Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aren't You Glad You're Not a Turkey? [On This Thanksgiving Day]

Sorry for the brief hiatus - daily posting becomes more difficult when balanced with a social life. But I'm back in the 'ville, so let's caught up.

1. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I wasn't such a fan of the pre-taped performances, but I did enjoy Tanni's running narration - "Ooh, ooh! It's Buzz Lightyear! NaVAH, I said it's Buzz Lightyear. Come see!" - as I attempted to make the Thanksgiving meatballs (Ripps family tradition of unknown origin).

2. Ugly boots.
For two years, I have scoured the shelves and websites for the perfect brown boot to stick my jeans into in the wintertime. Admittedly, I have been very picky: too short, too tall, too round, too pointy - I was like Goldilocks. And then, on Wednesday, I gave up. I got the Ema, "I-can't-believe-you-spend-your-money-on-this-stuff-but-okay-fine-I-like-them" seal of approval, and bought the first pair of boots that I tried on (I wore them on Thursday. It totally counts.). They're ugly. I love them.

3. Rice and gravy. Say what you will about turkey, stuffing, and all the rest; this super unhealthy but absurdly delicious combo is my Thanksgiving treat. Yum.

4. In our family, everyone has their Thanksgiving responsibility. Mine is to make the meatballs. Yosef Saadya Ripps Kogen's is to make the apple pie. Alas, the Sefster is far away in Eretz Moladeteinu, and as such, could not be counted on for pie production. My grandmother decreed that no one else could make the pie, and we were left lacking a dessert. I decided to enact a small social experiment - I made squash kugel in a pie crust, and called it squash pie. It was a hit.

...I always knew cran crunch et al. had no business being called "side dishes."

5. Lupper: n., a meal occurring in between or in place of lunch and supper. See Brunch.
The Deerson arm of the mishpucha splits Thanksgiving between the two sides of the family. On off years, we see them for Shabbat dinner instead. However, this year Aunt Ethel served their (real) Thanksgiving meal at 2 pm - giving them ample to eat and shmooze, while still arriving at our meal "to visit" approximately 15 minutes after we all sat down to eat. Gotta love the lupper.

6. Slides. The old slide projector unfortunately didn't make an appearance, but we did discuss - half-heartedly - the possibility of digitizing. Long live the old-school slide show.

7. Seffi stole my gimmick. His Thanksgiving post has a list of, ahem, seven things he missed about Thanksgiving in Jersey. He also solicited thankfulness lists from potential commenters. No big, Sef - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

As a bonus, check out my Thanksgiving messages to the Sefster (shoutout to Shoshana "Shoshmosh" Brownstein for organizing all of the messages Nativers received from their families. You rock, Shosh.).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Week of Thanksgiving...Day 3: My Most Fashionable Friend

For today's guest, I called upon Nina Zoe CoCo, of All Tumble Down fame:

Nina actually gave me a shout-out yesterday in her little corner of the internet universe, and explained how we know each other thusly:

"We cemented our friendship over a mutual love of ice cream, sarcasm and entirely theoretical religious discussions during our first year at Barnard, where we lived at either ends of the dorm hall."

All true (especially the ice cream part - 1 am frozen yogurt runs to Pinnacle figure prominently into my memories of freshman year). However, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that we actually met in a choir in high school, and only recognized each other at our first hall meeting when we each turned down a bowl of M&Ms being passed around 30 minutes after our fleishig dinner (as did Nina's roommate - hi, Shar!). Nins is brilliant, very funny, and always sticks to her guns.

My Barnard friends and I are prone to spontaneous bursts of picture-taking, so there is no shortage additional pictures. Such as :

(Kiawah, end of sophomore year)

(At Nina's wedding...)

( hubby Er, also known in college as Bondo.)

(This picture is somewhat irrelevant, but I love it, so I don't care. Hi, chips!)

And so, without further photographic ado, Wednesday:

Seven Daily Reasons why life in Nina-ville is good:

1. Getting together with your best friends reminds you that life is
better when shared with others. Last night's book club meeting was the
first time I have been with the whole group from college since my
father passed away 2 months ago, and made me realize how much love
there is still in the world. Thanks, guys.

2. On a far more mundane note - tonight I had my first lambburger. Why
why have I never had one before? The tang, the juiciness, the 30
seconds it took me to devour it -- unreal.

3. After feeding someone cookies I promised had no nuts in them, since
I had baked them myself, I realized they had been stored in a bag with
pecan cookies. I haven't heard about his death, though, and have been
reassured by many, including my med school husband, that anaphylaxis
is a very speedy reaction, and he'd have noticed instead of having
another cookie. And Navah told me that I "may have saved a life in the
process - for the first time ever [she] remembered to buy the right
kind of breadcrumbs for the Thanksgiving meatballs - i.e., the ones that aren't potentially lethal to [her] cousin Charly." Woohoo for life!

