Monday, May 28, 2007

This is me

Well, okay, not really. (By the way, sorry guys, I tried to crop her arm out but it didn't work.)

But this is what I WANT to look like - my hair, at any rate. After I graduated high school, I cut my veeeery long, curly, frizzy hair into a cute, short pixie cut. This Chanel picture is the one I brought to the salon so the stylist could see what I wanted. And she did an excellent job, and my hair style is now much more flattering, at least on Shabbat, when I take the time to iron it and make it look smooth. During the week I kind of let it air dry, with puffy results.

I wish my hair looked like that picture all the time. Instead I look something like this:

Okay, I'm kind of exaggerating (and I most assuredly do not look male). But now that the weather has become really humid, my hair is frizzy and curly. NOOOOOOOO! My hair cannot do this to me! I have an important job starting in a week from today and I need hair that will stay straight! All day!

Heeeeeelp . . .

So does anyone have an idea of a hair product that will keep my hair from clouding up?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Being an in-law

Two stories about what it means to be an in-law:

Names have been changed to protect the guilty (and the innocent)

Story #1:
Dana comes home to a phone call from the superintendent of the apartment building where Dana's older, unmarried brother lives. The superintendent regrets to inform Dana that her brother has been found dead - a neighbor passing by the apartment noticed the key in the door and, thinking this was strange, pushed the door open, where he found the brother sprawled on the floor, dead. Dana is very upset, and doesn't want to have to go into the city to deal with identifying the body officially or any other business. Her husband, David, offers to drive into the city, where he has to identify his dead brother-in-law's body, talk to the police and the superintendent, arrange for the chevra kadisha to come take care of the body. He does this all willingly, wanting to ease his wife's pain and shock.

Story #2:
Tamar and Noam are newly married and at Tamar's parents for Shabbos. Tamar's mother asks Noam, who is an only child, to pitch in with the Shabbos preparations by sweeping the kitchen floor. Later, Tamar's brother Josh complains that when he has to mop the kitchen floor, it seemed no one swept it before. Surprised, his mother tells him that his brother-in-law Noam did sweep it. Noam swept the floor, but did it badly on purpose so that his mother-in-law would think twice about asking him to do it again.

What do you think?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Why I will try to never live in Brooklyn

Today I went to Brooklyn to do some clothes shopping for my summer internship. (I got two great skirts and a bunch of shells, plus a Ralph Lauren blouse on sale, thanks for asking.) Now, I went to high school in Brooklyn, but having been relatively removed from that society except for weddings here and there, I now realize more than ever that I want to stay at a distance.

First of all, if anyone has wondered why teenagers from Brooklyn are so JAPpy, it's because their mothers are. Of course, there are women in Brooklyn who dress b'tznius, and are refined and modest people. But there are so many others who are really pushing the limit on what is appropriate: long, expensive-looking shaitels, lots of makeup, tight tops, tight skirts. The women who dress like that are in their late-20s to about mid-40s, but they dress like they're fifteen. WHY does anyone think that this is okay? It made me uncomfortable to look at them, and I'm a girl! How much more so the men! And do their husbands realize that these women look slutty? Do they care?

I really take an issue with the shaitels. I know that it's a very difficult thing for some women to cover their hair all the time, and that wearing a shaitel makes some people feel prettier. But if you're in your mid-thirties (or any age for that matter!), your shaitel should not hit the middle of your back! It is SO untznius! I don't even like that sort of look on unmarried people, with a few certain exceptions. And the makeup - it must take at least a gallon of Bobbi Brown's makeup remover to get it all off at night.

