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Five for the Weekend – Politics, Blogging, Nimoy

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1. After deciding that I didn’t like the magazine style of my blog, but I liked the style overall, I decided to switch back to the classic blog view. It’s not as if I have ads or something to make everyone click one more time, and it was actually annoying. At least I found it annoying! I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused by the previous layout. I kinda miss the layout I had before this one, but I also like the colours of this one. Oh well.

2. Thursday was my grandson’s birthday. We took some cupcakes and games to gan, and everyone had fun. Birthdaypartygate mom still doesn’t like me, but the drama is over, Baruch Hashem. Of course the kids enjoyed sweets and veggie sticks. They are kids. 🙂

3. I can’t believe low the United States of America really is sinking these days. I’m really looking forward to law suits of people being mistaken as gay and being discriminated against. I am also looking forward to the people who actually claim religious freedom laws to deny service to assholes. I am seriously shocked. Land of the free, I see. Land of the backward, more like it.

4. Also Netanyahu? I am seriously pissed off at him. I have so far refrained from talking bad about our current (and hopefully soon ex-)PM, but in addition to the mess he is dragging us into with the USA, he now suddenly says that haredi draft dodgers should no longer face criminal sanctions? Why, exactly? Oh, I seem he is shopping for ultraorthodox votes. Of course they should face criminal sanctuions, like every other draft dodger. If I can do it, so can able bodied ultraorthodox men, who receive every accomodation they can think of from the army. I really, really hope that in 16 days we vote Bibi as far away from the government as possible.

5. Leonard Nimoy. So many thoughts, so many memories. I saw him once at a convention, and I have listened to his narration at the San Diego Planetarium again and again as a kid. I loved Spock, and I loved that wonderful friendship Spock and Kirk developed, the humanity he brought aboard the Enterprise with his half alien role… I loved how he embraced Spock and his influence his whole life, and while doing so much more than being Spock, he never denied Spock. I loved his passion for Yiddish, and his work to advance it. He lived long, and we prospered because of him being in our world.

May his memory be a blessing.

Five For The Weekend

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I know, I know. I fail at blogging these days! Well, I have good excuses…

1. We celebrated my grandson’s 4th birthday yesterday, and we had about two dozen little kids run around the house: most of his classmates, cousins, playground friends. Everyone had fun, we destroyed a small country’s yearly pizza production, and I believe Legos are hiding at the most random spots of the house. The torture of walking over them was so worth that stormy afternoon of fun we had!

I put a movie on repeat in one of the downstairs room, and we had various activities elsewhere in the basement, with the assistance of the kids’ imaginations and my older kids. We initially planned it as a drop off party, giving parents the gift of three free hours on a Friday, but because of the weather most of them decided to stay. We had coffee, cookies, a grown up movie, and adult conversation available for them. We ended up going over two hours over the originally planned time. We lit Shabbat candles and had kiddush together, and just generally had a good time.

2. We are wasting a lot of time watching American Idol. I used to watch it way back, then tried again for season 12, but it was a big disappointment. I missed season 13 (which I now regret. Harry!) and started watching season 14 again. As mentioned earlier, I LOOOOOOVE the judges. And this year I really like about 20 of the top 24. I think Mark is my favourite, and Tyanna from the girls. I also like Trevor and Daniel and Quentin and Rayvon and Adam from the guys a lot, and Jax and Joey and Shi from the girls.

3. I just remembered that I bought the album this song is from with my birthday money for my 14th birthday while we were visiting my brother at college in Utah. I can’t beleive it was 19 years ago!

I loved Star Turtle. We have a turtle called Harry, by the way. Most people think it’s after Harry Potter, but really it’s after Mr. Connick. Our turtle is less musical than his namesake, but he enjoys walking around on the piano’s keyboard. Currently this song is playing, and the fire is on…

4. …because it’s actually cold enough for that. The last few days have been stormy, and there is snow in several areas of the country. Kevin went with some of the kids for a snow ball fight near the capital. They enjoyed it. I don’t mind the rain and storms, being Irish and all. We spend today inside, enjoying the cozyness of our home. I am still not very happy with all the tile we have on the main floor (since we turned the other levels into living areas, those have laminated wood floors), but our house really feels like a home. I am sitting on the couch with a kid (or four), watching Ice Age, enjoying the warmth of a blanket my girls and I made from leftover yarn. Yes, home is not perfect. But we have pizza.

5. OK, I can’t resist posting another song. I love the original, I love the cover involving Ran Danker, but I love this the most.

Five for the Weekend – Week 6

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1. Yes, I missed week 5. I was abroad, and there were too many things to do and too little time. It was also the beginning of birthdaypartygate, and all I could have posted at that time was rants at anti vaxers. And rants about governments. And rants about elections. And generally just rants. I like to save those for Facebook and my poor friends.

2. On Thursday the former Chief Rabbi of Hungary, József Schweitzer passed away. I was not going to go to synagogue yesterday, but I decided to do it, to be among those reciting the kaddish for him. I always enjoyed his lectures and classes that he taught for various schools and organizations, and I really, really looked up to him. He will be missed by many. May his memory be a blessing.

3. My kids discovered Frozen. Their aunt gave them a DVD while I was away, and now… Nothing. Based on everyone’s description of Let It Go taking their lives over, I fully expected my girls going crazy over Frozen. Didn’t happen.Yeah, Shiri likes to watch it once every few days. Watching is an exaggeration: she puts it on in the girls’ bedroom for background noise to do homework, or read, or draw, or something. Oh, and there is a new Elsa sticker on her sticker door. I have to admit, some of those tunes are catchy.

