Thursday, March 29, 2007


It seems my parents are getting awfully close to selling the house I grew up in. We moved in there when I was three-ish, and now I'm almost 30, and I'm trying to be pragmatic about it. At least I hope they get a fair price, and that some family with two cute little curly-haired pudgy girls moves in. So I'm sentimental and change resistant, but I can deal with this.

The idea of that address not belonging to the Dubins anymore has always been heartbreaking, when I've thought about it. That's the address that's been on my driver's license consistently, through probably 25 rental addresses of my own in four other cities. But now it's got to be time for the next chapter. As my mom told me on the cell when I was browsing the racks of Forever21 in the mall last night with my fountain Diet Coke, "That part of our lives is over. You girls are all grown up. It's a new era." Sniff.

Hi A,

As an undergraduate my favorite campus building was Sterling Memorial Library. There are simply no words adequate to describe the place, inside or out, or how I felt in it. If I must have a religion then it consists of books and my cathedrals are the great libraries. Most of my education occurred alone in the stacks of Sterling. The building was constructed in the depths of the depression, a time when Yale had money from hugely successful benefactors and New Haven was filled with skilled Italian immigrants—hungry for work. It is hard to imagine how it could ever be recreated absenting those circumstances.

There is a story, probably apocryphal, concerning Sterling’s opening in 1933. Yale in general employs very low-key signs to define its buildings. It is said that the University Librarian wanted to place a typically small sign outside the building which read, “This is NOT the Library. The Library is inside.” Even if untrue it is a great story with an important message.

Our house was wonderful chiefly for what was inside. The most important product of that experience is the emergence of two smart, talented and generally wonderful young women who are well poised to make their own homes in the coming years. Your Mom and I look forward (keina hora) to events in these. Furthermore our new home, even among the Topangan hippies, artists and nouveau riche lawyers, will always welcome you.


Dad and Mom

Monday, March 26, 2007

Word Up

These are the three most recent sets of (brilliant) keywords through which miscellaneous Internet-using people came across my blog:

jewish joke my god i hope nothing happened to him
working for cvs pharmacy
travel size mousse pumps

That about sums me up, I'd say. (Not that I work for CVS, but the other two.)


Last night I went to a swing dance club with my guy--the first time I've really ever seen him do this thing, even though he's been going dancing two nights a week when possible for the nearly six months (!) we've been going out. He was light as a feather on the dance floor, and I kind of had a retro kiss-in-Times-Square swoon moment watching him out there. Adorable.

Anyway, y'all know swing dancing is not my area (not yet anyway), so I sat at the bar and chit chatted with his friends and bought people drinks to ingratiate myself. And as I was sitting there, this guy walked by wearing a fragrance that smelled just like junior high to me. I guess it might have been Drakkar Noir or something? I wanted to ask him what it was, but if it was actually Drakkar, I thought the question might embarrass us both, so I let it go. But it's amazing how one quick whiff of a particular aroma can bring you right back to Mrs. Novack's homeroom. Or to not dancing to the MC Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock tape at the summer camp dance, but instead making comments with fellow gawky bunk mates off to the side.

Not much changes, apparently. Thank god for continuity at least.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Seriously, Do It

Maybe eight or 10 years ago, I was walking with my sister in Berkeley. We were walking from her Ford Escort wagon with the architecture nerd bumper stickers on it and the Taco Bell toys in it to the YMCA downtown, where we took a totally empowering kick-ass (ahem) boxing class together.

She is more than two years older than me, which at some point in our lives was a significant difference. It must have been around the time she'd just graduated from college and she said, "You know, when you're small you think you can or will do everything in the course of your life. Maybe you'll live in Africa, or Panama, and you'll go up on a blimp, and maybe you'll go up in space. You won't necssarily do anything in particular, but you can and might do everything. And then at some point, you realize that you won't or can't do everything. You pick some things you want to do, and you may not do the rest. And you realize that and accept it, and that's just the way it is."

At the time, I found this very shocking and upsetting--I don't even know that I really believed it was true yet. I've since realized that you do make some choices, and some choices you make render other things unlikely or impossible. Kind of. But the trick is to continually think of your life as a changeable entity, because you can always do something else. Maybe you can't do everything in the in the realm of possibility for human beings, but you always control your option to do something else that might make you very happy. (If the person who inspired this post is reading, then for god's sake, go find a place for yourself at a public art organization that moves you! I want to you to be happy. I want everyone to be happy!)

