The Unique Experience of Being Terrified from over 7,000 Miles Away

Recently, Jason and I were very fortunate to be able to take a trip to Japan for our first anniversary. Japan is a place I have been fascinated with and have wanted to visit since I was probably about 10 years old when my mom let me watch the Shogun miniseries when it was being re-run on TV. It is a place that, even from early on in our relationship, Jason and I both agreed we wanted to travel to together some day. We had a fantastic time on the trip and in the next few weeks I’m excited to share some highlights of the trip as well as some tips/recommendations for anyone looking to take a trip to Japan in posts on the blog. However, this post has a slightly different purpose.

I can’t remember exactly what day it was, but early on in our trip, I noticed a few Florida friends posting on Facebook about a certain Hurricane Irma which was hanging out in the Atlantic and building in intensity.

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The Post That Should Have Never Had to Be Written

As a Jew who just moved from New York City back to the South about three months ago, I think I held it together pretty well last week when it came to the events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia and their aftermath across the Bible Belt.

As with most people my age, I expressed my anger, outrage, frustration, and depression to my 617 closest friends on Facebook, which helped me hold it together.

I shared a few funny memes (which shouldn’t actually be funny, but are because we are living in the Twilight Zone), which helped me hold it together.

I nodded with a vigor like I’ve never nodded before as I watched Last Week Tonight with John Oliver as he said everything I was feeling about Trump’s failure as a leader after Charlottesville, which helped me hold it together.

I confided to my parents that an angry mob, albeit a small one, pulling down a Confederate monument in front of the Durham County Courthouse 15 minutes from my house scared me (regardless of whether they had the moral high ground), which helped me hold it together.

But then I read the statement put out from the Tiki torch company in response to Charlottesville. That’s when I could no longer hold it together and broke down in tears. Here is what they had to say:


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Overcoming Being a Writing Perfectionist & July Round-Up

I have a confession to make. I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing. I usually want a piece or paper to be absolutely perfect before anyone else lays eyes on it. My writing process itself involves lots of re-reading and self-editing to get the wording I feel conveys my point. And this extensive review doesn’t just happen when I am writing, it also happens before I even put pen to paper. (Or I guess fingers to keys in today’s day and age.) I may have an idea for something to write, but if that idea is not fully formed, I have trouble even just getting started and coming back to the piece when my mind has figured out what I want to say. 

My last post here on the blog was a few weeks ago, and while plenty has been going on and I’ve had plenty of ideas, the writing perfectionist in me hasn’t let any of that see the light of day on the blog. For example, sometimes I would have an idea for a post, but think, “Nah, no one wants to read that.” Other times I would get preoccupied that I didn’t have any pearls of wisdom to share about an event that occurred, and therefore decided it wasn’t worth posting.   

I realize now, though, that if I’m going to actually do this blog thing, I’ve got to get past this and post with a bit more regularity. This doesn’t mean I’m going to start posting about everything that happens, (“Hey guys! Stubbed my toe! This sucks! Happy Monday!!”) or that I am going to lower the quality of my posts, but I am going to try to give myself a little breathing room and keep in mind that not everything I post has to be ground breaking, earth shattering, or cerebral.

With that, I want to give everyone a July round up of what has been happening in Casa Tenenbaum.

  • We had our first visitors! Jason’s parents came down for a few days and stayed at a nearby hotel. It was nice to see them, show them a few places we have discovered in our short time here, and explore a few new places. 

  • I went to Raleigh Supercon, which is a comic book, anime, fantasy, sci-fi, and generally all things nerd convention. They have panels, celebrities you can meet, games, events, and lots of great shopping. It was huge. I indulged and bought a few souvenirs. I enjoyed a panel that was a discussion on superhero justice – right up my alley as a lawyer.  But my favorite thing about Supercon, and these types of conventions in general, was the cosplayers. (For anyone who may not know, I will save you a Google search – cosplay is where people dress up as characters from shows, movies, books, comics, etc.) Here are a few pictures of my favorites, but more photos can be found at our Instagram account, o_tenenbaum

I am Groot.


I am the law!


Loki giving an interview about his impending conquering of the human race.



  • Jason and I attended an alumni event for his college at a Durham Bulls game. The people we met were very nice and the Bulls are the minor league affiliate of my baseball team, the Tampa Bay Rays, so I was excited to see them play.

  • Jason and I went out to a comedy club and saw Brian Posehn, who was HILARIOUS. 

  • We decided to take the plunge and a booked a trip for our first anniversary to a place that is on both of our bucket lists – Japan. (I guess our “paper” anniversary is plane tickets, haha.) We’ll be there at the beginning of September and are in the process of planning the trip now. Currently the plan is to see Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. We are also a bit ambitious and are planning to climb Mt. Fuji. Feel free to leave any tips, suggestions, or recommendations for the trip in the comments!

  • On a less happy note, I had my first time being sick in North Carolina this month. It was a head cold and let me tell you, it knocked me out. I’m still recovering at this point – I feel better, but the cough won’t go away yet. I’m also currently suffering from some kind of stomach bug or maybe I ate something that did not agree with me. Not winning on the health front this month, unfortunately. Hopefully I can turn the corner on all of this soon.

Besides for all the above, I managed to do a fair amount of cooking in the month of July, so stay tuned for a similar round-up style post of my culinary adventures from the month. 

Did you guys have any fun adventures in July? Or maybe you also suffer from my perfectionist writer’s ailment? Feel free to share in the comments!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the fantastic dads out there! Jason and I were blessed with some of the most awesome dads around. We have learned so much from the leadership, character, and kind-heartedness that both of you demonstrate. We are thankful for you both today and every day!

Love, Joey and Jason