Thursday, December 5, 2013

Getting back to the fight!

This Holiday season boldly reminded me that giving back is in my nature, and that the last time I did anything non profit was summer (yikes!). So I got back to work, back to advocacy, and back to the fight!

People are right when they say that networking really pays off. Once I put my mind in the right spot to find non profit opportunities, I found out my second cousin (Someone I've known since childhood) is on the board of NCJW, or the National Council of Jewish Women, Chicago North Shore Chapter. Now I just don't go willy nilly fighting for any cause, but it just so happens that many of the things this organization stands for are things I already support, just with a Jewish twist. Oh did you all forget that i am Jewish? :P  Check them out here  http://ncjwcns.org/.

They are this amazing liberal organization that supports women and children, tackling everything from domestic violence, to environmental issues, community service to kids programs, and poverty to Jewish holidays. I mean, it covers a wide niche, and has a place for a lot of people including me. However, whenever an organization has a religious or cultural twist, I am always skeptical, but after reading and talking with my cousin about it, it had most of the things I was looking for, and I was very excited to help.

So here I am, currently volunteering a few hours a week for my cousin to help with some organizational and administrative tasks. A message for everyone is that if you reach out to groups like these, they will find an opportunity that works for you, whether that is a one time event or a long term commitment.

Also in the works is a possible volunteering gig for an arts organization.......crossing my fingers!

This season, find time to give back and support your passions!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Caramel Apple Spice

the girl next to me goes back and fourth, back and fourth, between sounding eerily like a girl who has had a huge fight with her friend sitting diagonally from her in a triangle of three, where anger and manipulation are the key tones, and then turns into a sweet, advice giving person, laughing with her best friend. It doesn't help that she, appearing the strongest personality or the entirely dominant of the three, is talking in 40 percent english, and 60 percent something I dont understand, so its not spanish or english. The other two are much better at dividing their conversations, they finish each sentence at least in one language before switching to the other. They are literally practically on top of me, as I am in a corner in a soft leather lounger, part of a set of four, two facing the other two, and they took one and turned it to make a triangle. Here is a diagram for your reference, excuse my windows paint skills.



So don't take any of this negatively, I dont mind these women, or anyone else here for that matter. As you may well know I find human behavior, especially in public places fascinating. In a way I love these women for inspiring this blog post as a stream of my surroundings.

On the contrary completely, the table far in front of (above) me are two beautiful women, I am assuming students because of the work that they are doing, being very polite and quiet with their laptops lightly chatting and one was even skyping, but quiet to the point that I couldn't hear what she was saying. They are both wearing hjabs, another grouping of culture I know nothing about.

In the everyone else category, are a few randoms and the small little no space for anything tables they put stupidly in coffee shops, not really saving any space no matter what kind of three chair set up they use around it.  But mostly their are moms, or that's what I have assumed from their nature, their look, their walks, what they were all doing here at once. at least a dozen of them all walked in the door at once, and spent over ten minutes trying to reconfigure half the shop so they could all sit with each other and not leave anyone out. they are actually on their way out now, and the noise level has reduced by half, and the shop is inching closer to the emptiness I found when I first got here. I guess 7pm is a busy time for coffee, but 6:40 was dead. I got a night way different than expected hear.but this is what happens at the local starbucks. Changes by the second, as is life. Peace.

PS: When i come to starbucks at night I order Caramel Apple Spice, not coffee. :P

Sam



Monday, October 28, 2013

Let ramble into Halloween shall we?

Oh hi there? been a while hasn't it. yeah well life's got me busy. working full time kicks my butt some times. I feel like i used to do so much more, I was in school full time, and usually working 20-30 hours a week, plus about another 10-15 hours of community and organizational work. lets just say four years f college, burnt me out just as much as it changed and inspired me. I feel like soon I will get to a point where I catch a balance and enjoy parts of life. Money's tight however, doing a job that I love, so once I also balance my finances, I will feel more comfortable going out and having a little fun. don't get me wrong, I still see friends (does two count?) but we just hang out or get coffee, or hanging out revolves around driving one said person to work when she oversleeps. but then we always blast the music, fight about how shes putting to much makeup on, and end with a "get out, your going to make me late for work, love you bye". Life is treating me exceptionally well for the most part. My grandparents have graciously let me stay with them, and when I am actually home before 10 at night, feed me amazing, home-cooked Jewish food that I remember from my childhood. believe me I'm watching myself before I gain 10 pounds. However they keep kosher, and I spend so many meals at work that I usually by about half my own groceries for lunches and dinners and keep and eat them there.And that way I can have cheese on my turkey sandwich.

