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."


Happy New Year

Enjoy some new U2.


This is just a dream we dreamed

This is most likely going to be my last post of 06 so I guess it is as good a time as any to do the New Year post. 2006 has been quite a year, so many things have changed, a lot have stayed the same. I accomplished some things I wanted to and others I let slip but looking back on it all I can say I am better for the experience. With my birthday so close to the end of the year I have already given a list of some of things I did this year but the experience was more than just a list of things. I know that it gets harder to judge what we have accomplished each year as we get older, there are less milestone moments and not as many good times to look back and judge ourselves. On the other hand though, maybe it is good for us to stop judging and constantly looking back. Don’t go forgetting your past or anything but look forward a little more. You never know what you will find around the next corner of life. So, cherish the good moments, leave the bad and look forward to another year. Other than that, I leave this year with a song and a link to what I wrote before last New Year’s Eve. Happy New Year.

Look out of any window, any morning, any evening, any day.
Maybe the sun is shining, birds are singing,
No rain is falling from a heavy sky.
What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
For this is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.

Walk out of any doorway, feel your way, feel your way like the day before.
Maybe youll find direction,
Around some corner where its been waiting to meet you.
What do you want me to do, to watch for you while you are sleeping?
The please dont be surprised when you find me dreaming too.

Look into any eyes you find by you, you can see clear to another day,
Maybe been seen before, through other eyes on other days while going home.
What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
Its all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.

Walk into splintered sunlight,
Inch your way through dead dreams to another land.
Maybe youre tired and broken,
Your tongue is twisted with words half spoken and thoughts unclear

What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
A box of rain will ease the pain, and love will see you through.

Just a box of rain, wind and water,
Sun and shower, wind and rain,
In and out the window like a moth before a flame.

And its just a box of rain, I dont know who put it there,
Believe it if you need it, or leave it if you dare.

And its just a box of rain, or a ribbon for your hair;
Such a long long time to be gone, and a short time to be there.

Grateful Dead - Box of Rain. I would have put up the actual audio if I could have figured it out, sorry. Great song, I am sure you can find a live version to download.



I have been meaning to upload the pictures from my camera for a while now. Since, I am working from home this week I finally remembered to do it when I actually had my computer and camera near me.

This is our campsite from the first weekend of November.

The campfire. Seriously, the best part of the camping experience is burning things. That and the food.

Final scoreboard from the UF - FSU game. It was an amazing day for a game.

And this is the best Turkey Sub in America. La Spada's Hoagies in Davie, FL. I would recommend it to anyone who is asking. As a matter of fact this sandwich itself is worth the trip to Florida.

The 7th night of Hanukkah in my kitchen with the Menorah right next to a Ginger bread house.

I have more pictures floating around but I think this is all I will upload for now. Maybe later I will put up the latke pictures or some others. And I should definitely have more after my trip to Vegas and Glendale in early January.


Who said it?

I'm narcissistic, I'm pessimistic, I'm obsessive, I'm insecure, and I am so afraid of intimacy that everyone of my relationships is a journey of self sabotage that inevitably ends in a black vacuum of shattered expectations and despair.

It wasn't me but it certainly describes me well.


I confuse people

People constantly say Merry Christmas to me, or ask me what I am doing for Christmas, because they look at me and automatically think I am one of them. And while in my head I scream, I usually answer rather politely by saying Happy Holidays to them and simply stating that I do not observe Christmas. Now, I grew up knowing I did not have what most consider Jewish features, my sisters do not either, but I never found it annoying until recently. Ever since I left South Florida it seems I encounter more and more people who are just totally ignorant of Jewish people. In an area like the one I currently live in that is very diverse it baffles me to think that people would assume everyone else is just like them. I always say Happy Holidays unless I know without a doubt someone is Christian, and even then I sometimes still say Happy Holidays because I prefer the way it sounds compared to Merry Christmas. Not that any of this is to take away from Christmas I would just like people to be more open to the possibility that not everyone is like them.

Unfortunately, I do not have the faith in other people to make the changes in themselves. That leaves me with few options; 1. Continue being annoyed and explaining that I do not celebrate their holiday, 2. Start wearing a Kippa, or 3. Wear a very obvious Jewish Star. So, here I am trying to proclaim my Judaism, sort of similar to how we are supposed to make Menorah visible for all to see on Chanukah, which ends tonight actually. And then I realize an amazing difference between this generation and the ones before it. I am trying to overcome my non Jewish features so more people would know I am Jewish while in the past people would look at my features as blessing to hide their Jewish ancestry.

