Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Cold December Rain

I would rather walk home in the winter rain than take the wet, odorous bus. The only major thing to watch out for, other than cars that can't brake in time, deep puddles, mud, and dropping your gloves when you reach into your pocket for a tissue, is walking too close to the curb. The image will forever stay etched in my mind - my close friend (who now lives in Smogville) was waiting for the green man to light up before the green bus passed and sent a tidal wave in her direction. It was a smiling happy waving friend closely followed by the classic "Home Alone"/Edvard Munch's "Scream".
Happy Winter!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What's the Rush?

I have some of my most profound thoughts while waiting for the green walking man.
Before I left the US to come on aliyah, I made it a point to not get annoyed with traffic and chose not to read newspapers. I felt that there must have been a reason for the delay and getting road rage was not going to solve it. The papers generally featured old bad news so I didn't put it on my reading list. Now I avoid jaywalking, especially when the brightly-vested are around, and scan the articles in order to move on to the puzzles page.
Happy Torch Lighting by firetruck or crane.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nightscapes and Dreammares

Wild and crazy dreams. That's what happens when you sleep in a room with the heat turned up. It sets the stage for a fever-like evening of vivid sleep journeys. Then when you wake, you travel to the beaucratic land of 'mares: the income tax office. Did you know that there are 3 branches in Jerusalem and they have assigned themselves numbers. What they forgot to do was tell the public. And so we went to one branch and since the one we needed was not so far away; we walked it. After a bit of finding-the-right-floor, we obediently took a number (as though we were at the deli counter back in Jersey). At a certain point the red LCD went BACKWARDS. That my friend is how you know that you are in the right place.
All in all it was a worthwhile visit because the amount we owed, was in fact their error. In 2 weeks we should be rather wealthy or at least break even.

Factoid: The guy who discovered/invented X-Rays was named Roentgen. Doesn't your whole world just fall into place?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Season

This time of year, when the real grass smells green and the fake grass needs no water; visit the circle at Hizkiyahu HaMelech for the latter. Autumn leaves have fallen yet no New England foliage preceded this event. There is the well-known PC desktop picture of Autumn, bright orange dressed trees lining a road. It makes me think of Unami Park and the swings that helped you fly into the treetops, if you pumped your legs hard enough. And when I learned to ride a bike, small, low to the ground and yellow and black. And while we are on the subject of glorious colors, check out this site, a bit of color synesthesia for you?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stream of Consciousness

What happened to Wednesday? Was the weather cancelled? Or postponed? Was it forecast and then cast away? MrHawaiianShirt and I watch Heroes, an interesting series brought to us by the world of television downloads. There is bending of space and time, alter egos, brain-hungry bad guys, and those gifted with speedy cell regeneration. There is a book of scientific theories, an ethnic mix of cultural references, mind-reading, and 2 interracial couples. Why mention the latter? Click.
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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Looking for the Little Rainbows

One should be grateful for the little things. Like technological advancement, medicinal experts and just merely being alive...being able to afford to buy a turkey that is twice the size of my adorable nephew Lev, roast it in the oven without taping the door shut, and sharing it with friends over just one of the celebratory 25 hour weekly holidays...sharing life with a talented, most patient, and loving man.
The apartment is still on the market and I think I will have to turn it over to a real estate agent.
Just knowing that there are little rainbows, like the one colorfully bouncing on the newspaper display at the makolet this morning, soothes me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just a Bisele*

Happy Day of the Dead!

My Crocs bit me. I walked home from work and the nasty cuts that resulted were quite painful. Those "shoes" have not been worn since.

Our plaster turtle used to bite, which prompted us to call him the Snapping Turtle. Now he's tame. He stays obediently across from the door so as to greet guests. Everyone should have a Watchturtle.

I use the term, bite, in daily speech rather freely. When an insect, almost always a mosquito, takes a nip, I used to say, "somebody bit me." Then I realized it's best not to confuse the things with the people we love to be bitten by.

