seiberwing: (Latin)
Happy Pesach, ladies, gents, and robot arms.

So far things seem to be going well, aside from this one girl I wanted to befriend cause she likes comics one of our guests only canceling when I called them up the night before to remind them what time to be there. We had our obligatory teenager getting sloshed and my brownies came out seriously damn good compared to my usual attempts at cooking.

Second night's tonight over at some friends of my parents. I doubt that will be bad, but I'm bringing my GameBoy anyway. Just in case.
seiberwing: (Enemy Mine)
Well, this has been interesting. I'm helping out the local Jewish Day School with this contest US Cellular has been running. It involves inputting a giant load of names, birthdates, and addresses into US Cellular's site along with a code number and while it's something of a good cause it's still mindnumbingly boring work. On the other hand the surroundings aren't bad. The Hebrew lessons are giving me major flashbacks to the few words my feeble brain has hung onto from my childhood Sunday School and Ramah Darom lessons. And the children are just cute, they keep peering into my room (I'm shacking up in the library, which is basically a large closet) like curious squirrels before scurrying away again. Then this morning I got this conversation out of a very serious faced seven year old.

"Are you Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle?"

"Um, what? No."

"Well, where is she?"

"I think she's in a book."

"Which book?"

"...the book about her?"

Apparently this is actually a tradition here, that when there's a substitute teacher the usual teacher says that Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is coming to teach and the children were trying to figure out who it was. Given my vague recollections of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as a clever old woman who could easily have been ported over from a witch's coven in the Ramtops, I find it a compliment.

Also, I recognize some of the children here from synagogue. They have gotten huge. It's sort of scary.


"Blue is not a boy's color! I want this elephant blue. I don't care--everyone should care about boys. And care about girls."

And this out of the Chabad schoolgirls.
seiberwing: (Internet Arguement)
When I left Cambridge the city was practically begging me to stay. I got nice warm weather, a wonderful sendoff in the form of a fair with fireworks shot off right as we got to the top of the Big Wheel, and then I missed my plane because the bus got stuck in traffic.

Asheville, on the other hand, not only prompted me to leave as soon as possible with cold gray weather but apparently wanted me to actively stay out. The one day this year that the city gets a Winter Storm (well, by our standards--it's predicted to be about 5-10 inches) Watch is the day that I'm supposed to go up for commencement. Even if they hadn't canceled it we would have had to stay home, driving through the mountains in heavy snow would have been suicidal and Dad wouldn't have let us go. So now we're stuck here at home, where it's cold and icky and raining because we couldn't even get consolation snow here. Bleh.

On the other hand, Hannukah presents!

--From [ profile] lonescorpion, a copy of Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, a game I've been wanting for a while as well as gracing me with his presence and being helpful in general.
--From Granma, clothing funds. I've spent them on a new winter coat and a bare of bitchin' boots.
--From Mom and Dad, a new fedora (squee!), a little movie!Bee keychain, and...a copy of Spirit Tracks. We've agreed to exchange it for funds necessary to download Psychonauts for the PC, as I am doing right now.
--From David bugger all, but it's about what I expected. He seemed to really like the birthday present I got him, at least. Apparently David got me a movieverse Optimus Prime (in Jetfire armor, blech) keychain, he just forgot to give it to me.

(Also: For those to whom I am sending presents and cards, they'll probably get there a bit late--I'm not sure when I'll get them out and how fast they'll get there, especially the international ones. But they will get there!)
seiberwing: (STFU)
I have encountered a shanda*. A horrible horrible shanda.

The university cafeteria was doing a ~multicultural~ lunch today with various holiday style foods. The previous night I asked if there were going to be latkes. Of course, they would be having vegetable latkes!


Latkes are potato pancakes, for those not in the know. If they are not vegetable something has gone horribly horribly wrong. I shrugged the message it off and go about my business under the assumption that this was yet another example of Ignorant But Well-Intentioned Christian People like nearly everything Hannukah-related around here. We're like Christmas' black best friend, they like us but haven't actually bothered to know much about us.

