hiking EXTREME!

Took a small tiyul from Mevasseret to Yerush by foot. On a scale of beginner to expert it was an Israeli beginner level. A couple of hours, mostly flat but very pretty. The goal was the Lifta, a small natural pool, and right before that we stopped and ate at the abandoned Arab houses – very serene and romantic, even on the eery side. I felt like I was on a LOTR journey.

See for yourself: Tiyul pics

Holy(land) crap.

so a bunch of us janglos were going out for a motzei shabbat romp in town, getting down, and we had a great night between Latin and Hip Hop.

we were walking back to Yaffo street through the Russian compound. it was me, S, R, A, E, D, and J. out of nowhere, this drunk wild Israeli girl trounced over to A and demanded her water bottle. after A – considerably drunk – said no, the girl pulled it away. when A protested, she punched A – straight-out punched her. then A started fighting back, but the girl pulled her by her hair and dragged her down a bit, right on the ground… others in our party started after her and then she got S in the face and thigh with two square kicks and then E, who was more drunk than anyone else (except the psycho girl), started screaming at the psycho girl just a bit louder and sharper than the rest of us – and the girl ran across the street and pulled E down to the ground by her hair and started beating the crap out of her… she also had punched D in the face by then, knocking off his glasses and rendering him useless… J wasn’t around, or at least, close enough, so R was the only guy chasing the girl down, but he was also trying to assist the fallen girls… meanwhile, the psycho girl, with her own frightened friend, started running because the cops showed up and R pointed them to where the girl was and they went after her too… up the road we could see the cops with the psycho girl and her friend.
so A and E had decent injuries and S and D had minor ones. R was taking care of the two drunk injured girls, at that point vomiting and hysterical.

as for me, aside from running between the girls and D to comfort (and find lost glasses), i got a good look at the whole thing, a great laugh over the whole thing, and a different view of a night out in one of the most disgusting cities i’ve ever known.

autumn leaves vs. Mediterranean seas

I miss autumn so much. It’s my first away from New York. I felt it yesterday as I came out of work – getting closer to the big revolving door, I felt this chill and it smelled like Thanksgiving… and the chill reached my bones and I wasn’t wearing a heavy coat and I was wrapped in this chill and I sighed automatically and thought of New York and how nothing – not working in a ‘fancy’ (by Israeli standards) office building, not attempting a Thanksgiving dinner in the Middle East, not watching the Superbowl in Jerusalem – can make up for Christmas lights in the dark, being bundled in a down jacket in Times Square, drinking hot cocoa and watching my street turn white.

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia. – C. Schulz

I never put this stuff up, but this seemed clever -

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.

geshem reeshon, first rain

It’s a moderate rain on this first day of chol hamoed; maybe it’s the leap year causing shemini atzeret to be later or maybe it’s weather craziness everywhere. Religiously speaking, it doesn’t bode well when it rains in Israel before we’ve prayed for it (shemini atzeret).

caution: pointless lists to avoid making pointless lists.

e: i sent you the list i made.

b: you really have a lot of free time over there, don’t you.

e
: eh, it’s a dead week. there’s two people here, i’m barefoot, frustrated, and freaked out about life. it made sense to make pointless lists. you know how i love pointless lists.

b
: why are you freaked out about life? i am too but i can’t figure out why…

e: because i feel very settled and it’s freaking me out. soon ill be signing a year-lease; i’ve already signed up for two years of hebrew language grad school. i’m at a real job that i could be a management person in a month, and i’m making good money, which is scary because it means higher standards, which means being afraid to lose the job. i’m thinking about the insane busy life i’ll have in a week with school + job, commuting horrors, to get a car or not? and with the insane busy life comes the nonexistant social life, and at the same time the overwhleming social life: all these new people coming into my friend circle, whether i like them or not; ex-boyfriends and associated baggage… oh, then i’m thinking about all the hopes and dreams i had in college about a career and how i’ll make that happen. i’m living in israel, i kinda miss my family, starting to wonder what marriage would be like - then stopping. then starting. then i’m wishing i could just go backpacking and to hell with it – it’s very very exciting, but it happened all at once for the most part… i feel old and young, busy and bored, excited and scared.

b: i totally know how you feel and have no idea what to do.

e
: i feel like the answer is going with the flow for the next year and seeing how it all feels. i kinda feel like: well, i’m signed up for all this stuff, i’m luckier than many people; sure, i’m tied down but i’m still free – so just run with it, play hard and in a year evaluate life and then move on accordingly…

b
: sounds like an overall good plan.

and what we learned here today: making pointless lists to avoid making pointless lists will only lead to making pointless lists – the one you were avoiding in the first place.