RochelLeah's RealLife

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NPR : Publicly Funded Hebrew Charter School Opens in Fla.

NPR : Publicly Funded Hebrew Charter School Opens in Fla.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Blogs

As of today, I am moving on to a new chapter of my life and two new blogs...

Bride, Not Bridezilla will share some of my writing from the period of my engagement and my continuing adventures in the new marriage to J.

Rabbi Rochel's RealLife will be filled with less personal items of interest to my students and others who are interested in what I'm thinking about with my rabbi hat on. (Or should that be a kippah?)

Please resubscribe to the blog with your blog reader of choice. I like Bloglines...

Friday, July 28, 2006

All that pacing doesn't have to be useless...

Some British cities may soon install footfall-powered generators in crowded pedestrian areas. Just think of the home and office possibilities... a version for parents pacing with their infants, trying to lull them to sleep... one for hospital emergency waiting rooms... dance clubs that power themselves...

NPR : Gives New Meaning to the Electric Slide...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My new favorite wine

When Joshua and I were in Israel, we visited the Carmel Winery in Zichron Yaakov. Carmel has recently developed a new line of regional wines (Appellation Wines), of which we purchased two bottles. We waited quite a while before opening our precious stash. The first bottle we opened was the Carmel Appellation Merlot, 2003. It is awesome. I am not a red drinker... but I fell in love. The Merlot is juicy and I don't even know how else to describe it. It was awesome with beef kabobs, but we devoured the second half of the bottle (carefully stored with a Vacu-Vin) with a Robusto cheese during a recent memorable picnic (more on that later), and I think that might be an even better matching.

At this time, during which Israel needs our economic support (as well as other types), maybe you should seek out and purchase a bottle?

The best price I've found is at If you have some bizarre desire to pay more... there are a number of places selling it in the $30 range.

Carmel is also wowing reviewers with other new wines. The ones I still want to taste are the ecstatically reviewed Carmel Sha'al Late Harvest Gewurztraminer and the well-reviewed Carmel Limited Edition 2003, a red blend.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mother Jones Guilt

For reasons I don't entirely remember, I subscribed some time ago to Mother Jones magazine. My logic probably was influenced by a desire for vicarious social activism. Since I've been on break from school, I've actually started reading it. I can only do this about an article at a time, though, because every time I read Mother Jones I feel really depressed. And really angry. And really guilty.

The last issue (May/June) featured Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) on eating locally produced food. So I feel guilty about not being as careful about checking the origin of my produce and completely relying on the midwestern Kosher meat and poultry in my local California Trader Joes for Shabbat dinner. Then there was the two-page spread on how the rich get richer. Which, I would swear, raised my blood pressure about twenty points. That spread was followed up in the current issue (July/August) by another two-pager on why the poor get poorer. ("Bush has dedicated $750 million to “healthy marriages” by diverting funds from social services, mostly child care.") The same issue informed me about the ecological harm caused by gold mining (...but I like pretty things... whine, whine) as well as the ways in which infertility doctors are keeping healthy lesbian couples from conceiving (pissing me off entirely) and making decisions regarding accepting patients in order to raise and sustain their success statistics (pissing me off somewhat less).

On the one hand, I feel like I should be an informed person, live a more sustainable lifestyle (althought I really do try...), rail against the government, and volunteer for good causes. On the other hand... it's frankly overwhelming.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Religious Bodies Move To Probe Conditions At Kosher Meat Plant

This guilt-ridden meat-eater hopes that someone will finally do something to make the Kosher meat plants respect their workers and their animals enough to observe aspects of Jewish law other than just the slaughter of the animals.

Religious Bodies Move To Probe Conditions At Kosher Meat Plant

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Contact Lenses vs. Eyeglasses

I got contacts today, for the first time in probably eight years. I gave up on them when I spent a year in Israel, due to the dryness and pollution of Jerusalem's air. Due to a couple passing suggestions from J., combined with a desire to do downward dog and triangle pose without my glasses falling off my face and do other sporty things without steaming up my glasses, I decided that the time had come for me to go back to contacts.

I had forgotten how different glasses and contacts are. The first thing I noticed was, "Why does everything at an arms' length or closer look so HUGE?" Apparently this is because I'm actually seeing them their natural, undistorted size. Going clothes shopping was very odd... I kept wanting to try on clothes that were slightly too small because they looked like the clothes I was trying on before (which my glasses made smaller). As I speak, my laptop looks enormous. Seriously. My keyboard looks larger than should fit my hands... but my hands look bigger, too.

The other thing I'm noticing is that my eyes have a harder time focusing on written things. I can read fine, but it feels like it takes more work. I suppose that's why my old optometrist told me that, if I went back to wearing contacts, I should wear very mild reading glasses with them.

It's all going to take a lot of getting used to, but I'm excited to see the look on J's face when I see him on Thursday.

Contact Lenses vs. Eyeglasses