Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In which I get to speak to an actual internet celebrity

Remember Irene? The hurricane that made landfall nearly 3 days ago? I didn't think so.

Well do you remember Mayor Bloomberg tried to speak Spanish to his constituents in the lead-up to the storm? If you do, you are probably giggling right now as the memory of his awkwardly accented Spanish plays out in your mind.

As many of you Twitterratti already know, @ElBloombito has been hilariously parodying Bloomberg's well-intentioned attempts to speaks Spanish on her Twitter feed. Turns out she's actually a 25-year-old Jewyorican from Inwood named Rachel Figueroa-Levin, who graciously agreed to be interviewed by yours truly for JTA, which you can glimpse in full here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The real victim of Irene

With New Yorkers whining like little bitches about how much they were forced to do to prepare for what turned out to be a less than disastrous storm, it's important to keep in mind who are the real victims are. No, I'm not talking about the 16 people who died or the 1.5 million people who lost power or the many thousands of individuals who had to evacuate low lying, coastal areas. I'm talking about this tweeter, who overbought supplies for her favorite accessory.

P.S. I'm totally grateful that this turned out to be completely underwhelming and that a lot of the dire predictions failed to transpire. I am also pleased that the city government really planned and took all necessary precautions, even if it did mean we had to listen to Bloomberg speak Spanish. As someone who was 9 and visiting her father in Dade County when Hurricane Andrew struck (he fell asleep and I spent the night rocking back and forth, whispering Shema), I don't think hurricanes should be trifled with. My only regret about this whole weekend -- MTA service will be up and running in time for the morning commute. Huge fucking sigh.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Racialism is over

Like Stephen Colbert, I don't see race when it's convenient to whatever point I'm trying to make.

This awesome track, "Post Racial America" make the same point much more eloquently. Plus it's got a hooky chorus.

Some sample lyrics:

I felt so relieved,
Martin Luther King's dream achieved.

(h/t Joe S. for posting this on Facebook)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

You shook me all night long

As many of you with Twitter feeds may know, the East Coast was hit by an earthquake that made everyone think they were comedians. Including me.

I wrote this piece for JTA, which wonders about the impact that the great East Coast Quake of 2011, as no one is calling it, will affect the Jews. I know this has been question on everyone's minds.

Excerpted below is my favorite part but to be honest, it's all pretty great especially since I wrote it in 30 minutes. After all, the quake will be old news by morning and this post would be lining for your virtual birdcage or litter box.

"Engagement: for the last decade or so, one of the watchwords of the Jewish nonprofit industrial complex not concerned with the problems of the 3rd world, the environment or Israel has been 'engagement,' especially when it comes to the young, unaffiliated Jews. (We know you're out there even if we know nothing about you.) Expect several service learning trips to D.C. to straighten out hanging paintings and photos, reshelve books and pick up chairs."

I'm also pretty tickled to have used the term "nonprofit industrial complex." Of course, I'm lightly mocking the hand that feeds me and pays my rent.

You can read the rest here

And an obvious video choice:

Dirty Girls Ministries

No, it's not the name of a DVD series featuring young college coeds taking off their shirts on camera to show us their breasts and show their fathers how they've grown up like in Girls Gone Wild or my personal favorite Girls With Low Self-Esteem. (Mitch Hurwitz, hurry up with the Arrested Development movie, will ya? Will Arnett deserves better than Running Wilde or Up All Night.)

Dirty Girl Ministries is an organization started by 26-year old Crystal Renaud in 2009 to help women stay clean of masturbation (among other things). She compares masturbation to alcohol abuse since like alcohol, it can feel good for a brief period of time but can end up hurting you.

How exactly? Are there potential overuse injuries? Can your vibrator give you carpal tunnel syndrome? Is treatment for vibrator induced carpal tunnel covered by most medical insurances?

From Bust magazine:

"Renaud’s advocacy is labeled antipornography, but it aims to treat all masturbation, whether it involves porn or not. When you peel back the layers, the core of her crusade is against sexual thought—even within marriage—unless those thoughts are about your husband while you are engaging in intercourse with him."

