Monday, January 31, 2011

The Epitome of Hyperbole

In today’s crossword, one of the answers was “cicadas” (the insect that makes that long, weird noise in the summer). I never knew that this was the name of the insect. I always heard Mr. Jones say it, but just figured that it ended in an ‘r.’ Only because he had a thick Long Island accent, he left it off at the end (like going to get a haircut from the “baubuh” – don’t even get me started on the word ‘drawer’). Anyway, I finally figured it out and it helped me to solve the rest of the puzzle.

This occurrence reminded me of another story that happened to Mrs. Jones when she was just starting to drive. Because she grew up in a family of European immigrants, the letter ‘w’ was non-existent; in its place was a ‘v’ (“Vhere is my vallet?”). It happened one day that my mother was lost while driving, so she found a police officer to give her directions.

“How do I get to the Van Vycke,” she asked.

She soon found out that aside from people who did not grow up with a ‘w,’ it was not pronounced that way.

On a different, but related note, it’s often that way with people who think a word is pronounced based on its spelling. Erachet recently told me about someone she met that thought that the word “intrigue” was pronounced “intrigyoo” for much of her adult life (and she had a PhD!). I also know someone who mispronounced the word “paradigm.” In both cases the person knew internally that the words (pronounced correctly) existed, but never thought they saw it written, and probably would have gone through life thinking that a word was supposed to be pronounced one way if nobody would have corrected them.

So all of these stories got me thinking – are there any words that I think are supposed to be pronounced one way that I am actually pronouncing incorrectly? I would have no idea. But I guess the best way to find out is by asking others.

So here is the question I am posing to you, my 4 readers: Are there any words that you thought were pronounced one way that you found out later are actually supposed to be said differently? Words like “often” and “forest” don’t count; those are pronounced differently by different people and have multiple correct ways of pronunciation. Let me know what words you have. Either others will have a common experience, be enlightened because they were making that very mistake or make fun of you because it was the most ridiculous verbal mistake ever.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


It's kinda been on my mind of late.
It seems I don't have the time to do what I want anymore.
I used to be able to do things that I wanted. I guess I used to be in college where I had time to do things. What things? Well, I didn't realize what I could no longer do until some of my friends started doing things they wanted that I have no hope of doing in the foreseeable future. When will I be able to go to Israel? I'm no longer on a school-year schedule. I don't have a five week winter break. I don't have a summer vacation of two months.
Oh yeah. I am done with camp. While my brothers are already planning their summer vacation, I am having it just now hit me that I am not going back. I am working now.
This whole thing became most apparent when a friend of mine told me that he has a date set for the middle of the week at 4:00 pm. Do you know what I do at that time? The same thing most people do. Work. Who has a free minute at 4 in the afternoon?
But it's not just the big things. It's the things that shouldn't have to have time be made for. Things like a haircut need to be planned weeks in advance because that's the next time I have available to see the barber I like. I have tried other barbers lately and they were "meh" at best.
Here's the issue: I go to work every morning at 8:00. I have to get up at 7:00 for a minyan, earlier if I want to shower, shave, etc. Bottom line - I am unable to do anything until 7:00pm when I get home. I would like to learn and exercise* at least twice a week for at least an hour at a time, and oh yeah, eat every once in a while. By the time I collapse in my bed at night, I am exhausted and can't even imagine getting up in a few short hours. But I do. Just so I can do the whole thing over again.
By the way, did you happen to see what I left out of this whole equation? Erachet. That's right. Between my crazy schedule and her inhumane schedule, we see each other much less frequently than we used to. I got really jealous of my afternoon-dater friend when he told me that he doesn't want to postpone the date because the next time won't be until two days later.
Now I don't expect you to feel sorry for me. I don't even feel that sorry for me. It's tough; I know. Everyone has their things they need to deal with. Everyone has difficult schedules to balance. Actually, I am pretty certain that mine is about the norm. But it's new for me, and until I get used to it, I'll deal.
But here's the point. I can't be the same guy I used to be. I can't come out to grab a shawarma at 10:45 at night anymore. I can't hang out as much as I used to on the weekends now. Most of that time is being spent with someone else. I simply ask that as a courtesy to me, the next time you see me, don't greet me with the phrase "it's about time." You have no idea.

