Saturday, January 31, 2004

Off to Jerusalem tomorrow. Going with a classmate who i met in new york. Do some shopping and wandering around, meet up with some family, and spend the night at Josh's. Perhaps i can help nurse his aching spleen in a non-dirty sort of way. i haven't been around Jerusalem (not really) in many many years. Mostly a lot of vague recollections, so i plan on spending monday as tourist-man. At least i've got language, so i can fake it.

So one of the interesting things about having so many different kinds of immigrants here is that you get really interesting commercials. They like to blend in different languages with Hebrew into the same sentence. Spanish and Hebrew, English and Hebrew, Russian and Hebrew, Arabic and Hebrew. Sometimes they're just in completely foreign languages, and you have to wonder, "will this shampoo only work if i'm spanish?"

whoa...they're talking about the super bowl on the news. Haha...oh man, no wonder everyone things americans are so weird. "Everything is closed! Everyone runs out to buy giant tv's!" haha...tv is so weird here...

Friday, January 30, 2004

So i wont talk much about the bombing today. I'll let you read what my friend Josh has written. He has an eloquent way about him.

The other thing i'll share with you is a video taken after the bombing. It's very graphic.

That's all i'm gonna say about that.

Tonight was interesting. I'm too sleepy to get all into this either, but it involved going with K and her crazy british roomate to some avant garde party at the Japahn club. Highlight of the night? I wrestled a mime. lousy mimes.

and today was my last day of the semester, so i'll start working on my papers.

Monday, January 26, 2004

ok, i was going to sum up bernie lewis' lecture tonight...but here's something waaaaaaaaay more fun.

But what of Clark and Dean? of all the albums in the world - to paraphrase Bogart - and Clark picks fucking Journey? Journey? I mean there are some good songs on there, and Journey rocked when they chose to and Steve Perry had a noteworthy voice (until you got sick of it), but they had NOTHING to say - talk about all medium and no message, talk about shallow musical masturbation, talk about LCD. And I am not really trying to put Journey down - they did what they did perfectly well and good for them - but for this to be someone's favorite, most listened-to album, now in 2003, shows someone who gave up on the culture a long time ago, and who was never really in touch with it in the first place. What a dip.

and the pope has an appreciation for the finer arts

props go to Allah....now go check out his site. for shits and giggle and understanding there you're a mere filthy kuffar that will burn when the jihad comes to your town!

ah well...at least it's still easy being a JEW!


oh, and ALEXALEXALEXALEXALEXALEXALEXALEXALEXALEX
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satisfied? thanks for the phone call! eagerly awaiting next week...oh, and the thing with David and my cousin is soooo over.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

whats that? you want a funny story? SURE!

i got hit by a car today.

i was in the bike lane, and i was crossing the street, and instead of crossing on the line, the guy decided to come to a nice rolling stop over the crosswalk. nothing really happened, i didnt even fall, the car pushed me along and i was able to stay balanced with one leg on the ground. and i was just gonna go up to the driver and talk to him calmly and explain what he did wrong. but when i turned to look at him, (he didnt even get out), he just cocked his head and shrugged his shoulders, as if to say "oops, you shoulda been more careful"

i flipped.

i dont like flipping out like that. and it really doesnt count as getting furious, because i wasn't looking to fight the guy. he was old, i didnt feel like really giving him a heart attack. So i just yelled many many unpleasantries, and still managed to show him what he did wrong. he was angry. he may have had a stroke. good.

mean? yes, i am. but it's just rudeness that i can't stand.

ah well. i'm hungry.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

why did it take me so long to put allah in my links? i don't know. but i'll probably burn in hell for it. oh, and for being a jew.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

haha...ok, this update is for you, sweet-tits.

everything worked out. i emailed the presentation to myself and printed it out at uni. good presentation, although i read too fast. i was worried it would take up too much time cos i had a lot of info. got good questions, and i think i did a good job of explaining and getting into things. especially considering having to do things like predict the outcomes of hypothetical situations....want an example? i know you do.

here's the kind of stuff i got asked:

What would have happened had Israel chosen to not back King Hussein (ergo supporting the Palestinians) in 1970, and at various other times (as proposed by Ariel Sharon and other individuals in the military)?

