Yea, so, it's been yonks since I've written anything, so I decided to start writing and see where it takes me. I'm not really sure what I'm planning to write in this post, but we'll see what comes out.
I've been worrying lately that I've completely lost what little shred of talent I have for writing and being creative. I've been saying it for years now that NASA has been making me dumber, and now I'm completely convinced. I've not written anything since last year, and I've had nothing to write about. I've tried; oh, believe me, I've tried. I sit on the Metro and look at the goings-on around me and think, "What is going on here that I can write about?" I thought about blogging about the wedding and preparation and all that, but nothing (not to mention that the Sabra didn't want me to write anything personal on the blog). I just didn't have the ambition.
Now that we're separated, you'd think I've got loads of time to write...but again, what do I write about? I could blog about me trying to find a job in Beantown, but who wants to read that crap?
I finally got around to buying Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so I decided to start back at the beginning and read straight through. I thought that that would be cool to write about...my feelings after reading each of the books--not my opinions of what's going on or anything like that, but the beauty of reading entertaining books, of the feelings, emotions, and memories that J.K. Rowling is able to evoke from me. But, nope, nada, nothing doing. Oh, that's not to say that I'm not experiencing emotions and feelings and memories from reading the books again, but I'm not writing about them...can't be bothered.
I'm going out tonight...maybe something exciting will occur to me to write about them.
Well, wish me luck!
I know that I haven't posted anything in forever, so I thought that I should at least get 1 post in before 2009.
What have I been doing instead of blogging? Well, I'm actively looking for a new job, so if you know of any in Boston, please let me know.
I've been working on some other websites that I have.
I've been planning the wedding...just a little over a month now!
And I've been doing some extra work in the evenings (and at work, but don't tell anyone that I've been double-dipping).
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannuka, Peaceful Kwanzaa, and here's wishing you my annual blessing....that 2009 will be better, brighter, and funner than 2008!
After a lot of stressing, the Sabra and I finally decided on a date: 29 January 2009, we will tie the knot.
So there you go.
I just noticed that it's been ages since I've posted anything. This is really even more inexcusable when you realize that I've been doing fuckall at work for months now.
Anyway, things that have happened since last I posted:
- I took my buddy out for his bachelor party. I actually started to write this up, but when I got to the part where we went to the tittie bar, I decided that maybe I shouldn't actually post it. Needless to say, we had a great time looking at naked women! We headed over to the Block (Baltimore's Red Light District) for old time's sake. We went to some dive and this 40something-year old skanky crack-whore slides up to me and asks me to buy her a drink. I play along and say, "sure." Fucking twenty fucking five fucking dollars for a fucking drink! I was pissed! That pretty much ended the evening. We headed back to my buddy's house and smoked cigars.
- The aforementioned buddy's wedding. RC came in on Friday, and we headed over to the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner...that was good times. We had chinese food, and I haven't had chinese food (except for the fast food joint near Chez Jo Cose). Saturday we got up and headed to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, and walked around that, then we did some other stuff I can't remember just now, and in the evening, we met the 'rents, headed into Old Town, VA, met my sister, and had dinner at Landini Brothers (an awesome northern Italian restaurant). After dinner my sister split and the four of us went to a paino bar where we met up with another friend of mine and his partner. Fun was had by all.
- Sunday was the wedding. It was a very nice affair. It was the 3rd wedding I've been a part of in the past 15 months, and it was the first that was fully Jewish, so that was nice. My speech went off without a hitch for the most part. I offended one person, but I suppose that that is life, you can't win them all. The Bride and Groom were happy and entertained, and that really is all that matters. I drank way too much gin. After the wedding, the Bride, Groom, RC, and I went back to the hotel, cracked open some brew, and continued to celebrate.
- Monday morning we headed over to the brunch and had bagels, eggs, and blintzes. I got beat up by the kids...all seemed normal.
That's pretty much it. Now you know the rest of the story.
Well, it's finally over!! My parents have married off both of their daughters and I don't have to give any more toasts!
As with my other sister's wedding toast, I post this for your reading amusement. Enjoy.
I guess it’s my turn to talk about our penultimate sibling. Oh, sorry, B—, that’s the second to last sibling. I know you like it when I’m pendantic (that would be pedantic for the rest of us). So, obviously, I’m B—’s youngest sibling, Jo Cose.
