Monday, June 28, 2004

Message to Velvel

"Hookah and the Nakhla Scam" would be a pretty good name for a band.

Especially a band that has an autoharp. And a gong.

I'm Sorry, Kermit

It has come this blog's attention that Kermit the Frog can indeed slam dunk a basketball. Cara's World and all its affiliates hereby formally apologize to Kermit for daring to compare his awe-inspiring basketball skills to its own sorry softball "skills".

Cara's World is therefore giving itself a Time Out, as punishment for its lack of faith in Kermit.

*twiddling thumbs and pondering its horrible crime*

Time Out completed. Phew, that was rough.

Your Opinion Counts! (Really, It Does...)

As I sit in my new office, looking out of my window (I have a window now! Yay!!), it occurs to me that my sole office plant has no name.

He used to live in someone else's office, because the lack of natural light in mine was causing him to grow grievously ill. But now that he's moved back in with me, I think it's time that I bestow a name upon him.

What should I name my little green friend? (Note: Kermit has already been arbitrarily vetoed.)

Weekend Report

My weekend rocked. Not because I did anything especially amazing or note-worthy, but precisely because I didn't.

Shabbos was restful, which is as it should be. I took a walk towards my favorite Thinking Place, and read in the sunshine for a while, until I got hungry. Then I went home, ate some yummy fresh fruit, and had a lovely shluffy.

Motzei shabbos was chock full of friends. My high school friend Emily and her fiance Dave were in town, so we went out for a bit. And then I headed over to Bryan's, where I proceeded to sing badly with the many guitars, drink a bit of bourbon, and bond with Leah (who rocks, by the way!). Someday, in the not-too-distant future, please stay tuned for the unveiling of my artistic masterpiece of the weekend: a digital still-life entitled "Bryan". I'm just waiting for it to be emailed from Denmark.

Despite both the Smashers and the Cubbies losing on Sunday, it was still a great day. My much adored aunt is in town, and that alone is wonderful enough to make it a great weekend.

Smashers Update

We lost again. Fairly badly. But I do think we're getting a lot better! We were also missing a lot of our heavy hitters, which left it up to people like me to come through with the offense. And seeing as how I have still not reached first base, that's fairly comparable to relying on Kermit the Frog to slam dunk a basketball.

No game next week, so that gives me two whole weeks to work on my batting. It's not that I don't make contact. It's just that the ball never goes anywhere when I do. (I feel like there might be something deep and metaphorical buried in that, but it's Monday morning, so I'm going to let you dig for it on your own.)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Things (or People) That Make You Go 'Hmmm...'

I have one particular friend who happens to be incredibly thought-provoking. He probably has no clue that I think of him as such, so we shall call him "Mr. Hmmm" to protect his identity. Almost more than any other friend I have, he has a way of making me look at myself, and the world around me, and try to improve what I see.

Mr. Hmmm made a comment in the past week about Eli and Miryam's splendiferous wedding (my word, not his), about singing (shouting?) "Yerushalayim" as we all danced. At the time, it struck me as well, because there was something so beautiful, so gripping about those moments when the band fell silent, and the only sound you heard was "Yerushalayim" being called out over and over again. Yet, until Mr. Hmmm mentioned it, days later, I had already forgotten about it.

Now it's on my mind again. Perhaps it's because the 3 weeks are approaching, which was the context of Mr. Hmmm's comment. Perhaps its because, only a few days after Tisha B'Av, I'm (finally) going back to Israel. Whatever the reason, the sound of that moment, of "Yerushalayim", is lodged in my head.

And I find myself grateful to Mr. Hmmm for reminding me. Not only because that particular moment was beautiful, and worth holding onto, but also because it made me notice more of the beautiful moments that get tossed in among all the mundane ones, upon which I normally comment. So I think I'm going to follow his excellent example, and get more in the habit of remarking upon the beautiful things in this world. And even though Mr. Hmmm is not in the habit of reading my blog (and, in fact, may not even know it exists), and probably wouldn't even recognize this post as being largely in tribute to him, I still want to say: Thanks.

Sweetly Sarcastic?

