Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Browing Frum Satire's blog, I browsed his blog roll and found a blog belonging to A Frum Punk.
New to his blog, I skimmed headlines to see what he had written about and a headline caught my eye:
Reading it, I was surprised yet pleased to read that there is at least one guy out there who is completely shomer and does not want to "cross any lines" before marriage.

Yes I admit, I have gone back and forth about it (as well as being busy with school), but have realized that there will be a time for that. My focus now is on getting into grad school and getting started on a professional career. Guys will still be here after that happens.
Who knows? Perhaps FrumPunk and I could meet someday.

PS: Anyone know how you can create a facebook for your blog identity? I tried to make one and it doesn't want to accept my name...

Saturday, October 18, 2008


So it's mozei shabbos during Succos, and I thought I'd be able to relax a bit this weekend. Definitely NOT the case.

I just checked my email, and in addition to the week of readings I didn't print out while away for Yom Kippur, I now have to read articles on Byzantium for Tuesday, write a 2-page paper not in English due Monday, and work on a powerpoint due Thursday that is my midterm. Oh yeah, and did I mention being busy at work this week? So busy I'll only have about 2 hours/day to try and finish what I need to.

For those of you who keep up with this, exactly when should I go crazy?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Song That Desccribes Me Right Now

"I'm A Bitch" by Alanis Morisette

I hate the world today
You're so good to me I know but I can't change
Tried to tell you
But you look at me like maybe I'm an angel underneath Innocent
and sweet
Yesterday I cried
Must have been relieved to see the softer side
I can understand how you'd be so confused
I don't envy you I'm a little bit of everything
All rolled into one

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

So take me as I am
This may mean
You'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that
When I start to make you nervous
And I'm going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change
And today won't mean a thing


Just when you think, you got me figured out
The season's already changing
I think it's cool, you do what you do
And don't try to save me


I'm a bitch, I'm a tease
I'm a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer I'm your angel undercover
I've been numb, I'm revived
Can't say I'm not alive
You know I wouldn't want it any other way

Grad School Plans

I have a list of schools to apply to for next year (in no order whatsoever):

1. My current university (and hopefully they'll admit me next year!)

2. A university a few hours to the north in a city so Cosmopolitan, you would think you're in a completely different country! (::cough cough::)

3. A university in the capital of Country X

I spoke with the Graduate Director of School #2 and he wants me to apply already! LoL :-)
He seems really nice and wants me to come up and see the school and meet him. I told him that I have tentative plans to come up in the Spring for a language exam, and he said I didn't need it for his university. His program would not be country-specific, but rather a concentration on an area of Europe, and I can focus on Country X within that, taking literature, political science, history, etc. They have funding opportunities, too, which would be great if I would be eligble.

I'm torn between doing the Eastern Europe thing, and combining that with Ottoman History and Religion. I don't know if I can do that up there, but here it's definitely do-able. I'm going to ask him tomorrow; hopefully he'll be okay with my questions...

Until then!

Much Ado About Rosh Hashanah/Shabbos

I haven't written in a few weeks, (and it's been a hectic few weeks!), but with work, school, Rosh Hashanah, and getting my life in order for next year (or at least tentative plans for it) have kept me busy. Where should I start...?

How about with Rosh Hashanah/Shabbos:

Here at school I went to Hillel both days and met some cool people at dinner; one in particular who may know my Rabbi and his wife since he's from Omaha. That was cool Jewish geography for me; one of the best I think! The second day for lunch, R. invited me over.

Let me just say, I wasn't expecting our chat to progress as it did! I discovered a few things: That though she is more observant than most here, her way of thinking isn't the same as a rabbis, let's say. I thought she would have a problem with me, but she doesn't. I'm glad for that, but wish I would have known this last Fall! She and I have some things in common and plan to hang out during the school year.

I think, that because I was (and still am?) caught up in this whole situation still, I'm having trouble looking past what I initially see. Just beacuse someone is frum, doesn't mean their opinion is the same as everyone who is Orthodox. I felt ostracized, but I couldn't leave. The Observant crowd at Hillel that I run with (if you will) is how I identify, aside from a minor technicality. Most of the other students at Hillel, the girls anyhow, look me up and down in a rude way because I dress Orthodox: long(er) sleeves and floor-length skirts. I couldn't just leave, even though I wanted to. At the time (last year), I didn't know everyone in that crowd knew. I just found this out over Rosh Hashanah/Shabbos. Why am I the last to know?! It involves me; no one else. Seriously, WTF! No, you weren't seeing things, you read that correctly. Why were other people being told about me, but no one felt the need to tell me, until now, 1 year later??? WTF...

The second thing I found out was that there is someone who's in a worse situation than me, as far as this whole religion thing is concerned. I think it's worse anyhow, but I'm finding comfort in it, as it's helping me to come to terms with my own [is that horrible to say?]). I decided to tell people, albeit slowly, about my situation, and it is people I know and I trust. Or I think will be okay with it. Maybe they'll be okay with it like J., H., R., S., J., R., A., D., have been. I hope so. If not, I'll have to cut myself off completely from Hillel and the Shabbos Lunch Group. Maybe M. will be the next person to tell?

Of course, then there are the people who say they 'get it,' but look with glazed eyes pass me as I talk to them about it. Do you really "get it?" No. I don't think so. You will never understand what this, and the past year, has been like for me. You will never understand. R. gets it. S. gets it. J. does, I think. After this year I need to get out of this town. There will be be nothing to tie me to this town, except if I get admitted to grad school. Wouldn't that be ironic?