The clothing, though, really bothers me. Even the women (and men - yuck) who run the Brooklyn clothing stores urge women to buy clothing that is too tight, or too short, or too revealing. And a lot of women don't seem to have an issue with that, since they buy up the stores' clothing supplies. And don't get me started about the prices. When I started out shopping today, I winced if a skirt cost more than $60. But by the end of the day I had relaxed my anxiety and even bought two skirts that cost significantly more (in my defense, I was looking for very specific styles and tried on at least 14 skirts before finding the ones that I bought. And I had a lot of shopper's guilt afterward). WHAT IS WITH THESE PRICES?? It's as though the storeowners are charging you commission because THEY took the time to find suppliers who would sell (moderately) tzniusdik clothing, and so saving you the trouble of having to go to many stores to find what you can buy at one hugely expensive Brooklyn clothier.

It's mamash stealing.


I just don't want to live in a place where women are content to dress inappropriately (and let their daughters do the same) and where shopkeepers exploit their customers (and harangue them while they're browsing - some of the sales help are really incredibly pushy).

And that is why I will try to stay far, far away from Brooklyn as a place of residence.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I just had to post again because

I'm so excited that I have all this free time to sit and read endless blogs!

I love not having time commitments!

Except I sorta need to clean my room . . . oh well.


I am officially on vacation!


And a happy Yom Yerushalayim to everyone! If anyone wants to read an amazing, amazing book that will really make you feel the happiness and incredibility of this day, read The 28th of Iyar by Rabbi Emanuel Feldman (same author as Tales out of Shul). He went on sabbatical at Bar Ilan during 1967 and was in Israel during the war and subsequent reunification of Yerushalayim. It's well-written and very moving.

And now back to vacation mode:


Don't get me wrong, I really liked my classes this semester. But I love waking up and knowing that I don't have to write any papers, or do any readings, or show up to class, or wake up at 8:15 . . . although that'll all change come June, when I go down to Washington for my supercool and intense congressional internship!

I still need to:
Book a ticket on Amtrak
Go shopping - I need lots of conservative office clothing
Buy various odds and ends
Read up about my prospective boss and keep myself up-to-date with what he's doing, thinking, feeling, etc.

As the date of departure gets nearer, I am getting slightly more nervous every day. What if I come across as a total ignoramus? What if everyone hates me? What if I say something really dumb to someone who turns out to be really famous and/or important? What if I get hopelessly lost in the maze of the House buildings and can't find my way back to my office? Eek!

*deep calming breaths*

I guess I'll just try to worry about all that when I actually get there and can commiserate with other scared interns. Everyone wish me luck!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Question . . .

I've been meaning to blog about this for some time, but haven't quite got up the courage til now. I hope I won't offend anyone.

I attended a very frum, right-wing high school and seminary. During high school (not so much in seminary), the school placed a lot of emphasis on teaching the laws of tzniut (modesty). This is what I was taught was halacha:
1. Women may not wear pants (except for pajamas).
2. Elbows, knees and collarbones must be covered.
3. Skin below the knee and above the ankle must also be covered - ankle socks or bare feet are not allowed.
4. Tight clothing is assur.
5. Wearing bright colors (say, red) is not necessarily assur but is a sensitivity that should be developed. Same with shirts with writing on them.

Someone told me that #3 is really minhag hamakom, not halacha, but I looked in a few different books and did not see that. I could be wrong - if someone can give me a comprehensive book that would explain it (NOT Oz Vehadar Levusha), I would really appreciate it. It could be that I assume that it's halacha since the school had a rule that we had to wear knee socks or tights all the time.

But I want to talk about something else.

Where I go to school now, there are many girls who do not dress according to these standards. I don't want to condemn them for doing so. What I am curious about is that I know that many of these girls did go to Jewish day schools, and I wonder what they did teach there about tzniut. I see girls wearing pants, short sleeves, sleeves that end just above the elbow, tops that are more open and don't cover the collarbone, skirts that are above the knee. I AM NOT JUDGING THESE GIRLS. I assume that they don't know any better or that they have come to their own conclusions. That's not my business - it's between them and Hashem. I am simply wondering about the state of the "tzniut education" programs at the schools that these girls come from.

