god i could live in that beard

Thoughts on growing a beard: Judaism.

Growing a beard puts me back in line with a commandment that God gave to the Jews – namely, that you shall not shave the corners of your beard.

(Hilariously, no one is sure where “the corners of your beard” are actually located. Some people believe that this is the side-locks that you see on Orthodox Jewish men, some people just grow out their whole beards on the theory that if you don’t shave anything, you can’t shave the corners. Most people don’t care.)

Anyone who has seen me cook pork knows that I’m not exactly an observant Jew. But I do keep track of which commandments I’m following and which ones I’m not, not because I’m keeping score (which isn’t even how it works), but because I think it’s good to be conscious of it. I’m going to try to explain why.

I have a memory of a friend of mine – who in any just world would be a rabbi – explaining to me that the commandment for Jews not to shave the corners of their beard comes from a passage about not worshipping the Bael, and that it almost certainly is referring to a specific religious practice in Canaanite Polytheism.

The point of the commandment isn’t that there’s something inherently wrong with shaving whatever part of your beard “the corners” is. The point is that you should not even come close to Bael worship. It’s not enough just not to do it. You should not do anything that approaches doing it.

It’s easy to dismiss this as just excessive purity focus – and a lot of Jewish commandments are just that – but there is something else to it as well. I think about Ta-Nehisi Coates talking about (of all things) his diet. He said that it’s all very well to say “I can have ice cream in my freezer and just choose not to eat it.” But, if there is ice cream in his freezer, he will eat it. Self control, he says, is in the grocery aisle. Similarly, in the commandment to not shave the corners of your beard, self-control isn’t deciding not to go into the temple of Bael. Self control lives at the razor-blade.

Because so much of our religious culture is Jewish-derived, it can be hard to understand the place of Judaism in the ancient world. At the time that these commandments were written, it wasn’t existing in the context of other monotheism. Rather, it was a radical monotheist religious practice existing side-by-side with an ongoing polytheist tradition from which it had probably sprung. So, the choice about remaining Jewish or going to worship the Bael wasn’t some absurd thing – it was a regular choice that everyone could be expected to cope with in their daily lives. So the practices of Bael worship – even if they aren’t done in the context of actually worshipping actual gods – are forbidden. Like shaving the corners of your beard.

And like child sacrifice.


As I remember it (and I don’t care if I’m right or wrong about this), right next to the commandment not to shave the corners of your beard is the commandment “you shall not offer your children unto Bael.” Which, to be clear, isn’t any kind of symbolic baptism or something. It’s straight-up child sacrifice – killing your child in sacrifice to the gods so that they might bless you. This was a fairly common practice in Canaanite polytheism, and it lasted until at least Carthage. It’s a common practice, and also one that (very specifically), Jews don’t do. Or, at least, we’re not supposed to.

There’s little risk in me – or any other modern Jew – practicing Canaanite paganism. That particular religion is dead and buried, and good riddance to it. So, in that sense, there is little sense to the prohibition on shaving the corners of my beard. It’s not like, in my daily life, I’m going to be walking by a Canaanite temple and say “oh, sure, what the hell?” and pop in to say a quick prayer to the Bael and light some incense.

But child sacrifice is something we still do in our society. Every day, in so many ways, we sacrifice our children. Sure, we’re not cutting hearts out or burning kids alive in ritual ceremonies. But, in so many other ways, we sacrifice our children to any number of false gods – for ourselves, for our communities, to keep the peace, to keep the silence that we claim is peace, or just because we enjoy it. Every time someone tells a child “that never happened” or “we don’t talk about that” or “it’s your fault,” that is, in its own way, child sacrifice.

If the commandment to not shave the corners of my beard has any meaning to my life, then, it’s this: a reminder we do not sacrifice our children. Jews today are still bound by the commandment of God to Abraham – we do not sacrifice our children. We do not sacrifice them to false gods. We don’t sacrifice them to the true God. We do not sacrifice them to peace, or to silence, or “the community,” or to “a good man who just made a mistake.” This commandment is our primary commandment. It comes before anything else – it even comes before “I am adonai your god” and “you shall have no other gods before me.” It is who we are as a people.

(Of course, it isn’t. Of course, every day, in so many ways, Jews – secular and liberal and Orthodox and every other kind – sacrifice our children. That transgression, at least, has never gone away.)

