Thursday, October 30, 2008

marcia, marcia, marcia !!!

i just finished reading maureen mccormick's memoir here's the story: surviving marcia brady and finding my true voice. all i can say is wow! she's experienced more in a lifetime than 3 people put together!

the book begins with a little background about how her parents met, her beginnings in show biz , and her life as marcia brady. it was comforting to know how positive an experience the show was for her and how her castmates were like family. i once viewed a tv show about child stars which included eve plumb ( who played jan brady) and she didnt want to dwell on her work on the brady bunch , which was such a joke. why else would anyone be interested in her?

back to marcia (marcia, marcia , marcia) . though maureen mccormick came from a loving home, she soon became a cocaine addict after the brady bunch ended. she struggled with drugs for years, even sleeping with men for drugs, until she joined a church at the urging of her castmate jerry houser of the brady brides. at this church she eventually met her husband of 24 yrs. soon after meeting her husband she kicked her cocaine habit. finally at age 40 she finally got the psychological help she needed.
one fun fact is that when she was planning her wedding her mom heard that the club where they were to be holding the receptionat was anti-Semitic. since they had so many jews on the guest list her mom was very concerned. it turned out that the club was not anti-Semitic, but it was interesting to read about a catholic woman being concerned about holding her wedding reception at an anti-Semitic location.

what is so amazing about this book is how real maureen mccormick seems. she really opens up and lets everyone see what her thought processes were over the years. its a true story of triumph.

film vs digital

i adore photography. 6-7 yrs ago i took a photography course and i became even more hooked. we used a 35mm manual slr camera for the class . of course this was at the dawn of digital photography. recently i purchased a digital camera. ive taken pictures with it, but i havent printed any or put any on my computer yet. im not the most technologically advanced . i plan on taking a course on digital photography.
i have taken some good photos on my new digital camera, but i still think that my photos from my film camera are better.
im glad that i learned photography on a film camera because alot of the concepts can be applied to digital photography .
i admit its nice to have the instant gratification of previewing photos on a digital camera.the advantage of getting film developed is that i dont have to do any of the processing work.
time stops for no one, and neither does technology. they say its important - its fun to learn new things, but its also exhausting!
well... i m going to include a film photo i took when the gates were up in central park. soon i will be more technologically advanced and i will post digital photos. you can decide which you like better.

Monday, October 27, 2008


growing up the coolest yamakas were the crocheted ones. black leather ones were cool too because they looked like chocolate. i even liked the black velvet ones because velour was really "in" when i was in school.
however.... there was one yamaka was a badge of embarrassment for the wearer ... the four cornored polyester black yamaka given out at weddings , bar-mitzvahs and shuls to those who normally dont wear one. whoever wore these shameful skullcaps were proclaiming they were not religious and that wearing a head covering of this sort was not an everyday occurrence . other yamakas seemed like a natural extention of the wearer. not so with these. i have a friend who would call these polyester monstrosities " chocolate chip" yamakas because they were often black and they were pointy when worn , not unlike a chocolate chip. hence the nickname.
one subset of jews that have made the chocolate chip yamaka a fashion statement are syrian jews. they are the only jews (besides reform jews) who regularly wear these in brooklyn. i dont get it. how do such otherwise fashion conscious jews wear the chocolate chip yamaka as such a bold fashion statement?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

shalom auslander

foreskin's lament came out in paperback, thus a great excuse to have another book reading at borders. after reading foreskin's lament i have wanted to see the author in person. in general i like meeting authors , and due to the content of his book, i especially wanted to meet shalom auslander.
well.... in person he is a little older than the photo on his book jacket. though i read the book, i was quite taken aback by how hardened he is. he told the audience that giving up judaism was like removing a tumor , but if you ask me it didnt really help him. he doesnt appear to be the relaxed, or at peace . he got rid of a tumor, or so he thinks. hes not a practicing jew in any way shape or form, but its not like this has made him a calm , happy , zen -like individual.
a woman who had been married to shalom's relative years ago, was at the book reading. she applauded his book and was so happy he had gotten out of the clutches of his abusive family. if you ask me, his deviant family is the reason he is ranting.
as usual, this book event proved to be an insightful affair.

