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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

48 things you may not have known about me

Yeah, it's that time again.  Another trip around the sun means yet another list.  If you are interested in the lists from previous years, you can go here, here, here, here and here.

So let's get right to it:

  1. I hate being subjected to snap judgments.
  2. I admit I often judge others in a snap.
  3. I can feel my older kids starting to pull away, and although I know that's normal and healthy... I can't help myself from fighting to try and keep them close.
  4. At 21 I couldn't wait to jump on that ride called 'adulthood'.  Now that I'm 48 I wish I could slow it down just a bit.
  5. I love spotting religious Jews in Tel Aviv.
  6. I love spotting secular Jews in Jerusalem, too.  Maybe more so. 
  7. My favorite soft drink is Root Beer.
  8. The only thing better than a tall glass of Root Beer is a tall glass of Root Beer with chocolate ice cream floating in it!
  9. I love giving gifts.
  10. I'm impossible to gift shop for.
  11. I'm a great secret keeper... mostly because I forget most things people tell me.
  12. Although I'm a total coffee snob... I'm starting to understand and appreciate (good) tea.
  13. I used to think glasses were the coolest thing.  Now I just find them to be an annoyance.
  14. I traveled the length and breadth of Israel by bicycle in my 20s.
  15. I want to do it again before I'm 50.
  16. I have a secret desire to hike Shvil Yisrael (the Israel National trail that goes from Eilat to Dan near the Lebanese border) with my family.
  17. I have resigned myself to the fact that I am not 'special' in the way that all people think they are somehow destined for greatness when they are young.
  18. I look into my wife's and children's eyes and finally know I am special.
  19. I've stopped asking 'why me?' when bad things happen.
  20. I look around at my life today and my relative good fortune (tfu tfu tfu), and ask myself every day 'why me?'... what did I do to deserve such 'riches'.
  21. I love that we use the good silver, china and crystal at least once a week.  They're for us to enjoy now... not to save for 'someday'.
  22. Using the good silver, china and crystal means occasionally losing or breaking a piece. 
  23. We can always buy more silver, china or crystal... We can't buy more enjoyment from life.
  24. I often wish there were some sort of cable that would allow me to transfer my hard-earned life experience directly to my kids.
  25. I know in my heart that the previous is a silly wish since much of my enjoyment for, and appreciation of, life has come directly from those life experiences.
  26. My wife works from home and I have an hour commute each way.  I know I'm the lucky one.
  27. I miss my brother and sisters because we live so far away from one another.  I feel bad that I don't tell (or show) them that enough.
  28. I would love to take a serious carpentry/cabinet-making course.
  29. I've have promised myself that, one day, I will own a fine swiss watch... but I'm OK with the fact that it may not happen soon.
  30. I hate shopping for clothes so much that I have very little presentable clothing left to wear.
  31. When I get angry about the relatively minor stupidities that my older kids perpetrate, in the back of my mind I silently wonder what kind of saints my parents must have been to not have given up on me during my tumultuous teenage years.
  32. Naps (especially on Shabbat) are more important to me now than when I was 3.
  33. Although I miss my family when I'm away... I never tire of all the new experiences that come with traveling. 
  34. I wish I could travel more with my family.
  35. I want to learn how to use a slide-rule.
  36. I wish I knew how to use a sextant.
  37. A couple of times a year I decide on the spur of the moment to call up someone with whom I've only had an online friendship. 
  38. I have never regretted reaching out and turning a virtual friendship into a real one.  In fact we have hosted an incredible number of such friends in our home.
  39. I've regretted not asking for something far more often than I've regretted asking.
  40. If you asked my two older kids if I've ever had 'the talk' with them, they will probably say no.  But in truth we've had hundreds of talks that contained far more useful information than I could have ever packed into one tense, sweaty-browed lecture.
  41. I'm not done talking to them... there's still lots more for them to learn.
  42. If I could have only one wish granted, I'd still ask for two or three.  At least that much I've learned from living here. It never hurts to ask!
  43. Although I don't have the patience to write a real honest-to-goodness letter... mail it and wait for a reply... I genuinely miss the anticipation, surprise, touch and even smell of real mail.
  44. When I was younger I had enormous appetites. 
  45. I still have huge appetites, but my desires are now focused on quality over quantity.
  46. Without being morbid, I wish I could make my kids understand that they should be nicer to each other since one day they will wake up and find that there is nobody else left in the world who truly knows and understands what makes them tick.
  47. I once greeted an Indian client of mine with a casual 'How are you?'... expecting to get an equally flippant reply of 'Fine'..  His response surprised me:  He said, "I am the ocean, David.  On the surface the ocean might appear calm or angry... but the ocean is so huge and deep that nothing can change it.  It is always just the ocean.".
  48. I don't know what the secret of life is or what happens after this life is over.  But I sure am enjoying the ride.

