Friday, October 31, 2008

there was a house in new orleans

THE HALLOWEEN PARTY WENT GREAT! shlomi, al and i all went to the liquor store in ramla to pick up some beer, which was 188 sheckels for 20 liters of beer, whatever that is. tali came with her ex-boyfriend and even jen showed up. ricki came with some hilarious friends. orie came with his friends and cousin. we played guitar, had some surprises, played a couple rounds of flip-cup---an old partytime fave of mine. i got pictures of everyone and even some amazing polaroids. al and i as seth and evan from superbad was the best costume since sliced bread. i was so excited. i finished more photos before the party for the oranim website. tonight we have even more costume surprises for katie's party in tel aviv. so wait for more photos from that. i'm just super psyched. mainly because i FINALLY got this:

from stephen, the art director at nylon. it is the photoshoot that i did for nylon this summer. the denim street style issue. it didn't make the cut in the final issue but i'm just fucking happy that he sent it!!!!!!!!! so i can use it in my portfolio. ALSO, andy picked up the photos from my solo show from my dad that he will be showing in an art show at amber's house themed around 'spaces' or something like this. i'm so happy and honored that he's putting my work in the show and i really just miss everyone and wish i could be there. anyway, as for tonight, we are going to a co-worker's party and then tomorrow we have our host brother's BAR MITZVAH!!! i'm so psyched. more tomorrow!!!! love everyone!



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

let her see your fancy footwork, show her that you're not that shy

oooooooooooooooohmygod. so ulpan was really good today. we've been fucking walking in the rain. is so crazy israel in de rain.

ok so after ulpan, alice and i went to the market to get stuff for the party. and some other stuffs. then we got ready for work. and yaacov picked us up at 3 o'clock on the dot i'm in my drop top cruisin the streets.

oh usher. and theeeeeeeeeen, he accused us of lying about going to tel aviv to vote becuase he checked with the embassy and they told him that the only place we could vote was there on november 4th. he thought that we just told him that we went to vote when really we just asked him to take us dancing the other night after work. he was legitimately upset, which made us legitimately upset. because, of course it was weird that we went to a bar at 11PM to vote. but fuck it. after a very tense confused cab ride to work, we figured it all out. he apologized and everything was ok.

work was fine. andy tolentino, one of my fave buddies and an amazingly creative and funny mannish creature, is having an art show at one of my good friend and former bandmate's houses and asked if i would want my photos in it. i am so honored of course, and really want to so i'm hooking him up with my dad so he can pick some printed and framed photos of mine from my house. really excited that i can show my work from here. then, after i talked to one girl about helping my dad set up his reservations for his trip here, i called people about deposits and edited photos for the new website. i think everyone is stressed out. i was actually pretty upset at work and i couldn't figure out why, but then i realized it's because i'm worried about gammy and there's nothing i can do from here. not like there's anything i can do from home either, but i just miss her and hope everything is ok. i even had to go outside to calm down for a minute. i haven't been that emotionally overwhelmed and equally helpless in a while. work ended and i called my dad, and then gammy, and talked to aunt andi and gammy. it was really nice but made me sad. gammy is my fave lady.

ok so got home and tried on my costume for tomorrow night. i'm fuckin stoked. stay tuned for photos. tomorrow is elderly center and then kadima for photo lessons. then we clean and prepare for the PARTAY! sorry this is so brief but i'm tired and tomorrow is a big day. more soon!!!!!



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

your smile is like a breath of spring, you voice is soft like summer rain

man yesterday was pretty good, all things considered. woke up kinda late-ish around 11:30AM when my mom called to tell me that my gammy has an ulcer on her eye and cannot see anymore as of this moment, so i'm worried. i'm really close with her, so it scares me that i'm not there. but i did get to talk to her when my dad was at the doctor with her, so hopefully everything will be fine.

our goal during the day was to rearrange things for the party with al and ray ray. we felt like hoss women when we were done, because we moved heavy shit. and did it with style. we ended up with a japanese/indian style sitting area made from matresses and a little bed frame that functions as a little tiny table. hung out with alice, jade, izy, rayna, and buffy. we laughed a lot, it was really fun and we all talked about our costumes and other party details. very excited. i hope it goes well.

around 5, al and i were picked up by elan (host dad) and driven (in rainy traffic, which i totally slept through and lost track of time) to lapid to pick up the birthday boy (eran) and the rest of the fam to go eat at a restaurant called 'max brenner: the bald man'. now, the restaurant in questions specializes in one thing and one thing only: chocolate. they have every form, treat, drink, dessert chocolate EVER. it's the best shit i've ever seen. now in preparation for this dinner, i barely ate anything all day. when we got there, i knew i needed actual food, so al and i split a salad (delicious veggies), veggie quiche (also amazing), and white chocolate chai tea (instead of milk, white chocolate). i had a really hard time picking my big deal dessert (choices included: chocolate hamgburger and chocolate pizza, mind you). i finally settled on a little confection called a 'nougat crepe', which consisted of a crepe filled with chocolate nougat, drizzled with chocolate sauce, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, with toffee yogurt and chocolate sauce on the side. it was ridiculous. al got a banana split waffle. i don't understand this fucking place. anyone that visits me in israel is eating here. i don't care what you say. sorry guys. this is rule.

anyway, i was wonderfully full and ready to gain 5 pounds in one night. on the way home we played tongue twister games in english and hebrew and the kids tricked al and i how to say 'i fucked a cow' in hebrew, which i forgot how to say. oh well, i'm sure i can figure that out no problem. made plans to be picked up from tel aviv for eran's bar mitzvah ceremony this saturday morning. VERY excited about that and the party!!! got home and watched part of v for vendetta before falling asleep way too late.

this morning we all had to go to ulpan, because MASA reps were supposed to meet us to talk about the General Assembly coming to israel in the next couple of weeks. it's supposed to be a big deal and al and i have both (with 3 others) been chosen to represent ISC at the GA in jerusalem. its very cool. i go to ulpan anyway, but the reps didn't end up coming. however, i did interview with the woman in charge of hooking me up with the group of students that i'll be teaching photography to. i start next week. with middle schoolers. ITS RAINING in israel right now. seriously had to walk to ulpan in the rain this morning. very crazy. i think i'm doing well in ulpan. i like learning hebrew. spanish kiss my ass. although i was feeling a bit under the weather. probably not sleeping enough. plus, it's wet out. al is getting sick too, i think. so we almost didn't go to the TV station today, but we decided to anyway. good thing we did, because we got some good work done editing and splicing music into the little learning demo film we made for keren (tv station.... lady). its really funny. we decided to turn it into a horror movie of sorts. don't ask. i'll post it if i can. really silly.

OH! toy remember the woman that tried to pimp me to her son, vicki? she regretted to inform me today that her son thought i was too young... DARN. :)

walked home in the rain, changed into comfy clothes. naama's brother imanuel came over to bring alice some medicine (and me too) and we got to hang with him for a while. he's hilarious and i really enjoy his company. after he left, alice and i made some cauliflower and broccoli olive oil spaghetti and finished v for vendetta and i've just been watching jonah hill, michael cera, and christopher mintz-plasse interviews. i'm a douche. and i'm going to bed. it's 11:30PM. FINALLY an early bedtime. i'm in love. it's fucking cold. and i just saw a mouse in our room. i think his name is sherman. don't eat my fucking clothes sherman. i beg of you.


p.s. dolly parton is a woman for the ages. that's all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

i've had some time to think about you on the long ride home


not much today. learned a lot in ulpan. came home. RAN!!! mitah ran with me the whole way! it was really cute. i felt protected and proud to have a companion. not to mention how good it felt to actually run. it's been so long. plus, it's not fucking sweltering anymore, so it's good. took a shower. rode to work and spoke some hebrew with yaacov.

worked. edited photos for the new website and the promo poster. pretty good stuff.

THEN... after work, yaacov drove al, coach, jade and i to this pub called the 'dancing camel' where...