My trusty handy best and worst rustbucket that ever happened to me, my nissan truck, finally went kuput this summer, (I may have mentioned this), forcing me to take on a car payment. An unexpected but welcome and gratefully amazing change. My air works. My heat works. It doesnt go clunk. I am lucky if i have to fill the tank once a week. All compliments here. The newness to me still hasnt worn yet. Its useful, and oh so fun.

Mentioning fun, I hope you all will be having a fantastical week celebrating Halloween. Its one of my favorite holidays. I know a lot of people (adults and kids alike) went out over the weekend, and I hope it was hip hop and happening, with lots of sweets to nibble and nosh on. However boring and cheap me didn't go out to any bar parties or anything last Saturday night, but don't worry I got tricks up my sleeve for Thursday! My best friend and I are dressing up together, with her going as Fran Fyne from The Nanny (TV show), and me going as Val (Fran's best friend). We went all out, wigs and vintage clothes, and a skit being prepared in character to greet the trick or treaters. After all the afternoon goodies are given out, we plan to go to dinner in character, and make people laugh there socks off. Pictures will be posted, don't you worry.

Plans, Planning, and being Planned. All things on my to do list, how about yours? Happy Halloween, and as always, Peace.

Sam


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hey fellow hippies and hipsters (and everyone else, I guess you can come along too :P ), I've started a youtube channel! If any of y'all remember a long while back I wanted to get more into video blogging, and then never got around to it sadly because of many technological mishaps. However my channel is up and running and it will hopefully be an easy way to keep up with my life! If you are thinking aaaaah but what about writing! Don't you worry your little head I will keep writing to my hearts content on here (because honestly typing can sometimes be very theraputic!). Sorry there hasnt been much this summer, but seriously there are 5 videos up with a 6th on the way, so that should keep you busy! :P Peace -Sam

My personal window just for you yes you into my crazy world as told by youtube

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

#Doma #Prop8 #SCOTUS

Yup those were the three most popular tags on twitter at least at one point this morning. And for the first time there was not a "tell your (insert politician here) to tell the supreme court to rule on....."

That to me was so exciting. I now know that in my lifetime I will be able to get married. I now know that I am valued to the country I live in.

Now I know these decisions will not have that many immediate effects. What it does is say that any state that has approved or will approve same sex marriages can't take it back, ever. And yes DOMA is officially dead. We have the desicion around PROP 8 to thank for this, and in a weird way we must thank prop 8 itself. If prop 8 had never happened, (as horrible as it was), the constitutional debate over same sex marriage would have never entered the legal arena to the scale that it did. However, in today's decision, there is nothing given down that says that the fed govt or the states that don't have SS marriages, have to have them. There is not going to be a law (yet) that forces them too. I feel that the video below definitely explains it right in saying that it sets a moral standard for the entire country that are marriages should be allowed and recognized, but does not technically force any legal change in states that don't have it.

That leads me to the other decision. People in states that do not have ss marriages are going to continue the fight to have there state laws change, and although the moral example the supreme court has set will help their cases, that alone sadly will not win them. However what I believe will help them win the cases is the Tax Desicion. In the next one or two year, or however much time is legally needed to change it, same sex couples who are married in states that allow their marriages will now be allowed to file joint tax returns and receive all equal federal benefits as a hetero couple. In short, the federal govt has to recognize all same sex marriages. The question lies is it fair/constitutional to deny those tax benefits to couples (although unmarried) in other states? (obviously I believe its wrong, but I alone am not going to change the governor of Mississippi's mind).

So that my shpeal/opinion/explanation. I am happy. I am ecstatic. But there is of course still more work to be done. However I believe it will get done a lot faster than previously anticipated because of these decisions. So enjoy NBC's analysis that I have found I believe does it justice and explains it in a way that is understandable. Peace -Sam



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