What would have happened had the PLO succeeded in overthrowing the king?

Wouldn't Israeli attacks on Syrian tanks give the other Arab states legitimacy in claiming that the King was working directly with the Americans and Israeli's?

I did a good job i think, the professor agreed with everything i said. He asked me how i felt after it was all done. I told him i think it could have been better, and he quickly said "no, it was excellent." So i'm quite content. I like him a lot. He reminds me a bit of my dad. turns out they were both in Sinai in '73.

in other exciting news...i've been reading a biography of King Hussein. Can you sense a pattern here? I can't help it though, the guy was incredible. Totally fascinating stuff. I can't believe no one's made a movie about him.

ok ok, i can't help it. here's the intro to my presentation: King ‘Abdallah was assassinated by a Palestinian on July 20, 1951 while entering the Al-Aksa Mosque. At his side was his grandson, 15 year old Prince Hussein. The assassin also fired upon the prince, but a medal on his chest deflected the bullet. In May of 1953 he would be crowned King, two years before Jordan would receive international recognition by the United Nations.

just so many things happened in the guy's life. so unreal. he walked a tightrope every day. not literally. people tried to kill him innumerable times. it would make such a good film. oh man. someone needs to write it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

the paper feed button is stuck now....the printer is in two pieces already....tomorrow i either fix it or see how far i can punt it from my terrace....or myself, if i cant print it out in the morning...

stay tuned tomorrow to find out what happens!

Monday, January 19, 2004

In exciting news....i've got my presentation for tomorrow morning on Black September all worked out. It's right in front of me on my screen. Want to know where it's not? in front of me on a piece of paper....i hate my printer....i'm gonna go Dresden on it's ass...

Sunday, January 18, 2004

saw two movies this weekend, Lost in Translation, and Dogville. I liked them both, although they're pretty much complete opposites. I preferred Lost, though. It's more truthful, plus i can relate to the circumstances from the couple of days i spent wandering aimlessly in Tokyo. Dogville is unique in style, and even in substance. It gives you lots to think about, and you get to enjoy that. But i felt very relaxed after Lost. I wont watch it again though, i think that would ruin it. It would be like the characters trying to go back and relive what they'd just done. You can't, it would ruin the original experience. So go see it.

Speaking of Japan, i went to a club called Japahn (that's phonetics for ya). Rocked out, particularly to the reggae. I wish i could dance like a normal human being though. Ah well. I imagine i look sorta like a retarded chicken. Still, good times. I should sleep...

Friday, January 16, 2004

wow kids. i hear it's -40 in new york with the windchill. -40. that sucks. today was partly cloudy here and i had to wear a sweatshirt, so i feel for ya. .....hehehe.....

exciting news? none really. I have my presentation on Black September on tuesday. I suppose we could call it black tuesday, and honor the second (?) stock market crash of 1929. Then again, i may be the only one nerdy enough for that. well, alex is nerdy enough.

Saw Dogville last night. Good movie, very long, but interesting. I imagine it gets very different responses from american audiences as opposed to european audiences. It's all worth it for the final scene though. Still, there are some things i could do without. I'm sick of seeing apples as a source of symbolisim. For christs sakes people, if 5000 years of usage isn't beating a dead horse, i dont know what is.

So Bernie L was a hoot (in Dutch, hoot means hat! haha, silly dutch). He was quite funny. He completely dissed one guy who asked this unbearbly long and stupid question by quipping, "could you perhaps clarify that question just a little bit?" although i felt the applause was unnecessary. I did like him comparing Iran to Europe just before the reformation. The place was full of old people. My posse, that would be everyone under 30, was sitting around making fun of the odd looking ones. Of particular note was Cruella DeVille, complete with half white, half black hair. Sitting next to her was Mark Twain's body double with the giant goatee. (don't know what mark twain looked like you say? you're just not geeky enough...yet) I was personally fond of the old guy in Bono style shades, and the Ian Mckellen stunt-double. The only reason women dont find him sexier then Sean Connery is cos he's gay.

