Monday, December 24, 2012

I'm An Addict

I don't know how to say this, but I'm hooked on a book on tape.  Well, it's not really on tape, it's on a CDs. Thirteen of them.  Oy vey, what was I thinking?

It's called "All Other Nights," and it's set in the Civil War.  It's the story of a Yankee spy, a young Jewish man, who gets involved, among other things, in busting up a Rebel spy ring involving a Southern Jewish family in which he marries one of the four sisters.

I'm addicted to the story.  I listen to it in the car, and sometimes, when I get to where I'm going and it's right in the middle of a really exciting part, I sit in my car and continue to listen.  Like I have all the time in the world to sit around and listen to a story?

I'm up to CD number 10.  I've been at this story for over a week now (I drive about an hour a day to work and back, and then usually go shopping afterwards), and to tell the truth, I love the concept of listening to a narrator (it's amazing - this guy plays about 10 different parts!), but 13 CDs?  Really?  It's kinda taking too long.

Not that I'm proud of myself, but I actually checked out the book so I could read the end.  Seriously, I may not get to the last CD for another few days.  I just had to know if the hero comes out alright.  And if you want to know if he does, then continue reading.  Otherwise, it'a fun story .  Check it out!

*(He does!)

Checking In

I just got off the phone with my son in Australia - actually, I just got off the computer phone (Skype) with my son in Australia.  He sure looks cute on my little screen.  Cute, happy, content.  I hope that means he won't want to stay in that country.

I know it's wrong, but every time I talk to him I remind him that he lives here, in America, the greatest country on earth.  He laughs, figures I'm joking, and then goes on to say that he knows he coming home in a year.  But I mean it.  Australia is too far away for one of my children to live, even if I did just figure out how to spell the name right.

Funny, I don't feel that way about Israel.  If any of my children were to let me know tonight that they were moving to Israel (except my 11 year old daughter), I'd be thrilled.  There's something about Australia that doesn't sit right with me.  I mean, the people are nice enough, it's just something about that country that puts me off.

Anyway, it's my problem.  Not my cute, happy, content son.  And I'm gonna have to deal with it.  And I have just under a year to do just that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Making Due With What You Have

This is a great video - shows how when life hands you garbage, you make that garbage amazing.  Very uplifting and all for a great cause.  Enjoy

Fried Foods and Other Thoughts

It's Chanukah time, a happy time, when we tend to eat either a lot of food, or the wrong food, or both.  Count me in.

At my advanced age (5 decades and counting), I realize I really have to watch what I eat, take care to count calories, and drink plenty of water.  Well, I ate two jelly filled donuts yesterday and I'm crying for more!

It's ironic that I tell my patients to stay away from fried foods, and I even tell myself that as well.  But I have no idea just how many latkes I ate Monday night.  I know it was more than 10, including the ones that grew cold because we had to take a break from eating.

It's gonna take me a while to get back on track.  Start eating healthy, raw vegetables, smaller portions.  I guess it helps me relate to the people I counsel - it makes their struggle more real.  Not that it matters, but many of my patients are homeless, and fast food keeps them alive.  I understand that, and ask them to eat less of it.

Because fried foods taste so good, I know they can't give it up.  Because I can't give it up.  Oh, what the heck.  Like I tell them, do the best you can.  Everyday.  Amen.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Just Some Thoughts

As I've mentioned before, at first, I was a bit afraid of working in a psychiatric hospital.  I've seen the patients get unhinged, seen them given "cocktails" to calm them down, and found myself actually asked to move out of the way of staff to get to patients who were acting up.

But my heart goes out to one patient in particular, who I obviously cannot name.  I will say that he is young, and has become mentally disabled through a horrendous car accident that claimed the life of his mother.  The young man cannot stand still, and constantly moves about the facility.  But there is such a sweetness to him, and gentleness, and I have had occasion to speak to him since he is not eating well and is losing weight.

At first, he wouldn't take the Ensure supplements, but I talked him into it.  He's asked for burritos, and in turn I've asked the kitchen staff to make it for him.  So today, after I spoke to him, he reached out and shook my hand.  When I went to leave, he came up to me and shook my hand again.  I wanted to cry.

Usually I write my posts when I'm happy, or excited, or even outraged.  But it's hard for me to write when I'm sad.  This young man, he makes me sad.  But the problem is me, because there's nothing he can do for himself.  I have to smile more, laugh more, be kinder.  In fact, I'll start right now.  As Mr. Rogers used to say, "won't you join me?"

Friday, November 23, 2012

What A Week

It's been a while since I've written on this blog, and for that, I'm sorry.  But my mind has been on overload - from my job working as a Registered Dietitian in a psychiatric hospital to the war in the Middle East.  I've been a little preoccupied.

So let me say now, that thank G-d the people of Israel have pulled through this latest crisis, and shame on all those in the news media who used this latest attempt at genocide on the part of Hamas to slam Israel.  Make no mistake, slamming Israel will not save Arabs lives.  Making Arabs accountable for their behavior will.

Because it isn't Israel that is targeting civilians, it is Hamas that is targeting them.  We've all heard the saying "suicide by police," where a person points a gun at a police officer and the officer shoots to save his or her life.  That is what Hamas has done.  Setting up rocket launchers by civilians in the hopes that they will kill Jews and also get their own killed, and make Israel responsible, is disgusting.  But what is more disgusting is that they got away with it.

This past summer in Great Britain, during the Olympics, the police set up rocket batteries on roof tops in preparation for a terrorist assault. Local citizens complained that they were made into targets and the rockets were removed.  Why can't the citizens of Gaza do that?  Is it because they don't want to?  Is it because they believe that Hamas is right and they are willing to take the hit?  Or are they truly powerless?

I believe the Creator of the Universe never slumbers or sleeps.  He is aware of our actions, and He is judging us.  I call out the evil of Hamas, and all the people who support them.  Especially those in safe countries who permit this evil to thrive.  Our actions have consequences.  

I work in a facility where people are truly insane.  They are medicated in order to function.  But in comparison to what I just witnessed regarding CNN, BBC and their ilk, my patients seem pretty damn normal to me.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

20th Century Gal In A 21st Century World

I've been complaining for years about my phone.  Besides the fact that it's a really cool color of blue, it was crap.  I didn't get internet, and with Bluetooth in the car, I rarely got my messages in time.

So I traded up a few days ago and got an I-Phone 4.  That's right - not interested in the I-Phone 5 because I can barely operate my old phone.  But being in constant touch with the internet has made me a happy person.  Until today.

