Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I Jew You Not

I woke up early and drove to the airport this morning to give away some of my personal property to a complete stranger. Why? Well, the short answer is the Jews made me do it. The long answer also involves Jews, so if you’re feeling anti-Semitic, you might want to take a cold shower or go for a jog before reading this post, you know, to relax yourself. It’s THAT Jewy.

Well not really...I just wanted to use the word “Jewy.” It rolls of the tongue, does it not?

A friend invited me to a fancy Passover dinner at my alma mater, Brigham Young University. We did the whole deal -- the ceremony, the hymns, the symbols, the bitter, bitter herbs. It was hosted by a professor of Hebrew and Jewish studies who was very good at explaining the significance of every part of the festival to non-Jew, all-Mormon participants.

I had to quickly familiarize myself with the terminology of the Passover, as I was forced to play the role of “patriarch,” since no other men were sitting at my table. The patriarch is required to lead several parts of the ceremony, reciting lines on cue, distributing symbolic food, etc. The patriarch is also required, as it turns out, to be royally screwed over.

Early in the festival the patriarch takes the middle of the three Matzahs (unleavened bread), and divides it in half. The smaller half gets wrapped up and hidden away; in our case passed around under the table where the patriarch can’t see it. Towards the end of the festival, the hidden Matzah is produced, and the patriarch must haggle with whoever ends up with it to ensure its return. The meal cannot end without the patriarch distributing the final piece of Matzah for everyone to eat.

And this is how I ended up driving to the airport early this morning to meet one of the girls at my table before she flew off to parts unknown. I brought with me the fruits of our strange little haggling session:

one camping tarp, unopened
waterproof matches
a roll of toilet paper
some colored pencils
a black trash bag
one spoon
one fork
a box of cake mix

Don’t ask how we settled on this list. It was all fun and entertaining while it happened, but waking early to drive to the airport several days later, all I could think about is how much sleep that stupid piece of bread was costing me.

Oh those silly, silly Jews. What will they think of next? It’s times like these that I’m glad I’m Mormon. We don’t do weird things like haggle over bread. I mean, how could we? We’re much too busy baptizing our dead and voting Republican.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Please Don't Leave Me!

New post coming soon...I promise. And I ain't just lying for romantic favors.

Monday, April 18, 2005

25 Thoughts About Turning 25

1) I am no longer under the oppression of the “young males cause accidents” statistic. Goodbye high auto insurance rates.

2) Add two zeros in the middle of my age, and you’ll always know the year.

3) This will stop working in 2010.

4) I feel like I already have Alzheimer’s, considering I can’t remember anything that’s happened in the last 25 years, up until this very moment.

5) I’m doing what with the who now?

6) Things feel eerily similar to how they did when I was 24, except that now the square root of me is 5.

7) Having 5 as your square root really isn’t that cool.

8) My mother called and left two messages where she sang every version of the “happy birthday” song she knows, including those from restaurants she frequents. It took two messages because she had to stop and start over several times. My mother is whacky.

9) A friend in France called, which was nice, although I now know I have lost all ability to speak and understand French before 10 a.m.

10) When you have previously gifted a friend with “Get in Shape, Girl,” a disturbing book featuring 7-year-olds in leotards from the 1980s, they are sure to retaliate.

11) Cake gets

12-24) drivel

25) I don’t mind 25. But I fear 26. Fear it like the very devil.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Cha Cha Chi

I wish I was could do normal things, like touch my toes. It’s like I have rigor mortis or something, without all the decomposing and living in the ground. I can barely reach my shins. What’s up with that? If I was morbidly obese, then I’d have an excuse, but really I have none. High-set hips?

A friend suggested I try yoga. He says it helps flexibility, relaxation, inner-peace and whatnot. “Hell no,” was my reply. I’ve seen what yoga is all about -- a lot of bending in freaky positions named after animals. But then I found this DVD called “Yoga for Inflexible People.” Wow, that’s me, I thought. How did they know?

I’m happy to say that the DVD is now collecting dust. About the only position I could handle was the “mountain pose” (which involved standing up straight, no bending whatsoever). Everything else was just bothersome and/or painful. Screw Yoga.

So then I tried Tai-chi. A guy at my work is teaching classes for free. We did a lot of stretching, which wasn’t so bad. Then he had us go through all these positions named after monkeys. Long story short: I can’t tell my yin from my yang, no matter how many times he says to suck in the yin and blow out the yang. What does that even mean?

And now I got suckered into dance lessons, once more at the prodding of a friend (it’s like I can’t make my own decisions). They’re taught at a dance studio with two other couples, so we get individual attention, which helps. We learned the cha-cha this week, and thankfully I was able to handle it just fine, despite having to swing my hips around like a desperate hooker.

When I was studying in Senegal, everyone danced, all the time. If you didn’t dance, you were either crippled or white. I’m the latter, and so I would do my best when people in the markets would start banging on pots and a large woman would grab me and expect me to fling my arms and legs about in some semblance of rhythm. You wouldn’t believe how those people can fling their limbs! Forget the cha-cha-cha, forget the yang, forget the chi, that kind of dancing was FUN. I miss Africa.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Last week I learned that small turtles are lethal. I was in Salt Lake, looking at art, and I had an overwhelming urge to buy a pet. Maybe it was the abstract sculptures of dogs in that funky museum my friend had taken me to, or that angry, one-eyed rooster from my dreams. I don’t know, but it pulled at me. My beta fish had frozen to death last winter so I was still petless and not getting any younger. I needed SOMETHING.

Then it hit me: a turtle, now that’s a perfect pet. They’re slow, stupid, green, and round. (ironically fulfilling every requirement I have in a girlfriend). I decided I wanted a tiny one that consumes very little and that would be perfectly content living on an island in a fishbowl with a plastic palm tree, his only friend.

But there were no tiny turtles in any pet store I visited. And I visited A LOT of stores (three). I was told by every pet store owner that small turtles are ILLEGAL. What the hell? How can a turtle be illegal? Can you snort it, sniff it, inject it into your arm? Yes. But it turns out they’re illegal because they carry salmonella on their shells. And small children can put the turtles in their mouths and become infected and die.

This, of course, is an extremely stupid reason to make something illegal. Small children can also drink Windex and die. Is Windex illegal? Hermit crabs have shells, and children probably stuff them into their mouth, but I’m pretty damn sure it’s not a crime to buy a hermit crab.

The smallest turtle a pet store is allowed to sell is 4 inches long. 4 inches! It might as well be 50 feet. I wanted something TINY so I could buy that palm tree and the fishbowl island and cover the turtle’s little world in darkness with the flat of my hand on those cold nights when I like to dress up like god and smite things.

Vanquished, I settled with another fish. It’s better than nothing. In the meantime, my friend says she’s got the hook-ups with a shady pet store that knows how to get around the law. I hope she succeeds in getting me a turtle because I can tell you one thing--after all that trouble--I’m so going to snort him.