Monday, December 20, 2010

Prioritizing My Future Finances

Once I was at Barnes and Noble, and I saw a tote for sale. On this tote, there was a quote (that rhyme was completley unintentional) that said something along the lines of, "I spend the little money I earn on books first, and then the rest on food and clothing." But obviously the quote was in more sophisticated language. Anyway, I've always associated myself wait that quote. Considering I prefer to buy books over going to libraries, I expect to accumulate many volumes over my lifetime, and eventually I will have quite a bit of money spent on books. I bet I currently have a least $2000 worth of books in my room, probably more than $2500. Basically, buying new books is more important than buying things like new clothes (don't get me wrong, I LOVE new clothes) or health food or gas or things like that.

But the thing is, it's not just books. Let's say, hypothetically, I'm living in New York as a young adult. I assume my job wouldn't be the best paying, and rent would be killer in addition to starting to pay off student loans. Oh, and food. But besides my weekly trips to Barnes and Noble, I'll also have access to the nearly fifty Broadway theatres, countless off and off-off Broadway shows, concerts, ballets, operas, symphonies, museums, and all the other amazing things the city has to offer. How will I be able to resist spending an insane amount of money appreciating these things and contributing to feeding the mouths of struggling artists? Obviously I will take advantage of the many wonderful free displays of art, and I'll enter the lottos for Broadway shows, but I just don't see myself getting around being an avid patron of the arts when living in a city like New York or LA or anywhere along those lines.

If you're wondering what brought this one, I have three reasons.
1: Seeing Arielle and Lyla dance in The Nutcracker with my sister; I have a great appreciation for ballet, among other forms of dance.
2: Spending time at the Music Center Plaze, due to my new position on the Center Theatre Group's Student Advisory Committee. I'll give you more details on that later, but I'm spending a lot of time around other artists and performance centers and it's all just great. And CULTURED.
3. The lack of culture in a certain city in a certain Midwestern sate I am currently staying in. No offense to my best friend Jordan, but she has a lack of understanding of the arts. I love the girl like no other, but I need my theatre kids. Or at least my kids with an appreciation of theatre.

The only reason I'm even awake right now is because there's supposed to be a lunar eclipse tonight. Everyone else went to bed and set their alarms. Come on? Don't people know how to stay up late anymore?

Happy birthday on December 21 to Thomas Becket (we literally just turned in our Canterbury Tales essays in English...), Jane Fonda (I'm helping CTG promote a play she's in), Samuel Jackson (I'm running out of things worthy of being put in parentheses), Jeffery Katzenberg, Ray Romano, Kiefer Sutherland, and Jackson Rathbone.

Please ignore any spelling or grammatical errors in this post. I hate writing on other peoples computers, so I have no desire to go back and check anything over. Thanks!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Favorite Pen

I have this pen. I've had it forever, at least two years. It's one of those twist-y pens but it looks like there's a cap stuck on the end. It's green and has the logo of the musical Wicked all over it. It's the best pen ever. And today I thought about what would happen if it ran out of ink. I don't know what I'd do with myself. Maybe I could find a picture to get you to understand...

Isn't it beautiful? I've never posted a picture on my blog. I should do it more often.

Okay, back on topic. I hate pencils and pens that don't write smoothly suck. This pen is perfect. It doesn't give my hand cramps and it isn't too dark or too light. I use it for everything. So I decided, if it ever runs out of ink I will have to either buy a new one, or if that isn't possible find one just as awesome. But hopefully it just never runs out of ink.


I get to visit my best friend Jordan tomorrow. She lives in the Midwest, but was born in California. I don't understand the motive behind that one either. But anyway, she lives there now and we only see each other about once a year. So I am one excited girl. I'm all jumpy and I've been dancing around all day.

DANCING. That reminds me, I saw two of my best friends, Arielle and Lyla, perform in The Nutcracker ballet. They were both amazing, and I feel like you people of the interweb should know that.

I'm too frazzled to write comprehensively. I just needed to get at least a couple of my thoughts into words. Trust me, if you found this blog post confusing and irrelevant, imagine what having my brain feels like.

