There’s a first time for everything

First off, let me begin with thanking everyone who has emailed, messaged, called, or in other ways communicated a Happy Birthday to me. It really was great to hear from all of you, and I’m going to try to respond to everyone individually, but in case I don’t, please know that it was well appreciated.

To those of you who’ve been following, you might know that I’ve been going through a lot of changes as of recent, and I thought today would be a great time to jot down a whole lot of things that I’ve done for the first time, while giving some background to make it interesting.

I started my second decade in service to the Israeli Air Force, and have ended it living in Manhattan. Big jump, and wildly exciting.

These past few months of living in the USA have opened first-times for me all over again, and I thought that some of them might be of interest, or maybe even inspire you.

First time living completely on my own – no roommates. Not that there’s anything wrong with roommates (wink at YAP), but it’s something I’ve never done. Now I live on my own.

First gym sign-up and actual attendance. It’s going well, my trainer likes me to push myself harder than I would on my own. Isn’t that the point? Bah humbug.

First time visiting places like Boston, MA, Stanford, CT and Long Island. What can I say? Never been there. Now I have friends and family there. First time eating Hibachi-style!

First time skydiving. And sledding. First time to walk around in public without a shirt on in a place that’s not the beach.

First time watching Broadway – and then off-Broadway, and going back again and again. Needs major update.

First Mac. Ugh. Call me crazy, but I’m not liking it.

First large history post. I thought a lot about that one, and it’s good to re-read it. I never continued on my personal history, maybe another time.

So that’s a lot of the past year – not everything by a far stretch, but a lot of great and goodness.

Today marks another first for me – turning 30 (yes, I know the cat’s out of the bag now. I don’t care). On December 25, or the Fifteenth of Tevet, depending on which calendar you follow, I turned thirty years old. So to mark this occasion, I did another first – snowboarding. Yes, yours truly went out with some friends and headed up a mountain, to hurt himself in ways that have gone previously undiscovered by himself.

It’s not as easy as it looks, but I was in full cold weather gear, and needed it. My butt slammed into the snow so many times today that I think I might need a new pelvis. Same with my knees (and I don’t mean that I need a new pelvis for my knees…), and curiously enough – my big right toe.

Turns out that if you have feet larger than the board, you should try not to slam them into hard packed snow when trying to get up. So I slammed my big toe (while in a two-ton snow boot attached to a snowboard) int the ice, and now it’s scary black-and-blue. Ouch.

So I got to celebrate my birthday, for the first time in a long time, and to end it off, when I got home tonight, and got some dinner ready, I sat down to watch one of my favorite films – The Neverending Story. Don’t laugh at me – I love that movie. I get all teary-eyed and shivers run down my back and all. I guess I’m a big sap, but I love a story that meant a lot to me – the power of books, a good story, adventures and such. It’s probably really cheesy to today’s world and standards, but it’s awesome.

So there. Now I’m going to kick back and relax, and fall asleep to another of my favorite movies – Labyrinth – and wake up all sore in the morning.

If you celebrated the Channukah thing or the Xmas thing, hope you had a good one. Watch The Hebrew Hammer and rejoice!

Parties all around

So last night was the company’s annual Holiday Party. Call me crazy, but I like my company – they’ve held a few celebrations since I’ve been here, and all of them rocked my socks.

It was held at Pressure, which has this great top floor bar/pool hall/dance floor combo space, and we shared it with a party from NBC – but they were on the other side of the bar and didn’t really concern us at all.

Started off by grabbing a drink at the bar and moseying around, played a few games of pool, I even rocked a game of Guitar Hero! I didn’t do the whole buffet thing, I just wasn’t hungry I guess.

I think where I really had the best time was on the dance floor, where I’ve always tried to have a great time. It’s so awesome to see a bunch of crazy people, people I work with, break out their moves. Some of them more interesting than others, but all awesome. I guess it takes a certain type of personality to decide: “I can’t dance in the more conventional sense of the word – but I don’t care, I’m dancing anyways!” So watch out for that good old funky white boy dance – it can spring up at you at a moment’s notice

I had some nice salsa steps and merengue to base on, and then there was some group interpretive modern dance, that got some amazing response, and one more memorable one was Sir Mix-a-Lot’s memorable song, to which another dude and I totally rocked and cracked everyone up. I showed a bit of my groove to “Billy Jean”, a good song for footwork, and wished there was a little more step-worthy music, or at least clog-able, like “The Devil Went Down..” but hey, it was still awesome.

I got to meet a whole lot of people that I work with – some whom I’ve never met before – and some of their friends, spouses, SI’s etc. in a non-work environment. It was fun to see everyone relax and have a good time.

On the whole, it was one hell of a party, and I can’t wait for the next one. Big thanks to M, for making it happen!

Let it snow, let it snow…

Creepy Tree So in the past couple of weeks it’s snowed a bit and covered the ground with enough that this past weekend I went sledding for the first time in a VERY long time.

I started the day visiting my uncle and cousin, having a light bite and tea, then driving around my uncle’s Chevy in a neighborhood in New Jersey, where we went to the top of a multi-level parking lot and intentionally sped up and slammed on the brakes on untouched ice to skid. Feels odd. Don’t do that.

Then drove all the way to his house, and then out again onto the highways and byways, dealing with weekend traffic.

I met other cousins at a halfway point between New Jersey and Conneticut, where I switched cars, and drove up further north to someone’s house on a hill where I then sledded down at breakneck (literally!) speed into brambles and bushes.

Ah, yes, it was a lot of fun. Cold, but it gets the heart pumping faster as you fly down the slope, and hope you don’t run into someone else or worse – a tree (that happened!). Also,word of advice that might seem obvious to the rest of you – if you’re going down head first, don’t try to brake using your shoulder against the ground – that only makes it angry. Retaliation was in the form of me flipping onto my head, doing a full 360, and landing on the hard snow. Ouch. Some more pictures are available beyond the cut.

Overall, it’s was pretty awesome.

After sledding, we went to have dinner at a Japanese Hibachi place – I’d never been to one of those, and that was quite the experience as well.

The next day, I had my first Costco’s visit – and let me tell you, I was impressed by the sheer size of everything. It’s all so huge!

Anyways, I hope you had as good a time as I did.

Continue reading Let it snow, let it snow…