Thursday, September 20, 2007

Brother/Sister, can you spare some space in your suitcase?

If you live in the States, and are coming to Jerusalem in the next few weeks, and would kindly help a poor blogger by allowing me to have an order of catalogue clothing sent to you so you can bring me new clothes in your suitcase (it's 4 skirts and 4 shirts) please let me know in the comments or email me at chayyeisarah at yahoo dot com.

I'd of course come to you to pick them up at any Jerusalem location convenient for you.

Tizku l'mitzvot.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Muppets Take Rosh Hashanah *** NOW WITH UPDATE***

I can't catch all the lyrics, but I think they are a little, em, less appropriate than what is normally included in "Happy New Year" wishes. But, heck, they are in Hebrew, mostly, so they sound holy.

The point is, Shana tova. Mana mana.

Hee hee.

(Hat tip: Lisa A.)


OK, after watching this video waaaay too many times, here is a partial translation, the best I can do:

Shanah Tova ("Have a good year") x3

I wish you a year that is good and restful
You should merit to (live) another year
You should merit girls and eight something

Shanah Tova x3

something something girls
at least two
and with one of them I will go out to drink
uh-huh, yeah

Shana Tova x3

something something something
something something your sisters
that you should not go out into the street
two something hashish

Shana Tova x3

English rap verse

Shana Tova x3 and then to fadeout (or exit, in this case)

As you can see, my Hebrew is improving very slowly. Still, it's better than I could have done 4 years ago.

Shana tova. :-)

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Baruch Dayan HaEmet" and "Urgh"

For the last several years, I've been reading a fantasy epic by Robert Jordan called "The Wheel of Time." At 11 books and counting (not including the prequel or other complementary works), the story has thousands of characters, countless tiny subplots, and a rich world with multiple countries and cultures, several different kinds of wizards/witches with different codes, good guys who sometimes act bad, good guys who turn out to be bad guys, and good guys who seem to be acting for some crazy agenda of their own. The characters are drawn so richly that I swear I would recognize any of them if I passed them on the street.

For a long time, fans have been after the author to finish the story, as it truly was becoming too unwieldy (more than twice the length of the Harry Potter series) and it was coming time to wrap it up. Jordan promised that he'd finish in one more book, and millions of people around the world looked forward to the climactic battle between good and evil.

Then Jordan got sick. Very sick. He kept a blog letting fans know how he is doing, and in between the bad days when he could hardly function, he kept working on the book. He knew how important this series is to his fans, and it seemed that the task of finishing was helping to keep him alive.

Yesterday, he died.

I have to admit that I'm very impressed by the level of maturity among the commenters at his blog. His fans have expressed sadness at his death, admiration of his character, and sympathy for his wife and other family members.

This is all true and appropriate, and I share it. Jordan was an extraordinarily imaginative and talented man, and the way he approached his illness was inspiring.

And, also, I am really really upset that now we'll never know how the story ends. Yes, I know this is selfish and all, but I think that I speak for thousands of others -- who are more tactful than I am -- when I say that I am so, so, so upset that now there is no chance for a proper denoument. It's as if Return of the Jedi ended just at the scene when Luke leaves Endor to go meet up with Darth Vader, and then the credits roll. What a tease!

What makes it even worse is the idea -- nay, the surity -- that dozens or hundreds of fans will write mediocre "fan fiction" endings. Ooog. I can't bear it.

I'm thinking about lovingly wrapping up all my Wheel of Time books and putting them safely into storage, since just seeing them on my shelves raises feelings of frustration.

Rest in Peace, Robert Jordan. You were a good man.

And to anyone else who writes epic fantasies: Always write an outline and put it somewhere under lock and key, in case you die!

UPDATE: According to Jordan's blog, before he died he gave a 2 1/2 hour verbal account of the entire rest of the story to two of his family members. I hope this is true and that they took good notes.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My latest story

Rosh Hashanah, spent at the home of very special friends, was terrific.

Here's my latest story for the Israel Travel supplement of The Jewish Week.

Happy New Year!