Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I Like Purple Nailpolish

Recently, I started a scrap document where I can write and scratch and write and edit and write and scratch again for this site. This means that I’m doing a lot more scratching than usual and it's not just because I have hives. So it’s with my greatest apologies that I tell you I’ve entered into a sort of writer’s block. This time, it’s not because I have great and lofty ideas and difficulty in expressing them. (Which actually worked as a great high school excuse for not having a paper done on time.) It’s because I have absolutely nothing to say that I’d want people to read. So I’m just going to write that I started writing an essay that I think is ridiculously good but that I’ll have nothing to do with since my professor gave out topics for our first essays (I hate when they do that), so I’ll probably put it up here. And you will all be the first to read it. I don’t even know what that means. Anyway, I also realized that the JIB Awards voting time is almost over, so if you’d like to procrastinate at work and this post just didn’t do it for you, here's a list of tons and tons of Jewish blogs to spend your time on. And if you want to vote for a Best Student Life blog, you'd go here. Just sayin'.

Monday, January 30, 2006

QOTD: Relative Edition

She's Clearly Not from the South
"What happened to just flirting with people to get your way? ...Or does that not work with relatives?"

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Pus Sounds Like Cuss

My dream just sort of ended before I even got to taste the crepe I was making and I tried to open my eyes to see the time. The keyword in that last sentence would be “tried.” I couldn’t actually accomplish this simple task of opening my eyes because my eyelashes were glued together by something that I assumed to be pus. After yanking open my left eye, I stumbled to the bathroom.
My left eye was coated with goopy pus and my right eye was covered with it. And of course since this had to happen on the one night I sleep in make-up (Friday night), it took me forever to clean my eyes up.
Theory number one was that the mucus lining my throat and stuffing my nose was bored with being confined to just my nose and mouth and, thinking of new ways to leave my body, attempted to ooze out of my eyes. Theory number one was shot down by my mother with a simple, “Dina, you have conjunctivitis.”
To properly understand what this means now, I will give you a crash course in the past plagues I’ve received since leaving Israel, Ir haKodesh. First, I was stricken with Sore Throat--a case of Sore Throat so bad that until the doctor took a throat culture and confirmed that it was negative, I thought I had strep. This was followed by a Nasal Congestion which has yet to go away despite the fact that there are other plagues now as well. Other plagues such as the Plantar Wart on my thumb and the hives I got on my arm. This is a novelty, by the way, as I’ve never before gotten hives in all my life.
When I mentioned all this to my friend in medical school, he suggested that it’s possible I’m having an allergic reaction to something. The hives and the excessive amounts of mucus trying to get out of my every facial orifice are an almost clear sign that my body’s rejecting something. The only thing I can figure (other than plane food, because that’s not still a factor in my environment) is the environment. So, in what’s becoming my new sign off...anyone want to buy me a ticket back?

Friday, January 27, 2006

No One To Tell Us No

The sun shone onto the curved road through the bare trees lining it as I drove to Starbuck’s with my cousin. We finished singing the only verse we know from A Whole New World for the third time and I swallowed to get my voice back.
“Y’know, in all the history of my life as a dork--this is the first time that I’ve not looked forward to the start of school.”
Zahava turned to look at me and shouted, “me too!”
“In all honesty, there’s only one class I’m interested in, and even with that one--I’d rather just be in Israel.”
“So we’re just the same! I’ve never dreaded school before.”
“College: I’m hating it.”

And on that note, have a Shabbat shalom!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I Like Weird Foods Sometimes

A friend of mine works a couple of blocks from Hunter, so we do lunch on occasion. “Doing lunch” in our terms means that I make lunches for the two of us and then we sit in the office kitchen (or boss’s, rather, because the office is in his house) and eat together. Today’s lunch was a wrap made with cheese, Dijon, pickles, tomatoes, and Terra chips for him and a whole wheat pita with chummus and pickles for me. Today’s lunch was “a little weird,” I was told. (It was so completely not weird, I don't know why he even thought so.)
Now, I’ll be frank--there’s pretty much only one thing that bothers me more than stickers stuck to furniture and that’s when people aren’t open-minded about food. I know, it’s a bit hypocritical for the vegetarian to say that, but at least I’ve tried the meat thing and know it’s not for me.
The worst case scenario I can think of for trying something new is that you don’t like it (barring the scenarios where people discover unknown allergies). And there’s a simple method called “regurgitation” that can help you solve even the worst tasting food. So the next time someone offers you ice cream with olives, chocolate with chummus, or pickled herring with tomato sauce, close your eyes, hold your nose, and take a bite. You’ll probably like it...and if not, have a napkin ready for spitting into. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

This Whole New York Thing Just Doesn't Cut It

(Waiting in the airport with my cousin, Nukes, and Randy.)

