Friday, January 30, 2004
go big or go home!
I just finished deleting a comment in the previous post. While I am not in the habit of arbitrarily deleting someone's comments just because I disagree with them, I will not engage in a debate with someone who (a) hasn't even got the facts straight and (b) is such a coward that they refuse to give a name and valid e-mail address along with their comments. I put myself out in the public eye with views that are often unpopular, so if you are going to challenge me feel free to do so, but if I see "anonymous" and no contact info you can expect there's a good chance I will delete you. If I am brave enough to take a stand publicly for what I believe in, I expect you to be as equally brave in challenging my views. The route taken was one of a coward. For that I have no respect.

That being said, let us move on. Today has been a blah day. Started off with a surprising call from my mother. It seems my Uncle George has died of a massive heart attack. Now before you all extend me sympathies, rest assured there was no love lost between me and the man. However, I am very sad for my cousins.....this uncle was the husband of my Aunt Kathy, whom I mentioned a few days ago (she died five years ago. for those too lazy to scroll back three posts click here). So I'm deeply saddened for my cousins who are now without a mother AND a father. The really weird part is that my uncle died yesterday, almost exactly five years after my aunt (5 years + a day). Very strange.

Anyway, that's done nothing to improve my crummy mood left over from yesterday's bad news (and thus my complete annoyance with the coward who posted a misguided comment....I am in no mood to deal with children right now). I have purchased a lottery ticket, and all going well I am going to win $30 million dollars tonight. That would improve my mood, I suspect. And tonight I am getting together with a bunch of friends, grabbing some dinner and watching a bunch of rented movies. I'm looking forward to putting this week aside for a few hours and just relaxing and having a few good laughs with my friends. I need it.
I hope you all have a safe and happy weekend. Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, January 29, 2004
calm blue
Ok, I've calmed down a bit. But only a bit. I have had some pizza and beef stroganoff that Bruno (my neighbour across the hall) made. My belly is full, and I am trying to unwind a bit after a most stressful day. Now I shall go into a little more detail about the bus bombing in Israel today so you may understand my rage a little better.

In an effort to make the rest of the world understand what Israel is up against, Israel's Foreign Ministry has released graphic footage of the scene after the bombing, showing the bloody aftermath of the suicide bombers handiwork. The Ministry has decided enough is enough and the time for candy coating the images for mass world media consumption is over. If you are brave enough to see what Israel is up against in their battle against terrorism click here, but be warned, it is INTENSELY graphic (I'm talking body parts laying on the ground and have be warned!). It turned my stomach and fuelled my anger further. Jew or non-Jew, I'm sure you too will be horrified by the scene. For something less intense you may go to Civax's post on the matter; he has several pictures from the scene (no body parts here).

And the reason that this bombing today has made me so much more livid than usual is because Israel was, at that very moment of the attack, in the middle of handing over 401 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 4 Israelis (1 businessman and 3 DEAD soldiers). Now, I could go on an angry rage all over again on this issue alone (does anyone else see how unbalanced those numbers are?? or maybe you could tell me why the Palestinians would ever bother to keep a hostage alive when they can kill them and still get 100 of their own back in exchange?) but instead I would just like to point out that they were getting one HELLuva good deal today, and then turned around and proceeded to spit in the eye of Israel. Don't you dare cry to me about the Security Fence being an oppressive wall, especially seeing as today's suicide bomber was a Palestinian policeman, ladies and gentlemen. (oh and one last thing, one of the victims killed today was originally from Toronto; he immigrated to Israel 8 years ago. As if I needed this incident to get any more personal for me. grr!)

Anyway, Israel is handling things quite differently this time, and I like the route they have chosen. First of all, they will not close off the West Bank (close all roads out of the area that lead into Israel and impose curfews). And they likely won't do the usual targeted killing of terrorist leaders either. You see, it was Yassir Arafat's (the Palestinian leader) terrorist organization who took responsibility for today's attack, and Israel is waiting to see what Arafat will do to reign in his organization. And when he doesn't (because he never has) it will show the world (all going well) that it is in the hands of the Palestinians to do something about the terror. It is up to Arafat to crack down on the terrorists if there is ever a chance for peace.
It may or may not work, but I'm happy to see that Israel is trying a different approach.

And here ends my rant. I'm sorry that's all I've been able to talk about today, but really, that's all that's been on my mind. That and getting a haircut. I figured if I got one I'd feel better. And I kinda do. lol
Thanks for listening, everybody.

whisper to a scream
I am struggling to put words to my rage right now. I sit and cry as I read the details of today's bombing on board a bus in Jerusalem, where some murderous son of a bitch got on board and blew himself up. This is not how I like to start my morning. Take a good look at the picture, folks. Have a peek at what a bus looks like after a bomb has removed it's contents (body parts are being found a mile away from the explosion). Blinding rage. That's all I feel right now. Thank god I'm going to work this morning so I don't have time to sit and stew in it. I hope Rinat and Hebrew Lion are ok.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
I smell winter
I had this dream that I owed the government $7000, and so I fled the country (like that's enough for someone to flee! lol). I guess I'm stressing about this income tax return a little more than I thought. Looks like I'm going to owe about $2600 when all is said and done, but it might as well be $5000. I don't have the money, either way. This is not good. And it really will squash my trip to England in June to see my friend who moved last summer. That's breaking my heart, and I'm afraid to tell her. And it doesn't make me feel any better that I sat down this morning and paid my bills online, to the tune of about $475. Yowsers, that was a lot of coin. *sigh* Sorry, I'll stop whining about my money woes now.

Happy thoughts...happy thoughts....
Ok, how about two of my latest obsessions? Fennel tea and musical group B21. Princess Blondie got me into fennel tea, and I can't stop drinking the stuff now (actually, as I recall it was her boyfriend Bruno who made me my first cup of the stuff). It tastes like anise, for those familiar with that taste (like black licorice or sambuca..but not that strong! much more mild and pleasant. :-). Anyway, it's also nice coz it doesn't have any caffeine (not that I usually care about such things, but it's nice to avoid it if you can) and it's good for your digestive system.
And B21 is a band out of England that has an Indian/Punjabi flavour to it's music (a few songs can be found on the soundtrack to Bend It Like Beckham). I just can't get enough of that beat, it always makes me get up and groove. Lovin' it!

And speaking of Princess Blondie do you know what that darling did yesterday? She brushed the snow off my car for me when she left in the morning. So when I went out to my car it was already cleaned off, much to my surprise. How sweet was that?? She said she didn't want me out in the cold any longer than I had to be. Awww..that girl melts my heart with her thoughtfulness. Later in the day she came knocking on my door and handed me a glass of juice she had just made in her juicer; a healthy blend of carrot, apple, parsley and ginger. It was tasty stuff, and obviously good for me. This girl looks out for my health more than I do! Don't you all wish you had neighbours as sweet as mine???

Anyway, I have been working from home again today, and have yet to report back to work; it's been 2 1/2 weeks. I'm happy to report that I actually got some work done today, and will be heading to work tomorrow. Our snow storm has passed and everyone is getting back into the swing of things (here's some webcams for shots of the snow).
Tonight I'm meeting up with some friends for a girls night out. Dinner and long conversation. Yay.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Oh yes, now THIS is what I love!!!! A great big giant snow storm that shuts down everything and everyone! Bwah ha ha!! I want more!!! Oh how I love it so. Snowflakes the size of my fist, and coming down in such quantities it looks like a wall of white in every direction.
I tried leaving my house just now but my car got a bit stuck at the top of the driveway, so I gave up. I could have made it out of my driveway with a little effort but I was afraid I'd never get back in again; I took it as a sign and opted not to push my luck. I only wish now that I had gotten more movies when I was renting some yesterday. Oh well. And no Hebrew class tonight! *pout* It's ok, I called the school, the missing class will be added to the end of the semester. Hurray!

Let's talk about somewhere a little hotter for a minute. Somewhere like...oh I dunno.....Israel, maybe? :-) Well it is Combat Anti-Semitism Day today!! (have you hugged a Jew today?? lol! WHY NOT??) Anyway, yet another poll has been published illustrating that Europeans just aren't all that fond of Jews. Seems that "46% of those interviewed feel Jews are "different," 9% of respondents do not "like or trust Jews," and 15% would prefer that Israel not exist. "
Would prefer it didn't exist???? I'm sorry is Israel BOTHERING you over there in Belgium??? The list of other such wonderful preferences, stereotypes and overall disapproval can be found here if you're interested. It's amazing what many Europeans think of Jews and Israel.

On the flipside of the matter, the Australian Foreign Minister is visiting Israel right now and made firm statements in support of Israel, including an open invitation for Israelis to immigrate to Australia if they want to. He says the door is always open to Israelis and Jews. As well, he supports the security fence being built to help keep suicide bombers out. It's a controversial issue that many don't have all the facts on before making judgments (for instance, there is a similar fence between the USA and Mexico. Why isn't the world freaking out about that and screaming oppression and apartheid? for more information on similar fences around the world click here). Anyway, it's nice to get a little support right now since Israel has taken a bit of a beating in the media lately (mostly about the fence issue). Thank you, Alexander Downer! Israel needs more people like you.