Every day, when I shave, or when I choose not to shave, I think of this commandment. We do not shave the corners of our beards. We do not offer our children unto Bael.

god I hate live action Beauty and the Beast: a roast post

I’m sick of yall telling me I gotta like this glitter glue cupcake and that if I don’t I’m a monster. Here’s a list of everything I hate personally and you can’t stop me

*Oh my God the beast face. Ooooh my god. They reduced his animalistic features so he no longer has the trademark hunch, lowered brow, or tusks. He has little baby vampire teeth. Pathetic. Give him tusks you cowards

*Because they reduced that it looks like a human face with a large nose photoshopped onto an uncomfortably large buffalo head and it made me queasy every time he was on screen

*Nearly all the object servants have hollow soulless beady eyes which also weirded me out to the point where I wanted them off the screen as soon as possible

*The camerawork for Evermore suggests it’s supposed to be sweeping and grand but why in God’s good name did they go through all the trouble and effort into writing a bland and inferior version of If I Can’t Love Her that isn’t musically interesting and doesn’t reach the high notes it should. Go listen to If I Can’t Love Her and then Evermore and tell me which one is better. Spoiler alert. It’s not Evermore.

*Everything is so extra. Please let me rest. Literally does everything need 3 layers of tarnished gold filigree. Leave my eyes alone

*Cry “practical simple elegance” all you want, that dress looks like a $100 Macy’s prom dress and was clearly designed for easy merchandising. At the very least give her the gloves oh my god

*why the F U C K would you take out the iconic stained glass intro for live action

*Emma Watson can’t sing. If they did put the Broadway songs in, no way could she pull off Home. She can’t do it. No harm in it but she wasn’t cut out for these songs

*They put the cut line about growing a beard again back in which implies Belle is a massive furry and into ripped buffalo men

*Lefou being gay is fine. I’m glad Disney at least attempted some kind of representation after all these years. But I really wish that his happy ending A: wasn’t a short 2 second clip at the end and B: Didn’t involve the other guy being from a man-in-a-dress joke that the audience was seemingly supposed to laugh at because that seems to imply that Disney thinks men trying feminine clothing and liking it instantly makes them gay which is giving me very bad 1990s Will and Grace vibes which should not be going on in 2017

*fuck i hate the beast’s big weird face

*I don’t know if it’s just me but the CGI makes it look like there’s a bigger age gap than there really is which also worsens the terminal case of Big Weird Face syndrome

*Lumiere is cheating the curse because he’s technically just a tiny brass man.

*Don’t know why Plumette has a bird face. That was freaking me out too

*Court composer maestro piano man is giving me very deep and horrifying flashbacks to the Tim Curry CGI Organ Guy from enchanted christmas and I never want that to be remembered

*Beast’s big lumpy photoshopped uncanny valley baby fangs lumpy lump face on his lumpy head

*removed illiterate Beast subplot

*no Human Again. It’s been 15 years. At least give me that

Long story short I will unapologetically hate this unnecessary cash grab for the fraud that I believe it is, knowing all the while yall ate it up and we’re gonna have to sit through more years of excessive live action remakes because of your collective buffoonery. If you like it, fine. I can’t stop you. But at least know the reason it was made wasn’t out of popular demand.

Series Title: True Love Gave to Me

Chapter Title: Day 4 - Holiday Party

Character: Jason Crouse

TV: The Good Wife

Warnings: None.

NOTE: The character Betty Nylund is portrayed by Betty White. The dirty quote that she uses in the story, is in fact something that she has said.

Photo/GIF credits go to the original maker/owner

Tag @averymerryspnxmas

I flung myself back on to the bed, groaning.

“What?” Jason chuckled, buttoning up his shirt.

“I understand if you don’t want to go.”

My grandmother, Betty Nylund, was throwing a Holiday party at her home. Jason had yet to meet her and I was fearful that he’d run for the hills.

He crawled on the bed, laying next to me with his hand propping up his head.

“Why are so adamant about me not going?” He lifted my shirt, placing his warm hand on my stomach.

I gave him a disbelieving look, “I’ve told you some horror stories.”

Jason got on top of me, pinning my arms next to my head, “And I’ve told you that I’m not like other men.”

His eyes traveled over my face as I worried my bottom lip. Swooping down, he captured mouth in a slow, searing kiss.

“I promise to tell you if I get uncomfortable.” He whispered, pecking my lips between every other word.

I slowly blinked when his lips left mine. His rubbed the tip of his nose with mine and smiled, “Trust me Darlin’.”
Jason put the truck in park across the street, dipping his head down to look out the passenger window.

“Betty has a nice home.”

