Category Archives: Misc

Thoughts On Independence Day

For most of the world, the 4th of July is just another day. But for the United States, is our Independence Day.

I am proud to be an American, in spite of our flaws. I am proud to live in a country in which my rights as an individual are respected. I am free to worship as I choose, to ask questions of my government and freely protest when I disagree with their actions. I am free to speak openly without fear of reprisal. This is the land of opportunity, a country in which someone who is born poor has the potential to die rich.

This is a land that opened her door and her arms to million of immigrants (including members of my own family) who were fleeing poverty, persecution and lack of freedom. This is a land in which generations of soldiers have fought and died for.

This is a land that after speaking of the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.We have and continue to right the wrongs of our past by protecting and opening doors to those who in past generations were denied because of who they were.

Happy Independence Day, wherever you are.

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To Choose or Not to Choose: That Is the Job-Hunting Question

In my 16-year career, I’ve learned two truths about job hunting. The first truth is that job hunting is an art, not a science. The second truth is that everyone and their mother is more than eager (whether or not we ask for it) to provide advice when it comes to job hunting.

Do you keep short term jobs on the resume or do you remove them? Do you keep the specific dates that you were at a job or do you just put the year? Do you apply to a job via the link on the ad or do you bypass the link and apply directly to company via email or physical mail? The answer to these questions often depends on whom you ask.

 Since graduating from college in 2003, I’ve had a few short blips of unemployment. During those times, I have looked to career coaches or career experts for guidance as I have looked for a new job. The problem is that every career coach or career expert has their own opinion as to how one goes about getting a new job. If I am to be honest, it is completely and utterly confusing. The advice that one career coach may give is likely to be the complete opposite of the advice that another career coach may give.

 One of the issues that has come up recently is the question of whether or not to have gaps on my resume. For the last few years, I have adhered to the idea that my resume must be gap free. Recently, I was advised that gaps in my resume were acceptable, especially given the golden rule that resumes (unless one is applying for a CEO or CFO position), must be no more than one page long.

 Due to restructuring, I am currently looking for a full-time job. Once more, I have had to wrestle with the question of what advice to follow in regards my resume and job-hunting methods. After a lot of soul searching and reading, I have come to the same conclusion that I came to the last time I was looking for a job: do what is right for you. The information a job seeker receives is not akin to a set meal that one must eat. It is akin to a buffet in which the job seeker has the ability to choose what advice and tactics works for them and their job search.

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Thoughts On Mother’s Day

Our mothers are amazing. They carry us until we are ready to enter the world. They feed us, they house us, they love us and they support us throughout our lives.

If I had to name one woman who I looked up to, it is my amazing mother, who can only be described as superwoman. Looking back, I don’t know how she did it and still does it today. She was part of the first generation to “have it all”: a career, a marriage and children. After working an eight hour day, she came home, made dinner, helped us with our homework, took care of other miscellaneous tasks before going to bed and repeating the same list of responsibilities the next day.

Some days, when I come home, the only thing I want to do is lay on my couch and watch TV, even when I know that I can’t. I don’t know how millions of women come home from work everyday and find the extra energy to take care of their spouses/partners and their kids instead of just saying f*ck it.

To all of the mothers in the world, both human and fur mothers, Happy Mother’s Day. For the endless and sometimes underappreciated work that you do, may you receive all of the love and appreciation that you rightly deserve.

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Words Can Hurt And Bullying Can Kill

Bullying in school has been around since the invention of school. Countless children over the generations have suffered at the hands of their classmates.

These days, in school bullying has been taken to another level by social media.

Last summer, Mallory Grossman was in sixth grade at Copeland Middle School in Rockaway, New Jersey. She took her own life after dealing with the persistent bullying she received from her classmates, both in school and online.

According to media reports, one of the accused bullies asked the young girl the following: “when are you going to kill yourself?”.

Some might argue that social media plays a role in the bullying that led to the girl’s decision to commit suicide. While I can certainly understand where that argument is coming from, social media is not entirely to blame.

If the bullying happened on school property and nothing was done by the staff to stop the bullying, the school is culpable. The blame is also on the parents of the bullies. Their children are responsible for this girl’s death and should be punished appropriately.

Two decades ago, I too was bullied in school. Thankfully, social media as we know it be today did not exist back then. Though it’s been years since my own experience of school days bullying, the scars still remain.

May Mallory’s memory be a blessing to those who knew and loved her. Wherever she is, the bullies cannot hurt her anymore.

RIP.

