Monday, November 24, 2008

Music Video of the Day, part 4

"Rutzi Shmulik" by Ariel Zilber.

I hear this guy's a Baal Teshuva now. We sang this song at camp when I was little. Brings back some fond memories. This is a sweet little song about a girl who sees this boy named Shmulik in her dreams. The chorus goes something like "Run, Shmulik is calling you and he's sending you a thousand kisses."

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Music Brings Back Memories

It's funny how music can jog your memory. I was just talking with a friend of mine whom I haven't seen in a while. She told me she was on a bus Saturday night, and her iPod played a song I had recommended her, after which she couldn't stop thinking of me. It was very flattering, but it got me thinking about how certain songs bring me back to specific periods of my life, especially if a certain girl figured prominently into what was going on with me at that time.

I first noticed it in sixth grade, when I had a big crush on a girl, and Magnificent Bastards' "Mockingbird Girl" made me think of her every time it came on the radio (I was listening to WAAF a lot at the time). I've since gone back and listened to that song, and it kind of sucks. In college, when I started to get involved in my first serious relationship, which coincided with my introduction to My Bloody Valentine, I listened to Isn't Anything and Loveless as much as possible so I would have a frame of reference for the memories.

This is just my interpretation, but it seems to me that Chassidus explains why music is so universally moving. Chassidus teaches that when one reads a book, for example, a bond develops between the reader and the author, perhaps as small as a favorable opinion. A favorable opinion may progress to curiosity, mild interest, fanship, and so on. Regarding music, however, the Alter Rebbe famously said, "If words are the pen of the heart, then song is the pen of the soul." While words may be understood according to one's own ability, music connects on a level higher than understanding, cutting through directly to the soul. Perhaps this is why my Grandma always calls nigunim Jewish Soul Music.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Music Video of the Day, part 3

I guess I'm a little late on this one, but please enjoy "Do The Know It's Hallowe'en?" by the North American Halloween Prevention Initiative.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Music Video of the Day, part 2

"Straight Up" by Paula Adbul

A Triumph of Good Taste

On the 3 train last night, some girl was practicing her pole dancing moves for her friends across the aisle from me. I was in too much shock to move, so I took out my chumash and started learning last week's parsha just so I wouldn't have to see some obnoxious girl shaking her fat behind and kicking her feet up in the air. They got off at the same stop as me. When the train stopped, her friend said "I have to pee like a race horse." Very classy, ladies.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Music Video of the Day, part 1

Only Shallow, by My Bloody Valentine

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Shanah Tovah

Rosh Hashanah was great this year. I davened with Yossi, Gershon, and Menachem Eliyahu at 770. It was very crowded, but for the first time in my life, the davening was literally enlivening. I finished Sefer Tehillim over the course of both days, also for the first time, and the farbrengen at the end of the yomtov was surprisingly emotional. It felt almost as if the Rebbe was in the room.

Yom Kippur got off to a good start; I stayed up late, until 2am, saying Tehillim, and finished during shacharis. By musaf, though, I began to feel very weak and had to come leave shul. When I came back to my room, I found some Israeli buchor sleeping in my bed. I had left the door unlocked because I thought my roommate had asked to me leave it open for a friend who was staying with us. I woke up the Israeli guy and said I needed to lie down in my bed. He got up, mumbling something about someone telling him he could go upstairs and find a bed and that no one would mind. I told him he could sleep on the sofa chair in our room. I figured he must be feeling ill if he wasn't in davening, and he said he had a cold. I changed my pillow case after the yomtov but I still ended up catching a cold, which B"H only lasted a few days.

Sukkos is coming up tomorrow night. It's hard to believe I moved into the Yeshiva almost a year ago. This would be a good time to make a chesbon, what with it being the new year, and my birthday coming up, and all.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

770 During Tishrei

At shul this morning, there was a guy standing next to me ranting in Hebrew. He got there around the same time I did, and was yelling at bochurim the whole time he was in talis and tefillin. At one point, I had to put my siddur down on the table to gather up my tzitzis, and he slammed my siddur shut and started pushing my arm when I tried to open it back up. I yelled "excuse me" at him in Hebrew a couple times, but just walked away when I realized I was going to get nowhere with him. At one point, I think the gabbai came over to calm him down because he was getting too rough with the Israeli bochurim. People were shushing the guy the whole time he was there, but he kept ignoring them.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hüsker Dü - Makes No Sense At All

Watch the whole thing. There's a surprise at the end you won't want to miss!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Simcha Levenberg @ the HaHa Cafe 8/19/08

This is my rabbi, y'all. He's hilarious.

