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Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Week in NYC

Okay, so I haven't been here quite a week, i'm leaving tomorrow, but I figured why not update? I actually didn't do much this past week. I saw a movie with my aunt the day after I came into NY, the movie was Sweeney Todd. No idea WHY I agreed to see that, I hate horror movies and I was afraid I would end up with nightmares after that. I didn't thank g-d, but I have had some very srange dreams this week. The next day I went to B&N to meet a friend, who I saw for all of 10 minutes because she was busy researching for a paper. After that I went to the Museum of Natural History with my friend CJ (who I'm staying by) and the museum has an exhibit with DRAGONS!!!!!! That made me very happy as you can imagine, and I bought a book on Dinosaurs for my dad. The next day we went to see a Broaday show (we saw Chicago). Actually we went out to lunch with a couple of other friends first, after we got the tickets for the show. Lots of fun! Next day was Friday, hung out in the apartment and watched a movie until we left for my aunts for shabbos. Shabbos was nice and relaxing, after shabbos we went to another friends and watched a movie and then went back to the apartnment. Today, we just hung out and relaxed,which was very nice. Actually, currently not relaxing at all. CJ's roomie is acting crazy and I'm having fun watching her torment CJ. Will post more after I get home.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

New York, Here I Come!!

Okay, so I mentioned in a previous post that I'm going to NY for a week. My flight is tomorrow afternoon. In any case, I'm not sure whether or not I'll be blogging while I'm there. I can try, but no guarantees. I'm very much looking forward to it, but not so much to the cold, I prefer warm weather, one of the reasons I like living in Florida. But, anyways, I get to see some friends and have fun, and am really looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Favorite Authors

Since I really have absolutley NOTHING to blog about at the moment, I decided that instead, I'll make a list of some of my favorite author's and their books (or series)

1. Terry Pratchett - Discworld Series - it is, in my opinion at least, one of the BEST series out there. Incredibly funny, yet thought provoking as well. Satire on almost anything that you can imagine. Some of my favorite books in the series: Thud!, Going Postal, Moving Pictures, Jingo, Weird Sisters, and Reaper Man. Another book I like that is a collaboration between him and Neil Gaiman is Good Omens.

2. Tamora Pierce - She has several series: Song of the Lioness (4 books), The Immortals (4 books), Protector of the Small (4 books), Trickster's Choice & Trickster's Queen, Beka Cooper (3 books). These series are all set in Tortall. And the other set of series is The Circle of Magic, The Circle Opens, and The Circle Reforged. I love all her books, both series.

3. Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files- wizardry in the real world, solving mysteries and using magic. Now that's my kind of thing!

4. Robert Asprin - Myth Adventures and Phule's Company. Myth adventures is pure fantasty, while Phule's Company is Pure Science Fiction. He is incredibly funny, with lovable characters. He also collaborates for some of his Myth Adventures books with Jody Lynne Nye.

5. Anne McCaffrey - The Dragon Riders of Pern - while this is completely Science Fiction, it includes dragons, so as you can guess, I absolutely love it. Faves: All the Weyrs of Pern, Dragon Flight, Dragon Quest, the White Dragon.

6. Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl - a mix of fantasy and science fiction, it's a nice balance, while it's written for kids and is in the children's section, it's still immensly enjoyable. A criminal mastermind (who is only 12 years old) gets one over the fairies so he can get their gold.

7. Mercedes Lackey - Valdemar and Dragon Qaurtet (Joust, Alta, Sanctuary, Aerie) - Fantasy that includes talking horses and magic, the dragon books, I think are self explanatory. I am so there. Faves: All four dragon books, Arrows of the Queen, Take a Thief, Exile's Valor, Exile's Honor.

8. Diana Wynne Jones - a lot of books - complete fantasy writer, her books are very often confusing, until the end when everything becomes clear, and if everything isn't clear, you should read the book again. Even if you DID understand it, read it again, and you'll see things you missed the first time.

9. Eric Flint - 1632 and the books after that - I've only read the first book, but I have the others and really like it so far. Basically: send a town of West Virginia from the 21st Century to Germany in the middle of the 30 Year War. Like it says on the back "Freedom and Justice - American Style"

10. JRR Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings - I love those books, though wasn't thrilled with the movies.

11. Alexander Dumas - The Three Musketeers - One of the best books of all time. Definetly deserved to become a classic.

12. H.G. Wells - The Time Machine, War of the Worlds - both excellent books, though Time Machine was a bit depressing at the end.

13. Jules Verne - Around the World in Eighty Days, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Also two very good books

14. Isaac Asimov - I, Robot - incredible book, loved it the first time I read it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ooops

Er...I did say I would be updating more frequently didin't I? Heh, oops. Well, there hasn't been much to say in all honesty. I went to two wedding showers on Sunday for girls from my BY class and then I went and spent two days by my grandmother. I have a very close relationship with my Grandma since I am her oldest grandchild, and the only who can come up really frequently to stay overnight. Not to mention that I like to go up also because she buys me books or clothes, but it's enjoyable to spend time with her. Even if some of that time is spent trying to explain to her why religious Jews do certain things. Oh well.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is that nothing has really come up for me to talk about. Except that I'm going to NY in less than a week and I'll be there for a week. YAY!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Black and White

There are some people that see situations, things and people, only in black and white, good or bad. Most of us, I believe, see everything in shades of gray. Those who see in only black and white are at the one and same time both limited and free. While they might not see the reason for a "necessary evil" or they might not see another person's point of view in a conflict, they also see clearer in a way. But when a perso sees all the shades of gray, how people can be good and bad at the same time, it's a bit more confusing. Take me and my brother for example. My brother is one of those people who sees everything in black and white, it's either good or it's bad, there is no grey area, no overlapping. If this person did something bad, then they're bad all the way through. Whereas I see it, that yes, this person did something bad, but that doesn't mean that there is no good him.

What brings this whole topic up? I found out something very personal that really affected me, but I can never tell my brother, because of his "black and white" view. He would lose all respect for the person involved. So, it's a little hard for me, but I don't think I ever will tell him.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finished the Semester!

Yay!!!!! I took my last final this morning and I am now DONE for the semester! Woot! I have a three week break before my next semester begins. I'm going to NY for a week to visit some friends,and I get lots of relaxing time.
On a completely unrelated note, I am having a blast watching my kitten try to eat her collar while she's wearing it. I got her a new colla and made it a little loose on her so she could grow into it. The thing is that now she can see the little pink tag on it, as well a s the bell and she keeps trying to eat them, its really funny to watch.
Let's see, what else....I'm going to a chanukah party tonight at my high school principle's house and a lot of my highschool classmates will be there. Well maybe not a lot, but a few. And on Sunday I have two bridal showers to go to, both in the same area thankfully and are an hour apart. One at 10:30, the other at 11:30, like I said, thank goodness they're in the same area.
Um...anything else? Not really...anyways, hopefully more updates more frequently...for the next three weeks at least.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Here's a very good way to get exercise...