We still have so far to go but we have come very far. Sixty years ago my Grandma was using the very same features that I have to escape the ghetto and get food for her family. The light eyes, hair and skin, plus knowledge of more than just Yiddish made her the perfect candidate to go unnoticed. And so she used her features to hide her true nature, just as they hide mine, but I am not in a ghetto and although the world is not yet totally accepting, I have no reason to hide who I am. Even my mother has dealt with those thoughts, probably by extension of how she grew up and yet, my generation has been able to overcome those thoughts. Which, makes my complaints over the ignorance of the people I know sound a little trite I know, but is it so wrong to want more from people? I don’t think it is, I think the day we become content with the way things are is the day it all starts to go bad. That just means I have to keep explaining, keep sharing and continue to be accepting of others as hopefully I can get them to be accepting of me.


More foolish and wiser at the same time

I recently turned 26, about two weeks ago now, and I have not felt the need to really talk about it until now. You see, I don’t really put much thought into birthdays. I am not big on celebrating them and for the most part they do not feel any different than the day before or after. I usually only notice when I put a new age into the treadmill at the gym or when someone asks me. Sometimes, I even question whether or not we should be celebrating our own birthdays; I mean we didn’t do any of the work that day. Still, I do think they provide a nice milestone and good period of reflection for all of us.

I look back on the last year and two weeks of my life and see a lot to be proud of and some things that maybe I should not even admit to. Apparently, as we grow older we grow both more foolish and wiser at the same time. I am not sure who originally said that but they make a great point. In some aspects of my life I feel like I have gotten better, my insight into certain situations is improving and then in others I may be even dumber than I was years ago. And so here is a list of things I have been up to since December 6, 2005.

- I started a blog. That was pretty big; I am now somewhere over 200 posts in and actually have people who read here regularly.

- I have visited friends in NY on three separate occasions and on each I return to DC and immediately begin looking for jobs there, but that shortly fades and I settle back into my life here.

- My roommates built there first snowman and I got to take pictures with it.

- I have read a bunch of books and some comics too.

- One of my best friends and his lovely wife moved to DC. And since they got here they have dealt with my extreme wanderlust but by now must just shrug off my suggestions at leaving. I think they might be wanderers themselves, but that is another story.

- I have dealt with the passing of my favorite childhood baseball player, Kirby Puckett.

- But, I also got to cheer on the Gator bball team to a Championship and watch the Twins make a great run in the playoffs before watching the Gator football team win the conference and get a shot at the MNC.

- I left my first engagement at work, found a new one, then landed right back on my old one 6 months later.

- I cooked my first Passover Seder all by myself and it was pretty good.

- I have driven to Florida, New York and Tennessee. In three different cars, my old Blazer before it dropped the transmission, my new Accord that replaced the Blazer and my buddies TL just last weekend.

- My sister graduated from Florida State University and just 7 months later we finally convinced her to move away from there.

- I have been to baseball games at Camden Yards, RFK and the Metro Dome. Football games at FedEx Field, Neyland Stadium and Doak Campbell stadium.

- My buddy Scott graduated from law school and he now has a real job in a corporate law firm, while my friend John continues to come up with crazy schemes instead of trying to enter the real world. I wonder who has it right; him or us?

- I moved from a townhouse in Vienna to a house in Falls Church and in the process met some great roommates. Who says everyone you meet on Craigslist is a little weird?

- I was consumed by the war in Israel for weeks in the middle of the summer. Actually, I am still very consumed by Israel but I have been for a long time.

- I joined a great list serve for Music Lovers and have been to a bunch of shows: OAR, Virgin Fest, Lionize, EBP and Shane Hines

- I went to a haunted forest and was slightly haunted by an ex-girlfriend

- I hit a tree leaving a campsite.

- I spent Thanksgiving in Florida with my mom and a close friend.

