Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I saved lives!

yesterday i gave blood for the first time. it was a very exciting experience.

my neighbor is a parent in a school that has a bi-annual blood drive. she asked me to help out just to keep things running smoothly, and once i was there, i figured i might as well give blood. i have to admit, the needles are kind of big and scary looking, but if needles intimidate me, well, then I'm making the wrong career choice.

i walked away with a free t-shirt, bag, pin, sticker, and a good feeling that i was able to help sick people.

Monday, December 29, 2008

i was tagged by the babysitter and G6

Book Meme

Here are the rules:
Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.

Not all your hide would tempt me in the least. TARTUFFE: girl, speak more modestly; unless you do, i shall be forced to take my leave of you. DORINE: Oh, no, it's i who must be on my way; I've just one little message to convey. Madame is coming down, and begs you, Sir, to wait and have a word or two with her. TARTUFF: gladly.

That came from Tartuffe,or The Impostor by Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere. i have The Norton Anthology Of World Masterpieces on my bed, because i was sick in bed the whole day, and desperate for something to read.

Seven Facts About Me

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

1. I'm a lefty.

2. i don't like meat. it may be as a result of eating Neve food for a year. by the time i came home from Israel, i wasn't eating chicken, meat, or fish. i started eating chicken again, but i just can't stomach meat.

3. i got stitches three times. once when i was four, on my chin (i ran into a lamppost) when i was eleven, again on my chin (i was "skating" on ice in my backyard and i fell) and when i was 13 on my lip (i ran into a tree) i was kind of clumsy when i was younger. for full embarrassing details on these stories, see sister1

4. I'm an over-obsessive shower freak. i can't get into bed at night without showering. even if i come home at 2 am. the second Shabbos is over I'm in the shower. i just like feeling very clean

5. i can raise one eyebrow. this is a feat that i taught myself how to do in sixth grade. i used to practice for hours in front of the mirror, until i was able to isolate the muscle of my left eyebrow. and then my right.

6. i love double numbers. i don't know when i realized it, but i just find them more fun than other double digits. my favorite one is 33. it's partially due to the fact that when i was in eleventh or twelfth grade, my favorite Yankee pitcher was Javier Vazquez, and his jersey number was 33. until he got traded after the embarrassing loss of 22-0 to the Indians.

7. i listen to music at night to fall asleep. sometimes in the morning i wake up tangled in my headphones, and sister1 says I'm going to strangle myself, but i have a hard time falling asleep without it.

i can't tag anyone because they've all done it already

Thursday, December 25, 2008

at a chanuka party last night i had the first donut of the holiday. it was custard. custard is one of those foods that you either love or hate. like tuna fish. there isn't really an in between with those kind of foods. of course, nothing beats the caramel donuts of Israel. everyone says that Uri's makes the best ones. but i personally think that it's because it's free with the talk-and-save coupon. nothing tastes as good as free food when you have no money. i personally thought the donuts from the Ma'afia Ne'eman were the best. the stand in the mall in Malcha were even better then the ones from the store on Yaffo. a friend of mine said she found a grocery store locally that had caramel looking donuts, but they just didn't taste the same. so i was thinking about caramel donuts. why are they always squashed? it doesn't matter where you buy them, how long they've been sitting, or how fresh they are. they icing is always cracked, and they always have a squashed look, as if they've been sat on. and there's gotta be a better way to make them so that you don't have to eat a dry donut till the center, and then when there's no donut dough left, you get a mouthful of custard. still, they are my favorite chanuka food.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

it's scary how quickly time flies.

this morning an old classmate of mine had a baby. she's not the first of my friends to become a mother, but I've known her the longest. aside from being in her class since second grade, I've lived across the street from her since i moved into the neighborhood when i was four. we played together on Shabbos afternoons, carpooled to parties, rode the bus with each other, sat on her front porch swatting at mosquitoes in the summer evenings. and now she's a parent. responsible for a child. i don't remember growing up, but i turn around and I've closed the chapter of elementary school. high school is over too. I'm not even a teenager anymore. we're all moving swiftly forward on the path of Life. kinda makes me want to make the most of every moment (which means i should probably not have allowed myself the guilty of pleasure of staying in bed till who-knows-when this morning) and make every moment count. I've said this before, but life's just way too short to care about the small stuff. it's the important things that should matter; health, happiness, friends, family...

surround yourself by the people you love, and don't waste time in petty arguments. don't get stuck in situations that won't make a difference a week from now, or even two days from now.

