Thursday, December 30, 2004

So we're not done done (and if there's one thing I've figured out about home ownership in the past 2 weeks it's that you're never actually done), but we're pretty much done. Every day I went over a list of "open items" with the contractor and today, there were no items left on the list.

Things are pretty much in the place they'll be for the next 20-30 years, I suppose. I think about that sometimes.

The family we bought the house from were in their mid-late sixties. Who knows what will happen, of course, but I feel like when I'm putting something in a drawer in the utility room or deciding where a bookshelf is going, there's a decent chance that someday, many years from now, it's from that exact same place that Tamar or I will remove it. Inertia is a pretty strong force. That's why I told Tamar that we had to unpack our boxes by Jan. 1st. If we weren't done, I knew those boxes would be there for the next 20 years.

Well, we moved in with about 60 and now there are only 3 left. There are a handful of items remaining, but now, we move from the "la-la land" of playing house and spending money like it's going out of style (we did some work on the house-my basic philosophy being it's much better to rip out walls and create dust for major infrastructure projects now than to disrupt our lives at some point in the future) to a family with a mortgage and a budget to live by.

Beyond that though is the thought that this is where the Epstein family will grow into itself. The first night we slept in the house and we put Calanit to sleep, we both cried. It's as if this house is a ship and with it, we will travel the rocky seas of life together.

I knew all along that the house would become an emotional purchase and now that the walls are painted, the rugs are down, the pictures are up, and of course, my little "man cave" of technology mission control is set up, I've finally allowed myself to feel that.

Now, we can get on with the business of life, as it were. I think about the rooms and the moments, both glad and sad, that we will inevitably experience in them. When Tamar is out and Calanit is asleep, I stand in the middle of the kitchen and listen to the sound of the house, looking out towards the the backyard, our backyard (well, the bank's, but you know what I mean) and think about what the future will bring.

There are times when I feel unworthy of this house. That it's such a blessing and we don't deserve the good fortune. When will the other shoe drop? Then, I just take a breath and appreciate where we are, when we are there.

Monday, December 27, 2004

It's a 3 Truck Day

Before we moved into the house, my cousin Lee from Ohio gave me advice of an indicator to know how expensive home ownership is at a given point in time. He said, 'look at your window and count the number of trucks, that'll tell you how much it's going to cost you."

Well, today is a 3 truck day for us. We've got the contractors here and the security alarm system being installed. My cousin, Barry from Dallas, who knows the home security alarm system as well as anyone said, "look, you live in a safe neighborhood, but sometime, someone is going to try and come into your house. Then, you're going to have a security system installed, so why not save yourself the hassle and stress and just do it now." So, that's what we're doing...

The moving day and pre-moving days were 4 truck days and we've been hovering at around an average of 1.5, I'd say.

On a different note, even though I've realized that homeownership is a never-ending project, Tamar and I have made tremendous strides in unpacking. We've got all but 5 or 6 of our 60+ boxes processed and thrown out (such a shame, but we couldn't find others to whom to give them) and our goal all along has been to have most things ready by the time I go back to work on Tues. the 4th. Well, I'm working this week, but it's a different feel when you send an email and no one responds...

Sunday, December 26, 2004

A house of immigrants Part II

The actual day of the move was more of the same. We had the movers (Viktor from Moldavia, Juan from Guatemala, and Mohammed from Somalia) take 10 hours of their lives to move us from our apartment to our new home. They did a fantastic job and even went above and beyond the call of duty (we had some trouble getting the box spring upstairs so Vikt0r-the foreman, disassembled it and then reassembled it). We even had the issue of the trash truck showing up and insisting that our moving truck get moved. Plus, the Dominican HVAC guys hit metal, where they didn't think there'd be any and Tamar and I were exhausted. I had been pulling 18 hour days.

Anyway, I've been meaning to write this entry for a week now, but we've been busy unpacking boxes. We're down to about 5 from our 60 or so--I'm very proud of Tamar for her efforts. Calanit is adjusting well, though for some reason, she doesn't like her bathroom.

As for me, I'm excited. Nervous too-can we really afford this thing? But, overwhelmed with emotion at the thought that this is where my family will be raised. Seeing Calanit crawl around her room, it's just a great feeling that I am in a position to provide her a safe place to sleep every night.

Next time, if things ever slow down (thank goodness we're doing this during the Xmas holiday season when work is relatively slow), I'll write about my "Man Cave," it's a thing of beauty.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A house of immigrants...

Today was like an episode from the Apprentice, with an international twist, all with the goal of preparing for the move-in to the new Epstein abode tomorrow morning.

At 8am, I opened the door for Lena and her co-worker, from Brazil. They were tasked with cleaning the entire house after 2.5 weeks of dirt from renovations had accumulated. Soon thereafter, Diego, from Colombia, showed up. He touched up some paint and removed paint from some floors where it didn’t belong.

Next was Edwin, Jose, and Jorge, from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Bolivia. They tackled the insulation in the attic, some more painting, some closets, and re-tiling some bathrooms.

Right around that time, the internet wiring and tv cabling was completed by Jimmy and Lynn. They were from Baltimore.

Around noon, David and his two assistants, from Honduras descended to the basement to tackle some small electrical issues.

At 3pm, Antonio and his two compadres from El Salvador and Honduras as well, showed up to lay carpet and rug. As they were leaving, Max and Lucas (from the Dominican Republic) walked right in to inspect the heating and ventilation system.

What a day. Thank goodness my dad is from Texas and we’ve got family in Mexico or else I’d have zero Spanish to sling around (and a few choice Portuguese words I picked up along the way for Lena and her friend).

Beyond that, I was quite moved by the idea of all of these people coming to the US to better themselves. David and Jorge are staying. They’ve started their own businesses and raising their families here. Jose and Antonio-they just want to make enough money to go home to their families and live well.

I was a bit emotional as I thought about what this country represents in that it can give a chance to all of these people to better themselves and I appreciated it all the more as I recognized that the home we will inhabit is being built upon their backs and labor. They are a much of part of my family’s home and story as we are because of the role they play.

I loved the energy of the day in managing the various contingencies, but I also loved talking with Antonio about our views on illegal immigration (we both agree that the Fed Gov’t needs to crack down on illegals who abuse the system, but pay nothing in. We also agree that tax reform is necessary-we’re both upset that we have to pay someone else to prepare our taxes for us.) Jose told me that life in Guatemala is easier. You have no money, so you have no worries. Max tells me that in a few years, English won’t matter, since Spanish is taking over.