I nodded, fidgeting, “She does.”

Gran had her house decorated to the nines with Christmas lights. Through the sheer curtains you could see people mingling.

It was mostly older folks who’ve known Gran since her early years.

I put my hands on my cheeks, patting them lightly.

Jason laughed, “What are you doing?”

“Pinched cheeks. No matter how old I’ve gotten, they always pinch my cheeks. I want to remember what it’s like to have feeling in them.”

Jason reached over, pinching the apple of my cheek, “Yeah, you do have pinchable cheeks.”

I glared at him, but smiled, “You do that again and I’ll smack the shit outta you.”

Giving me a cheeky grin, he pulled me closer to him, “Promises, promises.”

I gave Jason a quick kiss, my nerves to jumbled to really focus, “Come on, let’s go inside.”
I rang the doorbell and rocked back on my heels, “Just know, that no matter what happens… I love you.”

Jason looked slightly worried, but laughed, “Geez, you’re making it sound like dead man walking.”

I snorted, “That may be the case… I want a cigarette and a huge slice of birthday cake for my last meal.”

He shook his head, throwing an arm over my shoulders and kissing my temple.

As soon as Grandma opened the door, we were greeted with loud cheers and upbeat Christmas music.

Betty Nylund stood at just 5'0, her blonde hair styled just right and her makeup flawless.

She clasped her hands, bringing them to her mouth, “My sweet, sweet Granddaughter!”

She held out her arms, quickly bringing me into her embrace.

“Hey Gran.” I said, happy to see her.

She gave me a good squeeze, “Ohhh! And who is this?” She asked, eyes wide, the mischief lurking just below the surface.

Jason put his hand out, smiling, “Jason Crouse, Ma'am.”

He shook her hand gently. Gran put her other hand on top of his, looking him up and down.

“Well aren’t you a looker!”

“Oh god…” I groaned, quietly.

“Come in, come in!”

I grabbed Jason’s hand, pulling him into the some what crowded house.

“Oh, is this little Y/N Whistler?!"  Gayle Brunner, a close friend of Gran’s, cried out happily. She came over and pinched my cheeks.

"Hi, Mrs. Brunner.” I said, trying not to wince as she wiggled my face from side to side.

She smiled, patted my cheeks and moved on.

I sighed, turning to Jason, “Give me your jacket, Jase.”

He flinched when he saw how red my cheeks were, “You weren’t kidding.”

Shaking my head, I took his jacket and mine and hung them up.

I was stopped several more times on my way back to Jason, my cheeks getting pinched by every other person.

When I finally made it to him, he held his arms out, embracing me with a sympathetic chuckle.

“I can’t feel my face,”

“Sorry, Honey.” He said, kissing my head. “Want a drink?”

“Dear gawd, yes!”

He squeezed me, his hand grazing my back as he went to the open bar.

I sat in the big bay window, watching the crowd chat and laugh as Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas played through the speakers.

I softly began to sing along.

Jason came back, handing me a spiked Eggnog.

“Thank you,” I said, leaning up to kiss him.

“I didn’t know you could sing,” he said, meeting my lips.

I blushed, taking a sip of the Eggnog.

“Y/N has a very lovely voice.” Grandma commented. “You should hear her sing ‘Hallelujah’ with her cousins.”

I could feel the heat rising to my cheeks as they reddened.

Jason looked down at me, smiling.

Mr. Reynolds, Gran’s neighbor, tapped her on the shoulder. She turned, immediately turning the flirt on.

Jason sat next to me, wrapping his arm around my bent legs, his chin on my knees, “You going to sing for me one day?”

I could never get used to having someone shower me with so much attention the way Jason did.

“Maybe,” I said, winking.

He squeezed my thigh, taking a drink of his own Eggnog.

The song ended and I could hear Grandma’s conversation, “My muffin hasn’t had a cherry since 1939.” She giggled.

Jason’s eyes widened, his mouth agape. I face palmed, groaning.

I could feel his shoulders shaking with silent laughter as he pulled my hand away.

“I think I see what you mean.”

I gave him a pointed look, “Told ya.”
Grandma clapped, gaining the crowds attention, “I just want to thank everyone for coming out. It’s been an absolute pleasure to see each of you.”

She paused, coming over to where Jason and I were sitting, “I’d also like to thank my wonderful granddaughter, Y/N, for coming and bringing her lovely man, Jason, as well.”

