Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Talk about carrot

Recently, Baby Carrot (the blog with the same background as mine) surprised some of us by revealing the author was a guy and not a girl. Was it because his first post was about matching up bloggers? How stereotypical.

Regardless, reading the comments that explained the name for the blog and blogger, reminded me of a long forgotten book.

Anyone ever heard of the book Poil de Carotte by Jules Renard? I think the english version is called Carrot Head. The book is either a short novel or an autobiography by Jules Renard. It's basically about this red hair boy, hence the nickname Carrot Head, and how throughout his boyhood, he is mistreated, bullied and disliked by "friends" and family because of his hair color.

What a strange book to grow up on, and how fun to remember it now...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Allegory of the Cave

This is going to be an interesting semester: 

The “Allegory of the Cave” is a philosophy put forth by Plato in his most famous work, “The Republic.” Plato has Socrates describe the following scenario.
Prisoners in a cave are chained so that they only see the back wall of the cave; the prisoners have been there for life and can not see themselves or each other. The only things they can see are the shadows on the wall of the cave. A fire that burns on a ledge above and behind them is how the shadows are cast. There is a wall-lined path between the fire and the prisoners where people walk – carrying statues, vases, and other artifacts on their heads. The prisoners hear the echoes of voices and see the shadows of the artifacts, which they mistake for reality. Then a prisoner is unchained and turned around, forced to discover the true source of the shadows. The fire hurts his eyes; he prefers the deception of the shadows to be more pleasant. The mouth of the cave is beyond and above the fire and outside in the bright sunlight is the sky, trees, rivers, and mountains. The prisoner who was unchained is forced “up the steep and rugged ascent” (Plato’s allegory of education) and brought into the exterior world full of sunlight. The light blinds the prisoner. As he is used to shadows, he must first look at the shadows of the trees, then at the trees and the mountains. Finally, he is able to see the sun itself (the allegory of enlightenment). He now understands the true form of reality. Plato suggests that if this prisoner were to return to the cave, he would see sun spots everywhere and appear deluded, and not be able to penetrate the darkness. Also, if he tried to liberate the other prisoners, they would become angry that their illusions were disturbed and try to kill him (an allusion to the death of Socrates).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pregnant and dreaming

Two years ago, I dreamed that I had a little girl. In my dream, she was about two or three years old. I knew who the father was (although he doesn't really exist) and the whole dream consisted of my little girl walking around a room full of people being as cute as anything, with everyone admiring her and me feeling love and proud towards this little creature.

I remember waking up feeling strange. Later at school when a Rabbi told me I was looking pale, I suddenly remembered my dream and started to cry.

Now if you know me, you know I don't cry so easily and if I do, rarely in front of others. And if you really know me, you also know that at the time, I didn't particularly have a desire to get married tomorrow, nor have kids anytime soon. (This dream happened two years ago, today things are different but I'm still not craving babies yet).

The disturbing part about me crying was that I wasn't simply crying over a dream. Instead, I started to freakishly repeat over and over how I killed my baby. This is not a fun memory. It was bizarre and a bit funny looking back, that when my dream came back to me later that day, it dawned on me that the feelings I had towards my little girl in the dream died when I woke up. Hence, I killed my child.

It's a horrible thought and not in the least rational but that day, I couldn't get rid of that horrible feeling that I had put an end to something beautiful by simply waking up.

The reason I'm writing about this today, is that last week I dreamed that I was pregnant (pregnancy scares me by the way). And I was walking around with a gorgeous pregnant belly, so happy and showing off to my classmate who is actually due anytime now that I was too pregnant. I woke up, thought it was funny, told her about it and moved on with my day. Have I not come a long way....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Updates and retrospect

Only fair to let you know I have decided not to go to Israel for the summer. I don't regret my decision and I cannot talk about being satisfied or dissatisfied for it is the way it is and I will make it best.

You know, things are constantly changing and then when they fall back into place, it's almost weird. For the past few months, three of my good guy friends have been dating different girls seriously and I had to adjust to the times we used to spend together being spent with someone else. Not a big deal, it's that kind of relationship anyways. I moved on, made summer plans, moving apartment, like I once said, lots of changes. But now they are all single again and things can just fall right back into place. But what is the point if not to move forward?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Help!!! I hate decisions

 I finally have a minute to breath and write.

I have this thing on my mind I decided I would share and listen to what you guys have to say about it.