My sister also said to me one time, after she called her boss in San Francisco and announced that she wasn't coming in, not ever again (and then moved briefly to Alabama): "We always imagine the consequences of our actions are so dire. But it's really not always that serious."

It's not really that serious. It's not.

Try To Solve the Puzzles in Your own Sweet Time

Do you know this gal Des'ree? This R&B singer doing her thing in the early 90's? I love her.

I love her because, in 1995, when I was on spring break from Beverly Hills high, and I was toting around Northern California looking at colleges I might go to (even though the only place I really cared about was Berkeley), I made a stop in Santa Cruz where I stayed with a friend from summer camp. While she was off in rehearsals for some kind of upcoming feminist dance performance (natch), I listened to Des'ree's album to death. I listened to it in that hippie dorm with the pretty trees and the clean air all around--listened as my day unfolds, challenged what the future holds, tried to keep my head up to the skyyyyy--and I always still associate the positive lyrics and melodies on the "I Ain't Movin'" album with the everything-is-about-to-happen feeling I felt that week, this week, 12 years ago.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Girl Scouts' Motto: Be Prepared

Last night, when I was out with the girls on Pico for some wine, I realized, shoot, I forgot to eat dinner. And all they have at that wine bar to eat are cheese plates and chocolate plates, and you know I can't mess with those because it's not in the Brand New Booty plan. So I go, "It's OK, I have a granola bar in my purse." And the girl with the bangs goes, "Dang, Dubin always has a bar in her purse."

True! I always have a bar in my purse, along with an array of other things I use and don't use. Turns out, last night this included not one, but three pairs of sunglasses (Versace, Marc Jacobs, and Paul Smith, from Filene's Basement, Nordstrom Rack, and Loehmann's, respectively--bien sur. Never mind that it was dark outside.); boat tickets from last weekend's mini-break; one granola bar, one protein bar, and one fiber bar; a Betsey Johnson wallet the size of Manhattan island that contains photos from my 11th grade semi-formal dance and the likes of a half-stamped Tasti-D-Lite buy-10-get-one-free card only good at the Park Avenue location; antibacterial spray in a pen-shaped container; a metal tin of hand lotion; two cell phones (my personal Treo, and my work phone); the Modern Jewish Girls' Guide to Guilt book that I've only had time to read like 50 pages of, but I've nonetheless toted miles around the state of California in case I find myself waiting in some kind of waiting room; a pill box containing mostly pills I would never take because I cannot identify them; etcetera.

Having a purse like this is my gift to you, because I am very likely to have something you need before you even know you need it. It's kind of heavy, but, you know, you're welcome.

Anyway, TGIF, whew.

[Unrelated: Katherine McPhee's "Open Toes" just came on my "Aaliyah Radio" on Pandora. Why is this song so genius?

I could wear them all day
And listen to the click-clack
Shoes like this make me hate flats
Swipe that card--I'm good

Another pair in leather and wood
I'm a sucker for a name-brand
Skip the rack and stick to the game plan
Hey let's go!
If they're not too high, too low
I'll take them home in purple, red, or gold
'Cause I know them boys
They like those open toes...]

Thursday, March 15, 2007

What, Me Worry?

I am a worrier. Not to be confused with a warrior, which I'm realizing lately is the complete opposite. I've always sort of embraced my worry as part of the culture in which I was raised. In my family, you showed how much you cared with the frequency and volume of your oys, and with the number of check-in phone calls you made, and with the number of times you felt somebody's keppellah who said he felt a little chilly. Worrying always made me feel very Jewish (which I like) and very close to my mom (which is also nice).

Recently (around the time he told the Hitler joke that I so thoroughly enjoyed), my boyfriend told me his mom is a worrier, and she will figure he's dead if he doesn't call back for a couple days. I'm like, homie, you don't know from worry! You get a couple of days before she calls the morgue; I get a couple 15 minutes. He also said his mom was very relieved to find out I was a worrier too, because she felt happy to share the burden of her worry over her son who lives in another state. She asked, would I come over if he was sick to take care of him? And I'm thinking, do you know how much Emergen-C I can fit in my Mazda3 hatchback?!

