Archive for March, 2008

Things never heard enough on shidduch dates:

Posted in Funny?, Shidduchim on March 30, 2008 by frumpunk

Yeshiva? *whistles* Man, crazy times. I’m telling you craaa-zeeee…

Ideally I’d like to live somewhere rural. Maybe Tennessee.

Soooo, a Prius huh?

I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Let us dine together on you.

My fathers in Kollel, and hopes to support us…

Look at my Borsalino, it’s so black! It’s like, how much more blacker could it be? The answer is none. None more black.

Well besides my blog I also enjoy… have you read my blog? You really should. I mean, really.

And then the Super-Cops came! And I punched one of them in the mouth!

I still can’t believe Ner Jake accepted me!

I’ll have a side of garlic bread.

I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

Can we just stop in here? I need a new nose hair trimmer.

…but the secretary would cover anything un-tzniyus with a marker! Hardly worth subscribing, y’knowhatImean? *winks*

Whats that? You want me to drink you?

I’ll have a glass of the house and the lady will have a water. Tap.

Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.

Do these fries taste extra-heimish to you?

Yeah, it was weird. But frankly, we were just happy Rabbi Stern stopped using the F word for one sentence.

It was sad though; he never did manage to squeeze that gerbil out. Poor thing.

How do you feel about feet?

I think teal is the most voracious color.

…so we got into the club. Man, those gazombas… they were like… y’know when you perfectly inflate a balloon?

Please, call me Maestro.

So I got an ‘A’. I always hated shopping for underwear after that.

And of course: When asked what you want to do tonight, the immediate response is from Pinky and the Brain. (I really feel this is an underutilized response).

There’s more to life than books, you know. (But not much more)

Posted in Books, Me with tags , on March 27, 2008 by frumpunk

Frum Satires latest post is an interesting read. We don’t share the same taste in books at all. He’s completely outdoors focused while the closest to the outside I get is when I see it while closing the blinds so my little cozy cave of bed is darker.

But reading is my earliest passion. One of my earliest memories is seeing the words “FP is an avid reader” on a first grade report card. I immediately asked what avid meant and a vocabulary which is both magnificent and underused was pictured in its baby steps.

I would read anything. I remember reading a book of Roald Dahl short stories when I was 20 and wondering why a certain story was so familiar when I realized I read the book when I was about 6. I even finished ‘Go My Son’ (arguably the longest and best of all the holocaust books) before the age of 10. I literally read any random thing that was grown up. I read a biography of Paul Getty around the age of 8. I never read it again, but I’ll never forget the whole bit about his grandson who was kidnapped. He famously refused to pay the ransom saying that “if I pay for one kid, they’ll kidnap all of them”. They cut his ear off with a razor (described in very graphic detail, especially for a kid my age) and sent it to Paul in a parcel. When they realized he was serious about not paying the ransom, they released the kid. I remember being struck by the fact that his biggest upset about the whole ordeal was the fact that he could no longer wear sunglasses. I read a book on the Golom of Prague until I got too scared. I must have been 5, and the book was telling a story of a Priest who tried to start a blood libel that the golom stopped. It described him tempting a boy into the church where he slit his throat with a dagger shaped like a cross and draining his blood. Whichever rabbi wrote that, could have had a brilliant career writing horror books and film scripts.

I used to like gedolim biographies, until I realized they were all the same. I’m convinced Artscroll has a template and they just churn them out by auto-replacing names and locations. (Born poor to a pious family, brilliant and precocious child. Memorized Chumash and Tanach by 5, Mishnayos by 7, Talmud Bavli by 10, at 13 he traveled across: Poland/Russia/Lithuania (pick one) to learn by the gadol of his generation. He learned with the brightest students and outshone them all even though he was so young. etc…).

I was the only one I knew of who enjoyed books in school. I thoroughly enjoyed the novels we had to read (everything from ‘Hatchet’ to ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’ (I was so sad at the end)). I also read ahead in my history and politics textbooks. Even though the latest president in them was Reagan! My school had a list of approved books of course and our english teacher did the best he could with what he had to work with. To teach us racial tolerance we read ‘Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry’ although the sequels were banned, I believe because Cassie got pregnant in the second one.