When a dear friend called and asked me to call her back, I couldn't.  Because even though they said they transferred my contacts at the AT&T store, they really didn't.  So I didn't have her number.

Hold on a moment.  What does it mean I didn't have her number?  Because if it isn't in my cell phone, it doesn't exist in my head.  Is that good thing?  No, it isn't a good thing.  My generation memorized phone numbers because we didn't have cell phones, and the ones we didn't memorize, we wrote down in a personal phone book.

Obviously, I'm a little stressed or I wouldn't been traveling back in time and make the past seem so wonderful.  It's just frustrating to start a new job, be expected to perform like a seasoned employee, and then when I want to make a phone call I can't because I don't have the phone number.

Lucky for me, I have a son who has a wonderful, calm personality (actually, I have 5 of them - one, unfortunately, is kinda like me.  Excitable).  He quietly and quickly got me to the AT&T store and making an extremely long story short, got me my phone numbers.

What lessons did I learn from this?  That the old fashioned personal phone books are gonna have to be good enough for me.  I guess I'm NOT ready for the 21st century at all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Getting To The Root Of My Problem

I've been putting off going to the dentist for a long time now.  First, I didn't want to interfere with my internship.  Then I didn't want to interfere with my RD exam study time.  Finally, after months of wrangling for an appointment, I finally went to the dentist.

For a root canal.  You know all the jokes people say about how they'd rather be having a root canal (maybe it's just me)? Well, they're not very funny jokes.  My dentist didn't have knock out gas, or even head phones, which I forgot to bring, along with music.  Instead, to drown out the sound of the drill, I used the cotton plugs employed to stop bleeding.  Needless to say, it didn't drown out anything.

I'm used to dentists who like to talk about what they're doing, both professionally and personally.  It can be frustrating at times, especially when you want to join into the conversation, and your mouth is extended as you struggle to breathe.  But that was only part of my problem this time.  My dentist didn't speak to me at all and I had no clue how far along in the process I was at any given time.

And it did hurt.  Afterwards, I filled a prescription for Motrin 600 mg, and promptly ate one.  I counted the hours until the next one, but got caught up in my job.  I came home to find out that my husband and I had been invited out to a business dinner (a local chiropractor was hosting as a way to drum up business) at a wonderful kosher restaurant.  I was all set to order something really good, when I took a bite of an appetizer and went through the roof.  I had forgotten to down a Motrin and basically couldn't eat.  I was suck with soup for dinner.

Ironically, the chiropractor talked about the evils of anti-inflammatory pain medication as I sat there pinning away for Motrin.  Everything most definitely has its place.  Unfortunately, the Motrin, and pain relief, was miles away.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Something Else That Can Make You Sick

It's hard to imagine what my life would have been like growing up without owning a multitude of these cute little turtles.  I mean, all my friends had them.  Little plastic pool dish, fake palm tree in the center.  Not that they lived long, but they were fun to play with.  If they did make me sick, no one ever linked it to the tiny turtles.

Turtle take-back program aims to curb salmonella risk

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Love When That Happens

I've been thinking about getting another pair of eyeglasses lately.  You know, just in case I lose the other two  pairs I  have.  You never know.

I distinctly remember having a third pair, which is the one I wanted to replace.  I even went so far as to get a coupon for a pair of free eyeglasses.  Today, that all changed.

This morning I left the house early to attend a seminar on eating disorders.  It had rained last night, so I wanted to play it safe and take a rain coat.  While it drizzled on the way there, there was no other major outpouring of rain and I didn't use the coat.

After a scheduled stop at the dentist, I drove home knowing that parking would be scarce on alternate street cleaning day.  But I got lucky.  My spot was just around the block.  So I grabbed my things for the quick sprint to the house and I notice something big in my rain coat pocket.

That's right - 9 months after misplacing them, I found my third pair of eyeglasses.  The same kinda thing happened to me during the summer.  I had replaced my Sansa MP3 paper which I lost, only to find it in the pocket of a purse I haven't used in ages.  And how did I find it - by brushing up against the purse while looking for something else.

The morale of the story is that either I'm getting absent minded and need to chill, or G-d is the best practical joker in the world.  I think we all know the answer to that one!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Starting a Stupid Club

Today was the first day of my new job as part-time clinical dietitian for a regional hospital.  Everything was going great until I realized that I hadn't had my second cup of coffee for the day and was asked to figure out the calories and protein intake for a patient on enteral nutrition.

Surprise - I got the calculations wrong.  I felt so stupid.  My boss just looked at me and told me not to worry, that it's going to take practice.  But stupid is as stupid does.  I decided that it was time to go home.  I had been there for 6 hours, and it was 5 pm.  I was tired, hungry, sleepy, and disappointed in myself.

This isn't the first time I've gotten those calculations wrong, and it's cost me one job already.  But I'm determined to figure it out and get it right every time.

Deep breath.  Exhale.  Keep moving.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

An Interesting Encounter

I ran a few errands today, and ended up at Smart and Final to pick up a few things.  Well, one thing led to another and I found myself looking at products I had not intended to buy.  Like the Quaker Oats Granola Bars.  The Oats and Honey variety were on sale, but my heart really goes out to the Honey and Dark Chocolate.  So I turned the corner to the main display to grab a box.

There, standing by herself, was a woman checking labels.  My heart was filled with joy.  She was comparing the merits of the various bars out loud, unaware that I was behind her.  When she looked up and noticed me, she began to rave about her choice, which was good but I felt, a little hard to chew.  Then she went on about the merits of low salt, and we compared our boxes.  She was right.  Hers had 65 grams of sodium per bar, mine had 160 grams per bar.

Newsflash for me - this woman was really thinking about this stuff.  We continued talking about pleasant things, like how we both like chocolate, and then I bid her a good day.  Imagine that - the message about reducing salt intake is getting through.  

Website or Blog?

Well, I kinda muddled my way through the first posting on my website or blog or whatever.  Not sure how that works.

Still hoping to change the affects, but since I just requested the book "Web Design for Dummies," (yes, it does exist) from the local library, it's just a matter of time before I get what I want.

I guess I'm not such a great linear thinker, otherwise I'd get it.  Sigh.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The World Wide What?

I got it into my head today that I should have a web site.  So I did some research and came up with iPage.com, and promptly signed up.  It's called www.nutritionnana.com, and one day, hopefully soon, I'll figure out how to put stuff on it and it will look great.

