Friday, June 24, 2005

Monkeys

Why does Steve, our self-proclaimed Mesiach, think that this would be me and Randy if we were monkeys?

And more importantly--why does that monkey have a hand coming out of her or his face?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I care and I'm going (ok, so its also free)

Well boys and girls, (and terrorists - how u plan on defining that is up to u), crazy moishele is headed off to the holy land. Yeah believe it or not for all my pro-zionist fanaticism, this is the first time. yeah u heard that, but perhaps with israeli chicks every time is the first time, lol. Anyways, im leaving on monday at 4:10 from JFK on birthright israel. I decided to go with NCSY as my organizer since i thought that would be the only place that an FFB wouldnt feel out of place. I mean like mayanot was out of the question because i dont really believe that M&M (menachem mendel scherson) is the meshiach and all, and i guess Aish was for older people who are brainwashed into believeing that O-judaism is the better than free love. I also decided against hillel because i didnt wanna be the only sober person davening on the bus, and i figured with NCSY thered be at least one other person davening and stuff, though i dunno if therell be any other sober people on the trip. but maybe ill get laid if manage to get drunk enough (or get her drunk enough), hey u never know.

when i land in ben gurion on tuesday morning, we're gonna be going straight to the negev for fun fun fun. of course wether or not ill be awake for all the fun is questionable, damn modern technology and jet lag. and im not exactly sure how much sleep ill get in a bedouin tent that night. Im not gonna tell u guys the rest of my itinerart cuz i dont wanna make any of u jealous or anything. like i wouldnt want any of u trying to sneak into the wheel holds of plane and stowing away or anything.

if anyone would like anything from the holy land ill try to get it for u. and yam yams, once again i am not risking my life to smuggle out a hot funny israeli guy for u. not all people and their daddys have the money to bribe i judge out of human smuggling charges. and randall i am not going to gaza to get u a gozanga girl whod rather sleep with her m-16 than anything else. id keep that one for myself. but first id get her drunk and convince her that gaza is just a load of sand and blood. but seriously if anyone wants anything ill try to get it for u.

after my trip is over im gonna like extend my ticket and spend a few days with cousins in the holy city of petach tikva, its all holy over there cept for tel aviv and gush katif. give it back! give it back! give it back! and just to make them take it we can throw in jerusalem to sweeten the deal, i mean heck whod want gush katif anyways? the only sad part is that i wont be there for the withdrawal, i was kinda wondering what the withdrawal symptoms would be, guess ill never know first hand. i mean gaza is like a diseased limb, its gonna die sooner or later, its just a matter of wether u do it ure self and salvage the most u can of the limb, or do it under their terms and have to give more than u want to give away. well sorry, this wasnt supposed to be political, but i guess this is the only place i can compensate for not going to hillel.

well have fun in the golden land people

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Part II

Having just come in from an excellent morning at Bondi Beach, yes, a beach in the winter, I'm in a really good mood. I went out with my cousin and her two kids, had some hot chocolate, and ate some breakfast. Firstly I'd like to say, I love kids, and I'm very excited to start making them, but I've got a few years yet. I don't think I'll ever be as obsessed as Dina, but I want kids really bad now. All my cousins have had kids recently, and they're all SO cute.

So last night was my cousin's wedding. It was really nice, the rabbi doing it was this really proper English fellow, and the whole thing was great. I was really excited to see this cousin get married, and he married a really nice half Israeli half S. African girl, which fits into how my family is. My mom and my aunt were both crying (as they are really big criers), so I had a little tear in my eye. Weddings are quite emotional.

Before the wedding started, my aunt came up to me and told me that she had a very nice girl for me, as I told you in the last post. I'm figuring that my aunt has no idea what she's talking about, girls probably going to be a real minger (look that up). I show up at the shul in the afternoon for the chupa, and I'm told that the girl isn't going to be coming. No worries, I saw this other really fit (attractive) girl at the shul. My RADAR went off though, and I knew that she was probably off limits, as she was probably family. Turns out, she is. After the ceremony, we're all taking pictures, so I run off to the bathroom really quickly. I run into this guy I had met the day before, 2nd cousin of the bride (so my 3rd cousin once removed) and he says "Hey, I want to introduce you to my daughter." Who was it? The really fit girl I saw! Her outfit didn't leave much for the imagination, but she was Jewish, so that's all I'm lookin for right now. And, doing the math, she's my 4th cousin once removed. She's my cousin's wife's grandma's son's daughter.

Needless to say, this girl has perked my interests.

