I loved dress up as a kid. I love it now. Long live dress up!

In honor of my homesickness this week and canceled Halloween across New Jersey, we played dress up after gan today. Butterflies, princesses, and duck-faced farmers included.

Fairies first.

His combo…

Shoes are the best part anyway.

He particularly enjoyed becoming a beautiful butterfly.

The mess still sitting there. Clean up sucks.


By the power of Kanye… (Nike Night Run 2012)

So I’ve run full circle; last year, at this time, my two colleagues were raving about how awesome the Nike Night Run in Tel Aviv was. I was curious and jealous and looking for a personal fitness program so I started running.

The first 10k I could do was the Jerusalem Night Run. Then I did the Tel Aviv Gillette Marathon‘s 10k track. And last night I finally got to do the Nike.

I invoked the power of expectation management since a big downside to these giant public runs in Tel Aviv is the crowd; a lot of didging out of the way, passing through clusters, and avoiding being pushed or knocked over. So I didn’t think I’d beat my personal best which was 10k in 65 minutes (as of last Saturday night).

But there’s something about the adrenaline mixed with actually drawing inspiration from the crowd – I made it across the finish line in 62 minutes!

Thanks goes out to Kanye, who, (don’t interrupt me now) of all people on my running playlist (I like to run to rap apparently, and also rap to running) pushed me to speed up for the last 2.5 kilometers, when I realized I could crush my old personal record.

Now I’m debating going for a half marathon (22.1 km) in March, at the next major Tel Aviv marathon event. We shall see.

Hurricane Sandy. Gaza rockets. It’s raining, and it’s tragic.

Being a New Yorker outside of New York when disaster strikes is hard. I think we have some sort of mutated DNA that makes us deal with crap in a different way. A New York way. Like Hurricane Irene last year, only yeah, this time New York skepticism didn’t win out.

Obviously, this is a monster of a storm, doing incredible damage we’re only beginning to comprehend as the images come in from across the east Coast. Since the weekend, as I read friends’ posts about prepping for Hurricane Sandy, and spoke to family members hunkering down at home to wait it out, I couldn’t help but think of Sunday morning, when I heard that schools would be closed for southern Israeli students so they could stay in bomb shelters to wait out the falling missile attacks.

[Note: There’s no serious way to compare the two tragedies’ damage and experience. It’s ridiculous; and yet I’ve noticed people comparing news coverage of the two events, which is really unfair, so I’m addressing that here.]

Have you heard about the (new) recent round of Hamas rockets raining down on Israel? It’s not surprising that most of us haven’t. It’s a tired daily news story. People take a daily vitamin, daily walk, daily shit, and Southern Israel takes a daily pounding.

There’s a lot going on in the world. So the international media covers a lot. It’s up to people on the ground to share their stories, spread their experiences, and make sure the international community can relate to the daily terrorism in Southern Israel.

Let’s not rely on or blame solely the ‘mainstream media.’ The people’s internet, people.

Anyway, the mainstream media’s ignorance of the Hamas rocket attacks in Israel doesn’t make it less real, less terrifying, less terrorist, less traumatic for children, parents, residents and IDF soldiers who have to carry out orders for reactionary missions.

So maybe a visual will help drive it home – today, Ynet posted a video, apparently released by Hamas yesterday, and it’s pretty clear despite the fact they usually like to blur the background so we can’t tell exactly where they were sent from.

The trick is, this is clearly a populated area of Gaza, which from the launchers’ point of view is wonderful, since it would be hard for Israel to strike back and target the launchers  without causing collateral damage.

Not so wonderful for the men, women and children who live there, who may end up collateral damage before those rockets reach Israel. By the way, Geneva Convention, anyone?

Click for video on Ynet’s site; to avoid annoying autoplay, I linked instead.

Here’s an infographic covering the types of rockets and their ranges in relation to Israeli areas:

Go ahead and share this. It doesn’t matter where you stand. Rockets aren’t good for Israel, and they’re not good for Gaza, either. They’re not good for Palestinians, Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, our children, our economies, our futures.

Palestinians suffer when Israelis suffer when Palestinians suffer when Israelis suffer…


Fifty-Two Frames: Curves

Reunited with an old recreation, up in Haifa this week. The beckoning, sensual nature of the hookah’s shape always seemed to directly reflected the possibilities it offered.

Week 43: Curves

“A figure with curves always offers a lot of interesting angles.”
– old school film director Wesley Ruggles

Little Midrash, Lizrael style.

“Do you know what this week’s parsha is? Lech Lecha. Basically… Avraham Avinu, do you know who that is? No? So… he was the first Jew. He had the first brit milah. Do you know what that is? Well. You had one… All yehudim with a penis have one. So all boys who are yehudim have one. You, abba, your uncles…

Anyway… Avraham Avinu had a brit milah, he was the first yehudi. He was the first person to make Aliyah. That means he was like the first Jew to come back to Israel. Like abba and ima. We grew up in America and Australia and then we came on a matos and made Aliyah to eretz…”


Koala update: Three and a half years.

Dropping off my brother at his giyus this week did a funny thing, Koala. It made me realize how very big you are. And how very small.

And how those two qualities will constantly be true, and constantly conflict, and constantly pose a challenge for me, and constantly fill me with love.

I do hope when you’re older, doing your high school roots project, you finally realize how much cooler it is that you’re uncle was in a brown uniform than green (and sorry about the disappointment when you realized he didn’t match the machsom soldiers; but airplanes are cooler than checkpoints, no?).

Aside from your new chayal exploration, you’ve been figuring how to…

…be a fireman… always being a fireman…

…showing up your farmer’s tan with real farmer work…

…doing new things you’ve been excited to try…

…exploring everything, everywhere, with your own stylistic flair…

…leading your sister, taking the wheel…

…or letting her lead, in the next rumble…

In any case, it’s quite clear… you become a bigger Koala every day…

Women’s rites.

A Lady Gaga video or Israeli garbage bags?

It stresses me to my inner core to take out the garbage. The communal bins are at the end of the block, and I have to pull and pray the thin orange membrane containing three days of garbage doesn’t tear and turn the situation into an episode of Sitcom Liz.

This morning, after boker tov-ing my Mizrahi next-door neighbor on the way down, I successfully deposited the bag of potential ruin at the end of the block and made it back. Coming towards the building, I saw the same neighbor unloading the groceries from his car.

There are two things I have this bizarre desire to do when I see the following scenarios: help people bag their groceries when it’s piled too high and there’s a long line behind them, and help people unload their cars so they can avoid multiple trips.

I said hi and walked towards the trunk. “Need help?” I asked him in Hebrew.

“Nah,” he laughed.

“No really, let me help you.”

“No no no -” he protested, but I came up to the side of the trunk and took bags. “It’s heavy! No, it’s ok!”

Now I laughed. “I’m going up anyway,” and I bounded towards the stairs.

As I walked off, I heard him laugh again and say, “I’ve never had a woman help me before.”