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Sweet Rose Ramblings (AKA The Call-Waiting Blog)

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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Try It, You Might Like It

My mother is a technophobe. She does just about everything she can to avoid using a computer, and most other technological devices. She probably doesn't even know what a blog is.

In the past, whenever she has needed to do anything online, she has asked my "baby" brother to help her. However, my "baby" brother is now in college, leaving my mom in the house alone. With the computer.

Said "baby" brother put together a tutorial to instruct my mom how to go online. It was really very cute. And he set up an e-mail address for her, which I thought she would never use. She's just always said she has no interest, and that she doesn't like it.

She sent me an e-mail the other day asking what was going on, and updating me about her life. I responded, including a note about how surprised and proud I was that she was using her e-mail.

Her response to that - "i'm loving using the email-it's kinda fun!"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Goodnight Moon

This post by Rabbi Fleischmann (NY's Funniest Rabbi, in case you didn't know) reminded me of the book Goodnight Moon. And since some of my favorites posts by Rabbi Fleischmann are his free association posts (mainly because I don't know how to write a haiku, but I can handle free association), I thought I would let his post give me the tangent I need to start my own.

Goodbye Wall reminds me of Goodnight Moon in name as well as feeling. I loved the Kotel at night with the moon and the stars in the clear, clear Jerusalem sky shining above. The time I visited Israel in the summer I don't remember seeing a single cloud and one of the best and most memorable moments is when they took us out in the middle of the desert, made everyone get off the bus, and suddenly turned off all the lights around the area. We were left standing in the dark, with the incredibly bright stars shining above us. I had almost forgotten that amazing moment. It caught my breath then and still does now when I think about it.

The stars make me think of two things. The first is the glow in the dark stars that whoever lived in my apartment before affixed to my ceiling. I really like them. It makes me happy to see them when I turn out my light at night. The stars also make me think about Pluto and how it was recently demoted. I always liked Pluto, mainly because it was the smallest planet, and I like rooting for the underdog. So, now I'm doubly rooting for it, maybe they'll decide it's a planet again. But I kinda doubt it.

Pluto reminds me of Mickey Mouse, and sidekicks, and Disney Land, which I went to once when I was two. I don't remember much except the fact that I had a pair of Mickey Mouse ears with my name on it for a long time (I wonder how many "Shoshana"s they put on Mickey Mouse ears) and that we went on some ride on water and when we got out we were lost. It was a long time ago.

And water brings me back to Rabbi Fleischmann's blog, where his most recent post is one of a lake, which is beautiful. And I love water, lakes and oceans and rivers (or even the duck pond here in Passaic), as well as loving stars (along with the other things in the sky, like Pluto), but I've never been such a fan of Disney (because their movies are all scary).

Anyway, that's my free association for the night. I'm going to sleep now, and going to look at the stars on my ceiling and be happy.

Sheva Brachos

I just got in from sheva brochos for a friend whose wedding I missed due to the fact that it wasn't close to being local. She's such a sweet person. I had gone shopping with her and helped her pick out the outfit she was wearing tonight. To every person who complimented her on it, she made sure to give me credit. (They aren't going to realize that it was a fluke! And that I am actually horrible at shopping!)

What I thought was so amazing about her is that when one of our friends asked her if it was weird to be married, she said that it was so much better than being engaged. She said that she didn't really like being engaged much, it was just so much stress. But after being married for only three days, she says it is just so comfortable. I am so happy for her.

Already Thinking About Shabbos

I'm going to be hosting my first Shabbos guest in my new apartment this week. I'm really excited about it, as I really do enjoy having guests. In honor of the occasion, I'm planning to make challah tonight for the first time in months. I can't wait to smell that wonderful aroma wafting through my apartment...anyone wanna come for shalosh seudah (the third meal of Shabbos)?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Post Secret

I'm absolutely fascinated with the Post Secret blog - it is so real, it just jumps off the screen with it's intensity. Sometimes, the secrets posted are things that I can relate to, sometimes I can't, but I feel for those who wrote them. And then today, there was this one that made me sad, because I really understand it, for too many reasons...amongst them the Israeli soldiers who have yet to be returned to their families.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Excitement Building

In a few hours, I'm going to my end of summer celebration - Sheryl Crow and John Mayer in concert with a couple of my wonderful friends. I'm so excited!

