Thursday, September 28
More then two decades have passed since I was in Rumson Fair Haven High School..
There were no personal computers, email, cell phones, CD players, IPODS or digital cameras when I walked the halls of RFH.
The bullies were still there, the preppies and the jocks and the burnouts and those who skated the middle ground like myself who smoked with the burnouts in Piping Rock Park, had a best friend who was a preppie and spent my weekends organizing un-official beer parking lot parties after the football games. I never fit in, in high school but fitting out was far more fun.
There were fights in high school, drugs busts, the loss of two peers in a drunk driving accident, drop-outs and runaways, all kinds of drama and most of it done by my pals or even myself.
But I don’t remember worrying about guns or school, shootings, not like today, not like now.
Not like in Bailey yesterday where a gunman kidnapped 6 girls finally killing one and himself.
I can imagine the terror of those kids as he began his count down; who can go who had to stay.
The victim; a smiling innocent, a young girl named Emily Keyes, pretty blonde, athletic. She probably would have had a nice long life with lots of kids.
The scariest thing to me was the first thing I felt when I saw the news..”OH ONLY ONE DEAD!”
Only one dead?!
Yes because of Columbine’s massacre and other horrors, in today’s world losing one seems not as bad.
Columbine is close to the Bailey school, one could even commute between the two.
Now the two have something else in common besides proximity. They have horror.
Back in the old days, being a teen was scary. You didn’t know where you were going, where you fit in, what was cool, what was cool for you, but today..well today..scary’s been redefined.
Sunday, September 24
La Shana Tovah
As most of my longer term readers know
i think i had the whole jewish thing
amongst the frum.. ultra-orthodox, (we say frum for super religious)
my mother had always taught me to trust a man in a police uniform
i have not died
in the end
if you wish to start a world war over religion
Sunday, September 17
There is an irony to the statement of the muslim religion being spread by violence from the spokesperson for the Catholic church.. cause um there were like the crusades and yeah the Spanish inquisition which evidently is the reason why my ancestors, (the ones who lived) spoke Hungarian not Spanish…then again, they escaped Spain to go to Hungary and wound up having their descendants mass murdered there by Hitler..who was supposed to be a pal of the Vatican, some say.
I don’t like it when non-Jews bring up the bloody past of my people, but I also don’t go out into the street and riot and cause violence to protest you saying my religion may have a violent past.
My feeling is…it’s not what your history says or doesn’t say that defines you, its who you are and what you do about it today.
I don’t like the history of the Catholic church one bit, but I don’t see modern day Catholics out forcing conversions or calling me a baby eater.
I am seeing a whole lot of modern day Muslims turning themselves into suicide bombs and blowing up civilians.
So I say to those who are outraged about the popes words, why not go out and prove him wrong. Instead of rioting, fight for peace, argue your point with intellect not blood, show him that a Moslem person today is a man and a woman of love and compassion, show us all that and the world will be a better place.
To the peace-loving, innocent Muslim people, stand out and shout,”These terrorists do not speak for you!”
To the victims, the downtrodden, the angry hurt and scared people formerly of Jordan and other Arab countries who were turned away by their native countries and became the refugees who today we call Palestinians, I am sorry your native countries chose to use you in their most effective plan to scape-goat the Jews and I am sorry that the Jews of Israel now only see you with fear and anger, but I have spoken to a lot of Israelis lately and they are hurting. Their economy is ruined. Their lives are in terror. From the bottom of their hearts they want peace. If you want peace too, then rise up against Hammas and Hezbollah who will not have peace, who consider peace to be an abomination as long as Israel is not a Moslem country, speak out against them, be brave, band together and let them know, they do not speak for all Palestinians, they do not speak for all Moslems.
To the Jews of Israel who have filled their hearts with so much hatred, they no longer can even imagine peace, think of your children dieing in the army, think of yet another generation of fear and terror. Put aside your past and fight for peace. Try to look into the eyes of your enemy and remember that once you all sprang from the same source; two brothers with the same father.