Before I go into birthdays, I'd like to let you know that as I was researching people born today, I came across the name Charles Wesley. I thought it said Charles Weasley and I got really excited. It didn't say Charles Weasley.... okay then.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO Franz Ferdinand, Joseph Stalin, Gladys Cooper, Betty Grable, Keith Richards, Steven Speilberg, Leonard Maltin, Brad Pitt, Rachel Griffiths, Katie Holmes, Christina Aguilera, and Bridget Mendler.

And always remember, communism is funny. Happy holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Jewish Girl's View on Christmas

Through the years, my thoughts on the annual celebration of Jesus's birth have varied. I've never been in the kind of family that celebrated Christmas in a secular manner in order to prevent me from feeling left out. And yes, those families sadly exist. But not mine. Chanukah is very important to my entire extended family and many traditions are followed consistently.

And Christmas was always just that holiday some of my friends celebrated. I knew from a young age that Santa Claus wasn't real, but that wasn't something I could ever bring up to my Christian friends. So I didn't. However, once I did witness a friend finding out from her step-mom that Santa was in fact fictional. It was slightly awkward for my nine-year-old-self. Especially since at that age my thoughts on the holiday were slightly bitter.

My main issue with Christmas wasn't that it got too much attention, but simply that Chanukah didn't get any. Especially since I live in a very Jewish community, you would think Chanukah would be represented by more then just an electric menorah over-shadowed by a giant, completely decorated Christmas tree. The concept of Judaism as a minority religion didn't really make sense to me, considering that obviously my family and a good majority of my friends were of the same religion. Not for any discriminatory reasons, but simply because I do live in a very Jewish area, and between Hebrew School, Jewish summer camp, and activities at temple, I do encounter a lot of Jews. SO, the fact that Christmas was such a huge deal blew my mind.

The worst of my anti-Christmas cheer was always experienced at Disneyland. I go to Disneyland almost every single year on Christmas Day, and to put it plainly, it looks like Santa Claus threw up all over the happiest freakin' place on Earth. I love Disneyland, more than almost anywhere, but Chanukah is important and deserves recognition.

So you see, my early relationship with Christmas wasn't the best. Another reason I think I lacked a good mood around the holidays was due to the absence of white Christmases in Los Angeles. In New York, I've heard from eye witnesses that people actually change over the holidays, like in the movies. In LA nothing is different. And if it is I want to know where.

I assure you, however, that my present day view on Christmas is much more mature. I have come to accept the holiday as extremely secularized, and the thousands of advertisements and decorations are in no way attempts for me to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but to get me to buy stuff. Oh, and Jesus was born in the spring, the holiday was moved to December 25th to coincide with Winter Solstice and avoid persecution from Pagans.

Due to this mature outlook on the holiday season, I have been able to pin point my favorite thing about Christmas: the resulting fiction! Every year I cry during It's a Wonderful Life, some of the greatest scenes in Harry Potter are over Christmas, so many romantic comedies come out in December, and I totally got teary-eyed during tonight's episode of Glee when Santa made Artie able to walk! I also love Christmas music, especially considering "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting...)" and "White Christmas" were both written by Jews. And even Barbra Streisand has come out with a Christmas CD. It's understandable, not that many people would be a Barbra Streisand Chanukah CD. My favorite Christmas songs, however, are the non-denominational classics "Let It Snow" and "Walking in a Winter Wonderland." Nothing like some good non-religious winter cheer.

Happy birthday to Theodor Schwann, Louis Prima, Eli Wallach, Ted Knight, Sara Bareilles, Jennifer Carpenter, Aaron Carter, and Emily Browning.

On a final note, this blog is in honor of the victims on the attack of Pearl Harbor and my dog Shayna, who died today four years ago. She was the best dog ever.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Woes of Money in the Holiday Season

I have a lot of friends. A lot of friends who buy me presents and I buy presents for in return. This is a problem when my debit card gets declined thanks to the fact that someone (that means you, Dad) has been neglecting to keep up with my weekly transactions and I couldn't afford to buy a month late birthday present for Sammy. And this present (which I won't mention in case she reads this) was really cool and took me FOREVER to custom make. But my card got declined. Thanks, Dad.

My money problems don't stop here. Usually what I do for presents is go to Cost Plus and buy tons of different tzotchkes on tiny things and come home and put them in bags with candy or something cute. But when you're buying for 15 to 20 people, even more sometimes, it all adds up.

