All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Thursday, 29 November 2007

40 Reasons To Hate My Next Birthday

1. I'll be entering my fifth decade, nuff said about that one.

2. Twenty year olds will look at me mockingly.

3. I'll be the same age as John Lennon - when he was shot.

4. Next year, I'll be nine years away from 50.

5. Prostate problems. Need I expand on that one?

6. I'll never be able to put a 3 before my age. Depressing or what?

7. My friends who aren't yet 40 will have a good laugh at my expense.

8. My middle age spread will keep on heading east.

9. My wife and children won't let me forget my age, even if I try.

10. 50 year olds will tell me how lucky I am to be only 40, which sounds like a compliment but isn't one.

11. My libido will face new challenges.

12. I can forget having any fantasies about gorgeous young models. I might be 40, but I don't want to be a "dirty old man"

13. I'll start having to care about my pension.

14. I'll start longing for the 80's. which is frankly embarrassing.

15. My hair is black right now - but for how long?

16. People in their 40's die.

17. No-one over 40 ever gets called "young" anymore.

18. I'll be twice the age of 20. At least when I was 20, I didn't have an issue with being twice the age of 10.

19. I'll think of my contemporaries who are 40 and positively loaded. Depressing.

20. They say that "life starts at 40" but only because people feel so damn miserable about reaching this age.

21. My whole life will have been the equivalent in time to the Children of Israel wandering around the desert - and they wondered around for a long time (40 years in fact)

22. People will not only expect me to act maturely and responsibly, but will also be scandalized if I don't. I never had that problem in my 30's

23. I'll have to start watching my health. Did I mention that people die in their 40s?

24. When I was a kid, a forty year old was an old fart. Now I'm the one about to become 40...

25. When my dad was 40, I was only a baby. Now I have middle age spread (that's going eastwards. I think I'm already forgetting the ones I added above)

26. I actually remember my mother's 40th birthday. G-d I'm old.

27. My wife is nowhere near 40. I'm on my own here.

28. If I had another child now, I'd be over 50 when they would be batmitzvah (or barmitzvah, I should be so lucky)

29. 40 year old don't get classed as "young fathers".

30. I'll be a new category on some surveys (although I have a while to leave the 35-44 tick box)

31. I'll only be a quarter of a century away from retirement. At least last year, I was 26 years away.

32. Ditto with the bus pass.

33. Everyone under 40 who is reading this will make fun of me. Everyone over 40 will probably be insulted.

34. You can say that "40 is the new 3o" until you're blue in the face, but it's a lie. 40 is 40. Period.

35. If I were hitting 50, I'd still wish I was 30 instead of 40.

36. Being 40 sounds old, irrespective of how you say it. Even if a luscious blonde looked at me and told me that it wasn't so bad, it still would be (then again, if she were that pretty, I probably wouldn't argue too much)

37. When do teeth start falling out? I hear that it happens after you hit.....

38. Everyone will keep on reminding me that I'm hitting 40, even if they think I'm still 39.

39. People who don't know how old I am, will gasp when they realise that I'm 40. Then again, they'd probably behave the same way if I told them I was 38.

40. In just over 24 hours, I will no longer be 39. I guess that says it all.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

The Israel Russia Match

Israel beat Russia 2-1 in the Euro 2008 qualifier.


Friday, 16 November 2007

Al-Dura Trial: Exclusive Reaction From the Paris Courtroom

In 2000, France2, a highly respected news organisation broadcast the infamous footage of 12 years old Mohammed al-Dura, a Palestinian child, being supposedly shot dead by Israel as he cowered next to his father. It had been shot by a Palestinian cameraman.

The footage was of course seen around the world and Israel was, as usual, blamed for this "act of barbarity" against Palestinian children. Case closed. As a result of this incident, countless Israelis were butchered in numerous suicide attacks. Mohammed Al-Dura became a THE icon of the second intifada. His "martyrdom" was burned into the minds of little Palestinian children, who were told that Mohammed Al-Dura was a symbol of Israeli brutality.

However, it wasn't that clear-cut. An independant and thorough investigation was launched by the Israelis, which includee a ballistics check and it was found that the boy could not have been killed by the Israelis. If he had been killed at all.

Fast forward seven years and a course case is currently underway, whereby the veracity of the report under scrutiny in a French courthouse.

Here is a report that came out yesterday on
Judge for yourself what you think happened....

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

She Is My Daughter (And Forget The Maths Score Differential)

Dassi has managed to do it again. She scored 92% in her maths test and she's absolutely bowled me over in the pride stakes.

As someone who just about managed to scrape a "C" at 'O' Level arithmetic (and that was with a lot of help), I can only quiver in admiration and respect at her astounding score.

