Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kryptonite

     Which is your kryptonite- noise or light? My kryptonite is bright light. I have very light colored eyes and bright light is something I shun. If light is too bright I feel possessed. I am also likely to get a bad migraine. While I don' t especially like very loud noise, the drone of daily noise does not bother me. I find  it comforting to listen to normal noises in the apartment building I live in. It makes me feel less alone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Rage

     There has been a lot of rage and violence in the world lately and I am not speaking about war. I am  speaking about the tragedy in the school in Newton , Connecticut or the man who killed the fireman or the man who pushed another man into the subway tracks.  What is wrong with this world?
     Unchecked rage can be very dangerous. One wrong move and an unbalanced person could be chas v' shalom pushed off the edge. What is about now that there is so much of this going on ? Is there more of this now than usual or is the media just reporting more of this lately?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Conversations

     Some people are alone too much that when they speak it is like they are having a conversation with themselves and I am just eavesdropping. They won't let anyone get  in a word edgewise. I don't think they want anyone to interject. Their words are with themselves . It is such an awful affliction that they aren't aware they have. If I ever was like that I would hope that someone would tell me. Its an awful way to be. I suppose these lonely hearts should really blog. Sometimes blogging can be a long conversation with one's self . It can especially be this way when no one comments. I think that if lonely people would blog they might be less lonely. Of course they are sometimes just too depressed to consider any way to get out of their black hole .

Unravelling

     Sometimes I have crocheted hats or accessories that I later realize that I haven't used much and I don't think that I will use much so I unravel them and make something new. Sometimes I feel that life can be that way.  I keep trying to unravel and reshape outcomes. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rerun

     Another year of Hanukkah parties has come and gone. The same single people from last year were there. I asked a friend at one party whether they thought anyone at that party would be married next year. They got defensive and said that they would prefer to remain single than marry someone just to be wed. Well duh, but that wasn't the question. I am assuming that the couple who might be married next year would be marrying someone appropriate for them and not just to give in. Sadly I may be sitting next year with the same bunch of  jokers at yet another singles Hanukkah fest. Or maybe I will the lucky one to have hope and change occur. After all two can kvetch louder than one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jews and Education

     I think that as a people we Jews are obsessed with education. Those of us who are Torah observant are obsessed with Torah education and those of us who are secular are obsessed with having a good secular education. For better or for worse no matter how far from observance we stray we will always be the people of the book.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

glad to be a jew

     I never had the desire to celebrate x-mas. Of course I was the proud owner of a Chatty Cathy doll but did not know that was the name of the doll until a few years ago when I saw a picture of old dolls and I recognized that the doll had when I was four was a Chatty Cathy doll. I have a pretty good  memory so the fact that I did not know that the doll was named Chatty Cathy is not completely because I forget the name of  a doll I had long ago. My parents used to call that doll Chitty Chatty because Cathy was a goyishe name and they didn't want me to have a doll named Cathy. The really odd part is that I did get a Chrissy doll when I  was five and I remember calling her Chrissy. Chrissy  was a doll with hair that you could make longer or shorter. I guess by the time I was five I paid more attention to tv commercials and my parents weren't able to doctor the name because I didn't call the Chrissy doll anything but Chrissy.
     When I took piano lessons from a gentile piano teacher I remember her asking me if I wanted to see her light up her x-mas tree , By then I was eight. I was a little curious, but mostly I was just being polite when my piano teacher showed me her lit up x-mas tree. I always thought x-mas trees were kind of gaudy and all the red and green was a bit tacky for my taste. To this day I find the facades of churches to be rather scary looking , not that I ever had reason to be afraid of one.
      Gentiles at work are often surprised when I tell them that I do not celebrate x-mas even though I am known as the Super-Jew. I suppose its understandable. I find it hard to believe that anyone actually celebrates x-mas. Of course I never tell them this. X-mas is just another day off for me and I am more than glad to be a Jew.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The most important thing

     Growing up the mantra always was that if you have a good Jewish education you are good to go. You will remain frum and that's the end of the story. But is that really true?
      Without a doubt it is important to have a solid Jewish education to be Torah true Jew. How else would one know what the mitvzvos entail? But is it the end of the story? Without a doubt it is not . In my opinion remaining frum is all about attitude, not about how strict one's Jewish education is or how strict one's parents are. Does the school give a kid a good feeling about being frum? Does a kid's parent make being observant seem like something that is positive instead of just a list of don't do this and don't do that? A family or school may not be so right wing but if they infuse a love of Torah and make a kid feel positive about it this can go a long way. Or I can tell you  if a kid only has very negative  experiences in school or at home in regards to living a Torah true life well, he/she will for sure go off the derech.
     We are fortunate enough to live in a country where Jewish people are treated well so staying Jewishly connected is not a given. However, just because being Jewishly connected is a choice instead of being kept in line as a Jew due to anti semitsm, it does not mean that people will opt out. It just means that Jewish education and parents need to be all they say they are and rely on the power of the positive  as opposed to the power of  the negative. We are observant because living a Torah observant life is the best way for a Jew to live as opposed to only being Torah Jews because being "goyish" is negative.



















Sunday, December 16, 2012

Locked up Abroad - Hasidic King of Coke S06 E13

 I recently stumbled upon this on you tube. It is quite unreal. Watch it until the end before you form an opinion. You won't be sorry.


P.S. now that I see that this has been taken off of youtube I will add a bit more of a summary. This is a story about a hasid who turned into a coke dealer, but after two stints in prison finally did tshuvah after seeing second hand the effects of cocaine on a person. Apparently he had not before that. After leaving prison he has become a drug counselor. I find this to be an amazing story. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tom Lehrer - Hanukkah in Santa Monica

   I found this song by accident a few years ago. Its really cute. As it turns out  its  a really old song that I just had never heard of . Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Matisyahu Performs "Happy Hanukkah" - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Wow, so now that Matisyahu has shed his kipah it was safe for him to write   a Hanukkah song. Very interesting. Though Adam Sandler did not wear a kipah for his Hanukkah song, he at least mentions one. Oh the irony. That said , I do enjoy Matisyahu's song. Its just a long time coming.
     The evolution of the pop culture Hanukkah song is quite curious. There was a long time where if you listened to the radio there were only X-mas songs in December then along came Adam Sandler who in December 1994 sang his 'Hanukkah Song' on Saturday Night Live. It was a silly song but somehow it caught on and has played on the radio every December since. Next came the Maccabeats with their song Candlelight that hit you tube by storm with millions of hits. The secular media went crazy . It was the first time shomer shabbos Jews gained notoriety for a Hanukkah song. Now Matisyahu who is known for being a hassidic reggae singer now isn' t hassidic, but has come out with a Hanukkah song. Now a Jewish singer who is popular in the secular world as a singer has come out with a Hanukkah song. We've come a long way folks.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lipa Schmeltzer "Believe in a Miracle" Music Video

     I have to say that this video is a little strange. Its part The Hebrew Hammer and part Honika Elektronika. I would not say that I dislike it , but its almost a farce. I have never understood the obsession of frum people with black music, not that there is anything wrong with black music. It just seems like when really frum people want to seem cool they seem to want to sing rap style music.

