Sunday, December 14, 2008

is it worth it? let me work it!

it was seven months ago that i said i was going to get my shit together and yet it took me until this week to start making it happen. but hey, it's happening. so...yay! i found an excellent weight watchers meeting this week and am hoping that i will find another great leader and group at the same location but a different time next semester. i went to my gym three times this week (!), found a new workout buddy in my friend N, and found out my ww buddy in chicago serendipitously started up again too. it is on!
getting into a healthier body is feeling more worth it than it has felt in a while, more possible than it has felt in a while, and more necessary than it has felt in a while. i am committed to turning 30 in better mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional shape than when i was 25. because 25 sucked, and i am convinced that 30 is going to be fabulous. and i am going to look gooooood.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

i was born by the river in a little tent

somehow i woke up thinking yesterday would already be radically different after such a phenomenal tuesday. that ended up making me mostly grumpy, since it ended up being just a wednesday. but today does feel different. after lots of door-knocking, phone-calling, e-mail sending, and impulsive donation-making, my favorite presidential candidate ever made some serious history. i cried like a pitiful freak on tuesday night (which by the time he came out to the massive crowds in Grant Park, was actually wednesday morning). i sobbed for ten minutes straight, just letting the pride and wonder and shock and gratitude and relief and satisfaction wash over me. now i've cried on election night before. but not like this. it was some serious ugly cry. he better be worth it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I haven't written on this bad boy in a long time, and not for lack of thinking about stuff that could/should be written. But if anybody out there actually reads this thing (I'm talking to you two!) GO VOTE!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

it's the same old song (but with a different meaning since you've been gone)

tonight i had the slightly random experience of listening to a brief performance of the University of Delaware Y Chromes. now, when i was in college it became painfully clear to me that the all male a cappella group at my school very rarely arranged new material. songs that were not new to people who preceded me in the group were still being performed the last time a saw the group a couple years ago (that's at least 10 years of the same material). it got to the point where if one more new guy earnestly sang "flashdance" my head was going to explode.
anyway, i thought this was just the lazy group culture of these particular guys. this theory was called into question on this lovely evening in delaware, when we wer
e serenaded to tunes including "bright lights" and "you're a god." seriously, are these songs still cool? or are they also using ancient arrangements from their glory days? it's not like they are musical masterpieces or songs for the ages. it's vertical horizon, people. come on.
perhaps i am an a cappella snob, but part of what we loved doing was arranging and performing our own material. it's what made the group ours, what kept our alumni interested, and what made us family. arrangements were a source of pride and an avenue for us to grow as musicians. i actually feel bad that those guys missed out on that experience. as for the y chromes...i guess we'll never know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

another and another

inspired by dooce's up close and awesome picture of jeff tweedy from the outside lands festival, i would like to share a little bit about why i am in love with glenn kotche: the drummer from wilco:
  1. he is hot. he looks a little bit like brian from queer as folk, but without the assholiness.
  2. he is a ridiculously good drummer. i don't really know anything about drumming, but he can be playing one thing with each foot, and then have two drumsticks in one hand and some mallets or some shit in another. and that looks really difficult.
  3. he gets all sweaty every time they play. so sweaty his shirt is always soaked at the end (please refer to item #1).
  4. even though he isn't one of the singers, he often sings along and smiles because he's just having such a good time.
  5. he is funny and smart.
  6. he was in marching band.
i rest my case.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

ack! i have readers!!

so, much to my irrational surprise, a few people have actually found this blog. i was operating under the delusion that if i didn't tell anyone, i would be able to experiment with this blogging business in complete anonymity. silly me. they always find you.
you will now find that the ante is upped. i am beginning to craft some pieces about school, an area of my life i had originally elected to leave off of this blog. however, now that the boob tube is gone, i have to fill the void in with something and intellectual/spiritual growth seems like a nice replacement for the fictional or titilatingly non-fictional exploits of people i don't know.

so here goes...this week, before the school year begins, i'm doing a significant amount of review and preparation for the high holidays. though i have attended services every year, and even taken some high profile roles such as running the kids program or reading torah or leading a discussion, i have never been responsible for the entirety of the liturgy and the overall experience. it also cannot go without saying that the my rabbinical studenthood adds a level of expectation. i took this job because i knew it would force me to work on being "rabbi," but now i actually have to do that. i am constantly defining and redefining what it will mean for me to be a rabbi - professionally, personally, and politically.

