Sunday, November 30, 2008

i'm black. and i'm white. and i'm black and i'm white, yeah yeah yeah

woke up late, then met david at the sub kuch. hung out with daniel in his room for a while before walking for what seemed like foreeeeeeeever to the flea market in yaffo. it was a very windy day. blowing in my face, my hair away from my eyes. we found the flea market and found lots of cool stuff, some of it even for free. also, remember the guy that yelled at me and tore my photos for making a face at 5 sheckels? well, firstly he asked me a question in hebrew and didn't even recognize me. secondly, david grimaced himself at some high price and the guy totally shoved him and yelled at him also. david wasn't phased at all. that, coupled with the fact that the guy seemed to yell at everyone and is just mad at life in general made me feel better. after getting alot of really great stuff, then finding a sweet suitcase in a tiny alley, we walked all the way back to the sub kuch. ate a really yummy dinner there and met up with eran and lior, plus a new guy (daniel) that picked al and i up and drove us (with dog in my lap---'sichor', also named 'tina' by alice and i) to their place right off the beach near natanya. its the most beautiful place, from which we took a beautiful walk to the cliff which overlooks the water. it was chilly but gorgeous. i was comfortable in a sweater (from the flea market) and jeans. i took a lot of really cool photos. got some nice compliments from daniel, saying he liked the way i see the world. this guy is really cool also, a composer that lives and studies on a kibbutz near the south. he invited us to come visit, so i think we will on the way to visit adva in eilat. most of the night we just played song after song, all alternating bass, guitar, and african drum. it was just amazing. i completely zoned out, just figuring out bass lines and singing harmonies. that's my favorite thing i've done since i've been here i think. we walked back out to the cliff before having a bit of veggie dinner at the apartment downstairs near the back. after dinner, we all talked and played more music, laughing and joking. lior made up some ridiculous songs about michael jackson the lyrics of which are in the title of this blog. lior had a eran and daniel ask alice and i questions about love and things. daniel asked me the last time i had my heart broken. the first thing i thought was when my parents got divorced. and after he found out that i wrote music, he asked me to play my favorite song that i've written. so i played 'history of ficton'. i think it went pretty well. we talked a little more before pairing up in beds... i love coming here. all the people are so funny and sweet and talented. it's really great.

the next morning, we woke up and hung out, walking to the cliff, just alice, eran, and i. i told eran how much i liked coming out here and how much alli and i both just genuinely enjoyed all of he and his friends and we just love it. he agreed. i felt really at peace watching the water. just sat there for a second. daniel and lior came and brought the dogs. afterwards, eran walekd al and i to show us the fallout shelter that theyare in the process of converting into a studio/practice space. so fucking cool. they're soundproofing and stuff. really amazing. we walked back to the house and played more music before walking to the cliff at sunset. got some beautiful photos. watched a really stupid movie called 'discworld' or something about an alien world on the back of a turtle. anyway, got really bored with that. daniel said goodbye and we got his number. he's a joke. wow. but for some reason i'd gotten shy and forgot how to talk to people. but i don't know what happened. it's one of my strengths. weird. batted a ball around with our hands for a while before eating some delicious yam soup with cream, crackers, and bread that gingy's girlfriend made. really yummy. lior made up a quiz game for alice and i to learn hebrew. there were buzzers. alice won by reading the word for 'chicken'. oh well. we all went back upstairs and lior taught alice and i a song in hebrew. it goes like so:

ve he morida oti al aberkaim sheli
ci lo amarti la clum
ma od efshar kvar le hagid

i want to learn the rest. really cool. we were all suppose to walk to the nearby hotel so we could check out the view, but while we were waiting, we started to play soccer with a flattened bottle cap on the side street. i was wearing ballet flats. as i went to kick the cap, i felt my foot begin to slide on the smooth cement and i knew i was going down. i just landed on my elbow and immediately almost peed myself laughing. i wasn't the only one either, all three of the others were dying laughing as well. we ended up waiting forever, so we just walked back to the house and watched a live arctic monkeys dvd. boys are really weird. roni was there. sweet guy, but wow... i ran away to another room with alice, who saved me. got my back tickled and passed out after lots of laughing and talking.

we wake up late (to a yelling lior and a confused eran) and miss ulpan, have coffee and cookies with eran and he walks us to the sheruit station to natanya. about 3 sheruits later (and an annoyed phone call from naama because we missed ulpan), we make it back to ramla just in time for my photography class. i pick up the cameras, and a book. alli decides to come with me, so to save time we catch a cab to nave yonatan (school). i meet dana, who introduces me to the girls. i get the all in the classroom. all sweet girls by the way, very lively. i start by trying to get them all to pick a photo in the one book (i need more books) that they either like or dislike and tell me why. about half or more actually did this. the one that sticks out in my mind is the girl that liked the photo of the hindenburg blowing up. she thought it looked cool and beautiful. i liked that. then i gave out cameras and the kids got to just go ape shit with them mostly taking photos of each other and this one girl who was essentially a little model, attention-fiend. but rightfully so, she's adorable. so i feel it went very well and dana told me that the girls loved the class and can't wait to come again next week. i want to print out some of their photos to show them what they did. maybe a mini-critique.

after teaching, alice and i got some pizza from boaz pizza by the apartment, then stopped by to see the roomates there. watched some TV, chilled out a bit, then walked back to the house to hang out before bed. sometimes i wonder what it would be like if i was here by myself. not as much fun? would i be better friends with people? am i co-dependent on this one? or do we just really get along well? who knows... watched darjeeling limited with al. its amazing how much wes anderson pays attention to the tiniest details. makes for great movies. al and i talked about love, and the difference between self-love and being selfish. i will strive to be less selfish. it made me think about josh and how i don't know if i'll ever be that close to someone again. i talked to jo about what she does when she feels bad and she gave me some good advice. then i went to bed.

woke up early for the volcani center today, and hung with rachael on the bus. we talked about westlide of course. she's a really great girl. probably my fave. really funny. we teach each other words. its great. we spent all day pulling weeds, raking, talking with the kids and filming them. i allowed a couple of the kids to take photos with my camera. i just showed them basic things on the camera, like shutter speed and how it makes the photo bright or dark. and the focus button. and they did the rest. really paid attention to what they were doing. and i wondered if they will maybe take this idea of a skill and developing it after being introduced for the first time today. that'd be really great. i think my whole time would be worth it here if that happened with even one kid.

came home and hung out for a while. made mac and cheese, waiting for a meeting with zvi and naama about some drama that is going on with the program and some people that are leaving early. basically he wanted to know what we thought could improve about the program so that we are all on the same page. some people complained that they didn't like kadima because the kids don't like them and they feel useless there. alli and i both spoke up because of what sivan said to us the other day about our simple presence there making a difference. so i expressed that we make more of an impact than we know, and it may seem like these kids don't like us and that can be scary, but they're used to terrible circumstances and the fact that we are adults that don't treat them like shit, matters to them. i actually got kind of emotional talking about this, and my voice was shaking. so i think the point was well received. anyway, we finished the meeting and all hung out together. i asked naama where i could print the kids' photos... gave jade some photos i took from the nature party, then chilled with alon and alice. called marissa and talked to my mom. gammy's infection is going away thankfully and she keeps asking mom when i'm coming home, to which my mom has no response, to which gammy becomes indignant about me coming home, to which i don't know what the fuck to do. now i'm going to sleep. we have ulpan tomorrow and the tv station. i can't wait to edit the footage that we got the other day. then, at night, eran's band is playing in tel aviv. it's going to be great. THEN! moustache party on thursday. so fucking sweet. goodnight.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

his goal in life was to be an echo

o mashu cazeh (or something like this). i'll start with the important stuff, and fill in the backwards backwards. got it?

so the biggest thing that happened yesterday was that my mom left to go back to the states. or last night actually. i thought i might cry because i don't know when i'll see her again. and in truth it was really nice to have her here, all aggravations and annoyances included. even the embarrassing stuff carried a nostalgic tinge to it. i was proud of her. wanted to show her off. after finally getting her in a cab, laughing through it, we got to the airport with 15 minutes to say goodbye. i stood with her in the airport line and after a few minor power struggles and more laughs i finally had to leave her. we hugged, and i told her that i had grown a new appreciation for her and that she was much cooler than i thought. this seemed to have taken her aback just a bit. it was lovely. she of course told me how proud she is of me and that i should call lisette to discuss my africa plans because lisette always gives me good advice. which is true. so we hugged a whole lot and kissed and i wished her a safe flight and to call me once she lands in jersey and again once she gets home. i will miss her. she's a great lady and i'm proud to have sprung from her uterus. k, moving on...

so the last time i left you, mom and i hopped in a sheruit to tel aviv and then another to get to her hotel from the central station. when we got on, there was only one other guy and he happened to be from alabama (made alliyah for a girl, she dumped him now he may be moving to florida with another one). then 5 guys (one basketball coach and 4 dancers/djs that just got back from dubai) from new york hopped on (the driver tried to greet them with a hearty "what's up my nigga?". that did NOT go over well. caused a lot of tension at first.) then, another guy that i didn't notice before whom i assumed was ethiopian was a really tall tenor saxophone player that has been in israel for 30 years. it was a cool time. i want to make a short film bout that sheruit ride. anyway, mom and i got back to her hotel and i crashed and burned.

the next morning we got picked up for our tour. i did realize something interesting, i asked mom if she wanted to read my book and she said that she only wanted to read something 'light'. i realized that i am not exactly like her and that i am my own person. we are very similar in lots of ways, but lalala. i was pretty grumpy for the first part of the day, but i got some cool photos at the places we saw and we met a really nice friendly british couple. so i warmed up a bit. we went to a lookout point, drove past some really cool churches that i'd never seen, went to the old city and the shuk, went through the muslim and christian quarters of the old city which was sweet since i'd never been. the church of the holy sepulcre is amazing. got some cool pictures there too. i'm proud of myself. i'm getting stronger. plus, we ate hummus. then mom and i sipped out on the rest of the tour to meet her cousin, rusty, and his daughter and granddaughter. my relatives too obviously. so we went to this amazing vegetarian restaurant called village green near kikat zion. so delicious. we all had a lovely chat and took some photos. i got my ear talked off about really depressing things, but i listened carefully. it was a good lesson. i don't listen enough.

