Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Purim 2011 - An Extravaganza!

Purim is an awesome holiday - it's usually described as the Jewish Halloween/Mardi Gras.
It is so much more than that, but needless to say, the Israelis flipping LOVE this holiday.

I dressed up as a doll and E. dressed up "gangsta". We looked awesome!

E. was a little terrified of my doll face:

My shoes with bows:

Our lovely, boa-bedecked friend M.

Marvelous D. the feathery, sparkly fairy godmother: 

People dressed up on the bus to Tel Aviv:

Fuzzy roomie photo:

A dancing protest in the square:

Some of my lovely friends:

The street party in Florintin:

It was amazing! Dancing, drinking, partying in the streets!

We went to Mike's Place (the American bar) and hung out for a while. 
I did the thriller dance with a random fellow:

And then dashed off to the school party. It was pretty awful and I was too tired to deal with it in a wise manner. I snapped and flagged down a taxi to take me from Tel Aviv to Herzliya. I didn't even argue about the price. "Just take me home!"

The next day, I went to school for a megillah reading and lunch. Over all, it was a good holiday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

OOTD: Casual Vintage Inspiration

I think I might have found my new favorite look!
Casual vintage:

So here's what I wore:

Just a little reminder of why I am studying what I am studying...

Today there was a terrorist attack in the center of Jerusalem. So far there are around 30 people injured and one casualty. The information is coming in quickly (and in some cases inaccurately). As of now the police think that the blast was caused by a medium-sized explosive device that was attached to a pole close to a buss stop near the central bus station.

My neighborhood yarkan (greengrocer) said "Eh, this is a small attack. Sadly, we have had enough attacks that any attack where no one dies is a small attack." That was before the 59 year old woman died.

For more information please see:

It is especially irritating when you read press releases like this one:

Abbas condemns blast, IDF

Where Abbas denounces the attack AND Israeli military operations in Gaza that resulted in 3 civilian casualties. This puts these two actions on the same platform and that is inappropriate. At least Abbas and Fayyad realize that their cause is harmed and undermined by these terrorist acts.

In other news, today two Grad rockets hit the Southern city of Beersheva. YNet. One of my classmates lives in Beersheva and she woke up to air raid sirens this morning.

I will be going to Jerusalem this weekend to see some friends that are in town for the marathon. It crossed my mind for about ten seconds that maybe I shouldn't go. But then I remembered that life must go on and no terrorist is going to keep me out of Jerusalem.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Chag Shel Patrick HaTzaddick!

We went to McLaren's for Saint Patrick's Day!

Yay! Green beer and regular-colored nachos!


It was LEGEN-wait-for-it-DARY!

Stormy Weather

Last week E. and I went to Netanya for Laundry Day. It was lovely! But there was a storm.

Let me be understood. I understand how to function in the rain. I have umbrellas, rain-compatible shoes, jackets etc. This puts the following statement in context:

We couldn't leave the apartment because of the heavy rain.

The wind:
The waves:

The trees:

The following was the result of less than five minutes outside:

But then, the sun broke through the clouds and E. and I escaped to eat dinner and drink hot chocolate!

Friday, March 18, 2011

This is what a feminist looks like!

The Fashionable Academics had a lovely idea to have their readers send in photos of "What a feminist looks like."
I missed out on their deadline, but I am so inspired by their project as well as other feminist bloggers.

Recently, I have met several young women who claim not to be feminists. Feminism is seen as radical, extreme, man-hating, and out of date. Now, I can understand rejecting that image of feminism, but I don't understand rejecting the precepts of feminism entirely.

Some of these women stated that they are not equal to men.

Not as smart.
Not as strong.
Not as intelligent.
Not as capable.

"If I work really really hard, I can do as well as a man, but they are generally smarter than women."

These are educated women with bright futures in their chosen professions. Women that generally respect themselves and hold strong opinions. They argue with men, they discuss things with men, and somehow they have come to believe that they are, by their own nature, lesser.

It is times like this that bring to mind what my mother told me about feminism when I was an angsty, grumpy, self-righteous teenager with a blossoming interest in feminism and religious and social equality.

"I am not the same as a man. But I should get equal treatment."

At the time, I rejected femininity as part of my Feminism.
Religiously, I wanted the same as men. I rejected the aspects of my religion that treasure femininity and women's commandments. Why should I do this "lesser" commandments when there are all of these active, public male commandments. Now, I am always skeptical of my motivations in choosing to take part in a traditionally male-dominated religious observance because the intention is one of one up man-ship rather than religious devotion.

Socially, I strove to be tough as a boy. I saw liking loud, angry, "masculine" music as the feminist choice rather than the "girly" choice of melodic, emotional, introspective music. Now I listen to a little bit of everything and in accordance with my mood or my emotional need.
Essentially, I saw "traditionally female" characteristics as oppressive or undesirable and rejected them.

I strive for balance. I try to appreciate toughness and tenderness, public and private, sassy and sweet. I think that my Feminism is embracing and incorporating all that I am.

This is what a feminist looks like:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Three Little Girls Go To Yaffo - Shuk HaPishpishim - The Flea Market

On Sunday E and I went to Yaffo with a friend that it in our program. She wanted to go to the shuk and we wanted to explore Yaffo.
We took the bus from Herzliya to the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, then an overpriced taxi to Yaffo. We were ravenous and collapsed at Doctor Shakshouka despite our earnest efforts to branch out. Check out the lovely ceiling of the restaurant. E and I are both from earthquake country and were really nervous about things hanging above our heads.

After lunch, we headed over to the shuk. Lots of clothes, cheap jewelry, knick knacks etc.

M. made a new friend!

We discussed lots of important things:

A handsome young filmmaker took our picture:

Yaffo is so lovely because you see a really Middle Eastern kind of culture. Lots of men playing backgammon (sheshbesh) and drinking mint tea.

Awesome shop with old suitcases, printing presses, cameras etc. It reminded me of my grandfather.

The carpet stores:

And a lovely man mending a carpet:

We happened upon this stall in the market with antique and vintage printing plates. The shop keeper asked if he could help me with anything and I replied "No thank you, just looking." He followed me around the stall and apologized for having frightened me.

I wasn't frightened.

A lovely view from the park.

E. found a church! A Catholic one at that!

We walked back to the center of Yaffo and went to our favorite baklava place... Where we happened upon our friend from school, Dave the International Man, with his friends from Europe. Delightful!