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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Every day is... Earth Day?

So, did you plant a tree today? Take a shorter shower? Recycle?
My workplace spent a portion of the day in relative darkness, conserving electricity. Fortunately, it was a beautiful day so those of us endowed with good windows pulled up the shades and carried on as usual while the rest conducted lessons and other... er, educational activities in the yard. I then spent the remainder of the afternoon fumigating the world while all but parked on the highway. Sigh.

As Earth Day 2009 draws to a close, I leave you with a fitting passage that I stumbled upon right in time.  A green thumbs up to the first comment to name the author; two thumbs for the context as well:

The trouble with most forms of transport [he thought,] is basically that not one of them is worth all the bother. ...the problem [had been] with cars. The disadvantages involved in pulling lots of black sticky slime from out of the ground where it had been safely hidden out of harm's way, turning it into tar to cover the land with, smoke to fill the air with, and pouring the rest into the sea, all seemed to outweigh the advantages of being able to get more quickly (and even this is questionable -- B~M) from one place to another -- particularly when the place you arrived at had probably become, as a result of this, very similar to the place you had left, i.e., covered with tar, full of smoke, and short of fish.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Meet Peshy: A Biography

It's time you meet the newest member of my family, Genesha Pesha Schwartz. (She's closely related to SD's old pal, Golda Perel.) My parents first invited her in thinking that she'd make a great playmate, but we soon realized that she was much too homesick for her native Kansas to be much fun. In fact, she frequently seemed to be a little disoriented, thinking we actually werestill out west. Peshy is what you'd call a real fair-weather friend. If there's a cloud in the sky, she makes a beeline back home to the range, and if it's really stormy she prefers to stay in her cozy sleeping bag. But on a sunny day she'll stick with you and help out.

Naturally, it was a rainy day when I asked Peshy to come with me to my job interview, so she was totally unhelpful, though she did offer to find me an even better opportunity in Wichita, and a home where the buffalo roam. I hear the skies are not cloudy there, either -- I can see why she misses it. We had a bit of a falling-out after it took me twice as long as planned to get to the interview, but we had a truly heartwarming reunion just yesterday, which is why she's getting her very own post to show how much I appreciate her new loyalty.

I have to say, though, it's not easy living with Peshy. She can get a little too farfrumpt sometimes. She's so machmir, she doesn't even hold by the Mapkvester Rebbe, and on Pesach she only gets her nourishment from a sterile IV line. She's so tzniyus that she always stays inside, which would be a wonderful trait if not for the fact that she always seems so pale and withdrawn when the rest of us return from our adventures. It can take a while to get her started again. But most annoying of all, she's always concerned that her friends are going off the derech. I mean, a good friend should certainly give mussar sometimes, but there's a limit. On a positive note, though, she has the patience of a saint; she'll repeat her admonitions three times, and then gently steer us back even when we've gone astray.

Another thing we have to be careful with is Peshy's insecurities. She gets insulted way too easily, so we can only talk about her in hushed, whispered code. Maybe she's just still touchy because of my treatment after the interview incident, but it sure took a lot of ego-stoking to get us back in her good graces. SD was a great help yesterday. She encouraged all to be generous with the compliments, starting us off with the one that basically sums up this post: "Peshy dear, we'd be lost without you!"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Overheard at Dawn

The sun had risen; this could be inferred by the increasing paleness of the azure sky and the yellow tinge around the easterly clouds. The object of our attention, however, was yet obscured by man-made structures. About four dozen Jews huddled in their coats, conjecturing about whether enough sun could be seen. Rabbi S. said he was doing it at 6:30, so we can too. You have to be able to see a sliver. You only have to be able to see a sliver. A bunch of men over there were mumbling so I mumbled with them. You can see the light if you stand here. You still can't see the sun itself if you stand there. You shouldn't look at the sun itself anyway, so this is fine. That's it. No, that's just reflected light. Is. Isn't. Is.

One soft voice hails from a man for whom this is perhaps his third blessing of the sun.
"I waited 28 years for this, I'll wait another 28 minutes if I have to."

And that settles it.

Chag kasher vesameach, everyone. Keep things in perspective!
Photo credit:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Dearest Aoc Gold,

It is with a heavy heart and a leaden keyboard that I write this post. I am so sorry it has come to this after our long and faithful relationship. I feel especially bad doing this to you, my most faithful commentator, which is why I'm bothering to write this at all even though no one else cares. In fact, that's part of the problem. I haven't posted in half a month, but does anyone notice? Do they comment? Do they even read?

I've noticed that bloggers destined for success gain their followings in no time at all. NMF#7, for instance, has been nominated for a Blogger's Choice barely half a year into her career. Little Sheep is even newer but she already appears to be building an empire. Bad4Shidduchim has been around the block by now but had her own club within the first few months, too. Four-month-old BoSD isn't doing too badly herself with 21 followers. The fact that I even know all this is just further proof that I need to spend less time in blogland. But the point is that it's been two and a half years for me, a quarter of a decade, so I'm well past my prime. It's time to start looking forward to... are there any blogger retirement homes?

Anyway, having had little to say for weeks now, I realize that I'm disappointing even you, my lone yet loyal commentator. To disappoint one's entire readership is the ultimate blogging failure. I didn't escape from real life only to meet my downfall in blogland. It's time to end the travesty.

I will miss you dearly but I'm sure you will keep on posting your insightful comments on my older posts, as they occur to you. I will leave those past posts up as a memorial testament to a bygone era and we can visit them together when we long for companionship.

Tearfully yours,