Dinosaur eggs

Dinosaur eggs? When I wrote this post, I later found out that I can make somewhat of a double entendre here in a strange fashion. How I love these situations.

The inspiration for this post comes from a food that my Mom nicknamed “dinosaur eggs,” and the story starts about ten years ago.  As is often the case, food makes a very strong candidate for vivid memories. So here it comes!

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[M.M.X.I.V. 157] A Dozen Miles And A Dozen More

The title of the post is a parody of The Proclaimers, in a way.  Today, eight years ago, seemed a very salient day for me.  So, in today’s blog, I will reconstruct the journal that I wrote for that day, since it was in bullet points at the time.  Here goes nothing!

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[M.M.X.I.V. 144 / M.A.P.L.E. III-24] אל אדון (post is in English)

When I am listening to (or participating in!) musical activities early in the day, I did not exclude services from the count of songs!  I went to services today, and as it was an Orthodox service, almost all of פסוקי דזמרה (P’sukei d’Zimrah: the introductory service) is done individually, excluding the last sentence or two of each Psalm in this section.

So, the seventh complete “song” that we did aloud was אל אדון (El Adon: roughly translated as G-d the Master).  This was NOT something that I had learnt during preparation for my בר מצוה (bar mitzvah), as my בוקר-שבת (Shabbat morning) leading began on that day at the תורה (Torah) service.  Thus, I didn’t learn it until I got into college and rediscovered Judaism.

(As a result of having gone to Orthodox services, I feel that posting this prior to the end of שבת would be acting as a hypocrite, even if I am neither Orthodox nor שומר-שבת.)

In particular, the seeds were planted during the summer before my sophomore year of college.  I had been regularly attending the Monday and Thursday services, as well as שבת services.  In my journal from June 26, 2006, I wrote, “I may play a ‘pivotal role’ in re-starting Junior Congregation” (from chatting with the rabbi).  This was a staple of my Hebrew school years, but had faded shortly after I became a בר מצוה (as well as how I quit attending services, but those are actually coincidental).  Some more comments about my bar mitzvah burnout are in posts from May 2012 and October 2011.

It evidently showed me that they were trying to engage the upcoming b’nai mitzvah classes in more of the service.  Therefore, it was a learning experience for me as well, since I was largely unfamiliar with אל אדון and שחרית (Shacharit: morning service prior to the תורה service) in general.  When I was practicing for this, I sometimes went down into the Piper Pit, the basement of my wing of the dorm at UNL, during odd hours (e.g. weekend mornings).

Leading the Junior Congregation was a challenge for me, partially because of not being well-rehearsed with some of the שחרית, but also because I do not think that I was particularly successful in trying to engage the kids.  Interestingly, though, this was one of my first “teaching” experiences–indeed the first of many!  Actually, after my resignation from Herman’s lab, it seems that teaching opportunities opened themselves to me in droves, with this, as well as the Math Resource Center and Lisa’s recommendation to apply for the Hewit Center (UNL athletics tutoring), though the latter did not pan out.

And look where we are now.  In some sense, אל אדון represents a big turning point in my thoughts and personal growth!


Today is the one-hundred and forty-fourth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes twenty weeks and four days.

.היום תשעה ושלושים יום, שהם חמישה שבועות וארבעה ימים לעומר

Today is the twenty-fourth day of the third round of M.A.P.L.E.  That makes three weeks and three days.

The audio clip with the melody that we used today (as well as the one that I learned first) is at Siddur Audio, is at this webpage, running between the time marks of 3:13 until 4:49.

[M.M.X.I.V. 49] Interviews

Both universities that I have attended (University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Northwestern University) have journalism schools.  I would assume that all journalism schools require the students to go on “fieldwork” in order to obtain stories through interviews.

However, when I was at UNL, I was only once interviewed by a journalism student.  This is not a knock on the school, as it is also true that it is much easier to find interviewees in a 20,000-person school than an 8,000-person school.  Granted, I also was not as socially active there as I am currently at Northwestern.

At Northwestern, however, Medill (the journalism school) makes a strong presence on campus.  I would estimate that I am interviewed at least twice a year.  Some of them are recommendations from other Medill students to ask me about Asperger syndrome.  Some of them have interviewed me about my SuperFan status.  Some interviews have come about from being in the “right place at the right time.”  Philanthropies, Challah For Hunger, and Bridge Club have all been places that I have been interviewed at Northwestern.

I am probably an unorthodox interviewee on campus, as a socially-involved graduate student.  However, my experiences can provide different perspectives from the traditional students.  And, I love speaking my mind!


Today is the forty-ninth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes seven weeks.  (The count doesn’t end here, unlike the omer.)

