Monday, September 29, 2008

On my first day of class, i entered a heated discussion with my lab partner Tracy about Juadism and intermarriage. she comes from a family that was traditionally Conservative, but is now Reform. so I kinda feel pressured to make a good impression on her (i invited her for a Shabbat meal and she said she'll come so now i gotta start working on my family to straighten up. )

and that's why i was mortified when this incident occurred last week:

I've always been bad with time and dates. i knew that Rosh Hashana was coming up the next week, and Yom Kippur the week before that. hello, i totally know when Yom Kippur is because i celebrate my birthday two days before that. but i didn't realize that the end of September was so quickly approaching. so when my lab professor announced that we won't be meeting on the ninth of October, without thinking i called out

"why? what's on the ninth?"

Melissa, the girl who sits across from me looked up at me and said

"oh it's Y-Yom Kippur?"

my face flushed even as she stumbled over the words. in a room full of people i was one of two people who would be observing that holiday! i squirmed and mumbled, more to myself than to Melissa who was once again intently bent over her life-sized model of a human nose,

"i that. i really did"

before leaving this week i turned to Tracy to wish her a Shana Tovah, and asked her if she was going to services this year. (she didn't go last year because two years ago she brought her Catholic boyfriend and he felt uncomfortable)

she proudly nodded and then started singing Dip The Apple In The Honey. i looked at her and grinned.

"you know the song!"

"you bet! it's like the best part of RoshHashana!"

i smiled weakly back at her.

the best part.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sarah Palin said the only thing separating hockey moms from pit bulls is lipstick.

well in the kosher supermarket where i shop, you can come see the pit bulls without lipstick.

it s out badly enough. i the store and for my list...only to have my hand come out of my pocket with a fistful of keys, but no list. my blood runs cold. this wasn't just some small list i could call my mom and have her re-dictate. this was a full-fledged Yom Tov Cooking List. in desperation i u around the cashiers stand and dash back out into the rain, and wonder of wonders, there's the list, right next to my car. it must have fallen out of my pocket as i was getting out. i it, and to my immense relief, it had only sustained minimal water damage. i it up, a new cart, and hurry back inside.

from there things go bad to worse. my mother is trying some new things for yom tov, so there i am, wandering up and down the aisles, desperately looking for stone ground mustard. i guess regular mustard isn't good enough. and i never realized how many different types of soy milks are out there. just when I'm beginning to despair of ever finding the cholov yisroel brands, (they weren't in the section with all the other milk products) i find tucked away with chocolate pudding. still haven't figured that one out yet.

dodging frustrated fathers, maniac moms, screaming sticky kids, and even helpless old grandmas, i doggedly steer my cart up and down the aisle, looking for the required items....a shallot. i gotta take my guess at that one. i think they hang out with the onions and garlic, so i grab last two and toss onto the every growing heap of vegetables. this time i remembered to get the foil pans last. as a guy in the next aisle so correctly was explaining to his friend "there's nothing worse than coming home and finding your foil pans like this" he demonstrated by twisting a foil pan half. i stifle a laugh as eight boxes of tissues are tossed into the cart.

by the time my cart is full, I'm exhausted, frustrated, and still looking for the darned frozen peas. ah yes, the guy-who-stocks-the-shelves-and-who-is-always-in-the-way-but-never-getting-anything-done-and-doesn't-speak-enough-English-to-be-helpful was blocking the frozen pea section.

i check my list one last time...oh i forgot the sugar. at least i know where that one is. i wheel my cart over to the baking section...what? the entire shelf is totally bare! people, get a grip! it's not pesach, you don't need to go overboard on the baking! sheesh (although reader will note, that apparently no sugar is a big deal, because i forgot to tell mother about it and i was driven out in the pouring rain to borrow some from a neighbor)

so i finally make it to the checkout counter, and to my luck, i get the aisle with the new cashier. he's feverishly pumping in the codes for the vegetables that the bagger is yelling at him (i check the screen, and BINGO! they were shallots! anyone who buys shallots has to be making one of Susie Fishbein's concoctions. before her cookbooks came out no one had ever heard of them) in the middle of waiting to pay for my groceries, one of the cashiers comes running up to the owner of the store
"Mr. N, it's crazy out there, there are no carts left!"
i can't suppress a smirk. he sees me and replies
"it's not funny! people are fighting for carts!"
he punches his friend in the shoulder, they both laugh, and he goes back to his lane.

