Monday, November 17, 2008

A first experience

So this weekend we overslept and had to go to a late late minyan. Of which there aren't too many close by. We went to Tzemach Tzedek, the Lubavitch minyan about a 20 minute walk from our house. Starts at 9:30. Ish.

THIS was an experience. First of all, the newly renovated building is lovely on the outside and probably beautiful inside when it is cleaned up. And clean.

I asked a socializing man for a non Tehilas Hashem siddur and he brought me a good old Artscroll. But of course I neglected to ask for a nusach Ashkenaz, so my davening took a little longer than usual. I stumbled over the extra words in Shemona Esrai.

Anyway, the tunes were really beautiful. Haunting and lovely as everyone in the shul joins in. They are the very old Lubavitch tunes and they tug at your soul. At least I felt tugged.

There was a Bar Mitzva and the family must have had a lot of relatives either from France or from Brooklyn who spoke a lot of French. They spoke it out loud. Loudly, to eachother, across the room. Hey, that's what's great about Lubavitch, they don't tell anyone what to do, or what not to do.
The bar mitzva boy's little siblings or relatives were dashing in and out of the ladies' section, and repeatedly stuck their their sticky hands which had minute pieces of fruit gems and lint stuck to the nails, through the mechitza. One of the cuties almost stuck to my shoulder because he must have finished the entire handful of candy he was prepared to throw at his brother (this was still during Shacharis). As this was going on, his mother kept admonishing him to STOP IT in a very audible voice which he evidently has mastered ignoring. The door kept banging open and shut. When one of the boys actually lifted a chair and aimed the feet at the glass mechitza, a lethargic congregant was motivated to react. I flinched because I was near enough to the mechitza to be showered with shattered glass, should the inspired activist be successful. Which thankfully he was not. I couldn't move that much because I was practically stuck to the mechitza because of my sticky encounter with the little chair thrower. The chair was removed and the mother finally took her kids into the hallway.
In the meantime, another young relative was playing under one of the narrow tables holding numerous oversized Seforim and sandpaper tissue boxes. I heard a little clinking noise, but I guessed, like the men above her hiding place, that a child who manages to entertain herself is best left alone. Unless she has discovered how to slide that ring that holds the hinge of the table in place, and realizes if she pushed on the hinge, the table will now be a superb slide to play on. Especially with a slimy tablecloth. Just in the nick of time one of the men at said table yanked her out and tightened the hinge.

The heat must have been on, and as it was quite warm and muggy, the whole atmostphere in the shul was of "varmfkeit". The gabbai's announcement of a fabrengin was met which cheers, but at that point I was overwhelmed with the experience and decided to skip the kiddush.

For all I know the chair thrower and table collapser conspired to throw the chulent sternos at their brother.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Should I Zoom??

It is time to talk about the nightmares that occur daily at intersections throughout our lovely hamlet here south of Labrador City.

So you are waiting at a traffic light, inching and inching out into the intersection, causing all oncoming traffic to swerve into the shoulder. Ladies (as we say here in Monsey, look for a post on this later) you are not helping the sterotype of women being awful drivers with no ability to think ahead!! Finally the light turns yellow but you still can't go. So it turns red. And you are smack in the middle of the intersection.

So you should just VERY quickly make a left turn, right? Right! Left! And so the unsure driver who was sticking out way too far in the first place decided to go for it! Zooming around the intersection into the proper lane, leaving a trail of furious drivers honking hysterically and cursing the idiot who caused their coffee to spill in their laps and on their blackberry keypads. Usually one Escalade comes tearing and screeching around on two wheels, scaring the daylights out of a midget old man driving a banged up Buick Riviera.

Of course this little drama unfolding at the corner of 306 and Kearsing Parkway or Viola and 306 is not yet over. The second on line at the red light decides, "hey, I've been waiting here also! Why should I wait for the light to turn green? I'm zoomin', too!" and so the person behind the red light runner follows bumper to bumper, nose to tail, and turns as well. Usually the waiting vehicles who experience this exciting activity numerous times a day are prepared and although they go ahead when they have a green light, honking furiously (see above) and whipping around, they expect it from one car. Lately they've had to prepare for two. It is mind boggling to watch. I sit there and scream. This happens daily.

I kid you not, this is standard driving lately in our humble little enclave of people who have escaped the city and wish to live in quiet suburbia. Where people are relaxed and thoughtful. Ha

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets the Emperor's New Clothes

That's how I feel about the new government.

First they take over in the White House, and everywhere we turn we find another one of "them".

And now they they are in power, there is nothing there.

It's actually not a fairy tale or a horror movie. It's worse.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Obamanation with no explanation for how he'll govern with no experience-ation

"Experience is clearly overrated," said Natalie Davis, a political scientist at Birmingham-Southern University in Alabama.

more examples of erudite insights and political savvy from brilliant citizens who made a thoughtful choice when voting today:

(yahoo news)

Curt Babura, a 31-year-old cook in Cleveland who had never voted before. On Tuesday, he did, making his way to the polls on a silver, 10-speed bike. "I'm really kind of fed up with what's been going on in the country today," he said. "I wanted to make a difference this time. I think a lot of younger people are starting to realize the errors of our ways."

Or listen to Joann Scherk, voting in Waterbury, Vt., and, seemingly, looking to find a hero. "It's gotten to the point where you don't really vote for someone as much as you vote against someone else," she said. "I wish it wasn't that way."

And who did Scherk vote for — or, at least, against? Asked, she just wouldn't say.

okay folks, she wouldn't say because maybe after she left the polling booth she forgot who she voted for. Or she didn't want to be put on the spot because she had no clue what his platform was. And the cook, who is fed up - what HAS been going on in the country?

And have you heard the people interviewed who are excited- they won't have to pay their mortgage anymore! Obama'll help them!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mood Music

Music definitely affects your mood.

I think they need more upbeat music in the Verizon store. I was there to purchase a new phone and the six men behind the counter were all morose and somber looking. They seemed well groomed, all were wearing ties, and collectively I counted 11 noticable facial piercings (including in mouth, one of them let out a gargantuan gaping yawn). They were all helpful to their customers, even their over 30 (really over alot) customers who wanted cool phones but didn't know which ones were cool.

But the music in the store was pounding headache migraine insanity producing music, and I think it had a negative effect on the morale and mood of everyone in the store. I, for one, couldn't wait to leave. Okay, I had to make chicken for shabbos and didn't have much time.

The elderly couple next to me starting leaning too much on the counter, and their skin tone began to blend with the grey countertop.
The woman who looked 45ish and dressed 15ish who wanted the cool chocolate crave phone (they explained it was a chocolate or a craze phone) quickly decided and furrowed her eyebrows. You may say it was because of the decision, I think it was because of the music.

Or, maybe, it was that loud and unpleasant to coerce or encourage people to make a decision quickly and then leave? That way when they get home and some significant person in the house says, "you spent WHAT on that phone? Why do you need all those features?" The buyer will answer, "maybe I made a mistake but there is no way I am going back into that store, I have a horrid headache".

And then they will wait to update, and go through the same process again.

I would much rather have Karen Carpenter or EVEN..... Barry Manilow with his six sets of octave switching- till- he's- shrieking- music. Maybe it's an age thing, ya think??