Modern times: Lately I’ve been reading Woody Allens works over and over. He wrote four books of the best short stories ever. They’re everything that could appeal to me; witty, wise, philosophical and unabashedly ridiculous. Actually short stories are my new thing. They’re like novels on concentrate. No need to fluff the story up with side plots, just enough time to cover the whole point and distill it down to its purest form. And you can knock out a couple every break, no need to read 400 pages over 3 weeks of lunch breaks and keep wondering whats going to happen next. Edger Allen Poe (remember The Raven from high school) is of course the classic master, but check out Jeffery Archers books, as well as his best novel, ‘Kane and Abel’. Also the aforementioned Roald Dahl, and I’m talking about the adult stories, not ‘The Witches’ or ‘Matilda’ (though those are also brilliant. I just feel his adult stories are under-appreciated). The two most recent books I’ve read are a biography on The Smiths and… erm… a Bloom County collection.


Posted in Me, Purim on March 21, 2008 by frumpunk

I did.

Purim Pic

I Don’t Really Like Purim

Posted in Purim, Rants with tags , on March 19, 2008 by frumpunk

There, I said it.

Purim for me is one of the more annoying days of the year. My abiding memories of Purims past include watching people I formerly respected sobbing incoherently and trying to explain to some fascinatingly watching goyim why a bunch of 14 year olds from the local Yeshiva are stumbling around the street, drunk, swearing, smoking and… erm… pissing on their wall.

Being drunk doesn’t excite me. I’m of the legal age, I can drink whenever I want. I never saw the point of being drunk anyway. You act stupid until you vomit and pass out, then wake up with a headache. Totally killer dude. I’d rather be high. Better feeling with no after effects. (But I’m not endorsing either. Just pointing out drinking is anyway the worst form to get those effects.) I got drunk on Purim once, in yeshiva the first year we managed to get a keg. We started drinking right after the fast ended and we didn’t get much from the yeshiva to break the fast on so I was drinking on an empty stomach. I told some embarrassing secrets about my childhood to someone, danced like crazy at the chagigah, then decided to go to bed. As soon as I lay down my head started spinning, I began to vomit all over my roomates stuff. Then finished in the bathroom, and suddenly got diarrhea. So there I am, drunk, with what I’ve eaten coming out of one end and what I’ve drunk coming out of the other. So as not to get them dirty I took my clothes off, then decided to catch some fresh air. And… yup.

I know who really does enjoy Purim: Yeshiva people. From Rosh Chodesh they begin. You see, Purim is the one time of the year they can stop learning, legally. Seders become shorter and shorter as everyone “prepares” for Purim. Then on Purim itself, they can legally be drunk and sloppy, just like I suspect they wish they could be more often. For once a year they get to be frivolous, and they live for it. They even get to ignore halacha. See, there’s only a mitzvah on Purim to drink wine and get drunk off of wine… tell that to the bochur with the five flavors of Absolut.

Those of us who can do what we want because we decide our own lives, find this less interesting.  And I hear its a nightmare for the girls. Besides the fact the men are drinking while you serve food, they have to endure sanctioned sexism and comeons. I remember when I was in Israel the sems would lock up the outside gate all day Purim. I remember a friend having to escort his sister home through the crowds of drunk bochrim and teenagers in Har Nof. I remember being thirteen watching the Rosh Yeshivas seventeen year old son crying in the bathroom because he went over to a girl and tried to explain how much he liked her. (This was at a yeshiva purim party with the women behind a mechitza peeking in at the dancing.) I believe the first two points basically indicate that the frum world expects their men and boys to become rapists when they’re drunk and the knowledge that everyone else is drunk and won’t judge their actions.

Totally killer, dude.

Treif in Miami

Posted in Kashrus, Miami, Rants with tags , , , on March 12, 2008 by frumpunk

The Yeshiva World reports on Fu Xing

The Yeshiva World reports that the kosher chinese restaurant in Miami, Fu Xing was selling non-kosher chickens. Now it probably shouldn’t matter as Miami is trief anyways, but there is a silver lining; I now know conclusively that non-kosher chicken does not taste better than the kosher variety.

