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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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Happy Hanukah, from an irish & norwegian bipolar. And-- I'll take your suffragists, and raise you some Freedom Riders.


Happy Chanukah, from a recovered Catholic, married to a secular Jew. We cleared the rubble from dining room table last night, dusted off the menorah, lit the candles and sang.
This week end, we are having 19 people over for a Chanukah chaos-fest. In my spouse's family, they call it "the festival of fried things." Latkes, brisket and possibly donuts. And one very big mess, guaranteed.


BLC -- I can't believe I forgot the Scandinavians! Yes, I know several bipolar or chronically depressed (not the same thing) Scandinavians, as well (some of them Jewish, even), and not just around here.

And I would bite the head off a chocolate Bayard Rustin as happily as a chocolate Susan B. Anthony or Judas Maccabaeus any day. (And see? I even learned that last guy's name in Latin; that's how Jewish we were.)

Laurie, that sounds great! "The festival of fried things" -- well, the lamp that burned for eight days was an oil lamp, and so many people do actually celebrate exactly that way.

Mmmm, latkes (droooooooool). I think I'm going to have to make some tomorrow.


Happy Chanukah! Chocolate suffragists will somehow be my new religion. I am not sure exactly how. Ornaments will be involved as they are the best part of Christmas, in my opinion.


Happy Chanukah! I was actually down at my fav video store (the one I offered money to have them to burn down yesterday) and they were playing Xmas music; I asked if they could play some Chanukah music or I could at least bring them a disc of klezmer music. Apparently no go as if they don't get Xmas music 24/7 the misty eyed feeling goes away (and they made a special Xmas DVD display when I OFFERED to do a halloween one for them and was refused!).

Anyway, before I was sidetracked, I wanted to thank you for reminding me of the sunset and how for a couple decades I could tell you when the sun set every day (and we would look at the moons and say, "only X more moon till...."). Of course, once I figured out the earth rotation I pointed out to my father that on atonement/Yom Kippur we didn't actually have to fast for 24 hours if we timed it right; only 23 hours and 58 minutes. I think there was some comment about how people like me were created to test those who were true to God.

I'm still very undecided about the maccabee brothers; liberators, yes, but also a bit loony tunes (that ride with 500 into the entire army, hello?) and they crossed the bounds seperating the rites of Levite and Judah. Seriously, this is how I grew up. I think I would like to keep Chanukah but my parents refused because the festival was "too new" (which should tell how fun my childhood was). I am glad it brought you memories and I enjoyed reading about them.

The Goldfish

Happy Chanukah!

The one that bugs me about the purported Jewish identity is that every funny Jew who appears is compared to Woody Allen, regardless of the nature of their humour. This is particularly weird with British comics, who are never even slightly like Woody Allen.

What's more, if Jews did magically share a sense of humour, we have lots of great British comics of Jewish descent they might be compared to - including at least one bipolar, the great Stephen Fry.


Kay, I want to join your religion, as long as we can also have lights! We may have to make our own chocolate suffragists. We may even have to make our own molds. How are you at sculpting from old photographs?

I'm not wild about candles, but electric lights! Ooooh, right up there with ornaments in my book -- and another thing we weren't allowed to have, supposedly because it would "confuse" us, but more likely because my dad didn't want to get up on a ladder.

As you know, I have become a shameless women's libber, and my living room has colored fairy lights all around the bay window and one of the potted plants. Year-round, we keep a string of chili pepper lights around the kitchen window; it goes with our "chili pepper chic" theme. So there, selectively repressive, excuse-making parents. I have foiled your plot to keep me free of confusion and have learned to revel in how pretty it can be.

Oh, wait, if I have my own aesthetic, I guess I'm not really all that confused.

Elizabeth, I think you have hit upon another research topic, one for which someone should totally try to obtain funding: a comparison in shopper attitudes and spending habits in Western shopping venues during the month of December, with equal numbers playing only klezmer, only Christmas music, only secular Top 40 Through the Ages, only non-holiday themed jazz, and only non-holiday themed classical music and also some control venues with no ambient music whatsoever. Then we'll know.