What they all agree on, unfortunately, is that reform of any meaningful sort is next to impossible in Latin America.

As for my role as Project Manager on the Apprentice, I’d say I won. We got the work done in preparation for tomorrow’s move, but more importantly, I learned a lot about the vision of the US through the eyes of her newest immigrants and citizens, some people I probably would not meet in the course of my day to day life, and, I suppose, myself.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Feeling the love from my daughter
I felt so much love from Calanit this morning.
Tamar had already left for work when Calanit's caregiver came. I was leaving and Calanit kept reaching for me, refusing to let me go, and crying when I tried to leave the apartment. It made me feel sad and happy at the same time.
Another one of those beautiful moments of parenting, I suppose.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Earn it every day
It's one thing to perform well one time. It's another thing to perform well consistently. It's not easy and it's tiring. I think there's a tendency to rest on our laurels, but life, in some respects, is a "what have you done for me lately?" test.
My new motto: Earn It Every Day.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

On spending time with your kid(s)...
One of the things that I've struggled with most is the issue of balance between spending time with Calanit and spending time away from Calanit so that I can provide for her.
On the one hand, I look down the road and see these HUGE costs that are coming my way in terms of tuition, day care, hopefully more kids, etc. etc. etc.
On the other hand, I know that my daughter is growing up, and growing up fast. She's going to be one on Friday and I'll never have this time again.
She taught me a huge lesson the other day.
On Sundays, Tamar works all day and Calanit and I spend the day together. To be fair, more of it is Calanit going along with whatever I need to do, be it work, running errands, or dealing with the house. Well, not really what I need to do, but what I choose to do.
She's a great, low-maintenance kid and I don't want you to get the impression that I ignore her. We read, play, eat, and do many other things together, but there's plenty of time when she's in the room and I'm pre-occupied. Now, I don't think necessarily that every minute of every day needs to be centered on her, but I do need to be aware of the balance.
After a relatively busy day of running around and dealing with the electrician and locksmith, we came back and just lay down and started watching football. I was drained (since I also tend to stay up late on Sat. nights and now have to get up early on Sunday mornings), so I wasn't doing much with her.
She was getting fussy. I gave her a bottle. Didn't want it. I put her in her seat, didn't want to eat. I tried a bunch of things. Finally, I realized, "hey, she just wants me to pay attention to her." I did and we had a great time.
Even though she can't communicate verbally, she does communicate. What's more, she understands A LOT. I'll say "Touch Abba's nose" [Abba is father in Hebrew] and though we don't have a 100% success rate, she knows what to do. She really gets a lot of what you are telling her.
When Tamar was pregnant, I was in the habit of lying on the bed and talking to the fetus about my day. My first lecture was about Microsoft .Net and the importance of web services.
After she was born, however, here was an infant and I infantilized here (surprisingly enough). I've now swung back and will talk to her about whatever I want. Today, for example, I told her about the decision behind, and consequences of, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (as it is December 7th-the 63rd anniversary of the event). I told her about my day and the challenges I'm working to overcome at work and regarding the anxiety of home ownership. It's fun to see her reaction. Then, of course, she can just be a kid and laugh when I hold an orange under my chin and let it roll down my chest.
I got a final dose of perspective when I called a long-time, dear friend, Jay Schwartzberg, who's celebrating his 43rd birthday today, but who has also been battling a brain tumor for about 7 years now. He's got an 11 and 7 year old. Very few people deliver perspective like Jay and he helped re-center my priorities around my life.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

On preparation...
It's just so obvious that a little preparation can go a long way. It's just so hard to always set aside time for doing so.
My most recent example is the house purchase (we're moving in on Dec. 16th).
Tamar saw the house on the Friday before Yom Kippur and decided she liked it. Though I hate to admit it, I spent about 65% of Yom Kippur preparing my negotiating strategy. In brief, here it is:
As I thought about my offer for your home, a few facts have entered into my consideration that I’d like to share with you.

The market is plateauing. If you’ve spoken to agents who know the area, they’ll tell you that. My wife and I have been in the market and there is inventory now and it’s been sitting idle for multiple months. (Yeatman, Claybrook, Kemp Mill Road, Monticello).
We’re at the end of a 9 year run up on prices and there’s certainly the possibility of a dip in the market for the short-term.
Interest rates are headed in the wrong direction. Fewer buyers are going to be able to afford your price as time goes on.
Finally, as you know, fall is not the best time to sell, as more people buy in spring and move in summer. Interest will probably not be as high now as later.
And though I'm not a master, I kept hammering away on these points and did knock $20k off the price in 1.5 hours using that approach!

Anyway, the point is, I thought about it, prepared, and it paid off.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

New Blog Address

New and Improved Blog Location

With pictures...

(One month later: though I want to be a loyal MS employee, I have to say that Blogger is better on this count...i'm sure version 2 will be stronger. Stay tuned)

Being the Virtual Salesperson

Another anecdote about the growing value of the J2J...


[next meeting details at the bottom]


Since the beginning of the J2J, we’ve reinforced the message that those who come to the meetings are not your potential clients/customers, they are your potential salespeople. We’ve also said that you need to keep coming in order for it to be effective.


David Hurwitz (, a financial adviser at American Express, has honed his 1 minute presentation over time and the catchphrase that has become synonymous with him is that he serves people who are “going through major life changes” with solid financial advice.  There are many ways to position your services, this is his.


I’ve heard this pitch over and over again.  This morning, as I was taking a shower (hey, it’s where I do my best thinking!) I was ruminating on some very bad news I’d heard from two sets of friends of ours in the past week.  One couple had decided to get divorced. In another, the wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.


We had sent the usual sympathetic notes and calls; my wife made dinner for the cancer patient last night, however, it’s tough to know how to really help people in a time like this. 


It then occurred to me that these people were definitely undergoing a major life transition and all were going to have to climb some serious financial mountains (in addition to the obvious emotional ones).


I reached out to them and basically said, “hey, I know you’re going through a rough time now and you’ve got a lot on your mind, so I’m sorry if this is inappropriate, but if you feel the need, I have a friend who is a solid financial adviser.”


They were appreciative and at this point, it doesn’t really matter what happens from a business perspective, because, honestly, it felt like I was doing a mitzvah by thinking about the needs that these people have and proposing a solution by a person I trust. 


