Thursday, December 09, 2004


First of all, HAPPY CHANUKAH!!!

I LOVE Chanukah; I think that from all the Jewish holidays, it is my favorite. And no, it has nothing to do with gifts because I do not get gifts in Chanukah (that's mostly for little children, Chanukah is not the "Jewish X-mas"), and it's not because of the food, though it does have an influence (latkas and donuts and buñuelos, oh my!). No, it's something else, something that in the four years or so I've been celebrating Chanukah I haven't been able to put my finger on, not totally.

One of the reasons, though, is very clear to me. Chanukah was the first Jewish holiday I celebrated, back some four (or five) years ago, when I was still celebrating X-mas. My mother-in-law had already begun her change towards Judaism, and she got us to light the menorah as well. In my apt., alone with a little siddur (prayer book) she gave me, I recited the prayers and lit the candles for 8 nights, staying home, sitting on my sofa, doing nothing for the hour or so it took the candles to burn down. There was no religious meaning to me back then, but there was something about the candles, about the way they burned, all in a row, that really soothed me (and at that moment in my life, I needed it badly).

Years later I would learn about the story of Chanukah, what the candles stand for, and what the illumination represents, but at that moment, none of that mattered; all that mattered to me were those candles and the sense of peace they gave me. Sure, after Chanukah was over (or even in the middle of it, if they concurred) I went right into celebrating X-mas without a second thought, but something was changing in me, though it would take another two to three years to fully realize it.

Judaism teaches that all human souls have a divine spark inside them, an innate connection to God. In the great majority of us, these sparks are dormant, subdued by the mundane world, the day-to-day routine, but sometimes, something happens that lights up that spark and turns it into a small flame and then into a roaring fire. To Jews, that that catalyst is the Torah (and my belief is that to all of humanity as well, perhaps not literally as the Torah, but the essence contained therein), and sometimes it can be manifested in as simple an act as lighting the menorah. My whole conversion, I am sure, can be traced back to that menorah I lit years ago, and the sense of peace that it gave me when I had no idea why.

Sure, there are other reasons that can be deduced for my love of Chanukah, like the fact that it commemorates the triumph of Judaism against the overwhelming tide of Hellenism, a tradition in which I was very much into being as I was a product of the Greek model of logic, but those are interpretations for another day. At the core, even today, I love Chanukah because I love lighting the menorah; I love seeing those flames dance all in a row, radiating an aura of peace around them, having memories to that first menorah I lit, and the incredible road it started me on.

As I said, Happy Chanukah.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Back From NYC And Yet More D&D In The News

We got back from our weekend getaway to New York late last night. We had a wonderful time in NYC, and once again I am reminded of how much I like that city and how much I'd like to move up there.

Quickly (I'll go into details later), our time was spent mostly relaxing. We arrived on Wednesday night after a 2-hour long delay at MIA, ate something and went to sleep. On Thursday my wife and I took a cab ride to the
Ohel, resting place of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Chabad-Lubavitch, as well as of his wife and father-in-law, also a Chabad Rebbe. We returned later in the afternoon to Brooklyn, had our Thanksgiving dinner, and went to see "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" (we liked it, it was funny) in Times Square. Friday we overslept, so we barely had enough time to make it to Manhattan, to the Hotel 17, where later in the evening, after Shabbat had started, our friend Larissa joined us. After a meal of wraps and lots of side dishes, we took a walk around Union Square and enjoyed the cold air. Saturday my wife and I went to the Young Israel of 5th Avenue for prayers, returned for a quick lunch, joined Larissa and Yvonne for an afternoon walk around Union Square and its various stores, took a short nap, and went to see Wicked: The Musical (it was AMAZING!), closing the night at the hotel and me with a headache the size of the Empire State Building. Sunday we went shopping around Union Square and St. Mark's Place in the East Village, and ate at a great little food place called Chickpea, before going to the airport and flying back home to Miami. I'll expound later.

Also, continuing the trend, the Boston Herald has published an article on D&D's 30th Anniversary entitled, "Here there be Dragons: After 30 years, D&D Players Shape Pop Culture."

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Thanksgiving in New York

In what appears to be on its way to becoming a holiday tradition, my wife and I will be flying tomorrow evening from Miami to New York to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with my sister-in-law. What's even cooler, our friend Larissa will join us from Orlando on Friday, and Saturday night we're all going to see Wicked: The Musical, starring Idina Menzel.

All in all, this weekend should be kickass! Which is awesome, because we really need to get out of Miami once in a while.

Monday, November 22, 2004

RPG Questionaire

Once in a while you find these questionaires in websites, emails and other blogs, but this is the first one I have seen RPG related. So here goes (taken from Gareth-Michael Skarka):

1. What is the first RPG you ever played?

Dungeons & Dragons. It was 1986, I was in the 7th grade, and a friend of mine told me about this game his cousin had brought from the States (I was living in Puerto Rico at the time) about fantasy and dragons. I've been hooked ever since.

2. What RPG do you currently play most often?

Though I write d20 material that's D&D compatible, the game I have most played in the last few years has been Vampire: The Masquerade, with an ongoing chronicle since 1999. Recently we started a World of Darkness chronicle with the new rules.

3. What is the best system you've played?

Personally, I've always been a fan of D&D, though I readily accept it has had many problems over the years. I like the new 3.5 edition of the game; I think it's the most solid it has ever been. For more atmospheric games, White Wolf's Storyteller system rocks; I've gone months without rolling dice, based on the story-driven basis of the system.

4. What is the best system you've run?

White Wolf's Storyteller system, I would say. I used to like the Shadowrun system a lot, but then it got too complicated. D&D 3rd and 3.5 edition are a close second.

5. Would you consider yourself an: Elitist/ Min-Maxer/ Rules Lawyer?

If by Elitist you mean middle-of-the-road or story-driven type of player, then that's me. I'm definitely not a Rules Lawyer or a Min-Maxer.

6. If you could recommend a new RPG which would you recommend? Why?

Probably the new World of Darkness by White Wolf. They took a streamlined system and streamlined it even more, taking the best concepts from 3rd edition D&D and applying it to the Storyteller system. The result is a good game that serves even better as a toolkit for modern occult genre games.

7. How often do you play?

Sadly, I haven't been in a regular game in a while. Our gaming schedule is erratic, at best.

