Friday, July 29, 2011

How we Mourn in the age of Social Media

This is my July post for Oy Chicago. It's about social media and the affect it has on how we mourn. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dreams from this Weekend

I honestly don't know if this is compelling or not. But I do think my dreams are crazier than most people's. I won't be offended if you don't read.

If you have any analysis, feel free to share. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting Play List

My dad always says "it is what it is." This is only comforting if you know "what it is." Some of us are better at waiting than others. I'm not very good at it and as the waiting continues my psyche is deteriorating (see last post on being dramatic). Music is of comfort, as are ice cream bars, so with the help of several friends, I came up with a play list of sorts of songs about "waiting."

Enjoy or ruminate. Either way.  Thanks to Joe W., Marc W., Pat R., Jamie K. and Sean M. for your help compiling the list.

P.S. I feel guilty that I don't have any music by women or minorities. I guess for some reason these angsty white boys are clouding my mind. Don't they always?

P.P.S. If you have any additions (I cut out some bad 80s music from the list) place them in the comments section.

Hate it Here

The Waiting
played by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and sung by Eddie Vedder!

I'm Waiting for The Man
Velvet Underground

 Guns N' Roses

Not Dark Yet
 Bob Dylan

Green Day

This God Damn House
 The Low Anthem

With or Without You

Somewhere Only We Know

Under My Thumb/ I am Waiting/ Paint it Black
Rolling Stones

Helplessness Blues
Fleet Foxes

I am the Walrus
The Beatles

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
Jack Johnson (with Ben Harper)

Waiting for a Miracle
Jerry Garcia Band

Oh God Where Are You Now?
Sufjan Stevens

All of the trees of the Field will Clap Their Hands
Sufjan Stevens

Somebody to Shove
 Soul Asylum

Waiting for the Sun
The Doors

I'm the One Who Wants to Be With You
Mr. Big

Waiting for Somebody
Paul Westerberg

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Excavation Part 2

So first of all, I can't believe I wrote about this in April. I thought I last wrote about this last month. I think since I've been traveling so much lately that months and dates mean little to me. This may seem funny to my friends who know that I throw away food the second it says that it is expired.

I can honestly say until I looked down at my computer date clock just this second I had no idea what the day was.

Another reason time is unimportant is because I'm in my own purgatory right now. My coworkers will laugh at that term. "You're so dramatic. You're such a drama queen." And I am in my own way. I don't cause drama, or seek drama, but I tell stories or recall events in a very dramatic fashion. Just last week (exactly I think) I was at the airport in Warsaw, Poland telling a story. A random man stopped me and said, "I can tell you are a great educator because you are so dramatic in the way that you speak to your students." Then he gave me a thumbs up and went on his way.

Maybe he was my guardian angel, but I don't really think I have one, and if I do, it's not a random guy in Poland, rather my grandparents who I sometimes envision at my side holding me up.

I had that kind of vision was when I got engaged. He and I were walking around Lakeview, telling various  people who were most important to us in person. Through my smile I was terrified. Of what exactly, I don't know. Or maybe I do know and I did know. But through that terror, holding his hand, I could feel my Bubbie and Zadie holding me up. I know it sounds freaky, but it's what I felt.

There was a time during our engagement when he told me he didn't know if he wanted to get married anymore. It was an awful time. It was, well, purgatory. But every day I went to work, and every afternoon (almost) I went to the gym, and every week I talked to trusted friends who supported me every step of the way.

In the end, when it didn't work out, as I said in my previous post, I fled my apartment into a condo where I put boxes and boxes of things without sorting them. Since last July, when the relationship I am in now, was progressing, I began cleaning out those boxes albeit fearing what I would find that I haven't seen in seven years.

So I took down a plastic storage container tonight. It looked innocuous. Bills, and such. And then there it was. The book he made me. A bound book with emails from our relationship that ended with "Will you Marry me?" Inside the book were three pictures. I remember why I saved the pictures and the book. I remember thinking that one day, when my son or daughter's heart was really broken, I would tell them the story of my heart being obliterated (dramatic) and let them know that they would be better some day, just like I am.

One of the pictures is of him telling me something at a family bar mitzvah, and me laughing very hard. The second was of us at a friend's wedding. In both pictures I look very, very happy and beautiful. There were other pictures, too. One of me signing a friend's ketubah and me at her wedding. They are some of the few pictures I have of myself wearing the engagement ring that I gave back to him on a beautiful May day seven years ago.

