Step-by-Step: Making Aliyah to Israel

Documenting the very personal process of making Aliyah (immigration to Israel) by one very atypical Israeli-American girl. Aliyah on 17, August, 2005. Roadmap: What do you mean there's no roadmap?! Hang on, we're in for a bumpy ride! Ole!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This is news?....It is in Israel

With elections only 6 weeks away, the whole country seems abuzz with political posturing, analyses, and discussion. I'm having political conversations with the waitress in my favourite cafe and over-hearing the political musing at the table next to me. So the other day when I came across a front-page article on Ynet about a mock vote held at a high school, I thought to myself, "ahhh how cute, it is obviously a very slow news day and someone thought they'd do a nice little fluff piece on enterprising high school students." Then, today, in Ha'aretz yet another write-up about yet another mock vote at yet another high school. It began to sink in --this is news. I mean, it is in the news, right? And not only in the news but people seem to be taking it somewhat seriously as a pulse for the nation. Now, coming from the U.S. which is, granted, much bigger as a country and much more geographically different as far as the voting and so forth, this seems really strange. In the States, the idea that a high school student has any idea or anything worth listening to is pretty much uhh not accepted. People might smile indulgently and mentally pat the youngsters on the head but would take their opinion and mock vote with a grain of salt. A mock vote by high school students in the States would not make it to the back page of anything except perhaps the high school's own paper.

But really, this is silly and condescending to think that way. After all, many high school students are 18 and can vote (although most don't anyway --but maybe if people took them more seriously they would!). Not only that, but kids tend to quite often reflect the way their parents are going to vote: what they hear at home they repeat with their mock ballots. Unless, of course, they are rebelling and voting contrariwise. But that still captures what a good percent of their slightly older peers will also be doing at the real polls. So, go for it kids!

I'm worried about the 50,000 sheep owned by the Beduins that are in danger of starvation here because of the drought. Granted, these sheeps are slated to eventually be most likely slaughtered and scarfed --yo folks, vegetarianism is good and ya can't get no bird flu's or mad cow disease or other horrid things from a nice veggie burger --but I don't want them starving in the meantime. Hopefully a solution will be found because I definitely don't have room in my apartment for any 50,000 sheeps.

Matun has become quite the cuddle-muffin. He thinks I am his mother and tries to nurse only ...where?! So last night he was cuddling on me and he was convinced he found the right place. I'm happily reading Harry Potter in hebrew (page 179 woo hoo) and suddenly oooo owwww yiiiikkkees. He was nuzzling on my neck and discovered my earlobe barely hidden beneath my hair and CHOMP. Pandy'le is hanging in there. She chased Buffy today. This is a good sign. Would be a better sign if she would eat more. It seems that for every good day she has a bad one. Today was a not-bad day.

Ok, off to listen to more political chatter on the tv in the dire attempt to understand what idiotic thing is being said.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Unemployment, Arabs, teachers and Israel

Ynet has an article about a new book edited by Aziz Haidar called "Arab Society in Israel." Pulling out some interesting stats that were reported: "Arab unemployment rates are slightly below Jewish ones, but the surprising fact is that amongst Arabs with higher education the percentage of unemployed is much lower than educated Jews: 1.7 percent, as opposed to 4.6 percent of Jews. Even more surprising is that the number of employed, educated Arab women is significantly higher than the number of employed, educated Jewish women."

Now here's the kicker: "But the truth of the matter is that low unemployment amongst educated Arabs derives in (large) part from their willingness to do jobs Jews refuse to do, teaching in particular." You know what, yeah. I see why a lot of people refuse to teach. Look, I teach (and I'm a Jew) but consider this: I have a good friend who is about to enter a graduate program here in Israel and she was told that her take-home salary would be slightly above 5,000 shekels a month. Not a lot right? BUT More than I, me, the teacher of graduate students is taking home every month! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. You can read the whole article here
(And can anyone tell me why it is that getting an education is considered so valuable while those who do the educating are not?!)

Something that brought up memories of the old country: the weekly terror alert status. This week, we have 70 specfic on-going terror alerts with 13 pinpoint alerts. This so reminds me of life in Houston and New Orleans in the 80s when the nightly news had the nightly body count. I do not lie. On every station a little box would appear up in the corner of the tv showing the year's cumulative number (usually something like 597 around August of the year in Houston) of murders in the city, while that particular day's various murders were recounted. They finally stopped doing this when they figured out it was, uh, kinda bad for tourism. Yeah.

