Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday Thoughts for 2008

I spent yesterday playing around in Tel Aviv. I'm pretty pleased at the moment to have the ability to have Sundays free. Even though there is a free Friday and Saturday each week, it is not without errands to be run, or food to be cooked for the Sabbath, and of course- hours dedicated in prayer to the one that makes the earth shake. So a Sunday every now and then is a good time to remember the freedom that youth once brought us.
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A friend and I ran into a British celebrity on the beach front. I can't say I noticed him- or if I did, that I would know who he was, but it was a good enough excuse to find out where he was going. I used the rationale I learned from all of the Raid insect commercials "where there is one, there is many". Perhaps if we followed Mr. fletcher, we'd find the nest of non-Jewish celebrities, hiding in the Hilton and willing to entertain us for the afternoon.
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Needless to say, Ms. Posen and I are not talented spies. All it took was a stroll into an underpass to lose Mr. Fletcher. We sullenly turned around and headed toward the main street for some entertainment.
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And there was entertainment to be had on Diesengoff street, where a jewelry robbery had taken place earlier in the day. Bloody footprints where circled in chalk that led to the crime scene. A pool of blood to tell the story to passerbys of a stabbing that put the Jewelry store owner in the hospital and a thief on the loose.
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Shiver.
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It was only until the evening that the philosophical angle of what i witnessed filtered in. It was then that a pang in my heart made itself availiable for me to be saddened. Let me clarify: it's easy to see Israel in a romantic perspective. And as many of you know, my story is filled with spoonfuls of romanticism to make sense out of it. Thousands of years of history has maintained that ability- the ability for 3 religions to believe in this area of the Middle east. Thousands of years to create a ever growing passion for Israel, and an ever growing imagination of spirituality in this region. Israel is the breeding ground for conflict because so many people share a deep passion for this area. The only thing we all seem to have in common is that we all have a connection to this place.
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So when I thought about the gruesome scene I witnessed I automatically thought: Aren't we better than this? And if we're not, aren't we SUPPOSED to be better than this? and if we're not even close- which seems to be the case- how can we ever be a light unto the nations?? Because the only light we're lighting right now are the strobe lights in all of the nightclubs in Tel Aviv.
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Snow? hardly.

Winter makes me feel like I am holding my breath. From the moment I wake up to the evening time, my cold-prone body reacts with one breath being sucked in after another. The fear of losing heat by mere breathing is enough for me to keep my back straight with an abundance of breath in my body.
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It can't be that cold outside. Yet- I have resorted to everything my parents have instilled in me when the air is crisp on your nose. That being: wear your strumpfhosen and your undershirt. Never go outside with cold hair. Wear a hat. Put on your scarf. Hold my hand and keep yours warm. No ice cubes in your iced tea. More Green tea. Oats for a morning breakfast. Steaming hot showers in the evening and quickly put on your thermal underwear.
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In general, I feel like I am holding my breath these days. Last year, I was complete with the feeling that it was important for me to make decisions to move myself forward and put myself in a more stable position emotionally, culturally, and career-ally. As of late, there is something in me telling me things are about to happen again beyond my control. That every decision I have made has put my feet in the appropriate location, but there is nothing more I can do.
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More than likely, I feel this way due to the status of my existence here in Israel. My paperwork is sitting on someones desk. Or perhaps i'm not that lucky- perhaps my file is sitting in a file cabinet, under the wrong name. Or a different last name. Not collecting thoughts, but collecting dust.
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I've come to the point where i don't feel like there is anything much to do but wait until my file flies through the system and out pops a Toda Zeut from the vending machine. I would consider throwing tantrums, but Israel is one big tantrum- a Ginrod tantrum would go unnoticed as I don't have much practice in the tantrum department.
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It would just be so nice to finish this process. So I could close a chapter in my life with no strings attached. Only memories- and those memories are ok with me. I want to be able to complete all projects I must do that aren't doable without my citizenship. I need to make this struggle a little bit easier for myself.
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So I have more time to bake.

Snow? hardly.

Winter makes me feel like I am holding my breath. From the moment I wake up to the evening time, my cold-prone body reacts with one breath being sucked in after another. The fear of losing heat by mere breathing is enough for my to keep my back straight with an abundance of breath in my body.
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It can't be that cold outside. Yet- I have resorted to everything my parents have instilled in me when the air is crisp on your nose. That being: wear your strumpfhosen and your undershirt. Never go outside with cold hair. Wear a hat. Put on your scarf. Hold my hand and keep yours warm. No ice cubes in your iced tea. More Green tea. Oats for a morning breakfast. Steaming hot showers in the evening and quickly put on your thermal underwear.
.
In general, I feel like I am holding my breath these days. Last year, I was complete with the feeling that it was important for me to make decisions to move myself forward and put myself in a more stable position emotionally, culturally, and career-ally. As of late, there is something in me telling me things are about to happen again beyond my control. That every decision I have made has put my feet in the appropriate location, but there is nothing more I can do.
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More than likely, I feel this way due to the status of my existence here in Israel. My paperwork is sitting on someones desk. Or perhaps i'm not that lucky- perhaps my file is sitting in a file cabinet, under the wrong name. Or a different last name. Not collecting thoughts, but collecting dust.
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I've come to the point where i don't feel like there is anything much to do but wait until my file flies through the system and out pops a Toda Zeut from the vending machine. I would consider throwing tantrums, but Israel is one big tantrum- a Ginrod tantrum would go unnoticed as I don't have much practice in the tantrum department.
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It would just be so nice to finish this process. So I could close a chapter in my life with no strings attached. Only memories- and those memories are ok with me. I want to be able to complete all projects I must do that aren't doable without my citizenship. I need to make this struggle a little bit easier for myself.
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So I have more time to bake.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas!