Finding the book and  finding the pictures were something I feared for the last seven years. So how did I feel?

I felt like I was looking at artifacts. I liked seeing that smile. I liked the evidence that what happened to me was true, even though so many people encouraged me to forget about it. I'll never completely forget about it, even if should. I won't. For those who have memories that fade easier than mine, perhaps you are blessed. Although I don't think of myself as cursed.

Right now, this very second, I'm going through something similar that I went through when I was engaged and my exfiance told me he wasn't sure he wanted to marry me anymore. Actually, it's not similar at all, but in my head it feels similar.

I am waiting to hear from the U.S. government if my potential roommate will get his Visa. It is totally out of my hands. I am completely powerless. The decision is in a sealed envelope. When it is opened I have no idea what it will say.

Every single person (including him) is confident that it will be positive. I have spent the last 10 days carrying the same feelings I carried seven years ago: preparing for the worst. I've been increasing my trips to the gym, I've been meditating, and sometimes I will let someone know how much I'm suffering (dramatic) with anxiety

As for  that book and those pictures, I put them away. Because deep in my heart I know that I will someday have that conversation about heartbreak with my son and daughter during another excavation, at another time, in another home filled with love.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

21st Century Nervous Breakdown

Skype me
Follow Me
Blog it.
Order it!
Are we Linked In? 
Invite me to Google +
Add as a friend
Become a fan
Add me to your circle
Wish me a Happy Birthday
Look at my photos.
Remember THAT?
Have you seen this?
Did you see it on Youtube?
That’s hysterical! Youtube it.
Submit an IREPORT.
IM Me.
Nintendo DS?
or a Playstation 3
Touch screen
Come to my event
Dig it
Favorite it
Pandora them
Save it in your Cloud
Okayyyy Cupid!
Do it all online!
Share a spreadsheet on Google Docs
Add this app to your smart phone
Click here to donate to my charity
Click here to show your support
Buy a MAC
Buy a PC
Buy an IPAD 2.
Kindle my Nook.
Just text me
DM me
Livestream it
Awesome Podcast!
Update your Software
Subscribe to this!
Complete this survey to win free tickets.
Download that!
Suggest to your friends.
Hash tag #hunger to save the starving children!
Click! Groupon! Half Price! Now!
Tivo it.
DVR it.
Nextflix them.
Redbox where?
Sync. Sync. You need to Sync.
Don’t click that YOU’RE GOING TO GET A VIRUS
You must update.
You must restart.
You must shut down.
Fatal Error.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Emotions and Social Networking Sites

In honor of Google +, I've tried to think of every possible reaction to postings on social network sites. Let me know if I missed any.  
Your baby is cute.

I’m so glad you moved.

You are funny, except when you insulted me on our first date.

Interesting article.

I love YouTube.

If it weren’t for your name, I wouldn’t remember you.

Drink plenty of fluids.

You are still married?

Good job!

No, I don’t own that.

Maybe I should change MY profile picture.

How do we know all those people in common?

That sucks!

I think your sprinkler might be on.

That’s great you got published. I’m still probably not going to read it.

You totally save the world.

You did NOT say that.

Feel better!

Did Hitler REALLY do that?

I’m not posting that on my profile.

It does suck that it’s closing.

You are moving? Again?

The situation in Syria is so messed up.

Everything now ends in geddon.

Is that a poorly veiled drug reference?

Man, your wife is a lucky woman.

She settled.

I totally went out with her new boyfriend from jdate.

She always posts great quotes!

Why are you writing in ALL CAPS?

Stop complaining. YOU wanted to move to the suburbs. That’s what you get.

Happy Birthday!

Yes, I do have recommendations.

So tragic!

I’ve been to that beach!

Man, I could never do a half marathon.

So, true, about the weather.

Why is that coming up on my profile?

Wow, I really don’t care.

Stop the misspellings!

Yummm, I love that place, too.

I don’t get it.

It must really be hard to be you.

You are reliving college.

You were always so nice in high school.

I don’t give a flying *#&@ about Harry Potter.

I am not an expert on electronics.

That looks like fun.


Yeah, I can go.

