Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Booby (Newby/Boo-Boo): A Little Miracle

A deaf, declawed cat was dumped, showed up at a guy named Rich's house; a woman named Victoria posted about him; a month later, he was neutered and became a holiday miracle. He's a good boy. Is he really a miracle? That's debatable, but I picked up that cat without knowing where he'd be homed, figuring if I do the right thing, things will work out okay. Little did I know, my mom would fall in love with him. (As much as that fact isn't a surprise to anyone who knows her, I totally hadn't planned on her winding up taking him in. My grandmother, who lives with my mom, was totally understanding re: a declawed, deaf cat doesn't belong outdoors. I really thought his stay at their house would be temporary.) Here are some pictures.

Music and Adoption

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This Year's Chanukah Theme

Is Cleaning. Taking care of the home, tcb, etc. I brought my car in to be fixed; they washed it and cleaned part of the inside. It looks great!! The rest of it looks awful. I need to remove all of the cat hair and dust from my life. The Fall 2009 Judo season ended the other day. It was great. We start again in 8-10 weeks. I can't wait. The kids are awesome.

Here's some Phish to go with this year's theme (below).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cake Shop, 11/18/09

No, not really, but I made a cameo as Patrick's fake ponytail on heeb'n'vegan (above). Photo credit to heeb'n'vegan (if I'm wrong, please correct me and I'll fix it). Also pictured are Heshy and Matthue. Fine company for a great night of music, including CAN!!CAN and Golem.

I started a drawing (right) during Golem's set which included the traced hands of most of the folks mentioned above and Jacob of JDub Records. It went home with CAN!!CAN, as it was on the reverse of a show poster.

CAN!!CAN delivered a relentlessly Manilow-esque set of Carpenters covers. (I'm being completely facetious, check them out). It was my first time seeing Golem, and they rocked! I'm looking forward too seeing them again, as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A bunch of links re: interfaith kids/inclusivist J

on my blog
I don't
to have
tons of
Each blue line is a different link. This is primarily for my own reference. Agree, disagree -- I don't need to debate content that I've yet to read. I love some people whose spouses aren't Jewish, and I love their kids, too. So, yeah, I want to read stuff like this, 'cause it matters, to me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Resources for Sexual Abuse Survivors

Here are two Jewish community-related message boards for survivors of sexual abuse. If you know of more, please post them as comments. Thank you.

For men

For women

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sexual Abuse is a Crime, Period.

This deserves a re-post:

As a victim of abuse at the hands of a priest I can tell you that some 40 years after being molested I struggled with taking my own life. If it not for being a father an not wanting to leave a legacy of suicide i probably would have followed through.Today the laws are such most victims of abuse will never have a chance to confront their abusers or seek justice. these predators are protected by statue of limitaion laws.There is a bill before NY legislature to change this so childood victims have an opportu ity to seek justice. Both the catholic church and the majority of the Jewish communities leadership have fought to strike down this bill.

I'm borrowing (I edited it a bit) some wording from here.

All incidents of sexual abuse of a minor by anyone must be reported to civil authorities.

Sexual abuse is a crime and should always be reported to police before notifying the organization where the crime occurred.

Organization leaders will be notified at the appropriate time by investigating authorities.

One reason the Catholic Church has a sex abuse crisis is because it handled these matters internally without notifying civil authorities. Sadly, many church leaders were more interested in the reputation of the church than the welfare of victims. (Sound familiar?)

"Until the diocese adopts a policy of public transparency, the loss of trust in the church will be hard to rebuild. Crimes involving the abuse of children are of the highest priority, and these matters must be handled promptly, professionally and in the light of day by public agencies designed to do so."

-JERRY MATYSIK Chief, Eau Claire Police Department

Yes! Replace diocese with Judaism and church with shul or yeshiva or (name of Jewish youth organization). The same point is applicable.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A.A. Milne Quote

"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you."

- Winnie the Pooh

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who is Rich? (music content)

Pirkei Avot says he who's happy with his portion. And I agree. Having music handy doesn't hurt, either. These folks are rolling in it. Cheers to the music makers. Disclaimers: some not-work/grandma/toddler-friendly language and kol isha.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Guess what?

