But We Can’t Carve Jack O’ Lanterns In The Spring!

user submitted pictureWe’ve already busted ourselves as bad Jews ’cause we love Halloween. Even now that we’ve found out why we shouldn’t schnorr free candy from the neighbors with all the other boys and girls, we still can’t accept that we’re only allowed to don our princess-whore costume on Purim. Yeah, we like to do Purim right, too (last year we made 500 hamantaschen in a domestic fit fueled by too much allergy medication) but that’s a whole six months away! Plus, we truly appreciate the art of the jack o’ lantern (even the gross ones like this), and we’re sure as hell not going to attempt carving a fig.
Here’s a tip to make Halloween a little more kosher: did ya know you can use leftover pumpkin for latkes?

Rabbi Shmuley’s Feminist Factor

Our favorite rabbi takes on sexual harassment at work in this week’s Jewsweek column:
“Never in history have women been so sexually exploited as they are today. College girls expose their breasts in exchange for a t-shirt on the Girls Gone Wild videos. MTV has transformed the women’s music industry away from an emphasis on vocals and onto to an emphasis of on cleavage. Posters of Victoria’s Secret models, dressed in thongs and the most revealing lingerie, line our mains thoroughfares, billboards, and buses. Are men really expected to shut all this off the moment they stand in front of a copy machine? Can we really expect a pure office environment to emerge from a degenerate culture?”
We haven’t been subjected to a proper office environment in many years and are in more danger of suffocating on our own b.o. than getting our asses grabbed at work, so frankly, a little sexual harassment might spice up our day. We’re all degenerates here, so we ask you, dear derelict, sex-obsessed readers: is it too much to expect men to behave like menschs, even if the chick in the next cubicle wears thigh-highs?
Rabbi Shmuley is just warming up on this subject: Jewish News of Greater Phoenix reports that his next book will be called “Hating Women: The New Racism and the Scandal of Feminist Indifference.”

Caribou Coffee Struggles Against E-mail Boycott

user submitted pictureCaribou Coffee has closed two once-bustling Chicago stores due to an e-mail circulating since 2002 that urges people to boycott the java franchisers because it’s backed by Islamic terrorists. While the reasons for the boycott technically fall under the category of urban legend, Caribou is indeed mostly owned by the First Islamic Investment Bank who employed one openly intifada-supporting board member. Though they’ve long since fired the guy, Caribou Coffee Chairman Michael Coles (who is Jewish) laments that the persisting “rumor” has resulted in major profit dips in certain markets.
Yawn. We tried to work up some sympathy for a corporation masquerading as the David to Starbuck’s Goliath, but we’d rather grab a chai at our locally-owned, independent coffeeshop instead.

Maybe This Explains Why We’ve Always Felt Like Aliens

user submitted pictureLast night’s magnificent lunar eclipse was out of this world, but this pamphlet from the International Raelian Movement is a bit too far out even for us. These are the same people who believe we’ve all descended from extraterrestrials called the “Elohim” (sound familiar?) and claim to have cloned a baby awhile back. It’s nice to know the spaceships will recognize us by our mogen david necklace when they come.
*Props to WeirdJews, who never disappoint.

Jewish Penicillin, DIY

user submitted pictureWe’re still suffering from a cold, which feels anything but common. And since our mama ain’t the cooking type and we live a few thousand miles away from a decent Jewish deli, we’ve had to concoct our own Old-World cure. Here’s our recipe for Matzo Ball Soup, guaranteed to heal what ails ya:
1. Start with a whole, cooked chicken. You can bake your own (2+ hours at 375*) but we prefer to buy one of those fancy organic ones from the market, already roasted and spiced to perfection. Pick off the meat and set aside for tomorrow’s sandwiches.
2. Break apart the bones to get to the marrow. The more the carcass resembles something mauled by a wild animal, the better flavor for the soup. If getting in touch with your inner wolf seems distasteful, give thanks you didn’t actually have to kill and defeather the bird.
3. Boil the hell out of it. Toss the bones in a full pot of water with a bit of skin (the chicken’s, not yours) and let it reduce itself down to an couple of inches. Fill the pot again and repeat two or three times until the broth becomes a shimmery golden color that smells like heaven.
4. Add a chopped onion, three or four sliced carrots and five or six celery stalks. But make sure you scoop out the bones beforehand with a slotted spoon. Add salt and pepper to your liking (don’t get insane about it, though; you can always add more but you can’t take it out.) Simmer.
5. Here comes the schmaltz! Prepare the matzo balls by beating 4 eggs, 2 tbls. of chicken fat (skim it off the top of the broth) and a few pinches of finely chopped parsley. Add one cup of matzo meal and a pinch of salt. Mix well and refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until you can stand it anymore.
6. The secret to fluffy matzo balls is a gentle hand. We’re not hard-packing snowballs for maximum density here. Pretend you have your bubbie’s arthritis. Drop in boiling broth, which should be roiling with vegetables. Simmer under a lid for 20 minutes.

