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Posts Tagged ‘God’

Well, think about it;  Many people believe this and they’re not all atheists!  People have been persecuted for their religious beliefs  dating back to way, way back and how far back might depend somewhat on your own beliefs.  What I mean by that is if you’ve been raised as a Catholic (and probably all Christian religions) then you’ve heard or read some or all of the following stories:  Moses led his people out of Egypt where they had been enslaved – this one is part of the Jewish religion too.  We’ve heard that Christians were thrown to the lions, that they were forced to become gladiators and were laborers for the Romans.

Popes organized the Crusades;  Catholic Europe went to war against the Muslims.  Sound familiar?  Christians call it a Crusade and Muslims call it Jihad.  The pilgrims fled to America to escape the Anglican church and Hitler tried to eliminate the entire European Jewish population.  Jim Jones convinced hundreds of people to kill themselves, all in the name of religion.  The Taliban imposes harsh laws and restrictive behavior, again in the name of their religion.  In theory, Turkey recognizes the civil, cultural and political rights of non-Muslim minorities.  In practice, the government only recognizes Greek, Armenian and Jewish minorities and does not grant them all the civil liberties allowed in the Treaty of Lausanne.

And that brings us to PRISONERS , a movie I saw the other night.  Two hours and twenty minutes long  and pretty intense!  It was a tale of twisted religious beliefs as well as a story about kidnapped kids.  From the opening scene, I was struck by the religious overtones.  I mean who really recites The Our Father before they shoot (to kill) a deer.  As scenes unfolded, I saw crosses on the walls and one hanging around Hugh Jackman‘s neck.  I heard religious talk shows on the car radio, and watched the lead character kneel and pray as he tortured his victim.  In one of the final scenes you see a large poster of angels.

It didn’t stop there;  On the hunt for registered sex-offenders in the town, you just knew one of them was going to be a priest.  You were not wrong!  And there’s more;  this priest is not just a sex-offender, he is a drunk and a killer!  And who did he take out?  Why a twisted, distorted religious crazy who actually kidnapped and killed kids because….are you ready for this philosophy? Because he “was waging a war against God and losing their children makes parents crazy”  – this may be a bit paraphrased because I couldn’t quite remember it and all my research did not turn up this very poignant-twice-stated reason.  Apparently he and his wife lost their child to cancer and were very angry at God.  So once again we have heinous crimes being committed, heavy with religious overtones.

Hugh Jackman is a very angry, vengeful soul and this is the man who prays before he shoots.  Jake Gyllenhaal seems unmoved and uninterested in anything other than finding Anna and Joy.  He is darkly intense, his hooded eyes seek out everything because as he says, “Everything matters”.

It’s a suspense thriller with maybe too much foreshadowing; you could predict a lot of what was going to happen  even without the blatant and obvious telltale signs.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go see it, this commentary really isn’t that much of a spoiler.

Photo from Amazon.com

Photo from Amazon.com

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Well, it wasn’t exactly a clash but I thought the title might catch your eye!  Last night was “erev” Yom Kippur which means it was the eve of the holiday.  Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish faith, a day of reflection and atonement.  Being a Catholic it seems like it’s a day where you think about your sins and ask for forgiveness, sort of like a day long confession.  However, the Jews take it one step further and not only ask forgiveness from God but also from those to whom they may have done harm to during the year.  Very nice idea.

Having said all that, I am married to a non-practicing, atheist but somewhat cultural Jew.  He doesn’t go to synagogue unless there’s a Bat Mitzvah or wedding and he eats shellfish, pork and dairy at the same meal as meat.  In other words it’s very easy for an Italian Catholic to be married to him since I don’t engage in my religion although I deeply espouse it.  It’s a marriage not of compromise but rather one of peaceful co-existence regarding religion.  Fortunately for us, we don’t have any children together and we didn’t raise any together so their religious training or lack thereof has never been issue.  We have a crucifix in the bedroom and a menorah in the living room.  Christmas is celebrated as is Passover and Rosh Hoshana, the latter two dependent upon invitations from friends and family.  I am a good cook but I haven’t ventured very far into Jewish traditional cooking and would rather leave the making of tsimmis to my sister-in-law.