8. What sort of characters do you play? Leader? Follower? Comic Relief? Roll-Player/ Role-Player?

Role-player/Leader. Though sometimes I like to play a combat-machine just for kicks.

9. What is your favorite Genre for RPGs?

Fantasy, hands down. I enjoy futuristic/cyberpunk too, but at the end of the day it's fantasy I come back to.

10. What Genres have you played in?

Pretty much every genre available in a game, except for espionage.

11. Do you prefer to play or GM? Do you do both?

I like to do both, though I end up GM-ing more than playing.

12. Do you like religion in your games?

Game-related? Sure. Real life? only if the people involved can be mature and respectful about it. Otherwise, no.

13. Do you have taboo subjects in your games or is everything "fair game"?

Depends on the game and the players. See previous answer.

14. Have you developed your own RPG before?

Whole roleplaying game from the ground up? No, I always adapted others, and now I write for the d20 System.

15. Have you ever been published in the Gaming Industry? If so...what?

Yes. Here's a list:

  • "Bardic Lore: The Fachan" - Highmoon Media Productions (2004)
  • "Liber Sodalitas: Erzsak's Drake Riders" - Highmoon Media Productions (2004)
  • "Liber Sodalitas: The Blind Path" - Highmoon Media Productions (2004)
  • "The Player's Guide to Arcanis" - Paradigm Concepts, Inc. (2004)
    Additional Design
  • "Nishanpur: City of Secrets" - Paradigm Concepts, Inc. (2004)
    Additional Design (my name was left off the credits)
  • Campaign Magazine, Issue 8 - Fast Forward Entertainment, Inc. (2003)
    Author, "The Green Bough Glen" and "Four Magical Feats"
  • "Alchemy & Herbalists" - Bastion Press, Inc. (2002)
    Additional Material
  • "Codex Arcanis" - Paradigm Concepts, Inc. (2002)
    Additional Design
  • "Hidden Greed" - RPGA Living Arcanis adventure, Paradigm Concepts, Inc. (2001)
  • "At the Edge of the Abyss" - RPGA Living Greyhawk adventure, Wizards of the Coast. (2001)
  • "Hawk's Pride" - RPGA Living City adventure, Wizards of the Coast. (2001)
  • Pyramid Magazine - Steve Jackson Games. (1998)
    Reviewer, "Clan Novel: Toreador" book review

Friday, November 19, 2004

Nov. 19: Sad And Happy Day

November 19 has various meanings to me, some happy and some sad. Let me get the sad one out first:

November 19, 1993 --11 years ago -- was the day my father passed away. I was living in Puerto Rico at the time, he in Miami, and he had gone in for some checkups a few days before. During the early morning hours of Nov. 19 he suffered a renal failure and died shortly thereafter (there is obviously more to it, but there's no reason to go into my Dad's medical history here). It was the worst news I had ever received, especially because a few days before, when my grandparents had flown to Miami to be with my dad at the hospital, I had had one of those gut premonitions that feel like punch to the stomach telling me to go with them; I didn't.

I had spent almost all of that summer with my Dad here in Miami and we'd have a great time. I flew back to P.R about a week before I was scheduled to originally because a girl, an ex-girlfriend, I hadn't seen in 3 years was in P.R. due to a death in the family (the irony kills me), and I had some unfinished business with her that I wanted to close once and for all (a story for another time). And so my Dad paid the extra fee so I could fly in earlier and see this girl; he was sad, and so was I, but hey, there was always Christmas! It wasn't to be. He had a funeral in Miami, and then his body was flown to Puerto Rico, where he's buried.

The really annoying thing about this whole deal is, as destroyed as I was by the death of my father, when I saw his body at the funeral, my sadness was alleviated by what I saw: my father had died with a smile on his face. An honest-to-God smile. During that summer, my Dad and I caught up with like 4 seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on reruns, and he said to me one night that in Heaven, since we'd be free of the limitations of the body, we'd be able to visit all the corners of the Universe, just "beaming" from here to there without effort, all so we could see the wonders of God's creation. When I saw his smile, that conversation came to mind, and I understood. I got an image in my head of my father, dressed in a Federation uniform, just exploring the vastness of the Universe, and that made me smile in turn.

I didn't cry at this funeral, though I have cried for him many times after that (including as I type this). I can't say I understand why God decided that his time had come so soon; I needed him so much during the time of my wedding, and especially as I was contemplating my conversion to Judaism, though most of the time I simply needed him because I just needed my Dad. I just gotta trust that God did what was right, and that one day I will understand. Until then, Dad, beam on, cause one day I'll want the Grand Tour as well.

My Dad also taught me that happiness should always be held higher than sadness, and that when possible, a sad occasion should be followed by a joyous one, which is why it's no coincidence that Nov. 19 is also the day that my wife and I arrived in Ireland ready to begin our married life and enjoy our honeymoon.

Yvette & Danny at the Cliffs of Moher
Nov. 24, 2002

We had visited Europe the year before for a 35-day Grand Tour we named The Transfiguration Tour, but as much as we all wanted to go to Ireland, we just had to leave it off for another time. That "another time" was our honeymoon, and we enjoyed every single last second of it. Ireland is a country where myth and history are inseparable, truly one and the same. People may tell you that they pray to St. Brigit knowing full well she's a Christianization of the Celtic goddess Brigid, or that they don't believe in faeries, but don't piss them off because they are out there. The best thing about having gone to our honeymoon in Ireland is that now, Ireland will always be a part of our marriage; whenever we look back on those early days, Ireland is there for us, beckoning, waiting for us to go back to her.

You can check our online travel journal at Celtic Honeymoon, and follow our trip day by day, location by location. Trust me, you'll fall in love with Ireland as well.

So like I said, sad and happy day, this Nov. 19. But overall, it's a happy one. I know my Dad would want me to feel that way.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

[Highmoon Media] Letter To Our Customers & Friends

I (as Highmoon Media Productions) sent out this letter to all our current customers and to a group of friends to say thanks for their suport so far, and to let them know what's going on with HMP. I thought I'd post it here as a newsletter type of message stating where we are, and where we're headed.

Hello from Highmoon Media Productions.
We just wanted to take a moment to say hi to all our gaming friends and customers, and take a moment to put you up-to-date on what's happening at HMP.

