The cast was good and entertaining to watch [Not too spoilery spoiler: Morgan Freeman narrates a TV show within the movie. Naturally. That man has a voice like butter. Or something.] but I didn't really like the resolution, so despite enjoying nearly the entire movie it was ruined for me in the last 5 minutes or so. Oh well.
Saturday we got up bright and early to go do some community service with my coworkers. I'm part of what I call the "Pep Squad" (we have an official name, but I like pep squad better), a team pulled together in the division to boost morale and team unity. One of the things we came up with is periodic community service as a group (bonding and doing good and whatnot). Yesterday was our first event - beautification projects at Armand Bayou Nature Center, a non-profit wildlife refuge near the space center. Dan went out with a team doing trail widening/clearing and I was working on weeding and mulching some planters at the entrance. It was sweaty, dirty work, but lots of fun.
Today is the usual- laundry, grocery shopping, getting ready for the week. Earlier I baked another breakfast casserole and tonight we're having steak, with grilled Caesar salad. Sounds weird, but grilled lettuce can be delicious if you get it in the sweet spot (wilty, not scorched).
Now for the links, just some things from around the web that interested me last week:
- From one of the Women of the Wall, Why I Wear a Talit
Women of the Wall is a group of progressive Jewish women who are looking to see the Western Wall opened to less-orthodox prayer. The wall is controlled by ultra orthodox that police the dress and behavior of women who come to pray, lest they disturb the men. The Women of the Wall want to be allowed to pray out loud (a sect of Judaism known as Haredi don't want the men to be able to hear the women praying), wear talit, and allow women to read Torah.
I've written here before about the differences between Orthodox prayer services, where women are separated, and the conservative Judaism I was raised in, and the ways I'm conflicted about it. When I began attending the Orthodox synagogue in Houston, I reluctantly buried the talit from my own Bat Mitzvah in my closet and attended services without it. I don't know that they would have stopped me, but I didn't want to feel out of place. Since then, I occasionally run across my talit and wonder when I'll wear it again. Reading this article, I wonder if I am missing something important by leaving it behind.
- From Jewish author Anita Diamant's blog Mother-Daughter Mashup, Her Tattoo
Anita Diamant is one of my favorite Jewish authors; in fact her book The Red Tent sparked my interest in historic fiction, and I went through a phase where I read tons of books in that genre because of her. In this post, she discusses her daughter's tattoo.
I have long believed, without thinking much about it that tattoos are against my religion, and so I would never get one. And so, reading this article, in which a prominent member of the Jewish community speaks out about tattoos without the fire and brimstone makes me wonder... if tattoos aren't against my religion, would I get one?
- From the Atlantic, Mrs. and Mrs. Smith: How Some Gay Couples Reclaim Old Marriage Traditions
The article brings up two of my own hot-button gender equality and marriage items, name changes and the word "wife." APW already does plenty on the Reclaiming Wife topic, but the word "wife" is full of connotations, most of them not things I plan to be, ever. (Of course the simple definition, a female partner in a marital relationship, is true. But the rest of it..eh.)
Perhaps gay marriage will help feminists do what we cannot do alone... change the connotation behind these traditions from the patriarchal to the modern, from the oppressive to the liberating.