Minecraft is an evil time sinkhole!

Sep. 14th, 2014 11:10 pm
writerlibrarian: (Hot Major)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
 I usually stay away from that type of games because I know me... too well.  Hence staying away... 

Until yesterday afternoon when I caved. Of course, why I stay away from happened.. I have been playing for the last two days.

I'm putting fences and putting up stone walls. 

I caught a cow. 

This is not going to end well. 
jadelennox: Jonathon Coulton: Even white boys got to shout (joco: white boys)
[personal profile] jadelennox
Slacktivist's recently posted police brutality linkspam is so upsetting even looking at the URLs is panic-inducing.

you know I'm channeling my foetid college self if I cope with misery through Pink Floyd )

Positivity meme (day 6/7)

Sep. 14th, 2014 11:54 pm
umadoshi: (Tutu/ItW "charm for a prince" (bookelfe))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Today I'm thankful for:

1) Claudia coming and snuggling this morning. Before you say, "Yes, but you're ALWAYS thankful for something about the kittens"--which is true!--here's the thing: Claudia is not snuggly. At all. She's very affectionate and loving, and she often loves being petted, and she purrs readily...but I think this was literally the first time she's ever hopped up, entirely unprompted, and settled in to be cozy with me and get scritches. She and Jinksy were both pretty clingy while [personal profile] scruloose was away camping for the past couple of nights, so I don't expect a repeat anytime soon, but it was wonderful.

2) Getting to see Into the Woods (one of my favorite musicals) on stage for the first time ever, and in the process hanging out with a friend from high school who I rarely see, and who's one of the people I shared a love of the musical with back then. I didn't love the production wholeheartedly; in particular, I had a very difficult time with anyone other than Bernadette Peters playing the Witch, but I expected that going in. I imprinted so hard on the original Broadway cast via the video of that production that all of those performances are definitive for me, but Peters in particular is SO iconic in the role that it would take a truly brilliant performance to please me. That said, this Witch was perfectly solid in the role.

Actually, I think that overall I'd have to say the production was solid but not inspired, but I'm more okay with that than it sounds. I actively enjoyed about 90% of it, and I'm very glad I went.

3) [personal profile] scruloose being home from his camping trip! (And several other friends now being back too, since a small group went.) He even got home early enough that there was time to hang out before I went downtown to see the show. ^_^
settiai: (Kaidan -- bleeding_muse)
[personal profile] settiai
Title: An Unexpected Series of Events
Author: Settiai
Rated: R
Word Count: ~3000 words
Characters: Female Shepard [Shea], Kaidan Alenko, Richard Jenkins, Ashley Williams
Notes: Also posted on the AO3.
Summary: The story of Shea Shepard, from Eden Prime to the Crucible.

Shepard took a deep breath, steadying herself. )

Previous Chapter | Next Chapter

Enchilada Soup?

Sep. 14th, 2014 08:50 pm
pinesandmaples: A rough half of a brown coconut on a green leaf. (theme: gaping maw)
[personal profile] pinesandmaples
To be honest, I'm a little vague about how to classify this dinner I made. I know that it's diabetic-friendly, primal (and easily paleo with a single mod), vegan with two simple mods, and damn tasty. But is it soup? Casserole? A baked something or other? Whatever. It's food and very good.

Despite the confusion above, this dish is an awesome one-pot meal awash with veggies that's easy to scale up for a crowd.

I know this recipe is vague, but it's a near to my process as I can get. Questions are always welcome.

This soupy, delicious mixture will serve 6 people easily. (The Farmer and I ate a big bowl each, and the rest is filling up my 7 cup Pyrex container.)

Ingredients
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 3 medium (5-6 inch) zucchini
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cups of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of salsa
  • 1.5 cups of whatever broth or stock you have handy. (I used crawfish stock.)
  • 4 ounces of hatch chilies
  • 1 pepper of your choosing (hot or mild, your call)
  • 1 large, bone-in chicken breast
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar
  • cumin (I used 2 teaspoons.)
  • garlic to taste (I used 3 Tablespoons.)
  • salt to taste
  • avocado for table-side garnish
  • sour cream for table-side garnish

  • optional 8 ounces of whatever mushrooms you are feeling good about. (White button mushrooms work just fine.)

