Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Voices in my head

Just finished listening to The Prayer, a duet sung by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. It is very beautifully done, even considering that Celine Dion annoys me. He's got a voice like honey, but her voice suffers by comparison. I know she has a lovely voice, but it really suffers when he can soar effortlessly and she just sounds a bit raspy. I couldn't help but think how Mariah Carey (who I'm not a huge fan of either) could have done a much better job. But really, I feel like SFS, my old roommate who did a Master's of Voice at the Boston Conservatory could have killed this song. She has the voice of an angel--really. She's got to be the reason why the issur of Kol Isha exists. Cuz heaven knows it doesn't exist for voices like mine.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


Someone came to my blog by searching google for:
"take my gmat for me"

V'hamayvin, Yavin.

Work is getting busier, life is getting busier, all is good, but stress is building. i feel like i've added more white hairs to my head over the past week, and I have no patience for more and more and more meetings.

Deciding whether I should go to a pesach shiur tomorrow night, or whether I should go visit my niece. I haven't been to anything for pesach as of yet, and will see my niece over chol ha'moed in any case. At which point I'm prepared to declare her the prettiest baby girl EVER. I'm also completely objective in this matter.

Went to the circus on Sunday night with 15 of my closest friends. OK, so some of them I met for the first time there, so maybe they're not quite my closest friends. Surprisingly, I liked the clowns, and for some reason I adored the 5 seconds that the zebra was in the ring. Even more shocking, I'm still friends with DS in spite of his calling me at 9:30 on Sunday morning to pick up tickets. Still more surprisingly, I'm still friends with SR who is the reason that DS called me on Sunday morning. I mean--9:30... AM. It's practically dawn!

Monday, March 29, 2004

It's a niece!

Brand new, at 2:30 this morning.

Thursday, March 25, 2004


Tuesday, March 23, 2004


A new term inspired by the beautiful, but completely unaffordable desk I just saw on Of course, it means:

Browsing online for objects that you can never afford in real-life.

For J's entertainment...

Someone finally figured it out...

More ammunition for all my misogynist friends (or exes, for that matter), but it's pretty good.

Monday, March 22, 2004


Last week, I downloaded Oracle, Free Toad, ATG 5.6.1, and ITunes onto my work computer. I feel very technical at the moment. I also need to get a Mac--this only a few months after I got rid of my old one at work. So far, I've run a couple of sql statements on my own (ok, that's a blatant lie--SS was instrumental in helping me figure them out). I've also made a fix in ACC. I'm such a techie...

I had my review last week too--and it was much better than I expected, especially considering the project I helped mess up back in September. But my raise, even though it was pretty decent, basically confirmed my suspicions that I must be the lowest paid person in my new department. Because otherwise there's no way my company would give that kind of percentage raise. Another year of underpaid drudgery--but maybe they'll up my bonus instead... Here's to useless hoping.

In other news--still trying to decide what to do about Pesach--whether I should work from home, or whether I should come back to NYC after first days and work in the office.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

mazel tov...

to my cuz!

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

SQL is fun

What can I say? I'm a big nerd...

Off to destroy our databases :)

Monday, March 15, 2004

just in time

Talking to my older sister on Erev Shabbat, and she mentioned that it might be my brother and sister-in-law's anniversary over the weekend... Well, once we hunted up the bencher from the wedding, it turned out she was right. And it was their 10-year anniversary too. This means we need to go find a present.

Any ideas?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I'm rich!

I finally got around to calling my various phone plans and switching them around. I've only been meaning to do that for several months (years), especially since I now have a cell phone to add to my bills.

Today's tally:
Changed Cell phone plans: -$10/month
Changed Local, Regional & Long Distance from Verizon/MCI to IDT: -$70/month (roughly)
Added International long distance to the IDT bill: +$15/month (complete guess)

TOTAL: Almost $800 saved per year.

I can't believe I didn't switch my regular phone bills before now.

problem with sugar rush...

