Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An Omen?

I woke up suddenly at 1:30 last night, convinced that I'd felt a spider fall from my ceiling right onto my head. I do not like spiders. They freak me out. It's all those legs. *shudder*

Half awake and horrifed, I turned on the light, and searched my bed, determined to ruthlessly crush the unwelcome intruder. There was nothing there. Then I suddenly realized what happened.

I tickled myself with my hair while sleeping.

I haven't cut my hair in just under 2 years. I knew that it was coming close to Locks of Love time again, but I've been putting it off, simply because I hate having my hair cut. Apparently, it's now so long that I roll over it in my sleep, and the ends tickle my face. Which creates the illusion, to my sleeping brain, that spiders are dropping from the ceiling onto my head.

I think *sniff!* that it's time to cut my hair.

The Embroidery Workout

I spent about two hours last night cutting fabric and creating a template for Bryan and Sarah's gift. It didn't seem like particularly strenuous activity...probably because it's not.

So why did I wake up this morning feeling sore? I can understand (somewhat) feeling a bit sore in my shoulders, as I doubt I have very good posture while bent over my work surface (aka, coffee table). But why the hell are my legs so sore?

No one ever warned me that stretching before and after was a part of taking up embroidery as a hobby.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The One Year Rule

Supposedly, we're given one year to get a new bride and groom their wedding gift. I'm not sure where this rule came from. Maybe it's linked to the notion that wedding gifts are for newlyweds, and the new couple gets to refer to themselves as newlyweds all throughout that first year. Maybe it's because it takes a new couple a whole year to get around to writing thank you notes. Regardless, I tend to take full advantage of the One Year Rule (just as I tend not to mail in my RSVP until the date by which the family wants to receive it).

My very dear friend Uri got married last Memorial Day weekend. Going to his wedding was important enough to me that it influenced my returning to the States in May, even though my ticket could have extended until mid-June. I just wouldn't have been able to forgive myself for missing his wedding by only a few weeks. I even thought out the gift beforehand, and starting making it during my last month in Jerusalem. Then again, I had no TV in that apartment, so working on his gift also served as a functional way to pass my spare time. And, since I returned to Chicago with no job, I was optimistic that I would have the present finished by the end of the summer. Three cheers for the One Year Rule!

I finished the present yesterday (now I just need to have it framed, and shipped). I've now violated the One Year Rule. And then I realized that the delay in finishing Uri's gift has also created a delay in starting Bryan and Sarah's. I have a month to go before their year is up. So I guess I better use my quiet time wisely, and get started. Since it took me approximately 48 hours worth of designing, preparation, and embroidery, I may not be very social during the next few weeks. Not counting weekends- weekends are for tomfoolery.

I may try to post a picture of the framed final product. I'm really proud of it. Now I just hope that Uri and Deb like it.

Into The (J)Dating Pool

Summer always holds the promise of new adventures. I'm not sure why that is. I associate winter with quiet walks through thick, slow-falling snowflakes, hot cocoa, and quiet Cara time. Summer, on the other hand, is for Cub games, summer sports, cute shoes, wild n'crazy Saturday nights, and general tomfoolery. When I got back from Israel last summer, I was really looking forward to those adventures, and making all sorts of new friends with whom to engage in said tomfoolery. It didn't quite happen the way I'd planned. Yet here I am, a whole year later, expecting this summer to be what last year wasn't.

So, in typical Cara-fashion, I decided to do something differently, following the age-old logic that you can't do the same thing over and over again and expect to get different results. (Sidebar: this piece of wisdom has been attributed to Mark Twain, Ben Franklin, and Albert Einstein. There's no proof that any of them ever said it, in any form.) What is this radical new change, you ask? Brace yourself...I joined JDate.

If that sound I just heard was you falling off your chair laughing, I can't be surprised. I've held out for years, adamantly refusing to join the ranks of the JDaters. I caved. Sort of- I'm not expecting to find true love over the internet. I'm really just hoping to meet people that I wouldn't have otherwise met. Maybe a few of them will turn out to be cool people. If not, bad dates make great stories, and my married/committed friends do look to me to provide them with entertaining stories of Singledom. Besides, if nothing pans out with any of the other JDaters, I at least know that I tried something new, and didn't sit at home twiddling my thumbs (or, more likely, wielding an embroidery needle, reading a book, or watching a movie. Or 2 out of 3 simultaneously) waiting for that one nice Jewish boy to realize how fabulous I am and sweep me off my feet.

I don't know if this signals the start of a cynical phase, a realistic phase, or a "I save my romanticism for special occassions" phase. Regardless, the water wings have come off, and I've dived into the pool. Good thing I know how to dog paddle.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I don't know if anyone (except perhaps Jon and Veronica) actually read this anymore. I've been debating just deleting it from the blogosphere entirely, but then I realize how much I enjoy knowing that it's there, waiting for me. Besides, I find it informative to go back and read old posts. I've never been consistent about keeping a diary, so it's not really a surprise that I've been so inconsistent about blogging.

But, here I am. It's summer now, and I've finished my first year of graduate school. I've now been back in America for over one full year, and I have trouble believing how quickly it went by. So much has changed, and so much has really stayed the same. Or, rather, has gone back to what it was before I left for Israel.

My career path has gone in a very different direction that I ever thought it would. Instead of working in geriatrics, and helping families adjust to their loved ones' deteriorating memories, I've instead decided to specialize in child and adolescent mental health. For the remainder of the summer, I'm a full-time behavior therapist. And I love it. I never saw myself working with children, but I love it. And not just because I get to play with bubbles and play dough in my down time.

One year ago, I was living with my brother and future sister-in-law. Now I have my own apartment (and my brother is a married man), and it's simply beautiful to have my own space. I can't say that either the apartment or building is particularly noteworthy, but that one bedroom space is all mine. I have yet to get lonely living alone.

School has been great. I've made some fantastic friends, and met people that I never would have had a chance to speak to otherwise. Immigrants, Iraq vets, Irish, Greek, Italian, Mexican, Southern, Yankee, you name it and we've got it. Sometimes I feel like the token Jewish kid (although there are 2 other Jewish girls, I'm the only frum one, so I get to field all the Jewish questions), but I also get to ask questions about other cultures and religions. It's nice to leave the Jewish bubble every now and then.

So, work is great, school is great, my apt is great. It's been a wonderful year in so many ways. I still miss Israel daily, but I've adjusted to the necessity of putting my dreams of aliyah on a backburner. And I may not quite have the super-spectacular social life that I'd hoped for, but summer always brings its own adventures. And I'm hoping to use this blog more often over the summer, to record those adventures.

So, if you're still out there...I'm back. I think.