I also found out other information relating to the incident that happened last September over this past Shabbos. I'm trying to process and deal with it, but I think that will take awhile. Luckily I have work to make me forget I have anything else going on! As upset as I was/am? with J., I should thank him for talking to me about it. He apologized for telling everyone (in the observant crowd) about me, but he said the rabbi wanted him to, and if he could have gone back to change that, he would have. I should be comforted with that and should have accepted it, but didn't. After he apologized, I hesitated a moment before saying, "Thank you. But you're not the one I want an apology from."

We also mentioned my conversion. I can't do *anything* where I am now. Everyone on the damn planet knows that if they know me by now! Seriously... I can't convert until I get out of this college town. I do know, though, that I need a larger community where I can have a support system with others like me, and who understand the frustrataions I'm going through. The frustrations but also the good things, too, like unexpectedly finding others in my situation on whom I can rely and talk about things like this. He asked, "Why not take the bull by the horns?" Why not? I'll tell you why not? I can't. Not here.

I went off on my rant about how in 1944 Hitler didn't care, how it didn't matter to the Nazis. Everyone was shipped off, everyone. Secular Jews all the way down the most Orthodox: doctors, shopkeepers, rabbis. The Nazis did not care. Why the hell should it matter now? If time stopped right now, and everyone today could be in Europe, from Paris to Kiev, to Athens, Rome and Vilna, they would be deported. Everyone at Hillel would be on the trains, and most of them are secular. Why is it that a minor technicality matters now? J. let me rant but then said something to the effects of, how it didn't matter to the Nazis, but what about Halacha? There's something in Halacha that can't be changed. If there's a loophole (that's the wrong word, but it'll do for now), find and tell the Rabbinate that the law should be changed. I asked him what that thing was, since I don't know Hebrew, Modern or Biblical. He couldn't answer my question, but said maybe it's there.
Since it was late, he left and I went to my room, but was up almost until the sun came up, thinking about things. As it was, I got to lunch that afternoon an hour late...

This is a bit out-of-order, but something positive came out of this past week. Over Shabbos, I hung out with 2 people who are in the same situation as me, but are making it work. It was nice chatting with them. We bounched from topic to topic, and then got around to Taharat Hamishpacha. It makes sense to them, too, and they plan to follow it. Wow! I thought, They're like me and they think these laws are worth upholding, too! After I heard that, I told them that they now know me in a nutshell: languages, history, country X, fine arts, and Taharat Hasmishpacha. So if they know any guys who would be okay with that list, they should let me know! They both grinned and laughed and said that would keep their ears open for anything and let me know. :-)

I guess the week wasn't a total disaster. It sure seemed long enough though! Whew! I'm looking forward to Yom Kippur and seeing friends from undergraduate! Tuesday can't come soon enough!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pre-wedding thoughts (though not my own wedding)

Z.'s wedding is in the morning. 11am to be exact. I don't know how I feel about it. I was stunned when I first read it over email, but now that it's happening, I have mixed feelings. Part of me is sad, almost wistful, and I want to cry, but on the other hand, I can't help but be happy for him.

I'm staying at my friend R.'s for tonight and last night. Tomorrow I move to D.'s. S. came over tonight and I told R.+C. beforehand that if she starts something, I'm going to give it to her. R. told me that S. had asked if I was going to stand up or say anything at the wedding. Why the hell would I do that? Sometimes I wonder, about the things that S. says. It seems as though she doesn't know what she's talking about.

I wouldn't do that to Z. It's his wedding. We had our time, but it's over now. He's found himself (I hope, anyhow) a girl who will continue to make him happy. He and I parted on good terms. We've kept in touch since meeting and have only recently, before the wedding invite, fallen out-of-touch. Though we haven't seen each other in 5 years, I hope that after seeing him tomorrow, in his gold vest and cream tuxedo, I'll be able to put what---deal with--try to--

close that part of my life.

After the wedding, I'll wish him congratulations, wish him well and tell him to keep in touch, wherever his work and interests take him.

As much as I have emotions running through me right now, I can't help but think that what N. said. After telling him my background with Z., he said, "You seem much happier doing what you're doing now...If you and he had dated, you'd still be in Vegas doing something you hate, and wouldn't have ended up where you are now..."

Maybe it's for the best things didn't work out with Z. I'll try to keep what N. said in mind as it gets closer and closer to the wedding. It's still difficult though. He has a point though.

Why does calling out from here have to be so difficult? R.'s house has absolutely NO phone reception so try-as-I-might to make calls the area won't let me. I tried to call T. but have had no luck. Maybe try in the morning from outside...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Flight Itinerary

My trip to Las Vegas, August 6th-August 12th, 2008:
Indianapolis (IND) to Las Vegas (LAS), connecting in Minneapolis (MSP).
August 6th, 2008:
Depart IND: 7:01pm
Northwest Flight 609
Arrive MSP: 7:49pm

Depart MSP: 9:45pm
Northwest Flight 711

Arrive LAS: 11:09pm

August 12th, 2008:
Depart: LAS: 12:50am *Red-Eye*
Northwest Flight 774
Arrive MSP: 5:47am

