Wednesday, August 31, 2005

we have power

don't look now, but i hacked into the study room across the hall from me...i disconnected their ethernet and plugged it into my computer. heh heh heh. take that, mr 'talk to verizon and leave us out of it'!

did i mention why having a study room across the floor is bedavka so wicked? it is because there are two bathrooms in the study technically, i never have to use my own bathroom, ever. and if its the middle of the night and im scared of waking up the roomies i can just hop on over.

me and shifra are sitting here under the tables listening to her avril lavigne and checking out

dripping yellow madness

my english comp teacher is one of those Cool Teachers.

you must know what i mean; if you haven't been in school recently, i'm sure you've experienced something similar anyway. you expect an old lady in a pant suit with a type-written syllabus to walk through the door, and instead, it is an arty twenty-something with an angular, high-lighted hair cut, bell bottom jeans, multiple earrings and a crisp plum oxford shirt. the first thing she says when she walks through the door, a few minutes late, is: let's rearrange the furniture, hmm?

she is not the first teacher i have had like this. i meet these people all the time. in high school, my tenth grade english teacher wore flip-flops to class, rolled her eyes constantly, stuck out her tongue and said 'freaking wicked' a lot. she knew all our culture references, saw all the teenage movies, knew all about brad and jen (more than me, anyway) and whatever. my guitar teacher, too, who i expected to teach me scales and musical theory and maybe some classical picking, turned out to be a bleached-blonde rocker chick who preferred to be called binky.

and so when my comp teacher walked through the door, my heart sank.

because the aforementioned teachers were both crazy.

who knows. maybe the comp teacher will be the one who pulls it off. maybe she will be the one who will actually BE fun and friendly, instead of just PRETENDING to be fun and friendly. she says she loves science fiction and she's written a short story, and i talked to her after class and she says she'll give me feedback on my work. maybe she will really be a friend.

but i don't have too much hope, because 'fun, hip' teachers have always taken a violent dislike to me. literally. my tenth grade teacher used to chuck markers at me. i think i come off as pretentious and haughty to them, because i simply am not cool. i don't speak the cool language. my father may think i am a teenage wasteland because i consciously refuse to capitolize on my blog, but in real life, i am as hopeless when it comes to slang and celebrity culture as any middle-aged political science teacher. furthermore, i take things, especially english, way too seriously. i LIKE books. but this makes teachers suspicious, and they think i am brown-nosing (i am?) and consequently they loathe me.

G-d this is fun.

so anyway, that's the update from the battlefield. my internet's still broken, and shows no signs of ever getting fixed. i am learning to adapt...i just spend in between class time in the computer lab. i'm gonna get supper and then i've got a creative writing class.

holla at ya later.

Monday, August 29, 2005

weirdness and homesickness on the high seas

i am on a friend's computer while she's in the shower, and i don't know how much time i'll have. the dorm's internet is fixed, but my particular floor has wiring issues, and the jacks in the study room don't work, so i have been cut off from that for a few days now. i had to wait until one to get this.

ok, i don't know how entertaining or amusing this is going to be, because i'm writing it at night. if this were three in the afternoon i would tell you how exciting and interesting everything is here, and i would rave about stomp, some of the girls i've met, etc. but you see, the problem is that it is night. and at night, my high-flying plane goes down faster than you can shout 'howard dean' in a crowded theater. (i suppose that is a mixed metaphor. to those of you who take offense: there's a monkey in your fridge.)

i never imagined i would feel this bad this randomly. i guess it's not random if it's always at night...but i'll be fine when i lie down, laughing and talking, and as soon as i close my eyes, it's just one big thought that parades across my mind in flashing capitol letters: GET ME OUT OF HERE.

i'm not sure what, if anything, it is. i've met one girl here who is absolutely miserable because there are no trees, no grass, nothing vaguely pretty. that's true...i do miss being able to breathe without hacking on somebody else's cigarette smoke. but when i was in milwaukee, i thought nothing was cooler than all those glowing lights on the chicago shoreline. and there is no view from any hotel better than my window's. if i could figure out how to use the camera, i'd take pictures to try to explain it. the crysler building, the empire states building...yeah, they're all right there.

my roommates are never home, which is a good thing. i'm never really there either, because the room depresses me. it's very musty and...cold. they're not mean, but they're not friendly. it's not like, hey, who wants to hear this hilarious spelling mistake i just read off the stupid internet card? it's more like,'re breathing on my picture frame.