So the reception comes along, and I'm shmoozing with the family, chatting away, and I keep looking over to this girl, cause she's really attractive. I catch her looking at me as well, so I know it's on. Whatever I say to this girl, it's good enough. I manage to completely avoid talking to her until her dad comes along. We're all on the dance floor rockin out to 70s and 80s music (so everyone, including me, looks like complete morons) and her dad comes up to me. He says "Why is it that my daughter has to dance alone?!" and proceedes to puch me over to his daughter. Thus, our 2nd introduction was me being pushed by her dad to dance with her. Great, I just lost all chances, right? Wrong! She's totally into me. We talked for a while, and she was actually pretty cool. So by the end of the night, she's getting ready to leave, and I decide there's no way I'm just gunna let it go like that. I get her number, and she tells me to call her tomorrow. I figure my chances of seeing her again are around 60%, since it'd only be a one day thing anyway, and she's got other friends in Sydney to hang out with. We'll see what happens!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I Thought This Was Funny

I discovered this comic strip about a month ago and still can't get over how Jewish our little Lila is:

Shavua tov, all!

(You can click to make the picture larger and readable.)

Australian Women, Jewish Events, and Rich Cousins

I can't decide why it is that I feel the need to title every post in the same way. It's always 3 topics, with commas between then, with an "and" between the 2nd and 3rd topic.

On to the real fun. I was talking to Dina the other day, before Shabbos for me, which was WAY before Shabbos for you people still in the United States of Everything that Can Go Wrong in the World, and Does. Before I continue, it's very weird for me. In NYC, you're entering the latest times for candle lighting, and here, the earliest. It's messing with me!

So, talking to Dina, I told her I had a few stories, and a gift for her, so she said "why don't you post on the punks!" And here I am, motzei Shabbos, posting. My stay in Australia has been wonderful. Getting here wasn't so fantastic, considering on top of the endless flight, there was some trouble. Now, if you are hungry or thirsty, go get something to eat or drink, because this is going to be a long, interesting (I hope) post.

I started my journey in NYC, in the afternoon, after having a sleepless night packing two Wednesdays ago. I was doing all my pre-flight stuff, laundry (yea, I said laundry), and preparing things for my dad's business, checking messages, and renting out our apartment. I contacted my parents in Israel, told them I was off, and there I went, ready for the 22 hour flight that could go so wrong at any point. I had a flawless drive to the airport, flawless checkin, and flawless flight from NYC to LA, the first leg. I had a whole row to myself, so I had no trouble sleeping a little, and catching a really good movie on Qantas' AMAZING entertainment system. I mean, you can play games... GAMES on the TV screen at your seat. To think, that's only economy class, imagine first class! So, after contemplating how awesome first class would be, I deplaned (the most ridiculous word ever) and prepared for my leg to Sydney. I asked the Qantas representative where to go, and he told me to stay put, because this plane was going on to Sydney. Here is where the trip takes a turn for the worst.

The plane was schedules to leave at 11:50, so boarding commenced at around 11:00 (pm). All of a sudden, they page me. Now, note, this is Wednesday night, and for all those doing math, I have to catch with final flight of the night to make it to Sydney before Shabbos Kodesh. The guy says to me "oh, you were meant to be on the other flight to Sydney, sorry, it left without you" Ok, not so bad, conversation continues. I ask him what I'm supposed to do, he says "I don't know, we're all booked up on this flight." I'm getting a little worried, and I ask one more time "Ok, what am I supposed to do NOW?!" I'm expecting anything, an apology, a good idea, at least a condolence, but I get an "I don't know." That's it. I don't know. WHO SAYS THAT?! I'm clearly not in a good mood, and I am on the brink of collapsing from fatigue. Needless to say, him and I parted with a few exploitive deleted words on my part, and there I was, stranded. I go to my cell phone to call some people who might be up at midnight in LA, but my cell is conveniently dead. So I go fetch myself a hotel after having a, for lack of a better term, heated conversation with a Qantas representative. She books me on the flight in the morning, and tells me the time of arrival in Sydney is 8:30 Saturday night. Excellent, I'll fly through Shabbos, I'll fall asleep somewhere around the International Date Line, and I'll wake up on Saturday night as we land in Sydney.