Chase the dog for six or seven blocks on a Friday afternoon. That's what I did on Friday anyway. See, I took him to the groomer and then when I cam eback to pick him up, he DID NOT want to go in the car. Since his collar was a little bit loose, when he backed up, it just went over his head, and off he went. I went after him, managing to keep him in sight, but every time I got close he would run. (He was stopping at every bush to "mark" it.) Finally, I got him cornered be hind a house and got the collar on, and tightened it, so he couldn't slip out, and then I had to walk back all six blocks. Fortunately, once the dog had started running,i had called my mother and she was on the main street, so I picked him up and shoved him in her car, went back home and put up my feet. They HURT. I was not wearing shoes for any kind of running and I don't ususally do that kind of sprinting. My shins hurt all day yesterday, but Baruch Hash-m I am doing much better today. Soooo, yeah, I had LOTS of fun on Friday.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

And Now...

For a lecture on Florida Weather. Typically, in most of the US of A, there are four seasons, yes?

Well, in Florida there are three. These are: Wet Season, Dry Season, and Hurricane Season. The Wet Season begins around April and continues till mid October, during this time there are many thunderstorms, quick pouring showers that go off and on throught the afternoon, and general humidity. Then after the Wet Season the Dry season begins. All the grass becomes withered, and the broadcasters start predicting a drought (they do this EVERY year by the way, you'd think they'd learn better by now). And finally, there is Hurricane Season, which starts June 1 and ends November 31. Fortunately, the last couple of years there have been no hurricanes that hit Florida, from either coast, and it would be nice to think that that trend would continue, though I sincerely doubt that.


So, JDJ, when you come down to Miami, I really don't think you'll encounter much rain....unless you go the Everglades, then you might.


This post brought to you by: NOT WANTING TO STUDY FOR FINALS

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mittens: Then and Now



Well, my kitten is growing up. She was so little when we first brought her in! The picture on top was taken when she was proabably 5-6 weeks old, and the bottom picture was taken today. Right after I took the picture she went and bopped Boots (her mother) on the nose and then chased behind the table. Like most adolescents, she doesn't get along with her mother.
Basically this is a filler post until I come up with something real (probably after I finish my finals) My first final is tonight. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fun Stuff

This will certainly make you feel like an idiot in no time. I got 2/6 right...which just goes to show how demented I am, but we already knew that, didn't we?
And this is oh so true, at least for me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Paving Paradise

But don't it always seem to go
You don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise to put in a parking lot
Paved paradise to put in a parking lot

I don't know who sings that, but it was playing on the radio today as I was driving back from dropping off my brother from work. And it's certainly true... You never really appreciate what you have until after the fact. Until after it's gone....
Don't mind me, I'm in a depressed mood, I have two papers due, and finals coming up. UGH.
I can't WAIT until the semester is over.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hamster Video

This video made me laugh and brightened up my day!

ADD



I'll admit, I had in mind something to post and then I got distracted and I forgot it. *sigh* I'm sorry... Maybe I'll remember it later.
In the meantime: a video for your viewing pleasure!

Monday, November 19, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by Sara Rutti to put up seven weird or personal things about myself. First, as per usual the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list thier names and link to them.

4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.



Alrighty, here I go, some really random and werd facts about me:

1. When I was little, I used to pray every night that my mother would suddenly not be allergic to cats anymore, and that when I grew up, I'd have a houseful of cats. Now, all 3 cats that I own, my mother is not allergic to, (actually, one ofthe cats is allergic to my mother, though that doesn't stop the cat from sleeping on her bed) and I'd say my house is full of cats, wouldn't you?

2. My favorite animal (real animal, not imaginary) is the tiger, specifically the Siberian Tiger. My other favorite animal is the wolf.

3. The first Broadway show I ever saw was Josef and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. I had the playbill for it for years, and I might still have it, somewhere in my closet.

4. My favorite color is blue. My car is blue, my pocketbook is blue, my room is blue/green, most of my clothes are blue, my eyes are blue...I like blue, you get it.

5. I wanted to be a teacher since 10th grade, took one course in education, and tutored a second grader, and realized that I am not cut out for teaching.

6. I love to collect stuffed, glass and plastic animals. (No big surprise there.)

7. I have a lot of odd dreams, and believe me, I mean ODD, as a friend of mine once said, odd fro me, would be a normal dream. I remember a lot of my dreams and I write them down in my dream journal.

Ok, got that done with, and now I tag: Jacob , come running, lakewood schmuck, bad4shidduchim ,halfshared, Brooklyn wolf, NJG

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A sad Story

I saw this in CNN today, it's a very disturbing story.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/17/internet.suicide.ap/index.html

I would suggest going to the video part, as the text is not showing up for some reason.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Story; Part Two

The sailors working in the harbor stared at the small group going by with blatant curiosity. They were most definetely not a very typical group. As a matter of fact, the only one of the group who blended in with the locals was the short, dark Japanese girl, Miki. With short dark hair, flashing black eyes that were filled with mischief, and her cheeky little grin, Miki was perhaps the least unusual. Pyro, a tall, lanky sixteen year old, with long dark hair, a blond stripe going through the middle of it, and his fair skin and green eyes, stood out very much in the crowd. But, the one who drew the most stares, was Lisa. Tall, willowy blond, beautilfully bronze skin, with golden strands glowing in her hair, her eyes flashing sapphire, and her beautiful body swayed and sashayed and promised an interesting time for anyone willing to take her on.
Lisa looked around, searching for the best ship, the one that would have a captain easy to bribe, or control, with the fastest speed. Suddenly, she spotted it.
Ok, and that would be all I have at the moment, and I need to look up something about ships, which I have absolutely NO knowledge of. Not of this time period, not of this part of the world, nothing...*sigh* oh well, I guess I'll work on it some other time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Story

They stood out on the docks, dressed as they were in such finery. Lisa was wearing a gown that was the height of fashion, with a lovely billowing frilly skirt. Lisa had insisted on it, and Pyro had resigned himself to the idea. Miki, of course, was thrilled, because she had never worn anything like it in her life. After all, she had been the daughter of a farmer, and farmers can’t afford fancy clothing. Lisa walked a few feet ahead while Miki and Pyro tried to keep up. “Now, when we get to the ship, don’t say a word! I’ll do the talking to the cpatain for us. Pyro, you’re going to be my brother, and Miki, I’m afraid you’ll have to play our servant.” She tossed out over her shoulder. “You really don’t look enough like us to pass for anything else.” “Well, that’s the understatement of the year,” Pyro muttered under his breath. Miki, walking beside him, over heard his comment. “Oh, I don’t mind.” She said cheerfully, her eyes dancing with amusement, but then she glared at him. “However, if you even think about treating me like a servant when we’re alone, I’ll box your ears.” And she would too. In the few weeks he had known her, Pyro had come to respect her threats, because she had a tendency to carry through with them. And while she might look small and dainty, that girl could really pack a punch! Caught up in his thoughts, Pyro almost walked straight out into the water. Only Lisa’s well timed grab stopped him from taking a involuntary swim in the harbor waters.

