Thursday, December 10, 2009

Austin PSA

As I'm sure y'all have noticed, lately there's been a lot of spam in our little corner of the blogosphere. A lot of spam. Nasty shtuff. Anywho, back in the day, in the land before time, I used to have word verification on comments (On TRS). E convinced me to get rid of that, so I did, and replaced it with comment moderation. E convinced me to get rid of that too, so I did, and all was well for many moons. Now suddenly we are under attack, and it's quite annoying. What to do? Good Q. Obviously we don't want to stifle anyone's creativity, or the fights that happily happen between two bloggers (call them discussions if you will), but at the same time, who wants to provide a platform for spammers? The Japanese shtuff isn't so bad, because it's in a foreign language, but the other spam? Disgusting. I've taken the simple step of enabling comment moderation for all posts older than thirty days, which seems to have stemmed most of the tide. I think that the spambots detect that their spam isn't going through, and stop trying, or something like that. Far be it from me to suggest that anyone should follow my lead, but I thought it appropriate to say something on the matter.

Monday, November 23, 2009

How do thoughts look like?

Not like this:


(pyramidal neurons in cerebral cortex)

More like this:



(synchronized firing of pyramidal cells, in red, due to inhibition from basket interneurons, in black)

First picture mine. Second borrowed from some paper (forgot which one).

Click on the images to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A series of events

Click on the images to enlarge.

Step 1:


Step 3:


Step 4:


Step 8:


Step 9:

Friday, November 6, 2009

The evils thereof

e's description of FB touched us all greatly, I'm sure, and I felt the need to make my own admission: In the beginning I friended people who I actively liked, and accepted friendings from people who I was friendly with. But now... twice in the last day I've been friended by people who I actively dislike, and I accepted them! Why? Because I didn't want to hurt their feelings? It's not like I'm trying to get as many friends as possible, because believe you me, I'm not. So what gives?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My apologies

It has recently come to my attention that some bad shtuff has been going down over at this particular forum. Some of it may very well have been my fault, and for this I apologize. "Oh!" you say, "TRS is going to get away with a blanket apology? Over my dead body!"

All right, all right, since I'd hate to have any dead bodies over here in the bloggerverse that we all know and love, I'll be a little more specific. First of all, one specific blogger attempted to stem the tide of immorality and point out a few things. Whether or not I (or anyone else) agreed with him, it was wrong to demonize him, for which I apologize. Secondly, I think an apology is owed to the organizers of the event, who never at any time set out to create anything more or less than a poetry slam that could be enjoyed by all. I am sorry if the organizers in any way suffered through the aforementioned particular forum, and I hereby beg their indulgence of our blogger criticism.

Now that I've finished groveling...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Brezhnev Exeter Kipkin Silva


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

LoT has no end! http://bit.ly/117FZ9 DIES MERCURII VIII ID. OCT. VDCCLXX A.V.C.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stam L'haar

You heard of this thing called marriage? It kinda takes a lot of energy and whatnot. So if you don't see too much blogging shtuff from moi? Just know that the less time I spend online the more I'm spending with my lovely wife, and that can't possibly be a bad thing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

When You Become Too Frum For Your Friends

Or the other way around, to be open-minded. I think most people have experienced this in some form or another. You change and your friends don't and you wonder how to, or if you should, stay friends with them. With chassidishkeit, it can be a little more complicated, because you know that the changes you make are usually for the better.
So I'm putting the question to you, fellow bloggers.
Tell us your story, and how you dealt, what choice you made.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

שו"ת עומד לשריפה 1 aka The Shaving Post

It has come to the attention of these quarters that there is a lack of knowledge regarding the important halachos of hashchosas hazokon among קק"ק דבלאגער. To that end we the undersigned have decided to provide בירור in this matter -- at least to those members of the community who can read Yeshiva dialect aramaio-hebraicized English.

crack.

A shot rings out and the writer slumps over his desk in a pool of blood. A man steps through the bedroom doorway, smoking gun in hand. He looks at the old man lying across his notebook, fresh blood dying his gray beard the red of youth, and laughs.

"Once again ignorance is preserved."

Ok. No more leitzonus. ATTENTION: Here is the serious part

I was reading an old post on e's blog about shaving vs. picking when I came across some halachic stuff which I said I'd post about and this is it. (Note: e said I know what I'm talking about! Can you believe it?)

First off, there seems to be a misconception in Lubavitch (and other chasidusin) that shaving falls under the prohibition of transvestism (לא תלבש colloquially). While many authorities including the Chazon Ish among others have said this, upon examination it turns out that this is a statement of passion rather than psak as the Law simply does not stretch that way. (Perhaps another post if interest warrants)

That being said, the prohibition against shaving bears further analysis. Hashkafa, chasidus, and kabballa are beyond the purview of this post (I'm too lazy to look things up) and we will stick to straight halacha. Enjoy the ride.

EDIT:
Before proceeding further, it is important to note that the only readers of this blog to whom this applies are Shriki and myself, both of whom have beards anyway. The Tzemach Tzeddek assurs beard removal or abridgment in any way shape or form, therefore it is assur for his followers i.e. Lubavitchers.

The prohibition against shaving is derived from two psukim, the first states "do not razor the corners of thy beards" (emor) while the second states "he [the kohen] will not destroy his beard" (somewhat earlier in emor). By a combination of mesorah and אסמכתא the gemara derives that one has only committed the sin of shaving if one destroys the beard hair below the length of recognizable stubble, with a halachically defined razor.

A halachically defined razor is an instrument that removes hair at the root with a scraping (single-bladed) motion. The definition of stubble in halacha is a source of debate in its own right, though most poskim hold that a reasonably dexterous person must be able to take the hair between two fingers and bend it.

