Not Chosen, Just Posin'

I just got a job with a Jewish magazine. I'm not Jewish. They think I am.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I completely forgot it was Halloween until I got on the train this morning and saw some chick wearing a flourescent pink tutu with polka dot leggings. I thought to myself, "What the hell is she wearing?" Then it occurred to me.

When I arrived, OrthoJew's husband was dropping her off. He had on a crown and red cloak. She was dressed as some ancient princess thing.
I lied to her and told her she looked good. She said, "Thanks, I'm Esther and my husband's Ahasuerus." I thought Madonna was Esther, but seeing as how Madonna is so symbolic and deep, I figured there had to be much more to this whole Esther story so I didn't ask who she was. (I've since looked it up, and that's the only reason I know how to spell her husband's name). By the way, I despise couples that dress up in matching sets. Tell me: Why do they feel compelled to do this?

The Silent Designer wasn't dressed up, but I wouldn't expect that of him.

The Other Designer, who has taken to sulking lately and is no longer kissing the Publisher's ass to get a promotion, has a Freddie Kruger tie on with a trucker hat.

The Girl with the Annoying Long Island Accent is wearing one of those $3 plastic outfits for kids. She's a Care Bear.

The Publisher's Wife is also some kind of Princess or Fairy Godmother concoction, although I think she's more suited for some horns and a tail. I've taken to altering her outfit as I see fit.

The Publisher is Groucho Marx (kind of). He's wearing the mustache and glasses. No dancing, no soundless singing, no nothin'. I have to admit, I feel a bit jipped.

The Secretary who Reeks of Cigarettes decided not to stink today.

When asked why I wasn't dressed up, I thought to myself, "Every day is Halloween for me. I need a day off for Christ's sakes. Plus, you guys look like a bunch of assholes."

What I said, of course, is a different story: "Forgot it was Halloween. Didn't get the memo," bla, bla, bla.

All of this brings me to a very important question: What happened to girls dressing up like whores on Halloween? Princesses and Fairy Godmothers are sweet and all, but whores are always the best option. I think it was them who didn't get the memo. In the future, please remember that with just a minor amount of work any Halloween outfit can be made whorish:

Exhibit A: The Sexy Care Bear. Compare this to the first Care Bear. Big difference, eh? Make a mental note and don't fail me next year. I'm creating a new motto: When in doubt, dress like a whore. It's that easy.

I mean, Esther? Sheesh.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Trashcan by my desk. Friday.

Thanks to the few of you who wrote me to ask if I got fired. A good guess, but my absence is a little less exciting. An hour after arriving at work on Friday I started throwing up into the trashcan by my desk. My face turned white, my head was spinning, all of that good stuff. I'm going to take a stab at it and say that it was probably an effect of getting no sleep yet still forcing myself to get up at 5 a.m. every morning to work on the book and so forth. Yes, I feel very sorry for myself and I'm full of excuses right now. If you think this is bad, you should get a load of the email I just sent to the agent explaining why this whole full time job thing is getting in the way of my life. He is equally sympathetic.

On that note, here's the Link of the Week:

Basically, anyone who is in love with me like
Murph112, has stellar taste and should certainly be commended. Plus, she's willing to wear this outfit, which earns her a gold star.

In other news, I put a tupperware container full of arugula in the kitchen refrigerator and who should make a comment about it but OrthoJew? Using her highly selective lack of reasoning, OrthoJew picked it up, assumed it wasn't mine, made some ugly face and said, "Wow, someone brought spinach."

"It's mine, but it's not spinach. It's arugula. You don't like spinach?" I responded, pretending that I even slightly care about her produce preferences.
"I do, but people shouldn't be eating it right now."
"No, the whole scare was over a few weeks ago. You can eat it now."
"They're not serving it in any restaurants."
"Funny. I just had it the other day. Spinach Paneer at an Indian place."
"Well, I like it but I don't want to die."
"I'm still alive."

This is what conversations are like with her. Well, that and this:

"Oh, the Publisher's not here?" She asks while standing at the door of his empty office. I'm wondering if she just wants to hear herself talk because clearly he's not here.
"No, he left."
"When you say he left, do you mean that he left like he was going to the bathroom or that he was leaving for a while?"
"Honey, I'm just not that deep. If I say he left, he left."

Corresponding with OrthoJew really is this painful. I came in today with a headache and thought that I wasn't in the mood to make fun of OrthoJew. I was wrong.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Here's the rest of the story surrounding the muffin eating frenzy that occurred this morning. As all of us (minus the Publisher's Wife), were standing around eating the muffins that our new hero brought in this morning. The Publisher overheard me and the Silent Designer talking about my girlfriend. The Silent Designer asked me if she was Jewish and I said "no," because she's not and, hey, I'm not one to lie about these things.

Here, the Publisher, who seemed to be quite jovial after seeing his wife humiliated like so, decides that I have to date a Jewish girl. "The shiksas are pretty and all, but, well you know." I didn't say anything about how happy he seemed to be with his non-Shiksa wife because I'm just not that cruel.

