Wednesday, August 30, 2006

it's ok, abba, she doesn't like me either

take 1

me: work work work...i can't take any more, i need to crash...i know, i'll go to grandma for shabbos! there's no internet connection and crappy reception one will be able to bother me...

(dials number)

grandma: hello? yes, who is it?

me: hi grandma, i--

grandma: listen perlie, i am very very busy now. call me back tomorrow. bye.

me: b--(click.)

(puzzled): very very busy?

take 2

me: grandma hasn't called me back yet...i need to figure out what i'm doing for shabbos...oh well, it's ten o'clock at night, she's probably home now....

(dials number)

grandma's answering machine: hello, you've reached rose. please leave a message after the tone.

me: hi grandma, it's perel again...just wondering if i could come for shabbos, it's been a long time since i've seen you...i know you've been really busy lately, i can pick up the food in manhattan if you, ok, call me b--(click).

gee, i'm getting tired of being hung up on.

take 3

(dials number)

grandma: yes, who is it?

me: grandma, it's--

grandma: oh, PERLIE! i was JUST ABOUT TO CALL YOU! listen, perlie, i don't know if you can come to dinner tomorrow.

me: aww....i guess i'll have to--wait--wait a minute, grandma. i--i never even asked you if i could come for dinner tomorrow.

grandma: well i don't think you can come for it. i am busy then.

me: that's ok, i can't come anyway, i have work then. what about shabbos?

grandma: the thing is i have an affair on monday. you cannot come for labor day, i am going to be very busy then.

me: ok, so i'll go home on sunday.

grandma: so you DON'T want to come?

me (confused): no...i mean, i do...

grandma: well you can't come for labor day. it is out of the question.

me: but can i come on shabbos? i can bring food back from the caf, grandma, you don't have to cook a thing--

grandma: DON'T BE RIDICULOUS! of course you will not bring food back from the caf, do i not have a kitchen? have i not cooked shabbos for 40 years?

me: but i can come, right?

grandma: not for labor day.

me: but i can come if i go back on sunday.

grandma: OH, so you want to go back on SUNDAY?

me: yes. i'll come on friday and go home on sunday and i won't come for labor day.

grandma: oh, well if you go back on SUNDAY then you can come.

me: that's a yes, right?

grandma: ok i love you very much goodbye (click).

i wonder how i'm gonna weasel rosh hashana out of her....

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

wait a minute- what?

so i picked up the year's first version of the commie today. for those of you alarmed by this contraction, it stands for 'the commentator', the official yeshiva college paper, and i think the nickname is more accurate. after reading a couple of interesting articles about the influence of r' joseph b. soloveitchek and a few editorials about new programs in the liberal arts college, i decided to flip to my favorite section: op-ed.

only to be confronted with this handy little clause:

'this summer's military escalation in israel has no doubt left many YU undergrads seeking fresh news and searching for ways to help out their fellow jews entrenched in seemingly endless conflict; the staff of this paper certainly shares their sentiments. but at the same time, it may be noted thtat in-depth news analyses, editorials and student opinions (excluding personal vignettes and experiences) concerning turmoil in the middle east are absent from this edition and all others forthcoming. this should not be interpreted as disregard for the welfare of israel, but simply as an acknowledgement that we are a paper dedicated to raising awareness of things occurring within YU and its greater community. despite its importance, israel remains outside of our domain.' (link )

a few pages later, i was treated to a half-page article covering the warped tour.

commie, old buddy, old pal, i have a few questions for you.

what exactly are you saying here? the warped tour affects us yu kids, whereas what happens in israel stays in israel?

are you out of your gourd?

to me, this seems to be the arrogant epitome of new york insularity. sure we care about israel- but as a forum for jewish college students, BY college students, as a conduit of information and a place for discussion, our paper BANS the subject of israel, to which EVERYONE in this college is tied on at least some level, because...because it 'remains outside our domain'?

dude, it's israel, not queens!

i understand the need to occupy the valuable and expensive space in the university newspaper first and foremost with topics directly pertaining to the university. sure, go for it. the times isn't going to cover our next open house, but they'll probably feature their slanted piece about mideast violence. so be it.

but commie, don't cite space limitations at me when this week's edition featured nine movie reviews, nine book reviews and a warped tour article.

yes, i love the a & c section; hey, i write for it. but i would rather have my 'superman returns' review cut than earnest discussion of what is happening to my people in their own homeland, a discussion held not by hard-boiled biased reporters on tv sets in times square but by people of my generation, many of whom hope to live in israel someday, and all of whom will have to deal with the outcome of this era's wars as adults, as parents educating their children about judaism and israel, and as jews themselves, whose nation is only a shadow of their true identity without israel.

i can't think of anything that would affect a jewish college more directly.

Monday, August 21, 2006


me: you know, maybe you should just let me finish washing you off, yonina. cause you know, this is the last time you're gonna see me for awhile. by the time you wake up in the morning, i'll already be on the airplane.

yonina (spitting out bubbles): WHAT?!

me: true story.

yonina: well, in that case, you better leave your cell phone on.

me: leave my cell phone on?

yonina: uh....yeah.

me: why? am i to believe that you're actually going to CALL me? you wouldn't even talk to me when i called YOU last year.

yonina: well, i'm not going to be able to say goodbye to you if you're on the airplane. i mean, you won't hear me from my bed.

me: i don't know about that.

yonina: so mommy will dial the number, and then i'll say 'goodbye', and then i'll just hang up.

me: oh.


me: so are you going to miss me?

yonina: maybe.

me: but you won't forget about me, right?

yonina: listen perel, i have a pretty good brain. i remember way way way a long time ago. like remember that time we went on the boat to new york? i remember that. so i'll probably remember you.

me: um...thanks...i think...

yonina (stopping to listen to the sounds of my father's band practice coming from the basement): sounds like someone's having a good time down there!