Monday, July 31, 2006

Hot or cold?

Its one of those unanswerable questions that can land you in the looney bin if you ponder it too long. Being a kid who grew up on sunny Huntington Beach, CA, which has a yearly median temperature somewhere around 74 degrees, I never had to think about it. That was until my family began to make our (at least) biyearly pilgrimages to Sin City, Las Vegas, NV. You go in June and you will encounter temps of 110+ degrees. This is hot but Las Vegans counter that its "Dry Heat" so its not so bad. Basically its fricken hotter than hell, but you don't feel like you are swimming down the street like I've been doing the past couple weeks in NYC. Hot with no humidity= Dry heat. You decide that there is nothing worse in life than being hot and would do anything for it to be freezing instead.

That is, until you visit Las Vegas in January. You're going to the desert. Deserts generally are known for their extreme temperatures. I always figured extreme temperatures meant really hot. Little did I know that it really means that while its 100+ degrees in the summer, their winters are bitter cold. You could be outdoors on a January evening wearing your windbreaker, cause hell, you're in the desert afterall and who brings a heavy coat to the desert, and you're freezing your ass off in 40 degree weather. 40 degrees isn't cold you're saying. It is when you only packed SHORTS! Its nights like this that you are praying for the beautiful warmth of the "dry heat"

Basically when you are cold you wish it were hot and vice versa. I was thinking about this this evening as I ran my cold shower. I know what you're thinking. Sicko. Cold showers generally have, um, kind of, inappropriate connotations. Like in the movies when a guy is feeling, um, overly frisky, someone will tell him to take a cold shower. Now I remember coming home on some of the bitter cold days in the winter and jumping in a piping hot shower to unfreeze my poor frostbitten toes and thinking, man, there is nothing better than a hot shower on a cold day. That was until I got home tonight dripping sweat, and admittedly, smelling to high heaven, and I couldn't even think straight until I jumped into a cold shower. This was cold to the point of actually hurting. It was delightful. I didn't want to get out. But then I got the idea to write this blog and it forced me to exit. My toes are still a little bit pruny. Anyway, hope y'all are dealing okay with the heat. Its unbearable I know, but lets all power through it! Peace!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My mom and the plastic surgeon

Wow, it sounds like the title of a romance novel. But it isn't. My mom went in yesterday to have plastic surgery done. Now my mom is not a vain person whatsoever. Personally I think she's gorgeous and always has been. Two summers ago she had gastric bypass surgery and lost around 100 pounds. She looks great and the best part is she feels healthy, b"H. When you lose such a substantial amount of weight you are left with A LOT of extra skin. This is where the plastic surgery comes in. Most plastic surgeons nowadays are making loads of money performing POST-BARIATRIC SURGERY. Basically they help remove the excess skin and help lift the parts that need lifting.

So the doc my mom went to was Dr. Jay Calvert, Plastic Surgeon of the stars. In case you are the one person who tunes into Tyra Banks talk show (they probably average one viewer) you may have seen him as the Beverly Hills (with offices in Newport Beach, home of the newly deceased Marissa Cooper of The O.C.) doctor who performs all the shows' makeovers. Yup, thats him.

So my mom had her surgery yesterday morning. Thank God everything went well and she's recovering comfortably. But considering the kind of clientele this doctor has on his patient roster everything was on the DL. Instead of doing his surgeries in-patient, to avoid his celeb clients having to be admitted to a hospital and having paparazzi waiting for them, he checks them into a deluxe Los Angeles area hotel (not sure I'm allowed to even mention which one) the night before their schedule surgery and has all post-surgery check ups take place in their private suites (God Forbid they trek out in public with stitch marks). When they arrived at the hotel they claimed not to have a reservation for my Mom. My Mom was like, but my doctor's office was supposed to arrange everything with you. The hotel receptionist voice lowered and she whispered that they never use the customer's real name when they are one of Dr. Calvert's patients. Yup, I also rolled my eyes after hearing that one.

