Tag Archives: aviva

A Leap Day Post

1 Mar

It’s Leap Day!

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Which means TECHNICALLY I’m still living up to my blog-at-least-once-a-month-you-lazy-hunk-a-junk resolution!

Speaking of junk, in 6th grade I had a shirt that said “JUNK IN THE TRUNK” in really swirly letters. Why did my mom let me have that shirt? Also, I never got in trouble for it at my Orthodox Jewish Yeshiva so I’m pretty sure no one else including me understood it. Every day is another elementary school memory resurfacing.

I bet you’re all in suspense about that thing I wrote about a month ago – Yes! I did get the part and filmed it and it was awkward and amazing and terrifying and just the weirdest. It still hasn’t aired so I can’t show you what it is yet. Stay tuned!

I’m still teaching during the day. Still taking away heavy-duty tape dispensers away from kids who are deeming them to use them as weapons. I swear it’s like a prison yard sometimes except that in this case the shanks are pencils and can be sharpened quite efficiently and readily in every classroom.

Here’s some news about comedy: I’m on an improv house team at The Experiment Comedy Gallery. Which means you can see this beautiful face doing improv in Williamsburg three times a month (possibly more if Harry Potter Improv falls out on a Sunday I’m not doing a house team show). Better go quickly before the L train shuts down and strands us all on this God-forsaken island!

I’m still doing stand-up. I was on a “New Talent Night” show the other night. I went on last. When the host finally came half an hour late to start the show he made a big deal about how “WE HAVE A WOMAN ON THE SHOW TONIGHT YOU GUYS ISNT THAT CRAZY GET YOUR CAMERAS OUT.” It only went downhill from there, especially since there were actually TWO women that night on the show – it really makes you feel welcome at a show when the other comedians say the word ‘pussy’ about 45 times each, spend most of their 10 min talking about teenagers they slept with and end every jokes with a “right guys?”

If you’re wondering if women exaggerate their uncomfortableness at open mics and in comedy in general, from what I’ve heard and experienced myself – it is no hyperbole. 95% of interactions I’ve had on shows or with fellow male comedians has been great and supportive and wonderful but I get asked all the time how it is as a “female comedian” and I just need to have it on the record that sometimes it’s at best, icky and at worst, leaves you feeling like you’re in real danger (in my own experiences).

That’s where we all are right now! I’ll be back soon because it’s SPRING AND MY SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER IS GONE THANKS OBAMACARE.

 

My First Audition

12 Jan

*Tries to sneak into my blog like I haven’t been AWOL for three months.*

HI FRIENDS!

I’ve been reading an EXCELLENT book I borrowed from the UCB library called Long Story Short by Margot Leitman about learning how to craft stories for the stage (or seminars/Ted Talks/funerals/what-have-you). And one thing that really stuck with me so far is this quote she lives by “Most events in life can be categorized in one of two ways: A good time or a good story.” This quote really calms my anxiety about everything I’ve been doing in comedy so far (and non-comedy, but I don’t take that many risks outside of comedy these days) because it frames everything in a win/win situation. If whatever I’m worried about is great, then awesome! If it’s terrible, then I still get something out of it, either a story or learning experience (I read another wonderful quote that said mistakes are the fertilizer that grow our amazing ideas – not a great image but a good message.)

This is especially good to focus on after my Harry Potter Improvised show last night wasn’t me and my team’s best work. But instead of hyperventilating about it, my teammates and I sat down at a nearby pub afterwards and mapped out a game plan over beers on how to get better. It makes me wanna write myself one of those “grit tickets” we have in our classrooms that the fourth graders fill out when they stick with difficult math problems or logic puzzles.

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I definitely had a new experience tonight. After seeing a friend’s post about a network looking for female comedians to participate in a “Comedy Project,” about women, I sent in my tape and bio, and got an audition for this past evening at 5 pm. The e-mail specified that I prepare 3-5 jokes centering around womany things. I was so nervous! I can count the amount of things I’ve auditioned for on one hand – and three of those things were talent-show related. One was an African American Drama Troupe (don’t ask.)

I showed up to the studios at 4:45pm. I had spent the past 15 minutes in the Duane Read beauty section across the street putting on hand lotion, sweating off hand lotion, nervously spraying myself with various perfumes, putting on more hand lotion. I am weirdly insecure about my hands (their size, feel, nails – it’s just all wrong) and I never pay more attention to them than before I know I’m going to have to shake someone’s hand. But hands aside, I was jazzed. Super jazzed. Cool people went to auditions. Joey Tribiani and people who wore leather jackets and people with perfect bedhead. I felt cool. But like cool and overly excited. Like a Golden Retriever puppy in  a swimming pool.

 

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Pictured: Me

 

 

“Aviva?” asked a man poking his head into the waiting room where I had been watching a man shoot basketballs into one of those arcade hoop game that was there for some inexplicable reason. “Come on in.”

The audition room was a table, a few chairs and giant TV. There were four people, two men and two women sitting around the table.

“HI MY NAME’S AVIVA AND THIS IS MY FIRST AUDITION!” I blurted in their faces.

“Oh, haha great! It’s like we’re taking your audition virginity,” said the man who was conducting it.

“HAHA YOU’RE WELCOME TO IT,” I yelled. Stop talking now. Everyone laughed like “Look at this adorable little naive puppy.”

“So basically you’re going to be right here by the chair. You can sit or stand, whatever you feel comfortable doing.”

“I’M GONNA LEAN” Stop narrating everything you’re doing, I berated myself. Leaning isn’t cool! Stop leaning! Just sit!

“That’s fine,” he responded. “Now, you’re gonna look into the camera, say your name. Pause. Tell us which female comedians inspire you. Pause. Say your jokes but with a breath between each one. Got it?” *Camera clicks on*

“GOT IT!

Hi my name’s Aviva Woolf. And. Um, what was a supposed to say again?”

I’ve been an actress for 12 seconds and I’ve already forgotten my lines.

“Comedians that inspire you….”

“RIGHT SORRY. Um, A lot. Like, Irma Bombeck, Nora Ephron, Lindy West. Mindy Kaling, Jessica Williams, Samantha Bee, Kristen Schaal, Aparna Nancherla, Megan Amram…umm…I’m sure I’m forgetting some…but yeah.” Smooth

I do my jokes to laughter. Genuine I hope. Do people at auditions fake laughter to be polite?

“NOW WHAT?” I ask, like we’re all gonna go get smoothies or something.

“Well, we’ll let you know if you’re right for the project in a week, we generally don’t tell people if they got it at the audition.”

“RIGHT. Okay, so like, should I just go home and refresh my e-mail inbox every five minutes…?”

“No. If a week passes and you don’t hear from us, then you won’t. But we have your info so…”

“OKAY. Great! I mean, not about the not hearing from you. I’d like to, but if I don’t like, it’s okay.”