there is one girl there who stayed up with me all last night who seems really nice, if intense. she comes from a lubavitch community that thinks college is a sin, but she wants to be a doctor and doesn't want to go on shlechos to brazil, so she got her act together and flew herself back here and went to school. but she really believes in what she believes in...i can't really make a joke, i don't think, to her.

i guess the real problem is that i just had a really close relationship to my family. they knew all my in jokes. i never had to plaster a smile on my face and continue to spout bland banalaties...and i told them everything, and enjoyed listening to their responses. and every night when i close my eyes, it just kind of hits me: it's not going to be that way for the rest of my life. i am my own person now. i can't live out of my parents' basement forever. i have to make my own friends, plan my own future, and create my own family here. that's going to be the only way out...i have to find people here who i can be comfortable enough with to feel at home.

until then, i'm great during the day...walking around from program to program, exploring the stores, sitting in starbucks and watching the people go by. bothering rivka. and i spend the night lying on various bathroom floors or huddled up in three blankets in the student lounge. i can not for the life of me sleep. i am going to do aerobics after this, because if i'm not going to sleep anyway, i might as well try to do something productive.

not having internet is throwing me off. i can't talk to anyone, have nothing to make me laugh when i'm bored, because my cell phone is a lot of money, and it's strange calling people and never knowing what they're in the middle of. plus the voices are getting to me. i can't hear the voices. (great movie line, don't you think?)

and i just see this stretching ahead of me for four years, and it seems nearly impossible. i was walking back from the broadway thing tonight, just staring up at all the buildings, and it doesn't feel like i live here. it feels like i'm on some ncsy convention or something...there's nothing about all these strange buildings and strange people (we had some chinese people paint themselves bloody and stand outside the dorm as a statement about torture) that could ever be home.

on the other hand, i know that i would be bored to tears in milwaukee. and i know i wanted to be here, and i worked really hard to be here, and we paid a lot of money for me to be here, and i am determined to stay and to make the most of it. i am angry at myself for crying like this for having gotten what i asked for. but every other minute i just want to buck and run. it is a constant struggle.

i seem to be one of the more religious girls here...even the girls i am closest to were surprised when i excused myself to finish davening. they said they hadn't davened in years. i'm not sure what to make of that yet...there are some frumies, but not many. i find myself almost desperate for right wingers sometimes.

the guys here all look like the pictures in my dad's old photo albums. i'm serious. at the broadway production, it was mixed, so i was just sitting in the back seats and watching...but it didn't feel like my life. it felt like i had somehow been transported back in time to my parents' high school years. they were all wearing baseball jerseys and kipat srugah and joking really loudly. they looked like they were having a lot of fun. the girls here look all different, but the most common mode of dress is like my aunt's. short sleeves, short skirts. my beis yaakov friend would never recover. it's so weird to be in that position, to feel old and frumpy, and yet secretly, i do. if i can see your bikini underwear, honey...

the broadway production they took us to was great. stomp. a loose musical about janitors who use everyday things like brooms, paint cans, anything - their hands, a matchbox- to make these complex beats and dances, like a marching band or something. i literally got up and danced at one point. i never wanted it to end. if it comes to your town, see it. it's definitely worth seeing.

other than that, i haven't met any of my radio friends...we sign up for courses tomorrow, by which time i expect i will no longer be functioning at anything like a sufficient capacity. it's a quarter to two now and i haven't done anything worth doing. i have just been lying on rivka's bed listening to her swear at her computer. rivka's alright. she listens to me sing half-heartedly and off key while i cry and just occasionally bobs in with a 'there, there dear.'

typing this has made me feel a lot better, though. a lot. maybe it's the internet. maybe the internet is The Hope For The Future. i talked to my ra (read: you gotta help me i could die!) and she says she'll try to fix it tomorrow. she's from south africa, and pretty cool...but i imagine she now thinks i am a juvenile baby (as opposed to some of the older babies). see, i miss being able to insert the little snide comments. it's what i do best, and a lot of times when i do that here i just get blank looks. it really kills the act.

keep in mind that this does not mean i'm miserable. it's just that this is the worst time of night for me. no the worst time is when i'm in bed, not sleeping, but this is pretty close...i just don't know what to do with my life...i'm considering...male modeling? i just don't know...but it's like all of a sudden, why do i have to get old? why does anyone have to get old? what's the point in life if not to be around people you love? who honestly cares how many stores i walked around today?