Monday, December 22, 2008

it's definately Chanuka

my house has it written all over the place: besides for the obvious-the menorahs at the windows, there are dreidels strung over the banister, happy Chanuka stickers on the dining room window, the front door, my mom's car, even on the bathroom mirror! and of course, oily food. although, mercifully, we don't have to have the latkes we had last year. the "healthy" ones. the ones that "tasted like fried glue" according to my siblings.

there's snow on the ground. it's definitely a "white Chanuka" although it would be nice if the town did a better job plowing. and a quicker job too.

the stores are playing "Maoz Tzur" and other Chanuka tunes. ad nauseam. according to a friend of mine they were playing Maoz Tzur in Walmart, but i doubt that.

the Chabad cars are driving around with menorahs strapped to their roofs. last year i got to drive a MenorahMobile because i worked for Chabad. this year i got to drive a car with broken windshield wipers and low tire pressure. what fun.

presents are being given all around. my family doesn't really do the whole gift-giving thing, but my mom got us each something small. just a gesture to show us she was thinking of us. (thanks, Mom) but yay for Grandparents who believe in giving money on Chanukah!

and best of all, I'm on vacation from school! time to start on my winter reading list, and sleeping late. oh, wait. i can't sleep late, because i have to take Sister 1 the the bus every morning. well at least i have lots of free time and no obligations. so i can catch up with friends who i never see. and i can help out at the blood drive that my neighbor is running. (see, vacation is NOT a selfish thing!)

Happy Chanuka!

Friday, December 19, 2008

city snow

it's pretty

it's quiet

it's hushed

under a blanket of snow

it's pretty


it's gray from car exhaust

and yellow from...well it's yellow

it's nasty when you get splashed

you can keep your city snow

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

anybody have a connection to Brett Favre?

my lab professor has promised a free A to anyone who can bring him to the practical tomorrow. he said first he'll scream like a girl, and then we'll get to go home...
my notes were typed

hers were hand-written

but we were both studying

my notes were dog-eared

hers were tattered

but we were both studying

my notes were about nephrons

hers were about microfilm

but we were both studying

i was chewing gum

she was drinking coffee

but we were both studying

i was mumbling

she was listening to music

but we were both studying

i go to a community college

she goes to Touro

but we were both studying

i had a final

she had a final

and we were both studying

Monday, December 15, 2008

it's funny how when you move on to a different stage in life, you look back at younger people and wonder in amazement how you ever thought you were cool.

I'm "babysitting" in my old high school while the girls are practicing for their concert. i'm sitting and observing them (in between my chapters of tubular re absorption and acid-base balance) dance and socialize and I'm realizing that they i was probably the exact same way in high school. and why not? my friends and i thought we were on top of the world:

we were old enough to drive and go out alone
we were young enough not to have any big responsibilities besides for school (and who take school seriously when you're in high school anyway????)
we were well-behaved enough to be trusted with our own freedom
we were deviant enough to enjoy good times

but oh, we were so childish. and so nerdy!

we looked back and seventh and eighth graders and called them babies. we thought we were all grown up.

and then we graduated high school and went away to Israel. and then we thought we'd really grown up. here we had all the freedom in the world. a whole year to explore the land, our religion, and ourselves. we felt bad for our friends still confined to the rigidity of high school. we were sure that we'd made it to adulthood.


now that I've been back for a little bit, i see how the year in Israel is, a great experience, yes, but more than that, it's living in a bubble. where everything is all perfect and beautiful. and the girls are so busy rushing around, taking pictures, going to Americans in maalot dafna, and rebbitzins in bnei brak, and eating out in cafe rimon and center one, and going jet skiing in netanya, and the blind museum in cholon. shabbat chanuka in tzfat, and bircat kohanim at the kotel.

