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Friday, October 29, 2010

Project: Runway and Michael Costello and me

ב"ה

Ok, so I didn't meet Michael Costello, but I would love it if I could talk to him. He struck me as being a very sweet person, but something about his experience reminded me of my life.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I love my parents. But they grew up in a different world, they grew up in the world of "college education is the ticket to permanent vocational security" and "work for the same company/organization for 20-30 years and then you retire on a nice pension". And, while my Mother's family has artists (like writers and musicians), she seems to have internalized my father's family's depression mentality (my father's sister, though she's artistic, was a school teacher -- the safe profession for women of her are -- her daughter and granddaughter have a cake decorating business and the cakes are gorgeous -- though if you've ever read my Bayit and Garden blog you know I wouldn't eat a bit if them)

I have been designing since my teens. I used to knit and crochet Barbie doll clothes and I would sell them at a local concession store. I've never actually learned how to sew and make patterns well, so most of my clothing designs (with the exception of a couple of sweaters I knitted and a couple of dresses someone made for me for my sister and brother's weddings) are on paper only (mind you, I never learned how to sketch well either, so I trace figures and draw the clothing on them). I did go to Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in "the city" (aka Manhattan) part time at nights for 3 years, but I learned more about jewelry designing (I can make some of my jewelry and I have made quite a few and even sold some, but most of my jewelry designs, which I DID learn how to render well -- I even developed my own method of designing on the computer -- like my fashion design, are only on paper -- or pixels). I did try learning "flat pattern design" (I tried twice) and draping, but I was so far behind after only a few weeks that I dropped the courses each time (I was more concerned about credits back then than learning).

But after 3 years and only 19 credits (6 of which were in science and astronomy), I left FIT and went to college full time, majoring in TV/Radio and nothing with art or drawing in it. And that was the end of my design career.

Part of this was because my parents never encouraged me (actually,for the most part, they discouraged me -- my Mom still says XX years later, that I should have worked for the government like she did -- despite my telling her that I actually tried getting a job with the government on numerous occasions). The first people in my life who have encouraged me are a friend (who sometimes works with me to get my business going) and my niece, who just started design school in Israel. For the past 20 or so years I have been working off and on as a freelance graphic designer and for the past 4 or so years I have been working on my Cafe Press, Zazzle and Printfection stores.

So my message to Michael: I love you. I love your work. I think you're very talented. Keep in mind, not every idea a designer has is great. We all have horrible designs in there somewhere. But if you listen to your voice (and, in your head now, I have a feeling you'll hear Tim Gunn's voice whenever you step back and look at your newest creation). I know I would love to see you in the future. If you have faith in yourself you WILL succeed. And, one favor if you ever do see this blog entry, leave me a comment.

(If you want to see some of my clothing sketches, you can see them here.)

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out some of my squidoo lenses (articles):

Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Why be Vegetarian?
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington

The End of an Era? I Hope it's the End of a Losing Era

ב"ה

So yet another promising baseball season ends without the Mets making it to the post-season. In my opinion, it's not that the Mets don't have good players. Reyes, Wright, Beltran, add to them Ike Davis, Angel Pagan and lately Ruben Tejada (I think if we could either get back Frenchie or if Bay would come back, we would have a solid starting line-up).

Lately, Lucas Duda and Nick Evans have been making some noise (I like Nick Evans -- I think he's a good young player and I've been watching him for a while).

I wonder what Gil Hodges (am I showing my age????) would have done with the current team. I like the new (and some of the old???) pitchers. K-Rod is a huge question mark (holy Plaxico Burris, Batman! Talk about "shooting yourself in the foot"!) -- wish he weren't such an idiot from a human perspective. Dickey has been the best surprise, but Gee and Niese.

So I hope this bodes well for next year, particularly with a new GM and manager. Here's to 2011! May it be our best year yet!!!!

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out some of my squidoo lenses (articles):

Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Why be Vegetarian?
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Frenchie's Toast

ב"ה

The sports news lately has been very depressing. The Mets have been raising losing to a new art.

But last night's sports news added to this -- not only did the Mets lose, but they traded away a player who I have considered a bright spot in the dim haze of the Mets' 2nd half of this season. I know he hasn't been hitting well (who on the Mets has???) but his arm is worth a few home runs a week, in my opinion.

I'm a real Mets chauvinist, so if I like any players from another team, particularly the Braves or the Phillies, it's generally because I see something in that player that I think would work with the Mets and help the Mets. Jeff Francoeur was just such a player.

In a previous blog entry, I spoke of how much Jeff Francoeur gives to the team. I think his infectious smile also makes him a favorite with fans. This is good for the morale of the fans and the players, in my opinion.

