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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Moo's LiveJournal:

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Monday, September 25th, 2017
7:22 pm
Why Orville is better Trek than Discovery
*******Spoilers***************Spoilers*******************Spoilers

McFarlane has dared to go where no one has gone before. A new genre.  A one-hour sitcom. That shows balls.

As compared to Discovery, which is all the same hour of shooting and exploding with the occasional inserts of preaching.

Discovery shows us lots of scenes from the Klingon point of view but there’s nothing there that makes me like them any better.

Discovery Klingons are way uglier than they need to be.

There’s no male eye-candy in Discovery yet.I had an advance gander at Captain Lorca. Ho hum. Won't be paying money to see him any time soon.

Okay, McFarlane with his round face and piggy little eyes is no hunk. But his voice is to die for. And he’s so obviously having a good time in Orville, how can you avoid feeling happy just looking at him?

The masterful women in Discovery are all skin and bones.  What, you have to be anorexic to work to get command of a star ship? When is someone going to have the guts to cast a fat commander?

Can’t neither the Federal or the Klingons afford light bulbs? Everything is so literally dark. Like, they had a court martial in Discovery in total darkness.

Why, in the court martial scene of Discovery, were there two bright blue lights pinpointing the Commander’s chest where her boobs should have been? That ain’t very feminist.

Orville feels like original series Trek:

  • bridge banter,

  • doctor giving sage advice and hanging around the bridge where she doesn’t belong

  • interesting characters

  • women with some meat on their bones, (by the way I’m female myself)

  • uniforms that don’t look like they are suffocating you. And – I like that you can undo them in the front for more comfort.

  • Tunics are more flattering to most real-life figures than skin-tight body suits.

  • Colour coded uniforms

  • Inherent optimism built into the premise that Mankind is basically good and society will eventually be very nice.  (If the future is like Discovery, you can keep it.)


Discovery Vulcans are like Enterprise Vulcans: total dick-heads.

My ex-military brother-in-law was horrified when he saw booby-trapping of the dead. He said it is considered a war crime by any army. Like, it’s really, really, really bad form.

Nobody yet in Discovery is as lovable as Yaphit in Orville. Silly doctor. I’d go out with him in a heartbeat. Where have you heard that voice before? Death/Grim Reaper in Family Guy, among other roles.

Come to think of it, I didn’t see any doctor in Discovery yet. Or maybe his/her/its lines were too boring for me to notice. Did I miss him/her/it? Perhaps. It was too dark to see anybody.

Bad Sarek. Isn’t mind melding without advance permission is in very poor taste?

Who is a better role model: Kermit or Kayless?

Discovery is a drama with no comic relief. Orville is a comedy with a lot of dramatic relief. You decide.

However one beef about Orville: Seth, what's up with that hair?

I can't believe I haven't posted in 6 years.
Moo
Thursday, August 25th, 2011
3:20 pm
Ravenclaw again
Took another test at another site. The Moo came out overwhelmingly Ravenclaw.
1:58 pm
Music
What I did today that is un-moo-like is walk into an HMV and buy 2 music CD's.

The last time I purchased music retail for myself (not as a gift) it think there were no such things as CD's or HMV.

I bought a Best of Leonard Cohen and More Best of Leonard Cohen (or something like that.)

I have a love/hate relationship with music. I like to sing, dance or march to music.

Not since I have been a teenager have I liked to just listen to music. I do not like background music of any kind while eating, working, shopping, studying or thinking. Attending a concert is boring. While driving I only like it if I am singing along.

However, I was looking over the lyrics of Hallelujah and got to thinking it would be nice to learn some more Leonard Cohen lyrics. I can still do all of Suzanne. So . . . heh heh . . . now that I can't get Dr. Laura on the radio while driving anymore, I'm going to give this a go.
1:52 pm
Is this working?
p>Your result for The Sorting Hat: A Comprehensive Harry Potter Personality Assessment [Test/Quiz]...</p>

Ravenclaw

55% Ravenclaw, 46% Hufflepuff, 44% Slytherin and 45% Gryffindor!




Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,


if you've a ready mind,


Where those of wit and learning,


Will always find their kind;











The cardinal traits of Ravenclaw are intellect, wit and openness to experience. They are the most introverted house of the four. Ravenclaws are more likely to prefer small gatherings of like-minded individuals and require recooperation after stressful social interaction. These individuals are intuitive creatures, the quintessential researchers. They lack the stubborn, strict, and rule-abiding qualities that would inhibit intellectual growth—one can't be too set in their ways if they are to be open to exploring new ideas and paths of thought.In contrast to Slytherin and Gryffindor, Ravenclaws in general are much more emotionally stable. Their reactions seem dampened compared to the sometimes dramatic responses of the other houses—they're much less likely to get offended, they're more open to criticism, not particularly argumentative and interested in hearing different points of view. They can at times seem to be less interested in people and more interested in their own inner world, and appear to be disconnected from the rest of humanity.


