Thursday, May 31, 2007


Communication on the internet is always a bit touchy. E-mail, as wonderful as it is, is not always the best way to send a message. First of all, it’s too immediate, so people react by hitting the reply button without thinking through what they should say and how they should say it. What happens is the reply is not always consistent with the original message. And this is the second reason for the danger. No one is smart enough to read a tone on a message... you can’t hear what people mean by what they send in note. So messages are often misunderstood or misconstrued—it’s like the difference between a speech and a written essay. There are often opportunities for pauses and emphasis you can add when you speak, that you simply don’t get in a written text. It’s harder to write something that will convey meaning than it is to say it aloud. And finally there’s a great deal of garbage that lands in our e-mail. Some of it comes from solicitors and some from close and wonderful, well meaning friends.

Just Press HERE
A few months ago I finally said to a few friends, “please don’t send me any more inspirational poems. I like good jokes but I do not want to be inspired – it’s much too late for my somewhat cynical constitution.” And additionally, you never get just one inspiring set of sentiments, you get them over and over and over and over. I wish I had a quarter for every duplicate inspirational verse I’ve received over the years. After I mentioned to my friend that I didn’t want to hear it anymore, they said that it was too bad and they weren’t going to edit their lists, because there might actually be something important they needed to tell me, so I had to live with the ‘intrusions’. My telling them not to send something did not hurt their feelings because the things they sent were not personal. It was simply an inconvenience in which they refused to participate-- but I’ll get back to that.

OK, OK, in a way they were right. But here’s the problem, it is impossible for me not to read what I am sent. Maybe it’s the yenta in my soul but I do have a need to know what people think I should know. It took me years to finally delete stuff (before I opened it) from strangers. I consider that, and not clicking on porn sights offered on a daily basis, some of my greatest internet achievements. So when I open one of those really insipid e-mails, I just groan and delete. I am no longer afraid that if I don’t send something to ten friends, like “Chicken Little”, the sky will fall on my head, or I will suffer some other unlikely disaster.

Any of us who have spent anytime on the net know that we can find anything in that virtual dictionary of useless information. I mean, we can learn about diseases we think we have. We can discover interesting places to shop, how certain foods affect moods, what to do with misbehaving children, what’s the best on Broadway, and millions of blogs about nothing. There is no end to the questions we can answer— accurate or otherwise. Somehow, wanting to find something is different than not necessarily wanting to know something. But that’s the reality of being exposed with an e-mail address.

Anyway, back to sending and receiving. Given my wish not to receive certain things, I am particularly sensitive about what I send. And although I am delighted about the birth of our new grandson Zachary, I have only sent pictures to my list two times. Once when he was five days and once at a month. I mean I have been very careful to control my tendency to shove our happiness down other people’s throats. So imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail that said, “He’s cute but we don’t need to see pictures of your grandson every two weeks.” Whew! That hit me in my heart. I wanted to write back and say, “Are you aware of the Delete option on your computer.” Or, “I know your mother taught you better manners, so what is this about?” But I didn’t because clearly, whatever that reply was about had nothing to do with Zachary. It was about hitting reply without thinking about the consequences, or it was about trying to hurt my feelings, either way it was their problem, not mine. But I did have to ask myself why someone would be deliberately rude, and I thought maybe not deliberately I had done something equally painful to them and rather than addressing it, (and because the internet is a good way to avoid person to person discussion), hitting me in my joy was their revenge. There has to be a better way to connect. We’re just sayin...Iris


Anonymous said...

Maybe I should start sending them my almost daily photos of him that we send you ; ) LOL - Joyce

Anonymous said...

Have those shmucks send ME that e-mail. Who was it by the way? I'd like to tell them something.

Anonymous said...

Oops. Forgot to sign my name...that last message was from me, SETH JACOBSON. Any more comments about my kid? Make sure you tell me before you tell my mother.

Anonymous said...

Dear Iris,

Sorry about this, but I totally agree with them (the impatient emailer) and understand how they feel. I hope I don't offend you and your family Iris but I have written a little note that your emailer can cut and paste into other emails to save them some time. And perhaps clear up any misunderstandings in the future...I hope it helps.

So, to the person that Iris is refering to...cut and paste from below,and keep it handy.


(start cut and paste)

To whom it may concern. Thank you for the email and the acknowlegement that I am in some way human.

I live perpetually in a cynical self-absorbed mirror cluttered cardboard shack that prohibits me from taking eight seconds to look away from my self and gaze at a infants picture and say , "Aaah thats sweet!"