Friday, October 24, 2008


years ago when brittany spears was breaking out of her "good girl" mode (i know its hard to remember) a co-worker of mine who had a daughter who was a brittany groupie and was very upset about brittany's more risque music videos. at that point her daughter was not to watch any more brittany spears videos.

another day, this same co-worker was outraged with the styles for children's clothing that were around. they were selling too many provocative styles for little girls.

during the low slung jeans and skirt phase many non-jewish co-workers of mine complained. who wants to wear something that shows your stomach when you have a big stomach? or in during the frigid weather of winter, how are these styles practical?

ive seen well-heeled rich ladies with daughters wearing jeans with their underwear showing and i wasnt the only one passing them on the street appalled.

if you knew me in real life you would know that i only wear skirts or dresses and do not go mixed swimming, but im not the poster girl for the tznius police either.

i believe that there is a concept of modesty, for society in general.

i think that bais yaakov must give a course on makeup application that i missed out on in the modern orthodox schools i attended. (im not sure how this fits in with this post, but ive been dying to rant about this , so im including it here)

modesty is more than long sleeves and long skirts. its about not being flashy or too sexy in personality and style of dress.
one doesnt have to be dowdy to be modest. example: katie couric: modest, paris hilton:immodest, princess diana: modest ,sara fergeson:modest, pamela anderson: immodest, madonna: immodest.
people choose to harp on tzniut in clothing because its easier to focus on than perfecting the actual midah of modesty. giving tzedakah without fanfare or holding a position of kavod without being haughty are much tougher than not wearing bluejeans. i aspire to reach the truest level of tzniut..... someday.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

thank you

i would just like to post a public thank you to those families who open their homes for yom tov and shabbos meals. i specifically want to thank those who invite many singles every week. these individuals are so special. many who they invite are social deviants who would have no where to go and yet these families invite them with a full heart and make all of their guests feel welcome. i dont know how they do it. because these families invite such diverse company it can be overwhelming to be a guest if one is not eccentric. nonetheless it applaud the hosts. it is such a big mitzvah. the families who open their homes are not rich . they dont get funding to do hachnasos orchim . i am in awe of these families. i dont know that i could do what they do if i were married. im not sure i would have the patience. this is why i think that what these families are doing is so incredible.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the trophy

my great uncle had a trophy in his house. for years i saw it but never knew what it was for . eventually i heard the story of how it was won.

in 1928, when my great uncle was 23, there was a debate at the local jewish community center. the debate was whether or not the jewish communities of the united states should raise money to help the jews of europe come to america or should the jewish communities of the united states raise money to help the communities of europe live better in europe. my great uncle debated the side of raising money to bring the jews of europe over to the united states. my great uncle's side won. too bad the jewish communities of the united states did not abide by the outcome of this debate. it was 1928. if the yidden of 1928 america had raised money to help the jews of europe leave who knows how the course of history might have been? hindsight is twenty-twenty, but it is interesting to ponder. apparently the matzav of eastern europe was dire enough for a group of twenty-somethings at a jewish community center in the united states to debate in 1928.

and of course , i am proud to say that i had a great uncle who debated in the honor of trying to save the jews of europe , way before world war 2.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


i give people alot of credit who have complete emunah that everything that hashem does is for the best. its not that i have zero faith, its just that i cant totally say that i always have complete and total faith that everything that happens is for the best. i realize that we as people dont always see the whole picture, but i really do have a hard time understanding how life can be so unfair sometimes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

post yom kippur blues

once i started working, i really started appreciating rosh hashanah and yom kippur. at least these are holidays most jewish people take off work for (even if its just one day for rosh hashanah) . once yom kippur is over you are really on your own. sukkos? what's that? did you make a mistake with your jewish holidays list? did u really think they'd believe you just wanted Columbus day off? after all there are those who say that Columbus was jewish. and then when you tell them about simchas torah... well how many jewish holidays are there?
my personal favorite was recently when two jewish co-workers asked me if shavuos was coming up soon and was i going to be taking off for that holiday as well. they do get points for knowing shavuos actually exists, so i had to let them down easy when i informed them that shavuos is 7 weeks after passover, not 2 weeks after rosh hashanah.
i used to feel funny being the sole frummie asking to take off for the jewish holidays, but at the same time i had felt fortunate it was just me.
with kashrus laws its best being the sole kashrus observer . this way there is no one who says they keep kosher but eat the non-kosher ,non-meat meals and goodies that appear in the office. then you dont have to explain to anyone why david cohenlevyyisroel is eating the non-hechshered cheese sandwiches and yet i wont.
its too bad that secular jews dont participate in sukkos/simchas torah. they are down for the more somber parts of being jewish and none of the fun. kind of like only attending family functions when there is a funeral , but never attending a familial wedding.
anyway, this is why i have those post-yom kippur blues. now im the sole frum jew in a sukkah-less desert of non-observers, paving the frontier for others like me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

