Author Archives: mahjonggandme

About mahjonggandme

Mah Jongg is not just a game. It has become a part of my life that allows me to entertain my Mah Jongg-playing friends, cook great meals to serve to them and test my mental skills during our game play (which, hopefully, is often).

LISTS AND LISTS OF THINGS I LIKE – SUCH AS MAH JONGG!

Last week when I was at K’s home for Wednesday Mah Jongg, I met a family friend of hers (from Michigan!!!) by the name of Jackie Suskin. This is a very talented young woman who has just written a new book called, “Go Ahead and Like It,” published by Penguin Random House.

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HERE’S THE BLURB ON THIS BOOK: In our digital era of numbly clicking “like” as we impassively watch our friends’ lives scroll by on Facebook and Instagram, along comes an analog antidote: “Go Ahead & Like It,” a new art book/self-help guide by the Los Angeles poet Jacqueline Suskin. 

The 29-year-old is well known around town for Poem Store, a self-described “performance poetry piece” she sets up at farmers’ markets, events and weddings. To create each poem, she asks for a subject and then briskly pecks out evocative lines on a vintage Hermès typewriter in exchange for whatever amount the recipient deems it to be worth.

With “Go Ahead & Like It,” Suskin offers up a simple practice that she finds incredibly therapeutic: making lists of things you like. It began several years ago when a friend (to whom she dedicates the book) gave her a list. “It was kind of like a flirty ‘get to know me’ note,” she said. “That’s all it was, just a list of things he likes. I thought it was a fascinating concept to show someone this part of yourself, your interests, but in this really detailed way.” His original list of likes is included in the book, as are many of Suskin’s own. The project is part scrapbook — photographs collaged with a mix of type- and hand-written pieces of paper — and part how-to.

Her mission with “Go Ahead & Like It,” she says, is to help other people pause to take note of the good amongst the banal and quotidian. “To be able to look around and find beauty and inspiration in every little thing, that’s what makes me a poet,” she said. “I want to show anybody that they have that in themselves.”

So, what does this have to do with Mah Jongg, you might be asking. Well, I asked Jackie to create a poem right then and there about our beloved game. And she did! Here it is…

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Here’s Jackie at work on the poem…notice the book on the table…!

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Much thanks to Jackie for this wonderful poem. And here is one more look at the fun book she has written:

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DOT’S AMAZING!

The Bird Wars have settled down a bit ( although I still have some more to show you!) but how about some equal time to showcase some dazzling Dots…

1598908_10153365514722222_2195409539138602150_oWow and wow! Much thanks to Katie for sharing these with us…along with just a few Birdie Bams…

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Oh, okay – just one more…here’s another gorgeous one, courtesy of Caren:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAn aside here and a big favor to ask of you – if you have received a copy of our book, Mah Jongg The Art of the Game, please write a review on Amazon. I can’t begin to tell you how much I would appreciate it!

A FUN INTERVIEW

Gregg and I were interviewed last week about our book by Scott Miller from Mahjong News. I thought you might like to learn a little more about us…

Swain & Israel  <—-Me!

Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain were after private Western mah jongg collections when they invaded many homes during their search, but they aren’t burglars! They are photo-archeologists, and private homes were their dig! Hidden deep in the dark of basements, closets, and attics all over this world are some of the most amazing mah jongg treasures people might never see; tiles carefully hand carved and painted by artisans long forgotten. Like skillful and patient archeologists, Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain set out to unearth these lost works of art before they are forgotten forever.

readmore at http://www.mahjongnews.com/en/news/various-news/3391-ladies-invade-homes-in-search-of-of-mah-jongg-sets

YOU’VE HEARD OF STAR WARS…

…well, here comes BIRD WARS!

You’d better sit down because you are about to see some of the most spectacular One Bams ever!!!

nov 18, 2014 birds 007These tiles are all ivory, bone and bamboo, and bone and ebony tiles.

Next – get ready…

nov 18, 2014 cb fi birds 005These tiles are resin, Chinese Bakelite, Chinese Catalin and French ivory.

All of these One Bams have something in common – they are all hand-carved. Wow!!!

And they are all part of the breathtaking collection - kept locked away in a secure location, of course –  belonging to my dear friend, the wonderful, ethical, fantastic, and knowledgeable seller of vintage sets, Fracas1 – click on this link to see the beautiful vintage sets she has for sale on eBay.

But wait…there’s more!

885510_864856030192408_4114994913563141877_oThese One Bams are all bamboo tiles, from 1920-1980, courtesy of my great friend, Tony. Double wow!

Want more?

10517408_10204297445828319_7873444320993174131_oThese come from the collection of Shirley, who has been known to save the day for readers of this blog with matching tiles from her incredible orphanage. Triple wow!

Thanks to  Fracas1, Tony, and Shirley, for so generously sharing these fabulous and amazing One Bams with us!

And, before I close today, let me share a poem with the first two lines started by Joy and the second two lines finished in a completely different email by Diane – and I don’t believe they even know one another! This is so fabulous – thanks, ladies!

Ten little birdies, all in a row,

Sitting on a Mah Jongg rack

Flew to a tree, made a show,

Rode the wind; didn’t look back.

MAH JONGG – THE ART OF THE GAME!

Well, the big day has finally arrived! Amazon has sent out emails stating that you will be receiving our book today. Please let me know your thoughts – I can’t wait to hear what you think about the book!!!

And, if you like it, I hope you will write reviews on Amazon – I will be very thankful if you do so!

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10 LITTLE BIRDIES, ALL IN A ROW!

My friend Em shared this photo of 10 different One Bams – I wanted you all to see it because I find it so amazing that each manufacturer of Mah Jongg games had a different way to stylize the One Bam. Even the size of the tiles are different. Clearly there was no standardization back then but that is what makes each of our vintage sets so unusual and so special.13231_10152378683272653_581588190452960551_n Continue reading