“Well, we have your picture…” *Gently ushering me out the door*

“Yeah! So like, you know what I look like! If you see me on the street…okay. BYE EVERYONE I HAD SO MUCH FUN BYE.” *Closing door slowly while staring at them*

 

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“Are you sure you guys don’t want smoothies?”

 

“Oh my God, did you ever leave????” texts my actress cousin Chana when I recount the audition to her. “Eventually” I type back.

So that’s the story  of my first non- high school audition. I legitimately have no idea if it went well or not. I was striving for memorable and I think I achieved it. Yay!

Onto the next adventure! Have a great night snowflakes!

 

 

Rosh Hashana – The Ultimate #TBT

21 Sep

Happy Arm-aversary friends and foes (I see you, Citibike riders).

Quick story: 

When I was 18 at my seminary in Bet Shemesh Israel, a lovely Canadian classmate of mine, during the first month or so of school celebrated the 5 year-“birthday” of her belly-button ring. I think she even passed a card around for people to sign it.

“What a ridiculous thing to do,” I thought. “I must be her friend.” Which I did. But still thought it was odd to have a birthday for a piercing. But why not? We commemorate a lot of weird things during our year.

It is kind of strange that humans are mildly obsessed with remembering and celebrating specific dates. We have birthdays and anniversaries, Pearl Harbor day, Independence Day, Waffle Day and our own personal celebration days (I happen to celebrate July 13th – the day I got my license and January 23rd – a special friendaversary day) We love “Throwback Thursdays,” TimeHop and that thing Facebook does every New Years where it gives you an overview on all the posts you made that got the most likes.  (Most) millennials partake in “instant nostalgia” (“Lemme see the photos from the 5k we ran 20 min ago!”)  so celebrating a whole year or more seems like forever.

And no one does long-term Throwback Thursdays like Jews. That time our temple burned down 2,100 years ago? Let’s think about that every July. That time we dropped the mic and waltzed out of Egypt 3,100 years ago? Let’s reminisce about those days for TWO consecutive seders/parties in a row.

And especially Rosh Hashana – the world’s birthday. The anniversary of Adam and Eve 5,774 years ago – the ultimate #TBT.

As Judaism’s main agenda is about fixing/reparing the world (Tikun Olam), despite all the issues it gets sidetracked on, it’s helpful to look back over your year and think “Have I done anything worthwhile with my 365 days? Am I smarter? Harder better faster stronger?  Or did I watch Netflix every night and Tweet mean things about people?” If you’re like me it’s probably a little from column A and B (although I seriously doubt I am any faster this year).

The cool thing about remembering something (and not just what you wore to brunch in those selfies from earlier this week) is comparing present You with past You. Looking at photos from middle school you can think “I was so much more comfortable in my skin back then,” or “I am much better at making friends today” or “Why did ANYONE let me out of the house with  my hair like that?!”

We are meant to look at our past and ask, did we change ourselves? Did we change others and did we change the world? Because it starts with the first question. A better world starts with us looking back to ourselves just a year ago and track our growth (or failures, because progress isn’t just moving upwards it’s also learning from our mistakes or learning to forgive ourselves for our mistakes.)

Example: Two years ago I was in a really bad accident (did I mention that?) That day I was completely stressed out because of a rough class with major deadlines and more pressure I’ve ever felt for a class. I was also in a new relationship, was having roommate issues and trying to balance school work and Jewish holidays. As I crossed the street that Friday, my last thought (before the thought, “I could cross before that bike gets here!”) was “My life cannot get any more stressful.”

Cut to three days later when I had the same stresses plus a broken arm and battered face.

From then on, whenever I think “Ahhh this is the absolute worst – nothing can be as bad as  ___enter situation here___” I remember “Oh wait, yes it can. I could be doing this *and* have a broken arm, I could be doing this *and* be attacked by raccoons, I could be doing this *and* have an unfortunate case of tick bites on my face’. Not that the main lesson here is never be stressed because hypothetical situations are always worse. Your pressures are totally valid bro I get that. The lesson here is learn from your experiences. Learn from others’ experience. Just never stop learning.

So make resolutions, break them, learn some new things, fail horribly, make friends, read books, cook new recipes, watch that documentary on Netflix, give to charity, cheer up someone’s day.

Two quotes that keep me motivated on marginal change throughout the year are:

“Someone once told me the definition of hell: The last day on Earth, the person you became meets the person you could have become” ~ Unknown

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. – Erma Bombeck.

I hope they’re inspiring to you too.

And I pray next Rosh Hashana we can all look back and say, “Yeah, I think I repaired the world just a tiny little bit.”

Other Rosh Hashana posts: https://avivawoolf.com/2013/09/01/the-god-network-renews-you-for-another-season-a-rosh-hashanah-post/

Jobs I’ve had. Ranked from Please Never Make Me Do That Again to Eh, That Probably Wasn’t As bad As I Remember

16 Sep

Sometimes I wish I lived in the 1870’s where I would be like “What do I wanna do with my liiifffeeeeee?” and someone would be like “You’re a coal miner! Your dad and granddad were coal miners so stop complaining and start mining some coal or the Indians will get us!”

But then I would probably die of rickets or black lung at 29 without ever *really* figuring out my real potential (full disclosure, I may not know anything about diseases you get from coal mining or history in general.) But it’s not 1874, it’s 2014 and that means I can drag you guys on the journey to find out MY DESTINY.

So here’s a list I made of jobs I have done (non-writing) to see what I’ve liked and what I haven’t. What I could possibly go back to if I don’t get rich and famous from self-indulgently writing about myself on a blog.

It ranges from Oh-God-Please-Never-Make-Me-Do-That-Again to Hm-That-Probably-Wasnt-As-Bad-As-I-Remember.

6. Working With Children 

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I was a camp counselor for exactly 2 years – the summer after 8th grade and the summer after 12th. I was a counselor for 8 year old boys and 10 year old girls. And hated working with kids. Children don’t understand sarcasm, pretty much my only tone. They like running around instead of sitting in the shade with me eating snacks. They ask rude questions like “why don’t you have a boyfriend?” and “why are your arms so hairy?”

I wasn’t a great child-dealer-with because I never wanted 8 year old girls to act like 8 year old girls. I wanted them to *understand* that it was illogical to throw a tantrum over the fact that another girl had copied the same color-pattern that she was making for her lanyard bracelet in art. I also wanted them to not cry when I told them that was a dumb thing to get upset about.

If I had to rank myself somewhere on the kid-friendliness scale it would have to be Jack Black at the beginning of School of Rock. Recess all day and no one gets stars. So, kids are out. Also, if you were thinking about asking me to be your kid’s godmother. Don’t.

