Monday, December 29, 2008

One Year

I started this blog a year ago today, and all I can say is that I am so glad that I did. It has been quite the year (but aren't they all?), and I'm grateful that I've had this outlet to record my thoughts and hear your comments. My little piece of the internet has proven to be much more beneficial than I ever imagined, as it has turned out to be a wonderful tool for not only sounding off (natch!) but also making new acquaintances and keeping in touch with old ones.

So here's to the past year, and I'm looking forward to seeing what this next year will bring in my e-universe.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Chanukah!

My greetings are a tad late, I know, given that most people actually issue greetings on the first day of a holiday. What can I say? It's been really hectic this week, and not just with stuffing my pie-hole with latkes, doughnuts and other goodies. In case anybody was wondering, no I have not yet found the time to make those everything-free baked doughnuts I mentioned in one of my Sunday posts. I finally conceded defeat last night and put the recipe, which had been sitting on my kitchen counter since Sunday in anticipation of my baking, away.

In any case, not matter how you spell it (Chanukah, Chanukkah, Hanukah, Hanuka, etc.), what topping you put on your latke (SOUR CREAM), or how well you can spin a dreidel, Chanukah is a darn happy holiday. And so I'm wishing everyone a most joyous Chanukah, and may we remember the lessons learned from the Maccabees and continuously merit miracles in the name of being Hashem's people.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Gift

This week I'm off from work, but I arranged a side project for fun- I'm helping a friend assemble her book of poetry so that it can be presented to a publisher.

When she first asked me, I was thrilled, because she has done so much for me and I was looking forward to the opportunity to return the favour. But it was not to be. Instead, she insisted on compensating me, no matter how hard I tried to persuade her to let me do something for her.

I remember reading on numerous occasions that love requires the ability to both give and receive. Yet, when it comes to chesed, which is related to love, the ultimate is to be like my friend, and only give.

After the car accident, as my husband and I found ourselves stranded in podunk-ville New York on the eve of Chanuka, we made the acquaintance of the then Rabbi and Rebbetzin of the town. They showered us with whatever we needed, and our every effort subsequently to do for them was rewarded with their turning around and giving again. No matter how much you gave to them, their only response was to continue to give.

I think it's beautiful to be on such a madregah, and I found them inspiring, much as I am inspired by my friend the poetess. In the end, their behaviour serves as a welcome reminder that we are all interconnected, and that by performing kindness to others, you are in fact being kind to yourself, as well as the world. And ultimately, that's what a Toradik life is all about.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Notes on a Sunday

Since yesterday turned out to be a 21-hour day for me- I went to bed at 7 PM Friday night, and consequently got up at 5:45 AM Saturday morning- I wound up sleeping in this morning. B'H', I managed to daven by chatzot, which I'm so very grateful is clocking in at almost noon these days.

While in the past half hour the day has suddenly turned glorious outside, I've been dashing about the apartment all day doing my "first Sunday off" errands in-house. All you women know exactly what I'm referring to- hand-washing, cooking for the week, renewing library books that I still have not managed to get through, etc.

I then tackled the menorah, which managed to have a lot more wax remaining on it than I remembered when putting it away last year. I took me a good half-hour of scrubbing it with steel wool to get all the little rivulets off, and then an additional one to inspect the candles for broken ones and set up tonight's candles. So finally I've arrived at the fun part: I scoured the internet for yeast-free baked vegan doughnuts. Yes, yes, I know. But I happen to have gotten into the habit of vegan baking when eggs were so expensive over the summer, and have found vegan baking very convenient for those "What do I have in the house" moments. As for yeast-free, despite having been at ShopRite last night, along with all of Boro Park, did I remember to buy yeast? You know the answer.

Having actually found a recipe, which I really more hoping to find versus expecting to find , I spent the last 15 minutes figuring out a workaround for not having a non-stick doughnut pan. I decided I could simply shape the doughnuts into rounds and then use a small glass to cut out the center. I will of course let everyone know how they turn out.

And with that, you will excuse me, but there are several people that I have neglected to call back during this past week, what with all the work craziness. Time to hop to it!

