Monday, April 14, 2014

L IS FOR LIFE BY CHOCOLATE

My theme for A to Z this year is a wildly different, but very exciting, HERE'S TO YOU all month long. 26 posts to be precise. The most difficult part was narrowing down the 26. All of you deserve your own post. What you will find here is a post by the featured blogger, with traveling music chosen by me that complements said post, and two links. One will link back to the original post and the other to the main page. This year's A to Z is all about making new friends!

Life By Chocolate: Robyn Alana Engel's Blog is often a rollicking good time. She delights in all things chocolate, as you would expect. In fact, I found this little graphic a while back and immediately thought of her:




However, her blog touches on much more than chocolate. She has incredible interviews with famous people. Macauley Culkin is a regular over there. Of course, given his downward career spiral, any publicity is good publicity. But still... Macauley Culkin!  Of course, all of those bits are humorous, like so many things Robyn posts. Her funny bone is intact and firing on all cylinders. She is also kind, warm, and thoughtful. Just an all-around wonderful person. It has been my pleasure getting to know her!



Cue the traveling music, Macauley:



The Day I Became a Woman by Robyn Alana Engel
11/12/13




June 2, 1979
I know, look how tiny and little and flat-chested and blurry, white stone-faced I was and still am--minus the flat-chested factor. Yet this is the day on which I became a Jewish woman. My Bat Mitzvah! The last post inspired this repost from 2010. My ceremony fell a couple of weeks short of my 13th birthday, a number of years short of puberty, and -well- I'll spare mention of other time frames.

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah involves leading a service, chanting from the Torah, and - the worst part (er, greatest honor)- holding the darn thing. Should said "new Jewish adult" drop the Torah, oy gevalt! The entire congregation, in fact, must fast for 30 days. Can you imagine? Minor slippage amounts to sentencing your beloved spiritual network to a month-long fast. You can surely forget the huge stash of cash you did all this for. Let me stress that we're talking about a large group of Jews (those very people who've sacrificed everything, mind you, so you could make it to this glorious point in your otherwise meaningless existence, and "By the way, why aren't you married yet?") not being able to eat for a month because of you. Not a pretty concept. Not pretty at all. One hurdle left, and the pressure was on. Not only did I have to hold it, I had to hold it for a long ass, I mean a righteously sacred tuchas* duration

With my little but tenacious arms wrapped around that Baby, the two of us were doing just fine. The audience and I were silent. Intensity pervaded the synagogue's 250 mile radius. All eyes glared anxiously at that Torah. Folks who had never prayed before began bargaining with the Almighty, Moses, Allah, Jesus, and Mr. Kotter. Family members started waging bets on the amount of time before the crash. Everyone held their breath. Their faces turned red. They crossed their fingers and toes, running out to nibble at their last bites of food for a month! But I was doing just fine, holding tight. Still, I needed to play it safe. One does not take chances when it comes to Jews and food. That in mind, I gave the Torah just a wee little boost with my little right knee. At that moment, a loud burst of laughter filled the sanctuary. Apparently, they found this considerate, devout and well calculated maneuver rather humorous. Bastards! I mean, I shall not blame my beloved spiritual hungry community. The tension was lifted, as I boosted that Baby another half inch, still holding on for dear life. 

We made it through to the end, and we got to eat. Mazel Tov!

*Yiddish for derriere, butt, rear-end, or ass.


I am still chuckling. Are you? Robyn's blog is always so much fun and provides a much-needed boost for the spirit. Someone said, "Laughter is the best medicine." If so, you will get plenty of medicine over on Robyn's blog. Enjoy! 

35 comments:

  1. Bastards!
    Robyn is hilarious and such a devoted soul. I still remember the first time we met, almost four years ago. I'm not sure we knew what to think of each other. But now she is one of my best blogging buddies.
    Robyn, you rock!
    And Robin - you rock!!

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  2. Yes, Robyn is charming and humorous and we met around 4 or 5 years ago. (I think but time passes so quickly, I'm never sure) I remember some of those early posts and they were delightful. But, as often happens with bloggers, we drifted and only see each other on occasion. She is the perfect L.

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  3. She's pretty funny. And such a great name for a blog. :)

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  4. Yay, I loved seeing this! We both love Robyn. We've read each other's books, she's been kind enough to send us chocolates, we trade e-mails from time to time... all around, she's an awesome person. And the fact that she's hilarious is just the icing on the (chocolate) cake.

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  5. Life by Chocolate sounds good to me. I have it once a day, actually.

    Love that pic of you! You were sporting the glam sandals, I see.

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  6. Despite the usual claim about bread, chocolate is the real staff of life. What would the world be without chocolate? What would the blogging world be without Robyn's blog?

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  7. The two Robin/Robyns!!!!