The Hebrew Hammer - Trailer

See The Light

     I went to Touro college many moons ago and when I was there one of my Judaic studies teachers presented us with an interesting quandary. He was under the impression that even with as many bts there are there are more people going off the derech. I do not know if he is right or wrong .To me its irrelevant. I just think its an important question. I don't even remember what specific class he taught.. Was it halacha or was it chumash?  I do remember this question. The rabbi who asked this of us certainly understood the issue. He was rumored to have had a son who was on his way off the derech. Even though this question was posed quite awhile ago it is just as relevant now. He proposed that everyone should find where they feel comfortable religiously and stay there. The room was filled with young women who went through the school systems of modern orthodox to more yeshivish .
     The truth is when all is said and done, one really has to figure out where one belongs and inhabit that space. If one feels more comfortable with the right wing  philosophies one should stay there. If one feels  more modern orthodox one should stay there. I have seen a lot of different versions of orthodox and as much as the black hat community feels that they are superior they are really not all that different than modern orthodox in my opinion because they are both orthodox. The only difference is that the yeshivish folks follow a stricter dress code on the whole than modern orthodox . For me there is also a feeling of big brother  is watching you (and I don't mean G-d) in the yeshivish camp whereas I don't feel  as stressed and I feel more accepted among the modern orthodox camp. But this is just me.
       I think that staying frum when one has grown up that way is often being assumed rather than cultivated. I grew up in the Midwest and the school I went to did give a person a good feeling about being Jewish and religious. Many of the kids who did not come from religious homes did eventually become shomer shabbos themselves. We were allowed to ask questions. Even so, things weren't always perfect. The kids who came from rich families often got the better parts in plays and other honors. A lot of our teachers were from the New York area even so and they brought with them attitudes that were prevalent at the time. After living in the New York area I see that New York Jewry is another animal altogether for better or for worse. As frum as many are here there is a great pull from secular society no matter how insular one is. New York is the fashion center, and has a lot of culture that is not always so good. Where I grew up you were a bit more sheltered even if you may not have been as ritually observant. Even in the age of the Internet general culture is  still more conservative outside of New York .
     That said, with all of the Jews who live in New York there should be a way to keep people interested in remaining frum as opposed to being frustrated. There are so many reasons for people going OTD. There really is not a one size fits all cure. We CAN find an answer though, even if its just our own personal reason for staying on the derech. Let the light of the Hanukkah candles lead the way.
   

OHEL Chanukah 2011 Music Video: Reach for the Stars!

I really like this video. I realize that its an ad for ohel, but I appreciate the meaning as well.

Really The Original Al Hanisim (Izhar Cohen, 1974)

   I used to love listening to the israeli hassidic song festival albums as a kid. they had such good voices. This is a great rendition of al hanissim.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Recipes

      When I was a kid my grandmother made the best cookies. Sometimes I would even bake cookies with her. I asked her for the recipe but when I made them they did not come out the same as when she had made them. By now I don't even know where I put the recipe. Its somewhere in my mom's house.
       My other grandmother did not like to cook so much , but she made the most wonderful matzoh balls. They were delightfully light and fluffy. I don't know why I had never asked her for her recipe and now I can't. She passed away eleven years ago. Now I am buying matzoh balls from glatt mart.
     

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Holidays?

     Every December I hear some disgruntled gentile wax on about how they wish people would forgo the PC Happy Holidays greeting and just say Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah. The crazy part is when people say Happy Holidays I kind of think that they mean Christmas and New Years , not Hanukkah , so I don't understand all of the fuss. I personally prefer the catch-all phrase Happy Holidays because then I don't have to outright wish someone a Merry Christmas. The other reason I like  the phrase Happy Holidays is because you don't have to decide whether or not to wish someone a Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas, you are just covered by saying Happy Holidays. It doesn't offend me if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas instead of the generic Happy Holidays, but I would prefer Happy Holidays. Unfortunately I work in a service profession where you kind of have to be polite and say one of those phrases so this December, Happy Holidays it is.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Monster in Law

     I recently had the occasion to meet the mother of a very handsome Jewish actor who shall remain nameless. Whenever I see a hot young actor or any guy I may be  interested in I never really consider what his mother is like. When I met the mother of this actor I just thought how much I pity the woman he marries. His mother is a shrew. I got along with her , but  the fifteen minutes I had to deal with her were enough to know that she is a pill. Maybe she is the reason her son is single. Perhaps she scares away all prospective wives. Who knows.
      When a person marries someone they also marry their family . It is also important to see first person how one's prospective spouse deals with his parents and how he would act around his parents with you. One does not need years of observation to access, just have one's eyes wide open while one is scoping out the potential situation.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

crazy for crochet

     Nothing like cool weather to coax my creative juices. I have been crocheting up a storm. I have taken a photo of my most recent creations- a capelet and 3 curly girl scarves crocheted by a curly haired girl.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Power Trips

     Often people who are in positions of power abuse their power .They think they can treat their subordinates as shoddily as possible just because they are their superior. This of course makes for lots of trouble when one has a job where people need to work together as a team when someone at the top tries to pit people against each other.
      If one is smart one treats one's subordinates with respect. People work better in a positive environment.
     I always wonder if some managers were always as disrespectful toward others or if they became that way because they were put in a position of power. Perhaps its a combination of the two. It does not have to be so negative. I have supervised others and its been positive. It is possible to be firm with others without being hostile and it is much easier to get people to work together in an environment of respect.
    This is just my two cents.

StandFour - Eight Nights - Hanukkah Mashup

Another cute song by the Maccabeats! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Love is....

     I don't know if its age or just co-incidence , but I have a lot of friends who are in avelus for the loss of a parent. I unfortunately have been in their shoes and I know how tough it is to go through. It is as if a part of you is being ripped from you . It does not matter if one was close with one's parent or not, it just feels that way to have a parent pass away. I am sad for my friends who are now going through this because I know that it really takes at least a year of mourning until things get better. It also reminds me to appreciate my mom and other close relatives and friends. It is so important to let people , especially older relatives know how much you love  and appreciate them while they are around.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Something About Laundry

     Its no secret that although I love clean clothing I despise the trip to the laundry room in my apartment building. Though I have managed to pinpoint the least busy times of the day to do my laundry there are always glitches. Today was no different.
     I got up early this morning to do my laundry as I have the day off. The laundry room was empty. Great. I go back to the laundry room seven minutes before my wash was to finish and there is one woman there who informs me that she is waiting for my machine. There are 6 other machines yet she is waiting for mine. If I hadn't been downstairs before my machine finished she would have taken out my laundry to put hers in even thought there were 6 other machines free. I would have been pissed. The other machines looked "dirty" to her but she felt that if I was using the machine I was using it must have been clean. Whatever. I tell her that I purposely do my laundry at this early hour to avoid having someone waiting for me to quickly remove my clothing from the machine. She didn't flinch. Fortunately she thought that the dryer that takes one quarter at a time for payment instead of the dryers that take 5 quarters no matter what was clean enough for her otherwise she would have been hovering for my dryer as well.
      I am so going to move into a home that allows private washing machines and dryers for my next residence. I am sick of this laundry room drama.

Sameness

     The more time passes the more things stay the same. Things can change in a heartbeat and they can stay the same and the same and the same. The clocks have changed heralding oneg season. The same people are hosting them and the same people are attending. Its like deja vu. Not good, not bad, just the same.
     I feel like I am in endless high school  like  the cast of the movie Grease..... None of the actors in the movie were actually in high school . I really did not like high school either.
     Eventually I will graduate this season of endless summer. Its not without merit, but I will not miss it when it   ends.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful to be living in the country. Its not a perfect place, but its a  good place.

