I was originally going to title this post “On Fellatio and Cunnilingus.” It was going to begin as follows:
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Last night we had a big Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house in Marin, with 17 family members ranging from 5 to 70 (or maybe 71) years of age. The turkey was succulent, the cranberries (prepared in 3 ways) were sweet and tangy, and the pies (apple, pumpkin and pecan) were the stuff of which dreams are made. To answer your next question, yes, there were also latkes for Hanukkah, with cranberry applesauce. During dessert, I mentioned that recently I had been buying more records, and my dad took it upon himself to dig through some floor cabinets and retrieve his old, dusty vinyl LP collection. After leafing through some Dylan, Limeliters and my dad’s personal favorite, “Double Time! The Sounds of Basic Training” (an army training simulation record from 1959), he got to the musicals, which were always favorites in my family (yes, we were that kind of family). After briefly singing refrains from Mame and The Music Man, we came across Hair, which was immediately selected to be the soundtrack for the rest of the evening.
My mom told a story about how in 1966, during a wine-soaked Shabbat dinner, her mother (a poet) had enlisted our cousin (a musician) to help her write a musical about the San Francisco hippy experience of the 1960s. The group present at the dinner had ultimately decided that this was a silly idea, but then Hair came out the very next year, and 46 years later, there we were, belting along to “Age of Aquarius” in the living room.
There was about 2 seconds of anxiety preceding “Hashish” and “Sodomy,” as we acknowledged that three children under 10 were present and the lyrics were about to get decidedly R-rated. But hey, they need to get exposed to drugs and sex somehow, right? It may as well be through a musical! When they’re a little older, we can use Rent to teach them about AIDS. The lyrics to “Sodomy,” in case you aren’t familiar, are as follows:
Sodomy, fellatio, cunnilingus, pederasty
Father, why do these words sound so nasty?
Masturbation, can be fun
Join the holy orgy kama sutra—everyone!
Oh wait—you can just watch the video:
When I first heard that song when I was 8 or 9 or 10 years old, I think I was only familiar with maybe 1 or 2 of the seven or so sexual terms rattled off in that list. 20+ years later, I know a tiny bit more, and I feel that I have enough knowledge to focus a post on two of the terms: “Fellatio” (referring to the oral sex act, not the Shakespearean character), and it’s counterpart, “Cunnilingus” (Latin for…well, you can figure it out).
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After that, I was going to accuse you all of being perverts, then point out that the beginning of this post was just a ruse to get you to check out this post in the first place. I decided against this after speaking with somebody who pointed out that a number of people would not read a post entitled “On Fellatio and Cunnilingus” written by me, because believe it or not, people have no desire to read my pontifications on that particular subject. Whoda thunk?
Those of you who have been paying attention recognize that it’s Black Friday (or really the day after Black Friday—sorry, I got really busy yesterday hiking with my family and making more latkes), which can only mean that it’s time for (drum roll please)…
J’S THIRD ANNUAL CHARITY CONTEST! HECK YES!!!
Admittedly, I was thinking about not doing the charity contest this year. Last year I received some backlash from friends and family members who said that my charity contest was gauche and disingenuous. “There’s a difference between being righteous and being self-righteous,” I was told. Real mensches donate anonymously—that is the highest form of mitzvah. And so on.
And so I thought, if people don’t like me asking friends and family for advice on causes to which to donate, then maybe I shouldn’t take that route. I can still donate, of course, I just don’t need to make a show of it. I was just about to crawl off into my cave when a couple of my dear friends emailed me last week and asked if I was doing the charity contest this year, saying that they had some great ideas for worthy causes. It was kismet—I realized that I had to continue the tradition. After all, I believe that I said I’d continue doing it as long as I worked for the big evil law firm, and 3 years later I’m still there. Besides, I make a show of everything.
For those of you unfamiliar with the contest (“n00bs,” as I believe is the common parlance), here’s the quick and dirty: The concept of Black Friday and consumers pushing, shoving, and literally killing each other over flat-screen TVs sickens me. I feel like people should do less consuming and more giving, period. I love the idea of donating to charity during the holiday season, but I am too busy to really do proper due diligence to ascertain which charities are the most worthy of my limited donation dollars. Every year I ask my friends and family (note: if you’re reading my blog, we’re “friends,” even if we’ve never met) to advise me on their favorite organizations. I do some research and choose the top 5, then donate accordingly. Each donation is made in honor of the person who suggested it.
Please send your ideas for charities to firstname.lastname@example.org or any other email address you may have for me, or shoot me a private message on Facebook. You can send more than one idea. If you’ve sent me a charity idea in past years that I didn’t select, feel free to send again—it may have been a great idea that was narrowly edged out.
For avoidance of doubt, you don’t need to donate money—just give me names of charities. However, if you were able to not spend all of your money on Black Friday, then I highly encourage you to consider donating to some worthy cause this year. If you are a lawyer working in a big law firm, please consider giving to charity—I know you can afford it, and your donation will most likely be tax-deductible, which is awesome. If you don’t know where to donate, please consider the California State Bar Justice Gap Fund (if you’re in California) or your state’s equivalent. Yes, the bold font was necessary there. We all know that lawyers only read the conspicuous text.
Tips for winning the charity contest:
–If you work for an org or have a close connection to one, that helps.
–I prefer local charities that focus in on a particular problem in one city or area, rather than those that collect money for nationwide disbursement or a more general, nebulous cause. I’m partial to charities based in the Bay Area but open to other areas as well.
–These days, I’m most interested in charities that help underserved humans, but I have a soft spot in my heart for environmental organizations as well.
–You can increase your chances of winning by providing me with some background information of the charities you send, in particular, why they’re special to you.
–International charities are totally okay too!
To give you an idea of the kinds of charities that I dig, here are last year’s winners:
Fifth Prize, $50: WildCare Bay Area (http://www.wildcarebayarea.org/site/PageServer)
Fourth Prize, $100: New Mexico Library Foundation (http://www.nm-lf.org)
Third Prize, $250: My teacher friend’s donorschoose.org project.
Second Prize, $500: Women’s Community Clinic (http://www.womenscommunityclinic.org/)
First Prize, $1000: Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (http://clsepa.org/)
I will accept submissions until the Winter Solstice (December 21), and winners will be announced within seven (7) days after that date. Send in your entries today, and soon you can be guzzling down the creamy, salty, white, sticky juice of charitable victory!