This is (or was) the beginning of a story that I started several months ago. I took some of the characters from a book my best friend, CJ, and I are writing. We've been writing it for the past three years, though it's been in production for more like eight years. Um...just re-read what I wrote and you probably would have no idea what is going on unless you know the background...oh well. Okay, all these characters just mentioned are Metanimii, otherwise known as witches. This takes place in 1687 in Japan at the moment. Miki is a 13 yr. old Japanese girl, whereas Lisa and Pyro are typical Americans (kind of, except for the fact that America is not a country yet) Lisa is anything but typical since she is the "daughter of the devil", actually the devil's creation. Pyro and Miki are her students. I think that's all you need to know for now. Leave a comment if there are any other questions. I might continue on with this story since it will probably never make it into the book and this is the only way I'll get it out.

Monday, November 05, 2007

My personality

I took a quiz on facebook and this is the results I got back. I'm not entirely sure of it's accuracy though.

Temperament
Flexible
Nothing seems to bother you - you sail through life crisis free. It's not that your life doesn't have its ups and downs, it's just that you handle everything without unnecessary drama and antics. You approach each day fresh, not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. You are confident that you can handle anything that comes your way and experience has shown that you are absolutely right about this.

Interests
Simple
You are continually pursuing a simpler and less complicated life - you don't allow yourself to fall victim to all of the "should do's" that society continually bombards you with. You are thoughtful about your life choices and think in terms of yourself, others and the world in which we live. You have a great sense that we are part of something much bigger and we must be good to others, if we want others and the world to be good to us.

Amusement
Thoughtful
You are easily stressed out and overwhelmed - you need to take care of yourself first and foremost. Because you tend to be self reflective, you know your limits quite well and must remember to not exceed those limits. When you overwhelm your life with obligations and responsibilities, you tend to shut down and go into yourself even further. Take some time to find your serenity and kick back your feet.

Passion
Traditional
Your notions about romance are viewed as unrealistic by many, but don't let that stop you. When you think of romance, you think of huge gestures of commitment, sacrifice and love like we see in the movies. Flowers, chocolate, and wine are just some of the ways to your heart. You want to feel loved and treasured by your partner and you expect to be courted, admired and hotly pursued. You long for old fashioned dating.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Living with OCD

Have you ever been to a museum, where you can go in a wheelchair, and get a glimpse of what it's ike to be in a wheelchair everyday of your life? Then, you get up and go on your merry way. I wish there was a way to replicate for someone what it is like to live with OCD. Obssessive Compulsive Disorder. Not that I have it, though that's what the title may lead you to think, but my brother does. There are different kinds of OCD, where the person affected may feel the need to check, double check, triple check, that a door is locked, an oven is off, etc. Another type of OCD, the one my brother has, is he views certain things as being "contaminated" Certain people, generally those homeless, those are 'wrong' in some way, and....whoever he doesn't feel comfortable around. He also views places as being "contaminated", for example, whenever he goes out to school, to theme parks, and ESPECIALLY old places. I don't mean 50 years old, OI mean, like hundreds of years. The car, generally the back of the car, his fishing gear, my computer, the kitten, and the cat...all "contaminated." It's hard to be aroundsomeone who must compulsively wash, or shower, after doing something, going somewhere, touching something. And also insisting that family members wash as well, if they touch something "contaminated" It is incredibly frustrating, in a way that is impossible to convey. Though he has been much better these past couple of years, after he was first diagnosed, it was very hard for a while, and it's gone in swings for the most part ever since. It's hard to explain what it's like on a day to day basis, and I think I'll save that task for another time.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thank You

I'm not one for poems for the most part, but I wrote this poem a few years ago, and dedicated it to a very good friend. I found it again, and decided to post it, hope you like.

Thank you for being there
Through the good and the bad,
Thank you for being there
For cheering me when I was sad.

Thank you for being there
For calming my fears,
Thank you for being there
With your cup of good cheer.

Thank you for being there
For showing me the way,
Thank you for being there
Each and every day.

Thank you for being there
For being my friend,
Thank you for being there
'Till the very end.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Shiur

I went to a shiur tonight given by Rabbi Twerski on spouse abuse in the home. It was the first time (I think) that I had to been to any shiur given Rabbi Twerski, and I have to say, it was very informative. He spoke about how there is not only physical abuse, but there is also emotional abuse as well as marital rape, going on inside Jewish communities. I had known that before, as a matter of fact, I knew a family that went through not only that, many other hardships as well. So it did not really surprise me, though I was shocked at one of the statistics he gave. He said that in Israel, more women die from domestic abuse, than from terrorist attacks. That is a shame. Supposedly, there is less domestic abuse in the Jewish community than there is among the goyim, but as Rabbi Twerski said, even one case, is one too many. I just wanted to share that with you all, and help spread the awareness.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Winter


I love winter in Florida. I'm not all that wild about it, up north (except for the snow, I wish it were possible for it to snow without the cold) But, while it doesn't snow here, the weather is starting to get nice and cool. When I went to school this morning I was so happy with how it felt outside. I LOVE WINTER!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A cute joke

I got this from a yahoo group, btw, no offense meant.
GCF: Are They Cheating?
Once upon a time long, long ago there was a season when neither the Packers nor the Vikings made the post season playoffs. It seemed so unusual that the management of both teams got together and decided that there should be some sort of competition between the two teams, because of their great rivalry. So, they decided on a week long ice fishing competition. The team that catches the most fish at the end of the week wins.So on a cold northern Wisconsin lake they began their contest.The first day after 8 hours of fishing the Vikings had caught 100 fish and the Packers had 0. At the end of the 2nd day the Vikings had caught 200 fish and the Packers 0.That evening the Packers coach got his team together and said, "I suspect some kind of cheating is taking place." So the next morning he dressed one of his players in purple and gold and sent him over to the Viking camp to act as a spy. At the end of the day he came back to report to the coach. The coach asked "Well, how about it, are they cheating?""They sure are!" the player reported, "They're cutting holes in the ice."

Monday, October 22, 2007

FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC

Congratulations to everyone who gets the reference on the subject of the post. So, today, I got my first anonymous (of course) "complaint" on my rant against Florida drivers, basically saying that I probably do the same things and that I'm a b*tch who just likes to complain. Wow, already a year on the blogs and only one little complaint? Fabricati Diem pvnc, let's see some originality, hmm?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rant on Florida Drivers

Ok, I know that everyone has posted a rant on driving at one point or another, but right now, I've been dealing with bad Florida drivers all day, and so I'm in the mood to rant.
Ok, several things.
1. You have a turn signal, USE IT! Do not zig and zag out of lanes and expect people to always notice an get out of your way in time,people are not mind readers and that is what your turn signal is for!
2. Do not: a) talk on your phone,b) going 20 miles LESS than the speed limit,c) and stay in the left/middle lane. Get in the RIGHT lane, that is what it's there for! 5 miles under, I can understand, 20 miles? I don't think so!
3. When you're done with you turn signal in switching lanes, turn it OFF. It's very confusing/ distracting having someone either immedietly in front of me or to the side front, and thier turn signal is still going, BUT THEY'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING!

I swear, do people in Florida get thier driving licenses from a mail in form? These people can not DRIVE, and it is supremely frustrating. Also, if a person is going to slow or something else like that, you don't dare flash your lights at them or honk. They just might get out of their car and try to kill you. I'm not kidding. Driving in Florida = Not a safe experience.