Which then brings me to the recent incident with the dirty old guy tourist who feigned fear of the photographer "snapping" his picture.
"Will it hurt?"
"No, he doesn't bite."
"Will you?"

* Have you seen Yiddish with George and Laura?

Monday, October 30, 2006


Every Friday (or Thursday), our neighbor cleans the stairs by the waterfall method. She picks up everyone’s doormats and places them on the railing. After the squeegee part is done, the mats are put back in front of their respective apartments. Ours was a gift from Mom and it actually reads: “WELCOME”. Every Friday morning however, it returns to its spot upside down so that when one leaves the apartment, they are “welcomed” into the world out there.

I have been exposed to a lot more Hebrew lately with my new job in an over half Hebrew speaking environment. This is wonderful for me but there is one noticeable problem so far-how do I know when I am asked a question? It seems that most languages have clues such as inflection. I know that in Asian dialects, inflection is everything. While my command of the Hebrew language is less than perfect, I infer the meanings of the words that I don’t understand. But when someone asks me a question using words that fly by and I miss the question mark, I just nod. Give me my cue please.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Gulindo Bistro Bar

Oh what a treat! Today I had canneloni with salsa rosa.
Their yogurt soup is also divine.
Great background tunes.
A must eat there!

Shamai 17.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Picture this.

Picture this. Teenage girl dressed in no-longer-fashionable (according to Sunday’s Cathy comic) low-rise jeans on her way to the bus stop with a low hanging pale pink O’Neill backpack. Graffiti in black marker litters the stereotypical feminine rose canvas. The phrase “F--- the World” appearing at least twice, a few Anarchy A’s, and the swastika. At first I was incensed – how could this teenage girl not care about the people around her who undoubtedly have been affected by the Holocaust in some way. Then I wanted to go to City Hall and yell at whoever was in charge, for not educating Israeli youth about the last impetus for founding this State. Then I thought maybe I was merely angered at the injustice of having lived through the gory details described to me in Hebrew school at the age of 10. Maybe a small part of me wanted to regain that sense of innocence (or lest I say ignorance) of a time when my mind wasn’t filled with the horrific scientific experiments performed on pregnant women during the war. But then I took a closer look.

Upon further examination, I saw that there was an attempt at correcting one of the symbols that must have been facing the wrong way. While I only dabble in Robert Langdon’s field, I found that the clockwise and the counterclockwise versions have been interchangeable around the globe and throughout time - until 1920. The ones displayed in bold thick lines, were like those associated with Nazism, at least in the last 85 years. Symbols are strange like that.

My mom went to a PTA meeting when I was in high school on the topic, “Cults and Your Teenager.” At least I think that was the title. What I do know is that my mother returned home with a hefty 30+ page document of symbols that a parent may find in the doodled margins of their teen’s class notes (if they took any at all); each one interpreted to have satanic meanings. I could wax environmental and lament on how many trees were destroyed for the sake of distributing this one-sided drivel but I won’t. So I perused this ‘manual’ and found all types of symbols including the Star of David and the sign most commonly associated with PEACE. It stated that within the circle was a person with broken arms and thus a sign indicating devil worship. Whatever spawned this hysteria must have been pretty bad.
Back to the bag - there’s a bit more.

On the bulging pocket was a small pin of the flag of Israel. Next to it was an Israeli police silver badge. And so as not to confuse, a small pristine white toy duck served as a zipper extension of her schoolbag. So I concluded (?), by the way that is a question mark, that either someone vandalized her bag or she was just plain confused. Then I felt a bit of pity, and then I felt the irony of it all. What was written may be a cry for attention. Or maybe just maybe it was nothing at all.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Let the River Run...

