Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A look at the Rasha of the Hagaddah

Ha, ha ha. No, just kidding. I'm not going to be analyzing any of the sons today.
I haven't posted in a while, so I hope none of you are furious with me. I know it's hard to start your day without reading a bit of what Yossi has to say. (and I totally didn't mean for that to rhyme, but it did anyway. If you didn't catch that, you can go back and read the last line again. You'll see that I'm right.)
Before I begin, let me just tell you that I am posting from the great city of.....Philadelphia!!
Which is like the birthplace of our country. They've got the liberty bell, and the courthouse, and where the Declaration was signed. This was also the first National capital, maybe? Or they were thinking about it? No, am I totally off? whatever. It could have been.
Since my yeshiva starts tomorrow night, I took the time to visit my grandparents. I arrived late last night. Why so early if seder starts two days later? Well, that's a sore subject, but basically after my father made my ticket according to the schedule we were given, my yeshiva decided to push off the day when we would start up again. I wanted to stay home longer, but that notion was rejected. One friend of mine suggested that I spend so much money over these next days, and that way my father will regret not spending the huge sum of money to push off my ticket. While that suggestion did seem to have good merit, in the end I realized that it would not accomplish anything more than me getting in big trouble.
So here's your next question, which I am "ba'var'nin-ing" now: If right now I am at my grandparents for the day, to obviously spend quality time, why am I sitting at the computer? To that, I will answer- We aren't much of a museum family. Oh, we do go. But what better way to relax with family than to sit back and... relax???!!! A novel idea, don't you think? Instead of trekking around a big zoo, or museum, or penitentiary...
Which leads me into the rest of this Ketchup post (get it!! wah, ha, ha!!!.....okay, I'll stop). Sorry, catch-up post.
For Chol HaMoed my family bravely took Blumenkrantz's advice, and avoided malls, museums, circuses, beaches, and all other places with people, and visited a National Park of Redwood Trees. These were Coastal Redwoods, as opposed to the second type, the Sequoias. The ones we saw are thinner and taller, and the Sequoias are much fatter, but shorter.
And after walking around for a bit, we came to a realization- that they are just trees, and when you've seen one or two, you've seen them all.
What surprised me was to meet a few frum families at the forest (that's alliteration, if I remember correctly). This one family was very friendly and absolutely insisted on having us over on Shabbos when me and my sib's were back in the Heights. When they asked to give us their number, we all kind of looked at each other, shuffling our feet. Finally my mom took down their phone number. I'm not sure if any of us took it with us. Not that they didn't seem like a really nice family. It's just... a little awkward I guess to actually give 'em a call and go over one shabbos. Besides, if they really wanted to have us over, they would have asked for our number, right?
Before we walked into the reserve, there was a large, wooden archway with the name of the national reserve at the top. "Let's take a picture here before we go in," one of my siblings suggested.
"No, why would we want to take a picture here??!!!" another sibling of mine asked, clearly belittling the spot as a Kodak moment. What this sibling did not realize was that there were already people posing for pictures at that exact spot. The lady taking a picture was less than two feet from where we were, and I knew she must have heard us. So I threw some water onto the fire, hoping to control the damage. I said, "No, what are you talking about? I think this is an excellent spot!!" in a really innocent manner, and the lady smiled when we walked by, knowing and appreciating what I did. My siblings were embarrassed and tried to get out of there fast.
Always watch what you're saying if people with cameras could get enraged!!

To finish up with my life: the plane was delayed, on time, and then delayed again. We sat on the runway for over an hour, and eventually arrived in Crown Heights after midnight. It was cool that there were frummies on our flight with us. This one Rov from C. H. who was asking me about myself, thought I was married! I guess it's just my really really really really mature attitude. He must not have heard me during the prep talk the flight attendants were giving us. When the lady held up the seat buckle, and showed everyone how to click it in, I said loudly, "ooooh. So that's how a seat belt works." She just laughed, and said I must be from New York to have that sense of humor. Um- no. not really. not at all. Sorry, lady. But of course, I didn't say that. What I did was politely chuckle back and say I must have acquired one. But seriously, why does it have to mean I'm from New York?
And when I finally got into my dorm, I found that we had no power. After borrowing a flashlight, I was finally able to slump onto my bed and fall asleep, exhausted after a day of nothing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

With my nose

Hey everyone.
I hope you all had a great Yom Tov.
It's now Chol HaMoed. Of course, many restrictions still apply to work. Like plowing fields. Even to write, it is better to write differently than you normally do, like use a different hand.
Hence my problem with this blog.
I use both my hands to type.
Therefore I am typing this post with my nose.
It takes a lot of work, but you are worth it!!

My sedarim went pretty well. There are some things that became a family tradition for us at the seder. Like the joke about our family having trouble "leaning to the left". We do that one every year. Usually sixteen times every Pesach.
Or how we attempt to sing every song we know, but horribly get it wrong for most, like Baruch HaMakom, Dayenu, and Al Achas.
Or how we have to sing the Frog Song when we get to the plagues (One morning when Paroh woke up in his bed...).
There are more, but I'm just forgetting them.

