Friday, November 25, 2011

Black As Midnight

I said last year I would never do it again and I did it. I experienced another Black Friday and remembered why I hated it so much.

Only this time, it was worse. Instead of showing up at the mall at 5:30 am, I stood outside, in the cold, at Target, for 30 minutes at midnight. Boy, that place was really busy.

First mistake: buying a Starbuck's coffee and then drinking it. That was the 4th cup I had that day, and even though midnight is considered the next day, it really isn't. I felt nauseous.

But it get gets worse. One of my boys has been asking for a Kindle forever, which is slang for a long time. Target was offering $50 off the one with a keyboard and that was enough for me to stay awake. I had no idea that waiting outside Target for 30 minutes until the doors opened was going to be the high point of my day.

First step: get into the store and ask a salesperson in electronics to put a kindle aside for you, with your name on it via post-it note. Step 2: Stand in another line to buy it. Luckily I was surrounded by very passive and friendly people. They helped me maintain my grouchiness to a minimum. I was also lucky to have another son with me, the one I refer to as "the shopper."

Frankly, that boy is channeling my mother, may she rest in peace. Nobody shopped like her. We took turns waiting in line and shopping the rest of the store. Nearly 2 hours later, when we got to the cashier, we learned that all the other stuff we had accumulated over that time had to be purchased at the regular check-out line. Okay, time to kill people.

But my shopper son kept me calm and we breezed through check-out line #2 and got home at 2:45 am. Slept in this morning until 7:30 am, and leaped out of bed because I have two kids going to school today, both of which were late.

I'm thinking of getting t-shirts made for next year's shoppers that says: My parents shopped Black Friday and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." Selling those might offset my own personal balance of trade.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crying Again

It's Thanksgiving morning here in Los Angeles, and I finally rolled out of bed to get some breakfast and catch up on the world. The following story made my day and made me cry.

It's the feel good story of the day. G-d bless the world!!!

Florida runners donate medals, trophy to disqualified foes

In one of the more generous incidents in recent prep sports memory, a Florida girls cross country team voluntarily gave up their runners-up medals and trophy to a school which they felt deserved them more, and they did so entirely of their own volition, without any influence of a coach or other adult.

On Monday, Prep Rally wrote about the Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage School girls cross country team, which was knocked out of what was eventually determined to be a second place finish at the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A state cross country meet because of a bizarre mix up with the timing chips on the shoes of two team members.

Those mismatched timing chips -- which are used to ensure that a runner follows the correct course and crosses the finish line and all check points -- dropped American Heritage down to a fifth place finish, even though the team felt it should have finished much higher. As it turns out, the American Heritage runners weren't alone in that sentiment, with the school that did finish in second place going to extreme lengths to let their opponents know that how they felt about American Heritage's performance.

As reported by Jacksonville's, the Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles School girls cross country team, which was bumped up from third place to second in the Class 2A meet by the American Heritage disqualifications, voluntarily decided to give their runners-up medals and trophy to the team they felt should rightfully have finished there.

According to Bolles senior runner Micayla Costa, there was no debate among the Bolles team about what to do because they all knew that the American Heritage runners deserved the honor more than they did. In fact, the team had already gathered and decided to hand over their medals and trophy before Bolles cross country coach Tony Ryan could speak to them about it.

"We huddled up in a group to talk about it," Costa told FirstCoastNews. "The team decided not to keep the trophy, the medals and the runner-up title."

That meant a quick turnaround from the medal stand, where the Bolles girls had stood on the runners-up platform next to newly crowned 2A champion Miami (Fla.) Carrollton School, to a nearby huddle where the American Heritage squad was still in a state of shock over its sudden fall.

Without letting them know what they planned to do, the Bolles team members walked over to American Heritage runners and presented them with the second place medals. As one might expect, the reaction was emotional.

"I took off my medal and I gave it to [an American Heritage runner]," Bolles sophomore Lily Arnold told FirstCoastNews. "And once I put it around her neck, she started to cry."