Following these criteria, we can form a list of permitted and prohibited activities.
  1. Trimming with scissors. Muttar, leaves enough hair and is not a razor
  2. Depilatory powder or cream. Muttar, is not a razor. The RaMChaL used this method
  3. Crappy shavers sold in Jewish electronics stores. Muttar, they use microscreens not blades at all and leave enough hair
  4. Good shavers. Some may be assur, particularly lift-and-cut models as they use single blades and some even work and give close shaves
  5. Razors of any sort. Assur gamur. While there has recently been a spurt of kiddush-club halacha going around that safety razors are not razors this is completely unfounded.
ועל זה באנו על החתום
אנאנימוס

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mazal Tov!

Mazal tov to our two basementbloggers.
The ones who have gotten married, that is.*
We wish them only the best.**
Rumors have it that although they have [insert appropriate chassidic alternative for "tied the knot"], they decided against moving upwards in life....to an apartment, that is.*** Ahhhhh, once a basement blogger, always a basement blogger



Footnotes:
*the other ones who feel they deserve a mazal tov need to dedicate a post to that topic. for example, I finally made pasta that didnt immediately morph into a ball of pasta-mush. Mazal Tov to me!

**Well, I'm assuming we do.

***Just follow your nose to the nearest Dr-Prager stocked polka dotted-free sub terrian dwelling abode.

Friday, September 11, 2009

To remember 9/11

It's been 8 years. The memories are still clear in my mind.

It's a war that we have been fighting ever since then. It isn't over yet.

Take a minute of silence. Reflect. Remember. Don't walk away and never look back, because then you are condemning all who died that day to their graves. And they don't deserve that, they deserve better.

There's nothing we can DO to fix it, to change the past. But we CAN do something to change the future.

Light a candle for those who died. Give extra charity. Do a good deed in their memory. Help create a better future.

It's up to YOU.

Moshiach now!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

For E

College

What several people have said to me about college:
  1. You have to go or you'll be fixing toilets for the rest of your life
  2. You can't go or you'll go OTD and become a mumar.
  3. If you go you'll become an alcoholic and a drug addict
How it measures up with reality:
  1. I missed the first class of this semester because I was fixing a toilet.
  2. I daven vasikin
  3. I was at a wedding last night where I was the only current college student at my table and the only person who never smoked weed.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

matisyahu virtual concert

Will the bloggers of today join together with reb matis in san fran?
its like on twitter or facebook or something, im not exactly sure but i think u can send in requests.
Right here:
http://apps.facebook.com/matisyahulive/
5 PM PACIFIC STANDERD TIME, or for the rest of us, 8.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hey everybody - Got a requst for you all. Please daven for the immediate recovery of ChananVelvel ben Bryna.
This is a man who has been more of an uncle to me than my uncles, whose children are my siblings and cousins and friends.
And the situation right now is the sword on the throat kind.
So please - say some Tehillim, do a little learning, and daven that this man should see his grandchildren celebrate their weddings.

UPDATE: NAME CHANGE: His name is now Chanan Velvel SIMCHA ben Bryna

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Be sensitive



M1 = primary motor cortex (moves whiskers)
S1 = primary sensory cortex (senses whisker movement against objects)
A1 through E3 — barrels (columns) in sensory cortex, each responsive to a single whisker movement

Such is His Will.

How do we know this, you ask? This is how (click to enlarge):



(source)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Workspace

I apologize for two posts in a row and low picture quality (taken with my phone before I clean up).

Weirdness salad

How the mind of a Russian looks from the inside:


(click on the picture to enlarge)

[via Artemiy Lebedev’s business lynch]

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Riddles

What can run but never walks,
has a mouth but never talks,
has a head but never weeps,
has a bed but never sleeps?

~~~~~~~~~~
Pronounced as one letter,
And written with three,
Two letters there are,
And two only in me.

I'm double, I'm single,
I'm black, blue, and gray,
I'm read from both ends,
And the same either way.
What am I?

~~~~~~~~~~~~
In a marble hall white as milk
Lined with skin as soft as silk
Within a fountain crystal-clear
A golden apple doth appear.
No doors there are to this stronghold,
Yet thieves break in to steal its gold.

Monday, August 10, 2009

An important question

Does anyone know a good, mouthful-of-syllables, recognizably ashkenazi-Jewish name? I need one for a story. Depending on who -- if anyone -- buys it, the story will probably show up here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Out of the woodwork

After a flurry of intense negotiations regarding multimillion dollar contracts (they had to have happened sometime in in human history, no?) the notorious lurker Modeh B'Miktsas has joined basement blogging. Not a native of Crown Heights nor a member of the Lubavitch underground, this move has been hailed by diversity advocates as a huge leap forward towards that great day in the future when goats will have tenured faculty positions.

Rev. B'Miktsas was not available for comment. When last heard from he was working on a Star Wars novel centered around a Sith lord named Darth Kushentuchus.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I agree

Guzel bir baslangic wrote:

Kullanmad���n�za pi�man olacaks�n�z
3 ayl�k k�r ile 3 le 7 cm aras�nda b�y�meyi garanti ediyoruz.
Mucizevi bir tamamen do�al bir takviye Hayat�n�zda m�kemmel bir ad�m at�n.
3 kutu kullan�mda i�e yaramazsa para iadesi
�u an stoklar�m�zda �stanbul i�ine 2 saatte teslim ediyoruz.Dilerseniz kap�da kredi kart� ile �deme.
Kargo �cretinizi biz kar��l�yoruz.I

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Good comment from Yitzi

Hi, I just happened upon BB ..

was curious to read the comments of this post..
to know how Chabadnikim think of the Rebbe currently.. [I only know some of the Hassidut of the Alter Rebbe] Thanks to all of you for sharing.

