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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Alias

It’s become apparent to me that I need to come up with better aliases for my kids when writing about them on this blog. Keeping the names of my kids off the internet is a good idea for many reasons, especially if I’m going to be posting pictures as often as I do.

But my habit of referring to them by gender and birth order (e.g. Son1, Daughter2) is clunky and lacks the finesse many of you have come to expect from PsychoToddler. So I need to find better names, hopefully ones that are more descriptive of their personalities.

Let’s start with the girls:

Fudge: This one is pretty easy, since she picked out the name herself and I had nothing to do with it. No, I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean. I tried asking her and she said something about this being her screen name for an old blog or something. Anyway she’s stuck with it, so let that be a lesson to all you kiddies out there: Choose wisely.

Daughter2 (D2): Actually D2 isn’t a bad alias. It sounds cool, like T2 for ‘Terminator 2’, which would be very descriptive of her personality as well. How do you come up with a good nickname for the ‘coolest nine year old you know,’ as Fudge described her? I mean, the kid has it all, looks, brains, talent, funny accents, and an ability to flat-out reject guff in all its forms. She can kick your butt in Halo 2, then go upstairs and play the theme song on the piano. Here’s an example of what she’s like:

My wife is picking her up from school one day, sitting in her van outside. She sees D2 coming out wearing her winter coat and carrying a huge backpack. Suddenly there’s an older boy blocking her path and refusing to let her by. Before my wife can get out to do anything, the boy is out of the way, on the ground, and D2 is all smiles, bouncing happily into the van.

“What happened to that boy?” asks my wife.

“Before or after I punched him in the nose?” laughs my daughter.

Spunky. Anyway, D2 is also a reference to ‘The Mighty Ducks,’ and I don’t think that even applies in this situation. We thought of using some superhero name like ‘Dynagirl’ or ‘The Warrior Princess,’ but I think we’ll have to settle with her real nickname, which is what my son ‘Larry’ (see below) called her after we named her: Iguana. It sounds very much like her real name, and for a while, Larry thought it was.

Daughter 3 AKA psychotoddler: OK, many of you have pointed out the problem with this nomenclature. Specifically, that my Blogger name is Psychotoddler, and this site is named Psycho Toddler, and it’s confusing to call her that as well, especially because she’s no longer a toddler and she is most likely not even psycho. But I mean, come on, she’s the psychotoddler! There wouldn’t even be a blog called psychotoddler if it weren’t for her! I’m not changing any names, but from here on out, I will use the term “The PT” to refer to her. And the “The” is not optional. It is an integral part of her name, like “The Cheat,” who shares many of her characteristics. So you could theoretically greet her as “Hi, The PT!” or say “You’re my favorite The PT!”

BTW her real name means “little bird.” See, The PT is more descriptive.


Now for the boys. The three of them were born within a four-year, girl-free time span. So they tend to operate as a unit. I tried to find some parallels with other 3 man teams:


The Three Musketeers. Well, obviously, there are some problems here. First of all, there seems to be four of them. Aside from that D’Artagnan dude, I can’t remember the rest of their names anyway, so I don’t think it will be very useful to name my boys after them.



Huey, Dewey, and Louis. Shouldn’t it be Lewey? Anyway you can easily see what the main problem with this analogy is. Exactly. Which one is Huey, and which one is Dewey, and which one is Louis? Aside from wearing 3 different primary colors, they are exactly the same. That’s not how I would describe my three sons. Hmm…my three sons…




Naaaaah!




The Three Stooges: OK, now we’re getting somewhere! The analogy is not perfect, so we’re going to have to do some finagling to make it work:

Son1: He’s going to have to be Moe. Moe is the oldest, the ringleader, the guy dishing out most of the abuse. This is a good description of Son1. True, his hair would suggest Curly, but we all know that Curly was actually bald anyway. Irony, folks, irony! Moe is definitely the leader of the stooges at our house. The beauty of this situation is that if you are at all familiar with the Three Stooges, then I don’t have to work too hard to make you understand what my boys are like.