I don't know about other fans, but I'll miss Jeff Francoeur. I think there are different dimensions each player can give to a team and when you are trying to build a winning team. The Mets have (and have had) the talent; they just need to work together in a cohesive manner to truly be a winning team. This is something the Mets don't have right now, and trading away Jeff Francoeur takes away just one more element from the equation.

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out some of my squidoo lenses (articles):

Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Why be Vegetarian?
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington

Friday, August 13, 2010

Folk Hero or Obnoxious Man?

B"H

It's amazing how quickly Steve Slater, a flight attendant who claimed that he was fed up with rude passengers, cursed over the loudspeaker, grabbed a beer and slid down the safety slide has become a "folk hero" of sorts (sort of in the category of Bernhard Goetz, I would think). It seems that service workers seemed to identify with Mr. Slater.

I was reminded of a few things in my life when this happened. My mom didn't believe for one moment that Mr. Slater was justified because recently I (who usually get along quite well with the flight attendants, often talking to them on long flights) had an incident with a flight attendant. A few months ago, I was on a flight (a puddle jumper with only one flight attendant) and had some difficulties with a nasty flight attendant. It started when he refused to let me go to the bathroom before the flight left the gate. It continued (I don't recall what the second "thing" was) and came to a head when he wouldn't give me more water (I'm diabetic and need a lot to drink or I get dizzy). So on one of my myriad trips to the bathroom, I saw an open water bottle and took it from the galley and brought it back to my seat. When "Mr. Personality" saw me with the bottle, he tried to take it from me, wrestling with me over the bottle. When he realized he would not be able to take the bottle from me, he crushed it rather than allow me to drink from it. He had the Captain call ahead and I was met by a woman who I assumed was supposed to escort me out of the airport, but when I told her what happened, she laughed and realized that I wasn't some crazed terrorist or criminal, intent on disruption their flight. I laughed the whole thing off (after sending a narrative of the event in an e-mail to the airlines and promptly put the incident in the cobweb covered filing cabinet in the nether regions of my brain and didn't think about it again until Mr. Slater's incident -- and it took my Mom reminding me for me to extract this from it's place in my brain).

This past week, on Undercover Boss, there was a repeat of an episode about a CEO of a mail order business (I forget the name) was working undercover with a customer service phone employee who was rude to a customer and he was livid. He later told the employee that this was totally unacceptable.

This also reminded me of when I was working many years ago as a teller at Chase Manhattan. I often worked the "deposits only" line and I was also the teller that one of the "not exactly by the book, but let's help the customer" officers (whose name was John and he later was the president of a smaller branch) used to bring the upset customers to (because he knew that I would do whatever he asked me to do even if it wasn't "by the book").

One day, John brought over someone who was really upset. The customer continued to complain while I was taking care of him. I finished the transaction, handing him his receipt, smiled and said, "have a nice day" and he left. The next customer was a regular of mine and so I started chatting with him. He started staring and I asked him what the problem was and he said that he was shocked that I could take that abuse and still be my normal cheerful self. I shrugged and told him that I knew the customer wasn't angry with me, just the bank. I'd been on the other side myself many times.

On that episode of "Undercover Boss", there was also an employee who was able to diffuse just about any customer with his charm and "let's make this right" attitude. He personified the cool customer service representative and he managed to resolve issues, feeling that it was his job to have the customer feel good after the call. I have experienced people like that too, in between the obnoxious "I'm right, you're not!" people.

So what's the real story with Mr. Slater? I don't know. But he's no folk hero to me.

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out some of my squidoo lenses (articles):

Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Why be Vegetarian?
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

B"H

I'm a long time vegetarian and vegan (33 and 21 years respectively). Though I didn't make either decision (giving up meat/poultry/fish/leather/fur first and then adding dairy/eggs/lanolin etc. to the list) for health reasons. But somewhere along the line I did begin to be interested in health and nutrition and, of late (within the past 5-10 years I suppose) I've been downright obsessed with it. Health and nutrition books populate my bookcases and I subscribe to several health and nutrition magazines and newsletters.

About the same time I "went vegan", I also stopped taking medications. I don't even take aspirin. Most people find this very surprising (many even find it hard to believe). There are situations where I might take medication (particularly if it would be to treat an acute infection or injury) but I would then have to deal with the "fallout" (for example, taking antibiotics causes an imbalance in the body of bacteria vs. yeast -- for the most part, they keep each other in check, but antibiotics kill all bacteria without regard for whether or not it is helpful to the body's function -- if I were to need to take antibiotics then after I would have to pump up my body on probiotics and prebiotics).

One of the reasons I read a lot about health and nutrition is that I need to read about supplements and herbs to know which ones help the body regain equilibrium (as in how to treat different health issues to assist your body in healing itself).