In other exciting news, Sara K, regular commenter here, found a new home! Yay Sara!

Friday, August 25, 2006


I was at school yesterday killing some time, reading a really bad book (why don't I stop in the middle? I can't figure it out.). There was a guy in the lounge I was hanging out in when I came in and at first I thought he was talking on his cell phone via a headset in some foreign language (it sounded vaguely Spanish, but I really wasn't sure). He had his laptop on his lap and was typing while he spoke. I wasn't pay too much attention to him until I really got tired of my bad book. At one point during a lull I was looking around and I noticed that he was fairly intent on his computer while still talking. Looking a bit closer, I saw that he had a webcam arranged on the top of his laptop and he was not actually talking on a cell phone, it was a microphone attached to his computer. I realized he was talking face to face with someone somewhere else in the world, all via the Internet.

I've always found the webcam thing to be a bit disturbing, never understanding the need for it. (This also goes for plastering pictures of myself all over the Internet, which I refuse to do, which explains my lack of photos of myself on my blog.)

It was kind of surreal realizing that this guy was beaming pictures of himself and seeing the person he was speaking to from the lounge at my school. But kind of cool also.

Brooklyn :(

I'm really, really trying to hold myself back from making disparaging comments about people from Brooklyn. I really, really am, but sometimes they just make it so difficult. I guess I just have a hard time understanding a place wherein the occupants think the world revolves around them, yet don't learn how to spell simple words in English. Ok, that's enough for now.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Well, I managed to render someone somewhat speechless today. I'm not sure if that's an accomplishment or a failure.

LOTD (Lyrics of the Day)

My Lyrics of the Day, courtesy Edwin McCain, Shooting Stars

Tired of hearing 'bout the bling-bling
We're so concered with material things
It's all cars and diamond rings
And do you think it's gonna to ease your sting

Cause that's a hole that you can't fill
Velvet rope overkill
Free your mind let your heart sing
And just remember that they're only things

Maybe this life is just about love and tenderness
If all we are are shooting stars
Maybe we, we can fight
All of this pain and loneliness if
All we are are shooting stars

More Sparkles

My enthusiasm for things that sparkle just continues. This morning, I found socks at Duane Reade (more props to Duane Reade) in purple, blue and pink (each color is a different pair - not all three colors in one sock) with sparkly silver stripes on them. They are making my feet quite happy today :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


We have a lot of employees who work in the field and rarely come into our office in person. I speak to them on the phone on a regular basis, however. Right now they are having a meeting in our office, and I realized while listening from a distance that I recognize who they are by their voices much more clearly than by their appearance. In fact, without hearing them, I don't know who some of them are. It's a bit surreal.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Female "Rosh Kehillah"

Ironically, after yesterday's article about woman who was fired from teaching Sunday School in a Christian church for being - gasp! - female, we have this article from the NY Times (hat tip to my dad who sends me everything he sees about Orthodox Jews) about an Orthodox Jewish woman who just been appointed as a "Rosh Kehilla" or "Head of Congregation" at an Upper West Side shul. Interesting, not sure how I feel about it.


I'm in a kind of melancholy mood today, for a number of reasons, not to be enumerated here. And I've decided I like the word melancholy - it works. Which is always nice, to find a word that really fits. Sorry, being super-random at the moment, but sometimes that's what I need. On the up-side, I may have my first Shabbos guest in my new apartment this week...And I have a huge end-of-summer celebration to look forward to on Sunday.


Often, I find that my friends and I assign nicknames to people, mainly those who are fairly temporary people in our lives (ok, honestly, I'm talking about the guys we date). Why this need to nickname? It seems to make them less real, more caricature. Less serious, maybe less able to hurt us when, inevitably, things don't work out? It gives a funny spin to these guys, gives them a distinctive something, since we often don't get to know them well enough to really define who they are. Do other people do this, in areas other than dating?

