Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Daf Yummies

Mavis invented a concept called "Daf Yummies." I assume it's a kind of candy. I think these should really exist.

Straight Man invented a concept called "TGIK" which stands for "Thank God It's Kosher" and is a chain of restaurants in random places where you would not think of finding kosher food. These should really exist, too.

Chag sameach everyone!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Teacher Sometimes Turns Into A Glumph

This is a poem I just wrote, possibly for a children's story, possibly not. I think illustrations to this would be awesomely fun. Also - it is in iambic pentameter! In fact, it is basically an English sonnet, but with one extra quatrain thrown into the mix.

My Teacher Sometimes Turns Into A Glumph

My teacher sometimes turns into a Glumph,

When all her niceness goes away and hides,

And meanness settles in her with a “humph!”

She eats our snack and steals our swings and slides.

And in this state she caught me throw a book --

A small transgression, nothing like a crime --

And pointed with her finger to a nook --

The corner where I was to do my time.

Against the wall I stood, scolding my tears,

When suddenly, I was called back to play.

I studied Teacher and gave up my fears

For it was clear the Glumph had gone away.

The room lit up at once with Teacher’s cure.

All meanness gone - yes, not one thing was bad.

And happily we, as a class, were sure

Our teacher was the nicest ever had.

Your teacher’s nice, I’m sure, but don’t harrumph,

Be wary when she turns into a Glumph.

Little Fish of Horrors

Okay, before I start this entry, I would like to give nicknames to my siblings so that y'all can know (sort of) who I'm talking about - sort of like characters in a story! And also, everyone else seems to be doing this and it seems like fun. :) So here they are:

Straight Man - brother, 18 years old, studying in Israel
Trademark - sister, 16 years old, in eleventh grade
Mavis - brother, 13 years old, in eighth grade

And that's everyone! Well, besides me, of course :) And my parents.

Anyway.

So Straight Man (hee, now I can stop saying things like "my brother" "my sister" "my other brother" - okay, on with the story). Yes, so, a few years ago, Straight Man decided he liked fish. And finally, last summer, while we were in the Berkshires, we went to a fair and he actually won a goldfish. This was exciting for him, because it meant he could now get MORE fish and then get a whole fish tank and put it in his room and be very happy. It was a small goldfish and, to be honest, most of us were skeptical that it would last the rest of the trip, let alone make it home all in one piece. But, to my brother's delight, the fish did make it home. It even survived the long car ride back. So it wasn't long before Straight Man got a tank and a few more fish, one of which was a Beta fighter fish.

Now, something that I knew about Beta fighter fish (I shall have to write a post about Shammai and Hillel the Beta fish another time) but that Straight Man didn't know is that male fighter fish eat other fish. They have to have their own fish bowl. But, as Straight Man only had one tank, in it went with all the other fish.

And, one by one, the smaller fish started disappearing. They wouldn't just die. They'd be gone. It was clear to all of us what was going on. The Beta fish was eating the other fish!

Soon, all who were left were the Beta fish and the little goldfish from the Berkshires. I think Mavis might have given him a name, but I'm going to give him a second name - Cicero. Cicero, as you may or may not know, was an Orator from Roman times (I think. At least, I read his stuff in Latin class) and he gave great, somewhat pompous speeches. Well, this little goldfish from the Berkshires soon became a big goldfish who was the dominant fish in a tank with a fighter fish! How did this happen, you ask? Well, it happened one dark, stormy night, when zombies and goblins were roaming the streets, and SUDDENLY....er, yeah, I have no idea. But somehow, it did. It grew and grew and grew and grew into a giant goldfish and now it swims in front of the tank, especially when one of us in there, pacing back and forth and back and forth, its mouth opening and closing and opening and closing and it really looks like it's giving some sort of aggitated, grand speech! Therefore, his name is now Cicero. At least, it is on this blog.

So, one day, the fighter fish died. That meant that Cicero was the only one left in the tank. And we decided he was lonely. Here he was, this huge fish, always trying to speak to us, it seemed, and we figured that if it had some other fish to make grand speeches to, it would be happier.

Meanwhile, Straight Man left for Israel and my sister and I decided that we were going to be the ones to get new fish. So, this past Friday (yes, erev Yom Kippur - this was how important it was to us!), we went to the pet store and got one goldfish, two little fish that were clear with a pink highlight at the top, and one swordfish (a small, freshwater one, not the kind you're thinking of from the ocean). Now, two days later, the small goldfish and both highlighted fish are dead. Just the swordfish remains. Oh, and Cicero.