Then, the Publisher did that thing where he says he's got someone for me. Never have I seen so much of this as I have since I started working here. My family and friends have never tried to hook me up with anyone. Nor have I ever heard of any of my friends trying to match up their friends with acquaintances, etc... I hear it all the time here. I even hear some of the single girls voicing the fact that they want to be set up, which I find odd, but different strokes for different folks and all that.

Anyway, he goes on to tell me that I could have a whole harem to choose from if I want. My mind is suddenly wandering. This could be very nice. My dream Harem would be very similar to my Dream Sukkah: Full of Japs; dancing around, feeding me grapes, trying to impress me with their funny jokes, shaking of their hips and scents of Myrrh.

Darling, you wouldn't believe it. I have to stay late at work tonight...

I just went to visit my Jewish doctor (three hours!) and he sucked the blood out of me. Irony?

Put a Prada purse on this thing and the resemblance is simply uncanny...

There's a guy who works here who I've never mentioned due to the fact that his purpose is yet to be determined. His title is "controller," but he sits in a little windowed room all day and sleeps. Not just a mild sleep, but a snoring one (my contempt for him was certainly heightened these past few days since I couldn't sleep if my life depended on it).

Every now and then he'll walk around and try to strike up conversations, which is pretty annoying considering we're all working.

I'm only giving you this abridged bio so I can tell you what he did this morning. I should add that he instantaneously gained an office-wide stamp of approval for this display:

He brought in a tray of muffins and placed them in the kitchen. He sent out an email to tell everyone they were there, but as the troops were heading in, he told the Publisher's wife....wait for it....."You can't have any because your ass is too big."

She didn't take a muffin.

Let me savor this moment for a minute and I'll return with another story shortly...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm the guy in the middle.

Oh yeah, I wasn't trying to be mysterious about going to Philly. The reason I went was for a spot on a news network. It was about ____, which doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the magazine, but the PR girl managed to position us, and in particular, me, as an expert on the subject. In return, we got to flash the cover of the magazine on the station for approximately 4 seconds along with our website URL. Apparently the station broadcasts into 9 million homes (meaning probably more like 4 million). That's impressive and all, but the Green Room sucked. No food, no alcohol, only coffee, tea and water. This reminds me, I need to convince the Publisher to add a Green Room here. Then we could invite guests in for interviews, get them sauced and get way better material out of them. I'll tell him it will make for better content.

Getting this segment was great, considering our last one got canceled due to John Mark Karr stealing all available television spots.

Anyway, for a 6 minute spot, I was gone 6 hours. The PR girl came with and afterwards we went to a pub to grab dinner while waiting for the train. When the waitress came over to take our drink orders, the PR girl gave me the ever popular "Are you gonna do it?" look, to which I replied in kind: "Grey Goose rocks." She ordered some Syrah.

I ordered mashed potatoes and gravy and after just a couple sips of wine, the PR girl was digging into my mashed potatoes with her fork. This was pretty cool considering how conservatively people tend to act when doing anything business related. Then again, our crew isn't the most conservative bunch of people. Evidently we were loud when we got on the train because the ticket guy had to come around and remind us that we were in the "Quiet Car."

There really is no peak/point to the story. I suck today and I really don't care. Last night was the third night in a row without sleep. Usually I look forward to posting, but right now I'm just going through the motions.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

If you have nothing nice to say...

I wasn't going to post today because, quite frankly, I'm way too damn tired. My roommate just got two flea-infested kittens that have not only left bites all over my face and chest, but they are also provoking an allergic reaction that renders it impossible to get any sleep due to constant itching. I didn't sleep at all last night and I look like a monster today. The Silent Designer greeted me today like this:

"Nice zit, dude."
"Not a zit. Fleabite."
"Yeah right."

I've been staring at the screen all day hoping that it will do my work for me. So far that hasn't happened (but wouldn't it be cool if it did?)

Anyway, the reason I am suddenly motivated to write something is because my boss just emailed me about a post OrthoJew put on the blog.
She put a post up sometime yesterday and has received no comments on it, which, in all honesty, isn't a big deal. Our work blog doesn't get much traffic (it's just not that interesting) and each post is lucky to get one comment -- maybe two on a spectacular day. I like to keep it current though, just in case there is someone who actually likes it. That said, I asked OrthoJew to post in my place yesterday since I had to go to Philly. About an hour ago she emailed the Publisher to tell him that she hadn't received any comments so obviously we need to promote the blog better. The Publisher then emailed me to ask me if I thought we were promoting it well enough. He also wanted me to send out an email to everyone excluding OrthoJew to tell them to make sure to leave comments and post regularly so that it would look as if we have more traffic than we do. Finally, he told me that he had left a comment on OrthoJew's post to make her feel better. Obviously I rushed over to check it out:

"What a wonderful post! You are an excellent writer."