Toward that end, I read a lot about this subject. My Mom has even "jumped on the bandwagon" (not that she doesn't take any medication, but she also takes supplements, etc.) -- this began when she went to a doctor for some muscular pain she was having. The doctor asked her what she wanted him to do. All he could recommend is semiannual cortisone (or something similar????) shots, something that, thank goodness, she cringed over the very idea of.

I had just been reading in one of my health newsletters about vitamin D and how prevalent vitamin D deficiency is, particularly in seniors, particularly in people who avoid the sun and particularly in the Northeast (all three conditions apply to my Mom). And, as it turned out, one of the symptoms was muscle aches. So she tried increasing her vitamin D and within days, the aches went away.

A few days ago, she had a bit of food poisoning (she thinks, anyway) and I gave her ginger tea (hot water with a few slices of ginger root in it) and, voila! Within a short time, she was feeling better.

I myself take many supplements, including vitamin D, vitamin B complex, niacin and niacinimide, and iodine. Some I take on my own (though I run them by my alternative medical practitioner) and the others I take on the advice of my alternative medical practitioner. With the help of these supplements, I have lowered my blood pressure, my cholesterol (though I think my vegan diet made the biggest dent in the cholesterol since I eat precious little saturated fat and no cholesterol).

So I was pretty intrigued by an article about The 12 Most Dangerous Supplements. I was curious as to how many of them I had heard of (7) and how many I had ever taken (none). The ones I might have considered taking (and with herbal preparations one should always either do research or discuss with their medical practitioner (allopathic -- that's MDs -- or alternative -- naturopaths, osteopaths, chiropractors, etc.) or both (with me, I try to do both)) I checked out more carefully only to discover that they have negative side effects that I wasn't too keen on (so I never tried them).

It's ironic, from my perspective, that they spend so much time and effort trying to make it seem as though thousands upon thousands of people are dying from taking bad supplements. But they ignore the myriad side effects of medications.

Just about every day I see commercials from some law firm trying to find victims of this or that medication (Avandia is the big one right now, but there are so many drugs with potentially fatal side effects that once Avandia isn't there another one will pop up). So why is there such a fuss made of supplements and herbal preparations?

Too many people just follow what their doctors say. But most of the doctors just take symptoms and make a diagnosis and from the diagnosis they pick a medication from the a list and write a prescription for it. Doctors get most of their information about drugs from the pharmaceutical company representatives, who convince the docs that these are the only solutions to these specific issues. So most people are putting their faith in the drug companies. And I think most of them are doing this without understanding the consequences.

Most drugs work by suppressing a symptom, whereas most nutrient supplements and herbal preparations work by helping the body heal itself. What happens with drugs is that they suppress a symptom (say high blood sugar) but they haven't been proven (and in many cases, as a matter of fact, they have been proven to NOT) to save lives. Oftentimes, they cause more deaths than they save. (An example is diabetes drugs -- there was a study to see what would be the ideal dosage of diabetes medications that would prevent heart attacks in diabetics. What they found -- they had to stop the study early -- was that the drugs themselves caused more heart attacks! Everyone was surprised even though this also happened in the late 1960s when they tried this with diabetes drugs from that era!

I think people need to remember that the doctors won't have to live with the consequences of their prescribing. Only the patient has to live (or die?) with the fallout. So it behooves everyone to take control of his/her own health. Do more research, read magazines and books. Be an advocate for yourself and your family members.


Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out some of my squidoo lenses (articles):

Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Why be Vegetarian?
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Be it Ever So Humble......

B"H

After a majorly pathetic road trip, the Mets are back in the friendly confines of Citi Field. The bats woke up (and my main man Jeff Francoeur hit a home run) and, the first game against the Cardinals felt better than the anxiety of the previous good pitching/ practically no hitting games of the road trip.

I just wish they could stay on a winning streak. Granted, they did win 2 out of 3 from the Cards, but so far they split the two games with the Arizona Diamondbacks (who are supposed to be one of the worst teams in the majors -- so far, as of tonight, they have lost 4 games to the D-backs and only won one game. This doesn't exactly fill me full of warms and fuzzies. Now I realize that as a Mets fan, I have learned to rejoice at the small victories, the home runs, the triples, the stolen bases, the walk-off victories (there are so many of the walk-off losses this season). And tonight's game (which I was able to see part of since it was still going after Shabbat -- the Sabbath) was one of those small victories. Thanks to a double by David Wright driving in the tying runs and a triple by Feliciano, who was driven home by a sac-fly by Beltran (for the second out of the 9th), the Mets pulled off a win (before having to go into extras, where they are totally pathetic this year).

