Free Leaf

"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold..."

Location: Falls Church, Virginia, United States

I have a lot more questions than answers, but I just keep asking. I constantly want to leave, but somehow manage to stay. I am both perfectly happy and completely miserable because of it. I think I am misunderstood but that could just be a huge misunderstanding, either way I guess the best way to put it is, "I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong."


No Wide Angles in My Life

As I stated yesterday I frequently make the trip from my lovely cubicle to the restroom on the fifth floor of my building. I’d say I make this trip anywhere from 5-10 times a day. And on about half of those trips I either have a collision or nearly avoid one with another coworker. For some reason everyone in my office likes to take tight corners at more than a leisurely pace as if they are in the middle of a human NASCAR race. I am guilty of this as well of course, I mean if I wasn’t on some race to and from the bathroom I wouldn’t be bumping into the people that were doing the same thing. Today I almost took out a woman who works on my floor that I probably weigh twice as much as, it would have been like those old Reebok commercials with the office linebacker. Being that I am not a small guy I have decided I need to slow it down in the office for everyone else’s safety. And I think I am going to start taking the outside when I come around the corners.


Fighting the urge

After being away from the blog for the weekend I am always tempted to write about my weekend. Then I think about my weekend and realize how incredibly boring that would sound to an outside observer. Watch this, try not to fall asleep. Friday night I sat in my living room on the phone for about an hour until my phone started to die, then I drove around in my car where my phone could charge for about another hour. Two or so hours on the phone and aimless driving, that was my Friday night. And Saturday wasn’t much better, I had breakfast and watched College Gameday then met up with some friends to watch the Gator game. After the game I just went home and stayed in, I am lame. Sunday I went to the gym and ran errands, then watched football and saw the Departed. Departed was really good, and I rarely like movies like this. Cops and robbers just don’t do it for me, but this was a good, well acted and directed flick and the music in the movie I found to be great as well, especially the cover of Comfortably Numb.

Looking forward to the week ahead is a little bit more entertaining. Tonight I will split my time between a roommate interview, the Vikings vs. the Pats and Heroes. Then tomorrow I have to finish my preparations for guests and camping. Wednesday I work from home and Thursday JB will be flying in although she is being lame and not using the invisible plane or bringing her golden lasso.

And I just wanted to throw this in here to show you all how crazy I actually am. I do some things that would probably be classified as OCD, they aren’t bad really, just certain rules I make for myself that I try to follow, fortunately I am OK with breaking them occasionally. One place where there are lots of rules is when I use the restroom at work. I drink a ton of water and spend half my day walking back and forth to the bathroom. But once I get there it becomes decision time. First you should know that this bathroom has three stalls and three urinals. I will not use one urinal (the midget one) and one stall (handicapped). So now I am choosing between the 4 remaining options, here I wont use a urinal or a stall if someone just finished using them, nor will I use one if the person before me did not flush, and I try not to use one with someone using the one immediately next to the one I want to use, unless its in the stall. And then after all that I won’t use the sink that I just saw someone use or the weird sink at the end but will use a sink next to someone. And then finally when walking out there are two options for paper towels, I will not use the one where you have to pull down on the lever, instead I have to use the one where you can just pull the paper towels out on their own. But here is the craziest part, all of this only matters in the office, in most other restrooms I don’t care at all but for some reason the one at work has certain rules. So among other things I find myself fighting the urge to not let my oddities overtake my life.


I know it is not until tomorrow but here are some things to think about while you do whatever your little heart desires tomorrow night. Just dont egg or shaving cream my house or car you damn kids.

Top Ten Best Ghost Photos ever

- this one is really creepy and since I dont want anyone to have nightmares or be afraid after reading it I give you this next link.

Petsmart Pet Costume Contest

- I am generally against the dressing of animals. I am also a little against the dressing of certain humans but that is for another time. Enjoy.


Did you have sexual relations with any other family members?

In case it isn’t entirely obvious I learned how to imbed you tube videos (there is one at the bottom and it explains the strange title) in my posts this week. Can I make it anymore obvious when I learn a new trick? I did the exact same thing with pictures back when I first started posting. I am easily excited by little things. And I guess that is why I do this at all; it gives me something to do and to entertain myself a little. I have had my ups and downs with it, and over the past 170 or so posts there have been many that stunk or were just uninspired. Anyway, another week is gone and as I often do I will be going away from my computer for a few days but I’d like to leave something for the people who stop in.

- Is it bad that I am 25 and the word “poop” makes me laugh? I was discussing this with someone earlier and with a doctor and both times I was biting my tongue holding in the laughter.