Monday, August 18, 2008

brace yourself

today i cancelled cable. and tivo. after some serious self-reflection I decided that I watch way too much tv. i mean check out the evidence: I'm writing a blog about my life and I've created four labels, one of which is "the boob tube." i need a richer life. so the money and time i would have spent this year on television are going to go into "the bod" and "the brain" which will (god willing) result in a label called "the boy!"

Saturday, June 7, 2008

movies i'm planning to see (including those i should be ashamed of)

Kung Fu Panda
Get Smart
Batman - Dark Knight
Mamma Mia
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
The House Bunny
Hamlet 2
The Accidental Husband

my boys

Maybe it's my often paralyzing but always palpable nostalgia for Chicago. Maybe it's intense need for having a posse of boy friends. Maybe it's the romantic-comedy sitcom addict in me that needs an outlet pretty regularly. Maybe it's actually a great show. All I can tell you is I just love My Boys.
The episodes are all sweet and funny, the characters are believable and likable, and it all happens in Chicago.In the rerun I just watched, which I can only assume was the season 1 finale, the boys make a list of the things they've never done in Chicago, then spend a day doing a Ferris Bueller. Awesome. There's concurrently a good, exciting, cliffhanger love life plotline that involves a hot botanist (who I did not recognize, but who apparently had recurring roles on both Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Wonder Years), Keith from Scrubs (perfectly cast as a Cubs player), and Jeremy Sisto (whose character in unfortunately and somewhat unbelievably named Thorn). Could you ask for anything more?
I added it to my season passes, even though I will be gone most of the summer. If I do some serious strategy and play my cards right in terms of what I record and what I let go, I will have a lovely August :)

Friday, May 23, 2008


i kind of george bushed this one.
it all seems so accomplishable when i'm on my couch at home.
today i am spending some quality time with my lappy at my favorite local coffee shop, allegedly working on finals. i just got up to buy myself a brownie and ran into my personal trainer from the gym. you know, that gym i was supposedly going to go to every day.
ok interventionist god, i get it!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

endurance within endurance

tonight i'm promising myself that tomorrow i will start again. now, i admit that i say this every few months, yet here i am, fat and lonely, sitting on my couch watching e.r. rather than working, working out, or working on my social life. still, i retain an irrational feeling that it will be different this time. perhaps being accountable to the internet will change it for me.

it was my 29th birthday last week, and i looked in the mirror to much dismay. it feels so biggest loser to say, but my body does not reflect who i perceive myself to be. the image i want to project is far from the one i have to offer right now. drastic measures must be undertaken. seriously, it's bad. worse than ever. i'll provide photographic evidence as soon as i can figure out how to do that.

so internet, i promise you and i promise me that on my 30th birthday things will be different. i will probably need some help. i will probably have ups and downs. but it is way past time to get this under control.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

eight simple rules

thursday afternoon has become decompress and watch tv time. having caught up on my tivoed episodes of american idol and top chef, i came across the 8 simple rules episodes just after john ritter's death. they are beautifully done: sweet, funny, sad, a tribute to him without being overly cheesy. i don't even watch the show, but these two episodes made me cry good tears. it's a fascinating endeavor for television, which is so often soulless and reckless with the lives of its characters to be forced to humble itself and deal with the real lives of the people they have created.
fascinatingly, this is not the first real life tragedy katey segal has had to deal with on prime time television. when she got pregnant during the filming of married with children, they wrote her pregnancy into the script. she miscarried. i wonder if it might have been therapeutic for her to deal with her personal loss through what became her character's loss.

8 simple rules deals delicately and artfully with so much of what is difficult about mourning. so much more than i would expect for a sitcom. guests make awkward and somewhat inappropriate comments at the funeral and the mourners have to play gracious hosts; kate struggles with her relationship to god; everyone replays and regrets their last interaction with the deceased; through loss, the living reflect on the blessings they have in their lives.

i didn't expect to be so touched in such unexpected circumstances.

Monday, April 28, 2008

jots and tittles, tittles and jots

Jots and tittles are the dots put above letters in a text (like the dot of the i or the j) and the enlarged, bolded, smaller, elongated, or reversed letters that make texts fancy. In the Torah, they are the crowns, gaps, etc. that every sofer must get exactly right. They are the things that can't get transmitted in reprintings or translations. They are parts of words that might get assumed or overlooked. The very very anal have a reputation for getting all their jots and tittles.

So there it is. If I'm going to have a blog, you can bet your sweet patootie that it will have an element attention to detail, a shout out to the Torah, and some content that inevitably makes the sixth grade boy in each of us have a little giggle. (Heh heh. She said tittle.)