I have to preface what I'm going to say now with a bit of a disclaimer: I never wanted Jason Bay to get injured. I don't even like it when players on teams I hate (like the Phillies and the Braves) get injured. But I'm happy that Francoeur is playing.

Francoeur adds something to the team, IMHO, even when he isn't hitting. Because of his arm, runners often stop at third, afraid of being thrown out at the plate. Add that to the number of runners he does throw out at the plate and he probably saves a significant number of runs. A run kept from scoring is just as much help to the team as an RBI, IMHO.

Angel Pagan, Thank G-d, is hitting and fielding well. I think he has proven his worth to the team and Carlos Beltran is starting to come into his own after coming back from the long-term disabled list. I personally think that Francoeur is the natural choice for the third outfielder, especially with Bay not hitting up to par. I don't totally understand why all the announcers and commentators are taking it as a fait accompli that Bay should be the 3rd outfielder. I vote for Francoeur.

(Let's Go Mets!)

Check out some of my squidoo lenses (articles):
Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Why be Vegetarian?
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Lost on Jeopardy, Part VI

ב"ה

(One paragraph from the previous entry:)

After the taping of our show ended (I came in third, so I would get $1,000, not the $6,300 on my lectern at the end of the game, Pat came in second, so he would get $2,000), Pat and I were told we could stick around for the taping of the next show or go back to the hotel. Pat decided he’d like to stay for the next show and I didn’t want to go back to the hotel alone, so I stayed too. After the next show, Jack (who had won our game but lost the next, so he won two days all told) and another man (who’s name I can’t recall – oy! – I feel bad because he was really nice and I introduced him to my Mom in the hotel later on – he was a tall handsome African-American man who I think was in his late 30s to late 40s – I’m a terrible judge of age, though) lost to Samantha, a local who wasn’t staying at the hotel. So the four of us went back to the hotel (we split the cab 4 ways and it came out to, with tip, about $4 a person).

Because I now had a lot of time and nowhere to go, I called my cousin who lives just outside Los Angeles (we had spoken on Monday night about her taking us out Tuesday night) and she told me when she’d be there (and I told her the address of the restaurant we wanted to go to – it was the same kosher restaurant that sent food for my Mom when we got there – it was the only kosher restaurant I had called that had food on the menu that I’d be able to eat with my restricted vegan diet rather than them saying they’d make something for me). My Mom and I hung out for a while until she got there. It was a lot of fun going out with my cousin (who I think I’d only seen once in 20 or so years) – she also took us grocery shopping.

The next day, a long time cyber friend of mine (10+ years I think) who lives in Los Angeles and whom I had never met before had the opportunity to meet in person (whenever he was east, we never could get together). So he came and picked us up and took us again to the same restaurant. We had a wonderful time with him (my Mom found him charming). I was disappointed that we didn’t get to meet his wife (she was at work that day) but at least I got to meet him. After lunch, he took us back to the hotel where we packed and got ready to go to the airport for our
"red-eye" back to the east coast.

The trip home was uneventful. But after that came the waiting. Well, first I had to take care of some business. As I mentioned earlier, there was a question that I thought my answer was correct that I was called wrong on. So I checked some sources, just to make sure I wasn’t grasping at straws, and my sources said that my answer was also correct. (The "answer", in a category that the "questions" needed to start with "SP", was something to the effect that “this started in 1957 with the launching of Sputnik” and I buzzed in and said, “what is the ‘space race’?” and I was called wrong, Pat buzzed in and said, “what is the ‘space age’?” and was given credit for a correct answer.) So I called Robert and he told me I needed to write a letter to Maggie and explain the whole “deal”, which I did. This was back in November, within a week of returning from California. I didn’t hear anything for a long time….

Being home, I now had to wait almost 2 months before the show I was on would air. We got home November 13th and the show wasn’t aired until January 12th. But we had to get ready to go to my nephew’s Bar Mitzva in December, so the activity of getting ready for the Bar Mitzva and being at the Bar Mitzva and visiting with my brother’s family helped. I kept telling people to watch me on January 12th.

January 12th came along and I tried to remind everyone I could (my family, my cousin who I saw in California, my friend who I saw in California, though he missed it since he thought it was Tuesday, not Monday, my High School classmates – we have an on-line yahoo group – my best friends, etc.). Because at the time we got Jeopardy twice in our viewing zone (once from the Long Island affiliate at 5 pm, again on the NY “owned and operated” at 7 pm), I taped it twice. Another friend taped it and I ended up with enough copies to send one to my sister (who lives out of the country) and another to my brother (who has a computer but no TV) so that my nieces and nephews could see me. My other brother, who lives near my sister, came to visit in early February and saw it then.

