Category Archives: Personal

Random personal notes and musings

Tomorrow is The Father’s Birthday.

In his honor, I have decided to make tomorrow a day of doing things that “build character”. This includes waking up early to exercise, drinking Diet Pepsi while hard at work. I’ll forgo the questionable hairdo though.

Happy Birthday to the Father.

Alive and kicking

Sorry about the lack of posts the past two days, but work really kicked my behind. It was so bad, I’d fallen asleep with a cup of green tea in hand

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both nights multiple times.

After an early AM headache today, things got a lot clearer. Feeling better.

Have a lot on my mind, but little time to type and share it currently.

Dinner with relatives

So Tuesday night my sister arranged for a “surprise” Birthday dinner for me at Japanese Kosher eatery Prime KO

I put “surprise’ in quotes, as the Little Brother indirectly tipped me off that something was up.

The attendees included Mr and Mrs. Curious Jew, Mr. Engineer w/ Mrs. 1L, Mrs. mother of the twins and her sister. (An assortment of cousins–I won’t use their real name here).

Though I’d had a rough day at work Tuesday (the reasons for which are not appropriate for this blog), it was fun to not only see everyone, but also to enjoy some really tasty food. While I’m not a sushi person, everyone who had sushi raved about the “freshness and flavor” of the fish.

Then The Sister had also Conspired to get me a birthday fruit bowl–as she knows how I feel about cake. It’s quite funny to see a bowl of fruit with a candle in it. Thankfully though my hair didn’t catch on fire (like at another table that evening).

In all a good time was had with family, and it helped me salvage myself from an otherwise rotten day.

Dear Neighbor

Dear unknown neighbor on the floor of my building,

On Thursday night, the aroma of whatever you were cooking wafted into the hallway

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and it smelled really, really good.

The odor was reminiscent of chicken soup with vegetables..

So synonymous neighbor, what was this beautiful smell from and more importantly, can I have the recipe?

Another year gone by

Tomorrow (Friday) is my birthday.

I don’t like making a big deal out of the day, as to me it’s just another day on the calendar.

Though, by coincidence, this shabbos is also my Bar Mitzvah portion (Ki Tissah)–and I remember standing on the Bimah at my old shul (which sadly no longer exists). Wearing the mandatory blue robe, I did my torah reading and chanted my first haftorah (Eliahu vs. the priests of Ba’al–guess who won that one?). Then the candy began to fly in my direction.

But I digress.

I’ll treat tomorrow as any other normal day, though to be honest, the one thing I really want to do tomorrow is spend some quiet time with my best friend. My sidekick and most trusted companion of 29 years, Happy Apple Bear (my original teddy bear). We’ve resided in 4 states, LI and two boroughs together, and Happy Apple Bear has always been there. Sure, it may not sound mature for a grown adult male to have a stuffed animal (Happy Apple Bear lives on a shelf thank you very much), but it’s the simple presence that brings a smile to my face.

Here’s to hoping for a year of continued success, good health and happiness.

Too many meetings

I think I had four meetings to sit through today.

It felt like I went from 0 to 60 (in terms of the number of meetings).

No wonder my

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head hurts….

(Otherwise it was a good day…just not used to all the formal sit-downs)

Being a good manager

I had my first “managerial test” on Friday.

Disgruntled patient shows up un announced to office. He’d called earlier in the day and already given one of my employees a hard time (I offered to speak with him on the phone, but was on the other line with an insurance company and he didn’t want to hold or get my voice-mail).

So this big guy shows up. One of my “employees” (really a co-worker, but on the org chart it’s one of my employees). goes out into the lobby to speak to the man in an effort to calm him down. Now this man is at last a good foot taller and 100+ lbs bigger than the girl.

He starts screaming at her, and like any good gentleman, I stopped my work, got up, had my sleeves rolled up and went out there are simply asked him “Why are you yelling at my employee”. The disgruntled man wasn’t happy at this. I told my female employee to go back inside (as a precaution) and to call the buliding super. The man refused to speak with me, demanding to see my boss (who I know was in a meeting with a client so she

wasn’t to be disturbed). The man continued to yell, until the point that I just stood there and he stormed away onto the elevator.

One of the building employees then came upstairs saying that there was a report of a “mean Hispanic guy in a green shirt” on our floor. Evereone broke out laughing. Why? I”m apparently the mean hispanic guy!
(Question to those who know me–do I look like a mean Hispanic guy?)

[Eventually the situation was diffused and taken care of…but the patient had no right to yell at my employee]

The drama is behind me

My apologies for last week’s drama and my moody posts.

Let me (attempt) to explain a bit, while still maintaining quite a bit of secrecy.

Basically,I’d been recruited for another employment opportunity with a competitor which I was about to agree too. However, over the course of last weekend, a lot of things developed at my current place of employment and the situation changed dramatically.

