Monday, December 31, 2007

Quote #5

In response to my last quote, Madd Hatter commented: "Nothing intellegent to say. Just wanna show my support for the whole quote a day idea. No pressure, but maybe something funny next?"
Well, here's a quote I thought was a little funny.
My ancestors wandered lost in the wilderness for 40 years because
even in biblical times, men would not stop to ask for directions.
-- Elayne Boosler

Sunday, December 30, 2007

sure to put a smile on your face...

The following is an anecdote which, at the time of its occurrence, caused peals of laughter. I decided to share it with the blogworld in the hopes that it will brighten someone's day.

So after an extended nap which conveniently allowed me to miss a statistics class in which we learned material which will not be on the final (what the flip? why teach it? you think a single kid payed attention??), my friend decided to come pick me up for the last 2 classes of the night. I decided to grab a bowl of Coco Puffs on my way out for supper.

So, bowl in hand and knapsack slung over my shoulder, I walk out to the car. I get in. Close the door. My friend starts the car.

So you know those seatbelts that automatically move up over your shoulder?

WHAM!

Seatbelt closes, hits the cereal bowl.... Figure out the rest.

I was DRIPPING with chocolaty milk (funny, according to spellcheck that's how you spell it...) and there were Coco Puffs stuck to my shirt, pooling up in my skirt. It took a few seconds for the shock to wear off, and then the laughter hit.

Me, sitting there sopping wet with cereal, not sure whether to laugh or cry, and my friend stuck in the same predicament, just a bit cleaner and drier. I stood up. Bits of cereal clung to my soaked shirt and milk dribbled down onto my legs. I was a mess.

Thankfully, we hadn't pulled out of the driveway yet so I was able to run in and change. When I pulled off my sweatshirt, I saw that my undershirt (or shell, as it is known is the frum world) had some nice brown spots on the front. I still haven't done the wash yet, but I sincerely hope it comes out.

So... the moral of the story is.... DON'T GET A CAR WITH THOSE DUMB AUTOMATIC SEATBELTS!!!!!!

Quotes 3 and 4

Today you get a daily double because yesterday was Shabbos! Here are two quotes on education from Robert Frost. Being the serial student I am, I particularly enjoy these.
Education is hanging around until you've caught on.

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your
temper or your self-confidence.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ezzie's Blog Roundup: SerandEz Answers

I'd like to thank all those who gave their input in response to the questions posed regarding the contents of this blog. I think the basic consensus was "write about more sports!", right? In all seriousness, I'm about to hit busy season, and that means that once again, I will be doing a lot more work until some pretty late hours every day. Blogging is something I really love and enjoy for so many reasons, but it doesn't pay the bills. It does, however, provide a wonderful outlet and helps to ease the mind, so I'm hoping to post twice a day - once later in the evening and once in the late-late night or early morning. In the middle, I hope people will still enjoy the discussions and thoughts and of course, the teasing that generally accompanies the posts here, and I've also asked Moshe to put up a good quote in the middle of the day for everyone to get something out of. Maybe I'll even convince some of the other contributors to post more...

Meanwhile, here are some posts I felt were very worthwhile over the last couple of days (as I slowly start to catch up on blogs...): [hit expand to see excerpts]
  • 9) Chana writes up another MedEthics post, this time a fascinating one on How to be an Orthodox Jewish Physician in a Secular World.
  • 8) A cute short story from a friend of Gil's.
  • 7) Musings notes a good letter in the Yated and adds his own comments about the society of 'support' that shouldn't exist.
    If we have any prayer of reversing the damage that is being done, each individual who sees the negativity being created by "The System" must refuse to participate in that same system in his or her personal life. Letters to the Yated are empty when not backed up by actions. My father told me that when he finished college his father basically kicked him out, telling him it was time for him to make it on his own. Tough love, but it worked and clearly my grandfather knew it had to be done for my father to take on the responsibilities of a man.
  • 6) R' Gil discusses a discussion on Torah U'Madda, then goes on to add his own points about what is and is not "in the Torah".
    However, I disagree with what R. Dratch and Mr. Meir both say -- that everything is in the Torah. I think this is clearly incorrect. R. Dratch seems to say that everything is in the Torah but people, due to their failings, are often unable to extract it. Does anyone really believe that Quantum Mechanics can be found in the Torah? The nature of the Circulatory System? Law of Large Numbers? Maybe those who believe that the Chazon Ish could perform brain surgery without any training but I'm not among them. I absolutely reject the idea that a big enough Torah scholar -- perhaps Moshe -- is capable of building a nuclear reactor without studying any secular science.
  • 5) David Linn has a nice post about his father.
    When my Dad would take us to the car wash, you got to stay in the car as it went through the wash and, boy, was it a wonder: Soapy foam slowly creeping down the car, huge water machine guns spraying their high power, steamy mist, large brushes and floppy, orange linguini-like cloths gently slapping the car, flashing lights as you went through the hot wax and that oversized blower with the small wheel in the middle rolling up the front windshield at the end. We loved it so much that I’m positive that there were times when my Dad took us for a car wash even when we didn’t need one. ‘Cuz that’s just what Dads do.
  • 4) Ariella with a good post about the "right" number of children a family should have. A nice reminder for us all.
  • 3) I really enjoyed this post by Bad4Shidduchim about what seminary does (or doesn't) say about a person. Best line: "Nine months of exposure to a “hashkafa” is no match for 18 years of prior life."

    The overrated part is how much of an effect seminary has on a person’s rest-of-their-life. In high school they told us that seminary would determine our “mehalech” so we should choose the one with “hashkafos” that match ours—or at least the ones we wish were ours. And post-seminary, guys and their mothers can kick up quite a fuss about a girl’s seminary, because it’s supposed to say something about her “mehalech” and “hashkafos.” Aside from the fact that most bais yaakov high school students go to bais yaakov seminaries, and most non-BY students go to non-BY seminaries, this application is negligable. ... From Michlala on down, every school has its supposed ‘type’. And it’s based on those ‘types’ that high school students choose their seminaries.

    Only caveat: most students don’t get into their ‘first choice’ seminary.
  • 2) R' Gil has an excellent post about elitism and leadership. I have a lot to say on the subject, and perhaps I'll post about that later, but meanwhile enjoy his post.
    My wife recently pointed out to me that I've changed since we were married, particularly in my attitude towards those from different communities and with less religious commitment. It seems I've lost some of my elitism and disdain for others. I pointed out that it would be pretty sad if I hadn't changed at all in the past 13 years and that she has changed also in many positive ways. ...