Anyway, I can learn from the blue-eyed guy, who can be rather zen when he wants to be, and who does a lot of yoga, and who doesn't really worry or brood like I do. (Did I mention he got hit by a truck a few years ago?! A TRUCK! Hit! On Pico Boulevard! And he was unconscious in the ambulance! And then kind of got over it and moved on after he got released from the hospital, and now doesn't worry about getting hit by another truck, which I now worry about because he told me that story, like, exactly one time.) (Hit by a truck, oy oy oy!!)

I watch myself set these worry traps for myself and get caught in them. (This is particularly tricky for me since I work at home; it's a lot of time alone with my snowballingly funky head space when I get in a rut.) I watch myself pick at a molehill (albeit, maybe, a kind of substantial molehill) until it becomes an unclimbable mountain. Until I'm like, I've read Into Thin Air, I know how this ends.

But the fact of the matter is (and I know this from dutifully reading my DailyOm): it ends however you want it to end. The only thing to fear is fear itself, and what not. So you know, it's a matter of self discipline (which I know I have, since I get through all those "Brand New Booty" classes at the gym--ouch!), and pulling back a bit from the worry, and maybe changing my mindset about worry being kind of a cool, productive, Jewish community-building thing.

Nu? Discuss.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Back to the Future

Mercifully, about 16 years ago, I got my braces off. At that time, the orthodontist glued in a permanent retainer behind my four bottom teeth, and there it stayed through high school, college, post-college chaos, graduate school, and since. The retainer traveled with me to many of the continental United States, the territory of Puerto Rico, and a few countries. The retainer was not obvious to most people looking at me (although I am rather animated and I talk a lot, opening my mouth really big, so maybe people did see it sometimes), and it became a part of me--just like, maybe, my navel ring, which I never even see anymore, although it's been there for half my life. I regularly ran my tongue along the ridge of the retainer, and I knew it was there, although I never formally registered that knowledge or cared. The retainer also kind of made it hard to floss, except using this loop-like contraption, which is kind of lame and labor intensive.

Today, I went to an orthodontist at UCLA and there, in his third-floor mural-covered office, that retainer got plucked right out of my mouth without ceremony. I'm so sentimental and resistant to change; I almost cried. I ran my tongue over the spot where it was and there was nothing there and it felt really weird, kind of naked. (When I was the blubbering maid of honor in my sister's wedding, I took out all 19 of my earrings at once for the first time since I'd gotten pierced. It was the same kind of nakedness, a feeling of loss, but it felt clean and uncluttered too.)

So I was there in this orthodonist's office--not five blocks from the orthodonist's office in Westwood where I'd reported for all those torturous braces check-ups and tightenings and general nightmarishness--getting my mouth filled with green goo for making impressions (for a version of my retainer to be worn at night). That very specific faintly minty, generally gross taste--that brought me back. Braces. Woah. I don't relish the idea of getting older (eew! 30's only four months away now! Make time slow down!), but I don't miss the days when those inadequately filed-down wires used to tear up the insides of my cheeks while the Sally Jessie Raphael-red glasses decked my little face, framed by a pre-mousse mane of stringy hair, topped by an uneven row of imitation-chola double-decker bangs. My metabolism may have slowed down, but my hair looks way better now and I have a car.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I Can Help You Help Your Hair If You Let Me

I'm not saying my hair is the best thing in the world, but 1) it's pretty good, and 2) it took a long time (regrettably, long past my awkward adolescence) and a lot of money and wasted products to figure out how to make it do what it does. So I'm writing this as a service for any wayward ethnic girl who might Google "manage Jewish hair" or "products for Jewish hair" or "tame nasty frizz," and for Capella, who asked. Look, I'm not a genius, but I know something about this.

Re: products. You need exactly two products, and one of them must be mousse (I use John Frieda Frizz-Ease, which recently changed its packaging. It's hardly more than $4 at Target). You should use two open hands full for long hair, and you should not be daunted by how big of a pile this seems to be (and is).

N.B.: Don't be daunted when the guy doing your balyage* at Bumble & Bumble in the Meatpacking District says to you, "Mousse? Ew, I thought they stopped making that in the 80's." Also do not be daunted the first time your boyfriend sees you do the mousse thing and says, "Wow. That's enough mousse for...a moose."