And the simple reason that I trust him (and thought about recommending his services to these people at this time) is because he’s been coming to J2J every month for a year, has positioned what a good lead for him would be, and has given 2 solid presentations about his level and degree of expertise.


The next meeting of the J2J DC will be January 11th @8.10am at the Microsoft offices. Directions attached.


For information on the J2J NoVa meeting times/locations, please contact Michael Drobnis (


Happy Hannukah and Happy (secular) New Year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The New Homeowners

So, we did it. Closed on the 22nd of November.


Finally, the negotiating and haggling is over. We’re in. There are a whole new set of financial issues, of course, but as I stood in the empty house after the settlement, the larger spiritual consequences dawned on me. It is in this house where my child(ren) will be raised, where they will grow up, and where my wife and I will solidify our marriage.  It is more than a house, it will be a home.  


As the contractor’s three weeks of work begin, we are beginning to see the slow transformation of this house from the home of another to ours.  


Daunting, yes. Anxiety-ridden…you bet. Exciting…Absolutely!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Late night spirituality

Some of the most beautiful moments I’ve had as a father are when Calanit wakes up in the middle of the night and is hungry. I prepare a bottle for her and in the dark, sit in the rocking chair which my wife so wisely decided we should purchase, and feed her. As I do that, her eyes are half-closed and she is intent on her soy beverage.  When she’s done, I put her on my shoulder and burp her. She’s gotten much larger than almost a year ago and that’s noticeable, but what’s really special is how still she is. These days, she moves around a lot, but late at night, she’s beat and she just lies there, gently, unconsciously stroking my chin or my face with her little fingers. It’s such a tremendous feeling to have this little person of my own creation connecting with me in such a simple, but profound way.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

From Bolivia to America

Sometimes we forget how damn lucky we are to live in the United States....

I was talking to my contractor the other night. He's got an amazing story. He came to the US from Bolivia at age 35, with $320 in his pocket, a wife and an 8 month old kid. He was a college graduate, with an engineering degree, but spoke no English. He landed a job for $8/hr. That was 15 years ago.

Now, he's got his own company, owns two houses, his kids are in Gifted and Talented programs in high school and he has his eyes set on retirement at age 60. It was completely inspirational. He spoke of setting goals, staying focused, and watching every penny. For three years, he said, they never went out, "not even to McDonalds." Then, they finally allowed themselves as a family treat to go to McDonalds once a month.

After 10 years or so, he took his first vacation.

I'd heard about the immigrant work ethic and sometimes wonder whether being born here has been a disservice in some way to me.

But what was most enlightening was his total intolerance for those who say that America is flawed, for those who say that freedoms aren't really freedoms here, for those who blame America for the world's problems. Here is a guy who sees nothing but good in America. I was getting emotional as I heard his story and his praise and gratitude for all that it means to be an American.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I was completely alone this Shabbat (Sabbath) for the first time in a long time. For the second time in a month, my love and appreciation for my wife has grown. Calanit wasn't home either (they were in Albany for a dance weekend) and I'll tell you, I felt lonely. No, not the whole time. I kept myself busy, but there were those brief moments of clarity/epiphany when I realized or at least thought about how empty life would be without either one or both of them. No one likes to think these types of thoughts, but it's important. [I once read a book by the Dalai Lama called the Art of Happiness and he says that it's important to visualize and think about the things you don't want to happen so that a. you can be prepared if they ever do come and b. you will appreciate what you have right now.]

It was highly apropos as I sat in synagogue on Saturday morning and read the story of Isaac marrying Rebecca. The Torah makes a point of saying that Isaac first married Rebecca and then he loved her. The idea is that you marry for rational and logical reasons (at least according to the commentary I had) and over time the LOVE grows. The key point being that LOVE grows over time as we learn and live together.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Super Bowl in November

Ok, enough with the election. It’s a dead heat everywhere, we know that. No matter what happens, 50% of the people are going to be unhappy. We got it. It’s like the pre-game show of the Super Bowl, which lasts for hours and we’re now at the point where they are telling us about the obscure pre-game ritual of the mother of the kicker or something like that. Let’s just do this thing already.

On a different note, Calanit is making remarkable strides. She’s going to be 11 months old next week and is really progressing in her ability to almost crawl, almost stand, almost not make a total mess when she feeds herself. I guess it’s the “Almost Stage’ of her first year. It’s cool because we’re thinking about what we want to do for her first birthday and whereas before my attitude would have been “why bother, she’s not going to remember anyway,” now I realize that it’s more about our ability to mark the year with those we love than anything else, at least at this stage of the game.

On the other front, the house looks like it is going through. A ton of details to manage, that’s for sure, but it’s exciting. Got to manage the urge to spend a ridiculous amount of money though.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

I just did a sort/search of my personal contacts and found 21 people who live in battleground states (MN, OH, FL, PA, NH). I sent them the following letter. Feel free to do the same and/or forward.


Since you are living in one of the identified “Battleground States,” I feel an obligation to at least reach out to see if you fall into the category of “undecided voters.” My hunch is that you’ve made up your mind, but if there’s even an inkling that you’ll switch your vote, let me know if you’re open to a conversation from a Pro-Bush voter.

Here’s to the great democratic experiment.


Note: this actually worked..I found one and called him.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

It's the little things...

Watching her develop is such an amazing process. She now fully realizes when she has to extend her arms through a sleeve and does it subconsciously like all of us do.

She’s also great at keeping herself occupied. She can play with the same blocks and books for hours and not get bored.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Working at Microsoft...

Is kind of like being on the Yankees. You have a great track record and tend to win a lot. Some people love you. Some people hate your guts. And pretty much any player, if given the opportunity, would join the team.

The value of networking

About 14 months ago, with the help of a new friend, I started the DC chapter of a Jewish professionals networking group called the J2J network ( Our mission is simple: to strengthen the Jewish community by facilitating commerce among our members.


Our approach is to have an ongoing series of events and meetings where professionals can present themselves as experts in their fields, identify the types of customers they serve, and build relationships with other individuals who can serve as “virtual salespeople” to provide a referral-based channel for business development.  Furthermore, this network of individuals serves as a sounding board for ideas and a cost-effective way to obtain advice on a wide range of issues.