- We have been interviewing new roommates recently and here is some advice for any potential roommates out there: Do not, I repeat do not, bring up the fact that you might be getting laid off from your job when trying to move into a place. I don’t know if this works with other people but when a potential tenant asks me how fast he can move out I’d rather not have them move in.

- I may be completely nuts but I like the weather right now (dark, cold and rainy) I just wish I was in bed, instead of in my office.

- One of my friends who regularly reads my blog recently referred to himself as a Leaf blogger. I didn't realize there was a classification for that yet, I wonder when I get my own Wikipedia page will be. And should we decide on a formal name the few of you who are loyal readers? How about "Leafers", my sister might argue since she was referred to as that on occasion in High School but I like it. Let me know.

- Apparently the reigning National Champions have political differences. I am not shocked.

- Also, it is the week of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. The presidents of the schools don’t like that name but the fans love it. There is a huge divide between Gator fans of different generations because this has been such a lopsided rivalry. UGA owned us for years but we have gone 14-2 in the last 16, I was 5-0 when I attended it during my college years. I have friends who went to Georgia and I loved partying with them on Friday nights, I also loved when they drove home on Saturday night and the Landing was all Orange and Blue after the game. I have not been back in years and I don’t really miss being there but I love the pageantry of that rivalry and the split stadium on the St. Johns River. I hope it is there for a long time.

My week has been pretty crazy and I am glad it is over. Stress over work and medical problems can do that to you. But just like any good sitcom things usually resolve themselves in a short time and by the end of the episode everything is back to normal. I have a lot to look forward to over the next few days and a lot to keep me busy. Have a great weekend and enjoy this deleted scene from the Borat movie.

It never gets old

This morning as I drove to work I heard this on the radio, "Defending National Champions Florida are pre-season #1." They are talking about Gator basketball the day before the Cocktail Party, that in itself is amazing but even more so is that it's because we are actually good. Really good, favorites to repeat as National Champs no less. In case you forgot how good that was, watch this.


Cocktail Party Memories

Most people don't remember much about their trips to Jacksonville. Thankfully someone puts together great video clips of the game highlights.

Everything’s gonna be alright

The surgeon or specialist or whatever he wants to call himself was not impressed. I think he was slightly mad at me. He basically told me that there was nothing wrong with me that eating a little better and having less stress in my life couldn’t cure. Makes me happy, but also makes me wonder why my primary care couldn’t do the exact same tests, its not like it was that difficult. This doctor looked for abnormalities and found none, thankfully, that saga in my life is over for now. And everything is going back to normal, where I am not the one being worried about but doing the worrying.

This brings me to my comfort zone in the realm of medical dramas. I get to start worrying about my mom again, who was informed that she has to have some more tests done as well. Hers is a little scarier as my family has a history of breast cancer, I mean if you can have such thing. My aunts who are twins have both had their trials with it, one had it twice and the other had some other problem that required surgery. It is something that my whole family is very aware of. We do breast cancer walks, and donate money and forward all those ridiculous emails. Hopefully, since my mom knows this and stays on top of it she will have caught anything early. Or, like with me, it could be nothing at all.

I do plenty of worrying about people, my friends and family, people I don’t even know. Some would probably say its unhealthy to have so much concern for others that it affects you all the time. But it just happens to be who I am, it’s a big brother syndrome I think, where everyone you know and care about becomes your responsibility. Most people think it would be too much to ask of a young person to be this way and many do not have to deal with being the one responsible for others mental and physical well being, at least not at my age. Yet here I am, constantly listening to people’s problems and giving advice, being a shoulder to lean on and sometimes more. At times it makes me dark and bitter; you can ask my college friends about that. But it is just the result of giving so many others all my positive vibes that sometimes it appears I don’t even have my own.

But I do. It’s a secret that I rarely let out, maybe you have noticed it, I really believe the stuff I say. I believe in people, I believe things will work out, I believe in miracles and that good things do happen. No matter what darkness may fall upon you there is always a way out, it might not be the outcome you hope for or even want but in the end things will be alright.


And so I'm turning to Bob Marley

My day has not gone so well and I have been in a shitty mood for most of the afternoon. But, I don’t want that to pour over into anything I write today. Actually I had decided not to write, at least not until after working out or getting home and getting into bed. But no, I will write something, it wont make sense and it wont flow, nor will any of it seem to go together but it will be written. And when I read this later I will probably delete it for hating it so much.

The other night when we were driving through the country on the way to the haunted forest two thoughts crossed my mind. The first was how quiet and peaceful it was and how odd it was that you could see the stars so well. The second was that I could never live that far from the grocery store. I then said this out loud and our country friends in the backseat something about having to go into town. I can never be a person who has to go into town, I need to live in the town. Who are these people that can live more than ten minutes from a grocery store and how many freezers do they own? I am at the store on average 5 days a week. I guess there is no country home in my future but this does make me question my boat fantasy.