In fact, I am too busy sheilding my eyes from beautiful flowers, or the sun shining , or children laughing and playing in the park to even think about viewing your upload.

While I'll admit that there seems to be some people with actual hearts with blood flowing through them, and that those so- called "humans" believe that a baby does have some merit. Your photo and it's obvious reference to joy and lifes miracles leaves me numb. In fact, I feel like I've just watched Mary Popins or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

In the future, before you insist on being nice to me, please note that I exist in a world where other peoples happiness is totally lost on me.

And frankly, the internet was never meant for the transfer of such cuteness. I prefer to use this technological wizardry as an (execellent) resource for my pornographic endulgences, or for ordering my monthly supply of "I hate John Tesh" buttons. And of course, for my otherwise unavailable, prescription drugs from Ebay.

You'll excuse the short note, but I have to go now and repeatedly poke the neighbors fluffy cute baby kitten with a sharp spoon that I have made using the grinding action of my front teeth.

I don't have time for life (insert name here)
(end cut and paste)________________________________

Anyway I hope this helps.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

Although I've been ocassionally accused of being intelligent, I cannot understand why there are those who just cannot stand to share the joy of others, and the entry of a new life...They need a tutorial of which they'd never forget..some of it may even include a remedial on "Delete"!

Anonymous said...

In addition..I looooooove it, Mike!

Anonymous said...

Walt and Mike,
Amen. Great comments.
What you have to understand is that we have some very cranky, sucky, crappy, no-good, washed up, punk-ass losers in our family who like to send e-mails to piss off my mom. In turn, that makes me angry.
I promise to find out who sent the e-mail and take a leak in their matzo ball soup next Passover.
You see, these same people would never think of sending ME an e-mail like that, because they know I would give them a nice shut-the-f&#k-up sandwich.
Harding, I know you're a Yankees fan but you're alright...

Anonymous said...

there seems to be a few of those in each family, unfortunately..If there's any solace whatsoever, know that the tighter the circle of those who REALLY care..makes one warmer..Nothing quite teaches like experience!

Iris&David said...

Hi all,
this is from iris. thanks for your ongoing support and your insightful comments, but you are assuming that my note was directed to someone in my family and my list (which is quite extensive) also includes people who are unrelated.

Anonymous said...

Then screw 'em ALL!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yahhh screw them all!!!!!Woo Hoo!!!

Iris...Walter and I didn't want to do this, Seth made us.

He said if we didn't go along with it he'd give us wedgies.

And, frankly, we're both a little tired of the whole wedgie thing, Seth!

Anonymous said...'s time to come clean, and expose ourselves..(You can open your eyes now)
In all actuality,Iris, Mike and I are agents of one Seth Jacobson, and we've been undercover for quite a time now..True, Seth is the brains of the outfit, but I can neither confirm, nor denie this information exists as fact..
Yes, we were sworn to secrecy..Now we only swear at at secrets and nasty peeps, whose sole intent is to create havoc and pain on the innocents..

Will we consider this as a "Mission Complete", and that major corrective actions have come to a close, or is this an ongoing op? The job may not be finished..and Mike and I likely may need to seek new covers...But no..That's what they'd EXPECT us to do...

Anonymous said...

I have people everywhere...

Iris&David said...

I have to say that the three of you.. Manny, Moe, & Jack? No.. Mike, Walter and Seth.. should either write your own secret blog... or better yet, open an Auto parts dealership attached to a bakery. I think there is promise here, I truly do. And Iris and I are only happy to say that we love having brought the three Secret Agents together so that we can finally launch the frickin' bakery!! (Oil Change, seat covers, and a fresh Bialy with a schmear? A quart of STP, new wipers, and a Chocolate Bupka with buttah??) Melts in your mouth either way! We're just sayin... David (& I.)

Anonymous said...

I DO have a "secret" blog at:
It's just the blog that's on my's an example of what's on it.
The following is a passage from my novel, "Growing Up X:Based on a True Tale of Necessary Rebellion."
(Mom-don't read this)

