Sunday, March 27, 2005

piglet rushmore

piglet rushmore
Originally uploaded by ravaj.
i couldn't wait any longer. this is my all-time favourite piglet pic (so far!). i kept trying to hold it back, until this blog was a bit more established. but it's like not using your favourite perfume so you don't use it up - tui tui tui you could die tomorrow and then you certainly wouldn't smell of bellodgia. this shot was an accident - how i discovered the prefocus button! it was the reason i drove from virginia to seattle - to get this: president, president, president, president, pig. v. pleased.

a colleague informs me ....

US Supreme Court established three important holdings:

1.. there is a right under the Constitution to refuse medical treatment. Does this include "life-sustaining" care? The US Supreme Court stopped short: "for the purposes of [the Cruzan] case," the Court "assume[d] that the US Constitution would grant a competent person a constitutionally protected right to refuse lifesaving hydration and nutrition."

2.. this right to refuse survives the patient's incompetence and can be exercised by an advanced directive or a surrogate decision maker.

3.. States may differ in regards to safeguards that they employ to ensure that withdrawal of treatment reflects the patient's wishes when the patient is unable to make treatment decisions. Every state is different on what courts will and will not accept.

the cruzan case was in 1990 i think, and was the first right-to-die case heard by the supreme court. so the law of the land allows one to refuse sustenance, and if one's wishes are clear, this shall be upheld even if one is totally and permanently incapacitated.

assuming that we believe mr. schiavo, and the courts have done that consistently, according to the law this is how it will be. end of story.

until we live in a theocracy, this is how it will be.
depending on whose theo it will be, i may be emigrating.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

turn turn turn

this is some stream of consciousness musing, or perhaps just a first page of exploration. the question under consideration? well, it began with the case of terri schiavo, who is likely to die in the next few days. on the one hand, i really need to think about how to respond to congregants asking me about the jewish position on such a subject. this means checking out the responsa, which look at jewish law, and attempt to present an ethical position. already, i am swimming in water deeper than any i've dipped into before (and o do i miss my daddy - no more can my first response be to ask him what he thinks and feels). definitions of law, and ethics, and morals ... and how they relate to each other. and that leads to the second part. frank rich wrote in the ny times today:

"At a time when government, culture, science, medicine and the rule of law are all under threat from an emboldened religious minority out to remake America according to its dogma"

the rights of the individual within the rules of the community. what is the best case scenario, i.e., individual views differ, and how does the community make a rule that all must obey, e.g., pro or anti abortion. in the usa, i thought the separation of church and state (synagogue, mosque, temple, etc ... let's not go there just now) was an inspired way to deal with some of those problems. i agree with mr. rich that there is a threat, but am currently at a loss regarding how to deal with it.

back then to the jewish teaching with regard to the current question whether or not terri schiavo should be allowed to die by removing the tubes that feed and hydrate her. i turn to the central conference of american rabbis responsa. before reading this, i had a pretty strong view that if someone has made it clear that if they are brain dead they do not wish to be kept alive, then their wish should be respected. as a chaplain working in a hospital, i have counselled patients interested in creating a living will/advance directive. I know (and just checked it again on the phone yesterday) that this is my mother's wish.

so here's a question: what shall i do when the responsum clearly indicates a position different to the one i currently hold? as a rabbi, a jew and a human, am i required to adapt my thinking? is this a kind of teshuva, where i must turn my stiff stiff neck?

the responsum begins with the affirmation of the inviolability of human life, that it belongs to god, that we have no right to take it and god has the final say in its disposal. we do not "own" our lives. thus, suicide and euthanasia are prohibited.

so what if someone is dying already? the rabbis say that they still deserve all appropriate care. what is appropriate? since the law states that it is forbidden to take any action that will hasten death, and if you do so then it is considered murder, then it would appear that sustenance is required, and pain relief a bit of a grey area since morphine for example may hasten death. but sustenance is required.