This past week or so I have been playing a lot of Mah Jongg and all of the women in my group are Jewish, what a surprise!  Anyway much discussion has taken place about the holiday food, the going to Temple, and the traditions in general.  The other day lots of talk was centered around the tradition of the Yahrzeit candles.  These candles are purchased and lit on the anniversary of the death of a loved one and also at sundown on the eve of Yom Kippur in memoriam of those who have passed away.  There are also several other occasions when one might light a Yahrzeit candle.  We have never done so in our house.

I guess it was the culmination of much discussion and the one holiday falling on the heels of the other that inspired me yesterday to surprise my husband with some “treats”.  We were planning a quiet evening and dinner at home so on my way  home from work I stopped at Fairway and bought gifilte fish, potato latkes, and noodle kugel as well as 4 candles.

I waited till he had made himself a martini and then brought out the gifilite fish with some horseradish (a tradition).  He loved it.  I looked up online when sundown was to occur and precisely at 7:10pm last night I produced 4 candles lit in honor of both of our parents who have been long gone but not forgotten.  There was no praying just the lighting and it made me cry when I thought of what this stood for and how much I have missed my mother my whole life, since she died when I was 9 years old.

English: A lit Yahrtzeit candle, a candle that...

English: A lit Yahrtzeit candle, a candle that is lit on the Hebrew anniversary of a loved one’s death. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now here’s the clash (in some eyes perhaps but not ours);  I made dinner which was a pasta dish I created while cooking .  I sauteed aspargus in lots of garlic and oil, tossed in a small can of drained and rinsed garbanza beans and then the ale-dente-cooked linguine to the braising pan with the asparagus.  I topped it off with some shredded parmigano-reggiano cheesw and I have to say it was delicious as evidenced by the fact that there was none left over.

Once the dishes were cleared and we were settled in to watch Minority Report, I went into the kitchen and came back with two dishes of noodle kugel.  I thought it was great, so full of cinnamon, he thought it a bit dry, but what do I know?

A s you can see cultures don’t have to clash;  They  can mesh into a lovely evening and a delightful if not varied dinner.  Today true to his own set of beliefs, he is not fasting  but I keep reminding him of his sins LOL LOL. He’s also wearing a suit!

 

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Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech (Photo credit: Enokson)

If you can pronounce it then you probably don’t need to read further, however, if you want to smile out loud at these figures of speech that twist the meaning of the sentence as a whole. Comedians and satirists use paraprosdokians all the time!  Here are Thursday’s Top Ten plus Two:

Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet. 

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas! 

Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

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IT”s BAaaack! The miracle magic make-up of the 80’s.  I actually thought it came out in the 70’s but I can’t seem to find the correct answer.  Indian Earth and I go way back, I mean waaaaay back.  As I said I don’t really remember the exact year, but when it did hit the market, all my friends and I bought it and were using it.

The premise of Indian Earth is that it is a natural product, I don’t know if that means it’s ground up dirt or clay although the company claims it is made up of minerals.  And the other amazing attribute is that this ONE color works on all complexions!  It may be true, however, you do have to be prudent in using it.  I remember some fair-skinned friends who looked a little ruddy bordering on orange some days!!

About a month ago, I was leafing through some magazine and there it was…An ad for Indian Earth claiming it was the original.  I couldn’t believe it.  I mean really???  It looked just like it did, decades ago;  A small clay bottle with a wide mouth and its stopper is a big fat round cork.  The original Indian Earth came with a puff that looked like lambskin.  I know because I had it AND yes I still have it!! Oh yeah, well not the puff, at some point I must have thrown it out.  But I never threw out the cute little clay pot.  I don’t know why, I just kept it.

I ‘m SO GLAD I still have my very own original Indian Earth.  Ever since I saw the ad, I’ve been using it every day.  I rarely wear foundation make-up, usually just a tinted moisturizer and now I finish off  using a large make-up brush on the bottom of the cork.  Of course you need to shake up your clay pot first.