    Loved this. And love you gals. I LOVE the picture!

    (And thank you, Robin, for your kind comment on my blog. Meant a lot) :)

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  8. Robyn's blog is a lot of fun. She certainly has a good sense of humor!

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  9. Great blogger to feature Robin, I follow the other Robyn, and enjoy her chocolatey humor! Chocolate has been considered sacred to some, and Robyn is probably one of them. I like a little dark chocolate, too. I can't eat much, though, so I savor what I can.

    I think there's two many robins in this comment. . .but it is spring. . .

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  10. Robyn has the ability to make you laugh one moment and cry the next. She's also a very talented poet. She puts her heart into everything she does. Robin, This is a wonderful tribute to Robyn!

    Julie

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  11. Funny post! What I want to know is: how long do you have to hold that thing?

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  12. It's been too long since I visited her blog last. I better make up for lost time. :)

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  13. Chocolate...did somebody say chocolate?!?!?

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  14. I LOVE Robyn, though she does make me feel incredibly inferior with her quick wit. Such a wonderful lady!

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  15. Aw shucks, you are all making this pale white stone face turn pink. Was I that tiny? This photo still embarrasses me as much as it tickles me.

    Briane, it felt like I had to hold it for an eternity. I had to hold onto it through some Hebrew blessings and such. I'm guessing it was only a few very, very long minutes. I'm surprised the Rabbi didn't squat nearby with a (kosher) catcher's mitt.

    Elizabeth, inferior? Pfft. You don't know how much you've made me laugh.

    Manzanita and Alex and my longtime buds, it's hard to believe it's been so long. Alex, you're too diplomatic. I wasn't nice to you. I think I was just intimidated by your talents - little did I know how wonderful you are and that envy stifles a person.

    Robin, thank you so much. I love every morsel of this tribute. It's going to keep me smiling through the day. (Work's been rough, so this REALLY helps.) I'm really grateful, moreover, for your friendship.

    xoRobyn

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  16. Oh wow I love that song. You had me jamming out over here. And the blogger had me at chocolate, but her post was awesome.

    Brandon Ax: Writer's Storm

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  17. Love her blog name. And I love that song. :)

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  18. I love to read Robin's writing. She can take any topic and make it funny and interesting. Her writing style is spot on. And, that sign is perfect for her!! Great pick!!
    Elsie
    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

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  19. Oy, I'm glad you persevered. We all have our crosses or menorah to bear... it looks like you handled yours well.

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  20. Oh, this is a fun story. I can just imagine her standing there, fingers, arms aching, scared she'd drop it. Wonderful!

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  21. Being non-Jewish, I always find their traditions and culture very interesting. I used to think about converting, though...not for the jokes (with apologies to Jerry Seinfeld), but for the food. I love potato pancakes and matza soup!!! :)

    Both Robin/Robyns are rockin'!

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  22. Everyone ~ What a great bunch of comments here. I am so glad that you enjoyed this post as much as I did!!!!

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  23. I don't know how I missed Robyn. She is funny!

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  24. LOL. I love all the added cuss words to interpret the true feelings happening.

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  25. HI, Robin,

    Cute story. I bet everybody breathed easy only when it was clear they wouldn't be forced to fast.

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  26. Hi Robin and hi Robyn,

    Such a terrific choice for the letter "L", Robin. Yes, Robyn combines humour with sensitivity. Like you, I have the great privilege of interacting with Robyn. She's a marvel with a brilliant wit.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing! And yep, I'm a rockin' to that song, y'all.

    Gary :)

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  27. HI, Robin...

    GREAT choice, featuring Robyn today. She has such a kind heart and soul. I've been privileged to chat with her via email on a few and wonderful occasions and was THRILLED to feature her poetry book on my blog last week...

    Thanks for the laughs, ROBYN... Keep those pearly whites smiling!

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  28. I love reading Robyn's blog! Oh and I also love chocolate! :)

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  29. Great post about one of my favorite new people to follow! Humor makes everything so much more bearable.

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  30. I love you all, too. I forgot to say that the song is beautiful. Robin, you brought me new friends by this flattering post. That's the greatest reward of all.

    Mark, thanks for your honesty. They come (to Judaism) for the food. They stay for the same reason. We do food well. Yes, potato pancakes and matzo ball soup top the list.

    We can all breathe easier knowing I didn't drop the Torah on 6/2/79, nor have I dropped it since.

    xoRobyn

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    Replies
    1. Funny story, Robyn, and I'm happy to meet you.
      Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  31. Love the song, love the post, and so glad to be have someone new to follow. Thanks for this, Robin and Robyn.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  32. What a great Monday! Yay!!!!

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  33. What a funny post! Thanks for sharing. I am now hopping over to check out her blog especially since reading that Macauley Caulkin is a regular reader there! :)

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