Month: January 2012

Rachel Getting Married

This past weekend I went to Cleveland for my cousin Rachel’s wedding.  Rachel married her boyfriend of seven years, Raffi, in a 500 person, black-tie, Jewish Orthodox wedding.  Rachel and Raffi have been dating since high school, but they decided to become Orthodox Jews (the rest of my family, including Rachel’s parents, are Conservative) while spending a year in Israel before starting college.  This was my first Orthodox wedding experience, and I experienced a lot of different traditions and learned a lot about a different kind of Judaism than the type I practice.  The wedding was a gorgeous, energetic spectacle, and I want to share some of my photos and some of what I learned with you.

Orthodox brides and grooms do not see each other for at least a week before the wedding.  Before the wedding ceremony, the bride (kallah) and groom (chattan) have separate receptions where they greet their guests.  The groom’s reception was men only (you will notice a lot of gender separation in my explanations), but the bride’s reception was mixed gender.  We had awhile to mingle before Rachel arrived–the reception was essentially an elaborate cocktail party with a live band, an open bar, a sushi station with sushi makers, a carving station, hummus, pasta, crudite, cut fruit, and salads.

Before heading into the reception--this is the only time all night my shoulders were uncovered, modesty was definitely in style this evening!
My sister and me, before heading into the reception.
The men of the family, enacting a pose often favored by some of our late patriarchs.
One of the food tables at the reception.
The bridal "throne," surrounded by seats for the female relatives of the bride and groom.

After about half an hour, Rachel was led into the reception by her mother (my dad’s sister) and Raffi’s mother.  She was followed by her sister (my cousin Sarah) and the grandmothers of the bride and groom.

Rachel, being led into the reception by her mother and the groom's mother.


Things I Will Miss if SOPA Actually Happens

So I’m not good at understanding legal stuff, but I think I have a basic comprehension of this SOPA/PIPA grossness.  I’m sure you do too.  I hope you’ve taken some time today to contact your Congress people about it.  Wikipedia has a handy-dandy thing where you can put in your zip code and it will give you all the contact information for your area.  I used it earlier today, it was a good thing.

So, rather than tell you about SOPA, because everyone is probably telling you about SOPA, I’m going to show you some of the awesome things on the internet that I will TOTALLY MISS if SOPA actually happens.  I will miss these things because they will become illegal, and that would be terrible.





This amazing Mad Men image.


Downton Abbeyoncé.


Hey girl.  I like the library tooHey girl, art.  And any variation of Ryan Gosling meme.



So that’s just a small gathering of stuff that is awesome that would disappear if SOPA happened.  The internet is full of good, guys.  Let us not ruin it, am I right?

What would you miss, if SOPA actually (ungh, terror of terrors) came to pass?

Hey, buddy. Your hair looks nice.

So sometimes, when I am less awesome about being a daily blogger (unlike some readers of this blog, who post every day like responsible writer types, look at her great post about being on a treadmill, I know the feeling!), I have a conversation in my head that goes a bit like this:

(My sing-song would involve bringing me like, foie gras or an ice cream sundae or something, because ham has just never done it for me y’all, and it is not because I am Jewish.  Treif is delicious, just not ham).

So we all have our, you know, normal selves.  And then we have our performer/singer/writer selves.  And sometimes the writer self is all: “Bitch, write more blogs please.”  But then the normal self is all: “But my life is pretty dull right now.  My job is good, and I go to the gym five or six times a week, and I play with my cats and I read a lot of epic fantasy, and this is all well and good but it doesn’t really make for riveting blogging so I’ll just rewatch that Downton Abbey episode where the Turkish diplomat dies while having sex with Lady Mary,” and as you can imagine this conversation isn’t really useful in terms of me actually writing.  So I guess I just need to punch my normal self in the face and, you know, write like a motherfucker.

Anyways, this is what I’ve been doing with my quiet, uneventful life as of late.

I’m totally caught up on Downton Abbey, which is so awesome guys, although Season 2 thus far has a lot of World War I in it, and a lot of war hospitals, and that makes me a little squeamish.  But still, early-version curling irons, and elbow-length gloves, and Dowager Countess hats!

I’m eating a ton of lentils lately.  This is because I am poor and have to pay off some credit card debt from funemployment and lentils are cheap and also because lentils are good for you and easy to make!  Also, easy to take for lunch–I like easy lunches.  Even the non-lentil centric meal I made this Saturday (the Moroccan-Style Lentil and Chickpea Soup with Lamb and Roasted Tomatoes from Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse) was chock full of lentils guys.  I guess it is a thing.

So yes, my hair looks nice, my writer self will overcome my normal self (hopefully), and lentils are delicious.  I hope y’all are having a lovely Tuesday.

I’m watching Downton Abbey Now

I’m watching Downton Abbey now, which is basically the bestest and most British-ist thing to happen to television since the Jeremy Irons version of Brideshead Revisisted (which I haven’t seen, isn’t that terrible?  I should probably fix that).  So yes, Downtown Abbey is pretty great, and you should watch it.  The whole first season is on Netflix Instant, and it is only seven episodes.  I’m three in, they’re pretty dense, and listening extra-hard to the British accents can be exhausting so I watch in small doses.  Anyways, it is SHORT and AVAILABLE so you have no excuse not to watch it.  The second season has just started on PBS, so through the wonder of DVR (or reruns) you can totally watch all seven episodes of season one during this upcoming three day weekend and then catch up on the first episode of Season 2 and then be all set!  That’s my plan, anyways, because I have such a hopping and active social life.

I won’t say much more about Downtown Abbey except that the lines “One swallow does not make a summer” and “What is a week end?” have been uttered, the latter by the AMAZING Maggie Smith.  Also, THIS RIDING COAT GUYS:

Wow guys, look at that riding coat.  Look at the skirt on that riding coat. I loathe horses (remind me to tell you about my one horseback riding experience one day, it basically encapsulates all that is problematic in my daily life), but I think equestrian fashion is amazing.  AND THAT COAT.  I want to wear it, I want to wear it and be an equestrian British Goth chick because that coat is amazing and beautiful and probably swings really nicely when you walk.  I would get on a horse again, just to wear that coat.

Okay, maybe not the horse part, but, you know, WANT.



No, I did not go to BroNYCon (I haven’t watched enough Friendship is Magic to be legit), but I did read this great article about BroNYCon while watching the beginning of the really dull and underwhelming SEC West Championship BCS Championship.

I had a friend who went to a Florida game at LSU and they saw rednecks fans rednecks dragging around dead baby alligators.

Also Alabama is just terrible.

So basically I loathe both of these teams.

Anyways, read the article on BroNYCon, it will make your night better.  I mean people give testimonials on how the ponies saved their lives guys:

Steve Decker, a Maryland Brony who was selling from his stock of hundreds of My Little Pony toys, each of them carefully enclosed in a Ziploc baggie, said that “My Little Pony” saved his life when he discovered it in 2004. His work as a student loan collections officer was making him suicidal. “My job was literally to ruin peoples’ lives,” he said. “Every day, I’d hope to get into an accident and die on my way to work.” Looking for some small, simple happiness, he went to Toys “R” Us. The boy toys were all focused on killing and violence, while many of the girls’ dolls were slutty or stupid, he said. The 2-for-1 sale on My Little Ponies clinched it for him.

See guys, friendship is magic.

Look at how appropriate this image is guys!