Disengaging, Engaging

An old friend of mine seems to have unfriended me on Facebook, probably because I made an ill-advised comment on one of her posts, but less proximally because we seem to be just drifting apart.  Since I stopped being so willing to do Friday night movies or Saturday afternoon outings with a lot of my friends here in town, and since three of them have taken to working out together (which I do at a gym, usually with a trainer, as I have done for 3.5 years or so now), my relationships with them have been fraying.  It may be just the kick in the pants (or skirt-seat, as the case may be) I need to move out of my current living situation and move closer to the shul.  But man, am I going to miss my garden.  So, combine that with the impending loss of my job, and I’m feeling a little down…again.  I haven’t had very many days of being not-depressed since September of last year.

On the other hand, I finally got my application in to the Beit Din.  It took me quite a while to round up all the pieces and parts, alas.

And I still haven’t had the opportunity to tell my family, <i>or</i> my oldest remaining friend yet, either.



Food, Food, Food

I’m getting very distracted by thoughts of eating ALL THE THINGS.

This is what I feel like doing now.

This is what I feel like doing now.

I’m not much good at this fasting thing.

A Tiny Plea

For those of you celebrating the civil New Year tonight, please don’t drink and drive. I take this very personally, because 12 years ago, my sister, then 18, was hit almost head-on while driving, by a drunk driver with a list of priors as thick as an old NYNEX telephone book. He’d been in a bar, and the bartender had taken his keys away, but he had a spare set. I’m given to understand he got a nice taxpayer-funded vacation in a stone hotel somewhere out of the deal.

Her defensive driving probably saved her life, as she was able to swerve and avoid a full head-on collision. As it was, the crash put the engine block of my parents’ Chevy SUV on her feet.

She had serious injuries, went into hypermetabolism, and is still suffering the aftereffects today. She lost her last year of high school and had to do extensive adult ed to catch back up, due to a curriculum change. I’m very grateful our family didn’t have to bury her that year, but by the same token, she has never been the same since.

Please don’t drink and drive. The life you save may not even be your own. Thank you.

Note: And for the dati folks out there, the minor fast of the Tenth of Tevet, which commemorates the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, begins at 6:33AM tomorrow and ends at 5:26PM. Drink lots of water!

Christmanniversakkah…pant pant pant…

Thank G-d that’s over.

I’m still nominally doing Christmas things because I’m still furtive for the moment (that’s about to change soon, B”H, more later) and it’s a matter of shalom habayit right now. I don’t need to be brogez with the folks any sooner than I have to be. (It won’t be the first, or last, time.)

Christmas Eve (“Erev Xmas”) I went to a friend’s house for a very subdued party, which was nice, even if one of the attendees was recovering from food poisoning and another one was just feeling out of sorts and the rest of us were exhausted. (I did almost all my Christmas shopping — except for wrapping, the only part I truly enjoy — in two days, Monday and Tuesday. Lots of running around.)

It was also my parents’ 48th wedding anniversary on the 24th. They claim that it was the only time they could both get off work and they could get a hall; I think at least part of it is that my mother thought a Christmas wedding would be romantic, since she is about the World’s Biggest Christmas Freak. (This is where I see some friction coming in.) I didn’t do anything with them because they don’t really do anything with family outside of the big milestone anniversaries anymore. Which reminds me, I’d better become employed soon and start putting away a pot of money, because Guess Who is probably going to have to organise the 50th anniversary party. If you said, “You are, Sara-Elisheva!”, you’d be right!

I also observed Hanukkah as best as I was able, given that I once again couldn’t find the skinny candles that fit in my hanukiyah and I don’t have oil pots for it, so I had to improvise. I will either replace the thing or get oil pots for it for next year. Doubtless I’ll be in Toronto between now and then, and I can make it to a Judaica store. I love Hanukkah and what it represents, although less the miracle aspect of it than the “let Jews be Jews” aspect. (Apparently, given some of my hate mail, that’s a controversial position in some quarters.)

And on Boxing Day, I spent most of the day either sleeping or frantically prepping for Shabbat. And then it was Shabbat.

Shabbat Recap to come, but that’s quite enough for now.

Shabbats Recap — Urfh

Nothing much to say about these two Shabbats, except that I didn’t make it to shul either this week or last week. Bleah. I have wanted to go, too, because I want to nail down the rav about starting to study, since I now have all this free time (*mutter grump*).

I am enjoying Hanukkah, though. I always do. I’ve been ecumenical about holidays since about forever, and while I do agree that if you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, and/or you’re a Christian, you shouldn’t celebrate Hanukkah (personally, I’d like to decommision the Great Commission), given that it’s specifically about the freedom of Jews to be Jews, I mostly do it for shalom habayit anyway, and have for years. (Can you really call someone who thinks there was no such person as the historical Jesus a “Christian,” no matter where or how they grew up?) Back when I was living in T.O., I always made a point of going down to the now-sadly-almost-defunct Little India (Coxwell and Gerard Sts.) for the annual Diwali party, although I never have been any religion that celebrates it. But hey, it’s dark, it’s cold, let’s light some candles and eat some sweet things and call it a party.

That brings up an important point: Do I buy more Christmas wrapping paper this year (I kind of need it, although I could likely make do with what I’ve got), and risk not needing it next year and having leftovers I don’t know what to do with, or do I wrap everything in two kinds of paper and hope for the best? (And deprive myself of some of the only fun I get out of the whole endeavour.)


I have to hand it to Chabad from time to time (although they wouldn’t take it directly from me) — they’re very, very slick about promoting Judaism, and whoever comes up with a lot of their campaigns is very sharp and very adroit.

Their latest thing is sukkot on bicycles. They are pedaling these things around in cities around the world, and inviting Jews in to pray and eat. There isn’t much room, but they are apparently kosher (fit for use), as you would expect.

The pictures are priceless.

Bike sukkot

Sukkot on bikes in New York City, courtesy of Chabad’s outreach movement. The large text says “Your sukkah has arrived!”

Notes on a First Successful Yom Kippur Fast

  • Drink more water the day before.
  • Contrariwise, don’t break your fast by chugging an entire big glass of water. (The results weren’t pleasant, but they also weren’t what you’d think. Further, deponent saith not.)
  • I forgot you’re not supposed to eat meat during the Yamim Noraim. Whoops. That one’s going to be difficult, as I don’t eat dairy.

Maybe I should have called this blog “Judaism in Progress.” Loading, please wait.