On a completely different note I'd like to talk about my Aunt Kathy today. I've been told most of my life that I look a lot like her (much to my mother's chagrin, since I look nothing like either of my parents) and I have always quietly enjoyed that fact. Kathy and I looked very similar as children, blonde hair, blue eyes, and adorable as anything you've ever seen. For some reason we seemed to have a quiet bond, and for that I am grateful.
Five years ago today I sat by her bedside while she took her last breath and gave up the good fight against cancer. I spent two weeks at her bedside with my family, and we were all with her at the end. It was a cool January in British Columbia and the longest two weeks of my life. But I am glad we were all there with her at the end, including my poor grandmother who had to sit bedside and watch her oldest daughter die. Even sadder was that she was the second daughter my grandma had lost; my mother is the only surviving child out of three.
So today my family has made an effort to call and e-mail each other, sharing stories, pictures and memories. I called my grandma to make sure she was ok, and she was doing her best to stay strong. I asked that everyone try their best to remember Kathy with a smile not a tear.
And just for you guys I have included a picture of me and my aunt rolling around on the lawn having fun. :-) That's how I like to remember her....

In closing I'd like to put out a shameless plug for a fellow blogger, Geoff and his blog Grasshoppa. He's up for an award for his most excellent blog, but he needs your help....he needs some support in the form of votes! So do me a favour, if you please: click on this link and scroll to the bottom. There you will find Grasshoppa listed (#22) and below that box is a link that says "Vote!". Click it and enter your vote on the left hand side of the screen. If you have any problems, let me or Geoff know. And thanks in advance, Geoffy Poo is a good guy. LOL!

Monday, January 26, 2004
typical Monday
Well, I was all ready to get up and head to work today..until a snow storm started rolling in, and is said to get quite bad by the end day. It was decided I should just stay home another day and let the storm pass. Instead of going to work I'm going to go to the doctor to check out my x-ray results from last week and get checked out one last time, and then head to my parents place to try and deal with a few of their computer problems.
If you're interested in having a look at our snow storm first hand here are some webcams. It's pretty cool stuff. Also, here's some webcams in Israel; when I clicked on a few of the beach cams I couldn't believe how nasty the weather is. I think it's important for my North American audience to understand that Israel gets their version of winter too; high winds, rain, sandstorms....not fun stuff. And yes, in the northern parts and mountain regions they actually get snow. It's not hot and sunny year round.

So anyway, it's a bit of a disappointment to get stuck home another day, and as if that wasn't bad enough I got some bad money news this morning. A friend of mine has been working on my taxes for quite a while now, and she's starting to get some of the numbers firmed up. Y'see....I neglected to file for about 3 years now, and it was high time I did something about it before I got audited, so I gave all my stuff to my friend who's an accountant. She has finished up my business taxes now (that's where most of my "owing" costs will my incorporation) and is starting into my personal taxes now. So far it looks like I'm gonna owe about $3400. I think I might have a nervous breakdown. And I was really hoping to take a trip to England this year to see my friends who moved there last summer....but it looks like that might not happen. :-( And a trip to Israel any time soon? must be joking.
*sigh* Now I am seriously bummed out.

On a lighter note I'd just like to mention some of the nice things that people have done for me in the last few days. First of all, on Saturday I asked Princess Blondie to go out and start my car for me (coz it's hard for me to be out in the cold for too long, what with my lungs acting up and all) and she kindly obliged. She knocked on my door in her pajamas, and a coat and scarf and took my keys and warmed up my car for me. That girl is an absolute angel.
Then last night I had gone over to my parents place for dinner and afterwards my mom and I curled up in front of the t.v. to watch the Golden Globe Awards while my dad did some work down in his home office. About half an hour into the awards show my dad came upstairs (three flights of stairs I might add!) with a tray of freshly popped popcorn and some drinks for us to enjoy. He was sitting doing his work and thought that his girls should have popcorn to go with an awards show about t.v. and movies ("Can't watch a show about movies without having popcorn!" he said), so he stopped working and went to make it and bring it to us. Is he a sweetheart, or what?!? You can see why my parents have been happily married for 35 years. He's such a doll, that dad of mine. :-)
I have some very good people in my life (including my accountant friend who has wasted countless hours sitting in piles of receipts in order to help me out. God bless her).

So really, what do I have to complain about? Besides....if you know me at all, you know that nothing could make me happier than this snow storm today. Eeeeek!! I LOVE IT!!!
And one last thing.....I found a new blog if you're interested: Israel Midnight Cafe. Me likes it!

Sunday, January 25, 2004
express yourself
Last week my Hebrew teacher asked me if I was stressed, in an attempt to help her find the source of my recent health problems. She seemed to believe that my problems may lie in whatever it was in my life that was stressing me out. I paused for a moment and then replied that no, in fact I hadn't been stressed for months now. The fact of the matter is, I was once a terrible stress puppy and always felt like I was potentially on the edge of having stress swallow me whole at any moment. And I came to realize that the reason I was no longer stressed was because someone whom I once called a friend is no longer a part of my life. And for a moment I felt terrible, for I still have great love for that person but we barely communicate anymore since a huge falling out last summer. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel terrible for feeling better, I haven't felt this good in MANY years, but I felt bad that my happiness seems to be to the exclusion of having someone in my life who was once my best friend. How would that make me feel if the tables were turned? How would I feel if someone close to me found out that they were in fact much happier and better off without me in his/her life? I would feel pretty damn lousy, I can tell ya that much. How is it we get involved in such toxic friendships and relationships? Situations where we KNOW the person is no good for us, but we have such deep caring for the person that we would rather be miserable with them then chance being alone (we often can't imagine we'd be happier alone...I know I couldn't until the separation was forced). What if this friend of mine hadn't called it quits on our friendship? I was bitter and angry at the time (ok, I may still be a bit, no one likes to be dumped) but shouldn't I be grateful that this person had the strength to end the friendship when I couldn't? My misery would have gone on and on, and at the time I had no idea that it was the friendship that was making me miserable. I thought it was a multitude of other things, and that I would die if that friend wasn't there to help me. Who knew that most of those problems would fade when she walked out the door?

So now I am torn..while I don't have to see this person anymore, we are in light communication through e-mails and such. We can still have a friendly conversation and a few good laughs, but we both know it's not, nor will it ever be, the same. And what I have to wrestle with is the urge to "fix it", because despite what happened I still care for her very deeply. I have to fight the urge to kiss and make up after our falling out and to try and get the friendship back on track. I get frustrated that I can't be this happy in my life AND have that person close to me. But I have managed to talk myself out of attempting to repair the friendship, and I truly believe at this point in time, it's what's best for me. Maybe one day we can mend things, when I am stronger and happier, but until then, things are as they should be.

On another topic of friends, let's discuss mooches. You know, the friends who always seem to get away with borrowing a few bucks, or not chipping in enough towards the bill after an evening of dining. Yesterday I got together with 5 of my guy friends and we hung out ALL day (I'm talking 11 hours or so). Now, when we get together for a marathon session of geekdom I usually make a run to the grocery store and grab some snacks to share with the gang, and more importantly, to keep myself fuelled throughout the day (I get headaches if I don't eat). This time I was with 2 of the guys for the trip to the grocery store, since I had picked them up on the way to the meeting point. These two guys are two of my closest friends, and are absolute sweethearts. We shopped together, discussing what would be good for sharing, with one of us picking up the drinks, and the other getting the bread, and the last getting the sandwich meat (for example). When all was said and done I dropped about $45 on a range of food from cheese to chips to chocolate. A little of the good, a little of the bad, but I admit much of it was junkfood.

Doesn't matter, the point is that all of what's purchased gets tossed into the "food pool" that gets shared with everyone when we gather. This is just how it's always been, and for the most part it's worked out just fine. This time however, two of the other guys showed up empty handed. Still not a big deal to me, so long as they buy whatever food we order (we usually order Chinese food or a pizza at some point). Such was not the case. Now, I don't fault the guy who was holding the event, coz he's giving up his house and convenience to host the event, and he has been very generous in the past, buying us all pizza. But the two free loading friends were really grating on me. They drank all our drinks, ate our snacks and didn't even contribute enough to the pizza when it was ordered. We were all to chip in $8 for the pizza, but the free loaders tossed in $5 (I put in $10 and ate only two slices). And then at one point one of the free loaders turned to me and asked when I was going to break out one of the other snacks that I hadn't touched yet. I said "excuse me? I'll open it when I'M hungry, not when YOU'RE hungry. You just had four slices of pizza 30 minutes ago". I was livid. I couldn't believe he had the nerve to ask for MORE of my food. I wasn't looking to cause a huge brawl in the middle of Fun Day, but I was seething. We ran out of Coke hours before and I sure did see any of the empty-handers offering to run to the corner store to grab some more.

So this brings me to the question....what do I do next time? Not bring food? Not an option, I have to eat. I don't want a migraine just to prove a point. Not share? Just how do you do that? Eat in front of someone and not offer any? And what happens when they ask if they can have some? Say no??? And please, don't tell me it's so easy to say to your FRIEND, "yeah sure buddy, gimme five bucks and I'll let you have some", because it's not that easy. I do NOT feel like launching into a heated discussion which will no doubt turn into a fight whereby we begin a ledger showing who brought food at each gathering and who shared. "Yeah? well that time in December I bought the pizza!" "So? Two weeks ago I bought the Chinese food AND the drinks!" The fact of the matter is, it happened to a lesser degree the time before this, and now again yesterday. It looks like it's becoming a trend, and I'm not willing to be a part of it. I'm not carrying the tab for others, when I myself am strapped for money.

