How Do You Jew An educational, informational, conversational blog and (someday) podcast about Judaism, Jewish practices, customs, and rituals, Israel, and whatever else we decide to talk about.

December 17, 2011

Count your blessings

Tonight I get to go to sleep in my own bed, next to my wife, my only concern being how soon one of my children will wake up and need some attention (at worst, we’re talking a couple of times overnight, none of which are likely to kill me).

Meanwhile, at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Grammy Phyllis lays in a hospital bed, her body ravaged by a ruthless disease and bombarded by the medications the world’s greatest medical minds have devised to fight that disease.

I have a long post in my head about how I came to share my lifeblood with Grammy and her family, but I still need to flesh it out. For now, a bit over 24 hours before my stem cells are infused into her body, I’ll ask that you pray for her health (or, if prayers aren’t your thing [I’m looking at you, Jon], send healing thoughts and vibes her way). Take your inspiration from this epic piece of artwork which I commissioned from the oh-so-talented Ethan Nicolle. That’s me on the left, joining forces with Axe Cop (background, Episode 1) to rid humanity of the Big C once and for all. Wish us (and Grammy Phyllis) luck.

Me & Axe Cop ready to kick cancer's ass

Original, 1-of-a-kind commissioned piece of art featuring me and Axe Cop

June 22, 2008

High time

Filed under: Blogging,Good News,Podcasting,webcomics — howdoyoujew @ 22:38

It’s high time I updated my theme anyway.
It’s high time I went to bed for the night.
It’s party time because I recovered my blog!!! Hooray!

Coming up: Official posting of HDYJ podcast episode 1, to be followed shortly by episode 2; review of Beards of Our Forefathers; a new theme for the site; and news about our exciting summer.
Stay tuned!

February 15, 2008

Cyanide & Happiness strikes again

Filed under: entertainment,funny,satire,webcomics — howdoyoujew @ 10:18

I mentioned this webcomic once or twice before, always noting that it’s sick and twisted and usually hilarious. But today’s smack at one of the election’s hot button topic is truly…well, look:
Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

January 25, 2008

Friday hilarity

Filed under: entertainment,fun,funny,Life Online,movies,Parenting,video,webcomics — howdoyoujew @ 17:13

First, thanks to my silly brother-in-law Dave for this collection of important advice about taking care of babies. Some highlights:
Feeding your baby - Do & Don't
Playing with your Baby - Do & Don't

Next, thanks to my always-reliable father for sacrificing the copious amounts of free time on his hands precious moments in between looking for work to pass along these fantastic finds from Youtube:
First, from the also always-reliable Firesign Theater, a name forever carved into my mind from my days of performing humorous interp pieces in high school speech & debate competitions: Revenge of the Non-Smokers

Then, this inspired piece of work uploaded, somewhat inexplicably, by some San Jose Sharks fan: The Downfall of the Cowboys

And finally, thanks to one of my favorite webcomic artists, David Malki (!), is this hilarious look inside the evil world domination industry: Expendable

November 15, 2007

Another worthy webcomic

Filed under: Family,Good News,Health,humor,life cycle,technology,video,webcomics — howdoyoujew @ 16:36

Technically, Last Kiss is also a traditional comic, since it appears weekly in the Seattle Times, but John Lustig deserves the recognition anyway. He also distributes bonus strips via his email list, and his “gimmick,” if I may call it that, is a hoot:

Sure it’s schlock! But…

In late 1987, Charlton Comics was selling off the rights to all its comic books. By then, most of the “good stuff” had already been sold. What was left were series and genres (war, romance, western and horror) that had little appeal to modern American comic book fans—most of whom were only interested in superhero comics. Despite that, I had a vague idea that it might be possible to do something with the Charlton material.

For $400 I bought all rights to First Kiss – a 40-issue romance series published from 1957 to 1965. I took a gamble and bought the series sight unseen. It was the series with the most issues for the least amount of money. And I pretty much got what I paid for – schlock!

Oh, it had some good art too – stuff by Dick Giordano, Vince Colletta, Jon D’Agostino and others. But Charlton paid the lowest rates in comic books to its creators and to make a living artists and writers had to churn out stories very quickly. Speed was more important than quality.

And so, despite editor Pat Masulli’s pledge to readers on the first page of the series, First Kiss fell far short of being “the finest of the magazines dealing with affairs of the heart.” Instead, it was often shoddy and almost always quirky. Some stories (notably “Campus Crush” the first story in the first issue of First Kiss) don’t make much sense. Despite the now-quaint, 1950’s morality of these stories, there’s a nightmarish quality to many of them. Primary First Kiss writer Joe Gill was working much too fast to worry much about keeping characters consistent and logical. Anything can happen in First Kiss stories.

I guess that’s why I find them so entertaining.

The latest bonus from John prompted me to write him a quick fan/thank you note, based on my own experience with raising awareness and funds for cancer cures, and my personal involvement with saving a cancer patient’s life (have I mentioned that before?).

November 14, 2007

Linking, reading, commenting, calendaring, working, relaxing

Filed under: Blogging,Family,Life Online,movies,productivity,technology,webcomics,work — howdoyoujew @ 23:03

I have to go back to my webcomics post from the other day to add links.

I have to let my family and friends know I’m updating the blog regularly and I’d appreciate it if I got some readers and comments.

