Friday, December 30, 2005

I am a Scorpio, My Lover is a Cancer

To see if you and your lover match up as well as me and my darling, check out Astrology Zone.

Here's what it says about my marriage:

Are you in love with a Cancer? Then you have chosen one of your best possible matches. This pairing gets a "10!" Your Cancer is as deeply emotional and empathetic as you are, and together you will develop a rich, intimate life unequalled by any other sign match (except for Pisces and Scorpio). Both of you have your moods, but you allow that in one another, and view the changing emotional landscape as interesting and adding texture to your life. Cancer is a water sign like you, and your lover understands the need for strong, intuitive bonding. Of the two, you are the more inflexible, but Cancer's ability to flow with changing events will be an asset to you.

Sex together will be outstanding. Cancers want a family, and Scorpio rules procreation, so this could well be a very fruitful union. Cancer also rules nurturing, so you will have the kind of home life you always dreamed of.

Now a word of warning: Scorpios want one great love in their lifetime, so if they marry the wrong person due to pressures and circumstances, the results can be disastrous. Prince Charles is a Scorpio and was married to Princess Diana, who was a Cancer. But his true love was the other Cancer -- Camilla. So here you see a Cancer-Scorpio pair that did not last. The moral, Scorpio, is to be sure that you marry your one true love. Even compatible Sun signs can't override that rule!

A Cancer in love, whether in the beginning or after years of life together, offers food as an expression of love. So cook together, feed one another, make love in the kitchen. Have fun! You've got lots to look forward to, Scorpio. Don't let this one get away!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Fern Meyerowitz

Today is Fern’s birthday. She would have been 47 years old.

We met in college. My cousin Cindy introduced us. She had told me she met this amazing girl during orientation, and knew we would be best friends. I was skeptical, of course. I barely knew myself at that point, and had a hard time believing Cindy could pick a stranger from a crowd and know I would love her.

It took exactly one meeting for Fern and I to figure out that Cindy was right. Within minutes, we had collapsed into one another in laughter and become best friends. It took twenty-five years for fate to tear us apart.

We had a big, messy, complicated friendship all those years. Fern could be as demanding as she was funny, as stubborn as she was charming. But she changed me forever. And while she wasn’t always the easiest person to be friends with, she was fiercely loyal, and I never knew a friend could love me so much or believe in me or deeply. Some people said Fern had magic, and I think they were right.

When I got the news that Fern had non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I was confident she could beat it, as I couldn’t imagine there was any force on Earth stronger than her. But I was wrong. And in summer 2002, Fern was gone.

I still think about Fern a lot, and sometimes I consider trying to write about her—I mean really write about her. So far, though, I either haven’t enough talent or enough distance to capture her spirit on paper. The closest I’ve come is to write about my grief, which I did in a Flashquake piece called “How to Say Good-Bye to Fern.”

When we first met, Fern and I thought we were mirror images of one another. But over the years we came to learn that we were as different as we were alike. Take spirituality, for example. Fern was a believer. I remain a skeptic. So even though she trusted in reincarnation with all her heart, I’m still not so sure. I do know, though, that if anyone could find a way to make sure their spirit sticks around, it would be Fern.

So my darling friend, if you’re out there somewhere, Happy Birthday. I miss you so very much.

1/26/07 - EDITED TO ADD:

Dear Visitor,
My site meter shows that people sometimes find their way to this blog because they typed Fern's name into a search engine. This makes me smile, because I know it would mean so much to Fern to know she's still thought about. If you'd like, feel free to treat this blog post as an ongoing memorial. You can share a comment about Fern--some memory or just a note on how you met or what she meant to you--by clicking on "comments," below.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

For updated posts, click the blog title at the top of this page

"The Raving"

A Mother's Chilling Post-Holiday Tale

By Ellen Meister
(with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe)

Once upon an evening dreary, while I toiled, weak and weary
Over many a desperate dirty dishrag and forgotten chore,
While I leaned down limply lugging toys from off the carpet rugging
Suddenly there came a tugging, tugging at the skirt I wore.
"'Tis some little kid," I muttered, smoothing out the skirt I wore,
"Only this and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
Action dolls not yet dismembered lay across the playroom floor.
Each new toy was still unbroken, yet the child still was pokin'
And the only word there spoken was the whining more, "S'more."
This he whispered then his sister murmured back the word, "S'more."
Only this they did implore.

