Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I was scanning JPost this morning when I came across an interesting article. Avigdor Lieberman, head of the political party Israel Beiteinu and Minister for Strategic Affairs, believes that Israel should join the European Union.

(Israel is not in Europe.)
(Europe hates Israel.)

please respond with your favorite parentheses.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

question mark

sometimes I think in lists. it helps me organize my thoughts (like I organized and cleaned my room tonight- I even washed the floor and dusted the shelves), which can get very tangent-ey. You might say scattered, but the way I think makes perfect sense to me, and frankly, I no longer care what you think.

it is four am. I am not in the mood for writing an essay. therefore, an overview of some lingering thoughts.

it seems everyone I know is suddenly getting engaged or married. which is all fabulous and well and of course we are happy for them. but it justs sucks if you are not.

sometimes it's nice to be in sour moods.

I am pretty horrible at getting back to people who send me emails and messages. don't take it personally. it's the same reason I don't post often to the blog- I want to write exciting and interesting things and I spend so much time thinking on what to write that I don't. Cacha zeh b'hayim sheli.

(a four-hour-later-deletion)

it annoys when people confuse a complaint and a statement of fact.

I don't have enough music suitable for bad moods. joni mitchell shall have to suffice.

when you are in a bad mood, it is best to be mad at the whole world. then you don't get your opponents confused and are accidentally pissed at someone you don't mean to be. you just get to be pissed at everyone.

this (bad mood and current outlook) will be changed by morning.

I really need to do my laundry. and the rest of the massive to-do list I have compiled.

just had a tiyul up North. went well. may write more on this later. Israel's pretty beautiful, though. I recommend seeing it. In a rented vehicle and not reliant on public transportation. With people who have similar interests in traveling as you. And with an up-to-date guidebook*.

I really miss trains. We took one from Jerusalem to Akko. It was pretty nice- the one along the coast was even two floors, which was exciting. There were small worktables at the big comfortable chairs (which faced each other) and lot's of sunlight. It just felt all wrong. I miss the R3.

I should probably go to the shuk tomorrow. or starve and not get any proper nutrients, but whatever.

Persuasion or Emma would be perfect right now. Along with a cup of tea. As is life.

We now have a kumkum on which water can be boiled for tea, which is a wonderful thing. Thanks to Nathaniel for so graciously giving the kumkum to us, and to Max whose kumkum it was before he returned to the backwaters of Georgia and left it on the kitchen ledge.

I've been thinking about philosophy and life and other stuff like that. I am currently considering the thought that life makes no sense and that too many people think too many different things and it is just too much to think about and I am using too a lot in this sentence. Also, I wish I were British.

*Let's Go, you've been pretty disappointing. I mean, you haven't even updated your Israel ("and the Palestinian Territories") guidebook since 2001. that was like, ages ago. high school, even. Things change a lot here. For instance, the Galilee Cider Mills have been closed for years. But thanks for the touring suggestion.

Monday, January 15, 2007


(just because I feel like sharing/organizing my thoughts)

for this week + shabbat

-concert tuesday night at hebrew university- jerusalem
-north- zichron ya'akov and area wednesdsay-friday
(or- staying in jerusalem for concert at mike's place wednesday night, north thursday + friday)
-shabbat- old city plans canceled; go to yael's parents in ramot or get set up by anywhereinisrael outside of j-lem

next week
tiyul up north

in life
1. take the GREs, LSATs, or GMATs, or any combination of the above
2. graduate college
3. in year post-college, volunteer with the, a) Jewish Service Corp, working with a Jewish community overseas; b) Teach for America; c) Jewish Campus Service Corps (JCSC), working on a North American college campus;
or learn at Pardes for the year
4. graduate school- in something interesting. non-profit management, Jewish communal service, education, business, public policy, social work....
(other thoughts- go into editing/publishing; design; open a cafe/bookstore/coffee shop and call it The Front Porch)
5. do something interesting.

life objective
never stop

life goals
impact people
build social capital
keep learning
live Jewishly
only work in something that makes me happy and that I am thankful for everyday
marry a wise Jewish man
create a home

Thursday, January 11, 2007

on my walk home

i have finished my papers. life is fabulous.
all the more so because a) i turned the heat on so my toes won't freeze off again, b) i am listening to madeleine peyroux, and c) i just had some chocolate and i think some tea may be next up.

