Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Nothing says love like a bouquet of roses…


From Daryl Dixon!



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Those of you have been following this blog for awhile know that I have two children. I refer to them as Exhibit One and Exhibit Two. [1]

jon-britt35(The kiddie-winkers!)

This past Friday afternoon while I was driving through Crystal Beach, minding my own business, I received a surprise call on my cell phone from Exhibit One in Israel.

“Hi! I have some news!”

My first reaction was, “Uh oh! Good news or bad news!?”

last 085(Mazal tov! The couple in Jerusalem)

My lovely daughter announced that she was engaged.

I practically drove off the road and into a ditch with excitement.

???????????????????????????????(Fiancée and fiancé in Jerusalem)

I showered her with mazal tovs. I even got a chance to wish her fiancé a hearty mazal tov!

It was about this time that I noticed a police cruiser following me. I had to quickly end the call. Her Majesty’s government frowns on the use of handheld communication devices while driving.

???????????????????????????????(Fiancé and fiancée in Yaffo [aka Jaffa])

Exhibit One engaged. Wow!

Luckily for me, I highly approve of the fiancé. As a general rule, I dislike Israeli men. Bunch of blow-hard macho know-it-alls, if you ask me. This young man, however, is a refreshing exception to the stereotype. I like him a lot! Charming, witty, intelligent, kind, soft-spoken. A real mensch.

The wedding will be held in Israel. Not sure yet exactly when and where.

Details to follow in due course!


[1] To those new to this blog, a brief history: When I was a young rōnin, I was for several years in a relationship and living with an even younger partner. While I did not fully appreciate it at the time, we were in a common-law marriage. That person is, therefore, my ‘first spouse’ [‘SA’], as opposed to the person I legally married (then legally divorced) many years later [‘WHN’]. My children, Exhibits One and Two, were tendered into evidence during the second marriage.

Details: Exhibit One (23 year old girl), lives in Ramat Gan (east Tel Aviv), Israel. Exhibit Two (21 year old boy) just graduated from McMaster University in Canada and is also presently in Israel.

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I learned two great truths this week.

“You don’t have bad luck. The reason bad things happen to you is because you’re a dumbass.”

One of the (many) problems with stupid people is that they do not fully appreciate just how colossally stupid they are. This make sense as it would involve a bit of self-analysis and some basic thinking.

This epiphany was followed by the second truth I learned this week.

“Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care… but because they don’t.”

This one is particularly sad since it presumes you once cared enough about the person to get involved and try to help. At one point, you realize that of the two of you, you are the only one expending any effort. Often, it takes a long time to come to that point.

Which leads, I suppose, to the third truth I learned this week…

“Hope can be a terrible thing.”

Lessons learned the hard way.

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I had occasion the other day to spend a leisurely afternoon with my dearly beloved friend, Davka Frei. [1]

Davka is a stunningly beautiful Jewish girl who has zero interest in Yiddishkeit. [2]

It’s not that she hates Judaism or even dislikes it. It’s simply not on the radar with her. As such, she is continually flummoxed at the fact that I live an observant Jewish life.

I did not grow up Orthodox. I chose to become Orthodox later in life. And this is what gets her!

You see, while Davka can wrap her mind around someone being observant because he or she was raised that way and ‘did not know better’ (i.e. FFB – Frum From Birth [3]), she has a much harder time understanding why someone who ‘knew better’ (i.e. had a normal non-observant life) would choose a frum lifestyle.

(Frum vs Frei)

Fortunately for the both of us, the Frum/Frei debate hasn’t affected our relationship in the least because for the most part we are completely dippy about each other. For all of our differences in terms of religious observance, we thoroughly enjoy each other’s company.

(Frei vs Frum)

And it is that genuine affection that trumps just about everything else.

In our own way, we are both as Loonie as they come… but we arrive at our loopiness from different angles.

(That’s not us, btw)

That’s what makes lunch (kosher, of course… my friend puts friendship over flavour! [4]) with Davka such a wonderful, delightful experience.

(Ahavas Yisroel! [5])

Love really does conquer all.


[1] Davka Frei (pronounced ‘DAHV-kah FRY’). Not her real name. Davka Frei is a pseudonym. Davka is an Aramaic word that has no precise English translation. The closest you can come is probably ‘very’ or ‘exactly’ or ‘precisely.’  Frei (lit. ‘free’) is a Yiddish/German word meaning ‘non-observant’or ‘not Orthodox’… as in ‘free’ from religious observance.

[2] Yiddishkeit (from the Yiddish; Lit. “Jewishness”) – the word is usually used to mean Judaism and everything related to Jews and Judaism.

[3] Frum (from the German fromm, meaning “devout” or “pious”. The ‘u’ is pronounced like the ‘oo’ in ‘book’ or ‘cookie’) meaning committed to the observance of  Jewish commandments and law, specifically of Orthodox Judaism. Frum is the opposite of Frei.

[4] Truth be told, our last lunch together was at the Oasis Cafe in downtown Toronto. I wasn’t expecting much. We both had the Eggplant Parmigiana with caesar salad and Peach Snapple. It was astonishingly good. Davka: “It’s so delicious, you’d never know it was kosher!” LOL

[5] Love for one’s fellow Jew.

