Archive for the ‘Life Musings’ Category

When I first started this blog, I simply was looking for a way to express myself, perhaps find a few readers or cause a laugh now and again. As time went on it became important to me to convey my feelings as I underwent a transformation from a religious teen, to a rationally thinking young adult. It was at that point, perhaps after I wrote the post Get With the Program in the summer of 2010, that I began to feel a need to explain my viewpoint. At that point I’d gone from someone confused about what means something to them, to someone who knows what doesn’t and what does. In any argument, the idea is always to convince others of your viewpoint, not to prove them wrong.

We don’t care about his viewpoint, only that he care about ours. I noticed at some point that whenever I spoke to someone religious about religion, unlike that of a typical argument, I’d walk away frustrated. I felt that I was talking to someone, who instead of believing he was right but respecting that I believed in my argument as strongly as he believed in his, I instead felt belittled for my beliefs. Many blog posts after followed, in which I spoke about the normal life, and tried to convey in a broad sense that the life I chose to live was normal, very much fulfilling and in no means foolish.

“And here I begin to feel irrationally angry with her. I believe YU is a vital organ of the Orthodox Jewish community and to publish such a guilt-ridden, neurotic article in one of their publications perpetuates a toxic culture for the whole of it. It’s irresponsible. When she writes about her shame and YU students respond in kind, I see it becoming that much harder for me, and others who have chosen a path other than that of Orthodox Judaism, to be taken seriously in our choices, to be thought of as mature adults making decisions based on well-thought out ideological differences, and thus, it makes it harder for us to maintain healthy relationships with our families and friends, because they think we’re on some kind of Rumspringa-style bender and need to be brought back into the fold.

So I want to make this clear to you, brothers and sisters (in the college-student-camaraderie sense, at the very least) – this is not what it means to leave Orthodox Judaism. This is what happens when we perpetually shut down discussions about alternative paths and alternative lifestyles. We are forced to communicate in these tragic half-truths in anonymous posts. I have lost friends because of my choices and I don’t believe that had to happen. It leaves a terrible taste in my mouth about the Orthodox world that I do not want to be there. Though I experienced some closed mindedness in my Orthodox upbringing, I have no illusions that those kinds of people are exclusive to Orthodox Jewry. I do believe they are not the majority there. I believe that the people who showed me friendship, love, and acceptance all my life did so not because I was a Jew, but because they were good people, good friends, and so was I.”

This article was a response to the original article published in The Beacon, YU’s newpaper, which made waves in the Jewish community. I felt that noone quite expressed so succinctly the ideas and feelings I had in regards to the misunderstanding between myself and many religious people.

I showed someone, a religious relative of mine from LA, and the response was something between a murmur of acknowledgement that the above excerpt isn’t foolish, I disagree with what you’ve showed me. When confronted with something so blatantly saying what they feel, and a perfect response to how we feel as mature adults, what else is there to say? And so I thank the writer of that article, whoever she may be, for enlightening others, and helping clarify myself.

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This is what happens when the photo I'm trying to upload won't work. I get frustrated, need to go act, and put any random image up.

As luck would have it, I’m filming the final episode of Coversity today in Maryland. I’d landed in NY from Burbank via stopover in Phoenix after burying my grandpa, and hopped on a bus to DC this morning where I was picked up and driven to the set in Rockville, Maryland.

Now, I’d grown up with certain things being romanticized. Such as film, LA (thanks mom), and…earthquakes. I’d heard countless stories of earthquake drills my mom had in school, where they would climb under their desks. In Israel, children do this out of fear form terror attacks. Here it’s from earthquakes.

I’d never felt one tho. My mom would always try to simulate that (more…)

There is a Hasidic family in Brooklyn. The father is a member of the Puppa sect. He sells Judaica items in a Synagogue in Boro Park, Bobov. They have many children, one of them with Down’s Syndrome. One daughter got married a while back, had a few children, and unfortunately fell into a coma during childbirth roughly two years ago and died a year later. After a short while, the younger daughter approached her father in regards to a marriage proposal. Her idea?

“My late sister has children. Will her widower husband get married to a random girl who will then be entrusted with the task of raising my sisters children? We know him [late sisters husband]. Let me marry him.”

Her father told her to ask him again in 6 months time. She asked, and the wedding was on.

Sadly, today was the funeral for a different daughter, only 22 years old who just passed away. Noone deserves to lose two children. Ever.

Thoughts on the marriage?

Let’s hope for more positive news in the coming weeks.

Actual, typical Craigslist ad for servers. I had some thoughts as I was reading it.

New Gastropub in NYC is holding open call interviews for Bartenders and Wait staff. With a 100 seat restaurant and 70 seat sidewalk cafe, we will be opening in mid July so candidates will need to be available to start training on Monday 11th July. We are looking for full time staff that are professional and have a genuine passion for the food and service industry. We are not interested in tip chasers. (Well why the fuck do you think people work as servers?) We will have a large selection of both draft and bottled beer. An eclectic wine and cocktail menu along with excellent gastropub style food. (eclectic wine list with excellent pubgrub, eh? I just chuckled. *Fart*)

Please Please Please only apply for these positions if you have the following list of skills and characteristics;
You will be (more…)

I was recently thinking about how cell phones, texting and technology in general has cheapened our existence, lessened the importance of a gesture, ruined the meaning of romance. In contrast to the world of film, where every action must be properly blocked, every word understoood, listened to, and respected. Evey moment of silence valued, every second of utmost importance. Every element of your surrounding set up to make the most of that moment in time, preserving it forever on film.