secret ballot

imagine if the results of rosh hashana and yom kippur were public knowledge. what if at the end of shul there was a billboard will a list of whos tefilos were accepted. what if there was another list of the fates of every shul member for the rest of the year. it would definitely be interesting, but it would also be very anti- climactic for the good things that will be occurring. im not so sure that it would be good knowing if something bad was going to chas veshalom happen. too scary. it is best that one doesnt know for sure if one's prayers are accepted. if they werent accepted and one knew this one might do more teshuvah, but one also might not bother. one also might go in a downward spiral because one wouldnt think that any prayer would help or change an evil decree. i would definitely say its better to be delusional and assume that hashem has forgiven us and expect a good year.
apparently hashem thinks that the secret ballot system he employs is superior. otherwise it wouldn't be secret.
gmar chatima tovah and have an easy fast.

Monday, October 6, 2008

if you are single today do you truly believe you will get married?

the poll has ended. now for the truth my dear readers have revealed. only half of the respondents believe that they will marry. thirty percent solidly believe that they will never marry and the remaining twenty percent do not firmly believe either way that they will or will not marry. it just depends on the day.
its nice to see that so many still believe their bashert is out there. however, when thirty percent of those polled solidly say they dont believe they will ever marry , this is disturbing. i hear what they are saying. however, its is bold to actually admit, even in an anonymous venue. i would have thought that more would just be wishy - washy and say that their emunah depended on the day instead of a full out no i dont think i will ever marry. and yes, i would have thought only twenty percent would have thought they would never marry. i guess alot of people feel they are realists and therefore dont believe marriage will ever happen for them. perhaps im a fool in believing that i will get married. i would rather be that fool. it makes me feel better to be hopeful.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

check this out...

i just read a comment on frum satire's blog post by future druggie and it was funny, but dead on true. ill repeat the comment here because i just totally love it
i'm a single jewish male,
hitting fifty-five,
yet i refuse to date
a girl over thirty-five.
i'm perfectly normal,
as normal as can be,
but i suffer from baby delusional syndrome,
a painful malady.
i'm going to be a daddy,
in my fantasy.
i would prefer to stay single
than face reality.
baby delusional syndrome
what am i going to do?
ive got to keep lying about my age
and my income, too.
im a single jewish male,
hitting fifty-six.....
by: future druggie
and there you have it. they wonder why there is a shidduch crisis....
no one gets exactly what they want, but meanwhile everyone expects that they will.

yom kippur

yom kippur, a holiday i dread , soon will be upon us. of course the foremost reason i dread it, is not necessarily the most noble. i most dread yom kippur because of the day long fast. the true reason to dread yom kippur is because its the day of atonement and we all hope that hashem will forgive us for all of our averos. although i guess i always have faith that hashem will forgive everyone for all of our sins every yom kippur. its funny, i may not have supreme emunah all of the time in regard to other issues, but for this issue, i do have faith. i always believe that there will be a better year this year than last year. it doesnt always happen that way, but im usually hopeful.
i guess its not so bad to dread yom kippur mostly because of the fasting. maybe this is the reason we have to fast. so we remember that yom kippur is day of to be awed, and if fear of fasting is what gives one this feeling then so be it. the way to man's heart is through his stomach, so then that makes alot of sense. we have to search our hearts to do sincere teshuvah and therefore we must be hungry on yom kippur to do this. ahhhh....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


one day a few weeks ago i was doing my usual veggie shopping at the farmer's market in union square when i overheard a woman stating how glad she was that she was able to buy nightshade vegetables. when asked why she hadnt been able to purchase nightshade vegetables she replied that nightshade vegetables had been "out" when she had been living in l.a. oy vey. how someone could be so superficial to think of a vegetable as being "out" is beyond me . what could be "out" about an eggplant or a potato? what is this world coming to? littering , smoking cigarettes, noise pollution should be out , but a vegetable group?