    It is easy for those living in the protective confines of a yeshiva to look down upon those who fail to live up to every standard. However, once you are exposed to the responsibilities of real life and the challenges of going out into the world, you gain greater respect for what people are able to maintain and understanding for their imperfections.
  • 1) Finally, I particularly enjoyed this post by Moshe, who wrote it while sitting on the couch right behind me, so I am feeling free to take some credit for it. Somehow.

    My world was colorblind. If you were darker than white you could not be gray; you were black. When I was in ninth grade, my mashgiach stood up to deliver a schmooze. ... Here’s how he began:

    During break, I walked up to a shul late one afternoon not expecting to see anyone inside. As I approached the door, I heard some beautiful voices singing the words of Torah. The voices belonged to young students. I was proud to know that even during vacation two boys would get together to learn. But then, my students, I was saddened. I opened the door and entered and although the voices were beautiful, the sight was painful and shameful. They were wearing blue shirts!!

    I had a front row seat to this schmooze and I was livid. ... I stood up and shouted: “So what, what’s the big deal that they wore blue shirts?!?!” I then stormed out of the room.
Enjoy! Oh - before I forget, R' Horowitz has posted a sharp piece by Jonathan Rosenblum on the need of the charedi community to fix their attitude against work. It is one thing to place learning above work; it is another to disdain work even for those who are unable to sit and learn. A great piece.

Quote #2

The following quote was inspired by an intense conversation I had with a liberal this morning.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
-Mark Twain

Imagine: On Love and Lennon

I recently read an amazing article entitled "Imagine: On Love and Lennon." Ezzie read it as well, and requests that I inform you that he thinks you should print it out and read it on Shabbos. He says that it was excellent as well as being awesome.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Seriously?

I just came across this article. You never really think these things happen to people you know, but it did, nonetheless.

Scary stuff.

New series

Ezzie asked me to start a new series of daily quotes. So, I will be posting a quote I find interesting every day (or so).

Here's today's:

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know
-- Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

SerandEz Questions

TEMPORARILY MOVED TO TOP - NEW POSTS BELOW

All right, everyone, I want all of your opinions. This blog is going to be taking a step down the next few months at least, which means certain parts are going to be cut to an extent. I have my own favorite parts to this blog, and I'm sure many people will say 'your blog, do as you please', and that's fine, but I'm curious what parts all of YOU enjoy the most about this blog. So, feel free to put them in order of 'importance' to you, to explain, to criticize, to critique, to complain, to ask, and the like. I want honest takes on what goes on here and what people like and what bothers people. So let's go!
  • 1) My own writing. (Rare, I know.) Those rare spurts where I actually sit down and write. Are those any good? Are they interesting? Are they worth reading?
  • 2) Roundups. Those little pointers to the stuff I like out there that I think people can get something out of reading. Are they quality? Do you bother going? If you do, do you feel like they were worth reading?
  • 3) Life at SerandEz. Ser, Ez, & Elianna!
  • 4) Sports! (I wonder how many people will place this last.)
  • 5) Politics, national issues, law, 'moral' issues - I'm lumping them all together because people seem to either like all of them or none of them, but feel free to separate them out. Are these interesting, annoying, repetitive...?
  • 6) Israel and life in Israel. Very different topics, but people generally seem to like or dislike both. Do you have any interest? Do you care?
  • 7) Videos - funny, cool, interesting, whatever. Do they bring smiles or insights to your day?
  • 8) The discussion: From the interesting to deep to funny comments that go on. Are they interesting? Are they discussion-worthy? Are they fun? Are they a waste of time, whiny, repetitive, obnoxious?
  • 9) The chiller. Is SerandEz just a nice, pleasant place to come to because it's not really about anything; just a little random friendliness and some fun people commenting here and there - no attacks, no bashing, just good ol' food for thought? Or eh.
  • 10) Jewish community issues. From education to economics to 'shidduchim' to unity or lack thereof; news items to stories to what should or needs to be done. Are these good, interesting, insightful, worthwhile? Or whiny wastes of time? Somewhere in between?
I'm not looking for anything specific here. I'm mostly curious what's worth keeping and what isn't. I know what I enjoy, but I simply don't have the time for all of it - so if I've got to narrow it down and it doesn't make a difference to me, I may as well hear what everyone else has to say. After all, isn't blogging all about the discussion with your friends? Or is that just me?

Check, Check, Che-Wait A Second...

I really enjoyed this post by Bas~Melech on filling out those shidduch questionnaires I've seen (and helped) friends fill out. Excerpts:
It was one of those forms where you have to check off the boxes that describe you.
Great, I thought, multiple choice is so easy.

I got stuck right after the "Name" field.

The first question wasn't. It was simply a list of labels. Affix to forehead as needed.
I thought for a while.
I was relieved to see "Other" as an option. I guess these shadchanim are not as narrow-minded as I'd assumed. I put a check in the adjacent box and wrote "Shomer Torah uMitzvos" in the space provided.

The following part was a little game: I was to read a list of character traits and put a mark by No, Somewhat, or Very as they apply to me.
Outgoing: Well, I'm not the life of a party, but I certainly do go out. I checked "Somewhat."
Friendly: I have friends, but I don't talk to strangers much.
"Somewhat."
Smart: I'm no dummy, but not Einstein either. "Somewhat."
Materialistic: Hum. They're really hoping to weed out the Japs with this one, aren't they? Let's see, I'm not spoiled but I do live a physical existence. "Somewhat."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Get Out of Debt

I think I found this through YUTopia. It's brilliant - probably the best skit SNL has done in a decade, and it's not even all that funny. Reminds me of the book I wanted to write: The Little Book of Common Sense.
Page 1: Use it.
The End.


Who wants to place guesses on what percentage of the people in the audience spend more than they make?

Ezzie's Blog Roundup 12/24

I have plenty to write and post from my friend Yonah Goldman's shloshim which was yesterday, but I'm going to wait until later today or in the week before doing so.