but more importantly than that, i no longer think I'm all grown up. i know I'm still young, I've got my whole life ahead of me, and more than a lifetime of lessons to learn.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

i was so busy

walking on my own path

that i didn't notice

i was kicking dust into yours

i was so busy

living my life

that i didn't notice

i was treading on yours

i was so busy

creating my own memories

i didn't notice

i was ruining yours

I'm sorry

that i didn't notice

I'm sorry

that i never apologized

and thank you

i feel like it's almost an integral part of childhood to play an instrument. sister 1 played the guitar. in fact she still has it somewhere in the closet. and whenever she's feeling nostalgic she pulls it out to strum. but i say no playing until it's tuned. untuned guitars sound awful. i took Casio lessons. but in typical me form, i stopped for lack of motivational interest. i thought my teacher was too boring. and that the songs i was supposed to practice were stupid. and that i sounded dumb. or who knows what else i was thinking then. brother 1 also played piano. personally, i think he's more musically inclined than i am. but which boy wants to sit and practice scales. so now that leaves sister 2 and brother 2.

sister 2 decided she wanted to go for something less conventional.

she announced that she wanted to play the saxophone. my mom's first reaction was to recoil in horror. she was thinking Bill Clinton and seedy jazz bars. i was thinking more along the lines of "thank G-d she didn't choose the tuba!" so she plays the sax. in the beginning she sounded like a flock of Canadian geese that had caught a particularly bad strain of the West Nile virus, or something equally as awful. but she's gotten better at it. now she plays all kinds of music. from Jewish, to Popular Folk (YMCA) to Rock (We Will Rock You) and everything in between. i think she's supposed to be playing something in her school concert. (something Jewish, obviously)

brother 2 started off on the flute. the only thing cool about it was that it was stored in pieces. i remember when we went to Detroit one year, he took it with him, and announced at 4 am that he was going to practice. i think i threatened to hit him over the head with it, and then break it into many more pieces. a short while after that, his teacher switched him to the clarinet. it wasn't as pretty as the flute, but i shouldn't have wished for him to stop playing it, because recently he got switched again-to trumpet. very very annoying. think a duck trying swallow a very hot piece of sharp metal that is slightly too large. he's very good about practicing, but at this particular moment, I'd rather sleep than hear a rendition of "Oh Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel"

Saturday, December 13, 2008


as if it's totally normal to bomb a poor guy with candy.

at my friend's brother's shabbat chatan, his friends warned him to wear a helmet. and sister 2 told me she had a friend who's cousin showed up to his wedding with a black eye because a relative had really good aim (and apparently a personal vendetta against him)

another thing; does anybody besides me, my mom, my sister, and a neighbor who sits behind us in shul know that you're not supposed to kiss in a Jewish place of worship? i know that everyone is really truly very excited that this young man has made it safely to marriage without landing up dead, in jail, or missing some limbs, but gosh that poor mother! it's like she just scored the winning touch-down at the Super Bowl!

i had this awful eye-twitch during davening. it was the weirdest thing! i know, it means I'm stressed. anytime i talk about anything unusual happening, I'm told i have stress; i can't sleep at night, i have twitching, i have headaches. ppl, i don't have stress! I'm in the middle of the easiest semester of my life, I'm a week away from vacation, i don't have anything big and scary coming up. in fact, I'm so stress free-I'm worried that something very stressful is going to happen! i kept trying to show sister 2, but every time she looked at me, she missed it. yea i know what you're thinking. way too old to be acting like this in shul. but the acoustics in the shul are terrible, and both the baal korei and the rabbi who were speaking, weren't speaking very clearly. and our mechitza doesn't allow for alot of sound to get through.

so my family's got this great talent for always being the among the last to leave shul. it's beautiful that my parents have so many friends and love to socialize with them. but that means their poor starving children are at their mercy. and even if we leave early, we can't start lunch without them. and if we haven't made it to the kiddush early enough, we didn't even hear kiddush so we haven't eaten all morning. so we're just left to stand around and watch the parental units talking, while there's nobody left for us to talk to because all the young adults our age are either not around because they've gotten married or moved away, or they are slightly undesirable to talk to, or they're some one's relative

Thursday, December 11, 2008

i miss my friend

sometimes all it takes is for something to be taken away, and then you start to realize how much you took for granted.

when my friends got married and moved away, i accepted it. it's the next stage in life. I'm glad that they transitioned so easily. but when a single friend told me she's going back to Israel for the year, it took me a lot longer to accept that. but i sent her off tearfully. and it's been almost four months. and i still miss her.

yes, with today's technology, it's a lot easier to stay connected across the ocean. but with a time difference, and a combination of two weird schedules, we rarely get to talk. of course emails are great too. but there's only so much sentiment you can pour into a virtual message.

