Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I found it! The Quote!

Love is...

...being more than four inches taller and still able to walk comfortably.

And feeling like a rockstar.

I didn't buy them, but I really really really wanted to.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Wall Quotes

I want a quote to paint on canvas for my walls.

Here are some ideas:

For the dining room:
“Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.”
M.F.K. Fisher

There was another example but I can't see to find it right now. An orange print with an awesome saying on it.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The most dangerous thing is...

... too much hope.

Sorry for the vagueness, but I'm trying to remind myself that disappointed hope is the thing that is most likely to hurt me.

Because I've been hopeful.

Our little visitor: Uzi the Puppy

We fostered this doggy for about a week while Sweet J was considering adopting him.
He was the sweetest ever! Very cuddly and affectionate.
He was so well behaved as well! We left him alone a couple of times and he didn't make any trouble, not even knocking things over.

E and I miss him horribly now. Today I swept the floor and ended up with an avalanche of Uzi fur in the dustpan.

Come back Uzi!

Lag Ba Omer: Bonfire-Dance Party-Craziness

The title kind of says it all, doesn't it?
My school had this party on the beach in honor of Lag Ba Omer last week.

True to Israeli form, they didn't actually put up a sign to show where the stairs down to the cliff started. We managed to meander for twenty minutes before finding the entrance. It was hidden behind the catering truck.

Bonfires are a big deal in Israel on Lag Ba Omer.
People will just set them up in gravel parking lots, on the beach, in parks, etc.

Sweet J and N looking zoned out at the bonfire.

We chatted, ate hot dogs and toasted marshmallows
(risking burns for the marshmallows to be toasted on the fire, mind you).

Then we danced the night away. We found out that one of our classmates is an amazing dancer.
Now we have to go clubbing or dancing or salsa dancing!

Also, Fire Dancing:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Awesome Doctor Experiences

E. and I both have a fairly well documented adoration of our doctor: the friendly and efficient Dr. Brian.
He has helped both of us with various ailments and complaints over our eight months in Israel so far. He's wonderful!

Today however, he terrified me by insisting that I need to go on Accutane.

Uhh, no thanks, buddy. Especially because sun exposure is strictly forbidden and I am living in a country that will not see clouds for another five months. So, yeah, no.

I called the insurance for an appointment with a dermatologist. Our first interaction was on the phone and not very satisfactory. She is Russian and speaks Russian and heavily accented Hebrew. I speak English and very poor Hebrew. I was apprehensive, but I am very pleased by my experience.

In the US I went to an awful dermatologist who didn't actually look at my face and tried to undermine my decision making at every turn. He also decided that I should go on the pill even though I said that I didn't want to (last time I tried that I ended up suffering from depression, hot flashes, and simultaneous ravenous hunger and nausea, so thanks but no thanks).

Dr. Helena told me straight away that she won't put me on Accutane because it is a last resort. She also said that she doesn't like putting women on the pill for their skin until they try other medicine. Our conversation was stilted due to my lack of vocabulary (i.e. not knowing the word for the Pill: "It's this medicine that you take so there are no babies? How do you say that?"), but I have several prescriptions and the hope that they will work.

Bravo, sensible Doctors!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mind-Blowingly Awesome Lecture: Peace Negotiations

I don't have time to write a whole post right now, but my mind has been thoroughly blown by Prof. Reisner's lecture responding to President Obama's recent speech.
I will update later in the weekend.

Shabbat Shalom!

Monday, May 16, 2011

OOTD: Fake it 'til you make it

A couple weeks ago I was going through a pretty intense down time. I was deep in my dark place. One of the things I decided to do was start dressing up again because it makes me feel better.

This is the result.

That is a handmade vest. Handmade by YGirl.

Family in Herzliya

I had the pleasure of seeing my uncle and aunt from England.
They are visiting because my uncle is teaching at my school for a couple of weeks. I sat in on his International Law class and enjoyed it immensely!


To UNDOF We Go: What's up Syria and Lebanon

FIY: I took this trip more than a week ago and haven't been able to post the pictures. I am not up there right now with all the craziness going on for Nakba Day.

My school organized a trip for us to visit the UNDOF headquarters in the Golan Heights. Technically in Syria. So, yeah, I went to Syria.

