Monday, April 30, 2012

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens: Sakura Matsuri 2012

*Disclaimer: thoughts and images are unrelated, except when they new not.


Sakura Fest and comic con: only places I can see cute girls in costume, think "those can't be real!" and mean their wigs.

By rate of expansion, eventually Times Sqaure will be populated by nothing but amateur photographers snapping photos of other amateur photographers.

I rarely use the expression "lost in thought," but I've been daily exiting an idea wondering where I am, what I was doing, and how I got there.

After panic, I generally just placate myself with the idea of being an absentminded professor, minus the graduate work.

The most effective description I can give of new York city civil engineering is you would never want to lick anything. Which seems odd to say, I know, but no where is it more readily apparent than new York.

Why was Deadpool at a Cherry Blossom festival? Is it because participants in the anime costume contest got in for free?

No. It's because Deadpool fucking loves flowers.

Oh, and this was just an Obama-dazzled t-shirt. Change those rhinestones, baby.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Five Reasons Jewish Guys Love Asian Girls

"This is everything I've wanted ever since my bar-mitzvah!"

1. They're not Jewish.

2. They have dark hair and eyes, and olive frequently olive skin as if they were Jewish, except–again–they're not.

3. The food is better.

4. They make us feel tall.

5. I've never 'accidentally' run across Hebrew Rope Bondage Porn while perusing the Internet.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Field Guide to Yogurts


You are the blue-collar Joe of the yogurt world. You make me work for my deliciousness, and you keep your jammy bits jammy, sealed from the crisp breeze by your succulent layer of, well, you.


You're trying too hard to be classy. Like that scene in [any movie about a girl being made classy] where she has to figure out which fork to use.


You're a fucking parfait. Deal with it. 


You're fucking nine.


Mitt Romney's version of "ethnic food."

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Problem with Nice Weather is it Brings Out the Shut-Ins

"Bugger this, lads! It's Spring! Let's all run into the streets and arsed!"
Pretty much since Easter I've been dealing with the most insane customers I've ever come across. Today, it was explained to me that the reason for this is the recently clement weather patterns: basement-dwellers, those fearful of intemperate climes, and just the generally too-anal-retentive-to-handle-Winter pour forth from their hoarder caverns and venture out into the wider world to bring misery and madness to the naturally more sociable denizens of their provincial realms.

In fancy talk, "all the crazies come out."

Let's see, today I had to argue with a woman that $49 and a $50 gift card, regardless of to what or when they were applied, will always total $99. When I was done, another customer gave me the middle-aged woman equivalent of Mad Props for beating math into another living creature. (This of course caused the Universe to send the original client back for Round 2, but I was expecting this.)

Earlier this week, a woman called and demanded I wander into a particular section of our store to look for a product that may or may not have been there, but refused to think hard enough to try and remember a title, or an author, or any information at all. When I took so long, with help of the department lead mind you, to find said product, she called back, and immediately said to who picked up the phone, "I just spoke to some jerk named David." She then went through the same process with this employee, admitted the product was not in the store and was a special order, but then refused to give her name or contact information because "She runs her own business." Then she used her daughter's name instead, got no result obviously, demanded to speak to the manager, and then hung up in the intervening 30 seconds.

So I'm a jerk now. A jerk who can't do maths.

And screw it. The day after Easter, a woman called in and accused me of being racist. On Easter. Said I helped a white woman before her. Yes, because she rounded a table and got two inched from my face to ask me to get her something instead of waiting on line for my return from the previous customer.

She called me "white boy with curly hair" to my manager. (My other manager was "Tall Skinny Girl.") Called us "those type of people." Said we had no idea what she was feeling.

No ma'am, the two Jewish men have no idea what it's like to be discriminated against. At Easter. And somehow, I don't think she would be consoled by the notion that my family is a smidge African. Had she asked for special treatment I wouldn't even be upset, really; that's just file suit culture. But instead she wished only to yell and complain and to have been victimized.

