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, March 28, 2006

Exit polls are showing the following breakdown of seats won for the election

Kadima: 29-32, Labor from 20-22, Meretz 5
Likud 11-12, Yisrael Beiteinu 12-14, Shas 10-11
National Union-NRP 8-9, Arab Parties 7-8, United Torah 5-6

The upset of the night was the Pensioners. yeah, remember how I said in a post that voting for a party that will get only 1-2 seats is the waste of a vote, and I used the Pensioner's as an example? Let me eat those words right now. They are pegged at getting 6-8!

My vote:
Labour. Avoda. Emet.

I had an existential crisis at the voting booth. Stood there for literally 10 minutes holding the envelope in one hand and "ken" (for Kadima) in the other. Couldn't make myself actually get it into the envelope. Finally I picked up "Emet" put it in, started to seal, then pulled it out. Grrrr. Put the two side by side in front of me and did eenie meenie miney mo (no lie). Mo landed on Emet (like ok, I already knew it would having played that selecting game zillions of times as a kid but I also knew I'd feel better about sticking it in there if there was some other something suggesting it should go in) and in it went. I sealed it. I looked up and the polling guy at the end of the table was laughing at this spectacle. I grinned back and fluttered the envelope in his direction and said, what else to do when you are completely undecided? Then into the box it went.

I walked out feeling not at all happy, still thinking but but you were so determinedly nearly almost sure you would go Kadima. The old guy who was manning a Labour table (the only party that seemed to have folks and information outside most of the voting places here --there were Labour tables outside of all 4 of the voting spots I passed today and they were the only ones) smiled and waved. I felt better.


If you live in Israel go vote. Now. I'm about to walk out the door to do so myself. Just saw the ticker on Ha'aretz saying that as of 10 a.m. voter turner is the lowest in history. GO VOTE.

Miki is right, the interview with me is on the bbc (thanks for the heads up, didn't know it was there). Hmmm some very creative er editing of what I said. I did say I would probably (99% certain) vote Kadima because of the security issue but that I like Labours domestic and economic and social platform better (I think Braverman is brilliant --sorry AmEchad). Just didn't say it in quite the way it is presented on the site.

Israeli elections

Here's an area that Israel really does right. What do I mean by this? Well for one thing, most people have election day off from work to facilitate voting. I remember in the U.S. talking to a lot of people who went to vote, stood patiently in line, but before they could cast their ballot they had to leave because they had to get to work on time, their lunch hour was over, and so forth.

With many people having long commutes to and from work, the polling hours of 7-7 in some places in the U.S. and 7-6 in others meant that pre, lunch, and post work were out because they couldn't reach their polling station and still get their work day in. Here, in addition to the vast majority of people having the day off, polling stations are open from 7 a.m until 10 p.m. so that everyone gets ample opportunity to get to their voting station.

Another nice thing (and many might well disagree but I find it very refreshing) is that we have more than a two-party system. Oh the U.S. has more than 2 but everyone knows that if you are voting one of the minor parties you are basically making a protest vote and it counts for nothing or, worse, you are actively hurting the "best of the worst." Who will ever forget Ralph Nader (inexorably tied to hanging chads) and the quite literally handful of votes separating Bush and Gore. Nader probably did more to kill the prospect of a viable 3rd plus party than anything could have. Here we have lots of parties. I mean lots. Tons. And the interesting thing is, that except for the really tiny parties, you aren't throwing your vote away if you vote for one of the none top 2. Because we have a parliamentary system, all the parties get representation and the number of reps for your party depends on how many folks voted for your party.

Generally you end up with a "big boy" who gets the highest representation but it is also generally not enough to give that party a true "mandate" and thus alliances must be made with some of the other parties. This is where your vote for the littler guys can count: so ok, say the big guys make a coalition with your particular littler guy party then any legislation has to at least have some compromises with the standards and requirements called for by your littler guy. There is some influence, some say in the matters at hand. If your little guy party doesn't end up the coalition partner with the big guy, it also isn't a thrown away vote because your little guy coalitions with all the other little guys in opposition and thus the bigger guys have to at least throw you a bone every now and then. (Although, if you are like the Pensioner's Party here, the number of reps you are going to get is most likely so tiny (1? 2?) that you will in essence be throwing your vote away --go for those parties likely to get at least 6ish reps!)