5. Events Crew at Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

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A job I had in college. I signed up for it because I felt bad making my parents pay for my copious amounts of alcohol on top of tuition. The job had a bunch of different facets including: setting up for musical performance by taping up the stage, setting up the “risers” or seating which left you with pinches and scars all along your arms, opening and closing doors for artists during their concerts, mopping the black box theater floors.

I liked working in the theater because you could do your homework while you waited in the dark until you had open a door. You could watch performances for free (except I never got to see literally anything except for this awful Native American drum circles which I saw like 4 times) and the rest of the crew was pretty cool.

But it was a lot of physical labor (like moving terrifyingly expensive pianos). And also one time we were taping up the stage for a show when a GIANT metal hook fell from the catwalk where they were setting up and missed my head by about 4 inches. I looked up and the stage crew manager went “Oops!” So, I obviously stayed at this job for a year and a half.

4. Retail: Bath and Body Works / Judaica Shop

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I worked at Bath Body Works for exactly two days during their busy Christmas season in 2009. My job was to stand by bottle displays and make sure no one stole anything. I’m not sure how exactly I was supposed to react if I did see someone stealing but it never happened for the two shifts I was there so, whew.

I was also forced to watch a 3 hour video about the history and protocols of B&BW (which didn’t include what to do if someone was stealing near you), take a quiz on the information and fill out a workbook about it. It’s brutal. Also, fun fact: if you stay in Bath and Body Works for more than 30 min, you actually lose your ability to discern between scents. Which is rough when you’re supposed to be helping teenage girls and older dudes find gifts for their secretaries and housekeepers.

On the plus, you got a lot of free stuff when you start working there. And a pretty sweet discount.

I worked at Judaica shop senior year of high school. I was the only employee this rabbi/owner had hired. And he wasn’t that great at talking to me. When he felt my clothing was not acceptable for his staff he called my mom to tell her talk to me. He didn’t like, know her before or anything, he somehow found her number and decided to call her.

I spent my days peeling stickers off items he had bought from other stores and slapping on marked-up price tags.

I got no discount, but I did get paid in cash so ka-ching. This store has since closed.

3. Working in a Coffee Shop

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I worked in a coffee shop in the summer of 2012. I had zero food service experience. I was hired because it was a Kosher cafe and they needed someone Jewish to be there to make the food while also serving customers, washing dishes and cleaning bathrooms.

Basically training was “Here’s the mixer! Here’s the basement! Here’s the stepladder! Figure it out!” Did I mention that the coffee shop was at a train station? In New York City? In the boiling hot summer? People would come in and bark “My train is coming in 6 minutes! I need an iced medium caramel upside-down macchiato!” And since I wasn’t trained on the espresso machine I’d have to yell “Umm…Jenn…?!” and then inform the customer that we only had smalls and large, not mediums while they cartoonishly tapped their feet and looked at their watch.

When it was slow it was awesome, I’d say “Oh, one small iced coffee? Thank God for you sir! Coming in at 10 a.m. and in no hurry at all while you work on your novel! I love you!” But if it was busy I’d literally freeze – paralyzed in fear that I’d give a customer a sesame seed bagel in lieu of an herbal matcha tea.

Working in a coffee shop taught me that in order to survive in stressful situations you have to have just the right mixture of “I don’t give a shit attitude” and “I like people and I want to do a good job.” And less, “What did you want? A decaf latte? I CAN’T FEEL MY FEET. SOMEONE KILL ME.”

2. Secretary

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Another college job, this one was golden. Consistent shifts, OK pay and no one, absolutely no one ever came in to the Art and Learning Center at the UMD student union. No one knew what it was. It provided cheap classes like ballet and ceramics to students/community/staff.

It would have been perfect if not for the manager who hated me for no reason (if you count fucking up almost every rare task that was assigned to me – such as destroying expensive paper when I was supposed to be cutting up cheap construction paper for the spin-art. Or creating a giant calendar for her wall that was missing December.  Oops.)

It was in this office that I learned that I should probably never be any position of power, that I am really good at answering phones and I have a fondness for decorating any space I am in.

My strongest memory from the Art and Learning Center was one time the ballet teacher Nick, came in to get his boombox. I was like “Sure thing chicken wing!” and got up to reach it.

“So do you have plans for Valentine’s Day?” He asked.

I was caught off guard. “Umm…not really,” then smiling. “Why?” (Did I mention I was chronically single during college?)

He gave me a confused look and then pointed to his ear and an previously-unseen blue-tooth. “Ah…I’m on the phone…”

I did get to take free belly-dancing class there. But was sadly, fired.

1. Photographer 

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I know there’s a lot of different kinds of photography, I’ve had experience with mostly photojournalism. But this one was child photography. I know I said I was bad with children earlier (nice job paying attention!) but I really liked being a photographer for a camp that was meant for children with autism and their families. I was photographer for two years for them. I didn’t know anything about autism when I started (I was 17).

For the whole session, I was a fly on the wall. Taking pictures of children who (some) couldn’t really communicate effectively as they happily colored, swam or played a tambourine with their helpers, which really meant something to their parents. Parents who couldn’t get their kids to smile during school photos or family pictures now had great keepsakes; photos of their children smiling as they made friends or quietly watched a puppet show. I would say that that was probably the most rewarding job I ever had.

And when I did have to interact with a child they mostly wanted to just touch my camera.

   Conclusion: None of these jobs are as hard as coal mining, and they’ve all made me grow as a person blah blah blah. In conclusion, I miss my Bath and Body Works discount. What was your worst/favorite job? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS to see if mine were better.

But WHY Is The Rum Gone?!

23 Jun

Ok. It’s time to go back to reality. Waking up at 5 a.m., motorcycle races at 3 a.m. (not that I’m apart of them, no I’m the lucky one trying to sleep while some dumbotrons think they should rev their engines down Fort Washington all night), our muggy apartment in the infamous city heat. You know that the reason kids have off in the summer isn’t because of the farm kids having to go home and help with crops as is the common misconception? It’s because the city heat was so fucking hot in the early 20th century that the rich families were like “Screw your education Victoria, you don’t need it anyways. We’re going out to the country so we don’t catch fire by just walking on the concrete.” And then all the schools were so empty the teachers had to be like “Whelp poor kids, looks like you’re free for a couple of months. Try not to get into trouble. See you in September.” 

But I’m glad to be back from my honeymoon last week. Ari and I went to St. Thomas for a week and the island is, in a word, enchanting. It is so gorgeous. Just look at this picture and try to imagine that being a real place. 

 

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I was *there* and I can’t believe it’s real. I’m from New York. I didn’t know ocean water could be clear. I didn’t know sand could be soft and free of used condoms and cigarette butts. 

Here are some things I learned on this very weird and special vacation. 

1. Their main industry is tourism. Meaning, as our bartender so eloquently put it, “You can do whatever you want. They really don’t like putting white people in jail.”

