Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!!!

May this be a year of happiness, healing, joy, success, and love for all of us! Have a great new year!!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Going to the shower and we're gonna get clean....

First shower, post surgery, coming up in a few minutes. Oy, I can't wait. My hair is ready to stage a coup.

Feeling stronger and better each day! Using a walker and a cane. Taking tons of percocet, drinking lots of fluids. Getting out of bed by myself - woohoo!!

Thanks for your wonderful comments and support. You're the best!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Home sweet home

Wow - home has never felt so good.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Day 3 of Recovery

All tubes removed, now just tired and sore. Eating some normal food (is hosp food ever normal?)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, December 20, 2007

All is well!

Drugged up, feeling better already. No food yet, but ice chips never tasted so good. Will post more later. Ciao!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Almost there...

Well, friends, we are now entering the home stretch, the final leg, the final countdown (cue hair band) - my surgery is tomorrow. I have been on a liquid diet for today, and, surprisingly, it wasn't bad at all. Those Ensure drinks sure are tasty!

Oh, wait - Precious just climbed in my lap.... okay, there we go.

Anyway, my operation is scheduled for 1:30 pm tomorrow (isn't that a little late, considering I have to FAST??!?!). My mom arrived safely today, and now she and my sister are napping. I am up, unable to really relax, and am watching tv (just finished Best in Show, one of my favorites, and 10 Things I Hate About You is on now). I am almost done packing my bag for the hospital, including the super-cute new pajamas I bought: four mix-and-match pieces - tank top, long-sleeved shirt, comfy pants, and robe. Figured that they will be a good bet for the hospital and for once I get home. Speaking of which, I hope to be home by the end of the week - they have pretty much told me to expect about 3 days in the hospital.

I will definitely try to post remotely, even just to clear my head, feel a sense of normalcy, and reach out to all of you. I feel so loved, supported, and encouraged by all of the incredible souls around me (including all of my blog-friends). The image that comes to mind is a nice, soft cushion, filled with all the prayers and hope of my friends and family. This pillow is supporting me, comforting me, and sustaining me.

Well, that's all for now. I will probably feel the need to blog again later tonight, out of sheer anxiety, but, if not - wish me luck!

Ta ta for now :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Good Old 80's Fun

I have got to tell you, I found the perfect distraction for today - one of my favorite movies: Earth Girls are Easy. Have you ever seen this one? It is a cult-classic, cheesy musical, starring Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, Julie Brown (of "Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun" fame), Jim Carrey, and Damon Wayans. Of course, when it came out, the latter two were "unknowns," and Jim Carrey was listed as "James."

When the movie first came out in 1988, I was ten and my sister was 8. We were just starting to venture out into our neighborhood on our own. So, on one of our weekend jaunts, we got a little bit of money from our parents, and walked to the local mall/movie theater. We thought we were such big girls!

We decided to have lunch at a little lunch place in Marshall Fields, and then took a chance by seeing this movie. Well, we FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. So much so, we had to go back the following weekend and see it again. We even got a movie poster as soon as we could, and it hung on our bedroom wall until we moved out of that house 7 years later.

So, if you haven't seen it before, give it a chance - you'll giggle, you'll groan, and you'll love it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

three days to go until...

Hi, everybody! I hope you are all having a good weekend, and finding the rest and relaxation that you deserve.

I find myself feeling more and more nervous, understandably, as I get closer to my back surgery. My operation in on this coming Wednesday, so I have three days left of whatever my life is now. I can't yet know what the days, weeks, months will be like immediately following my surgery, but I certainly think a little bit farther into the future...

I can't wait to finally feel better. I can't even imagine what it will be like to live without constant pain nagging at my consciousness. To walk without feeling like I need to find a seat. To do chores around the house without groaning from the growing burning in my back. Wow - that would be amazing.

And yet, even with the hope, I am really pretty scared about the whole thing. I keep doubting myself: maybe my pain is not SO bad, and maybe I can just live with it. But, I know that's the fear talking. I have fought so long and hard to feel better, and maybe, just maybe, the turning point has come.

So, I hope to post over the coming days (God knows I am going to need it), and then I will be sure to post as soon as possible, after the operation, to update you all on how I am feeling. I had a dream the other night that I woke up, right after the operation, as the anesthesia was fading, and I could already feel better.

Maybe it is prophetic?

Have you ever had a dream actually come true?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Underblog Award

Lo and Behold, I am a winner of an Underblog Award! Thanks, Dixie Chick! This is a fun award being presented to blogs that are just waiting to be better known than they are, and are considered to be the "Underblogs." I am so amazingly honored that Bradley (over at the The Egel Nest) suggested to Dixie Chick that she award one to yours truly.

Hooray!! What a great Chanukah gift!!

And the Winner is....

"Sex Kitten"

Can you believe it? A green Toyota Camry named Sex Kitten. Driven around the NYC area by a rabbi...

What will my mother say???


Friday, December 7, 2007

Happy Chanukah!

Hope your holiday season is filled with light, love, and laughter!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Monday Meme - Curious as a Cat

Curious as a Cat posts thought-provoking questions each Monday, and it always sparks interesting discussion and ponderings. I haven't had a chance to participate in awhile, so here goes! Plus, Cat reminds us that you don't have to play on Monday, so if you wanna join in, go ahead whenever you want!

1) If you had to experience one trauma your mother has gone through so that you could better understand her, what would you choose?

My mother's mother died when my mom was only 20. From what I understand, her mom was ill for most of her childhood, and thus my mom never really HAD much of a childhood. She was an only child, and wound up caring for my grandfather as the primary homemaker. Over the years, I have asked my mom about her mother's life and death, and my mom has (understandably) blocked most of it out. And I mean, completely. There are just no memories of it. Thus, I have had to speculate, recreate, and imagine what it must have been like for her to grow up with a sick and dying mother.

2) What is the most revolting combination of colors you can imagine?

What a cool question! Let's see.... definitely some combination of vomitous green and poopy brown :)

3) If you could punish the most difficult person at your workplace, what would you do, and to whom?

A previous co-worker of mine at a previous job was definitely toxic. He thought he was god's gift to the workplace, was incredibly pompous and arrogant, and was completely a FAKE. As soon as you got past the slick exterior, you found... nothing. Emptiness. So, I suppose I would just hope that he would one day be exposed as the fake he is. I hate wishing harm to anyone, but I also believe that he could probably cause a lot of harm to others if trusted too much...

4) What is the thing you know the most about?

Hmmm..... I pride myself on knowing a little bit about a lot, so I have to think. I would hope that the answer would be Judaism, since that it my job.... I also have way too much pop culture knowledge. So, between the two, you've got most of my brain.

