Archive for Me

Status Update

Posted in Me with tags on May 12, 2008 by frumpunk

My status: The posts have been coming in slower due to it being the season to re-discover religion. Yes, finals time. For me that means projects are due and I’m always behind.

Blog status: Look to the right –> I now have a facebook style status. And yes, that album rules. I will no longer be subject to the taunts of my fellow man, for I proudly admit to liking the pop-rock of Tegan and Sara.

Friend status: One of my facebook friends had this brilliant status:

*friend* finds it immensly ironic that he is listening to christian acapella radio all day…for religious reasons. “Oh happy day!…”

Stumbling From The Seder

Posted in Me, Yom Tov with tags , on April 22, 2008 by frumpunk

First of all, I see around 25 people checked in over Pesach. Tsk tsk. For the sake of being dan lekaf, I’ll assume you’re all from Australia, New Zealand or somewhere in that timezone.

Onwards; every year as far as I can remember I leave the seder feeling sick to my stomach. First its not eating for hours and then quickly scarfing down a bunch of matzah, marror, then the matzah and marror sandwich. I’m sure we eat far more than we need to, but noone in my family is ever quite certain what constitutes a kezayis of something so thin, so we eat approximately an entire piece each. Once we get past all that we get to the chicken soup which never fails to make me more thankful than ever that when my parents became frum they went against the grain of being machmir on everything to make up for not having minhagim, because nothing makes me more glad not to be chassidish than when I get to break pieces of matzah into my chicken soup. It has to be the big round handbaked stuff though. That square factory garbage just doesn’t cut it. Anyways, I was saying how I get a stomach ache every year. It’s all that sickly sweet Kedem. (Someday I plan to slip a bottle of Kedem into a professional wine tasting event. I wonder what the comments will be? “Hmmm… burnt kugel and… is that a hint of really bad cholent?”) The first two cups are okay, but then when you have the third and fourth cups right next to each other and you can’t eat anything because it’s after the afikoman… it’s a killer.

The worst ever though, was a few years ago in yeshiva in Israel. I was having the seder at my Rebbes house, and my cousin was also attending. He claimed to know just what we needed, so we both bought this sweet, heavy red wine. I remember telling him that I was told to avoid the stomach pain I should get a dry red wine, but he insisted. I remember stumbling out after the fourth cup and just vomiting.

But of course, every year I forget about all this and end up having the sweet Kedem kiddush wine my dad buys.

On the road

Posted in Me, Music with tags , on April 11, 2008 by frumpunk

I love an open road. A road is a physical image of unexplored possibilities and all that could be. Its a sign that you could leave at anytime and start again somewhere new. A road leads anywhere but here, and that’s a comforting thought.

Driving, especially at night is a cathartic experience for me. Emotionally its a way to be alone and also feel like you could leave whats troubling you at any time. Being alone in a nice car is a feast for the emotions. You’re moving somewhere and comfortably. Add a nice sound system with some soothing tunes and I never want to leave. At least until the sun comes up and the road turns into a hellhole of commuters.

I’ve lived in three countries on three continents (and several states within America) growing up so moving is a natural state for me. I can’t even keep still when standing. In high school they mocked the little dance I did with my feet while davening, but I can’t keep still and I don’t have ADHD.

Life should not be spent with your feet firmly on the ground. Your feet should never be firmly on the ground, physically or otherwise. If you can’t be on journeys in your mind then what do you live for? If the notion of unexplored places doesn’t incite you to move then you’re dead in some way. I’ll daydream, because if I can’t be physically moving then I’ll do it anyway I can. You can have your sports, I’ll have my possibilities.

When life gets too mundane in the details, take a drive on an open road at night. On the road, distance is subjective and that’s the only objective thing about it.

Ivy – Edge Of The Ocean

Ivy – Feel So Free

What to do, what to do…

Posted in Me with tags , on April 10, 2008 by frumpunk

I’m two years into a degree in Computer Engineering, but as time goes by I enjoy it less and less. I’ve always been a bit of geek, always good with electronics and logical problem solving so it was natural for me to go into it. Right now though, I’m having trouble imagining a fulfilling life spent developing applications and toolsets. I’m thinking maybe I should go into a degree like English or Journalism. I can see myself as a writer, maybe for Time, Esquire or GQ. But if I switched I would be starting again from the beginning and I’ve struggled enough to pay for the amount of college I’ve already done.

I’m going to pick my guitar up in a couple of days, so I guess I’ll also give being a rock star another shot.

Visualize me baby!

Posted in Me with tags on April 10, 2008 by frumpunk

One of the most clicked-on links on this site is that purim picture of me. (This one)

I guess people are really curious to know the man behind these words. So heres a picture of me bowling with nothing blurred out.

Frum Punk bowling. In JEANS!

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.