2. St. Thomas is a part of the US but they reeeaaalllyy didn’t want to be a state. They voted last year and it was overwhelmingly “Thanks but no thanks.” In an info booklet we got, it said “We can’t vote for the American president. But we do have a representative for us….who also can’t vote. Eh, what are you gonna do?”

3. Jews have been on the island since early 1700’s or before. The first governor of the island was Jewish. They have a beautiful synagogue there with a sand floor. As our guide, Cantor Diane told us, that was an old tradition, since so many Jews came from persecution, to muffle the sound of people walking around while praying. 

 

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Like sure, you guys can build an ornate house of worship – but keep quiet OK?! 

4. I decided before we left that I would only bring my phone for pictures. A whole week without e-mail, Facebook, texting, Snapchat, Twitter or wi-fi. And it was amazing. Sure, I would reflexively check my phone from time to time before realizing it was on airplane mode but we used physical maps to get around, we had only each other to talk to, we didn’t live document everything on Facebook. It felt rebellious. It almost felt wrong. “We are at Coki beach today. No one in the entire world knows we are here right now except for each other.” It’s a feeling that isn’t really captured on Shabbat when we turn off all electronics and just count down the minutes until we can turn on our Macs again. It felt adventurous.

I wish I could emulate that now that I’m home but it’s difficult. I find that we’re back to our routine. He’s playing 2048 or Facebook messaging his friends while I’m e-mailing my boss saying “Hold on…I’m listening…I just have to send this….” We’ll go out to dinner and I’ll text someone while we wait for our food. “Sorry, this is important. I just have to let her know that we’ll come by later…” and by the time I’m done, he’s checking imgur. It makes me profoundly sad. But at the time, I know it’s a necessity of life and as the months go on and Apple releases more and more, we’re only getting deeper and deeper in the quicksand that is constant technological connection and stimulation.  

5. Wow that took a dark turn. Here, look at this pretty sea turtle! His name is Duncan. We got to pet him.

 

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So there you have it. Sand, sun, sea turtles. Also rum. Rum everywhere and in everything. When you get off the plane; “Here’s a rum shot mon!” At the hotel; “All our drinks are rum.” At the COFFEE shop; “So that’s one ice mocha latte…would you like rum in that?”

It’s unbelievable. I vow to keep my honeymoon alive by continuing the trend and putting the caribbean flavor in everything. So if you’ll excuse me I have to go have some cereal and rum. Yum!  

Adventures in New York. First stop: Harlem

10 Apr

It feels so good to write again. 

When I don’t write for a while, it feels like I’m underwater. And when I start typing, it feels like I can breathe again. (Although full disclaimer, I rewrote that sentence like 6 times until it sounded right, and then I remembered why writing is awful and annoying. But I’m okay now, because I think it came out all right.)

 

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                   “I WROTE A SENTENCE! I CAN DO ANYTHING!”

 

Work was actually pretty great yesterday. I’ve been told that in the “real world” your superiors won’t praise you for doing your job. You should just hope for not being called out on being incompetent. And just focus on laying low and soaking it in when you’re new. Then once you know what you’re doing you can shine. Today, I am happy to say that I was BASICALLY INVISIBLE! And I am so happy. It was the first time in about 3 weeks that I didn’t have some sort of emergency where I needed someone to save me. It was quiet. It was neutral. It was a tad boring. But good! Progress!

Yesterday was also free ice cream cones day at Ben and Jerry’s, so I hope you took advantage of that. 

I’m only working three days this week. Monday, my husband (that word is so awkward. I never used boyfriend when I started seeing Ari, I said “Oh, uh this guy I’m dating”, can I call for a motion to be able to use the phrase “This guy I’m married to.” That feels a lot more natural) and I stayed in like non-productive members of society and watched Pulp Fiction and SNL all day. Then we went to a fancy restaurant for no special reason. Because we’re young and impulsive, and hey who needs to pay rent anyways? You can pay rent when you’re dead! Says people who don’t understand how rent, death or phrases work.

 

Today was not a work day. I had some things to do since I lost my wallet on the subway last week (it’s black and it has my license in it, if you find it.) The universe deemed it not necessary to return it to me. So I decided to finally get a new license and go to the DMV. This meshed perfectly well with an idea that I had been thinking about since apparently writing specifically about my job doesn’t seem like a good idea and writing about married like seems like writing a blog about how it feels to win the lottery, no one wants to read that.     

 

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…In that they both cause you to have more money…and looser morals.

I had been thinking about writing more about living in NY. My other blogs, when I was in London and this one largely took place in Maryland, I decided that I would write about interesting things to do in New York City, center of the universe. I had ordered these books off Amazon like “Forgotten NY” and “Odd NY” to find some hidden gems. First stop: Harlem. Second stop: Harlem DMV.

Okay, the DMV wasn’t really part of the tour, but it was the closest one and I needed a new license. Plus, I had never been to Harlem. I’ve always been one of the people Louis CK describes in this video. That I would get to Harlem and get stabbed in the face. But I know that’s silly, I could get stabbed in the face anywhere! Especially by my own hand. Because we got crazy sharp knives as wedding presents and I keep opening packages towards me instead of away. 

So I flipped through my Odd NY book and found that right on 125th there was an abandoned subway tunnel where the “subway mole people” used to live in the 70s, 80s and 90s before Guiliani shipped them off to a homeless farm! And there was cool old graffiti and probably some exposed needles.

 

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                         “Fun!”

Unfortunately, I didn’t read the actual description of the tunnels until I was on the train heading south.

 

“Intrepid urban explorers can access The Freedom Tunnel through a semi-hidden entrance in Riverside Park

at 125th Street. You do so at your own risk (meaning, don’t sue the city, or these authors, if you get clobbered,

rolled, or sexually assaulted). Once submerged, watch out for discarded needles, not to mention the Amtrak

trains that hurtle along the tracks. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for menacing types.”

 

Needless to say, I decided that maybe today was not the best for face-stabbings, getting sexually assaulted OR confronting “menacing types.” Maybe I will do the Freedom Tunnel after I do all my other NY exploring. 

The book had other cool things, like voodoo shops in the Village, climbing clock towers on Broadway, exposed mummified bodies on Cabrini and the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island. I’m sure I could get face stabbed on any of those as well – the joy of NYC!

But Harlem was actually really nice. There are a couple of things I noticed:

1. You can see the sky more here, since there aren’t a lot of super tall buildings.

2. The buildings that are there are old and beautiful. Some even dated back to 1891, according to some of their dedications. They were so pretty that it was almost sad to see the bottom floor housing a Wendy’s. But what do I know? Maybe when it was built it had the 1891 equivalent of a Wendy’s. Although, it wouldn’t be called Wendy’s since that name was only popularized in 1904. It would be whatever the 1890 version was…so…Mabel’s? Evelyn’s?

3. There is art. Everywhere, Here is some art. And some weird things I saw as well. 

 

ImageImage

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Seen outside TJ Maxx. Is that new couple wearing kippas? Why do these children look            so judgmental?