I took my unzionistically long shower, watched my recorded Project Runways (well, started on the bunch), and did my jet-lag. So if anyone wants to fund a ticket for me, I'd be glad to just keep my suitcases unpacked and fly right back. Seriously though, anyone?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Deep Thoughts by The Unknown O-Girl

5683 miles from Tel Aviv, and the plane was touching down. We were no longer flying alongside the moon or above cloud veiled lights--we were on the ground now and I was back in the states. Sitting next to Randy and behind a row of annoying O-girls, I looked out of the window trying to figure out how to not cry.
"But what I really wonder," the girl directly in front of me said, "is how the plane defies gravity."
Her friend, who must've been the smartest of the bunch, took the opportunity to answer.
"I think it has something to do with the wings."
I turned to look at Randy and we burst out laughing. Rude? Probably. But then, they had already interrupted my mood.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

As a Matter of Fact, We Never Even Made it to the Golan

On our way to the trail Wednesday, we stopped off at a grocery store to stock up on provisions such as chummus, water, chocolate, cheese, etc. And in keeping with the theme of our trip, the water we bought turned out to not be water after all. It was seltzer.
See, nothing was phased by our plans. We had plans to rent a car; we ended up having to bus. We had plans to do a particular hike, but because no one thought to check the egged schedule the night before, we had to change to another hike. Even Hike: Plan B didn’t work out because we got such a late start that we could only go a couple of hours into the hike before having to turn back. Etc.
It was, of course, the awesomest time I had in Israel. And not even because we stayed on a dude ranch with horses and a common room fully stocked with Madlibs and hula-hoops, or because I got to prove how hardcore a hiker I am to Michael who doubted me, or because I finally learned how to properly pronounce a reish, but because Randy pulled a Needlestein on the first day.

Monday, January 16, 2006

And in Other News, I Still Want a Baby

I spent the bulk of my day peeling carrots and making shnitzle. Yes, with real dead animal flesh. But this is one vegetarian who can honestly say it was worth it. Not because it tasted good--no, no I didn't have any--but because as a result of freeing up my aunt, I got to take the young kids to the hospital to visit their oldest sister and her day old baby. And as a result of that, I got to hold the day old not yet named baby boy for about ten minutes.

And with that, I'm off to the Golan.

Sundays Are Down Days

Leaving Nukes to walk back to where he was staying last night, I got on the bus and found a seat near a window. Headphones in, Stu on shuffle: Last Thoughts on Woodie Guthrie started in the middle…
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow's mornin' seems so far away
And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin'
And yer rope is a-slidin' 'cause yer hands are a-drippin'

Just earlier, I was laughing with my cousin about being boy-crazy like I have been ever since I was, oh, about 7. Shortly afterwards, I got a call from my mother that my Israeli cousin had a baby boy. She’s my age, married, and now with a son while I’m sitting in a foreign country having crushes on six or seven guys at a time. So I stopped thinking.

And yer whole world's a-slammin' and bangin'
And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
And to yourself you sometimes say
"I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn't they tell me the day I was born"

But you can’t just stop thinking, so that didn’t work. I looked around the bus for some other distraction. Up on the bus driver’s mirror were colorful pictures, like he cared enough about his job to decorate his office, like when people put pictures of their families on their desks so that when work gets long and the hours get late, they remember why they’re there. I don’t have an office, because I need a job.

And you're lookin' for somethin' you ain't quite found yet
And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air
And the whole world's a-watchin' with a window peek stare

Last Sunday I went out with Nukes too and it was just us and I said, “once, I told a friend, ‘you know what I think is possibly the most romantic thing in the world?’ while chatting online, and she called me to make sure I was okay. It took about ten minutes of convincing that I was fine and well and healthy...because I used the word romantic and apparently, that word isn’t me.” We laughed. I needed sleeping pills to fall asleep the rest of the week.

And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'
But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head
And it bothers you badly when you’re layin' in bed
And no matter how you try you just can't say it
And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it

I IMed RecipeBuddie and told him that I needed to talk but for no one to hear. He said: Recipe Buddie is now retired. It was great chatting with you all over the years! Kellogg's and Keebler Ready Crust recipes, please visit us at http://www.kelloggs.com/recipes/. His grammar bothered me, so I put my computer down on the floor in my room--the light was already off--and laid in bed until I could sleep. It was a while.

