I’ve Been Memed Facebooked iPod

That’s the jibberish I talk when I want to make fun of “my kids” and the fact that they live in, and cannot live without, a ridiculous world of technology. My 32 year-old mind cannot comprehend how these 18 year-olds come to Israel for 9 months and spend hours each day on Facebook. A year ago, I was making jokes about MySpace to the high school kids who’d hang out in my office so ain’t that a sign of the evolving times? (MySpace: OUT, Facebook: IN) Although I think their generation is crazy, I guess that makes me much like the current 40-somethings who thought we were nuts because we had CDs and liked “Licensed to Ill“.

So apparently, I’ve been “memed” by Liza here. What does meme mean? Some kind of internet game of tag where it’s my turn to talk about myself and share some things that you, my loyal readers, may not know about me. Since I’m not always sure who is reading, that’s a little difficult so I’ll try to at least share some interesting things about me for your reading pleasure. (By the way, I met Liza at a writers’ networking event a few months ago. Turns out she too went to Young Judaea’s Camp Tel Yehudah. As Mel Allen would say, “How ABOUT that?”

Without further ado…(ech omrim “further ado?”)

1) I saw Aerosmith with my mother when I was 18. Why you might ask? Because I had just returned from Year Course after 9 months in Israel, had no one to go with, and she wouldn’t let me go alone for fear that…well, you can ask her what she feared. Presumably that I would get killed and mutilated by a group of Hell’s Angels. In hindsight, with them having moved on to the Alicia Silverstone era, this seems even funnier in spite of the majority of the crowd still being older partiers from the ’70s with tattoos, before it was trendy for middle-class people to mutilate their bodies. My friends still love to tease me about this today.

2) I went to the Kotel the night before the 1993 NFC Championship with my guy friends to pray for a Cowboys victory. Not completely accurate. They went to pray for the Dolphins. Long story short, we arrived past midnight to find that nobody was there. At one point, I had the holiest Jewish site in the world completely to myself. It was the most religious experience of my life, certainly not one to be wasted on a silly football-related note. So who won that next day and went on to win the Super Bowl two weeks later? It’s amazing I didn’t turn Chassidic after this.

3) I have an older sister Avra and an older brother Steve who live in Dallas and Houston, respectively. Avra has two boys and Steve, two girls. (This is the “tame” fact but since I haven’t lived in Texas in 14 years, most people haven’t met my family and are surprised to find out that I in fact have one. I’ve met my friend Joe’s parents billions of times in 20 years but he probably wouldn’t recognize my parents in a police line-up. When he does see them every ten years or so, he refers to them as “the actors”…since clearly I don’t have real parents. “Hey, you got the same actors as last time!”)

4) I shaved my head completely bald a couple of times in college around 1995. I have great pictures of me in my friend Andrew’s leather jacket, holding a knife and looking angry. I also have some good ones of me rubbing my newly-shaved head against my roommate Dana which caused her to convulse and scream in disgust. I had the Israeli look way back then and didn’t even know it. It’s a shame all my pictures are in a box in my parents’ house.

Two asides:

a) Dana and Andrew are now married and will be visiting Israel this month with their THREE kids!

b) In 2000, after laughing about the website with co-workers, I put two pics of me on the then hot new site, Am I Hot or Not? to compare the ratings. One good one of me in the Negev, and the skinhead one in Andrew’s jacket. There was a good 6 points difference between the two.

5) On Year Course, I had a pet chumus named Mordechai. I bought him at Machane Yehuda on a Friday in October and kept him in my dorm room, unaware of the necessary practice of, umm…REFRIGERATING chumus. After a couple of days, surprisingly enough, he started to smell. For reasons which can only be explained by my being 18 and on a program where ridiculous behavior became expected, I decided to keep him, as I did for the remainder of the year through June. Mordechai became the unofficial mascot of my group, appearing in our group picture and even spending the weekend in my friend Evan’s dorm room (unbeknownst to her. She was not happy to find out that I had hidden Mordechai in her room.) He would have had his Bar-Mitzvah this past fall, although he somehow went his own way at the end of our first year together. I never saw him again.

Epilogue: a few months later, I started my freshman year of school and was one of the very first people I knew to get (are you sitting down?) an email address. The guy at the computer center asked me for a username with a maximum of eight letters. Not having any understanding of the ramifications of this decision, I said, “I don’t know. ‘Mordechai’.” The 9th letter dropped off and I spend the next three and a half years with the email address mordecha@utexas.uts.edu (or something like that; all the university domain names from then have long since changed.) Since ALMOST NO ONE HAD EMAIL THEN, it wasn’t a problem until senior year when I had to begin giving my address to a professor or two.

Professor: “What’s….mor-detch-uh?

Me: “Oh, uh, nothing.”

Have fun with those facts. I meme Brian at This Normal Life.

To all of you wherever you are, have a chag Purim sameach. Fun pictures and updates coming soon!

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