    Process
    1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ and roast that chicken breast! It should take about 25 minutes if your chicken is properly defrosted. (If you are making a vegetarian version, skip this step. Obviously.)

    2. Haul out your food process or box grater. (If it's a box grater, I'm sorry.) Shred the onion, carrots, and zucchini. Add them to the pot as you go.

    3. Turn the stove on to medium-high heat.

    4. Add the salsa, chopped tomatoes, hatch chilies, as much garlic as you want, and the stock/broth. (If you're doing mushrooms, now is the time to add them, too.)

    5. Let your pot of amazing veggies simmer and come together. Some of the veggies will put off water, some will absorb. But I promise the amount of liquid will be okay. Stir this occasionally. Turn the heat down after it's bubbled for a few minutes.

    6. When the chicken hits 165˚ at the thickest point, set it aside to cool for 5 minutes.

    7. Add salt and as much cumin as you like to the pot.

    8. Chop your hot or sweet pepper and toss it in.

    9. Chop your chicken and add it to the pot. (Obviously a vegetarian version would omit this step.)

    10. Stir everything again. If you think it's looking too soupy, let it cook without the lid for a bit so the liquid cooks off. If you like the amount of liquid, put the lid back on and let it all simmer together for a hot minute.

    11. When you like the texture and amount of liquid, turn off the heat. Stir in the cup of cheese, which will melt into amazingness. Serve hot and fresh with chunks or slices of avocado and sour cream available table-side.

    To make this vegetarian: Omit the chicken. Add mushrooms or beans...but beans are not Paleo and rather carb-y and starchy if carbs or starches are something you are concerned about

    To make this vegan: Omit the chicken, cheese, and sour cream. Add mushrooms, beans, and probably some nooch. Something creamy table-side might be nice, too.

    To make this paleo: Omit the cheese and sour cream. Add mushrooms because more veggies = more awesome.

    To make this go further: Serve it over rice. When I made it in Ohio, I made rice with turmeric and tomatoes that went over very well.

    Notes on substitutions: There are a lot of places to make substitutions. Ground beef for chicken? Sure. Yellow squash for zucchini? Sure. Adding yellow squash anyway? Why not! I would not recommend switching the cheddar for anything else, and I would not recommend cutting back on the tomatoes. And yes, you can add canned enchilada sauce. I didn't because the only kinds I could find had MSG (which is a migraine trigger for the Farmer) and were full of random fake ingredients I couldn't pronounce. But yes, those can also be added to this. That will probably increase the heat. Plan accordingly!
  • Chat session 14 September

    Sep. 15th, 2014 03:06 am
    espresso_addict: Two cups of espresso with star effect on coffee pot (coffee cups)
    [personal profile] espresso_addict posting in [community profile] fanlore
    A chat session was held on 14 September at 19:00 UTC. Eight editors were able to make it, including several Committee members. Topics from the wide-ranging discussion included proposals for a New Articles Month, Weekly Featured Article section and an on-wiki central discussion forum, as well as discussion of Stub September, Committee communications, help pages, and more...

    New proposals )

    Other topics )

    Note this is not an official committee report, so apologies if I've misunderstood or misrepresented anything. Discussion in comments is very welcome!

    Book meme

    Sep. 14th, 2014 03:52 am
    raincitygirl: picture of Darcy from "Thor" (Default)
    [personal profile] raincitygirl
    Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag ten friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them! Not tagging anyone because I always feel weird about that aspect of memes.

    Books below the cut, in no particular order (15, not 10, because I couldn't narrow it down):Read more... )

    (no subject)

    Sep. 14th, 2014 05:37 pm
    staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
    [personal profile] staranise
    Now that I have health benefits I can finally afford dental work (since I've gone without even a checkup in a shamefully long time) and I've sent in an appointment request to the closest dentist. Having done that, it's like I finally have permission to really look at my teeth; which is how I noticed that the bottom edge of my eyeteeth is uneven with little chips and notches. I'm, um, assuming a dentist can fix that? And the tooth edges inside my mouth that are so sharp I routinely cut my tongue on them?