I went in to lunch today, eagerly expecting pre-festive noms. The lamb and couscous in what I'm guessing was supposed to be the Kwanzaa section was pretty good. There were some form of squodgy brownish flat things on the other side of the buffet so I wandered over to see how well they'd done the latkes.

They were zucchini latkes.


A latke is a clump of potatoes mixed with egg and fried in oil. If you put in some onions there's maybe four ingredients with applesauce and sour cream as side materials. It's not exactly easy to fuck up and nothing in there is a considerably rare or expensive resource. In fact it's probably far easier to get potatoes than zucchini.


*Yiddish term approximating to shame, tragedy, or offense
seiberwing: (Happy 'con!)
A note here--no pictures were actually taken during the service. Due to Shabbat regulations I couldn't take them until after the sun went down and we did havdalah. Anything seen here is a recreation. I did also have some pictures of David doing the practice service but I can't find where I put them right now.

After havdalah, of course, I couldn't keep my hands off the camera. )
seiberwing: (Hail Hydra!)

Was my bar mitzvah this chaotic? I know it didn't involve David version II and his entire family and Granma in the same house at once. Also less clothing trouble I just had a purple caftan with gold trim and looked like a ninny and running around trying to find the right clothing and my talis seems to have vanished and and...aagh. It's utter madness right now.

And David version II won't shut the hell up and he's so damn loud. I want to go curl up under my blanket for the next few hours, not go off to the synagogue and have to talk to people. And my brother will be dancing and it will be silly.

Damn proud of him, mind, I just don't want to dance to "Walk the Dinosaur".
seiberwing: (Wheelie)
So while wandering the comments of the most recent Slacktivist post, I came up with this particular nugget of idiocy that required a bit of Jew rage.

Delivered with very little context.

Along the lines of prohibited foods, in the 9th LB book, Desecration, Nicky defiles the Temple in Jerusalem by riding atop an enormous pig. One of the thousands of onlookers wonders why.

"I don't get it," a man in front of Buck said, his accent German. "What's he doing?"

"Putting all previous religions in their places, Freidrich!" his wife said, her eyes glued to the scene. "Even Christianity. Especially Christianity."

"But what's with the pig?"

"Christianity has Jewish roots," she said, still not looking at him. "What's more offensive to a Jew than an animal he's not allowed to eat?"

As a Jew who observes the prohibition against eating pork, I don't find pigs or any other traif animals to be offensive. And I don't know any Jews who do. Among the things that I do find offensive false stereotypes of Jews -- especially by Christian religious leaders who think they have the slightest clue about what Jews actually think and believe.

In addition to the above, let me tally up what is wrong with this idiocy.

1. The Antichrist is riding on a pig. There is no way Mr. Carpathia can make that look dignified. I'm not sure anyone can make riding on a pig dignified, I don't care what kind of magic mind control powers they have.
2. We don't find pigs offensive because we can't eat them. In fact, we don't find the concept of 'pig' offensive at all, any more than most people would find the concept of 'cockroach' or 'rattlesnake' offensive just because they find eating them distasteful. We're forbidden from eating them or having much to do with them in general because they're unclean, much like shrimp, carrion birds, menstruating women, and people with skin diseases. Legion aside, pigs are not demonic entities.
2a. I've seen the word 'offensive' misused before in Christian propaganda before, usually in the context of nonChristian/atheist calling some tenet of the Christian religion (or in one case, some weird guy being a vampire until he was redeemed by Jesus) offensive. I don't think they quite understand that being offended is a far different thing than disagreeing or finding the idea completely idiotic. But since the word brings up images of people's delicate sensibilities being injured for no good reason, they keep using it.
3. Once again, although I shouldn't find it surprising in either this series or this section of the religion, everything comes back to Christianity. Defiling the Temple Antiochus-style? Totally a jab against the people who have no religious prohibition against pork or doctrinal tie to the Temple in Jerusalem. In these things, the Jews are never there just to be Jews. We're there to be the chosen people, to be the people God originally touched and therefore put on a pedestal or used to get themselves closer to God. It's like going to your boyfriend's ex for sex tips.
4. Ugh. I admit to not having the closest of emotional connections to Judaism, but I absolutely hate when people appropriate it for their own purposes, even in the most positive of senses. Yes, go ahead and support Israel all you like, but don't do it because enough Jews there will cast 'Summon Jesus' or because you have some kind of Jew fetish that means its existance is a universal positive no matter the consequences. The same goes for the Jews for Jesus dickwads who go around proclaiming themselves as Jews (but better!) despite the entirety of the actual Jewish race knowing that they're bloody posers.

