[Shabbat Edition 013]

Oooh lucky # 13. SHABBAT SHALOM Y’ALL. Happy Friday! I’ve been waiting–tapping fingers and all–for this day to arrive and here it is!

I came across this quote online yesterday. It’s very important and relevant to my life right now: You’re not stuck. You’re just committed to certain patterns of behavior because they helped you in the past. Now those behaviors have become more harmful than helpful. The reason why you can’t move forward is because you keep applying an old formula to a new level in your life. Change the formula to get a different result.”

A small synopsis

Life is all about the SOAs right now. Rehearsals have been every night for a few hours (except for tonight) but I still have work to do at the theatre once I’m done with work-work….so there’s that, then organizing who is going to take on / bring off what items during the show.

I haven’t been able to catch up with the Jewish world much at all — you know — all those 5,000 email newsletters I receive but I really hope I can settle in this weekend and catch up. I feel very left out.

On my very short lunch yesterday, I went through all of the events and things I have planned for next year….between Jewish Holidays and theatre stuff, I am almost completely booked up for all of 5780/2020. Oy vey. I know I’ve dropped a few things this year, but why do I love doing so much?!? There’s nothing else left to give up if need be! We’ll see what happens when it happens…

I’ve also decided–that once the SOAs are over–I will be taking the month of August to do multiple things, but one of the most important ones: gathering & finalizing my completed short 10-15 minute plays, looking them over for changes, and sending them out to places… It’s time. I’m sitting around watching everyone else do this and actually win or get chosen and I have done nothing to help myself. I call myself a writer for goodness sake, and I am in no where land right now. Time to get the ball rolling in my court for once. I think I am good enough to get picked or win something. Maybe?

Lessons Learned

Patience. Maybe it’s worth it… it seems worth it after what’s happened the last couple of weeks.

Everything still happens for a reason. Timing is absolutely everything.

Letting go of negative people and situations (no matter how much they may mean to us at the time or how long they’ve been in our lives) is the best solution to help one live their best life… I definitely know this is true.

What I have started or thought about is no accident… whether something doesn’t happen for a while like I wanted to at the time, it will happen later. This has happened with several avenues of my life. It’s amazing and crazy at the same time.

Events/Special Moments

I was going to say there hasn’t been, but this is pretty significant…. after a year and half, I broke my tradition of matzo ball soup and got nova nachos….which is another big thing: trying nova for the very first time.

I’m still looking back a few weeks on how special working Next Fall was, and my moment of conversion. And, Pride Shabbat was extra special too.

What am I looking forward to this week?

Apparently I have this weekend off, my plans (controlled by others) were completely cancelled. Good, now I can be lazy about and not do anything….because after this weekend, I’ll be going 21 days non stop and will lose 3 weekends.

Finishing up the rehearsals next week and packing everything to go to the CH for tech/hell week then performances.

I guess if 4th of the July is coming up soon, I might be walking in the small GP parade again? Last year I was a Pirate. Not sure what they have in mind this year.

Catching up on reading, writing my story, cleaning, organizing, and catching up on anything I may need to….

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

Pride Shabbat Weekend

I didn’t do a specific Shabbat entry on Friday due to coming right off 3 weeks of nothing but working performances of Next Fall (there’s already an entire entry dedicated to that), then going straight into working rehearsals for Summer One Acts. That means: I have not been able to do anything else. Can’t report on something that didn’t happen!

Friday I went to our Pride Shabbat. I was decked out in color and glitter, sat with my friend from my Jewish class to support to him as he read “Blessing for Pride” out loud in front of everyone. I wore last year’s kippah in celebration for both ONE YEAR at CBI and being able to wearing the first kippah I’ve received after becoming a Jew. This was also the first service I attended after my conversion. My friend (who also celebrated his one year at Pride Shabbat) asked, “Why are you wearing last years???” Ha. I told him the above, but I did grab a new one. I guess next year I’ll be caught up with the times and wear the one they’ll provide. It was just extra special for me to wear my first this year!

What a beautiful Shabbat service. We had both our Rabbi, some others that recited work, and then a Rabbi from Bradenton that spoke. His speech was beautiful and deep, and he spoke the actual true meaning of Pride (Stonewall)….of which I still have a lot to learn on this after being new to the LGBTQ world…. One thing I admire about him and would like to talk to him more is that he worked with Keshet, and I love that LGBTQ-Jewish specific organization so much… and would love to work with them one day. We read a prayer that was originally from Los Angeles Pride Parade. We recited every other paragraph and it was very emotional for me, especially when it came time to read “Prayer for the End of Hiding” with the speaker who led us to read. Both of those prayers can be found on my Instagram. I suggest you print them out or something, and tuck them closely to your heart.