anyway, after dinner, mom and i wanted to do some shopping, so we got a reccommendaton from rusty to go to geula street. so we took a cab there. if you want to know my idea of a NOT good time, go to geula street. it's a street designated solely for orthodox clothing, wares, items, food, everything. basically blander than the amish. but i digress. plus i was real tired. and grumpy. actually i just typed 'frumpy' and erased it, but it was probably true too.

anyway, we caught a cab back to the bus station and waited in a sheruit for what seemed like days while the drive stood outside and yelled, "TELAVIVTELAVIVTELAVIV!" over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... you get the point.

we finally got back to tel aviv and parted ways. came home and hung with the roomies for a while and i realized that if i don't constrict myself to the thoughts in my body and preconceived notions i have about myself, i could do a lot more. just be open to whatever happens. david (german buddy) stayed over and we each cuddled up in our own blankets and curled up, falling asleep to sigur ros. woke up and went to sharet for tutoring. we were on time, but had to leave early for our VISA meeting, which was a bummer because i really like the kids there. i think they were a little disappointed.

on the way back home, alli and i walked through an apartment parking lot like we always do. but this time, there was a man throwing things away in the dumpster, but left a few rugs on a fence. so, being the natural scavengers that alice and i are, we decided to stuff these rugs in our backpacks and see what we could do with them at home. we started to walk away when the man started to call us in hebrew, so of course we did the only thing you can do in that situation: completely ignore him and walk faster. we weren't trying to steal anything, we genuinely had no idea this man did not want these rugs. we didn't do anything wrong, but our bodies disagreed with our moral stance on the matter. we just kept walking faster and faster while the man kept getting louder and harder to ignore. all of a sudden he comes up from behind and approaches us in hebrew. we stop and pretend not to know what he's saying. he grabs al's backpack and takes the rugs back. we die of embarrassment and walk home quickly. once we recovered from this episode, we walked to the ramla mall/central bus station (same building, mind you, which also houses the government offices) to handle our visa stuff. blah blah blah, i did it. my visa officially now expires january 19, 2009 unless i extend it further. which i'll have to pay for. whatevskies. anyway, after the meeting naama and i talked about my schedule in the food court over some mcdonald's fries. yeah, mcdonalds then alice and i found the flea market in ramla that everyone raves about. we scored big time. it was just like the yaffo market but i had no idea that the wednesday shuk (the big cool traveling one) was so awesome. we both grabbed some cool shit before making one amazing dress shop stop before making it home.

i had to get to tel aviv to see mom off, and david was getting ready to go to the sub kuch so we shared a sheruit. it was actually a very sweet ride. he asked me to play the postal service on my ipod and we both listened. the sunset streaked scenery was slowly streaming past our windows as we listened, occasionally catching a smile from the other. when we arrived, he asked me if i also thought that it was an oddly refreshing and relaxing moment. i did. we parted ways and i walked, tripped, and searched unsuccessfully for a sheruit all the way back to mom's hotel. finally got to her, and i watched TV while i nagged her to get ready so we could go do the souvenier shopping she wanted us to do. we FINALLY got her packed and ready, then we went down to say goodbye to her jam friends from the pizza joint downstairs and shopped a little bit before meeting the cab that took us to the airport and would take me back to ramla afterwards.

i already described the goodbye. i found out today after speaking with her, that she had read her ticket wrong and should've stayed for an extra day, which is a bummer. but it was nice to talk to her. she's safe and sound. i need to make her a list of all the reasons i'm proud of her. got dropped off by a very nice cab driver. i sat in the front (after being kicked out of, and then let back in the front due to random inspections...) and we had a nice chat. alice and i spoke to a very good friend of ours, who will be henceforth known as angelo.

this morning, we went to the elderly center and we brought the camera that karen is letting us use to get footage for the segment we're making about ISC and what we're doing here. i spent most of my time knitting (denise did a lot of work on the scarf she started for my mom last week and so i picked up where she left off). i'm really getting the hang of it i think. so i spent my time working on the scarf and getting pimped out, by denise, to her grandson (whom i've found out is my age). after i stupidly answered her question as to whether or not i have a boyfriend in the negative, she basically rings him and hands me the phone since she can't speak english. we ask each other a few questions and i realize pretty quickly that there is a reason why grandmothers in israel must resort to pimping out their grandsons. and the worst part about the whole scenario is how persistent they are. he pulled every trick out of the book to hang out tonight. its like, 'look man, no thanks m'kay?' when i turned down his request for my number, instead getting his, denise looked in her number book to find it since i'd given it to her earlier. ayayay. yentas. we finished up the day dancing with the oldies, after which, al and i headed to the mall again to pick up a prescription for her, then grabbing a half falafel from gadi's place before booking it home so al would be able to get her whistle before coaching soccer at sharet. apparently this whistle is a necessary accessory. whew say that ten times fast...

when i got home, i spent a few hours picking photos for a photo book i want to make chronicling my time here. i'm real excited about it. i skyped some friends and got to speak to shmiffany and jojo and andy (whom i love very much) and wish them a happy thanksgiving. after she finished coaching for the night, al called me and invited me along with buffy and jen, to the indian restaurant for our own thanksgiving dinner. we all took turns expressing what we are thankful for. i am thankful that mom came and for all the lessons i'm learning about myself and others. and we ate delicious food as well. full and happy, we all walked home and have been listening to music and talking and knitting. well i've been knitting. and i got to talk to josh, donna, mom, dad, eddie, and joan. the last three are in florida for thanksgiving. i asked everyone what they were thankful for. i called gammy, but no answer. i am also thankful for all of the experiences i'm having here, and the lessons i'm learning from myself and others. i am also thankful that i get to sleep in my bed for an extended period of time. we were supposed to sleep in the sub kuch tonight, but luckily al and i both agreed that it would be nicer to sleep at home. it's going to be a long weekend. tomorrow, we're going to the yaffo market with david and then to natanya with eran. can't fucking wait. i also noticed that when i make a mistake while knitting, i get stressed out. but it's ok that the scarf isn't perfect. it's imperfections are what make it unique. i should remember that.

OH, and naama brought alice and i the vid cam from oranim so we can film our documentary! woo.

AND i emailed dad al and i's passport stuff so we can go to petra and jordan right before new year's eve.

AAAAAND that's al folks...




Monday, November 24, 2008

calling out for a hero till the morning light

soooooo this morning alice and i woke up late for the greenhouse project, but early enough (luckily) to convince alon to convince the bus driver to pick us up near our house. score! we jumped on the bus, and one of my faves, rachael, called me over to her seat to listen to westlife (boy band from ireland). i was beside myself. we had a great day in the greenhouse preparing soil, water, squeegying, and planting peppers and tomatoes. it was really cool. i definitely got into the hard labor. it is very therapeutic. i felt like i did something with the kids today. i really like it. we ate there, and got dropped off at the school in just enough time to pick up the video camera from the TV station and get to kadima. had a fun day there, playing soccer. filmed a little bit, but sivan said we can't do anything with the footage without parental consent. so that sucks. hopefully we can work it out. worked with the kids a bit, played more soccer, and right before we left sivan gave alli and i a heart to heart. she told us how bad some of the kids have it at home and how important it is to them that we come every week. it means so much to them to have someone to hug and ask them how their day was. it made me a little teary. we walked home afterwards, so i could meet my mom at the house. she was to come all by her lonesome on a sheruit, then another sheruit to ramla. however, after several confused phone calls, she ended up in jerusalem. then after a few more confused phone calls, she was walking to lod. eventually she got here and we watched 'a league of their own'. fuck that's a good movie. anyway, now we're going to tel aviv to be picked up for a tour of jerusalem tomorrow. really fucking early too. so i'm going. but i love everyone. goodnight.



Saturday, November 22, 2008

i laugh more often now, i cry more often now

wow, a lot has happened in the last few days. so quick recap. since my mom has been in town i haven't been around my computer a lot. so i apologize for the long pauses in bloggings. but i'm having fun keeping busy. so i don't feel bad. you'll forgive me.

so after we last spoke, mom, alice, and i caught a sheruit to tel aviv from ramla. mom and i hung out for a while and alice went to the sub kuch where i would later meet her. mom and i ran into mayaan who is always sweet. i spent a little time with mom near her place, but then said goodbye and met alice at the kuch from which she, david, inbar (one of the managers of the sub kuch), inbar's girlfriend, and i (later joined by ben-el... most fabulous gay LA/Texas/tel aviv resident ever and his weird friend) walked REALLY far (but not really that far) to a dance party. right before we got in, al told me that she thought we should just go back to the bar since it was 30 sheckels and she knew it would suck. i didn't really agree, so we went in. alice was right, unfortunately. we had entered a gay rave of 9 people dancing. really great people watching though. we retreated upstairs to the couches and found some plastic feet to decorate our room. not soon after, we left to walk back to the sub kuch while inbar, david, and inbar's girl went to a lesbian bar. i took some really cool photos on the walk back. alice and i walked through florentine, which is really a beautiful neighborhood and found a nice ledge. we decided to sit on it. we discussed how cool it would be if all of a sudden, everyone disappeared, and what we would do. so much food and fun shit. not at all bad. also, what would happen if a t-rex suddenly walked by on the street. i wish i could see a dinosaur. shit.