4. My coworker had her baby shower on Sunday. We sent out an
invitation to the whole staff and volunteer corps, letting them know
at the bottom that she is registered at We received an
email from a very upset octogenarian volunteer who told us how
inappropriate the registry information was. We were so puzzled until
(in a flash of genius, you could say) I realized that she hadn't
followed the link, and had instead accidentally typed into
her browser. Go ahead, visit it - you'll get the same shock Gisa did
when she saw porn pop up on her screen.

5. My blog has been getting readers from all over the country and the
globe. I don't know anyone from Nepean, Ontario, Murrieta, California,
Cataluna, Spain, or Petrus, Greece, but I feel happy to be writing
something others can enjoy. What began as a total experiment has
quickly become a daily break from the weighty research/writing/meeting aspects of my job; something light and yes, a bit frivolous that keeps life from getting too heavy.

6. We finally hung art on the walls. Living in an apartment that
actually feels like home is a wonderful thing.

7.I helped a supremely nice guy propose to his girlfriend at the
museum where I work a few weeks ago, and yesterday received a HUGE
bouquet of flowers along with a card thanking me profusely for my
assistance. It was unnecessary, unexpected, and totally made my day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Week of Thanksgiving...Day 2: The Phone Tag Champion

I hope you all enjoyed GBD's inaugural substitute seven. Today's guest is the adorable Allison Elizabeth Rose:

Alli and I met in the summer of 2005, which we spent together at Camp Ramah Darom. We didn't quite become friends until the very end of that summer, but from the moment we did, Alli has been a wonderfully creative, funny, eternally calm presence in my life. I am especially grateful for all our coffee dates around Jerusalem last year, where Alli helped me articulate some pretty major life decisions.

I think this is the only existing photograph of myself and Alli (and Greta and Alyssa - what's up, guys?). Another photo shoot appears to be on the way.

Nowadays, Alli and I most often speak to each other's voicemails, but someday soon, we hope to beat the system.

We will call this … seven daily reasons why being unemployed doesn’t totally suck.

1. Alarm clock, you are not my master! Of course, I set an alarm clock every evening before I go to bed to create the illusion for myself that I am, in fact, a productive member of society. But the truth is that on most days, I hit the snooze button several times. When I finally decide it’s time to get up, I flick on my lamp and stretch out across the width of our queen-sized bed … which I can do because Max has already left for work and I won’t wake him up (this is in comparison to my 5:30 am wake ups during my first 6-week stint as a teacher.)

2. How I Met Your Mother. I have taken to calling it my “unemployment show.” That is, during the first few weeks of my being laid-off (this is to clarify, more for my feelings of self-worth and less for you, the reader, that I was not fired) I devoured episodes. I watched two or three episodes during the day (which is, for the record, only about an hour of television) and developed a Friends-like obsession with the show. Unfortunately, I am now caught up with the rest of the employed-world and have to wait a week for a new episode like everyone else. But today I was able to watch last week’s episode entitled “The Playbook” and poke around the internet to find out if anyone had posted “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap.” (They have not yet.)

3. Cleaning and packing. Things I have time to do now that I definitely didn’t when I was spending 20 hours a day teaching and lesson-planning: laundry, sweeping, dishes, cleaning the stovetop, sweeping (yes, I know that I said this already but I really like the sweep and I swear the leaves that blow in from the front door are reproducing), filing, folding, and packing in a leisurely way that makes me feel confident that I have not forgotten anything.

4. Tea. If you are surprised that tea gets its own spot on the list then you clearly don’t know me well enough. I love tea. But when I was teaching and wanted to savor every minute of sleep, my morning routine was something like this: fumble around in the dark to silence the alarm, stumble out of bed, hop in the shower, throw on clothes, find my keys, stress about running late, brush my teeth, and fly out the door. Notice that tea (and breakfast, for that matter) is missing from the list. But now, I can have tea all day long. A delicious cup of Earl Grey or French Vanilla tea with a little milk and honey in the morning. A mug of Green tea in the afternoon. And something of the decaffeinated or herbal variety at night. Mmm mmm mmm.

5. More time with Max. Enough said.

6. Time to do my homework. As an Inspired Teaching Fellow, I am a teacher (or supposed to be one) as well as a student. I take one night class a week and one full Saturday class a month as I work toward my full teaching certification and my Masters. Naturally, there is homework. I hope it doesn't come as a shock to anyone that when I was teaching, reading Chapter 5 in “Teaching Math Developmentally,” for example, just wasn’t high on my priority list. But now that I have much more free time, I’m the most prepared student in class. Another plus: the books that my teachers have selected are actually very interesting, thought-provoking, and helpful. I am now full of ideas of how to teach math “developmentally.”

