Monday, December 21, 2009

Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!

As of today it is officially Christmas week. For me, this also means it is officially the week of my birthday. That's right, two very important, dead sexy Jews have birthdays this week. Me and Jesus. I'm one day older than him, which totally burns him up by the way. Whenever we are arguing about something and we come to an impasse I can always pull out the "Well, I'm older and wiser than you" card. God, that just kills him.

Anyway, when I am not busy holding it over Jesus, I usually just try to get through the holidays and my birthday without causing or participating in too many scenes. I don't mind my birthday generally, but being the center of attention is just about the opposite of what comes naturally and comfortably to me. It's nice to know people care about me and all, but I don't need any special attention, really. As for Christmas, I got nothing against the Goys and their traditions; the spirit of giving and family togetherness can be truly magical. But does the mall have to be so fucking crowded? I mean really. Still, however awful the holiday music and all the shopping is, I mostly like the Christmas idyll of families and friends getting together and doing nice things for each other. That sounds like a grand idea to me. Like I said, I don't begrudge them their holiday... It's theirs, they can have it.

I like Chanukah just fine. Obviously I am not very (read: at all) religious, but the way Chanukah (or however the hell you spell it) manifests itself in the secular world is, just like Christmas, simply an excuse to be with and/or express your love for your loved ones. Plus, we got latkes! Jewish hash browns! They are sooo good, and I don't know why they are a once a year thing.. in fact, I am hereby proposing a year long latke party in 2010. Let's all do it! Latkes all year baby, break out the sour cream and apple sauce! Or, if you're a Goy, go ahead and put ketchup or salsa on that potato pancake, I won't mind, this is not a private party. Everyone's invited: young, old, black, white, straight, gay, Jew, non-Jew, anybody who loves fried potato!
This year, on the third night of Chanukah (in case you missed it above, please do click here for a cool holiday song that made me laugh a lot) I found myself in San Francisco's Union Square in the middle of one of those scenes I am not normally fond of. It was crowded with shoppers, tourists, passersby, hobos, and... Jews, lots of genuine, out in the wild Jews. You see, I had gone here to witness a menorah lighting ceremony. It took some convincing by my mom, and Danie, to get me out of the house, but this free event promised Jewish music, a giant, old menorah, open flames, and "local dignitaries"... Ultimately, how could I refuse?

The first thing I noticed was the first thing I am sure most of the tourists noticed as they happened upon this scene. A seemingly crazy bearded dude in a black hat and suit dancing solo to the blaring Hebrew techno music. Of course, I knew this fellow was a rabbi and his dancing, while ridiculous and quite funny, was enthusiastic and pretty charming. The crowd was enchanted by him, for sure. And then I noticed there was someone, or something, else out there with him. What's better than a rabbi dancing with himself? A rabbi dancing with a Wild Thing!! Yes! One of the Wild Things from Where The Wild Things Are was out there dancing right along side him, hands in the air, hips swinging, feet stomping. Apparently, Wild Things are Jewish. Later, I met the Wild Thing up close.. his name is Louis, he had a hard time navigating the wet stairs on his way out, and his handler in the green hat gave me a couple of two for one tickets to the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Ahh, so, it all made sense now... The Jewish Museum currently has a Maurice Sendak (author of Wild Things) exhibit and this was free publicity. Whatever the reason, I consider it a Chanukah miracle that there turned out to be something worth seeing at this event. No local dignitaries ever did materialize, but, as darkness fell, the rabbi stopped dancing and brought out the torch. I was concerned for his beard, but he managed to not catch himself on fire as he climbed the stairs to the top of the menorah and did his prayers and whatever else they have to do before lighting the candles. And that was it, the festivities were over. I was out already, though, and it was a nice night, so I took a little walk through the crowds of Union Square until I found some half price, $3 gloves at H&M. That satisfied my itch to shop and I decided that was more than enough dealing with the crowds for one day and I booked it home.

And that was the story of my big holiday outing this year. Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah/Happy New Year to all! May all our new years be filled with peace and love! Forgive me, I've been in San Francisco almost three months and the hippie is seeping in! Also, a very happy Festivus to all my Festian, or is it Festivish (??), friends! Dan and Kash, I hope you dominated your Feats of Strength.

I think 2010 is gonna be good. We got the latke party going for us.. and other good stuff is bound to come up, right? I'm sure it will. So, for now I say, "Let the wild rumpus begin!"

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