okay. tuesday april 10, i went to see ladysmith black mambazo. ladysmith, if you've been living under a rock since 1986, is a south african a capella group. they were made internationally famous on paul simon's 1986 album graceland. they sing about the hardship of south african life, and now about the freedom since the end apartheid and the holding of the first all-race elections in 1994.
definately worth a listen.
passover was the next night, and i got roped into leading the 20 minute version of the seder. it was, as you can imagine, really fast.
i don't really have a problem with a fast seder, but i have a problem with a fast seder when i lead it. it's not that it's meant to be slow, but let's face it: the story of the exodous from egypt, the giving of the 10 commandments at mt. saini, and 40 years of wandering in the desert, ending at the jews' arrival in the land of israel, is the central story of the religion.
the passover seder is the annual retelling of that story. the service has a lot of flexibility, and there are many ways to do it, but it felt to me like the way we did it on wednesday and thursday was about getting through it as quickly as we could.
allowances must be made for my three small children, who are unable to sit through a long production. even so, in the future i'd like to give some thought to actually telling the story. like, the entire story.
one of the major complaints is that people often spend a long time doing the first half, and then they get to the meal, and then they rush through the after-meal stuff so they can get home.
i would take an alternative approach, so if any of you are out there taking hints, here's your chance: do both nights, and invite the same people both nights, so you have the same crowd.
on the first night, do the first half, and quit after eating. on the second night, eat first, and then do the second half.
this gives you plenty of time to do both parts of the service without shortening what could be a beautiful, meaningful event.
school is drawing to a close and i'm glad of that. i may take one course over the semester. i guess i should get off my ass and decide, since registration opens in the morning.
cecily talked about wanting a honda element.
no, hon. you don't want an element. your credit report notwithstanding, an element is the wrong car.
elements are designed for the lithe, thin, strong college-age crowd who want to throw their shit in the back and go. although it says "five doors," those ... things ... behind the doors (bat wings?) are not doors.
for people who are old, decript, fat, and have children (like me), any vehicle in which there is even the slightest possibility that i might have to slide the driver's seat forward to mess with the rugrat is unacceptable. a single child is actually pretty portable (compared to, say, three). and i'm going to suggest that cecily and hubby will wind up taking rugrat out quite a bit as they go about their lives.
but rugrats come with crap. lots of crap. diaper bags, for one. diaper bags tend to contain, at a minimum, diapers, wipes, plastic baggies (for used diapers), a change of clothes for baby, one or more baby mres, at least a change of tops for mom and/or dad, burp rags, bibs if you use them, and assorted children's rattles, pacifiers, and other assorted attention-wasting devices.
if you schlep your child around much, you will of necessity also shelp your child's crap around. this means that, in addition to getting the child in and out of the car (and bending over the seat to buckle said child in, which takes some getting used to), you will also wind up getting the crap in and out. and while the child can not walk, chances are at least average you will also want to take a stroller, so you don't have to carry the child all the time.
rainbow's suggestion for the sight-seeing parent: strollers are not permitted in carlsbad cavern, but the ranger desk at the top of the mountain may have baby backpacks you can borrow. borrow them; they are actually rather comfortable for both wearer and wearee. do not attempt to hand-carry an infant through carlsbad caverns, even if you're taking the elevator down. it is a very bad idea.
all of this means you want a car that has at least four doors. like, real doors. full-sized doors.
and of course, with gas now at $3 a gallon, you want a hybrid, which the element most assuredly is not.
i'm sick and sleepy, and now i'm going home.