Posted by David Bogner on June 23, 2009 | Permalink

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That's a great list! You're an interesting guy. I'm honored to be the first commenter to wish you a happy birthday.

Posted by: Raizy | Jun 23, 2009 2:32:09 PM

Hey Dave, about #27...I know. And I feel the same way about you. Hope you know.

Posted by: val | Jun 23, 2009 3:13:53 PM

Happy Birthday! We'd be happy to treat you to a celebratory root beer float, but they don't seem to sell root beer in this country and it's not really something we can ask visitors to bring.

Posted by: Rachel | Jun 23, 2009 3:37:18 PM

30. That's why we have on-line shopping. I almost never walk into a store anymore but I am fully clothed.

Posted by: moC | Jun 23, 2009 5:33:39 PM

My family and I think you are very special and I feel blessed being one of those online friends you have reached out to. Many thanks to you, Zahava and your incredible children for being such wonderful hosts. Noelle is already asking when we will visit again. Wishing you a happy birthday and many more. May you live to 120!

Posted by: Orieyenta | Jun 23, 2009 6:05:16 PM

Happy bday! I love that list. I'll have to remember what that Indian guy said in #47, too...

Posted by: Chantal | Jun 23, 2009 6:24:41 PM

Yom Huledet Sameach!

I like the idea of a list like this...somehow I missed the last two (wow, been reading you longer than I realized). Going to have to think about one for myself come the next...um...trip-around-the-sun-day.

Posted by: Jesse | Jun 23, 2009 6:48:49 PM

Yom Huledet Sameach!

How wonderful that this was the year I was (finally) able to meet you in person ... especially after reading you for years and years. I look forward to the next time.

Drew

Posted by: Drew | Jun 23, 2009 7:50:12 PM

7. My favorite soft drink is Root Beer
But what brand? Here in NY, it's very difficult to find good root beer. The best commercial one, in my opinion is Barques. It is not availably in NY city anymore, so I stock up when I travel. Hires used to be good too, but I haven't seen it in years. There are some smaller independent root beer companies that make root beer with all natural stuff, and it's good. In my house, and some may find this gross, hot chulent is served with cold root beer on the table.

Posted by: lakewoodfallingdown | Jun 23, 2009 8:00:52 PM

#36: I can help you with that if you ever come my way. My boat sextant isn't as accurate as a normal, full-sized one, but it'll do.

Posted by: Karl Newman | Jun 23, 2009 8:12:58 PM

#47: Deep [no pun intended]. I wish I understood it. But I enjoyed the list anyway.

Posted by: Baila | Jun 23, 2009 10:47:28 PM

Happy New Orbit Around the Sun!!


Add me to the list! Root Beer is my favorite soda as well! (But I like mine root beer floats with vanilla ice cream!!

In college, my best friend told me that I was the best person with whom to share her deepest, darkest secrets... because I would forget them within two weeks!

It's best to do sh'vil yisrael from north to south.

I still have a hard time with 21 (using the "good stuff")

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | Jun 23, 2009 11:09:04 PM

What a great list!

Oh... and happy new orbit around the sun, too.

Posted by: Rahel | Jun 23, 2009 11:26:01 PM

Great to know you better after reading the list! I hope one day to meet you in person too. We are EXACTLY 6 months apart in age. A blessed birthday - 1961 was a good year.

Posted by: Noa | Jun 23, 2009 11:30:25 PM

Wow. I am so appreciative of #38.
Happy Birthday!

Posted by: SaraK | Jun 23, 2009 11:33:05 PM

Happy Birthday! Using a slide rule is a piece of cake. If you acquire one before my family and I vacation in Israel, I'll be delighted to teach you how to use it.

Hint: Addition is easy since you just use two rulers to add distances. Multiplication involves adding logarithms. Anything more complex than adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing on a slide rule is probably over my head.

Posted by: Albert | Jun 24, 2009 1:17:13 AM

Have a wonderful, meaningful, joyful birthday! May the new year in your life bring you many more blessings... and fun things to add to the list!

Posted by: Irina | Jun 24, 2009 6:09:20 AM

47. That's what I always say. That's so funny.

Happy birthday!

Posted by: Alice | Jun 24, 2009 10:04:00 PM

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