Myself, I'm torn (yeah even at like 4:20 a.m. on the day that I will be voting) between Kadima, Labour, and even a bit by Meretz. I won't vote Meretz though because I don't feel like they are in touch with the reality as it stands today. This is not the reality we had say 4-5 months ago when Meretz would (maybe, possibly)have seemed more of an option to me. Hamas getting elected next door pretty much removed my leaning toward Meretz as they are continuing along as though nothing had occurred next door at all. Getting past all the rhetoric, Labour and Kadima are really on a very close parallel track, on many issues almost indistinguishable. The differences are subtle. That is what is great about our system, you can go for the ok I agree with this but with some subtle changes in emphasis and have those subtleties noted and have an impact down the road when legislation gets made (yeah that does tend to happen after you elect someone/party --and you are usually not to happy with the legislation that does come about --wait, I didn't vote for you to support this?!).

In sum, I really like our system here. It is more democratic than in the U.S. practically speaking. But, I still don't know who I'm going to vote for.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Firas did a give-back to me so here goes with my comments added:

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate

You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.

One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
(hey how did they know I write about my cats all the time? Must be psychic)

Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with. (yeah, I selectively share with the entire universe..)

You Are 52% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.

Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.

But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.

You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

Your Values Profile


You value loyalty a fair amount.
You're loyal to your friends... to a point.
But if they cross you, you will reconsider your loyalties. (that's right if you cross me I will ...I will force you to cat-sit)
Staying true to others is important to you, but you also stay true to yourself.


You don't really value honesty. (choke. gasp. What? They asked questions like have you ever called in sick for work to get out of work. That has nothing to do with honesty but with like self-preservation!! Where do they get these questions!)

You do value getting your way, no matter what. (ahem, well ok, yes I do)

And if a little lying is required to do that, no problem. (No, no no)

A few white lies never hurt anyone (at least, that's what you tell yourself!)


You value generosity highly.
So much so that you often put your own needs last.

There's nothing wrong with having a caring heart...

But you may want to rethink your "open wallet" policy. (believe me, I'm soon not going to have a wallet to open....problem solved, heh)


You value humility a fair amount.

You tend to be an easy going, humble person.

But occasionally your ego takes over.(Muuahhhhhhhh)

You have a slight competitive streak - and the need to be the best. (slight? ohhhh how far you underestimate little computer thingy you)


You value tolerance highly.

Not only do you enjoy the company of those very different from you...

You do all that you can to seek it out interesting and unique friends.

You think there are many truths in life, and you're open to many of them.

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a firestorm - full of intensity and drama. (kinda goes with my life)

Your thoughts may seem scattered to you most of the time... (and to everyone else too. Someone give that girl her ritalin)

But they often seem strong and passionate to those around you. (read: she's completely nuts!)

You are a natural influencer. The thoughts you share are very powerful and persuading. (You should all send me a million dollars. So, are you convinced?)

You Are 20 Years Old(not sure I can remember as far back as 20)

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

You Are Likely a First Born (Well, got me there!)

At your darkest moments, you feel guilty. (and in the kinda dark, the light...)

At work and school, you do best when you're researching. (and not teaching. Yes!)

When you love someone, you tend to agree with them often.

In friendship, you are considerate and compromising.

Your ideal careers are: business, research, counseling, promotion, and speaking.

