Saturday, February 24, 2007


Italia (pompei.napoli.roma)


four travelers (sis has a stowaway)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Fun with binary

Contra dancing is like, the best thing ever at a wedding.


Way better than the open bar, but tied with seeing the peeps again. Boy do I miss 'em.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Needle and the Damage Done

Really good article on lethal injection in the NYTimes Magazine that I'm just getting around to reading today. Strangely, it was Robert Blecker, a law professor from NY Law school who found I most compelling:

“...the twitching, the moaning, we can’t even tolerate that.” Executions, to be ethical, must be transparent, Blecker maintains: “My view it that executions should be public, that we should take responsibility for what we do. If we can’t face it, we should abolish it.”

Interestingly, this is the same way I feel about killing lobsters at Shanukah.

Ven ikh lernen yiddish... different than when I learned French.

By the second year of French, we were studying from this terrible television series. We'd learn the vocabulary used in a particular episode, and the episodes followed a single story line: an American boy goes to study in Paris, and falls for a French girl. Romantic mishaps galore! (Zut alors!) It was lighthearted and annoying and ridiculous, and I learned words like drageur (a guy who picks up a lot of women).

My Yiddish text (published by Uriel Weinreich in 1949, his brother Gabriel teaches Physics here) is also grouped into lessons, but the lessons are different. Lesson 9 is called "an alter briv" - an old letter:

Ayn mol hot Moishe gefunen in der heym an altn briv. Der briv iz geven fun zayn shvesterkinder Hershele vos hot biz der milkhomeh gevoint in Vilne Poilyn. Di Daytshn hobn im umgebrengt in geto. Der briv iz gekumen far der milkhomeh, ven Moishe iz nokh geven a yingl.

One time, Moishe found an old letter in his house. The letter was from his cousin Hershele who lived in Vilna until the war. The Germans murdered him in the ghetto. The letter came before the war, when Moishe was still a boy.

Or, this conversation I had to translate for class today:

Yes, I did not know until now that the Germans used airplanes and poison gas against the ghetto./ How could they use airplanes, the ghetto was small and in Warsaw? /Yes, but the Germans did use tanks and airplanes, and it is said that poison gas was not used in the war, but the Germans used it against the Jews. /I had an uncle and two cousins there, they died in the ghetto./ Did you know that they were there?/ Yes. We wrote to them, but they did not get the letters which we sent them.

Or the song Tsen Brider - Ten Brothers, which was a popular folksong transformed during the war. The refrain was originally: schpilt zhe mir a lidl, oyfn mitn gas! - play me a little song, in the street (outside); and was changed to: her mayn letst lidl, men firt mikh oykh tsum gaz - hear my last song, they're taking me also to the gas.

It makes sense. Ven men hot umgebrengt undzer shprakh, zol mir leyenen zeyn letst briv.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The dog ate my...

menstrual cup (that expensive infinitely re-usable rubber thingee)

Before I had them, I'd heard tell of blood-loving dogs...Tampon-eaters, chewers and cuddlers of bloodied underwear. I would shiver with disgust, much like you're doing now.

Oryx is a blood-lover. She loves blood in all forms - tampons, bloodied clothes. Sometimes, if you're not paying attention, she'll get a few licks in at a scrape or cut. She's even been known to sniff deeply and happily at a bruise...through fabric. If we die in the house, or even sleep in too late, I assume Oryx will begin to eat us.

How do you train a dog not to love blood? Believe me, we've tried on the garbage thing, but she's smart and willful enough to learn exactly what she wants to (how to step on the bathroom garbage lever to open the lid), and nothing that she doesn't.

Alexis came to me the other evening with her hand held behind her back. "Your dog has eaten thirty dollars worth of something," (Crisfield is her dog - I get the weaselly, gassy, blood-sucker) and revealed a scant pile of torn calico (it had had a storage bag) and just a little bit of chewed rubber, that had been retrieved from Oryx's kennel. Alexis held her hand down at dog-head level and said "What is this?!" In response, Oryx gently took the shredded fabric and tip-toed back to her bed.

It can't be healthy for a dog to eat that much rubber.