For a while it felt like the best way to describe my life was drama. And let me tell you, that is not how I want it. Although it may appear otherwise my desire has always been to have a relatively boring life. Give me and my loved ones good health, the ability to live the way we want to and Jack is a happy man.
I don't need all of the craziness. I have had enough. Last week a friend of the family died. It was unexpected. It was shocking. It was just days after Yom Kippur. They had a major heart attack just after Rosh Hashanah. Unetaneh Tokef always affects me, but this time it had extra meaning.
Tom and I have had multiple conversations about his situation. Most of them involve the two of us shaking our heads about the absurdity of life and how naive we once were. It is not like either of us consider ourselves to be gurus or world class philosophers. We don't. But as people who no longer think of middle age as being old it is clear that we have a little life experience beneath our belts.
As we share a moment discussing our thoughts I sit there and silently consider the impact of my own actions on those around me. I have a graphic imagination. Inside my head I picture myself skipping rocks on a pond. I can see myself dropping a stone into the pond creating little circles around its passing.
Everything I do impacts the people around me.
Fast forward to a conversation between my son and myself. I am trying to explain this to him. I don't do a very good job of it. I am too busy trying to explain why people work and why you hope that you love what you do. It is a little beyond him. He wants to know what I do at recess at my office.
When I explain that we don't have recess he tells me I should quit and find a job that does. If teaching paid enough I would have stayed in it. I don't tell him that or even tell him that I used to be a teacher. I am not hiding it from him, just hasn't come up yet. There are some things that a child doesn't need to know, such as that I was once recruited to be a sex phone operator. In case you are wondering I didn't do it. Didn't pay much and wasn't that interesting to me.
Confession time. If it would have paid enough I might have done it. It was tough being a poor college student. Then again, it is getting harder to say for certain what I would have done 20 years ago as I am not who I once was.
Someone out there is reading my posts with great attention to detail. In fact they are reading certain posts twice. Sometimes I leave hidden messages for them and sometimes they are overt. Sometimes I get notes from other people wondering if I am sending them hidden messages. I tell them to put on their tinfoil hats and to click their heels together.
Here is a secret message: M.L.B.F. Noah is an uncle and a monkey which is why the book started to cry. That is better than breathing heavy or getting pulled over by the police. It burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire which is why I keep a junebug close to me. Creamy delight coats the night.
Speaking of secret messages I haven't ever sent a telegram, but I have seen it on television enough to know the protocol. See if I was in a movie I'd send my girl a message like this:
Trapped in an elevator STOP Thinking of you STOP Will Break Free STOP Coming For You STOP Our Love Forever STOP
Does anyone out there know Morse Code? How about Morris the Cat.
Ok, that should satisfy the seven conspiracy theorists that haunt this blog. It is kind of cool to know that they are haunting the blog. It warms the cockles of my heart. Every time I use or hear that word I think of my grandfather and his dear friend Molly Malone.
Full Stop. End of Post. End of Blog.
Chairman: UN unbalanced towards IsraelChairman of UN Human Rights Council Doru Costea says body was concentrating too much on human rights violations by Israel. 'Council must look at the stance of all sides, not only one country,' he states
The UN Human Rights Council has failed to handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a balanced fashion, the council's chair Doru Costea said in an interview published Saturday.
Costea suggested in the interview with the daily Le Temps that the council was concentrating too much on human rights abuses by Israel, adding that he was dissatisfied.
"On this point, the council has failed," he said, days after US President George W. Bush attacked the body for perceived anti-Israeli bias.
"The council must remain simple, and concentrate on the human rights dimension, but it must look at the stance of all sides, not only one country."
Costea said that the majority of the 47 seats held by Asian and African countries on the council "gives a certain power, but that does not mean that this power is always used wisely."
LONDON (Reuters) - Australian John Allwood smashed 40 watermelons with his head in just one minute.
Using only one hand,'s Thomas Vogel unfastened 56 bras in 60 seconds.
When it comes to the world's weirdest achievers, nothing beats the ultimate accolade -- a place infor demonstrating bizarre skills.
Nothing is too wacky.
Can you catch 77 grapes in your mouth in under a minute, keep nine yo-yo's spinning at the same time, hold your breath for more than 14 minutes or throw a?
Then Guinness has a spot for you.
The annual compendium, whose latest edition is published on Friday, even has a section entitled Trivial Pursuits.
Few would argue with the title as Guinness lists the globe's finest practitioners at putting the cover on a duvet, kicking yourself in the head and throwing paper aircraft into a bucket.
Italian Michele Santana wins an entry for typing 57 books backwards.
CHICAGO - A car circles a high-rise three times. Someone leaves a backpack in a park.
Such things go unnoticed in big cities every day. But that could change inwith a new video surveillance system that would recognize such anomalies and alert authorities to take a closer look.
On Thursday, the city and IBM Corp. are announcing the initial phase of what officials say could be the most advanced video security network in any U.S. city. The City of Broad Shoulders is getting eyes in the back of its head.
"Chicago is really light years ahead of any metropolitan area in the U.S. now," said Sam Docknevich, who heads video-surveillance consulting for IBM.
Chicago already has thousands of security cameras in use by businesses and police — including some equipped with devices that recognize the sound of a gunshot, turn the cameras toward the source and place a 911 call. But the new system would let cameras analyze images in real time 24 hours a day.
