Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Petey’s Spot
February 27, 2010, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Petey

Sorry if you’re creeped out by the thought of dog poop, but I just had to include this post, b/c I think it’s funny.  I’ve noticed that Petey has a favorite spot to poop, and what really cracks me up is that it’s this private spot, behind a low wall.  For some reason, I’m like kinda proud that my boy prefers a little privacy when he does his business.  (On a scale of 1-10, how weird is it that this makes me proud?)

He’ll poop someplace else if the need arises, but the wall is near the start of our walks, so if he has to go, he’ll time it so he can “drop his kids off at the pool” right there, every time.  Sorry, but LOL!


Hamantaschen w/ Samadar & Jeremy
February 27, 2010, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Friends | Tags: ,


My friends Samadar & Jeremy invited people over on Thursday night for a pre-Purim get together.  It was totes fun, especially since I was in the middle of my hardest-working week ever and had just come from my friend Jean’s, helping her w/tech support as she gets used to using Excel, Outlook and webmail while taking Internship Coordinator duties from me for my main nonprofit client. 

Rebecca, Hayley & Ariel and the Becker-Barkins were all there.  S0, were the best damned hamantaschen I’ve ever tasted in my whole life!  Gotta hand it to the Israelis.  I’m a carbohydrate and high fructose corn syrup, and trans fats coinnoiseur, and I much prefer awesome fluffy white cake and buttercream icing like on Magnolia or Billy’s cupcakes to hamantaschen, which were just always too bland for me.  But these were sort of minis, and it was all about the center filling: huge mushy dates (w/anise for kick!), apple filling, chocolate chips in vanilla pudding.  Plus, the outside was nice and crumbly.  Just superb. 

Besides having a fantastic personality and being a stellar friend, Yoda Jeremy is also an undiscovered artist.  Just look at this huge canvas he painted for Samadar (they are engaged).  What I find really impressive, is it looks just like her – not b/c of what he did paint, but precisely b/c of the open spaces he carefully did nothing to.  I mean, that nose is herand it’s two dots !!   But it’s the exact right two dots.  To me, this is talent in the extreme. 

Does anyone feel like they're being watched?


Finally, gotta add that we played some PlayStation 3 off-road game, and it was just incredible.  Look, I’m a guy whose experience w/video games kinda died after Missile Command and Time Pilot left the scene.  I know all about how games like Guitar Hero, The Sims and tie-ins w/films like Avatar are huge business, but I just haven’t played any of them for myself. 

But suddenly this game was on Jeremy & Samadar’s High-Def TV, looking so gorgeous, and I had to ask to play.  It was awesome, a real highlight for me.  We all especially loved the schadenfreude of watching the guy fly off his motorcycle  and through the air after smashing into a big rock.  Bam! 

Suddenly Getting It
February 27, 2010, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Petey | Tags:

Happy news on the Petey front.  It just started clicking for the boy this week.  No more accidents (of any kind) in the house or going down the stairs.  In fact – he’s even started holding it until we get out of our front garden area and going out on the curb.  (Important to me, b/c using the same spot in the garden smells the walkway up a bit, and I want to be a good neighbor.)  I was picking my battles and not even trying to get him to do this, b/c he was having such a hard time figuring out that the stairs and lobby were off-limits, that I just wanted to praise him for going anywhere outside.

Taking that into account and the fact that he’s being a good boy unsupervised in the apartment w/ free reign, and I just feel like – voila! –  it took as long as it took, and now he’s suddenly gotten down the routine and figured it out for himself how things work.  I’m so proud of him (and happy to have gotten to this easier phase).

February 27, 2010, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Friends | Tags: , ,


Last week my niece turned two.  Of course, I wasn’t able to be there at her party, but I did Skype my her with my brother and sister-in-law, and it was a really great conversation.  They thought to have her wait to open my gifts until the conversation, so I got to see her reaction! 

I bought her two things – including a Melissa & Doug stamp set.  But that’s not the one she got excited about.  I also got her an 8-foot diameter parachute – for flopping around with friends like they do at Gymboree.  Well, my sister-in-law Lauren opened it up for her, and she loved it immediately !!!  They played with it for a bit, and then she gathered every single toy she owns and placed them on it (which apparently was a total hoot for her). 

This brought me so much joy to see her reacting this way.  Not seeing my family and friends in the flesh is far and away the most difficult part of living in a foreign country.  But it was truly heartwarming to know I had involved myself in her life in a way that is bringing her happiness.  

My mom babysits her weekly, and she also reported that Alexa is still loving the chute.  Here’s some more pics of her playing w/it, and also of the rest of family – now that I’ve finally found this elusive Skype screenshot folder! 

Lauren & Alexa play w/the parachute.


Lauren taking the 'chute out of its bag.


My niece being flat-out adorable.


Playin' w/da 'chute.


Hmmm....what next? (cameo by her fave, Elmo)


W/her dad (my bro), w/whom she shares her birthday.


W/my mom, both wearing silly hats.


My awesome cousin Jennifer wishing me a Happy Birthday in January.


My Bestie Chip (aka Danielle) & her kids Maya & Jake.


BYE !!!

BYE !!!

Gay Purim Crackheads
February 27, 2010, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Exploits, Friends | Tags: ,

Not really, but I thought it was a funny title.

After my hardest-working week ever, I was thrilled to be able to join my friend Danny and head out to Ha Te-atron (The Threatre Club), for a Gay Purim Dance Party called “Express Yourself.”  This is the same venue where the bi-weekly party Big Boys is, that I’ve been to and written about on here.  The difference was that Big Boys is for men 30 and older, and this was open to both sexes (but still a gay event), ages 24 and up.