Ambition is secondary to them. Although they may strive to excel in school, knowledge and self-enrichment is the primary goal as opposed to simply wanting good marks. If they do happen to strive for excellence, it is because it fits with their other goals, not out of a desire to be superior or the best. Due to their intuitiveness and willingness to listen, Ravenclaws can be empathetic and make good advisors. They should generally leave leadership roles to people who are more extraverted and who would enjoy them more, however.

Take The Sorting Hat: A Comprehensive Harry Potter Personality Assessment [Test/Quiz] at HelloQuizzy

Monday, August 15th, 2011
8:37 pm
More Murf
It has been more than a month!

He knows his name. These are good news.

He is less fearful but still insecure. Only once I scolded him when he made in the house and he was so forlorn it took much loving to get him over it. No more scolding.

Last Saturday we started classes. First day's lesson, as I know from taking the same class with McGee, is "Watch Me" and "Sit". It seemed to work well in class but at home there's that damned fearfulness of his. He's got the brains. It took him a short time to understand that when we come back into the house after a walk he should stand and wait for me to unhook the leash.

Interesting at class, other people could see he was hesitant. They theorized he was once abused. I think not but I guess I'll never know why he is so shy.

We'll keep on plugging. The precedent of McGee is that he doesn't obey mummy but he does obey other people, Well, mummy is all he's got.

Oh, speaking of walks. Still resists going to the park. My next door neighbour has come with us a couple of times and it seems he goes more willingly if someone other than moo is along. Nonetheless, he keeps trying to turn around and go home. When I let him loose to run in the park he shows little interest. Just as happy to stay on the leash. Happiest when I turn around and head for home. Yeesh.

As did the other dogs, he likes to hide his chewies. But he really takes this seriously. Instead of just dumping it in a closet, he takes his chewie in his mouth and goes running wimpering and crying around the house. It's a scary noise. Eventually he eats it.
Monday, July 18th, 2011
7:52 pm
Murf yesterday
Sunday he went with mummy to see moo's older subunit's music festival. We are very proud of the subunit for organizing a music festival. The Murf-man was very popular. And he stayed off leash for a few hours and did not try to escape. Stayed with mummy.

New appellations now include: Murf-Man in sentences which could also be said with "Duff-Man" from the Simpsons. And also references to Wolf-Man Jack. "I AM the Murf-MAN".
Saturday, July 16th, 2011
3:58 pm
Murf Week 3
Murf update – 3 weeks as of yesterday.

It's hard to detect a pattern yet but I think that Murf likes his chewies thinner rather than thicker and that he doesn't seem to like leftover chewies.

He's more likely now to take a longer walk but interestingly he resists heading towards the park. I wonder if the busy street noise on Vanier Parkway scares him? He doesn't like to go in that direction.

He's been able to stay alone for up to 4 hours. Still the occasional cuck inside.

He's not barking when I come in the house. Jumping on mummy yes, but not barking.

This last week he came to Kingston with mummy and stayed at a kennel in the daytime while I was working and then spent evenings in the motel with mummy. Did not make in the hotel. I was pretty diligent about taking him out often.

I'm seeing more name recognition. As last week, he's at the point where he looks up at the sound but I'm not sure he understands what is intended. Still starting at noises and reaching. I guess this isn't going away too soon.
Friday, July 8th, 2011
8:02 pm
Murf 2nd week
2 week anniversary. Not much different.

Last Saturday these Jars and I went to the vet that is contracted with the agency. Got him up to date on his kennel cough. Now he's legal to go to a doggie day care if needed. He'll go KH to his own vet in September.

He has had daddy for a week and is getting used to daddy "brassie". However, tomorrow daddy is gong back to England so it will just be moo and precious once again.

I'm keeping him on the Royal Canin food even though it costs more than what the other boys used to eat. His digestion on it seems good (KH).

Knows the sound of his name has meaning but won't actually come to us. Still startles easily. Only makes in the house if he is left alone. If someone is home, he will show us the door. (Heh heh).

