Archive for the 'Holidays' Category

Happy Holidays

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Shama and I made a holiday card for all of our friends.  Enjoy.

Holiday Video Card from Shama Dardai on Vimeo.

Thinking of Otters

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Maybe it’s because I finally got around to seeing Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas (Thanks, Trevor), but I’ve had otters on my mind lately.   Silly otters.

Unable to pry them loose, I ended up painting my brother and his girlfriend otters for hanukah.  Here they are:



Looking at them together, the colors are a little early nineties.  I almost expect Fido Dido to make an appearance.  Ah well.  Here’s Emmet:

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Robot Santa Wants To Give You A Hug

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009


There is a long list of things I don’t understand about Christmas.  (What’s Myrrh?)  Add to that list the creepy robots currently residing in the Marshall Fields windows.  Goo!

Don’t Worry, We’re Eating Turkey Today

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

My parents have semi-retired to North Carolina.  At first they started going there on vacation; then they bought some land; then they built a cabin; now they’re there a lot.  

Our whole extended family was there for Thanksgiving this year.  On Thursday morning, anticipating overeating, I went jogging in the hills around the cabin.  

I learned that running in the mountains of North Carolina is much more tiring than running in Chicago.  I also learned that it’s kind of scary when you’re running and you encounter a herd of cows.  Those mofos are huge.  I also learned that when you run through said herd, you are very likely to step in a large pile of their leavings.

That was the only morning I went running in North Carolina.

A Friendship You Could Never Imagine

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

I threw together a last minute Halloween costume.  Can you guess who I was from the silhouette?

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A Very Important “I”

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Jimimininny Crickets! It’s Passover again — that time of year when Jews all over the world go on the Atkins diet for a week.

Last night was the second Seder, a long, fun, loud, ridiculous meal during which Jews retell the story of their Exodus from Egypt. The story is told by reading from a book called the Hagaddah. Often, the group goes around the table with each person reading a passage so everyone gets to participate.  Reading aloud can get a little tricky when Hebrew, Aramaic and English words are all sprinkled together… not to mention some difficult-to-pronounce names.  (Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah?)  It’s not uncommon for people to stumble over some of the words.

One passage discussed the peculiar absence of Moses from the Hagaddah:

Some suggest that Moses is intentionally marginalized in order to avoid any deification and to suggest that ultimately it is God who brought us out of Egypt, not Moses or any other human being.

Me: I’m glad I didn’t get that passage.
Aric: Yeah, there’s a very important “i” in “deification.”
Me: I definitely would have read that wrong.

Quelf In The Name of the Farm!

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Every Hanukkah someone usually gets someone else a board game.  Then, after lighting candles and stuffing our faces, we usually end up playing it. This year my dad got Kelly a game called “Quelf.” I can’t tell if it’s the best game ever or the worst.  I’m not even sure if it’s actually a game.

The rules are simple: roll dice, land on a colored square, draw a card with that color on it and do what the card says.

The problem is, there’s not really a point to the cards.  One card told me to build a snorkel out of household items before my next turn and wear it for the rest of the game.  Ummmmmm.  Okay.  Kelly had to sing “Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes” in a made-up language.  Whenever someone landed on a red square we were all required to shout, “Quelf in the name of the farm!”  Often after someone finished “playing” a card we’d all shrug and say, “Well, I guess you did it” as the dice were passed to the next person.

When game ended and we were all pretty glad… and a little sad.

And now, a picture of me, my homemade snorkel and a puppy:

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Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

At some point in my life I became a minimalist as far as the word “Hanukah” was concerned: No “C” one “N” and one “K.” Simple. Elegant. And, as far as I knew, an approved spelling. But now that Firefox has built-in spell checking, I’m told that “Hanukah” is actually misspelled. “Hanukkah” is the only approved spelling. “Chanukah?” Misspelled. “Hannukkah?” Misspelled. “Grabjorblart?” Misspelled.

As a result, I’ve actually changed my behavior. I hate those dotted red underlines so much that I now spell Hanukkah with two k’s. Happy 8th night of Hanukkah everyone! Take it away, LeeVees:

Pretty Lights

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

One of Columbia University’s best traditions (aside from Orgo Night) was the lighting of the trees along College Walk for the holidays. Michigan Avenue does it up okay, but the trees at Columbia were amazing. There were so many lights wrapped around every branch!

I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I sure like it a lot. I loved those lights and I love Christmas carols and I love It’s A Wonderful Life.

If I did celebrate Christmas, I’d definitely invest in some new LED Christmas lights. If you’re a Chicagoan, you can buy them at a discount from ComEd’s online store. Christmas lights are an ideal candidate for LEDs. Here are five reasons that have nothing to do with “saving the earth.”

  1. LEDs are naturally colorful. It’s only recently that a good white LED was created.
  2. Christmas lights are left on all the time. LEDs consume about 1/8th as much electricity as incandescents.
  3. Christmas lights don’t actually need to illuminate a room. LEDs aren’t actually that bright.
  4. They run a lot cooler than normal lights in case you’re putting them next to something flammable like, say, a tree.
  5. These days, they’re basically the same price as standard incandescent Christmas lights.

So there you go.

Cheer For Cherry Pie

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

My cousins from the Bay Area have been coming into town for the last couple thanksgivings. Like many families, we spend the weekend eating non stop, catching up, and playing games.  Last year I happened to have an XBox with Dance Dance Revolution on it so I brought it up to my parents’ house where we all could play. After my brothers and cousins and I sufficiently humiliated ourselves, we tried to get our grandma to give it a try. And wouldn’t you know it, she did.

I don’t think she really knew what was going on, but she had a big smile on her face as she poked the buttons randomly with her cane. I think she did better than my dad.

This thanksgiving, Guitar Hero was the game of choice.  All three of my living grandparents were there.  They weren’t big fans of the music, complaining that it was too noisy and they couldn’t understand the words.  They complained, that is, until Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” came on.  For some reason they all liked that song.

GRANDMA JANET: This one’s pretty.
GRANDMA BEVERLY: Cheer for cherry pie, Jerold!