7. The potential of something better. When I was first laid off, I was heart-broken. I’d worked tirelessly for my 22 second-graders, and then with no goodbye or closure or explanation I had to leave them. But the truth is that I was miserable at that school. I had little support from the administration. My colleagues hardly ever talked to me. I felt isolated and overwhelmed and exhausted all the time. And the school, in general, felt more like a prison than a place where children come to grow and learn and play. So while applying to job after job and going on interview after interview can be very discouraging, there is still the possibility that something great is just around the corner. Yesterday, I had an interview at a really unique charter school in DC, and today they asked me to come in and do a demonstration lesson in the 5th grade class. And it was awesome! I taught a really engaging geometry lesson (transformations and tessellations), and the assistant principal and teachers observing me had nothing but wonderful things to say. I am sure that the school is interviewing a lot of qualified and experienced educators, so the chance of my being hired there is actually very small. But it’s possible. (Keep your fingers crossed please.)

A Week of Thanksgiving...Day 1: My Favorite Cat Lady

Hi Guys,
In honor of Thanksgiving (and being home in the Northeast, where I have copious amounts of things to be thankful for!), I've decided to have a week of guest bloggers share what they're thankful for throughout the week. First up: Greta Beth Deerson (she's the gorgeous blonde).

Greta is one of my two first cousins on my mom's side. She's about 18 months older than me, and since neither one of us have sisters (and our side of the fam is absurdly tight-knit regardless), we're pretty close. She also happens to be the most hysterical person I know.

(P.S. Gretch - this is the only picture I could find of us online...I sense a photo shoot at Grandma's tomorrow. Prepare yourself.).

Anyway...I'm fighting the very strong urge to comment on each section of Greta's list, and presenting them to you as sent. Enjoy, and keep thinking of your Seven Daily Reasons - you never know when I may call on you to show them to the world!

1. One day until I see my mom.

2. St. Louis has a program called Kulanu for students with special needs, and I am a tutor for the program... "Kulanu provides Hebrew and some Judaic education for children, who, for a variety of reasons, have difficulty in a classroom situation. The program focuses on the particular needs and strengths of each child with special needs through individualized Hebrew and Judaic instruction." Today my "tutee" learned her last letters (fey, fey sofeet, chaf and chaf sofeet)!! She can now read any word - rockin'! (Still has some work to do on the names of letters...but it will come...and then script....)

3. Dinner at Pi. It's delish. Just ask Obama (Obama loved the pizza so much that he called Sommers to thank him personally. And after his November win, the Pi menu featured a commemorative pizza — the Broccoli O'Bama — to celebrate...check it out on Obama Foodorama). The sauce comes on top of the cheese at Pi which makes it very convenient for me to avoid eating the HUGE chunks of tomato (although probably less convenient for whoever has to wash my plate...gross).

4. I have a cat sitter. Something to be thankful for....for real. I dropped off my keys and then went home to write her a four or so page e-mail about all the specifics of the apartment (turn the knob to the left not the right to get in, Sam prefers to drink from human cups so they're all over the place filled with water, feel free to watch any of the teeny bopper movies on the dvr, do you like caramel? we have a container in the fridge, if you want it take it, we'll never use it). She hasn't written back - if she still wants to be my friend now that she knows what a neurotic kitty mom I am, that will be something else to be thankful for.

5. "What's Jewish About Social Work?" A local Rabbi led a shiur today at the Social Work School. My take home message - it's great to be a social worker, and it's great to be Jewish. Yay for me. They got kosher food since the Rabbi was coming but he didn't eat any....(neither did was cold cuts, barf).

6. Andrea can drive me to the airport tomorrow. No metro, no cabs. Sweet life.

7. I observed an AA meeting today for a paper I need to write. It was amazing. Seriously. I was thanked for being there 3 times during the meeting, because the people at the meeting think it's important for people who are going into helping professions (they said who are going to be counselors, but i am not going to be a counselor so...) to come to AA and learn about alcoholism, and the support in that room was very powerful. I want to join AA and I don't even really drink socially.

Monday, November 23, 2009

All the Raindrops WERE Lemondrops and Gumdrops. So There.

1. Rain day! The downpour completely destroyed my planned schedule - but it also negated my need to go to Hillel.

2. Google wave. I don't know what to do with it, but I do have it. Thanks, Daniel.

3. It's A New Day by came on at the very end of Total Body. Best motivational/mood-shifting song EVER. (Sorry for the lack of embedding. Universal Music Group REALLY didn't want me to).

4. ...searching for It's a New Day post-class led to a 30 minute dance party alone in my room. Don't judge.

5. During said partay, I came across these lyrics ("Forever to Reach", Pictures and Sound):

"Close your eyes right now and count to ten
You're a different person than you were just then
We'll never get this chance again"

Sappy, but I kind of love it.