by the time I've paid for my groceries, gotten my receipt, and loaded my cart, my nerves are so frazzled, that i can't even stop to think if the white haired man standing fourteen feet away is my great uncle. I'll have to wait till i see him on rosh hashana to say hi. i grab my cart and run for my car, dodging raindrops and fighting off desperate hockey mom-cum-pit bulls who would give a tube of lipstick for my cart.

Friday, September 26, 2008

stupid forwards

i want to know who starts the stupid forwards. they're all so frustrating.

1. there is a girl missing! please circulate this picture and let the authorities know if you see him/her (according to snopes, which is an urban legend reference site, there's a greater chance that this child is thirty years old and doesn't want their sixth grade school photo passed around)
2. bill gates/gap/Microsoft is giving away free money/clothes/computers for every hundred people you forward this too (it is impossible to track emails. period)
3. the salvation army/red cross is giving away five cents for every person you forward this to for the health of a little child dying of some unheard of terminal disease (again, we haven't yet come up with the software that can track emails. at least not that i know of)
4. send this email to thirty four people in the next twelve seconds, you will have tremendous luck, lots of friends, never grow old, and the love of your life will find you. oh and a great miracle will happen tomorrow at noon. (my server doesn't work that fast, and can i reschedule that miracle? because noon doesn't work for me

but it's gotten way worse than that. it started out as a few. but now i get at least twenty or thirty a day. I'm talking about the forwards that are texted.
1. tehillim names. i always get pleas to say tehillim. i never get a notice to stop. and somehow the name just has a way of getting mixed up.
2. stupid jokes. like about young learning boys. there seems to be an abundant of them:
a young boy who learns daf yomi online will grow up to be a Google b'yisroel
how does a Lakewood boy propose? he drives up with a fifteen-passenger van and says "can you help me fill this up?"
a yeshiva boy is like a cellphone: free nights and weekends but no plan
urgent! rabbanim have declared that no yeshivas in Lakewood open up until every yungerman has a parking spot.
what's the difference between a dead body and yeshiva bachur? one goes from life support to the freezer...
they're not funny.
3. insults:
i volunteered to help at a mental health facility. they said i need 24 hours of experience. are you available tomorrow?
if i were to write a dictionary, this is what it would say; BEAUTIFUL: you SMART: you PRETTY: you LIAR: me
i just heard that the cops found an unidentified body, noted for its extreme ugliness. are you OK?
4. apparently for those who had Verizon, when you sent a text message to someone else in the Verizon network, a little check would appear next to the text when it was received. and now that doesn't exist anymore. so first the text that went around said that if we all call Verizon they'll change it back. now it's saying that if you send a text to ten people who are all within the Verizon network, it'll change.

and what's more annoying, is that everyone has enough time on their hands to pass it around. so i don't just get it once, i get it about six or seven times.

and you'd think that after constantly berating my friends they would learn not to send it to me. i just don't get why people waste the time to forward these things. if no one forwarded stupid jokes and the like, whoever starts them will stop.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the newest college dance

it's called the frum slide. it's what your eyes do when they latch on to a kippah or skirt at college.

first you affirm that it is indeed Jewish looking. that it is really a skirt and not just an incredibly baggy pair of pants. that it is truly a kippah and not a weird hat. then your eyes slide up or down to the face to see if it's a familiar one.

if it is, you rush over to each other, or maybe fall into step with them and do the whole catch up routine. ("what classes are you taking?" "who's your professor?")

if you don't know them, you do the shy -i-don't-really-know-you-but-you're-an-oasis-in-this-crazy-place-grin.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

you know you're a college student when...

