Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Game, set, collapse

Filed under : Tennis
On August 29, 2008
At 1:00 am
Comments : 9

You may think I’ve been slacking by not posting daily updates on my fun days at the US Open (we’re on Day 3!) but in reality, I tried but they came out as mmmphuhkhfahjahja because my head would just kind of fall on the keyboard. But this evening I am going to put aside my raging headache and delay the sleep I so desperately need so as to share a bit of the Open with you.

My memory’s a little dim but I believe on Tuesday I saw Mardy Fish (and he didn’t choke!) as well as Nathalie Dechy (less smiley than usual, probably because she lost) and Roger Federer (his new outfits are beige… he looks a bit like he’s going to hook you up with the Zoofari ride at your favorite amusement park). This will stun you: he won. I may have disappointed Pious B and Brother B by the fact that my simple “you’re sitting in our seats” dislodged our squatters but sometimes that’s just all you need.

The next day, Alfa and I braved vomitty ladies (don’t make me tell you more), outrageous food prices, and hit-or-miss sunscreen application to take in Nikolay Davydenko, Dudi Sela (lived up to his name), Robby Ginepri (vs. Amer Delic, prettiest match so far), Thomas Johansson, Dmitri Tursunov, Eduardo Schwank (delightfully, the umpire sounded like Tattoo from Fantasy Island crossed with Barry White – try to say the name “Schwank” in your head in that voice, I dare you), Sybille “Zen” Bammer, and “crazy hot-blooded” Aravane Rezai.

No pictures of this day exist except this tranny sitting in front of us. Please thank me in advance for the fact that his teeny-tiny skirt with the package falling out the bottom is not visible in this shot.

I can no longer form sentences, so today will be told in photos.

Israeli sensation Shahar Peer lost twice in one day! What an overachiever!

Hey, I wonder where David Nalbandian is! Could he be… 30 feet in front of me? Yes indeedy. Here, he says, “good job on letting me trounce you, Borat,” to the pride of Kazakhstan, Andrey Golubev.

I helped him win with my MIND. Alex added some from long distance. Being right in front of Nalby is a moment I wait for all year. Sometimes, I get to see him twice but this is all I got this year and it was mind-blowingly amazing. I would have pinched myself had I not been so sunburned. Afterwards, though, I left the Argentineans to their Del Potro slugfest to high-tail it to…

Gael Monfils vs. hard-working, still-losing Evgeny Korolev. This was the awesomest match so far (aside from the just-mentioned trouncing). Both guys hustled all over the court and Monfils is a total character. Occasionally, he forgets he’s not on clay, slip-slides around, and ends up like this. Then he lays there a moment. Why not? Everyone needs a rest.

Later, he did a Manny and high-fived with a guy in the stands after returning a winner across the court. This guy must succeed.

Lastly, was my favorite thing in all the Open, a night match in the Grandstand with a partisan crowd. It’s small, the spectators are on top of the players, the lights are bright, and oh yeah, everyone’s really loud and says everything on their mind. American Sam Querrey soaked it all up and lasted till 9:30 pm when he finally prevailed against someone unfortunately not American tonight, Nicolas Devilder.

Then I bought a $40 shirt and went home. $44.25 if you count that I sprung for the LIRR so I could have an extra 20 minutes to sleep. I got home merely 14 hours after I left. Tremendous. How am I still awake? I met up with Mr. Deas and his Fabulous Bag of Canadian Sweets and am on a total sugar high. If I tell you how much maple and chocolate goodness Deas packed in this bag, you’ll just be beyond belief. The best part is, I asked for one Coffee Crisp! Lemme tell you, it’s not the maple cream cookies talking when I say, the Deases are the best people in the universe. I hope to spend more time with Mr. Deas tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’m finishing this Aero bar and getting some shuteye. Pretty good day, eh?


Jew & A, body art

Filed under : Jew & A,Judaism
On August 26, 2008
At 2:00 pm
Comments : 10

Irishcardinal writes:

I knew about tattoos not being allowed for Orthodox Jews. I recently read that any piercings, even ears, also aren’t allowed on the same principles. Please elaborate.

So, you know any good sources of clip-on earrings? My sister thinks even pierced ears are barbaric, but she likes to wear earrings when she gets really dressed up.

This is one of those things that’s based on a few principles. The tattoo prohibition is generally because of the Biblical verse, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:28). Lots of laws from the Bible were designed to separate and differentiate the Children of Israel from the idol worshipers who surrounded them and this is one of those things that fell into that category. Guess what? Baal worshipers tattooed themselves as part of their religious ceremonies so you can’t.

This is pretty explicit and doesn’t leave much wiggle room. But what about piercing? There’s lots of examples of piercings in the Hebrew Bible and there’s nothing seen as wrong with them. It was the way you voluntarily submitted to slavery, women took off their earrings for the Golden Calf, etc. But there are other reasons for not tattooing and those do include piercing. The main reason is the general guideline that man (and woman) was made in the image of God (tzelem elohim) and should therefore treat his body as though it is as holy as it is. Part of this is the concept of tzniut, or personal modesty, that directs how a person should dress and carry himself. The idea of tattooing and piercing one’s flesh violates the spirit of these principles. So it’s not an explicit prohibition but rather a guideline or something to think about when considering. A couple of studs in your earlobes doesn’t seem to cross any lines. Piercings all over might be more of a question mark. It’s possible that the sources you read were from strict constructionists who prefer to set up a tall fence rather than have someone stray too far.

