Sylvia Archive: Cats Who Tell Lies

About their owners, no less.  Click the comic to see.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sylvia Archive: Writing Assignment

Pen getting dusty? Complete today’s piece in a comment.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

An Unexpected Call From A Roving Reporter

When you don’t know who to call, who do you call?

My friend Susan telephones me from her car. “I had to call you. I’m on the highway (in Portland) and behind me is a very, very old Mercedes. Two people looking like extras from “Portlandia” are in the front. The back seat is taken up by a goat, behind a home made screen separating him from the passengers. I just wanted you to know. ”

“Thank you, Susan”

I would have loved to find a photo of a goat in a car, but after looking on youtube way too long for my sanity, this is all I could find.

More Dirt On Beauty In Decay

Speaking of mold last week with the water damaged apartments in New York City, here’s d from Badgirl friend Barbara June.

“I just have to send you this pic. This fungus sprouted overnight in my yard or so i believe. Gorpf thinks differently.”

mold and fungus

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

From Judith Arcana,poet, feminist, activist. Take a look at some of these wonderful clips.

new paradigm – poem -VIMEO UPLOAD 720p from nancy kennedy on Vimeo.

Sylvia Archive: The Million Dollar Look

What to do with few bucks? Take Sylvia’s quiz.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Oh, Let It Go Already

I’m in line for the Claus Oldenburg Mouse Museum and two old girls are wondering out loud whether the exhibit is worth waiting for…a perfect opening for me. I live to interfere. I describe the delights I believe await them. They dither and speak in a particularly New York Jewish way that is extremely irritating. I get to the head of the line and yell back, “See, I’m at the head of the line. You can do it!” More whining and they join the line. I think, “Yes, we are irritating but did so many of us deserve to be gassed in concentration camps just because we are annoying?”

When I was young, I looked Italian and I lived in an Italian neighborhood. Often
something unpleasant was said in my presence, the kind of remark made when you think you are safe among your own kind.

It’s happening again. Some guy from the neighborhood , some harmless dork, is opening his mouth to utter a familiar slur. I see it coming. No one else notices. Why should they? They hear it all the time. Okay, he says the phrase and freezes me in place and at the same time I am highly alert. My mind is working at top speed.

I am a kid, but the spotlight is on me. No one knows that I have been chosen to champion my people yet again. The idea that I would remain silent is certainly tempting, but not an option. I have that damn duty to all those dead people.

This is a childish belief, yet if pressed I will say I still believe it.

I have to slay the neighborhood dragon, such a tiny dragon, not even evil. He just doesn’t realize that he has trampled an itty-bitty village on his clumsy way home. And that stupid dragon will feel so ashamed when I confront him, so ashamed that I will feel that I have exposed both of us and injured both of us over a trifle and although I feel I should reassure him that he has not permanently injured me, I know it is not my job to make him feel that everything is just the same as it was before he said what he said.

What was it he said? “Someone ‘jewed’ him down,” I really don’t remember. It was always a variation on the same theme. Jews have all the money. There are no poor Jews. They hang together, and they killed Jesus. No adult would say that the Jews killed Jesus. That was a child’s accusation. I remember going to the corner store for Wonder Bread. A boy from school stands very close me and hisses, “You killed Jesus.” I was, of course frightened of him, his size and intensity, but I had been raised by an atheist and felt no guilt about something that I didn’t think existed. I was too young to say, ”Really? All of us? Did you ever see us in a room together, trying to agree on anything?”

I tell my sister what the old neighborhood was like. Jana is too young to remember, but she says, “I have a strategy for responding to those remarks.” A strategy?

Anti-Semitism is evidently rampant in the corporate world. I asked what remarks her coworker’s make? “Well, when a Jew was hired, they would say. ‘Another one…Jews stick together,” or “Jews own everything.”

Here’s her coping strategy for anti-Semitic remarks from peers. “I like you, and if you want me to continue to like you, you can never say that again, because I’m Jewish.”

A friend surprises me with a story she hasn’t told before. In college she was a waitress at a German restaurant. She was a favorite of the owner. One day he said to her, “You wait on those people over there, you’ll know how to handle them.” And then under his breath: “Jews, scum of the earth.” After she waited on them she said to him, “I’m Jewish.” “No, No! You’re not!” he yelled, horrified, disbelieving. The next day she was fired for breaking a butter dish. She isn’t Jewish, although her husband says that moment counts as her conversion. She is one of my heroes.

I remember another young man, I can’t remember his face. But I remember his elation, doing a kind of war dance to celebrate the macho of his Jewish pals, when the Israelis were victorious in their six-day war, the one where we proved we could fight and be as brutal as the next guy. Rescuing the hostages at the airport in Entebbe cemented our reputation, now we are monsters to some. I understand that. I understand what they see. I despair at Israeli outrages against Palestinians. Still they are my people, not in the same way as women are my people, but still.

*Heroes: The legend is that the King of Denmark wore a yellow star and asked all Danes to do the same. True in spirit but not in fact. In reality the Danish government did their best to be help Jews get to Sweden and because of this very few Danish Jews were sent to concentration camps from Denmark and many returned after the war.


Sylvia Archive: On Call

The job of a Married Mentors Squad can be both challenging and tedious. Leave her or the couple a message

Tuesday, February 25, 2013

Sylvia Archive: Attracting Immigrants

The Alien Lover is hatching a plan. Click the comic to see.

Monday, June 24, 2013


It’s Not ALL Fabulous

I had a fleeting worry this morning. Do I make the adventures of the two Nicole’s so fabulous that others may be jealous? I hasten to amend any envy on the part of my dearest bad girl cadre.

Let me relate a bit of the prequel and sequel to yesterdays very interesting trip to see a documentary on a famous illustrator, Tomi Urgerer, at the Gene Siskal Film Center at State and Clark in Chicago. Nicole is driving toward the “L” station on Addison when I casually observe that there must be a Cubs game today because the streets are full of people wearing baseball caps. She swerves. “Oh my god, we’ll never find a parking place near the train!” “Should I drive over to the Paulina Station or the Francisco station?” I try to calm her. “Let’s try to find parking here first.” She spies a spot. It’s not the spot I would have picked. I would have waited to find a spot directly across from the station. But I agree. We park and on the way to the station we see five parking spaces that are more convenient. I point them all out.

We go to the film, which is called Far Out Isn’t Far Enough and is not to be missed. The theater is using a new high definition technology and the film is so clear and so high def that I can see it without my glasses. Nicole and I are both around the bend about this new technology and we are in the midst of an interesting discussion about Tomi U. when we leave the theater and arrive in the street and I start the usual search for my CTA  card, which involves me stopping dead and opening my backpack and rummaging though it. Oddly enough we seem to be surrounded by art students dressed as Zombies. Nicole begins haranguing me, “How can you open your purse in the middle of the street? It’s an invitation to be mugged!” I tell her she is a crazy person, she tells me that I don’t know how to conduct myself in a city and we wander to the platform where she pays for my ticket.

Later in the car going home she says, “There is no one else in the entire city of Chicago that would have gone to that film with me!” and that is why we are friends.