Archive for June, 2008

So, lets skip over the fact that Verizon turned off my INternet at home with no warning.
Let’s skip over the fact that I spent the better part of 8 hours on the phone playing tag and getting rudely chewed out by a tech support ass.

No.. Then, as H is on the way to pick up A at daycare… Some moron runs a red light and rearends her into the next car.

My second car in Washington has been totaled and yet another Steelers bumper sticker is toast.

This is a bad day!

H is shaken but ‘for the most part’ undamaged. (Bumps, bruises… We’ll know more after we get to a doctor)

More once everything plays out.

Very not pleased today

What do the following two films have in common:

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Raiders of the Lost Ark

Answer in comments. They are screened.

I have a very specific answer in mind. But will not rule out other correct answers.

Go! 😉

With Aiden recovering on the couch today we decided tonight would make for a good movie night.

We discovered some film cravings missing from “The Library” which will soon be rectified.

While looking, however, something odd happened. Aiden (being held by H) started pointing at the collection.
“Would you like to pick the movie, tonight?” I asked.

Figuring he’d just connect with whatever DVD H walked to, it was an exercise in amusement.

However… Aiden’s finger zeroed in on a specific DVD. It was obvious he’d picked one. Moreso when as we got closer he reached for the one he was pointing to and pulled it from the shelf. He’d pointed at the same one all the time.

Granted… it was the big pink one that stood out from the black and blue of the other jewel boxes.

So Aiden’s selection tonight: “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

For years, I have been searching for good avatars. Granted, with a receding hairline, and long hair in black, and a white fu-man-chu goatee… Most auto-avatar places… really never hit it.

So, Here’s my challenge… Yes… Challenge.

I’m going to give a prize (actual monetary value up to $50) to the best avatars for me… YOU come up with.

EDIT: Enter as many times as you wish
Entries must be posted as a comment to this post.
Entries must have your LJ handle, or other identifying info (for non lj-ers) in the comment field.
Entries may have backgrounds or be transparent.
Entries may be made with an auto-avatar maker (like or be entirely original
Entries should be “Andrei-like”
Entries may be submitted from resident artists of the Freeple Household but there will be no favouritism.

Submissions will be taken for one month starting today. (Closing 07/17/08)
Two winners will be chosen during the following week. 7/17-24
1) Readers’ Choice (by vote) (May be on Apolo site if many voters are non-lj)
2) Andrei Choice (by me)

Let’s see how people think I look in avatar form. Just curious. 🙂

Okay… Go!

Fine Print:
Void in the state of denial. Prize for winning avatar not to exceed $50 each or $100 total unless otherwise noted. Avatar submissions should be of Andrei and preferable favourable in appearance. All avatar submissions become property of Andrei for use regardless of winning or not. Void where prohibited by taste. Your milage may vary. Submissions by LJ users not currently subscribed to by Andrei (aka not on his ‘friends list’) as well as anonymous submissions will be screened (hidden after posting)… These will be made visible in due time (< 24 hours) for consideration. Voting for "Readers' Choice" will commence 7/17 at a link made available in a posting to this journal on that date. Wow, I really can't believe anyone is actually reading this. If you're still reading this and email me at my journal email (see my profile) with the word thelema then your readers’ choice vote will count for two votes rather than one. Further if you’ve e-mailed me with the word as mentioned and you win with your submission, your prize will go up 50% in value. Oh, yeah. Commenting about this fine print in this post isn’t actually forbidden, but it will null the bonus offer for you. Feel free to email me about it. Caveat. I will email you back a confirmation if you email me. If you don’t get a confirmation from me within 48 hours, feel free to comment “I mailed you”. I may ask you for an email address if I don’t have one. Yes, I’m being utterly lazy and buying the talent of the people on the net. But hey, isn’t that what free market is for. This is a serious offer. Ooh, let’s get back to the big print…

Everyone get that?

Here are some true Jewish traditions. Ones that I took part in are in italics.:

When a child is born, parents choose a name, which is inscribed on the birth certificate. They also choose a Hebrew name but do not give it officially until the brit milah or simchat bat. In Jewish families of European origin (Ashkenazic), a child usually is named after a deceased relative. In families of Mediterranean origin (Sephardic), a child is usually named after a living relative the parents wish to honor.

Brit Milah/Circumcision
Circumcision, or brit milah, is performed to symbolize the covenant between God and Israel. A healthy baby boy is circumcised on the eighth day of life. The ceremony includes giving the child his Hebrew name. Traditionally, circumcision is done by a mohel (a person ritually trained to perform circumcisions). When done by a physician who is not a mohel, circumcision may not meet the requirements of Jewish law.

Simchat Bat Ceremony on the birth of a girl
The birth of a baby girl traditionally is marked in the synagogue, when her parents are called to the Torah on the Sabbath to give the newborn girl her Hebrew name. Baby-naming ceremonies are also held at home or in a synagogue. There is a growing liturgy of rituals surrounding the simchat bat.

