Monday, December 22, 2008

Proof that Ehud Barak has not been reading my blog

Announced on the news while in my way to work:

In response to the rain of rockets on Sderot and the Western Negev: "Hamas will be surprised by the force of our response".

Let us review this again, shall we? If you tell us in advance, it is not a surprise. Really, it is not so complicated.

Though, in all fairness, it is true that everyone, Israeli and Hamas-i alike, will be completely surprised if the government actually does something to stop the rockets. As in, apart from talking about it and expressing sympathy and/or solidarity.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Live blogging: Attack of the Uniboober

9:44 AM

Sliced turkey breast
Electric kettle

These are the primary things I am looking for while I unpack. The sliced turkey breast was what I was munching on yesterday while Eliezer Movers was loading the truck. When they finished and it was time to head out to Jerusalem, I put it somewhere and now I cannot find it. I presume that, at some point or another, it will get vile enough to announce its presence. What worries me is that it is also possible that I left it at my old place in Tel Aviv, and that it is announcing its presence there and that my next-door neighbor will end up thinking I killed something and left it to rot in my apartment and she will call the police to come investigate and they will find the turkey and everyone will think I am idiot. Theoretically, she could investigate herself and then only she would think I am an idiot, but we are talking about someone who has called me up at midnight to come kill a cockroach, so I think it fair to presume that the chances of her taking on this challenge are slim to none.

As for my bras, I know where they are: in a box. The problem is that the boxes are unmarked. Marking the boxes…well…it just seemed so…unnecessary at the time. So silly! Why mark the boxes if, in the end, you will have to open them all up anyway? What a waste of time!

This is a good moment to point out that I have moved twenty times (literally) since I graduated high school. As in: I should know better.

My first intimations that this was a terrible strategy came last night as I was trying to dress for Shabbat dinner. I manage to locate a reasonably civilized outfit, but no bra. In the end, I had no choice but to continue to pair the deep V-neck, wraparound sweater and delicate shell top with my huge, industrial-strength sports bra. The results were comical. I showed up at the my friend's house with a Uniboob (I DO mean industrial strength here) and with random bits of the sports bra, including the industrial strength straps, peeping above and to the sides of the shell top. It was not a particularly good look.

But the worst of the fallout is the coffee. I have not had any, nor will I until I find the electric kettle and instant or real coffee. Right this very minute, I am conducting silent discussions with He Who Must Be Obeyed in which I am making it clear that if the aforementioned items do not come to light quickly, I will have no choice but to go to Apikoras Café on Emek Refaim (the one place open on Shabbat around here) for coffee.

Next time, not only will I mark boxes, but I will have one box prominently marked, in giant neon letters, "caffeine".

Never, ever moving again is also an attractive option.

I am really astounded by the sheer quantity of toiletries I have. I am up to box number three now…. And to think that, when I was 11, I heard Andy Rooney talk about how he washed his hair with regular soap and decided—wow, that sounds like a good idea—and did the same. As it happened, the idea was not so good and I was promptly ordered back into the shower to try it again, this time with shampoo..

This is a shame, actually. Just think, had it been a success, instead of packing and unpacking three boxes, I could have tossed a bar of Ivory in a baggie and called it a day.

I have found my electric kettle and my ground coffee, but have not yet found the instant coffee or my French press.

G-d is such a tease.

I have also found some chocolate chip cookies. These are the only things standing between me and Apirkoras Café.

I have finally come to the conclusion that, much as I would like to, I am not going to make any headway until I clean the kitchen so that I can start to unpack my dishes. I start scrubbing away. First, I find a box of rubber bands wedged behind one of the drawers. Then I find a bunch of those long plastic ties—the types we used to attach our name tags to our bikes on the Alyn Ride. Then I find something that looks rather like a pubic hair in the cabinet under the sink.

I do not even want to know. Extra bleach all around.

Am sitting here, trying to figure out what on earth that strange noise is coming from the outside. I finally identify it. Birds. Nicer than the ambulances, I must admit.

In addition to the birds, it appears that I have traded the traffic noises for those of a large family with small, screaming children. Well that is fine—the kids make enough noise that no one should notice when I blast Galgalatz.

