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Sweet Rose Ramblings (AKA The Call-Waiting Blog)

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Not Typical?

I am a bit off today. I had a post brewing in my head about being "typical" and I completely forgot the point of it. Something about how not being typical seems to have become typical and how I can't imagine anyone describing themselves as typical, though they seemingly are. Actually, now that I am typing this it is coming back to me a bit. I recently met someone who described themselves as not typical for their field, but upon further investigation, I am going to have to ask them to revisit that conclusion.

Which made me wonder if, when I describe myself as not being typical [insert whatever it is I am not typical of here], whether people are rolling their eyes at me and snickering behind my back.


I had one of those dreams last night where I woke up and was really quite disturbed that my mind could have put together something so weird and out of character. I hate those. It's still bothering me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

New York, New York

There are a few things I love about New York. For example, I can get my daily dose of entertainment just walking down the street - people watching here is definitely quite interesting. On the way down just a couple avenues, I saw a man dressed in a faux fur coat which I thought only rappers wore, a guy singing his heart out as he walked down the street (which I occasionally want to do, though usually refrain from) and a few other outfits that make me think I am walking on Broadway (however, I'm not).

Entertaining for sure.

When the Cat's Away...

the mice will play.

My boss is out of the office for the day, and despite the fact that, for once, I actually have work to do, I am taking advantage of the fact and finally managing to catch up on the e-mails that collected while I was sick last week, and while my boss has been watching over my shoulder to make sure I am not surfing the Internet (oh, the tricks of the trade) while I am supposed to be working.

My co-workers also get much less work done when my boss is out - it's party time.

Monday, January 23, 2006


I have to say, after listening to my roommate (in this last week before her wedding) deal with all the stresses and hassles that come along with planning a wedding, hearing her get in fight after fight with her mother about every possible scenario, sympathizing with the ordeals involved with trying to please her in-laws, and watching her try to finish all the last minute details, just reinforces my sentiment that weddings cause much more stress than they are worth. Why should someone who should be getting herself ready for a marriage (which is enough to prepare for) have to care about seating arrangements, dry cakes, overdone dresses and ridiculously priced flowers for a few hours, when they really want to focus on the rest of their life with the person they love? Too much trouble if you ask me. I say - elope! (Yes, I know I am in the tiny minority of women who feel this way, but I have absolutely no interest in dealing with all those headaches.)

Back to School

My new semester starts today, it's going tobe a rough one - three graduate level classes on top of working full-time. I have never been so unprepared for school, I got so caught up in stuff that I even forgot to go out and buy supplies (but I guess that's why there is a Duane Reade on every corner in NY). Even with my level of unpreparation for the semester, I have to admit I still get a little thrill when I looked up my schedule online and see that I am a "Master's Candidate." For two reasons - the first because for such a long time I never thought I would get to this point, or even desire to be here. And the second because once I set sights on this goal, I worked really hard for it. And my work is now paying off (though there is certainly much work left to be done). Wish me luck!

Holding Back

There are times when we really want to do something for ourselves, something that may negatively effect others, but we feel an urge for anyway. And sometimes, when we hold back from those actions, we can see clearly, and quickly, what a good decision it was to keep ourselves from pursuing such self-serving acts.

It's good to focus on others. Ultimately, we gain reward as well.

Random Kindness

When the bus finally pulled up to my bus stop this morning, there were only a few seats left. The man in front of me allowed three people to get on the bus in front of him, giving up his seat three times, and forcing him to stand during the entire ride (which turned out longer than usual, due to the rain). It was quite a kindness.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Incredible Hostess

I went to a family for Shabbos lunch today that I have been to a few times. The wife probably is the most sincere expositer of hachnosos orchim (welcoming guests) I have ever met in my life. She has called me several times since I moved here to invite me for meals, and when I called her this week to ask if I could come, she was so excited that I had called.

They don't have a ton of money, she works several jobs and they are fairly simple people. They have a decent sized house, but nothing fancy. She was saying today that the only thing in their house that she wished was better was that she wished they had a whole suite for guests to stay in. They do have a guest room, but she regrets the fact that they don't have a separate bathroom and that the guest room was on a separate floor than their bedroom, so that guests would have more privacy.

I don't know many who could honestly say the same thing. She is a very special woman.

Friday, January 20, 2006


It was suggested to me last night by a friend that I might have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder, I definitely don't fit the Hyperactivity part that people add nowadays) due to my inability to read extremely long blog posts in one sitting. It's true that I have trouble reading long passages on a computer screen, and that I tend to take frequent breaks while studying, but I do have the ability to focus on something that is written on paper, if it holds my interest. Does anyone else have such trouble focusing on reading things on a computer?

Getting There

Despite my always positive co-worker assuring me that I don't look any better, I am feeling a bit better today. I can breathe, and I am starting to think about eating again (even if I still don't have the appetite to actually do it). Being alone while being sick still stinks, but I do have a great friend who brought me soup last night for dinner, and some virtual soup came to me via the wonderful world of international communications, so thank you goes out to the caring people in my life.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bridging Backgrounds

My newest on Beyond BT:

Bridging Backgrounds

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In Need of Nurturing

It stinks being sick when you have no one to take care of you.