Mittens at 11 weeks old

She has a tendency to get into trouble, and I'm afraid she is going to tear apart that plant. But she is cute, nonetheless. If you haven't guessed, I'm obsessed with her. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Snowbirds and Tourons

For those who do not know what Snowbirds are, I am NOT referring to a type of bird. No, I am reffering to those who come down from the cold, snowy north to sunny, warm south Florida (though they do go to central Florida too, but since I don't live there...) It's not the Snowbirds that usually bug me, it's the Tourons. You probably are wondering "What are Tourons?" My brother came up with the term and it's basically "Tourist Morons" Those who come down here, and act like everything is supposed to revolve around them. They cross in the middle of the road when the crosswalk is only twenty feet away, but NO, they can't walk that far, they'll just cross here, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY CAR!!! So I have to worry about not hitting them, try to swerve and not hit the car next to me... And then, there are the driving Tourons. They're the ones driving 25 miles an hour in a 45 mile speed zone, because they want to slow down and take pictures. GRRRRR Usually use the term, even if the people concerned are not tourists, but the are sure acting it! Anyways, I think I'll stop the rant now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Funny Little Something


A friend of mine e-mailed this to me, thought everyone would enjoy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sadness and Heartbreak

As some of my friends know, I have three kittens from Boots, that we brought in when she was sick. Two of them are fine and healthy, baruch Hash-m. But the littlest, Squeak, has not been doing good for the last few days. A week and a half ago, shortly after we brought the kittens inside, Squeak had a seizure. But he seemed to get better from that. Yesterday, I took him to the vet because i noticed one of his pupils was all the way open and didn't close. He also didn't seem to be as active. He was never that active to begin with, but still, what little activity he had done was gone now. The vet said that what he really needed was an neurologist, but in all honesty, that would be crazy expensive, and there is no way, I'd put an animal through something like an MRI scan. It's traumatizing enough for people, and at least THEY know what's going on. So I brought him home, and he just has been getting worse and worse. I don't think he's going to survive the night in all hoonesty. He won't eat, won't drink, and he just lies there shaking. It's so hard when a baby animal that you've cared for is sick, will possibly die, and there is NOTHING you can do for it. So, that's why I'm sad, now you know the whole story.

Update: Squeak did live through the night, but when I went into the room the next morning he didn't seem to be doing much better. He was having trouble breathing and he still couldn't get up. We ended up taking him to the Humane Society. I felt relieved when we dropped him off because now it would be THEM making the decision and not me. We gave away Slippers the same day, but we are keeping Mittens.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Pros and Cons of Sukkos in Florida

Ok, so Florida is known for it's lovely sunny weather. After all, we are called the Sunshine State. However, around Sukkos, it's usually not sunny. It's actually quite....rainy. Which means, we go out into the sukkah for a total of 10 minutes, get drenched while my step-father says kiddush and does hamotzei and rush back in. There's a tendency for it to rain at night, when it's not raining and we can sit in the (dripping) sukkah, there are mosquitoes and bees, oh, and humidity, can't forget humidity. Also, there is always the threat of a hurricane, I mean living in Florida you know there are going to be hurricanes. Baruch Hash-m, there have been no hurricanes in Florida this hurricane season, but the season isn't over yet, so you never know. Two years ago, at the end of Sukkos, Hurricane Wilma came crashing through. Fortunatly, it was Simchas Torah, so my family didn't need the sukkah anymore but...the hurricane made something of a mess you could say.

Alright, so I've gone through a few cons of Sukkos in Florida, there are good things too, don't get me wrong. After all, there are 7 days to the chag and not EVERY day is bad. There are days when you are sitting in the sukkah and there are beautiful breezes. You don't need to worry about freezing in the sukkah (unlike in NY, or Mass.) I spent sukkos up in Monsey one year, and I was freezing my tuchus off, I was so glad the next year to be back in Florida and not have to go through THAT again. And, for my family at least, there is always the chance that yet another cat will wander into our life and take off with the challah cover.

I think that is all I will ruminate about sukkos for now, until next time, when I shall discuss "Snowbirds and Tourons"!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dragons...


People often ask me, why I am so obsessed with dragons? So I'm gonna list some of my reasons here. Dragons play a big part in fantasy, and there are many different things you can do with dragons. Also, people from different places have different images of dragons in thier minds, so the way an american imagines a dragon is very different from the way an asian does.


There are as well, many varied dragons: fire dragons, ice dragons. water dragons, earth dragons, magic dragons, small dragons, large dragons, stupid dragons, wise dragons, dragons that fight humans, dragons that work together with humans...etc. I can likely list at least one book that has each kind of dragon I've mentioned. Heck, I could probably list several!


I have a very active imagination, and I have a tendency to make little stories in my head, and most of them never see the light of day, and quite a few them feature dragons. I could write one right now!


She peered over the edge of the crater, and shook her head. "The ground seems very far down from here." She said to her rider anxiously. It was their first flight and the dragon was having second thoughts. "Oh, come on, Mage," her rider chided, "it's not that far, and if you drop there will be someone to catch you. You were really excited this morning." Mage sneezed. "That was this morning," she whined, "this is now, and I'm scared." Her rider snorted in disgust. "Look at all the other dragonets, they seem to be having a fine time." he gestured at the rest of the group, whose dragons were whooping and doing loop-de-loops. Her rider then decided to switch tactics. "You're not going to let Jode outdo you, are you?" Jode was the one simbling who canstantly got under Mage's skin. There was a "friendly rivalry" between them, though now it wasn't very friendly. Mage caught a glimpse of Jode winging by, his teeth bared in a mocking grin. "Absolutlely not!" she roared. She spread her wings and jumped off the ledge. As she jumped a thermal drifted up beneath her, and she soared. "Woohoo!" her rider cried. "That's it Mage! I knew you could do it!" She smiled, it had been easy after all, what had she been scared of? She went swooshing after Jode, thinking "Let's see if he smirks now!"


Okay...that was actually pretty long for me, and I came up with that in the spur of the moment. But the problem is, that I can't keep it flowing for long, and then I end up thinking it needs work and I lose interest. Whatever. Oh yeah, and there are people who ask me, in a condescending tone, "You DO know dragons aren't real right?" Yes, I do know that, I might be crazy, but I'm not completely insane. Oh, and by the way, I apologize for not having posted in a week, been busy. Till next time, whic hopefully won't be so late, So long!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11/2001

WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET...
May G-d avenge their souls.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Busy Week


It's been a busy couple of weeks. First, Boots was very sick, and we didn't see her for two days. Then on Friday, the 31, she showed up again and was looking VERY sick, she hardly moved, wasn't doing anything. So I took her to an emergency vet, and he said that she had an upper respiratory infection, as well as another kind of bacterial infection. Her white bloodcell count was high, she wasn't getting enough liquid...in short, a very sick cat. So I opted to leave her there for the next two days, because shabbos was coming and we wouldn't be able to do anything for her than anyways. Ok, after that, we came home and our neighbor had found oneof the kittens, and then another and then a third! So we now had three kittens, I took them to the vet to asl him what we should feed them. I was given food and medicine and then I had to run hometo finishgettingreadyfor shabbos. Then, we went back on Sunday to take her home. The vet said she had a 50/50 chance of getting better. Her main problem was that she was depressed. I had a feeling that I could nurse her back. So, it has now beenone week and I took her to the vet on Wed. and he saidshe was doing a lot better. But I've been kept busy, that's for sure!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Vacation Experience