4. You know what other tunes are catchy? Ivri Lider’s new album! I had pre-ordered it, and it finally became available for download this week. Can you guess what I’ve been listening to?

I am so happy for this album. Some songs are already permanently logged in my brain. Now if only Mr. Skaat hurried up with his new album!

5. Guess what I got? I got some awesome patterns from my friend Shellie from PlanetJune! She bought me the complete cat set of patterns. I’m starting to make a rainbow cat. Of course the yarn is not the correct weight, so we shall see what happens. Planet June has awesome patterns! I haven’t crocheted much since a problem with my wrist a few weeks ago, so I will need some time to get back into practice!

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Five for the Weekend – Week 4

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1. I started to think about making a button/graphic/logo for this feature of my blog, but currently I’m too lazy to do so. And addicted to Bitstrips, so I live out my creativity with that. I don’t even know what to include in one, other than a big 5. Oh well. Life takes priority.

2. I, once again fell in love with American Idol. Of course my primary reason for that is the three judges. I missed last season, so I didn’t know Harry Connick, Jr. joined the show, because I was so disappointed in season 12. Now I think JLo is cute (and beautiful), Harry is hot (he has the Jewish looks and Catholic charm’s perfect mix), and Keith is also just awesome (and hot, too. But Harry is hotter.) I believe that half of the show is the judges, 2/3 in the casting episodes. If they work together well, that is half a win. I also like the contestants who got their tickets already. There were only two or three that I didn’t really care about, and I do think some of them will be eliminated in the next round.

3. As a side effect of watching AI again, I managed to spend most of the $$ I was saving for Ivri Lider’s new album on songs by Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban on iTunes. You know that Harry has a wonderful recording of O Holy Night? And his album Star Turtle was one of the first CD’s I bought with my own money? And that he was so cute in Memphis Belle? And that he is just awesome? I’m seriously fanboying him here. Listening to his CDs 20 and 25 inspired one of my kids to continue with piano, taking jazz after he had had enough of classical.

4. Just registering Yonah for his semester abroad this weekend. It involves $5 Starbucks tumblers, eating at a pirate themed restaurant, getting overpriced chocolate and sleeping on the floor. It is lovely. I feel like a college student hanging out with him and his boyfriend. Sometimes it is fun to feel ten years younger.

5.This coming week we will be remembering the liberation of the Auschwitz concentrationwpid-Photo-2014.03.21.-903.jpg camp on its 70th anniversary. It will have been 70 years since part of my family finding freedom again. It was 70 years this summer since so many others of my family were murdered at the same place. And soon after it will be 70 years since the last Shoah death in my family. 70 years means that the survivors are now aging, and there are fewer and fewer of them. The memory lives on in their children and grandchildren. It is important to talk about what happened, because we can only build on their experiences to prevent it ever happening again. And we need to learn from it–all of us.

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Five for the Weekend – Week 3

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Hello everyone, I hope you all had a good week! I promise there will be less seriousness and politics in this week’s post than last week’s.

1. On Wednesday there was a national strike for high school students. It was because annual field trips were to be canceled as teachers wouldn’t accompany students if they can be sued if students get hurt. My homeschooled high schoolers joined in solidarity, and ended up using the time to paint the little girls’ bedroom. Win-win if you ask me.

2. Does anyone else have daughters (and some sons) with crazy hair? Two of my girls have crazy African hair, a third a massive Jewfro–crazy curly but a lot softer than the other girls’ hair, and the little one has very fine, wavy golden hair, that is also crazy in a completely different way. One of the problems for us has been hair bands. We lost a bunch of them to scissors as they got so tangled in curls that we had no other way to remove. We lost even more when they slipped out of my youngest daughter’s hair, and yet more when they just broke as the older girls tried to stretch them enough to go around their ponytails one more time–so they’d actually stay in place and not slip out. I was about ready to start convincing my kids that very short hair is trendy when I accidentally ran into some Scünci no slip grips that are made of silicone. Our lives were changed. They are so much more flexible than other hair bands, almost like household rubber bands, and they don’t slip out of their hair, but they don’t get stuck either… We love them. Doing their hair is more fun this way, and way, way less frustrating.

3. Mentioning the girls, we will have some friends over for the afternoon and we are making bath bombs again! I bought several nice cheap ice cube trays at IKEA to make pretty ones instead of the white blobs from our first attempt. Some of the girls live in apartments without tubs, so we are going to increase salt content a bit to create nice footbath bombs: all you need for that is a washbasin and some hot water… and our lovely little bombs. Knowing the girls, they will have a whole beauty salon set up in our dining room by the time I get home… My sister has given the older girls her nail polish collection as she switched to some more sophisticated form of nail painting. Don’t ask me what, I have no idea.

4. On March 17 there will be elections in Israel. this will be the first time for two of my kids to vote! I know I said less politics in this post, but I find the deep political analysis over dinner fascinating. So far the only thing everyone agrees on is that it’s time for Netanyahu to go. Some of the events of the past week only have only cemented that in my mind. Should I wear green to the polls?

5. That reminds me, in our homeschool group one of the moms decided I should teach a course about Ireland. I’m not sure it is a very good idea.

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