I need to see a dentist. I have two cavities and they are killing me. I tried calling the Maccabbi number for the dentist section that I was given but could never get through to a live human bean today even though I tried for like 3 hours. Tomorrow I am heading over there myself and saying, "look ya see these cavities, right they are very obvious, those right there in the front. Fix them. Now. Before my teeth fall out. And if my teeth fall out, I swear I will gum you to death." Something like that.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Khalaf has a very interesting post about tensions between Jordan and Hamas going on right now. I had no idea of the history between the two. One of the big current issues seems to be that "A few days ago, another Hamas leader, Mohammad Nazzal, made the astonishing statement that Hamas does not recognize the disengagement decision of 1988, by which Jordan renounced claims to the West Bank and withdrew Jordanian citizenship from residents of the WB."
Jordanians are afraid that Hamas will try to interfere again with internal Jordanian affairs and to try to wrest power there. Nu, go read the post there's lots more.

Friday, February 24, 2006

How ironic, rejectedby their Arab-Israeli parties Arab-Israeli women running for office have realizstic spots on the list in the zionist parties. The article is a very interesting one and written by an Arab-Israeli male. He asks "How can we explain to ourselves that, once again, it took a Zionist party to grant Arab women equality, whereas we continue to ignore them?"

You go guy! And you go gals, we need more women in office!

Saw the movie Munich tonight. Entertaining schlock, basically. Loved how they filmed "Paris" in Budapest, heh. It was 3 hours long (ok, like at least an hour and half longer than it should have been) and I want my 35 shekels back. Worth seeing for maybe 10 shekels. Maybe. The popcorn was good though. Yummmmm.

Had the difference between ne'ehman and aymun explained to me tonight. Was really bugging me that I didn't know when to use which but now I know. And I want to know what maniac was responsible for inventing like 10 different words all meaning variations of "to separte, divide, split, part." Couldn't like 2 or 3 have been enough? I only vaguely know when to use any of them. It is things like this that drive me crazy with this language. Besides having to try to speak it, of course. But I did speak happily along with a cab driver tonight and actually discussed politics rather than the usual "where are you from, is your family here" standard stuff that I have down. Didn't do too badly!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ok. Everyone needs a giggle before bedtime and here's my offering er last respects Go read and laugh your way to dream-land.

(hat tip abba gav

I was quite chuffed when I checked out my hebrew blog and discovered that 700 people had checked it out until I realized that like 99% of them most likely don't read hebrew but rather surfed in off the "just updated" thing on blogspot or came there kinda randomly and still don't read hebrew. And this is probably a really good thing because, uh, my hebrew sux.

I am qite sad that my ulpan class is ending on Thursday. Today I not only understood everything we were talking about but (gasp) dared to enter the fray on the cartoon (yes that cartoon) issue discussion and to add my two cents when our teacher (showing that she is really uber kewl, even if she does jump up and start dancing in the middle of the really pitiful ulpan sing-a-long thing [Kat you really missed the wrong day!]) gave us all the link to the Israeli anti-semitic cartoon contest.

Matun (tiny kitty) has a new cast. I thought about titling this post "in the box; out of the box" or maybe just "out of the box" which would represent me for taking in cat #4 and for moving to this crazy country and, worse, feeling that making aliyah was the best thing I've ever done in my life. The "in the box" though refers to getting small wild kitten into the carrier the vet gave me. The "out of the box" in addition to the above also refers to what happened when I stacked two carriers (Pandy and Matun) just outside the door so I could lock said door before dragging them both to the vet. Who can say balagan?! (mess, disaster area?!)

Small kitten without a cast decides to ricochet back and forth in the carrier (atop Pandy's carrier) and thus knock his carrier onto the floor in the hallway. By the stairs. With a drop over the ledge that goes 5 floors straight down. And, of course, the door of the carrier flies off, completely off, and small hobbling (very quickly hobbling) kitten escapes and begins hobbling along the staircase ledge. Heart in throat I am actually relieved when he shoots/hobbles down the hall to the elevator door and I can race down and trap him. Sorta. He is no longer looking for happy petting. He is spitting and hopping up and down on 3 legs and swiping out with teeny tiny but very sharp claws. Grab the little sucker and wrestle him back down the hall, realize I can't get the carrier back together, wrestle out my keys, (allow him to remove a lot of the skin from my stomach area in the process), get the door open, kick the broken carrier into the apartment ahead of me --partly because I'm pissed off and partly to scare the crud out of the two cats that are tres interested in all the goings on out in the jungle outside the apartment and wanna come see--, and retrieve yet another carrier and shove him into it.

