[Shabbat Edition 018 – Tu B’Av]

SHABBAT SHALOM! And, oh my. Do you see what number edition this is? No, it was not planned to be this way… but today is Tu B’Av – the day of Love (ahem, Ahava) … see what I did there???? and then this is edition #18… 18 meaning LIFE… so, love and life, two of my favorites. Since I didn’t do an entry last week, don’t ask me to remember what I did, just go look on my personal blog if you want to know. I can’t remember half the time of what I write the next day then I accidentally repeat it.

A small synopsis 

It’s been a weird week: lots of meetings, lots of calls, emails, planning, new classes, new planning for future endeavors, and so much crazy rain it’s almost come to the point where we have to build an ark again.

I am trying my best to change my schedule around, and due to the last two weeks of events and new things and work things, I haven’t been able to….but it’s going to happen.

Music of the week: La Bamba (Medium Allegro) off David Plumpton’s Modern Melodies for Ballet.

Lessons Learned 

I have now started a new Jewish class with my Rabbi and a bunch of other people from CBI. The book we’ll be reading over the next year is The Observant Life. Our first chapter we went over was about re-introducing prayer and why we do things. It saddens me to see people who are born Jewish and they don’t know why we are supposed to do things. like… it really shouldn’t be that way. We ask “why” a million times, why wasn’t this clarified years ago? Nothing should ever be shoved down someone’s throat without being told why. I want to become fluent enough in this to help others to the next level, so those questions are answered.

Last night, I joined Jews & Brews for the first time ever. I think it’s so cool to be able to go and have a drink and then discuss the Torah. So not only are you learning something, but we also get the experience of trying new drinks and new brewery locations. Which is hella useful for me considering I always need new places to go and write.

Between both of those classes, my old class, going to Shabbat and certain events–boy I get to see a various amount of different people and I see who is interested in what. I love how I’m just diving my face into everything. I love this Jewish life so much, I just can’t stop expressing my love, and these events… and things to do… and always discussing and reading and doing and being… ahhh. It’s so refreshing. Now I just need to figure out how I can get to coffee with Rabbi and then the next day lunch discussion for TOL so I can join that group too.

Just because I haven’t done it before doesn’t make me any less capable, or deserving of an opinion or to be able to help in the process.

There should just be a stopping point for going back for seconds. No. Just… no.

Rain is not a good look for me. I need sunlight or else I’m going to implode.

Events / Special Moments 

Today is Tu B’Av. The day of Love “Valentine’s Day” in our Jewish world. I think if I had to choose between that and the real Vday, I’d choose this. It’s a whole lot less retail “spend all the money” crap and more about what it is supposed to be about: love, celebration. I’m writing on my dream board that I hope that this is one very special day for me in the future. (I also have a story in mind that I might sit down and write. If so, it’ll be something else included in ‘Becoming Ahava’ … here’s the random thought that led me to want to write——Tu B’Av is when all the single girls would wear white and go out and search for guys to marry. But, but… what if… just what if, a couple of those girls just wanted another girl to love and be loved? My heart is with them.)

I had a special meeting yesterday with the group I’m going to be doing event planning with. Suddenly, it went from me just indirectly working with them (early spring) to being invited to be a part of the board and their event decisions, and now, I’m a part of the decorating committee. Which means, there are a few things I’ve never done before, so it will be very interesting learning and doing. I am looking forward to this. (Especially since the theme is “casino” which is yet a second hint towards Vegas this week.)

Randomly meeting a nice lady who knew Elvis and knows all about his life and people in his life…. while having our writer’s group meeting… (cue in first hint about Vegas)

What am I looking forward to this week? 

Let’s see… things at work will be getting back to normal since the guys are coming back bearing good news. We are going to be restructuring a bunch of things in the company (I really hope), and then, I have to talk to them about the meeting I was in because it sort of involves them too.

There’s a few more meetings but not as crazy as this week. No classes or anything like that. I don’t think. Might be finally starting some new projects I’ve talked about: like reopening my sellers account on eBay and Etsy just to start selling things that need to be gone. I might even break those fake earrings I wrote about on my diary (since I obv can’t wear them anymore) and make magnets out of them. If I do that, and it turns out good, I bet I can make some profit off those. They are cute enough to do that.

Still working on the usual: cleaning, sorting, catching up on reading (we’re going to try this oneeeeee more time), catching up on emails, to-lists. All that.

