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Sweet Rose Ramblings (AKA The Call-Waiting Blog)

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

Monday, July 31, 2006

Big Sigh of Relief

My computer is fixed. Our computer guy is now my friend.

GOTD (Gripe of the Day)

Due to the fact that (a) it's Monday, (b) I'm overtired, and (c) I've stressed out about my upcoming move, I've decided that it's pet peeve day. I'm going to keep a running tab of my pet peeves, to my readers misfortune. (Come on, I can have one day, can't I?)

#1 pet peeve of the morning is - why on earth can no one spell my name correctly? Yes, Shoshana is a slightly unusual name, but it's not that weird, it has no silent letters within it, and basically, it sounds the way it is spelled. And for those people who have a list of names with mine (corrected spelled) included on it (hint, hint, talking about my co-workers), what on earth could possibly be their excuse for spelling my name incorrectly? If they know how to say it, why do they leave out "H"s and put in extra "N"s?

#2 - people who can't think about anyone but themselves and what they want from everyone else. Who don't appreciate it when you do something nice, or don't even notice, but want to give you a hard time about every tiny little thing that you don't do.

#3 - my adult co-workers who act like they can't figure out the most basic things in the office and need to rely on me to do it.

#4 - UPS, who decided to "forget" my package on Friday so that I am still waiting today for it. Which I was really counting on. Not only that, they managed to not deliver my friend's package as well.

#5 - Our computer guy who can't find the time to answer my questions, yet does somehow manage to send me the bill for programs they ordered for us that don't work.

#6 - When I decide to engage in retail therapy in order to brighten my mood, go to one of my favorite stores, find several things I like, only to realize that it's the 9 days, and I can't buy anything.

#7 - I'm really, really hoping this is the "it can't get any worse gripe." My computer at work broke. Won't boot up. Nada. Dead. Am currently using my boss's computer since mine is dead. I would just go home except now I have to wait for our computer guy to get here to attempt to fix it. Is this day over yet?

Sorry, in a grouchy mood - can ya tell? (Check back next Monday, when I am done moving, I'll probably be a lot better then.)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Which is Worse Continued

Okay, since everyone liked chiming in on whether it's better to have no dates or a lot of bad dates - let's add another element, just cuz I'm curious to see what everyone thinks.

Which is worst:
1) No Dates (which makes you feel lonely)
2) Lots of bad dates (defined as people who are NOT appropriate) (which makes you jaded and frustrated)

New Option:
3) Meeting someone you really like, that you have a great time with, maybe you go out with them several times, have a real connection, but for a good reason (I'm not talking about being too picky here, I'm talking about a real reason that makes things fairly impossible) it doesn't work out. The emotional investment can be tremendous, it can be quite difficult when you realize that there is going to be some "reason" that it won't work out, and it's sad because you really like the person.

Is scenario three the worst of all? Or is it better because at least you get hope about finding someone who is in the ballpark?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Which is Worse?

I was having a debate yesterday with someone about whether it's worse to have a lot of bad dates, or to have no dates. On one hand, it's hard going through a bunch of bad dates, because it makes you think that no one is right and you start doubting whether anyone will ever like you/whether you will like them. It can get quite discouraging to continue going out with the wrong people, especially if they are really wrong. And getting your hopes up, or at least hoping at all, and having those hopes dashed, isn't easy.

On the other hand, when you go through a period of no dates, it gets very lonely and you start wondering if there is anyone out there at all who will ever be interested in you. To not have options at all, to not have the opportunity for hope, can seem very despairing.

We never figured out which is worse - what do you think?

Michal Negrin

One of my co-workers moonlights as a painter and has a very artistic soul. She is my mother's age, and has a daughter who lives in Rome who is my age, who I think I would really like. She's a very cool woman, and I really enjoy talking to her.

This morning she came running up to me with a card from a store she told me I had to check out, that I would absolutely love. It's a jewelry store, the artist is from Israel. I ask her, "Michal Negrin?" She's blown away by the fact that I knew exactly who she was talking about. I told her that I am a big fan. She said that she saw the store and just knew that I had to see it. I assured her that I was very familiar.