Pandy was an angel at the vets. Matun was not matun at all but now has a cast bigger than he is on his leg (try hobbling now little beastlet!) and all is mostly well with the world.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ari has asked me to post this link to an excellent and well-thought out post of his and I'm glad to do it. I second his thoughts that, if you haven't actually seen Paradise Now, don't go signing nuthin' and I second a lot of the other things he says in that post. Myself, I haven't seen, I haven't signed, and I haven't been to a movie in g-d knows how long (well, ok, I did get let out of my pen to go see Harry Potter but that's it. I'm feeling deprived).

Today there was a major break-through with Matun. My mother had a truely evil suggestion which I followed to tame the terrible (and tiny) beast: starve him. And I did. It was hard. He cried pitifully. I hardened my heart. For 24 hours he got nada, klum, shum davar to eat. Then tonight I crept in with food in my hand. He ran away and hissed but...the smell of the food was just too great for him and he oh-so-timidly crept forward until he was eating out of my hand. While he was thus busy, I began to gently stroke his hind end. He started to purr. Next I knew, he wanted the petting more than the food. Tomorrow the same tactic will be tried but this time the food will go into the carrier with me sitting beside it and when he goes in...slam the door! and voila, off to the vet for the new cast.

I overheard a really bizarre conversation tonight while sitting at my fav cafe and, looking up, recognized one of the participants from ulpan (but not from my class). I headed home after picking my jaw up off the floor. It was one of those things that you just wish you could blog about but in this instance you can't really do the "names of the participants have been changed to protect the guilty" (actually, I don't remember her name anyway) because if she or the other party or like anyone she knows were to happen upon my blog --and I keep running into people who go 'are you oleh girl?' around here; it is a very small country -- it would be insta-recognition. So, yes, I am mean to tease and then not share :)

The Moo Bossy cow sez:

Go read Abba Gav's latest post. I seriously thought I might die laughing and never draw another breath.

Please visit my dear friend Bobby to congratulate him on his M.Sc. in mining engineering. He's also one kewl Tehranian blogger. I'm so proud I could burst (ok, not like I had anything to do with his fantastic success but still...:)

Lisa steered me toward some awesome posts that I want to pass on just on the off-chance that you don't also read her blog (and you should, sez the Moo Bossy Cow). For the fantasmigorical autobiographical write-up of a non-Jew living in Israel for the past 5 years, go read Jill Cartwright's latest on-the-edge-of-your-seat post about moving to Israel during the second Intifada. Then, get out your pens and pencils boys and girls and take part in the Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoon Contest and, as the mad and bad creators of this contest say "show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published! ...No one will beat us on our home turf!”

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Well the syllabus was done, sent off, response sent back, revised and sent back off. I still have the one (for now a year from now) that I have to revise and send to them tomorrow. Not sure yet how things are going to shake out. I'm told that the workshop will cater to around 130 students, meaning it will actually be broken down into many (repeating same material) smaller workshops each week. It was suggested to break it down into 4 separate classes of 30 students each or, would it be possible for me to have 3 classes of 40? I wrote back saying, well basically this depends on the difference in salary --because if the difference is miniscule or, worse, no difference then my vote is to stuff them into the class like little herrings. Got a response back saying, well we don't need to decide the class size right now...ummm hmmm so why was it brought up and not by me? Hah, and people accuse me of being "little Mary sunshine" and seeing the best in people --no more lemme tell ya. I am now highly suspicious.

I was also pretty impressed with my Israeliness (i.e. rude and demanding and highly offended) this morning thus bringing on the second phone call and at least an income of some unknown size shape or description coming in next year.

Pandy kitty is having a hard day today with a lot of nausea and thus not wanting to eat much. I ran her in for a shot of the pramin (works much better than the pramin pills) and she is only just now showing an interest in eating on her own. I intend to learn how to give her pramin shots because they just work so much better. I'm getting fearless!

I have named the little kitten Matun. For the non-hebrew speakers (besides myself :) Matun means moderate. He got this name for two reasons. First, I'm hoping the name will encourage him to actually act kinda moderate --it is surprising how unmoderate a feral kitten with a broken leg can be. Secondly, I've named every male cat I've ever had with an M name. I don't know why this is, but what to do. I've had Mik Mik, Midnight (Middie), Mysterious (Mystie), Mischa (Misch Misch), and now Matun. [Actually I did have one boy cat I named Peter when I was 5] I'm not so creative as my brother. He's named his cats things like Xuxa (Shusha), Sluggo and Frisky Nipper. Of course, he's also named his cats things like Black and White (because it was uh black and white), Momma Kitty (the feral mother of 5 zillion feral kittens), Fuzzy Black Kitty (to differentiate it from it's sibling Black Kitty Boo) and so forth.