i finished my paper at 1:50pm. not so much finished as in completed, but finished as in stopped writing and without a care as to how it is marked. (notice the canadian-speech? it sneaks up all the time.) i printed out my two papers, avi's paper, and emily's paper (my print card is empty. this scares me because i do not know how to add more money to it.), ran to yoel's office, and then left.
that sounds pretty exciting. i left- done. hm.
but then i had an eyebrow appointment at 2pm with Perla the eyebrow magician at 2pm! she is from argentina, and speaks spanish and english and hebrew and maybe other languages but i do not speak other languages so i do not know beyond these.
i ran (walked super-fast) to the bus station in the forum, and my prayer must have been meaningful because the 28 appeared right away! i got on. and then more people did. and they continued to. and they still continued to. so many people got on i imagine they couldn't fit their arms on the bus and had to open the windows to fit in more people, but i did not look back for fear i would turn into a pillar of salt*.
finally, the bus driver decided that he was breaking enough laws and that waiting for an hour for people to get on the bus was enough, so he pulled away. and then i saw him.
he wasn't my soulmate. maybe in another outfit, but...
i saw a man, across the street. we didn't catch eyes, he probably doesn't even know i exist (why would he?), but he has impacted me.
for this man, you see, was wearing the most fabulous outfit. i really wish stacy and clinton were there to see it. brown and blue corduroy patched pants, a gray fuzzy sweater, and a darker gray and red tartan scarf. he was riding a motorbike. it made me really happy.

i got to perla's fifteen minutes late. that's not soooo late, but when each customer only takes fifteen minutes, i suppose it is later then you would like. perla said my hebrew was getting better :) . then she tried to kill me**.

then i got my haircut! not by perla, perla doesn't cut hair, but by the man who owns "Salon Ariela" on the second level of the Mister Zo's shopping plaza, two storefronts down from the thrift store. i had my hair cut here during ulpan, rob and amy came with, and the guy really scared me because he kept on cutting and cutting and there was a big pile of hair at the bottom, but then i looked good, so i decided not to be so mad at the guy. he has really fabulous hair himself, somewhat long and wavy and tousled back, so it is clear that he can be trusted with someone else's hair. he also has a gold wedding ring and a big gold watch. he was wearing a great big sweater that it looked like would be the type of sweater they always discuss in movies that is given as a gift but is really the most horrible thing. he too said my hebrew was much better, and then he cut my hair.

and that was my walk home.

*note to mr. lapushin- i feel awfully proud of myself that i can just throw in biblical allusions like that. i am currently brushing my shoulders off (no pats on the back for me).
**waxed my eyebrows. it hurts.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

wednesday night, 3 am

maybe i should not have had the diet coke* at midnight. unable to write the paper or go to sleep.

*at least it was not pepsi max**
**popular urban legend in Israel that pepsi max is illegal in America because of high caffeine levels. however, as recently exposed by kate bailey, pepsi max is not sold in America because it uses a sweetener not approved by the FDA.

wednesday night, 1 am

it's cold outside. Avi said it is seven degrees out, in Celsius, because I do not understand Canadian-speak. she saw my look of blank acknowledgment, sighed, and said that that means it is about thirty-seven degrees Fahrenheit. But that too I did not understand, because a) I live in Israel and do not believe that it is capable of being cold here, and b) my roommates don't know that I abide only by the Kelvin system of temperature measurement. they have much to learn about me. namely, that I can hear Avi and Tamara singing Tracy Chapman at 1:30am when I am sleeping, that I dislike all of their laptop backgrounds, and that I don't actually write papers when they lock me in my room and force me to. they already know about my strong attachment to my pens and diet coke.

listening to gnarls barkley. "it's deep how you can be so shallow." mah pitom, gnarls barkley? what is this? you make no sense. i know it is nearing two am, and your song has a really nice beat, but this just makes no sense. off you go. perhaps REM will suit me better.

I am on Shira's computer. it is big and a whitesh silvery color. the keys have a nice feeling to them. did you know that you can spell typewriter using only the top row of the keyboard? I did not know until a few days ago when Avi said it. she said it was so the typewriter salesmen (no women then, I assume) wouldn't look stupid when they were demonstrating the new product. this is an interesting observation. b'tzad echad, it is considerate of the typewriter-designers to not want the salesmen to look stupid. b'tzad aher, they probably didn't want the typewriter salesmen to look stupid because if the salesmen didn't know how to use the typewriter then there would be no way they could sale the product. but I like little things like that. i used to really like typing "was" because the keys were all next to each other. i suppose that i still do, but i just do not specially note it. i often mis-type my "x" and "z." it was not very considerate of the typewriter-designers to put those letters right next to each other.

ok, so I didn't put on the REM yet and Joan Armatrading came on, who I don't really listen to her but my mom likes her and I've been getting into classic female artists lately so I thought I would check out, and I was not at all impressed with her. iris has an idiosyncrasy where she does not like songs that repeat lyrics over and over, which is what this particular Joan song was doing, and I now realize and respect this peculiarity of yours, iris. nooo, not the smooth jazz saxophone, Joan! the death of an otherwise possibly redeemable song. sometimes it seems that I torture myself with my music choices. generally, this only happens when I am forced (bound and chained) to listen to other people's music- a situation which I avoid- but I've been listening to the Love Actually soundtrack a lot, and while the first ten times hearing Billy Mack sing about Christmas is pleasant enough, past that it becomes a form of torture. sometimes I tell myself to wait it out, that the song will be over within three minutes, but as I have no self-willpower I usually end up passing to the next song by the first chorus.