5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
I don't know where this picture actually takes place, but it reminds me of Coney Island. I LOVE Coney Island, and I have had a number of memorable visits with family and friends (MJP - I am talking about you!). I don't know how much longer it will remain the Coney Island that we all know and love (they are supposedly tearing most of it down and building condos in the next few years), but the amusement park, historic roller coaster, sideshow, hot dogs, and general ambience make it a very special place. If you've never been - GO!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Surgery Update

Hey, Guys! Be sure to check out the poll to the right - it's time to vote for your favorite name for my car (Green Toyota Camry). I can't wait to see what you choose!!


Well, friends, you have all been so wonderful and supportive. Your comments on my "Surgical Consult" post have given me hope, comfort, and solace. I can't say that I am looking forward to surgery, but, at least, I am not as scared.

The surgeon has decided that, yes, it is indeed time for surgery. I will be undergoing Posterior Lumbar Decompression and Fusion. Sounds exciting and exotic, yes? No matter what, I just want to feel better - wouldn't that be AMAZING????

My surgery is scheduled for December 20. Since I can blog remotely, I hope to be able to update you all directly from the hospital. Cool concept, right? And, you'll have to take the posts with a grain of salt, because who knows WHAT drugs I will be on at the time :) Thank goodness for modern technology.

Then, I was told to expect 4-6 weeks of recovery at home. This actually winds up being perfect timing - it's winter break time, so the synagogue is really quiet. There is very little that I have to reschedule or cover.

My mom is going to come into town for the first few weeks, and then my sister will be helping out. I am sure that friends and congregants will be around, as well.

My mom had a neat idea - she suggested that I journal as much as possible about my experience. It could make a great book one day. She's right - so much of the material available is written by DOCTORS, not patients. Hmmmm..... who knows!

So, I hope you don't mind that I process some of the myriad feelings going on inside of me on these pages. There will be plenty of other posts (of course!!), but this is the major theme in my life now.

Hope all is well in YOUR world!!! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Haiku Has Arrived!!! WOOHOO!!

My dear blog-friend, Jerseygirl89 at Dirty Little Secret, has written me a Haiku as a holiday present. She held a contest of sorts - the first five readers to comment on a particular post could choose the present of their choice (haiku, blog review, artwork from her daughter...). Isn't that a cool idea?? I am SO overjoyed and so excited to share this with you. She is such a great gal, and this just made my day.

So, without further ado, here is the haiku she wrote for me:

A Haiku For Marci

Marci found me so
feel especially lucky
to have found her back

She is so so brave
Fighting her pain all the way
Making us smile too

Marci's Myriad Musings
such a super blog to read
a new perspective

Marci is so kind
She even gives out awards
what a fab blogger

Marci asks questions
like what will she name her car
I must know today

You have to read the
blog that belongs to Marci
or you will be sad.

(PS - I will prepare the "Name My Car" poll and update you on my doctor's appointment later today)

Check out the "Chanukah Countdown Party"

Only SIX DAYS left until Chanukah, the Holidays of Lights! Jews all over the world celebrate the miracles, victories, and heroes of the Chanukah story for eight days. Beginning on the night of December 4, we will sing songs, eat Latkes (potato pancakes) and Sufganiyot (jelly donuts), light menorahs, spin dreidels, and give presents to our friends and families.

My friend and colleague, Phyllis, is hosting a Chanukah Countdown Party on her blog. There are lots of wonderful tips for celebrating, including some green Chanukah ideas. Plus - best part - a GIVEAWAY!!

Go ahead, visit her party by clicking on the graphic below.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday - Cuteness Alert!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Surgical Consult

Howdy, y'all!

I am beginning to feel pretty nervous - I am going to the surgeon tomorrow, and our appointment is called a "surgical consult." When I called the receptionist to confirm earlier today, I asked her what that means, exactly. She said, "it means you are making plans for surgery."

I feel really ambivalent about this - both relieved and terrified. If I wind up having surgery, it could mean that I FINALLY have a chance to feel better. That would be incredible. I can't even imagine what being pain-free would feel like....

On the other hand, the idea of surgery absolutely and totally terrifies me. I have always had a phobia of anesthesia, and I am also scared that I would be in that percentage of people who wind up getting worse from the surgery.

I also don't know anything about the timeline yet. When would the surgery be? Soon? How long would recovery take? Physical Therapy? Guess it is time to start looking for message boards on the topic.

So, tell me - have you ever had surgery of any kind? How was it? Were you helped by it?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Movie Marathons...

I don't know about you, but I have had so much fun catching up on movie watching over the past few days. My sister had one of her wisdom teeth pulled, so we had a quiet Thanksgiving weekend. I watched plenty of old favorites, and I also had a chance to view some newer movies. What I should really do is go to the movie theater.... but, thanks to good-old cable tv, I have had plenty of choices at home. Such as:

  • Mystic River (never saw this one before - how intense!!)
  • Happy Feet (can't get enough)
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch (one of my most favorites)
  • Legally Blonde (probably know this one by heart)
  • 10 Things I Hate About You (so cute!)
  • Big Daddy (Adam Sandler cracks me up)
  • March of the Penguins (wonderful, heartbreaking, breathtaking)
  • Pursuit of Happyness (hadn't seen it, a little disappointed)
  • Big Fish (wow - how moving)
As I flip through the Movies on Demand, here are some movies that I hope to watch soon - I have heard such good things about them. Anybody seen these?

  • Volver
  • The Queen
  • Blood Diamonds
  • The Libertine

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you had a chance to celebrate the blessings in your lives. I am off to do something Thanksgiving weekend shopping. Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday - Never Say Never

It is Heads or Tails Tuesday again - wahoo! Heads Or Tails is a weekly meme done on Tuesdays. Anyone can play. In fact the more, the merrier! You can visit the Heads or Tails Home Page for more information on how you can join in!

Today's topic is: NEVER SAY NEVER.

Never.... what a concept. In thinking about it, I don't think that it is something that I believe in. How can you really say that something would NEVER happen, or has NEVER happened? Even things that you thought were NEVER possible, whether positive (falling in love) or negative (a serious car accident), are usually somewhere in the realm of possibility. My family always likes to quote the adage:
"The one thing you always know is that you never know, you know?"
So, in response to the word, NEVER, I say - you never know!
I never thought I would have a blog, or even that I could maintain it for so long. In actuality, I am now nearing my 100th post... look for the celebration soon!
I never would have guessed that I would become a rabbi... but now, it is the most natural, wonderful, and perfect life. I was made for this, and just didn't know it when I was younger.
A year ago, I never would have thought that my relationship with my ex would end. And now, I feel so free, so much farther along my life's path, and so optimistic about my future.
And you? What could you have never imagined?

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Car-friend's Back and You're Gonna Be in Trouble...