We started out early. Too early. 7:30 is really early for grad students.
Our tour guide works for an eco/green non-profit so in addition to learning about the Golan Heights' political and military history, we learned about the environment. Like how Syria wants a little corner of the Kinneret Lake (Sea of Galilee) as a precondition to negotiation, though now the lake has receded so much so they wouldn't actually get access to Israel's only water source. Just the sources of it in the Golan Heights. Awesome.

Lots of sleeping going on.

Here is the view from the bridge over the MIGHTY RIVER JORDAN. 
That's right. You can walk across it. Without a bridge, even. 

We drove up through the Golan Heights to get to Mount Bental to meet the representatives of the UN Disengagement Observer Force. You can see the main sites of the Golan Heights including Mount Hermon (called Mount Herman by the Austrian UN guy), Kunetra on the Syria side, the Valley of Tears. On a clear day you can see the sea.

Tour guide telling us about volcanoes. I totally know this.

A very handy sign that shows the distances to various places. 
The Washington DC arrow points the wrong way.
Just saying.

What's up Syria?

Trenches at the top of Mount Bental.

Trenches and our group trying to ignore the loud Israeli school groups.

Tour guide making a really Israeli gesture.

E. and D. looking lovely as usual!

Austrian UNDOF guys. The photographer was the object of admiration of many of the ladies on the trip.
He's married, though. Sorry ladies.

This is the best photo I managed of the beautiful wildflowers of the Golan Heights. This is across from the UNDOF base. You can see the apple orchards too. I finally had good apples!


The location of the best Indian food in Israel. Or Syria for that matter.
There are Indian, Japanese, Philippine, and Austrian troop stationed there. But the Indians have the best food.

You can just about see the soldiers at the other tables.

Shortly after this picture was taken, the soldiers came over to us to have pictures with us. My camera died then, but I snagged a picture from a classmate's facebook page:

After lunch and a UNDOF presentation, we piled back into the bus and headed West  to the Lebanese border, picking up Mitch, the IDF spokesman for the North.

We got scary-close to the border. 

"Please turn around. You are not allowed to be here.
Thanks! Bye now!"

We went to a look out after that to see what Hizbollah has been up to.

They've been building that fake village behind me! It's completely empty and brand new. The IDF has been monitoring the construction and notes that the buildings have no livable interior spaces, just reinforced concrete. Not really residential. More like bunkers, I think.

It was a great time and I had a nice chat with my classmates and one of our guests (the brother of a classmate). A fantastic time was had by all! 

Just so you know, these are the borders that have been breached by protesters in the Nakba day protests.

Independence Day - Israeli Style

Yom HaAtzmaut - Israeli Independence Day

The whole country turns blue and white.
There are flags everywhere.
There are Star of David toys, inflatable hammers, cowboy hats etc etc etc.

Our local Seven Stars Mall decked out in flag bunting.

The CafeCafe around the corner from my apartment with hugemongous flags.

Sexy clothing store with a blue and white display.
One of the mannequins is topless (she was for DAYS, poor dear). 

Some festive tchotchkes - Flags, horns, noise makers and light-up headbands (I bought one!).

Aforementioned Star of David cowboy hats.

Inflatable hammers for children to hit each other with.

In the evening I went to the street party in my city. It was quite spectacular! The streets were full of people and vendors. There were musical acts and children's dancing performances. I went with some of my friends including Roommate E. and some other classmates.

Israeli Candied Apples!

The fireworks as viewed from our apartment.

Blue and White and Vodka!

Hugest Shawarma known to YGirl.

Children dutifully spraying foam on the four dogs sculpture.
What is a celebration without foam and silly string?

Lady on stilts!

People viewing the festivities from their balconies. I bet they didn't sleep at all (lots of noise and excitement).

Toy machine guns for independence!

Fireworks over a weird half-finished building in the center. This was over the main music stage.

"And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air..."
Whoops! Wrong country!

Then we ate. Cuz that's how we celebrate. This is one of the newest Jewish/Israeli holidays but the pattern follows the traditional model:
"They tried to kill/annihilate us, but we won. Let's eat."
Ice cream.
Chinese-style dumplings.

The remains of the huge shawarma.

It was a glorious party. I danced in the Israeli streets!