My Birthday/”We Are Young”

Today is my 24th birthday! It’s kind of crazy how much can happen in one year. This past year held so many milestones and amazing memories that I don’t know how next year can possibly beat it. I know it will try though. I am thankful to all my family and friends for their well wishes and for being positive influences in my life.

Yesterday I watched Tuesday’s episode of Glee. The song at the end really sums up some of the conversations I have been having with a few friends lately. I want to live life to the max and make the most of the time I have…

Girl give me a second I,
I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State
My lover she’s waiting for me just across the bar
My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses asking bout a scar, and
I know I gave it to you months ago
I know you’re trying to forget
But between the drinks and subtle things
The holes in my apologies, you know
I’m trying hard to take it back
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Now I know that I’m not
All that you got
I guess that I, I just thought
Maybe we could find new ways to fall apart
But our friend are back
So let’s raise the toast
‘Cause I found someone to carry me home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry home tonight (Nananananana)
Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry me home tonight (Nananananana)

The moon is on my side
I have no reason to run
So will someone come and carry me home tonight
The angels never arrived
But I can hear the choir
So will someone come and carry me home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home tonight

Las Vegas: Exploring, Friends, Amazing Buildings, Crazy Times, Beautiful Fountains, & Ne-Yo

This past weekend I was in Las Vegas with a few friends from Denver. It was a great time! I’m really happy I went and am pretty impressed with the amount were were able to do in such a short time. I’m not going to go into all of the details, but I do want to share some of the highlights:

I got to catch-up with some of my close friends!

I love great buildings, so needless to say I was quite impressed with The Strip. We never made it off the strip, but I could have spent much more time admiring the great buildings, even though some of them were just way larger than is necessary.

We did some gambling – I did win $1 at one casino and broke even at blackjack. Otherwise, I lost, though not too much.

We watched the fountains at The Bellagio several times. Every time, they amazed me. I could have just watched the musical fountains all day.

We saw Mystere, the original Cirque du Soleil show. I really liked it – they had some amazingly talented performers. I was a little confused though with what seemed to be a lack of a storyline.

We checked out some great clubs and sampled some of the nightlife. And Saturday night we saw Ne-Yo live! It was awesome! After posting that I was in Vegas on Twitter, I got followed by a promoter for Surrender, the nightclub at Encore. I decided to text him and we ended up on the guest list to see Ne-Yo perform at Encore for his birthday! We ended up just on the other side of the roped off area where Ne-Yo was partying and in the second row from the stage where he was performing. He only performed for a short while, but it was great:

Winter Trip 2010: Post #4

There is a lot to update here.  The past (almost) week has been busy and a lot of fun.  I’ve really been enjoying myself.  Right now, there is a major storm in Israel with high winds and rain.  It seems that winter has finally arrived (very late and after a long drought) and did so almost over night.

Tuesday

Tuesday I woke up in Jerusalem and then got on a bus to Be’er Sheva. (I feel like I did something in the morning that I cannot currently remember.)  While waiting for the bus , I met some Israeli kids who started asking me about American movies.  It was pretty amusing.  After getting to Be’er Sheva, I met my friend Ella (from Denver and on the Overseas Program at BGU) and we caught up.  I went to a class with her on collective memory and then we went to dinner at a new shwarma/falafel place nearby.  After dinner, we went to a Chanukah Party held by the Overseas Student Program where we lit candles, sang songs, ate food, played dreidle, etc.  After the party I moved my bags into a room in the dorms that they had arranged for me and then went to meet Na’ama who was a counselor on my USY program when I was in Israel in 2005.  We had 5.5 years of catching up to do.

Wednesday

My 23rd Birthday!  It was a good one.  In the morning, I went and saw Ora, my Hebrew teacher from my time at BGU.  I then went to a class with Ella on Talmud stories in which we discussed Chanukah.  Then, we went to lunch at Lemongrass, a Kosher Chinese food restaurant on campus.  After lunch, I checked a few emails and then in the afternoon we explored the Old City of Be’er Sheva and went grocery shopping.  We made latkes (from scratch) and had them with animal shaped shnitzel for dinner.  It was not fancy, but was great fun – especially when this nice lady argued with the person at the checkout to give us a sale price on the shnitzel.  It was a good dinner next to the menorah for the last night of Chanukah.  After dinner, I walked to the BIG and ONE Plaza, malls in Be’er Sheva to explore and then came back to meet Ella.  We had pie and then went out to some of the pubs around campus for a little while.

