Sunday, November 29, 2009

i find nail polish, like crayons, to be slightly disappointing.

they both have such lovely colors, and one would expect them to taste or smell really good too.

as a kid i remember biting into a crayon, only to find that it tasted like wax. the Crayola crayons prove to me the most deceptive, because they have such descriptive names, and they all taste the same. slightly waxy, and not very tasty.

and while i never tasted nail polish (i think it would be slightly more toxic than crayons) it never smells like the color looks like it should, but just smells like nail polish.

i was in a clothing store, paying for clothing, when i saw a nail polish labeled Espresso Yourself. the color was such a lovely brown, and really looked like chocolate. i uncapped the bottle and sniffed, only to be hit with the usual nail polish smell. "ugh, smells like nail polish" i muttered to myself. i placed the bottle back on the rack, and looked up, only to be greeted by the puzzled face of the cashier. i bet she was wondering what i expected it to smell like.

i have a nail polish that's a deep purple. that too proves to be disappointing, because it doesn't smell anything like the plum shade that's found in the bottle.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving is replete with traditions.

i know that almost every frum family who shops in Pathmark (or is it Shoprite?) is eating a turkey this shabbos, and we've done that this past year, but my dad's away in Israel until Monday, so we're eating at my uncle this shabbos ("no I'm not dating anyone now" "no i don't make up my numbers when i take the patients' vital signs" "no i don't even have one drink when I'm driving home")

i decided to skip the Black Friday tradition this year, after last year's fiasco at Best Buy. it seems that my family doesn't have such good luck with Best Buy sales. today my grandfather waited on line at Best Buy in New Jersey, which supposed to be opening up at 5 am. unfortunately, the cops were there too. apparently there's some law in New Jersey that states that stores can't open before 7, so he left.

but i did go to the parade yesterday. i didn't want to wake up earlier than i have to do on a regular day, and i had no interest in hanging out on the curb, watching sunrise, just to get a good spot. i ended up on 42nd, watching a few cartoons floating in the sky, and then managed to worm my way through the crowd, and got close enough to the street to be able to see the marching bands. having spent a year fighting with pushy Israelis, the crowd didn't phase me much. my friend and i took turns standing on each others feet. i felt quite old when some cartoon characters that i didn't recognize came by, but for the most part i was able to name most of them.

since the Macy's block was closed off, we couldn't look at the windows displayed, but we did check out the ones at Lord and Taylor, as well as watching the skaters at the pond in Bryant Park. i love watching people skate. i don't know what i find more comical-the three-year-olds who look like they were born with skates on their feet, or the adults who look like a newborn deer standing on their legs for the first time. or maybe the three-year-olds skating circles around the adults.

it was an altogether relaxing and enjoyable vacation. and to all the naysayers out there who told me i would be stuck in traffic for hours and hours; total traveling time, there and back, was under three hours

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

i am thankful for

Starbucks lattes, which keep me awake when my brain stem can't

my nursing advisor, who always is available to listen to me vent

flash drives


my ability to focus which allows me to study for hours on end

the patience of my friends and family, who put up with my rants

the ability to go to college and pursue my dream


clean linen

my health

the right to live without persecution

Monday, November 23, 2009

the books in the college library have disappeared.

the library has two floors. the downstairs floor is mainly used for study groups and socializing, but the back and sides have numerous shelves which always contained a lot of books. (obviously) all the nursing textbooks are on the side shelves, so i never really browsed the section in the back. as such, i couldn't tell you which books were found there, but apparently nobody else was looking at those books either. behind the shelves are about eight tables where people sit and study. i prefer to sit upstairs for many reasons, but mainly because it's warmer and a little quieter. two weeks ago the tables upstairs were full so i was sitting downstairs, when i felt like something was different. at first i couldn't put my finger on it. then i realized the acoustics were different. the voices had previously been bouncing off the shelved books...and there weren't any books anymore! the shelves were all empty. there were no signs explaining why the books had been taken off the shelves, and nobody seemed to be searching for an answer.

which might be why they've disappeared.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lately, I've had the same discussion with a lot of my single friends.

