Wednesday, February 27, 2008

That little blue docket

After I opened up my passport for the number to verify a contract, I started flipping through the blue leather. Almost expired, it only has two pages left for stamps. For some reason, I feel a little proud about this trait. That docket has built some character over the years and the picture of myself at age 17 hardly resembles the person I am today. Wednesday. Happy Birthday P Bonez!
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Her face is so much rounder, a strong auburn tint is witnessed from the insanely short hair on her head. Her lips are much much more full, lacking any sort of gloss or applied redness. She had yet to discover shaping her eyebrows or giving her eyelids a tad of color. The look on her face was the exactly the sentiment she was feeling. "my parents are making me get a new passport and I'm not sure why."
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That passport took her the next year to Scotland & Ireland, then to Europe, out of Morrocco and into the Philippines, through Japan, and into Thailand. It's last stamp is of course here in Israel.
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I was reconstructing the dates of 2005 by referring to the stamps:
  1. Departure 1st of April from Bangkok.
  2. Arrival 1st of of April, U.S.A.
  3. Arrival 22 April Bangkok.
  4. Departure 26 April Bangkok
  5. Arrival 27 April Ben Gurion Border control. Valid for three months..
It was only then I realized that when I tell my story, I add on a few days. That I arrived in Tulsa a couple days earlier and in Thailand a day longer. I wonder why. That was a crazy time. That 17 year old in the passport picture- the one I've been carrying around for a decade had no idea how she would fill that little docket. She had no idea it could ever get so full really.
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Nor did she realize she would be able to say "Let's start a mango revolution" in 5 languages.

Word of the day

Ciuperci Umplute


It means stuffed mushrooms

It also sounds like an derogatory Italian comment along the lines of "Yo Momma _____".

Monday, February 25, 2008

Where does time hide?

I don't recall life ever being so busy. I don't know if it comes with age, being Jewish, or the result of social networking sites. Either way, ever since I came to be here in Israel, my schedule went from a advanced weekly plans to advanced bi-weekly plans, to schedules a month in advance. It was a slow growthm and not necessarily every month, but P Bonez and I have found the need to begin our week by discussing our agenda. This agenda has turned into a monthly schedule with substitute plans. A lot of our rhetoric is the "in case this doesn't happen we'll do this" and the "maybe we should do this instead of this" to the "we really need to go there and do that". I suppose it's a blessed life when we have the fortune being around goodness aka stuff to do.
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This year marks a decade that I've been an independent women. Since 98' I've managed to pay rent, move to my fourth country and maintain authenticity from my own piggy bank (sometimes big brother and mother put in a couple dimes of course), but all in all- it's been 10 years of making my own decisions and dealing with the backlash of those decisions. That's Crazy isn't it? The Ginrod was unleashed into the world and still has her eyebrows and all her toes. .
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This month will be quite a whirlwind. With a move to the Holy City, immigration, and general celebrations, I wonder what I'll look like by April. Most likely I will still have my freckles. Or Freckle as many some like to call it. But if I lost my right eyebrow. Just hold your smirkin'.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Half a Filipino

I ate half a Filipino over Shabbat.
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It sure was good!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dude. Look what i found

Me: Look what I just found!!!
Friend: Oh wow. That's pretty interesting.
Me: ya think? WHAT is this??
Friend: you're offended?
Me: Well, if there was some cookie called 'Jews' there would be a lawsuit.
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I am really confused if I should be amused or offended.
opinions?
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susi needs

After a very random and unexpected phone call from a random and unexpected Rabbi. I decided to type in "Susi needs" into Google.

Here were the first results:
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Susi anticipates needs
Susi needs big time prayer.
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Shabbat Shalom
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(still a bit weirded out)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wedding Season Has Begun!

Click below to watch the girls and

I Me doing the Thriller Dance for Helen and Russell's wedding.

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Click here...
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

it's that Gentile holiday Vday.