[Round Two O.C.T.O.B.E.R. XXIV] Throwback Thursday: October 12, 2012

OK, so this post is not quite as “throwback” as some of my older posts, but it doesn’t have to be.  I get to make the rules when I post!

Friday, October 12

Mom substituted for the Radetzky March [i.e. the alarm on my phone] at around 06:30.  I love her presence, and I excitedly got out of bed.  Without changing clothes, but with ear-itation, I bounded down the stairs in my inimitable style.  At the counter, I read the Journal Star, but none of the news held much interest.  I liked Zits with Jeremy as a Rubik’s Cube, though.

Mom made Mickey waffles!  One of many things that I love about coming home.  The dogs were well-behaved, and Dad and Casey were also down in the kitchen.  Tea, waffles, sunrise, and looking at pictures on my phone.  Another thing: the camera [that was damaged in the rain during the Four Star Bike Tour] appears to work, but the power switch is out of order and the close-up focus is not there.  What can I do?  Maybe a new camera will be a good gift for חנוכה [Hanukkah].  I then donned the “I ♥ CPN” T-shirt and khakis.

It was 07:40, and I called in for Battle, but was one of too many men.  I would have won too—challenged successfully a pop culture question and get Betty White as the #1 famous “Betty.”  I will try again on Monday if I can!  Of course, the questions will probably be much tougher!

Mom, Dad, and Casey left to leave me solo in the house.  I started by doing a little journaling from yesterday, but was not very productive on it.  I brought down the computer, checked e-mail, and then not so seamlessly transition to the next sentence.  שמעתי את רדיו לב המדינה, כי אני אוהב לשמוע למוסיקה מישראל! [I listened to Radio Lev Hamedina, because I love listening to Israeli music!]

Time to make Chex mix… er, “crack”!  It used 4 cookie sheets and double the recipe size from Evanston.  The butter I quartered from a full-pound slab, and on the third iteration, saw sparks!  It was in a foil covering, and I missed some of the foil.  Removing it didn’t zap me, and I used the oven for four of the racks.

While I baked, I also checked out the Kansas CD and began O.C.T.O.B.E.R. XII [so does this mean that I am now meta-blogging?] with the analysis of The Pinnacle, line by line.  Some of the lines were much more difficult than others to fit into my Birthright experience.  Still, it is interesting, as where I choose to break for analysis is a significant portion of what personalizes the experience.  I just hope that it doesn’t get me in trouble—I did give credit in the manuscript.

Once the blog and Chex Mix were done, I was a good boy and did the dishes, not only from the project, but from everything already in the sink.  It doesn’t bother me anymore, since I am used to hand-washing EVERYTHING in Evanston.  I know that I fought it earlier in life, but I am glad that Mom and Dad insisted that we do dishes then.

I tried for ten minutes to get Sara Lee [our Bernese mountain dog] to come in, but she wouldn’t come.  Mom said that was fine, so I proceeded to drive.  I took 70th to Highway 2, and stopped at US Bank at 56/Shady Creek, making CTA-style announcements en route.  I can do this alone!  Then, I headed to 33rd, Calvert, and Hanson.  Today’s sunrise has since abated for clouds, a strong wind northbound, and chilly weather!

At the Coren’s, Charlie was there, walking and on the phone.  He had just returned from the hospital or something after a surgery.  He looks great, and he still has his same character.  We chatted about my life at NU, as well as the tough questions about what is next.  I saw the tapestry with the הלל [Hallel] verse: “יומר נא ישראל… כי לעולם חסדו” [Let Israel say, G-d’s love endures forever] and sang it to myself too.  It was good to see him!  I can call Nancy on Sunday for advice about the דבר תורה [D’var Torah: sermon].

Next stop: UNL!  I took 27th to Capital Parkway, and continued to 17th along the tortuous road.  It is so open at the old Lincoln Poultry, and I also noticed new buildings downtown at 13/14 and Q.  I got a parking space in the Que Place Garage, and was on Level 7 (Brown).  Going down the stairs, green, blue, purple, red, orange, and yellow appeared, respectively.  Gives me an idea!

I walked to UNL via Centennial Mall and Union Plaza before cutting over to Cather.  Emma texted me, and we met in front of Pound.  Before the dining hall, I ran into Jane [one of the managers of the CPN dining hall], who told me that Joel wasn’t here today.  Darn it!  That won’t stop me from eating there.  Flora took my money, and Bill & Darlene got in on the act as well!

Lunch was dill cod, waffle fries, and veggies.  While eating, I chatted with Emma about her schedule, and she talked about a class with a non-communicating instructor.  She has appealed to the department head, and that’s a good proactive approach.  I never had these kinds of difficulties, but knowing how to deal with conflict is something that I need to… know.

