Tuesday, November 25, 2008

being thankful

this week heralds in the secular american holiday of thanksgiving. my family, being modern orthodox, always celebrated thanksgiving. ive always enjoyed watching the parade on tv and getting together for a big family meal that was able to include guests who were not necessarily in walking distance.

i am thankful to be in this country. my family arrived in the united states not long after a major pogrom in kishinev and not without one of my grandmothers getting shot in the face as an eleven-year-old during a pogrom. im grateful, that b"h , bli eyin harah, i have never had to experience such horrors. america is not the promised land, but it has been a haven for many jews as well as many other beleaguered individuals. i believe in having hakaras hatov.

im going away for thanksgiving starting tomorrow, so i probably wont have time to blog until next week. until then, have a happy and healthy thanksgiving for those who are celebrating.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

cool jews

there's a new book out called cool jew by lisa klug. i find the title kind of funny because though i love being jewish , i dont think being jewish equals cool. i guess that was the idea of the book. to make jewish people feel they too are cool.

though i have only flipped through the book, i dont find the book to be all that original. there are several kitschy jewish books around like judaikitsch by jennifer and victoria traig and jewish holiday fun by barbara rushkoff. lisa klug is the only orthodox jew who has written this type of book.

thursday there was a book reading of cool jew at the jcc, which included several performance artists lisa klug knew. though the author read excerpts from the book, i think that these kitschy concepts are more fun to read on paper, than heard .

the musical performances and comedy acts were quite special. the book reading / artist showcase lasted about 2hrs. and it was FREE. very cool.

the most standout singers at the event were michelle citrin and chana rothman. both are dynamic and have excellent voices. yisroel campbell , comedian and convert to judaism was hysterically funny.

its always fun to check out who attends a jewish event. there was a mix of religious and non-religous jews as well as a mix of ages. i suspect many of the performers friends populated the audience.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

post elections

now that obama's pr superstars have achieved their goals, maybe they would like to be my advocates. they must have alot of time on their hands now. if only i had a pr team like that to help me find a husband....
anyhow... a girl can dream...

Monday, November 17, 2008

keep it real

since im originally from outside of the new york area i am always fascinated by new yorkers who say what they love about new yorkers is that they are so "real" . and real usually means that they bypass being polite and thus "tell it like it is" whatever that means.
i can tell you one thing, working in a job that is very customer service oriented i appreciate it when people put up the facade of being friendly . sometimes it makes all of the difference. believe me , i dont want these people to act like their real selves . their real selves suck.
speaking without thinking isnt keeping it real, its just being foolish.
alot of the time new yorkers are suspicious of ulterior motives when non-new yorkers are nice because they think that this is the only reason anyone would be nice instead of the status quo bitchy.
i think that the world would be a better place if people would just try to be friendly to each other even if thats not their true nature. if one pretends to be friendly long enough, it might eventually become genuine.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

dangerous liasons???

over the years ive been a guest at many shabbos meals. one thing that i have found quite curious is how often the husbands are much friendlier than the wives. and i NEVER flirt with married men, so this is not why the married women arent as friendly. i always find this phenomenon quite odd. these wives were definitely schooled in the bais yaakov cosmetology program, so they definitely outdo me in the makeup application department. besides, im not interested in married men.
i live in an apartment building with many couples. often the men are friendlier than the wives. are married women threatened by single women? or is it that the married men enjoy the safety of chatting up a single woman while they are married, but the wives have no reason to chat with a single woman?
there is no purpose to flirting with a married man. ive got enough tzuris, i dont need more. id rather get that positive feedback from the usual cute , much younger singleton. it might be a dead end prospect as well, but no one else is being hurt in the process.

Friday, November 14, 2008

the joys of blogging

i enjoy blogging because ive always enjoyed creative writing. blogging is creative writing with a twist. you get to write your thoughts and get published, and get instant feedback.
its interesting to write as well as read other people's blogs. its great to see the readership grow via my sitemeter, but its also nice to just be writing. whoever reads my blog reads my blog and hopefully enjoys it.
i also know that it takes awhile for people to find a blog. some bloggers start blogging and immediately have a huge readership and for others it takes longer to catch on. whatever. its not like there's a fee to keep this blog up. so whoever reads it reads it whoever doesnt its their loss. i enjoy sharing my views with whoever is willing to listen. i enjoy reading the comments.
have a great shabbos!

Monday, November 10, 2008


i normally like men who are in my general age range . i dont usually date men ten years older . well , tonight , against my better judgement, i had a date with a guy ten years older. my friend who set me up with him looks young , and she had dated him , so i thought he couldnt be that bad. well ... it wasnt that great either. he was an interesting chap, but the age thing really bothered me.
after the date, i thought i was going to burst in to tears. dates like these are really depressing. they make me feel like im never going to get married. like this is all thats out there and the joke's on me.
better luck next time.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