Under the SINK????? Why? And HOW??? Like, with a dwarf???

By now, I have given up all pretense of constructive activity. Instead, box cutter in hand, I am running around the apartment and hacking away at random boxes trying to find the &^#$!!! instant coffee.

Fuck it. I head out to the friendly neighborhood Apikoras Mini-market to buy instant coffee.

Am now back home, coffee in hand. I have 20 minutes to be showered, dressed and at BG's for lunch. And in all of my box hacking, I have yet to unearth a real bra. I have no choice but to sports-bra it again. Luckily, I have found a big, bulky sweater, so that this time no one will be able to see the straps. Unfortunately, this is the type of sweater that looks fantastic if you are thin, and paired with a pair of slim jeans. It is much less attractive on a non-skinny person, paired with non-slim black pants and the Uniboob.

Am once again back at home. In addition to myself, BG hosted a couple in from the US and four girls who are in Israel on the Nativ program. I can only imagine what the girls thought of me. They are probably going to go back to their hostel and tell their friends that THIS is what happens to you if you pass 35 without getting married. You turn frumpy and weird, wear shapeless sweaters and grow a uniboob. Namely, the same thing I think about frumpy single women over 40. I suspect that the Nativ girls are equally as traumatized as I get.

But that is good. Because now they will work even harder to get married. And then they will have Jewish babies. Someone should, seeing how I am not exactly doing my bit.

Maybe one of them can have an extra baby, for me? I could buy the baby. But no…. That is illegal. I think the technical term is "human trafficking".

Or "adoption from certain third-world countries".

You know, I have a huge collection of work-out clothes. This is very amusing, when one considers how overweight I am. The reason is that I keep on buying more and more, on the basis that they will help me lose weight. The problem is that I seem to forget the second half of that equation, namely that one must then put them on. And, like, work out in them.

I have found my bras! Yay! Death to the Uniboober!

Right, so I may have inhaled a bit too much dust.

Still have not found my French press. Or the turkey. I shall expect a midnight call from Gilor, asking me what on earth I left to die in my apartment.

I found the turkey. It was in my purse.

I am sure it seemed like a great place for it at the time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Alyn Day Three

Tuesday, November 11th
Arad- Hatrurim Fortress- Masada- Arad
55km/35mi distance; 1130m/3710ft ascent
From Arad we head South to Rosh Zohar. This high point was used as a lookout point over the ancient "Salt Road" from the Dead Sea to Hebron and Gaza. We have a deep descent into Nahal Morag (be careful!!), pass the Hatrurim Fortress and enter Nahal Ye'elim.
After a fabulous lookout (not compulsory!) from the Ya'ir Ascent at the top of the cliffs we will cross Nahal Rahaf heading North and continue on the desert heights until the Western slope of Masada, the last stronghold of the Great Revolt (70 CE).

In the Masada parking lot we will eat lunch, following which we have two possibilities: 1) Go up for a tour of the Masada site and then continue by bus to Arad 2) Ride back up a steep (over 8% grade) ascent to Arad. During the ascent, like Lot's wife, we will also stop and look behind us at the lookout point with a magnificent view of Masada with the Dead Sea in the background.

As anyone remotely familiar with Murphy's Law might have predicted, this day's biking is primarily comprised of hills, with a particular emphasis on going down hills. Going up hill is easy. If I can ride, I ride. If I cannot ride, I walk. Either way, I am generally going slowly enough that I am not likely to cause myself further damage.

The descents require a bit more thought. Given my unfortunate incident the day before, I approach downhills with caution. I classify them into the following useful categories:
A) Easy (about 5% of the hills)
B) Moderately challenging (10%)
C) Extremely challenging (15%)
D) Fuck No (70%)

"Fuck No" hills are the ones where descent while seated on a bicycle is not to be attempted at any cost. Instead, I walk my bike down, itself a challenge as these hills are steep and covered with sharp rocks and gravel.

I would classify even more hills as "Fuck No", were it not for Jackie, the chain-smoking medic, who after exhorting me to no avail to ride down a particular hill, pointed out (sensibly), that, at this rate, I was going to end up walking all the way to Masada.