I have an account with Gootodo, a terrific web-based to-do list application created by Mark Hurst, who I’m proud to know. I have to start using gootodo more, and more efficiently. The week of the wildfires was more disruptive than I previously thought, so this week and next (which is short due to the Thanksgiving holiday) are busier and more packed than usual. I got an account with Jott, too, which I’ve used a couple of times and like, and it might be helpful in conjunction with gootodo: think of something I need to do, and if I’m not in front of a computer, call Jott with a reminder to add the item to gootodo. So far I’ve been using my Treo‘s calendar for personal reminders, but I need a system for work stuff.

I have to stop feeling guilty for watching fluff like Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer when I want to veg out and relax at the end of a long day. I’m going to try to offset the fluff with stuff I should have seen already, like Network (Blockbuster’s one copy was checked out when I went the other day, so it’ll wait) and Say Anything (waiting for me and Jenn to find time together).

Hey, I’m glad we had a chance to have this little talk. It’s been really helpful! Thanks!

November 7, 2007

Comics 2.0

Filed under: fun,humor,Life Online,technology,webcomics — howdoyoujew @ 23:54

I’m pretty tired of the 2.0 thing, but I figure it’s good for search engine bots, and I’m not above using the technology to my advantage.

The first section I always used to turn to in the paper (and still do on the rare occasions I read a newspaper) is the comics. A couple of years ago, because I no longer had access to a newspaper regularly, I started reading my favorite comic strips online. They included (and still include, to some degree, in no particular order except the order in which they come to mind):

These are just the current strips (that is, ones that are still being produced) I was into. Of course, I was and remain a devoted fan of Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side (thank you to my lovely wife for the complete boxed set of the latter as last year’s Chanukah present). Still, that’s not a long list, and that’s primarily because comics…well… most of them suck. And the business model of the syndicate business newspaper comics artists are forced into sucks (I actually paid for a year of access to King Features’ Daily Ink so I could read my favorites online, but it finally dawned on me that paying $15 to some conglomerate to read three or four comic strips was absurd).

Around the time I had this epiphany, I somehow discovered some web comics, including Sheldon, which at the time was itself syndicated, but which shortly after I started reading went exclusively online. Since then, I’ve amassed a hearty catalog of comics I read pretty much every day (or every day they’re published, whichever is more frequent), to wit:

Anyway, you get the idea – look how long that list is, and look at the variety of subject matter and diversity of artwork in that group. This tiny list is not even scratching the surface of what’s out there; it’s simply all I have time for in my day. The best part of being a webcomics fan is the relationship every reader can develop with the artists/writers. I’ve exchanged emails with several of the artists responsible for the comics on my list, and I look forward to meeting many of them at ComicCon next year.

Go explore the webcomics universe. I guarantee there’s something out there to match your unique sensibilities.

*Note: I will add links to all the comics at another time. It’s too late right now and I have to get to bed. Done.

July 12, 2007

Random thoughts

I ought to be blogging more. edited to add: and I ought to fix/edit my sidebar contents.

I had a productive day at work today, with a “third time’s a charm” situation regarding videotaping a presentation given by our esteemed young employer relations specialist and a rep from SDG&E. Then the day was made more productive by a quick, off-the-cuff conversation with our bright associate director as I was on my way out of the office for the day. It’s very true that a great deal of learning (if not most of it) is accomplished outside the classroom, and that holds true for work as well – some of the most innovative, helpful ideas are reached not during formal “work” time, but in these side conversations, at informal networking happy hours, etc.

Hadarya was a little ornery this afternoon/evening, after a lovely time at the swimming pool. She was fine in the pool, but then didn’t have much of an appetite at dinner, then was very unhappy in the bath, which is extraordinarily odd for her. She went down for the night a little later than usual (with Ima), but has been sleeping soundly for the last couple of hours, so I’m looking forward to a good day tomorrow (end of her second week at the excellent SDSU Children’s Center).

I’m frustrated at the lack of time I think I have for things like updating our flickr site, blogging and podcasting, and other “leisure” activities, but I also know it’s more a matter of time management than actually not having the time. I wonder if Avraham’s sending me this link earlier today was a bit of divine intervention? I don’t know if I need the additional tool, having become a Bit Literacy junkie, but I’ll be examining my options more closely.

Having just written that (after a break for a family obligation that we’ll talk about another time), and having read a bit of Steve Pavlina’s stuff, I realize that this site and blog can serve as my vehicle for journaling, with the added benefit (?) of having other people chime in on my goals, activities, and writing, something that may serve as an additional incentive to improve myself.

I really want to go to Comic-Con this month. I’ve wanted to go for a few years, and this year, as a fan of a bunch of webcomics whose creators will be here in town for the festivities, I feel it’s the right first time. I want to take Hadarya, because I think it’ll be awesome-sauce to have some of the artists I enjoy so much sketch her now (and when we return in the coming years, as I hope to). So this weekend I’ll try to figure out if I can still get in, how much it’ll cost, and check with my better half as to the feasibility of this venture.

Most daunting part of this post? Going back and adding all the links.

July 5, 2007

I swear, this is the last one.

Filed under: funny,humor,webcomics — howdoyoujew @ 14:25

This is the kind of laser eye surgery I want:

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Comics that aren’t for kids

Filed under: funny,humor,webcomics — howdoyoujew @ 11:34

I have a whole list of webcomics I read daily (I’ll post the whole list another time), or at least as often as I get into my Google Reader account, but I just discovered this one today via RGS, and added it to the list. This is the most innocuous of the bunch – as the title of this post suggests, this is not a kid-friendly comic strip, unless your kid swears like a sailor/truck driver/surly character of choice and has a severely morbid sense of humor.

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Hmmm. What does it say about me, then, that I really enjoy this?

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