Monday, August 22, 2011

More subway thoughts

So this happened today on my commute home. I was standing in the last car of the A train (having unsuccessfully waited for a C at 14th street -- three E trains passed me. Don't get me stared on the E train.) when a woman got up from her seat and moved to a different one that I hadn't previously spotted. I stood there for several minutes staring at the just vacated seat, wondering if I should sit. My thinking went something like this:

Why did this woman get up? It's not like she upgraded to a better seat. She was sitting in one of the two seaters next to a seemingly normal looking guy and she moved to the middle of a three person bench that had two others. She's not getting any extra space. Is there something wrong with that guy? He looks harmless and recently bathed. And he doesn't seem to be sitting in more than one seat. So why did she get up and move?

By the time I start coming around to the idea that the empty seat is probably perfectly fine someone else takes it and I'm forced to wait a couple of more stops before another one becomes available. Of course, I try to make it seem that I prefer standing or that I'm about to get off the train.

Am I alone in this sort of paranoia? Has anyone else let a perfectly good seat pass them by for silly, paranoid reasons?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Blame Game

Over on the gymnastics message boards (my nerdy online home), unsurprisingly the most popular topics of discussion is who is to blame for Rebecca Bross' unfortunate knee injury yesterday on vault. Top contenders include her coach, Valeri Liukin and national team coordinator, Marta Karolyi. The latter noted that Bross should've been able to do it since she competed it successfully last year, which is sort of a ludicrous thing to say. Bross hasn't looked like herself all week and according to all training reports, Valeri has been spotting her on all of her attempts. She probably shouldn't have been doing it at this competition.

I, for one, place the majority of the blame on Marta, mostly because I don't like how she has managed the team for several years now. Also, she seems to hail from the old Romanian school of overtraining and doesn't pay attention to the advances that have been made in sports science. Training smarter, not necessarily harder, is the key.

And here's a different, much more musical and lyrical version of the blame game. (Does anyone else think that Kanye West would make a hilarious national team coordinator?)

P.S. This is my 100th blog post of the year, the first time ever I've passed this mark in a single year. And it's only August. I guess it's time to take a break until next January.

Women's Nationals, Day 2

Well, what started out as a great competition -- hit routines from nearly all of the athletes -- quickly became tragic as defending national champion (and world all around bronze medalist) under rotated her and dislocated her kneecap during the 3rd rotation.

It was quite shocking to see and I don't mean merely witnessing an injury like that unfold live. (In the same shocking category I would place Blaine Wilson's bicep injury at the 2004 American Cup, which also unfolded live on television.) Bross, an athlete who performed at the 2010 World Championships with a fracture without complaint and ended up winning 4 medals, cried out so viscerally with so much pain. It was quite scary to see an athlete with such a reputation for toughness crying out in such a way. (This is not at all a criticism of Bross -- I would've been weeping nonstop had it been me.) It really drove home the severity of the injury, which at least wasn't a torn ACL. Thank God for small favors. Hopefully she will be healed and ready for London because the U.S. team certainly needs her.

Onto the rest of competition. Jordyn Wieber really ran away with the meet, besting her nearest challenger, McKayla Maroney, by over 6 points, an unheard of margin. While Wieber's win was hardly a shock -- nearly everyone expected this result -- the fact that she is so far ahead of everyone else doesn't particularly bode well for the U.S. team's prospects in Tokyo. I would like to see much more parity on the team with all of the athletes competing high levels of difficulty with equally clean execution. I don't think it bodes well for a team to be so utterly reliant on one gymnast, such as Wieber. Though I don't doubt that she can handle the pressure, this girl has a history of injuries and I would like to see her get the opportunity to rest instead of having to carry this team, which seems to be the case for this year.

Shawn Johnson: so proud of this gymnast! Her confidence seems to be growing with every competitive routine. I don't think she's ready, difficulty-wise, to be put on the World team (Pan-Ams, perhaps) but whereas before I was rooting for her, now I actually really believe in this comeback. She and Chow seem to pacing themselves, keeping the long term goal in sight. I would love to see her upgrade bars so she could really contribute in that way to the team. I know that the power events are her strong ones but they are also the ones where the U.S. has a stable core of gymnasts to contribute. They are also the ones most threatened and impacted by her knee reconstruction. And bars, the U.S.'s extreme weakness, is the back way into any team.

