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Category Archives: The Sporadic Side

The Chair in the Home

The chair is damp. It’s a sticky dampness that clings to my skirt when I stand up. It’s really only water, or milk. Or it was once milk, or orange juice or water, and now it’s all steeped in the yellow spongey cushion inside the chair. Knew I should have put on plastics. Or not have gotten fabric seats, vinyl is all the rage these days. Idiot. But when I got married and bought these chairs, I wasn’t considering children, and their propensity to spill, just that these chairs were pretty, and plastic protector were ugly. Well, they still are ugly, but I’ve gotten pragmatic in my old age. Ugh.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in The Sporadic Side

 

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The Slow Transition

NOT ME

I’ve been lying to myself for years. Yesterday though, it knocked on my door so nicely, and I couldn’t deny it. I’ve come to accept who I am as a person, it’s hard, it’s always hard acknowledging something you’ve tried to hide and deny. The time has come, and I hope I’ll be better for it.

“I booked you tickets to Florida for Shabbos,” my husband called to me from the couch. There was light intensity in his pitch, and I knew he wasn’t kidding.

“You what?” I asked like I honestly hadn’t heard what he said.

“You need a vacation, you’re dying to go – I booked tickets?”

“Tickets?” I stressed the “s”.

“Ye, I spoke to Roo today, you’re going with her.”

“But, but, what about you and E, and where we gonna stay, what are we gonna eat, I have to teach…” I started protesting, even though I AM dying to go to Florida. And I ruined it, the whole happiness, surprise and spontaneity. That’s it, I am not a spontaneous person as I had led myself to belive. I like to plan and consider. I like to know my options, know I’m doing what’s best and right for me. I don’t jump into things. I’d rather miss it, lost in consideration, than make a hasty decision.

I always thought I was spontaneous, or I always wanted to be light and free – but I’m not, I’m serious, intense and I think too much. Yes, I would walk to my friends on Shabbos with out calling ahead. But I think that’s where it ends

I cant just get up one day and buy my husband a present. I can get up one day and think I’d like to do that, but it’ll take me a while, to find the right one, the right deal, will he really like. Nike is not for me, I NEVER just do it. I never wanted to be that person, they seem so stuffy and rigid, but I really get thrown for a loop when my schedule changes without ample notice. I try to roll with the punches, but it’s a real effort on my part.

My day is always scheduled and planned in my head, what I plan on doing when, how much time I allot to do certain things, and when emergencies come up – not my emergencies, somehow I handle those, but if someone needs an immediate favor from me, it’s very difficult for me to rearrange things in my head, to realign my expectations of what I planned on doing. Going to Florida is wonderful – not on such short notice it just stresses me out!

I remember yelling at my mother when we would run errands, we’d have a list of things to do and then towards the end she’d remember one more stop she wanted to make. I’d get really agitated. In my head I was ready to go home, I was home already doing everything I planned in my head, and the extra 10 minutes, or even two would upset me.

“You’re messing with my head!” I’d tell my mother. She didn’t really get it, because she quite the opposite of me, drop everything, and do something better that comes along.

I equated spontaneity with happiness, and youth. A careless abandon, and truly living life. That’s how it is in books anyway. And the inflexible scheduled people were stuffy bores with no lives, and ruined everything. No wonder I wanted to be spontaneous.

And when I talk about how I feel, it sounds so much worse and severe and stifling than I feel my life is. I love my life, and I think it’s time to graduate from my dreams and recognize that there are worse things in life than slow to transition.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2014 in The Sporadic Side

 

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The Problem with Nostalgia

It was this book!

It’s really terrible; there’s an Ebola outbreak in Guinea and I’m getting nostalgic. This hemorrhagic fever has held legendary status in my mind since about 4th or 5th grade. I heard about it from my brother who heard about it from his teacher.

“Nine days. Boom. Dead!” he bulged his eyes out and flexed then flicked his fingers at the word boom for effect. He was imitating his teacher. He then described to a rapt audience (me) how when they cut the person open everything would just be mush. All their organs turned to goop.

“It starts with diarrhea…” he said in a low voice and then rose to “And then nine days, Boom. Dead!”

I’ve been paranoid of diarrhea since.

And then Mack Bolan (are those books still in print?), who was my brother’s favorite fictional character at the time, was infected with the virus by a sinister foe, but he had the antidote in the green tipped syringe (or was it red? I don’t remember, one of them was the virus the other the antidote) and he lived.