Meanwhile:
  • Haveil Havalim #146 is up!
  • Wolf wrote last week about the cheeseburger discussion, and I particularly enjoyed his take.
  • SL discussed the major tax evasion arrests and vents about just how terrible these are to Jewish communities and families.
  • R' Gil discussed a subject which seems to come up often at our Shabbos table - brushing teeth on Shabbos.
As an aside, people often ask me why I enjoy blogging and what my "favorite" blogs are. I generally don't like answering the second question - there are different reasons I like different blogs - but I'll often answer the first question with some examples of blogs that I feel really are the epitome of why I enjoy blogging. HH is rather self-explanatory - it shows a glimpse of ust how much there is out there. Hirhurim (Gil) is a more intellectual approach to so many aspects of Judaism, from major areas of discussion to halachic minutia. And Wolf & Orthonomics are at the core of what most normal, good, frum Jews struggle with and discuss: Issues within the community that bother us - economics, Jews behaving badly, shidduchim, tuition, science, you name it. They just know how to discuss these subjects reasonably while at the same time showing how much they care and that it upsets them. They offer solutions and ideas. They're good blogs... they're good people. At the end of the day, that's what's important, and that's what I like.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Life in Israel

I'm still looking for as much feedback as possible on the post below... please feel free to chime in!

Not to be confused with RafiG's excellent blog... a couple of blogs which are new to me worth checking out:
  • I'll Call Baila - I especially enjoyed this post.
    What most struck me was the team that was going to tribal council (where a member of the tribe would be voted off). The council happened to be taking place on a Friday night. Before they left for the council, one of the members got up and said, "You know I am not religious, but every Friday night I have "kabalat Shabbat" with my family. I would like to do it here as well, and whoever wants to, can join me." With that said, he lifted up his canteen, and made a full kiddush over the water inside it, and then proceeded to make "Hamotzi" over the bread.
  • A Soldier's Mother (which I found through the above blog) - A blog by a mother whose eldest son is in the Israeli army, and all that that affects.
    And, in the morning, as she was preparing for school, I noticed that she had put his picture in her backpack to take to school. When Aliza was done carefully putting it in the backpack, she turned and tried to say something in English. She was missing the word.

    A few weeks ago, the cellular phone company sent along a set of magnets that contain words and my kids have been playing with them on the refrigerator, leaving notes for people written out by placing individual words in a line. She walked over to the refrigerator and pulled off one small magnet and brought it to me. It was the Hebrew word for "missing." She was missing Elie, she explained sadly.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What's in There & Woo!

Mazel tov to our longtime family friends on the engagement of their daughter "C!" whose l'chaim we are about to attend! Woo! (Finally!!)

And check out my niece Dassi's wonderful comment to me from earlier tonight. :P

Thursday, December 20, 2007

SerandEz, Hedge Funds, & Charities

After this weekend during which I obviously won't be posting all that much, we will quickly be hitting the new year. For those of us who are auditors, that means we get to work like lawyers and get paid at the rate of people who work as waiters... but we don't get tips. It also means I'll be posting far less frequently (actually, I already have been slowing down the past few weeks) as busy season will be taking up all my time.

On a more interesting note, I audit hedge funds for the firm I work at, and it's always interesting to see how much work goes into figuring out what to invest in. I think that people who know very little bash hedge funds for making so much money (which is really a ridiculous thing to complain about), but I don't think people often appreciate how hard the people there work. One of the things they do is analyze companies - not just big companies, but small companies with products that are worth investing in... because they're products that people can use. I wonder if the average person appreciates how much this country is built on venture capitalism. Anyway, two analysts who were at hedge funds have decided to use their skills for a different and oh-so-important field: Charities.
Mr. Karnofsky and Mr. Hassenfeld, both 26, are the founders and sole employees of GiveWell, which studies charities in particular fields and ranks them on their effectiveness. GiveWell is supported by a charity they created, the Clear Fund, which makes grants to charities they recommend in their research.
Why it's important:
While 34 percent of wealthy donors who responded to a survey sponsored by the Bank of America said they wanted more information on nonprofits, almost three-quarters said they would give more if charities spent less on administration.
I'd love to see this done for Jewish charities, though it's so hard to get the information necessary.

Other stuff: Wow, the MTA is ripping us all off. I can't believe they're going to get away with this (a new bonus system that is lower and will result in people having just nickels and dimes on cards, which will likely be thrown out). And this is probably the most bogus line of the article:
“There is no expectation of additional wastage or float,” Mr. Dellaverson said.
Honestly, if that were true, then they're simply idiots for not factoring it in.

And this is a nice new wave in technology: Professors who actually want to teach people! An MIT professor of physics is teaching people around the world who want to learn by posting videos of his teachings. MIT is actually to credit, as they have something called OpenCourseWare where it's posted.

Finally, today's BOTW was excellent. Check it out.

SerandEz on Vacation, Yonah Goldman's Shloshim

SerandEz and Elianna are heading to Baltimore for an extended weekend to hang out with the big sister and family, along with some other friends and extended 'family'. I realized (sadly) that this is the longest we're going away that's not for an occasion or yom tov since we got married.

As a note, in Baltimore this Sunday is the Shloshim for my friend Yonah Goldman. From the site, which now has a PayPal button set up:
Shloshim for Yonah will IY"H be on 11 Teves / 20 December. There will be a gathering commemorating Yonah's shloshim at 11am on Sunday, December 23rd at Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Baltimore - 6221 Greenspring Avenue. Several of Yonah's friends and family will share their thoughts and memories.

Israel Update: The Aliya L'Kever will be this Friday, December 21, at 10:30am. For information, please contact Dina at dinaxoz@gmail.com or through Facebook.

I will iyH be at the Shloshim, which will have a few very short speeches. I understand that R' Gottlieb will be one of them, and sometime contributor/commenter to this blog and good friend of mine Reb Abe (who is excellent and always asked to speak) will be another.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Changing the Curriculum in YU

Gil has posted Noah Greenfield's (of TheYUVent) piece on how to revamp the curriculum and much that surrounds it at YU; I think it is excellent and would go a long way to helping people reshape Jewish education in general. Kudos to Noah.

Noah's very short version is at the Commentator, which essentially serves as just an intro to everything he discusses.

Kosher Cheeseburgers

I don't get why this is such a shock to people, as I've seen these eaten for years already and it's not like there aren't Kosher Subway restaurants around the country, but okay.
According to an article in the NY Blueprint, a Kosher, Manhattan restaurant (”Talia’s”) is now offering a Kosher cheeseburger - made with soy cheese.

