Thursday, January 1, 2009

Winter Tradition

I passed by the shop window and then doubled back, looking intently at the bright display of cozy hats, scarves, and other winter finery. I moved towards the entrance, divided into three separate areas by two stalwart, hard grey detectors before turning back to the clear glass with a resigned sigh. I could buy the cozy array of winter things, but it hadn’t yet snowed. Red, yellow, and brown dotted the suburban landscape announcing the presence of the still bearable fall weather.

I thought of the first snow. I looked down at my hands, picturing them red and chapped from the freezing winds. My lovely shoes would have to be sacrificed as well to the stinging wetness of the snow as it fell softly in the open spaces between fabric and foot. How I would love for just one year not to suffer the unbearable pain of numb fingers and toes, of virus following cold following virus. But how to break tradition? A tradition so strong, it has stayed with me through twenty three winters.

Often, as a child, I would wonder if my mother had simply forgotten that winter was going to come again this year. Perhaps it was just the hope that this year the clear, easygoing briskness of fall would overcome the freezing enemy and last till spring. It never does. And my mother never stops hoping.

I don’t know when the tradition started exactly, but as far back as I can remember, warm outer garments were never bought until absolutely necessary, until the first snowfall announced the inevitable arrival of yet another winter. In my teenage years, I would flip through the popular clothing catalogues in confusion. 'Why are they selling winter things in the fall,' I would wonder? It’s not cold enough yet for such heavy sweaters or such warm coats.

It’s a testament to my supreme intelligence that it only took me several years or so to figure out why the catalogues were right and my mother was wrong. Perhaps I became more observant as I aged, but I began to notice how everyone around me was nice and toasty warm when I was trying desperately to pull my thin coat even tighter around me without exposing my hands, or neck to the frosty onset of winter. I experienced an epiphany of sorts as it dawned on me that they were prepared. The reason for the advance marketing of winter things became clear and the new intelligence struggled with the forces of tradition comfortably ensconced in my psyche for so many years.

And so I stood and stared at the warmth so easily available to me, yet so far removed. I looked once more towards the imposing, but inviting entryway before turning and heading in the other direction. I’ll come back soon, I thought. After all, it hasn’t snowed yet.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Waiting to be Inspired

Here I sit waiting for inspiration to come...I'm still waiting.

I have decided to pull an all-nighter. One would think that with a twenty page paper due via e-mail by tomorrow night, I would perhaps be working on it rather than, oh say, blogging for example. One obviously doesn't know me very well. What I don't know very well is Freud. After reading "The Uncanny" I still don't know him very well which is something of a problem since my paper is kinda based around his psychoanalytic theories. Hmm. Bad planning? I should say so. The question is, how does one construct a Freudian reading? And by one, I of course mean me, myself, and I. I've already torn out my hair so that's not an option. I've also let the blood rush to my head in the hopes that some smarts would flow along with it.

They didn't. Having exhausted my other options, the only thing left to do, as I'm sure you will agree, is to pretend I don't have a twenty page paper due tomorrow. The best way to do this is to distract myself. I know this because I have had way too much experience pretending papers aren't due when they are, in fact, due. The best way to distract myself is to write. The only outlet I have for writing, save a diary(ugh) is blogging. So here we are. You are still here, right? I hope I haven't chased you away with my rambling. It would be too sad if I was whining into thin air. It wouldn't be quite as satisfying without a severely annoyed audience. So here I am. Waiting to be inspired. I hope it doesn't take too long.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Working Hard or Hardly Working?


Seriously, I have spent these last few weeks engaged in the most complex and advanced methods of procrastination, and I'm completely exhausted. Avoiding work can be way more tiring than actually doing it. It's certainly more of a challenge:)

Aargh. I can't wait till finals are over!

I'll be back next week-If I survive the stress that comes along with having absolutely no work ethic to speak of:)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

From the Mixed-Up Files of Morah Madd Hatter

Child 1: Here. I made you some chicken soup.

Me: Siiip. Mmmmm, yummy. Thank you so much.

Child 1: Here. I made chicken nuggets.

Me: Hmmm. This looks suspiciously similar to the chicken soup I just had...