I FUCKING VOTED! i'm so happy to get it out of the way. i was so worried i wouldn't get my stuff in in time. but i did it. thank goodness. then they gave us a voucher for a beer. i drank that beer. with gusto. it was a hefeweizen, but it was called like, hefe-life or something stupid. they brewed it at the pub, and when i asked for the hefeweizen the bar-maven didn't know what the hell i was talking about.

but when we were done, coach totally misdirected us to the bus station, so we ended up taking a cab there. only to wait for about 20 minutes, mildly freaking out that another sheruit wouldn't come since it was almost 1AM. but we made it and now i'm sitting on my little bed listening to lindsay buckingham. i've been jamming tom petty, ryan adams, lindsay buckingham, my morning jacket, and patty griffin almost non-stop for the past couple of days. thank you cameron crowe.

we're cleaning the house for our halloween party tomorrow, then i have another photography lesson at kadima. we'll see how that goes. i'll improvise. then, alice and i are getting picked up for our host brother eran's birthday party at, get this, a fucking CHOCOLATE RESTAURANT!!!!!!!!!!!!

that's right. holler. chocolate hamburgers. i'm in love. i just won't eat all day tomorrow.




Saturday, October 25, 2008

it took a world of trouble, took a world of tears

instead of waking up and going to the tel aviv museum of art and then thrift shopping, we slept until about 4PM then got ready to take a sheruit to tel aviv at around 6:30PM. we went, of course, straight to the sub kuch. while we were sitting on the curb, i saw this very dark skinned black man dressed in all white. i called him an angel. alice agreed. we hung there for a while with chico, ariel, and david. i was supposed to meet inbal at this metal bar, so al and i left to walk to this bar. as we're walking, ariel pulls up and after some deliberation between us, al decides to go with him. so i figure i am independent enough to hoof it, and i set off to walk to the bar alone. i'm thinking that i know where i'm going, but i end up walking about 20 minutes down allenby and know that i've gone too far. i call inbal and sure enough, she has no fucking clue where i am. so i need tampons and water before i begin my journey back to the middle. i stop at the AMPM market to do so. i walk alllllllllll the way back to where i started, and on the way i see my angel. i give him a look. he looks confused back. oh well.

i finally make it to inbal after much misdirection. turns out that i totally missed the street which was 5 minutes away from the sub kuch. and that the bartender's directions were so easy that i fucked them up. i have to pee and (DISCLAIMER: i'm going to talk about my period...)

change my tampon, so inbal and i find a bathroom in this restaurant. i go to open the box of tampons and i realize that i've bought not tampons but 25 sheckels worth of pantyliners. now anyone that has ever had to use a pantyliner will sympathize with me on this. luckily, inbal had a couple of extra tampons, so that worked.

OK done talking about my period now.

inbal really didn't want to go back to the metal bar, so we walked to this little place that she thought looked cute. we found this little tiny place called 13 with windows so heavily tinted that we couldn't even tell if it was open or not. well, it was and we had a couple of lovely drinks to elvis, temptations, and chuck berry records. this place is a little dream. i mean, not as great as ships, but still pretty great. we wrapped up and walked back to the metal bar to meet inbal's friend and ride. we enter the bar and i'm immediately faced with about 20 death metal dudes, scattered around the bar (or standing on it) headbanging and fist-pumping to the really fucked up song they sing in american history x which is both racist and anti-semitic. inbal's friend notices the expression on my face, which i'm sure was a mixture of confusion, shock, and disgust, and says "don't worry, we're all jewish. it's just for fun." i'm thinking to myself, "what the fuck am i doing here?" but we sit on the couches in the back anyway, only to be approached by a gentleman by the name of andres vodka. andres proceeds to serenade me with death metal and dance moves that have me fearing for the safety of my facial appendages. but its so fucking ridiculous and he is so into it that i can't help but just smile and laugh and it honestly put me in a great mood. afterward, i just watched and even snapped a couple of photos of these drunk metal guys as they alllllll got up on the bar, singing and headbanging along to the fucking empiriral march from star wars. once i stopped laughing, i realized that it was 3AM, so that meant no sheruits until 5AM. i really didn't feel like going to inbal's in hadera because i would've had to bus it back for an hour to ramla. so the only thing i could think to do was to walk back to the sub kuch because i knew that david would be starting his night shift at 4AM so at least i'd have someone to talk to before i walked to the train station. i said goodbye to inbal at the halfway walk point and got to sub kuch in no time.

walked to the bar, and hung out with chico, tomer, mayaan, noa, david and tal. chico invited us all onto the roof to relax and chill...

we all just sat on the couches and drank tea, looking at the sky. all of a sudden, i'm trying to explain the different phases of the moon to chico while david wonders if the words "waxing" and "waning" are german based, and we see a falling star. i make a wish.

we all head back downstairs and david announces that my bed is ready, meaning that i can sleep on the couches in the next room. he brings me a blanket and opens his new book as i pass out on the couch next to him. i woke up several times during this morning, and once i met a older couple from denmark travelling through staying in the guest house. they reminded me of dad and joan and made me think to tell them to stay here. i fell asleep one last time and woke up to david telling me that his shift was over, so i said goodbye and walked to sheruit station. when i was nearly there, i walked by two ethiopian ladies in beautiful, elaborate ceremonial white dresses and hats. i realized after they had passed and after the 2nd time i looked back to see them that i should've taken a photo. i thought about it and remembered that there are 4 photos i regret not taking: those ladies in white in tel aviv, the back of a hassidic boy on a pay phone just outside the old city in jerusalem, a large indian family all in matching purple and orange suris in LA rental car place, two black men in columbus sitting outside yau's, one seizing on the ground, the other looking on. i wish i was diane arbus. and could just ask people, beg people to take their photos. it was nice to be alone these last few hours, maybe i feel like alli is a security blanket. i've always been independent. maybe i just haven't spent enough time alone since i've been here.

slept for a few hours, i've been fasting all day except water. i need to cleanse. slough some stuff off. i made myself eggs. and then watched 'fever pitch' which is horribly bad, but made me miss being in a relationship. a good one. and i can't imagine what that's like anymore. very strange. and then i thought that romantic comedies are such unrealistic bullshit. all of them besides 'punch drunk love'. that captures the disgusting, jarring, surreal, sexy, gut-wrenching wonderment that goes into falling into an infatuation with someone. lasting or not. al came home and now we're planning our halloween costumes. and i have a rash. and now we're watching almost famous. ulpan and work tomorrow. goodnight everyone.

it's all happening.

OH, and i've decided to use the pantyliners as wall decor. that is all.



Friday, October 24, 2008

i've been first and last. look at how the time has passed.

before we went to bed last night, i had a convo with alli about what we wish we could change about ourselves and i realized because i think i know myself well since i've analyzed myself to death in every situation, i limit myself so i should just let go of what i think i know and just react and try to change. i think too fucking much. i always worry about why i'm not doing something instead of just doing it.

this morning we went to the elderly center. we walked in and saw eric and met guy, the israeli volunteer and ofra, the director there. then she showed us where the arts and crafts room is. there's people working on beaded pictures, and knitting, and amazing stuff. they even have a cabinet with the best work, which is pretty beautiful. i was really impressed. ofra said that they were pretty empty today so i started tracing a turkey by this one old man. we met. i think he loves me. his name is israel.

next we went into the next room for body aerobics, or stretching and mild calisthenics. i think i even got a little workout! my boyfriend, israel, stood next to me. he's a doll. these women have the most amazing style i've ever seen. i would pillage their closets. i'm not kidding either. this one lady was wearing this amazing print dress with a sick green cardigan, sweat pants, and a beautiful scarf on her head. all ridiculous, but together they were stunning. note to self. dress like old ladies.

after aerobics, a rabbi came to speak about this week's shabbat torah portion, of course in hebrew, so al and i tried to figure out what he was saying, while one by one, all the oldies starting falling asleep. afterwards, we went back into the arts and crafts room and i boldly declared that i would learn how to knit. i grabbed two needles and a ball of yarn and sat there and boldly stared at them. i seemed to say, 'alright mother fuckers, are you gonna knit yourselves, or what." the woman next to me, adela, reached over and gave me the hand gesture that means in israel 'to wait'. i watched very closely and carefully as she rapidly started a hat for me and handed me the needles. i started the stitch. and then i stopped the stitch. and then i stared some more. and then i looked at her with sad eyes. "slicha, ech?" which means "excuse me, how?" anyway, i finally got the hang of the easy version of the stitch that she started with after i fucked up what she started and had to re-do it over and over. she got annoyed at first, but then i was so pathetic that she just laughed about it and shrugged her shoulders. i was so concentrated when i actually figured out what i was doing. i think i could work with my hands all day, doing crafts or construction. that's the only time that i'm truly focused. very weird.

