Judaism & Me

When I was in my teens and 20s I went through a cliched period as a self-hating Jew and tried to act WASP.

I wore a cowboy hat sometimes in college. I looked as ridiculous as that sounds. I’m a Jewish guy from Long Island — that’s never going to change. I was chubby then too. Chubby guys shouldn’t wear cowboy hats.

In my 30s, I made a conscious decision to just embrace my ethnic Judaism. I wondered whether to re-cultivate Jewish speech patterns and mannerisms I’d consciously rid myself of, and shed some Gentile speech patterns and mannerisms I’d cultivated. But then I decided screw it, I am who I am and I’ll act how I’ll act. My Jewish rejection is part of who I am too.

I still like to wear boots occasionally though.

The cowboy look was popular when I was in college. Southern Rock was big and the movie Urban Cowboy had just come out. You know who really rocked the cowboy look? A Jewish guy from Buffalo, N.Y., I went to college with. He’s a Facebook friend now — I won’t name him or tag him but maybe he’ll read this.



This was a fun game on Twitter Friday night: Come up with a line that badly explains a film plot, and tag it #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly

My contributions:

That should be “man,” of course.

The right tool for the right job

I was doing an experiment for a couple of months sharing links and off-the-cuff posts on this blog. It’s the kind of thing people usually post nowadays to social media. But I liked the idea of having my own little corner of the internet for “tumble blogging.”

Turns out people aren’t interested in that kind of thing here. They want to see it on social media. So I’m going back to that.

Find me daily on:


I post the same things on all those places. Pick whichever you like best and follow me there.

And you’ll find my best work on Light Reading, for news and insights about the telecom industry.

This blog isn’t going away, but it will update slowly. I’m working on a couple of longer blog posts, and I’ll share personal and professional news here.

New Orleans newsroom, around 1900

New Orleans newsroom, around 1900

In which I do not experience divine bliss

My daily walks in the park with Minnie are alone time for me. Well, I’m there with Minnie of course but we’re each doing our own thing. I’m listening to my podcasts. Minnie is, as far as I can see, trying to eat, sniff, pee or poop on every object in the general vicinity of the house.

I see a lot of the same people. We nod hello to each other. We’ve been nodding hello to each other for OMG six years now. Lots of us bipedal introverts at the park.

One of the regulars who I’ve never talked with is a gray-haired woman who has an extra-cheerful smile. I am suspicious of complete strangers who greet me overly cheerfully out in public.

Today I could tell this woman wanted to speak, so I shut off my iPhone and pulled the headphones out of my ears. She handed me an envelope, said she’s a writer and hoped I enjoyed this. And I said thank you and put it in my pocket and kept on walking.

This is what blogging used to be like before the Internet, right? You had to go to the park and hand people stuff.

The envelope is on my desk in front of me now. It’s a standard, white, blank, sealed business envelope, with several sheets of paper folded inside.

I’ll open it now. I suspect this will prove to be anticlimactic.

And that’s done. It’s a three-page essay, printed out on white paper with lavender ink, about how the scent of flowers blowing in through an open window reminded her of a dead loved one, and how she now rejoices when people she loves pass on because they’re now experiencing divine bliss.