Child 1: Here. *shoves pot forward into my face*

Me: *chewing noise* Mmmm. That's delicious. Thank you so much.


Me: I'm not feeling so well. Are you the doctor?

Child 2: Yes. I have to make you feel better. *smashes elephant head somewhere near the region of my heart, but closer to stomache* K. You're all better. *Walks off, looking for next victim, um, patient*

Child 3: I have a clementine for lunch. My mommy gave me a clementine.

Child 4: Nu-uh.

Child 3: Yeah, she did.

CHild 4: Nu-uh. Nu-uh. It's...*breaks out into slightly off tune rendition of My Darling Clementine*

Child 5: I'm frisky.

Me: You're what!?

Child 5: I'm frisky.

Me: Um, what does that mean? To you anyway.

Child 5: *pats throat* I'm frisky.

Me: Thirsty? You want a drink?

Child 5: Yes, I'm frisky.

Me: Hold on, I'll give you some water.

Child 6: Look what I made!

Me: Wow, that's beautiful. What is it?

Child 6: *looks at it in puzzlement*

Me: Is it an airplane? What a great airplane! Good job!

Child 6: *smiles shyly with satisfaction*

Child 7: *leaning on my knee* What are you doing?

Me: I'm contemplating a particularly difficult philosophical problem.

Child 7: *still leaning* what are you doing?

Me: I'm cutting.

Child 7:Why?

Me: For the project.

Child 7: Oh. *giggles*

I spent the last two days taking over as Morah for my mom's playgroup. The grey stiped folding chair became my thrown, the sheet of smiley face stickers my sceptre. The above is an accurate transcription of most of the dialogue which occurred between me and my cuties during a portion of their free play. Those of you who have had experience as lord and master over a group of three yr. olds will know exactly what I'm talking about. The rest of you...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007



I really hate it when I can't fall asleep.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Considering the Inconsiderate

Earlier today, I left a scathing note on some one's windshield. It wasn't pretty. The crime: daring to park their car smack in the middle of the right hand lane on the service road to the Van Wyck. There it rested, nonchalantly with its student driver bumper sticker on the rear fender and a For Sale sign in the window taunting me as I contemplated the traffic jam that was ensuing as a result. Okay, fine, I never actually left the note, but, oh, how I wanted to. I spent the remainder of my drive composing one and imagining how I'd hand deliver it directly to the owner's right eye. Which is weird, because I'm not a violent person. I generally go out of my way to avoid a confrontation.

And I wonder. Why does a little inconvenience like that get me so incensed? I don't have an anger problem-far from it. I let much bigger things roll right off on a regular basis. It's just that the insensitivity of others really makes me go crazy; double parking, talking at someone else's chupah, blocking a driveway, leaving a full cart in the front of a line while you go shop for twenty more items, anything that inconveniences others for the sole purpose of making the life of the one doing it a little easier.

I don't like to think about it too much, because if I do, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll end up coming to the obvious, if unpleasant conclusion. Perhaps, it bothers me to such an irrational extent because it's a flaw I unconsciously recognize in myself. I pride myself on being open and honest and Ive been prizing it, for the most part, above the sensitivities and feelings of others. That's so wrong. How quickly I've forgotten my dislike and disgust when I used to come face to face with a 'blunt' person. Blunt is just another way of saying open and honest at the expense of others.

It all got me thinking about a conversation I recently had with a friend. I confidently declared it unnecessary to hold back or hide anything from a friend even if it might hurt or inconvenience. "Isn't that what friends are for?", I (stupidly) queried. I can't believe I said that now. I can't believe I've become that person. Someone who alienates other people, because she doesn't know when to let it out, and when to keep it to herself. Not every thought has to be shared. Not every opinion has to be told. It's a lesson I'm trying to learn, and I hope I do so, quickly. And so, to my friend, I know we agreed to disagree, but I'm going to have to break our agreement and side with you.

An Understanding of Sorts

My mother does not understand. She really doesn't. She cannot understand why I do not hesitate to eat crumbly food over a recently vacuumed floor.

I do not understand my mother. I really don't. I cannot understand why the sight of crumbs on a recently vacuumed floor tortures her as it does.