I'm aware you may not know much about me so here is some background. I grew up in a Yeshivish family, brothers and brother-in-laws mostly learn but because I grew up in Paris, it isn't quite the Lakewood Yeshivish you might picture. I'm in grad school and yes, in good standings with my family, even though I am the first of my siblings to go on to College. I went to seminary here in the States so no year in Israel (which by the way, is not so popular in France so it's no statement). However, after seminary, I took a path that most girls with similar backgrounds don't take. Let's just say, I finally started exploring the world the way I wanted to do it. Obviously from all my previous posts, you can gather I'm still observant but let's just say more... complex. Not quite Yeshivish, not quite Modern (ok maybe Modern Orthodox but I still don't fit in), still in process.

About a month ago, I decided to apply to the Neve Yerushalayim program and thought it may be a good idea to perhaps go spend a month in Israel learning. My motivation was a few things. First of all, I am only taking an online class so I do not need to be on campus. Second of all, I haven't been to Israel in five years. Third and probably most relevant, I went to a Shiur (the first in many years) recently and realized how much I used to know and how much I used to enjoy the intellectual exercise of Mefarshim, back in the day. I generally have a very hard time sitting through lectures, classes and speeches, no matter my level of interest or the quality of the speaker. Therefore,  my disinterest in Shiurim is not necessarily a rebellious thing, I just can't do it. But I decided i'd try it, and of course, it will be different.

Now, I hesitate. The cost of the trip/learning is not an issue. I mean it's an expense but not one that weighs in my decision (or lack of). Here are my doubts. First of all, I am moving at the end of the month and I would just like to settle (definitely not good enough of a con, I know). Being away for five weeks is long, way too long. I need my home and stability. But, and I guess second, I have not been home in the past two years on vacation. The only two breaks I've had, I spent in France, by my parents. Not that I am complaining about it, I just think that there is something to being home and on vacation, with more time for others, to do stuff etc... Then what happens if no one is around? I'm not too worried about that, museums and Barnes and Nobles are good enough for me. So third is probably my main concern. I scarcely work throughout the year. I only have time for 12 hours a week average and lately I've been doing 20 hours ( I work retail, so evening shifts are great for the student life). if I stay in July, I could be making decent amounts and that would certainly  help me out for the year to come.

So you heard it all. My parents are supportive and understand my dilemma but offer no answer. They ask what about the program attracts me and do I want to go that badly. Well, I don't doubt what's there and if I do go, I will have an enjoyable time. I know that. But should I go?

Will I regret staying?

And if you think the answer is that simple, then you may not understand that living here alone supporting myself comes with a huge responsibility.

Help me out here, ask me things I haven't thought about yet...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

No more pants

Today I trashed the pants that my rabbi allowed me to wear at the prison. (click here for post)
No more pants, too many associations. Reverse psychology works great :)

I also can't believe it's been so long since I wrote about working there and now i'm done.

The things we do without realizing it, so much can be accomplished....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

To change or not to change?

It is difficult for me to sit here and write about a topic that I would like to discuss, when all around me is changing. My friends are changing, my internship is changing, my classes are changing, my address is changing, couples are changing, the weather is changing.

Everything around is changing.

Perhaps it is me changing and all remaining the same?

Who knows...

The one thing that doesn't change is my view on dating.
It's not fun.
Maybe that could/should change.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Shoplifting, shoplifting and more shoplifting

Among all the things I do, I work retail for a few hours a week. The store I work at is fairly small but carries very high brands. Unfortunately, it comes with a high risk for theft.

So on days like today, where I witnessed more pairs being stolen than purchased, I wonder.
How do they justify it, how can they justify it? Im alone most of the times with all these wonderful pricey items, yet I would never dare to take any. Even though no one has to know and no one will know.

What happened to being righteous?

The worst is when I see them steal and they look at me in they eyes and tell me they have no idea where it is. Or when a mother with a 13 years old daughter are doing it. Or when it's a couple around the ages of 50. It doesn't matter what they look like, it seems that stealing is just a part of life for many.

Now I sure understand the concept of doing the right thing even when no one is looking. I could never bear to know I may be one of them.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lost opportunities

I love to be alone. 

Most of the time actually, i'd rather be alone. Many people, mainly my mother, do not understand it. My mother is a socialite who will talk to anyone and truly enjoys it. You cannot meet her, walk away and then forget her. People who meet me always believe I am so much like her in that sense but what they don't know or don't understand is that for me, solitude is a better alternative. Then you meet my father and you understand. 