Soon my family will be going on our first Chol HaMoed outing. Since I have read Blumenkrantz, I'll be the one counting to make sure we have everyone.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Any Producers Out There?

I just read something pretty amazing.
And don't you roll your eyes at me and think, "Well, if you thought a glob of bleach that looked like a question mark was incredible, this time it has to be something huge!".
It really is amazing.
The Oscar winning movie Juno is best loved for its witty writing.
Guess who was the screenwriter, or script-writer, or whatever?
I don't know either, but the point is, that the guy who wrote the script was a blogger!!!
That's right, the producers found out about the guy because of his humorous blog, and liked his style or whatever and had him write them their movie.
How about that!!??
If you don't know where I'm going with this, I'll get to the point quickly.
I write a blog.
I think it's a good one.
Therefore, I could be the next guy-who-writes-funny-scripts-for-movies-about-teenage-girls-having-babies guy!!!
Well, I'm sure I could go out of the box a little, and write about any other subject.
So if any producers are reading this blog, I'll tell you right now I might be interested.
Your people will have to contact my people.

oh...who wants to be my "people"? I'm gonna need those first.

Okay, I'll let you go finish washing the Romaine Lettuce. Just think this one over.
Have a Kosher and Frelichin Pesach!!
And if you think of a great movie idea while searching for the Afikomen tomorrow night, and need a blogger-turned-screenwriter, you know who to call. Or comment. Or email. Whatever.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Almost at 100...

This post is my 96th published post (I've got one or two drafts. Things I've either taken off or plan to maybe possibly post. Which means you probably will never see them.).
And I want to do something big for my 100th post. Not something small, like my 1-month anniversaries. I'm thinking bigger.
Like maybe hosting a huge party, maybe at the Jewish Childrens' Museum, how 'bout that? Like a big cocktail party, for all my adult readers, and some lemonade for me and my fellow underage drinkers. I could try to get Piamenta or something. They probably read my blog, no?
Anyway, jokes aside, I wanted to do some sort of "Fans' favorite Post", or favorite label, at least, from my blog.
I was going to make this just a poll, instead of a post where you'll have to comment, but first of all, I'm trying to get to 100, remember. And second of all, it is slightly depressing to give seven option choices, and the winner having two votes....sniff.
So I'm not sure if you want me to choose like 10 posts for you to vote on, or if I should do just which favorite label you have, (My Dark Past, Shake it Like Shakespeare, Funny (or what I think is funny), Random, Current Events, Yeshiva Life, Profound Profundities- am I missing any?). Or maybe I should choose from all my posts funny lines, or something, and you can vote on which quips of mine you like the best.
That last idea would be really dull work on my part. It would mean I'd have to read my entire blog, all 96 posts, including this one. But I guess for any of the other ideas I threw on the table, I'd still have to read my blog. That's going to be boring. Maybe I'll have someone else do it...
Another problem is that who is to say that I might not say something so extraordinary in the next three posts, before the big 100, that you'd all try to change your votes in the end?
For now, you can say in the comments which post you enjoyed the most, or what category, or which line.
And if I only get one or two comments, I'll just reasonably assume that of the hundreds upon hundreds of loyal readers I have, everyone agrees with those two comments, and therefore felt no need to suggest their own. Comments are different than polls, see. If I only get three votes, that is because a comment- not everyone feels comfortable with, but a poll- nobody can pass up a poll, so to choose from only three votes on a poll, or three comments, I'll take the comments.

Did this whole post make sense, or did you see it for what it is, just an excuse to get to 100?
Ha, ha. No, I'm kind of joking (sort of). I really am curious as to what I wrote that you like the best. And then I'll bring it out from the vaults for a very limited time, in a Golden Edition, or something, for the big 100.

Israel, Baby!!!/ What was my password?

I'm going to Israel, baby!!
Birthright officially accepted me.
IY"H I'll be going at the end of August.
However, there is this debit card thing which I have also, on which I put a deposit of money.
The thing is, that I totally forget what my username and password are. And I made my brother's account also, and I forget his, too. And I put them both on my father's email account, which makes things even more complicated. I'll have to call them on Chol Hamoed, maybe.
Recently, I've been very good with passwords and usernames. I mean, I know about 10 different usernames and 10 different passwords I could have used, or variations. Normally I save them somewhere, or give normal Security Questions.
In the past, I was a complete dummy when it came to making online accounts.
Take the SAT board, for example.
I was able to be part of a cool program led by a prestigious university that allowed seventh graders to take the SAT's. I needed to make an account, in order to apply, and see my scores before they were mailed, etc.
After a few years, when I took them again in 11th, or maybe it was the PSAT's in 10th, or 11th, I don't really remember, I needed to sign back on to my account.
I couldn't for the life of me remember what my password was. I knew my username. And I knew my email, but they would only email me my password if I answered the security question I had chosen with the correct answer I had given.
My question I chose when I was 12 was: What was the name of your first pet?
Sounds pretty normal, right?
Wrong. (See, here, how it works? The wrong after right thing?)
Wrong because I never had a pet. So how could I possibly know its name?!!!
Or a better question: Why did I ever choose such a moronic question?
Of course in seventh grade, I thought I was being funny. I mean, why would I ever forget my password and need the security question, right?
I called the College Board people up, gave them my social security number, and they told me the answer to my security question.
It was Charlie.
(Don't even try to use it, I changed the question to something that actually made sense!!)
I was so mad at my 12-year-old self.
So now again, for my deposit card thing, I'm gonna have to call up Payoneer and figure out what I chose as a username and password.
And airlines' frequent flier accounts? Forget about it.