Ever since that first day of finding light in Judaism in Dec 2017, I’ve been pretty loud and proud about my desire to become Jewish, and that’s not going to end now that I am Jewish. It was through my journey of becoming Jewish that I found out that I’m closer to the LGBTQ world than I thought. Back in school–many moons ago–an incident came up, I was questioned, and then I was very much put down, laughed at/talked down to in negativity and etc. I hid more than half my identity all throughout the years and lost myself deeply in the meantime. Meaning, I couldn’t be the true self that G-d placed me on this Earth to find and be. (Even though: I watched/lived/breathed Rent religiously, followed Lady Gaga when she spoke about the community, her major speech about the don’t ask don’t tell movement and Born This Way, falling in love with the song by Katy Perry “I Kissed a Girl”… and owning that t-shirt–from when I worked at Rue21 in 2008, the year it came out–is still my favorite, etc.) I have about 30 years to make up for my hiding. It wasn’t until I started working with the theatre, that it opened up another part of my soul, and through words of plays, characters, and writing (myself)… that I really began discovering me, then specifics to my journey to becoming Jewish helped with the rest. I am in the best place I’ve ever been, and people are really beginning to see the colorful and glittery girl that G-d intended me to be. I am going to be as loud and proud as possible of everything that I am… as AHAVA<3!

One day–and I hope soon–that I can be well on my way to help those that a) are Jewish but haven’t practiced it in a while or dropped it–find it again, b) find those Jewish souls who haven’t converted yet, and c) help those who are hiding come out and be proud…I just want to make a difference in the world, and in others lives.

I talked to a friend on the phone last night and she said, “You have already gone through so many changes this year…. and it’s not even half way through.. changes for like 20-something people!” Ha. I live a fast life. I love it. Wouldn’t trade the fast for anything. Even though, I wish my memory wasn’t getting so bad… but alas, I guess when: every day feels like one week and every week feels like one month… it’s bound to happen?

Now that I am about a week and half away from the day I converted….there are a few things I have considerably thought of the last few days of stuff that is changing, something I didn’t really have an answer to last week:

-the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that… I have had no problem blurting out what I think and without apologies. I used to sugar coat everything, but the last week and half, I haven’t been.

-decisions are being made more wholly (it that even the right spelling????), and I don’t spend that much time making up my mind anymore (on some things, still working on this a bit!)

-if it isn’t somewhat Jewish-related, bringing some sort of light, or happiness to my life… it’s going going gone. I’m working on that one day at a time. That’s the best I can do right now!

-I’m asking myself more questions like: what is truly close to your heart that you want to do–not because you feel you have to, but want to–and what is the right thing for you to do at this moment? (That has to do with extra activities.)

-Is this healthy for you and your future? (This goes for absolutely everything, including what I read, listen to, and do.)

As Ahava, I feel so much more whole that I have ever had in my entire life. It has always been my policy to believe that there is everything to a name, and boy is that true, I feel it within every letter… even in Hebrew. In the next few weeks, maybe next month (since my time is sold to the SOAs right now), there will be a thousand more changes coming to my life. I am excited!

By the way, I’m not writing about how amazing Pride was… because I didn’t end up going. After Pride Shabbat, I went downtown, and that heat (even at 10pm to midnight) just about killed me. Saturday I walked outside, and right back in, and Sunday the same thing… so I did miss everything even though I wanted to go so badly… I just didn’t want to have another heat stroke again. I had a pretty bad one last year. And that was really scary. But alas, I literally slept all weekend… and caught up on not having slept but more than 4 hours every night for the last month. It was one of those Jewish questions I asked myself: do I go play and risk my health, or do I stay in and catch up on sleep knowing that I will not be able to get extended sleep for the next month once again? Sleep it is! I also put all of my new Jewish books on my bookshelf, cleaned some trash up, prepped some stuff for the upcoming yard sale, and so on. I think it was a decent weekend.

Until next time, much love,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

PS – In 2003 & 2008, I went to Philadelphia. Both times I fell in love with the “LOVE” statue that is in Love Park, and it instantly became my favorite thing from there. Who knew years later, it’d have even more meaning to me and my life.

[Shabbat Edition 012]


Once again, let’s say it in unison… THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRIDAY. Embrace me with all you’ve got, day of Shabbat.

Wow. So I noticed I only wrote two entries this week. I’m seriously slacking! But I’ve also had nothing to say, really–luckily–because I’m having too many issues with my hands/wrists at the moment. It’s way, way, way too painful to write or type. Oy. It has felt like someone was smashing my hands with a hammer.

