listen. no. I don’t want to celebrate christmas. I don’t want to celebrate extremely-thinly-veiled!christmas either. HOW IS THIS SO FUCKING INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
listen. no. I don’t want to celebrate christmas. I don’t want to celebrate extremely-thinly-veiled!christmas either. HOW IS THIS SO FUCKING INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
also the rabbis in town were having a debate over whether I should be allowed to fly to services on the sabbath. it was eventually concluded that it was no different from walking, if flying was simply an ability that I had naturally. which it was. which was good, because the ground was teeming with snakes and lizards and I didn’t want to step on any.
there was a mechitza at this dream-synagogue. the women’s side was on the roof. it was pretty nice though because we could watch the tide come in.
me: where are your Jewish analogues
work: oh, uh, over here, but listen, they’re not the protagonists—
me: is one of them fighting ferociously and unrelentingly on their behalf
work: well, yes, but listen, it’s not a good thing—
me: PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL, ABOVE ALL CRITICISM
also, I am tired and caffeinated (again! yay!) and awake dammit, which is good b/c I’m reading the third aliyah in a couple hours. fortunately it’s one I know backwards b/c it was the one I read on my bat mitzvah. unfortunately I’m also reading the seventh one tomorrow morning and that one’s from Deuteronomy and I only started learning it last night but it’ll be fine
it’ll be fiiine
yes fine. I am such a good memorizer
*drinks more coffee*
Also, they invited me up to do one of the blessings for the Torah reading, which was a real honor; I did my best??? I kind of had to make up some of the tune because it was only me and it's not like I know it. But the person said I had a musical voice and good Israeli Hebrew, so hey.
after a potluck there was a discussion of talmudic law, which was super interesting and I probably talked more than I should have but like if no one else is going to connect this to Norse law and the prevention of escalating blood feuds than I will. Fortunately someone else asked what happens if someone murders the high priest because I just kind of muttered it and the dude across the table was like "...maybe that's what you'd do."
Well. Yes. That is what I'd do. If I'm in prison until the dude dies, then I will send someone to poison him on the sly, that just seems the logical conclusion here, I'm only pointing it out.
Fortunately the rabbis have anticipated this! The entire time I am in prison my needs are being provided for by the mother of the high priest, which creates obligation on my part and a desire not to make her sad by killing her son. Very nice.
so I don't actually speak any Yiddish except what I've picked up from folk songs, which means I know words like "shayne maydele" and what I can figure out because it sounds like Hebrew
so I'm probably wrong
but I think the word for "enemy" literally translates as "hater"
and that's cracking me up
Ver zogt az yidn kenen nor handlen
Esn fete yoykh mit mandlen,
Nor nit zayn keyn arbetsman?
Dos konen zogn nor di sonim -
Yidn, shpayt zey on in ponim
Tut a kuk oyf dzhan dzhan dzhan
Who says that Jews can only be traders
And eat fat soup with soup nuts
But cannot be workingmen?
our enemiesthe haters can say that -
Jews, let’s spit right in their faces,
Simply look at zhan, zhan, zhan
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter
2-3 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 can poppy seed mixture
grease a baking sheet and dust with flour
to mix: sugar, flour, baking powder, salt
soften butter. to cut in, small pieces, mix in with hands or fork
add egg, and milk
mix until the dough is like a ball (until you can make it into balls)
take half and roll it out to 1/8th of an inch
dust rim of glass with flour and cut circles
add spoonful of poppy seed mixture to center, pinch corners
20 minutes at 350 degrees (but watch it)
after 15 minutes, check bottom to make sure is not too brown-- they'll keep hardening once they're out of the oven and cooling
turns out it's a holiday that would have originally fallen on the same day as Shavu'ot
was thinking about Shavu'ot lately.
I've only really celebrated it once, when I was nineteen, doing an ulpan on a kibbutz in Israel. We dressed in white (I wore white pants and a shirt with mostly cream-and-white colors, and a brown beaded choker I bought from my boss, who made that sort of thing by hand), and ate cheeses and cheesecake and dairy products, and
performed. With beautiful white flowers with yellow centers in my hair.