*sigh* I blew $55 on food yesterday and I am perplexed as to why I am afraid of insulting the freeloaders when it's THEY who are doing something wrong, not me. The problem is that I am very much the type to avoid confrontation if possible (unless it involves a stranger and being cut off while driving down the highway). With friends, I'd rather have harmony than fighting (who wouldn't??). Unfortunately this means I often don't say anything when normally I am a loudmouth who speaks her mind. Believe me, it's very much against my nature to keep my trap shut, but I hate fighting. We'll see, I don't know what to do about it quite yet. I'm open to suggestions, just remember...for anything you suggest, ask yourself, would YOU be able to say that to your friends?

Anyway, any minute now my friend Julia will be showing up here and she's going to help me with my Hebrew homework. Hurray for having a friend who speaks Hebrew!! Doing a little of this will no doubt improve my mood today. And later it's laundry and dinner over at the parents place. Also good for the soul (ok, maybe not the laundry part, but time with the parents and mom's cooking).
Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Friday, January 23, 2004
I've had this weird feeling today. I can't tell if it's just wishful thinking or some true inkling of someone or something trying to lead me, but I keep getting this nagging feeling like there's something I should be doing (and I mean in the grander scheme of things). I've had this before, but not for a long long time, and it generally precipitates me doing something rash if I'm not careful. I'm trying to figure out if has to do with changing jobs or making some other life decision, or if it has to do with someone or some place. Grrr. I just can't tell. Like Israel..I have a feeling I'm not done with my time there yet. One visit last summer was not enough, and now I have this insatiable drive to go back. I can't see myself living there, and even if I did want to live there it's just financially *impossible* for a wide variety of reasons. But still I have a huge desire to go back....a drive to return and explore more. My head is having a hard time rationalizing with my heart that a visit just isn't going to happen (it's an expensive trip, and money is tight) and I can just get my head out of the clouds RIGHT now if I truly believe I could be happy living in Israel. It's not my world, no matter how much I love it. I will have to find my happiness in visiting it and supporting it.

So what's this nagging feeling then? It would be nice if 'the powers that be' point me in the right direction if there's something I'm supposed to be doing. :-/ When this used to happen to me in the past I'd get depressed and decided I was just suffering from delusions of grandeur. However, now I am in a better headspace these days and can look at it as another nudge to get moving and figure out what I want out of life. Why haven't I gotten around to redoing my resume to handing it in to that guy I wanted to get diving lessons from? Laziness and procrastination, pure and simple. And maybe a little fear of failure and/or change. That needs to stop, I need to push myself outside my comfort zone. Enough screwing around, I'm going to have my resume ready by Monday, damnit, including a personal cover letter to the gentleman who runs the shop. Yeah! Seize the future!! Or something like that.... lol

Anyway, let's talk about bus safety. What do I mean? Well in most parts of the world, such as Canada, USA, Australia, Holland .....well just about anywhere else actually, people do not often have to fear for their safety when using public transportation. As most of you know, such is not the case in Israel.
Israel has developed a bus that now contains measures to help detect and hopefully deter suicide bombers from getting onto buses in Israel (remarkably this was ALL OVER the Canadian news last night). You may read about the system here, it's really quite impressive. I personally find it sad that Israel has been forced to look to such measures in order to secure it's citizens as they make their way to work, to school, to family dinners....... Hey, whatever it takes to take care of the people I love over there. I can be happy it's there, even if I don't like why.

And in another note of interest, it seems that 18% of British citizens are "moderately anti-semitic", whatever the hell that means. lol. Either ya are or ya aren't, folks. The survey also finds that many of the Britons believe that the events of the Holocaust are exaggerated. Yeah, right, we're just making it wasn't really 6 million people that were murdered, we're just doing this for sympathy. I guess then it shouldn't come as a surprise that a British MP has been quoted as saying "If I was Palestinian, I would also carry out terror attacks". Thanks for your support for terrorism, Jenny Tonge!! Good to know who's side you're on.

Moving away from all this stuff I'd like to thank you all for putting up with my drivel while I've been sick and stuck at home the last two weeks. I'm feeling much better the last two days, and I dare say I will be back to work on Monday. Hopefully I'll be able to inject this blog with more colourful dialogue as I begin to interact with the outside world again. And for those interested, my brother and his girlfriend have named their cats Dylan (the tabby) and Diego (the black & white one). What can I say, my brother likes Bob Dylan. lol (though I can't explain the Diego)

P.S. Do you guys remember me telling you how much I loved the Oukast song "Hey Ya" coz it makes me so damn happy? Well this is the song done Snoopy style. Enjoy. (link via am)

Thursday, January 22, 2004
back in the saddle again
Thanks to pop-up windows crashing my browser I just lost the post I was writing. Bitter? Oh you bet. But I'm going to ever-so-calmly retype my post now.

Anyway. Firstly, I'd like to thank those who commented on my last post and shared their views; I really appreciated it. Often when I post something serious, like about Israel or anti-semitism, folks shy away from saying anything, or are just stumped as to what to say. Thanks for chipping in your two cents worth.

Yesterday I was absent from posting because I was feeling very unwell. I was finally prompted to go the doctor because I have had extreme difficulties breathing since Sunday (made worse if I go outside in the cold, which is why I have stayed in). My doctor gave me a new purple puffer/inhaler for my asthma (which normally doesn't give me much grief, I have a mild case of asthma), and I was sent to another medical building up the street for x-rays; my doctor wanted to make sure my lungs are staying clear (or maybe she wants me to turn into the Hulk by exposing me to more radiation. that was my fourth set of x-rays in a week!). By the time I got home I was exhausted....that was a lot of running around for me when I can't catch a deep breathe anymore. So I had a nap when I came home and woke up with a migraine (bonus!). Princess Blondie made my day by inviting me across the hall to her apartment for dinner. It was really nice to be able to sit with her and her boyfriend Bruno and have good food and good conversation. Gets a little lonely being stuck at home for nearly two weeks, ya know? Thanks guys, you saved me from another night of pizza!!

I find that I'm running out of things to write about lately....I mean, if you never leave your home, what can you possibly talk about?? lol Things have been quiet in the news (I refuse to talk about American politics) and quiet in my life. I don't want to bore you guys with tiring rants about the cleaning properties of vinegar or more talk of daytime television. If I can think of anything exciting to say I'll post again later. lol

Meanwhile, can somebody help me out with a little Blogger problem? My regular readers will recall that I have recently had issues with tagboards. First I had one with the now defunct Blogspeak, and then the pop-up ridden TagWhore, and now the passable Whois-Online. The problem is, when you go into my archives, it actually archived the various tagboards instead of using the code for the one I use now! How is that possible when it's supposed to use whatever code is in the template?? grrr!! So in some archives there's a big "page will not load" error message on the sidebar because Blogspeak is now non-existent, and in other archives that friggin' TagWhore is still there and causing pop-ups!! Help!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2004
I will survive
I tried to get to the doctor's office today, I really did. But I couldn't get an appointment with MY doctor, and if I wanted to do a "walk-in" with another doctor (see one without an appointment) the wait was an hour or more. Yeah, no thanks. I feel crappy enough as it is. My lungs will have to wait until tomorrow; I have an appointment at 11:45am.

I am in a good mood despite feeling like crap, however, because I have just arrived home from my Hebrew class. I could drone on and on about how much I love it, but I think you've all gotten the point. But let me say this, an interesting thing happened in class today. Someone asked why it was that there was as a surveillance camera outside the door to the offices/classroom. (you have to buzz an intercom to be let in, and the teacher can see who is at the door before letting them in) My teacher said, "Of course we have security here, we are a group of Jews! We have enemies!". It was a frightening realization that we have to be careful all the time, and watch where we gather even if it's for something as innocent as learning a language. This eventually launched into a class discussion in which a group of Jews discussed and tried to understand why people hate them. Just what is the defining reason for anti-semitism? Why are Jews so hated? It's a topic I don't even pretend to understand because I most definitely don't. I have never hated someone for their religion, and I hope I never do. Even in my struggle to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I have not gone off on tirades about hating Muslims. Often I get angry, and often it can become misguided and/or misdirected, but I do my best to rise above it and try to understand. I ask questions of those patient enough to answer, and I get my hands on as much information as I can. I read and read some more, and I try to read from all perspectives. For how can you understand if you don't hear all sides? I don't think all Muslims are evil, but I believe that the religion often fosters hate. I believe in the state of Israel, but I don't always agree with it's methods, and don't believe it is free from fault in it's actions.

Anyway, I'm going way off track. I could sit here for hours and hours trying to understand why people who have never even met me hate me, and would kill me given the chance. Just for being a Jew. I feel so naive, but I just don't understand.