I’m also probably committing some kind of a sin as I’m writing this post (on a Thursday evening) while eating a (strawberry? cherry?) Santa sucker from December when I helped out with the Jrs Coal. I hope suckers don’t have an expiration date. Otherwise, I’m in trouble.

A small synopsis

I spent all day Sunday from 7ish to 3 or 4pm getting caught up at work, then went to auditions day 1 for the SOAs. Monday I went to work (ugh, Mondays), left early to go to a meeting for ReadOut, then auditions day 2. That’s when I got to pick up the scripts, since I’ll be doing the same thing as last year. Tuesday I don’t remember, but busy working all day. Wednesday I worked and had to leave early to go downtown to meet with my Intro to J class (previous entry). Thursday was finally a little relief from catching up….and I couldn’t wait until today when I finally get to leave for lunch instead of skipping it or getting it on the fly….which brings me to, it’s Friday, my favorite day and my day of tradition that I need to honor.

Also, Thursday… I finished She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not. Oh, and it has been a week since I have not watched any TV. I am in celebration mode….and one more thing… I started using Google calendars through my iPhone. Yuck. I hate it, but it’s kind of, well, there…. more so than paper and highlighters. So… but now my podcasts app won’t even open up. I’m not sure what’s going on. It’s annoying.

Lessons Learned

Sometimes it’s better to just walk away.

Soul energy is everything. The energy you receive from serious eye contact is everything. The energy one sends through the depths of the sweet Earth is also everything…it really sucks when it feels like the planets are disarrayed and the stars are missing in the sky and you see 1234+1111 but… that’s it…and you don’t know what you’re feeling, or if you’re feeling what you think you’re feeling….or connecting with the energy you need to in order to feel…..or something? Such confusion!

What you put out in the world is what you get back…. DO GOOD DEEDS, make people happy, love… love… love !!!

Event/Special Moments

Our class meeting at Meze119 & going to the Holocaust Museum, and finding out when we can convert.

A moment that happened while at Monday’s meeting. Actually, maybe two moments.

Wednesday was Harvey Milk day.

It is also Lag BaOmer….and way, way, way too hot to have a bonfire….and since it’s summer I’m growing my hair out, so no hair cut for me! Oh and I guess it’s a day for love too? I’ve got plenty of that to go around.

What am I looking forward to this week? 

Getting back at my tradition… and a reminder to myself (since I only seem to remember if I write things down) to get original Cake Bites. I’ve been dying to try, but have forgotten every single time.

Saturday I’m having lunch with two of my friends at my usual taco spot.

Ohhhh snap, HAVING A MONDAY OFF OF WORK. I have plans of doing nada.

Another meeting with ReadOut.

Pride March & Flag Raising on the 30th, then the ArtOut. (Putting this down, I sure hope I meet some new souls….and hopefully some of them will be Jewish!)

All of the 5,000,000 (kidding about the amount, sort of) books I ordered are arriving this week!!!! I am going to have to reorganize my bookshelf so I can fit all of my Jewish books on it.

Planning and plotting… for what? I don’t know.

Well, I guess that’s it. Have a wonderful day.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby

[The Shabbat Edition 011]

Shabbat Shalom! My favorite day is here, thank goodness, these non-Friday-days are killing me!

A small synopsis

I’ve been on vacay, but now it’s beginning to hardly feel like it. I haven’t been allowed to borrow the car (nor do we have Uber or Lyft here) and everything that is reasonably good to do is more than 30 minutes away… I’m really upset about that, and because I haven’t been able to visit with any of my friends (minus one who lives in town–Momma–who actually came and picked me up), talked to another on the phone, and ran into a friend I used to work with at her current work. For everyone else: I haven’t been able to see anyone for a few years now. The whole point of a trip home is to see everyone and catch up.

The highlight of my trip: bleaching my hair, finding the books that I found as per mentioned in previous entry, and eating at the few restaurants we don’t have in FL.

Lessons Learned

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

Gossip is very bad. (NO NO NO, it was not me who participated in this. I hate gossip.)

Awkward is awkward for a reason.

Some things are meant to be. Everything happens for a reason.

I should take a real vacation… to somewhere educational and exciting next time.

Being absolutely smothered to death and controlled by manipulation is a really horrible thing, and I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone.

Event/Special Moments

This is NOT a special moment, because it’s actually pretty horrible….our next door neighbor died on Wednesday….. So I will be attending a funeral before I go home.

I did get to see a few friends….my parents’ friends and older neighbors.

What am I looking forward to this week?

Getting home late Saturday. Sunday: work + auditions for SOA. Monday: work + meeting + audition day 2. Tuesday: work + film society meeting? Wednesday: work + final final Jewish class review. And… anything else that may happen.