I have no tolerance for people wishing to play the martyr. I don't even have pity. If you want to self-flagellate, have at it, kid. Go crazy. All I'm going to do is ignore you, and maybe make you out to be a batshit character in a long joke somewhere down the line, and everyone will just assume you're entirely fictitious. All you do is make my life better. So have fun making a scene. I can take any abuse you throw at me, and all I have to to is take three aspirin and a ten minute sigh-break after you leave.

Because your life's so sad, the greatest thing you can aspire to be is a victim.

I'm, just a racist jerk who can't do math, and tells long-ass stories.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Alright, Maybe I'll Go Organic Just This Once

I'll bite, I pay a little more for my organic milk, even with cheaper options. I don't do that on anything, unless the quality is legitimately, markedly better in a verifiable way, and even then the price has to be in the realm of reasonableness.

Nope, this milk is like $4.27 a half-gallon.

But whatever. One benefit is that "No antibiotics, artificial hormones, preservatives, laxatives, fertilizer, MSG, whatever" sticker means my skin cleared the hell up when I switched in college. I'm a big fan of less not-food in my food. Condiments out the cow's wazoo, but I don't need bovine growth hormone.

I need human growth hormone, geeze.

Of course, the side benefit is that this stuff lasts way longer than 'regular' milk should, though I suppose this is more 'regular' in a sense. But, like, way longer. I'm regularly seeing dates three weeks to a month later than the plain, chemically enhanced milk.
  • Financial takeaway: You will see a small return as you purchase more expensive milk, but never once throw any away for going bad. Over years, this accumulates and you may end up saving money in the long run.
  • Medical takeaway:
 What the fuck are they putting in my old milk to make it die faster??

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stop Snapping Photos While Driving

After a trying day at work, I ended up following this car home for dinner.

I actually just clawed my way out of the basement, after a harrowing nightmare of bladed topiary equipment, sadistic, maniacal death traps, and basement-dwelling grandparents without any teeth.

So, yeah, I'm going to to go file a police report or something. Enjoy looking for this guy around town.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why I Keep Military Grade Medical Supplies in My Car

"I'm never watching Planet Earth ever again!"
My mother attended a barbecue with some friends, recently. She described them as late-twenties/early-thirties for the most part, Ren Faire geeks who play CCGs and smoke corncob pipes, and I get the feeling based on facial hair that they listen to both a lot of metal and classical music.

Basically, all the radio station dorks I hung out with in college. Awesome.

In any event, and I don't even wonder how the subject comes up anymore, I guess my mom started talking about me and my friends, and all the horrible things we end up doing by accident in the course of successfully doing much, much worse things. I believe the line she uses is, "You know, if they were out drinking and chasing girls, that would be a lot less dangerous."

Well, rest assured, we do quite a bit of that now, too. In fact, we very rarely play midnight Frisbee in the dark anymore. Most of us have work in the morning, so it's just sex-drugs-rock-and-roll on the weekends. Nothing fancy.

Still, we're prone to bruises. Proof of concept: a few weeks ago, completely hammered, someone tried to ride his bike across the street for an omelet (something I was not okay with, as you can still get a DUI, though he insists he has done it countless times). Long-story-short: facefull of asphalt, black eye.

We are not bright men, when we choose to set aside our law schools and magna cums.

I suppose this is why my mother's new friend floated a couple packages of QuickClot emergency EMS gauze our way. It's pretty cool. Rolls of it are standard issue for all field combat military personnel, now. It significantly speeds clotting and can save your life. Basically, it's what we're going to use until cryogenics takes over.

I checked online, these things go for anywhere between $75 and $125 per five-pack, and the cheaper sites require you to be a medical company to place orders. (ZuckerCo once got me my special anti-bacterial ear soap for a botched piercing, but I'd prefer to keep away from an outright committal of fraud.)