Which brings me to Anna Li. Bross' unfortunate injury may have just created an opportunity for her. Conventional wisdom had it that Bross, a world bronze medalist on bars, probably wouldn't be ready to compete all around in Tokyo following her slow recovery from ankle injury and surgery, would most definitely be placed on the team because she is mentally tough and because the U.S. desperately needed her bars. But with her out for the rest of the year, things are looking up for Anna Li, a beautiful gymnast who resurrected her elite career after a successful run at UCLA (my favorite NCAA team). Li has an aptitude for bars and now has a set that is one of the most difficult being competed in the U.S. But that's all she has. Her beam routine is far too easy to be used in international competition, and she's proven inconsistent thus far at the elite level. There are still 6 weeks to go but I'm not enthusiastic.

Or perhaps it's the old school fan in me who never really got behind the whole specialist thing. Even Alicia Sacramone was able to contribute two events last year. I don't like the idea of taking an athlete whose weakness puts undue pressure on everyone else. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Bronx Tale

Gymnastics is not really a northeastern, big city sport. According to my very informal, unscientific analysis, I would say that the majority of elite gymnasts, both men and women, hail from the south, midwest and west coast. Basically every other part of the country except from the part which this uber fan hails from.

Which is why I'm proud to highlight some athletes that have managed to find success despite their unfortunate (for gymnastics but not anything else) geographic origins. Last week, I wrote about Aly Raisman, who lives outside of Boston (where she is saddled with the Red Sox). And now I bring you John Orozco from Soundview in the Bronx. He just finished 3rd at the men's national championships, a year after rupturing his Achilles tendon. This is the first senior medal for the former three time junior national champion.

Here he is competing earlier this year in Japan:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thoughts on Women's National Championships, Day 1

Last evening I rushed home from yoga (thereby negating any relaxing effect the practice might've had) to watch the women's preliminaries at the national championships and boy, did they disappoint.

Well -- kindasortofmaybe.

It's hard for me to be truly disappointed when there is new, live gymnastics streaming on my computer. I am always grateful for the online resources because unlike some younger fans of the sport, I remember a time when prelims were never televised and gymnastics in general was broadcast only two times a year -- nationals and worlds. I lived for those two competitions and recorded them so I could relive them every other weekend of the year. The kids these days, they're all spoiled with their YouTube.

Anyway, I'm going to stop grousing like a curmudgeonly old man for a moment to give you some of my unorganized thoughts about Day 1:

Aly Raisman: very proud of this gymnast and her excellent floor set. She is not the most polished athlete (toes and knees could certainly use some work) but her difficulty is great on this apparatus and her new "Hava Nagila" routine really works for her. In fact, it was shockingly one of the better choreographed and performed floor routines of the meet. I say shocking because Aly herself has admitted that is not so comfortable dancing. But her routine, unlike most, includes real dance, real movement across the mat, instead of just a series of choppy poses that seem to pay no mind to the music. Oh, and she cutely mentioned her Jewish background when questioned about the music in the post meet interview. (She also mentioned that she has committed to the University of Florida for her NCAA career. I'm sure she will be very happy and successful there but this will certainly make her stand out among pretentious Northeast Jews should she choose to move to New York post-college.)

Shawn Johnson: I've always been a fan of hers. Though she may not have been elegant like Nastia, I appreciated her flawless technique and her consistency. Watching her reminded me of watching Shannon Miller -- you could relax and feel safe in the knowledge that she would hit.

Well, that Shawn is not back just yet. She seems to be nervous and jumpy, which is now how I feel watching her. But tonight she was uber consistent and showed signs of returning to her former consistent form (hopefully with a lot of added difficulty). And I must say, I've been so impressed with her interviews, which betray intelligence, good humor and humility. Even one friend, who admitted to favoring Nastia in 2004-2008 era has admitted that she is now really rooting for Shawn.

Jordyn Wieber: She had some uncharacteristic errors but I believe she will be fine. In fact, I'm glad to see she is not peaking here at nationals with worlds nearly 2 months away. And as the aforementioned friend said, "Jordyn's muscles have muscles." Madonna would be proud. Or jealous?

