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Sweet Rose Ramblings (AKA The Call-Waiting Blog)

A place for my unformed thoughts. Help me sort them out!

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Changing and Growing

It's so interesting when you see a friend and how much they have grown. My friend who I am staying with in Israel has been gone the last year and a half, and while in some ways she is the same as I remember her, I see so many differences in her as well. She has gotten married and built a very different life for herself than what I would have expected.

But the biggest change in her I am actually seeing through other people's interactions with her. She is now the one people go to for help, that they depend upon. And she rises to the challenge.

I had a long talk with her about dating and relationships and while she didn't necessarily give me any revelations that I didn't already know, she did confirm a lot of things for me, and did make me feel better about some of the things I often feel.

Already, one of the most pleasant apsects of my trip that is a bit unexpected is this catching up with my friend. I look forward to more time together.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ready to Go

Packing is hard work :( But I think I managed. I hope.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Life seems to be so bittersweet. Just a pinch more sugar, and I guess it would be too easy...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

When You Can't Empathize, Care

From Aish.com, Rabbi Pliskin's Daily Lift:

When you empathize with someone, keep in mind that you can never know exactly how they are feeling. You can only make assumptions based on your knowledge of human nature in general, and this unique individual in particular. At times, the best thing to say might be, "I can't know exactly how you are feeling. But I see how strongly this affects you."

It's really hard when you don't really know what someone else is going through, and you want to show how much you care. When you don't know what to say, but inside you are screaming with the pain you know they are going through.

Monday, December 26, 2005


I never thought I would complain about having a couple days off, but I am bored. Just wanted to capture the moment, it doesn't get the chance to happen so often.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Beyond BT - update

I have become a contibuter to Beyond BT, a new blog designed to be a support system for Baalei Teshuva once they have become frum. Check out my first post and stay tuned for more!

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I am not sheltered, but some things really shock me. This post yesterday concerned me quite a bit, but this article really blows me away.

More Insomnia Kickbacks

In general, my insomnia is extremely frustrating. But I have to admit that there is something that I kind of like about being awake when no one else is - the quiet, the stillness, of those hours when nothing is going on. And it's nice when I am actually productive during the time I should be sleeping. I mean, come on, when else am I going to do laundry except 5 am?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I am thinking about taking a trip down to Baltimore this weekend, and I figured while I was there, I should go visit my cat (because I am sure he misses me, okay, maybe not, but I miss him). I e-mailed my friend who is taking care of him to see if she will be home due to all the holidays. Her response was so sweet (as it always is). She told me that I was welcome whenever, if I wanted to stay with her I could, that they had a few obligations, but she would just leave me a key.

This is a friend of mine from school, not Jewish, not someone I have known for a terribly long time, not someone who you would think by looking at us that we have a lot in common. But we managed to form a bond, and she trusts me enough to leave a key to her house for me. That's special.

Transit Strike

I am so amazed by the way this strike is affecting people. Because I take New Jersey transit, the only way in which I have been affected is that my commute has actually been shorter than usual, due to the lack of traffic being able to get through the Lincoln Tunnel. However, my co-workers and several of my friends have been having a much harder time.

I was thinking about the estimated 7 million people affected by the strike every day. That's practically more people than the number of people who live in all the cities I have ever lived in combined! (And I have lived in quite a few cities.)

Amazing that so many can be affected by one aspect of life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

10 Things I Always Say

I was tagged by Chuck of Separation Anxiety to delineate 10 things I always say (actually, not such an easy one for me, but I will try):

1. Do what? A phrase from the South which literally means, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you, could you repeat that." I have been taught that only those from the Deep South say this one - it doesn't include the pseudo-Southerners like Texans.