Son2: Larry. No question here. Larry’s the guy who goes along with what the other two are doing. The even-tempered one. The one who ducks out of the way when Moe pokes Curly in the eyes. In our house, Larry is the one who is most likely to say something unintentionally hilarious. For years I kept saying I should write his sayings down, and that's one of the reasons I started this blog.

Son3: Curly. Well, here’s where the analogy is going to break down a little. Curly in the movies was a bit of a dimwit, also fat and bald. None of these describe my youngest son. He’s smart, thin, and has my hair. But Curly is an apt moniker for him simply because it best describes him as the guy who is usually at Moe’s throat. The two of them are like bookends, and poor Larry is usually squashed in the middle while they have at each other.


Moe and Fudge: The Early Years

I should make it clear that I don't plan to use these nicknames at home (well, except for Iguana). This is for blog reference purposes only.
If you get confused later on, you may need to bookmark this post so that you can refer back to it. Also, if you feel you have a better nickname for any of them (through personal knowledge or otherwise), I’m certainly open to suggestions.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Scribbles

I attended a mourner's minyan this a.m. I never know if they'll have enough prayer books, so I brought my own. This one was sent to me by NCSY about 18 years ago. Worn and dog-eared, it has traveled around the world with me, gone on long roadtrips cross-country, spent time in dark hospital call rooms, but for the most part has sat on my dining room table, which is where I used to daven before they started the 5:45 minyan.

Obviously, my kids have had access to it while I was at work. I think each has contributed his or her own scribble.

I took it out as I began to get ready for the service. The minyan was attended by a variety of Orthodox Jews, Lubavich, Black-hatters, and me. The owner of the house came over to me and looked at the siddur, and smiled.

"This page speaks volumes to me."

What does it say to you?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Happy/Sad

Fudge is gone. Off to the Big Apple, as of yesterday. I'll write something about it when I figure out how I feel. Meanwhile, you can keep up with her on her blog. Assuming she figures out how to get the internet working over there.

BTW, the motto of New York shouldn't be "Excelsior" or "I love NY." It should be "Get in Line."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

We Have Six

Dear Psychotoddler,

Good morning. After seeing the picture of your beautiful family I thought an interesting post would be a description of what a household of 6 kids is like. I am only on my second and would be interested to read your thoughts on having a large family.


Aregular Reader


Well, Ari, I think that’s a great idea. However, I don’t feel qualified to write such a post. For two reasons:

1. I only have six kids. There are families in my community with 8 or 10 or even 12 kids. Now THOSE are big families. Compared to them, I’m an underachiever.

2. (and this is the more important point) I don’t do any of the work. Mrs. Balabusta is the one raising six kids.

Here’s what MY life is like:

I get up and shower and use my supersonic toothbrush. I go to minyan. I eat a bowl of frosty flakes and take care of biddness. I drive to the hospital. I see a bunch of patients. I go to the clinic. I see a bunch of patients, check email, and leave idiotic comments on people’s blogs. I drive home and listen to either horrible talk radio or myself singing slightly off-key. I eat the delicious dinner Mrs. B. has prepared. I wash some dishes. (Hey that’s my big contribution.) I take various kids various places. I teach one of my teenagers to drive. I may go to the Kollel. I come home. I give the psychotoddler a bath and put her to sleep. I play some video games. I fall asleep watching Monk on the TiVo. Repeat Ad nauseum.

So you see, you really want to find out what happens between the time that I leave the house and the time I return home. For that you should probably ask Mrs. Balabusta.

However, from a purely logistical standpoint, I will say that procedurally, we don’t do things much differently from when we only had two kids. Anything more than three, and you’re outnumbered anyway so it doesn’t matter much. The main difference is in terms of volume and duration. We do laundry continuously. There’s always a load going somewhere. There are a lot more dishes to do. There are more bags of groceries to carry in. Tuition is astronomical. We had to buy a full-sized van for transportation.