- I have also played tons of video games and watched more television than I care to count

But, the most significant event that happened in my life was the loss of my Grandma. The loss of a loved one can really put things in perspective sometimes. I am ok with her death but at the same time I feel like it has motivated me a little and changed me also. I can not explain it because I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that is different now, but something certainly is. Ever since August it has been there, I went through a period of sadness, but I think I have come to place of peace. I look back on both my grandparents lives with great pride and realize how easy my life is in comparison. Maybe someday I will feel worthy enough to tell their story and write the story of my life right next to it. But until then, I am gonna try being 26 and not acting like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

It’s Dangerous

Giving me good news in the morning can be very problematic for my superiors. Sure, it puts me in a great mood and you would think that leads to more production. But, all it has done today is lead to a lack of focus and a goofy grin. Oh, I am working and things are getting done, but I am definitely distracted and finding it hard to contain the news I received earlier this morning. And for some reason there is no one online to talk to. I guess I am just going to be making lots of phone calls on my way home.


Greavarty 2006

In about 4 or 5 hours I will be back in New York. Last time I went just to get out of town but this time we are going to party. Greavarty actually, a car full of DC fools are going to crash our good friends Housewarming party. Our evite acceptance pretty much turned this from a calm evening to an all out bash and some of us haven't even left our offices yet. I could really use the time away right now.

Between being really busy at work and not being able to sleep I have been a mess and having a hard time writing. Sure, I want to write and I actually have written things but they suck, so I don't post them. For instance after we met our deadline at work, my team went out for happy hour and an interesting revelation was made. I am the only white member of my team, and even I am Jewish. I didn't even notice until they told me, which probably says a little about my upbringing, a lot about where I work and I think it's a great thing to have such diversity in small pockets. No two people on our team have the same background and I find myself learning a lot from these people because of it.

I wish I could spend more time thinking about things like that but my days get thrown into a loop by odd dreams and poor nights of sleep. When I remember my dreams they have the ability to take over my attitude for the entire day after I wake up. It is similar to the way my Ipod can change my entire workout. If all my dreams are like the one I had last night I should either be sleeping more or not sleeping at all, but I can guarantee this there are no Greavarties in dream land and that in itself is enough to keep me awake.


Go Cure Cancer

This is spectacular. Sometimes even I forget just how good UF really is.


No Yelling

Recently, we have had a new roommate move in to what the two teachers I live with like to call the “Safe House”. They handled the recruitment process and decided on a guy to move in to keep the house balanced. Since, I don’t care either way I went along with it and we interviewed a bunch of people before deciding on one. However, there was about a month that I was living alone in the basement and I really began to like it. Now, I have this roommate sharing the bathroom with me and constantly trying to kill me by using a ton of bleach on the shower. And my whole morning routine is shot, some mornings I wake up to my alarm raring to go and then hear the shower start, which totally messes me up. But, besides all that he really is a nice guy, his parents took us out to dinner when he moved in and outside of the bathroom he is clean and friendly and does not get in the way. So why do I find myself constantly yelling at him? Well, he is deaf and I am a moron. I just can’t help it, I know it doesn’t help and my other roommates think its funny but I can’t stop. And to top it off I also happen to use confusing body language when I talk to him. For instance I will nod yes but say maybe, and to a person who reads lips and notices these things that is really annoying. I also sometimes forget and don’t look at him when I talk but that is not nearly as bad as the other things. So, if you happen to be in Falls Church and hear someone yelling, it isn’t a domestic dispute, I’m just having a friendly conversation with my new roommate.


The woman at the deli counter knows me better than you do

True story, she might know me too well and she thinks it’s a bloody shame that I am single. Which is 100% completely true, it is a shame. The thing I am not sure of in all of this is whether or not it is sad that she knows me so well. And if it is sad, is it sad for me or for her? All I know about her is that she works at Giant and knows a lot about me, and gives me non-denominational holiday cards. This woman knows exactly what I order, I don’t even have to ask anymore and if that was all she knew I would just say she is really good at her job. But, she also knows my birthday, what I do, what city I live in and my dating status. While this is not entirely normal I don’t really have a problem with it, I can use an ego boost as much as the next guy. So, if it comes from the deli lady who happens to slice my Boar’s Head Turkey just the way I like, well I will take that every time. After all, she is right, it is a shame that I am single.