December arrived. People were scurrying around, preparing for the holidays and I was looking forward to school vacation.
By that time, Dave, Eddie and me were hanging around with Tommy Leoni a lot. He always picked the three of us up in his car, an old, orange Delta 88. The thing was huge. It could fit about eight people comfortably.
As scary as the concept was, Dave now had his learner's permit and would be able to drive legally within a matter of months. I had been getting into arguments with my dad and Denise for some time as to whether they would let me drive with him. As far as I was concerned, those two were out of their minds if they thought they could keep me out of that car. Besides, they always let me drive around with Tommy and I pointed out that contradiction several times.
"It's different," my dad told me. I knew deep down my dad was worried because Dave had been arrested a couple of times in the past two months for pot possession. It was only a little bit of dope that he had on him in both instances, but the police in our town were a bit gung-ho at that point in time.
On the Friday I got out of school for the holiday break, Tommy picked up Dave, Eddie and me in the center of town. We climbed into the Delta 88 and almost instantaneously, Dave lit a joint and we took to cruising around the back roads to pot-smoking areas like Browns Road. There was also Potter Hill, which overlooked surrounding towns, including the broken-down, gloomy City of Worcester.
"What's the plan tonight?" I asked Tommy from the backseat. Eddie was sitting alongside me while Dave rode up front.
"There's a party in North Grafton," Tommy said.
Cool," I said. "Nothing going on at The Bummits, though?"
"Not tonight," he replied. "Tonight, we get to party inside."
Over the past two months, The Bummits had been established as our new outdoor party spot. The cops had raided the Ozone a few times and it was getting to be a pain in the ass running from them when we were all drunk off our asses.
The Bummits was a large hole in the ground in the middle of the woods on the Grafton/Shrewsbury line. It looked like a meteor had hit the forest thousands of years ago and left the huge pit. Usually, people walked the mile-long hike into the woods to get there but if you had four-wheel drive, you could bring your truck in there along one of the beat-up driving paths.
There was always a huge fire at The Bummits parties, usually in the center of the pit. It was essential to create a heat source while we were all partying in sub-zero temperatures.
Someone who had a truck would always bring a load of wooden palates, which were usually stolen from the lumber place located near the entrance to The Bummits on the main road.
Sometimes, there were up to one hundred palates on that fire, as we would keep going back to the lumber place to steal more of them.
But on this night, there would be no Bummits. We were going to a house party, a new entity to me.
When we arrived at the house (I forgot whose it was), many of our old friends and new friends were there.
We saw Gerry Farrell, Jon Lenkarski, a guy called Swifty, Jimmy Gusto, Allie, Lynda Joel Welton, Kevin Harton, Kerry DiAco, Janie (who I was still obsessed with), Moe (who Dave was still going out with), some dude everyone called Booga and many other people in the large crowd. To my surprise, Travis was even there and I hadn't seen him in a while.
"Hey man," I said, walking up to him. "Long time, no see, brother."
"Yah!" Travis grunted, smiling and shaking my hand. "Where you been?" It was obvious he had been drinking for a while now.
"Working," I said. "Plus, my dad hardly ever lets me out during the week. It's a fucking pain in the ass."
Travis never had a bad thing to say about Denise and he got along very well with my dad. Actually, my dad found him to be hilarious and if there's one word to describe Travis, it's hilarious.
"Ah, your folks just want you to do well," he said, hiccupping as he spoke. "That's why you go to that school."
"Don't remind me of that goddamn place," I said. "I'm on vacation."
The party raged on. All of us were smoking joints rampantly and drinking massive quantities of beer from the two kegs in the house. Soon, things started getting broken. It wasn't a Grafton party unless that happened. And it was usually Gerry Farrell who started the smashing. It was kind of a tradition.
Our other tradition was chanting the phrase "we don't mess around" at the top of our lungs in unison. Usually, it was just the guys who did that. The ladies all looked at us like we were nuts. On this night, that chant was being yelled over and over.
Later on that night, I was hanging out in the kitchen with Dave and Eddie when Travis came stumbling in, drinking a liter-sized bottle of Jack Daniels.
"How's Moe, Dave?" he slurred.
"She's fine," Dave said to Travis, smiling, his eyes completely red. "She can be a bitch sometimes, though."
It was then that Travis unveiled one of his most famous quotes of all time.
"Dave," Travis said, gesturing toward him with the bottle of Jack Daniels, "if it's got tits or tires, it's got a problem."
All of us started laughing our asses off. It was one of the funniest things I had ever heard in my young life. After a few minutes, Travis took a seat next to us, plopping himself right on the kitchen counter.
It was then that someone yelled, "The cops are here!"
About thirty seconds later, the cops were storming into the kitchen, gazing at all of us. It was obvious they knew we were all completely stoned and drunk. While most of our faces were blank and glum, Travis was sitting there on the counter, smiling, swerving, still holding his bottle of Jack Daniels.
"What do you think you're doing?" a young-looking cop asked Travis.
"Me?" Travis responded in a sarcastic tone of voice. "Oh, I'm just here for the cake and ice cream."
Everyone in the kitchen started chuckling, including myself.
"Get rid of that bottle," the cop demanded, moving closer to Travis.
Travis did just that. He tilted the bottle high and poured the rest of its contents down his throat. After he had finished it, he tossed the bottle into the nearby sink and it smashed into pieces.
"There," Travis said to the cop. "It's gone."
"Get the fuck out," the cop said, edging nearer, pointing a bony finger right into Travis's face. "I'm trying to be a nice guy but I'll arrest you, you little shit. In fact, everybody get the fuck out or we'll be breaking out the cuffs!"
On that note, everyone started leaving. Travis grabbed a baseball hat off the counter that was apparently his and put it on his head as he followed, Eddie, Tommy, Dave and me out the door and over to Tommy's car. Again, Eddie and I got in the backseat while Dave hopped in the front with Tommy.
We sat outside the party talking to Travis for a little while. Travis's truck was parked directly in front of us. After some time, Travis stuck his head into the car and said to me, "Dude, gimme twenty-five cents, I'm gonna get arrested."
"What?" I asked him, confused.
He repeated, "I said let me have twenty-five cents, I'm going to get arrested."
All four of us in the car looked at each other, trying to figure out what Travis was up to. I dug into my pockets, pulled out fifty cents and gave it to my old buddy.
"Here's fifty," I said. "You'll need another quarter to make a call from the station."
"Thanks," he said to me and walked off toward his truck. The four of us weren't sure what he was going to do but we had a clear view of whatever was going to happen through Tommy's windshield.
"What the hell is he doing?" I said aloud, looking at Travis standing by his truck.
All of us kept watching and soon, we saw that the police officers were coming outside. In all, there were three patrol cars and six cops. Out of nowhere, we heard Travis start yelling at the cops, still standing by his truck. We couldn't figure out what he was yelling, but we knew it probably wasn't anything nice. That point was proven when two of the cops came flying over to Travis, one of them grabbing him and throwing him into his truck. The cop started patting Travis down.
"Hey guys!" Travis yelled to us as he was getting frisked. "I think he likes me!"
The cop threw Travis against the truck again, knocking the hat off our friend's head.
"Hey asshole, get my fucking hat," Travis yelled at the cop. "Hey, man, can you just get my hat please?" Even though Travis was yelling in protest, he was still laughing. The cop eventually handcuffed him and stuffed him in one of the patrol cars.
The four of us had been laughing at Travis's antics until they actually took him away.
"What the hell was all that?" Tommy said, smiling at the whole charade.
None of us could answer. We were all confused by the whole incident. Travis always had a way of leaving people speechless.