And so, over time, we've come to a sort of understanding that we will never understand each other:)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bernard The Polar Bear be free:)

And, in conjunction with a very inspiring post by Corner Point, here's another example of perseverance paying off, with a little twist:)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Dead Rats And Day-Old Socks

The putrid scent wafted up my nose as I sat at my computer doing very important things. When I could ignore it no longer (about 10 seconds. I have a low stink tolerance), I cautiously crept downstairs to investigate, my heart beating steadily but much too loudly as I imagined all sorts of horrors awaiting me. Images of dead rats and boiling day-old socks filled my mind. As it turned out, I wasn't that far off.

The smell seemed to be emanating from the lone, and innocent looking pot on the stove. Mindful of the potential danger involved, I carefully lifted the lid to reveal an oozing, bubbling substance not unlike what boiling day-old socks would produce. The pieces floating around on top of said liquid resembled nothing so much as little dead rats. Feeling like a witch at her cauldron, I looked down with dismay at the results of my latest culinary attempt.

Several hours earlier...

Inspired by RaggedyMom's attempt at soup making...okay, that's not actually true. I was really inspired by my latest dieting attempt. I figure lots of vegetable soup is bound to lead to lots of weight loss. Somewhat faulty logic as it neglects the many bowls of pasta in between the many bowls of soup, but I digress...

Inspired by something, I went straight from school on a vegetable shopping spree, which is about as exhilirating as it sounds. Breezing through the door, laden with packages of greeny goodness, I unpacked, and got to work. Many minutes of arduous cutting and chopping, and a great many tears later(those onions are brutal!), I was the proud owner of one bubbling, boiling, pot filled to the brim with wholesomeness. Ooh...I forgot the spices. Well, many minutes of chopping, a great many tears, and several off-the-cuff spice additions later, I surveyed my stove top masterpiece. What now...ah yes, I needed to let it simmer. Not one to waste a moment, I immediately headed for my fave pastime, blogging. After making the rounds in blogland, checking my e-mail, and taking care of several other computery stuff, I began to notice a putrid smell...

The present...

And so here I am, with a pot that contains what looks remarkably like the remains of some one's meal after it's been digested, and not sure what to do with it. Do I toss it in the garbage and risk major leakage? Do I throw it down the drain and risk major stuffage? Do I Fed-ex it to the starving children in Africa and risk severe political ramifications? What to do, what to do. I could always dump it in my backyard and claim it as a hazardous waste area.

I'm still not sure, but I would appreciate any and all suggestions. What does one do with a pot full of an inedible, and possibly toxic substance composed of gunky liquid with many sizable solid chunks floating around in it? E-mail you're suggestions to or just leave them in the comments:)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Meme All About Me:)

When I first saw a post containing the word meme, I was reminded of Monty Python's knights of Nee (say that last word short and fast and through your nose to get it right). My mind works in strange ways. Then of course, being me, I wanted to know what the word meant, and when no one seemed to know, I turned to the dictionary to see what it had to say. It was uncharacteristically silent, and so I turned to Google. There were many definitions that popped up, but the one that made the most sense within the context of my own particular situation was the following, courtesy of this site:

"Meme: an idea, project, statement or even a question that is posted by one blog and responded to by other blogs. Although the term encompasses much of the natural flow of communication in the Blogosphere, there are active bloggers and blog sites that are dedicated to the creation of memes on a regular basis"

I didn't really find it very enlightening, or nearly as interesting as I had hoped it would be, but you may judge for yourselves:)

Anyhoo...I was tagged by Corner Point on the following meme, and so here it is:

1. Link to your tagger and post the rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself; some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names and link to them.
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.

Here are my seven facts, as they pop into my head, in no particular order. I apologize in advance if they are not random or weird enough, but there is only so much time I'm willing to spend on this. If you really want weird, you have to take the time to get to know me:)

1)I don't like to eat hot or spicy food. I like my food warm or room temperature.

2)I'm a little bit talented at everything without being exceptional at anything. I can paint a little, dance a little, sing a little, cook and bake a little, etc.