    Anyway, I'm really feeling this post right now, about Neville being seriously interested in Hermione's parents' professions and then impressed with the badassery of Muggles, because we go to dentists.

    So this weekend I had a fit of FEELS and wrote some Tumblr posts on Bucky Barnes and PTSD:

    Bucky and how PTSD therapists are different than more general therapists
    My theory of how to get a post-Winter Soldier Bucky who does not have PTSD
    Bucky and therapy animals!
    Bucky and therapy robots

    One of the things I spend a lot of time thinking about is how PTSD and trauma vary so much for everyone in large part because of how we cope, because you can make so many different choices. You can prioritize building and maintaining social networks--or cling to some internal sense of self in defiance of current reality and group consensus--or admit to being broken and discouraged--or push yourself to achieve perfection. And we don't know what price we'll pay when we choose those things, partly because our culture does not overmuch work to teach its citizens that there are prices, much less what they are, and when it does by accident half the time it's misinformation. When I chose perfection, I didn't know it would hinder me from friendships; but when I chose to stay true to myself, I didn't know that would lead me into profound communion with others.

    But that's a body of knowledge I would term wisdom, the kind of thing elders need to teach children and youths; and I think our society has a deficit of relationships where that kind of knowledge transmission can take place.

    (no subject)

    Sep. 14th, 2014 08:10 pm
    seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
    [personal profile] seekingferret
    Here, wrestle with a dating etiquette dilemma thing I faced on Thursday.

    It was another match from that Jewish dating site designed to mess with my head. I showed up at the restaurant about ten minutes early. While waiting, a guy comes up to me and says that the shul a block away is short for its minyan, and will I join them? In general, I find this a very difficult request to turn down, because it means turning down fellow Jews when they need help trying to fulfill a Mitzvah. On the other hand, the prayer service will be twenty or twenty five minutes long, and I have to figure that making your date wait that long is not exactly the recipe for a good first impression. On the first hand, maybe this will show my commitment to Judaism? Hard to predict.

    I called her up and told her that if she didn't mind, I was going to go help these people make a minyan. She said she didn't mind, so I went, and met up with her half an hour later after the service was finished. (The extra ten minutes was because I was actually person number nine, and we had to wait until they tracked down person number ten) Still not sure it was the right choice. I mean, I suppose it was: I would have felt a lot worse if I had turned down the request and they had been unable to make the minyan. But I feel it was a rude thing to do to my date in any case.

    Also tied in with my complicated feelings about mechitzas. Obviously I could have invited her to come to the service, too, but she wouldn't have been counted in the minyan and the shul has a crappy white curtain in the corner with enough room for a couple of women to huddle behind in the Beis Medrash where they hold afternoon and evening services, so I really didn't want to suggest it. I hate that just because we don't count women for the minyan, so many shuls make their space so unwelcoming to women who actually do want to pray. But I felt like a sexist going off to pray with the menfolk without at least offering the invitation for her to participate, and probably it was in fact a sexist thing for me to do. *shrugs* I don't know.

    Blue & Gold

    Sep. 14th, 2014 07:26 pm
    settiai: (Blue Beetle/Booster Gold -- dreadable)
    [personal profile] settiai
    Giffen & DeMatteis' Booster Gold & Blue Beetle Set For "Justice League 3000"
    "The last time we saw Beetle and Booster, we ended with, 'and they lived Bwa-ha-happily ever after.' This is basically -- look, if you want to call it a certain universe, then think of it this way: If we did another Justice League series like 'I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League' or 'Formerly Known as the Justice League,' this is the third one. No tricks here. This is J.M. DeMatteis' and my version of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold."

    *flails wildly and makes inarticulate noise*

    Blame [personal profile] jetpack_monkey for making me aware of this news. I've been paying almost no attention whatsoever to DC since the whole New 52 mess happened (if you enjoy the relaunch, then I'm happy for you, but I hate it with a fiery passion and it basically soured my interest in DC comics as a whole), but this? This might actually get me to give them some of my money, even if it's just a single issue that features them.