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I’ve given this a lot of thought and have come to two conclusions.

One: most people don’t know how properly to flirt. This is because…

Two: most people don’t know what flirting is.

Flirting is as complex as it is fundamental.

Flirting is about communicating with a person through a careful procedure that involves a little curiosity, a bit of brevity and laughter, and some meaningful glances and smiles. While it can be aggressive and obvious, I personally put this overt style of flirting in the ‘hitting on someone’ category.

To me, flirting is quiet and subtle. A look that lingers a moment longer than it otherwise would. The tiniest of smiles. The most seemingly innocent double entendre or Freudian slip. A meaningful exchange of glances in reaction to what a third person says. The most subtle of body language. Ideally, only the most observant of bystanders would even know there was any flirting going on at all.

One popular fact that gets tossed around a great deal is that scientists believe there are as many as 52 “flirting signals” used by humans around the world.

I don’t know how or where the scientists picked up such information but speaking strictly for myself the Number One Undisputed Capital of Flirting, bar none, is The South.

There is something about the flirting that goes on south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Flirting is not merely a skill way down yonder in the land of cotton… it has been elevated, refined and transformed into an Art!

It is through the art of flirtation that people in The South experience the pleasures of interacting with the opposite sex.

Flirting can be a means by which to get into a relationship, of course. It is certainly an enjoyable way to get to know someone initially.

But to me, flirting is an end in and of itself. It doesn’t have to lead anywhere else. To me, flirting is its own reward.

And when flirting with a Southern Girl… the rewards are immeasurable.

It’s been 12 years since I went down to The South. It’s been 12 years since I’ve experienced Flirtation as Art.

Nothing compares. Nothing comes close.

I miss it.

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Yes, I admit it. I am a Fanilow.

In fact, I’ve been one since the days I dated my first real girlfriend, LK, who also liked many of Barry Manilow’s songs. [1]

This was in the sunny, wonderful, joy-filled era before disco music cast a pall over the otherwise civilized world in the late 70’s.

And this very cultural tragedy forms, for me, the clear demarcation line in the Manilow Songbook.

1977 reared its ugly head and spit the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack at us, infecting our ears. The Brothers Gibb pounded disco into our brains. It was as relentless as it was repulsive.

But, I consoled myself, there is always Manilow… the romantic crooner… the master of the love song… the one who writes the songs that make the whole world sing.

E tu, Barry?

Even a betrayal of this magnitude was not enough to shake my love of his love songs.

I adopted a strict policy of active ignorage. I simple refused to acknowledge that Barry Manilow had anything to do with the song ‘Copa Cabana’ or other such musical abominations.

And yet, however dark a year 1977 was, for me the silver lining was that the year ended with Barry Manilow’s ‘Just Another New Years Eve’…

…a song I’ve sung to myself on each of the 35 New Years Eves since.

So yes… I am a Fanilow. Listening to ‘Weekend in New England’ is my idea of a good time.

And to this day, every once in a while I will put on an old Manilow love song… and maybe I’ll even sing along…

“And maybe the old songs will bring back the old times,” if even for a few minutes.

His music was such a part of me for so many years… and still is.

And yet to a part of me, he will always be that skinny, awkward Jewish kid at the piano. [2]

It makes him even more likeable… and me an even bigger Fanilow!


[1] I’d gone on dates before LK but she was my first official ‘going steady’ girlfriend.

[2] Barry Manilow (Barry Alan Pincus) born June 17, 1943.

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Uh huh…

Neuroscientists Show How Brain Responds to Sensual Caress

I can almost hear those little geeks and nerdlings over at ScienceDaily.com giggling over this one.

Try to imagine the grant application for this little bit of research!

(Neuroscientist hard at work on caress response research)

Okay, here it goes…

“A nuzzle of the neck, a stroke of the wrist, a brush of the knee – these caresses often signal a loving touch, but can also feel highly aversive, depending on who is delivering the touch, and to whom. Interested in how the brain makes connections between touch and emotion, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered that the association begins in the brain’s primary somatosensory cortex, a region that, until now, was thought only to respond to basic touch, not to its emotional quality.

The new finding is described in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“The team measured brain activation while self-identified heterosexual male subjects lay in a functional MRI scanner and were each caressed on the leg under two different conditions. In the first condition, they saw a video of an attractive female bending down to caress them; in the second, they saw a video of a masculine man doing the same thing. The men reported the experience as pleasurable when they thought the touch came from the woman, and aversive when they thought it came from the man. And their brains backed them up: this difference in experience was reflected in the activity measured in each man’s primary somatosensory cortex.”

Alright, alright. That’s quite enough, gentlemen, thank you very much.

Straight guys like being touched by girls and don’t like to be touched by other guys. Thanks for the big breakthrough.

Now get your smutty little overdeveloped minds back to work on synaptic gaps or cerebral cortices or whatever it is that you guys do when you’re not trying to swindle money to pay for your grope sessions!

Honestly! Some people.

I mean really!!


Read the full ScienceDaily.com article here!

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