Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Things to do at 1:00AM. And 1:30. And 2:00. etc.

Forgot to give the little rooster his allergy medicine last night, and had a sudden realization about what, exactly, it's been helping.

The sniffles? Sure, a little. But sleeping through the WHOLE night - yes, actually, that's what it is. It's toddler sleeping pills. (well, sort of - it's liquid, but I'm tired, so just go with this)

Anyway, here's a list of my top 5 recommendations for things to do with a small child from 1-2:30AM.
  1. Promise him chocolate chips and the return of removed toys if he stays in bed and doesn't wake up mom and dad.
  2. Insist that you really do need to take your ear with you when you leave, no, he can't keep holding it.
  3. Get a snack. Or two. Try to figure out where that darn blueberry went - in the dark.
  4. Keep your patience when said child informs you that he's peed his pajama pants, despite your asking (a dozen friggin times!) if he wanted to use the potty.
  5. Return to your bed, snuggle in, start to fall asleep, poke your husband - hard - and then pretend to be sound asleep when the child comes through your door for the seventh time in an hour.

Dear Makers of Zyrtec,

Thank you so much for the magical medicine you've given me to help my child through his allergies. Please add a warning to the package that suddenly discontinuing use may cause parental insanity.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Substance Abuse and 3 year olds

"So, sweetie, starting this week, X. isn't going to be picking you up any more. You're going to have special Daddy time instead."


Oh, shit. He would have to ask.

"Well, X. has been making some bad choices, and so she can't take care of you for now."

"Maybe she will make better choices and then we can give her a sticker."

Awkward pause.

"Maybe. And we hope she does make better choices, but I think it's going to be a while before we give her another chance. You can still see her, but she can't pick you up and take care of you for a while."

"Well, she did a good job taking care of me, and before Opa died, and we didn't give her stickers then, so maybe we should go up and give her stickers for then so she knows to make good choices again."

"MM-hmmmm, maybe. Hey, would you like some dessert?"

Someday, he may get the full story. Or maybe not. But I managed to get through the conversation without crying, which is definitely something.

Also, I have an awesome kid.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Different Kind of War

Who understands the position of Israel re: Gaza better - a liberal, two-state solution American Jew? Or your average American jar-head in Afghanistan in 2010?

A soldier complains that under the rules, any insurgent who doesn't have a
weapon is immediately assumed to be a civilian. "That's the way this game is,"
McChrystal says. "It's complex. I can't just decide: It's shirts and skins, and
we'll kill all the shirts."

From Rolling Stone's article on "The Runaway General"

Counter-insurgency, defeating a guerrilla army, isn't easy. I wonder how long it will take before first-world countries stop shitting on Israel and realize they're all facing the same problem.


Here in hippie-town, in my liberal Jewish shul, I occasionally forget that there are venomous attitudes out there being propped up by willful misinterpretations of halacha.

Or maybe that's unfair. Maybe the people spouting this nonsense are simply unthinking sheep who really never questioned what their bigoted rabbis told them.

(Can you tell I'm spitting mad?)

In a discussion on DovBear's blog about double standards among the Orthodox (how quick OJs were to criticize Obama for his association with Rev. Wright, while their own rabbis spew racism and worse from the bima), I came across this comment:

"I imagine most people in the world at large feel somewhat differently about racism and sexism and see sexism as being at least ignorable if not justifiable."

This (male) OJ commenter unfortunately represents a common viewpoint in Orthodoxy, that sex differences are not only natural, but Godly, and that all the cultural crap that's been added on to halacha (such as not allowing female rabbis or even shul presidents) is justified. Even holy.

I am proud to belong to a Jewish community that cares more about how you treat your fellows than how long your sleeves are.

Thank you, Mr. Bigot, for renewing my commitment to fostering strong, healthy, intelligent, and compassionate leadership among Jewish girls. That's just the inspiration I need as I prepare to lead a group of Jewish teenage girls here through the Rosh Hodesh: It's a Girl Thing curriculum this fall.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Goats do Roam

While Bad Cohen was having a bad pain weekend, I took the toddler over to the fairgrounds for a sheep and goat show. He wasn't super-impressed by the spinning wheels, but he wanted me to bring home one of these:

Bad Cohen and our cats (not to mention my garden) are glad I didn't.

