Wahoo! I’m 2!

It’s May 30th, 2015; today marks the 2nd blogiversary of That’s So Jacob!

Today was kind of a lazy, rainy day, so here’s a look back at some posts you may have missed this past year; they didn’t get many views at the time, but I think that they’re among my best posts.

Take a look:

3/3/15: Flip The Script: Hayavadana

2/14/15: Flip The Script: The Post Office

2/12/15: The Little Red Book of Mau Mau

1/25/15: Miss Universe 2014-ish, my semi-serious top 16

9/30/14: The Queen of Soul-ed Out?

8/21-29/14: Ronnie in Retrospect, and Part II

So, enjoy, friends!

Here’s to another great year.

I hope it won’t be the Terrible Twos.


Happy 1st Blogiversary!

That’s right…a year ago today, That’s So Jacob was launched. Happy birthday/anniversary/founder’s day/blogiversary to me!

So, what was my life like a year ago?

I began this blog right here in Madison; not in this apartment, but in a room at the Doubletree several blocks away. I was living in Houston, in an apartment twice the size of the one I’m currently living in, with a temperature I could set, a bathtub, and a swimming pool. I hadn’t started the program, or experienced the worst winter ever. I still had my olive green Subaru, and I hadn’t seen Oklahoma or Iowa yet. I hadn’t done anything APO related for a year.

But hey, I’m still here, and so is this blog.

Speaking of which, I haven’t posted a story for awhile. Wait…I posted one yesterday. Scratch that – I haven’t posted a good story lately.

So here’s a tale from years long past.

How That’s So Jacob Got Its Name

This is not my first blog, or journal for that matter. When I was 10, I found a ginormous notebook and decided that I would keep it as a journal until the pages ran out, whenever that would be. I was pretty faithful to it. It lasted me through sometime in freshman or sophomore year, when the pages actually did run out. I think it’s under my bed at home. I tried other paper journals, but none were the same, so I switched to the Internet. I had a LiveJournal when I was a moody teenager, like everyone else in the early 2000s, moody or not, teenager or not. And no, I am not going to link you to it. Most of my entries were terrible. I stopped for awhile, but always intended to start back up again. After a failed attempt on blogspot, I needed to start a new journal, with a new tactic, and a good name.

I always have my best ideas in the shower or at night before I drift off to sleep, but this one came to me courtesy of this one girl I knew awhile back. It was in my second semester of APO, and my third and final semester at AU. It was getting down to the wire with things, and I remember I was fed up with something or someone at the time, and it was one of those nights where everything was happening at the same time, so I was rushing around, trying to be in a million places at once. Normally I like being super busy like that, but I wasn’t feeling it that night. I don’t even know what was in my head, but I was telling some of the people in my pledge class about how my day was.

So there I was, walking across the lawn of the National Cathedral, babbling, when she said it.

“Hey Andrea, did you hear what Jacob just said? It was a classic Jacob line.”

And then she repeated what I had said less than a minute ago and had forgotten.

“He said ‘…and then I went to a JSA meeting and we just sat around and bitched at each other because we’re Jews and that’s what we do.'”

Okay, so it was kind of funny, without meaning to be, but it meant more than that. It meant that someone was actually listening to me. I wanted to channel that same feeling upon starting on the Internet anew. A place where I can just say what’s on my mind, how I feel, and stories that I want to remember and that other people might find amusing, or inspirational, or…worth reading.

Oh, and course, in honor of my spirit animal, Raven-Symone. So here are some gifs to honor her. Behold:

I have 280 followers as of today, and visitors from over 100 countries. Here’s to another year of fun, weirdness, and random memories. Thanks y’all…much love.


Post-Birthday Blues

It’s almost like it all rolls downhill from here. Your birthday happens, then it’s gone, and…now what?

I tell myself that I usually get bummed on my birthday, but not so much is that true. The week after it is the worst; it’s over, and you don’t know whether you’re coming or going.

Is it like new year’s? Am I supposed to be a whole new me?

Am I supposed to start eating right and getting healthy? Because birthday cake and treats are not quite doing that.

Am I supposed to feel inspired, and sing to the birds? Uhm, jury’s out on this one. I had a humongous presentation yesterday, so preparing for that, in addition to worries about my next batch of working, memorizing lines, and the fact that my apartment is getting fumigated tomorrow because my lame neighbors have bedbugs, has not exactly led me to be inspired to do much of anything. In fact, after class today, I came back home and spent an unseemly amount of time doing nothing. I did get some stuff read for tomorrow and some emails sent, but I still have this weird feeling like I’m just waiting around for nothing to happen, just myself perpetually getting older.

