December 12, 2013 § 9 Comments
I went to see “The Book Thief” with a friend a few weeks ago. I knew nothing about it except it was set in Nazi Germany and involved a girl joining a new family.
My friend and I discussed how we really do enjoy seeing a movie knowing little about the plot, as we like to see it unfold before us with no preconceived notions, and our reactions are genuine – usually finding delight in letting the storyteller take us to places we don’t anticipate. It’s a little like having a trusted friend lead you around when you’re wearing a blind-fold.
As the movie progressed, I felt as I expected – loving the good story, wanting to know what happened next, in awe of the amazing acting of Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson – not to mention those marvelous child actors, Sophie Nélisse and Nico Liersch. I was lost in John Williams’ magnificent musical score, and impressed with the director’s ability to convey horror without gore. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 11, 2013 § 17 Comments
This morning on the way to school, my fourth-grader and I had the following conversation.
Him: Did you know sloths move so slowly that sometimes they mistake their arm for a branch, reach for it, and then fall to their deaths?
Me: Sloths have arms?
Him: Yeah! Of course they do.
Me: Sloths don’t have arms.
Him: (disbelievingly) Yes, Mom! They have REALLY LONG ARMS!
Me: No, they don’t.
Him: Yes, they do!
Me: They do not.
Him: (patiently) Mom. I’m talking about SLOTHS. S-L-O-T-H-S.
Me: I know what you’re talking about. Sloths. Sloths don’t have arms. Do they?
Him: (exasperated) YES! Sloths have arms!!! S-L-O-T-H-S!
Me: Stop SPELLING it. I KNOW what you’re talking about! Sloths have arms? I never knew that!
Him: (disbelievingly) HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW THAT???
Me: I really think they don’t. I’ll have to look it up when I get home. That’s really interesting.
You see, that entire time HE was talking about sloths, he saw this animal in his mind.
The entire time I was talking about sloths, and insisting he didn’t need to SPELL it out for me, I was seeing this animal in my mind.
In my defense, they are both very slow-moving animals.
December 2, 2013 § 30 Comments
I’m a little late with this post, as it’s already the sixth night of Chanukkah. You may have heard (if you don’t live under a rock) that it coincided with Thanksgiving this year, and travel, and blah, blah, blah – so apologies for tardiness. However, it is NOT too late to discuss the nuttiness that surrounds these winter holidays. In particular, I’d love to address addressing. Not as in envelopes, but as in in greeting people. Specifically, in greeting ME.
There always seems to be a well-meaning discussion about how to greet others. Do we wish them happiness in the holiday THEY celebrate? Or do we wish them well in the holiday WE celebrate? What do we say if we’re not sure? How do we avoid offending? « Read the rest of this entry »
November 8, 2013 § 16 Comments
She’d been asking for years. My firstborn, with the red hair and creamy skin, wanted a tattoo. For years she’s been asking.
The child who, if she could, would paint her room a different color every other month. The child who, if her parents could, would ask them to rearrange the furniture in her room every other week. The child who, as a pre-teen, declared matter-of-factly, “I require constant change.” The undeniable implication was, “Is that so wrong? Is that so difficult? Why is nobody accommodating me???”
October 18, 2013 § 6 Comments
Author’s Note: I wrote this a couple of years ago for my local Patch blog. In light of “The View’s” recent “discussions” and comments about Jews – you can read about it here and here - I thought it was worth re-publishing.
Perfect!!! I thought of this about a month or so ago as a way to describe my religious life/beliefs, such as they are. Jew-ish. “Ish!” It’s right there in the name! I’m a Jew. Ish. Kinda in the middle – sorta…
That helped me crystallize some of the ways in which I am a full-fledged Jew, and ways in which I am kinda, sorta – you know, Jew-ish. Hope you don’t mind my sharing. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 4, 2013 § 6 Comments
A little over a week ago, Popular Science published an article called “Why We’re Shutting Off Our Comments.” In it, the magazine announced that, from now on, it would no longer allow comments on stories it publishes online. An old friend from college posted the article on Facebook, tagging me and a few others asking our opinions on the decision. My response was this: ”You had me at the title. I don’t even need the ‘Why’ at the beginning of it.”
I can imagine the protests to come – calling the decision outrageous, violations of the First Amendment, cowardly, etc. To those accusations I already had my pat reply: that what is really outrageous is the online culture of stupidity and meanness so pervasive in what is attempting to pass for internet discourse. First Amendment rights do not entitle people to say whatever they please behind the anonymity of their computer screens about whatever they please and be heard by a particular organization’s audience. Cowardly is more accurately descriptive of spambots, trolls, and first-generation-uprights who take every opportunity to sabotage any semblance of conversation begun by an author’s original piece. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 28, 2013 § 1 Comment
I learned by watching Bill Maher, that not one, but two towns in Georgia have laws requiring - requiring - heads of households to own a gun. Kennesaw, GA has had its law on the books since 1982. In a city of almost 30,000 people, the following law states:
(a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.
(b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony. « Read the rest of this entry »