Thursday, May 21, 2009

HELLO Katamon Konnections!

Hello! Can I have your attention please? Yes, you: the well-dressed, well-mannered and generally civilized looking Singles who took part in the Katamon Konnections Jerusalem Day Walking Tour tonight. Do you remember when you were walking down Shai Agnon Street from Historical point A to Historical point B? And some chubby chick in a tight tank top and spandex shorts (admittedly, not the most flattering of looks for her) ran by you? Well, not exactly running. More like a perky stagger. And she was wheezing and sweating buckets and had a face like a tomato? And she was muttering something about someone named Elmer? You remember her, yes?

Yes, well that was me. And I just wanted to let you know that I am available. Isn’t that exciting? Do feel free to get in touch!

I am pretty sure that this is not what people have in mind when they tell me to try going to more singles events. That’s okay. Because this was sure as hell not what I had in mind when I said that I hoped that getting in shape would help me get noticed by the opposite sex.

Oy. Just Oy.

The Inspiring Ass of Elmer

First, a disclaimer. Elmer does not exist. No—that is not right. Elmer does exist. He is just not Elmer. “Elmer” is what I am calling Elmer in place of using Elmer’s name. This is so that you will not know who Elmer is. So if you know an actual Elmer—and in particular if you know one in Jerusalem—and you read this post and you think “is she BLIND???? Elmer’s ass is butt ugly!”, please note the following:

1) I am not talking about Elmer.
2) I do not even know Elmer.
3) I completely agree with you about Elmer’s ass. An ass that large is a Crime Against Nature. Or Humanity. Or both.

I hope that this clarifies matters.

A few weeks ago, in an effort to resuscitate Roxie, my by-then neglected and depressed-to-the-point-of-suicidal-thoughts diet, I joined a diet support group. Last week, the group leader gave us an assignment. Each of us was to come up with positive mantras about NOT eating that we could use to counter-act the negative mantras we use to justify eating. So, for example, if you tell yourself “I need this” to justify eating chocolate, you start saying “I do not need this”. Clever, no? Anyway, I thought and thought and thought, and eventually I came up with two mantras of my very own. The first one is “it’s only six months”, because the group ends in six months. And then I can eat whatever I want. The second one is “if you lose weight, and become really hot, maybe you will have the opportunity to become better acquainted with Elmer’s ass”. Elmer being, in my humble opinion, the owner of what may be the best ass in Jerusalem.

[As an aside--just in case any of you have any concerns in respect to my virtue, you will be happy to note that my virtue, such as it may be, is perfectly safe. Unfortunately.]

Right, so those are my mantras, and I am quite pleased with them. I decided to share them with my friend Katrina Yellow (AKA Kat, the exercise Nazi). Not surprisingly, she was not particularly enthused with mantra number one. “DUDE! This is a lifetime change! Not just six months! Otherwise you are just going to get fat again!” The second mantra, however, she likes very much. In fact, she likes it so much that she has taken to screaming it at me, at the top of her lungs, while we are running. “PUSH IT! THINK ABOUT ELMER’S ASS!” And try as I might, I cannot get her to stop. What Kat does not seem to understand is just how small Jerusalem is. Those of you not familiar with Jerusalem, might think that it is a big city. We have half a million inhabitants. But as anyone who has lived here can tell you, Jerusalem is really a small town. Think of it as a Kibbutz whose steroid use has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Everyone seems to know or know of everyone else. So it is only a matter of time before someone who knows Elmer hears us and then goes back to Elmer and tells him that some madwoman in the San Simon park was running around and hollering about his ass. And then I will have to die of embarrassment. And if that is going to be my end, I may as well have the chocolate, no?

Ahhh is only six months.

Monday, May 4, 2009

So, Yes, I Ran a 5K

For those alert and/or bored readers who read the comments to my last post, and are at all put out that I did not mention the my under-40 minute time in the 5K, please know that I really and truly was going to tell you all about it. But I was going to do it stages, see? Suspense like. First, start with the down post and then WHAMMO! Hit you with the 5K. But now the cat is out of the bag and the element of surprise is lost. I swear, I love my friends to death, but I ask you—how would Hitchcock have managed with friends like mine? Imagine—there you would be, watching Psycho, and instead of having that buildup of suspense, around the time that Janet Leigh was approaching the creepy house, one of Hitchcock's friends would have popped up on the screen. "Hey Hey Hey FAT Albert! Dude! You are going to tell the viewers that she gets killed, right? In the shower?" And then the suspense would have been lost and the movie would have been an utter failure and Hitchcock's creative legacy would have been spoiled.


