Thursday, September 28, 2006

Very Refreshing

I cannot tell you how great it is to work at a company that is completely shut down on Yom Kippur, where everyone wishes you an easy fast and a chag tov. And I don't have to explain to every person in the company why I won't be in on Monday, and what Yom Kippur is, and why it is in fact a more important date on the Jewish Calendar than Hanukah.

Oh, and I finally got internet access at work, so I should be posting on a more regular basis.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Birds

My middlest got himself some birds today. He has been asking for birds for a pet, and he won, because when I got home from work today, there were two birds and four eggs in a cage in the entranceway. I say were, because at some point today, there were two dead birds, err, broken eggs in the cage.

So now that we have killed half their children, we are hoping the birds feel comfortable in their new home.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hey All Y'all

OK. I got through my first day at work. Didn't understand a word uring orientation, but whatever, I don't really need it. Is it gay to watch top ten boy bands on MTV?

O-Town's Liquid Dreams is checking in at #9.

Veev is betting that #1 is the Beatles or the Beach Boys, but I don't think they had too many videos back then.

Sometime during the day I thought to myself, Self, you should look out the window and see the view. But then I said Self, I don't want to turn around right now, so I didn't look through the window. I think my window overlooks a highway.

Why is it that when Goldilocks goes through the bear's house, Papa Bear had porridge which was too hot. He had the largest bowl. Mama Bear had porridge which was too cold. It was the middle-sized bowl. Baby bear had porridge in the smallest bowl, and it was just right.

'NSYNC's Bye Bye Bye is coming in at four.

Since Baby Bear's bowl was the smallest, it stands to reason that his would be colder than Momma Bear's bowl. Yet Goldilocks liked Baby Bear's porridge so much, that she ate the whole thing.

Have we analyzed Goldilocks on Air Time before. Something in the back of my head tells me we have, but I am not sure.

Number one is Backstreet Boys' as long as you love me.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Tomorrow I start my real Klita into Israeli society, with my first day of work. I have been looking forward to going to work for a long time, and am definitely ready to start. And who knows, maybe my blogging will start to pick up.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Where Were You on October 4, 1987?

The Summer of 1987 was one of those magical summers. April turned to May, and after 30 games, the Tigers were way out of first in the AL East, with an 11-19 record. Sparky always said not to judge his team until after forty games, but that team looked dead in the water with the season just thirty games old.

The Tigers went on a seven game winning streak through, and after forty games, they 19-21. Not terrible, but not a contender, especially in those pre-wild card days.

They continued to play well, though, and as the days of summer wore on, it The Tigers continued to fight their way to the top of the division. They traded John Smoltz, a pitcher who would go on to a fabulous career with the Braves, for Doyle Alexander. All Alexander did was go 9-0 as a Tiger. It was a trade that continues to be debated in Detroit to this day, but back then, 19 years ago, there was no question that the trade helped propel the Tigers to the brink of their division lead. With ten games to play, they went to Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, to play four against the division-leading Blue Jays.

And they dropped three of four.

Now, with deven games left to play, they trailed the Blue Jays by 4.5 games. The Tigers had seven left to play, four against the Orioles, and then three against the Jays to finish the season. The Jays lost all three to Milwaukee, while the Tigers took two of three from the O's and so on October 2, 1987 the Tigers entered the series trailing the Jays by 1 game.

October 2, Friday night, also happened to be om Kippur. There would be some heavy praying on both sides of the US Canadian border.

The Tigers won on Friday night, and then won again on Saturday afternoon, ensuring at the very least that they would have a one game playoff should they lose on Sunday, October 4th.

Weeks earlier, looking at the Schedule, I had a feeling that the game would be important. B'nei Akiva, an organization that I would never involve myself with, was going to the game, and I called the B'nei Akiva rep in our sbul and got a ticket to the game.

Now, everything was on the line for the Tigers, and I would be going to the game.

Larry Herndon, the Tigers left fielder, hit a solo homerum in the second innning. It was one of only three ihts Jimmy Key would give up that day. But it was one that mattered. Frank Tanana was pitching for Detroit, and with two outs in the ninth, Tanana fielded a short ground ball, tossed it over to Darrell Evans at first base, and the Tigers had won the division, on a complete game, 1-0 win. It was one of the most dramatic comebacks in a division race in baseball history, and the most compelling game that I have ever seen.