If I could share my thoughts (limited by the fact that I haven't had the benefit of much exposure to the Rebbe's Hassidut -- only one sicha) I would think that it's clear from Igrot haKodesh (in the Tanya) in the letter the Alter Rebbe wrote to console the mourners of the Pri HaAretz, that during the Rebbe's corporeal lifetime, our ability to perceive the Rebbe's ahavah/yirah/emunah were hidden and now it's possible to experience (ie. l'hasig) them directly through our love for him.

@Altie, I'm assuming you don't have children -- I think when you have children, you will better understand what it *feels* like to be a parent and to treat every little thing your children produce as if it is more precious than gold -- maybe then you will really be able to *feel* that the Rebbe not only reads but prizes your letters. [which reminds me of a teaching that touched me from the Baal Shem Tov, (i believe in Tzava'at HaRivash) that just as a father is excited when his child says 'abba' even if the child doesn't even know what he's saying, so too HaShem takes great joy in our calling out His name, even if we don't know what we're saying.]

For myself, all I can say is that I wish I had a chance to see the Rebbe.. even if it was only as a child and I had forgotten the memory.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What you think

So, Shiva Asar B'Tamuz, anyone?

Profile Pictures

I tried getting a profile picture (a cute little cheerio), but it doesn't seem to work everywhere. Help!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gimmel Tammuz Virtual Farbrengan



Gimmel tammuz is an important day. I think it is appropriate for a "Crown Heights Underground" blog to be a place where we can talk about what Gimmel Tammuz means. I'd like to use the comment section of this post as a forum for such a discussion.

Yesterday, one of the shluchim here started singing "Gimmel tammuz didn't change a thing..." I turned to him and asked, "Do you really think that Gimmel tammuz didn't change anything?"

And now... I turn the question on you. Do you think that anything changed with Gimmel tammuz? I think we would all agree that something changed... but maybe differ on what changed. What do you think is different now?

Gimmel Tamuz in my soul

Stolen from my blog and before that from somewhere else.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Presenting, for the very first time; C on BB!!!!!

Thank you TRS for this most thoughtful invitation (and to anyone else who may have inspired it). I am must flattered, and feel as if I have been accepted amongst all the cool bloggers as part of the "inner-circle". OK, just kidding, but it is nice to be here.

I would introduce myself, but that would just be boring, plus it's customary to be introduced by someone else (which can be done in the comments). Anyhow, mostly I am welcoming myself to this here bloggaroo (which is apparently a word) and to Israel. Not because you care, but because I can't sleep and I'm bored and no one else is awake.

Anyhow.... I think I've just about bored myself to sleep here... so may be heading back upstairs soon. Just wanna say hi, and thanks for the invite.

And wishing you all a wonderful summer! Here's hoping the sun shines soon wherever you are...

L'chaim!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Expanding the Family

Since Basement Blogging was started, a whole bunch of new people have gotten involved in out corner of the blogosphere. Why not invite them to join Basement Blogging?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mazel Tov!

All right, I feel really bad and guilty and whatnot for not attending fellow BBer Mottel's wedding, so I'll use this forum instead to say a big mazel tov!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Creative Decalogue Writing Experiment

I wrote this for someone, it has a few of the ten commandments in it . . . Let's put as many different commandments as we can! I tag TRS to continue it . . .

"My name is Ira Cohen.

"As a child I was always fascinated with shiny objects. Bits of tiny foil, glass marbles, pieces of metal . . . I would collect them all. I knew they weren't worth much, but in my childish mind, they meant the world to me.

"I became so excited about my collection, that my friend Billy also got involved. One day, Billy called me over to his house -his voice full of excitement.
'Look!' he told me. His hands darted to his pockets - and slowly produced a small gold ring. 'Look what I have . . .'
"I wanted it, I wanted it right away . . . The desire gnawed at me, it began to distract me from everything - school, games, life . . . I needed it for my collection.
One day, at Billy's house, I saw the ring sitting on his desk. When he wasn't looking I stole it. That evening I ran home and put in my drawer with the rest of the shiny odds and ends in my collection.
As the days went by, I forgot about the ring languishing in my drawer. A week or so later, however, my parents came to me. They asked if I had seen a golden ring in Billy's house. Apparently it had been a gift from his Grandfather, and meant very much to him. Guilt welled up in my heart, but I couldn't bring myself to confess my wrongdoing. Though an honest, child - one who felt so ill at ease to lie . . . the word's seemed to flow so easily from my mouth.
'Nope,' I told my mother, 'I've never seen it before.'
'Are you sure?' They asked me.
'Yes!' I answered. 'I swear - I swear to G-d that I've never seen it before!'
'If you see it,' they pressed on, 'you'll let us know . . . right? It was a very expensive gift!'

"I became nervous, I couldn't bear the guilt of stealing something from my best friend.
'I didn't see it, ok!' I yelled at them . . . 'No leave me alone. Just leave me alone . . . I hate you, when you bother me like that!'

"The next day in school I couldn't bear to play with Billy anymore. I became distant from him and our other friends . . . I became depressed, and my grades began to drop. By the time I entered high school, I no longer fit into the system. I made trouble, got into fights . . . When I didn't pass the 11th grade, instead of repeating it, I quit. Working odd jobs, I continued my downwards spiral. At nights I would get drunk and hang around with wild guys and girls like me. I would even use drugs. I couldn't hold down a job with such behavior . . . so I turned back to the one thing I knew I could do . . . I began to steal.
"That's when things got really bad. One day I broke into an old house. I thought it was empty, but I saw old lady inside. Worse yet, she saw me.