1. you used to go to school at eight am, now any class before noon is considered 'early'
2. you max out your credit card in a bookstore
3. you call having a social life, bumping into more than three people you know in the hallways.
4. breakfast is anything that will keep you up for class
5. you'd rather wash dishes than study or write that paper
6. you're idea of 'doing lunch' with a friend is picking up food and eating in the cafeteria before class.
7. your facebook status usually has words in it that have to do with what you're studying
8. you've got your professors on speed dial
9. you've become real good at procrastinating, without feeling guilty
10. you spend all night blogging

Monday, September 22, 2008

this morning the season of summer ended at 11:44 am.

but for me it ended earlier.

even though i started school after labour day, the summer didn't end until the day i packed up the pool chairs. it was breezy and slightly chilly as i folded and stacked the brightly colored chairs that were scattered around the pool. they lay in a disconsolate heap, as if knowing they were going to be huddling miserably under a tarp for the next seven months. then i collected all the pool toys and put them in the large chest where we keep everything. i inhaled deeply and took in the summer scent of chlorine and sun tan lotion for the last time-and slammed the lid shut.

and that's when my summer ended.

when i was younger and i had a case of the winter blues, i used to go into the bathroom and open the bottle of suntan lotion, and like a genie's lamp, the summer memories used to come flooding back of sunshine and happy days. (gosh, i really hated school back then)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

my handicap

please don't ever ask me to buy soda.

i can't do it.

i don't like soda, so i never drink it. so when I'm asked to get soda, and I'm not given a specific list of exactly what to buy, i can stand in the aisle in front of the bottles for hours. is coke better than Pepsi? what is fresca the diet version of? what's the difference between soda with lime and soda with lemon? do people drink fanta or that other gross looking purple soda?

i can run any kind of errand. i can go to home depot to buy pipes. i can pick up paint, get pictures printed, have keys copies, get kerosene canisters, fill up a car with gas, take pets to the vet, or drop off clothing at the cleaners.

just PLEASE don't ask me to buy you soda.

Friday, September 19, 2008

fcg's wedding notes

1. always bring a spare pair of stockings. you never know when you'll kick yourself and get a hole
2. if the photographer, who's standing head and shoulders above the sweaty bodies on the dance floor, is sweating, it's probably very hot
3. don't dance with someone holding a tissue in their hand. they'll probably attempt to use it with your hand firmly clutched in theirs.
4. gowns that have skirts that are bunched in different places are really really pretty. but they always tear when someone steps on them.
5. if your dancing with or next to someone who has a skirt like that, and you're wearing pointy shoes, keep your toes planted firmly on the floor and you won't step on the gown.
6. it's impossible to prevent getting stepped on by stilettos. but maybe bulletproof stockings hold out a little better against puncture. (I'll have to try that one)
7. if you're going to drink, make sure someone else can take you home.
8. and make sure there are no potential mother-in-laws around
9. if the chosson's friends talk during the chuppah, chances are the dancing will be really good.
10. the weird unskinned chicken things with the rice in it always looks better than it tastes.
11. be careful about what you say when you're eating. you never know when a random married woman was accidentally placed on your table
12. the jump rope is a cute idea. but it looks really dumb in pictures, and it's hard to jump when you're holding six petticoats up and can barely see the floor.
13 if you spin the bride around and then carry her to the head table, she will greet her husband looking sweaty, dizzy, and terrified. how beautiful.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

my horse is bigger than your horse

me: hi uncle
uncle: hi niece
me: what's up?
uncle: nada
me: nothing. i am waiting for a very slow program to do whatever it's supposed to do
ooh i gotta show u my new phone
i got a voyager
uncle: you should see mine
i guarantee that mine is cooler
me: what phone yo you have?
uncle: i got a berry
uncle: yups
me: well mine has a touch screen
uncle: nice
me: ...but I'm sure yours nice too
uncle: mine has e-mail, Internet, pictures, video, does the dishes and takes out the garbage
me: well mine can hit more home runs than Derek Jeter, and can save AIG from collapsing
uncle: OK, you win

it's a game that never gets tired. no matter how old we are, we're always out to prove that we're better, stronger and healthier. that what we have is prettier, faster, and shinier