No joke, the Archimedes' screw is working again. The fountain in Kikar Safra is bringing water from the depths through the aqua tiled runoffs to a pool across from the Old City. Let the river run!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Like Sahlab is the stuff that warms you up in the winter, a Passiflora/Vanilla Barad cools you down, at least for a little while. Sahlab used to really contain powdered orchid, now it is made from cornstarch, the stuff that pudds the pudding. It is a custardy drink that you can top with peanuts, cinnamon, shredded coconut, and raisins and then eat with a spoon. The Barad (hail) is more slush than a ball of ice. And as I hail (pi) from a place that had both, I can tell the difference. Today I had Pina Colada and Passionfruit and it did the trick.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Lime season! Remember to scratch and sniff to be sure you are not buying green lemons.

Check out this totally hip napkin I bought near the shuk.Nothing goes to waste.

Happy 29+ Birthday to Grandma!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What is it Good For? Absolutely Nothing.

As a teenager growing up in the US, people would sometimes ask you, "Who died?" when the expression on your face appeared sad or distant. Maybe you were having a bad day or maybe nothing of significance happened and you just didn't feel like smiling. Whatever the case...what an insensitive question. Teenagers have it rough; growing pains, arguments with parents, and getting grounded for no apparent reason. But then again, it really doesn't matter what age you may be, these are trying times. There is a war going on. Maybe there are several wars going on but only one seems to make the headlines. I try to distance myself from the news because it is rare that good news make the broadcast. Now with a new job in PR, the news will reach me one way or another. Fortunately, it is good news that I will distribute, good news that I will write about, and good news that will be read by others.
Today I feel overtaken by sad news.
No longer a teenager and just barely an adult, I find that endings are no longer happy and no longer sweet as they were at Friendly’s restaurant with a 2-scoop dessert sundae for $2.19. They are endings full of never-ending tears it seems, with bittersweet chocolate gratitude swirled in; gratitude to one (and all) who risked their life and lost it for the sake of a country, a people, a nation’s survival.
In 9th grade I asked the teacher “Why is there war?” only to be mocked by a fellow classmate who thought the USA was always right in every situation. This Amerikakit saw heroism and blind nationalism. I saw anger and hate. He touched medals and tasted respect. I smelled burning and heard screaming. It was not a competition of who sensed war best; it was a hopeful question which may have led to an answer that might have helped end war completely. I don’t think the teacher ever answered me adequately if he answered me at all.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mazal tov! Mazal tov!

This country doles out its fair share of unsolicited advice: from the gray-haired shuk shopper ("only buy red cabbage, red peppers and purple grapes, the others are not healthy enough") to the hairdresser who gave me "natural highlights" after I specifically requested purple, ending with the cab driver who followed my not yet having children comment with ("you have to work [at it]...in bed") Well I bought the bright green anavim because they are seedless and I have yet to take down the "For Rent" sign (see previous post)

Last night I became an insect. There could be many puns here because my realtor's last name is Kafka but instead I will have to pronounce things Britishly to be understood. I call the new addition "Burrito" because that is how he was swaddled AND he looks so delicious. Mazal tov! Mazal tov!

Postscript: There has been some confusion regarding this post so to clarify insect=ant (Aunt). He is no longer called Burrito. See his Super family blog for more details.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Is Blogthings Psychic?

You Are The Empress

You represent the ideal female figure: beauty and nurturing.
You bring security and harmony to many.
At times, you are also a very sensual person.
You are characterized by love, pleasure, and desire.

Your fortune:

You need to take some time to think about the role of commitment in your life.
It's possible you need to commit more to others, or deal with how others have treated you.
It is very important for you to support your friends and family right now, difficult as it may be.
You may need to look at your relationship with your mother, or your relationships as a mother.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Lights, Camera, Action

Today was the photo shoot. There is prime real estate for whoever is interested in taking up temporary residency. Best suited for those who like to have the curtains drawn (and I do not mean in the Amelia Bedelia sense.) Graffiti will NOT be tolerated.

Studio apartment is fully insulated, partially furnished with a waterbed and well-stocked fridge and landlady is super nice (if not a wee bit neurotic.)

Monday, May 08, 2006


There are window boxes outside on the grate of our porch/bedroom shutters. When Mom was visiting we bought 2 of them, filled them with dirt and she planted the seeds. My green pinky toe is no match to her green thumb. Yesterday amidst the varying shades of green, I saw pink! One of the clinging plants has a bright pink flower. Very exciting. Thanks Mom.