Depart MSP: 7:10am

Northwest Flight 500
Arrive IND: 9:49am

Grad School Ideas

What to research in grad school that will a.) be worth it to study to get in AND have a chance at funding, plus something that I won't get tired of researching the next few years?Thinking something with religion, maybe Holocaust? and bouncing between medieval+20th century. Met someone last night who said if I want to do '56, I could prob'ly get into Michigan and work with someone there. b.) Find a professor, not a program. c.) Something where I can utilize my Hungarian for research.Holocaust+Hungary. Something with Nyilas?Trianon. 56. 89. Nagy. Kadar. HISTORICAL. Not narratives.WWII? HungaryHungarian situation like Anne Frank? Where? Camps in Hungary?Did Hungary have a Rennaissance like Western Europe? Jews in Medieval Hungary, before/after Mohacs?"...the rest of the Budapest Jews were either driven into a newly created ghetto, the only such institution in Europe at the time, or were taken under the wing of neutral legations and assembled into so-called protected houses, which went by the name of Little or International Ghetto. That such ghettoes could be set up at all was due primarily to the Arrow Cross leadership's craving for recognition by the Vatican, Sweden, Switzerland and other neutral countries. To achieve such a lofty international status became for the government more important than even the total elimination of the Hungarian Jews..." What's wrong with that paragraph?Why was the Nyilas craving recognition from neutral countries who had given safe harbor to Jews? As if they wanted---Arrow Cross sets up ghettoes for Jews so they'll get leadership brownie points from said neutral countries, whom in fact gave safe harbor to Jews so they *wouldn't* get sent to the camps/executed by the Arrow Cross/Nazis?They set up the ghetto to gain recognition. Arrow Cross wanted to be recognized for organizing something to hold captive the very people they wanted to extinguish, was more important than actually carrying out out "the final solution?" I'm not saying that should have been done, but it seems like they didn't care about actually killing them, when that was the point as the war got chaotic towards the end. Govt wanted to step in and get that status. Govt in '44 was Horthy.


Books to check out from the library:
The Szatmar Peace: DB 932.4.B46 1981
Rakoczki, Transylvania: DB 932.4.A3 1868
The Age of the Hunyadis in Hungary: DB 930.5.T26
Istvan II 1116-1131: DB 929.47.T8 2002
Who was Matyas Kiraly?: DB 931.K37 1983
Turks in Hungary: DB 932. N34 1986
9 Sz. history: DB 927.K7399 1996
Matyas Kiraly and the Hungarian Rennaissance 1458-1541: DB 931.M38 1983
Who would have thought and WHY on earth between those dates? Maybe the Turks had something to do with it?
Byzantium and the Danube Frontier-DB 929.U732
Dynastic Policy of the Arpads Geza I to Emery (1074-1204): DB 929.K679 2006
Rakoczi's Army 1703-1711: DB 932.4.R18
"Where are you Istvan Kiraly?:" DB 929.35.H64 2006
Mohacs: DB 932.M64 2006

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What To Do With My Life

Last night at work, C. said to me, "While I'm gone, over the next 3 weeks, figure out what you want to do with your life."

This weekend wasn't the greatest. I was spoken down to by a boss, D., over a task that was easy enough to do. The only problem was that the boxes I was to get into were locked and I don't have that key. I asked D. if he has a key for the box. But before the question left my lips, he started asking if I didn't understand his directions, if they were too complicated. I said, "No sir, I understood your directions perfectly. The boxes are locked. Do you have a key?"
I was frustrated and a more than a little angry and I think that tone got through to him and the others who heard the exchange. Of course, no one said anything.

After work was over, I was upset because I brought the wrong box up from downstairs, got cables mixed up and into which box to put them, and then to save myself the task of hearing a speech, walked home at 11:30, after which I tried to fall asleep but didn't until an hour or so after. I came close to crying --hell, I actually did-- Maybe I can switch with whom I work so I don't have to deal with D. I don't like it when he reprimands me, and he's done it twice now, once in the fall and this weekend. Over petty things, too. Things over which I have no control to happen.

Yell at me once, shame on you,
Yell at me twice, shame on me.
Yell at me thrice, well,
I may look elsewhere for work
Or (try to) switch people to work with.

Maybe I can just work with T. and M., or A. full time and not with D. Now, given, the bosses are in the same area as D are rarely as snippy with me as he. P., P.D., C., and G., are great. I love having them as bosses! Just D. frustrates me. Just because I don't know how to do things exactly as he does them, or the fact that he said, "Well, I didn't realize I had to tell you how I wanted job x done." I didn't grow up learning technical stuff like T., you have to tell and/or then show me how you want something done. I don't know if he knows that, or maybe his tolerance isn't as high for people like me when we're in a technical setting.
-shrugs- I prefer when C. or P.D. don't like what I'm doing and they nicely tell me or show me how I could improve it, or do it better the next time, or offer suggestions on how to not get tripped up with the same thing next time. I like that much better than getting yelled at, thankyouverymuch.

What C. said, "While I'm gone, over the next 3 weeks, figure out what you want to do with your life." I know what I want to do with my life: work for the government, be a translator, or do something abroad. I could even teach. Notice that I said I could teach. I didn't say I want to.

Last week I saw that the United Nations put out a call for applications for 2009. The deadline isn't until Halloween, but I'm going to fill out an application and see what happens. That is Plan B.) . Especially since the application wants your address for Fall 2009/Spring 2010. :-p

Plan A.) is the following: Stay here the next academic year, take 3rd-year of language x, go to Canada for an exam in the Spring, then come back and apply for government work. By then, the UN thing would have panned out, and I'll have a better idea of what to do next.

