Friday, September 29, 2006

Repentance is upon us!

Hello my Jewish and non-Jewish peeps. As I mentioned in last week's post Rosh Hashanah the New Year has begun. The Jewish people are given the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to seek out others and offer their apologies for any indiscretions of the past year. Genius comedian Stephen Colbert has discovered a brilliant way to help Jews expedite that process, as you'll see in this clip:

I also called his toll free number 888-667-7539 which begins with a Shalom! greeting that even rivals the announcer from Tamarzeepoo's favorite TV show Shalom in the Home with the Kosher Sex Rabbi himself, Shmuly Boteach. That Jew should apologize to all of us. Seriously Rabbi, your friendship with Michael Jackson is unforgiveble and the TV show with you living in a trailer....Jews do NOT live in trailers man!

Stephen Colbert, I forgive you for stealing this idea from the National Jewish Outreach Program's Project Forgiveness. I think as an apology to them you should invite NJOP's founder Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald to your show. That'd be cool.

I hope you all have an easy fast and meaningful prayers this Monday on Yom Kippur. Peace, love, and happiness to you all!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Celebrity Sighting #1

Sure I've seen famous people before. But I decided to list them for my loyal blog reader. Reader singular was a typo but I decided to keep it since I am still convinced that there is only one.

Loews Lincoln Center, last night. Premiere for School for Scoundrels. I was leaving my audition for Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Netflix Movie Edition (which sucked by the way, thanks for asking) at the ABC studios on 66th street.

The had the camera bulbs flashing for the premiere. We saw Billy Bob Thornton who happens to be a pretty little guy. No clue what Angelina saw in him. Oy. Also, Jon Heder was there and I so wanted to scream "Hey Napolean" but EST and JP told me that would be uncool. So instead I screamed "I love Mormons!". Not sure he appreciated that either, but I really do love Mormons.

Fox News gets ripped a new one

I love Bill Clinton. He is the most well-informed, articulate, (and handsome!) US President I feel we've ever seen. He was the first President I got to vote for and I wish I could vote for him in every election. The proof is in the pudding. I finally sat down and watched the now infamous interview with him and Chris Wallace. Wallace thought he would have a walk in the park criticizing the former president about his search for bin Laden. That is until Bill gave him the smackdown. Here is a clip:

I so cannot wait until he becomes First Gentleman. :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah begins tonight and always makes me think about this past year and where I hope to be next year at this time. I think too often we look at others and become envious of them. We covet the life they have. Oh, they are so lucky, they have a good job, a nice husband, beautiful children, etc etc. We need to stop that. We need to love the life we live. Everyone has their pluses, but we must remember, there are always minuses people deal with as well. No one is perfect. I think we all can agree to that. So my bracha for you and I is that we become comfortable in our own skin. That we learn to love our imperfections. The new year is an opportunity for each of us to start anew. On that note, I hope that you can somehow find it in yourself to forgive me for any of the transgressions that I have committed, just as I will do for you. May all of our relationships with our families, our friends, and our fellow man be built on a strong foundation made of love, respect, and mitzvos. I hope this coming year will be filled with nothing but simchas for us to share together! I offer additional brachos to my commenters. I love you guys! Gmar Chasima Tova!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pink Mist

Okay, so you know the post-Superbowl episode of Grey's Anatomy. It began with a dream sequence of Meredith, Izzie, and Christina soaping each other up in a shower stall. We then see George waking up. Then we find Meredith refusing to get out of bed because she knew something terrible was going to happen that day. Sure enough, all hell breaks loose. Shes forced by her friends to go to work anyway and her foreshadowing becomes reality. Theres a bomb inside one dude's body while McDreamy is nextdoor doing brain surgery on the Nazi's husband. And of course the hot bomb squad dude becomes pink mist seconds after taking the bomb out of Meredith's hands. The scene ends with Izzie and Christina in the shower cleaning the dirt and blood from Meredith's body. End scene. I left out a bit, but you get the jist.

The other day, I faced one of my hardest moral dilemmas ever. I was on the subway heading home from work and after a stop or two I moved to an empty seat. As I moved away from the pole I'd been holding onto, I saw a young guy, probably in his late teens bend down and pick something up. I saw something shiny and thought it might have been a quarter or something. Then I realized he was acting all nonchalant and hadn't but it in his pocket, but instead was hiding it in his fist. When he opened his fist a little I saw he was holding a diamond ring. I immediately made eye contact with the guy to let him know I knew what he had found. Then I realized, I should do something about it. I stared at the ring to determine if it was real or not. I usually have an uncanny ability to spot a fake diamond since I bought a new engagement ring to wear on April Fool's Day every year in college. I had to decide what to do. Do I claim it was mine to get it away from him? Do I tell him to "do the right thing" ie turn it in to the lost property people? Do I slip him a note saying that the reward will probably be for more money than the 100 bucks the pawn shop owner will give him?

Obviously I was scared that the guy would get violent if I confronted him so I decided that if it was in the cards for me to do something it would happen that when I got off at 125th street the guy would get off as well and I could flag a cop to discuss it with him. That did not happen. I am of course disappointed that I didn't do everything in my power to stop this thievery from happening. I am also disappointed that I have so little faith in NYC youths that I felt only me, and not the young man could get this ring back to its rightful owner.

I feel like the most mundane things we experience can sometimes be lifechanging. Its like that ridiculously stupid 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow movie Sliding Doors. Something as simple as missing a train can change a life. What if that ring was an heirloom that is forever lost? What if that ring was to be used to propose to someone's loved one? What if what if what if?

Even if we wake up in the morning convinced that the day will end horribly we still must get up. We can't live our lives with what ifs? We aren't all going to end up being blown to bits by a bomb that was pulled from some crazy dude's chest cavity. We aren't all going to become Pink Mist. Meredith Grey should be blown up cause shes so damn annoying, but thats a story for a different day.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Susanne on TV....again?

I tried out last night for Who Wants to be a Millionaire Pop Culture addition. I, of course, passed the test with flying colors. Thanks to the help of my VH1 Pop Culture World Series teammates who gave me a heads up as to the type of questions being asked on this written test I was very confident going into the test and interview. We all gathered for the test in what must have been the ABC studios dining hall. Security made me relinquish my pepper spray I guess thinking some angry dude might fail the written test and go beserk! We had 30 questions and 10 minutes to complete the test. I was done in 5. Funnily enough, the one question I missed was the single country music question on the test. It was "what country music star sang a duet with Jessica Simpson on her 'These Boots are Made for Walking' video?" I didn't connect that it was on the Dukes of Hazard soundtrack, otherwise I would have known it was Willie Nelson, everyones favorite pot smoking grandpa. There were two questions I wasn't 100% sure about. One was "Who directed Spinal Tap?" which I changed from the correct answer (Rob Reiner) to the wrong one (Christopher Guest) in the last seconds of the test. I should get half credit though since it was Guest who wrote the damn film. The other was "On which movie set did Tom Hanks meet his future wife Rita Wilson?" I debated between 'Bachelor Party' and 'The Volunteers' before settling on the correct answer (The Volunteers). When time was up the test moderator picked up our Scantrons (yup, we used Scantrons, how fun is that? Haven't used those in like 10 years! #2 pencil and everything!!). After marking the tests the dude called out those who had passed to line up for pictures and interviews. I was dying because he was almost done calling out names and seriously, it got to the "and last but not least" call. That was me. I was crapping. If i failed i would have cried of embarrassment. My interview went really well and I was able to flesh out a lot of fun stories for the ABC staffer who interviewed me. She asked where I was from and I told her the OC and she was super fired up. Then I told her how I used to tell people that and they'd say "um, like, is that LA?" and then I'd be "um, no, its south of LA." and they'd be like "OMG, you're from San Diego?!", and I'd be like "no, Orange County is right in the middle of the two, I'm right near Disneyland". Now its much easier. I tell people the OC and they'll be like "OMG, do you know Mischa Barton?!" People are stupid.

Anyway, I was able to segue into my experiences on Family Feud and when I descibed how we were the respectable looking Jewish family who had the guy who did "the snake" on the ground of the studio during the closing credits, she was like, "OMG, I think I remember that one". The Goldstone family was, as always, unforgettable.

I discussed the test with my Pop Culture trivia buddies and my VH1 teammate EST told me that when her husband ask her who she'd use for her Phone-a-Friend and she told him it would be me. She'd be mine too since she knows a sick amount of pop culture trivia. Seriously, anything that I don't know the answer to, ask her.

Alright kids, I'm off to Vegas for the weekend to meet my new nephew...okay, its his first birthday on Sunday, but its better late than never. Don't forget, its my birthday too on Sunday so I expect a lot of comments and/or gifts! Peace!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?

As you all know, today is the 5th Anniversary of September 11th. No need to all know what happened. I remember that day and those that followed as if they were just moments ago.

My senior year of college I thought I was such a big shot. I'd just gotten back from a summer internship in our glorious nation's capitol after working for a United States Congresswoman. I was the Corresponding Secretary of the Stern College Student Council and had a fairly light courseload. So as I cruised (late of course) to my 9 AM Psych class I figured it was just any other day. I walked north on Lexington Ave from my apartment to the 245 Lex building where my class was being held. Had I been walking south I probably would have had a straight view down Lexington Ave and seen the smoke that would have been rising at the time from the first tower that was hit. Instead I continued on to class stopping in the Caf to buy my signature Diet Mountain Dew. Being on student council meant we were issued pagers to help correspond with each other. We also received news updates on them. I got a buzz around 9:10 saying that a plane had crashed into the first tower (the updates weren't always speedy). I was like whoa, thats crazy for a pilot to not notice the WTC. A moment later came the one saying a second plane had also crashed. I panicked since no one else in the classroom knew what was going on so I quietly stood up and slid out of the room. I got in the elevator since I knew there was a television set downstairs. I passed the Jamaican maintenence man who informed me he had been on the roof of my school building and had seen the second plane being hit. He was totally shell shocked. Already seated around the TV were two Deans and no students. Students that were awake at that early hour were only up if they had a 9 am class. I watched the horrific replay on TV for a minute and then received a page from my mom. I knew something horrible was happening since it was just after 6 am in California and my family is never awake that early. I reached for my cell phone but all the lines were jammed. The Dean let me try the call from her office but at that point all the land lines were down as well. Pay phone was also a no go. I needed to let my parents know I was okay, after all, I lived only a couple miles from Ground Zero. I ran up to the computer lab remembering that those used cable modems and should still work. Unfortunately the only person on my Buddy List who was signed in was a guy I'd interned with that summer. He was in college in St. Louis so he wouldn't have trouble making a call to my parents. I quickly asked him to call my folks. Then I got all nervous because my parents were about to receive a call from a stranger saying, "Mr. and Mrs. Goldstone...this is James Smith...I'm calling about your daughter". But, Thank God, he quickly explained that he knew me from DC. After I knew they were notified I walked back into my classroom in a trancelike state. The professor was still totally unaware and continued teaching. My friend Jenny asked me what was wrong and I told her to go downstairs and put on the news. I then grabbed my stuff and left the class. Someone told me he dismissed the class a few minutes later after 100s of police cars and fire engines began to race down Lex to reach the site of the crash. I found my roommate SS and broke the news to her. Her father worked in the area so we walked over to her sister's dorm to wake her up and let her know what was going on.

As we walked back to our apt we passed this woman standing there crying in the street. I stopped to ask her if there was anything I could do. She shook her head and just stood there, tears rolling down her face. I feel like this must be what its like living in Israel. These horrific things happening all the time and people displaying their raw emotions in public. I'm the kind of girl who cries easily during a sappy movie, hell, a sappy commercial will even get my waterworks going. So I didn't understand why I wasn't crying that day. It seemed so appropriate but I wasn't able to squeeze out one tear. Seriously, I tried. What the hell was wrong with me? It wasn't until I finally spoke to my dad and heard him crying over the phone (probably the first time I'd ever heard him cry) that I finally lost it. Our parents are supposed to protect us. Provide for us all that we could possibly need to stay safe. When something like this happens we become so vulnerable. Here I was in the big, bad city so far away from my parents, and all they wanted was to hold me and make sure I was okay. It was now my job to show them I was tough and could take on these challenges alone. So many parents lost their children on the idyllic Tuesday morning and so many children lost parents. But instead of beating us, our enemies have only made us stronger. These 19 men on a suicide mission believed a perverted version of a beautiful religion. They were taught to hate instead of love. We as New Yorkers have pulled our emotions from the rubble at Ground Zero. Those 19 men were trying to tear us apart. Instead all colors, creeds, and religions have pulled together in a United effort to never forget that beautiful September day when the towers came crashing down. I had wanted to go to the hospital and donate blood like I often did...but then word came out that blood wasn't needed, many of the most seriously injured has succumbed to their wounds. Jewish people honor their deceased by ensuring that shomrim (literally watchers) guard the body from the time of death until its burial. Some of my friends became locally recognized when they acted as shomrim to the 100s of bodies that were being brought to the NYU hospital mortuary. Of all the bodies being brought in there was sure to be some Jews and they wanted to make sure that they received the same honor they would had they passed away in a different fashion. This is one of the greatest mitzvahs (acts of charity) a person can do since it is one that can in no way be returned by the person you are doing it for. I remember the LA riots when I was younger and remember the looting and the violence that followed. We also were dealing with a horrible horrible attack and almost all New Yorkers were acting completely selflessly. We stopped to help strangers on the street. We told our friends and family how much we loved them. We went to our houses of worship and begged to understand what had happened.

I leave you with the lyrics to Alan Jackson's "Where Were You" which he penned in the days follwing the attacks.

"Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)"

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Speak with some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watching
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some stranger
Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

I run for life...

Yesterday morning I participated in the Komen Race for the Cure 5K with 20,000+ New Yorkers and people who traveled to this great city for the event. I am proud to say that my friends helped me raise $403 for the worthy cause. I know what you are thinking...damn I can't believe Susanne didn't raise her fundraising goal of $450...If I had only donated that $2 in change I got back from the cashier at Taco Bell. Don't worry...Its not too late. You can visit my site by clicking here. The race was incredible. All participants were given a shirt to wear as they raced. The breast cancer survivors were wearing bright pink shirts as opposed to our white ones. I've been really emotional lately but I can't even describe for you the raw emotions my friends and I felt watching these women, some of them still sporting bald heads, walking with their husbands, children, and friends. Others wrote on bibs signifying who it was they were walking in honor of. Some wrote "In Celebration of" so and so while others wrote "In Memory of". It wasn't unusual to see families walking together. I saw 5 people walking side by side, each one had a different thing written. "In Memory of my Wife", "In Memory of my Mom", "In Memory of my Grandma", "In Memory of my Sister", "In Memory of my Friend". They each had the same name written on it. One little girl held on to her grandma's right hand and the girl had written on her back "In Celebration of My Grandma" with an arrow pointng toward her left. Yup, I lost it, but not until I chased after them to get a picture. It was so touching. As I mentioned on my site, my immediate family and I have, Thank God, never been touched by cancer, but we do have friends who are battling cancer today as well as friends who have lost their fight. I did this for them. In their honor. May my mitzvah be a merit toward their well-being and spirit. Anyway, it was a very meaningful experience for me. I hope you all will join me next year! Lets run for life!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Subway Stories

On my way in to work the other day I was sitting next to these two young guys. They were both high school age and wearing pants that fell around their thighs instead of their waists. One guy was lamenting that his computer science teacher gave them homework on the first day of school. So he pulled out his assignment to complete while on the train. He read the questions aloud to his friend to show how stupid the assignment was. Do you own a computer? If so, what kind, laptop or PC? If a laptop, what brand? Do you own a cell phone? Do you own any other electronics in your home? Finally the young man said matter of factly, "Damn its a good thing the teacher doesn't ask for my address...I'd think he was casing the joint!" I laughed so hard that I almost fell from the seat next to them. Oy. Is this really how young people think these days? Sad.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I've been published!

The Beyond BT blog has accepted me as a contributor and my first piece was published on their site this morning. Very exciting stuff. Funnily enough, I found this blog after someone had posted about a new initiative that my organization NJOP had started. When I scanned the homepage I quickly found another piece written by someone I know from PENN. Her post was about my roommate's wedding. I figured all the stars were alligned, and this was a sign that I should contribute to their site as well. So I asked this girl how she became involved and she asked me to send a sample to the main guy. So I sent him a copy of my BT Manifesto that I wrote for the NJOP newsletter and he published it this morning. Please visit the site directly at and my post directly here.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Hit the deck!

I just heard a gunshot out my window. No, not the car backfiring variety. This was a real gunshot. Boy, do I love Washington Heights!

My party

Hi y'all. If you are reading are invited to my birthday party this Thursday night at my favorite NYC bar Yogi's. Hope to see you there. And don't forget to buy me a drink.