Anyway, I guess that about wraps up this week. Thank goodness I blog things more frequently now, even if it is rubbish most of the time, because I cannot seem to remember anything these days. Oy.

HAPPY TU B’AV. I love you.

Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

[Shabbat Edition 017]

BIRTHDAY EDITION! Wh00t! SHABBAT SHALOM Y’ALL. Sending my all my love to youuuu! Happy Friday!

A small synopsis 

Not much going on in the information front now that all the theatre fun is over for now. A week ago I decided to start a new blog to update my daily life instead of non-Jewish stuff here (unless it’s this Shabbat edition), so you can check out chantillylaceandglitter.com for all the fun stuff. I may end up changing my Shabbat edition around, but for now, I’m sticking to this formatting.

I found a new favorite song– Truth Hurts by Lizzo. Heard it on the way to my 3rd home today then on the way back. I’m not sure why I like it, but weird lyrics? Weird song? It’s sorta rap-ishhhh. Probably. Most definitely. It just sounds really good blasting out of the speakers on bass.

Lessons Learned

Cleaning really, really, really helps not only to clear the space but clear your mind also.

Not really a lesson, just wondering: is it really too much to ask for an answer out of someone? Just reply. That’s all I want. A reply back. It takes almost no effort to do that. Something. I just want to scream: acknowledge me for goodness sakes, when I know you still care! I see you!

Events / Special Moments 

MY BIRTHDAY…. and it was amazing. I can’t believe I didn’t get any pictures of any of us. Again. We’re always having way too much fun.

At my 3rd home, I was given so much love. It was freaking amazing times two million tripily squared. (I think I just made up a word.) My friends who showed up, we all have a story with one another, a close one, they’re all so important–role models in my life, some of them second parents, some of them besties, life cheerleaders, everything. At dinner, same, with different friends. Lots and lots of cards (a poem written on my card from one of my writers), two balloons, so much laughter, friends introducing themselves to one another and making connections (both lunch & dinner this happened), tonight I had a (it had to of been) death by chocolate piece of cake because I nearly died from eating it (so much chocolate, so much sugar, oy), saw a double rainbow (I have pictures, will post later on Instagram), and a beautiful sunset.

At dinner, one of my friends said, “One thing I know, Karen has really good friends.” Yes, Yes I do. I choose them wisely. They’re the bestest. And that comment was said to me after half of them were exchanging numbers for one reason or another.

Directly after dinner, I called my cousin…. who I haven’t talked to or seen in person in 25 years. Wow. I reconnected with a family member, and one who has been around enough to know what I’m trying to say when I don’t really know what I’m saying. I’m so glad we talked. And better yet, she and I share the same birthday.

I will write more details on my diary this weekend. I’m almost way too tired to type anything, plus this weather has me aching all over so badly and my hands are hurting again.

What am I looking forward to this week? 

Going to Shabbat tonight (our Rabbi is supposed to lead)! Then drinks afterwards.

Laying absolutely so low this weekend, and catching up on everything.

I have two meetings this week.

And lots and lots of reading to do.

I think that’s it… just keep an eye out for my photos on Instagram, and then on my actual diary!

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

[Shabbat Edition 016]

SHHHHHHABBBBATTTTT SHALLOOOOOMMMM!

HAPPY FRIDAY. I STILL LOVE YOU SO MUCH MY DEAR FRIDAY.

It’s Thursday night and I’ve got the bottle of Chianti out while typing this Shabbat entry. By the way, if I mix up my tenses it’s because I am writing it Thursday to post for Friday but not letting you know I did it on Thursday. (This goes for all the time.) But now you know my secret. 

A small synopsis 

After the SOAs ended, I’ve been resting. Sort of. I was sick with food poisoning and cancelled the writers group Monday, I felt better on Tuesday after getting my soup. I went up north to TBI to try out for a part but they stuck with age 50+ even for the pre-teen/teen parts, but I’m a back up SM. Which is fine….onto the next thing, whatever that may be.  

The news I wanted to share… here we go.. drumroll…. last year I got the chance to read for T/S summer one act plays. They didn’t end up doing it this year, so I was super disappointed I didn’t get my chance to read about 200 scripts from other people. Guess what? They will be doing it in April, so that means… they will be announcing for scripts soon, so I will get to read about 200 scripts this year after all. I am so happy!!!!! I missed doing that. It has been on my calendar for 2019 since I finished reading in 2018. Needless to say, I’m so excited… I’m such a nerd. I’m also going to submit a few of my plays to them, since it won’t be in competition this time around, and if it gets picked, I can actually see it performed. 