I didn’t like Mack Bolan,too much action and machismo, but I took that book and read the last chapter or so, just to take in more about Ebola. I’m not sure why it fascinated me. Was is my brother’s animation or the body’s disintegration, or the anticipatory fear, I don’t know.

I don’t know if anything that hooked me in the first place is even true. Diarrhea only comes after joint pain muscle weakness and an assortment of other symptoms. And nothing comes up when I Google Ebola 9 day. Maybe it’s because I left out the word Boom.

But while Liberia is closing its borders, and the WHO is issuing recommendations and people are dying, I have a small smile on my face.

I’m terrible, I know.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in The Sporadic Side

 

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Why I Am Writing About Peyton Manning

My 21 year old self can not believe what am I writing. My 21 year old self is slightly horrified, maybe laughing a little incredulously, but now, 26 year old me, is slightly amused and is really looking forward to the SuperBowl on Sunday. And really truly, I’d like to be there.

No, I’m not a major football fan, I understand the basic premise and know that “special teams” aren’t the nebach players that my friends thought they were when she first heard the term. I don’t have a favorite team, I root for the Chigaco Bears, well, root is the wrong word. I pray for them, because if they win, I have a happy a husband, and if they lose….a not so happy husband.

But beyond my husband, I’ve become a really big Peyton Manning fan. And I will be devastated if he doesn’t win on Sunday.

I feel for him really, not in a sympathetic way, but I find him inspirational. So often, if there is a role model athlete it is for their actions off the field, their charitable work and the like, not for how they conduct themselves professionally, and how they face adversity. It’s very easy to donate money, and give a few hours for underprivileged children, but to live a life, every moment, with a code of honor and core of steel is where it is really reflective of the essence of a man. And that man, is Peyton Manning.

Peyton, or Reb Pinchas as we affectionately refer to him, he has transcended all his challenges, and winning the SuperBowl would be the passionate kiss to a happily ever after.

He’s the guy in fabled sotry that made it big, and then lost it all. By his strength, determination, and perseverance, he is back, and better, really better, just look at his stats than ever.

Not just losing his skill, but he lost his team. The owner abandoned him. Did you see his press conference when he announced that he was parting way with the Colts? The man was crying; hear his voice. Not only did he lose what made him a success, he lost his family, his support, the only professional team he ever knew. Once he wasn’t a guaranteed success and they had the first draft pick, they unceremoniously dumped him. No loyalty, just money. I was indignant for him then.

But he had no bitterness, just a point to make, and he has made it over and over again this season- THE RECORD for touchdown passes. He will overcome. He has overcome.

I read an article that storied Peyton’s recovery. As a kid and young man he had his father, Archie, receive his passes, and now in recovery he asked his father, now in his 70’s to be there for him again, to train with him. His father didn’t think he was up to it, his son was Peyton Manning after all. But at that first practice Peyton threw and father Archie received – Peyton’s arm was that weak. It wasn’t just “oh he recovered” or “the nerve healed”. He practically had to start from scratch, and he did it, and went further than he did before.

His determination to succeed, his attitude, and class in face of adversity and public betrayal is admirable.

And even though I still have trouble sometimes following the ball, and wonder if there ever was a successful on-side kick, I really really really want Peyton to win.

Everyone loves a comeback story, and this one could be for the books.

(And I can’t stand that cocky Sherman guy on the Seahawks)

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in The Sporadic Side

 

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You Can’t Revert

She rubs her eyes too much. She’s going to get wrinkles soon. And then she’ll look older than her older sisters because they always looked young even in their 30’s. She was an adult when she was just a child. She didn’t think she looked that mature but everyone else said so, and so she became it.

It’s really boring to be mature as a child. She looked at her peers and thought they were idiots. And she looked to adults and realized that most were idiots too. And they didn’t want to talk to her. The only people who cared to engage were librarian types, that smell of dust and too much Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds. They thought she was cute, and smart, but laughed at her comments and patted her on the head like a lovable puppy.

She really hated being mature. Hated that her pre-frontal cortex developed before the age of 20. She wished she didn’t grasp the concept of long-term consequences. Maybe she would have laughed more, stayed up later, do some stupid things and grow up when she had to.

She wish she wasn’t so aware of her decision making process, that if she chose x, y would follow. And if she said, a, b would be inferred, and she didn’t want b, so she’d say c instead.  But she really meant a, but she was too aware of society, impressions, ramifications, and too mature to say that they really didn’t matter.

