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Learned Something New About Myself Today

22 Jan

I have been playing volleyball for about 15 years now. And I love playing. I even coached my old high school team during college before I transfered to Boston.

But for some reason, I couldn’t serve overhand. No matter how much I tried, I just couldn’t connect the ball and my hand at the right angle to go over the net. I found it incredibly frustrating.

Today we changed the time for volleyball (from 2pm to 11am) and for a while it was just me and the organizer of the volleyball game, Rob.

So we were volleying the ball back and forth. I gave him some tips to better control the ball (no fists!) and he in turn urged me to practice my overhead serve.

Sigh.

“But I can’t” I said. I’ve been trying for 15 years and I just cannot do it. Plus my other serve is a killer.

“Do it Berger!”

And so I tried. And I tried. and then a light bulb went off in my head and I switched the ball to my other hand. I threw it up in the air and POW, the ball went over the net.

I am ambidextrous in sports – and most of the time I favor my right hand (I am a leftie) but for some reason in volleyball I was trying to hit the ball with my left hand.

The minute I switched to hitting the ball with my right hand, bam bam bam the balls just kept flying over the net.

That is, until I got tired of playing in the sun after 3 hours.  Needed fuel to continue but I forgot my banana at home and so it was time to call it a day.

Until next week.

Related Posts:  Beach Volleyball, in December

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The No-No Question

2 Jan

“Hoovs, are you seeing anyone special?”

This is a question that is solely asked by married friends and it royally aggravates me.  This post might seem like I am rambling (and I will be rambling a bit) so bear with me .

First off… if you feel you have a right to even ask that question don’t you feel that I would volunteer this type of information with you if I was dating someone? Ask me about my love life and I can share stories. Maybe you want to hear them, maybe they remind you of  the “good times”, maybe you would like to live vicariously through me.
But do not ask me if there is anyone special in my life.

And btw,  I am seeing lots of special people – they are called friends.

Being in a relationship is not just up to me. It takes two.  Maybe I do want to be in one but until I find someone that I want to be in a relationship with, I will stay “single”. And I hate the word “single”. I am not single – I am just not in a man+woman relationship.  I love others and am loved in return.  So no, I am not single.

why is this always the question married folks like to ask single friends? I have way more going on in my life than just dating thankyouverymuch. I do not sit at home on the couch curled up in a ball because I am not in a relationship with a man.

Married people have this assumption that I want what they have.   Most of the time, I have absolutely no desire to have what they have.  Ideally  I want a partner for life and I want to raise a family but I have no desire to model my life/relationships after yours. Married friends tend to forget how often they complain about their married lives to us single folks – and trust me, you are scarring me.  We do not need to bond over the issues in your marriage – you dont have to make me feel “better” that i do not have to deal with the same problems since i am not married.

and i feel that the question ” are you involved” is really much deeper. It feels like married folks cannot comprehend single life and the idea that we can be happy without the bonds of marriage.  That we can be “involved” with others when we do not subscribe to the notion that you can only truly be happy and feel fulfilled as a wife/husband/mother/father.

I am happy and I have love in my life.

So the next time you want to catch up with me… ask me about my life and even my love life. Just do not ask me if I am seeing anyone “special” because if you do…  I cannot promise that I wont ask you a very personal and uncomfortable question in return.

What I Really Think of the 1st Int’l Jbloggers Conference

22 Aug

I am still shaking my head over the 1st International Jewish Bloggers Conference hosted by Nefesh B’Nefesh. It had so much potential…….

I am going to preface this blog post with a small disclaimer. ****I attend a tremendous number of hi-tech conferences every year and as such expected the conference to dig a bit deeper into the Jewish blogging world. I am also very involved in the user generated content(UGC) world (known as Web2.0) & expected at least a superficial conversation on the types of web technology bloggers use to increase their web presence ****

Blogging is a tool used by every day people to share their ideas/thoughts/feelings to the outside world. A successful blogger is one that engages their readers in conversation online and hopefully the reader will take it offline.

Blogging about life in Israel helps demystify the oleh’s daily existence and allow the readers to better understand and maybe relate to our lives. Nefesh B’Nefesh understands how vital it is for olim to blog and share our stories with the outside world. Maybe our blogging will encourage others to follow suit and move here. Maybe it will just increase support for Israel and it’s citizens. Granted not all of the Jewish bloggers at the conference blog about life in Israel but most of them do.

It was very apparent to me that the organizers of the event understood the value of blogging but are not very familiar with the blogging world and could have used an expert in blogging & in the user generated content world.

I am not a fan the First Int’l Jewish Blogging Conference conference on so many different levels but I am not going to discuss all of the reasons why in this post. Last night I was in the mood to write a post ripping the event to shreds but in the morning light I decided that would not be a productive solution to my frustrations. Instead I am going to post my advice on how to make the next conference that much better.


Here is some of my free advice:

The conference should last one whole day & be split up into two separate parts. First half of the day should be how to become better bloggers and create a larger audience and the second part of the conference should have multiple panels showcasing the different types of Jewish blogs.

How to blog better should cover:

How do we as bloggers create more flow of information online and hopefully offline with our readers?

How does a blog gain new readers and retain readers?

Topics to be Discussed are: regular postings, limiting the length of the post, using pictures, videos in the post to make it more engaging, blog aesthetics, linking, interacting with other blogs, blog statistics & etc

*A very important aspect of blogging is to understand the pattern of behavior between the blog and its readers. Who is the target audience for your blog? Are you addressing their needs or just your own? Do you respond to comments?

The second part of the conference: Showcasing popular Jewish Blogs and their authors

Getting to know the blogger –
What made these popular bloggers start writing, continue writing (when we all lack time in our lives), share funny stories about meeting readers offline, discuss controversial posts that gained a lot of +/- feedback online, share with the audience funny key words that have driven traffic to their blogs.

For the attendees:

*Stream the entire conference live but it must be archived on the web and broken down into the different segments of the conference so we can all review it.

*Create a open list of all the blogs and authors in attendance so that we can read/link/connect to new bloggers and create more online dialogue.

*Share with the audience why these specific blogs were picked for the panel.

*Share with the audience the statistics for the blogs showcased on the panel. Average unique visitors/day, reader locations and words that drive traffic to their sites. This information should be distributed in the folder.

**change the name of the conference. It was not representative of the international Jewish blogging community. Where were the South America, South Africa, Europe, Russia etc. bloggers?

I am sure I have more ideas on how to better the conference but at this point I have severely exceeded my 140 character limit and my brain hurts.