So not only can everyone use it to get the look of a sun-kissed face, there’s more!  Indian Earth can be mixed with a little water to make eyeshadow, lip liner, lipstick, even nail color.  This is getting a tan without the harmful UV rays.  Sounds like a miracle magical make-up doesn’t it?

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Every season brings us proof of a higher power, a creator more talented than ourselves.  Some of us refer to this master artist as God, some as Mother Nature and others, well I can’t really speak for those who don’t acknowledge or appreciate the fact that the beauty around us was NOT put here by us.  I, for one, marvel at the beauty God has created BUT I’m quite happy to credit Mother Nature here in my blog for the endless seasons of exquisite art.  AND OF COURSE, I have to credit Murray Head for his unbelievable artistic eye and steady lens, for if it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t get a glimpse of any of these wonders of the world.   I live 5 blocks from Central Park, but I can’t tell you the last time I was there.  So thank you Murray for bringing Mother Nature’s Art Show to us all.

lotus, pink water lilly, Central Park

Pink Perfection

water lilly, Central Park

Wonderful White Water Lilly

dragon flies, water lilly

Serene Summer Scene

Reflection

turtle, Central Park pond, mallard duck

Harmony

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

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Burning Chametz in Ofra, Passover eve

Burning Chametz in Ofra, Passover eve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know what chametz is?  I’m not even sure myself – my sister-in-law, Stacey told me it is the stuff you rid your house of before Passover.  She mentioned something about food stuffs that are not part of the Passover meal or week-long celebration, are thrown out.

Well today was ONE of those days! It’s the day when you open the refrigerator and with newly-opened eyes (in my case I had on glasses) and you SEE!  I mean you really see-the crud in the grooves of the bottom shelf, the jar of mustard that is for all intents and purposes empty and you discover not one, not two but at least 3 jars of capers.  Capers, for God’s sake!!!  Delving deeper into the recesses of the Frigidaire, I found a small container of dried-up cream cheese, a jar of jam that had grown a furry winter coat (it must be really cold in there).  Out with it all!  I threw out a jar of some mysterious brown sauce, I threw out salsa before it had a birthday on Cinco de Mayo and some expired bottles of indeterminate substance!  Out with it all!!

When I had filled up my recycle bin and my trash can, I sprayed the shelves with Simple Green.  I LOVE Simple Green, it cleans everything which means it probably shouldn’t be used in a refrigerator.  Now onto the next project.  Hey this is beginning to sound like Spring Cleaning,

I put the summer slipcover on the antique stuffed chair, changed the pillow covers to colorful awning-stripes and had Peter switch the foyer rug from the dark wine-red Oriental to our seasonal beige patterned rug.  He even took down the winter drapes in our bedroom and put up very light-weight airy beige curtains.  Out with the winter dark colors and in with the spring pastels.

I think what really got me going this morning was the fact that by some inner-maniacal drive force, I completed my income taxes early today.  I was up till 2AM working on the world’s most heinous task – assembling a year’s worth of information, collating it, copying it and preparing a statement for the accountant.  I had almost finished last night, uh, rather early this morning and then got up and finished it up.  I HATE doing the taxes!  BUT, when it’s done, I feel so good!

Spring is the time of renewal and rebirth; what was gray, brown and barren bursts forth into bright green life.  Flowers re-appear out of virtually nowhere since the ground looked like just ground to me and along with new tufts of grass, I noticed the lawn was also sprouting bunches of wild onions and even a few dandelions.  AND I get the urge to clean.  My mother always did spring cleaning and so do I.  My mother changed the carpets, drapes and slipcovers to reflect the new season and so do I.  Old habits or genetic programming?  The windows will be washed inside and out-here in NYC, we hire a man to do them but at the cottage, we’ll do them.  This year the carpeting and the couches in the apartment need steam-cleaning.  OUT with it ALL; dirt, dust, grime and most of all, the Chametz!