6. Got an email from Continental upgrading me to first class for my flight home. I didn't ask questions - I just giggled internally and said a silent "thank you" to the reservation gods.

7. I was completely packed before I went to bed. Trust me, that's noteworthy (I won't tell you what time I went to bed - why am I nocturnal?).

See you in Jersey!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


1. Sleeping in. It never gets old.

2. Olive Kitteredge. I read the entire book in one shot, from the moment I woke up until I went to Hillel for Maariv. So good.

3. Jason Segel's sense of humor (parents slightly cautioned):

4. Totally stumbled across this post by accident... and then stopped to take a second look because the name sounded familiar. I definitely went to elementary school with these now-indie-famous siblings.

5. If only I could eat the stuff on this arteries would look like stuffed shells, but mealtime decisions would certainly be simpler.

6. Oh Jon Stewart. How my TV-less life has missed your witty investigative journalism:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck's Protest Footage
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

(Thanks to Adi Segal for the link)

7. One month till Birthright! (And it was Toldot. Wa wa waaaa.)

Tricycles for Grown-Ups and Schadenfreude

1. I am the printer whisperer. Our ridiculous machine kept me in the office for an extra hour and a half (!), but in the end it caved to my jam-solving prowess.

2. Following said printing fiasco, I arrived home with 14 minutes until Shabbos...and still managed to shower and get dressed in time to light candles.

3. The flowers Yaffa gave me have only blossomed and gotten better with time, and were perfect as Shabbat began. Thanks, Yaffa!

4. A moment of schadenfreude: on my way to Hillel, I saw five kids bending over a gutter, fishing for a cellphone. I felt bad, but it was hysterical.

5. I also saw an adult on a red tricycle. I didn't know those existed outside of Kiawah!

6. I didn't have to lead Kiddush!

7. I sat with two hysterical student couples whom I LOVE. One partner of each pair is converting, and they're so open about what the process is meaning for them. It was a great night.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adventures of Sleepyhead in the Land of No-Winter

1. After 3 consecutive fails, I woke up early enough to work out. Huzzah.

2. This is the closest I'm going to get to fall leaves:

I'll take it.

3. Rabbi Lesack (Assistant Director of Darom) passed through Gville today, and brought me delicious cookies from a kosher bakery in the ATL. Thanks, Marshall!

4. חג לה שמח וזר לה פורח, היום יום הולדת לדנה!

5. FINALLY bought the book for Chippim Book Club. No worries, Chips - I have a loooong Hillel-less Shabbos day to help me finish it on time.

6. November Flowers in Gville: 4 in a Series...

P.S. Can we review? It's November 19th. I took this picture today. That is officially absurd.

7. Heading to bed before midnight, possibly for the first time in this century. Great success.

Chodesh Tov!

1. Oh, Mark Bittman. How I love your simple, witty collections of 101 recipes. This one is an overgrown pre-Thanksgiving brainstorm. Bonus: more than half of them are kosh.
(Watch his videos on He's a gem.)

2. Daily heartwarming tale of Israeli humanitarianism? Look no further.

3. It's Kislev! Yay!

4. This article is a cute take on the Charleston Jewish community - and Kiawah has a shoutout! Interestingly, they skipped over Pita King. Chaval. The world needs to know about that Southern bastion of Yiddishkeit and arsim.

5. Dave-o Deerson has Gmail! Prepare for much chatting, Maryland Buddy.

6. November Flowers in Gville: 3 in a Series...

7. My second rumination has been published! Please "gourmet" me here. (Don't worry, Ema. I still take my vitamin. I just don't believe it DOES anything.)

The Church of the Gator

1. My hepcat mother allayed my fears that someone's taken out a hit on me...and shot in the foot my dreams of having gazillions of rando readers. Take a gander:

me: people in kfar chabad
either love me
or are plotting my assassination
they visit basically on the hour
11:09 AM lindaripps: not necessarily. I learned when I was working on the book sharing project that IP addresses are very sneaky things. If I remember correctly, there is a huge IT station somewhere near B'nai Brak - I think IDT runs it - it's a place where haradi woman can work.
11:10 AM me: oh. huh. so this reader might not actually be in kfar chabad??
11:16 AM lindaripps: exactly - they might not even be in Israel.
me: whoa
but more likely, it's seffi or shosh

2. Second-best print ad I've seen in a long time:

3. ...And the best:

4. Winter must be on its way: my neighbors have transitioned from Halloween to Christmas!

5. I passed by this church today with Dana and said, "Ooh, it looks like a Stegasaurus." She replied, "'s probably a Gator."

What's your verdict: Intentional architecture, or just a coincidence?

6. The New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year is "unfriend." And the decline of Western civilization continues.