It's cool when someone can pick out what you would like.


I've discovered that I really like the word "kinda." It's odd for me, because I'm not so into abbreviated, slang-like words. But kinda just kinda does it for me. It's almost as good as y'all, but even easier to use on a regular basis.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Switching Roles

I feel like I've reversed roles with someone I know. I was talking to her the other night and she was saying how she rarely goes out with her friends anymore. How she likes staying home. It's funny, because for a long time going out with her friends was the most important thing to her - above anything else, including her family and children. And now that her children are gone, and her priorities have changed, she's kinda sad.

What's really weird is that I feel like I've changed places with her. My friends are extremely important to me. My life revolves around them. I never understood it, I thought my friend's priorities needed to be adjusted. But now I get it. It's not that I am necessarily neglecting other things - I don't have children at home to take care of, or a husband or a home. But I do put my friends above all else.

It's weird how these things kinda seem backwards - this person probably wishes that instead of before, now is the time that she wants to be with friends so much, since there isn't anything at home anymore. And I just wish I had understood it earlier.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cool Pen

I thought I was over my obsession with really cool pens, that I had pretty much seen them all and owned all the ones I desired. However, in Staples today, I found one that has little lights shooting into clear strands and rotates through different colors. I couldn't resist - it's just too cool.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hugs for the IDF

This is one of the nicest things I have seen thus far. Send a note (hug) to the IDF soldiers to encourage them in their difficult situation, and thank them for being the ones to fight for our homeland. Check it out and send a hug now!

Oh, and I didn't even realize - they even get chocolate when you participate - what's better than hugs AND chocolate?

The Questions You Don't Want to Ask

There are sometimes the questions you don't want to ask, for fear of the answers. I asked one of them yesterday, and got the answer I was dreading. Baruch Dayan Emes.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Break Time...

From packing.

Ugh, it's such a pain to have to box and bag everything I own up, just to move it a few blocks and then unpack it all again. Which is why I need lots and lots of breaks - hopefully my blogging will end up the fortunate beneficiary.

On the bright side, I bought the coolest curtains for my new apartment. It's so exciting to be able to decorate without anyone else's input or disapproval. It's going to be fun :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

You Learn Something New Every Day

Today's Lesson - Hershey's Kisses don't like to be stapled. (Good part of the lesson - I wasn't the one who tried it.)

Not a Winner

I was amused this morning when I opened my cereal box. They are running a promotion in which you can win a pair of jeans. I didn't really pay any attention to it (because what am I going to do with a pair of jeans?), but when I went to pour my cereal I saw a funny message inside. Instead of the typical, "I'm sorry, you are not a winner, try again," I found "Sorry, this box is not a winner." I had to wonder what kind of complaint they received in order to change the language like that.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Now I Feel Old

I was glancing through the Deep South Jewish Voice, the Jewish newspaper based in Birmingham, and was startled to find that the kids who just finished confirmation (don't ask me what that means, but it's around 10th grade) are the same kids who were my campers when they were 2 years old. Wow.

Question of the Day

If I am caller #1 in the queue, then why on earth do I have to wait on hold for 3 minutes?

Newsweek on Terrorism

A friend forwarded me this article from Newsweek (which is only online, it wasn't in my copy that I received at home) that deals with the Biblical repsonse to terrorism, through the story of Amalek. It's very well-written and appropriate for all audiences, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. I find it particularly interesting because I have always had trouble with the commandment to destroy Amalek (due to my pacifist nature). But the way the author deals with it, I can understand the commandment. Check it out.

Feminism Arising

I still don't consider myself a feminist, but some things just make me mad.

In one of the Yahoo Groups e-mails I receive, the following message was included yesterday:


Several things annoy me about it:
1) Bookkeeper is spelled wrong (though that is the very least thing that bothers me).
2) That a bookkeeper is necessarily assumed to be female.
3) The term "girl." Any employee of a professional company should be given respect and not called "girl." If the advertisement for an employee is such, I can only imagine how that employee would be treated if hired.

