Okay, a few things.
For starters, I went out last night for the first time in a long time (save the dinner with coworkers recently, which was nice, but last night was definitely a different beast) to a bar, with a bunch of people (we're talking 20-30) who I did not know. Yes, complete strangers. I headed off to Goose Island to meet up with a bunch of people who I had "met" through an online community of people who like to review things and spout off about them, too. I spent about 4 or 5 hours out and met some absolutely amazing people from just about every corner of this little big city I call home. People in their 20s, people in their 50s. Seriously, probably the most happy night I've had in a long time, one where I felt alive, social, and like who I used to be, a long time ago, when I was more hopeful and positive about where I was going. There were also a handful of Jews there, so it was nice to meet some of the fellow tribesmen/woman. But the coolest thing about the night? Well, on this online community, I'm known as "Chaviva E." simply because that's how the site rolls. I originally signed on as "Amanda E.", but there was this obnoxious, hated gal on there who also was an Amanda. So I opted to change my name. As such, everyone last night called me by my Hebrew name, my name that I truly connect with, and it was like coming home. Being in a social situation where people know me by my "Jewish name" is truly exceptional. The funny thing, though, is that everyone called me "Cha-viva" ... as in, Cha cha, cha cha cha. Salsa dancing style. I hated correcting people, but it felt natural, and it sort of became a joke after a while. There were some very interesting pronunciations, though, as well. But the Jews got it right the first time, and it felt good. Overall, there were some amazing conversations, friendships made, kindly flirtations, and genuine joviality.
Secondly, I caved. I bought a Blackberry Pearl. I know, I know. What do I need with it? Well, the thing is, my job sort of calls for it (not necessarily, but, it's hard to explain). And I'm addicted to the Internet, so why not? I'll give it a go for a few weeks and if it doesn't do me well, then I'll pack it back down to a normal phone and normal service. My number is still the same, but I'm now on T-Mobile. A-freaking-men.
So that's that. I hope everyone had a thoughtful Shabbat. Despite my efforts to make it to shul last night, stepping in a gigantic pile of mud/snow/slush caused me to head straight home. Thus, I am starting 2008 by attending my first Shabbat of the year at the Conservative synagogue. It's a big step, but, I have a really good feeling about it. We'll see where that takes me, but I've heard some good things about the congregation there.
Laila tov, friends, and may you and yours be well as we near 2008.