Sunday, December 20, 2009

Skirting the Issue (or...In the Jeans?)

Here it is folks, another middle of the night post from your (hopefully) favorite insomniac law student. My sleep schedule is so messed up right now, I hope that my circadian rhythms don't get thrown out of whack. Note: I don't actually know what circadian rhythms are, but they sound important, so I'd like them to stay regulated.

Anyhow, as many of you know, after a five year hiatus, I've recently begun wearing jeans again. The decision to do so was sort of spur of the moment, semi-prompted by my costume for Law Revue, as I'd long ago come to realize that what we wear doesn't define our relationship with religion. And, while I still believe that fervently, I find myself laying awake tonight contemplating jumping (modestly, of course) back on the skirts bandwagon.

Don't get me wrong, I love jeans. They are infinitely more comfortable than most skirts. (The years that I spent telling people that I found jeans uncomfortable, I was clearly deluding myself.) Wearing jeans makes getting dressed in the morning much, much easier. Jean skirts just don't have the same level of versatility. Plus, jeans look awesome. They are the deserving MVP of fashion and, if I do go back to skirts full-time, I will miss them dearly. And yet, I still find myself missing my skirt-wearing self.

I know that we should not wear our true selves on our sleeves, or in this case, our hemlines, but in the past weeks, I have felt myself changing in multiple ways that I am not particularly fond of, and I am wondering if my wardrobe change is a partial culprit. At this point, I must STRESS that none of what I write here is a judgment of the choices of others. I wish, wish, wish that I were a strong enough person that I did not require an outward reminder of the kind of person that I want to be, but alas, it seems that I am too weak for that. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of outlines, exams, and study groups. I have barely made time to eat, much less go to shul, daven, do any kind of substantive chesed, or learn. And, for the first time in my life, my day-to-day social circle is not made up of individuals for whom these things are concerns. I absolutely love my law school friends. They are a group of unique, kind-hearted, smart, witty, and passionate individuals from whom I am constantly learning. But, for the most part, they are completely unfamiliar with the insular world in which I have been coddled for the past 23 years. It has been all too easy for me to slink into this law school world -- a world that is new, exciting, and fun -- and relegate my yiddishkeit to the back burner. I do not feel as though I am being duplicitous. I speak openly with my friends about kashrut, shabbat, and other aspects of my life -- when appropriate. But when the conversation doesn't take a decisively ethnic turn, I am finding myself all too happy to pretend that my religious life is just one of the many aspects of my self -- rather than the central aspect of my being that it truly is. The worrisome thing is that all this pretending is leading me to realize that I have cast aside some things that are important to me for the sake of fitting in.

Just to be clear, wearing skirts is not particularly important to me. I do not think that skirts are inherently more "tznius" than pants. And I certainly do not think that they are ANY kind of indicator of religiosity or commitment to halacha. But, I am wondering if I, in my compromised state, perhaps need the outward symbolism of the skirt to nudge me back to where I want to be religiously. Perhaps, if I recommit myself to putting a skirt on in the morning, I will be more conscious of other decisions that I make throughout the day. At the very least, I will be doing one thing, albeit a superficial one, to put Judaism in my mind as I set out into the world. I am disappointed that I find myself needing this particular prodding, but I am trying to be proactive in preventing an even more severe deviation from the lifestyle that I love and that I am committed to.

To end, I have to say that all of this makes me feel awfully hypocritical. I do not want to be a part of something that perpetuates the message that "you are what you wear." Nothing could be further from what I believe. Do you think there are other, more substantive, choices that I could be making? I really do want to hear from you. Most of you reading this are my nearest and dearest and I value your thoughts. So, spill.