I got my car back today!! YAY!!! To make a very long story short, the engine exploded back at the end of the summer, and a variety of circumstances prevented me from both fixing it and getting it back. But, today, the ordeal has come to an end, and my baby is back!

The picture above is NOT my exact car, but looks very similar. She is really cute, and is just the best. But, now, I have a quandary - I need your help. What should I name her???

Please submit your name suggestions for my green camry -
I will hold a vote of my top four choices, and whoever wins gets to know that they have named my car! Woohoo!!

Go ahead and leave your suggestions in the comment page. I will then post a poll, and we shall see what my car will be named. Thanks for your help in advance :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Just Lying in Bed...

Just wanted to say hello. I had a facet injection in my back on Friday, and have needed to spend the last few days resting as much as possible. It was the most painful procedure on my back yet, but as my sister pointed out, maybe it's a good thing: perhaps the doctors were able to isolate one of the main areas of pain for me.

I was able to stay in bed on Friday, following the procedure, but then I had a full day of rabbi-duties yesterday (I was mentioned in the New York Times Wedding Section - woohoo!). Today, I taught 10th graders in the religious school, and now I am back in bed, cuddling with Precious.

Here's a picture of my baby for the day - she has really cheered me up a great deal, and has kindly distracted me from the pain. Yay for kitty cats!
How was your weekend?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Stream of Consciousness Poetry Moment





Thursday, November 8, 2007

Launching a New Award: Wonderful Women of the Web Award

Happy Thursday! I have been so inspired by so many of the blogs that I visit, and I am always so honored to receive awards from my blogosphere friends. Plus, as a woman rabbi, I find that my female voice adds something important to the centuries of male Jewish study and understanding. Put it all together, and what do you get? A new award!

I am hereby announcing the creation of a new award that seeks to honor the special women that add their voices and stories to the worldwide web. I am sure that you have all been inspired, have laughed, have learned, and have been moved by the words of one of the women who blog regularly. Well, now is the time to honor them.

If you receive this award, I encourage you to think about the women whose blogs you enjoy. Then do the following:

  • Be sure to pass it along, and share the honors. None of us would be where we are without others supporting us, encouraging us, and teaching us.
  • If you feel comfortable, tell the bloggers why they mean so much to you.
  • Please link back here, and let me know that you have passed it on. It will be fun to watch it travel!
  • Smile, knowing that you have brightened someone's day :)
And now, here are the first recipients of this new award.

Skittles, at Skittles' Place. Barb, aka Skittles, is one of the kindest, most thoughtful bloggers I have encountered. She shares her joys and sorrows, her laughter and her tears, with her readers. We all feel like part of a greater community when we visit her blog. She is, indeed, a Wonderful Woman of the Web.

Jojo A. at No Barking... After 6. This blog is filled with so many fun facts (who knew there were so many phobias out there??) and random observations. You never know what you are going to find from visit to visit. Yet, in the midst of the randomness, Jojo isn't afraid to speak personally, and these are some of the best posts. She is, indeed, a Wonderful Woman of the Web.

Shan, at Rambling Shan. Shan was one of the first bloggers to make me feel at home on the web. Her posts range from funny to profound, and she supports many other bloggers around the world. Plus, she just turned 30, so she deserves lots of good things! She is, indeed, a Wonderful Woman of the Web.

Jerseygirl89, at Dirty Little Secret. Jerseygirl is a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) who takes breaks from her important duties at home to write thoughtful, hilarious, and personal posts. I enjoy stopping by to see what her latest adventures have been. She is, indeed, a Wonderful Woman of the Web.

Zilla at Zilla. I just love visiting her blog. She has endlessly wacky experiences with her family, as well as plenty of poignant moments. There are always many comments to her posts, and it is clear to see how many of us enjoy the lens through which she sees the world.
She is, indeed, a Wonderful Woman of the Web.

BipolarLawyerCook at BipolarLawyerCook. Looking for yummy recipes? Hilarious transcripts of her conversations with her husband (known as BH, for Better Half)? Moving depictions of her emotional, familial, and personal struggles? It's all here, and each is exquisite. She is, indeed, a Wonderful Woman of the Web.

Phyllis at Ima on (and off) the Bima. Phyllis is a colleague and friend of mine who I discovered, a few months ago, has an amazing blog! In her posts, she shares her feelings about balancing her rabbinate, motherhood, creativity, and personal growth. She is also an avid reader of others' blogs, and I think that is the most important part of being a worthy blogger. She is, indeed, a Wonderful Woman of the Web.

Finally, Sarene at Confessions of a Rock and Roll Bride. Sarene's blog is just waiting to "be discovered," so I encourage you to stop by. Sarene is a journalist, but really wishes she were a rock star. Hence, her witty observations bring together her writing skills and her passion for music. She is getting married soon, so you even get to witness her wedding planning. She is, indeed, a Wonderful Woman of the Web.

These are just the beginning. I have so many other blogs that I want to honor, so over the next few weeks, I will send out new batches of awards. For those who have won, I look forward to seeing who you honor next.

Yay for Wonderful Women of the Web!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chronic Pain: A Three Year Retrospective

Well, friends, I try so hard to be chipper, and sometimes it is really tough. As you may know, I was in a serious car accident, and have been working hard to heal since then. Today is the three-year "anniversary (yay?)" since my accident.

So, three years ago, today, I was visiting my family in Chicago to see my youngest brother star in his high school's production of Bye, Bye, Birdie. I was so excited to see him, particularly since I live so far away most of the time. I was driving my mom's car (alone), and I was on my way to pick up my grandmother. I needed to take a very busy street (Milwaukee Ave, for those who know) to get there - it is often a 45 or 50 mph speed limit.

I stopped in the left lane, because the driver in front of me was making a left turn (there was no official lane for it). I guess the guy behind me never saw me sitting there. I watched him approaching, in the rearview mirror, completely disbelieving the possibility of him actually hitting me. Which he did.

The trunk wound up in the backseat. Apparently, when you are rear-ended, the airbags do not deploy. Hence, my foreheard slammed into the steering wheel.

There is so much to be grateful for: I was alive. I was able to walk from the car to the ambulance. Other than a concussion, there was no head injury. My grandmother wasn't in the car. I can walk. I can still sing karaoke.

Then, there is my kvetching: I am in constant pain. I can't walk long. I have a herniated disk, a slipped vertebra, nerve compression, stenosis, and disk degeneration. I can no longer dance, bicycle, swim, jump around, or any of the other wonderful things I love. I can't hold a Torah, and have to limit my time standing on the bimah. I walk with a cane half the time. I am on pain killers at all times. Bleh.

