Monday, January 15, 2007

Urban Outfitters--Again

Apparently Urban Outfitters is now selling khaffiyehs as 'woven anti-war scarves'.

These are, I guess, different from knitted anti-war scarves.

I am taking this opportunity to affirm my belief that the most valid use for a khaffiyeh is to prevent Arab gentlemen from getting sunstroke. It is not meant to be worn as a winter neck scarf, nor for college girls to cover their faces at rallies.

Oh, and I just saw "Yossi and Jagger", and if someone gave me a woven anti-war scarf right now, I would be using it to mop up my tragic-movie-ending tears.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Angelina as Mariane

Apparently they're making a movie out of Daniel Pearl's widow's book, and Angelina Jolie will play Mariane Pearl.

She actually looks quite good in the role--they've gotten the hair and makeup very close, and there's something similar about their faces anyway--and apparently Brad Pitt is directing. And I haven't read the book.

I guess I'm just wondering how the anti-Semitism tied into Pearl's death is going to be dealt with, or if it's going to be dealt with at all. I may be stereotyping badly, but I can't imagine that's something Jolie and Pitt are interested in or prepared to deal with.

Wedding Dresses

I said I'd post pictures. Here, on the left, is what I'm NOT going to wear, although some friends from college may get the additional joke...

As I said, I was rather taken by the LDS temple wear, so I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of that. Over on the right, two examples of the look. It's cute. It's just not me.

I also thought about something traditionally Jewish. Maybe not my specific tradition, but still, Jewish. This is a keswa el kbira, the traditional wedding costume from the Moroccan Jewish community. Isn't that gorgeous? It's based on Spanish styles that the exiles brought with them at the end of the fifteenth century, and it evolved into this.

Anyway, the shape I seem to like the most is what they call a 'mermaid' skirt, fairly close over the hips, and then flared around the hem. Most of the ones I'd seen, I hadn't noticed the shape because they all came strapless, but then I found this on one of the Mormon sites---

I really like this dress. In part, I think I like it because it is undoubtedly a wedding dress, but the details--the v-neck, the three-quarters sleeves, the shape of the skirt, all look like things I wear fairly frequently. It looks like my clothes, if they were turned into a wedding dress. And the slightly cynical expression on the lady in the picture reminds me of me a bit. (She's a brunette, too.)

They want $400 for this, which is amazingly reasonable given some of the prices I've been seeing. I have no idea what the fabric is like. I may call for a swatch.

I may also call a friend who can sew, and ask if she could make something like this. She's very good--she makes Elizabethan court attire--so I don't think a simple dress like this would stump here. And then I could splash out for really good fabric.

What do you all think?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Parakeet

Our parakeet died about an hour and a half ago.

We inherited him from the fella's mother when she moved back to Hawaii. He was green, and a 'roller', that is, he made this sort of distinct ch-ch-ch-ch noise that not all parakeets can make.

He liked his own reflection, and all kinds of food that were bad for him, also lettuce.

He'd been having trouble with one foot for a little over a week. We tried to take him to the vet, but the vet we went to didn't do birds--we tried to fix the problem by trimming his nails. We were going to call the vet today and ask for advice about the foot. This morning we found him on the floor of his cage, unable to get up. We took him to the vet, who prescribed antibiotics. We tried to feed him vitamin mush. He wasn't having any.

Seeing the fella so sad breaks my heart.

We're still trying to figure out where to bury him.

A good bird.

My Bird is Sick. And I Don't Want To Take THE COURSE.

The parakeet is not well, and we are dosing him with antibiotics and vitamin pill mush. He is also moulting, and basically, looks and feels like hell.

In other news, I am looking for a rabbi to marry me to a gentile. (The fella, I mean, not just any gentile.) I was thinking about having the wedding at Temple Emanu-El--after all, my bat mitzvah was there--and their clergy offer interfaith weddings--and, well, then I found out about The Course.