OK, I really should be writing what I did during vacation, but at the moment, I just don't feel like it. I'll give a couple of examples of what I did during vacation though, just to start it off. But, I'm warning you, I'm not going in order, so if you notice inconsistencies, that's why.
Last shabbos we(my mother, brother, and I) were supposed to stay in a hotel/resort. You'll notice I said "supposed". What really ended up happening was we spent shabbos on the side of the road in our car, in the middle of Georgia. No, I am not kidding, it really did happen. It was definitely an...experience. One I would not care to repeat but an experience nonetheless. You're probably wondering how we ended up there in the first place right? Well, we were coming from South I-75 and we were using map quest directions. Now, either the place had moved or, the directions weren't put in right, but first we got off on the wrong exit. We called them and they said, "Oh, you're supposed to get off at exit 101, which was 20 miles down the road. Then we called them again, and told them we were coming from the south, which way should we go? Left or right? They told us we should go left, we'd travel for another 10-12 miles, see a state park, and they'd be right next to it. Well, we made a left, and went 12 miles down the road, 13, 14, it turned out they were in the exact opposite direction. It was 2 minutes before shabbos, and I told my mother to turn around, I had seen some trailer houses, a minute away. So, we pulled in to the dirt road, and it was shabbos. We opened the doors of the car before that so we could get out though. So my mother went to different trailers knocking on the doors to see if someone would be able to drive our car to their "driveway" and turn off our battery so we could spend shabbos in the car. Sure enough, there was a family who drove our car up to the driveway and turned off our battery for us. But, these people had NO IDEA what Jews are. The only person who did have any idea, was the grandmother of the family, who lived next door. So we ate dinner in the car (we had brought our food with us in coolers) and basically just sat in the car. We tried to fall asleep, but that was almost impossible, especially in a car full of luggage and you have three full grown people. (By the way, our "car" is a minivan.) And, though we didn't find this out till later, we were in rattlesnake country. The next day, we ate lunch in the car, while the family piled into their truck and went to the local school for a ceremony of some sort. The air kept getting hotter and hotter, I think it went up to 100 degrees that day. Fortunately, when the family came back, they offered to let us into the house, and we gladly accepted. My mother sat and chatted with the mother and grandmother (my mother will talk anyone she meets) and I sat and read a book I had brought. Actually I think I went through two books. The family had two small dogs who were continually jumping all over the place, but they were cute and friendly, so it didn't bother us. It's a very good thing my family loves animals, or else we'd have been in trouble. So, we were inside till shabbos ended, and then we re-connected the battery and drove down to a place right on the border between Georgia and Florida. It was SO good to sleep in a bed again. I think that's all I'll write for now, though I may update parts of this post later. And I shall share with you some more experiences from my vacation soon.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Kitten Alert!!!

I saw saw the kittens for the first time today! They are so incredibly cute!!!! There are for and for the most part, look like thier father. And, amazingly enough, I was able to get close enough to pet them! EEEEEEEE!!!!! I'm REALLY excited if you can't tell. I also was able to get pics of them which I will put up, that is as soon as they load. Did I mention they're cute? Because they really are. And, they are also only three weeks old. And they are so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Daddy's Poem

I was going through my e-mail, clearing it up, when I came across this poem that had been sent to me by a friend. It's extremely....well, I let you decide what exactly it is, but I will tell you I cried. Hope you enjoy.

"Daddy's Poem"

Her hair was up in a pony tail,

her favorite dress tied with a bow.

Today was Daddy's Day at school,

and she c ouldn't wait to go.


But her mommy tried to tell her,

that she probably should stay home.

Why the kids might not understand,

if she went to school alone.


But she was not afraid;

she knew just what to say.

What to tell her classmates

of why he wasn't there today.


But still her mother worried,

for her to face this day alone.

And that was why once again,

she tried to keep her daughter home.


But the little girl went to school

eager to tell them all.

About a dad she never sees

a dad who never calls.


There were daddies along the wall in back,

for everyone to meet.

Children squirming impatiently,

anxious in their seats


One by one the teacher called

a student from the class.

To introduce their daddy,

as seconds slowly passed.


At last the teacher called her name,

every child turned to stare.

Each of them was searching,

for a man who wasn't there.


"Where's her daddy at?"

she heard a boy call out.

"She probably doesn't have one,"

another student dared to shout.


And from somewhere near the back,

she heard a daddy say,

"Looks like another deadbeat dad,

too busy to waste his day."


The words did not offend her,

as she smiled up at her Mom.

And looked back at her teacher,

who told her to go on.


And with hands behind her back,

slowly she began to speak.

And out from the mouth of a child,

came words incredibly unique.


"My Daddy couldn't be here,

because he lives so far away.

But I know he wishes he could be,

since this is such a special day.


And though you cannot meet him,

I wanted you to know.

All about my daddy,

and how much he loves me so.


He loved to tell me stories

he taught me to ride my bike.

He surprised me with pink roses,

and taught me to fly a kite.


We used to share fudge sundaes,

and ice cream in a cone.

And though you cannot see him.

I'm not standing here alone.


"Cause my daddy's always with me,

even though we are apart

I know because he told me,

he'll forever be in my heart"


With that, her little hand reached up,

and lay across her chest.

Feeling her own heartbeat,

beneath her favorite dress.


And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads,

her mother stood in tears.

Proudly watching her daughter,

who was wise beyond her years.


For she stood up for the love

of a man not in her life.

Doing what was best for her,

doing what was right.


And when she dropped her hand back down,

staring straight into the crowd.

She finished with a voice so soft,

but its message clear and loud.


"I love my daddy very much,

he's my shining star.

And if he could, he'd be here,

but heaven's just too far.


You see he was a policeman

and died just this past year

When airplanes hit the towers

and taught Americans to fear.


But sometimes when I close my eyes,

it's like he never went away."

And then she closed her eyes,

and saw him there that day.


And to her mother's amazement,

she witnessed with surprise.

A room full of daddies and children,

all starting to close their eyes.


Who knows what they saw before them,

who knows what they felt inside.

Perhaps for merely a second,

they saw him at her side.


"I know you're with me Daddy,"

to the silence she called out.

And what happened next made believers,

of those once filled with doubt.


Not one in that room could explain it,

for each of their eyes had been closed.

But there on the desk beside her,

was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose.


And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,

by the love of her shining star.

And given the gift of believing,

that heaven is never too far.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them. Send this to the people you'll never forget and remember to send it also to the person that sent it to you. It's a short message to let them know that you'll never forget them. If you don't send it to anyone, it means you're in a hurry and that you've forgotten your friends. Take the time... to live and love.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

North Carolina Aquarium


Octopus


Shark!!!


Cuttlefish and the little white things are sand fleas.
We saw the cuttlefish eat one of them. It was actually kind of funny because right before that, my brother said "Oh, look at the sand flea jumping!" CHOMP, cuttlefish eats it and now it's history. He was so devastated.



