“Back in 1965, Sports Illustrated said I was going to be the next Arnold Palmer”

“Hey everybody, we’re all gonna get laid!”

Flashback to 1998.  It’s the spring of my junior year at St. Louis Park High.  After 2 months of hitting balls at the driving range with the other kids interested trying out for the golf team, it was time to play a real course.  I had only done Par 3’s up to this point, and never really owned or used a driver, but I liked playing with Jurisz and Grant Lazer the past few years so I figured why not try.  (editor’s note:  I tried, and failed)

Flash forward to today.  It has been 10 years since I picked up a golf club not tipped with green rubber to hit a into a windmill or clown’s mouth.  I haven’t even done a par 3, let alone more in over a decade.  But I’m getting old and its time to pick things up where i left off.  My body can’t take the wear and tear of Ultimate and Football like it used to, so I decided to go out and get a new set of clubs and start playing golf again like other business-savvy professionals in the norm.  Last weekend I did an Executive 9 with Shkonik and Rozinka, and definitely remembered why I played growing up.  Golf is damn fun.  Now that I spent a small fortune on a new set, I plan to make good use of them.  So who out there would like to get a tee time together this summer?  If I knew what a handicap was, I’d give it to you but I have no idea.  I just know I am better than I thought and need some good excuses to get out and play some more while the summer is young.  Any takers?

“I am so smart, I am so smart, S-M-R-T, I mean S-M-A-R-T!”

Never go up against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!

(sigh) Not to gloat, but I love being right – it just makes me feel warm and cuddly inside. We somehow ended up with a Mustang from Hertz this week (trust me, no complaints there).  When we got to the hotel and needed our stuff from the truck, I became perplexed. After looking for the trunk release from the driver’s seat, I quickly deduced that there must not be one. Ingrid doubted my intelligence and proclaimed that I must be “wrong” and simply couldn’t find it. Well, she tried to prove herself right and only succeeded in legitimizing my claims. Who was wrong Ingrid?!  Who was wrong…

DUUUUUUUDE! 28?! When did we get so old…

Back in the magical summer of 2004, the world around me changed.  Summer camp had a meaning beyond just “Herzl”, a college degree didn’t really feel worth as much as I’d paid for it, hair was beginning to grow in new places, and planets collided when two of the biggest dorks known to man joined forces and become … well … bigger dorks.  I am speaking of none-other than “the Dude”, Velocefroehlich, J-Dawg, JFro, Mr. Jason Froehlich.  Added our Israeli counterpart, Tzach, to the duo and the world was in for some hurt.

Anyways, it’s Jason’s 28th birthday today and since most of my friends have no idea who this nomad is beyond the stories I share of Bethesda Pub Crawls, New Year’s ping pong debacles, and closet/toilet malfunctions, I thought I would share with the world who this mythical creature is with a photo montage (cue Team America song).  Much like me, Jason refuses to accept “old age” as a means to stop being a kid.  Keep it up buddy.  And to the future Mrs. Duuuuuuude … thanks for putting up with our sh*t all these years, he owe’s you BIG time.

Caleb and Uncle Neiman’s morning fun


Because of Andy and Amber’s wedding this weekend (woo hoo!), I stayed at Devorah and Kevin’s place last night.  It was fun hanging out at night like usual, but I forgot how much fun the morning is here with the boys.  Devorah had to go grocery shopping and left my chunky nephew with me for a short babysit.  In the half hour we played together, Caleb managed to drool all over my shorts, eat 4 toys, create a cry/laugh that confused the hell out of me, and pose for some very cute ball-pit photos.  And yes, the Berman boys have their very own chuck-e-cheese style ball pit, which I am completely jealous of!  So we took a few photos of the chunker covered in balls while big-brother Jonah slept, and a couple of them came out very cute.

P.S.  These were taken with my new Palm Pre:-)

Weekend Travels and Wedding Shambles

Amber … this is what you are marrying. You sure about this?