at this point, i begin to feel the stiffness of my neck. terri schiavo is not actually terminal. therefore, all the more so should she not have sustenance removed. but this has me agreeing with the bushes and all sorts of people whose beliefs i abhor. ow. my neck is sore.

but i am a reform jew ... and a rabbi ... is there not another way to interpret the teachings? the responsum states:

"As Reform Jews, of course, we consider ourselves free to ascribe "new" Jewish meanings to our texts, to depart from tradition when we think it necessary to secure an essential religious or moral value. In this case, though, we fail to see why we should do so. We see no good reason, first of all, to abandon the traditional Jewish teaching concerning the inestimable value of human life. If the doctrine of life's essential holiness means anything at all, it means that we must stand in reverence before the very fact of life, the gift of God that renders us human. And this reverence does not diminish as human strength declines, for the dying person still possesses life, a life stamped indelibly with the image of God until the moment of death. It is an awesome and awful responsibility we take upon ourselves when we determine to kill a human being, even when our intentions are good and merciful. Such an action is the ultimate arrogance, for it declares that we are masters over the one thing--life itself--that our faith has always taught must be protected against our all-too-human tendency to manipulate, to mutilate, and to destroy."

i do not want to agree with the demonstrators and the religious right and the bushes but ow my neck i don't wish to be arrogant either. note - i am not talking here about stopping treatment, turning off machines, etc. jewish law allows that one may remove an impediment from nature taking its course. i am trying to turn myself towards the acknowledgment that to remove nutrition is to starve someone to death.

i hope the link works, so you may read the rest of the responsum yourself. i am off to think some more, and to get a neck rub!

Friday, March 25, 2005

piglet opera house

piglet opera house
Originally uploaded by ravaj.
i have to say that when i first looked at the sydney opera house in real life, all i could do was laugh. nothing to do with the architecture ... it was just how i felt upon seeing such an icon in real life. it had been a long time since i had seen such a thing for the first time. blase european that i think i am, the eiffel tower, the brandenburg gate, the tower of london ... old friends.

how did i get to be standing there? i flew from d.c. to los angeles (no memory how i got to d.c. from the valley), had a quick sugar-free ice-cream with leslie and lanlan in the airport, then 15 hours to sydney. it wasn't so long since the herniated disc problems, and so i had asked for a seat at the back of the plane so i could stand behind it and stretch during the flight. i got the seat, which was right next to the toilets, so i think i got to know everyone on the plane by the end. when deb collected me, it was first thing in the morning. "what would you like to do?" she asked. "the opera house," i mumbled in my sleep-deprived grogginess, "must take piglet pic at opera house." here it is.

day after day after day

i am back from the first set of interviews. washington state was quite beautiful, although the dirty grey snow back east and the brown stubble slowly emerging from beneath it is not really much competition for cherry blossom on the trees and daffodils all over. i flew back last night, which meant i kind of missed purim. sweeties at the one congregation gave me a bag of hamantaschen (all mohn as well, since i'd ranted about my purist preference at some point during the interview). aaaaah, bless.

i haven't really watched television since august. having been a complete junkie my whole life (i got my own tiny black and white portable for my batmitzvah, and my mother said i did not leave my room again for several years ... and that was when there were only 3 channels), i just never got round to getting cable service hooked up. strange things have happened since then - i have read a lot more books, and they were nothing to do with work. sometimes i go to bed before midnight and turn out the light and go to sleep. i have discovered delphine marcus on wmnr! nu - the hotel rooms i stayed in during the interviews all had tv with cable, and i did watch a bit now and then. i saw the movie 'matilda', which was fun, and most of the rest of the time the machine was on, i left it on cnn. do not like them, but they seemed preferable to the other alternatives i tested. thus, i am now an expert on the case of terri shiavo, if having heard about it afternoon, evening and morning may be a qualification. the main comment i remember is some viewer writing in to respond to the question: should the supreme court hear this case? the reply was: absolutely. after all, we have to ... day after day after day!