TRS:

We committed adultery. Then I worshiped satan. Then I violated the sabbath and murdered her.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Saved by the bar

...Continued from

The impersonator was preparing for his big day. Of course he had practiced for hours and hours before, but this would be the first time he would be performing live. All right, he had tried performing live once before, but it had been a complete and utter disaster. Or so he liked to believe. His belief's were of course his business alone, and he liked to keep them that away.

Point was, and this was what the impersonator always had to keep in mind, he was going to be performing. Before an adoring crowd. The press was rooting for him to win. The royal box would be occupied tonight, to see him, the impersonator, in his greatest triumph.
----
The King was complaining again. "Would you just shut up?" asked his wife, "Haven't you been king long enough to know that when these sorts of events happen a royal presence is expected?"

The king responded, "Why can't you just go yourself?"

"Because it would be quite improper for a lady to go unaccompanied to the theatre. Think of the scandal!"

"Why can't you go with some other guy then?"

"Because if I go with 'some other guy' (making quotation marks with her fingers) then people will think that he's cuckolding you, which would of course be highly embarrassing."

The king, who hated when the queen made quotation marks with her fingers, thought of a good idea. "Maybe I go alone?" he asked.

"Absolutely not!" said the queen, "Besides, people might think you were abandoning the eden that is living with me."

The king would have snorted, but he realized that it's improper to snort in front of ladies. Then he realized that this was absolute poppycock, but he still didn't snort, because he knew that if he did his wife would disapprove in the strongest measures.

The queen took a look at the king, wondering why he hadn't said anything, and proceeded to fill the void with, "Besides, I really do want to show that the royals support the arts, and what better way could there be than to attend a live performance at the state theatre?"
----
Later that night...

The king may have been dominated by his wife, but he did have some powers. When they had first arrived at the theatre he had called the chief chamberlain over and told him to arrange drinks in the royal box, but on his side, so that the queen, a noted teetotaler, wouldn't be able to see what he was imbibing.

Being her usual eagle-eyed self she had in fact noticed the king drinking, but he had suavely turned the situation around by offering her a drink too, and when he handed her a Shirley Temple she was mollified. Obviously the chief chamberlain had followed her instructions and made sure that there was no alcohol in the building.
----
Half an hour after the show had started, just before the impersonator was to make his grand entrance, the king slumped forward to the floor. The crowd gasped, and the king's attendants rushed forward to help. A man leaped onto the stage and screamed, "Thusly to all tyrants!", and hundreds of guards swarmed forward to waterboard him (at least, that was the plan. First they'd take him into custody, book him, make a few press conferences, etc). The king was carried to a waiting ambulance, and as the sirens roared off into the night the king was transported to the bar of the theatre, his wife following behind the empty ambulance in the royal automobile.

The king's doctor was in the bar too, and he said, "My congratulations, sire, on that most brilliant escape."

"Escape??!!" cried the king, "I was deathly ill! The shock to the system would have killed any lesser creature!"

The royal physician arrived at that moment, and pushing the king's doctor aside, he said, "Yes sire, that assassination attempt would surely have killed any lesser man."

The king gave him a look that would have killed (if looks could kill), and said, "Assassination attempt? Putting ginger ale in my sixth Manhattan was an assassination attempt?"

At this moment the king's own surgeon arrived, and rudely pushing away the king's doctor and the royal physician he said, "Such a shock would surely have killed any lesser man, though I do declare, ginger ale in moderation can help the average diet."

The king, thoroughly disgusted by his inept medical team, wondered where he had gone wrong in life.

To be continued...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

No you didn't!

...Continued from

The King was discussing a plan with his chief economic advisers to sponsor a golf tournament. His advisers weren't particularly enthused with the idea, but they were dealing with the King, and they had to tread lightly. The problem, as they saw it, was that the kingdom didn't stand to gain much, if anything, from a sporting venture, and could quite possibly lose big. The king wasn't listening to all the king's men, and protested that if Monaco could have a grand prix and Luxembourg a tennis tournament, why couldn't he have a golf tournament?

The queen, meanwhile, wasn't impressed with the king's latest idea either, but she wasn't going to say anything. Yet. After all, hadn't she always gotten her way with sufficient cajoling? But now was not the time for such antics. After all, her opinion hadn't even been asked yet. Not that she expected it to be asked. No, the queen rejoiced in an advisory role that was above the asking of opinion. She made her views be known in a far more subtle way than an outside observer, seeing her gross manners and corpulent build, would have ever believed possible.

The king followed his meeting with lunch. His wife, the queen, had ordered cheese omelets, and the king began to eat his with gusto. After a few investigatory bites of her own egg the queen asked, "And how was your morning, dear?"

The king, instantly on his guard following such a patently false opening, guardedly responded, "It was satisfactory." The queen hadn't been prepared for such a brilliant strategic move on the part of the king, and was nonplussed for a moment. Only for a moment of course-she hadn't become the queen by failing to respond to such provocative statements instantly. Girding her wits about her, the queen said, "Well, that's nice. Was anything accomplished?"

Shocked by this completely unexpected rejoinder, the king pondered his next move, but only for the briefest of periods of time. Less than ten seconds to be sure, but possibly a little more than five. Regardless, the king soon gathered his thoughts, and let loose with a barrage of astounding clarity, "Not too much. We discussed various options for making it through the current financial crisis, and we're all pleased with the progress we're making."