I just finished scrubbing our kitchen floor, for Pesach prep.
The fumes from the bleach were making me extremely dizzy, so I opened the windows- I'm so smart, aren't I?
Well, like the title to this post attests, I felt exactly like Cinderella. No, silly, I didn't fall in love by dancing with a Prince, or have mice make my dress.
I was on my hands and knees scrubbing and scrubbing for about two hours!! No exaggeration. Of course, you won't believe me, even when I say I didn't exaggerate. But it really was two hours.
My wrists, ankles, knuckles, knees and back are all still in pain.
The pants I was wearing have even more bleach spots than before.
But in spite of all the suffering, I actually enjoyed it. The floor was dirty, and looking down when you are done gives you such a great feeling. It was also fun since we had on Irish folk music, which livens up even the most tedious and boring tasks.
The most exciting thing from those two hours? Um, (inside joke if my parents ever read this (and not for the usual reason you might think (you know, that they always correct me on my grammar, and saying "like" or um"))) (I just used a lot of parentheses; looks cool), I guess it would have to be the time that I squeezed out a glob of the soft scrub, and it looked like a question mark. Pretty incredible, huh?
And no, the bleach fumes didn't go to my head.
And no, with that last line, I didn't mean "go to my head" like becoming arrogant. I meant literally, zooming up into my brain and frying brain cells. In case you didn't understand.

Anyone stuck with their pesach cleaning, and need my help,
I'm your Cinderella For Hire.
(Oh, and I'm a size 9.5 shoe. I don't know if there are different sizes for glass slippers.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don't Let Go Poem

This will be the last one, I think. Unless I find more, or write more. This I also wrote two years ago.

Don't Let Go

Don't let go,
Don't give up on me,
I'd be lost in the tides of corruption and apathy.

Keep squeezing my hand,
Don't loosen your grip,
The world's current is getting stronger, and I'm afraid I might slip.

My body has gone numb,
I'm crying in agony,
You know yourself: you're the only one who can save me.

You've always been there for me,
But now I need you more than ever-
The connection between us can never be severed.

Same as always. I think I may need to tweak this a little, and choose between either staying completely metaphorical, or about an actual river... whatever. Consider this a rough draft; I may change this later.

Hermit Crab Poem

I know, I know. Another one. Listen, nobody is forcing you to read these. This was on the same notepad as the previous one, which means two years old. This poem is dedicated to the hermit crab (was its name Herman? I don't remember) that my sisters had, and were told incorrectly by an "expert" that he was dead, and subsequently buried it alive in an earrings box in the backyard. Herman, this one's for you.

The Hermit Crab

I was once watching the ocean, and relaxing by the shore,
When I saw a seashell that I had never seen before.
There was a hermit crab, burying itself in the shell's core,
To be by itself, and to be connected with the world no more.

You've been sickened by all the hatred, disappointment, and rejection.
You've closed yourself off from the world, for your solitude and introspection.
You got mad at the world because you didn't find perfection.

So here you are imprisoned within the walls of your shell's core,
But what about friendship, or love, for which you've closed the door?
Even if you had bad things in your life- isn't love worth living for?

_______________. Pretend I just said something humorous about not plagiarizing.

Breaking Expectations Poem

This poem I wrote two years ago. Just found it. That proves I was cleaning, right?!!!!

Breaking Expectations

Do you ever wish you could be something more?
To do something no one thought you could do before?
That just given the opportunity, you could change the world?
You've kept your flag hidden, now fly it unfurled?

Well that's how I feel, I've just kept it inside-
I thought it was stupid and lame, something I shouldn't confide.

I can envision the way people look at me,
The kind of person that to them I seem to be.
But when will they see the passion burning inside of me?
The cogs and the wheels turning decidedly?
That I have the power to do something great,
Something later generations will wish to replicate!
Don't ask me what it is, I don't know myself-
I feel like an unused book, waiting on the shelf,
Someone pay attention to me, can't you hear me screaming?!!
I just want to help you, don't you see my tears streaming??
But you're all just walking by, totally ignoring me,
Just give me a chance! I'm begging deploringly!!