You will leave your mark on the world with discoveries, new information, and teaching people to dream. (Ahhhhh)

You Should Weigh 160 (THUD)

If you weigh less than this, you either have a fast metabolism or are about to gain weight. (AHHHHHH, I'm about to gain like 55 pounds you are telling me?! Ahhhhh)

If you weigh more than this, you may be losing a few pounds soon!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Just when you thought your life couldn't get any more hideous --just watch it. This morning Pandy couldn't keep anything down again and so I grabbed her and ran her to the vet. He put her on an IV again. Checked her over. We were very perplexed as to why she is suddenly so nauseated she can't keep anything down with her numbers so much lower and being on the phosphourous inhibitor stuff. Until he said, Oh and you forgot to take her fluid home with you on Friday. No, I took the fluid home. No, because here they are. Well, I took a bag of fluids home and that's what I've been giving her all weekend. Problem sort of solved. He had handed me back a bag of regular fluids and not the one with her added anti-nausea meds. He kept her on the IV all day and I just brought her home. Am going to try to feed her and pray she keeps it down because she is now at 2 days since having any food in her system.

When I got back from the vet at time 1, early this afternoon, I discovered an email saying you know that two weeks to get the project in order....well it just got moved up to next Wednesday because we have a major meeting and presentation to, not the president (still 2 weeks off) but the major funding source we planned to turn to. Oh yipee. So now the deal is I have to get a new draft to them tomorrow and then, after comments, another draft and meeting on Thursday. Then back to B.S. on Sunday for another meeting and revision and probably another meeting also on Tuesday there again before the critical meeting on Wednesday. In addition to the written report, i need to make a powerpoint presentation to "sell, baby sell" this project.

Somehow between now and Thursday I also need to grade 7 papers, meet with 5 students (meetings planned with them solid tomorrow until late in the evening) who are now doing their thesis with me, get back to (meaning read and get back to) 2 additional students who sent them their thesis work, get a survey online for a student back in NY, write and send letters of recommendation for a student back in NY for jobs, and put a lecture together. On Thursday nite when I get back close to midnite I can so not gasp with relief but start on a 40-page article theoretically due Monday (actually it was theoretically due a month ago but if not in by monday they might chop off my head, theoretically speaking), ignore the reviewing that has piled up, and ignore at least 15 or 20 other things that people are screaming for while I work on this project.

The only good news is that last night all 4 cats spent their first 20 minutes all together in one room and no one died. No one ate anyone else.

Oh and the package my mother sent more than a month ago with all my tax information for filing my taxes (like everything I need) has disappeared into the postal system. I have to go in the a.m. to see if there is any possibility of tracing it.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Don't you want a day like mine?

I spent 6 hours total today traveling for a half hour meeting in which I discovered that all the work I'd done for an initial presentation to get people started talking about ideas and how this proposal should look was basically wrong. But there was no clear consensus on how to make it right. In fact, there were no concrete ideas or suggestions offered that I could really follow. I took copious notes and...many of the ideas are contradictory. I was trying to figure out what we need to do initially. You know, like first step. People are talking about needing to do 3 separate and totally different things (appeal to the university, the appeal to community organizations and then the appeal to the big bad boys of big business for funding). Great, fine. But what do we do first?! No, correction, what do I do first? Because I'm the one having to put all this together and needed their input because I don't have a clue about how things are done and presented in this country and (obviously from my write-up) they are done quite differently from in my previous country. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Can I do that again and just a little louder?

Oh and I have to have another iteration of it done by Thursday and then just two weeks until I get to have a lovely meeting about it with the university president. I'm just so tickled pink. On top of everything else I'm having to do. What's that Alannis Morrisette line, "slap me with a splintered ruler?" yeah, go ahead, can't be any worse of an experience.

Then I get all the way to the outer door of my building and get trapped by my neighbor who rushes up to tell me she is so worried and doesn't know what to do, looking rather frantic. So of course I can't say "get outta my way babe I'm tired and in a pissy mood" but have to stand there to find out what is so wrong. She is so worried about her daughter, she tells me, her daughter you see is suffering from hemorrhoids and oh my at her young age, because you see my neighbor got them after she gave birth which is quite common but for a young woman and she is home crying and nothing works and....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. There are some things you just don't want to know. Not even about people you haven't ever met. Definitely not about people you have met if they are along these lines.