"You're talking about creating (something) that knows no fatigue, no boredom and is absolutely focused," said Kevin Smith, spokesman for the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
For example, the system could be programmed to alert the city's emergency center whenever a camera spots a vehicle matching the description of one being sought by authorities.
The system could be programmed to recognize. It could alert emergency officials if the same car or truck circles the three times or if nobody picks up a backpack in for, say, 30 seconds.
Last year, a team of researchers added a novel twist to something known as a time-use survey. Instead of simply asking people what they had done over the course of their day, as pollsters have been doing since the 1960s, the researchers also asked how people felt during each activity. Were they happy? Interested? Tired? Stressed?
Not surprisingly, men and women often gave similar answers about what they liked to do (hanging out with friends) and didn’t like (paying bills). But there were also a number of activities that produced very different reactions from the two sexes — and one of them really stands out: Men apparently enjoy being with their parents, while women find time with their mom and dad to be slightly less pleasant than doing laundry.
Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist working with four psychologists on the time-use research team, figures that there is a simple explanation for the difference. For a woman, time with her parents often resembles work, whether it’s helping them pay bills or plan a family gathering. “For men, it tends to be sitting on the sofa and watching football with their dad,” said Mr. Krueger, who, when not crunching data, enjoys watching the New York Giants with his father.
This intriguing — if unsettling — finding is part of a larger story: there appears to be a growing happiness gap between men and women.
Women are not actually working more than they were 30 or 40 years ago. They are instead doing different kinds of work. They’re spending more time on paid work and less on cleaning and cooking.Many of the women in my life complain frequently about their inability to get it all done. This is not to say that all they do is complain, but rather an observation. I can appreciate it. I often feel like I am running like a rat on a treadmill, but sometimes I just jump off. I can't live like that for too long without going crazy. It is just unhealthy for me.
What has changed — and what seems to be the most likely explanation for the happiness trends — is that women now have a much longer to-do list than they once did (including helping their aging parents). They can’t possibly get it all done, and many end up feeling as if they are somehow falling short.
Dictionaries don't play fair, and John Duns Scotus is proof.
The 13th/14th-century thinker, whose writings synthesized Christian theology and Aristotle's philosophy, was considerably less dumb than a brick. Unfortunately for Scotus, subsequent theologians took a dim view of all those who championed his viewpoint.
These "Scotists," "Dunsmen," or "Dunses" were considered hairsplitting meatheads and, eventually, just "dunces."
2.(slipping a) Mickey
When you have to drug somebody against their will (hey, you gotta do what you gotta do), it just wouldn't sound right to slip 'em a Ricardo, a Bjorn, or an Evelyn. It's gotta be a Mickey.
At the turn of the 20th century, Mickey Finn was a Chicago saloon owner in one of the seediest parts of town -- and he fit right in.
Finn was known for serving "Mickey Finn Specials," which probably included chloral hydrate, a heavy sedative. After targeted customers passed out, Finn would haul them into his "operating room" and liberate them of all valuables (including shoes).
Never a Host of the Year candidate, this Mickey seems to have thoroughly earned his legacy, so don't hesitate to use it the next time you drug and rob your own customers.
I tried to explain that he has a tail and that this is not a penis. For about five minutes I contended with three year old logic and then I threw my hands up and walked away. I have been defeated by a three year-old girl.
Something tells me that she and I will revisit this topic again later.
I guess that I sat next to them for far too long because now I often find myself doing the same thing. I suppose that it is not such a bad thing to do. It has its uses. Talk out loud in public places and people will stay away from you, at least that used to be the case.
Now in the age of Bluetooth headsets that may not be true any longer. You can't go out in public anymore without running into people holding invisible conversations. Sometimes when I ride the elevator I stick a finger in my ear and pretend that I am holding on my headset and then I make all sorts of comments.
"You tell the boys back at Langley if they don't patch me through immediately there is going to be hell to pay."You get the picture. Anyway, the manifestation of the urge to speak out loud while I type probably has some sort of medical term. If you'll excuse me I am going to go search for it.
"Hello G-d, It is me Jack. I'd like it very much if you could see that this elevator doesn't break again. The last time that happened I got stuck in here for six hours."
"You tell Spector that he owes me big for making that jury go crazy."
adj. Presumptuously or recklessly daring
[L. tentigo, -inis, a tension, lecherousness, fr. tendere, tentum, to stretch.]
1. Stiff; stretched; strained. [Obs.] Johnson.2. Lustful, or pertaining to lust. [Obs.] B. Jonson.
n.[L., from urinari to plunge under water, to dive.]
One who dives under water in search of something, as for pearls; a diver.
u·su·fruct (yū'zə-frŭkt', -sə-)
The right to use and enjoy the profits and advantages of something belonging to another as long as the property is not damaged or altered in any way.
The crap in the car is stressing me out. I keep pulling more things out and yet it feels like a bottomless pit. Apparently I have stumbled onto a secret hiding place for children's toys. It is like the secret elephant burial ground. I can't believe the things that the kids have stowed away. Any time now I am going to find my old metal Bionic Man lunch box because I just know that they have buried it in between the seats.
This is not fun. I am not supposed to have the clown car of junk. I clean this sucker out once a week so that this does not happen. Yet somehow the items migrate back in. Part of the problem is that there is a basket full of work materials that has to stay in the car. It is part of the challenge of having multiple offices.