For Those Wondering What We Can Do

I happened upon a page on the site where you can donate a mitzvah in memory of the Holzbergs. Since I know that many of us have been wondering what we can do to help the klal in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, and have been seeking an outlet where they can make a difference, I wanted to take a moment to share the page with you.

May our donating mitzvahs not only help elevate the neshamah of the Holzbergs even higher in Gan Eden, but may they merit a meaningful life for their son Moshe, as well as ensure that all of Bnai Yisroel remain under Hashem's watchful protection, always.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Made it- I hope

After working 12 hours today, and otherwise being subjected to the normal antics of my office, I am now officially on break. At least, I sure hope so. Because I can't shake this nagging feeling that they're going to call me tomorrow morning in an attempt to drain a few more hours of work out of me. Should prove interesting.

In short, when cleaning the bathroom as I just did seems like almost a pleasure in comparison to your place of work, there's pretty much nothing left to say on the topic.

And with that, here's to a few days of freedom.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Family of Blue Jays

Yesterday I looked out my window in the middle of the snowfall and saw the craziest sight. There, in the tree that abuts my landlord's yard was an entire flock of blue jays in addition to the usual Brooklyn sparrows.

I got the strangest feeling when I saw those birds, let me tell you. After getting over my initial shock- I have never seen a single blue jay since moving to the US, and now here's a half-dozen on the tree in my back yard while it's snowing????- I couldn't shake the feeling that this sighting was supposed to mean something. As much as I try not to put stock in "signs", I felt deep down within me that Hashem was trying to send me a message. Especially since one bird in the group looked straight at me. Repeatedly.

As for what it all could potentially mean, the jury is still out. But one thing I did learn from it already is how very homesick I seem to be. I actually teared up because I saw something so distinctly "from home" if you will. And I suppose if I can have a reaction like that, it demonstrates how strongly I remain connected to the Great White North. What can I tell you? Life is very strange indeed.

The Roar That Shook My Apartment

This morning I reached the end of my patience. Since I had been told yesterday that I would receive a new assignment today, and knowing that at the earliest I would receive it mid-morning, I decided to wait until 10:30 to send an email to the Content Manager. I politely asked when she might be sending the said assignment, since I wanted to work around when she would send it to me. In other words, will you please let me plan my day already?

In typical fashion, I received no reply, and decided an hour ago to give her a call. She told me that she needed me to be patient because she still had to put together the assignment and so today would be a "down day" for me. That's when I said, Enough! and informed her that, no problem, I would just bill for the time. And I decided that going forward that will just have to be my policy. I'm tired of literally having to eat the cost of not being able to work because they can't seem to get their act together, to the cost to me of several thousand dollars less in income over the course of this past contract. Maybe after seeing "Waiting on next assignment" often enough in the timekeeping system, they'll start getting their act in order faster.

In the meantime, I expect to get paid. And on that note, I'm going out to find myself a pair of winter boots. Hm, paid shopping! Gotta love it. :=)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finish Line

In just a few days, I'll be off "work" until the new year. I say "work", because as everyone is already well aware, my current job stretches beyond the normal boundaries of career woes into the absurd. My term of the week for it happens to be slavery. Seriously- what else do you call a contract where you are expected to be available 24/7. B'H' for Shabbos is all I can say.

Yesterday we had a meeting called for 9:30 AM. Being perennially an optimist, which by-the-by is not all it's cracked up to be, I thought that we would receive our latest assignments within a couple of hours after the meeting. But no. Turns out that despite having sent us all emails indicating how many hours we were allotted this week, they hadn't gotten their act in order enough to actually provide us our assignments before the evening. Beautiful.

So I decided the heck with it. I called up my friend and we were all set to run a few errands together and otherwise have a nice, relaxing afternoon. As I was literally walking out the door at 1:15 the phone rang. I deliberated whether to check the caller ID, because I had been playing telephone tag with one individual for 5 days already. That was the deciding factor and I sprinted to the phone. It was work. Naturally. Oh, could I do yet another rush job by 6 PM?

For the first time at this job, I laid down the law, and said that I had already made appointments for the afternoon, since we had been informed that there would be no work until early evening. After a brief discussion (my friend buzzed me from downstairs), I ended up cutting the afternoon out short and went home to do the assignment. A compromise, if you will. Hey, you gotta eat...

