Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Point of This Blog

As I was drifting off to sleep last night a thought popped in my head. It struck me with a sense of intense importance. An importance only endowed to emergencies of war, childbirth, and thoughts that occur in the murky space between sleepiness and dreaming. I realized, considering last night’s blog post, some of y’all might get a negative impression of Israel. Which is fair enough. I wrote about a nasty incident of sexual harassment. Not fun.
However, Israel is my home and I love it here. I think it’s important to say. There  are a million reasons to be critical about it. A trillion reasons to laugh about it. But for the life of me I can never think of a single reason why I love it. I just do.  I had a teacher once tell me that when a person first gets married they have a long, long list of reasons why they love their spouse. They love their spouses sense of humor, looks, table-manners, etc..  But as the marriage progresses in time, the list gets shorter and shorter until there is no list anymore. The person just loves the other.
This struck me as such a lovely sentiment. I'm not married, but that’s really how I feel about my home. I feel like adulterous every time I step on and airplane. I feel such comfort in the hilly green beauty of Jerusalem and the eclectic ocean front of Tel Aviv. I don’t actually know if it is objectively beautiful. It’s just like a familiar face. It’s comforting. It’s home.
And I know part of the problem is that so many different people and peoples think the same thing about this tiny strip of land. So I hope I never take for granted living here. And I pray I never stop being able to be critical and more importantly, being able to laugh about it.

Bhatzlacha all

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Response to Comments

Really wish I could do this in the comments section, but its not working for some bizarre reasons. Maybe just my technical ineptitude. At least it provides a great opportunity to use the word ineptitude.

In response to comments left on I'm Not Your Sweetie  by Anat. :
"These things make me angry as much as anything possibly can! I do think it's terror, it makes you afraid and feeling helpless and vulnerable... I suggest carrying pepper spray. Even just for the sense of safety! It just makes my want to curl my feminist mustache in despair "

 So I agree with you 100% I think that we're taught to sort of treat this kind of day to day violence against women like its nothing. I know I take it for granted that any time I walk down Ivin Gvirol I will probably get harrassed like this at least once, if not more.
The last line sort of says it:
"How are you honey?” she asks with a kiss to the cheek." - potentially a gesture of comfort.
"“Absolutely fine. " I say, and for some weird reason, it's true. "" - its weird, precisely because it is weird to be okay with this kind of bullshit. It's bizzare we just put up with it.

Response to Comments

For some reason, I'm having a bit of difficulty posting responses to comments. But I just want to respond to a comment that was left on "The Evil Eye Blinks" 

'll take the risk of sounding super naive,But did this really happen or is this like,Prose? 
A short story?

First off, It's a really good question. I like it. 

I don't really know how I'd classify my writing literarily. I think they are too short to be short stories, so maybe they are tiny stories? 
Also, they don't happen exactly like I write them, but almost. 
I hope that answers your question. If not I'm madly in love with comments, so leave some more. 

- Fumbling

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Evil Eye Blinks

Original Art by Me,
pictured: Hamtza,  and a semi-kabalistic rendering of the Rekiyahs

It wasn't her boobs that made me stop and gawk. No. Pushing my cart in the dingy grey makolet (corner market), something glitters in the corner of my eye. I turn. A great golden Hamtza bounces ominously with every breath she takes. I stop. The filigreed hand bobs up and down waving at me like the hand of Midas resurrected. This awakens in me sudden anxiety. The feeling someone I think I know is waving at me, but really they are just waving at the guy behind me. I have to actively suppress the urge the wave back. Instead I choose to awkwardly run my hand through my hair. Nearly free, I turn to pick my yogurt, but its single lidless eye captivates me. Transfixed. I cannot, now, resist the urge to stare. To gawk- to gape – seduced by the unblinking blue eye cradled in the palm ebbing in the midst of liver spotted cleavage. Against my will I’ve entered into a staring contest with the eye of Sauron. To blink would to cause mini-Orcs to come crawling out of the long dark crack of her cleavage.

There’s a truth to this, I reason, like Sauron, the Ayin Hara too is an evil eye. The religiously
superstitious, part of me is certain that if I break eye contact with this manifestation of the Ayin Hara I will have bad Mazal  (luck) for all eternity. Though, I should have figured that openly ogling another woman’s breasts in the middle of the market is probably also not the ticket for good luck.

The older woman clear her throat, and I am thrown back to reality. Back to the dairy aisle. Back to a world where I must look like a lesbian. Albeit a desperate, socially-inept lesbian, staring at leathery old breasts in the middle of the Makolet. Reluctantly, I break eye contact from the pendant and meet the lady’s gaze. Her eyes are brown but milky, coated in a blue veil of age. Her round face is dark and crumpled with cigarette wrinkles.

“Can I help you?” she asks with her eyes and with her wrinkles.

I have no idea how to respond. I try and make my eyes say “I might be beyond help Ma’am.”
 She keeps staring, and I assume my eyes said something else. Her cart blocks my way. Should I say something? Should I use the go-to trick of men caught with wandering eyes? The ol’ compliment the necklace. Even though it’s true for me, I feel can’t say a line too often lied. So, should I lie instead and compliment her breasts? No. That is a horrible idea. They might be hoisted up high courtesy of French Aerodynamics, but unhinge the clasp and God only knows. Swing low sweet chariots. The intense desire to wave at the Hamtza overtakes me again, but before I lift my hand, my mouth takes matters into it’s hands – lips? – and says: “Do you know where I can find peas?” I ask in English hoping, praying, she might just show me the toilet and I can have a laugh later.