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Sunday, January 11, 2004

yawn

i'm sleepy, yo. woke up early to run all my errands, as previously discussed. It was actually nice, because the customs office is in the middle of Jaffo. So i got off the bus at the clocktower at the entrance to Jaffo, and walked all the way down Yefet St. Not too bad, only an hour and a half wait, then a half hour with a grumpy desk jockey who made sure i was well aware that he had been working non-stop since 8 (that's a whole 4 hours shuffling papers, mind you). Not to belittle the hard working professional strikers, who clearly deserve the full pay they'll be getting for the 4 months they spent not working, but for christs sake man, get a grip already. Naturally i used all my charismatic charm to make him happy and smiling and shining, and that way getting everything i want. He could have given me shit for random stupid beaurocratic nonsense, because these people are magicians at pulling shit out of their ass. He went through all my passports, and copies of my parents passports to make sure that i really truly fo' shizzle ma' nizzle, that i had in no way no how absolutely NOTUNDERSTAND NOT!! lived in Israel for the last 20 years. what stupid crap. dude, you've been working sooooo hard for 4 grueling hours, why are you making your life harder doing EXACTLY WHAT THE IMMIGRATION OFFICE DID AND CLEARLY DOCUMENTED AND THOSE DOCUMENTS ARE RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU, YOU STUPID MORON!

all this was emoted with a pleasant smile. I'm impressed, cos i was really really hungry.

which is ok, because my reward (as i promised myself) was a walk down to Khummus Hagai. This is the kickass place that drops food in front of you before you order anything, then takes your order, then shows up with desert and coffee without being asked. amazing food. super duper cheap. super duper tasty. if you're down in jaffo, check it out.

then i walked all the way back up yefet, which is always delightful. The sounds of arabic, the smells of Abu Laffia (unfortunatly i was too full for a nosh), mixed with the bussel of people down the narrow streets and crowded shops, and john lennon playing from the place with that delightful little desert who's name escapes me.

since i couldnt remember where my bus was, i walked on along the water. Watching the very adorable old couple snuggling and snogging on a bench. There was a fisherman weilding an impossibly long fishing pole and sitting at the end of what looks like a thousand year old stone dock that's not only covered by, but seemingly held together by the thick coating of barnacles and other sea stuffs. I'd curse myself for not bring a camera if it wasn't all so relaxing. loks like it'll rain tonight, but the clouds are beautiful.

i dont know if i've talked about the clouds here, but they're unlike any other place i've ever been to. It's as though every possible type of cloud exists here at once, somewhere in the sky. The sun (always blazing) makes the edges of even the thickest coulds burn, and holes in the sky are sea blue. The nicest (for me anyway) are the clouds that look like they're coming straight out of the sea. like pillars of motionless white smoke.

tonight it's bernard lewis at the uni....perhaps i'll take a nap first.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Ok ok, so i know i never (or pretend to never) put down anything too political. But i just emailed this to my dad, and i thought i'd share my ramblings with all of you lovely folks. Anything to get out of doing actual work, right? right...

I'm in the middle of researching Black September, and i came across this quote from Farouk Kaddoumi, who was the political head of the PLO in the late 70's.

"There are two phases to our return. The first phase to the 1967 lines, and the second to the 1948 lines...The third stage is the democratic state of Palestine. So we are fighting for these three stages. I hope Mr. Yitzhak Rabin knows this also." - 1977

Rabin may not have known this, but Sharon is more then aware of it. I think he's absolutely serious about moving unilaterally. He may be a lieing snake, but a snake isn't a stupid animal. I don't think it's a coincidence the syrians are making vague rumbles about restarting peace talks now. If Sharon bought into it, the first thing they'd demand is that he not move unilaterally. Bush seems to know this (or he's just smart enough to know when he's got his hands full) and that's why Washington is saying it's all up to J'salem. This may also be why the Lybian talks were leaked. You know the PLO is scared when the best threat they can come up with is that they'll move unilaterally for a bi-national state. That's not exactly the kind of slogan you can expect to hear from Hamas at the next flag burning orgy. Sounds like they're taking their war crys from the Democratic party.

But we'll see. One thing is for certain, that nothing here is for certain.