REM is now on and my night is looking better. maybe I will be able to start writing the five-page paper I have due tomorrow? it is possible that I have chosen the wrong life for myself. I think I should have been a math major. or statistics. I took a statistics course with Professor Kenkle freshman year. he wrote the book. I really wanted to ask him to sign it before the term ended, but I never worked up the nerve. Like much else in my life. but I really liked statistics. it was the most work I ever did for a class- I would spend around twenty hours a week in the Cathedral doing homeworks and preparing for exams- but so satisfying. once you got it, you got it. it was solved. no further questions. my TA for that class was from India and he was very hard to understand. I had recitation at ten am (was it nine?) on Wednesday mornings. my roommate Lindsey had Spanish on the same floor at the same time but she didn't show up much, so I walked to class alone. it was a very sad recitation. it was in a great room, on the twentieth floor of the Cathedral of Learning on the Bigelow Boulevard side, with great big windows and red velvet curtains and early morning sunlight, but the class itself was very sad. i think it happened twice that the TA (I feel bad for having forgotten his name, but I am not good at remembering such details, but all the same.) wrote an entire problem from the homework which someone had asked about on the board, explained it all, and then realized that he was using the wrong equation. he also pronounced "probability" wrong, which would not be so significant a fact except that in a statistics recitation the word comes up a lot.

so I think I should have gone into statistics or math. I really enjoyed taking geometry in high school, writing proofs, using logical equations, finding a clear solution. I took geometry my junior year, the second half of which I spent in Israel, so I learned geometry in a small back classroom in the bottom level of the Ramah building in San Simon. My teacher was young, but her face was starting to get wrinkled, and she played the violin. I remember being very impressed when she told us that she walked to class each day, even though she just lived in Baka, which was less than a half-hour walk away, but at that time we took taxis everywhere and did not understand or even conceive of the possibility, the life, of walking from place to place and exploring a city in such a matter. I did not get to know Jerusalem very well that year, only the small shopping center around the corner, with the baker who always discounted our purchases and heated them up for us, the old security guard at the bank who was always so happy to speak to me in Hebrew even though I knew only a few phrases, and the Co-op food store which changed to a Mister Zol sometime between then and now. but my geometry teacher- I think she was Canadian- introduced us to the grand QED at the end of a proof. i love it. I sometimes put it at the end of an essay I think I've done a good job writing, but it does not have the same power as when placed at the end of a geometrical proof. quod erat demonstrandum - definitely proven. ezah hazak! on Purim, while my mom was visiting, our geometry teacher took the class to her house for a demonstration. we made many hamantaschen out of fancy geometrical shapes which I now forget the names of. she only had whole-wheat hamantaschen dough, a fact I thought odd at the time but which I now noddingly approve of.

citizen cope came on. I added him to the end of the REM cd I made. I do like him, and I find that he is good to listen to while studying, but he is one of the artists I feel possessive of. as if to say ("as if to say," "to say"- what strange expressions we use!) that whenever I hear certain people comment, exclaim, or state by-the-by that they like song x by Citizen Cope I get jealous or upset, fearful that they are not listening to the song in the right way or not gaining the proper thing from it, or just upset that these people are listening to such a cool artist that I feel I discovered (but I didn't; I heard him on the radio), and that his popularity will spread and his music won't be as cool and suddenly I'll hear him when I walk into the shoe store, which is what happened to John Mayer and ruined it for him.

this is turning into a Jerry Maguire "The Things We Think and Do Not Say: Thoughts of a Sports Attorney" stay-up-all-night-because-you-have-so-much-to-say-and-need-to-say-it-all -mission statement, but it is not, it is merely my attempt to avoid having to write the final paper due tomorrow and yet still write, and try to show Kate how my thoughts flow because sometimes even she can't follow, but this is not it all, i left out a lot, about the A. B. Yehoshua book I am reading now and about Israel and about people and my life now and why I am using Shira's computer. and I still have more to say about typewriters.