The world is a wonderful, if very wacky, place to be.

Archive for April, 2011

Carried Away

Ever have a project that you almost, but not quite, finished?

This one was kind where I made a small change that had unforeseen consequences, so then I needed to redo a step to make it work. I knew it would only need an hour or two of work to fix, but I dreaded the redo and somehow the whole project got derailed (possibly by a move and a spouse who suddenly spent more time in the air that at home) and then it just sat on the shelf, mocking me.

For a year.

It's a baby carrier.

It got sent out the door to its recipient today. I feel good.



Now that things are settling down after Passover I can show you what that giant papier-mâché project became.

Not bad for some paper and glue, eh?

It’s our sefirat HaOmer calendar. The day after the Passover seder, we began to count the days and weeks to the next holiday, Shavuot, just like the Torah tells us to do in Leviticus. Each night, Moses goes up one step on Mount Sinai. Yes, it’s historically inaccurate, but it gets the idea across: the freedom of Passover culminates with the acceptance of the Torah on Shavuot. Just as we see ourselves as leaving Egypt, so too we stand at Sinai and accept the Torah.

Here is a close up of the Tablets of the Law:

Rectangular, just like the Talmud says. I mean the Jewish Talmud, not the Korean one.

And Moses, too:

We still need to number the stairs. I was hoping to get away without it, but now every time someone bumps against the table poor Moses falls off and it’s getting to be a pain to put him back on the correct step.

B-L- I don’t know, either.

On the way home today Julie Brown’s song “Cause I’m a Blonde” popped into my head.

Do you remember this one? It’s one of the best satire songs of the 80’s, the greatness of Weird Al Yankovic notwithstanding. I found it on youtube and watched it, highly amused (“I’m a freshman in my fourth year at UCLA and my goal is to become a veterinarian ’cause I love children”). Volucris, however, would not watch it because he found it immodest, and then when I pulled up the lyrics for him to read he found them offensive, as they made fun of a group of people based only on their appearance.

I don’t know if this means that I did a good job raising him or not.

Here, you decide.

Oops, I did it again.

I missed that fever + red spots with white centers = chicken pox. For the fourth time.

In my defense, we were getting ready for Passover, Sagitta only had a mild case, and she was playing happily the whole time (if the kid can play, she’s just not that sick. This is a general principle). Granted, that’s pretty much what happened the other times, too. We diagnosed Volucris retroactively from a photograph when I found out that Lyra’s bug bites weren’t bug bites. Aquila’s case was only caught because Cloud Man noticed the red bump behind her ear the next day.

Once I put the pieces together, I took Sagitta to Dr. Shalev, who confirmed my suspicion. Of course, by then, she wasn’t contagious anymore.

Almost all better.

I am really, incredibly, thankfully glad that I was too caught up with Passover preparations to visit either of my friends who just gave birth. Sometimes, missing the forest for the trees actually does work in my favor.

Happy Passover

What an exhausting day!

We just left Egypt and it was such a whirlwind that our bread didn’t even get a chance to leaven, there are no pecans to be found anywhere for our Haroset, and if you think that it’s easy to pack up even a slave household when Moses says, “it’s time to go!” you’ve got another thing coming.

Anyone have a spare camel? The sheep refuse to carry the gold.

The good news? We are leaving slavery. We are free to serve our G-d, and He’s taking us home.

Have a happy and healthy Passover!

Pyramid Scheme

Can I just clear something up?

We didn’t build these.

When we were slaves in Egypt, the pyramids were already pretty old. According to National Geographic, the golden age of pyramid building in Egypt was between 2575-2150 B.C.E. Israelite slavery, however, according to Jewish sources was from 1428 B.C.E. to 1312 B.C.E. That’s one thousand years later. Non-Jewish sources puts the slavery period earlier, but not earlier enough– they suggest that the slavery period began around 1800 B.C.E, still too late.

What this means is that when Abraham went down to Egypt during the famine, he probably complimented Pharoah, “nice pyramids, I love what you’ve done with the place.” Now I know that dating the ancient world is as difficult as it is controversial. Traditional Jews usually follow the dating in the Seder Olam Raba (which puts Abraham and Hamurabi in the same neighborhood at the same time. Interesting, no?) and at least when I was in school, archeologists would take the scribbling of a toddler as more authoritative than the Bible. I’m not the person to reconcile the quagmire that is ancient historical dating, but there is just no way to reconcile the dates of the pyramids with the dates of slavery. Those pretty pyramids were already looming large over the Egyptian landscape while Israelite slaves were building cities full of storehouses in Pitom and Ramses. Just like the Torah says we did in Exodus 1:11.

42 European

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a 13 year old boy who is obsessed with military history, judo, and model building?

Sagitta will let you know after she’s walked 1.6 kilometers in his shoes.

See? They fit.

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