30 December 2008

For, with love, all things are possible.

On December 21, I (un)officially moved into my new digs in P-town. I currently have one roommate (the third girl moves in next week), who, on her own, has three large dogs and one little feisty cat. The cat, named Ethel (sp?) has an insatiable obsession with my bed, claws me and whines whenever I try to move her and is at this moment walking back and forth across my laptop, begging for attention.

The cat's ok. While roomie #1 (henceforth known as R1 to protect her identity) was away in Kentucky for the holidays, the cat and I bonded. I like to think this little claw-er / biter / spitter actually genuinely likes me. But I know it's just because I'm in the room she likes. She has a thing for laying on top of ANYTHING that's lying around -- whether it's my book on top of my bed, the pillow next to my head while I'm sleeping, my bathrobe on the bathroom counter -- then she looks up at me with this look that says, "I'm the queen here, and don't you forget it."

The weekend I moved in, Portland was in the midst of a veritable blizzard (from which I had to be rescued twice). Thus, we moved in in such a frenzied hurry, that we left a couple of marks on the walls and some crumbs on the counter. Oh yeah, and we also used the towels in the kitchen to wipe some stuff up from the counter.

This wasn't a big deal - or at least it wouldn't have been had the following incident not occurred. On our way up to Portland, we figured out that we wouldn't arrive in time for R1 to be there when we showed up, as she had to work. So she said she'd leave a key and kennel the dogs "because I'm concerned about them not knowing you - they're very protective of the house," she said (or texted actually).

In the midst of the move, and having seen the two big dogs stuck in their sorry cold cage in the garage, I texted R1 asking her if I could "let the dogs out because they look sad." "Yes," she replied. "If you could let them out to go poddy (sic) that would be great."

Now, we weren't even speaking a foreign language here, but something got lost in translation. We (me, parents, bf's hubby) all assumed (when you assume, you make an ASS out of U and ME) that she meant we could let them out period. As in, we don't have to kennel them anymore, because they're not going to bite us. That was the original reason for kenneling them. Right?


Oh, how very wrong I was.

I was set to be snowed in with the Best Friend that night and the following night, so we let the dogs go potty, left them in the house and went on our way.

That night, I got a call from R1.

"Did you let the dogs out?"


"Yes...Was I not supposed to?"

"I always keep them kenneled."

"Oh, I'm sorry. It was a mis-communication. I feel terrible."

"There is pee and poop EVERYWHERE."

"Wow. Really....?"

Actually, this is the short version of a 30-minute long conversation with R1, consisting mostly of apologies and damage control for something that was a simple misunderstanding. I felt bad, really. But I was more upset about not being able to fix it and not being able to prove that I wasn't some irresponsible wack-job roommate who was set to cause her more anguish than her previous one did (if that's possible).

So I decided to make good.

While she was in Kentucky, I vacuumed the ENTIRE house -- and let me tell you, it was disgusting; three dirt containter empties disgusting -- and washed all the windows and dusted the living room and cleaned the kitchen.

Ok, so really, I don't have a life. But she was so happy, so incredibly happy. Not just that the house was cleaned, but that I had proved that I am who I say I am. And I'm not a psycho wack-job. And I didn't just do it because I wanted her to like me (I'm not a fan of drowning in pet hair), although showing her love was a big part of it.

Just goes to show how a little bit of love can go a long way.

25 December 2008


So, a bunch of rockets aimed at Israel with timers set to go off Thursday night were found by the Lebanese army patrolling in southern Lebanon (everyone swears Hizbullah is not involved); Santa Claus shot and burned a bunch of revelers at a Christmas Eve party in California; Portland, the city I moved to last weekend, has been turned into a veritable snow globe by the worst winter storm since 1968, or probably earlier; and I'm getting up at the crack of dawn tomorrow to go shopping on one of the most psycho shopping days of the year.


I read a story on Black Friday about a bunch of shoppers who got trampled at a Wal-Mart during a pre-Christmas shopping frenzy. One worker was killed, if I remember correctly. Another victim sued, saying that the employees didn't do enough to help the tramplees from the icy snow boots of the tramplers. Fortunately, I'm not going to Wal-Mart tomorrow. UNfortunately, the Mom is. At 6 am.....