A few weeks after the show aired, I finally got a letter back from Jeopardy about the “space race” question. They checked their sources and also came to the conclusion that I was correct. But, they reasoned, I wouldn’t have won anyway (they didn’t take into account the part that this threw me – I could, in my brain, hear my brain yelling at my eyes to look at the lights but my eyes fell into the “being at home” routine of keying into Alex’s voice, so I was slow on the buzzer and, because of that, there were two “answers” I buzzed in on, since I could get through because no one buzzed, that I knew I had the wrong “questions” for – I lost a total of $3600 on those two “answers”, this extra $3600 would have put me into striking range of the leader when I later hit the “Daily Double”, which I got correct, but they had their own way of figuring, and I didn’t argue), but I might have ended up in 2nd place, so they gave me the 2nd place prize ($2,000 instead of the $1,000 for 3rd place). And I didn’t have to go back to California! (That second part I was particularly pleased about – I’m not cut out to be a Californian.) This was good, since the trip there, between airfare for two and two days in the hotel, cost me almost the original $1,000. This left me with some money to put towards my business.

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out my squidoo lenses (articles):
Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Strong Biblical Women Part 3
Ruth and Naomi
Strong Biblical Women 5: Tamar -- Mother of Kings
Strong Biblical Women 6: Yocheved -- Mother of Moshe (Moses)
Strong Biblical Women 7: Miriam
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Presidential Trivia Quiz
Christmas and the Jewish Single
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington
Passover: Holiday of Freedom
John and John Quincy Adams
Television Trivia Quiz
Jewish Perspective of G-d
Purim, Esther et al
Being an internet small business owner
Why I'm a Red Sox fan
Pythagorean Theorem
My Blogs
Top 10 Presidents
Bottom 10 Presidents
How Can We Appeal to G-d for Forgiveness?
Math Tips 2
Searching for a Fashion Partner
Math Hints 3
One Actor, Two Shows (TV Quiz)
Presidential Tidbits
Why Should anyone hire Me?
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
My experience on Jeopardy
Project:Runway and how it got me excited about designing again
Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?
My Vocational Experiences
Check out my Stress Release Mix list

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Holy 1962, Batman! Where have you gone, Marv Throneberry?

ב"ה

I think by now you all know that I'm a Mets fan -- an incurable Mets fan. I don't root for the Mets only when they win. I stick with them through thick and thin (and, believe you me, there has been way more "thin" than "thick"). I'm one of those people who loves my teams win or lose.

Anyway, I've been watching the game on and off today and, now that it's finished, I can finally say "Yay! -- they finally won!!!!!" (so now they're 3 and 6 for the season I think -- they've played 3 series and won 1 game in each series) -- Ok, so I rejoice on the small victories, what can I say????

Once upon a time, the Mets were an expansion team. Marv Throneberry was one of the players who sort of embodied the team -- he was lovable, but pathetic. As were the Mets in those days. In their first year, they won 40 games and lost 120. I think that put them in the record books. One of their pitchers, Roger Craig, almost tied the record for straight losses -- he lost 18 straight and the record was 19. There's a story about the early Mets -- there was a game they played once where they scored 19 runs. They told a man on the street about this and his response? "Did they win?" (They did -- they beat the Cubs 19-1)

In any case, for today, I'm happy. Tomorrow???? (Well, I can't watch the game tomorrow anyway, so I won't know the results until after שבת -- Shabbat -- the Sabbath)......

Let's go Mets!

Compugraph Designs web site

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out my squidoo lenses (articles):

Jewish Wedding Customs
Going to a Wedding Single
Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Strong Biblical Women Part 3
Ruth and Naomi
Strong Biblical Women 5: Tamar -- Mother of Kings
Strong Biblical Women 6: Yocheved -- Mother of Moshe (Moses)
Strong Biblical Women 7: Miriam
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Presidential Trivia Quiz
Christmas and the Jewish Single
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington
Passover: Holiday of Freedom
John and John Quincy Adams
Television Trivia Quiz
Jewish Perspective of G-d
Purim, Esther et al
Being an internet small business owner
Why I'm a Red Sox fan
Pythagorean Theorem
My Blogs
Top 10 Presidents
Bottom 10 Presidents
How Can We Appeal to G-d for Forgiveness?
Math Tips 2
Searching for a Fashion Partner
Math Hints 3
One Actor, Two Shows (TV Quiz)
Presidential Tidbits
Why Should anyone hire Me?
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
My experience on Jeopardy
Project:Runway and how it got me excited about designing again
Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?
My Vocational Experiences
Check out my Stress Release Mix list

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Macys Fashion Director

B"H

Macys Fashion Director: "

Check out my entry into today's Macy's contest!"