Monday, August 21, 2006

And Judaism is Sexist...

I can't even read this article, it's so dumb.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Issues with Artscroll

During the Torah reading in shul on Shabbos, I usually read the English translation of the Torah portion while they are reading it in Hebrew. I get a lot more out of it that way, since my Hebrew is quite lacking. The problem is that I use an Artscroll Stone Chumash. And I am finding whenever I have a question about a phrase or something said in the Torah portion, that might be slightly controversial, Artscroll completely ignores it in the commentary. Absolutely skips over commenting on those verses. So I'm getting annoyed with it. Does anyone have any suggestions of better translations with commentary that I could read?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Friend in Need

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday who I hadn't talked to in a while. A lot has changed in her life, all of which is supposed to be for the good. But I'm worried about her. Though she certainly was saying some of the right things, some of the things she said were a little discouraging also. She lives far away now, and like I said, I hadn't talked to her in a while. So I didn't want to push at the bad, digging for dire clues. But I did wonder, and worry. In general, when concerned, I think it's best to confront someone in person, but I don't think it's going to be possible. I'm worried about her. And don't know how to help. I hate that feeling :(

Shabbos Table Discussion

Had an interesting discussion over Shabbos, which I might expound upon later, about why people follow the herd. Why makes something popular, and why so many people, without real reason, seem to follow along. The example that sparked the conversation was pop music - why specific artists, without real talent, become so big. I haven't read the book "The Tipping Point" but from what I have heard, I imagine it explains it. My explanation was the "spin" that is used to make things cool. But it's beyond that - we explored the idea that we do what is "right" or "appropriate" without thinking about why such things are deemed that way. And we didn't really find great reason.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Flowers for Shabbos

So sweet. My co-worker bought me flowers for Shabbos to thank me for helping him with his database for the past month. I'm so happy to have pretty flowers l'kavod Shabbos. Yay!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Gmail Question

For those of you who have been using Gmail longer and more extensively than I have -

Is there a way to create folders that you can separate e-mail into? Or anyway of sorting your inbox into different locations? I want to sort my e-mails into different sections, and don't know how.


Good night.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

High School Flashback

When I was in Birmingham, my old high school happened to call my mom and ask her to pick up some things that my brother had failed to take care of. My mom thought it would be nice for me to visit my old alma mater so we headed over there. The school was completely moved and rebuilt the year after I graduated. So the building held no nostalgia. But one of my social studies teachers, who also was the school counselor, and led us on a national competition to Washington, DC, is the assistant principal there now. She has an outstanding memory and every time she sees my parents, she always asks about me.

We walked into the office, and it took her about two seconds to recognize me. I was blown away - we are talking about someone who hasn't seen me in 11 years. It was really nice to see her and chat with her for a few minutes. I told her how I always laud the excellent education I received in (gasp!) Alabama.


One of my co-workers just gave me a really cool plant for my new apartment. Yay! I'm so excited to have something living in there. We'll see how long it takes for me to kill it (I don't have a very good track record with plants).

Explaining the Difference

During my trip down South, my dad was asking me lots of questions about what differentiates me and my Orthodox observance from that of the Chabad families who live in Birmingham. And between other Chasidic groups, and Chareidim, and Modern Orthodox. I had such a hard time figuring out how to explain it all. The difference in dress, kashrut, approach to Judaism, etc. I could see that he was thinking about Chasidic men in their black and white and streimels vs. my skirts and long-sleeved shirts, and it was really difficult trying to explain the differences, and the similarities, especially without being derogative towards any group. He asked me whether Chasidic Jews were basically a cult - following a leader, and I had a hard time saying why they aren't. It was really confusing.

Too Many Emotions

It's stories like this that cause me to feel so many emotions - proud and sad and mad and confused and hopeful. So impressed with the amazing uprightness of so many, but hatred at the fact that so many are being pushed to show it. I hope and pray that I read no more of these stories.

