Posted by: hatzihatzi | April 16, 2012

How we shiver with affright

I wanted to go downtown today for a symposium at the law school. It was great and afterwards I wandered around and found the burial place of my great, great, et cetera uncle. I took some pictures and thought you might enjoy them. They were taken with my camera phone, so please excuse the bad quality. And I’m a shit photographer.

The outside of the church which is now part of the law school.

 

His grave from the outside of the burial ground.

His wife.

Up until recently, someone would place roses and cognac on his grave at his birthday. But not anymore, so it is believed the “Poe Toaster” died. I thought my aunt would keep up the tradition, but she told me to do it. Because I want to wander around Baltimore in the middle of the night in the dead of winter.

 

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Posted by: hatzihatzi | April 14, 2012

No, you don’t.

I’m not offended by Hilary Rosen (a pundit, not a spokesperson) saying that Ann Romney didn’t work a day in her life. Yeah, I’ll admit it was meant to be offensive to Mrs. Romney personally, but as a mom, I’m not offended. But I am offended by the media and politicians’ reaction to the comment. Let’s get off our high “This is the mom song, cuz moms are great. Moms are better than chocolate cake” horse.[1]  I don’t think anyone means that moms don’t work hard, and I think pretending that’s what she meant is a distraction. I think if people valued moms, this country would have better maternity leave. This country wouldn’t be trying to cut funding to places that provide prenatal care. And this country would be empowering women to make their own decisions about when to become moms because they will realize it’s not something to thrust upon a woman lightly.

I’m offended that Sarah Palin thought that being a hockey mom made her experienced to run the country. I’m a mom. Granted, I know how to use birth control, so I only have one kid and I don’t know, maybe after kid five you do gain special knowledge about government (though you wouldn’t know it from listening to her talk). And while I learned a lot about selflessness and caring for others being a mom, I don’t think these experiences helped me professionally as such. It’s not something that I would put on a resume. And if it’s something that you’re asked during an interview, it’s grounds for a lawsuit.

But being a mom does teach you about time management, whether you have paying work also or not. I’ve heard that working mothers outside the home are more productive workers because they have the desire to get all their work done so they don’t have to bring it home when they are supposed to be on duty with their kids. I don’t have anything to support that, but here’s a letter to the editor from a newspaper in the UAE suggesting something similar. Here’s another link from England, but they’re socialist, so maybe it doesn’t count.


[1] Q sings this song to me. It is from the series  the Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That

Posted by: hatzihatzi | April 13, 2012

the ironic seder

E, Q, and I go to a kid’s shabbat thing at our local synagogue sometimes. Tonight the sermon was about Passover. The rabbi was talking about Jews being slaves in Egypt, and her daughter (who is probably about 5 or 6) raised her hand to say there there still slaves now. The rabbi dismissed her and went on with trying to get parents and kids to dance like Miriam after the Egyptian army drowned. And I just realized, yes, this is why I find this to be a disturbing holiday. Especially ironic given my earlier post about chocolate seders and chocolate slavery.

In college, Hillel put on a human rights seder to educate us about human rights violations in different parts of the world. Apparently these sorts of things are popping up all over. I’m reading about them online now. About how they served kosher food…possibly from the same slaughterhouses that were subject to the immigration raids… We care about how the animal was killed but not if the worker is safe and food secure.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | April 13, 2012

Confession of sorts

I have never seen an American Pie movie. They just looked beyond stupid to me. And they just keep making them. Though I might be tempted by American Retirement Community in 50 years or so. I find it amusing that every so often people are shocked by outbreaks of STDs at retirement communities. Yes, the elderly have sex lives too. And they don’t have to worry about pregnancies so may be less likely to wear condoms.

My husband loves the American Pie movies. I’m hoping that this is because English is his second language and the plots of the movies don’t require a lot of language skills to follow. Or it could just be his bad taste. He also likes Brittney Spears. He tried to explain this to me by saying that growing up in Israel, the American culture that was imported was only the most popular stuff at the time.

