I do intend to be more optimistic, but then I get pessimistic about my ability to be an optimist. The glass isn’t half full, the water to glass ratio is just skewed.
Archive for December, 2008
First one is:
“Here are the rules: reach for the nearest book and write the 5th sentence, plus the next two to five, on page 56.” (I already did this on Facebook though).
“Whoever thought you’d read: “No famine in Ethiopia”? Now the bad news. That doesn’t mean they’re not starving. Hardly anyones got the cash for a mouldy banana.” That’s from ‘AA Gill is away’ by AA Gill.
Now I’m meant to do seven facts about myself. Which is difficult, because I don’t like talking about myself.
1) In 12th grade, I was able to recite almost every line of dialogue from ‘The Matrix’ by heart. I lost track of how many times I’ve seen it years ago.
2) I have at least fifty t-shirts. (Just counted forty just on my shelf.)
3) One of the most impressive things a Rebbe ever said to me was this time in 9th grade when I spent recess explaining the plot of a certain video game and book series to a friend who was getting into it. I spent twenty minutes going through all these intricate plot and character details. When I finished I turned around and saw that the Rebbe had been listening to me the whole time. He said “so how come you can remember all that, but you have trouble with a daf gemora?”
4) Only about half the blog posts I think of ever get written, due to a combination of time, laziness, content concerns, and the fact that I have my best ideas on Friday night, which are usually lost to the ether by havdalah.
5) Cats love me.
6) My favorite childhood move was Aladdin.
7) I once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you want to do it, tell ’em I sent you.
‘Tis the season to get things for free, or give out lots of things, depending what side of the fence you’re on. For the sake of the public good, I’m going to review things people give me. You’re welcome.
Gift number one is the KosherClock, from the people who brought you the Shabbos Lamp (slogan: “One great idea, loads of ridiculous ones”). It’s difficult for me to own a KosherClock, because I made fun of it when it came out. A cheap travel alarm clock, re-branded as “kosher” and overpriced? But here it is, so onwards with the review:
The design is simple. A Chinese made molded plastic clock, with a hinge connecting a picture frame. Speaker on the back, a side switch changes the ring sound from mute, to message (more on that in a bit) to a buzzer. The picture frame comes with a picture of a little frum boy, who judging from his body posture and expression, really needs to pee, or just has a stomacheache. I haven’t yet figured out how to change the picture. Looks like you have to pry the inner frame out with a screwdriver or something. Just as well, because I don’t have a picture of anyone to put in. I guess I’ll just keep the little boy, and use it to remind myself to pee when I wake up.
The clock comes with a prerecorded message that you can change. The message is thirty seconds of what I think is music. It sounds like when you try to record a song from the radio by pressing record on your phone, then trying to play it back through a dead rabbit inside a garbage can, only worse fidelity. And its at an ear-splitting volume. Did I mention there’s no volume button? The puny speaker sounds like its screaming for mercy everytime I hit play. The music itself sounds like the middle part of any random Jewish song. I’d change it, but like the picture of the little boy, I don’t have anything to change it to. The box suggests “It’s Monday Abba, time for early minyan” but if I woke up to that, I’d be more concerned when I became a father than making it to early minyan.
The big selling point of the clock is that it has five, count ’em, five alarms. Unfortunately, I don’t really lead an existence that involves going to sleep four times during the day between getting up in the morning and bedtime. The ring turns off after one minute, which is the selling point of it being a Shabbos clock. Which begs the question, why didn’t they call it the “ShabbosClock”? KosherClock to me seems to imply that pedestrian alarm clocks are somehow treif.
It’s a nice gift, and for those of you needing a clock with multiple alarms and an incontinent little boy, I highly recommend it.
I won’t bore you with a verbose introduction. Here’s my pick of stuff that is awesome, practical and not boring.
Radioactive Uranium Marbles
A full write up can be found here. Radiation is fun. Every man, and most will never admit this even to themselves, hopes to someday get irradiated in just the right way so he ends up with superpowers instead of cancer. These marbles are filled with enough uranium to set off a Geiger counter and will glow under UV light. But it’s safely concealed in glass, so you can hold the power of possible mutation safely. Plus, marbles are the classic kosher game, so these even work as gifts for chassidishe kids!
Donald Trump Wig
For the hocker in your life. Any hocker worth his Acura would admit that The Donald is essentially their role model. Professionally, you have to always seem to be involved in real estate deals while nothing seems to ever really happen. Success is 99% about having the appearance of being important. As these guys hit their late twenties and thirties they tend to go balder than the average male Jew, probably due to the stress of keeping up appearances and flipping car loans to be able to have the newest Acura or Lexus. Allow these aging heroes to maintain their self-respect with a Donald Trump hairpiece. If that hair helped The Donald build New York, imagine what it can do for Chezky (Charlie). http://www.zoogstercostumes.com/products/pe190290br.html
Clothing? On this list? Well this isn’t a pair of socks. Get your loved ones something that can express how they’d imagine they’d present their personality as written by an underpaid lemming at a tshirt pressing plant. Or sewing. I don’t claim to know how they make tshirts.
For the stoner otd roomate: You know these guys, they’re either students or low wage workers, just making enough money to buy more chronic. Probably otd, they love Shabbos because they can spend the day smoking without having to worry about work. And if you get the munchies, nothing like cholent. “I Don’t Roll On Shabbos” gets them to reference The Big Lebowski, which they love, its bascially an unwritten rule for their type, along with their love of the green and a quick mussar reminder than maybe use Shabbos as a day of rest and increased intellectual activity beyond Futurama while baked?
