My Winter Bucket List

Sunday, December 5, 2021

It's already snowed in Cleveland twice, but since the calendar declares that winter doesn't technically start until December 21st, I'm assembling my winter bucket list like I haven't already completed some of the things on it. (Spoiler: I have. This list is a bit of a meet-in-the-middle situation.)

I borrowed this idea from Tobia, who put together a fun winter bucket list of her own. Go check hers out... & let me know what's on yours! 

A Family Affair — Again, Finally

Monday, November 29, 2021

It's been two years since my family has been together in the same place.

I know that's not unique these days. So many of us haven't seen our loved ones in so long, except from across the miles, through a laptop screen or on FaceTime. I barely remembered what it was like to be in person with them, indoors, together — to wake up to the sound of my aunt's laugh or my uncle's timbre, the way my mom talks to herself when she's cooking, the way we can never all agree on a movie to watch or a game to play.

But this Thanksgiving, we're all vaccinated, so we gathered again in Hilton Head, South Carolina, where my aunt & uncle own a beach rental property.

At War with My Body

Thursday, November 4, 2021

TW: chronic illness, infertility, weight

For a long time — since right after my spinal fusion surgery in seventh grade — I did not think of myself as a person with chronic pain. I thought everyone walked around in physical pain most of the time. It was only when I moved to Washington, D.C., after college that I learned that most people didn’t have the pain levels I had, that most people’s bodies didn’t hurt like mine did.

I hadn’t known. I thought it was normal. I knew mine was, perhaps, worse than others, but it never occurred to me that other people had no general pain.

I guess that’s because mine has simply always been there, & I’ve always just dealt with it — like the time my back hurt so badly for two weeks that I had to wear only sports bras & carry a wheeled suitcase to work… at age 23. But I’ve learned how to manage; I’ve always managed. You have to, don’t you? You only get one body, & so you do with it what can. You adapt. You figure out how to function best with what you’re given.

What I Read in September & October

Monday, November 1, 2021

Whew, I've been on a reading tear! I read 12 books in September & October, which is a lot for me. Most of them were YA thrillers, plus a few nonfiction books on the topics of linguistics (bear with me), rare, & QAnon — sounds about right! 

What have you been reading? And do you have any other YA thriller recommendations for me? I've got two more books to read in Holly Jackson's Good Girl's Guide to Murder series, but after that, well, I'm gonna need more in this vein. Hellllp. 

Traveling for the First Time Since the Start of the Pandemic

Sunday, October 24, 2021

I went to Atlanta! It marked my first time traveling by airplane since January of 2020, when I went to Florida with my BFF Rebecca. God, that seems so long ago. I was pregnant then, & there was no hint of a pandemic then. My, how life has changed.

I decided to go to Atlanta because another BFF, Sammi, lives there. She was going through a bit of a hard time, & I impulsively booked an inexpensive Southwest flight to visit her in a few weeks. 

When the time came to travel, I started to panic. It had been so long, & the world still isn't safe. I didn't want to be around that many people or wear a mask for that long or risk touching or generally interacting with other humans. I was worried, too, about all of the airplane shenanigans we've seen documented on social media throughout the past year, evidence that so many people seem to have forgotten their human decency since this pandemic began. 

My Judaism is Complicated These Days

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The High Holidays have come & gone, & I feel weird.

This marked the first time in 14 years that I haven't worked for a Jewish organization during this season — not since college.

When you work for a Jewish organization, you have off for every Jewish holiday (& there are a lot of Jewish holidays). You always know exactly when the holidays are coming. You prepare for the holidays through the work you do & the conversations you have. Your out-of-office message during the holidays references the holidays: "Our offices are closed in observance of Rosh HaShanah. L'shanah tovah!"

When you do not work for a Jewish organization, I am finding, the holidays sneak up on you. 

Voices I Love: Content Creators with Disabilities

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Cartoonish graphic of a man in a wheelchair holding the hand of an able bodied woman with two corgis in the grass in front of them
Image by Pixabay user elf-moondance

Something you might not know about me is that I'm passionate about disability rights & inclusion. I attribute so much of my interest in these topics to Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, z"l, my late mentor, who died in 2018. 

In 1999, Lynne sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury when her Jeep skidded on black ice. And though medical issues plagued her for the rest of her life, she went on to become a noted disability rights activist, turning the worst moment of her life into one of its biggest opportunities. And in 2007, I started working with her at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. As a legislative assistant, my portfolio of legislative issues focused on civil rights — including disability rights.

Why Don't We Tell Each Other the Bad Things?

Monday, September 6, 2021

Sometimes I wish it were acceptable to just, like, ask everyone for their absolute worst life updates. We all feel so inclined to give the good updates — I'm enjoying my new job, we'll start looking for houses again soon — & it just doesn't feel appropriate to give the bad ones. 

Don't you kind of feel like it would be helpful, though? To know? 

Sometimes, when you're the one going through the muck, it can be all too easy to feel like you're alone in struggle. Sure, we know, in theory, that everyone is going through something; "Be kind," Mother Theresa taught, "for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." 

But when everyone is doing such a damn good job of hiding their battles, it can feel like you're the only person in the world who's floundering. 

Help, I Can't Stop Watching Disaster Movies

Thursday, September 2, 2021

What is it about a global pandemic that makes me want to watch movies about global pandemics? I mean, fine, only two of the movies on the list you're about to read are actually about pandemics, but still, the idea stands. Amid humanity's worst, why do I also feel compelled to watch fiction about humanity's worst? 

I don't know the answer, but... well, I'm doing it. Here are some of the movies I've watched recently & how I'd rate them on a very formal scale of one to 10. 

What I Read in July & August

Sunday, August 29, 2021

I've done a pretty solid amount of reading in the last two months, even though it doesn't really feel like I have. I mean, I've also binged Chicago PD & FBoy Island, & I got way too sucked into playing this stupid cell phone game (I never play cell phone games!), so honestly, I'm surprised I made the time at all.

But I did. I finished 11 books in July & August, & while most of them weren't knockouts, all of them were decent reads. I'm on the lookout for a really good thrilled, so if you have any ideas, hit me up, will ya?
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