If I had just one minute, I could change all our lives forever,
If I would put all my heart and soul into one single endeavor!

I'm on my knees, world, give me my time now,
And then maybe people will look at me, and really think.......Wow.

This is copyrighted. I would put that little circle with a "c", but I can't find it here on my limited posting tool-bar. So just pretend that I did.

The Oven Guy

Of course, right before Pesach when we're trying to self-clean an oven, it breaks.
And when that happens, we call The Oven Guy.
This guy is a big, older (I can't say old, because he's probably only a little older than my parents...), British guy with white hair and big glasses. This fella' said he was surprised to see how big I was, and he remembers my brother and me being a lot smaller.
Funny, since it was only about two years ago that he saw us last.
I grew what? maybe like three inches, and that's a big maybe.
Actually, the last time we saw him, we were going to take our driving tests, and he told us to go to a certain city nearby, since our own city's DMV were literally hell on earth, and they purposely try to fail you your first time, since that of course builds lots of stuff they call character, and we call burning anger.
Back to our story, though.
The Oven Guy (that's his official name, given at birth. I asked him. Honest.) asked why we had all the surfaces in the kitchen covered. My brother started to explain by saying that it was for Passover, which he had heard of before. And as it turns out, he told us before he left that his mother, or mum (since he's English), is Jewish, so he is also, just he didn't consider himself it!
Well, my bro started explaining, "Well, when the Jews left Egypt from their slavery-"
"Yeah, I know what passover is, but why cover your counters?"
"Um, well we can't have any leavened bread, because it represents haughtiness..."
At this point I turned around and butted into the conversation, because The Oven Guy was here to fix our oven, not to hear about chassidic explanations into how matzah represents bittul. So I said simply, "We can't even have any breadcrumbs, so we clean and cover the counters to make sure there are none left."
"Oh," The Oven Guy answered.
See, it was pretty simple.
Even our dear friend and extension of our family, The Oven Guy, who is also British, (but we won't hold that against him... so much), now knows the beauty and meaning behind Pesach.

This Post was pointless, meaningless, and a waste of everyone's time.
There, so nobody can say it under the comments.
'Cause I got there first.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Scary Poem

Rusted chains with dark blood stains,
A corpse staring with empty eyes;
Demented clowns with forever frowns,
Masked men with butcher knives.

The slow ticking of a clock, the unlatching of a lock,
The creeping of footsteps down the hall;
Muffled screams from cut-short dreams,
The splatter of blood and gore against the wall.

In my head spin round these awful sights and sounds,
In the middle of my restless and fitful sleep;
I jolt up upright with terror and fright,
At the smallest mysterious peep.

I barricade the door and fall to the floor,
And hold my breath as I hide under my bed;
I silently pray in my humble, simple way,
That they should take my brother instead!

Okay, so don't go copying this and saying it's your's, blah blah blah... you won't see your blender again... wish you never bought shag carpet... take down the cat that was nailed on your door...
This poem I wrote just now. Literally, in the last six minutes. I was inspired by a friend of mine who is constantly remarking that I should write more "dark" stuff. I think this is "dark" enough, except for the end, where I couldn't help adding my own humor into it.

The Rebbe's Birthday

Tonight marks the Rebbe's 106th birthday. Which means he was born in 1902. It's okay, not everyone is good at math, I'm glad I could help.
I hope everyone has already thought deeply about what type of present he/she plans to give.
That's right, a present. Just because he is a Rebbe does not mean he doesn't enjoy presents.
Bochurim in yeshivos, for example, learn and memorize gemoro, or maamarim, or make sure to be on time to all sedorim in yeshiva, etc.
He also gets Nachas from good hachlotos for the coming year.
So don't worry about wrapping paper and stick-on bows.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Look at My Dark Secret

I just wanted to review my last post. I know I don't usually do that with stories or poems I write. I'm not doing it with this one because I think it was really well written or whatever. I still might analyze some other writings of mine I put up.
Anyway, notice how my humor was pretty much the same. I kept on with that purple helmet joke. And it's true, I still have that helmet to this day.
And notice how at the end I put a moral-like thing, which is what I kind of do now, it seems. I guess I find it makes things funnier.
If I were writing that post today, I would probably put the purple helmet as the moral, kind of like I did with the Speedo's in another Dark Past post.
I would have added much more exaggeration, too.
Why am I telling you this and revealing all my secrets?
I'm not sure. If this is wrong, trust me, I'll hear about it, and take it down, lol.
Not the story, but this post.
Totally on a side note, Conan O'brien says a lot of the same things, like, "this show is a goner, anyway, they are never gonna air it". I think that sounds a lot like what I just wrote about this post, that I'll probably take it down anyway.
Also because it's much more informal, more "r" word appropriate. It could be because I'm home, and have more time on hands to write "r" word posts...

