The Problem with Politics

August 12, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Posted in News and Views | Leave a comment

Where do I even begin? As of today, I do not know who I will vote for as President. Usually, you vote for the candidate you like the most. This year, it looks like I will vote for the candidate I dislike the least. I almost wish Al Gore was running for President again, no joke.

Last week was rough for a few American politicians. Let’s start with Kwame Kilpatrick, the mayor of Detroit. At the beginning of this year, he was charged with perjury along with his former chief of staff, and now he has these accusations to contend with as well.

Now we move on to John Edwards. When the National Enquirer came out with a story of him having an affair, I instantly thought it was false. Who would take a tabloid paper seriously? It turns out that the story is true. What a disappointing story, I remember when the whole Clinton/Monica affair took place and that took years for that whole story to finish. Now the Democrats have to deal with the aftermath of another affair. Geez, can’t any male politician keep it in his pants anymore?!?!

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You Cannot Be Serious!

July 22, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Posted in News and Views, Random Stuff | Leave a comment

Anyone who moves to New York City is aware that there are tradeoffs. You can go to free concerts and movies everyday of the week, or pretty close to it, but the cost of living is expensive. I hear of the monthly rents my friends pay for their apartments now and it is just ridiculous, not to mention the price of food and transportation. According to the New York Times, the MTA wants to propose a fare increase for next year to close down a budget gap. Wasn’t it not long ago that the MTA supposedly had a budget surplus and now there’s a large gap? That takes alot of nerve to even talk about proposing a fare increase, especially with the delays that alot of commuters are experiencing on the subway. First fix the problems with delays, then discuss increasing fares, mmkay?

On a completely different note, I heard of this comment from a nationally known radio host about children with autism. While the comment is extremely ignorant, I do not think this host should be fired. Instead, he should do some volunteer work at a school for kids with autism, maybe he can observe a classroom of older kids with autism, see the work that teachers are doing with these kids so they can find a job, maybe that will change his point of view, or not.

Do You Want To Be The Next Angelina Jolie? Think Again…

June 5, 2008 at 8:14 pm | Posted in News and Views | Leave a comment

This NY Times article caught my eye. It seems that anyone who wants to adopt kids internationally might have to rethink that idea. While I understand the need for more regulations, I also feel bad for the families that are currently caught up in this process and for families who cannot have children on their own and do not want to spend endless amounts of time and money on IVF treatments and surrogates.

Grunters Beware

June 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Posted in News and Views | Leave a comment

This case has been on my mind lately; having taken some spin classes at my gym, I have been lucky enough not to encounter someone who grunts loudly or says obnoxious things in class. I wonder how I would react if there was someone in my spin class who grunted like Monica Seles in her heyday.

I’m wondering how the verdict on this case will translate to everyday behavior; what if someone annoys me in the gym or on the street? Do I have a right to punch someone out because they did or said something that upset me?  Will we see a rash of gym rage cases? Nevertheless, I will be extra careful not to grunt or make unseemly noises in my spinning classes : )

What’s Up With That?!?!

March 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Posted in News and Views, Opinion piece | 1 Comment

We’ve heard all about Client #9, threesomes, adulterous affairs, and scandalous text messages. If you think this is about the private lives of Britney, Lindsay, and Paris think again! By now, we’ve all heard about the downfall of Eliot Spitzer, the alleged threesomes of ex-Governor McGreevey, his wife, and their driver, and the extramarital troubles of the current governor of New York, David Patterson. Now we are hearing about the extra curricular activities of Kwame Kilpatrick, the mayor of Detroit.  Doesn’t anyone take cold showers anymore?

One More Reason To Avoid The Malls

December 6, 2007 at 3:57 pm | Posted in News and Views | 1 Comment

I love shopping but I hate going to malls at this time of year. Among my list of complaints are: spending at least 30 minutes trying to find a parking spot, long lines at all the stores, and the awful generic mall holiday music. This year, running into a psychopathic gunman makes the list. Go here for more details. From now on, I’ll do all my holiday shpping online.

