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Sunday, June 19, 2005

I'm embarrassed to admit...

... that I've gotten hooked on new age music (mostly by Enya) because that's what's usually playing during my massages and other treatments procedures at the spa back clinic.

... that if I hear one opinion from an American and another from a Brit (especially one with an 'upper crust'/ public school accent), I will almost always unconsciously give more weight to the Brit's point of view.

... that I would rather wear my favorite shirts and pants to tattered rags than actually go shopping for new stuff.

... that when dining out with friends and the check arrives, I find it almost impossible to figure out my share, so I usually wait quietly for someone to tell me how much to pay.

... that I keep a bottle or two of Single Malt Scotch in the house exclusively for other people.  I really can't stand the stuff (Bourbon is another story, though).

... that I love the idea of cigars (especially the mystique and paraphernalia), but I hate the smell and have never been even remotely tempted to smoke one.

... that I have often considered keeping a pouch of good pipe tobacco around just for the sake of the aroma (if there is one smell from my childhood that I miss the most it would have to be my father's pipe... but I would never consider smoking one of those either).

... that I unconsciously consider an opinion expressed by someone holding a pipe to be instantly more compelling than anything expressed by someone without one (although anyone under the age of 50 who smokes a pipe just ends up looking like a hopeless poseur!).

... that already in 4th and 5th grade respectively, my older children have far surpassed me in their organized study of Jewish texts.

... that I find it almost impossible to take anyone seriously who has poor personal hygiene.  This means that someone could demonstrate cold fusion right before my eyes, but if they had greasy hair, bad breath or yellow teeth, I would strongly question their results.

... that I'm a gadgetaholic.  If I see some new gadget in popular science or in some electronic or camping catalog... I will jones for that gadget the way a junkie will hurt for a fix.

... that a television, even one with nothing but blue light or a test pattern on the screen, has a hypnotic effect on me... to the point that my other senses (especially hearing) stop working.

... that when people are speaking in Hebrew I understand almost every word.  But the moment numbers enter the conversation a steel shutter crashes down in my head and I am powerless to make sense of what follows.

... that after nearly two years of really, really trying I still don't have even a rough mental sense of the length, weight or volume of any of the metric measurements.

... that when I have to look something up alphabetically, I still sing 'the ABC song' in my head.  I also do this in Hebrew (Thanks to the Israeli version of Sesame Street - Rechov Sumsum).

... that when I witness an adult scolding a child in a public place, I almost always mentally side with the child.

... that if I ever witness someone leaving a bathroom without washing their hands, I will mentally place a permanent black mark on them (to the point that years later I may not even remember their name... but I will remember that they didn't wash their hands after peeing).

... that if you tell me your telephone number and use the wrong cadence (e.g. instead of 555-5555 you give it to me as 55-55-555) I cannot possibly remember it or even succeed in writing it down (think I'm nuts... try it with your own number!).

... that my older sister switched from one brand of women's anti-perspirant/deodorant to another, based solely on my recommendation.

I'm sure I could easily come up with many more examples of personal pettiness/failings if I were to think about this for any length of time... but this has been humbling enough for one morning.

Feel free to share your own.


Posted by David Bogner on June 19, 2005 | Permalink


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I am embarrassed to admit that not one of these revelations surprised me! :-)

Posted by: zahava | Jun 19, 2005 1:07:43 PM

"... that if you tell me your telephone number and use the wrong cadence..."

This gets me too. I just never knew there was a word for it; Cadence. Thanks.

I've made an effort to shift to 111-1111 when cell phone numbers went from 6 to 7 digets. Most people are still saying, 1-111-111. It bothers me. My revenge is to repeat it back to them with the correct "cadence". They say, "What?, What?..."

You can always tell when these "anti-candences" has been here since the 1980's cause some of them are still doing 1-111-111 with their bezeq land line phone numbers!

Posted by: Andy | Jun 19, 2005 1:37:22 PM

Yes on telephone numbers, Hebrew numbers, the telly, personal hygiene and hand-washing, absolutely!

I did a 100 list thing once where I covered some of my shameful traits so am a bit talked out but let's see...

