Monday, October 03, 2005

Rosh Hashana 

Yom Tov, Shanah Tovah, yes, it's the New Year. And I've become what I don't like: one of those guys who only goes to shul on the big holidays. I wouldn't even do that, but seeing as I'm living at home at the moment, it's not worth fighting with my parents about. When I expressed my mild displeasure with going to synagogue, my father snapped a bit. Started going on about how I need the socialization, and so forth. Which I happen to agree with. Except I fail to see how going to shul is socializing, any more than sitting in a movie theatre is. It is a community activity, sure, but it's not community interaction, just gathering, mostly. And over the years, there's gotten to be less audience participation.

While shul is meaningless for me spiritually, I do enjoy singing in Hebrew, but now more and more the prayers are to odd tunes for the Cantor and the Choir without the congregation, and it's boring to just sit there and listen without jumping in -- but how weird would it be to be the single congregant singing along? Still, I don't like this whole worshipping silently while the Cantor goes on business.

Honestly, I don't mind shul at all. Even though I'm an atheist, it's not the being there that bothers me: it's the being there only for the big holidays. If we went every weekend, it'd be no problem for me. There's a very good chance that when I'm not living with my parents I'll be an active participant in the local synagogue (or church, or other place of worship, depending on the religious inclinations of whomever my SO eventually is. . .).

Completely changing the subject, I'm thinking it's time for me to take on Proust, and was wondering if anyone would care to recommend any particular English translation.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I saw Serenity yesterday, and it was exactly what I expected: great fun. Not perfect; it had its flaws. But it was certainly the best science fiction film of the year and probably the last decade. You can find gushing reviews everywhere, so I'm not going to repeat them all -- just go out and do me a favor and see it. Of course I saw it alone, so had no one with whom to share my enthusiasm, but I guess that's life.

After that I went to dinner with my parents and a friend of theirs who's unfortunately afflicted with Huntington's Corea. We went to Mikimotos, a good sushi place. I had some delicious sushi/sashimi to start, and then an even better seared sesame tuna, served over onions and shiitakes and a couple pierogi. Mmm. Delicious. At dinner, out of the blue, my father said to me, "Your heart's going to be broken." "How's that?" saith Mastadge. "You're too nice. You're not an asshole like me. Your heart's going to get broken over and over again." "Oh, good," I replied, "something to look forward to." "You'll get used to it," he said.

Later on, he said that when I was little, his mother used to tell him that I was so sweet my heart would get broken when I got older. He said he didn't believe her at the time. "How little," I asked. "Five?" "Probably younger than that," he said.

So I guess it's no news to anyone that I'm a nice guy doomed to heartbreak. I guess it's been apparent for close to twenty years now, to those who're looking.

Later in the evening he told me what he said should make me feel good about myself. "You don't have a mean bone in your body. You should feel good about being nice." I couldn't help but feeling that that was kind of a backhanded reassurance.

Anyway, after dinner we had theatre tickets; we saw Larry Shue's The Nerd. It was funny, but not as funny as most of the audience thought it was, and its second half was a whole lot less funny than the first. It didn't cheer me up as much as I'd have liked it to.

I've been reading a lot lately. I read Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen, which was okay, but you already know if you're going to be reading it or not so why bother talking about it? I also read Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, which was cute, fun, funny, quick and predictable. A good book, but not great. I'd be surprised if you don't laugh at loud at least once or twice while reading it. If you like Gaiman, you'll probably read it anyway, and if you don't . . . who am I kidding? How many people actually don't like Neil Gaiman? And, hmm, I'm pretty sure I read something else but I'm tired and it's not coming to me right now. Maybe later.

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