They say that the more you do something the easier it gets; that’s certainly not true for this speech. In fact, I think that this was the hardest speech I’ve ever had to write. B—’s and my relationship has drastically changed over the years, and I wasn’t really sure which part to talk about. So, I settled on 2 memories I have from childhood. You know those memories you have where you’re not sure if it’s a real memory or a photograph you’ve seen? Well that’s what the first memory is for me, although I actually know that it’s a photograph. I’m an infant, lying in my crib. B—, and bear in mind that we are only 18 months apart, is sucking her thumb and holding a baby-bottle for me to drink out of. The reasons I like that picture/memory so much are because it’s such a tender moment of love ... and I have proof that she was nice to me once. And that was probably the last time for a long time. It wasn’t until we went to college that we started getting along better. The second memory was from when she and my parents came to visit me when I was in Israel. Apparently, B—’s afraid of heights…who knew? We were taking the cablecar up to the top of Masada, and she was freaking out. I was about to make fun of her because I didn’t know she was afraid of heights, but I realized that she was holding my hand for dear life…realizing that she was holding my hand for protection, I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything mean at that moment. Now, today, we get along just fine provided she isn’t tired or hungry … or awake. Actually, that’s not really fair. She can be very nice to me, especially when I have food she wants a bite of or when she’s lost 3,000 miles from DC in a city—in a state—I’ve never been to and calls me for directions. In all honesty, I like those memories because they always reminds me that no matter how much we fight or yell at each other, we’re still always there fore each other, whether it be her making sure that I have food to eat and won’t go hungry or me making sure she gets to work on time and won’t get fired.
B— was lucky to find S—. I mean, I’m her brother, so I HAVE to put up with her; he volunteered. When we first met S—, we all knew that he was destined to be part of the family. As such, I’ve tried warning him about all the things he should be prepared to deal with, but every time I’ve tried to point out one of B—’s idiosyncrasies, he would always respond, “I know, I know.” So, I figure that if he knew what he was getting himself into and is still here, then the two of them are going to be just fine together
The best way to ensure that they will be alright is to actually say it. In Judaism, words are important and powerful. This is the basis for adding Chaim or Chia, which means life, to a sick person’s name; the concept of loshen hora, talking about people; and the expression blee ion hora, an incantation to ward off the evil eye.
So, as I said, the best way to ensure their happiness together is to say it aloud: “L'chaim tovim u'me'oosharim! To a happy and wonderful life together!”
Funny that I felt the need to mention that how the speech was written would not necessarily be the way the speech was delivered. As it turned out, that was a bit of an omen. The Best Man walked to the dance floor to accept the microphone and deliver his speech…no notes in hand. The Maid of Honor (my other sister) did have a piece of paper with her speech on it. I, however, did not have my speech on one piece of paper, but instead, I printed it out in 20 point font, and taped it to 30 (yes, 30) index cards. Once I saw that I had to stand up and deliver the speech, I freaked out: how could I hold the mic, my champagne, and all those cards? So, I decided to forego the cards, and only brought the ones up that had the blessing on them (I couldn’t seem to memorize that). I did much better than I expected, but I knew that I left some out—mostly the comments about A— teaching M— Yiddish and being fluent in Hebrew. When it came time to invite everyone to raise their glass with me, I realized that I had forgotten to bring my glass with me :) But even with that small SNAFU, it still went over really well, and I received many compliments on my speech!
Yea, so, my mom decided that I needed to speak at my sister’s wedding. I don’t want to get into the whole drama about that (I was originally told I didn’t need to worry about it), so I will just post my speech as I wrote it—this is not necessarily how I will say it :)
For my family, no, I am not going to sing. For anyone who doesn’t get that, I’m Jo Cose, A--’s brother. A--- originally told me I wasn’t allowed to speak and then, in her usual fashion denied that she said that. So, since I found out only 4 nights ago that I was allowed to give a toast, I promise this will be very short.
I thought of many mean stories I could share with you about A---, but apparently, toast etiquette says I’m not supposed to embarrass the bride. Then I thought of all the sappy stories I could tell about how wonderful of a big sister A--- was to me growing up, but then I realized that I was remembering The Brady Bunch reruns and not our own childhood. Then I remembered that I needed to include M---.
