Odds & Ends: Politics, Tefillin Barbie, and the Attack of the Tuner Monster.

Friday, January 22, 2010 | 3 Comment(s)

I'm not sure why, but I haven't been very thematic recently.  Let's do an "odds and ends" entry to make it official.

- The day after my blog entry on baggage fees, American Airlines announced they would be charging $25 a bag.  The day after that, I saw the first story on shipping your baggage to your travel destination  ahead of time.  I'm not saying that that is the solution, but this problem will be rectified.  It's too completely moronic not to.

- Being both a MA native and MA resident, it has been hard not to be disappointed by the recent election.  And here's the thing.  It's not even that a Republican won and how that might affect the Senate. *begin political tirade*  Frankly, over the years of my political cognizance (which, lets say, started around Regan), I have learned one sad truth about the American political system.  That is, if a president wants to get their agenda enacted, they have to find a way to simply push it through.  George W, moron of morons, made this process into an art-form.  He found a way to break the law, with his subversion of Congress, and then write a law making the law he broke not pertain to him (Patriot Act?).  If George W. has been craving the approval of his daddy, at least he can feel safe in saying that he ignored Congress more efficiently than any president ever.  How else could he have sunk the richest nation in the world in 8 short years.  *End political tirade*   What bugs me is that Brown R-MA is so proudly announcing that he will vote against a health care bill that is MUCH LESS progressive than the state-wide mandated health care of the state he represents.  That I find distastefully hypocritical.  We got ours, FU other Americans.  Not cool.

- On a lighter note, this is hilarious to me.  While I concede that tefillin (boxes containing prayers worn on the head and arm during the morning service--pictured) are more rarely seen than the yarmulke and talis (prayer shawl), this quote from an FBI spokesman seems a bit extreme to me: "It's something that the average person is not going to see very often, if ever,"  I mean, they aren't THAT uncommon.  I searched tefillin on Google and found these images:

They don't make Barbie dolls wrapped in giant squids or holding a Dead Sea Scroll, because those things are rare.  Tefillin?  We liked it so much me made a doll of it. (sing to the tune of Beyonce's Put A Ring On It).  Not so rare.  And are you telling me that NO ONE else on the plane could explain these religious items?  I realize the plane was going to Louisville, but it was coming from New York.  They landed in Philadelphia to further investigate the matter before heading on to their destination.  A tip.  Landing in Philadelphia only increases your chance of personal harm (not to mention the extra take off and landing).  Skip the emergency landing and just get the number for El Al Airlines.

- Last one.  Someone please tell me if this is genius or insane.  You know how when you look at a Kindle, the screen is visually different than when you look at a computer screen.  Better for your eyes and whatnot.  Well, what if someone invented glasses that, when worn, dulled the glow of the computer screen so it looked more like the Kindle screen.  Eh?  Like I said, it's either genius or folly.

- I lied.  There is one more.  Cause this is crazy.  As I am writing that last paragraph (specifically after I finished linking the work "Kindle" to the Kindle web page, the TV, which was on mute in the background, started emitting what I would classify as an earmeltingly loud shock of constant static noise.  Like the sound that accompanies the "TV-snow" of a channel with no reception (I used to think of it as the white team vs. the black team in an epic struggle.  Preternaturally sensitive to racial issues, totally racist, or kinda autistic?).  Anyways, its 1:30am and my gf is sleeping downstairs.  What do I do in reaction to this sudden cacophony?  Do I play it cool man, real cool.  No.  No I do not.  I start emitting my own earmeltingly loud and constant shrieks which, in my recollection, sound just like the dude whose is actively getting rolling over by one of those pavement roller trucks.  Way to act like you been there before Mattitiyahu.  So, I go shrieking and running downstairs (still shrieking) and make sure the gf is ok (why the hell wouldn't she be ok since up until I ran downstairs screaming she was fast asleep).  Then I run upstairs (still shrieking, but a little less constant) and realize that the sound must be coming from our DVD/Tuner (though I only knew that since I had turned everything else off, so really I just turned the last thing with its power on, off).  The sound ended.  I am lying on the floor shaking in the fetal position.  It is safe to say that if someone has a hidden camera installed in my living room, then we have an internet sensation on our hands.  It was the first time in a very VERY long time that the shit has been scared out of me.  I don't watch scary movies.  I even turn the channel when the tense scenes come on in romantic comedies.  Wow.  I do feel kind of invigorated.  But perhaps that's just the feeling of having my colon in my esophagus.  Amazing, my landlord and family (we live in the "in-law" appartment to their main house) didn't even get woken up.  I am both amazed and frightened by that.

I should be able to fall RIGHT to sleep now.  Sigh.  (*hands still trembling*)


  1. When I saw "Tefillin Barbie" in the title, the Gentile in me thought you meant "Teflon Barbie" (which makes a lot less sense...) until I read your post. I have so much to learn.

  2. Did you not find it a bit distressing that the FBI asshat contrasted Jewish people with "average" people?

  3. @Melissa. I think a "Teflon Barnie" wouldn't be too kid safe. Too easy to swallow.

    @John. I just figured he was distinguishing between "average" and "chosen".