Despite my having already booked up my entire time off, I am very much looking forward to the upcoming break from my current mayhem. Hopefully come the new year and next phase of the contract, I'll be able to lay down some boundaries in such a way that I can have a life while still getting in enough hours. I can dream people. Stop laughing! :=)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shabbos Thought

I was really wanting to go to sleep abysmally early last night, but felt embarrassed to be going to be at 6:30 PM at my age. So I forced myself to slog through the rest of my learning, and even cracked open a new sefer. While Hashem did reward my efforts with granting me a chiddish, I subsequently failed to remember it past this morning. So I suppose it's good nobody asked me to give a brief word at the lunch table. All that said, here is my feeble attempt to reconstruct my little thought.

When referring to Yaacov's bowing to the shechina versus Esav, Rav Dessler stresses that as opposed to the strategy of the secular yid, whose sole focus is seeking Esav's approval, Yaacov exemplifies the Toradik focus that one should maintain during galus. In a similar vein, Maharal relates the story of how the question was once asked why "the Chosen People" should be so fractured. Where's the national unity? Maharal recounts that galus requires this dissolution of unity, since it is this lack that is a critical component of the dispersion. Mental dispersion was required, and the end result was diverse outlooks that purposely interfered with brotherhood.

Indeed, this fracturing is appropriate given the reason that the second temple was destroyed, as again given over by Maharal. Unlike the first temple, the shechinah did not reside in the second temple. Rather, the second temple served as a sign of national unity; it was where the klal congregated as a people, and in that merit, stood until the people became divided. Thus Yaacov's bowing to the shechinah versus to Esav underscores how the klal, in galus, must remain focussed on a Toradik perspective, not pander and strive to placate the other nations. By doing so, we can remain in a mindset that enables us to create achdus in the community, and ultimately reunite as a people. In turn, by begetting a positive mindset, we can be zocher to once again have the shechinah dwell openly amongst us.

Good voch!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gossip Girl Moment

When thinking about the song a la my Little Bo Peep post, it occurs to me that I have had a Gossip Girl moment not once, but twice this week. For the uninitiated, the show centres around a bunch of frenemies, who text message a lot and follow their group's going-ons courtesy of the blog run by an anonymous insider, Gossip Girl. So what made my moments GG-worthy?

First, I had been unclear as to what a frenemy is until this week. Conceptually speaking, I understood that it's someone with whom you have an on-again, off-again relationship. Much like the one summed up so succinctly in the Katy Perry song. But this week, it occurred to me that I am unfortunately well-versed in "friends"' who are back-stabbing Bs one minute, then sweet as pie in a heart-beat when they need something. Guess I was in just plain in denial. (Having become enlightened however, I make sure to mentally label the stated parties appropriately going forward...)

Next, I officially turned back the clock and re-entered teenage-dom. No, I did not find an elixir to rid my wrinkles or rejuvenate my ever-increasing crop of greying hair. What was the undeniable indicator of the cross-over? I actually uttered "OMG". OUT. LOUD.

In short, people, I think I'm long overdue for a vacation...In case that wasn't blatantly obvious already...

The Anniversary

It's the anniversary of the car accident. I contemplated whether I even wanted to waste a brain cell commemorating the event. No point in dwelling on past events, unless you haven't learned from them yet, that is.

I decided though that I should mark the day. After all, it is a reminder that Hashem saved us for some purpose, which has as of yet to be revealed. So, a show of gratitude is certainly in order.

Todah Hashem, for preserving our lives, and let us remain here in this world so that we can not only achieve our spiritual missions, but do adequate teshuvah for past wrongs.

Little Bo Peep

I logged in before to listen to one of the songs I included in a post on December 4, only to find the whole post gone. After a half hour of checking all over my dashboard and Blogger Help, I figured that due to some technical snafu on the blogging platform, the said post has fallen off the face of the planet. So let's pause and bid it a fond farewell.

Isn't technology grand?

On the plus side, here's the theme song I had included, which categorically summarizes the ****iness of my wonderful office and was the general gist of my now RIP post.

Katy Perry: Hot N Cold

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Continuously Traumatized

Last night I read a new post by one of my favourite bloggers, SubWife. You can find the post, which was about the media's portrayal of the Mumbai attacks here.