Tonight I sat down and started going through my little vocabulary book I created comprising all the words I'd never seen or heard before that we've had in ulpan (at least from the days I was there) but not including words from most of the zillion different readings and handouts we've had (just the ones orally provided). There are 210 filled pages in this book with an average of 9 words on each page: thus a total of about 1,890 words. I am going through it page by page making a second booklet of all the words that I still don't know (like at all, or it takes me more than 2 seconds to bring it to mind going from english to hebrew). Out of the first 35 pages there are 76 hideous unknown words. The good news is that means that I do know 239 of them. I'm figuring my knowledge rate is about to plummet though as I continue on because obviously these early words are the ones we got first and thus have come across more often. Nonetheless, KADIMA!

BTW the commentary on the post I did on what to do about settlers who don't want to leave continues to be very interesting. I wish there was some way to keep that post and the conversation going on about it up at the top where folks will see it more easily and continue to take part in talking about it. The commentary is the most interesting thing that's happened on my blog, I think :)

F word. F word, F word, F word. Remember that "you'll have two half time jobs" thing for next year that would thus make a full-time job? The next year you'll actually be able to pay your rent and eat, thing? Yeah, I kinda remember that myself. Guess what, one of the jobs has basically done a big disappearing act.

I get a call this morning as I'm getting ready to head to ulpan from someone at the I about changing around this "class plus workshop" syllabus into just a class. I'm trying to clarify with him what it is exactly he wants --the workshop becomes a separate class,he tells me. You won't be teaching any class next year and so far just one the year after that and maybe the year after that you'll be able to teach more...WHAT. I was hired to teach three classes next year. Well no, you won't be. But I'm lucky because many of the lecturers hired won't actually be teaching any, he tells me. Oh, yes, very lucky.

Updating as we speak. Just got another call. Is it possible that I could teach a basic social psych class ...? Not only is it possible but I would salivate to teach a social psych class (honestly, I really am a social psychologist even though the degree says Comm). Ok so next year a basic intro to social psych (in hebrew --that is the hard part but ok, can do, will do). What about a workshop on new media? Can you get a syllabus to us today? It is extremely urgent. Off to do the syllabus now....yalla.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Welcome to the cat hospital, please take a number

There is a cat in my house with a broken leg. He doesn't have a name yet. I don't intend to keep him. He is extremely cute. He is just a kitten. Anyone want him?

I am actually serious about the above question. If anyone knows of anyone who wants, could be convinced, have their leg broken to agree to take him, I'd be more than appreciative.

So how did I end up with a kitten in a cast? I made the mistake of dropping by the vet's place around the corner because I needed more needles for the kitty fluid-giving. There in a small cage in his office was the little kitten all drugged out from having x-rays taken. The vet asked if I could give him a hand with holding the kitty while he put the plaster cast on him. Sure thing. Next thing I know, I'm being sweet-talked into taking him home with me while he recuperates. I'm still not sure how it was that I agreed to this. and I'm thinking, ok a couple of we go out the door, the vet was like "you'll need to keep him for about a month...." WHAT? Oh, and if you can find him a home...sure, I'll just go ahead and bring on world peace while I'm at it, how about?

Somebody shoot me now.


Originally uploaded by yaeli_13.
The "morbid cat" in the hideous rabbit cuddle.

Pandy is having a very "good" day today. We played a new game called "kibbles in the water bowl." Since she got her anti-nausea shot last night she has been wanting to eat her kibbles and has eaten a lot (like more in the past 24 hours than in the past week combined) all on her own. She has also been drinking a lot on her own. And playing a lot.

Trying to entice her to eat and to drink more, I tried dropping a kibble into her water bowl where it bobbed around. She sniffed. She timidly inserted a paw into the water to tap it. She began batting and playing with it. She tried to eat bobbed away. She tried scooping it up with the paw to eat it and almost managed. 30 more kibbles went into the water bowl bobbing happily. She chased them, alternately drinking in her attempt to eat and occasionally snagging the prize itself. I occasionally inserted a helpful finger to lift the kibble into "not moving" bite-ability. 30 kibbles consumed in one go. Ahhh happy Ema bliss.


Originally uploaded by yaeli_13.

Is this rabbit thing frightening or what?! More frightening is that it is sitting on my couch. At least Pandy is a fan of it!

Friday, February 10, 2006

I was reading a new poll showing that pretty much everyone thinks that there will be even more violence with pull-outs from illegal and legal settlements alike. A not small percent thinks that the violence will even be of the deadly nature. I've got a position on this that I will probably change, probably moderate, but, depending on how things pan out could certainly go the other direction.