Oh to have John Lennon back in the world today…its time for a new song….Imagine….
Thursday, September 14
In the Jewish Religion
Today is my mother’s yahrtziet and thank god for my brother matthew and his wife dahlia who diligently remind me every year.
But this year came with a special surprise. My sister-in-law Dahlia wrote to tell me of this surprise.
She had been searching the Hebrew birthdates vs the American ones and discovered that my mother’s birthday in America was and will always be the same day as her Yahrtziet on the Hebrew calendar. So her day of remembrance is the same day she was born.
My mother always, the phsychic, always the predictor, always the one who knew what was going to happen before anyone else, had predicted the anniversary of her death with the day of her birth.
I believe, as Dahlia does, that means we are supposed to celebrate her life like a birthday, not mourn her death like a dark fog.
Nothing is coincidence. More and more, I believe this to be true.
I shall quote from Dahlia directly below...
“ Your Mom never stopped amazing me with her view into the future and her insights. I don't think there is any coincidences in anything she ever did!"
No I don't think so either.
Not so long ago I found a letter she wrote to me about the first president Bush, when we were fighting Iraq..in the letter she said simply, "Has mankind learned nothing?"
I ask myself this question all the time.
Maybe my mom, up there, or flying over us, or reborn again, or scattered as energy across the universe, has the answers now.
I'm still learning.
But for today, I light the candle, I remember death and celebrate life at the same time and I hope tomorrow brings more of the latter, less of the former for us all.
Saturday, September 9
With the anniversary of 911 quickly approaching, I find myself doing, what I have done every year since September 11th 2001; take inventory of myself and inventory of the world around me since that terrible morning.
For me…well I still jump when I hear a crash, still feel my heart crawl into my throat when a jet flies lower then usual, still, (admittedly) get nervous when I see a group of Middle-eastern men in a huddle talking, still find myself tying up loose ends every time I’m getting ready to fly, still fight back tears when I stand on my roof and look out at where the towers had been, still remember the weird smell, still think of the endless dust of ground zero whenever I walk in falling snow, still remember the woman who said she saw me walking home late one day from ground zero and did not say hello to me because she thought I looked like the living dead, a zombie trudging down the Bowery and I thought all that love I tried to pour into the dead eyed broken faces and it never occurred to me that I was like that too for a little while, still look at firemen and feel so much love and compassion and gratitude that I think I will burst at the seams, still look at President Bush and feel anger that he turned universal well wishers into haters of America, still wonder why the hell Osama runs free while nearly 3,000 innocents are under ground, still have anger, still have asthma and still, still, still, feel eternally grateful that I was granted the chance to go down there and be a part of the most wondrous, brave, selfless and love-full rescue and relief mission that I had ever imagined.
I no longer take life for granted, I no longer think I have all the time in the world to see my loved ones, no longer believe that fame and glory and success are as important as health and life and laughter, no longer think that mass murder is a distant stranger, that angels only exist in heaven, that strangers can’t in an instant love you more then friends, that strangers can’t in an instant destroy thousands of worlds, I no longer wake up in the morning and feel that I have endless mornings to loll around in, but instead hop out of bead determined to make this day count, I am no longer innocent.
And so…this downtown New Yorker, this American, this Jew, this woman, this out loud and proud gay mama, would like to plant a seed..a little seed, a tiny, itty, bitty seed that all of you take and put into your pocket and hold to your heart and warm and nourish and help grow into a strong root and then a proud tree projecting from your hearts out into the world, this tree of love, this tree of peace, this tree of kindness, of remembrance, of new beginnings.. it is time my friends, my family, my readers my wondrous strangers, my new faces and old ones, it is time to change the world.
Thursday, September 7
Monday, September 4
I mean all these years, he was like the ultimate Saturday Night Live joke, putting himself in harms way and laughing it off.. but for him to actually be killed..
Well it’s just a bummer…
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