Anonymous said...

I would likely have the better luck with the bakery, as partial sidelining me from the photos was family and the the pastry gig would be made to order for the thin blue line, which would not soon be so thin! Man, things are workinking ou! But you have me curious about the prospect of running an auto parts store...Hmmm, howzabout meeting it halfway, and dip a fanbelt in chocolate??Guaranteed to last all day, but may require an added appication of chocolate..Getting out of the blue..too much crap and well, too much..
Hey, who 'doesn't' have one? Okay..I confess..You got it out of me, but I was given a serum that would,"Ouch!" hit me with electrical"Hey!" cha-a-a-a-a-rges
Ya can stop anytime now,Mike!!
Seth, love the fine read.
Yikes! your secret is out..
But, hey,ya gotta have a sense of humour..I've always said if you don't have a sense of humour, you have no sense at all..
But that's just me..and people out there gotta understand life is too hard, too short, too serious..So rather than channelling it to hate, why not the opposite?
Okay, that's my seermon on the Mount..Walter

Anonymous said...

I think "LUBE AND LOX" can only be a sweet dream, guys.

Great read Seth , will check in now and then at your space...


Iris&David said...

I'm glad we provided you guys a place to vent and bond--this is like a virtual dating service for people who don't need a date. It's fun for us to read the interaction--and Seth, I know what kind of kid you were --reading about it is just the icing.

Anonymous said...

Well, yeah..and thanks for the forum to vent..I really didn't view it as such, but on thought, that's exactly what is was/is..

But nothing could beat a recent debate over an image..Seems the higher I took the road, the@*^%@!
trying to create a problem took a lower path..

Too many knuckle-draggers out there that make the Geico caveman appear as he's on prozac!

Pardon me now as I chant to the Aero, I don't have one yet..but Mike is's in the plan. But for now I am creative with TLR and holgas,nikons..

Life can be so cool, but that's another story!!!!

All the best, Walter

Anonymous said...

Everyone should be required to read this post on your blog. Can I plagiarise what you wrote. I want to put in on my myspace page.