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Sunday, June 24, 2007

46 things about me (and stuff I think)

Yeah... It's that time again. 

The birthday list. 

Some people post '100 things about me' lists on their sites in lieu of an 'about Me' page.  Me?  Every year on my birthday (or reasonably close to it), I post a list of things about me corresponding to the number of trips I've taken around the sun.  So here we go (previous lists are posted below for your convenience).

[As always, mental health professionals may feel free to analyze the following... but please show your work]

  1. I have more shirts than pants (by a factor of 3)
  2. I once seriously considered becoming a midwife after having witnessed a woman giving birth in an Australian Pharmacy (er, I mean Chemist).
  3. I have now visited more than 45 countries
  4. I speak just under two languages (how provincial is that?)
  5. I always cringe at the mention of my zodiac sign (Cancer)
  6. I always cringe when people I respect mention a genuine belief in astrology.
  7. After almost four years as an Israeli, I feel like I am developing cultural cataracts that prevent me from noticing uniquely Israeli phenomenon.
  8. I have mixed feelings about the previous.
  9. I honestly feel that the issue on which Israel will ultimately live or die has nothing to do with our Arab neighbors or residents.  It is the basic issue of how to maintain a country with an undeniable Jewish character/identity without trampling on the right of individuals to choose how Jewish they want to be. All other decisions are really out of our hands.
  10. I look at the Hamas/Fatah civil war and can't help but worry about the looming Israeli civil war between the secular and religious. 
  11. 'Fanatic' can also be used to modify the word 'secular'.
  12. [With no insult intended to my wife] I love that I'm the only one in the family with whom our 3-and-a-half-year-old Yonah will fall asleep.
  13. I suddenly realized that the gulf between teenagers and parents is not entirely the fault of the teenagers.  We parents are simply furious with ourselves for wasting all those precious years when our kids actually listened to us, and then suddenly remembering all the important lessons we want to teach them when they are least capable of accepting our advice. [~bangs head against wall~]
  14. A couple of years ago I started writing little notes to myself in order to keep track of important tasks.
  15. I recently noticed that I'm getting a lot of my pants and shirts back from the wash with indecipherable balls of paper in the pockets.
  16. After having used both systems, I can honestly say that the Israeli filing system (of placing papers in flimsy nylon sleeves that fit in binders) instead of tossing all relevant paperwork into tabbed folders (as is done in the U.S.) is designed to minimize productivity while cluttering up miles (er, kilometers) of shelves with impressive binders.
  17. For a country that prides itself on challenging norms and rebelliously thinking 'outside the box', I seem to hear the phrase 'because that's how it's always been done' an awful lot here in Israel.
  18. I always hated the fact that my birthday fell out after the school year had ended. 
  19. The gap between the fashions I like and the ones I can reasonably attempt at my age seems to widen with every passing year.
  20. Their politics aside*, I stopped wearing Levi jeans because my measurements are nobody's business but my own.
  21. Their politics aside, I would probably start wearing Levi jeans again if I could custom order the little leather tab on the back to display measurements of my choosing.
  22. No, I didn't go over to the dark side (Wrangler or Lee [~shudder~]).  I wear Cinch Jeans.
  23. As the thatch on my roof has thinned and blown away, I have become much more conscious of the need to wear hats against the harmful rays of the sun.  Sadly, I look like a complete dork in hats.
  24. Still, I'd rather look like a dork than get skin cancer.
  25. I love hand tools... especially ones that don't require power (think hand drills, awls and chisels).
  26. In fact, ever since seeing the barn raising scene in the movie 'Witness', I've harbored a secret fantasy of taking on a big woodworking project (and for the record... no, the shower scene with Kelly McGillis didn't give rise to any other fantasies)
  27. I recently made a commitment to build a pergola on our back porch.  The lumberyard is delivering the wood this week and I'm terrified of failing.
  28. My wife and kids all took me out for a low-key birthday dinner at a Jerusalem grilled meat and chips joint ('Steakiat Bibi' in Talpiot).  Over dinner the big topic of conversation was what I wanted for my birthday.  Nobody picked up on the big goofy smile on my face indicating that I'd already gotten the best possible present.
