Sunday, January 20, 2008

Snippets from a month in transition...



I've had time for it to sink in now. And I'm probably going to piss a lot of you off: BRITISH TV SUCKS, plain and simple. Yes, this is a sweeping generalization, but I will explain my thesis, if you let me.

1. American TV is the standard - all other TV around the world must conform to this standard.

2. Pacing: British "award-winning" dramas like Skins and Shameless have TERRIBLE pacing, and quite frankly, outside of a narrow British audience, will never find universal appeal. These shows wouldn't even make it out of the pilot phase in America - guaranteed.

3. Any British show that's good gets picked up by America...From American Idol to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to The Office to Life on Mars: If it's good, we will buy it and we will adapt won't necessarily work, but we'll surely give it our best shots.

4. Brits love American humor (Friends and The Simpsons fuel your damn economy like Vodka/Red Bull fuels my dance moves)...but the love is not returned. We don't watch your shows in their original form, if we ever watch them at all...


I've always been funny. This isn't arrogance, just a plain and simple fact that was first made public in 3rd grade when I made my classmate laugh so hard that the cheese fondue we were cooking (we were completing a unit about Switzerland....random, I know, and off-shore nameless bank accounts were never discussed...making such lessons all the more useless) sprayed out of her nose, inciting a near riot in class and resulting in detentions for both me and my victim. But in England, I'm not funny - at least not in the same way I am here in the States. Sure, I can drop one-liners that people appreciate , but it's not with the same vigour. People understand quirkiness in the UK, but don't value its comedic charm. But it's not me that's most funny, it's the situations I find myself in while in America that generally don't happen in England...In the 48 hours I've been home, the following has happened:

1. At the mall, I was told I couldn't pay for shoes on my own unless I had a salesman to help me, even though the salesman fetched and then handed me shoes but then abandoned me before I was even able to try them on.

2. I was able to nail an impression of the lone waiter at my favorite Italian restaurant reciting the daily specials in the voice of of the guy in The Princess Bride who does the whole thing with the wine goblets. A baby arugula salad in a pesto sauce with fresh peppers and grilled shrimp (pause) - no cream....why the fuck would there be cream in a salad?

OK, I've gotten ahead of myself....maybe the situations here are more humorous because of their familiarity....and if I'd grown up in England, the same incidents would be funny, not frustrating.


Ben Gurion Airport has free wireless. I can't complain. Life is good. My morning started with a walk along the beach, and lunch with my cousin who is coincidentally also in town...I'm headed back to the dreariness of England in 20 minutes, making me very, very sad. I have a new favorite Israeli eatery: Sushi2Go - a brilliant concept in its speed, effectiveness, and overall quality. I even brought a boatload of sushi to the airport with me that I just finished consuming. Last night's dinner was at Moses - the home of the best hamburger's in the Middle East and a tangy homemade Tabasco sauce that is to die for. And today's shopping on Shenkin Street is unparalleled in New York, London, or LA as the number of unique shops (read: not chain stores) is never ending. Tel Aviv is swinging with life these days - make it a place to visit soon.


The Discovery Channel has launched a new series about coping with life's everyday dilemmas and difficult situations, so people don't expose themselves to preventable injuries or death. I'd like to take staying fit to a more micro level: During the past year, I began to take my well-being very seriously, and I'd like to share with you ten nutrition tips that have enabled me to live a healthier lifestyle. Since arriving in the UK on September 3rd, I've dropped between fifteen and twenty pounds (I think that's 1 stone, but I haven't got that far yet)...Here's how I did it:

Riding the Culinary Roller Coaster...

1. Goodbye white bread, hello whole wheat bread - I'm now a multigrain superstar.
2. I also switched from typical pasta to whole-wheat pasta, but I'm still getting used to the flavor – the trick is to cook the whole-wheat pasta for a while, as when it's too al dente, it tastes like cardboard.
3. I now add pesto sauce to's delicious, give the green stuff a shot, and use it as a substitute for less healthy creamy pasta toppings.
4. Egg Yolks are good for you: There's no need to throw them away, especially if you don't have cholesterol problems. These yellow monsters have as many nutrients as a multivitamin.
5. Throw out your vegetable oil and use Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO as celebrity chef Rachael Ray says)...and invest in a 1-calorie cooking spray to prepare your pans.
6. Why use catsup when you can use tomato sauce? I add it to everything from chicken and steak to eggs and potatoes and it's so much healthier.
7. You don't need to add salt to everything: Half the time you don't taste it anyway. More and more studies are showing the dangers of consuming too much salt.
8. Switch to low-fat cheese. In a blind taste test, would you ever know the difference between the healthy and high-fat options?
9. Yogurt is a great snack and helps you lose weight – add some nuts to it for some nutritious crunch.
10. For the alcoholics out there: Why waste 100 calories on soda or sugar-filled juice as a mixer with your vodka? Scotch on the rocks with a splash of water is the way to go.

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