Both last night and tonight I had dinner with two different friends. We finally caught up after a really long time. I’ve got a lot more rounds of seeing individual friends. I guess that’s what happens when I know so many people and my time is really spread thin to only theatre 99% of the time and I have to make up for it when I can. I love my friends very much though. 

I saw where someone I went to high school with was killed in a car accident back around the first of July. Her daughter got on Facebook and let the rest of us know something happened. I didn’t know her very well but she was nice. 33 years old. It’s so hard to believe. Life is so short. Anything could happen at any minute. 

Lessons Learned

I’ve been writing down things that I need to do better for next time I stage manage. You know, being my worst critic and all. 

I still need to stop eating junk. I also need to lose a few pounds after eating all that junk. 

Let’s revisit this (Mercury retrograde do’s / dont’s)…. remember it? I will write my update next to it.

Dont’s

  • Make important decisions – nope 
  • Sign contracts – nope 
  • Buy a car – nope 
  • Begin a new relationship – nope 
  • Take anything personally at this time – nope 

Do’s

  • Take your time reading paperwork/contracts – not yet 
  • Reflect on your past choices – yes yes yes 
  • Have back-up plans for travel – not traveling, will be in Oct 
  • Repair your car – not yet, need to 
  • Re-color your hair – yes, and it’s fading fast 
  • Review your financial situation – yes 
  • Give yourself and your space a good clearing – not yet, but needs to be done 
  • Release an unhealthy habit – hell yes times a million (release of anything unhealthy) 

What You Can Expect

  • Miscommunication – people may be misinterpreting what you say and you may misinterpret other people’s words and intentions – yep yep yep yep yep yep 
  • Electronics are going haywire – computers, clocks, telephones, etc. – our lights went crazy a couple of times at theatre 
  • Batteries dying – yes, my phone, always 
  • Angry behavior – not me personally, but had to deal with it out of others 
  • Mistakes – maybe? 
  • Getting lost, tardiness – surprisingly not me, but half of my cast was running late one day, oy! 
  • Increased number of accidents – thankfully none (knock on wood)  
  • People from your past may make come back into your life – not yet 

Events / Special Moments 

It has been an amazing summer one act season and I was sad to see it go. I definitely put in my work for this one—finally getting my chance at stage managing a GCP show alone (one that isn’t solely mine, like the writers group). I pretty much had everything you could imagine happen every single day up until I wrote out my prayer on here last Thursday, then it was calm. Miracles do happen! Besides our normal light board issues, every show went smoothly. Thank goodness… because that’s a reflection on me. 

Funny story: There was a play where we had someone dressed in a tutu with pink tights playing a fairy and he had a wand. Well, it was at the point where he had to fall back and lose his wand, and he lost it alright. So he fell, the wand flew across the floor and all the way to behind the back curtain and under the couch. It struck my funny bone, so I had to run into the green room—laugh it off (so hard)—then compose myself to go back out in the wings of the stage, crawl over top of all the furniture, make sure no one saw me and slide the wand back out to the floor…. and somehow, by some miracle indeed, I had it back out at the most perfect time they told me and I didn’t let out a single giggle. OMG. It was so funny. Everyone was gathered around the TV in the back room just laughing as hard as I did. 

The next day, I’m finding beads all over the stage, and I find out it was from the fairy wand. I asked the director if she had another one, because that looked like it was going to fall apart, and she said no. That night, the fairy went to do something with the wand, and the star piece on the wand broke and fell… right… on…stage…as they were doing the performance. I jinxed it. They ended up fixing it about 2 more times until they had a final solution. 

But that was definitely the funniest story of them all. 

What am I looking forward to this week? 

Oh let’s see here…. 
PARTY. PARTY. PARTY. For my 33rd (going on, like, 13th or something) birthday. 

Thursday I’m having lunch at my 3rd home, having dinner at the place my theatre always eats at and then drinks at our normal place on Friday night AFTER I go to Shabbat like a good Jewish girl. 

Then, I really, really, really hope to rest because I am just purely so exhausted. Or maybe it’s the wine? Until next time… I will rhyme… 

Oh and… Elvis. You’ll have to wait for next time about that, but it is so amazing how I’ve been putting thoughts into the world and the answer comes right back to me… as clear as day…even this Elvis play I’m wanting to write. I found the answers. Didn’t take too long either. Absolutely amazing. Toomuch wine,bye.HAPPYSHABBATTTTTTT.

