Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


I have you all in my pocket and it feels good

Filed under : Gadgets
On September 27, 2006
At 7:10 pm
Comments : 10

Thanks for voting! It seems I’m going to Paris. Now as soon as one of you plans the trip for me, I’ll be off. Don’t forget to get my refunds from Amtrak and JetBlue, thanks. Because quite frankly, enough of my money is tied up in rebates for my Blackberry. It’s one of those things that cost $300 up front with 45 refunds that make it free….eventually. See, before I even submit them I first have to wait till my contract goes two months because the site I bought it from won’t take my word for it that I’m in love with this thing and won’t ever give it up, even if they have to pry it out of my cold dead hands.

It all started when I was sitting next to my brother at the US Open and right there in the great outdoors of the National Tennis Center he was able to check his e-mail, see scores from other courts, and – here’s the kicker – read the very site you are on now. I knew I had to have one.

I know lots of people want to have a break from their e-mail and maybe even the web, but I am not among these people. Maybe it’s because I haven’t set it up to read my work e-mail, just my 90 other e-mail accounts. But think of it. You know how you’re in a movie and you can’t place the actor? is in your pocket. Sports scores all the time. Ability to delete comments from the site you are on now. Not that I’ve ever had to do that, luckily, you guys being so nice and thoughtful. But having the Internet at all times is a dream come true. If you have odd dreams like I do.

Plus, people suddenly think you are treating them like a VIP. I was away from my computer and in the midst of some important activity, but I took time to answer your e-mail. And you know that because it automatically gets added to the bottom of every e-mail. Sent via Crackberry. Oooooh. Ahhhhhh.

I haven’t yet decided whether I will drive Jane crazy in Paris with my Blackberrying or if maybe instead she’ll knock me down and grab it so that she can check her own e-mail. Because this thing works all over the world, did I mention? Let other people spend their Euros at Internet cafes.

And of course now when I e-mail the rebate people to tell them it’s been six months and I’m still awaiting my check, it’ll be sent via Crackberry, ooooh, aaaaaah.


Yes, yes, I know this post was crap but I had 5 hours of sleep, I’m leading a life so crazy that a reality TV crew should be following me around, and there are three more holidays this month. I suppose I should have written about all that. Oops, too late.


Kraftwerk – Pocket Calculator


Won’t you be my travel planner?

Filed under : Travel
On September 25, 2006
At 12:05 am
Comments : 28

Hi, readers, I’m home!

After a lovely weekend of stuffing, gorging, praying, and sleeping, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Bring on the new year! Actually, there are several other holidays coming up in the next month but there’s time enough for that later. Now I need help planning my vacation.

Originally, I had plans to take a train across the US. This is something I’ve dreamed of for years and years if you’d believe it. The copyright on my “Rail Ventures” guidebook is like 1993. But then other vacations came along. See, I’m sort of a discount vacation to Europe freak. Every time they’d have that British Airways commercial where the guy in the street shouts “where is everybody?!” before playing jazzy music and flashing ridiculously low fares to London, it was like a Pavlovian signal to dig out my passport. And so, I saw London, I saw Cornwall, I saw Wales, I saw Scotland, I saw Ireland, I saw London again. Occasionally, I even saw countries outside the British Isles, like France and Holland and Belgium and Germany. I’d go for the weekend even. It was cheaper to go to London for the weekend then it was to go to Florida. And they don’t have cream teas in Florida, even if I were a “lie on the beach” kind of girl, which I’m not.

North DakotaSo the Amtrak vacation just lay in wait, humbly on the backburner. Then I got a mortgage and stopped traveling anywhere (perhaps you are aware of what real estate in Manhattan costs). Sure I went to Israel for some family occasions and to Tampa for Spring training, but I don’t really consider any of those vacations. It has to be like a week, you have to actually leave your home, and no family occasions can be involved. But I’ve finally begun to rebuild my savings and this was the year for the Empire Builder on Amtrak. First to Chicago, then through Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and finally to Portland (you can go to Seattle too but I’ve already been to Seattle). What could be more relaxing then a week on a train watching peaceful scenery go by as you read a book and contemplate life? I’d even have my own sleeper section. Yes, it all seemed lovely and I booked my trip.

ParisBut perhaps you have read this post of DuJane’s. DuJane is my good friend, even though we’ve never met. We e-mail four hundred times a day and make each other laugh and tell each other our problems so I don’t have to inflict them on you. Of course, Jane no longer has any problems, but that’s OK, it means she has more time for mine. Jane calls me smoochy baby and always has an experience in her life that corresponds with mine. If you have read the post I linked to above, the idea has already formed itself in your head, I’m sure (my readers are smart, S-M-R-T.) Becca, why not go to Paris with Jane? My God, what an excellent idea. Can Amtrak wait another year? Does JetBlue give refunds? Can the blogosphere deal with an exciting event like “Two Bloggers Do Paris?”

Forget all that, I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t you say that you and Jane have never even met? It’s true, we haven’t. But I can use some of my previously booked Amtrak trip to go to Chi-town and meet her in advance. Either way I’m not really worried about it. You see, I’ve met lots of people from the Internet. Thirty or forty, probably. And each time, the person is even better, more them, than I would have even expected. Certainly someone I know as well as Jane shouldn’t be a problem. As a matter of fact, I expect Jane and I to thoroughly enjoy ourselves in Chicago as we spend our time shopping, eating, and getting drunk. I’m only afraid Paris won’t top that. But you see, Jane is on a mission to find her favorite hot chocolate and what kind of friend would I be if I weren’t there to help her out on her quest? And then we’ll blog about it every day. Everybody wins!

