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Chasing The American Dream

August 29, 2006


To be jolly? Well, not exactly. Hurricane season means lots of angry, cranky, panicky, crazy people. Ernesto’s on our doorstep. It’s not even a hurricane (yet), but the panic has set in. I went out at lunch time to pick up some water, a few supplies, and some much needed gas. Food and water I got. Gas, not so much. I should have known better. Lines were miles long and I quickly gave up after three tries. I tried again after work but to no avail. I should have stuck with my foolproof hurricane gas plan which is simply outlasting the millions of crazies here and going for a late night gas run around 2:00 a.m. But even that plan has some flaws. It actually took me another three tries. It wasn’t the lines but the lack of gas. Yeah, gas stations resemble crime scenes around here with their yellow tape draped around the station indicating there is no gas to be had. And much to my surprise, people are catching on to my plan. I actually had to wait to fill up. Imagine the nerve of some people! But I guess that’s what it takes around here when it’s “The Season.” It takes a lotta nerve. Now if we could only combine that with patience, we might survive another hurricane season.

August 26, 2006


Dr. R. Albrecht, ESA/ESO Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility; NASA

Poor Pluto. It got demoted. I guess it’s not big enough and can’t pull its own weight among other things. So we’re left with eight classic planets now. Pluto has been relegated to a dwarf planet, whatever that means.

Speaking of which, how can it be that I wore a size 8 ½ shoe up until last year, and now I wear a size 10? Wow, if I can figure that one out and get other parts to grow I might be a millionaire in the making. Size matters.

August 21, 2006


photo courtesy of Stephanie Klein

It’s true. Stephanie Klein stole my book ending. Can you imagine such a thing? Her struggles, her disappointments, her sublimation, her search for a publisher, and her search for a soul mate have all come to an end. She’s found herself. She’s happy. The end.

OK, I need to rewrite my ending anyway because my life’s not exactly working out as hers is. And I’m genuinely happy for her. I can’t believe she’s actually getting married in less than a month. I’m sure the guest list for the wedding must be a mile long. I’ve been wondering if I might receive something exciting in the mail. I know realize I won’t and part of me is disappointed. Oh sure, I understand my place in her life. I feel fortunate just to know her and have had a chance to meet her. But what I’ll miss is the witnessing of pure joy and a culmination of what I’ve been reading about in her life for the past two years. It’s one thing to read about it and view pictures, but there’s no substitute for that raw emotion of seeing the look of love in Stephanie and Phil’s eyes. Greek and Suitor as they’re perhaps better known in the blogosphere.

To both of you, as Voltaire once said, I wish you “the best of all possible worlds.” I’ll be there in spirit.

August 16, 2006


universal syndicate sudoku

I’ve been doing daily crossword puzzles since high school. There’s something about them that stimulates my warped mind like nothing else. Finishing a puzzle garners this certain sense of satisfaction like I’ve accomplished something major. Silly I know but puzzlers like me understand what I’m talking about. The mother of all crosswords, the Sunday NY Times puzzle, is nearly impossible but oh so fun to attempt. I couldn’t imagine something so perfectly suited for me. Until now.

Unfortunately for me, the guy who works for me threw a Sudoku puzzle on my desk about two weeks ago. I’ve seen them in newspapers and have ignored them maybe for fear I’d get hooked on them. It’s a puzzle, it’s a game, and it’s got numbers in it. My friend urged me to try it even though I’ve told him time and again that I’m a crossword man. Nevertheless, I relented. It took me forever to solve that beginner puzzle, but I solved it. It was fun and, goodness, mentally perfect for me.

Two weeks later, I’m really hooked. It’s become the highlight of my day. I’ve now graduated to the more difficult puzzles which totally drive me crazy, like a good crossword puzzle. Honestly, solving a good Sudoku is more exciting than any problem solved at work. What does that say for me and the interest I have for my profession? Puzzling, indeed.

August 13, 2006


photo courtesty of universal pictures

I didn’t think the new Miami Vice movie was particular good. The movie itself was a typical action movie filled with ugly looking bad guys, fast cars, drugs, pretty women, shoot-em-up scenes, etc. etc. I’d likely have judged it even less appealing if I wasn’t from Miami. But there’s something about a movie filmed in your locale that makes you want to see it. You want to see and recognize familiar scenes even though it’s practically a daily occurrence. Which brings me (at last) to my point.

There was one particular scene I was waiting for and one that represented the real drama for me. Ya see, I was walking home from work one day when I saw the film crew in action. They were filming a scene for the movie. Jamie Foxx was wearing a black t-shirt (see picture). Without realizing it, I walked right behind the rolling camera. Could it be that I’d really end up in a Hollywood movie?

The beginning of the movie offered hope. There were scenes near where I work and live in Coconut Grove. Close but no cigar. So I waited some more. Alas, my movie moment never came. I ended up on the cutting room floor. I guess my 15 minutes of fame will have to wait.