It is a little embarrassing to see this much come flying out of it, but then again maybe I should be impressed. Maybe I should be happy that so much can be stored in this vehicle. Maybe I should write Honda some sort of testimonial letter. Then again, maybe not.
All I know is that the theme from Sanford and Son seems to come on every time I open the door. I'd write more, but it seems that Lamont is here and in need of my assistance. You'll excuse me while I get back to work.
The law in Ontario already allows women to inappropriately bare themselves, but most women clearly prefer to keep their clothes on.
If nudity is what one desires, there are many nudist colonies and secluded places where nudity will not be disrespectful to others who don't wish to see nakedness. Why would someone feel the need to bare private body parts in public except to gain attention?
It is not in the best interests of women or men for women to expose themselves. Parents don't want their children to have to see that. Wives don't want their husbands to see that.
Many men may want to see that, and you will probably gain their attention by exposing yourself, but there are also many men who are committed to their wives and families who don't want to be tempted by someone who isn't their own wife and the mother of their children.
Breasts are a beautiful, sexual part of the body and inexplicably desired by men. Expecting men to stop being attracted to breasts is an unnatural and unrealistic demand. It would be as silly as asking a dog to stop liking rawhide.
There is nothing perverted or filthy about men being attracted to women's breasts, or about parents wanting to protect their children from sexuality that belongs in the realm of adults.
We need to show respect to others, and showing respect means keeping private body parts covered.
AN Croatian motorbike rider was knocked unconscious when lightning struck his penis during a roadside toilet break.
Metro.co.uk reported Ante Djindjic, 29, escaped relatively unscathed from the incident, suffering only light burns to his chest and arms.He said: "I don't remember what happened. One minute I was taking a leak and the next thing I knew I was in hospital.
"Doctors said the lightning went through my body and because I was wearing rubber boots it earthed itself through my penis."
Bringing comfort to the parents for the wedding? Do you think that dual clergy will do that? Or will it just make each side equally unhappy?
As I mentioned, it's not possible to do a jewish wedding if one of the partners aren't Jewish; any rabbi who says it is, is acting in ignorance - or lying. Jewish weddings are a contractual arrangement between two Jews according to the laws of Moses and Israel.
If one of the parties is not subject to the laws of Moses and Israel, then how can the marriage contract be effected? It can't.
There's nothing wrong with people who aren't Jewish. They're just as lovable as anyone else, just as lovely and noble, and kind and smart -that's why it's the dating stage where one has to be careful about who one is with. By the time you fall in love it's too late.
If it matters enough to someone to be Jewish, to have a rabbi at the wedding, then it should matter enough to have a Jewish home. To have a Jewish home, it's very verydifficult if one partner isn't Jewish. The study that came out last year reconfirmed what we already knew anecdotally: how Jewish you are depends almost entirely on who you have around you. If you want your kids to be Jewish, it's important to have a jewish spouse and for them -and you- to have a Jewish friends and a community.
The rabbis were no fools; they were right about the necessity of a minyan.
BY having dual clergy, you aren't making people feel better, you're lying to both the people who are being married by saying that there isn't really any difference between one marriage ceremony and another.
IMO, if you can't decide it would be wise to put off the ceremony until someone picks, or have a civil ceremony, which is essentially the idea underlying dual clergy; that the marriage is a civil act, and not a religious one.
I know this sounds harsh, but I understand Judaism to be something that the world needs to continue, that we have a mission, and that that mission cannot be fulfilled if we disappear, and I also believe that it's evil to lie to people and give them to understand that it doesn't make a difference.
I don't think that people who are intermarried are evil - in fact, if one doesn't commit to the idea that Judaism matters, than I agree that it's foolish to insist on not marrying out. If you don't think Judaism matters, staying a Jew out of nostalgia or some misplaced guilt over Hitler is a waste of time, but then I don't think that one should want a rabbi there. And I do think it's a darn shame for any children who might come along later, as they often do.
People who do not get enough sleep are more than twice as likely to die of heart disease, according to a large British study released on Monday.
Although the reasons are unclear, researchers said lack of sleep appeared to be linked to increased blood pressure, which is known to raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
A 17-year analysis of 10,000 government workers showed those who cut their sleeping from seven hours a night to five or less faced a 1.7-fold increased risk in mortality from all causes and more than double the risk of cardiovascular death.
LONDON (AFP) - Foreign students visiting Britain are to be educated in the etiquette of queuing for buses, after local users complained about them not observing the conventions of standing in line.
Southern Vectis, which operates buses on the, off England's south coast, said it was to contact local language schools following several complaints about the behaviour of young students over the summer months.
"On the Isle of Wight we get lots of foreign language students staying with families," said operations manager March Morgan Huws.
"In their cultures, they do not queue for buses where they live and there is a scrum every time a bus turns up, while in British culture there is a nice orderly queue.
"We have had quite a few complaints from residents who queue up in an orderly fashion then all those foreign students push past them.
"What we have said is that we will work with the language schools to provide some instructions on the etiquette of queuing. We won't be marching the students up and down showing them how to queue, we will just leave it up to the group leaders to pass on the information."
Orderly queuing -- as seen during the recent Northern Rock banking crisis -- is seen as a quintessentially British convention. One social anthropologist believes Britons are even capable of forming one-person queues at bus stops.