The following are excerpts of the article:

“After many attempts to melt the cheese, they found the right temperature in a 1950 degree (F) broiler. A broiler so hot it can cook a steak in minutes. As the chef placed my burger in the broiler I watched the cheese melt over it. He placed it on a toasted bun topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles and I walked my burger back to my table.

Like myself, Effie (owner of the restaurant), had never had a cheeseburger before, so he brought some non-Jewish friends to try out his new burger and they loved it. He told me that he’s had some lactose intolerant, non-kosher, customers order the burger.

With my cheeseburger, side of fries and a coke, I felt like I was in a diner of a classic old film, another experience we kosher-eating-Jews don’t have in New York.

While I may not know what a meat and dairy cheeseburger tastes like, I can tell you that Talia’s Steakhouse will serve you a well-prepared kosher cheeseburger with all the looks of the real thing.”

The comments at Yeshiva World are rather humorous (alternatively, depressing) as almost all of them decry this as some kind of shanda. I'm reminded yet again that some mindsets are simply hard to fathom. While I understand why some people would initially make a face at the idea, and perhaps even voice concerns about ma'aras ayin or chinuch if others might think that cheeseburgers made of meat and cheese are kosher as well, I'd presume that it is quite clear the restaurant is using soy products - much as Subway does, much as any kosher place which uses soy or other 'fake' products to replace dairy or meat products that otherwise wouldn't be found with the food being served.

I wonder if the difficulty people have in differentiating between ideas, preconceptions (even logical ones), and how things actually work in the real world is one of the largest causes of problems within the Jewish community. People get so hung up on ideas or 'rules' which make sense in one situation that they completely fail to see how those don't apply in others. It's completely pathetic.

When I was in high school, my class as a whole often had issues with lo plug - 'no differentiation'. In other words, the school had certain rules, and refused to make exceptions regardless of any logic presented against those rules. One can debate whether or not this is good policy for a school, but it is certainly understandable at the least why a school would make such rules for its students in high school. But life is not high school. The concept of lo plug certainly has its applications in life, but these reactions to *kosher* food, common sense ideas, and the like are getting beyond ridiculous.

Priorities*, common sense, logic... where have all of these disappeared to!?

Update: ASJ's Chabakuk Elisha chimes on with a very well-put post.

* loosely related

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Freud & Batman

All right, here's a fun project for everyone. My friend is writing a paper on Freud and Batman. Now all he needs are good examples and ideas that fit into that... who wants to give him some? :)

Oscar Worthy Movie


This is from Adam Sandler's Zohan.

Soak Up The Sun

A wonderful line from a song I heard Saturday night, which I find fitting in so many ways, especially for this time of year:
"[Life is] not about getting what you want... it's about wanting what you've got."

Hava Negila #1 on Charts?!

A couple of cool things I discovered through an e-mail list I'm on:
  • Hava Nagila(!!!) has decent odds at becoming the #1 song on the UK charts just in time for... Christmas. An artist named Lauren Rose has made a pop version called Hava Negila (Baby Let's Dance) that's basically the same thing but with a few English words thrown in and a more modern beat. (The article has a video of her song played over performances with her dancing with lots of little kids.) An Israeli folk song #1 on Christmas - now that's funny.
  • I thought this comparison of Guiliani and McCain (though I still don't take McCain seriously) makes it pretty clear why Guiliani is a very good candidate and McCain rather troubling. Excerpt (this is the Corner taking from the Council on Foreign Affairs, a great site with essays from candidates on both sides regarding foreign affairs):
    One illustrative contrast with Giuliani can be found on the Israeli/Palestinian issue. Here is McCain:

    The long-elusive quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians must remain a priority. But the goal must be a genuine peace, and so Hamas must be isolated even as the United States intensifies its commitment to finding an enduring settlement.

    Here's Giuliani:

    History demonstrates that democracy usually follows good governance, not the reverse. U.S. assistance can do much to set nations on the road to democracy, but we must be realistic about how much we can accomplish alone and how long it will take to achieve lasting progress. The election of Hamas in the Palestinian-controlled territories is a case in point. The problem there is not the lack of statehood but corrupt and unaccountable governance. The Palestinian people need decent governance first, as a prerequisite for statehood. Too much emphasis has been placed on brokering negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians — negotiations that bring up the same issues again and again. It is not in the interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism. Palestinian statehood will have to be earned through sustained good governance, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace with Israel.

    McCain is business as usual — even though there is no good reason why the quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians should be a priority, much less that we should intensify our commitment to a settlement in the absence of Palestinian fitness for statehood. Giuliani says we can talk about it after the Palestinians grow up. That's rather a large difference, and it's far from the only one.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Smartest Play in Football

I was just watching some of the week's highlights on NFL.com, and when watching the Eagles-Cowboys highlights, I immediately was impressed. Brian Westbrook made what I think is the smartest play in football - one that is very difficult to do for a number of reasons, but brilliant nonetheless.

With 2:19 left in the 4th quarter, and Dallas with 0 timeouts remaining, the Eagles were up 10-6. Westbrook broke through the line and a couple of tacklers, easily on his way to a touchdown that would make it 17-6... but then he turned his head, slowed, and stopped. At the 1. And let himself get tackled.

The clock ran down to two minutes, and the Eagles downed the ball three times to end the game.

Last week, while watching the Browns-Jets game, (I think) I remarked to G sitting next to me that Jamal Lewis would really have been better off not scoring on that late TD run where he ran over the Jets' secondary; it simply gave the Jets a last shot to score, onside kick, and try to score again (though the Browns recovered that onside kick to end the game). But running backs are trained to run hard, go for the end zone... and of course, stats DO matter when trying to work out contracts, and we're talking about millions of dollars. Nobody will criticize a player for scoring a touchdown...

...which is why what Westbrook did is so much more impressive. To have the selflessness and most importantly, presence of mind, to simply take a dive at the 1 and end the game rather than allow Dallas even the remotest of chances to come back is simply brilliant. It's the smartest play I've ever seen in football.

Halakhic Humor (on Christmas)

Courtesy of our old family friend Aryeh Frimer...*
The Cohen family was on very good terms with their Roman Catholic neighbors, the O'Briens. In fact, little Yaakov Cohen and Christopher O'Brian from next door would play together from time to time. Or at least they used to.

