Okay, maybe not a party...but I did make a new friend. Ha!
So, the itch to dance came back, and I recently discovered that my boys (the band I love to dance to) have been playing gigs on the Eastside about twice a month. Last night they were at a pub not too far from where I live, so I wrangled Tad, Ms. K and her friend to come out with me. Definitely not a difficult task, except for the fact it interferes with Ms. K.'s sleep schedule, and the tiny little detail of my having to work this morning. But that's neither here nor there.
So I headed over to the pub, recognizing that Tad would likely be late, and that Ms. K. and C would be there eventually. I did not, however, anticipate not only being the first person there, but also the band starting an hour after the website said they would. *Sigh*
But, all was not a loss. Eventually Tad came (with presents!), and shortly after Ms. K and C arrived, which made me very happy indeed. Then the bad showed up and started their thing...which meant...DANCING!!!
Apparently another group of people were also big fans of the Brothers, as one of them introduced herself rather giddily during one of the songs. She even shared her french fries with us later. The best part? Well, not including the fact that there was actually room to dance, and the pub wasn't all that crowded, was that I got to chat for a bit with one of the Brothers. I hadn't seen them in a while, as the last time I went dancing they weren't actually there (but that's a story for another time). Tom is one of those genuinely nice guys (don't go getting ideas, now, he's married with kiddies). I always enjoy chatting with him, however briefly, in between sets. He's also quite the flatterer, so there's the bonus ego boost.
Between getting to hang out with some of my favorite people, dancing, good music and lots of laughing...I think it's safe to say I had a great night. And that pesky little flat tire problem I discovered this morning? Well, it all worked out, now didn't it?
***Reading update: I've finished three more books for a total of 7 books read over vacation. I just started another one, so I may just make it to 8. Wow, I almost feel back to normal.
Attempts at hiking...
It's been that kind of week, my friends. Ms. K. and I went for a walk yesterday morning. I was excited because I love finding new places to walk and hike. Ms. K. mostly humored me. I think she thinks I have a slight touch of ADD when it comes to this stuff. She may be on to something. I bore easily, which explains why my exercise habits have been so abyssmal lately.
So I found a walk/hike in one of my books, and we decided to go try it. Unfortunately, we got all the way out there, to discover the trail was closed. I think it had to do either with the frost/ice/snow on the ground...or else it's simply closed in the winter. They didn't give an explanation, so the true reason may have to remain a mystery.
So we began attempt no. 2, where I quickly found another walk/hike close by and on the way back home...sort of. All began promisingly enough...until we tried the first loop. I think it was about 100 feet, all together, and included little signs along the path that told the story of some poor little Field Mouse or other. Ah, I know, we must have been on the kiddie trail! Why don't they mark these things?
We wandered up the utility road a few feet, to discover another loop. More wanderings...more dead ends, much back tracking. All in all, I believe we walked out about 30 minutes, though it felt much longer. The return trip took only about 20. Then it was off to home. With more teasing about my short attention span and my need to find new places to walk. All of this amidst attempts between Ms. K. and I to think of something for her and a friend to do, that she didn't do all the time.
But that's a whole other story...really...
Ms. K. and I did the unthinkable today...we went shopping.
I know, shock and awe, right? Don't worry, we're suprised too. Even more surprising is that not only did both of us live to tell the tale, but neither of us were arrested and there were no mutilated bodies left in our wake.
Truly a miracle.
Really, you have to understand. I'm not a shopper, in general. If there's something I need, I'll go get it. But as I've stated probably more times than y'all wanna hear, I have little patience for the whole thing. And if I have no patience for it, then Ms. K. has even less. Still, we went, we shopped (and found some very cute stuff, including the most fabulously comfortable pair of shoes), ate lunch, and returned home, all without losing our good moods.
(Yes, we're happily ignoring the low blood sugar incident that led to me trying to eat blackberry jelly out of the little tin container...without a spoon).
It's here, it's here, it's here!! Have you bought your copy of Venus Envy
yet? If not, you better hurry up, because my copy is already here. I started it this afternoon when I should have been writing, but I don't care. So far it's everything I expected it to be, and I can't wait to read more.
So what are you waiting for? Hop to it!!
***By the way, for those of you wondering, the current books read count is at 4 plus 2 short stories. I'm about half way through two others, but stopped both in order to dive into Venus Envy.
I've been struggling with my manuscript for a few weeks now. I've felt like something was missing, but goals I'd set for myself made me push forward, despite my unease. Until today.
Today I finally had to admit that no matter how much I pushed forward, I could not escape the fact that my hero needed to be heard. I could no longer simply focus my story on my heroine. Of course, in accepting this realization, I also set myself up for quite the headache for the next week as I attempt to integrate enough scenes from the hero's point of view as I possibly can, without having to delete too much of the 63 pages I'd already written.
Yeah, I'm groaning from the effort too. On the upside, I have the happy knowledge that I've written six new pages today, even if my page count only changed by four pages.
Still, sometimes writing sucks. And as Ms. K. pointed out this evening when I called to inform her of this, "Sometimes crazy is hereditary. But it may start with you." (Or, something to that effect.)
'Twas the Night Before Christmas...
And all on the road, not a creature was stirring, except for the lot of us stupid enough to drive in the pouring rain.
If I'm smart, I'll remember this adventure in the future, and not attempt to find houses in the dark. If I do what I normally do, you'll be reading a similar account in about 3 months time.
Last night Serena
invited me over to watch her family put up their Christmas tree. Seeing as how she has finally moved into their house, which I hadn't seen yet, and the fact that I've never actually seen a Christmas tree put up (only the end result), I told her I'd be over shortly. Conveniently, I forgot it was pouring out. And that she has moved out to beyond the middle of nowhere, where apparently streetlights are only a suggestion. I made it out to the street the directions led me to, only to discover I was about a block off. I so followed Serena's new directions and found her street.
But hey, there's a gate.
So I searched, in the pitch black, for the keypad for the gate. At first I drove up, thinking it was one of those sensors that would make it open. Then, remembering she gave me a code, I looked around for the keypad. Which I didn't find. I rolled down the windows, rolled up the windows, backed up the car (thank goodness I didn't land in a ditch, because I couldn't see a thing behind me), and eventually found the keypad in the middle of the street, far enough away from the gate that it's really not surprising I missed it. Once I got through the gate, I then had to find the house. Eventually Serena came out in front to flag me down, but I still couldn't find the drive. I think by the time all was said and done, I wandered in circles for a good 20 minutes, between trying to find the street, then the drive, and eventually the house.
BUT, the house itself is gorgeous, and will be even nicer once all the carpet and other bits & pieces are installed.
What Jews do on Christmas
Ever wonder what Jews do on Christmas while the rest of the world is with their families opening gifts and gorging themselves on holiday foods?
We gather and eat. Why be home alone watching bad television, when you can be at a "party" with friends? This would be what prompted me to accept a friend's invitation to her house this evening. It had the potential to be a very fun time, filled with lots of laughter and food. What it became was mostly an hour and a half of uncomfortable chit chat. Oh I had fun, don't get me wrong, but it's hard to fully enjoy a party when you stick your foot into your mouth within the first five minutes.
Now, had I known most of the people at the party, the whole situation would have turned out significantly differently. Most of my friends understand, and appreciate, my ability to stick my foot into my mouth on a fairly regular basis. What can I say, it's a talent. Unfortunately, I did not know most of the people there. In fact, the only person I knew was the hostess...a fellow teacher and very sweet person. This would be the point when I mention that I was the youngest person at the party, barring the 13 month old daughter of another guest. Everyone else was approximately 40-years or older. At one point another woman there was complaining about how she doesn't go to YLD events any more because every guy there is too young for her. I, in a commisserating mood, replied that I usually have the opposite problem. I don't usually go to the YLD events because most of the guys are too old for me, and all they do is hit on the 20 year olds. "How old is old?" the woman asked.