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

    Stub September - Relationships

    Sep. 14th, 2014 03:54 pm
    fanloremod: (Default)
    [personal profile] fanloremod posting in [community profile] fanlore
    Thank you again to everyone who has participated in Stub September so far, and to everyone who attended our editing party!

    The theme this week is relationships!

    This encompasses pairings, threesomes and moresomes, and gen relationships. Some examples of relationship pages that are currently stubs include:

    and many more! Feel free to browse the stubs, pages that need expansion, and examples wanted categories for other pages that need work.

    Resources for editing relationship pages )

    Searching for stubs )

    Check back next week for a new theme! If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post or to email the Fanlore Gardeners. We also would love to hear about your contributions to the challenge so far in the comments below. Happy editing!

    8 months

    Sep. 15th, 2014 08:52 am
    puzzlement: (jelly)
    [personal profile] puzzlement posting in [community profile] incrementum
    Originally posted to incrementum.puzzling.org. Comments welcome in either place.

    My trend of not getting good photos on her month-days is continuing, they seem to always feel on daycare days (this last one was Tuesday), and it’s still fairly dark by the time I get home with the two of them.

    Eight months old and uncertainLots of little things have popped up in the last month. Sitting of course. But also lots of babbling, it’s nothing but “blah blah blah blah” and “da da da da” all day long now. She doesn’t quite pincer grip I think, but she can accurately grab at quite narrow things. She is at a good age for rattles and squeaky things and can usually work out how to get them to sound.

    She has been sleeping terribly for quite a while now, I think I cursed myself by writing this post. But this age is notorious for bad sleep, what with all the gross motor and fine motor and food and language skills going on, and who knows, maybe some teething. But maybe not. She’s still tooth-free so far. I really hope she rediscovers long sleeps at night again soon: four wakings is… four too many, although at least she resettles well about nine times in ten.

    Hungry hungryFood is going well, she eats a lot more than V did at the same age, but almost entirely purees and rice kinds of things, since she has no teeth. She really needs at least two and often three meals a day, even though she also has something like six or eight nursing sessions. She doesn’t mouth things nearly as much as V did. She still does, but there’s never been an automatic “all things go in mouth! ALL THINGS” response, which has meant that handing her bits of solid food has been way less effective. He at least got things as far as his tongue. She is more selective. She knows how to react to an incoming spoon though.

    She’s only been sitting up for a week and a bit, but already she can lean way out in search of toys, and even fold over and get her knees under her. (At which point, she starts sucking her thumb.) She can sit up in the bath for several minutes and so we no longer have to kneel with her while she bathes. We’re now giving her baths in the big tub downstairs. She can’t quite sit herself up yet but she’d really like to. She doesn’t crawl but she turns all around, rolls and reaches for things.

    Sibling funShe’s become a menace in the pool; I’ve been taking her in on my hip peacefully in a ring sling for months and suddenly she’s worked out how to rotate in it like a top so that she can face outwards and stay in visual contact with her hero (and drink the pool water). Nothing in the world is funnier to her than V. Last week we heard the sound of her giggles from downstairs together with a mysterious clunk. It emerged he was jumping on our bed, and she’d never seen anything so funny.

    She’s very loud. She has that resonant and exceptionally loud baby squeal of excitement that just about leaves my ears ringing and as has been her habit for many months, she screeches loudly when she’s excited too. V occasionally tries to make himself heard over the top of her, and it’s a miracle they haven’t blown out the windows.

    Mama snugglesIt’s interesting, of course, to compare my notes on V at this age. This was the age when he was completely captivated by pigeons. His sister not so much, but then we have less of them here. (We have magpies, they’re bloody dangerous and she hasn’t got close enough to get interested fortunately.) He was also both crawling and pulling up to stand by eight months, on the other hand, he apparently didn’t yet lift things using both hands and had not really begun to babble regularly. A is well sorted there, perhaps she will talk earlier than he did. He also would crawl around after older children like a faithful puppy at this age, and she does not, but he didn’t have an older sibling to fixate on so he had to take what he could get.

    ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
    [personal profile] ursamajor
    post-tags: instagram, crosspost Making the pilgrimage for some real pizza.