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        I think this is trying to say that Michael Jackson is Jesus.

 

So Harlem is cool. Yes I didn’t do anything but walk along 125th. And I didn’t go to the face-stabby, rape Theme-park. But it’s interesting. And there’s a Gap Factory store. I would definitely go back there. 

The DMV was boring. But actually pretty efficient, if you were wondering. You had a ticket. They called your number (two hours after I got there but still…) Waiting for your number is like the most boring, most painful game of Bingo. Except you know when they’re going to call your number. And it’s in two hours. And the man next to you smells like an old taxi that caught fire. But I have an interim license. So I don’t have to bring my passport to bars anymore. 

Oh, and another thing about Harlem. it smells really good. Mostly because of the street vendors selling, like oils that smell like different things (such as Vanilla, Butt Naked, Barack Obama, Orange Blossom, you know, normal things). But also because there are like 40 Popeye’s on each corner, and I was totally jonesing for some Fish and Chips. So that’s how I spend the rest of my day. 

 

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Have a lovely night my ducklings!

I Change Shapes Just to Hide in This Place but I’m Still I’m Still A Danimal

6 Apr

So I flirted with Wix a little bit, thinking it was smarter to start a new blog from scratch then just pay the stupid 80 bucks to get my domain name back from WordPress but who am I kidding? I barely have time to take the wrapper off my Klondike bar before I bite into it. I’m back!

 

 

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My WIX post described what I’ve been doing these past few months, but really the most important thing is that I live in Washington Heights now with my husband of 27 days (in your FACE Kim Kardashian) and totally have a real job! With money! And consequences!

I can’t really talk about work but I can tell you valuable lessons I have learned so far working for a legit company (disclaimer, these lessons probably apply to all jobs, and situations and life. Basically do the opposite of what I do always)

1. If you don’t know who someone is, and you just met them, don’t say “I’m not sure if I’ve met you yet, there’s so many white men who work here that I can’t tell them apart.” Because that person might be your superior. Just don’t say shit like that to anyone. Ever.

2. If you forget your badge in your bag when you go for lunch and security has to call your boss to come sign you in, don’t bitch about how tight security is and say “It’s not like a have a gun in this cardigan or anything!” Don’t say ‘gun’ to security.

3. Maybe wait at least a week before suggesting to your new office mates that you all get matching Jerseys.

As for apartment living, it’s weird not being in my dorm at UMD. I was confused as to how one makes friends when one is not in school. I kind of stand outside my apartment waiting for my neighbors to come out so I can say hi to them. One neighbor, Alice, has a big dog named Mitzy. I met her husband/boyfriend/male friend the other day when he was leaving the apartment.

Me: Oh, that’s Mitzy right?

Dude: Yeah…

Me: Hi, I’m Aviva. I live over there. I met Alice.

Dude: Oh, hey. I noticed there was a new welcome mat. There used to be a really nice old couple who lived there. I liked them.

Me: Um…I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened to them.

Dude: Oh well, they used to have a Boston Terrier. Do you have a dog?

Me: Ah, no.

Dude: Oh…Okay bye!

So, friendship is a work in progress.

I did however make friends with the wine guy down my block. My mom says she doesn’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.

 

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                Trick question, wine is always a good thing.

 

Ari and I threw a Wine and Cheese party for a few friends we just met and to celebrate wine and cheese. I went to the store down the block and remarked to the guy how good his selection was.

Wine Guy: Oh yes, well we are always getting new wine in stock and adding new kinds.

Me: Well, haha I drink a lot of wine!

Wine Guy: *Looks down at the 8 bottles I’m buying*

Me: Oh! Ah, this isn’t for me…it’s for my friends…I have…friends.

WG: Sure, sure. Well, I’m sure I’ll see you again then!

So to recap: Wine guy, more friendly than neighbor.

 

Now that you’re caught up I will continue to post! Hopefully! Unless some wine or cheese catch my attention…

The God Network renews “YOU” for another season. A Rosh Hashanah Post.

1 Sep

Dear Buddies,

For a while, I really wanted to write a post about having confidence and being happy with ourselves but I’ve put that off because Netflix told me not to but instead watch more seasons of Parks and Rec but I realized that my would-be post and the upcoming Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana kind of intersected nicely so that is what this post is about.

For those of you who do not know, Rosh Hashana is the Jewish New Year. But unlike the January 1st New Year, we don’t put a flimsy shimmery noisemaker in our mouth but a dead ram’s horn. Fun for the whole family!

 

Best used when blown directly into someone's face.

Best used when blown directly into someone’s face!

 

Other Rosh Hashana traditions include: eating apples, inevitably getting sticky honey on your new H&M dress, anticipating parody songs about the new year by popular Jewish a capella groups, sitting in synagogue for hundreds of thousands of hours and for some, making small talk with elderly aunts, putting animal heads on our tables.

 

Or heads of lettuce for all of you who don't like lifeless watching you while you eat (weirdos).

Or heads of lettuce for all of you who don’t like lifeless watching you while you eat (weirdos).

 

Rosh Hashana is also a time when Jews tell God “Hey, you’re still pretty rad, thanks for not letting me die in a fire this year (especially considering how many times I accidently put tin foil in the microwave when I was drunk…oh, is that just me? Okay then), I will try not to be such an bonehead this year and will pay more attention to my actions i.e. thanking you for the neat things in my life like food and not putting tin foil in the microwave.”

 

We also go to our fellow Jews and non-Jews and say, “Hope I wasn’t too much of a blockhead to you this year. Sorry about losing the first season of Dexter you lent me and then lying to you about having borrowed it. Also this year I’ll try to stop telling people about the hilarious time you tripped on a rug at that Chinese restaurant and fell on a waiter (but that 50 bucks I promised to repay you? Yeah, you probably won’t see that again. My bad)”.

 

Rosh Hashana is when we take a break to say “What am I doing with my life?” (Although if you’re an almost-college-grad like me, you’ve probably been asking yourself that on a near constant basis.) We want to evaluate our life choices, are we still “good people”, do we truly recognize all the terrible things we’ve done this year, do we even feel bad about them? Are we trying to be good friends, neighbors, roommates, daughters, sons, and subway passengers? Or do we stuff our headphones in our ears when someone comes around asking for change?

 

In NY we make you work for your money!

In NYC we make our panhandlers work hard for their money

 

Rosh Hashana focuses on a bunch of things, namely renewing our love for God, our love for our fellow man/woman but another idea that often gets overlooked, loving ourselves.

 

Five years ago, I was on a seminary program in Bet Shemesh in Israel called Machon Maayan. I remember sitting in my first day of class where our first lesson on Rosh Hashana was the famous concept of “V’Ahvat L’Reiach K’mocha” or “Loving your neighbor as yourself,” an idea that Rabbi Akiva said was the very fundamental message of the Torah and our religion.