Favorite comment of the night: This one from John Roethlisberger (you know I had to cut and paste his last name from elsewhere), referring to Mackenzie Caquatto's heavily taped foot: "It looks like she's wearing an Ugg on her right foot." Well done sir. And if this competition were being held in Los Angeles, she'd pair that Ugg with a denim mini.

And finally...why nationals?

As I watched gymnast after gymnast fall and listened to the commentators (who incidentally didn't make me want to shoot myself in the face tonight -- I actually liked John and Elfi kept her inane comments to a minimum for once) talk about the need for good bar routines since the U.S. team is very weak on the event, I couldn't help but wonder -- why do we even bother holding national championships anymore?

With two months to go before the world championships in Tokyo, none of the gymnasts are really in peak condition (which is wise). This was obvious from the all of the falls. Nearly every gymnast had at least one major break. Several had more than one.

Furthermore, the results from nationals don't determine the team because straight all around results really don't matter that much anymore. We know that the U.S. needs a strong bar worker so in theory, a gymnast who had a disaster on floor or vault or beam but has a stellar uneven bar set can still make the team.

So if the gymnasts aren't in peak shape and the placements sort of don't matter other than to prove to Marta Karolyi that you can mentally hang tough then why are we still bothering with this whole shebang? After all, the worlds team going to get decided at a training camp at the Karolyi ranch in Texas behind closed doors. So what's with the big public display? When I asked this question to a knowledgeable party, she immediately responded, "$$$$$," which makes sense. They don't call it the Visa Championships because the gymnasts are trying to navigate the bureaucracy to get documents to travel to foreign country. (Sorry -- that pun took a bit too long to set up.)

But why do we not compete the girls internationally more in small meets and use their scores from those competitions to select teams, just as the Romanians did very successfully did in 2004? Why do we use this grueling system of competitions that don't matter and camps that usually result in at least one in injury to a top gymnast to select the team? Why are other teams smarter about their selection process?

In a word: depth. While other teams have lost their depth and need to train and compete their star athletes in a smarter fashion, the U.S., at least on the women's side, still has incredible depth, which allows Marta Karolyi to do what amounts to fraternity hazing in some instances and run the athletes through a grueling, pointless, secretive selection process.

Or maybe I'm just being bitter because the selection process is not televised and will never be shown on YouTube.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Orthodox Jews are covered: the Yaldah edition

In another episode of “Let’s see what the Orthodox Jews are up to,” yesterday in Tablet, Irin Carmon writes about Yaldah, a wholesome magazine for young Jewish girls and adolescents that was started by Leah Caras when she was just 13 years old. Caras, now 20 and married, talks about the reasons she created the magazine and the appeal it holds for more traditionally observant young Jewish women.

It is mostly a profile piece about Caras and the magazine, and despite the author’s journalistic experience (she’s a writer for Jezebel), she fails to ask any major critical questions of Caras or Yaldah.

This uncritical stance is not particular to Carmon. She is not at all singular in this regard. I find that most of the writing that is done about the Orthodox across the entire religious spectrum tends to fetishize the group in one of two ways: either it presents them as backward and corrupt or glorifies them as more quaint and wholesome than the rest of us. The reporting rarely falls in the middle where the reality tends to exist. Either way, reading many of these pieces feels akin to staring at the animals in a zoo, whether one is “oohing” and “aahing” over the adorable polar bears or recoiling from snakes in the reptile house.

This article is an example of the former “aren’t they quaint” subgenre. It simply lays out Caras’ and the viewpoint of Yaldah, barely challenging either in any way. While there are a few observations that this particular magazine is skirting tricky issues of adolescence (“Puberty, with its attendant joys and discontents, is delicately avoided,” Carmon writes), there is no questioning the results of this avoidance, namely this: what does it mean to be a yeshiva girl who doesn’t receive sex education at school and gleans most of what she knows about the topic from magazines (as I did with Sassy) and television?

What also seem to be missing from this account are reactions from readers who are not involved in the magazine’s production. In addition, this sounds like a magazine that a mother would buy for her daughter instead of one that the girls’ themselves choose to subscribe to. I suppose there is no way to know who is filling out the slips and mailing in the checks but given how unified parents and teens seem to be during what is typically a fractious time for the two groups (“Sometimes parents and children seem so united in the pages of the magazine that it’s hard to tell the difference between them,” Carmon notes), it is least worthwhile to ask the question.