I’m looking forward to making some changes that may surprise everyone. We’ll see. I need to make big, big, big changes.

Karen Maeby

[The Shabbat Edition 010]

Shabbat Shalom all! Happy Friday! Happy Weekend!

A small synopsis

Last weekend, I was just so exhausted that I did nothing what so ever. I had a few places and errands to run but I shut it all down. A good percentage of that was because my face wasn’t healed up. It was scabbed over, but by middle of the week, it looks like nothing happened. Thank G-d. Now I can wear make up again.

Monday we spent our writer’s group time talking to a (sort of) new member from our film society. We’ve been asked to help with an upcoming film production, so whoever is interested will be involved in that. We’re also thinking about working on more film as the group. This means I really need to revamp our entire mission statement because there are so many avenues we are going down. Our name (I haven’t announced this to anyone yet) will purposely cover everything and not be specific to writing. I’m glad I made that decision early on, otherwise we’d have issues.

I spent the rest of the week just getting stuff together at work for me to go on vacation. I don’t remember anything else.

Lessons Learned

Over the weekend, I started watching the crime docu-series via Hulu about Gypsy Rose Blanchard, and I watched some of the “making of” videos. I learned some new techniques having to do with colors with transition over episodes from light to dark and beside good vs evil and aging. That’s kind of a cool thing, I had never thought about that. Boy is theatre and film two different things. I guess I need to start paying attention to both if I’m going to write both…. Little signs or symbolism like placing their house in area where everyone could watch them and then them having absolutely no idea once the big news of what the mother did to Gypsy all those years. That was insane.

Patience: my flight on Thursday was delayed by an hour. I was already ready to leave so badly on Wednesday, that adding that extra hour nearly killed me. (I’m not a very patient person, if you didn’t already know.)

Event/Special Moments

So it’s kind of comforting sitting in my old room at my parents: lavender walls with dark purple and lime green curtains, purple flowery quilt, my Great Gatsby poster still on the wall, grandma’s sunset painting, my 2018 Rosh Hashanah drawing on the bulletin board. Not to mention turning out the lights last night to see several glow in the dark stars lighting up the room. I had forgotten about those. That was a happy little moment before bed last night.

It was good to get on a plane. I miss traveling. It didn’t even bother me when we went through some bumpy moments. It used to bother me so badly.

I started reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel while waiting at the airport, read on the plane, and finished last night. Wow. There’s going to be an entry dedicated to that, because there are things I learned that I didn’t know previously.

As soon as my parents picked me up from the airport, we went to our favorite sandwich shop close by the mall…and I DID get to go to the bookstore! Some magic happened there.

I went looking for some Jewish books, because that’s literally all I want to read these days. They have all religions mixed up which makes it so hard to find. However, by some sheer miracle I found two of Kushner’s books. I already had to read one of his books for my class, and one of the books I found were recommended readings (When Bad Things Happen to Good People). Checkmark.

Before I even went into the bookstore, after getting halfway through Wiesel’s book–I said to myself, “It would be cool to find the other two books of his that match this.” Guess what? I found Dawn & Twilight by him in the history section. I also bought The Pink Triangle. I can’t believe during my journey I’ve found three favorite authors: Leslea Newman, Elie Wiesel and Harold Kushner. I’ve always been a reader but I rarely favorited any authors besides the author of Nancy Drew, RL Stine of Goosebumps/Fear Street, and Sweet Valley High that I followed.

I’ve done so much reading already, and I’ve only been gone two days. Like I said, I want to talk more about Wiesel’s book in another entry. I’ve caught up with some of my Jewish magazines and there’s things there to discuss. Plus the emails I haven’t even read yet.

Last night mom and I went to the grocery and we were passing an aisle and she screamed, “THAT AISLE SAYS KOSHER! I really don’t know what that means, but it’s Kosher! Isn’t that your word?” Ha. So I bought some matzo so that I can eat it with my traditional “welcome-back” beer cheese. (It’s a KY and good part of my past thing.)

After finishing “Night” last night, my brain/heart/mind/soul was just… yeah. I happened to look left of where I was sitting and there was a word search book. I told mom “I’m going to do one of these puzzles.” When I opened it up I found where mom wrote down about what my aunt (her sister) said to my cousin when I told her about my Jewish journey. I can’t believe I found that. She wrote it down word for word. Mom’s like, “What’d you find?” and I barely got my words out.

My parents have been asking bits by bits about my new Jewish life. I think they’re getting used to it, now that they realize it’s a permanent thing with me changing my life to fit. Tonight we prayed before eating then my dad asked what the Jewish prayer was for that. Mom and I actually had a good conversation about beliefs and such, and so I got a chance to explain my side of things to her. I’m not sure they understand my choices for cutting out certain foods, but it’s for health, religion and cultural lifestyle.