The queen was blown out of her boxers by this incredibly coruscating retort, and nearly gave up the fight. She didn't, of course, because she hadn't become the queen by giving up the fight. When the going got tough, the queen got nasty. "So what you're saying, dear, is that you're interested in improving the kingdom's financial well-being with a well-timed stimulus package designed to bolster our workforce and improve morale in both the public and private sector with a series of interventionist measures calculated to dig us out of the morass we've fallen into?"

The king felt that this conversation had gone too far, and he fell asleep. The queen finished his omelet, content in her victory.

To Be Continued...
WHat happened to the post I put up here?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Plugging My Other Blog Because Its 2 AM and I Should Be Asleep

Bsd
Everyone - go read my writing blog (you know, the one with the pretentious title and the cute url and check out the poems I posted.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bless you!

In der velt, when you sneeze and someone says "bless you," should you respond "thank you"?

Continuing the Creative Word Joint Writing stuff

In this Joint writing Exersize - we write things two words at a time!!
Let's get started!

A Bochur fell off a very thingilded stool on wheels and then he died. His motherscreamed in French, Russian, and Chinese And broke her water gun. Then much to her displeasure she snorted some coca cola. The cat spat up the phylacteries and started to dance.Suddenly he meowed outloud saying, "I just must abstain from hacking up tea kettles." The mother

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Continued!

Key: e. TRS le7 Sarabonne Dovid Mottel Cheerio Crawling Axe Sef


Eric ran for all he was worth. Suddenly, he was hit by the front-end loader he had been chased by and landed in a nearby ditch. He landed flat on his rather plump posterior and was more shocked than injured.
He cursed the heavens and rummaged around for his monocle.

"What kind of job is this for a nice Jewish boy wearing a tweed jacket, suspenders, hair-plugs, and a monocle anyway?" he wondered. Reaching into his coat pocket for his inhaler, Eric felt something warm and wet oozing onto his fingers. Eric pulled out his monocle, and popped it into his eye socket. And then he saw the rhino. Knees buckled, he ran for Tijuana. And promptly fell flat on his face, it's hard to run with buckled legs.

"What the hell is going on here," he muttered to himself, as blood dripped from his fingers, his monocle fell to the ground, his suspenders snapped, and he noticed--for the first time--that the rhino and the front-end loader were both gone. Ira Eric Green was definitely beginning to have second thoughts about his new "legitimate" career as a stunt double. It wasn't only the danger involved; the pay was shoddy, and it left him with no time for his true love, competitive matzah ball eating.
Fluffy white ones, little brown hard ones, stuffed with ground beef and jalapeno, fried with mango sauce... whenever Ira thought about matzah balls, he could barely contain himself...

Slowly the world came back in focus as Ira settled down from the trip - taking matza balls laced with acid, was not good for ones health. "Could this be the cause of my tinnitus?” Ira thought, suddenly remembering his trip to Prague as a representative to Russian mafia.

Little did Ira Eric Green know that the high-pitched beeping noise he had been hearing since that trip was really a result of a tracking device that had been installed during the night he had stayed in a sleazy Russian hotel. As Ira slowly rose to his feet, perhaps a cup of coffee would help stable his blurred vision and pounding headache.

Sipping his coffee, he moseyed over to the calendar to see when the next matzah-ball-eating competition would be. As he began searching through the dates, he discovered that the next contest would be in three days. He sipped his coffee, added a fourth teaspoon of sugar and then noticed where the contest would take place. "The Brooklyn City Hospital- front parking lot", he read off the notice. "Oh dear", he thought, "talk about flirting with the past." He slurped down the rest of his coffee and gave a loud belch.

A man standing next to him said, "My dear sir, that was absolutely disgusting, I've never been so offended in my life!"

He looked over at the man and said "How in tarnation did you get inside my kitchen?"

"Your kitchen!" the man roared, "who do you think you are, making horrible noises and then thinking you own this place? Be gone!"


"Security?" said Eric Ira Green, with a slight bit of annoyance in his voice, "Can we get this guy off the set?"

Ira "Eric" Green wagged his head and blinked a few times, trying to dispell the image of the man standing in his kitchen. "Guess acid takes longer to wear off then they said in that recipe book," he muttered to himself, shaking his head harder and faster back and forth. Suddenly, something dislodged itself from his ear and fell to the floor with the quietest of smashing sounds.


"Oh no!" Ira cried, "my prized platinum stud has fallen out! Whatever shall I do?" (Too bad Ira doesn't know what a stud is).


Suddenly, Ira realized that his tinnitus was gone. Ah, and there was that bloody rhino again. "Damn, the acid flashes are getting worse! Well I better rest up and hope this wears off before the competion", he thought yawning and lying down.
Ira heard the instructions from his CIA handler over the earpiece he had inserted back into his ear (where else), and proceeded to the rendezvous point three miles out of town to the left of the Alterra coffee where the wild things were. (Or so he dreamed in his long, deep slumber.) Ira blinked as he saw himself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies - from afar somebody called him, so he answered quite slowly,to a girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

She sang to him,

"You're so vain You probably think this song is about you You're so vain I'll bet you think this song is about you Don't you? Don't you?"

and then ran off.

Ira tried to look for his monocle, but instead found a piece of French toast in his jacket; at this point, he heard (amidst now very distinctive lack of tinnitus) a male voice in Eastern European accent say “Brrrekfest ready, Mistterr Eeera”, smelled French toast and woke up. Laying in his 800 count - hot pink - Egyptian cotton sheets, Ira looked around the room to see if the voice he heard was real.

"Of course I'm real!" a raspy voice screamed. The raspy voice belonged to a shriveled old man who was standing in the center of Ira's room (which was coincidentally was painted hot pink), holding a (what else?) hot pink breakfast tray.