So far, we’ve created $2 million worth of business and countless introductions. I’ve personally benefited not only by introducing people to each other who share customer segments or goals, but also by growing and developing a large group of people who can offer me valuable advice on anything from tax planning to home buying and to whom I can provide tips and ideas as well based on my expertise.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Read the contract. One thing I've learned as we go through this home buying process is just that. Too often, we're rushed and we don't read the fine print. Do yourself a favor and read it. Make sure you understand it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Feeling the void

I missed my wife more during this trip of hers than any other previously. This was the first time she was gone since Calanit was born and because I had to do everything myself, I really began to appreciate her contribution to the family.  I guess in the past, when she was gone, it was like being single again. Yes, I missed her, but I had survived before her without her.  But this time, when I really experienced all that she does to help make this family run and I had the unthinkable thoughts of what I would do if she weren’t around, well, I felt a true love for my wife on a new level.

Monday, October 18, 2004

This parenting thing...

…is tough work. We made it and Calanit is alive and well. Tamar will be coming back this afternoon. I guess I was taking this test on a pass/fail mentality, knowing that if I took it for a grade, I’m probably get a C- from Tamar. If she graded on a curve, I might get an B+, since the standards are lower for me than for her.

After all, I did leave Calanit in her crib wide awake, probably hungry, as I slept. Of course I didn’t hear her, but for all I know, she was awake for 2 hours!  I also took her outside for took long and she got cold and didn’t read to her nearly enough.


On the other hand, she’s been fed, cleaned, and clothed and I managed to get her to synagogue on Saturday morning (mostly so people would be in awe of my single parenting skills!)


I’ve got a new degree of empathy for mothers and for how much my wife gets done.


I told Tamar that this type of experience is like Yom Kippur. Once a year, she should go away for a few days and leave the kid(s) with me. I’ll remember how much she does, be exhausted, and then it’ll be over, she’ll come back and I’ll go back to my old routine, but with a newfound appreciation..

Friday, October 15, 2004

I'm playing "Mr. Mom" for a few days-or really-single parent.

For the first time since Calanit was born, Tamar has left us for a few days. She's off at a dance camp and for 4 days, it's just the Pooka (aka the "Tonkee", "the Garhonka") and me.

So it's not a disaster yet. Fortunately Calanit's 1 day a week caregiver laid out enough outfits for the duration of the period and at least my daughter will be dressed in a matching format.

What I'm starting to appreciate is the amount of work that is required. Frankly, Tamar does the bulk of it, but we're talking about food preparation, diaper bag preparation, just watching her (she's in the other room right now, but with her mobility, I need to check her every few minutes to make sure she's not at the outlet or cords-fortunately she's very good at playing by herself), and man, it's tough to get anything else done, that's for sure. I usually exercise every morning, but w/o Tamar here, I can't get on the Nordic Track when I want, it needs to be coordinated with Calanit's nap. And lastly, I've got to go to bed earlier...this girl wakes up at 5am usually...and don't tell Tamar this, but for some reason (I promise, not intentional), the monitor in the baby's room was off, so I didn't hear her and somehow I just woke up at 6.41am and Calanit was just lying in her crib, wide awake. I have no idea how long she'd been up. Anyway, she's fed now.

You've got to be really efficient, that's lesson #1 on Morning #1.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Epochal Shifts of Time...

There are periods during life when the non-essential items just have to fall to this side. This past month has been one of them. Tamar and I have decided that now is the time for us to buy a house and as of last Wednesday, we have a contract on one. Nothing's final yet, but the inspection is scheduled for this week and if all goes according to plan (which if experience has taught me anything, it won't), we'll settle on 11/22. That's a pretty big step. My grandfather said to me once that the three biggest decisions you make in life are "whom you marry, when you have your first child, and when you buy your first house." They all involve major shifts in responsibility.

Speaking of shifts, I was speaking with Chuck Fox today and he said, "I think you're really an adult when you say to yourself, 'you know, it just makes more sense if I go to bed early.'" How true...

Calanit is 10 months old today and the big achievement of the past week was that we felt tooth #1 push its way through. "The days are long, but the years are short," sayeth my mother.

Balance...had a great talk with a friend, Felix Kushnir, while sitting in his backyard on an absolutely glorious Fall day. We were ruminating about the challenge that we felt as fathers between our desire to participate in multiple aspects of our childrens' lives (taking them to games, helping with homework, etc.), and the overwhelming pressure we feel to provide for them and our families in a financial way which requires, often times, absence from the home, or at the very least, an inability to pay attention while we ARE at home. Suggestions are welcome on how to manage this process.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Microsoft's Dress Code

I wore a suit and tie to go see a customer yesterday.


Afterwards, got back to the office and the most frequent comments I heard were:

  1. who died?
  2. good luck on the interview


That’ll give you a small insight into the dress code around here.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Have you ever looked at your credit rating? You can do it online. There are three big agencies and it's amazing how much information they have about you.

Tamar and I are thinking about buying a house (more on that later). I'll tell you one thing I've learned in this process. Pay your bills, man. It's like big brother is watching out there.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Gift of Feminism

My wife likes to joke that in our marriage one of us has a body image disorder, is a feminist, and is overly emotional...the only thing is, it's me.

I've been thinking about feminism recently and started to think some potentially un-PC thoughts. I haven't come to a conclusion, but I am asking the questions.

So, it seems like with the women's liberation movement and the arrival of the two income family, that the expectations of what constitutes a middle class lifestyle increases in terms of economic consumption power. In order to maintain this lifestyle, two incomes are required, for the most part.

So, when a couple has a child, it's not entirely economically feasible for the wife (or the husband for that matter, but for the sake of 'tradition,' let's say the wife) to stay home and simply raise the children. She needs to go out of the home in order to generate the income.

What this does, however, is create a situation in which the raising of the children is effectively outsourced to someone with much less education than the woman who gave birth to the children. Whether there is a difference in cultural values and morals may be debatable, but certainly the woman outside of the home, for the most part, has greater earning potential, probably stemming from advanced education, than the woman (for the most part) hired to take care of the children.

What does this mean, then, for society in the long term? Does it matter really who raises the children? Or is stimulation and sunshine for a 1 or 2 year old impartial based on who is providing it?

In the short term, it's obvious that the family will have more income to support their lifestyle, but I wonder if having non-parents doing the work of parents (with the attached questions of whether someone who, at the end of the day, is working for the money) is a net gain, net loss, or a net wash-out for the children on the micro level and society on the macro level?