Looking at the picture of the kids, you might think they all arrived at once, that we had 6 little kids scurrying around in all directions like a bunch of Tasmanian Devils. The truth is we had at most 3 small kids at one time. As the older kids got bigger, we gave them more responsibility and they contributed more to the workings of the house. So all the older kids can baby-sit, sort, wash, and fold laundry, clean and cook. About the only thing they can’t do is take and deliver phone messages, but I don’t think that’s a function of the number of kids in the house, since I don't know how to take and deliver phone messages either.

So, in answer to your question, a medium-sized family is fun but challenging. If the kids are acquired incrementally, then you really don’t notice each individual addition. And I think the kids are a blast. Our Shabbos table is a non-stop laugh fest. The kids entertain each other. They really are their own best friends. I think this will be something they carry with them when they leave us (which, BTW, three of them will do in the next 2 weeks).

Each child is different from his or her siblings. I can’t think of any one of them that I could have done without. The only downside that I can think of (other than financial, obviously), is that it becomes hard to spend individual time with each kid. You do start to relate to them as a group. I have the good fortune of being able to do specific tasks with many of them (driving for the older two, piano and flute lessons with the others, etc.), but as Doctor Bean alluded to on his blog, you have to work to make this a priority.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Smile!

A trip to the photographer is the ultimate family stress test. Any family that can exit the studio and still speak civilly to one another is made of stronger stuff than my family. And the intensity of the stress increases logarithmically with the number of members.

Our trip to the photographer this weekend was not pretty. To start off, we arrived about ten minutes late. That's not shocking considering that 8 people have to get dressed, groomed, into the car, out of the car, through the mall, and into the studio. Oh, and that's not including multiple cries of "why on EARTH are you wearing THAT??" after which the target of the criticism is required to change into something completely different but equally unflattering.

Now, I don't like to be late. I live my life by appointments. Get to the hospital at a certain time. Get to the clinic at a certain time. See patients every 15-30 minutes. All on-time. Ten minutes late means an unstoppable domino effect that can only lead to world annihilation. So I understand the need to be on-time. Never-the-less, when a patient who has traveled all the way across town, through traffic, in a wheelchair, uphill, both ways, through 12 inches of snow, shows up 10 minutes late, I usually find it in my heart to see him anyway. (I know Bean and the other MDs will call me an idiot for doing so, that it only encourages non-compliance and delinquency and inconveniences the patients who managed to make it on time for their appointments and takes away valuable blogging time and blah blah blah there I've said it so you don't have to).

So I guess I was a little put-off when the lady at the counter told me (after I had waited nicely while she checked in other people with later appointments than mine) that I had missed my slot and too bad so sorry for me. And me with my 6 kids in funny suits. Well I guess I can't expect everyone to be compassionate like me (stop snickering, Bean). Fortunately, we had booked a double appointment, so we took the second slot and proceeded to the room.

A word first about...apparel. Occasionally I like to take a portrait in polo shirts and jeans. But usually we get dressed up in suits and dresses. For some reason. Supposedly it's to make us look good. Ha! I'm saying right now for the record that the PT clan has absolutely NO FASHION SENSE. Once upon a time, I fancied myself a budding artist, and studied composition, and color, and theme. Well those brain cells are fried and gone, most likely by years of video games and loud music. I don't know what the heck I'm doing. To see my family walk into the studio past families with cute little color-coordinated clothing is...

Here's what it's like. Did you ever play with action figures? Did you ever have action figures from different shows or genres, who shouldn't be together, but you put them together anyway? Like Mr. Spock and Spiderman and a Stormtrooper and maybe a GI Joe who's 6 inches taller than all the others? And then pretend they're a family taking a portrait? That's what we're like.