I still do not want to correct him on anything. Seems to moo he needs another few weeks of unconditional love. No precious gets more love than a pet in a moo-family (pets of subunits included of course). I'd like to get him to a point where he will come right to me when I dangle the leash, rather than come within a couple of feet then back away. So small.
Friday, July 1st, 2011
12:30 pm
Murf - 1 week anniversary.
Last night he met more family for the first time, Mister Moo and older subunit (aka The Jar). We could see the difference, he was much more relaxed and happy with more people once he had about an hour to absorb. Then today his Auntie came (sister of Mister Moo). And walking! When mummy and daddy took him out together he walked like a regular dog. He's beginning to notice his name. So, kein ayin hara moving in the right direction.
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
6:12 pm
Murf Day 5
So second day of leaving him when I go to work, with coming back at lunch time for brief rescue. Both days I've come home to kucks, at the same place in the upstairs vestibule (I'm closing the bedroom doors while I'm away.) That appears kein ayin hara to be the only problem. I'm getting more word recognition for the name. He doesn't come but he responds to the voice inflection. I'm not letting him have unsupervised access to bedroom yet because he's trying to eat my clothes. Well, from time to time. Not too often. Anyway, not going to try to correct any unwanted behaviours yet, until he is comfortable with us and not cringing or avoiding.
Sunday, June 26th, 2011
6:32 pm
Day 3 Suppertime
Left him alone for 3 hours in the morning while I went to a shul meeting. Left him on the couch with the tv on, because Peri said that's what he's supposed to like. I haven't noticed Murf watching tv with me.He sleeps on the couch. (Murf Potato). However, it doesn't cost anything except a teenie bit of electricity.

Came home. He came down from upstairs. Didn't see where upstairs he was. Greeted moo with jumping and a little bit of bark and whine but very little. No pishes or kucks seen.

Had some sun so tried another vow in the park. He still totally resists going in that direction. Sits down and refuses to walk. When I try to pull and his collar comes off, he cringes, doens't run away. Doesnt mind riding to the park in brassie. Doesn't mind sitting with mummy on a bench. Doesn't say boo to bikes or jogglers.

Mostly, he wants to go home. As did GeeGee he zeroed in on the new house as a place to run back to, not liking where he is taken for walk.

When I call him with that high pitched, 'Mur-urf' he knows I want something. He pays attention but doesn't come to me. Mostly cringes. I've tempted him with treats but he's still fearful.

So kein ayin hara making some progress with recognition, maybe. Scared of sounds and being called but doesn't mind brassie.
12:28 am
Day 2 continued
Peri told me he had hestitated on stairs. She thinks he wasn't allowed to go up them in his previous home.

Anyway, twice tonight he has come up of his own accord because mummy was upstairs. So I hope it's just a matter of his getting used to it.

And when he comes up he is apologetic. Also I notice he startles easily and backs away when approached. We are hoping he will relax.

Good night all.
Saturday, June 25th, 2011
5:03 pm
Day 2 early evening
We're still in our first Saturday together. He finally ate. Had half a bowl for breakfast. Polished off 2 bowls for early supper. Right now another bowl is waiting in the kitchen. I don't think he will overeat the dog food since Milo and McGee don't.

Bought leashes. 1 short, 1 long, 1 extended. All black. And some new bowls just for fun.

Then we tried to take a longer walk by the river when it wasn't raining. Murf-ee-shore didn't take to it. Kept sitting down and wanting to go home. Tomorrow is we're supposed to get a break from rain so maybe drier grass will help.

He slept with mummy okay. No big surprise there.

Kucked outside.

Will eat a badger only for a few minutes and pay attention to them when I brandish them. Actually he's a couch potato so far. Peri says he watches tv but I haven't seen that. Says I should leave the tv on for him when I go out. Maybe. Murph Potato, Mister Murphy are his first 2 nicknames.

His first songs are: Murphy is a little shore, halleluyah and We're gonna walk around the block tonight.

I tried leaving him in the car for a few minutes while I went into the supermarket. All he did was jump into the back.

Some things to work on:

- climbing the stairs - he still refuses. Luring him up with treats only works on the 3 stairs at the top, not the main stairs or lower 3. Will keep on.

- jumping on to the beds - has tried a couple of times but hasn't succeeded yet.

- going for a walk

It baffles moo how he can be 2 years old and not know his name. Don't know whether he's stupid or the owner didn't talk to him.
6:43 am
Day 1 more
Oh yeah. We had a major thunderstorm last night and he was scared. And it rained all day. So that's going to contribute to his subdued mood, I suppose.
6:38 am
Murph Day 1
I'm not on LJ much anymore. Not for some months. So, I'm going to use this space to record what is happening with the new dog in my life.