That's not obvious at all. This goes way beyond writing one's own Letters to the Editor.

As a brief, heartfelt aside...that was pretty nice of him. He's a way better person than I am. This is pretty much the equivalent of your mom sending you an anonymous Valentine's day card because she knows no one likes you. On that note, I'm off to leave a rude comment.

P.S. I plan to stop bashing OrthoJew sometime in the near future. I just have to find a replacement.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Okay, so here's the question that came up this weekend.

My good friend - also a NYC blogger who wishes to remain anonymous for fear that if word gets out that we know eachother, she might uncontrollably blab my name to the wrong person at the wrong time - has somewhat of an identity crisis. Her mother comes from a Jewish lineage, her father does not and although her mother wasn't necessarily raised Jewish, she converted to Christianity. So, in effect, my friend essentially grew up Christian but always recognized her Jewish roots, saying she would raise her children Jewish, etc...

However, whenever she tells Jewish people her background, their reactions are split. Either they go straight by heritage and agree that my friend is indeed Jewish, or they go by her rearing and don't accept her as Jewish. Her problem isn't necessarily the latter. Her problem is Scarlett Johansson.

You see, Scarlett Johansson's mother was raised in a Jewish family, but is atheist. Also, Scarlett does not publically share her personal religious beliefs. Yet, she is fully embraced by the Jewish community because she's a) The Sexiest Women Alive according to Esquire and a few rabbis, and b) She's famous.

So what my friend (and I) want to know is whether or not she has to become famous in order to be accepted or if maybe y'all can extend the love to everyone equally? Let's just make a decision on this one, right here, right now.

Again, here's what we're dealing with:

Mother's family is Jewish
Mother doesn't practice Judaism
Daughter is/is not Jewish?

I mean, come on, it's a bit cheesy to be so easily swayed by fame, fortune and a great ass, wouldn't ya say? Okay fine, the ass got me too.

Link of the Week (Belated):

As you know, Link of the Week is a new feature that recognizes sites that have phenomenal taste in reading material, i.e. sites that dig my blog.

Daily Jews is the most recent in a long, long, long lineage of such sites.

I'm going to be in Philly for the day (more on that later), so my daily post will have to go up tonight. I'm going to pose a question that my good friend brought up this weekend. I think she has a valid concern and I need your insight, so come back later and help? For now, read Daily Jews.

Oh yeah, SuperJew versus OrthoJew shirts will be here this week!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Everybody who reads the magazine has the option to critique us by sending in a letter.

On that note:

If only Zabar's had a 'Letters to the Editor' section.

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Dear Zabar's,

Your customer service team sucks (especially the chick in Lane 3). The only kind of fresh fish you carry is Salmon and your aisles are way too narrow.

The only reason I overlook these facts is because your store is absolutely swarming with the finest delicacy of all: Japs.

Actually why don't you tell the deli to put one on ice for me while I run to the ATM? If you're wondering if everybody knows that the deli only accepts cash because you're looking for a tax break, the answer is yes. We're onto you, but again, your Jap selection is unparalleled. So, well...

Your most loyal shopper,

I don’t work at Heeb.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Get me kosher wine, now!"

"Oh yeah. Totally on top of that one."

This is to say that, yep, OrthoJew's married. I saw a picture of her and some troll-lookin' dude on her desk as I walked out tonight.

"I didn't know OrthoJew had a twin," I said to the Silent Designer.
He laughed.
"I thought the same thing! Then I found out it was her husband."
"Poor sap."

Last night I hung out with a friend from college. He works in the city as an art director at another magazine. When I was looking for a job I asked him about openings at his magazine, but there was nothing. That's probably a good thing though because the owners there make the Publishers here look not only sane, but completley functional. This is saying a lot.

He told me that the editorial staff at his office was considering walking out last week because their paychecks have been late two times. Every other Friday their boss hands them their checks, but tells them they can't cash them until Tuesday. And, when they do cash them, they have to do it at the bank from which they were drawn, etc... Stuff like that.

Anyway, point of the story: He thinks the current editor is going to leave any day now and asked me if I'd be interested in the position. He's already mentioned me to his boss, etc... My immediate reaction was interest, but then I thought about it and,

At this point, he reminded me that I have to pretend I'm Jewish at this magazine. I countered that I don't really feel that way anymore. He finds the situation pretty odd. I reminded him that he gets a piece of paper with a dollar amount on it every Friday but can't do anything with it until Tuesday. I find that situation pretty odd.

Thanks anyway, though.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Last night I made the mistake of going out for drinks after work. One of the girls I work with got a raise and a promotion, so we went to celebrate. The Publisher (who was only on a day trip, not to Detroit as I originally suspected/hoped) came along and bought the first round.