My annoyance won out, and I felt the need to respond to the e-mail to attempt to point out the offensiveness inherent in the post. I sent the poster a quick e-mail asking what would happen if a guy would like to apply for the position.

Apparently, sarcasm was completely lost on the recipient. I received a very nice e-mail back stating that I should contact the company to inquire whether they were looking for male employees as well. And was wished good luck. Oy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cheap Therapy

This morning, I threw away a whole stack of junk mail without even opening it. It really was therapeutic. I can't wait to go through all the junk in my apartment and throw away more stuff.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Israel on My Mind

All I can do all day is compulsively check the reports about Israel. (Check these out). I have nothing to say - I feel like there is nothing I can say while I am sitting safe in my office here in New York.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I just found out that our former telephone guy, who hit on me relentlessly (to no avail), is married with five children. He told me he was single. Yuck. Who does that?

Not Enough I Can Do

I'm sitting here in my kitchen in New Jersey, IMing my friend who is currently in Israel. I sent her a link to an article from YNet about the terrorist who was caught in Jerusalem with explosives.

She heard the helicopters mentioned in the article. But she didn't know what it was about, until I told her. It's a little surreal.

I have such mixed emotions - part of me wants to drop everything and go straight there right now because that's the Jewish nation, and I'm a Jew and I feel like I belong there. But the other half of me knows that there's not a whole lot I could do to help if I was there.

So, I continue to pray...

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I just learned a HUGE lesson in giving the benefit of the doubt. I go back to the iceberg analogy - sometimes, even when it's someone you are close with, you really have no idea what's going on under the surface. I feel extremely humbled at the moment.


Hat tip to the Princess who sent me this article. Very funny, considering, when I was growing up, I constantly had people tell me that when they heard my name, they looked for a black girl. I guess they were looking for this one.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Break-Fast Meme

I'm in Baltimore for the weekend, but if I wait until I get home, the answer won't be especially topical. Our classmate wearing a yarmulka asked (actually I don't think he's my classmate, but maybe he's yours) what I broke my fast one.

I broke my fast with three wonderful friends on bagels, cream cheese, butternut squash soup and blintz souffle. And of course, some ice cream for dessert.

Not sure how long this tag can endure, so I'm just going to tag whoever wants to answer (sorry :()

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What I Miss About the South

I was just talking to my mom and she reminded me why I miss the South. My brother was featured in the newspaper a week or so ago for being the scholar-athlete of the week. My mom was telling me that she has been given at least 20 copies, from friends and acquaintances, of the column. She then told me that her bank clerk, Donna, who has been around for years, even clipped out a copy and saved it for my mom.

Compare that with the "chick" who told me last Shabbos that if someone who was checking out her groceries tried to make conversation with her, she would get upset that she was wasting her time.


Internet Provider

I'm looking for a good high-speed Internet provider for my new apartment. If you know of any good deals that include reliable access that are available in Northern New Jersey, let me know!

I Bought a Bed!

It's amazing what you can accomplish in NY on your lunch break. I'm feeling like such a grown-up. I told myself that when I moved, it would be time to replace my bed, because it's really old and falling apart. There's a mattress place near my office. It was actually fun testing out the different beds to see which one I liked best. So, now when I move into my dwelling, I'll have a brand new, really comfy bed to sleep on also! Yay!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I have a habit of calling women "chicks." It's not meant negatively, it's kinda my way of having a female equivalent for the term "guy." People who hear the word "chick" come out of my mouth are often a bit startled, then usually amused if not offended. I'm always amused by seeing their reactions. I think a movement should be started to make "chick" the official casual term for women - who's with me?

I Have a Home!

Yay! I found a new apartment! No being homeless for me!

Humans as Icebergs

Take the time to read this incredibly apt analogy from A Simple Jew. I think he's completely right - humans are like icebergs - there is a ton going on below the surface of what you can see with your eye. And I think many of us are crying out for someone to pay attention to all those things ebbing below the horizon, though we are afraid to let it show.