Personally, I have to confess that Christmas music will drive me out of a store as surely as top 40 or oldies (which would be the top 40 of most of my life to date). I didn't used to hate it; I'm just completely burned out on the repetition and programming of it all. Somebody do something different! Please!

Goldfish, I agree. It's always either Woody Allen or Jackie Whatsit (can't remember his name anymore), who himself always gets compared to some other Jewish comedian of the Adirondack vacation circuit.

I can't think of a single British comedian who reminds me of Woody Allen. I see Fry as his own uniquely wonderful self. I'm trying to think of a single British comedian I know to be Jewish, and all I can come up with is the very, very wonderful Tracey Ullman, who is nothing like Woody Allen (unless she purposefully decides to mimic him). And you know, I don't even know for a fact that she is or ever was Jewish. It's just an assumption I've made, and I don't even know why now that I think about it.

Something that once amused me very much was Kenneth Branagh in one of Allen's not especially distinguished later films actually playing Woody Allen. The character wasn't named Woody Allen, but it became Royal Shakespeare Does Woody Allen by Method or Exposure, Not Sure Which. I don't know if Allen's own mannerisms are contagious or if this is what Allen directed him to do. Either way, it was an ineffective, obvious performance, but funny in an entirely unintended way.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso

I think these are the greatest footnotes I've ever read, and I've read *a lot* of footnotes in my day.

Happy Chanukah!


And not a citation anywhere among them! Imagine! ;)


Aw, I wish I'd read your comment, Elizabeth, before I sent you the CDs of Christmas music that you won. I could have included a Chanukah tune or two. Certainly some klezmer.

I hate the music in stores, holiday and otherwise, and I started saving recordings of christmas songs I actually liked to listen to. Some are funny, some are not -- some just sound cool. Although I'm so out of touch with radio and the retail world, that it always surprises me when I find out that one song or another that I thought was rare and exotic actually gets played on the radio all the time.

The Goldfish

I just remembered this; Jewish British comedians. Well ones you may have heard of would include Sasha Baron Cohen (who created Borat and Ali G), Maureen Lipman, Matt Lucas who is in "Little Britain" among other things, David Baddiel... there are quite a few considering that there are only supposed to be about a quarter of a million Jews in the country (although that goes off census data, where people are asked about religion as opposed to cultural identity).


Alphabitch and Elizabeth, all this talk about klezmer reminds me that I have a bunch of it which I snagged off of back when it was fun. The bands whose tracks I downloaded were Hollywood Klezmer and Temple Sinai Klezmer Band. For more Klezmermania, go drown yourself (happily; this is not a "go jump in the lake" expression) at Oh, and here's a page of Klezmer downloads I found looking for the Temple Sinai Klezmer Band:

Klezmer MP3 Download

Gorge yourself. Much less fattening than latkes. :)

Goldfish, I forgot about Cohen and Lipman; I have not yet been introduced to Lucas and Baddiel.

And you know, it's funny. Asked my religion, if I choose to answer at all, I say "atheist" or, on a good day, "agnostic." Asked my cultural identity, I don't know what I would say, probably "garden variety American mutt." (I have been known to say such things, and in public, too.) Jewish is in there, but besides the whole godlessness issue and my painful ignorance of even the most common Jewish knowledge, there's the fact that I don't speak Hebrew (which is apparently a big part of Jewishness) and only know one or two choice Yiddish words. Okay, maybe ten or twenty. But this a cultural identity makes? Oy! No way! ;)

So you share your country with 250,000 people who unequivocally claim Judaism as their religion? Considering that as of the year 2000, only two percent of North America did, and that according to 2003 UN projections less than one percent of the entire world does, that's pretty good! From Newcastle to Dover, there should be plenty of latkes and chocolate maccabees to go around.

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