"Color Red" app warns Israelis of attacks

This is really cool. Only in Israel. It shows how dumb war is and that even a 13 year old kid is smart enough to create something to outsmart the enemy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hanukkah Forever



     Its official, there is a forever Hanukkah stamp. I am just putting it out there. I don't know if the Hanukkah stamp last year was a forever stamp because they ran out of the Hanukkah stamp before I could buy it, but this year it  is a forever stamp. This is awesome.  I have no clue  how much a domestic stamp costs. I only buy forever stamps for this reason. The only exception to my rule is when I buy Hanukkah stamps. I love the fact that there is a Hanukkah stamp and I always stock up in case I don't manage to buy it the next year. My only problem is that I never remember how much a stamp costs so I have to figure it out before I send my Hanukkah cards . Or at least I HAD to. Now there is a Hanukkah forever stamps so I am covered.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kiruv Rock

     The kiruv videos that feature popular music are always fun to watch. They are often used to reel people into a life of frumkeit. This doesn't really bother me but I it does make me pause. Often the same types of people that are encouraging kiruv are also advocating folks not to listen to secular music. How do they reconcile the dichotomy? It might be better for them to make an original video with music that is in the genre of popular music but not an actual song. Whenever I watch these kiruv videos it always makes me want to listen to the real song. Sometimes the Jewish version of the song is more fun than the real one (like the maccabeats candlelight) but it does make me curious abut the real one none the less. If they made their own version of a rock song with a frum theme it would be better.
      I actually find it fun to randomly hear the real song that the kiruv song is plagiarized from. It makes me have a double take. I am usually in  a store and I can't figure out where I have heard the song before and then I realize what the song is. I don't think that this is what the kiruv set is banking on, but if they tried to be more original they might be more true to their ideals. They should stop being lazy . You don't have to piggy back on someone else's song's popularity to make someone like your song or gain interest in Judaism.  An original song can be created that would peak someone's interest, and then when they are told secular music might not be the best to listen to they won't be hypocritical.
   

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

AM New York

     In yesterday's AM New York three New Yorkers were highlighted for their involvement in the post hurricane sandy effort- Jessica Klein, Nick Weissman, and Noah Reisman.  Three Jewish New Yorkers
(or with very Jewish sounding names)  were highlighted. Very cool. New Yorkers of all faiths have been involved in the recovery effort, but only these three were mentioned. Is this a coincidence? If you are ethnocentric as myself you will not think this is a coincidence. You will think that this is a very cool thing that so many members of the tribe are involved in aiding those who have suffered. You will be happy that what is being said about Jewish people in AM New York is positive . You will be happy to see that a daily paper is liberal enough to mention three Jews in a positive light. Even if you think its a coincidence that these three individuals are or sound Jewish you will still be glad that Jews are being mentioned in a positive light. In general its a win-win situation. Its a pleasure to open a newspaper and see news about people doing chesed instead of evil. Hopefully this won't only happen after a hurricane.

A Word To The WIse

     This is a bit of advise that I have to those of you who are approaching thirty, single and still living with your parents. If  you have a job that you can support yourself with you should seriously think about getting an apartment of your own. Get out on your own while your parents are still young. If you don't get married and move out and your parents get older it will become harder to move out on your own.
      Moving out on one's own is so important to personal growth. One must have one's own life. This does not mean one should cut one's self off from one's family or even to move far away from one's family, it just means you are able to cut the cord . Parents do not live forever. They will not be able to take care of you forever. Hopefully you will get married sooner rather than later but if you don't you will still be able to carry one with one's life. If you are able to be independent you will know that you can be a grown up and be an adult when you do find a spouse.
   

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Harei At

     On facebook there is an ad saying that there will be an end to the "shidduch crisis". I of course assumed that was because mashiach will be here soon. Silly me. It is because of the debut of the new dating website called Harei At. Not to be pessimistic but I am not sure how different this site could be than any other dating website. What makes a dating website good or bad comes down to the quality of the participants. A lot of dating websites have a lot of the same people .  This is  not bad, but without a more diverse base of participants  what would make this site different?  I wish the website Harei At good fortune, but I don't think that the grandiose campaign promises have convinced me to sign up. Or even look at their site to begin with. Oy.

Shoes

     I spied this sign at Payless Shoestore. I love the fact that Hebrew is one of the languages on the sign. And as the sign says in many languages, I love shoes. As a woman I love shoes because no matter how much or little the number on the scale is, my shoe size stays the same.



Sensitivity

     It is interesting. Some people are just so very sensitive. One can see it when you speak to them. What makes them amazing is that they are so in touch with subtleties. This sensitivity can often be a deficit. They are so self aware that it can make others uncomfortable. How sensitive is "too sensitive"?
     I suppose too sensitive is when one would rather be alone than realize that many others are unintentionally insensitive. I really feel for such individuals. I wish that I could help them, but short of  kind words and  suggesting a good therapist there is not much that I can do for them.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Instructional Voting Video 2012

In with the new, out with the old


     In with the new, out with the old voting booths . Brooklyn is now officially out of the dark ages. The old fashioned voting booths are not being used anymore. We now have the paper ballots which now get scanned by a computer.  I think its about time. It was nostalgic to use the vintage booths, but quite outdated. No more chads and no more curtains. It looks like their may be more opportunity for voter fraud this way, but I will leave it to someone else to figure out....
      I seem to remember receiving an instructional postcard about the new voting protocol. Too bad I didn't read it. I found an instructional video on the new voting method on you tube. I'm posting it. I wish I had seen it before I voted.. I am relieved to see that I really did vote properly even though I had to wing it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

One More Message

     I realize that I have posted some political videos in  the past few days, but I found this on facebook and I had to share it. I grew up in a place where it was not polite to speak about politics or how much money you make in public. Living in Brooklyn these are two things everyone speaks  about. People might get along better if they didn't .

Sunday, November 4, 2012

   Every morning I that I wake up after the hurricane I think that this nightmare is over and life will be back to normal. Its a real real allusion. Here in Midwood it just looks like a bad thunderstorm with some downed trees and power lines to be fixed. You don't see any toxic puddles like the ones New Yorkers are supposed to not step in. The ground is dry and has been . It really didn't rain much here in Midwood.  After 9/11 I kind of felt this way as well. I kept thinking that I was going to wake up the next day and the world trade center was going to still be there. 9/11 was worse. I was much more shaken up.
     After that first tsunami hit Thailand in 2004 which was  only 3 years after 9/11, it seems these "natural disasters" or acts of G-d had begun. At the time part of what disturbed me was that it was a catastrophe that was not man made. Somehow with terrorism I tend to blame the terrorists and not G-d. With a "natural" disaster it makes me more likely to feel like it is completely out of the hands of people and that it was caused by G-d. I suppose terrorism is from G-d as well but it is not as direct as a tsunami , hurricane or earthquake.
     Being the pessimist that I am it didn't surprise me that a "natural" disaster would occur in New York. Of course I didn't believe the prediction of hurricane sandy, but now that it has happened it I don't feel surprised, just annoyed with the aftermath.
      I think that all of these disasters are connected. I think that it connects the people of the world. It does make people a little kinder . You hope. Many volunteer, many donate. At the very least one feels pain for those who lost so much .  I think that it makes us see how fragile the world really is. A few hours of a storm  can bring  such havoc. It also makes those of us who escaped virtually unscathed grateful for what we do have. Or at least this is what it should do.
     My heart and prayers  go out to those who have lost their lives or their homes .
     