*No wonder people are fat. Who has time to be thin? Between working, learning, and spending time with people, who has time to eat anything that takes less time to make than opening a box of cookies?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Skeleton Feeling

It is well documented that the greatest feeling one can have while eating is the cold sensation one experiences when having a drink following a long period of time of not drinking. It will often happen that I will take a drink in hopes that the feeling will come, but more often than not, it never happens. However, thanks to my not drinking coffee like the rest of the working world, yet still wanting to be there for “cooler-talk,” I have discovered a drink that works 60% of the time every time.


That gloriously refreshing beverage that we all pour over our cereal in the morning is also the purveyor of that oh-so-refreshing feel.

So why am I telling you this? Well, aside from it allowing you to have that feeling whenever you so choose, I needed to write about something that I could ramble on about. This is because I am trying to teach myself how to touch-type.

“WHAT,” you yell out as you choke over your newly-poured glass-o-milk. “You can’t type?! How do you live?!”

I get by. But no more! As of today, no longer will I hunt-and-press. No more copy-and-pasting two-word phrases because it takes less time. From here on in, I will look at the screen as I type! I don’t care how long it takes to write a blog post!

Now, I need something to drink. Who’s got a beer?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jelly Bean's Wedding Part IV

Okay, it's now time for the fourth and final installation of Jelly Bean's Wedding. I know what you're all wondering. What happened to the happy couple the night of their wedding? Well, I'm here to answer that question.
They got stuck. In the limo. Two blocks from the hall.
Okay, a few things you should know:
1) The hall was closed so they couldn't just walk back.
2) The limo had no divider so they pretty much stuck with William the entire night.
3) They ran out of gas at 5:30 in the morning, which meant that they also ran out of heat.
Okay, back to the story. Remember Mr. and Mrs. Jones? Well, they had pretty much given up on getting themselves out of the snow, so they tried to focus on others, namely Jelly and Mr. Bean. The Joneses sprang into action. They called CBS News and told them of the plight of their daughter. At 2:30 AM, Mr. Bean gets a call from CBS telling them that they were on their way. They were going to get them out of the cold and into a nice hotel!
"We're saved," thought the newly-weds. No dice. CBS's van got stuck.
Fast forward through a night of shivering and little privacy.
7:30 AM - They get out. Someone had told Mrs. Jones of a Bed and Breakfast in the area. So that's where they went. Except it wasn't really a B&B. It was someone's house where they converted some rooms and served Breakfast. The thing was THEY WERE OUT OF ROOMS! So they did the next logical thing - gave the Beans their room! That's right. They used someone else's bed. And not like a hotel. Someone's bed. Good times.
Well, the first night of shev'ah b'rachos were canceled, and we all heard the story at the Tuesday Night shev'ah b'rachos. Everyone is now fine, but are also legends.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Jelly Bean's Wedding Part III