I grab a hotel, show up in the morning, and everything is cool now. I'm rested, not so bad tempered, but $180 in the hole for the night at the hotel. Why was it that the only open room was at Embassy Suites? The only minor detail, "minor" detail, was that they no longer had a kosher meal for me. But wait, I thought, 14 hours from LA to Sydney, that's 3 meals! So now I'm in trouble. I quickly purchase some fig newtons, crisps, and nuts from the shop, and plane (as opposed to deplane). Again, HaShem was kind to me, and I had a whole row to myself, only because two girls wanted to move because it smelled bad. I didn't smell anything, but maybe it was me. Who cares though, whatever gets you a whole row. So we're flying along, I'm getting hungry (the snacks didn't really hold me over 14 hours). All of a sudden, the flight attendant busts out ice cream, made by Milky Way! I know that it's a kosher company, so I'm hoping beyond all hope that it's got that pesky OU for me. Behold, it did! I had 3. They were yummy.

So about 8 hours into the flight, I see the sun start to set. I take out my siddur, and I'm ready to get my daven on. Then I started thinking "wait, it's Thursday night now, how are we going to land on Saturday night? Even with that ridiculous Intl Date Line." I call over the flight guy, and I ask what day we're landing, to which he responds "Friday night." I went through the visual of me tearing into the lady that told me Saturday night. I was furious, not only the Shabbat thing (which I'll have to pay for), but who was going to pick me up!? I told my cousin what the stupid woman told me. Long story short from here, they lost my bags, I spent shabbat in clothes I'd had on for 48 hours, I smelled, but I still got an Aliyah at the shul. I guess it all worked out in the end, and my bags were found.

So then I spent Shavuot with my aunt in the north. She set me up with some families there, all South African, that she knew, and I spent both days running around the northern suburbs of Sydney. And by running around, I mean sitting in shul most of the time. So during the first night, studying went well. There was this new rabbi in from S. Africa, and he gave us a bunch of shiurim, it was good, learned a lot. I also learned a lot about how HOT Australian Jewish girls are. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The girls table at the meal before tikkun layl was magnificent. Everyone was beautiful. I thought maybe there would be one ugly duckling, but no. I was in heaven. There was even a set of twins! Anyway, I pulled myself away from the women long enough to get an hour or two of studying between trips to the fridge. Then the days went well, had dinner at lot of different people's houses, and met some nice people.

Unfortunately, the one negative part of my trip has been visiting my grandma. She had a stroke about 3 years ago, and she's sort of on her last days now.

Back to the fun. I'm currently staying with a cousin of mine, Danny. He's a really nice guy, one of 3 grandchildren named after my Zaide. Ironically, I'm the only one that looks anything like him, and I'm one of the few that has a personality like he had. Anyway, Danny made lots of money as an auctioneer, and has the most magnificent house. It's three floors, built only 3 years ago. Garage for two cars, 4 bedroom, guest bedroom, servant's bedroom (which is occupied by a servant). He's got 3 balconies, a full sized pool, a steam room, and about 7 plasma flat screen TVs. Don't forget the best view of Sydney I've ever had in my life. I'll take a picture and send it to you all, or post it here. It really is incredible. I also have to say something about his cars, one of which I drove. He's has the BMW SUV and the Volvo SUV. I drove the BMW (YES!). Amazing ride. And, driving on the other side of the road is way easier than I thought it would be.

Well, I'll be back in American in a few more days. I have the wedding tomorrow, and all that jazz. So I hope all of you are enjoying your summers thus far. See you all in the autumn!

All the best -

- The Punk Excequer of HM Treasurey/ Fraternities

"A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart"
Jonathen Swift

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Gems of Wisdom

A wise person once told me that sometimes you have to stand up and fight for your God given rights. Even if you don’t know what your rights are, or even who you are talking to, don’t back down from a fight! Even if you don’t know where you are, or even if your sober, never let down from a fight! Even if you don’t know where you are, or if you can be ‘legally’ arrested for indecent exposure, never give up the fight! Because the second you stop fighting, the moment you hesitate to give it your all, before your know it your eating yogurt, lenders bagels, and bran muffin for breakfast and showering on a steady basis! You may as well change your name to Nancy von Shtup!
That wise person was my grandfather. And while he may have been as sedated as a circus elephant, when he shared these gems of wisdom, they are non-the-less true.
A lot of you may be wondering ‘what the hell is this crack-pot getting at?’ Unlike that crazy old lady that crashed that event with Natan Sharanski’s aide to an intern, I do have a point. I am talking to you about Underwear ! That’s right, those shackles of society are long past their expiration date. It’s time we stand up against corporate American and their constant barrage of propaganda we civilians call advertisement. We shall no longer be victim’s of their merciless campaign to convert every able person into blind followers. Because like the saying goes, once you put on those shackles of society, like a finger trap, they never come off. So I plead for you to head the words of wisdom that was once passed to me to fight the good fight!
By the way this article doesn’t apply to Victoria secret.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Post-Shavout Post! Oh, I'm so Corny!