Mature is responsibility. Responsibility is obligation. Obligation is forced. Force is resented.

She resented being mature and the crow’s feet that were soon to reveal themselves.

So she stop rubbing my eyes, and ate a bowl of rocky road ice-cream at midnight. With sprinkles and chocolate syrup, and bananas sliced too.

She woke the next morning with a bloated and achy stomach.

Idiot.

She knew better.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in The Sporadic Side, Writing

 

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Birthday Are Not About Numbers

Beware the Fish

Dear SRF

You didn’t respond to my Happy Birthday text, which is not your type, so I assume you boycotted your birthday. I hear that. But birthdays are not just for marking another year of age, but it’s a day that people get to focus on you, and realize how much they appreciate knowing you, and having you in their lives. So I’ll skip the “how old are you” part of the song, but I’d still like to celebrate you as a person SRF.

You are one of the most kindest, most sincere, and most generous person I know. You always have a smile, a laugh, a story to reach out with. You remember all the small details, like others birthdays, and their other friend’s name who you never even met and how they’re feeling, because they had a bad cough two weeks ago. People feel wanted, and loved because of you, by you.

SRF, you have such passion for things in this world, your genuine interest in ideas, knowledge and people, draw all of us in, and spreads the passion and fire along.

And your kindness, love, and genuine concern for others are reflected in your broad smile, and open hand.

You make a difference for so many people every day, just by you being you.

I know we don’t keep up as much as you and I’d like, but that’s my fault because you’re always there with a friendly note.

So, I won’t sing the song, send a card, or anything, but I’ll thank Hashem for giving me a beautiful friend like you.

 

Thank you.

 

Love,

TYTT

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2013 in The Sporadic Side

 

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And the Oscar Goes To (fumbling with the sticker on the gold envelope)…

A long time ago, Little Duckies nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award. Of course I was very flattered, and wanted to respond right away. But I didn’t and then life got in the way, blah blah blah, but now I am now ready will an able to accept the award. The Liebster Blog Award is given to new bloggers with less than 200 followers.  The rules are:

1. Tell 11 things about yourself.

2. Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.

3. Nominate 11 bloggers, and post 11 questions for them to answer.

4. Contact those bloggers whom you nominated, to inform them of their nomination.

11 things about me

  1. I’ve been teaching High School (10th & 11th grade) since I’m 17. Been teaching 12th grade for the past 2 years. This has always been my dream job. Except for the pipe dream on opening my own school.
  2. I love reading cookbooks and cooking shows (Top Chef is my favorite), actual cooking – not so much so – unless there’s no deadline (so supper’s never fun)
  3. I have been coveting a Hermes scarf for years. My husband bought me one after we had our first kid, and it is as awesome as I always imagined it to be.
  4. I can spend hours in my closet putting together new outfit. But it usually works out that the days that I have no time, I don’t like what I’m wearing, and then I spend time I don’t have, getting it right.
  5. Ever since I read Pride and Prejudice in 12th grade, I’ve always related very strongly to Mr. Darcy. Particularly the fact that everyone thinks he’s a snob, when he’s really just uncomfortable in the environment. And then I took a personality test  (one of those free ones online)– and after I got the results it says “Famous people who are…) and Mr. Darcy was listed among others who share the same personality profile as me!! I’m not crazy (it’s an INTJ btw).
  6. Recently (as in January) I was published for the first time ever – in the Mishpacha magazine. It was validating, but even more super validating is that they’ve accepted another piece of mine. Hood-ay.
  7. I’m an optimistic pessimist. I expect the worst, always. So when it doesn’t happen, life is wonderful. I’m constantly in state of happy surprise. You should try it.
  8. I love to do research. Research a product, a condition, a topic; I love it. So much so that at my family’s Channukah party, we played a game and part of it was that we each had to offer something of ourselves for someone else to potentially win – I offered to research something, anything for someone. All the people in college were disappointed that they didn’t win it.
  9. I’m have a seriously hard time coming up with 11 things about myself. I’m either super private or super boring – which is it?
  10. I was a Harry Potter freak when I was younger. So much so, that I actually applied and was accepted to write for MuggleNet (didn’t do it in the end). And I got suspended in 11th grade because of Harry Potter. Fun Story.
  11. I love children’s books. So impactful. Some of my favorites: Ish, The Dot, Love You Forever, The PaerBag Princess, Yo! Yes!, The Giving Tree, The Gift of Nothing, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus…and loads more. (Btw, I cry for real every time I read Love You Forever out loud)

My Answers to Little Duckies questions.