Yeah, we have the 4 guys in suits. Should be pretty easy, right? Except 3 guys are wearing white shirts and one is wearing dark red, and there's a brown suit and a blue suit and a light tan suit. And I don't even want to talk about the girls. I know I shouldn't talk about the girls. I'm not going to talk about the girls.

So we finally got into the little room to get our portrait. It seemed a little cramped, but the photographer assured us that she had once squeezed 32 people into that exact same space. I don't know if she was also able to fit their clothes into it. My wife moved us around like we were a bunch of chess pieces until she got us into a position for a checkmate. And then the photographer told us to smile.

I don't know what it is with kids. But they don't know how to smile. I know that when they are born, you can get them to smile by tickling them or surprising them or giving them something that produces gas. But at some point, when they get to preschool maybe, they forget how to smile. They confuse smiling with dentistry. It's like they try to show all their teeth. That's a smile. It's not attractive. It takes a kid who looks reasonably good and turns him or her into some kind of insane fiendish demon.


Image hosted by Photobucket.com



And I guess, after they figure out that this is not the best way to look good in a picture, then comes the grinning stage. Whereby they clamp down on their lips to avoid exposing any teeth at all. To me, this looks equally ridiculous.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

At this point, the only way to get a decent picture is to surprise them, like in this example where I didn't tell my daughter I was taking a picture until she looked up. And then I made her say something stupid, like Chewbroccoli.


Image hosted by Photobucket.com



Or you can try to capture them in a natural state, like when they're doing something they really enjoy.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The thing that absolutely doesn't work is to try to tell them how to smile. Because if you do that, in addition to a weird mouth contortion, you also get furrowed eyebrows.

So of course that is precisely what I tried to do. I kept telling them to smile naturally, keep the mouth open a little, no not that much, too MUCH, no stop grinning, yes you're grinning, yes that's a grin, no, your lips should not be turning white, look just don't smile at all... All while keeping a fake smile plastered on my own face just in case the photographer decides to snap a shot.

Meanwhile, the PT, who was initially interested in being the subject of a portrait, figured out that she will, in fact, not be the center of attention after all, and started squirming and moving around. Then she was looking around in different directions, and in general trying to escape. The photographer noticed this and tried to get her attention with a doll or a feather or a funny face. That worked for her, but then everyone else was looking at the PT, not at the camera, so that I was constantly yelling "Look at the G*% D#$% camera, not at your sister!" through clenched teeth, like a ventriloquist.

Trying to get six kids to stand still and stare at the camera and smile in a less than maniacal fashion was proving very stressful on the nerves and I could feel a spasm working its way from my neck down to my back. Then my wife was telling me to calm down and leave the kids alone and stop telling them that they have ugly smiles or I'll give them a complex like my mother gave to my sister.

In the end it was a miracle that it didn't actually come to blows. What with this one sneezing and that one blinking and somebody (I know it was you) doing donkey ears behind my head.

Actually, the pictures came out looking quite nice.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Psychotoddler


Every so often I get a question, usually as a comment, and not always on my own blog, to the effect of, "Don't you think your daughter will resent you/hate you/torment you/have serious psychiatric problems/etc. when she finds out about your blog?"

Having spent as much time with her as I do, and having to jump constantly through the hoops she sets up for me from the moment she wakes up until the moment she goes to sleep, I can say with no remorse whatsoever that she deserves the title without any hesitation. And anyway, she's seen it.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Night and Day





Last night we had some magnificent storm clouds come through. After mincha I ran outside with my camera to get a few shots.



Unfortunately, these clouds brought with them death and destruction.




Today has been pretty crappy too. I was feeling so unsettled that I even thought that letting Fudge drive me to the library to return the Bubba Ho-tep DVD would be a good idea.