Our three releases up to date--
Liber Sodalitas: The Blind Path, Liber Sodalitas: Erzsak's Drake Riders, and Bardic Lore: The Fachan--have been selling very well indeed, giving us all here at HMP great impetus to continue releasing cool new products.

HMP's Liber Sodalitas: The Blind Path was recently reviewed at
EN World by Staff Reviwer Crothian, who rated the product 4 out of 5! You can read his review here.

At, two of our customers have already left User Comments, which we treasure and value, both rating Liber Sodalitas: The Blind Path 5 out 5! You can check out the User Comments here (scroll down to the bottom).

If after buying, you enjoy your HMP purchase, we'd like to ask you to leave either a User Comment at, on the page of the product of your choice (or all three), or if you'd like to write a longer review, you could post it to, or at HMP's EN World Reviews Company Page under the appropiate product. Your comments help us improve and deliver quality products into your hands.

HMP is just getting started, too. Drop by our website at for the latest news and features, like the upcoming Designer's Notes section for each of our products where we'll take you behind the scenes of the creation process. We also hope to have our d20 Future line, Da Vinci Labs, ready to go before the end of the year, as well as our first release in the new Terra Mythica line. Closer on the horizon, we have a new Bardic Lore release, The Villa of Mysterious Delights, a drop-in location for your d20 Fantasy game, and a new Liber Sodalitas organization, the Scions of the Holy Triad, masters of the Triad Combat technique, and wielders of the wicked Triskele.

Like I said, lots coming from Highmoon Media Productions, we hope you'll stick around for the ride.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Highmoon Media Releases Bardic Lore: The Fachan

Highmoon Media Productions releases its third product, Bardic Lore: The Fachan, at

I turned around, intent on facing my enemy and instead I faced my nightmares. In front of me stood a creature fully a head taller than I, its single, bloodshot eye staring at me with all the hatred in the world. It had a broad and muscled body with a single arm jutting from the center of its chest, and a single, powerful leg, propelling it forth towards me. I can honestly say I hope to never run into a fachan ever again.
— From the journal of Amergin Ó Míl

Bardic Lore: The Fachan is a 8-page PDF (7 pages of content plus OGL) detailing a new creature for your d20 Fantasy game from the pages of Celtic myth, the fachan. Included are stats for this fearsome creature, info on the fachan as a character race, the fachan paragon class, a fully-stated NPC to threaten your players, and Lore/Knowledge check information. Written by Daniel M. Perez, artwork by Kelso Kaiser.

Bardic Lore chronicles the travels of the great bard Amergin Ó Míl as he wanders around the land, learning about the mundane, exotic and magical, recording it in his journal for posterity. Each Bardic Lore release is an entry from Amergin's journal, with accompanying d20 Fantasy stats and descriptions.

Look for further releases in the
Bardic Lore and Liber Sodalitas lines from HMP.

Also available from Highmoon Media Productions:

More D&D In The News

I do not cease to be amazed at the amount of news pieces mentioning D&D this year; perhaps there are far more of us geeks than originally thought, and we do, in part, rule the world now (alongside our trusty sword +5).

The Boston Globe published on Nov. 15 an opinion piece on Dungeons & Dragon's 30th Anniversary entitled, "How 'Dungeons' changed the world."

And in similar news, Newsweek published a short op-ed in their November 22 issue, also on D&D's 30th Anniversary, entitled "Fantasy: The Thirty Years War."


2nd Wedding Anniversary

Today is our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. Two years ago, in a first-rainy-then-crips-and-cool-then-really-cold Sunday night, I married the woman who was my love and my life. It was a sweet ceremony, full of joy, and everyone who attended can testify to the overwhelming feeling of peace, happiness and hope that permeated even the air. Now, two years later, we're still married, still in love and still without having killed each other (I've always said that the secret to a long-lasting and loving relationship is that the husband and wife do not kill each other).

So, to my wife, Happy 2nd Anniversary. I love you now more than I did then, but I still love you with the passion I did that day. May we have many, many more.

You can see our wedding website at "Danny & Yvette: Our Wedding."

Friday, November 12, 2004

HMP's First Review!

I released Liber Sodalitas: The Blind Path on October 12, thus launching Highmoon Media Productions officially. All this time, while the product's been on sale (and selling quite decently, I think), I have been waiting for a product review. I got two good user reviews at, which do mean a lot to me, since these are the people actually using the material, but an actual product review still eluded me. That changed today.

I did my usual morning round at, and found on the front page that Liber Sodalitas: The Blind Path had been reviewed by Staff PDF Reviewer Crothian. My heart jumped to my throat, I swear to you. Before this moment, I had read various posts from other publishers talking about when they received their first review, the anxiety and exhilaration that it brought, and I thought they were exagerating. They weren't, not by a longshot.

The review, I'm happy to say, was very positive, earning the product a 4 out of 5 rating, as well as some good comments from Crothian (
click to read the review). It's a weird ego thing, getting a review. In my case, I'm not sure it will have any impact on my sales (though it does put my product's name back on the front page at, but the fact that someone who has reviewed hundreds of gaming products liked mine and thought well of it. It validates the work I have been doing up to now, and gives me impetus to keep going, to produce more (hopefully) good stuff.

I was feeling kinda crappy this morning, but this has bettered my mood a lot. Now to finish my stuff here at work and head home, cause Shabbat now starts at 5:15 PM and that leaves no time to waste.

Great Quote

My wife just sent me this via email. I don't know who said it, but it is a great quote:
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body totally worn out, and screaming WOOHOO!!! .....What a Glorious Ride!"

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Haman Is Dead

I was awake last night at around midnight when I got a Breaking News email from the local NBC station: Yasser Arafat had died.

Psalm 92: 7
When the wicked bloom like grass, and the doers of iniquity blossom- it is to destroy them till eternity.

I turned on the news and only BBC had something on it, so I just went to bed, knowing full well in the morning the news organizations would have all the details. I was right, and while I had my breakfast I got up to date on the death of the "Palestinian" leader and all the related going-ons in the Middle East, and especially in Israel.

