The Best Motto

Gd, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannon change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

You woke up this morning - Congratulations! You got another chance!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Windmills of Your Mind


Shortly after I have discovered Youtube, I have stumbled upon this masterpiece. Here is to appreciating the absurd! I mean, take the lyrics from one of the saddest love songs, and use them to describe the agitated Muppet! Simply priceless!


First of all, allow me to clarify one thing: this entry is by no means an attempt to make light of the plight of our Ashkenazi brethren, for whom every Christian holiday was a day for special prayers for safety, or to mitigate their suffering. This is just my personal attempt to list yet another thing I am grateful for.

Let me start with re-telling of a joke I have seen a few years ago. A teacher is asking the kids in her class to describe, one by one, how their families celebrate Christmas. So, we have different descriptions of trees, presents, family visits, food, etc. Then is comes to a boy named Jack Cohen. "My Dad owns a toy store", says Jack, "so, every December, people buy everything in it. 'Thank Heavens for Jesus Christ', says my Dad, and we all go on vacation to Hawaii."

This year, we all wished each other Merry Day Off. That's what it was for us: great coupons for Gymboree and Barnes and Noble's, parties at work (I got mine in a few free soda cans), possible something extra from the bosses ( B and N gift certificate in my case), and, most of all, no waking up at 6:20 am! So, I personally got to sleep in, finally buy toilet brush ( do not laugh, that particular task needed to be performed since before my Birthday), cook for my family, and, the most important one, I got visited by my niece and nephew (yes, my sis chaperoned).

So, looking forward to another extra day off, which is supposed to be New Year's Day (or the anniversary of somebody's circumcision)! Yey!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


On Monday almost every single website I have visited (and, I think, almost every newspaper) exploded with another piece of "breaking" news. Apparently, now, for the first time in seven years, ever since the hostilities between Israel and Palestinians broke out, a whole bunch of Christian pilgrims was able to finally visit their holy sites for their holiest day, encouraged by the "piece talks".

I am not going to waist my time here debating the accuracy of this piece of news, or the historical facts and moral ramifications attached to it. All the information is available on the above mentioned internet, and everyone who wants to know will know all the pertinent facts. All I want to say is this: to all the Jews who participated in disseminating of this wonderful piece of news - I can not say let your conscience judge you, since you obviously lost or never had either conscience or the sense of judgement, so, let G-d be your judge. As to all the gentiles responsible for this: let all those poor, abused, tolerant of other religions, gentle, peace loving Palestinians show you the same love, friendship and tenderness they have shown to Tali Hatuel, her four daughters, and her unborn son.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Today is the second fast day of the year connected to the destruction of the Temple. We always wish each other "have a meaningful fast", but how do you really make it meaningful in between hunger pangs, serious bouts of caffeine withdrawal, homicidal tendencies during the morning commute, your bosses idiosyncrasies, etc, etc, etc?

As my train was crossing the Manhattan Bridge (thank G-d I had a seat), I was indulging in my usual Manhattan Bridge routine (usual, that is, if I manage to have a view from the window). I was enjoying the view of the Manhattan skyline (which sometimes still brings sad memories), and different thoughts were flying though my mind. I was thinking again how lucky we are to live in America; I was also thinking that, despite all the wonderful things attached to living in America, we are still in exile, and the fact that we reclaimed the Holy Land as ours does not lessen this exile much, and sometimes even makes it harder.

Few weeks ago a thought that was brewing in my subconscious for more than a decade finally moved into my conscious. That thought is very sobering and very sad: we can not live as a community and not start behaving like proverbial spiders in a can. We can not just live together peacefully, acknowledge our differences, use our brains, and just simply respect, if not love, one another. No, we can never do that. We are surrounded by enemies; every single extremist organization all over the world directly or indirectly points to us as the source of all evil and considers our total annihilation as part of their mission statement. In the midst of all this we are very busy proclaiming the superiority of our brand of Judaism (or the lack of it) and denouncing every one else's. The insanity goes across the board from the so called Ultra-Orthodox to people who proudly proclaim themselves Jews but refuse to acknowledge any kind of religious affiliation, and every one in between. Your humble servant herself was witness to more than she wanted to hear or see, and if I start to describe every single incident of sheer idiocy that made my blood boil, I will be typing this entry till next Rosh Hashana.