After grappling with the idea of which story to do next, I have decided to tell you my story. what happened to Jughead's Hat the night of the storm? I'm glad you asked.
Let me preface this by saying that I got to the hall as the snow began. This was at a time when there was actual parking available without having to use the valet (I hate valets - I never use them). Additionally, Mr. Jones had run to the Home Depot the morning before the wedding to purchase a shovel for every car - smart man. The only foresight I had was to pack an extra change of clothing (this will come into play later as well). So, when I arrived at my car at the end of the wedding, it only took about 15 minutes to dig it out.
So, when I said that I had a car, what I really meant was that I had a minivan. Why is this important? Well, when you have room for seven in a snowstorm, you fit as many as need to be fit. I got six. This included myself and Erachet, Hotdog, Hamburger, and my grandparents (who have yet to be given a name - suggestions?).
Now in what should normally be a half hour - 45 minute drive, I have to say was moving quite well for the first 10 minutes. I mean, it was snowing heavily outside. So taking that into consideration, I thought things were moving quite well. This, of course, excludes the fact that my grandfather is a retired New York cab driver, who obviously knows the roads better than anyone else in the car. So once I informed him that I was quite familiar with the highway system of New York, he let me drive in peace. (If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you, but you'll have to ask my grandfather directions of how to get there. Eventually, he let up.)
Park. That's the position I left my car in while the city of New York shut down the BQE (also known as the Road Where Hopes and Dreams Go to Die - my rant against the BQE will be given on another occasion). So there we are, the six of us stranded in a van with my grandfather swearing under his breath, my brothers bickering in the back seat and my grandmother needing to use the bathroom. Not a bad first experience for Erachet with my grandparents.*
Additionally, I had to get out of the car every so often to clean off the windshield wipers which had snow freezing to them, making it very difficult for them to wipe anything at all. On one such occasion, I hear a honk from a car next to me. The car rolls down the window, and to my surprise, it is Mr. Bean's family from out of town. They were stuck in the same mess we were. Party on the freeway!
So now, let's get to what happens in the end. I will skip over what we did to pass the time, including having the whole car doing the YMCA. Finally at 1:00 AM, they reopened the BQE (we left the hall at 7:15). The first stop was at my grandparents' hotel. Actually, this ended up being our only stop. We had quite an ordeal getting there, seeing as I had never been there, nor could I see any street signs, nor was the GPS being all too helpful, nor were the buses that had gotten stuck in the snow being any helpful. We can combine this with my grandmother needing to use the facilities which let me tell you, is not easy for concentrating, and we end up lost multiple times all within three blocks of the hotel.
We finally get to the hotel where we need to stay because there is apparently nowhere on my block to park, nor is there anywhere in the city to park because Mayor "Third Term" Bloomberg decided not to plow anything. I wouldn't have even been able to get down my block. So we stayed in the hotel. Good thing I had brough that extra change of cloths.
Problem. There were no more rooms. All we had was the room that my grandparents had rented and the room that my aunt, uncle and cousin had rented. However, if you add our additional four people to the mix, sleeping arrangements become awkward. We divided the two rooms into boys and girls. There were only three girls, so splitting the two beds was not that big of a deal. Splitting two beds between six guys, though, is a little tougher. I got the floor. By the window. During a snowstorm. Without a blanket. Could be worse (that's for another post).
The next morning, Erachet, Hotdog, Hamburger and I decided that it was time to leave. After a group photo and a really bad breakfast of soggy muffins, we were on our way. Sort of. We had parked the previous night in an underground garage. Good news- we didn't have to dig ourselves out. Bad news- the road leading out of the garage was ice. And me without my four-wheel-drive. After several attempts at escape, and me getting out to try to pick at the ice with my shovel (thanks, Mr. Jones), my van allowed me to coerce it into getting over the icy hill, and off we were to my home.
I never made it. There had still been no plows down my block, and certainly no parking spots. We decided to drop my brothers off down the block; they went to the house and sent back a change of clothes and my tephilin father! Why? Because, if you remember correctly, Mr. and Mrs. Jones had driven their car into a snow bank. So we went to find their car on the side a=of another highway and dug it out.
Following that, I drove Erachet back to home and I decided to stay in her neck of the woods for the night - mostly because I had a place to park. The next day (Tuesday for those keeping track), I went to work, and following work, I went to one of the Shev'ah B'rachos. I still had yet to be home. Following the Shev'ah B'rachos, I drove Erachet back home with Jelly bean's car, because I my van was still by Erachet's house. Finally, I made it back home Wednesday morning at about 12:30. Luckily, Wednesday Night's Shev'ah B'rachos were in Erachet's town, so we were able to pick up my van. It took until tonight to fully recover from that wedding, ut I think I am good now. Bring on the next storm. Oh, and there are still more stories.

*The number one concern of anyone who knew we were stuck was for Erachet having to be stuck with my grandparents for hours with absolutely no escape. But by and large, my grandparents were not very difficult to be with.