Sunday, May 31, 2009

this week I counted the complete cycle of seven weeks. It’s a very big accomplishment for me, because I haven’t completed a cycle of sefirah since I brought a sefirah chart home from school-like second grade. I went through a  period when I was indifferent as to whether or not I counted-oh I made a half-hearted attempt to count, but I usually ‘got out’ within the first two weeks. One year I even missed the first night. Then I heard somewhere that some rabbi said that women shouldn’t even start with a bracha because they’re almost inevitably going to forget counting at some point.  I think it was the year I was seminary. So of course, once I was told I couldn’t do something, I became determined to do it. I even signed up for my dad’s email reminders. But I didn’t make it to the computer everyday, and I didn’t make it through the third week. Last year, my friend forwarded sefirah reminders to me every night, but by the time I signed up, I had missed one. I think it was Friday night, because I didn’t get a text. This year I got reminders every single night, and I made a big effort to remember to count on Friday night, and I never once missed a night. It’s a pretty big deal.

Why do people correlate counting sefirah to eating cheesecake? It’s everywhere; on facebook “So-and-so is still counting with a bracha, I can almost taste the cheesecake”, my dad, “if you count the entire sefirah, you can even have a piece of cheesecake on erev yomtov"

 it’s become a thing that you can only have cheesecake if you count. I’m not a massive cheesecake fan. We have a dairy meal every yomtov, and on Pesach we almost always have cheesecake. But why specifically connect the Shavuos food? Why not “you cleaned your room for pesach, now you can eat macaroons on Pesach”? Or “you listened to the shofar all elul, now you can have a piece of honey cake on Rosh Hashana”? 

to me Shavuos is supposed to be a summer chag, but this year it started off feeling like Succos-the first night was freezing and rainy. but the weather made up for on the first day by being beautiful, and when i ventured out in another cute-but-uncomfortable pair of shoes, i was able to appreciate living in the suburbs. but when i got to shul, my neighbor informed me that they were about finished. it's the thought that counts, right?

my mom's a big fan of using machzorim on chagim, because you've got all the tefila and torah reading right there. but it's just as easy to use a siddur and chumash, and not have to worry about leaving my machzor in shul. especially since my machzor has pages and pages of extra piyutim that my shul (thankfully) doesn't say. so I'm content to use an Artscroll siddur. sometimes when i daven from them on Y't i feel like I'm reading one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books. because every thirty pages or so, there are ten lines at the bottom of the page redirecting you depending on what time of year and what day of the week it is. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

in my family we're not big Memorial Day celebraters. we hang up the flag, and sometimes have a barbecue within 3 days of the day, but no big parties or family outings.

there is usually a ceremony at the veteran's cemetery down the street from my house, but i haven't gone in years. i think the thrill of watching decorated men shoot gun salutes, and then scrambling to look for blanks wore off a bunch of years ago. this year there was a parade of fire trucks and soldiers on Main Street, but my bed seemed like a much better place to be at 9am on a vacation morning.

but when i did drag myself out of bed, i almost had a productive day. i sat by the pool for an hour and kicked off the summer season with the first half of a big nice sunburn (i know, i should have put on suntan lotion) then i took my dad out for his birthday (he was so excited that he told everyone that it was for his birthday) and then i went boating with brother2 and got the second half of the burn (that's when it starting hurting a little)

so i did the outdoor thing, although I'm still wondering how eating hot dogs and going swimming helps commemorate soldiers who fell in battle defending the country. 

a funny thing occurred while i was attempting to make plans for the week. i was texting my friend, back and forth, but we were both busy doing other things, so it was a very disjointed and took forever. i thought to myself, "if only there was some way i can talk to her directly and not wait to receive a reply" and then it hit me-phones are used for phone calls too!

I'm mainly a texter

Thursday, May 21, 2009

to people who love to accessorize, sunglasses are another fun thing to shop for, to match to their clothing, and bags.

but to someone like me, who is fashionably challenged, it's another thing to have to shop for, to make sure it matches with my clothing. 

i usually stick with simple generic sunglasses that don't make me look like a bug, and actually keep the sun out of my eyes. sister1 has four pairs of sunglasses hanging up on the wall-her shabbos sunglasses, her regular weekday ones, her funky pink ones, and her favorite pair which cracked, but she doesn't have the heart to throw out (at least I'm assuming that's the reason she has for keeping sunglasses that she doesn't wear anymore) even brother1 has sunglasses, although i don't think he actually wears them, but he's very proud of them because they're a knockoff of some stupid company with an animal on them. 