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

today i got a surprise in class. we had a fire drill. it interrupted the professor's attempts to make the hypothalamus sound funny. i felt like my birthday had come early! i haven't participated in a fire drill since eighth grade. not only did i get a break, but the delay of ten minutes caused the teacher to not have sufficient time to finish the material, so instead of taking the exam on Thursday...we're learning on Thursday and taking it home!


thank you Public Security for your annoyances!

Monday, September 15, 2008

the phone rings in my house. i ignore it. no one ever calls on my house phone for me. all the calls are for Sister2, a swarming, social butterfly.

"fcg! phone call!" my mom calls down the stairs.

someone calling for me at home can only mean one thing.

shidduch information.

i hate doing this.

i make my way upstairs and gesture to my mother that she should tell the woman that I'm not home, I'm sick, I'm away, i moved, ANYTHING. she gently pushes me in the direction of the phone. i gingerly pick up the phone.


"hi I'm calling about a friend of yours..."

(i was hoping my mom had made a mistake and heard wrong when she answered the phone. she hadn't. i stifle a groan)

"how can i help you?"

"can you tell me about your friend?"

(generalize much? uh, she likes tea? she has red slippers? her favorite color is red? she had a gum collection on the wall? she likes her freckles and doesn't cover them up? she owns more black pleated skirts than anyone else i know?)

"umm...can you be a little more specific please?"

"tell me about her personality"

(another stifled groan. personality is a very wide category. i fill her in making sure to hit the correct buzzwords: bubbly, outgoing yet refined, upbeat, positive...)

then she goes ahead to ask me the nasty questions: is she close with her parents? does she fight with her siblings?

i bite my tongue in an effort to retort: "do you think i would tell you if there was something wrong? like sure, I'm going to tell you that this girl is really nasty and put raw eggs in my pillowcase, or that she's a closet eater?"

i hang up and i tell my friends yet again, to TAKE ME OFF THEIR RESUMES! i don't like giving shidduch information. i don't have single friends on mine; they should reciprocate.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

some people leave paper trails. i leave a nickel, copper, and zinc trail. I'm horribly unorganized when it comes to loose change. i have coins everywhere. in my bag, in each pocket, in my wallet, in the door of my car, in the glove compartment, in the ashtray, wedged between the seats, on the floor, on every shelf in my room...

when i go to a store and i get change, i never feel like taking the time to actually put the coins in a change wallet which i have specifically for that purpose. so i dump the coins in my bag where they float around loose like that commercial for bank of America. if you took a massive magnet and waved it around in my room, or over my car, coins of every year and denomination would come flying out at you like some horribly backwards and twisted version of a snowstorm.

Friday, September 12, 2008


when i was little i used to love the rain. i played in it. i jumped in the puddles. i played in the mud. heck, i even ate worms! then i got older and boring. and i started hating rain. until the wacky looking rubber boots became "in" nobody wanted to be caught dead in them. so going out in the rain meant getting my feet wet. and my hair got ruined. or my makeup will get messed up. but a friend told me to stop being an old lady and take a walk in the rain once and see how nice it is.

so i did that.

and it wasn't so bad.

of course, it could be a pain when you have a broken windshield wiper and you only remember to fix it...when it rains. or you have to walk somewhere and it's pouring. or you're going to a wedding and your hair will get messed up. but when it's the light kind of rain, it's really almost enjoyable.

