Sunday, February 29, 2004
Am I the only one who gets paranoid about a good mood? Everytime I catch myself in a good mood I have a moment where I wonder....when's the other shoe gonna drop? As if this good mood can't possibly last, and something bad is going to happen. If one isn't careful, this type of overanalysis can really ruin a fine moment.

Anyway, I've been enjoying a relaxing weekend. Yesterday I worked, but it wasn't like WORK work....I drove around to other scuba diving shops all over the city to shop them and check out the competition (yes, my new boss actually paid me to do this). So I got to drive around Toronto on a beautiful sunny day. Can't complain about that! (except for the occasional parking problem. I could bitch about that forever.)
While I was out I called up a friend of mine (the one who went to see The Passion with me) coz he lived in the area, and we went out for some sushi. After that we walked around downtown and did a little shopping. It was really fun, and as I said, a beautiful day to be out and about.
After that I came home and just kind of lounged; I was tired so I turned down plans with my friends and just chilled. Later I met up with a good friend of mine I haven't seen in months, and we went grocery shopping together. The friends who buy groceries together, stay together, I always say! :-D He's a sweetheart, so I was pretty happy to see him. And hey, buying food is always good.

Today has been more of the same relaxing. Called my friend in England this morning and talked for an hour. I really miss her and her husband. *pout* And then I did some Hebrew homework for my class, and then I took a break and went for a walk. I couldn't stay in when the weather has been so warm this weekend (10C / 50F, which may not seem warm to most, but to Canadians we're practically ready to break out the shorts! That's *really* warm for February!!). Anyway, I took a stroll up the street to the Turkish grocery store that I visited before to pick up the pop that I liked so much the last time I was there. Folks, if you can get your hands on this soda from Turkey, try it! It's amazing. Here's the website (I particularly like the sales pitch in broken english: "We highly recommend 2 bottles of these delicious tastes daily for a healthy and alive lifetime... ". Yeah I'll BET you recommend I drink two a day! LOL).

And for the rest of the night I had resolved myself to more Hebrew homework and the Oscars, but a friend has called me up and lured me out to see the movie "Monster". At first I whimpered that I would miss the Oscars, but then I I really care?? lol I have always watched them, but I think that was in large part due to the fact that I had a best friend who loved watching them. It was always so much fun watching them with her but now I'm on my own and the thrill is gone. So I'm gonna spend some quality time with a friend I haven't seen since December. For shame! Never let that much time pass between seeing good friends, it's a crime.

That's it. No controversy today folks....just me blabbing about things you probably couldn't care less about. lol Such is life! Hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend too.

Saturday, February 28, 2004
see? the excitement is already dying down..
I wish people would relax a little about this damn movie. Like anything "big" in the news, it will be old news in 6 months or less. Life moves on and other issues come up and monopolize the news. People's overreactions have been fuelling the engine of this marketing beast, and are making the fever continue to burn on. Relax, it's just a movie. And to my fellow Jews: we have survived far worse. This movie is not the end of us. I'm sure many will think I am trivializing it, but the fact of the matter is, Israel has bigger issues to contend with right now. And guess what? Israelis aren't so much outraged as they are curious about the movie, unlike what the press would have you believe. Read the article here.

The fallout from my review hasn't been as bad I expected. Civax has shown some support (thank you sweetie. this is why I adore you), though I think JJ has taken exception to me as he has delinked me and not said a word to me on my site or his. In fact he had deleted a comment of mine on his site, something I had never done to him here. I could be reading his silence all wrong (please, correct me if I'm wrong, JJ) but I think the delinking says it all. Oh well, do what you feel you need to (though typing in "celestial blue" into Google all the time to visit me must be a bit annoying when just clicking the link was faster. LOL! you delink me but still come to visit? You're a strange lad, you are). Why have you forsaken me, JJ???? hahahaha.... :-P Nevermind, I know why you did.