I've been reflecting about Valentines Day a lot. A holiday that boasts consumerism almost on the same level as Christmas. Only Valentines Day is one day, and Christmas is a whole season of consumerism. My remembrances of V day is of Wal-mart. Of boxes and boxes of American chocolates, re wrapped in shiny red foil, of pink cards, and red roses. Small bears holding red hearts with heart sick expressions on their face. Pink socks with arrows and tart candies with romantic sayings illegibly stamped on their faces.
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Vday was a waitresses' nightmare. As a career waitress from the age of 17, tables were filled with couples goo'ing and ga ga'ing over one another. In America, our waitressing income was based solely on tips. So when couples sat in my large tables in my sections, I was out what a group of four would tip. "We want this evening to be special" they would say- "we want a bottle of wine!!" Then the male would usually order a Zinfandel and I would explain that the sweet Zinfandel could hardly be compared to it's Cabernet counterpart. That it would be like calling an American Budweiser a real beer.
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I think my favorite cliché of all was the proposing on Vday. I've done it all, put the ring in the chocolate chip mint ice cream cake, stuck it in the champagne glass- I think the most creative is when I served at a Asian bistro restaurant and we would steam the fortune cookies open and slip in the "will you marry me" note inside before closing it back up again.
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On the first Valentines Day that I actually have a great man by my side. The day no longer has it's meaning. Not necessarily because I'm Jewish now, but more so- because I am no longer a waitress, and Vday was always the holiday where you HAD to work. Because it's going to be a "crazy busy" night. Because men had to take out their women and for one evening alone, pretend to be the romance that their girlfriends and wives read about in books with Fabio on the cover.
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In the spirit of Vday. I present to you my niece, Elaina. She's a little cherub isn't she?
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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Collective Pontifications of a Ginrod

Taking the bus every morning is quite the sociological observation. Raised in Tulsa, public transportation is almost non-existent and everyone is handed a set of car keys the moment they turn 16. With cars for $500 used, and petrol the lowest in the country, buses and taxi's were used by "the retards who couldn't drive a car".
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I found myself quite irritated this morning getting on to the number 47 bus. It was completely full with only standing room in the back. The first thing I noticed was that despite the bus being completely full, all the windows were closed. In fact, until I opened up a window in the center of the bus, everyone was quietly sitting wrapped up in their coats, in a humid and damp environment. Fresh air people. It does us all good.
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Sometimes the bus driver forgets to open the back door for passengers to exit. This morning wasn't the first time I've witnessed a passenger dumbfoundly wait and wait then start yelling "Naag Naag (driver)" as the bus begins to pull away. As one who uses the bus often, It's pretty obvious a regular bus stop may only be 10 seconds, I can't get it through my head that people are so conditioned to wait for the door to open instead of immediately walking to the front of the bus. In fact, this morning- another woman had to suggest to the waiting passenger to walk to the front. It was only then- after the bus was pulling away that this made sense to the women.
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On another note, my brother is soon to be releasing his split cd with My Pal Foot. It's all in Japanese. Which is totally cool, since we grew up speaking Swahili in the home.
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Check out the alias pail MySpace for some samples.

Monday, February 11, 2008

On your mark....set....jump.

The finish line is set for March 3.
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The conversation went a little bit like this:
Lady: Great! Now your file is complete, we need to send your file back to Jerusalem to make sure it's all valid.
Ginrod: (points to prime ministers' office stamp on Hamarat Dat) I thought that stamp shows that it's all valid?
Lady: it does, but conversions these days are made extremely hard for individuals. You have to really want it.
Ginrod: ...and you have to be completely insane.
Lady: and you have to be completely insane. See you in March!

Game on!

Do you know what I am holding in my hand right now? Not one but FIVE original copies of my Hamarat Dat. That's right. A Sunday morning full of phone calls and a quick schlep to Jerusalem before my meeting back in Tel Aviv accomplished this task. My quote in the last 24 hours: No no, don't send it ANYwhere. I'll pick it up myself.
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I'm not positive I'll really complete this process today at 4pm during my immigration meeting. But I'm so close I feel that if I move my big toe I am over the finish line.
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I'm reading the news to pass the time until 4.
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Tick Tock. Tick Tick Tock.
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In fact, I just read an article about the first ever Kosher culinary institute only 20 minutes away from Jerusalem. Tuition for 10 months in not affordable for the Ginrod. BUT if there was anyway possible I could ever afford such a course. I would be like- MBA what? Public Policy Huh? This fits in with the whole opening up a super cute cafe where live jazz plays on sunny Jerusalem afternoons dream. You know that dream- the one where I wear a patched up apron and my children are stuck on my legs while I am mixing a bowl of pasta on my right hip?
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That dream.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

