Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


iPod song of the week – Silversun Pickups

Filed under : iPod Song of the Week
On June 29, 2008
At 6:30 pm
Comments : 7

Hey! It’s another edition of, “what the hell were they thinking picking that song for that commercial?” I assume the fact that I live in New York, the home of the upcoming baseball All-Star game, doesn’t mean I get more commercials for the thing than you do, right? Could Fox wring any more juice out of this event? The answer is plain: watch less Fox. Good thing I mostly watch it on my DVR, sans advertising.

Perhaps you too have seen the ad with the “I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life” song. If you know that it’s Lazy Eye by Silversun Pickups, you also know that the line goes, “I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life… but it’s not quite right.” Golly, that wouldn’t be a great tagline for the All-Star game, would it? Here’s an idea! Let’s just cut out that pesky last part of the line and just have the music play on. There we go. My, those marketing people are clever.

When I first heard and adored this song (was it last year? who remembers), I assumed it was a lady singer. But no! I think the bearded guy singer wants you to think that, really. Playing even more on that theme is the video. But seriously, this is a chick. Not the singer, the cute It’s Pat person in the video.

Or is it…

[youtube width=”425″ height=”335″][/youtube]

Silversun Pickups – Lazy Eye


[redacted] was here

Filed under : Life in general
On June 26, 2008
At 11:30 pm
Comments : 3

Usually a blog is all about sharing but I’ve purposely avoided burdening you with the Great Obsession of the last few months, my kitchen remodel. As you can imagine, it’s not the most scintillating topic on earth, even for the person currently experiencing it. Not to mention, it is hellish in nearly every aspect. Let’s put it this way, my contractor gave me seven things to choose (appliances, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, floor, fixtures, and I totally forgot the seventh one… cabinet hardware?) and I’m on 1.5. That is to say, I have 3/4 of the appliances chosen and am 75% sure of my cabinet decision. Some people would say that’s not even one thing but I try to be optimistic.

But here’s something most people, home-owning people, try not to think about and I usually do too, because my home is my castle. It’s kind of like the tiny castles in the landscaped fish tanks but still. Anyway, we all tend to forget that someone lived in our homes before us. I know, it’s horrifying. I spent a lot less on the jeans I’m wearing and I assume no one wore those before. I live with the decisions of the previous owners of my apartment in just about every way. The only change I made was to paint the bedroom (it was wedgewood blue and I felt like I was living in a Delft teacup). I painted it myself; I learned how from Trading Spaces. Seriously! If those idiots could do it, I knew I could. But the rest was just fine and that’s why the previous owners (we’ll call them Mr. and Mrs. Irritating Lawyers) decorated that way (to sell) and why I bought it (not much to change, nothing offensive). It’s done in classic, neutral style. There are thoughtful touches. There are vast built-ins and California closets. There is a jacuzzi bath. There are pewter light fixtures. It’s nothing I would have chosen yet pleases me immensely. How is that possible? Because I have the inability to make any kind of decorating decision. Did I mention? The bedroom color took me four months to decide on. God bless those people for making all those decisions so I wouldn’t have to. (I’m aware I ended the last two sentences grammatically incorrectly, sue me, but I’m going somewhere with this, bear with me).

The only thing they didn’t renovate-to-sell was the kitchen. The real estate agent told me helpfully that they had decided to go to Greece instead. What did I get out of that, I ask you? Sure, it probably cost me less but someone would have made a decision. I mean, I get it. If the kitchen is in as sorry a state as mine is (and it’s primitive…if I told you those cookies you bought at the last bake sale came out of a kitchen with a 20″ oven and no base cabinets you’d laugh and laugh), you probably figure, “let the buyer gut the whole thing and do it in her taste.” Except I spent all my money on the apartment, so I couldn’t. But now I can! Sadly, it involves decorating decision making. Oops.

Here is the issue. I will be taking down a wall. The kitchen will now enter the dining room which is one with the living room. They are cream. I want a white kitchen, though. White and cream do not match, unless you are a snowflake and a dirty snowflake. So I thought maybe off-white. The cabinet guy gave me four samples of varying shades to try but I don’t really trust myself. Since I can’t bring him or the kitchen store lady into my apartment (except by kidnapping, which I’ve considered), I figured I would find the paint can and maybe it would have the number or the name of the color on my walls. This is where I began to feel like an archaeologist. Mr. and Mrs. Irritating Lawyers left all the paint cans and some other stuff, like samples of the kitchen floor, in one cabinet above the fridge (they were short, I guess that was like a black hole for them). So I opened it for the first time (in over six years!). They were labeled! I assume by the painters, unless they are two attorneys who spell foyer as “foiler” and cabinet as “cabernet.” It felt a bit weird to look at stuff that wasn’t put there by me, like a time capsule. Unfortunately, the names of the colors are not on the outside and the paint inside has turned a weird rusty hue. So it was a non-starter. But strange nonetheless. Like spelunking in my own cabernets.

