Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ups and Downs on the subway

It's so fascinating to me how the subway ride can really teach you so many lessons in בין אדם לחברו. I present for your opinion two cases.

#1: I brought my Chai tea (I don't like coffee, and I need something with caffeine to wake me up in the morning!) on the train as usual one morning. Alas, as I was leaning over to get one of my readings from my bag, it completely flipped over, pouring tea all over me. Sighing, I gently shook my hand off, reaching once again into my bag to pull out a tissue to wipe myself off. As I did this, the lady sitting two seats over from me (the seat between us was empty) blew up, yelling "I don't want coffee on my coat!!" I was already frustrated from spilling, and I hadn't gotten anything on her - although I did get it all over myself...

#2: I was sitting on a rather packed train when two men came on, in the midst of a heated conversation. Unfortunately, one of him chose to wave his hands dangerously close to my head, completely unaware that I was sitting there, as everyone was a bit squished. As I was sitting down while they had to stand for the long ride, I felt like my brief uncomfortableness was dealable. The man facing me, however, didn't agree. He ahemed himself to the men in deep discussion and pointed at me, sitting rather squished in my seat - and the other man apologized profusely, which I graciously accepted ;)

In both cases, someone felt wronged. I just felt like I could be quiet - it didn't hurt me not to yell at the guy, which would have changed the whole tone of his day and mine. The guy who told him off didn't yell at him either - he just quietly pointed at me. I guess it's a difference in the way it's done - you can yell and be obnoxious, making everyone involved feel generally yucky, or you can do it in a quiet, mature way.

I know which one I prefer, having been on both ends of the spectrum...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ivory Tower Events

Last week I had the opportunity to attend two of what I'm beginning to call "Ivory Tower Events." Since a very wise Ph.D candidate that I know (with whom I attended one of these events) did not understand my colloquial, I will explain here in more detail.

An ivory tower, according to Wikipedia, "designates a world or atmosphere where intellectuals engage in pursuits that are disconnected from the practical concerns of everyday life. As such, it has a slightly pejorative connotation, denoting a willful disconnect from the everyday world; esoteric, over-specialized, or even useless research; and academic elitism, if not condescension by those inhabiting the proverbial ivory tower. In American English usage it ordinarily denotes the academic world of colleges and universities, particularly scholars of the humanities."

[Italics mine.] The irony of the whole bit is that Ivory Tower People, as I call them, would never deign to use Wikipedia as a source, but then again, I never claimed to be one, I just attend their events. These are generally lectures followed by wine and cheese where the rich and the famous of the intellectual world gather around and talk about how many incunables they own, which press just published their latest book, or how they've just returned from a sabbatical at Oxford or other some such institution of greater learning.

I dunno. They just amuse me. Not that I don't love learning myself, and I'd absolutely love to own an incunable (ah, to be able to afford incunabula...), but I just find these self-inflating ego events to be amusing. Enjoyable, yes, but highly amusing.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Quick question, for whoever could answer...

Does anyone know of an awesome family (or two) in Hamilton, ON (or are you an awesome family who lives there)?

If so, please email me (frumactress at gmail). It's a matter of a soul.

Thank you.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

In honor of the discovery under the fridge...

As quoted by my sister's bookbinding-minded boss:

In New York City, even if you win the rat-race, you're still a rat.

(Hmmm...maybe it was because we didn't ask advice from the new alien - we needed to hang up a picture of the Mouse Rebbe for protection!)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Fly El Al!

Public Service Announcement:

Okay, so the strike is over - and El Al, amazingly, conceded to the demands. They even have a cosultant rabbi to whom they can ask their Shabbos questions just to make sure that they won't be mechalel Shabbos again.

So my request to y'all: FLY EL AL!! What they did was amazing. They lost a lot because of the strike, and now I think we should support them as much as we can to show them that we do care that they care (It doesn't really matter if it was the money that finally convinced them to comply - the fact that they did finally comply is a big step, and I we should support them).

I think it would be the Kiddush Hashem that would overcome any Chilul Hashem that may have happened from the strike if we can show them that we do support them, overwhelmingly, when they honor Shabbos.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

An Ode

I'm not really explaining this. It applies to one person, who didn't mind me sitting on hold while I blew my nose - loudly. If that wasn't you, then you're still a good person, but you just don't get an ode. Too bad.

Every once in a while
Someone makes you smile
And you feel the need to shout
“Hey, you took away my pout!”

So you write a poem that’s sappy
Hope it won’t cause y’all to nappy
To tell the person thanks
For dealing with your cranks.

She's neither Grecian nor an urn
But when I have a bad turn
She’ll (usually) listen to my rant
As she tends to her plant(s).

And so here I show my appreciation
For dealing with my frustration
And being my salvation
And avoiding the temptation of abdication.