Anyway, I told you all this because despite the Tigers' struggles for the last month, they are on the cusp of clinching a playoff spot for the first time since that day 19 years ago.

Right now, they have scored 9 runs in the second innning, and lead the Royal 9-2 in the third.

If they win, they will be in the post season.

Judging Rosh HaShana

I know you shouldn't judge how good or bad a Chag is based on the time that shul ends, but our shul finished before 12 on both days, and it made a huge difference in our enjoyment of the Chag.

Instead of sitting in shul all day wondering if it was ever going to end, we were done quickly, and spent the afternoon with friends (day one) and family.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Drive A Thon

One of my greatest achievements while still an active member of the MNFBBQ was the creation of the Drive A Thon.

Last week, I was talking to a guy from Chicago about Ken's and Romainian, and he mentioned that hea heard that there were some poeple from Detroit who would drive to Chicago and pick up burgers and meat as a fundraiser.

Shana Tova

We always go to Yerushalayim with the best of intentions. Go to the Kotel, hang out with God for a twenty minutes or so, and then move on to lunch. And every time we go to Yerushalayim, we get to the city later than we planned, and decide to have lunch before going to the wall.

And invariably, we think about how we are already parked, and a taxi is too expensive for a trip to the wall, and then we get some popcorn, walk around a bit, and head back to Modi'in.

So today we decided to go to the Kotel, do a little davening, and meet iup with my cousin who is some girl's seminary for lunch.

We had some errands to run first, and by the time we got to Yerushalayim it was already after 11, and we were hungry. Oh, and I had an email I needed to send out ASAP, so I walked to town with my laptop to find some wireless Internet, while Veev walked into Geula, because that was the only place my cousin's school would let her eat out.

After we finished lunch, the taxi drivers we talked to said it would be 40 shekels to go to the Kotel, and if we wanted to come back to our car, it would be another 40 shekels. We could have just driven there and tried to park for 80 shekels, but instead we decided to head back home.

Oh. And , we have no Burekas for the Chag.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ten weeks and were still here

We've lived here for ten weeks already, and in that time, we've had a number of "Welcome to Israel" moments. Our first hello was from Nefesh B'Nefesh. Our second, from Hezbollah. Taxi drivers have reacted with excitement when we tell them we are Olim Chadashim, while others have asked us why we are here, and why we would leave somewhere as wonderful as America.

Last Shabbat morning, when I opened the fridge, nothing felt cold. The day went on, and the fridge stayed warm. We moved what we could into the freezer, and after Shabbat ended, we tossed out milk, cottage cheese, and other temperature-sensitive products.

The service man came on Sunday morning. He was a Chiloni Israeli, a non-religious Israeli, and looked over the fridge. Our freezer had frozen over a pipe that brings cool air into the fridge, causing the fridge to stop being cold.

What can we do to prevent this from happening again, we asked.

You can daven to Hashem, he answered.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Air Time 64

Before there was Air Time the blog, there was Air Time, the weekly email i sent out to friends and family members and their friends and people who asked me to send it to them. I don't know why,m but Veev came across this one from October 29, 1999. The only thing that I changed here was changing the name of my oldest son from his real name to My Oldest, and the name of the company that I worked for.


Rats of the suburbs, big white dude, and make my own marinade, plus chicken soup, football action, The Job suck up, Jim Gray, and more, in this weeks edition of Air Time…Stick Around

My Oldest's bed time has become a real pain in the butt. He always used to do whatever I told him to, but now he is finding more and more creative ways to legitimately get out of bed. The trouble is, once he finds a way that works, he keeps using it until we say no, which then turns into a long crying marathon, and thats not good for anybody.

Since we put our foot down with the I have to make a stinky (three year old speak for I have to take a dump) His latest is the I'm Starving technique. How can you make a little kid stay in bed and go to sleep when he says hes starving. So the first time we brought him down and gave him pizza. The next few times we tried to pacify him with a drink, but this week it has been all out war.

I think we will defeat him by the beginning of next week, and then we will have to see what he comes up with next.