I finally pried myself away to enter my apartment and find that Pandy had yakked. Everywhere. In every room. See what happened, I'm now doing to you what my neighbor did to me! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

I ran into someone today waiting or the bus who told me that there is a really good ulpan in Petach Tikva. Friends from my previous ulpan have all moved to Ulpan Ra'anana and they say it is pretty good. If I have time tomorrow with all the other crap I have to do, I will call both and see which sounds better and which one I can get to easiest. I can't start until next Sunday anyway because I have meetings every night this week. But I do want to know how it is that I can know (I counted) 1800 plus words in hebrew and still not string together the most basic sentence on a daily basis in general? Hmmmmmm? What the hell is wrong with me? And if one more random person launches into english at me when I'm imposing my horrid hebrew on them, I'm going to slap them with a splintered ruler. So there.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I got interviewed by the BBC today about how I plan to vote in the upcoming elections. I plan to do a post on this soon. Pretty much, I think Shai summed up my view right now in his piece on the upcoming vote he wrote for The Guardian (read it here). Not sure how much sense I made when answering her questions as I was rushing trying to get ready in time to catch my bus to Beer Sheva.

Then, on the bus, I got a call from one of my colleagues who said, "you will be here at 2, right? Did anyone tell you?" Well, yes I had planned on being there at 2 because I had set up a student meeting, but tell me what? "Oh no, they didn't tell you. Ok so we each have to give a 15 minute presentation on our research to the new students at 2." Ahhhh thank you so much for the information. Yalla. So, I decided then and there on the bus that I'd do it in hebrew. I have to teach next year fully b'ivrit, right? And, I'm thinking to myself, if I do it in hebrew maybe I can get away with a quick 5 minutes rather than 15 cos they'll be so impressed that I'm actually uh speaking in a language they understand. So I spent the next 10 minutes mapping out the first part of what I'd say and then, as the bus neared the stop realized I'd just have to wing the rest. And, go me, go me, it went. In fact, mine went even longer than the other people who were presenting. Ok so mine was like 8 minutes and everyone else did about 5. Then we all smiled and waved to the new students and scrammed.

It was kind of neat though. After I finished everyone in the room applauded me. Some of my students who were also at the gathering came up afterwards and said "you didn't even make any mistakes!" I was like really? I had no idea of what I had said or didn't say after I was done just like when I give talks in english heh.

Busy weekend and week coming up. Have meetings on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Monday back in B.S. for the day). Have to write up a pre-grant proposal for the meeting on Saturday (and refine it for the meeting on Monday to be refined after that meeting again). Have an article to write. papers to grade. Students to harm (oh darn, we're not allowed to do that are we?) er supervise further on the disasters they turned in last week.

Sigh and lots I want to blog about but not sure if I'll get the time.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Oy, a woman with a death wish. She's certainly getting plenty of death threats.

The Purim Parodies are continuing unabated over at The Muqata's. Pop by for your daily giggle.

The vet is getting cuter by the day. He spent an hour and a half with Matan (ahem, yeah decided for a letter change cos I just can't run around calling a cat Moderate. It isn't fair. Especially since he went from one radical extreme to another: from a flying, hissing, screetching and scratching ball of fur to a no no no let me stay in your lap for life kind of beastlet). Actually, he spent a lot of that time talking to me about random things because Matan was in his carrier waiting to get sleepy enough to take blood for the tests --no Feline Leukemia or Feline Aids, yes! Not sure if this means the vet is kinda liking me. We could, Matan and I, have waited that half hour out in the waiting room while he saw another patient. He talks about his dogs, he talks about his cat, not a word about wife and kids. I haven't got quite Israeli enough to say, "so ya married and if not why not?" He had me on the floor when he said, "bring him in next month so I can measure his little balls." Oh and he complimented my hebrew.