  29. My wife rocks because she totally 'got' why I chose a low-key family dinner for my birthday over a fancy romantic outing with her.
  30. I have been working on my wife since we got married to let me buy a motorcycle.  I think I'm making progress since she no longer throws things at me while telling me 'absolutely not'.
  31. Forget face lifts or liposuction... I would pay nearly any price to get rid of this old man curse called ear hair!  [All together now:  EEEEEWWWWWWWWW!]
  32. I first became aware of this affliction when, to my horror, I saw my barber going into my ears with his scissors.  IMHO, this is the male equivalent of menopause.
  33. Speaking of barbers... I wrote a post awhile back about the masculine joys of the barbershop experience.  An English Lit. professor contacted me for permission to include that post in an anthology that he is publishing.  It is an anthology of stories related to the tonsorial arts as they relate to Jews.   This is proof positive that for every possible topic there is a corresponding anthology.
  34. A blogger I read referred to an enthusiastic but 'unhelpful' participant at a political demonstration as a 'Borat'.  I finally saw the movie and suddenly understood the reference completely.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that nearly all political demonstrations (and counter-demonstrations) are doomed to failure due to the inevitable participation of well-meaning 'Borats' on one or both sides.
  35. There are many demonstrations I have wanted desperately to attend but was afraid that some 'Borat' would start shouting stuff through the megaphone that did not accurately represent my feelings or opinions.
  36. I can count on one finger the number of political demonstrations I have attended since making aliyah (and yes, our local Borat didn't disappoint).  Apparently I lack the requisite combination of flexibility and pragmatism necessary to be an effective political activist.
  37. Without realizing I was doing it, I have picked out several people who don't share my current political views (but whom I respect) to be my 'reality check'.  Oh... and with one exception, none of them know that I do this.  Simply put, before I write or speak publicly about political topics, I silently ask myself how these people would probably respond.  You may say that this shows that I'm not sure of myself... but Israel would be a far better place if more people were a little less sure of themselves.
  38. Having my parents make aliyah this past year and buy an apartment 20 minutes from where we live has made me believe in miracles.  I'm defining a miracle here as having something come to pass that you would have previously bet all your money against it ever happening.
  39. My children will grow up to be better people because of this particular miracle.
  40. Just as experts have come to understand that rape is a crime of power and not of passion, so too I think people will one day understand that the struggle over public smoking is all about power and not so much about a smoker's passion for his/her addiction.
  41. When I was in the navy we used to get paid in cash when we were away from our home port.  I used to sign my name above the Secretary of the Treasury's signature on all the $20 bills.  In the 20+ years since then, I've come across several of those bills far from the countries where they were originally spent (let me know if you find one!).
  42. Back in the mid '80s the Israeli economy was in such a shambles that I used to use 50 shekel bills (the old ones) as a sort of business card.  I would jot down my name and contact info on them knowing full well that nobody would bother spending these valueless bills.  I just found a few of these bill stuffed in an old wallet (frame of reference: watermelon was selling for 1000 shekels a kilo at the time).
  43. More often than not, I actually have to stop and quickly do the math in my head when someone asks me how old I am.  This is odd considering I used to know how old I was down to the fraction of a year.
  44. I'm finally learning to take risks when ordering food in new/unfamiliar restaurants.  The results are surprisingly positive most of the time.
  45. I am not threatened in the least by new knowledge disproving long-held beliefs.  What threatens me are people who point to the shattering of long-held beliefs as proof that there is nothing worth believing in.
  46. I honestly believe that 'the situation' here will get much worse before it gets any better.  But it will get better.