Family is Good

I am planning on being in Baltimore for the weekend, so I e-mailed my cousins who live there to see if they would be around. I don't think I have seen them since I moved, so I thought it would be nice to stop by for a visit. The e-mail I received in return was really warm and made me feel really good. Growing up, I only saw them very occasionally, so I've never gotten to know them especially well, but while I lived in Baltimore they really were very good to me. It's intersting how that bond of family is almost tangible. I'm really looking forward to seeing them, along with everyone else in Baltimore :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I am so happy right now. One of my co-workers just gave me purple and red Christmas lights to string up around my desk along with my already strung white lights. He even gave me the suggestion of stringing them in an "S" on the wall next to my desk. They are so pretty...I really like them.

Monday, July 10, 2006

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks...

Not that I'm old, or a dog, but I did teach myself a new trick, and I have to admit that I am quite proud of myself.

I just cut my first pineapple all by myself, with only a little help. And I did a fabulous job, if I do say so myself.

Pet Friendly Offices

I just read this article about how more and more work environments have become work friendly. The article quotes a 20% pet-friendly office percentage, though one of the examples used in the article is a place where the employees tele-commute, so I don't really think that should be counted. My current office is the only one I have ever experienced to be pet friendly, though one other company I worked for included a slightly eccentric CEO who kept his parrot as a companion in his office.

According to the article, "Millions of Americans believe pets on the job lower absenteeism and encourage workers to get along." I kinda have to disagree with that one. My experience in having 2 dogs at work leads me to believe that the presence of pets does little to improve the work environment, and discourages some from joining the company. I'm not anti-dog, but I've certainly seen how having a dog in the office is a bit unprofessional and definitely heightens some of the tension in the office.

Anyone else have pets in their office?

Oh that I May Believe

Via Godol Hador, an absolutely fascinating article from Rabbi Nathan Lopez Cardozo, whom I have hard is an amazing teacher. The assertion that in order to believe, one must doubt, and that to have faith, a person must question, is not standard opinion, but I think, is quite wise. Check it out.


I was talking to a friend last night about segulahs. In general, I think they are extremely detrimental and completely defeat the purpose in which people comply with them. I think the problem with them is that a person relies on completing a ritual rather than relying on Hashem. And when the completion of the segulah fails to bring about the desired result, the blame is placed on Hashem, rather than the individual. I have no problem with a person reciting Tehillim - I think it draws one closer to G-d, however, using it as a bargaining chip to get what you want seems counter-productive. I think in general, people would be much better off actually doing something to achieve their goal rather than some unrelated ritual that supposedly will bring about the desired event. I don't really understand the reliance on segulahs, and from what I understand, feel that they should be completely antithetical to a Torah life. So why are they so prevalent?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Good Analogy

I was just talking with one of my co-workers. She used to live in Crown Heights, and she actually really enjoyed watching all the Chasidim on holidays. She was asking me about the structure of Orthodox Judaism - whether Chasidim are considered Orthodox, and what the difference was between Chasidim and Lubavtich, etc.

I gave her the analogy of Christianity - There's Christians, and under that Catholics and Protestants, and under that Baptists and Methodists and Lutherans. And how there are Christians who are very serious and go to church every day, and how there are those who are more casual about it, but are all considered Christian.

She said she understood it finally, and was glad she asked. I told her to feel free to ask more whenever she likes.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


For almost an entire minute, every time I tried to access a blog, I was denied by our firewall. I thought my employer might have installed some kind of software that blocks time-wasting websites. I was really scared for that minute - what would I do all day during work if I couldn't read blogs???

Lucky for me, it apparently was a temporary problem and now I am back in business and able to read blogs to my heart's content.

