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Jul 12 2013

What the Screw in My Tire Has to do with Tisha B’av

By at 11:02 am

nail in tireIn light of my post earlier this week about my HTC dying, our power going out, and the slug dying in my bathroom, here are a few other things that also happen to famous people.

1. Skunks die in the front bushes. And we don’t figure it out for three days and we keep looking for the source of the skunk smell but can’t find it. So our almost 8-year-old sons find it in two minutes of looking.

2. We find screws in our tires. As I was making a quick run to the grocery store with my kids, this happened. The quick run quickly became Mama filling the tires with air at a gas station (after getting quarters from the man behind the counter because of course AIR IS NOT FREE) because my beloved Audi A4 had a “low air” sensor. The filling the tires with air became, “Oh my gosh, that’s a screw in my tire,” which became, “Can I find a tire center open on Sunday before this tire blows?” which became hoping that the tire guy doesn’t rip me off and being happy that they patched the tire for $25 rather than making me buy two or–perish the thought!–four new tires.  Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 29 2013

Mayim Bialik’s Seder Recap

By at 1:23 pm

matzah piecePesach was good! Mid-divorce, I hosted everyone. And it was great.

In addition to my I-still-call-her-my-mother-in-law and Michael, my parents were there and my uncle. My closest and oldest friend and her 7-year-old daughter came and the kids had a blast. Her 7-year-old and my 7-year-old even let my 4-year-old find the afikomen because he was literally having a fit about the possibility of not finding it, starting at about karpas. Thank you, mature 7-year-olds!  Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 19 2013

Five Ways I’m Doing Passover Differently This Year

By at 1:21 pm

stack of paper platesPassover is upon us and I am sort of almost ready. Because of my car accident seven and a half months ago and my tendinitis which I am just finally over, my cleaning and cooking will not be as thorough and rigorous as I like them to be, but I am doing things differently this year and that’s a good thing.

Here are the things I am doing differently:

1. Not obsessing as much as I like to. Traditional Judaism is a beloved religious undertaking for those of us on the Obsessive-Compulsive spectrum, with its myriad boundaries, numerical rituals, and things to do and not do in order to be “right” with God and the world. Even our spring cleaning is regimented, to a certain extent, and I usually take this time of year to go totally nutso bonkers with my cleaning. This year, it will be more by-the-books and I will save the super duper magnifying glass-type of scouring for another time when my hand is better. And that’s ok.  Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 13 2012

What I’ve Learned from Hanukkah So Far

By at 10:31 am

Hanukkah started Saturday night. Here’s what I’ve learned this week.

1. Hanukkah doesn’t have to be a huge deal. It can be about simple things: being together, small gifts, spinning a dreidel.

2. It’s hard being a working mama and missing out on daytime Hanukkah parties and fairs and such. Grumpy about that for sure.

3. Putting kids first is absolutely critical at any stage of a marital relationship. Kids matter so much more than our “issues” do. It is wonderful to be able to give them a safe and joyous holiday despite what we are handling.

4. There’s not much sweeter than watching small hands hold a shamash. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 12 2012

A Mini-Rant Now That the Fall Jewish Holidays are Over

By at 9:29 am
october calendar

This isn't the only calendar we stick to.

We’re through with all of these blessed fall Jewish holidays. I don’t know about you, but it’s been kind of a whirlwind, holiday-wise: Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat, (The Emmys), Yom Kippur, another Shabbat, Sukkot, yet another Shabbat, and then Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.

Contrary to what some of you may think, and in particular, antithetical to the angry poster who referred to my blogging here as “the Orthodox cult of Mayim Bialik,” I’m not Orthodox like a lot of people you know. I work in an industry that does not abide by the Jewish calendar. I don’t fit the mold of what a lot of Orthodox women look like, act like, or think like. I don’t live in a Jewish neighborhood and I’m about an hour’s walk from the nearest synagogue and mikvah. In addition, my children don’t attend religious school and most of their friends are not Jewish. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 1 2012

Fasting (and Schmoozing) on Tisha B’Av

By at 11:49 am
mayim bialik tcas big bang theory

Not bad for someone who hasn't eaten all day, right?

Last Sunday was Tisha B’Av, the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and in the history of the Jewish People. It commemorates the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, first by the Babylonians and then by the Romans. Tisha B’Av concludes a three week period of grave sadness and tragedy historically, as a tremendous number of horrific events began in the three weeks preceding this date (for a complete list, click here).

