September 19th, 2002

Mama Deb

More on holidays

Well, they're a big part of things right now.

Monday, we bought furniture for our succah - a folding table, some folding chairs. When we got home, we put up it up. It took the two of us an hour. a rather fun hour, to put it mostly up as it got darker around us. It's a case of very good engineering. The kit has fifteen rods of various sizes - four ten foot corner poles, plus five eight foot and six six foot width poles, which are all designed to lock together without tools. this creates a ten feet high six by eight box, with the remaining three poles attached one third of the way up to stablize the structure along three of the walls, with the fourth wall remaining open. We also wrapped three long nylon straps around those same three sides in the lower third of the walls, attached to built-in hooks. This made the walls halachichally complete as well as more stable, as each strap was less than forty inches apart from each other. This is important because one may not lay the roof until the walls are complete.

Then, in the growing darkness, we hung the nylon walls - a continuous curtain that started at one end of the open wall with a built-in door that zipped with a screen like a tent and wrapped around the entire structure, with velcro flaps to secure it to the upper rods and ties to secure it to the first rod and to close it off. There were also long strips to secure it to the center rod so it wouldn't blow about, and bottom flaps that, exhausted and hungry, we decided could wait. There are also two windows on either end and velcro patches for decorations. When we do finish it off, we will lay two wooden beams lenghtwise and roll over that a specially made bamboo mat. Then all we will need to do is bring in our furniture, decorate and hang a light so we can see to eat.

For years, I've come to Jewish neighborhoods this time of year and looked jealously at all the various sukkot going up - canvas tent walls, corrugated plastic, fiberglass panels, wooden structures ranging from plywood to solid framed panels. Large, small, flimsy, strong, ugly, beautiful. Mats, bamboo rods, spruce branches for the roofs. There's an infinite variety, you know? And I could eat in ones belonging to my synagogue, to my rabbi, to friends, to restaurants and to other synagogues, but never to *me*. Now I have one. And I'm not jealous. I'm proud.
Mama Deb

Holidays Part Whatever

Today: plants.

One of the commandments of the holiday is to wave the four species - the lovely and fragrant etrog (citron), the fragrant hadassim (myrtle branches), the lovely lulav (palm frond) and the neither lovely nor fragrant arabot (willow of the brook.). The last three are kept in a woven holder so it's possibly to hold all four in one hand, provided the etrog is small enough or one's hand is large enough.

As with eating in the sukkah, this mitzvah is only incumbant upon men, but women have taken it on, although I do take shameless advantage of being female in terms of eating lunch at work. Most women use sets belonging to their husbands or to male friends or their synagogue. I get my own each year, and have done so for about the last ten years. In my old shul, I would be the only woman with my own. In my current one, several women bring their own *and* there are sets donated for the express use of the woman. Smile.

During the holiday services (except on Shabbat), we hold our sets during two parts - Hallel, which are psalms 112-118 - and special prayers just for Sukkot, which involve singing and the men walking around the bima or "desk".

One bit - the prayers song at this point are called "hoshannahs", for the first line. "Hoshannah" means "Save us, please." Which makes me smile when I hear "Hosanna in the highest" because it makes absolutely no sense.

We bought the plants today. We went to a Jewish bookstore and picked them out. First, we got the etrogim, which are the expensive items. We wanted ones as yellow as possible with intact "pitoms" or flower ends. Some prefer the naturally pitomless - it's a matter of custom. We found two lovely ones. They came packed in foam rubber, which is a problem because foam rubber doesn't protect the pitom well, and if it breaks, ithe fruit is no longer usable. So, at our request, they were rewrapped in flax, which does a much better job. Then it was only a matter of picking out the other three items and having the lulav tied up and placed in the woven holder.

The myrtle and willow are now sitting in a vase because we can't use them until Sunday, as the first day is a Sabbath.
Mama Deb


Apparently, and I had not noticed this, DC Comics is quietly and without fanfare phasing out the comics code. This make sense - Marvel made a big to-do about doing so last year, and the code is increasingly meaningless. Only DC uses it anymore, and that only on its main line. Vertigo and Wildstorm don't. Certainly, the indepent companies - Image, CrossGen, Top Cow - don't. And there are even some ongoing DC comics, such as Green Arrow, who have never been code, so you get to see Ollie, um. Pleasure his ladyfriend orally. Still, DC originated the code, so that people wouldn't think impure thoughts about Batman and Robin. Perish the thought!

So, having learned this, I went through my recent collection of comics, and, sure enough, a number are codeless - JSA, Birds of Prey, The Legion. Others bear a miniscule symbol - Bat-titles, Super-titles, JLA. And. Green Lantern 154.

GL 154 is a remarkable issue that has made the news, because in it, the seventeen year old boy who assists Kyle Rayner in his day job is gay bashed. The cover, under that symbol, shows Terry as bleeding and broken and very damaged. Inside, not only is there a great deal of violence as the superhero tortures the one basher they caught until he tells where his friends are, and then beats up the other two, but there is also a *kiss* between Terry and his boyfriend. Very powerful and well done issue.

Interesting that the comics code, the one originated in part to defeat gay rumors, now permits two teenage boys to kiss.
Mama Deb


gacked from cara_chapel

1. Your live journal "user name" & what it means:

"MamaDeb" is my IRC nickname. It was bestowed upon me for, as near as I can tell, the infinite size of my lap.

02. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest) how well does your livejournal represent who you actually are?

Nine - it's about my life and my interests and what I do and so on.

03. How much about your life do you post to lj?

Depends. Right now, a lot.

04. Is there anything you refuse to post about?

My sex life.

05. On a scale of 1-10 how interesting do you think your own journal is to others?

I have no idea. 5, maybe?

06. From who/how did you find out about lj?


07. Has anyone ever joined lj because of you?

Yes. otherdeb

08. What proportion of your posts are friends only?

I just did my first friends only *ever*.

09. What is your favorite interest on lj?


10. Has anything on lj ever caused you to establish, rethink, or even change your belief or position on something?


11. How often do you respond/comment on other peoples journals?

Occasionally, when I have something to say or someone needs it..

12. Do you prefer to write in your journal, read other journals?

Depends. Mostly reading.

13. Have you ever had something mean said to you or been stalked, harassed, or got into an argument/flame war on lj (or did it to someone else)?


14. Have you ever banned someone from your journal?


15. Who are your favorite lj friend(s) and why?

There are people who always post interesting things or lovely fic or good essays. Those I like.

16. How many of your lj friends have you actually met?

Quite a few. jacquez, otherdeb, lanning, gnomi, mabfan, wolfshark Edited to add, with much apologies, iroshi, blueraccoon, rustycat, examorata and museclio.

17. Of all of the people on lj you know of, who is the most like you?

It's hard to say.

18. Why are you most likely to add someone to your friends list?

If they friend me. If I see things they write and it interests me. If I know them in RL or on IRC.

19. Do you automatically add friends to your journal if they add you first?
No, but it's a major factor in deciding.

20. What is the most likely reason you wouldn't add someone to your friends list?
I don't know them or their writing at all.

21. Is your "significant other" on lj?

jonbaker He has one post.

22. Have you ever wanted to meet someone on lj?