Right there I should have stopped. I should have shut my mouth and walked away. There was no redeeming myself at that point. Did I listen to my own mental advice? No. Not a word of it. Instead, like an idiot, I answered her. "They're all like 40 and up," I replied.
I should have shut up. I should have glued my lips shut, or stuffed myself with cornbread. Anything to not have said what I did. Thankfully, they all laughed, but I felt like a moron. I spent the rest of the hour or so that I was there trying hard to not say anything stupid, while still trying to have a good time. Thankfully I'm easily amused, and most people seemed to forget what I said pretty quickly. Too bad I couldn't do the same. Instead I came home, called my sister, then sat down to report this all back to you.
My mom sent me this one, and I laughed so hard I had to share. Happy Holidays to everyone, whatever you celebrate :D
<>Now, if anyone asks you what the difference is between Christmas and Chanukah you will know what and how to answer!
1. Christmas is one day, same day every year, December 25. Jews also love December 25th. It's another paid day off work. We go to movies and out for Chinese food and Israeli dancing.
Chanukah is 8 days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure. Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah
starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don't look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher, or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida
) or other Jewish funeral home.
2. Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat.
3. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos... Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam, which looks impressive on the
4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannu kah, etc.
5. Christmas is a time of great pressure for
husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.
6. Christmas brings enormous electric bills.
Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.
7. Christmas carols are beautiful...Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful.... Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the hora. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and
written by our tribal brethren. And don't Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?
8. A home preparing for Christmas smells
wonderful. The sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking. Happy people are gathered around in festive moods. A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil,potatoes, and onions . The home, as always, is full of loud people all talking at once.
9. Christian women have fun baking Christmas cookies. Jewish women burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkas on Chanukah. Another reminder of our suffering through
10. Parents deliver to their children during Christmas. Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.
11. The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus,
Maccabee, and Matta whatever. No one can spell it or pronounce it. On the plus side, we can tell our friends anything and they believe we are
wonderfully versed in our history.
12. Many Christians believe in the virgin birth.
Jews think, "Yossela, Bubela, snap out of it. Your woman is pregnant, you didn't sleep with her, and now you want to blame G-d? Here's the number of my shrink".
13. In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized. The same holds true for Chanukah, even though it is a minor holiday. It makes sense. How could we market a major holiday such as Yom Kippur? Forget about celebrating. Think
observing. Come to synagogue, starve yourself for 27 hours, become one with your dehydrated soul, beat your chest, confess your sins, a guaranteed good
time for you and your family. Tickets a mere $200 per person. Better stick with Chanukah.
Labels: Jewish musings
Why I love shuffle...
Many of you know I love to write to music. It somehow makes the words come faster, easier...except when they don't. Usually I have one cd I'm in the mood to listen to, or a mix of songs that I love to write to that I'll play. Today, however, I put my Windows Media Player on "All Music", on the shuffle method, and sat down to type. So far it's played:
- Toby Lightman
- Stevie Wonder
- Bonnie Raitt
- Alana Davis
- and Widespread Panic.
What's playing on your computer?
Labels: music, writing
I've been tagged!
I feel like I've answered these before, but maybe not. So, here we go, just in case you forgot...
Four jobs I've had (in no particular order):
- file clerk at law firm
- software librarian
<>Four places I've lived (sorry for the lack of excitement here):
- Southfield, MI
- Farmington Hills, MI
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Seattle, WA (and a few cities around it)
<>Four favorite foods:>
- chicken soup (homemade)
- tuna noodle casserole
- chicken pad thai
- noodle kugel
Four movies I could watch over and over:
- The Princess Bride (I second this one!)
- Return of the Jedi
- When Harry Met Sally
Four TV shows I enjoy:
- Bones (my new obsession)
- Firefly (oh, wait, are these supposed to be on the air still?)