NYC comptroller John liu speaks about hurricane sandy while volunteering...

 Though I myself have not volunteered there are people volunteering at masbia soup kitchen on Coney Island between J and K to pack up food for those who were affected by the hurricane. People are still volunteering.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Chris Rock - A Special Message For White People (Endores Barack Obama)

 This is not an endorsement , but after posting the Howard Stern video I thought that I would post this one. Its really funny.

Hipster or Hasidic?

 I know that this slightly tacky, but it made me laugh so I shared it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Subways Underwater due to Sandy - New York Post

  This is pretty creepy.

Thank You

     Hurricane Sandy was the worst storm to hit New York City. It kind of reminded me of that awful movie AI where they show Manhattan and Coney Island submerged under water. I did not like that movie when I saw it years ago and I like it less today.
     I will say that though there has been a lot of devastation there is also a lot I am thankful for. I am thankful to the MTA for shutting down the subway on Sunday before the storm hit.  A lot of people could have drowned   had the trains  been running during the storm. So many lives were saved.
      I am also grateful that I live in zone 3 in Brooklyn so I did not need to evacuate my home during the storm. I am grateful that I did not lose power or water during the storm. I am not listing these to rub it in to those who did lose power , had to evacuate or lost their water.  I am merely being thankful for  the gifts I have been given. I am also stating them so I remember these things when I start kvetching about the lack of subway service and the fact that we can't be sure when it will be restored.
     My heart goes out to those who have been evacuated from their homes. My heart goes out to those whose homes have been destroyed . My heart goes out to those whose power is out and who do not have water.
      When the tsunami hit Thailand my heart sank for those who lost their lives and homes. When the earthquake hit Japan I had rachmanas on those who experienced it. I sent clothes to the Philippines when my co-workers made a collection for those whose survived the floods there a few years ago. No one every really believes such devastating acts of G-d will come their way. It  always seems like something that happens to someone else.
     I always find acts of G-d to be the most profound. There is such devastation that is not man made. They are meant to make us think. Perhaps they are to make us appreciate the mundane. After one's world gets so shaken up one longs for the boring normal of everyday.Too bad we can't always appreciate the mundane until it is suspended.
   
   

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Love it

If  I didn't need the money I could get used to staying home all day. Unfortunately my choices are few. I have to work or win the lottery. It would be nice to score a rich husband but if I won the lottery    the loot would always be mine. Anyway , reality will be hitting soon and I will be back at work . I'm just trying to enjoy my freedom while I have it. Happy hurricane everyone.

October 30

     Today my dad would have been 77 years old. It is so weird to say that number because he only lived to be 74. With the hurricane and all of the destruction I almost forgot that I had one less birthday card to send this year.  Again.
      Death is weird. When I used to hear people say that when loved ones pass on they don't really die, that  they become part of you I always thought it was a cliche. Now I know its true. They may not be alive but they are alive in your thoughts and memories . Its sad but on the other hand its kind of nice. You can choose how you want to remember them . You don't have to remember what you would prefer to forget. Its too bad one can't do this while people are alive. Or can we?
     Sometimes when people pass away you gain another perspective about who they were when they were alive when its not clouded by the day to day stupidity that can go on. Its unfortunate that sometimes one does not always appreciate someone until they are not around anymore.
    The thing is we can all say we will try to do better with those who are in our lives now but in reality we probably won't . We probably couldn't if we wanted to. That's whats great about life. We think it goes on forever when it really doesn't. I think that its supposed to be like that. This is how we grow and how we take chances. Mistakes are what help us grow.
      Anyway, today is my dad's birthday and I'm thinking about how though he did not get to be old he also did not have to be really sick and debilitated for  many years at the end of his life. This was something that he did not want. So though he did not get to live to be 77, he did live the years he did live as a vibrant person. I think this is the way I would prefer to remember my dad - as a vibrant person.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Children Roaming

     This past Shabbos I was minding my own business walking down the street . There were about 5 very small children ahead of me. There was no parent ahead of them. There were a few adults walking behind me.  The 3-5 year olds stopped at the curb and waited. The about one and a half year old kept walking . She walked right into the street. As she was about to pass the curb I for a split second looked to see if anyone was racing to get her. I realized no one was so I ran after her and stopped her. I told her to get out of the street and took her by the hand and brought her back to the curb. Longer time than should have passed  before the child's father came and scooped her up. The family thanked me profusely . I was a bit taken aback by the experience so I quickly walked away.
     It always disturbs me that people are so haphazard about watching their children when they walk down the street. They often rely on children barely big enough to watch out for themselves to look out for children who are even younger. Why wasn't anyone holding this toddler's hand while she was walking? Even if she had broken free from someone's hand it did not look like anyone was trying to retrieve her. As a single  without kids woman I am horrified. How is it that someone lucky enough to have kids can  be so careless? I was afraid I was going to tell these people just this , so I quickly left . I couldn't keep it all inside, so I am sharing my thoughts with you.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane

     I don't know if I believe all of the hype out there about there being a hurricane on Monday in New York City. This is pretty amazing because I usually believe bad stuff instead of good stuff. Maybe I'm becoming an optimist after all. I loved this picture of Gene Wilder from the Weather Channel's website. Gene Wilder is the greatest.  I've loved him since Willie Wonka. I guess all of the hype is okay if they post cool artsy photos of Gene Wilder .

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Best Part

     Sometimes the best part of a date is right after you get off of the phone until you meet the person. Yes I know this is rather pessimistic, but I am sure there are those of you out there that can relate. The little crunch time before the date is when one's hopes for a future relationship are still there. Once you meet up it may not be so encouraging. So I try to revel in it while hope is still there.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Brown Hair

     I always thought that I had dark brown hair. Recently I have worked in  an ethnically diverse office where when I mention that I have dark brown hair they shake their heads and say I do not have dark brown hair. According to my co-workers I have light brown hair. You have no idea what this has done to my self image. Perhaps I have medium brown hair, but light brown hair?
     I guess its all relative. For people with black hair my hair is light brown. I now have light brown hair that I haven't dyed. I am saving so much money .

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Howard Stern Exposes Obama Supporters 2012 (Official)

  It doesn't really matter who you are planning on voting for on November 6, this is too darn funny. Hopefully Biden won't get a complex.  Hopefully not  many of these people who were interviewed get picked to sit on juries .G-d help us all.

moody blues

     Often when people are nervous they act moody and unpleasant . This is not necessarily their true temperament. Sometimes it can be difficult to separate what is a person's true mood or is it just their nerves speaking.

on being nice...