All I can report is that everything I have read about the attacks has caused me to bawl like a baby. What is so odd is that I was never cold to such attacks previously, yet somehow Mumbai resonated with me on a level I have never experienced before. Perhaps it was the level of methodical disrespect for human life that the attacks demonstrated. Or perhaps it was a reaction to the media's portrayal of the incident in neutral terms, as a countermeasure to their emotionless reporting.

Whatever the cause, it was somewhat of a relief to see that one of the top MSN searches for several days following the attacks was for Moshe Holzberg, or specifically "Son of Dead Rabbi". As horrible as the search title is, I found solace in the fact that people cared enough to conduct searches on that specific part of the attacks. I was personally hoping to learn more about the nanny, who demonstrated with her actions a total appreciation for life that the terrorists lacked.

What else can I say? There are no words that can express the outpouring of emotion that the attacks has unleashed world-wide. Only tefillah, teshuvah, tzedakkah and chesed can begin to reestablish the correct balance in the world- one where the innate goodness in people wins out over the innate evil.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Aha Moment

Yesterday I was reading the parshah, and I hit upon a commentary that bowled me over.

Having spent my time down south amongst chassidim (Chabad and Breslov mainly), I'm well-versed in the whole "always be b'simchah" mentality. Or at least, so I thought. But when I saw that Hashem didn't appear to Yaacov a second time until after the mourning for Devorah and Rachel ceased, that made a big impression on me. Specifically, when I learned that the shechinah doesn't rest where there's sorrow, suddenly, a key concept banged me over the head.

If you think about it, our entire lives are supposed to be about enhancing our relationship with our Creator, thereby improving not only ourselves, but the state of our community, our fellow yiddin world wide, and indeed, all of creation. But if we are closed off from Hashem because our frame of mind prevents it, then that purpose remains out of reach. We can easily understand when people comment that to be sad, depressed, or angry cuts us off from Hashem on an intellectual level, and can even relate to feeling cut off at such times. Certainly when in the throes of negative emotion, it is simple to lower ourselves to a base level. That's why psychobabble loves to categorize various negative emotions as "primal", because they debase us to the level that we relinquish our free will. And that's why so much mussar material tries to get us to focus our attention on getting closer to Hashem, to help us overcome the always waiting road to negativity.

Yet if we contemplate this lesson from the parshah, one can also recognize that there are several components to it. First, one needs to remember that negativity renders us animalistic and denies the free will that Hashem gave only us amongst the species. Next, one needs to find a method to help overcome negative thinking. It is this step where I find many books to be lacking, since I find that most of their strategies simply don't work for me. Regardless, if one knows oneself, one can hit upon a strategy that could work, test it out, and fine tune or repeat the process until they find themselves improving. Finally, one needs to recognize that in order to rise higher both in this world and the next, one needs to always remain focussed on one's relationship with Hashem. A tall order, indeed, and one I've touched upon in my previous postings. But the beautiful phrasing of the parshah really rammed home that nugget of truth in such a way that it tied all the loose ends of wisdom/advice ("Everything is always for the best", "Being angry separates you from Hashem", "What's the use of being depressed? This world is so fleeting and you being depressed does nothing to change your lot, so...", etc.) into a useful bow.

In short, by banishing negativity in one's mind, one's heart becomes unfettered and open to Hashem. In turn, one can improve spiritually, and also have one's heart open to help one's family, one's community, even the world.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just Pick One, Will You?

As I've mentioned previously, I live in the quintessential Brooklyn apartment: hellish in summer and freezing in winter. But perhaps my favourite feature is the non-stop draft. Fresh air is one thing, but for the past few weeks I've had the blinds banging furiously in all rooms due to the worn-away insulation. Every Sunday night since I've had the same epiphany- DUH. I forgot to plastic wrap the windows. Again.

Since I've been waiting for my freshly laundered blanket to be dry before heading off to bed, and the said draftiness has basically offset the blankie's readiness before, uhm, Tuesday at this point (you would think it have been blown dry by the wind, no?), I figured why don't I check the weather forecast?

Suffice it to say that I got a nice laugh once I got a look at this week's forecast. Tonight, it's -13 C. That's almost Canadian cold, people. But what got the laugh was Wednesday's high: 14 C. So in 72 hours we go from winter to spring. You gotta love New York.

Until Wednesday though, I guess I'll be lugging my mini-heater from room to room. Like now, for instance. Here's to wishing you all a good night. :=)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Wishes

I wanted to take brief break (yes, I'm busy working) to wish my husband and father-in-law a Happy Birthday. Yes, they share a birthday. Freaky, no?

So, A and Abba S- here's to wishing you only the best, both for your birthday and the whole year...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Theme Songs

First, I need to give credit where it's due. So kudos to Barb Chansky of Barb's World who found the perfect adjective to describe me: quirky.

I have always happily described myself as unique because in my family, we're all a bunch of characters who, while frum, don't quite fit the generic frummie mold. But I'm sure you've figured ***that*** one out already. Case in point, since my mother was heavily involved in music, we were encouraged to pursue the arts- not something you'll find in your typical Brooklyn home. While music and art might be appreciated by some, they are certainly not viewed as important to a child's development. Yet I would suggest that it was my constant exposure to the arts that helped me develop certain skills. It's a proven fact, for example, that children who learn music are more adept at tasks that require sequencing, if not full-out mathematical logic.

Upon becoming more frum, I was faced with a conundrum. What do I do about my music? Suffice it to say that music went to the back burner. Nobody wants to hear me sing, which I completely understand from a tznius perspective. And yet for someone who was constantly singing up until recently, including performing and touring as part of an ensemble, to have to turn off that part of yourself is difficult. In fact, it's a tad stifling, albeit for the ultimate cause. More difficult to navigate in a way was my music collection. Obviously all the standard choral music is of a liturgical bent, so that's definitely ix-nay. As for my hard rock collection, I don't think 99% of my neighbours want to hear anything beyond "JPop". I mean, I have a couple of Jewish music albums (sorry- what do the kids call albums these days? I miss vinyl...), and even those I only bought because of the lyrics, not the music. Which is not to knock the Jewish music scene. There are some phenomenally gifted performers out there, especially amongst the young boy singers.

Lately, as I mentioned a few posts ago, I've allowed myself to get back to listening to mainstream music. If I hit a song that's untznius, I either skip it or switch the radio off. I was shocked to discover a "racy" song even on my favourite Dinah Washington album. You can imagine how quickly I hit the >> button on that one, although a tad sadly. She was such a marvelous talent.

Which brings me to theme songs. I don't know about you, but I find that I've had theme songs for given years of my life. Indeed, when I hear certain songs (and my arsenal of such songs easily surpasses the 3 dozen mark), I am actually transported back to that given point in time. So far this month I've got 4 theme songs. Yes, 4- when you have as much going on as I do right now, you tend to be a bit schizoid and require more than one theme song. And, for the record, that's exactly the same reason why I've been tending to abandon theme songs at a bi-weekly rate. What's interesting to note, and probably qualifies as a caveat, is that none of these songs belongs to the styles of music I typically listen to. I guess that means that either my tastes have returned to their eclectic roots (I used to say I'll listen to anything except hair metal and country. Even that no longer holds true. ), or I really am going over the deep end. :P

Anyway, here they are, in order of how often I hit replay. I'm loving Santagold's lyrics; you'll see what I mean. Feel free to weigh in or even share your own.

  1. Santogold- Shove It
  2. Rihanna-Umbrella
  3. Lady Gaga- Paparazzi
  4. TATU- How Soon is Now?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Things got interesting on the job front today. During our weekly team meeting, they mentioned that they had gotten verbal confirmation that the contract with our client would be extended through the next phase, i.e. for the next three months. So after some downtime, those who are continuing with the project will resume work sometime in January.

Problem is, they aren't certain that they can keep the whole team into the next phase. In short, I'm in the same boat, in terms of knowing whether or not I'll have a job come mid-December. I assume that the matter will resolve in the coming week. At least, one would hope.

Since I don't know what's happening with my current project, I've been trying to apply elsewhere. Unfortunately, there aren't too many jobs out there right now. The end of year is typically slow for a job search, and coupled with yesterday's headlines (USA OFFICIALLY IN A RECESSION THAT BEGAN IN DECEMBER 2007), let's just say that the situation is less than ideal.