This could also go in the Things I Just Don’t Get category. People constantly call me around 4 pm on a Wednesday. I answer the phone a little hushed being I work in a cubicle and without fail these people ask me if I am working. Every single time my answer is the same “Its 4pm on a Wednesday, of course I am working” and somehow they are all still shocked and they still call. But, before I piss them off, I love you all and appreciate your calls, just stop asking stupid questions.

Remember the bachelor party debacle? If you have been reading for a while or looked at some of my old stuff you will know that one of my old college roommates is getting married in February and we have been trying to plan his bachelor party for months. He has slacked on it for so long that nothing ever got achieved even though there are dirt cheap flights to Vegas in January. His latest idea was the SECCG in Atlanta in early Dec. which would be great if I was not going to be in Florida for ten days before that and therefore have no vacation left. That idea was not working and now the DC crew has won the ultimate victory, our friend is considering coming to us for a weekend of debauchery and things you shouldn’t speak of in the dullest city in America.

There is a moment every night in the middle of fall when I am leaving the office and about to get into my car that I think is absolute magic. Sometimes like tonight I just stand there with my door open for a few seconds and take it all in. The air is cool and crisp and smells great and the sky is just light enough to still see pretty well. I don’t know what it is exactly about that twilight moment but it helps erase all the crap that can build up during the day.

So I guess that’s it for today. Think positive people, tomorrow I am getting violated by a trained professional.


Super hero Bullets

- Heroes last night was great. This has to be the best new show on TV this year and I am so proud that I knew what Peter’s real power was. It became obvious to me early on but I wasn’t sure until the end of last week when he talked with future Hiro. I am not a genius or anything and I am sure others noticed this before me but it’s really cool that Peter has the abilities of whoever he is around; I enjoyed that twist a lot. I have also grown on the She-Hulk Nikki who I previously said had no powers but a split personality. Damn, this show is great, I spent Sunday night watching all the episodes then watched the new one on Monday and at the end of every episode I am left thinking how amazing the episode was and how I can not wait until next Monday.

- Justice League Heroes is a lot of fun. I picked up this game sometime last week and have been playing it off and on since. For those of you who don’t know the Justice League features Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter as well as other characters. This game is very similar to the Marvel action RPG X-Men Legends and its sequel. The games themselves are not that deep or difficult but it’s great to fly around as Superman.

- And speaking of Superman, I think Smallville is still going strong. I’ve been hooked on this show for years, even through college it was the only show that I religiously watched. And as the characters get older the story line moves closer to that of the super hero that Clark Kent will be. I can not wait to see how this season develops.

So, when exactly did I become such a super hero head? I definitely did not take the ordinary route to comic book and by extension super hero fandom. I was the last kid on the block that you would see with comics. Mostly this was a byproduct of my mom’s desire to keep me from being nerdy. She thought I had to try extra hard to not be a nerd since I had asthma, so I basically played every sport imaginable although I was pushed to do well in school it was nowhere near as important as physical prowess in sports. I was pretty good too, for a while anyway. I was your typical American boy; I played sports, collected baseball cards and played Tecmo Bowl. It was only really through cartoons and movies that I was ever exposed to comics and their characters. All of this has changed recently as I have really been drawn to these fantasy based stories and have been trying to find and read all the great comics that I missed out on in my youth. I don’t think I will ever become a fanboy or anything but I definitely want to read the classics to see where these TV shows and movies came from and to experience them in their intended form. I figure if you are gonna read the Lord of the Rings to fully appreciate Tolkien you really should read Alan Moore to really understand the Joker and the Batman. Plus, I think all of us have a little part of us that wants to be special and these stories show us that just maybe we can be.

Open Letter to the World

I posted the text of this a while ago but here is the video that someone made to go with it.