So this past week end, my sister had a little girl and my mother flew in to spend time with her. Naturally, a few of my siblings  and I came in to spend Shabbat together and be there for the Kiddush. Since my sister who had the baby reads this blog, this is my chance to tell her C is beautiful and that I am very happy for her. All and all, I had a great week-end with my family. The problem lies in the actual commitment to go spend time with the family. 

I love to be alone yet I'm very into quality time with family and close friends. So I can appreciate the moment, I just have a harder time making that trip or that step to spend the time. And if i'm not feeling it, then forget it. I didn't want to drive in (forgive the logistics, we're all spread out) but I did because it's the right thing to do and I knew that I would have a good time. When I'm not feeling it, I always project to the future to see if I may regret later on passing on an opportunity of quality times. Eventually, it gets me going.

It's the same with dating. When I'm not interested in going out, not because of the boy, but because I have a better book at home, I try to project myself in two weeks perhaps wanting to go out but without any options. And even if it doesn't work out, you know I'm happy to walk away with the experience, memories and lessons learned. 

In friendship as well, I'll pass on certain things that may bother me because I know I can have a good time despite my frustration. But I'm slowly putting a stop to it. I'd really rather be alone. 

My father was alone for Shabbat and I was jealous. He told me: "This is better than the alternative" (I thought he meant better than having my mother home but he meant better than being invited out for meals).

When you stop wondering if you might have had a good time, 
if you should have maybe said yes to that guy, 
if you should have called your friend who came to town,
 have you truly achieved loneliness? 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

First time in five years

The prison where I work just had their first suicide since the last one five years ago.
Death by hanging. Don't even ask...

My supervisor was describing the scene and for the first time ever, it hit me.
 Death is irrevocable.
Once the heart stops beating, no pulse, no life.

Death does not strike me as tragedy and if it were, the more tragic, the more I would be fascinated.
But listening to the progress of death in the last second of the person hanging, who is still conscious while suffocating, that image told me something.
Cannot be undone.

Maybe it's time I rethink my theories on suicide....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guys, I need input

Sometimes you go out with a guy, you have a good time and so you go out again. All the dates go well but it's just not there for you. He's a great guy, well rounded, stable, cute (-ish), responsible etc... but he's just not it. You know he is kind of into you and so when you break up, you have to be careful to not hurt his feelings and you say: "you're a great person and bla bla bla but I don't see it going anywhere..." If you have better break up lines, please do send them my way!!!!

And then because you feel bad, you say something like: "I can see us be friend so if you want to hit me up next time you're in town or i''l give you a call.... Bye, all the best."

First of all, do you think guys are more likely to say that to a girl or the opposite? It seems that i'm always the one saying that while my best friends ends up being told that by numerous guys. 

In any case, it's a bad move. Its almost like ducking the responsibility of facing the other and breaking off. Those 'friendly" relationships are pointless. Unless you have a common interest, such as sharing friends, shul, shabbat hosts etc.., there is no point in maintaining these connections beyond the networking aspect. You don't need to remain friends to pass him to set him up with a different girl. 

The latest: I recently broke off with a guy in the exact manner described in the first paragraph and next thing I know, I received a letter from him in the mail. I won't give too much detail for sake of anonymity, but what do you think? It wasn't a love letter, it was just picking up on something I had said about the beauty of written letters. So yes, the letter made me smile but i'm not falling in love over a mail exchange. 

And yes, I answered him.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A German in Israel

As I explained in my last post (Click here), every student in my diversity class is doing a cultural presentation. I love it, I get to see other people's culture. For instance, one of the girls who presented yesterday is from the Virgin Islands. The dream. We were sitting there watching and listening, yet all our minds were in the Islands. 

The other classmate who presented is my reason for this post. Originally from Germany, C is now married to an American and lives in the US. I don't need to say much about her to get my point across but I've had a few classes with her before and we've always had a great relationship. 

Being Jewish from German descent, there is of course the big gap of the holocaust that whenever you meet someone from that country, you wonder how do they feel about themselves today. You wonder if they would do it, si c'était à  refaire (if it were to happen again). You wonder if they hate you, if you should hate them, you wonder all kinds of things. But the truth is, you know that the past does not make the individual your enemy nor your worst nightmare. So I will admit I was curious to discuss with C the whole topic 80 and some years later. 