Plan C.): Stay here, take 3rd-year of language x, go to Canada for an exam in the Spring, apply to grad school in Canada+country x, if the exam results go favorably. If any of this Plan C.) works, I'll get to get the heck out of here for awhile, get started on grad school and get myself established in my field. ::pauses:: I should tell C. about my blog. She'd probably get a kick out of it. Some of it anyhow, like this post. -smiles-

I almost forgot! I also applied for work in Washington at a library and a university. I applied for them solely on the basis that they need people who can read language x, among others; which I happen to be studying. The university job offers tuition remission! :-D Too bad that position isn't where I currently am! -snaps- The library job is self-explanatory. Except I'd be cataloging foreign sources and putting information into a bibliographic table. Those deadlines are fast approaching, so all I can do is wait and see what happens with them.

In other news, everything from my apartment is packed in boxes or bags, the bathroom is cleaned, the kitchen, the closets. The only things that are left to do are the oven and vacuuming, which will be done after everything is moved out. I got my outfit for Z.'s wedding from the cleaners. I have shoes to wear with it, and a purse, but I don't know which earrings to wear. My bag for Vegas is packed and all I have to do is put the top and skirt inside. I'm packed for everything a week or TWO early! That's a personal record for me!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Books to Read, Modesty

Girls Gone Mild
"I Kissed Dating Goodbye"
"What Color Is Your Parachute?"

Why is modesty such an issue for certain people? Seriously...Why is it that there is still a double standard for guys?

Somehow I found this book browsing on Amazon; click the photo of the book and read the table of contents. I found it pretty funny!

I found this newspaper article about 2 college students who are choosing not to have sex until they get married, plus the facebook group dedicated to the article.

Perusing facebook groups, I found a discussion within the "Girls Gone Mild" group revolving around this link:

I was surprised reading the article, as the others in the discussion were. What do you think?

I also found the link for this documentary "America The Beautiful"

Any thoughts?


I just found this great new clothing site! I think it may take 2nd-place in my "favorite online-clothing store" list! 2nd of course, behind Funky Frum. :p

Called Be Precious (, based in L.A., was featured in The Jewish Week.

The store has cute things and good prices! Next time I have some extra money, I will definitely be picking some skirts up! :-)

To Pack or Not to Pack? Moving Drama

I talked to my landlady this week. She had someone that wanted to move in this weekend. I made phone calls, started packing (I'm about 1/2-way done), and then after calling her find out about things, she said the girl was so desparate to get into a new place she signed a different lease!

I had also called my new landlord to see if I could move in between the 13th+20th, and he said to call him on the 10th to check in with him.

However, my landlady said there are people coming from out-of-state next Monday+Tuesday, so hopefully I'll have my stuff packed up, the place cleaned and tidied and hopefully they'll sign after looking around. I would prefer NOT to unpack/repack, especially my dishes... The good thing about moving out early is that I wouldn't have to pay August rent; only pay for June/July.

So, I don't know what I'm going to do. I guess stay in my apartment. Next week is gonna be short. I want everything packed and cleaned before next Wednesday so I don't have to worry about things when I'm not in town.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

what do to, what to do?

I just found out that a friend has a job offer in Belgrade! I should be, and I am, happy for her, but that's the latest friend who's work, or schooling, has taken them abroad. Not counting E, K is in Helsinki, T/N is, or will be soon in Cairo, with her husband; N applied for a job in Baku.

Where does that leave me? I'm still in the U.S. Figuring out what to do and where to go with my life academically or professionally.

I sit here watching "Kadosh" reading the Spanish subtitles, and I feel that that religious a life is not for me. I think of the few Frum girls I know, Black Hat or Chabad, a few years younger than myself, already married and living in New York. Their facebook pictures, or stories on others' walls telling the latest news of their acquaintances. In their pictures these girls, livin' it up in New York, are dressed funky yet frum, as religious law dictates, seem to have have a care in the workd. They have their sheitels. Their husbands. Life is set for them. They don't have to worry about anything else. One has been married a few months, her sister set to marry in September; the other just over a year, gave birth to a baby boy.

Thinking about religion versus my academic life, I need to get one situated before the other. I don't know what I'm going to do academically. I wan--no, I need to get out of here. Nothing is working out financially, and I have no other options for next year. No money to go anywhere, and there's no point in staying if I can't take another year of coursework. I could Au Pair, but I have no momey for the flight, even if the couple did want me to come over in the next 3 weeks. Which won't happen, because we haven't really corresponded. Well, I have a wedding to be at on the 8th. Maybe I can figure things out while I'm there. Money options, work options.

PS: Malka's wedding dress I don't particularly care for. I'm not the one who married in it, so I guess I don't have to worry about it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I applied for state residency about 5 weeks ago, and found out almost immediately thereafter that I got it. Well, apparantly that isn't the case. The Registrar called me because my case is one that requires more info before they can decide one way or the other: it's unclear why I came to school: to study, or to work. They think I previously knew about the twelve-month residency rule, and then went ahead and came down here to find work after learning that. Which is not the case. I came here, found a job, classes started, and then I found out about the rule. I don't think I can prove I *didn't* already know about it. And for that I think they'll reject my application. I can appeal it however, but the gentleman I spoke with from the Registrar is *on* the Appeal Committee! I've been looking at other options for next year already:

A.) Take a full course load (3 classes) in the Fall, and just the language in the Spring.
My loan money covers out-of-state for Fall, but then I'd need to get outside loans for Spring. (Catch-22: The classes I'd take let me receive loans from the govt; without being full time I lose the money.)