Travelers further note that the no-liquids-over-three-ounces-on-planes rule is kind of like racial profiling against Jewish women too, because it is very hard to find mousse in travel sizes, and it cannot be transplanted to a smaller container because it is generally aerosol. If you find travel size mousse at any time, buy lots of them and store them for your exclusive use on planes so you're not forced to check luggage on a short trip. Oh, and regarding aerosol mousse: much better than nonaeorosol.

The second product you will need to use in conjunction is something very tacky; I use KMS Paste (about $20 for five ounces; the cheapest place to get it is on, and I try to buy five at a time--about a year's supply--to keep the price including shipping really low). You want to use about four to five pumps of Paste, or about four fingers full if you are scooping from a squat jar of some kind.

Now. To VERY WET hair, apply the mousse first. Then emulsify the the tacky Paste-like product by rubbing it through your palms together (like in prayer position). Comb both through together.

Then, you want to curl each section of your hair around your finger for a ringlety look. I know this sounds like a lot of effort, but once you get used to it, it's really very quick. I do my entire head of hair in five minutes, or 10 if I'm really going somewhere special. Another great thing about this method is that it keeps the top curls the same approximate shape and quality as the ones on the bottom (anyone reading this far knows what I mean).

As for blow drying, I try to avoid it altogether. I let my hair air dry all the time, unless it's the dead of winter (although I live in California now, and it was 90+ today in L.A., so that hardly matters), or unless I must go somewhere quickly and I don't have the time to let it dry naturally (which, since all that product slows drying time, might be close to three hours or more to be bone dry). Then, you must only use a diffuser, and afterward, you should apply some sleekening-type serum (I like Joico or Ecru), which is far better than the sprays they make that allege the same result.

Don'ts: Do not ever brush or comb your hair when it's dry, for god's sake. Do not let the person at the salon tell you she knows what you need for your hair, beyond what you have read in this post--no matter how fancy or compelling the salon or the salon girl. She does not, and it will only cost you money and storage space. Don't think you can sleep on your curls, and have them be OK tomorrow. (I'm sorry.) Some people say the built-up grease is a useful anti-frizz tool, but the pillow just flattens everything out irreparably, in my experience. And, to directly respond to Capella: Don't try to fight your curly hair. If you straighten it, you will just look like a curly-haired Jewish girl trying to straighten her hair. Maybe do it for the occasional, er, occasion, but then only do it professionally at a place that knows about hair like yours. I'm serious about this--you are not fooling anyone when you straighten your hair. And curly hair is not juvenile and cutesy! It can really be quite sophisticated.

If this post brings relief to even one ethnic curly-haired girl out there, I will feel rewarded. (I've figured out I wasn't destined to cure cancer, but I've at least got to do some good.)

Oh, and if anyone has any fun styling tips for post-drying, post-finger-twirled curly hair--anything that's not my tired-ass low-side-bun-with-tendrilly-bits--I would be grateful for your input.

Good luck, and godspeed.

*If you are a curly-haired girl still getting foil highlights, you must stop at once and do balyage (hand-painted highlights) instead. It doesn't give you that regimented, striped, I-live-in-the-valley-in-1994 look, and it looks very natural and sun-kissed indeed. I haven't done it for five months, and there are no roots, just a natural I-haven't-been-in-the-sun-because-it-was-winter look. Perfect for curly hair.

26 Miles Across the Sea

Maybe because I was tired with a low-grade hangover, I believed the blue-eyed guy when we got on the freeway and he said, "Look, we're going North." I totally took it at face value. And it wasn't until like an hour later, that I realized we were going more like due South, and when we got off the freeway where the sign said "Queen Mary," I was like, "I knew it! That's where I thought we were going on our surprise mini-break!" So he pulled the Mini into the Queen Mary parking lot--and then did a crazy oy-worthy turn back out of the lot, through a pair of "Do Not Enter" signs, across the road--to the place where you board the boats to go to Catalina Island.

