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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Announcements and clarifications

1.  Those of you visiting from abroad who insist on referring to the Israeli monetary unit as a 'shek' (e.g. "That place on Ben Yehuda sells rubber bracelets for 10 shek apiece!"), are starting to annoy the crap out of me. 

You can call them shekels (alt. sp. - sheqels), new shekels or even the spoken acronym 'shach' (a combination of the words for shekel hadash)... but when you call them 'sheks' you just sound foolish. 

So stop it!

2.  I know I've mentioned this on many occasions but I need to reiterate my stance that there are only a few basic colors in the world: White, pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, gold, tan, brown and black.  The rest are either 'light' or 'dark' shades of these basic colors and should be referred to as such.  Using made-up terms like fuchsia, mauve, taupe, periwinkle, chartreuse, etc. is a transparent attempt to make men look/feel stupid in the shopping mall almost as malicious as making them stand around holding your pocketbooks while you are in the changing room! 

If you girls want to use these made-up terms amongst yourselves, feel free.  But if you ask your husband/boyfriend to pick something up in a color they have never heard of, you will probably be disappointed with the hue of whatever is brought home. 

Either use terms we understand or give us a physical example (e.g. paint chip/PMS # ) to hand to the store clerk.

3.  There are only so many hours I can concentrate on even the most vital/important things.  Therefore, if you are leading the services on Rosh Hashannah or Yom Kippur and you think that my enjoyment of the experience, or my ability to internalize the solemnity of the prayers, will be enhanced by an extended demonstration of your cantorial skills... please think again. 

By all means, use the traditional tunes and make judicial use of emotive/expressive emphasis where appropriate. But please don't spend the whole day kvetching and wailing like Canio at the end of 'I Pagliacci'.  The only reason I have ever made it all the way to the end of that famous opera is that Leoncavallo was able to squeeze the entire thing, from the troupe's arrival in the village to Canio's tearful finale, into less than 90 minutes (i.e. long before I get hungry or my ass starts to hurt) and he left the kvetching/tears for the very end! 

So by all means, say what you have to say... but get on with it already!!!

4.  You think I sound out of sorts now... just wait until Yom Kippur when I'll have a full day of being confined to an uncomfortable chair in synagogue and acute caffeine withdrawal to deal with. 

Note to wife and kids: That won't be the day to trifle with me or request favors.

That is all (for now).


Posted by David Bogner on October 9, 2005 | Permalink


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I see that extra hour of sleep last night did wonders for your disposition....

Note to husband: I will be equally cranky fasting and in full-blown caffeine withdrawal on Yom Kippur... AND! I will have had the pleasure of trying to simultaneously daven and mind Yonah! Unless you plan on making your own break-the-fast-meal, I would plan on trying to muster up some patience for those of us who share your living space....

Posted by: zahava | Oct 9, 2005 1:04:11 PM

"1. Those of you visiting from abroad...etc."
i'll keep that in mind.

"2. I know I've mentioned this on many occasions...etc."
thank you Mr B! finally, someone speaking out against such atrocites...

so, is it 2 shach, or 2 shachim...?

Posted by: Tonny | Oct 9, 2005 1:41:51 PM

Would you call gray "light black"? Or "dark white"?

Posted by: Reuven | Oct 9, 2005 1:49:37 PM

My, what a kvetch you are today!
Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family, Mr. Grouch!
:) Sarahb

Posted by: sarahb | Oct 9, 2005 2:12:36 PM

I'm with you on the monetary unit bit.

I tend to like the distinctions in colors, though -- because I'm a fabric nut, not because I want to drive guys crazy.

I agree about the hazzanut. If I want to hear a singer, I'll go to a concert. In shul I want to daven. (As an occasional performer and prayer leader myself, I try to keep the distinction in mind.)

As for Yom Kippur: gemar hatima tova to all of you, and skritches and bellyrubs to Jordan (please, will you give them to her for me?).

Posted by: Rahel | Oct 9, 2005 3:01:44 PM

I absolutely love when my dear brother expresses himself from the Ralph Kramden persona! ;)
Very attractive!!

Posted by: val | Oct 9, 2005 3:02:33 PM

Oh my David,
Grumpy, Grumpy, Grumpy..... wow, you must be fun to be around on fast days. Hope yours is meaningful, and relatively easy.

Posted by: Faye | Oct 9, 2005 5:35:24 PM

I've heard a few Americans say "shek" but I didn't know it was so widespread- it IS rather annoying, isn't it?

I agree with you about the colors- I used to work for a clothing catalogue and would always laugh at how the designers stretched to think of original names for, say, off-white: butter, oatmeal, cream, putty come to mind right now. And maroon, eggplant, burgundy, all mean the same color- there are more words for that color that I can't even remember. But yeah, it's all so ridiculous!

Have an easy fast! Start cutting back on the coffee NOW!

Posted by: lori | Oct 9, 2005 5:58:50 PM

Hey dave, ever consider caffine supposatories (I didn't spell that right, did I?) just a thought...

Posted by: Jewish Blogmeister | Oct 9, 2005 7:24:56 PM

Zahava... No, the extra hour of sleep didn't seem to have had the desired effect. I'll try not to piss you off though... I don't know what I'd do without your famous break-fast meal!

Tonny... Thanks for the vote. And it's 'shach' whether it's one or many.

Reuven... Thanks. I forgot about gray... ad it to the list of basic colors. :-)

SarahB... Thanks. I'll be better soon... I promise.