Well, one late December's day, Duncan O'Brien, the non-Jewish father, came storming in to the Cohen's house holding poor Yaakov by the ear. "Your son is not going near my Chris again; he just has no respect for us and our religion!"

"What's the matter; what did he do?" inquired Mr. Cohen.

"I'll tell you". said Duncan in a rage. "He saw our Christmas tree and started making fun."

"Really, what did he say?" continued Mr. Cohen.

Duncan said, "He saw our tree and started asking all sorts of ridiculous questions - which kinds of pine trees can be used for a Christmas tree? What's the minimum required height? How close to the window does it need to be? Do too many decorations render it unfit? What if it's under a neighbor's balcony?!"
* He often makes up his own jokes, though I don't know if he wrote this or got it from someone.

Chinese Food on Christmas

(Hat tip: SaraK) Some of y'all may remember the original song from last year; the writer - Brandon Harris Walker - has now made a whole music video for the song, and well... I think it's hilarious.

Note: Apparently some people on YouTube thought a couple scenes were a little off-color; I think that a little sense of humor and they're really just funny. My favorite part is when they all start pulling stuff out in the movie theater.

Three Years

I find it amazing that this has been kept up so strong for so long. Yiasher Koach to SoccerDad.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A SerandEz-Raggedy Shabbos

HAHA okay so I get to write about this Shabbos at SerandEz/the Raggedys!

First of all, a HUGE yasher koach to all of the hosts for putting up with us all. I think the noise level *might* have reached 1000 decibels. Hehe. And as usual, the vast quantities of food was both astounding and amazingly delicious. (AND most of the candy got eaten. So there.)

Anyway, so Friday night, we were sitting around discussing the finer points of blogging, and we had an epiphany:

Blogging is really a conversation.

The beauty of it is that it can be shared by so many people from so many different perspectives, and that by taking the time to read and reread other people's thoughts, you can also allow yourself to absorb different viewpoints and to broaden your horizons and realize that hey, not everyone thinks the same way, and that's okay. And when it's done respectfully, the exchange of thoughts between commenters can be fun, humorous, touching and a wonderful way to connect with other people who may or may not share the same views.

No two people are not on fire.

Awwww.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The J-Blogosphere Arts Exhibition

Bas-Melech hosted it, and there are some really nice works by some talented artists. Check them out.

Scrooge Yourself

I just want to say that my OWN MOTHER made this of me. (You couldn't find a better picture?!)

I'll just note the comments so far from other members of this blog:
  • Stam (whose own ElfYourself video is HILARIOUS):
    OMG lololololl
  • Apple:
    LOLOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
    the vid finally loaded
    slightly disturbing
    but soooooooooo funny!!!!!!
  • iPay:
    i dont think u know how hard i am laughing righ tnow
    OMG
    i dont even know what to say abt that
All right. With that hype... check it out. (You need to view it in IE.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Arkansas & Baghdad

RebAbe points us to a really nice piece - check it out.

It's been a busy week here (notice the lack of posts), and it feels like busy season has already begun... and now I have to get out of here before I get stuck in the city. Wishing everyone a wonderful Shabbos, and to all those attending the Raggedy SerandEz Shabbaton*... we can't wait to see y'all!!

Have a great Shabbos!!

* If anyone feels like listing the other dozen names for this weekend, feel free. :P

Are debates obsolete

Did anyone see the Republican debate last night? Or, perhaps, the real question is, is there any real reason to watch these debates? Carolyn Washburn, an editor from the De Moines Register was the moderator for the evening. I only caught one of her questions and realized the whole debate was a waste of time. She asked the candidates to raise their hands if they believe (paraphrasing) "global warming is a seriuos threat and is caused by man." What? Is she serious? Can you get anymore biased than that? How is one to answer that question? What if you believe its a serious threat but not man made? Fred Thompson, wisely, from what I heard of the debate did not participate in that unless he was given a minute to answer her. She did not allow it as the candidate were only given about 15 seconds per question. So basically, if the candidates did NOT raise their hands, some in the media would use this to show how Republicans don't care about the earth yadda yadda. If they do raise their hands, they are probably doing it grudgingly as to avoid what would happen if they DIDN'T raise it.

Which leads to the more serious question of whether these sorts of debates are needed. We live in a time of sound bites. Thats all people care for anymore. They just love taking something, usually out of context and using it against a candidate when he was not given an opportunity to properly explain himself. And this is irrelevant if this is a democratic debate or a republican one. I heard a commentator on a news show say that last nights debates were the worse debates in the history of western civilization. It's a real shame. I think there should be a total restructuring of how these debates are carried out.

Respect & Venting

Firstly, for those who are interested in YU - particularly its day to day running - there is a wonderful blog entitled The YU Vent. It is quite respectful while tackling issues that they feel YU should be addressing - and they give reasonable recommendations for implementation that would solve some of those issues. Some issues they've touched on before: The (lack of) accessibility to President Joel; why shouldn't YC keep halacha; lack of organization/resources in the library; etc. The authors can be e-mailed with posts by others at theyuvent@gmail.com.

*Full disclosure - two of the authors (Noah & Ben Greenfield) are cousins of Serach.


Second, I thought this letter written by Shlomo Mostofsky, President of the National Council of Young Israel, in response to criticism from the YU Commentator, was excellent. Without taking sides as I only skimmed the article in the Commentator, I thought this was an excellent point:
While the Commentator article mentioned a memo I wrote to Young Israel branch synagogues, the author never contacted me for my comments. My law practice is listed and the NCYI Web site has a direct link to my email address.

One must also question the absence of any comment by Yeshiva University President Richard Joel, a member of Young Israel of North Riverdale, NY. Nor, for that matter, did the article contain any comments by Rabbis Zevulun Charlap, Mordechai Willig (a member of the NCYI Vaad Halacha,) Kenneth Auman, Reuvain Fink, Shmuel Hain, Shlomo Hochberg, Ari Jacobson, Yaakov Lerner, Aaron Levine, Marc Penner, or Eliyahu Boruch Shulman who serve as Young Israel rabbis and are employed by Yeshiva University.
How can the Commentator not have asked any of the readily available sources for comments?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Strange Call

This past Sunday, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Browns-Jets game at the NJ Meadowlands with our good friend, known to readers of this blog as G. (G!) The seats (Section 210, Row 2, nobody in Row 1 - 35-yard line mezzanine seats) were really good, the Jets horrible, the stadium rather empty save many of us Browns' fans, and Braylon Edwards is ridiculous.