Oh and speaking of that, being hebrew complimented I mean, I had a good hebrew day yesterday speaking to all and sundry at many different places b'ivrit. Went to ulpan and found out classes don't start again until after Pesach (ack) so then went back and gave them my number and asked them to ask Mora Gila or anyone other than Ruti if they would be willing to give me private classes until they start back. The woman called me back and said she'd left messages on 4 teacher's phones and hopefully one will call me. At the vet's office, while waiting to see him there was a guy with two dogs that I was talking with in hebrew. Basic chit chat went fine and then we got into an area where I was not quite sure of my verbage and started hestitating before finishing the sentence. "Do you speak English?" he asked. Yep. Turns out he is also an ex-pat who moved here back in 1982. I got a compliment off him too because he said he wasn't sure if I spoke english or not because he couldn't hear an accent to my hebrew but figured out I wasn't fluent when I started hesitating about what to say. Yay. Now would have been better if it were an Israeli-born saying this but it is a start :)

Take part in the contest I started on my hebrew blog! Name the Secular Aliyah Revolution Website! It needs a name, a good name! Yalla! :)

Happy Purim!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Contest on my hebrew blog

Speak hebrew, read hebrew? Take part in the contest I started on my hebrew blog! Yalla! :)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lots to write about but don't know which to choose and I'm really tired so I'm going to make it kinda short and just hit the highlights.

I got a promotion at work. Woo hoo. I am now a Senior Lecturer. Got the official letter and everything. I'll be really impressed if a salary increase comes along with the swelling of the title. Hmmmmmm.

Children seem to be projectile yakking around the blogosphere. Pandy felt left out. Was going to write about this this morning but it was scarily like the new entry in my fake blog. I'm looking at Mischa and wondering if he could be the one writing it. Heh. Long and short of it was I was very excited to finally be able to sleep in my bed again now that Pandy seems to be doing better. Put my fresh-from-the-dryer sheets (blue) on the bed, snuggled under the freshly washed duvet cover (light yellow with little squares of other colours like green and blue scattered about --matches the blue sheets just yofi). Turned off the light. Felt the Pandy cat climb on the bed and lie on my stomach. Started to drop off and then heard the horrid sound of impending doom. Unlike Stephanella I couldn't urge her to run to the toilet. I could only try to get the light on frantically and then try to get her onto the floor. But, before my hand found the light switch, yep. Too late. Everything back in the wash, me back on the couch. Sigh.

Lots of plans at work so I'm going to be a busy busy girl in the next few months. Lots of meetings coming up. Lots of grant proposals to put together. Desperately need to get back into ulpan classes. I can feel my hebrew slipping away and there wasn't that much of it to begin with.

Going to go eat something if I can find anything to eat in this apartment and then go collapse.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ya sitting?

Got the lab results back today on Pandy. Ready for this? GOOD NEWS. I spent an hour with the vet talking treatment strategy and going over the results. He was grinning from ear to ear. But, but ---if it is such good news why has she seemed practically on death's door this past week and not eating and not....because it is not unabashedly good news but he thinks we can get her back into really good shape. The non-eating is because her red blood count has fallen a lot. Remember how she had to have EPO shots back at the end of January? Yeah the really expensive ones. She's got to have another round of it. Her phosphourous levels are a bit high now too and so for a week she is having 3times a day pills to bring it down. She is also going to need another pill to strengthen her kidney and heart functioning (related to blood pressure I think). She is going to hate me for pilling her all the time. So where is the good news?

The kidney functioning is the good news. There has been dramatic improvement on that front. When she first went in back in early January, her urea levels were well above 400 (normal is 30). After being on the IV for 3 days, they dropped down to 370ish. Today the level is 177. Her creatinine level had started at 16.5 (with normal being below 2), fell to 7.5 and has now fallen to 3.3. We are looking into seeing if we can get a medicine call Epakitin because a study done at UGA found that using this drug daily reduces the urea and creatinine levels by half and doubles the lifespan of a cat in chronic renal failure.