I went as “70s Gay Workout Guy,” and my costume consisted of a 6-day-old pornstache I’ve been growing, my Jewfro hair I’ve been growing out, some really gay short-shorts I bought from Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour and saving for exactly this kind of über gay happening, a too-tight t-shirt, headband, wristband and tube socks.

Let's get physical !! Physical !! I wanna get Physical....

I’m awaiting pics from Danny and another friend, which I’ll add when I get them.

Let me just tell you – the costumes were serious and all get out !!!  For secular adults in Israel, there’s almost no difference b/t Purim and Halloween.  For kids, it’s a bit different – there’s no trick-0r-treating, and there’s no emphasis on macabre (no skeletons, witches, ghosts).  But for the adults, it’s just an excuse to go to costume parties, exactly like in America.

And there were some super fierce and fun ones.  I’ll post some pics, but they were taken w/my BlackBerry camera, so they ain’t great.  I brought my real cam too, but left it in the car, b/c didn’t wanna bring two devices inside the club.  The immediacy of Twitpic trumped the quality of pics for the long-term.

They played a lot of my favorites – Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Madonna, etc.  My friends Russell and Eyal were there, too.  Plus, I met a deliscious and big-hearted adorable college-student, who fancied me.  Always nice what that that never happens.  Had an outstanding celebratory time!

So different from how I spent my last Purim: picking up a repaired Lenovo laptop in an Orthodox neighborhood and watching the drunk Frums be idiots. 

Say....VELVETA !!!

Free Reign
February 27, 2010, 7:43 pm
Filed under: Petey

I meant to include this post in my batch from last week, so this news is a week old, sorry.  It’s simply that I am not locking Petey into his crate anymore at night.  He still sleeps in there (b/c he likes it and that’s where his bed is), but the door is ajar, and if he wants to he can come out stretch his legs, do whatever.

I also tested some more waters and let him have free reign in the apartment twice when I dashed out to the grocery store for one or two items.  They were just 10-minute intervals, but he didn’t destroy any furniture or shoes or anything. 

You gotta start somewhere, and this is my way of working up to letting him have complete free reign when he is home alone in the apartment. 

The above video is unrelated, but it’s just a minute-clip I took of him working to get treats out of a toy I stuffed them into.  It’s a toy called a Kong that’s exactly for this purpose – to make it into a game for him to get out the treats and give him something fun to do when he’s alone or I need to be undisturbed or whatevs.  Only dog-lovers will probably enjoy it.

Workin in a Coal Mine
February 27, 2010, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Work

Hey, Guys – gonna bang out a few posts now, but they’ll probably be short ones.  I’ve had a great Shabbat, just sleeping the day away, and catching up on American Idol w/Petey. 

I soooo needed it, b/c I think I had the hardest working week of my life.  My ex-boyfriend     soon-to-be-ex-landlord     nemesis     dementor    soon-to-be-former-boss left for a month-long business trip on Thursday, and before he did I put together a huge, 400-piece outreach mailing, continuing a year-long project of introducing our NGO to various groups and agencies we feel are likely to support us (schools, law schools, NGOs, Fortune 500 diversity groups, LGBT community centers, more).  Each group got a different letter and press clip, so it wasn’t just the volume, it was the number of different moving parts to keep straight.

Another client is approaching venture capitalists next month to raise a new round of capital, and they are looking for media hits ASAP to be able to show potential investors.  So, in less than a week, I wrote multiple drafts of:

  • Two press releases
  • Three corporate bios
  • A “Q&A” press kit piece
  • 5 core messages (key internal document)
  • “At-A-Glance” (fact-sheet; another key press kit component)
  • boilerplate paragraph (to be included below all press releases)
  • ALSO:
    • creating multiple, targeted media lists across all mediums
    • drafting blueprint for online press room

That’s a lot of writing!  We will reuse and repurpose a lot of these documents for a long time.  But the ramp-up and creation of these key materials is time and labor intensive.  It requires not only brilliant writing, but a lot of thought as you try and crystallize and articulate the company’s story.  (Now, I have two days to put together a core “A” and “B” list of our top target bloggers to give a preview to in order to convert their attention into the media coverage we are seeking.  My work has been outstanding so far, and my strategy is solid.  But it was some days of writing for 11 hours straight, and I had to be at the top of my game.  The entire program is coming from my head only – it will succeed or fail as a result of my efforts alone.  There were times when I had finished a lot of writing for one day, but because there was so much more to do and such a hard deadline, I had to just take a break and walk the dog, then make some more coffee and get right back to it.

I also had my first work-session for a limited social media campaign I’m putting together for my newest client.  I worked on site, so the client could have input and feel that I’ve got their concepts down enough to turn me loose and have do the implementation work on my own after that.  It’s a really fun client, but again – the ramp-up phase of working with a new client is always the most labor and time intensive.

I’m proud of myself for staying focused and not quitting before the job was done.  I had to be very self-disciplined, b/c there’s no one but me in my apartment lighting this fire under me (that needs to be there).  Of course I want to remain humble and give props to God, not think I do any of this alone, etc. – but I definitely do my part, and I really “showed up for myself” and worked hard this week.  In fact, I’m not exaggerating one iota when I say I worked the hardest this week than I ever have before in my whole life.  What a wonderful feeling to know that I certainly haven’t peaked yet!