The middle box is successfully sprouting greenery of all types. It was a going away gift from a friend and was pre-filled with a flowering succulent. Now it has small leafy plants that I cannot identify because I have no idea if I planted them or a bird brought them. There is one plant that I do recognize—a blade of grass. Mr. Hawaiian Shirt suggests that we call him “Blade” for short.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Blue and White

We celebrated 58 years young with the rest of the nation. As I looked up from the courtyard BBQ to the neighboring apartment buildings I saw many flags; small ones and large ones. Six-sided stars with a point at the top and one on its side. And the laundry that the families had on the line to dry…2 were blue loads and 2 were white.

Our colors.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Beethoven wrote in a letter, "Whoever tells a lie cannot be pure in heart - and only the pure in heart can make a good soup." So I got worried. Because around the same time that I read and internalized this quote, my soups were decidedly untasty. Today however, the tides have turned.

Today's chicken soup is: Chicken boiled in 8 qt. pot, frothy stuff removed. Added celery leaves, 2 parsnips (or parsley root?) and the parsley greens on top, 2 carrots, 6 cloves garlic sliced, 1 small leek sliced. Boil boil, no toil and no trouble. Yum.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Well that last one WAS a little heavy I will admit.

All I have to say today is know a little; gain a bit of knowledge before you take the Dr.'s word; read up on it online; join a message group; emote because it is your God-given right; eat Fruity Pebbles or Oreos or lemon wafers but then stop because sugar can be evil.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Disclaimer: I thought of this earlier, I cried, I ranted, but I still want to put it out there-

Four Letter Words:


Sunday, April 02, 2006


Usually the little things don't bother me, rather they pique my interest. I don't care what you wear after Labor Day. (You should have seen the ultragreen outfit I wore on Shabbat) The patterns that the elderly women mix, well it is just a matter of personal taste. Not mine, but someone's. But those pesky white labels on the soles of new shoes. Please oh please take them off!

Saturday, March 18, 2006


After 2 full weeks of back pain and the theories on why it ails me: financial worries, holding on to something in the past, slept in a draft, and the advice: spend money and get better furniture, take painkillers, wrap a scarf around yourself to keep the area warm, I chuckle at some of the irony but then I quickly stop because that too causes me pain. I actually have a bit of cash in ye olde bank (mostly because I cannot get up and out to spend it) but a good office chair is not where I would like to invest my funds. I reflect on 2006 and think about letting go of those somethings of the "past" 3 months and then realize that "loss" doesn't necessarily mean gone.
I moved us to the warmer living room to avoid leaky windows, I sampled many painkillers (aspirin won), mentholated my sore back, and then wrapped it in a towel. My back is still out...with the jury.

And do you know what those U-shaped toilet mats are for? I thought they were to protect my feet from the cold tiled floor.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Poppies and Hyssop and Savyonim and Thomasim!

It has been a glorious midday of wildflowers and buzzing things. I was glad to come out from under my rock to be with Nature and most importantly Friends.

The past 2 months have been challenging in so many ways I don't know where to begin. Suffice it to say the Healing is in full swing. And maybe capitalizing important words assists others' Understanding and Compassion.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Groundhog Day and The MEME of 4

Four jobs I've had in my life:
1. Montessori facilitator
2. Rutgers University Catering/Beit Hillel waitress
3. Bodyworker (not an auto mechanic, rather healing arts)
4. Bartender

Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. Gigi
2. 50 First Dates
3. Groundhog Day
4. Groundhog Day

Four places I've lived:
1. Jerusalem
2. Cranford, NJ
3. New Brunswick, NJ
4. Yehud, Israel

Four TV Shows I Love to watch:
1. Numb3rs
2. Weeds
3. My name is Earl
4. Will and Grace

