Jewy Stuff Archives

July 22, 2008

My Goy Wonder

As I do more and more book groups for QUEEN OF THE ROAD (I'll post about them later this week), a common theme seems to be emerging: The women are in love with Tim. Really. (I mean, really?) This is not something I have to use my keen powers of shrinky observation to discern. Nope. They tell me this straight out. One even went so far as to warn me to be wary (of her? other throngs of bookish women?) Oh, please. My husband isn't a normal man with normal desires (the occasional nudist RV park notwithstanding). To wit: I fear his next hare-brained scheme is that we live on a boat. (Yeah, it sounds romantic, but we know nothing about boats.) What's my proof? I've recently caught him surfing sailboat sites on the net. Why, oh why can't I have a normal husband who just surfs for porn?

Not enough for ya? OK, ladies. Let's see whatcha think of Mr. Perfect, now:

Last night, Tim and I had some bites at one of our favorite spots. He ordered lobster and because he's so perfect, offered some to me, even though he knows I won't eat it. (Although I gave up keeping kosher long ago, I still can't do the lobster thing - I just don't see the appeal of having my dinner stare at me while I dismember it.) Usually, that's the end of the interaction, but for some reason, last night he queried further.

"So, what exactly is gefilte fish?" He asked. We've been together nearly 20 years, have gone to almost that number of Passover Sedars, and now he's asking? I explained it's fish ground with eggs and flour or matzoh, molded into oblong shapes, usually served in a jellied broth. (At least the way my family buys 'em.)

"Really?" He asked, dipping that other white meat into a luscious turine of warm butter. "And you call yourselves the 'Chosen People'"?

Fine. He's perfect - and funny.

Thanks so much for your support.

December 24, 2008

Holiday Spirit - Finally

I can't believe how many of you have asked about our holiday bus decorations. Do I really come across as such a grinch? I shall grudgingly admit, since those of you who have asked have read the book, that the answer is.... What do you want from me?

I guess with a passage like this (from when we were in Key West):

Throughout our travels thus far, we’d scoffed at rigs, RVs and buses alike, for sporting various kitsch, from oh-too-cutesy stuffed animals clinging to the ladder in back, to lawn gnomes perched precariously on the steps, to custom wooden signs in the windshield announcing the owner’s name and hometown, usually with some little logo signifying a favorite pastime, like a fishing pole, golf club, or bowling pin. Once, in a weak moment, undoubtedly after some disaster that reinforced how alone and vulnerable I felt, I made the mistake of wondering aloud if, as a token of our solidarity with other motor-homers, we should get one, too. But Tim said no, since depicting my favorite pastimes would entail a logo of a bed and a credit card and result in our imminent arrest for solicitation.

We had promised ourselves, therefore, that we would never stoop to such tacky displays, but then, like Ebenezer Scrooge forced to see the ghost of buses past, we had a change of heart on Christmas Eve. As we strolled in the dark amongst rigs lit up with holiday cheer from two-story, blow-up, glowing Santas, to palm trees strung with colored lights, to life-sized, nodding, fluorescent flamingos, we could not help but smile and laugh at the whimsy of it all. Then we hit upon a rig that had nothing – not even a lone blinking white light – and exclaimed in unison, “What a grinch!” Then, upon closer inspection, “Hey! That’s our bus!”

So, here's a picture of our very first bus decorations!


Now, for all of you who feel it's rather... minimalist, let me just explain: It's pouring here in The Shitty, so nothing outside would do. And, as for the inside, Tim and I agreed we wanted to start small and add a little bit here, a little bit there, every year - to build our own holiday bus tradition. The ornament we started with (that you can't see) is, of course, the poopin' moose.

And, because Tim is simply the best husband, like... evah (and reads this blog) - he braved the pouring rain to take these from outside the bus:



Chappy Challah-Days, everyone!

Speaking of holiday traditions, I was relieved to figure out that I'm not the only Jew in Crescent City. How do I know? The best Chinese restaurant in town is open on Xmas. We'll be enjoying takeout tomorrow night.