- Eureka (when I can find it)
Four Places I've Traveled:
- Paris, France
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Dublin, Ireland
Four websites I go to (almost) daily (sorry, they're almost all blogs):
- Ms. K
- my email
- Jill Shalvis's blog
- My school's sharepoint site
Four people I'm tagging to do this too:And for fun I'm going to add the following:
- Ms. K.
- Jill S.
And the questions added by Kristian...
Four books I re-read in 2006:
- Braced2Bite by Serena Robar
- the autobiography of Rosa Parks
- This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
- Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Four new authors I tried in 2006:
- Steffi Davis, Smart Boys & Fast Girls
- Nikki Burnham, Royally Jacked
- Alexis Morgan, Dark Protector and Dark Defender
- Rachel Lee, The Ilduin Trilogy
Four books to re-read in 2007:
- Knight of Darkness, Kinley MacGregor
- Dark Side of the Moon, Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Thunderbird Falls, CE Murphy
- Enslave Me Sweetly, Gena Showalter
Four new authors to try in 2007:
- Shannon McKelden (and not just because she's one of my dearest friends)
- Barack Obama (I really want to read his latest)
- Shelley Munro
- Cheyenne McCray
So easily amused...
Or why I love winter break.
Never let it be said I don't fully appreciate my breaks. As a teacher, I need this time to renew my energy, as well as to relax a little before diving back into curriculum. I made a promise to myself that I'd do a lot of writing this break, and so far? I haven't done a lot. But that will change. Soon.
No, really. I swear!
In the meantime, I'm amusing myself with episodes from the first season of Bones. I gotta say, I love this show. I didn't think I would. Or, more accurately, I was afraid to watch it because I might actually like it. If I liked it, then I'd HAVE to watch it. And heaven only knows, I did not need another t.v. show added to my must see list. But I watched, and I loved, and now I'm trying to catch up on what I've missed.
What's beautiful about the show is that it's based on a book character created by Kathy Reichs. My understanding is that the t.v. show is not always faithful to the books, but I don't care. I love these characters and how they all play off one another. I especially like how the lead character is so comfortable with her science, yet if you put her in a personal situation her brain cannot make sense of it. This is a woman who is top in her field, and yet has never heard of The Blair Witch Project, or many other pop culture references. She has isolated herself from all things "normal" in life, and yet is constantly being dragged back into that life. I love it!
In other news, I've read 3 books so far, since the blackout hit last Thursday night. Keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks to see just how many books I can read while on break, while still accomplishing my page goals.
The Festival of Lights
And it was said...
Let there be light!
Thank goodness. I really thought I was going to lose my mind. I was this close to going over the edge. I never would have made a good Jew wandering in the desert for 40 years. Four days of suitcase living almost did me in.
But, the brightside is that I woke this morning to a message from Ms. K., who along with several others of us, has been diligently checking my home phone number for days, waiting for my answering machine to pick up. This would signal power had returned. Ms. K.'s message was simple, "The power's back!!"
So late this morning, after stopping for bagels, I returned home and began my annual winter cleaning spree. I vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom. Heck, I was even down on my hands and knees with the Mr. Clean Eraser cleaning my kitchen floor. My apartment now smells like a mix of baking cookies (thanks to the Febreze spray) and Tropical Mist (courtesy of Glade carpet powder stuff). An odd mix, yes, but much better than whatever smell was coming out of my fridge after a few days of no power.
And hey, in all my madness last week, I even managed to still write 4 pages, thanks to my Alphasmart. Of course, it was a little difficult to focus on being creative when I wasn't sure where I was sleeping each night, but four is so much better than none.
So now, I'm officially on Winter Break. I have movies to watch, movies to go see, books to read, and a book to continue writing.
Making this quick...
Many of you have been over to Christina's blog (or you live in Western Washington, so you know what's going on), but in case you missed it...