She shared it with the class and my esteem has only increased since. Here is what she shared:
In her early twenties, C decided to take it upon herself to "correct" what her country had done. Therefore, she went to Israel and decided to volunteer in Kibbutzim. It was her way of giving back, it was her way of making amends. She explained that growing up, there was a big silence about the whole era of the Nazi Germany, not a silence of denial but a silence of shame. However, the new generation is not necessarily one who bears such memories, grudges, shame or whatever it may be. So she decided to do the one thing she could do and volunteered herself to the people her nation once set out to exterminate. 

I think that's pretty incredible and unusual for someone nowadays to care about the past, and beyond caring, acts upon it in a righteous way. Our generation is much more worried about having a good time, not feeling sad, and not having too many responsibility.

C also said that she was asked to leave after two weeks because the Kibbutz had some holocaust survivor resident and they didn't wan't her there. So she moved on to a different Kibbutz. That's also character strength. I don't care if you're Christian, Jewish or what, we need more people like that. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kim, you did one thing

Who knew I would ever find something nice to say about Kim Kardashian??

Don't get me started on her, because I have no sympathy for celebrities without talent. Harsh, but there are too many of those these days. It used to be that being a superstar was an earned title. Today it is administered left and right and Hollywood or the media never ceases to disappoint me. Please bring the fifties back... ( Madmen for a different post...)

Anyways, I was here to say something nice so here it goes.
I am currently enrolled in a class on diversity. All the students have to present a cultural autobiography which happens to be harder then it sounds. Imagine yourself trying to explain to your entire class where you come from. I love explaining my Jewish roots (and French) but I must admit it's hard to do so in front of a crowd that doesn't grasp most of what you take for granted. And it makes you really self conscious to be talking about yourself  for about thirty minutes straight (which is partly the point of the exercise). You start worrying about how you're sounding and if you're cool and interesting enough...

Today, two girls in my class presented. They are both Iranians and Muslim but in a weird way, our presentations had lots in common. The emphasis on family, on education and on the motherhood were similar to the ones I grew up with. As you can imagine, growing up Muslim in America is not always an easy thing and although they are very attractive, they have heard the line about them being potential terrorists. Interestingly enough, they both agreed that their struggle growing up in America, land of freedom for all, had less to with religion than with physical appearance.

Now, keep in mind that I am talking about very pretty girls,darker hair color, gorgeous skin tone, nice features etc... . However, they both reported going through that stage in middle school, high school where they died their hair blonde in order to fit in the public school they attended. I had never thought about it, but it is true that back in the days, (seven years ago or so) blonde tall and skinny was the thing to be. Think Britney Spears, when everybody was dying their hair dirty blonde...And it has never changed until, like S, pointed out, came the Kardashians.

With their darker skin and dark dark hair, America's look has finally changed and if anything become more versatile. For S, Kim's celebrity is what made her gain confidence in her looks and identity. It was finally okay for her to have long dark hair, with a darker colored skin and a more exotic look. If you ask me, I think both of them are prettier than Kim but hey, it might be the only good thing Kim has ever done to our society.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Words, words and more words

Do you ever stop to think about the meaning of words?

Do you ever get annoyed when you ask a question and someone tells you "wait, first define ...."?

I've always believed that arguments and debates are to be carried out only if the people discussing whatever matter, either know each other really well, or are willing to pay extra attention to the way in which a party uses a word.

You may agree that some of the words we use are generally defined by personal experience. For instance: love, hatred, laziness... You can only speak of love or hatred as you know it, not necessarily felt, it could be read, imagined etc... But however you understand what you see, hear or read about love remains remains relative to your perception and your capacity to go beyond and know what it might mean to others.  The same with laziness, in a more pragmatical way; what you call being lazy may still very be active for the other and vice versa.

For that reason, you can be having a conversation with someone and think you know the person, or at least what you are discussing. Yet you don't because all you know is however much you can know being who you are, what you've experienced and how you define things.

Of course there are people who are capable of understanding the other, not in the cliche way of understanding, but they are literally able to push beyond their own thinking and perception to grasp what the other one is thinking and what it means to them.

When you find those people, don't let them go.
They are rare. (Although I may be the only one to care about this)

So, are there words that are defined intrinsically by their name and term?

