Continued pain

So to some that have followed my bodily harm escapades, here’s another one for the record.

Yesterday, walking to the train with a couple of coworkers, I spent some time chatting with one more than the other.

This guy has a hearing problem, so he reads lips, so I turned my head 90 degrees so he could see me clearly, and there would be no “slurred” words.

As we’re walking up a hill at a decent pace, I suddenly feel immense pain in right thigh, all at the same instant.

Yes, I just walked into a fire hydrant.

Snuck up on me. I didn’t stand a chance.
And I was going at my normal pace, full momentum smashed me into the immovable object.

So now my right leg is largely useless. Don’t ask me to run, dance, skate, or walk too far. It hurts.

Oddly enough, I was looking forward to posting an image or two of some huge bruising, but it seems like the damage was done too far below the epidermis for it to be visible.
Oh well.

I just finished watching my DVR’ed episode of the Battlestar Galactica two hour finale.

To those of you who watch the show regularly, this will not come as a surprise.

This episodic saga is quite the amazing drama, which kind of happens to take place in space. But that fact doesn’t make it purely a geek show, it is much much more.

For those uninitiated, it follows the lives of a bunch of people – some closer than others – put into extraordinary situations and forced to deal with scenarios that, while seem to be highly unlikely and sometimes unfathomable, somehow shows us a glimpse into something that no matter how far out, in a a galaxy far far away, touches you.

Call me crazy, and I’m sure some do, this is a series that I think most people can enjoy – whether or not they like Sci Fi genre stuff – it’s an amazing story about people, and how they relate to other people.

The finale had moment in which I laughed out loud, and others where I actually teared up, and really felt for the characters and their predicaments.

All in all, if you’ve had any reservations on watching this show due to its geekiness, try to put those aside for a minute and give it a chance to lure you in and learn to love them all.

The rush is so great.

So for those of you following my life, you may know that I went skydiving last fall.

Since then, I’ve taken up the Accelerated Freefall Progression (AFP) course, which constitutes a standardized course that takes a beginner skydiver to a level of competency that most drop zones will allow self-supervised jumps upon its completion.

This typically takes about 10 jumps total, including a few tandem jumps, but mostly jumps with instructors jumping next to you, making sure that you can do what they expect you to do, as well as make it down safely.

It took me a little longer, due to a long winter break, as the weather was just not cooperative, with all the storms, snow, and other nastiness.

This past weekend, I left New York City with fellow skydiver Jen, in a hot yellow Pontiac G5 (thanks to the rental place only having conspicuous cars for me) and drove down to Skydive Cross Keys, where I’ve been jumping all along.

It was close to the end of the day when I finally got in the air, along with my graduation jump master Richard, a seasoned Aussie skydiver who’s been doing this for the past 28 years. We planned my skydive and then jumped it. I did what I needed to in order to graduate, and also learned that I have to focus on some items like legs for stability, etc.

In any case, watch it Continue reading The rush is so great.

Finding a place to live

So the verdict was handed down, and now I officially am going to be homeless, unless I find a place to live.

How does one go about finding decently-priced places in Manhattan, preferably in the downtown/Financial District/Battery Park area? I’ve never had to do that part of living in NYC yet, and I’m a little lost.

The apartment I’ve been staying in now was owned by my grandmother, and was part of some sort of cooperative. The legal deal was that unless you can prove two years of cohabitation with the original resident, there is no right of inheritance, succession, or any of that jazz.

When she passed away, that kicked off their legal department, and there has been plenty of paperwork flying back and forth, with appeals and such, and that’s it – appeal denied, vacate by the 20th.

So at this point, I know that some of you know people “in the know” in New York, so if you know of someone’s place that’s sitting vacant and needs someone to house-watch it, or know someone with good connections in the real estate field, connect me – I don’t want to have to move out of the city.

Catching up

So after my last post, I actually tried to catch up on my emails.

I did, and now have some time to tell a story.

This past weekend, I spent the day out white water rafting with a group organized by ZogSports. A bunch of coworkers and I joined a group of about 50 young persons and headed to the Lehigh River, where a Class 2 rapid awaited us (Rapids of moderate difficulty with passages clear. Requires experience plus suitable outfit and boat).