One day could be a ways off.  I'm resisting the offer to pay $19.99 and have a tutorial, and would rather get something like Web Site Building For Dummies, if such a thing exists.  So if you go to my new web site and see nothing there, then you're in the right place.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another Bright Idea

It has been unbearably hot here in Los Angeles this past week.  And wouldn't you know it - it's Sukkot, the one time of the year that we eat outside (with the sun beating down) in little wooden booths with bamboo or palm fonds on top.  Oh please.  Talk about torture.  Those creeps in Guantanamo got it good.

So I came up with this great idea - why not put a wet bathing suit top under my shirt and sit outside?  Wouldn't that cool me off?  The answer is no.  It didn't work.  And when I mentioned it to my friend D, she said, "oh, my mother always said that if you wear wet clothes you'll get a cold."

I laughed.  Are you serious?  It's over 100 degrees outside.  How in the world can I get a cold from wearing wet clothing in this heat?

I don't know how it happened but I got a cold.  Seriously.  I woke up this morning, the day after the wet swim suit, and have a cold.  Now D's mother is dead, so is it possible that this is a beyond the grave thing going on here?

Right now, I'm on my second cup of green tea, and wishing I had listened to D's mother.  From the Other Side, no less.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Down But Not Out

I had a job interview today and I was out of my league.  Ouch.  It was a clinical nutrition position, and I just was not prepared.  I flunked the quiz.  The interviewer was as sweet as could be.  She assured me that it doesn't mean she won't hire me.  But truthfully, I wouldn't even hire myself.

It all comes down to understanding enteral and parenteral nutrition.  That's right - tube feeding.  Taking it down the nose, or in the vena cava.  Whatever.

I promised my interviewer, and myself, that I would nail these concepts.  And I will.  Just took a little wind out of my sails.  For an instant, it seemed like 5 years of schooling and the thousands of dollars it took to pay for it went down the drain.  And for a person who sees G-dliness in everything, that's saying a lot.

Got my work cut out for me.  But I'm gonna do it.  What are my options?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

To all humankind, wherever you are, whatever you think, whoever you hate, I say this: Happy New Year!  Another year is coming and we can expect more blessings, better health, abundant joy and ultimate redemption.

5773: We're going all the way!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Anne Frank Revisited

Like most people I know, I read "The Diary of Anne Frank" when I was about her age when she wrote it.  It was moving, and scary, and in the end, extremely sad.  I really wanted Anne to live, but felt she was right.  By all of us reading about her trials in the attic, she was still alive.

Now I've come to learn that before the book was translated into English, there was some controversy about it involving Meyer Levin, the author.  Seems he found the first edition in a Paris bookstore and wanted to bring it to America.  He had Otto Frank's permission, but what happened next is mired in controversy.

Levin's play, based on the book, was considered "too Jewish," and hence never went far.  But the script survives, and will be re-enacted between the September 15 and 18 (okay, if you're an observant Jew, you can listen to it Saturday night and Sunday!).  Here's the link.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Day Of Infamy

When I think about the bad things that bad people do to good people, I cry.  It just happens.  It's a natural reaction my body has to evil.  Evil makes me cry.

It's the same with 9/11.  For months after the attack, I just couldn't look at the videos, the actual footage of what happened.  It was too much for me.  Reading about the horror was enough to get the tears going.

That all changed soon after watching a Larry King special on 9/11.  He was interviewing survivors, and unlike most journalists, Larry King never really gets to the heart of the story.  He just glosses over it.  Like when he asked a blind man, who walked down I don't know how many flights of stairs to get out of one of the towers, passed by fire men, on their last call to duty, going up, were you scared?  

Hey Larry, I wasn't even in New York at the time and I was scared, so chances are this young man was out of his mind with terror.  But somehow, these silly questions, and all the others Larry asked, broke the spell that kept me from actually watching the event unfold.  I was able, through tears, to watch the attack.  All these years later, it doesn't get any easier.

I firmly believe that America wasn't attacked for something we did, but for something we are.  America is the one place anyone can come to, a nation with ideals that have never been upheld among a diverse population at any time in human history.  Freedom and justice for all.  It's a really great theory, and sometimes it even works.  But it's not the belief of the people who brought down those towers.  They don't believe in freedom and they don't believe in justice. And they certainly don't believe in the fundamental right to live.

We know who these evil people are.  In this instance, they are Muslims.  But when it comes to destruction of lives and cultures, they certainly don't hold the monopoly on evil.  Plenty of religious and political ideologies have stepped up to that plate.

To those evil people who attacked America on 9/11, it doesn't show how strong you are.  It shows how weak you are.  Because only the weak destroy, while the strong build.  G-d bless America, and all people everywhere who believe in freedom, and building a better world.

To all the innocent people who died that day, may their memories be a blessing for the rest of us.  May their blood be avenged, and may we be reunited with them speedily in our days.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grabbing Some Nachas

Nachas: joy from your kids.  The truth is, nachas is joy from just about anything, but usually it means joy from the amazing things our children do.  We pray for nachas from our children, and sometimes we get it.

Like tonight.  My son Shlomo is one of the dancing Rabbis on the Chabad Telethon.  I can't stop screaming. My baby is jumping up and down to the music.  Not sure I'd let him do all that jumping in the house, but I'm just loving it right now.

Ya-hoo!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

More Miracles

I love miracle stories, especially when they happen to me.  Like this story.

I was given a summons for jury duty about a month ago.  I mean, there's only 10 million people in this city, but Los Angeles adheres to the "one day, one trial" rule which spreads the joy of jury duty at a rapid pace.

Whatever.  But I wasn't upset just about the jury duty itself, but the fact that they are asking me to report in Santa Monica.  I live in Los Angeles proper, just a tad to the south of Hollywood, and if I had to take a bus to the court house, well, let's just say it would take well over an hour.

So I asked for a change of venue.  Explained myself real good.  Told the nameless, faceless bureaucracy that I live not too far from the Red Line, which has as one stop the Superior Court of Los Angeles.  I asked to be sent there.

Two weeks later, the original summons came in the mail.  I was going to Santa Monica.  No amount of protest could change it, especially since it fell on deaf ears.  No one associated with the courts of Los Angeles would pick up the phone and hear me out.

Well, since I got the car yesterday, I wouldn't have to take the bus.  Not that it saved me any time.  To those familiar with the freeways here at 7:15 am, it's more like a parking lot.  I was getting more upset by the minute.