I don't see why our military or our police should be involved at all in future pull-outs. No, let me rephrase that. I think they should be available to help and support those who, having exhausted their petitions through court proceedings (we're talking in the event that those proceedings go against them) and then having accepted a relocation compensation package need help with packing and transporting their things. Those who refuse to move and refuse compensation should simply be left where they are. They want to stay there, let them stay there. They should at that point be treated like any other ex-pat living anywhere else in the world. The IDF is not there protecting Israelis living in New York, or Paris. Our soldiers and police are not there for those in London, Berlin, Rome, or Sydney. People choosing to live in those places must rely on the rules and laws and protection of the place they are in, not on Israeli protection. By choosing not to remove within the legally designated borders, as decided by our government and our courts, they are choosing to be ex-pats and that's fine. There are Israelis living all over the world. But once you choose to live on the outside, you are on your own --in Paris or Amona or anywhere else.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pandy is crunching down on some kibbles right now. She ate some this morning. I stuffed her with wet food this afternoon. And just now she went to the food container and sniffed at it --grabbed some kibbles (making a mix of the junkfood and the good but not tasty ones) and she went to town for a minute. I bought her a really hysterical looking cuddle tent thing today. It is one of those fuzzy-material structures with an opening only in the front that they can curl up in. It looks like a demented rabbit. Well, it actually is a demented rabbit --the opening she goes in is the rabbit's mouth, it has ears, eyes, buck teeth, and yellow whiskers. Truely frightening. It was the only fuzzy one the store had though and she needs something really warm to curl up in. Being so skinny now, she has a very hard time staying warm. She's been in it with the hot water bottle since I gave her the fluids a couple of hours ago. When I get more batteries for my camera I am taking a picture--the hideousness of this rabbit cuddle must be seen to be believed.

Tonight I am being an old lady. Rather than going out with friends, I begged off. I'm still not feeling well, though not feeling on death's door. I was on the fence about whether I might go ahead and go until about an hour ago but decided on the pj's on the couch rather than out in the cold, windy weather.

For my political commentary I just have to note that a country (guess which! Answer below, don't peek) is claiming that Israel is behind the bird flu and that we developed it in order to kill arabs and to "harm the genes of its Arab neighbors."

Answer: Not Iran! Nope, it is not Iran. Eeeeeeeeeehhhhhh.
The correct answer is Syria! Sometimes reading the news is frustrating, sometimes infuriating, and sometimes just really humourous.

Very interesting. It seems that the caricatures of now international brou-ha-ha fame were published by a major Egyptian newspaper back in October to not a murmur. You can read about it and see the actual newspaper here courtesy of an Egyptian blogger.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Acupuncture. for. a. cat? :)

Before everyone thinks I've totally gone round the bend, let me assure you this was not my idea. Pandy went in to the vet around the corner for her second-to-last EPO shot. He gave her some fluids and noted that she was not as dehydrated as she has been (yes!) although still very dehydrated. He gave her the EPO and the antinausea shot and then was like...would you be ok with trying a bit of acupuncture?

On a cat? Vets do that? We are talking about on a cat, right? Yes, some vets do that, though not many. This vet happens to be trained in kitty acupuncture and so in very short order she had a set of 8 needles nestled painlessly in the kidney areas. Believe it or not, after a minute she started to purr. He also suggested giving her some very light kitty massages in the kidney area at home and showed me how to do it. Interestingly (though I didn't realize this was the spot above the kidneys) I'd independently discovered that she really likes to be gently massaged there now even though she used to hate having that part of her rubbed on when she was well.

When I got her home a few minutes ago she ate 10 kibbles by herself. She had 5 good for your kidneys kibbles and 5 bad for anybody Meow Mix junkfood kibbles (which she loves). Since this is 6 more kibbles than she deigned to eat yesterday (and yesterdays were all Meow Mix) I'm re-adjusting my rose coloured glasses and taking this as a sign of progress. Day by day, kibble by kibble :)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I have quite a lot I want to say (don't I always!) but connection difficulties seem to suggest I should wait until tomorrow until they are hopefully fixed. Anyone else in Israel been having problems connecting to sites outside the country today (and occasionally inside as well)?

A few things I just can't resist pointing out. We live in such a wacky world. In response to muslim extremists torching the Danish embassies, the Danes are taking the step of ...cancelling the Danish-Israeli soccer match. Makes a lot of sense right? After all, we are obviously responsible for all the mayhem....just ask Iran. Because, Iran (of course) is claiming that the Jews were really behind the cartoon fiasco and that the (Christian) editor of the Jyllands-Post is really a Jew.

