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October 26, 2005

My boring life?

I'm reading a book right now called The Beach by Alex Gardner. Among other things, this book describes the backpacking culture of Thailand, and how a lot of foreigners come into the country to hang out and explore. It features mystery, danger, exploration, french women, drugs, and exotic locales. It is a very interesting book (so far).

As I was reading it yesterday, I suddenly came to the conclusion that 1) fact is NOT stranger than fiction and 2) my life is just plain freaking boring. First of all, you hear this all the time, that non-fiction is much more interesting than fiction. I beg to differ. In the grand scheme of things, 9 out of 10 times our lives are as boring as watching snot freeze. Man, we really know how to be boring. Wake up, go to work, get home, eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed, repeat. Yikes! Somebody stop us! Secondly, I came to the conclusion yesterday that my life is not very interesting. I may do some fun things every once in a while, but for the most part I am a sedentary individual content to watch the world pass me by. Or am I?

Bear with me here. What I plan on doing for the next month (?) is document my life and decide once and for all whether it is interesting or boring. Hopefully I can keep up with this, but at the end of a month I hope to tally up all my interesting and boring days and make a decision on whether or not my life has enough pizazz. We'll see how it goes.

Anyway, let's start by writing about last night. Last night I actually did something that I will deem as "interesting." I went to a Jewish Synagogue and celebrated Simchat Torah. My son's Webelos Den Leader is Jewish, and as a Den we are visiting a bunch of different churches (and synagogues). Next week we'll probably visit my church (which should provide me with another interesting event in my life).

Anyway, last night was Simchat Torah or the holiday of "rejoicing with the law." It was the first time I had ever been to a synagogue. Simchat Torah, and its sister holiday of Shemini Atzeret, mark the end and beginning of a year of reading the Torah. As you may know, the Torah is the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), and it is the most sacred text in the Jewish faith. In the synagogue the Torah is kept in the "ark" at the front of the sanctuary (?) and it is in scroll form.

The service started out with some singing and chanting in Hebrew. Needless to say, I was completely lost, but it was very interesting. Oh, and I had to wear a yamika. After that, it was time for the "rejoicing" aspect of the service, and this was really interesting. The rabbi called for certain members of the synagogue to come up and take the Torahs out of the ark (this synagogue had about 5 Torahs). He announced that their would be 7 hakafots (pronounced "ha-ka-fa") and that other members would hold the Torahs for each one. Ha! I was so lost. But again, very interesting.

After this announcement, the band started in, and the people holding the Torahs started to dance around the sanctuary. Baloons and streamers dropped from ceileing and everyone literally began celebrating. Everyone reached out to touch the Torah, or kiss it by way of kissing a book and then touching the Torah. My kids loved it. We all danced around for probably a half an hour, and then the rabbi said, "For the second hakafot we will use people over 40."

I thought to myself, "That was only the first hakafot? And we've got six more to go? Wow! These people really like to rejoice in the Torah! We're going to be here until midnight!"

In actuality, each hakafot after was steadily shorter and shorter until we finished with the 7th hakafot. Then, the rabbi took out one of the scrolls and asked the synagogue members to roll it out and hold it up. It was about as long as half the sanctuary. Then, he went through it and described where each book begins and ends, and important parts throughout the text. It was fascinating. Those holding it up also could not touch it with their fingers. They had to use napkins. I missed if this was because finger oil could damage it, or if it was because the Torah is sacred. They even let my older son hold up a part of it. I thought that was pretty neat (given the scroll was probably over 200 years old) and so did he.

After that, the service ended and we went to the reception area for some refreshments. All in all, it was a very interesting evening.

So, here begins my tally:

Interesting day: 1
Boring day: 0

Most of my days will probably not be as interesting as yesterday. But we shall see.

Posted by snackeru at October 26, 2005 12:58 PM | Boring vs. Interesting | Life

Comments

I totally agree with you. Our lives are boring. This is a great idea and I will enjoy reading more.

You left out a category, however. Wouldn't time spent with Cheesehead Craig fall under "Day from Hell?"

Posted by: Brian Maas at October 26, 2005 1:19 PM

Shane,
An excellent job of role-modeling for your children by exposing them to this. Well done.

COD-piece,
Why the hatred? Seems that you are just a "little" jealous. I mean these "short" jabs do nothing but reflect poorly on you and your "tiny" view of the world. You could learn a lesson from Shane who showed his kids a "small" sampling of something different than they are used to. I have better things to do than defend myself from your "puny" attacks.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at October 26, 2005 2:45 PM

You know CC, you must have been beat up by a "gravity-challenged" person at the circus when you were growing up because you seem to have a Stalinesque hatred of anyone under 6'.

Maybe a short guy once stole some pie from you?

I think you either need therapy or some medication. I can help you with either.

Posted by: Brian Maas at October 26, 2005 3:04 PM

"Gravity challenged" people? Would that be those people that have problems staying on Earth and tend to float away through the atmosphere into space?

Oh and nobody, not Shane, my wife or Shaquille O'Neal steals my pie. You don't go messing with a man's pie.

I got no problem with short people, don't know why you would say that. My best friend is 5'9", you've met her, my wife. I think you may have some inferiority complex you need to work out. Give us some updates on your progress over at the Four Hoarse Men blog.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at October 26, 2005 3:48 PM

I believe the term is "vertically-challenged." SBG, your source for all things unimportant.

Posted by: SBG at October 27, 2005 10:03 AM

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