One ray of hope came via my voicemail late yesterday. The HR Manager at one company wanted to have a brief chat to discuss my profile prior to an official phone screen sometime next week. As time is of the essence in this economic climate, I figured that despite my supreme lack of sleep and extremely stressful workday (this project is a killer), I had better respond to her inquiry. Today. So I sent her an email asking when she was available for the stated brief chat. She said 4 PM. No problem.

So I called at 4, and lo! The brief chat turned out to be a full-blown HR phone interview clocking in at the 45 minutes mark. I felt like an idiot. I should've realized that this would a bona fide interview, but since I've had very preliminary chats in the past with HR reps, I thought this would be par for the course.

You can imagine that, as a Yekki, I always come to an interview prepared. I surmised that her light touch was a deliberate tactic to have me interview on-the-fly, thereby gaining some insight into my true character, communication style, etc. See how I think on my feet, as they say. While I felt misled, the lesson was instructive- prepare for every interaction with a potential employer as if it was an interview. I mean, I generally do prepare, but this was an extreme example of why one should never take time with the client for granted.

Anyhow the outcome of it all is in Hashem's hands now. Here's to hoping that it's basheret.

Monday, December 1, 2008


As I have mentioned previously, I love to bake whenever I'm stressed out. Maybe it's pounding the dough thin or something, but I find it really gets rid of the stress. Then again, who doesn't enjoy the wonderful smell of cookies permeating their flat?

Lately I've been baking variations on a vegan cookie recipe that I found online. So far I've made:
  • Chocolate chip
  • Double chocolate chip
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey sunflower seed
The problem is that not only are these cookies incredibly healthy and easy (they only contain sugar, whole wheat flour, olive oil, water and spices for the base recipe), they are hands-down the best cookies I have ever made. And I've been baking a long time. So I can't stop making them...and eating them!

Normally I am a three cookie eater. Believe me, I would love to be someone who could limit myself to a single cookie; a most admirable trait. True, I suppose I should count myself lucky that I'm not prone to eating entire rows of Oreos and the like. Still, with these batches, I find myself stretching beyond my usual three.

If anyone has any strategies to avoid scarfing down these cookies - aside from not baking that is; it's been very stressful around here these past few days? weeks? years? oops, sorry!- please share! And, for the record, don't bother with the "freeze them" suggestion. I adore cookies straight from the freezer! Especially chocolate chip. Which reminds me...just kidding...

Silly Habit

I often find myself up early into the morning, exhausted but unable to sleep. Over the past few years, I've hit upon a strategy that inevitably causes me to get to sleep at a more reasonable hour: I take an online IQ test.

As a caveat, I don't believe that IQ tests mean anything. I knew roofers who scored below average yet had brilliant people skills, and geniuses with incredibly high scores (as in there are only 1 in 1 billion people who score like them) who could barely function socially. In short, who do you think did better in life, including their careers? Enough said.

One aspect of this ridiculous habit that I find so intriguing is that despite my invariably testing at say 2 AM on 3 hours sleep, my score is within 2-3 points of my daytime score. However, I believe that such scoring demonstrates not that one's IQ score remains static over one's lifetime, but rather that how one chooses to applying themselves mentally is based on their given comfort zones. We will tend, it seems, to always approach the same test the same way. That's why, even if you've taken the test a gazillion times, your score won't significantly improve unless you change how you apply yourself to it.

Interestingly, my main fascination with taking the test is due to having perceived over time that depending on the given day, I will excel in two of the given logic testing areas:
  • numeric, e.g. how much is___ or what is the missing number in the sequence
  • spatial-visual, e.g. what is the next item in the sequence or how many 4 dimensional items are there in the graphic
  • verbal, e.g. unscrambling words or discerning the best match to a given meaning
  • deductive, e.g. if Xs are all Ys and Ys are all Zs, is it true that all Zs are Xs?
What is so hysterically funny is that I will excel in opposing areas, either in numeric and spatial-visual or in verbal and deductive. You would think that I would be strong in two interrelated areas (verbal and spatial-visual, numeric and deductive). But no! Instead my silly brain excels in opposing combinations. Weird, weird, weird.

Anyhow, feel free to comment- and share your IQ scores and/or thoughts on such testing.