None of us had any experience rafting (as far as I recall) and we spent a couple of hours on the bus there, and then some more time waiting around for organizational things to be dealt with (that could have been performed on the bus. Once we actually set out, I was in a 7-person group, 4 co-workers and myself, and two ladies we met and joined ranks with.

We set out, and paddled hard, and moved along the river, and got a feel for it, but not nearly enough. As we progressed along the river, not very far in, we picked up some speed and rammed into another raft that was stuck against some rocks, bounced off them, and then our raft flipped over, throwing us out. I got flung clear, and went under for a second, life vest bringing me back up, my shades still nailed to my head. I turned backwards, fighting the current, and saw that my pals had either surfaced and were being pulled in, or someone was looking after what was going on back at the raft’s location. I turned around, and saw people in boats, and they seemed to chant to me in unison, “swim for the shore”. My brain wouldn’t process their message, and another raft paddled up and hauled me in.

My new family, a group of boy scouts and a couple of dads, seemed to have an ongoing war with another couple boats, with water guns, and use of the bailing bucket to toss heavy loads of water on the rivals. It was fun, for a while, but got old after a while, but as a guest in their raft, I didn’t complain.

We rode a few pretty crazy rapids, got stuck a few times, and even once required external assistance getting off a pair of huge rocks. That had everyone piled up in one side of the raft – literally piled – as someone wedged the raft over the edge of one rock and then switch for the other side.

We hung back, and followed other rafts, watching their progress and learning from them what not to do – a solid strategy to adopt. This helped us make a nice ride, while not getting stuck on anything.

After a few hours, we finally stopped for lunch, where we all broke out the sandwiches and had something to eat. At that point, anything was better than nothing – no matter what it was. I had a PB&J, and wanted more, bu more wasn’t to be had. Ah well.

Re-formed with my raft crew, and met Ed, who joined. Ed seems to have a grip on things, so as we progress down the river, we all have a good time, slipping by the rapids, moving somewhat smoothly over treacherous terrain. The water thrashes you and it’s a lot of fun riding the bumps.

Finally, we make it back, get the bus back to the starting point, and grab a shower (mildly warm), dress in dry stuff and get on the bus home. On the bus, beer was distributed to those that wanted it, and our chaperon treated us to some horrible jokes. At some point, I fell asleep for a bit, only to wake and have a spirited conversation about reality tevelision with someone whom I believe watches way too much TV in the first place.

I can’t wait to go again next month!

The countdown begins!

In these last few hours before my wings of steel bring me back to the family and Holy Land, I’ve had little time to reflect upon what it is I am actually doing.

I’m about to get on a plane, a little larger than the ones I’ve been jumping out of, and it’s going to hurtle itself into the sky, thanks to years of design, trial and error, aerodynamics, and lots and lots of fuel.

Incredible what we can do, huh?

Last night, a friend of mine, Gadi, sent me a quick message that he’s in town, and I popped over to his hotel, and we went out for a couple of drinks and something to chow.

Amongst the MANY things we talked about – because it’s always FUN to talk to other people that have hobbies and pastimes that they are passionate about – was him taking an interest in understanding body language. We discussed different aspects of it – him from his more educated position, and me from my if-I-can-make-this-sound-good-it-might-be-true position.

It was interesting to discover that one of the books he’s read approaches body language from a “pick-up” perspective – how to use what you know to help you pick up chicks.

Discussing this brought me to the fact that I am one of those “few”, fearful of rejection, therefore firmly staying within my comfort zone where I know I rule, can be awesome and never have to worry.

A couple of weeks ago, a bunch of us went out to a bar, after a company function, and an attractive gal was part of the group, whom I had never met before. She seemed a little reserved, so I jumped in, opened the floor, and we got to discussing about thirty different subjects, all in a fun mess.

Off to the side, my friend from the office is making huge gestures that even a blind man could understand that she is telling me that “she’s into you, ask her out!!!” (with exclamation points, as well.)

I immediately try to figure out how, why, when, wherefore, who???!, and cannot broach the subject at all.