we retreated to the lunch hall after i fucked up my knitting for the last time and helped the workers serve food and water to the oldies. eric pointed out the dreamy outfit lady and how she asks for bread "lechem" as she pats his face, and then proceeds to stuff as much of it as she can into her purse. as he's telling us this, she calls him over, and i see her mouth the words, "lechem, lechem" as she pats his cheek. it's cute, but i think these people do this, because they are so poor they have to find ways to get what they can. after the dining hall cleared out, we were fed. best food ever. i had schnitzel and veggies and potatoes. not baddddddddd.

al and i walked home debating bout love, mating, sex, marriage, etc. i forgot what i realized about this. but i remembered that when i was in college i realized that no matter what i did, it wouldn't matter someday, so i could just do what i felt. i think i'll do that. i'm tired of feeling so constricted.

got home, went to work. todd showed me the first mock up of the website with my photos. doesn't look too bad. then zvi asked for some photos for the GA visit to ramla, so i went through my flickr and he chose a few. he was in a rush to leave, so he did. he called me a few minutes later just to tell me that he appreciates me and my gift. i almost cried. later, on one of my interviews, i was talking to this guy working in finance and business about how when i was in college, i avoided the business building like the plague, probably because i didn't understand it and business majors represented everything i hate about the world: materialism, gluttonous consumption, and greed. but now i regret not studying it, business would help me nowadays with my art, etc. that's what i get for not researching something because i didn't know about it, so i was scared, so i didn't learn about it. and blah blah blah. vicious cycle. the dangers of ignorance.

got home at 11:30-sih and watched this weird movie about sex addiction called love sick. i didn't watch the whole thing. addiction is really interesting. i was thinking about blake while i was watching this. he says we're all addicted to something. i agree with him. i miss that guy. falling asleep to phosphorescent. tomorrow i'll create an event on facebook so we can have a halloween party at our house!!!!!!!!

more soon. tomorrow going to tel aviv maybe. love everyone. i miss things.



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

our work is never over

well, waking up was really hard today. especially because i spent so much time writing my entry last night. learned my lesson not to wait so long. but i can't help that i'm so busy doing crazy shit all the time. or can i...?

anyway, went to ulpan this morning. had a good day there. my hebrew is getting better. i noticed that i can now understand a lot of what people are talking about as well as aaaaaalmost being able to have half-conversations with people. not bad at all. wasn't supposed to work today, but we needed extra people, so i went home to get ready. jodi and i had a chat about relationships and the meaning of life. i came to the conclusion that i:

1) believe that relationships are by-products of the human loneliness, and we are not really biologically pre-disposed to pair off for life as we seem to think we must.

2) act as if i don't believe any of these things and just want someone to kiss and cuddle with and make love to and dicsuss things with and laugh with and read books with and we will be together and happy forever. despite the fact that i've never actually seen this happen. (little side note: i was watching 'look who's talking now', the one with the dogs and i noticed that there are barely any movies depicting real-ish, shlubby looking married couples that have problems but love each other and are happy anyway, even after kids and dogs and jealousy and firings and bullshit. does that even exist? fuck i love that movie.)

3) think one reason i may have trouble having goals is that i don't believe anything really means anything. once the world ends, it won't fucking matter whether i get a ph.d. and cure cancer, or i buy this shirt. i don't know. fuck being cynical can be depressing. but maybe that's why i get depressed and can't fall in "love" or feel like i'm capable of doing anything significant. maybe because i don't believe 'significance' exists. meh.

so that's just a little rotten fruit for thought, i guess...

zvi, our new director, came by the house to talk to us about his wishes for the success of our program since they are about to launch ISC for free, and how it will expand. furthermore, he brought up the idea of helping ramla by writing an article, interviewing arabs, jews, and others in ramla and then sending it to our citys' newspapers to get the word out. he also asked us to try and come up with a project for ramla as a mixed jew and arab city to promote tolerance, after a pretty crazy incident in acko (a mixed city in the north of israel), where an arab was attacked over the holidays. we had come up with the idea to host a festival to introduce ourselves as the ISC group, but i thought maybe we should have a festival with both arabs and israelis promoting their own food, dancing, music, and cultural artifacts. zvi seems to think that we can get people to come to anything with free food. so that's a possiblity. i wonder if what we're doing here is actually helping. and i wonder if all of the jews coming back to israel is right. i feel like there's such a lack of balanced information about the arab population. and the tension is palpable.

after our meeting, zvi drove us to the office and we made calls all night as usual, talking to potential ISC participants. even talked to momo, and he said that since we are recruiting ISC for free and this development is happening while we are here, he will be giving us a raise to help reimburse our tuition. i am happy with the raise, BTW. ate pizza. ALICE GOT PACKAGES FROM HER MOM WITH TORTILLAS, SALSA, MAPLE SYRUP, and PANCAKE PARTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

this party is redunk. i'm goin to a fan freakin party. and it has breakfast tacos and pancakes.

so we came home and opened the packages. and i wrote a fucking ridiculous song. fucking wow. i'm really happy with it. i recorded it and posted it on my myspace.

i love everyone. we're going to the old folks home tomorrow and bringing the video camera. OH! i've been commissioned to take photos for the new ISC website. more news later. i'm gonna get mad credit though. ok i'm waking up in 3-ish hours. i'm insane. damnit.



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ground control to major tom

so the last four days have been really surreal and amazing. basically i've stayed up until 8 in the morning at least doing really cool things at cool places and meeting interesting and sweet people. and then i sleep until i work. and then i do it all over. and i just got back from a trance party/festival/nature gathering thing. it was nuts. since my schedule has been so fucked, here's my story for the last 4 days...

10.17.08 (friday)
made mac and cheese
changed my own guitar strings
headed to florentine, then decided to actually go to sab kuch milega, so got lost on the way
supposed to meet scott (guy that does film stuff from philly that ofir got us in contact with)
ATE INDIAN FOOD! amazing...
alli and i had a nice chat about life, past, our film, and left us feeling very centered
thought about what would happen if instead of channelling doubt, i switched energy into creative outlets instead
saw john o (australian guy), then napping david (german guy) ---both roomates at the subkcuh
went upstairs. saw meital and british couple (on their honeymoon travelling for a whole year!)
scott came, watched the new indiana jones on roof and he gave me advice to keep organized notes of times when filming to make editing easier
downstairs, saw ariel (alice's friiiiiiiiend), went upstairs, downstairs found alice and ariel, upstairs, downstairs carried alli to the gallery to sleep, talked to david about oscar wilde, being german
hung out in gallery with sleeping alli, ariel, tomer (bartender),
power went out
alli woke up
down to the bar again
looking at photos of john o's travel (japan, china, mongolia, vietnam)
i notice i should start taking photos of every day things that seem normal to me, but not to everyone, because that's what i'll want to see
they started playing radiohead at the bar
(all radiohead, my dream), i go to the couches to lay down
we just sit and talk and listen to radiohead and REM, john o tells me sleazy stories
we end up sleeping there
wake up to radiohead, comfy on a cushion, smell of fresh indian food cooking (not too shabby)
nufar offers me coffee and we talk about travelling and life, while david reads oscar wilde
then we meet rusty, from germany and the states
talks about the berlin wall falling being a mistake by a reporter and i want to go to germany (east berlin is where to go, says rusty)
finally the buffet opens, then i eat AGAIN and we leave, jump on a sheruit and get home. i'm going to sleep, alli is watching superbad for the 50th time.

10.18.08 (saturday)
i decided i'd be free tonight, not worry about perceptions of me. just do what i felt.
it was an all girls night, ray ray and buffy came out.
took a sheruit to tel aviv, then walked to sub kuch milega (indian restaurant... this will be a regular haunt, so get familiar)
chilled at bar saw ran (dreamy bartender)
tried to blow smoke rings and make the butthole face
mlai kofta (ate it. don't know what the fuck it is, but it was delicious)
ben al (best LA/tel aviv gay guy i've ever met)
went upstairs to one of the apartments there
downstairs to chill, then back upstairs where daniel and chico handed me a guitar and we all played songs together. alice and buff were there, buffy made videos of us playing. very cool. they're on facebook.
in normal fashion, we were still there for sunrise, so we all went up on the roof and told stories while the sun came up. very nice start to the day.
sheruit, then walk home.