Thus come Monday, I had a long (2 hrs +) meeting with the company’s second in command about me and my role within the company. This plus a lot of iinput from co-workers both pro-and-con about my staying where I am.

As a result, I was extremely torn up on the inside about things. My mind was a complete mental mess. Being a regularly indecisive person didn’t help matters much either. I was a walking wreck, anxious, had problems sleeping and, let’s just say, I wasn’t my usual self. I was on the fence, see-sawing from side to side. Lots of conversations with my parents too.

In the end, I ultimately made a decision on my own, based on what I determined would overall would be best for me. I’ve decided to remain with my current employer, but they have promoted me to a managerial role.
The competitor who was trying to recruit me is noticeably disappointed in my decision, as I would have expected them to be. I knew one party would be disappointed in my decision one way or the other, so that didn’t weigh on my decision at all.

I will not go into the reasoning behind my decision on a public forum like this blog, so please don’t ask for the details.

Having made a decision, I feel like a giant weight has been taken off of my back and I feel significantly better about things as a whole.

Now what I’ve got to get used to is the new volume of emails I’m going to be receiving and having my Blackberry connected to my work email. I’m also going to have to start working on my BB typing as well.

Decision Made

I had an odd moment of clarity in the gym this morning.
(I also had a decent 6RM 3 board press too but that’s irrelevant).

Out of sheer randomness, I came to a conclusion on the decision with which I was facing.

MY fear, and self-inflicted

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anxiety are over.

I feel a heck of a lot better now then I did 24-48 hours ago.

Normal life to resume shortly

In a good mood

Very recent developments from a little over 24 hours ago have put me in a very good mood.

It even has me contemplating a celebratory Slurpee run in this 20 degree weather!

I’ll share the good news later….

But on the subject of good news, I now have a usable oven again at the apartment! I shall celebrate by purchasing tasty Kosher food to prepare at the butcher tomorrow!

Another week

Made it through another long week at work. Too many hours at the office though (and hence the lack of time/energy to post here).

Still alive and kicking–and hitting good numbers for myself in the gym. [I’ve got to be positive about some things, no?]

A good start?

While I’m hesitant to jinx myself–things went rather well today!

A good workout in the gym. Managed to pull 315 with a double overhand grip (a PR–especially post injury). Also found a 1, 2 and 3 board set! New toys! Work was well, work. Tense but it could’ve been a lot worse.

Now at home, I psychologically feel good and at ease. Time to go to bed before things get ruined.

Tretherous commute

So my commute to The Work this morning–sucked. That’s being polite.

It was still snowing when I left The Apartment (5:20am ish). Most streets didn’t’ appear to be plowed.The Avenues looked to have at least been plowed more recently. Even worse, plowing the avenues left sizable snow beams at the end of the blocks where the avenues and streets meet. Sidewalks for the most part were a completely lost cause at that hour. I decided to walk up to the cross-town street and walked in the road. There was a virtual absence of vehicular traffic. In fact, there were more people than cars!

Walking down the street, there was car partially spun diagonally in the middle of the road. It was unoccupied but had its hazard lights on. On the sides of the street there weer a few unoccupied taxis, also diagonal, covered in mounds of snow.

The Lexington Avenue train ran normally for me. When I got to 59th Street, to transfer to the N/Q/R [I get on whichever shows up first] I stood and waited. And waited. Then over the PA system comes the announcement that there will be no trains at that station.

Now I”m left with the puzzle of how to get across town to Hells Kitchen where I work.

I get out of the train station and take in Bloomingdale’s holiday windows (thankfully they’d snowblown their sidewalks). I walked down to E 57th street, where the M31 and M57 run across town. I stood with a few others in the road–as there was a sizable snow beam from the curb. It was also a good 2-3 feet in height no less!

And so I waited in the ocld for a while, and then after seeing no bus for what seemed like ages, said “screw it..I’m walking”.
There I was, strolling down a semi-lplowed 57th Street. Just as I’d seen on 86th street, there were spun our and abandoned cars in the middle and on the side of the road. The sidewalks were hit or miss around there, so it was easiest to stay on the road.

So in pure character building fashion, I hiked my way down the street, in the darkness, through the snow drifts Bags on both my shoulders (one with food the other my gym bag). And I walked and walked. Neither of the cross-town buses passed by. Eventually I made it to my destination, a bit winder, but psyched nonetheless.

After the gym, and fighting to find some warm water in the showers (it was a Monday after all) I google-mapped my trek. All 1.2 miles of it. Pretty cool–but it left me really tired for the rest of the day.

The commute home was thankfully easier. It’s now stopped snowing and the sidewalks were mostly shoveled. The snow prevented a majority of the office from even coming in today too!

Positive Thinking

I’ve come to realize, the more I think about work, the less happy I become.

Therefore, I’m resolving myself to not think about work as much as possible.