We had a major windstorm on Thursday. I mean 60 mph winds in some places, maybe even higher. Lot's of storm damage, with trees all over the place, and probably left some people wondering if they would wind up in another city simply by trying to walk down the street.
Mom, Ms. K. and I have all been without power since Thursday night. At first it was a little fun. No school, time to relax. Then it started getting cold. Then colder.
Now? Not so much fun. In fact, I'm ready for my Hannukah Miracle now, if you don't mind.
Festival of lights, my tuches! It's still dark in my world.
Is it supposed to smell that way?
I stopped tonight for tea with a friend. The tea list, as I believe they should all be, was quite long, with oodles of options. So I took a chance and ordered the Scottish Breakfast tea. I like English Breakfast, and Irish Breakfast is my morning tea of choice. But Scottish Breakfast tea? I'd never heard of it.
Was it supposed to smell that way? They warned me it had smokey flavor. But I couldn't place it. The smell was somewhere between Beef Jerky and Bacon. It tasted like normal tea. But something about the smell just didn't fit. I'm pretty sure my tea is not supposed to smell like bacon. I realize they are both technically breakfast foods, but still...c'mon!
How many matches does it take to light a candle?
Apparently 7...at least. Today is a writing day. I've had a crazy busy week, and I haven't even written one new page yet. Before I sat down to type, I decided to light some candles, to create a more powerful atmosphere.
So should I take it as a sign that my candle for writing keeps burning out, and won't stay lit? I hope not, because I have 10 pages to go today...and I have every intention of doing so.
The Jewish Mumble...
I can't remember if I've shared this strange phenomena with you all. I know we've talked about the rabbis, about yiddish, about the Jewish goodbye. But we've never talked about the Jewish mumble from what I can recall.
The Jewish mumble is what happens when the not-overly-observant pray. Most of us can say the first few words of Jewish prayers, because many begin the same way. Most of us know the end of the prayer, because they almost all end the same way. It's the middle that gives us trouble.
No one wants to look foolish, and no one ever wants to admit they don't know the words, or can't read the words. It's embarrassing! So what happens? Why the Jewish mumble of course. We can follow the tunes, we can follow the beat, we can even make some sounds that go remarkably well with the actual words. I think most of us figure if we even remotely sound like we're inarticulately praying, it's better than standing there with our mouths shut. So we mumble. And we sway. And we go for the gusto...without ever uttering a real word.
It's utterly fascinating to watch. Now, I fully admit to being one of the offenders. I can do the Jewish mumble with the best of 'em. It's almost an art form, taking years of practice to perfect. So next time you're in a synagogue...watch the people around you. I bet at least half are mumbling.
Labels: Jewish musings
Bet you didn't know...
Last night I went to the rabbi's house for shabbat dinner. I love these dinners because they are usually so relaxing, and entertaining. It's rare that I don't spend most of the evening smiling and laughing, talking and eating. Plus, most of the people who attend are usually ones I don't know, and so I get to make all sorts of new friends. What was special about this night, however, was they were advertising it as a "Singles Shabbat." Now, I've said before that sometimes I'm a little slow. But I'm not that slow. clearly this was something to go do...even if it was a bust.
Now would be a good time to point out that the only people in the world who want to see a nice Jewish girl married off more than her mother or grandmothers, would be the nice, Jewish rabbis. Seriously, there biggest goal in life is to see us all happily married off. And it's a fine goal, just one that can be a little scary to think about some times.
So I signed up, sending the organizer my name and age, as requested. And are you all thinking what I'm thinking? That they will organize based on age groups? Well, appparently that's where I made my mistake. I arrived at the rabbi's, met his fabulous wife, and discovered that apparently there had been confusion about my email. Really, that must be the case. It's the only explanation for why I was now in a room with about 8 people. only three of us under the age of 40. Most appeared over the age of 50. Hm...there must be some mistake. Did I go to the wrong house? Hm...mentally check address. No, I'm in the right house. Hm...This can't be right. Can it?
I guess it can.