Here, let's lighten up the topic of religion a little. Check out The Bible, as told through "The Brick Testament". And please, try and maintain a sense of humour, it's meant to be tongue-in-cheek. If you are easily offended, don't bother (but I have piqued your curiousity, now haven't I? heh).

Monday, January 19, 2004
everyday is pizza day
Okay, here's today lesson: just because you feel like a million bucks when you wake up, does NOT mean you will remain feeling like that for the rest of the day. I fell for this today in a big way. I felt pretty damn good for the first half of the day believing that I was on the road to recovery and that I'd be back to work by tomorrow. Doctor? I don't need no stinkin' doctor like I thought I did yesterday! Pfft...doctors are for wimps and I'm feeling like I'm ten feet tall and bullet proof.
All that fell apart for me around 3pm when I found myself curled up on the floor waiting for my medication to kick in and take away that horrible, horrible chest pain. Yeah great. Maybe I should have gone to the doctor's been a week of this now. *sigh* Fine I'll go tomorrow. No really, this time I will, I swear.

On a happier note I am once again 'at one' with my Hebrew homework. I had a really wonderful online chat with my new friend Hasidic Gentile, and it inspired me to get back to the books and get past thinking it was too hard for me. And now I am a happy student again, finding myself strangely invigorated by my studies. I REALLY hope I am well enough for my class tomorrow or I might just cry; I can't be missing two classes in a row. Must learn more...MORE!!! :-D

But let's put that aside for a moment and talk about reality shows. And I don't mean Survivor or The Bachelor, I'm talking about the shows on TLC ranging from decorating shows like While You Were Out, to life stories type of shows like A Wedding Story or A Baby Story. I'm on friggin' TLC reality show overload here. I have never watched so many makeovers or decorating nightmares in my LIFE. And I can't help but watch..I've been sucked into bad shows like Date Patrol and I can't break away. Somebody help me!!!!!!!! Even as I type this I have one on the background. Getting back to work may be my only salvation (and who'da thunk I'd actually WANT to go back to work??).

Also, my eating habits have gone into serious decline. I ordered another pizza today, oh yes I did. That's number....five I think, in a week. For shame!! I know, but I don't care, and I'm trying not to think of how much this is costing me. I'm starting to get embarrassed as I wonder what the pizza guy is thinking about my chronic pizza ordering. I'm beginning to toy with the idea of alternating between pizza places. lol. Ok, I realize that sounds pathetic but I live in a very small world right now, cut me some slack.

My grandma has tried to steer me in the direction of healthier eating by dropping off some homemade soup. Oh, and pie. LOL. Now that's REAL love, ladies and gentlemen. But there's only so much soup I can eat (though I can eat rhubarb pie forever) so I finally had to break down and get the pizza today. Tomorrow I'll be able to have soup for lunch (and pie for dessert) and pizza leftovers for dinner (and pie for dessert). Excellent!

And because my world seems to revolve around television and food, let me just say a word or two about Scooby-Doo cereal. While I am not usually a fan of cinnamon flavoured cereals this one is actually pretty good. BUT. Man alive, it leaves the creepiest film of ..ick... in my mouth that I have ever felt. Seriously, I've never eaten cereal that has forced me to run to brush the ROOF of my mouth immediately afterwards. Blecch. So it's good...until you stop eating it. Then it's the gift that keeps on giving. Go ahead, give it a try! lol

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to the business of trying to breathe despite great pain.

Sunday, January 18, 2004
walking on the moon
Well I don't pretend to have anything intelligent to say anymore. Really, how could I since I've only been able to leave my house ONCE in the last week because I'm sick? All I can speak about now (with some relative depth frighteningly enough), is about daytime talk shows, infomercials (Tony Robbins nearly sucked me in today!!), and soap operas. I think it's too late to save must all stop reading my blog now, lest my lethargic condition rubs off on you. Quick, save yourself!!

But really now, I'm feeling like total garbage today. This illness of mine seems to be trying to morph into some new beast and it has caused me to need a nap after doing even the slightest activity, such as crossing the room. While the pain has mostly subsided I am finding it increasingly difficult to breathe; I feel like I have a 20 lb cat sleeping on my chest. Lovely. So I guess it's a trip to the doctor's for me tomorrow. *snore* Can't friggin' wait.

Perhaps this is my reward for daring to go outside yesterday. All I did was go outside to get into a warm vehicle, sit in said vehicle as my parents drove me down to my brother's home, ate dinner, and then got into the again pre-warmed vehicle and got a ride home. I don't see where I deserve to feel like crap for that little trip. Ok, I admit, when I first stepped out the door I sprinted onto the frontlawn and ran a circle in the snow before getting in the truck, but I was SO happy to be outside for the first time in days, and I love the snow. It's not like I stop, dropped and rolled in it or anything. :-/ And the temperature had warmed up to a balmy -6C (21F)!! Tsk.

I had a nice dinner with my family, and after dinner my mom, my brother's girlfriend and I played with the cute little kittens for *hours* while the men sat and sipped scotch and discussed saving the world (or whatever other great philosophical talk they had). Eventually all 5 of us were entranced with the playful antics of these kittens, and just sat and enjoyed them for hours and hours. Made my weekend, really. However, my brother and his girlfriend (of 15 years) can't seem to agree on names for these babies. They've had them for a week! I've named them for the purposes of editing pics; the black and white one is Boomer, and the tabby is Oliver. Two brothers. Cute, hunh!??? I will gladly take suggestions for other names and will pass it along to my brother. Keep in mind that the black and white one is the trouble maker of the pair, very outgoing and likes the most attention. The tabby is a little more laid back and the thinker of the pair. Let me know if you have some good names, and I will not accept any cutsey names like Fluffy or Snowball.

Saturday, January 17, 2004
outside world here I come!
Okay, it's been a little hard to keep my blog exciting to read since I haven't actually stepped foot out in the real world since Monday. Though my tumble into the mouth of madness is amusing to document, there isn't much else I can talk about.
I am still mad at my Hebrew homework and won't even look at it. I think I did a total of two lines of homework yesterday and then belly ached to a Hebrew speaking friend that I didn't like her language or the crazy friggin' rules it has. Honestly, it's crazy, there's no rhyme or reason to some of the rules. Why I insist on trying to learn a language I was clearly not meant to speak, is a mystery to me.

Anyway, what HAS been good is that Haloscan, the fine folks I signed up with when my old comment system crashed, has taken over the old comment guy's system and will (*fingers crossed*) be bringing all my old comments back for me. How nice is that??? I can't thank Haloscan enough, and sent them a nice message saying so. Fine folks, I highly recommend them.

I'd also like to go back and make one more point about the PopupStopper I had mentioned before. If any of you have downloaded it let me give you one big tip on how to use it; it is designed to stop other windows from opening. What this means is that though it usually won't stop you from opening another browser window it WILL keep you from opening some other useful windows like say, a comments window. Listen carefully.....when you click on a link and expect a window to open and see nothing it's because the popup stopper has halted it (hopefully you'll have it set to make a noise to remind you). All you have to do is hold down the CTRL key when you click the link again and it will bypass the popup stopper and let you open it. Okay? That's important to know, otherwise you will get very frustrated trying to figure out why you can't look at gallery pics on some sites or something. But trust me...the popup stopper is a wonderful thing. I love mine very much. You should too. Try it, and if you don't love it like I do....well you can uninstall it. lol

Anyway, I have been sleeping all day like a lazy bum. I want to be all ready for my first excursion outside in five days. Wheeee!! The outside world!! I can't wait to feel the cool (ok, COLD) air on my face, and feel the crunch of the snow under my boots. Eeeek!! Such fun. My parents are coming to get me in a warm heated vehicle, wrapping me all up in a warm blankie and covering my mouth to shield my lungs from the cold air; we're heading downtown to my brother's house for dinner. That's nice. I like dinner. And I like my brother. And I like the outside world!! Also, I am excited on account of my brother has 2 new kittens running around his home. Hee. They'll be so cute, and I'm gonna take a million pictures. I'm sure he and his (longtime) girlfriend won't mind if I excuse myself right after dinner to play with the kittens all night, right? Or is that rude? lol Who cares. Kitties for me!

In closing I'd like to point out a blog I tripped across called Adventures in Jerusalem. His post about driving in Israel had me laughing so hard it hurt my poor little lungs. I particularly enjoyed the description of the street signs being shrunken to Hobbit size for good measure. It's funny, go read it. Go on! Shoo.

Friday, January 16, 2004
If it's one thing I cannot STAND it's pop-ups. This is why I have a PopupStopper, and why I strongly recommend it to all of you. Go download it, it's free. Install it and love it as I do.

Anyway, so as soon as I noticed I had a pop-up appearing on my site I did a little digging and it seems I'm not the only one to be surprised by the addition of a pop-up since installing TagBoard (henceforth they shall be known as TagWhore). I, like other users, combed agreements and other small print and found no indicators that a pop-up would be the trade off for a free tagboard. And like many other users, I was willing to take down the tagboard rather than have pop-ups associated with my site. Screw you TagWhore, homey don't play that game.