Breaking eye contact really did grant me bad luck for eternity. The old woman smiles, her face creasing further like a giant walnut. She proceeds to list every different type of pea available to me. Frozen, canned, fresh, dried, whole, split, green, white, red….
While she lists, my mouth and brain engage in a brief dialogue:
“Dear Mouth –
 Just remember, you were the one that thought of this,
“Dear Brain,
 Please rescue me. I don’t like peas.
“Dear Mouth.
This is your baby. You deal with it
 Bugger off,
“But but but.”
“But what sweetie?” The old lady asked.
“But what kind peas are best for soup?” I ask.
Evidentaly I’m making soup. I just came in for some emergency rations: chocolate and pizza. Cure to comorbid PMS and exams. Now this enormous savta raba has highjacked this plan and I may be stuck eating something with actual vitamins. I long for rude abrasive stereotypical Sabras.  But I have been saddled with the nicest lady. She drags the front of my cart behind her, snaking up and down the aisle. Wheeling me around she fills up my cart with ingredients. Carrots, celery, grains, spices whose names I can’t even translate. We reach the meat counter and I cringe. The browning red meat behind the glass makes me more homesick for North America than a thousand Katusha rockets ever will.
The woman negotiates with the butcher for a bit. Rousing him into service and renegotiating four or five times about the cut and trim of fat. I should just make a run for it now. Abandon my cart and sleep for a week. O! glorious sleep. But when I try to move, my shoe squeaks on the linoleum, catching Savta Raba’s attention. She calls me over. Asks where I think I’m going. And I don’t know why I feel so beholden to this woman, but Sauron between her breasts threatens me with his unblinking eye. If I leave now, all of Middle Earth will burn. Or maybe just me. It's hard to read the expression of a lidless eye without an eyebrow.
 In a haze of moed aleph exhaustion, the choice of Savta Raba and Sauron versus making a run for it, staying makes more sense. Besides, she is being nice. And I could use some nice. There’s not enough nice in this world. I strain a smile and my face feels like it might crack from the effort. Savta Raba seems to take this as encouragement. A giant leg bone of a cow lands with a clatter into my cart. What the hell? It’s nearly as long as my arm. Upside down, the long bright white Styrofoam and cellophane package shines like a beacon in the chrome cart. 
“It’s good.” She says. With that smile. An enormous half circle on her round, round body. All round and suishy, she’s wider than she is tall. An image of her puffed up and rolling down a hill like a human beach ball pops into my brain. I smile a bit at the thought.
“You’re American?” she asks.
“New York?” she asks.
“No. Texas”
“Ahh.. Cowboys.”
“Yes. “
“You have family in Israel?” She asks.
“You come to me for Shabbat?” She asks, but it doesn’t sound like a choice.
Right…. Find a way to get out of this. The Eye of Sauron gives me a dirty look, heaving up and down. I can’t do this anymore. Please God who may or may not be out there. Send me a lie. Pleeeeeaaasssse! Send me a lie. Right. Brain. Think of a lie:
“Yes, thank you. I would love to come.” My mouth says.
Seriously, Maybe God!? Not the lie I was looking for. 

She let me cut her in line. Graciously, she gestured with her round gelantonous arm waggling about. Afraid I might actually have to purchase half a bovine skeleton, I politely tried to demure.  No success. Bodily she forces me ahead. I cringe as the cashier weighs the bone. Maybe I should just cut my losses as this point and buy a dog. I lay down two weeks worth of grocery money on this bone. Grudgingly parting with both my dignity and my need for food. Nearly free, out the door, cart returned, five shekel piece retrieved, Savta Raba calls out after me.
“I didn’t get your phone number.”
Desperate, I call out the numbers and run.

I return home and lay out my purchases on the kitchen table. My roommate looks at the bone, looks to me, looks back to the bone and shrugs. Silently she walks back into her bedroom. We’ve adopted a live and let live approach to living with one another ever since I took up the uekele. A silent live and let live approach. So she’s not really going to help me cook any of this.
 The bone lies in a rectangular sturofoam plate, protruding a bit on both ends. Held in place with clear cellophane it glistens in my flouresent apartment. I behold the almost its curved length, the thin strip of pink gristle and chunks of coagulated white fat. I try to approach it with an apporiginal’s ingenuity. Like an inuit in the frigid depths of Canada. I could make soup, and a bowl, and some fancy art or a knife or something.. Perhaps I need to think like a caveman as this has to newly discovered the mastodon fossil. It’s massive. Enormous. It will take days and days to just heat it up, let alone cook all that brown marrow thoroughly. I do the only thing I can do. Put it in the back of the fridge and hope to forget about it.

My phone rings.
“Shalom.” Though the number comes up as unknown, I know. I know who it is. I know its her. 
“Hi.” I respond.
“So you coming?” she asks.
Savta Raba calls me in time for Shabbas. Part of me is amazed. Another part is certain this would happened. Of course I incurred the wrath of the Ayin Hara. I blinked. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hey all!
Thanks so much for sticking with me. I know it's been forever since I posted anything. I recently moved from Jlem (Jerusalem) to TA (Tel Aviv) so it's like across the country. I've been a wee bit focused on that.
 I'm now embarking on an integral part of the Aliyah process. -No, not starting Uni.- Visiting my parents abroad. All I really have to say about that is I found the best gift for my dad:

I first tried it at the Jerusalem Wine Festival, it was seriously the best thing I ever tasted. Seriously. It's smooth dark chocolate with cinnamon and chili peppers. It's intense and delicious.

They have lot's of other flavors and stuff, and you can buy the chocolate in health food stores here, and online.

Wish me a safe flight, Nisiyah Tova

By the way, I'm in no way paid to endorse this. I just believe in supporting and promoting Israeli brands. And also it's really tasty. :-)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Princess Penelope in China

Princess Penelope Sees Sceninc China.

Still no word from the Warehouse Bandits in many days.