I'm embarrassed to admit that I:
- think people who read are more intelligent that those who don't;
- love watching the shopping network and would likely buy it all if I could afford it;
- privately want to throttle anyone who writes "you're age" and "it's cause"
- would have a much harder time liking Israelis in general if they were some other nationality.

Posted by: Lioness | Jun 19, 2005 2:02:38 PM

A few things i'm embarrased to admit...
1. that I never, ever take the front item on the supermarket shelves
2. that I refuse to speak badly about my clarinet or reeds within hearing distance of my clarinet (yes, I'm a music student)
3. that I always feel terrible about turning off the radio mid-piece (classical music especially)

I'm sure more will occur to me! Also wanted to say that I've been quietly reading your blog for a while now, and have got completely addicted. Thanks for great reading!

Posted by: zemirah | Jun 19, 2005 2:19:32 PM

I am embarrassed to admit that .... I also read Popular Science, I think my wife and I are the real Beauty and the Geek. She is reading US Weekly, People and Cosmo, and I'm reading Popular Science. (and I've got the glasses too)

Posted by: Chaim | Jun 19, 2005 2:58:44 PM

...if I see a little kid with the name of Devin, I assume he is a brat, even if I don't know him

Posted by: ac | Jun 19, 2005 3:16:29 PM

Hi David...I am new to this world of blogs, and I have become totally addicted..especially to yours. So there, I guess that's what I am embarrassed to admit (not reading your blog of course, but the blog experience in whole - I feel sorta voyeuristic,in this pleasure of reading others diaries.)

Posted by: Ginger | Jun 19, 2005 4:03:36 PM

Zahava... I doubt I still have the ability to surprise you. :-)

Andy... The frustrating thing is that my kids are adopting the 'wrong' cadences and they frequently have to relay phone numbers to me while I am on my way to or from work. [sigh]

Lioness... If memory serves, your list of '100 things' topped out at over 170! I agree 100 percent on the reading bit... I'm occasionally guilty of the grammatical problems (absentmindedness, not ignorance)... and I see your point about Israelis. I think the reason for the last point is something along the lines of, 'they may be crazy people, but they're our crazy people!

Zamirah... First of all, welcome! I'm glad you decided to de-lurk (is there such a word???). Now I see no problem with #1... nobody takes the front item at the supermarket, do they? As to your clarinet and reeds, feel free to criticize... if the problem isn't with you, that narrows it down a bit, no? #3 is a bit more problematic (at least for me) since there are a bunch of classical pieces that I adore only one or two of the movements and have no patience for the remainder. Let's face it... even the great masters didn't catch lightning in a bottle every time!

Chaim... The first step is admitting you have a problem. :-)

ac... Uh, does this happen a lot?

Ginger... You think you're addicted??? ;-) Don't feel too bad. In a world where fewer and fewer people make the time or effort to try to understand people who are not exactly like themselves, I think investing a few hours a week in this little act of 'voyeurism' can't be all that unhealthy.

Posted by: David | Jun 19, 2005 4:16:23 PM

I am embarraased to admit that as a very liberal Jew, I have prejudices that were influenced by my Southern upbringing.

Posted by: rosebud | Jun 19, 2005 4:17:46 PM

I am embarrassed to admit that I think that people who are one iota more religious than me are irrational fanatics, and those one iota less religious than me are heretical sell-outs.

I also just started having laser hair removal, which I am certainly embarrassed about, but secretly believe that all the irrational fanatics could certainly benefit from.

David, will you scold me if I suggest Rosebud should be emarassed to admit she's very liberal?

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jun 19, 2005 5:44:25 PM

Ginger - I think its the voyerism that is addicting, both reading other blogs and posting ones own.

Posted by: Karl | Jun 19, 2005 5:49:07 PM

Great list! I agree 100% on the phone numbers. It has taken me forever to get used to the 5555-555 cadence. About pipe tobacco, they say smell is one of the strongest sensory memories. I also associate pipe tobacco with my paternal grandfather and my father. Unlike you, I have tried smoking a pipe (in college). It wasn't bad, but I couldn't enjoy it too much because I kept picturing my lungs turning black.