I have a steady income from babysitting, but I've been haven't had a job in a couple weeks and I need more cash. And I'm a great babysitter too! Kids love me! Hire me! Please! But I'm not desperate or anything.

I just realized House was on tonight. I need to go watch that and then continue watching Bones Season 5 on Netflix. So much TV, so little time.

I won't do birthdays because I did December 6th birthdays this morning which was sort of last night since I hadn't gone to bed yet. So everyone I said happy birthday to, happy birthday again!

Scratch what I said two paragraphs ago... House isn't back until January. More Bones for me then. I love this show so much. I watched nine episode in a 36 hour time frame.

I have no life.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I need to post more often.

Being in a contemplative state isn't healthy. In the immortal words of Gaston, "Lefou, you know I've been thinking. [A dangerous pastime] I know."

Thinking, albeit important and necessary to live a valuable existence, only leads to problems. When ever I think to much I either sink into a tearful depression or get really pissed off about something. And any of my friends would testify to the fact that I over think and over analyze absolutely everything. But hey, that's what a five year and running career in the English Honors world will do to a girl. That, and watching one to many chick flicks.

In case you were wondering, the topic I have been thinking too much about is college. And I know that isn't unusual, but it's extremely stressful. I don't exactly know what I want to major in (or for that matter what I want to do with my life), so I have been trying to plan my high school career accordingly by taking as many challenging courses as possible (except in the science and math areas), and this is causing many scheduling conflicts in the future. Next year I might even take a zero period, which means getting to school a full hour and forty minutes before the rest of the student body. I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I'm running out of options if I want to get nine classes out of the way next year. Most students take six in a year, but I'm planning on taking one over the summer, one after school, and one before school.

I'm going to die. That's it. If the Mayans are correct I'm not making it past winter vacation of my senior year anyway. What's the point in trying?

Oh yeah. I don't believe anything the Mayans said.

It's funny how belief and disbelief are both used in the same manner. (WARNING: You are entering a random tangent zone.) I mean, don't people use religion and lack thereof to accomplish the same thing, justification? When something bad happens, a religious person says, "Well, God must have a plan," when a non-religious person would say, "Well, there is no plan." That didn't make as much sense as it did in my head. And in case you didn't know, I'm Jewish.

Religion is another thing that thinking too much about can end destructively. That sounded bad too. I'm all for the questioning of one's faith, I've been encouraged to do so as far as Judaism goes, but I feel like people, especially my age, get so worked up about things. People get so angry at each other and speak without thinking and say things that are really offensive. My opinion is that if you're religion makes you happy and you aren't hurting anyone, go for it. But I've heard some pretty hurtful things said over this topic. Friends telling friends they're going to burn in hell, making fun of a culture, denying someone's sexuality, and all sorts of other things that were just completely out of line. High school is not a place to preach. It is a place to discuss, and maybe even argue, but one of my biggest pet peeves is having a belief forced on me. I never bring up religion in a secular setting, but I try to speak politely and with tact when other's do. I don't really understand why religious and non-religious people don't do the same.

Rant over. I honestly don't know what brought that on. That's just how my brain works, I jump subjects much quicker then most people. It's really funny actually, sometimes I have to explain to people how I got on a topic. We could be talking about what to eat for dinner, and then I think about food, and then I think about Italian food, and then I think about this cute little Italian restaurant I went to in New York, and then I think about the creepy guy with a video camera who was acting suspiciously by their bathroom, and then I think about suspicious behavior in general, which reminds me of creepy things, which reminds of the trailer I saw for The Black Swan, which reminds me of ballet, which reminds me of my friend Arielle who is currently in rehearsals for The Nutcracker, which causes me to inquire whether we have purchased tickets or not. Except this all happens in less then one second. And in my brain. So I get weird stares a lot. I started talking about Tina Fey once during a Socratic seminar on women in The Renaissance. I'm a strange person sometimes. Or all the time. What ever.

Happy birthday to Ira Gershwin, Judd Apatow, and quite a few other people. It is also my cousin Yoav's birthday, whom I miss very much due to his current residency in Israel and the fact that I haven't seen him in almost a year. And Happy fifth day of Chanukah. I hope you've all been enjoying the holiday. Shalom Aleichem.