After the surgery the patient is escorted from his office operating room to their hotel suite in a limo with blacked out windows and they arrive at a private entrance. The room is now decorated with candles and light music to relax the patient and make the suite as comfortable as possible. I warned my dad that no matter how romantic the room was he wasn't getting any. Yeah, I said that. My mom has a nurse on call waiting on her hand and foot. She fluffs pillows, brings food, and most importantly drugs. I told my mom she should ask for a manicure while shes at it. Get her monies worth.

All this secrecy pisses me off. It gives pseudo-celebs like Ashlee Simpson the ability to have a weekend rhinoplasty and try to deny it to the press on Monday. Yeah, she almost pulled that one off as successfully as she denied lip synching on SNL. Can you tell the difference?

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Yeah, I can. The same way that Star Jones denies having weight loss surgery even after dropping 100+ pounds like my Mom did. This surgery changed my Mom's life, and Star's too. The denial by Star cost her her job. The acceptance by my Mom gave her a new lease on life. I love you Mom! You're gorgeous and always have been!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

That shuir last night ruled!

Yeah, thats a statement I never pictured hearing myself saying.

Listen to the shuir here!

Last night my temple Mt. Sinai Jewish Center hosted Rabbi Benzion Wosner shlit"a the Rav Hamachshir on the Washingon Heights Eruv and an internationally recognized expert on eruvin. He was this old Hasidic man who I was scared wouldn't speak a word of English. But he was good about translating most things and I was able to follow. As I've mentioned in a previous post, an "eruv" refers to a fence -- either real or symbolic -- that surrounds a Jewish neighborhood, permitting carrying within its boundaries.

There has been great debate today on our community message board I think the eruv is a great thing that will benefit this community for years to come. I absolutely love the fact that I can sit in the park on Shabbos afternoon and read a book, or the newspaper, or the Chumash. I never liked being trapped indoors all day. I think this fact had been detrimental to my Shabbos enjoyment. This is a large part of why this Rabbi found it neccesary to help us set up the eruv. He sincerely believes that an eruv enhances Oneg Shabbat, the Joy of the Sabbath. He gave a couple examples of this by saying that there are some people who need to carry medicine on Shabbos. Why should they have to perform a melacha or prohibition just to keep themselves safe and healthy? That shouldn't be something a person in their position needs to worry about. The other example he has is for mothers to be able to leave their homes. Why should a woman be trapped in her apartment because she has a baby at home? Why should she not have the opportunity to share a Shabbos meal with a friend who lives across the street? She should be able to take her children outside. He also added that even if you live in a community in which you do not approve of their eruv, you should still give money toward the eruv. Why? Because you are helping people avoid desecrating the Sabbath and you are enhancing Oneg Shabbos. That is something all communities should hope to attain.

My favorite part of the shuir is when someone asks about the idea that if the majority holds one way according to halacha then that should be the accepted decision of all in the community. Rabbi Schnaidman our shul's Rabbi quickly pointed out that he believed this is no longer the case. Rabbi Wosner quickly added (and I'm paraphrasing here, this is around minute 50 if you are listening to the shuir), if you are counting the majority of the people, you cannot count only the Orthodox Jews in the community who hold by our eruv. A yid is a yid. There are plenty of non-observant Jews who live in this neighborhood who carry on Shabbat and go about as though Saturday is just another day. We build an eruv to prevent people from doing a melacha or prohibition on Shabbat. Sure a non-observant Jew is driving a car on Shabbos but at least they are not sinning when they carry the keys to the car. If you're listening to the shuir I'm the one giggling when he mentions this. Rav Wosner rules!

This has become a big, almost scandalous, issue in my community. Basically (and this is truly the basics, I don't need twenty people lambasting me that that isn't the true issue), my unYeshivaeducated understanding is that some Rabbis in our community are not happy that our shul consulted a Rabbi from another community to help set up our eruv. Forgetting the fact that its logistically a kosher eruv that is checked each week prior to Shabbat, a lot of people have ill feelings and have chosen not to hold by the ruling. I say fine. I don't tell them how to live their lives the same way they have no right to tell me how to live mine. But theres more to it than that.

As my friend MSW pointed out on the Maalot site:

"When you disagree with people (and thanks to R' Feinstein zt"l, there will always be disagreement over any eiruv in Manhattan) there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

Stop for a minute and think about the difficulties that machlokes (disagreement in regards of Jewish law) has caused Jewish communities over the centuries. Think about whether what you are saying to each other is going to help build achdus (unity) in our community, or just add more bricks to the wall separating the different demographics in Washington Heights."

I agree with her wholeheartedly. I know I'm a good yid. If I choose to carry within our community eruv on Shabbos I don't think anyone should think badly of me. Hell, its better than me driving in a car on Saturday which I've done many times in my life before I discovered the joys of Shabbat. Plus in this neighborhood, if I did choose to drive, I won't be penalized for carrying my stuff to the car. I love this eruv! I Love This Country! Peace y'all!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The A train pisses me off...

I left for work early this morning. On Fridays we close at 3 so ideally everyone should arrive at 9 am. I left for work at 8:40 which normally would have gotten me to my office a little after 9. As I left my apartment the raindrops were just coming down. I hurried to the subway and almost tripped going down my steps since I'm trying to get used to walking without my cast. Its not easy and my foot hurts. As I got down into my A train station I saw a bunch of people standing around. A cop was there to tell everyone that the train was broken and we needed to walk all the way across town to the 1 train. Great just what I need with my broken ankle. I limped over there and met up with a couple cool peeps ZK (my hero) and TE. We pushed ourselves into a crowded subway car even though the conductor insisted there was another train directly behind. Never believe them. They are full of crap. Promise. My little buddy TG was on the train with us. TG is my buddy MGR's little sister and the twin of RG. As ZK correctly pointed out, new cutesy 22 year olds in our neighborhood are good for the boys and bad for the girls. Boys like the younger ones and the girls just get annoyed watching the boys drool. This happens in all communities. All single 26 year olds hate the cute blond 22 year olds who move into their neighborhood. Its a fact. TE tried to point out that not all pretty girls get married young...but I interupted her and said she doesn't get to state her opinion because she already won, ie is engaged to her guy SR.

Anyway, when the 1 train finally pulled into 59th street I switched to get to the B train since it was still pouring out and the shorter walk to my office the better. So I stepped down to the platform and whats the first train to pull into the station you might ask?.....the A train. If we'd waited for another 20 minutes we probably could have taken the A train straight from 181st street and not been molested on the crowded 1 train. Of course, I'm pretty positive it was ZK touching my butt, you never can be too sure. Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

ZK is my hero

Sorry to group you into the unlikely grouping of Hillary, Bill, Mitch Hedberg, and Maureen Dowd, but anyone who comments on almost every one of my posts deserves the ultimate shout out. You rule man!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cast is off!

The doctor told me today that I no longer need to wear my AirCast for my broken foot. He poked and pushed and decided that it is healing well and I can just wear tennis shoes. I then asked him, um, Doc, is it normal to have that bone sticking out of my foot there, since like it didn't look like that before the accident? He convinced me its totally normal. He probably got his medical degree in Guatemala. No offense to my Guatemalans readers, but I think hes on crack.

Here's the problem. Sure, it doesn't really hurt anymore. The only time I am nervous about it hurting is when I'm on the subway and the car is jerking around on the track and NYC shmucks don't get up to give a person in a cast a seat. Occassionally I get up the courage to ask someone for their seat and usually the 3 people in the vicinity of where I asked stare down each other until one of them finally shrugs and gets up off of his fat ass. When I had crutches I usually didn't have too much trouble getting offered seats. When I used the cane, I had to do some acting, you know, like coughing and making sure all seated subway riders saw me leaning heavily on my cane. When I stopped using the cane my acting was Oscar worthy, balancing unsteadily on one foot until people saw me nearly falling over at every stop. This only worked twice at getting offered a seat. Once the offerer was an older lady and by the looks of it, I was in better shape than she was. So I turned it down. The other a frum married fella who I recognized from my neighborhood offered his seat. The problem was I was standing next to a visibly pregnant girl from the neighborhood. I'm not sure exactly who he was offering it to, she or I, but I said thank you and sat down. The whole way from 59th street to 125th street I was kicking myself for not saying, "yes, but only if someone will offer a seat to pregnant chick as well." Thank goodness she got a seat at 125th street. My conscience was killing me.

