Wednesday, September 27, 2006

2nd Bat Mitzvah

I had a bat mitzvah 10 years ago. Ten years ago, the Jewish community accepted me as a woman.Tthere were speeches and I learned to lead an entire service in addition to chanting from the torah (the holy scroll). I particuarly remember one speech in which someone I quite respected reminded me to remember always, always, that 'home' is more often about people than about places. And this advice has been immesurably useful in places all over the world. Home has always been about people, and i'm lucky, therefore, to have many homes.

Each home of course has different people which make it warm, and safe, and hospitable. I have found myself now, in a home that is inhabited by some of the most diverse people I have ever encountered. And each one of them has rendered this place home.

The Jewish holidays started this past weekend. This is not usually a big deal for me. I have certainly spent many a high holiday traveling in various parts of the world, but feeling slightly settled (as my school routine and classes dictates that I must) I also felt a little homesick. Sometimes, of course, it is a blessing to be living so far removed from the home in which my family and many of my closest, and oldest friends live. Sometimes its a blessing, but other times its nice to be close. These holidays would have been one of those times. But, instead of dwelling, i chose, instead, to bring the holidays home to Australia.

And this is where i encountered numerous problems. Holidays for me mean food and lots of it. But the brisket cut of beef is a hard one to come by in this little city. And Kosher, sweet, red wine (Maniscewitz) is impossible to find. Durkees French Fried Onions are no where to be found, and even toasted wheat germ need to be substituted. And right when I could have given up with half my ingredients evading me, people swooped in and made Australia home. Some spent far too much of their own time helping me secure a brisket cut by googling the cut of meat, determining which part of the cow i was looking for, and then calling around until we found it. Some came with me to retrieve the brisket. Some brought me milk when I ran out and couldn't leave the house because too many things were cooking. My roommates let me monopolize every appliance in the kitchen for an entire day. Some people helped me carry the food from apartment to car, and others from car to venue for eating. Some people brough serving spoons when we were short, others helped me roll the matzah balls out of sheer curiosity. Mostly people arrived to eat with wine, appetizers, and chocolates. Someone brought me flowers, and still far more people simply brought themselves and enjoyed.

My community accepted me as a woman over 10 years ago, but they pre-empted themselves. Though they told me I was officially a Jewish woman on that day, what they really did was acknowledge a confidence in me, a confidence that one day, in the midst of a home I had created for myself by surrounding myself with loving people, I would in fact be a woman. I would be capable of securing all the ingredients, and all the help I needed to purchase, prepare, and serve a holiday meal for 25 friends. Above reading from the holy book, or leading a congregation in weekly prayer, above struggling to make sense of a d'var torah, comes the simple act of inviting others into your home and serving them well. 10 years ago I was a child who proved I had the dedication, the resourcefulness, and the motivation to accomplish big tasks; on Sunday night, I was a woman.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

can you say ridiculous schedule? sure you can

For those of you who find amusement in my procrastination, I have completed one assignment, am working on a second, have a 5000 word paper to write in 8 days when i've finished this essay and then i have two weeks before i have 3 final exams within 6 days of one another. Sound like fun? The more interesting posts are at still under 'go harvey guess whose back' because fuck if i have time to move them from one place to the other!

ok procrastination over :(

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cash in proportion to pouplarity

Anyone out there? I have been offered to be paid for writing a blog. Same sort of stuff that goes on here (minus the pictures) but, i get paid for it. So, if you're popping by to visit me here (and i will still be writing here, no worries) you should also stop by and see what i've got going on there. PS i get paid by percentage of people who come to the site, so while you're sitting around, bored at work, check it out so this girl can make some cash.

hope everyone is enjoying the back-to-school bit. I know heaps of you will now be able to sympathize with me in the coming days, i can honestly say, i look forward to it!!


Sunday, September 03, 2006

CRIKEY! the croc hunter is gone

Widely reported and causing grief and shock amongst foreigners and aussies alike, this freak accident has the nation talking.

I encountered steve Irwin in my semester in Adelaide. We were discussing stereotypes of Australian men and my teacher asked me to illuminate for the tutorial participants what Americans think about Australian men. I had only been in the country a few weeks and had never really pondered the "stereotypcial aussie bloke" before. As I struggled to find the words an aussie bloke spoke up from the back. "Don't you think we're all crocodile hunting Steve Irwin's?" he asked, pretty sure that that would jog my memory. Perhaps that resonates with some, however, Steve Irwin was not a name which would have otherwise crossed my mind. "No," I replied, "we think you're all surf bums!"

Despite my ignorace (or insight) and whether or not American's believe the entire male population to resemble this man, he is, in fact, a national symbol and a national legend.,23599,20349888-2,00.html

Friday, September 01, 2006

if you find a car buried in the sand, remember, heaps of people have probably peed on it!

Brunch on the porch for the maximum available sunning time and to the beach before hitting the road!

Adam and I hoping to return to canberra slightly less translucent than usual

Look at the light off the water (you can see how white the sand it there!)
L_R: Chen, Haida, me, Hood, Andreas, Cody

you better call tyron ZEST

Evening festivities were inclusive from the necessary (the BBQ) to the thought-provoking (scrabble). Of course thought provoking quickly turned into ridiculous (the head scarf) and equally as ridiculous (ace to the face!!) We did however, manage to rouse our selves sunday morning for some final moments at the beach!

L-R: Kjersti, molly, me on 'team' scrabble

Kings cup anyone?! ACE TO THE FACE
Playing Eryka Badu in a highly UN p.c. but quite hysterical moment
sunday morning's trip to the beach, those are the stairs from our house to the street
Potatoes on the top, snags on the girll, our Kiwi (ewan) presiding!

mundane to holy

The whitest sand beach in the world I believe they say these beaches are. Regardless of the flawless sand (which squeaks under your feet its so fine) the sunsets are pretty phenomenal, as well. I believe the only appropriate phrase for these sunsets is an amaism: 'sky blue pink, with a yellow sash.'

We took a walk at sunset. L-R haida, molly, me, Dharini

grasping at photos

This is Lake George. It fills about every 7-10,000 years as far as we can tell and its on the way out of canberra. stunning really
anyone know the rules to the game that looks something like this? we got it started and then realized no one remembered how to play!!
Dharini is obsessed with australian animals and this is a possum up close and gross looking
A few more photos from Jervis Bay as they have filtered in. Three weeks on we're still holding on to the memories hoping they will get us through essay crunch time!