Sunday, February 25, 2007

City Living Gripe #483

As my friend Arona already noted, we city folk don't always have it easy. Urban dwelling brings with it some surreal protocols and implications we must confront. Here's one that bothers me.

We are lucky enough to have a laundry room in our building (the fact that we don't have to schlep to the laundromat makes this a distinctly NY type of luck) that has five washing machines. Our building has 60 apartments. You do the math.

We're vigilant enough to catch a machine when its wash is done. The washes' owners, however, are not always so vigilant. What this means is that, as per building's consenual, tacit etiquette, we take the other person's clean laundry out of the machine and put it into an empty dryer (if there are no empty dryers, the wash goes on a table in the room). Now I know that these are freshly cleaned clothes we're talking about, but still- I don't want to be handling someone else unmentionables! There must be some evolutionary advantage to being repulsed by others' clothes (a.k.a. xenovestiphobia), but what could it possibly be if we're even disgusted by clean clothing? I'm open to hearing all forms of conjecture, speculation, and MAS on the topic.

We also had to deal with an urban laundry excursion when we were in San Francisco for vacation. Being soon after the 9 Days, we packed dirty laundry to wash at the beginning of our trip. We asked at our hotel and they directed us to the Brain Wash Cafe & Laundromat. We realized we weren't in the tourist part of town anymore when every storefront was a body shop- alternating car's and women's bodies (if ya know what I mean ;). I've never seen such a trendy laundromat; I guess that's the point. Our load was way under the minimum weight, but the heavy-lidded hipster behind the counter, apathetic and detesting of her bosses anyway, didn't even to try and make us pay the higher fee to meet the minimum.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Muslims excel in Jewish day school!

The Jewish school where half the pupils are Muslim
Some might call this article inspirational- I don't know if I'd go that far, but it is somewhat astounding. The two levels that get me are first, that the Muslim parents are so into enrolling their kids in a Jewish school and second, that other members of their community seem to be ok with it. Presumably, the Birmingham (UK) Muslim community is more moderate.

Thanks to Avi Z. for the link.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wear Red Day 2007

I didn't think about my decision to wear a red sweater on February 2nd, I just pulled it out of the closet. I'm working Fridays doing research in a cardiovascular department of a major hospital. Someone popped her head in the room I was working in and, noting that I was wearing red, asked if I was wearing "for the cause."

Indeed, I wasn't, but what cause? Apparently, it was Wear Red Day, in support of women's heart disease awareness. Being a cardiology department, everyone's for this cause. We took a staff picture with all of us Redcoats. Afterwards, I got a red dress pin (aka a זונה* pin)

What was I doing that day? Proofreading my professor's chapter galleys, punctuation and all. Sound familiar? I present to you the Maestro, Victor Borge!

דרב אדא בר אהבה חזייה לההיא כותית דהות לבישא כרבלתא בשוקא סבר דבת ישראל היא קם קרעיה מינה אגלאי מילתא דכותית היא שיימוה בארבע מאה זוזי א"ל מה שמך אמרה ליה מתון אמר לה מתון מתון ארבע מאה זוזי שויא -ברכות דף כ,א