Posted by Mihal Levy
What do you get when you take a girl born to an Italian-Catholic mother and one born to Jewish parents? Lea Michele (“Rachel Berry”) and Dianna Agron (“Quinn Fabray”) from Fox’s hit Glee.
Lea Michele (Lea Michele Sarfati)‘s mother is an Italian-Catholic (her father a Sepharadic Jew) and Dianna Agron is Jewish. Dianna Agron portrays a devout Catholic, head of the school’s celibacy club who actually gets pregnant, and Lea Michele portrays what we have stereotypically come to know and love as a Jewish American Princess. Guess you cannot judge a book by its cover after all. Lea Michele even stated in interviews that she was shocked to land a lead role, as she was always told that her look was “too ethnic.”
On Glee they are rivals, but in reality the two are good friends and actually share an apartment together.
Glee has become a popular show lately, even among moms…at least the ones I know. Maybe it’s because the ones I know were in some type of performance group in high school (myself included), and find this a great opportunity to laugh now, looking back in retrospect. Maybe it is because we can all relate to that one singer that stood out from the rest, but only because she deemed herself the best singer, just like Rachel Berry. Or maybe it is the fact that they break out in song and dance…the way life should be.
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November 11, 2009 | 1:33 pm
Posted by Mihal Levy
While roaming through the bookstore I noticed a common trend: books about people’s lives through their pet’s eyes. Being that I don’t have a pet (allergies…and goldfish are no fun, especially when they become cannibalistic), I decided that when I got home later I would write a story through the “eyes” of my houseplant, my only houseplant.
Before I left home in the morning, I placed my plant outside in the sun to rejuvenate - vitamin D therapy. (No, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I thought this would help revive my poor plant.) Ironically, when I reached my front door, there he was (yes, he), toppled over on the ground about half a foot from his pot, soil strewn all over. Just when I was contemplating what my plant would say about me, there was my answer, loud and clear. Had Mr. Plant committed suicide? Had someone kicked him over and my poor plant could not fend for himself because of me…leaving him all alone on my front porch? Whether suicide or homicide, it was my fault. I felt awful.
While picking up his remains, I scooped him back into the pot and reminisced about old times. Mr. Plant and I go way back, about seven years back, in fact. I am shocked he has lasted this long considering…
He was a housewarming present given to me by my mother when I moved into a new place when I was single. I don’t know what she was thinking, since I was known as the “plant killer” and couldn’t care for a plant if my life depended on it. But, I guess she figured I needed something to keep me company and something to take care of, since pets were out of the question. It was a nice thought at the time, until I kept shifting him around my place trying to figure out why his leaves were always yellow (jaundice?) then brown (ouch). This went on and on until all that was left of Mr. Plant was a stem and some roots, becoming Mr. Stubby.
Mr. Stubby was thrown into a box a couple of years later when my singlehood was over and moved in with my husband and I. My husband was open to everything I moved into his place (now our place), but Mr. Stubby stood out for him. “Isn’t that thing dead?” he asked. I was quick to defend him - my plant, not my husband. “No! Well, I don’t know, but I can’t just throw him away.” (I have a whole other issue with death, but that makes for another blog.) And, so began our threesome: me, my hubby and my dead plant.
I had been so busy with the move, wedding, honeymoon, and redecorating of my husband’s bachelor-pad-turned-couple’s-home that I had not paid attention to Mr. Stubby. (What else was new?) One day I remembered that I should probably water him and noticed he had sprouted long green branches and leaves. (A miracle happened here!) That was about five years ago. (Not the last time I watered him, of course. I’m not that bad.)
From then on it was always a question of reviving the poor thing. And all my classes in CPR did not help. I remember a particular instance when I realized I must say goodbye to him again and placed him outside on top of one of the trash receptacles to throw away later when my father-in-law came to visit.
He walked into my home, dead plant in hand, and said, “You can’t throw this plant away.”
Unlike myself, my father-in-law does have a green thumb - two, in fact, and has grown everything from cacti and flowers to orange groves, I’m sure. And here I was, struggling to take care of one plant. He placed Mr. Plant (aka, once again, Mr. Stubby) on a drip, a slow drip from the faucet, and placed him out in the sun. I was a skeptic, but literally within days, once again, Mr. Plant proved to be immortal.
The years passed and I always shifted him around when he got a bit jaundiced and watered him every so often (sorry, Mr. Plant). My mother even commented recently, “Is that the same plant I gave you years ago? I can’t believe it.” I couldn’t either. Even my son loved watering him. When he was a little guy learning how to walk, he would walk over to the plant and water it, sometimes even with his juicebox, but Mr. Plant didn’t seem to mind. He flourished.