Haunted Forest

I have mentioned it many times and I have been looking forward to it for months and Saturday night we finally made it out there. Markoff’s Haunted Forest was the perfect alternative to another Saturday night out in DC or its trendy suburbs. After a day of casually watching football and playing video games 8 of us ventured into the heart of darkness, Dickerson MD. We met up at Scotties house in Bethesda and from there we took two cars down River Rd. through Potomac, where there is a house that I still consider haunted and unsafe, then took some road that was pitch black and scary as hell through Poolesville and finally out to the corn field where we parked our cars. When we got out there it was about 9:30 and the place was packed, the line to get in to the waiting area took about 20 minutes but it was a nice night out and you could see more stars than us city dwellers are used to. After signing waivers and getting inside we realized that they were nowhere near our group’s number to actually enter the forest. It would be about an hour and a half before we ever got called. During that time we kept ourselves entertained by eating hot dogs and sweet almonds and drinking hot cider or cocoa. We also sat around some bonfires and watched people make funnel cake. There were a lot of things to do out there, a zip line, a wall climb, a hay ride, a death jump and a Haunted bus but we chose to just sit around and tell stories while trying to stay warm. In the hour plus that we waited you could feel the temperature continually drop. But once we could hear the numbers getting close to ours we all started getting pretty excited and could not wait to get inside.

Once you enter the mouth of the giant skull you have two choices, left or right. I assume either one is equally frightening but we went left onto path 1. The path itself is a very dimly lit trail through the woods which is scary enough on its own until you realize there are people lurking in the woods in dark costumes and makeup waiting to scare the crap out of you. Luckily for me the way our group was set up I was rarely the focal point of any attacks and mostly got to laugh my way through the trail as my friends got scared. Along the trail we came upon numerous scenes or sets with people in corresponding costumes, but the scariest room to me was a house that had no light and walls so tight that you could feel them on either side of you. As you walk through this house forced by the way the wall pushes you there is no clue as to what is next and then when you finally come out from the tight walls there is someone waiting to jump out with a flash of light and scare the crap right out of you. From that little shack we roamed past a country home full of jack o lanterns, a downed plane, a graveyard, some voodoo huts and one scary horse. But by far the scariest was the end of the path where you are literally swarmed by chainsaw wielding psychos before walking through a sideways bus that lets you out into an industrial wasteland complete with techno music, fire, strobe lights and an electrified fence. And just for good measure they have two people hiding just on the other side of the exit to get you one more time.

At the end of the night it was all worth it; The 45 minute drives, 3 hours in the wilderness and the rapidly dropping temperatures. I’d even go again, but next time I’m bringing money to do the zip line and get a funnel cake.


It’s a mini music miracle

At the beginning of the week, as I often do, I sent out an email to my friends of upcoming events. They usually involve bands or good happy hours, sporting events and haunted houses. Most times the music is overlooked and I am left missing out on seeing a band or having to find other people to go with me. And that is how I thought it was going to be this week. The responses to my very insightful email, which included links to the bands and the other events, only received positive responses for the Haunted Forest on Saturday night. So, after work on Friday I had resigned myself to a nice chill night home, I ate dinner and lit candles and was going to throw on a movie when my phone started ringing.

I had just finished telling people I was staying in but then Pat called and Kevin called, Mint called and EK IMed me, who then gave Sophia my screen name and she IMed me. Next thing I know I am jumping in the shower and getting ready to head out. I know it was just a little thing for people to finally want to do something for the sole reason that I suggested it but I was thrilled. I had seen both bands before, they are locals, and I really enjoyed them so I had hoped my friends would want to check them out. The bands, EBP and Shane Hines, were pretty good. EBP the opener in my opinion was better but Shane put on a pretty good show too, he covered a Police song and Rocket Man. We got to the club about half way through the opening set and ended up finding a perfect spot at the bar where we enjoyed the rest of the show. Afterwards we lost Mint and Kevin and Pat but Sophia, Ed and I found our way to the Grill for some more live music. A cover band was playing that did a slow version of Outkast’s Hey Yeah that was amazing. The three of us hung out there until the lights came on and we were forced out onto the street, found Soph a cab and Ed and I metro’d home. It was a great night from the beginning because it was unexpected but it was made better when everyone enjoyed themselves and we made more concert plans in the future. I like mini miracles.


Scarier than Ghosts

I am not going to go into detail on this as much as I could but I will tell as much of the story as I am comfortable with. This morning as I was preparing for a normal Friday at work when something went terribly wrong. I noticed I was bleeding from somewhere that I really didn’t expect to be bleeding from and that the bleeding just was not stopping. So, I put down the food I was about to prepare for lunch and called my doctor who told me I could see him at 10:30 am. From that moment on I was totally freaking out, a mess, I called a co-worker and left a completely unintelligible message, called my mom hoping she would make me feel better but she didn’t, I called my team lead at work to let him know I wouldn’t be making it into the office and then I got ready to go to the doctors.