When I got to Santa Monica, I calmed down immediately.  The courthouse is right on the beach.  Palm trees, surf, people walking around.  Paradise.  I check in, got my badge, watched the really weird "it's great to be a juror" video and we all took a 15 minute break.  All 40 of us.

Last time I was called to jury duty it was to the Superior Court of Los Angeles.  There were hundreds of us, barely any room to sit down.  You didn't want to go to the bathroom for fear you'd lose your seat.  This time around, we got tables to ourselves.

At 9:45 am, the announcement came.  The one trial set for today was going to arbitration - no jury was needed.  We were all excused for the rest of the year.  That's because the "one trial, one day" rule means if you are not called to serve on a jury the first day, you're off for the rest of the year.  I was so shocked I yelled "what!" and gathered my things.  I was home by 10:30 am.

Despite all my efforts, I was destined for Santa Monica Court.  And I served for about an hour and 45 minutes.  I could feel the G-dliness it was so obvious.  It was truly an amazing morning.  Keep it coming!

Finally Got It

I've been riding the bus for about 3 years now.  Not that I'm complaining.  Some of my greatest stories are from encounters or observations I've had on the bus.  But now that I'm an RD with a Master's degree, it's time to get serious.  Time to get a car.

So after talking about getting a car for months, I finally did it.  On Labor Day, salespeople from Honda, Hydunai and Ford worked real hard, but Ford won.  I leased a 2012 Ford Fiesta.  Tuxedo black on the outside, warm cloth black on the inside.

As festive as its name, the Ford Fiesta is the apple of my eye.  Only my husband can drive it (well, I got a stick so hopefully he can drive it).  I told my three eldest that my baby is hands off.  Don't even ask.  You will not get.

I know some people think I'm crazy, but it's one less obstacle to getting a job.  I will need reliable transportation, and now I have it.  Oh, I'm so happy!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer Time!

Okay, now I'm an Registered Dietitian.  I paid my fees, all set and ready to get my identity card signifying me as a member of the group.  It's summer and it's hot.  So what does this mean?

It means it's hard finding a job.  I've been trying for three days now, and no bites.  No "thank you but not thanks," no anything.  I will write once again to the Ohel (Rebbe), and visit my parents graves (this time I can stay longer because I don't fear getting a migraine from crying too hard) all in the hopes that they can help me out.

Maybe I'm getting nervous for no reason.  Maybe I need to just calm down and let the Yomin Tovim pass so I can start in earnest.  One of my dearest friends just passed the exam yesterday, and we will celebrate with lunch tomorrow.  Then it will two (times how many others) in the job market.

Deep breathe.  All will be well.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's Over!

Last Friday, I took the Registered Dietitian exam and passed.  Just like that.  It sounds so easy now, but it wasn't.  Not for a minute.

First, I wrote to the Rebbe at the Ohel and asked for a bracha.  Then I visited my parents' grave sites and asked them to intercede as well.  The current month we are in, Elul, is known as a time during which "The King is in the field," meaning Hashem is walking among us, and can take our pleas personally.  Altogether, I saw this as a good sign.

But the test itself, well, that was hard.  The first few questions had me freaking out.  I was shaking and tried deep breathing to calm myself.  It worked.  I took every question slowly, reread it several times, and came up with what I thought was the right answer.  Yes, there were several I had no idea about, but guessed anyway.

I was surprised when I passed.  Truly.  Now, I am a RD.  Registered Dietitian.  Ready to work.  Watch out world, here I come!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trying To Remain Calm

I've decided to wait no longer and take the Registered Dietitian's exam this Friday.  In all, I'm happy about this, but have moments throughout the day when I'm in extreme panic mode.  I mean, how much can I memorize?

It's also about understanding interconnections between things, and reading very carefully what is asked of you.  I'm not a careful reader, and that's why I'm scared.  Maybe I will know the answer, but just not the answer they're looking for.

Hoping for revealed goodness and strength.  Hoping for revealed G-dliness.  I'm gonna need it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just Too Funny

I love commercials - not the ones playing over and over again when I'm trying to watch my Bones reruns.  I mean the really creative, funny ones.  Especially when a good friend (and my best friend's husband) is in it.  In case you're wondering, he's the Hasidic Jew.  Enjoy!!!



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Out Of My Head

I got in into my head (after some convincing) that I should copy the entire review for the Registered Dietitian's Exam as a form of study.  Well, I just finished today, and frankly, it's a good thing the exam has no essay component because my fingers don't work anymore.

It was so painful to do this.  We're talking 150 pages here, put onto large index cards, and perhaps in the times of Jane Austin, when all people did was write, it doesn't seem impressive.  But it was a process that took weeks of my life, forcing me to forego most other endeavors.

Now all I have to do is review the cards and get ready to take the exam.  I've signed up for August 29.  Others who have passed told me that they just got sick of studying.  Well, I'm sick of studying right now, but certainly not ready.

Oh joy.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Becoming One

I'm becoming one dimensional, that is.  All this studying is turning me into a melancholy person.  I went to a family wedding last night, and all I could think about was whether it was wise to leave my flash cards in the car.  I mean, I didn't want to talk to anyone.

Or maybe I'm getting older and cranky.  I'm trying to keep my mouth shut, both against food and words, and  so far, only food is slipping in.

I have this policy that I never go to an event hungry.  I don't want to be preoccupied by wondering where's the food, or eating food that might make me sick because I'm too hungry to care.  So I ate A LOT yesterday before going to the party.  Once I got there, I was good, I didn't eat the hors d'oeurvres, but hello, chowed down on the jelly beans, fruit, main course and two cokes.

It's kinda weird that my daughter is the one throwing up this morning, and not me.  She was so overwhelmed by the pageantry that she barely ate a thing.  Vindicated!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting Stuck

I have this blood condition that causes my bone marrow to produce too many platelets and red blood cells, which might sound like a good thing but is really a bad thing.  For one, too much blood makes too much thick blood which makes a stroke, G-d forbid.  Since being identified a few years back, my condition has been monitored regularly, and  it appears that my platelet numbers are rising.

I can reverse the disease's course by taking a medicine with a list of side effects I'd only wish on Hitler and his friends.  So my husband and I searched the web for alternative procedures and came up with acupuncture.  After my last blood test proved discouraging, I made an appointment at the local acupuncture school for a consultation.  It's like going to a dental school to have your mouth fixed - the real dentist tells the trainee what to do and you just sit there and hope for the best.