     As the saying goes "It wouldn't kill you to be nice" Or would it?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

shidduch resumes

     Some people have a shidduch resume. It is the equivalent of an online profile on a  dating site. I would prefer to write a real shidduch resume that included all of the men I have dated. That would be more fun. I would list myself as a reference. That would surely be more helpful for all of the single women that I know. I could give a rating system. Datable , handsome, marriage material, not worth a phone call, not worth an e-mail. I could list where we went on the date as well as his profession, marital status(divorced, single, widowed) , how many kids, estimated age. Compiling a list like this would be much more fun than the current  shidduch resume format.
     Don't hold your breath . I don't think I would  really write a real dating resume. I am not sure anyone would believe me or date me . So I will hold off on compiling a real shidduch resume. Perhaps once I get married I will ....

Monday, October 22, 2012

Inspire Me

     What inspires you spiritually? I am inspired by the positive. I am inspired by those who are involved in bikur cholim. I am inspired by those who always offer a kind word to others. I am  inspired by stories of gam  zu l'tovah. I am inspired by those who love life despite the nisyonos that have challenged them.
      I am not inspired spiritually by those who feel they have to denigrate others in order to make frumkeit look special. The Torah is special on its own merit. One does not prove the Torah as being valid by showing how bad other options are. It should be and is obvious. We are fortunate to live in a time when we  can choose to be observant . Lets not blow it.
     
   

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Oldies But Goodies

    Often on  I like to watch old t.v. shows online. One such show that I have been enjoying lately is The  Dick Van Dyke  Show.  The Dick Van Dyke Show is one of the all time funniest shows that were before my time. Some old shows like Father Knows Best or The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show don't really hold up well in 2012, The Dick Van Dyke Show does.
     TDVDS  is about an early 1960's couple who live in the suburbs in New York. Husband Rob is a comedy writer . Wife Laura is a housewife. The dialogue is superb. Rob works in Manhattan as a comedy writer with Buddy and Sally. Buddy  played by Morey Amsterdam is the sharpest  comedian that I have ever heard. Everything he says is insanely funny. Sally is the eternal single woman in  search of a husband.  Neighbor Millie is played by the same woman who played Grandma Yettta  on The Nanny. This is the early 1960's so it is pre-feminist. I watch this show wishing I was Laura and ending up feeling more like Sally.  It is still a joy to watch. I saw re-runs of this as a kid, but it is so different to watch as an adult. Full episodes are available on you tube or netflix.

Hasidic Boy wins Chinese Dance Contest

   This is really funny! I just saw it on facebook tonight. Matisyahu eat your heart out.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hungry Girl To The Max

     Tonight at Barnes and Noble at 86th St and Lexington Lisa Lillien hawked her new book Hungry Girl To the Mas. It was a fun filled event . Every attendee recieved a pink bag filled with Hungry Girl endorced lower calorie snacks that were mostly kosher. (note: not all of the recipes in the book are kosher but a lot are ) There were several raffles . Lisa Lillien briefly spoke and answered questions. She then signed books. It was a lot of fun.




       Lisa Lillen's cookbooks contain easy , low guilt recipes for the hungry girl who likes to eat and still fit in her clothing. Her cookbooks make trying to stay trim fun.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Life in a nutshell

I could not have said it better myself. I for one try to stay far away from those who have a talent for sucking the joy out of life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sukkot in the office

    I know , I know, I am a week late with this one, but I just saw it today and I didn't want to wait until next year to post it so here it is. Its a bit goofy , but fun.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Enjoying the Journey

     Life is messy. No matter how hard one tries, things do not always go as planned. One can try and try but things may still not turn out the way one wants it to. That's the part that stinks. Sometimes one has to realize that things won't happen the way one may have wanted them to no matter how much one has tried . Other times things will turn out positive but it will be a long process. I find it hard to wait out the process. Sometimes anticipation can make it difficult to enjoy the moment because I am so focused on the end result. This of course is not good. One must try to be patient and realize that life is a journey. Once things are taken care of there always be will be more things to take care of . One is never really out of the woods.  There will always be something to anticipate. If one can admit that it is all a journey then it will be a smidgen easier to get through it all.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Temple Grandin

     I just watched the HBO movie Temple Grandin starring Claire Danes. Temple Grandin is the story of a woman who is autistic who with the support of her family learned to speak , went to college, got a phd and became a respected advocate of proper treatment of animals in the slaughter house. She created a system of animal handling in the slaughter house that is more humane.She created a system that is even used in kosher slaughter houses. Temple Grandin is as inspiring as it is informative. I learned more about autism than I ever had. Temple Grandin must be a higher functioning autistic , but this makes her case no less powerful. She came of age in the 1960's when autism was not addressed as respectfully as it is today. Her parents were told to institutionalize her. Her mother refused to. Her mother helped her learn to speak and encouraged her to excel. She was able to turn her disability to an asset in her field. I found her story nothing short of amazing. Now I have to read her book .
 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

those who remain

     The media loves shock value. They love the idea of someone growing up very frum and completely rejecting it . There are also quite a few who have grown up Chassidish or Yeshivish  and now  are Modern Orthodox. While not as radical as those who go off the derech , their path is no less important. Though there are the Deborah Feldmans of the world, there are also those who remain shomer shabbos despite their "rebellion". No one talks about these types. So I have. I have much more respect for those who remain observant. It is oh so hip to be off the derech  but it is much more hip in my opinion to stay on the derech even if one's derech is slightly different than the derech you started on.
     Many of those who have shifted to the left are those who remain single.   I think that there are more who have shifted to the left than those who  have gone off the derech completely.  Those who shift more radically hog all of the spotlight.
   

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fumes

     I realize that everyone has different preferences for odors but  I would like to ask why oh why do so many women prefer heavy floral scents? Floral and powdery scents make me want to barf. Literally. Do men really like floral scented perfume? If they do I wish that women would limit their use of floral scents to dates. This way I would not have to inhale that caustic floral odor.
      If a good friend of mine wore floral perfume I would kindly request she not wear it in my presence. Unfortunately many acquaintances love the floral making it much more awkward to make a do not wear request. Citrus scents agree with me much better. They are much less over powering.  But I know that's just my opinion.
   

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

single on yom tov

     I stayed in Brooklyn for Simchas Torah. It was quiet. I went to meals with mostly women in attendance. I always wonder where the mostly male singles yom tov meals are. I know that they exist. It is too bad that they could not have been combined.
     Being frum and single on the holidays means you feel like staying home and relaxing but you also feel like you should be at a holiday single's function that might help you meet your bashert. I usually let the I'm tired and don't feel like packing side of me win. Over the years I have found that I am not alone. There is always a  large group who stay local. This year was no different.
     Perhaps next year I will be part of a couple, but this year was not so bad as a single. I spent time with friends , rested and ate too much .

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Simchat Torah

      The last of the Tishrei  holidays has arrived. I am sad. It has been so nice to have had the time to celebrate. It has been nice to have the time off of work.  I don' t know what I will do when I finally have a full week of work. It will be difficult.
     Have a great holiday!

Noam's Sukkot

This has got to be the all time cutest video. This  features a little boy and his family who own an etrog farm. It shows them picking the etrogim. I had never seen an etrog farm. It was truly beautiful.

Friday, October 5, 2012

spotted in park slope....


 Truth is stranger than fiction. I saw these signs in Park Slope , Brooklyn. There is nothing like a tree hugger!