OTD is just another box. If you let your anger control your behavior, the people you are rebelling against are still controlling your behavior. It's all the same f'n' derech; OTD is a myth perpetuated by people who can't deal with people asking questions and thinking differently than they do.

I was raised that if you're not asking questions, you're doing it (being Jewish) wrong. Not that I didn't go through a ton of anger and stuff, anyway... eventually I realized that some folks are blind. And further down the road, I became able to approach them with compassion, as I would any other disabled person, because the use of religion to divide, and thinking that's okay, that's a severe handicap. It's not easy. It took years to reach that point.

I hold my tongue on a lot of blogs, 'cause who am I to say anything? OTD (the blogger), my going off isn't directed at you specifically, just the concept. You seem nice enough. My heart overflows with compassion for all the people who are hurting, and I hope everyone who needs some peace finds it soon.

My opinion is just my opinion. I'm not looking to fight. If you disagree, that's okay. I'm not smarter than anyone else. If I'm smarter than I was yesterday, I figure that's great. :)

Right On

Be vewy quiet, I'm hunting nusach*. Anyway, I found the below here:

Interestingly, the Italian Jews say in their nusach, Nusach Italki, she-asani Yisrael [(bless the One ) who made me a Jew] instead of shelo asani goy [(bless the One) who did not make me a non-Jew], they also say she-asani ben-chorin (free man) instead of shelo asani eved [who did not make me a slave] and they said she-asani gaver [who made me a man] instead of shelo asani isha [who did not make me a woman].
So basically same thing but different way of saying or looking at it.”

I can dig it. And I see a huge difference. And I am very happy to have recently made an online pal who also digs chazzanos**.

* (basically, style of text in j-liturgy)
** (what the cantors sing; cantors are the dudes who lead the prayers at communal services; they usually have some sort of musical training)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

L'shana Tova!

Wishing everyone the best of what life has to offer. I just realized the chocolate rugelach are still in my car. If I were less tired, I'd have brought them to chulent, but I decided to lay low tonight and just went home, afterward. SO nice to be back at judo again! The kids are great. The little ones will gain coordination quickly. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Teshuvah (Turn, Turn, Turn)

Dealing with a friend and some teshuvah-related issues; did some research. I like this article from the CCAR Journal. It's a .pdf titled "Teshuvah and Mentoring." You can start the download here.

I found a bunch of other stuff on chabad sites and stuff. I love the folk tales. Hope all is well with you. Things are coming along well, here.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reb Shlomo Flashback

I had a flashback that I had been blessed in the womb by R'Shlomo Carlebach (z"l), so I texted my mom and asked her if it was true.

She replied:
Yes. We knew a MD in Toronto whose sister married him. We went to the MD's son's bar mitzvah. I was pregnant with you at the time. He put his hands on my abdomen and uttered a blessing like it was what he was supposed to do. Did not even ask if he could touch me. He was very charismatic.

Me: Lol. I went to hoshanah rabah at his shul w/abba when I was little. It was long. Lots of singing (holy holy, then the part w/whacking the hoshanos). Circles.

Eema: He was like that. Great melodies, records. He was the Jewish (Pete) Seeger of the '70s.

Me: Yeah, I have your records.

Eema: Can you make me a CD?

So I told her I could buy her one (my records are in boxes and my stereos aren't hooked up to my computer) and how to find videos of him on youtube, and she requested I pick one up for her of his stuff from the '70s. Cool.

My mom has some spark (she went through a lot of hell) left in her. I'm happy to reunite her with that. Music is a healer, and it makes people happy. She deserves all the happiness in the world.

I remember meeting Reb Shlomo w/my dad, at at least one point. He was as she described ... charismatic. Good times.

Posting 'cause I'm not currently keeping a notebook, and this is the sort of story of which I don't want to forget the details. I wonder what kind of bracha you make on a growing baby? Regular Friday night blessing, I'd imagine, for both genders, since in the womb.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

no time to hate

I commented a bunch here and here on racism and stuff. Less of it in the world is important to me. On that note, here's a famous excerpt from a speech by Sojourner Truth (hat tip to abandoning eden for bringing it up elsewhere, today):

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

-Sojourner Truth, 1851


On a completely unrelated note, I have become more aware of adult content for and by the more observant (Jews) available in blogs, and some of it has been quite shocking. The content isn't shocking, but the juxtaposition of people engaged in intimate behavior with paintings of rabbis on the wall is new to me. To each his own.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Berachot 57b

"Three things restore a person's spirit: [Beautiful] sounds, sights and scents."