7. This kid is absurdly precocious - even his father seems amused - but I do admire his plucky resolve:

Monday, November 16, 2009

For My Ladies, Shorties, Thugs - and Chabadnikim, Apparently

First, a note: yes, I am aware that the video from yesterday is, in fact, abysmal. I was kidding. If, however, you are doubting the existence of the aforementioned skillz (Always with a Z. Always.), I'll have you know that in fact I DO know all the words to "All the Above," and would be happy to perform them - anytime, anywhere.

Now then, Monday:
1. One week till Jersey! Yay!

2. On my way to work today, I noticed something about the statue of Albert and Alberta (the alligator mascots) that I walk past everyday: Albert's not wearing any pants...but Alberta wears a skirt. What's that about?

3. Hamshushalaim (which I always think should be spelled "Chamshushalayim") is back! I'll just barely miss it - friends in Jlem, please enjoy for me.

4. A holdover from yesterday:

5. Wait. Lady Gaga isn't British? And her real name is Stefani Germanotta? And she's my age? I do not know what to do with this overload of new information.

6. Lainie and Sarah: I don't know you, but I think I like you. Oh, Seffilicious:

7. Just out of curiosity, I clicked through today to see from where recent readers are logging on. I was SHOCKED at the results. What follows is the list of unexpected and/or currently inexplicable locations:

Cedar Park, Texas
Fresh Meadows, New York
Aurora, Colorado
Nepean, Ontario, Canada
Tayibe, Israel
Julian, North Carolina
London, England
Newark, New Jersey
Centereach, New York
Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Hoboken, New Jersey
Jamaica, New York
Lindale, Texas
Hillsborough, New Jersey
Moncure, North Carolina
Kfar Chabad, Israel

Who are you people? How did you find this blog? Comment to let me know, or click "follow" on the righthand side of the blog - or both!* Whoever you are, thanks for the love - keep it up, tell your friends, and post your own seven as often as you like!
*(If you're uncomfortable with commenting, just email me.)

P.S. A special note for my reader(s) in Kfar Chabad - please don't be mad about yesterday's post. Mendel is adorable, and I would never, ever cause him harm. Let's rock the pluralism. Yalla.

Peace out, cub scouts. See you all tomorrow.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Very Unique Shlichus

1. Today was Gainesville's Downtown Art Festival. I wandered around for four hours, and totally got heatstroke - but it was worth it. See below for details.

2. 16 month old + paint = adorable:

3. There was an Israeli artist at the fair! Check out his work:

4. The only things I purchased were a Chanukah present for my mom (you're welcome, Sefsta and Tan) and a vase for myself. The present remains a surprise, but here's the vase:

5. I happened upon a link to the live feed of the Chabad "Kinus HaShluchim" banquet tonight. Literally the minute I clicked on, I saw Mendel Goldman - the UF Chabad rabbi's elementary school-aged son - sharing this quotable quote as part of the kids' presentation:

"We have a very unique shlichus...the University of Florida has the largest Jewish population in the country...over 7,000 yiddishe neshamos."

Well, Mendel. That may be true, but I'm on a very unique shlichut of my own, and I'll fight you for those neshamot. Put up your dukes, kid.

6. Gap has a new holiday commercial...but I'm not sure how I feel the phrase "Do-whatever-you-wanna-kah." What are your thoughts? (Thanks to Yaffa for letting me know about the commercial's existence!)

Check out the Cheer Factory for lots more where that came from.

7. I wish I could embed this, but you'll just have to click through to see my mad hip hop skillz (taken from a great scavenger hunt peulat erev this summer that Noa Havivi uploaded tonight).

Sunny Day, Sweepin' the Clouds Away

1. Get a load of this guide to the Muppets of Sesame Street. Happy Birthday!

2. I watched a student have her first aliyah. Conflicted yet positive emotions ensued.

3. Zozo asked me to sit with her at lunch. My best friend in Gainesville is a 3-year-old. What up.

4. I left my house on a Saturday night. Enough said.

5. go to Jason's apartment and play Rock Band for the first time, with Jason, Marissa, and Yaffa. It appears I am a natural on the drums.

6. Thanks for helping me find this, Alexander Mark Lass (and Yosef Saadya, a bit). Can we all agree not to let Tyler embarrass himself by speaking on camera?

7. And, indirectly, this one:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday the 13th

1. I saw the Gainesville airport. Apparently, it does exist.

2. Told my aliyah/yeridah story in a succinct and non-tearful manner twice in the span of 24 hours.

3. Received lovely flowers as a gift from our scholar-in-residence (Yaffa Epstein, Director of Recruitment for Pardes), who's staying with me for Shabbat.

4. ASB phone call with Jewish Funds for Justice. We're going to New Orleans!

5. I HATE our printer/copier. It jams so much, I want to take it out into a field and Office Space the crap out of it. Today I found out that we're getting a new one. Sweet.

6. Gorgeous day in the 60s. Hello, fall clothes.

7. Another Shab with people in the house. I love it!

A Watched Pot...