My Dark Past: The Dark Secret

Okay, so I found this story I wrote a few years back. It's great, in my humble opinion. The only problem is that the assignment was to write a personal narrative, not a blog post, and it is really too long and boring (yes, you might not think so if I let you read the whole thing, but for a blog, or for my blog, it was, I concluded. If you want the whole thing, I have that too). So I have shortened it considerably. The beginning I left the same, and I squeezed up the middle and end.
Hope you like it. I know it looks long, but it's really not such a bad read.

My Dark Past: The Dark Secret
I was about 13 years old, and I had a dark secret. I was not like most boys my age. I was deformed, handicapped, maimed. It was embarrassing and humiliating. I would make up excuses so I would not have to reveal my secret. Even while I am writing this, my face gets hot, and my cheeks blush in shame. I remember so vividly the fact that I did not know how to ride a bike.
Oh, yes, my father had tried to teach my brother and me how to ride a bike, when we were about six or seven. He would take us on Sundays to the empty parking lot at the public elementary school down the street. He would push my bike along for a few seconds, then let go, at which point I was supposed to ride on my own, "using my balance".
I am not quite sure why, but for the life of me, I couldn't "use my balance". I was sure that it was not my problem, and maybe my parents were the ones to blame. It might have been because I was a twin, or perhaps because I was short; to this day I will never know.
Sunday after Sunday, I made no visible progress. I could get on the bike by myself, and pedal a few feet before I would panic and my bike would topple over sideways onto the hot, black pavement. I saw that it would be futile to make any further attempts, so I stopped trying. For about six years, I had to live with my terrible secret, and hope that my inability to ride a bike would not show through in my schoolwork, my athletic abilities, or in my social skills.
After I turned 13, which in Judaism means that I was a man, I decided that it was time I rode a bike. My brother had started to ride a bike fairly easily, but I wasn't at all confident that it would be a "piece of cake". Perhaps my new bike gave me confidence I didn't have with my old bike, which I always thought was "too childish" anyway, with the bright orange and yellow flames on the black frame. Whatever the reason, I walked my bike up my driveway onto the sunny street. Perfect riding conditions, I assumed, when I licked my finger and held it up in the wind, like all professional cyclists.
I hopped onto my bike, and pedaled down the street; it was as easy as riding a bike. I started out riding up and down the few flat blocks on my street, H. Street, and up and down my driveway, which was pretty steep. I could not believe that I had not been able to do this when I was seven. I guess the skills needed lay dormant inside me for those six odd years, until the time came to unleash my riding abilities onto the world like a crashing, thunderous wave of power.
(The Shortened Middle Part-)
My brother and I would race each other around the big hill which was a semi-circle that looped around our street. One of us would then speed down the hill very fast, while the other would race him and try to keep up. The one in front would choose which street to veer off onto, and ride into various parts of our neighborhood. The other brother would try following like a lost puppy after its mother.
I remember the accident vividly. My brother was racing down the street at break-neck speeds. I tried following as best I could. When my brother was about to break the sound barrier, he turned right sharply onto a street at the very bottom of the hill. A little too late, I realized that he turned; nevertheless I tried to follow.
My turn was very sharp, yet I didn't make it. I actually was going to hit the curb head on, almost perpendicular to it. The curb of the sidewalk rose to meet me. The rusted, metal grill that covered a sewer six feet below was a red monster trying to destroy me and bury me six feet under! Thoughts of how I might possibly avoid breaking seventy bones were dancing around in my head. Maybe if I lift up my handlebars, and have my front tire clear the curb altogether. . . Or maybe I should try jumping off the bike. . . I lost all my confidence, though, and a great fear finally took hold of me. I was very nervous for my safety, and I was screaming my head off as I sped smack into the metal grill on the curb.
The bike hit the metal grill and the back wheel flipped up over the front wheel. My body was still traveling at supersonic speeds, yet my bike had slowed to a halt. My chest struck the handlebars with as much force as an 18-wheeler truck hitting a fence. I was thrown off the bike, upside-down and feet first, onto the hard sidewalk. My left arm collided with the left handlebar, as the bike flipped over and fell onto my sprawled out body.
The wheels on my bike had stopped spinning, but my head was still doing circles as I lay on the ground, trying to untangle myself from my bike and the rest of my limbs. "Wear your helmet! No, I don't care if it's purple!" my mother had told me earlier. She was very concerned for my safety, and did not care what I had to say about it. It hadn't saved me from some shame and embarrassment, but it had saved me from very likely head injuries on this day. The helmet was not badly harmed after the accident, and so even now, I still have that purple helmet.
"Are you okay?" my brother asked anxiously as he came back towards me. He, along with anyone in a ten-mile radius, heard me yelling and knew something was wrong.
I was okay, baruch hashem, but my bike was pretty banged up. I walked slowly home, with my arm stinging, and my bike making loud complaints as the wheel scraped against the frame.
When I got home, my brother put my bike away, and I nursed my wounds and ego. I told my parents all about my accident. I usually tend to make things more dramatic than they really are, but my parents were only glad that I was okay, and were not too concerned about the bike, or my inability to ride it.
I thought abut giving up riding a bike. Maybe I was never meant to learn how to ride a bike. I was miserable those next few days. My father had my bike taken to a store, where they would assess its state.
"How did you say this happened?" the man at the small repair shop asked my dad. My father, trying not to inhale the grease fumes that filled the air, told the balding man what happened. The repairman scratched the few remaining hairs on his head, and asked incredulously, "Are you sure? That bike must have hit a dumpster, or a moving car, to cause this kind'a dent in the wheel." My dad must not have liked hearing that, and I'm sure he thought I lied about the accident, to avoid his wrath. Later, I explained to him that what I said was the truth. It turned out that the repairman could fix it for a small cost, and I got my bike back a few days later.
When I had my bike safely returned to the basement, I was still afraid to ride it.
Finally, I decided to face my fear. I had come too far to just let one little, near-death experience stop me from riding a bike. I strapped on my (purple) helmet and tamed the wild monster. I knew better than to race fast down big hills until I gained more experience. I did ride carefully around the neighborhood, and my confidence returned to me. After an hour of riding, I slowly pulled my bike into the basement, and took off my helmet. I rubbed my hand through my sweaty hair; I felt great. From then on, I put my safety first, and thought about the consequences of dangerous maneuvers that could bring on riding disasters. Now I was like any normal boy, and I was glad to rid myself of that dark, hidden secret. With my newfound friend, my trusty bike, I rode off into the sunset, so to speak.
Oh, and I still try to avoid curbs whenever I can.
The End