The Anglican Church of England decided today to divest all of its financial investments from Israel because we are the root of all evil it seems.

The Guardian newspaper also in the U.K. has just devoted a full 14-page spread to discussing how evil we are. On page 16 in a small column they noted that an Israeli woman was killed by a Palestinian --their little reference to the terror attack we had the other day.

Now back to our daily insanity.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I still feel like I've been run over by a truck (a big one) but I managed to drag myself out and all over g-d's creation today. Not that doing so accomplished very much. Ahhh the joys of beaurocracy and my own incompetence. I decided to start with the tasks closest to home and move forward from there.

So first stop was at my landlady's flat. I'd bought her some (Danish) cookies yesterday because I've been feeling guilty about avoiding (hiding, not answering the door, pretending to maybe be dead) her Shabbat dinner invitations. I am sometimes not a very nice or considerate person. She is old and lonely and living with a mentally ill and not very nice to her mother daughter. She is a holocaust survivor. She is starting to lose her cognitive functioning rapidly. My mother scolded me when she was here because I'd promised to go and sit with her and to record her story which she really wants to tell to someone before she dies and I haven't done it. I really do have to go and do that and soon. Anyway, I went to drop the cookies off to her and had planned to sit and chat for no more than half an hour --I always say this and it always turns into 2 or 3 hours before I can politely pry myself away but this time I was adamant --except, she wasn't home. If her daughter was home, she was pretending to be dead and not answering the door. So, feeling relief, I propped the cookie tin up against the door and stole away. of course, I hadn't had the brains to bring along any paper and so I couldn't leave a note letting her know I'd stopped by. Well, she now has mystery gift cookies :)

From there I went only a couple of blocks to the Maccabi medical center. There I waited for an hour and a half (also didn't have the brains to bring a book or anything to amuse myself). Finally it was my turn. Ok, I need tofes (form) 17 I tell the woman. "Where's your paperwork? And did we call to tell you it is ready?" Uhhhhh what? I explained that the woman from Ichilov (the hospital) had called to tell me I needed to zip over and grab this form and then fax it to her. She didn't say anything about needing to bring anything or uh anything like that. So, basically, in order to get the form I need a bunch of forms that I got from the hospital last October and ...good luck. No clue where they are. I'm sure they are here somewhere only because I never seem to throw anything away (unless it might be a critical form) and I wouldn't recognize it (them?) if it/they fell on me. So now I have to call Ichilov and ask them to re-send me the forms so I can wait another 1 and 1/2 hours to turn in the forms and then come back and wait another 1 1/2 to get tofes 17 and then to fax ....tomorrow, I said to myself.

From there I walked on over to the "register for your arnona" place and took a number. I waited only 1 hour there. I had actually remembered to find and bring with me my rental contract. I had brought my teudat oleh and my teudat zehut. Go me. My water bill for the past 4 months was only 50 shekels. Everything seemed to be going so well. Then..."but this says you are living on Allenbi and you aren't living on Allenbi anymore?" It was some little piece of paper thing in my teudat zehut that I got like 3 days after getting off the plane and that I never look at and no one else has ever wanted to look at before. Uhh, well I moved, I explained helpfully pointing at the lovely contract she had just tzilmah (copied). Sighing, she shook her head. "You have to go to the government offices close to the Azrieli and change your address there and then either bring back the official piece of paper to me or fax it to me before I can process your arnona and, most importantly, your arnona reduction" (as an olah chadasha I get a lovely something like 80% discount on what I have to pay for the arnona). Happily, on Mondays they and the other offices are open until 5. I didn't know this and it is good to remember.

Soooo, from there I went to the change your address place by a very circuitous route. In other words, I got myself lost. Somehow, and I don't know how I managed this, after about 45 minutes of walking I ended up at the corner of Rotshild and Allenbi which is way the hell away from the Azrieli (which is really not that far from where I started out at K. Rabin. At least I got in a very good walk today). It took me another half hour to make my way to the correct place. Then it was quick. 20 minutes later my address was changed, I had the new piece of paper I hope to never look at again, and just downstairs was a photocopy and fax place where I was able to mtzalemet (copy) the damn thing and fax it. Then, checking my watch, I realized the bank way long long ago closed and so scratched that off my list.

