Thursday, July 24, 2014

ה' מלך, ה' מלך, ה' ימלך לעולם ועד

Been a while since I've blogged, commented on your blogs, or replied to your comments on mine, but this was too special not to share with you all.

Be inspired.

For the song and full lyrics of the second song, here it is.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Leave a Message after the Beep

There's an art to leaving a voicemail. Depending on who the person is in relation to you, the reason you're calling, how busy they are, when you're going to see them next, when you saw them last, how frequently you see them.... you get the point.

I used to be that guy who would leave the most discombobulated voicemails ever. Worse, I would apologize at the end of the voicemail for how horrendous the message was. It was bad. Some people were amused and thought it was "cute" (not the adjective I'm looking for my voicemails to be described as), others not as amused.

As it turns out, I'm getting better in specific circumstances. My cousin called me and I missed his call. This cousin hasn't called me in probably around 5 years, if not more. He's 6 or 7 years older than me, married with, er, 2 kids (around that anyway), living in a different city, and incredibly busy. It doesn't help that I have 400 cousins (ok, 70-80). It also doesn't help that I'm busy.

So, when he called, I was flattered that he thought to call me, annoyed that I missed him, and traumatized that I couldn't take him up on his incredibly thoughtful offer that was time sensitive.

When I called him back, a few moments ago, it went to voicemail. Shucks. Now what? How do you impart your feelings when there's no response to what you're saying?

Well, I think I acquitted myself quite nicely. Not that I'll know until I speak to him, but I covered all the points I wanted to make and did so in a succinct fashion.

It was a great feeling realizing that something I had been so horrible at in years past, was something that I had managed to work on and improve.

What was even more amazing about the feeling was that I had actively worked on improving my leaving messages skills better and not seen any results until today.

It's always been hard for me to apply the idea that water droplets can wear down a stone as a way to work on middos. Thanks to something as simple as leaving a voicemail, I can see just how applicable it is.

"Sometimes life gives us lessons sent in ridiculous packaging."~ Dar Williams (whoever that is)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Random Happenings

In the past few weeks, the following has happened:

  • Toiveled kitchen set. 6 months after I bought it.

  • Bought second kitchen set. For $25. (Princess Lea, don't yell at me...too much :-))

  • Toiveled second kitchen set.

  • Random two-day road trip. Went with 10 hours of notice.

  • BBQ in parking lot, presumably, illegally.

  • BBQ not in parking lot, but likely illegal spot.

  • Getting called out on taking advantage of a deal the store offers. What.

  • Ignoring multiple misdemeanors from horrible roommate.

  • People from one place calling ahead to the next about our imminent arrival.

If you want to read more about any of these things, let me know in the comments and I'll write it up for your reading pleasure.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In a Bind

A host of mine has a daughter who is looking for a job. I have a position open in the company that she fits. I spoke to the host and offered to give her a shot. 

I spoke to her (on her father's phone). She told me that she isn't sure if the particular work I have for her is a strength of hers. Rather than hire her on the spot, we agreed that I'd give her some work to do and we'd take it from there. 

I emailed her the work I needed done. I told her to call me so that we can discuss before she begins. 

Then, nothing.

2 days later I emailed her asking what was going on (nicely).


The next day she emails me asking for the lowdown. I emailed her back 8 minutes later suggesting she call me to discuss. 

Nothing. She has a smartphone, so it it's not like she needed to be in front of a computer to get the email. 

5 (!!!!!!!!!!!) days later she calls me. I missed the call because I rarely pick up the phone if it's a number I don't recognize. She left a message asking me to call her back and saying she'd call back later. 

She hasn't called back since.

Now, what am I supposed to do? I have a business to (help) run, and hiring someone who takes a week to call (when I told her off the bat we needed to discuss it on the phone), isn't good business sense. On the other hand, her dad is awesome and don't want to burn any bridges by telling his daughter to go fly a kite. 

