Monday, December 18, 2006

Let the Gastro Gauntlet Begin...Happy Hanukkah!

So happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish (and non-Jewish) readers. I'm not Jewish but my partner is so hey, you can celebrate too--I do! I've joined in on all the festivities since we've been together. I even read Hebrew at Pesach (aka Passover) but off the page (hey, I'm not that good.) I realize that I'm a couple of days late--the eight day "Festival of Lights" kicked off Saturday but I figure, since I've got eight days, I can post this now.

We inadvertently began Hanukkah by going to see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Kind of ironic, don't you think? We didn't do it on purpose; we just hadn't gotten around to seeing it. Oh boy, Sacha Baron Cohen is nuts. There was one scene where I was almost rolling in the aisles and suffering from oxygen deprivation as I was laughing so hard--and loudly. If you haven't seen the movie, I won't tell you which part it was but if you have, go ahead and take a guess. I'll give you a hint: it had nothing to do with any of the "anti-semitic" comments.

Anyway, we've been busy--and will be busier. My partner's birthday also falls around this time of year...well, today actually so there's that to contend with also.

So far no news about celebrating Christmas with anyone from my side of the family. I can hear the crickets chirping... Just as well...I'm growing increasingly unhappy with Dad's side and well, Mom...that's difficult. My sister doesn't celebrate at all...she's a Jehovah's Witness. She's got the right idea!

But all the food! With the current condition of my stomach it's just awful. I eat anyway because I can't figure out any triggers and it's not like Jews are the only ones who put on big spreads this time of year. Actually, just about any ethno-religio-cultural group will always celebrate with food. It just so happens that right now it's Hanukkah time!

So being Jewish by osmosis isn't bad, actually. I kind of enjoy it. I won't be taking any conversion classes any time soon (much to my partner's mother's chagrin...) but I wouldn't convert to any religion. I carried the flag of agnosticism for many years but I became frustrated as a "fence sitter" and my rational mind took over so I proclaimed myself an athiest. I still respect peoples' choice to practice religion but I see it as a cultural construct, treat it as such and appreciate it on that basis. I have no problem entering a place of worship and even practicing in certain rituals but I will draw the line at praying and I do not sing hymns. I do enjoy listening to sacred music very much though. That's more of an appreciation of the art form, however.

Fundamentalists get my blood boiling a little. I'm a "live and let live" kind of person as I hope you can sort of gather from above. Don't try and "convert" me! And don't get your panties in a bunch just because I'm (by your definition) an evil non-believer! Sheesh. I'm not some "fundamentalist athiest" who runs around trying to "non-convert" people! It's not like I preach that all religion is evil--although sometimes I may take issue with organized religion. A lot of people run around and misquote Marx saying "Religion is the opiate of the masses!" but I won't. I think faith is good, faith is fine. If it gets you through the day and makes you a better person, that's great! But yes, it's probably more the institutions and hypocrisy within them that I have a problem with.

Okay, welcome to tangent-land with Patient Anonymous! Consider yourself warned. Posts like these may occur frequently.

So anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Tohji-taisai, Happy Yule, Happy Solstice, Happy Joseph Smith's Birthday, Happy Sharaf, Happy Kwanzaa...I think that should just about cover everything? Or maybe not.


Dr. A said...

How about just Have a Nice Day! :)

Patient Anonymous said...

Yeah, the KISS rule? I know...I often wonder whether in our paving the way to inclusiveness, we've let the pendulum swing too far in terms of political correctness.

Or maybe I'm just getting too damn tengential (and complicated) again...


Anonymous said...