The crash half an hour later... which is happening right about now.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

conversations at work II

Andrey (talking to someone else): I'm 1/4 Ukrainian and 1/2 Russian...

Me (after a suitable pause while trying to work out the math): Um... What happened to the last 1/4?

Andrey: Oh. Jewish, and the right quarter too. It's my mother's mother.... But it's a bit confusing. Russians hate Jews, Jews hate Ukrainians, and Ukrainians hate everybody. I'm not sure what to do...

Me: It's very simple, Andrey--Just be a self-hating Jew.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Purim angst

Does anyone find Purim as angst-ridden as I do? There seem to be all these issues involved (especially in Shalach Manot) and they end up making me slightly insane. It's not that I don't enjoy Purim--it's lots of fun, but it feels like a popularity contest sometimes...

Who's going to give you, Who should get? What if you're giving people who weren't planning to give you? Will they then feel obligated? Will you feel stupid when you get a clearly recycled one? What about guys (or girls)? Do you give them or not? Will they be insulted if you don't? Will they be offended if you do? What if you make tons of extra and then just feel stupid that you made those 'just in case' ones, and you're left with all of them? And what theme should you come up with (a whole other anxiety-inducing facet)?

Can anyone else sympathize, or am I just insane?

Not that it made a difference yesterday. I was just home baking and cooking all day, and only got out for seudah. I delivered most of my shalach manot post-seudah, which really just makes them more like gifts delivered randomly the night after Purim.

Friday, March 05, 2004

purim forward

But a serious one...

This one was from, once again, a friend of a friend, whose rav sends out weekly divrei torah. He sent out one this week detailing that the gemara that details the mitzvah of matanot la'evyonim from: "Kol HaPoshet Yad, Nosnim Lo" (Anyone who asks, give him), is referenced by chassidim as the relationship between G-d and Israel on Purim. Prayer done with concentration and sincerity on this day has extra power. In other words, ask on Purim and ye shall receive.*

Now, this is a very simplified version of the d'var torah, but the follow-up to this forward was to try and organize people saying tehillim so they would get shidduchim.

Which is all very nice and wonderful, but I can't help wondering whether that's all that these people have to worry about. I mean, of course I'd love to be married, but what about the people I know who have much more on their minds? It seems that people consider getting married to be the 'big crisis' of our times. And I guess I can't disagree if it's happening on such a wide scale.

[Honestly, I can't help but think that a lot of it has to do with sociological influences--if the population at large is getting married later and later, it makes sense that we would be as well. After all, Jewish life doesn't exist in a vacuum. But I digress.]

But I can't help but wonder--don't people have bigger things to pray for? Someone who's seriously ill? Someone who needs financial assistance? Peace on earth? Peace in Israel?

I don't want to discount people whose main concern and worry is getting married. It's not a bad thing to want at all... but it just starts to seem a bit trivial and selfish when this is constantly the first request that people ask for before everything else...

*There was much more to the d'var torah, and it was very interesting, but I'm just summarizing part of the conclusion here.


All I had to do when I got home yesterday was eat, shop for odds and ends for shalach manot, tovel parts of a hand-mixer I picked up, make hamentaschen and go to sleep.

Ah well.

I decided to run the dishwasher while I watched a Friends rerun. I came back to the kitchen after half an hour to find a veritable sea of soap suds on the floor... it seems something had happened to the dishwasher while I was on vacation and no one told me about it...

I spent the next hour mopping the floor, trying to calculate the ever-slimming odds of baking that night, and then deciding I had used up too much strength in any case. So I skipped the baking (but I did get out to tovel the mixer), warmed a slice of frozen pizza, and headed across the street to hang out with RD² and EP.

So the hamentaschen will wait til Motz. Shabbos to come to fruition. It's a good thing I have no plans for Purim night.

My kitchen floor is now sparkling clean.

Chasidim Favor Same-Sects Marriage


NEW YORK — In an unusual display of unity, leaders of five Chasidic groups today issued a joint statement in support of proposed state legislation to allow same-sects marriages.

