Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Eating for free

And it did not even involve dating anyone! How good does it get? Well...

I met my brother for lunch yesterday (mmm... corned beef sandwiches at Mendy's), and he seemed to remember me paying for his lunch the last time we met, so he paid this time. Although, considering that last time I paid his lunch was about half the price of this time, I felt slightly bad... well, next time I'll pay. It was good catching up and just generally having my brother live (relatively) close by.

Then A. took me out to dinner to celebrate my birthday (I know... I must have one of the longest lasting birthday celebrations on the face of this planet!). We went to Tevere. Food was great, but the waiters asked us to leave since they had a large group waiting by the door. I'm sorry, but when people drop over $100 on dinner, you'd better be sure to treat them politely. It therefore gets a thumbs-down on the shosh-scale.

At my suggestion, A. brought his not-so-new girlfriend along... the first one that I've officially met since we were in college. She's super nice--so sweet and unpretentious. I asked him today when they're getting married. Do you think that was too forward?

Well, he should be used to me by now. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

I called in sick yesterday (the subway smelled even worse than usual, so I decided to go back home and sleep), and had a blissful day of doing nothing. I finished the last book in the series I've been reading--the trilogy by Sandra Gulland about Josephine Bonaparte. It was really good, and now I've finally started to figure out what went where in terms of the French Revolution (educational for me, but then again, my high school history class was a joke). Slept a bit, watched Peggy Sue Got Married (the title is the best part of the movie), made dinner for myself--the first time in months.

After travelling back and forth from NY 3 times over the Chagim, I finally lost my passport on the plane coming back to NYC this week. It was about time. Now I have to call the airline to see if they've found it, but I'm not that hopeful. I'll just have to get a new one, I suppose.

But seeing everyone over the past month was great. I got to catch up with my sister over simchat torah, see my nephews (and other assorted family) over first days of sukkot, plus I got to see my best friend and her now fiance over rosh hashanah. Overall, very productive, even if it was somewhat stressful.

Not too much gossip that people here would care to know, I don't think. Saw some friends from college, some friends from high school, all of whom are married with various children. Found out all the news that no one's talking about, but everyone knows from my oldest friend (she's the best for finding everything out before anyone else knows). And got very few questions about who I am or am not going out with--It was isolated to a couple of questions from my mother and sister. I think most people finally decided that I really am a spinster. Makes my life much easier...

Monday, October 20, 2003

Simchat Torah

I did end up going to visit my sister and brother-in-law, and their new house, for simchat torah. It was great to see them. I slept (you don't even want to know how late I woke up on Friday), ate, was merry... and was very, very cold! yikes. Coming back to NYC this morning was great. Like a balmy spring day. More on simchat torah happenings, sightings, and gossip tomorrow (if I have a chance).


Still trying to take my GMATs (see my first entry for reference), but I'm really just not ready yet. Let's just say that math is not my favorite thing. But I am getting somewhat better at it. Just postponed it for another 3 weeks. Any more than that and I'm afraid I'll just start slacking again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

So excited!

This week, I discovered a bookstore right near my office. And not just a Borders or B&N either. It's a fabulous, intellectual, crowded, with a coffee shop, wandering-for-hours type of place. I already got lost in there yesterday, and bought a recording and translation of The Magic Flute (part of my quest to broaden my horizons). It was on sale. Still expensive, but on sale. We'll see if I ever listen to it...

In the meantime, I managed to spend over an hour there, which was not very good, considering I only officially have an hour for lunch. And I had already run some errands beforehand. oops. I suppose I'll have to buy a watch in the future, if I'm ever going to go back in there again.


Thursday, October 09, 2003


There's a thread on protocols about a former YU student who's in the Trembling Before G-d DVD. And a comments section that is pretty offensive. I don't usually post--in fact next to never--but I did feel obliged this time. I don't usually rip comments off other sites, but I thought this was a great topic, done a disservice through the other comments posted there.

My comments are below for those of you that don't want to deal with going through the others.

Aside for the horrible language here-- [and by horrible, I mean stomach-churning, offensive, and not-just-because-I-had-yet-to-read-those-terms-being-used-in-ANY-conversation (and yes, in spite of not watching MTV, I do know what they mean, simply by being a semi-cognitive human being)]--There are some points that have to be made:

1) Many people, orthodox and non-orthodox, are tremendously homophobic--we should realize that we can't judge people ourselves--true the Torah says that it's a to'evah, and I'm not one to argue with that. But, your job is not to pass G-dly judgement on people. yours is to be able to relate to them as human, and treat them as such. Not to treat them as garbage or worse because they have done something that is against the Torah. You would never dream of treating someone who was not Shomer Shabbat, or who was (even) Over Lashon Hara, like that, and you are not G-d to say which is worse. We don't know. And it's not our job to judge.

