Visit to Hebron

October 12, 2006 - 2:25 PM by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Immigrant Moments, Israeliness, War 

New immigrant from England Leila describes her trip to Hebron, led by an anti-occupation former soldier. Painful stuff.

Idan’s “undelicious” day

October 12, 2006 - 1:20 PM by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Life 

Idan muses about the good and the bad, the yin and the yang, the delicious and the undelicious:

Things which are delicious:

* Being married
* Talking about nothing all evening with friends
* Discovering good music and the fun of listening to it for the first time
* When something “just works” unexpectedly, saving you several hours of bashing head into wall
* Finding a particularly great way to phrase something complex
* lists of delicious things (oops, that is recursive)

Things which are not delicious:

* Tradesmen (Shiputznikim, Plumbers, et cetera), doubly so when they bork your workday by coming late
* Homophobes who make the distinction of rights-deserving human beings versus gay human beings
* Employers who are careless with how they handle paying/reimbursing you, generating some totally unnecessary crapwork to rectify things

I had a decidedly undelicious day. :(

… but the bright side of things is that delicious outweighs not- by a 2:1 ratio.

Some people will do anything for their own sukkah

October 12, 2006 - 12:14 PM by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Holidays 

Jameel found photos of a rather, um, creative sukkah in Kiryat Atta, near Haifa.

I feel it necessary to point out that one is not obligated under Jewish law to risk one’s life or limb in order to fulfill Judaism’s dictates.

on the edge sukkah

Just looking at it makes me nervous.

A Woman with a Mission

October 12, 2006 - 11:14 AM by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General, Life 

Yael’s seven cats lead to so many fun blog posts . . . .

I priced getting a professional exterminator in and calculated in the costs and the risks. The exterminator is expensive but there is also the cost of having to board 7 cats for two days and to find someone to keep myself for one of those. The stuff he sprays is highly poisonous to the cats and also very attractive to them and would require a massive cleaning of every surface, nook and cranny before they could be brought back in. It would also have to be repeated again in 6 months. I decided that maybe I can wage an equally effective but less toxic battle myself. Thus when I purchased a vacuum cleaner I went for a more expensive version than what I had planned on getting, but still cheaper than the exterminator. It is called The Animal.

It was just delivered 10 minutes ago and while it is still in box (but ha, not for long) the battle against the dastardly swarming fleas is already underway. The cats are locked in the bedroom. I bought 2 cannisters of flea powder and have liberally saturated sofa, chair cushions, and pet perches. It has been sprinkled behind the refridgerator and under the furniture. I have even sprinkled it on the floors. In another 10 minutes I will begin vacuuming those surfaces. Washable cushions will then be washed. The floor will be scrubbed in hot soapy water (well, I do this everyday at any rate but an even more major scrubbing than usual is in order). When the floors have dried, and the sofa is re-covered, the cats will be released and the flea powder, the Animal and I will take over the bedroom. This is between running out for meetings with students (I have 3 meetings set up this afternoon 2 hours apart). This may actually end up being a two-day process. But the fleas, they better just give up and move on out now because this is a battle I intend to win!

Natalie Portman speaks . . . Hebrew

October 10, 2006 - 3:24 PM by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Art, General, Israeliness, Pop Culture 

As anyone who is a fan knows, Natalie Portman lived in Jerusalem last year for a semester, studying at Hebrew University and acting in “Free Zone,” a film by Amos Gitai. She’s a native of the city; her family moved to the US when she was three.

Here is a video of Natalie doing an interview in Hebrew in her hotel room in Tel Aviv (with French subtitles for some reason – I suppose the video was taken from French tv?). Sure, it’s old news. But hey, I’m a tremendous fan, and membership in Israelity has its privileges.

Translation, to the best of my ability:
“I’m happy you came — to my home”
“I always wanted to come here to live to see how it is, because I left at a young age. It’s wonderful. Very fun.”
“I studied a little Arabic, and some Israeli history, and Hebrew of course.”
“I thought about studying in Tel Aviv, but I’m very happy I chose Jerusalem because I really had no problems with photographers.”
Then she shows the interviewers around her suite, and the view of Tel Aviv outside the window, and she says “What I like most about the room is that they clean it every day.”
They discuss something about Jerusalem vs. Tel Aviv, but it was rather unintelligible.
They ask her if she’s had a chance to see the city (not sure whether they mean Tel Aviv or Jerusalem) and she says “I went out with friends to their apartments, to restaurants, to movies.”
They offer a bottle of spirits, and she demurs, saying “If I’m going to influence people, I don’t want to influence them in the direction of alcohol.”
Then they talk about Israeli television shows — doesn’t sound like she watches much, but she’s heard of The Ambassador and Wonderful Country.
They talk about the Oscars, which were coming up at the time. Natalie had been nominated for an award, and was also presenting one – she says that she’s presenting the award for Best Short Documentary, and is looking forward to the ceremony, and she’s bringing her parents. They ask her if she has something to wear and she says “not yet. I didn’t have time to look. I’m arriving in America on Saturday and the awards are on Sunday, so they are bringing me all sorts of dresses to try.”
Then they talk about Free Zone, and she says “I like doing different things. It’s good to change how you act and to try new things. I really wanted to do an Israeli film.”
She lists various Israeli films that she saw and enjoyed.
They ask: Do you consider yourself Israeli?
She answers:
“Of course. In America I feel Israeli, and here I feel American. They say it’s good for an artist to always feel a little bit like a stranger, because it gives you a different perspective from everyone else.”
Toward the end she talks about how hard she’s working — I think maybe they invited her to go out, but she says “At work I have to be able to concentrate.”

We love Natalie!

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