anyway, we got back to the subkuch, indulged in some treats and snuck upstairs to the gallery to sleep on some couches. mission accomplished. in the morning, we had a little chat time with david and continued onto my moom's place. after waiting FOREVER for her to get ready and meeting fifi, coach, and todd, we walked to the flea market in yaffo. it was a hike, but the beach was gorgeous. yaffo is a mostly arab port city on the outskirts of tel aviv, but the buildings are beautiful. you can taste the antiquity. mmmmm antiquitylicious... we found the shuk after a brief search and i came across the first booth and picked out two oldish photos that i liked from a miscellaneous box of them. i gave them to the vendor and asked how much he wanted for them. he told me 5 sheckel, i was expecting much less. i made a face. he promptly tore both photos in half, yelled at me and cursed me out ("fucking americans. get the fuck out of here. you don't let me eat!"). mom heard, got upset. later she would, twice, tell customers of his to go somewhere else because he had town up her daughter's photos ("ze LO TOV!!"). we found some great stuff there though (clothes, accessories, the works), although i was a bit shaken up the rest of the time we were there. i had only mildly defended myself, but the guy hurt my feelings. fuck it. as we were leaving, mom yelled at the guy and harrassed more customers. i hid behind a building but it made me proud that she was sticking up for me. go mom. she's insane. did i mention that she bought 50 pairs of binoculars for her cousin's grandkids? not 5. 50. like fifty. and a cart to drag them home. so we put her in a cab with all 50 pairs of binoculars, so she didn't have to shlep them and we all walked back. ate with mom and alice, took a nap and later that night walked to a friend's apartment. we tried to go to a pub, but it was closed so we bought beers and spent the evening playing 'shithead', a delightful card game at the end of which, we were taking a little man off the top of our beers, picking our noses while we said "tottenham is the greatest team the world has ever seen" and pretending like we had tourette's syndrome all before taking a sip of beer, after which we, of course, put the little man back on top of our beer. before bed, we watched a documentary about a marriage service that matches lonely english men to industrious thai women. i was fascinated by the dynamic between the two and it gave me the idea to do a photo series on the subject. or make a movie. we'll see. ended up passing out and ...

in the morning on saturday, we had coffee and walked back to mom's place because orna had made plans to pick us up and take us to a city on the way to haifa which apparently is fun to walk around. fortunately, it was raining, so we decided to go to the PANCAKE HOUSE AND SEE A MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i was beside myself. we had pancakes. it was amazing. and saw 'vicki christina barcelona', which for some reason, scarlett johansson's character made me realize that there is beauty in everything and i just want to find my passion. for anything. a person, my photography, music, friends, family, traveling. everything. i just felt very much re-connected to my vision after this movie. i want to see it again. thanks woody allen. bought 3 dvd's for 50 sheckels. we had delicious bagels with cream cheese, salmon, and avocado (things i'm missing big time here) and orna and yarden dropped us off at mom's (alice and i wanted to walk back to the bus station). i was super inspired and challenged us to a people interaction game, where we would ask random people intense questions. it didn't really work, but we ran into a co-worker and her friend. we asked them intense questions instead. told them about the sub kuch, and after we parted ways, we decided to go ahead and pay the kuch people a visit for one drink. we had a really great conversation about love, why we can't find it, and life. that all we need are 1)laughter 2)nature 3)friends 4)love 5)music

not in any particular order. it's a five-thing. we also ran into eran from natanya and we all tag-team made up a beautiful story about a blind man, a boy, colors, and the dahli lama. al and i got home kind of late, but listened to good music, watched part of 'human nature' (michel gondry movie that i LOVE) and decided to write down the story. we went to bed and slept though ulpan. cleaned room and put up palm leaves to decorate. i was supposed to teach photography with buffy today but it was postponed. got a call from a man named avi from the municipality that wanted to meet me to discuss my possibly working with kids and playing guitar or singing with them. i met avi and he drove me to the music conservatory in ramla. it was soooooooooooo cool. we talked about me learning a couple of songs, possibly putting together a show to teach to the kids. just basic stuff for fun, but they have all the equipment i'll need. it is fantastic. i'll meet him next week to audition, kinda. then we made macaroni and cheese and finished 'human nature'.

tonight, after a sheruit to tel aviv (where we randomly ran into todd edelman-- no fucking way), alice and i met mom at the corner of levinsky and allenby so we could all go to the sub kuch for open mic. i didn't bring my guitar, so i thought i might not be able to play, but tal set me up. i played rocky raccoon with daniel lostoyz who is a dream of all dreams, then chico stepped up. the whole room sang and clapped along. it was a reall great time. i met some very sweet people. later i played airbag and history of fiction. i think i did well. people were very nice. now that i don't work on sundays, i'm going to play open mic from now on. mom surprised me with a dvd of 'a league of their own', which i'm fuckin stoked to watch. it all ended with one big jam session. that was great. time flew faster than light tonight and before i knew it, mom was in a cab home after showing off betty boop to ben-el, david, and other random dudes, and alli, david, and i were getting turned down for a guitar hero sesh. so we missed the sheruits and took a quick, expensive cab ride home. now i'm tired. greenhouse project tomorrow, then kadima, then who knows. i just hope my mom gets on her tour tomorrow to jerusalem... i'm really stepping up with my photography. getting courageous. i like it.

goodnight all. love love love,


Thursday, November 20, 2008

and i'm crazy for lovin' you

ok another laundry list. i'm SORRY. jeez. i've just been busy, what with volunteering and going out and mom here and back and forth and the GA and FUCKKKKKKKKKK. so, luv ya, here ya go:

walked to catch sheruit to tel aviv
alice and i both stressed out, maybe because my mom is here, maybe last week
got beer for ride, felt little better
walked to sub kuch to bring daniel a hat to cheer him up (wasn't there, so we left)
then walked for a while before catching a sheruit to meet mom at the pizza place
where she was with marc, new friend from atlanta (funniest guy ever)
black dude with dreads, injects his southern english with hebrew words, ("WALLA!", "balagan!")
then michael showed up, weird guy, but great guitar player. had good talks with him
met yaacov from cleveland and other pizza employees
then another friend of mine showed up
we played and mom sang along
it was nice that she had her own thing. i liked watching her talk and hang out like a normal person.
alice went to bed because she was sooooo tired
we all hung out and played and sang and talked and ...
crazy russian broad kissing air and hugging hands, she really needed a friend (parents died when she was really little)
spent some time after the pizza place closed ...........
snuck inside and went to bed too late
woke up at 6 to catch a sheruit at 7 to be home by 7:30 to be at sharet by 8
didnt happen, but had a great day teaching english and reading stories together
i actually felt like i did something for these kids. felt amazing.
walked home to pick up mom
walked to naveyo natan, but karen called on the way to tell me not to come (7th grade kids in trouble for smoking)
mom and i went to teach with al instead
good kids, but rowdy
we all played pictionary. i had a lot of fun
came home
tried to take a nap, but couldn't
found avocado!!! mixed with tuna. brillz dinner
finally edited some photos...
watched the mask and waynes world (BRILLZ)
called gammy and eddie and got to talk for a minute (miss them tons, gammy keeps ordering me to come home. she "needs me". FUCK.)
watched mom's audition tape thingy, actually really funny but even SHE was embarrassed of how cheesy it was. she finally understands!!! also, a DVD of her senior follies (she did great)
woke up this morning
walked to elderly center (mom's not so hot with the walking, but she's getting better)
did arts and crafts and aerobics with the oldies
mom danced with lechem lady (bread stealer)---not a bad dancer
denise (oldie) asked me to call her cousin in the states, very weird conversation
mom started a knitting thing. she's actually pretty good. i was impressed.
walked mom home, stopped by gadi's falafel (mom LOVED it)
went with alli to play soccer at sharet
i played and remembered why i liked soccer in high school, SO FUN
still not very good, but it felt GREAT to be active. i miss that feeling
all the kids kept trying to ask me questions during the game in mixed hebrew/english
really cute, but i actually wanted to play
alice and i left and decided that we'll buy a ball and start drilling/juggling for practice/exercise
got ambushed by cute little bugs asking us questions (israeli kids are so curious)
walked home and watched 'playing by heart' with mom (it's been so long since i've seen it, but i know it well)
she put her arm around me during the sad parts, it was nice

i have a hard time being around her sometimes. especially lately, when i've been so down on myself. and she's someone i blame but i realize none of it is her fault and i'm not her, in addition to the fact that she did the best she could, plus she has many wonderful qualities that i should be thankful that she passed on to me. and if i want something different for myself, i have to ask for it. and do it. and get over my own obstacles. so tonight, we'll go to tel aviv and spend some time together, just us. then al will join us and there's a party with sub kuch people later. so tonight will be fun.

OH! i posted photos... hereeeeeeeeeee.

there's many more to come, but at least i started to wade through the pile.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

i love you, standing all alone in a black coat

today was a much, much better day. i woke up late so i could rest a little more, so i could heal. i did. i arose refreshed and the sky was blue. my mind felt more clear and my mood was positive. i think i'm just a little blue the last couple of days. if anything i'll write a song about it. we had a meeting with many donors today, along with other members of the GA. so i trucked it to the school we were meeting at. once i arrived to the school, i trucked it to the actual meeting place. which was not a school. i'm the worst direction follower actually. oh well. finally got to the real spot and momo spoke. al spoke. the mayor of ramla spoke. answered some challenging questions from the peanut gallery with honest dignity. i always see posters of this guy all over ramla. you guys don't understand. if you have seen the princess bride, its the "inconceiveable!" guy. but he doesn't really look like that in person. then i spoke. then alice and i took 3 GA peeps each to the tv station to see what we do. i met a couple of nice girls (one in particular, sheni a political science major at tel aviv U said she knows all the great second hand stores and will tell me where to find some great stuff) and a couple annoying men from the states. we got to the TV station and karen said some words and then we retreated to the cabs, which were late, that took us to the shuk where we ate lunch at a falafel place. wow, that was the worst run-on sentence in history. sorry. i'm kind of in a hurry to get to tel aviv to meet my mom. she informs me that she's met some musicians and they jammed last night. ohhhh mom. lessons for today: think outwardly. thank about possibly organizing a non-mission mission to africa. asking donors. figure that out. fuck. ok. i'm going now.