It is simply called The Course. It used to be Judaism 101, but that, I guess, was not sufficiently scary. The Course is a three-trimester extravaganza of information about Judaism, with classes covering:

The Jewish Calendar and The Sabbath
Festivals and Holy Days
The Spiritual Journey of the High Holy Days
B'nei Mitzvah
Conversion and Mikvah
Marriage and Divorce
Death and Memory
Jewish History
Liturgical Movements
The Siddur
Reform Judaism
The Synagogue
The Jewish Home
Finding God
God, Covenant, and Mitzvot
Jewish Thought on God
Sacred Texts
The Interpretive Tradition
Who Were the Jews ?
American Jew or Jewish American?
The Origins and Purposes of Anti-Semitism
Choosing Judaism: From Abraham Until Today

I read this off to Groomra, who listened to the whole list, and informed me that although he loves me, he doesn't think he likes me that much.

Am I being unreasonable? I realize that this is momentous thing we're doing here, but:

1. I feel as though I am something of an unappreciated expert on how to live in an interfaith family.

2. I am a rabbinic school dropout. I think I could teach most of this course.

3. I have a job. I have a very busy life. I don't honestly want to dedicate two hours of it every Tuesday night for a year to this.

4. This is the kicker--evidently if I were marrying a Jew I wouldn't have to do this. Even if we were both entirely ignorant of and indifferent to all of Jewish practice and history, we wouldn't have to do this. I have issues. I believe that inmarriage is positive, but I don't think it should substitute for actual Jewish education or commitment to Jewish survival.

I grew up as the daughter of an interfaith marriage at a time when there was a LOT of smack being talked about families like mine. Any attempt to get me to prove my yiddishkeit by extraordinary measures tends to lead me to act out. (They, frankly, don't want us in the class. I am argumentative when riled, and the fella will fall asleep.)

Maybe we'll just rent a hall at Emanu-El. Or get married at the Cartoon Museum. Or somewhere.

Monday, January 01, 2007

How Hard Can It Be To Get Dressed For Your Wedding?

OK. The question sets itself up for an answer.

I'm actually looking at venues, right now, and thinking about synagogues, and the virtues of Reform rabbis, and lots of other things that bring up eeeee-motions for me, but I drifted off into looking for wedding dresses.

Some women appear to have known what they were going to wear to their weddings from an early age. I am not one of them. I used to fantasize about BEING married, but the wedding itself was not something I ever thought about. And in college, I claimed I was going to marry in blue jeans, wearing the most perfect white shirt in the world. Which, come to think of it, does not seem now like such a bad idea.

Anyway, here are my requirements for a wedding outifit:

1. It should probably have sleeves, although spaghetti straps would be OK.

2. It should allow me to dance, walk around, hug relatives, etc.

3. It should not have such a big skirt that it proceeds me by more than a couple of minutes. (See Requirement 2)

4. It should not be hideously unflattering to my figure--that is, I would like more emphasis on my nice bustline, and less on my nonexistent waist.

5. It should basically be white. (Ivory, or with colored trim is basically white.)

6. It should not be so formal that the groom, wearing a suit, looks insanely outmatched.

7. It should not cost a fortune. This will be a budget wedding, and if I am gonna splash out on something, the ring seems more important than the dress, in terms of how long I will be wearing it, please God.

8. It does not have to be specifically a bridal outfit, but it should LOOK bridal.

9. It should not have giant white applique things on it, or tons of beads, or drippings of embroidered stuff.

The wedding dress designers of America do not seem to be on the same page with me. The high fashion style seems to currently be a narrow, strapless one which would make me look like the cutest fireplug in the world, and would not exactly work for a brunch reception, which is what I'm thinking in terms of. Then there's the hideous things with the applique gunk. Practically nothing has sleeves, particularly the three-quarters ones I was thinking might be nice.

Desperately looking for something with sleeves, it occurred to me to search specifically for tznius wedding clothes. After a few false starts involving things with padded shoulders and 1980s powerdressing necklines, I discovered something excellent: Mormon wedding dresses.

Yes, the Church of Latter-Day Saints and I seem to share a wedding dress aesthetic--don't ask me why, or how, since that's not important right now. But I'm surfing a number of LDS bridal sites, and seeing more dresses that seem attractive to me than I've seen anywhere else. Go figure. I mean, not the Temple styles, which I guess are what you wear to get married in the Temple--that seems to require a below-floor-length, below-fingertip-sleeved princess style--cute, and the models look adorable, but not what I need...

I'll post some pictures when I get a chance.