 

It’s important for Jews (and really all people) to stick together. In the Parsha (Torah portion) leading up to Rosh Hashana, Moshe Rabbeinu on his deathbed basically says to the Jewish people in the desert “You guys have a good thing going here, I know you’re all gonna muck it up sooner or later but if you act like a nation every once in a while then no one will mess with you and you’ll be OK.”

 

Being a part of the Jewish nation is less like a family and more like a really weird fraternity. You may have no clue who the elderly man sitting next to you on the plane is but he knows the secret passwords and handshakes so you know he’s all right and you may even be able to use that connection to get yourself a job in his law firm.

 

However, the phrase ‘Love your neighbor like you love yourself’ has a flip side too. That is, if you don’t love yourself enough then you can’t love your neighbor. If you don’t invest in yourself, then won’t have enough to share with others. It’s so important to be happy with who you are, how God made you, how you feel about yourself (even if you don’t believe in God). Five years ago on that Rosh Hashana in Israel, I wasn’t happy with my life. I was in a new country without any of my friends from home. I was shy and awkward. I hadn’t been diagnosed yet with the hormone imbalance PCOS but I had noticed persistent dark fuzz on my jaw due to the elevated levels of testosterone. I had developed some sort of allergy to all hair products leaving my head a big poodley mess.

 

Oh this hairstyle?

Hairstyle seen here.

 

I remember feeling that Rosh Hashana that I wasn’t good enough to make friends. I wasn’t good enough to help other people. I wasn’t pretty enough to pray to God.

 

It took me a long time to love myself. To learn that I wasn’t going to become a better person if I didn’t believe that I deserved to.  That I wasn’t going to become a better friend, Jew, neighbor. It took me years to fully internalize the message I had learned years before.

 

So here are my tips on becoming a happier, self-loving person this year. I hope my words help you find peace in yourself. I hope this year you realize how important you are just as yourself and to the Jewish people, how amazing your potential is and how precious your numerous page views are to my blog *hugs computer.*

 

Confidence

 

Doing things is hard sometimes. Some people (me) can be awkward and at loss of the right thing to say at times (i.e. Doctor: “Have a good semester in school!” Me: “You too! Or, a good semester being a doctor. Or, just life being a doctor. OK bye forever!”) As humans sometimes we’re apprehensive with new situations, with talking to new people. I firmly believe that fear is the number one worst thing in the world. I mean, besides for fear of snakes. SNAKES. Snakes everywhere. That’s the only thing you should be afraid of.

 

ESPECIALLY snakes trying to be cute.

ESPECIALLY snakes trying to be cute.

 

I read in a magazine once that we should have pictures of ourselves as children hanging up, to remind ourselves what it was like to always be happy and try new things or something. That’s stupid. Kids are dumb, they don’t know when people are laughing at them or with them. Never pretend you’re a kid. Instead, imagine yourself as yourself but at age 95. Take a second and imagine your wrinkly skin, bald/grey head and achy bones (FYI this game only works if you’re not 95, sorry 95-year-olds no offense, congrats on being hella elderly. Hellderly?)

 

Got it? Now imagine your old self is a sarcastic snob. And every time you’re too afraid to do something, be it sing karaoke, ask someone out, dance, learn an instrument, speak a new language, make a speech, ask a question, give someone a compliment, sing etc., imagine you’re sarcastic old lady self saying “Ohhh, thank goodness you’re not embarrassing yourself. Wouldn’t want to give me any memories or anything. Nope, you just sit in your T-shirt and shorts while everyone else goes in the pool. Whew, someone might think you’re too fat to be in a bathing suit. Nope. You just sit there. Don’t even think of talking to that cute lifeguard either. I’ll just sit in my rocking chair and think of my safe life never taking any risks. Ah…that’s nice. Maybe dementia will set in and I’ll make believe I was Lady Gaga. That’s good. Carry on not asking someone to explain the situation in Syria or anything about politics. Wouldn’t want them to think you’re stupid. Time to take a nap.”

 

Zzz....someone get me my meat dress...it's 4 p.m. and I'm hungry...zzz....

Zzz….someone get me my meat dress…it’s 4 p.m. and I’m hungry…zzz….

 

Usually, I find that the thought of me getting to 95 without any risks or stories pushes me to do the thing I’m afraid of. We should tell people how we feel and don’t be afraid to live our lives without other people’s permissions. We should be doing the things that scare us. It’s why we’re here. Unless that thing involves snakes. Then stay FAR AWAY.

 

Goals

 

When I was younger, like a lot of girls (and guys) I used to measure myself against other people, especially physically. I used to scan each room I went into, to see if I was as pretty as other girls. If I talked to them, I would see if I was funnier, smarter or nicer than them. I was always comparing myself. It was exhausting. I would pore over the magazines I loved, hating myself for not being model skinny. I would read articles about girls who started amazing initiatives and charities and ask myself why I wasn’t starting some fund for children in Africa. My life was just a scale that I hardly ever matched up with. Until one day I read this in a book by Zelig Pliskin called Gateway to Happiness.

 

“It is unnecessary to have low self-esteem when you can easily invent some criteria by which you are a success. What makes anyone else’s criteria more valid than your own?”

 

I realized that day that I didn’t have to play life by anyone’s rules but my own. I was jealous of models but did I want to be a model, was that my criteria for success? No. I envied the students with amazing voices who sang solos in choir. Did I even care about having a good voice? No.

 

What I was jealous of was were the people who knew what they wanted and went for it. I didn’t have any idea what my own idea of success was. These days my idea of success is to be able to write, maybe making people think and laugh. My idea of success is having friends who feel they can be honest with me. My idea of success is having a job I enjoy and feel like I can help others. Now that I know that, I no longer feel angry with other people for what they have.

 

This year it’s not enough to say, “I want to be a good person.” What do we want to get good at? Do we want to be smarter? More considerate? Volunteer more? Take on more responsibility religiously? Learn to salsa? If we don’t know what we want out of life, we’ll never get it.

 

Perspective

 

Little problems are hella annoying. They make us late. They distract us. They make us take time from our busy days to go to Sears to buy new microwaves.

 

We walk through the door at night, stressed from a grade we got on a paper and snap at our roommates about the dishes. Annoyances are our computers being crazy slow when trying to pay bills online. They’re the dingbat driving like an dadburned idiot on the highway when you’re just trying to get home that makes you curse the day the world was created.

 

Ugggghhhhhhh wwhhyyyyyyyyyyy

Ugggghhhhhhh wwhhyyyyyyyyyyy

 

But tiny problems are a sign that life is pretty swell.

