December 28, 2005

Melty Menorah

Menorah by the radiator

Happy Hanukkah!

Photo courtesy of CK1

December 25, 2005

Jewltide in Brooklyn

Tomer Yosef, mad MC of Balkan Beat Box

Who says we New York City Jews have to go to Manhattan to have a good time on Christmas Eve? Last night I went to JDub's Jewltide at Southpaw here in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where Balkan Beat Box rocked the house with their gut-quaking world beats. These guys put on a fantastic show, and the energy in the club was intense.

If you haven't heard Balkan Beat Box yet, I recommend you listen to their tracks online. Make sure you have plenty of headroom when the music starts, because you are going to be hopping in no time.

Aaron Bisman, Co-Founder and Executive Director of JDub Records, lights the menorah in the Festival of Rights

BBB's resident Belly Dancer. A Great Miracle Happened Here!

Hanging loose with my foxy friend and local Sloper, "Christmas" Carol King

December 23, 2005

A Very Shabot Xmas

This year I've been so busy with client projects that I did not have a chance to produce my own Shabot Chanukkah or Christmas special animation. But in the spirit of the holidays, I present to you last year's animated special, A Very ShaBot Christmas!

Last year I got quite a few angry e-mails from people who were offended by my Chinese food delivery boy and his broken English. They said I was being racist. Interestingly, no one wrote to complain about my big-nosed Jew or the stingy Jewish robot.

Anyway, Merry Christmas.

December 18, 2005

Rav-ing Fans

Rav Shmuel and a new fan

Last night I went to see Rav Shmuel perform at the Side Walk Café in the East Village, having been invited by my two new adorable friends, Cordula and Elisheva (Monsey girls rule!) Rav, described as a "A Beer Drinking Songwriting Rabbi" put on a fantastic show, and really had the house rocking. He opened with a soulful cover of Radiohead's Karma Police, followed by a chill rendition of The Ramones I Wanna Be Sedated! The ukulele-toting rabbi, accompanied by his "all-Kike band" (including guitarist Yoshie from Juez), continued through the night with Rav's original tunes, which I highly recommend checking out.

After the show I got to meet Rav, and gave him a big hug in behalf of all his female admirers. Turns out Rav is a fan of my cartoons! We are now mutual fans.

Late at night, a few stragglers, including me and Cordula, were treated to an impromptu acoustic encore presentation, up close and personal with Rav. It was a wonderful experience.

I'll see you at the next show!

More photos below.

Me flanked by sweethearts Cordula and Elisheva

Cordula and b. Baruch stayed up late for the after show

Hanging outside with Yoshie

December 12, 2005

Into the Void

Okay, so I've spent the last year and a half poking fun at JDate with my Shabot comics. Which is why it is so ironic that, due to recent circumstances, I have once again returned to the clutches of that cursed online dating service.

Times sure have changed since I last used JDate, which was way back in early 2001. Now there are "Flirts" and "Teases", new ways of telling someone you are too lame to even construct an e-mail. And you can see who has looked at your profile, and at what time, and if you've been added to a Hot List (although I think this feature must be broken). There is also a quirky Instant Message system that apparently allows you to send a one-way message to another member while you sit and stare at the screen for a long time, but get no response. It's good fun.

It would be even more fun if someone would write back to my JDate letters. I only write to women whose profiles I find appealing, and I try to show genuine interest by composing highly personalized messages instead of resorting to a generic stock letter.

My sorrowfully ineffective method has been to start with a humorous reference to their profile, to show I was actually paying attention. For your enjoyment, I've compiled a select list of actual clips from letters I've sent to other JDate members. Invariably, I get no response.

Tell me, would you write back?

To the psychologist:
Can I book an hour of couch time?

To the entrepreneur who quit law school and her job on Wall St. to start a cookie company:
Subject: I did it all for the cookie
Message: Wall Street, law school, now cookies. You're in it for the DOUGH!

To the "Vice President with Looks"
I typically only date Presidents but I would be willing to lower the bar and make an exception here.

To the girl who, well ... I can understand why she didn't write back:
If we went on a date I think I could overcome the fact that you bear an uncanny resemblance to my sister.

To a girl who claims "Make me laugh and I become like silly puddy":
Would be great to make you laugh so you become like silly puddy. Then we could press you against a newspaper and make an impression of the newsprint.

To the defense attorney:
If I was a defense attorney, every night when I went to sleep, I'd shout, "The defense rests!"

To a girl who insists "I also want to meet a man who knows what he's doing in bed."
You got me thinking, am I a man who knows what he's doing in bed? Well, I know I'm reaching over to carve another notch on the bedpost, and sometimes I'm phoning my mates to tell them I've scored again. I'm kidding. These days it's all about text messaging.