10.19.2008 (sunday)
woke up after sleeping all day, went to work. talked to izy (jade's non-boyfriend boyfriend) about how we were going to get to the free spirit festival the next day (nature trance dance hippie love drinking all day all night camping festival on kineret lake), that we were told about by one of our co-workers, yuval. we figured out that it would be easiest if we took a cab from ramla after work to the city petah tikva and then spend the night, taking a bus in the morning to tiberius, which is where the lake and party are. so we did that and hopped on the bus the in morning in petah tikva. wouldn't you know it, but just as i'm laying my head down to rest, jade all of a sudden says, "hey! it's yuval!" i almost didn't believe it, but yuval (dreamy) and two friends (dreamy friends) hopped on the bus too. very strange. so we all drove out there together. once we arrived, the gates wouldn't open until 7-ish, and we got there at 4PM. so we waited. with izy's friends who we just meet there and yuval's friends (guy and liel--who i call eyes because he has the most incredible eyes i've ever seen). we finally get in and set up camp, just chilling out to trance beats, then a band starts playing. people are just coming in and setting up tents all night so by the time 9 rolls around, there's more and more tents everywhere. basically the point of this festival is to get drunk and dance all night long and then all day. for two whole days. we're only staying for one, so we are just relaxing for the beginning of the night, hanging with izy's friends. we take a little nap, have a burger and then decide to meet yuval and guy and eyes at their tent. they invite us to go dancing in the hug pit set up with a huuuuuuuge tarp ceiling in front of a huuuuuuuge stage. and it's midnight and dark and the lights are going crazy and the band is dancing, and i'm forgetting that i exist because i'm just jumping around like an idiot, feeling the beat and trying to keep my flip flops on because i didn't realize we were going dancing straight after meeting yuval. so we dance for about an hour or two and then grab water and relax more. we pretty much repeat this whole routine all night, relax, drink, walk around, dance, take photos, take a nap, eat a little, go buy more stuff, see yuval and his friends dancing again, all set again the breathtaking backdrop of the kineret lake and a never ceasing pulse of the trance rhythms. seriously all night and all day. after about 2 hours of sleep at 6 this morning, and after my third two hour stint on the dance floor, i decided to go take a dip in the pool under the WATER SLIDES!!! because we're in a water park. that's right. it woke me up and i felt better, so i laid out a little to dry off, and then al and jade and izy and i just danced more, meeting this two crazy guys, inon and idan, that kept playing volleyball and giving us pancakes and water. i took a lot of photos today and last night. it was really incredible. and to top it all off, this singer started to perform not long before we left. i forget his name, but he sang the theme song for al and 's birthright trip and we had even seen him on tel aviv beach while we were here in february! his band was very cool, and we got to listen to him as we walked down to the shrinking banks of the kineret so jade could wash her feet off. i've honestly never been so sore and tired, and i've never danced so much in my life. but it was beautiful and i had a lot of fun. we said goodbye to yuvie and his friends and headed to the tiberius bus station to catch a sheruit (much faster) to tel aviv, so we could take a sheruit back home. all i wanted was to take a shower, but we were hungry once we got to the tel aviv bus station, so al i i grabbed something and i passed out on the ride home. just got here. i took a shower and feel like a new woman, but i'm wiped the fuck out. i'm probably not making sense. but i love everyone. photos everywhere. ulpan tomorrow.




Thursday, October 16, 2008

3 happy chappies with chappy sarappies

not much to say. went to work as usual. this kid, ori, that just got out of the israeli army has been telling me coincidentally that his brother was a music photographer that worked for rolling stone before he passed away from cancer very young a couple of years ago, leaving behind a young daughter. this breaks my heart as it is, but ori promised to bring in some of his brother's work, and i gave him the link to mine.

he brought in some magazines and gave me his brother's web-stuffs to look up later. his work is absolutely incredible. he's shot my favorite bands of all time, not to mention the fact that he shoots film. ok so HUGE radiohead, flaming lips, sonic youth, iggy pop, modest mouse, spiritualized, nofx, mars volta, red hot chili peppers, and death cab for cutie just to name a few. the images are amazing and totally inspiring for me to not get in my own way and start shooting film. OH and apparently, he was looking online with his dad at my stuff, and his dad asked if my work was his brother's. so that was really a nice compliment.

i realized 3 things tonight once i logged onto his brother's website and (maintained almost every day by a very close friend of drew's):

1) i try to analyze why i don't do shit too much instead of just doing it (i.e. i think and worry too much). which is why i should just go out and take photos and write songs and not give a shit and worry why i'm not doing it. just fucking do it! i mean, this guy just did what he absolutely LOVED every single day and was dedicated to it. i hate to contradict myself, but why is it not in my nature to do that? fuck. is it always so hard to find what you're passionate about more than anything? to create something pure and expository and transparent?

2) this person had people in his life that cared deeply for him that he would've gone to jail or died for. he cooked and barbequed and really cherished the people in his life. and he obviously showed them or he wouldn't have so much sadness at his death. this makes me really want to show the people in my life how much i care about them. i'm scared that i'm not good at being really involved and kind to people. that i'm too self centered and that i don't really care about anyone but myself. that's a very lonely feeling.

3) i should start shooting film. it's more me. no wonder i'm getting bored shooting digital. sure it's easier and cheaper, but it's not as authentic, and i'm so about authenticity and rawness and realness. so it makes sense. this is where taking photography classes comes in handy. maybe i'll re-think that path a bit later down the line. i'd like to get into color film stuff too.

plus, the whole process is so organic and a part of you. so the finished product truly is a labor of love, from the initial interaction between the subject and the photographer to the processing of the film, to the selection, to the developing. i love that about photography. and its my dream to shoot bands, because my favorite part about shooting people is to capture the humanity in them, the intention of their expression. anyway, that's what i thought about today.

now do it, sally.



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

how strange it is to be anything at all

well, i just heard a rooster crow. last night was wonderful. after i didn't really want to do anything, al dragged me out so we could find 'our' bar. we decided to go to florentine, the cool neighborhood in tel aviv. to the indian restaurant, sabkuch milega, that i played at. it took us forever, but we finally caught a cab from ramla to the general vicinity of the bar. i must say i've gotten pret-ty good at bargaining with people here. it's necessary or you get screwed. i mean, i got the guy down from 100 sheckles to 90, so i'm pretty much badass. but really, the driver was very nice, and even cuts hair when he's not driving a cab, so we may have the hair hookup. that is, if i don't just cut my own. and we all know how well that turns out usually.

well we got to florentine, and after a little detective work (i.e. asking someone), we found the place. we went straight to the bar and almost immediately started up a convo with a trio of strapping young lads, in addition to dreamy bartender with good music taste from the first time we went (name: ran). after a while, we all retreated upstairs to the rooftop patio, where they were showing, i'm not kidding, the LITTLE FUCKING MERMAID!!! i still know every word. the movie started to fuck up, so we all migrated, once again, to the bar downstairs. one girl bartender there, plus ariel, david, and another dude, plus al and i just started dancing on the bar to the great music. then, all of a sudden we were dancing behind the bar, all of us together. just one big rowdy dance party. then, some guy started spraying water, and then beer. so then, it was a big, rowdy, wet, beer-soaked dance party! it was the funnest thing ever! we were getting free drinks here and there and just having a grand ole time. nothing raunchy dad, don't worry.

after the dancing winded down, it was about 3 AM, so too late for a sheruit. luckily, this place is amazing and stays open 24 hours for some reason, so i spent a while just talking with david, a german guy who is staying in the guest house at the place (oh yeah, you can rent rooms there too... !!!!!!!!!). he works there in addition to living there. not too shabby if you ask me. anyway, we must've all talked for a quite a while because all at once, david led me outside where it was completely bright. then, it started to rain. now, i don't know if it was the fact that i hadn't seen real rain in a few months, or the magical feeling of the night, but we just stood in it, laughing and dancing around in it. alli heard us from upstairs and came down with ariel and his dog, bunjee who follows him everywhere. so we are all just standing in the rain dancing around in our clothes with this dog and it's great!