"Oh Adrian its just you. What day is it? How long have I been sleeping here on the set?"

"Erm, Meester Ira sir...you been sleeping many a moon, we was very worried."

Ira looked around the room and saw something strange; a cow was staring straight at him! It let out a loud moo and informed Ira that he was from Wisconsin.

"Perchance you hail from the Sheboygan region, my ancestral stomping grounds?" Ira asked hopefully.

The bovine creature was rather appalled by Ira's outragous question and his lacking sense of propriety.

Realizing that the acid has yet to wear off, Ira decided against driving himself to the matzah-ball eating contest and instead asked the cow for a ride. The cow mooed with delight and kneeled down for Ira to climb on, as he grabbed his hot pink 800 count Egyptian cotton sheets and tied it around his kneck for a cape - "yeehaw!"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Creative Word Joint Writing Exersize

With my ADHD and the Chasuna prep, B"H I'm very busy and don't have the time to invest in making blog posts like I used to . . . Writings sentences is fun, but it just takes to dern long.
That's why I'm starting a new Joint writing Exersize - we write things two words at a time!!
Let's get started!

A Bochur fell off a very thin gilded stool on wheels and then he died. His mother screamed in French, Russian, and Chinese And broke her water gun. Then much to her displeasure she snorted some coca cola. The cat Spat up the phylacteries and started to dance


The One-Sentence-a-Piece Joint-Writing Exercise.

Key: e. TRS le7 Sarabonne Dovid Mottel Cheerio Crawling Axe Sef


Eric ran for all he was worth. Suddenly, he was hit by the front-end loader he had been chased by and landed in a nearby ditch. He landed flat on his rather plump posterior and was more shocked than injured.
He cursed the heavens and rummaged around for his monocle.

"What kind of job is this for a nice Jewish boy wearing a tweed jacket, suspenders, hair-plugs, and a monocle anyway?" he wondered. Reaching into his coat pocket for his inhaler, Eric felt something warm and wet oozing onto his fingers. Eric pulled out his monocle, and popped it into his eye socket. And then he saw the rhino. Knees buckled, he ran for Tijuana. And promptly fell flat on his face, it's hard to run with buckled legs.

"What the hell is going on here," he muttered to himself, as blood dripped from his fingers, his monocle fell to the ground, his suspenders snapped, and he noticed--for the first time--that the rhino and the front-end loader were both gone. Ira Eric Green was definitely beginning to have second thoughts about his new "legitimate" career as a stunt double. It wasn't only the danger involved; the pay was shoddy, and it left him with no time for his true love, competitive matzah ball eating.
Fluffy white ones, little brown hard ones, stuffed with ground beef and jalapeno, fried with mango sauce... whenever Ira thought about matzah balls, he could barely contain himself...

Slowly the world came back in focus as Ira settled down from the trip - taking matza balls laced with acid, was not good for ones health. "Could this be the cause of my tinnitus?” Ira thought, suddenly remembering his trip to Prague as a representative to Russian mafia.

Little did Ira Eric Green know that the high-pitched beeping noise he had been hearing since that trip was really a result of a tracking device that had been installed during the night he had stayed in a sleazy Russian hotel. As Ira slowly rose to his feet, perhaps a cup of coffee would help stable his blurred vision and pounding headache.

Sipping his coffee, he moseyed over to the calendar to see when the next matzah-ball-eating competition would be. As he began searching through the dates, he discovered that the next contest would be in three days. He sipped his coffee, added a fourth teaspoon of sugar and then noticed where the contest would take place. "The Brooklyn City Hospital- front parking lot", he read off the notice. "Oh dear", he thought, "talk about flirting with the past." He slurped down the rest of his coffee and gave a loud belch.

A man standing next to him said, "My dear sir, that was absolutely disgusting, I've never been so offended in my life!"

He looked over at the man and said "How in tarnation did you get inside my kitchen?"

"Your kitchen!" the man roared, "who do you think you are, making horrible noises and then thinking you own this place? Be gone!"

"Security?" said Eric Ira Green, with a slight bit of annoyance in his voice, "Can we get this guy off the set?"

Ira "Eric" Green wagged his head and blinked a few times, trying to dispell the image of the man standing in his kitchen. "Guess acid takes longer to wear off then they said in that recipe book," he muttered to himself, shaking his head harder and faster back and forth. Suddenly, something dislodged itself from his ear and fell to the floor with the quietest of smashing sounds.

"Oh no!" Ira cried, "my prized platinum stud has fallen out! Whatever shall I do?" (Too bad Ira doesn't know what a stud is).

Suddenly, Ira realized that his tinnitus was gone. Ah, and there was that bloody rhino again. "Damn, the acid flashes are getting worse! Well I better rest up and hope this wears off before the competion", he thought yawning and lying down.
Ira heard the instructions from his CIA handler over the earpiece he had inserted back into his ear (where else), and proceeded to the rendezvous point three miles out of town to the left of the Alterra coffee where the wild things were. (Or so he dreamed in his long, deep slumber.) Ira blinked as he saw himself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies - from afar somebody called him, so he answered quite slowly,to a girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

She sang to him,

"You're so vain You probably think this song is about you You're so vain I'll bet you think this song is about you Don't you? Don't you?"

and then ran off.

Ira tried to look for his monocle, but instead found a piece of French toast in his jacket; at this point, he heard (amidst now very distinctive lack of tinnitus) a male voice in Eastern European accent say “Brrrekfest ready, Mistterr Eeera”, smelled French toast and woke up. Laying in his 800 count - hot pink - Egyptian cotton sheets, Ira looked around the room to see if the voice he heard was real.