Okay, that was shortened a tad to help with the boredom. I didn't change anything, really, except cut out sentences. So as not to make this longer, I'll leave my analysis for the next post.

Jury duty

I'm off the hook.
I just called up the courts, and they don't need me anymore.
How do I feel? I have mixed feelings. I thought it would be really cool to serve, and I couldn't understand why every person tries to get out of it. So I got out of it in the end, only I did it the correct way, that it wasn't my choice.
It is easier, though, to now have my week before pesach not so up in the air about my busy-ness and availability to blog. I mean clean!! I meant to say clean!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Really Truly Changing The World

While I joked around about changing the world with my blog- Yes, it was kind of a joke, I'm sorry to disappoint you- my uncle is actually part of something huge that really is changing the world.
Although I am very proud of my uncle, I still don't want to give out too much info about who I am, in case the government will find me again. shudder.
But basically, my uncle and others were on this award-winning , famous news show, about how they are using nanoparticles to cure cancer!!! There was this guy with yene machala, who came up with a breakthrough idea, that incorporated nanoparticles, and a doctor took that idea and proved it successful. My uncle used it on mice with certain types of tumors, and it worked amazingly well. They still need to perfect it to work on other, worse types of cancer. It is expected to be four years until they start testing on people. The original guy to come up with whatever they are doing, doesn't think they'll be able to do it to use as a cure for him, before he passes away. But he's out there raising money and funds in hopes of bringing the future closer, and decreasing the estimated years needed in more research.
Let's davven that they are able to make the science fiction into fact, and save countless lives.
Scientists and doctors on the news program said that this was one of the biggest breakthroughs in science.
How cool is that? Can you say Nobel Prize?

More Creative Writing

I found this saved on my computer. I used to start typing story ideas on my computer, without writing them first. I'm guessing that I was 13 when I did this. I think it's cute. The interesting thing is that I have actually read recently a series of young adult books that basically start like this. If only I had actually developed a plot, and typed the rest of it..

The Memoirs of _____________

Hello. I can't tell you my name. Or where I live. All I can tell you is that I am 13, and that I like hot showers. I would tell you more about myself, and I would, if I could, but I can't. I can't quite remember what the doctors

That's it. just those three lines. And the blank was intentional. Get it, because I couldn't tell you my name? Yeah, I thought you got it.

Gentlemen, start your scrubbers....

That's right, today officially starts the Pesach cleaning season. While most of us have already started, today marks "crunch time".
Don't worry, folks, help is out there for those in need.
My favorite of course is the Blumenkrantz book.
In it, you can read about all the vital pesach information you need, like smoking, Indian Hair Sheitels, and Child-safe Internet.
But my absolute favorite section in there is the one entitled something like, "What to do with your kids on Chol Hamoed".
He says something like, "The cleaning is finished. Your seders went great. Now comes the hardest part of Pesach. The big question becomes: what to do with your kids!!!? perhaps go to a park..." He continues to give good advice while on outings with your family, like counting everyone before leaving, to make sure you have all your children. (!!!) I'm not making that up. You can read it for yourself.
I think that it is so funny and also pretty pathetic that he feels people need help with finally dealing with their family when the kids don't have school. Gosh, where would we be without that advice? We would just be sitting at home, staring at each other, totally awkward, not knowing what to do, especially with four whole days of chol hamoed this year!!
Maybe that's why I turned out the way I am, not having grown up with any family outings on chol hamoed the way Blumenkrantz (ob"m) tells us how we do it. Like I don't think at the zoo my parents would ever have bothered to do head counts of us kids, before they read the pesach book.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Ocean Poem

In case you didn't read the last post, this poem I wrote like seven years ago.