Have you ever read the Book of Esther? You should. And when you do, instead of Haman, replace it with Arafat; you'll get the same result. This is a man who championed terrorism as a perfectly acceptable tactic to getting what he wanted. This is the man who kept his "people" in the dirt while living it up in a multi-million dollar lifestyle with the money he stole. This is the man who came up with the ridiculous idea of a Palestinian people and state. Did you know he was actually Egyptian, not "Palestinian?" That's because there is no such thing as a "Palestinian" people, not in the modern world. Some two or three thousand years ago perhaps, and even then that's iffy at best. There's always been Arab nomads in those lands, yes, but just the same there have always been Jews and/or Israelis as well, and we have the claim to the land, not them (and unless you're a 100% atheist there is no way you can argue that point with me).

Of course, the world is mourning him as if he'd been a hero. I got news for you: if you believe Arafat was a hero, then so is Osama Bin Laden; if you think Arafat should be accorded all the privileges of a stateman, then hand them out to Bin Laden as well, because these two were peas from the same rotten pod. Arafat was a terrorist, plain and simple; a man who hated with vehemence Israel and the USA and all that the Western World stands for, a man who had no problem ordering suicide bombings in civilian centers, who had no problem ordering the deaths of children, a man who benefited from the misery of those he pretended to represent with their full support to boot, ignorant people that they are. Today a true villain has died.

And before you can say anything, understand that I do not rejoice in the fact; at the end of the day he was just a sick and decrepit old man of 75 who died alone far from his home. But I am glad he passed away, and even more so that he died like he did, of natural causes. God simply said, "You're time's up, Arafat. It's time for your judgement." What happens to him in the afterlife is of no concern of mine, but I know he will have to answer for every single life he took, directly or indirectly.

Psalm 83
A Song, a Psalm of Asaph.
O God, keep not Thou silence; hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, Thine enemies are in an uproar; and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head. They hold crafty converse against Thy people, and take counsel against Thy treasured ones. They have said: 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.' For they have consulted together with one consent; against Thee do they make a covenant; The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagrites; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also is joined with them; they have been an arm to the children of Lot.

Do Thou unto them as unto Midian; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook Kishon; Who were destroyed at En-dor; they became as dung for the earth. Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, and like Zebah and Zalmunna all their princes; Who said: 'Let us take to ourselves in possession the habitations of God.' O my God, make them like the whirling dust; as stubble before the wind. As the fire that burneth the forest, and as the flame that setteth the mountains ablaze; So pursue them with Thy tempest, and affright them with Thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek Thy name, O LORD. Let them be ashamed and affrighted for ever; yea, let them be abashed and perish; That they may know that it is Thou alone whose name is the LORD, the Most High over all the earth.


Monday, November 01, 2004

Thoughts From The Weekend

Two things have stuck in my head from the weekend and have prompted some thoughts.
First, my rabbi, Rabbi Dalfin of Ohr Menachem Chabad of North Bay Village, made a comment on this week parasha (weekly Torah portion), Vayeira (Genesis 18:1-22:24), specifically on the moment when Abraham "argues" with God to save the city of Sodom if there are enough righteous people, starting with 50, then 45, 30, 20 and ending with 10; less than 10 is not enough to spare the city. This is one of those places in the Torah where we see clearly the value and importance of a minyan, the quorum of 10 adult Jewish men.

So the rabbi tells a story of the
Alter Rebbe (the 1st Chabad-Lubavitcher Rebbe) of a time when he was travelling in Russia and lodged at an inn run by a Jewish man and his family for generations in a somewhat isolated area of the country. The Rebbe asked the man why did he live so far from a Jewish community, to which the man answered that his family had owned the inn for many years and this is how they made their living. The Rebbe asked the man what did he do for prayers, to pray with a minyan. The man answered that, except for the High Holy Days, when he would travel to the city, the rest of the year he would have no minyan to pray with; a few Jewish travelers here and there, but hardly ever a minyan. The Rebbe spoke to the man about the importance of praying with a minyan, and went to his room, only to be awakened some time later by the sounds of furniture being moved. The man had take the Rebbe's words to heart and decided to move to the city to be able to pray with a minyan. The Rebbe said later to his students that he had been moved by this man, who was not his student or one of his followers, but that had taken his words to heart so thoroughly. It's a great story, and it indeed points to the importance of praying with a minyan.

But there's another side to the story, a side-effect, if you will. Because of the Rebbe's words, this man closed his inn and moved, thereby removing the one small presence of Judaism that there was in this remote area of the country. While the man was there, a Jewish traveller could be assured to find a host sensitive to his special needs, assured to find kosher food in the middle of nowhere, assured to find a candle in the middle of the gentile darkness around. With the man moving away, that candle was extinguished, who knows if ever to be rekindled again. My rabbi took this as a great example to be followed, while I was bothered to no end by it. What if this man's mission was to be a roadside candle for travellers? What if the true difference he made in the world was by being a spark of Judaism where you wouldn't think of finding one? Yeah, it's important to pray with a minyan, but it is also important to bring light to the nations; that's our calling after all!

At its core, this bothered me because one of those "perhaps one day" dreams that I have is to move to Europe (the Dingle Peninsual in Ireland is at the top of my list), open a little B&B, and enjoy peace and quietness while having the wonders of Europe just outside my door. This would most likely mean being the only Jew around for miles, and not being able to pray with a minyan. But this would also mean that I'd be a little spark of Judaism in a place where you wouldn't exactly expect to find one. I'd be that opportunity for a Jewish traveller to find a kosher meal in western Ireland; to find that timers and pre-cooked food (perhaps even some cholent) come Shabbat; to find someone who understand when this traveller says he/she wishes they had some kugel or burekas; to help all the gentiles around get used to the idea of Jews being normal human beings, respectful and amiable, living with the laws of God while fully being a part of this world. In short, to be a Jewish beacon in the midst of a gentile ocean. God knows I wish I had found this when I was travelling in Ireland two years ago! How can we be a light unto the nations if we only keep to our all-Jewish communities?

The other weekend subject I was thinking about was Halloween. I think I'm over it. I used to like Halloween, a lot, but over the last few years that interest has dwindled and it has nothing to do with my conversion to Judaism; while Orthodox Judaism certainly does not endorse the celebration of Halloween (read more about it
here), it is not as dire as, say, the position on celebrating Christmas (which is a big no-no). I just, I don't know, don't care anymore. Dressing up in costume is fun, but I don't really want to do it (not even for the Renaissance Faire lately, either). I'm not sure why, either, but I just don't. Though last night I did go to my friend's house to their little party and had a good time (see the pictures). We took their 1-year old baby girl Alexis trick-or-treating and got lots of candies that we ate for her (she didn't mind). Maybe once I have kids it'll be fun again, though by then I'll also have to decided on the issue of Halloween and raising an Orthodox Jewish family... Things don't really get easy as you grow older, do they?