All of this came about during a conversation I had with a friend over Rosh Hashana. She's an attorney and with a 4 month old is fretting the decision about going to work. "This is feminism's greatest joke," she remarked. "You can have a job and have a kid, but if you want to raise your kid yourself, then what do you do?" Or something like that, but I think you get the point.
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Sunday, September 19, 2004

It's not that I didn't cherish life and living when I was younger, it's just that I thought...well, it's got to end sometime, so although it would be cool to live to 100, in reality, what difference does it really make if you go when you're 20, 50, or 100? Sure, you've seen and done a few more things and you gain some perspective, but it's over when it's over, right?

Well, now the thing is, when I think about death-which I do a lot more now that I have a daughter-I think about how the thing I don't want to miss out on is what type of person my daughter is going to grow into and become. I don't want to miss any stage of her development. That's what keeps me going. It's a great feeling in a way to live for something truly larger than yourself, I suppose.

Friday, September 10, 2004

"She's been out as long as she was in."

Today is Calanit's 9 month birthday (and my half birthday!). She just had her check-up, is 17 lbs and is in the 45th percentile for height and 25th for weight (or maybe it's reversed), but the point is she's doing great.

Her personality is really developing. She's standing (with help) quite well and has a great smile. It's amazing.

Many people have said to me "once you have a kid, you can't think of life without her." Well, in the spiritual sense, that's true, but in the normal, convenience sense...well, I can remember not having to get up early to change diapers and not having to worry about child care, but it's all good. She's more than worth it.

I can't get over how much I love this little girl.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The latter half of this week has been like the Twilight Zone. On Wed. morning, I was responsible for a relatively large marketing event that required a great deal of preparation. I knew I had to be there by 7.30am, so I was planning to get to bed at 9.30pm on Tues. night. Being the nerd that I am, I checked email only to see that everything that I thought was under control wasn't. It's a long story, but basically I didn't get to bed until 1pm, got up at 5.15am and went to the event.

At 12.30pm, I left the event in Reston, VA, picked up my wife in Chevy Chase, drove to the Bronx (yes, you read that correctly) for a wedding at 6.30. We left the wedding at 11.15pm and we returned to my parents house (where our daughter was in the midst of her first ever sleep-over) at 3.45am. By 9.30am the next morning, I was back in my office.

Since then, I've been trying to recover. Man, do I need this Sabbath rest in a big way.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

During my travels, I came to realize that many so-called "destinations" are way overhyped in terms of the experience you have when you get there. For many of them, you arrive and say "ok, this is nice, but it didn't meet the oveblown expectations."

Here is my list of the top places that met or exceeded expectations:

1. The Great Wall of China
2. Petra (Jordan)
3. Macchu Picchu (Peru)
4. The Sistine Chapel (Rome)
5. Grand Canyon (Arizona)
Last week we went to a wedding with Calanit for the first time. It may sound a bit crazy, but I got very emotional about the day that will hopefully come when she gets married. I know she's only 8 months old, but everyone says "it goes by so quickly" and then all of a sudden, you are at your child's wedding day and the baton gets passed (I'm in a very Olympic frame of mind) and the next generation begins its ascendancy. Sometimes I wonder what she'll be like as an adult, but then I catch myself and take the words of the parents at the wedding to hear to really focus on cherishing the moments that I have with her as she is right now, knowing that in a blink of an eye, they'll be gone. I love my mother's saying, "the days are long, but the years are short."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The name of Epstein

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a Munich-based employee of Microsoft who read an email I sent to an internal newsgroup. He said, “it’s so interesting that your last name is Epstein. I grew up in a town called Eppstein.”

This began a multi-email dialogue between us. I related the story I had heard.

At some point after the Expulsion from Spain, the wandering tribe which had been known in Girona, Spain as the Benevensites ended up in Germany. They were in the money-lending business and lent money to one Count von Eppstein. As collateral, he offered up a piece of land.

When the time for the loan came due, he didn’t have the money and refused to turn over the land, saying that it belonged to his brother, a priest, and Church land couldn’t be given to Jews. Instead, he offered them the use of the distinguished last name of Eppstein. Apparently, the family took him up on his offer and eventually moved on to Lithuania, from whence my paternal grandfather emigrated.

I had never heard of the town of Eppstein until the summer of 1994 when a classmate of mine at the University of Regensburg where I was taking summer courses told me that it existed on the outskirts of Frankfurt.

During my travels through Europe thereafter, I made a point to take a trip out to Eppstein, a town nestled in wooded hills by a small river with a tiny fort on a hill, with a population of (I’m guessing) 2-3000 people. At some point during my teenage years, my father had given me a family crest which had the name “Epstein” underneath it and which has three chevrons upon it.

Interestingly enough, this same symbol was on all of the official Eppstein municipal items (trash trucks, the city hall, etc.). I climbed the small hill to the little fort, the museum for the history of the town, and knocked.

A woman answered. I told her my last name and showed her my passport. She was very excited and let me in for free (I thought the town still owed a lot more than that 1 Deutsche Mark that I saved, you know with interest and everything). I told her the story and she confirmed the possibility of its veracity saying something to the effect of “the Counts von Eppstein were very dishonest and made a living of robbing travelers and traders on the river next to the fort).

During the year I spent in Germany, I went back twice more, once with my father and once with Dina, Asher, and Julie. At my father’s request, I also made an inquiry to the City Hall to determine the name of the factory where the town flag was made and subsequently ordered one, which to this day flies outside our house. It was also used at the wedding ceremony for Asher/Julie as well as for Tamar and me.

Anyway, I relayed this entire story to my German colleague (Thomas). He too had heard that the Counts von Eppstein were not such great people. Furthermore, he asked if he could send the story I had sent to him to his friend who works in the City Hall and also to the town of Eppstein’s historian. He has since done this.

Lastly, he told me that the name Eppstein comes, supposedly, from a knight named Eppo, who built a fort upon a large stone (Stein in German). Hence, Eppo’s Stein or Eppstein.

Monday, August 23, 2004

After going to Canada for the weekend and flying with Calanit, I've developed a simple, but what I think is an effective formula for traveling with children. Take however much time you think you need to do whatever it is (get to the airport, clear customs, etc.) and just multiply it by 2.5. With enough time, I believe, travelling with children can be hassle/stress free, but the TIME is the critical element. Don't wait until the last minute.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Canada is really an interesting place. I can't get a read on what their national identity is. To me, it looks like their primary objective is to be the un-American (ok, maybe a bit softer, gentler), but it's basically the US with some subtle differences, like Kilometers, Celsius, some mild pronunciations (the letter 'o') and cute expressions like 'eh'. They've got their own money and maybe things are a bit cleaner, but other than that (and mind you, I'm not talking about French Canada) there's not much uniquely Canadian. Tamar and I saw the actor Mike Meyers on TV the other night talking sort of along the same lines and his most memorable quote was "you don't hear people saying too often, 'hey, let's go out for Canadian food.'"

