Archive for April, 2013

Mansion Hunting

April 30, 2013

While (still!) looking for an apartment, I found Satis House.  It looks as if you’d need to bushwhack just to get inside.  A little bit of jungle adventure before the morning commute would do a person good!

Screen shot 2013-04-30 at 2.09.42 PM

“So unchanging was the dull old house, the yellow light in the darkened room, the faded spectre in the chair by the dressing-table glass, that I felt as if the stopping of the clocks had stopped Time in that mysterious place, and, while I and everything else outside it grew older, it stood still. Daylight never entered the house as to my thoughts and remembrances of it, any more than as to the actual fact. It bewildered me, and under its influence I continued at heart to hate my trade and to be ashamed of home.”


April 29, 2013

Simply by virtue of the “sender.”

Princess Diana Foundation

The County Hall,

Westminster Bridge Road,

London SE1 7PB United Kingdom

Dear Cash Grant Beneficiary,

The Princess Diana Foundation has awarded you a cash Grant/subvention of £1,500,000.00 GBP (One Million Five Hundred Thousand British Pounds) in a random selection programme involving 850,000 email addresses from shop’s cash invoices.

Kindly find below your Qualification Numbers:

Award Number: PD87276220645FN

Reference Tag Number: (PD-866-87F)

The Princess Diana Foundation is an independent grant-giving foundation established in September 1997 after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, to continue her humanitarian work in the United Kingdom and overseas. We are a registered charity organization under the English law.

Our Mission: The main objective of this random selection program is to reach out to individuals outside the United Kingdom by empowering and making notable changes in the standard and quality of living worldwide following the present economic problems. The Prince Diana Foundation is supported and assisted by a Committee of Experts.

To receive your Cash Grant/subvention; you are required to quote your Full Names, Address and Telephone Numbers to our executive claims consultant Officer, Professor Daniel Christopher:


Socorro Guimaraes

Online Cordinator


April 29, 2013

I watched the most heartwarming film a girl could ask to see on her birthday: Praying with Lior, a documentary about a young boy with Down Syndrome preparing for his bar mitzvah.  Lior Liebling davens with such joy and dedication that others in his synagogue––adult congregants––are often in awe of him.  But his father, who is a rabbi, wisely says at one point that he worries that others will project too much onto Lior.  “He’s not a rebbe, he’s just a kid.”  (Something to that effect.)  And while I don’t like the idea of equating disability or difference with spiritual elevation, I do think that in the case of Lior, his older brother (and “best friend”) was correct when he said, “If anyone is close to G-d, Lior is.”

Here is Lior’s confirmation speech, which he gave when he finished his formal Jewish education (some editing done):

“Shabbat Shalom, I am very happy to be here today.

“I am happy that I get to be confirmed. Being Jewish is important to me because that is the way I stay connected to God. Davening is the way I stay connected to God. As I said at my bar mitzvah, I love davening because I feel happy and excited. It makes a difference to pray because I feel different when I talk to God. When I do not talk to God I feel lonely. If I talk to God, I feel happy and I can enjoy myself. Sometimes I use words from the prayer book. Other times I use my own words. There are so many things to be grateful for. I am thankful for my family and for the things I have in my life.

“I enjoy the holidays because we get to celebrate and to sing a lot. I especially like Sukkoth because of eating in the sukkah and the celebration of Simhat Torah….

“This week is the parsha of bersheit. It is the parsha about the creation of the world. We learn that everyone is created in God’s image. That makes everybody equal — even if we have different beliefs. There are different religions. There are Jews, Christians Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and others. Muslims, for example, celebrate Ramadan. Christians celebrate Christmas. Jews celebrate our own holidays. We can appreciate each other’s holidays. My family even went with Buddhists to celebrate the Dali Lama’s birthday when we were in India. We have different beliefs and religions, and we are all equal. We can all speak to God in different ways.

“Everybody is created in God’s image. Each person has different abilities and talents that we offer the world. We each have our own blessings that we bring to the community. I bring to Mishkan my love, drumming, enthusiasm for davening, talking to people and being friendly. I hope to bring these to Mishkan for many more years.”

Overheard in SoHo

April 26, 2013

“I don’t care.  As long as it gets me out of the restaurant business, I don’t care.”

Hangover Island

April 24, 2013

While searching my new favorite website to find a good spot for my commune to relocate to, I came across this darling little isle in –– where else? –– Florida!