I felt horrible all day yesterday and ate Aspirin for lunch, so my blood was thin and was, or was not, ready for the alcohol, depending on how you view the situation. I ordered a gin rocks (you know, to keep it light) and the others ordered their respective drinks. Everyone, that is, except OrthoJew, who, instead decided to drill the bartender about kosher alcohol. The bartender had no clue what was kosher or not and was clearly annoyed. He replied something along the lines of, "This is your religion, not mine. You should know this stuff." I blatantly tipped him a few bucks extra after that.

"I do know this stuff," she said. "I just don't want beer right now and don't feel like drinking vodka. You should have at least one bottle of kosher wine around, don't you think?"

"Sure," he said, and walked away.

As if to make some kind of a point, OrthoJew didn't order anything, not even a water. She just sat there and sulked. I don't know if this makes her an annoying attention-seeker or just self-righteous. Whatever point she was trying to make was not made, and an effect of her not making said point, peoples' spirits were dragged down, albeit temporarily, of course.

Anyhow, I ignored her, finished my drink and ordered a "Bloody Maria," a drink which sounds a lot more dainty than it is. It's a Bloody Mary with tequilla instead of vodka for those of you who don't speak Spanish. I rarely order these, but tend to do so when I'm sick due to their perceived nutritional value. Similar to drinking a V-8, or so I like to believe.

Usually I can drink a lot more than this, but I don't even remember going to bed last night. I woke up feeling horrible, but not in the same way I have been the last couple of days. I felt/feel hungover. From two drinks. The feeling actually reminded me of something my dad used to say when I complained about pain (for instance, if I had a stomach ache): "Well if you want, I'll punch you in the face and that will make you forget about your stomach ache." I guess it's true. My hangover is the equivalent of getting punched in the face to forget about my flu, or whatever it is that I have.

Someone should have punched OrthoJew last night to make her forget about whatever it was that was ailing her. I mean that in a nice way, of course.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It was a lot brighter than this...

I've been sick the last couple of days and think I'm getting the grunt of it today. There are a couple schools of thought on the subject of showing up to work sick. 1). You are a good employee, 2). Get the hell out of here before you get me sick.

While I don't want to get anyone sick, I have a ton to accomplish today. So, this morning I crushed up some Vitamin C into a powder, added honey and ate it off the spoon like my grandma has always done. It's not working, but it was pretty yummy.

Anyway, my mind's all over the place, which means my post is just going to be a collage of randomness today. If ever there was a post to skip, it's this one.

-I recommended one of my Brooklyn photographer friends for a freelance job about a month ago and we used him. (He's one of the few freelancers who actually got paid). Yesterday, the Publisher's Wife and I were trying to think of who to use for an upcoming shoot and his name came up. Her response: "He's in denial." Meaning, she thinks that he likes guys, even though he dates girls. She wouldn't be the first to think this, but it was great to hear her insult someone besides the people in this office. She's an equal opportunity shit-talker.

-Someone asked me why my site was puke green the other day. I wouldn't call it puke green, per se, maybe more the color of a tree in a cartoon or something. Anyway, there IS a reason my site is green and it's a pathetic one, so don't laugh: Back in college, I spent my summers working in the banquet department of a hotel. I always remembered a Jewish wedding that I worked at because the bride was wearing a green silk dress the color of my site. I thought that it was a tradition for Jewish women to wear green when they got married. I mean, why else would she have chosen that color, right? Anyway, that said, I thought green was a Jewish color and that's why my site is green. Can we change the subject?

This is so wrong.

-Someone sent me this picture and a link. The site is pretty funny and so are the shirts--even though the only one I am qualified to buy is from the "Gentile File." It's white with one word across the chest: Hick. I'd say that's pretty accurate.

- I announced the following on my myspace page, but thought I should share it with those of you who aren't on myspace (After all, I wasn't even on it until last week):

Some crazy agent thought that I was observant and witty enough (smart, sexy and clever, too) to pull off a book about my experience here. He's totally right. I'm a sexy beast. I originally thought to write it as a straight memoir, but only fiction can do justice to the characters I’ve met, seeing as how they aren't interesting enough to fill an entire book. I plan to give each one of them a better personality (starting with OrthoJew) and to weave in an entertaining storyline. If ever there was a personality plastic-surgeon, it's me. I could make millions doing this in reality. I can't tell you much about the book at this point (because there's not much to tell), but I will say that it will be full of Jewish love and humor. Dry humor, that is. It's the best kind. Oh yeah, it won't be a "blog book" either. Those tend to suck. I'll give you updates frequently.

-The Publisher is out of town today (Detroit? ), so there's a possibility that all this work I have to do will be bypassed in favor of a nap on my desk.

Normal posting will resume if the Vitamin C ever kicks in.

Monday, October 16, 2006

...and other things I should have hidden before having the Silent Designer and the girl with the new British flag-laden mini-cooper over the other night for drinks. (I got to ride in her new car, by the way. People stared at us as if we were 40 clowns getting out of a Hot Wheels-sized car. There were only three of us. I just thought it was cool to not be in a cab or on the subway).

