Hello from the Windy (Snowy, Rainy, Floody) City!
it is so nice to be home with my family in the Chicago area. I have missed them so much; I haven't been home since August. My parents are both doing well, and my brothers are so fun to hang out with. We share lots of laughs, enjoy deep discussion, and sing as much as possible.
Today, the bros and I went to one of those indoor water parks. I had never attended one before - I couldn't quite wrap my head around the concept. Nevertheless, we chose one of the moderately priced ones (there are a surprising number of these places in the midwest), and head out for an adventure.
What a great place! Waterslides, lazy river, hot tubs, pools, kids' area, basketball pool, and more. I hadn't been to a water park in, gosh, at least 8 years (I think my last one was in Tiberias, Israel). I also didn't know what to expect with my back, but we had a blast!! I wasn't in any pain, felt strong and young, and enjoyed the playfulness of it all.
More adventures to come - will update again soon. Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season :)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Hello from the Windy (Snowy, Rainy, Floody) City!
at 12:59 AM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Well, I weighed in again today, even though I just was there on Thursday. It wasn't a full week, but there was a still a loss!
- 0.6 lbs
for a total of
- 16.2 lbs down.
Isn't that amazing?
So, here's the hard part - I am traveling home to Chicago for the next week. Travel is always so tough, and being around family is even more difficult. I have gotten lots of meals to bring with me on the trip, and I booked a room that has a microwave and fridge. I hope that I am setting the right things in motion so that I can continue along this successful path.
Any words of wisdom? How do you stick with your goals, especially when the going gets tough?
Friday, December 19, 2008
Today is the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY since my spinal fusion surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
I never thought I would ever get better, let alone have surgery, let alone recover so well from it. I was looking back at my blog post from the day before the surgery, and I see the fear and the hope that I felt.
On the left is an x-ray that I found online - it pretty much shows what I had done (though I think that mine was one level lower: L5-S1).
So, what's changed over the past year, since the surgery? Here's what I am celebrating:
- I never thought I would dance again, and I have now danced on many occasions - including a recent jaunt to Webster Hall (a dance club here in NYC). This was my BIGGEST WISH!
- I never thought I would be in the right frame of mind to lose weight, and I have lost more than 15 pounds so far.
- I never imagined that I would walk without a cane, and now I can even jog!
- I could no longer envision a life without chronic pain, and now I am 95% without pain of any kind!
- I didn't think I would be able to walk farther than 2 blocks without pain, and now I can walk at least 2 miles before I feel sore.
- I didn't think I would be able to stand for an entire Shabbat worship service (I learned to take many breaks), and now I can confidently stand the whole time!
- I thought I would have to have my groceries delivered from now on - but now, I can carry them up the stairs myself!!
- I figured that I would feel tired, depressed, and OLD from now on, but I finally feel young, vibrant, energetic, and ALIVE!!!
Thanks for celebrating with me - I couldn't have gotten through it all without your support and love. Here's to another good year!!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Well, folks, as you may recall, I gained weight as of my last weigh-in. It was a hard thing to deal with, and I have tried to not give myself a hard time about it.
The situation was going to get even more challenging over the past week, since I had to travel to Florida for a meeting. Being away seems to always bring temptation to overeat, and I really didn't want to fall into that trap.
So, I thought ahead about the trip, and brought along enough Jenny meals for the three days away. I wound up eating a few of them, as well as a few meals at the conference, but I felt in control. I didn't go crazy with the eating, but I didn't deny myself, either.
I weighed-in this morning (I couldn't go on Tuesday), and I didn't quite know what to expect. Lo and behold, I was down:
for a grand total of:
15.6 lbs down!!!
I can't believe how this past week went!
I am so excited to keep going, and to really feel the joy of this success. Thanks for your support!
Got good news at my weigh-in this morning (willl update y'all later today), so I am going to reward myself with a pampering day. I booked an appointment for a facial (with scalp massage upgrade), and a special mani/pedi deal that they are offering this month.
Will write more later!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
at 12:55 PM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
And can you believe how TAN I am here? I was lifeguarding that summer (which I did for three years during high school), and the whole SPF thing hadn't really happened yet. Thus, we passed around bottles of tanning oil and SPF 4 products, and we were so proud of our tans. Ah, those were the days!