david is actually working, so after the rain calms down we all go inside and he serves us hot chai tea so that we do not get sick. then, david needs to get the electrical stuff from the roof so it doesn't get ruined, so we all go back upstairs, where it is raining even harder! i find a guitar and just play the thing even though it is desperately out of tune and we just play and dance and get absolutely SOAKED. but it doesn't even matter because it's a beautifully tragic morning. the rain calmed down again, i took a few photos, and we said our goodbyes before walking to the train station, which is actually very close to the place. now i hadn't been feeling well starting late in the night. my stomach has been getting upset really easily, so it was sort of bothersome. but i still had a blast. plus i think alli and i found our bar.

so we are in the sheruit and ALMOST home after sitting in rain traffic, and there's a guy that gets on the taxi not too far from our stop and i realize i have to throw up. it's now or never, so i practically leap off the thing, alli leaping fast behind me and i jump of JUST in time to run behind this concrete slab thing and blow chunks. i don't know if "salvaging my dignity" is the right phrase to use here, but whatever. we were cracking up about it anyway. al carried my bag and i haphazardly wiped off my shoes in the dewey grass on the short walk home. vodka, never again.

managed to not throw up again thankfully. it's so strange, i never puke except for these wretched spells in the mornings after when i can't stop until 1) there's nothing left 2) it's been 4 hours and 3) i can stop puking long enough to sleep it off. so there we go. i ended up sleeping it off just in time to get picked up by yaacov for work. i almost lost it in the cab on the way, but i held it together and even ate pizza!!!! and green tea with milk that everyone says looks disgusting but is actually delicious. two exciting things, and i'll let myself go to bed. it's 6 AM. fuck my life...

1) oranim is going to be using my images for the website. for credit.

2) we got the video camera from oranim, so al and i can start making our documentary!!!

that's all for now. i'm tired. love you!!!




Tuesday, October 14, 2008

oh yeah, it's like lightning

the last couple of days have been perty normal-like. went to ulpan, then work, then was SUPPOSED to go to jerusalem to a party being thrown by some of our israeli soldier friends, with alice (alli, al--- she calls me shelly, so i call her alice. it happens). but it was too late and too complicated because of the holiday (another one, sukkot). so we just took the bus into tel aviv and went to an amazing bureka restaurant. then a bar. then crashed at a friend's house. nothing too exciting. but really want to play music. the next day, i found out via alice that we were getting picked up by orna and having sukkot dinner at her house with her and her brother's family. but we sort of dilly-dallied around eating at king george (famous restaurant in tel aviv). it was really yummy. i had a burger. i haven't had a burger in soooooooooo long. plus, the dreamy bartender gave us some free wine. so not too bad. we called orna to see if she could pick us up from tel aviv instead of ramla, but luckily her brother and his family lives in tel aviv, so they picked us up form my friend's place and we drove to orna's in lepid. it was kinda cute and awkward riding with them because we had no idea who they were and vice versa, but we managed. orna's brother works in film production also and produced the movie, the band's visit, about an egyptian band coming to israel. i actually remember previews for this movie and really wanted to see it, so he said he would being me a copy!!! really excited about it. at orna's i ate myself stupid. here's a little sample of the menu:

carrot, yam, onion soup
mushroom tortellini
pesto gnocchi
potatoes au gratin
amazing pine nut salad
cheese bread
chocolate ice cream bites
tiramasu pie
apple pie

yeah, now you know why. after dinner, we just hung out with eran, yarden, and orna's brother's sons, who are both really sweet. actually, the older, yonatan, is going to be doing the same year of service that our israeli volunteer friends are doing before they go to the army. so we talked to them a little about that. we also met elan's mother, who is a pianist, and her boyfriend which is her husband's, who passed away, brother. i dont know either. but everyone was so sweet and i had a lovely time. OH! on the way home orna, yarden, alice and i played this game. it's like fuck-marry-kill, but someone has to give you three names of celebrities and you must decide whether you will marry them, spend a short time on a love boat with them, or just have sex with them. i died when orna was explaining this to me in her accent, right next to yarden, her 15 year old daughter. but we played. my fave combo of the night, which i gave to alice was:

"i'd spend a short period of time on a love boat with bill cosby, marry robin williams, ......

and have sex with steve martin."

and i was done. i basically passed the fuck out once we got home and slept until abou 3PM today. since it is sukkot, we got to sleep in which was nice. then we woke up and watched TV and hung out. smoked a little shisha from the nargilah (hookah). al and i may go to tel aviv tonight. we're still in search of 'our' bar. you know, that one perfect one. ships... talked to a good friend tonight about when i am coming home. plus my dad. i really don't know. i don't want to say i'm coming home on time because i don't know. i really want to go to africa. and india. i am almost afraid to come home, things will either be dramatically different and i'll have a hard time getting back into it (job, music, life, etc.) or everything will be the same and ILL be different. its weird. but anyway, i'm taking it a day at a time.

miss you all. love you dearly.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

i'm in love with your brother, what's his name

ooooooooooook. yesterday was fun! we woke up to yaacov pounding on our window, essentially announcing the arrival of tessa, the official new girl, and her luggage. eric wasn't there to move his stuff, so al and i accompanied naama and yaacov over to the apartment to drop it all off. after we returned, we wanted to show the new girl around town, so we walked tessa to our falafel place and then to the shook to get mamash (very much) veggies, challah, and pita.

after lunch, tessa, al, and i got ready and met jade on the way to catch the sheruit to tel aviv. the plan was to meet yuval in florentine (the suburb of tel aviv where the indian restaurant is). we caught a cab there, but it was super early since it was shabbat, and there are no sheruits after 7PM. therefore, nothing was open. yuval wasn't coming to meet us until much later, so we cruised the streets and hung out around the neighborhood exploring. very cool area. apparently, it's where all the 'shanti people' live, otherwise known as israelis that have recently returned from traveling in india. my dream, basically.

tessa was hungry, so we went to a cafe and chilled out for a minute. after a few homemade drinks (too expensive to drink only at bars, so you know...), we were itching to do SOMETHING even though it was so early. i saw a couple of strapping young lads walking down the street so naturally (as i am out of my mind) i ran over to them to ask what we lovely ladies should be doing at this hour in this fabulous city. they were going to a concert not too far away, so they invited us to accompany them. we didn't think it would be very expensive. turns out we were wrong, so we ended up leaving the boys there, yonatan and yuval (different yuval than the original... it's hard to keep up with them), but we exchanged numbers. apparently, jen was nearby so we all sat on a bench nearby and waited for her. yonotan and yuval ended up leaving the concert, and meeting back up with us on the bench. we hung out there for a minute and all decided that we would hang out at one of their apartments, but first, yuval said he could get us (as in he and i) into the concert for free, then we'd meet the others right after. so we did that. the singer of the band is a famous israeli singer (name unknown), accompanied on the drums by one of israel's most well known producers (name unknown). but i got photos, and the two songs i heard, i liked.

we walked back to the apartment, which is located in this very cool yemenite neighborhood near the beach. yuval had two guitars with him, so he grabbed them out of his car so we could play them. we spent most of the rest of the night playing and singing harmonies for each other. it was really cool to just pick up on chord progressions, and it just all fit so beautifully. that was very nice. it got late, so we crashed there. this morning, we had coffee on the roof which was magnificent. "the heart of life" as it were. as we were. as i am.

afterwards, we got a very kind ride to the sheruit back home. made eggs with our new veggies and challah. drool. watched forrest gump which made me cry, as always. called my mom because we used to watch it together while she scratched my back. monday is sukkot, so eric and alon set up the sukka that zvi brought for us. it looks really nice and sweet. i'm looking forward to it. al tried to swallow a whole tablespoon of cinammon, because she heard it was physically impossible. we confirmed that it is, in fact, physically impossible to swallow a whole tablespoon of cinammon. and really fucking funny. luckily it was videotaped... then we watched the chumscrubber (i ike a lot), and this bad nineties movie. something called 'wild roomies' which is set in dallas and LA. probably the best bad movie i've ever seen. i think i'll become a connosseour of bad movies, and rate them based on the lack of plot development, badness of acting, horrible-ness of dialogue, etc. then special categories for "non-special" effects or something. but we have ulpan and it's too fucking late for me to be up.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

and on and on and on

today was interesting. i slept in, and woke up at 11!!! couldn't sleep later than that. oh well. started editing photos and since i was fasting, i just laid in bed on my computer listening to joanna newsom, conor oberst, and lily allen play DJ's on npr, talking about their influences, favorite songs, and their own music. it all got me in a very melancholy mood. i wished i could be joanna newsom, so magnificently articulate, uniquely voiced, sweet, and authentically and singularly humble. and so fucking talented. god. if i could be one woman... and listening to conor oberst talk about his music and i just admire his disclosure. the way he can just paint a picture with his words. 'lua' makes me cry. i wish i could play and write like him. i honestly just wish that music just flowed out of me. i have ideas all the time, i wish it wasn't so hard for me to sit down and write a song. but i love playing and performing and even writing. i'm proud when i finish something, but i wish it spoke to me even half as well as 'i'm wide awake, it's morning' does. or the way lyrics from 'milk eyed mender' make me swoon. i was just really getting upset that i'm not really great at any one thing and that i'll be mediocre at everything forever. how's that for a fun morning?