Monday, November 17, 2008

and if i feel tomorrow like i feel today

its been a good day, well the first part of it. i'm tired, i'm getting sick. i feel weaker mentally and emotionally than i have this whole trip, or in a long time. maybe its just been a bad day. but its not good whatever it is. i feel i have no control over the overwhelmingly negative thoughts that are pervading my consciousness. maybe its my period. i fucking hope so. but today, we decided to skip the GA to go to the greenhouse project. good decision. al and i walked to the school where the bus picks us up and met jen, jade, and alon. we rode the bus to the volcani center. basically we spent the whole day touring the cow area. we saw baby cows and big cows and where the cows are born, where they are milked, where they eat. really a fascinating process. i was licked by a baby cow. i don't think i can eat a burger ever again. but we bonded with the kids and played this really funny game where we ran and jumped between sticks that were pulled further and further apart. i lost immediately, but had fun watching. anyway, we ate and were bussed back to ramla, where we hung out at home for 2.5 seconds before walking to the peircing/tattoo place so al could get her nose peirced. (don't worry mom and dad, i didn't get anything.) he allowed me to take photos, so i did. he put the dot on her nose, she picked a stud, and he stuck a needle through her right nostril after sharpening it on medical paper. she took one look as did i. it was too low. she looked at the guy. he said no. she said yes. so he did it. again. so now al has two holes in her nose, one of which is filled with jewelry. the other will close. it was pretty funny. anyway, went to kadima with cameras, but once we got there sivan told me that because of the inconsistency with which i've been coming there due to the holidays and all our fucking trips, we're scrapping the photography thing there. which sucks, but i understand. anyway, i helped some kids with english today and then we all played games on the basketball court but i felt tired and weak, so i didn't play. it was time to go, so we stopped by the apartment to chill and talk to naama. i started falling asleep. after our meeting, i came home and now i feel like shit. i was supposed to go to tel aviv to see my mom, but i can barely see to type because of this migraine. i'm going to bed or something. i want to see my mom tomorrow. she's always good at taking care of me when i'm sick. i actually love when she takes care of me. we don't fight for some reason. tomorrow is another day. love you guys.


strangers on this road we are on, for we are not two we are one

surprise: i got a text version of olmert's speech... the one i'm in. yep, me. sally glass-cohen. or something like this...


PM Ehud Olmert's address to the General Assembly, Jerusalem, Israel

Distinguished Ministers,
Members of Knesset,
Members of the General Assembly,
Chair Persons of the General Assembly, Ms. Shari Arison, Mark and Jane Wilf,
The Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency, Mr. Richie Pearlstone,
My Friend, the able, dynamic, creative and effective Chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Executive, Zeev Bielski,
My dear and personal friend, I hate to tell you of how many years – maybe because you will learn something new about me, because you will never believe that the young good-looking representative, Chairman and President of UJC in the State of Israel, Nachman Shai, is almost my age – almost my age. I am delighted to recognize a person has devoted many years to many important Jewish causes in the State of Israel, in the Diaspora, in different capacities, always with excellence and grace which are unique.
Distinguished Guests from many different organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am really very happy, very very happy to see all of you here in this gathering, the bi-annual General Assembly meeting, in the State of Israel. I was privileged enough, to host as mayor of Jerusalem the first such meeting of the General Assembly in Jerusalem, in this building. Tonight, there is another mayor of the city of Jerusalem, a new mayor of the city of Jerusalem – Nir Barkat, and I am very happy to welcome him here tonight, as the new leader of this great, eternal capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
I am also very happy to recognize my dear friend, the Consul General of the State of Israel in the city of New York, Mr. Asi Shariv. And I am very happy to see all of you. As I said before, this is the most important thing – to see all of you here, to know that, in spite of all of the difficulties and constraints, and some concerns – I heard that there is a little crisis over there in some countries. But in spite of all of this, you found the time, and the energy to come here and to be with us here at this time, and we are very happy and very proud of this.
. We all believe that a strong and vibrant Israel is a very important ingredient in building up the strength of the Jewish people in every part of the world.

Although this is, most likely, my last appearance before this distinguished crowd as Prime Minister of Israel, this is by no means a goodbye. I am certain we will continue to meet and discuss all the important issues that affect Israel's future, that affect our joint future, the future of the Jews across the world and the future of us here in the State of Israel..
This year the GA is focused on the young generation of the Jewish people, under the title: One People – One Destination. I can not imagine a more important issue confronting our people at this time.

Israel is faced with a number of complex challenges, some of which are a veritable threat to its existence: the peace process between Israel and its neighbors, the constant threat of terrorism, Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, a global financial crisis, socio-economic gaps in Israel, the education challenge, and many others. As Prime Minister I devote most of my time to these issues day in and day out, as I have done over the past three years and I will not cease until my last day in office.
But, there are also other, more silent, covert concerns. The dangers that we discover when it is almost, sometimes, too late:
A weakening affinity of the Jewish youth in the Diaspora to Israel is one such issue.
The distancing of the future generations from the most basic principles of the Jewish faith is another such issue.
The gradual decrease in Jewish demographics is exactly such an issue.

For almost a decade, the Government of Israel has addressed these existential threats with the same vigor as any other threat against the Jewish people.
The Government of Israel has invested unprecedented amounts of money, many hundreds of millions of shekels, into projects that address these very issues.

There are those of us here today who remember first hand when the State of Israel was the "project of the Jewish people." Jewish communities around the world joined hands, with all their heart and soul, to build the young state of Israel.
Today, nobody has to imagine the State of Israel.
Israel exists in its full glory.
Today, 60 years after the proclamation of the State of Israel, we can say that the Jewish people across the world have become the "project of the State of Israel".
My predecessor, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, along with the Jewish Agency, initiated the MASA project to promote Jewish Zionist education;
Hey guys, I expected more. Give MASA a big hand – they are great!
We wholeheartedly support TAGLIT, Birthright – what happened to you tonight? What happened to you? I want to hear a real statement made by you about Taglit so that everyone will hear it. Right.

I am very proud of these two projects. More needs to be done. All of us, the Israeli government and Jewish organizations around the world, must do more to promote these projects, even throughout difficult financial times, and initiate others, for the future of the Jewish people…
As I look at the hundreds of young people here with us tonight my heart is filled with pride.

Here with us today is Gabriel Manasse, a new Oleh from Italy, starting his life in Israel as a young outstanding manager in a brokerage firm, not the easiest job during these difficult days. Where is Gabriel? Gabriel, don't let me down. Stand up and wave your hands. All right, give him a big hand.
Also with us is Sally Glass-Cohen from Dallas, Texas, who is volunteering in Ramle in the framework of MASA's Israel Service Corps program, which has added 150 new volunteers in the past month alone. Where are you Sally? Stand up and turn around so that everyone can see you.
I see you, participants of TAGLIT-Birthright, MASA, HILLEL, KOL DOR, OTSMA and tell you here and now: Israel is your home. Israel is your future.

I want to tell you something very quick and very short. I know all you guys come from wonderful countries. And where you come from is always wonderful for you Jews in every aspect of life. You enjoy your life, you have a high quality of life, you have many opportunities. You feel equal, you live in a comfortable situation. You have everything you need. And I do not want to say anything against any of the countries you come from, because those countries are great friends of Israel. But don't forget, don't ever forget – there is one home for all of us, and this home is here. There is only one home for the Jewish people.
You are Israel's greatest asset. You are future leaders of the Jewish people!

Come bring your energies, ideas, initiatives and your involvement in "Tikun Olam." Live here for a while, live here forever, but at least for a while. Perhaps you'll meet a life-long partner, this business is highly developed here, very successful. Roll the Hebrew diction on your tongues, play an active role in this wonderful country of Israel. I embrace you. The people of Israel embrace you.
Ladies and Gentleman,

Just a few days ago we commemorated 70 years since "Kristallnacht." 70 years lie between us and that horrifying night that will forever be registered as the harshest warning of the Holocaust to the Jews of Europe. Today, while Anti-Semitism exists, and sadly in some countries it still flourishes, no Jew should hide his religious identity.
We must stand up and be proud of our heritage, our past, our culture – we must nurture it. Today, the strong State of Israel is our most effective deterrent, to protect the Jewish people world-wide.

I am confident that no one issue can unite us, as one nation, in unanimous consent of the consequences of inaction other than the issue of Iran.
Iran has not terminated its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Iran has not ceased its funding and training of terrorists in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and around the word.
Iran has not stopped its pursuit of regional hegemony and creating chaos in this tormented region.
We must unite our forces, as part of the international community, led by the United States of America;
We must confront Iran's malevolent diligence and thwart it with greater force;
We must increase our measures to prevent Iran from achieving its devious goals;
We must increase bilateral and international sanctions thereby increasing the pressure on Iran's economy until Iran changes its path of confrontation with the international community.

Each and every one of us needs to play a role; lobby your government, lead your organization or identify a project that can be created to exert additional pressure on Iran. Enforce Iran's international isolation as long as it abuses the norms of the international community.
It must become more costly to Iran to pursue nuclear weapons than to give it up.

Iran cannot become nuclear. Israel cannot afford it; the Jewish people cannot afford it; countries in the Middle East cannot afford it; the free world must not accept it.
We must all do whatever we can to prevent it. Our voice must be loud and clear, without hesitation, without weakness. Together we can meet this challenge.

Dear Friends,

Israel under my leadership maintains its commitment to making progress on two political processes – serious and meaningful negotiations, with the Palestinians and with Syria, which started, and which continue, and which I believe are essential for the future wellbeing and security of the State of Israel . I believe that it is within the strategic interests of the State of Israel, and therefore as long as I am prime minister, I will spare no effort to make the necessary progress to advance the peace process.
Peace with our neighbors should be the inheritance we provide to our future generations. It is within reach.

