Wednesday, July 30, 2008

is patience a virtue?

i would consider myself a patient person, but it can be alot of hard work. patience can really wear a person out.
when one is patient, one isnt always the most assertive.
patience is also humbling.
or maybe im being forced to be more patient than i actually am, and that is what is wearing me out.
some friends require lots of patience, which is why they befriend me, but sometimes i dont have the strength to be patient, sometimes i need to be around less needy people.
when people say that h-shem wouldnt give anyone any trial unless he thought they could handle it really causes me to pause. so does this mean that this particular person is seemingly without mazel because they deserve it? because they can handle it?
i know that whatever adversity doesnt kill someone makes one stronger, but how much can one person take?
how much patience does life require?

Sunday, July 27, 2008


one of my favorite things is when a longtime single "finally" gets married and everyone now guesses that they must be normal after all. weren't they normal before they got married?
i have a friend who had an older sister who got married in her late thirties and i always heard people gossiping that they thought she was weird and way too picky. turns out "too picky " meant that she didnt want to date anyone who lived out of town. now since she lived in nyc, it wasnt an unrealistic stipulation. she was living in a community where there were plenty of prospects. anyway, i knew my friend's sister and she had a great personality and was quite pretty. anyway, in the end she found someone within her age range and did marry. then all of the gossip mongers sighed a communal sigh of relief and decided " she must be normal after all"
oy vey! she was normal all along.
there are alot of abnormal people out there who get married.
and just because one actually gets married, it doesn't mean one will never get divorced.
since when has being divorced meant that one is more normal in the dating pool? no , i dont mean to bash divorced people. i would be perfectly charmed to date a divorced guy. im just saying that just because one has been married before it doesnt guarantee one's normalcy. after all ,there is a reason that they have gotten divorced. i have heard that there is an even higher rate of second marriages ending in divorce than first marriages.
there are no guarantees or perfect formulas to finding the optimal spouse because people are people and everyone is different.
there are lots of psychos who are single as well as married. marital status does not certify sanity.

Friday, July 25, 2008

ac vs no ac

though i do enjoy the freedom of summer , my favorite season is fall. i cant stand the heat of summer and being sweaty.
that said, i use the ac all summer as much as i need. i am not a fan of sweating like a pig. its hard to go to work the morning after a sweaty night's sleep. it also can give me a headache. thus my high ac bill.
i have alot of friends who dont mind sweating along in the summer just to cut their electric bills. id do that, but when its really hot out i just feel like im going to pass out.
truth is , except for summer, my energy bills are really quite low. i even have invested in compact fluorescent bulbs. this is how i justify my high summer bills.
i really admire people who feel always cold . they have it made. all they have to do its put on a sweater, and they are good to go. when one is sensitive to heat , there are only so many items of clothing one can legally take off.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the city that sleeps

nyc is called the city that never sleeps. well... maybe manahttan is the city that never sleeps, but brooklyn, one of the five boroughs of nyc, is a borough that sleeps, or more specifically , midwood , brooklyn sleeps. when i get home late from work on say a monday,i can only get take out or junk food . all the grocery stores near me close before 8 pm. in fact i dont even know when they close on a monday night because im never home early enough to find out. if not for shabbos, the grocery stores would not even be open late on a Thursday night.
i know i really need to look in to ordering groceries from fresh direct. according to their website they have alot of kosher products, even chicken. of course , the hardest part of ordering from a place that delivers groceries is that i will have to be home when they arrive . i do think that i may actually explore this venue. i really need to keep away from the junk food.
sometimes i actually go food shopping before i leave the city if i know im low on food. but of course, i have to be in the mood to shlep the stuff home on the train.
we as jews love to eat, but apparently the jewish grocery store owners in my neighborhood arent too worried if anyone eats on monday unless its earlier in the day . perhaps they are trying to discourage night eating? is weight watchers paying them off? i have noticed alot of their products in the local stores.
i know that the brooklyn groceries think that everyone is eating shabbos leftovers on mondays so they can close early, but what about us singles? im busy all weekend, and usually run out of food at the end of the weekend and am starving for real food on mondays!
i need to change my work schedule and get out a little earlier on mondays so i dont starve!

