blogitto ergo sum

October 29, 2006

#96

Filed under: Uncategorized — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 19:24

After a long-long interval, broken computer, and too much work, it’s time to pick all the thoughts and chapter openings I started all over the place, and try to make sense of them all. This may seem very choppy to you. The right way to read it is as a collection of anecdotes and observations that captured my attention or imagination, as the months flew by. Hopefully, this is a back to normal “chapter”, or catching up one. Bear with me.

Parallel universe

In one reality they are the companies that their names are on your mobile phone, or on your phone bill. Big behemoth or even bigger. In my (no longer) new universe they are customers, potential customers, partners…

A month after moving here, when choosing my next mobile phone, I didn’t think of the new perspective I was gaining as part of my job. instead, I was shopping my usual way; mentally listing what I wanted the phone to do… searching and researching the phones that had the desired feature set, eliminating some… crossing out Blackberry since I don’t like the image associated with its users, moving away from Verizon since they are not nice about Java technology… and settled for the Treo650.

The F-manual, which I still didn’t read, looks and weighs more like a book. So what if I have no clue about 85% of the features of the phone, let alone use them.

At work, I care about mobile phones 99% of my time, while in life I use one, without knowing much about it. The absurd is even greater when realizing that between Wednesday and last night, enjoying the company of Israeli friends, I got not only a new (funny) ringtone, but also a list of Treo applications I had no idea were available let alone existed

Sometimes, it’s OK to be part-time ignorant.

Fiddler on the Roof

If I Were a Rich Man, I may meet a Rich Girl

Tevye said: “A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn’t easy. You may ask ‘Why do we stay up there if it’s so dangerous?’ Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition!”


“Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as… as a fiddler on the roof!”

Nowadays, tradition is not a tradition unless it gets a new, updated version. Take Gwen Stefani, who turned a birded milkman who wanted to be rich to a rich girl.

I am not sure you have the patience to read and compare. But pick any paragraph from each and see that though both want to impress the spectators around, the means to do it changed a bit. Poor Tuvya had no brand awareness, while Stefani talks Vivienne Westwood and Galliano. Both, each in her own way, appreciate and desire love more than any materialistic objects. Me too.

Rich Man meets Rich Girl

“Dear God, you made many, many poor people.
I realize, of course, that it’s no shame to be poor.
But it’s no great honor either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?”

If I were a rich man,
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.

I’d build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen,
Right in the middle of the town.
A fine tin roof with real wooden floors below.
There would be one long staircase just going up,
And one even longer coming down,
And one more leading nowhere, just for show.

I’d fill my yard with chicks and turkeys and geese and ducks
For the town to see and hear.
And each loud “cheep” and “swaqwk” and “honk” and “quack”
Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
As if to say “Here lives a wealthy man.”

If I were a rich man,
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.

I see my wife, my Golde, looking like a rich man’s wife
With a proper double-chin.
Supervising meals to her heart’s delight.
I see her putting on airs and strutting like a peacock.
Oy, what a happy mood she’s in.
Screaming at the servants, day and night.

The most important men in town would come to fawn on me!
They would ask me to advise them,
Like a Solomon the Wise.
“If you please, Reb Tevye…”
“Pardon me, Reb Tevye…”
Posing problems that would cross a rabbi’s eyes!
And it won’t make one bit of difference if i answer right or wrong.
When you’re rich, they think you really know!

If I were rich, I’d have the time that I lack
To sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I’d discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.


See, I’d have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl
No man could test me, impress me, my cash flow would never ever end
Cause I’d have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl

Think what that money could bring
I’d buy everything
Clean out Vivienne Westwood
In my Galliano gown
No, wouldn’t just have one hood
A Hollywood mansion if I could
Please book me first class to my fancy house in London town

All the riches baby, won’t mean anything
All the riches baby, don’t bring what your love can bring
All the riches baby, won’t mean anything
Don’t need no other baby
Your lovin’ is better than gold and I know

If I was rich girl
See, I’d have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl
No man could test me, impress me, my cash flow would never ever end
Cause I’d have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl
I’d get me four Harajuku girls to
Inspire me and they’d come to my rescue
I’d dress them wicked, I’d give them names
Love, Angel, Music, Baby
Hurry up and come and save me

All the riches baby, won’t mean anything
All the riches baby, don’t bring what your love can bring
All the riches baby, won’t mean anything
Don’t need no other baby
Your lovin’ is better than gold and I know

[EVE:]
Come together all over the world
From the hoods to Japan Harajuku girls
What? It’s all love
What? Give it up
What? (shouldn’t matter) What?
Come together all over the world
From the hood to Japan Harajuku girls
What? It’s all the love
What? Give it up
What? (shouldn’t matter)
What happened to my life? Turned up side down
Chicks dat blew ya mind, ding, it’s the second round
Original track and ting
You know you can’t buy these things
See Stefani and her L.A.M.B I rock the fetish people you know who I am

Yes ma’am, we got the style that’s wicked
I hope you can all keep up
We climbed all the way from the bottom to the top
now we ain’t gettin’ nothing but love

If I was rich girl
See, I’d have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl
No man could test me, impress me, my cash flow would never ever end
Cause I’d have all the money in the world, if I was a wealthy girl

 

A home; My home.

What transforms a space into a home? What is a home anyway? Where I hung my hat doesn’t work when I don’t use one… and my love is not waiting for me there.. at least not yet. Have to find it first.

You may think this is a trivial question, maybe even stupid. I beg to differ. Reading about traditional Japanese homes’ architecture, I was surprised to find a Japanese architecture book that described the house as a unique mix of parts and features. In one of the books, the components were listed, with illustrations and all. The whole… was ignored. Missing. Surprisingly, there was no holistic approach. Instead, the author described ad nausea the details of

  • Pillars
  • Roof
  • Walls
  • Windowshome puzzle
  • Alcoves
  • Eaves…

This is not a home; this is a shopping list or a check list.

Doesn’t work for me. Easier to accept was Yoshino Newsletter, Elements of a Traditional Japanese Interior.

Since I’m renting, and will do so for another year or so, it’s more about the space look and feel and less about the shape and form. So, what transforms a space into a home?

Like many, I have ceremonies. Jews suppose to put the Mezuzah on the door frame as they move into their new house. Jewish or not, I have other ceremonies.

It took me only 4 days after my container arrived to dig out and unpack the cappuccino machine. And then I went through the pains of getting it to work. Since I have a vague recollection that some of you already heard the story, I’ll sum it up for you. There are very few things in life that will get me to use a Phillips screwdriver, use another screwdriver, Skype China for tech support, get out of the house 3 times in the same evening (buy calcium remover, water, milk) after a long working day… all for the ceremonial first espresso in MY place. Mezuzah cannot compare with this, no offense to the Jewish readers who may care.

Today (this today was many weeks ago), I realized another ceremony. It’s no wonder that in so many cultures there’s a welcome ceremony of tea, coffee, or breaking bread & salt together. Today I realized one of mine. My kitchen, my cooking… Must have fresh ground garlic, ginger, and shredded carrots. (Smiling) I know it sounds stupid. Though not for me. Look at it my way. Having fresh grounded garlic, ginger… means I’m here, I live here, I cook here, and these are key ingredients for everyday cooking, given my bias towards the Chinese cuisine and the (limited) effort to eat healthy.

 

Be forewarned: #97 won’t take that long to follow. Promise

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