So … yeah, I'm keeping those in the trunk of my car next to the regular first aid kit, the road flares, the pocket knife, pulleys, grappling hook, emergency towel, colored pencils, flashlight, air horn, rape whistle, bullwhip, and thermal survival wrap.

Because knowing us, it's entirely possible we might end up needing it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 Election Decided by Man's Bumper Stickers

I've been saying for a few years now–about four, really–that I've been sick of seeing "Obama/Biden 2008" bumper decals. In fact, I suggested a line of stickers to place over the date portion of these signs with, "We won, get over it."

Sadly, with the real groody horrorshow that's been the run-up to the Republican primaries, I've honestly been getting a little scared that we might need more ad space on our bumpers' left. I mean, have you seen Romney? Dude sure looks presidential. I was stoked for Obama, and I'm happy with the progress he's made in one term and I'd love to see that continue even more aggressively for another four years, but Obama always looked and felt like more like Prime Minister portraiture than the unlikely combination of actually pleasing WASPy Christian genetic traits we've come to view as the elected version of "regal" in the U.S.

That said, I like whatever this guy has been self-medicating with, and not just because he's solved his electoral problems with duct tape.


Alright, that's a lousy enhance, but CSI I am not.

Anyway, I'm voting for a third party candidate. I know, I know– I usually mock anyone attempting to split the Democratic vote, i.e., by wasting a vote on Ross Perot for the 12th time, but this time is different. I'm pretty sure Republicans would love this guy for being old and white and religious and and a throwback to a previous administration, while Democrats would love him for his commitments to personal choice, working with strong women, and his stance on euthanasia.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Patty Mayonnaise: Race Warrior?

Girl, you knocked me to the ground. Bitches always be trippin'.
I've discovered one wonderful thing about becoming a responsible adult:

If you stay up late enough at night, there are plenty of old cartoons on television.

Admittedly, it's also kind of a curse, insofar as Transformers Generation 1 is pretty weak, as is G.I. Joe, Doug, Rugrats, Hey, Arnold! and every other show I can catch at 1 a.m. Up-shot: these shows were really straightforward about being preachy or, more often, a little racist.

Except when it came to race, surprisingly. I guess you could be a little culturally racist back then, just not racially racist. Point in fact: I just watched a few episodes of Archer. They openly say, "You're black…ish?" Granted, that's for adults, but adults who are my age and therefore remember characters like Suzie from Rugrats. Suzie was black. No one ever said anything, because it didn't matter to her character, but she definitely spoke and acted with a particularly … urban '90s flare.

Or, let's continue being forthcoming, Patty Mayonnaise was almost certainly at least a quarter black.

Listen, Doug was Caucasian. His dad was a little Jewish or Mediterranean, and his mom was so pink it's patently obvious she was Irish. Skeeter was clearly supposed to be African-American as far as style was concerned, but is dad was an angry, stout, German type. Beebe Bluff was a WASP, but purple, Roger was classic, middle-America green-trash hick, and the Dinks were also rather violet, and rich, so let's accept that they're similarly in vein with Beebe's heritage.

But Patty was orange. So was her dad. She definitely wasn't Hispanic, but she was by far the darkest character on Doug next to Skeeter, even though she and her father both had blond hair. Taking Skeeter into account, and her resemblance to her father, the most reasonable explanation is that Patty was the offspring of her half-black father and her either also half-black or otherwise light skinned, now-deceased mother.

Is this a big deal? Not in the slightest! But it's weird, in retrospect, to realize it was never addressed. The protagonist's love interest was a minority in their school, who at times faced discrimination, but only ever for being a girl, or talented, or too popular for her own sanity. Never because of her heritage or her paraplegic father. Did all the other Bluffington kids work through those foibles prior to the fourth grade?

Honestly, I'm pretty glad that race was never made an issue in Doug. It was entirely superfluous to the characters, which says a lot about race relations among the children in Bluffington. Maybe that's not how they did things in Bloatsberg.

Still, they made a big deal out of everything else, even the Beat(le)s. Just surprising they never tapped that well.