when sister1 came home from the city with yet another cool pair of sunglasses, i told her to buy me a pair of sunglasses. which she did. in truth, i don't really like them so much because you can sort of see my eyes through them, and one of the benefits of wearing sunglasses is that if i have to run out in the morning and i haven't yet had a chance to put on makeup, i can wear sunglasses and you can't really tell. but since it's too much of a hassle to actually shop for a pair, i just kept the ones she bought for me. 

the other thing sunglasses are good for is to wear up on my head to keep my hair out of my face. i have a friend that tries on sunglasses two ways-on her face and up on her head, because she says the sunglasses spend equal time in both places. in the bungalow colony i worked at, there was a woman who went out at night and insisted on wearing her sunglasses over her shaitel even though it was like 9:30 and the sun had long since set. it wasn't like she'd been wearing them all day either. sometimes when I'm out all day i find that my sunglasses are still on at night, because I've gotten used to wearing them, like my blue tooth headset. 

but the real pain with sunglasses is that it's so hard to find a normal pair, and they break so easily. they get squashed in my bag, someone steps on them, or sits on them when they're on the seat in the car, and then i have to go through the whole torturous process all over again. so far this spring I've only had one pair, and I'm hoping it stays that way. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

i really wanted to donate. but a finger prick showed a low iron count in my blood. so i had a second finger prick. and my iron was still too low to donate. so i didn't get to give blood. I'll have to eat raisins and try again at a different blood drive next week. 

i think i get and E for Effort though. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

there's a part of me that enjoys riding the subways of New York. (i know, i sound like a country bumpkin) the people watching aspect is always thrilling-even though my mother always warned me not to look at anyone on the subways. it's kind of hard to focus on looking at the blinking lights telling you where between Manhattan and Brooklyn on the 2 train you are, or reading and rereading the advertisement for celebrating earth day in the Bronx Zoo, or the picture of the woman who had 20 amputations because of artery occlusions due to smoking. especially when there are fascinating people to watch. there was the girl lugging three full gym bags which looked they weighed almost as much as she did. the man across from me who had three teeth, and more hair coming out of his ears and nose than he did on his head. the guy who slept almost the whole line and woke up right at his stop. how do people sleep on subways? I'd be too terrified that I'd miss my stop and end up who-knows-where.

but then there's the part of me that wants to scrub my hands with Purell and wipe down the seat before i sit down. the air feels dirty, and i can almost feel it clogging up my alveoli as i breathe. even touching the handrails, makes my hand feel dirty. and that's not to mention all the funky smells from everyone's body odor, weird perfume, and the garbage that's dumped everywhere. 

always an interesting way to travel, but i prefer Uncle Willie, my trusty steed. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

more on stupidity and stupid people...

the comprehensive final for one of my classes. was in a big auditorium-like room. there were two or three classes together. the professor had told us to bring our I.D. just in case she didn't recognize someone, being that she teaches a lot of classes. 

of course there were corrections to be made to the tests. i wonder why the teachers don't proofread their tests one last time before they print it out and run off copies. and i don't know why they stress so much about changing every single typo. obviously if the question says would healing, we can figure out that it means wound healing. doesn't everyone always say that nursing is one of the hardest associates degrees? give us some credit to be able to figure things like that out!

so as the professor was running through all the mistakes on the test, the woman sitting next to me raised her hand and asked for a pencil. i looked at her and wasn't surprised that i didn't recognize her. although i know most of the students in the same year as me in the nursing program, there are always some who don't have any of the same classes as me,  and don't study with same people i study with. she'd been sitting next to me for about twenty minutes before the professor came in, and i heard her telling someone on the phone that she wasn't feeling very well, but couldn't afford to miss the exam, so she was drugged up and praying she'd be able to focus on her paper. (indeed, she did look quite confused) apparently my professor didn't recognize her either. she walked over to the woman, squinted at her, and said 
"i don't recognize you. are you in my class?" 
Confused Woman looked up at the professor and said something that i couldn't quite catch. then the professor looked at her papers and said to Confused Woman 
"your exam is not here. it's in room 3225 over in Building II. you should hurry though, because your exam started fifteen minutes ago". 
so Confused Woman gathered her things and left the room. 

that got me wondering. the woman had been sitting in the room for close to a half hour before the professor came in. did she not realize that there wasn't a SINGLE person from her class sitting in the room? and when the professor came in and started talking and handing out papers, did she not realize that the woman standing in front of the class was not THE WOMAN WHO'D BEEN TEACHING HER FOR THE PAST THREE MONTHS??????????

drugged or not, i wouldn't want HER as my nurse!