(answer: my mother. it was three.)

i need to start writing again to keep me from going crazy. and i have to figure out some way to not let my room mates depress me. most importantly, i gotta get my internet back on so i won't feel so cut off from society (in the middle of manhattan) this way.


right. and now i am sure you all think i am an ungrateful little brat who doesn't know how good she's got it. please do not be too disappointed in me. when my internet comes on i'll holla at ya in the daytime, and you can catch me on the bright side of my bipolarity.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


bye bye kinderlach!

Friday, August 26, 2005


boy do i have some strange dreams. cleaning out my room today, i find, on the back of a bank statement, an illegible scrawl that i dimly remember waking up at midnight to write. after five minutes of intense study, it looks like the words are this:

i'm an adult now or/ so they tell me
well what was i then for the rest of my life?
and where is the line, i think it/ involves taxes
and whether you pay them, and whether you can.

the next time i have a sudden flash of brilliance in the middle of the night, i think i'll just stay in bed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

more conversations with the criminally insane

me: yonina, what does your shirt smell like? it smells very strange.

yonina: it smells like my whole body.

me: oh? and what does that smell like?

yonina (after several moments of deep thought): like a worm, i guess.

me: a worm.

yonina: yeah, a worm.

me (after several moments of deep thought): may i ask why?

yonina: well, because i know how to be a worm.

me: ....

yonina: you just lie down on the frunch room floor and go like this (shoves belly out, then thrusts out shoulders, then resumes neutral position and starts again)

me: ...

yonina: i like worms.

cheating no longer mark of loserhood

conversation i just had with elana, the coolest nine year old you know:

me (glancing over at elana's computer): hey, you're playing that old role-playing game i used to play when i was your age.

elana: uh, duh.

me: hah! i remember how hard that part was...ah, good times...cause you have like, nothing in the beginning, right? just that leather stuff and...(looking closer) holy toledo! you have the best armor in the game!

elana: yeah you do.

me: but you're on the first level!

elana: exactly.

me: elana...are you cheating?

elana: yup.

me: but...that's not...

elana: yeah?

me: the fun part was to...get the gold...and...

elana: oh, i got the gold. i got lots of it.

me: but it's...cheating.

elana: i like cheating.

me: but then it's not fair.

elana: no, then i get rich.

the youth these days...the youth these days...

Sunday, August 21, 2005


how many times will i be abandoned
the stones of my Temple are wet with tears
the blades of grass shiver, my soldiers are broken
my people have had their hearts cracked in their chests.
we reach out our hands, but it is to strike
we squeeze our eyes shut, we turn away
but i love you, i love you, and there can never be peace
can never be solace
can never be Justice in what i am forced to do.
so hold my hand when i reach out
look into my eyes, dry my tears
weep with me, walk with me, leave with me, please
forgive me
we are
all scarred

dedicated to israel, settler and soldier

Thursday, August 18, 2005

we hate it when our friends become successful

i know it's a sham and the fascimile of a sham, but this cartoon keeps cracking me up...i cannot function...HAH ha ha...

for those of you (my father for instance) who don't know the back story, morrissey is a singer reknown for his rather impractical song titles, one of which is 'The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get.'

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

...i think i've discovered the ninth world wonder...

don't look now, but i've just spent four hours baby-sitting for the two year old from heaven.

i know, i know. one must always be skeptical with such terminology, especially considering that i'm still on the job for another three hours and that's plenty of time for potential agony. however, the facts cannot be ignored. here's a breakdown of some of today's more mind-bending events:

5:30 PM. kid's parents go off to wedding in chicago. kid barely notices.

6:00 PM. take kid to park. kid climbs for a bit and then sits down on a bench.

6:20. kid still sitting on bench. become concerned, attempt various enticements to get kid off bench. kid laughs.

6:45. kid still sitting on bench. feel like awful baby-sitter. attempt to pick kid up and put him on swing. kid bats hands away and continues to peacefully watch other children.

6:50. sit down next to kid.

7:00. pick up friend and take kid and friend's kid for a walk. kid not at all freaked out by friend's kid touching his hair or face. kid perfectly willing to hold hands at streets. encounter no less than three dogs, one of which is hyperactive; kid is delighted and pets one of them. try and fail to recollect any instance of this occurring with the PT, who still demands to go home after noting a butterfly.

7:25. reenter kid's apartment. kid does not peer around every corner and whimper pitifully: 'mommy?' kid also does not throw self on the floor and scream. kid goes into kitchen, points to bib and says: 'macaroni!'

kid then gets in chair, demonstrates how to fasten bib, picks up fork, and waits to be served supper.