3)I love raw salmon. Not just sushi, but big pieces of raw salmon on their own. I think it's called sashimi. It actually makes sense as the "what animal would you be" test results say I'm an otter. Go figure.

4)If I could marry pasta, and form a lasting attachment with it, I would.

5)I hate rain, but I love snow. Plus, my mood is closely linked with the weather. Sunny and clear=happy and positive, Grey and rainy=moody and negative.

6)I pretend to love candy, but sugar actually gives me a headache. I'm much more into cheese and ice-cream-not necessarily together (I never claimed to be normal).

7)Pictures of baby Looney Tunes make me melt and very often elicit a squeal of joy (don't try it, you'll just be disappointed).

I just realized that most of my facts are about food. While this is slightly disturbing, it is not at all surprising:)

I tag Ezzie, Moshe, Chana, and Fudge. Feel free to completely ignore the tag if you like, or if you've just done like twenty-four of these, but if you haven't done one in a while, it's kinda fun. Plus, there's way more than seven weird and random facts about everybody.

'Tis The Season

Ahh...the first snow of the season. The first beautiful, magical blanket of pure white warming us to the bones despite it's freezing temperatures. The crisp bite in the air becomes pleasant instead of threatening with it's soft, fluffy friend accompanying it. All the noises of everyday living are muffled and insulated, giving the world a more peaceful aspect. When I woke up this morning and took a peek outside my window, the scene that greeted my eyes immediately brought to mind the words "walking through a winter wonderland" complete with background music. The song still hasn't left my head, or to be really accurate, those five words haven't. They've been running circles in my brain and, funnily enough, I really don't mind. As soon as I started humming, I felt better, and as long as I kept humming, my mood kept up.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Joy To The World

Hello everyone! Yes, blogging is fun and important, but so are tea parties and croquet matches, both of which have kept me busy these past few weeks. Glad to be writing again though:)

Being a natural cynic(yeah, I know, hard to believe:P), or as I like to call it, realist, has led to a difficulty or two when it comes to expanding my spiritual understanding. For those who haven't yet read Rav Miller's books, I sincerely recommend you do, especially Rejoice Oh Youth. I've learned so much about appreciation from it. To hear Rav Miller wax poetical about an ant...!

I've recently heard something which I wanted to share. According to Rav Miller, the best preparation for the world to come is enjoying and appreciating what we're given in this world; hence, blessings, etc. What he said is probably not anything new to most of you, and It's not entirely novel to me either, but the way he put it was so appealing to me, and it opened up a whole other way of looking at it. I specifically liked when he said, "If you don't want to eat breakfast, that's fine. It's okay to fast if you want, but if you eat breakfast, then you should enjoy it!" I love the idea that getting joy out of every little aspect of this world will only give me more joy in the next. It makes each day something to look forward to. Each day becomes a challenge to find enjoyment in as many things as I can in order to serve God rather than an experience of denial and restriction.

I don't mean to go on and on, and I apologize if most of this is recycled material, but I just felt so happy at my little personal discovery and I wanted to share it. Thanks for listening:)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Erachet just posted a wonderful post on prayer. I started to comment on her blog, but when I saw how much I had to say, I thought it was worth a post of my own.

In her post, Erachet mentioned her confusion and feelings of inferiority when faced with other religious Jews whose prayers seemed so much more heartfelt than hers. I too, struggled with feelings of self-consciousness regarding my inability to establish a "typical" connection to G-d through standardized prayer. I too had the nagging feeling that somehow I was less close to G-d than all the shucklers and swayers around me, but, at some point, I began to think differently. I began to appreciate the connection I did have with G-d due to the various sensitivities and capabilities He instilled in me.

Most people are not sensitized enough to G-D's creations to connect to him through them. Most people don't see a tree or a cloud or a flower and form a prayer out of the intense joy and wonder they feel as a result. Most people don't think to send up a homemade plea to G-d when they have to get to class in five minutes and there are no parking spaces within a mile of school or when they're having a bad day and really need the cafe to have at least one more big chocolate cookie left by the time they get there. Most people don't think to speak to G-d at all if it's not during established times of prayer. Many people do, but most don't.

