this cup is half full, fer cryin' out loud

Monday, June 9, 2008


Tonite is Shavuot. The Pentacost. The Feast of Weeks. One of the 3 great Jewish Pilgrimage Festivals. The end of the 7 weeks since Passover. The day of the Giving of the Torah.

After a lovely dinner at the home of my colleagues Marc and Miriam Kaye, we had more than 20 of our students show up for some all-night learning. At around 3am some of us strolled over to a place called Pardes for a class. I left in the middle, and began to head home.

Dozens of people were on the streets, walking towards the Old City, to the Kotel (the Western/Wailing Wall) in simulation of the ancient pilgrimage to the Temple. Dozens of people, joining the crowd from every side street, flowing towards Mount Zion. I stood in the middle of the road and tried to catch a cab.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

lookin at me these past few weeks

I removed my beard last August or September, shortly before Rosh Hashanah. By February, I had this huge, fabulous beard that served me well in my burly role in Man of LaMancha.

But lately, when my beard gets too long, I begin to pull it out obsessively (non-chronic trichotillomania). So, just before Purim a little more than two months ago, i shaved the giant beard. Then i had the trashy mustache and scrub growth (it was part of a costume.....)

Then i cleaned it up, and shaped the mellower mustache with the little van Dyke (you might erroneously call it a goatee), and kept the hair short-

After a little while with that, I scrapped the van Dyke and went pure mustache-

Then i stopped shaving, and let it all grow in, starting after Pesach (sort of for the Omer). Just imagine me with a small beard. "Normal," you might say. Two weeks ago, knowing that it would have to all go for my role as Father Flynn, I returned to the mustache, this time, with handlebars (no pics- darn)

Last week, I shaved it all, even the nubs of the sideburns up to the ears. I think that this is the first time I've had NO sideburns since 1990 or so. Clean, clean, clean. I've actually been shaving every day, and am learning to shave at the sink, rather than in the shower.

Next thursday after the last show, i'll shave my head and probably start growing the beard back. If I could lose like 30 or 40 pounds i might could go beardless for longer.