We took my dad to exercise rehab today and someone we sat with (that knows my parents pretty well) asked about my decision to become Jewish. I told her the very short story, then mentioned I’ve been reading a lot more about the Holocaust lately, it’s calling me… I feel like need to be part of the future to help keep remembrance happening. My mom said to the lady that I had always had a connection with that, ever since reading Anne Frank….. Once again, I think that maybe that’s the sign that…I really…need…to..write..my…book!

After leaving there, we went to Gordmans (my favorite store here that we don’t have in FL) and I kept saying this trip I need new shoes…. I came to find two pairs of glittery sneakers: one slip on pair, another with shoe laces. One is pink/orange into gold color and the other is multi sparkle. I can’t believe I got lucky. Now I own 4 pairs of glitter shoes (and one of them lights up).

What am I looking forward to this week?

-More shopping! I haven’t been shopping in so long for clothes, shoes, etc.

-Soaking up a whole lot more vacay.

-Maybe going to the farm house. (hopefully)

-More reading, writing, sleeping.

-Eating at or visiting all the places I don’t have in FL.

-More clarity, signs, and such from G-d. (Feeling hopeful here.)

Love Always,
Karen Maeby

[*edit/poem*The Shabbat Edition 009]

(edit) Okay, so, I had to have a talk with myself: I am trying to be and do better in this life and me making stupid excuses for why I don’t stick with something that I create (like, for example, this format for Shabbat) should not be allowed…so here I am fixing my mistake and axing the excuses.

THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRIDAY….because the other days are killing me!

A Small Synopsis

Yesterday was Yom HaShoah and I didn’t get to go to the Holocaust Museum like I wanted, unfortunately. Last of month/first of month at work usually wrecks plans, because invoices have to be fine-tuned, finalized and sent out.

Also, something very bad happened to me yesterday. Somewhere between having to to go the post office for work and getting gas after work, I touched my face, and when I got home to look in the mirror….it was all kinds of red and burning. I don’t know if I got a chemical burn either from gas or something that might’ve been the packages. I cleaned it up with cold water then threw peroxide on there (ouch, insert f bombs) and aloe (more f bombs)…it really sucked because I had to be at a friend’s house five minutes later, and then to my Thursdays-in-May Jewish class. I was sitting through the class highly distracted wondering if anyone’s noticing my face. Ugh!

Lessons Learned

-Still counting the Omer with the daily lessons from Aish.com, even though I need to get my act together and transfer to paper.

-Literal: Even though I’m going to be missing the next two Thursdays, I started a class at TBE to learn about the denominations of Jewish life. One thing that bothers me is this new trend called “Just Jewish” that the Rabbi mentioned – oy. I am more conservative than I thought. Am I growing from very open-minded to close-minded? I sure hope not, but. From a future Jew, who has to do a lot of work to get there, it doesn’t set well with me for those who are Jewish to be “Just Jewish” — it feels more like slang. Or that’s how I personally see it. Or that’s how I read it when I’ve seen it.

-There’s this new thing on Instagram: it’s basically following a girl around from The Holocaust on Instagram stories. The jest of the whole thing is to share and keep The Holocaust going but to “appeal to” or “teach” the younger generation. Guess what I think about this? Nooooo thank you. Even though I am following it just to see what’s up, I kind of really find it extremely disrespectful. First of all, technology didn’t exist like that back then. Secondly, are you serious? Even if it did, they wouldn’t be allowed to use it! Everything was taken away! Why not use Instagram stories to tell a story of someone instead of how they’re doing it now as if the person was going through the Holocaust at the moment. Oy. Oy. Oy. Chutzpah!

-On another note: stop touching your face, girl. Wash your hands after packages and filling your car with gas and etc etc etc.

Events/Special Moments

-Shabbat last week I got to be an extra in a movie. That was fab. You can read (sort of) about my experience a few entries back.

-Wednesday was my last official “Intro to Judaism” class. All 18 chapters of the book…done. What’s next? Our review, then…..?

What am I looking forward to this week?

-I’m already mentally gone but I’m looking forward to a 10 day vacay….even though the deal was to take work with me (if I was going to be gone that long). So it’s kinda really not a vacay…..just a change of scenery. Plus the laundry list of emails, writing and studying I have to do. However, it’s the first Mother’s Day in about 10 years I’ll get to spend with my parents/mom, so there’s that! I’m going to try to remember to do a video with mom, or possibly both my parents…so this is something you’ll want to see…! I think I’ll post on my Facebook, so if you’re on my personal FB account, watch for it there. I might be able to do a LIVE video? I really still don’t know how all of that works. Times have changed. I haven’t kept up with it.