I feel so lucky that I am one of those people who do have that connection to G-d. I feel it makes life so much more meaningful in various small ways. In no way do I mean to imply that standardized prayer is not important. There is a very good reason why the sages set up the prayers the way they did, and why they contain the words and format that they do, and I firmly believe in constantly working on having greater concentration during those prayers, but it's hard. It's hard for everyone on some level. A true connection to G-d can manifest itself in more than one way, and I don't think those alternate paths should be minimized or discounted in any way. I was brought up to believe that G-D is everywhere and always available to us via a direct line of communication in any form, in any language. Different things work for different people, and G-d knows that. He is the one who created us to be that way.

On a related note, a teacher once told me: If you broadcast your spirituality, you are no longer spiritual. I happen to think it's a brilliant concept and a good one to live by. Very often, those who seem to be ultra connected, or ultra religious on the outside are not nearly as far up on the spiritual ladder as others who don't make an overt display of their religiosity. What's going on inside of me is so much more important than how religious or "zealous" I appear to those around me.

One more thing I find very helpful to keep in mind is something most of us already know, but it always helps to be reminded. We all start at a very different point in terms of spirituality, and we all have a special package of tests and challenges handpicked for us. What might be easy for the man or woman next to me, is excruciatingly difficult for me, and G-D might not expect me to be at that particular point just yet. It doesn't mean I'm less of a person, or less of a Jew. It just means that I'm unique and my spirituality and all it entails has nothing to do with what those around me are doing or feeling.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Buttercup in the Sky

Yellow traffic lights drive me crazy(pun fully intended). As soon as I see that yellow circle light up in front of me, I know that a crucial decision must now be made. Do I slow down, and risk a mild concussion due to my slightly above average driving speeds or do I speed up, risking a red light run-through resulting in a ticket for at least 50 bucks? Very often, due to my notorious inability to make choices I end up vacillating between the two. This generally results in both a bang on the head and a ticket in the mail:/ This is why yellow traffic lights and I don't get along.

The other day, however, a thought popped into my head while driving which somewhat redeemed the little butterscotch circle. I realized that I could actually learn a lesson from the lights. Big surprise there;)The lesson to be learned? Well, I actually couldn't decide between two different ones so I'm going to lay them out before you and then ask you to vote on which you think is the more apt.

Lesson 1: Indecisiveness is not a healthy or attractive character trait. Despite what they say about the female gender, taking 20 minutes to decide on an ice-cream flavor is not okay (mental note to self: must stop doing that even if it means always having vanilla). Whether one is a stopper or a speeder-upper is not the issue. Deciding which one you are and sticking to it, is.

Lesson 2: Life is short, and hesitating is not an option. Careful consideration before action is definitely important, but once the action has been decided on, go for it:)

Perhaps you won't agree that either of the above is apropos to yellow traffic lights. I'd be happy to hear that too:)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Writer's Block

I'm going through a dry spell. It seems once most of my readers know who I am, it becomes much harder to spill my guts in a public forum. How odd.

It's the Little Things

Today, I saw a flock of birds paint a picture in the sky with their flight pattern. They swooped and swerved and glided gracefully like a group of ballerinas pulled together by a magnetic force. It was beautiful.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wacky Wednesday

I believe everything happens for a reason, and I'd like to think that the reason my tire blew out on the ramp leading onto the Van Wyck expressway yesterday was so that I would finally have something to post about.

Of course, It could have something to do with all the life lessons I managed to pull from the incident, but hey, priorities right?

A brief summary of the incident: There I was merrily driving along(for I do drive merrily) on the way to teach Hebrew School, minding my own business when, upon nearing my goal, a huge jolt and a hiss of air warned me that I wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. Thank G-d, I was at a point where I had just enough tire to pull over onto the conveniently placed shoulder just before the highway. Any farther back or any further on and the whole episode would have played out very differently. I picture an orchestra of curses and horn blowing as accompaniment.