You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more

And I don't know why I'm writing something personal, but that brings the count to 3/500-something which isn't so bad.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Sara!

With the whole time difference and Shabbat and not having my regular phone, I wasn't able to call my friend Sara on time with a happy birthday shout. So, we're going to all get together here (since I know how often she reads jewfood...often...she's pretty much my biggest fan) and wish her the world's best wishs for a niceo biceo year!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Shabbat Shalom

My plans for Shabbat in Tzfat didn't work out, so...Shabbat Shalom from Yerushalayim!

(Also, please note how stunning my view is every time I leave and go back to my cousins' apartment. Of course, the picture's a bit shakey, but that's what happens when you take pictures at night. :))

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I Love When the Little Ones Are Fans

My cousin’s daughter Bat-Tzion (aka my pretend niece) has a tendency to rearrange all the things I keep in my room that her little arms can reach. It’s for this reason that I like supervising her visits to my room.
After washing up this morning, I heard Bat-Tzion’s voice coming from my room in the form of, "I want to listen to music."
I walked in and saw her holding my earphone in her ear while simultaneously putting my batteries, necklaces, and pen into the drawer nearest her. I happen to keep my iPod on shuffle, so when I turned it on for her, it was on Sailing (Cross the Devil Seas). She listened for a while, but as it goes with little kids, eventually lost interest and wandered into the living room to eat her fruit.
Moments later, she wanted to listen to more music. This time, I gave her some Dylan thinking that perhaps I could cultivate her taste in music at the impressionable age of two and a half. She didn't like Dylan. I played some Band for her. That wasn't interesting either. At this point I was starting to worry, so I quickly put on In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. Lo and behold, she listened to it almost to the end and shook her behind to the beat. And I had thought there was need for early intervention in her musical taste.

(Just by the way, I have to say that I’m a little disappointed that of the thirteen nights this March that the Brothers are playing the Beacon they’re skipping my birthday. And by skipping, I mean they’re playing the day before and the day after.)

QOTD: Political Edition

On The Speckled Stone Floors That Are Everywhere
"These are the socialist floors in Israel."

Sunday, January 08, 2006

My Thumb Hurts

I got stitches today. Not in a cool place like across my arm or down my cheek, but on my thumb. I was trying to get the avocado pit out of the avocado for my avocado, tomato, and salsa concoction when the knife slid off the pit and through both the avocado and my thumb. You'd think that while I'm here in Israel I'd at least injure myself doing something awesome like climbing Masada or running through those uneven Old City cobblestone streets or even perhaps getting into a knife fight with an ars (that's slang--I know a slang word!). But no--I do it with a knife.

I can already see in a few years from now, people will say, "oh dear--how'd you get that scar?"
"I cut myself while pitting an avocado."
"...But I was in Israel at the time!"
And with that, I have to conclude that I'm terribly uncool.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

QOTD: Saturday Night Edition

On The Importance of Remembering That All the Ninja Turtles Love Pizza
"That's like forgetting that The Godfather's about the Mafia."

So This Shabbat, I Stayed in The Old City

I left Randy outside holding the heavy food bag and walked into the girls' Heritage House.
"Hi, can I help you?" the girl working there said.
"Yeah, I'd like to stay here for Shabbat."
"Sorry, we're only for baalei teshuva."
Because, of course, I smell like someone who's always been observant.
"Okay...Can I stay here if there are extra beds?"
"I'm sorry, but we don't let that."
"If there are extra beds?"
"There's an Armenian Hostel down the road you can try."
She really said that, I promise. But I told her that I had my own meals set up and I begged and I pleaded and I cried and she finally relented.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

And Yesterday I was in Tel-Aviv

I told Randy that if he sees me in Israel, he has to not let me eat. I have a tendency to go hungry every three seconds when I'm on vacation and I know I'm going to come back to New York at least 25 pounds heavier than when I left. How well can he follow instructions, you ask? Well, first we bought donuts with caramel while waiting in the tachana merkazit in Tel Aviv for my friend Zac to show up. After Zac showed up, we all had rugelach and later, Randy bought me chocolate in the shuk when the three of us went there. Seriously, this eating thing is out of control.

But Tel Aviv was loads of fun. After our little hiatus in the shuk, Randy, Zac, and I met up with Nedenah, Miriam T., and Nukes and we all went out to eat. At a meat place...but, whatever. After dinner, we stopped into Mike's Place to see if they were playing the Manchester United-Arsenal game (they weren't), but it was during those five minutes that my mother called. :) It was funny though, because my phone was dying, so Zac made my calls forward to his phone. Which meant that not only was the phone answered in a loud bar, it was answered by a guy in a loud bar. Go figure. We ended up hookahing on the beach and watching the game later (I actually napped during the game because I was running on 2.5 hours of sleep).