Anyway the results are very encouraging. I was sitting in the waiting room ready to hear the worst and wow I bounced out of there going wheeeeeeee :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Can't stop laughing

Someone, and I don't know who *peers around* put up a really hysterical parody of my blog as part of the insanely brilliant and extremely fun and funny Purim Parody Festivities that were the brainchild of The Muqata. Go check out The Muqata for tons more hilarious parodies of Israeli bloggers and the fun will keep rolling in through Purim. And it is not too late --you can still sign up to parody your favourite blog!

I needed this laugh and it was a good one!

Lab tests not back yet. Pandy is a bit perkier and eating some on her own. Temporary, I know. She'd knocked, tugged, bit the catheter out of her leg overnight and after 3 tries to re-insert this morning we went for just Sub-C fluids rather than IV today. Wishing we'd kept her on the IV all night because if 2 hours of fluids made her this much almost back to week-before-last health, how much more would 12 hours have done?!

Wait! Update! I totally missed the changes they made to the very top of my pseudo-blog --"Is there an Atlas? A geolpoltical blueprint? A globe?" ohmyg-d, I'm dying of laughter here--and to the sidebar. Oy, OY, the sidebar! Favourite line: "I'm crazy about my 37 cats. If you go near them I'll have to kill you." Ack. WHO DID THIS? I LOVE YOU! Wanna come write my blog all the time?!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Another Pandy crisis and I'm not sure how it will end. We spent 4 hours at the vet today. She had blood taken, had an IV put in for 2 hours and I bring her back in the morning for some more IV fluids. She's not eating at all. Still being a snuggle muffin and talked the whole time she had the IV in and I sat next to her. Funny how fast the nerves can just go to shreds on you. I do know she has a terminal situation. I just don't know she has a terminal situation in my heart. We'd gotten into such a little routine where she was pretty much normal and my life wasn't completely revolving (well ok to most people it would seem it was but not to animal people or people with kids) around her. I'd gotten the routine of feeding and giving her fluids down so pat it was like part of brushing my teeth in my daily routine. For the past 6 days she's been progressively getting less like herself. Even for a cat there is a mother's instinct that tells you that something is really not right even when they seem fine and after her acupuncture treatment on Friday she really perked up and seemed like she was getting back to normal but I had a sinking feeling. Last night, late, I was up and unable to sleep and I couldn't think why--until I found her just sitting in the bathtub looking at the water trickling but unable to make herself drink. Meow, she said. It was a "do something, Ema," little meow. I gave her some water to drink by hand and then some more but she wouldn't stay out of the tub.

It is wait and see again. Test results come back tomorrow evening. That will go a long way to making a decision and I am fearing one I don't want to make, one I may selfishly not be ready to make. Making her more chicken broth right now.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Oy, tagged again. Ok, here goes:

A: Anat

A: Whatever it came with --and at least 5 billion other people haven't changed from either

A: Eating crackers and watching a dvd on my computer

A: "all good. don't rush."

A: Er sofa, with a cat who didn't want to move

A: Black

A: On computer last night "The Watcher in the Woods" at the movie theatre a couple weeks ago Munich

A: Cigarrettes, lighter, bank card

A: I have them in red, blue, yellow (light and dark gold), green (mint, sea-green, dark green), cream

A: 7 shekels 40 argonot

Q: What is your favorite part of the chicken?
A: The entire thing as it runs around happily alive and in no danger of being eaten

Q: What's your favorite town/city?
A: Tel Aviv and Konstanz

Q:I can't wait to (til)...?
A: I can take a real vacation without even doing a work email

Q: When was the last time you saw your mom?
A: Beginning of January

Q: When was the last time you saw your dad?
A: Beginning of June

Q: When was the last time you talked to them?
A: On the phone, Mother on Wednesday. Father, beginning of June

Q: What did you have for dinner LAST NIGHT?
A: Crackers and instant soup

Q: How long have you been at your current job?
A: 5 months

Q: Look to your left. What's there?
A: A cat (Pandy) and beyond her a blanket waiting to be put in the wash and Harry Potter (book) on top of the blanket.