    Skiing, August 2014: day 5

    Sep. 15th, 2014 08:42 am
    puzzlement: (jelly)
    [personal profile] puzzlement
    Originally posted at http://puzzling.org.

    Andrew had, as near as we could tell, pretty typical flu-like symptoms: fever, pain, respiratory symptoms. This makes this the third time in seven years he’s been sick like that, two times in years when he had a flu vaccine. (The first time of the three was the reason he started having flu vaccines.) So not the best of of luck. In a way, however, he felt comforted that it explained aspects of his snowboarding he’d been unhappy about earlier in the week. Had something fundamental about his body changed since 2008? No. He was getting ill.

    He’d been a bit of a hero over the previous days, bringing V to his ski lessons and so on, but on the Friday we needed to pack for the trip home, so I lost five minutes of my lesson dropping off V myself. I told my instructor A I’d been planning to go up Merritts but couldn’t now that Andrew was ill, and she agreed that I could be up there at this point, it simply was too long on a chairlift for our one hour lesson for her to take me. So we did one last lesson on Friday Flat and agreed that I would do a lesson next year in which she would take me down a blue (intermediate) run, because of course she would come back and I would come back &c. (Ski lesson version of Before Sunrise, and, spoilers, the Julie Delpy character didn’t make it to their rendezous.) It does become an intense shared endeavour, rather like a theatre performance or something, and the break-up is just as sudden. I later looked her up in the top-to-bottom race that she was hoping to win the following day and didn’t find her name at all; I don’t even know her surname.

    I went up to the apartment to help Andrew pack up and lug the bags out of the room; thankfully the owners were storing them for us until the evening. Andrew was determined that I would ski Merritts, and was doing basically OK, so we lugged our gear and our baby down, installed him in the lounge of the Thredbo Alpine Hotel, and I returned his sadly underused performance snowboarding gear, and set off up Merritts.

    It didn’t begin promisingly. Merritts is its own little peak and there’s two ways to reach the base of it, the fast Gunbarrel chairlift from Friday Flat or the Merritts chairlift from Valley Terminal. Being at Valley Terminal, I headed for the Merritts lift, which turned out to be old and ricketty. I had to take my skis off and hold them to ride it, no mean feat when they were 155cm long, and it was so old it didn’t have a pull down bar but a flimsy chain that I had to pull across and work out how to fasten while being lifted into the air and holding my skis and poles under one arm. So I was already a bit uncertain. I enjoyed the terrible terrain below me with all kinds of things poking out of the uneven snow, and wondered if it was indeed a ski run. (Yes, it’s the advanced run The Schuss, and I didn’t see a single soul on it on either the way up or the way down.)

    Merritts itself has a fast chairlift The Cruiser running up it. I was accustomed to the ludicrous hot and lengthy queues at Friday Flat and The Cruiser didn’t have them, so I was zooming on it before I had a chance to get oriented. It was fast enough I was very worried about getting off, but of course it slowed for dismount, if only at the last possible second. I didn’t fall there. And then there was only one way down; on skis.

    This turned out to be really tough for me. Merritts’ beginners runs are at the other end of beginners difficulty from Friday Flat, so they were like the toughest bit of Friday Flat only for about a solid kilometre of unrelenting slope rather than ten metres. (Tough is relative of course, but even so.) I talked myself down the first bit but then chose — it turns out — the slightly harder Squatters Run for the first half rather than Walkabout and arrived at the top of a bit that was steep enough I couldn’t see over it and despaired. I ended up removing my skis, prompting a children’s instructor to come over and point out the escape hatch traverse back to the Gunbarrel Express to me before zooming off with her teeny intermediate skiers, trudging over to and down the steep part (which was only a few metres high, and probably serves as a brief test of intermediate sloped terrain for borderline intermediate skiers) and fixing my skis on.

    But of course by then my confidence was pretty shot. I could at least now see clear down Walkabout and knew what I was in for. I prepared myself to just get down it, no need to fret about parallel turns but to stick to A’s Italian-style snowplow turns and take it at my own speed and so on. But I fell twice on two consecutive turns, and the slope was steep enough that the experience was reminiscent of New Zealand all those years ago. Stand up. Try to get in skis. Fail. Knock snow out of my boots. And around. I probably spent ten minutes or more on each of those two turns, all the while crying and heating up. (Thredbo is a pretty hot resort, at around freezing or a bit above.) And I had several hundred metres to go. Eventually I convinced myself to go even more slowly and carefully and just get down and have done it, and I did: several more hundred metres without falling.