7:35. kids eats entire supper and finishes juice. approximately one noodle makes it to the floor. kid does not complain when face and hands are washed.

8:00. put on 'einstein for babies' for kid. kid is thrilled. plunk down on sofa and read 'healthy eating on campus', all the while mumbling to self: 'any minute now...any minute now...'

ZINGER DIVINE INTERVENTION MOMENT: einstein for babies dvd is all about bedtime.

8:45. kid's bedtime. come to kid gingerly holding teddybear and announce: 'ok! bedtime! good night!' kid hugs bear and smiles and waits to be picked up.

9:00. change kid, put in pajamas, the works. kid coos at bear and complies to everything. this does not happen with my own sister. either of them.

9:15. kid is perfectly willing to be snuggled and kissed goodnight by a complete stranger. does not complain when door is closed. tiptoe back into living room, feeling as though i have just gotten away with murder.

9:30. kid has not made a sound.

now, i know he still has roughly three hours to wake up and scream his heart out. i have to admit, i didn't turn out the light because his parents didn't specify that part and i was too scared to ruin a beautiful thing. but frankly, i think this proves one thing: when studies prove that four out of five toddlers are exhausting to care for, they really do mean that one is not.

the chances of little old me stumbling on the one and only, though, are really astronomical. after all, i still bear scars from the Baby Collapsing High Chair incident of ought-one, as well as sundry occasions of Kids Crying I-Want-Mommy For Three And A Half Hours Straight. i feel like i just won a scholarship. or some contest on the radio. really.

ok...i'm backing away from the computer now...we'll see what happens...

Monday, August 15, 2005

ok, now you really threw off my groove

well, after three weeks of non musicality, i picked up my guitar today and attempted to tackle 'c'mon c'mon' by the von bondies. it's not a hard riff, but to give you some idea of the pure velocity, i think this is the first time i actually got motion sickness from playing guitar. i'm serious. i had to sit down in the middle and put my head between my knees.

Friday, August 12, 2005

you threw off my groove!

(advisory: i'm too tired to be funny today.)

when your life is ruled by your hair conditioner, even the slightest deviance has the power to really throw you off your groove.

let me back up and explain: i put conditioner in my hair every morning. i use the big old, white old, cheap old bottles of suave, which generally means that i use the same bottle of conditioner for months at a time. day in, day out. there are a few different kinds of suave, by which i mean, they make your hair look exactly the same, only they smell different.

this is the crucial part.

the three smells that i've noticed are rosemary, coconut, and 'i just came out of a hair cut store so i smell like that weird water stuff they spray on you.'

anyway, because conditioners are such a constant part of my life, and because i use the same one for long periods of time, they have somehow become extremely potent Nostalgia Machines.

for example, my tenth grade year i used rosemary all winter. not by design or anything, that's just how it happened. i haven't really used it since. lately i've been using 'i smell like a haircut store', which is rather bland.

but today the random bottle i grabbed for happened to be rosemary, and as soon as i started combing the stuff through my hair, i was hit with the great Wham-O of memory package: shivering all by myself in the dressing room of mt. mary's theater (i was in the production that winter, the theater had no heat), excitedly dressing up for one of my favorite concerts (february 14; i remember the entire day), sitting outside in single digit temperatures singing into a tape recorder (i had just started recording then). all of a sudden i remember the clothes i was wearing, the music i was listening to, and, i'm not joking, the things i was worrying about. it's like a little memory capsule of my brain. i start feeling the way i did then; i was really freaking out about running the soundboard for the production, and i was really excited about the concert and the books i was reading. so i spent the winter in a constant state of anxious, restless excitement.

which is extremely bracing to have thrown at you first thing on a friday morning, two years later.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

i'm on the wrong side of sixteen and a half.

i'm afraid the good times are over!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

wednesday nights at the skiers' house

center stage: the staircase between the upstairs bathroom and the downstairs front hall. the time is roughly ten p.m. a girl is sitting in the living room on the armchair and has an excellent view of the entire scene.

enter 11 year old boy, stage left, fleeing in terror.

boy: why won't you just listen to me? why won't you believe me? i said i would do it!

abba (offstage): that was four hours ago! i want you in that tub NOW!

boy, pleading hysterically: i said i would do it before i go to sleep! why won't you believe me? come on, abba, i'll do it before i go to sleep, i'll do it before bed, just leave me alone--

abba: guess what? it's bedtime!

boy: WHAT?! but--no!--i--er--

abba: what are you, afraid to get wet?

boy: why won't you just believe me? i said i would do it!

abba: you never do!

boy (scrambling up stair case): that's not true! i do it all the time!

abba: oh yeah? when was the last time you took a bath, mister?

boy: two fridays ago!

enter abba, stage left, brandishing water gun.

abba: ha ha ha! this time, you're getting wet! if you don't move, i'm gonna spray you!

boy: but abba--

abba: VERY WELL!