But I realized recently that the American Pie movies, I think they are a remake or Americanization of an Israeli never-ending string of movies first made in 1978 called Eskimo Limon (Lemon Popsicle). They are basically about a couple of greasers living in Tel Aviv in the ’60s trying to have sex with as many people as possible. Unfortunately, when I was living in Israel, my fairly conservative theology major roommate and I wanted to go see an Israeli movie to soak up some local culture. This was just when the eighth sequel was released. We saw a poster for the movie and said thought it looked like the Israeli Grease. No. Holy crap, that was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. You know how porns have no plot and bad acting? Imagine a movie like that but with only slightly more clothes. And because everyone is more open about sex than Americans, this is family entertainment there.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | April 12, 2012

Holiday of bad food

So now on one of the last days of Passover, I’ve decided to write a Passsover post. I’ve been meaning to say something about it, but I just can’t get jazzed about this holiday. It’s not eating bread for a week, which for a vegetarian was pretty hard. And matzah, and pretty much all Passover carbs, is disgusting. I remember one Passover a few years ago, before I became a bad Jew and actually tried to keep Passover, I had matzah and something for breakfast and then had to walk to class. I threw up right on the sidewalk. I remember just wanting to turn around and go home, but I had to get to school because I had a test in something. And of course, goyim love matzah and macaroons. Sickos.

The only thing I like about Passover is chocolate seders. Just like it sounds, it’s like a traditional seder but everything you eat is chocolate. Instead of four glasses of wine, you’ll have four cups of chocolate milk. The hard boiled egg becomes a chocolate Easter egg (convenient that the two holidays are so close to each other). I recommend a Cadbury Creme Egg. The shankbone representing the sacrificial lamb becomes a Peep. Bitter herbs become bittersweet chocolate. Charoset can be a rice crispy treat made with Cocoa Puffs. And for karpas, I’ve seen people use green M&Ms, but I think strawberries are a better option. It represents spring  and rebirth and might help prevent people from going into a diabetic coma from just looking at the seder plate. And instead of matzah, you can use graham crackers and make a Hillel s’more.

But again, like everything Passover, this will also make you want to throw up.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | April 7, 2012

Learning two languages

My uncle is a linguist and told me that in his studies he learned about the upbringing of Charles Berlitz. Apparently when he was growing up, everyone in his household spoke a different language. So when he went to kindergarten, he thought he was going to have to learn a new language for every kid in his class. So my answer is always no when people ask me if speaking two languages around Q will confuse him. He has a Mommy language and an Abba language and is able to keep them straight. Even though when Abba says “me” he means Mommy’s “who,” and when Abba says “who” he means Mommy’s “he,” and when Abba says “he” he means Mommy’s “she.” And Abba always calls fish “dog” and says that frogs say “quack quack.” But I guess this is less confusing than his broken “play a sound” book which tells him that frogs say “hum de dum.”

Posted by: hatzihatzi | March 27, 2012

Race, religion, and ethnicity fail

I saw the movie the Mummy Returns when I was living in Israel. At the end of the movie, Oded Fehr’s character Ardeth Bey says something in Arabic (my Arabic is very bad) that I’m assuming is a good bye to Brendan Frazier  and Rachel Weisz. And everyone in the theater made this tisking noise of disgust. For those of you playing at home, Fehr is Israeli and Jewish whereas Bey is supposed to be Arab and Muslim. And apparently the Israeli audience had a problem with this.

Apparently some illiterate racists are upset that an African American girl was cast to play Rue in the Hunger Games movie. To them, I say, I’m upset that a light brown girl was cast to play a character that was described as having dark brown skin. Damn Hollywood and it’s light brown washing! In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t pick up on it that Rue was black when I first read the book. This was probably because it was really just a passing detail and I was on Vicodin when I read the book (recovering from surgery). But I guess this means that it’s not exactly fair that I’m calling them illiterate.

What upsets me isn’t that Israeli Fehr played Arab Bey or that Rue and Katniss were a little paler than described in the book or even that the actors chosen to play Alai and Dink in the upcoming Ender’s Game movie are Indian (Alai is Arab) and African American (Dink is Dutch…hey, nice alliteration, Orson Scott Card. Arkanian is Armenian. Wiggin is white [I think]. But Bonzo is Spanish, not Basque), it’s fans’ reactions. The getting pissed that the Arab character speaks Arabic or that you cried over the death of a black girl. (That is not a spoiler. It’s a book and movie about kids killing each other.) But where I haven’t heard vitriol coming from the Ender’s Game fans (though this could be because I try to ignore Ender’s Game fans), I’ve heard a lot of ignorant remarks about the casting. For example, when discussing the actor to play Alai, a fan wrote: “He’s Indian; Alai is supposed to be from Northern Africa. We think he fits the description pretty well.” No, my friend. North Africa is not in India. And if you know that, then how can you possibly say that he fits the description well? Unless all brown people are interchangeable. Or when discussing Dink: ” Dink isn’t African-American in the Ender’s Game book, but we’re not complaining- it adds to the international feel of the battle school.” How the hell does another American add to the international feel?