Ok, so I've lost some weight recently and I'm currently wearing sizes I never wore before. Which is nice in and of itself except this means I'm a bit on the short side wardrobe wise. I've been getting some nice "hand-me-across" clothes (kind of hard to call clothing from my younger sister "hand-me-down"). But it's not the same as picking things out on one's own. (Mind you, I super appreciate all the help I'm getting from friends and relatives on this) -- But when I found out that Macy's was having a contest to put together outfits from clothes they supply you with for different occasions ("meeting the in-laws", "applying for your dream job", "beach party with your workmates", stuff like that....) with a daily prize of a Macy's gift certificate I decided I'd at least try.

Now, I have a feeling that most of the daily winners are young people, college students perhaps (?) who have tons of friends voting for them. And I realize that most of my friends are not so young and voting for me and my outfits might not be tops on their list of "things I must do today".....

I'd like to hope that perhaps some of my friends could help me with this -- so if you get a chance, check out my outfit for today.......

Thanks....

Compugraph Designs web site

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out my squidoo lenses (articles):

Jewish Wedding Customs
Going to a Wedding Single
Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Strong Biblical Women Part 3
Ruth and Naomi
Strong Biblical Women 5: Tamar -- Mother of Kings
Strong Biblical Women 6: Yocheved -- Mother of Moshe (Moses)
Strong Biblical Women 7: Miriam
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Presidential Trivia Quiz
Christmas and the Jewish Single
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington
Passover: Holiday of Freedom
John and John Quincy Adams
Television Trivia Quiz
Jewish Perspective of G-d
Purim, Esther et al
Being an internet small business owner
Why I'm a Red Sox fan
Pythagorean Theorem
My Blogs
Top 10 Presidents
Bottom 10 Presidents
How Can We Appeal to G-d for Forgiveness?
Math Tips 2
Searching for a Fashion Partner
Math Hints 3
One Actor, Two Shows (TV Quiz)
Presidential Tidbits
Why Should anyone hire Me?
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
My experience on Jeopardy
Project:Runway and how it got me excited about designing again
Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?
My Vocational Experiences
Check out my Stress Release Mix list

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lightnin' Striking?

B"H

Nothing like listening to the words of a songs to destroy your illusions. I think the first time this happened to me was with the Police song "Every Breath you Take". I started listening to the words and realized the guy singing the song was a control freak, a stalker, a really scary guy.

I was away from home most of the past week and I took my laptop with me. I set up the laptop in the room I was staying in but I couldn't get on the internet. So I played a lot of freecell, solitaire and minesweeper. And I listened to the one music cd I had -- it had about 15 songs and in the course of my few days there, I heard that cd probably 10 or more times.

One of the songs that I got the opportunity to hear over and over and over again was Lou Christie's "Lightnin' Striking". And, while it was playing, I began singing with it. Now, mind you, it's not that I didn't know the words before, it's just that the subtleties of their meaning escaped me as a naive child.

I don't know how many of you know the words, but it starts with "Listen to me, Baby, you gotta understand/ You're old enough to know the makings of a man/ Listen to me, Baby, it's hard to settle down/ Am I asking too much for you to stick around?" -- so far, it sounds relatively innocuous. But it continues. "Every boy wants a girl/ He can trust to the very end/ Baby, that's you, won't you stay/ but 'til then/ If she's put together fine/ and she's reading my mind/ I can't stop/ I can't stop myself...."

So I listened over and over to the words and I realized (despite comments I have seen about how this is a nice little love song) that, far from being a love song, is an apologia -- an excuse, an explanation of how and why he is cheating on his "lady love" -- yes, one day, he vows, he will be faithful to her (after they get married -- SOMEday....) and, you feel that underneath it all he totally expects her to be "pure" when they do get married one day. It's the double standard, the whole "there are 'girls' you s**** and 'girls' you marry and they aren't the same" hypocrisy, the "men are expected to be experienced but women are expected to be pure" thing. (Mind you, I feel that sex is only appropriate within the confines of marriage, so I think both parties should be "pure")

I hope that some day I can forget (or forgive) the meaning of the words. I hope that some day I won't always think of the machismo or overbearingly "full of c***" words of this song. But for now, when I listen, all I can hear is a man making excuses for his infidelity.

