Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Christmas Homily

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" - Isaiah 34:14

It was in the middle of a dinner party a few nights ago that I first heard the story of Lilith - demonic seductress, bringer of wet dreams, killer of babies and (most contentiously) the First Wife of Adam.

There is a passage in The Alphabet of Ben Sira, a medieval Aramaic and Hebrew text, that tells of how God created a woman from the earth, at the same time that he created Adam. This woman, Lilith, essentially got Adam rather miffed by refusing to assume the missionary position. ("She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.'")

Lilith, in the first recorded assertion of female rights, packed her bags and left for the Red Sea, leaving Adam to turn to God yet again to satisfy his most basic of needs. This time, God fashioned Eve from Adam's rib in the hope that all future domestic disputes could quickly be settled by reminding Eve that she was indeed born into a lower position. Not content to leave well enough alone, Adam begged God to bring back Lilith, who by now had found less demanding consorts in various demons who inhabited the Red Sea. God sent three angels after her, threatening to kill a hundred of her offspring for every day that she did not return. Still unmoved, she did not return to Adam's side. (At least until after the debacle with the serpent and the apple - some sources believe that when Adam swore off sexual intercourse for a hundred years in repentance, Lilith started to visit him in his dreams and have her way with him, collecting his semen to make young 'uns of her own. Who said test-tube babies were a modern invention?)

Lilith, ever vengeful, also swore to kill the offspring of Adam and Eve, unless the names of the three angels were invoked in protection. Hence she is thought to be responsible for cot deaths, although this part is conveniently downplayed by feminists who hold Lilith up as a symbol of female independence and equality.

A gentleman at my dinner table wisecracked that the story of Adam and his two wives is a good reminder that man was never meant to be monogamous. The learning point I'd prefer to take away is that if a man disrespects a woman and wants to take up with somebody else, it may well cost him a body part.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Is that the hand you were eating with?

A good friend once mused about how nice it would be to set up a cafe which featured film screenings alongside a menu of homey food and desserts. Well, a restaurant in NYC has already done one better, bringing foodporn to more literal heights. Chef, it sounds like they're really enjoying your food out there ...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Enchanteé, ma petite

It's been years since I've left junior college, but every now and then, I can still hear the voice of my favorite tutor intone: "enchanteé, muppetete". I always wondered what a 'muppetete' was but never asked, thinking it to be some cutesy form of addressing a younger person. Finally, sitting in French class almost a decade later, the words came to mind again, this time settling into their natural, separate order.

"Enchanted, my dear" is a charming phrase that the French often use to mean "delighted to meet you" or "delighted to hear that". And so, this post will serve as an introduction to my blog, which aims to do no more than describe episodes in my life. I used to be incredulous at the idea of writing such a blog - admittedly, half out of fear of having people ask, "who cares?!" (and half out of fear of having people reply "only she does, that narcissistic cow"). Then a friend of mine started her own blog, and through it I followed with interest various amusing incidents in her daily life, incidents which might be too quickly forgotten to make it into our next conversation, but knowledge of which gives me a greater sense of being in touch with her.

With my impending move to pursue my MBA in France, I figured that this might not be such a bad way to stay connected to my friends. Even so, there will always be a place for personal e-mail, since this will not be one of those blogs which are used as a carthartic forum for the owner's personal affairs. With more talent and greater diligence, I would have loved to turn this into one of those wonderful foodblogs stuffed with reviews, recipes and gorgeous photography. I may post the occasional recipe or recounting of a culinary adventure, but one of those foodblogs this is not. Neither will this be filled with clever commentary on current and social affairs, simply because I cannot bear the responsibility (or criticism). (I sometimes wonder whether bloggers like Xiaxue write solely about trivia because they would otherwise be paralysed by an overwhelming need to be accurate, objective and reasoned.)

Anyways, for those who are interested, I hope that this blog will help us keep in touch. Feel free to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail - it would be delightful to hear from you too.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Baby steps

It's done.

After weeks of indecision, hesitation and sheer laziness, I've finally gotten down to starting my own blog. A non-event in any scheme of things, but one that will certainly lead to more indecision and hesitation. Many questions left to answer - the most pressing one being, unfortunately, what I could possibly have to write about ... but hey, I've christened my blog and picked a pretty template, and there's a good chance that's all I wanted from this anyways.

Why macaloony? Quite simply because I'm nuts about macaroons, or macarons, and I can't wait to get my sticky paws on some in gay Pah-ree. On a deeper level, if you must, because I'm currently sandwiched (ahem) between two phases of my life, and busy filling the interlude with random things such as baking. And if that's still not enough, because I'm about to make the jump from PC to iBook (otherwise known as a ?).

And that, dear folks, will not be the last groan you will utter at these pages. On y va!