Friday, February 17, 2017

Born to Kvetch

By Fred Owens
I am reading "Born to Kvetch" by Michael Vex. It teaches me how to complain in Yiddish. I have a problem that I can't solve, so I have to live with it. But to complain in English is dreary and painful. So we learn to kvetch, which is to complain in Yiddish, a language that takes the complaint to a higher level.
I have this problem and there is no end to it. But if there was an end to it, I would just have another problem. What's the use!
I actually have a Yiddish coach who volunteered  to help me. This kid, under forty anyway, studied Yiddish in college, being a part of the revival of that language. My goal is limited -- to pick up some of the attitude.
Zolst onkumen tsu mayn mazl. You should have my luck.
This is why I am learning to kvetch. Four years of this clown. How can I keep a sense of humor?

What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like

David Brooks at the New York Times call it a failed administration and points out that when you push really hard, other people push back.
"And when you declare war on the establishment, it declares war on you. The Civil Service has a thousand ways to ignore or sit on any presidential order. The court system has given itself carte blanche to overturn any Trump initiative, even on the flimsiest legal grounds. The intelligence community has only just begun to undermine this president." ----- said David Brooks
But Trump Has His People This story in Politico tells of Trump's supporters in South Carolina.
Trump is flying to South Carolina this weekend to be with people who really like him. I guess 35 per cent of the American people think Trump is top notch. Another 15 to 20 percent can endure him.
Trump has his people. I expect he can fill a stadium in South Carolina, and he can put on his red gimme cap and just have a good old time, away from all those blowhards in Washington and those pointy-headed liberals in New Yawk City.
The Balance. David Brooks says that Trump has already failed. Is Brooks right? Ask the people in South Carolina.
I Don't Understand Gefilte Fish
I will keep this short, but it seems relevant to our opening discussion of kvetching.
I ate gefilte fish, but only once. I didn't get the point. I was doing some garden work for Moshe Waldoks in Brookline, which is part of Boston.
How I got to Boston and how I got to know famed Jewish humorist Moshe Waldoks -- that is a long story. He wrote the Big Book of Jewish Humor.
When I knew him, in 1992, he was large boisterous man with a booming voice and a big smile. Always energetic. He lived in a big white house in Brookline, a leafy Boston suburb. I came one day to trim his shrubbery. This was not a happy job because Moshe, a man of wild ambitions and rambunctious enthusiasm, had no interest in his yard.
Even today I can picture his back yard -- scrawny trees and overgrown shrubs.
But he invited me in for lunch, to his warm, friendly kitchen. He was spoon feeding his young son lumps of gefilte fish out of a glass jar, and cooing like a love bird, such lovely food.
He offered me some. I tasted it. That's the  wrong word. Gefilte fish has no taste. What is the point?
The point is I never saw Moshe Waldoks again, but I remember that lunch time moment. Forget the gefilte fish, I said to myself, but remember his smile.
See, I said I would keep it short. The long version is much better, but this is email.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

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