After futher digging it looked a lot like I'd have to pay for a new tagboard, and found prices ranging from $10 -20. Now I don't mean to sound like a cheap bastard, but I just finished paying someone else $10 (American, which is like a million dollars Canadian, I might point out) and look where that got me. I don't like paying people only to have the site go crashing down and the creator throwing his hands in the air and declaring he gives up. With that fresh in my mind I'm not too excited to hand more money over for another tagboard; it's just not that important a feature on my blog.

But then the heaven's opened up and angels sang...and I found Whois-online Tag Boards. It's free, it PROMISES no pop-ups, and so far it seems to be ok. What can I say, the old tagboard was the best and I'll miss it. This will have to do. Let me know what you guys think.

the slow descent into madness
My downward spiral to insanity is going quite well, thanks for asking. Yesterday was really a test for both me *and* my friends, as I have taken to calling them all at work on a regular basis and forcing them to entertain me and keep me company. I think it's safe to say that I'm not taking seclusion all that well. I couldn't even get my mother to stay and keep me company last night; I think my maniacal laugh is beginning to drive people away. I can't stay cooped up and sick in my house for much longer...

In my mother's greatly misguided way, she brought me something to cheer me up last night. She has been bringing me a few groceries every night to make sure I'm eating and to check up on me, and last night she brought me an extra little present; ice cube trays. I know, this seems like some kind of bad joke considering the recent crazy temperatures, but her rationale was that they were bright green and the pretty colour would cheer me up. (NOW who's crazy???) I tried not to sound ungrateful, but that's about the nuttiest present I have ever received (next to maybe the can of Static Guard she gave me for Christmas). However, upon closer inspection I saw that the ice cube trays were made in Israel and I was suddenly very happy. I applauded her for supporting Israel, even if she didn't mean to.
Aside from that crazy present she also got me Chunky Monkey ice cream, so I can't complain. Oh how I love it so.

So the really amusing part of going slowly crazy from being housebound is seeing what kind of activities you can do to keep yourself busy. For example, I hung a few pictures around my home; I felt very empowered with a hammer and nail in hand, and I finally got to put up a few framed pictures I have been meaning to hang for some time now. :-)

However, some of my activities are starting to reflect just how crazy I'm getting. Heh. I decided while watching t.v. that I would do something about the lint balls/pilling that was happening to the t-shirt I was wearing. It's one of my favourites, and I had bought a "clothes shaver" a year or so ago for just this reason (and in fact, specifically for this shirt). So I went and got this clothes shaver and began to shave my shirt, while wearing it, and while watching t.v.
After a few minutes I stopped to inspect my work and found that though it was doing a pretty good job, it was going much too slowly for my liking (I possess very little patience despite the fact that time is certainly on my side these days). So I got this *bright* idea that I would go and get my razor out of the bathroom (hey, I'm CRAZY these days, remember that) and I would really give my shirt a proper shave. (Maybe I shouldn't be admitting to this sort of behaviour, but oh well. I'm all about sharing.) Anyway, I took my shirt off at this point (good thing I live alone, coz I think a room mate would have me locked up for sitting around in a bra shaving my shirt) and began to drag the razor across my shirt. In some spots it really did the trick and in others it did very little. In short order what I had was a pile of lint balls ALL over the place including the very black pants I was wearing. This annoyed me, and so I stopped. Now my shirt is half shaven, and my pants are covered in lint balls. Good idea gone bad.
The lesson here? If you are bored, find a better activity to entertain yourself, kiddies. Shaving your shirt is NOT advised, and in fact could very well be a sign of insanity (like wearing socks with sandals).

Eventually after a few snaps of madness yesterday I finally pulled myself together enough to do some Hebrew homework. This was good, it gave me something constructive to focus on, and it made me very very happy. Right up until page 40 of my textbook. I had been doing page after page of homework, and then suddenly I hit a wall of confusion. The homework went from happy-time-fun-stuff that I understood, to something I have no understanding of whatsoever. It went from "easy" to "way too friggin' hard" in a matter of two pages. It's like I had never seen this language before in my life. And of course my capacity to deal with any amount of frustration has been greatly reduced so I was immediately sent into the depths of despair. As IF it wasn't bad enough that I had to miss my beloved class on Tuesday because I was shut in, NOW I no longer have my homework to make me happy coz I need a little help. *pout*
Well, actually, I've slept on the matter now, and I'm sure when I look at it again today I will be able to take a stab at it and see if I can't figure it out. I think yesterday was just the day to freak out. Today is calm day. CALM DAY, DAMNIT. heh.

Today is going to be ok because I have something to make me happy. It's a little tune by Outkast called Hey Ya. I'm sure most of you have heard it, and it cheers me up and helps me get my groove on. What a happy little song. I must play it over and over again till my neighbours hate my guts. Bwah ha ha!!

Oh and si....I had a dream last night, and YOU were in it, dude! How crazy is that?? (could this be another sign of insanity??) We were having some deep philosophical conversation about God. It was kinda cool. *shrug*

I'll check back in with you guys later, and likely post again (presuming I find something worth posting about). I'm bored, and this may become my new form of entertainment. And I am going to do my best not to order pizza today. I've ordered FOUR this week. I think it's time I cut myself off today. But it's sooooo good!!

Thursday, January 15, 2004
cabin fever
I'm starting to get out and out loopy now. I got up this morning and noticed that I had not, in fact, put the ice cream and milk back in the fridge last night after making a milkshake that I felt I absolutely needed or I might die. So I had a carton of melted ice cream and pitcher of warm milk to greet me in the kitchen this morning. *grumblegrumble* How I didn't notice them sitting out on the counter is a mystery to me...I mean I went *back* into the kitchen later to leave my glass in the sink. *shrug*
I'm losing it, I tells ya!!

I'd also like to thank my asshole landlord for once again deciding it was of dire importance that the walkway outside my window be shovelled at 12:30am, while I am dead asleep. Do we all remember when he did this before? What a jerk...I even had words with him over it before, but clearly this didn't leave much of an impression on him. I dare him to come around cabin fever angst will be unleashed upon him. Friggin' dillweed.

So I think my friends are getting tired of me calling them and harrassing them at work. I'm bored, what can I say? I don't think I can properly explain just how wound up I really am. People keep telling me I should be happy that I don't have to go outside because the temperatures are frigid, but they don't quite get how cooped up I'm feeling. I don't care if it's -33C (-27.4F), I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE!!! *pout*

At least some good news has come my way. Seems Haloscan will restore my old comments that I had with Blogspeak, so I won't lose them all. Hurray! I don't know how thrilled I am with the tagboard though, so if someone knows of a better (free) one, let me know.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
misery loves company
I am in pain and it's making me feel very very grumpy. How is it I feel worse today than I did yesterday?? *grumblegrumble* And it's safe to say I am starting to go really stir crazy being cooped up in my apartment. My mother is making me swear I won't leave my home because the temperatures are SO cold right now (making it impossible to even breathe), but man alive, I'm going crazy. I don't know how much more daytime television I can take; god help me if I succumb to The Shopping Channel.
I have medication that I am only supposed to take once a day and let me tell you, 8pm is a LONG way from now, I don't know if I can wait that long. Ow. *pout*

I'm also angry that some Palestinian woman (21 years old and a mother of two, I might add) took it upon herself to strap bombs onto her body and blow herself up killing 4 Israelis and wounding several others, including fellow Palestinians trying to cross into Israel to go and make an honest day's living. I hope that your children will be able to take comfort in the idea that they don't have a mother because she decided to be a "martyr". I'm sure they would much rather have a picture of their mom, the hero, than a hug and kiss at night when they go to bed. And thank you for taking the life of four soldiers ranging in age from 19 - 22. You should be very proud of yourself.

I don't feel well and so I think I'll vent my anger and frustration at the Middle East Madness. I'm fed up with being at home sick when it's snowing outside and I wanna play in it (ok, it's a bit cold (-30C / -22F), but this IS Canada afterall), and I am fed up with the constant conflict in Israel. I think I'll go work on my resume and do some homework. That should make me feel better.

And I'd like to thank everyone for your kind words, you're very sweet. I thank you, and my lungs thank you. :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Apparently I'm not dying it just feels a lot like it.
So it all started on Sunday. I was hanging out with my guy friends doing unspeakable geek activities. As the night progressed I found myself suddenly seized by a great pain in my chest. My face kinda crinkled up a bit and I developed a groan to accompany the pain. I informed my friends that I might be dying. I took some tylenol and went on with our activities. I'm a girl who tends to be grappling with her health on a regular basis, so I don't like to go to the doctor unless I'm sure this is a pain that's going to stick around. The pain subsided a bit so I ignored it.

Monday morning I got up and got ready for work. The pain seemed to be threatening to return, but was still at a tolerable level. As I drove to work (a 30 - 40 minute commute) I started to dream up wild scenarios involving me and a blood clot and driving off the road and having a massive car accident. Hey, I got time on my hands, and I'm trying to figure out what this pain is about....well, that and I have a vivid imagination.