There are about fifteen things that I have racing through my head, all of which I want to post about. Yet finding a way to talk about any one of them is proving surprisingly difficult. So I suppose I'll start with topics floating in the Blogosphere, and then make my way back into the reality that isn't virtual.

MOChassid posted a description of the Chicago Chevrah, which I just read this morning. It's always surprising to read what others think of you. Particularly in this case, when MO-C and I have never actually met, but only traded comments through the Blogosphere. On one hand, it shouldn't matter what someone that I've never met happens to think of me. Yet MO-C's description made me smile, and made me happy.

There was one word in particular that jumped out at me, because it relates to something that has been on my mind a lot in the past week or so. He called me "sweet". Since most of my posts tend to be focused on the mundane absurdities that I come across, I didn't think that the 'softer' side of my nature would show at all. Sometimes I worry that it doesn't even come out in conversation much anymore.

At a sheva brachos meal last night, a female friend (yes, I do have them) told me I was too young to be so cynical. It made me stop and think. Am I cynical about romance and relationships? In actuality, no. Yet, given my sarcastic comments, which are normally mistaken for wit, I'm not surprised that I come across as cynical. I'm not sure how to remedy this. At what point do the defense mechanisms and walls that we build become so effective that others can no longer see past them? (And why does writing this post make me feel so much like Carrie Bradshaw?)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Deep Thoughts from An Oleh

The following are various inappropriate (ergo, humorous) excerpts from an IM conversation with my buddy Adi:

Adi: I regret not making out with a lot more people
Blog: you were shomer
Adi: touche
Adi: and i LOVE the ladies, so it was pretty big of me to fight that urge. though now i think i shoulda made out with everyone.

Blog: i don't think i'm at my sexiest when using rapper slang
Adi: if youre naked at the time, it can be forgiven

Adi: Making out with people (when you don't have girlfriends/boyfriends) totally rocks...

Rock on, my friend. Rock on.


$1,327 including tax.

But I'm going.

From the Cap'n O' the Smashers

In an e-mail communication, the Smasher's captain had this to say about this blog:

"The race for Rookie of the Year is tight as Cara has shown a dramatic increase in fielding at short center as well as her ability to connect with the ball..."

It's on now. I went to the batting cages last night, and connected with just about everything that machine threw at me. This is gonna be my week.
First base will be mine. Oh yes. It will be mine.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Wow! Who Knew?

Brushing hair is fun!

I don't get to do this often, because brushing my uber-curly hair would have the undesirable effect of making me look something like a Jewish Chia Pet. And that just brings up bad memories of summer camp, and some annoying boy running past me shouting "Ch-ch-ch-chia!" until it somehow became a nickname. (Note: Girls do not find it endearing to be named after items you purchase at Walgreens)

But my hair is straight now, and the brush just glides through. This is so cool! I feel like I should be in a shampoo commercial, flipping my hair over my shoulder and sending sultry looks into the camera. Now I just have to figure out what sultry looks like, find myself an agent, and not wash my hair ever again...

Monday, June 21, 2004


This blog hereby pledges undying love and devotion to Allie, for taking time out of her Sunday to make me beautiful for the wedding.

Not only did she do a fabulous job making my hair straight, but it was a blast having girl time while getting ready.

I think I also have to give her credit for my newfound fondness of the color pink. I'm really liking pink these days. A lot. It's sort of scary.

Happy Happy! Joy Joy! #9

Mazel Tov to Eli and Miryam Clevs on their marriage yesterday! Yay!

The wedding was beyond gorgeous, as was Miryam herself. I'm not ashamed to admit that I started getting teary-eyed when the Tanaim plate was broken (speaking of which, I never got a piece. Uh-oh. I'm doomed...). I'm usually emotional at weddings anyway, but this was beyond the norm. Probably because it's not everyday that two people I adore get married to each other. Then factor in having known the chosson my entire life. It's a good thing I'm not in the habit of wearing mascara.

It was such an amazing wedding that I don't even know how to begin writing about it. I think one of the highlights had to be escorting Eli and Miryam to the yichud room (ok, fine, to the elevators, which would take them to the yichud room)...across Michigan Avenue. We stopped traffic. It was unbelievable. Hundreds and hundreds of well-dressed Yidden, clapping and singing in Hebrew from the park, across one of Chicago's busiest streets, through the hotel. It was beyond cool.