So, the big story (embedded in the tale of woe above) is that I moved to Portland last weekend. In the middle of a blizzard. With both the car and truck full of my stuff, we had to stop on the side of I-5 so the Dad could put the chains on (yay Dad!). It took us four hours to make a trip that usually takes an hour and 45 minutes.

After unloading both cars, the Dad and I drove out to Oregon City to pick up a bed I had bought on Craigslist for $65. It took us about two hours round trip (probably takes about 45 mins in normal circumstances).

It was really only worth the incredibly low price I paid for a perfectly decent mattress + box springs + frame, the warm and gooey chocolate chip peanut butter cookies we got from the sellers and the priceless experience of driving through the blazing snow with my dad while listening to Christmas music.

The only problem is, I don't really feel like I've moved to Portland. On Saturday night, which should have been my first night in my new house, I was snowed in with the Best Friend at her apartment -- until Monday afternoon, when we were rescued by her hubby and his dad. The hubby gave me a ride to my house on Monday, through the blizzard, and then my parents came to rescue ME on Tuesday (still snowing) -- so that I wouldn't be stuck alone for the holiday (the one I don't even celebrate).

I don't know about you, but my life is just really weird......

Gonna go light the chanukiah now.

Happy and merry...

Site Meter

22 December 2008

A quote for today

When you are inspired by some great purpose,
some extraordinary project,
all your thoughts break their bonds.
Your mind transcends limitations,
your consciousness expands in every direction,
and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.
Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive,
and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far
than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

--Attributed to the ancient seer, Maharishi Patanjali

Site Meter

15 December 2008

Winter, Winter, Go Away...And Don't Come Back

I'm snowed in.

I've got no motivation, no energy and no desire to do anything but sit on my butt and watch TV.

I watched Enemy of the State and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and it's only nine o'clock. Now I'm watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The funny, weird, psycho one with Johnny Depp. My favorite line is when he says, "Everything in this room is eat-able. Even I am eat-able. But that is called cannibalism, children, and it's frowned upon in most societies."

So, I know that I could be reading a book or doing something productive...But I've been sucked into the capitalist consumerism of the post-modern boob-tube filled American superpower world. (There I go again, blaming someone, or something else, for my problems.)

Anyway, maybe we all just need a day to sit around and vegg.

Any maybe I'm just lazy.

I hate winter.

Site Meter

14 December 2008

Blue Moo, No More Bored

I'm really into the blue today. Can you tell?

I wonder if there's some rule as to how often you can change your blog colors and still maintain some semblance of continuity. I wonder if you're not supposed to change it at all.

I just get bored with the same colors and designs all the time. Is that so bad?

I used to get bored with life too. I believed that it was 'someone else's' responsibility to entertain me, to pique my interest, not realizing that that 'someone else' was supposed to be me. But thank goodness I finally realized that. Imagine spending every day waiting for someone to bring excitement into your life, waiting for someone to introduce you to new things AND to make sure that you're excited by those new things. It doesn't work very well, it's a very sad way to live and it creates incredible strain on relationships.

Because I subconsciously believed that everyone else in my life was responsible for making my life interesting, I was like a leech. Leeches suck their hosts dry and give nothing back, which is what I was doing by not contributing my part in the relationship.

Now I'm rarely bored with life - and if I begin to 'feel bored,' instead of lamenting the boringness of my life and depressing myself over the fact that my life is so boring, I remind myself that, if I think my life is boring, then I'm not doing enough to keep myself engaged with the fascinating moments of every day.

Being bored also comes out of an assumption about this moment. It assumes that this moment is devoid of possibility, that is the same as the last moment and that I have no control over my circumstances or the future.

If we are bored (or angry, or depressed, insert any emotion), it is because we choose to be bored.

And if we can't control our emotions, we must be addicted to them.

There's food for thought.

Site Meter


Ok, I freely admit that I don't have that much experience in the dating game. I usually dump boys after a couple of dates when I realize how immature and wrong for me they are.

So when I say I'm having a little trouble interpreting this one, I admit that it may very well be my lack of experience.

In the last 24 hours, I've received at least 30 text messages from a guy I've been on two dates with -- that's three times I've actually laid eyes on him in my entire life. Two of those text messages asked me, in order, do I want kids, and can I do a long-distance relationship.

Is it just me or is this a little strange? Is it normal to ask someone if they want to have kids after the second date AND THEN ask them if they can handle a long-distance relationship?