Anyway! I've had time to ponder the movie a little more and had a bit more to add. Then hopefully I can follow my own advice and start to let it go.
One of the glaring problems with the movie is that it focuses almost soley on the sheer violence of what was done to Jesus. What I mean is, there is very little story other than that, and so it's hard for non Christians to understand what's going on; it's presumed that the audience understands what led up to Jesus being brought before the Romans. At one part during the movie, I turned to my friend and whispered that I had no idea what was going on. I was straining my brain to recall what facts I knew to help me piece the story together, since Mel Gibson didn't feel the need to tell a complete story. He wanted you to see the horrible atrocities committed against Jesus, and we did. But as with any good story, you first must have the audience invested in the main character. You want the audience to feel sympathy. And for those who aren't Christian, it's awfully hard to do when we don't know what wonderful things this man did before he was tortured and killed. For Jews, all we see is that some Jew was lynched by a bunch of other Jews and eventually led to his death. This doesn't sit too well with us when that's the entire storyline. You want us to appreciate the movie and the story, and understand why it needed to be told? Then try offering some background, more of the flashbacks, less of the whipping. We get that his death was brutal, but what about his life? What good does it do to focus on his death when some of us aren't even clear on what he did in life?

I think it's for this reason that people are upset with the violence. It's not that it's violent, so much as it's nearly non-stop violence. The storyline is weak, and in my mind, doesn't do much to promote the love as was intended. Had Mel shown more of the wonderful teachings and acts of Jesus, it would have made the violent parts much more poignant. Instead it showed a man tortured and killed for two hours, with random flashbacks including one in which we see Jesus building a table and chairs. Hunh??

So it's not that I had an issue with violence, but even Quentin Tarantino gives more of a storyline than this. Use blood if you feel it will serve the story, but make sure you HAVE a story in the movie somewhere. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Feel free to read an article here, expressing similar thoughts. And in this article another good question is raised...why was the resurrection part so short in the movie? It's like Mel Gibson was deliberately avoiding any happy parts of the movie (or any chance for feelings of hope). Very odd. ( can make a serious point and show happy stuff at the same time, Mel. it won't ruin the impact!)
And as a last point... I think it's wrong to talk about banning the movie in Israel. I think if a Israeli wants to see what s/he is up against in the debate, it is up to them. Don't make that decision for any Jew, let them make that choice for themselves.
(also, a poll has been released showing that 1 in 4 Americans blame Jews for the death of Jesus. Yikes. And that was taken BEFORE the movie came out.)

But enough on that. This movie is getting far more attention than it deserves as it is.
Meanwhile, as life goes on, so does the insidiousness of antisemitism. Like it or not, it's problem that IS getting worse, and some Arabs don't even try to hide their dislike for Jews. Check out this latest news that Saudi Arabia has begun to issue tourist visas for the first time, but not to Jews or anyone who even has an Israeli stamp in their passports. No Jews, please! Well at least they flat out say they don't like beating around the bush there! Drat, there goes my trip to Saudi Arabia. You should really check out the article as it also outlines how women are to conduct themselves upon arrival. And when you're done reading it I want you to kiss the ground of your country and be grateful.

I think that about does it for me. I have to go to second job calls. Pfft! Who needs a day off, anyway??
I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend. Try and stay out of trouble.

Thursday, February 26, 2004
The Passion of the Christ
Where do I begin........hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...
Ok, let me start with this: before you make a comment of any sort (especially YOU, JJ!!) you better have seen the movie. Otherwise you'll be talking out of your ass and contradicting me based on your personal beliefs and not what you saw. When I speak of my thoughts you must remember they are based on the film, not necessarily my own personal beliefs. Stretch your brain a little and try to see the difference, because there is one.

So let me reiterate....if you haven't seen the movie, you can hardly speak intelligently and in an informed way about it. I do not want to see people using quotes from other people who have seen the movie in place of having seen it themselves. So if you don't like what I'm saying but haven't seen the movie, you'll have to go out and see it and then come back and take me on. Until then, bugger off and attack someone else. I can and will delete any dumbass who thinks s/he knows it all, but hasn't taken the time to see the movie before forming opinions.
Ok? I have read the riot act. Let us move on..

Are you ready? I thought the film was good. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I liked it. That's right folks, a Jew who thought it was a good movie! Egads, what's the world coming to??? Well, before you go all mental and start calling me a self-loathing Jew, hear me out. I assure you, just because I liked the movie doesn't mean I didn't disagree with parts of it, because I most certainly did.

