* A friend just walked up to me. “You’ll relate to this,” he said.
“Is it about helping people?” I replied.
* My friend says about my invite a goy to shul initiative: “You might want to steer clear of taking him to any of the more Orthodox synagogues for the next couple of weeks until Pesach is over. You wouldn’t want him to see the Rabbi draining the blood of the kidnapped goyishe baby for the Matzoh. He might misconstrue it.”
* I feel I must cleanse my soul by watching some NBA basketball and listening to some JayZee.
* NYT: The more attuned to others you become, the healthier you become, and vice versa. This mutual influence also explains how a lack of positive social contact diminishes people. Your heart’s capacity for friendship also obeys the biological law of “use it or lose it.”
* About half the crowd at my 12-step meetings go on their phones during the meeting.
* I was speaking at this Persian shul. The rabbi got up to introduce me and to implore his congregants not to talk during my speech. He tells them in Farsi, “This guy has seen it all and probably done it all.” Yeah, but I never got a disease.
* I’m reading this review of West Australia’s barrier reef and picturing what it would be like to take this trip as a couple and my fear of abandonment is rising up and what if she emotionally abandons me on the trip? What if she’s angry and contemptuous? What if she hooks up with someone else? And I’m out there in the middle of nowhere confronting my fears without FB access.
* Roger Ebert and I were such close friends over FB. He gave me the courage to pursue my dreams.
* Lewis Fein: “Reviewing Roger Ebert’s memorial service. While I found parts of it to be derivative, the homage to Bergman was touching. I give it two thumbs up.”
* I’m noticing folks going through the Orthodox conversion to Judaism not only throwing away all their pants and only wearing skirts, covering up tattoos, dropping off Facebook, and severely reducing their social life so as to minimize potential trouble. They would also do well to quit drinking because that lays the groundwork for trouble. One Orthodox rabbi I heard about kicked a guy out of his conversion program because he was tired of hearing this potential Jew complaining about the lack of religious observance by born Jews.
* My Orthodox friend says the Orthodox fear their wives more. I think there’s something to that.
* I’ve never had a relationship longer than a year. I’m a serial monogamist, but more than that, I’m a serial enthusiast. I used to think that when I was a kid that becoming a Christian missionary would transform my life. Then it was dreams of political power. Then it was running marathons. Then it was the practice of journalism. But my fear of abandonment? Unchanged.
My therapist asks me, “Do you think your Alexander Technique, your Kundalini Yoga, your conversion to Orthodox Judaism are all attempts to push away your underlying depression?” Yes! You can’t trust anything I say. I get enthusiastic about things, think they will transform my life, and then a girl doesn’t return my phone call and I’m right back to that needy three year old boy.