That's the end of this year's post.  If you have no interest in previous year's birthday lists, just skip to the end.

* There is an unfortunate (and illogical) linking of Levi Strauss' liberal agenda and gay rights in the comments section of the referenced post from which I wish to distance myself.  My issue was with the Levi Strauss stores having dressed mannequins in keffiyas. Period.

**************************************************

2006: Another list for Midsummer's Eve

45 can be a lot of things. 

It can be the caliber of a bullet, a malt liquor popular among uptown stoop-dwellers or it can be a 'single' record (or lacking a single, it is the speed at which 33 RPM long-playing records can be made to sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks). 

But 45 can’t possibly be my age... can it?

I guess it's that time again (at least it will be at midnight tonight, anyway)... time for yet another list of random stuff that may or may not help you understand your host:

  1. I was born during the Kennedy administration.
  2. Need a parallel frame of reference? David Ben Gurion was Prime Minster of Israel at the time of my birth.
  3. I am a consummate 'baby boomer' (for all the good and bad things associated with the term)
  4. I prefer to keep my life compartmentalized (think George Costanza), and I get very anxious when my various 'worlds collide'.
  5. My wife is the opposite, and seems genuinely delighted when such collisions occur (especially if she has precipitated one of these collisions).
  6. I would rather eat 'famunda' cheese (you know, the cheese famunda yer toes) than Brussel sprouts.
  7. My sympathies are easily manipulated by those nature programs where they show a vicious lioness mercilessly killing a wildebeest only to leave a poor baby wildebeest orphaned... followed by a shot of her cute little lion cubs suckling their mother's milk thanks to the nutrition provided by the wildebeest kill.
  8. I think most people who don't have a 'dog in any particular fight' are just as easily emotionally manipulated by the news media.  It's really all about camera angles and what they showed you last.
  9. I am proud of the fact that Jews of nearly every stripe (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Re-constructionist, Crypto-, Convert, Kara'ites, Unaffiliated...) feel comfortable pulling up a chair and participating in the discussions here.
  10. I am equally proud to note that non-Jews of every stripe seem to feel equally at home tossing in their $ .02.
  11. I love watching ideas being exchanged by liberal and conservative commenters here... especially when they are offered and accepted politely and with minimal judgment.
  12. It makes me a little sad that we all seem to find it so hard to conduct ourselves this way in real life... especially among friends who could use a little gentle enlightenment.
  13. I will never again take for granted the ability to fall asleep instantly and sleep soundly through the night.
  14. Although hard on my aging body, my soul has been enriched beyond measure by my recent opportunities to wander our darkened house in the wee hours of the morning and watch my family sleep.
  15. Our dog seems to take equal pleasure in joining me on these nocturnal rounds.  Who knows... maybe she's been doing this all along and is happy to finally have some company.
  16. My neighbor's front yard looks and smells like the garden of Eden.  Mine looks and smells like the aftermath of Sodom (although this is the year I'm going to finally do something about that!).
  17. I frequently rail against the knee-jerk hatred I hear in the ridiculously one-dimensional, xenophobic statements secular Israelis make about their religious compatriots. 
  18. I am embarrassed at how often I am silent in the face of equally ridiculous and venomous pronouncements made by religious friends and acquaintances against their secular countrymen/women.
  19. Every person I know thinks they are far too multi-faceted and complex to be defined by a single term.
  20. So why do we all feel so comfortable tossing around over-simplistic terminology to describe others... especially those with whom we disagree?
  21. I've had a beard for all but a few days of the last 26 years and have no earthly idea why.
  22. I think ponytails on young men are just silly... and on old men; sad.
  23. There are few things that compare with watching Bugs Bunny cartoons with my kids and hearing them belly laugh at the same stuff that cracked me up as a kid.
  24. My big kids are starting to notice my flaws and failings.  This is both scary and a relief!
  25. I'm just now coming to the realization that my wife has always know about these flaws and failings of mine... and chose me anyway.
  26. My parents have seen and experienced the very worst of my flaws and failings, yet miraculously continue to love me unconditionally.
  27. I am much more conservative today than I was a year ago.
  28. I am much more liberal today than I was a year ago.
  29. I have learned enough about the world (and myself) this year to realize that only a very simplistic, narrow-minded person would feel that the previous statements are at odds with one another.
  30. There is a very Zen-like quality to the typical Israeli's blind faith that everything will eventually turn out OK (Y'hiyeh B'seder) which is at once infuriating and enticing.
  31. A bunch of my regular trempistim (hitchhikers/passengers) got together and gave me a thank-you gift (a nifty little camping coffee service including a little stove, canisters for coffee, sugar and tea, and a small Ibrik).
  32. They have no idea that the opportunity I've had to surreptitiously observe them as they talk about the army, school and life, and to learn about Israel through the simple osmosis of their physical proximity, is a far more precious gift than anything they could have bought me.
  33. I sense that both of our big kids are approaching the top of the roller coaster and are about to go roaring down the other side.  I'm holding on tight.
  34. I act annoyed when our 2-and-a-half year old gets up and demands to snuggle in bed with me before he can go back into his own room.  Even he knows it's all an act.
  35. With the exception of decent Bourbon, I'm completely over all the longings/cravings for American products.
  36. OK, maybe I also still miss the Sunday NY Times... but that's really it.
  37. It's strange that when I turned 40 I used the term 'mid-life crisis' sarcastically about myself knowing that it was probably an exaggeration.  But at 45 I feel like the term 'mid-life' might actually now be cautiously optimistic.
  38. I am constantly amazed when I can magically speak effortlessly with Argentinians, Russians, Romanians, Ethiopians and other 'foreigners'.  This common denominator called Hebrew makes it possible to miraculously communicate with people with whom most Americans would be reduced to awkward hand-signs and shouting over-enunciated pidgin.
  39. I want to explore Italy and Greece, not as an American tourist, oohing and aahing over the ancient pedigree of their respective history and culture... but as a member of an even more venerable culture that knew them when... and outlived them both.
  40. In the almost three years I've been keeping this journal I have permanently banned only three people from commenting.  I gave each one of them ample opportunity for a 'do-over'... and in perfect Wyle E. Coyote fashion, each of them opted to run full speed over the same exact cliff. 
  41. I didn't realize it as a kid, but the Road Runner cartoons were all about Darwinian natural selection, and that no matter how many chances they are given, some people are just going to select themselves out of the equation.
  42. Anyone who watched Road Runner as a kid and laughed at the impossibility of the Coyote's ability to order absolutely anything he wanted, hasn't really stopped to consider what is currently available on-line these days.  Internet = Acme.
  43. I know my journal entries are long-winded and time-consuming to read... and that this has caused many readers to eventually drift away.  But one of the things I've discovered from keeping treppenwitz is that while my mind is capable of brevity... my heart is not.
  44. Given a choice between revising/editing a post and living my life I will always chose the latter.  This is my blanket excuse for the long-winded posts, spelling and grammar mistakes and the shameless mis/over-use of ellipses [...], you'll find here at treppenwitz,
  45. While waiting for my coffee order in a shop on Jerusalem's Emek Refa'im Street last month I overheard the word 'treppenwitz' and noticed two young women with a laptop open to my site discussing something I'd written that morning.  It made me feel like a bit of a celebrity.  And no, I didn't let on who I was (we celebrities are tricky that way).

