19 April 2007

מסימת הכביסה/The Laundry Mission

So, I'm sitting here in the communal TV room/library, waiting for my laundry to finish washing. After that, it will go into the dryer for an hour (old dryer), at least, those things that can be dried will go into the dryer. When I say 'things that can be dried', I don't mean everything but things that say 'do not dry' on the label. I mean everything but things that matter if they shrink - because EVERYTHING shrinks in this dryer: pants (I thought I was getting fat, even as I was going to the gym every day, but it turns out my pants suffered the same fate as my shirts), shirts (as mentioned), camisols, sweaters (or jersies as my South African roommate calls them, or jumpers as the Australians and English call them), and clothing in general. So, what do I actually put in the dryer? Hm...come to think of it, I'm not sure.

Amongst my current group of fabulous friends, there exists a word that we use to describe the process of doing one's laundry: m'see'ma. It means 'mission' in Hebrew. As in, "Why is it such a bloody mission to do laundry here?!"
Allow me to describe the process of succeeding to do laundry here:
1. Sort clothing. If you're lazy like me, or if you only wish to participate in said mission for a couple of hours, then you put everything together but the real delicates, which you hand washed in the sink a few days ago.
2. Remember to take ID card downstairs. This is to give to the guard who will give you the key in exchange for said card.
3. Take laundry downstairs.
4. Remember after you get to the bottom floor (two floors down) that you left your laundry card for the machines upstairs.
5. Go upstairs to get said laundry card. Take a few shekels with you to put on card in machine near front door.
6. Go downstairs to get laundry and put money on card.
7. Walk outside, get halfway to guard stand and realize you forgot to put money on card.
8. Go back inside and put money on card.
9. Go back outside to the guard stand at entrance to ulpan and open the window, sheepishly showing the guard your laundry, hoping to god he has the key.
10. Guard points to someone else's card, who has gotten there before you and who has said key (there's only one key. God knows why, don't even ask me why there is only one key).
11. Recognize said key-snatcher and spend up to five hours tracking them down (Usually it doesn't take five hours, although I personally experienced needing to do laundry when someone had taken the key into town with them. They returned the next morning. I was angry.). Thank God, tonight it took but two minutes to find pretty Brazilian key-snatcher.
12. Enter laundry room with coveted key (usually, when someone gets the key, their friends - surprise - get it next and next and so on). Put laundry in machine. Reach for laundry soap. Groan. As usual, you have left the soap in your room, two stories up.
13. Go to other building. Go inside. Go upstairs. Retrieve renegade, loner laundry soap and some fabric softener sheets. Return to laundry room. Two hours and one cardio workout later, begin washing laundry.
14. Return 45 minutes later (the washer should be done by now). Wait for five minutes until laundry stops.
15. Move wet laundry from washer to dryer. Some falls on the dirty floor. You wipe it off, but the stain remains.
16. Begin dryer. Put it in for an hour. Remind yourself to come back in 40 minutes, to prevent clothing catching fire or coming out as baby-wear.
17. Return to take clothes. They're hot and burn your fingers (ouch!). You take them back to your room, lay them out to cool, collapse on your bed and try to motivate yourself to work, study, do something productive!!
No wonder I don't get anything done!

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10 April 2007

Be entertained

Here's a silly game with which I just wasted about 45 minutes. At least it entertained me; hopefully it will entertain you.


So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool...just type it in!
Opening credits: Blue World – Moody Blues
Not quite the way I would start it, but this is a game, right?

Waking up: Ironic – Alanis Morissette
Waking up is a little ironic sometimes.

First day at school: Ancient Power – Eastern Arts Project
Yeah, baby!

Falling in love: Lady Marmalade – Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Maya & Pink

Losing virginity: Freedom Theme – James Horner (From Braveheart)
No comment

Fight song: Lo Chashuv (Never Mind) – Sarit Hadad
Yeah, never mind. “Seek peace, and pursue it”.

Break up: Light in Your Eyes – Sheryl Crow
What’s that crazy light in your eyes? I don’t like it! I want a divorce!

Prom: Dispatch the Troops - Matisyahu
I personally think this one should be switched with the ‘fight song’.

Life: Los Angeles – SUGARCULT
This is actually my favorite work out song, and I try to work out every day. So, I guess this fits.

Mental Breakdown: Blue and Sentimental – Count Basie
Are you lonesome tonight? Okay, I’m depressed, I’ll stop now.

