Monday, December 15, 2008

I may become famous because I'm strange.

When I first began breaking two years ago, I insisted that it was just a hobby. But as I began to increase my practice time to six hours a week (not including the hour long commutes I made to and from Bushwick, Brooklyn to the Upper West Side), I began to write about it and called my training "research" to justify time spent/wasted (depending on your perspective).

I've since been published in a few places on the topic. In those pieces the subjects were other b-boys and b-girls. But in this week's New York Magazine, I'm the subject of a teeny, tiny profile for a piece called, "Reasons to Love New York 2008. "

Number 24 on the list- "Because our Schoolteachers Are Such Prim Homebodies."

Yes, I get about a hundred words worth of "fame" for being both a Hebrew school teacher and b-girl. I might become better known for my mediocre dance skills than for my writing.

I can live with that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just like my high school...

Except that I didn't discover hip hop until after high school.

Check out those yeshiva bochers.

Breaking in tzitzit. I think I'm in love.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In Memory of Edward Tse

Last night, Edward Tse was shot and killed in his Brooklyn apartment during a robbery.

I knew Eddie from Touro College where we both worked as tutors- he taught math and science (and science lab) and I helped students with writing and literature. When I told him that I was incapable of very basic math (including counting), he laughed. Eddie laughed a lot. But Eddie, now that you're floating around in some alternative dimension and have been imbued with a degree of omniscience, you can see that I was telling the truth. I hope you're still laughing at me.

Eddie, I'll miss your Members Only jacket. And I hope you're somewhere warmer than the Touro tutoring office during the winter.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I've been having several conversations regarding hair color over gchat since I just changed mine yesterday to a deep, dark brown from a golden blonde.

Or is it blond?

Every time I've tried to type "blonde" with an "e" at the end, gchat redlines it for me. When I delete the last letter, The Powers That Be at Google find the word acceptable.

I've been finding this terribly confusing. Have I been spelling "blond(e)" wrong for all these years? Or have I been using the English spelling of the word, tacking on an extra letter the way the Brits do with "colour."

I've turned to Microsoft Word to help decide the matter. Their spell check has no objections to the silent "e." Nor does it have a problem with the shortened version of the word.

What gives? Why is Google trying to push one spelling over another? Is this perhaps the new battlefield for the tech giants, a battle for the term that means "flaxen"?

And if so, what word is next?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Most Extreme Oedipal Triangle. Ever.

A few weeks ago I was at a Shabbat dinner with a fourth year medical student who announced to the table that though she used to be tolerant of ultra-Orthodox beliefs and practices, she is no longer, especially after doing a rotation in the maternity ward.


She gave a litany of reasons why the ultra-Orthodox annoy her (they're nasty and rude to the staff, etc.) ending with this particular complaint. "Inside the room, the woman is giving birth. And outside, her husband is shuckeling back and forth, saying tehillim (Psalms). He needs to get in there and hold her hand!"

The reason for this callous behavior- according to Jewish laws called harchakot, which comes from the Hebrew word that means to "to distance," the man cannot be around his wife when she is bleeding and sexually impermissible to him so as not to be tempted to have illicit relations with her. Usually, these laws come into effect during the women's period and require the man and woman to sleep in separate beds and not pass food between each other.

For some, these laws remain in play during delivery, which my med student friend thinks is ridiculous. "A baby is coming out of her vagina. He can't have sex with her even if he wanted to under those circumstances. There's no vacancy!"

As a holder of an MFA in Creative Writing and a BA in English, I felt qualified to the make the following pronouncement. "I mean, if he tried that would the most extreme Oedipal triangle of all time."

I doubt this is what Euripides had in mind when he wrote the ancient plays.

Yes, it seems that the Jews can beat the Greeks at their own weird game. I invite my Greek friend at Please Judge Me to devise an even crazier Oedipal triangle. Your people's reputation is at stake. If you can't come up with a better one than I'm afraid that we Jews will have to take the Oedipus complex and rename it as our own.

What should we call it? The Moshe Complex? The Yankel Complex?

Suggestions welcome.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Frum Dating Hotline

For those of you there who are navigating the intricacies of the frum courtship rituals, we announce the Shidduch Hotline, a 900 number intended to help the ultra-Orthodox date and masturbate.

When you call, these will be the options:

Press 1 to report the outcome of your shidduch date (Further options: Press 1 if he/she's so holy you can see his/her neshama in his/her eyes, and you'd like to check wedding hall availability for three months hence. 2 if he's so ugly he should keep his face permanently buried in a volume of Shas. 3 if he/she was only OK and you're already 22 so you can't afford to be choosy, now can you?)

Press 2 to hear some dirty, dirty Ashkenazis (if you don't know what that is, read about the dialect here)

Press 3 to hear loshon hora (gossip) about people you don't know.

Press 4 to hear what your bashert would do to you if he/she wasn't shomer negiah.

Press 5 to listen to someone eating a cheeseburger.

Press 6 to listen to a girl rub her uncovered elbow (Oh, Oh, OOOOH!)

Press 7 to hear a list of people sexually forbidden to you.

Press 8 to hear all of the options repeated in Yiddish.

Feel free to add options that have not been included in the comments section. And special thanks to Avi M. for inspiring this post and formulating several of the choices.