Well, luckily, everything else in my life is going really well, and this allows me to focus on finally fixing this. I am working with a new batch of doctors, and they are conservative AND proactive. I have a facet injection on Friday (have had three epidural injections which didn't have any effect). Then we see if it works. Then we try more drastic measures, because there is nothing else left (and trust me, I've tried).

Figured I would bring you up to date, and share some more of my experience with you. We chronic pain sufferers need to unite - it can be so demoralizing, but we can stick together and get through it!! And, even though they can't directly relate, my family and friends have been terrific.... though I HATE complaining.... (and I can't even believe that I wrote all this tonight). However, it feels good to let it out!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Oh My Goodness - An Award!

Hooray! I was awarded another award, and I just can't believe it! Bradley Egel, over at The Egel Nest, was kind enough to select me as a recipient of an award that he created. So now, my blog has been "hatched" - whatever that means, it sure sounds fun!

Funny story about Bradley - I actually knew him WAY back when. We both went to the same overnight camp, OSRUI, when we were much younger. I was also friendly with his younger sister, Sue. Fast forward to now (gosh, 15 years later?), and I saw his name on comments on some of the blogs that I visit. Could it be the same Bradley Egel from all those years ago? So I checked out his EGGScellent blog, and it sure is! What a fun way to get back in touch... the blogosphere never ceases to amaze me.

But, wait, there's more! His sister, Sue, wound up being set up on a date with a friend of mine, Tom, from high school. They fell in love, got married, and had a baby a few months ago. Tom is close friends with my best friend's husband (they are the ones who live in Arizona)! What a small world!!

Anyway, thanks, Bradley, for the award. Your blog is so exemplary, so informative, and so fun - I learn much from you. I can only hope to aspire to your blog-errific-ness!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday: Halloween

Well, the Heads or Tails topic for this week is Halloween, and it gives me a good opportunity to blog about something that I have wanted to talk about for a long time. It's really hard for me, and I mentioned it once before, but I psyched myself up and got ready to write now as Halloween got closer. I hope you will bear with me as I finally get it all out.

For me, Halloween is no longer a fun holiday. Five years ago this Wednesday, I learned of the death of one of my best friends, Todd. He was found dead on an air force base (on which he was stationed) in Korea, and his cause of death has never fully been determined. I still hear the echo in my head when my father told me the news over the phone: "Honey, Todd is dead." Even looking at those words on my screen as I type them, I am stunned that they are true.

Todd was one of those friends you find as a child, and an indelible bond is formed. We met at synagogue when we were about 8 years old. His mom was single, and she found a lot of meaning coming to Shabbat services each week. She became close with my mom, and thus, Todd and I had reason to hang out every Friday night.

We would bring our Cabbage Patch Dolls to services, sit in the front row, and pretend that they were our children. We would make the sign language sign for "I love you" back and forth to each other. We would fall asleep snuggled up to each other in the backseat of my mom's car each week as the moms talked long into the night in the front.

As the years passed, we would lose touch for long periods of time. However, each time that we found each other, it was as if no time had gone by. We were able to pick up our friendship right where it had left off. As I got older, I always had the sense that, if we reached 30 and hadn't gotten married, we had each other. He had a very deep, important place in my heart, and the child-like "I love yous" grew to a love that was like the closest friend, family member, or lover.

Nevertheless, we were never really single at the same time, so dating was never a real option. I was engaged at one point, and he was single. Later, he was engaged, and I was single. It kept going back and forth like that. Suddenly, in 2000 and 2001, we were both single. Though he was now in the air force, and stationed in Arizona, we often wound up in Chicago simultaneously. We would spend every waking moment together on these visits home, even falling asleep in each other's arms after a particularly long day.

Then, September 11, 2001, happened. I felt an urgency to spend time with him, unlike anything I had felt before. I talked to him on the phone many times a week, and suggested during one of these talks that I come out to Tucson for a visit. We arranged for a visit over Thanksgiving of that year.

Well, what can I tell you - it was a passionate, intoxicating visit, filled with laughter, love, sight-seeing, romance, and fun. I never thought that moments like that would ever happen, and then they were real. However, we both realized that there wasn't really a future for us as a couple - he was living the military life, and I was becoming a rabbi. We agreed not to let the weekend change our relationship, and returned to our lives.

Who knew that, less than one year later, he would be dead??

We stayed in touch, and soon I learned that he would be shipping off to Korea. My heart ached, knowing that it would be two years before I could see him again. Yet, there is a certain excitement to an epistolary relationship, so we wrote long letters back and forth. I received postcards from his various Asian travels, and I sent him updates of my spiritual journey.

Then, silence. I didn't hear from him for a little while. Maybe it was just going to be one of those breaks in communication that we would go through? But, and I don't know why, one late night I had an urge to email him and tell him that I was thinking of him. The next morning, I got a disturbing email from him. He felt like he didn't deserve his achievements, he had hurt too many people, and felt like he had lost God. I wrote back quickly, telling him that he was wonderful, that returning to God was possible at any time, and that I cared for him. That was October 29....

Then, the phone call on October 31...."Todd is dead."

I was convinced that it was suicide, but the coroners didn't find any evidence. It didn't seem like an accident, and yet it didn't seem like foul play. There were no answers. Just.... nothing.

I flew home immediately. Because he died in Korea, there was a long, weeklong wait for his body to be flown to Chicago for the funeral. My siblings and I sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" at the funeral, because of his love for flight. The rest of those two weeks is a blur.

Todd, I miss you so much. I miss our talks, our scatological humor, our deep conversations about human nature and theology. I can't believe that it has been five years since your death - how can it be that long?? And how can I still hurt so much at this time of year? The months of Halloween decorations only make it hurt more, like I can't get away from the impending anniversary of your death.

I hope that you are flying high, soaring on the breeze, watching over me, and at peace. May your memory always be for a blessing.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I've Been Tagged! Crazy 8's Meme

Well, folks, it's that time again - for another fun meme to get the week going. I am excited that my friend, Phyllis, over at Ima on (and off) the Bima, tagged me with this one. Some of my answers probably won't surprise you by now, but I guess you never know! Thus, without any further ado, the Crazy 8's Meme shall commence...

8 Things I'm Passionate About:

1. Pop Culture
2. Reading
3. Making the World a Better Place
4. Judaism
5. Karaoke
6. Love
7. Animals, especially my kitty cat, Precious
8. Family

8 Things I Want to Do Before I Die:

1. Write a book
2. Spend time in all 50 states
3. Participate in a past-life regression
4. Fall in love (again)
5. Get married
6. Have lots of happy, healthy babies
7. Change the world for the better
8. Live in Israel again, even if only for a month or so

8 Things I Say Regularly:

1. Poop!
2. Poopy Pants!
3. Pooper Scooper (see the pattern here??)
4. Shabbat Shalom
5. My condolences; I am so sorry for your loss
6. You will be in my thoughts and prayers
7. Whatever tickles your pickle!
8. Whatever, Trevor!