1. When I did laundry this morning, my washing machine sounded like a rocket ship taking off - but didn't explode. Score (and time to call the management).

2. I stopped for coffee on the way to work, and got FOUR punches on my "buy 6, get 1 free" card from the coffee man. So much for "boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses."

3. It felt crisp in the morning. I never thought I'd be able to use the word "crisp" to describe Gainesville weather. Hallelujah.

4. Look at the blankets my wonderful students made for kids in foster care!

5. I burned soup, which has never happened to me before, and God willing will never happen to me again (last time I trust someone else to note when a pot is boiling...). This was positive primarily because while my smoke alarm went off, the complex alarm didn't.

6. GREAT turnout at the Hillel/JSU Israel week kickoff event - 80 kids came out to see a comedian. Way to go, Dana.

7. Look at the gorgeous hot chocolate I had with a student several days ago at the Christian Study Center (I forgot about it until I uploaded the blanket picture):

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11:11 on 11/11!

Not that I'm absurdly superstitious or anything (poopoopoo), but I was really looking forward to making a wish at 11:11 on 11/11...and I missed it twice! Lo norah - I think this is the year of making your own luck.

1. Day off for Veterans Day. Thank you for serving our country, coming home safely, and allowing me to spend 70% of my day sitting on my bed.

2. Sleeping in. Ahhhh.

3. It appears that when UF Recsports calls a class "Total Body," they mean it. Oof.

4. Green beans!

5. I know it's super hokey...but I think I found the parallel to yoga in my life tonight. I'm a pro when it comes to flexibility, but I can never seem to catch my balance.

6. 40 years of Sesame Street! I had a "20 Years of Sesame Street" poster up in my room for most of my childhood. I am old. Also, this video still gets me every time:

7. Some of you are far too busy and important to comment on the blob with your personal list of seven. I get that (you'd be a happier human being if you did, but whatever...). As such, I just added a reactions section to the bottom of each post. One click, and you're good to go.

Happy New Notebook Day!

1. Most productive day of my life thus far in Gainesville. Started a new notebook, filled a full page with my to-do list, and knocked them off one by one. Bonus: Getting in before 9 means leaving at 5:30 (before coming back at 9 for an event...but still).

2. Elf Yourself is back! Much holiday procrastination madness will now ensue (Thanks for the tip, GBD).

3. I got a Facebook chat from Warsaw today. Hi Helise!

4. The real question is - who DOESN'T love lunch?

5. Ezak's guest post on Nina's blog. I laughed out loud.

6. Faster internet = access to my work email from home! Don't worry, that doesn't mean I'll sit at home working all the time now. It just means that if I want to, I CAN.

7. The Na Nach swipe, courtesy of Avishai Natan Gebler.

I just have so many questions:
- Is this man for real?
- Do Breslavers really call themselves "Na Nachs"?
- "Down with the forces of evil!" Umm, what?
- Does this man not realize that he could also be identifying himself to the casual observer as a resident of Atlanta?
- The list goes on...

Go Heels!


1. UNC Basketball! Life is good. Kudos to Alyssa (middlename?) Kaye for this quote: "UNC basketball reminds me of a Broadway play. The cast may change from time to time, but they always perform. And at the end there is always a standing ovation." - ESPN commentator
(Someday, I will find a TV, and then I will be able to see the quotes uttered for themselves. Though for now, the bouncing triangles on GameTracker are much appreciated. Thanks, CBSSports.)

2. Tom, the completely insane airport shuttle driver. At first, his endless chatter was annoying, but eventually I realized that he had an encyclopedic knowledge of North and Central Florida. It was a pretty comprehensive history lesson on the 2 hour drive.

3. Tom also asked me if my name was German, or possibly Scandinavian - lending more support to Nina Zoe Cohen's theory of how I got my hair color.

4. How amazing is this book? ...It appears I have inherited my mom's love of children's lit.

5. Today, I attempted to type in "" - and instead landed at sparksnotes. Whoa. Blast from the I-never-read-the-books-in-high-school past.

6. The Nexus is unveiled. (And looks suspiciously like an uglier Lerner...)

7. Faster internet has arrived. Huzzah!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Thousand Words








Bonus Pic: Note Ema's wary look. Linda Jeanne! Are you afraid of your own daughter?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


1. Saturday was Sarit Rachel Horwitz's birthday: לחברינו שרית רחל...יומולדת שמה!

2. The Jewish Standard, straight from the Jerz. Never has a finer newspaper been published.

3. Bananagrams. Best housewarming present possible.

4. Greta chose a practicum. (Awhile ago, but still.). Mazel tov!

5. I have discovered (via youtube celebration of his mom's 90th birthday) that my cousin Eddie Buchbinder (who is older than my parents) has dreads that are longer than my hair. Awesome.