So yes, last Friday morning, my friend Sarah and I did our long-awaited 5K run. That we did it was was thanks to our friend, Kat. Perhaps you have a friend like this? The type that gets you to do stuff you normally would not do? My friend like that is Kat. Every so often, Kat sends me vaguely threatening messages:

"Hi! Check out the fat-burning fitness program on this website! You and I are starting it on Tuesday!"


"Dude! What goal are you picking for Kat's 10-day challenge?"

I would tell her no, but I do not dare. I am not quite sure what would happen if I were to do so, but I am sure I do not want to find out. I suspect that it might involve being left alone for extended periods with her infant son, while he is teething. If Kat is believed, this is a fate only slightly preferable to death. So, I just smile, and go along. Which is how I find myself doing things like running a 5K, agreeing to commit to a three-month fitness program and cutting back my internet time to 30 minutes a day for ten days.

Anyway, so I did the run, and I did not die and my time was 37:55—significantly better than my target time of an hour. I am also proud to note that I did not come in last. I managed, with great effort, to come in ahead of a few senior citizens (not all—just a few of the really pokey ones) and a guy who appeared to have cerebral palsy or some other disability and who was pretty much running with one functioning leg. The latter gave me some serious competition (I swear this is the truth). I was behind him the first half of the run, but I think he may have rested a bit at the water break, and that allowed me to pull ahead.

Sarah whipped my ass. This was not unexpected, seeing how she actually trained. Kat, however, did not come. She conveniently developed a seriously ill baby the night before the race and bagged on us.

My next 5K (because Kat has decided there WILL be another 5K) is in June. I will make sure to keep you all informed on the details of my exclusive training program, in which I plan to do lots of running, and instead end up goofing off at home. On the bright side, thanks to the 10-day challenge, instead of goofing off on the net, I am now goofing off by crocheting various unidentifiable items. Clearly, a more productive use of my time.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Haveil Havelim #215--the One Topic Edition

First, it’s May!

Happy Birthday Israel!

Before we can celebrate, we must remember. Lion of Zion discovered memorials to Frum Fighters in the Haganah. Several bloggers quantified the cost of our independence. How to be Israeli describes the feeling of Yom Hazikaron—kashe. Israelity remembers those he knows who have paid the price of our independence. Beneath the Wings shared the fears—and the lessons—inspired by Yom Hazikaron. The Velveteen Rabbi remembers from afar, and wonders if this season will ever be free of fresh reasons to mourn.

Yom Haatzmaut provides time for reflection. Jewish Israel entreats us to stand together. For Zion’s Sake remembers the 2000 years of waiting and the last 61 years of our wait being fulfilled. Lion of Zion discusses the value saying Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut, as opposed to ongoing, more substantial measures of appreciation for State of Israel. (The say or not say the Hallel debate is also here). Torat Yisrael provides us with an analysis as to whether Jerusalem really is the capital of Israel (well-written, but even if it were not, worth reading even if only for seeing a right wing blog use Yossi Beilin’s Geneva Initiative as support for his argument). Benji and I’ll Call Baila shared 61 things and the 61st thing, respectively, they love about Israel.

Elms in the Yard photographed some of the festivities, as did Jacob Richman. I’ll Call Baila and her family shared photographs as well—they celebrated at the beach. Coffee and Chemo celebrated with her friends and family. MyPanim celebrated in Australia. Our Shiputzim celebrated at Latrun. Achas L’Maala celebrated in Kochav Hashachar. Dr Savta explains how to mangal and Esser Aguroth analyses said festivities from a (sorta) Halachic perspective. How to be Israeli enjoyed the festivities…but received an unpleasant reminder that Israel has far to go in the area of race relations.

I myself am thoroughly ‘mangaled’—two mangals in two days. My Yom Haatzmaut is to be considered a success.

In other news (yes, the world has continued to spin)—Religion and State in Israel gives us a summary of this week’s developments in the aliyah industry.

Finally, and always fun—a few only in Israel moments from Torat Yisrael, Snoopy the Goon , A Time of the Signs and a lovely birthday greeting from Cosmic X.

Jewish community

For everything there is a season…but what happens when the season ends? Shira Salamone and her community have had a rough winter, but the spring seems to be highlighting the losses, as opposed to providing relief or heralding new growth. To look at the problem from another angle, the Rebbetzin’s Husband asks why synagogues do not make enough of an effort to harvest the low hanging fruit in their communities. Could this provide some measure of relief to dwindling shul memberships? Letters of Thought visited a very different Jewish community—that in Uman. ProfK discusses the vast—and at times inexplicable—differences between the Holocaust generation and subsequent generations. And Shtetl Fabulous—looking at the Orthodox Jewish community—is inspired to ask “what happens to an off the derech-Mormon”?

