Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Impending Kismet of a 33rd Birthday


One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
-Henry Miller

One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds.
-Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

The gem cannot be polished without friction, not a man perfected without trials.
-Chinese Proverb


1. Lake Michigan – Rogue Wave
2. Tyrant – The Bravery
3. Many Rivers to Cross – Jimmy Cliff
4. Carmencita – Devendra Banhart
5. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) – Arcade Fire
6. Iron Lion Zion – Bob Marley
7. Juicy – The Notorious B.I.G.
8. Caution – Bob Marley
9. What You Want – The Roots
10. Rebirth of Slick – Digable Planets

In a couple days I will turn 33. Am I filled with anxiety, dread, or the creaks, aches, and stiffness of an old man? Certainly I am not filled with dread or anxiety...creaks, aches, and stiffness...sometimes. I am approaching this birthday with an open mind. 3 is one of my lucky numbers...so this year should be double-lucky for me. So I look ahead with an open, hopeful mind, like a savvy veteran gambler plunking down $100 on #3 at the roulette table (although in reality #5 has hit big for me). Some that know me would say I am wide-eyed optimist, and it may be true those wide-eyes are covered by rose-colored glasses. Those that really know me may understand why. I've never faced insurmountable tragic circumstances, been destituted (thank you Mike Tyson), or completely bust. I have hit a bottom before though, and with the help of friends and family pulled myself up by the boot straps. I proved to myself that I have can master all those things that I have control over in my life. Hitting that bottom has made me appreciate what I have, humbled me, and also taught me life doesn't always turn out like you expect. If you ask me "Was this the life you saw for yourself?" I would say no, but the young man who had a plan is a damn fool for trying to plan in the first place. I am happy in my life, maybe happier because things didn't go with the "plan." I do know that when my birthday comes around this year I will be surrounded by people I love, and people that love me...and that's the best present of all.

After that semi-heavy harangue here are some baby pictures to laugh at. I used to be cute...not sure what happened!?!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Soup's On!


Smart & Funny Jews Edition: 2 Alberts and a Mel

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.
-Albert Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
-Albert Einstein

Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.
-Mel Brooks

1. If I Die Young – The Band Perry
2. We’re All In This Together – OCMS
3. Emotional Rescue – The Rolling Stones
4. Shining Star – Earth, Wind & Fire
5. Rumble – Link Wray
6. May This Be Love – Jimi Hendrix
7. Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns – Mother Love Bone
8. Bad Reputation – Freedy Johnston
9. I Would Die 4 U – Prince
10. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – Michael Jackson

I’ve recently re-continued my Low-Carb/South Beach diet. I had some great success with it losing about 3olbs, and coming in 3rd place in a “Biggest Loser” competition at my office. While I didn’t gain all of it back, I gained enough back that I needed a fresh start. I’ve dropped about 10 lbs, but have a way to go before I’m really where I need to be. Part of my relapse/weight gain was because I did not make it a complete lifestyle choice, and instead chose “enjoy life” and all of its deliciousness. I will chalk it up to a lesson learned and I have rededicated myself to making better food choices. Along those lines something I have been trying to do is make 90-100% of my own food at home on a weekly basis. For a long time I have felt the need to make stuff from scratch for several reasons; 1) I know what’s going into every dish, 2) its cheaper, and 3) cooking is an enjoyable, creative, and relaxing hobby. The desire to cook from scratch also led me to my infamous challah baking frenzy, which is still not done for those of you who are yet to receive a New Year challah from me. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m a pretty good cook…I really wouldn’t believe it if it weren’t for the occasional praise I get. I thought I would share this recipe which was produced out of trial and error, reading other recipes, and from my brain.

Cauliflower, Broccoli, and Leek Soup w/ Bacon Crispies

This version yields about 2 generous servings, but can easily be adjusted to make more.

½ Head of Cauliflower (Chopped Roughly)
½ Head of Broccoli (Chopped Roughly)
1 Leek (Sliced fairly fine…use the white part only)
2-3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
2-4 Slices of Thick-Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon(Sliced into small bacon-bit sized pieces)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
½ Cup Cream (I used Low-Fat Heavy Whipping Cream, but use any variation)
1-2 cups Vegetable Stock (Chicken Stock can be used too)
Salt and Pepper to taste (not much salt is needed, the bacon takes care of that.)