Shabbos afternoon I had the pleasure of walking into my house and finding a squirrel in the living room. I dont know who was more scared, but I ran out of the house carrying my shoes and a jacket. Fortunately, no one else was home, but I did have to extricate the squirrel from my house before shabbos ended and Aviva and the boys got

Not having anywhere else to go, and not sure what to do, I went to Gabi's house. After hearing how my house had been violated, he grabbed a broom, and headed over to my house. I knew where the squirrel was when I left, but now, who knew where it might have gone. And those things can climb up walls, and attack people.

Our first plan was to open up the sliding door in the back, and get the squirrel out of his hiding place. We figured once he saw the open door, he would take off for the 40 degree weather outside. That plan came to crashing halt when I opened the glass door and saw a skunk right next to our patio.

For those of you wondering, we have a lot of wild animals in our neighborhood.

Since the skunk was in the back, we opened up the front door. The plan was to scare the squirrel out of the living room, and let him run down the hall. Seeing freedom, we were confident he would take his chances outside.

The plan worked perfectly, until the squirrel ran past the door, climbed up the stairs and disappeared into one of the rooms upstairs. Of course, all four doors were open. We checked through My Oldest's room, the guest room, the bathroom and my room without any luck. Had the squirrel escaped? We decided to sweep the upstairs one last time. Closing all doors but that of the room we were in, we finally found the little bastard hiding under My Oldest's bed. This time, we were certain, if it
ran down the stairs it would go straight out the door.

He bolted from the room, and headed down the stairs.

Then he turned right, and went back under the couch. By now it was 7:10, and shabbos would be over soon. We needed to get rid of that squirrel before Veev and the kids came home. We built a wall, using chairs and a fence, to keep the squirrel from making a break up the stairs again. The fence was at an angle with the door, so that the squirrel would have no choice but to battle to lunatics with brooms, or go outside.

The squirrel was hiding when we went back into the living room, and it took a while to flush him out. When we finally did, he saw the glass sliding door. He made a break for it, and smashed his head against the glass.

He ran back into hiding, but this time we were on his tail. He took off, and ran for the stairs. His escape blocked, he looked back at us with the brooms, and the open door. Then he walked out.

The squirrel is out of our house, but questions remained. First, how did he get in, and second, did he bring any friends. The damage was limited inside. Squirrel droppings, and a cracker that he ate all around the living room. It seemed he had not been in the house for long when I walked in on him. After making numerous searches around the house, looking for a point of entry, I found a hole, burrowed underneath the cement patio. We still don't know where the hole leads to, but we
think we found a point in the basement where the squirrel could have gained access to our home.

If you need to contact Avi Smiths grill, it can be reached at

Tired of the boring Marinades available in supermarkets, I decided to make my own. I took a honey mustard base, and added wine and oil to it. Then I let it simmer for an hour and half, adding in spices to give it extra flavor.

After it was ready, I put chicken in it overnight. I considered slapping it on the BBQ, but time considerations forced me to use the oven.

The chicken tasted delicious. It had the sweet flavor of the honey, and you could taste a subtle wine flavor in the background. The mustard and the pepper I added gave it quite a kick. I can only imagine how much better it would have been had it been cooked properly in the backyard.

We did get a 20 pound bag of charcoal, so we should be ok for the next few weeks.
My job is working out ok. But my boss is such a suck up to her boss. This guy is the head of the entire media communications division, and reports to the CEO, so he is worth sucking up to, I guess. Anyway, he comes over to me, and we are talking about an article I am writing on depression, and he mentions something, and it happened to be in something I had just read, and he said, why dont you include that in the article.

Ok. I don't mind putting it in, except it doesnt fit anywhere. But my boss was standing there at the time, and the first thing she does when I hand it in to be proofread was write an extra paragraph at the end on the mythological connection between suicide and the holidays. She changed the whole direction of the article, and then the rest of it had to be reworded so that the language would be consistent…in short, what a pain in the ass.

After a few months of leaving me alone, the Mad Burper is back. Usually he sits somewhere else in shul, but the last week or two he started sitting near me again, filling the air with burps, and coming over to talk. For some reason he likes talking to me and Mark, who sits next to me. I think it is because we dont shoo him away when he walks over.