Compugraph Designs web site

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out my squidoo lenses (articles):

Jewish Wedding Customs
Going to a Wedding Single
Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Strong Biblical Women Part 3
Ruth and Naomi
Strong Biblical Women 5: Tamar -- Mother of Kings
Strong Biblical Women 6: Yocheved -- Mother of Moshe (Moses)
Strong Biblical Women 7: Miriam
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Presidential Trivia Quiz
Christmas and the Jewish Single
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington
Passover: Holiday of Freedom
John and John Quincy Adams
Television Trivia Quiz
Jewish Perspective of G-d
Purim, Esther et al
Being an internet small business owner
Why I'm a Red Sox fan
Pythagorean Theorem
My Blogs
Top 10 Presidents
Bottom 10 Presidents
How Can We Appeal to G-d for Forgiveness?
Math Tips 2
Searching for a Fashion Partner
Math Hints 3
One Actor, Two Shows (TV Quiz)
Presidential Tidbits
Why Should anyone hire Me?
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
My experience on Jeopardy
Project:Runway and how it got me excited about designing again
Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?
My Vocational Experiences
Check out my Stress Release Mix list

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl giveth and Super Bowl taketh away.....

B"H

I'll admit it -- I'm a Giants fan. If I can survive a few years of the Mets crashing and burning, I can certainly survive one year of the Giants doing the same.

Because I'm a Giants fan, I was rooting for "our Quarterback"'s brother -- Payton Manning and the Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts.

A lot of people, however, were rooting for New Orleans because of the whole Hurricane Katrina fiasco/disaster. New Orleans, I agree, needed something big. But for New Orleans, just making it to the Super Bowl was excitement worthy, celebration worthy, Mardi Gras-type party worthy. But by winning, they gave the city, which has no baseball team (I'm having difficulty thinking of a major sports team in New Orleans besides the Saints), a needed "shot in the arm". And, though I was rooting for Indy, I'm not horribly upset that New Orleans won (it's not as the Indy is one of my favorite teams or New Orleans is a team I hate -- I was only rooting for Eli's brother -- and, truth be told, in this regard, New Orleans isn't so bad since "Dad" Archie was the quarterback of the Saints "back in the day" as they say).

But, to pull this blog entry back to the title, one of the players, Pierre Garcon, is from Haiti. Haiti, which recently experienced an earthquake that it is still in the throes of, also needs to have something to "hang its hat on" from an inspirational perspective.

So, while it's very nice for New Orleans (and I love that they are "back"), it would be nice to see this sort of niceness for Haiti, too.


Story about Pierre Garcon and his organization that is helping Haiti

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out my squidoo lenses (articles):

Jewish Wedding Customs
Going to a Wedding Single
Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Strong Biblical Women Part 3
Ruth and Naomi
Strong Biblical Women 5: Tamar -- Mother of Kings
Strong Biblical Women 6: Yocheved -- Mother of Moshe (Moses)
Strong Biblical Women 7: Miriam
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Presidential Trivia Quiz
Christmas and the Jewish Single
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington
Passover: Holiday of Freedom
John and John Quincy Adams
Television Trivia Quiz
Jewish Perspective of G-d
Purim, Esther et al
Being an internet small business owner
Why I'm a Red Sox fan
Pythagorean Theorem
My Blogs
Top 10 Presidents
Bottom 10 Presidents
How Can We Appeal to G-d for Forgiveness?
Math Tips 2
Searching for a Fashion Partner
Math Hints 3
One Actor, Two Shows (TV Quiz)
Presidential Tidbits
Why Should anyone hire Me?
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
My experience on Jeopardy
Project:Runway and how it got me excited about designing again
Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?
My Vocational Experiences
Check out my Stress Release Mix list

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Carnie Wilson Unstapled

B"H

I've been watching the new show on GSN "Carnie Wilson Unstapled". It's sort of like watching a train wreck. But I'm finding it fascinating.

It reminds me that everyone has a set of problems that other people who find easy to solve (and, perhaps, she would find my issues easy to deal with.... or not????)

I've been dealing with weight issues since High School. Before he passed away, one of my HS teachers was in the local nursing home and I went to visit him -- our visit ended when he needed to go to lunch and I walked him to the cafeteria. As he turned to walk in, he turned to me and said, "you were chubby in HS".

So I have been fighting this fight for a long time. But each step of the way, I've had small successes. I first went high fiber, then vegetarian, then low fat, then vegan -- recently, I went on a diet that my alternative medical practitioner put me on and started treating my adrenals with nutrient supplements.

Along to way, I discovered a few things -- firstly, I discovered that I love sweets and if I try to cut them out of my diet, I will have crazy cravings. So I discovered stevia, a natural no-calorie sweetener. I have used it to make cakes, cookies, biscotti, puddings (mostly tapioca), iced herbal teas, even vegan "gello" using herbal tea and agar. I've also made Popsicles, sweet and sour dishes, pancakes (and a strawberry "syrup" to go with them), cereal (hot and cold), even chocolate. I also use whole grain flours (including sprouted grain wheat -- I'm still not allowed regular wheat or rye, but I'm finally allowed spelt and oats! -- so this Pesah -- Passover -- I can have spelt matza.....)....