A Violent Massage- Marriage Counseling & MoreAnd your blast from the past includes the following posts:
This is Not Haveil Havalim #135
Useful information Regarding Pigeons & Mario
I Want to Go To India
Red Sox Fan- I Present Bucky Dent
Minnie The Moocher- Cab Calloway
Altruistic Behavior and Public Service
A Test of Wills Between Father & Son
My Grandparents, Stress and Stuff
What I Have Done
Hard Hearted Hannah
Today it got to be too much and I went and got a massage. Due to poor planning I had to a different vendor. The man who did it was nice, but I swear that he beat me up. It was like a sick scene from a sitcom. He turned me upside down and inside out. My muscles were battered...relentlessly. This experience taught me a valuable lesson. I need to learn how to cry in Chinese in as many dialects as possible. I am pretty sure that I stammered a sentence that included pain...ani bocheh, crying, fuck, damn, ouch, crap and hey that tickles.
It is entirely possible that I might have even begun speaking in tongues. It wouldn't surprise me. Fortunately there is a happy ending. My pinched nerve was beaten into submission and I feel substantially better...physically. Mentally is a different story.
A short time ago my friend Tom asked if he could speak to me about something of a personal nature. Which I always take as code for making some stupid crack about bodily functions. It is an old joke between the two of us, but from the look on his face it became apparent that this was not something funny. The look on his face alarmed me. For a moment I was certain that he was going to tell me that he is dying. And that is something that I have heard too many times in my life. Somewhere in the archives you can find a post where I speak about the two people I know who are dying. You'll notice that I don't write about them very often. Eventually I will, but right now it is too hard.
Anyway Tom relates to me that he is having what he calls severe marital problems and asks for my counsel on this. Over the course of several pots of coffee and hours of conversation he relates a very sad tale and one that I find very troubling. Excuse me while I take a moment to relate the next five songs on my iPod. I need a moment to think.
In the Ghetto
Have You Ever Seen The Rain
Steppin Out With My Baby
Tougher Than The Rest
Anyhoo, old Tom tells me that for a number of years he has been very unhappy. For a while he kind of just went along with it. To quote him "I thought that somehow we'd find a way to work it out." For one reason or another it didn't happen. He wanted to go to counseling and she didn't. Time passed and he grew more discontent, more upset and less interested in trying to save a love that seemed to be dead.
Gradually their relationship evolved from man and wife into something that was closer to roommates who just happened to share a room. At some point in time he met someone online. They became fast friends and found that they had quite a bit in common including unfulfilling marriages.
Since they lived in different parts of the country their friendship was limited to email and the occasional telephone call. But over time they fell in love and for the past two years they have tried to figure out a way to be together. As I understand it the major dilemma has been their respective children as neither one of them wants them to be hurt.
Are you following along? Good.
Last Tuesday night Tom showed up on my doorstep and asked me to get some more coffee. He looked like hell. Tom said that they are convinced that they have found their besheret and asked me what I thought. I told him that I didn't think that every relationship was meant to last and he nodded his head.
With something that sounded like a muffled sob he asked me how long he had to subjugate his own happiness for that of his children. I took my time answering. If ever there was a pregnant pause, this was it, but I felt the weight of the question. It deserved an honest answer.
I said that I didn't know what to tell him. I can't yell at him and say that he did the wrong thing. I am not in the marriage and frankly to the best of my knowledge he tried to make it work and she didn't. Anyway, I asked him if he wanted to save his marriage and he said no, but at the same time he is afraid for his children.
That is how he describes himself. It is an awful thing to hear. He is fully cognizant of how he get to this place. Now he is at a loss for how to get out of it. You can understand why his story made me think of Unetanah tokef especially this line:
Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued,
Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented,
Yesterday as I davened I thought of him. During my shmoneh esreh I pulled my tallis over my head and asked for a solution for Tom. Some challenges are easily overcome and others are more complex. This particular one perplexes me. I keep seeing the look of anguish on his face. So to quote Hebrew National I went looking for help from a higher source.
Conversations like this remind me that I am closer to middle age then teen age. Sometimes I miss the simplicity of those days.
Updated multiple times: I have received more than one email asking how I could just grab Haveil Havalim without permission. Obviously you missed Talk Like a Pirate Day or you'd know you know that Captain Jack- One-eared Dog the Damned doesn't ask permission to do anything. ARRGGGH!!!!!!!!Welcome to the unauthorized, unofficial and up to now unrecognized edition of Haveil Havalim. Haveil Havalim is the weekly round up of posts of the JBlogosphere.
Hoist the mainsail, swab the decks and read matey!
It is taking a brief hiatus for the chagim. Rumor has that at the break fast it ate too many hard boiled eggs and is suffering from indigestion, or maybe that was me, so you'll forgive me for the brevity of this edition.
Here we go off into the wild blue yonder.
The Waffle King offers Interviewing the Enemy and RALLY IN NEW YORK AGAINST AHMEDINEJAD. Over at Israel Matzav you can learn How to sabotage Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia. Jewlicious offers their own take on this as well.
Dr. Sanity blogged about CHOICES (or, Do Two Half-Wits Make A**Hole?).
Seraphic Secret is among the many who ask what is wrong with Columbia University. LGF has a video that ties into all of this. Check out: Ahmadinejad: 'If the World Is Calm, Europe Will Eradicate the Zionists'. You might also want to read Lee Bollinger, Tough Guy.