Today is the first Christmas Day that I've ever worked. In my ENTIRE life.
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You know. Cuz' I'm a Jew now.
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So i'm at work. Doing work stuff.
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I was making tea this morning and suddenly felt bad for all those Jewish kids. The ones who are on the brink of their adolescence, not getting Christmas gifts under the tree. No Christmas tree. No Christmas lights. No ham in the middle of the table, glazed with honey and CREAM gravy. Israeli's don't really give gifts For Chanukah. They don't really give gifts at all.
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Happy Holidays! From a proud Jewess at work. Doing work stuff.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Am I the only one in the world?

The older I am getting the more the question: "jeez, am I the only one in the world that does this?" arises. In the form of a 27yr old, Caucasian-looking female target audience type of question. Of Course.
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And then I think: if I post all the thoughts I had this week alone, would I completely embarrass myself?
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  • Is is weird to prefer spicy noodle 3 minute mung bean soup for breakfast?To drop an egg inside and mix it around?
  • Do people often buy the same body wash after their last one is finished? Or do you "mix it around?
  • Am I the only one who often contemplates stealing my boyfriends socks?
  • Does anyone else fight the urge to touch the tip of peoples noses when they are engaged in serious conversation?
  • Does your nose click in the winter when u squeeze it? You know, from a boxing injury when you were 22?
  • & last but not least: is there anyone out there who had the patience enough for various Rabbi's on different level judge the fate of your Judaism?
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I've been playing phone tag with the Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Doing whatever it takes to get my conversion approved and processed. Apparently, Israeli Bureaucracy believes in a different method: the we'll take more coffee breaks than you can ever imagine before we even consider your file method. Fair enough. They'll take my money- they'll use my time- but they will never put Ginrod in the corner!
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Shabbat Shalom. I'm off to the winter wonderland of Jerusalem.
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To the National Bet Din: I'm on to you. Next week. I'm going to make you my BEST friend.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The 2pad movie.


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Check out 2pad by sending a few pictures to 2pad@2pad.com- click on the follow up email and get started!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Weak in Week out

This week has been outrageous. I like to think of myself as an executor. I like to do things. Get them done- feel they are done and move forward. With all the challenges of living in a new country and trying to make a life here, and with the additional frustration of not being a citizen, these challenges seem magnified.
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If it's not a stolen bike, it's a broken laptop. If it's not the broken laptop is the Visa office being closed at all the right times. If it's not the visa, it's waiting for the meeting with the Rabbinical Court for a meeting to confirm myself so I could proceed with my citizenship and all the little roadblocks of health insurance and special non-citizen fees I have incurred in the last year would vanish with my stress.
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I guess it's just about being patient and looking for confirmation in my life here by sitting back and realizing that a big blue sky in December is confirmation enough.
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I went to my butcher today. For four legs and four wings. Eagerly waiting to stick them in the oven with some curry and coconut milk. I stood there, breathing in the smell of chopped flesh and dirty water. There's a man that stands in the back, with a metal glove on his left hand and a pile of dead chickens in front of him. Methodically, he grabs and chops, skins, and chops- throws the necks in one bucket, the breasts in the other. Chicken parts are flying everywhere. I was hypnotized by his consistency. I felt a little awkward when he looked over his right shoulder to see me staring at the battery of the chicken carcasses.
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Tales of the ice storm from Oklahoma are all over my emails. Friends and Family are without electricity. Beautiful trees have broken in half due to the freeze. "I'm sorry" I tell them on the phone, "It's a shame, because I'm having my lunch break outside with my sunglasses on". Chuckle Chuckle.
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If anyone that reads my blog has any connection with the National Rabbinical Court in Israel. Right about now would be a good time to step to the plate and help a sister out. Ginrod needs her citizenship.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dear thief