Jackie, the chain-smoking medic, can be found happily lurching about in his MDA-equipped dune buggy or sitting on top of particularly large hills, puffing away. Jackie's presence at any particular spot is a sign that here, a medic is likely to be needed. As he watches us navigate the hills, Jackie exhorts us to go down the hills מהר, בלי ברייקסים (quickly, without brakes). I have yet to take his advice, in part because I am a coward and in part because I am not entirely convinced that it comes from expertise in off-road biking, as opposed to extreme boredom and hoping for a spectacular wipe-out which will give him something to do.


I have developed a crush on one of the riders. He is not only hot, but is also nice and (shockingly) single. My roommates, rather than being irritated by my blathering, have been kind enough to find it amusing. Of course, the object of my affections has no idea of the same or, if he does, he is studiously avoiding them.

As usual, I am at a loss as to what to do. Should I flirt? No, not exactly my strong point. Make a pass? Natch. Suddenly, I have it—a cunning plan! Use your strengths Gila! I will write a blog post about the ride, but instead of a boring, conventional post in which I thank this one and that for organizing the ride, running the ride and so on…I will create my own fun, funny and delightfully quirky thank-you list in which I will thank him for being such wonderful eye-candy. He will read it and will be so charmed that he will forget that I am lumpy and a bit dumpy and (at least at our last meeting) bore a distinct resemblance to Worf the Kligon…and will ask me out.

I run my idea by Yael.

Yael: Does he read English?

Me: Ummmm…..

Yael: Does he read blogs?

Me: Ummmm….

Yael: Your plan appears to be flawed.

Me: sigh... (Count on a mother of five to be brutally practical. )

But the thank you's are a good idea, no? As follows:

Oded the bike guy: for fixing my bike

Simon the medic: for being ear candy (LOVE the accent and the droll English humor) and for fixing my arm

Warren the doctor: for managing to miraculously be on hand whenever someone fell and broke something.

Masada: for the clean bathrooms.

Menta: Ditto. And the coffee. Must not forget the coffee.

Volunteers: for ensuring that the route was well marked with signs like this:

Salvador Dali would be proud.

The signs are actually supremely important. It is not just that the desert is big and a bad place to get lost because then I will run out of water and dehydrate and will have a choice between 1) a gruesome death or 2) making a phone call from the middle of the desert using the Jordanian carrier and having to sell a relative* to pay the bill and then waiting for someone to come rescue me**. It is also that the bits of desert that make up "the path" look pretty much like all of the other bits of desert, with the major difference being that if you ride on "the path" bits you will not ride over a the edge of a cliff and if you ride on the non-path bits, you will. I mean, in the forest, things are more clear: the path is the part without trees. In the desert, the path is the part without…what? You see the problem. So yes, volunteers, thank you very much for the signage. The random people with pompoms stuck out in the middle of nowhere were a nice, if surreal, touch as well.

* I can think of some relatives I would like to sell. I bet you can, too. So this might not be a bad thing.
** If it were Oded the bike guy, that would be cool. Though, honestly, he was kept quite busy and it would probably end up being Jackie the medic who would then try to goad me into going down all of the big hills "maher, bli braksim"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Alyn Day Two

Monday, November 10th - Yitchak Rabin’s Memorial Day
Lahav- Yatir Forest- Arad
72km/45mi distance; 1200m/3940ft ascent
We leave Beer Sheva early for Lahav to reunite with our bikes. From here we will ascend a short part on a side road of the Sansana Forest. When we pass by Kibbutz Kramim (vineyards) we can get a glimpse of their plantations of exotic and unique fruits.

We will cut across the Meitar Forest and the Eshtamoah riverbed and climb the mountain ridges to the ruins of the ancient village of Yatir at an altitude of 623 meters/2,044ft. From this point eastwards is the Yatir Forest the largest planted forest in Israel (about 10,000 acres.) At this juncture we have a special challenging surprise for you – an orienteering section in pairs!! Along the route there will be orienteering “control stations” that you will have to find by using the map. At the end of the navigating section we will have lunch next to the Anim ruins.

Next to the village of Har Amasa (859 meters/2,818ft.) we will ride on road # 80 to a speedy and enjoyable descent. We will pass Tel Arad and the Yatir winery and reach Arad which is renowned for its clear and exhilarating air.

During the day we will enjoy the view of the Hebron Hills to the North, the Judean Hills to the East and the Negev to the South.

For some odd reason, instead of feeling worse today, I feel better. My "ass back" mantra is working and I am starting to feel slightly more confident on the rocks and gravel. Of course, I am still walking my bike up and down the steeper hills—the former because I did not train enough and the latter because I am a coward. These walking bits notwithstanding, by mid-morning, I am enjoying the route.

Here and there, when she decides to take long breaks, I catch up with Mandy. One such meeting is shortly before we arrive at the Hill From Hell, an ascent so steep that it is an incredible struggle to even push one's bike up it, much less actually ride the thing. (Who the hell put that on the route? What were they drinking when they did?) Mandy manages to get her bike up the hill herself, though she does aim some pointed queries of the male bikers gathered at the top of the hill as to whether chivalry really is that dead. I make it almost to the top, and then get stuck. I can move the bike or I can move myself, but I cannot possibly move both. I stay in place, flailing helplessly, rather like a turtle that has fallen on its back. Finally, one of the mechanics riding with the group takes pity on me (I mean, at first it was probably amusing to watch, but after a while…) and takes over the bike part so that I can get myself up.

The " special challenging surprise for you – an orienteering section in pairs" starts from shortly after the Hill From Hell. Mandy and I both decide to skip it, on the basis that רק זה חסר לנו; we need an additional challenge like we need holes in the head. Besides which, Mandy already has a sense of direction and does not need to practice orienting. For my part, I have absolutely no sense of direction, to the extent that I can and do get lost in my own neighborhood, the place I have lived for three years. Sadly, no amount of orienting exercises is going to change that.

[My apologies for being pedantic, but if you tell me what the challenge is in advance, on your website, than how can it be defined as a surprise? Unless you have hidden a live bear or some other unexpected challenge at one of the stops, the element of surprise has, alas, been lost.]

So we continue on. Now we are passing through a nice area; in addition to the requisite rocks and gravel, there are also lots of trees. We ride up hills. We ride on flat bits. We ride down hills. On one of those down hills, I find myself going a bit too fast. I squeeze the brakes.

While riding over gravel.

This was not a good idea.

To put it mildly.

Instead of going slower, I go faster and lose control of my bike. The tires slip out from under me. I fall hard on top of my bike, flat on my face and chest, and then continue to slide. Finally, I come to a stop, crying out as I try to suck in air. I am terrified. I am sure I have broken something in my chest. Like my lungs, for instance.

This being a group of Jews, there are doctors aplenty. Two of them come to help me. They determine that: my back is not broken, my limbs are not broken, my head is not broken and (what a relief) my lungs are not broken; I just had the wind knocked out of me. And my knees and elbows sport massive scrapes. And I fell on my head with enough force for my helmet to leave a heavy imprint on my forehead. I spend the next week looking like Worf from Star Trek.

Eventually, with the doctors' help, I manage to turn over. A sizeable group is arrayed above me. I have everyone's full attention. I seize the moment.

"Well, seeing how we are all here….I am looking for an apartment in Jerusalem".

After some minutes, Jackie, the chain-smoking medic, arrives at the scene. He cleans my scrapes, smears them with anti-bacterial ointment (or something) and bandages one of my arms. The next person to arrive is Oded, the head bike guy. It turns out that my bike is injured as well; both of us are flagged for the rest of the day. The bike and I hitch a ride with him to the next rest stop. There, Simon, the droll Alyn nurse, wraps up my hand and gives me ibuprofen for the pain in my chest. When I anxiously ask him what I should be looking for and how I will know if something is really wrong with my ribs or lungs (which really really hurt), he looks at me with a very serious expression.

"Well, if you have a sharp pain in your side? And blood starts running out of your mouth? Call Jackie. Or go behind a tree and die. Quietly".

I do so love Brits.


