Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Post For Post's Sake

Well, would you look at this? An arbitrary posting just because I've promised at least one per week. I'm keeping my promises, you see. Right now, I'm listening to music (currently playing Porcupine Tree. Don't worry, I haven't heard of them either.) and playing Settlers of Catan online. I'm gearing up for school starting in a week. I have one class (for various reasons), but it's "Physiological Psychology" and let me tell you, that doesn't sound like a Sara friendly class. I'm just praying there won't be any papers. Actually, I kind of hope there is one, because I'm likely to do poorly on the tests and I'd like to have something to redeem me. Oh, I will be paying attention to extra credit opportunities. (song just changed to Unwritten Law - Rest of My Life)

Well, that's all you're getting for now. If anything exciting happens (and I doubt it will...I hope nothing exciting happens, anyway...unless it's good...you get the idea...) I'll let you know.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Foray Into Capitalism

Sometime back in 2004 when I was working at Tov Pizza, I made a little doodle in my notebook. (I always brought a notebook to work so that I'd have something to do during slow hours.) It started off as an attempt to draw a bunny, but when I found I couldn't figure out the lower half, I just put the bunny into a box. That's where it all began, contrary to popular belief. (Popular belief being what I told everyone in the first post to this blog over 2 years ago.) Well, over the years, Bunny Box has evolved and become my little symbol. I use it to sign birthday cards, I use it in my Purim shaloch manot, and I've used it for usernames on many a website. There is, however, a step I've been very hesitant to take with it: Capitalism. People have often suggested that I make T-shirts or other merchandise out of the Bunny Box and convince people to buy it. Here's the problem I've had: What makes an inside-joke worth buying if you're not on the inside. So here's what I'm thinking--drag them inside!

I know, it sounds like a silly idea, but it just might be crazy enough to work. I could make a Bunny Box Webcomic. The only problem there would be finding a theme or a plot to work with. The only thing I can think of that I might have done was already done by a nice Welsh fellow named "Lem" and I'm fairly sure I'd get the pants sued off of me if I tried to do it my way. Regardless, I couldn't be nearly as clever and masterful as he is. So this is where I'd have to get really creative. What in the name of fuzzy pete would the Bunny Box comic consist of? Would it just be a different version of the Bunny Box every week? Would it have...characters? Or would it be completely not at all related to bunnies or boxes and just happen to be called Bunny Box and use the Bunny Box as its symbol?

Questions? Comments? Please share.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Day in The Graveyard

Today my family got together to attend my grandfather's unveiling. He passed away somewhat suddenly last year right before the holiday of Sukkot from a stroke which he had on Yom Kippur (following a stroke he'd had on Rosh Hashana). His death struck us all, not only because of its shocking tragedy, but its timing as well, and the many little things which surrounded it. (At one point on Yom Kippur, my mother was praying to Hashem just to let him live long enough for her to see him and say goodbye before he went. We found out after Yom Kippur that it was right around this time that he woke up and indicated that he wanted the volume on the TV turned up. My mother left to see him in Florida the next day and left a few days later to come home. He died just after she boarded her plane home.) Make what you will of all of it amongst yourselves, but for our family it was very big.

But this post isn't really about my grandfather, wonderful man though he was. This is actually about everyone else who attended the unveiling today. As we stood outside in the hot sun, viewing the headstone proclaiming my grandfather a beloved husband and father and foot-stone which let us know that he "passed this way," I was watching the people around me. My mother and grandmother, tearing up as the Rabbi described my grandfather as an ethical and honest man, my father holding an umbrella over their heads to shade them, and the dozen or so people standing respectfully and reflecting on their memories of Stanley Dashieff. What struck me, though, was when the rabbi began to recite Psalm 23. I'm familiar with the Hebrew recitation because it is commonly sung at the third meal on Shabbat, so I recited that one together with the Rabbi. But when he began the English recitation, I was a bit taken off guard that every one of the family and friends standing by the grave seemed to know every word by heart. It occurred to me that, since this is commonly recited at funerals, the people standing there must have attended many of them. That was when I realized I was surrounded by grief.

Every person there had, at some time or another, experienced loss, either directly or indirectly. Most of them were over the age of 50, and many had lost spouses or close friends. I've thought often over the past year of pursuing a specialization in grief counseling, and have researched it enough to know that grief can exist wherever there is loss of any kind; material, spiritual, or relational. Everyone is bound to experience grief in some form, if they live long enough. Somehow, though, it had never occurred to me that every person in my life had experienced grief. It was still something I've always seen as happening to "others," never to my friends or family. But there it was, staring me in the face as a dozen or so voices recited by wrote, "Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil." (That's the only part that I know by heart).