the blogosphere is overflowing with comments from all points of view. don't want to clog it up with another blog. simply, two issues for me: that of right to life/death, and the bush family's apparent ignorance of the separation of powers, e.g., government and judiciary, that are at the root of u.s. democracy. through maimon's blogspot, i floated around and landed on this quote from andrew sullivan's site:

"THE HYSTERIA MOUNTS: I'm beginning to wonder if the Republican party will soon oppose the whole concept of an independent judiciary. Just read William Bennett's screed in National Review. It contains the sentence: "It is a mistake to believe that the courts have the ultimate say as to what a constitution means." Bennett and his co-author argue that Jeb Bush should send in state troops to reinsert the feeding tube and break the law if necessary. Screw the science. Screw the court system. Screw the law. I disagree with Jonah that this is a minor spat with no long-term consequences. We are looking directly at the real face of contemporary Republicanism. Sane, moderate, thoughtful people are watching this circus and will not soon forget it."

where are the sane, moderate, thoughtful people? "if you're not with me, you're agin me!" seems to be the message of the moment: if you won't fight for this woman's life, then you must be an advocate for murder; and if you won't acknowledge that euthanasia is morally permissible, then you must be a right-wing religious nut. all er nuthin. one more quote i found interesting:

"QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Here's the question I ask of these right-to-lifers, including Vatican bishops: as we enter into Holy Week and we proclaim that death is not triumphant and that with the power of resurrection and the glory of Easter we have the triumph of Christ over death, what are they talking about by presenting death as an unmitigated evil? It doesn’t fit Christian context. Richard McCormick, who was the great Catholic moral theologian of the last 25 years, wrote a brilliant article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1974 called "To Save or Let Die." He said there are two great heresies in our age (and heresy is a strong word in theology — these are false doctrines). One is that life is an absolute good and the other is that death is an absolute evil. We believe that life was created and is a good, but a limited good. Therefore the obligation to sustain it is a limited one. The parameters that mark off those limits are your capacities to function as a human." - Jesuit theologian Rev John J. Paris, on how the religious right is deploying heresy in its absolutism in the Terri Schiavo case. I couldn't agree more. What some of these people are about is not respect for life, but its fetishization."

again from andrew sullivan's page. not that one must die asap to get to the next level since it is going to be so much better, but for those with a strong belief in an afterlife in heaven with god, jesus and the angels, well ...

Thursday, March 17, 2005

piglet eiffel

piglet eiffel
Originally uploaded by ravaj.
trying to pack clothes for a two-interview trip is not fun. would rather consider the comment from the kotsker i think it was that abc showed me when we studied yesterday: do not put on a false face in front of the One who has no face - it is idolatry.

still working on the idolatry part in terms of understanding it. still working on not putting on a false face in terms of learning how to be real as much of the time as i can. love the concept that god has no face - that way no one person or group may claim that they are the only ones made in god's image.

so - off for a week for these interviews ... arrive back on purim, but late in the evening so i shall not be able to celebrate. decided it would not be a good idea to try and get on the plane dressed as a persian :-)

as for piglet eiffel ... the first of two or three fun shots from a trip to paris a couple of years ago. enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

loft piglet

loft piglet
Originally uploaded by ravaj.
big game for qpr tonight. i was so excited yesterday and settled down to follow it online. o dear. did better than john mcc who went all the way to acton station before he figured it out. if we win, we are actually back in playoff contention. not so far away from promotion, which would mean playing the manures and chelscums and being seen by americans on their cable tv. nice dream. and i may dream it until 4:45 pm est today! in honour of this, i post this shot of piglet at mecca, actually sitting in the loft upper tier, watching my beloved r's playing chesterfield i think it was. uuuuu rrrrr's

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

die dreidel die

still in a bit of denial, and psyching up for massive job interviews in the next couple of weeks, so more refuge in the past tonight, and the worst car story of all.