And danced. Also I watched Blood Diamond with Nicolas Cage, and it was not a good movie. I hate Nicolas Cage.
I did some things I am not ashamed of. I did other things I am very extremely ashamed of. I cannot look at white flowers with yellow centers without being ashamed.
I also read the book of Ruth, in Hebrew; it remains the only biblical passage I have truly read in its entirety. The person I was reading with helped me to understand every word, and talked to me about meaning and cultural context. In class, we talked about wandering in the desert and being given our laws.
Shavu'ot has a lot of meaning for me, now. I've still never celebrated it but the once.
I've been transliterating the Book of Ruth lately, though. Just for myself. Just so that I can read it without stuttering over every word, so that I can actually read it.
It took me a minute to parse. (My mother's turns of phrase are my favorite.)
She also said that she was surprised Shylock hadn't chosen to die rather than renounce his faith. "If this story had been written by Jews," she said, "that's what would have happened."
"I don't know about that," I said. "I think a lot of the stories Jews have written haven't been nearly as enamoured of martyrdom as a lot of the Christian ones."
"The story of Chana and her children," she said. "All her sons who chose to die."
"But I'm thinking of the ones set when they were living when and where you'd get killed for practicing Judaism. They practiced in secret, they didn't just say 'okay, then kill us.' I think a pretty core tenet is that you do whatever you have to, to survive."
"Maybe that," she agreed.
There are plenty of stories on either side of the issue, I think. But I've always considered any law may be broken to save a life to be one of the most important tenets of my own faith, at least. (Though, at least the way the story was told to me, one also has to respect the heck out of the Jews of Metzada, extremists though they were, for dying rather than allowing their enemies one scrap of victory.)
My dad was watching with us too-- he was the one who'd expressed an interest in watching in the first place-- but he left before it was over. "Not something that interests me," he said, and I know getting my dad to watch Shakespeare is always a tough sell, but I also think the anti-semitism got to him too much for him to even look for the complications of the characters and plot. Which my mother found fascinating, actually; and I'm super-impressed with how good she's gotten at following Shakespearean language.
She also asked me if I thought people watching this movie would think badly of Jews because Shylock was so nasty.
"I hope not," I said.
"Because, you know, the merchant is so handsome and nice, and trying to help his friend, and they are so in love, and he wants only good, and he is just caught between."
"Well, you also have to contrast it with his behavior towards Shylock."
"Yes. Why would he do that?"
I thought about that for a minute. I don't really have a good answer. "He practices usury," I said slowly. "The Christians think that's wrong."
"But then they come to borrow money from them."
"And what, they think they should just lend it from goodness? Would they do that?"
"Hm," she said.
"But Antonio has other sources of income."
She liked Portia. She said she had an intelligent face. I agree.
She took the braid out of my hair, because I had a headache.
"But I wanted a braid," I said. "Like a dwarf."
"You are not a dorf."
"You are not a dorf."
"I am a dwarf."
"No you're not."
And then she made me a pot of tea, because my mother is awesome.
I am a dwarf, though. I have the bodily proportions of a dwarf (seriously my legs are only a third of my height) and sideburns like a lady dwarf (ha ha I bet my sister is sad she had hers lasered off now) and I am Jewish like a dwarf and I speak Hebrew like a dwarf and I am POSSESSIVE AS ALL HELL like a dwarf. Also I could totally dig living underground, heck yes, small enclosed spaces and not relying on the sun for my circadian rhythms sign me the heck up.
I'm trying to get back into livejournaling, okay, or at least posting more public entries that are about what happens in my life rather than just using this as a personal archive.