But during the hour or more between realizing something was not right and speaking to my doctor I was scared. You can only imagine the kind of horrible thoughts that go through someone’s head when they have no idea what they are facing. I felt light headed and shaky and so uncertain of the world. It really caught me off guard because I have never really been scared about a medical problem before. There have been times where I probably should have died in my past but I was never scared at all. Maybe the fear came with age or maybe the problems in the past with asthma had become such a part of my life that I was no longer afraid of it, but this was new and unknown and more than that I want things out of life now. I guess it was a combination of things, before I was too young to realize that we don’t have all the time in the world and I felt sort of invincible. Now I know I want things out of life that I have not accomplished yet and all of those things flashed through my mind as I drove to that doctor’s office. The first thought I had was it will be a shame if I don’t get to do these things because something is wrong with me. The second one was fuck that if there really is something wrong I will just have to get them done faster.

I guess that’s all it takes to wake you up, a little scare. Granted I am still not out of the woods yet, I have a check up with my doctor in two weeks and need to schedule an appointment with a specialist before that. For now I am feeling better and hoping this all turns out to be nothing but a lesson learned and a much needed wake up call. What was the saying in Shawshank Redemption? Get busy living or get busy dying, I think that’s it. It’s about time I tried that, before it’s too late.


It’s a Bye Week

* This Saturday Florida’s Mighty Gators are receiving a much needed break. They are resting up and trying to get better after a tough loss last Saturday on the Plains. But last night as I was driving home I realized two things. The first was that after watching two weeks of Lost I had completely lost interest in that show again and the second was that not only does the football team get a bye so do the fans.

It is a strange feeling to realize how much football affects fans, especially those from big programs in the south. I wait all summer for football, now that I am an adult summer is a big waste of time and I just want fall practice to start. The basketball team kept me occupied and on edge for most of the Spring but Summer was a wasteland. And now that football is here it consumes just about everyday of the week. That is until the bye week. I don’t think I have realized in the past but this week has just felt so different from the past 6. I have not been anxious or nervous or all over the internet looking for articles about my team. I have not called Trey every night on my way home to talk about how so and so looked at practice. I did call Nicole but not to talk her through her drive to Gainesville, just to talk about normal things like life and work and Haunted Forests, which she is totally missing out on. EK is still crazy as ever about the Gators but at least he gets Saturday off from driving himself nuts watching our boys play. So, as much as I love football season I am really happy we get a bye week. I can rest up my ankle, make some normal plans and not drink 3 car bombs and 10 beers this Saturday, well I probably will still do that it just wont take as long because I wont be staring at the TV watching my teams every move.

*I wanted to put up a picture of an alligator resting or sleeping but it wasn't exactly a peaceful looking picture so I used dogs instead.


This is some scary shit

World's Scariest Ghosts Caught on Tape


Yesterday I was forwarded an email from my old teacher. I have mentioned him before but have not spoken to him in about 8 years. Back in the day when I was in his class we were still using snail mail for communication and email was not as common as it is today. Anyway, I was a senior in high school who had a lot of things on my plate that I deemed more important than writing letters back and forth to my teacher in Israel. College apps, girlfriends, work, school work and partying took up most of my time and so eventually I just moved on. I went to college and did my thing and that was that. Every once in a while I have talked about Yossi and I have thought about him on occasion, when a former student of his died in combat during the fighting with Lebanon I was crushed and felt more connected to the conflict than ever before. And now thanks to a forwarded email I have a chance to reconnect with him and possibly help him out after all these years. But I just don’t know what to say, I don’t know where to start. He was a huge influence in my life and yet I can’t put down the opening line of an email. I have had that email open since I received it and still haven’t put down a single word in the reply field. How do you start the process of reconnecting with someone after not speaking for so long?

In other news spraining my ankle has got me doing two of my favorite things, limping and lying in bed half conscious thanks to my pain medication. The good news is that for the first time since I rolled my ankle over the weekend it was not hurting when I woke up so I am hoping it will be healthy enough to make it through the Haunted Forest this Saturday night.


The Unexpected

One thing that I really enjoy is being caught off guard, I like surprises. Perhaps that is because I am still a kid who is just not ready to grow up. But, really all the things I love and I am intrigued by are those where the outcome is unexpected. My favorite TV shows, all sports, the books I read and the people I surround myself with. I also think a lot of people are this way and why so many people never get to a serious point in relationships. I know this is my status quo, once the surprises are over its hard to maintain what you had. I have had this problem with lots of areas of my life such as jobs, schools, friendships and girlfriends. I used to call this the two month rule because after about 2 months I felt I had learned all I needed to know and would not be surprised by anything anymore. There are examples of people and places that have beat the 2 month rule, there are those who have been cast aside after 2 months and those who made it for the long haul even though there are no surprises left in them. But it is the places or things or people that surprise me after 2 months that I cherish the most.