This weekend is Fra Andy Huston’s wedding.  Which means I won’t be coming home this weekend, and therefore won’t be in MN for about 2 weeks.  Traveling for work is fun, but trying to go away for something like this does make it slightly irritable at times.  Besides the obvious of being away from all you wonderful people, it’s quite frustrating to have to pack for 10 days in a tiny suitcase.  And packing a tuxedo in there, well hell that’s just painful.  (Andy, I hope you don’t mind wrinkles in your wedding photos).  Luckily, I’ll be staying with Devorah before and after the wedding and able to do some quick laundry, that helps a bit.People said you start to get sick of traveling eventually, and although I’m not there yet, I can start to see why co-workers complain.  It would be nice to be on my couch just one night of the next 10, cleaning out my DVR while sipping a cup of single-brewed coffee, or reading a book in my backyard with a glass of scotch.  There are only so many nice days in Minnesota’s short summer,

People said you start to get sick of traveling eventually, and although I’m not there yet, I can start to see why co-workers complain.  It would be nice to be on my couch just one night of the next 10, cleaning out my DVR while sipping a cup of single-brewed coffee, or reading a book in my backyard with a glass of scotch.  There are only so many nice days in Minnesota’s short summer, it’s a shame to miss them.

However, let’s remember why I’m doing this.  ANDY HUSTON IS GETTING MARRIED!  If there is one thing I love more than a glass of scotch on my balcony, its a commandeered bottle of Grey Goose on a wedding bus post-reception.  In typical kappa boys fashion, I fully intend to enjoy a drink (or 17) with the fraternity boys until the wee hours of the morning and stumbling to the closest late night food establishment before dawn.  Does Indy have a Santana’s Foods?

Hurricane BEN! hits Virginia/DC…

El Benno means the Benno!

Last night Ingie and I were headed to “the district” to meet up with Adam Schiff and another friend, and we drove through what was probably the worst thunderstorm I’ve experienced on the east coast.  This storm does nothing to compare to the Ides of July in Webster/Siren, but I was pretty much singing the Shema the whole drive home … just in case.  (for you non-Jews, that would be equivalent to citing Psalm 23)

Raining cats and dogs, lightning with instant thunder follow-up, 0 visibility, crazy DC drivers, and the already frustrated traffic issues, construction, and navigation in a new city meant we were happy to finally get home.  Soaking wet from lack of sufficient rain gear (sorry dad), but happy nonetheless.  Googlemaps tracked our route at 19 minutes, it took us 1 hour 9 minutes to get home.  What a mess!

And if you don’t believe me that this storm was the 21st century version of Noah’s flood, tell that to the 12-year old boy who died by lightning strike last night in Virginia.  Sad story, sad end to a fun birthday, and just overall crummy night.  Lets hope this weekend in MN brings happier climate.

Sigma Alpha Mu turns 100, the Kappa Boys celebrate in style

love it fear it

It was a great long weekend, with plenty of craziness.  It’s not every day your fraternity turns 100 years old and frat boys from all ages showed up to celebrate with the University of Minnesota’s Kappa Chapter.  Minneapolis held a Centennial banquet dinner for Sigma Alpha Mu’s “Assuring Century 2” campaign on Saturday, and it was quite the weekend.  Among those in attendance?  Frank “Johnny Pohl” Marasco, Bad Andy Huston, Michael Fineman Investment Banker (and Laredo captain extraordinaire), Adam Fink’s 92-year-old grandfather, 5 past Supreme Priors, P Diddy, Billisimo, and many more.

Friday night was just a typical frat party at the house with 150 old men … just like the old days.  And Saturday was a beautiful banquet dinner with excellent food, speakers, awards, and honorees.  It was a nice weekend that kept me carefully on my guard, drunk as a skunk, and reminiscing about “the good old days” of constant debauchery and idiotic nonsense.  (sigh) It felt good to be young again.  Oh, and they even included a tour of the new TCF Gopher Football Stadium…

Mirra Mugged at Gunpoint

masked face = robbery, gun = aggravated assault, green r = rape, house = domestic assault

So I get a text from my little sister last night at 4am saying, “I just got mugged at gunpoint!”  I called her as soon as I got up to make sure she was ok (which she was), and got the whole story.  Apparently while out with a friend, she stopped at the park on 32nd and Bryant to hang out last night, and stepped into trouble.  As I understood the story, there was guy pretending to be a sleeping drunk that they walked past who then followed them and pulled a gun on them waving it around, cussing, and demanding their credit cards, cell phones, etc.  Mirra’s friend gave the guy all his stuff and then he pointed the gun at Mirra.