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Decorating your home for the holidays is usually an annual tradition and one that often sticks to the same theme year after year.  While tradition holds a sacred place during the Christmas season, every now and then, a new idea comes along and this is one you might want to incorporate into your holiday decorating scheme.  Kitchens often get overlooked in the holiday decor, so this sweet treat idea would look terrific on a window sill or on a counter.

Fill a few glasses of varying size and shape with sugar and mini-marshmallows, add some peppermint sticks and you have a 5 minute decorating idea that is sure to evoke some sweet comments.

candy canes, peppermint sticks, mini marshmallows, sugar, glasses

Sweet Sensations

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Tomato

Luscious Jersey Tomato

I think I have to do a blog post to pay homage to the Jersey Tomato, one of God‘s blessings on the Garden State.  But not tonight because I’m too tired to think creatively and clearly.  However, I made Gazpacho Sunday night, a dish that is truly a celebration of the fruits of the summer. Tomatoes are the main ingredient and I used some of the best beefsteak tomatoes Jersey has to offer.

And there’s a back story to the Gazpacho recipe.  A few years ago there was a health food store on Third Avenue that made the BEST Gazpacho ever! I would call them from work and ask that they put aside some for me. Once I even served it as a first course at a dinner party! And I would also bring some to New Jersey to give to my friend, Jane.  I never made Gazpacho before so I did some serious research and read several recipes until I found one I that sounded like what I remembered the store’s version to be.  I was RIGHT!!  I’m happy to share it with all of you.  It is easy to make;  the only real work is the prepping of the veggies.

6 tomatoes, cored, peeled and chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 purple onion, diced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

2 TBS chopped chives

2 TBS lemon juice

2 tsp sugar

4 cups of tomato juice

1 tsp Worceshire sauce

6 drops of Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients in food processor.  Refrigerate overnight so flavors can meld.

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Today turned out to be one early summer’s all time great sunny and not too humid days!  What a day for a parade!  And so Ocean Grove, known as God‘s Square Mile at the Jersey Shore held their annual Fourth of July parade.   Very small town and just the kind of parade I love for this holiday.  Hometown parades are full of charm and just about everybody else;  Today, we saw Police, a local dance academy, Revolutionary-garbed riflemen, Rainbow Girls, Shriners, local tennis club, fire trucks, the Historical Society…well you get the picture, need I go on??

fourth of July parade, volunteer firemen, vintage fire truck
Rocky Mount Vintage Fire Engine
clown, fourth of July parade
Clowning Around
vintage cars,

Classic Antique Autos

horse and carriage

Ocean Grove's Own Horse & Carriage

And what’s one of the best things about this parade?  Most of the marchers throw penny candy to the crowd.  I was very happy to be standing next to these two young men, Jordan and Jayden because I love getting the candy but certainly shouldn’t eat it – so I gave it to the boys!  I knew their pockets would never hold all the candy, so I gave Jayden a brown paper bag I had and you can see in the picture how full it was by the end of the parade.  It’s great to be a grandma because then the worry of the eventual sugar high never even enters your mind!

Jordan and Jayden

Photos by Lori

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Are you f____g kidding me?  It’s not often I put unprintable words in my blog but Glenn Beck is the exception to the rule.  This fucking moron, this preposterous puffed up adder idiot went over the line last night with his remarks about the earthquake in Japan.


On his first day back from vacation, Glenn Beck addressed the earthquake in Japan, and said he thinks that it could be a “message [is] being sent” by God.

Speaking on his radio show Monday, Beck said, “I’m not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes,” before quickly adding, “I’m not not saying that either.”

He then said that whatever one called God, “there’s a message being sent. And that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well. Maybe we should stop doing some of it.’ I’m just saying.”

It’s Conspiracy Theory Wednesday and I’ve been exposing some of the Tea Party Movement‘s many conspiracies.  Thank you Glenn Beck for making this Wednesday’s blog soooo   easy. AND he used a phrase on the Lake Superior State University‘s 2011 Banished Word List! “I’m just sayin”??!! Good God Glenn! Pathetically trite.

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