Here are some recent surprises I have enjoyed:

One of my roommates who seems like the ultimate good girl, spends her Sundays at church, doesn’t smoke, barely drinks and I don’t think I have heard a bad word ever come out of her mouth got a tattoo over the weekend.

I was surprised to see my friend Kevin, who rarely is able to hang with us, out last weekend and to learn that he was interested in going out with us again next weekend.

I was surprised that only one of my friends has responded positively to being on the guest list for the Wizards Dance Team party when I thought every guy I know would jump at that.

And last night I was surprised by the deep inner thoughts and wanderings of a new friends mind. You never really know what is going on in someone’s head until they let you in.

Sometimes the surprises are small, sometimes they are big but they are always new and always intriguing. But the best ones are the ones that are unexpected. I’d like to think that what you see from me is not what you expect and I like when others are not what I would expect.


In Dreams

Friday night is made for drama, girl drama, and that ruined my trip to Safeway entirely. So, I made up my grocery shopping early Saturday morning. I then spent the entire day anxious for our game to start and trying to kill time until kickoff. I went on to cheer for the Gators as much as I could, resulting in my first cheering related injury. That’s right I managed to roll my ankle while cheering for a TD in the first half. Luckily, I got a lot of rest in the 2nd half as there was nothing to cheer for. After the very disappointing loss EK and I headed out for more drinking to wash away our sorrows and to make my leg not hurt. Brilliant as that idea was I still had to ref two soccer games the next day and now my leg is absolutely killing me.

After getting home and lying in bed icing my ankle for the rest of the afternoon I was treated to an amazing roommate dinner. One of my lovely roommates is a fantastic cook and was cooking for a guy friend of hers that last minute could not make it. And as the backup plan one other roommate and I were treated to delicious chicken breaded in some sort of homemade combo created via food processor and some rice and cheese dish that was amazing. Then we followed it all up with a hazelnut chocolate mousse for dessert. My roommates are really growing on me.

Being back at work sucks after working from home on Friday, I considered calling in sick or trying to work from home again. In the end it was best to be here and show my face but I really get the exact same done at home, only I am more comfortable when I do it. One good thing to come of the day is remembering my dream last night which is very rare for me. It was one of those revealing dreams that point to some of those concerns that you have about things you are thinking about but never really think through. I was in Israel all by myself, randomly my cousin was there for a while, but she left the dream at some point and I was wandering around alone without the right money and without a strong handle on the language. I have looked up flights since then; all the dream did was remind me that I have very valid concerns and shouldn’t jump into anything. But at the same time it made me realize that fears aside I should find a way to explore the land to realize if my fears are worth overcoming. In the past I looked into programs over there and I think a good program with a set time table would be a good shot. I just need one that allows me enough freedom to be part of society and give me something to do while I am there. That or I could continue living in my dreams.


This is what we do now

Apparently, the reply all button on gmail is the new gateway to the world. In college, the big thing was always instant messenger and while it still is a big part of my working day what really passes the time now is mass emails. Give us a topic or none at all and someone to make fun of and we will have 50 emails by COB. Nothing passes the time more than a long pointless email chain. For instance, today’s email is already at 26 replies as of 3:30 today. It started harmlessly as a suggestion of where to watch tomorrow nights football game and slowly became a battle to outwit the other contributors. Make a grammar mistake and prepare to be grilled, make a bad joke about another person on the list and prepare for retaliation. Also, allow yourself to indulge in self-deprecating humor, half the list is Jewish after all, but most of all plan to be entertained.

We will do anything to kill the time during the day, anything other than actually doing our work that is. When a client of mine calls me I get pissed that I actually have to speak to someone because they are interrupting my chain of thought for my next reply all. Those jerks. If you don’t have 10 – 15 friends that want to send emails back and forth all day about nothing here are some other things you might want to do to kill time.

Read Aaron Karo’s Ruminations

Plan your trip to one of the best haunted houses in America

Listen to music on Pandora.

Have a good weekend. Shabbat Shalom and Go Gators.



Actually I am peeling. In the years that I have been shaving my head I have always been very careful about using sunscreen since I got burnt the first weekend I shaved my head. That weekend I was on the beach in Tampa and didn’t know better. But last weekend when I was reffing soccer I should have known better. Instead I didn’t use sunscreen and now I am peeling and it’s gross.

Even though this sucks a bit and I look like I am dying it is as with so many other things in my life very timely. Yesterday pretty much just sucked, it was terrible, and came close to ruining my good mood. I had been angry about some things that happened that began around midday and lasted through the night. I was also not feeling well and in a bad mood but its getting better. I have been at my desk shedding most of the day and as the skin falls off my head I feel all the crap kind of floating away.