Another half hour goes by, and my friend pulls me aside, and almost dictates my next lines, and I ask her, (with absolutely no sleaze in my tone) “I know you’re heading out of the city tomorrow noon, would you like to grab some breakfast/brunch before you go?” (The sleaze bit is for a friend I told the story to, and he commented, “It kinda sounds like you were mentioning the ‘What kind of eggs do you like?’ line” Which I wasn’t.)

She stutters out some lame excuse, turns cold, and takes three steps back.

I, figuring that “that was that”, head back to the bar and down another drink.

Anyways, no matter the outcome, I learned something important. No matter what happened, I am still walking around, still living, and it’s no big deal.

So thank you, my friend, for encouraging me to step outside, and feel the weather. I think I might just do it again.

Athleticism is for those that have the desire to be athletic

In recent times, I have posted about attempting to lose weight, work out more, be more physically active and such, but I recently was asked if I would like to join a proper league.

Now, the person asking this is a very physically active friend. He’s a snowboarding instructor, plays football, volleyball, used to play dodgeball, and probably a few other sports, too.

Oh, and we skydive together

Now, he’s asked before if I was interested in joining in the aforementioned sports, but my response has typically been some stupid excuse: “I might hurt myself”, “I’m in horrible shape” and more.

But when he asked me about this sport, I had to take pause and think about it. Yes, that’s right.


Oh, what a wonderful sport! A lot of us remember being young, and some can further remember the illustrious game of kickball. The game where almost anyone is ensured of hitting (or kicking!) the ball, and trying to make it to first base. (Admittedly, on an entirely other note, getting to first base is pretty hard to do.)

So I agreed to look further in to it, and I checked out the web site and the rules, regulations, etc.

Now, this is a real league, with divisions, teams and ultimately a championship. However, I am a little conflicted as to which division I’d like to be in.

Players, Sorta Players, Casual and Extremely Casual.

Seriously? Yes.

Sounds like the type of sport for me, I’m sure.  Now, since someone from my company is organizing this, I have little to no control over which division I’d be in, but that doesn’t matter – they all seem pretty laid back.

Oh, and the regulations get VERY specific about the amount of women that have to be on each team, and how the kicking lineups have to be as well. Interesting. All in the name of fairness, I guess.

So in any case, when I get back from my pilgrimage I will be in a Wednesday night improv class, and when that completes, I’ll hopefully start a in a weekly kickball league.

Odd, eh?

My spring pilgrimage

So when I moved to New York almost an entire year ago, one “condition” was that I must come back at least once – if not twice – a year for a familial get-together.

Amazing that these times that I fly coincide with two major Jewish holidays – Pesach (Passover) and Sukkot (Feast of Booths, and it has nothing to do with trade shows 🙂 ). Totally unplanned, right? Wrong.

In biblical times, Jews would take a journey to Jerusalem three times a year, to visit the Holy Temple, bring offerings and sacrifices, and if you think about it, throw down and party.

Yes, in a ritualistic and holy manner, but party nonetheless.

So I am doing the same. I am flying to Israel, arriving on the 16th, and will be all over – i.e. no plans written in stone, other that having the Seder at my sister’s, and the following Shabbat with my folks. Oh, and sorting out numbers computer issues for them all. 😉 So I’m open to suggestions.

I’m hoping to rent a car, and be a little less reliant on public transportation, as if my memory serves me well, Egged still ain’t up to MTA times and schedules. So there’s options for everything.

Drop me a line with an idea, a place, and meeting time and a number, who knows? I might just be there.

See you next week!

The rumors of my death have been (not so) greatly exaggerated

So some of you may have heard that I fell sick a couple weeks ago.

This post is for those most interested, and myself, as I recall the events.

It was pretty bad.

Let me elaborate.

I’ve never been one for conventional medicine, thanks to my upbringing. Doctors are mostly just elaborate mechanics, trying to fix a fairly complex machine. The first step to fixing any kind of machine is determining what is wrong in the first place. “Knowing the disease is half the cure.” Most of the time, Continue reading The rumors of my death have been (not so) greatly exaggerated