She cupped Jason’s bearded cheeks, and placed a kiss on his forehead. He blushed, giving her a sweet smile. Gran then came over to me, doing the same, “It does an old woman good to see her beautiful Granddaughter happy and healthy.”

“I love you too, Gran.”

Patting my cheeks, she smiled and turned back to the small crowd, “So now, it’s time for gifts!”

Gran handed out hers. When she got down to the end of her pile, she grabbed the last box and gave it to me, “This is for you and Jason. Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Nylund.” Jason said.

Gran waved her hand at him, “Oh please, call me Betty.”

Jason nodded, “Merry Christmas, Betty. Thank you for having us.”

Her eyes lit up, “Oh, he’s definitely a keeper, Y/N.” She complimented.

I kissed Jason’s cheek, “Yes, he is Gran.”
It wasn’t until later when we got back to my place that I dared to open the gift.

The box sat on the coffee table. I stood there, staring at it as if it held the worlds worst secret.

Jason came up behind me, his arms circling my waist. His bearded chin tickled as he propped it on my shoulder, “I don’t hear any ticking, so it’s not a bomb,”

I snorted, “Could be… ya never know.”

Jason kissed my neck, “Open it. I’ll get the drinks.”

I watched him go to the kitchen and sighed.

I knelt at the coffee table and ripped the paper. The squat box was medium in length.

Taking off the top, I set it aside and pulled away the tissue paper.

“Oh my god!” I hollered, slapping the top back on.

“What!?” Jason came back to the living room, looking around.

Trying to look innocent, I jerked the box to my chest, “Nothing…”

Jason smiled, his tounge peeking out from between his teeth, “Let me see.”

“Nope! Nuhuh!” I stood, going to the fireplace.

“Ah!” Jason ran over to me, grabbing me at the waist.

The box fell from my arms, opening when it connected with the floor.

Keeping one arm around my waist, Jason reached out with the other, picking up the gift Gran had gotten us.

“Shit…” I whispered.

Jason busted out laughing as the tissue paper fell from the barely there teddy.

It was ice blue in color and honestly would only cover the important bits.

Jason dangled it in my face, whispering in  my ear, “Want to model it for me?”

I scoffed, elbowing him lightly as we laughed.

He dropped the lingerie, spinning me around and kissing the very breath from me as his hands roamed my body.

The types as thoughts I had while I was on my walk
  • ((I got lost for like 2 hours in my own neighborhood it was a mess but totally worth it))
  • ENFP: If i die out here, at least I'll be wearing my favorite pants.......but damn it they're going to get grass stains if I fall over.... god damn it..... I have to keep walking.....
  • INFP: That article we had to read for our Walking For Wellness final was wrong. I've been walking for hours and I feel even worse. Fuck you science.
  • ENTP: We're all just beings with potential. Like, right now, I have the potential to meet the love of my life, have a prosperous career, be a success story.....but eventually I'm either going to fulfill that potential or lose it and I have no control over that. Shit man when I die I hope I still have more potential than just firewood.....I want to have been someone but still be someone....you know? Why do I say you know when I'm internally monologue-ing? it's almost as if I have this idea that there's a constant audience......maybe there is...........eyes are everywhere man......
  • INTP: What exactly is the typical distance required for the doppler effect to work? Like...I could've swore that car was playing Chandelier by Sia but Sia had a baritone vocal range...that can't be....i was only like 20 feet away... was it a cover or am I just not up to date on pop music?
  • ESFP: *just the lyrics to Bye Bye Bye over and over again*
  • ISFP: I should delete my facebook...then I wouldn't be so stressed out all the time.....but then again what would i do with all of my shitposts.....
  • ESTP: Man this is like the third street I've ran across....like I'm sure if I waited the cars would probably clear out but I kind of like scaring the shit out of people. Plus I'm wearing white pants. They're like a fucking beacon in the fucking night. Maybe they think I'm like a banshee or something, like in that one Nancy Drew Computer game that scared the actual living shit out of me as a kid....
  • ISTP: *to internal monologue* just a sec, i gotta check under that park bench for some reason.....k what were u saying...
  • ESTJ: If i die the last text message I sent is going to be a combination of emojis that don't go together....my legacy
  • ISTJ: It's times like these I could potentially get murdered. Especially by that guy over there.....nah wait we're by a church. He wouldn't fucking dare. God is in our presence. I am both disappointed and appreciative of the fact that this bearded man with the cigarette is not going to kill me and I don't know how to feel about that feeling.
  • ESFJ: I'm gonna flirt with that guy in the donut store...maybe he'll buy me a donut......................................... never mind.....that was a shit idea and i know it......
  • ISFJ: Here I am again. At the Huge-Ass Spire That Serves No Purpose other than helping lost and confused boys like me find their way home. I think the only thing different about this situation is that I'M the one who's lost and I'm walking...maybe it's a rite of passage as a boy. To get lost in your own neighborhood and have to use the Spire as a guiding beacon. Jeez dude speaking of boys, they are the absolute Worst. I hate them.
  • ENTJ: 4 different people I know just offered to pick me up and give me a safe ride home but I'm gonna stick with it to the end and walk another 4 miles in pitch blackness. I'm an adult!(sorta) NO BABY STUFF.
  • INTJ: All of you fuckers need a lesson on how to properly mulch your fucking trees. Fuck you and your fucking mulch volcanos. Suffocating the fucking environment you fucks.
  • ENFJ: ....I wonder how many people blocked me on facebook
  • INFJ: Is this a personal crisis? Is this what a personal crisis is like? Why isn't anyone trying to stop me?...end this constant walking......is this what my life has become? This neverending walk towards NOTHiNG?
The Dunbonnet’s Cave: Ch 4, Mo Nighean Ruadh

