Category Archives: Holidays

Goodbye 2011

I’ve spent the last hour preparing myself for this coming year, what I’ve been calling 20.12, by writing a personal mission statement to help guide my way on this next journey around the sun. So, as we say goodbye to 2011, I thought it’d be fitting to take a moment to reflect on the past year. Here are some of my highlights, in no particular order.

  • I completed my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification and teach a weekly yoga class at YouTube.
  • I sailed the high seas with 2,000 of my closes friends on Jam Cruise.
  • I held my newly-born nephew.
  • I let go of the last remnants of things I’d been holding onto from my marriage.
  • I spent a week in Black Rock City, NV for the 20th annual Burning Man Festival
  • I traveled to Brazil, Argentina, New Orleans, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Honduras, Mexico and New York.
  • I met Hillary.
  • I went to my second Jazz Fest in New Orleans. It was a touch classy.
  • I have identified myself as a Pantheist.
  • The High Rollers won the WAKA SF Kickball Championship.

Thank you for a wonderful year, 2011. I look forward to enjoying everything that 20.12 has to offer. Happy New Year, Ethernet!

Not this year, Passover

I’ve tried and I’ve given up. I don’t like it, but more than the challenge the frustration has gotten to me. Trying to find Matzo in San Francisco is ridiculous. I went to four different grocery stores — all of them are sold out of pretty much all of their passover goods except for matzo meal. I am continually offered matzo meal, as if this is some kind of consolation — it’s not.

With everything else going on with my diet right now, I’ve decided that it’s ok to not keep kosher this year — but I still feel pretty terrible about it. We’ll be hosting our second annual seder at Scott & Katie’s house this year — which should be fun as always.

Two Thousand Zen

I can clearly remember when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2010 — as I was very glad to see that 2009 had finally come to a screeching halt. Coming off one of the worst years that I can remember, I had high hopes and aspirations for 2010.

I soon learned that many other people felt the same way about 2009 and were very glad to see it go as well. When talking to my friend Pondi, she was telling me about her dreadful 2009 and was very excited for what her friend had dubbed “Two Thousand Zen.” From that moment on, I decided to make “Two Thousand Zen” my mantra for 2010 as well… and I feel as though it was a success.

Continue reading Two Thousand Zen

The Thanksgiving Holiday

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve enjoyed cooking more and more. I can recall a time when I used to believe that if it took longer to cook/prepare a meal than it did to eat it — it wasn’t worth the time. I’m embarrassed that I had such a philosophy, but then again I was in college and I had to focus my brain cells on more important matters like calculus and the time value of money.

I think it’s become official, though, that Thanksgiving is now one of my favorite holidays. All of the cooking, eating, wine, desserts, people, etc. It’s just so much fun! For clarification, when I’m saying one of my favorites, I’m talking top 3. While Christmas, specifically, is not in the top 3 — the general month of December is. The holiday spirit is fun, even if I don’t officially celebrate Christmas as a formal holiday.

In any event, one thing that I really like about Thanksgiving is the national celebration that occurs. Everywhere in the country, at some time between 2-5pm local time, families are sitting down to eat turkey, stuffing and other Thanksgiving treats. Because there is no religious affiliation with Thanksgiving, it really is unlike any other holiday in that you know where everyone is going to be at a certain time. Even if Christmas was non-religious, families still celebrate at different times throughout the day. Some have Christmas morning, others go to someone’s house for an early afternoon celebration, while still others have Christmas dinner and celebrate in the evening.

Thanksgiving is the only holiday where you know what people are doing all day: Football, cooking, and eating. Yum. This year has come and gone, but this just kicks off the holiday season. Woot!

Ghost Town

Man, it’s been a real ghost town around here and I guess I’m really the only one to blame. All of my various ranting nonsense has been conducted via Twitter that I’ve completely neglected my readers of the diatribe. I apologize. 

That being said, it’s time to start gettin’ thankful. The best way, as I’ve found, is to over-indulge yourself with Turkey, Stuffing, Potatoes, Pie and other delicious goodies.

So get to it. Oh yeah.. and don’t forget the wine!