imagine being a blade of grass, suffering through three months of heat, totally parched. wilting, and brown, it waits for those drops of rain that nourish it. finally, it sees dark clouds on the horizon...and at last, blessed rain! i don't live in a farm, so i don't depend on rain for my livelihood. i just depend on my boss signing my checks. but I've come to see it less as an annoyance and more of a gift from Above. now as long as it doesn't rain Friday night when i have to walk to my meal....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

september 11

i can't believe it's been seven years. seven years since they hijacked the planes. seven years since the towers came crashing down. seven years since those heroes fell in the field in Pennsylvania. seven years. so many good people were lost that day. so many lives were changed forever. and we're rebuilding. it's been seven years but the first beam of the memorial is already up.

everyone plays the game "where were you when...?" i was in eighth grade. sitting at lunch, they told us there had been a great tragedy. a classmate who had gone to the doctor and had been sitting in the car came back and told me that planes had flown into the twin towers. i thought she was kidding. or had maybe heard wrong. when i got home from school i heard that they'd fallen. i was shocked. it seemed so surreal. the twin towers? gone? they're an integral part of the new york city landscape! I'd driven past them countless times! for weeks we were glued to the radio. everywhere you went people were talking about it. there were pictures all over the place. even now i can close my eyes and see the pictures. the building in flames. smoke everywhere. people jumping out thousands of feet, covered in blood and flames. the many people being carried out by rescue workers. all those who gave their lives to protect and save the victims...

today we're all joined in grief as we mourn the loss of the fallen victims, and celebrate the heroic deeds of the great.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

last night i made a startling discovery:

some stranger has been paying for my gym membership for the past three months.

the way it works is that you sign up and the gym automatically takes the monthly fee out of a bank account. when i went last night they told me my membership got canceled because my account was closed. upon seeing my astonished reaction, the guy behind the counter further explained,

"...yea, it looks like, uh, we tried to get into your account...on September 4th? and it was closed, so, uh, your thing got canceled"

obviously this was all some misunderstanding. i need my thing because i need to go to the gym. so i asked the loquacious gentleman if anyone had tried to contact me. (which i knew they hadn't) he said he had no clue. great. i tartly informed him that i had no intention of paying for a full new membership when i hadn't been informed that they couldn't get into my account. and guess what? it looks like the monthly membership fee was never taken out of the account!

which means that when the geniuses behind the desks entered the account information, they got the numbers messed up; and they hit the wrong account.

so whoever you are, thanks.

Monday, September 8, 2008

life is an adventure

i have been extraordinarily blessed. my life is never dull. things that seem simple, never end up being so. when i leave work for what should be a twenty minute break to go to the bank and radio shack, it takes me an hour and change to get back to my desk.

i flew to Israel with sister 1 a couple of years ago. we had a stopover in Switzerland and sister 1 was a little nervous at switching terminals, and then getting to the old city once we landed. my grandmother taught me something I've never forgotten. she said that anytime something goes wrong, i should look at it as adventure. and one day I'll laugh about it.

and she was right. when i was at a convention in Miami and i went for a five minute walk with my friend, and was still stumbling around north Miami beach at two am, i didn't panic. when my boss sent me out with his credit card...and i lost it, i didn't freak out. when i was late getting home one night during vacation when i was in Israel, and missed the last bus, i laughed. when i was cleaning up from the purim chagiga and i dropped a box containing six huge jars of pickle juice, and i dropped the box and got showered in pickle juice, i thought of my grandmother and didn't cry.

and indeed, it does work. somehow, the things that go wrong, and all the mishaps i encounter, somehow seem less terrible or frightening when i follow this philosophy. thanks grandma.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

cubing a rubik

sister 1 and sister 2 both know how to solve a Rubik's cube. after many fruitless attempts to solve it on my own, I'm reduced to learning how from my fifteen year old sister. she doesn't want to teach me the entire puzzle, because then she'll have to actually share the cube (fifteen year old logic) but I'm slowly learning how. it's maddeningly frustrating because it's taking me quite awhile.

but i WILL learn how to solve it.


first impressions....

...anatomy and physiology lecture professor is a nutcase. she swears she'll take our firstborns if we come late to class. and she'll sic her German Shepard on us if we cheat....

