~ Tuesday, November 01, 2005 ~
I caught a cold. Leave it to me to wait until the city air becomes all fragrant and sweet to lose my sense of smell. Hmph. (I have a few theories about that, by the way: one is that the companies that supply us all with halloween candy were going into crazy-production mode and the sugary scent was wafting out all over; the other is that we set our clocks so far back that we went right by 2 am of 10/30 and landed on 2 am on 4/1, and the city responded with a really great April Fool's Day joke.) Neither The Advocate nor I smelled the maple syrup, by the way, and her sense of smell is still in good working order, so possibility number three is that the emperor is naked.
Sick little girls aren't permitted to go to work and make other people sick, and as such, I am not at work this morning. I probably ought to spend my time researching for my next paper, or preparing for my next presentation, but I miss blogging, and I've let over a month go by without updating, so that's enough of an excuse to blow off work to blog for a while. Enough of an excuse for me, anyway. Oh, and if that isn't enough, Graham and his fellow masochists are beginning the annual ritual known as National Noggin-Wringing Month today, so I figure my writing can be a show of solidarity. (Yay, authors! Write write write!! Wra wra wra!) Maybe next year The Advocate will participate also. She has a good idea, but she just doesn't want to mess it up by writing it down, and I can sympathize with that fear (why do you think it takes me so darn long to write papers?) but I think she might gain more satisfaction from writing it than not writing it at all.
So many bloggable bits of news since last I posted. I finished up a few posts from the summer that had been languishing in the indefinite limbo of roughdraftiness, so now you can read about my trip to the Camden aquarium and about how I still can't think of the title to that one tune (and I still can't). Earth-shattering stuff, I know, but they were sitting there bothering me with their unfinishedness, and now they're done.
Remember how I said I work in a dance shoe store? We're open every day, including Sundays. On Sundays we're open from noon till 6. People don't quite believe that a small business like ours could be opened on Sundays, even in New York, and so on one particular Sunday, all day long, would-be dance shoe buyers were calling us to ask if we were open, and if so, until what hour. It became very repetitive:
Phone: Me! Me! Pay attention to me!
Employee: Hello, this is Dance Shoe Store?
Employee: 6 o'clock.
Employee: Thank you, good bye.
over and over again. So at one point after just taking my seventh (I counted) are-you-open-today phone call, I said to Luna, my co-worker, "Okay, next time I answer the phone I'm going to answer it with, 'Thank you for calling Dance Shoe Store. We are open today from noon till 6 pm. We are located at 123 Sesame St. in Manhattan, New York. If you would like to speak to a representative, please press one.' " Luna didn't respond with much more than a smile, that being her nature, but I suspect she was quietly disapproving, and maybe she was right, but I really wanted to see what would happen. Less than a minute later:
Phone: Me! Me!
Me: [pause, deep breath] Thank you for calling Dance Shoe Store. We are open today from 12 noon until 6 o'clock pm. We are located at 123 Sesame St. in Manhattan, New York. If you would like to speak to a representative, please press one.
Other end of phone: [garbled chatter] [beep]
Me (switching tones of voice): Hello, Dance Shoe Store?
Other end: Hello? Hello? Are you open today?
Me: We're open till 6 pm.
Other end: Okay, where are you located?
I don't know if that counts as a successful experiment or a failure, but it was definitely worth it.
I've also been wanting to write about this odd little compendium of experiences that I've been amassing since I left rabbinic school. First, as I already mentioned several months ago, I was tapped to officiate at my friends' wedding. That was ironic enough all by itself. Secondly, a few months after I agreed to officiate the wedding, my friend Rob, who recently became a father, asked me to perform his daughter's naming ceremony, and boy do I feel underqualified, but I said yes because he is my friend and I think it's important that his daughter have a naming ceremony, though I'm not sure I can justify that opinion yet beyond saying that when she's older, she might want to look at pictures of her naming ceremony in the photo album or something, and there ought to be pictures for her to see. Thirdly, I was sitting at Cuny's library's computer bank typing an e-mail after my British Moral Philosophy class, and some guy came up to the computer bank, sat down at the computer across from me, and blurted out, "How do I become Jewish?" I stammered out the name of West End Synagogue's rabbi, their phone number, and the free beginning Hebrew classes offered through Manhattan Jewish Experience. Apparently this guy is a Puerto Rican Roman Catholic, but his cousin is marrying into a Jewish family, and he wants to make his home welcoming to them (go him), so actually he's not sure if he wants to convert or if he just wants to learn a whole bunch of stuff about the religion, but he decided that the best way to do it would be to ask the random girl at the computer in Cuny's library. Now granted, I look nothing if not Jewish, especially in the hat and curls, but still! Random girl in the library! And apparently I'm the first person he's ever asked. I am not making this up.
It's just weird, because I really don't think there's anything intrinsic about me that exudes rabbi, and that it's only the fact that I was in rabbinic school that caused people to associate me with rabbinicality (which has maybe a little to do with why I'm doing something else now), and yet I keep on finding myself in situations where I have to do rabbi-type stuff. It's weird, the way it follows me around. This could either mean I really ought to go right back to rabbinic school because I'm clearly destined to be doing this kind of stuff for the rest of my life anyway and I might as well do it professionally so I can be really good at it, or it could mean that I'm going to have the opportunity to do this stuff anyway whether I go to school for it or not, so there's no need to go to school for it, and I can go ahead and leave school without having any fear of losing my chance to do that sort of stuff throughout life. Or, of course, it could mean that the rabbinical aura is just taking a while to dissipate. :)
The last thing I've had on my mind is a piece about justice and benevolence, but that one I think I'll put in a separate post.
~ prattled by Miriam at 1:25 p.m. [+]
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