**************************************************

2005:  Farty-Far

Today's title is a semi-private running joke that my wife and I share. 

When she was doing her BFA at Wash. U., Zahava discovered that 'farty-far' is the way the locals in St. Louis pronounce the number '44'.  I was similarly confused by the St. Louis accent on the many occasions that my band went to play gigs there. 

In fact, just saying the number 44 out loud with a St. Louis accent is enough to make both of us crack up like a couple of adolescents. 

Except today my personal odometer turned over to display this oh-so-funny number.  Yes, I am farty-far years old (the perfect number for a dyslexic like me)... and suddenly the number packs only about half the humorous punch that it used to.

Last year I published a list of 43 pretty basic things about me on my birthday.  Like any such list, it revealed considerably less than it concealed about who I really am.  Let's face it, when the subject gets to pick and chose among random factoids collected during a life of experiences... the list ends up being 9 parts saint to 1 part sinner.  If you are new to treppenwitz, you might want to read last year's list first. 

A year ago you and I were still pretty much like strangers out on a blind date.  This year I've come up with a list of farty, er, forty-four somewhat more intimate things... the kind of stuff one might discuss on a 4th or 5th date.

Here we go:

1.  I don't need my parent's approval... but I still unconsciously seek it.
2.  I almost never dream, but when I do they are almost always nightmares.
3.  I have an atrocious memory for names.
4.  My wife knows instantly if I can't remember your name and gracefully introduces herself before you realize I've forgotten it.
5.  I can't understand people who don't take afternoon naps on the weekend.
6.  An afternoon nap is improved beyond measure by the presence of a couple of sleeping kids and a wife (family schluf).
7.  I don't remember anything that occurs if I am woken up in the middle of the night.
8.  When she was pregnant, Zahava took horrible advantage of this by having me prepare omelets and milkshakes for her several nights a week.
9.  I was exhausted for much of my wife's three pregnancies.
10.  I love the taste of orange children's aspirin (St. Joseph's)
11.  I'm not a regular vitamin taker, but when I get run down I love the 'zing' I get from a sub-lingual B-12 lozenge.
12.  I am a total coffee snob (meaning I have no patience for anything less than fresh, high quality medium-dark roasted beans).
13.  I am a total coffee junky (meaning I would rather eat day-old coffee grounds or chew a spoon full of discount-brand instant coffee than suffer through the horrors of caffeine withdrawal).
14.  I have never smoked even a single cigarette (or cigar, for that matter).
15.  I find smoking to be one of the least attractive habits, and I secretly long for a few of my friends to quit.
16.  When I eat orange slices I eat the peel as well.
17.  I may not remember your name, but I remember the theme songs to almost every TV show I watched in the 60s & 70s.
18.  Wilma or Betty?  Betty (Yeah, I watched way too much TV as a kid).
19.  I have no patience with people who continually use their blogs to explain why they aren't blogging, or to constantly ask their readers for one sort of help or another.  If you have nothing to say, don't say anything... and if you are constantly in need of help, call tech support or a good therapist.
20.  One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to eat bowl after bowl of Captain Crunch (I couldn't stop until the roof of my mouth was bruised and raw).
21.  I once created an overdue invoice from an escort service and faxed it to a friend's office as a joke.
22.  As revenge for his boss finding the invoice in the fax machine, my friend put my car up for sale in the NY Times classified section for a week at an impossibly low price... with the stipulation that interested parties should call only between 5 - 6 AM (he also billed the ad to me).
23.  There are at least 82 people walking around alive today because I helped save their lives (I remind myself of this whenever I screw up badly).
24.  I understand what an elipse (...) is meant to be used for, but I prefer to [mis]use it as a place-holder for readers to take a breath in one of my long, awkward sentences.
25.  One of the few things that will turn me into a raving lunatic is intellectual laziness, sloppiness or dishonesty.
26.  I donate blood every 3 or 4 months (this provides my entire family with 'blood insurance' for a whole year here in Israel).
27.  Every month I read 'National Geographic', 'Popular Science' and 'The American Bee Journal' cover-to-cover.  I'm thinking about adding 'The New Yorker' and/or 'Harpers' to that list.
28.  Most of what I know about computers I secretly taught myself because I was too embarrassed to admit to anyone how clueless I was.
29.  I can still remember the name of the beautiful blond girl who turned me down when I asked her to go steady in 4th grade (She is now a scientist working for NASA... and yes, Google is a scary-ass tool).
30.  After almost two years of putting it off, I finally apologized to the one woman with whom I had broken up on bad terms less than 15 minutes before meeting my wife for the first time.
31.  I have known how to crochet since I was 22.
32.  I secretly wish I could be a professional writer (OK, I guess technically I am a professional writer since I get paid to write marketing copy, proposals and briefings all day... but that's not what I meant).
33.  I miss taking my family sailing.
34.  About 95% of the time I have no idea what I'm going to write about until I sit down at the computer in the morning.
35.  I delete about 15 - 20% of the journal entries I write.
36.  I absolutely hate when people forward rumors and urban legends without taking 30 seconds to check their veracity.
37.  I firmly believe that there are some people whose decisions and actions are so far beyond the pale of civilized behavior that they are no longer entitled to the niceties of due process, humane treatment or protection under any international treaty/convention. 
38.  If this makes me a conservative, so be it.
39.  I firmly believe that there are people who, through their own decisions and actions (or sometimes just bad luck) are unwilling or unable to look after their own needs, and it is therefore the responsibility of government and society to take care of them.
40.  If this makes me a liberal, so be it.
41.  In almost 14 years of marriage I have never told my wife who I voted for in any election.
42.  I would rather re-read one of my favorite books (I go back to Steinbeck's oeuvre most frequently), than take a chance on being disappointed by a new book (I'm really trying to break out of this trend).
43.  I will never force my children to eat anything I wouldn't willingly prepare for myself.
44.  If I could choose to live during any time period in history, I would want my birthday to be June 23rd, 1961.