Miryam definitely wins the 'Super Kallah' award. She was a dancing machine. I've never seen a kallah dance so much, and sit so little. I want to be Miryam when I grow up.

I'm going to have to write more about all this later, when I get my thoughts in order. My whole weekend was great, between the Shabbos Kallah, seeing a bunch of friends motzei shabbos, and the wedding. But the wedding just overshadows everything so much that I had to stop and think, just to remember what else I did over the weekend. I'm still on my simcha-induced high. I hope it takes a long time to come down.

Smashers Update

We lost. Actually, 'lost' is too mild a phrase. We were brutally crushed beneath the other team's cleats. It shouldn't have happened. They were good and all, but we were playing horribly. The saddest part is that we were completely on our game...before the game began. We had a great warm-up beforehand. We were hitting well, catching well, fielding well. And then we forgot what we were doing.

I, personally, played decently. I didn't use my head as I should have, but I played some good defense. I still haven't gotten that base hit, but I think I unofficially won the "Toughest Chick" award. And I have the bruises to prove it. Big Brother trained me well.

Record: 1-2. On to next week...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I think I've Figured It Out...

Last night, I was walking down the street with my friend Erin, and a complete stranger told us that we should be in a soap opera. (I have to give him props for a creative pick-up line. It sure beats whistling, and murmuring "Hey, baby".) Erin and I did what most women would do, and laughed as we continued on our way.

But in the light of day, I find myself thinking about that idea. And it occurs to me that my life is already something like a soap opera. It just needs a bit of tweaking, and a few more glamorous characters. Like the woman who everyone thought was dead, but was really living the good life in the Bahamas with her divorce lawyer, who comes back when she finds out that her ex-husband is about to marry her long-lost twin sister. Then I'll add in the devilish, and devilishly attractive, male nurse, who is actually an undercover detective, willing to use any means necessary to further his investigation of his gorgeous next-door neighbor.

Maybe I should hold auditions.

Monday, June 14, 2004

How I Spent My Fantabulous Weekend

It was quite a busy weekend here in Cara's World. And all of it was fantastic. A little more sleep would have been nice, only because it would have made my Monday a bit easier, but who needs sleep? Now for the break-down of the festivities:

1) The Aufruf: Two of my favoritest people celebrating their upcoming wedding. Good friends, good food (Avi may be the reigning Cholent King of Chicago. Not to be confused with Abe Froman), good times. Mazel tov!
2) The Birthday Party: My absolutely adorable cousin Ilana celebrated her 1st birthday on shabbos afternoon. My cousins from Madison came in for the weekend with their adorable children. My family rocks.
3) The Bachelorette Party: I won't say much about this, because so many of my loyal minions seem to be male, and therefore cannot know the details of such female rituals. Let me just say that all drinks are more fun when they come in buckets.
4) The Softball Game: We've already discussed this. Go, Smashers, Go!
5) The Lunch: I met a friend for lunch, who I haven't spent much time hanging out with, in the past. 'Twas lovely. Besides, there was avocado in my lunch, and avocado is really yummy. So is coffee, when you're running on 3 hours of sleep.
6) The Graduation Party: Even though it was in the suburbs (which are evil), 'twas also lovely. I got to see Erica, who I never get to see, since she decided to move to California (which, for the record, is a sillier place than Camelot). And I got to see Erica's family, who I haven't seen in at least 5 years, if not more.

It's really hard to pick a highlight, since it was all so wonderful. I suppose it would have to be a tie between the Bachelorette and Graduation parties. But for very different reasons.

Now all I need is a nap.

Go, Smashers, Go!

This blog is incredibly pleased to report that the softball team of which it is a proud member won their first game on Sunday. Asher's Smashers scored an awesome 13 runs, while the other team, whose name this blog does not know, scored a puny 8. The Smashers are now 1-1 for the season. Woohoo!

This blog is also pleased to report that it very nearly achieved its current goal for the season: reaching first base. This blog would probably have been safe at first, had the pesky softball not bounced its way to a force-out at second, when there were already 2 outs. But, this blog still played a decent game. As Big Brother said, this blog was "a real trooper."