Lately, I have encountered a lot of my peers who seem to feel trapped. These peers are all young (between 22 and 30), healthy (no serious illnesses), single (not married, no kids) and educated people (all have college degrees). Yet, so many of them feel trapped in their spot in life right now, whether it is by the job prospects that their degree offers or a wrong post graduate course of study, a wrong town or a wrong career they all have these feelings that they are stuck in a bad situation and can not get out of it. But, that is not the truth of the situation, no the truth is that none of us at this stage in our lives are trapped unless we allow ourselves to be. I bring this up because I have at times felt this way before realizing that what I thought was a trap was really just taking the easy way out, staying the course is safer than taking a bold step toward an uncertain future.

Whenever one of these peers contacts me and says these things to me I tell them all the same things. You are not trapped, you are young, virtually responsibility free and if there was ever a time to take a chance its now before your life gets filled up with mortgages and marriages and kids and divorce and promotions and country club memberships. So, to all my friends who are trapped by their own complacency, move on. Seriously, you may not like what you are doing now but you are scared to death of the unknown, everyone is. And that is fine because there are no guarantees in life. But, one thing I have realized is that at some point you either need to stop complaining or make the changes you are talking about.

Oh yeah, what you are doing now might feel like it’s the only option but the truth is that it is just the safest option. It’s funny; some of us stay the course while dreaming up these unimaginable realities instead of just looking for a practical way to move towards what we really want. So people take a leap, even if it’s a safe one, but if you are unhappy it’s better to do something over nothing. That or come to terms with what you are doing and realize you chose to be there.


Mid-Season Review

With most TV shows going on hiatus I figured it was time to take a look back at the season so far. It really has been a good one.

Shows I really tried to like

Jericho – Great concept, but when Skeet Ulrich is the star its really hard to take a show seriously so I gave up on it. It did remind me of the Stand in the way it looked and felt but I just couldn’t get into it.

Lost – I tried, but only made it through 2 episodes before my interest once again waned. This one actually hurt because I loved season 1. Then about halfway through season 2 the show seemed to lose focus and my interest level dropped. Going into this season it looked really exciting and after one episode I thought I was hooked but after 2 episodes it was over and I was watching One Tree Hill instead.

Shows I am still giving a shot but might be on the way out

Studio 60 – I keep watching every week but I think its just habit because I am already watching NBC at the time. And every week I watch the show and at the end get the same feeling, “eh, that was ok”.

Bones – Another habit show. I started watching because it was after House and now that it isn’t I just record it and throw it on in the background when I do other things. Sure I keep recording and occasionally I even pay attention but it hasn’t been as good as it was in the past and I don’t like the new casting.

Numbers – It’s on Friday nights so I never watch it when it’s on and since it’s on the DVR I keep watching but it really isn’t anything special. Still I will keep recording and keep watching hoping they put out some good episodes the rest of the way.

Shows that are new favorites

Heroes – So far this has been right up there with my old favorites. The storylines are great, the characters are intriguing and it is finally coming together. I can’t wait for this one to come back in six weeks.

Friday Night Lights – For a show based on a movie I hated I could not be more surprised at how good this show is. I love it, I think they do a great job of combining all the elements of small town life, big time football and being a high school kid. It all just keeps getting better.

Shows that are going strong

House – I hate the new cop angle but the rest of the show is as good as ever. The drama between House and his coworkers is tense and the cases are always interesting.

Veronica Mars – The rapist storyline was a little odd but Kristen Bell is fantastic and the show has been very tight and running strong for the new CW.

One Tree Hill – The most ridiculous show on TV, last week it featured an 18 year old having a heart attack and his half brother’s pregnant wife getting hit by a car. All of this takes place in the high school of the town where the mayor killed his brother and the high school basketball star shaved points. And I didn’t even mention the stalker or the teacher-student sex scandal or the school shooting or the druggy mom. Simply great television

Las Vegas – Another extremely ridiculous show based on a casino in an over the top town. The show doesn’t do a lot but what it does it does well.

Grey’s Anatomy – I hate Burke and Cristina and even dislike Meredith and Sheppard sometimes but over all the show, and its cast, is still one of the best on TV. Plus Alex and Izzie make a great pair, but I am really looking forward to the Alex and Addison story arc.

