Monday, November 25, 2013

The Actual, Original Song of Thanksgivukkah!

Never again in this lifetime will we be able to celebrate the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukah. So, in honor of Thanksgivukkah, there are many songs zipping through the Internet. I haven't found one that tells the true story of how Thanksgivukkah came to be, nor have I found one that's sung to the tune of  the Gilligan's Island's theme song. Thus, I created this.I hope it's informative. Enjoy. (?)
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Get fit, not crack, and I’ll spin a tale that’s as wacky as they get. It started when Christopher’s Mother asked, “Why aren’t you married yet?”          Maccabee Chorus: Why aren’t you married yet?

I’m not sure why. I’m nice and all, but I can’t attract a babe.

I’ve tried Jdate and Plenty ’o Fish. Had no luck; I can’t get laid.

Maccabee Chorus: Poor lass, he can’t get laid.

Hush, my son! Don’t speak such things! A Bubbeh[1] I must be. 
So find a gal and marry her. Then next, go spread your seed.

Maccabee Chorus: Then next, go spread your seed.

I searched through Spain and the Promised Land, but nothing seems to work. 
I don’t like bars or techno-raves. 
Mom, I can’t even twerk.

Maccabee Chorus: Poor lass can’t even twerk!

Then build a ship and search the world. Not a corner shall you miss. You’re 45 years old, my son. 
Now come give your Mama a kiss.

Maccabee Chorus: Boy, go give your Mama a kiss.

Columstein sailed with the Pilgrambergs, and dreidle they did play. Within 8 days, they hit Plymouth Rock. 'Twas a miracle! Oy vey![2]

Maccabee Chorus: 'Twas a miracle! Oy vey!
They ate and ate and ate some more. Turkey latkes[3] were first rate. Then Chris winked at Pocahantusky and asked her for a date.

Maccabee Chorus: He asked her for a date.

He IM’d Mama, who said, “Mazel Tov![4]”. You can guess what happened next. 
Columstein and Pocahantusky were sharing risqué texts.

Maccabee Chorus: They were sharing risqué texts.

So we celebrate all miracles, and give thanks for all we’ve got.

Were it not for bold and brave rebels, We’d be one sorry lot.

Maccabee Chorus: We’d be one sorry lot.
 

Now go enjoy Thanksgivukkah. And do your very best 
to make the most of what you need, 
and share all of the rest.

Maccabee Chorus: And share all of the rest.

Happy Thanksgivukkah...There, where-ever you’re smilin’!

[1] Jewish grandma. We all love them. We all need them. I miss my two Bubbehs.
[2] Nothing says “oy vey” like “oy vey.”
[3] Potato pancakes. Traditional Hanukkah food.
[4] Congratulations and good fortune.

I forgot a couple footnotes, and I don't know how to slip them in without messing this all up - as if it's not already messed up (in more ways than one). Truthful info:
The Maccabees were a small band of Jews that fought and won a battle against the Egyptians/Syrians for religious freedom. Dreidles are the spinning tops we play with on Hanukah. Hanukkah begins on Wednesday night.
On both holidays, we celebrate miracles; religious freedom, and all the freedoms and blessings we take for granted in our privileged segment of the world. It's sentiment we can all embrace, so Happy Thanksgivukkah to you!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Just the Right Time: An Amazon Faux Pas

 
Imagine my surprise when I opened my book, Just the Right Time * to sign a copy for my cousin. *marked down to only $5.11; it's a perfect holiday gift and Amazon best-seller # 542, 510. Woohoo! (Look out, Snookie! I'm gaining on you.) Instead of my poetry, though, I found this:
 "Big Sister, Little Sister at the zoo, having fun. Blowing bubbles under the sun."
It seems Amazon made a printing error, and this incited all sorts of words from me, none favorable. "Blowing bubbles under the sun?" Are you *bleep*n kidding me? Who wrote this *bleep*? No wonder self-published authors have such a lowly reputation. 

I grabbed my phone. "Hello...I just opened my book to sign it, and I found someone else's book in mine for the first five pages. This is inexcusable! Amazon should be embarrassed! It's really bad poetry too!...You can't get me another copy until Tuesday? That's unacceptable. I'd like to speak with your Manager."

The Manager was equally patient and apologetic. He assured me that this occurrence is a rarity. I assured him, however, that this assurance doesn't help me; it was my last good copy. Ultimately, they sent me five free copies. I'm good with that.