Then the silly, sad, incessant clangor of the season's presents
Chilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now to still the beating of my heart I stood repeating,
"Darling children, I am pleading, let's return some to the store--
Darling children, I'm entreating, let us give some to the poor."
Still they said, "We want s'more."

"You still want more?" I blurted feeling slightly dizzy, my head reeling,
"Get thee back into the playroom where your playthings line the floor!
Go before I need to yank you! Go before I want to spank you!
Leave my kitchen and I'll thank you not to ask for any more.
Take thy sighs from out my sight and thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the child, "I want more."

And the child, so demanding, still is standing, still is standing
Near a portion of my pantry just beside the kitchen door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming
Sights of toys and trinkets gleaming on the shelves of every store.
Unaffected with respect to his demands for even more,
Quoth I, the mother, "Never more!"

* * *

This poem first appeared in Light Quarterly

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Beginner's Guide to Hanukkah

Jonathan Safran Foer had a hilarious piece on the op-ed page of The New York Times today. You can read it here.

(Tip: If the link appears too small to read, click on the lower right hand corner of the image to enlarge.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

2005 was the year that I ...

In the face of the horrific global disasters this year brought, I feel a little guilty listing my personal triumphs. But it was a good year for me indeed, and I'm thankful for that. And anyway, without guilt I am nothing.

So here's the way I finish the sentence, "2005 was the year that I ..."

* Saw my oldest son--the boy I once feared would never speak--become a Bar Mitzvah and read from the torah to a weeping congregation of friends and relatives

* Had a party celebrating the sale of my first novel

* Sold my second novel

* Got a new laptop

* Bought a new minivan

* Celebrated my grandmother's 95th birthday with her

* Started a blog

* Lost my best friend to mental illness; got her back again

Thanks for checking in. Wishing you joy and peace and beautiful things for the New Year!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The inscrutability of Google

One of the interesting things about having a site meter attached to this blog is that I can see how someone found their way here. For instance, if they went through a search engine, I can see the actual word or phrase they used.

Sometimes this gets nauseating, as the pornographic search phrases people come up with are beyond my understanding of human sexuality. But other times it's just perplexing. For instance, if you Google "December Horoscopes," you will get 44,800 hits, and my dinky little blog comes up at number 5. I did indeed post an entry with that title. But why is my blog higher than so many hundreds of dedicated Zodiac sites?

I wonder how many Google hits I'd get if I titled an entry "Great American Novel"? Probably not as many as if I used "desperate housewife amputees with naked barnyard friends."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

ABC Hires Jew-Hater Mel Gibson to Produce Mini-Series on Holocaust

From The New York Times:
...Quinn Taylor, ABC's senior vice president in charge of movies for television, acknowledged that the attention-getting value of having Mr. Gibson attached to a Holocaust project was a factor.

"Controversy's publicity, and vice versa," Mr. Taylor said.

Read more here.

What's next? A biopic on Menachem Schneerson by Louis Farrakhan?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

It pleases me!

I was recently thrilled and flattered to be contacted by fellow writer Thea Atkinson, who teaches a class on flash fiction and wanted to use a story I wrote for discussion with her students. The story is called "Does it Please You?," and it appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, one of my favorite ezines. For you flash writers out there, it's great place to be seen. Submit!

Eva and my book jacket

The girl on my cover might have my hair, but she's got Eva Longoria's face, don't you think?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

December Horoscopes

You got to love a horoscope that starts out like this:

This may turn out to be the most joyous holiday you've had in recent memory. With Jupiter, the planet of happiness and good fortune, now in Scorpio for a year - a placement it began to occupy in late October - you have suddenly become the cosmic favorite. Opportunities for greater love, better health, and substantial job opportunities will all be yours. This month, thanks to the new moon that's set to arrive December 1, good news about your salary should come through, too.

Alas, it also says I'm going to get hit with a whopping bill this month. Oh well.

This is from Astrology Zone, the same place I linked last month. Read yours here.