Driving: Close My Eyes – Matisyahu
And none too safe, either.

Flashback: Lead Me On – Teena Marie
Classic ‘80s song from Top Gun. “…Victim of a dream and a memory/ When I try to break free, you say to me, ‘ Come on and lead me on’”.

Getting back together: Back to You – Faith Hill
“…Only thing I know for sure is, I should have never let you go…” Sorry, once I say goodbye for good, that’s it (most of the time).

Wedding: Mouth on Fire – Duncan Sheik
Again, no comment. Not really sure where that came from. Didn’t even know this song existed.

Birth of a child: Soul Sacrifice – Santana
This will take some psychological analysis, which I will spare you. Very scary. Every heard of the tophet in Carthage? Ben Hinnon vally and Molech in Jerusalem? Let’s not even go there.

Final battle: Trashin’ the Camp – Phil Collins
That’s right. Fun and games trashing the ‘camp’.

Death scene: Heaven Help Us All – Ray Charles & Gladys Knight
When I die, I’m goin’ to that castle in the sky….or something like that.

Funeral song: Romeo & Juliet – Dire Straits
Perfect. It all makes sense now. I’m going to fall in love with the son of my family’s rivals, and we’ll kill ourselves and go down in a blaze of tragic glory. Very romantic.

End Credits: The Time of Your Life – Randy Newman (From ‘A Bug’s Life’ soundtrack)
Like I said, it’s all about having fun – well-mannered frivolity, that is.

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01 April 2007

Pesach and Another Immigrant Moment

So it seems that I have an international following. Know what that means? It means my parents and grandparents are not the only people who read my blog! Okay, so the people who have stopped by once from Tunisia, Australia, Costa Rica, Warsaw and Turkey probably don't come back to check up on me every other day...but let's not put a damper on the excitement that I have an international following.
This week, Pesach starts. Seder night is Monday night, and this begins, among other things, a week of matza, a week without bread, pasta, rice (if you're Ashkenazi) and carbs in general. Pesach is an Atkins dieter's dream. No carbs, just meat, fish, fruit and veggies, and a lot of this thing we call 'the bread of affliction'. There's a joke I heard from my beloved Rabbi in Eugene: "Want to know why it's called 'the bread of affliction?' Try eating it for a week. Then you'll understand".
This may not be that funny to people who've never experienced this, but for the rest of us....I know you're out there, and I know you understand. See, matza is simply a baked mixture of flour and water. It has no fiber WHATSOEVER. So, take a lesson from the veterans and experts (of which I am not yet one) and eat A LOT of prunes, dried apricots and other things to help you go along on your way.
This will be an interesting week for me, because, although I was in Israel for Pesach in 2003, I was basically stuck on a moshav without a car and severely lacking in Hebrew skills. I was very much an outsider. Today, I am less so, but today I am a part of this place, just like this place is a part of me. Despite the fact that I can't read the newspaper (most of it anyway), I don't understand the news on the TV, much less on the radio, and in general have NO IDEA of what's going on around me...I'm making it.
Speaking of not understanding what's going on, last weekend a few friends and I were in Tel Aviv. We laid on the beach all day Saturday, and I got a massive sunburn on one side of my body (turning is essential), complete with BIG raccoon eyes. Anyway, that's not the point. On Saturday night, we caught a cab from the beach area to the Central Bus Station to hop on a bus back to Jerusalem. Maya, Yonit and their friend got in the back seat, and I took the front. When I got in, the door was a little hard to close, like the car had been hit at some point in the past...I said something about this to the driver, in Hebrew ("The door is broken" = הדלת מקולקלת). So, he responds with a long monologue about something. Anyway, I though that I understood what he was saying - something about how he needed to get it fixed and how he wouldn't forget, etc. So I responded with: "It's not so bad. It still closes".
His look was priceless. He had NO IDEA what I was talking about.
"Ma?" "What?"
So I repeated it, in perfect Hebrew.
"Eich?" "What?"
Apparently what I said had absolutely NO RELATION to whatever he had been talking about, so I just shut my mouth and relegated the experience to one of the many idiot, oops! I mean immigrant moments and laughed at myself.
I'm sure there will be many more where that came from.
Okay, time to go to the gym. This will be a tough night. I haven't been to the gym in a while. Mother Miriam, say tehillim for me......

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