6 a.m. Cousin comes home stumbling drunk. Screams out my name. I ignore. Lights start turning on all over the apartment. I contemplate covering my glass door with aluminium foil. Banging. Owing. Knocking. Cousins drunk friend comes in. I finally get out of bed to see what the hell is happening. There's nothing to see here except two drunk chicks. *sigh* i must be getting old. There was a time i'd be beating people for disturbing my beauty rest. Perhaps it's because she didn't walk into my room and wake me. I can only imagine lots of violence and apologies resulting from that.

In other news, i'm looking to write for random papers and magazines. Figure i'll write a couple for uni papers, and then i can move ahead. Got a response from Oxford, yes that Oxford. I shouldnt say anything because i've only sent them a sample, i have yet to know if they want an actual article. We shall see.

Back to Cousin. How does one get ripped, and wake up 4 hours later to go to work? how? I can't decide if that's too fucking responsible or too fucking irrisponsible.

In true irresponisble fashion, i've left my ID card at the library at school with the librarian. Tomorrow morning in need to get up way too early in the a.m. to go all the way north to school in Ramat Aviv, only to go allll the way south to Jaffo (basically, i'm crossing all of Tel Aviv longways. wait, not basically, fo' rea' yo). Just so i can go to the customs office to sign random silly papers. On the way i need to (get ready for this kids, beaurocracy is nutty) stop at the post office to...try and get medical insurance! that's right, the post office. I go there with my little paper, and try to sign up for insurance. Then, hoping that the national insurance company has gotten all their shit together, i wont have a problem. Otherwise! i need to call them! and work it all out. Then, assuming all that is done, i need to start finding doctors to do all sorts of silly tests for the army. Now the army expects this done in two weeks. I've been "putting it off" for about 5 months though. Not my fault, everyone was on strike. Now the strike is over, but i imagine that wont last too long. No real agreement has been worked out. What a shock.

Moral: Socialism and it's best friend Beaurocracy suck balls.

I also have to be back at the uni at 6 for...dum dum dum! Bernard Lewis is coming! woot woot! well, i hope so. I hope he doesnt have a stroke on the stage, seeing as how the man is 90 years old. For the uncleansed, Lewis is one of the, if not THE, biggest name in middle eastern history. His lecture is actually dedicated to talking about Edward Said (controversial historian, author and creator of "Orientalism," just died...yeah)....intellectual face slapping by the elderly. Totally can't wait.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

thanks to iraqi jew for the hysterical email, i'll have to send it out to my aussie friends. well, there's only Alex, so she'll get it.

spent 2 (yes, litterally 2) hours photocopying. non-stop. i'm starting to wonder if there's radiation coming out of them. maybe i should get a metal cup.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

ok, i know i already posted, but something very "israel" just happened. problem is, i can't tell you exactly what it was. my guess? bomb scare. they closed off my street, from my apartment down a block and a half. judging from where the police cars were, i'm guessing it was at the cafe on the other end on the other side of the street. i took some pictures, which i'll put up on the pictures link so everyone can see them. it just looks like a very odd traffic jam, cos the southbound side was closed off on my side of the street, and the northbound on the other side of the street, and a big empty gap between them. unfortunatly i only thought of taking pictures as soon as they let all the pedestrians go, so i didnt get the masses of people stuck standing there. it would be hysterical if it wasn't so creepy. i still laugh when i see it though. second time it's happened here (at least while i was around and/or noticed). it's really funny to see all the mopeds slowly creeping up and around the police van in the front, and the cop asking them "where the hell doyou think you're going?" and sure enough little by little he's totally surrounded. heh. enjoy.

the weekend has been a bit odd. i've left my home twice. once to visit Yosef ( brought him cheesecake, which reminds me, i still have a lot of it in the fridge), and the other time to go to the customs office. you can guess which one was more productive.

poor yosef, his legs are hurting him. they've had a good run, 88 years. he still gets around fine, but he's got another doctors appointment on tuesday. i told him that if he's there overnight he'd better call this time. *sigh* the elderly, won't they ever learn. It was a good visit though. He's writing an article about his experiences with arabs. It's quite interesting, because he's had exceptional relations with arabs over the years. He was the only Likud (Liberal party then) member to vote against retaining the west bank and gaza after '67. He's actually writing the article because he was thinking back and wondering why exactly he chose to vote against it, since everyone else was so for it. He says that it's because he was the only one that really grew up with arabs. But he doesn't believe that any peace can be made, he just thinks that Israel should get out of there. I can't argue with that. I took a look back at the Ayalon plan and, like the fence going up, it include the Jordan valley. Which means, the palestinians will have only an israeli border around them (not counting the slither of egyptian border in southern Gaza.

