sigh

by marjorieingall on June 22, 2016

This pamphlet, which we keep in our bathroom, was pretty funny a few months ago.

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Here is my daughter Josie, shortly after my husband procured the pamphlet, explaining gun safety to Bookie, who very much looks like the pamphlet’s cover model. Oh ho ho ho.

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But like jokes about Donald Trump, somehow jokes about gun safety are less funny now.

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busy busy busy

by marjorieingall on June 6, 2016

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  1. Look! My bright shiny web site, by chill genius Jack Taylor, for my forthcoming book, Mamaleh Knows Best.
  2. I wrote a big fat roundup of summer young adult novels for the New York Times Book review, and appeared on the Book Review’s podcast.
  3. I got to sit next to The Phantom Tollbooth‘s Norton Juster at the Author’s Guild Gala, and that ear-splitting sound you hear is me, still shrieking.
  4. I looked at three very good new parenting books, for three different kinds of reader.
  5. I ranted on SorryWatch about a crappy apology for perhaps the most racist ad ever; a good apology from a director who weirdly went off on an actress; and a horrid non-apology apology from the dad of Brock Turner, aka Stanford’s own Rapey McRaperson.
  6. I have STILL not submitted all of the farshtunkiner summer camp forms.

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all-of-a-kind family walking tour!

by marjorieingall on May 21, 2016

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I went. It was delightful. Despite A MONSOON.

I snarled about a horrid NYC landlord and his despicable entitled frat-boy son.

I wrote about Michelle Obama (love) and my ambivalent feelings about Mother’s Day as a member of the sandwich generation (do not love).

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today in unsound pedagogy

by marjorieingall on May 9, 2016

Why a Holocaust app for kids is not a great idea:

The father says goodbye, smiling and waving, and promises that tomorrow they will be together again. (Poke the screen, and make barbed wire appear, blocking the father from his kids!) The children are herded into a changing barracks and then toward showers. (Poke the screen to make flames shoot up from the crematoria chimneys!) In the barracks, the little girl narrator remembers “the roundup,” when she and her fellow Jews were herded from their town. (Poke the windows, already helpfully graffiti’d with “JUIFS,” and watch them shatter! Touch the people on the street wearing yellow stars, and watch them fade away!) We see the children’s naked backs—the rest of their nude bodies hidden by angry gray brushstrokes and swirls of paint—as they’re sent into a gray smear full of “flakes of soap.” (Poke the flakes! They fly up into the sky, creating a hole in all the gray, a view to heaven with fluffy clouds!) 

More here.  [click to continue…]

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reminding myself for next Passover

by marjorieingall on April 27, 2016

This is an awesome Tumblr post on ancient haroset recipes of many lands!

 

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random unrelated byline mega-roundup

by marjorieingall on April 27, 2016

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I got a matzoh manicure for Passover, in tribute to my neighborhood’s dearly departed Streit’s factory.

Let’s think very hard about censoring children’s books, m’kay?

Hello, condescending male rabbi person, do not tell me it’s time to take the orange off the seder plate. Have LGBT people and women achieved full inclusion and parity in the world? No? THEN YOU MAY PRY MY ORANGE FROM MY FEMINIST-CRONE-LIKE-FINGERS.

Here is a documentary about a daughter trying to reform an adult relationship with her abusive mother — it’s well done and smart and often funny, but so distressing.

Much activity on SorryWatch: A look at a study about what elements are necessary for an apology to be effective (illustrated with adorable animal pictures); mockery of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s “War on Terrier” apology video; a good apology by a newspaper editor who screwed up badly (illustrated with Tom Hiddleston images because SHUT UP I DON’T HAVE A CRUSH HE JUST HAS A REALLY EXPRESSIVE FACE); and 14 lines from Beyonce’s “Sorry” with no analysis because I am staying in my lane.

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i have been uncharacteristically quiet

by marjorieingall on April 7, 2016

zke3zlswho5cnfzdmoq9My book is all done! (It comes out on August 30th. You can preorder it on IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Google Books, Kobo, or your fave local bookstore. I shall endeavor to amuse and edify.)

In other news, I have a story in the April issue of Real Simple about re-learning to drive, despite my abject terror. In Tablet, since we last spoke I’ve written about Peggy Orenstein‘s new book, Girls & Sex; about some of the founding mothers of Lower East Side radical history; about the revival of a cool old font (fellow typography nerds, holla!); about the history of America’s largest LGBT synagogue and its move to an architecturally ambitious new building; and about nine fabulous Jewy baseball books for kids (only one of which is about Sandy Koufax). Plus I wrote a goofy thing about last-minute yarmulke-based Purim costumes that reads as if I’m high on cough syrup.

