Monthly Archives: December 2006

six degrees

Through an email yesterday that appeared on a list of former college classmates, I discovered that one such former classmate’s blog was up for a 2006 Weblog Award.

There was only one voting day left, and you could only vote once a day, so I got the pleasure of helping her by voting for her once. Because, as everyone knows, I never cheat in blog competitions. And while the results aren’t final yet, it appears she may be the winner of Best Parenting blog.

I actually don’t think I remember her. I only spent four semesters at the college, not all of them sequential, and only two of them were at the same time she would have been there, even though we’re officially part of the same alumni class. I didn’t even get my degree there (but I had a lot of fun there, which was part of the problem.) I have enough pleasant memories, though, to have some class pride and help a former classmate. And I looked at the blog, and she has a good sense of humor.

How to make yourself sick

I went home early from work yesterday, and have been home today. A fever and a cough. I think I have the fever kicked, so I’m out of bed, on the internet, and thinking about eating again.

I’ve used more sick days this year than I have in the past. All legitimately. When I called my boss this morning, he told me to drink lots of water. And I have been. But I also know my lack of drinking enough water, when I am well, and drinking a lot of caffeinated diet coke, is one of the reasons I get sick more often than some.

Weight Watchers even suggests 6 glasses of water a day, and it’s one facet of the program I’ve never been successful in achieving. Alcohol and caffeine both dehydrate the body. Both do have other effects on the body which make them more enjoyable than water, but I need to compensate for the dehydration.

I’m resolved to drink a lot less caffeine, and more water.

Happy Hannukah

Hannukah begins Friday night. December 15th, or the 25th of Kislev, depending upon your calendar of choice.

Some holiday videos

Just Jew It
Twas the Night Before Chanukah
World Dreidel Tour

Some essays

The Non-Jewish World of Disney (Jewish princesses don’t wait for their prince to come; The story of Judith)

Is it the Jewish Christmas?

A blog post from 2004 talking about the odds of winning a game of dreidel, and a couple adult variants.

Warmest Wishes for Freedom – from the ACLU

I received the below in my email. It’s from the ACLU and contains a poem. The first couple stanzas are a bit awkward, but it picks up after that and has some wonderful moments. Rather than sending a zillion e-cards, I thought I would share with all my online friends in this manner:

All of us here at the ACLU are looking back on a year of pivotal struggles in the defense of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. We’ve seen some important gains this year, and we know we have some tough battles still ahead.

Though some pundits and partisans make hay by claiming that the ACLU is against Christmas, the fact is we spend countless hours every day of the year fighting to ensure that all people of faith have the freedom to pursue their own beliefs and to lead a life free from government interference in matters of religion.

Mindful that this is a serious matter but that the holidays are also a time for celebration and fun, we’re sending you this lighthearted poem with our thanks for your support and your continued involvement in all of our work.

Send your friends and family the poem with our easy-to-use eCard.

An Overdue Visit

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the nation
Friends of Freedom knew it was a special occasion.
Lady Liberty stood taller just off the shore
Her torch shining brighter than a few weeks before

But it wasn’t the flame turning her cheeks all rosy
It was thoughts of Snowe, Feingold and Nancy Pelosi
And leaders from every side of the aisle
Who would soon bring the Bill of Rights back into style.

The Amendments had all hurried out of their beds –
Which was no easy task, they were nearly in shreds –
And they rushed to the window on papery feet
As a jolly old man flew right over their street.

“Could it be!?” they inquired as the roof shook and trembled
And they crept toward the mantle, peaceably assembled,
Just as someone emerged from the chimney with flair
In a shiny red suit, with a shock of white hair

And a top hat, and pants all in red, white and blue –
“Wait a minute,” the Amendments exclaimed, “Who are you?”
“Don’t be frightened my children,” he said, “it’s no scam.
“You can’t have forgotten your old Uncle Sam!”

“Holy crap!” said Free Speech. “Stop right there!” yelled Bear Arms
And Privacy cried “Who shut off the alarms?!”
The Fifth remained silent, but Uncle Sam said
“We’ve been having some trouble, but Freedom’s not dead.”

The Amendments were cautious. “It’s just been so long
“We’ve seen Liberty lost, we’ve seen so much go wrong.
“The President’s trying to mangle and warp us,
“The Fourth is in tatters, so’s Habeas Corpus!”

The old man sat down – he had had quite a ride –
But he told them “Don’t worry, the Law’s on our side,
“‘Cause the nation’s fed up and more people are crying
“For Justice and an end to illegal spying,

“And secret abductions by the CIA,
“And laws that would take women’s choices away,
“And Gitmo tribunals and secret detention,
“And other intrusions too numerous to mention – ”

“Not so fast,” said a grinchity voice from above
And Don Rumsfeld pushed past the Fourteenth with a shove.
He was covered in soot and he looked kind of scary.
It seemed like his Christmas had not been so merry.

The Amendments said they weren’t happy to see him:
“You tried to throw all of us in the museum!
“You’ve done so much the Constitution forbids!”
“And I would have gone on, but for you meddling kids!”

Uncle Sam told him “Rummy, your plans just won’t do,
“So we’ve got a brand new timetable for you!”
And as Rumsfeld retired and crept into the night
The Amendments cried out “Have a good secret flight!”

From the distance they heard him reply with a snort.
“Bye-bye, Rummy!” they answered, “we’ll see you in court!”
Uncle Sam rode the chimney up out of the room
And, like Frosty, he said “I’ll be back again soon.”

But they heard him exclaim “Oh, and just one more thing!
“This year, when the holiday bells start to ring,
“Try to honor religion. Honest faith can’t be wrong.
“It’s America, can’t we all just get along?

“So, on Christian,” he cried, “Muslim, Hindu, and Jew!
“On Quaker! On Shaker! And Atheist too!
“On Buddhist! On Taoist! And to show we’re not chickens
“We’ll file a few lawsuits defending the Wiccans!

“Your belief is your right, so get out there and savor it.
“Uncle Sam’s not a preacher, and he doesn’t play favorites!”
So this holiday season, whatever you do,
Warmest wishes for Freedom, from the ACLU.