Now that I was comfortably situated out of harm's way, I took stock of my present predicament. Thank-God for the Starbucks coffee I had picked up just moments before on a whim. With the hot beverage to keep me company, nothing seemed all that dire. Not even the thought of all that preparation I had done going down the drain, or the inconvenience it would put my principal and fellow teachers through, or even the hours I anticipated spending in my car till help arrived. The thought of my situation did not faze me, because I am an adult who is perfectly capable of dealing with such predicaments. I proceeded to do what any self-respecting, mature, and independent adult would do. I called my mom. And lo and behold, the woman who sends me to the store numerous times in one evening because she "forgot something" located and gave over to me the rarely used number of AAA. Not relishing the idea of waiting for such a long time (my coffee supply had run out), I called my dad. After all, why think for yourself when you have so many other people to do it for you? He spent several minutes on the phone with Geico, and after some confusion as to exactly where I was located, I was informed that someone would be there shortly to help me out. No fuss, no trouble, and after a rebate, no cost.

And now for the icing on the-very long-cake. Before the Gecko got very far out on the road, I was surprised by a white and green Help truck. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a division of the police department which travels the highways, stopping when they see someone in trouble. The trucks are equipped for all sorts of car emergencies, including busted tires.

Out comes the sweetest guy you will ever meet who reminded me very much of an African American Santa Claus with a short beard. He was as friendly as pie(have you ever spoken to pie? Then don't assume), and in a matter of minutes I was on my way with a temporary tire in place of the busted one.

You would be surprised at how many shocked reactions I got when I told people that there are police trucks riding the highways whose sole function it is to help those with car trouble.One thing I do know. If nothing else, this story allows me to say the following:

I was helped out by a police officer the other day, and when he left, I saw he had left a donut on my car:)

If only for that, it was totally worth it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Around and Around We Go

An amazing post by Corner Point on the subject of boxes prompted me to think about other shapes that figure prominently in my life. Thus did I come to think of circles and thus was this post born. It is not as universal or inspiring as the aforementioned one on squares. It is, in fact, quite selfish and personal. From reading other blogs, though, I have a suspicion I’m not the only one suffering from Circle-itis.

When I think of a circle, I think of repetition. I imagine an endless loop going around and around, much like the thoughts spinning through my head. As an over analyzer, I can’t let things go, and since most things I think about can’t be immediately resolved, the same thoughts keep running circles around my brain until I want to scream at them to stop and take a breather. This leads to a somewhat stressful existence composed of many sleepless nights. I’ve tried many things to stop the frenzy, but nothing has worked to date. Pretending the thoughts don’t exist lasts about 3 seconds before they pop up again. Making my mind a blank is as hard as it sounds. Writing it out usually relieves the pressure, but only temporarily, and only with certain issues. I thank G-d every day for giving me an active, busy brain and I will take the cons along with the pros any day vs. the alternative vegetative state. I just wish it didn’t come along with so much mental anguish. Perhaps I am unique in this problem, but somehow I doubt it. If anyone out there knows what I’m talking about, please tell me how you deal.

Like circles too, We tend to repeat ourselves. Even as we make the same mistakes over and over again, we recognize that we are acting to our own detriment. The outcome is known down to the last, gory detail, yet something compels us to keep at it. I guess, we all get into a cycle of behavior and the more times we go around, the deeper the groove gets, and the harder it is to break free, making the cycle of behavior part of it's own vicious cycle.

Yup. Circles definitely factor prominently in my life.


Pobody just sent me a really cute/funny/clever link, and I wanted to share with you all. Let me know what you think:)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days. The kind of day I hesitate to write about because remembering the details is too painful a process. I'd rather repress and forget. The horrible thing is, nothing really bad even happened. No car crash was experienced; no really difficult test or bad grade given; no headaches, stomacheaches, or bad colds endured; no nasty comments recieved. So why did I fight off an intense desire to cry by the end of it? I guess some days the little things are just harder to deal with and on those days, they tend to pile up one after the other until they lump together into one big problem. It's almost over though. I hope tomorrow's better.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Alliteration Amusement

Chana has a really cute game going on which has inspired me to propose one of my own. The challenge is to pick a letter of the alphabet and see who can come up with the longest paragraph composed solely of words beginning with that letter. The paragraph does not have to mean anything, but it does have to make sense. Since this is the first time, I'll start with a relatively easy letter. Feel free to use a thesaurus. I know I did.