I think my mind is already made up but go ahead and weigh in anyway.

The Go-Go’s – Vacation



Filed under : Judaism
On September 22, 2006
At 1:00 pm
Comments : 18

Hey, so did you hear we have this holiday starting tonight? You probably did because other than Hannukah (more on that in December) it seems to be the only holiday most non-Jews know about. This is because lots of Jews who don’t celebrate anything else will take off a day or two from work and spend Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur or both holed up in synagogue. See, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, or rather, the anniversary of the creation of the world, is a time of reflection. It’s the entrance gate to the ten day period that culminates in Yom Kippur where you think about your year, what you did wrong, what you’d like to change, etc. and then you beg God for forgiveness for telling your boss you were sick when you were actually just too hung over to come in. I guess that’s a kind of sick.

But the point that is generally missed is, until you go to the person you conspired against and ask forgiveness, God doesn’t really want to hear it. Sure, He’ll give you the nod if you sinned against Him, like eating non-Kosher food or telling people He blows. But for person-to-person sins, you have to apologize to the actual victim.

So, here goes.

Dear J-Ball readers,

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as much as I said I would. I’m sorry I’ve been too lazy to drag out my camera so that my recent posts have been unillustrated. I’m sorry I didn’t update where David Nalbandian is (wait, maybe I need to go directly to David Nalbandian with that one). I’m sorry I always say I’m going to do Jew & A and then I postpone it for days. I’m sorry to anyone who felt they should have been ROTM and wasn’t. Your time will come! Most of you.

And I’m sorry I’m too tired from baking honey cookies last night to make this post any longer.

Now let’s go ahead and have a great year! And when we get to the Super Bowl, let’s already have won. I guess you had to see “Heaven Can Wait” for that one.


PS, I love all of you! Even the Mets fans. And some of the Red Sox fans.

See you next year!


Eh, you knew I’d pick this one, didn’t you?

U2 – New Year’s Day


Hope I tour again before I get old

Filed under : Music
On September 20, 2006
At 10:06 am
Comments : 8

I would like to say I was really hip last night and spent the evening seeing some band that I know about and you don’t. But I can’t lie to you (well, OK, I can but I won’t), I was actually at Madison Square Garden seeing The Who. Now, I like The Who, I have since I was a small child watching the turntable spin around, but I don’t think I would have been there had tickets for $150 seats not been handed to me.

Still, it’s always fun to see a spectacle on that scale. My first concert ever was at MSG and while clubs are great there’s also something to be said for the show with its revolving screens and smoke machines. Actually, I’m not sure if there were smoke machines, maybe we were just sitting in the smoke machine that was our neighbors in Floor Section Six. Not that I’m complaining.

If I had to sum up the whole show in words other than “Baba O’Riley, fuck yeah!” it would be that it was like a personal conversation between Roger & Pete and all the baby-boomers in the audience like, “remember when we were young?” If your mind completed that sentence with “you shone like the sun” then you would have been right at home in this crowd. But the screens showed a montage of 60’s images, mostly from swinging London, and there was an Elvis tribute as well. Now, unlike a lot of dinosaurs of rock, The Who actually have a new CD coming out that they were pushing. Good on them. It’s unreleased but even if the audience had been remotely familiar with it, I think the reaction would have been pretty much the same. “Play Pinball Wizard!” Actually, most people just sat down, including me. It was easier to check the Yankee game score on my Blackberry that way. Yes, going mobile means something different these days.

I think I was the only one in my age bracket there, everyone else seemed to be over 40 or the child of someone there. It’s to this last group I address the following. If you like the same music as your parents, you are not rebelling. This goes against nature and you should probably see a mental health professional ASAP. This has been a J-Ball PSA.


The title comes from “My Generation” but I’ve always hated that song. Instead, I’ll go with a better reference from the post.

The Who – Going Mobile


Oh! The talent

Filed under : Music
On September 17, 2006
At 11:25 pm
Comments : 17

I have a fun job. Not necessarily because of what I do at my desk, which is IM and write blog posts, but because of what goes on around me as I sit there. The other day I was walking the five miles between my office and the bathroom when I found myself in the midst of a concert going on in the reception area. It was a young scantily-clad girl group and the path to the bathroom was directly behind them. The lights were dimmed but I think I wasn’t the backdrop to the show that they had anticipated. I thought the same thing you would have thought as you saw all my transfixed co-workers: why wasn’t I invited to this? Of course, when A&R does send out these e-mails asking you to see a band in the conference room or the receptionist area or the president’s office, I usually just stay at my desk so I can continue to IM and write blog posts.

But no matter. When I had to make my return, I decided to take the long way back and avoid the “atrocious concert to which I was not invited.” But then I saw that the president of my company’s dog was wandering around the opposite hallway (there are glass doors).

If you know me even a little bit, you will know exactly which path I took. Yep, right back to the girl concert. I paused just inside the doorway to watch for a few minutes. They finished their generic pop hit and introduced their next number with this sincere line, “If anyone knows the Beatles, this is our version of ‘Oh! Darling.” Um…..yeah. We’re all record company people twice your age and yet we have no idea who The Beatles are. Yes. And then I had to move on before I started snortling right behind them. Safe inside my section of the floor I heard the news I knew couldn’t be avoided: we have signed them!

Did I say they suck? I meant they will change your life. Please buy their CD as soon as possible. Especially if you know The Beatles.

Beatles – Oh! Darling not available for download.