they're all waiting for their match to be discovered. it's very easy to say the right words "i know he's out there...when the time is right we'll meet...i just have to have bitachon..." but actually believing that it's all in His hands is a lot harder than that. i feel like I've spent all my years in a Bais Yakov school, hearing teachers talk about having faith, and emunah, and total trust. when you're in high school, and you are lucky to live an blessedly ordinary life, there isn't much to test you in your faith. but once you're waiting for something big, you can actually see how much harder it is to actually have emunah that the right one is out there, and one day you will meet your destined other half.

and it becomes so clear that you can do everything humanly possible, but at the end of the day, it is all up to Him, and only when He deems it the right time, will you find the right one.

if it's hard now, i can only imagine the emunah it takes to be a parent, and raise a child, and hope that it all turns out OK.

it comes it little moments of self-doubt, late at night, or in shul looking at a neighbor's little grandchildren, or at a wedding of yet another friend. the important thing to know is that you're not the only one who's struggling. you may feel like you're alone, but you're not. there are other people out there who are going through the same thing you are. so call someone up. cry on a shoulder. that's what friends are for. and keep holding on to the faith that He cares about you and has a plan for you, that's only going to benefit you.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

being the only religious Jew in my clinical of eight students, means I'm somewhat of a interesting person. in terms of diversity, we're pretty even, but when it comes to religion I'm the only who one who's actually practicing. having been properly warned by everyone in my life, i steer clear of any philosophical discussions regarding keeping Shabbos, only eating Kosher, or believing in an afterlife. the girls in my class just wanted to know if I'm going to "have an arranged marriage" I've gotten pretty good at explaining, in the briefest and simplest of terms how the shidduch system works.

I've never been asked out by any of classmates, something that I'm thankful for, especially having heard stories from my friends who've had to politely but firmly decline offers from interested classmates. but last week a guy in my class tried to set me up.

his patient was an older Chassidic guy, who's young grandson was helping him get dressed and read over the Torah portion of the week. after my classmate (whose name is Sal) finished up with morning cares, he came over to me with a grin
"hey listen, i was talking to Mr. G's grandson-he's twenty two, and pretty smart. he's also not bad looking, and a really nice guy, very respectful to his elders. come with me, i want to introduce him to you"

even after i smiled and politely declined, he insisted that i was missing out by not agreeing to be introduced to said grandson. so i explained that this fellow was Chasidic, while i was looking for someone more mainstream Orthodox. But Sal just shrugged his shoulders and shook his head, convinced i was making a big mistake. i half expected him to turn around and say "listen mamela, this one's a real ilui, you should at least agree to meet him!"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

the mildly dangerous wildlife animals are slowly taking over the neighborhood.

deer and turkey are abound in my area. since i live across the street from a heavily wooded area, it was never uncommon to see deer crashing through the foliage or occasionally see a wild turkey early in the morning on the way to school, but lately they've become more bold, and less scared of humans.

recently I've seen more and more wild turkeys on the road, and they aren't afraid of the cars. they don't scatter in a satisfying noisy flurry of big wings and weird turkey-sounds. in fact, they just poke their skinny necks out and look at me with big beady eyes. it would be funny if it wasn't so annoying. it's not like i can just run the creatures over. I'd probably get fined because it's not hunting season or something.

as for the deer, I've started seeing them on our lawn more and more often. the other week when i opened the front door three of them went running past the front walk. i felt like i was in a scene out of Pocahontas or something. but by far the scariest was when i came home late on night, and parked my car, only to find a huge deer standing on the lawn, about four feet away from my car. when i got out of the car and made my way towards the front door, it started moving towards me. so i decided to spend the night in my car. but after about six minutes of thinking about my comfortable bed, i realized that i wanted to be inside. so i made a mad dash for the garage, woke up everyone in the process, but at least got safely inside.

but it's slightly unsettling that the animals aren't scared of cars. kind of like a child who realizes that his parent can't control him. now he's fearless and will do whatever he wants. before you know it, the wildlife will be in control. i say get out vests and start hunting. and maybe we can get rid of the Canadian geese while we're at it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

this tale is an epic one of sadness. it speaks of pain and betrayal, of tears of agony and frustration.

it's the story of our vacuum cleaner. it's a big heavy clunker of a vacuum, with a long hose and a huge canister. we've had it for as long as i can remember.