She was a little freaked out of course, but in her own cool manner basically lied to the guy, saying “”no, I don’t have anything””.  Angered, the man kept them at gunpoint for 20 minutes demanding more things from them but she refused to budge saying that they had “”given him everything they have.””   Eventually he got fed up and left with what he had, and she ran off to find a police officer and report it.

Yeah it’s probably dangerous, and we both agreed that NEXT time you give him everything and don’t talk back … but given that she is safe and sound, I have to admit I’m a bit impressed that she was able to stand her ground and come out unscathed.   I know it’s stupid, but honestly, if I was in the same situation I would probably act the same way, or worse.  I don’t have a death-wish or anything, but my intuition is not to roll over helplessly and would no-likely make a dumb attempt to ward off the gunman or defend myself.  My family is probably ready to rip her head off for how she acted (and me for defending it), but what would you do if it was you?

Above is the crime map for Minneapolis Police Dept. 5th Precinct, I added Mirra’s robbery (blue icon with red circle) to show how it fits in the map.  Not the safest of neighborhoods, so if you find yourself going there at night … pack a can of mace or a bodyguard.

A typical night with Jonah and Caleb

“you can have a wittle wick of my wollipop”

I know I hinted that I’d post about Government and DC today, but now that its the client, a quick ethics gut-check tells me I’m probably better off not going down that road…

So instead, let me enlighten you with how I spent my night last night.  Being in DC makes it really easy to see Devorah, Kevin, and the boys, and I am hoping to be able to make it out to Potomac once a week to catch up with the family.  Last night we had a pizza dinner with Jonah, while Caleb showed off his new ability to giggle and smile uncontrollably.  Jonah got a cute haircut (picture above) and was enjoying his lollipop reward from mom and dad first, but that quickly changed to a sugar-high desire to play toys.  Over the next hour, we played with a dump-truck that he could take apart with a toy drill and a stuffed rat that would poop hamburgers and tomatoes.  Caleb learned how to sniffle and could be heard giggle-sniffing all night.  Although he’s still a big baby, he has started filling in his rolls of skin and doesn’t look so chunky anymore.  Between that and the smiles, he is looking damn cute these days.

It will be great being able to see the boys more as they grow up, I’m really looking forward to this part most over the next year.

Universal Tatarek II: Sisters in Arms

“When I was a man I longed to be a machine. Now I’m better than both.”

[Eexcerpt from original film script] After the terrible events of the original tour of duty, the budget has been slashed by the government. Under the orders of a CIA director, a gang of mercenaries take control of the new line of soldiers and try to use them to help smuggle diamonds to the highest foreign buyer. When David Tatarek (a survivor from the first incident) continues to cause problems, his newly found younger sister is taken prisoner along with his news reporter friend Veronica Reynolds.

Ten short years ago, Private Tatarek joined the ranks of millions before him and recited the Oath of Enlistment to the US Armed Forces.  And now?  Now he is headed to Iraq again.

So, in order to send him off in style, I’ll be fressing on “15 different delectable cuts of fire-roasted meats, a sumptuous buffet of gourmet salads and fresh-cut vegetables, and a variety of Brazilian side dishes” at Fogo De Chau tonight.  Afterwards, there is slew of people in town (Abra, Foley, Benjie, to name a few) and we are looking to have a night on the town HelloNeiman! style.   Tentative plans are as follows, text if out…

  • Drink in Uptown at 9:30ish
  • W Hotel/Prohibition at 11:30ish
  • Nicollet Mall gutter at 2ish.  That is not a bar.  I literally expect all of you to get shibby and pass out in a gutter by the end of the night.

For those of you in Minneapolis that want to meet up with the use-to-be-locals or Private Tatarek (or just need an excuse to drink), give me a call and hopefully you can try to meet up.