Archive for May, 2010

This poem totally cracked me up

May 31, 2010

because it perfectly enumerates all my mom’s reasons for not wanting to own a pug (which I have listened to numerous times over the past few months).

A Pug is a Dog by Kenn Nesbitt

A pug is a dog
with a curlicue tail.
He eats like a hog
and he snores like a whale.
He’s flat in the snout
and his belly is big.
The pug came about
just by misspelling pig.


What I love about my community

May 28, 2010

is the rabbi’s avowed lack of infallibility.  He’s not afraid to question his own long-held beliefs and encourage us to do the same.  Tonight he told us about a commentary he’d read on this week’s parasha Torah, which led him to think more deeply about a choice that he and a committee of others made 10 years ago while compiling our synagogue’s siddour.  They decided to leave out “Advance, O Lord!  May Your enemies be scattered, And may Your foes flee before you!” from the texts preceding the removal of the Torah from the Holy Ark.  The reasoning was that the text was very military sounding, and that wasn’t the message the community wanted to send to the world at large.  He presented the commentary to us so we could hear a differing opinion and make up our own minds on the subject.

It was a stark contrast with a documentary I saw on TSR1 a few weeks ago.  It was about Muslim communities (specifically, one community in Berne) and their degree of integration with traditional Swiss values and society.  What really shocked me was that most of the people who were interviewed — both immigrants and native-born Swiss, people from all kinds of educational backgrounds — said things more or less along the lines of You do not question the imam.  Period.

I think that G-d gave me a brain in order for me to use it.  And since I don’t think that there’s anybody on Earth today who speaks to G-d “mouth-to-mouth” the way Moses did, I don’t think that there are any infallible religious leaders out there.  Which is why I reserve the right to think for myself and occasionally disagree with what is taught.

Apple Cake with Cinnamon Sauce (pareve)

May 28, 2010


4 cups peeled, cored, chopped sweet apples (Crispin, Red or Golden Delicious)
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cinnamon Sauce:

3/4 cup butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup water


Cake: Preheat oven to 375. Butter and flour a 9×13-inch pan. Combine apples with nuts in a large bowl and sift dry ingredients over top. Mix eggs, oil and vanilla together. Add to the apples and flour mixture and mix until well blended. Bake in prepared pan for 35 to 45 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool. Serve with Cinnamon Sauce.

Cinnamon Sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool and pour over individual servings of cake.

The verdict: Yum!  We’ll definitely be making this again.

Just in case you were wondering…

May 27, 2010

Castor oil does not come from French beavers.  It comes from the castor bean.  (Yes, I had to look that up.)

What’s wrong with this picture?

May 26, 2010

In our bathroom, there’s a postcard on the wall.  It is a drawing of Persian merchants with Persian rugs.  The caption reads “Volkern Brothers — Imports.  MADE IN SWITZERLAND”

I love my oncologist

May 25, 2010

He had to fill out some paperwork for my mom’s residency permit application.  The papers stated “please fill out electronically”, but the OCP didn’t provide a link to an online form.  So in huge letters underneath, he wrote, “HOW?!”

The Egyptian king

May 24, 2010

You know those gold collars they wear?  Well, that’s the shape of the sunburn I got while we were here today:

I absolutely love it

May 23, 2010

that tu aimeras l’étranger comme toi-même is written across the wall of our new synagogue.  It made me feel good inside.

I’m working on getting in the habit of saying the Sh’ma when I get up and go to bed.  I need to work on studying the prayers more — I’ve gotten a little rusty because I was too sick to go to shul for the whole winter.  I’m also busy catching up on the parashiyyot Torah, as I got behind during the month I spent in the hospital in March.  Lots of work to do…

All was not in vain

May 22, 2010

While Mom was out cleaning the apartment where we stayed this winter, it hit me that we didn’t have any sour cream for our soup.  With the stores about to be shut down for a long holiday weekend, I decided to run out and get some.  At the store, I also saw a candy bar that I haven’t had in a while, so I picked it up, too.

Later on when she called me, I let her know what I’d done.  “Oh, no!” she said, “I just went and bought sour cream and a candy bar, too!”

But my trip was not in vain — when she got back to our new room, I saw that instead of buying sour cream, she had accidentally bought buttermilk.

I don’t know about you, but I do not like buttermilk on my tacos or my black bean soup.


May 21, 2010

I read the package insert for my antibiotic this morning, whereby I discovered that it, in combination with another drug I take, can cause a rupture of the Achilles tendon.

I so did not want to know that.

My Achilles and I are going to be taking it very easy for the next few days!