when i get melancholy, i generally get super nostalgic. and i have been all day today. really. homesick. i sat outside for a minute just taking everything in. i thought to myself that i really just want to change. how do i do that? i don't even know what i want to change. i mean, i do. but the thing that i realized today, and i don't even know what to make of it, is that the only person that can decide for me to change is myself. i control my mind, and my body. and if i can't then no one can. so i just need to be strong enough to make my own decisions and stick to them. that's all. but i did start writing a song. it's called 'on and on and on'. i recorded the first verse on my computer since alon borrowed my guitar today. i don't like being away from my guitar. even when i don't play it, i feel weird when it's not there.

anyway, around 5:30PM, naama picked al and i up and we walked past the yemenite synagogue to the morroccan synagogue to hear the shofar from the outside. that lasted about 2 minutes, then we walked home and cooked the eggplant that we grabbed from the field. also schnitzel and pudding. it was delicious. then eric came home and we smoked nargilah (hookah) outside and talked for a while. i watched a bit of finding neverland, which is a really sad but very sweet movie. makes me think of being a dreamer. i should do that too. oh! and i talked to my dad and step-mom. that was nice. happy yom kippur mom, dad, and eddie. love you guys. i've also been trying to re-connect with a very good friend of mine via email, which is weird. but i think it's fine now. and i got a very sweet email from another very good friend of mine. lots of good vibes coming from overseas. thanks everyone. :)

tomorrow, there's a girl coming to visit the house. she was a participant in another volunteer program. we'll show her around and if she wishes, she'll move into our house and eric will move into the apartment, since mike went home. tessa is her name. so we may have another roomate. al and i just had a really amazing name-calling match. now i'm going to bed.



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

he war he war he will kill for you

ooooooooooooook. this morning was really nice, save for waking up super early. we were picked up in a sheruit and driven to the ministry of agriculture in israel and the site of the greenhouse project, which happens to be located in ramla. they welcomed us with tea and coffee and showed us a film about the research and technological advancements made for agriculture there. it was very informative actually, i learned a lot about the agriculture industry in israel. afterwards, they (don't remember names other than segev right now, oops). since i was so tired, i found my mind wandering, but luckily was able to bring it back. thanks college lessons! i seriously don't know what i would have done if i couldn't figured out how to re-focus on something after i lost concentration. BUT, it would be nice to be able to concentrate on said thing for longer than 10 minutes in the first place. go figure. after the movie, they walked us out to the field and the plot where the kids tend the fields. it was really great, out in the open. they even let us take eggplants home! i think i'll really enjoy working the field with these kids, even though their issues are way more difficult than anything i've ever faced. and i'm very lucky that nothing too fucked up has happened to me. but i wonder if it's for this reason that i'm unable or insensitive to these things in other people, namely the ones we're here to help. but i know i want to help. and i'm willing to. i'm just weird, that's all.

on the way to the TV station after we got dropped off, jade, al, alon, and i walked to boaz pizza and ordered this delectible treat called ziva boaz with cheese and eggplant and dreaminess inside. i want that again. later actually, jade went back and boaz himself offered us all jobs there. it was sweet for him to offer, but i barely have time to brush my teeth!

once we got to the TV station, karen asked us to film a story in the school attached to the tv building so that we could get some practice editing footage. i took the camera and al was the lead anchor-ish person. we basically ran around the school filming anyone and everyone, walking into a classroom. getting kicked out of a classroom. all in a day's work. we even ran into some new peruvian immigrants, so i could exercise my piss poor spanish on them, which now is even more piss poor because all i can think of is hebrew words. lovely. but i did notice that i opened up behind the camera a bit and wasn't really afraid to film people as i am to take their picture. its interesting. something to ponder. we also got started editing. we're not great at it, considering the way i filmed (no bueno). but at least i'll know how to do it next time. we finished up so that we could get back to the house in time to get picked up for work. and i talked to gammy too. she made me smile.

the boys had a job for me today, as i was to take headshots for momo and another dude in the office. did that, called people for ISC. i also realized after an interesting interaction with an interviewee that i need to get over the fear of looking like a fool. this made me think about the kids at kadima, and how i probably care too much about what they think, so i should just say fuck it and talk to them and hug them even if they think i'm strange. this fear is what stops me in a lot of things. no good. on the way home, i really just listenened to yaacov talk about his wife and kids. he was married at 21 and had kids at 23. he says that it's nice to be a young father and grandfather, but that it was very hard. i like that guy. it was really nice to just listen to him because his life is so much different than the way mine is turning out to be. anyway, we got home and went to bed because we had to wake up to be interviewed by segev at elem for the greenhouse project.

this morning, we woke up too late to go to the shook before our interviews, so we basically just got upped and go'd. the interview was very short, they just wanted to know more about us. i told them that i really was excited about the project and realized how important and therapeutic physical labor can be especially for someone who may have so much emotional pain built up in the muscles from abuse, or anger, etc. it was nice to use my psychology degree for something other than the dust collector on my desk at home. :)

al and i left and walked to the shook, thankfully it was open, to get fruit and wine to make sangria. we were going to have the house to ourselves, so we decided to have a little wine party before yom kippur. we bargained the whole way down the shook, even snagging some cheap but DREAMY at the end. at home, we started developing out own sangria recipe which is now amazing:

2 apples
2 oranges
2 peaches
1 mango
2 bottles of white wine
mango/passionfruit juice

you can imagine, i'm sure. it's the best thing ever. just chop all the fruit, add the wine and the juice and VOILA. yummy. naama's brother came over to fix the drain. he's a cool guy, very funny. and one hell of a plumber. just as we were relaxing, alon and jade came a knocking because they couldn't get to their host family's before sundown after all. during yom kippur, the entire country shuts down. no cars on the street at all and apparently all the kids play in the streets until really late because no cars drive at all. no tv stations work. its crazy. i almost thought they'd shut the phones and internet off. so jade, al, alon, and i basically just hung out. we watched ridiculous videos and did some things :) the sangria is delicious BTW. anyway, we are going to bed now. I FUCKING GET TO SLEEP IN TOMORROW! don't have to do ANYTHING until naama picks us up so we can walk to the synagogue with her to hear the shofar! i'm so excited. and alli's never heard it. so that's bomb.

welp. ze u (that's all). marissa if you're reading this, i love you little bug. i'm nostalgic today. i just remembered college and that i miss it and looked at photos from my goodbye party and started missing them too. i miss dallas. and being a little girl. :( love everyone. i'm homesick right now. i'll be ok tomorrow. goodnight.