I got to work and found that the pain was now shooting down my left arm. Now....I don't know much about medicine, but I know this is never a good sign. So I did what any good nerd would, and I got on the internet to read a little. What I found didn't make me feel any better. Now I decided to approach the boss. I entered her office and sat down. She asked what's up and I said...."I seem to have some chest pain (insert unintentional groan as a stab of pain catches me off guard), and now it's actually going down my left arm.". We discussed courses of action, but I was reluctant to go to a hospital. A doctor maybe, but no hospital (here in Toronto you can wait 8 hours or more in the emergency room). Finally we agreed I would call this Telehealth number, which is basically a hotline the government has set up to try and ease the crazy long wait in emergency rooms by helping people decide if they really need to go to one. You can call and discuss your issue with a nurse, and they offer advice. Anyway, in the end after a long chat with a nice man-nurse (or 'manurse' as I like to call him) he strongly advised me to go to the emergency room. I whined and asked if I could just go to my doctor. He said "Sure, then your doctor will send you to emergency. Or you could just go straight there". Smart ass.

So I put on my jacket and grudgingly headed to the hospital. I decided not to bring my mother along because I didn't want her to have to sit there being bored for hours and hours with me. I knew it would be a long day, and in all likeliness it would be for nothing. I can do this, I thought, I'm a big girl. lol

Once I arrived at the emergency room and talked to the triage nurse, things moved along fairly quickly. Seems that if you come in with chest pain they move you right to the front of the line. Good to know! And when the triage nurse put the little band around my wrist before I even talked to the second nurse who starts a chart for you...I knew I was in trouble. I felt unpleasant tests in my future....

They eventually called me into a room with two other patients (behind curtains) and told me to put on the lovely gown. I told the nurse that I was keeping my pants on, and I didn't care what she said. Well come on, it's my chest we're here for and this hospital is cold!! And may I just say, it's time one of those decorating shows visits this hospital, coz the lime green floors and lemon yellow curtains were giving me a headache.

A while later I got a visit from a lovely girl named Leslie. Leslie was there to take my blood (insert severe whining here, as I hate needles more than words can describe) and to give me an ECG to make sure that I wasn't in the throws of a mild heart attack. After spilling a bit of my blood on the sheets and causing me to scream like a little girl while YANKING the needle out, we moved on to the business of sticking electrodes all over my boobies. Good fun. There is NO such thing as dignity in a hospital.

After the ECG was done I called my mom again to tell her things were going fine, and I'd probably be out in an hour or so. Just gotta get some x-rays to be sure, and then I'm home free. She tried to be calm and told me to call her when I got out. No problemo! Heh..

After that we moved on to experiment number three. A chest x-ray. *snore* My bed was wheeled out into a hallway outside the x-ray room where I was parked by two other beds. It was like the x-ray department parking lot for patients. Evenutally I was taken in, and they took a couple of x-rays. No big whoop. After that Leslie came by and gave me some pills to thin my blood...."just in case". Oh yeah..that didn't worry me at all.

This is when time really started to crawl. Please understand, I hadn't even seen a doctor yet. Eventually Dr. Lee showed up to ask me some questions. He seemed VERY concerned that it could be a blood clot. I wasn't concerned up until that point (hey, I was *kidding* in the car, ok??) but after talking to him and watching him try and look casual, I was starting to sweat it a bit. He said that they would wait until the test results were back (blood and x-ray, the ecg was ok) and if they were clear he would send me down to the nuclear medicine department for a lung scan. Here's where I groaned again...I've been down to that department before, I know damn well how unpleasant those tests can be.

I decided to call me mom again since this was going to take a little longer than I had forecasted. I told her not to worry, they just had one or two tests to run still. No problem. (don't...sound...panicked...on

My orderly friend came to visit me again. This time he said he was taking me to the basement....for a lung scan. I tried to enjoy being wheeled around but it felt weird being on an elevator with regular people getting on it. Like, there I am in my gown and looking all sexy while all these other people are in their winter coats with flowers in hand coz they're visiting someone. Anyway, down to the basement we went.

Here's where I met my friend Catherine. She told me the test would be a two parter and take about 45 minutes. Part one involved me inhaling a mixture of oxygen and radioactive gases for 10 minutes. PARDON ME?? You want me to breathe in radioactive material??? Yes, now I'm glad my mother wasn't present.
After that inhaling for ten minutes stuff I was to go and have some special x-rays. But after that, it gets better if you can imagine! Joy!! After that, my good friend Catherine will INJECT radioactive dye into my veins and then take some MORE x-rays of my lungs. How fun does THAT sound??

Ok, so she started setting me up with this crazy ass machine that mixes the oxygen and radioactive gas. At this point I asked her if all this radiation would have me Hulking out by the end of the day, but she didn't seem amused. tsk. So this crazy blue cylinder starts gargling and I put a tube in my mouth. Catherine told me to keep a tight seal around it, as she clamped my nose shut with some huge white clip. Evidentally she didn't want this radioactive stuff leaking out all over the place and potentially cause them all to glow.
After ten minutes of sucking up air that tasted like I was licking pennies I got to stop. Blecch. Didn't like it, and let's all HURTS for me to breathe. That's why I'm there. lol Catherine handed me a kleenex to blow my nose with afterwards but told me I'd have to leave the kleenex on the tray, and that she would throw it out; it might have radioactive "material" on it, she said. At first I thought, COOL! I have radioactive snot!! then I thought...wait...I have radioactive snot?? is that healthy???

We went to another room where I sat on a stool facing a big round machine. As we took the x-rays I was turned slightly for each shot, so as to get a different angle each time. The pics on the computer actually looked pretty cool, kinda three dimensional. After those x-rays, Catherine asked me to lay down on a bed. I pouted, coz I knew another needle was coming my way. I laid down and she began swabbing my arm. I began nervous chatter about how I hate needles, when I suddenly, accidentally, got a glance at the giant needle she was about to use (it's a metal tube they use to contain that radioactive goodness). I pulled my arm away and told her that actually...I didn't really want her to do that. LOL!! With a little coaxing I let her give me the needle and was surprised at how it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would (but isn't that always the case?). We repeated the procedure of me on the stool and turning for each shot. Then I was sent back upstairs to wait for the results.

And wait and wait and wait. It had been about five hours at this point and I was getting tired and cranky. And just when I was getting really super bored, lo and behold, my mother and brother showed up. Hurray! People to entertain me and listen to me whine! :-D My mother looked pretty terrified and I did my best to reassure her, though the pain was getting bad and I was looking a bit unhappy.

Blah blah blah (I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this to go on so long).. the doctor came by almost 2 hours later and said the tests were clear. He said I had pleurisy, which is basically when the lining around your lungs get very pissed off and becomes inflamed and (duh) causes great pain. He prescribed me anti-inflammatories and told me if it didn't get better in a week I had better come back and have it re-evaluated. *shrug* Ok.

So that's it. I went to my mom's and my brother brought me pizza (I hadn't eaten in 10 hours and was ready to gnaw my arm off) and then I crawled home to hole up here and wait for the meds to kick in. I was in some pretty brutal pain.
Today was better, with occasion trouble breathing, but I'm sure not allowed to go outside. We are once again in the grips of an unbelievable cold snap, and my lungs have enough trouble breathing on a day like that, let alone when they are not feeling well.

This means, however, that I am getting a little stir crazy. I have been cooped up at home, and I am startin' to get bored. Thus me deciding to come on here and post. And to get a new comment system and new tagboard system installed. My old guy is having issues, and I couldn't leave my page looking all crappy while he tried to figure out what to do. So now I have lost all my comments which kinda pisses me off. Oh well, at least I don't have a blood clot in my lung. LOL

Monday, January 12, 2004
I just got back from 7 hours in the emergency room at the hospital. I am in agony and in no shape to recount the story right now. Perhaps tomorrow when the meds have kicked in. Right now I hurt and only wish to curl up and whimper.
I'll update you kids tomorrow.

Sunday, January 11, 2004
So I spent a large portion of my day yesterday doing homework. Like I said before, I only *wish* I was this excited about studying something a little more on the practical side. While I may be passionate about learning Hebrew, I think it's safe to say it's not exactly going to further me in life. Not here in Canada, anyway. LOL. Still, I was up and at it again bright and early this morning as I am pushing to catch up to the class that's a level ahead of me. My teacher wants to bump me up a level and has put up the challenge to me to get ahead in our textbook. For the number of hours I'm putting into this I'm a little surprised at how long it's taking me. I have a good distance to go in order to catch up, but now I am for sure way ahead of my own class. It kind of puts me at this awkward point in which I am ahead of my own class, but behind the class ahead of me. *sigh* It's ok, I'm enjoying the work, and the fact that my teacher is letting me sit in on her second class (without paying extra..shhh!!).

So last night was more fun and frolic with my friends. We gathered at the local theatre and watched Big Fish. I have to say it was a wonderful fact, very storybook-like, which is something you don't see anymore. Ya know? Like a classic fairy tale. It was beautiful and I would definitely recommend it. And of course, as I am leaving the theatre I am practicing in my head how to say that I liked Hebrew. Gahhh!! I can't stop!! hahaha...

Anyway, after that we took part in one of Canada's favourite past times....we sat in a coffee shop and talked for a few hours. I don't know what it is, but I've learned that we have an unusual number of coffee shops here. This was news to me until an American asked me once: "What is WITH you guys and coffee shops??" I had no idea what she meant so she proceeded to explain that there seems to be a coffee shop on nearly every corner. I laughed, coz it's true. I swear to God, you can find at LEAST 5 coffee shops within a block of me. Anything from a cheap coffee (like Krispy Kreme or Tim Horton's) to more expensive coffee (like Starbucks or Second Cup). My friends and I like it because it gives us a place to meet and hang out without too much expense. We can sit and laugh and talk for hours at a time while spending maybe $1.50 each. Cheap entertainment is always good!

