort of itch trifecta.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | June 4, 2012

When killing it with fire is a really bad idea

As I mentioned previously, I was a counselor at a Girl Scout summer camp for about four summers. I also went to camp almost every summer growing up and went camping with my Girl Scout troop and my family frequently. I was even a Boy Scout for a year and did a lot of hiking with them. I never once got poison ivy. That is, until I became a home owner.

My husband and I bought a foreclosure. The house had been abandoned for about a year and a half, but for a foreclosure, it wasn’t in such bad shape. A few things needed to be repaired, but my dad is very handy and he was willing to help up. But we completely forgot to consider that the backyard, which buts up against a small forest, had also been abandoned for about a year and a half, and poison Ivy decided to move in.

Our first spring here, last year, Q and I both got poison ivy rashes. I was pretty pissed about it. As I said, I had never gotten it before. I thought I was immune. My aunt was. She had it all in her backyard. My uncle would get rashes, but she wouldn’t. So she was assigned to perform the yard work. Though my case wasn’t so bad, just a few oozy red bumps, Q’s was awful. Well,awful for a mother, who had never dealt with a poison ivy rash before, looking at her two-year-old son. In the vast scheme of poison ivy rashes, his was probably normal.

My mother told me “leaves of three, let them be,” but that left her avoiding wild strawberries, the raspberries we planted, and even Virginia Creeper, which last I counted had five leaves (though perhaps that was wise of her as apparently the two vines often grow side by side). I, however, got really good (I think) at identifying poison ivy. I read everything I could about it online and took online tests at identifying it. Armed with Roundup, I went into the woods and drowned those fuckers. We spent the whole summer in the yard and never got poison ivy again.

Until a few days ago. Fucker grew back. I was told getting rid of poison ivy was difficult, but I got cocky taking my internet quizzes and thought I did it. I thought the Roundup was supposed to go down to the root and kill it all. No. It’s back. I didn’t know this until Q told me he had “mountains” on his skin. I looked at his leg, and there is the Appalachian Mountain Range, in all its glory, represented by red bumps and ooze from the Maine of his thigh to the Alabama of his toes.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | June 3, 2012

Here there be monkeys

Consider yourself warned. Though I’m not sure why I’m posting this, as I don’t have many readers and I know at least one of you is petrified of monkeys. So if you are afraid of monkeys, stop reading now.

Still here? This is your last warning.

Ok, so, in Israel, I’m not sure how to put this, it doesn’t appear as though there are the same safety standards. I suppose you saw that in my picture of me and Q riding the camel sans helmet. In America, at everypony ride there are helmets for the wearing. But not, apparently, when you accept a ride on a much taller animal who will perform more dangerous feats (namely standing up and sitting down) from a Bedouin in Israel.

Outside of Jerusalem, there is a place called Monkey Park, which is exactly how it sounds–it’s a zoo for monkeys. I love monkeys. I do a fantastic monkey impression. I called Q Monkey during the first few months of his life. So much so that at about 9 months, he wouldn’t respond to his name, but he would respond to Monkey. So, naturally, I HAD to go to Monkey Park.

Monkey Park is great. They have monkeys from all over the world. They have peacocks running around. They have a fantastic jungle gym thing that is four floors of slides and ball pits. They have ropes things and climbing walls.

But one…potential problem with Monkey Park, is well, as I said, the standards of Israel appear to be different that those of America. The monkey enclosures–as zoos don’t tend to use cages anymore–are less than perfect. As a result, monkeys are wandering around the zoo watching you as they watch them. One monkey followed us around the entire park. It kept its distance, but it was it was very curious.

Another monkey, a macaque, did not keep its distance. When E, Q, and I were having lunch, the baby macaque decided to join us. E thought this was great (and I secretly did too) and wanted me to take his picture with the monkey.

Which I did.

But also, I know that as friendly as they seem, these are wild animals. Their friendliness is only curiosity, not any sort of domestication. And I don’t speak monkey. While I had no problems petting stray cats in Israel, I speak cat. I, generally, know when a cat is angry. I don’t know what passes for a sign of aggression in monkeys.

So as the monkey got more curious, I got more nervous and suggested we leave and quickly tried to pack up our belongings. Not quickly enough. The monkey made a move for my backpack. It was too heavy, so the monkey moved on, and grabbed Q’s sippy cup!