there is a demon that lives on interstate 81 just outside of syracuse, ny. the day my grandmother died, a sheet of water thrown up by a speeding semi sent me and a rented car slamming into the guard rail. i walked away, and my mother said that omi took my place. some years later, in almost the exact same spot, another 18-wheeler overtook me and, as it cut in front of me, clipped the corner of the car and sent me spinning into the concrete divider, the back of the corolla concertina-ed up against it. as i walked away from the wreck, i remember looking back and seeing red liquid seeping from the car and thinking wow - somebody shot my car! i was a little dazed. next i am in the back of an ambulance (wow - my first ambulance!) immobilised on a backboard with some guy asking me stupid questions like 'how old are you?' and 'what do you do?' 'i'm a rabbi,' i said. 'really?' he replied, 'ian, the driver, is jewish. i'm not, but i can sing the dreidel song!' and he did. for a long time. i was tied down, and could do nothing about it. had i mentioned that it was memorial day? several months before chanukah. to this day i cannot hear that song without breaking into a cold sweat. in fact, some years later when i took my second ride in an ambulance (toxic reaction to painkillers prescribed for an herniated disc), after the fuss was over janet had something interesting to tell me. apparently, the ambulance lady had told her that throughout the ride across the 'burg i kept pointing at her and hissing 'don't you DARE sing!'.

i've avoided i-81 by syracuse ever since

piglet blarney

piglet blarney
Originally uploaded by ravaj.
I cannot believe that this picture was taken fifteen years ago. i'd just passed my driving test and decided that i needed a holiday and the only way i could afford it would be to cover the england b football match against the republic in cork ... 2 qpr players were in the squad and so getting the pix in the programme would cover the cost of the trip. i just rooted out the travel diary from then. here's a bit about the first time i ever drove solo:

"i got a car i got a car HURRAH! (she got a car). a blue ford fiesta. With a choke (a what? took me 15 minutes to find it). now i understand why you should've been driving for at least a year (ed: before being allowed to rent a car).

so i got in the car, started it, they'd left it in gear so i hit the kerb ... secretly sure they knew i'd only just passed and were watching through the office window. i did the mature thing and banged my head against the steering wheel. i found the manual. i switched off the rear wipers. i found the choke YAAAAAY. but what do you do with it? so i went back and said it must've been freezing last night and the car was cold and if it were my car i'd be tough on it but cos it wasn't would they start it so they did and off i went!"

plus ca change, eh.

but this post is about the piglet pic ... what does the diary say about blarney castle?

re kissing the blarney stone: "you really have to hang down backwards with the little old man holding your waist and legs. It's not REALLY dangerous cos there are a couple of metal bars to stop you falling 80 feet but being upside-down with no glasses on and the stone being that little bit further than you think it's kinda nerve-wracking"

the hand you see belongs to an unfortunate woman named laura who wove in and out of the story of the trip.

Monday, March 14, 2005

empire state piglet

empire state piglet
Originally uploaded by ravaj.
a sad shot now, rather than the sentimental one it was originally. i like how piglet's ears are in line with the trade centre towers. a teeny dark spot to the right in the water is liberty island with the statue of course, and right at the front under piglet's left ear you can see the flatiron building.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

sugar windows

abs was not convinced that sugar glass windows existed outside the confines of my mind. i found some info via google:

* Sugar glass premiered in early action movies. Actors, instead of crashing painfully through real window glass, dove into large sheets of candy glass. When shattered, these softer and safer "windows" broke into large shards, giving an authentic broken glass effect. Today, stunt-movie windows are made of plastic and wax.

abs also worried about the shards. she was right about that. and i need to update my stunt-movie trivia!

a penthouse in egypt with a view of the river

breaking up is hard to do, let alone write about, let alone publish in cyberspace ... so it's time to change the subject (shout out to abs) slash return to denial here is an utterly random item about me and cars:

I guess it all started when i took the moped class instead of the simulated driving lesson as a post o-level bonus at school. Not that the bike lesson went all that well: inching along tentatively at about one foot per minute, I evoked a hitherto unseen aggression in our instructor. “Turn your wrists!” he shouted, “move it!” And I did. And I shot off out of the car park and onto brook green. I was heading straight for Hammersmith Broadway. I had no idea how to stop. Luckily the instructor grabbed a bike from another student, raced after me, and knocked me over onto some grass. Perhaps I am generally vehicularly-challenged. I am certainly ignorant, inexperienced and innocent when it comes to cars, bikes, all things with engines.

For example, a couple of years ago I asked one of my students if the little oilcan flashing on my dashboard meant anything important. "When was the last time you changed your oil?" she asked. "I have never changed my oil," I replied. "How many miles do you have on your car?" she asked. "About 36,000 I think." She became a whirlwind. It was my turn to learn. First of all, I had to learn how to open the bonnet of the car. I knew about the lever you pull inside, but had no idea that there was also a little button you had to press on the bonnet itself. "How could you go that many miles and never change your oil!" she cried. I told her that I had thought that the guys who did the annual state test on the car and told me what needed to be fixed would have told me to change the oil if it needed it. So I learned how to change my oil. Then I drove behind her to Jiffy Lube so the car could have an immediate check-up. I sat in the waiting-room, and a procession of weeping men paraded different parts of my car before me. "Look at this!" "Look what you did!" "How could you let this happen?!" It had almost as strong an effect on me as seeing the x-ray of the evil gums at the periodontist.

The thing is - how am I supposed to know this stuff? I can get you anywhere in London using the Tube without seeing a map, including which car to stand in to be nearest the exit. I can tell you all about Abraham and the idols; who won the FA cup most every year since ww2 ... the four-letter word for the entrance to a coal mine and all the words to ‘Gee Officer Krupke’ from West Side Story. When I lived in the Shenandoah Valley, all my friends rotated their own tyres, detailed the insides of the car, changed the batteries and designed space rockets. I panicked the other day because all the dashboard lights were out ...turns out that my energetic use of armorall wipes had turned a small dial to the left. I went to evil wal-mart to buy car wax, and came back with many terry towels and some Harry Potter lego. I have a masters degree in hebrew literature, and a plastic dashboard bobblehead diva that knows more about carburetors than I do.

We did grow up with a car. It belonged to the synagogue, and my mother was the only one allowed to drive it. My father taught her to drive in his strawberry-pink Nash Rambler with the rusted-out bottom through which you could check whether you were straying into the other lane. When we came to England, he just had to pass the sight test to get a license. “Can you read the number-plate on that car over there, sir?” they asked him. He replied, “there’s a car over there?”

My favourite car was ODH 197K. She was a purple ford cortina estate, and she loved us. She would wink at me through the chrome frame of the passenger window. In the end, she gave her life for us. Driving us home from a summer in the south of France, my mother felt something loose underneath her seat banging up and down. The french mechanic she consulted in Dijon said that to drive any further would cause the car to blow up. But ODH got us all the way to a hotel near Orly airport. We were tired and grateful. As the car was being unloaded, my father put the only copy of the manuscript he had written that summer in a safe place. Later, from the hotel room window, we watched him chasing pieces of white paper across the tarmac. The next day it took us 6 hours to get to Calais, but ODH got us there. We waited in line for the last hovercraft across the channel that evening. The loaders are mathematical wizards. They park the cars in a way that fits the most into the least amount of space. The hovercraft was nearly full, and the man in charge realised that two cars behind us would fit better than dear ODH. As he waved them towards the entry hatch, my father leapt out of the car and stood in their way. We got on. We reached Dover late in the evening, and there it was that ODH died. There was a rail strike going on, and no cars for hire, and as we headed to a small b&b with pink nylon sheets and kippers, I can still see the tow truck dragging her away.

