On Sukkos

 Posted by on September 27, 2012
Sep 272012

A guy playing golf with Lulav and Esrog

Happy holidays, friends. If you get to play golf and be served five course meals and sit with your feet propped on a massage table, good for you. Holidays rock that way.

I built myself a small sukkah, this year as all years, a shrine to sweet childhood memories and an effort to pass those experiences on to my child. It’s beautiful, in a charming and cozy way. It’s a lot of work to set up and take down, but well worth the effort. Those who see me dragging the wooden panels across the yard call me a feminist, which makes my head swell way too big for the kosher part of the Sukkah. Building the sukkah is a tradition I couldn’t give up. I get a number of colored lights to blink away at night while we huddle with sweaters and our noses run.

Sukkos – the holiday of creativity and artistic expression on the panel walls – makes me reflect on my own artistic project; cartooning. I’ve made some progress with the craft of doodling itself, I think. I’m pretty okay at Photoshop now and I mostly only draw there. I’ve figured out how to use its great layering and pen tools too. I can still only do very basic drawings. Intricate settings stump me. I audited an art class in college, hoping to pick up some tips, but I just watched the most bizarre uses of paints instead. I myself never touched a canvas. One art student explained to me that her elaborate mysterious mush-mash of stuff and paint was a profound interpretation of an awesome dream she had with like, insight. Very nice, I said.

I’ll stick to this doodling thing, at home. And I’ll try not to do it asleep, dream awesomeness notwithstanding.

On Chazzonus

 Posted by on September 24, 2012
Sep 242012

A Chazan sings Hamelech on Yom Kippur

When I did my undergraduate college degree, a one-year process that took place when I lived in Kiryas Joel and which amounted to scraping together credits from any venue that awarded it without going to class, I found a guy in Israel — a doctor he said he was, a professor and rabbi too of course, who was accredited to award credits for cantorial performances, or, as he called it, chazzanos. It was obvious that his institution was not intended to train the next Rosenblatt, but rather