...lab professor can't be older than like twenty eight. he says if he catches us on the phone he'll deduct ten points from our next exam be it a quiz or practical. and he'll deduct five points from everyone else at the table. a bit harsh, but i suppose he has to be, or half the class won't listen to him, as they're older than he is...

...five lab partners this semester. one of them is Indian and doesn't like the way formaldehyde smells. dunno the names of any of them. three of them bonded over a cow's eyeball. though i might change seats because i couldn't really see the board. the chairs are way too high so my feet dangle, and it's very uncomfortable to take notes in that position...

...statistics professor is sometimes slightly difficult to understand, but seems pretty fair. the girl who sits next to me in that class wears more makeup than a b.y. girl on her first date. i thought Asians were supposed to be really smart, but the one in this class is kinda dumb...

....grandville is good, i had him last semester. anyone who has a masters in pharmacology, which is said to be the hardest degree EVER, has to be pretty serious about what he does...

this semester...
...i will not need to drop my lowest quiz grade...
...i will not get a parking violation...
...i will not lose my college id...
...i will raise my gpa...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

random conversation with sister 1

sister 1 is lauding all the wonderful things about her new chocolate3. fcg is pretending to be annoyed at her constant chattering, but really she's just plain jealous that she's getting so much agony from her old krazr and so little sympathy from the Verizon techs

fcg: why don't you stick your head in a vice and I'll turn the handle till your skull explodes?

sister 1: because that would be detrimental to my existence

fcg: yea i guess that would complicate things a bit...

amiable silence...

sister 1: wamu is the best bank ever.

fcg: oh really?

sister 1: yea, they have game boys there!

fcg: oh boy!

(slight whooshing noise as sarcasm goes over sister 1's head)

sister 1: yea when i went with BF she sat on the floor and played while i spoke to a banker (mind you, BF is 21..)

i feel bad for people who don't have sisters like mine....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

verizon: where technology meets failure

i wonder if Verizon has a personal vendetta against all phone holders with brown hair. or maybe they don't like phone numbers with a 2 in it. either way, i feel like there's a constant war raging between me and Verizon.

I've been to the store so many times. i can tell you all the sales reps names and when they work. i can tell you which customer representatives work part time because they're in school and which ones work full time. i can tell you which sign in machines work the quickest.

I've been there so long, I've sat on every chair (except the manager's chair) tried out every single phone, played Surviving High School '08 and Diner Dash 2 on every phone, raced my sister to see who can sign in faster, and i still haven't been given a phone that won't give me problems.

two months ago my 8 button was stuck and that was all that worked. last month i was dropping calls. last week my phone was freezing and blacking out. this week i can't receive any texts or voice mails.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

first day of school

it's not as exciting as when i was younger. i didn't get new shoes or tons of new supplies. i just went to walmart yesterday to get a bunch of notebooks. this morning i hastily grabbed some pens and pencils. there were no classmates to see and catch up with, no surprises about which teachers i would have (i got to pick them beforehand)

as i was going up, i met two girls i know who just came back from Israel, leaving. they both looked kinda shell shocked. they informed me that it wasn't the teacher that freaked them out, it was the students. to their credit, it is a bit of culture shock (to say the least) to go from bais yaakov schools to community college, but i almost laughed at them. and then i realized that i probably looked worse when it was my first semester, because i didn't have a friend with me. that sobered me up.

and as i walked down the path, trying to dodge the clouds of smoke and word bombs that were flying around me, i realized that i had become used to only being around frum people again. it wasn't as nasty as last year, but it still took some readjusting.

of course there was the usual mix-up. a female teacher came in and wrote psy 103 on the board, when the class was statistics and supposed to be taught by a male. but my college always double s the classrooms. so things got straightened out and i survived the first class of the semester.

i thought i was in school for a long time-until i met two chassidish women who have been here for four years-this is their fifth. they're somewhat of a novelty in this school-aside from their mode of dress which obviously makes them stand out quite a bit, they're a mother-daughter team, both married with little children. the mother started here by getting her GED, because she could barely write English. i guess if they survived, I'll survive too....