Through all these challenges, with all our hopes, while we stand together as one united Jewish people, I am certain we can determine our future, create a stronger, better, more prosperous and secure Israel for the generations to come. We share the same goals, our destinies are united. Together, young and old, religious and secular, in Israel and the Diaspora we can work together and triumph together. I wish you all "Yishar Koach". Israel needs you strong, and with you Israel will be strong, vibrant, successful, and will overcome all the challenges ahead.
Thank you very much.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

this time tomorrow, what will we know

again, just a list of stuff from last night and today, but i woke up at 7:30AM today and have not had a chance to rest and i'm feeling sick now and am going to tel aviv now to see mom. so i apologize, but i do have a surprise in a new post in just a sec.

woke up at 4:30
walked to station and caught 6AM bus to jerusalem
got in a cab, and after some confusion and calls to zvi, we arrived for our meeting
got shirts
we're the outcasts of the meeting, laughing in the back row
got into buses and drove to yad vashem
really taken aback that we didn't know we're going there
went to children's memorial, i felt numb
went to big huge opening ceremony
kids played harmonica choir, made me teary with holocaust clips
felt really uneasy, like i wanted to cry
then begin center, wasn't into it at first, but it was a very cool museum
i just wanted to fuck authority and go off on my own
i wanted to look at pictures and take pictures and was disturbed by some of the things begin did for the state of israel
also wished i could be a great leader like that, never been a good speaker
even in the session afterwards, i said the wrong things
felt the weakest i've ever felt, not like someone who could change anything or make anyone believe stuff
then at lunch, i got a call from naama letting me know to be in prime minister olmert's speech because he was going to mention me by name.
i got real excited and then thought that i should act like a leader because people are paying attention
but that i should act like that all the time whether people are watching or not
but if i just believe in myself, nothing is impossible.
met yana, ole from georgia via russia, cool girl
went to convention center,
overexposed images with colored outlines series, and also make flickr book of ramla photos, also for orna
to peoplehood seminar and spoke to shlomi about our program and for the first time i belieived what i said about it
he told us about israeli flying aid
alice got strip searched
we got out and went around exploring before meeting gal, the woman in charge of israeli aid
finally talked to my mom
complaints about the day, then dinner, then speech
i'm a douche, and stood up twice, but great music and singers and fun times
then on the ride home, we told zvi our thoughts
so we'll volunteer tomorrow
i'm going to bed. fuck. heard that the art show went well last night and i got so many sweet messages from my friends. i'm so lucky. miss you guys :)



Saturday, November 15, 2008

whatever will be, will be

hiiiiiiiii a LOT has happened in the last couple of days and i'm up at 4:30 AM to attend a conference so forgive me, but this entry will not be complete. mostly just notes to remind myself what the last few days have been like. i apologize in advance. the most important thing, however, is that my mom is here!!!!! and i have realized that she is four things that i wish i was: 1) not giving a shit about what people think 2) detail oriented 3) a great story teller 4) goodhearted and completely unselfish. so there's hope for me yet, and i look up to her now like i never have. i'm proud to be her daughter. i can learn from her. yaaaaaaaaay. well, love everyone. from thursday...

elderly center
partner with adela on jen's beaded thingy
had lunch in park
went to ramla colleg and then school with kids
really cool
80 cent
taught english with body parts
kids weren't into it
weird ladies head shoulders knees and toes
i went home with weird sign and alice went to kadima
called gammy and she spilled the beans
i discovered skype, talked to josh, ernie, and then mom
alice got home and we made dinner then got ready for sub kuch
talked to mom, she told me she'd call when she got ion the next day so we packed to stay in tel aviv
sub kuych with ray ray chico, jono, david
eran and lior got there
hung in daniel's room and played music, keyboard
hung with gingy
lost gingy
passed out in daniels room
woke up to day
hung with daivd until mom called then i woke alice up and met mom in same place for tel aviv internship. really weird
but amazingly close to beach
i ran to her alice think she's hilaruius and we're twins
she unloads us with so much cool shit
we're so exctied and then we fade fast, so we all take a nap
i wake up and walk down to the beach for sundown
really beautiful and relaxing
really nice having mom here
i walk back and we all wke up and get ready for dinner at sub kuch
eat dinner and meet ben and eldad
get hit on through mom
chew on weird plant
send mom in a cab and walk to club for gil's bday
long walk, waited, left
went to sleep
woke up to get breakfast
aroma, then tower records, darjeeling limited
body builder photo
met prince, "friendship" proposal
burekas for mom
hang out
walked to find piercing place shenkin is sweet
then orna picked up
got eran, who showed us skate videos he made
passed out americana
ate dinner
watched youtube videos
drank tea
drove home
mom met roomates
found dumb shirts
walked mom to sheruit station

now today we will board a bus to jerusalem to attend the GA conference. it's fucking 4:45. fuck my life.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

it's all about takin' the easy way out for you, i suppose.

let's see. woke up groggy this morning, but i've been sleeping well lately, so i felt better walking down the street to sharet. i even had a bagel with cream cheese. yeah, that's right... CREAM CHEESE MOTHA FUCKAS. gooooooood. got some clothes from the side of the road today, hopefully i can make them work. after washing them, of course. so al and i spoke english with the kids again today, but it was a lot more awkward since we'd already met them and asked all the obligatory, and easy, get-to-know-you questions. plus, the were a bit used to us, so they just spoke hebrew to each other a lot, which we are supposed to discourage them from doing. still really sweet kids though. they ask us about the volunteers from last program, like coach and mayaan, who they want desperately to visit. walked home afterwards, stopping at the bakery for some pita, then had barely enough time to grab all my cameras and book it to the ramla colelge to meet another keren so she could take me to the school where i'd teach a little class some photo stuff. long story short, i got ditched and she got busy. so yet again, i didn't teach photography today. whatever, i was listening to elliott smith and buying cheese at the yesh market on the way home so i was fine. i hated myself for being kind of relieved that i didn't have to teach today, but then decided that i was ust scared and i really want to make a difference even though it's hard. i've been super self-centered. probably always. that's a big goal. to focus on other people and things that will enrich me as a human being, not stifle me and allow me to be comfortably numb. but elliott smith still helped. always does. and always will.

met al at this SICCCCCCCCCCK fucking dress store where i will be emptying my pockets. not really, but these frocks are phantasmagoric. (it sounds better when you say it out loud.) we walked home and hung out for minute before al had the idea to grab a couple of beers from the discount market and go read at the park. at first, i just wanted to sleep at home, but so as not to waste a nice day and regret it, i picked up all my shit and just went for it. jono the aussie, whom rayna is now dating and is guesting for the time being, came along. we had a nice relaxing time in the park. i tried to start crime and punishment, but just stopped to listen to elliott smith. it's been so long and it makes me feel so many things. i got an email from josh. he's in portland on tour with this band. i'm so proud of him and elliott always takes me back to our good times. thank moses we're still friends. especially admire him for being so passionate about music. i wish i could lose myself in something like that.

after park, and running into naama's brother imanuel, we walked home to cook dinner. i don't know what happened, but something got really stressful and tense as soon as al started cooking pizza for us. i don't know what, but it was the first time that i'd gotten on her nerves i think. but it wasn't about me. we talked about it later, but there's something weird in the air. it seemed to do mostly with a joke taken wrong by the apartment folks. it's sad, but it's almost as if everyone is aching to go home. this program didn't work the magic they thought it would, escaping from home for something new. so they complain. and it's really negative. everyone ended up coming over for dinner. we all hung out kind of, but it was tense. al is upset that everyone is shirking their volunteer duties and are not really doing what they say they came here to do, which is help people and make a difference. i admire her passion and self-lessness, because even i forget why i'm here. and it's lucky that she's here to remind me. anyway, to ease the tension, i thought i'd get everyone together for a group hug. kind of weird, yeah, but i thought it would be weird enough to work. we had a group hug and i just said that we had a great trip this weekend and i loved everyone in our group. i didn't know what to say, so i left it. we all ate dinner together, which was kinda of nice, although weirdly tense. we sat around a told stories and laughed, but i wanted to get away for a minute, so i went to the little playground down the street to swing. al told me on the way that there were some kind of mean-ish words said which hurt my feelings, but it was nice to swing anyway. i have been rationalizing all night why it hurt my feelings and i'm feeling the pinch from being here too. the magic has partially worn off today. but i know it's still there. we're just tired. another reason i got sad is that it's just nice to talk to someone that understands me. and i felt separate from that tonight. i was on my own. but that's OK sometimes. plus, i talked to caitlin and josh and they both know me very well and vice versa and they made me feel loads better.

anyway, finished my resume and sent it off with al's to the african safari place for consideration to be interns there. we had a chat and she admitted that i bugged her earlier but she was just in a bad mood. i figure it'll happen. we live in close quarters, all of us. it happens to the best of us. i just take some time to myself and relax and regroup. it'll be fine. i just want to regain my love for what i'm doing here. with gusto. tomorrow we have the elderly center and an english teaching activity that alice and i will do for the kids and donors at another school. then we go to the sub kuch to hang with jono (who used to live at the sub kuch and has been traveling in eastern europe, now back). long story. anyway. watched mama mia. really cheesy, but it made me really happy that my mom is coming this weekend. holy shit!!! i don't even know. but i'm sleepy as shit.




Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the most tender place in my heart is for strangers

so this sunday and monday, we had an amazing ISC group trip. it was really fun actually. even though we had to wake up early AM, then drove 50 hours to the negev desert to do this really tough hike in the hot hot heat. menashe was our tour guide and we even had an israeli guest (yakov, AKA coby). after the hike, we drove to this beautiful, quaint little hostile, restaurant thing place on top of a desert mountain. they make their own food there, and we could gaze upon the breathtaking landscape while we sipped our tea and ate a delicious meal. i think dad and joan would love to stay here. there was even a little spread to lie down on after eating. really cool. after this, we drove on to mamshit and the beduin camp/camel ranch. the sun was going down as we arrived, so we put our stuff away, grabbed some mats and just chilled out and napped before dinner. after we woke up, we decided to play a bit, so jade, jen, al, and i tied some bandanas on our ankles and pumped up some three-legged race action. al and i dominated OF COURSE, while jade and jen totally busted ass. go us. after this race, we got a SURPRISE, when out of nowhere, naama, zvi, ofir, tessa, and buffy showed up to eat dinner with us. buffy and tessa didn't come on the trip because they were sick, so it was nice to see them all. we retired for a wonderful beduin meal, complete with beduin tea, which is the best shit EVERRRRRRRRRR. it was kind of interesting, however, because joining us at the beduin camp was an oranim tour group of christians from oklahoma. hits pretty close to home for me, being from texas and having gone to a christian university. but it was just really strange that i haven't encountered a southern christian since i've been home. hmmmmm.

after dinner, we produced a bonfire an zvi presented a mission statement which he'd written for ISC. we all signed it, and sat around the bonfire playing songs on the guitar that ofir brought with him. then, we escaped to the 'love tree', which is a weeping willow that is a sort of fort-like thing, hiding all inside from view. we all told stories about how we've broken the law. i had a couple. al had a couple. let's just say, we all had a couple. it was pretty funny. eventually, we all retreated back to the bonfire and hung out until one by one, we returned to the tent to sleep. al and i stayed up for a long time, whispering and laughing about stuff. i laugh like an 80 year old man, i discovered. actually, we also discussed what life will be like when we are no longer living together. it's a strange thought. i can't even imagine not being around her 24-7 anymore. she said the same. we'll just have to figure something out. whoa. we finally passed out.