I cannot tell you how excited this made me--this thought of getting on a boat on the sea. It made me feel like a little girl again (literally--because my sister's sixth grade teacher used to take the class to Catalina every year on a big field trip, and I'm sure as a third grader this made an oh-my-god-that-sounds-like-heaven-why-am-I-not-just-a-little-older-so-I-could-go-too indelible impression on me), which regrettably, is kind of rare for me these days since I think so dang much and spoil things by so doing. So we boarded the boat in Long Beach and went out on the Pacific Ocean 26 miles to this island that was so much prettier than I would have ever imagined it. Even though the terrain is just the same as you might find in Malibu or Topanga, it looks so--exotic. And it feels so apart from the mainland.

Like how Palm Springs kind of feels permanently stuck in its 1960's Rat Pack heyday (one reason I love it), Catalina Island kind of feels stuck in its own glory days of, say, the 1930's, when Big Bands played for the dancing crowd in the spectacular Casino ballroom, and when MGM took its crews and high-waisted-skirt-clad starlets to the pristine shores of Avalon to film its big-budget pictures. The whole place feels in real life like it looks in the Deco travel brochures, when its slogan was: "In all the world, no trip like this."

Anyway, so we checked into the hotel and left for this lovely walk up into the hills (and I could totally dig it, even though I skew tennis shoe averse, except in the gym), and climbed all over the Wrigley memorial, and held hands through the botanical gardens, and joked about all the silly plant names. We looked at the fish from the pier--the Crayola blues and oranges right there in the perfectly transparent water!--and climbed on the rocks and ran our hands over the pretty tiles that used to come from the pottery plant on the island (and probably now sell for a small fortune on eBay; I just remembered I want to look). Then we ate a totally indulgent meal that didn't count, because the island has a magical quality to it, which I'm sure wipes out calories associated with Italian food and brownie sundaes and cocktails.

I woke up yesterday in time to see the sun rising over the sea, because I wanted to make the most of our few hours left (so I prodded the blue-eyed guy and made miscellaneous fidgeting noises until he told me I better stop it, but by then it was too late because he was awake too, ha). Over breakfast I told him I wish we never had to go home and I wish this weekend would never end.

Before we got back on the boat, I bucked Jewish superstition by buying my nephew-in-utero a mini T-shirt emblazoned with a crab and the message: "I'm a little crabby. Catalina Island" (A nod to when my sister used to torment me by saving crab pincers wrapped in napkins from meals at seafood resuatrants and then reanimate them and make them talk; really, it was more traumatic than funny, but you get the gist.) On the ride back, he napped while I watched his alma mater Ohio State knock off Wisconsin on the TV in the lounge.

Then it was straight to Venice, where he plays beach volleyball every Sunday; it was the first time I went with him. I set up my towel and my iPod and my New York magazine, and he asked me, "Are you having fun, baby?" I said, "Are you kidding me? This is the best. weekend. ever."

26 Miles (Santa Catalina), the Four Preps

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance, romance, romance, romance

Water all around it everywhere
Tropical trees and the salty air
But for me the thing that's a-waitin' there--romance

It seems so distant, twenty-six miles away
Restin' in the water serene
I'd work for anyone, even the Navy
Who would float me to my island dream

Twenty-six miles, so near yet far
I'd swim with just some water-wings and my guitar
I could leave the wings but I'll need the guitar for romance, romance, romance, romance

Twenty- six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance

A tropical heaven out in the ocean
Covered with trees and girls
If I have to swim,
I'll do it forever
Till I'm gazin' on those island pearls

Forty kilometers in a leaky old boat
Any old thing that'll stay afloat
When we arrive we'll all promote romance, romance, romance, romance

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance, romance, romance, romance

Twenty- six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Skim and Three Sweet-n-Lows

This is the episode of Sex & the City I love: the one where she finds a rodent crawling around in the kitchen she never uses. Of all the episodes, this is the one I connect with the most. You haven't experienced true horror unless you've cohabitated with live rodents. (Actually, my best pal from grad school had it worse, in her West 10th counterpart to my East 10th apartment, when she woke up to find a rat crawling in her hair. And she is so understated, it took her days to even tell me about that. I guess she was trying to block it out. But you can bet I milked my own rat stories for all they were worth, which is a lot.)

Anyway, so in this episode, around the time Baryshnikov kills the critter with the risotto pan, he wants to make espresso, but Carrie says she doesn't have an espresso machine. He says, "You call yourself a writer and you don't have an espresso machine?"