B.) Take only the language both Fall+Spring.

C.) Move

D.) Nanny+take translation courses at the university

I called the Embassies in DC+Ottawa and the Consulates all around the US.
Funny (and true!) story: I called the Embassy in Ottawa and the secretary answers. I ask her if the Embassy is accepting application for employment. She doesn't understand (or maybe she doesn't hear me that well due my cell reception cutting out...), but I have to say the same thing 3 different ways: "Are you hiring?" "Can I apply for work at the Embassy in Canada?"
After understanding my question she asks, "You would work at an Embassy?"
Me: "Yes, if they would hire me."
Then she asks where I'm calling from. I tell her the United States, and then she turns to tell a co-worker my situation--without putting me on hold! I understood a lot of what she said, too (basically telling that an American is calling asking about work)! She comes back and says that they weren't hiring, after all that. -sigh- But...I did get positive reinforcement! The Consulate in Los Angeles told me to fax my CV! So I'll be working on that after I finish this, and then think of other things to do.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Going to Church

I went to church today. A co-worker, B, told me about it last week--that there would be a carnival at his church on Saturday and asked if I wanted to go. It sounded like fun, so why not, I thought. Well, B+I and one of his friend's picked me up. I was surprised at the similarities between this right-wing Christian church (or so it seemed by being at the carnival) and the Orthodox communities I was around the past 3 years: older couples, young couples my age (or a few years older), tons of kids, and everyone deeply committed to their religion.

I met a lot of wonderful people, including the husband of a couple who invited me to church this morning. I wasn't in a position to decline his invitation so I accepted and made plans to carpool with a couple this morning.

We arrived at church just after 10. The service started and my jaw mentally dropped. The singing, the arms in the air, it was just like those Evangelical church services you hear about, and/or see on TV! Everything was 'Jesus this' and 'Jesus that!' Something about mourners being sinners so they have to be forgiven (or something like that). Why do mourners have to be forgiven? They're just mourning someone who died.

And then the Preacher started talking about a prophet named Stephen and how he went against everything that happened before, and that he didn't believe in it: how the temple was destroyed, Joseph and his brothers went down to Egypt, the Israelities made a statue of the Golden Calf, received the 2 Tablets...He equated the apple pie, George Washington, and motherhood to things that America is quintessentially American. And then he went off about abortion, homosexuality, and adultery. He even said how some of his congregants admitted to 'killing their [unborn] children.' I thought he was kidding. I mean, in a church where the Preacher mentions 'Billy Graham,' 'Evengelical (twice!),' and is against abortion, among other things, I would have thought that none among the congregation would willingly have an abortion. Apparantly that's not the case.

I was really uncomfortable during the whole service. After, the couple I rode with this morning brought me home. Well, the husband of the couple did. On the way, he, like a few people yesterday, asked me if I went to church, and what church was like for me growing up. Well, since he was the first to ask me outright, I told him that I'm Jewish. [If you're just tuning in to the blog, scroll to the bottom to get caught up.] We were then discussing Orthodoxy between the 2 religions, and figured that Fundamentalism (a) and Evangelicalism (b) were like Ultra-Orthodoxy and Modern Orthodoxy, respectively. At least, I think that's what we agreed on...Fundamentalists follow the Bible+everything else to a T, and Evangelicals follow only the Bible, and consider the other things, but all don't necessarily do them; (Drinking, swearing, and smoking, for example). The movie "Jesus Camp" is Fundamentalist and TLC's "The Duggars" are Evangelical.

Yeah, my first and last time at church. After I got back to school, a friend took me out for lunch since it's my birthday today. Yes, I'm 24. Hopefully next year around this time, I'll be going on shidduchim, but we'll see how things go. :-)

Maybe I'll go to the Reform shul next week, where I'll see the Frum couple that offered to teach me Yiddish! But for now, I'm watching the third Lord of the Rings and enjoying the rest of my day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stitches, Yiddish, and tuition uncertainties--yay!

Well, I got my stitches out and have been back in my apartment since 6/25. I haven't posted in awhile because I don't have much to post *on*! I applied for in-state residency to hopefully receive lower tuition next year and I'm awaiting the results. When I was home, I called to check the status and the woman said I got it. Then on the 25th, I got a letter in the mail saying that the Registrar wants a copy of my license and tax returns...and no, I must have been misinformed about my already-checked residency status because "(the school) doesn't have *that* quick a turnaround on decisions." -sigh- I had the paperwork in before the 4th of July, so now I'm just waiting. Let's see...

Coming out of Borders last week, I see this Frum couple walking down the street. No, that's not the begining of a joke. I really walked out of Borders and saw this guy with his tzitzis swaying in the breeze, all dressed up like he's going to a wedding (just guessing [but I wouldn't really know since I've never been to a religious one]), his wife next to him also dressed up, but the most...unexpected thing about them was that they were holding hands. Yeah! I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm used to c0uples holding hands, but never religious ones. I, dressed in work clothes, stopped and asked if he was a new rabbi in town. He just smiled and said he was in town studying an Eastern European language for the summer, after which he introduced himself and his wife, who were here, for the next month or so, from another rather large Midwest university. After a few sentences, asked if I know Yiddish, and after my negative reply, offered to teach me-----::snaps:: That's who I forgot to call! I need to do that tonight or tomorrow.-----

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ann Coulter on Donny Deutsch

After watching "White Girl" by the BBC on YouTube, this headline caught my eye:

Ann Coulter wants Jews "to be perfected" from the Donny Deutsch show

I rarely swear, but this is warrant enough for a "W-T-F!"

Quotes from the clip:
Ann: "The more Christian you are, the less tolerant you would be prepostrous..."

Donny: "I should not...we should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians, then?"
Ann: "Yeah."
Donny: "Really?"
Ann: "Well, it's a lot easier. It's kind of a fast track."
Donny: "Really?"
Ann: "You have to obey."
Donny: "You can't possibly believe that? You can't possibly believe that. You're too educated..."
Ann: "Do you know what Christianity is? See, we believe your religion but you have to obey. We have the fast track program."

Donny ":sputtering:: Put you at the head of Iran. C'mon, you can't believe that."
Ann: "The head of Iran is not a Christian. I don't know if you've been paying attention."
Donny: "That's why Israel left the Arab World--no Jews?"
Ann: "Um...No, we think...we just want Jews to be perfected."

Ann: "We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express."

Donny: "If Ann Coulter had any brains, she would not say Jews need to be perfected. I'm offended by that personally."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back at school

Well, the 2 weeks at home were a bit rough. Jewish drama+family drama (*because* of the Jewish drama) were more than enough to deal with. I told a friend--well, someone I know from school--about said drama and I should have re-worded it a different way. -sigh-

But I'm back at school now. While at home, I found out I have in-state residency for next year, so tuition will be lower for me. :-) I signed up for my classes, but am a bit concerned because I'm the only person enrolled for them. I know it's almost July, and that classes start in September, but still. If they cancel my classes, I have to get *more* signatures, run paperwork around and then be allowed to sign up online. oh boy...just hope they don't get cancelled.

I got a letter from school on Friday, saying that my residency status needs to be verified. I need to give them a copy of my license, plus a copy of my '07 tax returns, and proof I filed them. That will take ahile since I sent them to my dad on the other side of the country!

I also need to find my insurance card. I had to go to the hospital for stitches last week. Unpacking my suitcase I cut my hand on a piece of glass from the picture frame packed in my suitcase. I went to visit my parents and brought the photo with me, but on the way back it must have broken in transit. I went to the hospital with Rabbi X since I was staying with her and we got back from the hospital about 2 hours later. I now have 5 stitches in my hand. I have to keep it dry and will be able to get them out this coming week. I haven't been able to use the hand at all, so writing and at work especially, has been a bit difficult. When I was younger, I was able to write with my lefthand, except everything I wrote would be backwards--to read it legibly, you needed to hold it up to a mirror!--at the hospital, I told them before I wrote it that it might not be legible, and my signature was atrocious! Writing with my non-dominant hand takes me back to elementary school. Yes, it's that bad. But I'm looking forward to my stitches being removed, and am excited for the rest of the summer!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Being Home-Day 2

Well, I travelled 2.000 miles or so to get home and it's been a bumpy ride so far. Only Day 2 and already my parents want to sit down with me about my behavior. -sigh-

Yes, I've been short and a bit snippy with everyone, but I thought my hints about my eating habits that I've been dropping for a few weeks now were obvious. I was completely mistaken. Apparantly, my Dad (who's Jewish) thought I wasn't as serious about it as he originally thought. For example, my parents both buy Glatt poultry at Trader Joe's for some reason. Neither keep 2 sets of dishes, but have kosher food in the house. After my sister+my dad wanted to "have a little chat" with me, my dad understood that I was serious about my "dietary restrictions."

He's said, "Now I know the symbols matter to you, I'll be checking everything." The symbols. I told him I keep OU, CRC+Chaf K. Now before he opens something he asks me if it's fine. I went on a hekhsher hide-and-seek in the pantry and found which was and wasn't with a hekhsher. I told him, "Look, set me up with lettuce, hummus, and tunafish for the week and I'll be set."


Before I get into today, let me just say that I woke up to a nice surprise: My dad+grandparents had strung up "Happy Birthday" banners since my birthday is exactly one month away. We went to go get my phone fixed since it wasn't working since last night. I'm waiting for the replacement to come in the mail so it looks like I won't have a phone for a week or so.

And then there's the clothing issue... -sigh-

I mean, yes, I choose to dress more covered now than in high school, but it's only adding long skirts and more 3/4 tops. That, combined with my "dietary restrictions" my dad's called it "extreme." My response was that I'm not Szatmar; far from it! My sister used Pysch 101 to tell me how I might feel better about myself if the clothes I wore weren't as plain as they are. "Something with lace or some nice detail," she said. I'm fine with what I wear on the weekends. As I work a manual labor job, I wear not-so-nice clothes because of the work atmosphere: painting, moving heavy furniture, carrying heavy equipment...My work clothes consist of paint-spattered t-shirts and jeans with holes around the knees. I don't wear nice clothes to work because I get messy, whether I'm up on a bridge or painting sets. Seriously...I'm fine with the clothes I wear and I'm fine with the ones I'm in right now as a matter of fact, which are jeans and a Crew-neck t-shirt. Yes, it's fitted but not tight. The jeans are actually a bit loose on me. Maybe 'cause they're stretchy, I don't know. -shrugs- But Shabbos is my one day to dress like a girl, skirt+top that are dressy without showing skin. My sister said that I don't have to show skin to be dressed nice, though my clothes could add some detail without being so plain.

Oh yeah, that was the main thing, my not having shorts for these 2 weeks I'll be in southern CA. In my suitcase the clothes I brought are: work clothes, since I've been living out of my suitcase the past week; 3 skirts, a pair of jeans, and a few t-shirts, with the obligatory socks+underwear.

So we started at Goodwill to find me shorts. I know everyone is just trying to help, but I know what I like, and am not going to wear low cut tops or shorts when I haven't for a few years now! I tried on capri-s which looked weird on me, found a wool skirt that was too tight, and ended up getting black warm up pants with zippers all over the place which I can wear for shows--since we have to be in "dress blacks" and all. :-) I didn't find shirts, but I'm fine with Crew-necks. I'll only wear a V-neck if I have something on underneath. Oh yeah, that reminds me. I told my mom how I didn't have shorts, and her response was,"(Insert my name here), you're a young lady; this isn't Victorian times!" I don't see what's so bad about skirts. I mean, yes, I may have more than a few floor length ones, but it doesn't bother me. I'm not hot in them, considering it's 100-110 right now where my parents live. But I've gone off on a tangent...back to my day.

After Goodwill we went to DSW to find me shoes. I like the ballet flat, slip-on kind. I was just looking at sneakers when my dad wanted to leave. Maybe we can go back later today and have another look. I didn't have socks on and wanted to being back socks to make sure they would fit. Maybe on Sunday we can come back.

My dad went to Trader Joe's later on and came back with food for dinner. Spaghetti and tomato sauce, both OU, Morning Star Farms veggie burgers and something else I can't remember at the moment. Morning Star Farms is OK (Circle K). I told him again the hekhshers I keep and he just looked frustrated. I'm thinking I should just "honor thy parents" and eat what he bought. Rabbi X told me that the hekhshers are there to separate the Jews from the non-Jews, and it's turned into a holier-than-thou thing with all the hekhshers that are out on the market right now. Think about it: Some Lubavitchers keep Cholov Yisroel+Rubashkin, others keep Rubashkin+Chaf K; Black Hats (or the Black Hats I know of at least) keep Pas+Cholov Yisroel. My rabbi from undergrad keeps OU+CRC, and Rabbi X at Hillel recognizes most hekhsherim just not plain K. Seriously, I agree with Rabbi X. Why are the hekhshers such a big deal?

PS: Apparantly, Oneg brand cheese doesn't exist on the west coast...or at least not in my area.

Midwest Flooding

Ok, I'm back. I haven't updated because my apartment had water damage from the storms earlier in the month.

6/4/2008, my apartment received water damage from the rainstorm. I arrived home around 7pm to find my carpet soaked and a small lake in the middle of my living room. I had spent 2 hours getting home for all the intersections towards my building were flooded, especially downtown. I called my landlady to let her know the extent of the damage. The tenant next door in apartment 3 offered to lend me a wet-dry vaccuum. I took several hardcover books to him for safe-keeping while I dealt with my carpet. I called my bosses between 8:15 and 8:30pm to let them know I would not be in to work the following day. I started packing up all of my things, putting clothes and shoes in garbage bags and putting them in my bathtub, for my town was expected to receive more rain over the next few days. I also took photos of the carpet: in the living room and back into the bedroom. I discovered that my backback, also on the carpet, was soaked, as was everything inside; including class notes and papers from last year which will be painstaking to replace. I started to vacuum the carpet and worked on it for an hour or so, alternating between vaccuuming and packing clothes. I then called a friend, K, to see if I could stay overnight at their apartment.

The next morning, 6/5, I arrived at my apartment to find it more of a mess then the night before. Things looked worse in the 9am morning sunlight. I started to vaccuum the carpet again and then a couple showed up with their wet-dry vac. My landlady had arranged for them to come to my apartment to vaccuum up the water. About 10-15 gallons of water were taken up from my carpet. Since it was a sunny day, I hung out outside and opened the papers and folders from my backpack, as well as course books and dictionaries, moving them as the sun moved higher then lower, throughout the day. By the end of the day the papers had started to dry, but most were still damp, unfortunately. Since the sun was already down, my apartment had started to smell, and the carpets still damp, I called K again to see if I could stay over. They agreed.

The next morning, 6/6, I walked to work, but not before stopping by my apartment to check on things. I also packed up all the dry food into bags as well as milk and steak I had in the freezer. Im case the rains flooded my apartment, I wanted things out so I could eat them later on. I grabbed some leftover matzah and munched on that during my walk to work. Over lunch I went home to grab a few more. Friday afternoon my apartment still smelled and had wet carpet, so I asked a co-worker if I could stay with him and his family overnight. I called Rabbi X to see if I could stay with her overnight, and she graciously offered to let me stay until the 10th, and her son later offered to drive me to school the following morning so I could catch the shuttle from campus to the airport an hour away.

