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.

April 28, 2008

A tiny little division…

Filed under: entertainment,Family,funny,humor,Life Online,Parenting — howdoyoujew @ 15:13

…of a major corporate behemoth, I know, but it’s still a cool bunch of people. Some years ago, Hallmark set up Shoebox to create and market humorous greetings cards. They also had a website in the early days of the web called “Funny, but No” to show off card ideas that didn’t make it past the corporate suits. This feature was a favorite of mine way back when, and then it went away.

Then the web infiltrated popular culture totally, and people’s ideas of what was in bad taste shifted noticeably, so the feature is again available on the company’s blog (note that they’re even using the freely available Blogger rather than some fancy, costly, “professional” blog hosting thing).

One of the artists on staff at Shoebox, Brian (who is presumably one of the men in the photograph on the right here), and Brian recently became a dad. I know this because Brian is cartooning his new life as the father of an infant and capturing the experience brilliantly. To wit:
how being a parent is like the ending of a bad slasher film

Check out more of Brian’s work.

February 8, 2008

Blasphemy has never been so funny.

The thing about Israelis is, they we are equal opportunity offenders.
Christians? No problem:
If Mary had been a modern Israeli woman (5 MB WMV download)

Chasidic and other ultra-orthodox Jews? We got you covered:

I’m sure there’s plenty of stuff out there to cover Muslims and others, too, but I’ll leave it to others to find (and point me to, of course).

February 6, 2008

What do we want? CHANGE! When do we want it? NOW!

Filed under: Commentary,entertainment,funny,humor,music,Politics,satire,video — howdoyoujew @ 16:26

Who’s gonna make it happen? EVERYBODY!

well, at least I know that when I go to Washington I’ll be able to get some change.

January 15, 2008

Geeky Comedic Genius

Filed under: funny,humor,movies,sci-fi,video — howdoyoujew @ 15:56

I first became aware of British standup comedian Eddie Izzard some years ago when a friend of mine online kept using the phrase “jeezy creezy” in place of Jesus Christ. Since then, I’ve enjoyed his material on TV and in a few movies, and now, thanks to a Youtube user with too much time on his hands, here is a fabulous routine with accompanying Lego animation:

December 19, 2007

Coincidence? Perhaps…

Filed under: entertainment,fun,humor,Life Online,sci-fi,technology,television,video — howdoyoujew @ 22:59

1. At a party over the weekend, I met Mark Christopher Lawrence, a prolific actor who’s currently appearing in NBC’s prime-time hit Chuck. I don’t usually drop names, but then, I don’t usually run into successful actors, either.

I’d never watched Chuck, mostly because I haven’t been watching much TV at all, but I’d heard of it and liked the concept, and…

2. The next day, I got in on the private beta of Hulu.com, the video on demand site backed by NBC and Fox. Conveniently enough, Chuck is one of the shows available pretty much in its entirety on Hulu, so I checked out the pilot, and liked it enough that I’m now totally into the show. I’ve watched the first 4 episodes, and I’ll catch up on the rest before the writers’ strike ends.

I love it when a plan comes together.

By the way, did I mention that some of the other shows available on Hulu are The A-Team, Airwolf, Emergency!, and Battlestar Galactica (both incarnations, thank you!)? It’s like a little TV playground created just for me and all my raised-on-cheesy-80s-television brethren and sistern. Yay!

December 17, 2007

The law of averages

It’s just a fact. When you make something like 800 over 1,000 movies a year, they’re not all going to be classics. And when you make music videos from the songs in some of those movies, some of them are going to be so laughably bad that they’ll provide untold oodles of entertainment (“untold oodles”? Is that even a quantifiable amount?). Thanks to Matthew Rebecca from sporky.net, whose husband, Matthew, provided me with the delightfully random NaBloPoMo badge you see at top of the sidebar now, I just grooved to Ganpat. As Matthew Rebecca put it,

It’s nice to know we’re not the only country embracing stupidity.

Amen.

Matthew Rebecca himherself was turned on this work of art by NPR).

edited to fix the entry based on new information (see Rebecca’s comment below).

December 15, 2007

The Meaning of Chanukah

Filed under: entertainment,funny,humor,Jewish holidays,Life Online,religion,video — howdoyoujew @ 22:54

In the interest of equal time, please enjoy this utterly inappropriate bit of Chanukah cheer from South Park, and the lovely musical stylings of acclaimed musical genius Adam Sandler: The Chanukah Song, Parts 1, 2, and 3.

November 27, 2007

Professional development/putting myself out there

Filed under: education,history,humor,Israel,SDSU,technology,UCSD,work — howdoyoujew @ 23:48

Last week I participated in an IT Careers Panel organized by our colleagues across town at the UCSD Career Services Center. There were three other panelists (all UCSD alums), and a whopping TWO students attended. So, yeah, it wasn’t a resounding success in terms of attendance, but the two students who were there sure got lots of personal attention and customized advice from all of us. I was honored to be included (thanks, Bobbie, Craig, etc.!)

This afternoon I taught the second-to-last session of my University Seminar, an introduction/orientation to Career Services, and this evening I taught my Hebrew High class, the 12th Grade Seminar (we began a unit on dealing with Israel issues, anti-Zionism, and the like on college campuses).

I love an audience, but public speaking engagements depend a lot on the audience’s reaction, and I’ve had very different responses along the way (tonight’s Hebrew High class was great; the University Seminar class, not so much). For me, the more reactive and participatory the audience (whether they’re responding to my questions or laughing at my jokes), the better. I still remember the first time I got a feel for working a crowd, delivering my bar-mitzvah speech. I had some native Hebrew-speaking guests, and I inserted a section of Hebrew into the middle of my speech. When I switched back to English, my first words were, “Hi! I’m back!” and I got a nice laugh (which I wasn’t really expecting, frankly). I got such a rush out of that, and have used that as motivation in driving my public speaking ever since. I fed off the energy of my audiences in high school speech & debate (and yes, I’m aware that the people in the photo banner at the top of the page look like they’re in a SNL sketch), and I continue to do so these days, when I present at the occasional conference or speak about Israel or other topics I’m passionate about.

I’m available for weddings, birthdays, and bar-mitzvahs. Thank you, thank you… try the salmon!

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 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.

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