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The Problem with Nostalgia

It was this book!

It’s really terrible; there’s an Ebola outbreak in Guinea and I’m getting nostalgic. This hemorrhagic fever has held legendary status in my mind since about 4th or 5th grade. I heard about it from my brother who heard about it from his teacher.

“Nine days. Boom. Dead!” he bulged his eyes out and flexed then flicked his fingers at the word boom for effect. He was imitating his teacher. He then described to a rapt audience (me) how when they cut the person open everything would just be mush. All their organs turned to goop.

“It starts with diarrhea…” he said in a low voice and then rose to “And then nine days, Boom. Dead!”

I’ve been paranoid of diarrhea since.

And then Mack Bolan (are those books still in print?), who was my brother’s favorite fictional character at the time, was infected with the virus by a sinister foe, but he had the antidote in the green tipped syringe (or was it red? I don’t remember, one of them was the virus the other the antidote) and he lived.

I didn’t like Mack Bolan,too much action and machismo, but I took that book and read the last chapter or so, just to take in more about Ebola. I’m not sure why it fascinated me. Was is my brother’s animation or the body’s disintegration, or the anticipatory fear, I don’t know.

I don’t know if anything that hooked me in the first place is even true. Diarrhea only comes after joint pain muscle weakness and an assortment of other symptoms. And nothing comes up when I Google Ebola 9 day. Maybe it’s because I left out the word Boom.

But while Liberia is closing its borders, and the WHO is issuing recommendations and people are dying, I have a small smile on my face.

I’m terrible, I know.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in The Sporadic Side

 

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Purim 2014

You have seen the slow evolution. You probably predicted it. And it happened.

I went all out this year.

It came to me on Succos. My son was playing with cars and trucks outside when he wailed,

“I dropped my mordechaicyle!” turning the soft ‘c’ into a glutteral ‘ch’.

And it hit me, right then – a motorcycle gang – or Mordechai-cycle gang! Kids will be bikers, handing out beer and gum cigarettes. And throw in cupcakes for a carb.

So with a good idea, too many Google searches, and an awesome Graphic Artist sister-in –law, my shalach manos was well….you tell me. (Actually the final pics aren’t so good because the cellophane was too glare-ee, so I broke it down to parts)

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I think I’ve peaked though. It’s all downhill from here.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Just Passing Through

I want window valances. Not pretty, frilly delicate ones. Bold ones, with sharp lines. Possibly emerald, or in that family.

I also want new paint. My walls are white. Not stark. But the dulling gray white, that just makes you think off crumple generic tissues. I’d paint my dining room a neutral sort of yellow. I’d put mauve in my bedroom. And for my kids room I want one wall electric blue, the others a light shade. And really, I want one wall to be a cork board.

I also want a coffee table.

And light fixtures. I have no light fixtures, just bare bulbs. It’s a little to industrial looking to be hip.

It’s not about the money. Or the shallowness. I’d do it all in a heartbeat, if it was my house, but it’s not. It’s a rental; it would be foolish to invest in this space. I’m just passing through until my dream home (with too many windows) becomes my own. And until that happens, I’m happy to wait with bare windows.

There was this story about the Chofetz Chaim that I never fully appreciated. A visitor came and commented on his sparsely furnished home. The Chofetz Chaim inquired of his guest where his furniture was. The guest looked at him quizzically; I’m just a visitor, passing though. The Chofetz Chaim nodded in agreement. He too was just a visitor, passing though, waiting to go home, for Mashiach and Yerushlayim.

As a child, I was never the one shrieking along to the song “We want Mashiach, we want Mashiach now” not because I didn’t want it, but that I didn’t totally get it(also I’m not a shrieker, too self-conscious for that).  I’m not all there yet either.

But I’m not buying valances or painting, because I’m just passing through, waiting for my real home.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Jewish, Musings

 

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To Cry

She was ready for a shower. The day  long. The time stressful. The mind muted.

What was that  that Malcolm and Donaldbain said upon their father’s murder in Macbeth

Our tears are not yet brew’d/ Nor our strong sorrow/Upon the foot of motion.

Keep busy, and the emotion won’t get to you.

Shiva houses are busy places, especially when you’re not the mourner, but just the child of one. Chairs need to be rearranged, phones answered, messages taken and forwarded.  Food needs to be organized, prepared, cleared. There is no time to mourn for the mourner’s child, there is too much to be done.