So instead of trying to embarrass A--- and M---, I decided to follow Jewish custom and offer a blessing. Traditionally, the Sheva Brachot, the 7 wedding blessings, are recited during the wedding ceremony, and since I promised this would be short, I offer the one I deem the most important:
“Let the loving couple be happy, just as You made Your creation happy in the garden of Eden, so long ago. Blessed are you, Lord, who makes the bridegroom and the bride happy.”
Speaking of bridegrooms and brides being happy, my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last month, and because A--- is so much like our mother—having inherited that creepy stalking gene and all—I have no doubt that in 40 years from today, I will again be standing up and offering a toast to A--- and M---’s 40 years of happiness and togetherness.
In keeping with my theme of Jewish custom and weddings, I will of course end this with the traditional Jewish toast: l’chaim. Although she has done a wonderful job teaching M--- all the important Yiddish words and expressions, and even though she is once again fluent in Hebrew having just gotten back from Israel, I won’t embarrass A--- by asking her to translate. But if I were to ask others to translate l’chaim, most would say it means “to life,” just like Tevya taught us in Fiddler on the Roof. L’chai actually means "to life"; the toast l’chaim is plural and means “to lives.” The rabbis say this expresses the idea that no one can live life alone, that we all need someone to share it with. So, we toast “to lives,” in which we share with others what is truly meaningful in life.
A--- and M--- are now sharing their lives not just with each other, but with us, their friends and family. So, let’s raise our glasses and drink l’chaim.
As many of you know from following this blog, I have been trying to lose weight (mainly for my sisters’ weddings, but also to look fab in my bikini). I was doing Diet to Go, and with them, I went from 187.5 in February to a low of 155. Sadly, I have gained, and this morning I tipped the scale at 160.5.
I very much enjoyed my time with Diet to Go, but they kept making little mistakes on my order. All those little mistakes added up to me deciding to end my time with them. I just placed my order with a new company, NutriSystem. I’m very excited as they seem to have their act together a little more than Diet to Go, but I’m not saying that officially yet. I did notice after I placed the order, however, that I need to supplement this program with my own veggies and fruit. But, I get desserts with this one, it’s cheaper, and as I type this, I realize that actually having to buy fruits and vegetables and prepare them might actually help me ease back into the idea of making food.
Of course, I still like the idea of RC cooking for me, but I guess this will have to do.
I woke up on Saturday, and after (carefully) showering, I removed the old Band-Aids, cleaned the wounds with my hydrogen peroxide, and then got a good look at the new me. It’s actually kind of hard to see anything different, since there are sutures where the moles used to be, so there is still something holding their former place. I did notice a big concave area on my nose where the mole used to be. My dad says that it will fill itself in, but I told my older sister I may need to use putty to fill it in for her wedding pictures.
I laid pretty low Saturday. I went to McDonald's for lunch and then, since I was in the car anyway, headed up to Arundel Mills Mall. I was 2 hours too early for a movie, but bought a ticket for National Treasure anyway and walked around the mall. The movie was exactly what I expected, so it was quite enjoyable. The only problem was the guy sitting next to me with his grandson. I was terrified that the kid would be annoying, but it turned out the kid was riveted to the screen; it was the old man who fell asleep during the previews and didn’t wake up until about ½ way through the show. He was snoring!
On my way home, I called Windstorm, with whom I had already made plans to go out to eat. She said that she was too tired and wanted to sleep, so I called the ‘rents to see what they were doing for dinner, but my mom said that they had already finished eating left-overs. Then I called Windstorm back to talk her into going to dinner with me as we had planned, but she was on the other line making plans with other friends (typical). So, while I would normally be mad at her for standing me up when we had already made plans, I was OK with it for 2 reasons: 1) we went out to dinner a few weeks ago when she was here, and she hasn’t seen those people in a very long time, and 2) I really wasn’t in the mood to be social anyway. But I still gave her a hard time, so I’m sure she thinks that I’m mad at her about it, and I’m really not; I think that we both made the right choice and it’s all good. Actually, she didn’t get home until after 2 am, so I know I made the right choice. I got some Chinese carry-out (Beef Chow Foon), went home, and watched British comedy on Maryland Public Television until I fell asleep.