You know, like Doug obviously did after prom.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

On Pregnancy

I saw a pregnant woman today and, for the first time, I considered the notion of a baby:

Just this horrible, translucent, tailed parasite swimming around inside you, gorging itself on the sustenance you provide, waiting to burst forth from your stomach like a xenomorph facehugger and rely on me for the rest of my life to support it.

This is the most disgusting thing I can
imagine, right now. I'd rather see gore
or actually watch a Ridley Scott
movie than think of this.
I gagged a little.

All this tells me two things. First, that I should absolutely not become a father any time soon, as I obviously have a pretty warped perspective on the miracle that is biological reproduction.

Two: when I do make the mistake of/am wonderfully blessed by having children, I'm going to be a pretty fun dad to play house with.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hipster Baby Names

You have my word, in about nine years you're going to be seeing a lot of kids named:
"I'm set to play Kurt and Blane's adopted son
Glee next season, but what are you up to?"
  • Helvetica
  • Patrick Barton Russel
  •  Felix
  •  Hemp
  • Florence and The Machine
  • Williamsburg
  • Eugene (I'd say "Portland," but that'd get too popular too fast)
  •  Kickstarter/Etsy/Pinterest/Any name ending in "-gram."
  • You've Probably Never Heard of It (This one's going to be a bitch at day-care.)
  • Borroughs
  • John, but only ironically.
And for twins: "Margot" and "The Nuclear So-and-Sos." But nobody will like Margot.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Equal Loathing of All Teenagers

Just so as to be fair to the 14 year old girls I verbally assaulted in yesterday's post, the same date I encountered a group of about six males, aged approximately 16 years. One asked another if he had purchased tickets for a concert yet. This male retorted:

"They're all just computers now." He was not going to a concert because all his bands were over-produced and prerecorded. Nothing was life.

Then his friend said, "All bands are computers now."

In what world of non-stop dubstep WUBWUBWUBWUBWUB-ing do you have to live where you believe all music is the atonal equivalent to two Transformers fucking in a room full of industrial metallurgy equipment. Jesus Christ, I know I was young and stupid when I was sixteen, but at least I had the decency to listen to classic rock when I thought modern music was garbage.

Alright, when I was sixteen I was a certifiable genius. Okay, and I was like 43.

Basically, I've been 43 forever. I'm Mork from Ork. (Even though that show off-the-air 4 years when I was born, which, incidentally, reiterates my point about being anachronistically awesome.)

Man, I would have given those kids a Stern Old Man lecture, if I wasn't so sure they could beat me up.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Herp-a-Derp

Saw a new book today. Something about a sexy scientist who was run out of a secret government bioweapon program tasked by the president to spelunk own some hole with a crash but handsome military operative to find the cure to a horrible mistake. It's called The Dead Zone and it's by James M. Tabor.

For whatever reason, this resulted in my brain going "A herp derp derp" for about four hours. Point of order:

Sadly, this was not the end of my work day.

I'm almost sorry you had to be a part of this. Except I'm not. I did this to you. I wasted your time by wasting vastly more of mine. Internet powers, activate.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On Having Daughters

I have to be honest, I'm not to psyched for the idea of having sons.

At some point, fairly quickly, they would surpass me in physicality. I'm not exactly going to be the supportive, sport-ive dad. Yeah, I could show you how to throw a football or swing a bat, but–and I have to be honest–I have no interest in doing this.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not aching to watch My Little Pony or have to buy make-up on my weekly grocery trips either. But what it comes down to is eventually, Freudianly, my sons would come to compete with me. And they would win.

Daughters don't do that. They get to be princesses or at least not usually call out their dads for being too Beta.

Yeah, about like that.
Conversely, it's fun to screw with boys. I really, really am looking forward to messing with my daughter's dates. Firsts, proms, the idle Tuesdays. It's just fun to be imposing, even when you wouldn't normally be. It's amazing.  But I can't do that with girls. Frankly, I've seen my dad tease my brother's girlfriends and girl friends. It's just … unsettling. At best he comes off like a cliched "lecherous old man" character who may or may not just be doing it for a laugh.