-This weekend: major catch up with as much as I can get done in 48-60-75 hours….however many hours I have!

-Soup Sunday + writing…and hopefully, that’ll be my permanent schedule for a while for both of those things. Until SOAs go to stage.

-Oh and when I come back: SOAs, then review class.

Shabbat Shalom!
Love Always,
Karen Maeby

G-d designed each body
with two souls, a lighted candle
ignites the glitter in the darkened skies at night
what a travesty it’d be
if she didn’t ever find me, hidden,
among the burnt out street lights deep in Paris
with poetry to write
on the tip of my tongue, for you,
I sing this song… and to you…
I locked my heart–burying the key–in the Heavens
years ago, when we locked eyes
and we made promises that we’d meet again
meet again… and soon… on this journey of life…
when I’d find my star, my light, my soul
and it lights up the night.

UPDATE: Shabbat Shalom y’all!

TGIF…or else I would die. I sure love my Fridays, especially when I’m doing something different. The movie shoot is today – the one I thought I would get to stage manage – no, not doing that. I’m actually going to be IN it! Whoa. About a two hour countdown….

I don’t have much to report or sum up from the week. I already wrote about how amazing the 1st Seder and how delicious the food was, the weekend I literally just slept, I didn’t have class on Wednesday due to the bbq going on, been cleaning (toss, sell, keep/pack), I have written a lot between stories and counting the Omer, read the book mentioned prior to this entry and still have a million feelings regarding that. 

Big news: There’s a new Mayor in Tampa and she is LGBTQ. We should really throw a party. Or two. Or three. Almost makes me want to move there. Almost. Except my life is in 97% in St Pete, so that would be crazy. For now though, I’ll be following her in her politics on Twitter. 

Anyway. That’s about it. I’m going to go and finish getting ready to be some sort of backstage extra star….I’m going to make sure the camera gets captures my best glittery moment. Ha. I’m really not that selfish. Bye. 

Happy Friday – Shabbat Shalom – I Love You! 

Love always, Karen Maeby 

Update: since I write non-related but sort of related Jewish based life things on Fridays… I must give an update about today. The shoot was from 10-7. I am tired. Been a good day full of everything happens for a reason. Had several discussions about things I’ve been pondering about life this week. I might have some answers tomorrow. One person said to me “you’re a writer???? I knew there was something special about you but I couldn’t quite place it.” He wanted to know more about me. Again with the intrigued word! We talked a bit then I mentioned about my Jewish journey and it came back around.

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON! You meet people for a reason. You have experiences for a reason. Everything is a reason. And tomorrow I might find one of those reasons.

Here’s a b&w picture of me wearing a fabulous bright blue sequin jacket and red boa. The jacket found me. The glitter finds me anyhow. We had pizza for lunch and now it’s dinner, I am fetching tacos and preparing for tomorrow’s meeting. Please wish me all the luck in the world.

PS – no one told me it was #LesbianVisibilityDay even though I should’ve known. So happy, happy…to those out of the closet and those who aren’t…I hope you’ll find your bravery one day. You have a story pending inside you. Share it. It’s a beautiful one. You know it. So should the world. Inspire with rainbows. I know I do. Color. Glitter. Bring out your pet unicorn. Poetry ablaze.

Almost midnight thoughts after my first Passover Seder.

Forgive me G-d for I am breaking two distinct rules of Shabbat: writing and being on technology but there’s no way I’m going to remember this once I wake up because of my almost awful memory these days. And, wine. Much. Much. Wine. 

Wow. What a first Passover Seder. I don’t have any idea when it actually started nor ended. So I have that going for me. I got lost in time! Too busy making memories! And laughing for the first time in a while.

The food was so freaking delicious and there was so much foooooood. Soooo much fooooooood. I’m trying to sustain my weight here (a year or two after a major weight loss) and the food just kept coming out! My normal food schedule is eating a meal once a day! (Or very small things all day if I need to eat that way.) Oy vey. At one point, I told the guy who was handing out food “NO MORE!” and he’s like “Are youuuuu tapping out?! THERE ARE NO QUITTERS HERE!” Haaaah.  My entire table was laughing so hard. Yes. I had whine. Much wine. Bwahha. 

But anyway, on a more serious note. My 3rd family sure serves up some super duper delicious food. I can’t believe this entire time I’ve only had soup there (and turkey sandwich at the beginning)…but it’s my tradition to have *my* soup, conversation and do a little writing! But some traditions were made to be broken, right?! Well, Maeby. (But I did have the matzah ball soup and oh yummmy…..! That was so good and hit the spot just right that I wanted to cry. Yeah. Weird. Maybe wine?)

