Tuesday, June 06, 2017


I am in my forties...for the next two hours.

Ten years ago tonight, I sat at a computer keyboard at my Mom's house and spoke to this blog for the final 40 minutes of my thirties.  The blog ended as I typed my final word and the clock struck twelve.  I was 40 years old and my emotions were extremely reflective.  Reading that post today for the first time since I wrote it was a big mindfuck, for lack of a better term...

I was living in Utah and visitng New Jersey for the week and there was to be this massive party for me and I was just all over the place.  I read the post three times today.  All I keep thinking about is WHERE DID THE LAST TEN YEARS GO???


Off the top of my head - and everyone who knows me knows that my memory entirely consists of previous meals and album art - here are some things that happened in the last ten years....

  • moved back from Utah in 2009 after closing my office during the height of the recession
  • took a job at my company HQ in Mt. Laurel in April 2009
  • lost EVERYTHING in the sale of our house in Utah so we could sell quick and get back here 
  • rented a home in Cherry Hill in 2009
  • Deb has had three jobs - one in Utah and two here 
  • Elijah had his Bar Mitzvah
  • we've owned or leased six cars (soon to be NINE)
  • Hannah had her Bat Mitzvah
  • we took a cruise (soon to take another in 35 days or so)
  • took a family vacation to Argentina
  • bought a home in Woodcrest (our third owned home in Woodcrest since 1998)
  • launched a radio show (Jawdy's Basement) and then a radio station (Raven Radio) that's lasted close to 150 shows to date.  It's on hiatus now but will come back at some point.
Who knows what I forgot....and that's just us!  Countless other milestones and achivements happened for our extended family and friends and man...ten years passes quick!!

My father in law said something interesting this past weekend.  He said that more major events happen between 50 and 60 than any other decade.  Kids graduate, go to college, get married and have kids of their own.  I may be a grandpa by the time I write my 60th birthday post.  Vomit.  Thanks Bochi!!!!

When I was turning 30, I was depressed about it.  I was scared and worried what the future held.

When I was turning 40, I was reflective, happy and content and anxious about the future.

Now that I am facing 50, I am surprised that I am not feeling any of those things at all.  In fact, I am feeling practically nothing out of the ordinary.  Not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Several people have told me it's just another day, but everyone handles these events differently and I tend to think about things more than most and so I expected to have some emotion....but nothing yet.

I was expecting to write a series of blogs on the upcoming big day but I've been uninspired to write about absolutely nothing and so I've waited until today.

I've been seeing the doctor every three months for checkups and bloodwork just to keep on top of things.  Next visit I get to schedule my colonoscopy.  I'm not worried, I told the doctor, as I've been practicing for months for this.  Should be a breeze.

We had a big party this past weekend here in the backyard.  Got a tent and everything.  It was one of the greatest days of my life.  We ate great food, listened to great music, spent time with friends and family and ended up in front of the fire pit for three hours roasting marshmallows and just relaxing.  That's livin'.

My cousin Luis and his wife Vivian came in from Panama to visit and they took me to the Iron Maiden concert in Philly as a birthday gift.  49 years old (NOT 50 yet!) and rocking to Iron Maiden still.  Hey - if it's too loud, you're too old!!!

My folks got me an Apple Watch.  The most amazing technology that didn't exist when I turned 40, is now sitting on my left wrist.  And, oh, it just told me it was time to stand up and move for a few minutes.  Bastard.  Hold on, I'll be right back - I have to do a quick lap of my living room. 

The Apple Watch is a device that you never thought you needed until you got one.  It's insane.  And it tells me I'm a fat slob.  Now I know why my Mom wanted me to get it.  A contstant reminder not two feet from my face that I need to lose weight.  Sometimes I give it the evil eye and just wait for Siri to announce, "Stud Muffin, your mother wants you to call her.  You never call her.  Also you are fat." 

Yeah, I programmed Siri to call me Stud Muffin.  

Just about an hour until my forties are over.  Funny thing about getting older - you can't stay up as late.  I won't make it to midnight tonight - at least not at this keyboard.  I'll be sound asleep when my forties fade away.  

Tomorrow when I wake up I will do the same exact thing that I did at 49 - wake up Hannah, wake up Elijah, make three lunches, see Elijah out the door, see Hannah out the door, see Deb out the door, wake up Sadie, shower, dress, eat breakfast with Sadie, see Sadie to her bus and drive to work.  

I love every minute of it and would not have it any other way.