Monday, July 21, 2008

sunscreen queen

in the days before sun protection consciousness, when i was fourteen, i got one of the worst sunburns of my young life. the kind that blisters and peels. it was a nightmare. it itched, it hurt, it looked contagious. shortly after i became the sunscreen queen.
though it was a slightly before the days of global sunblock awareness, there still was sunblock and sunscreen. yes, even then. my dad is a pharmacist and he would get tons of sun protection samples. i was the only fourteen year old around slapping on the stuff. at school and at summer camp everyone would mock me. they'd say"dont you want to tan" and of course id say" no, i just dont want to burn." and i would also say, " trust me, i will still tan, i just wont burn. "
and so it would go. i went women's day at the separate beach in tel aviv and put on tons of sunblock. my friends donned baby oil. they couldnt believe i wanted to block the sun. i said my mantra" trust me, i will still tan, i just wont burn." and burn they did. i had a slight tan. they were scratching their sunburns. i was not.
what really strengthened my resolve to wear sunblock was something that happened to my friend leora. leora fell asleep on the beach. when she got home her body was burnt and swollen. it was scary looking. it looked quite painful and worthwhile to avoid such an experience.
my mom, who is not as fair skinned as i am shuns the sun as well. she doesnt want wrinkles.
though skin cancer may be more prevalent amongst fair skinned snow whites, darker complected individuals need to be careful of the sun. when they have skin cancer sometimes it is only caught in the later stages because it was harder to see on their skin.
in short, we all need to be careful to wear sun block, and wear protective clothing. this is where ultra tznius clothing come in handy...
my favorite sunblocks are clinique spf 50 and neutragena heathy defense daily moisturizer with heliplex spf 45. neutragena has several higher spfs but i find them a little too chalky.
its also important to wear sunglasses in the sun because doing so can prevent cataracts.
go ahead, become a sun shunner like me. you will still have fun in the sun, just fewer sunburns , wrinkles and age spots.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

beloved memories

my grandmother passed away seven years ago. as im writing this, i can barely believe it. its been seven years. seven years since ive seen my grandmother.
my grandmother was an amazing person. as a senior citizen she used to organize trips for seniors. she took them all over the united states.
grandma got married at 29 which in those days was like 39. she also travelled in her single days . my mom has an incredible photo album with photos from those trips . my favorite photos are of her and her friends in niagra falls on the maid of the mist. instead of those plastic cheapo raincoats they use now, they wore real raincoats . of course i really love these photos because i went to niagra falls with a group of my friends.
i miss the unconditional love that only a grandparent can bestow. i mourn the passing on of a generation. i miss my grandmother's hearty laugh.
because my grandmother was single and then a young widow, she worked various jobs whereas my mom never worked. grandma was a great person to commiserate with about work issues.
of course , i remember how when i was small grandma would sit on the floor and play kiddy games with me.
grandma didnt have the simplest life, but she always had a good attitude. though she was old you could speak to her about anything.
though my grandmother lives on in my memories, i miss not being able to see her in real life. i cant believe its been seven years

mama mia!!

as a kid i was a huge abba fan. i loved the song dancing queen. a few years ago i even saw fake abba at the brighton beach summer music series.
i saw the musical mama mia on broadway about a year ago. the plot was weak,very my two dads , but i loved seeing the abba songs live. it was like the soundtrack was the lead cast member.
when i saw ads for the musical being turned in to a movie i was skeptical . though i enjoyed the movie i had a right to be skeptical. the island the movie was filmed on didnt match the plot. the play was very white bread, but the movie was very the play, the sets werent that great but the music took over. in the movie the music played a supporting role.
if one has seen the play its fun to see the movie even though it is a cheap imitation of the play.

Friday, July 18, 2008

bar/bat mitzvah

a few years ago there was an article in new york magazine about the extravagance of bar and bat mitzvah parties. my favorite line in the article was a marriage can end in divorce but a bar/bat mitzvah is forever. wow.
i think that the idea of a bar/bat mitzvah is profound. you take a girl or boy at 12 or 13 when they are reaching puberty and their teen years and you make them bar/bat mitzvah and tell them they are now adults and a full part of our community. im not saying that this keeps a kid in the fold , but the sentiment is awesome.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

that little itch...

psoriasis is no fun. as far as afflictions go, its not the worst one to have, but its no bed of roses either. apparently, the word psoriasis comes from the hebrew word tzara'as which means leprosy. it also gives one alot of tzar.

