Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I walked into the gym behind another woman only to see the guy who should have been behind the desk playing around with the water machine. After hestitating at the desk for a few seconds wondering if I should wait for him to swipe my card, I decided to forgo the swiping in.
"Hey, hey, hey--just a second!" The guy called after me.
I apologized and handed him my card.
"No worries. Would you like this water?" He moved his hand to indicate the cold water bottle he had just placed on the desk. "We were just beating up on the machine; you might as well take it."
I thanked him and took the water. He probably got word that I started an OFFICIAL Bring Back Beards Campaign (on Facebook...72 members and it's still under a week old) and wanted to show his appreciation. Or maybe beards imbue their men with super-nice powers.

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's Like Being in Brobdingnag

My cousin's daughter and I were sitting on the steps at my aunt's house munching our way through some taffies when we heard my uncle and grandfather's voices from the top of the stairs. Dalya looked at me and I looked at her and she shouted, "get up so they don't walk on us!!!" The two of us jumped up immediately and waited in the hall until the men had passed. It's been a while since I was 3'3"* and I can't quite remember the alarm felt in situations where I might not have been seen by big people. What I do remember, though, was being eye-level with most adults' tush-level for about 6 years of my life. You see, people think that little kids like being carried because they tire easily, but the truth is that it's because of the view. I don't have any idea where I'm going with this.

*I actually know that she is that exact height because we were playing with the tape measure when she came over to my house later that day.


50 points to the first person who can identify how this song relates to me. Hints are that it has nothing to do with the name or the frantic foot-tapping of the musicians.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I Can't Think of An Article of Clothing I Own That Might Be Labeled "Hippie"

Every Tuesday and Thursday, I get to see Steve and Moshe before my second class because we all have classes near each other. Tonight's conversation started out regularly enough with Steve asking me (as he does every Tuesday and Thursday) if I was having a date later that night.
"No, no date."
"Did you have a date?"
"Um, no."
"Well, you look pretty today," Steve said.
To put things into perspective, Steve's usual commentary on my appearance, when he says anything at all, is along the lines of, "did you gain weight?" Shocked, I thanked him.
"Why do you look so good today?"
"I don't know. But I thought I looked pretty good, too."
"No, you look really good," he said. Then he tried finding an explanation, "Did you lose weight?"
"Wow! And no."
"Oh! You're dressed up."
"I'm not dressed up."
"Well, you don't look like a dirty hippie today like you usually do."
I'm sure those who know me are laughing... :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm From Here! I'm From New York!

By the time the bus company put me on hold to find out if the bus I was waiting for was, indeed, running on time, I spotted the bus. I hung up, threw my phone into my bag, got my bus ticket out of my jacket pocket, and watched the bus rumble past me. The driver finally stopped when he noticed me running after the bus and flailing my arms (a bit like a lunatic, but only a bit). When I got on, I was informed that I have to flag down the driver if I want him to stop.
"But I was waiting at a stop."
"That's a stop. This is a stop. Anywhere's a stop! You have to flag the driver so that he knows to stop."
"But I was at the REAL stop!" I said. "The stop for the Park and Ride!"
"You have to flag the driver. A lot of buses to the city pass here; I don't know who's waiting for which bus."
I apologized and sat myself next to a girl in the front seat.
"Just flag the driver." I was told. Again.
"I'm not usually the only one at the bus stop, but now I'll remember your advice."
I'm not sure if he was done enlightening me on the virtues of Flagging The Driver, but I was done with listening. The fact that the Jewish driver of a Jewish-run bus company passed by my Jewish little tush which was waiting, by the way, at THE REAL bus stop without realizing that I was so obviously waiting for his bus sincerly confused me. While I am pretty prone to self-realizations while riding the bus, the implications of what had just occured were not something I wanted to so readily accept. Could it be that my Italian/Israeli-like looks were not Jewish-like enough for the driver to have figured out that I am Jewish, or was it more likely the way I was dressed?
I got off the bus, took care of a few things in midtown, and then hailed a cab to take me to school. I was barely done debating whether or not to listen to my iPod when the driver started a conversation.
"Are you from Kentucky?"
"What? No."
"NO! I'm from here. I'm from New York."
And again, my integrity was being called into question. This time, though, I had no time for self-reflection because my driver was not going to let go of his audience. I heard about:
how terrible America is because people are poor
how awful this country's become because the President doesn't know what pi is
how stupid we've become because when he takes 11th graders, they don't know what the square root of 141 is
how lazy we've become because we have the internet and sent manufacturing jobs over seas
and how behind other countries we are because in Scandinavia they wear uniforms to school.
My driver, mind you, was from Hungary. He came to America in '75 ("About five years before you were born. What year were you born? '83? '84?") and thinks that it's been slowly going to pot since about the mid-eighties.
The moral of my story is that one should always flag down bus drivers and have their earphones on before stepping into cabs.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I'd Like to Believe that I Look Israeli

I forgot to mention that some of my proudest Israel moments this past Sukkot were when people asked me for directions. I will now relay them.

Episode One
I was standing at the corner, waiting for the light to change so that I could cross when I heard the woman to my right say "Sah-lee-cha-ah!"
I turned to look at her.
"Yeah," I said.
"How do I get to Yah-fo Street?"
I told her that I wasn't from the area and then added the way I thought would take her there.
"And where are you from?"
"New York."
"We're from Florida," she said and waved an arm to indicate her son pulling the roller-suitcase behind her. "A lot of people from New York move to Florida."
I "em-hm"ed and ran ahead.