:: squeezes trigger::


abba: hmm.

::squeezes trigger again. a little whistling noise comes out of the water gun::

abba: damn it.

girl *perishes of laughter*

boy: heh.

abba squeezes the trigger again. a negligible amount of water spurts out.

abba: HAH! now get up there! there's more where that came from!

boy: bwaaaughgghh.....

*mom, previously hidden, slides down a couple of stairs, laughing her head off*

so, let's recap:

-dad herding brother in to bathtub with water gun that fires blanks

-mom hiding on staircase

-brother considers twice monthly to be regular showering

yup, life as normal at my place.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

toothpaste for dinner

Sunday, August 07, 2005

quiet, kids, grandma's watching her stories

i'm not sure what it is about these japanese soap operas that completely decimate me. my dad played final fantasy vii when i was eight, i think...i don't think i even played it, i just watched him, but after one of the main characters in the story was killed, i mourned for about two years.

anyway, i thought at least i had gotten it out of my system back then, but it's not true. this summer i became unfortunately hooked again on another soap. for soap is what it is. to be fair it's not really a cartoon...each frame is really more like a painting. the style is very beautiful and eye-catching (which caught my eye). i put a picture up so you can see what i mean. and the plot is involving; it's kind of like the godfather, only it portrays organized crime in japan, and its effect on the cities. apparently this is a growing problem there.

well, whatever. that's my excuse. the breakdown is that the story, in genuine japanese soap (and godfather/ frankenstein) tradition, is what my grandfather would term 'a real downer.' like all good soaps, it leaves everyone dead at the end. and unlike american soaps, nobody comes back.

so now, permit me to bang my head on the keyboard a little bit:

no ::sob:: no! i absolutely refuse to believe it...! no! ::blows nose:: i absolutely refuse to accept that grave just dies and leaves the little girl all alone. NO!!!!!!!!! i know that is the way of japanese soap operas, to leave everybody dead at the end, but no, no no no...i just don't have enough tissues...c'mon, project red. just give the poor characters a happy ending. just this once. there hasn't been a happy moment in the whole damn series yet...every character dies...every one of them...why do i watch these shows...they're ill conceived...they've got bad dialogue...but some of the dialogue's really good...they reduce me to a blubbering head of gods, let there be a happy ending...

that humming! you know at the very end, after everybody leaves her, the little girl sits on the steps in this alley...and her irises have no pupils...and she's humming this broken little funeral dirge...and then they show all the people who died...and they show grave with his face pressed up to the window of the elevator, and he's dying...and there's this song going on....and it gets stuck in my head! and i just want to put my head down on the table and weep away for people who don't even exist.

i guess i am one of these:


the titanic is for amateurs.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

barney must go

ok, this is a post for my father. long ago, on a planet much closer to ninth grade, my father insisted that i should get a blog and post about 'issues affecting jewish teenagers.' i told him that, knowing nothing about what's right and wrong anyway, i'd never know what to post.

i'm not sure if this is an issue affecting teenagers or just me specifically, but whatever it is, it bothered me severely.

last night a friend of mine got home from camp beis yaakov. i want to preface this by saying she is one of the sweetest girls i know...she walked in the rain with an umbrella to meet me because my mother told her i didn't have one (Which was false). she called me as soon as she got home because she wanted to see me.

anyway, i brought her a bunch of the books i got from stern...shabbaton, orientation, res handbook etc, because i was and still am pretty excited about going, and what else is new in my life?

but the first thing she said when i showed her the booklet was:

'why do they have a beit medrash?'


i saw where she was pointing; it was a list of lectures being given at orientation, some of which were located in a beit medrash.

'i don't know,' i said. 'it's a school. shouldn't they have one?'

'i thought you said it was a girls' school.'

'it is.'

'a girl's job isn't to sit and learn all''s not good for them to have butay medrash. there's no point to that.'

i think i just blinked at her. i said: 'there's nothing wrong with it...?'