So here are my ground rules for being a dad of a daughter:
  • Cell phones are not allowed into bathrooms. Likewise, nowhere in the house will there be any full-length mirrors, or mirrors which can otherwise display a person below their collarbone.
  • After age twelve, everyone empties their own personal garbage, no exceptions.
  • Dad gets to embarrass you, and he will. You will not laugh at this, but I assure you, it will always be funny.
Addendum rule: never point out if that last stipulation falls through.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On Sodom

"Because we want you to know that you're about to get ass-raped on the price of your car."

Friday, April 13, 2012

An Open Petition to Win the Love of Mila Kunis

I seriously just found out Mila Kunis has been single for the better part of a year, following an amicable break-up with creepy former child actor Macaulay Culkin. So. Obviously. It's time to make my play.

Reasons Mila Kunis and I Should Totally Date: A Bulleted List That Is In No Way Horrifying

  • We both have heterochromia iridum. Granted, hers is complete brown-green while mine is sectoral brown-darker-brown, but, hey, it's that kind of kooky difference that will keep our relationship fresh and unexpected.
  • I loved Friends With Benefits. Next to Justin Timberlake, she was absolutely the cutest thing about that movie.
  • We're both Russian Jews, though neither one of us particularly would care. 
  • We were both really into "That '70s Show" when we were 14.
I'm tempted to include "And neither one of us finds this list terrifying, pathetic, or even serious," but, frankly, I'm not even convinced. Honestly, I'd be happy with "funny enough I don't get a cease-and-desist letter."

I really need to stop collecting those.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Team Jesus

Since my team just came in dead-middle at trivia night, yet again, I'm a little annoyed. Every week is the same thing: 8s and 9s in the first couple rounds, then 6s and 3s, and we make up no viable ground in the bonus round. Getting a little tired of it. Might have to switch teams soon.

In fact, yeah.  Switching teams. Moses has been failing me for too long. It's time to go Team Jesus over here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On Strategic Topiary

The landscaping guys cut down a tree just outside my apartment window.

It's not a big deal, I've been waking up way too early lately anyway, why not get up an hour earlier to chainsaws? I guess the people who bought our buildings actually wanted them to be seen from the road, or something. Go figure.

But the whole treeline is broken now. Even if it doesn't act as efficient a sound buffer, I hope they put in another Japanese maple or something similar.

Still, I guess all those nights of wandering naked past my second-floor window with all the lights on are over.

Probably should knock out the nude noon tai chi and sunbathing while watching the grade schoolers get off the bus, too, huh?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Drink Your Milk, Become Bruce Willis

It's true, I'm essentially Unbreakable.

I get sick a little more often then I did as a kid, but then again, I'm a hell of a lot more active than I was as a kid. I'm also, you know, in contact with people these days.

Would you like to know the secret? It's nothing, really. Just a freakishly fast metabolism and milk.

Lots of milk. So much milk that before the age of 14 people look confused when you drink anything else. Enough that buying less than a full gallon every couple days is irresponsible.

Listen, I've made my point. I make it a lot better when I can rest my forearm on a level surface and smash my opposing fist into it without repercussion, but I've made it.

I'm a grown man, and I'm allowed to order milk with dessert if I want to. There, I said it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Christianity Makes 3 Point Conversion, Turns Jew's Heart

It occurred to my yesterday that Jesus must have been the son of God.

He's the only person to ever overcome the deadly T-virus and resist zombification by sheer force of will.

Here's a shortlist of other characters capable of such a feet:
  • Hal Jordan
  • Batman
  • Alice Abernathy from Resident Evil
  • Son-Goku, Dragon Ball Z
 And in Jesus' defense, Hal's both gone insane and was resurrected not of his own power, Batman has both been mind controlled and was only clinically 'dead' for a few seconds at a time, Alice was a genetic anomaly/mutation who never actually died, and Goku had to be wished back from the dead with magic alien dragon testicles. So, you know, Go Team Jesus.

