We started Season 6 of The Big Bang Theory last week. That means I know what happens in the season opener and you don’t. Hahaha. But seriously, it means my work year has started.
It also means the following:
1. The end of Mama being home. For my older son, it’s harder to lose me to work than for my younger, since the younger really only has this summer as part of his collective toddler memory. For him, Mama works and goes away and comes back and Dada is so awesome it’s all good. The older one gives long kisses when I go and tight hugs and he looks deeply into my eyes and says he loves me and he runs out to the car for one more kiss and hug and it’s hard. Working is hard. And I love that we homeschool because their schedule can then be as flexible as mine, but it’s also hard to know how much fun I miss out on around the house and neighborhood and park and so on. Read the rest of this entry →
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 →
I am in Atlanta and that’s where I was yesterday morning when I found out. I was in my best friend’s kitchen.
What Was I Doing?
I had just completed a phone interview with a parenting site about World Breastfeeding Awareness Month. I was so certain I was not being nominated that I didn’t even hesitate about scheduling the interview for the exact time the announcements were made. In fact, as the announcements were about to begin, I texted my best friend from her bedroom where I was doing the interview to tell her that I didn’t get nominated, but “the announcements are starting.” I also emailed a good friend of mine last night who was wishing me good luck, “I am 99.99999% sure I am not nominated. But Kristen Wiig will be!” Read the rest of this entry →
Getting There: We camp with two families we adore every summer. This summer we chose lovely Cuyamoca Rancho State Park, an hour from Comic-Con. This meant two nights sleeping in a tent on the ground, eating veggie dogs and vegan s’mores, leading sing-a-longs, and seeing a rattlesnake two feet from me on a hike.
Getting Pretty: I never shower when camping, even if it’s a three or four day trip. However, the morning I had to be at Comic-Con, I used the camp’s shower and did my makeup using a car’s sideview mirror in the middle of our campsite at 7 a.m. What made it even more fun than my 25 cents-worth of a weak stream of tepid water was that there was a three-inch scorpion showering with me which I only spotted after lathering up. Not knowing how fast moving they are (it was a foot away from my foot), I VERY quickly rinsed off while keeping a constant neurotic eye on the scorpion. It was a stressful two minutes to say the least. (FYI: scorpions are very fast moving and it could have stung me incredibly quickly and easily, I later found out.) Read the rest of this entry →
I spent last week in Florida with my husband and our boys, Fred (3 1/2) and Miles (6). I spoke for the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, and spent a shabbos at the dynamic and very diverse Boca Raton Synagogue, where my friend and study partner Allison “Jew in the City” Josephs and I were the scholars in residence. We flew home the Sunday after Shabbat ended, to make it home for the SAG awards for which our show had been nominated for Best Ensemble. So the flight home was the morning of the awards, getting into LAX just in time for me to get my hair and make-up done and fly out the door. Read the rest of this entry →
A former student of mine–with my help–proposed to his girlfriend on the set of The Big Bang Theory a few weeks ago.
Let’s do a Talmudic-style analysis of this sentence, phrase by phrase, squeezing the meaning and implications out of every word for the ultimate purpose of a deep and powerful understanding of it.
1. “A former student of mine”: After Blossom ended, I earned a BS in Neuroscience (with a minor in Hebrew and Jewish Studies) from UCLA. I was 23 when I finished my degree and I went directly into a PhD program, also in Neuroscience. Part of our training in graduate school is to be a teacher’s assistant, or TA. I always loved teaching (my parents were both teachers until retiring with a combined 65-some years of experience) and was a TA for about half a dozen classes in my seven years of graduate school. Read the rest of this entry →
“What’s a SWAG event?” you ask? Well, SWAG is an acronym for “Stuff We All Get,” “stuff” being products and services, “we” being the celebrities of the world at large, “all” being a term that is supposed to include all celebrities but is a bit of a misnomer because only super famous celebrities get the big-ticket items like free cars and free Rolexes and free trips to Fiji, and “get” meaning if you pose for pictures with different companies’ products, you get to take those products home. Read the rest of this entry →
Things you should know about “The Shiny Trinket Maneuver” AKA “Oh, it’s a tiara!”:
1. I only delivered the reaction to the tiara that way every single time we rehearsed it for five days. It was my instinct to do it exactly that way and I was never told to do it otherwise.
2. The original line was, “Oh my God, it’s a tiara!” but I don’t like to say God’s name “in vain” or in performance (since my “Blossom” days) so I just sort of vocalized my way out of the “my God” part and no one said anything to me so I kept doing it that way.
3. “Put it on me,” was scripted to be said five times, but the audience was laughing so hard I just kept it going to cover the time until the next line so Kaley Cuoco (who plays Penny) would not be left hanging and waiting.
4. I had no idea what the physicality of my performance looked like until I watched the scene at home. (I hate watching myself as I discussed in my review of “The Isolation Permutation” for Kveller.com.) I know what it felt like though; a total melting; a collapse; the conveyed intent was that Sheldon’s understanding of me was so deep and so perfect and so touching and so profound that it literally weakened my knees. I have been lucky enough to have that feeling a few times in my life of literally being weakened by a man’s affection, and I have found it powerful and comedic, even in its profundity and tenderness.
5. In one rehearsal, my “Of course I do [look beautiful]! I’m a princess and this is my tiara!” came out too intense. Our director, Mark Cendrowski, told me, rightfully, that I seemed angry. A point well taken. I adjusted it by backing off and making sure to gush instead of gloat.
6. Originally, Amy left the scene’s focus to admire herself in the mirror after kissing Sheldon. One of our executive producers suggested I embrace him after the kiss and linger in his arms awkwardly. I think it was a brilliant suggestion.
7. Jim didn’t put his hands on my back in every take to ‘embrace’ me after I hug him. Sometimes his hands just hovered, but obviously what you saw on TV was the version of the scene that our editors and producers liked best.
8. I never got to see Kaley Cuoco’s reaction to me during the scene because I was so all over the place and out of focus in the moment. I love how adoringly she looks at me after she puts the tiara on me.
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.
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!”
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.
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.