Denial Ain’t Just a River in Egypt

November 21, 2007 at 3:12 pm | Posted in News and Views, Opinion piece | Leave a comment

The New York Times has an interesting article on the role of denial in relationships. If you want to look at the whole article, go here.

 There is a concept in Judaism known as shalom bayis. When used in a healthy way, denial is an essential tool needed in keeping peace in the home. It not only applies to relationships between husband and wife but is essential in frienships, relationships between employers and employees, coworkers, and last but not least family. If we held on to every bad thing ever said and/or have done to us by the people closest to us, relationships would not last very long, that’s for sure.  I might have more to say on this later.

ETA: Regarding the title, if you’re a big fan of Saturday Night Live, then you know who I’m referring to .

Go It Alone?

November 2, 2007 at 8:10 pm | Posted in Judaism, News and Views, Opinion piece | 3 Comments

Judaism places a huge emphasis on marriage and children; you might have heard of the phrase “be fruitful and multiply”, you can see that in Genesis 1:27-28

“And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the sky and over all the beasts that tread upon the earth. ” (taken from www.chabad.org)

Jewfaq has this to say about the importance of marriage in Judaism:

“Marriage is vitally important in Judaism. Refraining from marriage is not considered holy, as it is in some other religions. On the contrary, it is considered unnatural. The Talmud says that an unmarried man is constantly thinking of sin…….Marriage is not solely, or even primarily, for the purpose of procreation. Traditional sources recognize that companionship, love and intimacy are the primary purposes of marriage, noting that woman was created in Gen. 2:18 because “it is not good for man to be alone,” rather than because she was necessary for procreation.” (taken from www.jewfaq.org)

What happens when you are dating for what seems like forever and you are no closer to getting married now than you were when you started dating? Women have one factor that weighs on them very heavily, especially as they get older. Newsweek has an interesting article this week on women who choose to be single mothers rather than have no children.  I can’t say I blame these women, sometimes you can try every avenue in the book in order to get married and if it doesn’t work out, what do you do? I think we are so lucky to live in an era where women have options. In previous generations, there was no IVF, or sperm donation. There was more of a stigma attached to single motherhood than there is now. We have good old Murphy Brown to thank for paving the way.

Even though I support the decisions of the women profiled in the Newsweek article, I am not sure that I would made the same choice if I was in their shoes. Hopefully I will not have to find out. With all the emphasis on marriage and children in Orthodox Judaism, I wonder where single people fit in. It is very easy to be single and Jewish in New York City but when you move out of such a large city, you find that religious Jewish singles have it very hard. At least in NYC, we can go to events and classes every night and meet people our age. In more suburban and rural communities, your options are few and far between. For example, the shul I go to when I visit my parents serves mostly senior citizens and young families. Where does a young, single Jew fit in that shul?

I was browsing the Chabad website and I came across the “Dear Rachel” column, women ask Rachel a variety of questions and she answers their questions using Jewish wisdom. A single woman in her 40s asks Rachel if there is a place in Judaism for her even though she is not married and does not have any kids. In her answer to the woman who asked the question, Rachel gave some sensitive thoughts that not only answered this woman’s question but I find that any woman can use this advice in her own life. If you want to see the whole column click here.

“Our Sages teach that there are “70 faces” to the Torah. That means that for every word, every sentence and every concept that exists in the Torah, that there are (at least) 70 different ways of understanding it. Take for example the commandment “be fruitful and multiply.” The classic and simple meaning is “have and raise children.” But if you care to expand your conceptual framework a bit, you could also understand this to mean: be creative, work hard, and contribute to this world and your good deeds and effort will be your legacy, the fruits of your labor… your spiritual children if you will. “

“So even though you may sense an ideal of a married life with children, it is important to understand that there are many ways to be a wife and a mother. We can wed ourselves to observing the Shabbath…And we can be a mother to a sick person in need of love and attention. We can nurture a community project and reach out to others in need. There are wonderful opportunities to wed, and worthy projects to mother. “

I support any informed and educated decision a woman makes regarding having children. We only have one chance in this world and if a woman is not married and wants to have children, if not having kids is something she will regret for the rest of her life, then she should have a child, whether it’s by IVF, adoption, or other methods. If a woman does not have children, then she deserves the same respect. If she is making the best decision for herself, then who am I to criticize? Who is anyone to judge?