On the way home, we ran into this motel:



There's nothing like a Kolor TV with Wakly Rates to brighten your spirits.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

FUBAR (warning: strong language)

There’s nothing like home repairs to make me start swearing like a sailor. Mind you, I’m usually not a potty mouth. I pride myself on my refined speech. I can remember a time when I never used four letter words at all, not even to impress the guys. For many years I was very careful not to let any F-bombs slip in the presence of my children.

But lately all stops are out. I’ve noticed it while teaching the kids to drive. Sometimes I have no control over what comes out of my mouth. “HOLY S*** WHAT THE F@@@ ARE YOU DOING!!! WATCH WHERE YOU’RE F$$$ING DRIVING!!” I’ve even let loose a few JCs, and I have no idea where they came from: “JES*** CHR** YOU’RE GOING TO GET US KILLED!!!!!”

At least I’m out of earshot of the little ones when we’re out in the car. But nothing gets to me like home repair work. Mrs. Balabusta wrote about our recent potato in the ceiling fan debacle. She left out the more colorful aspects. I had started to unscrew the lightbulb and it came apart with the base of the bulb still stuck in the socket. That elicited an automatic “Gawd-dammit.” Then I stared at it for a while as I thought of my next move. I grabbed the replacement bulb, because I remember hearing somewhere that you could use the new bulb to “screw-out” the old one. Well it didn’t work; the old one was jammed in there good. It didn’t help that I couldn’t get good leverage because I was working off a side angle, the lamp being directly over a big table. A couple of “crap”s later and I was on to plan B.

I grabbed a pair of pliers and tried to grab hold of the edge of the old bulb base. I should probably have turned off the power at this point, but why use good judgment when I’m already making a total idiot out of myself? I tried to twist the bulb out, but of course all it did was twist out of shape, ensuring that it would NEVER turn in the socket again. At this point I let out a few lame “sh*t”s and asked my wife to pick something up at the hardware store.

The next evening, armed with the magic potato (see the Mrs. for details) I attempted to screw out the old bulb. Three relatively juicy potatoes later (don’t panic; we turned off the circuit breaker), I came to the conclusion that the fixture was really “f***ed-up”.

Next, we went to plan D. Or maybe it was back to plan B. I lost track. WTF was I talking about? Oh yes, plan 9: Got the pliers out again. By now, the socket was all full of potato and I was convinced that if we tried to flip on the power, the whole house would explode in a puff of green smoke. I started scraping the potato out with the pliers and a butter knife. At this point, I decided that the fixture had gone past being “all f***ed-up” and was now, in fact, “FUBAR.”

I scraped and peeled the metallic bits of the old bulb out of the socket and eventually was able to clean it up. Then I cautiously screwed in a new bulb and was very relieved that the house did not explode when we turned on the power.

All was fine and I attempted to watch “Bubba Hotep” with Fudge (who wisely left after a few minutes of the guy talking about a bump on his wotzitz) when Mrs. B noticed her printer didn’t work anymore. I thought I was out of cuss words, but believe me, I had only just begun…

Let There Be Music!

Thank G-D the Three Weeks are over!

Those of you who are able to get to Milwaukee this Saturday night are invited to attend a free and informal Jam Session featuring The Band at Beth Jehudah. Figure it will start around 10:30 PM.

Those who can't make it can just download the bootlegs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mincha Marathon

One of the bizarre things about Orthodox weddings is that from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave somebody is trying to shnor you into a minyan. They want you to pray. “Have you davened Mincha yet?” “There’s a Mincha starting.” “Did I miss Mincha?” “When’s the next Mincha?” At one point last night I told a guy, don’t worry, there’s one leaving every 20 minutes.

No sooner did I arrive at this wedding last night (after 2 hours of driving, no less), and try to find a piece of pound cake to absorb the shot of whisky this Rabbi had poured for me, than somebody yanked me out into the hallway to pray. I missed the bedekin while they were doing Kedusha.