2. Y'all Another southernism.

3. Cool!

4. Show me where it says that. My general response when people tell me something that they claim is in Torah.

5. How sweet.

6. Promise?

7. Why?

8. Chick How I refer to any female (I am still mad there is no female equivalent for "guy."

9. He's very pretty. When I find a guy who I think is good looking (most often refers to very pretty movie stars).

10. Totally. As in, I totally agree.

Kiddush Hashem

A very nice, supportive friend told me today that he thinks I am a "walking Kiddush Hashem." I can't think of a higher compliment, as that is something I really strive for, though I often question whether I achieve it. But it felt really good to have someone say it. Thanks!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Beyond BT

I am fascinated by the new group blog, Beyond BT. It's interesting to read other Baalei Teshuvahs' experiences and takes on becoming frum, both from a point of comparing so many famliar feeling to the point of contrasting many things that I can't relate to nor do I agree with. The posts about conformity I find especially interesting, considering my own constant struggle to strike a balance between being my own, individual person and trying to fit into my community at the same time. (More could very possibly be written on the topic at a later date -stay tuned.)

Despite many of the things that I don't agree with there, the contributors are excellent writers and poignantly express their thoughts and struggles well. I need to find more time to read it, and I encourage you to as well.

A Blessed Tallis?

My non-Jewish co-worker, who is studying to be a missionary, wants me to bring her a prayer shawl from Israel. I wasn't quite sure what she was talking about. Upon further questioning, I found out that she meant a tallis. She wants a tallis so she can have it blessed by her minister and then she can pray with wrapped around her head. Some of her friends have them, she told me, but she wants a "real" one from Israel, so special. I told her I would see what I can do. I am not sure I can do it for her. I've never heard of anything like that before - has anyone else?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Old Friends

I had an IM conversation today with one of my oldest friends (not that she is old, but that I have known her for a really long time). We hadn't talked in a while, we are both very busy and it's been a really long time since I have seen her. She got married recently; unfortunately I missed the wedding. While we were chatting, she said some things that made me realize how much we have grown over the years. We met when we were both at very low points in our lives, and we have changed so much since then, but have still managed to maintain our friendship through it all.

Chatting with her made me feel old and young at the same time - old because I could see how mature we have gotten, and how the decisions we are making now are so different from those we made then. Young because it brought back so many memories of those days when I wasn't as bogged down with life decisions and working and hadn't gone through so much.

I wouldn't turn back the clock, because the lessons I have learned have transformed me so much. But it's nice to have someone who has grown with me and remembers those days also. I miss her.

What I Got

I was sitting and talking with my roommate (who's engaged) today on the bus. She pointed out another guy and told me that someone had wanted to set her up with him. I had heard very nice things about the guy and told her so. She smiled and said, "I like what I got." It was really nice to hear.

Turning Tides

It's amazing how quickly the tides turn. We had someone at work who got in a fight with another co-worker. And actually physical brawl, blows exchanged and everything. The guy who started it was someone who before this, I would never have guessed would be capable of doing another person harm - he always had a huge smile and a friendly hello for everyone. The morning before she found out about the fight, my boss was saying how funny this person was, that he was so great. After the fight, she made several comments about how he couldn't be trusted and that she didn't want him around the office. It's interesting how quickly the tides can turn, based on a few moments.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Transit Strike

I am more than a little bit fascinated by the impending transit strike. Having never before lived in a city where public transportation was a major form of getting from one place to another, I am having a hard time believing the impact this strike can have on a city as big as New York. And yet, my boss just announced that if there is a transit strike, our office will be closed tomorrow as we can't do our job anyway, due to the fact that delivery trucks will no longer be allowed to drive and employees can't even drive to work, due to the restriction that there must be 4 passengers per car in order to drive into the city. I could make it to work, since New Jersey transit isn't affected and I don't use the subway to get to my office. But apparently I am one of the few lucky ones. It's kinda amazing how many people are affected by one common factor. It actually makes this city seem a little smaller.


All of my co-workers are pretty nice, but I have one in particular who is just really special.