For the chasidish rocker: These guys are solid chassidim, but they hide a little of the headbanging spirit. If you look under the seat of their 1995 Chevy station wagon you’re sure to find a few G’n’R tapes, maybe some AC/DC, maybe even some Metallica? When these guys give it up they listen to Metallish to get their fill. While they could never wear a tshirt in public, this probably works great under a wool tallis and white shirt, allowing them to keep the spirit close to heart while maintaining appearances.
Bacon Flavored Coffee
I’m mostly including this because I just read the post on “The Treifa Dilemma” by Frum Satire. This coffee is, in the words of its makers “Reminiscent of a hearty Saturday morning breakfast around the table”. Presumably that breakfast includes bacon and maybe maple syrup. So find out what it’s like to eat bacon while getting your morning caffeine buzz! I can’t imagine a stupider sounding flavor! Seriously, a meat flavored drink? Disclaimer: May not be kosher.
Ninja Throwing Star Magnets
Every guy loves Japanese weaponry. Give any guy a cheap “samurai” sword to hold, and he’ll get a look in his eye like he belongs in Tekken. These magnets pretty much give the appearance of being a throwing star stuck in a (metal) surface. Keep em on the cholent pot. Tell guests you like to cut the meat when it’s already inside the pot. Adds to the flavor.
A Foot Powered Laptop Charger
This might be the only thing on the list that’s both practical and awesome. Using your foot to pump a lever that generates energy to charge your laptop. It gives you the ability to keep blogging without being near an outlet while also providing some exercise to people who sit at their laptop all day. Constant reps on this could probably get you decent calves after a while. See the demonstration here. It will apparently charge any electronics, including cameras and iPods. Just a matter of having the right plug.
A Solid Gold Throne
I see this as simply the ultimate pesach chair. The head of the house is supposed to be the king on his throne. So what do you do? You probably load some old pillows on it to make it seem plusher. Maybe you drag over the La-Z-Boy for him. But do you think real kings sat on plush chairs? No, their chairs were uncomfortable and hard. Because they were made of solid gold, and you didn’t put cushions over them, because then you have less gold visible. This solid gold beauty costs $3000. And isn’t it worth it for yom tov?
I’m kinda seeing this one for the shidduch girls crowd. They all have iPods anyway, and if you ask any yenta, they’ll tell you the reason these girls aren’t married is due to thier poor posture, gained from years of sleeping hunched over those school desks at Beis Yaakov. I’m not totally certain how it works, but these girls are desperate enough to try anything. The fact that it’s an iPod accessory is just a bonus.
Facebook is the single greatest shidduch tool since the invention of the yenta.
It allows people to find out for sure who’s single without the old embarrassing system of having to ask. It allows singles to network, organize events and meet other singles through groups. And when you do get hitched, Facebook is the first place most people will hear of it. Now that most people have internet on their phones, you can change your relationship status seconds after the proposal. Eg: “Ohmigosh! yes!” “Hang on a sec, I just have to change my status”. A relationship isn’t official until you can link your Facebook with someone elses.
It allows you to get a sneak peek. Everyone, whether you admit it or not, as soon as you have name being bandied around for you, you go to search their name, squinting at tiny pics, wondering if messaging them before the phone call would be too awkward, just so you can see a normal size picture. You try the workarounds, changing your network to theirs in the hopes that they won’t have “friends only” privacy settings on, so you can check out their favorite quotes and movies. It’s a great way to plan conversations, drop the name of movie she has listed for an instant connection. “…You Got Served changed my life…”
It allows you to respond to news of an engagement without having to find their number and call them yourself. After all, you’re not really such close friends that a phone call is expected. And personally, I’m just glad I live in a world where I can respond to an engagement with “lol” and noone bats an eyelash.
Chanukah is the single greatest yom tov we have. And not just because it gave me a reason to use the word “tuchus” in a title.
Finally, we have a yom tov that doesn’t involve massive amounts of over-consumption. It doesn’t stop us from driving, using the computer or (G-D forbid), Facebooking. It doesn’t involve any whining, for once we came out the victors. Its the “tough-Jew” holiday, the perennial favorite of the JDF and Kahanists.
But what about Purim, you ask? I’m not a fan of Purim. If you’re one of the few people still around from when I began, you’ll remember that one of my first posts was how I don’t like Purim. Drunk people and fifteen year olds peeing in the streets do nothing for me, especially when I had to explain to a local Irish family why the kids from the Yeshiva near them in their small town were kicking fences and peeing. They were just watching like it was the best show in ages, which considering where they lived, might have been true.
But back to Chanukah, it makes no heavy demands on you, it’s basically an after school/work yom tov. You get to eat chocolate money and eat latkes. Everyone has an excuse to eat doughnuts. I actually feel odd if I eat a jelly doughnut during the year, because it’s so tied in with chanukah to me.
Just a few gripes: We need new songs. Even Y-Love and Erran Cohens take does little to really spice it up for me anymore. Where’s the chanukah equivalent of “White Christmas”? Is it maybe because its so hard to rhyme “chanukah”? Next; We need a mascot. Chanukah Chaim is just a cheap imitation of Santa. How about a new story for the kids? Yehuda Maccabi comes out of the oil and gives jelly doughnuts too all the erlich boys and girls? Decorations. I can’t stand the fact that Jewish houses look so dull while “goyish” but we all do that as well. On that note, this might be just my family, but does anyone else decorate the succah with Christmas fairy lights and stuff?