**************************************************

2004:  43 years and counting... So far so good (ptu...ptu...ptu!)

As the title of today's post suggests, I have attained yet another plateau in my continuing quest for immortality… so far so good.

In honor of this occasion I have finally decided to do that, oh-so-bloggy thing, and post an introspecive list of random ‘things’ about myself.

However, I wasn’t up to the customary ‘100 things’. That seemed so final. So instead I settled for a workable number... a number that corresponds to the sum of the years I've lived... but which also subtly suggests that I still have 'miles to go before I sleep.'

For those of you who enjoy the Harper’s Index - that venerable list where the reader is free (even encouraged), to draw inferences from the order and proximity of ostensibly unrelated factoids... this is nothing like that.

All of these ‘things’ are offered ‘as is’… ala carte… with no conscious rhyme or reason to the order or proximity. There has been no editing or rearranging (except to fix my horrendous spelling). I started with ‘1’ and stopped writing when I’d finished ‘43’. It took me just under 30 minutes. My brain (and ego) hurt when I was finished.

Those of you who are mental health professionals may now begin your analysis… Please show your work:

1. I was born on June 23rd, also known in parts of Scandinavia and Europe as Midsummer Eve.
2. I have an older sister, a younger sister, and a younger brother… and our parents have been married for almost 50 years.
3. Each of us went through periods where we thought that mom and dad loved one of the other kids more.
4. Each of us was wrong.
5. I’ve always secretly thought of myself as ‘special’... a main character in life's great novel.
6. I'm terrified that I may one day find out I was just a bit character in somebody else's story.
7. One of my most enduring early sensory memories is the smell of bubble gum on baseball cards.
8. I have always loved my first and middle names (David Lindsay)... Thanks Mom & Dad!
8. Things often come too easily for me… as a result I have ‘follow through’ issues.
9. Almost every limitation I have is of my own creation.
10. Ginger or Maryanne? Maryanne. Really!
11. I was always labeled an ‘under-achiever’ by my teachers.
12. If I were in school today, I would be instantly diagnosed with A.D.D.
13. I am an observant Jew (some would call me Orthodox)
14. I hate the term Orthodox… it sounds judgmental.
15. I am very judgmental, but not about any of the things people would expect.
16. I did not grow up in a religiously observant family.
17. I am neither ‘anti-abortion’ nor ‘pro-choice’. Judaism values the life of the mother over that of the fetus… so I am in favor of any law that makes it legally possible to save a pregnant woman’s life.
18. In Judaism, a (would be) murderer’s life is considered to have less value than the life of the person he/she would try to kill… so, I (very reluctantly) carry a gun.
19. I am a terrible speller (due to mild dyslexia)
20. I am nearly innumerate (also due to mild dyslexia).
21. I am not afraid of new things… but I nearly always order the same thing in restaurants.
22. I swallow my gum. Always (this drives my wife insane).
23. I love bourbon and wine in moderation (although not together, of course).
24. I pretend to like single malt scotch.
25. Most of the time when I tease my wife for crying during movies… I’ve been secretly crying too.
26. Most vivid spectator moment: Being close enough to the field at Fenway Park (13 rows behind the Red Sox dugout) to hear the first baseman yell, “There he goes” to the catcher when the base runner tried to steal second.
27. My family moved six times while I was growing up.
28. People think of me as steady and reliable.
29. My greatest fear: Letting people down and being unreliable.
30. I am a member of Mensa.
31. I almost didn’t graduate from high school.
32. Even with my university degree, I sometimes feel like a fraud.
33. I feel secretly ashamed and angry when people ignore my advice or don’t agree with me.
34. I can’t stop myself from picking up other people’s accents.
35. I overuse parenthetical asides (as if you didn’t already know that).
36. I served four years in the U.S. Navy.
37. I have never slept as well as I did aboard my ship at sea.
38. I played trombone professionally in New York City for 17 years.
39. During those 17 years, I created less than 24 hours of what I would consider ‘truly great music’.
40. Given the chance to relive my life with that knowledge, I would gladly spend another 17 years for the sake of those 24 hours.
41. My wife and I both secretly think we were the one who got the better end of the deal.
42. I’m right.
43. My kids think I am a much better father than I really am. No matter how smart and well educated they may become, I hope they never discover the error of this particular assumption.

