2

Pajama Drama

So, last week, my red pajama pants split down the middle one night, so I decided I needed new ones.

I went to Target yesterday to pick up some new ones, and found…myself in a pickle.

Every single pair of pajama pants I saw had some sort of character or logo on it. Marvel, Batman, Harry Potter…all I wanted was a pair of pajama pants, soft and in a solid color. I already have a pair of Family Guy pajamas, so I’m covered on that front, but how much is it to ask for some plain pajama bottoms? And not ones that are shorts or sweatpants? Corporate branding has gotten pretty preposterous. Grown men should not wear Marvel comics on their pajama pants as much as they should wear a yellow tuxedo.

Anyway, I settled for a pair in blue plaid. Not exactly what I wanted, but hey, it’s 2018. This is the year of “I guess we can’t all have what we want.”

2

You’re Never Quite Ready

That’s what my mom says about Passover.

It’s just the weirdest thing, Passover. So, the Jews left Egypt without giving time for their bread to rise. In their honor, we spend 8 days every spring on a modified version of the Atkins diet. No bread, nothing with leavening. Basically, every food worth eating. For some reason, someone decided that rice, corn, and beans – vegetable which undergo the great sin of expanding in water – are a no go as well. This wouldn’t be a huge problem for me, except lately I’m been filling up on comfort foods, living off of sushi, PB&J and tuna sandwiches.

So…what do you do to prepare?

Do you…

…abstain from carbs to train yourself?

…eat normally?

…enjoy as many carbs as you can because this time tomorrow you will be craving them?

I’m all for the third option.

8

The Ballad of the Salad

It’s been four days now since the start of my latest attempt to get myself healthier. I don’t know if it’s working, but I’ve exercised every day, and I can count on one hand how many non-essential carbs I’ve had (a free sample of cake at the supermarket and a slice of banana bread before teaching my first class yesterday). Breakfast has been eggs, yogurt, fruit, and oatmeal in some order; midday foods have been tuna lettuce wraps, chicken, whole grain pasta, and salads; and dinners have been soups and salads.

I think I’ve eaten more salad in the last few days than I have in a year.

I mean…when there are all these wonderful foods in the world, who wants a boring old salad? Nothing like a hot, steaming salad.

But I’ve been attempting to jazz up my salads by adding some fun and healthy items to them. Tonight’s salad was lettuce, a quarter of an onion and half a cucumber (sliced with my Sharper Image veggie slicer), sun-dried tomatoes, and topped with pepper, olive oil, and some red wine vinegar for flavor, just like my grandmother used to make.

So, readers…how do you make your salads more pleasing to your palate?

Any suggestions considered.

6

Need A Cure for Kicking the TV Habit? Get Sick

Hey y’all, or as my immune system might say, “hnff heck hack.”

It wasn’t working in a germ factory, or even going out with a wet head that got me congested and sniffly, but I think it might have had to do with some spicy fries I ate on Saturday night after Salsa Saturday and could still taste Sunday afternoon. Ever since then, I’ve been mostly just sniffling, with a few minor coughs and a sneeze here and there. It feels like I have water in my nose, and that my eyes just want to close. I’m not sure that it’s a sore throat, because cough drops only irritated it more. Today, while teaching my first class, I had a fit of hacking, at the end of which I pronounced “brb, dying,” and after one or two more coughs, pronounced myself dead.

But hey, when you’re teaching Samuel Beckett and the Theatre of the Absurd, it works.

Anyway, all I wanted to do after I got home from school and meetings was to lie down on the couch and watch TV.

Except…

THERE’S. NOTHING. ON.

I flip through channels, and go through the TV guide, and…nothing appealing. When I’m well, there are all sorts of things that I’d like to watch but either don’t have the time to or just forget about. But of course, when I want to relax and watch something good, all that’s on: sports, weather, news, infomercials, crappy Christmas movies (which could be its own generator, future post idea!), televangelists, murder dramas, pointless reality shows, and whatever’s on the Spanish channel.

I could go to bed early, or read or lesson plan or something, but I think I’ll just write a blog post about it and see where it goes.

7

Luckiest or Unluckiest Day Ever?

Well, this was weird. Hey y’all, greetings from…Madison.

Yep, still here.

What happened today: I woke up early, got some morning research and reading done, did some scanning at the library, packed up, and took an uber to the airport. I went to check in, and rather than getting a ticket, I got a slip of paper that said…

“It’s great to be early, but please check in 24 hours prior to departure.”

I looked at my phone; my ticket is for tomorrow.

So, there was nothing left to do but go home.

I took another uber home, collapsed on my bed, and started snacking on the candy that I bought myself for the plane ride. Then I realized that my phone was missing. After going through my nicely packed bags and my apartment, I got on my iPad, and using the Find My iPhone, it said it was…in the middle of the road. Then I realized, I must have left it in the uber. I managed to get a text out to my dad, who called my phone, and the driver picked up. It took a while (and me stupidly driving back to the airport for no reason at all), but a few hours later, I got my phone back.

Then, I wasted a bunch of time and ended up only getting 20 minutes of gym time in. And when I got there, I gave them my credit card instead of my ID.

Then, rather than get anything constructive done, I’ve been watching the Spelling Bee on TV.

It’s been incredibly frustrating, but at least I was a day early for the flight and not a day late, and I got my phone back rather quickly.