Bike number two has been whisked away from my ownership. Probably sitting in some used bike shop, being sold for peanuts. All in broad daylight. My anger and frustration has made my stomach hurt and created yet another challenge for me during a month where I wouldn't mind a little bit of slack.
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If you are a thief. and you read my blog. I'd like you to consider a few personal points that your BAD and unforgivable behavior does to people.
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  • It leaves us SO broke. I'm trying to be a stable adult and you just took my ONLY form of transportation away from me. Now, I have to give away my hard earned cash to buses.
  • You have taken the most precious element away from me. Time. That's right- instead of quickly riding to my bus at the main station. I have to hop on one more bus and hope I catch my connecting bus on time. This has already delayed me ONE hour on my first day being bike less.
  • I now cannot run errands efficiently from point A to point B. C'mon Thief. You tell me how I can get to Misrad Hapnim to renew my visa, renew my insurance at the health clinic AND get to the bus station for a meeting all in two hours by bussing or walking. YOU CAN'T!
  • you are disabling my health. my knees are healthier when i am on a bike. Feet meeting concrete is very very unhealthy for the Ginrod.
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I have come up with a couple scenarios to make me feel better about this messy situation:
  • The thief who took my bike is in desperate need to find a present for his sick brother. This bike gives his ailing brother joy. He begins to ride. Becomes healthier, and eventually- a world class biker, and donates all his free time to those who are sick like he was once.
  • I would have gotten in a serious accident if I was riding my bike this week. This twist of events has led my life to be spared. So I can continue making dancing videos for YouTube.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My 10,000th Birthday

This is my reaction in finding out that my 10,000 birthday is on the 20th of December:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

26

Dear Tsiki,
Today you would have been 26. Doesn't seem too old in the grand scale of things does it? As for me, days like this, I feel ancient. I suppose the time since you passed is shown in the height of your nephew Ben, and of course, his vocabulary. When you were here, he was young enough that any language worked. I could prance around him and he would just smile and answer in Jibberish. Now, he's a grown boy. His dad asked him a couple weeks ago who I was. 'Is Susi your aunt' was the first question poised. He looked over at me, across the table and carefully answered: 'no she isn't my aunt'. My aunts are ___ and ____. 'Is she your sister?'. 'No! she isn't my sister' he giggled. 'Then- who is Susi??' asked his father. This is when Ben became a little bit perplexed. He finally answered ' Susi is the woman who is always at Sabba and Safta's house. Makes sense.
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These days, when I talk about you- it's more of a story and less of a personal experience. I make sure all the keywords are checked: Hebron, operation gone bad, Thailand, reserve service, hardest thing in my life. Existential crisis. Judaism. realization. I grew. Time passes. My father. It was very tough. His family will never be the same. Time passes. Time Passes.
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I'd like to think commemorating your birthday is a good thing. For me, days like this- there is a lot of silence in my heart, the days before your birthday are always the same. I am reminded of things that have been locked away. A healthy way I believe to separate my past with my present. I let these reminders float to the top of my soul and I cope with them. There are some things that have traumatized me, the phone call- the sheva- how Israel fell into my lap and I became the project manager of my own self and how Susi is going to come out of this ok.
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2 years and 8 months since you left us. Time has healed many wounds but I know the sadness will always remain on some level. I'm fortunate to be in a really happy place. I'm fortunate that I am in love with someone who is now my best friend, and who understands me because he understood how important you were in my life. I am fortunate that I have been able to move forward and become a healthy adult.
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Marking your birthday also marks many things in my life. It's a way to see how I've grown in the last three years. How being 24 was a lifetime ago and how the fateful incident of April 2005 has left me a different person.
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For example: remember in the Peace Corps, how I was all about saving the world and good deeds and 'experiencing life' was the biggest point on my resume? Naw, not anymore- been there done that. You'd be humored to know that my biggest challenge for myself these days is how to master the kosher version of Cajun Jambalaya soup. ~I've also realized I'd like to become more of a writer and less of career 9-5 woman. I also figured out what my career dream may be aside from penning a novel at 42. I think I may want to own a restaurant someday. Not the fancy shmancy-hip bistro. But the Americana Diner. The booths and the round tables, the big counter and round ticket dispenser next to the register. I do understand running a business is a 24-7 job. But I can always use my future children as child labor and they could always blame me for their lack of friends because 'mom always made me work behind the counter on Thursday nights while she danced around to her old rockn'roll music and schmoozed customers.'
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I met some of your fellow soldiers at a wedding of one of your friends. For the first time ever, I saw them in plain uniform. One of them actually attended Yeshiva with P Bonez back in the day. Small world isn't it? Everyone is connected in more ways than one aren't they?
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I'm not sure where you are these days anymore. I'm not sure if your essence dispersed into the universe or if you're prancing around in some la la land- but we're all having to make it here without you. Some of us manage, some of us only halfway, but you really touched everyone in such a powerful way- that none of us are the same again.
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Thanks for looking out for me. Before you even passed- you created a network for me to fit right into. You introduced me to people who are integral in my current existence as a resident in this country. You set up the base from which I am building upon, in order to continue my life here in Israel. Without you, I'm not sure where in this world I would be. And I'm pretty pleased to be where I am.

xx
Susi