Depeche Mode – Home


Tell me who doesn’t love what can never come back

Filed under : Life in general,Music
On June 23, 2008
At 11:15 pm
Comments : 8

I can’t believe I survived these last few days! As already described, I saw The Cure twice, R.E.M. once, met up with 4 different friends and sets of friends, baked several square feet of brownies and cupcakes (that really frosted my cupcake), and sat around watching people buy and eat said baked goods. Then I slept for three days. Only that last part isn’t true.

First off was R.E.M. I’m not a huge R.E.M. fan but I was offered this ticket by my friend Nicole (you may remember her from such concerts as Keane in Central Park) and it was only later that I remembered that that was how I saw my only other R.E.M. show in 1989; someone said, “hey, wanna go to R.E.M.?” But that bald man can really entertain! He danced, he strutted, he sang “Driver 8.” What more could I want? If you’re like me, and I know you are because I say this every other week and otherwise you’d have given up on this blog by now, a concert by a band that’s been around 30 years inevitably reminds you of other points in your life. Harborcoat! I was just a kid. Disturbance at the Heron House! I was working at the record store. Drive! The loneliest time in my life. Begin the Begin! This morning on my iPod. And so forth. It was hard to continue this maudlin theme, however, after the guy dumped beer in my hair. Don’t start with me about beer being good for your hair. I don’t want to hear it. That was when I realized that I would be back in filthy Madison Square Garden the very next night. Ew, sticky.

But the best part was when Johnny Marr came out. Johnny Marr! That’s exactly what I screamed at Nicole. Johnny Marr! She looked at me blankly. Oh, the humanity! But lemme tell you, I have been a fan of a brazillion acts with which Johnny Marr has played: the Smiths, The The, Electronic, Neil Finn. And yet I have never seen Johnny Marr right in front of me. Swoon! I didn’t realize that he plays with Modest Mouse, who were one of the openers. That’s because I purposely avoided Modest Mouse. Anyway!

Cure part 1 (sticky part 2) was with my oldest and bestest friend, North of the City. Also, Mr. North. He’s newer. But North and I have seen many a Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order, etc. show together. Not Erasure, though, I’ll remember that next time. Anyhoo, it was being taped by Fuse so it was kind of a greatest hits show. Which was fine. For some people, it was just like heaven. Oh, I slay me! And once they played “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea,” I was ready to be smited by God and consider my life well-lived. But there was more. Prayers For Rain! Shake Dog Shake! Push! If Only Tonight We Could Sleep! Primary! (Not fast enough, by the way; Primary must be breakneck). And on and on for three hours. Did I mention? R.E.M. also played for nearly three hours. Me so tired.

Cure part 2 was at the classier and carpeted (my shoes really could take no more) Radio City Music Hall. I went to that one with Alfa and she indulged me grabbing her arm at moments such as The Hanging Garden and A Forest and Robert Smith climbing the balcony to almost where we were. I have video! Of the climb, not the grab. In general, the music was more obscure than show 1. There was more from Bloodflowers and the album tracks from Head On the Door (Kyoto Song never sounded so good). Of course, the price you pay is they invariably play the songs you’re not as into twice (hello Lovesong! hello Hot Hot Hot!). But they were new to Alfa so it was OK. Also, the guy next to me, who when informed that I had been to the show the night before (what? Robert Smith asked!), grilled me on how many encores and what they might play and when should he text his wife that he might be home?

Speaking of home, that’s where I went to finish baking at 1am. I almost stuck an uncracked egg right in the mixer. You can see why when my friend Chelle called me the next morning (I guess it was the same morning, really) to see about whether the bake sale would be moved due to rain, I almost bit her head off. “I don’t know, I’m calling the lady now!” Instead of killing me, she paid for our cab. I was seriously too tired to walk 15 blocks with platters of treats. But it went swimmingly! My brownies went so fast they had to cut them in half. And a guy interviewed me for a book he’s researching about family recipes. Too bad this wasn’t one. Whoops! I was too exhausted to explain. Most importantly, we raised $700 for That Candidate I Like. Awesome!

Then we got felafel and walked home (Chelle has conveniently moved in next door to me) after which I watched the Yankee game (oh Kyle Farnsworth, you dumb fuck) and got to collapse for a whole hour before IrishCardinal (she and her sister are visiting and doing a baseball tour of NY) called me to say, “we have an hour and a half before dinner.” Yes! So I went down to meet them (really meet them, we’ve never met) and hang in Columbus Circle and the park for an hour or so before they went off to dinner at Mickey Mantle’s (I told you, it’s a baseball tour). They were also awesome!

And guess what I did? Of course! I added my little clips to YouTube. Parts 1 and 2. And then I dropped into the deepest sleep ever. The end!