Jellyfish (they were SO cool to watch, wouldn't want to be in the water with them though)
We went to the NC Aquarium on Sunday, here are some pics that I took, enjoy, and I'll give a full report on my vacation when I get back.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sorry




Sorry I haven't been blogging, but it's been a busy few days and I proabably won't really be able to blog till I get back. (And start school) In the meantime, I leave you with a couple of pics, taken on my new camera!

Friday, August 03, 2007

My pets!


Suki


Boots


Wishbone


Little Bird


Baby




Thursday, August 02, 2007

Baruch Hash-m!

So I was taking an online course this semester and for the first three weeks I was doing fine. Then I got sick for a week. So of course I was behind on EVERYTHING. I got it all done though, handed it in (late of course) and my teacher told me that the grades had already been handed in. "Oh no," I thought, "that's it, I failed." So, I wrote her an e-mail asking her if there was anything I could do to get a passing grade. And while I waited for her to respond, I prayed. I said, "Hash-m, if you help me pass, I will say Mincha every day no matter what." I'll admit, I've always been a little bit lax on that. So, right after I said that I went and davened mincha. A short while later, when I was driving my brother over to a friend, I got a call from my teacher, and she said that she took my first three esssays (which I had done pretty well on) and made my grade from those, so I passed. Baruch Hash-m! Hash-m is great in His glory!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mazel Tov!

My cat Boots had kittens! We haven't seen them and we don't know where she put them, but we know she had them because we saw when she went into labor, and now she's all skinny again. We probably won't get to see them for at least a month, that's what happened the last time she had kittens. And before anyone asks "Why don't you have her spayed?" or "What are you going to do with the kittens?" Ok, first of all, she is an outdoor cat, she won't even let me hold her for very long, never mind take her to the vet! Secondly, she teaches her kittens to be scared of people so the moment they see us they run. And a few weeks after we get to see them, she'll chase them off. So, it's not really up to us to decide. Though I would LOVE to try to get one of them. When we actually do finally see them, I'll try to get pics (that is if they don't run at the sight of me) and post them. Also, about my vacation, I'll probably still be blogging, I'll take my compy with me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Things to look forward to







Well, once my essay (and my class) are done, I have lots of stuff to look forward to. I'm going an a two week vacation, one week in South Carolina and the next week in North Carolina. Then I'm going down to Atlanta, on my way home for something called an aptitude test. Basically I'll be able to find out what kind of juob I'd be best at. Then, when I return, I start class again. (groan) however I have 3 classes that I'm looking forward to taking. 3/5 isn't bad. And right after that, my former roomie from sem is coming down to Florida w/ her sister. So, I'm REALLY looking forward to that. Course, I haven't told my brother yet that she has a sister coming. He is already freaking about my roomie, M. And I'm expecting my new camera to arrive on Thursday, so I'll be able to take pics and post them. YAY!! In the meantime I shall put up some pics I got from a website. They're very cute.

Monday, July 30, 2007

My Essay That I've Been Working On All Week (2nd Draft)