So, to end on a high note, here's a really good article on the position of Judaism in regards to the occult. In short, no, we're not like the Christians at all (thank God for that); Judaism is very much a way of life that stresses the middle of the road and the understanding that EVERYTHING is a part of God and part of His plan. With that in mind, the occult can be understood to be just another tool of God that can be used for benefit or harm (remember that good and evil are human inventions). The article is well-written and is completely non-dogmatic; I invite you to read it.

by Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Wonders Of Our World (or There's A Blood Moon In The Sky And Hobbits Are Real!)

Sharing the stage last night with (what would turn out to be) the final game of the World Series (congrats to the Red Sox) was a total eclipse of the moon that was magnificently visible from my home in Miami Beach. The night seemed tailor-made for the event; though there were some clouds, they did not spoil the spectacle, and the high pressure we have over Florida made the sky crisp and clear for stargazing.

I have seen a few lunar eclipses (partial and full) over the years, but they never stop amazing me; there is a sense of sheer wonder and mystery at seeing the moon slowly dissapear behind a curtain of blackness, only to reappear as a blood-colored orb hanging majestically and ominously in the firmament. Today we have scientists that can explain to us in painstaking detail how the process occurs, what causes the red coloration, when it will pass down to the minute, but my thoughts always go to the peoples of the past, wondering how they saw and understood this same celestial event, what did they associate with an eclipse, how did it affect their life. Sadly, in our day and age, a full lunar eclipse is something that passes as a footnote in the evening news, that gets a few cutaway shots during the baseball game and becomes forgotten in the midst of the electoral process. But there was a time when such an event would have changed destinies, carried meaning, be the talk of the town for months or years to come.

The moon still holds a very special place to Jews. We measure our calendar by the moon, not the sun, and every new month we recite a special blessing on the moon. Our sages say that the Jewish people are compared to the moon: our fortunes wax and wane, but they are constant, always in a state of renewal. A full lunar eclipse could be understood as a representation of the times when we have been almost obscured from the world (such as the Inquisition or Holocaust, though I think the current period of exile would be a more appropiate symbol); the blood-red of the moon would need no further explanation, I would think. But just as the moon eventually went through a period of darkness giving way to the brilliance of a full moon, so will our destiny follow, when the exile ends in the Messianic times.

And in other "Wonders of our World" news, today the New York Times ran a story on an apparently new species of human found in an island east of Bali, off the coast of Australia. It seems Tolkien was not that far off and that Hobbits were real! Check out the first two paragraphs from the article:

Once upon a time, but not so long ago, on a tropical island midway between Asia and Australia, there lived a race of little people, whose adults stood just three and a half feet high. Despite their stature, they were mighty hunters. They made stone tools with which they speared giant rats, clubbed sleeping dragons and hunted the packs of pygmy elephants that roamed their lost world.

Strangest of all, this is no fable. Skeletons of these miniature people have been excavated from a limestone cave on Flores, an island 370 miles east of Bali, by a team of Australian and Indonesian archaeologists. Reporting their find in today's issue of Nature, they assign the people to a new human species, Homo floresiensis.

You can check out the full article at (registration required and free) entitled "New Species Revealed: Tiny Cousins of Humans" and a related article on the same topic from entitled "Scientists Hope to Find More Tiny Indonesia Hominids."

For the respectable scientific source, you can check out the article ""Hobbit" Discovered: Tiny Human Ancestor Found in Asia" at (this one's also sure to remain archived, unlike the other two, which could be removed after a while).

There is so much about our world we still do not know. Things like lunar eclipses and discoveries of hitherto unknown human variants happen and it's like God is playing with us saying, "Keep digging, there's a lot more for you to find out."

And some people still insist on denying the existence of God...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Travel And Our Place In The World

I'll gladly take any excuse to talk about traveling; I love being on the road, seeing the world, expanding my horizons (not mention being out of Miami for a little while). Once a month I received Rick Steves' Travel News via email, in which Rick writes a little essay to introduce the month's news, normally a mix of updated entries from his travel guides, short articles on various aspects of travel in Europe, plus a photo essay on a different theme each month. (As a side note, anyone who loves travel and Europe should subscribe to the email newsletter and to the print newsletter, as it gives you a handy travel fix between trips.)

Today I got a special edition Elections 2004 Travel Newsletter email, with a mixture of new and old articles from the past year all focusing on how the U.S. and Americans are seen abroad (mainly in Europe) and what kind of thoughts that should elicit in us as we head to the polls next Tuesday. While I don't necessarily agree 100% with every single word Rick writes on his site, I do wholeheartedly agree with the overall message. To sum it up in a sentence from Rick's article on, "If more Americans traveled before they voted, they would elect a government with policies that didn't put it at odds with the rest of the world." Abso-freakin-lutely.

Americans in general are some of the most obtuse people I have ever met when it comes to having a world-picture: the U.S. sits at the center of the universe, and there is little reason to consider anything else. It's easy when you live in a country that spans a continent from coast to coast, but it shouldn't be the norm. I'm not saying we should not be proud of being American; quite the contrary, actually. We should be proud, and that pride should allow us to go into the rest of the world as citizen ambassadors, a veritable army of people putting a face on the U.S. that is not the president's (any of them), showing the rest of the world who we truly are: a people with a strong work ethic, no-holds-barred attitude and the ambition (and desire) to reach beyond the stars. Yeah, some people take those virtues and turn them into vices (workaholism is just as bad as alcoholism, and there is a fine-albeit-present line between pride and arrogance), but not all of us are like that. The government is not going to be the one to show this side of Americans to the world—it has way too many economic and political interests to be objective—so it is up to each and every one of us travelers to do so.