Let's say that they don't know better. Why is that? Are schools simply not teaching them the laws of tzniut? Or are schools defining the parameters of tzniut in a different way? What might these parameters be? Is there a halachic basis for some of the styles I quoted above (short sleeves, etc) that I just don't know about?

This has been bothering me for a while. I hope that my readers can provide some clarification.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

"So what's the most sketchified place in town?"

So, I've actually found a great place to study, a place where I don't get distracted and get a lot of work done. Unfortunately, it's also considered one of the sketchiest places on earth.

So why am I, a nice frum aidel maidel BY graduate girl sitting in a sketchy place? Because I have determined that this is my hishtadlus to getting good grades this semester. As undesirable a place as it is, I am at my most productive when I sit there. During the reading period that I had before finals, I got almost nothing done. Every day, I made a list for myself of all the stuff I had to do, and I did like maybe two or three things on the ten-item list over a span of four days. PA-THE-TIC! (I learned that I really do not work well without structure.)

So in order to combat my procrastination, I have found myself a great place to study, and I'm just powering through my list. Ha-HA!

P.S. I just noticed that I started every paragraph of this post with the word "so." Hmm.
P.P.S. Did anyone get the Wicked reference? Anyone? Ten figurative points to the person who guesses it!
P.P.P.S. No spam poem this week, because I only got one piece of junk mail. How cool is that? Maybe by grousing about that on this blog, the evil spam senders were scared off and now I am a nearly spam-free woman! Mwah ha ha ha ha!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The amazing levitating bunny

Well, the parental units returned from their trip to the Bahamas (daddy got a lovely sunburn and mommy an even lovelier cold which she swears I gave her, but whatever). Apparently, on this conference was a very interesting motivational speaker named Giovanni Livera. Justa hisa name makesa me-a wanta talka like-a this. He is a magician who developed this whole program of managing your time well so that you feel like your life is purposeful. Mommy brought back this packet that he gave out - it was really neat. Inside a brown package made of a fabric-like paper were five posters, each one for you to write down different goals and things like that. Beautiful graphics and hopefully one day I will fill it out, when I am done with finals maybe and get around to it, ha ha.

Anyway, this post is named for one of the "tricks" he did during his speech. Gio (that's what people call him) took a bunny rabbit puppet named Winston and hypnotized him. Winston then proceeded to levitate. Mommy did a demonstration of this and it was hilarious. It's a bit hard to describe but I'll try my best: Winston is very shy, hiding his face from the crowd. Gio says, "Now Winston, don't be shy," and he gets Winston to face the crowd. Then Gio passes his finger back and forth in front of Winston til Winston is HYPnotized: his entire puppet body goes OPEN like the Cingular logo. Then Winston sloooooowly leans back until his body is horizontal and his head back, and rises up into the air. Gio passes his hand over and under Winston, showing the crowd how there are no strings attached.


Another cool thing that Gio orchestrated was a trick that I've seen bochurim do at weddings: 4 people sit on chairs with their shoulders touching. Then they all lean back on each other so that one person's head is in the next one's lap, and they are all overlapping. Then the chairs they are sitting on are taken away, and amazingly, the human origami square stays up - nobody falls! It's really an amazing trick. When I get married iy"H, I want people to do that for me at my wedding.

Also, I want this guy to come to an honors event. He probably charges an arm and a leg, though. This would be an event that people would actually WANT to go to, not like certain other somewhat boring speeches I could mention but won't.

Tomorrow is Lag Ba'omer, but sadly, my rav said that I can't listen to music until Lad Baomer, ie day 34. :( You'll all just have to keep me in mind.


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Second post of the day

Well, the first one was a spam poem, so it doesn't really count.



That's it.

spam poem 2

actionable baptism awards
are enough to out the Dempsey Cannon
Leopold can go . . .
Award check is information
so with The exciting Tyson
provide you so Winners plan
Winners in Harold W . . .
anyway, The Grammy B.
2007 is you

- seven days' worth of spam