Stay tuned for more Smashers updates throughout the season.

Friday, June 11, 2004

6th Grade Revisited

I got prank called last night. I really can't remember the last time that happened. And I'm not talking about drunk dials, but an honest-to-goodness prank call.

I should have caught on immediately when the unknown male voice on the other end of my cell phone asked for "Chaya." No one ever calls me that. (Not that I have a problem with it. But I've never really felt like much of a 'Chaya'. More of a 'Chayale' or 'Chaya Na'amah' which is my actul name. But I digress).

It did become clear fairly early on, when this guy (we shall call him "Prank Call Guy") insisted that I gave him my number at some "big shabbos thing" a few weeks back. No I didn't. I don't give my number out very often, so I certainly remember when I do. And I wasn't at some big shabbos thing a few weeks back, unless you count Cleveland. And I didn't give anyone my number then either, and there wasn't anyone there by the name that Prank Call Guy gave me.

There were two other give-aways:

1) the muffled male voice murmuring in the background
2) the way that Prank Call Guy couldn't answer any of my questions. For example:

Blog: So where was this big shabbos thing?
Prank Call Guy: the shul.
Blog: Which shul?
Prank Call Guy: Which shul?
Blog: Yeah, which shul?
Prank Call Guy: Uhhhh...
Blog: Ok, in what city?
Prank Call Guy: What city?...*muffled voice in background* Chicago...*muffled voice in background* Lakeview. You live in Lakeview, right?

After that, it just got silly. The highlights were undoubtedly him offering to send me a naked picture of himself over e-mail and asking repeatedly when our romantic date was going to be.

I'm a Moron Magnet. And I don't even know which particular Moron was behind this.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Happy Hapy! Joy Joy! #8

It has come to this blog's attention that birthday salutations are in order.

On this day, however many years ago, one of the great sarcastic, sardonic, and cynical forces of nature was unleashed upon this world, in the form of a small, wailing, wrinkly little red creature. We now call that creature Prodly. And this blog is happy to be able to also call him friend.

So, without further ado...

Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday, dear Prodly!
Happy Birthday to You!

Best Conversation All Week

Tab: But you don't really want Waldo! For you, it's more like...
Blog: Where's Shlomo?
Tab: Exactly!

(Note: This blog is still looking. If you happen to find either Waldo or Shlomo, please do not tell. This blog needs to find him for itself.)

Monday, June 07, 2004

20/20 Hindsight?

While this is by no means the first time this blog has realized that it does not always remember things to be as they really are (or were), there were two particular moments that stood out yesterday:

1) Softball- This blog remembers itself being decent. Or at least not so awkward on defense. True, this blog hadn't lifted a bat in probably two years, and had never really played catcher before, but still. Some serious practice is needed to match reality to memory.

2) Rollerblading- The new blades were put to use this weekend, with a 4 mile trial before shabbos, and another 4 mile jaunt yesterday. (Technically, it would have been two 2 mile jaunts, as this blog bladed to a friend's place, hung out for an hour or so, and then bladed home in time to catch the season finale of the Sopranos) In the case of rollerblading, this blog is pleased to report that it is much more skilled than it remembered. Not once in those collective 8 miles did it fall. Ok, maybe stumbled a bit, and maybe stopping wasn't always graceful. And there was one moment when this blog came disturbingly close to running over a little old lady. But, in the end, neither the little old lady nor this blog ended up sprawled on the ground.

It kind of leads me to wonder what else I'm better at doing than I previously thought. And what I'm not as good at as I'd like to think.

Friday, June 04, 2004


I am the Nile!


At 4145 miles from your furthest extremity to the Mediterranean Sea, you outdo the Amazon to become the world's longest river. The piranhas hate you.

Beneath you lies an underground river with six times your volume. You kept this remarkably quiet for several thousand years. In fact, you're full of mystery; your source wasn't discovered until 1862. You're also full of water. And crocodiles. And nuclear pharaoh machines that run on light and can see through time.

Which Extremity of the World Are You?
From the towering colossi at Rum and Monkey.

It's Been A While, But...'s Quiz time, ladies and gents (and whomever else might stop by for a cup of tea).

