29 November 2012

Untraditional Thanksgivings

I haven't spent a Thanksgiving at home, with my family, eating typical Thanksgiving food for what is now the 6th year in a row. I kinda like it that way. I've grown accustomed to the lack of custom. No tradition is my new tradition! One year at the Zion Lodge, they ran out of turkey. So we had Thanksgiving ham. In Moldova and Romania, we ate American delicacies like A&W root beer and marshmallows from the US embassy. In Mexico: fish tacos. And last week in NYC: pork, flan, and other Dominican dishes. Next Thanksgiving, I want to throw it back a couple centuries and celebrate at Plymouth Rock. 

2008: Zion National Park
2008: Zion National Park
2009: Chisinau, Moldova
2010: Bucharest, Romania
2011: Gonzaga Bay, Mexico
2012: New York City

26 November 2012

Personality Disorder

Those of you who know me best know that I'm super into personality-type tests. Ever since we met a shrink who specializes in human temperaments, it's become a pastime of mine and my family's to psychoanalyze people. That's not weird or anything.

So obviously I was sold on the organization I now work for when I was required to take 2 said personality tests within my first 2 months. GOLD. 

Upon reviewing the results of the latest test, I have discovered that I'm a lot weirder than I originally thought. I've always had cause to doubt, but things just got a lot more real here. It's time for serious self reflection when something like this happens:

One of these things is not the like other.
Yes, that abnormally long line spanning across the Blue and Red Zones is me.
Let me take the liberty of interpreting this graph for you:

Well in case you weren't sure before, now you definitely know that I AIN'T NO FENCE SITTER, PEEPS! 'Extremity in all things' is the philosophy I prefer to live by. GO BIG OR GO HOME, YA'LL. 

20 November 2012

Jewish Christmas Spirit

The following quote is from my man, Ben Stein. We need more Americans like him in this godforsaken country.

PS: I'm proud to say that I have served this man a burger at the ol' Bottle Bay Resort & Marina, where he was a patron. So I'm hoping that by having shared breathing space with him, his wisdom as rubbed off on me.

"Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart:

I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important? I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is, either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife.

Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. Is this what it means to be no longer young. It's not so bad.

Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to

(Source: Ben Stein's personal website, so no playing telephone here, people)

18 November 2012

Happy Sunday: Disaster Relief, or the Pure Love of Christ

Today's Happy Sunday post is brought to you by my conscience.
I sat here on my comfy windowsill bench and watched this and immediately felt guilty and lame for not being up in NY/NJ helping those who were hit the hardest by Sandy.
I'm so proud of my fellow Mo's up north for canceling church meetings every Sunday in order to help out with all the clean up.

Hurricane Sandy Helping Hands from Joshua Brown on Vimeo.

"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have no charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things but fail.

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure." (The Book of Mormon, Moroni 7:45-48)

08 November 2012

Election Shmelection

In the spirit of political elections and writing about Halloween a week after it's passed...

So I was Leslie Knope for Halloween. It's the perfect costume for the workplace. More importantly, it requires little to no effort, which is my main goal when it comes to creating a Halloween costume. The problem with going as a TV sitcom figure is that not everyone watches the particular show. The problem with going as Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation is that every woman in Washington, DC looks like her every single day. So naturally I was questioned by a suspicious and skeptical Chipotle employee when I showed up to claim my $2 burrito for all patrons in Halloween costumes.

If only Leslie Knope won the presidency on Tuesday night instead of Barack Obama...Any further political commentary from me will be found on Twitter and nowhere else.

My co-workers and I attempting election stress relief as the results come in...

Never heard of Parks and Rec? I'd like to think that I've converted thousands of wayward TV watchers to the show using this clip. Gateway drug, if you will.

04 November 2012

Happy Sunday: Adopt a child. Or 154 of them.

READ THIS. It's the perfect use of your day.

This woman is living my dream.

"...and [Jesus] too their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them....And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones. And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them." (3 Nephi 17:21, 23-24; The Book of Mormon)

Happy Sunday,