I have been craving pickles so badly and I got them! OH AND THAT EGG I WAS TALKING ABOUT? It didn’t come with glitter or colour, but I got it! I got my one egg. My entire month is made. I’m very satisfied. See? That didn’t take much to make me happy. Pickles and one egg. And soup! 

So, the wine. I am not much a wine drinker and by the end, I was toast. I ended up staying after and helping the helpers clean up. Met some amazing people that I didn’t know and had amazing conversations. Met the president, and he recognized me as a writer (which I’m not quite sure how people know this? Sometimes I’m happy being recognized then I get a little freaked out in another sense. It’s weird. I guess I just need to get used to it.) 

Overall, what did I think? 

What an awesome experience. I sat with my intro class. We told the story, sang a bit, ate and went back at it in the Haggadah. We all shared a lot of laughs, had great conversations and I can’t wait to do it all again next year. 

I even tried gefilte fish for the first time!!

This won’t be the last of my Passover blog entries, we’ve got an entire week left to talk about it. Oh and on the same topic….no bread all week. This’ll be interesting of what kind of menu I’ll be coming up with….Stay tuned. I might live off pickles for a while! 

Always, Karen Maeby 

PS – I might also have to sober up this post. 

Shabbat Shalom: Passover Edition

Shabbat Shalom, my loves. It’s my really late weekly (thankgoodnessitsfridayorelseiwouldgoabsolutelyinsaneandlosemymind) ‘I love you, Friday’ post…which is even more meaningful today because I will be attending my first ever Passover Seder tonight at CBI.

First things first, though. Since Hanukkah, Purim… and somewhere in between those holidays for Shabbat, I have found there are (themed) songs for everything on iTunes. I have a playlist of a few songs going for Passover: Passover Song (Parody of Beatles of Hey Jude) by Judy Tellerman, Passover Songs (Mashup) by Elliot Dvorin & Key Tov Orchestra, When You Believe by Maccabeats, A Lion King Passover by Six13, Pesach Shop by Six13 (3 generations of songs get passed through this five min song, it’s the best on my playlist) and then Go Down Moses by The Pacific Pops Orchestra. I also need to watch the Rugrats episode one more time before Passover is over.

The more I read into Passover, the more I am beginning to think my crazy mixed up feelings of being enslaved are legit for this season and maybe there isn’t too much wrong with me after all (maybe that part is pushing it, but still)… could this be the explanation for why I have felt this crazy every single year for as long as I can remember? Because after April I feel a release of something or another and free and I go about my year perfectly fine until Sept/Oct. (I had always hungered for the new year to start in Sept/Oct…and I found the reason why….Rosh Hashanah…makes perfect sense to me to have the new year start then, and made me happy to realize what a coincidence.) Thankfully my younger self kept a lot of my online journal entries (and some poetry) from the last 20 years or so and I seemed to have the same feelings/moods/entrapment from March – April. I think that at this point, I should write a guide of some sorts telling people they should really look into Judaism if they constantly feel the way that I do at this time of the year, especially those who do not have a religion and have not recognized themselves as Jewish souls yet. It just helps to have some sort of explanation, even if it’s not certifiable.

I don’t know how I happened on it, but I found this amazing website aish.com–it offers many, many things Jewish and it is yet another marvelous place to visit on the webby. The question of the day on their site: From what enslavement do you want to break free this Passover?

Not feeling like I can be myself. My ‘bossiness / getting things done’ self has been lost and devoured by negative vibes and the sadness I have consumed within my heart/soul. Doing the same things every day, and not what I want or love. The wall that goes up when I’m hurt. Not feeling like I can reach out to someone that I love very, very much. Shutting off the world due to my imperfections. Writer’s block. Or better yet, thoughts pertaining to ‘am I even a good writer?’ and ‘should I continue writing?’ If not writing, what the hell am I supposed to do with my life? Then, it gets to be a zillion of questions that lead to Alice in Wonderland finding herself staring at a world upside down with funny people and the like. So yeah. Maybe this week I should privately write down my enslavement issues/feelings and see what solutions I can take charge of, and turn things back around for myself….personal freedom. Maybe that’s the answer, and the question is “Passover?”

Ever since I was a teen, I had always been about life lessons, and I love the fact that almost everything Judaism is life lesson-ish….because I realize and learn things even as I’m trying to write out some of these blog entries. Things make a little bit more sense than before….especially this Passover. In another thought, I can’t believe I still have May – Sept/Oct to really say it’s my “first” of the holidays as a semi-practicing-future-Jew. When we come around to Sukkot, I’ve celebrated almost everything for the first time… and I can’t wait to celebrate every year for the rest of my life… doing something different every year (hopefully, unless I just enjoy it so much to do it again and again). It’s exhilarating.