I got burned but I lived and I am moving on and just as the burnt skin falls off and gives way to new I too will be renewed and refreshed and will move on to something better with no scars to show for it but lessons learned.


Things I just don’t get

Why people combine the fight chants or sayings of other schools with theirs. Recently I have seen the following:

Geaux Gators (used by LSU Geaux Tigers)

Roll Gators (used by Bama Roll Tide)

War Gators (used by Auburn War Eagle)

and today

Hook ‘em Gators (used by Texas Hook em Horns)

The first three are opponents of the Gators and used during that game week. But the Longhorns never play us and a Gator does not have horns to actually hook anything with. Furthermore, “Geaux” is incredibly gay and French and should not be used by anyone least of all fans of a football team, and definitely not by fans of a rival team. And I do not get Bama or Auburn at all, they are both from Alabama where sense is completely optional but seriously Roll Tide? What on earth does that mean? They are cheering a flash flood. This brings me back to Auburn who really needs to decide on a mascot, you can be an eagle or you can be a tiger, pick one and stick with it. Personally, I would go with the eagle since one of your biggest rivals is already a Tiger (see LSU). Plus you are using that stupid War Eagle chant and it’s in your commercials, so get rid of that Tiger mascot already.

That’s all for now, I am sure there will be more things I just don’t get but until then…

We Are… Florida (nope, that doesn’t work either, GO GATORS!!!)


Punk Rock Princess

I’ve got nothing to say… and that’s a good thing. One of my very good friends who happens to be both lovely and talented and has an unnatural crush on Dirk Nowitzki was a little concerned with my demeanor on here. Well, it just so happens I use the blog to put out some things I don’t feel comfortable putting other places. I actually started writing about the past couple of days when I haven’t been writing but I got nothing good out of it. Thursday night TV was good, Shabbat was relaxing, Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas, being a referee again felt good in my head but not on my body and my day off today was pretty chill.

That’s it, I have nothing to complain about. Nothing to really rant on, no reason to bitch and moan over three or four paragraphs. Sure, I have my normal gripes, my Mom is still crazy but we had a good talk last night and I think she sees my point. My little sister seems to be moving in the right direction finally and my other sister is quiet, which is a very good thing. Work still sucks, I am still not sleeping without sleeping pills, and lately I have been staying up later than I used to thanks to someone’s influence on me. But, those conversations are sometimes the best part of my day. So, while life is certainly not perfect, not even close, I am actually pretty much enjoying myself. If only I could play guitar and be that garage band king.


I’m just not ready yet

There are moments in your life that sometimes just catch you off guard. I find that these moments are usually things that you are capable of handling but just weren’t ready for. It’s like when a girl you really like tells you that she loves you but you just aren’t there yet and you don’t know how to respond. This morning on my drive to work something similar happened.

I was talking to my Mom, who is going in for a minor surgery tomorrow, when she dropped the bombshell on me. She went in to the hospital this morning for her pre-screening, blood work and to fill out the papers. And she just causally mentions that she put me down as emergency contact (this I can handle), but then she tells me that if anything happens I am the one who has to make the decisions of what happens to her. Even writing it gives me an anxious empty feeling in my stomach. I am not nervous about the surgery, it’s very minor and she will be in and out same day but I just realized that the decisions I may someday have to make are coming sooner than I could have ever wanted. Maybe no one is ever really ready for this but I know I am just not ready yet, not now.

She Knows

Given that is October and Halloween is right around the corner I guess it is somewhat fitting that I am haunted. Not by your ordinary ghosts and ghouls but by a real live person that just doesn’t seem to go away. I honestly think she must be a psychic because over time she has constantly found a way to contact me at the moment just before her effect on me has totally worn off. I have spoken about her before, she is “that girl” the one who had we met at a different time or place in our lives things would have been different but that’s not the case. We were never friends and we will never be friends, so a year and a half ago as I sat in a hotel room in El Paso, TX I told her that it was best for us to just move on. Stop talking, stop pretending, stop holding each other back, I asked her to become a beautiful memory and for so long she complied. She was part of such a great time in my life and I want to remember her that way, not as part of the frustrating scenario it has become in recent years.

When I was sitting in that hotel room close to two years ago I came to a conclusion. Simply, our moment had passed, no matter what feelings might exist still there were just more factors to consider. We were perfect for each other at the time when we were together but at this time we just aren’t and we are fooling ourselves if we think we can recreate what we had. So, I told her I would always love her and that I didn’t know how to be her friend and I walked away and she walked away. For a long time I still thought about her. I thought about her often actually, for years I thought about her on a daily basis, then slowly it became once every few days, then once a week, then perhaps once a month before it finally took some external event to bring her memory back. Sure the memory still popped up but it was so dull and seldom that it had little hold over me. I am at a point where I am looking forward and no longer do I see her in my plans, she had become a beautiful memory. And then she decided that she “just wanted to say hello”.

