Wednesday, April 25, 2007

All This Way

While living in San Francisco, on occasion I was present when my Israeli friend Vavi's son mocked her English.

"Eh, Eh..." he would mimic. "Dis is my eemah (Hebrew: mother), ehh...ehh...She comes all deh way frrrrom Eezrrrraelle. Her Engleesh is you say..?"

Vavi would smile and wave him away. Her Master's is from Berkeley and she's been in the States for over two decades. She's not worried about her English language skills.

Oh but that would NEVER happen to me I mused.

Because I studied Hebrew like the devil during my first stint in Tel Aviv. Tested myself on grammar and literature every day, forced myself to read papers and listen to the radio and look up & study vocabulary. I studied military related lingo - ranks, history and politicking therein - ... all's so I could take up the profession of bona fide joorrrnaleest in Israel. Somehow it did the trick.

This evening, strolling down the street with my 5-year-old son - the same five year old who a mere year ago upon relocating back to Tel Aviv with me from San Francisco was so lost language-wise that I cried tears of empathy and sorrow in commiseration with his tears of frustration - urged:

Eemah don't sing that song anymore (an upbeat & catchy tune he brought home from kindergarten)

Why? I asked wide eyed (but already knew the answer)

You don't do it right. You say the word "tarrrrnegol" (rooster) like Tar - neh - gole (pronounced with the flattest inflection possible). You do it wrong eemah.

But I LIKE that song!

But it sounds bad. Stop it eemah.

Schoingemacht. And to think all last year I served as interpreter for this kid on his playdates.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Israel

59, eh?

You're looking pretty good. Although sometimes you could use a good scrub around the edges to get rid of the grime. But it's part of your appeal and charm.

Speaking of, you certainly are a spry 59. Something about you seems to bubble with vibrant energy and life. Even when you're going through tough times.

And haven't you been a "quick study" in terms of world wisdom? Coming up to speed with the frontrunners in the realms of medicine, science, computer technology, bio-tech...How do you manage?

If you'll allow me to make a suggestion however - what are friends for anyway? - keep your eyes open when it comes to the neighbors (you know which ones I mean) but don't stop going to the socials. You just never know which of the other neighbors might surprise you in a positive way.

And a final suggestion: Take better care of yourself. Get more fresh air, try to stay clean and not use up all your energy, find creative and inventive ways of tapping into your natural resources and be sure to have plenty of fresh water on hand.

Stay out of harm's way and keep on keeping on. Happy B-Day, Big I.

Your devoted

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Today is Earth Day.

I share my birthday with this fabtabulous day & I'm PROUD! As I recall, Swollen's daughter also shares her birthday with Earth Day. Mazel Tov, honey! Knock yourself out.

Here's some information about the day's background and history.

Here's a list of Earth Day events happening around the globe.

And here's a long list of ideas for getting pro-active.

Get out there and plant a tree, write a letter to a government figure who might make a difference, clean up a beach or teach a child about recycling. It's bloody important for the future

Happy Earth Day to us All!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Super Size Sex

Traipsing through the blogosphere this morning, I found the "in synch" of Mideast Piece with Details Magazine rather interesting.

Details' May issue features a story by Elisa Ludwig on obesity and sex. "A lot of girls who like large men are in the closet," claims 336-pound story subject Jorge Rivera. "It's like the new gay."

"Rivera is a gainer: an enthusiastic participant in the expanding subculture of feederism in which fat fetishists get aroused by "growing" themselves or their
romantic partners, consuming their way to morbid obesity."

The synchronicity with MidEast Piece's 1) gay themed content 2) blog entry noting growing waistlines in the MidEast as compared with America is conveniently coincidental.

The Details article is pretty darned eye opening. FYI the May issue came out yesterday in New York and LA and hits the stands elsewhere on April 24.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


There are two types of Yoga in this world...The one from India

and the one from Wisconsin

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Homo, Anyone?

Where can you go to get a good homo?

Why at this Jerusalem Homo Stand, that's where. What was it we were saying about running spellcheck? Tsk, Tsk, Tsk.

Thanks, Zabaj, for your sharp eye and wicked sense of humor.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fisrael and Firan

Well done, Danny Gillerman. Especially on reading the Pimpin' script.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Celebrity Cool

A looooooonnnnnggggg time ago, I posted about Israeli nonchalance in the face of celebrity status. i.e. celebrities mingle with the common folk and it ain't nothin' but a thang. No big deal. No hulking body guards or get-away cars. For the most part. Unless you're a politician. And even then...