There’s a really good article on Jewish Journal that talks about personal freedom. It’s worth three reads, especially if you’re feeling somewhat like I am right now.

Apparently I missed out on backing an LGBTQ writer on his Haggadah posted on KickStarter a while back (it ended). I bet his booklet contains glitter. There was a mention of a disco ball. *_*

What it is with me and glitter???!!!

Anyway. There’s a lot of info in my email about Passover and comings/goings/etc of all the things and people I follow…but I haven’t read them. Yet.

Going back a couple of days…. we don’t have intro to Judaism class next week but the following week… guess what? It’s the last. The final class. Minus our review class whenever that’ll be, shortly after the last I guess. We will do a Shabbat dinner together and go to the Holocaust Museum. Then it’s….over. We still need to meet with our Rabbi over what’s next for us. What’s next for me? I just know that I want to go where a Jewish opportunity will be will fairly open to me. I’m not sure if there’s anything here. There was at one point, but… I don’t know. What’s next? In May I will be taking a Thursday class with TBE Rabbi, and doing various things with each of the synagogues after that. I’m not sure what’s next with my conversion, that’s something I have to find out. The future is unwritten, and I’m kind of embracing that right now….it allows me to be open. Wherever I end up, I will be embracing my future Jewish life so hard.

Anyway. Happy Passover. I will gather my thoughts throughout the next few days and have a couple more entries dedicated to Passover… hopefully. As far as am I feeling better since the last blog post? I don’t know. I’m just trying to get through Passover.

Next week (Friday) if it works out…I am stage managing my first movie shoot. I’m a little nervous, but ready to get back at it. Being boss and all.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby

PS: Even though I don’t believe in anything to do with Easter, there’s one thing I wish I could have: a hard boiled egg decked out with a rainbow of color and some glitter for an extra sparkle of happy….so I can peel the egg and eat it. That’s all I want.

[The Shabbat Edition 008]

I swear, this website business is making me grumpy. I schedule (some) of my posts on here and they’re not posting at the right time! THEN my other website is shut down until I have a full day to devote to it to find out why spam is leaving comments….which will not be until forever and twenty years from now! Oy!

In other words…. SHABBAT SHALOM! my ultimate… I LOVE YOU FRIDAYS.

A Small Synopsis

Going backwards…the last two weeks…

Thursday (yesterday) the LGBTQ portion of GPlibrary was putting on their monthly film night, so I got to see “We the Animals”… which was a very interesting and poetic film. I’ve been wanting to go to film night since forever and I finally went. Check-mark.

Mon – usual writers group, Weds – J*class, a week ago, Thurs – 2of2 prayer class

Sunday – fantastic Mitzvah Day

One week ago Friday – I got to crash rehearsal for OBC and that was a fun time and welcome back. I also received my Midge Haggadah in the mail!

Don’t remember what else. I’m still reading a lot of books, currently reading one about a woman who used to work in a call centre in the UK. Hilarious customer stories. I’m about 60% done. 

On a sad note: I’ve been missing my baby Sir Eisenhower so much. I can’t help but to wonder what his soul is up to now. I miss him being so loud hitting his plexiglass at 3am that he would wake me up and I’d have to yell at him to go to sleep. He’d actually listen. Every time. I miss him. A lot. I miss staring at him and watching his little eyes, and seeing how cranky he’d get when I would tell him no. He would slant his eyes at me in the most grumpiest way. He had personality. I guess I’m going to get a few more crabs to give Havali company since I’m never home to teach her like I taught and spent time with E. It’ll never be the same, I don’t think any other crab will become as spoiled as he was, or taken every where like he was. But we’ll see. I need to come up with 3 more Jewish names. Essentially, 2 males, 1 more female.

Event/Special Moments

Mitzvah Day! It was the bestest!

What am I looking forward to this week?

-All of the Passover things, including Friday night Seder at CBI. (My first Seder ever, ever, ever… yay!)
-There’s some classes that my Rabbi is teaching about Passover and I think I’m going to attend those.
-I see that TBE is actually going to have Mitzvah Day at the last Sunday of the month, so I’m going to sign up for that. Can’t do enough good deeds in the world!
-There’s also some classes this weekend at TBE that I want to take.
-Gotta get organized in a thousand ways, relax and do more reading… and possibly writing on this book that I need to write.
-I need to work on my schedule, to-do lists, and etc.

Bye all!