I happen to love Tisha B’Av for its intensity, its 25 hour dry fast (the only other such fast being on Yom Kippur), and for the earthy quality of our mourning: Jews sit in grief until it is a part of us, not resisting it, not being distracted from it, not running from it. For better or worse, that is our ancient tradition which still holds power in modern times. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 18 2012

Counting the Omer (i.e. 49 Days of Maccabeats)

By at 1:37 pm
Mt. Sinai

Mt. Sinai

Passover has passed over. All of that cleaning, refraining, and restricting is over and done for another year. Phew! Right? Wrong.

Passover is the beginning of a journey of the Jewish people towards the ultimate gift that we received only after (because of!?) slavery and our liberation through the narrows of Egypt. That gift is the Torah. We commemorate receiving the Torah 50 days after Passover on Shavuot, which falls this year on May 27. The 50 days are called Sefirat Ha’Omer, or the Counting of the Omer, since sheaves (omer) of wheat were brought to the Temple during this time after Pesach. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 4 2012

My Passover Rant

By at 1:28 pm
quinoa

Can I eat my quinoa or not?

We’re all thinking of things that are annoying us/infuriating us as we prepare for Pesach. I’m going to do you the favor of making you feel justified in your indignation and in unity with other similarly-frantic preparing women. Here are my 10 things that are NOT working for me as I prepare for Pesach 2012:

1. Not enough Pesachdik (kosher for Passover) baking dishes.

2. Pesach knife not sharp enough.

3. Husband not helpful enough. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 26 2012

Cleaning for Passover, Missing My Bubbe

By at 3:19 pm
mayim bialik grandmother

My grandmother.

I’ve started cleaning for Passover, have you? I started with some small things: setting aside what needs to be consumed before April 6 (how many challahs can I make with 20 lbs of flour?), making a dent in the scrubbing…just getting in the mood for purging my entire house of hametz before going to work on the next episode of The Big Bang Theory. Standard stuff, you know how it is.

I miss my grandmother today. She was a woman who really knew how to clean. Give that 5- foot-tall, 5-foot-wide Hungarian balabusta a sponge in a kitchen and by nigthfall, the sink would take on a luster unseen before her thick hands set to it. My grandmother lived a life of cleaning and cooking and sewing and caretaking in an apartment in the Bronx with my grandfather, his father (who had active Tuberculosis, by the way), and three daughters, the middle of whom was my mother. My mother learned to cook and clean from her mother, and passed on those skills to me. We spent many pleasant and productive Type-A Personality hours cleaning and organizing and washing my dolls’ clothes and darning socks (any other 36-year-old out there have a memory of darning socks on a wooden darning egg!? Didn’t think so!). It was a special time for us, and when I watched my grandmother clean our house when she visited, I saw myself and my mother as part of a long line of cleaning and cooking women who were destined to greatness in our own way. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 17 2012

The Big Bang Theory, According to Mayim

By at 4:07 pm
mayim bialik on big bang theory

Image Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

We all know and love Mayim Bialik from the days of Blossom, but as mature, responsible adults, we also need to accept the fact that she is no longer the awesome hat-wearing young lady she once was. And now, she’s even better! As Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, Mayim is in the spotlight once again, only this time, she’s also a working mother, an actual scientist, and a writer. The following are some of our favorite posts that take us behind the scenes of The Big Bang Theory, and the life of a working mother.

1. Pumping on the Set of The Big Bang Theory

In which Mayim reveals how she manages to be a full-time mom, neuroscience teacher, homeschooler, and actress on the #1 rated comedy on television. Hint: with a breast pump, and a sign that says, “Knock first PLEASE!”

2. So Your Kid Wants to be an Actor? Tough Noogie!

In which Mayim warns you that if you choose to pursue your child’s dream of becoming a professional actor, there will be a lot of driving, schlepping, intimidation, and disappointment involved.

3. Studying on the Set of The Big Bang Theory

In which Mayim uses the downtime while on set to study Torah, the laws of Shabbat cooking, women and feminism in Judaism, and more, thus causing everyone to think twice about playing Solitaire on your lunch break.

4. I Went to Work on Sukkot

In which Mayim is required to work on the first two days of Sukkot, but still manages to make it work for her by doing things like dressing fancy, hiring a car service, and abstaining from technology.

5. Mayim Bialik on the Isolation Permutation

In which Mayim breaks down one of the series’ most highly rated episodes, how she learned to play “Everybody Hurts” on the harp, and explains why she doesn’t like watching herself on TV.

About Mayim

Mayim Bialik is the grandchild of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the mother of two young boys. She is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory.

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