But now she was home. And she was tired. And with the slowing motions of the day, the sorrow crept up and tapped on her shoulder. One minute she told it. I’ll recognize and embrace you in a moment; I’m going to shower and there I will cave. I will let you envelop me, crush me, overwhelm me. But I will be alone, and the water will soothe and mingle with my tears, so it will be ok.

She was ready for a shower and stepped into the tub. She was eager to cry. Ready for the catharsis. But the water was cold. She turned the knob; it would turn no more. The water was warm, but too cold. She was back in camp where showers were often cold and pressure low, and movement had to be fast. But she couldn’t move. She was frozen. The tears stopped, and mind blocked. Survival mode was engaged, to just get clean and out of the shower fast.

But she wanted to cry. She needed to cry. Cry away from her kids and her husband looking on sympathetically, but powerless. Urgently  she turning the knob though she knew it was futile. The water was cold. And then she cried. Not for her loss, not for her grandfather, not for the clenched fist around her heart. She cried that she couldn’t cry.

Bent over, dank clumps of hair matted her shoulders and she held herself and shivered. Tears fell, and her body shook. And she was cold. The water was cold. So cold. And she cried for her sorrow’s loss.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Family, Memoir, Writing

 

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Spine Tingling Post Following, no ironic twist included

image

Or maybe I’ll be dan l’caf zechus that they put the blurb in front instead of the back…

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Why I Am Writing About Peyton Manning

My 21 year old self can not believe what am I writing. My 21 year old self is slightly horrified, maybe laughing a little incredulously, but now, 26 year old me, is slightly amused and is really looking forward to the SuperBowl on Sunday. And really truly, I’d like to be there.

No, I’m not a major football fan, I understand the basic premise and know that “special teams” aren’t the nebach players that my friends thought they were when she first heard the term. I don’t have a favorite team, I root for the Chigaco Bears, well, root is the wrong word. I pray for them, because if they win, I have a happy a husband, and if they lose….a not so happy husband.

But beyond my husband, I’ve become a really big Peyton Manning fan. And I will be devastated if he doesn’t win on Sunday.

I feel for him really, not in a sympathetic way, but I find him inspirational. So often, if there is a role model athlete it is for their actions off the field, their charitable work and the like, not for how they conduct themselves professionally, and how they face adversity. It’s very easy to donate money, and give a few hours for underprivileged children, but to live a life, every moment, with a code of honor and core of steel is where it is really reflective of the essence of a man. And that man, is Peyton Manning.

Peyton, or Reb Pinchas as we affectionately refer to him, he has transcended all his challenges, and winning the SuperBowl would be the passionate kiss to a happily ever after.

He’s the guy in fabled sotry that made it big, and then lost it all. By his strength, determination, and perseverance, he is back, and better, really better, just look at his stats than ever.

Not just losing his skill, but he lost his team. The owner abandoned him. Did you see his press conference when he announced that he was parting way with the Colts? The man was crying; hear his voice. Not only did he lose what made him a success, he lost his family, his support, the only professional team he ever knew. Once he wasn’t a guaranteed success and they had the first draft pick, they unceremoniously dumped him. No loyalty, just money. I was indignant for him then.

But he had no bitterness, just a point to make, and he has made it over and over again this season- THE RECORD for touchdown passes. He will overcome. He has overcome.

I read an article that storied Peyton’s recovery. As a kid and young man he had his father, Archie, receive his passes, and now in recovery he asked his father, now in his 70’s to be there for him again, to train with him. His father didn’t think he was up to it, his son was Peyton Manning after all. But at that first practice Peyton threw and father Archie received – Peyton’s arm was that weak. It wasn’t just “oh he recovered” or “the nerve healed”. He practically had to start from scratch, and he did it, and went further than he did before.

His determination to succeed, his attitude, and class in face of adversity and public betrayal is admirable.

And even though I still have trouble sometimes following the ball, and wonder if there ever was a successful on-side kick, I really really really want Peyton to win.

Everyone loves a comeback story, and this one could be for the books.

(And I can’t stand that cocky Sherman guy on the Seahawks)

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 31, 2014 in The Sporadic Side

 

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Nostalgia

Any freezepop that isn’t Leibers, is a tasteless knock off.

As a kid, blue was my favorite flavor, it had that extra sweet tartness that I’d suck out as I bit off a piece and press it against my palate.

I’d push the squeezed ice further back and crush it with my molars, the crystals of ice cooling my inner cheeks.

There would be nothing left to swallow.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Food

 

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