Back in the Saddle

While I am still in Boston, it is the New Year and I thought it was fitting to write a little something up here on the Diatribe. I wish I had some sort of tally for the number of towns visited, miles driven, gallons of gasoline consumed, dollars spent and other miscellanea, but I don’t. It was a fun (but exhausting) vacation — and I’ll be happy to head back to California.

The weather is just starting to turn cold back here in The Bean — a whopping 17 degrees predicted for the high tomorrow.. it’s time to head back to California. Bogart adapted well to the flight out to Boston — and from what I hear — was even better on the flight back.

It was great seeing everyone and I just wanted to say Happy New Year to all the Diatribe Readers out there.

Christmas Music

So, I’ve found that for some Jews.. there’s a fascination with Christmas songs. I am one of those Jews. Ever since High School or so, I’ve fell in love with Christmas music. Thing is, I’m not talking about Christmas Carols or anything.. I’m talking about what I have dubbed ‘Alternative Christmas Music.’ What I mean by that is Tori Amos doing “Little Drummer Boy”, U2’s “Baby Please Come Home (For Christmas)”, The Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping”, and even Fountain of Wayne’s “I want an Alien for Christmas.”

But, I think my favorite Christmas tune has to be Jill Sobule’s cover of Robert Keen’s “Merry Christmas from the Family..” Here’s a YouTube Clip of the Song (No Video) , but you can find a tribute via lyrics are after the jump..
Continue reading Christmas Music

Who are these people??

There’s one thing I’ve never understood, and that’s the appeal of Black Friday. So, while I might be able to understand the sick, twisted fascination to go out and buy holiday presents on the craziest shopping day of the year.. but who are these people that get up at 5am to hit up target and “beat the crowds?”

Why bother? It seems to me that these sorts of people either have nothing to do and get off on this sick sort of behavior or just want the bragging rights of being able to say “I went shopping on Black Friday and lived to tell the tale.” Do you want a bumper sticker or something?

Please. Give me a break. Stay Home — there’s plenty of time to shop tomorrow.

It’s A Wonderful Question

I realize this post is a few days late, but (a) it’s been a busy week for me, and (b) it’s the only blog idea I’ve had that’s just been gnawing away at me. Forgive me as I discuss one of my favorite topics…

As I have mentioned here previously, I am a certified fanatic of It’s A Wonderful Life. I will never tire of this film. It’s not as densely packed with rich layers as Casablanca, but there is enough there to allow me to find new nuances that I hadn’t noticed before. I love how dark it is, specifically for a 1940s film. I’m not a classic film expert, but I don’t really think too many movies or TV shows from that era (not counting mysteries, of course) are as dark. I mean, George Bailey yells at his children and makes them cry, angrily asks his wife, “why do we have to have so many kids?!?,” gets drunk alone on Christmas Eve, and then gets punched out by the husband of a woman he yelled at.

I realize not too many of you out there are familiar with IAWL. It was about 10 years or so ago that the world changed and you couldn’t find this movie spread across the dial at any time night or day. NBC bought the rights (not sure if this includes international rights) and airs it once or twice in December. Before then, since its rights had lapsed into the public domain (meaning that no one owned it), it could be aired for free. And it was. Oh boy, it was.

Here’s the question I alluded to in the title: what did George end up doing with all that money at the end? His Uncle Billy accidentally gave $8,000 to Mr. Potter (do we ever find out his first name?) at that bank on Christmas Eve and then Mary Bailey went around Bedford Falls alerting everyone that George was in trouble. She must have spoken to Uncle Billy, because there’s no other way she would have known that it was a money issue that got George so upset. So we see all of our favorite Bedford Falls residents pour into the Bailey home with money to help George and the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan.

It’s possible, but not probable that the town contributed the sum of $8,000 to get George off the hook. But then Ernie reads a telegram from Sam Wainright in London instructing his company to wire George “up to $25,000.” So, what happens if George ends up with $30,000 – $32,000. Does he get to keep the balance after paying back the $8,000 that Uncle Billy lost? When Harry Bailey toasts his brother as “the richest man in town” we’re sort of led to believe that George will get to keep all that money, right?

When I was younger, I never gave it a second thought that George would get to keep all that money and truly become rich. But now I’m not so sure. This will have to be added to my list of questions for the afterlife. Paging Frank Capra…