IM Interactions

Why is it that when I talk to my brother on the phone or when we occasionally see each other in person, it's like pulling teeth to get him to say anything, but when we are online chatting, he is talkative, cute and even really sweet to me? When I see him, I have to beg him for a hug, but in IM conversations, he gives them to me unrequested. Why is it so much easier to offer affection when you can neither see nor hear the other person?

Open Other End

I am so bad at following directions. This morning, I bought some cold medicine to hopefully help me feel a bit better and get me through the day. I just decided to check to see how often I can take the medicine (because of course I didn't bother to look at the instructions before taking it the first time) and in big bold letters across the flap that was hanging open, were the words "Open Other End." So typical me, didn't even see the instructions, much less bother to follow them. To those who might point out this is similar to not painting by the numbers - I say it just gives life a little bit of spice. (Sorry if I'm not making a lot of sense today - I'm blaming it on the cold medicine.)

Everything Works Together

It's interesting how one aspect of life can affect so many others. I woke up this morning with a bit of a cold, and I find that it affects not only my physical health, but my emotional and mental health as well. I guess it really goes to show that the body is a truly symbiotic unit. I am always amazed at the miracle that our life is and the complexities of all aspects of it working together. Refuah Shleimah to me, in all areas.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Not Knowing

I think I've written about it before, but I hate suspense. I don't like it when someone hints at a surprise but won't tell me what it is. I also hate it when I know something is going on, but I am not sure what. When someone is acting weird to me, but I don't know why. I know that curiosity killed the cat, but I would rather know what's going on than possibly having my feelings spared a bit and being left in the dark. So much in life is unknown as it is - isn't it fair to not keep me in suspense?

Part of the Family

I spent Shabbos in Lakewood with a friend and her family. I have been there several times now and met her whole immediate family, as well as some of her extended family. When I walked in, her sister-in-law greeted me and said something about me being family now. Her 2-year-old nephew knows who I am when he sees me. And I know where to find things in their kitchen. It's nice being "part of the family."

My Cat Hates Me

While I was in Baltimore this weekend, I took a trip to visit my cat, since I miss him. He hates me. I walked in the door and called his name. He came out, but when he saw me he turned in the other direction and ran away! I chased him down, picked him up and started petting him. We wiggled out of my arms and hid. For the couple hours, while I visited with my friend who takes care of him, he refused to come in the same room with me, hiding. I would stalk him, pet him, but he refused to look at me or purr. It was so sad, I obviously hurt him by giving him a new home (where he is being taken incredible care of).

Monday, January 16, 2006


It's amazing how little it takes to make me feel accomplished. After spending several hours being lazy, I decided to do something productive. So I dragged my sewing machine up from the basement, where it had been in hibernation for the past six months and hemmed a skirt that I had bought in Israel. I had forgotten how much prep work sewing takes - lots of pinning and ironing before you ever touch the sewing machine. But a little effort later, I now have a skirt that doesn't drag several inches behind me when I walk. And I feel like I accomplished something today.

Friday, January 13, 2006


I am headed to Baltimore this weekend, for the first time since Sukkos. I can't wait to see my cat, my friends and all my old hang-outs (and hopefully some David Chu's Chinese food!). The only problem is there isn't enough time for everything. Looks like a great weekend ahead!

Beyond BT

Check out my latest on Beyond BT - Connecting to Others Through Davening.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Different Types of Friends

A Simple Jew wrote it for me - check it out.

What Do You Know from a Blog?

I sometimes wonder how well you can know someone from their blog, or how well someone can feel they know me from reading mine. I think it depends on the blog - some do seem to be exceptionally raw and honest, a real personal diary. Others are based on certain issues and rarely permeate through to the individual's actual life - it is sometimes difficult to even ascertain whether the writer is male or female.

There are a lot of details I leave out of my blog, because I don't want to hurt others, because I don't think everything should be up for public consumption, because some things I just don't need others commenting on. I sometimes wonder if my readers get an accurate view of who I am from my writing, and if not (which I am certain is the case), what aspects the do see clearly and which they don't.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Telling People What They Need to Hear

It's very difficult to know when you should keep your mouth shut and when you should say something that might possibly be hurtful in the short-term, but helpful in the long run. You don't want to push sensitive buttons, but you see someone, someone who is close to you, who needs a "kick in the butt" so to speak. I have a very hard time doing this, with all but a very few people. But the truth is, the few people that I am capable of doing it with, end up appreciating it.

How do you balance standing aside and watching someone continue to hurt themselves with the desire to not hurt them yourself with what they need (but very possibly don't want) to hear?

My Coworker and Her Tallis

I have a non-Jewish co-worker who asked me to buy her a tallis while I was in Israel. She was extremely excited about the prospect of having an authentic tallis all the way from the Holy Land. However, she divulged to me that she wanted to have her minister bless the tallis in order for her to use it in some kind of Christian religious rituals. She gave me money to purchase the tallis for her before I left. I wasn't incredibly comfortable with the prospect of buying a non-Jewish woman a tallis, so I very hesitatingly told her that I would see what I could do.