And tomorrow, I get to do it all again. At least the first part.

And that’s how I spent 22 dollars on a useless ride around Madison today.

5

News Feed = Bad News

I’m pretty serious about this one.

Every time I scroll through my Facebook news feed, it’s garbage. Old garbage, new garbage, political garbage, garbage about racism.

It’s just plain bad news. Don’t do it.

I started writing this the other day but didn’t get around to finishing it.

Anyway, I keep getting sucked into this endless trap of suck. I mean, there are a few things that are worth keeping up with. One of my friends is going to give birth any day now, and is posting updates about contractions and such. Another friend posts a lot of cute kid pictures and funny stories, and I have a few more friends who get me with their witty one-liners or a funny meme or something. But if it’s a link to an article about something political, whether it’s race relations, the Presidential campaigns, Israel, gender discrimination – and now, the $20 bill changing to Harriet Tubman – I tend to not scroll past them as quickly as I know I should.

Yet, I still subject myself to it. I guess it’s important to me to know what’s going on with my friends, even if it is pictures of what they ate that morning or them checking into airports in exotic cities I’ll probably never get the chance to see. However, that doesn’t stop the Facebook feed, from becoming a dangerous place. Often times I’ve found myself practically agreeing with what a friend posts, even if it’s totally against my own belief system, because it’s well worded, or looks official, or something. And then I wander off and suddenly it’s two hours later.

Maybe I just need to get more positive friends.

14

Ooh, What Happened To Your Finger?

Yesterday, I went for my first day of teaching a theater lab at a local elementary school. Earlier in the day, I had noticed that the skin around my thumbnail was flaking off and bleeding, so I put a band-aid on it. I had forgotten all about it until about 30 seconds into my first session with the children.

“Ooh, what happened to your finger?”

Normally, when you see someone with a band-aid on, it’s not something you ask about. Most of the time, if someone has a bandaged finger or something, you don’t even notice it.

But children always do.

I’ve had several instances in the past few weeks where the skin around my fingernails has been cracking, peeling, and bleeding, so I have been going through a fair amount of band-aids. And every time I show up at Chabad on a Friday night with a bandaged finger or two, it’s always one of the three kids who greets me by pointing out a bandaged finger, and immediately they start asking me what happened.

My usual response: “You ask a lot of questions.”

I’m so mean.

7

Rush-a-shanah

Hey y’all. We’ve been having a lot of fun here lately, but here’s a small dose of Real Talk. I know that’s one of the two topics that I don’t normally like to broach here – the other being politics – but I’m just feeling…a certain way, and maybe being philosophical about it here will help. Pardon me if I come off as whiny (or just comment, “hey Jacob, that’s so whiny, man up,” or something) but here goes.

This year, I didn’t have much of a Rosh Hashanah. In fact, I had about one hour of it, on Monday, between 10:30 and 11:30. Fortunately, I got to hear the shofar and say a few little prayers before jetting off to lecture. I got a few questions about why I didn’t petition off for the holiday, but I shrugged it off. I love Rosh Hashanah; some good prayer, some good food, do it all again the next day. Now, Rosh Hashanah’s come and gone, and I’ve spent most of it in classes and meetings.

Today, I found out a few items of bad news. Well, bad is sort of relative, but there were a few things that I found out that did not make me happy. One made me mad, one made me sad, and one just left me confused. I talked to various friends, and they tried to make me feel better, but ultimately, it was all up to me to help myself. I’m still here, writing this all down, so I guess I’m doing pretty good, but I have this overwhelming sense of guilt, that somehow it’s my fault that these things happened, even though none of them directly involved me or could have been controlled or prevented by me. I can’t say much more about any of the pieces of news because (almost) none of them are public knowledge yet, but suffice it to say: God, I love you with everything I’ve got, but why did that have to happen? And why do people feel the need to send vague, passive-aggressive emails? And why, why do I even try, what could I have done differently, why can’t I get a definitive answer, what is wrong with me, what am I working towards?

Okay, so that’s a lot of questions.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m not unconvinced that karma doesn’t exist. I am so grateful about so many things in my own life, but maybe I need to do some more meditation. And eat more fiber.

7

Candy Crushed

I originally published this on November 1st, but since I’m completely swamped with school and everything, I’m going to do what I always wanted to do, and add more info.

Maybe it’s our culture of excess, but seriously, everywhere I go, the giant family size (and which family, might I ask? the Duggars?) candy bars and candy bags are available. And the smaller sizes are not. It’s like Nestle and Hershey’s are run by a dentist/personal trainer conglomerate. Definitely not the people who run Abercrombie & Fitch.

All I wanted today was a small pack of Twizzlers, maybe three or four pieces.

Down in the candy aisle, the smallest package is about the size of three boxes of spaghetti. The candy bars are like surfboards. I could probably buy a bag of Hershey kisses and use them as a pillow on my next flight. Now, I understand the purpose of large bags of candy; they’re great for teachers, camp counselors, or Halloween. But if you’re only in the market for a small sweet treat for one, it’s damn near impossible.

Twenty minutes later, after scouring the whole store, I caved and bought the only size available, because I wanted Twizzlers that much. And that bag probably lasted me all of one hour, because I live alone, am a graduate student, and have no self-control.

Damn you, candy companies.

This is why China is beating us.