Today was Bring Your Wife to Work Day.

I couldn’t trust myself to finish my paper – due tomorrow – at home. Not with all that music videos, the internet and my kitchen have to offer. Not when I’d find anything else to busy my time – even washing dishes – rather than sit down and work.

So, armed with the laptop and my notes, I joined my man at his big, spacey office on the edge of the German Colony. I figured I’d have no choice but to complete schoolwork, what with him answering phone calls and doing whatever it is he does.

Actually, he’s an aliyah counselor for UJIA, which is the British/Australian/South African/Scandinavian version of AACI. He answers questions, guides olim through the bureaucracy and doles out advice when asked for it.

“About the car taxes…”
“About bringing your dog…”
“Students can expect…”

As such, my paper-writing was peppered with people’s phone calls concerning subsidy requests, Hebrew skills, army service and customs issues.

How lucky are Western olim to have so many organizations catering to their needs, at their disposal! UJIA for Brits and Aussies, AACI and Nefesh b’Nefesh for Americockies, AMI for the Frenchies.

And how lucky am I to be married to an aliyah counselor. Cuts out a lot of bureaucracy for me.

If only he were also my professors…

Some other aliyah organizations, country-of-origin-specific.

Superbowl vs. super gooooal!

Been living in Jerusalem two years, currently residing in Katamonim, and I haven’t been to a Beitar Yerushalayim game?

Got a call after shabbat to join some Aussies to watch the game; we are no longer Beitar-virgins. The fact is, we couldn’t have rooted for Ashdod if we had wanted to; if you’re a Jerusalemite then you know: Beitar fans are CRAZY.

You know Beitar, the place? Beitar, the movement? Beitar the history? Well, it’s not much different. Must be the name.

I haven’t been to a game of any sort since a football practice match in Ireland in 2003. Before that it may have been a Nets game or maybe a Mets game. I learned quite a few things tonight as American sports-watching is, needless to say, very different from Israeli.

Take for instance the food.
Compare: Coke, hot dogs, nachos, ice cream vs. tea, coffee, zaatar and sunflower seeds…

Then there’s fan reaction: “WOO HOO” and “Booooo” vs. hand-clapping, whistling and “hisssssssss.”

The kids over here are definitely more excited…
And what American male would wear a pink hoodie to a U.S. football game?

The evening actually made for a pleasant melaveh malkah, since Beitar fans do a helluva lot of singing and it’s all within the Jerusalem theme.

Who won, you ask.
I’m still in one piece, aren’t I? Beitar, 2-0.

Well, there it is. My sports-dose for the week, which means I won’t be partaking in Superbowl festivities next week. It’s not like the Giants came close to winning anything anyway and the commericals are overrated.

Salt treaties.

Ok, I know this is weird. We bought a gift, this set of salt and pepper shakers that are two – things – hugging each other. C’mon, it was cute…

…enough for me to do a little salt ‘n peppa photo shoot. And it fits so well with my budding mediation schemes. Hugging? Black and white? Ying yang?

So I’m also a budding photographer. And I need to take my creative energy out on something. So what. Until I get some real subjects, this is what I got.

Mediator-love goes 'round.

Part 1

Wow, I got blown away this morning when I checked my email to find a message from Geoff Sharp, a commercial mediator in New Zealand. First of all, his name sounds so familiar and I’m fairly sure I’ve come across it in my mediation studies several times. Second of all, a big fancy mediator from New Zealand emailed me to tell me he enjoyed my recent mediation post.

Thirdly, he actually wrote a post in his own blog, mediator blah… blah… about the passion in the mediation profession – starring my own little aspiring self.

What a morale-support. What a cause for inspiration. Thanks for the mediator-love, Geoff!

Part 2

On a slightly different topic, Geoff’s opening lines to his passion-post were:

This post from aspiring mediator, Eliesheva at lizrael update, a blogger poet from Jerusalem, Israel;

Two words in that sentence hit me as hard as Part 1 of this post: blogger poet.

I’ve been doing this blog thing since May 2004, and since the beginning I’ve gone through fits and starts of being uncomfortable with this new method of expression I had taken on. I was always the type to write it, store it, never look at it or show it to anyone else. I’ve been doing it for 11 years now, and I’ve got a pile of notebooks somewhere (hey, there used to not be computers). On one level, aside from communication pre-aliyah, starting this blog was to be an experiment in my ‘coming out’ as a writer, whatever that meant then and whatever it means now.

But I still had trouble being called ‘blogger’ because a good amount of what I write is not for you or them or anyone but me; it makes me laugh, it makes me smile, it makes me sad. But, again, that was defeating my own self-constructed purpose: to come out, to share, and most of all, to be challenged and to accept criticism, two things I often don’t allow myself.

Also, over the years this project has taught me a lot about who I am as a writer. There is a ton of stuff I don’t put here – short stories, pieces of larger stories, poems. But through this medium I’ve come to grips more and more with writer’s block, exercising my talent, learning about who I am (and who I am not) as a writer.

So blogger poet covers a lot of ground here. ‘Blogger’ – what a rough, course word; writing, barely copyediting, posting as you go… ‘Poet’ – soft, careful, expressive, creative.

Does that sum up what I’ve been doing here for nearly 3 years?