Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ABC Wednesday - O

O is for the Oranges of October
Ohhh, the O's of autumn in a New England October. It doesn't get any better than that in my opinion! Today's letter is O for ABC Wednesday. Here in Connecticut the color orange is everywhere you look. On the trees, on the ground, on your kitchen table or floor there is no better place than this time of year in New England.
There are many other great and wonderful O entries at ABC Wednesday hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt. Click HERE to have a look. Happy O day!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Think I'm Just Getting Old

I was on Metro-North Commuter Railroad yesterday, off to visit a friend and to hear a lecture. There was a poster ad in my car that caught my eye before I closed my eyes for a nap. Big Bird, as yellow as I remember him from all those years of watching him interact with my children ONLY ONE HOUR A DAY, was alerting the public to a new television channel. Sprout. Sprout promises that your child could see old friends like Big Bird and make new friends.

Great, my kids loved Big Bird, Burt and Ernie, Maria, David and of course Mr. Hooper. I can remember the episode that explained with Will Lee's death (Mr. Hooper) to these young viewers. We were all crying.

But the show was only one hour a day. Sprout on the other hand is a new 24 HOUR channel. That's right, your pre-schooler, that is any 3-5 year old child, can now watch their own channel 24 hours a day. Dog gone it, they're lucky and their mothers and fathers even luckier!

Then, I started to think. What pre-schooler needs to be able to watch TV 24 hours a day? What parent in his or her mind would let their pre-schooler watch TV 24 hours a day? I don't care if it IS Big Bird or if they resurrect Mr. Hooper from the dead. A pre-school channel accessible 24 hours a day is OVERKILL. Not necessary. Excessive and quite frankly so American.

Last night I was at the home of my good friends. As usual we hottubbed, drank a margarita, ordered a pizza and settled in for some TV. We flipped stations, you know what I mean. Back and forth, around and around. We just couldn't find anything that was appealing.

Marcia said, "I don't know exactly where and when that line is crossed that you know your old but somehow you know when you've crossed over." Indeed we have crossed. What happened to I Love Lucy reruns? To Northern Exposure? To The Bill Cosby Show? To Bonanza for crying out loud? Now all you can find is reality upon reality. Why would I want to watch reality when I live reality? I want fantasy and some good, belly aching laughs. I want tears of laughter to roll down my cheeks.

We ate our pizza and watched "What Not to Wear" - a show about an every day woman made over so that she looks up-to-date (heaven forbid she steps out on the street in jeans and a t-shirt) and "Say Yes to the Dress", a show about brides with $10,000 budgets choosing their gown at Karl Lagerfeld. When the commercials came on we switched to a channel where they gutted a bathroom and made a new one for only $2,000 (yeah right, 2,000 bucks my butt). Folks now that's a reality fantasy a whole new genre of television programming.

Big Bird good, 24 hour bad, me old.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ABC Wednesday - N

N is for Navy...the US NavyThe US Navy was in New York City last week. The three men are looking out over New York City from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.
All is well down below.
Lower Manhattan. Squint your eyes and see Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, SOHO and Wall Street. At Battery Park, the very tip of Manhattan is where the East River and the Hudson River converge. The Hudson River is the one on the right hand side of Manhattan. If you squint once again the island in the Hudson you'll see the Statue of Liberty.
You'll find some other great N postings hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt at ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ABC Wednesday - M

M is for MannequinsNobody but NOBODY does mannequins like the Palestinians. Really. I couldn't stop taking pictures of them. The babe above is wearing the black and white Palestinian kaffiyah as a shawl rather than as a headdress that men typically wear. She was a lone mannequin just hangin' in Hebron in the West Bank.
This group of handsome men were free standing (sort of) in the souk, the marketplace also in Hebron. Nice display but these mannequins were armless and their faces had seen much happier and better days. Notice the noose-like ropes around their necks helping them to stand up.
Ooo, lah, lah! This extensive display of undergarments was in one of the largest squares in the West Bank city of Nablus. Why so suggestive?? Islamic women who practise hijab, or veiling herself as part of religious practise of the Islamic dress code will wear a long robe like garment called an abayah or jilbab and a head scarf. Modesty, modesty, modesty. But underneath baby, anything goes.
These lovely women were in the souk of the Muslim Quarter in East Jerusalem. I thought I heard them break into One from A Chorus Line as I walked past them. There were one singular sensation!