Thanks for listening/reading and, as always, thanks for your friendship.
Much love, Y

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Insomnia Speaks

So...I can't sleep. I know, I know...Those of you who have lived with me are probably shocked by this turn of events. Just bear in mind that it is 3 AM and not 3 PM. I'm sure that if it were 3 PM, I'd be out cold.
Anyway, after watching several "fanvids" that I should never admit to watching on YouTube, I decided to scour my own Facebook page in search of something that requires editing. In my scouring, I came upon the only "Note" that I ever posted. Remember that "25 Things About Me" craze that swept the web last year? Well, never one to let a trend pass me by, I, too, created one of those lists. And, shocker, I've re-posted it below.
My apologies that this is going to be a re-read for some of you -- but creativity is in short supply at the moment.
One last thing: While I am well aware that I beg for comments far too often (cough, Avishai called me a comment slut, cough), I could really use the morale boost during this particular stretch of finals. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are really starting to wear me down. So, pretty please?
Melatonin Wishes and Ambien Dreams, Y

25 Things...
(Originally posted to Facebook in February 2009)

By now you know the rules...

1. I am obsessed with my family. I love and admire both my parents and siblings more than words can adequately express.

2. My friends make fun of the overtly gushy way I often express my appreciation of them. What they don’t realize is that I haven’t even begun to get at just how much they mean to me.

3. I sleep way too much. I slept for fifteen straight hours twice – this week.

4. The first real concert I ever went to was a Faith Hill-Tim McGraw joint show. Yes, I am embarrassed.

5. I still harbor dreams of co-anchoring Sportscenter and being the first female sportscaster to be universally adored by men.

6. My favorite food is cereal. It is not uncommon for me to go through a box a day.

7. Josh and Donna from The West Wing are my all-time favorite TV couple. Cory and Topanga run a close second.

8. I firmly believe that an NFL quarterback’s talent is inextricably linked to his physical appearance. For examples, see Favre, Brett and Brady, Tom.

9. Whenever I don’t want to teach people how to pronounce my name, I tell them that my name is Ellie. This is particularly helpful in Starbucks, Anthropologie, and on the continent of Australia.

10. On the subject of names, my karaoke alias is Gail. Gail’s favorite night at karaoke was when a mysterious fellow, whom her friends have since nicknamed “Alfredo”, rushed the stage and kissed her.

11. My first singing solo was at my kindergarten class’s Chanukah dinner. I was given the task of singing “Light One Candle for the Maccabee Children” because I was the only one in the class who could read the verses.

12. As a proud Feit family member, I am forever indebted to The Office for making the paper business cool.

13. My 2nd grade Little League team was the Colorado Rockies. I was one of two girls on the team. I had purple Converse sneakers to match my uniform.

14. When I worked at Camp HASC, I was twice the subject of the staff "mussar shmooze." Once for having a water fight with boys and once for watching movies with boys. Oops.

15. I was cast as a prostitute-like character in each of my three high school musicals. I’m not sure what it was about me that Ms. Goldberg thought spelled promiscuity.

16. I do not know how to ride a bike. Whenever I go down to Kiawah, I need to rent an adult tricycle.

17. I love making lists. I wrote an essay about making lists for my Creative Writing class at Melbourne Uni. My professor was a dead-ringer for Harvey Keitel. I couldn’t get through class without craving a Royale with Cheese.

18. I collect “I Love Lucy” paraphernalia. I can’t remember when I started or why. I can recite the entire Vitameatavegimin speech by rote.

19. The first thing I ever read out loud was a Cascade dishwashing detergent ad in Good Housekeeping magazine.

20. When I was in 11th grade, my choir sang at President Bush’s Chanukah party. We were later mocked on SNL’s Weekend Update. I’m still not sure which part of that story is cooler.

21. Despite facing vehement opposition in both Kiawah and Belarus, I still think that “Dave” is an awesome movie.

22. In seventh grade, my friends and I used to ditch our basketball clinic to watch Dawson’s Creek in the JCC Lounge. Once, during a 2-hour episode, we forgot to go outside for our carpool. When my friend’s dad went to the gym to look for us, the basketball coach told him we had stopped coming to clinic months ago. Needless to say, we were busted. I still blame my pitiful free-throw percentage on James Van der Beek.

23. On my thirteenth birthday, Ilana Feuer and I bought tickets to Starship Troopers and snuck into the R-rated Cruel Intentions instead. We were soon kicked out of the theater by a man in a green sweatshirt. Bastard.