"Of course I'm real!" a raspy voice screamed. The raspy voice belonged to a shriveled old man who was standing in the center of Ira's room (which was coincidentally was painted hot pink), holding a (what else?) hot pink breakfast tray.

"Oh Adrian its just you. What day is it? How long have I been sleeping here on the set?"

"Erm, Meester Ira sir...you been sleeping many a moon, we was very worried."

Yet Another Group Writing Exercise - the Crown Heights Teen Drama Version

Bsd
Inspired by recent events (I'M MOVING OUT OF THE BASEMENT!!!!!),and a chance comment made by my roommate (the incredible Ilanica) about such events, I now have the basic plot for my Crown Heights teen drama (tentatively titled CROWN HEIGHTS 11213) :
When three young women move out of their basement apartment to the third floor of the all-female-resident Brooklyn brownstone, their landlord shockingly rents the basement to his young male relative and two friends. Hilarity, hijinks, and hysteria ensue.

Now I need YOU to contribute following plot lines!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Closure

(Cheerio's Paragraph)
His coat flapped around his ankles as he strode down the dark street. He jiggled his keys in his hand and whistled along to the music streaming from his headphones. The walk sign flicked on as he reached the corner, but he still turned his head to look for cars coming. Even after a year and a half of living in Brooklyn, he hadn't grown accustomed to the one way streets. He liked it though. He wasn't quite sure why, but he liked living in New York.
(TRS' Paragraph)
Suddenly, a shot rang out. And then another. And another. Shots, that is. Suffice it to say that our hero was nonplussed, and quickly looked around for one of the ubiquitous rookie cops who had been hanging out on every street corner for the last few months. They were nowhere to be found. Our hero realized that the shots had been fired at him, and he looked around for some cover. There wasn't any, and he ducked. All this took less time than it took to write, but the murderous assailants were not to be denied, and our hero was soon lying in a puddle of blood.(
Le7's Paragraph)
He touched the growing puddle of crimson blood and painstakingly pulled his head a few micrometers off the rough concrete to take one last look at himself. He shuddered before gracefully slipping into oblivion. The street was quiet save for the rustle of a few dead leaves and old candy wrappers. The air was thick with the uneasy quietude of deceit and police sirens started to whine in the distance.
(Sarabonne's Paragraph)
It was but a few minutes later that Henry found himself ambling along the same street feeling sorry for himself. Here he was, 43 and dressed as Little Bunny Foofoo for some brat's birthday. He had heard the shots and promptly ignored them. Last thing he needed was some idiot cop playing games while he was in the bunny suit. God it was hot and the polyester itched terribly. Henry was mid-spit when Gary came into sight. Choking on saliva, he ran to get closer. Blood was everywhere. "Aw man..." he muttered.
(Dovid's Paragraph)
"Gary Feld is a 22 year old Caucasian male brought in this afternoon with a gun-shot wound to his left hip, he has no significant past medical history and is now in stable condition. He will be admitted to the surgical floor shortly. A surgical and anesthesiology consult has been ordered. He is being given morphine as needed for pain.” Hearing his name, Gershon groggily opened his eyes, slowly remembering the events of the day. The dim light shining from the metallic stand was painfully bright and made him conscious of a splitting headache. He quickly shut his eyes, but not before he caught a blurred glimpse of his surroundings. There were two women in white coats standing by his bed in the emergency room. The younger one presenting his case was clearly nervous and stuttering, almost cowering in the presence of the older scowling lady. He also thought he saw an obese African American man dressed like a nightmare bunny eying him curiously. Morphine can do strange things to you he thought as he drifted away.
(RAW's Paragraph)
Meanwhile, our "hero" Gershon's shooters continued on to their main objective: Gershon's residence. Gershon’s basement apartment was situated in a residential neighborhood. The presence of these tough, well armed men would obviously attract attention, but they made no attempt to be discreet. Their mission as they had planned it would not take more than five minutes, and they hoped to be out of the apartment long before the police arrived. Before their M-class Mercedes had completely stopped up outside the house, the men dashed to their assignments. There were four of them. Two took up guard positions outside the house. The other two shot off the bolt on the door and went inside. They knew exactly where to go. In the bedroom was a small, portable safe. It was a junky contraption, and they easily shot off the lock. Inside were neatly arranged packages of cocaine. They stuffed the whole safe into a medium-sized gym bag and left, satisfied that they had found everything they had come for. “Let’s go. We’re done here,” the leader said, stuffing the bag into the trunk of the car. All four men jumped back into the car. Police sirens could be heard in the distance as their car screeched away into the night. Nobody was going to catch them.
(EndOfWorld's Paragraph)
Dina Light snickered as she watched the taillights of the receding car. She waited another minute (56 seconds, to be precise) before getting up from the ground. She casually sauntered down the block, trying to put as much distance between herself and the now obviously-broken-into house. Amateurs. But she would have loved to be there when they opened those bags. She snickered again. Amazing how one box of confectionery sugar can go such a long way. She reached into her bag and gave her semi-automatic a reassuring pat. She reached a little further, past the glock, the colt, the pepper spray, the hunting knife, where was it? Ah. She uncapped the lip gloss, applied a thin coat to her lips and resolutely strode off. The job of a narcotic officer never ended. Time to find Gershon and save the world. Again.