Pretty Persephony pushed plump purple pumpkins past portly Pete's Pastry Palace pleased past portionable probability. "Perchance, Pete pirates purple pumpkins," posited Persephony. "Poppycock!" projected Pete pleasantly, "pirating pays peanuts." "Pretty please," pressed Persephony, "Perhaps pirating purple pumpkins pluralizes pennies." "Pluralizes pennies?" parroted portly Pete, "phenomenal!"

I could go on, but shabbos is coming and I don't want to get lost in blogland :) Anyway, you get the idea. Let the games begin!

Peripheral Vision

I'm not a very good driver. Good drivers stick to the speed limit, remember to blink before turning or switching lanes, and don't regularly run red lights. Good drivers also keep their eyes on the road ahead. But, the view in front of me while driving is usually pretty boring. To the right and left, though, are all sorts of colorful and interesting things, and though they only spend a moment in my field of vision, their impact lasts for a while afterward.

On my right, a scene straight out of a yearbook or inspirational video. the greying, stooped grandfather holds on tightly to the hand of the small boy walking beside him. A picture of peace. A picture of love. A picture of continuity. I contemplate the cycle of life from the time we are born to the time we return to our maker. I imagine my own father one day walking hand in hand with my future children. By now, I have left my own quiet neighborhood and turn on to a busy highway full of sights and sounds that keep my head swishing from side to side, much like windshield wipers.

On my right, an oversized picture of a sleek and gleaming convertible, promising contentment and prestige to those who purchase it. On my left, Donald Trump's face scowls down at me as he invites me to yet another convention where he will tell me how to make it big and turn all my dreams into reality. I ponder the materialism of this world; how, in the minds of so many, more money equals more happiness. I think of how untrue this is as the images of all the wealthy people I know pop up in front of me and I remember this one's sick child, the other's marriage problems. I think of the sheker pervading this world and the empty, meaningless goals so many spend their lives chasing. I feel a wave of gratitude for the truth and meaning I have in my life, and for the health and well-being of myself and those I care for.

When I emerge from these musings, it is only to be confronted by the stunning beauty of Hashem's creations surrounding me on all sides. The clear, azure blue of the sky on a cloudless day, the brilliant greens, yellows, and oranges of the many trees along the road. The list goes on and on. I'm almost afraid to drive upstate in the summer, because the view at the end of the Tapanzee Bridge is majestic enough to make me cry, and it is not unusual to see me swerving desperately to avoid crashing into the car next to me, because It was that hard to pull my eyes away from a perfect cloud formation nestled in the most exquisite blue above the sparkling, constantly shifting water side by side the lush and verdant foliage resting right beneath the horizon. How can white dashes on black asphalt compare?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Revisit the Magic

For those of you who have somehow made it through to adulthood without having read Alice in Wonderland at least once, pay close attention to the following public announcement:


No. The movie does not count. Sorry.

For those of you who have already read it, read it again. It's one of those magical children's books which only become richer and more flavorful with age(think Dr. Seuss). The fanciful, nonsensical style and colorful characters may appeal to the younger set, but the true brilliance of the book is only apparent to the more mature and emotionally developed who can see beyond the surface to the beauty and wit beneath. I laughed regularly through my third reading, sometimes out loud. I was awed. I was pulled in. I felt that warm, fuzzy feeling akin to happiness that only certain books can produce. I'm in love. And I want to share that love, so please, revisit the magic.

New Look

I've been rearranging the furniture. Hope you like:)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mind-Bending Oranges

Whew! What a day. Wednesdays are always my craziest days. When I first considered becoming a citizen of Blog Land, I had a fantasy of producing a brilliant blog which would offer interesting and mind-bending articles and thoughts which would result in equally stimulating conversations via the comments. I've woken up. Seems I don't actually have any particularly mind-bending thoughts, nor do i have the time to look up fascinating articles. I'm actually sort of okay with this though, because I'd much rather just use the blog as a forum for my sometimes mildly interesting thoughts and my feelings on the topics that are important and interesting to me, not what i think will be interesting to everyone else. hopefully the two will occasionally collide and I will end up connecting on some level with like-minded people. But, even if not it's still very therapeutic.