In SorryWatch news (autocorrect just changed that to SorryWatch Jews, which I guess tells you how often I type the word “Jews”), Susan and I covered TWO EXCELLENT INSTITUTIONAL APOLOGIES IN A ROW, which may be a record for us.

In personal news, my younger kid is doing junior roller derby, which is totally adorable, and my older kid has become Negasonic Teenage Warhead. In media news I am still obsessed with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The whole time I was reading Peggy’s book, I was thinking about this genius musical number from the show.

 

 

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more obsessing about the JAP Rap on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

by marjorieingall on March 11, 2016

Since I apparently can’t stop raving about this show, I wrote another thing about it: My feelings about the super-duper-insider-y JAP rap battle. (Props to my editor Jonathan Zalman — JZ — for the headline, “The Notorious J.A.P.”) SO many insular shout-outs to the tribe, with references that will be missed by the goyim! I kvelled. (Autocorrect thinks that should be “keeled.” SEE WHY I NEED THIS SHOW??)

Info about the songwriter of this masterwork got cut, so I share it here:

The Jap Rap was written by Zach Sherwin, who also penned the Minaj-esque “I Give Good Parent,” about Rebecca’s preternatural skill at charming her boyfriend’s Filipino mom and dad over dinner. (Warning: It’s explicit! Take deep breaths!) “I Give Good Parent” also has twisty wordplay (“Every dish is delicious, Michelin Star!/Thank you! Please pass the arroz like I passed the bar!”) as well as Yiddish disses at a rival missus (“This shit’s my business and I’m built for success/Expect to witness a familial lovefest/Valencia? You’re zip, zilch and bupkis”). Sherwin has starred in a number of Epic Rap Battles of History on YouTube (my fave: his Einstein in the Einstein vs. Hawking showdown) and written a number of superb and very Jewy raps (listening to Serial from This American Life and feeling troubled and manipulated — how Jewish is that?) but my fave is his oddball, baked-sounding tribute to Krav Maga, filmed on a roller coaster, which contains the immortal rhyme “Krav, mah, gah, Becky/Look at her butt.”

This week I also wrote a thing about diversity in comic book media, and the simultaneous insider/Other status of the Jews. (What else is new.) It’s about Iron Fist, Aquaman, and Jewish representation. Sadly, JZ is a straight boy and therefore chose the wrong art to illustrate the piece. Here is the correct art: [click to continue…]

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revisiting the Leo Frank case

by marjorieingall on March 11, 2016

I went to a panel on the musical Parade (based on the Leo Frank story), featuring the show’s composer and lyricist, Jason Robert Brown; its book writer, Alfred Uhry; and the author of the definitive book on the case, Steve Oney. It was at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in conjunction with an exhibit (which originated at a Jewish museum in Georgia) about the case. Harrowing and troubling on a lot of levels…I talked about them in the piece I did for Tablet.

And I realize this is utterly frivolous and unseemly, but I have to tell you that one of my colleagues pointed out that Leo Frank looked a lot like Eddie Redmayne, and now I cannot unsee it.

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While writing the piece I went down a rabbit hole of Parade-related YouTube videos. I love Jeremy Jordan but I think Brent Carver was a better fit for the part of Leo Frank. At the museum, Sebastian Arcelus sang the role, and holy crap, his acting was tremendous. He’s married to Stephanie J. Block, who ably played Lucille Frank — they just had a daughter in January, mazel tov. (Here they are in Wicked together as tiny babies in 2007 and they have so much chemistry my monitor almost combusted.)

Oh, I see the museum just put the whole panel discussion and concert online; you can watch it here.

But first, another troubling thing. I note that Oney’s book (which he spent 17 years researching) and Elaine Marie Alphin’s spectacular young adult book about the case, An Unspeakable Crime, got some terrible reviews on Amazon from customers who claimed the books were full of factual errors. I review a lot of children’s books, and I was aware that there was discussion among children’s librarians when Alphin’s book came out that it was biased and poorly sourced. I couldn’t figure out why. Now I suspect that those librarians read the Amazon comments. I’d mildly suggest they look at those Amazon commenters’ positively reviewed books (including contemporary texts by the demagogue who called for Frank and the Georgia governor to be lynched!) and consider possible agendas at play here.

 

 

 

 

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byline alerts!

by marjorieingall on February 25, 2016

CcANDnoUsAADcyo.jpg-largeWhy I curse in front of my children (with bonus multiple examples of awesome Yiddish curses)!

The history of Kossar’s Bialys and the Jewish Lower East Side bagel and bialy union wars!

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I have crazed, passionate love for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend!

And on Sorrywatch, flying while turbanned!

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