Love Always, 
Karen Maeby (Ahava) 

[Shabbat Edition 015]

HAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPY FRIDAY!
Shabbat Shalom, my loves!

This week has certainly been interesting…

A small synopsis

My moods and thoughts have been of nothing but poetic sense with a touch of music and set like a play in my mind. My brain has also done this *BOUNCE BOUNCE bounce BOUnce bouNCE* all over the freaking place. Maybe it’s because of the season of Summer One Acts. I’ll blame that.

As we all know, any time I’m doing a show, my life is literally all about that show, or any feelings inspired by the show.

Thursday (last night) we opened and it was successful for our first show. Still having issues in two areas for moving of furniture just because there’s so much going off/on, but I’m working towards (hopefully) perfecting it tomorrow.

While backstage waiting for one of the plays to be over to do my work, I wrote a completely new one act play, which has one heck of a twist and half! I’m very happy about this play. I also started working on an opera. Sometimes I write things knowing it’s for something, and sometimes I write backwards then realizing I can use that work. If that makes sense. And…. I wrote notes for a TV show that I started writing in 2017–due to something funny happening recently–and I realized I should probably work on that. So much writing, so much having to keep a thousand characters different and storylines different and oyvey…. I hope this pays off one day. My brain will literally explode if I don’t get it all out.

Also today: as it grows closer to my birthday, I’m having severe panic attacks. Every year, as I get older, it’s like…. these same questions… what have I actually done with my life? Have I made something out of myself? I often feel too much like I haven’t done anything. I said this today to someone and he was basically like, “Are you crazy? You’ve done so much, especially in the last few years.” I guess when you’re the one seeing you and what you’re doing in life, it’s much different than how everyone else views you. All I know is that things have to change come August. I’m feeling another midlife crisis coming on. Like, real bad this time.

Lessons Learned

Learned about the month of July antics and then the whole light/darkness theory in Jewish Mysticism.

I am learning what I can control and what I cannot, and maybe what I should or could’ve done better. (Stage managing)

I am also learning that–even though our actual theatre home is almost across/down the street–I should probably have a long list of everything we need to take with us so we’re not having to run back there (due to me). There weren’t many cases of that, because I didn’t forget very important things, but I forgot a few. This is my first time arranging the whole thing and stage managing almost completely by myself, but I’m still very critical of me. A little OCD, perfectionist and critical mixed with some sort of crazy…. makes for interesting when I do something wrong.

I really need to learn how to properly dress a table for elegant dining. It would be so helpful to have this knowledge in order to make the table look right. I also want to touch costuming one day, but not any time soon. I’m already doing too much as it is (for now).

Events / Special Moments

Preparing for the Summer One Acts. I can’t believe it’ll be over in two weeks, it’s going to go very fast. I know already, this is my 4th year.

I put up a party list in the green room and so far this first week: we’ve got plans tonight for drinks at our usual spot, early dinner on Saturday in between our two shows (our tradition) and then Sunday afterwards having dinner with someone who used to be with us and is coming back to see the show. This time, I’m going to have to get photos of everyone. I am always so caught up in the moment that I forget to take pictures.

What am I looking forward to this week?

Getting the show on the road.

Having M, T, W of next week off… but I think I made some commitments so I’m not officially off the hook.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

she sings soprano
but her voice is only alto
hitting those notes, so high tho
so many songs inside her mind
a pen that is always busy
a notebook that is always full
a soul bursting with song
and love and love

what could ever go wrong?

[Shabbat Edition 014]

SHABBAT SHALOM!

What a week it’s been. Nothing compared to the 3 weeks that I worked Next Fall where I literally had zero time to breathe or do anything, but still, pretty darn busy with the same tight schedule between work and rehearsals.

Random story from yesterday (4th of July): So–like the rest of this week–I’ve been having some really weird dreams in the morning..but this time, I wake up, and with a song in my head. The song? Sweet but Psycho by Ava Max. I really do not know what made me tune into that for waking up… but uhhhh. So there’s that. It’s definitely catchy…if anything.

4th of July: You know, from Legally Blonde 2, Jennifer Coolidge’s character says: “Oh my G-d! You look like the 4th of July! Makes me want a hotdog real bad.” That was literally the second quote in my head yesterday, so I went and got a hotdog. Had to.

