Turtle Power

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The tale of the amazing traveling hat

About two months ago I bought a winter hat, which can be seen here. So what? Well, to put it simply, I love this hat.

Normally, I would not have bought this hat. I had first seen it at the North Face store on Newbury St. It was $25, not that much for a winter hat from North Face, but more than I wanted to spend. About a week later, I got my first incentive check from work. Incentives checks are monthly bonuses which customer service receives for various reasons. The checks vary monthly by how many phone calls we answer individually, how many leads we do, how many price quotes are written, how many e-mails are answered, etc.

After receiving this first check, I figured the perfect way to spend some of it was to get this hat I yearned for. Since buying the hat, I have received many compliments, it has kept my head warm, and it has overall treated me very well.

However, I can not say the same thing for how I have treated my beloved. I have dropped the hat in a store, to luckily find it later. I left the hat on a shelf in the library to thankfully find that a librarian had left it at the book check-out. But yesterday, I almost lost my hat for good.

I met my friend Suzy in Boston for a matinee. We had dinner together, then parted ways. To get back to my apartment, I had to take two buses home. I boarded the first bus, the 93 to Sullivan Station. When I first got on the bus, the extreme heat inside felt good compared to the frigid outside. But soon, I realized that my hat was no longer needed for the bus ride. I took it off, to put on my lap, instead of putting it in my purse which would have been the smart thing.

Upon arriving at Sullivan, I had forgotten about my hat, after all it has done for me. It must have fallen off my lap when I got off the bus. The minute I stepped outside, and my head was cold, I realized my mistake. I wanted to cry. I called the MBTA, but they were closed for the night, and they probably could not do anything anyway.

The 101 bus to my street was not coming for another 40 minutes. I stood there in the cold, without my hat to keep me warm feeling very sad. About five minutes before my bus was scheduled to arrive, a bus pulled into the platform. It was a different line than I had taken to get to the station, but the same bus driver! I ran up to the bus, and the bus driver reluctantly let me on the bus to see if my hat was still there. And there it was, on the floor, my beautiful hat smiling up at me!

I exited the bus feeling happier than I have in a long time. I know it is somewhat pathetic to love this hat so much, but who cares. I will henceforth (try) to never let that hat out of my sight again!

Friday, December 16, 2005

The New York Times feels my pain

As I recently complained, this time of the year is not a fun time to be a Jew.
Yesterday the New York Times published this article that showed that many fellow Jews feel my pain. Apparently, it is now "hip" to be a cultural Jew, but not religious (which I guess is what I am.) The whole article is good but some highlights follow below. (And by highlights I mean that I relate with what the article describes here.)

Mr. Tannenbaum said he tries to convey his feelings to his Christian friends by asking them to imagine this: "Everywhere you go strangers say to you, 'Merry Ramadan.' Anywhere you go you can't get into a store because people are bowing to Mecca. You'd be an angry minority. You'd be like, 'Enough of this Ramadan all ready.' "

In 1997 the creators of "South Park" mined the potential agony of being a Jewish child during December with the lament, "It's Hard to be a Jew on Christmas." By 2003 T-shirts that read "Jewcy" were selling like potato hot cakes, and Jewish hip-hop went from a simmer to a boil. On Monday VH1 will attempt to understand why Judaism is all the rage with a pop culture special called "So Jewtastic." An excerpt from the show's press material reads, "In an age when Madonna demands to be called 'Esther,' Jon Stewart is a sex symbol and seemingly everyone speaks a little Yiddish, it's never been hipper to be a Jew."

Over the last three years more and more young Jews have been flaunting their heritage, donning T-shirts that proclaim their Semitic roots, listening to the Hasidic reggae singer Matisyahu and climbing onto the celebrity-driven kabbalah bandwagon. And though many occupy the same Lower East Side walk-ups that their grandparents once did, they are not interested in quietly assimilating. They identify more with the cultural trappings of Judaism - the music, the cuisine, the humor - than with the teachings of the Torah.

"We ourselves are less observant Jews, but we are still very culturally Jewish," Mr. Steingart of Jewcy said. The comedian Rebecca Drysdale is of like mind. "My connection with being Jewish is not a religious one," she said. "It's cultural."

Mr. Neuman explained: "There's this emerging sense of new Jewish culture that is self-consciously postdenominational and largely devoid of religious context."