Secondly, I discovered that it's easier to lose weight if I exercise (I love walking and I keep track with a pedometer -- I aim for 12,000 steps a day, which I often get -- I usually average my steps for Sunday through Thursday (I can't wear the pedometer on Shabbat -- the Sabbath -- so Friday and Saturday, I don't have accurate readings for my steps, so I don't count them in the average, though I do record them). In my little log book I record my morning blood sugar (Sunday through Friday) and my morning weight and fat percentage, water percentage and bone percentage (per my scale -- also Sunday through Friday). This past week, I averaged over 14,000 steps for the five days and mos of the time recently, I've been keeping my blood sugar under 110.

I discovered that if I walk when I'm talking on the phone or when I'm watching Jeopardy (often twice a day on weekdays) and Millionaire, that helps me reach my step goal (also walking around town, or around the block, or going to the gym).

In the past XX years (my weight loss odyssey):

I lost about 30 pounds from my heaviest point in my 20s until my sister's wedding in my early 30s (and anther 10 pounds before my brother's wedding about 6 months later).

I lost another 30 or 40 pounds by the time I was re-diagnosed with diabetes about 8 years ago.

I lost another 30-35 pounds in the past almost 2 years.

I'd like to lost another 10 pounds, but I won't make myself crazy doing that -- just keeping from gaining weight right now will be enough.

This is one of the issues Carnie is dealing with. The other issue is that she spends as much money as she makes (considering she's making the Newlywed Game and has a few other enterprises, this is a considerable accomplishment.

I've spent the majority of my life not getting a regular paycheck. As a matter of fact, despite the fact that I'm a graphic artist, a writer and a tutor, I've been a programmer, a technical writer, a teacher (computers, wood shop and Hebrew school), I worked several summers for the state of NJ employment office, administrative assistant for several concerns (including office manager for a psychology group), and a zillion other jobs... but I've never been able to support myself, and except for 2 years, I never made a salary that anyone would consider reasonable, never even near the median income in this country.

So I look at Carnie's spending -- and I think to myself how much easier things would be for her if she bought things that weren't quite so overpriced. It's sort of like Carrie Bradshaw, Sara Jessica Parker's role on Sex and the City. Carrie was a shoe buff -- there was one episode where she mentions having 100 or so pairs of shoes. That part didn't faze me, since I probably have close to that many. But I spend an average of less than $10 a pair of shoes. Carrie said she averaged $300 a pair. Miranda, her friend, said, "do you realize how much that is?" so Carrie said, "$3,000?" and Miranda said, "No, $30,000!!!". If I do have 100 pairs of shoes, they probably total less than $1,000 and I've been collecting them over the course of several years. That's what Carnie spent on one diaper bag.

So, if Carnie ever does read this -- Carnie -- call me, I could help you with your issues (and maybe you could help with mine??? With your name, maybe more people would buy my designs -- the ones I sell on Cafe Press and Zazzle)

And if you get a chance, you may want to check out my chocolate recipe -- for each two squares (rectangles???) of 99% cocoa baker's chocolate (I melt in a double boiler) I add 1/8 cup each of cacao nibs and mixed chopped nuts and enough stevia to equal 1 cup of sugar (2 teaspoons of the one I use) and 1 teaspoon erythritol (another natural no-calorie sweetener) -- I mix well and drop it by 1/2 tablespoons on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and put it in the refrigerator until it sets and I keep them in a container in the refrigerator.

Compugraph Designs web site

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out my squidoo lenses (articles):

Jewish Wedding Customs
Going to a Wedding Single
Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Strong Biblical Women Part 3
Ruth and Naomi
Strong Biblical Women 5: Tamar -- Mother of Kings
Strong Biblical Women 6: Yocheved -- Mother of Moshe (Moses)
Strong Biblical Women 7: Miriam
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
Hanuka
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Presidential Trivia Quiz
Christmas and the Jewish Single
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington
Passover: Holiday of Freedom
John and John Quincy Adams
Television Trivia Quiz
Jewish Perspective of G-d
Purim, Esther et al
Being an internet small business owner
Why I'm a Red Sox fan
Pythagorean Theorem
My Blogs
Top 10 Presidents
Bottom 10 Presidents
How Can We Appeal to G-d for Forgiveness?
Math Tips 2
Searching for a Fashion Partner
Math Hints 3
One Actor, Two Shows (TV Quiz)
Presidential Tidbits
Why Should anyone hire Me?
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
My experience on Jeopardy
Project:Runway and how it got me excited about designing again
Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?
My Vocational Experiences
Check out my Stress Release Mix list