But enough about coffee, I have to get back to my homework. Later today I am getting together with a few of my guy friends to do unspeakable nerd activities. Heh.

Saturday, January 10, 2004
what's my age again?
Let me first start my post with something serious; I don't want it to just get tacked on to the end of my post like an afterthought when it deserves more attention than that. And I especially want my non-Jewish readers to take a moment to read this. It is a link to a post written by an Israeli blogger, Imshin. In this post she gives a slice of life in Israel; she talks about a story of one Israeli who recounts what happened during the Arab riots in October 2000 that began what has now become the intifada, or Palestinian uprising. What you hear in this article and what I have heard personally from a close friend of mine is the absolute disbelief that one moment Jews and Arabs were close, both as friends and in commerce, and then overnight Arabs turned on the Jews and began riots (this included Arabs living within Israel, not just Palestinians). This was triggered by the Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, paying a visit to the Temple Mount. This area is considered sacred by Jews and Palestinians alike (to oversimplify for the sake of being concise, the Jews once had a Temple there, it was destroyed, and the Muslims built their own house of worship there. Thus the debate as to who has rights to the land). Anyway, the Muslims did not like the Prime Minister of Israel on 'their' holy site and so began the riots in which many unsuspecting Jews were seriously injured (with one killed) by people they had considered friends and neighbours. Losses were also shared by the Arabs as 13 of their own were shot and killed by Israeli forces. It was an ugly mess for both sides, and the fighting has not stopped since (and again, I am's not like there wasn't trouble prior to this).
At any rate, it's a moving description of one person's account of what happened to him during the riots.

For good measure, check our Meryl's analysis of the recent release of numbers showing that terror attacks against Jews in Israel was down 50% in 2003 compared to 2002. Sounds great, right? Sure, that means only 3,838 attacks last year. Does that sound like reason to celebrate, to you?? Meryl talks about it much more eloquently than I do, I just get mad. Go read her thoughts.

Ok, now that I have gotten that off my chest I will try to give colourful highlights of my life over the past 2 days and try to make it sound very interesting to total strangers. LOL!

My day started at 2:30am. Got up, got dressed, took Princess Blondie and her boyfriend to the airport. How nice for them to be in Cuba when we are currently experiencing temperatures of -30C (-22F), and our city has been put on a "cold weather alert". Hope they enjoy it while it lasts, and here's hoping I remember to bring them their winter jackets when I pick them up at the airport next Friday. Heh.

After that I went home and tried to sleep for another two hours. Then I got up, and went to pick my grandma up at 7:30am for a trip to the hospital to have cataract surgery. My grandma can be a bit of a handful as she is very bull headed and strong willed. And she just loves to bark orders, and never wants her purse out of her sight. By the end of the day I was getting snappy with her asking every other minute if I had her purse. Finally begged her to have a little faith that I was there to look after her, not leave her to the wolves. *sigh* Oh, and btw, what did I do while in the waiting room during her surgery? That's right, my homework. Because I love doing my homework. I have a sick addiction to Hebrew homework and I don't care WHO knows it. :-P

So I got grandma home and fed her her first meal in about 15 hours (they don't want you eating 12 hours before surgery). She decided she wanted pizza, so I ordered us some. Mmmm!!! Happy day for me too. We ate, and then I tucked her into bed. I tried for a nap too (I'm only running on about 4 - 5 hours sleep at this point and my day isn't nearly over) but was awoken by my cats fighting on the bed; both wanted the prime spot right beside me. Finally I gave up and when my mom arrived I tagged off and went to my home for a shower; I still had balloons to pick up and a surprise birthday party to get to.

Long story short (and one balloon short coz it took off in the high winds while walking in the parking lot) my friends and I had a great evening. We had an awesome surprise dinner for my friend's 30th birthday, and after stuffing our faces with ribs and chicken, we went out to a pool hall and shot some pool. *sigh* This sort of thing makes me gush about my friends, but I really do love them. We have SO much fun together, and we're such a tight group. Hugs and laughs all night... I tell you, it's so good for my soul. After a night out with them I am in a glow of contentment.

Today I finally get to relax a little. I am going to shower and tidy up my place a bit. And then you know what I'm gonna do? That's right, lots of homework. *glee!* I am like a sponge who wants to learn more, it's weird. I only wish I was like this about learning something a little more practical. LOL!!!!!
And tonight.....more fun with some friends. Life is good that way. :-) We have cast votes, and now it is up to me to be the deciding vote: Big Fish or Love Actually? Help!! Has anyone seen these?? I am good for seeing either one, but it seems our group is a little divided, so I have to be the one to make the call.....input from you guys would be nice. lol

Thursday, January 08, 2004
Let me tell'd be amazed what a good night's sleep can do for ya! Holy wow, I felt like a million bucks at work today. I went to bed before 10 pm last night and slept like a babe straight through until 6:40am. If you know me at all you'll understand what an amazing feat that is, especially unaided by any kind of sleeping agent. I am an insomniac much of the time, so I consider this a lovely 'win'.

Also, let me just tell you what else has me in a really good mood. Starting my class again on Tuesday has put a spring in my step and a song in my heart, ladies and gentlemen. I friggin' LOVE my class. Love it. Can't get enough of it. Homework? Yeah, I have a sick love affair with it. I can't say I have ever enjoyed doing homework until now. Crazy stuff, hunh? Yeah, even my teacher can't believe it....she's never seen someone quite so anxious to speak Hebrew. *grin* Slowly, slowly.

I just got off the phone with Lucky. It's his birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :-D It's also the birthday of another friend, so I stopped by and paid him a visit this morning on my way into work.
Oh!! Speaking of birthday's I'm very excited about a surprise birthday party my Gang of Friends is throwing tomorrow night. One of my bestest friends is turning 30, so we're going to surprise her with a party and dinner. Shouldn't be too hard to surprise her seeing as her birthday isn't for another week, but most of the gang won't be around next week so we have to do it this weekend. LOL. Oh well, at least we're having one! I am rotten at keeping secrets, so I've sworn to avoid any phone conversations with her until then coz I'm gonna blow it. I'm terrible that way. Eek! I can't wait.

So that makes for a crazy day tomorrow. I gotta get up for about 2:30am to take Princess Blondie and her boyfriend Bruno to the airport. Those lucky kids are taking a trip to Cuba. I'm so happy for them, they really deserve it. After that I have to pick up my grandma around 7:30am to take her to the hospital for her cataract surgery. Then I have the birthday party at night. Yikes. Hope I can grab a nap before that. zzzzzzzzzzzzz. My goal: to be asleep by 7pm tonight. Sh'yeah right! Now that NEW episodes of Friends and E.R. are finally on again?? Damnit. Must set VCR to tape...

To round out my post, I'd like to congratulate Israel for getting their own Playboy channel. Good for you and welcome to the world of smut! lol You can check out the host they have chosen, here.

Also, go read K-Dogg's take on the whole landing on Mars hoopla going on right now. I haven't been able to muster enough care to write about it, but K-Dogg made me howl with his Short Circuit reference.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Why I oughtta!!!
First up I'd like to thank my asshole landlord for waking me up at 1am this morning. You see, there is a walkway that goes right by my bedroom window, and that no one uses, yet he feels the need to shovel. At 1am. I might also point out that we have virtually NO snow. We were promised a most excellent storm the other day, but it never came. We got a dusting of snow at best, and most of it blew away. So to recap, my landlord felt some great need to shovel a walkway that no one uses, to clear it of snow that wasn't really there, at an hour in which I was asleep. It took me an hour and half to get back to sleep, and even then I tossed and turned all night. That rat bastard!! I'm so bagged now!!! *snore* Whatever, I can get over it. I have my night class starting again and I am very excited. TIRED, but excited. Whoo hoo!!!!

Speaking of schools, a bizarre turn of events is occuring here in Ontario. It seems, due to demand, soft drink companies are pulling soda/pop out of many of the schools in the region. Now, make no mistake, they are replacing it with their own brand of juice and sports drinks, but it's still an amazing step. Hurray for us making some serious changes about the growing health problems of the coming generations! :-) Baby steps, steps.

This week is going to be a bit busy for me, specifically tomorrow and Friday. My grandmother is in town, and I have to take her to all kinds of appointments. She has surgery on Friday, and has her pre-op appointment tomorrow (at some ungodly early hour, I can't wait. *lol*). She's pretty excited about the surgery (on her eyes); her growing cataract problem has been slowly robbing her of her vision and making her very depressed. So now that she has her first surgery scheduled and she is *very* excited. And I in turn, am thrilled for her. *grin* I love my grandma.

