Friday, November 30, 2007

Where the Streets Have One Name

Hey street-namers, what's your frickin' problem? Is street-naming the new brain surgery? Is it really so hard to think of more than three or four names for the streets of one neighborhood?

Or do you get sadistic pleasure knowing that directionally challenged people like me hear the "Psycho" theme music whenever we drive in certain areas of town?

La Jolla, CA (a few miles north of San Diego) is a good example. Why is there an Executive Drive, Executive Way, and Executive Square all in the same block? Why does La Jolla Village Drive intersect with Villa La Jolla Drive? And why in heck does North Torrey Pines Road intersect with itself?

I feel like Sisyphus, except I'm pushing my rock up the same damn street every time.

Monday, November 26, 2007

If it's Kislev it Must be Tuesday

Everyone is saying that Hanukkah is early this year. But Hanukkah starts at sunset on the same day each year on the Jewish calendar, the 25th of Kislev, which, this year falls on the 4th of December on the Julian calendar.

Next year, Hanukkah will begin on a totally different day on the Julian calendar but will fall, as it always has, on the 25th of Kislev.


This is because the Jewish calendar is based on the Earth's rotation on its axis, how it revolves around the sun, and how the moon revolves around the Earth. It's a big, complicated formula that, if I really thought about it, would keep me up at night.

Jewish months begin when the tiniest sliver of the new moon is visible. Some years have 12 months, others 13. And a year with 13 months is called a "Shanah Me'uberet" (pronounced shah-NAH meh-oo-BEH-reht), literally: a pregnant year.

Oy, and no wonder. With such a complex calendar who could keep track of their period? I'm surprised every year isn't pregnant.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Buffalo is Where it's at

University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. WTF?

That's the official name of what I grew up calling UB or SUNY Buffalo (not to be confused with sunny Buffalo, which refers to its three days of summer). Call me nitpicky, but I have a problem with long, convoluted names.

It sort of makes UB seem like the one and only school in the entire Empire State.

As a former Buffalonian (yeah I know, that sounds like a person with exemplary herding skills) I have enough trouble defending the honor of my birthplace. And I really hate what appears to be confusing and redundant branding for a very good school.

You gotta wonder, however, about their English department.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How Jews Are Like Pilgrims

It's getting close to Thanksgiving and I can't help but notice the glaring similarities between Jews and Pilgrims.

For example:

*Some Jews wear big black hats; some Pilgrims wore big black hats.

*We got the heck outta Egypt because of religious persecution (and very unfair labor practices); the Pilgrims left England for the same reason.

*Every year we celebrate our freedom with a big meal - the Passover Seder. The Pilgrims started the Thanksgiving tradition as a tribute to their free lives in the New World.

*In 17th century New England, the Pilgrims controlled the media and economic empires. And the big machers now? You guessed it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Vagina vs. Vajayjay - Thinking Outside the Box

You say vajayjay, I say vagina. Let's call the whole thing off. Please.

This is such a silly argument. Who cares what you call the land down under? It's yours; call it whatever you'd like.