But I can't find the posting. I didn't try too hard cause I'm feeling lazy.

Yesterday the prime minister's wife was at our playground. Without body guards or secret service. At least not that I saw (which really isn't saying much considering I'm half blind). She was playing with her grandkids who live in the hood.
It's one of the nicer aspects of life here in Holy Land Central. No cordoning off the street when Mrs. Prime Minister comes to call.

Monday, April 09, 2007


My ma called Saturday morning.

Leon and Irma** came for dinner last night. And you won't believe what happened.

Leon and Irma are friends of the family for as long as I can remember. They're my parents' age. They all met on a first-timers' organized trip to Israel after the '73 War. They bonded and the friendship has been thick since.

When I was in high school, Irma and I had season tickets to the theater together. Whenever I visit my parents, I lunch with Irma and make a point of inviting both Leon and Irma to dinner. In short, they're extended family without the blood ties.

Irma's cellphone rang in the middle of dinner my mother continues and when she started talking you could just tell something awful had happened. "What do you mean? What do you mean?" she was yelling into the phone.

Then she turns to Leon and says: "Our granddaughter is dead". We were horrified. And Leon said: "I don't want to go home. Can we just stay here for a while?"

Irma and Leon's granddaughter committed suicide. She was having trouble with a recent relationship break-up but it went beyond that. She was 23. I met her years ago when our families celebrated Thanksgiving together & I remember her well because she was a vegan which was highly unusual for a Midwestern teen at the time.

I spoke with my mother again today.

Leon was in shul the other day and people say he sat by himself and sobbed throughout the entire service.

My heart twisted & my thoughts were drawn to pensive, shy Jordan* from Habonim who shot himself when we were in high school. And Calvin whose house we used to play in. His identical twin Carter found him hanging in the attic. And modelesque Rick with the winning smile.

I phoned Irma after hanging up with my ma. She was spent. And broken down. And we exchanged "I love you's" and then I cried like the supposed comforter isn't supposed to.

I hope Jordan and Calvin and Rick and Irma's granddaughter have all found a better place.

**not real names

Friday, April 06, 2007

Death by Smashing

This amateur video shows what turned out to be a shocking Pre-Passover event at Tel Aviv's zoo.

As the zoo gates were closing for the holiday, spectators stood in shock - well not understanding what they were seeing, really - as the HUGE Alpha male repeatedly rammed the Alpha female until she eventually collapsed and died.

Israeli zoologists are collaborating with international experts to determine the root of the animosity - probably "tribal" in nature i.e. two herd leaders sharing the same pen - and how to deal with the aggressor henceforth.

I wouldn't normally show this kinda thing but I think it's an interesting window into animal (& human) behavior.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hi Speed

I blogged this yesterday on Israelity - a site I blog on each and every day - and felt it worthwhile to repeat here...

A few comments about this video.

First, the preoccupation here in Holy Land Central with Iran is pervasive. From Israel's Eurovision entry to daily news reports to the ad below for high speed Internet.

Let's leave aside the message on the guy's tee-shirt - "Combat (units) are the Bomb, Bro" -(loose translation) because ...well I don't agree with the general promotion or hype of military whatsoever. But let's just leave that, shall we?

The film quality is beautiful. The choice of music is apropo. And the spark of hope it lends is worth hanging onto i.e. an Israeli casually strolling through Central Tehran and hooking up with an Iranian friend at a cafe.

I can see the potential. But regardless of the advert's concluding message - "It's not yet possible in real life but on the Internet it happens every day" - the ad is too powerful for an Internet campaign.

Judge fer yerself.

Thanks to Of the Art of Crossing the Oceans for the lead.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Gay or...??

Monday night in the U.S., ABC's The Bachelor kicked off its 10th season.


1) I live in Tel Aviv
2) Monday night was Passover Seder & there were ten people at my place

So I missed it. But never mind. Because I received a very friendly "heads up" from Details Magazine, noting their poll of sorts to coincide with the kickoff:

Details Magazine asks: GAY OR THE BACHELOR? Is the latest man-prize—a Navy doctor—on the hunt for a fiancĂ©e... or a first mate?

Check it out fer yerself. hee hee.

Sunday, April 01, 2007