Friday, September 29, 2006

Exercise in Writing One: The Free Write: Gubernatorial Edition.

Gubernatorial [goo-ber-nuh-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-, gyoo-]
If I could marry the word gubernatorial I would. I just love it that much. Unfortunately, I hear that words don't make very good husbands, so I am forced to look elsewhere. Plus, I'm drugged with tiredness right now but I am too tired to go upstairs and go to sleep. My computer committed suicide and even though I tried intervening (that was when I got virus protection) and resuscitating it (that was when I turned it on safe mode and ran a virus scan), it is no longer with us. If it's a joke and it didn't really die but it's playing dead, it's probably because I took the cover I made three years ago off. The tape was looking old and nasty. And so today we had an assignment due for my writing class. The assignment was to hand in five pages of a preliminary draft for our memoir assignment. Five pages of anything--free write, an intro, different ideas, really anything--that we would then read to our individual groups and hear feedback. Someone in my group thought I had a very strong voice, but he wasn't interested in the first idea I chose. The one about how the first time I failed a test was in Morah Devorah's third grade class when I got a 30 on a quiz in Ivrit. And moreover, he said that if he weren't required to read it for school, he wouldn't read it. Thank you, I know my writing style kinda halted and slowed and is gradually disintegrating into something so threadbare that it can't hold the attention of its intended audience. Maybe I sent my writing into overkill and it doesn't interest me anymore. Or maybe I really do hold back too much when I write. I don't really know how to turn the editor part off when I'm writing. My teacher had us read a part of a book on writing and it said that we should just free write and then go back later and edit because editors kill creativity. But I raised my hand and said, "oh how interesting because really, I find that my editor is better in the creative moment when I know what it is I want to be saying so I can read back what I wrote and see if that's what I wanted or how I can redo it to make it sound how it should. Y'know, I read a paragraph seven times or so before going on." "SEVEN TIMES? That seems a little much." Chuckle. Thank you teacher, but I have an obsessive personality, I guess, and that's my style of writing. Word. Read. Sentence. Fix grammar. Word. Take out previous word. Paragraph. Need to start over. That's how it goes. Except for on here because I don't have the patience to edit so much. That's why I started editing before I even write. Which is funny because when I thought about the assignment I had, I thought, "oh there's this scene where I'm sitting in front of my mirror and thinking up hints about how I shout "MA!" and my mother will say, "what?" and then when someone says, "who?" I say, "me." So mah means what and mi means who and then I went "MAH!" "WHAT?" "MI!" "WHO?" "EIPHO!" "WHERE?" and I put that all down in the story in a more comprehensive way but the way it was in my mind just like that. And he said that that was his favorite part because I sounded like a real writer or something. The part that was edited in my mind before even being put down onto the paper. Even now, I wrote out goobernahtour-e-uhl because the word makes my mouth feel happy and I had to say it a few times and then I figured that I should try to free write without editing. Even now with no editing, I reread what I wrote three times. I didn't edit. But I read it over and over. My essays usually get thinner near the end because I've so killed the beginning with my compulsive reading, cutting, changing, fixing habits that all I want to do is hand them in and not look at them again. Good night.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

היפה והחיה

When I visited the Hillel today, we ended up discussing videos on YouTube featuring regular American things (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Lion King, etc.) in Hebrew. So, as you can imagine, I did a little search for my favorite movie of all time in Hebrew. Enjoy!

"Eir ktana. U'shikta(?) kimookvar. B'chol yom ko'etmol aphor. Eir Ktana, b'chol me shelbaga gam ba boker amor.."

(I definitely messed up at least half that transcription...)

It's Like That Time the Clock in My Car was 7 or 9 Minutes Fast and I Could Never Remember Which

I woke up staring at my ceiling and knew something was off. The time--7:32 (which was really 7:25 because my clock is 7 minutes fast)--was off by an hour. I had to jump out of bed and rush to get ready because I had overslept. While brushing my teeth, I glanced at the little digital travel clock one of my siblings put in the bathroom and noticed that it said 8:15. Now, either this clock was off by 45 minutes or when I attempted to turn off my alarm this morning, I played around with the buttons and messed the time up or both were off and I was later than I thought. Disoriented, I brushed my teeth faster and ran back to my room to check the time on my phone. 7:30. The last time someone changed the clock in the bathroom was when they made it approximately 3 or 4 minutes fast. 45 minutes might seem like a bigger deal, but the 3-4 minute change was terrible because I could never remember if it was actually faster or not. I'm really boring myself with this. So after fulfilling the vow I made this morning to make a big deal about writing a note and leaving it next to the COMMUNAL clock if you change it, I will try to figure out why I can't write interestingly anymore.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Have a Happy Sootinear!