The scene is set in rural America somewhere. The year is 1979. The set lit with a musty afternoon light. A young college student returns home for a bit of R&R after the death of his long time girlfriend Emily. He was a quarterback, she, a cheerleader. He walks into the room, drops his duffelbag on his bed. A poster of Farah Fawcett hangs on the wall. He turns to peer out the window, at the children playing innocently up the road, noticing the simplicity of their world, wishing things could be different, when he notices a picture on his dresser. Brushing off the dust, it’s a picture of him and Emily. It was right after they met, in senior year of high school. They’d had a fight, each said hurtful things, she finally storming out in tears. Realizing the stupidity of their argument he’d asked her roommate what her favorite flowers were, gone to her house, gotten past her Dad, and given her the flowers. She threw them on the floor chasing him out of the house. Before she slammed the door on him, he apologized, told her he loved her and if she can get past their differences, she should meet him a the Shane O’Leary Memorial Field behind their school the next evening at 7, otherwise she should never see him again.

She showed up.

Today, in 2011, that scene would’ve been interrupted with some annoying sorority friend of hers telling her what to do via text. Even worse, it couldn’t have happened, because nothing is certain. Everything would’ve been arranged through texting, and either party could’ve do continue

With the advent of sites such as Twitter, rumors have the potential to become news stories. Whether or not it actually happened, it’ll always be part of history. There’s currently a big trend on Twitter about Amy Lee being dead. For those of you who don’t know her, oh well. I personally love her music, I think It’s dark, with a pleasant edge to it. If she turns out to be alive, it’ll always be known and discussed among her fans, and on sites that have her biography, as “the death hoax”.

Think back to any Wikipedia page you’ve recently seen. Most have events on them that re so trivial, so minor, almost a blip on a persons life, yet they become etched in the memories and on the web pages of the day.

Just my midnight thoughts on the advantages and dangers of instant news.

sometimes, change can be a good thing

Traditions can sometimes be nice. Rules helpful. Both meant to be broken. Some were never meant to be made in the first place. Such as:

1. Poking.

I’m referring to Facebook poking of course. The other type of poking should be avoided at all costs. (Even if it means showering without soap.) I mean, if you’re too shy to message that girl you haven’t spoken to in a while, you think poking her will help? It’s like typing a “period” when a girl hasn’t texted back, so she’ll see you texted her. Then you pass it off as an accident. Lame. C’mon we know you do that.

Bottom line: It’s old, pointless, and should definitely go!

2. “Please listen closely as our menu options have changed.” 

I don’t call you that often. And even if I did, I certainly wouldn’t memorize (more…)

Came across this on a blog. I couldn’t agree more.

A Proposal: Let’s Stop Making ‘Wedding’ One of Life’s Key Check Marks.

by Joy Engel on April 27, 2011

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you that I’m officially interested in the Royal Wedding.

I tried to keep the cynicism alive, I really did. But it’s hard to be anti-Royal Wedding while also being friends with Chiara and communicating daily with a colleague in London. And once I realized that being interested in the Royal Wedding essentially means day drinking and talking about fancy hats (two of my favorite pastimes), I was all on board.

Like all short-lived obsessions, I’ve thrown myself into this. I watched the Lifetime movie, I read some articles about their history and crowned myself an expert on Wills and Kate. I think they’re nice. I think they actually love each other. I think she has glorious hair. And that’s a lot for me to think about a couple I will never actually meet. Let’s have some more champagne.

My wedding enthusiasm is (more…)

Art and Jews

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Life Musings
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Wait...What??

Anonymity and blogging: We all love it. It allow us to write more freely, to express ourselves more clearly. Many of my friends know who I am, and certainly if you saw my Facebook feeds, you’d know, and that’s just the way it is. Which is perfectly fine. I like to call it semi-anonymous. Meaning if you know, keep it to yourself. That being said…I’ve been busy lately, which is why  haven’t blogged in close to a month.

Never mind that though. Art: What is it? Why do we love it? Why do some of us scorn it?

Jews have a love hate relationship with it. Some look down on it, some are actively involved in making it.

I recently finished filming a very intensive 6 day shoot of a 25 minute short film, directed by a young but very talented director. We worked endless hours each day, giving it our all until wrapped. We were exhausted, yes. But also exhilarated. Here we all were, doing what we liked. We all appreciated the fact that art was being created, minute by minute. It wasn’t just the idea of perfecting the character. It was also acknowledging that the talented gaffer (lighting guy), the sound mixer, who came recommended as “the best sound guy he knows” by the sound mixer on Godfather, and all the crew’s work, both pre and post production comes together to form this amazing thing we call a film. Bit by bit, (more…)

Generations have changed. It’s true. There’s a lot to complain about the way we young folk are, yet at the same time I’m celebrating. Yes we are far more decadent than my granpda’s peers probably were. But in essence we just have have different quirks. Let me illustrate with one quick thought:

When my grandpa was a kid he had a practice of giving a girl a wedding ring and then having children. At my age I much prefer to see if the baby is as awesome as I am, and only then give her a wedding ring, sort of as a thank you gift.

Now who’s the one with the quirks now?