i have a mild case, mostly concentrated in my scalp. when it acts up it itches beyond belief. luckily, after many years of incompetent dermatologists i found an excellent one to whom i am eternally grateful. now its under control.

there are alot of morons out there as well. once i got my hair cut and the stylist tried to tell me i had head lice. which i did not. it was just a bad case of psoriasis. apparently she knew nothing about scalps.

an afflicted scalp can be quite embarrassing, as well as humbling. whenever i see people with a sprinkling of snowflakes on their shoulders, i feel bad for them. its not bad hygiene. they really cant help it. ive been there. it takes alot of work and patience to get rid of it.
ive been told psoriasis is stress related. thats probably true. i know that whenever i have a flare up i must slow down.
ive heard that fish oil and flax seed oil help keep psoriasis in check. it helped me for a little while, until it didnt.
im afraid to cover my hair when i get married. im afraid it will increase my psoriasis symptoms.
my friends tell me that they dont notice my psoriasis , even when i have a bad flare up. im not always sure if they are just trying to be nice or if this is really what they think.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

the three weeks

im really not looking forward to the three weeks. not that anyone in their right mind would be. although, i suppose it would be quite lofty to say that i was looking forward to uplifting myself spirtually during the three weeks. but im not that good.

the worst part of shivah assar betamuz is knowing that tisha bav is only three weeks away.


the three weeks always have a foreboding aura. kind of like feeling spooked. the suffocating summer heat adds to the oppressive ambiance.

the three weeks always come right when im starting to enjoy the summer. as if to say, dont enjoy your summer so much. just like sefirah starts when spring is in the air. i guess its trying to say, enjoy life, but also remember life has a purpose and we must remember the worst of times to enhance appreciation of the good times.

Monday, July 14, 2008

salt dips

until i came to new york i had never seen those little knickknacks people fill with salt and put on the table . i actually thought that frum people were very creative in using little knickknacks to put salt in so people can dip their bread in during hamotzi. last week my naivete ended. i went to fish's eddy near union square and saw these little knickknacks for sale in a bin marked salt dips. apparently, dating back to the early 1800's , there used to be a custom of dipping ones bread in to salt , thus necessitating the creation of knickknacks otherwise known as salt dips.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

the metamorphosis of friendship

friends are a very important part of my life . i am very fortunate to have a good group of friends. i am very thankful . it is important to have strong friendships throughout one's life, and when one is single it is ultra crucial.
it is so interesting to note the metamorphosis of friendships. sometimes i find that its so important to branch out and make new friends. not because i dont like current friends, but because variety is so important.
i find it cool to have a diverse group of friends to cultivate diverse interests.
for a while i mostly had introverted friends. they are still great. they know how to be true friends ( not saying that extroverted people make bad friends). now i have gained a group of extroverted friends. i dont think that my introverted friends resent this. i hope not. its just that i enjoy the company of both types.
i think that ive changed alot over time and thus so has my circle of friends. i would like to think that my social circle has expanded over the years and not just metamorphosed.

Friday, July 11, 2008

union square green market

one of my favorite pastimes is shopping at the farmer's market in union square.the produce during the summer and fall months are superb. so fresh.... so delicious.
i bought peaches there just yesterday. the fuzz on the peaches still feel fuzzy. and they tasted so sweet. the kirby cucumbers still feel prickly.
i bought kohlrabi there as well. kohlrabi is a vegetable that looks like a light green turnip that is in the broccoli family. it can be eaten steamed or raw. one of the farmers recommended grating the kohlrabi and putting it in cole slaw or grating it and adding grated apple and lemon juice . i tried the second option with the grated apple and lemon juice and added a little splenda. i also grated an onion and added it to the mix. it was quite tasty.
part of the fun of going to the farmer's market is being able to ask the farmers how to prepare unusual veggies and to learn how to pick out the best vegetables.
there is something about buying something that a farmer said he picked "just this morning" or "yesterday".
one interesting vendor at the union square green market is shushan farms which grows hydrophobic tomatos. they tast amazing and make me think of purim at the same time!!!
i would say that i feel like im communing with nature when i go to the farmer's market, but it would sound ridiculous. its in the middle of the concrete jungle of union square.
it is neat to meet the farmers who grow the produce. they are all so nice. i like supporting local farms. and the prices arent half bad either. if you go around 5pm they have specials.
i like the fact that the green market produce is so fresh. i also love the recipes they provide.
i bought garlic at the green market. it cooked so easily . it was sooo fresh. id never seen garlic so fresh.
forget the ecology propaganda. go to the green market for the experience. you wont regret it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

who is a jew?