So please, when you travel abroad (and everyone should travel abroad, the world's too big to live your whole life in one place), remember you are an ambassador of the true United States, and that your actions speak for all of us. You don't have to learn a new language (though it wouldn't hurt you, you know! Europeans on average speak 2 languages, and many speak 3 and 4), just get a phrasebook and practice how to say "Hello," "Thank you," and "Do you speak English?" For all that's holy, please don't just assume and start speaking English; if a foreigner did that to you in the U.S. you'd flip out, so don't do it to them. Stop being a tourist and become a short-term resident; do the touristy stuff, but venture beyond the glitz to the backstreets and be rewarded with a whole new world, the day-to-day world. Remember that we are all, every single one of us in every single country in the world, residents of the same planet, so think of people in Russia, China, Japan, Australia, Ethiopia, Israel, Turkey, France, Germany, England, Finland, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, or anywhere else in the world as your cousins a few degrees removed. And above all, keep the rest of the world in mind when you make your decision on Nov. 2; the elections decide the president on the U.S., but the U.S. has an incredible impact upon the rest of the world, and we should be responsible with that power.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Native to Where? Judaism, Politics And The Search For A Home

It is said that where you have two Jews, there are three opinions, and this is not an exaggeration. Even in the one thing we can (pretty much) all agree on, God, there are a gazillion opinions on the matter—put two Jews, even two of the same denomination (Orthodox, Conservative, etc.) to talk about the subject of God and Torah, and you'll be amazed at the amount of points in which they differ, even they agree on the underlying principle. There is one major exception: politics. Here, if you have two Jews, you're bound to have either two similar opinions, or two contradictory opinions; there's no middle ground on the matter. You are either for Bush or for Kerry, and all those on the other side are just WRONG!

At prayers this morning—much like it has happened every day in the last few weeks—the topic of politics came up, and as you can probably expect in an Orthodox synagogue, a lot of the people are voting for Bush, mainly because they somehow have gotten the idea that Bush is the best friend Israel has in this elections, which I think is total crap. (In my opinion, Bush has been a chickenshit idiot who has not dared to stand up to the international community to keep the fuck out of Israel's internal business, and has bent backwards for Arafat more times than I care to remember. How dare you condemn Israel for defending itself against terrorist acts, when you send a whole friggin nation to war halfway across the world on similar charges? If this is the best friend Israel has in these elections then we are truly screwed beyond belief. But I digress…)

This little tête-à-tête this morning, coupled with Rabbi Harlig's (of
Chabad of Kendall) speech this past Shabbat (Saturday) at the synagogue, and with a lecture I heard from Rabbi Shaul Maleh of Mexico City a couple of months back, has gotten me thinking about our position in the nation. Rabbi Maleh mentioned in his lecture (and I have heard this from other Orthodox rabbis) that optimally (and this is important) a Jew’s position should always be to simply be thankful to the government for allowing us to practice in peace, and to leave all issues of politics to the goyim, to the gentiles who are truly part of the nation. The principle is that, while we are residents in the nations of the world, we are citizens of Israel (not necessarily the political nation, but more the spiritual nation, though certainly the political nation does apply). Throughout history, it has been evident time and time again that, whenever the Jews started taking too much interest in the affairs of the nation, the goyim became angry and sought to put us back in our place, usually in a violent manner. If we are to learn anything from the past, it must be that the goyim take care of the affairs of the nation while we take care of the affairs of Israel while thanking our host nation for their hospitality. In fact, that's actually the best way to describe our situation: we are guests in our various hosts nations; just like you wouldn't want a houseguest to start meddling in family affairs, so should us Jews know what to mind and what to leave alone.

Rabbi Harlig spoke this week about the fact that we should be natives to Judaism, that is, Judaism should be our homeland, not necessarily the country in which we live. While this may sound like a strong statement, it makes an incredible amount of sense. So many times, starting with the
Assyrian dispersion of the (now Lost) Ten Tribes in roughly 555 BCE, or perhaps even with the Exodus from Egypt, we have been forced to move from our homes, leaving all we have known behind with only God's mercy and promise to carry us forth, that you think by now we'd be used to the idea of being a nationless people. And perhaps for a while, for a couple of centuries, this was the case, but it is certainly not anymore. Between the relative peace we enjoy in the US, and the establishment of the state of Israel, more and more Jews see themselves as citizens of the nation first, Jews second, when in truth it should be the other way around.

Judaism has always been our home; in Egypt, in the desert, in Israel, in Babylon, in Spain, in Turkey, in Russia, in Germany, in the US and in modern Israel, the one thread that unites us all is that unbroken chain of tradition we call Judaism. It is Judaism that defines our times of joy and sadness, which defines our holidays and our traditions. Yeah, we spice it up with regional touches (kugel for the Ashkenazim, burekas for the Sephardim), but we all pray the same Shacharit (the morning prayer), we all rejoice on Purim, we all submit to All-mighty God on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and we all read, treasure and love the same Torah, the Torah that was given to Moses and has been handed down with
incredible accuracy for the last 3000+ years. Thank God, we in the US live in the most tolerant nation in the world, a nation where our right to practice Judaism is protected by the very document that defines the nation, something for which we must be thankful every day. But just keep this in mind: some 60-70 years ago, Germany had the same level of tolerance for Jews; some 200 years ago, France was the center of the Jewish diaspora, and some 500 years ago Spain was the worldwide center of Jewish thought, where we experienced a Golden Age of cooperation between us and our Muslim and Christian kin. All those eras ended in expulsion, in disaster, in genocide, and we are still feeling the aftereffects of these events (in the plight of the anusim, in the current atmosphere in France, in the intermarried grandchildren of Holocaust survivors). It is because history tends to repeat itself, and because those who do not learn from it are bound to repeat it, that we must always be vigilant, and like the generation of the Exodus, be ready to leave at the drop of a pin. This does not necessarily mean that we must always be paranoid, but it does mean that we must make Judaism our home, because it is the one thing we can always take with us, the one thing that, regardless where we set up a tent, will be constant.

So how does this all relate to the upcoming election? Well, are we American Jews duty-bound to participate in these elections, especially because they promise to be incredibly close? Are we duty-bound to mingle in the affairs of the nation to the point where we may be a deciding factor (especially here in Florida)? Are we overstepping the boundaries of a houseguest, though the host is asking us to cast our opinion? These are questions that every American Jew must answer for him/herself. As a convert I have my own particular can of worms I need to deal with: am I, immediately upon completing my conversion, no longer a native of my old country (in terms of what I discuss above)? Do I have a different status because I entered Judaism, and thus the nation of Israel, instead of having been born into it? Do I get dual citizenship?