Take a look at Irrational in Iran: Plans drawn up to bomb Israel.
Shiloh Musings provided The Olmert Troika. Joe Settler says the War Has Begun.
In other news Treppenwitz reports The Pina Chama was robbed! It is an important post that you should read carefully. Daled Amos served What Would Mearsheimer and Walt Say About The Czechoslovakia Lobby?
Maybe we should have elected Billy Carter. Check out Mere Rhetoric's post entitled Jimmy Carter: Iran Is Nothing To Worry About.
Ezzie has his own roundup of Yom Kippur posts. Take a look. Ren Reb shares a few of her thoughts from Yom Kippur. RWAC has his own post Yom Kippur thoughts as does Ra'anana Ramblings and lets not forget Shira either. Jacob reminds us that there are No Guarantees in Life. Gil has his own Musings. Therapy Doc provided her own thoughts too. And by all means remember to read If You Must.
Some more to read Juggling Frogs and Rabbi Sedley.
Elie has a touching post called May It Be Your Will as does Shifra's tribute to her brother.
It might be nice to go back in time so that I could countdown my own 30th birthday again. Birthday celebrations tied up A Bisele Babka. LOR has some videos that just might make you smile. Rafi is building a Sukkah.
You might enjoy Rosh Hashanah: The Book of Life & Death and Next Year In Jerusalem.
How about listening to A Hard's Day Night in Yiddish. Aussie Dave is slowly building his own army. Cro-Magnon man is back at the keyboard. Biur Chametz is still on an extended break. Apparently so are Amishav, AbbGav and so is the Shmata Queen.
Elisson shares an interview. KRG shared Polish Hip Hop Bhangra. Now there is something you don't see every day.
And now a moment of silence for famous Jewish Mime, Marcel Marceau.
Ok folks, I have to get back to real world doings. Hope you are all recovered from the chag. See you later.
- Mario was first seen in the video game Donkey Kong, but he was called "Jumpman." He was also a carpenter then, not a plumber.
- Mario was named after Mario Segale, the landlord of Nintendo of America’s office, who barged in on a company meeting demanding an overdue rent.
- Shigeru Miyamoto drew Mario as wearing a cap because he found drawing hair difficult. He also drew in the moustache, because it was easier to see than a mouth in the crude video game screen resolution back then.
- For More information use this link.
To keep alive in the wild, a pigeon needs to keep its eyes open for predators. Having eyes on the side of its head gives it a field of view of 340 degrees and, in order to fly at speed, its brain can process visual information three times faster than a human’s. If a pigeon watched a feature film, 24 frames per second would appear to it like a slide presentation. They would need at least 75 frames per second to create the illusion of movement on screen. (This is why pigeons seem to leave it until the very last second to fly out of the way of an oncoming car: it appears much less fast to them.)For more information on pigeons click here.
KILLINGLY, Connecticut (AP) -- An escaped and raging bull attacked a neighbor's home, tearing off siding, ripping down part of a fence and damaging a car.
Wayne Johnson said he found the bull in his yard Friday morning. It had wandered in from a nearby farm.
While he watched, the bull repeatedly charged his house, tore off clapboards, flipped a picnic table, rammed his car and tore down part of the fence around his swimming pool, he said.
"He was crazy," Johnson said. "The thing was ripping my house apart."
Johnson called police, who called the state Department of Agriculture. They suggested finding the farmer who owns the animal.
On a somewhat related note I have been listening to some Daler Mehndi videos. Too bad I don't speak Hindi, I wonder what it is he saying.
We shall ascribe holiness to this day.
For it is awesome and terrible.
Your kingship is exalted upon it.
Your throne is established in mercy.
You are enthroned upon it in truth.
In truth You are the judge,
The exhorter, the all‑knowing, the witness,
He who inscribes and seals,
Remembering all that is forgotten.
You open the book of remembrance
Which proclaims itself,
And the seal of each person is there.
The great shofar is sounded,
A still small voice is heard.
The angels are dismayed,
They are seized by fear and trembling
As they proclaim: Behold the Day of Judgment!
For all the hosts of heaven are brought for judgment.
They shall not be guiltless in Your eyes
And all creatures shall parade before You as a troop.
As a shepherd herds his flock,
Causing his sheep to pass beneath his staff,
So do You cause to pass, count, and record,
Visiting the souls of all living,
Decreeing the length of their days,
Inscribing their judgment.
On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed,
And on Yom Kippur it is sealed.
How many shall pass away and how many shall be born,
Who shall live and who shall die,
Who shall reach the end of his days and who shall not,
Who shall perish by water and who by fire,
Who by sword and who by wild beast,
Who by famine and who by thirst,
Who by earthquake and who by plague,
Who by strangulation and who by stoning,
Who shall have rest and who shall wander,
Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued,
Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented,
Who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low,
Who shall become rich and who shall be impoverished.
But repentance, prayer and righteousness avert the severe decree.
I got the call in the middle of the night. The sharp ring of the telephone startled me awake. For a brief moment I thought that it was the alarm clock and got ready to go shower and get ready for the day. The continued ringing made me realize my mistake and I picked up the handset. With a muffled voice I mumbled something into the phone and waited for an answer.
The response made me gasp and go numb. It wasn't like the movies. I didn't drop the phone. I didn't start to scream hysterically or sob. I just lay there in disbelief. You were gone. Death had robbed us of our future and now I had no future.