I checked my nails eight times on erev Rosh HaShana to see if the manicure I got on Monday was chipped. I had been careful to get a light color (pale pink) in case it lasted until yuntif (my favorite made up word) and I was extra careful in class not to get pen ink on the fourth nail on my right hand like I always do. Well, none of my nails were chipped even after my shower, so I just went with keeping the manicure as it was.
My mother lit candles and I went to visit my cousins next door. About ten minutes after coming, I noticed that my nails had taken on a putrid shade of orange. Orange. I wish this were a joke.
Now, if they had turned a pale orange or a pinkish orange, I wouldn't have minded so much. But this orange was a gaudy somewhere-between-Halloween-orange-and-basketball-orange orange. The polish must have reacted with something to change so rapidly into such a terrible thing and there was nothing I could do about it. For the rest of yuntif I walked around with nails that looked like I had painted my nails with white out and then colored them over with an orange highlighter while bored in class. It was very unpleasant.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

This Time I Really Can't Hear Anything

Something always has to happen. That's the rule, isn't it? When the season finale of Project Runway Season Two was on, I got stuck in traffic for the first time in all my commutes home that semester. When I ordered the DVD of season two of The Office, nothing would play but the deleted scenes. And just when I thought I was beyond all TV-related mishaps now that we have a Tivo-like program on our computer, my recorded season premiere of The Office (I'm in class when it's actually on) is missing the sound. As someone who RARELY ever watches tv (I only ever watch Project Runway and The Office aside from when I'm at work and the tv's always on in the background) it's amazing how bound to television problems I am.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Ants Go Marching One By One--Hoorah! Hoorah!

Once upon a time I was just a nice girl wearing a nice white skirt. Then one day, I jumped onto my bed and folded my legs to make a lap for my computer. But upon folding my legs, I noticed a line of dark dots near the edge of my skirt. Looking closer, I discovered a series of dead fruit flies in what appeared to be a thin line of a possibly sticky substance. I don't know how they managed to get stuck to my skirt with nearly perfect distances between each other, but I haven't been the same person since. I blame the insects.

Monday, September 18, 2006

BBQs Are Awesome for Vegetarians, Too, If the Company's Right

My friend Aaron is so well mannered that when my cousin and I realized he didn't invite his housemates to the bbq he was making in the backyard, we were shocked. The three of us left his kitchen where we had put the fries to warm in the oven, and Zahava and I turned to Aaron with our mouths wide open.
"You didn't invite your roommates to your bbq???" We asked--possibly together.
He explained that they had made a bbq when he first moved in and not only did they not invite him, but they had to walk through his room (the basement) to get in and out...and still didn't invite him.
Zahava and I went to get the fries from the oven alone. We walked into the kitchen and were hit with the dangerously high levels of testosterone three of Aaron's housemates exuded into the room. It didn't take long for them to continue attacking us with their questions about where we're from and how old we are.
"Are those fries the same as these?" One of them asked, holding up a bag of frozen fries he had taken out of the freezer.
"Yup," Zahava said.
"They're Triangle-K."
"Well, I just wanted you to know because when we had a bbq last week we used these fries and I didn't know that they were Triangle-K, and that's not so good. I wouldn't have eaten them."
Zahava started in on how her father really looks up hechsherim and knows that Triangle-K is reliable while I was taking the fries out. Then I turned around and said, "Wait--this is Aaron's second bbq in a week? ...And we weren't invited to the first one?"
"Um, he was new then and we didn't really know him." One of them said.
The other tried, "But we did invite him."
We left the kitchen with the fries and huge smiles and let Aaron know that his housemates were in denial of the fact that they didn't invite him to their bbq.
"They told me I could have leftovers if there were, maybe that's what they were referring to."
The bottom line is that the guy who was all up in a tiffy about a hechsher (that is reliable) was lax with someone else's feelings. Such a jerk.

Friday, September 15, 2006


So hi. This is Adam's latest comic. And y'know what? It rocks because I think we've all been in that situation at least once.