    I feel just fine about this now and it’s easy to explain what went wrong. It’s just hard to do a new run at the edge of your ability without an instructor or better partner to prepare you for the tricky bits, identify what technique your fear is causing you to forget, to help you knock your boots clear of snow and pull you up from falls. If I’d had time and energy for even one more run I probably would have been slightly better. If Andrew (who is a better snowboarder than I am skier by dint of about two weeks practice if nothing else) had been there, he could have done a run ahead of me and told me which bits to brace for and hung out with me if I’d taken my skis off and had a sulk at the side. If I’d gone up for two consecutive days I’m sure I’d be going down both Walkabout and Squatters Run and enjoying it and beginning to contemplate the intermediate runs. But I didn’t have two days, I had about 90 minutes, and so that was my one run up there.

    I was intending to go back to Andrew and work through that line of thought and feel better that way. On my trip back down the slow and creaky Merritts chair I realised that it had a halfway station labelled “Friday Flat” and I could get off there and return to a slope I knew for a final run. So I did that. Unfortunately, that meant entering at the intersection of Sundowner, which is a beginners run, and High Noon, which decidedly isn’t, and having High Noon’s exiting riders fly around and past me, some of them falling themselves. So even though it was fairly flat and well within my ability (I should try Sundowners next time), I fell again and had to have another little chat with myself again about focussing on basics and ignoring parallel turns and taking it at my own speed and etc. I did then make it to the Friday Flats lift for one last run down that, which I tried to enjoy but wasn’t in the right mood for. So I had to have forced pride that I’d picked myself up and tried and tried, even if I wasn’t feeling it.

    I feel good about it looking back though.

    And then it was time to head back to Andrew, check in, and begin the flurry of things needed to get us home. I returned my skis, and headed over to V’s class to pick him up and return his skis, and smile through V’s own reports of the joys of Merritts where he’d also been that day. (“I went up the mountain on the fast chairlift Mama. And I wasn’t scared.” Thank goodness I didn’t run into his group.) Andrew went up to the apartment to help the owners drive our bags down.

    We’d figured the bus back would be easier, because V would be exhausted, and it went into the night, meaning both children would be asleep. This was true as far as it went, but no doubt it was not any fun for Andrew to sit up for seven hours trying not to melt from the inside out. Everything about ski holidays is utterly fixed and unchangeable, including our accommodation and bus tickets, or I might have been tempted to stay another day.

    We had a very complicated plan once we got back to Sydney centered around the problem that taxis will not take A without an infant carseat, and that taxis with infant carseats are like hen’s teeth. One of us was going to taxi back to our house, pick up a car share car, fit our carseats for both children to it, drive back to the unlucky parent waiting with two exhausted children in the midnight chill, and drive us all home, at which point we’d put the kids in bed, remove the carseats, return the car and fall into bed. We’d completely forgotten that we were arriving home on a Friday night, and that commuter buses were still running at midnight. So instead we merely hauled our bewildered four year old, who has almost never been out of the house after 8pm, onto a bus, home, and into bed.

    The aftermath was substantial for Andrew. He recovered in bed all weekend and into the following week, returning to work only on the Thursday. He still however kindly reflected that he was glad that he’d had a bad week at the snow rather than me, as otherwise we would have viewed the enterprise as thoroughly cursed. Which is fair. But hopefully some year soon I can report that we went to the snow and enjoyed a run in each other’s company and a hot chocolate to wrap up.

    nanila: nellie kim is awesome (purple nellie)
    [personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] flaneurs
    Hello flaneurs! My daughter and I headed down to London this weekend for the last hurrah of the book benches (all will be removed by Monday the 15th). A report on our third expedition to the Bloomsbury trail, guest-starring my nephew, is here.