So now I'm worried about taking off the cast completely. If I'm really in pain, people probably won't get up even if I ask. I am considering keeping on the Ace bandage I've been wearing under the cast just in case. That way I can just fake a bad limp and keep falling into someone's lap until they get up. Hopefully he'll be cute! :)

Subway riders really have chutzpah! All I know is that as soon as I am fully recovered, I am going to offer my seat to everyone who looks like they can use it and I hope that each of you will as well. You might be tired or just lazy, but most of the time the people who really need the seats are too embarrassed to ask. Offer it to the older lady. Get up for a person with a cane. But watch out for the pregnant women. You can't be sure nowadays if they really are pregnant or just carrying an extra tire. Just a warning I learned from the movie Two Weeks Notice. Cute movie. You should rent it. Peace.

Monday, July 17, 2006

If they can do it....

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This is what an Israeli artillery crew in Southern Lebanon does
during a lull in the fighting - אלה ברכב ואלה בסוסים, אבל אנחנו בשם ה' נזכיר

If they can find time in the day to pray for peace then we should as well. God Willing the fighting in the Holy Land will come to an end speedily.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Self Psychological Diagnosis

I suffer from SNA. SNA is also referred to as Severe Netflix Anxiety. You can learn more about this in the wonderful Brad Stone article The Netflix Hangover. Basically this is a syndrone caused by my paying $19.50 a month and watching the 3 Netflix movies sit atop my TV. Not in my DVD player, but atop the TV in their cute little red Netflix postage paid envelopes. Not only is it a waste of money when I don't go through my movies quickly but I truly feel the guilt when I've received a movie that has a long wait listed next to the title on the Netflix website. Its people like me cause undue anguish to that teenage girl who waited anxiously for her copy of Pride & Prejudice while it sat in my living room from 04/26/06 to 07/05/06. Sure I watched it like 5 times cause the movie rocks and even a chick can admit that Keira Knightly is hot, but I guess two months really was pushing the envelope. But most upsetting is the fact that sometimes movies arrive in my mailbox that I just can't get into the mood for. The best examples are a couple recent rentals The History of Violence which I had for 6 weeks and Good Night, and Good Luck which I had for 9 weeks. Hell, if I got American Pie's Band Camp in the mail today I would find a way to squeeze 90 minutes out of my evening to fit that in. But something like Good Night, and Good Luck, thats some heavy stuff. I mean, come on, its in black and white for goodness sake. And they dehotted George Clooney. Whats the point?! Finally I forced myself to sit down and watch it and was pretty satified. The acting was good, the story had historical importance and I'll admit, I don't think I remembered that Senator McCarthy was from Wisconsin. The guy probably owned a cow and we let him scare the hell out of a good portion of America's power players. What a country?!!

Anyway, its my goal in the coming month to be a good Jew and get my monies worth by renting and returning as many movies as humanly possible. I will make Erika and Roger proud of me. Shabbat Shalom everyone!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Transitive Property

Today is a Fast day to commemorate several different historic events in Jewish History. Its called Shiv'ah Asar B'Tammuz, or the 17th of the month Tammuz. For more info visit NJOP's Holiday site. Unlike other religions, on fast days Jews do not consume food or drink the entire day. Tonight's fast ends at 9:03 pm. During Ramadan I believe Muslims are allowed to drink when they are thirsty. Jews just run around all day parched with little white crusties developing at the corners of their mouths. The worst part coffee. I need coffee to survive. First thing I do when I get to the office is make a huge pot of coffee. Not because its part of my job description or anything. No, jobs like that are thanks goodness in my past. I make coffee, because until the moment I down a cup or two I am scarily unapproachable. Safely at least.