1. In a big soup/pasta pot, heat the olive oil. (Temp should be on medium/medium-high)
2. Once hot add the bacon pieces.
3. Let the bacon get nice and crispy and all the delicious fat render out.
4. Remove the bacon crispies and reserve on a paper towel. (I started a big plate for reserved items because you will need to reserve some of the veggies too!)
5. Add the Garlic, Leeks, Cauliflower, and Broccoli to the olive oil/bacon fat.
6. Add some fresh cracked black pepper.
7. Cook the Veggies until you get some good color/caramelization, but not completely soft.
8. Remove about 1/8 – 1/4 of the veggies and reserve for later.
9. Add enough Vegetable Stock so it doesn’t quite cover the veggies.
10. Scrape all the caramelized goodness off the bottom of the pan and let the veggies cook until they are soft.
11. Once the veggies are soft, add the Cream.
12. Cook and stir mixture, remove from heat before the cream comes to a boil.
13. Add the entire mixture to a blender (can be done in batches) and blend in unti creamy smooth. (Salt can be added at this point if needed)
14. Pour the creamy, pale green soup in to bowls and top with the reserved veggies and bacon crispies!
15. ENJOY!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

More gKU


It is well to give when asked but it is better to give unasked, through understanding.

- Kahlil Gibran

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.

- Carl Sagan

1. Possum Kingdom – Toadies
2. We used to Wait – Arcade Firesa
3. Forca – Nelly Furtado
4. Shutterbug – Big Boi
5. Wicked Game - Chris Isaak
6. Behind The Sun – RHCP
7. Cold War – Janelle Monae
8. Kids – MGMT
9. Run Through The Jungle – CCR
10. Hook – Blues Traveler


(Like a Haiku, but syllables/line are 3-6-7)

J – M - U
Beat the nutless turkeys
Still riding high from the win.

Apples, berries, and fruits
I purchase at the market

Fluffy bread
I bake for my loved ones
Smiles abound for me too

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

L'Shana Tova for the 5771


To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.

-ee cummings

I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.

-Albert Einstein


1. Kids -MGMT
2. Haiti -Arcade Fire
3. Shutterbug -Big Boi
4. Not Afraid - Eminem
5. How I Got Over -The Roots
6. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) -Arcade Fire
7. Electric Feel -MGMT
8. Ready to Start -Arcade Fire
9. Night Night -The Roots
10. Wake Up -Arcade Fire
11. Carmensita -Devendra Banhart
12. Past My Shades -B.O.B.
13. Same Shit, Different Day -Young Gunz
14 The Fire -The Roots
15. The Suburbs -Arcade Fire

L'Shana Tova everyone! That's happy new year for my goyim readers. Trying to start the blog back up again because of a friendly nudge and that familiar feeling of re-dedication and refreshing good intentions in a new year. It may be a little trite to write about fresh-starts or new endeavors for the new year, but for many of us tradition and ritual often evoke practiced behavior. If your intentions are good than more power to you, if you actually follow through and reach your goal even more power to you. I have so much to write about: movies I need o review, new music, JMU Football, Steelers Football, and of course the obligatory life as I know it posts.

L'Shana Tova!! Wishing all my friends and the world at large a peaceful, sweet, and happy new year!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

gCritic: Soldier of Love, Indiscreet, and A Serious Man


We live in a rainbow of chaos.
- Paul Cezanne

He never knew when he was whipped ... so he never was.
- Louis L'Amour

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
- Albert Einstein


1. Pata Pata -Miriam Makeba
2. Hallelujah -K.D. Lang (Vancouver Olympics)
3. Trouble -Ray LaMontagne
4. Stay -Sugarland
5. Fall On My Knees -OCMS
6. I Run To You -Lady Antebellum
7. 1901 -Phoenix
8. Show Me What I'm Looking For -Carolina Liar
9. Afraid -Nelly Furtado
10. Beach Chair -Jay-Z

gTunes Extended: Soldier of Love - Sade

I've always liked Sade, but I usually have to be in just the right mellow mood or craving some 80s/90s nostalgia. I like to test new music by putting my headphones in after I get in bed and the lights are out. One of too things happens if the album is a good one: 1) I fall asleep in the first two songs and wake up with the earbuds still plugged into my noggin, or 2) I stay up and listen to the entire album despite how tired I am, because I can't wait to hear where the artist will take me next. Yes my method is unorthodox at best, but it works. I can tell you the later scenario happened with Sade's newest offering, Soldier of Love. Sade explores the emotions I wanted to with a unique perspective, and a sound that isn't unexpected, but new and refreshing. Maturity, sensuality, growth, vulnerability, and raw emotion rule the album. I give it 5gs outta 5.

gFlix: Indiscreet & A Serious Man

Normally I like to get one new/newer release and an older movie. Most times my older movie choice is a Cary Grant movie or something from his era. I really enjoyed this movie, although it is billed a romantic comedy, I found it to be much more...a slice of life, adult love affairs and their complications, some tragedy...go with comedy in just the right spots. The comedy was the comedy you would find in everyday life, and nothing over the top, I appreciated that very much, as if the director trusted me. Of course Ingrid Bergman (possibly the most beautiful actress of all time) provided a fiery, passionate, and drop dead gorgeous presence and performance. Cary Grant was his usual smooth talking but slightly goofy and humble decent man. His character's decency is questioned in this movie, but that only allows for the movie to explore adult relationships. Despite the somewhat predictable ending, if you love love you will like this movie.
I give it 5 gs ond it outta 5.