8 Books I've Read Recently (or am reading now...):

1. Marked
2. The Golden Compass
3. To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility
4. Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives
5. Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir
6. Water for Elephants
7. The History of Love
8. Toxic Coworkers: How to Deal with Dysfunctional People on the Job

8 Songs I Can Listen to Over and Over Again:

1. "Feel," by Robbie Williams
2. "Waiting for My Real Life to Begin," by Colin Hay
3. "Everytime," by Britney Spears
4. "Hey, Eugene," by Pink Martini
5. "Y'hiyeh Tov," by David Broza
6. "Tiftach Chalon," by Rita
7. "My Immortal," by Evanescence
8. "Waters of March," by Jane Monheit

8 Things that Attract Me To My Friends:

1. Sharp Wit
2. Awareness of the world around them
3. Deep sense of kindness
4. Wise souls
5. Compassion
6. Optimism
7. Faith in themselves and in me
8. Faith, period

8 Things I Learned in the Last Year:

1. How much I love being a rabbi
2. How to be an "aunt" to my best friend's son
3. How easy it is to become complacent
4. Change, though immensely difficult, is so freeing
5. I don't have to apologize for who I am, just to get someone to care for me
6. Just because something is hard doesn't mean it is bad
7. My siblings and I are not just carbon copies of each other
8. That there are wonderful people out there in the blogging world - thanks, everyone!

And, now, I get to tag some other people - woohoo!

Confessions of a Rock and Roll Bride
Dirty Little Secret
No Barking... After 6

Have fun, one and all!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Why are these movies on all the time??

Have you ever noticed how there are a few movies that are ALWAYS on television? I mean, whenever you flip through the channels, you are guaranteed to find at least one of these at all times? What is the deal? Are they cheaper to show? Do these basic cable channels have unlimited access to these particular films? Granted, I am not saying that they are bad, just that they are OVERDOING IT!! Seriously, this is verging on abuse...

1) The Fifth Element
2) Dirty Dancing
3) The Wedding Singer
4) She's All That
5) Grease (and Grease 2)
6) The Mummy
7) Some American Pie movie
8) One of the Godfather series
9) A John Grisham or Michael Crichton movie
10) Sleepless in Seattle

What is the deal? Have you noticed this??????

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Soul Teachers

Pondering souls that meet each other
Those that follow each other through lifetimes
Souls that reside on the great Tree of Life
And are meant to encounter again and again.

Mothers, fathers,
Friends, mentors,
Others that aim to reach us, to teach us
A lesson for the soul's evolution.

Higher and higher I climb
With the help of the partner souls.
Find me in this life -
Thus the learning can begin

I await you.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

So, You Wanna Hear About My Date?? Teehee!

You guys are so great! It means so much to me that you wanna hear about my date :)

It was, in one word.....AWESOME!!

I seriously had no expectations going in. I mean, here I am, dating again after nearly five years. I have very little dating experience as an adult, so I figured, as you know, that it was good just to get out there. Time to start honing my dating skills (small talk, appropriately timed laughter, batting my eyelashes, the gift of my rapt attention...)!

Well, the date was so much easier than that! This guy, we will call him "Q," was such a gentleman. We went out for wine - coincidentally, he chose a place RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from my synagogue! He has all five boroughs of NYC at his disposal, and he chooses a place right by work... crazy! He is a therapist, a good listener, and has a fascinating history. It felt so comfortable talking to him - as if we had known each other longer than just an hour or two.

Well, we met up at 9:30 pm, and, before we knew it, it was nearly 1am. The time just flew by! We decided it was probably time to get going, so we walked a bit down the street. Ready for the romantic part? He asked if he could kiss me goodnight - wow! It was very sweet; nevertheless, it was admittedly strange kissing someone new after all this time of being with one guy. Do you know what I mean?

Other highlights:
- He said that I have pretty, warm eyes :)
- He was struck by how easy it was to talk to me (I felt the same way!)
- No one from the temple walked by - phew!
- I tried a new kind of wine from South Africa - yummy!
- He wants to see me again - woohoo!!
- He LOVED hearing about my work as a rabbi (that can really scare the guys off...)

Well, even if nothing were to come of this, it was still such a nice feeling. I felt attractive, desirable, and much more confident in myself. What a great leap back into the dating world!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Community Blogger Award - hooray!

Oh my goodness, I am so incredibly honored! Skittles was kind enough to think of me when giving out a Community Blogger Award. Thanks, Skittles!

This award was created by Sultana Blog. It is a Community Blogging Award designed to "celebrate people who reach out and makes the blogger community a better one."

It is my honor to send this award out to some of the blogs that, in my humble opinion, enhance the blogging community in their own special way. Please be sure to check out each of their blogs - they are informative, funny, moving, and always a joy to visit.

Ima on (and off) the Bima
Rambling Shan

Thanks again, Skittles, and congratulations to the next round of winners :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wish me luck!!!

Well, folks, you send a message out to the universe, and the universe answers! I have a date tonight! What are the chances??!? In the few days since I posted that I felt "ready" to begin dating again, I met someone online, and we are meeting up for drinks tonight. I don't expect much, considering how out of practice I feel; however, you never know!

I really appreciate all of the kind words of encouragement that you have sent me over the past few days. I will definitely try to be myself... I will be proud of who I am AND what I do... I will be relaxed (oy!), charming (please!), and smiley (teehee!). Wonder if we can fit in a little karaoke on the side :)

I look forward to updating you all later - wish me luck!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A ReAwakening?

Some of you know that I went through a pretty difficult breakup back in December 2006. We had been together for 4 years, and I really thought that "this was it." Turns out - he wasn't really able to handle my rabbi-ness, and I was continually apologizing for keeping him waiting all the time that I was at my job (how cruel of me to have my own life....).... So, the past few months have allowed me to heal, to rebuild my self-image, and to feel more and more proud of who I am. In this process, I have had no interest in dating anyone new.

Anywho, all the sudden, I have felt a change.

Suddenly, I feel ready to embark on the dating road. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it is exciting to be entertaining the idea of meeting someone new. Yeah, it's quite a scary proposition (oy, the perils of dating), but I am ready to go back out there. I think that I am THAT MUCH more sure of who I am (though self-awareness is always a work-in-progress), and thus, that much more ready to be myself WITH someone else.

Kinda cool, eh?

Any words of wisdom from all of my blog-friends?

(PS - the art above is by Jan Rae)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

I understand this painting....

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday - "Explore"

Well, friends, it is Heads or Tails Tuesday again - hooray! Heads Or Tails is a weekly meme done on Tuesdays. Anyone can play. In fact the more, the merrier! You can visit the Heads or Tails Home Page for more information on how you can join in!