(CA’s paragraph — feel free to trim; sorry, I said I suck at fiction; plus, I am packing for moving)Henry paced nervously in the ER waiting room. Detained as an attempted murder witness, he was stuck, in his bunny suit, in the hospital, in a nervous state of mind. Henry, a hypochondriac suffering from OCD, did not like hospitals. Besides, he was under a court order to stay away from buildings with fire alarms. Henry had a compulsion to pull them — the red color, the feeling of a pulled lever, the sirens, the lights… Henry gulped nervously and started pacing back and forth. He was going to stay in control. This obsession had him arrested five times, cost him his job and luxury apartment in Manhattan, estranged him from his family and pet iguana. But today he was going to stay in control!.. Henry entered the bathroom. The first thing he saw was a bright-red fire alarm. Staring at him. Sneering with its lever’s white outline. Inviting. Henry backed nervously towards the sink and suddenly realized that his bunny suit’s hands have no zippers. He had no way to splash some water on his face. A scrubbed-in intern with a walrus mustache opened the door of a stall and dropping “Howdy, partner?” in a thick Texan drawl left the bathroom. Without washing his hands. This was too much for Henry. He turned to the fire alarm and licked his lips, tasting bunny fur. The last thought that entered his mind before he reached for the lever was “Ben told me to try pancakes with sour cream in that Russian place”. Henry filled his lungs with slippery air of the hospital bathroom and pulled. Fire alarm exploded in Henry’s head with hundreds of bright sounds. Loud flashes, bouncing off the white bathroom walls, pushed his tortured mind off the cliff, into the abyss of primeval insanity. Ricardo, a hit man for the Colombian mob sent to the hospital to finish off Gershon, entered the ER waiting room and was knocked off his feet, unconscious, by something bright-pink with big ears that ran out of the bathroom, charging towards the ER exit.
(Mottel's Paragraph[s])
"Pitiful," thought Ira Green. "Simply pitiful . . ."Ira paused for a moment, popping the cap of the little plastic bottle held in one of his sweaty hands. It was empty. Tossing the bottle aside, he reached into his desk drawer and took out a fresh one. Turning it upside down, he poured a generous handful of Tums into his hand."What exactly was pitiful?" He mused as he downed a handful of his "candies". To be honest, he was entirely unsure to what he had been referring to - if it the hit man Ricardo sitting nervously in the seat in front of the fold out table in the roach infested back of a cheap Bistro in Little Italy that served as Ira's "office", or if it was his own fate once the bosses heard that the Cocaine they had stolen from the Hasid in Brooklyn was nothing more then confectionery sugar, and the cheap kind at that.Perhaps, it occurred to him, it was an even more profound conclusion about his life in general, as the Mafia's 'Jew' - the accountant for the aging Sicilian dons, and their go between with their contacts amongst their tentative allies - the Druglords of Columbia."What kind of job is this for a nice Jewish boy?" his mother had once asked him. "Your father slaves away night and day to put you through Columbia - and you can't even get a job as CPA for a local franchise of Corn Friend Chicken? Why couldn't you be more like your brother Arny? Such a good boy that is Arny!"Whipping his ever sweating hands on the frayed sleeve of his tweed jacket, he reached up to adjust his glasses on the edge of his nose and straighten his hair. My, he thought wryly, the hear plugs were setting in nicely.Taking out another handful of Tums, he returned his attention to Ricardo, who in the silence of the last few minutes, seemed to have been driven nearly mad with fear.Popping a Tums in his mouth, he began to chew as he asked the hit man,"Tell me again why you couldn't finish off that boy?""It was the rabbit!" Ricardo shrieked in fear. "You got to believe me Senoir! I was goin' to finish the job, you know, and suddenly all of the alarms go off. I don' why they go off, so I freeze. Try to act in'specious, like you say boss . . . But then this big pink rabbit comes running at me. It had big ears, a puffy white tail. It runs right into me, Knocking me down on the floor. I know it's real. I didn't drink any Tequilla or nothin', vato!" What a mess, Ira muttered to himself. The hit man had lost his screws, the hit was alive, what was supposed to be pure Columbian was from Sugarland, Texas. . . and then there were the other problems - reports that the Israeli Mossad was on their trail - perhaps the Russian Mafia had tipped off its contacts in the Kenesset after his bosses had thrown in their lot with the Japanese Yakuza. Then there was this business with the crash landing the other day in Nevada - the word was that it was something more then a purported "Weather Balloon" - his bosses would want to know if it was connected to this business with the Ithorian Overlords. But that was an entirely different problem.Oy - so many doubts."Carla, please see Ricardo out," he called to his secretary, "and tell big Guido I'm taking off 'sick' for the rest of the day."One thing Ira was sure was that he would have heartburn soon - if he didn't have it already - or that his Ulcers would act up. Maybe both. Why if his luck held up, he'd get a batch of the Gout too. What kind of job was this for a nice Jewish boy in a tweed jacket, suspenders and hear-plugs anway?
(Dovid's Paragraph II)
"Beep, beep, beep"
Annoyed at the sound of this disturbance, the anesthesiologist glanced up from the novel he was reading to see why the heart-lung machine was beeping. The quick glance was enough to tell him that he would be seeing Gary Feld's family in court sometime soon. "I'll blame it on the surgeon", he thought, "he must have dislodged a bullet fragment. Maybe I can somehow blame it on that fire alarm that went off earlier" . As he was forming his defense, just outside the hospital, Dina Light watched as Henry the bunny ran wildly around the parking lot evading the hospital police. After about an hour of this, Henry ran straight into her parked car. Dina walked out and checked his pulse, "shoot" she muttered "he's dead". She got back into her car, turned the key in the ignition and detonated the bomb Ira Green had deftly planted under her seat while she was scoping out the hospital. Ira frowned as he watched the screen go black and grey. What kind of job was this for a nice Jewish boy in a tweed jacket, suspenders and hear-plugs anway?