While I didn't see any mannequins that were displaying a complete black veil headdress that allows only a woman's eyes to be seen, I did see a few women dressed in that way. Most women wore long sleeve floor length coats with headscarves. Although, the many young 'cosmopolitan' women wore headscarves tucked into tight sweaters, jeans and spike heals.
These heads were smiling at me in the souk in the Muslim Quarter as well.
I hope you enjoyed M this week...for more great ABC Wednesday posts click right here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Life in the Big Burbs

I'm really trying to weigh it out. Life in the big city, or life in the big suburb. Right now the scale is leaning heavily on life in the big city. Granted the city was Jerusalem compared to Fairfield County Connecticut but still there is something vibrant and quirky always going on in any city that, quite frankly, I am personally not finding here in the burbs. I look out and watch the leaves fall off of the trees.

Wait, a school bus just went by. OK, I'm back.

It's a beautiful time of year in New England. The harvest moon will be appearing soon and the leaves on the trees are beginning to show their splendid color and there is a snap in the air that makes you brew a hot cup of spice tea and curl up on the sofa. But that's the problem, curling up on the sofa.

What's there to blog about when you are curled up on the sofa? The hours can turn to weeks and months on the sofa and then your entire life has passed before you. But the tea is sure good and soothing.

Wait, an SUV just drove by going the other way.

In August I was happy to get back from Jerusalem to the burbs of Fairfield County. In fact, I couldn't wait to see my family and friends. To stick my mouth directly under the Dunkin' Donuts coffee pot was my fondest dream. Walking without military surrounding me and people decked out in their religious uniforms of all persuasions thrilled me to me to no end. There was a song in my heart getting into the bucket seats of my Saturn and driving, just because I could and had to.

Wait a squirrel just stopped on top of the New England stone fence in front of the house.

He picked something up. I thought there was going to be some action but he turned around and went back the other way. I guess squirreling away those acorns is serious business. Did I ever tell you that I once saw a white squirrel? Really. Pure as can be. That's another blog entry, in fact, that turned into a sermon two years ago.

I admit that it is thrilling to see a deer walk by and the six point buck that meandered through the backyard was beautiful. Relearning to enjoy a different sort of beauty has been my task in this last month. Hence, the lack of blog entries. Slowly however I'm making sense of this new yet very familiar life here in the burbs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

ABC Wednesday - L

I can't believe that a whole week has passed and that it's time for an L post for ABC Wednesday.
L is for Lavender.

There is a Lavender farm on Cape Cod in Dennis, Massachusetts. Although we've passed the blooming season there were still a few hanger-oner's. It was a grey and misty day, the lavender plants were a silvery green. The lavender blossoms were quite lovely.

For many more ABC Wednesday L posts, click here! You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ABC Wednesday - K

Kippahs, and lots of them.

Actually I think the plural of Kippah is Kippote, but why get technical now? In Israel you can find any kind of kippah or yarmulke that you can possibly dream of. Like watermelons? Try a red kippah with black seeds and a green border. Like the NY Giants or any other sports team? They've got it. Does Spiderman suit your fancy? Plain or fancy there is one for every personality under the sun.
A kippah is worn by Jewish men and women on the head for prayer, meals, or worship, anytime really. Some wear them forward practically to their eyebrows and some hang them off of the back of their head with a hairclip. Even bald guys were them! I always wanted to lift one off and see how it stayed on but I didn't have the chutzpah! One windy days kippah's sometimes are airborne and tumbling in the street.

At the Kotel (Western Wall or the Wailing Wall) you will always see men with a kippah on. Looks like the day I took this picture everyone was wearing white. The Kotel is the remaining wall of the 2nd Temple built around 19 BCE and destroyed in 70 CE. It derived it's name from people coming to pray and cry mourning the destruction of the Temple.
Today is the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. To all of my Jewish friends I wish you a very good, plentiful and sweet new year.

L'Shanah Tovah

For more ABC Wednesday posts click here.