1)      What do you consider to be the three most important things in your life?

 My husband, my children, myself (I have to value myself, before I can truly value anything else)

2) What made you decide to start blogging?

 I wanted an outlet for my writing other than my own word files. I wanted the feedback, the acceptance, the push to write more. Not sure if I achieved all that, but I love my blog all the same

3) Books or television?  Why?

Books – they are more engaging and at the same time leave for room for interpretation.

4) If someone accused your child of bullying theirs, how would you react?  Why?

I’d probably go quiet, nod my head listening, and say something like “I’m sorry this happened, I’m gonna go talk to my son and hear what he has to say. I’ll be in touch with you, so we can resolve this.”

5) What subjects do you enjoy reading about?

Sociology  and History

6) What do you consider to be the most important factor in a marriage?

The marriage itself. When I was single I read William Glasser “Choice Theory” in marriage. What he said stayed with me, I thought it was brilliant.

When there is conflict in a marriage – each side is wary of giving in, apologizing, conceding. They don’t want to be perceived as weak, that they condone whatever happened, or that they were the wrong party. What you need to realize is that your marriage is more important that you as an individual. You choose your marriage over yourself. And when you apologize to your spouse even though you don’t think it’s totally warranted, you’re not weak – you are giving into the marriage not to him. It’s not a concession, it’s a choice.

7) There are many, many older (30+) singles today, as well as a high rate of divorce.  What do you think is the cause?

I think every marriage has its moments. The moments where we are truly fed up with certain aspects of our spouses, and we think if only for another moment “I don’t have to put up with this.” And then what happens in the moment after that moment is what makes the difference – do you voice that, do you shelve it, do you resolve it (through many different means).

People keep saying it, and no one wants to hear about it anymore – but we are a generation of instant gratification, and of “I” am special. So making a clear choice in that third moment becomes more difficult. In a time that celebrates “me”, the “we” in marriage is secondary and it’s easier to choose yourself over your marriage then it was in previous generation.

As for singles, in not all, but many cases, the same concept can be applied.

8) Why did you choose your city of residence?

Didn’t really choose… My husband was learning there, I choose to support my husband’s learning efforts, and ergo landed here – even if I’m not particularly fond of the place.

9) How do you and your spouse handle finances?

He takes care of the bills, but I know what’s going on. We talk about big purchases. We budget. We save. We try. So far so good.

10) What is your favorite household chore?  Why?

I can’t answer this question. Is there even such a concept as a chore being anything other than a detestable necessary – why else would it be called a chore? I suppose I like to read cookbooks, not the actual cooking, but the planning before it. (useless I know)

 11) The classic: If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

I’d buy an old country house, with a wraparound porch and the most impractical layout ever, but possess all these little nooks and crannies, and stairs leading nowhere. And of course it’ll have lots of windows. Big windows, glorious windows, with sun raining in. I don’t want to ever flick on a light switch. And then I’d hire a housekeeper, so that I don’t have to look at a Clorox toilet wand again in my life. Maybe I’d start a hachnosos kallah organization, or donate a lot of money to one. I’d go back to school, get a degree in English for interest sake. I think I’ll open a high school, always wanted to do that. Also I’d buy my husband a few presents he’s been dying for – a megilla, a tur, a second car. Other than that, I think I’d keep everything the same. I might buy 2 sweaters a season instead of 1. Or buy meat once a week instead of none. That’s it. I’ll probably end up doing most of it without winning the lottery – it would just make it easier and happen sooner.

11 Questions for my Nominees

1)      Chocolate or Vanilla?

2)      Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?

3)      Who was your favorite/influential teacher, and why?

4)      What did you wanna be when you grew up. What are you today (or are you still growing up)

5)      What’s your favorite (or one of your favorite books) and why?

6)      What is(are) your pet peeve(s)

7)      What is the biggest problem in the Jewish Community today?

8)      Do you have any proposed solution to the previous question?

9)      Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

10)   People who __________ are idiots. Fill in the blank.

11)   What can always make you smile?

And now for the Nominees (I only have 5, sorry)….Drumroll Please…

Jerusalem Stoned

Princess Lea

Mystery Woman

Daughters in the Parsha

The Professor

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2013 in The Sporadic Side

 

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