Ok, none of that actually happened. I sometimes wish that it did. It is kind of perverse to say that sometimes I wish that something so terrible had taken place. But sometimes it hurts too much to admit that I am the reason that our love was lost. The best thing in my life is gone because I let it go.
My grandmother used to say that the really lucky people fall in love three times. Two of them were to prepare you for the love of your life. I used to chuckle at the idea of training relationships. I told grandma that I'd like to quote her but I didn't want my lover to worry which number they were. The last thing I wanted to deal with was a fight based upon insecurity and a quote like that seemed destined to create distress.
I never imagined that one day I would sit here and wish that I had paid more attention to grandma. She was so very right. I have been in love more than once, more than twice. In fact you can say that grandma was right because the third time was more powerful than the first two combined. And it was only because I had been in love before that I realized so very clearly the superiority of the third.
Chances are that most of you have seen a movie or two that deals with this very topic. Two people fall madly in love and seem prepared to ride off into the sunset of a perfect life. However the dream is interrupted and somehow they are torn apart leaving broken hearts and the question of whether they'll ever find their way back to each other.
People like happy endings. They like to see the couple figure overcome the obstacles in their path reuniting in triumphant harmony.
My story doesn't have that happy ending. My story has all of the elements I listed above, except one. At the end there is no couple. There is only heartbreak and the bitterness of unfilled potential.
Well I ran into the two again. This time it was at shul, no big surprise today. Had I not been chasing children I might have introduced myself. They had found prime real estate outside. It was a great spot just off of a courtyard and an entryway into the main building.
Although I must admit that the mischievous part of me thought that it was quite funny that we said hello and smiled at each other, knowing that I knew who they were but that they hadn't picked me out yet.
I don't know if they ever listened to any of the silly audioblogs I used to do, but if they had it is possible that my voice would have sounded familiar to them. Anyway, I don't know about you, but I am relieved that the fast is over and the the day is slowly drawing to a close. I'll post more about this later.
Yom Kippur is a hard day for me. It is hard for a whole host of reasons. Somewhere deep inside my head are the memories of a little boy being taught about who would be inscribed in the book of life and who would not. I can almost hear the voice. It is a sing song, who shall live and who shall die. If you take that kind of thing seriously it is hard not to feel the weight of the day.
In recent years I have become quite conscious of when people die. By that I mean those who die right before the chagim really strike me. I guess that I kind of visualize the year as a race, a combination of sprint and marathon. Of course not everyone finishes the race, but to me the deaths of those who fall just before the finish line (Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur) seem harder. I can't help but wonder why they weren't given a little more time, just enough to watch the clock turn and start the new year.
This past year had some tough moments. A good friend had a complete breakdown. They went from being normal (whatever that means) into something else. Coherent thought disappeared and reappeared.
A dear friend of the family suddenly dropped dead. One moment he was there and the next he was gone. There wasn't any miracle, no last minute reprieve from the governor. He was just gone.
A few more marriages ended. They rode the horse as long as they could and that was it. In one case I think that they actually shot the horse and then in their anger and pain they took it out on each other.
Earlier this week they found another family friend lying on the floor of her office. A massive heart attack hit her. The estimate that she was down for about five minutes. Right now she lies in the ICU and it is unclear whether she will recover and if she does, what kind of shape will she be in.
There are other stories that I could tell. They probably aren't that different from anyone else. We're here for a brief moment in time, the flame burns for only so long.
In happier news a friend told me that he has discovered his besheret. We had a very interesting discussion that I may turn into a separate post. The gist of it is that we debated what impact life experience has upon falling in love. Part of the question is whether there is a better time to fall in love, or should I say a better age.
Maturity brings some advantages. The opportunity to learn more about yourself and what you need to be happy can be quite useful. But as I said, that is a discussion for a later day.
All I know is that it was fun to hear the joy in his voice. As he described her you could feel his delight and his unmitigated joy. I wish them nothing but continued joy and love.
Tomorrow I'll continue my tradition of layning Torah. I have the usual apprehension and angst about it, but if I didn't do it I'd be disappointed. It is a honor and a privilege and something that I find adds meaning to the chag.
Just a few more comments about judgment. If I accept the concept/reality of judgment I have acknowledge that my record for the past year is what it is. I will be judged upon that. If I merit a reward or punishment I suppose that this is what will happen.
So I wish you all a G'mar Chatima Tova. I'll see you on the other side.
The communist tyrant Joseph Stalin was known to be an anti-Semite who planned wide-scale purges against the Jews in his latter days. Yet the fact that the Soviet ruler planned to annihilate the Jews did not prevent him from having an affair with a Jewish woman, and to take care of her daughter until her mother passed away. According to some evidence, Stalin may have even married the woman.
The affair was disclosed recently thanks to a letter discovered by an historian named Nicolai Nada. The letter, which was placed on the desk of the general secretary of the communist party Georgi Malenkov in 1953, the day Stalin suffered a stroke, was kept in a classified party file for years.
Just a few months ago those in charge of the file were persuaded to reveal the letter, and this is what it contained:
Dear Comrade Malenkov!
I am the daughter of Ana Rubinstein, the former wife of Comrade Stalin.
As he is in ill health, I ask you to let me see him. He knows me since I was a child.