Today's topic is: EXPLORE.....

For some reason, the word "explore" often reminds me of camp. In junior high and high school, I had the privilege of attending a wonderful overnight camp, Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute, (or OSRUI, as we call it). OSRUI is a Reform Jewish overnight camp in Oconomowoc, WI, and I had the opportunity to go for three summers, culminating in a summer-long, intensive Hebrew program that was life-altering.

My summers there were, and still are, precious to me. They really helped further the formation of my identity. Before going to camp, I was stuck in a rut - I had 'skipped' first grade, and had a reputation for being both smart and different. It wasn't that I was nerdy, but I felt boxed in to this one image of who I was. Adjusting to the new social group had been quite challenging when I was so young, and it took a long time to break free from merely being known as "the one who skipped."

So, fast forward to the summer after sixth grade - for the first time, no one knew about my past, and I was able to be whomever I wanted. I EXPLORED many different identities that first summer. I even gave myself a new nickname, Maci (pronounced like the store), in order to EXPLORE what that felt like. Soon, I earned a reputation for being fun, wild, spontaneous, and flirty (I had THREE boyfriends in THREE weeks that year!!). What a difference! Luckily, I was able to bring some of that newfound confidence back home with me, and integrate it into my school life. I was never the same, and longed for the next opportunity to go back to camp. I returned the following summer, and then the summer before 10th grade.

For those of you who have attended overnight camp, you know how intense those friendships can be. I am still friends with a number of my camp friends, and I treasure those summers. Additionally, I credit OSRUI with being part of my inspiration to become a rabbi. Those summers instilled in me a deeper love for Judaism than I probably would have had with synagogue life alone. Perhaps I am a rabbi just so that I can recreate those camp experiences for others!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Curious as a Cat - a Monday Meme

Here is a Monday Meme from Curious as a Cat - it always asks interesting and provocative questions. I missed last week's, and it had a question that I really wanted to answer, so I am going to break with protocol and do last week's questions instead of this week's.

1) If you could have eased the death of one person, whose would it have been?

Oh, Todd, I wish I could have been there to help you. Todd was one of my best friends for nearly my entire life. We knew each other from elementary school on, and I always felt a deep love and affection for him. Even if we would lose touch over the years, any time we would reconnect, it would feel as if no time had passed. [His anniversary of death is coming up in a few weeks, and I will tell you more about him then]. To make a very long story short, he was found dead on the air force base he was stationed at in Korea. The military has never determined the cause of death - not even whether it was accidental or if foul play was involved. I just wish I could've been there to stop it all from happening... or even to be there with him so he didn't have to die alone.

2) What value do you consider most important when choosing a friend?

I've never really thought about this one in quite this way. What value? Probably involvement in what we call in Hebrew tikkun olam - a need to repair the broken world around us. I respect people who care about the world, who care about other human beings, and who want to make the world a better place by seeking to end suffering and injustice. ... that and a really big appreciation for potty humor :)

3) If the U.S. had to give up one state, which one would you pick? Why?

Um, well, I hope not to offend anyone.... But, I would probably pick Wyoming - I just don't know anything about it. So, purely selfishly, I would just get rid of it. Actually, it reminds me of an old television cartoon version of "Garfield," in which he jokingly explained that, "Wyoming translates to, 'No State Here.'"

4) When (at what age, or during what event) did you have the least self-confidence?

Following my car accident nearly three years ago, I developed pretty severe anxiety and panic. Thank goodness, over the years, it has gotten much better. However, my self-confidence drops and my self-consciousness rises the more anxious I get. Especially as I get close to a panic attack, I tend to get really unsure of myself. I am sure that it goes hand in hand with the feelings of anxiety and unsteadiness.

5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
I get the warmest feeling when I look at this - as if we are all going to gather in front of the fireplace with warm apple cider and cookies. We will listen to stories about fantastic lands, incredible feats of bravery, and romantic tales of love conquering all. We hear the fire crackling, smell the cinnamon and cloves, cuddle together under blankets, and smile at each other. What a peaceful moment!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Karaoke Craziness!

Ahhhhh - I feel so satisfied. Last night, Lindsay (my sister) and I decided to try out a bar in our area that was offering karaoke. When we used to live in NYC, we would go all the time. However, since moving to New Jersey, we hadn't yet tried out any bars in our new neighborhood. A great "K.J." was there (Karaoke Jockey) from Evil John Karaoke. Thanks, John, for being so much fun, and letting us sing so much!

It took a while to get familiar with being up there, with moving my body, with performing in general. I hadn't been to karaoke in about six months - I used to go at least once a week while I was in graduate school! Because of my back pain, I rarely dance or move in any way other than walking. Though I am paying for it a little today, I am so glad that I danced and had fun last night.

I sang, "We Belong," by Pat Benatar; "Criminal," by Fiona Apple; "I Touch Myself," by the Divinyls (teehee!); and, "Out Tonight," from Rent.

Lindsay and I also did a duet: "I Know Him So Well," from Chess. She sang a bunch of songs, and we had such a good time. The bar wasn't too crowded, and there weren't that many people singing - hence the great number of songs that we were able to perform.

Hoooray for karaoke! I can't wait to go again!

So, what songs do you like to do/would you sing if you could? Even if you've never been to karaoke - what would be your first choice?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Movie Quotes Answers!

Wow, I am so impressed with all of you! It seems like a bunch of you knew all five answers. Kudos to Lindsay, Jessica and Sarene, who came in with the best scores, from what I can tell. However, you all get points for playing - thanks!

And the answers are...

"And in the morning? I'm making waffles!"

This one is from SHREK - a movie that never stops making me laugh :)

2) "I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen."

Ah, SAY ANYTHING. What would Junior High and High School have been like if I hadn't always been on the lookout for my very own Lloyd Dobler? In fact, I think I am still looking...

3) "The Pit of Despair- don't even think of trying to escape."

Teehee - a quote from THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Another standard among my friends and me as we grew up. I probably quote this movie in some way at least once a day.

4) "I felt like destroying something beautiful."

A movie that totally blew my mind while in my early 20's - FIGHT CLUB. It had a raw quality, and a deep sorrow, that resonated with me at a particular time in my life. Never mind the fact that I have a huge crush on Edward Norton!

5) "Every time I try to talk to someone, it's always 'Sorry this' and 'Forgive me that' and 'I'm not worthy'..."

What would comedy be like without MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL? Another one that I quote often, this film gets funnier every time I watch it. Seeing SPAMALOT on Broadway just took the genius to a whole new level.