Enjoy with friends and neighbors. But if your sinuses don’t clear after the first bowl, we recommend mainlining it.

Our New Favorite J Chick

user submitted pictureWe really don’t have time to keep up on every angry pop confection at her piano singing her mopey songs because she can’t dance like Britney and Jessica, but something about Vanessa Carlton has caught our attention. It turns out that not only can she dance (she’s a former ballerina with funkified moves; watch the video for “White Houses” here), but she’s an extremely hot, talented J girl with a big mouth.
While being followed around by a magazine crew in NYC, the 24 year-old stopped into a Catholic church for a little “spiritual cleansing” after visiting a strip club, which probably sounded like marvelous, mischevious fun at the time. After being impeded in her wish to confess her sins because there was a service going on, she told the reporter “I hope these people realize Jesus was just an uppity Jew.”
Some of her fans freaked out, as some are wont to do when anything having to do with Jesus comes up, but mostly people thought it was simply in bad taste. We think it’s hella funny. We’re new fans, Vanessa, keep that mouth motorin’!

Bitchin’ Stitcher Sisters

user submitted pictureKnitting may be the new hip hobby, but the National Council of Jewish Women’s KnitWits have been courageously clicking their needles for charity for years by making scarves, sweaters and other cozies for hospital patients all over New York. Nothing’s too morbid for these ladies- they even knit hats and booties for stillbirth babies so their parents don’t have to see them in a hospital gown. If you yearn to yarn for others, the KnitWits are happy to teach you to purl, too.

Repairing the World From Our Chair

user submitted pictureWe have to admit our attempts at tzedakah (“charity”) are way lame. We rarely write out checks to charitable organizations (and then only for the free tote bag,) barely cover our synagogue dues and occasionally pass a fiver to the woman and her kid standing by the freeway. When it comes to helping the poor, we’ve usually been on the receiving end, having just accepted another sizeable donation from our bubbie for emergency dental work. Yes, we prefer to fritter away our money on organic groceries and expensive vodka instead of giving ten percent of our paltry income (the traditional Jewish percentage) to charity. We are bad, selfish people.
We’d like to do something to make this nagging, guilty feeling go away. The Talmud describes the different levels of tzedakah, from the least worthy to the most, as:
1. Giving begrudgingly
2. Giving less that you should, but giving it cheerfully.
3. Giving after being asked
4. Giving before being asked
5. Giving when you do not know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient knows your identity
6. Giving when you know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient doesn’t know your identity
7. Giving when neither party knows the other’s identity
8. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant

Being lazy as well as self-indulgent, we’re going to skip right to #8. Instead of buying anyone Chanukah/other holiday gifts this year (which will save us endless hours trolling through Amazon.com,) we’re going to buy you all items from Heifer International menagerie. Which means you’ll get nothing, really, but someone less fortunate will.
The Little Rock, AR-based non-profit addresses the problem of world hunger not by sending out cans of condensed milk, but by sending the whole damn cow. For 60 years Heifer has provided needy families around the world with a way to feed themselves, create a sustainable income and pass on their good fortune by giving offspring to other poor families. One cow ($500) can produce enough milk for a family and leave enough to sell; now that’s self-reliance. An “ark” composed of fifteen pairs of useful animals ($5000) can bring an entire village out of poverty. If that’s too steep, there’s always rabbits ($60), honeybees ($30) or chickens ($20).
While Heifer’s site calls itself “faith-based,” we haven’t found any evidence that Heifer is some weird missionary sham to get heathens in poor countries to convert to Christianity. They provide non-denominational educational materials to both synagogues and churches and lead tours to places where the program has been a success. And all we have to do to help them is click to our PayPal account.
Who know tikkun olam could be so easy for retards like us?

Nice Jewish Mothers Gone Bad

Thanks to Esther of JDaters Anonymous for alerting us to a frightening trend in Jewish online dating: Mothers masking as their sons and daughters in order to hook them up with someone they deem suitable. Now, J moms have a lovable reputation for being overbearing and invasive (with the best of intentions, natch) but this crosses the line into Dysfunction Junction. Look, Ma, the whole point of online personals is to get you out of our love lives! Although cyber mother-meddling might work for those who need a little nudzh to sign on, if your mom has enough chutzpah to impersonate you online, you should do the same for her– for a therapist’s appointment.