Science of Siblings

My father passed along the cover article from TIME this week entitled "The Science of Siblings." It's premise is that our personalities are shaped by our interactions with our siblings growing up. Kinda interesting, but I don't think I buy it. What do you think? Did your siblings form who you are?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

All in the Family

My brother was named featured in the newspaper for being an outstanding scholar-athlete (he played for four years on his school's soccer team). They interviewed him and put his picture in the paper, adn my dad faxed me a copy of the article.

Interestingly, one of the questions asked was who he would have dinner with if he could choose anyone, living or dead. His answer was our grandfather who passed away before any of us were born. What I find most interesting about this is that I recall a setting where I was asked the same question...and gave the same answer, though I don't think I've ever discussed it with my brother. I guess as different as I feel like I am from him, we do share some similarities.

Negotiating with Terrorists

I read this post this morning by Jameel. I'm aboslutely blown away by the attitude of Eliyahu Asheri's mother. The ability to push aside personal suffering to focus on the good of the country shows tremendous character.

I'm so torn on this. Every time I think of Gilad Shalit, it breaks my heart and I can't even fathom what he and his family must be going through. Part of me wishes that the IDF do anything in order to get him back home to his family. On the other hand, part of me also knows that giving in to these terrorists' wishes would be to show weakness and give them the upper hand.

I guess it's a good thing I'm not in charge of military operations.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I just put together a barbecue all by myself. And it's really cute. Feeling quite accomplished at the moment. Time to go put my New Jersey license plates on my car - it's a do-it-yourself kinda day.

Update - New Jersey license plates (I've learned that you have to call them that up here - people don't know what you're talking about when you say "tags") have been added to my vehicle. I'm starting to feel like a Yankee. Never thought I would say that. Hope it's only my car, and not my attitude.

Monday, July 03, 2006

In the Red

Wow. This post by Sephardi Lady blows my mind (hat tip to Wolfish Musings). As bad as I thought dating was, I guess the fact that I started dating a bit later, and in mostly BT circles, has kept me from being subject to the degrading process of being judged based solely on my and my family's pocketbook. It alarms and frightens me that those who want to learn Torah on a full-time basis, to (I would assume) end up as those teaching Torah to others, have priorities that are so completely off the derech. Talk about a crisis.

The Strand

I had a couple hours to kill so I wandered down to the Strand Bookstore, which I had heard tall tales about. They were true (especially the tall part!). The books are on shelves to the ceiling, I missed about half of them just because I'm too short to see them (though they did have ladders scattered around for those who wanted to reach the upper shelves). It was a truly impressive place, I can't imagine how many hours I could spend browsing around in there. Probably days on end. My only gripe is that it was just so crowded, a little bit claustrophobic. Otherwise, I'm in really deep like (my love is reserved for the Book Thing in Baltimore).

Where is Ahavas Yisrael?

My Jewish co-worker lives near Boro Park, so over the weekend he went and picked up mezuzahs for our office. He told me how he was relieved that his wife, who is half Chinese, offered to stay outside while he went in, because of the attitudes that he has received in the past. Then he told me a story that just boggled my mind, and really made me mad.

When he was almost 13, he went to Boro Park with his mother to buy a suit for his Bar Mitzvah. He went into the store first while his mom tried to find a parking spot. The store clerk was happy to help him, and was showing him the suits he had. Then his mom walked in. Wearing pants. All of a sudden, the clerk told him that they didn't carry suits in his size. End of story.

What happened to Ahavas Yisrael? Why happened to being a Kiddush Hashem? Why on earth would a suitmaker not want to make a sale, just because a woman came in wearing pants? I think many people lose sight of the big picture.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Why Does He Want to Know if She Wears Open Toe Shoes?

A married friend came across the following audio shiur and was so impressed with it and thought that I would appreciate it so she sent it along to me:

Challenges in Shidduch Dating or Why Does He Want to Know if She Wears Open Toe Shoes?

I'm sure it's probably been distributed around the Internet before, but definitely worth listening to if you haven't already. I don't necessarily agree with every single thing that is said in the shiur, but it definitely offers grounded, practical, non-superficial advice to shidduch considerations. Enjoy!