Thursday, July 07, 2005

This Week's Clips

I've been published a few times this week, on everything from my nephew to vacation, with a smattering of Jewtopia thrown in for good measure. Read, enjoy, and comment away!

The Boy Who Changed Everything

From the second I laid eyes on him, that phrase about having known and loved him before I met him suddenly made perfect sense. He’s a relative heavyweight; but I’m still way taller. He’s a new player on the stage of my life, but fits perfectly into the family I’ve always known. We’ve all literally and figuratively embraced him, even though all he does is look around at this new, exciting world, demand sustenance, and poop on us.

For more of this week's First Person Singular column, click here.

Sole Searching

Even after many of us have graduated from an academic calendar, we think of July and August as the time to escape: to leave the countless papers on our desks for innumerable, sprawling seaside sands. It is a time of sun-filled getaways, SPF 45, and bathing suit anxiety. We look forward to letting our hair down and taking our clothes off, to whatever extent we wish. We court relaxation like a soulmate, and hedonism as if it's our last night of freedom...

...Would we be able to free our City selves from the code of acceptable behavior as mandated by our tight-knit, seemingly omniscient Jewish community, and embrace the possibility of relative debauchery? It wasn't like Turks and Caicos was Vegas; there was no advertised assurance that what happened here would stay here. What if we "went wild"? Would the video proof of our adventures end up on the Internet? At shul board meetings? Would reputations be damaged? Jobs lost? And would any of us care?

The above is excerpted from "Vacation: A Spiritual Retrospective" (my "Sole Searching" spirituality column at To read the column in its entirety, click here.

Jewtopia's becoming a book...

“Jewtopia’s” co-creators Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson, who also co-star in the play, were just finishing up the script for “Jewtopia: The Movie,” when a book agent saw their show and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. “We weren’t even thinking about it,” said Wolfson. But the agent was persistent. “He hounded us … ‘I can get you a deal,’ he said. He got every publisher out and started a bidding war; it was supposed to be a small kitschy paperback, but it got so much heat that it’s going to be a hardcover [WarnerBooks won the bidding war, and the book is slated for September 2006 release].”

“Jewtopia: The Book,” Wolfson explains, will include “silly stuff from the play, but in more detail; like Jon Stewart’s ‘America: The Book,’ with graphs, charts etc., but for Jews.”

For more, see this Jewish Week article by a fairly prolific writer. Of course, most of you have already read about the book deal here. And still others of you will remember this column. No, Sam and Bryan are not paying me to promote them. (But maybe they should...)

Your scrolling bonus: three stories I posted to Jewlicious and one from My Urban Kvetch...

This Space for Rent: A woman rents out her forehead to be tattooed with the name of an online casino

Man Rents Billboard to Find a Wife: This post at My Urban Kvetch has started some interesting discussion on whether renting a billboard is or isn't an effective way to find a spouse. Come on over and participate in the conversation...

Hummus is Potentially Trayf: An argument over whether tehina used in making hummus is kosher if ground by a non-Jew.

Could Lead to Dancing: The Wednesday night Israeli dancing scene at the 92nd Street Y. (Postscript to this: a friend of mine went and said the scene was pathetic, so it's possible much of this article was spin.)

That's the egomaniacal Week in Me.

More undoubtedly to come...for which I apologize in advance.

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