[youtube width=”300″ height=”240″][/youtube]

[youtube width=”300″ height=”240″][/youtube]

Title has nothing to do with the post except it’s really what most Cure songs are about, isn’t it? Sadly, they did not play it.
The Cure – The Blood


iPod song of the week – The Cure

Filed under : iPod Song of the Week
On June 22, 2008
At 10:00 pm
Comments : 8

I think it’s time to share something. I have been in a long-term relationship since 1984.

It is with a man who wears black pajamas and dances in loopy fashion. A man who says “Q” for “thank you” but is otherwise unintelligible. A man who has never broken up with anyone in his life and yet writes the most heartfelt break-up songs known to humankind. A man who can’t write a song without using the words love, mouth, fur, or cat. A man who wears lipstick and has had the same “finger in the electric socket” hairdo for 30 years.

It is with this man.

[flv width=”320″ height=”240″][/flv]

If you also love this man, you might enjoy this new song. I heard like 8 new songs, but this is the only one that had me humming it in my head through several days of non-stop activities. It’s called Freakshow and it isn’t out yet but I know you can remember this until September when it will be released. You can download it then! Remind me to remind you.

[youtube width=”425″ height=”335″][/youtube]

More on The Cure, The Cure, R.E.M., and the Obama bake sale tomorrow. I haven’t slept in three days.


Jew & A – Passover Coke

Filed under : Jew & A,Judaism
On June 20, 2008
At 2:00 pm
Comments :Comments Off on Jew & A – Passover Coke

I’m in the midst of several things that will be fun to write about after they’re done (3 concerts in a row, marathon baking, bake sale) and thus don’t want to prematurely blogivate. Instead, I thought I’d change things up and actually answer someone’s Jew & A question in the same year they sent it to me. My, it feels strange!

Anyway, here we go.

Sharky writes:

So, I’ve heard about the Passover Coke, and I’ve seen soda that is sweetened with regular cane sugar labeled as Kosher, but what is it about regular soda that makes it not Kosher? Is it the high fructose corn syrup?

Passover ended a couple of months ago but questions about it can be answered year-round, luckily. First off, not sure if you meant it this way or just wrote it like that, but all Coke is Kosher, whether with HFCS or sugar. Passover is another matter, though, and has stricter rules.

Oh, Passover Coke, you food of the Gods! Er, God. That’s what we believe, yes. Because sugary coke just tastes better. For those who are unaware, the Coca-Cola company loves us Jews and makes us a special formula of Coke around Passover time. It’s like the Creme Eggs of our pantry. It (and Coke around the world except for the US) is indeed made with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. But why would corn syrup be not fit for Passover?

Let’s examine what makes things Kosher For Passover and not so much. Everyone knows that the Israelites were in a rush to get out of Egypt when Pharaoh finally gave them the reluctant thumbs up to stop being his slaves and go home. This is because he was a notorious flip-flopper and they had to vamoose before he changed his royal mind. So when making their bread for the journey (there are no 7-11’s or WaWa’s between Egypt and Israel), they didn’t have time to let it rise and just took it all unleavened and flat-like. (As an aside, I just started making bread last year and if you do too, you’ll know the rising takes ages). To commemorate this, bread is not Kosher for Passover. Just matzah (unleavened bread).

The Jews are a “slippery slope” kind of people (I know you’ll understand this, Sharky, being all lawyery like you are) and everything is very strict constructionist to make sure we don’t fall down the slope. So, not only is wheat flour not Kosher For Passover unless it’s made into matzah, neither is anything that even resembles it. Those things are called kitniyot, from the Hebrew word katan, or small. So small-grainy things are also not Kosher for Passover. Things like rice, lentils, peas, beans, etc. I like to think that glasses technology must have really come a long way since when these rules were devised, but anyway. Different communities consider different things kitniyot (Sephardic Jews eat all kitniyot on Passover, this is why I dream of being adopted by a Sephardic family).

So, even though I’ve never in my life confused an ear of corn with wheat flour, it’s conceivable that if corn were Kosher for Passover, then so would cornmeal be and that can be kind of similar. And cornbread could be like regular bread, only more delicious and better with maple syrup. Thus, corn and all its derivatives are not permissible to be eaten on Passover by Ashkenazic Jews (loosely, Ashkenazi Jews were from most of Europe, Sephardi from Spain and Arab countries). And so, no HFCS, and so, no Coke.

Thankfully, no one in Talmudic times confused sugar with flour and you can’t make bread out of it so it’s all good. Thanks, Coca-Cola! Oh, and Pepsi makes a Kosher for Passover version too, if that’s the way you swing. Because eight days without cola may be too much for a human to deal with, doncha know.

Thanks for asking!

I wanted Pour Some Sugar On Me but it’s not on Napster. D’oh!
Imperial Teen – Sugar