Yesterday, June 24, 2011. St. Jean Baptiste Day. I drove to Montreal to pick up a black and tan miniature wiener dog. Adopted him through Tiny Paws. Older subunit is friends with Pam of that organization.

A picture will follow later when I can remember how to do it.

His name is Leo. Was Leo. He doesn't answer to it. WTF? He's 2 years old and doesn't answer to his name? I thought it was unusual that McGee didn't answer to a name at 6 months. Anyway, a few weeks with the moo-family changed that.

Leo is being renamed. Murf.

When I first met him he had spent the night with Pam and her 2 other dogs. They were all lively when I came in.

On the drive home, Murf just slept 2 hours. I had been told by Pam that he would do so. She was right.

Now, once entering the moo house he did some preliminary walking around and sniffing around. But for the most of the day he slept on the couch. His leash is wide and strong. I'll want to get him something more suited to his size. His collar is black with little paws design. I wouldn't have picked something so cutesy but no particular advantage to changing it.

He is fearful. From noon when we got home to bedtime he only ate a few bites of food. Pam had told me he gulps down his food so didn't leave it out, as I have done with my other boys. But, I'm writing this early the next morning and he still hasn't had a good meal.

He seems to grok to make outside but I found a little piddle on the floor this morning. He's also having trouble jumping onto the beds and is reluctant to climb the stairs. Pam warned me about the stairs.

He is still fearful of me and when I call him or walk towards him he will evade. Poor precious. He's away from his daddy, had one day with a new mummy and house and now a second new mummy and house in as many days.

It is scary that he is identical in looks to McGee except he is smaller. I call him Gee-gee when I don't think about it.

Today, Saturday, I plan not to go to shul in the morning but to let him stay with me the whole day. We'll take a couple of long walks. We'll drive over to the Petsmart of Petcetera to buy a new lease. Maybe 2. Pam says he doesn't pull on the extendible leash. We shall see. I'll get one fabric and one extendible. He did not play with a badger (stuffed toy) at my house but I saw him do so at Pam's. So far he likes pupperoni. He does not like papaya. He did not chew an available cigar (rawhide stick).
Saturday, November 20th, 2010
8:41 am
Birthday aftermath
Yesterday ended up being much less dismal than I expected.

Had a reasonably uneventful day at work. Was going to bring cake for the gang but forgot, so when Chris went over to the Giant Tiger I asked him to get one for me. They no longer have cakes at GT. A shame, I liked what they had. But, unbeknownst to moo until later, he picked up a birthday card and got people in the office to sign it. Isn't that sweet?

Came home had leftover Loblaws chicken from the night before and then a whole night's worth of good TV to keep my off my ankle: Sherlock, then 5 Criminal Minds.

Today at shul there's a "shabbaton", meaning lunch and a speaker after services, so that will keep moo busy today.

The weather is bright, windy and cold. High air pressure makes for better mood.
Friday, November 19th, 2010
6:29 am
Birthday
The Moo usually gets depressed on her birthday. And this year no kith nor kin nor puppy in the house to kersnuggle.

Forewarned is forearmed. Chins up, Moo.

Tempted to take the day off work but I should be in the office because my computer crapped out yesterday and I should be around for the IT person in case she shows up. But there's supposed to be a new Sherlock tonight - something to look forward to.
Saturday, November 13th, 2010
2:25 pm
kaddish
Moo’s feeling a little religious today. Just got home from synagogue where I said kaddish (a mourning prayer) for my father.

It got moo thinking about older days of the due-niverse, when the moo and her “generation” had their heyday. Sigh. In those days the moo used to write a custom birthday fic-let for anyone in one of her yahoo-group. That was the shtick – tell the moo your birthday and anything you wanted a fic about, any topic, mood, pairing. On your birthday it would be posted.

For moo’s own birthday I would indulge ideas that may not have any interest to anyone else but I just did them anyway. Strange indulgences. Well, Moo’s own birthday is coming up next week – another reason to be thinking about those lost days.

Sorry. Babbling.

I’m reposting after some years a strange little thing I put together for my own birthday some year or other, and it has to do with kaddish. One of some stories that I occasionally played with in which I made Benny Jewish.

And a special note to Lucysmom, if she is out there. In the following fic, Ray’s observations about a synagogue service, as a visitor, came from Lucysmom’s description of her own such visit once. The synagogue building Ray and Benny visited is one from the moo’s childhood, the old synagogue of my great-grandfather where the moo spent many long, boring hours.

The name “Meyer” mentioned pre-dates the protagonist of my novel in progress by many years. No connection. I just like using the name.

Anyway . . .

---------------

"Ray, would you like to come somewhere with me on Saturday morning?"