Author’s Note: I thought this story, in which Claire and a young Bree find the Dunbonnet’s cave in the 1950s, was done at the last chapter, but I got some requests for more, so here it is. It picks up directly from this chapter. The rest of my stories can be found here.

We might have stayed like that forever, just holding one another, not moving, not speaking, just being together, were it not for our child below. I felt it the moment Jamie spotted Bree for the first time. His arms, which shook as he clutched me tightly, stilled. In fact, he froze completely. His breath halted, and I heard his heart skip a beat where my ear was pressed to his chest. “Jamie…” I began.

“A dhia!” He struggled to form proper words. “I… Is that…?”

I tried to turn around to look at her, but he held me too tightly.

“Mama?” Her voice quavered with trepidation. “Mama!”

I squirmed and urged, “Jamie, she’s frightened. She doesn’t know who you are, or exactly what we’re doing here. I didn’t want to get her hopes up in case we couldn’t find you.”

“Of course!” He abruptly released me.

I twisted onto my stomach and parted the foliage so she could see me properly. “I’m fine, darling! The Dunbonnet saved me, kept me from falling. I was just…” My mind went blank, and I couldn’t think of what to tell her. “I was thanking him!” I blurted out absurdly.

Behind me I heard a snort of startled amusement. Then he ducked backward into the cave. “What a sight I must be! Go to her,” he urged.

I peeked back, unable to see him clearly by the dim light filtering through the branches. His eyes, though, were bright, and beloved. I had missed them so. “Are you sure?” I was reluctant to move, even just a few feet away, now that we had found one another again.

Keep reading

Honestly, I think first world problems are really stupid.

I’m not trying to be rude or anything, but the more opinions I read on this blog the more I realise that people living in first world countries or at least the ones who post opinions on this blog, are in fact, overly sensitive, butthurt and over-exaggerating people.

Coming from and living in an Islamic and a third world country (Jordan), most problems discussed and stated on here don’t exist over here and are never discussed or brought up in any conversation between any age group.

Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders do not exist in Jordan, well maybe they do, but in a VERY VERY VERY small percentage. Maybe because of our culture and traditions and the way people are raised up over here? I don’t know.

Also I’d like to add that most people who stated their opinions on why they think all religions are full of lies and should not believed in because they cause wars and are an obstacle on the road of our world becoming more developed, do not know what they’re talking about. There is a huge difference between the religions itself and what it teaches, and how its followers choose to apply it in their daily lives. The muslims you see walking around wearing burkas and growing beards and wearing turbans and yelling “Allahu Akbar” and killing people, are extremists and do not, in anyway, represent what a real muslim or middle eastern is.  Moreover, most people who believe in God believe in Him because they want to, not because they’re forced to. I could simply say that Islam is full of crap and god does not exist and refuse to attend my religion class, but I don’t want to, because I do believe in all its teachings and stories and everything about it really, not because I was born a muslim or because I’m forced to be one.

Back to the very first thing I stated, its not the people who live in developed countries’ fault that their problems are like that, its just that I can’t help but judge them and classify them as I said before, overly sensitive, and over-exaggerating people, specially after I watch the news and see what’s happening in the neighbouring countries of where I live.

I would’ve wrote more but I think what I wrote is enough.

Thanks!! :)