And if that wasn't offensive enough for you, I hope you had a wonderful Easter! That glorious day celebrating the time Son-Jesus was wished back from the dead by Saint Krilin and Pico-Peter after he died and descended to Hell to fight the red and blue trolls/free the patriarchs, and then trained under King Kai to master the spirit bomb or something.

Anyway, I hope you're full of candy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter, Gentiles!

The Best Things About Easter:
  • Chocolate
  • Bunny rabbits
  • Chocolate bunny rabbits
  • Time-and-a-half
  • Something about Jesus 
 Have a very merry, Christians. Now just stay out of my way when I head to the grocery store for discount candy tomorrow. I don't want to have to crucify another of you.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Merry Pesoch, Ya Filthy Animals. And a Happy Rosh Hashanah

Happy Passover, Jews and Jewesses! And to our Christian friends, happy Good Friday! Enjoy your meats! Muslims, happy Friday. Buddhists, I hope you re content and on the eightfold path to enlightenment if that is what is best for you. Shintoists, just try not to piss off any badger spirits or anything.

The little book every person gets at the Passover sedar is called a haggadah. ("Huh-gáh-duh.") This year, prolific author (and prolific Hebrew) Jonathan Safran Foer released his own version with updated translations and explanations and bits and pieces, called–easily enough–The New American Haggadah.

Frankly, for a book that includes a section on how to explain Passover traditions to "the simple son," the book seems unnecessarily long. And pricey, but that's a bit of a negative stereotype rearing it's head.

Except it's really accurate. About a week ago a woman refused to buy such a book in our store because the online price was cheaper. Yes, but it's cheaper to compensate for shipping. And you won't get it for a week. Buy the one shipped here and transport is done and paid for by the list price. NOPE WE DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT THAT NO SIR.

A few days later I personally met a gentleman who asked for the "New American Haga-duh." Like a young mensch's stuttering, puttering, 1940s exclamation at the site of a pretty lady, right before he turns into a wolf in a Zoot suit and his eyes bugged out of his skull: "Haga-uh haga-duh haga-duh!"

Considering my family has the most gutter-trash dialects of both Italian and Yiddish, I was still puzzling as to whether he simply had an off-pronunciation or wasn't Jewish by birth, when he answered the question for me by asking–unprompted and without any visible cue or remote cause to imply such a possibility–if by any chance the large and hardbound book happened to be on sale.

Bravo, fellow Israelites. You have successfully managed once again to portray us as Venetian merchants even more negatively than Al Pacino. Thanks loads.

"Bitches love a floppy hat!"
"That they certainly do, my friend. That they do."

Friday, April 6, 2012

Teen Fiction Is the Stock Art of Literature, Except When It's the Stock Art of Stock Art

I came across two books today. The first when I was asked if it was available in paperback. A little girl handed it too me. The second book came just three minutes later, off a cart of brand new books that had yet to see a shelf.

The first: "You Have Seven Messages" by Stewart Lewis. Here's the GoodReads page.

The second: "These Girls" by Sarah Pekkanen. (Its GoodReads page.)

One by a man with two first names, the other by a woman with a surname that makes one wonder why she didn't just pick up a nom de plume. And in her defense, "These Girls" is listed as adult fiction, but I would surmise in the same way that Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Leo DiCaprio vehicle Romeo + Juliet was an adult movie made for adults and not for teenagers but for really adult adults.

But maybe I could be forgiven for thinking they are the same book.

No, these aren't the same book at all.

Not in the slightest. Nope. Uh-uh.

However, yeah, the back covers both credit GettyImages after cover designers and photographer.

Apparently, in book publishing, this is nothing new.

