Sunday, November 28, 2010

Erachet

Well, I did it! I got engaged. Popped the question last night to the greatest girl in the world, Erachet. No, it was not a blog-mance. We knew each other before we knew about each other's blogs.
For the last eight months, I have had the time of my life, being able to spend as much time as I could with the most amazing person in the world. Now, I get to extend those eight months into a lifetime. I don't know how to continue this post without being too nauseating, so you'll just have to suffer.
I never fully understood Lilly's line from "How I Met Your Mother" about relationships until I began to experience it: "Okay, I know that stuff looks dumb from the outside, but it's kinda the greatest thing in the world when you're a part of it." Not only can I no longer imagine not being part of a couple, but there is nobody in the world with whom I can imagine being part of a couple. And of course, there is nobody who can make me smile like she can.
Erachet, I love you, and I hope to give you everything I possibly can. Thank you for being my voice of reason.
Okay, enough mushyness. There are others who I need to thank, like Serach and Ezzie, Special Ed and The Apple for their roles in this relationship, as well as many other bloggers and non-bloggers alike. Let the countdown to the wedding begin!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scary Stuff

Why is it that every time period has in it something that will destroy us all. I was recently thinking about how many times we as the human race in general and Americans in specific have constantly had an eminent end-of-the-world (physical or otherwise) scenario. Just take a look at the last 25 years:

  • The Cold War
  • AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Nuclear Warfare
  • Terrorism
  • Y2K
  • Numerous natural disasters
  • .com boom and fall
  • Global Economic Disaster

All of these incidents have caused (at some point) wide-spread fear and chaos. Not to mention prejudices. Everybody all of a sudden has to run to get the boards to protect their house from the hurricane, or stop talking on cell phones, or listen into their neighbors’ phone conversations for fear that they may be Russian spies.

After Magic Johnson tested HIV positive, the NBA instituted a rule that whenever a player is bleeding, he must come out of the game and cannot come back in until the wound has been sealed. AIDS was something that scared people into thinking that the entire human race would be destroyed.

There was a short period in the last 25 years that did not have in it some major impending doom facing civilization. This was immediately following the end of the Cold War. In the early 1990s, when people were just getting used to the idea that they wouldn’t have to live in fear of being nuked, and have their bodies fused with their house, they realized something was missing – fear. Now that basically everything was behind them (including a major recession), there was a void.

So what did the world do to fill this void? They popularized “grunge.” The early 90s is when grunge became a fad, (and thankfully declined). The entire genre is based around sluggish guitar and depressing lyrics. Its popularity ended in the mid-90s when a new scare – Y2K – became “real.”

So why? What is this constant need for fear? Why is it that when a blizzard is approaching New York all I hear on the news is round-the-clock coverage on the storm? Why does Southern Florida TV cover nothing but hurricanes in the late summer? Why do people need fear to the point of generating it when it’s not there?

I think I have come to a conclusion, and I don’t think that it’s all that new of an idea. The one thing that fear does is bring anyone who shares that fear closer together. Take a look at what happened to this country post-9/11. Everyone had a sense of American pride; George Bush was cheered in New York (perhaps for the last time), throwing out the first pitch at the World Series; there was not a single person who didn’t want to go after Osama Bin Laden. Fear unites people. It’s less scary to go into a situation knowing that you aren’t alone, and it is very important to know that you aren’t alone in any situation – even when there’s nothing really there to be alone with.

In a not-so-recent conversation I had with a friend, he expressed his problem with marriage. “It makes no sense,” he told me. “Take religion out of it; forget that we have a mitzvah of p’ru ur’vu. Why would someone – not even a Jew – why would ANYONE want to commit the rest of his/her life to ONE OTHER PERSON?”

Well, here’s the answer. Life isn’t easy (duh). There is no better way to go through life than with another person. That person will face the same (if not, close to it) troubles and opportunities that you will face. That person will be there for emotional support or a good swift kick in the pants when you need ‘em. That person will be there to remind you that you aren’t alone. But most importantly, that person will make sure that you never EVER start listening to grunge.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mi Haish?

This week, I was involved in an unfortunate, but highly meaningful and educational event. The grandfather of a very, very close friend of mine passed away. Although I had just met the man within the calendar year, I learned a tremendous amount from his life both while he was still alive and once he passed on.
I also had the privilege of visiting him in the hospital just days before he passed. What he said on that day encompassed all that I had known about him until then and was reaffirmed throughout shiv'a. He quoted to me a pasuk from Tehilim - "Mi haish hechofetz chaim, ohev yamim l'r'os tov?" (Which man desires life who loves days of seeing good?) - Tehilim 34.
This man was the paradigm of this pasuk. He lived for life. He always claimed that he had beaten Hitler ym"sh. He survived the war and went on to publicize it through public speaking - without a formal education past the fourth grade.
He built his family up from the nothing with which he came to America, and left behind a legacy in this world that most of us can only imagine, that is unless you were one of those lucky enough to hear one of his speeches. In that case, you would KNOW the legacy he left. Just today, a group of third graders that were lucky enough to hear him speak two years ago came to be menachem avel. He was able to touch them just as he was able to touch high school students, college students, middle age adults and anyone who came into contact with him. This means non-Jews as well. He was the sounding board for anyone who wanted to talk.
Last week, the world lost a great man. His legacy will always live on.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quote of the Month - November

"I am seriously thinking about signing up for twitter on the off-chance that the guy in the cubicle in front of me would follow me." -Coworker