Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Golden Mean

I've been meaning to get this whole blogging thing started for awhile, and finally, during one of my recent mundane classes, I told myself the time was now ripe. Lo and behold, here it is, the beginning of my new art, "The Musings of a Midwesterner" blog! As many of you know, I hail from St. Louis, Missouri and, as a result of my laid-back, respectful, quiet upbringing in this wonderful Midwestern haven, I often have felt out of place in the streets of New York City. As such, I can't even tell you how many times i'll be walking in Manhattan when strange, humorous, inappropriate thoughts pop into my head about how crazy a place New York is and how I ended up here. Even today, I sometimes still feel like one of those European tourists, with their fanny packs stuffed with their passport and form fitting Armani Exchange paraphernalia who end up in East Harlem because they didn't switch at 96th street from the 2 train to the 1. Like them, I still am often lost in translation. For those of you who are non-New Yorkers and could care less about this over-hyped city, don't fret, my friends. While I have only discussed my out-of-placeness in New York, this blog will cover many aspects of my life, ranging from a little Jewish learning, to covering my forays into the Columbia social scene(which I compare to the watering pools of the jungle, where a slew of hippopotamuses(that would be the males of this campus) try to push and shove each other out of the way, while all the while attempting to reach the same goal...some shallow, vapid, WASPY girl who will probably end up CAVA'd anyway because she drank too much(that's the student run Columbia ambulance service), and finally discussing the gamut of idiotic comments I hear so often in the classroom(this never ends). It will be a hodgepodge of, what I hope will be, extremely entertaining material for you, the reader. You should definitely comment as it will provide me with great inspiration to continue preaching to the masses(realistically, a lack thereof). That being said, I will not be like my good friend, Nathan Miller, whose calling card for his blog is that it's updated daily. Alas, he's more a man than I. Sometimes, the creative juices run dry. But, I will do my best to keep the entries comin'. I will end with a phrase a friend of mine, China, from school uses often. He champions anything wonderful in his life as PureNeeds. This could range from a beautiful car, a delicious sandwich, and for him, drooling over Kobe Bryant. While I don't necessarily see those as PureNeeds, I think the phrase is amazing and have attempted to integrate it into my vocabulary. So, I wish to part by saying I hope you can get some of your PureNeeds from this blog as my main goal here is to provide you all with some laughter(and a little bit for myself as well).
Still trying to find the Golden Mean,


  1. For all of you readers of Adir's blog,

    Just to let you all know, I am Adam, one of Adir's roommates. I have little to say at this juncture but I just wanted to introduce myself as I will inevitably be writing incredibly often on the ridiculous ramblings that my dear dear roommate will spew.

    Much love to all,

  2. just to let you all know, Adir just danced around the apartment half naked dancing and singing "walk like an egyptian"

    I love blogs.

  3. I love the blog -- gave me a good laugh. Write away brother...

    Your sister aka as noa now calls me the best tanta better than adir...yes she said that, when told you too might be a rabbi :)

  4. So thrilled that you're joining the blog world. Thanks for the shoutout! I'll try and send some traffic your way and I look forward to your (albeit-not-5-times-weekly-like-mine) regular updates!

  5. c'mon adir...write us some more!

  6. As I sit in one of the many intro courses I have tried to bypass over the past three years, I realized the importance of keys. I was looking around the classroom and noticed several freshman biting their fingernails anxiously pondering the results of their midterms which they will take later this week, some sophomores sipping on their cups of coffee trying to relieve their pounding headaches from the excessive drinking last night, and some, more than one, playing with their keys. Where would all be without keys? Most likely, we would be stuck outside of our homes, classrooms, cars, and other places locked with locks! Keys are such a crucial aspect of modernity. It is a small piece of nickel plated brass or steel that unlocks the doorways and portals to somewhere else. It is our escape from the struggles and turmoils of life. Think about how often you are relieved when entering your home, dorm room, or car. Keys are crucial passports that allow us to go where we were once forbidden. It is true that this entire discussion of keys is more or less completely irrelevant if it were not for locks. However, I would like to present the idea that locks are the result of keys. Throughout time, there has always been a search for the answers and understandings behind the world, the universe, and our place in the greater cosmos. Keys are dated back to as late as 4000 years ago. Archaeologists found the first key in archaeological digs near Ninveh. The first key seems to be a predecessor of the pin tumbler type of lock very common in Egypt during that time. The lock was made from large wooden bolts holding the door shut and wooden pegs that prevented the moving of the large wooden bolt. These wooden bolts seem to have been invented to hide the knowledge of the ancient Egyptians and prevent the secrets of the universe from being released. In ancient Greek mythology, Chaos (tohu vavohu...there Adir, I threw in some Bible stuff) created Gaia (mother Earth), Nyx (pronounced Nux, goddess of night), Eros (god of lust and beauty), and Tartarus (also known as Erebos, the underworld, hell). Gaia parthenogenically (by herself) creates Ouranos (god of the sky), the Ourea (mountain gods), and Pontus (god of the sea). Ouranos and Gaia (yea...there's a lot of incest in Greek mythology) have the 12 titans, 3 cyclopses and 3 Hecatonchires. Ouranos is repulsed by the Hecatonchires and hides them in Gaia (either hidden on earth or hidden in Gaia's womb). Gaia, very upset, asks the titans to revolt against Ouranos. Kronos, the youngest of the Titans agrees and Gaia gives him a sickle to fight Ouranos with. Kronos castrates Ouranos and throws his manly organs into the sea. From the foam of the sea and Ouranos's manhood, comes Aphrodite and from the blood spilled on the floor comes vengeance. Aphrodite rose out of the sea as a beautiful woman. Zeus, who later became the head god, was nervous that the gods would fight over Aphrodite, because she was so beautiful, and married her off to Hephaestus, the handyman of Olympus. Later, after Prometheus tricked Zeus and stole fire for man, Zeus commissioned Hephaestus to create Pandora, the first woman, as a punishment for man. It is through stories like these that we can grasp the meaning and purpose of life. Love is a fusion of vengeance and beauty; it is both from both the bloody testicles of Ouranos and the punishment of man, and the beauty of Aphrodite. It is here where I will leave you all with something to think about. Keys unlock the portals and doorways to forbidden places and it is knowledge and thought that are the keys to understanding the cosmos. Don't let time or the stresses of life prevent you from striving to find your keys; they will give you the answers and let you into your homes. As I once read in a fortune cookie, "We are born naked, wet, and hungry, and get slapped on our butt ... then things get worse."

    Happy Wednesday.

  7. To quote a famous scholar, "a day without sun is like night." What did he mean by that? Did he mean that sun is what makes the day day? In this astronomy class that I am currently taking, as part of the Columbia university core requirement, the professor explained that a day has many defining characteristics. I will continue this discussion in a later post...i must pay attention in the 20 minutes left of the class i am in now as I am the next to read a section of Talmud and I have yet to prepare it. What do you think is the reason behind my lack of interest in this class? The material is quite interesting but for some reason I cannot bring myself to pay any amount of attention as I sit here every Wednesday afternoon for 2 hours. I think I may have swine flu. What a terrible feeling! I feel fine but I am imagining that if I were to have swine flu, it would be a terrible feeling. It would have to be. Being sick s the worst. As my grandfather-in-law-to-be always says, getting older is better than the alternative...that would be dieing for all of you who are too slow to make the connection. It's ok if you are, that's why i explained it.

    Adir, step up your blogging.