the next morning, we woke up to a bombass breakfast. even interacted with the christian group a bit. one of them asked if we spoke arabic, thinking that israelis all spoke arabic. i think we were all just dumbfounded. after breakfast, we rode camels. al and i rode one together, as we didn't get to on our first trip here. we named ours pat the ice cream man. it was the best ever. we rode a camel up a hill. yeah, that's right. and my ass is still sore. cest la vie.

we left the beduin camp and drove to yet another hike, but this one was mostly downwards using metal handles and ropes and cool stuff. i really liked this hike a lot. we then drove to the dead sea for a float. i talked to my mom on the way and got to tell her what she can bring with her that would make my life. mostly food things, like mac and cheese and tortillas and face scrub. well, we don't usually eat the face scrub, but times get hard, you know? we floated in the dead sea, which was lovely of course. i ran in place. it was sweet. this was actually a different beach than i'd visited both time i'd been to the dead sea. after we'd dried off a bit, we left for ein gedi, a nature reserve with animals and waterfalls. we hiked for a minute to one of the waterfalls and fresh water pools. it was fucking freezing, but i manueuvered a brillz cannonball. there's a video somewhere. swam there for a bit, then hiked to another waterfall before driving back to ramla. ein gedi was probably my favorite part of the trip. the fresh water swimming was a dream. i really loved that. beautiful place and the ibex (goat kinda things) were everywhere.

i was dead tired and really needed to go to the bathroom urgently, but once we got home, we had a meeting with naama before anything else. that was kind of annoying after having such a long trip, but naama is a doll. it was just kind of unexpected and not really about the most pleasant subject matter, especially after such a relaxing couple of days. after the meeting, al and i retired to our room and hung out until we passed out super early to wake up refreshed for ulpan this morning.

this morning, (or haboker in ivrit) we went to ulpan, which i very much enjoyed. we like totally learned the past tense of verbs and stuff. i also ran into the woman whose class i'll be teaching photography tomorrow, so we made a plan to meet up early to go over the lesson. after ulpan, al and i were driven to the yesh market by our ulpan teacher michal to shop for lunch foodies. it was fun. i also met a really nice woman named sharon that is israeli and just moved back from arizona because of the shitty american economy. i asked her if we could interview her for our documentary. she agreed, so i got her contact info. we came home and made yummy sammiches before walking to the TV station. on the way, we saw one of the israeli volunteers from kadima. the one that helps me translate to my photo students. she told me that they miss me. and i'm really sad because i have only had one lesson with them. every other week we have a trip or a holiday or something so i haven't been able to go. and i look like a total asshole. lame. but once at the TV station, we finished our movie and showed it to keren, our director and she gave us a project. the best project EVER. really exciting, she actually appointed us to make a movie for the TV program about ISC. so we storyboarded the whole thing and planned all the scenes that we will shoot together to compile into a 3 minute clip that will be aired on ramla TV. i'm gon be on TEEVEE mama! keren will give us a camera in the next couple of days to start filming. i think we'll do a really good job, since we already have ideas. i CAN'T WAIT. it'll be something really cool to put on my resume in addition to the psychology experiment that i designed and had published, but i can't fucking remember where it is. oh well. at least you know about it.

after TV, keren drove al and i to the indian restaurant (maharajah). FINALLY. it was really good. we met some guys with a sick ass huge video camera, but they were rude so we didn't get much out of them as far as what they were DOING with the camera. we drank some yummy tea and had a lovely walk home. even saw some cute guys (unheard of in ramla), one ethiopian with a sick afro and some indian guy that was watering a lawn. he totally sprayed us with his hose. water hose, people. get your minds out of the gutter. sheesh. we finally made it home and are just chilling out until bedtime. tomorrow al and i have sharet and then i actually have a photography lesson with five 7th graders at this other school, so i have to get books from the library again. super sweet. got really sweet pictures all weekend by the way. edit soon. i know, i know. you don't believe me. well, nighty night.



Saturday, November 8, 2008

it's such a perfect day, i'm glad i spent it with you.

its been a minute. sorry, i've been real busy. TWO lovely days ago, we went to the elderly center
at 8:30AM because zvi and naama were bringing potential donors from america to check out what we're doing with the program. we came in just in time to help clean up breakfast before we started aerobics and DANCE TIME. before dancetime however, we took the old folks on a walk around the premises. it was nice. yolanda, my walking partner, had 11 children. once we got back, i started making a beaded chamsa, and then... DANCE TIME. we just heard the music, and ran inside. the dance teacher lady gave us all hand-clapper thingys and we all just went wild. i was snapping photos of the old folks dancing and we all just had a blast. i got really good photos that day. also, the donors (husband and wife) that zvi brought in from NY were really inspirational, nice people. they have just started all these programs together for youth education and things that are really making an impact in the jewish community, or any community really. they made me think of uncle robert and aunt andi, and also that two people (even one) actually can make a difference if they care enough and take action to make those plans real. after the old folks center, al, jen, and i went to the 'yesh' (meaning 'there is') market for jen's party that night. these high school kids were interviewing people about the election on video (in hebrew of course). they were really funny with a fake microphone and everything, so that have footage of me acting like an idiot. probably. oh well. anyway, i got home with enough time to get ready for work.

at work, it was pretty quiet since coach was off for the night so i got to call aunt andi and uncle robert right before the funeral of his mom (whom we called grandma alice). it was nice that i got to talk to them and pay my respects. that was nice. also, i really felt like getting some coaching from marissa, but i forgot her number. i'll call her this week. after work, i came home to dressed up and dancing alli and jennifer. so i ran into our room and threw on a dress that alice had picked out for me. its one of those that shows off all my good parts, but in a classy way. so i got all geared up for the party, which went really well. there were some weird boy issues. and we'll say unexpected rejection was a word for the evening. before i went to bed, i felt like talking to a boy that knows me very well. i called josh but he didn't answer, then i called jeremy and had a lovely convo about what he's doing in CT. miss that guy. anyway, i woke up the next morning to another stomach attack. i really need to just stick to beer. even if i don't have more than 2 drinks, it'll kill my ability to function as a normal human being besides the intervals when i am not vomiting my lining. sorry to be descriptive. it's just stupid. i really don't drink very often at all, and when i do, i don't do it to get shithoused. but for some reason, my body hates me. so i get to figure that out. so i spent the next morning in misery and in and out of the bathroom. i finally just laid on my bed and thought maybe my stomach is just upset because i am stressed and not relaxed, i can't keep anything down. my dad had the same problem. so i tried laying on my back and relaxing my stomach muscles. that seemed to work and i wondered what it would be like if i just relaxed my stomach muscles. why did i started tensing them in the first place? maybe to suck in my belly? who knows. bad habit. BUUUUUUUUT, i also decided that i will stop thinking internally and focus my attention on other people and things to raise my self-awarness in a productive way. so that's cool i guess.

my stomach finally felt better after my experiment, so i got ready and we all went out to the sub-kuch for a pub crawl in tel-aviv (mine, an o'douls worthy night) for rayna, eric, and jennifer's birthdays. we all hung out for a while, and i even got to wake up david to talk to john-o on the phone. i also met some cool guys. one aussie, one mexican, and one arkansasian. they seemed interesting and work at the same agricultural center that we do, so i gave them our info to we can hang out with them some other time. it got to be around 11PM then everyone besides rayna, alice, and i wanted to leave. chico invited us to go to a house party in natanya, but we didn't have a ride until daniel gave p his seat so we could all go. chico drove with us and his friend yitzhak kind of far. but when we got there it was all worth it. the neighborhood was beautiful and not even a 2 minute walk from the mediterranean. we arrived and met chico's friends who all live in this house and play in a band together. we met eran, roni, and a couple of other guys. its great, because as soon as we walk in, i see a bass guitar plugged in surrounded by two classicals. i've never been so happy. we just drank coffee and jammed for a while. radiohead, beatles, other shit. it was great to play bass again. and the people were so sweet. eran is a joke, the singer of the band and really funny. roni is part of the crew too, but he is a painter and actually creates paintings on photoshop in real time while listening to the band play their songs. he showed me and i was really impressed. he never undoes or revises anything. just beautiful colorful sketches. we hung out and jammed and talked for a while and it got late, so we crashed there. this morning, we all woke up expecting to leave after having a wonderful beautiful hilarious chat while people watching from the stairs of the house, but our gracious hosts offered for us to stay for breakfast that they bought and prepared for all of us outside on their little patio thing. we all went back to the house after breakfast and jammed some more on bass and guitar before going to take a walk on the beach. we did so with the dogs and i have great photos of this day. we were just stationed on one part of the beach, when jet skiers decide to say hi. one of the pack, however, thinks its a great idea to splash us. by splash, i mean i'm running in slow motion and my back feels like its hit by fuckin' 'splash water falls' from six flags. so i'm soaked, more than rayna or alice. i'd been wanting to go swimming this whole time, but i was so wet that i just said fuck it and dove into the sea, headfirst. it was pretty sweet for a minute, but then i realized how fucking unfortunate it was that i'd be riding home in a car in soaking wet clothes. luckily we chilled at the beach long enough for me to dry out a bit. and to see horses running down the shore, and to see a puppy fight an ant, and see the ant almost win. we returned to the house and jammed even more, while i got to watch roni make a painting while we played. it was the most amazing thing i'd ever seen. just so precise but fluid. really beautiful stuff. and eran played, perfect day by lou reed. today really was a perfect day. we said our goodbyes and exchanged information, vowing to hang out again soon, before chico drove us to the central station where we caught a sheruit home.

once home, we had about 1 hour to get ready before orna came to pick us up for the bar mitzvah party. it was really cute how excited everyone was. we thanked her so much for inviting us and she said that it was a given since we are part of their family now. that made me really happy. she picked us up early, so alice and i helped her put candy on the tables for the dinner. the place where the party's being held is this amazing outdoor/indoor establishment with beautiful lights and a little pond with ducks. we waited until people arrived by playing wii and guitar hero, which i haven't played in ages. it was really fun. we watched a video eran made, which was devastating for him (he was overing his face the whole time). but hilarious. we ate good food and played good games. it was really low-key and lovely and sweet. orna took us home afterwards and we packed for our trip tomorrow to hike, ride camels, and dea-sea float. so excited. but tired. al and i had some good convos tonight about the world and whether what we're doing here is actually making a difference. and how people are inherently selfish (mine mine mine---the main problem for israel. such a smal, special place that everyone wants it), but that the solution to rectify this behaviour is so simple that people just don't do it. ANYWAY, i'm sorry it took so long and that it's mainly a laundry list of shit that i did. but i'm tired. and i love you.