And when they’re done with Mincha, then they start up with the Maarivs. “There’s a Maariv minyan in the hall.” “Did you daven Maariv yet?” “Stop the band! They’re davening Maariv!” “What again?” “I already davened Maariv! Twice!”

Last night the first dance set (and therefore, more importantly, my dinner) was delayed because the newly-married couple couldn’t get into the hall as they were being blocked by about 50 men in black hats trying to get in another Maariv minyan. Or maybe it was a late Mincha. I can’t tell anymore.

So what’s the deal with that? Is there some reason they can’t just work it into the service? Set aside 15 minutes so everyone can daven one time together? Instead of constantly clogging up the halls with large groups of men, who keep trying to push the waitresses out of the way and who are keeping the old ladies from getting to the bathrooms?

Is there some fear that if the men were allowed to spend time together not praying they might, Gd forbid, talk to one another??

Note: Mincha is the second prayer service of the day. Maariv is the third.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Psychotoddler the Gray

So now that Son1 has his learner's permit, I'm teaching two kids to drive. The bottom of my beard has gone almost completely gray. My wife says everytime I come back from a lesson I have a new gray hair.

If I have to teach all 6 to drive, I will go completely white, then all my hair will fall out. Even the hair in my nose.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Nine Days of Fish

I have no problem avoiding meat during the Nine Days. I actually like dairy. But I really like fish. Here's this week's menu:

Sunday dinner: fresh sushi
Monday lunch: baked salmon (from the Nursing Home)
Monday dinner: not-so-fresh sushi
Tuesday lunch: tuna sandwich
Tuesday dinner: microwaved baked salmon
Wednesday lunch: tuna sandwich on very bad tasting bread

I have to pause here to insert an Instant Messenger exchange with my wife regarding Wednesday's lunch (because I know how much she enjoys when I do this):

Mrs. B: did you take a lunch?
PT: Yes.
PT: I just ate that brownberry bread.
PT: it tasted really bad
Mrs. B: OK
Mrs. B: You probably forgot to take the mold off.
PT: OMG you gotta helpme I'mgonnadie!
Mrs. B: The good times are over.

Wednesday dinner: Fried tilopia
Thursday lunch: Kit Kat bar (drug rep cancelled)

Update: Thursday dinner: reheated fried tilopia
Friday lunch: tuna on marble rye. Hold the mold.

Update 2: Kiddush at shul: MORE SUSHI?!
Shalosh seudos: Gefilte Fish

I think Ima growin gills!!!!!!

Salvation


By K.S. (Son#1)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Teach Your Children Well

There's been some talk on the blogosphere about choosing schools for your children. Jewish or Secular? Chassidish or Modern? Hebrew or Yiddish? A Simple Jew (on this post), Jack, Aidel Maidel and even Dovie have discussed it. How do you decide?

I think before you can make such a decision, you have to ask yourself what you want for your children. What type of life do you want them to lead? Where do you want them to be at the end of their education?

I ask these questions about my daughters. As Shira is fond of saying, I have six children. Not Three BOYS and three girls. I want for my girls the same things that I want for my boys:

I want them to be Shomrei Shabbos, Shomrei Mitzvos. I want them to find loving, supportive spouses with whom to build a home, and to have as many children as they can handle, and have the same warm, fun-loving home life that my wife and I have tried to provide for them.

I also want them to have the knowledge and ability to use the many gifts that the Almighty has given them to find personal and professional fulfullment, and to bring honor to the Jewish people.

I want a school that will teach them how to do this, how to incorporate both the Jewish and secular aspects into their lives. I don't want their future growth artificially stunted by small-minded people who think that all square pegs must be ground down until they fit into the round holes they provide.

They will have to make some sacrifices to remain frum. I understand that. But I don't want people telling my daughters that they shouldn't learn something or aspire to something or pursue something because they are girls.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Go Speed Racer

Tonight I raced a guy in England. Not a guy from England. A guy in England. I was in Wisconsin, and he was in England. And we were zipping through the streets of Edinburgh (which I found out is pronounced Edinboro) in our Porsches and Ferraris.

