Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Our first California earthquake

We are now among the initiated. We have experienced our first California earthquake. It was about 8p.m. I was getting ready to go out to a shiur (yes I go to a shiur, get over it) and we were just sitting around the living room when all of a sudden everything started to shake. Maor and I thought it was our neighbors - we have some young guys living next door and they descend the steps with a giant leap that rocks our apartment for a minute. But this shaking kept on going. Arthur realized what it was and told us to stay calm. I have to be honest - it freaked me out! The earthquake's epicenter was about 15km (9mi) away from us. It lasted for 30 seconds (but felt much longer) and measured 5.6 on the Richter magnitude scale.

This is my first blog posting from my new Acer laptop computer (I did buy it from BestBuy but paid less than shown). It arrived by mail yesterday and tonight we got a router and Arthur did his magic and got me online. I am still getting used to it - first of all, this computer has Vista and not XP which until you get used to it (and maybe afterwards as well) makes you proclaim every 3 minutes or so "I hate Bill Gates and Microsoft!" I really need time though to explore, get used to it, and download and upload all the stuff I have on my home computer. Slowly, slowly. So now I don't need to fight with Maor anymore over the home computer when we both have homework. I will be very glad when this semester is over. I am enjoying one of my classes, tolerating another (which is required), and am sorely disappointed by the third. Registration for spring semester starts in about a week and a half and I know what classes I want to take - just hope I get them with the instructors I want.

I found a part time library job - in a law firm in downtown San Jose. Although I am not particularly interested in legal librarianship the librarian is very nice and easygoing and I hope I will start to gain some practical experience. Also, it is very laid back and the hours are flexible. I start this Thursday so that gives me one day to buy some clothing - I have nothing to wear! Thank goodness there are always sales going on. I am a terrible shopper so wish me luck!

Tommorrow is Haloween so of course the Christmas merchandise is already out in the stores. At least they're not playing carols yet. BTW, in case you think it's just me who can't take the Christmas season, read what Rabbi without a cause has to say about it. Maor's school hosts a movie/pizza night (for the younger kids) so there is an alternative to trick or treating.

Guess what Arthur is watching on TV? (I know you're tempted to say Law and Order or CSI or football but you're wrong) There's a show on public tv about the hitnatkut in Hebrew with English subtitles. It was filmed by the Israeli government and Arthur feels that it's propaganda.

Last Sunday Maor and I went to see Disney's High School Musical on Ice at the HP Pavillion. We had great seats and it was a fun show. This coming Sunday Arthur and Maor are going to see an Oakland Raiders football. I have opted out since I cannot for the life of me understand football.

Well, that is all the news for now. Take care and stay posted.

Friday, October 19, 2007

All quiet on the Western front

I know, I know, I've been very quiet lately.

I'll be honest - I haven't recovered from all the 3 day chagim yet - they totally knocked me out. I hated the davening - it was way too long and way too Ashkenazi.

Also, I am not having a great semester at school. I am taking 3 classes, one required and 2 electives. One of my instructors is good, one is so-so, and one is a total dud. There is so much reading and so many assignments, both individual and group, and I feel like I am always playing catch up. I feel like I never have time to breathe - as soon as I finish one thing it is on to the next.

I started looking for a part time job but so far haven't found anything. I want to get some experience in the library or information field. I've had a few interviews but that's about it.

Arthur is back to traveling and Maor is doing okay. Not too much is going on but I wanted to drop a line and say hi!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A cure for Israeli chutzpah?

Kol hakavod to David over at Treppenwitz for the non-abusive way he dealt with the classic and frustrating situation of a shopper in the express line with a cartful of groceries. You can read how he came out a winner and a hero to all the shoppers behind him at [Waste] my time...[Spend] your money.

In Jameel's comment on the above he mentions a contest being sponsored by Ronny Maman, an Israeli who returned to Israel after 18 years in the USA. His Center for manners (derech eretz) is offering $60,000 as an incentive for YOU to send in a practical idea on how to improve Israeli behavior through manners. The idea must cause the reader to implement and use it as a means to improve behavior (that means no philosophical ponderings, they want tachlit). The best 100 ideas will be featured in a book the center will publish.

The website is Hebrew only so here are the relevant details in English:
Deadline: January 22nd, 2008 (Tu B’Shvat)
Mailing address: Rehov Achuza 96, P. O. Box 26, Ranaana, Israel
Fax: 09-7409592 (+972-9-740-9592 internationally)
Winners announced: June 6, 2008

The contest is open to all ages so get those creative juices flowing.