Oddly, it's the teen fiction on the left that I feel has the better design, with sharper focus and more saturated color.

Plus, with the higher contrast, the girl doesn't look like she has a big square crease in her ass. No teenage girl wants to empathize with a flat-butted protagonist. Although it shows the woman's foot, and we all know that pretty women hate their feet.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dino Lincoln Will Emancipate Your Face Off

Sometimes I love my work. At least insofar as whatever seeded this notion in my brain case.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jewish Holidays: Explained!

"So, yes, basically, our existence is God's version of Jackass.
Fear Factor. It depends if Joe Rogan is busy or not. But he never is."
Since I can't find the explanation I was sure I had already written on this very topic–despite prodigious searching I should say–I can only surmise that my burgeoning, bourbon-fueled artistic insanity is clouding my judgement. Thus, I present:

A Layman's/Gentile's Guide to Jewish Holidays

Passover - This is the one where we celebrate that time we were enslaved, and then God performed miracles to get us out of slavery, then killed all those people who were coming after us and it was through divine intervention that we didn't die. The happy ending is that we were kind of ungrateful and then wandered a desert for 40 years before God helped us kill and rout everyone who had moved into our house since we were originally enslaved.

Chanukah - The one celebrating that time some people we threw out of living in our old place came back and tried to kick us out, and we narrowly fended them off, but they trashed our temple and it was only through divine intervention that we didn't die, and then God let our lamps go long.

Purim - That one time we miraculously caught the guy trying to kill/enslave us beforehand, and didn't die.

Yom Kipur - High Holy Days, where we atone for all the past year's sins, and thank God that we haven't died before doing so.

Rosh Hashana - New Year's Day, where we finish Yom Kipur, read the last page in the torah, and then rewind it back to the beginning and reread page one, thankful to God we have lived another year but solemn in our understanding that we could die at any moment.

Sukot - Jewish Arbor Day. We celebrate a bountiful harvest and remember years past when instead of plenty, we starved to death en masse, and thank God that we ourselves haven't died.

Bar-/Bat-Mitzvah - Batman's 13th Birthday, where Jewish children become legal adults and, traditionally, were expected to leave home, get a job, and start a family, because we didn't really expect to live all that long. Traditional gift is money, because we really need to to get out and make more little Jews in case the rest of us die suddenly, which, again, is to be expected, really.

Basically, we're just celebrating no one successfully exterminated our culture. Every time.

Look, we get a lot that a lot. Lot of genocide. You can pretty much trace our migratory patterns by it.

By which I mean you literally can do just that:

Israel from Eastern Europe (Holocaust)
Eastern Europe from Russia (Pogroms)
Russia from Western Europe (Spanish Inquisition)
Western Europe from Holy Land (Muslims)
Holy Land from Desert Slavery (Egyptians)
Desert Slavery from Holy Land (Also Egyptians)
Holy Land from Desert Slavery (Babylonians actually let us go)
Desert Slavery from Holy Land (Babylonians were kind of dicks at first)
… (Repeat several times. Reason: Palestinians/Philistines/other not-Jews)

Before that, it's pretty much just God trying to kill us then sending a couple of us to live somewhere else. Lot, Noah, Abraham, Adam & Eve.

We're just really, really glad we're not dead yet.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Moving Supplies | What Do You Need to Furnish Your New Apartment?

Remember: It's not "dumpster diving"
if it wasn't technically
in the dumpster.
Let's consider this an advanced class.

If you're anything like me, your parents have been buying you "presents" for years encouraging you to get the hell out of their living space. Stainless steel cookware, Chef Tony Miracle Blades, your own spice racks. Alright, your parents are probably nothing like mine. But I've got the basics down, so let's talk about making your new place swank instead of a crash pad.


First off, you're going to want some pop art for your hallway and possibly living room. Prints are preferable, but movie posters are acceptable if more than 20 years old, vintage, and/or signed. Everything must be framed. This is not up for discussion.