Before I left school though, a lot of people--from Rabbi X to co-workers-- have been telling me I should not be obligated to pay rent for June. Someone at work who is also a landlord told me I'm obligated to pay since June 1st came before the storm. Like everyone I have bills to pay, but since I haven't been in my apartment since the 3rd, I don't see why I have to pay. The carpet is damp, it smells, and I haven't lived there for a week. I asked my landlady if I could pro-rate the rent from June1-3, and then 23-30, but she said no. I asked her what I'm supposed to do and she said I "could stay with a friend." Of the people I know in town, how many are actually around and how many I would feel comfortable asking if I could stay with them are two different stories.

Rabbi X and family members said I should look into going to the Legal Clinic on campus, or the Law School. I live down the block from Student Legal Services, but they close at 4.30. I'll have to go there the afternoon of the 24th after I get back. As much as I don't want to pay rent I don't want to sue my landlady, either.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wedding Woes

So, I received my wedding invitation Friday afternoon. It's a secular wedding, so that's the first difference. 2.) It's in Las Vegas in August. My dilemma is making it there due to financial constraints. I would *love* to go to the wedding, I'd get to see my friend (the groom), plus my other friends I haven't seen in 4 to 5 years. I even asked a friend to go with me, and he's excited about it too!

Of course, then there's the frustration of what to wear. As I discovered upon opening the invitation, it will be the Ancient Egyptian theme. Yes, the envelope and all included paperwork were of a shimmery gold, and nside the invitation itself was a slip of papyrus. After reading the invitation, saw that the ceremony is be around midday, with a reception to follow.

Hmm, a Las Vegas morning wedding in August? What am I going to wear?

Before I got the invitation I was already on top-of-things, googling "summer wedding" and "summer wedding attire." However, "summer morning theme wedding" didn't help at all, so I'm going with my original idea of a floor-length, A-line, grey silk skirt [which I happen to have in my closet right now :-)] and some sort of dressy top. Now it's summer time which means that most department stores are going to stock skimpy tops and the like which will do nothing for me for this wedding.

Then there's the money factor. As much as I want go, I have to think about how much it's going to cost. Las Vegas isn't that far from my hometown, so I could technically drive up with my sister or something, for that weekend. I'll be home anyhow, so...I guess just wait and see what will work.

However, if I end up going, I will need an appropriate top to go with the skirt. I'm thinking a dressy shell, or boatneck top either with sleeves or can be tznius'd up. Or I could do a dressy V-neck with something under it, but I don't want to look frumpy either. I want to look and dress my age, but still dress appropriately without showing a ton of skin.

Decisions, decisions....

Tznius Clothing Websites (or ones that can be made Tznius)

The links below cover a range of religious groups: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Amish. A little something for everyone, depending on your clothing preferences. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Wedding Invite and Music Browsing

So...a friend of mine from school I spoke to twice over the weekend emails me Monday morning. In addition to the photos of a recent trip he included (pun intended), he also wrote that he's getting married this summer, and he offered to send me an invitation!

It didn't register until the next morning.

He's getting MARRIED *THIS* August!!!

I didn't quite know how to react, other than:

a.) be ticked-off that he didn't mention this over the phone, and b.) flip-out.

I immediately texted the 2 friends who knew he and I well during our time in school...and received no reply, to my dismay. One however called yesterday evening and we spent about 2 hours catching up and talking about the wedding. My thoughts were, What do I wear to a summer wedding?, How am going to fit in at a secular wedding?, and Do I have to bring a date?

I have never been to a wedding before, secular or religious. The fact that he and I were close doesn't change things, but do I ask him if I can bring a date? Is that even assumed? Having been around the Orthodox, I'm more familiar with their way-of-doing-things: the whole mechitza thing goin' on, separate dancing, and tznius definitely up there. I don't know if grey silk is appropriate for summer, but if I went, I would be the one most covered, that's for sure! And if a date is required, I would like 1 of the 2 friends mentioned above (the guy) to come with me. Now, as far as dancing is concerned (something I don't know how to do in the first place) that might be a bit more complicated.

During our conversation, I told him I'm more religious than the last time we saw each other, which was 4 years ago in school. I mean, I wasn't your party-girl-flaunting-everything then, nor was I before that, but I didn't mention shomer negiah. Or, well, beyond a handshake or the occasional hug (if I know you), but that's a rarity. So, I don't know how he'd take it not dancing without touching, but he's pretty open about religion, though not religious himself. We have interesting discussions about it, religion in general, but he respects what I'm doing.

So, while mulling over this wedding situation I go to YouTube and type in עידן רייכל. The first video that pops up is ממעמקים. Last weekend I met someone new--who knows people where I went to uni-- and I spent some time YouTube-ing "Britain's Got Talent" after our conversation. After that, and catching up on the latest Eurovision, found myself watching a הראל סקעת video called כמה עוד אפשר. Liking the beat, I found another by that artist called לפעמים חלומות מתגשמים. If you want to search for it, a better way of looking would be by its' transliteration, Lifamim Chalomot Mitgashmim. After that, I switched over to German pop with Revolverheld's Freunde Bleiben and Romeo.

Here is my 'Tune-Out-For-Awhile' playlist:

1. עידן רייכל: ממעמקים

2. הראל סקעת: כמה עוד אפשר

3. הראל סקעת: לפעמים חלומות מתגשמים

4. Revolverheld: Freunde Bleiben

5. Revolverheld: Romeo

Throw in La Historia by Marquess, No Angels' Disappear, or something by Cinema Bizarre for good measure, in addition to the nice beats you're set to tune out for a bit. The pop-usual lyrics, never mind the language, are present and accounted for :-p.