This week's I Heart Faces theme is anything but the face: heads, shoulders, knees, toes. You catch my drift.
I immediately thought of this picture. I Just love it so much, I grew up in a beach town and you never ever wear shoes on a beach. I carried those rules over to Manzanita beach in Oregon. I particularly like how you can see the sand being kicked up.
And now, I am really ready for some summer and flip-flop weather!
I had a lot to accomplish today. I am having friends over for shabbat dinner, I needed to do laundry, cook, clean the apartment, and get in some MTEL studying.
Then the wrench was thrown into the plans.
I was eating some lunch and I heard a dripping sound coming from my bathroom. I thought that I hadn't tightened the faucet enough the last time I had been in there. I walked in, looked around, and realized the dripping sound was coming from behind the door. I looked up and my ceiling was leaking. Great, right? I panicked, composed myself, called my landlady, knocked on the door of the apartment above me, called me mom (minor freak out again), called the co-op management's company, and then put a pot under the leak.
Turns out the seal on the toilet in the apartment above me is defunct. They are trying to get a plumber in ASAP and I now have a stock pot, in my bathroom, with well over 3 cups of water in it.
I felt all flustered, naturally, and as I was getting the mushrooms in the pan to saute it hit me.
In one weeks time I will be home in New York will Spring break. Good thing that this whole thing happened today when I was home to realize it and not 300 miles away.
There it was the damp, silver lining, but a silver lining none the less.
And in the end, my apartment is clean, my laundry is done, I have a great dinner cooked to enjoy tonight, and I even got a little MTEL studying in.
Now, I am going to get dressed and go to shul, and then have a relaxing, delicious, and fun evening with my friends. With a lovely drip-drip-dip background music.
Silver lining my friend, no matter how damp it is.
There is something to be said about being born in late 2010. It helps my mom and I feel close to Noam and Avi and Ben thanks to Skype/iChat/gchat. And, Mr. Noam is getting really tech savy at these video chat sessions.
Here he is chatting with his Savti all by "himself."
Okay, so yes, I do love my iPhone but that is not where I am getting at here.
This week's theme at I Heart Faces is all about using your cell phone camera to get a great picture. Now, I will admit that until I got my iPhone 3 in late 2009 I was not very good at using my blackberry's camera (maybe because it stunk). Then with the iPhone the picture quality improved ten fold and I began to use it to take pictures here and there. Now with the iPhone 4 I feel like the camera can give my Nikon a big run for it's money!
Now I tend to use my phone's camera for random pictures, like a product at the store, something I want to text or email instantly, etc, etc. But looking through my phone the other day I found this picture!
I took this at Kensico Dam Park in Westchester, NY. There is a great park right in front of this massive dam (small compared to the Hoover Dam, of course). The exact center of Westchester County also happens to be at the park and they built a beautiful September 11th memorial for the people who died that day from the county right over that spot.
I think I took this on July 4th when we were there for the great firework display. I just love how I captured (successfully) a sun flare - and that the flare shows the shmutz on my phone's camera lens, ha! Also I love how the lights in the concrete are reflecting onto the kids' faces.
Today at Kelly's blog she's showing off her alma mater and asking others to do the same!
I went to American University in Washington D.C. I am convinced it is one of DC's best kept secrets. When I would tell people I was going to be attending college at AU they would sorta pause and ask "where?" Well, AU rocks. It is nestled in the upper northwest corner of DC. It's a great area, it's in the district, but unlike Georgetown or GW it's in a more residential neighborhood. Lots of the ambassadors live in the neighborhood behind campus and the Swedish Embassy and Homeland Security were right next door! One of the reasons AU appealed to me was the fact that I was in a city, but still had that smaller town feel I had grown up with - a win-win!
AU was charted by an act of Congress, which means my diploma is endorsed and issued by Congress, now that is unique and only William and Mary and American University graduates can say that!
AU is a small college, with around 5,000 or so undergraduates while I was there, but now I think it's closer to 6,000. There are 5 "schools" within AU: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communications, Kogod School of Business, School of International Studies, and School of Political Affairs. I was in the college of arts and sciences, but many people come to AU for the international and political studies programs. AU is top in the nation for international studies, 3rd for political studies, and 4th for business! It was nice to be a psych major in a small program, only 32 people graduated with psych degrees in my class of around 1200!
AU also has tons and tons of students from all over the world. My first year there I lived on a floor with people from China, Japan, Korea, Senegal, Ethiopia, Brazil, Germany, and Bangladesh. Throughout my classes at AU I met people from all over the world and learned all about their cultures - it was almost as if I studied abroad!
This is the Spiritual Life Center - AU is different than many colleges, instead of each religious group having it's own building or offices they all share one building on the campus. The Jews (Hillel), Methodists (AU is a Methodist university according to it's charter), Catholics, Muslims, Sikhs, and Chi Alpha - meet and gather here. I met people I never would have met had Hillel had it's own building on campus. The sanctuary was a beautiful space that each group decorated for it's weekly service. It really teaches tolerance and acceptance. I found it amazing in my first year to be eating Shabbat dinner on Friday night as Muslim students went in and out of their prayer room - AU could teach the world a great deal about acceptance and tolerance, in my opinion!