I am beginning to worry about why I have all these things to pop in and out of my head! The mind of a writer, I swear, we’re all cray cray.

A small synopsis

Last Saturday, I got a lot done personally, and at the theatre. I was with a friend and I said I wanted ice-cream, but instead, we went to the bar my theatre family frequents after late night shows… but this was in the middle of the day…. I still wanted ice-cream. Alas, the margarita was good and so was the ice chips… and they had ten thousand desserts there too… cheese cake, berry salad, something else.. reminds me that I need to get some more cinnamon whiskey for my new “one shot a night before bed” routine. Maybe I can bring some for SOAs backstage after each show is over. New tradition?

Sunday I got a chance to walk in the evening. Monday through Wednesday we had really long rehearsals. I was really scared about these rehearsals, I was anticipating issues from seeing them the week before, but both Monday (the first day of all 10 plays in order) went very well as far as the first day goes. Second day: I gave everyone their stage assignments and they did well with helping for not having the last prior. Wednesday: everyone helped and it went smoothly. I was amazed. Someone that is now helping me was impressed at my notes (perfected to the tee) for each play, how it’s going to be organized at the CH and the exact location of where everything goes…it’s like, you can’t look at those notes and tell me that I don’t belong married to the SOAs or any one-act play festival. I want to do that for the rest of my life. Anyway, Wednesday after each play got their chance to rehearse–I packed up their props and furniture, one by one, and then drug everything to the middle of the floor so that I wouldn’t have to come back on my days off to do anything. This Saturday we are at the theatre at 9am to pack the truck to move to the CH, then starts lights/spike day Sunday, and the next two weeks non stop.

Lessons Learned

Taking time off is really important. (I’m getting super selfish about this.)

The feeling I had when I read my first really horrible anti-semite thing on Twitter (first, meaning, after becoming a Jew)…an actor–who had millions of followers and was validated with the blue checkmark by Twitter– wrote “now lets kill some Jews” … I, like a lot of others, hit “report abuse” and finally many hours later, he was kicked off of there. That was so scary.

Love: Sue Bird & Megan Rapinoe are GOALS! —- Everyone’s posting about them, so am I. Beautiful couple, everyone deserves that.

Saw this on Twitter too, right after Sue Bird & Megan Rapinoe goals: “I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but you deserve a partner who cheerleads your work, who champions your goals, who relentlessly talks up your talent and your kindness and your skills.” >> Yes, please.

Events / Special Moments

Got to have lunch with a friend to meet that friend’s friend which may be a great connection in the future.

4th of July… even though this holiday has really lost its luster. Even though I haven’t really been able to enjoy fireworks most of my life but this year is kind of even worse when I read about what was being prepped for the nation’s parade (ugh, a little scary there) and what’s happening with the whole ‘never again – the USA may have concentration camps.’ You see, I’m trying my best not to write about that because a lot of things I’ve written (even if it’s just randomly made up fiction) has come true… and I had a dream in 2010–back when I lived in NC–about a Holocaust here. I was definitely in line because I was everything they didn’t want living here. I don’t remember anything else and I don’t really want to go back and find where I wrote that down. I used to live in a place full of fear mongers and negativity where “end of the world” was a constant thing. It was hard to adjust to the “real world” after getting away from it, but I used to fear for that–for my life–because of never having experienced life. I’ve had the best year and half I’ve ever had in my life… and now that I’m back home with a Jewish soul, if I die tomorrow, I am hopeful to know I will be going back with the souls who are close to mine… on another planet, to rest, and to either come back in another life time or leave permanently. I honestly think my soul is done. I feel like I’ve been here in 1700s during the Mozart days, in the 1920s, somewhere in between the 1950s-70s and then I’m here now…. so I ultimately feel like my soul is a 120 years old, and it’s getting to that point where it needs a more permanent rest. But other than… wanting to channel in Abraham Lincoln and humming the Hamilton songs in my head… that was my 4th. Being super concerned about what’s happening as the past is creeping up in our future covering up every single move ahead we get. Oy vey.

What am I looking forward to this week?

Going to Shabbat, since it’ll be the last for a few weeks…

THEN, THE SUMMER ONE ACTS, OF COURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been waiting all year for this to happen, and finally, we’re just days away from our performances!

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

[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). 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.

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]

SHABBAT SHALOM

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.

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.

Always,
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