 

I once heard this little story about a woman collecting charity from people at the Western Wall. When someone would give her money, she would say “Bless you, I wish that you always have little annoyances.” Finally, someone was like “WTH lady, what kind of blessing is that?” She replied, “When someone you love is in the hospital, you don’t give a hoot that your Amazon order got delayed. When your house burns down, you don’t care that gas prices shot up another 10 cents. Tiny problems in your life means you don’t have big problems, and that’s always a good thing.”

 

When I get really upset over small things (which is pretty often), I play a little game called parenthesis. It kind of goes like this: I take a what I am super mad about and break it down until my annoyance seems like a pretty silly thing to be truly broken up over. If I’m still annoyed, then I’m still annoyed. It’s not foolproof. Like this:

 

“I am angry that the dry-cleaners didn’t have the dress I wanted to wear to my friend’s wedding in time for me to wear it.”

 

And then I say this:

 

“I am angry that the dry-cleaners (which, thank God, I have enough money to spend on) didn’t have the dress (which, again, is something that I had money to buy something a lot of people who don’t have the ability to) I wanted to wear to my friend’s (a friend, I am lucky to have, considering a lot of people are pretty lonely) wedding (what a happy time for my friend that she found her soul mate) in time for me to wear it.”

 

Or

 

“I am upset that my brother borrowed my car without asking and now I have to take the bus to my job.”

 

Becomes:

 

“I am upset that my brother (that I love and am fortunate to have a sibling who is healthy and alive) borrowed my car (that thank God, works and I am lucky to own whereas a lot of people do not have) without asking and now I have to take the bus (which is pretty reliable and I can afford) to my job (which thankfully I have).

 

Little things will pop up and ruin our day forever. That’s life. But when you say these things, especially out loud. You’ll find that they’ll make the situations a tiny bit easier to endure.

 

Body Confidence

 

Obviously, we should always rely on our inner glow or whatever to be happy. But sometimes, we just don’t feel like going to the party because the outfit we chose doesn’t look as good as we thought and it’s already kind of put a damper on the whole thing. If that doesn’t happen to you then congratulations!

 

Here's your party!

Here’s your party!

 

For me, it helps to think of God. And how bored I would be if I created infinitely complex and fascinating, capable human beings to do/build/create/imagine amazing things and they spent hours and hours each day plucking their eyebrows and staring in the mirror. I’d be like “Oh ME! If I knew you guys would be so boring, I would’ve made you all amorphous blobs or something! Can you go outside and interact with people? Can you go find the cure for cancer already? Turn off Netflix and call your grandma. She always has something interesting to say. Fine, you wanna spend 2 hours crying over a haircut? If you need me, I’m gonna be watching some ancient Mesopotamia. Maybe a guy will kill a snake or something. That’s always fun.”

 

"That's it. Beyonce looks like this now. Happy?!"

“That’s it. Beyonce looks like this now. Happy?!”

 

Life is really short. Our friends and family do NOT like us just because we have frizz-free hair. They probably think you’re funny or interesting so go hang out with them and not worry so much about how you look. If they wanted to be friends with something perfect they would’ve brought a cardboard cut-out of Mila Kunis to the movies last week instead of you. There is more to you than your thighs. You were born on this planet and therefore you belong here.

 

In Conculsion

 

In conclusion, Rosh Hashana is a good marker in the year to take one second from ‘ugh-ing’ about things, complaining about other people and beating ourselves up.

 

Let’s celebrate that we completed ANOTHER year of being on this awesome swirling blue and green ball of crazy. We have so much potential to be something incredible. Wonderful people. Remarkable nation. Amazing world. It has to start with us believing in ourselves.

 

"I said you were special like 1,00 times you dumb mother effers."

“I said you were special like 1,00 times you ninnies”

 

I will leave you with another favorite quote.

 

“Man must guard himself and his uniqueness and not imitate his fellow man. For initially man was created in his own image and only afterward in the image of God.” ~ Kotzker Rebbe.

 

Happy New Year.

Love,

Aviva

Ps. Stop putting tin foil in the microwave.

Mermaid Whores and Goth Ballerinas

21 Aug

I have finally finished the business class I was taking this summer – so now it’s time to finally focus on the important things in my life now, like what dress am I gonna wear in 6 months? Questions women have been pondering for ages.

 

Last time I went wedding dress shopping was with my friend Shira, back in January or so. First we went to a gamach which is a sort of center where Jewish brides either donate their gowns for other brides or it lends dresses to brides at zero costs. We had gone to one in Lakewood, NJ, an area known for some pretty religious families. The one we went to was being run out of this very pregnant lady’s basement of her pretty fancy house. Shira was trying on all these intense looking behemoth layered dresses when I mentioned that one particular dress was nice because it was kind of plain up top so she could wear a necklace on it. Shira replied that she wasn’t planning on wearing jewelry on her wedding day. The preggo lady gasped, “Nothing?! You’re not getting anything in the Yichud* room?”

I raised my eyebrows suggestively, “Oh, she’s getting somethin’ in the Yichud room all right.” The woman shot me a dirty look.

Shira looked confused, “What do you mean? I’ve never heard of getting jewelry in the Yichud room?”

The woman put a hand protectively on her clavicle, “Well, I don’t know what circles you run in but around here he gives you something in the Yichud room, usually it’s a pearl necklace.”

I had to leave to keep from laughing. I’m probably going to hell.

Anyways, I went wedding dress shopping today. I wasn’t super into it at first. I remember when I went prom dress shopping with my mom in 12th grade. That seemed like a bigger deal. But maybe that’s because I was allowed to wear whatever revealing dress I could dream up and now I have to comply with some rules (i.e. please don’t ever look like a gothic ballerina this time.)

 

Black Swan meets omg-were-you-drunk-is-that-a-fake-tattoo-on-your-chest-yes-it-is.

Black Swan meets omg-were-you-drunk-is-that-a-fake-tattoo-on-your-chest-yes-it-is.

 

Macy’s was stop one. The woman helping us was like 9 months pregnant and she seemed in no mood to help me in to 5 different dresses just to hear me say, “I look like a mermaid whore.” They also had about like 12 dresses so we cut our visit pretty short. Next stop was a place next door called Bridal Salon. This place was like some magical fairy-tale land of white dresses just begging me to accidently step on them. There were floor to ceiling windows and everything was covered in lace and tulle. I just wanted to curl up in basket of veils and fall asleep, knowing that everything was going to be nice and clean forever.

We explained to the woman helping us that we were looking for a dress that could accommodate sleeves to be built on (why are wedding dresses all strapless and sleeveless? I mean, people get married in the winter too right? And I’m sorry, there’s no strapless bra in the world that will convince me that I can pull off a strapless dress. There are just some things I know, OK? And if I was Randy on Say Yes to the Dress I would tell that to a LOT of people as well).