So in light of that, LET ME TELL YOU about the awful twelve-hour trip up here, okay, I don't even know what was going on with the weather but first I fishtailed and panicked and was okay and then I spun off the road and ended up facing backwards on the shoulder until some nice person stopped and let me back in and then that happened a second time and then traffic inched along at under five mph all around Indianapolis and then I fishtailed my way in between giant trucks in and out of an unplowed rest stop where I'd numbed my hands scraping the ice off my windshield wipers and then, exactly halfway between my apartment and my parents' house, my tire exploded and sent me careening off the road down a ditch to end in a gently spinning stop in a meadow.
and I was very very very very very lucky that it happened right there, because I was fine and nothing was hurt but it also meant I had to spend hours hanging out in very very small-town Indiana
which was fine really, the mechanics were all very nice and friendly, and did not judge me at all for not knowing squat about cars, but it also meant I bought a ham sandwich at the gas station in an attempt to conceal my Jewishness because sorry but small-town Indiana makes me paranoid
then I got back in my car and realized that sitting in my front seat holding my LotR trilogy was a bag that was covered in sparkles and a menorah and the words "HAPPY HANUKKAH" so yeah
and when I was telling my mother about the nice people who had all stopped to make sure I was okay after the accident she said to me "it was a good thing none of them were Cookus"
and because I know my mother I said "yeah, why do you think I had the ham sandwich"
and she laughed
and my dad was like "...what?"
and she said "you know, Kooks"
and he was like "...what?"
and I was like "The KKK, Aba"
and he cracked up and walked away muttering "Kooks!" under his breath
and then my mother was like "it's funny because your keys!"
and then I laughed too, because my keychain is dripping with Jewish things
there's a Magen David and a fish that says katan alecha and a yad with the tfilat haderech on the back
So eating that ham sandwich was in vain
which is a little annoying, because it was terrible and made me feel sick.
"It's a little sad that you had to think of it, though," she said to me later.
Which of course it is.
so have a post that is all about me being Jewish
that's the post
Usually I can go for longer without talking about it, I swear!
I am thinking of doing a Thorin fanmix. It will have:
1.) Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons
2.) Fire on the Mountain - Rob Thomas
3.) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis - Ralph Vaugh Williams (MAJESTY, ok, shut up)
4.) Horses - Due South Original Soundtrack
5.) Yerushalayim Shel Zahav - Naomi Shemer
and that's all I have thought of so far. Though it's not like I've tried very hard. I will eventually.
My car is still in the shop until sometimes tomorrow at least. which is annoying, because I wanted to go donate blood and buy the Chronicles at the bookstore and go see The Hobbit again, and I can't really do any of that without a car. My mother is not going to be willing to drive me to the movie theater to see The Hobbit again.
But it's been so long since I've seen it don't judge me
Have no resources with which to do so really
and gosh whatever facility I ever had in reading has long since been lost
not that it was ever any good really
would "hagen!" be the imperative for "defend" or "protect?"
And oh, I understand why they cut the Southampton plot, but duuuuuuude I am so sad that we do not get the chance to see what Hiddleston would do with that scene. You guys. You guys. "Oh, let us yet be merciful!" Scroop! Exeter! Bedford! Hal being betrayed and being hurt and being harsh! Our Hal being kiiiiiiiing omg omg omg I want to give him all the hugs.
But anyway, so I opened the file and started to watch, being like "Yay! Henry V!" And then I remembered that it started with his funeral and I closed the window and was like "...nevermind I am not sure if I can handle that right now."
ALL OF THEM.
True story: while I was sweeping the kitchen, I still had my hair only up in a half-ponytail. At one point, I turned around quickly and caught a glimpse in the corner of my eye of a dark fuzzy mass darting out of sight, and freaked out because I was certain that a cat had somehow found its way inside.
Ahahaha. Then I put my hair up.
It was down because I'd been at the synagogue for Simchat Torah, and so I was dressed up. It was approx. eleven metric tonnes of fun, and there was singing and dancing and I carried a Torah for one of the circles. And then I went again the next morning, but there were only nine of us and so we could not sing and dance, which made me very sad, but it was still fun. Vayi erev vayi boker yom shlishi.