Ray found the wording of the question a little strange. On any given Thursday, Fraser was wont to ask something like this, but usually he said "Would you take me somewhere Saturday morning?" meaning he had some errand that required a ride in the Riv. Fraser's phrasing, once you got past the embarrassed stammering, was usually precise. Ray was instantly intrigued. This change in wording must mean something.

"Where'd you have in mind, Benny?"

Fraser looked away. Since it was also unlike him to avoid Ray's eyes, Ray knew something really important was up.

"Somewhere with Mort and me. If you're not too busy."

Wow. Both evasive and passive-aggressive so early in the conversation. The haircut and the visit with Uncle Leo would definitely wait. "Sure, Benny. What time should I pick you up?"

----------------

Ray parked the Riv outside an old brick house with a lot of old men, a couple dozen Ray figured, milling about on the sidewalk out front. Upon closer inspection, it wasn't a house. There were two wide doors and over them a Jewish star and a Hebrew inscription.

Fraser was in his brown uniform, which he hadn't worn for nearly a year since the Dragon Lady had ordered him out of it and into the blue one. Fraser so detested the blue that she had taken pity on him and agreed to a compromise – the red serge. Ray agreed that the dark brown went better with the camel Stetson, even though brown wasn't Fraser's best colour.

Ray found a place to park a few blocks away, then he and Fraser walked back. At first all the men looked alike in their similar dark, conservative suits, black skullcaps and advanced years. A taller one of them detached from the herd and headed towards them. It was Mort.

"Good, you made it!" Mort declared, grabbing Fraser's two hands in his own and pumping them. "And you, Ray. You came too. Very nice, very nice. Come, I'll introduce you around."

Mort did just that, for many minutes, presenting them to old man after old man. Their forearms were all covered with their suit jackets but Ray suspected many of them had concentration camp tattoos on their forearms as Mort did.

With great ceremony, Mort and a group of three more brought Ray and Fraser into the presence of a very tiny man. Mort pushed Fraser forward "This is him. The one I told you about. And this Detective Vecchio, he came along for company. Gentlemen, this is Rabbi Farb."

Fraser touched his hat and Ray muttered something polite.

Yet another man came up and from behind the Rabbi said "Mort? Did you ask him?"

"I'll ask him. I'll ask him. Fraser, I forgot to ask you. We don't have a Co-hayn today. You're not by any chance . . .?

Fraser looked at the pavement.

"I knew it! I knew it!" Mort slapped Fraser on the back, "A Mountie comes to the rescue!" He turned and pushed through the crowd shouting, "Meyer, I found one! Oh wait, I forgot . . . " he turned back and made his way back towards the Mountie. He then took a piece of paper and the stub of a pencil from his pocket and shoved them at Fraser. "Write your name here."

Ray tried to make out what alphabet Fraser was writing in. Benny knew every language so why not Hebrew? But in the crowd of little old men, he couldn't see.

By now the group of old men were joined by a smattering of younger ones and a half a dozen women of different ages. They all started to move into the building.

Mort was back now, having delivered the paper to Meyer, and resumed his role as guide.

"I guess this is a synagogue?" Ray asked him.

"Yes, Ray. You ever been in one?"

"A few times. Some bar mitzvahs. A wedding."

"Good, then you know the routine. Take a kee-pah when we go in. Stand up and sit down when Meyer says. Don’t fall asleep." Mort put one arm around each of the friends' shoulders and they joined the crowd heading for the door. Ray wondered what Fraser and Mort had cooked up that had to be done in a synagogue but he figured he'd be told in good time, so he just went along.

Once inside, Ray took a black skullcap from a basket on a table near the door. Mort already had one of his own on, embroidered with gold thread. Fraser simply kept on his Stetson.

Most of the men carried velvet pouches under their arms and once inside the building they opened the pouches and pulled out long, narrow, white shawls with fringes on both ends. Another larger basket containing shawls, apparently loaners like the kee-pahs, was also on the table.

Fraser surprised Ray by picking up a shawl from the basket, holding it in front of himself, then bringing the cloth to his lips twice, in spots about two feet apart. Then, as were the other men, he slung the garment over his head. It stuck out comically over the edges of the Stetson, while the other mens' shawls lay flat against their heads. The same as the other men did, Fraser muttered some phrases in a language Ray presumed was Hebrew then took the shawl down from his head and settled it around his shoulders.

"Fraser, should I do that?" Ray asked as he trailed after the Mountie and Mort towards an inner door leading to the sanctuary.

"No, Ray. It's not necessary."

