Friday, September 22, 2006

The Erev Rosh HaShannah Edition

It seems like I only post on Fridays. It's not that Fridays are slower than any other day, but the end of the week brings more gathered thoughts, and recently, a wistful feeling and a desire to be wise.

This Friday is no exception. Especially because tonight is Rosh HaShannah.

What am I davening for this year? It seems to be that each year, I end up focusing on one thing, only to realize somewher towards the end of davening about everything else I meant to daven for. So I thought if I planned better in advance this year, I could get in everything I meant to.

Here we go:

World-related things:
1. General peace in the world, including:
Natural disasters
Nuclear threats
All that good stuff...

Jewish People related things:
1. Extra prayer for peace in Israel
2. The state of the Jewish community as a whole, religiously and economically.

Personal related things:
1. My relationships with my God, my friends and family should be strong and grow.
2. I should be able to have the clarity to understand what I really need to be doing with myself, both in terms of my job and my religious and personal life.
3. I should have the strength to be able to fulfill all of the goals that I have set for this year.

I don't feel comfortable posting everything here, but I hope this will help me focus better. Maybe it will help you focus as well.

Shannah Tovah!

Friday, September 15, 2006

More Tales of the Subway

Yesterday, on my way to work, a mother and her approximately 10 year old son get on the train.

BOY: Mom, did you make my toast?

MOM: Yes, it's in your backpack. But story first, then toast.

BOY: Aw.

They sit down and he pulls a black and white marble notebook and a pencil from his bag. It becomes clear that his homework had been to write a story using some new words the class had learned. He was having a hard time thinking of what to write and his mom was helping him out.

Needless to say, by the time their stop arrived, he had still not written a single sentance.

Last week, there was another kid doing homeowrk with a parent on the train.

What's the deal? I understand high school or college kids doing their homeowrk at the last minute. But kids who need parental supervision for their homework? Where were their parents last night? I'll bet Story Boy didn't hand in his best effort. He looked like he could have come up with something great, given proper time and conditions (aka a table instead of his lap on a moving train). Parents might take their children's performance under consideration when deciding to let them push their work off until the morning it is due.

Friday, September 08, 2006


So yesterday, I get an assignment which I was told was to be completed for Monday. Mind you I hadn't spoken to the client personally to get an idea of what they wanted, but was passed information from the art director. So by the end of the day, I have several pages of ideas I will work up. But then, at 5:00, we need to rush and send finished products over to the client. I had directions, but no real finished product. The art director had been working on this as well, and between the teo of us we scraped together 4-5 things to send.

This morning, I get to work and he wants to speak with me. He explains that if I am given all day to work on a project, I should have something more to show than sketches. Yes, he knows the given deadline was Monday, but yadda yadda yadda. Fine, I hear that.

Then, he speaks with the client, who didn't like our work at all. He was expecting finished high quality work. And he wanted a totally different direction that the one the art director had pushed me towards. I had been working on several things which would have better expressed the direction the client was looking for. So while I was slow, I was right! Grrrr! And why wasn't I included in the initial conversation with the client to begin with?

But this whole business only pushes me again to think long and hard about this job - am I really doing what what is the best for me? This seems to be more practical from several perspectives. And while I can usually do a decent job, I'll never be a world famous graphic designer but thats perfectly fine with me. But is this really the best use of my talents and skills? Art and design are ok, but is that really my passion? I think I already know the answer to that: no. But is it still the best career choice? Maybe. I have been struggling with this for a while. I'm not quite sure how to come to a decision. Any suggestions?

In other news, I seemed to have pulled something in my foot while hiking on Monday. I limped around the grocry store last night, getting food for Shabbos.

Enjoy your Shabbos, all!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Blogging is harder than it seems...

Having your own blog is sure harder than reading others! Hence the lack of postings here. But I loved the newest story over at Elster's Storytellers blog. Some people have such a way with words. They can capture emotion and passion with mere letterforms, and the air shimmers with the pictures their words create. Go read it now. Maybe if I ever get anything nearly good enough, I'll give in a story myself.