This photo is from college - that's me on the left, then my college boyfriend, then my roommate, and a friend of hers. The pic is taken in our dormroom, during our first year of college. Yes, those are indeed dead roses hanging upside down above the doorway. WE thought that they looked cool, but OTHERS were a bit freaked out by them :)
By the way, could my hair BE any bigger?!?!?! (This picture, by the way, is from 1995)
at 9:21 PM
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Well, it wasn't such a good weigh-in today. I am
for a total loss of
It's still not too bad, right? I am trying not to get too upset about it. It was a difficult week, food-wise, for me. I had a hard time with PMS cravings, and I really wanted CHEESE, like, all the time. So, this upcoming week, I am going to go back to week one's meal plan, and try to re-focus. I am going to be out of town for the weekend (at an Adult Jewish Learning conference), and I made sure to get meals that travel well. Hopefully, being away won't mean being off-plan.
Here's to a better week ahead.....
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Okay, okay, okay - are you ready? Keep in mind that this past week was Thanksgiving, and lots of time off, and yet, and yet.....
- 2.0 lbs
for a total of
Oh my goodness! Almost 14 pounds lost! I don't know what to say. I told my "counselor" type person at Jenny Craig that they should give special awards to people who continue to lose weight during the holidays. I wish I could get, like, a sticker or something :)
How was your weekend?? Did you accomplish anything that you are proud of??
Monday, December 1, 2008
From "The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource" -
Leadership is the theme for World AIDS Day 2007 and 2008, promoted with the campaigning slogan, "Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise."
Leadership encourages leaders at all levels to stop AIDS. Building on the 2006 theme of accountability, leadership highlights the discrepancy between the commitments that have been made to halt the spread of AIDS, and actions taken to follow them through. Leadership empowers everyone -- individuals, organisations, governments -- to lead in the response to AIDS.
In 2007, people around the world were encouraged to take the lead to stop AIDS. Campaigns took the shape of marches, leadership discussions, public awareness events and pledges from leaders. These events all helped to put leadership in the spotlight.
People have offered their leadership -- now it is time to deliver. Promises must be kept, and people must feel empowered to act.
Why is 2008 important?
2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Since 1988, the face and response to AIDS has greatly changed. While many of these changes are positive, this anniversary offers us an opportunity to highlight how much more still needs to be done.
Leaders in most countries from around the world now acknowledge the threat of AIDS, and many have committed to do something about it. As of 2007, nearly all countries have national policies on HIV. However, despite these policies, most have not been fully implemented and many lack funding allocations.
While treatment for HIV and AIDS has improved and become more widespread since 1988, many still do not have access to it -- in 2007 only 31% of those in low- to middle-income countries who need treatment received it.
Despite HIV awareness now reaching nearly all areas of the globe, infection rates are still happening 2.7 times faster than the increase in number of people receiving treatment.
While the number of countries protecting people living with HIV continue to increase, one third of countries still lack legal protections and stigma and discrimination continues to be a major threat to universal access.
More broadly, real action on HIV and AIDS and human rights remains lacking. Legal barriers to HIV services still exist for groups such as women, adolescents, sex workers, people who use drugs, and men having sex with men, and programmatic responses promoting HIV
related human rights have yet to be prioritised.
World AIDS Day began in 1988 when health ministers from around the world met and agreed on the concept of the day as an opportunity for all of us to come together to demonstrate the importance of AIDS and show solidarity for the cause. In 2008, this underlining principle of solidarity and awareness remains the same.
We have only two years to go for "the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010" [2006 Political Declaration on AIDS].
To achieve this goal, leadership and action is needed now. Governments must deliver on the promises they have made. Communities must encourage leadership of its members. Individuals must feel empowered to access treatment, to know their rights and take action against stigma and discrimination, and to know and use methods of prevention against receiving and transmitting HIV.
Now, more than ever is the time to lead -- empower -- deliver.
World AIDS Day was first declared by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations General Assembly (Resolution 43/15) in 1988. Since then, it has progressively become one of the most successful "international days" for raising awareness on a global issue.
1988 -- Communication
1989 -- Youth
1990 -- Women and AIDS
1991 -- Sharing the Challenge
1992 -- Community Commitment
1993 -- Act
1994 -- AIDS and the Family
1995 -- Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities
1996 -- One World, One Hope
1997 -- Children Living in a World with AIDS
1998 -- Force for Change: World AIDS Campaign with Young People
1999 -- Listen, Learn, Live: World AIDS Campaign with Children and Young People
2000 -- AIDS: Men make a difference
2001 -- I care. Do you?
2002 -- Stigma and Discrimination
2003 -- Stigma and Discrimination
2004 -- Women, Girls, and HIV and AIDS
2005 -- Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
2006 -- Accountability -- Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
2007 -- Leadership -- Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
2008 -- Leadership -- Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise
About the World AIDS Campaign
The first year-long World AIDS Campaign was launched by UNAIDS in 1997. The objective of the 'Campaign' was to substantially extend the impact of World AIDS Day by involving more partners and translate increased global awareness of AIDS into a more sustainable programmatic response.
The World AIDS Campaign became an independent organisation in 2004 in order to strengthen and enhance collaboration amongst various national and constituency efforts.
"Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise" is the World AIDS Campaign's overarching theme from 2005 through 2010. The World AIDS Campaign supports, strengthens and connects campaigns that hold leaders accountable for their promises on HIV and AIDS.
The World AIDS Campaign Support Team is based in Amsterdam and Cape Town.
An index of major governmental agreements over the past seven years can be found at http://www.worldaidscampaign.org/en/Media2/Media-for-World-AIDS-Day/Promises-on-HIV-and-AIDS.
There are many ways you can take action in response to HIV/AIDS:
- get tested for HIV
- practice safe methods to prevent HIV
- decide not to engage in high risk behaviors
- talk about HIV prevention with family, friends, and colleagues
- provide support to people living with HIV/AIDS
- get involved with or host an event for World AIDS Day in your community
Maybe, one day, AIDS will be a thing of the past!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Oh my goodness! I did it!!! I can't believe that I was able to post every single day over the past month. This has been my most prolific month by far, and while not every day was profound, it sure was fun to think of blog topics each day.
Thanks to everyone for joining me for this endeavor, and for being my loyal readers. I am lucky to share the blogosphere with you.
So, who's up for December? I am going to continue posting often, though not necessarily daily :) If you would like to find out more about National Blog Posting Month, please visit www.nablopomo.com.
Ah, my friends, my heart and my tummy hurt today. As I have discussed before, a long-term relationship (4 years) of mine ended in December, 2006. There was a lot that was broken about the relationship, and though it totally demolished me at the time, it was a wise split. I had been living with him, and had to move out quickly. That was what brought me to Jersey City, where I lived for 18 months.
My ex and I gave it another try about 9 months ago - we both felt there was unfinished business, and wondered if we truly were "besheret" - Yiddish for "meant to be." Immediately, the attempt started crushing me again - I started feeling bad about myself, and feeling guilty about my job, my talents, and my personal space. No one has ever made me feel as bad as he does. It was a toxic mix, and I was able to call it quits after a few more months. It provided a great sense of closure for me, and I am grateful that I really got him out of my system.
There was one little hold-over - I still had a few things left at his house. He lives a good 45 minutes away, and I really didn't want to have to take all of that time to go up there and pick up my stuff. Plus, I really didn't want to have to see him again. But, it was time. I had to cut the last cord connecting us.
Lindsay and I drove up to his house today, and I picked up the last remaining items that were the final remains of our life together. I had asked him to put the things on the porch, so that I wouldn't have to see him. Wouldn't you know that he found some reason to come out to "pick up something from his car."
I am furious that he couldn't just let it be, and let me leave. This was the pattern - he never really heard me, or cared about my needs. His needs always trumped mine, which is part of what made me feel so small. Thank goodness Lindsay was with me - she said, sternly, "Okay," which was the signal that everything was in the car and it was time to go.
So, my heart hurts, knowing that it is really final. 99% of me knows that this is such a victory, but 1% is still sad that it didn't work out. At least I am REALLY done with him. There is no reason to have to deal with him again.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
After the recent events in Mumbai, I know that I needed a laugh. Here is one of my most favorite Youtube videos, the Kitty Cat Dance. The main cat looks suspiciously like my calico, Precious (what has she been doing in her free time??). Enjoy :)
Friday, November 28, 2008
As I pause before beginning Shabbat this evening, my thoughts and prayers are with those in Mumbai. My heart is breaking at the thought of all those lives who have been lost, those families who are now forever shattered, those memories forever traumatized.
May those who lost their lives rest in peace. Your memories shall be for a blessing.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Just had to share -
my sister and I were at the "Family Guy Sings!" event a few nights ago. It was taking place at Carnegie Hall, as I mentioned a few posts ago. We were so excited to be there, and, before the show started, we were discussing the irony of such a silly, obscene show holding an event as such a revered concert hall.
My sister then said, "Well, I read an article about the show online, and they said, 'How does one get to Carnegie Hall? Apparently, by creating a hit adult cartoon and staging a live reading of the cartoon.'"
I stopped her.
"I WROTE THAT!" I said. She was quoting me.... to ME! I love it. We got a good laugh about it.
Happy Almost Thanksgiving!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Hi, folks!! Ready for this week's number? It's a little one, but a loss nonetheless:
- 0.2 lbs
For a total of:
So close to that 12 pound mark!!
So, it would be really easy to be disappointed by this, and, trust me, parts of me want to be upset about the loss. BUT -
- I didn't GAIN any weight this week
- I actually went down, even just a little bit
- As my sister pointed out, it shows that the loss so far isn't a fluke - it is a real weight loss!
- I am still on the right track!!
Wow, I am so excited about this, and how successful it's been so far. Here's to another week!
(and, yes, I know that Thanksgiving is coming up - we'll talk about that eating challenge soon!!)
Monday, November 24, 2008
On the spur of the moment, Lindsay and I went to the TKTS booth in Times Square on Saturday night to see if we could get cheap Broadway tix. I got there first, checked the boards, and noticed that EQUUS was available for 50% off tix! Linds and I had really wanted to see this show, but, due to price and schedules, we had both resigned ourselves to the fact that we weren't going to see it.
Nonetheless - there we were - we got tickets!! We were able to get seats in the fourth row of the Mezzanine, and we knew we were in for a roller coaster of a show. As the website states,
For the first time in over 30 years, a new production of EQUUS will be seen on Broadway after a sold-out run in London’s West End.
Alan Strang (Daniel Radcliffe) seems a normal, obedient 17-year old with a passion for horses. Then one night he blinds six horses with a hoof pick. What drove him to it? His life seems routine, his family loving, his pursuits harmless and yet he has been placed under psychiatric surveillance - an unresponsive patient who is woken each night by terrible nightmares. Only psychiatrist Martin Dysart (Richard Griffiths) seems able to grasp the answer to this psychological puzzle.
Richard Griffiths, whose incredible stage and screen career spans two decades and who won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway production of The History Boys, stars alongside Daniel Radcliffe, best known for playing Harry Potter in all five of the feature films based on J.K. Rowling's best-selling books.
This production of Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning play, directed by Thea Sharrock and designed by John Napier, demonstrates that this ground-breaking play is as relevant and shocking as it was when it was first performed over 30 years ago.
It was brilliant, horrifying, moving, and engaging. Since both of us are big fans of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, we loved the way that Freudian and Jungian ideas flowed throughout the show.
After the show, we decided to stick around at the stage door and try to get Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe's autographs. We were able to get very close to the barricade set up by security, and we waited in the 20 degree weather.
Then, Richard Griffiths came out (Linds snapped these pics with her cellphone).....
Everyone screamed in excitement (I wonder if Mr. Griffiths has ever felt this much like a rockstar?!?!). Lindsay insisted on engaging him in conversation: "Mr. Griffiths? Mr. Griffiths? Your hat looks very warm!" Griffiths: "It better be." Lindsay: "Is it from Alaska?" Griffiths: "No, it is from Moscow." Lindsay: "Mr. Griffiths, we are of Russian Descent!")
But, that was nothing compared to the excitement of getting Daniel Radcliffe's autograph (Mr. Harry Potter, himself!!!!!!!!!!!). He came over to our area first, and he SIGNED MY PLAYBILL FIRST!!! I got the first autograph of the night. I said, "Daniel, you are wonderful!" (I know, so eloquent....). He looked up into my eyes, with his electric blue eyes, and said in his delicious accent, "Thank you."
Can you tell that we had a great time? We risked frostbite for them, but it was so worth it. Hooray for Broadway!!