It’s always been like this, now that I remember, just after my birthday – the anticipation is gone. Just when you get used to the fact that it’s your birthday, it’s over, and you have another year to figure out how to deal with it again.

For now, I guess I should just clean up, pack up for tomorrow, move some more furniture around, and get in my sheet-less bed with a book.

Hopefully tomorrow expression will beat out depression.


At The End of The Day, You’re Another Day Older

That pretty much sums up how I feel about my birthday.

Which is tomorrow.

As in less than an hour from now.

Freaking. Out.

Birthdays mean different things to different people. To me, it means that the other 364 days of the year aren’t.

And that bothers me.

It seems like some peoples’ birthdays go on forever, with tons of parties and events…and mine never does. It comes, twenty-four hours pass, and then it’s over, and the only thing that’s changed is my age. Some people count down to their birthdays. I can’t really fathom that. Last year, on my 25th birthday, all anyone could say to me was “wow, you’re a quarter of a century old!” Well, thanks, that makes me feel a lot better about the biological process of aging and the fact that I’m still single, childless, jobless, and pursuing a degree which may or may not help me in life. This also is the beginning of the end of me being in my mid-20s. Soon I’ll transition into my late 20s…not cool, not cool. Well, I mean, cool in the sense that I’ve made it this far in life and many others haven’t, that I’m alive and free and in control of all my faculties, but not cool in reminding me that hey, you’re getting further and further from being able to date a teenager anymore.

Creepy aside. Anyway.

What bugs me the most about birthdays is that they’re so final. Like, you only get one a year. Then you have to wait another year to go through the same experience. And the day after is the worst – it’s like everyone else in the world gets a birthday before it’s your turn again.

And then, there’s the added pressure of how to spend your birthday. Treat it like a normal day? Take the day off, eschew responsibilities, and commit yourself to pure, unadulterated fun? Eat crazy amounts of chocolate and cake and drink copious amounts of alcohol? Spend it largely alone, with your thoughts to keep you focused and sane, or have a big party with as many people as you can?

Looking back on past birthdays is something that I tend to do around this time of year. Most of the time, the memories are disappointing. Like in 7th grade, when I had a huge test on my birthday, or three years ago, when I got into a huge fight with my parents the morning of my birthday that soured my entire day. Some birthdays were relatively successful, like in 5th grade when my teacher gave me a poster of endangered species, or my junior year in college, when I turned 20, saw a Rosanne Cash concert, and ended up at a house party that turned out to be a surprise party for me. Israel was another fun birthday – a group of us went to Maale Film School and watched some short films and met up with the filmmakers, followed by dinner with Dayna and Abbie in Talpiot, and later bowling with Dayna and Anya. My last two years of birthdays, in Houston, were mostly just blah and upsetting.

But enough negative.

I enjoy that feeling of weightlessness when I wake up, and I can say, “Today is mine. No one can take it away from me.” I like the random “happy birthday” greetings from people I meet up with, and blushing when people say, “it’s your birthday, isn’t it?” I like it when people go out of their way to do something nice for me, whether it’s a present, a card, or a hug, but just a greeting and a big smile can make me happy. I like it that even if I stay up tomorrow past midnight, it’ll still be my birthday until I go to sleep (according to some birthday rules).

That’s not a lot of things to like about birthdays.

Now I’m sad again.

But it isn’t yet my birthday, so I can’t do too much worrying about it being a bad one; it’s a blank slate, a mystery, a day of promise.

Just keep yourself in check, Jacob – you’ll get through the day, one way or another.

And hopefully, it’ll be a happy day.



Happy Canada Day!

Long day, so I just wanted to have a few minutes to sneak in a post about Canada.

I have been there three times.

1) Montreal – I only saw the inside of the airport, as we connected there on our family trip to Israel. Same on the way back.

2) Niagara Falls/Toronto – A disastrous family road trip that we took as a family pre-father/son road trips. I don’t remember it being so awful, because we did a lot of fun things and went to cool museums. Apparently, my sister and I drove our parents crazy most of the time by fighting. The ride back home (which we stupidly did in one day) was especially rough on the two of us, and I believe we had to be separated. That was pretty much the last big family vacation until my sister and I were both in our 20s.

2.5) Alaska/British Columbia border (spitting distance to Yukon Territory) – We took the scenic White Pass and Yukon route trains once we got to Skagway, AK on our 2004 summer cruise (me, sister, dad, aunt). The train briefly crossed the border and then made its way back. It was riveting.

3) Victoria – On the cruise back from Alaska, we stopped in Victoria, BC on the way back. My sister wanted to stay on the boat for some Internet chat thing and my dad stayed with her while my aunt and I explored the town on foot. I have more memories of Victoria than of Toronto, and Victoria is a very charming place.

Happy birthday, Canada.