R. Sabashnikov (Kostiokovski). If it is not possible to see him, I ask you to grant me an audience on a very urgent matter.
For the full story please click here.
Sept. 18, 2007 - Liz Gabor calls the odor “man sweat.” And though she’s loath to admit it, the aromatic scent makes her feel, as she calls it, a little frisky. “My friends think I’m crazy, but I think male sweat is kind of pleasant and, well, kind of hot,” says Gabor, 28, a customer service rep and happily married mother of two young girls.Actually I think that this story is kind of interesting. Here is one more excerpt:
According to the Rockefeller and Duke researchers, about 70 percent of adult men and women have the genetic capacity to perceive a particular chemical called androstenone in male body odor. To them, the testosterone-laden substance can take on a pleasant bouquet similar to vanilla or other sweet or woodsy scents. Others who have a functional copy of the gene perceive androstenone as less than pleasurable, akin to the aromatic elixir of stale urine. About 30 percent of adult men and women can’t smell androstenone at all, leading researchers to suspect they might be missing the gene responsible for smelling the aroma.
You are such a maudlin and spineless excuse for a man, Jack. Grow a set of balls and get over it! You're a disgrace to the gender.Dear Big Shot,
If you can't deal, take the noble way out and jump in front of a train or something. Jesus.
You lifted that verbatim from the Insults for Dummies guidebook. I understand why, because had you bothered to read you would have seen that you tried to insult me over a work of fiction. That post is part of a story I am writing.
Not to mention that you must feel exceptionally powerful laying out such a strong insult from behind that computer screen ANONYMOUS.
Or maybe I should say, not so anonymous Mr. I left my IP address and all sorts of other crap lying around.
Ok, play time is over. Time to go back to work.
I am in hell. The pain I feel is indescribable. It is dull, it is sharp, it is rough, it is brutally cold. It is all I can do not to sit here and wallow in the emptiness. I try not to beat myself up. I try not to assign blame. I try and I fail. Failure is all I can see. Everywhere I look are signs that my life is not the life I want to be living. Everywhere I look I find evidence of someone else's life. I used to know that person. I used to be that person, or so I think. That was back when I thought that I was happy.
The person who occupied that body is dead. I can't say when they died, but I know that they did. That is assuming that they ever were really alive. And that is a big question. Were they really alive. Did they really live or were they just kind of getting by.
I am afraid to really ask myself that question. Afraid to admit that maybe I settled. Maybe I took the path of least resistance. The fear is that the answer is yes. The fear is that I am becoming what I hate. The fear is that now that I have known what it means to be alive I will never do so again.
You are/were my air. Every morning I woke up knowing that my best friend would be there. It didn't matter what we did. I just liked spending time with you. It was a more mature and more complete love than anything I had ever known. And that makes its absence all the more palpable. That makes the loss more devastating because I know that if I can't have that love, if I can't be that person I can't let myself feel.
Already I am working on building a wall. Already the defenses are being erected. I can't let myself feel so much pain. I can't stand to feel like such a miserable fool. I can't let the memories of what we had punish me. It sickens me.
It sickens me to sound like a drama queen. It sickens me to feel. It sickens me to think of not feeling. But I can't live like this. I can't stand it. I cannot take the constant ache. The punishment is too great. If you were here I could. If I had some hope I could find the strength.
Want to know what really hurts? It is the idea that one day I might reach a place where the memory of you doesn't cause me to double over in pain. It is the thought that one day it won't hurt at all and I'll wonder why it ever bothered me at all. I'll scratch my head and think that it must have been nothing more than a bad dream.
Love deserves more than that.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- The deputy commander of Iran's air force said Wednesday that plans have been drawn up to bomb Israel if the Jewish state attacks Iran, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.
"We have drawn up a plan to strike back at Israel with our bombers if this regime (Israel) makes a silly mistake," Gen. Mohammad Alavi was quoted as telling Fars in an interview.
I don't know that he needed to be tasered, but I will say that he created the problem. If you watch the video below you can see that his actions precipitated the incident. He intentionally made a spectacle of himself.
Again I am not saying that being tasered was the appropriate course of action but he fought with the police. That is usually going to be a losing hand. Take a look at the video and see what you think.
I on the other hand am supposed to apologize to her for not letting her watch more Dora.
Haveil Havalim- The Once & Future Edition- Contains a Pirate Post.P.S. If you dost be a slacker you can use the English-to-Pirate translator or face the pointy end of my cutlass.
Do You Have An Accent
Pirate Attacks Down Sharply
Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day
The Jewish Pirates of The Caribbean
I miss feeling like a part of a small community in which everyone looked out for each other.
Maybe this is all nonsense. Maybe these are silly complaints. I seem to make them every six months or so. Maybe I just don't like change. Maybe I am going about nothing and then again maybe not.
Isn't there a place to lament the loss of innocence. Don't we try hard to maintain our children's innocence. Don't we work hard to protect them. We want them to see the snow right after it has fallen in all of its pristine glory. No slush for their eyes.
We encourage them to run and be free. We tell them to make their mistakes and not to worry about it because that is how we learn.
Am I crazy to say that I miss that. Am I a baby for wanting to go back in time. Maybe. Perhaps. Could be. In the end it doesn't matter.
Forward. Always forward. Progress must be made. I know this. I understand this and in truth I want this too.