Do you think that maybe you’re an alcoholic?

You couldtotally sell that photo on Craig’s List or EBay.

I’m glad you like your cat.

I want that.
You are a fan of that team. Loser.

SHE’S on Facebook?

I’m glad that religion eases your fear.

Good job!

You always go to cool places.

I bet you are a good mom.

I’m not opening that photo album.

Have fun on your vacation!

Good night to you, too.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

20+ books that I've enjoyed

This post is dedicated to Jennifer  Galet who has been a good friend to me for 13! years despite the distance between us. Her birthday is July 5, but I will be in Berlin, busy with 18 teenagers, so I don't know if I will be able to get in touch.

Jen is has asked me before for book recommendations (and she has given me many, too, one on this list was from her, I believe). So I thought this would be an ok gift.

So here's a list of books that I still think about. Many are new reads for me, some are not.

Happy Birthday, Jen!

And to my other book worm friends, I love you, too!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford
Historical Fiction

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Aimee Bender

Safe Haven
Nicholas Sparks
Quick Read

Stieg Larsson's books
Crime, Adventure

Fly Away Home
Jennifer Weiner
Quick Read

Little Bee
Chris Cleave

This is Where I Leave You
Jonathan Tropper
Dude Lit

Every Man Dies Alone
Hans Fallada
Historical Fiction

Women, Food and God
Geneen Roth
Self Help

Testimony: A Novel
Aneta Shreve
Quick Read

A Lesson Before Dying
Ernest J. Gaines
Historical Fiction, Civil Rights

The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Kim Edwards

Will To Live
Adam Starkopf
Holocaust Memoir

Mila 18
Leon Uris
Historical Fiction

Unaccustomed Earth
Jhumpa Lahiri
Short Stories

American Pastoral
Philip Roth

The Runaway Jury
John Grisham
Quick Read

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Anne Fadiman
Non fiction

The Inheritance of Loss
Kiran Desai

The Heidi Chronicles
Wendy Wasserstein

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde

Bread Givers
Anzia Yezierska
Historical Fiction

Taking Back the Artichoke

I struggle with my weight. I mean, I really struggle. I struggle too much, one (anyone) might say. I once told someone that if I had taken all the time I had spent worried about my weight, I could have cured cancer. (Put in there my mother, grandmother, aunt, cousins, we could have all cured AIDS and another couple of fatal diseases)
But the reality is I am a petite person who can’t eat as much as everyone else or I will be obese.

So, I struggle.

The best “diet” book I’ve ever reading is The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler.

What he says is that part of the problem with the American Diet is that we’ve taken foods and turned them into unrecognizable substances that create abnormal dopamine responses in our brains which leads to addiction.

I read the book a couple of years ago, so I’m not sure if he used this example, but one that would fit would be Spinach Artichoke Dip.

I don’t mean to diss on Spinach Artichoke Dip. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I could eat it, and eat it, and eat it. It’s so good. But it’s also fairly bad for you. Of course, it’s fine in moderation. But when one struggles with eating in moderation, spinach artichoke dip becomes a thousand calorie affair.

Spinach Artichoke Dip takes two healthy vegetables and devolves them into a high calorie, fat filled, mind blowing for some, indulgence. (Google the words "artichoke" and "recipe" and you'll only find the fat filled dips)

So today, I am taking back the artichoke. One reason I write is because artichokes are everywhere in the grocery store right now. I’m a little too lazy to cook an actual artichoke, but a lot of people enjoy the process.

Some people like artichokes in their salad, or marinated in balsamic vinegar. I can tolerate eating them like that, but I usually skip over them at the salad bar.

My first exposure to baked artichokes was in Israel during Passover at my boyfriend’s parent’s house. The food was delicious and I had never tasted artichokes that were so good without hot cheese. I asked my boyfriend’s mother how to make them. She told me and I replicated them tonight. They did not taste as good as hers, but they were yummy nonetheless because they are warm (like the dip), and have a fantastic texture.

Baked Artichokes


17 ounces of dry artichoke hearts (2 cans)

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons paprika

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir.

Pour the mixture onto the artichokes (which should be in a separate bowl. All of the artichoke hearts should have some paprika on them.

Bake for 20 minutes. Pour into serving dish including any of the mixture that is left in the pan.

Serve. Side dish for 4.