Posted by: AmyS | Jun 19, 2005 6:36:45 PM

"... that if I hear one opinion from an American and another from a Brit (especially one with an 'upper crust'/ public school accent), I will almost always unconsciously give more weight to the Brit's point of view."

That is bad! Shame on you!
I also sing the alphabet song, but I'm not ashamed of it. When I need to switch between languages I still sing the Icelandic song (the only one I know), and just add the foreign letter (such as English) where they belong.

Posted by: Maria | Jun 19, 2005 6:52:22 PM

You mention being "embarrassed" about these facts.

I'm curious - how many of them would you change if you could? Are you actively trying to change any of them?

Posted by: Dave | Jun 19, 2005 7:20:43 PM

Yes on the gadgets, love them, just love them. Happily admit to enjoying Enya and other New Age music. Bunch of other stuff that I could add, just can't think of it now.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 19, 2005 8:18:08 PM

If I have a pimple that is bad enough or in a totally obvious place, I will strongly consider not leaving my home, even for work. And despite this, I will call others "shallow".

While pregnant, I have purchased 3 or 4 icecream cones (double scoops) USING A DRIVE-THROUGH because getting my butt out of the car is just too much for me in those moments.

After making serious financial cutbacks so I can be a stay-at-home pregnant person/mom, I still buy hairgel and shampoos etc., that are at least 20 bucks per bottle and feel this is perfectly logical.

Posted by: Alice | Jun 19, 2005 8:28:11 PM

Rosebud... A sure cure for this is to just watch 'Mississippi Burning' a couple of times. :-)

Doctor Bean... So long as you are religiously open minded I don't see a problem with this. :-) And yes, any snide comments to Rosebud would be frowned upon by the management, especially as I have an idea the reference was to issues related to civil rights (I could be mistaken).

Karl... Straight voyeurism is a 'kink'. Using one's voyeurism/blog addiction to expand one's horizons is an education.

AmyS... Color me surprised! I don't know why, but I have always considered the pipe to be an exclusively male bastion. Go figure.

Maria... I don't need you to tell me 'shame on you'... I say it to myself enough. :-) I'd be interested to know what the Icelandic ABC song sounds like.

Dave... 'Working on them' might be too strong a phrase. Let's just say that I am aware of the problems and am not particularly proud of them. For me, that is usually the first step in looking for a solution. The whole business with my sister and the deodorant is just plain embarrassing.

Jack... Snap out of it. That purse snatching seems to have taken the wind out of your sails and the spring out of your step! That comment is not like the Jack we've all come to know and love.

Alice... All I heard in my head while reading your comment was "lalalalalalalalalalalalal". Was that some secret language that only women can understand? :-)

Posted by: David | Jun 19, 2005 9:26:33 PM

Jack... Snap out of it. That purse snatching seems to have taken the wind out of your sails and the spring out of your step! That comment is not like the Jack we've all come to know and love.

Nah, just exceptionally busy. Besides my buddy the Wookie, er Doc Bean is here to hold down the fort. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Jun 19, 2005 9:34:45 PM

I so agree with what you say about the English accent - amazing how it helps you sound like you know what you're talking about. I milk it shamelessly...

Posted by: gilly | Jun 19, 2005 11:15:42 PM

David, I truly have to ask the following question, {having just spent an enjoyable hour reading your blog and loving the pictures.} How do you find the time to write (so well) at length regularly? I am amazed at the output, having lived half (the early half) of my life in Israel, I know the weekends are short, you are a working man and a fmily man, yet you manage to write daily (except on Shabbatot and Chagim). I am asking it in all seriousness please reply.

savta yaffa

p.s. I do truly enjoy your blog.

Posted by: savta yaffa | Jun 19, 2005 11:20:59 PM

Popular Science...snicker...No such thing, man. More like, Nerdular Nerdance. (SB)

Posted by: psychotoddler | Jun 19, 2005 11:52:25 PM

I'm embarrassed that...

* I can literally quote useless information from my Law School Assessment Test book.
* I can't swallow pills.
* I feel uncomfortable around large crowds of people...
* I'd rather starve than eat fish
* Discussion of stocks and baseball makes me blank out.