Indeed, Ray could see that perhaps 30% of the men present had no shawls on, nor were any of the women wearing any. So he thought no more of it and only briefly reflected that Fraser seemed to know exactly what to do and say. Well, if Fraser knew everything about everything anyway, why shouldn't he know this?

-----------

The inner part of the synagogue was sparse to Ray's eye. There were no coloured windows, statues, flowers, candles, nor any of the usual trappings he associated with a house of worship. There were rows of wooden chairs, a small stage with a lectern in front. Also on the platform was a wooden cupboard closed off with a curtain. From the ceiling over the lectern hung a small lamp.

The three men settled into a row midway down the hall, Fraser in the middle, Ray to his left and Mort to his right. Mort leaned across the Mountie and gave Ray a quick briefing. "This is a normal Saturday morning service. Nothing special happening today. We'll finish in about 2 hours, then we'll have kiddush. That's refreshments. Honeycake, some fruit maybe, and wine."

The wine would be way too sweet, as Ray recalled from other such visits.

"The stage is called the 'bee-mah', the hat's called a 'kee-pah' – you knew that already, right – and the shawl's called a 'tah-liss'. Behind the curtain we've got scrolls. We'll read from some later."

"One's a 'Torah'". I remember that. It's got the Old Testament in it, right?"

Fraser interposed here, and began lecturing Ray on what kinds of text were in what scrolls, then all fell silent as Meyer, the rabbi and a few other men came up onto the bee-mah. Everybody picked up a prayerbook, some from pockets looped over the chairs in front of them, some had their own. The service began.

The few times Ray had sat through a Jewish service he'd found it exotic but just a little less organized than what he was used to in his own church. Meyer told people when to sit and stand and occasionally reminded them what page they should be on. One man did most of the singing. During one very long prayer, everyone stood up and went off mumbling at their own pace, some slow, some fast, some bobbing up and down from the waist, some staying still, some with their tah-liss over their heads, some not. Everybody bowed at one time or another, never any two at the same time. As the speedier ones finished, before the rest of the group, they either stood quietly and waited or had whispered conversations with other speedies.

When Meyer announced they should be on a certain page, most of those not yet finished abandoned what they were doing and flipped over the suggested page, others remained standing and went on doing their own thing. Fraser was one of this latter group.

After the novelty of watching Mort and Fraser wore off, there was nothing much to hold Ray's attention. He began to wonder, idly, if there was more to Fraser's knowing all this Jewish stuff than just Fraser knowing stuff. Fraser Jewish? I look more Jewish. Still . . .

When the standing and bobbing part was done, a couple more men gathered on the bee-mah and consulted with Meyer. Then they were satisfied with the results of their deliberations (all in Yiddish) another section of the service began.

The curtain was opened with great ceremony and singing. One of the men on the bee-mah lifted out a scroll. He faced the audience and sang, others joining in for a few lines here and there. The singing continued while the man paraded with the Torah all around the room, with the others from the bee-mah following behind. As the scroll passed each row people touched the ends of their shawls, first to the scroll and then to their lips. Those without shawls used their prayerbooks instead. Ray felt like joining in and hoped his priest wouldn't mind. It was a Bible after all.

Once the scroll and its entourage had finished the circuit of the room, they placed it on the lectern, removed its embroidered satin cover and unrolled a portion. Ray knew from other visits, and you didn't need to be a detective to figure, that they would now read from the delicate parchment.

Meyer stood forward and called out, "Yah-mode Baruch ben Reuben ha Co-hayn!"

Ray recognized the last word from the conversation outside. He looked towards Fraser to see this was perhaps his friend's cue to do something. He wasn't disappointed. Fraser stood up alone, left his seat and made his way to the bee-mah. This went just a little beyond what Ray was expecting.

A man was in position ready to read from the scroll. Fraser stopped in a spot just to the man's right. He sang, all alone, a short passage with a haunting Eastern tone, glancing from time to time at a laminated piece of paper that was also on the lectern. Then, he stood quietly while the other man chanted his Torah reading.

Seeing Fraser go solo like that was a bit of a shock. He must be . . . He can't be . . .

After about five minutes of chanting, Ray heard a falling tone which he correctly figured must mean the end of a section. Fraser sang briefly again a passage similar to his first (Ray hadn't realized Fraser had such a fine, clear tenor voice) then faded to the back of the bee-mah. He stood there doing nothing while another man was called up and went through an identical performance to Fraser's except that his guy was far off key. Still, he got nods of approval when his singing was finished. So, they don’t pick them for their musical talent, Ray decided.