Blind In Paris (Mark Gonzales/Jason Lee/Danny Way)

I wonder why some of this footage never made it onto Video Days. NB Jason Lee's frontside airs and that kickflip 50-50. And, of course, his 360 flips. Mark Gonzales and Danny Way are also rad, but I'm too tired to go into it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Crown Heights Branch

Haven't been able to update as much as I'd like, but fortunately it's because my friend Roma hired me to do some part time data entry on his jewelry website.

Went to the Crown Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library today with Leah and Menachem. I needed to print out a bus ticket, but there was a two-hour wait for a computer. Some girl was playing a tetris-type game at one of the computer stations. Those flash games are real important. There was a magician there who was pretty funny, except he was kind of manhandling his rabbit. I went outside to make a phone call and ended up getting into a conversation with a kid named Jay, who was practicing his kickflips on his skateboard. I impressed him with my (in)ability to do a casper, and he showed me how to ollie better. Evidently, using your toes rather than the balls of your feet makes a big difference.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I Feel Like Less of a Criminal Now

Turns out that lady who gave me a hard time outside of Kol Tuv has a reputation for being difficult. I know a few people who've had trouble with her. She once told my friend's wife that she wasn't helping to bring the geulah because she didn't give her enough money. I forget if that was the first or the second time she yelled at my friend's wife, but the second time she gave this lady money, she yelled at her again. So she told the lady to get a job! When my friend was telling me this story he ended it with, "That's my girl!" I wasn't sure what to make of that until I actually had to deal with that woman making me feel like a criminal.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Shacharis at 1pm

Shacharis felt like it took forever today. It was only an hour or so, which is not bad considering we heard krias hatorah today, but lately I've become impatient with my davening. Davening has become like a race for me. I can't get it out fast enough. I have friends who really take their time and daven with kavana, but mine is more of a "knock it off" kind, like Rabbi Wircberg once described it. I just wanna get it out of the way. It's just a phase I'm going through, I think, because I'm still getting a geshmak out of learning chassidus. I'm not worried, more like frustrated, but not enough to force myself to slow down. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

This is the whole song. Not sure what's up with the video, but the song is hilarious. Listen and giggle.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008

This No-Music Bidness Is Killing Me

On my way back from Kol Tuv this evening, I stopped to give some change to a lady sitting outside on a milk crate. Shnorrers are commonplace in Crown Heights, and they let us fulfill the important mitzvah of tzedaka. Sometimes they bother me, though. I had a couple pennies in my hand. This woman did not want pennies; she said if I couldn't give her like a mentsh, not to give her at all. So I gave her a quarter in addition to the two pennies. So she yelled at me as I walked away. I told her that was all I had. So she threw a penny at me. I felt badly.

Some Recent Handywork


I've been trading text messages with a friend whom I've gotten hooked on TMBG's "James K Polk" song. Made this to send him a pix message.

Comics Crusader: Remembering Jackie Ormes

Comics related segment on NPR about the late Jackie Ormes. Check it out here.

Oh, the pain!

We're in the last nine days of a 30-day period right now during which it's prohibited to listen to music. Do you know how hard that is? These last nine days are especially stringent. I was pretty lax about it up until now, but I'm doing my best to refrain from prohibited activities during the Nine Days. It ends with Tisha B'Av, or the Ninth (Day) of (the Month of) Av, a fast day for the Yidden. I don't fast well.

The fast is not the main point of a fast day. Rather, one should focus on doing teshuva, a concept similar to repentance, though the actually word means return. I'm a fool, though, so I concentrate more on not eating and how miserable I am.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Goonies

Shneur lent me his copy of the Goonies recently. Can I just say i haven't watched a movie that fun in a while? And the commentary was just as awesome; I couldn't believe they were able to get the whole cast back for that session.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

J Mascis and Judah Friedlander: Separated at Birth?

I have nothing much to say about this, except that J Mascis bears a remarkable likeness to one Judah Friedlander.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In Yeshiva now

Expect another six-month absence.