She always has a smile on her face, and she will stop whatever she is doing just to say good morning and ask me how my day is going. She remembers to inquire about things going on in my life, asks me about my plans for the weekend, questions how I am doing in the cold weather (most people around here know I hate it). She makes sure I wear a hat when I go out. She make a point of finding something nice to say, and she always makes sure to thank me for anything I do, small or large.

She does our purchasing, and recently she received a couple children's Chanukah books inadvertently. The company who sent them told her just to keep them. So she gave them to me since she knows I am Jewish and will probably be able to find a good home for them.

She's so special in her actions and interactions.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


My first semester of graduate school is over! (What am I doing to celebrate? Blogging, of course!) I actually did very well, and it has definitely given me affirmation that I have chosen the right field, which is a relief. I don't know how many actual facts I learned, but I think the more important thing is that I learned about myself and what I am getting into as far as career. Now, onto enjoying my Winter Break - Israel, here I come!

Something Small, But Big

My boss asked me to hang "inspirational" signs all over our office to help people remember what is important during this busy time of year for us. Between holding the signs and the tape, and trying to post one of the signs above my comfort height (I do recognize that most people's normal eye level is a bit above my own), I was having some trouble, and I kept dropping things along with not getting my sign hung.

There was a delivery guy sitting in the lobby, waiting for someone to come and sign for whatever it was that he was delivering. He saw me struggling with my hands full and so he got up and came over to help me.

It was just something little, but it really meant a lot. He didn't have to help, but he did, and it gave me a good feeling.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Jack of All Trades

Sometimes I feel like I don't know if I am seriously a feminist or if I am girly feminine. In the last week, I have:

Unclogged my bathroom drain...and baked challah.
Changed a bunch of light bulbs...and made really yummy peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars.
Learned how to fix our heater...and done loads upon loads of laundry.
Shoveled snow...and painted my nails, did my hair and got dressed up to go out.

I guess I just do a bit of everything. But I have to admit I would happily relinquish taking out the garbage to a male counterpart.

Monday, December 12, 2005

All or Nothing

It's amazing how quickly things can seem to go from all kinds of possibilities to none. From options upon options to slim to nothing doing. Things can change in the blink of an eye.

A Blogger's Mindset

It's funny, since I started really liking my blog, I think of events in my life quite differently. I was talking to my father this morning, and he was telling me about a couple movies that he was sending me. They have different Jewish themes, including one about Satmar Chasidim. My first thought when he told me he was sending me them was, "I bet they'll make for good blogging." I didn't say it out loud, because my dad has no idea about my blog, and I would rather keep it that way.

I tend to view events, conversations, books I read, and movies I see in this light now. In the "what can I write about this" mindset. I like it.

Even the Best Fall Down Sometimes

I love the song "Collide" by Howie Day, for many reasons. But when I am having a down day, the above lyric always makes me feel a little better, because it's true.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

My Wonderful Friends

A friend of mine came in from Lakewood for Shabbos so she could spend my birthday weekend with me. We had a cozy Friday night dinner, she brought a bunch of my favorite things to eat, including yummy gummy worms, because she knows I love them. Over Shabbos, one of my friends was at someone's house for Friday night dinner. Their host served Rice Krispie treats, which I love. My friend asked the host if she could take a couple home for me, since I was coming over for shalosh seudah. When I got there, she had put on this outfit for me that I can't even describe, but it always give me a fit of giggles to see her in it. She and her roommate had a little birthday cake for me. My friends then took me out last night to a really nice dairy restaurant (because they know I really like dairy food) for my birthday. We had such yummy food, incredible dessert and a plethora of wonderful laughs. It's so incredible to have people that know you like that. It feels like having a home. I needed that.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow Day

It snowed a lot this morning, so I decided on an official snow day for myself. It is rare that I don't push myself to go to work, but I have to admit, it is nice having a day off. I went back to sleep for a while, then got my apartment all clean and sparkly (such a good feeling), baked some yummy dessert for Shabbos and then ran a couple errands nearby where I didn't have to drive far (now that it stopped snowing). I think I need every Friday off from now on!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Another Tag - Book Themed

Ze'ev tagged me with his own version of the Ipod meme - a book meme. I'm listing books I have either recently read or all-time favorites that I just loved (by the way, they are in no particular order).

1. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery - One of my all time favorites that I have to read every once in a while. Anne is the best - I can really relate to her.
2. The Source – James Michener - One of my father's favorites, passed on to me, just a really interesting glimpse into what might have been Israel a really long time ago.
3. A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving - John Irving is both bizarre and fantastic and I thought this was his absolute best.
4. The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger - Classic that I read while on a trip to New York, fittingly.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee - Another classic that I recently read that was excellent.
6. I Know This Much is True & She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb* - Both excellent, slightly weird books that just really held my attention and were very different from the typical books out there.
7. East of Eden – John Steinbeck - Recently read, interesting, but definitely shows the darker side of humanity.
8. Where the Heart Is – Billie Letts* - Was made into an OK movie, but the book is really heart-warming and shows that you really can change your destiny.
9. The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri - Just read it, posted about it on my other blog, showed humans being really human, and the struggles with identity.
10. Stones from the River – Ursula Hegi* - Was an interesting read, a Holocaust book from a non-Jewish perspective.
11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey - Another classic, I haven't ever even seen the movie, but excellent book.
12. Sati – Christopher Pike - a young adult book, probably kind of heretical, but was an interesting take on religion and spirituality.
13. Where the Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein - a childhood favorite, almost falling apart now, it was a security blanket for me growing up.
14. The Odyssey – Homer - I read the Iliad for school, and then decided that I wanted to read the Odyssey and liked it much better. The original adventure book.
15. The Committed Life – Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis - very inspiring, I read this one shortly after becoming frum.

*I was really into Oprah books when her book club was at its peak, so several of these books can be attributed to her.

There ya have it - I would recommend any of them. Enjoy!


I was not particularly looking forward to my birthday this year. I go on and off between whether I like them or not. 25 and 26 were really tough years and I was not into it at all, I just felt like I was getting too old. 27 was good, and I had a nice time with friends. This year, 28, I wasn't worried about being old as much as I just felt a little out of place, not in my element since my move.

But I woke up this morning, and my roommate had decorated our apartment overnight as a surprise. I opened my email inbox and saw three e-cards waiting for me, along with a happy birthday e-mail. I got two calls (my parents) and my boss singing to me when I walked in the door. And then I was presented with a beautiful flower arrangement to put on my desk.

I feel much better now; I feel like people care, and I think that was what was bothering me - that I had moved away from the people who cared the most. So, I am having a happy birthday, thanks to the wonderful people who I am fortunate to have surrounding me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My boss just told me that one of our employees is very ill, and probably not going to make it. She had tears in her eyes. I have never seen her show such emotion before. I was in the middle of eating my lunch, but I can't finish now. It's so hard when there is nothing you can do or say.

Super Size Me

My father has a sattelite dish with an incredible number of channels, along with a DVD burner. So when I was in Birmingham for Thanksgiving, I gave him a whole list of movies to record for me. The first installment came the other day, and on it was the movie "Super Size Me."

For those not familiar with the movie, it is about a guy who decides to eat at McDonalds for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 30 days straight. Nothing but McDonalds - all day long. The experiment is done to see what kind of effects it has on his health.

In 30 days, he gained 27 pounds, almost destroyed his liver, over doubled his cholesterol and became extremely depressed, along with having little energy. He also displayed addictive tendencies towards the McDonalds food he was eating.

The doctors were amazed at what kind of reaction his body had to a high-fat diet. They said it was similar to someone being an alcoholic, and that they would never have guessed it would have had such an effect.