March 18, 2010

A German Queen


You didn't think I meant Emma of Altdorf, Queen of the East Franks, did you? What do you want from me? And, what kind of royal title is Queen of Franks, anyway? In the Kingdom of Oscar Meyer, perhaps? I'll take Queen of the Road any day, thank you very much. Especially since one of Emma's sons was known as "Charles the Fat." (Yeah. Try getting away with that in my kingdom.) Must have been all those hot dog buns.

The German edition of QUEEN OF THE ROAD just came out. It's called, A Woman - A Bus: With Husband, Poodle and 100 Pairs of Shoes Across America. And I thought I was bad at titles.

(OK, and here I'm going all Jewish mother on you): At least the cats aren't alive to see themselves left off the cover!

Seriously though, I do love the way the book looks and feels, as well as the cover art. If any German readers come to the blog, I'd LOVE to know how "Project Nerd" was translated.

Here's what they did with the synopsis (can anyone say, "lost in translation" in German?):

A Manhattan Princess in a mobile dwelling.

Doreen and Tim Orion [Tim just LOVES being called, "Tim Orion"] keep up a wonderful marriage, even when they both are diverse beings. Until Tim had an idea: He wants a refurbished bus to take a trip through the USA.

Until today Doreen does not know how Tim - a true nature lover - talked her into this. Probably with a trick - as at their first date. Nevertheless sits the whimsical shopping Princess [whimsical shopping Princess?] with shoes [I've never actually sat with my shoes, but it sounds like an interesting concept] in a refurbished bus, traveling with her man through the USA, with a giant poodle and two self-willed cats [I think they'd have liked that]. How Doreen between Alaska, tornados [what tornados - was I asleep in the back for that?] and nudist camps [OK. That, I remember] kept her majestic demeaner of "Queen of the Road" to rise above it all. That she did not commit murder therefore, shows how extremely humorous and warmhearted this book is. [Just what I was thinking: Murder might have detracted from the trip.] An American travelogue so entertaining as if coming from the pen of Bill Bryson. [Well, OK. All is forgiven.]

A Royal Wave-Out to the Queen Mother for Yiddish, as well as German Dictionary support, and especially Prince Henry (I almost called him, "The Queen Father," but that's kinda like calling my husband, "Tim Orion") for the actual translation from German to English.

March 29, 2010

The Mystery of Passover

Anyone know what the real mystery of Passover is? Bet you didn't even know Passover had a mystery.

I'm not talkin' the Four Questions.
(I wish I could remember some of my late Uncle George's riffs on them. He was an old Vaudevillian, and used to have us in stiches during seders.)

It's also not where the Afikomen is hidden. (I don't even remember what we got for finding it. Maybe a nickel? Ah, inflation.)

It's not even who the son too stupid to ask refers to during the seder. (Since he was the only boy around the table, his sisters and I used to point to my cousin, Doug, when this part of the Haggadah came up.)

The real mystery of Passover isn't ancient. As far as I know, it's only decades old, but it has plagued, plagued I say, every generation of Jewish kids since my own. I myself have pondered this mystery since childhood. Hint: I am still haunted by the seeming senselessness of the mystery every time I pass through the "Jewish food" aisle at the grocery store.

Ready? The mystery of Passover is simply this: How come you can't get kosher marshmellows any time of year except the Kosher for Passover ones that somehow magically appear right before Passover? I mean, it doesn't make any sense, does it? As a kid, the weeks before Passover, and over the holiday itself, were the only times I could roast marshmellows over an open fire. Well, OK. It was the open fire of our gas stove, but still. Funny how Passover has always been my favorite holiday, despite the obvious association with camping - not just the roasting marshmellows thing, but the whole wandering in the desert thing.

My favorite Passover food (besides the marshmellows) wasn't the gefilte fish* (imagine that), but the charoset. Yum. (Click that link for a recipe.)

*The first time Tim came to a seder, he was given a lovely piece of gefilte fish in jellied broth. (Hey, you pay extra for that!) He looked at it, looked at me and asked, "What am I supposed to do with it?" I replied, "Don't even think of throwing it back."

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