And now, this. I am not sure there is hope this time. I will place him outside again and wait. I want to apologize to you, Mr. Plant, for the tough times I have put you through, but thank you for always coming around. You have seen me when I was single, married and now in motherhood. You have been there for me. I hope I have been there for you. This is not the end, it is the beginning of a new era and I thank you.
November 9, 2009 | 2:00 pm
Posted by Mihal Levy
Motherhood is usually portrayed in one of two ways on the big screen (in my opinion): cliched or Hollywood-esque. Mom is either trying to get to a ringing telephone while the baby is crying and a pot of soup is boiling over on the stove, or she looks refreshed, polished and relaxed in three-inch heels while the nannies scurry about after her children. (Yes, I said nannies…plural.) I believe most moms fit somewhere in between the two.
Uma Thurman portrays a frazzled mom in the new film Motherhood, often cliched, but realistic as well. (Are all moms homely looking?) Thurman does such a great job that you often cannot tell that it is her.
In Motherhood, Thurman portrays Eliza Welsh, a mother of two living in a rent controlled walkup in New York. As a novelist turned mom/blog writer, Eliza tries to balance her blog, home, marriage and daunting to-do list, while battling parking issues, traffic jams, deadlines and strangers with messages for her on how mothers should be, in the midst of preparing for her daughters sixth birthday party. The film just spans one day in her life with so many interruptions; sound familiar? Also starring in the film are Anthony Edwards and Minnie Driver.
I would have to disagree with many of the poor reviews Motherhood and Thurman have received. It is a “slice of life” film and a day in the life of a not so well-to-do mom. It may not be cinematically perfect or brilliant, but it does cover the ground of what it often takes to be a mother.
Although Motherhood was out for a limited engagement, I am glad I had the opportunity to see it. Be sure to catch it on DVD (release date still unknown).
I don’t promise amazing cinema, but great one-liners about motherhood and laugh-out-loud moments that us moms can relate to (like crazy moms at the park, among other things).
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly claims that “...Uma Thurman turns every task - shopping for a birthday party, retaining a parking space - into an operatic fit of neurosis.” And your point, Mr. Gleiberman?
November 3, 2009 | 12:08 pm
Posted by Mihal Levy
Although it is probably highly unlikely that Mel Gibson would be reading this, I want to wish him and his girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva mazel tov on the birth of their daughter Lucia. (And no, Lucia was not born to a virgin mother; this is #2 for Oksana.)
Gibson has seven children with his estranged wife of thirty years, who filed for divorce in April. This makes number eight for Mel. “Guess that makes me Octo-Mel,” Gibson said jokingly during his appearance on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show in May, confirming reports that he and Oksana were expecting. Octo-Mel is not so bad; there are probably worse things he has been called.
It has been a long time since Gibson has made headlines, which is probably a good thing. And hopefully during his sabbatical, he has had time to reflect. Reflect on the fact that drinking and driving don’t mix…and that when pulled over, you probably should not let antisemitic epithets out of your mouth along with the scent of alcohol if you want to keep working in Hollywood. Maybe there is such a thing as bad publicity after all.
It seems Mel’s iconic Lethal Weapon days are long gone. Maybe it is time for a new start?
So what is in store for baby Lucia? A life of passion for J.C., along with anti-Semitic banter? Even though J.C. was born Jewish?
As a mother, I shudder when I think of all the hate that can persist in the world when it is passed down from parent to child. With all this, I am confident that he has learned from his mistakes. So, I raise a toast to Mel, Oksana and Lucia – L’chaim!
November 2, 2009 | 2:30 pm
Posted by Mihal Levy
I found my husband when I wasn’t looking, rather we found each other when we weren’t looking. I know single people have heard this before and think it’s just some fairy tale conjured up by us marital beings, but it’s true. When I stopped trying and just being, it happened. And to my hubby, in Shania Twain’s words, “You are still the one…” but I’m dating other people, or at least that’s what it feels like. Let me explain (just in case hubby reads this).
When I’m out doing mommy things with my son, I can’t help but meet other moms, all kinds. We make small talk at the park and exchange important motherly knowledge, like the best times to come to the park to have the swings available, or which indoor playground to go to when the weather is not conducive for park outings. We share a bag of Cheerios, string cheese, even a juice box and then…it is over, just like that. We each go our separate ways, Cheerios and all. I wouldn’t think much of it, except that it has become a habit - a series of one park stands. And I can’t help but wonder after our rendezvous, is it me? She didn’t even ask for my number? Should I have taken hers? And, I didn’t even know her last name.
I thought I was done dating years ago when I said “I do.” I have started to realize that this feels like dating, only this time it is with park moms. My friends (I do have some) seem to suggest that maybe I just haven’t found the right one. Just as I found my husband when I wasn’t looking, I hope to find “the one”...Mrs. Right.