6. Serendipitous Coincidences:
After two hours of back-and-forth about dinner motzei Shabbos, Tanni agreed to forgo his beloved mac n' cheese in favor of Panera. We got there, and lo and behold, Panera now serves mac n' cheese. Everybody goes home happy! Hello, salad bar (this is becoming a theme...).

7. I bought a picture frame. Soon to follow: the first thing to go up on my walls - my Birkat Habayit from Greta!

Ema and Tanni's DAY OF FUN!

Pop culture pop quiz: What is the original TV quote on which I based today's post title? (Shteins. You got this.)

1. Totally ignored our planned day of fun, in favor of chilling in my apartment. It was perfect.

2. Visited with Rabbi Kaiman at Bnai Israel. Ema got to hang out with an old old friend...Tanni and I played pick-up sticks. Not a bad deal.

3. Finally went to Leonardo's, cultural institution and much beloved pizza place. The verdict? For all that we whine about the state of kosher pizza, hechshered pizza in New York is 3 zillion times better than any pizza in Gville, hands down.

4. Most amazing completion of a homework assignment EVER:

For more info, click here.

5. Got to light candles with Em and the Tanster (what up, early Shabbos)...and then quickly took off my married-looking bandana, so my mom would stop giving me the stinkeye. No worries, Em, I'm not getting hitched anytime soon.

6. [Rabbi] Aaron Alexander was our scholar in residence over Shabbat. Friday night he ran a great session on Jewish conceptions of the soul. Nice.

7. Fall Shab clothing infusion from my family's suitcases: it's like shopping, without spending money. Sweet.

Hayom Yom EMA v'TANNI!!


1. Being able to hear:
One of my students who wants to be an audiologist had to find some subjects to practice on in the lab, and I was first. Good news: I can hear.

2. Planned a day of fun in Gville for Ema and Tanni.

3. Shoutout on Seffi's blob! It's true: I know a lot about a lot of sports, but I still think that innings should go from bottom to top, rather than top to bottom. My logic is flawless: if you're counting UP to 9, then you go from bottom of the 1st to the top, which then flows into the bottom of the 2nd...I have to bring this to the MLB. Be the change you wish to see, right?

4. Speaking of baseball, Joe Girardi had a REALLY busy night. What a good guy.

5. Nina Zoe Cohen taught me how to add reactions to the glob. Thanks, Niners.

6. My apartment is SO clean. Imminent arrival of Ema = intense motivation to be neat. Em, you should visit all the time.

7. EMA and TANNI! In my apartment!!

...And Picking it back Up Again.

1. Seffi's hair is safe!
...For those of you would do not read, allow me to update you. Seffi has a friend on Nativ named Joey. Joey is a Phillies fan. Seffi and Joey have been watching the World Series together, and they had a little bet: Fan of the losing team must shave the logo of the winning team into the back of their head. Baruch Hashem, Seffi's hair is intact...and Joey has quite the new hairstyle.

2. I saw a new part of campus today. I love it when that happens.

3. Ema and Tanni have made it to Orlando. That's one step closer to visiting me!

4. I sent in my Kivun application. Completing that thing was an accomplishment in and of itself. And now, we wait.

5. There's a mezuzah on the door of the AEPhi house! ...made me feel a little bit better about going there to sit through treify mctreiftreif lunch. Hello, salad bar.

6. Manoah (the student leadership board) planned out their programs through the end of semester. That means the semester's almost over. Whoa.

7. I might be a Mets fan (a.k.a. glutton for mid-July punishment, season after season), but I'm still from the tri-state area. So what the heck: Yankees win!

Dropping the Ball

Here's the thing: I had a goal - 30 followers by the 30th post. So when I got to post 29 on Monday...I just kinda stopped. It's cool, I'm back. We'll just have to aim for 50 by the 50th. Opa.

1. Boondock Saints II. How did I not know of this movie's imminent release? (Thanks for letting me know, Hilary Rachel Brown!) It's not playing in Gville...who wants to see it with me over Thanksgiving??

2. Their Torah may be slightly off, but I love the creativity:

(From the National Equality March)


4. November Flowers in Gville: 2 in a Series...

5. Chiddush of the day: Lemon juice on my salad. Yum.

6. Red cups are back! Winter is coming (in some part of the world...)!

7. Julie "Jules" "J" "No Middle Name" Rappoport got a job! Mazel tov!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Soup's On

1. Three weeks until Jersey!

2. Sarita's Links:
Whenever I post a gchat status whining about being in need of something, I'm really just venting. And yet, Sarit usually takes the time out of her day (aka, needs an excuse to procrastinate) to find whatever it is I'm looking for. Today, she found me a great looking immersion blender. Thanks, Sar.