Episode Two
Later that same day, I was standing in Kikkar Tzion, debating which direction to go on my hunt for new skirts.
"Slicha, blah blah blah blah blah?"
"I'm sorry," I said, "I don't understand."
The Israeli girl looked at me. "Ah...do you know where the, ah, record store is?"
"No, sorry."
"The one off blah blah blah street?"
"Uh-uh. Sorry I can't help."
I felt bad that I couldn't help her...but even more excited that a bona-fide Israeli thought I was Israeli!

Episode Three
My brother Josh and I were walking along King George and chatting about the trip. I noticed a very good-looking guy come out of the park and cross our path. The guy then turned around and asked me, "blah blah blah blah blah?"
I realized, at that moment, that if my teachers were all as good-looking as the average Israeli, I would have learned Hebrew grades ago.
"I'm sorry..." I had to say, "I don't understand."
"Do you know how I can get to Yaffo?"
I tried to impress him with my extensive knowledge (I gave him directions for both ways) and then continued walking with my brother. Only this time, I felt really, really, cool.

So there you have it--people can stop mistaking me for an Italian and recognize that my true faux nationality (for now) is Israel.

Friday, October 20, 2006

But I Love Having Opinions on Articles

I got a 102 on the Cultural Anthropology midterm I took today. It was 25 multiple choice questions and I was done with it in 15 minutes. I'm not sure if all this was because I'm loving the course (not the class per se but all the articles I had to read, etc.) or because I just have a hidden talent for Cultural Anthropology. So, everyone's invited to join me in celebration of the first 102 I've gotten in ages at the party I will be throwing in Tibet, Sri Lanka, or Northern Canada (I have yet to decide). And by everyone I mean males over the age of 21...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Few Israel Pictures

This is a picture I took of a rotten rimon.
This is a picture someone took of me looking like a fairy.
This is a picture I took of a little Chassidish boy at Kever Rachel.
This is a picture I took of a window in Chevron.
This is a little Chevron boy who is now inadvertently the most gorgeous model in the world. Just look at how he's thinking!
This is Mearat HaMachpelah.
This is me.
No, really, I have things to say...I just don't have time yet to write them out.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I Would Have Had to Fill Something Out Because THERE COULD HAVE BEEN DRUGS...Which Might Have Been Why She Needed To Carry Food Around With Her, Too

I have a set of such unique suitcases that after checking for my name on the larger one (which came down the conveyer belt first), it didn't occur to me to check the name on the smaller one. Which I realized was a mistake after opening the smaller one and noticing that my shoes had suspiciously morphed into floral clothes and boxes of vanilla pudding mix. The name on the tag said Esther Schwartz* so we called El-Al and asked if they had mine. They didn't. But they did say that I'd have to come down to the airport (about an hour away) and return the one I had and fill out a report that I didn't take anything. Who knows, I was told, there might be drugs inside. My parents were already constructing stories about Esther Schwartz's life. She has tuna and pudding mix, so she must be staying at an apartment. She's probably at her grandchildren because she has bubby slippers and maybe they live in Tel-Aviv so we're doomed.
My mother instructed me to take a nap and eat breakfast so that she could take me shopping for new shoes. At 1pm, when the El-Al reported that they still hadn't heard from Esther, I went to bed. At 2, the front desk called my room to ask if we had Schwartz's suitcase. Apparently, Esther came to the hotel that morning and left her suitcase at the front desk because her room wasn't ready yet. When she got back and asked for her suitcases, she was told there was only one because, well, the other had my last name on it.
So awesomeness one is that she too didn't check the name on the luggage and it was a clean swap. Awesomeness two is that we are at the same hotel. And awesomeness three is that I ended up both with my suitcase and new shoes and earrings. Chag sameach!

*That wasn't the real name, but the real one was only slightly less Jewish-popular.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

And For My Next Trick I Will Make Jealousy Vanish From My Husbands' Midst!

I bet that if I were to ask you where you think I'm going to live when I'm married, you'd have the wrong answer. You might figure Israel or New York or even New Jersey. But all of those and probably any other answer you'd come up with would be incorrect. Why? Why, because I have decided that I will live in Tibet.
It's very hard to find a man when you really mostly see the good in people. Who could choose between this guy who's great at one thing and this other guy who's great at something else and that one over there who can really rock the facial hair? I know, it's a really close call. So for a while there I was considering having a harem. This way I could keep all the guys I like without ever having to actually commit to just one. Westernized countries like the US and Israel, however, aren't very accepting of polyandry (I know for sure because I've pitched this idea before and so far every guy has turned me down). Therefore, any westernized country with its own ideas of rights and privileges is out. Fortunately for my plans...POLYANDRY IS ONE OF THE MOST COMMON FORMS OF MARRIAGE IN TIBET. Of course, this really applies to fraternal polyandry but I think I can bring a harem to the country with me and claim they're brothers. At least I will be understood.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Update: Stalker Edition

Basically, I'll be arriving in Israel Friday morning for Sukkot. Yes, you heard me, I'm going to Israel. I plan on dividing my time between eating, babies, family, Michael, hiking, and concerts. That list was in no particular order. I promise. Although that "eating, babies" doesn't sound very good. I should probably clarify that I do not--I repeat, do not--eat babies. Only their cheeks. And only sometimes.
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