They brought out some dresses that had lace sleeves on them. I went into the dressing room to try it on and a few others. Here’s something I didn’t know: You can’t put on a wedding dress alone. A stranger has to help you. And sometimes that stranger will say “You’re not wearing the right bra. Take it off and let’s put it on and see how that looks with no straps showing through the lace.” And sometimes you will have to stand there topless while a stranger dresses you. Sometimes that has to happen through 5 different dresses while you try to carry on a normal conversation about Oh-your-son-goes-to-Binghamton-that’s-so-funny-my-brother-goes-there-how-nice while you’re nonchalantly pretending like you’re wearing something in between getting in and out of mounds of crinoline.

My friend Liana pointed out that it’s not normal how many times I find myself topless in front of people BUT it’s not as it sounds. Sometimes it’s the fitting ladies at Linda’s Bras telling me they need to get a better fit. Sometimes it’s the Russian spa lady in San Diego telling me  in broken English that I can’t wear clothes during the personal spray tan session (yes, I got a spray tan once – WHILST on vacation in San Diego. Deal with it. I was coming home with a tan EVEN if it was January and I spent most of the time crying hysterically in the lobby over a break-up. What I’m trying to say is that it was a good 21st birthday weekend)

Back to today – the first dress I had tried on was actually perfect. We decided on it. Then the woman who was helping called over a different woman to take my measurements. This woman, a thin put-together lady with an impossibly high pony-tail, came over and said “You look gorgeous, now let’s get you in the dressing room and get you naked.” At least when she took my measurements she let me keep my bra on so that was nice.

I still felt like some weird impostor trying on dresses. Especially I could tell the fitting woman was searching for the non-existent ring.  It feels like it’s some weird ridiculous joke I’m playing on these people – I guess it doesn’t feel *real* yet. But either way, it’s another thing I can cross off my list before school starts in a couple of weeks.

Other things I have to do before school starts: e-mail my professor and tell him I’m going to be missing like 34 days because all the High Holidays this year fall on the most inconvenient days for me (thanks a lot God),  get the window in my apartment fixed because I’m on the first floor and it doesn’t close/lock and I will definitely be murdered probably soon.

 

Hope your August is winding down nicely!

 

 

*In Jewish weddings, a “Yichud room” is where a bride and groom go right after the ceremony for a bit. Traditionally it’s for couples who don’t touch before marriage to like shake hands or something (I’m clearly well versed in my religion) but mostly it’s for brides and grooms to eat from the smorgasbord that gets delivered to their room. And then they can eat and I guess talk shit about people’s outfits without them hearing.

Stanford Wedding Experiment

14 Aug

Everyone gather around, actor announcement. Well two.

1. I haven’t kept y’all updated on my no-buying pledge I impulsively took last month. I have really tried to not buy useless clothing, or shop when I’m bored or sad and so far that has been working pretty well. I bought leggings yesterday because all of mine are getting worn-in from me wearing them all winter (and get that judgmental look off your face because leggings as pants are HELLA comfortable)  and I also bought a new dress for my engagement party. But that’s IT.

2. Huh? Engagement party? Whose? Well mine ding-dongs. I finished work and now my work blog is a wedding blog. Feminism!

Well, it’s a little hard to jam-pack into this blog about who/what/where/when/why because I need something to talk about when I am in real life and start stories just to have the other person go “Yeah, I know. I read it on your blog.” Very sad for Real Life Aviva. But anyways, I knew it was going to happen some time after my internship ended and school started. Since I have one more semester at UMD and I am a Jewess whose parents don’t believe in shacking up before marriage, I am getting hitched (I make it sound so romantic right?) But no, I’m really happy if a little overwhelmed. This week has been at least very interesting.

Firstly, I realized just how uncomfortable I am when good things happen to me. Not in a Ray Romano something-bad-is-going-to-happen-now kind of way but a I-would-rather-everyone-have-the-exact-amount-of-happiness-as-me-or-I-don’t-know-how-to-process kind of way. Love is so arbitrary and I feel so lucky but I wish I could be happy without feeling guilty. I like when awkward and/or terrible things happen to me because those are more interesting than a wonderful perfect proposal, no one wants to hear about how great everything is with you. I mean, my Bubby does but everyone else wants dirt on how hilariously hard things are, I’ve learned in my short time on this planet.

Secondly, you’re all familiar with the Stanford Prison experiment right? (You are if you took Psych100 – also know as WakeMeUpWhenIStartSnoringMollie101, it was at 3 p.m.) It basically explores what happens when you give people too much power and how fast they become sadistic dictators. I think that’s what happens with weddings and why we have the term Bridezilla.

I never was the girl who planned her wedding or liked Bride Wars or 27 Dresses. I watched TLC’s Four Weddings because it was so ridiculous. I am the Miranda of my group, cynically making fun of over the top affairs, secretly wishing to get married in some backyard in a white romper.

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I didn’t know this was a thing until I Googled it but shut up and take my money.

I had planned on being a benevolent bride, letting people do whatever they want. But something’s happened in the past 7 days. I mentioned before that I don’t feel comfortable with too much power. I stress out when I have to choose what movie we’re all going to watch. But people (my mom) are now constantly telling me “This is YOUR special day” “Everything is up to YOU” “We will do whatever YOU want.” And I found myself saying things like “Well, if your sister doesn’t want to use the designer I choose then she doesn’t have to be a bridesmaid” or “Why do my color choices have to revolve around the fact that everyone in my party is a redhead?!”

Image

“DYE YOUR HAIR OR DON’T COME”

Even as I was saying them, I was like that seems a little dramatic. It’s the most interesting/crazy feeling to simultaneously care so much  yet  so little about something. I am definitely seeing how those guards got used to so much power. I hope no one ever puts me in charge of anything real. I need someone to walk around with me all day like “Stop being a Bridetator”

Another interesting side point from all these shenanigans is that I didn’t want a ring. So my fiance got me a necklace. When I mentioned this a few weeks ago to a friend’s sister, she was like “But….all girls want a ring. You’re supposed to get a ring,” as she flashed her own giant finger bling. Well no, not all girls want rings for a variety of reasons. Mine are: rings get caught in my clothes, I sleep with my hands under my face, my fingers swell in the summer and also I would take it off all the time and definitely lose it in 5 seconds. A couple of people have given me side glances like “What a freak – she doesn’t wanna wear a lower/middle-class person year’s salary on her hand to show people she’s betrothed. Weirdo.”  Engagement rings have an interesting history, did you know in Colonial times, men gave women thimbles as a “symbol of undying companionship?” (And also a not-so-subtle hint that she’s gonna be pretty busy sewing up some socks and pants forevz) Don’t even get me started on diamonds. That being said, if you have a diamond ring I’m sure it is beautiful  and amazing and I’m going to stop talking about them in front of you now…

So to sum up, I am much better at talking about my internship than this impending wedding thing. I don’t really know what will happen with this blog. Will I get a handle on it all? Will I pass my on-line business class final next week?  What’s going to happen on Orange is the new Black?!?!

Stay tuned.

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