3. A conversation on the above gchat status with Avishai (Middlename?) Gebler:
Avishai: its only one of the best kitchen utensils
Avishai: though
not to be used to make chummus
for the record.
me: really?
Avishai: food processor = very yes
immersion blender = very no
Avishai: mortar and pestle = very tiring

3. The Joy of Cooking with Abba:
My father has a...umm...dry sense of humor. So imagine my surprise when I called home for culinary advice tonight, and instead of directing me to my mother, my father gave a dramatic reading of the entire Joy of Cooking article on vegetable stock.

4. ...The reading didn't help in the slightest, but I still made soup. It didn't even come close to the two best soups I've ever had (immersion-blended zucchini goodness by Ariel Irwin, and crazy fast cauliflower and petrozilia broth by Zehava Tesfay and Hila Danino), but it stuck to my ribs and made the whole apartment smell like winter.

1. November Flowers in Gville: 1 in a series...

7. I am the true guitar heroine:
It occurred to me tonight that the near-constant electric guitar tuning that makes my room vibrate and my ears hum may in fact be coming from downstairs (rather than the previously hypothesized upstairs). After much deliberation, I marched downstairs to ask them to turn down their amp. I knocked on the door. And knocked again. And a third time, for good measure. No one ever came to the door, but miraculously, when I went back up to my room...all was quiet. I win, at least for tonight.

Seriously, Derek. Seriously.

1. Whew. Julie doesn't HAVE a middle name (see yesterday). I feel much better.

2. Yet again, popular culture is just tagging along behind the Jews. We're such trendsetters.

3. Speaking of weddings, in searching for that article, I discovered that someone, somewhere, once got married wearing THIS:

4. There are Chanukah candles on the shelves at Publix!

5. In addition to saving my life and my sanity with her Hillel expertise at least once a week, Chanel Elizabeth Dubofsky is a brilliant writer (I didn't know the middle name. I had to ask.). Check out some of her new stories here.

6. Took an hourlong walk-and-talk on the phone with my mom. Things I discovered: I'm walking distance from Mother Earth (awesome hippie supermarket I've yet to fully explore), and pseudo-walking distance from Walgreens. Life is very good.

7. As a graduate of the elections process in USY, I have a soft spot in my heart for any organization that allows kids to occasionally dress in suits, act like they're 30, and care WAY too much about something. This weekend, UF hosted just such an opportunity: 20,000 Florida high school students convened on campus for the Florida Blue Key Debate Competition. Best overheard quote of the weekend:

"Seriously, Derek. Lots of people conquered the New World, NOT just the Spanish. Seriously."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

...We're So Happy


1. Having no Shabbat responsibilities:
Insane though it may be that our Shabbos programming is dictated by the football schedule, this week, it was welcome.

2. Flaga - It's one word.
Today was the annual Florida/Georgia game (also known as Fla/Ga). In addition to having a huge rivalry, Georgia was the original SEC team to taunt Gator fans' sense of style, with the chant, "Gators wear jean shorts." This Dawgs fan is starting young:

For the record, Gators won, 41-17.

3. Deserted Gville:
Almost everyone I know (and several thousand people I don't) went to the "neutral" territory of Jacksonville for Fla/Ga. As a result, Gainesville was empty. It was great.

4. Shabbos Yoga:
Only time I left the house all day (nearly fell over afterward). I have this weird hunch that it wasn't Shabbos for anyone else in the room...

5. I am completely caught up on the New York Times. The next time this is scheduled to happen is in 2013.

6. Love this picture of the President and First Lady handing out Halloween candy.
What do you mean, why isn't the President dressed up? Obviously, he went as Mr. Rogers.

7. Ahh, the childhood memories of Halloween: not being allowed to dress up ("it's a Pagan holiday, Navah"), worrying that the other kids on the block were going to beat me up because we handed out raisins fun. I DO remember enjoying my mom's stories about trick-or-treating for UNICEF, however. For more info, see this article:

Shabbos is Coming...

1. Solantic Urgent Care:
Headed here Friday morning on Mandy suggestion. Got in, got out, got meds which will hopefully cure me.

2. Prescription Medication:
Sometimes, it takes more than advil and sudafed. This is one of those times.

3. Sick Days:
Sleep. Is. Beautiful.

4. Back when I got my hand-me-down kum kum, Bentzi Binder posted this video on my facebook wall. I don't know how I missed it until today - it's really funny.

5. Lighting Shabbat candles:
Usually, I have to run Shabbat stuff at Hillel, and I rarely have time to light candles before I bust out of the apartment. Having the chance to was great.

6. Yoni told me not to go to Hillel Friday night, but I had to get out of the house. Being at Hillel as a pseudo-spectator was odd, but it was nice to see our students make a stab at a self-sufficient Shabbos (Yoni was out too).

7. Pumpkin bread:
I had some in the freezer from my birthday trip home, but I could never justify defrosting it and using it up. Today was that day. Yum.


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