All right, I'm done bitching about being a Jew. Go Hannukah! (I'm not even sure if that is how you spell it. I am truly a bad Jew.)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas in a warehouse

Last night was T Snyder's office Christmas party. The company is moving offices in April. But as of now, the new office is still in the somewhat gutted out phase of planning. What better place to have our Christmas party than here?! Considering the party was here, it came together quite well.

Heather and I all dressed up.

Kendra and the bossman

Once people had a sufficient amount of alcohol in them, the dancing began.

Even THE T Snyder did some dancing!

And not this Snyder!

Unrelated silly picture with Sam upon arriving home from the party.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I Found a Reason (to go to Prague)

Who wants to go to the Czech Republic to get this breed of dog with me? Who's in besides Kristin?

On a different note: to anyone who is a fan of fruity gum, I highly recommend Trident's new Tropical Twist sugarless gum. I have to admit, I'm a bit addicted to it. The flavor lasts for a good hour, which is more than can be said for most gums these days. It contains Xylitol which is apparently good for your teeth in reducing plaque. The only negative (which some may consider a positive) is that the gum's fruity smell is far-reaching. I will by lying on the couch in the apartment, and across the room, Allie will be able to smell it. When I throw it in the garbage can, the fruity smell radiates out of the can. It is a magical gum.

Monday, December 12, 2005

One snowstorm down, infinity to go

I have officially survived my first New England snowstorm.

I left for work early Friday morning. The snow was not supposed to be heavy until around 9AM. By 7, it was already inches high, and enough for me to skid several times on the way to work.

Upon arriving to work, co-workers said that they heard the snow was supposed to turn to rain by noon. By 2, the snow had gone from snow, to rain, to hail, back to snow. Not only that, but there was a lightning storm to liven things up. It was announced during the worst of the storm that we could leave early.

I waited it out, and trekked out to my car around 3:30. The snow was up to my mid-calf in the parking lot. A wonderful (and cute) young man offered to shovel my car out. Then my boss came out, and drove my car out to the road for me. On the way home, I saw many cars stuck, with strangers helping the stuck cars out. I was amazed by the acts of kindness that snowstorms bring out in people.

A two hour car ride home, and 30 minutes of shoveling later, I passed out in my apartment. If this is just the beginning, this is going to be a looooooong winter!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Two things from my past, that will soon cease to be

Within the next two weeks, two things from my past will officially never make it into my future. One is being done for good reasons, the other because of greed.

1.) During my four months spent living in London, I would occasionally ride one of the famous Routemaster double decker buses. But tomorrow, because of inaccessibility to the handicapped, most of these buses will be retired. While I understand the reasoning behind the retirement, I do not understand why these buses have to all be retired. There are a number of bus lines that run in London that did not use that type of bus anyway. And since they were such a huge trademark of the city, it will definitely be a sad day in London. I am glad that I was able to ride the buses, while happily looking over the streets of London before they were put away.

2.) And speaking of sad days: In less than two short weeks, The Stone Balloon, a Newark, Delaware staple will be gone. And what will be put in its place? Pricey condos. Great way to make Main Street suburban. Grrrr.
Why is the Stone Balloon so special? In it's 30 plus year history, the Balloon has been host to annual Homecoming celebrations, a venue for bands to play, a place to hold charity events, and most importantly home to Thursday Mug Nights. These plastic mugs that could be bought at the Balloon for $10, would get you $1 beers, and $2 mixed drinks every Thursday nights. On top of that, there was also almost always a band, which were usually pretty good.

I loved how every Thursday night, Main Street, and the surrounding vicinity would be littered with students walking around with their mugs. I loved how at mug nights, you would run into a friend you hadn't seen in a long time. I loved how the bands would play covers, which are always great when you're drunk. I loved how Thursday's were all about "Are you going to Mug Night tonight?" While I would not go every week (usually about once a month), Mug Night's were always guaranteed to be a good time.

There has been rumors for years that the Balloon was going to be turned into condos, but it is finally true. Last year, the night of graduation, there was a "Senior Sendoff." As I stood there with my beloved mug, and my beloved friends, I got a bit misty eyed. I had just graduated, and this was one of my last nights at University of Delaware, and my last Mug Night ever. As the drunken seniors sang their last "Piano Man", I wrapped my arms around my friends trying to savor the last moments of college and of the Stone Balloon.