Now on a serious note, let me tell you what the problem is: the standard of kashrus. I know many kids who made extra money as teenagers working summers as mashgichem for restaurants in Miami. This is a typically low paying job and you can’t support a family on it, so its high school to college age kids that work at this. Now I’ve done this myself and I’m pretty sure I know most of the people who worked as mashgichem in Miami restaurants.

The only requirement was that they met with the rabbi who headed the position in the beis din who would ask them if they were shomer shabbos. Thats it. The only people who had any training were those who did it full time which wasn’t many. They were taught the basics of shomering: unlock the fridges, light the fires, check the fridge for hechshers on everything, lock up at night.

The main problem is that noone checked on the teenagers who were mashgichem and noone checked if they kept kosher themselves.

I know one person very well. He worked at a restaurant as the mashgiach for almost three years. He had gone off the derech years before. He didn’t keep kosher and he didn’t keep shabbos, yet he was responsible for a prominent restaurant being kosher.

Now in fairness to him I know he was actually meticulous. He knew his stuff (learned on the job of course) and nothing treif passed through that resturant. He may not keep kosher but he knows its importance to everyone else who eats there. Unfortunately, he split the shift (mornings or nights) with another guy who I’m pretty sure didn’t care.

The whole system needs revamping. Right now its based around money. Restaurants want the kosher business so they tolerate having a mashgiasch, however they pay around $7-8 an hour and so as not to have a dead hand around they always require the mashgiach to work preparing the food as well, further limiting his ability to be checking on the workers.

You say “to-mah-to…”

Posted in Rants, Shidduchim with tags on March 12, 2008 by frumpunk

(Two posts in a row on the same topic. I’m getting better at this!)

So I’ve heard about how girls moan about guys with lists. Number two on the moaning chart seems to be guys who ask for measurements or simply demand thin girls. (Number one is money, but thats a given.) Personally I find this as abhorrent as the rest of the idea of having a list. After all, if you’re a frum guy you should know enough to want to find the girl who’s right for you, not the girl from the dwindled-down pool who seems the best. You’ve been learning since you were ten. You should have some intelligence to have made it this far. Seems there’s a sect of people who keep what their friends might think in the back of their minds. This is where they fall into the “trophy wife” ideal. Show her off at the shabbos table to your friends. “See guys. Ain’t she a looker? And wait ’till you try her kugel!” These people are stupid. Love the waist? Better not get her pregnant.

But in fairness to my sex, we are trumped (I feel) by the girls with their own personal ideal of beauty. Specifically, the bane of all of us of acceptable height. “Must be tall! (tee hee)”. (tee hee added by me. But, y’know.)

Now I find this to be worse than a guy who wants the right figure. After all, you can lose weight. Work on your posture. Get those shoes that make your calves look slender. What can I do? Get those Tom Cruise-esqe invisible lifts in my shoes? Most of you are under 5’7 anyways, why are you demanding a six footer?

I leave you with this: “I always wanted to have the poetry of Bob Dylan, Tom Cruise’s smile and Elvis’s swagger. Instead I got Bob Dylans hair, Tom Cruise’s height and Elvis’s liver.”

So what are you looking for? (nu?)

Posted in Me, Shidduchim with tags , on March 11, 2008 by frumpunk

Ah, that wonderful question. You’re a nice young man of marriageable age. What type of girl are you looking for.

I never have a good answer to that. Do I use the common list of adjectives? “well I just want a girl who is nice, kind with good middos…” Oh goody, I just described how every girl and their yentas describe themselves. I’m not looking for some type of girl. I’m looking for the girl who fits best with me. I don’t know how to describe her. I’m looking for an individual, not an employee who ticks the boxes on my checklist of attributes. Nevermind the fact that all girls are described the same… “pretty, kind, smart with lovely middos”.

Truth be told, the way I feel and the way I would see it happening is pretty well described in the NOFX song We Got Two Jealous Agains”

“I thought you were the one when I heard Holidays in the Sun come from your bedroom / But when I saw Christ on Parade. And this is Boston, not LA. I knew you were the one. / I knew you were for me when I saw the first Vandals EP / I knew you were the one when I saw Machine Gun Etiquette. I knew you were the one when I saw the Peace War comp.”

I guess it’s about finding the person who shares your quirks and idiosyncrasies… or is at least willing to put up with them.

Song of the post: