Monthly Archives: December 2006

Alive

… albeit barely. No matter – the Congress was a success, people had a great time and I’m feeling really positive about the future of the organization. This next week will be meetings with the Executive Board, which will also be hard and tiring and etc. Hopefully they will go well though, and then maybe life can finally get back to normal.

The event itself was overwhelming – I hardly slept, ate, or exercized because I was just all over the place. It was really, really fun to meet people who are really the same age as I am, hang out and party and talk about whatever. I so rarely have that kind of opportunity, living in Jerusalem, that it was a reminder of what life outside of this city is like. I feel professionally satisfied, I had fun, and there are no words to express how relived I am that it’s all over. Darn those meetings still hanging over my head!

It was very interesting to be at a conference all about Judaism and Zionism, when I myself have a somewhat alternative perspective. I didn’t get into it that much, and I didn’t attend any of the lectures (too busy working), but I wonder about what kind of rhetoric I just participated in dissemenating to these young people who are quite eager to soak up whatever Jewish/Zionist ideology is thrown at them. Not that they aren’t capable of their own independent, intelligent thought, but there are sides that they aren’t getting exposed to at conferences like these. I did have a couple of conversations that I think had a few of them thinking about some of the issues a little differently, but I don’t know. I think that the more information given, the better, even if that information is somewhat critical. I guess it’s a little late to be thinking this, but I don’t know what could have been done differently, anyways.

I’ve spent most of the time since I arrived home sleeping. I have one thing I have to do today, and then I’m going back to sleep. I was told this morning (afternoon) that it’s good to see that the circles under my eyes have been reduced from black to purple, and that my face has enough color in it again such that it’s possible to see my freckles. It would be more hilarious if it weren’t true, haha.

That’s all I have mental capability for, at the moment.

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BS

No, really. I’m going to spend the week in Be’er Sheva, a city in almost the absolute center of the country. Fear not, friends, I’m not going for fun. My work hosts an international conference every year, and the reason I haven’t written anything recently is because my life has been consumed by planning for it. So now my life gets to be consumed by working it. The conference, that is. GREAT. I’m off to spend the week in a city I’ve never been, and will probably not leave the hotel more times than I could count on one hand. I’ll write if I see any camels or anything.

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NOT a 98-pound weakling

… and yet:

I was carrying my laundry home this morning, and this man walking past me asked if I needed any help. He was really concerned, and seemed upset when I told him that I was fine. Ok, he could have just been a little off. But then about 10 meters up the sidewalk, this man steps to the very side of the sidewalk to let me pass, looking at me with a very worried expression as if I was going to stumble all over the sidewalk and crumble underneath the weight of 7 kilos of socks and t-shirts. What the hell.

(did anyone else note that I just referred to distance in METERS and weight in KILOS? It’s called assimilation, people!)

   

In other non 98-pound weakling news, I had another Israeli first today. Winter in Israel is a time of… winter stuff. Hannukah in the US has become this huge holiday to give the Jews something to do during the Christmas madness, but in Israel it’s hardly even something people notice, unless you have kids. However, there is one thing that Israeli Hannukah has that US Hannukah doesn’t (in my experience, anyways): sufgania. What is that?you might ask, after realizing I didn’t just sneeze. Well, sufgania is a special Hannukah donut, filled with jelly and covered in powdered sugar. I don’t know how or why or what or who or anything about the things, except that they are a specifically Hannukah-related food (like latkes. only not.) that is quite delicious. And by quite I mean YUMOHWOWTHISISSOGOODIMUSTHAVEMOREBUTMIGHTHAVEAHEART-ATTACKIFIDO kind of way. They are morbidly unhealthy, which is why it is part of non 98-pound weakling news. But delicious. And I had my first one ever today, at the shuk. Did I mention that they are really tantalizing to the pallate? I had mine after drinking AMAZING coffee, eating felafel and buying all the veggies I needed in about 15 min (it’s cause I have superhero boots. I don’t even need to be wearing them to retain some of the powers).

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Gratitude and other things

A very good friend of mine here in J-town is going through some really tough times. She called me the other night freaking out, and we met at Slow Moshe’s (a hole in the wall/pub – but more hole in the wall than pub) for drinks and deep talks, tears and laughs. As much as I absolutely hate seeing her in pain, I am also grateful that she is letting me be a part of her struggles and vulnerability and humanness.

We went into all kinds of deep stuff, including both of our (different) self-destructive behaviors. And as scary as it is to hear about someone else’s crap, it is also an honor to be trusted with the information. It is amazing to feel the depth and strength of our friendship.

After our meeting I was scared, exhilerated, tired, and felt tinglingly alive. It was liberating to talk about my own struggles – and to have someone understand so completely but with a different expression of all the same feelings, meant a ton. Despite, or actually because of all this, I just appreciate this friend all the more. I admire her humannes, her suffering, and her ability to share it. It’s amazing to fall in love, to realize you’re in love – even when this is not a romantic thing, but a great lifelong friendship.

  

In other news, I saw Friar Tuck at the supermarket today. Only in Jerusalem. So if Robin Hood comes looking, you know what direction to point him.

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You’re only as old as they tell you

Apparently, I’m not really 23.27 (I did the math based on the date my parents told me I popped out). I took a test, and it told me:

Today, December 7, 2006, your RealAge is 21.4! But you could be younger — in as few as 90 days. Simply follow your personalized recommendations in My RealAge Plan.

Among the things making me younger is my superstarstellar fruit-eating habits. However, the fact that I don’t own a dog apparently ages me. Because everyone knows that dogs have magical youthgiving powers that they use when the owners are sleeping.

Now, a couple things on this. A) Should I be concerned that this test told me that I am actually younger than what my birth certificate says (and a number of witnesses) – and still wants me to be younger? I’m not that old, too many good habits and I’ll find myself in diapers again.

B) I read their recommendations, including to eat more veggies, reduce my stress levels, and increase certain foods and vitamins in my diet. Assuming that works, I will probably be walking around with a REAL age of 17-20 or thereabouts. The questions are then: a) what 17-20 year old has these kind of habits? None. How old are the 17-20 year-olds then, REALLY? Is our current method of aging people based on the number of years they have been on the planet, flawed? What do these people know that we don’t?; and b) do I really want to be 17-20 again? I seem to recall far fewer healthy habits and far more unhealthy ones. So if I went back to that age, would I have to relive all that? And then what would that do to my REAL age? I might get tired from all the age gain and loss.

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not just boots

I finally found a pair of boots. Tall and black and with a bit of spunk.

Now here’s the thing. These aren’t just a regular pair of boots. They are superhero boots. When I put them on I feel a little tingle (no, they don’t pinch my toes) – like all of a sudden I can take on the world. When I wear them with pants it’s like I’m a female Clark Kent – no one knows what badass boots I have on, but I do. When I show them to people, they’re like Whoa, those are some BOOTS. And I say yes I know, they are superhero boots. And they nod and agree because there’s no denying it. Next time there is cause to dress up in costume, I’ll wear them with stockings and a cape and everyone might think I’m in costume, but really it will be the boots truly expressing themselves, and no one should be surprised if I fly away or beat up a bad guy or something. The only thing is that the boots can’t talk, so I’m not sure what my superhero name should be….

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9 months

I arrived in Israel 9 months ago today. If I was really on top of the game, I could have had an Israeli baby today.

That was a weird observation.

The plane arrived in Ben Gurion airport at something rediculous like 3am. My cousin and uncle met me at the airport, with my cousin holding a boquet of flowers. As we drove to the kibbutz we talked about Israel stuff, and my uncle decided I could join the Israeli government for finance or something (hm, thanks but I think I’ll pass on that one). I got to the house of the family friends I was staying at – they’re like surrogate grandparents – at about 5, and I thought I would just sleep for a couple hours and get into the new time zone asap. I woke up at 3 pm. And my life in Israel began.

Since then I’ve worked hard at making a life for myself here. Well anyways it’s documented here, so I don’t need to go over it all. But it feels pretty cool to be able to look back over the last 9 months and see how much I’ve accomplished. It doesn’t feel like it has been so much time – I guess when things are going well, the time just flies by. I remember before I left, I was freaking out a little, so I decided that if it was terrible, I would be okay with coming home after 3 months. I guess it hasn’t been so bad! Well you know, except for the Bituach Leumi (National Health Insurance). They are arseholes.

Speaking of those friendly demons, my roomie has been grappling with their tentacles recently. She owes them some money (who doesn’t?), and when she went to deal with it, the bitch at the counter told her that the reposessors should be coming to our flat any day now. So we’ve been laughing about what the hell these guys could take that would be worth anything. I told her to tell them that the big ugly metal closet on my balcony was hers, since I don’t know how to get rid of it and it would be nice if they could do it for me. And our oven sucks, so we thought to give that to them, as well. Too bad it turns out those guys aren’t coming, in the end. It could be like spring cleaning. Except, you know, in December.

I read the other day about a survey that found that people are happier when they look at other human faces first thing in the morning. It is recommended to get an hour of face-to-face time in the am. Since I never see the roomies in the morning and I’m the first to arrive at the office, I’ve usually been up for about 2 hours before I really really see/interact with anyone. Maybe that’s why I’m so… charming… in the morning.

And to sum it all up: “However, I do blow an excellent raspberry.” I don’t know what the beginning part of this conversation covered, but I give the roomie 234834 bonus points for using her raspberry-blowing skills as a balance against anything. hahahahaha

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