I am leaving for Michigan within a few hours, and will be back hopefully before Halloween.
"Hi, um, I'll have two hamburgers-"
"-uh, thanks, one'll be a Fun Guy Burger and also a Bruchetta Burger? And Scholar's Fries for the side. And I don't need a side for the other one."
"Well, it comes with a side. You can have chips."
"Nah, I don't want any. Thanks though."
*goes to get ketchup*
*comes back, tries to pick up the 22 on a wire stand* "This one's for me, right?"
"Oh, no, we don't give numbers for to-go orders."
"Yours was to go, right?"
*realizes that perhaps it is not normal for a girl to order two hamburgers and sit down alone to eat them both*
"...yeah, yeah it was. Thanks."
Eh, I have milk at home and it is nicer here anyway.
Today I put my gel-gem snowflakes on my kitchen window. They are kind of... past their prime, but they are still sparkly, so I don't hold it too much against them. When I am done with this food coma (the burgers were delicious) I will perhaps find the motivation to go outside and clean the windows. Services aren't until 7:30, so I have time.
Shana tova, everyone.
And then we got rid of that computer, and I did not have a way to listen to these songs for years.
I caved recently, and ordered them from Israel. The package arrived while I was in Michigan, and Paul didn't get around to picking them up from the post office, but assured me that they would hold it until September 1st. On August 31st, Eyal and I drove to the post office and the clerk handed me a package postmarked from Jerusalem.
I love these songs. I love them so very, very much, both for their personal meaning and also because they are *awesome.* I do not think I can express at all what it means to hear them again. Ahhhh, it is amazing.
Their meaning is gaining another layer. I understand them differently, and am forming new associations.
And wow I love them because they're awesome- because it's full of girls with black hair and boys with black curls (and how I shall never see sunlight again until I see it in contrast to the darkness of your hair), and wearing white in the summer, and the melting snow in the hills, and soldiers marching, and marching, and marching, and mourning their dead, and remembering them, and inviting guests in from the gates and offering them everything that they have, and the white city and the city in gray and the river Jordan singing in her banks and barefoot soldieresses in Sinai.
I am drunk today, but not on wine.
Corigliano's Pied Piper suite is not as awful as I thought it at first, as usually happens when I play something modern, but I still don't love it and I don't think I will. Still, it's an entertaining performance and if you come to the Wharton tomorrow night at eight I think you'll enjoy it.
Today at dress rehearsal Jacob the cellist and two tiny flautist girls and I sat around and challenged each other to tongue twisters. I am very good at them, ha, because I've been practicing toy boat ever since elementary school music class. Also they brought us pizzas, which was fantastic, and I stole the leftovers of one with pepperoni and mushrooms, and it was tasty and so I am not hungry. I am hoping to stick around tonight and practice and then run, and then tomorrow I can work for Eema in the morning and then go home and sleep, because- yay!- there is no morning dress tomorrow, so I can just sleep in until call at 7:30ish. Well, I am supposed to work on the Ktuba tonight, so uh. We will see how that goes, because damn, it would just be so much simpler to just let it be the one about how many zuzim a year Paul has to pay me if we get divorced, but. Y'know. (do you want change in dollars? No, in lirot. Uh, we don't use those anymore... how old are you, anyway?)
Invitations have been mostly sent out, and the first wave should have arrived yesterday. Paul is still tracking down addresses for two of his friends, and I need to call Kelly Pond and get her address, and I think I might still not have Tavan's. Tavan is hard to track down- despite being the only one who can call him, I don't even have his number. So, if you haven't received yours yet, look for it soon.
Last night was my last concert ever with the Philharmonic, and the last time I'll have Raphael Jimenez for a conductor. I- I'm not really sure what to do. It hasn't quite hit me yet, I don't think, and somehow I need to do something, find a gift or something, because- damn. That was a level of awesome I do not think I will ever find again ever. I don't really want to talk about it, though, not yet.
