latest by jen

The internet has turned me into a distracted tree killer

The internet, while seemingly a solution to the problem of the environmental impact of paper, is in fact turning me into a murderer. Of trees. For the past decade, I’ve been an obnoxiously devoted supporter of replacing paper with screens. I’ve forsaken writing, receiving, and hoarding handwritten letters in exchange for emails. I’ve replaced the amusing 20 minutes I used to spend browsing the  greeting card aisles of the Hallmark store in exchange for working …

What color is fear?

I have this thing. After half a lifetime of thinking it was either a special power possessed by only a select few, or a strange sensory birth defect that generally didn’t interfere with my life, I discovered it was a thing. With a name. Synesthesia. I see letters, and words, in color. Not all words, and not all the time — only particular words and only really when I pay attention to it. Months of …

How to survive parenting when you’d rather be getting drunk

I love my children. But some nights — especially Thursday nights (the Israeli equivalent of Friday night) — I’d rather be out at a swanky city bar with friends on my way to a Friday morning hangover than hovering over the bathtub trying to convince a screaming five year old that I have not even put shampoo in her hair yet, let alone allow it to stream into her eyeballs. On nights like these, I …

Whose writing do you want to make out with?

When I was a little girl, I would swing high on the swings next to Rachel or Lisa or Debbie who would be fisting two Twizzlers while simultaneously reaching with their feet for the moon. Rachel or Lisa or Debbie would say, “I love Twizzlers so much.” And I would say snidely, “If you love them so much, why don’t you marry them?” There is a period between the ages of 6 and 7 in …

The yellow bowl

I am obsessed with my child’s memory of me of this moment of this yellow bowl. This inaccessible ceramic yellow bowl perched high upon a dusty refrigerator will one day be dusty, too — an image sitting in a drawer waiting to be opened in my child’s memory. Inside the yellow bowl are rainbow jelly beans, Polish lollipops handmade by a retired couple sitting at a railway station. There are remnants of chocolate wafers, too, …

I’m no Katie Couric — but I really don’t want cancer

In order to be adequately prepared for a colonoscopy, you need to get to a point at which your poop looks like pee. It’s the one time in your life when yellow liquid shooting out forcefully from your butt is a WIN! I share this with you not to gross you out to the point of leaving my blog never to return, but in order to do my part towards colon cancer awareness and, like …

He gets like that

One of my dear friends turned 40 today. She was the first of my group of childhood friends to get her driver’s license, the downside of which, I said to her today, is that she also is the first of our group of friends to hit middle age. Of course, none of that statement is true. Our friends — the ones who celebrated her 17th birthday years ago — are now scattered around the world, …

10.12.13 dream haiku – R Rated Saturday

Check out Jon’s Dream Haikus. They’re fantastic!

My little Garden of Eden in Israel

There is a place I idealize here in Israel: Kibbutz Harduf in the Lower Galilee, an anthroposophic community with a unique approach to intentional living, and Israel’s largest producer of organic food. Before we made Aliyah I first learned of Harduf  from my (now) friend Haviva’s article in Zeek about local, organic living in the Galilee.  At the time, I was running my own consulting business in New Jersey, the main focus of which was …

What I learned from Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize win in literature

Oh Alice Munro: “For years and years, I thought that stories were just practice, till I got time to write a novel,” she told The New Yorker in 2012. “Then I found that they were all I could do, and so I faced that. I suppose that my trying to get so much into stories has been a compensation.” Thank you for your well-timed win and wisdom, Ms. Munro, if I may call you that. …

Time spent dreaming

Longing for the day When my dreams count as real life And I remember. Only good ones though– Sidewalk reunions, relief. Scattered song and dance. I could do without underground caves teeming with naked mannequins.

Book deal? I write just for fun.

Three people, in as many months, have told me their creative efforts are “just for fun.” This was in the context of showing me their wares — a brilliantly crocheted flower vase or a cat carrying-case re-purposed from a plastic water jug — and me remarking astoundedly, “This is fantastic. Are you selling them?” Each smiled and said matter-of-fact, “No. It’s just a hobby. It’s just for fun.” Once, I had a creative hobby that …

I’m a little obsessed with time travel, are you?