The first 50 is in the books and now the colonoscopy era begins.  Life is good.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Family Entertainment

Family dinners, vacations, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, childbirth.....all typical reasons for families to come together and spend quality time together.....for the typical family.

Our family?  Wrestling.  

All joking aside - the times that we find ourselves all in the same room these days are when the WWE is on TV.  That's World Wrestling Entertainment.  Yes, professional wrestling.

As I type this post, the other four members of my family are staring wide mouthed at the TV because they cannot believe that Charlotte just won the Women's Championship over Sasha Banks.  Sadie is particularly in shock.

When Deb and I were first married, we got into wrestling a little and our friends would come over once a month to watch the pay-per-views.  It became a bit of a rite of passage each month.  Watching The Rock and HHH and Mick Foley and The Undertaker and all of the wrestlers of the day.  Once we moved to Utah, we stopped watching and didn't watch a minute of wrestling for years until......Sadie and Hannah became interested.

Yes, Sadie and Hannah.  Not Elijah, although he's into it as well.  No, it was the girls - along with Deb - who got this engine going again.  Every Monday night from 8-11pm, Monday Night RAW is on my TV.  Every Tuesday night from 8-10pm, WWE Smackdown is on my TV.  Then, once a month on Sunday night from 7-11pm, WWE is on my TV again.  That's a shit-ton of wrestling.  AND, because I enjoy being with the family - I sit with them.  Sometimes I go on my computer, listen to music and wear my headphones.  Sometimes I block out the screaming and yelling coming both from the TV and the recliners in the room.  Either way, I am proud to say, I have a wrestling family.  And that's the bottom line, cause Stone Cold said so.


Special mention today to the late, great Seth Dembowitz, who would have turned 37 years young today.  I blogged about Seth the day after he was taken from us and you can read the story at the link below.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Don't Blink

As a younger person - when Elijah was first born - I had to endure listening to everyone more experienced in parenthood than I was, talk about savoring every moment.

"Make sure you savor every moment - because it goes by SO FAST....."

"You blink and they are grown up..."

That was yesterday........or was it?

Today I woke up and it's August of 2016.  It's just around six years since I last posted here and even longer than that since I posted anything about family.

So here you have it:

Elijah is 16.  He's going to be a junior in high school, getting his driver's license in December and has been dating Charlotte for around eight months.  The same kid who was the subject of dozens and dozens of posts on this blog about learning how to poop and discovering his penis has a job, a girlfriend and is two short years from college.

Hannah is 13.  She is three months post Bat Mitzvah, growing like a weed and Snapchats 450 times a day.  Hannah is the reason why this blog started in 2002.  I was writing a daily email to friends and family called the Deuce Daily and transferred it to a blog format while Hannah was being marinated.

Sadie is ten years old.  Amazing.  When I was at the height of posting here back in 2006 and 2007, we were living in Utah and Sadie was an infant.  She is entering 5th grade now and is just the most loving and wonderful kid.  She's my Pearly Sade.

Deb is doing well and enjoying her job for the first time in several years at the JFCS in Philadelphia and....

...well I will be celebrating my 50th birthday next June.

I think I blinked.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Where's The Music?

If you landed here looking for Jawdy's Basement Radio, you are kind of in the right place....but not quite.  :-)

Click here to listen to the show live on Thursday nights from 9pm-12am.

Click here to listen or download the podcast of the show.

You can also head to iTunes and search for Jawdy's Basement to subscribe to the weekly podcast.

Thanks for listening!!!!


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Six Degrees of Steve Jobs

There are a small number of people that have died in my lifetime that I've never known, yet I remember their passing vividly.  I can think of four right away.

John Lennon
Ronald Reagan
Freddie Mercury
George Harrison

I believe I am adding a fifth name to that list today with the passing of Steve Jobs.

I really didn't think I would feel this way but since the announcement yesterday that he had died, I've found myself to be very sad about it.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that just about everything I do during the course of my day, can be directly traced to something that Steve Jobs had a hand in creating.

I wake up in the morning to the sound of my cell phone alarm.  It's smart enough to know that it's a weekday so I need to get awoken at 6.30am.  On the weekends it stays quiet.  Smartphones - Steve Jobs.

I come downstairs to make lunch for the kids and have some breakfast.  When I sit down for my cereal, I set up my iPad to read the morning news.  I can read hundreds of newspapers, magazines and websites; send out a bunch of e-mails and play four rounds of Angry Birds in ten minutes.  Tablet computing - Steve Jobs.

