Thanksgiving Day Leftovers

I'm sorry I haven't taken the time to blog in a long long time. I've been taking a bit of a break from writing posts in order to focus on some other things in my life, namely my "Web Application Development" studies, Toastmasters meetings (I've gone to 2 meetings since I joined on Nov. 10th), and searching for various life-opportunities. Anyway, I'd like to take the time right now to share what I did this year for Thanksgiving.

For the third year in a row, my family went to the Annual Thanksgiving Vegetarian Potluck Feast. It's a wonderful delicious party where everyone brings a dish that has no meat or cheese in it, and it's held in a big beautiful park with lots of trees and several picnic benches. My family brought to the potluck a delicious sweet salad (lettuce, apples, carrots, coconut, and raisins with orange juice poured all over), rice with curry (an excellent combination), and a special sweet-potato mash. There were about 50 other people that showed up, and dozens of vegetarian dishes to sample from. It was a smorgasbord! It was just like going to an all-you-can-eat-buffet, with the only expense being the fee for entering the park. There was plenty of food for everyone, and I was very thankful for the abundance that was all around me. And absolutely no turkeys were harmed!

After a couple plates of food, me and my sister noticed a couple young guys throwing a Frisbee around. They looked about in their early 20s, and pretty good-looking (as guys tend to be). My sister was brave enough to casually walk over and initiate a game of catch with them. I followed her even though my stomach was almost full up. Is it healthy to exercise right after eating? Well if it's wrong, I don't want to be right. We had a good time playing Frisbee, and it was just a casual game, throwing it to each other in no set order. My brother Adam joined in for a few tosses, then left when he got tired. When we all got tired of playing, we gave the guys their Frisbee back and that was that. No name exchanges or anything, just a fun, memorable moment that we created out of thin air.
Another fun moment was when a guy named George brought a Mastermind set and I played a few rounds with him, guessing his color codes in about 5 tries. George kept saying things like, "How did you get that?" and "You're so smart," and "I would never have been able to guess that," which made me feel so good and intelligent inside. I also played with a gal named Lisa, and another man named Matthew. I had such a blast!

My family had such a great time that we didn't leave that park until almost sunset! I didn't want that day to end, but as days tend to do, it ended anyway.
Fast forward to evening, back home where my whole family is watching "Analyze That" (the sequel to Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro's great comedy "Analyze This") and laughing out loud all together. Best. Thanksgiving. Ever!

I am so thankful to have so many things to be thankful for: family, friends, health, wealth, home, happiness, knowledge, abundance, free time, technology, nature, growth, plants, animals, oceans, mountains, stars, galaxies...Okay, I think I may be going a bit overboard. Maybe I should just end this post with a Seasons Greetings and a Happy Harvest Holiday!


"Toastmasters" Visits!

Has anyone ever heard of the public-speaking club called "Toastmasters"? Well if you haven't, find the nearest club in your area, and go visit it! It will be one of the most fascinating experiences you've ever had! At least I hope it will be as fascinating as my two visits were. I knew about Toastmasters long ago, because my dad went to one of their meetings once, but that was many years ago! I had to discover for myself just what "Toastmasters" was.

This last Monday at 7:30 p.m., I got my whole family to drive to this church near us where the club met (we don't go because we're Jewish), and we were welcomed as guests and sat in on the meeting. There seemed to be about 20 or so other people, all of whom wanted to further their public-speaking/effective communication skills. Each time someone spoke, everyone else would applaud. The atmosphere was very friendly and supportive, and of course supportive applause is contagious. I saw wonderful speakers that night, and it was amazing for me to realize that these people lived in the same city as me!

The next day, Tuesday at 12:30, there was another meeting at a completely different Toastmasters club, and I wanted to make an intelligent decision to see if the two Toastmasters clubs were different in any way and which would I rather choose to join. My dad dropped my sister Bettina and I off at our local A.I.U. (American Inter-Continental University) and we went alone this time to the meeting. It was a bit of a smaller group than the other club, but it was no less friendly, supportive, and exciting.

After weighing the benefits of joining either club, Bettina and I both decided to join the one at A.I.U. because of it's convenient time, even though it's also slightly further away than the church club. I'm very excited about this opportunity, because it's very inexpensive to get started, it's educational, and it's a great way to meet new people. If you'd like to learn more about Toastmasters, here's their website, www.toastmasters.org.

Happy Thursday!