Also, I'd like to send out some big hugs and love to my dearest friend and neighbour, Princess Blondie. She is having an incredibly hard week having lost not one, but TWO people in her life. :'-( I'm sorry for your loss sweetie, I wish there was some way I could comfort you. As always, I am just across the hall if you need me. ((hugs))

alt=And to finish off this post I'd like you kids to have a look at a picture. When there are reports in the news of Israeli soldiers shooting at Palestinians who are throwing rocks, I don't think it quite gives the right impression. You imagine these helpless repressed people tossing little pebbles at big bad soldiers? Try again. What doesn't make it into the media too often are pictures like these of Palestinians hurling cement blocks at soldiers below. You best believe they would kill if they hit their target. Remember folks....things are not always as they seem in the media. Put your cursor over the pic for more detail (thanks to Meryl for the info).

Monday, January 05, 2004
Quest For Fire
So I'm already starting to get wiggy about making changes in my life, and I haven't even done anything yet. lol! I'm such a pussy cat that way. Just thinking about doing something that might challenge my comfy little existence is making me worry.

Earlier today I spoke with a young woman from France in a chatroom. We spoke at great length about Canada, France and tons of other things. It was a great conversation and I was glad we spoke. She was talking about moving to Israel because the anti-semitism is getting so bad in France. Like much of Europe, it's really becoming a serious problem (perhaps now people can understand why Jews want a homeland where they won't be persecuted all the time). She asked me about life in Canada and if I liked it here. I told her I love it and that if she didn't like Israel she should really try Canada, life is good here. I live in an area with a huge Jewish community, and anti-semitism is rarely an issue (that's not to say we are without it). Also, she speaks English, French and Hebrew...she would do very very well here.
Anyway, I also understand her desire to move to Israel. It's a beautiful (though deeply troubled) country. Frankly, if money wasn't such a concern I would certainly consider moving there. Her desire to be part of Israel was wonderful and I hope she finds what she is looking for. At the moment she is in the process of gathering information and seeing what universities she can go to. It's a great age to be heading to Israel as there will be all kinds of benefits for her. I really hope she does well. All the best my friend!

But I once again digress. Back to me and my search for change.
I called up my friend yesterday and asked him about the job at the scuba shop. I was happy to hear it's very close to where I live, and my friend told me a bit about the shop and facilities (a pool for training, etc..) and about the owners. Sounds pretty cool if I can get it. My friend said he'd go in and talk to the guy a bit...casually get a lay of the land and see if he's hiring right now. Meanwhile I'm going to dust off my resume and polish it up a bit. I also intend to write a letter to the owner outlining my extreme interest/ambition and mention my goals. I have no fear of being open and honest at this point, I think it's important. And either he will get it or he won't, and if he doesn't so be it. We shall see.

For tonight I am doing a heavy load of homework; classes resume tomorrow and I have been very lazy about my homework because of the holidays. I have to catch up, and so I gotta work my tail off tonight. Anyone wanna conjugate some verbs? Sounds like FUN, doesn't it??

Sunday, January 04, 2004
Epiphany #2
So there I was laying in bed, 7:30am on this fine Sunday morning, pondering my situation and drive to make radical changes in my life (I think it's a bad sign that I'm starting to lose sleep over this now). I had been looking at books in a bookstore last night and wasn't altogether impressed by any of them, though thumbing through them doesn't exactly give them a chance. Actually, the one book that struck me was Sting's biography; when I picked it up to glance through it, it opened up to one page in the middle and I read a paragraph. My jaw dropped as I read one sentence in which he describes a moment when he realized his day job was sucking his energy, and that it was that job that served as a catalyst to get him to finally nurture his musical talents (for those who don't know, he was an English teacher before). Whoa, I weird that I picked that book and that page at this point in my life when I'm feeling the same way.

Yesterday I took an online test that helps assess your personality and what you like to do; while off hand I would say it was kinda useless, it did happen to give me something to think about. You can take it for free, but if you want the full results you have to pay, of course. Anyway, it made me realize a few things; I'm not fond of sitting in an office day in and day out. Many of you might argue that anyone would say that, but that's not true. Many people like to have routine and a cubicle they can put pictures up in and create their own little world to work in. That's cool if you can make it work for you, I just know I can't (and I have a nice big office of mine own and everything). And if I look at my present job and recall the moments when I still like it, it's when I am on the road traveling from location to location and working my ass off. I complain about the long hours, but in fact I feel better about myself and my job when I work hard and accomplish stuff. So being stuck in an office is obviously sapping me because I thrive being out and around, changing up my routine. I figured that before but it was a good reminder (and actually, my boss had brought this up too).

Other questions had drawn my attention to a few other aspects of my personality. I like working with people, for instance. I find that when you put other people in the picture it helps shake up the routine and keeps things from getting boring. Interaction is good. If it's one thing I've learned it's that I just don't work well, longterm, on my own. It's boring and I find it hard to stay motivated. I might have once argued that I could work on my own but have since realized it's just not me, and in fact I believe it takes a special breed to be able to do it. I was just terrible when I worked from home, rarely leaving my pajamas and getting sucked into watching bad daytime television. All that eventually lead to me being unhappy though at the time I didn't realize why. I was in fact never accomplishing anything, and not interacting with anyone.
But I digress.

So this morning when I was laying in bed I was specifically thinking of my financial situation. It seems to me if I am going to make a change I have two options: spend less or make more. Makes sense, right? So I can either find somewhere cheaper to live, or I can get a part time job to supplement my income. I'm not exactly thrilled about working part time because that could mean working 7 days a week much of the time. I need a break somewhere, or I'm going to burn out fast. Thinking of part time work I began to consider just where I could work. I cycled through all the retail jobs in my mind that I have worked at before and began to think that the amount of money they would pay me wouldn't be worth the grief of going back to retail. Unfortunately though, I have a long history in retail and am very good at it; it shouldn't be too hard to get work, I have an impeccable work resume having worked in management in some very big chains. But as I said, the pay would be bad and the idea of giving up resting time for crap work isn't so appealing. And I have class starting up again this week, and I am trying to make myself more committed than ever to that night class.

As I laid in bed wishing I could sleep but really thinking about a second job instead, I remembered a friend of mine telling me about two jobs recently. One was a job at the Toronto Zoo. He has a friend there who works part time and wondered if he'd like me to have him ask about possible work. Now off hand this seems like a good plan, but I know that I could only go so far with that job. You really need an education to take that job the distance, and at present I don't have that. After doing some online research I'm finding I'll need a degree in Zoology. That ain't small potatoes, and amounts to full time schooling. Money will be an issue, as will chemistry; I had a helluva hard time with chemistry in highschool. *sigh*

But this same friend had also mentioned another job to me not so long ago. A job working in a scuba diving shop. At the time I vaguely considered it, but once again wasn't excited about working in retail again. My friend had mentioned time and time again how it would be perfect because this owner needs someone with retail experience and with a strong personality. At the time I was hesitant because I know very little about scuba diving. But this morning, upon rethinking it, it began to make a great deal of sense. First of all, when I was 13 years old I remember vowing that I would one day go diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It was just something I had always wanted to do. This at least would bring me one tiny step closer to a dream I had as a child. Secondly, I had gone diving this past June in Israel, in the Red Sea. I fell in love! I got to enter into a whole new world, and fell in love with the underwater sea life. I wanted to do it again and again, and I have pictures of me underwater to remember it all by. It was amazing, and certainly made me feel like I had been bitten by the scuba diving bug. Thirdly, the job not only pays well, but pays cash (*nudgenudge, winkwink*). This is a big bonus. And as a final and definitely HUGE bonus, there's a very real chance I would get free diving lessons. Boing!!! Free training??? Now I'm starting to wonder why the hell I didn't jump on this before. Let's think about this for a minute: I could work part time in a job where I get paid well and in cash. I would likely get free training, and learn the ins and out of the business if I showed enough ambition (diving lessons can be *extremely* expensive). If I get certified as an instructor I could pretty much work anywhere in the world. This would be a job I could do anywhere, and would lend me so many opportunities to work in great places. AND I get to swim with the fishies and pretty animal life. *dreamy* This job would offer me the opportunity to explore a possible career, and if I decide it's not for me I have lost absolutely nothing. It's not like going back to school and wasting a few thousand dollars to find out that it's not for me. I'd be paid to try on a job. Eeeek!! Dare I dream of a job where I get to swim all day and take in beautiful sites and animals and share it with enthusiastic people??

So now I'm definitely excited. A dangerous thing, really. I must not get too excited until I find out if this guy is even still looking for someone. Baby steps! Must not get ahead of myself. I hate it when I get all worked up about something and then end up being let down. It's harsh and I have no one to blame but myself. So I must stay the course and dig to get some answers. Meanwhile I will continue to ask more questions and proceed to dig in the anticipation that this other job won't come through (a very good possibility unfortunately. that offer was months ago). I think I might take a hike up to the library today and get some books. That would be a good start.

And later today I will be entertaining. I am having some friends, a couple and their daughter, over for dinner. I love this family, and can't wait to have them over. They arrived in Canada from Israel in July/August, and I have done my best to help make them feel welcome. She teaches me Hebrew, I teach her English. It's a pretty good deal. :-)
So I need to get moving, I have a lot to do today. Clean up my filthy apartment, cook some dinner, get up to the library, and if I have a chance, do some homework; my class starts again on Tuesday.

Thanks for listening to me ramble this morning. lol. And I welcome anyone tossing in their two cents worth.