As happy as I am to have heard she was doing well I really do not need the inner turmoil that she causes me anymore. It’s such a fine line with her and when our conversation ended and she said it would be nice to say hello again sometime I was not sure how to respond. I don’t need this right now; I don’t need it at all. I don’t have her number and do not have the desire to contact her but should she “say hello” again I think I will just ask her what has changed in the year and a half since we had last spoke that makes her feel its better to be part of my present and not just a beautiful memory.

You know this is why I think I prefer ghosts to girls.


I was supposed to be out of town this weekend

But money and fatigue have finally caught up to me. September was everything I had hoped it would be. 4 great weeks that almost became 5 with another trip to NYC for a long weekend. Instead I will be spending this weekend relaxing and reffing soccer in the district. But, I would like to look back on the September that was.

It all started with a Labor Day excursion in New York that was everything I could have asked for to start my month. I saw a ton of good friends, caught a gator game at the Gin Mill and fell in the love with the city again. After that weekend I came back to DC with a new look on life and some great new friends.

The very next weekend we caught the Gator game at the new DC Gator Bar and again enjoyed some great company. With out of town guests and plenty of friends around us we turned an afternoon game into a late night. It was pretty chill compared to the rest of the month.

After a weekend at home I took the next Friday off of work and headed down to Knoxville, TN. I spent that weekend in an RV just off the University of Tennessee campus. We partied on Friday night and bbq’ed on Saturday then watched the Gators beat the Vols in a close one at night. I returned home that Sunday and rested up for the next weekend.

Before I could blink my eyes friends were heading into town. I was at the airport Thursday afternoon to pick up JB before we went to a Grey’s Anatomy premier party. On Friday I worked from my couch all day and then headed out to Georgetown for a little while to meet up with another friend who had just arrived in town. And then Saturday we spent the entire day at the Virgin Mobile Festival. It was an amazing day of music and fun and crappy food. We then headed home, ate taco bell and passed out before a relaxing Sunday that included dinner with my best friends at Hooters.

Again I spent the week recovering and working a lot before enjoying an amazing Alabama-Florida bbq at the Rettew’s house. The food was great, I had two of everything and my bbq sauce has increased its fan base. It has also gained calls for my mom to visit me so she can cook for everyone. And since she has not visited a single time in the 2.5 years I have lived here she is way overdue.

The month ended with Yom Kippur fast turning the calendar to October. That was the month that was, this month is much less exciting but will still feature a lot of fun. I am hoping to have a visitor in town to go to the Haunted Forest with, we will catch some good football games on the weekends and possibly end the month in Jacksonville or at a Halloween party in Georgetown.


The weekend and Yom Kippur

I wrote a rant that I decided not to post here. It was about work and it was extremely negative and angry. It is probably not best to air my grievances here but I will just say I am unhappy with certain decisions and people at work. The rest of the weekend was not so bad.

Once I finally got to the gameday bbq I had a great time. The food was delicious, the company entertaining and the game went the way of the good guys. My BBQ sauce was a hit and went very well with Courttew’s hamburgers (also known as meat flavored clouds). After eating 2 of everything they had to offer and drinking plenty of beer we went out to Murphy’s in Old Town Alexandria for a few more drinks. But, given the long day we didn’t stay very long. Sunday I tried to get into a normal weekend mode and went to the gym. I also ate a lot and helped my roommate go car shopping. The rest of the day I relaxed and settled into the Yom Kippur fast around 6:30.

Fasting was easy again. I may be in the minority here but I don’t find it all that difficult and given that I normally eat six times a day that is probably a bit unlikely. Still, since I have started fasting once a year it gets progressively easier and I always feel good about doing it. Some people might find that strange and not understand why I do it at all, especially given my stance against synagogue on High Holidays. I don’t really know how to label myself, most of my friends would call me religious because I light candles on Shabbat and occasionally attend services and Fast on Yom Kippur. But, if you compare me to someone who is religious I don’t think I come close. I live in an odd grey area in between being religious and secular where I believe in the traditions but I am not sure whether I do them because I believe or because I want to feel connected to my history. I certainly have my doubts with it all and yet I feel compelled to follow it anyway. Not out of fear but out of love. Following the traditions of my grandparents and reliving the events that brought my family together so many times feels right to me. I don’t know if I am religious or not but I fondly remember Shabbat meals at my grandparents or friends houses and hope someday to have that with my own family.