I have grappled with these issues and reached a decision that is right for me. I WILL vote, because I accept that I am not at such a spiritual level where I can fully feel detached from the nation where I dwell and fully attached to the nation of my spirit. Life is a constant struggle to achieve a balance between the physical and spiritual, trying to infuse the material with a measure of spirituality, a measure of holiness. I don't know that my vote will be imbued with holiness, but the decision I am making when I cast my vote is one I have reached after filtering my thoughts through the lenses of all the lessons of Torah I have learned. Superficially, my vote and that of any other person is exactly the same, carrying the same weight, but internally, it makes a huge difference. I choose to involve myself in the affairs of my host nation because while my spirit strives to reside in Heaven, my body must live in the United State of America, and I cannot, in good conscience, allow my voice not to be heard. I fully respect those people who are spiritual enough to have shed their dual citizenship with the nations; I am not one of them (yet?), thus I must do my part.

I deeply and sincerely thank President Bush for having maintained this nation's commitment to freedom of religion, thus allowing me to, under his presidency, convert from the Catholicism in which I was raised in, to the Judaism in which my soul feels at home, and to practice it openly and proudly. Now I feel that it is his time to step down and to give way to someone who, I think, will do a better job of leading the nation.

I guess in the end I am still a native to the nation of the United States of America, though I also strive to become a native to Judaism (where perhaps I now have the status of recent immigrant). For now, that dual citizenship does the job.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Danny and D&D: 30 Years of Fun

No, today is not my birthday, it was October 12, and neither is it today D&D's birthday (not sure anyone remembers exactly what day it is), but it's close enough that both are in October. The fact does remain that this month both D&D and I turned 30 years old. I'm not sure what that says about me, when I love playing a game that is as old as I am, and which I've been playing constantly for more than half our lifetimes. That I'm a geek? Old news. Perhaps it really doesn't say anything at all (at least I'm not one of those who has been playing non-stop for the past 30 years; I know a lot of those and most make me shudder).

Anyhoo, I find it funny that all of a sudden D&D is all across the major news organizations. It truly is a Golden Age of Geekdom (especially if we can forget completely about that D&D Movie travesty) when you go to to get the latest on the war in Iraq or the race for the White House, and right there you see a fellow geek rolling some dice, quite likely telling the DM, "I waste it with my crossbow!!!" Ahh, brings a smile to my face.

Take a look at the Associated Press article on entitled "Gamers Mark 30 Years of Dungeons & Dragons" and another one from the National Review Online entitled "I Was A Teenage Half-Orc." And heck, click to see the
Google search on "Dungeons & Dragons 30 years" and be surprised (I know I was) by all the articles spreading geekdom across the US.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Stem-cell Research and Judaism

I read a wonderful article on the position of Jewish Law on the topic of stem-cell research. I'm thinking it would be great to send it to the Republican party, but I think the arguments would be just too much for their little brains to handle.

Anyway, read it, it's incredibly interesting how Judaism takes millenia-old principles and applies them to modern-day life without skipping a beat. Just click on the image.

This article is brought to you by - Jewish wisdom for today's world.

Starting Anew

Every so often it's a good thing to start anew; it gives you a new perspective, a whole new fresh outlook on things, unweighted by all that has come before. And that's precisely what I am doing here.

From Feb. 2002 until now I have had a blog at Today I decided to switch over to It's nothing personal against; I just like the look of better. That and, like I said above, there's that sense of starting fresh, unburdened by the two-and-a-half years of past entries.

So, here's to new beginnings and all that crap.

(Just so you know, everything before this entry has been moved from my old blog to this one, though the original dates have been kept for record-keeping purposes.)

Monday, October 11, 2004



October 11, 2004 - Miami Beach, FL: We are pleased to announce the arrival of Highmoon Media Productions to the game publishing world.

Highmoon Media Productions is a small studio dedicated to producing quality and innovative roleplaying accessories, adventures, and sourcebooks using the d20 System under the Open Game License. Our products are designed to be used with any d20 compatible products, both in the fantasy, modern and future genres.

Highmoon Media Productions will offer small and affordable electronic, printer-ready products in the PDF format through, with plans to eventually offer our products in printed format using Print-On-Demand technology.

Visit us online at to learn more about the company and about our current and upcoming products. You can also visit the Highmoon Media Productions' Vendor Page to purchase our products.

And check out our first release,
Liber Sodalitas: The Blind Path, by Daniel M. Perez. The Blind Path is a 6-page PDF detailing a drop-in organization for any d20 Fantasy game, complete with history, tenets, ways of joining, iconic and generic NPCs, a new prestige class, and a new feat. Available now for sale at

For more information please contact Daniel M. Perez at

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Closing The High Holy Days

Hag Sameach! (Joyous Festival).
Sukkot is now over, and tomorrow we start both Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, bringing to a close all the High Holy Days (and you thought it was only Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur!).
Highmoon Media Productions is going well. God willing, I should have our first release ready for next week! I'll post a link.

On an unraletd note, I saw the movie Kissing Jessica Stein the other night and I liked it a lot. It was cute and funny and not what I was expecting. It was sold as a gay romantic comedy, when it fact it isn't. This may very well be the first Bi-curious romantic comedy ever. The girl who plays Jessica Stein reminded me physically of someone I once knew. Like I said, cute, check it out.

Signing off for another 3-day holiday hiatus. Man, being an orthodox Jew is hard; all we do is pray and eat in our holidays.

-- Highmoon
Sitting in the
PS. All links point to Judaism 101-

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Of Hurricanes And New Business Ventures

Well, that's Charley and Frances down, now it's Ivan left to go. What, does Florida have a big ol' metereological bullseye painted on it?

Anyway, on to other and better news:After threatening with doing this for months, if not for a whole year (I'd have to check my journal), I finally did it. Yesterday I filed all legal papers to begin doing business as Highmoon Media Productions. Yep, I am starting my own business, a publishing company. I will be starting with gaming material for D&D/d20 system, allowing me to market my own projects without being at the mercy of other companies' editors and/or budgets. I don't know that this will be hugely succesful, but it has got to be better than the big NOTHING I am making right now.