We chatted with Bill and Darlene, about the future of this area on campus.  The [new] Knoll residences are unimaginatively named: “Knoll 1, Knoll 2, Knoll 3.”  There may be a Mini-Rec near this region in the near future.  Before we left Neihardt…


[”I am chomping my chocalate [sic] chip cookie that aunt [sic] Pam made while sitting next to Mom in the Friedlander’s kitchen”-Noah]

~and I L♥VE my sister Casey *CW* 🙂


And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.  We saw Husker Heroes in the basement of Raymond.  I saw Amy [former RD when I lived in Neihardt] and Toby in the basement, and we exited after Emma scanned her NCard to prevent the alarm from going off.  Walking across 17th, we landed at Knoll.  Her unit, 254, was next to the RA unit.  The halls are NICE, but it should be if it’s new!  The floor’s theme was Pokémon, with the name tags as Monster Balls.  Her unit had a “living room,” four private bedrooms, two sinks for both reasons, shower, toilet, full fridge/freezer, and kitchen sink.  Her room was messy, but only slightly smaller than my Engelhart room!

She escorted me to the entrance, and we hugged awkwardly at the door (since I was carrying a large load!)  I walked back to the Que Place Garage and held the Outlaw sauce in my arms.  Recalling the color pattern, I saw Level 8 on my way to exit.  It was goldenrod—not pink.  Boo!  The next stop was The Swiss Clock at 27/Superior, so I took Antelope Valley-14th until it became Superior [through a roundabout].  I found the Clock where Gamers used to be!

Sam helped me with my watch, and after a while, was able to find an effective replacement band.  [We chatted for a while about family and just catching up.]  After this, I drove through Historic Havelock and got to 84th, feeling throbs in the left thigh.

It was an easy drive to Firethorn, and at 84th and O, I noticed that the car dealership and Chinese buffet were gone.  [The latter has been a revolving door of Asian eateries ever since the Knickers sports bar that used to be there vanished].  The Back (West) Nine looks nice, and there are new houses in Firethorn.  At Gramma Lea & Papa’s, I stayed for a while.  We discussed my schooling plans, and more, while GSN was playing in the background.  There was some talk about sports and TV as well.

I left, turned off the car radio, and turned on TuneIn [from my phone] while driving.  It is my Friday routine with המסיבה [“The Party” program].  Nothing was noteworthy until I got home.  Once there, a few songs appeared that I re-recorded: סיגל, פתגם סיני, and such.  While waiting for Casey, I inefficiently journaled, also trying to get the dogs to decide IN or OUT.  I am not a good dog handler!

Casey was ready at about 16:50, and we proceeded to the office.  She was in a good mood as we discussed our days, but we hit EVERY red light and also witnessed a pile-up between O and Vine on 70th.  So much for the back way being faster!  Once at the office, we left in short order.

En route to Omaha, the marquee at 84/Cornhusker advertised Diesel for $4.23/gallon and Plus for $0.00/gallon.  They are rebuilding, so there’s not actually free gas.  The car ride to Omaha was largely unremarkable… ergo I skip ahead to services.  Somehow, we arrived at 12600 Pacific, TEN MINUTES EARLY!  Since שבת [Shabbat] had not yet started, some photos on the בימה [bimah] were taken, and I briefly schmoozed and hugged family members.

Services started with מנחה [Minchah: afternoon service].  Other than the עמידה [Amidah], it was almost entirely silent.  It was also quick, but not novice-friendly.  We then proceeded to קבלת שבת [Kabbalat Shabbat], starting with ידיד נפש [Yedid Nefesh], which has some differences from the Conservative version.  [Many of the second-person words are feminine in the Conservative, but masculine in the Orthodox]  I find that really interesting.   The service was hardly musical other than לכה דודי [Lecha Dodi].  That is one thing as to why I prefer Conservices.  The דבר תורה talked about ideas of family and such, present from בראשית [Genesis].

Then, dinner started after acknowledgments and קידוש [Kiddush].  It started with מצה [matzo] ball soup and salad, and some mini-חלות [challah].  Yum!  I sat next to Aunt Pam, Casey, and Rocky.  All sorts of “usual” conversation came up, and of course I am now behind on the journal.  The chicken, rice, and veggies all tasted wonderful with the honey glaze and such.  I also sat with the Sciolis, and that was good.

We left after bentsching at around 22:00.  Upon driving home, we discussed lights on the highway, which happened to be coming from the speedway [near Greenwood at Exit 420].  We also talked about roads, and other things that are now blending together as I attempt to catch up on my writing.  We got home after picking up at the office the cake [from Dad’s birthday yesterday] and Mom’s jacket.  We got home in short order, and then I got to bed around 23:10 or so.  It has been a long day!



Today is the twenty-fourth day of O.C.T.O.B.E.R. That makes three weeks and three days.