Sold. Now I am on and I want to buy an espresso machine. Typically people get espresso machines when they register for their wedding gifts, right?, and I'm not engaged, but I drink a lot of coffee and I want an espresso machine now. And I think I deserve it.

My friend from work always says, "I work hard. I'm a good person. I would just like someone to give me $500,000 to $750,000. I deserve it." (He also buys lotto tickets and says, "You gotta play to win, gurrrl.") While no one's come through with the cash yet, I do think he already has an espresso machine. He and I agree that coffee, like red wine and Diet Coke, are among God's small ways of showing His love for us.

Road Trip!

The blue-eyed guy is taking me on a surprise mini-break this weekend! My best guesses so far are the Queen Mary or the outlets in Cabazon (what else could it be if the packing instructions are, "Bring both warm and cool clothes, because we'll be going between outside and inside. And bring trainers because we'll be doing a lot of walking. And you only need casual clothes." Plus, if anyone loves bargain shopping more than I do, it's my man.) Or maybe it's bowling? No, wait, probably not, but we are into bowling these days. (And the first time I played Nintendo Wii, I "bowled" a 212.) Anyway, I like saying "mini-break" because it reminds me of reading Bridget Jones on the 21 Hayes bus in San Francisco, and those were the days. At any rate, this surprise mini-break business: fun game! Stay tuned.

Monday, March 05, 2007

In Which I Learn Discretion About What I Put in my Mouth

Ok, this is me: I had a very important meeting today, to which I was on the way, in the car, looking miraculously (for me) pressed and neat, un-frizzy and un-coffee stained.

I have, at that time, one piece of peppermint gum left in my (fabulous leopard-print pony hair) handbag, in one of those foil packs that you press to release each piece. So I put it in my mouth, and put the empty foil pack in the cup holder next to my seat, and then I watch as a little fleck of white falls down with it. I'd just given my pretty car her first-ever wash, and I'm thinking how I don't want that white thing to sully it. So, assuming it's an errant piece of white peppermint gum coating, I put it in my mouth with the gum. Immediately there's this cyanide taste it's awful, and I spit the gym out the window (right on Wilshire at Rodeo Drive), and my whole face is turning red and I'm spitting, spitting, spitting out the window like a trucker (a trucker in a pencil skirt). Now my entire mouth is going numb (literally, I'm not lying to you, n-u-m-b) and now I'm guessing this was a mothball fleck, not a gum fleck, and I can't feel my face and I'm spitting and spitting out the window, wondering if you can die from ingesting an amount of [mystery toxin] that tiny. Fortunately, I have two sips of water left in my water bottle from the gym and I'm rinsing like a maniac and spitting out the window. I look at the clock and say to myself, "Dubin. It's 1:26. When you see 1:35 on that clock, you will be able to feel your face again, you're not going to die, you're going to live, just hang in there." Well, it takes more like a half an hour to regain all the sensation in my face, but memories like that you can't rinse away by spitting out the window.

I still taste (in my mind's eye) that vile mothball bit, even after having eaten eight mini veggie corn dogs since. Basically, the moral is, don't put mysterious things into your mouth, duh, even if you have a pretty good idea they're gum related.

But you know it was white, so I just thought...well, you get the gist.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

If Your Mother Knew You Were Scaling That Building, Oy

My blue-eyed guy was cracking me up last night. He goes, "I'm going to tell you a joke I saw in a movie on the plane. I wouldn't have understood it at all, except that I'm dating you. It goes like this. Two Jews were sent to assassinate Hitler. They get intelligence about where he's going to be at 12:30, so they go there with their rifles and wait for him. 12:30, no Hitler. 12:45, No Hitler. Now it's 1, 1:30, no sign of Hitler. One says to the other, 'Oy, I hope nothing happened to him.'" Yes, dating me would help anyone understand that joke. Look, I worry, OK? So call me, let me know you're fine, and meanwhile drive safely, for god's sake use your turn signals for once, and don't take any unnecessary risks.

Earlier this week I saw a news clip of some British or French daredevil free-climbing the highest building in Dubai or somewhere. And I had to giggle, thinking about how that flies in the face of every salient Jewish value. Values like planning for the future, securing the wellbeing of posterity to the extent posible, being generally careful and unnecessary-risk averse. The view must be somthin from up there, but I'll never know.