But that's not what this post is about. At one point during the game - perhaps halftime? - I received a call that I couldn't ignore. It was Jameel, calling from Israel... in the middle of the night there. That usually means something important is up, so I picked up; thankfully, the Jets fans who actually were there weren't all that loud, so I could hear him somewhat. He was whispering into the phone, so I had to make him repeat it, but he tells me:
J [whisper]: I'm in Shechem... about to enter Kever Yosef.
E: What?!
J [whisper]: About to enter Kever Yosef... haven't been here in a long time.
E: How'd you get there?!
J [whisper]: Special with the IDF. ... Okay, gotta run, give me your name ... talk to you later.
'Twas a bit crazy, but pretty cool. You can read the whole story here, and he has some video as well.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fund for Yonah Goldman

A website has been set up by the family of Yonah Goldman, a'h, at YonahGoldman.com.

Yonah is my friend who was tragically killed in a car accident a couple of weeks ago in Israel, moments after committing his final act of chesed: picking up a woman who needed a ride out of the pouring rain and dropping her off at a covered gas station on the side of the highway. He left behind a wife, Dina, and a son, Benyamin. The website has information regarding the fund that was set up in his memory, and his parents' shul in Baltimore, Shomrei Emunah, has helped greatly and one can contribute to a fund they've created as well. Here is the information:

Yonah Goldman Benefit Fund:

A fund has been created to assist Yonah's wife and son with everyday living expenses. Unfortunately, the fund is not tax deductible. However, ma'aser money can likely be donated. Anyone who would like to make a contribution can send it to:

Yonah Goldman Benefit Fund
c/o Rifka Starkman
69-63 137th St.
Flushing, NY 11367

Keren Moreshet Yonah:

An additional fund has been set up through Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Baltimore, called "Keren Moreshet Yonah."

Checks can be made payable to the Shomrei Emunah Tzedakah Fund with "Moreshet Yonah" indicated on the memo line.

Donations can be sent to the shul's office at:

Congregation Shomrei Emunah
6221 Greenspring Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21209

Credit Card donations will also be accepted through the shul's office by calling (410) 358-8604.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

If you can help, please do. Every little bit helps. Thank you so much.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

let's focus on ME, people!

Ah!! It's contagious! I was TAGGED!!!
hehe.
so.
7 random facts about me. here goes.

1. I'm obsessed with dimples. And I know that obsession is a strong word. As a kid, I would sit with my fingers poking into my cheeks hoping the indentations would stay. Boy was I upset when I found out it's just a muscle weakness. Now I just poke my fingers into the cheeks of every person I meet who was graced with lovely dimples. Just ask CornerPoint! A few weeks ago I was at a friend's house and someone managed to get a jellybean to stay inside her dimple!

2. I'm petrified of worms. Which is strange, given that i love snakes, bugs, frogs, etc. I was that annoying camper who used to terrorize my counselors by bringing caterpillars into the bunkhouse... We still can't figure out why I'm so freaked out by worms. I hate walking outside after it rains when all the shriveled worms are dotting the sidewalks.... BLECH!

3. I'm addicted to my tweezers. I pluck while I'm on the phone, before my shower, after my shower, while I'm deciding what to wear in the morning, etc. My friend recently commented that every time she walks into my room, my tweezers and mirror are on my bed. In 10th grade I actually resorted to plucking my legs when i ran out of eyebrow hairs to pluck. It may be an addiction but hey, at least I don't have a unibrow!

4. I always walk on the left of the person or group I'm with. Some call it OCD. I call it, hey, it doesnt interfere with my life, so get off my case and let me go around you.

5. I always sleep in a sweatshirt, even in the summer. Actually, especially in the summer if the air conditioning is on. Just as long as it's not stuffy. Stuffy is probably the only variable with which I cannot sleep. I like sweatshirts because I love being warm and cozy. Being in a sweatshirt is like being in a hug. The biggest problem is choosing which to wear- I have quite a large collection, mostly from camps and schools and such, but others from my friends' camps and schools and such. I especially love when a sweatshirt smells like the person from whom I permanently borrowed it...

6. I'm makpid about shva na and shva nach. (For non-Hebrew readers, that's a pronunciation thing about which many- probably most- orthodox people are lax.) Probably get that one from my father, who is a real stickler for pronunciations. I'm also fanatic about grammar (see my post about 'a whole nother' for details...) So for the record... it's "U'meekol tuv l'olam al yechaSIraynu."

7. I know both the Greek and military alphabets in song. I know, I'm a nerd. With way too much time on my hands. But it's fun. I'm currently working on memorizing Tom Lehrer's version of the periodic table of the elements and Yakko Warner's (from the Animaniacs) "All the nations in the world." I'll get back to you when they're done.

So. Think I'll ever get married?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

In case you can't tell, life is busy. Training at work, Chanukah, family, Browns' games, etc. - these all take precedence.

Have a wonderful, happy Chanukah, and Go Browns!!

SerandEz will be in Monsey for Shabbos this week, celebrating with the in-laws and resting up for next week's Shabbaton of Many Names. V'hamayvin Yavin.

A Blogger's Monologue

Erachet nails it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ezzie's Blog Roundup, 12/6: Chanukah & Creativity

Lest anyone forget, the deadline for the J-Blogosphere Arts Exhibition is this Shabbos, Shabbos Chanukah. For all the creative minds out there, feel free to give it a go!

Also, for all the writers out there, the National Jewish Outreach Program is running a contest through WebAds that could win you a trip for two to Israel. They're asking that you send in a picture or video of a piece of Judaica, and write a short essay or speak briefly about the piece and what it means to you and/or your family. See all the details here; it's really quite simple and it's always nice to reminisce a bit.

Elsewhere:
  • Jacob Da Jew is now Da Jeweler! Congratulations.
  • If you haven't seen it yet, this post by Corner Point is amazing.
  • Jack denigrates Cleveland sports heroes at Jameel's;
  • JoeSettler discusses an important charity which should show up sometimes in the WebAds box above called Warm the Needy.
  • WBM notes some good news for Chanuka - Israel's secular population is turning more traditional. This will simply help the different populations understand one another much better.
  • JBM is one of many bothered by an environmentalist call to have people light a candle less each night.
  • LOR has some good Chanuka safety tips as usual, along with some Chanuka links.
  • And S. notes a shul holding a $100,000 raffle... 200 years ago.
A freilichen Chanukah!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

English

iPayTooMuchForMyHair:
I'm not gifted for the English language.