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

and everybody's gotta learn sometime

what a beautiful day. i woke up and the first thing i did was log onto and the first thing i see is obama and his beautiful family smiling and holding hands in jubilation on the home page. i smiled bigger than life, put my hands in the air and screamed, "YES!!!". alice echoed my sentiment and we woke up to a bright new day. i talked to my mom on the phone, and my dad on the computer today. we are all very excited.

walked to the school where we'd be tutoring kids in english apparently, called sharet. we got there a little early and waited for the principal to direct us to a class. or something like this. we sat at a table outside the office while i had some coffee. never have i been approached with such curiosity and tenacity that these kids exhibited towards al and i. they just came up and asked us where we were from. sweet kids. real cute too.

we were escorted finally to a random classroom by the principal, who is a nice, grateful woman. i just stook there, examining the teacher's long, straight hair and elaborately decorated fake nails while she, every couple of minutes, would audibly say a word with a perfect english accent. the fruits of this visit materialized in the form of a list of hebrew names that would meet al and me in the teacher's lounge. the names were of children that were good in english, so they would sit and talk with us so they could practice their conversational skills. the first group came in and they were absolutely adorable, sweet, articulate even. michael the best of the group in english carried insights that i might hear from someone my age. nati, the little ethiopian boy who can do the robot, and this indian girl who told alli and i where to find the indian restaurants in ramla. we asked them questions to get to know them, which was awkward at first, but we all warmed up to each other very quickly and it helped to have al to diffuse any weirdness. actually, i didn't even mind when one of the directors of the school took alli to work with the younger kids. we had a blast. soon it was time for recess to al and i reconvened on the playground where i met the little tiny kids she was helping teach. they all like to give hugs. which i like. after recess we got two more classes of kids, each class seeming to know less and less english. however, all very sweet. in our second class, we even knew two of the kids from kadima. so that was really cool. last class we all got so excited that the principal had to quiet us a few times. al and i played simon says with them to practice their english, but adapted it to "alli and sally say". they get a kick out of the fact that our names rhyme. i do too truthfully.

we ended our day, walked home and i took a nap. all day i've been talking to excited people from home. i'm actually really sad i wasn't in dallas for this. i would've loved to celebrate this day with everyone. oh well. i'm happy enough to share via the internet... i woke up, and we walked to our second volunteer/tutoring thing at the school where we have ulpan, but got a call from ofir saying that it was cancelled until next week. after i made al jump in a pile of leaves on the street so i could photograph her amidst strange looks from passers by, we went to the market instead near ulpan to get fixin's to make dinner for the apartment people since they did it last night. i decided to make asian stir fry lettuce wraps and al wanted to make ricotta shells and cheese. we came home and wrote out the questions we will ask people for our documentary, so that was productive. then we all made a scrumptious looking dinner for everyone to share. ray ray, al, jodi, and i cooked up a fucking storm. rayna made pictures of everything so we'll remember forever. we ate as soon as we were all done. the food was amazing. ray ray made brown rice-ish stuff and jodi made cinnamon/lime chicken. it was really good actually. we ate early and just saved the rest for the apartment people. we all hung out afterwards, tessa straightened my hair, which looks weird. naama is back from the states and stopped by the house to say hi!!!! we missed her! and then we all tried to jump onto this tower of mattresses without it falling over. once we laughed and fell and died and came back to life, it was time to go to bed. al and i tried to load and watch annie hall again, but only made it half through. i need to sleep. elderly center tomorrow. i've been taking some interesting photos. i like it. i'm tired. change can come. yes i can.

goodnight motek,



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

cuz you're my number 1. i'm like a dog to get you.

after my debacle with the axe man and a quick nap through ulpan (i know, i'm bad.). but we made it to the tv station in plenty of time. it was a quiet day there, but we finally finished the movie we made with the 15 minutes of footage we shot. using imovie, we added still shots, music, sound effects, subtitles, visual effects, etc. not too bad in my opinion. just really ridiculous. stopped by kadima to say hi to the kids and al's fave. one of my faves needed someone to walk her on the way home, so we went with her. she speaks noooooooo english except the word 'dog'. but i get to practice hebrew with her. it's funny. she's 12, but i swear she's grown 5 inches since i met her 2 months ago. really crazy. sweet girl though, and beautiful. although i think she's got a mood disorder or something. it makes me wonder what has happened to these kids to make them act in certain ways. it's not a nice thing to think about. but that's why we're here.

anyway, alon called al and invited us to dinner on the way home. we came back to the house, and al made rice to bring to the apartment. we went over and alon and eric made eggplant schnitzel and pepper pasta and potatoes and stuff for buffy, al, jade, jen, and me. afterwards, we had some treats an watched the fast and the furious while checking election coverage.

I'M EXCITED! i kinda wish i was home for this. but i'm hoping that i wake up and obama is the president. we'll see what happens.

we walked home and i found out some really sad news. my dad told me that my uncle's mom passed away last night. she was a really cool lady and was a child prodigy at the violin at age 7. she was amazing, played at my dad and mom's wedding. she passed on her musical talent to my cousin sean who is a prodigy at the drums and piano and seems to be one of the most highly regarded drummers on broadway, or even in musical theater in general. i didn't know her very well, but until the last few months she was a regular fixture at all family gatherings, so it is sad that she is no longer here. and very sudden for me although she was 97. at least she wasn't in pain. alice mcdaniel, you will be missed.

on a brighter note, my brother is definitely on a birthright trip. very excited to see him. miss that buddy of mine. anyway, i'm going to bed now.



Monday, November 3, 2008

why we're put in this mess, is anybody's guess.

today was really long. i mean like really really really really long. it was so long that by the end of the day i'd forgotten what i'd done at the beginning. but i digress...

this morning, alice and i woke up early as shit to (get ready) walk to el-em to meet segev (head of the greenhouse project) to be driven to the middle school to catch a bus to the volcani ministry of agriculture in rehovot. whew. i actually walked early to get something to eat on the way. note to self: no fucking restaurants open at 7AM in ramla, israel.

we arrived there with the kids, who are a rambunctious group but way less terrifying than the kids at kadima. and funny too. don't ask me why. we basically took them into the fields and the greenhouses and did a few activities with them to introduce them to the wide world of agriculture. translation: they wrote down stuff that they saw in the greenhouse and tried to figure out what its function is. we were separated into groups, my group had two relaly sweet girls in it. i don't remember their names. basically, they did what we did the first time we went. then we prepared lunch for them and all ate together before packing up and heading back to the bus to go home.

we went home to get ready and wait for the sheruit to take us to tel aviv for our planned evening trip. i was pretty bummed that i wasn't able to go to kadima yet again to teach photography. our schedules have been very strange lately, back and forth from the old to the new. but they have completely transitioned now. i think. plus, i keep telling all of these potential ISC applicants that i'm here to teach photography, but i've only done it once. that will change though, as i'm about to start a workshop at ramla college. but that's neither here nor there. once we got to tel aviv zvi met us at rabin square to give us his personal experience with rabin's assassination. now it was jen's birthday so we were all in a celebratory mood, plus we didn't realize that we'd be talking about serious things. so we were caught off guard and had trouble keeping a straight face. it's one of those things where you're faced with a serious situation you weren't expecting and it's so absurd that it's hilarious, so you laugh and you're not supposed to so then it's completely impossible not to. you know? that.

anyway, we made it through zvi's shpiel. i felt bad because i think he almost started crying. but we walked back to the sheruit and hopped on as it took us to another place we weren't prepared for: the yitzhak rabin center. traffic was horrible and jade almost peed her pants. that was pretty funny.

so now you'd think that we're done with the serious part. that we're going to participate in the MASA seminar which will be most educational and interesting. but not too serious. very casual. right? well, you're fucking wrong. as soon as we sit down, alice and i start cracking up. but then, when we thought it could possibly get more serious, yitzhak rabin's OWN SON approaches the podium. i'm the most devastated i've ever been and at this point i'm trying to mask my outbursts as sneezes and just twisting in my chair so that i can't see alli. it was the hardest thing i've ever had to do in my life. i was really fascinated that this man came to speak to us, and under normal circumstances, i would have been wonderfully intrigued. but not this night. this guy was the worst speaker i'd ever seen in my life. which was even funnier at the time. i tried so hard not to laugh and look at al, that i didn't notice that she'd fallen asleep right next to me. and to make matters worse, ofir looks back and sees al sleeping. he goes to text her to wake up, and then her phone goes off in the middle of everything, waking her up. she got mad at me because i didn't wake her up, which was my bad. but i was creating diamonds in my butt. it was a problem. well, yuval rabin finally finished.

there was a woman that spoke about some films which was pretty cool. then we ate some weird concoction of stuff, then went back inside to workshop some ideas. we ended up having a discussion about definitions of what an israeli is. it got me thinking about the citizens of this country that are either non-religious jews or israeli christians or muslims. it's all very strange. even if someone is a complete atheist and doesn't follow any traditions, they can live in this country no questions asked if they have one jewish grandparent accoeding to the law of return. but the diversity here is unquestionable. interesting. after our discussion, we were shown a very disturbing, but importantly intense short film examining all the tensions between israeli jews, both secular and religious, arabs, and russian immigrants. it is called 'the deli'. i need to see that again. it almost made me cry. whoa. anyway, we packed up after the longest day ever and drove home to sleep.

this morning i was unpleasantly woken up late for ulpan by a man, in our backyard, attempting to cut down one of our trees. at first i just thought this was normal and was more upset that i had to go to class late. but i called ofir and he confirmed that this was not, in fact, normal. so i went outside and told him to stop, in my very terrible hebrew. he said he would. i walk back inside and hear more chopping. so i go back outside. i say, "di, di bevakasha!". which means, "stop stop please!" i point to him and then to the street implying for him to leave. he says, "ze oo?" which means, "that's all?". i say "ken, ze oo". i go back inside. he keeps fucking chopping. i'm pissed. i go back outside and say, "ze oo bevaksha! di PLEASE!" he finally gets it and climbs back over the fucking fence in the backyard. i go back inside and watch him through our bedroom window. he instead climbs on top of the shed in the backyard and chops branches from the top. i give up. as long as he doesn't cut the whole fucking thing down. i'm really confused. i didn't want to leave in case he tried to cut it down again, so i'm missing ulpan. at least i can catch up on my blogs and maybe even some photos before the TV station today.

catch you guys after a nap.