I chose the name Highmoon Media Productions (HMP) for two reasons: (1) Highmoon is a name that I have been using since 1996 when I first went online, and I've actually used HMP for other endeavors in the past, like when I did web design; (2) HMP allows me the flexibility of releasing other things than gaming through it, as long as it is media (and what isn't). So for example (and this is something I will do) I can use HMP to publish fiction, mine or my wife's (or solicited), or an e-zine, or do more web design, etc. Flexibility is good, and with HMP I have all I need.
I am quite excited about this new project, and am currently hard at work finishing the initial HMP gaming releases, and contracting artwork. Couple this with getting ready for the High Holy Days, and starting Grad School, plus regular work, and of course all these wonderful hurricanes that keep wanting to plow through Florida (do they hate Disney or something?) and you can understand how busy, stressed and tired I am. But it is great!
I'll keep you updated.

-- Highmoon
Fervently hoping that Ivan decides to go somewhere else. "Shoo, Ivan, don't bother us!"

Monday, May 10, 2004

Thoughts On The Da Vinci Code

I'm reading now The Da Vinci Code (and strangely enough, so is my mother-in-law) and liking it a lot. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's 100%, but as fluff goes, it's not that horrible.

I find incredibly funny that so many Christians have had their feathers ruffled by this work of fiction. Of course, as much a work of fiction as it may be, there are some truths in there, and that's what has people scrambling.

I'm not naive enough to take everything presented in the book as fact: I can do my own research, thank you very much. However, I am not naive enough to think that for the last 2000 years everyone in the church has been 100% honest and telling the whole truth. Ridiculous! If you truly believe that you are either possessed of an unearthly faith (and thus should be removed from this plane of reality) or incredibly stupid.

Thing is, none of the so-called great secrets revealed in the book are new to me. I have either read them before in a variety of sources, or have come up with similar ones myself. And for the record, yes, I do believe (and have believed for more than 2 years now, before the novel was published) that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. In fact, I go so far as to say that the "Beloved Disciple" of the gospel of John is indeed Mary Magdalene. You figure it out.

Is the book biased? Of course, it is a work of fiction by a man who holds a particular set of beliefs. Is everything in the book accurate? Nope, you go look it up and find out for yourself; don't get your history from a novel (or a movie, for that matter, even if it claims to be the authoritative vision of the passion of Jesus). Are some of these theories real? Absolutely, many are documented going back centuries. Do they tell the truth? Who the hell knows. Only God knows the truth of the matter--the Truth, if you will; we humans must make due with history, what we know, and what we unearth in our constant search for an understanding of our world. But do me a favor, don't let anyone tell you what is true or not, in this book or anywhere else. Go find out for yourself.

And remember, that just as the author had a bias, so does every single book being published right now claiming to crack, explain or debunk the Da Vinci Code: notice the majority are being published by Christian writers who cannot stand even the suggestion of such an idea as Jesus' humanity and all that entails.

For now I'll keep reading. I look forward to seeing how much of it is old news to me, and feel really good about it.

-- Highmoon
Clamouring for people to think for themselves!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Pele McFuFu (1999-2004)

It's a sad day. Our rabbit, Pele McFufu, passed away yesterday April 21st. Pele was the first of all our rabbits, the fluffiest, the craziest and much loved by all. Though he never weighed more than 3 pounds (and that's when he was fat!), the empty space he leaves is large indeed. One never knows how much one loves these little balls of fur until they are gone.May he go and meet up with Duncan (see Dec 02, 03: Back From NYC And Sad News) and may they wreck havoc in the great burren in the sky.

Pele McFufu

-- Highmoon
Quite bummed...

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

M.A. News

Just dropping by to say hi.


Not just that, I was also accepted into the Teacher Assistantship Program, which means I get to help out some professor or other, I eventually get my own class to teach, and (the best part) I have my tuiton covered plus a monthly stipend. Now this is the way to go to University!

-- Highmoon
Who wants eventually to have that "Dr." in front of his name.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Sophie B. Hawkins In Concert

Went to see Sophie B. Hawkins in concert last night at Calliopefest. I had missed seeing her in concert twice in the last eight years, but last night I finally made it. It was an awesome concert. There were just a couple hundred people (of which I, a straight, married guy, was the incredible minority) which made the show intimate and allowed everyone to have a great view. Sophie is on crack onstage; she just has this incredible energy, and she sends it through the microphone to all around. By the end of the concert, with the ubiqutuous "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover", almost everyone was up on their feet and dancing. Even cooler, when she did the encore, we moved up right up to the stage, just about 5 feet from her; no pushing, no shoving, no problems. It definitely was a concert to remember. She had a signing session afterwards, but we were tired, and besides, I already have three autographed pictures.

In other news, my application to Grad School went through ok. The English Dept. has recommended me for the Masters Program in English, and all that is missing is the approval of the University itself in the next few weeks. Can't wait!

Back to work.

Who did not realize "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover" was about a girl singing to another girl for about 4 years. Not sure what that says about me...

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Of Reading, University & Europe

This is what I have read so far this year (follow the link to my little review):

  1. Gehenna: The Final Night - Ari Marmell
  2. Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
  3. Tipping The Velvet - Sarah Waters
  4. Maimonides' Principles - Aryeh Kaplan
  5. The Passion - Jeanette Winterson
  6. Mysterious Creatures - Nosson Slifkin
I've been reading a lot lately, and I intend to keep it up. If I can stay at the rate of 3 books per month, that'll be awesome. I may be able to do more, who knows, but at the very least I am officially shooting for 30 books this year.

Oh, and wish me good luck. I already put in my application for grad school. Hoping to get into the Masters of Literature program at
FIU. I'm shooting for that PhD, though; I wanna have Dr. in front of my name and annoy everyone who ever doubted I'd amount to little more than a pimply-faced, comic-book-reading, D&D-playing nerdoid. Granted, there aren't many of those (I do have an amiable personality), but still. Bah, who cares about those people. We all know I wanna have a PhD cause I want that cool octagonal velvet cap and velvet gown you only get as a PhD graduate. Fashion, that's why I want my degree.

And about the book I am currently reading, Neither Here Nor There: Travels In Europe by Bill Bryson, I am liking it a lot. I like travel memoirs. I like making my own better (something I intend to start working on soon), but it is a good second option, and beats whatever it is I am doing here at work.

-- Highmoon
Wishing I was in Dublin, or Venice, or London, or Paris... heck, even Rome will do (though not Naples... icky Naples)