I walked home, got to rest for half an hour, then packed up Pandy in her carrier and zipped her around the corner for another EPO shot (my fav vet doesn't keep it on hand and so suggested that it is better for her to get it there since she has to have it every other day), another anti-nausea shot (works better than the pepcid pills and so when already there, why not?), he gave her fluids too since I only had a bit left to give her this morning. I bought another bag of fluid and more special "good for the kidneys" wet kitty food (she hates it, it is very not tasty --even the other cats won't touch it) and brought her back. Stuffed her with nasty wet food. Then grabbed my school bag and went to the cafe to study (er, make that read Harry Potter). Now I'm back and feeling like I've been run over by a train and not a truck. Hmmmm, that offer of homemade matza ball soup is sounding sooooo good right now! (It is kind offers like these from Don and his wife that make reason 547 to make Aliyah!). Tonight though, I'm actually too tired to eat.

And I've been neglecting my hebrew blog. I really need to think about writing a post for it!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Today I've spent a very profitable day (not) watching embassies burn, reading about a horrible stabbing attack by a terrorist on the passengers of a mini-taxi in Petach Tikva which caused the death of an elderly woman, doing a little bit of work email (very little), taking a nap, taking care of a cat, and feeling like crud. Yep, I'm sick. It is official. I tried to deny it all morning and tried to convince myself I was going to pry myself off the couch (depositing the kitty in her basket) and go to 1)deal with a ton of bank stuff 2)get my arnona --and more importantly water bill --straightened out 3)go get some form 17 from Maccabi to send to Ichilov to take care of the bill from when I broke my collarbone and about 10 other things before all of these lovely agencies closed their doors (like around noon). It didn't happen. When it was completely obvious that there was no way I could make it to even one of these places even if I flung the kitty into the basket and raced out the door-- I took a nap (with the kitty).

When I woke up from the nap I was still not convinced I was really getting sick. Just a bit under the weather, you know, and mostly just lazy. But I was tired (nap didn't help) and achey and my head felt on the verge of hurting. Then my face started to flush. This is always a sign of impending doom. I puttered around washing dishes, doing a load of laundry, feeding the cat --thus adding more clothes needing to be washed as she manages to get wet kitty food allllllllll over both me and her, then retreated back to the sofa under a blanket. When my teeth started to chatter and I was shivering enough to make the kitty on my lap wreowl it finally became mamash barur (really clear): sick. Sick, sick, sick. No denying it. Even the thermometer refuses to lie for me.

I'm totally convinced it is because I made chicken soup (for the sick kitty so she can have tempting unsalted and untouched by anything but chicken flavoured water) for the very first time in my life. Yeah, it was vegetarian adventure time. At least my cabinets and sink have been thoroughly de-everything'd as a result of the amount of bleach I used to clean any surface a chicken piecelet might have thought of touching and contaminating with salmonella or whatever it is that chicken stuff has. All I know is my mother is always screaming if chicken then bleach and more bleach.

My non-sick cats went crazy last night while the chicken was cooking. They raced around the house, leaped on the (just bleached) counters which they know they are not allowed to do, and were just beside themselves from the tempting cat-smells coming from the stove. Wish the sick one had been as enthused but they all got some (sick one with an eye-dropper). My cats are definitely not vegetarians.

I blame that darn chicken soup. When sick, you eat chicken soup. Therefore, when you have chicken soup in your house, you are (or get) sick. Elementary my dear Watson. But euewwww after seeing and touching that raw used to walk and squawk bird there ain't no way I'm eating it this time. Emmmaaaaa, bring me some chicken soup I can pretend came into being by some kind of magic (yours)!

You can get your own cool Support Denmark buttons here in many languages and with other slogans. Hat tip to SavtaDotty

AbbaGav has highlighted an incident that every Brit should read about, not to mention the rest of us. It is about an incident that is just too, too, well I don't have words to describe it so go read Abba Gav's. That man really does have a way with words!

Dutch Islamists post cartoons depicting Anne Frank, Hitler in bed and ya know what? It is their right to do so under free speech. Offensive and disgusting? Yes. Legal? Yes. I don't think we'll be seeing Jews or anyone else burning flags or embassies as a result. Well, let's hope I haven't spoken too soon but, based on past behavior I don't think so. I think we'll see a lot of people saying "how disgusting" but I don't think we'll see many, if any, calls for beheadings.