Dog Fighting
Some perpetual problems in society don’t show their ugly faces until a celebrity is involved. Such is the case with dog fighting. Dog fighting, as with all animal fighting, lies beneath the surface of most people’s conscience, rarely covered by mainstream news outlets. Until the last few weeks when star quarterback Michael Vick was indicted on felony charges for running a dog fighting ring, dog fighting was rarely discussed outside of the world of organized crime. It is much more prevalent than most realize, and despite all the legislation banning it, dog fighting is a growing trend in the United States. In a country that all but deifies dogs, it is amazing that such unwarranted cruelty takes place on a daily basis in communities around the country. To stop this barbaric practice the American people must demand that legislation prohibiting dog fighting have consequences with “real teeth” and that it is strictly enforced.
The “sport” of dog fighting has been around in one form or another for almost a thousand years. The rules have altered little from the time of the nineteenth century. In a typical case, which is usually privately contracted, the owners’ agree with one another to fight their dogs, “stipulating the rules governing the battle, especially the weight of the animals, the principles of the wagering, and what constitutes victory and defeat.” (Curnutt, pg. 285) The rules regarding the declaration of victory vary, but there are a few constants for ruling the loser. If the dog jumps out of the pit, refuses to fight, or if the dog’s handler picks it up, those all comprise forms of defeat. Of course, dead dogs lose as well, but fatalities are rarely reported.
“The fighting is performed in an enclosure, referred to as the “pit”, is about 15 feet wide, with sides 2 ½ or 3 feet high, often carpeting covers the floor area. The dogs are brought into the “pit” by their respective handlers, usually the owners, who hold the canines in opposite corners behind a line. Sometimes a referee is present and he signals for the fight to commence. Then they begin in a simultaneous “scratch”, in which the dogs are released at the same time to rush at each other across the pit and join battle. When one dog pins the other with an immobilizing bite hold, the two are pried apart with a “breaking stick,” a wedge shaped rod used to separate the jaws, and are then taken back to behind their lines. After this, alternate “scratches” begin, with the leading dog given the opportunity to attack first.” (Curnnot, p.285) “ The matches can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 10 hours depending on how long it takes for one dog to become too weak to fight.”(Bacon) The losing dog may be disposed of by electrocution, beating or drowning. Even the “victorious” dog suffers untold abuse. The breeders staple the dogs wounds, pump them with antibiotics and fight them until they are the loser.
The rearing and training of the fighting dogs is as ugly as the events themselves. Many of the dogs have been stolen or adopted from shelters where they are trained as puppies to be aggressive and violent. “They are kept chained and locked in crowded cages, far enough away not to kill each other, but close enough to put them in a constant state of agitation… Sometimes they steal other peoples’ dogs from their own backyards to use as “bait” in training. The conditioning also includes…. hours of running on a treadmill or tied to the bumper of a moving car.” (Curnnott, p. 285)
The popularity of dog fighting is growing mainly because of the growing involvement of rap and hip hop celebrities, as well as professional athletes. It has been observed that rap music, in particular, glorifies dog fighting by writing songs about it. Th rapper DMX, sings the following lyrics in his album “Year of the Dog Again.”
“Place your bets/ you can imagine what the bloodline is like…All my pups is crazy, ‘cause off the leash/ They can eat, stand a match for three hours at least.”
Furthermore, a number of professional players have been directly linked to dog fights. For example, in 2005 the well known NBA player Qyntel Woods pleaded guilty to animal abuse charges for having abandoned a pit bull that had wounds from a dog fight. Also in 2005, the former NFL running back LeShon Johnson pleaded guilty to owning fighting dogs and encouraging dog fights. (Sun-Times) Moreover there is a perpetual attitude among a number of pro athletes that dogs are the others property and they should be free to do what they want to with them. (Sun-Times) Many who run dog fighting rings gain lucrative profits. On the lowest end of the scale $50,000 to $60,000 is at stake, while at the high end, for the more “sophisticated” games, the payoffs can be close to $1 million. (Bacon)
Although no federal agency is responsible for tracking national arrests, there are an estimated 40,000 people that take part in this “sport” and the true number is probably much more than that. Much of the proof of the widespread nature of the problem of dog fighting is anecdotal. For example, several months ago 36 pit bulls, treadmills and fighting equipment were confiscated in Charlotte, North Carolina and the owner was accused of engaging in illegal dog fighting. These types of indirect proofs are common occurrences as indicated by recent court filings. (MSNBC.com – Newsweek – July 18) But, there are other proofs of the frequency of this illegal activity including the growing web activity, the increase number of publications and the flooding of dog shelters with pit bulls, the most popular fighting breed. One animal advocacy group, pet-abuse.com, found 122 suspected dog fighting cases nation wide in 2002. However, this only represents the tip of the iceberg. (Newsweek – July 18) The problem in obtaining statistics, in part, lies with the secretive network that runs the business. “You have to know somebody, who knows somebody to get into the rings…It takes time and money to infiltrate these underground operations (that) Animal Control just doesn’t have.” (WCNC – July 18)
Despite dog fighting’s prevalence in the United States, it rarely makes the news, that is until a high profile celebrity like Michael Vick, gets arrested for running a dog fighting operation. Michael Vick, star quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, along with three other men were indicted on July 17, 2007, for their alleged running of a dog fighting ring on Vick’s property in Richmond, Virginia. “Vick was charged in the 19 page indictment with competitive dog fighting and conducting the venture across state lines. It was also alleged that Vick was highly involved in the operation, alleging that he attended fights and paid off bets when his dogs lost. It said he also was involved in the executions of dogs that did not perform well.” (Maske) If convicted, Vick faces up to six years in prison and a $350,000 fine. Not to mention, he will lose tens of millions of dollars in endorsements and his career will be ruined. Furthermore, the NFL will additionally penalize him, even if he is not convicted.
Dog fighting is illegal in all 50 states and is a felony in 48 of them. The only two states that they are a misdemeanor are Wyoming and Idaho. But the severity of the actual penalty varies from state to state. Although until 1975 no state made it a felony to engage in dog fighting, by the year 2000, forty five states classified as a felonious crime, punishable by up to five years in prison. (Curnott, p.286) The harshest punishment to date for dog fighting was a sentence of seven years in state prison after a man in Sacramento, California pleaded no contest to dog fighting charges. The police seized fifty-five highly aggressive dogs at the felon’s residence, all of whom were so aggressive, they had to be euthanized. (Curnutt p.286)
America has never had a serious discussion about the reprehensive sport quite like the one that’s going on right now (Sun Times). Until this past month, the media, law enforcement agencies, and the American public have “ignored the surging popularity of dog fighting.” The under-reporting of this crime, along with the overall lack of of education on the issue, has in part contributed to the prevalence of dog fighting. The Michael Vick case has now brought dog fighting into the national spotlight. This case not only made dog fights a front news story, but has resulted in a lengthy soliloquy on the U.S. Senate floor by Senator Robert Byrd who repeatedly stated that dog fighting is a “barbaric practice” that deserves the death penalty.
Despite increased public awareness and the vocal public outcry against such abusive practices, dog fighting is likely to continue to thrive until there are adequate legal responses. Although all 50 states have laws that prohibit dog fighting, prosecution of the crime is often long and difficult. For example, the law in Georgia requires that police catch dog fighters in the act before they can make an arrest. (ABC News - July 19)
As a result, prosecutors often “plead down” dog fighting cases to misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty, disposing of them quickly. Instead of jail time, many accused dog fighters receive probation and small fines. (Sun Times 2007) Many experts say the judicial response is perceived as just a “slap on the wrist” and are “written off as a minor cost of the highly lucrative industry.” (ABC News)
Recently, Congress passed the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, “which provides for a three year jail sentence and fines of up to $250,000 for interstate animal fighting.” This is a step in the right direction, but still does not address the main problems in adequately prosecuting dog fighting cases. First, the legislation applies to dog fighting that involves “interstate” transactions. Local dog fights, that which does not involve any commercial transaction that crosses state lines, is not covered by this legislation. Secondly, the threatened jail time of three years is wholly inadequate to dissuade many in the dog fighting community to give up this “barbaric” practice. Third, the business side of dog fighting is so lucrative that to many, even a fine of $250,000 will seem worth the risk.
For legislation to have the necessary deterrent effect, the penalties must be significantly increased. Many states have learned this lesson with other criminal behaviors. In Florida for example, the use of guns in criminal activities had reached epidemic proportions when the legislation passed into law a provision known as 10-20-Life. The first time an individual is found guilty of using a gun in the commission of a crime, they receive 10 years in prison. The second time, they receive 20 years. And, if they are convicted of using a gun in commission of a crime a third time, they receive a life sentence. This is legislation with teeth.
Likewise dog fighters should be forced to face serious penalties, like 10-20-Life, for engaging in such horrific actions. Aside from the inhumane nature of dog fighting, and the cruelty that the dogs themselves must endure, society as a whole pays an enormous price for condoning such barbaric practices. For one thing, there is a strong connection between dog fighting and other gang crimes. “The game breeds a sub-culture where illegal gambling, drug use, and guns are common.” (ABC News – July 19) Several large cities, like Chicago and Los Angeles, have started to recognize this reality and created special police units to investigate these cases of abuse.
But, perhaps the greatest danger is to our children. Many people are afraid to let their children play outside for fear they will be attacked by one of these aggressive dogs that may not be able to distinguish between another dog and a young child. All too often, innocent children are the victims of unprovoked attacks by dogs who are internally bred for the aggressive characteristics. Worst of all, however, school children are being indoctrinated that “two dogs at each other’s throats is cool.” (Sun-Times) According to a 2001 study by the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago, 20 percent of school children had witnessed a dog fight (Sun Times). Even teenage girls are passive observers, hoping to meet a “cool” guy. The National Human Society observed attendance at dog fights can lead “young child speculators (to) grow up insensitive to animal cruelty, enthusiastic about violence and disrespectful of the law.”
For all these reasons, dog fights need to be dealt with by state and federal legislation in a way that truly deters any form of participation, whether owner, promoter, gambler, or passive observer. Nothing short of legal culpability will deter participants from this reprehensible crime. Our children deserve better, our society deserves better, and our dogs deserve better. It is our duty to protect all three.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Some Seminary Memories

Hmmm....seminary memories, mostly good, but some were just strange.

My second shabbos in Israel, I decided to go to my brother's rebbe's sister. Why? you may ask, well, because I knew no one else there. No relatives, no friends...just a list of people from my brother's rebbe. So I figured, why not? I had to take a train to get to them from Yerushaliyam to Zichron Yaakov, from what she told me, a bus only came once a month so... Ok, I figured. No problem. I take trains a lot at home. I got to the train station and then I had to switch trains. I didn't know which train I had to get on though. But miracle of miracles, a friend of mine from school, not seminary, was going the same way. So I followed her on the train and got off at my stop. Now I had a problem, there were supposedly supposed to be sheiruts there, but there were not. And I couldn't call the family to pick me up because they didn't have a car. So, I stood there and worried. Then I noticed a nice woman and I asked her how I would find a sheirut. One problem: she didn't speak english, and I didn't speak hebrew. However, she did manage to communicate to me that her father-in-law was coming to pick her up and he did speak english. So I waited with her, and a few minutes later he came. I put the same question to him, but he said there were none. Now I was getting worried. No sheirutim, no way to get there before shabbos. No taxis either. The father-in-law asked where they lived, I said I don't really know, so I called them. I put the father-inl-law on the phone with them, and then he suggested that he take me there. Now, in America, you don't usually just get in the car, but this was israel, right? So, he took me, and his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson to drop me off at the apartment. The rest of the time I spent in Zichron Yaakov was pretty uneventful, but that part has definetly suck in my memories. Only in Israel.