NB: I actually did hear back from this gal, and we went on a date. She confessed that all the bedroom talk was just a way to lure men into sending her outrageous responses for a social experiment she is conducting. We are sure to be best of friends.

To the girl who awards "big bonus points if you love to read":
In response to your essay, I must confess: I am not a reader. It's not that I don't like to read ... I CAN'T read! I never learned how. Sure, I can write, but I can never go back and read what I've written to make corrections. (You may be asking, how did I read your letter? Easy: Helper monkey)

To the girl looking for Prince Charming:
Subject: I'm Prince Farming
Message: I don't know how charming I am, but I was born on a farm.

To the graduate from a "top university":
[...] To maintain your reputation as an MBA from a top university, you should correct the typo with "atrractive" in that last paragraph.

To the girl who loves sharks:
P.S. -- You dig sharks, eh? I have an ancient fossilized 4" long shark tooth (that's not a pickup line).

To the speech language pathologist:
Subject: Aphasia got me in a haze-ia

To the girl whose biggest turn-off is negativity:
I'm trying to come up with a way to say, "I'm not negative", but that in itself is a double negative.

To the girl with no picture, and a "small frame" body type
Do you have a photo to go with that small frame of yours?

It is going to be a long winter for the JewishRobot.

December 11, 2005

Cartoon Clinic

I have spoken with confidence in front of audiences of hundreds of people at technology conferences, but put me in front of a group of ten kids and I'm quaking in my boots! Today I hosted a "Cartoon Clinic" at Congregation Shearith Israel, The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue on the Upper West Side here in New York City. We started off with a small group of six children, ages ranging from 4 to 7, much younger than I had expected. And they ate me alive! Just kidding, these kids were great, and really enthusiastic about drawing cartoons.

We started off with a brief presentation of my cartoon animations, which the children really seemed to enjoy. They had a lot of good questions about animation production, and I'm hoping that one day I can return for a longer time slot to show them some cool animation techniques.

Since we only had an hour before the parents finished their class, we went straight into the comic strip business. First we learned about the standard three-panel strip, and the wonderful world of speech bubbles! Then we did a practice round in which the students filled in their own jokes and speech bubbles on a blank Shabot comic strip template. My favorite was, "Shabbat Shalom. You look hot!"

Then we pretended we were professional cartoonists being hired by a newspaper to do some comic strips. We each picked two topics out of a hat, words like SNAKE, BEE, FISH, LOLLIPOP, and FLOWER. The rules were simple: draw a comic strip using the two words, and those objects have to talk to each other. The kids were very creative, and came up with some really cool comic strips. They liked their own work so much that I didn't get to keep a copy of any, but I'll see if I can track one down to post here.

It was a fun time, and I hope to be invited back again. A few of the parents asked if I do birthday parties. I haven't yet, but I'm thinking I should consider it. Especially if the kids have much older sisters.

Tonight ...



Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (Robert Smigel)
Saturday Night Live star Rachel Dratch
Hip hop provocateur Princess Superstar
Celebrated female rappers Northern State
The Cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The Daily Show‚s Eric Drysdale
Actress/comedian Jackie Hoffman
Comic genius Judy Gold
Funnyman Todd Barry
Comedian Rebecca Drysdale
And many more of today‚s most celebrated Jewish artists (to be announced)

WHAT: A Jewcy Chanukah to Benefit Natan

WHEN: Sunday, December 11, 2005, 8PM

WHERE: Crobar, 530 W. 28th St. (10th-11th Aves.), New York City

TICKETS: Available via or 212.868.4444. Tickets range from $25 for general admission to $5,000 for VIP tables.

WHY: Channeling the electricity of the new Jewish movement, a stellar roster of Jewish artists will headline an historic concert bridging the best of Jewish pop culture with the Jewish legacy of charity.

Produced by young Jews, for young Jews (and those who love them), the first annual Jewcy Chanukah is poised to become a new holiday tradition for New Yorkers seeking something more „Jewcy‰ than dreidel-spinning contests or Matzoh Balls.

Hosted by Jewcy (, the hot-as-latkes collective leading a new wave of Jewish culture and pride, the concert will benefit Natan ( a philanthropic network of young Jews seeking to help transform the Jewish future by funding innovative solutions to address crucial questions of Jewish life.

December 06, 2005

Got T-Shirt?

Back in November I participated in the Jewschool fundrasier for the Jewish Fund for Justice. I left a little early that night, but a few days later I received notice that I had won a YidGear t-shirt in the Jewschool raffle. Here I am with my new shirt, gonna' wear it out today ... Got Milchig? Thanks, Isaac!

Yes, I did try a photo with me wearing a milk moustache, but it looked mildly perverted.