And finally, is Yaldah being read as part of a much larger magazine and media diet? I’d venture to say that it is. After all, at the same time that I was reading Seventeen during my own Orthodox girlhood, I was also checking out The B.Y. Times from my yeshiva’s library. (For those of you not acquainted with the wonders of this fiction series, it was about young yeshiva girls who run their school newspaper. Tribulations and Torah lessons ensue.)

Obviously, it is a lot to expect a secular journalist to delve into the particulars of Jewish law and culture in order to present a more complicated, nuanced picture of the lifestyle and community, but I would argue that it should be the task of any Jewish publication that regularly writes about this population to go beyond fetishizing it, whether for good or for bad. Just as the tension free picture of adolescence painted in Yaldah is highly improbable, so too is the veracity of an article that explores only the Little House on the Prairie-esque side of Orthodox Jewish girlhood.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shmuley Boteach's ego

Here's a little excerpt from Shmuley Boteach's most recent article in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, which is about what he thinks Birthright needs to do to move forward:

I knew of Birthright at it conception. It’s co-founder, Michael Steinhardt, was sharing with me the scope of the idea as he traveled with Charles Bronfman around the United States raising large sums to get the idea off the ground. (italics mine)

Maybe I'm being overly critical (wouldn't be the first time) but there's something about him inserting himself into the beginnings of Birthright that unnecessarily smacks of ego.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An exercise in self-indulgence

The best part of being a writer is getting to spend time researching things I'm obsessed with under the guise of "work." Mostly this has meant writing articles about Judaism and hip hop. But sometimes I get to get to research my first and truest love -- gymnastics.

Fortunately for me, my editor at JTA has been indulgent of my crazy ideas and actually let me write an article about the use of Hava Nagila in floor routines since Aly Raisman, who is Jewish, just started using the music in her exercise. I spoke to Aly on the phone after a Friday afternoon practice and she was unfailingly gracious and humble. I'll be rooting for her at Nationals this weekend.

I also interviewed Professor James Loeffler, who has written about the origins of Hava Nagila. He was kind enough to watch the routines I sent him before we spoke and was therefore able to comment very intelligently on Hava as it relates to gymnastics.

Here is the article, which is now up on JTA. And wait -- there's more! An annotated video slideshow.

Sometimes my life is awesome.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The five stages of waiting for the C train

I live right along the A/C line in Brooklyn, but unfortunately for me, the express A skips right past my local stop, which means I am forced to wait for the C at the dreary Hoyt-Schermerhorn stop. (That's spelled correctly -- I checked.) This maybe an urban legend but I've heard that living at an A stop actually adds twenty years onto your life. Even if it isn't, it certainly feels true.

Anyway, at this juncture in Brooklyn, the A and C run along the same track, which means that when I get off the express, I am forced to look down the same tunnel for my train. And this is when I go through the MTA's equivalent of the Kubler-Ross model for the five stages of grief.

1. Denial: You haven't been here so long, I tell myself as I pace the back end of the platform. Since I probably didn't look at the time when I disembarked from the A, I try to measure in iPod song time. It hasn't even been one song, I think. Remember, you didn't let that last one finish so it hasn't been more than 4 minutes. I promptly skip the next song halfway through to preserve this line of reasoning a little longer.

2. Anger: I feel this emotion coming on when I see lights in the tunnel and get excited only to realize that it is yet another A train. "Fuck," I audibly mouth. I just stepped off an A -- the next one should be a C! It is only fair that they should alternate. The pattern should be A-C-A-C.

Except that it's actually more like this: A-A-A-C. I feel my blood pressure rise as the A slides into the station and the conductor announces that the next stop will be Nostrand. It rises even higher when the train after that one is yet another A. It is not unheard of for this to happen a third time consecutively. God, why do you hate me so?

3. Bargaining: If the C comes within the next two minutes, I think, I will give a dollar to the next homeless person who enters my subway car between now and home. (Of course, I'm only taking a small chance that I will have to shell out because at this point in my commute, a homeless person has got only two stops to get to my dollar bill before I exit. Also, it's highly unlikely I'm carrying any cash.) I also sometimes promise to stop hating subway mariachi bands so much. I even offer to stop sticking pins into my mariachi band voodoo dolls.