I wonder, because if that were the case, we humans would be able to talk and only have to explain thoughts and ideas that we come up with, and not the words that we share with a billion other people.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I recommend


by Emily Bronte 

You've either never read it or you've read it a long time ago. Well it's time to read it for the first time or to read it again. You know I love books and that I read one after the other. Yet I rarely bother to write about the books I read. 

Why Wuthering Heights, you may ask. 

Because it could have been any other novel: the tale of  a young girl whose heart goes out to two different boys, the tale of two families who's land neighbored each other and how they intertwined or the tale of a stranger and the family that took him in.

Instead, Emily Bronte depicts the darkest and most lugubrious picture of all times. Not once in the novel do you feel good about a certain character, a certain deed or a certain feeling. 
      The expression of all emotions, even the most beautiful ones such as love and compassion, are swirled into the depths of all that is ugly. 
      The passion of some is so strong, it scream like a savage animal entrapped in the cruel arena of life. It chokes its actors and its spectators until all they have left is their appalling nakedness of their heart. 
     They stand naked in front of the reader who did not know till then that emotions can be so beautiful yet so ugly all at once. 

Naked, raw, dark and ugly. Yet beautiful, because remember, it truly is the tale of the young girl, the two families and the stranger. A simple story. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

First time for everything

If you've read enough of my posts, you know enough to know that I am not exactly in favor of blind dating. In fact, I am not even a fan of dating at all. You know I dream of just being able to be with the right guy and skip the process of the who are you, what do you do and what do you like type of questions. Don't think I am not romantic. On the contrary, I am so romantic that I want to believe in the kind of "love" where you do not have to talk to be understood.  Unfortunately, that is to remain the reality of books and movies, caricatures of a reality we fabricate for ourselves.

The reason I'm back on the topic of dating is that I've recently had a couple of dating experiences that might have negatively reinforced my absurd yet grounded theories on dating.

1. My date with a millionaire:  Yes, I went out with a millionaire and yes, I said no to a millionaire. I've come across a lot of people ( mostly girls) who date because they'd rather have someone there even if he is not the one, than have no one. The same way, money is a good enough reason to compromise on other things. Well, I still haven't reached that stage.

2. My date with a guy I actually liked:  A guy  I knew, a guy I had met a this learning program, a guy I had been flirting with for a couple of weeks, finally asked me out. And as soon as he did, I lost interested. This one I haven't quite figured out yet. I've asked myself if maybe I was nervous about going out, liking him, commitment etc... but no, I simply lose interest by the mere fact that he is interested. Maybe because the game sort of ends there, maybe because if I don't need to convince you anymore, you represent no challenge and I'm bored so you're dismissed.

3. My completely blind date: No picture, no name, no info. Nothing, besides for the fact that my best friend spoke with him and suggested it and since I trust her, I decided to simply follow the flow and do what most girls my age do anyways. He was the one to hear about me, have an interest, travel and go out with me. After point 2. you might be wondering why I even agreed to go out with a guy who obviously is interested. Like I said, I did it as a reassurance that I can just go out the way girls do. After all, it's only a date. And I do not regret it for it has taught me that even though I don't see it going anywhere, I still have to remain polite and carry on as it socially appropriate.Oh and I, for the first time, applied the skill of breaking up with a friendly it's not you, it's me; you're great but not enough.
My conclusions about dating remain that
        a. I hate dating, I hate having to get to know another person through a process designed for this purpose.
        b. Nice guys don't interest me, I worry that I might have to be bullied to actually be interested in relationship.
        c. I might have an issue with having to bear someone else's presence no matter how much I enjoy the other person. This is not a conclusion drawn from dating experiences only, I see it with my family friends and all. As a person who enjoys company yet who loves being alone, it tends to be difficult to develop real new relationships.

This is an undone post for there is so much else that can be said, to be continued...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still in Prison

These days I blog sporadically.
However, I write regularly in a diary.
It's been a year and a half and i love it. In a way, since everything goes into my diary, I do not feel the need, or the want at times, to blog. However, Baby Carrot's recent post about matching bloggers reminded me of the fun interactions with other bloggers. I was happy to be included, and since you have to earn your title as a blogger, I will try to write more often.

As you may know by now, I intern twice a week in a Prison. I rarely write about it (even in my diary) for I do not wish to be reminded of my days there. Clinically, it's a great experience and I don't regret it. But let me just say I'm glad it's almost over.