srugim, the little traitor,and the debt

i have seen three more films at the israeli film festival. first on the agenda is srugim. its about modern orthodox singles in yerushalayim . very cute. it reminded me of my life . especially the communal shabbat meals . they even included a speed dating scene.
srugim is a tv series in israel. they showed three episodes at the festival. it just goes to show that no matter where you are being frum and single is the same. israel, america , etc. its nice to see israeli everyday life.
the next movie i saw was the little traitor. this is film set in 1947 israel . most of the movie is in english. the story is of a little boy, son of polish jewish survivors, who befriends a british soldier during this time. alfred molina plays the british soldier. it is a really charming story.
the last movie i saw was the debt. it was well done, but im not really a big fan of gory blood and guts stories so it wasnt really my favorite. its the story of 3 mossad agents seeking out a nazi war criminal for trial.gila almagor, first lady of israeli film , is the star of the show. for this alone its worth seeing, but otherwise, skip it if you arent a fan of csi, nypdblue, etc.
this year's festival had the best selections in several years. i always enjoy the israeli film festival, but overall, this year had the best collection of films. usually there are one or two that i like, but this year there i liked several. my favorite film of this year's festival was lost islands. though i really enjoyed the little traitor, the secrets, and srugim, lost islands is by far the best. if someone can only see one film, see lost islands. the festival will be travelling next to miami, so hear this floridians, if you can only see one movie at this year's israeli film festival, see lost islands. you wont be sorry!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

the numbers game

several years ago i took an acting class at makor . there was a fun game that we would play. we would all close our eyes. someone would start with the number one and someone else would say two and we'd try to see how high we could count to. if two people would say the same number at the same time we would have to begin again. it was quite fascinating. even with one's eyes closed one can be in tune to the social cues of who should speak next. we actually were able to get up to the number seventy or so and there were about twenty students. i think that this game would be amazing to play for people who constantly interrupt others . although , im not sure they would even understand the rules of the game.

Friday, November 7, 2008

lost islands

i attended the israeli film festival last evening and i saw lost islands. it was an amazing film. its a movie about a family with five sons in the early 1980's . they feature many great american songs from that era. the whole family sings the song tainted love as well as the theme song from the love boat. there's a wedding in the movie and they dance to the hustle. what nostalgia!!
the two main characters are twins who both vie for the same girl. one twin is the bookish type and the other is a hot sephardic stud with beautiful blue eyes. the film shows how no one is all good or all bad. erez is a goody -goody who made some bad choices and ofer is a sensitive hottie who takes charge when tragedy befalls his family . the scenes of ofer taking care of his family are most touching.
i dont want to give away the whole movie, so definitely go see it. if you cant catch it at the israeli film festival it will mostly likely show up at the quad ,the jcc, film forum , the angelica , Lincoln plaza cinemas etc at some point. if its a well received movie it will. at some point.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

unwanted advice

the worst kind of advice is that of the unwanted variety. unless i think the other person will be receptive to what im telling him or her , i hold my tongue. no one likes criticism , including myself. unsolicited advice can ruin friendships.
when giving unsolicited advice to a friend, its best to be brief and calm. dont run down a litany of misdeeds. unless of course one is looking to say goodbye to that friendship.
and of course many can dish out unsolicited " advice" , but cant take the heat. if you can dish it out you better be able to take it. after all , it works both ways.
ultimately the only person one can truly change is oneself. but we all know this....
so much for unwanted advice!!!

noise pollution

on my train ride home tonight i was treated to an assault of my eardrums by 4 pro-obama african american youths. the youths were rapping at the top of their lungs how happy they were that their homey won. when asked to hold it down 10 decibels , they decided to get even louder. if this is what the next 4 years look like... im going to have to invest in state of the art earplugs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

old fashioned voting booths

when i was a kid i used to go to the polls with my mother when she voted. i remembered really digging those old fashioned voting booths with the curtains . by the time i registered to vote they got rid of them where i grew up and replaced them with the punch cards with the chads etc...
when i finally registered to vote in nyc , i was able to live out my childhood dream of voting in the old fashioned voting booths of my youth. in new york they still have the old fashioned voting booths with the privacy curtain. when voting in the old fashioned booths you push a lever which puts an x by the candidate's name and if you accidentally x'd the wrong candidate you can un-ex your selection, and later x the one you really wanted all before moving the voting lever to the left to place your vote.
after the election in 2000 we learned that technology isnt always better. long lived the dinosaur voting booths in nyc!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

the women's minyan

i just read naomi ragen's play the women's minyan. despite the controversial title, it was more sad than controversial. it was a play about divorce and spousal abuse in the haredi community in israel . often when haredi women want to divorce their husbands the husband ends up with the children. or at least according to this play. i dont really know what the truth is. i do believe that a woman leaving her husband due to spousal abuse would be courageous in a community that shuns psychological help and doesnt always admit it needs psychological help. to admit there was spousal abuse in a family would be too open and that would prevent many from seeking help. in general abused women often stay in abusive relationships longer than they should.
divorce in general can deprive both men and women of their children. sometimes people stay in relationships far too long for this alone.
the issues raised in this play certainly are food for thought and hopefully a catalyst for change.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

the israeli film festival

its that time of year again. its the israeli film festival. its being held in nyc through november 13 and it started october 29. this year its being screened at the clearview cinema on 62nd and broadway. this year seems to be a little more organized than last year. thank goodness. there was such chaos last year that i almost didnt want to come back this year. thankfully the staff at the clearview has been somewhat defanged and the ticket holders line moved smoothly.
i saw the controversial movie the secrets . the filmmaker avi nesher was there for a q&a after the screening.
the movie is about a young woman who decides to postpone her wedding after her mother dies to go to seminary . at the seminary she meets a free-spirited rebel and the trouble begins . surprise, surprise the two young women explore their sexuality together. why does a movie about independent frum women have to have them explore switching teams? despite this, i still thought that this was a good movie. though it tries to titillate a bit too much, it doesnt completely demean the orthodox community either.
i plan to see a few more of the screenings at the festival. i plan on seeing srugim which is about modern orthodox singles in israel. just up my alley. ill let you know if i like it....