4. Depression: At this point, I can no longer fool myself as to how long I've been standing and waiting. My iPod trick no longer works after more than twenty minutes of waiting. I start hating myself for not walking the twenty five minutes between the express stop and my apartment.

5. Acceptance: Fine, I think, as I run to the middle of the parallel facing platform. A G has pulled into station. You win, God. I'll take the fucking G home and walk two blocks.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In which I ask an important pop culture question

In a post on JTA's "The Telegraph" I ask (in Morse code!) the burning question that has been on everyone's mind since the remake of Dirty Dancing was announced -- will the new one be as Jewy as the original?

What is certain is that if Kenny Ortega, who choreographed the dances in the original and was just named as the director of the remake, attempts to re-create the story in the original cultural milieu, he's going to have to make it very Jewish because "Dirty Dancing" is one of Jew-iest movies of all time.

Whatever happens with the new film, at least we've got this "remake" from Conan O'Brien and the late Jerry Orbach:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fundamentalism for everyone!

Related to yesterday's post about the harassment and arrest of gentile hikers in the Satmar enclave of Kiryas Joel, this excellent article in Zeek makes a strong argument that Jewish fundamentalists (i.e. Haredim) are not all that different from their Christian and Islamic counterparts and their limited impact is not the result of some mythic "live and let live attitude." Rather it's because of limited numbers.

Like Christian and Islamic fundamentalists, Jewish fundamentalists are not content to lead their faux-19th-century lives without disturbing the rest of us. It’s a myth that Jews are somehow more “live and let live” than Christians or Jews. A few months ago in New York, the Agudath Israel of America – part of the world’s largest haredi political organization – organized massive phone and email campaigns against same-sex marriage. Never mind that what happens in secular state law is of no halachic significance, and that the law exempted religious organizations from having to obey it. And this was just the latest attempt of fundamentalists to coerce a wider society to adopt their reactionary values. Just like Christian “Intelligent Design” advocates, anti-reproductive-choice activists, and, yes, sharia-obeying Islamic radicals, Jewish fundamentalists are compelled by their fundamentalism not only to live backward lives themselves – but to attempt to get the rest of us to do the same.

The rest of this great article can be read here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

In Kiryas Joel, our tax dollars hard at work

So this happened in Kiryas Joel. After 5 non-Jewish hikers were accosted by a Satmar or so-called "village constable" for taking photos of government buildings where you apparently can be arrested for failing to provide identification after they were seen taking photos of government buildings. When they refused to provide identification to the Hasid, the state police were called to investigate and they were arrested. But thankfully, they managed to catch the whole exchange on camera (it is excerpted below in the news report).

My favorite detail: they were detained in Yossi's Restaurant.

UPDATE: Many thanks to a friend who posted this link to Gothamist that goes into greater detail about what happened. This article reveals that a lawsuit had already been filed against KJ for being in violation of the Establishment Clause of the constitution. The suit contends that "the Village of Kiryas Joel is a theocracy." Oh indeed. Please hikers, sue them and strip them of their air conditioned bus stops and all of the other goodies our tax dollars provide.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A conversion reality show?

As many of who care about such things might know, the latest Bachelorette, Ashley, has chosen a nice Jewish boy to wed. And it seems that she will begin the arduous process of conversion which means that ABC will have to wait at least a year to televise her wedding to JP.

The Jew-lebrity blog, Six Degrees No Bacon (get it? get it?) suggests an interesting way to fill dead airtime between now and the blessed chuppah -- a conversion reality program.

ABC should film her conversion to Judaism from first bagel to dunk in the mikvah. It will certainly be more interesting than The Hills ever was.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pregnant on Facebook

There's a new way for ladies to exact revenge on a guy who blew them off after sex. Thanks to the folks over at Facebook, who are always coming up with novel ways for us to share our private lives publicly, you now have the option of listing your unborn child under the "family" tab. While I prefer not to find out until my friends post their requisite belly shots, I must admit this feature is tempting to fiddle with after a night of what was (at least for him) meaningless sex.

I'd enjoy imagining the look on his face when he signs on and sees that you're now "expecting" a child. That's one way to get him to call you. Or never pick up your calls. I guess it could go either way.