Rode a taxi today. The driver and I discussed the theme songs for various geeky sci-fi shows, prompted by the fact that his cell phone went off and played a slightly more obscure few measures of the Star Wars theme. It happied me.
Israeli guy stopped into the office today. He and my mom spoke Hebrew for a while, and he told us Shabbat Shalom when he left. I will light candles tonight, if I remember/get home early enough.
Caitlin's Mom expressed a wish to send me to Caitlin's Mom Boot Camp for six months, and get me and my issues sorted out. It really upset me quite deeply, but I'm still not sure why.
I... am not sure how I can leave. I mean, I will, and it'll just not really register that it's not temporary for a while, and by the time it does I'll be accustomed to my new situation and have a hard time conceiving of being anywhere else. Which on the one hand, seems like a pretty good way to go about it- just ease into it, like- but on the other hand, doesn't seem right. I'm leaving the only home I've ever known for twenty-two years, permanently, for the first time. And it seems like that should have more gravity. But on the other hand, I know that whatever living-in-the-present my brain brings to the table, it's still going to hurt like hell and be scary as fuck and whatever else. I know you've all done this already, and as usual I'm just a few years behind, but still. This is a big deal.
Anyway. Off to... be productive.
*checks* Actually I totally did. y'all have no excuse.
My foot is much better, but still occasionally hurts, in a way that doesn't feel right. I don't like it, and intend to badger my parents into letting me go to the doctor.
I went grocery shopping last night! I have groceries! It is marvellous. Unfortunately, I also need to find a time that my mother is not frustrated with me to approach her about reimbursing me for my corset, because, um, rent.
*sighs* I'm hungry and I don't have anything left that needs to be done here. Guess I'll just go home. My options are walking or taking a cab, which is a hard decision, actually, because I don't want to pay for a cab, and Eema said she'd pay me back, but, again, have to ask her to do that for the corset already. She had originally said that she'd reimburse me for the bra I bought, but since it doesn't fit and I can't return it I would feel bad asking her to, so I won't bring it up, but it sucks because that thing was expensive. *wrinkles nose* I've been going around wearing my new sports bras, trying to get used to them, because the straps are making me carry my weight in an entirely different way and it's making me sore. I'm hoping it's just a matter of practice.
I'm in the opera! Eema asked me before I went in which one I was hoping for (opera or honors orchestra) and I said I didn't care, and I meant it because I would have been happy either way, but still- Opera! We're playing Gounoud's R&J, which should be good, and today was a wonderful rehearsal with Jimenez singing everything. Man, I love it when he sings. Whoo for 12 hrs a week of Jimenez!rehearsals for the next month! Sitting with Carla again, and I kind of have a sneaking suspicion that she's not particularly pleased about this, but I am attempting to suppress it because it will do me no good. Unfortunately I am second violin, which I do not care about in and of itself, it's just that it will make it much harder for me to sneak looks onstage. Which, yes, I know I'm not supposed to do it in the first place, but I *love* watching the MSU opera theater. They are always brilliant, also, R&J! I did rent a DVD of Gounoud's R&J off Netflix a while ago, and was not impressed at all, but it's very likely that it had more to do with the fact that the production really wasn't that great at all than with the opera itself. I spent a few hours here at work papering over all the cuts in the music, which would have taken about five minutes, except that I had to stick every piece of tape all over my clothes for, like, a solid minute each so that the music librarians will be able to take them off when the time comes. On the other hand, they still had to be sticky enough that they would not fall off, so... we'll see how that works out. The music librarians probably hate me already, because I still haven't given them back my Symphony music, but this is because both on Saturday and today I was running so late that I couldn't afford to stop at my car and get it out of the backseat. Today I was definitely still sound, sound asleep at 2:45 PM when Eema knocked angrily at my door. It is not my fault. I was dreaming that I was McCoy. McCoy did not have to go to orchestra. See, what always makes it worse is that I'm rude when I'm half-conscious, I can't help it, I can't control it, I can't tell that I'm being unreasonable: I can't even tell that I'm not fully conscious, and neither can anyone else. So I snap at Eema when she's already frustrated with me and it just gets worse, because she's all insisting that I should be grateful, and of course she is right, but honestly, there is no way under the sun that I am going to act grateful for being woken up, ever. And then I'm all trying to put in contacts and suchlike while she's saying "OKAY LEORA," every thirty seconds, like "you should be done by now," and I'm biting my tongue to keep from snapping out that I'm going as fast as I possibly can and nothing she says or does can make me go faster, so she might as well stop because it's really only delaying me because I have to stop and go "yes Eema, I am hurrying" instead of, you know, getting on with it. Not that she has any way to know whether I'm actually hustling or whether I'm just standing there sleeping on my feet, which happens as often as not, so it's unreasonable of me again to expect her to do something different, but, again, not reasonable when having been woken up. Man, I need to become, like, an artist or a writer or something where there are never set hours, and then I can have thirty-six hour days and it will not bother anybody. Gregorian was so kind when I came in late and in a panic, which was sort of the worst part of everything.