24. I am inconsistent in my use of proper punctuation marks. Note the errant use of quotation marks in this list as an example. Also, I favor the dash and the semi-colon over traditional sentence structure.

25. I made up a story about what happens to Gordon Bombay and Charlie Conway’s mom after the end of The Mighty Ducks. D2, despite being a far superior movie, ruined my plans.

Monday, December 7, 2009

An Exercise in Procrastination

Blogging on I've procrastinated enough today to warrant a year's supply of Strattera.

1. Bruce Springsteen wants to meet me. For those of you who don't believe it, see Yosef's comment on my November 25th post.

2. The Nice Jewish Girls? article from Details was by far my most popular GChat status ever. Special thanks go out to JB for discovering it. And yes, there will be a much longer blog post about it in the future. Talk to me after December 21st.

3. Jenny is doing awesome work over at The Atlantic. And yes, I loved my Cabbage Patch Kids doll.

4. I still don't know how to ride a bike...and Target loves me anyway.

5. The FrumSuit. What sexy Jewish girls will be wearing at the beach this summer.

6. None of you have given me any ideas about where to go in Rome yet. Get on that.

7. Teddy Roosevelt was a Columbia Law School dropout. If I fail my finals, at least I'll be in good company.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Pop-Ed Page

After a particularly illuminating conversation about the virtues, or lack thereof, of the NYT's Op-Ed page (Thanks for lunch, Beens!), I've decided that if I can't use the Sulzberger Soapbox as a forum for expressing my views, this is the next best thing. However, being in the midst of finals, blogworthy thoughts are hitting my brain at the speed of Adrian Peterson ( and I am lacking the time with which to record them. As such, I resort to NK for inspiration yet again and am here to grace you with 7 thoughts about pop culture this week. Okay, some of them aren't about pop culture, but I'm counting on you to play along.

1. Ding, dong the witch is dead. Teri's fateful secret is finally revealed on this week's episode of Glee -- which sucked by the way. Even I am finding it difficult to suspend enough disbelief to keep on watching. Mr. Schu can't be in the yearbook picture because he slept on a mattress that can't be returned? Weak. Emma is suddenly on Team Teri? And Team Ken, for that matter? Weaker. The producers can make it up to me with some Will-Emma action before the show goes on hiatus. And that's how Sue "c"s it.

2. The Elin-ator. It seems that Tiger's wife has pulled a Lorena Bobbitt of sorts. An athlete hasn't fallen this far from grace since...well, ever. And, while at first, I was impressed with her ballsy-ness, I've since realized that violence is never the answer. She should take a note from Ivana Trump and employ the "Don't get mad, get everything" philosophy. It seems that she has already roped Tiger into some thrice-daily marriage counseling routine. If that's not tantamount to castration, I don't know what is.

3. In other news, Chabad in now aiding in the effort to train bomb-sniffing dogs in Montana.
My only question is this: Does anyone know if Max Baucus put on tefillin today?

4. I just ordered my first ever item from it was inspired by Sarah Palin. Is it a gift for my dad? Obviously.
On the topic of SP, Jonathan "Scary Spice" Berliner had the opportunity to meet her this past week in his adopted hometown of Richland, WA. When she didn't sign his book, he returned it. In a comment on a previous post, Jon let us know that this blog is one of his graveyard shift must-reads. I'm shocked to find out that "Going Rogue" didn't make the cut.

5. Getting to seven is harder than I thought. Appreciation for Navah's consistent work is growing. Check her out at

6. The professional football season is slowly creeping to a close and it is causing me more distraction than ever. Why couldn't things have been this interesting last season -- when I didn't care about finals at all? When they say that the MVP race is heating up, they mean because Brett is hot, right?

7. I'm looking for suggestions of things to do during a stopover in Rome...on Christmas Eve. I've got 10 hours to kill in the Eternal City. Ready, Set, Go.

Later, Gators.
(Oops. Sorry Nav. I didn't mean to insult you...or Tim Tebow.)