Monday, October 6, 2008

don't let your silly dreams fall in between the crack of the bed and the wall

today was a good day. woke up for ulpan and called naama on the way to see if she would come with me to the library on the way to kadima so i could grab some photography books to show the kids. all part of my plan. she was in jerusalem, so i would have to go by myself. not quite part of my plan, but i was up for the challenge. ulpan today was very interesting. i actually felt like i was 8 years old again, distracted and wanting to do my work, but just doodling, and slouchin, and making bad jokes, and giggling all over the place. my teacher kept getting annoyed with me, but not in a serious way. because i was doing my work, but i was just acting really silly. i even felt silly. it all started last night. i told al on the walk to the library from ulpan that i felt a surge of excited creative energy last night and it carried over to today, with the apparent side-effect of silliness and immaturity of sorts. i really liked it actually. i spend too much time trying to be impressive and mature and adult-ish, when really i just want to have fun and be free and creative. i mean, i like nurturing my age and culturing my maturity. it's a skill. but fuck it felt good to just let it all go for a few hours. especially since i had to pretend i knew how to sort of teach/introduce/moderate to a bunch of kids that are distracted and restless that don't speak my language and vice versa. all part of the plan. al and i had a good talk today, discussing the undeniable influence of religion on the socio-cultural and ethical implications of pedophilia-ish acts in modern western times in comparison to ancient greece.

whew, right? good talk.

anyway, i got to the library and of course, no english anywhere. however, i am proud of myself, i finally found the photography section after being vaguely waved in a general direction. i looked through all the photo books and chose 5 that had a good range of work, both contemporary and not. portraits, photojournalistic, and landscapes. two time books. beautiful stuff. i checked them out with the promise that i'd bring them back by 7 this evening since the holiday is coming up. those fucker were heavy, too, but i schlepped them all the way to kadima.

i ate when i got there, then spoke to tal about my ideas for half the time being devoted to the books and questions while the rest would be for photos, i even mentioned the homework and journal, to which he replied, "we'll see about that". so i figure the homework might not work out. not part of my plan. i set up the cameras and we got started, about 8-9 kids in a circle of chairs. i told them (tal translated) to each pick one photo they liked and one they didn't, and say why they did/didn't like it, and what each made them think or feel. about half the kids participated, and gave me genuinely thoughtful and introspective answers and the rest just continued to look at the books. after this, tal suggested we let them take photos. i handed out the cameras, intstructed to take a photo of one thing in the room they liked and one they didn't. they were already pretty distracted, but there were a few that i could tell were very interested in taking it seriously or at the very least participating. at the moment, i was devastated that my plan wasn't working out and my vision of "dangerous minds" type life changing wasn't happening. but, it was ok and after the time was almost up, i packed up the cameras and thanked whichever kids were listening at this point for paying attention and taking part. it's funny, exactly 4-6 hours prior i was doing the exact same thing. but they're 15. i'm 23. go figure.

when i was about to leave, i thanked tal for helping translate, and assured him i'd do better next time. i felt kind of useless near the end, but he assured me that the fact that they sat still for that long was a good sign and that they'd just include the ones that wanted to be there next time. i thought that was cool. because of the holiday we won't meet on monday for a couple of weeks, although i might go with them on a field trip to jerusalem in a week. coooooool.

so walked back to the library with the heavy books to check them back in. asked to keep one that is actually in english until after the holiday (next sunday... remind me!). before i left though, i remembered that naama told me how she's listened to english songs with an english-hebrew dictionary in order to learn english. so i asked the librarian (was a little difficult, but luckily i had a hebrew-english dictionary to help!) for some poetry books. we found a couple. one man (bialik?) poet and one woman (rachael?) poet from israel. "they're dead", she assured me. as if that would increase the value of the words...

i happily took this much lighter load home, ate dinner, talked to my gammy, met one of jodi's hilarious new friend, and have been hanging tonight. dreamy. tomorrow, we go with naama to meet about the greenhouse project ("theraputic gardening for at-risk youth"?????????????). i'm pumped. the kids learn to grow their own orgranic garden and farm it. supercool. then al and i have the radio station. good yay. hopefully i don't get ambushed by mom-desperate-to-marry-her-son-off-to-an-american-girl. also, i started editing photos today. not nearly enough. i'm a wiener. sorry. i'm also reading scholarly articles about the israeli-palestinian conflict and other middle east issues because my buddy ernie sent them to me. very interesting stuff.

but i'm up early as shit tomorrow. laila tov.



Sunday, October 5, 2008

oh they're a little like you, and they're a little like me

WHOA. so today, we woke up late for ulpan. al's alarm clock didn't work. anyway, we ended up just being late to ulpan. after it was over, naama met us there with a surprise guest named zvi. zvi is the newest addition to oranim and will help momo realize his dream of setting up other ISC groups all over israel and making them free as well. zvi started talking about his family and the fact that he didn't want to deprive his kids of the opportunity to group up in israel, like he did as a child. so as hard as it was, he moved his family from maryland so they could experience what he did. he also thanked us for making a difference with the people in ramla, because we don't realize what we do to alleviate the badness all around such a diverse (the most diverse city in israel according to elan--with ethiopians, russians, ukrainians, argentinians, arabs, etc...) but downtrodden place. at this moment i thought of 2 things:

1) how grateful i am that my parents made me go to sunday school, have a bat mitzvah, study hebrew, and get confirmed. because even though i don't adhere to the religious principles of judaism, it is part of my identity and that helps me define my childhood and who i am. so i'll take this chance to say: "you guys were right, so thanks".

2) how all the doubt i've been feeling about teaching and photography is really silly. this is just one of those "hard times" where i will doubt myself, and maybe feel like i should quit. but EVERYONE has times like that. all i do is keep going, and then look back and say, "wow, i just kept going and NOW look at what i did..." so, 'oh what the fuck, go for it anyway'. i'll just do it. those kids are just kids and i can definitely just own my shit and go in there and teach them something. they want to do it. plus, al made a point the other day while i was trying to analyze why i wasn't taking photos so much and thinking that it's because i had created this identity in dallas as "a photographer" or "sally glass, the photographer", and coming here i don't feel like that's who i've created myself to be and blah blah blah. but she just said that it's really just as simple as, "you either choose to take the picture, or you just don't". and that's true. i have a camera. i have an eye. and i have fingers. so why not? just do it. fuckin' nike.

anyway, after ulpan we went to work and interviewed peeps on the phone as usual. al and i approached momo about speaking to birthright groups about our story during closing session and about ISC and he seemed very intrigued, so that's a possibility. cool beans.

on the way home by the way, something possessed me to ask yaacov how to say some pretty ridiculous things, but important for my purposes i feel. get ready:

ani tzreecha l'charben ---- i need to poop.
ani tzreecha l'shalshel ---- i need to diahrrea.
ani tzreecha l'hasteen ---- i need to vomit.

we asked about how to say other stuff as well, but you can imagine how the line of questioning progressed from there. and that's how we do that. thanks yaacov. he was so shocked by our particular brand of inquisitiveness that he missed the exit and had to take a different route home. love that guy so much.

got home and after talking to alli about what i was going to do tomorrow at kadima with the kids and photography, and even though i had no idea what i would do, i told her that i wanted to bring the new cameras. she told me a story about how her coach asked her to come to a scrimmage with his other team and then when she got there, made her coach. she didn't know what to do, but she knew everything she needed, and had all the tools. so she kept her cool and just did it. so i started imagining what i'd do and every second i had a new idea, and before i knew it i was having epiphany after epiphany about what i'd do with the kids. i came up with a completely new lesson idea. fuck the last one. this is the jam. because i decided that i want them to decide for themselves what kinds of photographers they want to be because that's how i did it. and i know i'm not doing the technical thing here, but fuck it. they'll find work they like and create how they want. and talk about coming full circle with the theme of "thing you love, thing you hate, thing you want to change". check this out:

PHOTOGRAPHY (at kadima or wherever):

1 classes a week
4 classes a month
45 minutes per class

3 classes a month(daily plan will go like this):

1st 20 minutes: (i'll bring photo books to class checked out from the ramla library)
- kids get into groups of 3 or 4
- they go through a photo book and each pick
A) a photo that they love and discuss (briefly)
1) why they like it
2) what it makes them feel
3) what they would change (if anything)
B) a photo that they hate and discuss (briefly)
1) why they hate it
2) what it makes them feel
3) what they would change about it

2nd 25 minutes: (kids bring whatever i pre-request them to bring to photograph)
- kids get into groups again (even number to each of the 4 cameras)
- they take turns taking photos of the object in 3 or 4 completely different ways
- spend the last few minutes uploading to the computers and saving into folders

HOMEWORK: i will have them write in journals (as an experiment, not mandatory):
- what they learned in class
- if they noticed a difference in how they saw things in the world
- how they feel about it

1 class a month (the last class):

1st 35 minutes:
- kids will pick 2 fave photos they took during the month, and put them on the computer
- they will briefly explain each however they choose
- the whole group will give feedback:
1) what they like about each photo
2) what they don't like about each photo (if anything)
3) what they would change

2nd 10 minutes:
- group sits in a circle
- discusses one thing they learned, felt, hated, whatever (quick wrap up)

HOMEWORK: same as above

then at the end of the months, maybe we can have the best photo for each kid printed and have a little art show! fuck yeah.

ok tired as shit. love everyone. i made a to-do list. i want to do these things. i'll write it tomorrow here so you can hold me to it. shittttttttt. nighty night.