By the way, about that immortality crack earlier; Just kidding!!! I don't want to give myself an 'Ayin Hara' (evil eye) or anything, but just between us... I feel pretty lucky to be able to look back on 43 years and say without a moment's hesitation, "So far so good, ptu...ptu...ptu!"

Whew!... anyone still here?  [~crickets chirping~]

[BTW, if you have questions about anything from previous years' lists, the answers are probably in the comments (2006, 2005 and 2004)

Posted by David Bogner on June 24, 2007 | Permalink

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[blink!], [swoon!]: I rock?! ....and me without a notary to mark the time and date! LOL! =:-P

Oh. As. To. The. Motorcycle:
ABSOLUTELY. NOT!

And you may wish to consider ducking as you enter the house tonight..... :-)

Posted by: zahava | Jun 24, 2007 2:03:48 PM

At this point in life getting a motorcycle is just like painting "I"M GOING THROUGH A MID-LIFE CRISIS" I'd skip it David. ;)

Posted by: Safranit | Jun 24, 2007 2:31:47 PM

יום הולדת שמח

That's a happy birthday to you.

Posted by: amechad | Jun 24, 2007 3:21:45 PM

Happy Birthday, Trep,

Oh, and as for those fashions (#19), don't worry, I'm sure you look fine (as Zahava takes three giant steps further away).

Posted by: dfb1968 | Jun 24, 2007 4:24:24 PM

Happy Birthday!!!

Just think- another birthday celebrated in Israel!

About the motorcycle- perhaps just do a little tinkering with your car to make it a bit more "fun", and leave it be. Maybe? Please? You know, all those safety-related reasons...

The objections are only being raised because people care about you...a lot...

Posted by: tnspr569 | Jun 24, 2007 4:50:22 PM

I doubt anyone noticed that you listed all the DVDs you wish you had in the post prior to mentioning that it's your birthday.

Posted by: Bob | Jun 24, 2007 5:00:26 PM

Mazal tov! Happy birthday, and many, many more!

Posted by: Rahel | Jun 24, 2007 6:15:23 PM

Yom Huledet Sameach!

Posted by: Sara K | Jun 24, 2007 6:28:39 PM

Happy Birthday. And while it really is none of my business I have to vote for allowing the old man buy his motorcyle, or at least the one in the link.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 24, 2007 6:46:27 PM

Re #10: I look at the Hamas/Fatah civil war and can't help but hope that both sides lose - and take their sweet time doing it.

Re #31-2: I got the same feeling when my wife offered to trim my nose hairs (and I can't believe I just admitted to that in a public forum).

Re #34-6: A "well-meaning Borat!" I love it! You just added a new word to my vocabulary.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, and many years of health, happiness, & nachas.

Posted by: psachya | Jun 24, 2007 8:53:04 PM

Happy Birthday!

Add me to the chorus of anti-motorcycle voices.

Posted by: Albert | Jun 24, 2007 9:05:12 PM

Happy 64th birthday, David! I just ate a piece of cheesecake in your honor. :)

Posted by: jennifer | Jun 24, 2007 10:12:30 PM

Happy Birthday! I wish I would have known before today and then I could have had PHD wish you a Happy Birthday in person!

Posted by: orieyenta | Jun 24, 2007 10:13:08 PM

zahava... Yes dear.

Safranit... No, I did my midlife crisis at 40. This is a lifelong itch that needs to finally get scratched.

amechad... Thanks very much.

dfb1968... Zahava is done being being embarrassed to be seen with me.

tnspr569... Tinkering with my car? Like taking off the roof, body and removing two of the wheels? :-)

Bob... Actually the big reasons I didn't set up my Amazon wishlist yet is that I didn't want my readers to think I was fishing for birthday presents with my list.

Rahel... Thanks so much.

Sara K... Thanks. It was.

Jack... Very cute. Just remember that I don't want toy sausages come October. :-)

psachya... Thank you and Amen.