Have a good Shabbos, all.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Let me tell you a little something about Joe. Joe has a moustache. He also has a Jaguar. And a little known fact about Joe is that he prefers using the letter "Z" over "S" when making a name posessive. The thing is, I don't know Joe personally--I just feel like I do.
While driving to work this morning, I noticed a car a bit a ways ahead of me with a license plate reading, "JOEZ JAG." Perhaps it was the early hour, but I was so excited to see a friend on the road that when I passed Joe, I started screaming like a lunatic, "HEY THERE, JOE!" Fortunately, my windows were closed. Anyway, that is all.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yes, That's a Dress I Have On

My cousin made a facebook album called "In Celebration of Dinerd" (I got that nickname from my uncle when I started calling him Uncle Leonard). The album consists of pictures of me looking terrible, babies, Yedidya, and her. After crying myself to sleep that night, I thought long and hard and came up with a great plan of revenge: I'd make an album in tribute to her. This might not seem so revolutionary, but considering that I have a scanner and thousands of pictures of her before she discovered hair gel, it is. Anyway, while looking through pictures, I found this gem:
I don't know how old I was exactly, but I think the baby just had his bar-mitzah this past year. I actually remember the day this picture was taken. I was holding the baby on my side at one point and one of my aunts walked past me (we were at some family event...the baby is one of twins) and said, "she's such a natural, she already has the hips for this!"

(Sorry, Monseyguy, but I had to post this.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

He Even Had a White Button-Down Shirt On

I was waiting on the ramp that leads into the bridge this morning for the cars ahead of me to creep a little faster. My windows were down and the radio was low and I thought I heard a clap. I didn't register that someone was, in fact, clapping his hands, until about the third time he did it. Looking around, I located the source: a small, elderly Jewish man with a very long and very full white beard. He sat clapping his hands a few times--I'm not sure what to because he had no music on--in the driver's seat of a pearly white Cadillac Escalade complete with mega car-bling hanging from the rearview mirror. I smiled at him because, well, how could I not?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I Could Be Flattered

I'm being stalked by KT Tunstall's song "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree." As someone who's been stalked before, I know the signs. The stalkee shows up where you have plans prior to your arrival and where you don't have plans after your arrival. They know things about you no one but your closest friend and anyone who'd spend hours in your archives could know. They study your interests and adapt them as their own even though they had no interest in them before finding out that you like those things so that they can pop up at the one Allman Brothers concert near your area in the summer and stand within twenty feet of you and your friends...I'm getting a little ahead of myself. What I'm trying to say is that when it comes to being stalked, I know what it's like. And frankly, "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" is starting to scare me in its proximity.
You might argue that The Song is overplayed and that I'm reading into this too much and making it personal. However, this is serious. I have ten preset radio stations in my car. Three are AM stations for traffic purposes. That's down to seven. Two are Westchester/Rockland stations that don't get such great reception in the city and its boroughs, so when I'm closer to work the radio options are narrowed to five. And yet, from when I left my house at 7:10 to when I parked in front of the office at 8:26, "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" followed me around from station to station FIVE TIMES. What I mean is that I was listening to a station, minding my own business and driving happily along, when The Song invaded my car's airwaves. This occured not once, twice, thrice, or four times, but five. FIVE TIMES out of an average of SIX radio options. Call that what you'd like, but I'm going to call it as I see it and that's pure stalk-material.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Let's Go Get Your Boot

I wore a dark grey skirt and black top on my first day of class. This might seem insignificant but when put into context it fits just perfectly. I've always been excited for my first day of school. This wasn't a very popular position (it still isn't with some people), so I used to hide it. The truth, though, is that I would plan my first day outfit for at least a week leading up to the day. I used to get excited to find out what my teachers would be like, who my classmates would be, if anyone in my writing classes would have the talent and drive to take them far after school, etc. By the time August came around I was sick of the summer and dying for school to redeem me. And this semester? Blech. I feel grey and done with everything. It might help if it were sunny, but it isn't so I wouldn't know. I keep getting the image of a picture from a book I liked a lot when I was younger. It's raining very hard and after having a terrible day, Grover steps right into a piece of gum so sticky that he can't dislodge his rainboot from its grasps. He ends up just trudging the rest of the way home with one rainboot and one very soggy foot.
Grover sat in his mommy's lap and told her everything. Then he began to cry. "My bad, awful day made me feel bad and awful."

She gave him a hug. "Bad days happen to everyone," she said. "When one happens to you, just keep doing your best. And never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself!"

She rubbed his furry head dry with a towel.

"Come on, dear. Let's go get your boot."

Not that I'm having a bad day, but I just found that excerpt while searching for the picture I was talking about and thought it was great. Have a great day.

Friday, September 01, 2006

...and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

I hate incessant rain.
I hate Hunter College.
I hate every receptionist for every science department at Hunter.
I hate science.
I hate professors who think they're above overtallying.
I hate having to get dressed up all fancy for a wedding I'm running in for three seconds to because someone there wants to "see me."
I hate wearing make-up.
I hate waiting around for a friend to call me back when they never do because they didn't realize their phone was dead even though we had made our plans the night before.
And I really didn't enjoy this week.
Have a good Shabbos.
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