I must be getting too comfortable with my position at the mag because I left out all of my Catholic paraphernalia, so to speak, on Saturday night. I'm not ashamed of my upbringing by any means, but I don't want bad blood between me and my new friends. That's another thing, it's weird that I'm now hanging out with these people and feel that I can't tell them the truth.

While I'm past the point of thinking that I would get fired if people found out I'm not Jewish, I would hate for everyone to feel like they could no longer trust me. I never actually voiced the words "I am Jewish," to anyone (well, except for the publisher during our interview), but I've certainly played along in kind. Blaming my knick-knacks on my roommate and my odd decorating style don't further my case any better either. On that note, I started off with my explanation for the rosary, "it's my roommate's." Next,

...I think they're cool-looking in a Gothic sort of way, I said. It's actually the truth. I do like the way they look and think they're cool, even if they do say things like, "Maria la Milagrosa," which implies the miracle of the immaculate conception. I used to have a dog named "Milagro," I continued. This candle is for her. (This is actually true).

Then there was this:

I didn't say a thing about it, just hoped they didn't see it. It could have been there for a number of reasons. Maybe it's my roommate's or maybe I have it around for research (everyone should know what's in it, right?), but the picture of Jesus? It's a little much. My only out would have been "Jews for Jesus," which might be worse than being Catholic. Is it?

I just thought back to the Shakespearean saying, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." I didn't want to protest too much. It conveys guilt. I have enough of that as it is. After all, I'm Catholic.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

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I hate to say I told you so, but...

Okay, no I don't. As I suspected, Barbie's totally a Jap.

Thanks to the guys over at Weird Jews 2, who probably spent hours fondling this Barbie just to prove me right.

Friday, October 13, 2006

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Link of the Week... a section I just invented after finding this gem of a post: YoYenta!

Even though she thinks I come off as a chick, she clearly has some of the best taste on the internet. Enjoy!

To comemmorate the last day of Sukkot, I have finally constructed what can only be referred to as my “Dream Sukkah.” Yes, I realize I should have probably built this last week, but I only learned about Sukkot on Saturday. Cut me some slack.

The Dream Sukkah is one in a line of several deluxe models, consisting of every luxury one would expect from an upscale hotel suite: champagne, fruit, palm branches and…Japs? Yes, Japs. Several of them. That’s right, this is my Dream Sukkah and in it, the mini-bar is fully loaded.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself that the Japs pictured here look like Barbies. And that’s because they do. A lot of people think that Barbie is a WASP, but it is just not so. Barbie is a Jap. The clothes, the car, the high-maintenance...where's the argument? (Which reminds me, I'm still in talks with Mattel® over a Jap Workout Barbie licensing deal, but they're too busy creating politically correct dolls to hear me out).

Anyway, next year I will probably put a few Dream Sukkahs on eBay to test out the market. If the test groups like them, I'll need a business partner. Until then, I'm having an 'End of Sukkot' party in the Dream Sukkah tonight. You'll need to be on the list to get in. No khakis. No gym shoes.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My sukkah is taking a lot longer than I expected so I will give you this conversation to ponder while you're waiting. For some reason, the Manwhore was on JDate (as if I don't know the reason - last time I checked, he was making a profile on Christian Cafe). Evidently he's building a profile there and you have to specify your "tribe." I've never been on JDate, so I don't know. Anyway, while he was online with me, he was doing research to determine what kind of Jew he should be. He is a total scumbag. Evidently he's also an Ashkenazim Jew:

Me: what website are you looking at?
Manwhore: for what?
Manwhore: porn?
Me: no, for that jewish stuff
Manwhore: oh
Manwhore: I didn't know about it before I read it there
Me: Well, why would you have?
Manwhore: true
Manwhore: you have to specify your tribe on jdate
Me: how hilarious
Manwhore: I wonder if some jews only date other jews, from supposedly the same tribe
Me: i think they do for sure
Manwhore: that's very racist
Manwhore: but then again so is dating only jews
Me: how so?
Me: they can date anyone they want
Me: that's not racist
Me: you don't date fat chicks
Manwhore: it is
Manwhore: if you only date jewish guys/girls
Me: why?
Manwhore: and you think jewism [sic] is about race
Manwhore: it's racism
Me: no, not when it comes to dating
Me: if you want to be with just one person they may as well be someone you think is perfect.
Manwhore: it is, but it's acceptable racism

Manwhore: there's all sorts of acceptable racism
Me: okay
Me: can i post this on my site?
Manwhore: technically, any time you discriminate based on race it's racism
Manwhore: post what?
Me: this conversation
Manwhore: you always edit it so horribly!
Me: hey, i have to make myself look good

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm pretty sure it was a bad idea for me to start a myspace page, but then again, it probably wasn't very smart of me to start a blog detailing my boss' life either, so...

Feel free to tell me this is lame. I'm way ahead of you.