    (no subject)

    Sep. 14th, 2014 02:26 pm
    skygiants: Drosselmeyer's old pages from Princess Tutu, with text 'rocks fall, everyone dies, the end' (endings are heartless)
    [personal profile] skygiants
    The official last physical book I got out of the New York Public Library was called Landmark Yiddish Plays: A Critical Anthology, which has been sitting on my shelf for several months since the petering-out of my last Yiddish-literature binge, and which was a DEFINITE level up in the bizarre/fascinating realm from my last foray into Yiddish literature.

    Silliness and Sanctimony: So this is a drawing-room comedy of manners from the 18th century -- contemporaneous with (and influenced by), like, Moliere -- and the author was a major figure in the Jewish enlightenment who was very pro-secularism and assimilation, and anti-Hasidism. It's ... really not hard to tell.

    A RICH JEWISH FATHER: So I am arranging my daughter's marriage to this Hasidic scholar I have hired to study Bible with me.
    EVERYONE ELSE IN THE FAMILY: That is ... the worst. Just the worst idea ever.
    THE HEROINE: Ugh! I'm running away with this goy nobleman!
    EVERYONE ELSE IN THE FAMILY: That is ... also not a great idea, but we're all agreed that it's basically your dad's fault, for being a dick.
    THE HEROINE'S UNCLE: So I found your daughter in a brothel! Don't worry, she's fine, no harm done really. Guess who else I found in that brothel? YEAH. YOUR FAVORITE religious scholar. Are we all agreed now that religious Jews are stupid hypocrites, arranged marriages are terrible, and we should all embrace the Enlightenment?
    EVERYONE ELSE IN THE FAMILY: Yeah! Yeah, I guess we are!

    Serkele: This a pretty straightforward domestic comedy/Cinderella story about a hypocritical hypochondriac who steals her disappeared brother's inheritance and takes advantage of her sweet, beautiful niece, who really just wants to believe that her aunt is a nice person! Add a con artist who wants to marry into the family, a noble young student who's in love with the niece, a cute romantic subplot about a couple of the household servants, a ~*~mysterious stranger~*~, and a chorus of police officers wandering around pointing and laughing at everyone, and this is all pretty generally enjoyable.

    The Two Kuni-Lemls: One of the very first plays of the Yiddish theater boom period around the turn of the century, this is another variation on Silliness and Sanctimony's theme of "ugh, who wants to marry a Hasid?" except wackier, and also, a musical! Basically the plot revolves around the heroine's boyfriend disguising himself as Arranged Match Kuni-Leml so that he and the heroine can get married, which leads to a lot of mistaken-identity hijinks -- as when, for example, the heroine accidentally starts making out with the real Kuni-Leml because she thinks he's her boyfriend in disguise, and he's like "OH GOD NO, SINFUL GIRL PARTS, GET IT AWAY!" INCLUDING a full chorus of chipper young med students pretending to be ghosts.

    (Super ablist, though. It's not enough for poor Kuni-Leml to be an easily scandalized religious Jew who is no match for the heroine's dashing young med student boyfriend; he also has to have a limp and a stutter, which are not treated kindly.)

    Miriam: I expected this one to be dull and depressing -- it's the sad story of an innocent young seamstress who is seduced by a rich boy, and ends up as a prostitute -- but actually I thought it was good? Lots of scenes of the family that Miriam lives with being like "NO MIRIAM THIS WILL NOT END WELL" and Miriam being like "YOU'RE NOT MY REAL MOM!!!" but, I mean, the dynamics between Miriam and her adopted temporary family are really interesting. The final scene is Miriam and two other prostitutes locking themselves away to have a girls' night and rant, with remarkably little judgment on the part of the author.

    The Duke: OK. The Duke is about a rich Polish nobleman who converts to Judaism, but -- no, I'm sorry, I have to summarize this in full. )


    I genuinely can't tell how we are supposed to take most of this. Is it a commentary on cultural appropriation? A genuine indictment of the Jewish people for being sad and depressing and uncool? A satire on class distintions? All of the above? Do the bear trousers ... symbolize ... something ....? WHO CAN SAY? Certainly not me, but I spent the whole text completely fascinated, that's for sure.
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