Best Tomato Sauce Alert



     I have found the most yummy organic , low sodium tomato sauce at Trader Joe's. It is ou pareve. I have been searching for this product for years. Seriously. I try to watch my sodium intake and almost all prepared tomato sauces have tons of sodium in them. Trader Joe's Organic Marinara Sauce to the rescue. This marinara sauce is amazing in lasagna . I made delicious chicken with this marinara sauce.  Finally a person does not have to trade one's health for a little tomato sauce. Now that I have found this marnara sauce I had to share the news. Peace and tomato sauce. Have a good shabbos all.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

lack of free time

     The hardest part of the chagim is the lack of free time. At work everyone is envious of me for my time off but they don't realize how time consuming it all is. I am off of work, but I can't do any errands. That can be a good thing too, but even a procrastinator like me does like to get a few errands taken care of every so often . With the chagim there isn't always a lot of time to do errands or wait around for someone to repair something in my apartment. At work people think I am living it up with yom tov. It is partly true. I enjoy yom tov and the time off, but its also exhausting. I have to remind myself that there won't be more yom tov for awhile after next week and that as exhausted as I am from it I will miss it when it is over.

The Sukkot Shake

This is an original . I don't like it as much as the twist and shout Sukkot video, but this one has charm.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Never Promised You a Goody Bag

     I recently finished reading a most incredible book called  I Never Promised You a Goody Bag: A Memoir Of A Life Through Events--The Ones You Plan And The Ones You Don't  by Jennifer Gilbert.
     Jennifer Gilbert was repeatedly stabbed twenty years ago by someone who followed her out of the subway into her friend's apartment building . It was brutal but she survived. She was fortunate that she was stabbed by a screwdriver instead another weapon because the wounds were not as deep as they could have been. After recovering from her assault she eventually created an event planning  business called Save the Date. She also married and has three children. This book chronicles the strength of a woman who was able to create a life for herself despite the tragedy that befell her. It is so inspiring. I highly recommend this book.
     
     
     

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sukkos is in the air

     Sukkos is in the air. I went grocery shopping for a few things and the store was a zoo. I didn't expect any less. Like everybody else I wanted to get my shopping out of the way tonight.


      Even though I have lived in Brooklyn for years I still find it delightful to watch all of the sukkah shops and esrog and lulav stands.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Original Obamaphone Lady: Obama Voter Says Vote for Obama because he giv...

 This video is absolutely fruit loops. I guess if I stopped working and had no income I too could have an Obama-phone. Is it an android or an iphone? Is an Obama-phone kind of like smell-o-vision? Hmmmm.... so  many unanswered questions....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Plans for the New Year

     Someone asked me yesterday what my goals for this year are. The funny part was that I have been so busy lately that all I can think about is the next day off. Though its good to appreciate the small things it is always good to have some direction.
     There are some things that I would like to happen this year , but those are more dreams than concrete. I really need to think about what I would like to accomplish this year. As usual there is so much to do and so little time to do it in. Still , it is important not to get so caught up in the whirlwind that one can't stop and smell the roses. Shanah Tovah all.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yom Kippur

     Wishing everyone an easy fast and a clean slate to begin the new year. Wishing everyone a productive year. I am always so tired after Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur that its a good thing there is Sukkot and Simchas Torah soon after to have more days off of work and they are a lot less serious than the first two holidays. Happy Tishrei.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Running on empty

     It seems like  these days if you sleep more than four hours a night or give yourself a few hours a night to relax you are considered a slacker. If I have a day off and all I do is do errands and watch television people look at me like I have two heads. It seems as if one is not in perpetual motion one is sinning. I hate that . I have a job that keeps me in perpetual motion all day so when I have time to myself it is important for me not to be in perpetual motion.
     For the past month I have felt like I have been in perpetual motion. Though I have accomplished a lot and have had a lot of fun along the way I had not felt relaxed. Not cool. I had off of work today and though I did do some chores I stayed local and actually relaxed. I felt like I had a real day off and I am ready for Kol Nidre tomorrow night.

popcorn

     I have always thought of microwave popcorn as the cheaters way of making popcorn. It is also quite wasteful unless you plan on eating that whole big bag.  After becoming more health conscious I have realized that microwave popcorn is filled with chemicals and makes a superfood unhealthy. Air popped popcorn is really quite simple to prepare. It is easy to make small amounts. Just pop the amount you need. It is also quite delicious. Try it. You'll like it.

From TJC's The Salon Ep. 20: Ultra-Orthodox Censorship of Women's Voices...

This clip deals with an intense issue in a sensitive fashion. I don't have cable so I won't be seeing the full episode of this any time soon.

Call Me Maybe Parody - The Shidduch Crisis (Lyrics in description)

This is really crazy. I'm surprised I didn't see this one until today. Had to post it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Beauty



     When I looked outside of my bedroom  window this past week this is what I saw. Its a crab apple tree . Its so beautiful. FYI , this was taken in the midwest where I spent the week of Rosh Hashannah.
     One of the things that I miss about the midwest is having nature right outside one's window sill.
      I really need to find a way to incorporate nature even in the concrete jungle of the big apple.

snobs

     The last time I encountered real snobs was in high school.  A real snob is someone who goes out of their way to snub someone instead of just snubbing someone without prior intent. I think the reason I haven't encountered many real snobs lately is because the snobs I encounter now don't know anyone exists besides them. They would snub me if they actually thought I existed.
     Some people get offended when they attend various venues because they feel they are being ignored by the snob factor. I don't believe they are being snubbed. These snobs are too busy thinking about themselves to be snobby. This is why it does not bother me. Why should I let the actions of someone who is not aware of my existence affect my appearance at various venues. I  don't acknowledge their existence either. So it works.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cemetery

     I went to the cemetery today for my pre- Rosh Hashana visit. I find it surreal now that I know so many who are buried there. I visited my dad's grave as well as my grandparents and great grandparent s  and great aunts and uncles graves. I also noticed the graves of my mom's neighbor's grandparents . It's weird how the cemetery neighbors have descendants who are neighbors in life right now.
      Now that I have paid my respects to those who have passed on I am ready to celebrate the holiday with the living . Have a shana tovah . L'Chaim!


Shana Tovah

Every year I look forward to Rosh Hashanah to dip challah and apples in honey. Rosh Hashanah is a time for a fresh start. 
      Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The last shabbos

     Wow. This shabbos is the last shabbos of the year. What will make this shabbos memorable? What kind of send off for the year will it be before the cycle of the year begins anew?
       I for one am visiting my mom for the last shabbos of the year. I will also be spending Rosh Hashana with her as well. It's nice to end and begin the year with family.
       Enjoy your last shabbos of the year

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

remembering those who perished on 9/11

 this is one of the makeshift memorials that were erected in union square right after 9/11. May we never forget those who perished . May we never forget those who died trying to help those who were trapped. May there never be another terrorist attack as large  as the one on 9/11/2001. May there never be another terrorist attack ever. I pray for peace. 

9/11...again

      Rosh Hashanah is next week and behold 9/11 is upon us today. Its hard to believe that it has been 11 years since 9/11. Then again I can believe it.  It doesn't seem as though it has just happened. I even almost forgot about it. Almost.
      It is good that it does not strike such a strong cord whenever it is mentioned but on the other hand it is sad. Its been 11 years since our innocence has been taken away and its hard to remember the world  that was .

Monday, September 10, 2012

is it just me?