Looks like a nasty swamp.

Looks like a nasty swamp.

Name:Hangover Island

Region:Florida, United States

Location:30 minutes from Ocala



Type:Private Island

Price:USD 300,000 convert

Status:For Sale

Size:40.00 Acres / 16.19 HA


Come play where the Indians played, on your own 40 acre island with an Indian Mound over 8 feet in elevation. Find artifacts on your oyster shell beach like arrowheads, pottery, etc.

It is approximately one half mile to electricity on Pasco Island. Hangover Island is centrally located between the Crystal River and the Homosassa River on the beautiful Saint Martins River.

Crystal River is home of the world’s largest Manatee sanctuary; all the local waterways have manatee. They migrate right past Hangover Island. The wildlife and fish populations abound, that’s why they call this The Nature Coast of Florida.

The St. Martins River has a marked channel – it is approximately 2 miles to the Gulf of Mexico and one mile to the town of Ozello. The quaint waterfront town of Ozello is located approximately 30 minutes to Ocala, 1 hour from Tampa, 2 hours from Orlando (Disneyworld).

Excellent inshore and offshore fishing and sightseeing.

The owner is motivated to sell and will also consider a trade for a mountain property in the Eastern US.


*Luckily for the owner I have a mountain property in the Eastern US I’ve been meaning to offload.


April 23, 2013

ID: i pussy out of everything

i’m a fucking coward

LB: me too

do you think that’s a taurus trait?

ID: hm good question

and i always always lie to save my own ass

LB: i’m exactly the same way

ID: i’ve always done that

when i was a kid

i would just lie over and over again to get out of something

LB: i once told my teacher that i had a mentally handicapped older sister to get out of something

so then i had to start going to the guidance counselor because they knew that was a lie.

but i’m so stubborn that i stuck with it.


oh my g-d

that is the funniest thing i’ve ever heard in my life

LB: what kind of 7 year old makes shit up like that?

ID: i have no idea

LB: i also wanted an older sister so badly that i thought the most plausible way to make people think i had one without ever having met her was that she was handicapped.

it seemed totally logical at the time


April 22, 2013

Has no one on the Internet yet made the connection that both the dude who taught his frat how to talk to Jewish ladies (Potential topic: “How terrible it was that you couldn’t eat bread during Passover (note: this is a week long holiday) last week”) AND the now infamous angry sorority girl (“Newsflash you stupid cocks: FRATS DON’T LIKE BORING SORORITIES”) both attend the University of Maryland?

Question one: what’s in the water down there?

Question two: why hasn’t someone made a simcha for these two yet?

UPDATE: shidduch.  Duh.  #ashamedofmyself


April 22, 2013

Last night on my plane back from the midwest (don’t want to be more specific lest the man start following me) I was sitting next to a very pretty, very sweet-smelling young lady who was writing in her journal.  Of course I snuck a glance.  The entry opened with the following: “Smoke weed.  Whoever said not to?  They’re mistaken.”

Happy belated 4/20.

Tiny Houses

April 18, 2013

I am deep in the apartment search right now and I came across this darling little old house that I was about to pounce on:

In the middle of our street.

In the middle of our street.

But then I realized that it’s essentially under the BQE (that’s a highway, for the uninitiated.)  For a moment there I thought maybe it could be the beginnings of a comedy, a la Woody Allen living beneath the Cyclone in Annie Hall, but that would be totally derivative.  Ah well––back to the grind!

Drinking with Gary Shteyngart

April 16, 2013

From an interview with Modern Drunkard magazine:

MDM: Back in the old days, that’s how it was. All the writers and journalists were drunks.

GS: Don’t get me started. It’s so hard to be a writer these days. It’s so antiseptic. We’re this sterilized profession, we all know our rankings to the nearest digit. There’s a few people that still keep the tradition going in Brooklyn. It’s a big problem these days. Journalists might drink more than writers.

MDM: They have a hard time admitting it though. At least in print.

GS: True. There are so few people to drink with. The literary community is not backing me up here. I’m all alone. There’s a couple of guys who are strong, but that’s it. It’s so pathetic when I think about my ancestors. Give them a bottle of shampoo and they have a party. And here I am with the best booze available.

Dear Gary Shteyngart,

I will get drunk with you.