Saturday, November 1, 2008

keeping a hold of what you just let go, you're just somebody that i used to know

halloween night, ray ray (as polaris), buffy (as where's waldo), alon (as himself), tessa (as some version of a hippie), al (as coach), and i (as ofir) caught a sheruit to tel aviv. al forgot the most important article of clothing for her costume (sandals that she begged coach sneakily for) so she had to fucking book it back to the house and back to the sheruit before it left her. she did it.
once we got to tel aviv, we walked to sub kuch to eat and hang out. i also called my brother and gammy. gammy's not very happy right now because she can't see and said that she'll see me when i get back. she also said that she needs me, which is disconcerting. i haven't told her i'm thinking of staying longer... eddie didn't get onto the birthright trip he can come on that doesn't conflict with his school schedule, so i hope that if he emails ellen from and tells her he needs to come visit me, she'll stick him on the right trip. i miss him. we got to talk for a minute, which was really nice. met some real nice folks at the bar. one guy, eddie from canada, is making an experimental short film about transitional spaces by flying to each continent and filming the runways of airports. i was really interested in his story and how he got funding for such a project. he confided in me that he applied for grants from canadian art councils. so that's an idea al and i can look into for our doc. he also has a fibonacci rectangle tattoo. we talked about that in relation to photography. i wondered if i compose my photographs in such a way. eddie was sitting with pauline, a french girl that is working with mentally-disabled children in jerusalem. we all had a nice chat and exchanged information. we ate yummy food and hung out in the gallery until it was time to walk to the central station to catch a number 5 sheruit to ben gurion and diessengoff to our co-worker katie's halloween party. on the walk, al and i ducked into an alley to transform ourselves into coach and ofir. after getting a little turned around while trying to draw a goatee on al with a highlighter on a moving sheruit, we finally found katie on the street and all walked back to the party.

had a really fun time at the party. ofir and coach (clad in my spandex and bathing suit as flashdance-ish) died laughing at al's and my impressions of them. we all hung out and had a blast. the party got called at around 2, so al and i cabbed it back to the subkuch to hang out or sleep until we got picked up by orna's brother at 7AM. there was no room to sleep or sit at the bar and the gallery was closed, likewise with the roof, so al and i just sat at the top of the stairs and talked and spied and rested. we tried to go downstairs, but there was still no room, so we laid on the curb outside and just talked. i realized that i missed josh, but i really just miss being in a relationship sometimes. being that close to someone. we could never be together again. we've passed the point of no return, but it's just hard to imagine being that intimate and connected with someone. even to the point of missing what it's like to fight with someone like that. very strange. must be the winter.

all of a sudden, we look up and david is standing over us. we all go inside and talk and hang out at the bar with meital going crazy as usual. this girl is fucking nuts but really funny and sweet. she was on the israeli big brother and is an actress now. she's my pimp. for men. or something. hung with chico, david, meital, and some random creepy at the bar, then retired to the couches to take some polaroids and rest up for bar mitzvah time. creepy tried to take a photo up al's skirt, but we were all so tired/shocked, that we didn't do anything. plus, his camera was dead. haha. fucker. david and i took a quick walk to get some water for me and cigarettes for him before i went back to change into normal person quisi-nice clothing for the synagogue. we got ourselves together enough to call orna and her brother, unsuccessfully convincing them we were sick, and walk to meet them in the car.

we arrived in lapid after, also unseccesfully, trying to sneak a nap in the car, while pretending that we actually slept and didn't party that night. hiding FAIL. but we all met orna and the fam and walked up the steepish hill to the synagogue where eran and elan already were. the temple was small but was separated by sex, so it's orthodox. we arrived with orna, yarden, rachaeli (alon and jade's host mom), elan's mom and aunt, orna's brother, his wife, and their 2 sons. al i were both fighting sleep, but it was really fascinating to watch the service. it was a normal saturday morning service, punctuated by moments or candy throwing at eran, which is an ordinary, even expected, occurrance when a member of the congregation is celebrating a bar mitzvah. after i retreated outside to relieve the contents of my stomach (after which i was fine for the rest of the day) it came time for eran to read his torah portion. he stood up and we threw candy yet again. i looked on smiling as only a big sister would. i was so proud. it was as if i was watching eddie reading his torah portion on his bar mitzvah day. and i don't remember if i looked on with such pride on the actual day, but if i didn't, i sure made up for it at eran's. i couldn't stop smiling. he did such a great job. and afterwards, they set up a little picnic table with snacks for the whole synagogue before we walked back to the house to eat some more. yarden and eran saw how tired we were and after congratulating them and watching some of yarden's bat mitzvah video (she wanted to show us where the party will be next weekend), we took a nap before being driven home by orna. it was a nice day.

once home, we passed the fuck out and slept until 8:30PM. we woke up and made some pasta with veggies before sticking annie hall on the computadora via some stream website. it's been a while since i've seen it, but annie hall is one of my favorite movies of all time. it's just so awkward and unnerving and real. and ridiculous. and i feel both incredibly intelligent and equally uninformed every time i watch it, whether i get the references or not. woody allen is a joke. my loneliness, however, was reignited during the scene after diane keaton calls alvie over to kill the spider and the reconcile. you know, the one where they are laying in bed just in the glory and misery of what a relationship does to two people who know they are so right and so wrong for each other simultaneously. i miss that. that's what i miss. probably nothing else. that's my favorite scene. well, that and the lobster scene. nothing beats that. and i made a playlist for alice. i told her to listen to it when i'm not around.

anyway, the downloading fucked up so we didn't get to finish the movie, but we both got an email from chris (one of the managers of the safari resort in africa that we want to intern with) and he sounded very positive about the prospect of an unpaid internship with them after january. there are positives and negatives to this, but i think we are going. he asked us to send our CVs so we'll do that tomorrow night. very fucking excited about this. i just want to say that i'm really inspired by anton (just decided to travel around the world as a documentarian), brian harkin (great photojournalist, i wish i could take photos like him), kaity (just passionate about photography and takes the initiative every day), trish (most genuinely passionate photographer i've ever met), jeff mclane (studied photography and he became such a sweet and talented young man), marissa (for sticking with something she knows is right for her even though it's so hard), ernie (seeking difficult and imperative knowledge despite it's seemingly ambiguous nature), and alice (for doing what her heart tells her to do and not giving a shit what other people think of her. whether i know them or they know me, there's a few of the many people that i'm endlessly grateful for in my life. just to watch and learn from.

woke up for ulpan, had two cups of coffee and i don't know what got into me but i was a photo takin' fool all morning. i didn't care of what, or of whom but i asked people and snuck a few, but just took photos all day. it felt great. i felt free. and wonderful. and ulpan was fast paced and i really enjoyed it. i was going to run but i kept writing this thing and i didn't. oh fucking well. went to work and found a trip that i can get eddie on so he can still come. i called him 15 billion times at 7 in the morning and then another 5 billion when i was about to get off. he thinks i'm a fucking crazy person, but at least now he'll get to come when dad and joan are here too. also, i was chosen to speak as a representative for ISC on the conference call with momo, zvi, todd, ofir, coach, and the people interested in ISC and interning here. i think i did pretty well, but they recorded it to stream on the website, so i'll check that later. plus, the new website went live tonight with my photos and they look pretty good.

got home from work and had a really lovely video chat with marissa, my little bug. i really miss the shit out of her. she's my best friend and she knows me better than most. al and i had a really revelatory talk. we were talking about going to africa and what would happen after and we talked a little about film school. and maybe actually moving to new york before i'm 25 like i promised myself i would. it works out in my head right now. africa until summer, making a documentary while we're here and then there. using it to apply to nyu film school. then going to film school. while we were talking about it, i felt envigorated creatively. i know i've been wanting to go back to school eventually, but i really just couldn't figure out for what. because nothing felt right. but film is an interesting concept. i think i might be able to do that and like it. who knows. i talked about how glad i was that i was able to summon the courage to dive into this opportunity. and how sad it makes me to see people that allow family, jobs, and money become obstacles the their own lives. these obstacles become bigger than they are and thus enslave them. we become slaves to the very aspects of our lives that we create. i know i would have never forgiven myself for not coming here. and i'm glad i came with alli and that we met each other. i do not reveal my true self easily. not on purpose, but i'm a nut that doesn't crack herself to very many people. i can only say this about 4 or 5 other people. for whatever reason, i met someone i can be myself with and learn from. but the most important thing is that i have the mental and physical space to learn for myself. i am happy. and i haven't been this light in a while. i worry, just like always, but nothing seems like it weighs on me like it did at home. like my future will not rot and crush me. my life will be good as long as i have the courage to choose it.

i might even be able to like someone again. just might. maybe i'm just now getting over josh. like 4 and a half years of memories and shared experiences was too much to process, that i just didn't even know how to deal with it until i could gradually let it go. that's why i haven't even thought dating was a possibility. and i might not even now, but it doesn't seem impossible anymore. so that's a start. i heard 'somebody that i used to know' by elliott smith tonight. i put it on al's playlist that i made. it made me think of those old times. and the lyrics are perfect as usual. elliott smith is always a part of me. just like josh will always be. but i need to let go. (but not of elliott smith :))

alright enough of that. but i am excited that photography is something that i have and do and started to do for myself. the first thing that i decided to do without any coercion or continual influence from anyone else.

it's late, and tomorrow al and i get up super early to walk to el-em, get picked up and dropped off at a school, then picked up with teenagers and taken to the volcani ministry of agriculture for our first day of the greenhouse project. then we have a trip of some kind. but i'm supposed to teach photography at kadima tomorrow, so we'll see what happens. photos someday. promise. i have them, i've just been too fucking busy. which is a story, bullshit excuse. sorry everyone. but i am happy.

so goodnight. and if you're scared to take this risk or that risk, just remember, like i should: it's my life, and i decide how it will go. nothing is too big, or too hard. it just takes a bit of courage.

ok. hallmark channel out.