Saturday, March 29, 2008

spring break

There's supposed to be more snow tonight. None of it sticks around, but it is so weird to have snow--big fluffy flakes-- falling from the sky in late March.

Wayne is at a Bruce Springsteen concert as I type. I like Bruce Springsteen okay; my mom had Born in the USA--the one with his butt with the flag stripes as a background-- back in the 80's. That was probably the only Springsteen album I ever listened to, and that was only because my mom would play it. I never sought to listen to him on my own. Our neighbor had an extra ticket, and Wayne never gets to just go do some guy type stuff with another guy, so went he did.

And even though I'm not a huge adoring fan of The Boss, I think it's cool Wayne gets to go see him live because he is definitely an iconic artist. Plus, I hear his new stuff is really good. Again-- I won't seek it out to listen to it, but I hear tell, anyway.

I, on the other hand, watched My Girl 2 and Aloha, Scooby-Doo with Maya. My Girl 2 was really unnecessary. I liked it well enough, but My Girl was such a great movie that there was no way a sequel could ever hold up next to it. Though I did cry when Vada watched the old movies of her mom. And who doesn't love Anna Chlumsky? I looked her up on IMDB to see what she's been up to lately, and she is in a movie I've been looking forward to watching on HDNet called Quid Pro Quo. She really hasn't done a heck of a lot on film lately, though.

And you know, Scooby-Doo is always the same...those darn meddling kids!

We watched both using Netflix's Watch Instantly feature. I love Netflix. So, we hook the computer to the TV to watch a movie "instantly." Right now I am having some difficulty watching the Pixie's documentary loudQUIETloud because my computer connection slowed down. That's kind of a pain in the ass, and an unusual experience. It says I have about 10 more minutes before it will start playing again..sigh. So annoying, but it's FREE (well, aside from our membership).

I also plan to watch some of This American Life the TV series tonight. And they have the first two seasons of Weeds available to watch instantly. And a new horror flick (remake) called April Fool's Day. So many choices! If you have Netflix and have not yet explored the Watch Instantly feature, you must check it out.

6 minutes.

Because I am tired of never doing anything over spring break, I decided that we would make it work for us to go to the Oregon coast for a couple of nights this week. It's going to make for a tight week financially, but I'll make it work. Hell, gas to get there and back is going to cost us almost as much as the damn hotel! That is so insane. I hate paying for gas; I wish I had a Smart Car.

Anyway, we're going to take Maya down to Depoe Bay, and we hope for some breaks from rain and cold. And snow. Weather says it should be mostly sunny, but we'll see. Wayne wants to go on a whale watching tour, but I have visions of the whales attacking our boat and tipping us into the frigid sea. I just want to get some good pictures and look at some tide pools.

Yea! The movie started up!

Paige isn't going with us, and Brittani is in California with her mom road tripping, so it will just be the three of us. I even told Paige she could bring a friend to get her to come, but nooooo... she'd rather stay home and __________. I guess I did, too, when I was seventeen-almost-eighteen.

I have a Bradley class reunion tomorrow at 4; I'm really excited! This is a way delayed reunion because this class' reunion should have happened during my seasonal funk period, so it didn't happen. You know, I was holed up under a rock at the time.
My last couple from my last class just hadtheir baby last week. :-) I need to contact them to see how it went, but from their email, it seems it went well!
My next series is coming together nicely, which I am grateful for.

Okay...back to the flick.

Friday, March 28, 2008


It is March 28th, and it is snowing. We are on our third day straight of snow, but it isn't really sticking. It's the craziest thing, and I don't remember it ever snowing here in western Washington this far past winter.

Aside from weather...

Wayne and I attended a bris for the first time yesterday. Our friends had a baby last week...well, nine days ago, now, and they are, obviously, Jewish.