The groups represented were Belz, Pupa, Saatmar, Bobov, and Lubavitch.

“Of course we want same-sects marriages,” said Rabbi Wurzma Shtreimel, head of the Belz movement. “A Belzer should marry only a Belzer. That makes perfect sense.”

The other rabbis agreed.

“If a Saatmar weds a Bobover, woe to their offspring,” proclaimed Rabbi Praymita Gartel of Saatmar. “What would their children be—Saatovers?? That’s totally unheard of.”

The rabbis shared concerns about the dilution of their individual groups through intersect marriages.

“The Tanya warns us,” said Rabbi Mendy Pantz of Lubavitch. “If a Lubavitcher marries outside his sect, his children lose half their heritage. His son is not Lubavitch, just Vitch. And his grandson becomes a son of a Vitch.”

At a separate news conference, Chasidic women expressed similar concerns.

“It’s less confusing when our kindt marry their own kind,” said Rebbetzin Donna Kittel, founder of a Pupa women’s group, The Mamas and the Pupas.

To prevent intersect marriages, Belz rebbetzin Gitta Kapotah announced the formation of a new community matchmaking service, Wedding Belz.

“We must protect our Belz,” she said. “They’re our family jewels.”

--With thanks to my uncle for the forward. (Update: Apparently it's originally from The Jewish Week's Purim edition.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004


from M. who's filling her current unemployment time by compiling "the big book of blind-dating stories". And who's also under some sort of delusion that many people read this space. But I digress.

She’s collecting anecdotes from around the world about memorable matchmakers; blind dates from hell; funny dates; weird dates; dating success stories (yes, there is such a thing); etc. etc. etc. Any really outstanding blind-date story really.

Please send your contributions to It’s all fairly anonymous, only first names and city will be used in the final copy, and there will be many many stories in the book.

Monday, March 01, 2004

in case you haven't figured it out yet...

You're Canada!

People make fun of you a lot, but they're stupid because you've
got a much better life than they do.  In fact, they're probably just jealous.
 You believe in crazy things like human rights and health care and not
dying in the streets, and you end up securing these rights for yourself and
others.  If it weren't for your weird affection for ice hockey, you'd be
the perfect person.
Take the Country Quiz at the Blue Pyramid

And it only took me Texas, Costa Rica, Sweden, and Lichtenstein to get to this result. Some might call that "cheating" but it was fun to try and figure out the "right" answers. Actually, they're probably just jealous. For the record, I liked their Book quiz better, but I'd imagine that too many quiz results on a blog page is really just way too self-indulgent. not that having a blog to begin with isn't...


i'm back

and more relaxed then before, but vacation is nice. i'm sure i can fill my life up nicely once i'm independently wealthy and have life as one long vacation. unfortunately that's not likely to happen for a very long while. maybe i'd settle for being dependently wealthy...

people i ran into: MJ's parents and brother in Geula; RG and fiance in the Katamon Co-op; AY--from university, at my friend's friend's b-day party; DB--from my Boston years, with his parents in Machane Yehuda on Friday afternoon. SM--my previous upstairs neighbor, who is temporarily living in Israel. A respectable amount of random meetings, but not too spectacular.

Found out that another friend from university, ES, was in the previous bus bombing (not the one last week), and had his knee totalled, but is otherwise fine. Very scary to have such a close call. A friend of M's had been on the 14 bus last week, but got off a couple of stops before the bombing. She came over that Sunday night and was still trying to figure out if it had been her bus or maybe the one afterward. It's always too close for comfort.

In spite of my attempts to travel around a bit, the furthest I got was to my aunt's in Rechovot. Apparently I'm just a very boring person. But I did make some really nice friends while I was there... maybe i'll even keep in touch with them.

It was good to get away, even though it wasn't for a tremendously long period of time. It gave me some perspective and breathing space. It's been very frustrating since I've been trying to keep people from affecting me negatively, but I just haven't been able to help it. Hopefully this will give me the necessary emotional distance.

Glad to have seen multiple friends already, and I haven't even been back for 24 hours.