Four places I've been on vacation:
1. Bermuda and assorted Caribbean islands
2. France, Switzerland, Italy (same trip)
3. La Paz, Baja California
4. Latvia and Estonia

Four websites I visit daily:
1. www.i-am-bored.com
2. www.livnot.com
3. www.google.com
4. www.answers.com

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Indian food – especially the desserts
2. Pasta dish with Salsa Rosa
3. Whitefish salad and the fixin’s on an everything bagel
4. Peanut butter and Strawberry Jam on toast

Four places you'd rather be:
1. next to Mr. Hawaiian Shirt
2. in the kitchen preparing something yummy
3. with Mom sorting through the various items we have both acquired
4. occasionally watching TV, not at home of course, we don’t have one

Four books I'll read over and over again:
1. The Boxcar Children
2. Da Vinci Code
3. Ender’s Game
4. works by Peter Sis for the illustrations

I'd like to tag whomever wants to take on this MEME.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Reflections of WE

We had not planned ahead for the last few months of turbulence and trauma, but then, how can one plan?
We find that we revisit the details because the devil is there... but so is G-d.
We is one of the most important words I will ever know.
I love you, EW.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

It must’ve been a boy…

who had wanted to be an astronaut, because it was lost in space and forgot to ask for directions. Truth is I feel grateful for the whole experience. I discovered so much about myself; body and soul.
Over the course of the last 5 days: I watched “free” cable TV albeit without a remote. I broke a 26 hour fast with a cup of hot sweet tea that tasted like nectar of the gods. I cried while listening to my soulful journey MP3 with shuffle option. I originally burned the 187 song compilation for my September trip to the US but at the time of its creation I had no idea of just how valuable the mix would be a few months later. I pondered. I sobbed. I prayed. I dreamt. Hallucinations, meditations, revelations…
But most importantly, I learned more Hebrew in those 5 days than in my 5 years of living here. And that is only a slight exaggeration.

Thank you Devra, for being my sister.

Thank you Abba and Mom Wanetik, for understanding the gravity of the situation and then giving up quality Ezra time.
Thank you Mom, for being available at any and all times of the day and night to talk, share, and ask me if you could call me back so I would save money on the long distance.
Thank you to the ‘patient’ ones on the outside, who called and offered support and allowed the story to unfold in its own time.
Thank you Shira, for your inquisitive mind, your cheery disposition and your bubbly laughter.
Thank you Tina and Sarah, for your lyrics and melodies that could not have been more appropriate.

Thank you Judy Brodt, for giving me Aliza’s number.
Thank you Geula, for calling me back and then checking in again later that night.
Thank you Lisa and Alex, for allowing me to have a normal evening at home in the middle of a most surreal week.

Thank you Purple Parrot, for your cuddles, our momentary SMS misunderstanding and at the moment of clarity, dropping everything and coming to visit.
Thank you Len, for providing me with valuable information on pharmaceuticals.
Thank you Yonah, for asking minimal questions and trusting me when I said that the work will all get done.
Thank you Dad, for your practicality and optimism.
Thank you J.R., for being Joe.
Thank you Grandma, for passing on your quick recovery genes.

Thank you Erica, for the markers (that btw all work beautifully) and the designs for me to color.
Thank you Ari, for the pudding.
Thank you Shalom Leib, for reclaiming your most prized material possession out of our living room.
Thank you Gestetner family, for preparing and cooking yummy Shabbat food for Ezra and me.

Thank you Liz, for being the spiritual healer that you are.
Thank you Alys and Jeremy, for getting married in NJ so that I can recuperate with cable on a comfortable couch in T.A. with Bernard.

Thank you Rebecca, for listening to all the details by phone.
Thank you to the doctors, surgeons, nurses and all other staff at Maccabi and Bikur Cholim hospital.
Thank you Sharon W., for making us an orange welcome home soup and garlic bread.

And of course thank you Ezra, for knowing from my first smile that I would be his wife.

Thank you all for your prayers, your friendship, and your love.
It takes a village to raise a child and a community to help send a spirit back to its source with peace, love and light.