We have some time before dinner so Mandy and I decide to go look for real coffee. We head off towards the Arad mall, where we make the shocking discovery that there is no Aroma in Arad. I am terribly confused. How can this be? It is only the next morning that I manage to solve the mystery. In addition to there being no Aroma in Arad, there are also no traffic lights. Not only that, but the drivers in Arad are polite and yield at traffic circles and wait for bikers to pass them of their own volition, and without heavy police presence. No Aroma, no traffic lights and no Israeli drivers can can be explained by only one thing: somehow, we are no longer in Israel.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Live blogging packing my apartment

***Update*** Could not help myself--I did some editing this morning....

7:15 For the life of me, I cannot pick up Galgalatz on my mini-stereo. I stream it through my computer instead. Thank G-d for the Net.

7:30 Packing my dairy dishes and loving, loving, LOVING this fucking fantabulous packing paper that Mona at Eliezer Movers sent me along with the approximately NIS 1 zillion in other packing supplies that I purchased. Packing dishes is so much faster. And the best part is that, if I get sick of packing, I can just sit down and use the paper to make oragami birds and stuff. That is, I could if I knew how to do oragami.

7:45 Beyonce "If I were a Boy". I loathe this song. And what is up with this "I am Sasha Fierce" nonsense? According to Wikipedia, Sasha Fierce is "the singer's sensual, aggressive alter ego ". What--when she is Sasha Fierce she appears on stage stark naked, as opposed to her usual half-naked attire?

Question for all of you .... Am I am the ONLY one who finds it rather disturbing that a father would conciously raise his daughter to be a sex symbol?

8:15: Scarlett Johansson "Falling Down". Another song I do not like. I do not care how gorgeous she is, and how well she acts (attn Kayla--these are movies I have actually seen !)...she cannot sing.

8:30: Danny Sanderson and Amy Winehouse in succession. Happy!!!!!! (Linked version of Don Quixote is not Danny Sanderson. It is a guy I know goofing off).

9:00: All of my wineglasses (my extensive collection of about 12) are those souvenier types that you get when you visit the Yarden winery. Does this mean that I am not a real grown-up? Or that I am holding on to my college years? I mean, I do not drink. Nor did I drink during my college years. So I see no point to invest in new ones. Of course, my guests do drink. Guests? Do you care?

Yay! Kobi Afflalo!

9:10: I have a giant thing of bubble wrap! All for myself! Pop pop pop pop pop pop....

Right. I am supposed to be packing.

9:24: Really pretty song from הכבש השישה העשר-שיר לשירה. (The Sixteenth Sheep--A song for Shira). A number of years ago, I was in a local production of this play. Though I did not get to sing this song. My part during the song was to go to sleep while cuddling a plastic lizard.

Really! A plastic gila monster! You can stick your finger in its mouth and pretend it is biting your finger off! Hours of entertainment! For me, anyway.

Sadly, the lizard was packed a few days ago, so I cannot play with it. Sigh....

Now--two random points that popped into my head.

1) I am officially labelling "real wine glasses" as "an item that I only want once I am married". Because, now that I have my lovely Kakadu hallah board and my lovely Kakadu napkin holder, I no longer have any reason married. So now I do. I need to get married so I can get real wine glasses. Preferably from Kakadu.

Of course, seeing how I will not use them myself, even if I am married, not really sure that this is going to serve as too much of an incentive to go back on Jdate. But, whatever. Desperate times and all that.

2) Actually being in plays (I have been in two) has pretty much cured me of any desire to do any more community theater. I spent most of the time comparing my (rather paltry) solo with those of the other actors (much more impressive--full songs) and feeling quite neglected. I am far better off singing Broadway tunes in my kitchen while I am cooking. That way, I get all the solos.

Suffice it to say that "humility" and "teamwork" may not be my strongest points.

9:50: One could argue that I am also lacking "talent".

After packing and unpacking and repacking them FIVE times, my glasses and wineglasses are sufficiently packed and padded and bubble-wrapped to my satisfaction. I am going to seal the box now so that I do not have a chance to become dissatisfied again.

Anal retentive people should simply not be made to pack breakables. It is just too painful to watch. There should be a law.