The year before I started AU built an amazing arts building, it's stunning (this is just one small section of Katzen!). I learned on my campus tour that if you lay the Washington Monument on it's side there is still room for half of another monument in the building! I also find it funny that I liked how AU wasn't under construction when I applied and decided to go there. Of course once I started there they were building new buildings and renovating all over!
This is a great bird's eye view of campus! It's not so huge - I could get from one side of campus to the other in a ten-ish minute walk! AU is also a national arboretum and the campus is gorgeous all year round, but in Spring there is nothing like seeing the campus full of tulips and daffodils and other beautiful flowers! Like I said, you forget you are in Washington DC!
Also AU isn't a huge sports school, we are division one NCAA and our men's basketball team and women's volleyball and lacrosse teams have been to the NCAA tournaments most years. We have no football team, but I like to joke we're too academic for that! The picture above (please ignore my tush!) is the back of one of the "joke" shirts - on the front it says "American University Football" and the back "Still Undefeated!" - get it? It's a must get t-shirt at AU!
So that is AU! I loved spending 4 years there and having 4 years to explore DC. I lived 1/2 a mile from the amazing National Cathedral, I frequented the Mall and all the Museums, I saw many a motorcade drive by, was in the city for the historic inauguration, and so much more!
Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capitol of France. When will we also teach them what they are?
We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move.
You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.
I was trying to find a photo with a great splash of red and stumbled upon great picture of my mom. Red is extra special to me and my mom. She has a heart condition and when she was diagnosed a few years ago, the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women entered our life.
There is something about this picture which I love, not only is my mom wearing red, but I love the halo of red leaves around her. Also, it makes me smile that she is healthy and strong enough to walk around the hilly park with me!
Again not the most artsy picture I have ever taken, but I love my mom's smile and the lines I ended up finding in the picture.
So my Valentine's picture is a picture of love for my mom and her strong heart!
Lord of the Rings ranks up there as one of my favorite books and movies of all time. It was on a few weekends ago and I turned on "Return of the King" just in time to hear one of my favorite passages from both the book and movie.
Frodo: "I can't do this, Sam."
Sam: "I know, it's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shine it will shine out clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something."
Frodo: "What were they holding onto, Sam?"
Sam: "That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for."
Recently, it seems like the world has been filled with violence and hate, anger and frustration. But this made me realize that throwing in the towel isn't an option. There is some good in the world and we owe it to ourselves and our future generations to work towards finding and harnessing that good. If we all wait for someone else to keep moving forward than we don't believe in fighting for what you believe in.
It may be a hard path, but we all have to find a path to the greater good.
Sometimes it is just fun to be able to play like a little kid. Last week when I was babysitting, E and I were playing with her Mr. Potato head set. We began to try to make the silliest spuds possible. We ended up creating some pretty hilarious tots.
Okay, so the pirate isn't wacky, but come on a pirate potato head - amazing.
And then today while doing a google image search for something completely different I cam across these two Mr. Potatoes.
There are no words to describe the awesome-ness of these!
I can actually say that I was entertained while traveling last month.
When I boarded my flight to leave Las Vegas I glanced out the window and saw this plane.
"We're going to Disneyland." Except, it wasn't going to Disneyland. I happened to know that the flight leaving from that gate was going to Dallas. I would so not want to be the kid who looked out the window and saw that plane, only to board and hear "Welcome on board flight 718 with non-stop service to Dallas, TX." Wait, what? The plane says Disneyland! Yea...
Then after landing in NY I was looking at the TV screen which shows where you are and such and saw this.
"Alt: 5 ft" Were we levitating? I could have sworn that we were on the ground... That or after 4 hours of airplane sleep I was seeing things.
Ok, so I like winter. It's probably my favorite season (although fall is a close second). I love to bundle up and be under lots of covers. And I love snow and how pretty it looks and of course being able to snowboard.
Then last winter DC got whomped in the span of a week with close to 4 feet of snow, and while I was ready for spring, I still enjoyed it. Then I moved up here to Boston and was super excited to experience a New England winter, just the way my mom and dad described them to me.
Then of course I left Boston before any snow had fallen, and well, let's let my Facebook statuses (statusi?) tell the rest of the story.
And then I returned to the snowy East coast and then to snowy Boston and well, the snow keeps coming!
Even the weather people are laughing (or crying) at this point. Just this morning the meteorologist cried "Uncle" and then asked people to not send hate mail, before saying there is another storm possibly moving in on Saturday.
And here it is folks. The winter that just keeps on giving.
I've forgotten what grass looks like and if we get over 12' of snow this time around we will have forgotten over 6 FEET of snow this winter in Boston. And it's only February 1st. Snowiest February in Boston anyone? Looks like it's highly possible, very very possible.