The interesting thing is that the other fish when they were alive, and the swordfish now, would hide behind things in the tank - almost as though they were afraid of Cicero! My dad suspected Cicero of eating the smaller goldfish when we couldn't find it yesterday, but last night I found it floating behind something. I don't think Cicero would actually eat any of the smaller fish. But it is definitely the dominant fish in the tank. It still gives speeches, although now I think it's a bit confused as to why there are other fish (well, one other fish, at this point). One major problem, though, is that since it's so big, it gets all the food. It's ALWAYS hungry. And I mean ALWAYS. And it just keeps growing. I feel bad for the swordfish! It's going to have to learn to be more assertive.

I think we just need to get some bigger fish.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Homework

I happen to love all my homework this semester, but I thought a whole bunch of you would appreciate this poem - I know I do, from past semesters when I've had annoying homework to do.

Homework! Oh, Homework!
by Jack Prelutsky
============

Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!
I wish I could wash you
away in the sink.
If only a bomb
would explode you to bits.
Homework! Oh, homework!
You're giving me fits.


I'd rather take baths
with a man-eating shark,
or wrestle a lion
alone in the dark,
eat spinach and liver,
pet ten porcupines,
than tackle the homework
my teacher assigns.


Homework! Oh, homework!
You're last on my list.
I simply can't see
why you even exist.
If you just disappeared
it would tickle me pink.
Homework! Oh, homework!
I hate you! You stink!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Erev Yom Kippur

I just wanted to wish all my readers a gmar chatima tova! I hope you are all mochel me for anything I might have done or said here on my blog that could have offended anyone. Have an easy fast!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vocabulary Lesson #1: Part Two

I just realized I never posted the context of the word "galumphing" from this post, so I shall do so now! I did not have a very happy day in school today, mostly because I was woken up at seven in the morning for a fire drill when my first class wasn't until noon (lucky to everyone who was good and went to slichot this morning!), and then my friend from Israel came but I had no time to see her properly since I only had two hours between classes and I needed those two hours desperately to write two stories for the class I had after the break - creative nonfiction. And that class turned out to be so awfully boring, it made me appreciate just how animated and smiley and not-gloomy the other English and writing professors are. I mean, if any teacher is Eeyore, it's this guy, only not in a good way. AND he was teaching WITH THE LIGHT OFF IN THE ROOM. I could just imagine Dr. Schwebel watching and shaking her head with disapproval - though even more, I can imagine her walking sprightly into the room, flipping on the light, and plopping herself down on top of the teacher's desk, leaning forward - all bright and eager - and asking us how our Rosh Hashana break was. But did this guy do ANY of that? No. No no no no no. He sat hunched over in a desk, the back of the room with the light on but the front of the room dark so that there was this gloomy dimness to the entire room, and his expression and demeanor was so...well...to overuse the word - gloomy. And not only did that not make him very cheerful, it made him boring.

The point of me venting about this is that this particular poem I'm about to post makes me very happy, indeed, so it's a bright ending to a disappointing day. Now, let's see if anyone's idea of "galumphing" has changed, now that it's in context!

JABBERWOCKY

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Memorium: spending my birthday with Dr. Schwebel

Today I spent my birthday with Dr. Schwebel. It was the most meaningful 21st birthday I could ask for. True, it wasn't all wild parties and fun, but the memorial we had for Dr. Schwebel tonight was so incredibly therapeutic for me. It was the best birthday present I could have received from her (if teachers gave birthday presents to their students, that is, although I'm pretty sure that, had Dr. Schwebel still been my teacher, she'd at least have brought in cookies and M&Ms). I have already written so much about Dr. Schwebel on my blog, I don't know what more I can say. She was really part of an era in my life - the Dr. Schwebel era, I can call it - and I am definitely a different person now than I was a little over a year ago when I didn't even know her. My time as her student is like a story, and if it really was one, I think it would end tonight. Or perhaps tomorrow, with the sun rising. Dr. Schwebel was all about adventure. She was about rising suns and eating chocolate. She was about exploring, discovering, and just plain having fun. Dr. Schwebel was an exciting person. You never knew what she had up her sleeve. I hate how I'm filling this entry with cliches, but the thing is, with Dr. Schwebel, it never felt like a cliche. It was all so real. I am still having trouble accepting that I will never see Dr. Schwebel again. Like I recently wrote on the Blue Blog, I still dream about her. In my dreams, I can never catch up with her and talk. She is constantly pushing me away or I wake up right before I get to say anything. I don't know why my dreams are like this, but I really, really, really wish that even in my dreams I could get the chance to speak with her. I have so much to tell her. I feel so cheated that just when my relationship with Dr. Schwebel was growing, I lost her. I don't know if she could hear what we all said about her tonight, but I want desperately to believe that she could and that she did. I know I was speaking about her, but inside, I was crying to her. I wanted her to hear everything I said. I wanted her to know just how much I appreciate everything she taught me, whether in the classroom or just from being herself.