You Must Simply Wait

This month marks the 3rd year that Israel came into my life. Who knew when my El Al flight landed in from Bangkok that I would still be here. Doing the things I do best.
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I can't help but think how this week would have a different connotation if my document wasn't lost last week. Or, if I had more faith that the request for an urgent copy would actually arrive before my Monday immigration meeting.
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Last Thursday I had one of the most amazing nights I'd had in a long time. We were celebrating a close friend's bachellorette night. The night composed of kicking up our heels to traditional Israeli music, microphones and wine. After many glasses of red red wine, I explained my situation to some wine induced friendships. "it's known for the Rabbi's to make it hard for you" explained one of them.
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Don't I know. At this moment, I am almost convinced the losing of my document was intentional. Another way the Rabbinical Court extends their view that my decisions aren't completely 'in my hands'. I can accept this philosophy. In theory only. The fact of the matter is: I believe, through my experiences, that I've already exhausted that philosophy.
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The frustrating part of this religious bureaucracy is that- in fact, I have been rejected over the alloted 3 times. In fact, every individual organization i've been to has rejected me over the traditional 3 times that Judaism is allotted to reject. That is a total of 9 rejection over the last year alone. Not counting the existential 'rejections' I have accumulated just to be here in itself.
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So what does this mean? Absolutely nothing. It means that I still have to sort my life out without being a citizen. It means that my insurance is still costly and I can't plan my next few months because I have to make sure I am available so I can receive the lost document.
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Can you feel my frustrations?
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I can.
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I'll tell you something else. The only way to get through exigent times like this is to truly believe that it's your destiny.
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Fortunately, I know it is.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tapping the night away

I'm still bummed.
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You know the feeling you get? The "something is very very wrong" feeling that's buried in your small intestine. The feeling that makes it's way up into your gallbladder, vibrating it's protective sack then tickling your stomach?
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I've got that feeling. I feel like I got dumped, but I haven't. I've got the "not even a chocolate bar made the ick feel go away" bum feeling.
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Obviously in the last 24 hours, I haven't gotten over the fact that the office woman at the Rabbinical Court lost possibly the most important document that I need in my hands. Right. Now.
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I even called today in my broken Hebrew "B'Micrey Tim'se'yoo Hamarak Dat Shali" (in case you find my proof of religion)... pause pause, deep sigh.... "yesh misbar telefon shali?"(do you have my telephone number?)".
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Beva-Dy!! (absolutely, of course!!) explains the woman on the phone.
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Hear that sound? That's the sound of my worn heels tapping on the cold, tiled floor of my workspace. Sometimes I imitate rock beats as if I was sitting behind a drumset. boom Boom Ching, Bada ooof oOooof. Ssshhhwang wang oof.
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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Politics of Immigration

I just got into to work. I anticipated picking up an important document from the Rabbinical Court in Tel Aviv so I can proceed with my meeting with the Ministry of Interior on Monday. You know, the whole thing I've been blogging about for a couple weeks? Not a surprise in the Ginrod life: they lost it. I sat there for over an hour wringing my hands as the woman behind the desk searched and searched. "it was here on my desk yesterday!!" she explains.
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I don't have the energy really to convey my disappointment. I'll just sit tight and hope another document can be processed immediately.
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Aside from that, happy super Tuesday! I am eager to wake up tomorrow morning and find out the Democratic Candidate.
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The Ginrod is a big fan of the Clinton's.
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Go Hillary!!!
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Sunday, February 03, 2008

My Last Pictures of Jerusalem Snow.

It's amazing how last week I was freezing my tookas off in Jtown, trying to keep my toes dry and this week, the sun is warm in Tel Aviv and I didn't even wear a coat to lunch.
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This morning however, I was extremely confused before I realized that my bus stop had been removed. Gone. Nicht mehr, es war einfacht nicht da. I'm sitting there, running after the 47 because two bus stops on Ibn givrol street were removed. I was so dumbfounded. Why on earth would they play a trick like that on us? Not to worry, I eventually found a sign to stand under where a bus would stop.
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I hope you enjoy the remaining pictures I have of the Jerusalem snow.
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