Posted by: Irina | Jun 20, 2005 3:31:13 AM

If I hear someone with a think New York or New Jersey accent, I'll immediately assume they're stupid. This is particularly amusing to me as I grew up in Brooklyn and had quite a think accent. Had I not moved to Los Angeles in the 12th grade and had my accent embarassed out of me I'd likely still have it.

If someone misuses your for you're or there for their, I will completely discount everything else they're writing -- back to the thinking they're stupid thing.

Posted by: beth | Jun 20, 2005 4:21:46 AM

100% agreement on the personal hygiene and hand washing after the bathroom! But that's not something to be embarassed about...it's a good thing to care about that.

Posted by: Essie | Jun 20, 2005 7:32:18 AM

>> ... that if I hear one opinion from an
>> American and another from a Brit (especially
>> one with an 'upper crust'/ public school
>> accent), I will almost always unconsciously
>> give more weight to the Brit's point of view."

> That is bad! Shame on you!

Far from it ... that seems to me to be an extremely sensible practice; why would you do otherwise? :-)

Posted by: Andy Levy-Stevenson | Jun 20, 2005 8:38:25 AM


We part ways with the public school boys...

Having worked for a while in London, I have the very opposite reaction. I have found that virtually everything public school boys say is completely idiotic.

Posted by: moC | Jun 20, 2005 8:59:34 AM

Gilly... The problem with that is that a good portion of the world accepts the nonsense being spread by the BBC because of this tendency.

Savta Yaffa... As I've mentioned on a few occasions, I don't spend all that much time writing my journal entries. Typically I get up between 15 minutes and a half hour before everyone else in the house and use that quiet time to purge whatever is rattling around in my head. I have a strict rule that I never pend more than 30 minutes on an entry (usually much less), and I usually schedule it to be published at lease 5 or 6 hours after it is written so that I have time to change my mind if I don't want it to appear on treppenwitz (this happens about once every week or two). Responding to comments is actually much more time consuming... but I use that as small breaks throughout the day (typically when my secretary goes out for a cigarette break I check my e-mail and see if there are any comments. I think my use of my breaks is healthier than hers. :-) What hasn't been said is how much I enjoy writing here and how much I appreciate the opportunity to interact with such a diverse group of people. I don't understand when I see bloggers writing "not much to say... I'm really not in a writing mood" nearly every time I check their sites. If it isn't fun... if it's become an obligation, why do it?

Psychotoddler... At least I don't make my living sticking my fingers up other men's butts! :-P OK, that was uncalled for, but don't call me out on my nerdiness! :-)

Irina... I also have a problem with pills. It makes my wife insane that I chew all pills... even the time release ones! As for baseball, I'd much rather watch it than talk about it... I don't understand the obsession with stats.

Beth... I'm embarrassed to admit that I often use all of these words and contractions interchangeably. It's not that I don't know the rules of grammar and spelling... it's just that I am often in such a hurry to get my thoughts down 'on paper' that I start to almost write phonetically. I usually go back and look for these little ignorance land mines, but I invariably miss one or two in almost every journal entry. I am surprised you've cut me as much slack as you have! :-)

Essie... Caring is good... putting a permanent black mark on someone for their appearance or personal habits isn't something of which I'm particularly proud.

Andy... I forgot to mention that once I get to know the Americans and Brits I tend to sort out who the idiots are... regardless of the accent. :-)

MoC... I've learned to be a bit more discerning about the actual words coming out of a person's mouth... I was just pointing out that I have sometimes allowed myself to be unduly influenced by the accent with which the words are spoken. :-)

Posted by: David | Jun 20, 2005 9:15:04 AM

Oh my goodness, OH MY GOODNESS!!!!

This is unbelievable. For years I have lived in silent shame, thinking I was the only adult on the planet with this embarrassing problem. But now, thanks to your blog, I find that not one, but TWO others share this affliction!

I, too...(gulp)...am unable to swallow pills.


I simply cannot make myself swallow them whole unless they're really tiny. After all these years, I've even gotten to know which pills taste better when chewed and which to avoid.

Extra-strength Tylenol is good. Aleve is BAD.

