Friday, May 30, 2008

Alias Pail


And Again. Click HERE

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Swimming

"I'm not worried about you" he says. " you're a swimmer". My oldest friend in Israel, an eighty- eight year old holocaust survivor, who phones me up every few weeks to whom I relay the difficulties of finding work in Jerusalem.
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And I guess that's the truth of the matter. I come from a swimming community, my friends back home, in the Peace Corps, we all swam extremely well. Throw us in murky water and we'll swim it clean. Only knew the doggy paddle? The backstroke takes only a few more minutes of learning. Maybe it's the immigrant blood in my Midwestern friends, their swirly marble mix of genetics pumping through their veins. Perhaps that's what it means to be American, big dreams and big cars to pack all of your belongings in and move state. Leave the sod fields behind and venture to a place where there are rolling hills of concrete and your name in lights on top of pumping venues. Develop your guts and you'll become great, be very very patient. You're competing with thousands of swimmers just like you. Here are a couple links of my favorite water monkeys.
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Click HERE for the latest article written about Jules.
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Here Scientific American's blurb about Bry HERE

Monday, May 26, 2008

Lag B'omer

This past weekend we celebrated Lag B'omer . The patio of the apartment I live in backs onto a park where the children of the neighbourhood were living their pyromaniac dream. As adults on the patio, we kept a diligent watch over the temporary misfits. All while drinking beer and BBQ'ing delicious flesh on the grill. Here are the pictures of the firey evening:













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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Grandma number two

In the large and ever fertile Filipino family, one is often confused as to whom we are actually related to. Women with wrinkles and black hair call themselves your grandma when your mothers mom is standing next to them, your cousin could mean the "neighbour from the old country" or your cousin cousins' cousin.
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It isn't even weird. There was some comfort in knowing there was as many grandma's as you needed that day, there was grandma #1, #2, #3. My actually grandmother was in and out of the U.S during my life, grandma #2, her much younger sister, was a staple in my summer visits to Va Beach. She accompanied mom, Bry, and Grandma #1 to Germany, when we deposited my father's ashes in his hometown.
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Grandma Tess's heart called it quits over the weekend. She has left our family in deep mourning with sleepless nights.
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Last night in my dreams, I sat on a lush, green hill - facing forests of pine trees and a large blue sky. Next to me was Grandma Tess, she was calmly making large quilts that rested on the hillside. These quilts were made of rose petals. Their cool petals relaxed me as we sat next to one another not speaking.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Conversion mess

It kills me to read articles like this.
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I don't know when I will understand why the Rabbinical Court and the Ministry of the Interior cannot work together, and perhaps it doesn't affect most people. But as a convert- as someone who has taken her new faith and lifestyle as a very serious matter- well, when conversions are completed, I don't believe anyone has the right to challenge it.
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I know what many will say: if the convert isn't a practising Orthodox Jew, then they have the right to have their conversion annulled.
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In the world of the Ginrod, that is incorrect.
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The ultra- orthodox Jewish community cannot treat converts like Jews who are not Jewish. Such an attitude creates social problems for converts. I find it disturbing that anyone would question my faith and dedication to being Jewish and an Israeli.
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Perhaps the converts discussed in the article are 'different' from the Jewish convert I am, but just like there will always be Jews who keep kosher and who don't, Jews who fast on Yom Kippur and Jews who don't. There will converts, I mean- JEWS who do the same. They are Jews and their status should not be threatened- 15 years later.
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A hint of steam just rose from my right earlobe.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Kuzari

My move to Jerusalem has replaced "I" with "We". These days, P Bonez and I are merging our lives together as one, keeping our sporting preferences as a symbol that we carry at least one authenticity.
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That thought reminds me of an old kung fu movie I bought once. A Kung Fu master who had no legs and another one with no arms. In order to fight the bad guys, the master with no legs hooked himself in a basket on the back of the master with no arms and they would do this twirl thing to fight their enemies successfully. I share this with you because my strength is in my hand eye coordination and my arms, hence my success in Boxing and Bball. P Bonez has extra muscles that seem to grow out of his legs, and although he is lacking the physical beauty of one of his toes, he can pretty much balance anything on them.
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"We've" taking on to studying together. This is a result of long summer Shabbats
and much time to read, study, and discuss random nothingness. Tuesday evenings have turned into a study with my roommate and his girlfriend and new found mentor-slowly reviewing and studying The Kuzari, the famous argument from medieval Spanish Philosopher and Rabbi Yehuda Halevi on the validity of Judaism.
Halevi also happens to be from Castille, Spain. Which is also the place rumored to be where my great grandfather, the sly Fernando Caasi came from. (or maybe my great great grandfather)
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We've only begun our analyzation and discussions on the book, beginning with Greek philosophy, which makes my tongue water as philosophy was a big interest of mine during my university days, waaaay back when.
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It's interesting to witness the process of moving to a new place, if only an hour away- my life was in Tel Aviv, my studying, my social life- as I settle in Jerusalem, I am rebuilding my comforts, in a new place- with a lot of the same people, and many I have yet to encounter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