Well, thanks to all of you for playing. I hope this was fun for you. Should I do it again? Maybe once every other week or so? I might even vary the topic - movie quotes, song lyrics, television characters, showtunes... Ah, the possibilities are endless.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Movie Quotes Quiz!!!

Welcome, one and all, to the first Movie Quote Quiz here at Myriad Musings. I will give you a number of movie quotes (thanks to IMDB for help), and you can feel free to guess in the comments section. Some will be more mainstream than others. I'm going to start off pretty easy with this one :)

I will announce a winner in the next post, as well as the correct answers. Have Fun!

Myriad Movies of Marci Quiz

1) "And in the morning? I'm making waffles!"

2) "I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen."

3) "The Pit of Despair- don't even think of trying to escape."

4) "I felt like destroying something beautiful."

5) "Every time I try to talk to someone, it's always 'Sorry this' and 'Forgive me that' and 'I'm not worthy'..."

Okay, folks -- what are your answers?

Friday, September 28, 2007

An Evening (cough) with Sir (cough,cough) Ian McKellen (cough, cough)

Oh, the humanity. I am totally mortified -

A colleague, and friend, invited me to see a visiting production of The Seagull with her tonight. The biggest selling point? Sir Ian McKellen, himself, was appearing in this Royal Shakespeare Company production. Awesome, right?

Well, it was, and I am still enjoying it. However, my lovely readers, you may recall that I had that awful flu a few weeks back. I THOUGHT that I had gotten rid of it. If only...

About 15 minutes into the first act, I got that tickling feeling at the back of my throat. I thought to myself, "Hmmmm. That feels like a cough tickle." So I turned to my left and to my right, to eye my placement within the row. Yep, right smack in the middle. Then, the first COUGH. Maybe it would pass? COUGH, COUGH, COUGHCOUGHCOUGH. I tried to relax, but then started thinking about the fact that I was sitting in the SECOND ROW. Directly in front of SIR IAN MCKELLEN!! Yeah, that realization didn't help so much.

The coughing continued. I couldn't stop, and started to feel like this was only going to get worse and worse.


Decision time - keep annoying this great actor a mere 10 feet from me, as well as disturb everyone around me, or tumble over all the people in the row.

Uh oh, the cough was getting bad - I decided to bolt out of there. Ran out of the row, darted up the aisle, across the theater, down the stairs.

Where was the bathroom? What if this cough triggered my gag reflex? Even a water fountain would have helped.

I wound up getting lots of caring assistance from the ushers - they were so concerned and kind. They handed me a free bottle of water, and a hard candy (as if they were prepared for this kind of thing?). They helped me find another seat further back, on the aisle, for the remainder of the first act. I reunited with my friends at intermission. At the end of the show, some of the ushers checked in with me again, to see how I was feeling.

And Sir Ian? Well, he never missed a beat. That's true acting - thank goodness I didn't disturb him.

Ever have something like this happen to you???

Monday, September 24, 2007

A cool picture I took...

I don't know, I kinda thought this turned out pretty cool...

(Had this urge to take a picture of my hair spread out like that)

....thanks for indulging me.

Monday Meme

A fun Monday meme, found at Curious as a Cat. Thanks to Skittles for recommending this one! Here goes...

1) When was the best time, or what was the best experience, you've had with a sibling?

For rabbinical school, I had to live in Israel for a year. Lindsay, my sister, came to live with me for one month during my stay. She and I did many wonderful touristy things while she was there, but one stands out the most: we decided to climb Masada. Most people go before sunrise, while the desert is still cool, and reach the top as the sun comes up. For some reason, we decided to go in the afternoon. In the desert. In the salty air near the dead sea. Oy. It took us two hours to reach the top, and we thought we were going to die a number of times on the way up. The miraculous thing? It looked like it was going to rain the whole time, but didn't begin until the EXACT MOMENT that we reached the top. Wow.

2) When do you feel the loneliest?

I have a big family - there are six of us altogether (four kids). I am used to having someone around to talk with at any given time. However, sometimes, everyone else is busy, and all I get is voice mail for each phone call. That is when I feel the loneliest - no one in the whole family to talk to...

3) If a one-year period of your diary were to be published with your name attached, what year would you prefer?

Hmmmm.... funny thing is, I have always kinda figured that my diaries would be published one day. Guess that is why I love blogging so much. :) But, if I had to pick a year, it would be 7th grade - I was terribly depressed, and really had such a terrible, angst-ridden year. I would want to publish the entries, poetry, and reflections to show that, well, look where I am today. I would want to say, "One day, it is going to be okay. It may not be soon, but, I promise, it won't always feel this bad."

4) What has been the biggest accomplishment of your life (so far)?

Definitely becoming a rabbi. Oy - it was five years AFTER college, and encompassed some of the most difficult, painful years of my life. There are many times that I probably should have taken a year off, but, somehow, I made it through. I love being a rabbi, and am so proud of it.

5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.

I look at these bookshelves and think, "There is so much room left for more books! My shelves, both at home and at my office, are overflowing with books, and all I want are more books! I am certainly a bibliophile, with a great craving for more additions to my personal library.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday, Sunday - so good to me...

Hope you all had a good Sunday!

I CANNOT believe it, but I made it through the High Holy Days. Wow! For those of you who don't know, these are the most awe-inspiring, meaningful days of the Jewish calendar. We are supposed to examine our souls, our lives, and our relationships, and look for ways to be better in the coming year.

As a rabbi, I give my biggest sermons, lead the longest worship services, and have the most stress before and during the holy days. Due to my back pain, I was quite concerned in the weeks leading up to these days - how was I going to be able to do my job? I needed to stand for 11 hours of services yesterday. Luckily, the day was so filled of profundity, of beautiful liturgy and music, and of family and friends - I didn't have enough time to think too much about my pain!

It all got me thinking about how we each deal with stress. One of my most powerful stress reducers is music. Certain songs immediately relax me, get my feet tapping, or bring a smile to my face. Some of the ones that helped most this year:
1) "Feel," by Robbie Williams
2) "Hey Eugene," by Pink Martini
3) "Midnight Train to Georgia," by Gladys Knight and the Pips
4) "Waiting for My Real Life to Begin," by Colin Hay (mentioned this a few days ago)
5) "Rehab," by Amy Winehouse
6) "Such Great Heights," by Iron and Wine
7) "Sin Wagon," by the Dixie Chicks
8) "Thursday's Child," by David Bowie
9) "When the Stars Go Blue," by the Corrs, featuring Bono
10) "Young Folks," by Peter Bjorn and John

SO, what about you? How do you de-stress? I can't wait to hear what works for you.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

A waterfall I visited in Minneapolis last year...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Waiting for My Real Life to Begin"

I just have to share some lyrics with you. This is my current favorite song - "Waiting for My Real Life to Begin," by Colin Hay. The lyrics are so poetic, gut-wrenching, and beautiful. If you enjoy them, feel free to look for the song itself on iTunes or Youtube.

Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow,
feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today,
suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams,
I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again

And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past,
your mask is wearing thin
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine,
there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in
Don't you understand I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Good and Healthy New Year

As we approach the start of a new year on the Jewish calendar, I wanted to wish you all a good and sweet year.

May we all have a year filled with good health, joy, love, friendship, growth, and success.

May the shofar blast, the stirring sound of the ram's horn, awaken us from complancency, from stagnant routines, and from anxious paralysis. May it cause our eyes to open, our hearts to beat with hope and intention, and our lives to change for the better.

With the fresh start of the new year, may we be inspired to come closer to our true selves, closer to our souls' potential, closer to our beloved family and friends.

And may we feel prepared to engage in new acts of tikkun olam, acts that repair the brokenness in the world around us.

Happy 5768!

Friday, September 7, 2007


I am back home, having spent most of the week in Chicago at my dad's hospital bedside. He's only 59 years old. What a challenging time it has been. Your comments and prayers have meant so much to me and my family.

There's good news and bad news. Let's do the bad news first:

My dad seems to have had several strokes, all at once. He has weakness on his right side, and trouble speaking. His eyes didn't focus for the first three or four days, though they seem to be doing better (I told him he was so lucky that he got to see two of me!). He is totally exhausted all the time, no matter how much sleep he has gotten.

And now, the good news:

The doctors are saying that he could have a complete recovery. I don't know how long it will take, but there is much hope. His personality and wonderfully absurd sense of humor are intact. He smiles, he is able to walk (albeit slowly and with help). The hospital has been attentive, caring, and kind. My sister is there now, and we will be able to visit again after the High Holy Days. I told my dad that this was quite a creative way to get all us kids home again :)

All in all, it looks like we may have been very lucky. Perhaps this is the final warning sign from God, and we have to see it or else. With love, help, and lots of family and friends, we can get through this.

I hope you are all doing well. Have a great weekend.

PS - I came down with a terrible flu as soon as I got home last night. OY VEY!!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Please keep us in your prayers

Dear Friends,

My dad has had a stroke. I am flying home to be with my mom and to see my dad. I think that my siblings and I might alternate who visits over the next week or so. I have no idea how this is going to turn out. I am grateful knowing that I have so many loving and caring friends and family to help us out. Yet, at this moment, I most need to pray:

Mi Shebeirach avoteinu v'imoteinu, May the One who blessed our ancestors, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob, Leah, and Rachel, please bless and heal my father. May he soon return to our family with a complete healing of mind, body and spirit. Please bless his doctors and caretakers with knowledge to do what is right, and allow them to do the holy work of healing so that he can come back to us in wholeness.

God, please help me cope with this uncertainty. Please quell my fear, calm my heart, and keep me strong. I am so scared - scared for my dad, scared for my family, and scared for myself. I have no idea what is ahead, and I will need you, God, to give me strength and hope.

Blessed are You, Adonai, Healer of the Sick. Amen.

Friday, August 31, 2007

New Roommate Has Arrived!!

(Adam, Me, Lindsay)

Hi, everybody! I am very excited to announce that my brother, Adam, has arrived safe and sound. We are now officially beginning a new chapter in our family's life. Three of the four kids in my family now live on the east coast - can you feel the electricity? We had a fun day exploring our neighborhood and having such a yummy dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant.

We are all a little in shock about all the changes, and there will, naturally, be plenty of adjustments. My brother is six years younger than I am, and this is his first real adventure in the real world. It will be so fun to introduce him to what it's like being an adult, the joys and pains of independence, and the excitement of city life (as well as all the fun karaoke bars!!!).

Hope you all had a good day, and I look forward to telling you more about the first few days of being his roommate. Take care!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Heads or Tails Tuesday!

This week's theme is HEADS - Hobby
- Anything that rhymes with Hobby.


Well, it's time to discuss something very difficult for me:


Sure, it began as a hobby, something that I would do socially. You know, maybe once every few months. Then every few weeks. Suddenly, I became friends with the DJ (T-Bone was his name, in the interest of honest disclosure), and started going a few times A WEEK. All the while, I was an innocent rabbinical student by day, but I turned into a rock-star vixen by night. In all seriousness, I truly love karaoke. I know, I know, it isn't the coolest thing to admit. However, as you may or may not remember, I have all this music and theatre training, and much of my soul really misses it. It is hard to really articulate what I love about performing (the opportunity to be someone else? the spotlight? the spiritual meanings inherent in good art?), but I long for it.

Sure, as a rabbi, I am up in front of the congregation, but that isn't the same as grabbing the microphone, being blinded by the spotlight, and belting out a song that is met by thunderous applause. My heart is in both endeavors, but different parts of my heart are satisfied by either role (rabbi vs. performer).

So, my midnight rendezvous karaoke sessions will continue. And so will my preaching and teaching. And I will come closer to completion.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Power of Schmooze

It has taken me awhile to figure out to whom I should present awards, but I am really pleased to announce that the "Power of Schmooze" Award is being given to:

Cooper at superconductor: I am always tickled by what Cooper has to say on all sorts of topics. His posts cover everything from art, current events, games, and personal observations. Not only do many people visit his blog, but he is a devoted reader of others' blogs. I am always excited to see what he has to say on my newest posts. Thanks, Cooper, for creating a blogging community (filled with plenty of laughter!).

Andra Sue at I've Landed: Andra Sue shares so much about her life (she's a tri-athlete), her dogs, her appreciation of nature, and more. I always enjoy her blog, and other readers do, too! She writes with candor and a great sense of humor, and I think she contributes a lot to the blogging world. Thanks, Andra Sue!!

Please be sure to visit these terrific blogs :) And I look forward to seeing who they pass this award onto later on!!

Have a great Tuesday :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh my goodness - another award!!

I am so honored to have been selected for the above award. My dear blog-friend, Shan at Rambing Shan, bestowed this honor on three blogs for, well, basically being nice!! Here's what she said about me:

"To Marci at The Myriad Musings of Marci: Marci has been through a lot lately, but she stills remains a strong spiritual leader, an optimist, and a downright amusing blogger. Her post about PostSecret was enough to make me feel she deserved this award. I have also never seen a bad word about anyone on her site. She is quite nice indeed."

Oh my goodness, I just don't know what to say. If you haven't had a chance to visit Shan yet, please do. She is what we call a "mentsch" - a truly good person. She was one of the first blogs that I visited, and she has been very welcoming to me. It's because of people like her that there is, indeed, a blogging community.

I look forward to passing this award on to others, and spreading the joy around. Have a good week, everyone!!