i miss her.

i miss walking into her house and feeling like I'm home
i miss sparring with her sister, or chatting with her mother.
i miss her random calls to tell me that she wants to go around and draw smiley faces on everyone's car.
i miss her dragging me to shiurim
i miss her belting out songs by Chanala at the top of her lungs
i miss her playing Itzik Eishel at an insane decibel level when I'm trying to drive.
i miss working on bridal showers and birthday parties with her.
i miss seeing her picture on my caller ID when she calls me.
i miss arguing with her.
i miss her smile.
i miss her hugs.

dear friend, i miss you terribly. i know you're growing every day, and you're reaching greater heights. but i can't wait for you to come home so i can run up the steps to your house, and flop on your bed and hear you say "what should we do today?"
you know how you get into the habit of saying certain expressions, and then they'll jump out at precisely the wrong moment? like in seventh grade when you picked up that bad word from your friend, and then it slipped and came out in front of your mom.

well i do that all the time.

case 1:
"that's the truth, Ruth"
i don't even know where i picked this one up from, but i started using it all the time. and then when i was talking to my grandmother and she made an excellent point, i blurted it out...yup, her name is Ruth. thankfully she just laughed about it. now sometimes sister 1 says "that's the truth, Grandma"

cast 2:
"who's we, white man?"
there are many arguable points of origin for this one, but i picked this up from a sibling of mine who says it all the time. and i rarely use it. but it was floating around in my head that embarrassing moment. a classmate of mine who is an African American (and ironically, has the last name of White) leaned over my desk and said "now we're going to ace this final, aren't we?" so i muttered back at her "who's we, white man?" as the words were coming out of my mouth, i tried to stop them, but it was too late. she obviously didn't hear me, because i wouldn't be around right now if she'd heard. but Holly, the woman who sits in front of me, heard me. but she thought it was funny because she's a mad racist. and cuz she doesn't like Ronna.

Monday, December 8, 2008

my vacation planning is underway!

I've booked a ticket for a week and a half to Michigan where my mom's sister lives. despite the frigid cold (which everyone mentions every time i talk about it) I'll be spending time with my aunt, as well as a seminary friend who lives there too. and ironically enough, a New York friend who i never get to see will be flying in for a wedding, so maybe I'll have a chance to hang out with her then.

I've created a winter reading list of all the books i want to read. I'm still accepting suggestions, but before i listen to anyone else, i have to read the four Harlen Coben novels i haven't yet managed to find. I've put myself on a waiting list for all the books not yet in the library so I'll have them by the time the semester is over.

as for the rest of my time, I'm planning on going skiing, and helping my mom finish (or start) putting pictures in albums and maybe (if I'm feeling really helpful) cleaning out the dreaded toy closet. (a task which personally, i think sister 2 is best at)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

it's one of my favorite times of the year.

it's the beginning of winter. the weather is just starting to get cold, which means I'm not sick of the cold yet. i can still sometimes get away with not wearing a coat, and i get to wear sweatshirts and boots, two of my favorite things about winter. it isn't snow season yet, which i hate. when i was younger i loved snow because school got canceled, and i played in the snow. now i hate playing in the snow, and the bad roads means i can't go anywhere.

it's almost chanukah. chanukah is almost my favorite holiday. it's kinda hard to compare to the others because it's more of a regular day, but i love the candle lighting, family time, and all the holiday cheer. of course, most of it is secular promotion, but i like it anyway.

my semester's almost over. it hasn't been a very particular hard one, as I've not had a full load, but I'll still be relieved when i have nothing to do. I'm full of plans for vacation; going through my reading list, helping my high school produce their play, go skiing, visit my aunt in Michigan, hang out with friends i never see, of course i have some weddings to go to...I'm sure that at some point in my 6 week hiatus from education I'll be bored and slightly cranky, but for now I'm looking forward to it.

shopping sales. i only like shopping when i buy lots of things. at good discounts. so now it's much easier to find the things that i like at a price i can afford. (wow i sound like a campaign ad for Old Navy) of course, it's the small funny things that happen when i go shopping which make it intolerable. like meeting up with old classmates (desirable or undesirable) who work in Best Buy at the Geek Squad, Aldo, or Circuit City. or running into (almost literally) my professor, who's an EMT, on a call in Lord and Taylor.