Monday, January 26, 2009

No Extras with the Crunch

I've been living a no extra lifestyle for the last two months. Well- I take that back, I still like to invest in a nice Friday night dinner with friends but they usually bring the wine. I also make a joyous effort in going to the market. It's like a shopping spree. $10 all you can buy vegetables. Get a handful of change and no matter how many in season vegetables you buy, you still can't spend all your money at 4nis a kilo. Add a magician for dinner and it's a big hit
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But seriously, no extras suck. Albeit, I'm pretty fortunate in understanding the need to be thrifty as I come from a family who saved by reusing lunch bags and plastic bags. Recycle and reuse and save the world. Save your pennies for a rainy day. "but Dad, no one spends their money on a rainy day. It's better to spend your money when it's sunny out." I would answer him confusingly. These small habits have taught me the value in being reserved with my spending. The melody of the word "Financial Stability" and "Savings" echo in my soul like a burnt out middle aged wife.
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It still doesn't satiate the American Female need to purchase new colours and own new things- to have expensive hair cuts and transportation. It doesn't satisfy my desire for things that are soft, or building my nest, or my calorie intake.
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My mental "Xtraz" list is growing in my mind. Victoria Secret Bras to replace the ancient ones I own- New Balance Shoes to replace the ancient ones I own- The food Channel because I want to be spoiled- Chanel Eyeliner because I can be a brand whore. All of these items are more expensive and not on sale in this tiny lil' country in the middle east.
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I hope to make some career decisions in the next 1.5 weeks. Just to quench my thirst.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Buy Your Tickets NOW!

Buy Your Tickets NOW!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cross cultural combat sport

Three times a week I grit my teeth and warm my muscles to the sound of light Klezmer music in an underground bomb shelter. Two flights of stairs brings me to two large rooms posted with pictured memories of the last 30 years. Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson posters are hung next to Israeli flags. A Picture of Putin with boxing gloves neatly hangs next to soldiers in Israeli uniforms, the pictures lightly faded from too much exposure to halogen lighting.
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In every country I've ever had a bank account it, i've managed to seek out the local boxing gym and train amongst the men, developing a click in my nose from sparring and stretched muscles from over exertion. One thing they all have in common: they all smell the same. The smell of sweat and plastic with an old sock thrown in the mix.
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Here is Israel, i've found the safest place to work out in. In this gym, more Russian is spoken than English or Hebrew. Head gear hangs neatly on hooks in the back. Gloves are divided between bag and sparring. Here the religious and non-religious alike run laps around the gym, warming up for up to 45 minutes before a 20 minute stretch and on to conditioning or sparring. And don't forget- don't speak, just let your ancient grim- faced Russian trainer bark at you when your right hook isn't accurate enough.
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Upon entrance, a grandmother waits patiently outside. I beckon her to come in to the warm underground gym for the two hour wait. She is stubborn and prefers to sit in between the two staircases. She only asks for a chair.
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Her young grandson works to keep up with us older folk. Paying attention to every jab and duck. He concentrates on learning how to jump rope with speed, often getting his feet caught in the rope. His pants slip down as he runs laps with us, exposing a wedgie.
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I run behind him, mindful that it is probably best not to mention it to him- the humiliation of a young boy to older men and us two women in the gym is far greater than I probably remember.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Refill

My iPod has been refilled. On the bus ride back to Jerusalem, I reflected what music meant to me as a teenager. A symbol of rebellion and confusion. High- energy and shaved head, my friends advertised their bands on the bumpers of their cars, I advertised my love for music with patches on my coat sleeve.
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In my teen angst diary, I would record every concert I ever went to and where. Pogo'ing up a sweat and envying tattooed women with drum sticks. Tattooed women with crazy hair. Plaid patterns and fishnets, studded belts and black rimmed glasses.
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My hair is long now. I have political views that doesn't include anarchy in the middle of the sentence. Now my musical tastes are not advertised on my body or hair. They are hidden inside this thin, red rectangle. And if you wanna see me pogo with excitement. Just turn on the food channel.
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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I will be sad for a moment, but not too long.

Last night a handful of my favourite girlfriends came up from Tel Aviv to show their support via handfuls of guacamole and bruschetta. We warmed ourselves in my icebox of an apartment with hot tea and red red wine and spoke of Qassam rockets and facebook status updates. We told each others stories of friends in our home countries who have a completely different idea of this war and Israel's place in the middle east.
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We spoke of the economy and friends who are unemployed. Friends who are lucky and only received a pay cut, a lack of jobs to go around- "arrange flowers I would!"- I say with enthusiasm. "but mandatory experience is required, and my college educated, wannabe quadra-lingual ass has no experience being a florist". A collective sigh. Let's sing karaoke instead.
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I force myself to turn off the news. Opinions, reports deaths. Pictures of fallen soldiers are glaring at me and reports of deaths in Palestine bring me no pleasure. I may be the wife of a wonderful man, but I will also always be the girlfriend of a fallen soldier. With every bit of news of those in uniform, my heart aches- and I am reminded of my fallen uniform. A sack of clothes in the back of his old closet- that smelled like him for months after he died.
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And then it hits me. More women will be added to the roster and I feel sick. More mothers will experience the painful grief of losing their son and I am sicker. The sky may be blue outside and the sun strong and shining, but it's a very dreary day for so many people and it makes me sad.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Story of My Life

Here is a website I came across just now. A suitable metaphor:


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