The Ocean

Walking along the beach's shore,
You remember times years before.

Watching the sun set low in the sky,
It makes you start to silently cry.
You put your hand to your face and dab an eye.
With a look of longing, you sigh,
And you know this is where you want to die.
Such a beautiful place, you don't want to say goodbye,
But you do, and you wait for the sea's reply.

The waves crash and water tickles your toes,
The ocean wishing you a peaceful night's repose.

You know the drill. Don't copy this without quoting me, because then I'll hunt you down, hold your pet dog hostage, and put nails on your driveway....

Stormy Night Poem

This poem and the next are ones I had to write in seventh grade. I was 12. Wow, it seems like only yesterday... well not really.
I want to change some things in these, like the semi-colons that I used, but that would kinda take away from the nostalgia and the purity, or whatever, of a 12 year old writer.

Stormy Night

Everyone huddles in the cellar down the stairs.
To go outside in the horrific storm; no one dares.
If schools will open the next day; no one cares,
Because on everyone's mind is the thunder that scares
And how many batteries and food are left in our wares.
Through forests and towns this monster tears,
Houses being destroyed; tables beds, and chairs.
This dangerous demon seems to like the burden it bears,
Acting like foxes; stealing and killing food for the lairs.
There's a loud whistling, like a deadly siren that blares,
And lightning brightening the sky like golden flares
Which accompany these howling, evil nightmares.

Phew, I almost forgot. Please don't plagiarize this. And I'm not trying to be funny. Just quote me, that's all.

Wind Poem

I found this just now. It's a poem I wrote.... um.... let's see... oh, here, when I was 14. So I guess that was about five years ago. And I don't remember at all who Percy Shelley is, but I guess we read his (her?) poem in class.
The Wind

(based on the rhyme scheme from Percy Shelley's "The Cloud")

In my wake the leaves shake
Those that hang on trees;
Through forests I tear, sweeping things into the air,
A stick or a twig I might seize.
Cheeks get pricks like pointed sticks
As I fiercely puff out my cheek;
Houses are split when I have a fit,
I don't even spare the weak.
The seas get swells and there are flying shells
When I violently exhale;
Fish swim away, afraid to stay,
If I let out a ferocious gale.
Hot spots cool down with a menacing frown
When I decide to show my fury;
I bring hurricanes with torrential rains,
And cause feeble humans to worry!

Don't even think about plagiarizing (I'm glad I have spell-check) this. If you want to copy it, quote my blog, and nobody gets hurt. Thank you.

What Dreams May Come

I heard something sooooo funny this week, that it would be treasonous not to let you guys know about.
One of my best friends told me two days ago, that he had had a dream the night before, with me in it. Sounds complimenting, right?
(B'Chlal, whenever I do one of those: "blahblahblah, right?" moves, the answer is always "wrong". Just so you know for next time.)
In his dream, he shot me point blank in between my eyes, and I immediately fell backwards. As blood started streaming out, I still quivered and moved, so he shot me two more times, (BAM BAM!!!) in that same spot.
When he told me, we both couldn't stop laughing. Come on, it's pretty funny when your best friend tells you he shot you to death in a dream, right?
(I know, I know, I just told you the rule, and I went against it. But that's life. There are always exceptions. Like now, when it is funny, so I am not going to write "wrong". Sigh. Whatever, you'll just try and have to learn and and make mistakes along the way. I'll try to help, but there might just be too much for me to have to teach you.)

Welcome Home

I am now posting from home.
[Of course, the absolutely best day this year weather-wise in Crown Heights had to be the day I left.]
I'll be looking for some small things I remember writing over the years that you might enjoy. But don't get your hopes up. Even though I have to clean for Pesach, I'm pretty sure there is a black hole under my bed or maybe in my closet which sucks up papers more than six years old. Shhh, don't go telling NASA.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

End of Zman

This will be my last post for this current zman in Yeshiva.
I go home Thursday, IY"H.
I have not been home in around six months.
I am not terribly excited, but it will definitely be good to have a break.
At home, when I do my Pesach cleaning, there are a few things I really want to post, that I wrote a while ago, and I hope I can find them. You will enjoy them. I hope. I think. We'll see.
Anyway, have a Kosher and Freilichin Pesach, coming from a Bochur still in Yeshiva for now. The next post will be from home, where I might take on a more relaxed attitude. I doubt it will Drikt Zich Ois in my posts, but time will tell. So I wanted to wish you a kosher pesach now, since I won't be the same when I get home.
After all, I'll have been a member on a jury, remember. Who knows what type of trauma and effects that could have on me?

*I know I mentioned in one of my first posts that I hate the "r" word, but this post definitely deserves it.