Please note that I don't mean to bash Amazon-Createspace. They have been very friendly and easy to work with. I recommend CreateSpace for anyone interested in self-publishing. Yet I'm still baffled as to how a bit of the sisters got into Just the Right Time.

After researching this sisterly literature, I learned the true meaning of "Don't judge a book by its cover." See, Big Sister is the author. Plus, Big Sister is only 4-1/2! I'm so sorry, Big Sister. I didn't write my first poem until age 11. Keep at it, sweetie. You're gifted beyond your years. I didn't mean those nasty things I said about your poetry. Well, I did. I just didn't realize you're a preschooler. Blow more bubbles. Have more fun with Little Sister. Then, write more poems about it all, honey.
 
Alas, here's my theme poem on the sixth page. The stunning artwork is thanks to Robin Mead.

It's not too late
It's not too soon
To watch the stars dance towards the moon
Paint rainbow colors across the sea
Invite the ladybugs for tea.
Ride the clouds to fairy lands
Grow cookie gardens in the sand.
To see a world where nothing's wrong
And make it so through silly song
It's not too late
It's not too soon
To watch the stars dance towards the moon.

You can find either of these special books on Amazon. 
Who knows what you'll get when you turn the pages!?

I don't have new pictures for Sundays in My City, so this is my Sunday post. Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

On Being Tied Up: Woman on the Verge of Paradise

Hi, friends. I hope your week is going well. I'm sorry I'm extra slow at making blog-rounds these days. I'm scrambling to finish the first draft of my novel, Woman on The Verge of Paradise. It's raining over here, but I can see the light; I'm almost there. But they all say that editing is the hardest part. Crap. I hope they're all liars. Anyway, enjoy a short snippet. Be well.
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      Phil and I met through a mutual friend in the late 90s. A warm, gentle soul, he endeared me immediately.
     As we rolled lustfully across my living room carpet one evening, I invited Phil to spend the night.
     “Sure, yeah, but we won’t have sex,” he responded.
     “Okay, not tonight...Or do you mean not ever?”
     “I don’t know.” He sat up, breathed heavily, and looked down towards his lap. “My last girlfriend,...she tied me up. I just, it was scary.”
     “Okay, it’s okay. We won’t use rope. Don’t worry.” I stroked his face lovingly. “Do you want to talk about it?”
      Stupefied, he didn’t respond. After a seemingly endless bout of quiet, I gave him a hug. He slowly departed, looking down at his shoes. I recoiled into a familiar state of confused relief, and called it quits —with apologies— the next day.

April 2, 1999 

Dear Diary, Shit! Am I the only adult virgin left in this world besides Gary Coleman?[1] I’m scared of sex, but I’m more scared of not having sex. Not ever. That I’ll die first. What’s wrong with these men? What’s wrong with me?


[1] Gary Coleman had announced his virginity to the world back then. Poor guy. He was such an adorable talented child actor. Gary's fate is too despairing for a footnote here. At least he didn't die a virgin (I assume). May he rest in peace.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

10 Days 'Til Thanksgivukkah! Sundays in My City

UnknownMami hosts this Sunday extravaganza. Visit her site here to visit the world. Thanks for stopping by.

There are only 10 days left until Thanksgiving and Chanukkah converge in an explosive celebration of Thanksgivukkah! This miracle won't happen again for another 77,798 years. So I went around Chico, CA in search of signs of this remarkable occasion.

 I didn't find any at the supermarkets, though that's a hefty pumpkin.

I also didn't find any at the gift shops, though I like the sentiment on that pillow. (Santa...I Want it all.)
I ended up in my living room, where, alas, I found this:
The orange-ish thing is an inflatable turkey.  Who, but me, would have one of those? Let me explain: a friend sent it to me years ago, because she didn't want me to be alone on Thanksgiving. It's not like that, though; I didn't take it out and try to blow it until now. And I'm out of practice, I guess, because it didn't respond to my breath...Perhaps I should not have explained.

Happy pre-Thanksgivukkah!

A peaceful new week to you and yours.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears: The Latest in Chocolate

I was never much of a gummy bear fan. What about you? 