Also, if anyone knows how I can get a Latin II book that I can somehow teach myself from, at least a little bit, please, please let me know. It hurts me to think that I might lose what I spent so much time with Dr. Schwebel learning and I don't want to forget my Latin. Then again, I feel weird about having another Latin teacher, aside from a book. It's too soon. I don't know. Latin has become something almost sacred, symbolic of my bond with Dr. Schwebel. It is something that still connects me to her. When I read that passage tonight - it was the first time I was reading Latin out loud since I was in her class. Latin has become so personal. I wish Dr. Schwebel was still with me, still teaching me how to properly pronounce the words and how to put the correct accent on the right syllables. I wish she was still teaching me her tricks for remembering things. No, I don't think I could learn Latin from anyone else right now. It wouldn't be right, somehow.

Oh God, I just miss Dr. Schwebel so much. Dr. Schwebel, I hope you were with us tonight. I hope you were with me on my birthday. I hope you heard what we had to say about you and I hope you understand just how much you still mean to all of us. To me. I cannot wish you a shana tova or a gmar chatima tova, but I can hope and pray that you are somewhere safe now, somewhere where you are happy and exuberant and somewhere good. I don't understand much of what happens after a person dies - you know more than I do (but then, you always knew more than I did and I so looked up to you because of it) but whatever sort of existence it is, I hope you are in the best state you could possibly be in and that no more harm can come to you. May you succeed in whatever adventure you are in now. Please, please, please don't forget about us who miss you so horribly.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Twenty-One

I am twenty-one. 52 minutes ago, I became completely legal (well, except for renting a car, which apparently you have to be 25 for). I'm not quite sure I feel any different, but I think I DO feel a bit older, even though that's probably all psychological, because why should right now be any different from an hour ago?

I will have a rather interesting birthday, as it falls out the day after Tzom Gedaliah, three days after Rosh Hashana, and the same day as the Stern memorial for Dr. Schwebel. So my birthday will not be all frivolity, but then again, perhaps that's for the best? In an odd way, I do appreciate having the Dr. Schwebel memorial on my birthday, because I cannot think of a more meaningful way to spend the day, honestly, and, in some way, it'll be like she's there on my birthday, too.

I am very nervous for the memorial tomorrow night. I don't know what to expect, even though I know what's going to be happening at it. I don't know how people will react to others talking about Dr. Schwebel. I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know how I'll feel. I guess I'll find out then, won't I?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Children's Books

So for my writing kiddie lit. class, we have to bring in a kid's book we like and one we don't like. I put a poll up on the side of my blog for the choices I'm debating between for the book that I like. Now, as a little girl, I can't remember really disliking any books, so do any of you remember a book from your childhood that you really detested? Please, please vote in the poll so you can help me in my indecisiveness! :) And if you can recommend any books (picture books, really) that are quite awful, let me know! Thanks!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Vocabulary Lesson #1

Here is a vocabulary lesson for all of you (and on my 100th post, too!).

When you see the word "galumphing," what do you think it means? And for those of you who know the context, don't say anything. I'm going to put that up in my next Vocabulary Lesson post. Right now I just want to see what people say about the word "galumphing" by itself, out of context. Then it's sort of like mad libs when they see it in context! It will be fun to see who changes their mind!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sharks

Just some things to think about:

1. "If you think small, you're always going to be small."
2. Blue sour bears and mocktails

and the last one...

3. the big, imposing, FUTURE.

Yeah, this post was pretty much about nothing. But, then again, so was Seinfeld! :D

Also, this is cool:

Powered by AOL Video

What time is it?

If you're thinking of High School Musical lyrics in response to the title of this post - so am I! Except instead of vacation, I'm thinking - SCHOOL!