The second man finished and moved to where Fraser was standing. Fraser relinquished the spot to him and stepped off the bee-mah. As he did, smiling men shook his hand and clapped him on the back. The Mountie smiled shyly at each one and headed back to his seat. People at their seats reached out hands or called out "Yah-sher Ko-ach" and "Well done" as he went by them.

Mort jumped up like a proud father, and embraced him. "It's his first time! Imagine!" for all to hear. Fraser wriggled free and blushed as he sat down.

"I didn't want to do that, but they needed a Co-hayn," Fraser whispered to Ray.

"What's that?"

"It means . . . well . . . it's not important right now, Ray." Fraser's eyes told a different story. They were glistening, tears gathering at the corners.

Son of a gun. He is. Go figure.

Other men took their turns. There was more singing, more reading, more marching. The old rabbi delivered a sermon which Ray tuned out. It was as boring as any other sermon. Ray had his own thoughts to occupy him.

Ray had been getting along fine standing and sitting when told and following Mort's and Fraser's lead. Then came a point of confusion. Meyer announced "Mourners' kaddish". What, wine and cake already? No, that's 'kiddush'.

Fraser and a handful of other men stood up. Everyone else remained seated.

"Do I stand up?" Ray whispered to Fraser.

"No, Ray. You stay down." Not that he didn't believe the Mountie, but Mort was also staying down so Ray felt comfortable doing the same.

The handful of standing men began chanting. "Yitgadal vehyitgadash shehmay rabbah," Fraser began with the rest. Muttering in unison was something new to Ray, but these guys seemed to be doing it. Everybody sitting down added "amen" here and Ray joined in, it was easy enough.

The unison muttering continued.

Then Fraser and the other standing men, all together, took three small steps backwards in their places and bowed to their left. "Yahseh shalom beemroomav."

Then they bowed to the right and said "Hoo yahseh shalom aleynoo."

They bowed forward. "Veh alcoll Yisro-ayl. Veemroo ahem." Everyone else said "amen" again. The kaddish-sayers then took three small steps forward, stood for a brief moment and then sat down.

All sat down but Fraser, that is, who dashed from the room in tears. Mort and Ray followed. In the outer hall they saw Fraser sitting on a couch with an older Mountie, also in brown. The older man had his arm around Fraser's shoulder. He looked up at Ray and Mort as they approached.

"Benton did well, didn't he? Never thought I'd live to see my Benton on the bee-mah." said the older Mountie. He looked somewhere in his fifties.

"You didn't live to see it," Fraser managed to say. "That's rather the whole point of this, Dad."

"Don't quibble, Benton. You know what I mean."

Fraser now took in the situation. "Dad, Ray and Mort can see you."

"Oh, sorry. Just got carried away. Wait'll I tell your mother. She'll be so proud! Have some extra honeycake for me." So saying, the older Mountie got up, gave Fraser's shoulder a final pat and left the building.

Fraser jumped to his feet and went after him, clutching his tah-liss about his shoulders as he ran. "Dad! Wait!"

Ray and Mort just stared after them, not quite sure how to react.

"What's a co-hayn?" Ray asked, finally.

Mort had to take a second to re-orient to Ray's question. "Long ago, we had priests. It was a hereditary thing. We still keep track. A co-hayn is someone whose ancestor was a priest."

"And when he went up there in front, what was that for?"

"It's called an 'ah-lee-ah'. It's considered an honour. In every service the first ah-lee-ah has to be a done by a co-hayn. I'm surprised Fraser knew how to do it."

Ray had long since given up being too surprised by anything Fraser came up with, including being a priest. If Benny were going to be a Jew, trust him to arrange somehow to be a strange one.

"What was that last thing they did for, with the bowing?"

"You mean the kaddish? You say it on the anniversary of the death of a close relative. Last month Fraser told me it was going to be two years since his father was killed and he felt bad he never said kaddish. Who was that Mountie he was talking to? You know him? Fraser called him 'Dad'."

"Never met him," said Ray, for once being as literal as his friend. "Do we have to go back in? Couldn't we just wait here for the honeycake?"

Live Long and Prosper,
The Moo
Sunday, October 17th, 2010
8:45 pm
Frere Andre
Except out of idle curiousity I rarely care what the Vatican is up to, but this is really nice: Brother Andre of Montreal has been declared a saint today.

Oh, I remember pleasant afternoons visiting St. Joseph's Oratory, strolling around the garden, listening to the carillon. Looking up at the walls of crutches left behind by grateful healed people. Reading about the campaign to have the blessed Andre declared a saint. Ignoring the pleas for donations to further this aim, however. Driving along towards Montreal and seeing the dome of St. Joseph's in the distance. Driving around the top of the mountain trying to get access into the back ways (against the rules of course) and looking down over the city. A lovely view. Yes, I have altogether pleasant experiences around St. Joseph's.