As an aside, this goes for how one treats one’s body in all respects. The other day, directly in front of my office building, was an obviously Orthodox man, puffing away on a cigarette. Now, there’s no Jewish law against smoking but I wanted to say to him, “I’m sure you believe you were made in God’s image and that your life and body are great gifts. Why would you poison yourself this way?” But being that we all have contradictory behaviors and that my mother always told me not to talk to strangers, I said nothing.

I actually have pierced ears but I let them close up. I got them as a teenager and after non-stop infection, let them close. I’ve never regretted it but still have little indentations. I don’t wear clip-ons but my mother did. She liked to shop the sales at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, and the jewelry stores in Zion Square, Jerusalem.

Thanks for writing!

Napster is down, song to follow later.


Goodbye China, hello Queens

Filed under : International,Meta/Blognews,Sports
On August 25, 2008
At 10:00 pm
Comments : 3

And now, your upcoming schedule. I realize I’ve missed the iPod Song of the Week for three weeks (I might be the only one who has missed it but that’s another story) and I’ve actually had one in mind. Maybe it will really get done next Sunday.

In the meantime, this is my favorite week of the year and, as well, the week that this becomes a tennis blog and/or a test of your patience. Our schedule for this US Open Week is:

Tuesday: Pious B, Brother B, and Sister-in-Law2. There is no Sister-in-Law1. Should you be interested in the position, please contact me privately.
Wednesday: Alfa
Thursday: Becca’s Dad, Brother1, possibly Brother2.
Friday: Becca’s Dad, Brother2

As you thankfully noticed, I did not make my annual “buy my extra tickets!” pitch and as I thankfully noticed, I didn’t have to run around Manhattan meeting Craigslist contacts. Mr. Deas was the final purchaser. YaY!

There will be many pictures of expensive tennis stars, expensive food, and other fun things, so stick around, you can still like tennis writing even if you don’t like tennis. It’s unlikely but possible. If you are lucky enough to be attending, please enjoy my oldie-but-goody Guide to Attending the US Open. The only thing that’s changed, as far as I know, is that backpacks are now allowed in, but have a size restriction. Check for details on that.

Your last non-tennis post will be tomorrow, a Jew&A question, and after that it’s burn, baby, burn. I’m talking about my skin, naturally.

Finally, I really do miss the Olympics. Gosh that was fun, wasn’t it? I wish they’d have the Olympics every other year. But I did want to pass along to my British friends, and everyone knows the UK is one of my favorite spots on earth (my Facebook “places I’ve visited” application says so, so it must be true), a little consolation after your closing ceremonies… artistry. Now you understand what it’s like to be humiliated in front of the entire world by your government. I feel your pain.

By the way, at the festivities in London to celebrate the hand-off (finally, something being handed off from China to Britain), when Michael Phelps got on the podium, you should know that they played the same song I used in my post congratulating him, Spandau Ballet’s Gold. Copy-cats.

Wouldn’t this be an awesome place for The Beatles’ Hello Goodbye? I’m sure Paul and Ringo will have that worked out with the online music services before we’re all dead.


Also, the Orioles are just like the Sox if you squint

Filed under : America
On August 22, 2008
At 1:45 pm
Comments : 13

You may remember how I’ve spoken about the various slogans that Baltimore has had in the past: Charm City (still in use!), The City That Reads, Greatest City in America, etc. Back in 2006 I had a good chuckle at the expense of this last one, because despite the fact that I love the city dearly, I thought it aimed a bit high, no?

But I have a new idea and I need to submit to the Chamber of Commerce because I think it just rules. I was inspired by Clark Crockefeller, the fake Rockefeller guy who kidnapped his daughter and was finally found, arrested, discovered to be a German nobody, and locked up. If you were reading carefully (and who isn’t? we all have so much reading time), you may have noticed he was captured in Baltimore.

Now NBC is running an interview with him where we learn why! I read about it in the London Telegraph. Yes, I get all my best domestic news from the UK, shut it.

Rockefeller told NBC he took his daughter to Baltimore because he could not afford the life he wanted in Boston.

Awesome! So there you have it, Mayor Shiela Dixon: “Baltimore – When You Can’t Afford Boston.”

(image from Baltimike @ Flickr)

Yeah, there’s no reason for this except it was on XM Radio as I was writing this, which is ironic because I used to listen to it as I walked by rowhouses just like the ones above. Well, mine were in Charles Village and these are in Hampden, but the photo I liked of Charles Village rowhouses on Flickr had all rights reserved. Hey, Hampden is right next to CV! Plus, College Boyfriend lived there.

The Cult – Sun King


Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t

Filed under : The Internets
On August 20, 2008
At 4:00 pm
Comments : 12

Luckily, there are a lot of nuts looking for each other. YaY! It’s Craigslist Missed Connections time.


“You seem smart. The kind of intelligent woman who doesn’t want to see the Yankees lose 15-2. Or 2-1. Or whatever.

Hey! We’ll clearly both be free after the regular season ends. See you then?”

This is a tough town.

Funny story! The reason “turnip” is highlighted is because I couldn’t remember where this was in my feed and I didn’t know how to spell bahgangajongs so I could search on it.

God, I hope this couple found each other.

King Missile – Detachable Penis