Albert... Oy, not you too!

jennifer... I see that dyslexia is still giving you trouble. :-)

orieyenta... No worries. PHD arrived bearing a present. ;-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 24, 2007 11:21:11 PM

Okay, I'll be a voice for the "Go for it!" (Ummm... Zahava can't ban me from the blog, can she??) Next summer, there are a few Jewish motorcycle groups that are planning to ship their bikes to, and tour around Israel. (apparently it's near impossible to rent bikes there) They'll be coming from Canada, Australia, the US, etc. I probably won't be able to make it, not this time anyway, would love to in the future!! I'm sure they'd love to have current Israeli motorcyclists to talk to as well.

Posted by: JDMDad | Jun 25, 2007 12:00:27 AM

Happy Mirthday, Trep.

This year (my 46th birthday), I got a whole year free, because I had forgotten in the previous year that I was only 45, and spent the whole year syaing I was 46.

Bonus!

Posted by: wrymouth | Jun 25, 2007 12:24:38 AM

Mazel tov on your most recent simcha.Trips around the sun -
what a novel way to look at life.

Posted by: Schvach | Jun 25, 2007 12:59:31 AM

Happy Birthday, David. Great list - as usual, it choked me up and made me smile.

Posted by: val | Jun 25, 2007 2:03:15 AM

Very entertaining and happy birthday. Still waiting for the book entitled Dave Bogner my life as a.....

Posted by: Jewish Blogmeister | Jun 25, 2007 4:35:32 AM

Hope you have a very happy birthday!

Posted by: Irina | Jun 25, 2007 5:00:28 AM

Jack... Very cute. Just remember that I don't want toy sausages come October. :-)

Listen to the alter cocker. By the time October rolls around I could send you rubber sausages and you wouldn't remember why. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Jun 25, 2007 7:35:31 AM

Happy Birthday :)

Posted by: Seattle | Jun 25, 2007 10:07:37 AM

Hope it was a good one! And apparently Ear-Hair clippers are good. Maybe you could get some of them in lieu of a motorbike...

Posted by: PP | Jun 25, 2007 1:30:22 PM

Ah well, I'm popping in kinda late, after sitting in heavy negotiations til late night hours with some of the most gifted musicians of Israel (right up your alley, I know, I know), but they eventually got snatched up for contract by way more solvent people...

So yeah,
יום הולדת שמח - עד 120 שנה !

Posted by: Account Deleted | Jun 25, 2007 5:03:22 PM

Happy Birthday Trep!

The website you linked to with the Levi's was a scary scary place, btw.. personally I'd say "Supporting Israel shouldn't be a Right-wing thing" as opposed to "Gay rights shouldn't be a Left-wing thing".

Posted by: Alan | Jun 25, 2007 6:46:58 PM

David- ever hear of engine upgrades? How about getting some bigger wheels/tires?

Diesels can be fast and frugal, right?

Posted by: tnspr569 | Jun 26, 2007 4:25:32 AM

That was a great, insightful list. Happy birthday!!

Posted by: Ezzie | Jun 26, 2007 4:53:48 AM

JDMDad... Noted. Thanks for the vote. :-)

wrymouth... So I'm not the only one who gets confused. Thanks. :-)

Schvach... I wish I could say I coined the phrase, but it has been around longer than I have. :-)

val... Big surprise. You cry at coke commercials. :-)

Jewish Blogmeister... Thank you for not finishing that phrase. :-)

Irina... Very. Thanks.

Jack... Oh, I'll remember all right. I may forget my age but I never forget a bet (remind me which team you're rooting for again). :-)

Seattle... Thanks.

PP... Don't you think I'll look a little silly trying to ride my ear hair clippers to work? :-)

a. ... Thanks. BTW, I had no idea you had aspirations to be an empresario (or whatever the feminine word for that is). :-)

Alan... I read a lot of different people... many of them I find scary and even objectionable. But then again, depending on the day my site is scary and objectionable to many people. :-)

tnspr569... Yeah, maybe a tricked out minivan. :-)

Ezzie... Thanks... and thanks. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 26, 2007 10:37:26 AM

Aren't you the guy who refuses to drive a minivan?

I saw a pimped out minivan once; it was almost kind of sad, but it was actually fun to drive, if you can believe it.

When you get that company car, it'll be time to upgrade yours.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Jun 27, 2007 2:35:22 AM

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