2) True, there is an issue with people wearing their gay-ness with pride. Separate issue. But perhaps if they wouldn't be hounded by the 'mainstream' they wouldn't feel the need to react in *any* manner. There would never have been any need for gay pride parades, (and yes, there definitely used to be a need, and not just to check out the shoes), there never would have been a need to make Trembling Before G-d, and perhaps, this guy wouldn't have felt the need to switch out of YU.

"Dude" had a response later on that I thought was worth posting here too, and pointed out something that I hadn't taken into consideration...
"There is a significant difference between someone who succumbs to Tayvo but recognizes the problem and someone who publicizes his sins, advocates 'tolerance' of the sins (as opposed to the people), or even a change in Halacha (See Chofetz Chayim Klal Daled). This is the real problem with this whole movement. Most Orthodox 'Homophobia' has less to do with a lack of ability to tolerate a person with a Tayvo, but rather with a wholesome disgust at a movement which tries to publicly mainstream what the Torah calls 'Toeyvah'. Not everyone in the movement is trying to do that, but so many are that it minimizes the ability of the moderates to take a moderate stand on the matter.

As someone who is good friends with an Orthodox gay person, I recognize that he has a Tayvo and I dont know how well he does at controlling it, but the moment he advocates altering Torah or flagrantly publicizes his intent to ignore the halacha (mumar) is when our relationship ends. (See Chofetz Chayim Clal Daled for a halachic basis for 'intolerance') "

Any opinions out there?

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

To do list

Well. This has been some year. It's time for a look back and a look forward, if only briefly. Of course, most of this has been edited, due to the fact... well, due to the fact that I would like to keep at least some privacy in my life.

This past year:
A year of pain, a year of firsts, a year of coming into my own. I grew, somewhat. I fell back, a lot. I did things I'm very proud of, things that I look back and say "Wow, that took guts! Why didn't I do that years ago?" And of course, the things that I definitely should not have done.

There was a lot of coming to terms with the world around me, with my family, with my friends. Recognizing that the world does not revolve around me, not even in the slightest, and that I have no control over most major aspects of my life. But that I still have to control my reactions to the outside world. Which I haven't been so successful with either. And then... relief. sorrow. regret. determination.

This coming year:
I will go after what I want. When I finally figure out what that is.

I will control my facial expressions.
I will have the determination to carry things through.
I will let go of my anger.
I will realize that I cannot judge those people whom I judge most harshly.
I will not judge people.
I will read more.
I will watch TV less.
I will be nicer to my roommates.
I will let go.
I will go to my cousins for shabbos.
I will call my parents more often.
I will call my aunts and uncles more often.
I will spend less money on cooler clothes.
I will buy a pair of patent-leather mary-janes.
And ballet flats.
I will be less of an airhead.
I will read more Leonard Cohen and more Borges.
I will make less fun of my dates.
I will be a more open individual.
I will be nice when I meet new people.
I will try and quit my job.

I will probably fail in most of these, but at least I'll always have fabulous shoes.


Or, as I heard on the radio this morning... The Gropernator. Somewhat crass, but pretty accurate. And now, apparently, the Democrats might recall the recall. It's at times like this that I'm glad I didn't grow up in this crazy country. Well, at least it was entertaining. My favorite article, though, would have to be this one, which doesn't have much to do with Arnold.

Of course, it's still early... you never know what other fun articles might turn up online today.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

mazal tov!

My best friend got engaged Thursday night. The guy seems nice enough, I met him over R"H, so at least I know who he is (kindof, he was pretty jet-lagged). I just hope she doesn't turn into an obnoxiously happy "I'm getting married, look at me" type-of-person. But I don't think so--we're both too naturally grumpy to be like that, which is what makes us such good friends in the first place. Well, here's to hoping she stays somewhat sane. Just happier.

Stats you need...

Apparently, there's a new cause of divorce: daughters. Umm... I'm not really sure what to say about that. But my parents are still married to each other, and they've got 4 of us! (pooh pooh pooh.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Yo dude! Check out my... iron?

The front page of the Wall Street Journal today has an article about the wonderful new sport of extreme ironing. Now, I have to say that Reuven sent me a link to the Extreme Ironing web site about a year ago, and I assumed that it was just an extremely elaborate joke. But apparently not.

Too bad I didn't think of pitching it as a story to the Journal.

Anyone want to hold an iron-man competition in NYC?

Thought for the day #2

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Thought for the day #1

Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.