More memories to come...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jewish Zen

* If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

* Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?

* Drink tea and nourish life. With the first sip ... joy. With thesecond ... satisfaction. With the third, peace. With the fourth, a Danish.

* Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story.

* Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health or a life without problems. What would you talk about?

* The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single "oy."

* The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing ofothers. The Tao is not Jewish.

* Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this andattaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

* Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen. And sit up straight. You'll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.

* Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all things faster.

* To Find the Buddha, look within. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist.

* Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions. Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.

* The Torah says, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." The Buddha saysthere is no "self." So, maybe you are off the hook.

Just for a Laugh....A real newspaper ad

Newspaper Ad

The following is an ad from a real-life newspaper which appeared four days in a row - the last three hopelessly trying to correct the first day's mistake.

MONDAY: For sale: R.D. Jones has one sewing machine for sale. Phone 948-0707 after 7 PM and ask for Mrs. Kelly who lives with him cheap.

TUESDAY Notice: We regret having erred In R.D. Jones' ad yesterday. It should have read "One sewing machine for sale cheap. Phone 948-0707and ask for Mrs. Kelly, who lives with him after 7 PM."

WEDNESDAY Notice: R.D. Jones has informed us that he has received several annoying telephone calls because of the error we made in the classified ad yesterday. The ad stands correct as follows: "For sale-- R.D. Jones has one sewing machine for sale. Cheap. Phone 948-0707after 7 PM and ask for Mrs. Kelly who loves with him."

THURSDAY Notice: I, R.D. Jones, have no sewing machine for sale. I smashed it. Don't call 948-0707 as I have had the phone disconnected. I have not been carrying on with Mrs. Kelly. Until yesterday she was my housekeeper but she quit!

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Pet!

We just got a new pet today and I'm SO excited!!!! My brother's friend's birds had two babies, and we got one. He is so cute! We decided to name him Baby because that's the first thing that comes to mind when we look at him. He's a parrotlet, by the way. So, now we have two cats, two birds and a dog. And, since one of our cats is pregnant and looks like she'll have kittens any day now, we'll have more pets soon enough. Of course, the last time she had kittens she taught them not to come near us, so they won't really be pets. Unless she changes her mind, which I doubt. Boots (the pregnant kitty) is very territorial and will only tolerate her boyfriend(s) staying for any period of time. Someday, I'll probably put up pictures of all my pets. In my family we've gone through...lets see... first two dogs, who died a while back, then we got my first cat(Suki), who's still with us, then our other dog Wishbone, then we went through about 6 hamsters the first two only lived for about 6 months each (Houdini and Brownie) then we got another 2 at the same time, they lived for about 2 years (Goldy and Star) then we got Mittens, shortly after we got Goldy and Star, but Mittens didn't last long either. I think it was also then that we got Diamond (aka Little Bird). After Goldy and Star died we were left with only three pets but not for long. Shortly after that Boots showed up and we got her used to us, so now we have 5 pets. And my mother wants another dog, actually so do I, but I have a different dog in mind. At one point in time, my mother and brother contemplated getting a chinnchilla but decided against it, and my mother would love to get a flying squirrel. Have I mentioned that my entire family is animal obsessed? I think that if we could live in a zoo, we would. Any questions? Ooops, I almost forgot one last pet, a hedgehog, we had her for a year, more my brother's pet than our family's pet. Her name was Quillette, and my brother was very sad when she died from complications of an injury.

PS. I am so sick with a cold it's not even funny. I've spent the last couple of days absolutely miserable. Only reason I'm up now is cause i had caffeine before. At least I have Shabbos and Sunday to recuperate.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Eight Random Things About Me

Okay, though I haven't really been using this blog for very long, I might as well do the whole 8 things bit. Since practically every blog I read has already done it, I don't think I need to say much more about it.

1) My favorite food is Pizza, to be honest, I could eat it everyday, and never get sick of it. Ok, well maybe I could, but only after a long while.

2) I have ADD, not massively, just enough that I have a tendency to get distracted easily and go comlpletely off topic.

3) I LOVE reading, I'm also a very fast reader, I could go through at least 3 books in one shabbos. And I have a huge "library" to choose from.

4) I'm a Baalas Teshuva. I mean, if you count the fact that I became Frum at 9 years old because my mother did. So, young enough that change wasn't that hard, but old enough to remember, say, eating at McDonalds.

5) I don't know how to ride a bike. Yes, I'm serious, I tried to learn several times, but I'm "scared of balancing." Yeah, I know, I'm 20 yrs old, and I should really know how to ride a bike, I don't. Can't rollerblade or iceskate either.

6) For all of my elementary school years, I only spent two years at each school. Kindergarten and first grade, one school, then we moved to florida, so 2nd and 3rd grade another school, then we became frum, so 4th and 5th grade yet another school. The only one I actually stayed in was BYM, for Junior High, and High school.

7) I plan on becoming a animal-assisted therapist, also known as Pet Therapy. NO, it is NOT "asking Fido how he is doing." it is using animals to make people feel better. I'm sure you've heard of swimming with dolphins as therapy, or riding horses. That is what I want to do.

8) I'm writing a book with my best friend, though we haven't really been able to work on it this summer, it's been over 8 years in the making, and it will be the first of four books.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

There are no coincidences...

The other day, while I was out with a couple of my friends, I ran into a girl I knew from Seminary. I was absolutely floored to run into her, because I had thought she lived somewhere else. It turned out she had just moved down to Florida with her husband. So we said hello, made a little small talk, and then went our separate ways. I didn't really think about it, except to tell my mother what had happened. Then today my mother, who is the principal of a school and looking for a new language arts teacher, tells me that they found one. A young guy who just moved down with his wife. It turned out to be none other than my seminary friend's husband! What was really funny was that we wouldn't have known it was, except for the fact that I had just seen her. So, it just goes to show, there really are no coincidences.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes...

I had that song running through my head today, and I thought, if a dream IS a wish your heart makes, then what on earth are my wishes? Because to be honest, most of my dreams are very strange, and I think that most, with a couple of exceptions, I would not want to come true. For example, a dream that I had in probably fifth grade. But in my dream I'm in third grade. I'm sitting in a classroom that is floating in outer space. I can practically see the rings of Saturn from where I'm sitting. At the front of the classroom is my teacher, and she tells me that I get an "A" for blowing up the earth. Now, what kind of wish is that? Because I have absolutely no desire to blow up the earth, I can tell you that. The thing is, I remember a lot of my dreams, as a matter of fact, I have a dream journal that I write them down in, but most of them I would not want to come true in any way, shape, or form. So, it just makes me think, what on earth were those people thinking when they came up with that song?