By the way- I can't tolerate throat cultures, either. Shots and blood tests don't scare me a whit, but I cannot take that little stick being shoved down my throat. Even tongue depressers have started gagging me in the past few years.

If you ever happen upon the secret of pill swallowing, please publish it!

Posted by: a | Jun 20, 2005 12:06:38 PM

Thanks David, I finally get a place I can let the embarrassing part of me out;

…that I’m black and not just Black! Black! but dark black!

...that since childhood I’ve always wanted to put on a skull cap, and once made one of black polythene and cello tape but it never stuck on my head.

…that I still haven’t crammed my ID card and passport number

…that after reading Moshe Dayan biography in high school I started a rebel movement called haganah that was out to terrorize student leaders.

…that I come from a country that the G-8 doesn’t consider worth relieving it’s debts since the leaders are so corrupt and immoral... They smell of it.

…that my cat (my only family), keeps messing the kitchen table and when it comes to beg for more food with those big innocent eyes I won’t feed it!

…that at the age of 19 Condoleezza had a Degree and at 22 I still don’t have one

…that I’ve always wanted to convert to Judaism but the Guard at the Synagogue won’t let me see the Rabbi

…that I love Israel so much yet the embassy won’t give me a visa

…that I have no friends since I spend all my time on Delilah (My linux box)

…that I have to study Hebrew whilst hiding so that I don’t get laughed at (Like was the case once by my neighbors)

…that I stammer every time I talk to a cat-eyed lady and can’t comfortably walk in front of a bunch of them

…that that… can I go on?

Posted by: kakarizz | Jun 20, 2005 2:35:44 PM

a... Welcome to the club. I'm sure there are a lot of us out there. I'll let you know if I have any epiphany on the subject.

Kakarizz... I didn't realize being black was something to be embarrassed about. Having never been black I'll have to bow to your greater knowledge and experience. But why would you want to be Jewish??? Don't take this the wrong way, because there are a whole bunch of Jews with black skin walking around Israel today, but aren't there enough people in the world who would dislike you just for being black? Do you really think it would be wise to CHOOSE to also be Jewish. I was under the impression that you were quite happy with the Noachide laws. If you only have to keep 7 fairly simple laws to get your ticket stamped for the world to come... why would you want to obligate yourself for 613? Isn't that just setting yourself up for failure? With the exception of not having your ID and passport number memorized, I didn't find anything else on your list worth being embarrassed about. :-)

Posted by: David | Jun 20, 2005 3:32:04 PM

True David. Food for thought.

Posted by: kakarizz | Jun 20, 2005 3:54:33 PM

I know - the pipe somehow does seem so "men only." I place the blame for that squarely on Fred McMurray. But what the heck, I'm glad I tried it (and also glad I didn't have anyone take my picture while I tried it!)

Posted by: AmyS | Jun 20, 2005 7:08:30 PM

That when I need to figure out if a month has 30 or 31 days, I use the old trick of counting on my knuckles.

Posted by: ginger | Jun 20, 2005 8:14:10 PM


To quote Archie Bunker (OB'M): "Hey, Sammy, I know there was nothing you could do about being born black, but what made you turn Jew?"

Posted by: psychotoddler | Jun 21, 2005 3:50:18 AM

oh my gosh, a, I can't do throat culture either, though I'm fine with shots! Wow... maybe we belong to a specific type of people... maybe there's an evolutionary explanation waiting to be revealed!

Posted by: Irina | Jun 21, 2005 4:27:13 AM

Regarding pill chewing, especially time-release ones, which sort of defeats the wole purpose. I know someone w the same problem and what she does is, she buys some liquid anaesthetic and squirts a bit into the back of her throat. The area becomes numb and she doesn't notice the pill so much, which allows her to swallow. Some cancer patients undergoing chemo do this as well bcs even when their mouth and pharynx aren't affected, they often feel like there's a lump there. Numbing allows swallowing. Hope this helps some.

Posted by: Lioness | Jun 21, 2005 9:05:16 PM

Lioness... Thanks for the tip! Would Bourbon be considered a liquid anaesthetic? Just curious. ;-)

Posted by: David | Jun 21, 2005 9:23:46 PM

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