The people are friendly and all, but I can't place my finger on what it means to be a Canadian.

Since I was there during the Olympics, it was particularly fascinating to see how the Canadian media worked. From an American perspective, it looks like (almost) that Canada is a country that if it doesn't celebrate mediocrity, certainly is willing to tolerate it or explain it away.

When we arrived, Canada had won just one bronze (they subsequently won a silver and a gold) and the paper/TV highlighted athletes who "did their best just to get there" or "didn't have the full financial backing of the government." Athletes who finished 16th were on the news and were portrayed as heroes.

I guess in America, we're so focused on winning the gold that if you win the silver, it's really "losing the gold."

Don't know what it means, but it was interesting to see how the media celebrated someone finishing 20th or whatever. Obviously, even being in the Olympics is a major accomplishment, but maybe for a country that continually seeks to avoid the shadow of its neighbor to the south, that's one of the ways they differentiate themselves.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

A Tale of 2 computers

So for a while, I've been living with the dilemma of the fact that I work for Microsoft and yet was maintaining two computers at home, neither of which were on the latest, greatest Operating System. The fact that my needs were met entirely by a machine running (yes) Windows Millenium and my wife's (Win98) underscored one of the problems that we at MS face when it comes to our technology, namely, how do we convince customers to upgrade their desktop Operating Systems?

I felt I could relate to many customers when I surveyed my landscape at home and saw that, "hey, it's good enough, I don't need anything better."

Well, for reasons that have nothing to do with software and have to do entirely with human error, about 2 weeks ago, my hard drive crashed. I had no choice but to format the hard drive. I took the opportunity to install a brand new Windows XP operating system on my 4 year old laptop. I installed the latest and greatest of everything, security, add-ons, you name it and let me just say this...I am glad that I did. I am kicking myself that I didn't do it sooner.

I realized that when most people or even I say "I don't need anything else," we have no idea what we are talking about. Most of us have no clue what the technology is even capable of until we try it out and only after we investigate, play around, and try out new things, do we realilze the potential inherent in it. It's like I rediscovered my passion for the technology within the past two weeks and I am in reveling in it. Were there hiccups and bumps along the way? Sure, but is it worth it? I believe so.

Not knowing what you've got until you see the possibilities (it's good enough/don't need anymore)

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Self-Identity and Early Adopter

My self identity is tied up in the idea, to some extent, that I am an early adopter of technology. I don't know why. Perhaps it has something to do with the feeling of wanting to know something before other people do and then getting to tell them about it. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I see the possibilities for the new technology and seek to implement them as quickly as possible.

I've long prided myself that I've had email since 1991, when according to some statistics there were only 750,000 people in the world who used it. The other night, I read an article about Voice over IP telephony (that's using the Internet to make your phone calls) and I was thrilled to see that about 50,000 consumers in the US had it at the beginning of 2003--I was one of them, and we've been saving about $35 on our phone bill every month since then.

I recently purchased a GPS system for my car (it integrates with my Pocket PC phone edition) and Tamar and I are in the midsts of a massive family digitization process which involves copying our VHS tapes to DVD and our cassettes to digital music. It's working quite well, for the most part--with of course the usual hiccups, but we'll be fine, I'm certain.

Anyway, whatever it is, it keeps me going. I am like a kid in some ways as I do get a rush from trying out a new technological advancement, but for the most part, I find value in them and don't just do them for their own sake. There's a benefit that we derive in the short and long term.

As for being an early adopter and why I pride myself on it...I don't know. I just am, in this regard, I suppose.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

the best job in the world

We had brunch this morning with some friends and while we were there, the husband got word that he was to become an Uncle for the first time. Our friends have no kids of their own.


I tell you, being an Uncle with no kids of your own is the best job in the world. First of all, for an Uncle in particular, there are no expectations. You change one diaper and you’re a hero for life. Do anyting, and you’re a hero. It’s different for Aunts, I think.  Furthermore, if the kid gets grouchy, well, it’s not your problem. You can spoil them. Give the kids sugar at 9pm…hey, you didn’t know any better. Honest mistake. All the fun, no responsibility and no accountability. 


Once you have kids, being an Uncle is fun, but not as much. You can’t get away with playing dumb, you know better.


Anyway, enjoy it while you can.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004


We just completed the Fast of the 9th Av (Tisha B’Av) which commemorates the destruction of the 1st (586 BCE) and 2nd (70 CE) Temples in Jerusalem.  This culminated a three week period of mourning that began with another Fast, albeit a minor one (minor ones are from dawn to dusk), whereas Tisha B’Av along with Yom Kippur are 25 hour fasts.


I find fasting to be rather spiritual, particularly as we get to the end of the day and your body starts to consume its stored energy. You really do reach a higher spiritual plane.  Tisha B’Av is supposed to be a melancholy time as the House of the Lord was laid to ruin.  As I was sitting on the floor last night at synagogue (another sign of mourning), listening to the words of Eichah, the book of Lamentations written by Jeremiah, which we read on this somber day, I was reminded of all of the places around the world I’ve been on this holiday, including Tokyo among them.  I then thought of a quote that has been attributed to Napoleon, who was walking by a synagogue in Acre when the French were there and asked what the wailing coming from within was. He was told that the Jews inside were mourning the loss of their Temple and he said something along the lines of “A people who remember with such intensity will never forget.”


Well, we had some intensity today. My wife didn’t fare as well. I begged her to eat, seeing as she’s a nursing mother. Stubborn as she is, however, she didn’t and eventually got so dehydrated, I think, that she had dry heaves and then threw up. Not a pleasant sight, but certainly a strong reminder of the pain and suffering that our ancestors must have felt on this day.


And's pouring, and I do mean, pouring outside. It's like G-d is saying to us, "ok, now we're beginning the spiritual cleansing process that will lead us over the next 7 weeks to the Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year.)"