As the proper Jewish thing to do, with a result like that, I'm writing this blog to let everyone to know that she's my daughter - not that I had anything to do with her maths chromosome.

Blame her mother for that.

You Could NOT Make This Up

NEW DELHI (AP) -- A man in southern India married a female dog in a traditional Hindu ceremony in a bid to atone for stoning two dogs to death, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

P Selvakumar, left, garlands his "bride," Selvi.

The 33-year-old man married the sari-draped dog at a temple in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on Sunday after an astrologer said it was the only way to cure himself of a disability, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.

P. Selvakumar told the paper that he had been suffering since he stoned two dogs to death and strung them up in a tree 15 years ago.

"After that my legs and hands got paralyzed and I lost hearing in one ear," the paper quoted him as saying.

Family members chose a stray female dog named Selvi who was then bathed and clothed for the ceremony.

The groom and his family then had a feast, while the dog got a bun, the paper said.


Thursday, 8 November 2007

What Really Counts

Reading the news today, between the shooting in a Finnish school and Iran about to go nuclear (not forgetting the bloodbath in Afghanistan), one can understand that there isn't much to smile about.

Whereas I am just as glum as the next person (and I really am), there is only one piece of news that makes me even more depressed than any of the above.

In less than a month, I am going to be forty years old.


To make things worse, by an almost sadistic twist of fate, both my Hebrew and Gregorian birthdays fall on exactly the same day of the week that I was born - Shabbat.

I was born on Friday night, 1st December, corresponding with the 29th day of the month of Cheshvan, which just happens to fall tomorrow night. If that weren't bad enough, my birthday will fall this year on Saturday/Shabbat. Do you think the good Lord is trying to give me a message here?

I am depressed.

How the hell did I find myself on the threshold of my fifth decade? I mean, sod it, according to the Jewish calendar, I'm forty tomorrow night - although you won't be surprised to read that when it comes to my birthday, I suddenly cling onto the Gentile calendar with an almost unbreakable grip.

I am depressed.

Where did my thirties go? Why wasn't I born in 1975? Why couldn't my parents have been younger, allowing me to enter my thirty second year instead.


As I wrote in the last post, I recently hooked up with some old school buddies through Facebook and eagerly looked at their profiles to see if any of them had crossed my incoming threshold. To my dismay, they are nearly all disgustingly still 39. How dare they cling onto their the last year of their thirties whilst I go through that "avenue of no return"?

I am depressed.

For those of you who are over forty, or fifty, this probably sounds like the meanderings of a spoiled immature brat who doesn't want to face up to reality.



What's wrong with being immature?

Who says we have to act our age? Who says that I have to be any different at forty than I was at thirty nine?

I know that I'm not as fast as once was (and I was never that fast) and that my hair doesn't boast the same youthful thickness it did ten years ago, but why should being forty be such a well of depression? I bet that if you're reading this at thirty three, you're just laughing at my vanity and hyperbole.

...and they said writing things down makes you feel better. Yeah, well it doesn't!

Then again, if I were one of the victims of the Finnish massacre, hitting my fortieth birthday probably wouldn't have been an issue

Yes, I am about to forty. Yes, I am depressed, but hell, I'm still alive. I've got two healthy parents (until 120 years), a wife who smiles at me at least once a month and beautiful kids who seem to be happy to have me around (as long as I don't act my age).

It's all relative isn't it?

It is all relative.

Ok. You can life your head about the parapet because the rant is over for now.

Let me enjoy the last twenty four of my Jewish thirties and relish the rest of the month as an enthusiastic follower of the "other" calendar - the one that still allows me to put a "th" before my age.

I'll feel worse this time next week, so I suppose I should get the most that I can out of the remaining third of the month.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Wake up Cat

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Yes, I Have Changed (I Think)

My experience of Facebook has to date been only positive.

Every now and again I am contacted (or find) a person (usually a school friend) with whom I haven't been in touch with for ages, sometimes even decades. Living inside your own little bubble that is your life, one tends to forget that everyone else is also inhabiting their CO2 universe, merrily bubbling along the timeline of their existence.

People change. We all do but we often forget that others are still around, eking out their existence in totally different circumstances than your own. Yes, there are similarities as many have gone through university, got married and taken on the parental roles that we now all seem to wonder how we ever lived without.

Others have chosen different paths, but still we are all the same age as you, facing many of the same challenges that life seems to enjoy throwing your way. Before you realise it, it is twenty years since you saw so-and-so and that he or she didn't stay the same, as though frozen inside the slowly fading school photograph.

Just like you, they too have changed, but it often takes being in touch with them to realise that you are the not same spotty teenager you were when the two of you last spoke. It is unnerving, but strangely comforting.

Monday, 5 November 2007