This week Morning Jew (@morningJewshow) get Biblical on your tush and ask Yiddish, historical and religious expert Michael Wex some critical questions: What’s the difference between Judaism and Christianity? Why do so many Jews sound alike? And why are there so many Yiddish words for dick?
Here’s the latest Morning Jew, Episode number 40. This week we talk about economist, Nixon fan and occasional character actor Ben Stein’s tsuris. Following Donald Sterling’s affair racism with his own flavour, he now seems to be one of those traditional values for everyone else, special good creepy times for me kind of guys. We also discuss the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision, and Facebook learning how to scale passive aggression. Which, it turns out, is surprisingly not good for the Jews at all.
We’re also on twitter now so come shmei with us @morningJewshow.
My Uncle Ed buried his leg. For real. It turns out that it’s an Orthodox Jewish practice. My story and about it aired on the CBC show How to Do It today. It’s a funny one. You can read more on the show in development I mention in the piece, Everything Is Subject to Change, here.
Morning Jew is the weekly show I do with NY comic Katie Halper. This week, we talk to Brazilian Journalist Mariana Rebuá Simões about the World Cup, and naked soccer players and their hair. Plus, who is the one Jew in the entire World Cup? Found out! And celebrate how soccer is the only professional sport which lets us objectify men!
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My Dad grew up in Niagara Falls, Canada. So did I. Like many Canadian towns it’s a place that loves hockey. That top photo is in Toronto where we lived near Casa Loma when my Dad was a medical resident. The other photo was taken last year when we both went to skate at my cousin Eric’s birthday. Neither of us had been on the ice in many years. It was a real joy and resulted in one of this very special photos for me of just the two of us smiling.
My Dad taught me hockey, which helped me go to college at Yale where I played. And he encouraged me to think big and believe things were possible. He showed me that you can make opportunities in life. His father was smuggled out of the shtetl when he was 5. He made a very different life and gave me every chance to make my own. He pulled the coach up to the fireplace and played Broadway albums. He got me books. He showed me and told me you could always pick up the phone and call anyone, it didn’t matter what their position was or who they were. He showed me how to make an adventure out of something. I’m so lucky I could talk with him this Father’s Day and I’m looking forward to making many more opportunities to smile together.
My mind often follows what I see. I’m a visual-spatial thinker.
So I wanted to get rid of as much of the stuff in my Mac’s menu bar as possible so I can focus on what I’m writing right now. This may be the nerdiest post I’ve ever written, but it’s part of my new commitment to myself to return my expression to my own blog first (thanks for the inspiration Scott Rosenberg) before social media or elsewhere, and to write more often.
I’ll admit it I’m very excited about this piece. It’s the biggest interview ever published with me and we got to talk about all kinds of juicy stuff I care a lot about.
I had a lot of fun talking with writer Lili Loofbourow for this interview for The Hairpin in which I discuss my approach to making interactive shows, gender, who’s in the “audience,” how the room never ends now in performance because of social media, and the work of Marc Maron, Louie CK, the whole ‘women aren’t funny’ thing, social media gender issues and all that “rapey” talk.
It’s always a delight to ge to give shout outs and voice to some of the women from whom I’ve learned and been inspired. Some are famous like Jennifer Coolidge and some are not, but are infamous but not so known, like Cynthia Szigeti and some like my Aunt Fraida never even got a chance to get on stage. My Aunt Fraida is the funniest person I’ve known. Who’s the funniest person you’ve known?
Morning Jew: Jewish Porn Star, Kansas City JCC Shooter and Spain Doubles Down
This week we discussed our Passover traditions, attempt to explain Passover in 1 minute, consider the killings at the Kansas City Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom and cast their votes on the name change of the Spanish village of Castrillo Kill Jews which has a very special Good Friday tradition of drinking lemonade and wine or “Killing Jews.” We explain
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#DateDay: A new feature in which I share our affordable magical dates in NoCal. No 1. Vichy Springs in Ukiah, CA
I took Mariko, my sweetie to Vichy Springs in Ukiah CA a few weeks ago. It was the second anniversary of our meeting. We had an amazing time. Friends and acquaintances have been asking us about our #dateday posts on Instagram (I’m @heathr and she is @marikotamaki) So we thought we’d start blogging our dates to give other people date ideas and hopefully get a few from you.
Vichy Springs has cheesy billboards up all over the Bay Area with line drawings of Jack London trying to impress you with “champagne baths.” None of that may sound appealing. The rust colour of the older-than-Mark-Twain stone baths above might look even less appealing. That’s why I’m writing to tell you that floating in one of those mineral, bubbly, warm baths looking at the sky after a beautiful hike is pretty much a slam dunk fantastic date. Sublime even. It’s all about the floating, which was completely Mariko’s idea. The baths are not like the tub you take at home. Water is running through the thing the whole time. Water full of Lithium, Bicarbonate and other mineral goodies said to have all kinds of healing and happy powers. To be completely buoyant and warm (when you are still all the bubbles coat you and keep you about body temperature) and feel the slight wave from the water moving is to have the easiest meditation you will even have. You can do an hour easily. Easily. Then there’s a really hot larger communal tub to warm up in when you’re done. Nothing foofy about this place. V old and simple but super magical.
Time: 2 hours from the Bay Area. Lovely drive. Do-able as a determined day trip. Map.
Cost: $30 each for day use plus gas.
Tips: To do as an overnight, great off-season discount, maybe $150 night including breakfast. Bring flip flops. And comfy warm sweatshirts and hats. Bring a picnic. No food here for daytrips. There’s a great market in Healdsburg.
I’m enjoying doing this weekly morning show with my pal NY comic Katie Halper. We review the week’s headlines and ask: Is it good for the Jews? It’s so morning show sometimes you even get a true morning face from me, like in this week’s episode. This week we hit topics from the hugs: how do political parties really work in America to what a good Jerry Seinfeld interview sounds like.
If you want to know if something is good for the Jews, just ask or (more likely) tell us.
The show is at http://morningJewz.com .