I drive the kids to school and on the way, Sadie and Hannah ask me if we can watch 'Toy Story 3' that night as a family movie night.  The family gets together and enjoys a movie that appeals to every person in the room, making us laugh and making us cry.  Computer animated movies - Pixar - Steve Jobs.

I get to my office, sit in my seat and wake up my computer from it's slumber.  How do I do it?  Move the mouse, of course.  I spend nine hours multitasking between seven or eight software applications and switching between them in seconds.  This is how I make a living for my family and how I am able to put food on the table and shelter over our heads.  Computer mouse - Steve Jobs.

I drive home after a long day at work and listen to the most incredible mixed tape EVER.  Unlike before, this one isn't a two sided cassette with twenty songs.  No...LOL.  This one is a tiny metal and plastic box with a hard drive in it.  It's on shuffle and playing a random assortment of 11,230 songs.  My entire music collection...in my pocket.  It's plugged into my car stereo system and cranked all the way up.  Who knows whats coming next?  The Beatles?  Queen?  Metallica??  Who knows?  It's heaven.  Digital music players - iPods - Steve Jobs.

I tried to think of something that I may have eaten for lunch that may have a connection to Steve Jobs but I don't think he had a hand in the creation of sushi or the 5-dollar footlong.  However, the Subway frequent buyer card I have CAN be stored in my smartphone for easy scanning at the store.  Again, Steve Jobs probably played some role with that technology as well.

My good friend Gary Vincoff said something very profound on the phone with me today.  He said that Steve Jobs passing away probably altered human history.  It's a big statement to make but think about that for a minute.  How many useful and cool technologies are we never going to see in our lifetime now?  How many ideas died along with Steve Jobs?  Surely, there will be another visionary.  Surely there will be another person, or two, or three, who will amaze us with their vision in the future.  But there will never be another Steve Jobs.  He was the John Lennon of technology.

Three poignant words strung together make up a great Steve Jobs quote that really sums this up:

"Click.  Boom.  Amazing!"

Rest in peace.  Heaven has just been rebooted.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


It's that time of the year again.  The Heeb Holidays.  Also known as Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the highest of Jewish holidays and ones in which more food is consumed than all the other Jewish holidays in the year combined.  Yom Kippur is supposed to be 24 hours of fasting but, when all is said and done, you consume more food after that first, fast-breaking morsel than you have in the previous week.

Anyway - it was Rosh Hashana this week and because we are the most sensible of people, we decided to invite South Jersey to our house to eat the New Year's meal.  OK, so it wasn't all of South Jersey but it was nearly more than the Jewish population of Utah and certainly more people than we have ever hosted for a single dinner.  42 people.  That's TWO, twenty-one person dinner parties....THREE, fourteen person dinner parties....you get the picture.  Its a ton of people.

Everyone was responsible for some aspect of the dinner.  The plan was set and everyone had their specific task.  We had the turkey.  I love eating turkey but I've never made it.  Deb was sick and I inherited the task of taking this thing from the store shelf to the oven.

I picked up this 18 pound bohemoth at Wegmans and settled down at around 10pm to brine the bird.  For those who don't know what brining is, its the process of salting the turkey, basically marinating it, overnight which makes the turkey more edible or something, I have no clue.  It's just something I knew I had to do and so I set out to do it.

I cut the turkey out of its package and placed it on a big cutting board - one with a shallow groove cut into the border for catching juices that may ooze from the turkey during the process.  I laid this bird on the cutting board and turned my back to it so I could pull a few videos up on the JordPad, which was set up on the counter queued with some brining how-to videos.

I watched about a minute or two of these completely unhelpful videos and tried to wonder how I was going to get mounds of kosher salt rubbed inside this turkey when I heard a dripping sound from within the kitchen.  It wasn't just a plain drip-drip-drip of a leaky faucet.  It was a steady dripping - and the first thought through my mind was that this turkey hopped up from the cutting board and just started taking a piss on my kitchen floor.

I spun around to see the Niagra Falls of turkey puss flowing freely from the island in my kitchen, down over the cabinet doors and splashing onto the floor in the pinkish-watery pool.  Just as I began to gag, my cat came running from the other room, obviously in the smell of the moment, and nearly planted his entire face in the salmonella party on the floor before I handed him a forearm shiver and sent him flying backwards and running up the stairs.  I turned back to the bird and watched it continue to hemorrhage and overflow the shallow groove of the board.  How could an 18 pound carcass spit this much guk?

Gotta say - I never knew that raw foul smelled quite like....raw foul.  I mopped the kitchen up and cleansed the place the best I could, trying not to hurl and keeping the cat away the entire time.  When I was satisfied that the kitchen was sanitized I finally got down to the business at hand.