10:03: Fun factoid--I am not into candles. At all. Please do not buy me any. I will just regift them. Or give them to the poor, though why the hell they would want them is beyond me.

I am thinking about this because I am about to wrap up the one set of candles I do like--the ones in the shape of chocolates that Rachel gave me. Of course, I am not going to use them. I just like to look at them and smell them because they smell like chocolate.

Oh, and another good song. American Boy.

10:30: I hate moving. I hate packing. I hate boxes. I hate bubble wrap. I am going to sell everything and just become a hobo or, I don't know, find an hideously overpriced, tourist trap, completely furnished apartment.

10: 46 What am I thinking???? Of COURSE I do not hate bubble wrap! I will bring whatever is left --after wrapping each individual Yarden winery souvenier wineglass in twice its weight in bubble wrap--with me to the furnished apartment. I will sit on the bed, popping the wrap and crooning Broadway tunes to myself.

10:55 How the fuck did I end up with FOUR bottles of olive oil? And approximately 15 zillion bottles of vinegar?

11:05 Other random bubble-wrappable stuff: my olive oil collection, my vinegar collection, my wine collection, my two bottles of vodka, bottle of Sabra and bottle of brandy, my elegant but too-small-to-be-useful glass flower vase, mason jars purchased back when I went through a Martha-Stewart-make-your-own-pickles-stage and now used as big and useufl vases, my pretty glass plate purchased on Nachalat Binyamin and a framed photo of my mother, ז"ל (may her memory be blessed).

So, if I pack my mother in the same box as the booze, would that be disrespectful?

11:35 Do they even make VCR's anymore? I ask because I have five random videotapes, inlcuding a collection of music videos from ארוץ הילדים (the children's channel) and Tom & Debra Teach Lindy Hop I & II...and no way to watch them. (I also have no dance partner--everyone here does salsa, damn it). So, do I trash them or cart them off to the new place so that they can gather dust there?

Hmmm...guess I will take them. I really really love that ארוץ הילדים video.

I also have one DVD: My Fair Lady. A great singalong flick.

11:46 Did you know that NONE of the cool songs from my ערוץ הילדים video are on Youtube? Bastards.

12:25 Time to shower, change and go off to Sarah's for a nutritious lunch. It will be a welcome change, as my diet for the last two days has been comprised of cereal, coffee and various sugary baked goods. This is not to say that cereal is not a sugary baked good. It just pretends to be nutritious. The other stuff...well, it does not even make an effort to disguise itself as something that that might conceivably be good for you.

I bet Sarah's meal will include protein. And a vegetable. I am so excited!

17:45 I have eaten, eaten some more and napped. Time for the second shift.

19:15 My packing diet has now expanded to include Diet Sprite. After all, man does not live by cereal and sugary baked goods alone.

21:05 I am still packing. It is taking a long time. This has more to do with my compulsive tendencies--everything must fit JUST so and NO space may be wasted--than with the actual quantities of stuff I own.

What is playing?

Campy music

Followed by very non-campy music

Gotta love Galgalatz.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fine fine fine...I give in already

Miriam, here is your Five Things Meme. (Someone else tagged me on another meme a few weeks back--I did not fill it out, but if you remind me who you are, I will add a link).

5 Things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago
1) Getting used to going by the name "Gila" and slowly but surely picking up social skills (I swear that the two really are related).
2) After ten months smoke-free, still fighting nicotine withdrawal symptoms. And getting fat.
3) Working at Arthur Andersen, and loathing it. The feeling was mutual.
4) Getting involved in Hadassah and loving it. Here again, the feeling was mutual.
5) Panicking because I was 28 and STILL NOT MARRIED (yeah....really humorous now, isn't it).