The second radio spot aired this week for Prime Auto Leasing.

Dude 1: Dude, I need a new car. Whered you get yours?

Dude 2: I know the perfect place.

Dude 1: Not one of those dealerships, dude. Every time I walk in to one I just get ready to bend over and take it up the a….

Dude 2: No, not a dealership, man. Prime Auto Leasing. Its the newest way to get a car.

Dude 1: What do you mean, dude?

Dude 2: Its Simple. You tell them what you want, and how much you want to spend. Then they find what youre looking for. They can even arrange to deliver it to your house. Its awesome.

Dude 1: So what kind of cars do they lease? Ford, G.M., Chrysler…

Dude 2: All of them!

Dude 1: All of them?

Dude 2: You heard me right. All of them!

Dude 1: Prime Auto Leasing?

Dude 2: Yup. Prime Auto Leasing.

Dude 1: How to I find them.

Dude 2: Give them a call. They love doing business over the phone.

Dude 1: Whats the number

Dude 2: Its 248 552-7372.

Dude 1: Dude, Dude. Slow down. Can you repeat that for me.

Dude 2: thats 2-4-85-5-2-7-3-7-2. So are you going to call over their?

Dude 1: Freaken A. Im calling Prime Auto Leasing Today.

The editors had a good time with this one, though, and they modified it slightly. I still havent heard either one on the radio, but I keep listening to 97.1 to catch it.

Sunday morning football wasnt as glorious as last week, when I picked off a pass, had a sack, and scored a TD, but I did knock down two passes at the line of scrimmage, and make a few key receptions. We ended up winning, and our QB is starting to trust me to catch the ball.

For those of you looking for a micha update, hes still holding at 101.

The other thing that is weird about blue cross is everyone sends their email using these ridiculously colored fonts.

After carefully observing everything that goes on, I can safely say that the pipes in our apartment are too thin. Everything is slow. The drain in the sink in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and in the shower. Its not just our place, I have noticed a slow drain in the other townhouses.

Veev has hated Jim Gray for years. Every time he interviews someone she gets mad at him. So it should come as no surprise that she is upset at the Pete Rose incident. My Rabbi wasnt too happy with him either, calling him a fag during our Wednesday night shuir. But I am on the side of the journalist on this one. Gray had a responsibility to the viewers to go after Rose, and I am glad he did.

While were on baseball, regardless of the Yankees sweep of the Braves, I still consider the Braves to be the team of the 90s. The Yankees did win three titles, and the strike may have cost them a fourth, but 90s belonged to the Braves. With their eight division titles, they owned the NL.

And now, a serving of Chicken Soup for the Beis Yaakov Girls Soul…

Best of Friends…

Her name was Chana Klein, and even though we havent talked or seen each other in 16 years, I still feel as close to her as I did when we first met, at a Beis Yaakov Convention.

There were eight of staying in two rooms, at the 1983 Baltimore Bais Yaakov convention. I dont think I will ever forget that magical weekend. Our host only had 5 beds, so most of us were doubling up anyway. It all started out so innocently enough. Everyone was painting each others nails, and brushing each others hair. We were all wearing night gowns, and having a blast.

One of the girls, I think her name was Miriam, had brought her mothers \Cosmopolitan Magazine, and we all sat in a circle, taking the relationship Quiz. Of course, none of us admitted to being in a relationship before, but when Devorah brought out a small flask of Vodka, we started to loosen up.

After Chana had a few drinks, she confessed that she once went out with a boy, and actually kissed him on the lips. We were relentless, asking her for all the details, like where his hands were, how it felt, and who made the first move. She tried to answer our questions, but then thought it would be easier to show us. I was sitting next to her, and she volunteered me to demonstrate with her.

She moved her lips close to mine, and soon she started kissing me. After a minute, though, I realized that she wasnt demonstrating anymore. She was really kissing me. Soon, every one in the room was making out with one another. We kept on thinking, this is only for pretend, but we knew we were really kissing other girls.

Each night during the convention, when we all got back to our hosts, we sat there in our night gowns, kissing each other. I had never felt close to anyone, they way I felt with her. The convention was truly the absolute best ever.

Even though I haven't seen Chana since those wild times in Baltimore, I think of her often.