Monday, July 19, 2004

I just got a new passport. Normally, that wouldn't be a major event, but it accompanied the retirement of my old passport.  So what, you say. Well, the old passport probably had 50 or so stamps in it, a bunch of visas, and few other official stickers. It had an addendum to the normal section. I mean, it was a work of art, but more than that, it symbolized an amazing era of my life. I was young, relatively carefree, and able to jet-set around the world. I saw most of Europe, a nice portion of Asia, parts of Africa and South America, (and we don't even talk about the US).  Those days are gone, not for good, but for the time being.  Now, when I have an impulse to travel somewhere, I think about the opportunity cost of the trip...yes, I could go to Chile or wherever for 1.5 weeks, but I could also save that money for my daughter's education.  What's more, if I did go for 1.5 weeks, I'd miss my family terribly.  Does that mean I won't travel anymore? I doubt it, there will be trips, but only those that are necessary, either for work, or for some key event, like a trip to Israel, perhaps.  But, though it may seem ignorant, I feel like I've seen what I need to see. Not that I've seen it all or ever could, but I do believe that for now, the physical travel experiences I've had have provided me with the wide perspective that I need at this juncture.
In the meantime, I've decided on another type of journey. I've been re-reading a book called I Dare You by a man named Danforth (he's the founder of Ralston Purina and his son was a US Senator from Missouri). He talk about the four buckets of your life, one of which is the spiritual bucket. Danforth challenges his readers to go on a spiritual adventure, which got me thinking.
I remember sitting in my dorm room in Regensburg, Germany, meticulously planning my summer trips through Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, looking at timetables and reading every guide book.  I had no real idea how to travel on my own and I was a bit intimidated and overcautious, I suspect.  At the beginning, I thought it was about seeing the sites and checking off a checklist. Ok, I saw the fountains in Bern, Switzerland! 
Over time, however, I recognized that travel was more than a checklist and I realized that it was the journey, not necessarily the destination.  It was the people, not always the places. It was being able to sit and reflect just in a new surrounding.
I feel like I am ready for a spiritual adventure, the idea of it excites me, but for now I am also like that young 21 year old in a dorm room in Regensburg. I don't really know how to do it, so I will be very methodical and cautious, but I do know that the only way to do it is to do it.
More on this later, I am sure.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Big milestone for Calanit today. First Cheerio!! She gnawed on a roll on Saturday, but devoured the cereal today. Very exciting and very cute.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Went to the funeral of my wife's grandmother today. She had 14 grandchildren and over 20 great grandchildren. Almost all of the grandchildren spoke...and beautifully, I might add. What was sad, however, was the fact that two of her children have a very difficult relationship and there was an undercurrent of tension, at least that I felt, during the ceremony. It's so sad when families have internal strife.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

My grandfather once told me that the three biggest decisions you make in your life are
1. who you marry
2. when you have your first child
3. when you buy your first home

Well, 2 of them are done, and we're starting to contemplate the 3rd. I think it's fear of commitment all over again. More on this in the days and weeks to come, I'm sure, but man, this feels like a very big decision.
Has anyone been watching the Ken Jennings Show recently? I mean, "Jeopardy." This guy is unbelievable. He's won 27 days in a row and the scores he's racking up are impressive. At one point, he was averaging $33,000 per show. Crazy. He's like the Hank Aaron of Jeopardy or Muhammad Ali. Someone will defeat him at some point, the only question is how long will this go on and how much money will he make before he's finished?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

If you can digitize it, do it.
That's basically my motto. I recently bought a DVD Recorder on eBay as well as some DVD+R and DVD+RW disks (as opposed to DVD-R, a difference I have now learned) and my wife and I are in the process of transferring all of our VHS tapes to DVD. It's great. We're saving space and improving productivity, since with the creation of our DVD library (on an Excel spreadsheet), we're in a position to find the video we want much more quickly. I am very excited about this process as it is consistent with my digital lifestyle.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Let's not forget what July 4th is all about. So easy to take things for granted. The USA is an amazing concept. Appreciate that by reading the Declaration of Independence.
One of my major objectives as a husband has been to pull my wife more and more into the digital age. As an avid dancer, she has about 100 videotapes of her past performances. Whenever she needs to choreograph, she looks through all of them to find the right dance. It's very inefficient.

I purchased a DVD recorder/player (region-free so we can watch Israeli DVD's also) so she can transfer and videos and more efficiently manager her collection.

There was some reservation, but last night, she began the process and it is my hope that she will slowly continue to do it (I taught her the methodology for transferring.)

As I watcher her type in the names of the dances, I was swelling up with joy and pride!

One digital day at a time.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

There are just some things you have to experience to fully understand. You can read all you want, but it's just not the same. Entrepreneurship and being your own boss is one of them. You don't know what it's like until you're there. Being a parent is another one. It's just impossible to explain to someone who isn't a parent what it is really like. I've tried, but having been on that side of the abyss, I know it's not all getting through.
At one point I said that "when a couple has a baby, the man responsible for it suddenly loses all knowledge and the woman gains it."

Two days ago, Calanit had a cold. Runny nose and a bit of a cough, but nothing ridiculous. She was generally herself, but with a bit of a cold.

Tamar said, "I want to take her to the doctor." I challenged her. Though I'm no expert, I spent 12 hours in the Pediatric ER with Tamar's brother, a Pediatrician and saw 80% of the parents just go home because their kids had a virus. I said "there's nothing wrong with her, you're overreacting and a hypochondriac."

"Sometimes kids get ear infections with colds. I want to be sure."

I called a Nurse healthline to which we have access and relayed the information. They said, "she's sick, only go to the doctor if her fever is over 105 (which it wasn't)."

Tamar insisted. Sure enough, she took Calanit to the doctor who discovered the beginnings of an ear infection, which antibiotics will hopefully treat and spare her some discomfort.

Shows how much I know...

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Appreciate what you have when you have it.

My cousins are visiting from Australia. There are three childern, ages 9, 11, and 14. Their mother just died of breast cancer a few months ago. Their father is taking care of them. It is so sad for them not to have their mother. I tell you, the brief encounter I had with them over dinner tonight made me appreciate my wife and daughter even more. You never think this kind of thing will happen to you, but you never know. Cherish life and cherish those you cherish.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Politics: I'm going on the offensive

For a while now, I've found myself in the position of having to explain in a defensive manner why I'm voting for Bush.

These days, however, I'm changing my tactic. My question in response to "how can you vote for Bush?" is simply "How can you not?"

There's just too much at stake. Most people either don't recognize or more likely don't want to recognize that the war is not against terrorism, it's against radical Islam, an ideology that must be defeated because it poses an existential threat to Western civilization. What's more, that issue so far outweighs everything else, that it almost makes them irrelevant.