So, to kick this off properly (and to mimic Prodly):

I'm great. Like gold.

Congratulations, fool! You're the incompetent egotist.

Every office has one. You stride in on your first day with no useful skills, an inane smile on your face, and plans for a variety of team-building exercises, meetings, extra-curricular activities and staff days out, all designed to win you favour with the boss.

The problem is, everyone else hates you. You're loud, you're arrogant, you're dumber than management, and you insist on wearing really loud shirts to make yourself seem interesting. Even the IT manager is more socially aware - and the depressing thing is, you'll probably run the company in ten years.

If you don't get a pickaxe through your head first.

Which Office Moron Are You?
Rum and Monkey: jamming your photocopier one tray at a time.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

So Bad...Yet So Much Fun

There is a particular cinematic gem that this blog has now seen twice on the premium channels that I feel sufficiently ridiculous as to earn it a blog post of its own: the 1987 live-action He-Man movie, "Masters of the Universe". This movie is so horribly funny that both times made me want to call Gila so that we could laugh at it together. Let's take an in-depth look:

The Talent: Stereotypical scantily-clad (in leather! Woohoo!) blond muscle-bound Swedish Adonis with an incredibly deep voice looks down at the helpless female and says with no emotion whatsoever, "Your friends are in terrible danger. We must go." The helpless female, this blog should note, is played by the one and only Courteney Cox, in her first major motion picture, at the age of 23. (I'm 23. Why aren't I in movies with a scantily-clad muscle-bound Swedish Adonis?)There is probably a very good reason why Courteney Cox does not reminisce on Leno about her days filming "Masters of the Universe." I think it should be shown in acting classes as a "how not to" example.

The Special Effects: This blog was strongly reminded of Star Wars (which films, you will recall, were released in '77, '80, and '83), due to the colored lines and squiggles that were blaster shots. Strangely, I don't recall blaster-type weapons in the He-Man cartoon, but whatever. It really seemed like someone was trying to say to George Lucas, "Oh yeah? Well, we know how to put brightly colored squiggles in our film, too! And it only took us four years to catch up!"

The Costumes: This film was clearly the inspiration for the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Who needs realistic makeup when you can just put long, shaggy grey hair all over a character, and then creatively name him "Beastman." Or give another guy a futuristic outfit made of plastic and tin foil, arm him with sharp pointy objects, and dub him "Blade."

The Adaptation: In addition to the fact that this movie was poorly cast, poorly directed, and poorly made, it was also a poor adaptation. Let's start with the fact that most of it doesn't even take place on Eternia, but on Planet Earth. There wasn't a single He-Man cartoon that took place on Earth. Then let's put in some weird gnome creature in place of Orko, the friendly floating ghost. Add in villainous characters that never existed in the first place, such as the aforementioned Beastman and Blade. Toss in a plot (and I use the term loosely) that resembles absolutely nothing ever seen in the cartoon series, and voila! You've now just created one of the silliest, worst movies ever.

As such, I highly recommend this film to all of you. You owe it to yourself to watch it. I think I've just discovered the cure for meh-ness.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...

What a long and uneventful weekend! Actually, it was rather nice. My maternal unit and sibling both being out of town (though in different places), I spent a lovely weekend with my parental unit. A quiet shabbos dinner, a relaxing shabbos day, and a very chill motzei shabbos. Monday morning we watched a truly awful movie together (and none of you have heard of it, so it's not worth mentioning in greater detail). The joys of bonding.

Highlight of the weekend: I bought myself new rollerblades. Technically, I bought myself new in-line skates, since "Rollerblade" is the "Kleenex" of sports equipment. There are other brands out there (including the maker of my new skates), but they are all referred to by the name of the one big brand. Why is it that we don't call facial tissues "Puffs"? Or, better yet, "facial tissues"?

Anyway, after about 10 years of using my brother's hand-me-down skates, which I never fully grew into (which results in not-so-pleasant blisters after two miles of blading), I finally purchased a brand-spanking new pair. Mother Nature decided to rain all weekend, making it too slick outside for me to give 'em a try, and this week is so crazy busy that I doubt I'll find time. But they're mine, and now I can delude myself into thinking I'll actually get fresh air and exercise this summer.