All possible through the magic of the internet and XBOX live. Throughout the entire race, we chatted in real time over our headsets. Yes I look like a total dork when I'm talking into thin air. Yes people keep turning around because they think I'm speaking to them. No I don't care. It was AMAZINGLY cool. The Brit kept making fun of MY accent! Imagine that...a guy who can't even say aluminum! And as far as I'm concerned, a laundrette should be the term for a woman doing laundry.

We were eventually joined by a guy in Colorado. Then the three of us talked about cars, XBOX, the French, BBC TV shows (MI 5, I mean Spooks), and US/British relations.

Just doing my part for world peace.

Epiphany

I had an interesting visit with one of my patients this morning. He's a sweet fellow that I've known for a few years, a Roman Catholic Priest who serves one of the poorest Hispanic Parishes in the city. After discussing some of his medical issues, we got into our usual discussion of theology, politics and other banalities.

We ended up discussing terrorism after a while. He mentioned being in London a week before the subway (underground) that he had used was bombed. I told him about my almost visit to the World Trade Center 1 week before it was destroyed.

We talked about the problem Muslims have had with their fostering of the terrorist culture. How they have tolerated and even encouraged the jihad mentality and how now we have a whole generation of Muslims who have been born and raised with the notion that terrorism is a legitimate way to effect change.

One difference, I opined, between them and us, is that we actually like this world. Jews, I told him, believe that the world is a gift that Gd gave to us, and that our job is to make it a better place (never mind the jihadist Jews who hate the world and think only of Olam Haba). If you hate life, hate this world, and can't wait to get to the next world, how big of a leap is it to decide that maybe it would be better to take some infidels with you when you go?

So, the Priest is working on improving his little corner of the world, and I'm working on mine.

Now, if only we'd had a gorilla in the examining room with us, I could have ended this piece with a good joke.

Sushi!


My friend brought me some sushi from Chicago last night. I don't know why I get so excited about sushi. I've only had it a few times in my life. To be honest, I'm not even sure what it is. Supposedly there's tuna in there, but I'm not sure if it's raw or smoked or dead or alive or what.

And after I douse it with soy sauce and shmear it with that green pasty stuff, I can't taste it at all anyway. It might as well be mushy rice.

I think I just need to have something exotic every so often. It makes me feel less ordinary. I go out of my way to tell people when I've eaten sushi. The last time I had it was at that restaurant in Cleveland. I remember being facinated by the sushi chef. His hands never stopped moving. I'd love to be able to have that level of intensity about something.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Taf Luck




For some reason, the comments on my last post got off on a tangent about the pronunciation of the Hebrew letter "Taf". Some pronounce it in the Ashkenazic way of "Saf" when there is no dot in the middle. Others pronounce it as "Taf" regardless of the dot, as the Sephardim do. This may be confusing to my non-Jewish or non-Hebrew speaking readers.

Here's a cute cartoon on the subject: Taf to pronounce

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Taliban Judaism Strikes Again

It makes me crazy that people are trying to make a sweet, spiritual, and creative girl like Fudge feel bad for having interests outside of Tora! Tora! Tora!

Why we need Modern Orthodoxy

Monday, August 01, 2005

Teen Girl on the Highway!

Today I took Fudge driving on the highway. There were no fatalities. There are some new grooves carved into the passenger-side dashboard by my fingers. I also taught her how to pump gas.

Important things we learned today:

When changing lanes at 50 MPH, it is neither necessary nor desirable to try to get to a 90 degree angle.

It is important to make sure another car is not attempting to pass you at 65 MPH on the right before you move into the right lane.

You should try to shake the fuel pump a little before taking it out of the car. (Boys have an easier time figuring this out for some reason).

In honor of our safe return to the garage, here is a link to TEEN GIRLS SQUAD!