Score One for City Living

October 29, 2007 at 3:49 pm | Posted in News and Views | 1 Comment

I got a kick out of this article at Newsweek describing the health benefits of living in a city. I walk to work everyday, except for times like this morning that I was running late and took the bus. It is about a 15 minute walk to work.  I prefer that commute alot more than my first commute to my job right after college graduation, which was an hour drive each way. Even if I don’t go to the gym, I know that I will get exercise just by walking to work. I am not sure what the future holds but for now, I am very happy being a city girl.

Don’t Cry

October 25, 2007 at 4:38 pm | Posted in News and Views, Opinion piece | Leave a comment
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This article caught my eye this morning, my first impression upon reading the title was “Geez, I knew that already”. I don’t think I have ever seen a man cry at my current job or my previous job, I can count a handful of cases when I have seen my female co-workers cry. For a little background, my previous job was working with teenagers with autism at a school in central New Jersey. I held that job for 3 years. I work now for a large medical institution doing administrative work, previously I worked for a small non-profit organization doing the same kind of work. I have been working in administration for 6 years.

At my previous job, there was only a handful of times that I cried. The few times I cried were due to job-related issues rather than co-worker issues.  I remember a very difficult day of teaching which unfortunately happened the day I was being evaluated. There were some unexpected incidents that threw me off and I couldn’t recover. I failed that evaluation and as soon as the day ended, I had a really good cry. As a result of my evaluation, there were some changes in our classroom that were beneficial for the students and the teachers, and when I was re-evaluated, I passed with flying colors. I ended up leaving my job at the end of that school year.

The job itself was extremely stressful, working with teenagers can be challenging, when you add autism to the mix you really don’t know what you’re in for. I liked the unpredictability of the job, and the wealth of opportunities available for teaching. Any time we went to the grocery store or we went out to eat at Applebees was an opportunity for teaching. However, there are severe issues when you work with that population, specifically issues with aggression. What initially attracted me to the job proved to be my undoing.

At my current job, I sit at a desk almost all day as compared to walking around and being on my feet almost all day at my previous job. The job itself is pretty predictable, the most difficult part of this job is dealing with the different personalities and egos of the people I work with. I work with very nice and interesting people from all over the world, some of the scientists on staff have come to the US from all over the world (China, Hungary, Italy, England).

There are 10-12 people in the labs I work with. I have to take care of all their day to day needs; ordering office supplies for the labs, human resources issues, paperwork for all the studies and grants going on, etc. The times that I’ve been so frustrated to the point that I burst into tears were when colleagues got upset because they felt like their issues weren’t being handled as quickly as they would have liked it to be. The fault for that lies with me for not communicating as openly as I should have; it is important in that situation to communicate what is going on with certain things and not to let things slide.

There have also been times when personal issues outside of work have gotten in the way and have caused me to cry at the job. Those times to me have been the most disappointing, I’m a firm believer that when you are at work, you focus on work and you put all personal issues aside. Of course, there are issues that are too difficult to put aside and I am not referring to those. I am referring to issues such as stepping in dog poo on your way to work, your dry cleaning not being ready on time, etc.

How has crying in the office affected me? Well, people at my jobs have always been surprised to see me upset about anything. Most people view me as a happy, well-adjusted person who rarely lets anything get to her; maybe it’s a relief to some people when I get upset, like “See, she’s not happy all the time!”. My co-workers have been supportive and understanding. G-d only knows what they say behind my back but I am assuming, perhaps naively, that there is none of that going on in my case. You can chalk that up to wishful thinking…

After the whole Ellen DeGeneres incident, I feel a little better about the times I cried at work. Only a few people saw me cry, as opposed to millions of people in Ms. DeGeneres’ case. We’re human beings, not robots, and sometimes we cry, even at work. I will conclude with a deep thought by Jack Handey.

If you want to share a time when you cried at work, do so in the comments section.

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