Exhibit A:

“Dear Tide, I am writing to say what an excellent product you have…”

This might come as a shock to some of you, but sometimes magazines write their own 'Letters to the Editor' sections. In fact, I wrote a few brilliant notes to myself for the upcoming issue.

The art of self-praise falls into the same category as those old Tide commercials, where the voiceover is thanking Tide for removing the red stain, which was left on the author's white suit the other night when she was shitfaced, err, hosting a dinner party for her upper middle class neighbors and their ideal all-American families (a son and a daughter. The son is the eldest. Both have blonde hair). Thanks Tide.

This is to say that, surprise!, no one really writes to Tide (or at least I hope not). It's just their ad agency. Duh.

Coincidentally, no one really writes to us either. Well, we get a few here and there, but nothing substantial. This is not an isolated case. It’s been true of the other magazines I’ve worked at as well (three before this, to be exact). This is not necessarily an effect of people disliking the magazine either. There are plenty of explanations. Perhaps you only received three letters but have enough space on the page for five. Or, maybe your audience doesn’t have time to share their thoughts with you. Even moreover, maybe they liked it but didn’t feel compelled to write and say so. This is what I like to tell myself anyway.

I’ve become so good at writing these letters that I can tell a fake a mile away. Takes one to know one, right? Exactly. There are subjects that will elicit 'Letters to the Editor' and there are ones that just won’t. For instance, throw in a story about a miraculous recovery from a fatal illness (bonus: by a woman) and your mailbox will be overflowing. General interest and travel stories though? Not so much. Fiction? Never. (In fact, if you are not a highly-regarded magazine, stay away from fiction. People will feel sorry for you.) Magazines will generally not receive praise for their mere existence either.

Exhibit B:

“Your magazine is a standout; it provides such diverse insights, provocative topics and assumes readers are intelligent enough to grasp some personal meaning from them. It pushes us to think about people, places and ideas we might have missed. Thank you.”


Now, writing letters to myself as a Jewish housewife has proven to be quite the challenge, given that I’m not Jewish nor a housewife.

So, here’s to trying:

Exhibit C:

“Dear Editor, Thank you for the recipe for kosher pomegranate chicken last month. I had it translated into Spanish so the help could actually read it (I never understood why they couldn’t just learn English – If you know, please advise). Esmeralda whipped up a wonderful batch for us to break fast with on Yom Kippur. Later that night, I caught her sneaking out the leftovers to feed her 18 children (What's wrong with those Catholics anyway? Isn't it about time they lifted the whole condom ban?). Seeing as how I had just cleared away my sins for the past year, leaving me with a blank slate, I indulged in publicly berating her and reduced her hourly wage by a dollar. Thank you The Unidentified Jewish Magazine. You saved me $40 a week. As an aside, might you consider offering the recipes in Spanish? I don’t really get down with poultry.”

Verdict? Also:

I'm very longwinded.

All of this is to say, if anyone out there wants to contribute 'Letters to the Editor' for next month’s issue, you know where to find me. Kind of.

In today's breaking edition of FakeJew News, our favorite Semitic imposter (no, not me silly), Madonna, has adopted a boy from Malawi. His name is David, most likely short for "Star of..." You know, because she's Jewish and stuff.

All week that crazy Esther has tricked us, forcing her otherwise trustworthy publicist to say that 'tis not so. The nerve of Madge (how many names does this lady have?) to make her publicist blatantly lie like that. Now people might not believe what she says in the future. What a shame.

The Daily Mail reports that, "The singer flew there [Malawi] by private jet to 'locate a suitable candidate' according to officials in the southern African country."*

Suitable candidate, eh? That's a loaded phrase. It would really take some, umm, enviable personality characteristics to fit-in with that family. Well, at least they look alike. A striking resemblance, indeed.

*The Daily Mail is a British publication, which is appropriate since not only has Madonna decided to be Jewish, she has also decided to be British.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

This is the number of ads that The Publisher's brilliant new Detroit ad sales girl sold for the last issue.

This is the approximate amount of money he paid her for her "services."

This is the category in which her job description is filed.

This important news brief brought to you compliments of OrthoJew's fork (which I just licked when she wasn't looking, for purposes of my own personal amusement) and the single Sukkot palm I saw a nice Jewish gentleman carrying around in a fancy handled case this morning on 81st Street. Perhaps he is contributing to a communal sukkah? Inquiring minds...

Monday, October 09, 2006

This guy is very detail oriented.
Coincidentally, he doesn't work at our print house.

I am still at work. I say still, but I haven't really been in the office all day. Rather, I've been at the printers showing them how to do their jobs.

When I took my first issue to print two months ago, I thought it was odd that The Publisher didn't provide the printers with a printed mock-up of what the magazine is supposed to look like; the order, the proper coloring, etc... This would save me a lot of time and trouble as the printers could check these things and make sure they're correct before I get there for press check. The Publisher says the printers are good though; that they don't need one. I didn't want to be the new guy who comes in and interferes with old policies though. Well, not the first month, at least.