After my initial interview (it appears my yin is in bad shape and my spleen along with it), I got into a hospital gown and laid down on the examining table.  The doctor, with her interns around her, began her examination.  She wanted to know if pressing various parts of my stomach hurt.  Well, yes, it pretty much all hurt.  I made a mental note to go to the bathroom before doing this again.

The doctor and her students conferred, I believe in Chinese, and decided on my course of therapy.  I would need at least 4 or more procedures, which involves sticking needles everywhere, including my head.  We're talking hat pin needles, and it hurt.  I thought acupuncture didn't hurt, but it does.  The pain passes, of course, but it hurt.

After being stuck in my feet, legs, stomach, hands, arms, chest and head, I had to lay still for 30 minutes.  Well, don't you know what happens when you are told not to move for 30 minutes?  Everything begins to itch, of course.  But with the lights out, I did my best to relax.

Afterwards, with all the multitude of needles removed, I was asked if I felt better.  Not really.  Well, maybe I'll feel better in the morning, they told me.  The truth is, the only alternative I have to this alternative is a leukemia medicine that can bring on the curse with the cure, so I'll be back for future treatments.  I don't know what G-d has in store for me, but I thank Him for making all of us different, with different strengths and  takes on what the body needs.

Diversity, I love it!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Pulling Another Fast One

Today was the 18th of Tammuz, the day after the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day commemorating the beginning of the end of both Batei HaMikdash, the Holy Temples.  Centuries apart, both the Babylonians and the Romans laid siege to, and eventually destroying, Jewish-held Jerusalem. We're talking thousands of years ago, at precisely the same time of the year.  No coincidences here.

Since the only fast that must be held on Shabbat when it falls out on it is for Yom Kippur, the fast of the 17th of Tammuz was pushed off until today, Sunday.  Silly me, I tried to eat as much as I could yesterday, and only ended up sick last night.  But by mid-day today, I definitely wished I had eaten even more.  I was fading fast.

But I managed to make it to a Brit Milah (never been to a circumcision without loads of food!), and then took my children to a local open library to check out books.  I couldn't wait to get home and lay down.

We broke the fast on home-made lasagna and salad, and a bit of chai green tea.  Now begins the three weeks of mourning for the way it used to be, when the Jewish people had a commonwealth and Jerusalem with a Holy Temple, a place for all the world to connect to G-dliness.  May it happen speedily in our days.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Getting Old Again

I've been studying like a madwoman for the Registered Dietitian's exam.  I went to a 2-day review session, and have been rewriting the package of information I got.  I find that if I write the information down, it somehow gets in my head that much better.

But it's tiring, and last night I took the kids to the library and brought my writing along.  About 15 minutes into it, I put my head down and fell asleep.  I hardly ever sleep in public, since I'm a mouth breather, but I was so tired I couldn't help myself.

And it felt good.  Until my son came along, and out of concern, woke me up.  Those few minutes of bliss were all I needed to keep going.  Yes, I'm fine Mendel.  Just taking a nap.  Sometimes, a little nap goes a long way.

Happy Birthday Ameerica

I have this tradition of watching the movie "Independence Day" every July 4th.  It makes me feel real good to watch a Black and a Jew save the world.  Again.  And again.  Nothing like watching space aliens eat dust.

Happy birthday to my favorite country on earth.  America may not be the only country I'm concerned about, but it's the only country I feel a part of.  Sounds silly, but I'm an American.  My father and mother were first generation Americans from immigrant parents who left Europe and never looked back.  There was never a sense of dual loyalty.  Europe, the land of Jew killers extraordinaire, never held much appeal for my family.

As a teenager, I worked on a kibbutz in Israel (obviously dating myself since shortly afterwards, many kibbutzes went out of business), and then traveled through Europe by rail.  Most people my age did that, and for the most part I encountered underlying hostility towards Americans.  There was a feeling of superiority among Europeans, especially since Nixon has recently been ousted.

In fact, one Euro, in France, approached me on the street to ask me how I felt about it.  I had been traveling,  at the time, with a Canadian, and I really got pissed.  I told this man how proud I was to be an American, and how our system works.  We got rid of a corrupt politician, and the republic held firm.  He was shocked, and ran off.  The Canadian was impressed, and me, well, I decided Europeans were just stupid.

My opinion of Europeans hasn't changed, nor my pride in my country.  Happy Birthday, America.  For all your faults, you're the best there is.  G-d bless, and keep you strong.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

They Grow Up Fast

 Today was a special day - it was the Hanachas Tefilin of my youngest son, Moshe.  It is Chabad custom that a soon-to-be Bar Mitzvah boy put on his Tefilin for the first time 2 months prior to his birthday.  That's today.

Here we are, afterwards.  My soon-to-be big boy on the right, his little sister, and slightly older brother on the left.  That's me, Blondie, in the middle.
I had to shed a tear - my baby boy is almost grown up.  How did that happen so fast?  Can't I have my baby boy just a little longer?

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Day Of Miracles

Graduation Day.  A day of complete nervousness.  The ceremony was set to start at 5 pm, Shabbos was set to start at 7:48 pm.  But with the help of my friends, and an amazing administration, I walked today, got hooded, and joined the alumni of California State University, Los Angeles.

It actually started with Moav, who told me to walk the walk.  No way - and risk being stuck outside my dalet amos for Shabbos?  I ran the idea by the administration, and they told me whatever I needed, I'd get.  If that meant bumping me to the front of the line, then so be it.

Still, I spent the whole day nervous that somehow I would be late for Shabbos.  So my friend E told me to knock it off, and go immediately to the front of the line.  Still jittery, I lined up with my class, Mo and Maria arriving in the nick of time.  I had worked everything out with the ushers and marshals to go first.  They told me to wait until the last minute before going up.  I agreed.

But then the speeches dragged on, and there was no way I would wait any longer.  My friends told me to go and up I ran, to be the first graduate student hooded for the class of 2012.  Oh my gosh, it happened so fast.  Both my family and friends missed it.  But I didn't miss a moment.

Afterwards, the family and I rushed out of the stadium, jumped in the van and headed home.  It was like our own personal Red Sea, the 101 freeway, parted and we marched right through.  I have driven back and forth to campus a million times, and never have I gotten home as fast as tonight.  It was a miracle.  G-d's way of telling me I had made the right decision, and were in possession of the right friends.