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This Is What Depression Feels Like

It can be said that one cannot understand another until they walk a mile in another’s shoes.

Especially when it comes to depression.

I could describe how it feels to live with depression, but I think the video below basically says it all.

It’s a cold, lonely feeling that never ceases to go away, akin to sitting in a empty bathtub, shivering cold with no clothes on, without light or heat.

It is the saddest, scariest feeling anyone can experience. Millions of us suffer from it and too many die from it.  I think the most important thing to remember is that we are not alone. If we remember that, then we can somehow find a way not just to live, but to thrive.

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I Got Out Of The House Today

Do. Or do notThere is no try.”-Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

One of the more common signs of depression is how easy it is to stay home and do nothing.

The weather in New York City for the past few days has been frigid. Walking outside is akin to walking into an icebox. No amount of layers can protect against the freezing temperature.

I could have stayed in today after completing some minor errands. It would have been easy to say that the weather makes for an excuse for staying in.

But I knew I couldn’t stay home. I couldn’t let the depression win. Not today at least.

It took a lot for me to get out after completing my errands. More than I expected. But I did it. I know that my depression will never go away. But if I have the courage and strength to fight against it, then maybe one day, it will not have the stranglehold it does on my life.

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Chanukah

Tonight, Jews around the world will be celebrating the holiday of Chanukah.

The joke about Chanukah is the joke that revolves around most Jewish holidays: they tried to kill us, they failed, now lets eat.

One of the things I’ve come to believe in recent years is that if we are willing to do the work required to achieve our goals, our creator will give us a nudge when we need it.

The Maccabees, led by Judah, did not wait for a sign from a prophet or their creator to fight back against the Greeks who would have been more than happy to see the Jews convert and assimilate into the general population. They took a stand against assimilation and won. In response the victory, G-d provided Israel with just enough oil to last for eight days, even though it seemed like there was none left at all.

Happy Chanukah and to everyone celebrating Christmas tonight, Merry Christmas.

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Black Friday on Thanksgiving Thursday-Really?

Black Friday has become a tradition in this country. I personally don’t see the point of waking up before the sun rises the day after Thanksgiving, just to buy a holiday gift that will still be there if g-d forbid we wait another day or two. But to each their own.

In recent years, some of the stores have decided to open on Thursday.

Why?

If this time of year is supposed to be about tradition and time with our families, which are priceless, why are we killing ourselves not just on Black Friday but on Thanksgiving to buy holiday gifts?

For the people who choose to shop on Black Friday, that’s their call. But to shop on Thanksgiving? That’s appalling. I get it, the store owners see the bottom line. But there is more to running a business than the bottom line. Unfortunately, that, from my perspective, that is what the store owners are looking at.

I wish every one of my readers a Happy Thanksgiving. May you spend tomorrow with the ones you love and if you choose to do Black Friday, I wish you luck.

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Thank You Is Not Enough

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

Thank you is not enough.

Tomorrow we remember our brothers and sisters who gave their lives for our freedom.

Tomorrow I remember my grandfathers and my uncles who came home to their families when their brothers in arms did not.

When I wake up tomorrow, I will be grateful for the freedoms that I have and I will say thank you to those who laid down their lives for those freedoms.

Enjoy Memorial Day.

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Throwback Thursday-Firelight (1997)

Life, as we know it to be, can sometimes throw us curve balls. But, what seems like a curse may in fact be a blessing in disguise.

In the 1997 movie Firelight, Elizabeth Laurier (Sophie Marceau) is in a bad way. Her father is heavily in debt and her position as a governess does not allow her the financial ability to assist her father as she would like to.

A mysterious landowner makes Elizabeth a deal. He will pay off her father’s debts if she bears him a child.  However, Elizabeth must not have contact with the child and will not be a part of the child’s life.

Seven years later, Elizabeth is hired to be the governess for the daughter of Charles Godwin (Stephen Dillane), who lives on a remote Sussex estate. Louisa (Dominique Belcourt) is a willful,  stubborn child who refuses to listen to her governess, who also happens to be her mother. Will Elizabeth and Charles keep their relationship business like and if they do get involved romantically, who will break the news to their daughter?

I like this movie, the narrative is almost Bronte-ish with its scope, story telling and characters.  My problem with many romance stories is that they are often predictable, too sappy or the lead characters jumping into bed very early into the story.  What I like is that the tension between the characters and the implications of revealing the secret is neither predictable, sappy or too sexual too soon. And it is a 19th century English romance, which if it is well done, is always up my alley.

I recommend it.

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