Q: Who is the last person you spent over $50 on?
A: Kat and Bob

Q: Whats the last piece of clothing you borrowed from someone?
A: A dress from Michie back in August. The most perfect and awesome little black dress. She's darn lucky I gave it back. Grin.

Q: What website(s) do you visit the most during the day?
A: Haaretz, ynet, nytimes, gmail

Q: Do you have an air freshener in your car?
A: Car? Who can afford a car?!

Q: Do you have plants in your room?
A: In my livingroom, kitchen and bathroom

Q: Does anything hurt on your body right now?
A: My pinky and finger next to it on my left hand hurt chronically ever since I crushed the ligaments in them in a gymnastics high-bar mishap eons ago

Q: What city was your last taxi cab ride in?
A: Tel Aviv

Q: Do you own a camera phone?
A: no

Q: What's your favorite Starbucks drink?
A: Caramel frappachino with whipped cream

Q: Recent time you were really upset?
A: Yesterday when someone told me about a something they read on a blog

Q: Have you been in love with anyone?
A: Idiot that I was, yes.

Ok, I'm tagging Maria, Firas, and Airtime. And sheesh it is getting kinda hard to find someone who hasn't been tagged with this already!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Jameel of The Muqata has had the fantastic idea of organizing the very first JBlogosphere Parody PurimFest! So leap on over and find out the rules and how to register. Hmmmmm who to parody, who to parody...can I even do parody? Somehow I think I'm going to end up with a post titled "pardon my parody" heh.

Oooooooo and classes don't start back until next week not today. Yippee :)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Happy Birthday Ema!!!!!!!!

Yep today is my mother's birthday and she is getting younger by the day :)

Today I got a lot done, though still not things like dentist or form 17 or other critical things like that. No, I got a lot of earn-our-pitiful-salary things done instead. I'm quite proud. One grant review down. One manuscript review through the hoop --she scores. One chapter revision done done done and sent off. YES. Something along the lines of 10 million work emails accomplished including a lot of handholding for students of mine from back in the States who are still doing projects with me. Still have two chapters to write over the weekend. Cringe. Plus putting a survey into proper php format for a student (and it is something along the lines of a mile long). Tomorrow I get all my students lovely (mostly in hebrew) 15-20 page papers to grade. Oh what fun. At least I'm going to get a lot of practice, as if I am not practiced enough at thumbing through the dictionary :)

Pandy is having a very bad day. Just sitting. Sitting and hiding. Hasn't eaten kibble one on her own today. Only got on her scratching post for a minute, rather listlessly. I'm worried.

The news isn't that great today either. Terrorists killed an Israeli settler as he was filling up his car with gas today, shooting him at point blank range in the head, leaving his two children without a father. An hour later, another shooting attack was made on another Israeli leaving him in critical condition (see bottom half of same report). Then, a U.N. worker was kidnapped in the West Bank by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. He's a Palestinian and they claim he is a collaborator with Israel and, if they find him guilty, they say they will kill him. He was already arrested, questioned, found innocent and released a couple of days ago by the Palestinian police on the same charges. Let's hope international pressure can be brought to free this poor guy unharmed, though the international press doesn't seem to be covering it. News reports are saying we might be about to enter a new Intifada. Uhhh, so tell me, when did the last one end...?

Ahhh, should have read further. It seems that maybe the second Intifada ended two weeks ago because in the past two weeks 50 firebombs were thrown, compared to 35 in the previous two weeks; 39 incidents of violence or damage to Jewish property were reported, compared to 26 in the previous two weeks, and there were 225 stone-throwing incidents, compared to 200 in the same period. Shooting attacks reportedly rose from 26 to 37 in the last two weeks, and the number of bombs planted from 6 to 15.