let me start off by explaining, that everyone has that one household chore they abhor. sister 1 hates doing dishes. sister 2 dislikes ironing and folding laundry. and i don't like vacuuming. maybe it's the model we own, but in my mind, i associate vacuuming the house with lugging a very large, and unwieldy machine up a flight of stairs, squashed toes, and smashed feet. did you know that if you hit your ankle bone with a metal piece that it's really really painful? like seeing-stars-wanting-to-yelp-very-loudly-painful

as far back as i can remember, there's always been something wrong with the vacuum. they guy who fixes it is practically on speed dial, and at least once a month when my mom goes out, she leaves last minute instructions, "if Mr. L calls, tell him he can come by to look at the vacuum, the broken piece in question is by the front door."

i compare it to the story of the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. for anyone who doesn't know it, the Tin Man was once a regular woodcutter who accidentally cut off his arm, and got it replaced with a tin arm. (i think there was a beautiful girl, and evil witch, and a cursed axe in the story too) the same thing happened with the rest of his body over time, so that at the end, he was completely made of tin. after all the years of being fixed and replaced, i don't think any part of the vacuum cleaner is of the original one that we used to own.

i think my mother has a sentimental attachment to the monster, because i for one, wish we can get rid of it. i think vacuuming on my hands and knees with a Dustbuster would be more pleasant at this point.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

completing my clinical rounds in nursing homes has made me very thankful that i am healthy. it's taught me to appreciate the gift of youth, and to be glad for everything I've been blessed with.

when my hair gets long, and i need to get a haircut, i am thankful that i have all my hair
when I'm about to go somewhere and my gas light goes on, i am thankful that i can drive
when my siblings wake me up, or ask me for rides, i am thankful that they are all healthy and under one roof
when my friends cancel our plans at the very last minute, i am thankful that i have friends who care about me
when I'm stressed out because I'm studying for tests, i am thankful that i am perfectly capable of studying and retaining information
when my dentist hounds me to come in and have my teeth cleaned, i am thankful that i have teeth.

it may sound funny, but so many little things are taken for granted, or maybe even seen as hindrances, but once we lose them, or they are taken away, we realize how much we depended on these things.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

last week i proctored some tests in my old high school. I've been back in the school since i graduated, but this time i got the chance to observe the girls for awhile.

i totally understand what was meant by saying that every 5 years is a new generation. the girls in high school are very different than the way we were. for starters, when i graduated high school, there were three girls who had cellphones. today, the girls who don't have phones are the minorities (nevertheless, i still did want to throw something at the girl who called me "part of the older generation" when i told this to a group of twelfth graders) for one thing, the seniors are much more focused on what they want to do with their lives. i only had one friend who was sure in twelfth grade, of what path her life would take, was the girl who got engaged in December. for the rest of us, we knew to stick it out till January, finish up regents, go to Israel, and then...

but in some ways, i feel like things are always the same. there are still cliques, and groups of friends. the bathrooms are still a safe place to hide when you want to skip class, and there's always that one girl who insists on reviewing her notes, just one more time, even as the tests are being handed out. as i sat at the teacher's desk, observing the girls writing, i looked around the classrooms. if the walls could only talk, they'd have a myriad of stories to tell. of the secrets that were whispered, the fights that were fought, and friendships that were created. of the good times and bad. the planning for school activities, the practices for productions, the songs that were sung, and the lessons that were learned.

my own personal memories were bouncing around and hitting me all afternoon. the time my friend spilled her yogurt and it looked like the map of Africa, and the chess games we used to have at lunch. all the literature we read and discussed, from Lord of the Flies, to Frankenstein. the detentions i sat, and the countless meetings i had in the principals office, from the small infractions, like not having my shirt tucked in, to the the big decisions that were made, like deciding my next step after high school. the friends i made, whether it's those who i talk to every day, or the ones who i never see. the tests i studied for, the bulletin boards i created, the workshops i sat through, and the basketball games i played. the hill in the backyard where we used to go sledding, the waterfall we used to sit in when we cut class, and the pavement where we went rollerblading. it's easier to only remember the good times, and it's better that way too. every experience in life has its obstacles, but looking back, the good times overshadow the unpleasant ones, and make recalling those years easier.