piglet gates

piglet gates
Originally uploaded by ravaj.
on the one fine day amid sleet & slush & snow & storm i happened to be in the city and not too far from the park, so i went with the pig and the digital camera to see what all the fuss was about. everyone else had a camera too, and we were all checking out angles and waiting for the breeze to blow the curtainy bits into interesting shapes. at some point, i noticed the shadow, and thought 'aha!' haven't had a successful shadow pic of piglet yet. took several. was so pleased with myself that i did not notice the camera-strap hanging down over the lens. o foolish wench. i have managed to crop most of it out, but you can see a bit of it still bottom right. rather annoying. hopefully it hasn't spoilt the shot too much.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


It began with a dream. It may not, however, have been a dream. I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter. I thought it was real at the time, because I was sitting on the sofa in my office listening to my cellphone. I heard a voice on the other end, and I knew it was him. “Daddy!” I said. “No,” he replied. I know his voice, I’ve heard it all my life. “Albert?” “I am not Albert,” he said, “my name is Lev.” There was interference on the line, as a text message tried to arrive, and he began to fade out. I tried to get his number, but wasn’t quick enough. “We’ll talk again,” I heard him say. And then Penny the book-keeper woke me up. I was on the sofa in my office.

The thing is, I don’t dream like that. I’m a bit of a smart-arse, and am pretty sure that if this experience came from my subconscious it would have been much more clever. “I am Martin Buber!” the voice would’ve said, and sent me to the bookshelves in search of I-Thou. I would then figure out the subtle meaning, ponder upon the concept of connection, and be pleased about how smart I am. But things are different now. Albert is dead. And he said his name is Lev. He named it all with that one word: Heart. Not my style at all. It was, however, a message for me.


I am a rabbi, and have been for almost ten years. My father, too, was a rabbi. I asked him now and then if he believed in God. He did. I wished I could believe like he did.

When I applied to rabbinical school, nobody asked if I believed in God. It was not until an elective in advanced homiletics in the fourth year that the question arose. Rabbi Malino had palsied hands and spoke quite slowly. One might think that taking his class would yield three easy credits. At the beginning of the first class he asked us: “How many of you believe in God?” We looked around at each other, uncertainly. We all raised our hands, haltingly. “Nu,” he continued, “what does that mean? What is God to you?” We sat in silence. One student spoke boldly: “God is my Rock!” she exclaimed. “And what does that mean?” the rabbi responded, “that you sit on Him?” The following week, more than half the students did not return to the class.

Now I sit at the table with the bar and bat mitzvah students. 150 students this year. 182 next year. I have thirty minutes to connect with each one, to suggest what it means to be a child of commandment in the world in which she lives. The conversation focusses on the potential and strength that she has, and what she may do with this power. “What is the purpose of the mitzvot?” I ask. “A lot of people think they are the Jewish rules telling the Jewish things that Jewish people do to be Jewish.” The student nods. “Actually,” I continue, “that’s not what it’s about at all. Actually,” I say, “they have one main purpose, and that is all. We pay attention to the commandments because they will teach us how to be a mensch. You know what is a mensch?” The student shakes her head. I ask the parent. She says, “a person you can count on.” I bang my fist on my chest. She continues, “a person with a good heart.” “Exactly!” I cry. “Look around at the people you know - in school, at camp, wherever you go. Some are good at math, and others stink at it. Some run really fast, and others can’t. Some are really musical, and others aren’t. You can always work hard to improve yourself, but there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why some people get to be gifted and others do not.” The student nods again. “The thing is,” I say, “there is one thing that everybody gets the same. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are. It doesn’t matter what colour your skin is, or where you are born, or in which religion they bring you up. Everyone gets a heart. Everyone. And everyone gets the power to develop it into a good heart. You only lose that power if you let go of it. Tell me,” I say, “ do you know the difference between right and wrong?” “I think so,” she says. “Do you understand that there are consequences to your choices and your actions?” “Yes,” she says firmly. “Then you are ready,” I say. “It is time for you to accept the responsibility for the continuing development of your heart, to become a bat mitzvah, and a mensch.