Don't get me wrong, things like healthcare, the economy, and Social Security are VERY important, but if we don't solve Problem #1, they don't matter.

The Republicans just understand the nature of the threat better. Yes, the implementation could be better, but as an entrepreneur, I've learned that it is important to act and figure it out as you go along instead of being stuck with analysis paralysis.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

It's funny...I remember way back when I was single and started getting inundated with pictures from friends (Greg Teitel and Chuck Fox mostly) of their kids and saying "I'll never do that. It's too much." Well, I was wrong.

For pictures, see:

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Transform a "to-do" to an accomplishment:
for more:

Question 1
Say anything you want or need to do or handle

Sample Answer 1
Obtain a promotion

Question 2
Say why it is important to you

Sample Answer 2
It is part of my career advancement plan

Question 3
Say why the answer in #2 has a bearing on you

Sample Answer 3
I want to be a senior professional

Question 4
Say why the answer in #3 is relevant to you

Sample Answer 4
I want to be recognized in my organization

Question 5
Pick the statement in 2, 3, or 4 that is most meaningful to you
Sample Answer 5
I want to be recognized in my organization

Question 6
Say the statement you picked as something already fulfilled or realized

Sample Answer 6
I am recognized in my organization

Question 7
Add to the end of the statement in #6 the words "because I" and the item from #1 written as something already fulfilled or realized

Sample Answer 7
I am recognized in my organization because I obtained a promotion
So my grandfather calls me on Wed. night and says, "you know, I'd like to go to lunch with you tomorrow."
'Ugh, pop, that's the one day I can't do it."
"What about next week?" he asks.
I start mumbling, "hmmmm, let me see. well, maybe I can move this..."
"You know, Jer, I'm at the age where I don't buy green bananas," he says. [Of course, he's been saying that for 15 years, but I get the idea]
"Ok, Pop, how about Tuesday."

And we're on...

Particularly apropos since I spoke with a colleague whose grandfather just passed away at 96. She said, "you know, we just got so used to having him around...that's what made it tough."

Take nothing for granted, right?

Birth of Eyden Liora Price

Our friends David and Daphne Price had a baby girl yesterday at Georgetown hospital. Mazal Tov. Even more amazing than that was the fact that David and I were trading emails the whole time Daphne was in labor. Then, we saw them today and Daphe said "I hope those emails don't make Jeremy's Blog." So, with that in mind, here's the entire chain of email, starting at 1am on Wed. morning and continuing throughout the day.

(Start at the bottom for the full effect)

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 3:22 PM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Hey there. Thank you for all your kind words and wishes.

Our phone number is 202 444 6004. Visiting hours are ffrom 11am 9pm.

Have a great night and mazel tov.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 15:27:43 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Mazal Tov!!!!!! Can we bring you dinner? I already have stuff ready to go! If you guys are too tired for it today, I can bring it tomorrow as well. What works for you?

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 3:22 PM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Emergency c sect. Baby girl 7lbs 9oz

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 3:22 PM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 11:25:19 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Does daphne think it's funny that we've been emailing all morning or is she pissed? I think Tamar would've been pissed.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 11:17 AM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Tears now are ok.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 11:05:54 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Man, I'm so excited. I was on the verge of tears. Then, I realized you wouldn't appreciate that, so I stopped.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 10:50 AM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Could be. Will keep you posted.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 10:41:06 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Tamar predicted a delivery by noon about 2 hours ago. Nice. -----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 10:31 AM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Starting to push in about 40min.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 10:25:43 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Ok, update needed. Inquiring minds want to know :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 9:30 AM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Thank you.
Jumping into the shower will call you soon.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 09:19:59 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Also, Tamar and I have VERY open schedules today and she remembers being very hungry w/no food. Just say the word and we'll be down there (whenever you want) with food (for both of you!)

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 9:09 AM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Ok. Doc is here cheecking her out.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 09:07:26 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Dude...what an honor! This is so exciting, it's better than the Super Bowl. We're calling in 1 minute (I'm yelling at Tamar to get out of the

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 9:03 AM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Thank you. She is a real trooper and you are the only ones getting the email updates. Please feel free to callif you want. We will answer if we can.

We love you!!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 09:00:06 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Tell her that Tamar and I are sitting here at the computer pushing "send/receive" every few minutes loving the drama of it. How many people are getting the by the minute details? She's probably feeling good now. I want to call, but I know better than to interrupt this moment! We love you guys.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 8:57 AM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

She got pitocin @ 2am and was agonizing pain @ 5am and got the epidural @ 5:15am

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 08:54:31 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Love the updates. Is she going naturally?

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 4:57 AM
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

We are 6-7cm dilated.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Epstein [mailto: ]
Sent: Wed Jun 23 01:30:19 2004
To: David Price
Subject: RE: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Awesome baby. Won't be too long now, I suspect. Enjoy every moment, bud. Thanks for the update.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Price [mailto: ]
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 12:39 AM
Subject: We are at the hospital and all is well. 5cm dilated.

Sent from my GoodLink synchronized handheld (
I took my dad to the O's-Yankees game on Tuesday night. It was a deliberate father-son bonding event. I figured that since I am now in the fatherhood category we could go and share the moment with some newfound perspective. Had a great time and cherished the quintessential Americana moment, particularly since the Yankees walloped the O's 10-4. A-rod had 2 HR's and Derek Jeter had one. It was the largest crowd ever at Camden Yards. Very neat.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

So today was my first Father's Day ever. An interesting experience and a nice club to join. I'll tell you, it sure is a special feeling to have a little person who just smiles so wide and bright when she sees you. Tamar gave me two cards and a nice photo flipbook of me with the "Pooka" as she's known doing different things, like pullups, davening, and reading, etc. and each one had a caption about how I taught her something from the experience.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

I read an article that said how when people graduate college (and perhaps this is true during the rest of Life as well) that they are generally overly optimistic that so-called "bads" won't happen to them. Someone else will get cancer or have a failed business or get divorced, rarely is it supposed to happen to you. Perhaps that's why some people get so angry when these things do happen.

Anyway, I was sitting on a delayed plane the other day @BWI and just looking around when it dawned on me, just in one of those big perception moments, that when other people figure "someone else will get X," that I'm the other guy.

Nothing earth shattering here, but just a second to remind us of the little shell we live in called our own world.