Here comes the part of the blog post that I get to test your 9th grade math skills.
Fast Day= No Coffee and No Coffee=Susanne in Bad Mood
Therefore Fast Day= Susanne in Bad Mood
Thats the Transitive Property. I am the Queen of Algebraic Postulates.

Around the 14th hour of the fast (today's 14th hour for me was around 12 noon) you develop a searing headache. But of course you can't take an Aleve. Why? Because you want to tough it out. Make it all the way to 9:03 pm. And thats just what I plan to do. Leave work nowish, around 5:30. Hobble home. Pass out on the couch for the remaining 3 hours. At precisely 9:03 pm, eat everything in site. And then at 9:06 be horrifically disgusted by how much food I've consumed. Fast days rule! Peace.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Seriously peeps

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Seriously, when I ask for comments I expect more people than just Elana to heed my requests. Afterall, she and I have a pact to recipricate each others blog comments. Oy, was I not supposed to tell people about that?

Friday, July 07, 2006

And I thought my dates were stalkers...

You've got to see this. We have all had bad dates (ask me sometime about the guy whos name I forgot while on the date). This is the ultimate stalker story. Definitely gives Jews a bad name.

Darren the Stalker!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

This is how I feel

You guys need to comment more. I mean my stuff is gold. Show me some love.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Surprise, surprise...

You Have A Type A- Personality

You are one of the most balanced people around

Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want

You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back

Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!

You live life to the fullest - encorporating the best of both worlds

Monday, July 03, 2006


I love Google. I must run searches 20 or 30 times a day. But nothing is more fun to search than yours truly. I know you do it too so I'm not embarrassed to own up to it. What I am embarrassed to own up to is how many hits I have. And I know what you're thinking, surely not all of the hits are really you. But they are. All 672 of them. Try it now. Go to Google and search "Susanne Goldstone". Each and every result is me. Okay, I'll admit, at least 500 of them are posts that I've made on But each and every one of those people deserved a Mazel Tov gosh darn it! My name at first glance doesn't seem unique. But few people spell Susanne with an Sus. They prefer the more common Suz spelling. And Goldstone is much less common than Goldstein. If you Google Suzanne Goldstein you would find 1,100 hits, each seems to be a totally different individual. I used to hate that my name was different. Whenever we were on vacation there was never a cute key chain with Susanne on it. Only Suzanne, Susan, and Susie. I always had to settle with one of those choices.

Funny story about the name Susie. I was kind of a trouble child. Got kicked out of the Hebrew Academy Lubavitch in Westminster at age 4. Something about not wanting to recite the Aleph Bet. They used to make me rake leaves as punishment. At age 4! Don't worry avid readers, that evil principal was later fired. I transferred to my local public school the following year for kindergarten. I was an Eader Beaver! That mascot was later changed for obvious reasons not understood by the average 5 year old. If you haven't figured it out, say Eader Beaver 10 times fast. Yup, not very child friendly. Anyhoo, back to Susie. There is a kind of untold requirement for passing kindergarten which requires the kid to be able to spell their name. I wasn't the most intelligent child back then (for proof stop by my apartment for a viewing of my 3rd and 4th birthday parties, oy, I was such a dork). But I did have street smarts. I had a LOT of trouble learning to write. I was totally unable to write the letter N. Sucks when my first name has to Ns in it. So little Susanne at the age of 4 had a brilliant idea. I decided to change my name. I came in one day and decided to have a meeting with Mrs. Broccolo. Mrs. Broccolo was the greatest teacher ever, I liked her so much I was held back in kindergarten an extra year! :) Okay, that and I was an idiot. So anyway, I walked in one day and told my teacher that my parents had decided to change my name to Susie. I figured if it were Susie I would avoid ever having to learn how to write the letter N. She believed me I guess because she called my mom that afternoon. The conversation went like this:

Mrs. B: "Um, Mrs. Goldstone, this is Mrs. Broccolo."

Mom: "What did she do this time?!"

Mrs. B: "Oh, no, nothing like that. Your daughter informed us today that you and Dr. Goldstone changed her name to Susie"


Mom: "What did she tell you??"

Mrs. B: "That you've changed her name to Susie, I'm just calling to ask you to send the legal documents concerning her name change so we can update her file"


Mom: "Do you really think we'd change her name?! That idiot kid just doesn't know how to write Ns. My 4 year old just duped you!"

I was sent to our principal Mr. Conniff's office where I proceeded to kick him in the groin. Or so my mom claims. I don't know logistically how a 3 foot, 4 year old could kick a standing adult male in the groin. I must have been a little kung fu fighter. He then attempted to throw me out of school. It didn't work. He left Eader that year and was never an elementary school principal again. I wonder if I had anything to do with that?

The next year was exactly the same. I had Mrs. Broccolo again. We still raised live chicks in our classroom. The only difference was that the school had a new principal Mrs. Yonts, and Eader changed its mascot to the Eagle. Eader Beavers was no more.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Week in Review

Sorry for the delayed post. A lots been going on but I haven't felt compelled to write until now so I'll cram in a week's worth of info in one shot. Bear with me.

Mom was here last week to help me since I'm not fully functional with my broken foot. I'm much more mobile now that I'm in a walking cast but the fact that I'm not playing softball is still adding a little sorrow to my limp. My nearly undefeated team has now lost their second straight game without me. I'm not saying I was the good luck charm, I'm just saying our once 4th place team just lost to the 14th place team in my absence. Coincidence? I think not. Go Bearcats!

Mom was a big help. Not only did she attempt to clean my disaster zone of a bedroom she also spent hours scrubbing our disgusting soap scum filled shower. And they say Marines are brave. She also helped me in my time of need. My roommate is getting married tomorrow and her entire fan club of family, friends, and shomeret were stationed in my apartment. If I were alone I may not have gotten out alive. Mom, you were quite the trooper!! You deserve the Medal of Honor. And I deserve a Purple Heart.

I saw Tim McGraw last week. The show was incredible as usual and my seats were unbelieveble. Too good to be true? You got that right. The second I got out my camera to take a picture (and video, shhhh, don't tell Madison Square Garden) my battery died. I've never had such awesome seats for his show and I couldn't even record it to prove the verity of my seat assignment. Taping the concert would have been perfect. I could have fast forwarded his snooze of a wife's entire performance. Faith Hill, you are cute, but you should have ended after your opening performance. The crowd was there solely to see your husband. Sorry honey, but its the truth. The day you look that hot in tight jeans and a cowboy hat maybe we'll allow you to add a song or two. Since I didn't take pics I pleaded to my Tim Fan Clubs for photos and videos they took at the MSG concert. Finally Brendan from MySpace stepped up and led me to his incredible pics and video from the concert. Two pics are shown below. Thanks Brendan!

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tomorrow I have work. Ridiculous but true. My entire job is about calling people in their offices. It will be tough when no one in their right mind is going to be working on Monday, July 3rd. Except me and the rest of the NJOP staff of course. I think I might actually take a lunch break tomorrow. I know, unthinkable huh? I haven't really since Megabite closed. In protest of course. Nowhere yummy to go so why bother to leave? If you want to join me I'll be in Bryant Park at 1 pm. I'll be the one taking off her cast to prevent getting the most heinous farmer's tan ever in the history of the world. Seriously, a tan from the midshin down? Yeah, that'll get the boys running...away from me. Peace.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I found $500 on the street in New York this morning. I could have pocketed it. But that's just not me. In this case it was a check made out to Cash. This could have been taken and deposited by anyone. But since it had a way to track down the person who lost it, I did just that. On top of it all, it turned out it belonged to a store on my block that just went out of

I don't claim to be righteous. Heck, if it was an envelope full of cash with no name on it, I probably would have grabbed it and walked away, not looking back.