I had several realizations watching the movie. One was when they showed how many McDonald's there are in Manhattan, and I realized I don't know where a single one is. Since starting to keep kosher, my attention to such things has dropped drastically. I can tell you that there is a Quiznos sub shop a little way down the street from my office, but that is the only restaurant I can name.

I also have realized over the years that keeping kosher keeps me from eating a lot of junk. Whenever my coworkers bring food into the office, cakes, danishes, pizza, I can't have it, which is definitely a good thing. I get enough junk food as it is, it would be really bad if I could eat everything I am offered on a daily basis.

And the final thing I realized from the movie, is that I need to do something about my diet. I am always tired these days, which I blame on not getting enough sleep, which I am sure is a factor. But I have decided to try to eat healthier, omit caffeine from my diet, get lots of fruits and vegetables and less carbs, and see what happens. Hopefully, I will feel better and have more energy. Wish me luck!

(Funny note - I just realized there is a McDonald's right next door to where I work. I really don't pay attention!)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Warning: A bit of negativity ahead.

It really ticks me off when people don't know halacha and use it to be super frum. Especially when I am sitting there telling them something, and I know what the halacha is, because I have learned it or heard from a reputable rav, and they don't listen. They use it as an excuse to call another, random rabbi and see how strict they can possibly be. Annoying. Sorry, rant over.

Hanukah Tree

I have two jewish co-workers, my boss and one of our salespeople. The salesguy just told me that he and his wife, both Jewish, put up their tree last night with lots of Hanukah decorations on it. He told me how he is looking for a light-weight menorah to top it, and a skirt to cover the bottom. I didn't know what to say.

More Dog Observations

The puppy at my office has taken a real liking to our big dog. The big dog is still not convinced, due to his attention being dramatically reduced. The puppy is so cute, he obviously looks up to the big dog a lot and wants to be friends. He hops into the big dog's cage and curls up next to him, oblivious to the fact that big dog is not appreciating the cuddling and attention the puppy is trying to lavish on him. The puppy just doesn't understand why anyone would't like him, so he is doing his best to make the big dog like him.

Right now, he is curled up asleep, in the big dog's cage, looking pretty darn cute. The big dog is as far away as possible, keeping a wary lookout, obviously jealous that someone else is in his cage. Hopefully one of these days they can be friends.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Me? Older?

I was at the Shabbos table this past week, and my friend's nephew told me that he thought I was 34 years old. I thought this was weird, because people rarely tell me that they think I am older than I am; they usually say that they think I am younger (my mother likes to say it runs in our family). So, when I expressed my surprise to my friend's nephew, he clarified it for me. He said that he thought I was older because of the way I was talking. He thought what I was saying was intelligent and sounded older than my years. So, what I initially took as a confusing, slightly negative comment, actually took on a whole new color. I guess I shouldn't be too quick to judge remarks.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Woman

Winter has really set in, along with the snow, which, for those who know me, freaks me out. I don't deal well with snow and ice, especially driving in it. And I hate being cold. But one thing that really make a difference is my down jacket. It is a different experience walking through the cold in that jacket, I actually feel toasty inside it. The only problem is that I feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Woman in it. But my walk to work this morning was warm, so I no longer care.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pet Names

Even though I am from the South, I am always a little taken aback when called by a pet name by someone I don't know at all. I was just on the phone with a client who called me "hon" as we were hanging up. Have never laid eyes on this man in my life, I think this might have been our first conversation. Since moving up here, I have also had bus drivers, store clerks and several others call me either sweetie or hon or other similar monikers. I am not sure why it bothers me, maybe because of the familiarity it seems to assume?

It's In the Tone

I have a co-worker from Long Island. Complete with a real Long Island accent. Everytime she speaks, it sounds like she is yelling. The accent just makes it harsher. It is so hard to listen to. I know she isn't yelling at me, but just the tone of her voice makes me want to avoid her at all costs. It's all in the tone.