Zehava Stein

Get this. Some cop pulls me over this week for driving with expired tags. What is that all about. I wasnt speeding, and my plates were less then a week overdue. Its still October. The only possible explanation I have for this is I was being pulled over as part of a reverse racial profiling kind of exercise.

Anyway, then I had to go to secretary of state to get new tags, and switch my license to my new address while I was at it.

Some people meet ball players all the time. I ran into Tommy Hearns a few months ago at a Drug Store, but I didnt know it was him until someone pointed him out to me. Besides, I am not much of a boxing fan anyway. But this morning, I go to Secretary of State, to get my tags, and right in front of me is Bill Laimbeer. It was funny. There are all these people lined up against the wall, and then this huge guy, and then a bunch of regular people again.

He was on the phone most of the time, and I didnt want to bother him, but as I was leaving, he was sitting in a seat on the edge of the row, so I went over to him, asked him if he was bill Laimbeer, just to be sure, and thanked him for all those great years with the Pistons. He shook my hand, he has a huge hand, but I think he was upset that I mentioned who he was, because after that a bunch of people behind
started to talk to him.

The funny thing was, I had just seen him the night before on ESPN Classic, in game six against the Lakers in the 88 finals, and I was complaining about a bad call against Laimbeer on Kareem that cost the Pistons the title that year.

This week in Celebrity Death Triangle, we have golfer Payne Stewart, Senator John Chafee, and singer/actor Hoyt Axton. The only connectionwe can make so far is Air. Payne Stewart died in an Airplane crash, Chafee was highly involved in the Clean Air Act of 1990, and Axton has a lyric that reads "I want to be a flyer, a rainbow rider, a straight shooting son of a gun" in the song Joy to the World, which has ties to

Ok, so the death triangle is tenuous.

Well, its 75 degrees and sunny, the Pistons are playing great preseason basketball, and you've been reading Air Time…Have a good shabbos

Monday, September 18, 2006

The World Looks A Lot Nicer When...

You finally have a job. I start work next week. Finally.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Job update

For those of you in the Is Air ever going to get a job pool, if you picked Monday, September 18 you are the lucky winner. After interviewing twice, taking a writing test, and then spending five hours at the head examiners, and then giving phone numbers of references to my potential employers, I was finally hired by someone.

They are going to be making me an offer tomorrow, which I hope I will be able to accept, especially since we have already talked about salary ranges, and then I can start working.

Why is the world so dumb

This may seem kind fo random and a few months too late, but this came out of my middlest mouth just a few minutes ago, as they showed a soccer highlight or commercial on ESPN.

"I know why they don't let you keep the ball when it goes into the stands. It because soccer is't a major league sport."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Special Shabbos in the D

This week is always a special Shabbos at the Young Israel of Oak Park.

Yes, it is the week before Rosh HaShana, but more importantly, its the What F#%^$% shabbos in the old shul.

For as long as I can remember, Slichos was always at about 1 am on Saturday night. But old man Henry didn't remember it that way. He wanted Slichos at 10 pm. Maybe that's how it was at the other Young Israel that merged with our Young Israel. Truth is, I don't remember whether this old guy was one of regular old guys, or one that we got when the two shuls merged.

Either way, the President announced that Slichot that evening would be at 1 am, and old man henry, loud enough for the whole shul to hear, asked in his inimitable, profanity-laced way, why we were davening so late.

Old man Henry died a few years ago, but even though he is gone, he is always remembered in shul during the Slichot announcements.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Now They've Finished Prodding at My Brain

I got a call on Sunday afternoon from the head of the marketing department at a large Israeli company. Somehow my resume had found its way to her desk, and she had an opening. She asked me to come in for an interview. Monday afternoon I drove out to the office complex, and had my interview.

The interview went well, and when she finished, she called another person in the department, and asked her to interview me as well.

We had the second interview right away, and before I left, they gave me some marketing materials that they wanted me to write, as a test. This is fairly common in my profession, and on Tuesday afternoon, I emailed the test to the woman I met.

On Wednesday morning, I got a call from the HR department. As part of the hiring process, they wanted me to take a psychometrics test and be interviewed by some kind of industrial mental health professional.