This morning, I had cocoa-man for breakfast. Cocoa-man, for those who aren't hip, is pronounced co-co-mon, preferably with a Jamaican accent. The box features a rasta guy on the front and some "cocoa-man disco" things on the back. The taste resembles soggy cardboard.

Then, before leaving Tel-Aviv, I played Shesh-Besh while eating olives with dark chocolate both purchased in the shuk the day before. Olives and dark chocolate, unlike olives and taffies (bad experience), are delicious together.

Also, the night before I left for Tel Aviv, I went out with Michael, ck, and Laya from Jewlicious, Aaron from Kosher Confessions, and Laya's roommate's sister who, as far as I know, doesn't have a blog. I think I might have said the above sentence eight million times yesterday to make Randy jealous, but then, that's what sisters do. :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

QOTD: Normalcy Edition

His Mom Beats My Mom in Quotes Anyday
"It's like the time me and my boys were hanging out at my house one Saturday night in high school and eating a dried salami and my mom comes over to us and say, 'why can't you just smoke pot, like normal kids?'"

Sunday, January 01, 2006

JIB Awards

It's not yet time to vote, but I just wanted to give all of you the heads-up that I was nominated for a JIB in the Student Life category.

Also, I'm curious to know who nominated me because the person did it as anonymous. Don't have to say, I'm just curious anyway. :)

Al haRegel

I have some pictures, and then I'll tell my story of the day. :)
First, there was waiting with Randy to board the plane. Then, there are the mushky-pushkies I'm staying with. The feet below are brought to you by my baby Yehuda. And I can claim him because I was his assistant Ima today.
So then I went to the Kotel.
I met Moishele for dinner and we did a little Old City rambling.
Chag sameach!
I went to visit my other Israeli cousins this afternoon. One of my cousins wasn't even talking the last time I was in Israel, but this time she is just at the age when she doesn't stop talking. She and I were sitting in her bedroom where she was flipping from bed to bed (it's a four bed pull out!) and I noticed the pretty light fixture.
"Rachel, I love your light! The butterfly is so pretty."
"It helps my chalomot."
"What does that mean?" (Temporary brain-lapse.)
"Dreamot. Chalomot is in English and dreamot is b'Ivrit."
"Haha, Rachel, I think it's the opposite."
"No, it's not."
"Okay. Y'know what? I don't know Ivrit, can you teach me some words?"
She taught me peh (mouth), af (nose), and aynayim (eyes).
"What's this?" I asked, lifting my foot.
I looked over at her, because all I heard was laughter, and saw that she was in a fit of hysteria.
"NO! Rrrrrregel!" She repeated, rolling her reish.
"Right, regel!"
Hysteria ensued.
"What?" I said, "I'm saying it right! Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrregel?"
At this point, of course, she couldn't stop laughing.
It took about 18 tries of me rolling the reish sound around on my tongue before I finally stopped because it was hopeless (although I'm pretty sure that I was doing it well). She was pretty adorable, though.

Shalom m'haAretz

I spent Shabbat with my cousins, their husbands and kids, aunt and uncle, and grandparents. Now, explanations: my cousin moved to Israel this summer with her husband and kids because her husband's in Gruss. Her sister (along with husband and kids) and parents came to visit these past few weeks. Our grandparents are in their 60's and the only time they had been on a plane was a few years ago when they went to Arizona to visit my great-uncle who wasn't well. We've been begging and begging for years for them to go to Israel, but "we never did and we're fine, we don't have to" was the general response. This time, my uncle (and other relatives too, I think) purchased tickets for them as a surprise anniversary gift and lo and behold they actually came. It's unbelievable how much they seem to be enjoying themselves. :)

We took a walk Shabbat afternoon (without the grandparents) around Bayit v'Gan (the long way to the park so that we could see my cousin's husband's old house). It was my first walk in Israel so far since lugging 90 pounds of luggage down and then up a million flights of stairs. The 90 pounds, by the way, is not an exaggeration. One bag was 51 and the other 40. And I still love Bayit v'Gan since my last stay here.

So anyway, it's 7am and I've been up since 5. So while you're all partying your tushes off in chutz l'aretz, I'm here in the holyland writting an update about nothing, talking to Sara, and pretty much just being happy to be here. Oh yeah, and looking forward to my 68* (F) weather today!
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