A Life Less Valued

I don't get it. I was reading this article from Arutz-Sheva and it said that Israel is offering 600 inmates in exchange for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier (19 years old - just a kid) who was kidnapped almost two months ago. And who knows whether they will accept that offer or not?

It amazes me the discrepancy. Israel is willing to give 600 inmates in exchange for 1 of their citizens. I wonder who values their own people more?

I think my grandfather put it pretty well the other day - he said when it comes to hate, the Arabs win the prize. How I wish it wasn't so.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Believe the Precaution

I sincerely doubted all the news that you should show up to the airport three hours before your flight. I though, my flight leaves very early on Sunday morning - no way I need that much time. Ok, so I left my house three hours before the flight, giving myself two and a half hours to go through security, figuring I would sit around reading for at least an hour.

It took the entire time to go through the security line. They were checking each bag by hand. I had to run to my gate to catch my flight. Get to the airport with a LOT of time. It's worth it.

Draining? Me?

I think I wear my dad out. I've been here less than three hours and he had to go take a nap. And I know for a fact that he got a lot more sleep than I did last night.

Friday, August 11, 2006

September 11

Wow. I was just talking to a co-worker about September 11. I was living in Atlanta when the Twin Towers went down; I never actually saw them in person. While it was still a dramatic event and obviously caught my attention for quite some time, I am very aware that it wasn't anything like it could have been had I worked in this area at the time.

My co-worker just told me that on September 11, some of our employees who work in the field were supposed to be in the Twin Towers when they were hit. However, we were having our weekly meeting in the office for all employees that day. That week, the meeting ran late, and our employees were spared. Thank G-d.

Not a Poet

An old, and new, attempt at poetry (though I am certainly no poet).

Dancing around and around
closer and closer, yet never quite touching.
one cirlce, then the next,
two orbits.

A comet and a star
a sun and a moon
two planets
in the same sphere, but not.

It's frustration
and sometimes tears fall.
So close...
and yet so far.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Kinda Confused

Man plans, Hashem laughs. It really does seem that way, so much. It makes me feel, sometimes, that I shouldn't even try to decide what I think is best for me. But then, I don't know how to live life if I don't.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Thoughts are with Israel

Everything going on in Israel is reaching saturation point. The last few days I have had trouble following - it's been so much. I feel bad about this - because it is so easy for me to shut it off, when there are so many who couldn't shut it off if they tried, and rather than just watching or reading the news, they are living it. Every last horrendous bit of it.

I was just in tears after reading Jameel's report that "The Operation is Starting." I'm full of fear for my brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael. May it all end soon. Please.


My co-worker got her hair cut today. It's quite a drastic cut - he hair is shorter than some of my male co-workers now. I noticed the fact that she got her hair cut - I'm not that oblivious. But for the life of me, I can not picture what she looked like before.

A Book Meme

I've been tagged by Diary of Barbie's Worst Enemy (whose title I love!) for a new book meme (she must have known that books are one of my passions).

So, without further ado, and in an effort to revitalize this blog that I have been neglecting for almost a week now, here ya go:

1. One book that changed your life? The Torah

2. One book you have read more than once? A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

3. One book you would want on a desert island? Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery

4. One book that made you laugh? She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb (it also makes me cry)

5. One book that made you cry? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

6. One book you wish had been written? How to Understand Men

7. One book you wish had never been written? Unfortunately all the Jane Austen books, just because they spawned all the terrible chick lit that is out there today.

8. One book you are currently reading? Off the Derech by Faranek Margolese

9. One book you have been meaning to read? Walden by Henry David Thoreau

10. Now tag five people.
I tag Classmate Wearing Yarmulka, Ezzie, Rabbi Fleischmann, Separation Anxiety and Search for Emes.

Have fun!

Friday, August 04, 2006

I Got Brave!

In anticipation of the Beyond BT shabbaton in Queens tonight, I drove into the city for work so that I could leave directly afterwards. This might not sound like such a big thing, but it is the first time I have ever driven into the city alone. And I did fine! No freaking out! Yay me!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Speech by a Lebanese Woman at Duke University

The formatting on this is terrible, and I just don't have the energy to fix it right now, but I think it's extremely important to read, so please do so.