Rahel... The skritches are easy to pass along since Jordan gets a nearly endless supply of them from all of us. :-) Have an easy fast.

Val... "to the moon!"

Faye... Thanks, and may yours be easy too.

Lori... Good advice on the cutting back, but hard to do amidst deadlines and such. I always try tough... Have an easy one.

Jewish Blogmiester... Hold the phone! Didn't we all go through this last year??? About this time a year ago I was forced to write: "...what started out as a perfectly pleasant ramble about coffee quickly turned into the on-line equivalent of a prison uprising, with some of you (you know who you are) trying to hold me down and turn me into pharmaceutical piggybank. Remind me not to turn my back on any of you!" Let's not start that again, mmmkay. My flow chart of bodily functions shows the processes going just one way, thank-you-very-much!

Posted by: David | Oct 9, 2005 7:49:13 PM

I was instructed to buy a "Cranberry" coloured tie for my wedding - went round the shops with a bottle of Ocean Spray....

Shana Tova

Posted by: gil ben mori | Oct 9, 2005 8:24:34 PM

I love the smell of a good rant in the morning.

Posted by: Jack | Oct 9, 2005 8:53:44 PM

read about the goings on at Chez Efrex, I promise you some pleasant reading!

Posted by: Faye | Oct 9, 2005 9:23:40 PM

I also find it very helpful to go into the holidays with a very negative attitude. It ensures a positive slope if you start low enough. Some say “let a smile be your umbrella” but I think it’s wiser to “let a frown be your crown”.

I agree with you about long-winded cantors. Have you considered talking to him before services and offering him 100 sheks for every minute he finishes early? If he forgets and drags on, perhaps you can give him a look that said “Keep this up for another ten minutes and I’ll knock that burgundy kippa off your head.” Or just slowly open your walnut jacket, revealing your ebony pistol. That’ll get the message across. Or threaten to dispense a caffeine suppository unto him.

Have an easy fast and a good year.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Oct 10, 2005 3:35:24 AM

Your rant on colors in #2 abvoe is mos puzzling! In practical fact, those color gradations that you disparrage ARE the paint chips of the verbally adept. How strange that one as sophisticated, experienced, and at home in the world as you would think them not understandable, or would consider them as anything other than useful in discriminating expression.
One's impatience at standing there holding the pocketbook, I suspect, stems from wanting to be somewhere else, doing semthing moe interesting, but it certainly has nothing to with colors.
Or have i missed something on my wat to seniority?

Posted by: Delmar Bogner | Oct 10, 2005 4:04:43 AM

Gil... Ah yes... the walk of shame. :-)

Jack... It smells like... victory. ;-)

Faye... Thanks, I was only the second person to offer my congratulations to the 'Orthodox Straight Jewish Theater Queen' (and the lovely wife (tm)). :-)

Doctor Bean... Not only do these guys think that their extended-play version of the davening is its own reward... but they are probably at least as well armed as I am. :-)

Dad... I like a detailed description as much as the next guy... but I suspect that sometimes peple use these erzatz names for colors when at a loss for (or too lazy to come up with) a creative simile. Oh, and the pocketbook thing is just something women do to both mark their territory while they are out of sight, and to temporarily emasculate their hubbies while they are left briefly unattended in a target-rich environment. :-)

Posted by: David | Oct 10, 2005 5:13:40 AM

I could go on and on about long-winded hazzanim - but I won't, because that would be...going on and on. [And that's one more klop on the chest for YK.] We, of course, have the same issue here.

Plain old davening, with tunes the congregation can understand (and even join in on) beats the "Moishe Koussevitzky meets Andrew Lloyd Webber" thing any old day.

Have a sweet, healthy year and an easy fast. G'mar chatima tovah, and all dat.

Posted by: Elisson | Oct 10, 2005 5:17:03 AM


I'd shek that comment very carefully. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Oct 10, 2005 6:14:40 AM

OOhhhh... a wee bit testy, are we?? I think Silver should also be added as a color. And, no eggplant and burgundy are actually very different. Eggplant has more purplish tones. Wait, this is just the stuff you were ranting about, wasn't it? What brought on the color rant, anyway?

Posted by: nrg | Oct 10, 2005 10:01:33 AM

*ducks and runs*

Posted by: Lioness | Oct 10, 2005 7:00:28 PM

I picked up "shek" on my first trip to israel and continue to use it.....

Posted by: Mike | Oct 10, 2005 10:18:37 PM

David, I totally agree with you on the "shek" issue (not so much for your other rants....) and I'd like to take the issue one further, add my two cents, or 2 NIS (my mom, btw, actually pronounces the abbreviation as in "wow, look how cheap this is! Only 150 niss")

The same people who use the word shek (i'm talking about here for a year American yeshiva kids) are the same kids, I'm sorry to say, who descend upon the restaurants in the center of town (and now Emek Refaim - which they have shortened to simply "ay-mek" - a misspronunciation and a stupid term) and refuse to learn hebrew, so instead make fun of waiters/waitresses/shop owners for not knowing English. I've seen it so many times it almost gets tiring going over and saying something - but I usually do! I mean, what country are these kids in? Who should be learning whose language??

I think the saddest part of all of this is that instead of appreciating the experience of living in another country and learning from that country's culture and language, they simply abuse its inhabitants! For all they care, as long as kosher Pizza hut existed in Montana, those yeshivas may as well be in Montana. Or Brooklyn. Or Teaneck.

Posted by: Noa | Oct 11, 2005 5:48:29 PM

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