Granted, I am moving to Portland next weekend, which means if we want to continue seeing each other, it will take a lot more effort, but isn't it a little early to be talking about a 'relationship?' Don't people usually do a long-distance thing AFTER they've already established a relationship?

And I know that it normally takes me a long time to get 'attached.' I can break up with someone after a month and not be sad at all, and, while I admit that's not an entirely admirable quality to boast about, this guy's 'clinginess' is really turning me off.

Site Meter

11 December 2008

Chauvinism's Posterboy

Ever hear of a men's rights party?

Neither had I, until I came across this article in the Israeli news source Yedioth Aharonoth, quoting the party's leader as saying that "Feminists are destroying [the] country."

Now, don't get me wrong. I believe we should support our brothers as much as our sisters, and I love men as much as the next woman, but I can think of about twenty things off the top of my head that would come before the advocation of women's rights in the list of things that are destroying Israel.

The army? The rightists? Olmert? Corruption? Crippling bureaucracy?

In a developed nation in which women still on average make less money than men for the same amount of work, in which there are religious women who are stuck single because their husbands refuse to give them a divorce and in which prostitution and violence against the fairer sex are rampant, it's no surprise that this party has tried for years to get the votes from the people it needs for seats in the parliament - and has consistently failed.

"I'm not against women but nature has rules: The man should be on top, there should not be equality," the party chairman said, as quoted by ynet.

He says he's not a chauvinist, but unless I'm mistaken, he's a good candidate for being elected chauvinism's posterboy.

Site Meter

Free Stuff is Still Stuff...But it's Free!!!

I'm so excited! I just mailed my request to get FREE GMAIL STICKERS!!!

Ok, ok, I know. Who cares? And, like my former editor always said, free sh#@ is still sh#@. But, Danielle, I would say, it's FREE!

Anyway, I'm excited about getting the stickers -- and all it cost me was the two stamps to mail the envelopes.....

Wait a minute...

That wasn't free at all!!!

Photo courtesy of the Official Gmail Blog.

Site Meter

10 December 2008

The Success of Instinct -- and Unclear "Date" Status

Wow, what a looong day. I can't believe it's only 6 pm. I swear it's already midnight and I'm really up waaay past my bedtime.

The Mom and I got up early this morning and drove to Portland for my meeting with a new potential client. The good news is, despite having forgotten to print out any writing samples or a copy of my resume, he wants me to do some work for him, editing a marketing booklet that he's put together. Always exciting to have the prospect of income when you've got none.

This client is the one I met in a bar - a fact that I love. Although this may seem quite normal, I'm trying to train myself not to take the little "normal" things in life for granted. I think the circumstances and the timing are more than mere coincidence - which I don't believe in anyway - and are a prime example of the vast realm of possibilities surrounding us every moment of every day.

Many of us think we are confined into certain situations and ways of life because "that's just the way it is," and we don't realize that there is an infinite number of possibilities if we would only open our eyes and minds and see them. For example, when I met this client, I had just arrived back in Oregon, had gone up to Portland to pick up the Best Friend from work and was walking with her to catch the bus. We turned the corner, walked past this restaurant/bar, and she said she had always wanted to try it. So we stopped, thought about it, and walked in. Next thing we know, we're sitting at the bar, having drinks bought for us, and I have a potential client for freelance writing.

Simple coincidence? Unlikely. I found exactly what I was looking for - a work opportunity and a very good professional contact - exactly when I needed it, when I followed my instinct and walked into what some would call an unlikely place for a "divine" encounter.

After the preceding long detour and moral story, Mom and I went and filled out an application with the Portland Renters Service. They run background and credit checks on potential renters on behalf of landlords. Apparently if you're a convicted felon - even if you've been out of trouble for 20 years - they won't rent to you. I guess I'll have to find some place to put that kid I took last year. Is kidnapping a felony?

Lastly, we drove over to the SW Community Center and Pool, where I should be able to start lifeguarding (grimace) after I finish my E&A guarding course in a couple of weeks. Boy, that's going to be a fun one - sitting through an entire four-day course on how to do something that I've been doing for six years, all because I have a certification through the Red Cross and not Ellis & Associates, which Portland uses. Can't they just teach me how they do spinals differently? Apparently not...