I've hired people. I've fired people. I've turned down applications. But it's the daughter of a friend, and I don't think that's a tactic I can take here.

I understand now why mixing business and personal matters are not a good idea. I always understood the theory of it, but now I have the issue staring me in the face. And I have no idea what to do. 

What would you do?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

She can call whenever

One of my Shabbos hosts, a good friend, has 4 delicious children. One of them in particular is ridiculously yummy. She has the most adorable smile, the cheekiest demeanor, is precocious beyond belief and is by far my favorite.

The things she says, the way she says them, is just...yum!

So when I received a phone call from my friend's phone, and it was her on the phone, I swooned. We spent a few minutes talking, or, trying to, anyway.

Did I mention she's two and a half?

My friend told me that she had been playing with the phone when he offered her the chance to call anyone. Who did she choose? Me! Not her aunts, cousins, grandparents, but me!

Best. Phone. Call. Ever.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Marrying Up

Surprise surprise, I'm not perfect. I have my fair share of flaws, if you ask me, more than my fair share. Unfortunately, and fortunately as well, life isn't fair. God is though, and he decided that my share of flaws is what's perfect for me. Perfect for me, that if I overcome them, I will maximize my potential on this world.

When it comes to finding a wife, there are two trains of thought for what a woman can do for her husband. "Don't marry counting on her changing you" and "Marriage would help you overcome many of the challenges you face."

Well, that makes things nice and clear.

Are these two trains of thoughts meant for two different types of people? 

For myself, I think I know what would be better for me. I thrive under encouragement and support. That's just who I am. My internal motivation waxes and wanes with the frequency of the tides, or the rising and setting of the sun. One day I'm rocking and rolling, the next, to steal a Brooklyn phrase which is too fitting to ignore, "fuggedaboutit."

Yet, while knowing what's best for me, I feel incredibly stupid going into a relationship knowing that I'm counting on her to  help change me.

It gets better, for all of you girls currently shuddering in outrage, I have more. I'm not where I want to be with regards to my level of Judaism. I want to marry up. I want to get married to someone who shares my values, but is closer to the practice of those values than I am.

The colloquial "they" say that all guys marry up, but what's the norm for that "up"? Is there this enormous chasm between the two, with the girl patiently biding her time for her husband to shape up, or are the differences in religious practice minor and quick to change?

I know that I'm not where I want to be. For all of the great things about me, and I can say it, I'm a pretty good guy, there are so many things I see in myself that aren't up to par.

There are days where I'm 100% confident I'm ready to get married, and there are days where I'm wondering what the heck I'm thinking.

It's very disconcerting that, what is to most people, a very simple question, drives me crazy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

There's No Place like Home

I don't live with my parents. Haven't for years. Every year, Pesach, Sukkos and sometimes one other time throughout the year, I would end up in my home town. It's a wonderful place, with wonderful people. I like visiting and seeing all of my family and friends, but I'm exceedingly happy that I no longer live there.

As much as I enjoy going home for the Yomim Tovim, I enjoy coming back to my place even more. This year, more so than any other.

My sister was due Erev Pesach. So, my mom made Pesach at home, and then drove it in to the city where my sister resides... Lakewood.

Lakewood is a great place, by many standards. Unfortunately for me, most of those standards are not ones I share. Torah and halacha are of eminent importance, far more important than anything I can think of.

The buck stops there. Beyond the adherence to halacha and the value placed on Torah, me and Lakewood aren't the best of friends. We get along ok, tolerate each other, but I'm happy to leave, and if a city could have opinions on its visitors, Lakewood wouldn't be upset to see me go.

My siblings, bar none, have wondrous relationships with Lakewood. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they all ended up there.

Suffice it to say, I was not particularly pleased with the prospect of 1) Not going home and 2) Being in Lakewood for Pesach.

Suck it up, right? I did. I survived. But stepping into my place last night was the most exciting part of my Yom Tov- er, aside from the birth of a new, delicious, healthy nephew and the requisite Bris that followed.

There is no place like home.