I mean, it's fun dismembering them, and switching their body parts. But they're too chewy and get their little parts stuck between my teeth. Plus, they're not made of chocolate. Or so I thought, until I encountered these at Powell's Sweet Shoppe in Chico: chocolate covered gummy bears. I like the concept, kind of, though it struck me as a bit odd. I didn't think I'd like these bears, but I did. The dominant flavor is chocolate, with a tinge of fruitiness inside. They tasted just right, and they didn't get stuck between my teeth. I gobbled a handful in no time. I find these a lot more addicting than the non-chocolate covered gummy bears. Overall, I give these sweet cubs a 9. I can't tell you where to find them, though I'm sure you'll find them if you look hard enough. Otherwise, visit me in Chico, and I'll take you to them. Then, we'll have some of Powell's delectable gelato.

Powell's didn't offer me any treats in exchange for this review, though I wish they would.

Have a sweet weekend.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Day I Became a Woman


June 2, 1979
I know, look how tiny and little and flat-chested and blurry, white stone-faced I was and still am--minus the flat-chested factor. Yet this is the day on which I became a Jewish woman. My Bat Mitzvah! The last post inspired this repost from 2010. My ceremony fell a couple of weeks short of my 13th birthday, a number of years short of puberty, and -well- I'll spare mention of other time frames.

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah involves leading a service, chanting from the Torah, and - the worst part (er, greatest honor)- holding the darn thing. Should said "new Jewish adult" drop the Torah, oy gevalt! The entire congregation, in fact, must fast for 30 days. Can you imagine? Minor slippage amounts to sentencing your beloved spiritual network to a month-long fast. You can surely forget the huge stash of cash you did all this for. Let me stress that we're talking about a large group of Jews (those very people who've sacrificed everything, mind you, so you could make it to this glorious point in your otherwise meaningless existence, and "By the way, why aren't you married yet?") not being able to eat for a month because of you. Not a pretty concept. Not pretty at all. One hurdle left, and the pressure was on. Not only did I have to hold it, I had to hold it for a long ass, I mean a righteously sacred tuchas* duration

With my little but tenacious arms wrapped around that Baby, the two of us were doing just fine. The audience and I were silent. Intensity pervaded the synagogue's 250 mile radius. All eyes glared anxiously at that Torah. Folks who had never prayed before began bargaining with the Almighty, Moses, Allah, Jesus, and Mr. Kotter. Family members started waging bets on the amount of time before the crash. Everyone held their breath. Their faces turned red. They crossed their fingers and toes, running out to nibble at their last bites of food for a month! But I was doing just fine, holding tight. Still, I needed to play it safe. One does not take chances when it comes to Jews and food. That in mind, I gave the Torah just a wee little boost with my little right knee. At that moment, a loud burst of laughter filled the sanctuary. Apparently, they found this considerate, devout and well calculated maneuver rather humorous. Bastards! I mean, I shall not blame my beloved spiritual hungry community. The tension was lifted, as I boosted that Baby another half inch, still holding on for dear life. 

We made it through to the end, and we got to eat. Mazel Tov!

*Yiddish for derriere, butt, rear-end, or ass.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Our horsturkey or turkorse is back: Sundays in My City

Thanks to hostess extraordinaire, UnknownMami, we're back for another glimpse of Chico, CA. To tour the world of bloggers' hometowns, visit her site here.

Unknown Mami
DuPont is ready for Thanksgiving. Let's hope his horsturkey/turkhorse disguise assures his immunity from becoming the main dish at a Thanksgiving meal.  [Oh, how dare I suggest that!? Sorry, DuPont.]
On an entirely different note, I had the pleasure of attending a Bar Mitzvah (the ceremony for a Jewish 13 year old) this weekend. Do you know what this beauty is called?
If you said a Torah, you're half right. It's a Torah cake. {Mazel Tov means congratulations and/or good luck.} The Torah typically consists of the Old Testament, each letter hand written by a calligrapher. This one consisted (I'm assuming it's gone by now, which is a safe assumption) of chocolate and creamy vanilla-y goodness.
I saw this quote on a magnet at a local bookstore. I've read it before, but it's always helpful to remember: 
"Courage does not always roar. 
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice 
at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
-Mary Anne Radmacher

Thanks for visiting.

Have a good week and, when times are tough, 
the courage to try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

An Open Letter to Martha Stewart: IWSG


First Wed of Every Month

Alex J. Cavanaugh founded the IWSG to provide a safe venue for expressing our vulnerabilities and offering each other support. We're posting on the first Wednesday of every month. Please check out Alex’s blog to visit others’ posts. It’s an inspiring, fun group. Join us, if you haven't already! All that's required is an insecurity or two hundred.