Since nothing has been ever brought to my attention about brother Andre except nice things, I have no reason not to be very pleased for him and his adherents. Way to go, Frere Andre. Hope the saints have a nice welcome party for you.
Sunday, September 12th, 2010
5:32 pm
RCW139 Report - Intro and Background
RCW139 ran Friday through Sunday August 13-15/10. I was also at the last one in August 2008.

All kinds of description and pix from both years are on the official website: http://www.rcw139.org It has loads of pix from this and the last one

Moo’s name on Facebook (and in much of real life) is Marilyn Oprisan. (I haven’t figured out how to link to my Facebook presence. Not on it all that much.

Background and Last Year

My display picture is me and David Marciano at the Gala Dinner in 2008.

During the last one, I ran an event on Friday afternoon. In the room was a fan-fic get together, a display of Ray-doll and his clothes to play with and I also brought along art materials for people to design backgrounds for Ray doll to pose against. I took pictures of the doll against the background. Finally, and the best attended was a “name the episode” game. In this game, pictures of Ray doll dressed in different costumes represented different episodes. Ray doll and his stuff belongs to Wolfwalker. Wolf also made the pix of Ray dressed up. But it had been long ago and he and I had to do a little thinking before we could reconstruct which episodes he had in mind. Oh, Ray V. These very same pix are on The Moo’s Facebook.

Likewise pictures from this year’s RCW130 are on the Facebook.

At the time, I remember being disappointed because the half dozen or so fan fic writers who came to the event were young people whom I did not know from online. (Except for the people mentioned in the next paragraph). More people tried out my game, maybe a couple dozen all told . I recall being disappointed at the time wanting a bigger turnout but looking back now I see that considering the number of people that were around on the Friday, I did pretty well.

Must now also say that with Moo at the convention were 3 other duesers of moo’s “generation”: Three of us shared a room at the Marriott: Ladyana, Kali Sandeson and moo. In a room of her own but we all hung around together was Melanie Mitchell. I was great to see in person the names I had been talking with.

So last year there was some acknowledgement of fan fic, authors and readers were definitely a presence. The Moo and her friends plus this bunch of youngers, very pleasant youngsters – albeit mostly F/K slashers.

Well, on to this year. Once I knew another RCW139 was in the works I planned another event. It was going to be a dialogue “bee” focusing on Ray dialogue (in this case both Rays). I spent lots of time and energy in the months before trying to get good pix to decorate the contest area. And I figured preparing the questions would be easily done the week before. The week before came and . . . whoa . . . it was taking way longer than I expected. Moo was so agonized and stressed that in the end she abandoned the plan entirely. And of course felt very bad about it.

I needn’t have felt so bad. The organizer had 2 other things going on at the same time, but one of them he completely ignored and didn’t even get in touch with the ladies who were going to organize it to get them set up, nor list their game on daily program. I felt bad for them and told them they should have accosted Stephane. They seemed reluctant.

I do intend, if there is another RCW139 that my game will go ahead and you can be sure the moo will make sure she gives herself a whole bunch of lead time.

Last year cast/crew panels were held. Each one: Jay Semko (music – he composed the theme among other things), David Marciano (Ray V), Tom Melissis (Dewey) and Catherine Bruhier (Elaine). Jay and David held their own, captivating the audience but sadly Catherine had a bit of a hard time on the stage. Few people had questions and she doesn’t appear to be the outgoing type to chat away on her own. We were all getting fidgety seeing her “dying” up there, and then, bless him, David appeared at a door and announced “I’ve got a question!” He came up on stage with her and kept it all rolling. He just as easily have stayed relaxing in his room but there he was rescuing. I say now as I have said often – DM is one class act.

It was also David’s idea to have a group photo at the gala dinner. Hee hee, Moo takes a little credit. I approached him and asked him to pose with me and after that was done he said we really ought to have everyone in a picture.

Oh, I also brought lots of decorations with me to spruce up the area I’d be in: Stackable Mountie dolls (like the Russian ones all inside one another), 2 Canadian flags, lots of small flags to give away to people at my event, a small Mountie statuette, a big Mountie doll. A clock with a Canadian flag. Other stuff. And I shlepped the Ray doll and his computer and all my event stuff – all this I took by train. Sigh, I was much more ambitious 2 years ago.

This year I drove and with much less stuff. Just flags, decorations and the big Mountie doll.
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