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Holidays That Should Exist

It seems like my blog is turning into a weekly blog rather than a daily blog. Yikes.

Also, I’ve been saying “yikes” a lot for no real reason. Rather than a life update like my last few posts, (all of one in September and four in August, yikes) here’s a real random thoughts post, so get ready for that warm fuzzy feeling.

I’m always having ideas, and today, I just thought of all the things that we have in life that we don’t dedicate a day to. These are either types of people, things, or activities. Let’s you and me take a little walk through my brain and imagine a world where these things are possible:

National Drag Queen Day. Everyone must dress like a drag queen and no one who does (or does not) can be judged. And yes, I know that Halloween is kind of like this – also Gay Pride is kind of like this – but on this day, either you’re a drag queen, or you’re not. No sexy cats, no robots, no half-naked people just in garbage bags. Full drag. COMMIT. That includes having a drag name for the day.

National Go To Therapy Day. I have been to enough types of therapy to know what it’s like (excluding physical therapy) and that people who have either never been or refuse to go to therapy…need to. On this day, there will be no such thing as a need for health insurance because all therapy will be free. Any type will do, but you have to go, you have to pay attention, and if you roll your eyes or look at your phone, you have to do an extra session. If you refuse to go, you have to spend the day in a psych ward. Have you ever met someone who just needs therapy, but you can’t tell them? With this holiday, it’s mandatory, so call up your doctor, I’m-so-normal-and-you’re-not Carol, because the time has come.

National Lampoon Day. You must watch a movie with Chevy Chase in it. Simple as that.

National Bathing Day, or Wash Yourself Week. Seriously. I was walking down the street, and a girl was sitting on a bench with her shoes off, feet up, and her looked like moldy potatoes. I almost puked in my mouth. We need a day where everyone either bathes willingly or gets a bucket of hot soapy water (not soupy water, like I just typed) dumped on their head, West Side Story style.

National Talk Like An Italian Day. National Talk Like a Pirate Day, hit the deck, because once I institute NTLAID, you can say just about anything and it sounds mildly gangster. Or gangsta, if that’s your thing.

National Fart On Someone You Don’t Like Day. Kind of self-explanatory, and I feel like some people do this anyway in their daily lives, but there are some people out there that really need to be farted on. Just once. Bonus points if you cause them to puke and/or poop. Apparently I’m also eight years old.

National Learn A New Dance Move Day. “But I don’t dance.” Yes you do, Tricia, be thankful you HAVE LEGS and USE THEM. On this day, you will have to either attend a dance class or master an actual dance move that requires some level of skill. So no two stepping, macarena, jump around, or disco fingers. If you like dancing, then learn however many new dance moves and styles you want.

National No Clocks Day. Everything is spontaneous, just like in caveman times, or 2017 in some parts of Brazil and Papua New Guinea. Wait…how will we know when it’s over?

Image result for madonna holiday gif

 

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Feminism, In Its Purimist Form

Well, after sleeping for almost 24 hours straight from Friday to Saturday, I woke up just in time to go to the Ovation Purim party last night. It was pretty enjoyable, plenty of hamantaschen to eat and a very nice megillah reading, then back home and to bed.

But this morning, I realized that us Jews and our holidays – well this one in particular – are surprisingly progressive for such an ancient religion. Allow me to explain.

Purim is a day when we celebrate the Book of Esther, and specifically, its heroine, the Queen herself. She was pretty much a bad-ass bitch, making her way into the palace to replace the dethroned queen, hiding her true identity, and then pulling off a pretty covert mission in order to uncover the wicked Haman’s plans to jettison the Jews. Long story short, Haman got hanged from a tree, the Jews of the Persian Empire were safe and happy, and in her honor, we dress up, get drunk, and eat cookies which are supposed to be shaped like three-cornered hats but sometimes end up looking like vaginas.

To me, feminism means disruption of the status quo in order to ensure a greater good, benefiting a marginalized group. And it’s no coincidence that it was a woman-led effort. I mean, what other mainstream religion has a day celebrating a woman, and only a woman?

I hear the arguments that Judaism is whatever, demeaning to women, second class, all that, but at the end of the day, without women like Esther and Ruth, we wouldn’t have some of our best holidays and our religion would lose a significant part of its meaning and importance.

I hope these inside-out hamantaschen turn out all right.

 

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Sytten Pretty on Syttende Mai

Happy Syttende Mai, everyone!