I tend to be opposed to routine circumcision since there really is no medical reason for a normal, healthy baby boy to be circumcised. Even the AAP doesn't recommend routine circumcision. Circ rates are declining, and here in the western states, the circ rate is like, 31%-- pretty low. That means the majority of baby boys born in western states today have intact penises. If I had a baby boy, which I don't, I would definitely not have him circumcised. There was a time when I think Wayne would have fought me on this issue, but I think he's okay with intactness now. It helps that we are done having babies, so it's really not a relevant issue for him.

Though I am opposed to routine circumcision, I was very interested in attending my friend's son's bris; I love Jewish rituals anyway. They remind me of the Catholic rituals I watched growing up as a Catholic kid, though I am sure Jews and Catholics would loathe to be compared to each other. I was very aware that though this is a ritual, that the baby was going to probably be hurt during the process. I was very tuned into how the baby behaved before, during and after the ceremony.

My friends had family fly in for the ceremony from Georgia and Louisiana; this was a Very Big Deal for them, which was the first big difference I noted between the ritual vs. routine circ. The paternal grandmother told me this is as big of a deal as a wedding, which I guess makes sense because, from what I understand (and I really only vaguely understand), the bris is pretty much Jewish law. It isn't something that can not be done and still have your boy be Jewish. I'm sure that's debatable amongst different Jewish denominations, but my friends definitely are in the Jewish boy=circed boy camp.

They also have another boy, but he was circumcised in the doctor's office by a Jewish doctor; they said it was very different than this bris; I would guess that it was much more like routine circumcision done in hospital or in the doctor's office.

This time they had a Mohel (pronounced Mo-hel or Moyl) come to their home.

First, the older brother and sister came in and lit a candle...I don't remember the significance of the candle. Then the mother's sister and the father's brother carried the baby in. Everyone stood and greeted him with a Hebrew greeting. He was laid on the table (the dining table) on a blanket that apparently had the Star of David on it; the Mohel told them to put the baby's head on the star. The Mohel gave some instructions on what we should do (bow heads and pray-- otherwise you are just observing a procedure and sing a song that they all knew. It, too, was in Hebrew.). The Mohel said we would know when he was doing the actual circumcision because he would say a blessing.

The actual circumcision took no more than 20 seconds, I swear. The baby squawked for a second, but it was more of a "HEY!" cry than the enduring cry of a baby in pain. He wasn't restrained other than the paternal grandfather gently, but firmly, grasping his feet (knees bent) and the mother stroking his head and giving him gauze soaked in sugar water to suck on. He was also given about a teaspoon of Maneschewitz immediately after the bris was performed. He was picked up by his mother, and she swayed him while they did the naming ceremony. Blessings were said in Hebrew and English. It was very emotional. The baby is named for his great-grandfather who was dying as my friend found out she was pregnant; that was last summer, and it was such a rough time for them. My friend actually thought she was entering menopause (she is the same age as me!). As the great-uncle read the blessings and then spoke a bit about why the baby has the names he has, it was just heart-wrenching. This is the first baby born in the family since the grandfather's passing, and it has been less than a year, so everyone who knew him truly felt his absence. I think even those who did not know him felt it.

It was such a beautiful ceremony, and I thought the circumcision was done quickly and as respectfully as possible.

Afterwards we ate, as it is a requirement after the bris that everyone eat; it is disrespectful to not eat.

It is tradition to bury the foreskin and plan a tree over it, and when the man marries, the leaves from the tree are gathered and added to the chuppah.

The Mohel who performed the bris has a website, and there is an hour long documentary about him that aired on our local PBS affiliate. It's very interesting. You can watch it here.

When I took my Bradley training back in 2002, Marjie told us that if we had couples who were insistent on having their boys circed to find a Mohel to do it because they do it with less pain, trauma and they tend to remove less foreskin that an MD. I wonder how many Mohels will actually do non-ritual (routine) circumcision for non-Jewish families. Circumcision is much more to a Jewish person than simply trying to make baby look like every little boy/his dad or any other number of excuses that are given by parents for a routine medically UNnecessary surgery on a newly born infant.

and guess's snowing still and even harder than before. There's even some accumulation. This is bizarre.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I am officially 37. As of last Thursday (3/13).
It was an uneventful day, really.
A day like any other, as is typical for grown-up birthdays.