But ignorance is almost refreshing in the face of the Rue hate.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | March 19, 2012

Fryum

At the risk of turning this into a food blog, I have to tell you about what I found! Fryum in the shape of Stars of David! What is fryum? It’s an Indian fried food. This stuff is made of flour and corn starch.

And lots of food dye.

Please excuse my crappy cell phone camera.

I had to buy it. And I fried some up. Look how exciting!

Soaked in oily goodness.

I have to remember to get some for Hanukkah, the holiday of fried foods.

This also makes me think of my best friend from college. She is Jewish and married an Indian man. I knew that at their wedding they would have traditional elements from both cultures. And I was so hoping there would be a swastika, but she is a much better person than I am.

Posted by: hatzihatzi | March 16, 2012

What do you do with cabbage?

St. Patrick’s Day is more fun to celebrate in New Orleans than Mardi Gras. There are fewer tourists, so that means a smaller crowd, a bunch of drunk guys ranging in age from 18-80 will kiss you on the cheek and give you a fake flower, and you get free cabbage! At the Irish Channel Parade, the people on the floats will throw you cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, and other things you need to make a stew. And sometimes boxes of Lucky Charms or Irish Spring soap. I think once I even got Ramen. I’m not sure how that’s Irish. The down side of this is usually that I end up with several heads of cabbage. I can really only eat so much of it. For some reason, when I’m there at the parade, I find myself screaming for more heads of cabbage and useless crap. Suddenly a string of beads or a poorly made stuffed animal becomes the most priceless thing in the world, and I would do anything to have it! I once had a barbie-type doll ripped out of my hands by a frat boy, almost kissed a total stranger for a rubber chicken, and traded a bottle of Chivas Regal for a coconut. Please! Give me that crap that I could just buy at the dollar store!

My husband likes to make an Israeli salad with our cabbages (or as he just calls it, salad). The salad is basically tomatoes, cucumbers, and red peppers cut up into tiny, tiny pieces, tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper. Depending on what we have (I guess thus becoming the gumbo of the Israeli/Jewish world), we also add cilantro, parsley, or onion. And, after St. Patrick’s Day, we add finely sliced cabbage.

What do you do with cabbage?

Posted by: hatzihatzi | March 7, 2012

Purim

Amid the excitement of planning Q’s birthday party and them him getting the stomach flu, I forgot that today/tomorrow is Purim! Purim is my favorite Jewish holiday and my second favorite holiday of all time, followed only by Halloween. Like Halloween, on Purim (I just totally typed Putin there) we dress up and get goodies.

Israeli soldier all dressed up for Purim.

The most popular goodie is hamentashen, named after the bad guy of the Purim story (it’s one of those, they tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat stories) and shaped like his three-cornered hat. The cookies are like a triangular tart filled with fruit or poppy, and I pretty much hate them. The dough is not sweet, and there is just too much of it. But in law school, I went to a hamentashen making party to be social, and the Hillel fellow, I guess he was lazy or something (and, as a side note, incredibly hot. Before law school, I wasn’t really attracted to Jews. Except for Oded Fehr, of course. But I think around then, in my mid-20s some sort of biological clock kicked in and told me I should be getting ready to settle down and if I wanted to marry someone similar to myself, I better start liking Jews. Prior to then, I had an extreme Arab/Middle Eastern fetish. And the joke is now that my husband is Mizrahi [Arab Jew] and also a self-hating Jew.), so he just brought a tube of sugar cookie dough and jam. They were very delicious, and I recommend you do that if trying to make hamentashen.

For adults, we are supposed to get so drunk we don’t know the difference between good and evil. Yes, there is a religious drinking game. We are supposed to drink and say “blessed be Mordechai, cursed be Haman” until we mess up.

I hope Q will be feeling well enough to do something Purimy today or tomorrow. Otherwise, it’s just watching Carebears and Curious George and cleaning up vomit. Though I suppose cleaning up vomit is a Purim activity itself.

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