Wish me luck on that one, and let the boredom begin!

Once I'm enlightened, maybe I'll realize an infinite realm of possibility even in something like that.

OH! I almost forgot the most important part of the day. We went out to lunch with the Best Friend at this killer Lebanese restaurant called Habibi. It's on 10th and Madison downtown in P-town. We had the ground beef kebab (ketsitsot in Hebrew) on seasoned rice, with salad and really yummy turkish coffee and baklava for dessert.

Having lived in the Middle East, my standards for food claiming to be from that area are quite high, and I am proud to say that Habibi tasted VERY authentic.

Now I'm going to call the boy and see if I can't reschedule our "date"** to coffee tomorrow morning. Is that totally horrible? I'm just so fried! And I'd rather see him when I'm at 100% and not when I'm fighting just to stay awake - especially when this is only "date" number 2.

**Status of meetings unclear. Could be date, could be casual. He's been texting A LOT. Does that make it more serious? Is there some kind of booklet that will tell me this kind of stuff? Where is it?

Site Meter

09 December 2008

Sore...And Happy

Just went and worked out. It felt so good.
Especially when I'm really busy, I resist going to exercise, thinking that I'd prefer to stay home and keep working. But I find that once I actually go and loosen my mind and move my body, I become ten times more productive once I come back to the work.
I don't know what it is - maybe the simple, rhythmic movement of my feet on the treadmill, the blood pumping faster through my system, the rapid breathing and increased oxygen flow to my brain. I do know physiologically that when we work out, our bodies release endorphins to address the stress to our muscles, and I know this is proven to lift the mood, but I always forget and keep resisting the workout.
But, DEAR LORD, it feels so good.

I have a meeting in Portland tomorrow morning with Tim Phillips, the CEO and founder of Phillips & Co., a local wealth management firm. I originally met him and his "guys" (employees) at a bar Jena and I went to near her work in downtown Portland. She and I were sitting pretty at the bar, and the bartender came over to us and, as if we were in a movie, said very suave-ly that the gentlemen at the corner of the bar wanted to buy us drinks.
Those gentlemen happened to be the core of this firm for which the CEO now wants me to do some freelance marketing writing. So we chatted and charmed, and I got a gig out of it.

It's very exciting! Money! More experience! Woohoo!

So I'm going to meet with Tim tomorrow to discuss the details.

Wish me luck!

Site Meter

Oregon Shmoregon

So, this blog, through no fault of its own, just sputtered out and died. It was sad.

It's now being redeemed, born again, as it were, like the Hebrews through the Red Sea, or my own reincarnation as a potato bug five hundred years ago on the Great Plains. (Buffalo stepped on me. Wasn't pretty.)

Yayin Tov was about my journey of a lifetime to Israel - really about my life - but writing about it began to bore me after a while.

Now I'm back in Oregon, a statement I never thought I would be saying so soon - and certainly not with so much satisfaction. But I am. And I'm loving it. See, Yayin Tov, which means good wine in Hebrew, is a symbol of the finer things in life - love, family, best friends, good food, good drink, stunning sunsets and those little happy moments in life in which you sit back and sigh, "Because life IS GOOD."

Now I'm on track to go to medical school - because I figure I've had so many good things in my life, I just need to punish myself so that I'll appreciate them. Just kidding.

But I am going to medical school. I start classes January 5 at Portland Community College - Biology and Math 111 - the first of my MANY prerequisites for med school. Life is amazing. If you would have told me ten years ago that I was going to be studying my brains out, voluntarily taking math and science classes or taking the MCATs, I would have laughed heartily in your face and told you to lay off the grass.

But here I am.

I'm also moving up to Portland early next week, renting a room in a cute and BIG house in charming John's Landing. I still can't believe the deal I got - a room in a fully furnished three-bedroom house (not apartment) - with a REALLY SWEET and FUN roommate who's doing her pharmacy residency at OHSU. And all of that for only $500 / month. It's amazing really, so amazing in fact that I about gave my mom a stroke when I took the room - because I was jobless.

I'm still semi-jobless, thanks to a stupid economy, but I will be lifeguarding again, which I also never thought I'd say. Lifeguards are just lazy college dropouts who can't get real jobs, right?

The universe has a sense of humor apparently, and it's laughing as I eat my words.

Site Meter