In case you hadn’t heard, on October 13, when asked during an interview [here] if she thinks the social media is “a bit in poor taste,” Ms. Stewart replied that she has a “gripe” about that because "‘Who are these bloggers?’ They're not trained editors and writers at Vogue magazine. I mean, there are bloggers writing recipes that aren't tested, that aren't necessarily very good or are copies of everything that really good editors have created and done. Bloggers create kind of a popularity. But they are not the experts and we have to understand that."

My contribution this month is an open letter to Martha Stewart.

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Hey, Martie,

It’s Robyn – the little Jewish lady and schlocky dresser who interviewed you on June 3. We share an affinity for cucumbers, remember? That interview’s here. Anyway, I’m adding my response to the pile of hate you’ve received for your comments about the social media and, specifically, your attack on bloggers.

My gripe with you, aside from that mole protruding from your cheek and the morbidly dark roots sprouting from your ever inflating head, is the hefty gap that you maintain between yourself and humanity.

Who are those bloggers? you ask. Well, Mats, there are an estimated one billion of us. Surely, some of that billion have expertise. In fact, a portion of bloggers are blogging your recipes and craft ideas. Oh, and Martha, I visited your blog. {Psst, you’re one of those bloggers.} I suggest changing the title of your “Quintessential Autumn” post. Nobody has used the word “quintessential” since Jane Austen. She's been dead for a while.

You are correct, however. Many of us do have poor taste. We like it that way. Not to boast, but I’m fairly skilled at potentially offending large segments of the population.  Though I wish I was as savvy at exhibiting poor taste as some very popular blog friends, like Bryan Pedas at A Beer for the Shower, whose posts make anyone with a sense of humor spew bodily fluids that would propel you into cardiac arrest. Or Pat Hatt, whose creative and tactless rhymes have his following soaring well above 2000. There are also smaller bloggers like AlPenwasser, one of my favorites. He does offensive like nobody’s business. And,..I could go on.

Alex's Insecure Writer’s Support Group is over 300 strong. Alex knows, as do the rest of us, that the social media is about a give-and-take. It’s about connecting. We do this by acknowledging our lack of expertise, because being human means accepting our vulnerabilites. It also means laughing at absurdity and, well, people like you. Ultimately, though, it's about heart.

Despite his exceptional success as an author and blogger, Alex will readily say that he has no expertise. He’s just one of us. Whatever our individual strengths and weaknesses, my network of bloggers and I support each other through it all. That’s why we blog and keep blogging, and why we’ve formed a presence in cyberspace so strong that you’re threatened by us. We do it because we care about each other. We do it because we aren't experts of the upper echelon who spend weekends abroad riding horses in Northern France.

Though we wouldn’t mind a smidgen of your vast riches, Marts, we won’t sell out for any of it. We don’t care what we wear or if we can afford to buy an ounce of Ralph Lauren cologne. We’re just good people who boost each other through the struggles of writing and living in the real world. We're nothing like you, and proudly so. You, Ms. Stewart, have to understand that.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Down and Downer, Reasons for Celibacy #277-285

Few activities are as perplexing as sorting through today's "eligible" bachelors. Take, for example, the following fragments of men's Internet dating ads: justifiable reasons why I (or any single, straight woman) would choose celibacy. Please be entertained.
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REASON #277: looking for my maybe more
Sorry. I’m looking for my definitely more, please don’t stop anytime soon.

REASON #278: nice gay
What’s a nice gay like you doing on a non-progressive website looking for a woman?

REASON #279: noting to do
Yeah, me too. Lots of noting. So are you a pantser or a plotter?

REASON #280: looking for sexy woman that is down.
Sexy and depressed? I can do that! Call me, honey. Wink.

REASON #281: im down are you down
Wow, I didn’t know so many men liked down women. I am down, sweetie, especially upon reading these ads. Meet me at the Paradise Dive Bar. We’ll do our tax returns, discuss the rapidly growing homeless sector, review Gore’s power-point presentation on global warming, and ponder the inevitable downfall of the Disney child. I can't wait!

REASON #282: some of y'all are more stuck up than tampons
Oh yeah? Well some of y’all are more dense than a Tolsty trilogy.

REASON #283: single cuntry man
Whoa dude. That’s a rather offensive way to say that you only boink one woman at a time.

REASON #284: Lets grab a 5 gallon bucket of fudge and chat!!
Okay. What are you having?

REASON #285:Como estas that's spanish for I like your face
Adios amigos that’s Spanish for “No thanks. Can you tell me where the bathroom is?”