*pauses for breath* Peh. So it's a hot button for me, I'm sorry. But it was a necessary rant. Here, have some entertainment.

A bit of education:

(Useless trivia of the day: The rabbis have already ruled on this subject. If the amount of traif is less than 1/60th of the total amount of food, then it's still considered kosher.)

And lulz:

One of my favorite podcasts is Best of the Left ( Their latest show, #265, features a segment from "This American Life" entitled "Trying to Kill Your Father." A young Jewish boy is told in Hebrew school that his sins may be visited on his father and may even cause his death. Since his father likes to get drunk and hit his kids, this sounds like a good deal to the kid, who goes out of his way to offend God by flipping light switches on the Sabbath and eating dairy with meat. (The kid is also preparing for a "Blessings Bee" where the students have to match the food to the proper blessing.)

Jew stuff!

Apr. 25th, 2009 01:38 am
seiberwing: (My Soul)
I've always been a fan of showing off, comparative religion, so tonight I took [ profile] navigatorsghost to the local Orthodox synagogue. It's small and student run, but it's got the basic components of a synagogue and suited our purposes.

Bad enough that being away from Friday night services so long has made me a bit rusty, although the patterns of the prayers are probably not going to fade from my mind until someone purees my brain, but the rabbi sounded like a Jewish Blurr. It made the first half of the service rather hard to follow, and they were using different tunes and books than I was used to. Still, I muddled through and [ profile] navigatorsghost certainly seemed to enjoy herself.

The Torah portion that week was on leprosy and its relation to lashon hara, slander and gossip. I found this a bit ironic, given that I'm currently afflicted with some sort of strange skin condition that's slowly taking over the right side of my face and lower arm, and [ profile] navigatorsghost later asked me privately if I'd been posting on [ profile] fanficrants a lot lately. Obviously I should go sit outside the city walls for a while until it clears up.

Almost immediately after we got out of the chapel, however, we had a Random Encounter with a tornado of a woman who managed to pin us down and get us talking by virtue of my spoon necklace. Highlights of the conversation include the following:

"Tennessee? You mean, like Tennessee, Alabama?"

", Tennesee is above Alabama."

"Ohhh, so it's racist but not as racist."

" know, I'm not even sure how to respond to that question."


"So, how did you guys meet?"

"Internet, actually."

"Oh, let me guess. LARPing, fanfiction--"

"Wow, do we just have geek signs on us or something?"

"Heh, no. I'm not that weird, but I hang out with a lot of weird people who do. I don't know why, I guess I'm just naturally attracted to them. I say these weird things all the time."


We hightailed it out the moment she went off to help with the drinks. I wouldn't so much call it the low point of the evening as the 'wtf' point. Don't think I'll be going back there again, it's a bit too college-student-aimed and the prayers aren't as enthusiastic as I'd enjoy, but it was a bit nice getting to pray again. I should drop in once or twice when I get back home; I need to practice for my brother's bar mitzvah.

Also on the way back we saw a guy pissing on the wall of the pub. That was kinda interesting.
seiberwing: (Detective Benson)
I'm still a bit too flaily to write up the thunderstorm/tornado warning from this afternoon, so here's the pictures from the sedar last night.

Nothing horribly interesting, a lot of it you just had to be there for. )


seiberwing: (Default)

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