moon thoughts

I've had sleepless nights. The ones where your palms are facing upwards and your watching the ceiling via the moonlight seeping in through the window. The type of nights where you wonder if your normal and if this life is normal, or if your just a glitch in the system and doing everything wrong. Those nights where the whole 'WHAT am I supposed to do with the rest of my life??' phrase is floating around my frontal lobe in metallic pink ribbon.
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Since last September I have attempted my freelance career, and although it pays the bills, I don't feel that my time has been properly consumed. I need more projects, I need to be busier. I think of my future, the car I will need to have, the fruit trees in a garden, the downpayment on a house- and I look around and wonder how I am going to fill my salary here in Jerusalem.
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I've been a bit bummed as of late. I am convinced it's the changing of the seasons, my soul is being stirred and I long for a dream where I can converse with my father, or a quick hello from Tsiki. They don't come anymore, my dad dropped in after my engagement for a quick tea and that's about it. I think Tsiki is busy with heavenly basketball tournaments. Maybe he met my friend Christy up there. Do Jewish souls and the non-Jewish souls converse? Tsiki, tell Chris I still have her cd.
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When I was a child, I would wake up crying at the thought of having to grow up and leave my family home. When I was growing up, I longed for my own life and my own future. As an adult, I am beginning to realize where I don't belong career wise and that I'm ok with having my own home. I just wish that perfect position would open itself up to me so I can grab it and embark on the next chapter. In Jerusalem.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Nitzanim Beach

Beach camping was amazing. I've got the scratches and bruises to prove it. I kiss my hands and wave them all around at the fortune I have to live in a place where you can pack up and drive, and find private beaches on the Mediterranean coastline that begs for us to camp on them.
The entire camping experience is full of goodness. From setting up the tent, the fire, and the grill, to midnight walks up sand dunes to retrieve dead wood to- sand avalanches with the flash light in my mouth, skidding my way to the bottom all the while giggling.
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Breakfast was P Bonez scrambling some eggs on the grill and handing us all a sandwich to enjoy, chilled melon from the ice box never tasted so good as the large waves were zig zagging around- threatening us with rip tides. Sand in my hair and around my ankles made me feel like I was 10- with a full day of playing ahead of me.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bush in Israel

Dear President Bush,
I just moved to Jerusalem last month. I've taken to finding excuses in riding up to town everyday in hopes that I can use this summer to get in shape for my wedding. I rode up on King David street, mostly because the hill seems to be more forgiving than the Keren Hayasod one

You should see what they have done for you! There are police men/women EVERYwhere. Officers with big guns (which is not an exception, they always have big guns, not just for you). Cute young ethiopian officers too- they look like they could be models, except they have an m4 hanging off their shoulders.
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It was as if all of Israel's forces were there, having on big cigarette break. Bless them, they were so bored, standing next to the roadblock 15 blocks from where you are staying. They've got plastic walls lining the entrance the the Hotel, you know, for the soldiers of the AXIS OF EVIL aka terrorists.
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I saw some women in pant suits and flat ironed hair, a bit of rouge on their cheeks. They were definitely my age, the only difference is that they probably went to Georgetown and have this amazing high end job and I was just the girl on the bike who once upon a time was in the peace corps, you know- the girl who has the immunization record of a marine in Vietnam- with one leg of her jeans rolled up- dreaming about future success with writing and my personal thoughts on the bikini wax.
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I was thinking how fun it would be to attend the conference tonight. Say hey to you and Mr. Blair- schmooze with African presidents and maybe your Russian translator I met would be there as well? Alas, no- I won't be able to make it- firstly, I am exhausted from riding around all of the detours your presence has brought this ancient city, but also- I may show up for my first Rugby practice tonight, and well- the whole dinner thing might interfere.