Imshin, one of my favourite bloggers, has put up what I like to think of as a must read post about attitudes toward our police and security forces. Right on (write on? :) Imshin!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Support free speech: Buy Danish!
List of Danish products sold in Israel to come later.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I'm surprised that there hasn't been much coverage in our press about the whole hullabaloo surrounding first a Danish newspaper and then a small Christian newspaper in Norway --and now, today, papers in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and surprisingly of all Jordan! --publishing caricatures featuring the prophet Mohammed, some of which showed him in a most unfavourable light. For Muslims, it is not acceptable to do any rendering of the prophet pictorially --it is considered to be a great sin and an insult to do so. The crux of the issue lies in Western values of free speech versus what Muslims see as a violation of their religious beliefs and a great insult. The West has been somewhat taken by surprise, it seems, that the response to the publication of these images would spark boycots of Danish products, death threats, burning of the national flags of Denmark and Norway (and as of today France --although the editor of the newspaper in the latter country got sacked as a result of the publication so I'm not sure why France got included and not the other countries who took no such steps...), and calls for a holy war to be waged against these countries and any and all of their citizens. The newspapers, outside of Denmark and Norway, acted in solidarity with the Danish newspaper to say that free speech, even speech that offends, is a strong tenet of western values. Being myself a strong proponent of free speech (hey, I absolutely hate that people spew the kind of hate that the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis in the U.S. spew --after all, these folks would happily see me dead for being a Jew --but I will fight for their right to spew it and for others to er spew in opposition to them) I was particularly proud to see that a Jordanian paper broke all taboos and reprinted some of the caricatures, stating:

"Muslims of the world, be reasonable," said the editor of the weekly independent newspaper Al Shihan in an editorial alongside the cartoons. "What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony in Amman?" the editor, Jihad Momani, wrote.

I was proud but I worry about the fate of what the editor will be. I am going to be watching closely to see what the fall-out of this will be and I wish our press were paying a bit more attention to it.

**Interestingly, it now seems that a lot of the outrage was spurred by radical Danish muslims who toured Arab countries and brought along not only the 12 original caricatures published by the newspapers but also 3 additional ones (seemingly of their own creation) which depicted the prophet with a pig snout and ears, one of him engaging in pedophilic acts and another of him engaging in sex with a dog, in an attempt to really fire things up. The Brussels Journal here and here has one of the best write-ups on this evolving incident.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It takes a village

to treat a cat :) I have to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Hillary who sent me a lot of extremely useful information on Pandy's health and different options that I can pursue in treatment. Here's the Pandy update --she has been alternately "up" and "down" over the last couple of days but still playing:

This morning she ran and hid from me when I pulled out the bag of fluids. So I said, ok fine, let's let the vet around the corner be the bad guy today (vet #2 that I had taken her to). He gave her the fluids and I had printed out the list of things Hillary had suggested and put them in her file --I had planned to talk to Dr. Sigal (our favourite vet here) about them today when I brought her in for the bloodtest this afternoon. He looked at Pandy and said, she seems much perkier but she still has the anemia (you can tell from checking the eyes; well I can't tell but vets can). "There's something we can try to stimulate her red blood cell production but it is very expensive" (200 shekels a shot and she'll need them 3 times a week for awhile). It is called EPO --this was one of the things Dr. Hillary had written suggesting. So I said, "go for it." She got her first shot this morning. I pulled out the list and asked about giving her something like pepcid for the nausea (which causes her to not want to eat or drink). He thought and said ok, let me give you a prescription for it in tablets (in the U.S. it is over-the-counter but not here) and I'll give her a shot of something that does the same thing in the meantime and you can start her on the pepcid tomorrow morning. Yofi :)

I looked at how much of the fluid he was giving her and said, ack isn't that too much, can't she have lung failure from that amount, I read online....No, she can't from subcutaneuos administration; only from giving it too quickly with the IV. I haven't been giving her enough of the fluids it turns out when I have been giving them to her because I've been so frightened I could cause her lung to collapse and also because it is so difficult for me to see how much of the fluids have left the bag --clear bag that contains clear fluid hanging right up and pressed against a white wall makes for very difficult reading. (Some information you get online is just so not accurate).

I called Dr. Sigal as soon as I got home and ran everything past her that occurred. I gave her a full description of Pandy's behaviour the last couple of days and she said, let's wait a little longer to bring her in for the bloodwork. As long as she is doing so well right now we don't want to stress her out and the bloodwork from a stressed out cat looks much worse than from a non-stressed out cat and so we will wait until early next week. She agreed that trying the EPO is worthwhile.

So we are taking things day by day and I am very grateful for the village of vets because having 3 heads all thinking and working on this has meant that what one doesn't think of another one will and so Pandy is getting the benefits of lots of different perspectives and treatments.

The muffin is on my lap right now and I'm about to give her some food and then go and fill her prescription. Buffy goes in for her bloodwork with Dr. Sigal in the morning.