These days, I've been hearing the most outrageous and idiotic statements made by inmates such as: "I told her to abort because once you have my child, you have to carry all of them." Rational. Even more normal is the fact that he barely knows this girl, but has three kids with her. Perfect.

But today I was challenged with MY question. I was asked by an inmate, in fact by many during a group therapy session, what would my response to a criminal be if the guy were to tell me he is suicidal. Of course I answered professionally and ethically and proceeded to describe the suicide intervention procedures and the pain someone is in when they are feeling suicidal and why we breach confidentiality etc... However, they insisted on knowing my personal opinion, meaning do I believe the purpose of saving these guys.

It's something I myself used to question. I answered them, but I fear I wasn't a hundred per cent honest, perhaps because I'm not fully convince.
So let me ask you,

Why am I to encourage a person who has a life sentence or who has raped many children, to not kill themselves and help them to go on living?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And another one

I read a very interesting article on the topic of forgiveness. Lately, i've been researching a lot for school since I'm getting started on thesis work. Without getting into much detail, most of the articles i read have to do with coping with sexual abuse and religion.

This one article talked about the different perceptions of people when it came to forgiveness, many of which were religiously influenced concepts. Basically, forgiveness is considered to be a healing factor and an important step to recovery depending on the meaning it has to the individual who is forgiving. For some, the actual idea of letting go is synonymous with forgiving while for some forgiving is more about growing through sufferance, accepting what has been and allowing the other person to be free of guilt.

It's an interesting idea that can be applied to more than one situation. It happens to be difficult to read about sexual abuse and forgiving, but then again, it depends why you forgive.

Then I started wondering, what is the Jewish take on forgiveness? Don't we forgive for the sake of the other person? In light of the sexual abuse research, it's a big deal and a unbelievable hard task. I can only begin to understand the grandeur of people who are able to forgive.

But then I also wonder, what's in for you in forgiving? According to Jewish law in philosophy, what is your obligation in forgiving and why is it so?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back with a question

I've given up blogging for a while, I've given up trying to explain my opinions. I followed a similar pattern in my personal life. I avoid group arguments and unless it's a two person conversation, I do not get into group discussions over annoying topic such as dating where everyone has his own opinions and everyone operates differently. Same for politics, I enjoy political conversations but group debates do not appeal to me. What strikes me the most in those exchanges is that often people are just talking to get their point across and words mean something slightly different to everyone. At a certain point, what is being said doesn't even matter and by the way, it's all been said before.

However, this past week end, I found myself caught up in an argument around the question if I would say yes or no to a guy that sounds great for me etc besides for this one trait. (for example, he wants to make alyah, he doesn't want me to have a doctorate...). About alyah and logistics, read my previous post and about my education, he's be a little too late for that. But anyways, my belief is that many things that you think matter can become less of a priority once you know a person. 

In fact, I believe that if you meet a guy casually, without being set up and checked out previously, he may not correspond to what you're looking for and depending on how the situation presents itself, you may or may not fall for him. It can be a good thing as much as it could be a dangerous thing. I can't do without a feel of one's personality and other than big obvious trait like Shomer Shabbat and Kashrut, there is a lot I do not need to define. 

My theory was proven true last night. I had a first date with a guy I might never see again. But regardless, I got to go out with a person who is drastically different from my lifestyle, my views and everything I thought I would need, want, like best in a guy. It all went out the window. No I am not in love but I had a good time with him. Hypothetically speaking (not sure about further dates) I could see myself learning to connect with him. It would be a new experience. 

It just goes to show, yes you've heard from many that you end up with the person you never thought you'd marry. It really goes beyond that, beyond the fact that anyways when you get married, you cannot control all that you had wisely planned and thoroughly checked out. 
So why do you hang on to such "important" criteria? 

Friday, February 3, 2012

100 Books

I have taken on a mission with a friend.
From January 2012 to January 2013, we pledged to read 100 books.
I like reading more than anything else, so there goes my blogging...

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Birthmark,

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

In my effort to catch up with American Literature, I feel upon a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Birthmark. The story is about a late 18th century scientist Alymer who devoted his life to figuring out Nature to the detriment of his personal and social life. However, lately he abandoned his laboratory and obsessed philosophy and persuaded a beautiful woman to become his wife.