While American Heritage's runners were the most obvious beneficiaries of the Bolles squad's immense generosity, runners from the Jacksonville school insist that they took as much away from the experience as they would have from a state title. That's saying something for a school which has a multitude of cross country and track titles to its name.

"This was worth so much more than a state championship," Arnold told FirstCoastNews.

The original story ran here:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cutest Picture Ever

I'm sorry. I saw this on another blog and just had to share it. The picture is so cute!!! Enjoy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Taking Time

Time has been on my mind a lot lately. First, where I'm interning now, we use a 24-hour clock, or military time, when writing notes in patient files. Since my Timex indigo light decided on its own to cease functioning, I though it would be a good time to drag out my old (as in vintage) Casio watch and get a new band.

After all, Casio states that all its watches feature 12/24 hour time. I must have pushed every button, including all three simultaneously, to get that 24 hour clock. Nothing doing. Called Casio to find out that my watch does not offer this feature. Oh joy.

With daylight savings time, Shabbat comes in very early. My daughter and I light the candles at 4:30 pm, and by 5:30 pm I'm snoring away. I mean, 5:30 pm! Every other day of the week I'm just coming home at 5:30 pm.

Every Shabbat I read the entire book of Tehillim for the complete recovery of my brother, Hershel Yaakov ben Masha. It takes me a little over 3 hours, and before daylight savings time, I could start at about 3 pm and finish up by 6 pm. Well, with Shabbat over at 5:30 pm, I find myself rushing to get the book done. Old habits die hard and I have to get with the program.

Time - what a concept. Frankly, it's time for Moshiach right now.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sushi Madness

Just when I thought it was safe to leave my house and walk around the block, a brand new, kosher sushi restaurant opened. In my never ending desire to loose weight, I thought I could give up sushi. Things were looking good. Until now.

I think sushi is a great idea. Rice, fish and vegetables in one little roll that can be popped in the mouth and easily chewed up. But when I think of all the ingredients as a whole, the calories become daunting. Rice vinegar, mayo, and rice itself, kinda makes the meal a tad bit calorie dense.

Try 129 calories for two pieces of California roll. I had eight pieces today alone. Oy vey.

But the truth is, a dear friend and I sat down and each had an order of sushi. We talked, got our stress out and laughed. Gotta burn calories doing all that, right?

Maybe I should go for a walk.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Longest Day

I may moan and complain about it, but I really do like riding the bus. Especially when I'm days behind in my Tehillim reading. What I can do without is the requisite crazy black man and a subway so crowded I could not breathe.

When I ride the bus to my intern site, I have to leave the house by 5 am. Even daylight saving time has no effect on 5 am. Since this is the first day since the time change that I rode the bus so early, I was amazed to find that near journey's end, I got a chance to watch the sunrise.

Sounds romantic, doesn't it? But it wasn't. It was blinding. So I fumbled around in my purse to find my sunglasses in time to get off at my stop. The weather was mild, I was wearing serious layers, and I couldn't be happier.

Truth is, I could have been happier. Sleeping in bed. But alas, that was not meant to be. The journey home took as long, the first leg of which had two rather piggish young ladies sitting right behind me downing McDonald's and licking their lips for 20 minutes. I actually got nauseous.

The next leg of the trip involved the Blue Line, a wonderful above ground train that I really enjoy. But by that time it was pitch dark. I lamented having to ride the train both ways in the dark because it's the only train I ride where I actually get a view of the city.

The Blue Line meets the Red Line, and at 5:45 pm it's pretty crowded. Today was an exception: it was really really crowded. I chose to get off at a closer stop because I could not breathe. That choice put me in contact with the crazy black guy.

Talk about hysterical. He was higher than a kite, and laughing real loud, whopping it up. The driver had to tell him to be quiet over and over again, and since he wanted to go in the other direction anyway, she kept telling him to get out. But he was sweet, and he was funny, and it was the perfect way to end, at that time, a 13-hour day.

The longest day.