I wanted to post something about Shavout before Shavout for Steve (our self-proclaimed Secular Meshiach and Real Kohen) who called to ask me to, but between repairing a cheese cake, cleaning my room, buying my mom beautiful flowers, and cleaning my room, I had no time. So here I am, after Shavout, ready to post something about the holiday we just had.

This Shavout was the first time I managed to succeed in my quest to stay up all night learning. Although we were scheduled to receive the Torah in the morning at Har Sinai, most of us slept in late. To compensate for that and show that we really appreciate this wonderful gift we were given, it's customary for Jews to stay up all Shavout night studying Torah so that we will be up early in the morning.

My cousin invited lots of girls over to her house for a night of learning, and I have to say that it was mamish beautiful. My cousin and I studied dina d’malchuta dina from R'Shechter's article in one of the Journals of Halacha and Contemporary Society from Goodness only knows what year. I'm so immature that I couldn't hold back my sheepish little I-feel-special grin every time I read "dina d'malchuta dina" for the first few pages of the essay. Please don't ask me any questions about it though, because we still have the final three pages to go.

After falling asleep during Shemonah Esray and Halleh at the vaseekin minyan around the corner from my house, my cousin and I walked home (she and I live on the same block with one house between us) to collapse into bed. I fell asleep around 6ish, wondering if I was supposed to say shema al hamitta. I ended up poskining (how d'you like that--so many Jewish words!) that I wasn't supposed to because since I had already davened shacharit, my sleep was going to be considered as though it were a nap and naps don't get shemaed and in any case, it's a lot worse to say HaShem's name in vain than it is to neglect saying Shema. So that was that.

I'll just say that one of the most interesting things I learned is that if someone has an illegal business (not that one should assume someone's business is illegal) you are not supposed to buy from them because you're making it appealing to them to run their business illegally (not paying their taxes, etc.) which falls under Lifnei Iver (that one should not place a stumbling block in front of a blind person). It's a very American concept that what a person does is up to them and their own little privacy, but in Judaism, it's kol arevim ze lazeh, that each of us is responsible for each other. To be honest, I never thought of things that way before.

This is a really choppy post. Oy.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Erev Shavout Adventure (Although It's Not So Great)

I opened the freezer door to take out the pie crust I made earlier today for my cheesecake (the recipe said to freeze the dough). I had no time to make a move or a sound before the dish was splattered on the kitchen tiles. I think the dish slid down or something and just hit the floor really hard. There was glass scattered every which way and I couldn't even move from shock. Plus, it looked really funny cause the dough was just sitting there on the floor still in perfect condition.
My mother walked into the kitchen because she heard the loud bang and the first thing she said was, "well, broken glass is a siman mazal."
Can I possibly love my mom enough?

(Please note that I'm only injured on my toe. There's a cut so deep on my left big toe that it's bleeding through two band-aids! Coooooooool!)

It's Back!

Another sign of the impending messiah, no not the secular one. I guess it takes a Jew to put the milk and honey back in the picture.

After 2,000 Years, a Seed From Ancient Judea Sprouts
By
STEVEN ERLANGER

JERUSALEM, June 11 - Israeli doctors and scientists have succeeded in germinating a date seed nearly 2,000 years old.

The seed, nicknamed Methuselah, was taken from an excavation at Masada, the cliff fortress where, in A.D. 73, 960 Jewish zealots died by their own hand, rather than surrender to a Roman assault. The point is to find out what was so exceptional about the original date palm of Judea, much praised in the Bible and the Koran for its shade, food, beauty and medicinal qualities, but long ago destroyed by the crusaders....

Lotus seeds of about 1,200 years of age have been sprouted in China, and after the Nazis bombed London's Natural History Museum in World War II and a lot of water was used to put out the fire, seeds of 500 years of age also germinated....

In the time of Pliny, forests of date palms covered the area from Lake Galilee to the Dead Sea and made Jericho famous; a date palm features on ancient coinage, as it does on the current Israeli 10-shekel coin.

The date palm symbolized ancient Israel; the honey of "the land of milk and honey" came from the date. It is praised as a tonic to increase longevity, as a laxative, as a cure for infections and as an aphrodisiac, Dr. Sallon said. But the dates of Judea were destroyed before the Middle Ages, and what dates Israel grows now were imported in the 1950's and 60's from California and originated elsewhere in the Middle East.

The Prophet Muhammad considered the date of great importance for medicine, food, construction and income, and it is described in the Koran as a "symbol of goodness" associated with heaven.