Large photography may also adorn the living room itself. Try to avoid architectural landmarks, especially within your own city. This is the yuppie equivalent of going to see a band wearing that band's t-shirt. Don't be that guy.


You want to be classy, but not ludicrously baller. Spring for much higher thread count in your cotton sheets than you would otherwise. Your skin, and preferably someone else's, will thank you for it. Jersey sheets should be worn like gym clothes: not when you're expecting company.

Likewise, stay away from the red satin sheets. Black works just fine, and can be played off as a joke. Plus, they're really, really cool in the summertime, which will save you on A/C. An any-occasion alternative can also be found in bamboo bedding. Bamboo fiber is sweat-wicking, cool to the touch, and highly breathable. You may find yourself needing a blanket in the middle of the night.


Bed: Full size or larger goes without saying.

Couch/Chairs: Sets will be tightly packed, bean bags are unacceptable unless they are Sumo sized. Cheap alternative: Ikea. Cheaper alternative: scope out your new neighbors. Odds are somebody has a chair or two that doesn't fit in their new pad. Snatch it off the street before the weather or hipsters take it and you just leveled up your living space.


You're already going to have a stove, sink, fridge, and microwave. Improve upon this with a toaster over for class, individual pizza stones for healthier snack foods, and as stated above, a quality set of knives with a solid cutting board. Throw in a sizable wok and at least two glasses of each of the following:

Red wine
White wine
Champagne flutes


Lastly, always remember to remove sex toys, drug paraphernalia, embarrassing photos, and any other incriminating evidence from your parents' home in the move. It'll be a lot less embarrassing for Cliff the rough-and-tumble, seen-it-all laborer to find a box of bongs, black dildos, and pictures of your ex than your mom cleaning out your closet.

Just label that box "Tax Forms" or something.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Of Age and Olfactory Awareness

Old people smell like baby powder. It weirds me out. Am I going to smell like baby powder when I'm a geriatric? I don't think it's a natural side effect of aging, I have to believe it's a fragrance that's added willingly, like deodorant or perfume/cologne.

Perhaps it's just a sensibility from a now bygone age. Baby powder is a "clean" smell, like Ivory Spring or Dove. Maybe this is just what "good and clean" smelled like in 1978 and these folks have decided to stick with it. The fact remains, though, that I've come to associate it with the grungy-but-antiseptic lifestyle of my grandparents and, in fact, most people who were over the age of 65 when I was under the age of 12. This has resulted in a Pavlovian response whereby whenever I smell baby powder, I anticipate the elderly, decrepit, senile, and a slow, withering death. Lovely, really.

Of course, if this is the case, that implies that when my generation is in our 80s, we're all going to smell like AXE body spray.

Equally choking, but, hey, as long as it doesn't remind young people of adult diapers, I'm pretty okay with this.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Better Mousetrap

"You can't imagine…
the things I've seen."
My cat's become a veritable mouser. He caught one that fell out of our hallway closet a few weeks ago, but this past week he caught and killed three more in just two days. (Alright, one suffocated in the tuperwear my mom eventually trapped it in and I'm pretty sure one drowned in his one blood, but still, all dead as direct result of feline aggression. That's like two counts murder-1 and a man-2.)

We started thinking about laying out traps. They haven't evolved much, but if you pay extra you can get one of those non-lethal little cages or sticky-pads. As cliched as it is even today, the adage seems to be true, you really can't create a better mousetrap.

That seems like bullshit. Surely, someone can create something more efficient or more effective without compromising the simplicity of the tool. The guillotine and short-drop gallows were both improvements over remarkably similar devices. Why not the mousetrap?

Probably because I keep a cat. It's self-cleaning, can literally sniff out mice wherever in the house they may be, hunts them, adapts to the situation–truly, a thinking tool–and is near 100% effective. Hell, if you don't clean out this trap fast enough, it even disposes of the carcass itself half the time.

Still, I don't have to feed those little wooden spring traps. Or clean their poo.