Message to the Enemy

A co-worker of mine has a son that is a professional comedian. He was invited a couple of weeks ago by they army to go to Afganistan and entertain the troops. While there, his convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber. Nobody was killed, but I think some troops were injured in a humvee in the front of the convoy. Today, my co-worker sent me this pic of what her son wrote on a bomb destined for an enemy. (I blacked out his real name)






Small Nisim and Small Packages

A couple of nice stories...

Story #1: My co-worker, who is not religious, came over to tell me about the small 'nes' (miracle) that happened to him last night (his words). He realized he didn't have any candles to light for Chanukah, so he planned on going to the Judaica store nearby after work. Unfortunately, work didn't end until 8pm for him - so he was going to try and get some then, though he didn't know where. But then he was invited out by his manager to drinks on 43rd St., and couldn't really pass it up - but by the time he came out, it was already close to 10:00. Where could he find candles at such a late hour?

He usually walks across 45th Street to get to his apartment on the East Side, but since the bar was on 43rd, he decided to walk across 42nd Street instead. As he was walking, he reached the corner of 42nd and 5th Avenue - and lo and behold, what does he see? A 15-16 year old Chabad kid giving out candles for people to light! He offers to pay a couple dollars and is refused - "They're all to be given out" - and takes home his candles and happily lights his menorah.

Story #2: This morning, as I got off the bus to get onto the subway, there was a woman trying to take a baby (in a snap-and-go) down the steps... and walk her child who was probably about 3 years old down, as well. She noticed the crowds coming off the buses behind her, and wanted to hurry down the steps, and tried encouraging the 3-year old to walk down on her own - but the girl wanted to hold her hand. So she tried to walk her down quickly, but the child was taking her time, holding the railing with her other hand and counting "1! 2! 3! ..." as she walked down the steps. The mother said to her, "C'mon, hurry..." and walked a couple of steps further down to encourage the girl to do so, but a lady right behind me called out to the mother, "Don't rush her! She's counting!" I thought this was really nice.

The mother still felt bad about the crowd, though, and tried again saying to the girl, "C'mon, honey, hurry - people are trying to get to work." Again the lady called out, "It's okay!" It was nice to see so many people patiently waiting, smiling, as the little girl continued her way down the steps.

Story #3: From SIL: Ben (5) and Hen (3) were standing on a stool watching me make latkes last night. The stool is a about a foot and a quarter wide, so it was challenging for both of them to stand comfortably. (Ben suggested that we either get another stool or skinnier feet.)

Ben: Hen, could you tell your yetzer hara to stop pushing me!

Early Morning Musings

Rare is the day that I am up in the wee hours of the morning... after having slept, anyway. Those of you who know me (hmm, I think that's most of you) know that I much prefer living a somewhat nocturnal life - staying up until 3, 4, even 5 in the morning, then waking up at about 8. (9:30 on Shabbos!) I found it ironic that the earliest I would wake up recently was at about 7:00 or so to have time to make an 8:15 flag football game on a Sunday morning. Something about that just seemed to make me feel better that my life still revolves - at least somewhat - around the portions of life I care about most, and not what is dictated to me by the so-called "necessities" of life.

Throughout my life... {oh wow, one thing I miss from these early mornings is those beautiful sunrises - how can I describe it?! From dark blue to purple to light blue to a think line of yellow to a strong pink and orange... stunning} ...I've often been that guy who does everything on his own terms - even when it's not his place to do so. This stems from a lot of things: I think I know better (I have quite the ego), I know I can get things done as I say (see?), but most importantly, I hate being told how to do things when they're clearly inefficient. To clarify, I don't mind being told what to do - obviously, someone needs to delegate roles. I don't mind being told a way to do something - obviously, more experienced people often know far better how to do something. It is when I feel like work is being given for the sake of giving work that I get intensely frustrated.

Can you remember being in school or even at home as a kid, and saying "I finished my work" - only to be told, "Oh, let's find you something to do then"? That always bothered me. Here, you've worked hard and finished what needed to be done, only to be [from a child's point of view] "punished" with more work. Or, you'd be asked to help someone else with their work - now, this is a fine trait to learn, and particularly if one is recognized for it, it can be worthwhile, but as a child, it feels as if someone has said to you "You're too smart - here, do extra work and help make up for this other person." At least in school, however, you feel like you're actually helping the person learn and they therefore get something from it - work is a completely different story.

One of the more annoying issues one faces in the working world is that these same issues from school come up... but there's far less gratification for helping others and far more frustration at doing one's own work well. There is so little to be gained by working quickly, smartly, and efficiently that people generally don't bother to do so. Working quickly will simply raise the expectations on a person in their next role; get them dumped with yet more work; and force them to be expected to help shoulder the load of others who are less talented, less careful, or simply lazier than they are. Working slowly [but not too slowly of course] will allow a person to relax, to get help from those harder workers, and allow them to present their accomplishments as larger than they are: "Look how long this project took!"

The argument people often give is "well, the people above notice" - that's a wonderful concept in life, when one can argue that even if others don't notice how much effort you put into your life, at least God does; but it doesn't fly as well when it comes to work. All right, so they notice - does it affect your salary, your bonus, your raise? Well, yes... but minimally. If someone would tell you that you'll get an extra $1,000-$2,000 in a year if throughout the year you work much harder, much longer hours, and with far more frustration, would you do it? It's hard to justify the quality of life sacrifice for something like that. If salaries were more closely tied to performance, then perhaps it would make more sense - but they are not.

Often in life, it feels as if the only way to be contented with one's work is to take pride in it - in what was accomplished, in how it was done, in the ideas a person thought of to make it go faster, easier, more efficiently. It is how a person can avoid the frustrations above - yes, perhaps it's not recognized, or if it is, it's not shown in ways that matter for someone who needs it - but at least the person can hold on to that feeling of 'look what I came up with, look at the job I did' and take pride in it. It is for that reason that being told how to do something - "because that's how we want it done" - is such a killer. It strips away that last sense of accomplishment that a person could have, and turns them into nothing but a piece of equipment that is used to do work. It is completely deadening.

Life is too important to live all on someone else's terms.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

When Chumash hits home...

oh gosh. my 2nd graders have more hashkafa in their lives than i do...