Pidyon Ha-Ben Redemption of first born
The pidyon ha-ben ceremony takes place on the 30th day after the birth of a first-born son. The tradition is based on the biblical understanding that first-born sons were dedicated to serve God in the temple. In order to redeem them from that obligation, five shekels were exchanged with the temple priests, who then served in the temple instead of the first-born. The ceremony today involves a symbolic exchange of five silver coins with a descendant of the Kohen family of temple priests. The coins then may be donated to a Jewish charity.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah
At age 13 for a boy, and 12 or 13 for a girl, a child reaches adulthood and becomes a bar or bat mitzvah, a son or daughter of the commandments. The ceremony is a public declaration of the child’s acceptance of the obligations to fully observe the commandments and to participate in the Jewish community. This adult status occurs automatically whether or not a ceremony takes place. When there is a ceremony, it generally is celebrated in the synagogue. The child is called upon to recite the Torah blessings and to read a Torah portion. Friends and family attend the service and generally celebrate afterward with a festive meal. Although most ceremonies occur on Saturdays, they also can take place on Monday, Thursday or on holidays – the other days when Torah is read publicly in the synagogue. Though in the past girls were not called to the Torah, today, in most Conservative, Reform and Renewal synagogues, the ceremonies are the same regardless of gender. The tradition originated with the Reconstructionist movement. In some contemporary Orthodox congregations, the bat mitzvah is marked by a festive meal during which the young woman presents a Torah lesson. For adults who missed the opportunity to have a bar or bat mitzvah, there are study programs available throughout the community.

For Reform and some Conservative Jews, the confirmation year, 10th or 11th grade, represents a special time of celebration and commitment. Typically, the year includes study and meetings with the rabbi, culminating in a special service, often during Shavuot, since that holiday commemorates the receiving of the Torah by the Jewish people.

Conversion to Judaism is a path that requires both personal commitment and an extended period of study. Most rabbis are available to counsel and/or teach potential converts. Because programs and procedures vary, anyone thinking of converting should contact a rabbi and evaluate the programs offered.

Judaism views marriage as a sacred act, essential not only for procreation but also for self-fulfillment. Historically, according to the Talmud, marriage was established in three ways: 1) with money; 2) through a written document presented by the groom to the bride; and 3) through sexual relations. The present-day wedding ceremony incorporates all three symbolically. The presentation of a ring takes the place of exchanging money. The ketubah (marriage contract) is equivalent to the earlier written documents. Among Orthodox and some Conservative Jews, the third custom is represented symbolically by yihud (seclusion) – immediately following the ceremony the couple retire to a private room.

The marriage takes place under a chuppah (marriage canopy), symbolizing the home that the couple will make together as well as God’s presence. The chuppah may be a highly decorated fabric canopy or a simple tallit (prayer shawl), supported by four poles. The main elements of the ceremony are: 1) Kiddush erusin, (sanctification of betrothal), 2) betrothal blessing, 3) presentation of the ring, 4) reading of the ketubah and its presentation to the bride, 5) recitation of sheva brachot (seven marriage blessings), 6) nissuin (drinking of the wine to sanctify the marriage) and 7) breaking the glass (to remember the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem even at joyous occasions).
Additional traditions that may occur in a wedding ceremony are the bedeken, in which the groom places the veil over his bride’s face; encircling of the groom by the bride; recitation of a portion of Psalm 118 and a sermon by the officiant. Rejoicing continues during a festive meal. No weddings occur between Passover and Shavuot because they are days of mourning.

According to Jewish law, a couple is considered legally married, even after a civil divorce, until the wife obtains a get (religious divorce document) from the husband. Reform Judaism generally does not require a get, but Conservative and Orthodox Jews consider remarriage without a get to be adultery. Israeli law requires a get before remarriage. A Jewish divorce does not require establishment of fault. There must instead be mutual agreement to dissolution of the marriage and the written document (get) of dissolution handed to the wife.

The Jewish traditions related to death and mourning are intended to recognize death as a part of life. The traditions of preparing the body, sitting Shiva (a seven-day period of mourning immediately following a funeral), saying Kaddish (prayer for the dead), and observing Yahrzeit (anniversary of a death), all guide Jews through a difficult period. These familiar customs and rituals provide for mourning, grief and re-emphasizing the true nature of life. The body of the deceased is treated with respect, ritually washed, wrapped in a plain white shroud and placed in a plain pine coffin before burial. During Shiva, the departed is remembered with tears and reverence. Mourning is restricted to a maximum period of one year. The Kaddish prayer is said by the mourners for this period of time, on the anniversary of the death and at Yizkor services in the synagogue. A Yahrzeit candle is lit for the seven days of mourning as well as on the anniversary of the death and at Yizkor services (held on Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot).

Chanukat Habayit Dedicating a home
Within 30 days of moving into a new house or apartment, mezuzot must be put up. In Israel this is done immediately. A mezuzah is a small container that holds a handwritten scroll of parchment with Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 on the front and the word Shaddai (Almighty), on the back. These verses remind the residents and visitors of the home of God as they pass through the door. A mezuzah is placed on every door except the bathroom, on the upper third of the doorpost, on the right side as one enters the room.

I have not performed Chanukat Habayit for quite some time. Though… I have tried to always have my elemental masks up within a year of moving into a place. My Pidyon Ha-Ben was done by my father paying 5 shekels to my great uncle Ben Conn (Kohen)