the age old question , who is a jew? well, i would like to add another one of my own. who is a frummie? well, as in the frumster religion categories, its all subjective.
i grew up outside of new york where anyone who was shomer shabbat and kept kosher was called frum . and to be frum where i grew up it was alot harder than those who are frum in the new york area. there were alot less frum people where i grew up. and guess what , the yeshivish people had to mix with the modern orthodox people because the community was that small.
truth is, new york has alot of outside influences that a smaller city does not have. hence all of the ny shtick, chumras of the months etc. people seem to feel they have to get involved in these because they think it helps them stay frum.
even though people in the new york area are more outwardly frum than i was growing up, i probably led a much more sheltered life. there were no madison avenue billboards with un-tzinius photos where i grew up. there werent any billboards period. no one took public transportation where i grew up and there was no "street life".
i think that the people here go overboard with leaning to the right because they are afraid . i believe everyone should be whatever degree of frumkeit they prefer. and no i dont believe that we all have to be cut from the same cookie cutter mold.
i think that alot of the yeshiva rebels and orthoprax people in the new york area probably would not be frum if they lived out of town, but there would be alot less fanfare made of it.
some who are orthodox, dont want to say that they are frum because they feel it has certain connotations that they dont like.
to me, the original definition of frum from my childhood still holds true.

Monday, July 7, 2008

prime real estate

for all of you gossip mongers out there... the famed sheitle store down the street from that yeshiva has now closed. i think that the yeshiva owes the sheitle store's owner money.
again, i doubt that the yeshiva will be buying the vacant store. i think that they would rather torment another store owner instead. come to think of it that particular spot always seems to be going in and out of business... which really makes one think.....?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

busy signal

its so interesting how so many people are just "so very busy" to the point that they barely have time to date. granted as time goes by everyone gains more personal and professional responsibilities and we do get busier. but how busy are we really?
often a guy will call me for a date and suddenly ill realise that he really is so booked that perhaps he could pencil me in for a week from tuesday.
women arent immune to giving the busy signal either. many women will make a date with a man and tell him they only have an hour and then they have something "important " to attend to . this way they dont have to "waste" too much time being out with someone they might not like. on the off chance they like the guy , they lose. the guy figures the lady is not too interested since she only has an "hour " to devote to dating.
sometimes guys dont want to commit to a date because maybe something or someone better will turn up for the evening they are devoting to their prospective date. apparently they too are sure that the date will be a disaster, so they want to make sure that they only engage in one when they wont be missing out on anything else.
im not a pollyanna by any stretch of the imagination, but i do know that if one would like to meet "the one" , one has to make time to potentially meet "the one" instead of solely giving the busy signal.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

curly girl

my grandmother loved shirley temple movies. though my mom and aunt have pin straight hair, my dad, my siblings and i all have curly hair. and lucky me, mine is probably the curliest .
i grew up with curly hair in a world full of straight - haired people. i didnt even know what to do with my hair until i was twenty-seven .
stereotypically jews seem to have curly hair, but all i can say is not where i grew up. my best friend in seventh grade had curly hair and that was about it (except for my family) until i emigrated to new york the mecca of "ethnic" (read curly) hair.
growing up , few celebrities seemed to have curly hair. in fact , when a tv character wanted to seem more polished, they always seemed to have straightened their unruly curly tresses.
now there is frizz ease and numerous frizz-control products which i continually rotate.
i remember several years ago there was a movie called the princess diaries that was boycotted by a curly hair website because they put down curly hair. i thought that the movie was cute, so i thought the boycott a bit extreme. i did however understand their sentiment.
i have come to embrace my curls , especially now that i know alot of other curly tops who are happy with their tresses. im sure i can attribute a few pounds to my thick ringlets. so i can assume that im really a few pounds thinner than the scale intimates. i save money on my electric bill by not using a blow dryer.
ive also noticed that older woman with curly hair tend to have healthier looking hair than older women with straight hair. curly haired women never damaged their locks with curling irons and seldom blow dried .
lets hear it for curly haired people!!!