"WASHINGTON - When every known speaker of the language Amurdag gets together, there's still no one to talk to. Native Australian Charlie Mungulda is the only person alive known to speak that language, one of thousands around the world on the brink of extinction. From ruralto to , languages that embody the history and traditions of people are dying, researchers said Tuesday.
While there are an estimated 7,000 languages spoken around the world today, one of them dies out about every two weeks, according to linguistic experts struggling to save at least some of them.
Five hotspots where languages are most endangered were listed Tuesday in a briefing by the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages and the.
In addition to northern Australia, eastern Siberia and Oklahoma and the U.S. Southwest, many native languages are endangered in South America — Ecuador,, , and — as well as the area including British Columbia, and the states of Washington and .
Losing languages means losing knowledge, says K. David Harrison, an assistant professor of linguistics at.
"When we lose a language, we lose centuries of human thinking about time, seasons, sea creatures, reindeer, edible flowers, mathematics, landscapes, myths, music, the unknown and the everyday."
As many as half of the current languages have never been written down, he estimated."
Police Question Armless Man In Neighbor's Death
SNELLVILLE, Ga. -- Police questioned an armless man Monday about the death of his neighbor.Relatives of Charles Keith Teer, 47, claim he died after the armless man head-butted and kicked Teer during a fight.
For the full story please click here.
Anyway, here is the latest entry.
I remember the day that joy left my life. It was the day that you said that you couldn't see me any longer. I don't think that you ever realized just how much you mean and meant to me. It wasn't for lack of my trying to tell you. I did. I truly did. The problem wasn't the effort, it was the means.
It still hurts.
Now I sit here in the dark. I can't tell you what time or what day it is. Aside from a couple of trips to the bathroom I haven't left this room. Not to eat and not to shower.
What is my purpose. Was I not given a heart to love you. Was I not given a soul to share with you. Without you I haven't any reason for being. I feel empty. Fragments of who I was are floating around my head. I get brief glimpses of the person I was.
Sometimes I try to grab them. Sometimes I try to snatch them out of the air so that just for one more moment I might feel something, some sort of warmth. I hold the pillow close and pray that your scent never leaves it.
I am not supposed to be like this. I am not supposed to be so dependent upon another. I used to be strong. I used to be happy. I knew joy and I knew bliss. And now they are gone. It is hard to breathe. It feels so cold. The tears roll down my face in silent testimony to my loss. There is nothing left to do. No reason to be.
All I can do is type this letter and hope that I wake up. I pinch myself over an over wishing that I'd just wake up. But I don't.
Move on. Get up. Try to live my life. These are things that whole people do. They do not belong to me. I claim no ownership over them.
I am shamed and ashamed. I am weak and cowardly. I am so frail. I can't bring myself to do anything.
Your sister tried to hug me and I collapsed. I cannot bear to be touched. The touch just reminds me that the world has ended and I have been left behind. Pain is my sole companion.
She tried to speak, tried to explain. You cannot console me. There are no words. The love that we shared is shattered. The hope is gone and so are you. You cannot help and I cannot hope. Joy has left my life.
BEIJING, China (AP) -- A man in southern China appears to have died of exhaustion after a three-day Internet gaming binge, state media said Monday.
The 30-year-old man fainted at a cyber cafe in the city of Guangzhou Saturday afternoon after he had been playing games online for three days, the Beijing News reported.
For a number of reasons I have been unable to fill this request. However I am pleased to say that I can offer my help in providing you with information on eggs. Thanks to the miracle of technology I can provide you with links to three different eggspert recipes.
Treppenwitz- No guns required for this recipe. ;)
Planck's Constant- Notice the handy diagram.
Random Thoughts- Not so random recipe.
Have a great recipe that you want to share? Send it in or leave it in the comments and we'll see about adding it to the eggstravaganza.
You cannot know just how far your post may go. A simple Google search can lead to so many places and opportunities.
What do you think? Can you really influence someone else? Or is that just wishful thinking.
I am not a fan of the saggy pants look. It always looked ridiculous to me, but I haven't viewed it as being a huge problem either. Apparently others do because there is a growing movement to end the sag.
"Proposals to ban saggy pants are starting to ride up in several places. At the extreme end, wearing pants low enough to show boxers or bare buttocks in one small Louisiana town means six months in jail and a $500 fine. A crackdown also is being pushed in . And in , getting caught with your pants down may soon result in not only a fine, but a city worker assessing where your life is headed."Are they employed? Do they have a high school diploma? It's a wonderful way to redirect at that point," said Trenton Councilwoman Annette Lartigue, who is drafting a law to outlaw saggy pants. "The message is clear: We don't want to see your backside."
It seems like a bad case of misplaced priorities to me. If they had to pick on one aspect of fashion to go after I'd do something about body modification. Like the guy in the picture below. Why oh why would you do that.
Still, these are low on my list of priorities. What about trying to help the homeless or make health care more accessible than it is today.
Lightning is about to strike again, not a doubt in my mind that we're going to see it live and experience in 3D. Some lips are bound to ...
Someone once told me that the heart wants what the heart wants. I don’t know if that is a line from a book or a movie, it could be. Then aga...
"You Are Such a Man!" Not quite sure how I am supposed to take this. A woman made this remark about me. She was muttering unde...
The GermoPhobe with a capital 'P' in phobe is a man who works on the same floor of my office building. I have seen him around the bu...