Can we just take five minutes to stop, breathe, and remember that we are in the bloodiest exile in our history, for approximately one third of our history, and it already cost us millions of lives of our brothers and sisters? Can we then remember that the reason for this exile was our hatred of each other to begin with? When will the insanity stop? What use is is our praying, fasting and crying for our destroyed Temples if immediately after we revert to our "normal" ways? Heavenly Father, please grant us clarity of vision to finally see this!


A few days ago I was checking my friend Moish's blog in hopes that he posted something else that would amuse me. As my computer monitor reflects off the dumb pictures behind me showing some project or other that my company completed, I have to be very careful, never mind dexterous, during my mental breaks (OK, OK, slaking off work).

Alas, the latest entry was that wonderful cartoon that so eloquently shows Russian anti-Semitism and total stupidity imbedded in it. While I was trying to close the page, one of our junior architects, a very sweet Chinese dude, came to my desk to ask for something. Judging by his face, LiveJournal took its sweet time closing, and poor guy went off with a strange impression that yours truly not only has occasional fun during work, but that fun occasionally looks suspiciously like somebody's naked butt. Ow, well! Since he is working here for over a year, I am hoping for the strength of his first impression of me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


When my nephew was born, I have officially congratulated my niece and welcomed her to my unique club: that of oldest sisters and oldest girls. Unique because there is nothing in the world like it, not even being an oldest son: the sense of responsibility is different.

Last night our sweet girl demonstrated to us that she really accepted the membership. It was about that time of the evening when we try to persuade her to put on her pajama with feet, drink her hot milk, and actually go upstairs to bed. Right before that ritual we usually enjoy the last few minutes of horseplay (and I actually do not know who loves horseplay the most, her or adults involved). Moreover, last night we were involved in another serious ritual called "fesim" (I got her ice cream, which I am guilty of hooking her on to begin with). So, here we were: she and I on the couch with ice cream, which she always enjoys tremendously, and her Mom and little brother on the floor right by us. Then is happened: split second, and the baby brother pitched forward and hit his face on the floor (thank G-d all that happened was he got scared). While we were trying to pacify the little brother, the big sister got extremely upset: for him. She started crying bitterly, needed hugs and reassurances from Mama, and refused her "fesim"! The baby stopped crying much faster than she did; little sweedom really got upset for her little brother, could not stop crying, and declined to have more of her absolutely favorite dessert!

Later on, when I re-told the story to her very wise twenty two year old uncle, he was duly impressed and sagely pronounced that it shows that she "has heart". So, welcome to the club, my delicious curly headed gnome! These feelings will not go away ever: as much as your younger siblings drive you crazy, you never stop feeling responsible for them and being upset at all their hurts.

PS For those of you unfamiliar with our family, the responsible older sister just turned two years old on Hanukah!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


As mentioned before, my blogging is done almost entirely during work hours (hence the big lapses in the entries, which usually indicate the times I actually have to work). I even told this to one of my friendlier co-workers, explaining to her that this is how I combat my boredom and frustration. She, for whatever reason, interpreted my blogging as retelling (in my satirical way) the events in the office, and expressed a burning desire to read my blog. I had to disappoint her and explain that that is not the case, and half of my blog is actually my political views, which she is more than welcome to read and comment on. As I had already warned her earlier that politics and religion are two topics in which people usually engage me at great personal risk, she very sweetly declined the pleasure, telling me that, since we are friendly with one another, and I have such strong political views, she would feel very bad commenting on my politics (which, of course, contradict what she believes in).

Anyway, few weeks after that discussion, yours truly was navigating the corridors of the office, returning to her own domain. As I was passing the desk of another co-worker (who, incidentally, usually annoys me), my eyes caught the sight of her screen, and I almost fell over! There is was, the unmistakable configuration and color palette of the "create/edit post" on the Blogger! I AM NOT ALONE!! YIPPIE!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


I really wanted to write this message on my Birthday (since I have treated myself this year and took that day off), but, due to unforeseen (or foreseen circumstances), mainly, my roommate monopolizing the computer for the entire weekend, I am writing it now.

To tell the truth, I really did not feel like celebrating this year at all (last few years, as a matter of fact). I mean, what to celebrate? I am fast approaching middle age without any kind of significant accomplishments of any nature. Then it dawned on me: the simple fact that I am alive and well should be celebrated!