As beautiful as she is, Georgina has a birthmark. While some find beauty in it, others view it as the irony of Nature, it's imperfection. That is the case for her husband who thinks that "it was the fatal flaw of humanity which Nature, in one shape or the other, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions, either to imply that they are temporary and finite, or that their perfection must be wrought by toil and pain". 

At first, Georgina falls apart. She feels rejected by her husband and ugly. As they both grow increasingly unhappy in their marriage, Alymer fixated on her birthmark and Georgina drowned in self hatred, he finally comes up with a potion that makes the birthmark disappear.  Sure enough, she drinks the potion and falls asleep. The birthmark fades, Georgina dies and Alymer laughs.

The narrator then takes over to conclude how we humans cannot live in perfection and we human sometimes cannot handle imperfection... The story is all and all 10 pages, but there is so much to take from there.

A birthmark. What's your quirk?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The "new generation"

I'm only 22 but sometimes I feel like saying: "oh the young these days have no respect".

For example, on my way home from the prison one night, three teenagers crossed a 6 lane road, without even glancing at the oncoming traffic. As I slammed on my breaks, I honked in a pointless hope the guys would realize how dangerous that was and all they did was give me the finger. Oh well, with such an attitude, I can only count the years before I'll be seeing them behind bars...

Tonight, as I pulled up in the parking lot of the local Starbucks, a group of five well dressed guys, approximately around the age of 18 crossed without paying attention to the cars. One of them spat on the ground while another pointed at my car and laughed. I'm not exactly sure what he was laughing at but it doesn't matter. I was just thinking how disappointing that these business looking guys were being so rude. Next thing I know, I'm sitting in the Starbucks when one of them burped really loud. I must have made a facial expression to express my disgust because one of the guys said to the other, "do it again, it bothered that girl." And till he walked out the door, he burped, again and again...

Seriously? This might not be the most fascinating topic but please tell me what these guys are missing here...

Monday, January 23, 2012


the book that is making me write again.
After being silent on the blogosphere for a couple of weeks, I've decided tonight to make a comeback with an old topic. You may or may not know that I appreciate arts and literature and therefore at times, I bore you with paintings or authors such as Sartre or Bourguerau . Tonight I would like to bring up a different kind of book, which you may or may not have read: HUSH by Eishes Chayil, a pseudonym. If you haven't read it, I strongly recommend it.

In a few words, Hush is the story of a nine years old little girl who witnessed her best friend being sexually abused and committed suicide in a extremely sheltered Chassidich community. The story is told by the author now in her 20's but remains the incredible tale of a frightening and traumatizing experience in the eyes of a nine years old. The author made the story public ten years after the crime, after she got married to the boy she met ten minutes before her engagement and only after she realized the truth had to be told.

The story of HUSH per say is not that shocking. Tragic definitely but I cannot pretend to be surprised for sexual abuse and molestation happen everywhere. The sad thing is that being sheltered as much as these little girls were, does not help them to outgrow the mechanism of trauma. They don't know any better, they don't know any explanation of what is happening to them or around them. Actually, there is no around them, everything else outside their community, from the goy to the litvish, is not worthy of Heaven. In the eyes of a little girl, it doesn't get simpler.

Despite the fact that the book is written by the witness denouncing the atrocity of the crime, I mainly appreciated the fact that her general tone was not one of anger and bitterness toward the entire Chassidich community. Tell me if you disagree, but I have found that her book was not about trying to denounce the way Chassidich Jews choose to live their lives, by the same token the very Yeshivish community as well. Instead, in an effort to open the mind of the reader, to prevent such crimes to remain silent, she did a great job at explaining the Chassidich ways and what it means to grow up that way.

I admire the way she points at a specific problem which is of course a terrible issue but does not libel the tradition of many generation of Chassidich movement.

That is not to say I understand the way these tight communities are run and how or why they remain sheltered. I simply respect the fact that she remained the modest and deep person she was bought up to be while addressing such an issue instead of turning her back on an entire movement. I've had my share of hate and communities being badmouthed. Abuse is not okay, and therefore she now speaks up.

The issue is that these books tend to be read by outsider who already know these things happen. How to reach those communities remains the main issue but at least she came forward and told her story.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I have taken a break.

For even I am on school break right now, everything else in my life remains the same. My job goes on, my internship goes on, the people in my life are the same. The only difference is the lack of homework that needs to be done at night.

So I took my own break and haven't blogged in a few weeks. Maybe I can pick it up where I left it, or maybe I will just leave it.