As usual, I have no big message to add to this. Just sharing an experience I had. I know how much you need to hear about my daily experiences. That's why you were all so upset over my leaving Facebook. And for all that "grief" over my leaving, very few of you have actually taken advantage of this little appeasement I've offered you. Don't look a gift blog in the mouth, my friends. :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fudge!

Here's a little tidbit many of you may not know about me: when I was growing up, my parents gave mixed signals about kashrus. My father was pretty strict, but my mother tended to be a little lax. She would take me to non-kosher restaurants, like Hard Rock Cafe and Olive Garden, where we would both get salads. My mother would insist the croutons, eggs, tuna and parmesean cheese were okay. In addition to this, my mother used to buy Fudgery fudge. She had once looked at the bag of fudge mix that they use and had determined that it contained nothing inherently non-kosher. (I suppose that means it contained no lard or gelatin). Well, as a kid, I loved that fudge. In fact, it downright broke my heart when I realized it wasn't technically kosher.
Ever since then, I've basically never had fudge again. All that is getting ready to change. I finally worked up the courage to consider, maybe, possibly, at some point in the future, making homemade fudge. It doesn't sound too complicated, though I think I may need a candy thermometer, and I've been without fudge for far too long. There's something just absolutely heavenly about a good, creamy, rich fudge that no other form of sweets can compare to. The perfect fudge is thick enough to require some chewing, but soft enough that it can be cut with a plastic spoon. It has creamy, subtle flavors, but is rich enough that you wouldn't really want to eat too much in one sitting. And it is also incredibly high in calories.
I've found a couple of recipes on recipezaar.com but I'd like to use a recipe that is really tried and true, preferably tried by one of my trusted friends. So, any suggestions?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Merchant

I've just returned from opening night of the Jewish Theater Workshop's (JTW) production of the Merchant of Venice. I'm not a theater critic, so I'm not going to do any deep analysis, but here are some overall thoughts: This was some impressive Shakespeare, for something being performed at the JCC. Of course, Becky Hope Seidman was fantastic in the role of Portia, and Isaac Kotlicky was pretty good in the role of whatsisface. But what it comes down to is that it was a really good show. For anyone who missed it tonight but is still interested, there are two showings this Sunday, one at 2 and another at 7, and another two showings on Monday and Tuesday at 7.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rise and Shine, Sleepyhead!

I hate mornings. Maybe if I were the type of person who was into morning jogs I would feel differently, but I'm not, so I don't. Morning is the time of day where I'm ripped from my bed and my stomach has its vengeance for everything I did the day before. And don't even talk to me about breakfast--worst meal of the day! Cereal and coffee, sometimes a vitamin enriched milkshake, sometimes (if I'm really lucky) there's toast and eggs. Breakfast has nothing on lunch. I <3 lunch. Lunch=Sandwiches=Best Meal Ever.

Don't get me wrong--dinner has its moments. I mean, if you've got access to some good pasta or hearty take-out, you've got it made. But for those of us surviving on leftovers and getting to 6 every night going, "What's for dinner?" because you haven't adjusted to the fact that if you want dinner YOU have to make it, dinner is simply a disappointment. "Oh...pasta with cheese again, I guess..." "No, but this time it's got hot sauce in!"

~shakes head~

Growing up is extremely weird. I'm still working on it, myself. I mean, I may be married and all, but I still rely on my dear sweet father to take care of the big stuff. I don't yet feel prepared to file claims with insurance companies, call up comcast to find out their prices, or deal with the electric company. Does all that mean I wasn't really ready to get married? Maybe. But to be fair, growing up proved to be just as disappointing as dinner. Turns out, being a grown-up isn't fun at all. It turns out getting bills isn't as thrilling as it always looked, and getting a paycheck gets less and less exciting as they cover less and less of your expenses. When I used to work at Tov's and made less than $100 a week on average, I felt really rich. After all, with $80 I could buy a lot of random useless crap. And I did.

I can't say I'm really going anywhere with this, but maybe it proves yet another reason why I hate mornings: The brain shuts off.

Status update:
Sara...is glad she isn't 16 anymore, but sometimes wishes she could skip to 30.