Miracles all.  Proof positive that when a Jew wants to be a Jew, the world is totally okay with it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Life Changes

I've applied for so many jobs in the last few days that I'm actually getting giddy.  It's so strange to  write in that I have a Master's degree.  A Master's!  I'm the first in my family to have a Master's degree.

I wonder when the reality of not having a job will sink in.  I'm trying not to worry, it's all in the hands of G-d and that sort of thing.  But still, I'd feel a whole lot better if I could start working tomorrow.

The truth is, I have to learn how to behave without a deadline.  I just gave up carry around my highlighters this week, to lighten my load.  Because I don't have any more articles or textbooks to highlight anymore.  I've been carting around murder novels as a way to transition to reading something other than required texts.

I remember when this all started.  I had to learn how to read text books, and really dedicate myself to studying.  Now that's all done.  Except for the studying for the Registered Dietitian exam, which I will begin shortly.

Ah.  A new day.  A new life.  Gonna miss my daily routine.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I've Been Thinking. . .

I know I write a lot about my bus rides, but there are times when things that happen to me there get me to thinking.  Like, about random acts of kindness.

Until this week, I rode the Santa Monica red bus into, you guessed it, Santa Monica and back, three days a week.  It's a long schlep, but it's a simple straight line, point A to point B situation and I'd rather not drive.  But this bus is usually crowded in the morning, as it passes through several cities to get to its destination.

My feet have been hurting me lately, as I've noted several times before.  So standing is kinda hard for me, but what choice do I have?  Well, one morning last week, a seat opened up and a woman, Hispanic, non-English speaker, tapped me to let me know.  I was grateful, but I couldn't get to the seat because the bus was still moving and there was another passenger in my way.

Well, the woman grabbed my carry on bag and put it on the seat to save it for me.  A complete stranger went out of her way to get me the seat.  I was overwhelmed.  I couldn't express it in Spanish, but I gave her the biggest smile and nodded my head in appreciation.

It got me to thinking.  One mitzvah a day.  One kind deed a day.  It can't be that hard.  So I've embarked on this crusade to do one nice thing for someone each and every day.  Yesterday, I gave my day parking pass to a woman waiting in line to buy one (at CSULA, $6 gives you a pass until midnight).  I got there at 8:30 am and left at 3 pm.  I told the woman she would have to leave by midnight, which she assured me she would.

I won't force the issue.  I'll let situations play out and let kindness take the lead.  I figure, it's good practice.


Nearly There

My project is done, with only one signature, the department chair, standing between me and my Master's degree.  The culmination of 5 long years of study is almost upon me, and all I can think about is, what next?

I've been a student for 5 years.  I've been studying, writing papers, reading textbooks.  Time to adapt.  Time to find something else, like a full-time job.

I almost feel like I have to rewire my brain.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Agony of My Feet

I can't seem to make a decision about how I feel.  About my feet, that is.  When I first started feeling pain, I thought I had a brain tumor.  That's how it works.  Something hurts, it must be life-threatening.  So I called my friend who actually did have a brain tumor (which was benign, thank G-d), and told her about my problems.

Turned out it has the same thing I do, which, I learned, was not connected to her brain tumor.  She told me to get Sketchers Shape Up sneakers.  That's it.  No discussion.  They work.

Well, Sketchers was being sued, were sued, and my doctor said no.  My general practitioner, that is.  The foot doctor I went to, what a waste.  He told me to buy some foot pads and that was it.  No relief, no nothing.

Guess what I did?  I bought the Sketchers.  And here's where I can't make up my mind.  Yes, I'm walking normal again, not limping around and throwing my back out of alignment. But my food still hurts.  So while I want to believe that I found the answer, I can't bring myself to say that Sketchers have made me better.  They made me better than before, but not better like before I had pain.  Not like my friend who feels wonderful in her Sketchers.  I just feel a lot better.

No doubt, I make no sense.  What do you expect?  I'm graduating, finishing my internship, and facing the prospect of getting a job in a town where "Spanish speaker preferred" is code for if you don't speak Spanish you are not getting hired.

From the frying pan into the fire.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Making Every Minute Count

I wrote my thesis/project and turned it in several weeks back.  I got the edits just before Shavuot.  My adviser told me I could finish those edits in about an hour, so I didn't really take it seriously.  I set aside Sunday, yesterday, for the day to do the edits, thinking it would take just a few hours and then the day was mine.

I began the process of revising my project at 9 am.  By the time I was done, which means, I couldn't focus my eyes anymore, it was 10:30 pm.  What went wrong?

The edits to the body of the text wasn't a problem, it was getting the attachments in place.  I had created documents using text boxes, and they were separate from the main body of the text.  So putting it all together turned out to be a nightmare.

Luckily for me, my husband came to the rescue and told me about scanning documents, primarily pdfs, as photos with our home scanner.  The very scanner we've had for 3 years and I had no clue it could scan anything as a photo.  It turned out to be a lifesaver.  It meant being finished at 10:30 pm versus sometime this morning.

So what did I learn?  Don't wait until Sunday to do things.  I had the whole week, and I could have been working on the problems the whole week.  Or got Kinko's to do it, whatever.  Never wait to the crunch.

Sigh.  Almost there.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another Interesting Lesson

It became quite clear to me the other day that people really don't know much about each other.  A case in point.

I was standing by the elevator in the basement of the hospital where I work.  A male worker, a black man, was also going upstairs and he introduced himself to me, saying he had seen me around and wondered what I was doing.  I told him my name and my job - intern.  He asked me if I was called "Sister," in reference to the Catholic hospital we found ourselves in.

Oh no, I assured him.  I'm on the other team.  To my surprise, he asked if I was a Christian.  I was totally confused.  No, I told him.  I'm a Jew.  A Jew, he replied - you don' t look Jewish.

Well, I do look Jewish, and why would the "other team" be Christians?  I figured out from this that Catholics and Christians are not the same, even though I always thought they were.  More like similar than the same.  But what a surprise to me that I was clueless about all the schisms within the Church.

I just thought it was us Jews who didn't get along.  Now I know it's everybody.  How reassuring!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Shared Pain

Some days I can't seem to get focused on one goal, and when that happens, I'll run errands.  Like yesterday.  After one errand, I decided to drop by the bakery and pick up a loaf of whole wheat, multi grain bread.  That stuff is really good.

