Saturday, December 26, 2009
2. My mom and I were pulling out of a shopping mall when we saw an unfortunate-looking minivan sitting there, the weight of the antediluvian vehicle flopping over its own tires. My mom waved it ahead, and as the van huffed and puffed to pull in front of us, the driver gave us the most exuberant TWO THUMBS UP.
3. Today I was in line at the Post Office, aka the 7th Circle of Hell. The line was long and the store's decor horrifying. The man in front of me had a couple packages to send, much to my chagrin as I had but one measly letter to drop off. When he got up to the counter, I realized that my annoyance was satanic since he was apparently the nicest guy in America. He was kind to the poor post office cashier, cracking bad jokes and asking questions. It was soon apparent that this guy had done nothing right; he bought the wrong postage, forgot a zip code, wrote "priority" when he didn't mean "priority." His trip to the post office was a disaster. And yet, even after the line-waiting, he brushed it off with a "Oh, I'm always forgetting something!" and "You can charge me extra for my mistakes" to the point where I just wanted to buy him some collectors' stamps for his trouble.
Monday, October 12, 2009
2. I was in desperate search for baklava, but so far from Albany Park. I walked up a few blocks and found a fancy restaurant which I knew served my very favorite dessert but felt intimidated about asking for it to go. No matter, I charged in anyway and asked the host if I could buy a few pieces. He seemed to understand my plight and replied, "NOOOO problem!"
Not only did he arrange them in a lovely box for me, but he gave me a dollar off, AND a coupon. He explained, "Because you're so kind!" but I think he was just being Lebanese about everything. My favorite thing about Arabs at large is how generous they are with food. This is a huge part of Middle Eastern culture--the sharing of food with friends and strangers--and I see it in every Middle Eastern restaurant in the city. Even the fancy ones.
3. Warm clothes on a cold night
Friday, October 9, 2009
[4-year-olds lift their feet in the air and laugh hysterically]
Me: Let's make burritos!
[4-year-olds curl up into balls and laugh hysterically]
Me: What else should we make?
Chava, age 4: CHALLAH!
2. Cleaning the dance room by myself while listening to Tchaikovsky. Cleaning is my favorite part of work. It's relaxing, and meditative, and the smell of Swiffer spray is truly incomparable.
3. Feeling more inspiration to write.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
2. The surprising sight of the skyline at night. The skyline is surely one of the most spectacular man-made wonder. The Parthenon, the microchip, the skyline--they all evoke a similar awe at humankind's astounding creativity and desire for progress, and beauty.
3. A soul-enlivening conversation with 3-year-old Hana, who summarized for me the plot of "Mamma Mia" and told me that her 1-year-old brother was her hero.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
2. The smell of my rosemary plant
3. Not missing the 5:21 train, for once in my life. A few precious free minutes before work to walk up and down a few of Evanston's mansion-lined streets, so quiet and stately in the very early morning light. Being up so early feels like being let in on a secret. I love sleep but I love to wake up.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
a. you meet her at church
b. she is wearing a long red beaded necklace that she has wrapped several times around her neck
c. within 45 seconds of introducing yourself, you are already talking about:
-feminine energy in a living space
-women's and sexuality studies in a religious context
2. The taste of baked thyme with olive oil, the surprising sound of new husband and wife speaking in Arabic from the kitchen. Hannah now has an Arabic last name, Lebanese cooking utensils sent from new relatives she has never met with exotic names like Noor and Fadi, and I now have access to all the za'atar I could ever want. And I want a lot.
3. "It looks like a tornado swept through a church camp you guys."
This is how I best spend my Saturday nights, this is my kind of party: pumpkin soup and hymns, 3 glasses of pinot grigio and going home with an entire apple pie.
Friday, August 28, 2009
2. A quiet, warm morning at work. Listening to Andrew Bird and rain simultaneously. Eating orange-honey toast, drinking Sencha tea. I can feel fall on my skin already, and I relish it.
3. A tall man with long beard who topped his head with a yarmulke came pushing a stroller into the cafe. He ordered a hot chocolate [one of the most charming orders I must say], and I followed up, "Anything else?" He peered into the stroller and whispered, "Naomi, do you want anything?" The infant remained asleep. "Nope, she doesn't want anything," he told me.
Living in Rogers Park and working in Evanston, I am an instant part of a couple communities of which I am not actually a member: I live next to Loyola which unfortunately makes me feel like I'm living in a giant frat house sometimes; I work next to Northwestern which quite wonderfully makes me feel like I live in J. Crew catalog sometimes. And I particularly enjoy the Jewish community on the North Shore. I love how many times I hear the word "schlep" a day. I love the way my boss always exclaims "God bless!" whenever I do something well--"You're cleaning? God bless!" I love that meeting folks from Israel is a daily occurence. I love how many people I've met named Saul. I love how I have seen more yarmulkes in the past three months than I have in 22 previous years of life.