The Honey is coming back!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I Just Don't Get It!

I love driving to school with Miryam because I really get to see the road differently. Mir has this insane radar-like ability to notice when cars don't use their blinkers. This may seem like a normal ability, but Miryam goes on super-power mode. She can spot a car about 197,893 feet away on a road with a curve if it makes a turn or merges without a blinker. It's incredible.

Yesterday, Mir and I were discussing that her pet peeve is when people don't use their blinkers and mine is the overusage of periods. Then this morning I opened my mail to find this banner at the top of my mailbox:



What the hell is this?
"You pay what we pay not a cent more." Is that sentence supposed to mean something? Forget periodusagitis for a minute, this sentence needs a simple "and." If GM doesn't like the way an and sounds in there, they can manage (but hardly) with a dash. Urgh!

Alls I'm saying is that if you don't agree with me that the media is in desperate need of copy editors, just wait until I copy what it says on the back of my conditioner. (And no, it isn't "Wash. Rinse. Repeat." It's really awful!)

Ruth Reichl and Me

It's official. I am fit to breed Reichls.

From a CNN interview in 1998...
REICHL: Oh, absolutely. She also thought that you could combine any two things, so she had a few leftovers. She would combine corned beef and chocolate pudding and make a little casserole out of them.
CNN: So this lead you to start cooking yourself.
REICHL: Well, it was self-defense. If you're sensible and you have a mother like that, you cook yourself. It's the only thing to do.
Yes, that Reichl is in reference to THE Ruth Reichl (only, like, my Goddess!). Take one person with a curiosity for food and give her a child and you get Ruth Reichl! My friends, my kids are so gonna rock yours!

For the record though, I would never try what her mother did. Although I did mix pudding and peanut butter today and then freeze it. 'Twas yummy.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Yeah, I Really Just Want to Have a Baby...

My professor told us we'd have to write a news piece over the weekend and gave out a sample piece he got from the New York Times. The sample he picked was an article about two parents who left their kids, ages 1 and 6, alone in a car on a SoHo corner (in the EVENING), with their 12 year-old uncle for over an hour. The mother was shopping for clothing; the father was shopping for food.

A passerby noticed these children alone in a car and told a fireman (since the station was right there). They preceded to call the cops. An interviewed officer said that the kids didn't even know where they lived or where their parents were.

Of course, the parents face imprisonment, possibly up to a year, for child endangerment. The article was balanced, though, explaining that in the Dominican Republic, where the parents are from, it's customary to leave kids unattended.

Our teacher gave out, along with the article, a page of questions corresponding to it. The last question was, "did you have an emotional reaction to the article?" Ha! Did I have an emotional reaction? Let's just say that I am still worked up.

Some kid raised his hand and said, "I think the passerby is retarded!" (Yes, he was that offensive.)

My hand shot up and I said, "excuse me--I would be that passerby." No one in their right mind would leave bajillions of dollars in an unattended car (and visible). Personally, I can't imagine how someone could have enough nerve (and lack of appreciation) to leave their children alone like that!

Not only that, but some kid had the nerve to say, "well, who's to determine what 'good parenting' is? How can you judge when a parent is bad blah blah blah????" in this totally snobbery way. If you need context: he said that because I made a comment that prison aside, what these "adults" need is parenting classes. Blah blah blah. I told him that I don't really care how people take care of their own children, but when they put their children into a situation that can bring harm to the children--that's bad. It's objective to say, 'someone being harmed is not a good thing.' Then, of course, we got into a discussion on that.

And I'm still sickened. (Sickened to the point where I am writing incomprehensibly...)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

How I Spent My Summer Vacation
by Dina

My summer vacation ended at precisely 5:45 today when my Math 100 class began. My teacher talked some, wrote a lot, bored me some, and talked s'more. I, of course, dazed out, and made myself a little list of the things I did over my vacation.
1. Made chulent.
2. Had a chulent party.
3. Had a picnic in Central Park.
4. Watched the Disney movie Hercules with Miryam.
5. Shopped for tops.
6. Bar-be-qued with family and family friends.
7. Learned.
8. Tanned.
9. Shopped for tops with Mir.
10. Baked cookies for Doni (it was his birthday).
11. Tanned.
12. Got a manicure.
I do have to say that for about five days of vacation, I did get a lot in there. For the rest of the summer, I have classes. Here's how I would like to spend my summer vacation:

Give me a smoothie, a book, some grass (no, not that kind), and lots of sun, and I'd call that a fun vacation.

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