UPDATE: This DID look horrible, but incredible thanks to Semgirl, who formatted it for me and e-mailed it to me this morning. Thanks so much, have a good Shabbos!

Brigitte Gabriel's Speech At Duke University

"I'm proud and honored to stand here today as a Lebanese speaking for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. As someone who was raised in an Arabic country, I want to give you a glimpse into the heart of the Arabic world.

I was raised in Lebanon where I was taught that the Jews are evil, Israel is the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea.

When the Muslims and Palestinians declared jihad on the Christians in 1975, they started massacring the Christians city after city. I ended up living in a bomb shelter underground from age 10 to 17, without electricity, eating grass to live, and crawling under sniper bullets to a spring to get water.

It was Israel who came to help the Christians in Lebanon. My mother was wounded by a Muslim shell and was taken into an Israeli hospital for treatment. When we entered the emergency room, I was shocked at what I saw. There were hundreds of people wounded, Muslims, Palestinians, Lebanese Christians, and Israeli soldiers lying on the floor. The doctors treated everyone according to their injury. They treated my
mother before they treated the Israeli soldier lying next to her. They didn't see religion, they didn't see political affiliation; they saw people in need and they helped.

For the first time in my life, I experienced a human quality that I know my culture would not have shown to their enemy. I experienced the values of the Israelis, who were able to love their enemy in their most trying moments. I spent 22 days at that hospital; those days changed my life and the way I believe information, the way I listen to the radio or to television. I realized that I was sold a fabricated lie by my government about the Jews and Israel, which was so far from reality. I knew for a
fact that if I were a Jew standing in an Arab hospital, I would be lynched and thrown to the ground as shouts of joy of "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) echoed through the hospital and the surrounding streets.

I became friends with the families of the wounded Israeli soldiers, one in particular, Rina, whose only child was wounded in his eyes. One day, I was visiting with her and the Israeli army band came to play national songs to lift the spirits of the wounded soldiers. As they surrounded his bed playing a song about Jerusalem, Rina and I started crying. I felt out of place and started walking out of the room, and this mother held my hand and pulled me back in without even looking at me. She held me, crying, and said, "It is not your fault." We just stood there, crying, holding each other's hands.

What a contrast between her-a mother looking at her deformed, 19-year-old only child and still able to love me, the enemy-and a Muslim mother who sends her son to blow himself up to smithereens just to kill a few Jews or Christians.

The difference between the Arabic world and Israel is a difference in values and character. It's barbarism versus civilization. It's democracy versus dictatorship. It's goodness versus evil.

Once upon a time, there was a special place in the lowest depths of hell for anyone who would intentionally murder a child. Now, the intentional murder of Israeli children is legitimized as Palestinian "armed struggle." However, once such behavior is legitimized against Israel, it is legitimized everywhere in the world, constrained by nothing more than the subjective belief of people who would wrap themselves in dynamite and nails for the purpose of killing children in the name of god.

Because the Palestinians have been encouraged to believe that murdering innocent Israeli civilians is a legitimate tactic for advancing their cause, the whole world now suffers from a plague of terrorism, from Nairobi to New York, from Moscow to Madrid, from Bali to Beslan.

They blame suicide bombings on the "desperation of occupation." Let me tell you the truth. The first major terror bombing committed by Arabs against the Jewish state occurred 10 weeks before Israel even became independent. On Sunday morning, February 22, 1948, in anticipation of Israel 's independence, a triple truck bomb was detonated by Arab terrorists on Ben Yehuda Street in what was then the Jewish section of Jerusalem. Fifty-four people were killed and hundreds were wounded.

Thus, it is obvious that Arab terrorism is caused not by "desperation" or "occupation", but by the VERY THOUGHT of a Jewish state.

So many times in history in the last 100 years, citizens have stood by and done nothing, allowing evil to prevail. As America stood up against and defeated communism, now it is time to stand up against the terror of religious bigotry and intolerance. It's time for everyone to stand up and support and defend the State of Israel, which is the front line of the war against terrorism.

Thank you."