     I really love watching tv shows online as opposed to being confined to watching them when they are actually on the air. I don't especially like some of the ads they subject us lazyoids to while watching them online. There is one adhd medication which is advertised . They list all of the possible side effects in the ad. I certainly get adhd just listening to the side effects. I also am not quite sure if its a real ad or a spoof  as I listen to the side effects.  I'm not so sure that I would take that medication even if I actually had adhd. Those side effects sound kind of bad.

singles events

     There are always a few people who I meet who are still single or newly divorced who do not go to singles events because they  think that they are too frum for the crowd who attends. Another reason some people refuse to attend singles events is out of shyness. If one has never gone to one it can feel overwhelming to start attending them.
     When I started going to singles events I met many of the single more yeshivish guys that I had met on shidduch dates. This is when I realized that everyone goes to singles events past age thirty. I remember encouraging an acquaintance of mine to attend a shabbaton in midwood years ago. I knew the crowd and she would have found it appropriate frumkeit wise. She declined attendance because she was too shy.
     I do not understand why a shidduch date is considered more divine than a singles event or meeting someone online. A shidduch date might  be better if those setting up know all parties involved really well, otherwise its no better than meeting someone in a bar. Actually its worse. At least when you meet someone and it clicks you know there is that . If you get set up with a dud no one was making sure you will meet someone you might like  physically or spiritually and yet you have to spend the hour or so trying to converse with them.
     I still have not found a husband and I have attended singles events, met guys online and through shadchanim. I think that there are advantages and disadvantages to each method, but I think that it is important to try each method and work the system. Eventually something will work.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

who would be a leader

     I really respect those who choose to be weight watchers meeting  leaders. When you speak all eyes are upon you . All eyes are checking out how thin you really are. While it is an incentive to stay on track, it is also quite pressured. If you goof up everyone knows . Everyone can tell. You are in good company, but you are supposed to be the example. If you slipped up what does it say for the rest of us?
     The other requirement for being a leader is that you must love public speaking. A lot of weight watchers leaders are teachers or actors who are used to public speaking. The best kind are those who are actors by trade. They are so animated that you aren't quite sure if they are sincere or its just an act. It doesn't really matter. They are so entertaining. Anyway, they still had to actually do the program before they are allowed to perform as a leader. The usual actor's diet is not so healthful so for an actor to be hawking weight watchers its a step in the right direction and too  hard to follow for it to be  just an act.

saturday night kitsch





 I found this gag at a novelty shop several years ago. If only it were so easy to actually become a member of the tribe. When I saw this I could not stop laughing.  I  love the  prototype 1970's man with a kippah. He is actually rather hunky.
  In case you can't tell by the photo its a breath spray that is used for conversion.
   It may be hard to read my pictures so I will tell you what the  words say.
   Instantly convert to Judaism the Gramma Weisenthal Way.
Don't  know the difference between a mikveh and a mohel and your Jewish wedding is in three weeks time? Can't speak a word of Yiddish and think Sabbath is an 80's metal band? Can't understand why the old rabbi at the synagogue keeps turning you away? It may be time for you to convert to Judaism . Instantly! The Gramma Wisenthatl Way! Become Jewish with one simple treatment.  No more lengthy study classes. No more stumbling through Hebrew.
Be part of this unique faith instantly, starting today.
"Hi, I'm Gramma Wiesenthal, here to help you choose your Jewish name. Can't decide whether to call yourself  Yosef  or Yaakov? Sarah or Shoshana? Why don't you call me? I know everything about being Jewish. Until then my friend Shalom.
Winner of the 1976 World Champion  matzo ball competition and the author of the best selling novel "If you see my son tell him to call me".
 

I do not intend to make light of the
conversion process. I just found this sooo funny.
(P.S. I just realized that if you click on the pictures they will enlarge and you can read everything clearly)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Worst

     So many people I talk to always seem to be in contest with me to prove that they have things the toughest. I am not sure why . Does it really make them feel better that they think that they have it the worst? Why would anyone actually prefer things to be the worst for themselves? I for one do not . I also think that even if one does not have things the worst one still has a right to vent and be validated by ones friends without being told not to complain because  I  do not have it the worst.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

     Like many Americans I am not working today in honor of the secular holiday of Labor Day. Labor Day has been one of my favorite holidays because it is a secular holiday and also because it is not a work or school day.
     I have always thought it curious that in honor of Labor Day we don't go to to work or work a twice as long day since it is Labor Day. In this economy those who aren't working wish they were one of the laborers who are being honored.
     Anyway happy Labor Day to all  who will be back to laboring tomorrow.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What Would You Choose?

     For those of you who grew up religious do you think you would choose to be frum on your own? It really is a hard question. I grew up religious and have siblings who are OTD so I would say that I have thought about staying frum but I never had the opportunity to decide to be suddenly be  frum while my family was not.
     I do think that there are different types of BT . There are those whose families were somewhat traditional and then they have decided to make the plunge toward greater observance. There are others who come from a family who did very little religiously and now they are frum.
      I think that there is a difference between BTs who go the charedi route and BTs that go the MO route. I think that BTs don't always blend in as well to the yeshiva world and that their sincerity is held with greater suspispicion than those who become frum in  the MO world. This is not because a BT has changed less in the MO world, it is just that from my experience anyone a little different is more accepted in the MO world. When you are keeping shabbos and kosher that in itself is a huge lifestyle change regardless of how much or little ones outer appearance has changed.
       I would like to think that I would have chosen to be frum had my family not been frum, but its hard to really know what I would have done because I never was in that situation.

Love vs Fear

     I think that a major reason so many are OTD  is because people are being taught to worship Hashem out of fear instead of out of love. I think that if kids were taught about the mitzvos as a way of expressing our love of Hashem instead of fear then more people would stay on the path. 
    We are supposed to believe that Hashem loves us and wants us to do the mitzvos not just because we are afraid of the consequences but because we love Hashem. 
     The United States is a free society where everyone can choose what one wants. Even when people stay in their own closed communities the outside world filters through . One better be sure ones faith is strong. One best understand why one is sticking to ones guns. Is it because one is locked in or is it because one has chosen it and loves at least most of the time? 
      Some are observant in deference to their parents . For them it may be enough. It may not be enough for the grandchildren. 
     Every person needs to accept the Torah for ones self. It is okay if one does the mitzvos by rote just because one family always has, but in order for the chain to last one really needs to be more deliberate about ones observance. 
      Fear of Hashem is important so a person does not become to complacent about the mitzvos, but the most meaningful way to observe the mitzvos is out of love.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Its that time of year again...

     Its that time of year again. Yes, its my birthday. Again. Baruch Hashem . Its the time where I look through my list of things that I would have liked to have accomplished this year and I realize that I haven't done half of what I would have liked to have. I suppose this means that I still have things to strive for which is  a positive thing. It is never good to be stagnant. Birthday time is where I push my goals to the next year. Hopefully by next year I  will accomplish them. Or not. Anyway, happy birthday to me.
     