For those of you who don’t know, which is probably most of you, today, May 17, is Norway’s independence day, or as they say, Syttende Mai. Here in Wisconsin, we have a lot of people from Germany and Scandinavia, so in the three years I’ve lived here, I’ve become more aware of some holidays I did not have growing up, but until this year, I hadn’t a clue was Syttende Mai was.

Here’s how it happened: last week, I went to find some geocaches up in DeForest, a small town about 20 minutes north of Madison, and stopped in at Norske Nook, which is a chain of Norwegian restaurants in northern Wisconsin that opened here last year. I had a delicious salmon wrap in lefse, a Norwegian tortilla made of potatoes, butter, and magic. A table tent said that there would be specials for Syttende Mai, and it was coming up, so I made a mental note to come back.

So this morning, I woke up early and managed to get over there by 10:30. Surprisingly, it was not that busy. They had a special on Norwegian Pancakes (pancakes topped with strawberries, lingonberries, and a dash of whipped cream) for just $5.17, because of the date, and it was amazing. I love lingonberries, and they had a lingonberry double-crust pie on the menu, so I spent until almost noon sitting there with warm pie and constantly-refilled coffee, a la Kyle McLachlan in Twin Peaks.

This is the life.

Happy birthday, Norway!

0

Children Are Always Cute When Saying the Four Questions

And that’s just about the only time.

Yeah, I’m being serious.

Small children at meals usually mean that I need earplugs and two Advil. There’s just something about their voices screeching in unison at unholy pitches that just goes straight through the brain. With babies it’s somewhat more tolerable, since they don’t know what they’re doing, bless ’em. It’s the walkers-and-talkers who are germ-spreading, attention-seeking little future-people.

But at the Passover seder, it’s different.

The first night, I dined with YJP (which was supposed to be at the Concourse, but ended up moving to Chabad, oddly enough) and there were no children, so that was cool.

The second night, I returned to Chabad for an undergrad seder. Basically, it was four long tables of loud, obnoxious undergrads over whom the rabbi had to shout the seder.

At the normal point, the rabbi asked everyone to quiet down for the Four Questions, which the youngest children traditionally sing. The baby is still a baby, but fortunately most of the wild undergraduate elephants quieted their roar for the shy, overshadowed middle child to say the four questions with the help of his father. The talking got a little louder when the older, outspoken one started to do it double-time, English interspersed with Yiddish, but strangely, I found myself siding with the kid rather than the crowd. Maybe I like the underdog, or maybe I just intensely dislike the JAPs who go to Chabad because a) their parents told them to and b) they’re getting free food. And they’re probably going to hit up Wendy’s or Chipotle at the soonest opportunity. Or maybe because it’s actually a legit part of the seder.

The cool part of the seder was, after dinner, the rabbi directed anyone wishing to sing more songs over to our table. Because that’s how we Chabad regulars roll.

Not a lot of new visitors over the past few days, but welcome to The Bahamas. Bring friends. And now that I have people who actually read/comment…I’m taking suggestions.

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Hold On To Your Hats, It’s Time for Saint Pat’s

One thing I’ve been seeing a lot of lately is pictures of people wearing green and getting progressively drunker. Not surprisingly, they are in albums with labels like “St. Patrick’s Day 2014.” Yes, it’s that time of year….but it’s only March 9th. Last time I checked, St. Patrick’s Day was March 17. Every year.

I don’t know much about St. Patrick’s Day, but I think I know the rules (or what passes for them, anyway) that everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and that everyone gets green and wears drunk – I mean, gets drunk and wears green. And that it’s always, always on March 17.

Growing up as I did, there was no such thing as St. Patrick’s Day. It just didn’t exist. I think I first heard about it sometime in high school, at the earliest. One of the first things I learned was that it’s one of those holidays with a fixed date, like July 4th or New Year’s Day. In the Jewish calendar, holidays never have the same day due to the lunar dates corresponding with different solar dates every year. Thus, Passover could be in early April one year, in early May the next, and in late April the year after that.

But what confused me the most?

Not all non-Jewish holidays are on the same day every year.

It took me forever to nail down the fact that like St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas and Halloween do not change, but Easter, Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday do. Which brings me back to my original point; St. Patrick’s Day is, and yes, I did check again, not this week but NEXT week. Why are you having St. Patrick’s Day parties now? Why can’t you people wait a week and THEN deluge the Internet with your drinking pics? Why does the world insist on confusing me? Why do holidays do this? Why? Why?? Why???

At least I can fall back on the comfort of Judaism, where we never know the date our holidays will be on, but rest assured, they’re always too early or too late.