Q cried. I tried to comfort him and tell him that Q was a big boy now, whereas the monkey was just a baby, and therefore, the monkey needed the cup more than Q, and Q could use a big boy cup. E, however, tried to get the cup back, which I thought was pretty stupid! It was a one sheckle cup that we didn’t need. E made a move to the monkey to try to take it, and the monkey hissed at him! Now, I know I don’t speak monkey, but I did remember learning that showing teeth is a sign of aggression. So I told E to back off. Lesson learned, we continued through the park but kept close tabs on our cameras and other small items.

We made our way to Tarzan’s house, another play area for kids. E and Q went first while I took their picture.

We saw some more monkeys, went down some more slides, and a little bit later, Q wanted to return to Tarzan’s house, so I took him. As we turned into the house after climbing up the stairs, SURPRISE! There was a monkey in there! Not having any idea what these monkeys were capable of, I got nervous and tried to back away slowly. Heedless of any danger, Q ran forward. The monkey jumped from its perch and made a kissy face at Q. I screamed at Q, who ran back to me, and we hightailed it out of there.

So if you’re ever in Jerusalem, I recommend Monkey Park. Just keep close tabs on your belongings and watch your back.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | June 1, 2012

Five songs my kid asks me to sing for him

Rare Ould Times. I have only heard it performed by Flogging Molly.

No Woman, No Cry. I like how Joan Baez does it. Only I sing, and he’ll ask for, “No Monkey, No Cry,” because my nickname for Q is Monkey. And when he’s crying and I sing it, he’ll interrupt me and say “Yes Monkey, Cry!”

Hallelujah. I’m not quite sure the context, but E’s mom asked Q what he sings in synagogue. I don’t think he knew the word. He answered Hallelujah, and E’s mom thought that was hilarious and cute, but he meant this song.

Percy the Pale-Faced Polar Bear. I can’t believe I found a video of this. I was a Girl Scout camp counselor, and this was my song. I even had a polar bear hat.

A Pirate I was Meant to be. My boy is such a geek. It makes me so happy. I love it when Q says “ahh….door hinge?”

Posted by: hatzihatzi | May 24, 2012

Urban legend redux

While E, Q, and I were away, my parents had our two cats stay with them and their cat Mardi, so named because he was a Katrina rescue cat they met on a Tuesday. He is also pretty fat. And ornery, to say the least. My parents’ vet refused to see him anymore, saying he is the meanest cat they ever treated. But really he’s a big ol’ teddy bear to his loved ones.

Ordinarily, he gets along well with my cats. But this time they must have over stayed their welcome. My mom told me that Frodo (my oldest cat) and Mardi started fighting and drawing blood from each other. The first time they fought, my mom told me that Sammy (my younger cat) got spooked and ran. She’s very skittish. She’s also a hide and seek champion. She ran into my parents’ basement, and they couldn’t find her afterwards. After a while, my mother got nervous and started wondering if maybe Sammy had gotten outside. She’s also incredibly fast and sneaky. Though my mom was certain she hadn’t seen Sammy run out when she opened the door, she thought maybe Sammy escaped out of the house via the dryer vent or a small gap from a slightly open window. No, Sammy’s not that small. My mom’s just that paranoid.

Logically, she decided to look around the neighborhood for wandering cats. And because of observational bias, she found them. Lots of dead cats on the side of the road. One of which looked like Sammy.

So, in the rain, she picked up Sammy’s squashed doppelganger to bury in the backyard. Her face streaked with tears and rain, she said a few words in Sammy’s memory and decided not to tell me the bad news until I came home from Israel.

As she walked in the door, she saw my dad holding a cat. “Look who I found!”

Sammy had been found after her failed attempt to fake her own death.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | May 22, 2012

I am on a camel

I’m going to show you a picture, but you have to promise not to show my mother.

That me and my monkey riding a camel. Why you can’t show my mother is because of what we’re not wearing on our heads.

You’ve heard the stereotype about the Jewish mother, right? Well, in Israel, since a lot of the mothers there are Jewish, they have the stereotype of the Polish mother. My mother is (half) Polish.

Not to turn into my mother, but it was pretty terrifying being on a camel’s back with a baby while the camel stands up/sits down. The camel’s legs contort themselves to make it’s body lean in frightening angles, and I had to hold on to Q with one arm and the measly little handle on the saddle with the other. And of course what went through my head was something like “if I or Q fall and get brain damage, my mother will kill me for not wearing a helmet.” In the past, my mother freaked out when she found out Q went on a pony ride and asked desperately, “was he wearing a helmet?!” That’s right. A pony ride.

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