Now there’s a resolution I can

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In Memoriam

The Curious Jew has an excellent post on the (secular) calendar anniversary of our late grandfather’s passing. (Bonus: cute old photo included)

I do not have much to add to her all ready well written post. My grandfather’s memory is readily in my mind. As I sit here with a cup of green tea in front of me, just as he drank, my many happy memories of him come flooding back.

He was always very proud of his children and grandchildren in all of our accomplishments. He had high expectations for all of us, and he was always pleased when we met or exceeded them. His life story, while not often shared is one when put together is a tale of an amazing, emotionally challenging journey.

There are everyday things that still remind me of my grandfather. From cans of “Choc Full

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o’ Nuts coffee” and boxes of Shredded Wheat which were always in the kitchen (save for Pesach). To the many books which he sent me in the mail or gave me in person over the years–that furthered my Judaic studies. And most noteably, my pair of Tefillin, specifically for a left-handed individual, which he sent me on the occasion of my Bar Mitzvah, which I still use today.

In as much, with his strong belief in Zionism, it was a great honor to visit Grandpa’s grave in Israel last year before the Chag.

May his memory continue to be remember for a blessing.

Death By Busy Work

I’m one of those people who hates busy work. I like to think. I like to plan. I like to problem-solve. I like having my brain work. Alas, there must be a conspiracy at work, as I got saddled with busy work most of the day today. It was to the point, that I set up a triage for busy work to try to avoid the most tedious assignments! (The worst was copying information from a database onto paper) Sure, there are some people who love busy

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work, and that’s great….It’s just that I’m not one of those people! Anyone want to trade?

Miserable Monday

Lest it be said I’m being overly pessimistic, let me explain how my Mondays have recently started to go at the office.

A report on my buisness units productivity is due by 11am (well now it’s been moved up to 10am). Alas, that includes literally includes counts of reports (yes, a report on reports), appointments, procedures, etc. The challenge is though, that as we’re open on the weekend, traditionally all of the weekend billing was performed Monday morning. Alas, in addition to compiling the productivity reports, I must first complete billing (which includes demographic entry) a large volume of charts just so I have the numbers. On top of this, what’s wanted in the reports keep changing every week.

Oh, and once it strikes 9am, the phones go live too, not to mention the start of people needing me in the office for this or that…And they want these reports by 10 now???

This is why I hate Mondays….make

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Back to the Big Apple

Came back this evening from Ohio, where I had a nice Thanksgiving weekend in Youngstown, with a very quick sojurn into Cleveland.

The whole family is doing well. Lots of food was served between Thanksgiving and Shabbos–yet I lost weight…go figure. The food was phenominal! Between the two nights there was Turkey, Chicken, Lamb, Beef, kugels, chicken soup and other yummy goodness.

On Saturday, in addition to watching The Ohio State University Buckeyes destroy that school from up north, by a mere 30 points there was cholent too! Cholent and rivalry victories = win!

Then Saturday night, 6 of us piled in a van for a trip to The Q for the Cavs-Grizzlies game. I’ve not been to a Cavs game since the pre-Lebron era, and things haven’t changed too much there. Though the Cavs won a close game in the end. Major bonus points for the flame throwing Jumbotron!

The downsides to the weekend had to be sharing a bed in the hotel with The Brother. Not only did he snore and sleep talk, but he also liked to kick me and wake me up at bizarre hours. Yeah…

Made the car trip home today with a cousin and well, it’s back to the regular grind I go tomorrow. It was very nice to be back in Ohio though. Yes, it

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was cold, but the warmth of the family being together offset the frigid temperatures. Oh–and is snowed!

Homeward bound

Tomorrow the Sister and i will be making a road trip with a Cousin back to the Buckeye State to eat some turkey and see family.

That said, I should probably start packing…though I’m feeling really lazy.

All of the family (mom’s side) is coming together this year

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for Thanksgiving. It’s the first time everyone has been together since Grandpa’s (z”l) unveiling two years back. No word though if I’ll still be relegated to the “kids table”.

The highlight of the weekend though, besides the food, will be to be in Ohio, for The Game!

Okay, maybe I should start packing


When I recently flew back from Chicago, I was randomly selected to go through one of those body scanner things.

Did I protest? No. Did it matter to me? No.
Was it also a little after 5am in the morning following a night at a wedding? Yes. [Tiredness was the theme of the day]

Anyway, I went in between the two scanner panels, and the only awkward part of it was Dra ut pa tur og omfavn hastigheten i Racing for Pinks – det siste tilskuddet fra Microgaming til spennende utvalg av online norske spilleautomater . getting my arms in the proper position (also secondary to being tired and cranky). But it was almost instantaneous and overall a rather mundane experience.

Did I feel like my privacy had been violated? No. My decency defiled? No. Heck, I felt much more comfortable in the scanner than I often do some mornings in my gym’s locker room.

That said, I don’t understand what all the huff and puff about the TSA and the scanners is.