I wish I had more time. If the next student doesn’t show up, perhaps we may go on to talk about God. What will I say? “Let’s talk about air!” I may say. “When you woke up this morning, were you glad to see the air was still there? Before you went to bed last night, did you worry in case the air would be gone in the morning?” I'll talk about how we know that without air we die, yet, unless we are underwater, or going into outer space, we assume that it will be there. We cannot see, nor smell, nor hear, nor taste, nor feel it; yet we know it is there and that our bodies live because of it. We do not question this. What then of our souls? Whoever decided that they don’t need nourishment and maintenance also, just like our bodies? A hebrew word for the soul is neshama. The same word also means breath. Could it be that God is to our souls like air is to our bodies? Our senses cannot detect God, yet without God our souls would be dead. Why do we question this?

piglet chrysler

2005 piglet chrysler
Originally uploaded by ravaj.
the first piglet pic i've published on the web, and the most recently taken. higiya haz'man the time has come the time is now. what i love about this one is the lamp-post peeking in top right as well, of course, as the chrysler building my all-time favourite. i used to say that if i were in the sad position of being eligible for the make-a-wish foundation then i would ask to see the inside of the roof and i definitely would like to see that one day but if i get to make a wish i'd rather do something like jump through a plate-glass window (a sugar window for real with the sound effects added on and then film it for playing on my i-book). i have long had the feeling that the sound of much glass breaking (say, the entire wall of windows at one end of grand central station) would be cathartic and yes i am working on this with a qualified therapist :-)

and here he is:

2005 andy davies
Originally uploaded by ravaj.

a thin line between love and obsession

o frabjous day qpr actually won this afternoon 3-1 at home to watford. magic hat with a couple of goals after missing a penalty. also, andy davies signing on again at least as a loaner. he joins a bunch of dodgy haircuts down at mecca. happy birthday olly

stapled to the other monkey

i am such a slave to peer pressure ... while i did find the rosie o'donnell blog at least one day before the big media focus on it, having read all the comments here i am now starting my own blog. tried it once before, and just never got round to writing anything. let's see how it goes, eh?

Friday, March 11, 2005

delphine marcus

having struggled in vain trying to get rid of the current links on this page, it is time to say 'o poo' and go catch the last few words of my heroine delphine marcus on connecticut public radio. no pictures of her on their website, nor any information about her, her life, her work. she sounds like a sketch by victoria wood. what is her backstory? how wrong can i be?! is her accent too perfect? she speaks in a 1950's english radio accent, and with a vocabulary to match. 'jolly good!' could she be french? beware of creating backstories (my ears should hear what my mouth is saying). last year i was in a g/l cafe in london with a couple of friends having a drink downstairs. a chasid came down and passed us on his way to the bathroom. no kipa, but peyos and a beard. i pointed him out and wondered what he could be doing there. he couldn't be eating, because the place was obviously not glatt kosher. i wondered about his sad, closeted life; and how desperate he would have to be to enter this place. he went back upstairs. rachel went up to order our supper and came back to tell me that he was sitting at a table up there talking to a man and if i went up to look at the desserts i could sneak a peek at him. so i did. then i thought what the hell i am leaving the country tomorrow why don't i just talk to him. i go up to his table and say "excuse me ..." and he says, "yes, i am jewish!" i had kind of figured that out of course. anyway, the short of it is that he is a grandfather, he is out, and the gentleman with whom he was speaking is his partner of several years, an ex-jesuit priest. after a long conversation, during which we discovered several people we both knew, he asked me for what kind of wife was i searching, and said that he would be happy to make a shidduch for me! "but i am leaving the country tomorrow!" i exclaimed.

like i said, beware of creating backstories (my ears should hear ...)