Like any normal human being, I keep forgetting all the blessings bestowed on me. So, in honor of my crossing yet another year towards the Big Four Oh, I have decided to try and list all the things for which I am eternally grateful to the Creator.

So, here they are (in random order):

My parents: even though I probably would never forget the wonderful "present" I got from them around my thirtieth Birthday (their separation), I am very grateful for my Mom and Dad. They are very sweet, loving, and caring. They remember our ages only when they remember our marital status (the rest of the time we usually did not reach the age of fifteen). They still make sure we eat (and eat properly), supply us with groceries, cooked meals, and treats, check the condition of our winter attire and our respective dwellings, and make sure we take proper care of all our health needs (of course, constantly neglecting theirs). May you both live till hundred and twenty, happy and healthy!

My siblings: for constantly explaining to me exactly what kind of Psychological disorders do I suffer from, how they manifests themselves, and how they could be treated. For making constant fun of me, my wardrobe, my hair, and my cooking experiments. For never forgetting my Birthdays and always getting me great gifts. For allowing me to be the clucking hen of an older sister and trying to take care of them in my annoying and bumbling fashion (and, in return, always trying to make sure my life is on the right track). For always taking care of me when I am sick, bringing me soup and tea, and always making sure I do get well (and Sis, as I type this, I keep remembering that only due to your therapy are my hands well and whole). I am blessed to have you, guys!

My cutie pies of nieces and nephew: enough said:)

My friends: close or far, each in your own unique way, you enrich my life and prevent me from becoming a total misanthrope and recluse.

My health: the more I live, the more I can appreciate what a wonderful and unique blessing it is.

My job: yes, it is boring, sometimes annoying, and I definitely hate the hours; but it gives me the ability to support myself, and sometimes buy toys for my niece and nephew, and even an occasional book.

My apartment: roof over my head and depository for my meager wardrobe and way not meager library of romances.

My five senses, which allow me to appreciate art and good food.

All the trips which I took, and, hopefully, all the future ones.

All the sunsets and sunrises that I was able to see and enjoy (and, G-d willing, many more to witness).

Being born a Jew and discovering precisely what it means: all the headaches, responsibilities, and clarity of purpose that comes with it.

Being a woman: hopefully, I do not have to explain that one:)

Being a naturalized American: I am free, but I was born in jail, which gives me extra opportunity to appreciate and enjoy that freedom (and this year my Birthday was actually a day before Thanksgiving, so, extra thanks).

The sheer beauty and pleasure of being alive.

For all these, and many more things I was blessed with, I am really and truly grateful. Thank You, G-d! I will try not to disappoint You.


Happy Hanukah to all Jews! Here is to remembering the miracles and the blessings, to quite (or noisy) family times, and to enjoying all the yummy foods drenched in olive oil!

Monday, December 03, 2007


The first time I was in Vegas, I decided to check out their pirate show in front of the Treasure Island. Apparently, I did it just in time, because since then, according to tourist guides, it went X-rated. That, however, is not my beef with them. The show was absolutely spectacular, like everything in Vegas is; but, after it finished, the first comment that I uttered was "Great, wonderful, pirates won!" There was a boy of about eight standing next to me. Clearly coming from somewhere in the Midwest and not being used to crazy New Yorkers, he timidly looked at his mother and asked her what did the lady say. His mother smiled sheepishly and told him that the lady was not happy that the bad guys won.

Well, the lady can not comprehend the glorification of the bad guys that the entertainment industry and all connected to it constantly perpetrate, and the parents obviously compound, judging by the amount of the different products offered for sale. I do not have a child, but I personally do not see any reason, moral of logical, in buying toys portraying bullies, robbers, and murderers.

The main reason for this lament arrived in my e-mail around Halloween time. Like any Harry Potter aficionado worth her salt, I constantly get news updates from all different sources, plus periodic merchandise coupons from WB. Well, lo and behold, here is was: the offer for costumes for adults and kids, prominent amongst them the costumes of the Death Eaters, especially Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange. What kind of twisted loony would want to dress up as mass torturer and mass murderer who enjoys both activities? And what kind of parent would like to dress up his or her son or daughter as such illustrious personages?

OK, rant over.