In Washington, however, May has opened up with good news for the two Aipac employees charged with espionage.

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

Funny—I looked and looked but could not find a clip of this song featuring nutcase dictators. Educational television FAIL!

In Iran, Ahmedinejad’s is still obsessed (as per Judeopundit). (We get a humorous take on Iran from The Israel Situation). Daled Amos brings us a review of PA violations of Oslo.

[A question—and this really is a question and not a snarky remark. Have we Israelis acted in accordance with Oslo? I ask because I would guess that the establishment of new settlements and expansion of existing settlements in the West Bank would have been banned by the Accords. If this is not a problem, and Israel is in compliance, the outrage makes sense. If not, and if the whole Oslo process is pretty much dead and buried, Jewish/Israeli condemnation of PA acts on the basis that “they are violating Oslo”, as opposed to on the basis that the actions are those of murderous, violent thugs, is not only hypocritical, but also wildly unproductive, insofar as the argument can be pretty well shot down in thirty seconds or less.]

Snoopy the Goon suggests a creative and peaceful means of bringing an end to all of the conflict.


Frum Satire suggests add-on features to make kosher phone cards and kosher cell phones even more kosher. (Hesh—you forgot to add an tase blast if you speak Lashon Hara.) Ashi and Rami give us a Parshah for Parenting and HomeShuling explains why she sends her children to Jewish Day School. Shorty’s Adventure and takes on the parsha—the prohibition on tattoos. Both the Velveteen Rabbi and Harry-er than them all are inspired by the parsha to discuss the issue of boundaries—the first directly and the latter indirectly. Torah Lab gives us guidelines on what to do and not to do during the Sefira. A Simple Jew gives us a lesson in Hassidus—overcoming Nitzachon. (I know you submitted another post—but this one was really special so I substituted it).

…And Just Plain Old Living

Cosmic X got to deal with a dead cat. Mish Weiss is preparing for battle. Benji discovers the pestilent side of Twitter and explores Israeli eyewear and Israelity encourages us to visit Tel Aviv Bauhauses. The Real Shaliach is doing something rather inexplicable with Winnie the Pooh. Beneath the Wings had an encounter with the flying beasties and Me-ander had an undesired visitor. The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inducted seven new members (from Sportsbiz). The Israel Chronicles shares a story that touches the heart. And as for me? Things are up and down....

Friday, May 1, 2009

I do not know if you have picked up on this from my posts, but I have been rather down on myself recently. There are just so many things that I want to do, that I mean to do or that I NEED to do…and yet, somehow, I never actually do. It makes it very frustrating to live with myself. I spend a fair amount of my time lecturing myself on the evils of procrastination. Sadly—predictably—I never listen. My parents appear to have been on to something, when they claimed that talking to me is like talking to a wall.

But lest I paint too bleak a picture (which is a sure way incur the wrath of certain of my friends) I should point out that a few weeks ago, after meaning to go for like, a year, I finally went to Safranit's stitch and bitch meeting. It was a lot of fun and I made good progress on a project I am working on—a blanket for my friend's baby. Not only did I add a few inches to it, but Safranit helpfully pointed out that if I stopped referring to it as a baby blanket and instead called it a lap rug (for covering up Baby in the stroller) I could just wrap the damn thing up right now and move on with my life. SCORE! This is all very good, and my joy is only slightly marred by the fact that said Baby has grown since I started this project. Not only is he no longer using a stroller, but he is about to start college. No matter! I am sure that the lap rug will be a big hit in the dorm. He and his roommates can use it to cover the bong.

Alas, this breakthrough aside, things have been feeling rather stalled around here and the self-frustration levels have risen to truly desperate levels. I have begged and pleaded with myself. I have promised treats—new kitchen toys or an MP3 player. I have threatened all sorts of punishments—loss of internet privileges, grounding or never ever dating again because I am overweight, and as my mother told me fifty zillion times, no one gets a boyfriend if they are overweight. All of this has been to no avail. My Self just laughs, gives me the finger and goes on doing what it pleases—that being normally comprised of such constructive activities as eating mounds of Pringles and Magnum Desire ice cream bars and surfing the net for information on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and "what ever happened to Karen", the little girl with CP that I read about when I was in grade school. Critical shit like that.