I love playing with the idea of time travel. I’m not a quantum physicist. In fact, attempting to wrap my brain around the quantum physics aspects of time travel gives me such a headache I have to read a Danielle Steel novel to make it go away. So instead of trying to understand the science behind time travel, I watch movies, read books, and write about time travel from an artist’s perspective. How writing letters to your …

Just on a whim … all we are is just on a whim

Let’s move to San Fran just on a whim, you and I. We’ll bring the kids, too.

Nibs give you magical powers, and other lies I told under the influence of candy

If I had written this article on the 25 best candy bars of all time, I probably would have replaced Caramello with Rolos, and left out anything with coconut. But to be fair Rolos isn’t a bar, which is probably why the author chose Caramello in the first place. My first reaction to seeing the post in my Twitter feed was impulsive: “Hey, it’s Halloween season! Who can I get to ship me some candy …

Imagining the Series Finale of My Life

“I’m going to die on this road one of these days,” I thought without actually thinking this morning, as I slowly took the sharp curve on the road between Kfar Manda and D’meida. The cars opposite me, one by one, took the curve twice as fast as I did, every third car with their front tire on my side of the yellow line. “Ironic,” I muttered, out loud. “You’re more likely to die from a …

A poem about Israel

For my 15-minute Friday exercise, I jotted down some thoughts I had while celebrating/not-celebrating the Jewish High Holidays in Israel this year. The poem I produced out of this exercise may be found here on The Times of Israel  and is a culmination of both my confusion and my devotion; of my acceptance and my denial. It is an admission of judgment — of myself, as well as others. And it is a declaration of hope. …

Where dreams come from sometimes

If time were to stand still, I would kiss your lips leaving no trace of me behind. You’d awaken when time moved again and know your life had changed forever but the only evidence of the crime would be a hazy cornered memory hidden in the land of dreams. = = = (This vignette was prompted by The Daily Prompt: Standstill)

  • Food |
  • Memory |
  • Parenting |

I remember you on white bread

Meatball Surprise Mom is away. Not like that one time fancy schmancy mozzarella with tomatoes from BJs unusual but usually some concoction something on the stove from scratch from what was in the fridge No I remember Meatball Surprise little Jason little Jen Pancakes log cabin syrup big glasses tinted lens…
  • Education |
  • Family |
  • Letting Go |
  • Love |
  • Memory |

First love

Among my cardboard boxes, there is another. It’s plastic. A clear Tupperware container with a blue cover marked “Jen’s papers.” I laugh a little at this because the markings on the masking tape are in my mother’s handwriting and I would have expected it to read “Jennifer’s papers.” But Jen is shorter…
  • Writing |

I don’t know why I’ve been dreaming ’bout the Echelon Mall

Tacos for 79 cents, mild sauce ask for extra and squeeze Children’s Place, a tunnel with carpet inside crawl through the storefront window My first Walkman wasn’t Sony downstairs at a stereo store in the corner next to Strawbridge’s across from Heroes World before Heroes World moved upstairs One time downstairs…
  • Nonfiction |

My heart hurts with how much I love libraries right now

I’ve been suffering the symptoms of drought since I moved to Israel three years ago, but I didn’t know it until I swam again in a sea of books; otherwise known as the English Department Library at Bar Ilan University where I am currently studying Creative Writing. Where my heart…
  • Letting Go |
  • Love |
  • Relationships |

Music is a Gift with Legs

I’m a big believer in the magic of books, music, and people falling into your lap when you least expect them to and when you are most ready to appreciate their messages. (For this reason, I’m about to download The Happiness Project since three people in as many days have…
  • Writing |

Lay flat to dry

I’ve started to play with my label. It’s itching me a little. I tried moving my neck side to side to see if it would readjust comfortably on its own. Didn’t work. So I reached my right hand back over my shoulder. Stretched my collar all the way ’round front…