5 Things on My To-Do List Today
1) Write in my journal and plan my week
2) Call my sister-in-law to thank her for my very, very cool Hamsa bracelet (on my wrist now for five days straight).
3) Cook healthy, low-fat food for me to take to work for lunch (the week's goal is then to not completely destroy the effect by following up the healthy lunch with bread and nutella)
4) This evening: Go revisit an apartment I saw in Jerusalem and really liked AND go out with friends here in Tel Aviv. Not quite sure how or if I am going to manage this one.
5) Get married (just kidding)

5 Snacks I love
1) Chocolate
2) Pringles
3) Druze pita with labane, olive oil and zahatar (a meal, really--so I am cheating).
4) Apple with honey and cinammon
5) Popcorn

5 Things I'd Do if I Were a Millionaire
1) Buy an apartment
2) Give money to charity.
3) Take a year off and study at Nishmat or Pardes or some combination thereof. Write a book about it.
3) Travel: Spain, South America, Scotland, Ireland, China and the US. Write a book about it.
5) Write books for a living. Even if I did not make any money, what would it matter because, hey, I am a millionaire!

5 Places I Have Lived
1) Media, Pennsylvania
2) Houston, Texas
3) Newcastle, Delaware
4) Be'er Sheva, Israel
5) Arlington, Virgina (as a Marylander, am really ashamed to say this)

5 Jobs I Have Had
1) Midnight shift baker at Dunkin Donuts
2) Security guard
3) Telemarketer for MBNA America
4) Vacume cleaner salesman
5) Toll-booth collector

I tag: Washington Gardener, Safranit, Arab Chick, Quietus Leo and CK from Jewlicious.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Shabbat Shalom

I have been in a really bad, depressed mood all week. As usual, it is my brain’s fault.

I was already in a not-so-good mood last week. There I was, not getting this done, not getting that done, slacking in this or that area. Frustrating, you know? Especially when one has just spent an hour perusing photos of one’s high school reunion which one did not attend because it is 1) way the hell far away and 2) it is a party, the type of thing one enjoys more in theory than in practice….anyway…and one has been reminded that one is 38 and close to being middle aged and overweight and frumpy and single and does not own her own home and has yet to do anything impressive etc etc etc.

And then I stopped myself. Why was I whining, when these were things one can do something about?! I can lose weight, if I want to. I can make myself all elegant and stylish—just like Maryam in Marrakesh—if I want to. I can find an apartment in Jerusalem and find someone to take my apartment in Tel Aviv. I can write a book. It is just a matter of Wanting and Doing and Using One’s Time Efficiently. What it is most certainly not is a matter of whining!

Thus fortified, I sat down and wrote my list of things I Was Going To Do over the course of the week. The list went as follows:

1) Start a diet and lose 1 kilo
2) Exercise every day for a minimum of 20 minutes
3) Write every day for a minimum of 30 minutes
4) Work on my book-proposal
5) Work-life balance—work no more than 55 hours for the week*
6) Start packing up my apartment and get a price quote from the movers
7) Put up signs asking for a place to rent in San Simon
* For me, a 50-55 hour work week is work-life balanced.

It is an impressive list, no? I thought so too. My brain on the other hand, was not so impressed. “You want me to work, find an apartment, get ready to move into it and write a f**king book? And you expect me to do this without chocolate? Bite me!” And then it proceeded to go off and aimlessly surf the net and daydream. If my brain had a belly button, it would be picking lint out of it.

So it has been THAT type of week. In the end, the only things I managed to do were work a zillion hours and look at some apartments. My brain may be an intractable, lazy SOB, but it is not stupid. Even it realizes that no job=cutoff of the chocolate supply and that no apartment=no place to stash the chocolate.

All in all, a stupid, wasted, depressing week.

By this morning I was feeling pretty desperate. Yeah, work is going fine and I saw a couple great apartments and one of them may work out. But maybe they will not work out and I will have to keep looking. And what about everything else? I am getting fatter by the day! And I never called Emilie the Agent to talk about my book proposal! And I am 38! What is wrong with me???? I want to do all these things…why am I not doing them? What am I going to do?

And then, I just thought--really--it just popped into my head--talk to G-d. He is there for you

And so I did. I broke out the little prayer book I carry in my wallet—the one my friend Irene’s father gave me when I was going through an observant phase. And I prayed. I do not like to be selfish when I am talking to G-d, so I asked Him to help this one find a job, that one to get pregnant and another one to find a shidduch. As for me…”I do not really know what I need, right now. But you do. And if you could send it, I would appreciate it”.

Shabbat Shalom.