They wanted me to come in as early as possible, and so I went this morning for a five hour session. There were a number of tests I had to take, and then, there was the questionnaire, which was followed by an interview with the mental health professional.

I have had a number of interviews over the past few weeks, and am used to being asked personal questions like age, family size, and other questions that are illegal to ask during the hiring process in the United States.

However, the questions on the survey, in addition to requiring lengthy answers, went further than any interviewer has gone delving into my personal life.

And since I wrote them down on a piece of scrap paper, I can share them with you.

1) Please provide a short life history
2) What have been the most significant events in your life, and why are those events important?
3) Please provide your academic, military and professional history
4) Of the jobs listed, which was your favorite. Describe the job expressing your feelings towards the job, toward fellow employees, toward management, and why you enjoyed this job
5) Of the jobs listed, which was your least favorite. Describe the job expressing your feelings towards the job, toward fellow employees, toward management, and why you enjoyed this job.
6) What type of work is most appropriate for you?
7) What are your plans for the future? Please include personal, family and professional plans.
8) Why did you apply for this job?
9) Please describe any difficulties you may face in this job.
10) Describe an event (Real or hypothetical) that caused you discomfort or difficulty. Relate to your reaction, your actions, and how you would react in the future in a similar situation.
11) How do you spend your leisure time?
12) Please provide a detailed health history of yourself and your family.
13) Please describe your parents, siblings, children and spouse. Include occupations, ages, appearance, traits, personal characteristics, and relationship among family members.
14) Talk about your social life. Describe your friends' characteristics.
15) Please provide a personal description of yourself.

So I answered the questions, met with the head doctor, and if they say I am mentally fit, I may be able to start working next week.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Ago Today...

I was teaching 16 Third Graders when I found out. Where were you?

Friday, September 08, 2006

What is this? Tiger Stadium?

This message made me laugh... Good Shabbos!


YIOP's New Chairs Are In! Own a piece of History!

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Cop, The Kid and Shabbat

Veev and I were playing Scrabble this afternoon when there was a knock on the door. At first we thought the noise was coming from the boys upstairs. They had friends over, and were loud as they flipped through baseball cards and did whatever it is that ten-year-old boys do.

But the noise persisted, and we realized someone was at the door. I went to the door, and a woman with a notepad started talking quickly to me in Hebrew. Thinking she was trying to sell me something, I told her I didn't speak hebrew, but she pulled out her police badge, and started to speak in English.

Did you have a bicycle stolen, she asked me.

Yes, a few days ago, I said. My bike had been stolen a week earlier, and after filing a police report for the bike, and my kids roller blades, baseball gloves and hockey equipment, I figured I would never see the police or my stuff again.

I figured the cops were doing some kind of follow up police work, making sure that the area was safe and telling me about a neighborhood watch program.

Instead, they asked me to describe the bike, which I did, which the chick cop wrote down, and left me wondering whether this was really appropriate for a Shabbat afternoon.

I filed a police report I told her, and she asked me to get it. I retrieved the report, and she wrote down the numbers, along with our phone number.

Veev started talking to the cop in hebrew, telling her that we were olim chadashim and were very disappointed that our things would get stolen by a jew.

They caught the guy, she told us, and don't worry, this was not a jewish person.

She was hesitant to tell us at first, but as we talked, some of the details came out. The criminal was a 15-year old arab kid. He was skinny and small, and confessed to a number of small-time robberies in Modiin. He was taking the police throughout the neighborhoods that he robbed, showing where he stole from. The police were not sure if we would ever get our stuff back, but they were going house to house that this kid robbed and talking to the victims to find out what was missing.

Before knocking on our door, they brought him into our courtyard, handcuffed, and had him show them who he robbed. By the time they knocked on our door, he was safely ensconced in the police car.

Later, on our way back from Mincha, my oldest and I passed a police car, and there, sitting very timidly and tiny, skinny as a stick, was a frightened arab kid. Who I hope spends some hard time Israeli prison.

Even if we don't get our stuff back, it was a relief to hear that he was arrested. My kids knew that things had been stolen, and were nervous going out front to play. They didn't know who or what was out there. Seeing the kid in the police car put them at ease that their are not too many hardened criminals running through our neighborhood.