Anyway, I hope you and the other Presidents enjoy your stay, I would love to have ya'll fr Shabbos, but we already have dinner plans at Talia's.

Another fellow Texan but a Clinton Fan,
The Ginrod

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Red Tent

I had the pleasure today of sitting in a small audience witnessing the dialogue between an author of one of my favorite books and her translator.
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There I was, on my best behavior, back straight and cell phone turned off- eating up every word that spilled out of that woman's mouth.
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I wanted to get her to sign my book. I wanted to have her over for dinner so I could pick her brain and find out all the secrets to becoming an author, but I didn't. That would be too- pathetic. It's not like she would actually come over for dinner and I didn't want yawns to fall out of her mouth while I asked her all the questions every wannabe author asks to the great and powerful ones.
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So I sat there- with all of my manners intact, enjoying one of the first opportunities that I get to stare at what I consider a celebrity.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Favourite Picture

Street art during a morning shopping extravaganza at the Jerusalem Market.
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After the holidays

Israel's independence day has come and gone. This time, despite it being really hard on the Ginrod heart -is my favorite time of the year. Everyone and their Rabbi has a grill out, and the smoke rises into the air making these blue and white flags with the star of David on them, flap in the middle eastern air.
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There was an air show on Thursday, P Bonez and I ran onto the porch to witness these aircraft's zig-zagging in Israel's sky. My camera couldn't capture the beauty. Right then and there, I decided that one of my sons would be a pilot. If it take eating green beans and natural foods so that my future babies will have enough vitamins to make them amazing little men, I will do it. Every family should have a pilot.
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As of late, P Bonez and I have been a bit addicted to BBQ'ing. Our conversations go as follows:
P Bonez: we should go to the mall tonight, i need some jeans, perhaps we'll catch a movie.
Me: yeah, but we've got some chicken wings in the freezer.
P Bonez: great!! i'll go buy more coal.
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We're a bit simple like that. Food conquers all.
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Aside from that, we just booked our band for the wedding. Which, is totally grand. Because the minute I saw them playing one random Friday morning at the market. I knew they were for us.
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Here is a good tween flick of Israel. I'm posting it mostly because my room mate edited the video. Shows some of the good sights here in Israel.
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Monday, May 05, 2008

Dani Robus at the Girlfriend Tekes

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Girlfriend Group

With Pesach marking Tsiki's 3rd year anniversary, and the Soldiers rememberence day only a few days a way. This time period is filled with ceremonies and deep thoughts.

Here is an article of one of the ceremonies I attended. I can attest that this organization is one of the most needed organizations in this country. With the girlfriend group, I meet girls whose hearts speak a common language. We may not be best friends, but with them is one of the places I feel the most comfortable crying, and at the same time, the strongest.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/980250.html

Thoughts

I spent these days slowly arranging everything so that I can make room for opportunities that my immigration has given me. Bank accounts are being switched from foreign to inland. Status changes on different files that are in different buildings. I made the adult move today of switching banks because they couldn't provide me with timely customer service. 'What is the difference between Bank Discount and Hapoalim?' I ask the woman behind the desk. She didn't offer me any concrete selling points, no free banking, no atm card with your favorite University logo on the card. No free tickets to Six Flags in Texas.
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'If you have x amount in your bank, then you don't have to pay the 10 nis a month to keep it open.'
She concludes.
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Fascinating.
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After her lack ability to contact another branch for some sort of verification that she apparently needed, that couldn't be done today, I got up and explained to her that she just lost a bank customer. I would go to Hapoalim and sign up. Why? Because I prefer the color combination of blue instead of the green that Discount has.
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I didn't even get a free gift. Oh customer service of the U.S.A!! I miss your free banking and free tickets to events I never attend. I miss efficiency and accurate customer service.
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Completing my goal of immigration has left me a bit empty inside. The past year has been sole dedication to achieving Aaliyah and now that it's done, I have no idea what to do with myself. Combine that with the move to Jerusalem and your guess is as good as mine where my career path will take me. The Freelance lifestyle can be amazing one month, and completely uneventful the next.

Does one accept a job of full time security and lack of enthusiasm, or does one pace themselves and allow destiny to put yourself on the career path that is destined only for the Ginrod?
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I may never know. All I know now is that I must improve the Hebrew that falls out of my mouth. Until I do that- I don't think any dream jobs will come knocking on my door.