Then I had coffee! And I was bouncing off walls all evening. I wore my oversized top hat to go put the bags out, just on a whim. If someone is watching from those houses across the street at sixish every day, they have seen me in a multitude of costumes by now. Masks and hats and swords and yeah, that's the way that goes. I wish I knew how to design/sew/could make fabric out of thin air. I would make myself an entire custom wardrobe, and it would content me. I mostly dislike clothes that are sold in stores, either for the style or the fit. That was one of the awesome things about Gadna, was the uniforms that were cool-looking and comfortable and that everyone wore. I'm not in favor of uniforms in schools and such on principle, because I think that clothing and style is an important part of self-expression and people should be able to dress like goths or whatever if they want to, and just because I personally would feel more comfortable in a uniform is no reason to inflict uniforms on everyone else, so you'd have to give people to option to not wear the uniform, which defeats the purpose- though I do like having the option, on days when I wake up and have time or just feel like it, of dressing up in elaborate costumes. Usually when I do this I go around all pleased with myself until I see someone who is close enough to me (usually Eema) to be comfortable telling me that I look ridiculous and should go change, and then I'm all like "darn it, people saw me like this," but whatever.
Clothes are expensive. I would rather spend my money on coffee and pizza.
I'm a little annoyed with myself. Lately it seems that all I can talk about on here is my frustration with clothing/sleeping/working, which, the thing that these three things all have in common is that they are all boring. But it's that or you let me rant about Star Trek, and no one wants that. No really, you may think anything is preferable to Leora going "MAN CLOTHES SUCK AND I CAN'T WAKE UP AND I NEVER GET ANYTHING DONE BLAAAAAH" but you would be wrong.
I will eventually overflow and inflict it on you all anyway, because I'm cruel like that. YAAAAIIII.
Off to eat and sleep, and hopefully successfully convince myself to take a shower. Paul has said that he will be sad if I cut off all my hair, but I will confess that it's awfully tempting. I don't think I've ever seriously considered cutting off all my hair before in my entire life, but I find myself seriously considering it now. Well, either way, I won't touch it before my wedding, at least. I just kinda think- if I'm going to change my appearance that drastically, having it coincide with moving to Indiana would probably make it go smoother. On the other hand, I think I'd feel a bit like a cliche, like I was trying to reinvent myself or something in a place where only three people know me, but. Hair. It is such a darn hassle, and honestly, what's it done for me lately? But then on the other hand, because it's so curly, it would probably take like a decade to grow back to its current length, so I'd have to be absolutely positively certain that I want it gone, because I'd have to live with the results for a very long time. Poll: who out there would be sad if I cut my hair and tried to pass myself off as Paul's inexplicably-breasted boyfriend in Indiana? And yes, I know full well that any attempt at Sweet Polly Oliver stylings on my part are doomed to Epic Failure, but dude, I could take showers in less than an hour. Dude.
Aaaaand now it's quarter-to-four. Fine. I'm walking home.