I did manage to get myself a coffee and pedicure, though, which was lovely.

Friday I got my hair cut and had my new driver's license picture taken. Two hours of boredom at the DOL. That night we went to dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory and then we all went bowling. It was fun to just hang out with our kids because that isn't something we get to do very much anymore. I miss them, even though they are always here. It's different now that they (Paige and Brittani) are older. They don't need us or want us as much.

I got some pretty groovy stuff though:
  • a new iPod--80gb classic
  • gift certificate to Borders
  • a nifty pink wallet case for my iPod (it will probably always be in my purse)
  • and best of all--and a major surprise (I knew about the iPod): front row tickets to see Cake on May 11th at the Paramount!!!
We celebrated my bday at my parentals house today, and it was, as always, a swell time. My mom made me TWO chocolate cakes (due to an error on her part, but her error is my treat!) and we had TUNA BOATS for dinner (my request). Tuna boats are a a food that was a pretty regular item on our menu when I was growing up. I think we usually had them in the summer. It's an interesting food, and I think only my brother appreciated them as much as I did tonight.

To make tuna boats, which I hadn't eaten in about 10 years, you take a hard french roll and cut out the top to make it like a little bowl. You mix Cheez Whiz, tuna, chopped onion and chopped celery together and fill in the bread bowls. Broil til browned on top (and molten lava-like) and serve with cottage cheese and chips on the side. Healthy stuff.

The best part of having tuna boats for dinner is eating the bread you cut out with the left-over cheez mixture. Yum.

On our way to my mom and dad's, I was telling Wayne how every time we had tuna boats, my dad would say how expensive Cheez Whiz is, so I had to laugh when we got there and dad said, "I couldn't believe how much Cheez Whiz costs!!!" or something along those lines. Some things never change. I feel like I could write funny memoirs about my family like David Sedaris does or like Jean Shepard. Anyway, according to my dad, we all could have eaten New York steaks for the same cost as the tuna boat ingredients. Next year, I guess.

Nifty Giftys from la familia:
  • Labyrinth by Kate Mosse from my brother, Aaron. It looks really good, and now I can add it to my Shelfari :-)
  • The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs from my grandparents. One would probably wonder why I would want a book like that, but it looks ridiculously funny; I heard the author on the radio one day, and his interview was great.
  • Grandparents also gave my some sweet bath stuff, which I always love, and I inherited a sexy piece of red lingerie that my aunt and mom gave my grandma awhile back. Lingerie passed through the women in my family--another odd story about my quirky family. I still have the gargantuan black lace bra that has been passed around; I need to get on the ball and start doing my part passing this stuff along!
  • My parents bought me an awesome shower head that I specifically asked for as well as:
  • Postsecret book (Yea!!!)
  • Gift cert to a nail salon
All in all, it was a great birthday. The only bad thing is that I turned another year older. That pretty much blows. the good thing is that no one ever believes I'm 37 (well, that I was 36). They all tell me they think I'm younger, and I really hope they aren't lying to me.
I thought 36 was tough, but 37 makes me want to crawl under a rock and eat ho-hos. Except that ho-hos are gross. Brownies. Yes, 37 makes me want to crawl under a rock (or my cozy covers) with brownies and nice tall glass of Smith Brothers Farms 2% milk.

Speaking of brownies...I see Weight Watchers on the horizon, but Wayne is so not wanting me to join. I feel like I need to join, but he's really pissy about me spending money to lose weight. It was the beginning of an argument today that we quickly defused, so I'm sure it will come up again.

We never fight over money, nor do we fight about how we will spend our money, so this is new territory for us. It's so great that after almost 12 years together, we can still find new territory to explore.