Thank you Stone Balloon for providing me with so many great memories. This article also sums up pretty well exactly what Newark is losing.

Monday, December 05, 2005

King Kong Walks With Me

I have tried to remain blase about this, but I think I am actually excited for the new "King Kong" remake.
Until now, I have remained only mildly interested in the movie. But, for some reason, seeing this picture of the film, and subsequent article in the New York Times, and I guess I am now officially excited for three reasons.

1.) As mentioned above, it looks amazing. While I was not really a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, I still think that they were made well, and it will be very interesting to see what Peter Jackson will do to remake this classic film. Plus, it stars Adrian Brody and Jack Black which is quite an interesting combo for a movie such as this.

2.) Junior year of college, I took a great course, "Film History." We spent a good amount of time studying the history of the original "King Kong" focusing mostly on how it was made. Knowing the history of the film will make it all the more fascinating to see how much film making has changed over the last 80 odd years.

3.) This summer, I was supposed to see "Red Eye" with Stone Groove, but alas I moved away before the film was released. So I have promised that I will see this movie with him when I am home for the holidays, and I am sure his excitement will fuel mine.

On a side note: Over the Thanksgiving holidays, my dear mother took a bad fall, and has subsequently been in terrible pain for the last week. I just wanted to say hope you're feeling better soon Mom!! And I'm sure she would love any get well wishes sent her way (by way of the comments section. Thanks!)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Come on, I dare ya!

I was flipping through the "next blog" feature on Blogger, and came across a hilarious post about work dares. It cracked me up at work, and I dare all of you at work to actually do these dares.

One Point Office Dares
1) Ignore the first five people who say "good morning" to you.
2) Groan out loud in the toilet cubicle (at least one other 'non-player' must be in the toilet at the time).
3) To signal the end of a conversation, clamp your hands over your ears and grimace.
4) Leave your zipper open for one hour. If anyone points it out, say,"Sorry, I really prefer it this way".
5) Walk sideways to the photocopier.
6) While riding in the lift, gasp dramatically every time the doors open.

Three Point Office Dares
1) Page yourself over the intercom (do not disguise your voice).

Five Point Office Dares
1) At the end of a meeting suggest that, for once, it would be nice to conclude with the singing of the national anthem(extra points if you actually launch into it yourself).
2) Walk into a very busy person's office and while they watch you with growing frustration, turn the light switch on/off 10 times.
3) Speak with an accent (French, German, Porky Pig etc) during a very important conference call.
4) Hang a two-foot long piece of toilet roll from the back of your pants and
act genuinely surprised when someone points it out.
5) During the course of a meeting, slowly edge your chair towards the door.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

'Tis the season to hate being Jewish

Ah, December. The weather starts getting a bit colder, marking that the official start of winter is soon to come. It is also the time when excitement hangs in the air because Christmas is just a few weeks away. Christmas lights start coming up on houses. Trees are put for sale. While for many this is "the most wonderful time of the year", I consistently dread this holiday.

As a kid going to school with very few Jewish people, I always felt like a bit of an outsider because of this. At the beginning of every school year, we would get two days off within weeks of each other. Most kids would be delighted by this. But not me. Instead of getting to play and enjoy my days off school, I was subjected to torture: a High Holiday service at synagogue lasting hours, and which were quite possibly the most boring things ever. I envied my classmates who could enjoy their days off, while I was subjected to stupid temple!

But what I most envied my non-Jew friends for was the fact that they got to celebrate Christmas. They got to decorate Christmas trees with their family. They got to wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas day and excitedly run down the stairs to open presents. While Hanukkah was fun and all, it was nothing compared to Christmas. (Although the Hanukkah where our cat Mittens set his tail on fire from the Hanukkah candles was a pretty good one.)

Since I have "grown up", I've done my best to jump on the Christmas bandwagon. Freshman year, my roommate and I had a "sexmas" tree where our ornaments were condoms. And now, Allie and I have a Christmassy plant with lights in our apartment. But its not the same as a real Christmas celebrated with family. So what's the solution? I need to find a nice non-Jewish boy to marry so I can finally attain my lifelong dream of celebrating Christmas just like most everyone else.