August 08, 2006


photo courtesy of foxsports.com

It certainly seems like the evidence against American cyclist hero Floyd Landis is overwhelming. Two drug test samples showing positive amounts of synthetic testosterone. Say it ain’t so! After the first test came back positive, Floyd’s team immediately fired him. He would be stripped of his yellow jersey and title of Champion of the Tour de France. Landis responded to the allegations by proclaiming his innocence. He went on record as being confident that his second test sample would come back negative. Well, test B came back with unfortunate results. Positive.

I think the results were shocking to those few who still believed Landis was innocent. I mean, this could easily be viewed as the biggest scandal in sports history. Or is it? I started thinking about it; a few things just don’t make sense to me. First, why in the world would he take performance enhancing drugs so late in the race? Sure he was exhausted and fell from the lead and was far back. And sure, he made a miraculous recovery during the stage in which his drug sample was taken from. But he had to know that he was going to be tested. He’d been tested something like eight times previously. What’s the point of taking the drugs if you know you’re going to be tested? Makes no sense. And then, why would he vehemently deny the drug results and proclaim his innocence fully knowing that there was a second specimen yet to be tested. Surely he knew that if he truly had taken some form of hormone, the second test would show the same results as the first one.

The whole thing just doesn’t add up. Cycling has had its share of doping scandals and I really believe we haven’t even begun to uncover the truth here. Yeah, I think what we have here is another Skategate scandal. Remember the 2002 Winter Olympic Games when the Canadian pair of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were robbed of the gold by a corrupt French judge? I really think we’re gonna discover something similar.

I think Landis’ samples were tampered with by someone or some group that didn’t want to see an American win the Tour. And just yesterday, Landis came out once again and maintained his innocence. I’m backing Floyd. I believe him. I only hope we truly get to the bottom of this. It would be nice to clean up this sport just as it was done for ice skating. I’m tellin’ ya, you heard it hear first. There really is something rotten in the ‘state’ of France. Let’s hope our Floyd keeps the title he deserves. Champion.

August 03, 2006


photo courtesy of tmz.com

Yeah I know. Innocent until proven guilty. Well something tells me that Mel Gibson's higher-than-mighty status as a Hollywood superstar guarantees his innocence. It shouldn’t be that way, but sports ‘heroes’ and movie stars continue to get free passes and looks the other way from our legal system. Do you REALLY think Gibson’s gonna serve any significant jail time? Of course not; at worst, he’ll be slapped with some community service. I’m pretty sure if that were me in his shoes, I’d be looking at some serious jail time.

Now it’s all allegations and hearsay at this point in terms of what specifically Gibson said during his drunken tirade on the Pacific Coast Highway, but TMV.com reported that Gibson uttered a string of obscenities and racial slurs that included, …"You mother f****r. I'm going to f*** you…f*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,…are you a Jew…what do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?" To add insult to injury, Gibson allegedly said how we was going to f*** a female Deputy.

Now I’m biased because I’m a Jew, but I believe he said all of it. He grew up with a father who didn’t think the holocaust occurred. Hutton Gibson was quoted as saying, "It's all -- maybe not all fiction -- but most of it is," he said, adding that the gas chambers and crematoria at camps like Auschwitz would not have been capable of exterminating so many people. He added, “"Do you know what it takes to get rid of a dead body? To cremate it? It takes a litre of petrol and 20 minutes. Now, six million of them? They (the Germans) did not have the gas to do it. That's why they lost the war."

One can’t help but think that Gibson’s view of the Jews was molded as a young boy. I personally think he said deep down what he truly believed as he spewed his drunken anti-Semitic remarks to the LAPD. I never saw Passion of the Christ and I don’t think I need to.

Alcoholic or not, his behavior was sad, disgusting, despicable, nauseating, reprehensible, unforgivable, etc. Sure he’s sorry and regretful, and embarrassed. Who wouldn’t be? He even issued a specific apology to the Jewish community. Hmm, if only he truly meant it and wasn’t simply covering his own ass. Well one thing’s for sure. You won’t catch me at any of Gibson’s movies. I’d rather have my teeth drilled.

August 01, 2006


SWM seeks capricious and blitheolicious non-smoking SWF 29-40. Must be real, down-to-earth, caring, genuine, honest, smart, funny, witty, quirky, intelligent, sweet, sassy, spicy, sexy, sarcastic, adventurous, attractive, appreciative, low-maintenance, and gainfully employed. Must be passionate about life, love alternative music, attending concerts, the arts, sporting events, spontaneous weekend trips, pop culture, exploring the world of food and wine. Other interests would include writing, fitness, playing sports, blogging. She’s a contradiction of terms. Serious yet silly, athletic yet klutzy, independent yet needy, smartly dressed yet shorts/t-shirt/flip flops, eats healthy yet enjoys a good sundae, worldly yet lost in translation, party girl yet enjoys a good video at home, loves her family yet needs her space, take-charge yet laid back, sophisticated yet quirky, outgoing yet shy, responsible yet flighty. Loves kids and can deal with the fact that I have a 10-year-old genius. Red hair, fan of Lost, Jewish faith a plus. Apply within.

OK, I fed all this data into my super-duper computer and this is what it came up with. What do you think?