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Premium Rush

     I viewed the movie Premium Rush  last night . Premium Rush is a film about a bike messenger in Manhattan  who unwittingly is given a shady delivery . The story line is cutesy and kind of reminds me of the movie Speed. What stands out about PR is that it is a valentine to the streets of Manhattan. It was so much fun guessing the locations the characters were riding through. The love story is cute but predictable.   It is fun watching the adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt  biking. PR is not the most Oscar-worthy film you will see, but it sure is a fun ride.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the most important quality

     For elderly women the most important quality in a man is his continued ability to drive a car. For all us younger women the most important quality in a man is his computer skills.  Or at least it is important to me as my computer skills leave much to be desired.
     Finding a man with computer savvy is much more difficult than one might think. Women often date men who are older than them and usually younger individuals are better with computers. I once met a guy who told me he didn't own a computer and that he was so impressed with my computer skills. Unfortunately for him this was my red flag to pass on him. I may write a blog but Steve Jobs I'm not.
     Aside from dating younger men who were computer savvy I have actually met some older guys who possess the computer gene. Just this evening  a guy five years older than me told me on the phone that he is good at fixing computer glitches. I think I am in love.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

thrift shops

     In this crazy economy I have been a frequent thrift shop shopper. I like thrift shops way better than 99 cent stores. Thrift shops are filled with expensive or regular priced clothing that people no longer want to wear. 99 cent stores are filled with pure junk. A lot of clothing that ends up in thrift shops are from Anne Taylor, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Dress Barn, Gap , Moda International, Sigrid Olson, Talbot's and more. People who shop at Anne Taylor are the biggest thrift shop donors. I am not sure if people who shop at Anne Taylor most want to cast off their purchases or if Anne Taylor customers are more into clothes recycling. Either way I am thrilled. Anne Taylor always has beautiful clothing in their windows, but I can only afford Anne Taylor  at thrift shop prices.

The Groggers - "Mindy" [Official Video]

This is so silly and cute that I just had to post it. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

we are family

     As a kid you learn that your family consists of parents, children , aunts , uncles, grandparents and cousins. As an adult I have learned that family consists of much more than just blood relatives. Family consists of those close  to you who one chooses to be a part your life. This includes spouses as well as close friends.
     With one's birth family one is forced to be a part of each other's lives. With spouses and friends one chooses to be a part of their lives.  Both types of family are vital to my existence.
      As my life moves on the lines that divide biological and chosen family has blurred. This is as it should be. Family is family.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

listen

     So many people play interviewer while dating . I don't and somehow I find out a lot more about people than the interviewer types. This is because I actually listen to what the other person is telling me about himself. Its not that I do not ask any questions , its just that  I don't opt for mistress of interrogation mode.
People tell you everything you need to know about them, if only you would listen.
     If a guy tells me he is at a specific religious level that is not mine  i believe him. If someone tells me that he does not want to get married  I believe him. If a tells me that he does not want to marry me I believe him. I don't second guess him and think that I know better when the person himself has stated clearly and specifically differently. Who knows a person better than ones self? Believe what a guy tells you about himself. He means it. He does know himself better than you do. Spare yourself the heartache and just listen.

Monday, August 20, 2012

sunset


Just thought I would post some pictures of the sunset that I have recently snapped. Enjoy and have  a fabulous evening.

on keeping kosher...

     I have always found it humorous that even after some have forgone a lot of  mitzvos they still adhere to the laws of kashrus. Its not that I don't believe that it is nice for people to keep whatever they can of the Torah, but I find it interesting how people who have cast off so much persist in holding onto one of the most difficult of mitzvos. In a way it is ironic that they hold on to kashrus which is meant to keep us Jews apart from others that those who have seemingly assimilated find it difficult to violate.
     I also find it curious that many Jews have gastric problems. Maybe this is to remind even the most assimilated of us that we need to mind our diet. I do realize that assimilated Jews are not the only Jews who have gastric issues, but it is quite curious that for a Jew who otherwise may not be paying attention to his/her diet to pay attention to it even if its not just to keep kosher.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Butternut Squash Fries

     As a big supporter of the farmer's market I have been buying butternut squash for years. I used to  always steam it and I loved it. The problem is that I had yet to make another butternut squash dish. I have tried baking butternut squash but it would never come out right. The other problem is that it is really tough to cut butternut squash before it has been cooked. Fortunately I found a solution. I steam butternut squash for a bit until its soft enough to cut but not fully cooked. I let it cool off so I don't burn myself, and I cut the squash up into wedges. I spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and I put the wedges on the cookie sheet. I sprinkle pumpkin spice and salt free garlic blend spice over the wedges . Finally I spray a few sprays of cooking spray onto the wedges and then I bake it for about a half hour. It would probably be best if I flipped the wedges midway through the half hour, but I am much too lazy to do so. Either way , it still comes out tasty. The finished product tastes like a lighter version of sweet potato fries. I plan on making some for shabbos.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dress Codes

     Whenever I shop at Pomegranate in the summer I bring a sweater with me because it is so chilly. I think that if the stores that want people to adhere to a specific dress code would just turn up the air conditioning to sub zero temperatures everyone would be as covered up as Eskimos in their stores.

soda tax

     Recently mayor Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City proposed a ban on the sale of soda cups larger than 12 oz. to combat the obesity epidemic. While I think it is admirable that mayor Bloomberg is concerned with the obesity epidemic, I am not sure that his limiting portion sizes At movie theaters or imposing a per ounce soda tax will help peel off the pounds. The desire to be thin must come from within. It can't really be federally mandated.

Jewish Burqa Trend: The Frumka - pt 2 of 2

Jewish Burqa Trend: The Frumka - pt 1 of 2

This is nothing new, but I found the discussion interesting. I think that Jewish women dressing like Muslim women is not more modest. I think that it is oppressive for a woman to wear a burka and that it is only contributing to the ever invisible woman in charedi society.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

can't always go it alone

     Some people are never on their own. They always are in a relationship or they are co-dependent with their parents . They never learn to navigate life on their own . I have always envied these people. Even when I was a kid I felt alone. My parents were always so busy with my younger siblings that I felt like I had  to fend for myself. This was not all bad, but it does not help when I need to ask for help from others. Sometimes a person really needs to ask for help from someone else and when you are so used to solving problems on one's own it can be hard. It can also be hard to rely on someone else's help when one is not sure one can trust the other person enough to rely on their help.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

celeste and jesse forever

    I saw the movie Celeste and Jesse Forever today.  CJF  is about a married couple that was going through a divorce yet they could not cut the cord because they were each others best friend. This movie gave deeper meaning to the saying "can't live with you , can't live without you". Without giving away the entire plot I will say that I think that this thought is so profound on so many levels. In some cases some people who are married don't really know how great they have it, but divorce because they think that they could find something out there that is even better than what they have now. I of course am speaking of someone who is in a pretty good situation and most likely did not date too many people before they married. Couples really need to try and work things out if things are mostly good. Once a couple breaks up there is no turning back so if you think things have a shot in h$@l of possibly working out it behooves you to try and fix things. Then again sometimes its time to move on and no matter how much you want something to work out it just isn't going to .
     I realize that writing about marriage issues is outside my expertise as I have never been married, but I really was moved by this movie. It had a lot of good think questions  that can be applied to those who are in relationships even if they are not married. Often things are shades of gray  and not just black and white.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

smiles

     I always wondered why it is that when some people smile all of the teeth in their  mouth show and when other people smile just some of their teeth show. Do some people go out of their way to show all of their teeth when they smile or is it kind of like some people are double jointed and others aren't. Do people who smile with every tooth in their mouth showing wrinkle more? Inquiring minds want to know.

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