Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Longevity: What It Can Buy

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

In My Experience of Observing My Mom & Some of Her Memories So Far:
  • Reminiscences of her red-bearded grandfather when she meets the orthopedist earlier today; the doctor has bright-red hair and a bright-red goatee
  • A spine that curves at the bottom like a slippery-when-wet sign -- the X-ray doesn't lie
  • A University of Wisconsin Journalism B.A.
  • Father loss by her early-20s; she says he looked Swedish and people would buy furniture from him and say, "Thankfully, I didn't have to buy from a dirty Jew," and after completing the transaction, he'd say, "Would would you say if I told you you just did?" (Their name had been Prensky, but Ellis Island officials turned it into Prens, which was not identifiably Jewish)
  • Marriage to my dad, a tall, handsome, creative, funny, toy-designing, child co-producer x3
  • Three good daughters who are there for her when she needs us, which is not as often as it could be, considering her advanced age
  • Trips to Majorca, England, Israel, Maine, France, Nova Scotia and more with various family members and alone
  • Widowhood at 56; my dad (z"l) died of bile-duct cancer within six months of his diagnosis
  • Grandmotherhood x4 beginning at age 67, of three gifted, gorgeous boys and a super-creative, beautiful girl
  • Good friends from 40+ years in metro-Stamford, a number of whom have died; today, she was missing Jane
  • Lush, Jewish cultural enrichment through her love of Jewish folk art and fiction
  • A super-active brain that is the cognitive equivalent of a bodybuilder's physique, still!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Is Tap Dance the Yiddish of the Dance World?

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

Yes! Obituaries for Either are Premature

At "Dance Under the Influence," the marvelous "feast" -- "The New York Times" called it that -- the audience was invited to ask questions of the performers afterward. One woman asked Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards and Jared Grimes, the evening's tap-dancing duo, whether they worried about the tap's future. The way the audience-member asked the question, it reminded me of similar hand-wringing I've heard around the future of Yiddish. Dormeshia answered the question and her response was similar to mine about Yiddish, which was that it's hard to dignify such a question with a response, rich as the art-form and language both are.

Still, a week later, I must have been slightly haunted by the question, as I was playing randomly in Pinterest, and I decided to create a board called, "Yiddish words & phrased I picked up through listening to my parents' conversations." Here are the first five I've posted on the board so far, and which I heard either fairly often, or memorably; I've translated them based on my parents' explanations when I'd ask, and am spelling them out phonetically, with the disclaimer that I have no idea how to spell them correctly, using either Hebrew or English characters: