27 October 2009

SBB Branches Out Into Guest Bloggery

There have been some recent changes in my life that I do not want to write about here.

I do, however, want to point out that I have branched out into the blogging world by writing a guestpost for Jewschool. Read about my take on the Brandeis study about Taglit-Birthright Israel!

Maybe when I go to Germany and Israel in November, I can blog more for Jewschool...

29 July 2009

Polka Dotted Polish Pictures

So, camp is over, and I tried to upload these weeks ago. Now that time has passed and polish chips, I had to take this polish off. My cousin Gloria (Hi, Gloria!) has requested that I post something to the blob, so...here's a cute, short story that makes me happy.

As a waterskiing instructor, I worked on Tzevet Mayim / Water Staff, with a large team of lifeguards. One of them, L, used to be my camper. Now she's a lifeguard, and is actually off to college tomorrow (good luck)! She also has a true southern accent, something I've loved since she was my (somewhat sassy) camper.

On a day when I didn't have much to do in the afternoon, I stopped by the pool and she asked to paint my toenails and fingernails. Since I am a sucker for accents and pedicures, when I left the pool, my fingers were neon pink, and my toes were neon pink with blue polka dots. I loved this, and it was a vast improvement over the highlighter yellow polish my 13-year-old campers had bestowed upon me about 2 weeks earlier.

The toes lasted for weeks, and I was sad to take it off just days ago. But L's promise to paint my nails for my upcoming wedding (I'll let you know when I actually set a date) remains in my head, twangy and adorable.

Behold! Toes and Chacos! A happy camp combination!

I love this dotted masterpiece!
Extreme closeup of the lovely paint job!
You can tell I actually cleaned my Chacos the day before. The straps are SO clean and almost Banana Boat-free! Almost...

22 June 2009

On the Concept of the Ski Burqa

So, I've been floating around an idea.

Wait. Back up.

First, I decided to go to camp for a month to do waterskiing. So I'm at the same camp I was at last summer, and the summer I met Rafi, but not the camp I was at in the midwest in 2007.

Now, waterskiing is a good job for me because I like leading the hashkamah minyan - we meet at 6:45 for tefillot before we eat breakfast and go to the lake. It's also a good job because I like having one real co-counselor and only 6 kids. We all get to know each other really well, and it's special. They become, have become, OUR babies. Additionally, I like waterskiing because I'm good at teaching it, I love driving a bus to the lake, I love driving the boat, and it's the same lake I've been skiing on since 1991 (no, really).

But waterskiing is a terrible job for me because I am fishbelly white (something I unsuccessfully translated to beten-dag lavan in Hebrew today), I have had precancerous moles removed, and I do not tan, do not wish to tan, would prefer to spend summer under a large umbrella at all times. If it weren't for camp, in fact, I would spend my summers inside, sitting hunched in front of an AC unit, lamenting the summer heat the way most people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter. (What can I say, I was accidentially a Floridian for all of those years.)

So...I've been floating around an idea. Long sleeve shirts and pants can only go so far over bathing suits, which are required for responsible boat-driving lifeguards of the waterskiing-instructing persuasion. At some point, they get soggy, they flap in the wind, they get snagged on a strap here or a rope there.


Now, before you get all up in arms, let me remind you that I'm pretty liberal. In dress, in speech, in religious belief, and in politics. My dad calls me an empty-headed liberal on a regular basis, and I've gone so far as to be completely left-handed in everything that I do. I even slalom ski with my left foot in the front boot of the ski!

Actually, modesty in swimwear was all over the web today, with a blog post on MyJewishLearning.com, giving this take on other options. MJL linked to this article about modest swimwear. Neither article has any mention of sun protection, which is more my concern, although when I found out some of our ski videos might be on the web, my first thought (out loud, of course) was "My thighs are going to be on the internet?" Maybe I should just get some modest swim wear...?

I am slowly baking myself to (in my mind) death. Doomsday music rings in my ears when I check my shoulders after a day on the water. I am - GASP - tan. And I am not happy. And my nose! My poor nose! It looks like I painted a white line through my eyebrows that ends abruptly with a splash of tanned residue ruining my snowy nose! Let it be said in this forum that I reapply SPF 50 at LEAST once an hour - and I start with a foundation of SPF 85 on my face!

SOOOOO, hows about we get me a ski burqa? The way I see it, it has nothing to do with religious belief - except for maybe the Jewish concept of pikuach nefesh - saving a life. In fact, it can be stylish - made out of the same material from which you make rash guards, those long-sleeved surfer shirts. Quick to dry and a full-on cover, I can't see the down side.

I read today in the NYT that Sarkozy today said he wants to rid France of burqas. Maybe if they have a few over there made from the spandex-lycra blend of my favorite one-piece, they could mail them to me at camp?

02 June 2009

Not the Answer...

Warning: This post goes from fun to serious without much transition. Don't say I didn't warn you.

On Sunday, I went on a walk through the park with my former roommate B. We wandered toward the Israel Parade as I yammered on about the need for Israel education taught with a critical eye. On our way through the park we wandered into Japan Field Day, which meant we got some free tea:

Mmmmm, Jasmine. (Photo credit B)

When we got to 5th Avenue, we settled into a spot with my friend Mel, where we could watch the parade and not be too crowded. And there was quite the crowd of a wide variety of Jews, all celebrating Tel Aviv's 100th anniversary, and I LOVE Tel Aviv. It was peaceful and fun, happy and cheery. Then I got to hang out with my OLDER roommates, and life was good. I was all love, hearts and stars for Israel.

I was dancing to Yeshiva U's blasting music (Yehey, a camp favorite), and enjoying the Israel that I learned about growing up - Israel of dancing and snacks, of fun and chocolate.

The lovely happiness of Rikudei-Am / Israeli Dancing (Photo thanks to B)

[Insert transition here]

Somewhere else, at some point in the parade, "Am Yisrael Chai" blasted as onlookers sang their own interpretation, in Hebrew, "The nation of Israel lives" alternating with the phrase "All Arabs must die." Read the take on this episode from one Rabbi for Human Rights here. (H/T Jewschool)

I have said before that the answer to the conflict in Israel is not to kill all of the Arabs. That idea makes me uncomfortable, and I can't imagine how killing so many people. I was disheartened by the onlooker who said that the chant about killing Arabs is a chant from Zionism. I don't know the answer to this problem, but I hope that someone soon figures it out and that people won't die in the process. This is where the critical eye becomes important. How can we make this better? Who's going to tease out the solution?

In other news, an abortion doctor was killed in the states a few days ago, when he was ushering in his church in Kansas. If you want commentary on the murder, you can find it all over the web. I happened to like this post in Jezebel about how Tiller was a good doctor and person. Late-term abortions are contraversial. So are early-term abortions. But reproductive choice is a right in the states, and there are difficult decisions that people had to make (see the Jezebel post in particular for heart-wrenching examples) that sometimes end in abortion. Wanting to stop abortion is one thing, murder as a means to an end are another, and it's NOT ok.

Nobody wants a life to have to end. But certainly killing a doctor who does abortions is not the answer. And killing a group of people just for being Arab? Well, that's not the right answer to war, conflict, terror or tension. But debating about these conflicts will help smarter people than I to come up with answers.

To quote my fabulous Bubbie: May we live see peace in our day. Amen, Bubbie.

14 May 2009

Going to Beautiful Lengths!

First: In 2005, I donated my hair through Locks of Love. I gave 12 inches, and I said I would NEVER donate my hair again.
That's a foot of perfectly crazylong hair!
The results, in 2005.

Second: Let's get back to Israel a little bit.

Last year, I lived in Israel. And one of my issues was my Hebrew illiteracy. One of the many resulting fall-outs from my faltering speech was that I couldn't get a haircut. OK, I could have, but I didn't know how to say, "please don't give me a mullet" in Hebrew. (I hope that images page defines the word in a way that wiki never could...) Israelis sometimes have some weird opinions in hairstyle, and while I do know some beautiful Israelis, I wasn't going to go to some random hair stylist / sapar, who was going to make me look all "Disco, Disco" (obligatory Zohan reference), leaving me looking unlike myself.

So I decided to grow my hair over the year, and when April rolled around, I knew enough Hebrew to say "just a trim," and by then my hair was getting pretty long. I decided to keep growing it, instead of cutting it all off. I decided to go back on my word...
That's great lengths, right there! Thanks, JN for taking these pics an hour before my haircut!
Much less gross than when I donated it last time. This was silky smooth donation hair.

We wrote these end-of-year cards in one of my classes in September, and on the back, I'd written "nice haircut" because I thought by the end of the school year, I would have donated my hair. I was wrong.

I was going to get my hair cut with my friend EG, but the place where I did my LOL cut in 2005 wasn't into taking people like me anymore. EG got in and went on Lag BaOmer, my original plan, as it is a traditional time in the Jewish year to get a haircut - part way between Passover and Shavuot. Since there is a tradition to get haircuts on any day after Lag BaOmer, I decided that I would go for a complimentary cut at Mark Garrison Salon. They do half-price Pantene Beautiful Lengths donations on a few days a week (including Tuesdays), but FREE on Wednesdays, so I went for the unemployed grad student option...

Hiroshi separated my hair into 8-inch sections, and since I was without my wingman Meredith, nobody took pictures of this part, and you'll just have to take my word for it. I looked like an octopus.

A measure here, and a snip there, a measure there, and a snip here, and I looked like a big sectioned crazy person. Brie from Roslyn washed my choppy remnants, and then Hiroshi went to work.

I have been denuded.

My hair is in an envelope, going off to make wigs for women who have lost their hair due to illness.

And I look FABULOUS!

I am pretty happy with the cut, and I'm sooo stoked my hair looks good with the little clip again!
Yeah. I really like my haircut!
Right after the cut, featuring my two lovely rings - old and new!

No More Thesisizing!

We're missing one blogger in this lovely picture, but here are the lovely ladies of Davidson, who turned in their thesis on this day. I should've posted this sooner:

We're graduating in a week from today.
Mazals to MB, MCY, SBB, EG, YA and RS (not pictured)!

Also, thanks to the (then) Boyfriend and the lovely friends from SkiTeam for celebrating at our post-thesisizing party. I didn't take a pic with JHD and Arthur and their token J-friend, but they definitely came the farthest out of their way to play at the party!

Then-boyfriend! GREAT picture!
Instructor, Bellayre connection, SBB and honorary ski-team member Rafi!


Just in case you don't know this:

After a lovely dinner at the place we went to on our first date, where Rafi said lovely things, and I was happy, and he was happy, and then everyone was happy, and now:

Rafi and I are getting MARRIED!


A lovely photo of us together!
The night-of picture!

Stay tuned for info about B/L 2010 - The Greatest Merger of Our Time!