I loved this movie 5 gs outta 5. I think most people would find it somewhat slow and tedious, but the everyday pace of life is perfectly mimicked. Judaism is a central theme, which I appreciated. I believe this movie explains Judaism very well. You may not find the answers you want, you may not find any answers at all, from this movie or Judaism. To me the most beautiful thing about Judaism, what I believe my faith centers around is that implores you to ask questions. The questions, the journey in your mind to answer those questions is where you find Adonai.
5 gs outta 5

Wednesday, February 03, 2010



To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.
e e cummings

An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.
Charles Bukowski

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
William Blake


  1. Sinner Man - Peter Tosh
  2. Gone - Kanye West f. Cam'Ron
  3. Hook - Blues Traveler
  4. I Don't Know What To Tell You - Redrama
  5. 21st Century - RHCP
  6. Roses - Andre 3000
  7. Good To You - Talib Kweli
  8. Like A Prayer - Madonna
  9. Change On Me - Cynthia
  10. LoveStoned/I Think She Knows Interlude - Justin Timberlake


(Like a Haiku, but syllables/line are 3-6-7...after my two favorite Steelers #36 Jerome Bettis and #7 Ben Roethlisberger)

Clump of snow
Fell from above and burst
Like Tinkerbell breaking wind.

Meathead Haiku
(syllables/line 2-5-0...because that's what he benches...duh)

I shake
The protein for my muscles.

Math Nerds Haiku

(syllables/line 3-1-4 as in Pi...3.14)

Showing your
is essential.

Friday, January 29, 2010



Choose always the way that seems the best, however rough it may be; custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.

Donde hay amor, hay dolor.
Spanish Proverb

Action is eloquence.
William Shakespeare


1. If I Die Young -The Band Perry

2. Big Sciota Old Crow Medicine Show

3. Breaking The Girl -Red Hot Chili Peppers

4. Behind The Wall -Tracy Chapman

5. Lost? -Coldplay

6. Southern Voice -Tim McGraw

7. Time Won’t Let Me Go -The Bravery

8. We Came Up (Crystal Stair) -Tek & Steele featuring Talib Kweli

9. War -Big Boi (Outkast)

10. Wicked Game -Chris Isaak

gTunes Extended

Some time ago in my quest to find good music I could listen to at work I stumbled across a Country station out of Iowa, 97.3 The Hawk. The morning show is down to earth, fun, and they play great tunes (for those that like country). They also have a great Fresh Faces feature where they introduce up and coming bands and artists. One great band that has been featured lately is The Band Perry. I urge you all to check them out, even non-Country fans will appreciate them.

97.3 The Hawk

The Band Perry
If I Die Young


Due to my commitment to healthy living and a low-carb diet, I’ve had to give up my alcoholic beverage of choice: beer. Mmmmmm…beer. I know the empty calories of all alcoholic beverages are not good for any diet, but as they say moderation is key. Man cannot live on lean meats, green vegetables and cheeses alone. I did my research and found that most spirits contain no carbs at all. My gag reflex used to kick in at the thought of bourbon, but I figured in my older, mellower, wiser years I would give it a second chance. I actually first started drinking and enjoying bourbon a couple years ago the first time I tried a low-carb diet. I started off (at Ciabatta Bread’s recommendation) with a very smooth very decent whiskey, Maker’s Mark. I like Maker’s mark because it’s smooth and you can pick out the distinct caramel burnt oak flavors. My goal is to continue to refine my palette and find more bourbons that I like. At Hugenot’s annual; holiday party I purchased and enjoyed Jefferson’s. it was very good quality but not quite as smooth as Maker’s. Last weekend FlowersChild recommended Basil Hayden, which I enjoyed so much I drank all night (3-4 drinks) and it may have knocked Maker’s from its lofty perch of go-to bourbon choice. I’d love to try more and hope maybe you can leave a comment with a suggestion or too.


Waist and belly shrinking…biceps and pectorals growing and toning.

I’m so sick of a 2-egg breakfast I decided to replace it with a protein shake with the previously mentioned Whey Protein Isolate. Here is my recipe:

· 1 cup non-fat or low fat plain yogurt

· 1 cup frozen mixed berries

· 1 ½ scoops whey protein isolate

· 1/3 to ½ cup vanilla soy milk

Throw all that stuff in a blender…blend…drink.