'it's not assur, it's just...that's not a girl's job. we aren't supposed to sit and learn.'

it's a school. what are we supposed to do, play volleyball?

the next thing she noticed was that the girls in the res life handbook were 'not dressed tzenously': the shirts were way too tight, some had necklines that were 'ridiculously low', and some just 'didn't look nice.' she said she understood that obviously in an institution as big as yu, there were going to be girls not dressed appropriately; but it really bothered her that yu would put inapropriately dressed girls in their advertisement and say: this represents our school. i was floored. i'm pretty sure yu, like me, never looked twice at those pictures.

then she didn't like the shabbaton book. every shabbos is sponsored by a different club, so they have different themes. 'that's not shabbostick,' she said. 'that's like dress-up day.' she really didn't like the biology lecture about the jewish perspective on stem cell research. 'you want to talk about that? on shabbos?'

i decided to change the topic, because even though she is my friend and i do love her, i was seriously afraid i would blow a gasket soon. i asked her about her camp.

'wonderful,' she said. 'i had a lot of meaningful discussions.'

since this is the stuff of my high school years (me and my friend n sitting up at four in the morning in the rain talking about life), i asked her what about.

she said, 'well for example, this one girl showed me how careful you have to be...why all television and computer games, even educational ones, are inherently flawed. i'm telling you, this girl could prove why barney is inappropriate.'

she went on to say that she wasn't saying no one shoudl watch barney, just the concept of children sitting and staring at a box that's filling their mind with all these goyish values and cultures is a bad idea. apparently, in her camp, no one even knows that a television is called a television. they call it a video player because they are not aware that it does anything else. television watching is 'barely tolerated' in her camp.

i said: 'all due respects, a, i do not think i would belong at your camp.'

why not? she said. i know tons of girls just like you there!

i watch television, i said.

she said: 'so do some girls that go there. they just don't advertise the fact.'

then she asked me if i'd read the new harry potter, and i said yeah. she said: 'isn't it terrible?'

'what, that he died? (i didn't spoil it!) yeah, that was pretty--'

'oh...big whoop. no i didn't finish it. i mean- it's just disgusting! i had to put it down...why did she ruin it by putting so much inappropriate stuff in it?'

she went on to explain to me why you can't get hashkafa from fiction, and anyway harry potter doesn't count as fiction because fiction is 'something that could happen, but didn't.' harry potter couldn't happen, so it's not fiction. i wanted to put my head down on the desk and weep. that is a third grade definition of fiction, i said. you are most DEFINITELY talking to the wrong person about this.

but, in her perfectly sweet and unassuming way, she went on to explain why all fiction is a waste of time and there's absolutely nothing to be learned from it. except for jewish historical fiction, which can give you a context for things.

'A,' i said, 'you are ripping my heart out over here.'

'i'm sorry,' she said, 'i'm so sorry. what did i say?'

and that's just it. i know this girl, and she loves me. i know she had the best of intentions. whether right or wrong, i wasn't offended by her or angry at her because i know she is a wonderful girl.


to me, this is like looking at the world with a red marker and saying, 'ok, what can i cross out next?'

i realize that i'm more moderate on a lot of issues than this girl is. and i also realize that she is entitled to her views. and it's perfectly ok for her to live that way. if that's how she understands things, fine. but what bothers me is that, if i didn't know her and were just meeting her, or worse, if i went to her camp, those things she said would push me away. there is a way for people with different views to be friends -- it happens in this city all the time-- but you can't make friends with people if you give them the impression that they are 'barely tolerated.' if this is how beis yaakov (and i know i'm generalizing, i don't want to single them out) interacts with other orthodox girls, i am not surprised that we are so divided. i am not surprised so many teens drop the whole thing. after all, if the highest aspiration is to one day be too holy for barney, what is le point?

i know at my low spiritual level i am probably misunderstanding her point, and i explained that to her. but my point is, when you can look at a jewish college catalogue full of girls learning and notice only that some of their shirts are tight, you are not seeing the trees for the forest. (does that make sense?)

regardless of your feelings about harry potter, even if you're so religious you've given up reading english altogether, that's not what it's about and it really can't be, or i might go mad.

if you cannot find a way to coexist, with respect and with understanding and with dan l'kaf zechus, with other jews who have differing viewpoints, then who honestly cares how many gartels you wear.

((this girl feels the same way, remarkably. she hates nothing more than the holier-than-thou attitude. she doesn't realize, probably because of her camp and so forth, that what she said could be viewed like that.))