Thursday

Thursday morning Ella and I went to the Beduin Shuk where we explored everything we didn’t need.  When she left for class, I walked over to the regular shuk and explored there as well as the Canyon HaNegev (The Negev Mall – Be’er Sheva’s big indoor mall).  I then met Ella for lunch and we got bagel toast.  After lunch, I explored the university – they made several changes.  I went back to the Old City and went to The Negev Museum, which I figured was about the desert.  Indeed, that was not the case.  Rather it was a small art museum, but the people were extraordinarilly nice.  I got frozen yogurt at Glida Be’er Sheva and headed back to the university.  I left Ella and went with Inbal, who was the dorms counselor when Iwas at Ben-Gurion.  She now works for Ayalim and I went with her as she showed a potential donor some of the villages in Be’er Sheva.  I saw areas of the city I never knew existed.  She then bought a sofa chair from some guy on the side of the street (pretty awesome) and we went to Ashalim, where she lives in a student village in the middle of the desert.  We made dinner, she showed me around, and I met some pretty cool people.

Friday

We woke up pretty early and explored a bit more.  Inbal then brought me to the bus station in Be’er Sheva and I fought the madness of tons of soldiers to force my way onto a bus to Jerusalem.  On the way back to Be’er Sheva, we passed several Beduin villages and I saw horses, camels, donkeys, and sheep.  Once in Jerusalem, I made my way to French Hill and the Romms where I relaxed, tried to catch up on email, and helped get ready for Shabbat (including making challah!).  We went to some great Kabbalat Shabbat services, came back to a good dinner, talked, and went to bed.

Saturday

We went to services in the morning and then returned to the apartment for lunch.  There is always so much food!  After lunch, we chatted, I read The Jerusalem Post, and took a nap.  When Shabbat was over, the computers came out for a bit and I tried to make some plans for Tel-Aviv.  We then picked up Dvora and Yair from his parents house.  I went along for the ride and had never realized how large Jerusalem really was.  My experiences seem to have always been limited to a few areas of the city.  When we got back, the table was set for a big dinner and apparently it was to celebrate my birthday all together!  They had even made a cake!  I was surprised and very happy.  We talked for a while and went to bed.

Tales of Two Dogs

Build-A-Bear Workshop is quite the place.  At the World BearQuarters, people can bring their dogs to work with them. It’s great being able to walk around the office and pet dogs.  They even come to meetings.  I’m sure this is part of the reason Build-A-Bear Workshop is on the 100 Best Companies To Work For list.  Here are two stories from this past week:

Tale #1: A Birthday Party

One day earlier this week I heard rumblings from nearby in HR about a birthday party.  Naturally, my interest was piqued.  I always enjoy celebrating a good birthday… and the cake isn’t so bad either :-).  I did want to intrude though so I went to take something over to another person’s desk and she was going to the party, as was someone else nearby.  I figured since one of them wasn’t  “officially” invited, but was still going, that I could go as well.  That was when I found out that the party was for Jose.

Jose is a dog.  A fun dog – and apparently a very lucky dog.  Jose had a party.  His dog friends and their owners were invited.  We went into Bear U (yes, that is what Build-A-Bear calls their large meeting room/auditorium) and had cake made with honey and peanut butter for the dogs.  Let me clarify – the dogs had cake.  I might have been jealous…

As the dogs played with each other and ate, I thought that these dogs have a pretty good life.  Especially Jose, he even got gifts.

Tale #2: The Missing Pup

Today I got to work and heard comments about some beagle going around the building.  Shortly thereafter, Laurie sent an email out to the BearQuarters with the subject line of “Did you lose a very cute beagle?” and the body of “If so, you can find your pup in Operations…s/he has been contained :-)”.  Soon after I found out that the beagle did not belong to anyone at Build-A-Bear.  Someone saw the dog outside the office door, thought he belonged to someone who worked there, and let him in!

This beagle was pretty lucky (like Jose).  Note to dogs: if you are lost, make your way to Build-A-Bear Workshop.  Of all of the places to end up, this was it.  Several people went up and down nearby streets to see if anyone had lost the dogs.  Others called area vets and shelters to see if anyone reported him.  No one had.  In the meantime, notices about the lost dog were posted on Fido Finder and Craig’s List.  One person responded to the posts, but for the wrong gender dog.

As all of this was going on, the lost beagle was given plenty of attention (he was pretty well behaved).  The beagle, whose name we do not know, was given food, treats, and toys to play with.  He even got to play with other dogs.  Eventually though, he seemed to realize he was in the wrong place and got sad.  Nevertheless, this beagle was not taken to the pound.  Rather, one of the BearQuarters employees took him home for the weekend and will continue to try to find the owner.  Perhaps he has a chip?

This beagle ended up at the right place.  One intelligent pup.