The rest of the evening, once I realized I was indeed in the right house, went smoothly. Lots of laughter, good food, good people. Fun conversations. Even seeing someone at the end of the dinner who I'd rather not have seen, couldn't ruin the evening. I made several new friends, and may even have some new hiking buddies, so I'm excited. Plus, I got to reconnect with a teacher friend I haven't seen in over a year.
And ultimately? I discovered that I really was at the right house. Had they sent me to another one, I likely would not have had nearly as good a time. So, yes, sometimes there really is a master plan. I just don't always know what it is.
It doesn't get much better than this...
Report cards are all most done, I walked with Ms. K., I have a mug of tea, I'm on track with page count for this week (if anything I'm ahead of where I thought I would be by now, if you go by my original timeline), and I have two great books. Really, it just doesn't get much better than this. Over the weekend I read Abby Cooper Psychic Eye, a book I'd picked up on a fluke a few weeks back. I've been having a horrible time truly getting interested in the books I've been reading as of late. But ACPE I read in 2 days. I was originally attracted by the title, but what got me to buy it was that the main character lives in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit. A suburb, mind you, not far from where I grew up, and not far from where my parents grew up. So I had to show loyalty to my hometown and check it out. According to amazon, there are several more in the series...and I just may have to check them out.
Currently, I'm reading Eye of Heaven, the newest Dirk & Steele novel by Marjorie M. Liu. As always, I'm loving this one. She has created a rich and wonderful world of characters, and I love diving back into their lives.
Next up? Dark Defender by Alexis Morgan. This is the second book in her Paladin series and if the first one was any indicator? It'll be hot, hot, hot! This has been on my auto-buy list since I finished Dark Protector, so do yourselves a favor and go buy it.
Now go...enjoy the night. I'm curling up with my tea and a book.
Birthday cake all around...
Happy birthday to H and NY C. I love you both.
Fan girl central...
How is it already December? How are we already half way through the school year? And most of all, how is it that Winter Break is so close? I've been busy packing up our science kit in preparation of the new one (Mixtures & Solutions), gathering data for report cards, filling in Reading Continuums and writing my comments for the report cards. Never let it be said that teachers have it easy. I'm not complaining. Nope, not me. But I'm amazed at how much work truly goes into preparing report cards. Especially when they are the first ones you've ever written.
So with a weekend of mostly work ahead of me, I rented two DVDs last night. Both of t.v. shows I watch(ed), but needed a fix of. The first, How I Met Your Mother. Personally I think this is a very funny, well done show. The characters are just odd enough to be real, you know? I missed a lot of the first season, due to school (and my habit of forgetting it was on), so I rented the first disc to watch last night, after I got my work for the day done. Very fun. And a nice mindless way to get through the evening.
Then this morning I began watching Season One, Disc One of Farscape, one of my favorite shows that was pulled from the air too soon (IMHO). There are only two episodes on it, but both were ones I'd never seen before. Add in commentary over the first two episodes, a character sketch of everyone's favorite, John Crichton, and I'm in my happy place. The best part, is that I can get work done, while watching, as I know most of the storylines, and don't have to worry about missing something. It's a wonderful thing.
So I'm happy. I have pages to write, comments to finish, and a battery to replace on my car. But I'm happy.
Ms. K. started it...
with all her talk of food fetishes and the like. Now I ask you, is that nice? Is it nice to remind me of all the lovely food-type things I'm trying very hard not to eat? Hmmm?
It's just plain mean to make me think about things like sourcream and bananas, with just a touch of sugar. Hey, stop laughing! It's good I tell you. Very good. Mmmm...maybe I need to run out and get me some of that. I could buy a really small container of the lowfat sourcream, and subsitute splenda for the sugar. It would be so easy!
But I will resist. You'll see. I'll sit here and sip my no sugar added hot cocoa with minimarshmellows and I won't think about the yummy bananas covered in smooth, creamy sourcream.
Nope, not gonna think about it...