Stupid Post

I already warned you in the title that this post will serve no purpose.
You already wasted your time to check it out and read it, so now I feel obligated to say something.
Well, here is a little something to quench your blogging thirst:
Have you ever put on hand lotion or cream, and then within the next few minutes do something that requires you to wash your hands? It gets so annoying because then your hands get slimy, and you have to spend more time washing it all off, and then reapplying it!!!!
Well I think that was pretty profound.
So now nobody wasted any time reading this- everyone gained a little insight into life.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Matzah Matzah Man!!! I wanna be....

Last week my yeshiva rented out the matzoh bakery here in crown heights, to bake hundreds of pounds of matzah that the bochurim and hanholoh ordered.
I had never been there, so I was expecting a large, spacious, sterile-clean facility, maybe even with a second floor with glass walls overlooking the production, for tours, you know?
I was really wrong.
The place was tiny, hectic, and crowded. And it goes without saying that there was no viewing room from above.
We didn't actually do the baking of the matzah. There were professional Russian women rolling the dough, and guys there who kneaded it, and who dealt with the oven. What they need help with is sanding the rolling pins, washing the bowls, handing the rolling pins to the ladies and taking their finished matzahs.
It was so crazy in there! Everyone was yelling and cursing, and bumping into each other. The matzah has to be baked in a very short time, so everyone was rushing, and had high tempers.
My job was to take the sanded down rolling pins (after every matzah, they were sanded) and wipe off any extra sawdust and look to see that there were no cracks on the rolling pin, where dough could stick to. Unfortunately, I was right near the furnace, which literally burns at around 1000 degrees.
To make things crazier, they had tours of kindergarten classes walking in between everyone, when we were all trying to work, run, shout, and curse- in other words trying to get our job done the way it's supposed to.
It was totally a cool experience.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Favorite Quote

"The Rebbe is our father and Tomchei Temimim is our mother"

That right there is one of my favorite expressions about Lubavitch Bochurim. I don't know how old it is, but it's been around quite some time. It's possible that it's been around since Tomchei Temimim was established, a little over 100 years ago. I really don't know. But I like it nonetheless.

Hit Counters

My hit counter has been with me since the beginning, and I'm sorry to have to replace it.
But it's been messing up the whole time, by counting every time someone clicks on a post from my archives.
This could be because on my settings I have each post a different page. We'll see if this new counter hits correctly. I started it at 700 just because I don't know any real number that would be accurate.
All I know is that for sure 1773 people have not visited my blog, or that six people visit, each about 295 times.
I'm keeping both up for now, just to see which one I like.

Crisis In Yeshiva!!

I'm sure you have all read about this already on Shmais, ve'chulu, but I thought you would all be awaiting my expert testimony about the crisis which is sweeping across yeshiva.
We have had no working washing machine since Thursday!!!!!!!!
I know!!!!!!
To those of you who thought that laundry was not so important, think again. I'm down to my last shirts, you know what I mean. The ones that you bring with you, but don't like enough to actually wear and they hang in your closet, despondently knowing they will never see the light of day....
Well, now I'm being forced to wear every single shirt I have!
By the way, have you ever not worn something, because you used to not like it, or thought you wouldn't, and then when forced to wear it, you find out that it actually isn't that bad? Because that is exactly what has been slowly happening with me!
I'll keep you up to date about laundry developments. I know you rely on me for all of your important news.

The Rebbetzin's B-day, Part Two

I wanted to correct myself about what I wrote at the end of that post.
The Rebbe said about his wedding that this was the day which connects his chassidim to him, because like the Rebbe explained, that the Freidiker Rebbe said about his daughter, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, that her birth constituted the continuation of the Lubavitch Dynasty, and therefore the Rebbe said that his wedding was what connected him....
Get it?
And yes, I know most of that was one long sentence.
And quickly another thought about her birthday, that I had been meaning to write in that post but forgot:
Chof Hey Adar, according to one opinion that we obviously don't follow, is when the world was created!! We instead hold like the opinion in the Gemara which says that Rosh Hashana is in Tishrei, and not in Nissan.
You may be confused. Some people don't realize that when we celebrate Rosh Hashana, it is not when we say the world was created. Instead it is the day that man was created. So the world was actually created on Chof Hey Elul.
Therefore, according to the opinion that Rosh Hashana is the first day of Nissan, then the world was created on Chof Hey Adar- I couldn't choose a better day to share with your birthday!!

Happy Anniversary

Pop open the champagne, 'cause it's time to party.
Yep, this posts marks my third anniversary of this blog. I'm starting the fourth month.
Wow, time sure flies.
Anyway, I thought I would stir things up a bit with what type of anniversary it will be. To be honest, I can't wait the 100 or so months to get to the cool anniversaries, so I'm gonna go outside the box on this one and:
I hereby proclaim my third anniversary my Silver Anniversary!!!!
Isn't that so much cooler than rust or dirt, or whatever I would try and think of?