Back to my day. The one day a week I actually wake up early. Apparently, this is an indication of my brilliance (see Ezzie's thoughts on sleep). Of course, this means that I'm falling asleep on my feet by 2pm. Still, the day is redeemed by virtue of it being painting day. It's the one day a week I get to stare at a canvas for an hour and a half with pallet and brush in hand. I occasionally paint as well;) Seriously, it's almost as good as coffee.

At the moment, the focus of my art is an orange. I have spent the last two weeks painting oranges and I'm not even close to finishing the second one. I've found it to be a lesson in observation, patience, and focus. Painting has actually taught me a lot so far besides which colors make the shadow and which the shine of an orange.

1.It's okay to erase something I've worked hard on and start from scratch.

2.It's okay to just stand and look for a while.

3.It's the process and not the finished product that's important.

4.I'm never really finished; it can always be improved.

In addition, I've learned how to relax and stop being so hard on myself. Yes, it has taken me over three hours to paint an orange, and I'm not done yet, but my fifth attempt at the orange was much better than the first, and my tenth will be better than my fifth. The orange may never be a finished product, but, at this rate by the time I finish the class I'll be a lot closer to being one.

Coffee Heaven

They just opened a new Starbucks on Rockaway Turnpike, and here's the kicker: IT'S A DRIVE- THROUGH! I am officially in coffee heaven :)

Change of View

The view outside my window is very different from the one I had this morning. The sky is a clear blue and the clouds fluffy and dispersed (my favorite kind). What a contrast to the cold, dreary, and dark picture I woke up to not so long ago. What a difference a few hours (and a cup of coffee) make! Before, I was seriously considering quitting my wednesday morning job (again). Since getting up, though, I've managed to convince myself to keep it, and just go to sleep earlier tuesday night. Yeah, right.

It's always amazed me how little things like the weather or a simple comment from another person (or a cup of coffee) can alter my mood to such a degree.

Thoughts on Iraq (Or Lack Thereof)

I hate open-ended questions. I like my books, movies, and soul searching to resemble pretty little boxes, all sealed up and tied with a pink bow. I understand that the concept of signed, sealed, and delivered soul searching is something of an oxymoron, but hey, a body can dream.

Not that I don't soul search. In fact, my problem with open-ended questions stems directly from my inability to rest until I've come to some sort of conclusion. This, as you may imagine, is exhausting if there is none to be found. As a self-diagnosed obsessive compulsive over-thinker, I find my American Studies class to be something of a challenge. You see, my professor, unlike myself, loves open-ended questions. He's forever posing them and staging hours long class discussions around them, all of course with no actual conclusions.

His latest question I find slightly more disturbing than the previous ones. He asked us whether we thought much about the war in Iraq, and if we did, did we feel very strongly about it either way. When the overwhelming response was one of apathy, he asked us to consider the consequences of being able to completely ignore a war being fought by our own country in which our fellow country-men and women are dying on a daily basis.

And so I foreword this question on to you. Why are we able to go about our daily lives as if nothing is happening. What makes this war different from WWII and the like where the war was really felt. Is our current ability to choose whether we involve ourselves or not a progression or a regression? I'd love to hear what you think about the matter.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Words, Words, Words

Here I sit. In the dark. The incessent glow from the computer screen is probably giving me some sort of cancer, and I have a million and half things to do before tomorrow, none of which will get done unless I actually get up and do them. Yet, here I sit. Such is the power of expression. Such is the power of communication. I'm reminded of why I became an English major despite it being one of the most useless degrees in the world(as a fellow student of mine so kindly pointed out to me recently). The ability to take words and mold and manipulate them to our heart's content is what elevates us above the other creatures. It is our gift, and that is possibly why this opportunity to put into words my thoughts and feelings creates a rush of excitement much like an unopened present would. The possiblities are endless. There is a down side. The very nature of language necessitates that much of what remains, at present, flowing swiftly through my mind and heart will never make it out. If it does, the odds that it will be accurately and completely expressed are not good. Such are man's limitations. But, I will not dwell on what I cannot change. Instead, I will continue to rejoice in the opportunity to articulate what can be conveyed and work on finding alternative means of dealing with what can't.