Saturday, October 4, 2008

always had more dogs than bones

leeeeeeeeeeeeets see. today al and i woke up to orna's phone call. jade met us at the house and we all drove to lapid for lunch, dropping jade off at rachaeli's (her host mom). we arrived at orna's and had a lovely, hilarious chat about everything while she made a new favorite recipe (hard boiled egg parmeasean, and light fried cauliflower). oh. my. god. i could eat that for dayssssss. but their poor old dog, chumi, just had surgery to remove a tumor and was all sad and bandaged while their other dog, DG (the fat one) just ate everything and was funny. we talked about the tumor. and how cool it would be to play with it. before we ate. in the car... nevermind. haha.

we had lunch all together and talked about ourselves and our lives, past and future. i really feel that we're getting to know each other more now. its really nice and i'm very thankful that this is the family we joined. basically talking about what i want to do with my life, i ended up just saying that as long as i'm doing what i feel is right, i'll fall into something i want to do, through which i'll gain experience to do something else cool down the line a ways. i'm just going to do what i do. as long as i am not afraid. that's my biggest fear: fear. that's fucking stupid. and being lazy. my two biggest problems in life. eff. anyway, orna told me that my plan is not so shabby. faboooo. elan (host dad) gave me the idea to look into doing stuff for the UN. volunteering or otherwise. i'm going to look into it. he worked for the israeli government and their family got to live in both china and italy. i'm not going to lie, that sounds pretty rad. after lunch, we drove to tel aviv to drop eran off at the skate park and then to the beach in herzlyia for a girl scout induction ceremony for our host sister yarden. very cute. on the way, we learned very important hebrew phrases:

"funny": matzkhik
"we had a bitchin' time": ayer lanu haval alazman
"slow": leyat
"how do you say": ekh omrim
"moustache": safam
"beard": zakam

and other things as well. i'm really excited about his bar mitzvah, which will be a dream. its the first weekend in november. halom. "dream". at the beach, al and i talked a lot about "love" and being scared of what that means based on our previous experiences with relationships and conceptions of love. not to intellectualize, i would like to experience whatever feeling "love" describes, but am terrified of the consequences. rejection, faded affection, death of personal freedom and independence, stifling comfortablility. i don't know. i'm a huge pussy i guess. we'll see. i won't worry about it. just play my cards as they lay. or something like this ("o mashu kazeh").

jade met us on the beach and we hung out, watching the sunset before yarden's ceremony. it was a nice ceremony, although i couldn't understand what they were doing of course. all i know is that they got a pin and were then punched in the arm by their counselors or whomever. who knows. i don't. and now i HAVE to put the photos up, because orna asked me about them. fuuuuuuck, i just have to edit them. and there's a lot. ok fine. i'll do it. monday after kadima. i also have to come up with a photography curriculum between now and then. and also decide if i want to do these leadership seminar things, because one weekend clashes with elan's bar mitzvah and i really don't want to miss it. sheeeeeeeeet. i work tomorrow after ulpan. it's FALL BACK daylight savings time, so we have an extra hour. not too shabby folks. ok goodnight.



p.s. here's a video that i like. for you parks. and caitlin.

Friday, October 3, 2008

wherever you're going, i'm going your way.

sorry i haven't written, but it was a holiday so get off my friggin back already, geez.

STAM. (just jokes) but seriously i've been so fucking lazy about photos. i have them. i'm just lazy, see? good. i'm glad we can agree on that. eff.

so this week was really nice and relaxing because it was ROSH HASHANAH! al's and my security guard from our birthright, dan, picked us up monday afternoon at the house after naama set up a lovely little picnic with all the rosh hashanah foods to ensure a sweet and happy new year upon ingestion (i.e. pomegranate, apples, honey, dates, apricots, etc.) well, sweet and poop-y.

AAAANYWAY, dan drove us to his orthodox village called elqana in the west bank (don't freak out mom and dad, it was perfectly safe) and after a brief stop at his brother's house, we arrived at casa de sporen. ever the gentleman, dan treated al and i to coffee on his balcony which overlooks the entire village all the way to the coast. we drank our coffee by sunset, no biggie. al and i took a nap, and after freaking out about what to wear (can't show too much collarbone or something. modesty, people.) we walked to services at the shul (synagogue). al had never been to a shul before during the high holidays, let alone an orthodox one. neither had i come to think of it. very interesting. the men and women are separate of course. religious men and women fascinate me, naturally. i think it's the extreme focus and inner peace they seem to carry as their minds are directed towards the possibility or faith in something greater than themselves. i both envy and am confused by this tendency to believe.

after shul, dinner time at dan's. it was so lovely, five courses and i love his family. i even got to practice my hebrew. and dan's little neice and nephew are the cutest things ever. they became al and i's little friends while we were there, always speaking to us in hebrew. so cute. i ate so much food that i could barely walk to dan's friend's house. we visited there until it was time to walk home. on the way home i was still so full, that i just couldn't help farting the whole way. er, i mean, honestly i wasn't expecting so many barking frgos and ducks in elqana. i think they propelled me forward, actually.

the next two days basically consisted of:

wake up late
walk somewhere
WHAT? its a holiday, i get to. shit.


a few exceptions were the lovely hike that dan took al and i on, to the bonfire place, the angry sabra that we ate anyway, and on the last night we went for falafel. and pizza. and ice cream... and then to dan's OTHER friends' yahai and tovi's caravan to eat more, watch trance party videos and the end of transformers, which, i have decided, sucks. but they were lovely people and i hope to see them again. these trance parties are thrown pretty regularly here and basically consist of a lot of people dancing and playing all day long. and stuff. in nature...

dan took us home yesterday, and THEN al and i got ready for the FUCKING AIR concert in tel aviv. yeah, i said it. fuuuuuuuuuckyeah. we headed out after agonizing over our outfits for seriously hours. not because we were really overtly concerned with our appearance, but mainly due to boredom. and the fact that we were really overtly concerned with our appearance.

in tel aviv, we met with coach and walked to the tel aviv pier after yum yum falafels, which was where the concert was being held (hangar 11). we didn't actually have tickets yet, so we put our names on the waiting list, while waiting and looking pathetic in hopes of someone selling us, nay GIVING us their three extra tickets that were supposed to be for their friends that just happened to all fall ill with 24 hour syphyllis. or something like this.

while we waited, i happened upon a gentleman with a large, professional looking video camera (as i tend to do) and asked him what he was filming for. he responded something in french, and proceeded to fit me with a microphone and ask me questions about air and their music and their french-ness, to which i replied very articulately and charmingly things that i don't remember. but i will make viewers of the french channel 'deu' fall in love with me. apparently. luckily, 3 tickets opened up, and so we paid too much (not talking about it) for 3 glorious tickets.

we walked in and after a few minor pee setbacks, we settled in and enjoyed beautiful ambient atmosphere that is air. i even got photos, which would be unheard of in dallas, which really makes no sense considering the harsh security measure taken during public events. but whatever, we'll see if any came out. i wasn't as vigilant about getting a good photo spot. more concerned about the dancing and the beer getting and the peeing. but the show was lovely, and if anything i saw air in tel aviv. not too shabby. after the show, we went to a bar that i can't remember the name of, i drank too much and spent all this morning suffering for it. oh, well. don't drink beer at a concert before celebratory shots at a bar later (celebrating what, i couldn't tell you). stomach angry today.

now it's 5 AM and i've been watching (mostly) bad 90's movies all day. brilliant way to spend a day. saw simply irresistable, fast girl (???), and something with tia carerre which probably went straight to video. saw elizabethtown. cameron crowe is so great at capturing the most surreal moments in life that actually happen. i want someone to make me a musical road map for my own person solitary road trip, where i'll discover the depth of my character too damnit... and it made me cry thinking about my morning jacket, and friends of mine that i miss, mom, eddie. oh, and dads. anything with dads makes me cry. alli made me an omelet. which made me cry. then, i decided to watch oscar acceptance speeches for some reason. cry. i'm a douche. but seriously i'm going to bed. something will happen tomorrow. but right now i can hear the muslim chanting in the distance. and it's kind of soothing. perfect to fall asleep to...