The Sketchers sneakers I bought to combat my feet problems get a lot of attention.  Case in point: the woman behind the bakery counter.  She asked about them, and then the next think I know, I've got my shoe off and I'm showing her my insert and telling her where I got them and what shoes she should buy.  It was like instant comrades - sisters in shared pain.

Kinda like when a group of women who have experienced childbirth get together and the next thing you know, you're comparing labor stories.  It creates that village feeling - like we're all one group of people living shared lives and experiences.  We're all not so different from each other.

Especially when it comes to pain.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ruby Slippers

It's unbelievable what a little pain will do.  Stupid me, I put my new shoe inserts into old (size) shoes and went to work.  By 2 pm, my feet were in so much pain from the tight shoes that I could barely stand, let alone walk.  So, stuck at work until 5 pm, taking the bus home, all I could do was pray that I had a seat for the whole journey.

When I got home, I felt like a cripple.  I took off my shoes, limped around the house, ate dinner, and then took the kids to the library.  I dropped them off at home and went on to the shoe discount warehouse for what I considered a marathon shoe selection process.

When I got there, I fell upon the first saleswoman I saw and begged her for help.  I told her I needed orthopedic shoes, and that I was in pain.  She took me right away to the one row that has something of that sort - and helped me try on several pairs until being called elsewhere.

I sat down and thought about what just happened.  This young girl basically took me by the hand and helped me.  No commission, no job promotion.  The concept of a warehouse is that you're on your own.  She did more than her job, and with such kindness and consideration.  I found a pair of shoes after she was gone, but it was through her help in what to look for.

A second saleswoman took over and found me another pair.  I just couldn't believe how sweet they both were.  They cared.  When I checked out, I told the counter women that I was amazed at how wonderful and caring the staff is.  She told me it was nice to hear it.

Look for the good, friends.  It's all that matters.

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Wonderful Day

It's not often that the whole day goes right.  From waking up on time, to catching that first bus, to finishing the allotted portion of the thesis to not getting the van towed.  I'm breathless.

I've been having a rough time of it lately.  My left foot hurts (metatarsalgia), and I've been plagued by pain from head to toe.  Chances are, stress.  So I decided to see the doctor today, and despite having to bus it there (less than 10 minutes late!!!), I was relieved to find I didn't have any serious issues that an instep couldn't address.

Earlier, my professor let the class out early, and I rushed off to see my adviser about my thesis.  She liked what she read, and was very encouraging that I would finish before June.  I finished the last portion this morning, in my cubicle and turned it in.  How perfect is that?

The book I ordered from Amazon, due tomorrow, arrived today.  As I flipped through it, I remembered I forgot my sweater at the doctor's office, and called to track it down.  Just before carpool, I dashed over to pick it up.  When I came out of the building, the tow truck was just backing up to take my van away (despite the meter, it was after 4 pm, and therefore, a no parking zone).  When the driver saw me get into the van, he drove away.  No ticket on the windshield, no boot on the tire.

With a day like today, is there any doubt there's a G-d in this world and that He love us?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Okay Maybe I'm Not Blond.. .

But my hair is certainly a lighter color.  And now that you see it, don't I look something like Marilyn?  Two eyes, a nose, a mouth.  I also have a bathrobe.

The truth is, I am getting a lot of comments on my new hair.  I went to school today wearing it, and first off, my close friends oohed and aahed.  They said now I'm the sexy one in the group.  Which is not true, but it was kind of them to say so.

I did have one bizarre incident.  When I was walking to the bus on campus, a woman, who I promise I've never seen before, greeted me like a relative.  She went on about  my hair and how beautiful it looks, and then identified me, so she definitely knew me.  But who is she?

I smiled, thanked her, and went home.  If the silly wig wasn't so tight I'd really be enjoying the attention.  Praying to be headache free.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The New Me

To all my dearest friends (E.J. especially) who want to see my new hair, and hence, the new me, I'm working on it.  I will try to post it as soon as I can.  Until then, I look something like this.

Running Away From Me

I know I blog a lot about riding the bus, but that's because I ride the bus a lot.  I mean, nearly every day, spending untold hours (i.e., I'm too tired to count the hours) going back and forth to my internship site.

The other morning, I walked to the bus stop anticipating a wait.  But from across a busy street I saw the bus coming.  I had a choice - miss it or brave the traffic.  Well, missing it just wasn't going to happen, so I waded out into traffic and got to the other side of the street as the bus approached.

Knowing LA Metro bus drivers like I do, I waved my hands in the air, but continued running to the bus stop.  The driver must have thought I was crazy because he stopped in the middle of the street to pick me up.  "Ma'am," he said from the open door, "get in."  I was shocked.

Usually, if you are not at the bus stop, or you aren't running up to the stop while people are still boarding, the driver takes off.  No mercy.  But here the driver actually stopped well before the bus stop and picked me up.  Somehow, I thought, this is my lucky day.

I ran for the next bus, and caught it as well.  I got to school, found out my financial aid had been reinstated despite the recent letter from the University to the contrary, and the guest speaker for class cancelled.  The only negative was not finding my tape recorder, stolen from the classroom a few weeks back, but seeing how the day was going, that can't be a bad thing.

Sometimes, the day doesn't go so right, but maybe it's just perspective.  Maybe all our days are just fine.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My New Hair

I spent Friday morning not only feeling great but taking care of last minute Passover items, like washing clothes and getting my son new shoes.  Then my friend called me and asked if I wanted to get a new wig.  Without a moment's hesitation, I said yes.

Let me explain.  Feeling better from the night before, I was willing to risk my luck.  Because for sure, with this friend, buying a wig together falls into the category of risking my luck.

I felt better about things when I realized that the place she was taking me was the same place where I got my very first wig 20-odd years ago.  Gone are the really expensive wigs, as this place now specializes in synthetic, which suits me fine.  I'm not good at taking care of things, and buying a new wig every two years affords me the opportunity not to invest in its care.

So now I'm a blond.  Yep, to the surprise of my friends and family, including my husband, I've gone lighter in color.  Of course, my husband prefers me with darker hair (he thoughtfully told me so himself), but I will continue to enjoy being a blond.  For a year and a half, at least.

The Planner

Thursday morning, I had big plans.  There were still a few areas in my house that weren't completely cleaned for Passover and I would see to them when I got home.  I thought all this through on the bus at 5:50 am on my way to my latest rotation.