I scooped up mounds of kosher salt and began massaging the bird.  I loaded the back and legs and I went at this bird with reckless abandon.  Next, I reached inside and pulled out the guts, neck and all.  This bird was becoming my bitch now.  I punched that thing so full of salt - it's blood pressure tripled, even in death.  Two cups or so of SALT - in this vulture!!!

Done and completely exhausted, I submerged the turkey in a huge put of salt water, covered the bitch up and shoved it in the fridge for 12 hours.

The next day it cooked for four hours or so and was enjoyed by 42 family members.  Delish.  I even gave the cat a small bite

L'Shana Tova!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Back at It

The inspiration for Jawdy's Basement from the beginning was the kids.  It was always meant to be somewhat of a diary of my life as a Dad and a backup for the forgetful computer that doubles as my brain.  Well the last few days have been filled with potential memories that I would otherwise forget so it's inspired me to take to the keyboard once again.

Yesterday, all three kids went back to school.  Let's go to the tape for the details....

Elijah started middle school.  That means 6th grade these days.  Beck Middle School does not know what's coming.  Elijah was as nervous as I've seen him in a long time.  The night before he came to our bed and cuddled with Deb for 20 minutes or so to calm down.  He never does that anymore.  It was quite adorable.  He slept fine the rest of the night so it must have worked.  When I dropped him off in the morning for his first day, he was freaking out a little as he left the car.  His last words to me were, "I don't know where I'm going."  It was painful to drive away but I know he would be OK.  Sure enough, he found his friends and had a great first day.  So much is different now in school.  Elijah does not have to bring his textbooks home - they are all online.  He's got a locker to keep all his stuff and he comes home with an almost empty book bag.  We have a login to a page where we can see his progress through virtually every part of his day - from his behavior to his homework.  It alerts us of missed assignments and tells us the scores of every quiz and test.  Not sure if all that is a good thing or not.  Guess I will assess this later on in the year.  For now, Elijah has to get used to his new school, taking the bus home every day (he left two binders on the bus today already), and learning to manage his snack eating time with his homework time (always an issue).  It's going to be a fun year.  I expect him to be a completely different kid come June.  Elijah is also starting fall baseball on Friday night so his schedule will be packed.

Hannah started 3rd grade.  Hannah starts school for the first time without her brother or sister.  The school is HERS.  She knows Bret Harte well so she will be comfortable but shes walking home every day alone to my parent's house after school.  Her homework load will increase significantly and she's going to have to learn how to focus better to finish every day....but I think she will be less of a struggle than Elijah where that's concerned.

Sadie started Kindergarten!  After changing our minds a dozen times, we finally decided to put Sadie in the JCC for Kindergarten.  She has Mrs. Schwartz and she loves it already.  Its the perfect place for Sadie because it has the Jewish element we feel is important to her and it's where Deb is working so she gets to ride back and forth with her Mom every day.  She's just adorable.  So many stories already, after just two days.  She started gymnastics yesterday as well and she's loving that also.  Sadie just loves everything she does.  She's a special kid.

Elijah said to me after his first day, "Dad, one of the girls in my class is a cheerleader."

"Yeah?  So that's cool, I guess.  Why is that important?" I responded.

"Well, let's just say....I have my eyes open."

That's a long way from "DAD - guess what?  I wrote my name today!!!"

He's growing up, my boy.

So right now we are dong our usual....watching the Phils game together.  Elijah knows all the players on every team and all their lifetime stats, what they did yesterday, what their longest homer was, who they were traded for, etc.  He's a baseball encyclopedia.

So what else is going on?

  • I am still the sole employee of Admiral Financial, a subsidiary of my long-time employer, Marlin Business Services.  Work is getting better as the economy improves.
  • Deb is working at Jewish Family Services at the JCC
  • Dad turned 70 this month and we threw a huge party for him here.  Candice hits the big 4-0 later this month but we won't talk much about that.
  • Ben and Aliyah turned one a few months ago and are awesome.  See more of them here.
  • Spencer, Lynne, Sydney and Sophia are moving to Vermont this month to start a new life with Spencer's new job.  We will miss them terribly but its the best thing to happen to their family in a very long time.
  • I still miss Utah
That last one is a topic for another post...which I hope to be inspired to write soon.  It'll need some explaining as I am sure my Mother will want to pick that one apart when I write it.  :-)

There's the short and sweet update for now.  Happy September!!!