NT: My Bubby used to live in Florida, but there were hurricanes, so she moved to Israel, but now there are earthquakes there. Maybe Hashem is giving her Nisyonos (tests) like He gave Avram!

Important Things

Some things do come before blogging (though not many). I've been a bit busy the last few days with some things, especially work and even more importantly, getting good Browns-Jets tickets. It sounds like a lot of Browns' fans will be there... sweet.

On yet another important note, please with my brother-in-law and I luck: This week is essentially a playoff game for us in our fantasy football league, as we need to win to take our division crown and make the playoffs. Meanwhile, in the league we run together, I squeezed out the #6 (and final) seed despite being 8th in points, and have made the playoffs, where ya never know what might happen. (Sorry, JStein.) Finally, the Browns getting cheated out of a game-winning touchdown not only may haunt them in their playoff run, but it cost me first place in the pool I run. Somehow, that's only fitting, right?

Have a wonderfully happy Chanukah, everybody, however you spell it!

A Doctor of People

All doctors have other titles: A pediatrician, an ophthalmologist, a psychiatrist, a surgeon, a podiatrist. Each title means something else - something that describes the type of doctor they are, the function they serve, the methods they use.

But underneath each doctor is (hopefully) someone who is, above all else, serving their patient. While obviously there needs to be a slight disconnect for the doctor to perform his or her job properly, a doctor's responsibility is much like the responsibility of a professional in any position - to service the client as best as possible. And in a doctor's case, that means showing the patient they care... and the best way to do that is to actually care.

On that note, read this touching post by Moshe: Mr. Roberts - My First Patient.
I smile at him.

“Good morning, son” he says. I cannot believe this is happening. I am staring at my first patient. Of course I won’t help cure him or prescribe his medication, but he doesn’t know that. In his eyes, I am a young man in a white coat, which must mean that I can help him.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Roberts,” I respond excitedly and with a higher pitch in my voice than I would have liked. Calm down, I tell myself, calm down. “My name is Moshe and I am a first year medical student. I am going to ask you some questions about your pain and medical history.”

There it is. I opened properly. I stated my name and clearly explained my status and purpose. Suddenly, I become more comfortable.

“So tell me, what brings you to the hospital today?”

Monday, December 03, 2007

Brilliant

Ezzie has come up with an ingenious idea. (Don't let the go to your head, Ez).

There should be people that act as professional "chaperons" for dates. These are people who would break the ice when the ice needs to be broken. Perhaps they bring along a fun game for the couple to play that would open up the floor for things to discuss. I hear people say all the time that they have nothing to talk about and there were SO many awkward silences throughout the date. I know for a fact that it is literally impossible to run out of things to talk about. Especially with someone that you have known for under two hours.

This chaperon could also be an easy target for the couple. They could easily make fun of the situation together! I know I would have a blast!

Just throwing the idea out there. Maybe it's my new profession I should pursue cuz Lord knows accounting isn't gonna last for too long.

Lucky 7

I was tagged by MaddHatter to do the 7 meme, and while - as SJ noted elsewhere - this meme has incredible similarities to the old 8 meme, just shorter, someone else noted that there are way more than 7 strange things about any of us to list.
Rules:
  • 1. Link to your tagger and post the rules.
  • 2. Share 7 facts about yourself; some random, some weird.
  • 3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names and link to them.
  • 4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
I'm tagging any commenter who doesn't have their own blog [examples: Rea, Special Ed, G, Mommy, etc.] and any contributor here who doesn't have their own blog [Hyrax, MordyS, Pobody's Nerfect, etc.]. Here we go:
  • 1) I can't stand it when people put silverware on the 'wrong' side or in the wrong order. Forks on the left, knives and spoons on the right! Is that too much to ask!? Oh, and cups at the top right, too.
  • 2) I'm obsessed with symmetry. Things need to be balanced [and preferably around a center point] or I'll go nuts, with the lone exceptions being allowing for artistic flair or some kind of practicality. If you'd see our living room, you'd notice wall units on either side of the doorway to the kitchen; comfy chairs across from one another; a long couch along the long wall and a shorter couch along the short wall; a tall lamp in opposing 'corners' and, since one is on one side of a couch, a short lamp on the other side; a computer desk and table that are of the same width along the other long wall; and another wall unit evening out the other corner. And when we open up the table, I turn the comfy chair so it 'looks' at the rest of the room, or I take it out.
  • 3) I can't sit with my back to people. I think it stems from some kind of fear of getting stabbed or shot in the back. (Feel free to psychoanalyze at your leisure.) On a similar note, I have trouble walking away from someone with my back completely towards them; I take a slightly curved angle so I can be half-turned. Interestingly, the lone exception to this is when I'm playing football.
  • 4) I'm not a big chocolate person [Ser would say here: You must be a big something person!], though I appreciate anything good that has chocolate in it or really good chocolate. My favorite desserts have always been (as far as I can recall) my mother's chocolate and coconut mounds; my mother's custard cake; and my mother's chocolate cake with white frosting for my birthday when I was a kid. And my own chocolate chip cookies, because nobody's are as good as mine [except sometimes people in my family, excluding Dad]. If you're wondering why we rarely have dessert here, it's because nothing is quite as good as those.
  • 5) Shaking my leg keeps me calm, collected, and helps me think. When I don't do it, I interrupt people more, I don't think as clearly, and I'm just overall more nerve-wracked. Now will everyone please stop complaining!! I don't care if it shakes the whole room and makes you nauseous! In all seriousness, it lets out nervous energy. Interestingly, before football games in high school, I'd spend the morning consciously stopping myself from doing it - it would build up an adrenaline rush. By the time the game started, I was loaded with extra energy. Perhaps it was mostly psychological, but it certainly felt like a huge boost.
  • 6) I have to be doing something with my hands at all times or I go nuts.
  • 7) I used to be (and still am a bit) obsessed with the number 7 (not 77 or anything - just 7). Kenny Lofton used to be my favorite player because of it, and it bothered me greatly that John Elway had dared to wear it. Lofton's little cartoon when he came up to bat was a "Lucky 7", and I loved it. Favorite card: 7 of Diamonds.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I would like to make an announcement

I find this worthy of a post to a much larger audience than on my own blog.

Um,

IT SNOWED IN NYC.


Okay! Thank you! That will be all!

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