That said, today was press check. Press check usually takes no more than an hour or two, but today was a totally different story. More than half of the pages were out of order. For instance, one of our spreads printed out as a right page and the following left page. Also, our type was printing out as four-color black even though we used one-color black, and one page was actually--I kid you not--upside down.

To be fair to the printers, this situation could have easily been avoided if they had a mock-up to reference. On the other hand, an upside down page? A spread that begins on the right page? Come on.

I got back to the office at 6:00 tonight, knowing that I'd have to stay late to dig through the new stack of freelancers' articles (this is very painful) and get something to The Silent Designer so that he'll have material to work with tomorrow. Him and I have somewhat of a system of checks and balances: If he's not busy, I'm not doing my job. As I was sifting through them, I found the following card addressed to me:

Could it be? Was this what I thought it was? I opened it:

Why, yes it was. The Reebok gym, the gym that played host to my discovery of The JAP Workout™, wants me back for a week! Clearly they can sense a good potential member when they see one. The way I wound my towel up and slapped my friend in the ass. The way I went outside to run on the track but went the wrong way. The way I couldn't figure out how to open the door to get back in (push, not pull, damnit). I am basically the definition of quality.

So, am I in? Of course I am. If spending only one day at this magical place could elicit such a groundbreaking epiphany, there's no telling what a whole week might do.

No bad day could offset this kind of news. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

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I was purposefully tacky last night. It was a combination of three things:

1) Me feeling that I needed to check in with myself, having been taking my job and my "research" a bit too seriously as of late

2) My friend was being uptight. So, in essence, she was pretty much asking for it

3) Being woken up by a gaudy "Nuestra familia de la Fatima" parade at 9 a.m. yesterday morning. Seriously, I looked out my window and saw a group of guys dancing around—in unison, no less—dressed in the same outfits as the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. This alone is enough to make anyone ornery.

I met up with a bunch of my friends for drinks at a place called Stanton Social. Rachel*, who is a member of my go-to group of Jewish friends, was also there. She had just finished Sukkot dinner. I remember reading about this holiday in the Jewtopia Book and pinning it as one of my favorite in a line of Jewish "make believe" holidays (noun, Jewish holidays that require followers to reenact scenes from their ancestors' lives). I still can't tell if people really do make little huts and sleep in them or if that's an old tradition that's been selected against by the evolutionary process. Anyway, I didn't know how to pronounce it so I kept on calling it "Suck it" all night...more for effect than out of sheer ignorance.

Rachel is a very good Jew, so to speak. She corrected my pronunciation immediately ("Soo Coat"), but I liked my version better. "Suuuuuuukkkooooot," I challenged, drawing out the word for miles. Yep, my version was more original, and plus I was somewhat pleased with my cleverness (read: drunkenness). Needless to say, this irritated her. Still, I blathered on, making the holiday's name the butt of many an unspeakable pun:

"Oh, Rachel, don't be a sour puss. Sukkot up and be a good sport."

"You should have the cooks puree the French onion dumplings so you can sukkot all up through a straw like soup."

In response to our friend Sara's comment about a George Clooney look-alike's bulge: "Ah, Sara, you wanna sukkot, don't you?"

This comment, in particular, set Rachel off. And admittedly, I guess it was for good reason.

"You know [Not Chosen], I really thought you were making progress there for a minute. I guess what they say is true: You can take the something out of a something, but you can't take the something out of a something." —Where "something" was some tired Italian stereotype.

"You done?" I asked her.

"Ahh. Yes, I feel much better. Wanna shot?"

"Sure, that's what I've been getting at all night. We'll get some vodka, make a toast to the holiday and sukkot down, no chaser."

*Name changed to protect the innocent who would never use an Italian stereotype unless it was in reference to me. We're cool like that.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Crappy screenshot compliments of MS Paint

It is a sad, sad day when someone comes to the site by typing "I hate Jewish Princesses" into Google.

Reveal yourself now, Huntingdon Valley, PA.

Them is fightin' words in these parts.


I didn’t even realize The Publisher was hiring until I saw 3 candidates (all seemed way too young, or maybe I’m just too…) prance into his office yesterday afternoon (a fourth came in this morning).

After the hiring procession fled yesterday afternoon, The Publisher buzzed me at my desk and asked me if I had a few minutes to listen to him complain. My immediate reaction was that I had screwed something up in the issue, which went to print earlier this week. Did I forget a pull-quote? Grammatical error? Or, did I accidentally leave his wife off of the masthead, where her name hovers over the title “Co-Publisher”? That would truly be a shame, by the way. She does so much and deserves credit for her efforts.

But, no, it was none of that.

“Are you ready?" He asked me without waiting for my response. "Okay, so the first girl that came in was really nice, but she was a retard. She used to work at The Atlantic, which is why I wanted to hire her, but no. Onto the second girl. When I asked her if she liked to write, she said, ‘it’s okay.’”