I have always loved school. Yes, I love my fair share of sick days and vacations, but I also love being around my friends, I love sitting in class and writing stories instead of listening, I love class discussions, and, yes, I love getting paper assignments. I dislike actually doing the assignments, but I love getting them, if that makes any sense.

Anyway, the point is, YAY FOR SCHOOL TOMORROW!

I absolutely LOVE my schedule this semester, and if it weren't two in the morning, I'd tell you why! That will have to be tomorrow's post! (Did I already promise a schedule-post in another post? I can't remember anymore).

But for now, what time is it?

You guessed it - SLEEP TIME.

Goodnight, O'Readers! (hee! now you're all Irish!)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

We fit right

I'm a performer. It's true. Whether or not I actually perform, you know, on stage is another story, but, let me tell you, my mirror gets quite a show sometimes. Especially when no one else is home and I can sing at the top of my lungs and dance and jump around my room. When no one is watching, when no one can hear - those are the times I put on my best, top-notch performances.

Yesterday, I had the chance for about an hour or so to sing with no one around to hear and, suddenly, my voice came out strong. I don't get this opportunity all that often and, when people are around, I'm too self-conscious and nervous that I sound like a completely broken record, all screechy like or something, so I don't give it my all. Ever. But when I'm alone, boy do I. And, anyway, boy did I yesterday. This newfound strong voice excited me. "Oh, hooray!" I declared (in my mind), "I can sing! I can sing!" So, I decided to record myself as evidence of the fact. I recorded myself on my phone singing "Reflection" (from Mulan) and "The Wizard and I" (from Wicked). I still have them on my phone, too. I'll probably end up deleting them at some point but...I sound like I'm ten. I'm not even joking. I mean, when I was doing The Wizard and I, it was like ten year old Elphaba was twirling around her room singing, not college-age Elphaba! Why!? Why do I sound so young!? It made me sad :(

But it did not make me give up my love of singing! I will sing in front of my mirror until the end of time! And dance! And act! And lip-sync! And all three at once! Ah, my most faithful mirror, you are such a good audience. =D

And the song I would like next to memorize and perform for my mirror is the one whose lyrics are pasted below. It's called "We Fit Right" by Deirdre Flint and it was played for my English Lit. class last year by Dr. Schwebel when she was teaching us various forms and parodies of love poetry. It's a great song. Try to see if you can find somewhere to listen to it. If not, you can go here, but you'll have to register. It's free, takes literally two seconds, but I have no idea if you'll get any spam mail or not because of it. But if you do, I'm sorry! *hides* Oh, also, it's a female singing so if any male bloggers reading this do not want to listen to it because of that then, er, just read the lyrics! They're fun!

We Fit Right
Let's make this real clear, let's not get ideas
'bout seeing you and me as a permanent plan
We bicker, we fight we argue all night and
I don't think a future bodes well with that
You constantly complain I bring on your migraines
You in turn spawn mine
I annoy you so much that you froth at the mouth
And I don't think that's a good sign, oh no it's like a. . .
Psycho diner waitress on a blind date with a New York tipper
Narcoleptic hand model learning how to use a chipper
Jesse Helmes in Frisco, Mormons at a disco ladies night
Caught with an Amway salesman in a broken elevator
Baby back ribs on a cheese bun served up at a Seder
We're oil and water, though sometimes I'll concur
We fit right.
Your voice is annoying your manner is cloying,
Every thought process starts with I, me, mine.
You say that I'm anal, conversantly banal
I think the same of you but man, you sure look fine
As for common interests, there's nothing we've got
I'm well bred and you're well, not
My deepest conversation with you
Was when you were unconscious in the ICU, but it's usually like. . .
A dozen lonely belly dancers stranded at a monastery
Lactose intolerant Hindu working at a dairy
Chile without Bean-o, Carmelites in Reno Friday night
Acrophobic Hydrophobes trekkin to Niagara Falls
Ex-klepto self help groups with meetings held in shopping malls
We're oil and water, though sometimes I'll concur
Oh, we fit right
But oh lord, I'm lost when you open your arms and you beckon me in - its
Amazing how you make me forget all our differences for at least 12 minutes
But it's usually like
Woodshop workshops at a halfway house for hemophiliacs
Belevue kitchen worker with just a touch of anthrax
Pyromaniac firefighters heading up a defilade
Jim Jones trading card in every can of cherry Kool-Aid
We're oil and water, though sometimes, I'll concur . . .
Oh, we fit right.