Shows that are better than ever

Smallville – Admittedly this is my favorite show on television and it has been for some time. When I first saw the show I was visiting one of my best friends at NYU and stayed up all night watching one episode after another. This season we are so close to Clark being Superman that you can almost taste it. Plus the show has given more air time to Chloe, a great character and actress, and they are bringing in great guest characters from the DC universe. If you are comic fan or just a lover of super heroes this show is at its best right now and you should not be missing it.

OC – For two years I refused to watch this show, claiming it was a second rate 90210, but a lot of my friends were hooked and so one winter I watched the first 2 seasons in maybe a total of 5 days. Since then I have been hooked even though last season sucked I kept watching. Well it paid off with this season so far. Just about every move they have made so far has been great; Taylor and Ryan, Caitlin and Julie, Summer the hippie and even the addition of that Che character. All amazing moves and a show that is completely revitalized and no longer bogged down by dumb Mischa Barton.

Clearly, I watch too much TV but with DVR making it so easy to record and watch all the great shows that are on television I don’t know what I would do without it. So, that is how I feel about the TV season so far. During hiatus I will have to find something to do so if someone could recommend a good show to give a shot on DVD I would appreciate it, after all that is how I first got into this mess.


Overwhelming joy leads to mass Insanity

It has been a crazy roller coaster these past few days. All day Saturday I did everything I could to keep my mind off the SEC Championship game that was going to be on later that night. I watched all the other games I could and eventually I gave in and set out for the bar. USC-UCLA had already started and we were just waiting for them to take over the game, but as the Gators came out to start their game USC was still struggling. But our game went on the big screen and the sound went off the USC game. So, the Gators became the focus and Percy Harvin, Reggie Nelson and the rest of the crew did their part to make the USC game not matter. That was until they actually lost. At the time it looked like the Gators would run away with the game, prompting Mitch to tell our waitress that he didn’t need anymore drinks because he was going to Glendale. Of course, following that bold statement the Gators gave up 21 points and it looked like we were going to be the second big team to fall and give way to the Michigan – OSU rematch. But, never underestimate Urban Meyer and his gutsy call, a fake punt from your own 14, saved the game. The Gators got it back together and went on to win their first SEC Championship without Steve Spurrier. The joy lasted the rest of the night and into the next day when the reality of another championship game set in.

Just like that, all day Sunday was a repeat of Saturday. When it was over it would be a perfect day, but it was a long one. I played video games, I ran errands, I caught up on a show or two from the week before and at 7:50 pm I began watching the Bowl Show. It only took 20 minutes to confirm the news that had been pouring in all day. It as UF – OSU in the BCS Championship game, thus the madness had begun. Since then arrangements to get to Glendale have been in high gear. Flights have already been purchased, hotels are being booked and every angle to get tickets are being exhausted and then the threshold for what one was willing to pay for tickets to a football game was raised. After all this will only be our third appearance in 100 years, the first in exactly ten years and who knows if the next time it happens we will be able to say we were there. So, when the Gators play the Buckeyes on January 8th I will be there someway, somehow and just for good measure I am gonna make a stop over in Vegas to cap off a great trip.

The beauty pageant that is college football is still the wrong way to decide a champion but it doesn’t make it any less special to win the pageant. The voting is over, now its time to prove we belong on the field. And the fans are all losing their minds, booking flights, hotel rooms and preparing their credit cards for exceptionally expensive football tickets.

It’s Great to be a Florida Gator


Long overdue but well deserved


Catching up

I feel like that’s all I have been doing lately. It is amazing what being out of town for 9 days can do to you. When I got home this week my DVR was at 93% and now it’s at about 45% but its mostly just Scrubs reruns. Although I am still behind on this week’s TV and have not even had a chance to watch the movies I just bought. But it isn’t just TV that I have had to catch up, there was laundry and shopping and reading and tasks at work. It felt like I was gone forever. I still haven’t uploaded my pics but today is game day and I am already in my mental preparation phase. Drinking out of my Gator home game coffee mug (I have a blue mug for home games and an orange game for away). Watching game day on ESPN and reading up on Gator Country while I wash my Grey Gator Shirt and later I will get dressed and head out to the same bar we have watched all the games at. I’m sure this whole routine sounds nuts but then again fan is short for fanatic and most of the SEC football fans I know are crazy.

GO GATORS!!!!!!!!