“I assume that you listed that this job involves heavy writing?” I chimed in as if to really say, 'I'm on your side, buddy. What a dumbass she is! No one can be as perfect as us, eh?'

“Of course I did. She was just an idiot. I cut the interview short saying that I didn’t want to waste her time, even though she was the one wasting mine. The third girl interviewed very well…that is, up until the end when I asked her if she had any questions. She actually pulled out a list of questions. Question 1: 'What is your corporate culture?'”

“What the hell kind of question is that? I mean, the secretary walks around smoking in the office and your wife’s dress has seashells on it. Can’t she tell what the corporate culture is?”

“Wait, the secretary smokes in the office? My wife's dress has seashells on it?”

“Yeah, I thought you knew. Anyway...”

“Interesting. Yes, anyway though. Question 2: 'What vision do you have for your company?' At this point, I told her to put down her fucking list—well, I didn’t say 'fucking'—but I told her to put it away and be flexible. This isn’t a college interview course.”

"Wow," I said as if in awe.

So, that was that. This morning a guy came in, evidently a lot later than he was scheduled. As I walked by, I heard The Publisher say, “You’re late. That’s your second strike. Your first strike was that you didn’t capitalize Thursday and Friday in your email. It shows that you aren’t taking this seriously.”

I then heard the applicant wimper a pathetic, "I'm sorry."

That’s all I know though. I’ve never seen The Publisher act like this. It’s great. Maybe he has acknowledged the power struggle he has at home and will start overcompensating in the office? As long as he takes it out on others and not me, I’ll consider it comic relief. I have a feeling The Secretary Who Reeks of Cigarettes will be his next victim, although I hope not. I really like her. I didn’t mean to rat her out. Plus, I thought he knew she smoked in the office. My bad.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Friend: I posted a comment on your site about Madonna being Catholic/All people being Jewish
Me: Uh oh. Let me check
Me: Oh, it's cool.
Me: Someone will probably chime in with an answer for you
Me: They'll probably say that they go by the Torah, not the Bible. So there's that.
Friend: and how is that different?
Me: i haven't read it. i don't know
Me: I can tell you one thing for sure: Jesus isn't the main character

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I can see it now: "Are you a bad Jew?
Take this test to find out... And, oh yeah, if you find it necessary to
take this test for that reason, I'd say it's pretty safe to assume
that you ARE a bad Jew. Thanks for playing."

Every month I present The Publisher with ten story ideas I’d like to see in the magazine. Every month he throws at least half into the slush pile. Fortunately for me, I’m starting a Jewish tabloid, wherein the articles in the slush pile will eventually be my special features. Kinda like my mom always said, “Your trash is my treasure.”

Here are two of the few ideas that were dissed by The Publisher (in favor of local restaurant advertorials and “neutral subject matter”):

1) This whole thing about ethnicity versus religion*

So, let’s make a decision once and for all: Ethnicity? Religion? Both? There are too many arguments on either sides. There has to be a common ground. In this article, I’d like to find it, set up a tent there and plop down for a while.

* I know, I know. I am way out of my league trying to broach such a topic, but hey, I'm running out of ideas... Plus, if he would've approved it, I would have pawned it off onto one of the poor saps I work with.

2) Bad Jew vs. Good Jew.

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[Main image: Madonna duking it out with a Rabbi]

Oh wait, Madonna’s not a bad Jew, she’s a fake Jew. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Is there such thing as being a bad Jew? It makes sense doesn’t it? Well, evidently, it depends on how you look at the situation. If you are born into it, like, say an Italian (uh-hem) is born into his ethnicity, then there is no way you can be a bad Jew. That would be similar to saying you are bad at being born, which is a point immediately negated by the fact that you are, in fact, alive. Now, if you are talking strictly religious practices, there must be some sort of guidelines one must abide by. And wherever there are guidelines, there are those who fail and those who excel. I propose we go ahead and make a decision about this argument too.

We could then send out press releases announcing to the world that we are experts on this matter, and that we have taken it upon ourselves to answer this question once and for all. You're welcome, by the way.

[Sidebar: Pictures of different Jews with a caption that is similar to, but cooler than: Bad Jew or Good Jew? You decide.]

Note: Over at Jewbiquitous (a site that I must refer to regularly to keep my information straight), the writers have presented an “Off the Derech” test (evidently means, “Off the path,”) where you can find out if you’re a good Jew or not (the concept alone implies that there IS a difference between good and bad Jews. Jewbiquitous contends that there is no such thing as a Bad Jew). I’d like to propose a similar test in the magazine, only it would be a lot racier and provocative; something similar to one of those “Is he into me?” quizzes that you find in womens' mags. He’ll love it!

Okay, I lie, the publisher would never go for this. In fact, he'd absolutely hate it. Believe it or not, he’s just as frightened of his readers as he is of his wife. On that note, you should see the articles that he did approve. Needless to say, they are the ones that I proposed after thinking to myself, "What is it that I would least enjoy reading? Ah ha, got it!"

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