When I got there at 6:20 am, I took a moment out for coffee (free Starbucks to all volunteers!) and to get my head straight on my tasks.  But me head didn't really get straight, so I went into the office, put my stuff down, and got ready for breakfast tray line.

Afterwards, feeling somewhat under the weather, I worked the rest of the day at my desk.  I went from one project to another, feeling more punk as the day progressed.  I thought maybe I had gotten up too early, or went to bed too late.  Or something.

The bus broke down on the way home, which delayed that trip by a good 45 minutes.  Another frustrating 30 minutes on the phone with my school's financial aid office nearly had me exploding, and by the time I got home I was sick.  I mean really sick.  Like get me to the doctor sick.  Those areas that needed cleaning, well, they weren't going to be cleaned by me.

So I climbed into bed, took an Advil, and fell asleep.  A good, deep sleep.  A I missed bedikas chommetz sleep.  When I woke up Friday morning, I felt great.

What did I learn from this experience?  Never plan.  Never put off.  Work to your fullest everyday.  Because who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Getting My Head Straight

Today was the first day of the new school quarter, and I decided to bus it in early to take care of some errands.  I didn't have to wait long for the subway, but the final bus onto campus was another story.

Just as I was emerging from the subway, my bus took off.  I was so mad.  I put my incredibly heavy backpack down on the bench (I think I put rocks in it) and waited, somewhat impatiently, for the next bus.  Time was wasting.

Just then, a woman walked by with what looked  like a severe case of cerebral palsy.  Oh my gosh.  Hello - the message was clear.  Even with all I have to put up with, I'm still healthier than this lady.  I need to count my blessings.

Needless to say, I calmed down really quickly.  It didn't hurt that the bus showed up soon after.  Admittedly, I'm a work in progress.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Power of Kindness

My daughter's BFF (Best Friend Forever) had surgery recently to correct her scoliosis.  The poor child has been in the hospital for a week now, and she's on pain medication.  In her case, there were no options - her condition was deteriorating quickly, and the doctors were worried about long term damage.

Well, Thursday night is library night at our house, but it was also the first night we could visit the BFF.  So we tried to squeeze both visits into a very narrow time frame. By the time we got to the hospital, the entrance on one side looked closed.

So we, along with another couple there to visit their relatives, turned around to find another entrance.  Just then, a very kind and big man came forward and said he would help us.  He said the automatic doors looked closed, but could be forced open.  Why not?

Next thing we know he's pulling the glass doors apart and we're walking through, as in the Red Sea parting.  How ominous.  This truly kind man then called his relative waiting in the after-hours medical care room to come open the final door to let us in.

Both my daughter and I, along with the other couple, were truly amazed at this man's kindness.  He used his strength and connections to help people he didn't even know.  I told the BFF's mother all about it, and we had a good laugh.  The image of pulling apart the doors was really too much.

But I got to thinking that G-d wants us to see things on purpose.  Kindness to strangers with no reward is the truest kindness of all.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bus Stop Revelation

I went to my future rotation site today to fill out paperwork and to generally get the ball rolling for the final nutritional confrontation - food service (the internship is divided into three rotations: clinical, elective and food service).  Hope I'm up for it.

Afterwards, I waited at another bus stop to meet VC and JJ for lunch.  It was a completely different bus line, I had picked up an additional bag from the site, and frankly, the book I was reading was so riveting that I lost track of time.  And my back pack.

That's right - when the bus came, I got on.  Along with my purse, my additional bag and my book.  But not my back pack.  Lucky for me I'm always fidgeting around with my stuff or I would not have noticed my missing back pack until I was in another city (that's easy to do in Los Angeles - there's hundreds of cities whose boundaries make no sense and you cross into without knowing).  

I jumped off the bus (the driver felt so bad he gave me a free return ticket) and waited somewhat impatiently for the bus going back where I came from to show up.  I started going through my mind what I had to lose in the back pack.  I had cleaned it out before my trip this morning.  Then I remembered: the volunteer forms that needed filling out.  I would look like an idiot if I had to replace them.

When I couldn't wait any longer, I started walking, and that's when the bus came along.  No where near a bus stop, I motioned to the driver to let me on, which she rightly refused.  So I continued walking, and was saved by a red stop light. I managed to cross the street alongside the bus and make it to the bus stop before the bus left.  The next stop is where I needed to get off.

And there it was - my back pack.  I thanked G-d immediately, promised who remembers what for the reunion, and waited for the bus to take me to lunch.  Oy vey.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One Down, The Rest To Go

I cleaned up my daughter's room for Passover today.  That means something to people who understand the concept of "cleaning for Passover."  It means tearing apart every draw, moving away furniture, taking the bed apart.  You know, psycho stuff.

I must admit, 20 years of cleaning the house for Passover and it is getting a little faster.  Tomorrow, I take on my sons' room.  Now, this room, how do I describe it, okay.  How about: Hurricane Katrina.  Yes, all those photos you saw of the devastation, that's their room.

I have 4 boys in one room.  Correction, one 20-year old, two teenagers, and a nearly Bar Mitzvah boy.  We're not talking little kids with legos who might have left a few crackers laying around.  We're talking Category A slobs who won't pick up after themselves even if it meant facing a firing squad.

I know I sound like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.  I might want to call my doctor and get myself some antibiotics, just in case I cut myself.  You never know what lurks in that mess.  In fact, better get to sleep early. It's gonna take all my strength to get the job done.

A Stitch In Time

I got the stitches (all 8 of them) in my face removed yesterday, all the while telling the doctor that he should have warned me what would happen.  When he felt around the scar for the first time, he was, indeed alarmed.

It appears that I had a major blood clot under my scar, the reason why my face was so swollen and I continue to be miserable to this day.  It will take weeks before my cheek is back to normal.

I looked at my doctor with a somewhat red eye and said, what?  It isn't normal to walk around with one side of your face black and blue, the size of a watermelon and your eye nearly shut after this kind of wound?  No it is not, he assured me.  I was the 1% that has this happen.

While it's nice to feel special and apart from the crowd, I just want to be like everyone else - cheeks the same size and eyes wide open.

It's Over, Again

Last final of the quarter is over, and I'm free to become a slave to house cleaning.  That's right, Passover is just weeks away, so I have to practice being a slave and clean my house so I can physically, and spiritually leave Egypt when the times comes.  That time is a around the corner.  

So now my time will be split between cleaning my house for the holidays and writing my thesis. Unfortunately, I think I will enjoy cleaning my house more.  Sigh.  Deep breath.  It's all good.