Hi there PA! I hope that this comment isn't eaten like the other one I sent to you. I'm starting to get quite paranoid actually :) about the fact that so many of my comments 'appear' to be eaten!
First, I'll try again, Happy Hannukah. Say Happy Birthday to your partner too, from me. I don't know when her birthday falls, but you hint that its around now, so just thought I'd add my tuppence worth.
Me too, me too, me too. I was brought up with a preacher who installed Christianity in me, then I wondered why my life was so unprotected by my God that I respected, and began to wonder. After my father had died,and in my teens, I read Origin of the Species, by Charles Darwin and boy oh boy, that just kicked me into my first major depression. Then I became an aetheist. I too believe in live and let live. I admire those who have a faith to follow actually, because I know that I cannot. I'm generalising here, but so long as those who hold their faith do not dogmatically tell me that I should believe and as long as they don't start wars because of intolerance of other faiths, or think that theirs is the only true faith, then I don't have a problem with it.
We saw Borat a while back. I heard that Sacha Baron Cohen was beaten up in the company of Hugh Laurie, when they were walking to a night club in the US and Sacha couldn't resist playing his Borat chracter telling a passing stranger that he " your clothings, could I please have them?..". The stranger didn't recognise him, couldn't see that Sacha was behaving in a jocular manner, and thought that he was being mugged. So the stranger punched him and he was in the stages of being beaten up, when wonderful Hugh managed to pull the stranger off him. Geez, some people eh?
Golly, this is a long comment. There's a lot in your post that I'd like to talk more about, I think there is potential for at least an evening chatting about some of the things you say!
But, you do have an interesting life and experiences, so even if Blogger won't let me through, I'll still be reading your posts.

Sisiphus said...

I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses and my friends that aren't, are always somewhat envious of me at holidays, or birthdays that are costing them a small fortune. We Witnesses have a book called "What Does the Bible Really Teach?" that is very good. Maybe you can obtain a copy from your sister and simplify your future.

Patient Anonymous said...

Hi sis: Good to see you! Thanks for the comment. I'm not surprised by anything that you say *grin*...well, some of it at least! I'm sorry you lost you Daddy in your youth. That must have been difficult.

Darwin didn't make me depressed, ironically(?)--it made me excited haha! It also made me really want to see the Galapagos Islands... I think my cousin (the somewhat insensitive ER doc) went there on her honeymoon(?)...grrr. Ah well, life's too short to be a jealous bitch. Cynicism is fine, envy is not.

Interesting story about Hugh and "Borat." Maybe Hugh should have switched into "House" and somehow found a cane and started beating said assailant with it while simultaneously diagnosing him with some rare disorder of something or other? And then dragged him off to a psych ward. Okay, maybe not funny but I'm nuts so I can make "crazy jokes." It's called "in-group exclusion."

Yes, too bad we're not closer. Would LOVE to get together for an evening of witty banter and (pseudo)intellectual diatribe.

maureen: Thanks for visiting! Yes, my sister has some very interesting books and I do find the JW faith to take an interesting approach to Christianity. I like the fact that they are open to discussion and interpretation and at least in the talks that I have had with my sister, a lot of things haven't gotten so bent out of shape as far as the Bible goes.

Anonymous said...

Hey PA, thanks for replying. Am feeling 'kaka' (translation available in one of my recent blogs :)) tonight and need all the friend I have. One of my closest relatives(well friend, but always very close and served a role as a relative) has just died. Amazing just how quickly your appetite vanishes and yor quest for mind-numbing alternatives increases. OI should know better, but I am fallible.
Interesting how books cause differnet effects in different people. I loved the book, but it just put me in a tail-spin. All the things that I had a remote belief in, turned out to be false because I could see the logic and science behind Darwin's hypotheses.
Did you ever read "Voyage of the Beagle", by him, seeing as you read "Origin of the species". ?

Regards, Sisiphus

Patient Anonymous said...

Hey Sis, I still can't believe that you can't log in here.

I am so sorry to hear about the death of your friend. Wow.

Well send you an email.

No, did not read the other book...gee, it was so long ago...I was just a little kid when I read "Origin"...I mean, YOUNG. I was reading Shakespeare and Psychology texts before becoming a teenager and going to high that your A/O levels in the UK?

DrShroom said...

Tangentially... if you've read either 'On the origin of species', or 'Voyage of the Beagle,' may I recommend 'This thing of darkness' , by Harry Thompson, an intersting imagination of Darwin and Fitzroy's stormy relationship on the Beagle

Patient Anonymous said...

Thanks, drshroom, that sounds interesting...and tangets are always welcome here *wink*