The problem? Israel is going to be responsible for supplying the enclosed "state." Yes yes, there are more problems. But they essentially stem from this one fact. Would it be better with a Jordanian border? who knows. What is known is that King Hussein will never accept a border with the Palestinians. (Black September kids, read up, it's fascinating).

*sigh* i feel a tangent coming on, so i'm just stopping in the middle. this way i can get to the funny story.

so i went down to the customs office so i could sign all sorts of neat paperwork (i get to buy certain stuff here tax free for making aliyah)...but guess who's on strike? that's right kids, everyone in the fucking country. you can't even call information because the phone company is on strike. the absurd part is, the only people that really get screwed here are immigrants because the strike really means that they wont take any applications. the vast majority of people that need to do things like hand in applications are immigrants. what the hell does a new immigrant know about politics here? can someone who just got off the banana boat from argentina or belarus really make a difference here? they're busy trying to find a black market job and learn the language. tapdancin jesus, wont you bring a bit of the first world here?

still, i'm in a good mood. Have been rotating between mellowing out to the likes of rufus wainwright and cat power, and rockin' out to an unnamed former boy-bander and 70's pop-rock. and yes, i am home alone. not that liron would mind, but she'd probably start to wonder. hmmm, cheese cake.......

Friday, January 02, 2004

stupid shit

like this always annoys me.

If Norquist had done something illegal, he would have been taken to court and tried.

Terrible. A reputation, and entire life perhaps, has been ruined. For what? a couple hundred thousand dollars going into the pockets of a woman who decided to "settle" rather then go to court. What does this say about the judiciary system? what does it say about Americans?

Let's face facts, i dont know enough about this to judge. But it sounds like you have a decent politician (a miracle in itself) who did decent and good things for his city. He had an affair. Fine, he's guilty of infidelity. But sexual harassment? we dont know if he's guilty or not because the "victim" didn't want to go to court. No, it's much more convenient to just get a nice fat wad of cash. that should make her "pain and anguish" go away, right? sure.

Before we get into comparisons with a certain president with problems keeping it in his pants, let me just remind everyone of something. Not only did Clinton lie under oath, but hundreds of people in the united states had gone to jail for committing perjury under oath when asked about sexual relations.

while being distracted from PLO propaganda from 1970 (thanks meg!) i came across this gem

now that's a good example of wacky things in the first world.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

so thinking about this guy makes me reflect on lots of things that i miss back in new york. but luckily there are lots of things here which are just like new york. like the folks in my neighborhood. Here's a short rundown:

The old midget woman with the gigantic beehive hairdoo and many many bags (obviously. what's a bag lady without bags?)

The guy who tapdances.

The guy who likes to say random things to me like "What ever happened to Robert Redford?" (he wished me happy holidays last week)

The neighborhood prostitute (Nothing says lovin' like white plastic kneehigh boots, cut-off daisy dukes, impossibly perky breasts, bleach blond hair, and the most serious fake 'n' bake i've ever seen)


on to other matters...can anyone explain
this?

i mean, honestly. it says here that it's something called a "k-1 fight" which is "a combination of karate, taekwondo, and kickboxing." So basically, someone realized that the easiest way to make money is to find the two fattest dumbest guys you can, make them angry (slap them with slabs of meat and then deny them a hamburger perhaps?), and let them beat the shit out of each other. works for me. not so much for the guy missing all the teeth.

I've finally come to the root of what seperates the third world from the first world. In the first world, people who do things like this. Celebrating the new year? Going to war? who knows?! who cares!? rock on family that likes to fire off it's home made cannon.

Need
another example? Money goes in wallets, not on puppets, silly!

I keep trying to find good pictures that make westerners look stupid (there are plenty, just look at anyone celebrating the new year back home) but i just feel that i have to share more pictures like this one

ah well. i should nap.