Thursday, January 29, 2009

Asian Jews

I was just speaking with a friend of Taiwanese descent, who since moving to New York City and living on the Upper West Side has come in to contact with a lot of Jews (to put it mildly) and she has had an accelerated education in the ways of the clan- the allergies, self-deprecating humor and an unnecessary number of degrees.

This knowledge has helped her understand why Asian Jews do not often convert to Judaism- and it's not just because they would risk having children with frizzy hair. No, she explains, the reason there aren't more Asian converts is because the pressure on such a reborn Jew would be enormous. Being just a doctor or simply a lawyer would insufficient. A doctor and a lawyer would be acceptable. I suppose one could be brought home if he was an MD PhD.

My friend thinks most of these converts would crack under the pressure and simply off themselves.

Any Asian Jew who can hack it would have to be some sort of super hero. "He might as well just wear his underwear on the outside of his pants," she said.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Kimiko


Last night (or to be more accurate, this morning), I attended a small artist showcase in the East Village. There was a tap dancer, some musicians from Western Japan who were playing what sounded like house music with a cello and vocals, a Reggaeton singer (also from Japan) who others seemed to enjoy but I couldn't hear above the music, the Mayor of Lower East Village, a rapper who "represents" a nonexistent neighborhood and Kimiko.

Kimiko is a 29 year old b-girl from Japan living in NYC in order to train with Break Easy (aka Richie Santiago). And despite the fact that her English is very limited (and my Japanese completely nonexistent) she laughs at all my jokes, which is the quickest way to earn my good opinion. So I trekked to the "Lower East Village" from the Upper West Shtetl to watch her and Break Easy perform at 1 a.m.

Because of the language gulf, I've never been able to ask her why she moved halfway around the world to study breaking. I can only guess that she is a fellow obsessive. Whereas my passion runs to subverting my religious upbringing by blending it with gymnastics, it seems that Kimiko's is a bit more straightforward and normal.

And last night/this morning, she was fresh.

(Break Easy, Kimiko and me, in my Run DMC hat)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What my mom would've looked like as a gymnast

In this vintage clip from 1971, Linda Metheny performs on the uneven bars. Gotta love the old school moves in the routine, but more importantly, you gotta love the hair! My mom had the same exact bouffant style back in the day though hers was blond.

Here's a picture of my mom from that era:

And here is Metheny:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My first boyfriend was a thug

I spent my third year of life toting around my Ernie doll everywhere I went, which is why there are very few pictures from that time that are sans this lovable (now outed) Sesame Street character. He was my first boyfriend (though he would soon be succeeded by 2 and 3, Scott and Adam, my nursery playmates. This was before I was sent to all-girls yeshiva to keep me away from the male folk until I graduated from high school.)

Despite the removal from the opposite sex, it seems that the early exposure has had a long-lasting impact. I've always wondered how I became interested in breaking and hip hop. I was not allowed to listen to rap music growing and none of my friends were particularly interested in the music or lifestyle. So how exactly did I get sucked into the scene so easily?

Well, it seems that the hip hop seeds were planted early. By Ernie. A friend just sent me the link to this video, which shows my first love acting all hardcore.



Perhaps he's also the reason I've crushed hard for at least two gay men.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's been awhile since I've done a gymnastics post. And if I still have any fans of the sport who are still readers, I apologize. Lately, I've only been getting my Jewsnark on, forgetting that the other half of this blog's name refers to the most awesome Olympic sport- not mental acrobatics.

I'll ease back into things with this piece posted on the LA Times sports blog. Called, "Gymnasts wear coats too," the author challenges the reader to name all of the athletes in the photo, offering a gold medal if you can recognize them with their coats on.

Ha! Piece of cake! Clearly this man underestimates the talents of gym fans, some of whom used to take tracing paper and sketch pictures of gymnasts from library books and then hang them on her bedroom wall. Not that I know anyone that obsessed.

Anyway, the front row (l-r) Samantha Pezseck, Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Justin Spring.
Back row (l-r): Ivan Ivankov, Paul Hamm, Guy Too Tall To Be A Gymnast, Raj Bhavsar.

Okay. so it was printed in the post. But I so would've gotten it without the help.

Also quick shout out to my alma mater, UPenn and the gymnastics team who practice and compete admirably in a shit hole of a gym, Hutchinson.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I won!

As some of you may know, I challenged a fellow bloggette who happens to be Greek- let's call her Feta- to come up with an even more extreme Oedipal Triangle since my people, the Jews had usurped it (as described here).

Though she tried, she failed. Just like her ancestors did against the Semites during the Second Temple period. And in this blog post, she concedes defeat.

In short, I cede to my Jewish counterpart, my little Miss Maccabee, on the last night of Chanukah, just as it was done some 2,ooo plus years ago or so. You definitely have the sicker mind. My people never thought to make it a menage-a-trois. We've progressed, I promise.
Feta, I humbly accept your white flag. But I can't stop here. I'm going after your yogurt.