What celebrities have you met? Have any fun stories???
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
As many of you know by now, I am originally from Chicago, Illinois. I happen to be a very proud midwesterner, and there is something about the Chicago area that will always feel like my true home, no matter where my life takes me.
I was last home, where my whole family (other than my sister, Lindsay) lives, in August. It is really unfortunate that I can't travel home more than 3 or 4 times a year, but that is just the reality of the situation. My job as a rabbi is such that I work 6 days a week (Thursdays are my precious day off, unless I have a funeral or event), so I can rarely travel on the weekends.
Nonetheless, I have booked my next trip home for the end of December - hooray! My sister won't be able to join me, unfortunately, but both my brothers will also be at my parents' house, so a good time will be had by all who are around (and we will call Linds frequently!!).
And, all of my Chicago friends: let's get together!!! I miss you all so much :)
So, what about you? Where is your family in relation to where you are? Do you live near them? Did you stay where you grew up or did you move away?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Clapathy: When an audience grows weary of clapping, either at a ceremony or musical performance. "That graduation ceremony was so long, I got clapathetic!" "I was clapping at the beginning of the song, but I quit when I got clapathy."
I just found out about SUCH a fun website: Urban Dictionary. There are all kinds of new, slang terms added by users every day. Some of the amusing finds:
Thumb Strength: The energy required to write a text.
"Forget it, I don't have the thumb strength to text him. Guess I'll just call."
DAM: Stands for Don't Ask Me.
Nerd: How do you factor 3x^7-2(3x-1)^2+...
bearanoia: Bearanoia is a disturbed thought process characterized by excessive anxiety or fear of bears, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Bearanoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs concerning a perceived threat of bears. In the original Greek, (bearnoia) simply means, really fuckin' scared of bears (beara = bears; nous = really fuckin' scared of) and, historically, this characterization was used to describe any delusional state concerning bears.
Stephen Colbert suffers from bearanoia. Timothy Treadwell did not.
What did you find? What would you add?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Oh my - have you seen this movie?!?!
Every now and then, I like to share some of my favorite pop culture interests (music, movies, books, etc.). One of the movies that I grew up with, and still really LOVE, is Labyrinth.
Made in 1986, it is a wonderful Jim Henson film that combined puppets with human actors. The story is timeless, and the film is so good that it is still enjoyable over twenty years later.
The plot is magical: Sarah, played by Jennifer Connelly, is forced to babysit her little brother (she would rather be playing with her dolls and acting out dramas about the fantastical goblin king). When her brother, Toby, won't stop crying, she wishes that the goblins would come and take Toby away - at that very moment, the room goes silent, and she realizes that her wish has come true.
Sarah then embarks on a journey through a labyrinth, the center of which contains the goblin king's (David Bowie) castle, and her brother. She is given 13 hours to complete the task.
We see so much of what it is like to be a teenager - the angst, the drama, the growing adult feelings, the compassion, and the playfulness. Plus, the soundtrack, featuring many songs written and performed by David Bowie, is superb.
If you have never watched this movie, take some time out to enter a fantasy-land, hear some fun music, and enjoy a wonderful story.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Well, it's 1:00 in the morning, and I am wide awake :)
I worked earlier today, as I mentioned in the last post, and I came home pretty tired. It was a grey, windy day outside, so the most appealing option for the afternoon was a long, cuddling, warm NAP.
I probably fell asleep around 5pm, intending to sleep for an hour or two. When did I wake up?
Almost FIVE hours later. Oy. It was one of those naps where I thought it was the next morning. That's how well-rested I felt.
So, I had dinner, caught up on tonight's episode of True Blood, and now I am wide awake. I wish I didn't have to worry about it, but I have a seminar all day tomorrow, beginning at 8:30 am.
It's one of those weird situations where I got plenty of sleep, and will still sleep some more tonight, but I will feel tired nonetheless tomorrow.
Ah, the perils of napping!!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
One of the benefits of feeling better is that I have much more energy to do the things I haven't been able to do over the past few years. One of these is to attend events of our "Rosh Hodesh" girls' group at the synagogue. We have many different youth groups at our synagogue, but one that really stands out is one that is set aside for Junior High School-aged girls. The program is based on one created by Moving Traditions. According to their website:
Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! is the first proactive, informal education program that uses Judaism to enrich the lives of girls. It draws on Jewish tradition to give girls a place to feel safe, articulate their questions and concerns, have fun, and be ‘real’ with their peers.
Small groups of girls meet monthly with a carefully trained adult leader who uses our step-by-step manual. Through discussion, arts & crafts, and drama, the girls integrate core Jewish values as they focus on the things they care about most, such as body image, friendship, relationships, competition, stress, and family.
We had a program today, held at "Make" - one of those pottery places that allows you to create your own ceramic items. We painted our very own menorahs for the upcoming holiday of Chanukah.
As a young, female rabbi, I really treasure the opportunity to spend time every month with pre-teen girls, and I show them that a woman can do whatever she wants when she grows up. I can chat with the dozen girls who are there, I can be accessible to them, and maybe, just maybe, one of them will want to be a rabbi when she grows up. That would truly be incredible. The feeling of sisterhood, and the sense that I am passing on the tradition, is so special.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Happy Saturday, and Shabbat Shalom!
I am very happy to report that this has been another great week on Jenny. I am in my fourth week on their plan, and it is going so well. It is really set up in an easy way, and it takes a lot of the mental work out of it. As long as you follow what the plan tells you to eat, it is smooth sailing.
Apparently, after this week, I begin planning my own week of meals - they teach me how to build a week, making sure to fit in all of my entrees, fruits, vegetables, snacks, and dairy products. We shall see how that goes on Tuesday, my next weigh-in.
I wonder if I will clear the 10 pound milemarker this week - wouldn't that be amazing! Even if I don't get quite to that point, I am still feeling such a sense of accomplishment - after all these years of weight gain and physical pain, I am feeling GOOD!
By the way, my old high school friend, Julie, at Flip this Body, wondered if I have been exercising at all, in addition to the meal plan. I have definitely been trying! I bought a pedometer, and it appears that I am walking at least 2 miles everyday! Also, I really like the "Exercise TV" channel that you can find On Demand - there are lots of fun options. As my body continues to heal, and as my muscles get stronger and stronger, I am capable of doing more. Currently, I am sticking with some of the "walking" workouts, because I still can't handle a lot of impact (and I am really starting from scratch, in a cardio-vascular sense).
Yay for success!!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Just bought a new scanner, and made sure to scan some OLD pics of me with friends and family. Enjoy a sampling!
At one of our good friend's weddings, my two best friends from high school, with their husbands.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
As the New York Times itself reported, "Liberal Pranksters" (in the NYT terminology) published a brilliant hoax newspaper this morning. They stood on street corners, near subway entrances, and handed out a "free special edition of the New York Times."
I took one.
As I sat down on the subway, I started reading. Of course, the headline gave me a great start: "Iraq War Ends." Then I looked up at the date - July 4, 2009. Then I looked at the top of the page, where it read, "All the news we hope to print."
Ah, it was pretend. Alas. As I started to read the various stories, I smiled with both joy and sorrow: joy, at the possibility of these stories coming true, and sorrow that they were just mere fiction.
It seems to be the product of a group called the Yes Men. According to Wikipedia,
"The Yes Men are a group of culture jamming
activists who practice what they call "identity correction" by pretending to be
powerful people and spokespersons for prominent organizations. They create and
maintain fake websites similar to ones they want to spoof, and then they accept
invitations received on their websites to appear at conferences, symposia, and
TV shows. Their newfound, self-proclaimed authority to express the idea that
corporations and governmental organizations often act in dehumanizing ways
toward the public has met both positively and negatively with political
overtones. Elaborate props are sometimes part of the ruse, as shown in their
2003 DVD release The Yes Men."
Pretty Cool, Huh? Let me know if you saw it, heard about it, or
what you think!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I never got to update you on my weigh-in on Tuesday - it was disappointing, which is why I wasn't in a rush to tell you.
Let me first state - I went in during the afternoon this time. Last week, I weighed in FIRST THING in the morning. This week, I had already eaten two meals. Not smart to do it this way. I was up 0.6 lbs during this session, which is probably not accurate. I'll bet, if I had gone in before breakfast, it would have been much more exciting - maybe even two pounds lower?
Well, I keep saying to myself, this week's upcoming weigh-in will be that much better. Right? Tuesday, here I come!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Oy. Big embarrassing moment last night.
I was leading Shabbat services with the other clergy members, and I was doing a reading before the Mourner's Kaddish (a prayer that we say when we are mourning the loss of a loved one). I didn't pick this particular reading; rather, I was reading it at the suggestion of the senior rabbi. I skimmed it in advance, felt it looked good, and put it on the lectern.
Little did I know, I was stepping into the pits of embarrassment.
I get up there to read it, at this very serious moment in the service, and in the middle of the paragraph is a word I have NEVER seen before:
It swam in front of my eyes. It seemed to be WAY too many syllables. I didn't know what to do.
Mind you, I am a relatively smart gal, I am well read, and I have NEVER had to read this word aloud. I took it one syllable at a time, like a second-grader fumbling her way through a tough vocabulary word.
Ugh. I am never going to get this one wrong again. I now know that it is an adjective, meaning "not eradicable; not capable of being eradicated, rooted out, or completely removed." This makes sense to me. I get it. But I am going to feel embarrassed for quite some time.....
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Though I am afraid to jinx it, I have had another really good week. Even for the meals that I have had to eat at a restaurant or event, I have been making really good choices.
Why wasn't it this easy before, I wonder? Did I need to take a leap, and perhaps start a new chapter? Did I need permission to focus on myself in this way? Was it important to ask for help and admit that I couldn't do it alone?
I go to my second weigh-in tomorrow (ELECTION DAY!!!!), and I hope that I have good news once again. I am still so scared that there won't be any results, and that I will fail just as I have over the past few years. I hope that this feeling of uncertainty fades away as I feel more and more confident in the process.
I will report back tomorrow!!!!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Hello to you! I have a few fun things to update you on:
1) I am well into my second full week on Jenny Craig. Today is the....11th Day! I've gotta tell you, other than the cost (it IS pretty expensive), this plan couldn't be easier. I feel so good, so energized, and really positive about making this choice. It definitely feels great to be taking care of myself. You guys have witnessed so many changes in me over the past year or so. Thanks for coming along for the ride thus far!
2) I've got a BUSY weekend coming up, and I am totally excited about it. The New York region of the Union for Reform Judaism (the big umbrella organization that brings all Reform Jews and congregations together) is holding its Regional Biennial Convention tomorrow. The event will provide Jewish professionals and layleaders a chance to come together to learn, pray, eat (of course!), and network. I am SO HONORED because I was asked to lead the big Shabbat Worshp Service tomorrow morning. A cantor and I will lead the service, and help everyone get centered and involved in the rest of the day. What a great privilege!
3) The NYC Marathon is coming up on Sunday. A few clasmates of mine started a group called the Running Rabbis a few years ago. They run the marathon for a good cause each year, and they ROCK! Check them out - they're awesome :)
4) I am going to do my best to be a part of NaBloPoMo, a site that encourages bloggers to post every single day for a month. Think I can do it? Check me out to see if I keep up with it!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Well, my friends, so far, so good! I am now well into my fifth day of Jenny Craig, and it isn't hard at all. The food has been really delicious, and I am actually having trouble eating everything that the program needs me to eat. There are so many fruits and vegetables that I am supposed to eat throughout the day, and they are just too filling. What a nice problem to have!
I will be going in to meet with my "counselor" one-on-one on Tuesday, so I will definitely report back on how the first week went, weight-wise. I have been very careful NOT to weigh myself at all this week. I didn't want it to influence my mood (either depressing me or making me too confident). I just wanted to feel good, knowing that I have been starting a new chapter, and that I am taking good care of myself.
In all honesty, I am really scared that I will get there on Tuesday morning, and I won't have lost a single pound. Since that's pretty much been the story for the past few years, I am scared that nothing I do will ever help me to actually lose weight. I have been discouraged and disheartened so many times.... will it actually work this time? Are my body and soul finally ready to make another big change?
Two days to go until the first weigh-in........
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I have decided to join Jenny Craig.
As you know, the past few years have been so incredibly difficult for me, physically and emotionally. The back injury kept me imprisoned in pain, and thus totally sedentary. Emotionally, I felt so helpless, I am sure that it didn't help. I gained so much weight, I can't believe it. Yet, I couldn't give myself a hard time about it, because I had no psychological energy to devote to it. Plus, the few times I tried Weight Watchers over the years of pain, I failed miserably, which only made me more depressed about the whole thing.
BUT, now that I am feeling so much better, and so much stronger, I have decided that it is finally time to work on this area. I am finally ready. I can do it for myself, and ONLY myself, and I can feel good about it. I feel like it just might work this time! Plus, I have a good friend who is doing Jenny Craig as well, and we are gonna be cheerleaders for each other.
So, I am well into Day 2 - we'll see how it goes! I will keep you up to date on this new journey in my life :)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
...And, as you can see, we put our names on the back of each one!! It was so hard finding a place that still did "iron-on" lettering, but I found the one place in Manhattan that does it. I had a great time with the owner at Gifted, the only place that does lettering!!
Here, I had to take a private moment with a huge picture of Jordan Knight, my favorite. Excuse me while I make a kissy-face at him. Oy, he is still so sexy......
The five guys, in concert. They were so fabulous - still great performers, dancers, and singers. And, they were total mensches about the whole thing - they were so appreciative of us fans!
What a fun time!!!!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sorry for the long pause between posts - the Jewish High Holy Days are quite intense. AND, at my synagogue, we do TWO of each service! Thus, for my colleagues who are exhausted after a 3-hour long Yom Kippur morning service, imagine having to dive in and do it ALL OVER AGAIN!!
But, what was really amazing was FEELING GOOD throughout the whole 10 days of Rosh HaShanah (the Jewish New Year), the Yamim Noraim (The Days of Awe, in which we are reflecting on the past year and deciding how we want the new year to go), and then Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). I have been in such exquisite pain over the past few years, and this year was SO DIFFERENT!! Sure, my feet were achy, my head was tired, and my voice didn't want to come out after 12 hours of rabbi-ing. But, my back DIDN'T HURT!!!! Isn't that incredible?
I had energy, vitality, and a smile on my face. It was a totally different High Holy Day experience for me, and I am so grateful for it. I kept thanking God for this new year, and a renewed sense of life and peace.
Now, we are getting ready for Sukkot, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the fall harvest and appreciates the earth's bounty. We build a Sukkah, a temporary structure covered with branches that allows us to connect with nature, see the sky and stars through the roof, and appreciate both the blessing and the fragility of life. The holiday begins tonight and lasts for 7 days. More service-leading, yes, but a happy holiday!!
Stay tuned over the next few days - I will be posting pics from the New Kids Concert and the Madonna Concert that I attended over the past few weeks. YAY!!!!!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Welcome back to Heads or Tails Tuesday! If you want to participate, check out the weekly theme and then have fun - you can free associate, be very literal, or anything in between.
Today's Theme? Recipe
I feel like focusing on the word "Recipe," particularly in regards to the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah, coming up on Monday night, September 29. Here goes:
What is the recipe for a good year? What encourages God to write our names in the Book of Life for the coming year? Though we should be aiming for goodness, honesty, and compassion all year, the High Holy Days really remind us the importance of owning up to our mistakes and trying harder the next time. Here is our yearly opportunity to remember the past year, reflect on our actions, and promise ourselves, our friends, and God, that we will do better in the coming year.
The prayerbook tells us that three things can temper God's severe decree: Tzedakah (charity), T'shuvah (repentance) and Tefilah (prayer). Adding more of these three acts into our lives can make our days more meaningful, and can truly aid in the repair of the world. Yet, these are not the only ingredients, I would like to suggest, for our recipe for being a good person.
New ingredients for a good life:
- Staying involved and informed in local, state, and national politics (and voting!!)
- Donating time, in addition to money, to important causes
- Making sure to do "the little things:" giving up a seat on the bus/subway to someone who needs it more than you, allowing someone with a few items to pass in front of you in line at the grocery store, etc.
- Finding a good therapist
- Meditation and Prayer
- Being silly as often as possible
- Exercising your brain in a hearty debate
- Exercising your body whatever way feels good
What would you add? What is your recipe for being a good person and living a good life?
Monday, September 15, 2008
Figured I would share some recent pics of my calico, Precious, and my sister's cat, Caramel :)
Precious, about to expound on her "theory of everything"....
The girls hanging out together, resting after a difficult day of sleeping, eating, and pooping...