My friend and I looked in quite a few stores for a tallis lacking tzit-tzit and a bracha containing Hashem's name on it. We couldn't find one. We had my friend's husband ask his Rosh Kollel whether I was allowed to buy this woman a kosher tallis and he said absolutely not. My friend suggested that I buy her a scarf that looked like a tallis, but I wasn't comfortable spending her money and using it to deceive her, leading her to believe that whatever I brought her was in fact a tallis.

So I bought her nothing. I was concerned that it would affect our working relationship, since I knew how excited she was about the prospect of having a real tallis. When I returned from Israel, I explained to her that, unfortunately, I was unable to purchase the tallis for her. I didn't go into details why, because I didn't want to offend her.

She had also asked me for some brochures about the history of Jerusalem. That I could do. I bought her a beautiful one at the Tower of David Museum and gave it to her. She was really excited and gave me a hug in return.

I am glad that she could see past her disappointment and that we can still work together. I have been in difficult situations before where similar events caused a relationship to turn sour. She came up to me today to ask me a question and told me how sweet I am to help her. I am so glad there are people who can look past disappointment and move on.

The Kindness of Strangers

I rented a cell phone to use while I was in Israel. The company I rented it from sent it to me before I left and I had to send it back once I returned here in the U.S. When I got back in on Monday, and was putting together all the accessories and package to return it, I couldn't find the phone.

I have to admit that I panicked a little. The company charges an exhorbitant fee for a lost phone. I called the airline and placed a lost item report and they told me it would take a few days befoe they would get back to me. When I got home from work, I unpacked everything, looked in every nook and cranny and couldn't find the phone. I went out with a friend that evening and told her how I couldn't find my phone.

When I got home my roommate told me that there was a message from the cab company who had transported me from the airport to my home that morning saying that they had found my phone. I was so relieved. I called them and they said that the driver who had transported me was sleeping and that they would have him call me the next day.

Yesterday morning, I called the cab company early and asked for the drivers number so I could call him and arrange to pick up my phone. They informed me that he had already driven to my home and dropped the phone off with another person who lives in my house. Without asking for any kind of compensation, he went out of his way to do this incredible kindness for me, saving me a couple hundred dollars.

I didn't even know his name, but he really made an impact on my life. Maybe he didn't have to go far, but his act went really far in my book.

Not Quite Home

It's a little eerie being back "home." I have spent the past two evenings with friends, and am back into my routine at work, but something has changed. Memories keep flooding through my mind of Israel, walking through New York has a very different feel. It's good to be sleeping in my own bed, but everything else has a slightly foreign feel to it. I guess this will feel like home again soon, but it's amazing what a difference ten days in Israel can make.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Looking Back on Fond Memories

I got together with a friend last night that I haven't seen in a while. We had many good times together when we both lived in Baltimore. We often speak about the fact that we regret not living closer anymore and how much we miss each other. As we were talking and reminiscing, I was saying how much I wish we still lived close enough to hang out regularly. She said that she wished it as well, but also that she thinks that the fact that we do live so far apart now makes us appreciate even more the time that we do get to see each other, and we can look back and realize how great the time was when we had our whole group together in Baltimore. It's true. While it was happening, we were having a great time, but now that we can look back at it without having it anymore, it makes me realize even more how great it was. I hope in the future, when I am in a similar situation, I will appreciate it before it ends.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Airplane Conversations

I sat next to a man on the plane from Lakewood. He was actually pretty interesting. He was fascinated by the fact that I was from Alabama and managed to become frum in such a setting. He had visited Mississippi recently and someone gave him the number of another Jew they knew there. Kind of funny, but I am not incredibly surprised.

We had a conversation about some of the books in recent years that have been not incredibly welcomed by a lot of the frum world (Making of a Godol, One People, Two Worlds), and he was impressed by the fact that I knew about them.

He kept offering me the number of a shadchan he knows, but I told him that wasn't really my style.

He impressed me because of two things he said. The first was that he made a couple of comments about non-Jews that were not negative at all. The other was that he decried the politics that goes into writing books published by Jewish publishing houses, and some of the incredible stories that are left out, and therefore, not known about certain people of past generations. He had a remarkable memory for the historical details of many great rabbis of the past.

It was definitely one of the better conversations I have had on an airplane.

On the Other Hand...

It is nice to know that my friends missed me. I received several e-mails, IMs and calls welcoming me back within hours of my arrival home. So, at least some people missed my presence.

It is good to be home, in my place with my stuff, but I have to admit that, being back here reminded me how much I dislike New York. As I stepped into Port Authority this morning and was reaquainted with the hustle and bustle of New York, I was startled by the feeling that walking around Manhattan just doesn't compare, doesn't even come close, to walking around Jerusalem.

Wasn't Missed at All

I'm a little bit perturbed about the fact that, after 10 days away from my job, I still have very little to do (and obviously, ample time to blog). It concerns me because if I can be gone for 10 days and I don't have a pile of things to accomplish when I get back, meaning that they obviously managed to cover for me without a problem, do they really need me here? Oh well, I guess I should appreciate the fact that no one else seems to have realized that I am not needed so badly. And they are still paying me a salary. More vacations without worry for me!