September 17th, 2004

little review

Poem for Friday

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Speaking of the movies, I have been told by much of my friends list that it is Collapse )

Every year on Rosh Hashanah I swear right before services that I am never going back to Washington Hebrew -- the crowds are enormous, not one of the four rabbis knows my name even though both my kids are in Hebrew school there and my mother teaches Hebrew school there, I feel like I'm at a fashion show rather than a religious service and the displays of affluence infuriate me. But the service itself is always very nice. We go to the family services in the afternoon, where my kids know lots of people and we know lots of people and where there's a story instead of a sermon. This year it featured a "Tashlich Bread Sale," making a joking reference to the ceremony where Jews symbolically toss their sins of the past year away in the form of bits of bread in a body of water. The moral of the story was about trying to take shortcuts to repentance, but the story featured my favorite of the rabbis playing an unscrupulous baker who baked bread to symbolize every possible sin, including white bread for ordinary sins, French bread for exotic sins, pumpernickel bagels for dark sins, milk toast for wimpy little sins, fudge for lying, nut bread for silly sins and pretzels for twisted sins. This was very amusing. They also for the first time had a woman blowing a shofar (one of three, there are always multiple shofar-blowers) which pleased me.

1. If you came upon a time machine, where would you go? Would you alter anything? Why?
Jerusalem at the time of Christ. I want to know what he actually said. And I don't think I'd dare alter anything, too much of human history has been influenced for better or worse.
2. If you managed to capture the Questing Beast, an odd combination of animal forms that is said to know the answers to all questions, what one question would you ask it? Would the answer change anything?
Whether the universe was created for a purpose or just randomly came into being through a vicissitude of physics, I suppose. Or maybe whether it's finite or infinite or renewing -- though I like the first one better. The answer wouldn't distress me either way, but being told that this is the one and only universe and when it ends, that's the end of space-time...that would depress me.
3. You've found yourself a rather obedient genie in a bottle. Make your three wishes. Why, out of everything you could ask for, do these three win out?
I learned several important genie rules from Edgar Allan Poe and The X-Files, namely don't wish for world peace, don't wish for money, and above all don't wish for love. Even with birthday candles I tend to wish for really trite generic things like remembering what's really important, living up to my potential and not losing faith.
4. Someone presents you with a working voodoo doll. Do you use it? On who, why, and to what purpose?
I'd like to say I'd use it on George Bush or Antonin Scalia or John Ashcroft, but I believe in karmic law too strongly. They'll get what's coming to them anyway, and I don't need to bring retribution down on my own head and those of the people I'd prefer to help.
5. Pick a superpower, any superpower. What and why? How would this change your life?
I've always said that the superpower I want is the ability to see the good in everyone.

Happy birhday, aesc! Am spending thrilling afternoon with spouse and bank papers, so must go work on articles. Collapse )