It's time to go see some live music. :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prof K Made A Good Point

Big cheers to Lion of Zion (see sidebar for link) for linking to it. It's worth a relink, here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Kindness A Day / Areyvut

(the calendar)

My pop hooked me up with one of these. At the end of the day, I cross off the day of the week and the year, so it can become a perpetual calendar. You can get one here for $3.95, "hurt," or for $8.37, new in box. This isn't an ad; I just like the calendar. You can find it here. It is spiral-bound (plastic spiral), and stands on the desk. Total desk / countertop real estate is about 4"x6", toward the end or halfway point of the year (each page is printed on both sides).
Content may be too fluffy from more well-versed readers, but I've yet to meet a rav who doesn't think constantly reviewing more basic materials isn't a good idea; ideas of how to apply ideas in today's world are neat, too; the indices (sp?) and resource lists are well done. If you do decide you want one, you can enter code "KADC-2009" for 10% off your purchase. I'm not familiar with any of the company's other books.

I learned what Areyvut is, and that's kind of neat. Pasted from their page (I wish they had that sort of thing when I was that age):

Areyvut: Mutual responsibility, accountability; the notion that every Jew is responsible for another. It comes from the principle found in Talmud Shavuot 39a where it states, “kol yisrael areiveim zeh b’zeh” meaning that all Jews are responsible for one another.

Areyvut enables Jewish youth to infuse their lives with the core Jewish values of chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity), and tikkun olam (social justice).

Areyvut reaches out to Jewish day schools, congregational schools and community centers, regardless of affiliation to promote the values of chesed, tzedakah and tikkun olam and offers innovative and meaningful programs to make these values a reality for students and educators alike.

Of course, I would like to extend this notion Kook's fourfold song-style and reach out to every kid, and I try to do that when I volunteer. Spring Judo ended last Sunday; the gym floor will be resurfaced over the summer. Hopefully there will be summer judo of some sort. I should be well enough to get back on the mat, if not by then, then certainly by the time we start again in September. I love working with the kids, helping teach them how to apply martial arts philosophy to their daily lives. It's great.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Moving forward

"Our answers must be given in deeds, not words." -Chovot HaLevavot, 7:10

Looking forward to having opportunities to do just that. :)

Other than that, my leg is healing and I'm hunting jobs.

How are you?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm getting better

It has felt like it was taking forever, but I see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Warm weather is in the forecast for the next few days. I can't wait for all the snow to melt and to spend time outside getting my gait back. Yee-hah!

Other than that, life is good. There were concerns, but now they are less worrisome. I have much gratitude to all who have lent a hand, physically and emotionally, over the past few months, even just by being themselves and doing their thing, out in the world.

I hope everyone is doing well, and if you're not, that things improve for you soon.


PS to all the frummy dudes who friend-request me on facebook: If I know you from a blog, please let me know which blog. If I don't know you, please say hi. If you don't know how to write a sentence, I have no idea why you're getting in touch with me. Surely it's not 'cause you think we're hashkafically compatible. :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Learning to Walk Again

I'm told that I'm making good progress, but it's not going quickly enough for me. My mother has knee surgery on Monday. My dad is recovering well from his recent surgery. Everyone else is doing okay. I can't wait to walk again. I do realize I'm getting there. Emotional development and other learning are going well. Primary foci will be walking (until I can, well) and helping out at my mom and grandmother's (next week), then, on climbing the ladder into my loft bed. I miss my mattress. It's wonderful. I can't wait to get up there again. (I could get up there, I just couldn't get down quickly, if I needed to.)

How are you? What's new?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Karudner does 121

Hat tip to my cousin in Yad Binyamin, who is one of my favorite people whom I haven't seen in way too long and whose blog can be found here.