Awful cute, though, eh?

Friday, June 18, 2010

PSA - Got Marrow?

Every day, people die from cancers, diseases, and disorders that can be cured - or at least sent into abeyance - by a simple donation. My mother-in-law, z"l, died while waiting for a kidney transplant that never arrived.

Fellow J-Bloggers The Bray of Fundie and At the Back of the Hill have alerted me to the plight of Matt Fenster, a 35-year-old father from Riverdale who is hoping that a bone marrow transplant can save his life.

Squeamish? No problem - you can donate money, instead of marrow, to help the institute process bone marrow registration kits to match up donors and those in need.

Click here for pikuach nefesh!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Guns in Texas and a Visit to the Shrink

I got nothing, so the least I can do is send you over to The Bloggess:

Like, one question asked if I had access to a gun and so I wrote “Depends. What do you need it for?” because it made me sound like I was the kind of person who was helpful but not so helpful that I’d hand someone a gun without a few follow-up questions but then I realized that this probably was a trick question so I changed my answer to "I live in Texas".

Monday, June 14, 2010

Modern Concubine

"In general terms, the Talmud distinguishes between a concubine and a wife in the following way: Wives have ketubah (marriage contract) and kiddushin (formal marriage ceremony i.e., hupah) while concubines have neither...
"However, Rashi takes issue with this definition. According to him, even a concubine must have kiddushin, but what she lacks is a ketubah (which delineates the financial responsibilities a husband has for his wife)."
There's a reason that Jewish marriage requires a ketubah. A document spelling out the terms of the arrangement, as well as what will happen should the relationship dissolve (by divorce or death), is invaluable for the ex-partners.
In the case of a death, it's also pretty handy for any children or other people with claims on the estate.
When Bad Cohen's father died, he left behind three adult children, and a non-Jewish live-in partner. She was a divorcee who was a family friend for decades, and the children on both sides though the relationship was weird, but were glad they could now be sort-of-stepsiblings, as they'd all been close for the last 30 years.
Fortunately, BC's dad had spelled out clearly what he wanted to happen in the event of his death, through his will and conversations with the children and this partner.
Unfortunately, she either willfully misconstrued things, or has gone completely off her rocker, and now thinks that she should live in their house rent-free, while HIS children pay off the mortgage, property taxes, utilities, etc. Never mind that she has income of her own, and her own children, she thinks that HIS children are supposed to support her for the rest of her life.
I should probably mention that even if they wanted to, the kids can't afford to do this - we have families of our own, and aren't too stable financially, especially if we use the minor inheritence to pay off the mortgage for BC's dad's house. BC himself is roughly 50% disabled, so we'll always be poor.
I was thinking of the Torah's injunction not to oppress the widow or the orphan... and realized that without a civil marriage, let alone a Jewish one with a ketubah, there is no widow here.
There is a modern concubine, who agreed to a relationship that didn't come with death benefits.
So, lady, sorry, but please don't oppress the orphans. They have enough to deal with without your meshugas.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Dream Interpretation, Anyone?

Last night I had a dream that I was a waitress in a really disorganized restaurant, and while I was in the kitchen something got spilled on the floor.

There were two managers standing there debating what to do, given that we didn't have any approved floor-cleaning personnel on staff at the moment.

I grabbed a rag and took a swipe at, thinking we could slip and fall at any moment, and was roundly cursed at by the managers for doing something outside my official position.

Around thereabouts, I took off my green apron, folded it up, handed it to one of the managers, and quit.

I had this great feeling of relief in the dream, as I walked home, and decided that I would instead make and sell art from found objects...

the Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Wow. Just, wow.

Fibonacci series. DNA. Fractals.

I try to be creative in my garden design, but THIS is AWESOME.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

BP Global PR

If you haven't seen it yet, this brilliant twitter spoof of the BP public relations team is worth a look.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Flotilla: Trep breaks it down

If you haven't yet read Treppenwitz' great analysis of what happened, when, were, etc. and what was and wasn't legal, take a look.

Separating Fact From Fiction