First, the positives. It was a cinematically gorgeous film, if you can't see that much you're really looking to hate the film. The techniques employed were very well done and served the film well. The slowing down of certain sequences, the wash of different colours and hues to show the mood, and the special effects were amazing. I was very impressed, I did not expect to be so impressed by it.
As for the blood and gore....if you have seen a Quentin Tarantino film you can handle this. It is no more bloody than his films (which I personally think were bloodier), I just think people have a harder time with it because it is more believable than the fun and often ridiculous Tarantino films. People don't like it because it makes them uncomfortable...they can put themselves in Jesus' place all too easy, and no one wants to imagine that.

The way the Devil was portrayed was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. He was creepy and insidious and made your skin crawl. He was terrifying but for reasons you couldn't quite put your finger on. He was very subtle, unlike past portrayals that are too over the top or stereotypical. Very very well done.

I have always appreciated the use of subtitles in a film as I feel the use of different languages helps capture the actual feel of the movie as it was originally intended. The use of Aramaic and Latin served it's purpose well, and helped transport you back to the time. Personally, I was excited that I understood quite a few words (Aramaic is very similar to Hebrew); I'm sure someone who speaks Hebrew fluently will have understood much more than me. Anyway, it certainly added to the film, it didn't take away from it. I commend the actors for making you believe they have been speaking it their whole lives; their performances were very believable and passionate.

The actors were amazing, all of them. It's too bad this film will never see Oscars because of it's controversy; You can disagree with the movie all you like, but if you saw it you'd have to agree that James Caviezel was astounding. His performace was one of a lifetime. Hats off to him and the rest of the actors doing an amazing job, and in a tongue not native to them. Not an easy task.

Now then.....beyond all that gushing, yes, I have issues with parts of it. But first let me say that I don't think this film is antisemitic, per se (oy, I'm gonna get it for even saying that). By that I mean that the *goal* of the movie was not to slander Jews. It may have done so as a bi-product, but it's sole intent was not to set out and make the world think badly of Jews. Frankly, I think it's a bit egocentric of we Jews to suppose that it is all about antisemitism. The movie was about Jesus, not JUST about Jews bringing Jesus to his death. Are you seeing the difference? It didn't revolve solely around the implication of the Jews, that was only a part of it. So while I may feel there are arguably antisemitic parts of the film, the film in itself is not. (and don't even try and tell me that if there are parts of it that are, it is entirely. again, we're talking about what the focus of the movie was, and guess what? it wasn't on the Jews. It was on one Jew.)

That being said, let me mention a few parts I wasn't happy about as a Jew watching the film.
I really wasn't happy with the portrayal of Jews as a bloodthirsty crowd. It seemed like a bit much, and unlikely that they would bring one of their own forward to have a Roman kill him. But whatever, I think we've debated long enough on that matter.

I was deeply deeply disturbed by how much Pontius Pilate's murderous nature was downplayed. He was portrayed as some kind of timid leader, afraid of a crowd of Jews. Say what?? You mean the man who was recalled back to Rome by Caesar five years later because he was too brutal a ruler?? You're telling me THIS man was afraid of an uprising, when he was part of a group of people who conquered and ruled a whole land and it's people? A CROWD scared him?? Yeah ok.
If you're gonna paint Jews as bloodthirsty murderers, do us all a favour and make sure you do the same for one of the greatest murderers of all time. Please and thank you.

Also, after Jesus had been whipped and beaten within an inch of his life and brought back to Pontius, a short dialogue took place between Pontius and Jesus in which Pontius urged Jesus to speak up, and give him reason not to kill him. He said something to the effect of (and no, I don't know the exact quote, so don't jump down my throat) having the power over him to kill him. And Jesus said something about the fact that the only one who had power over him was his Father, and that the only ones who had truly sinned were the ones who had brought him before Pontius (let me help you out, that would be the Jooos!). I had issues with that, as it implied that the Jews were the greatest sinners in the matter. (if anyone can recall the lines of the movie better then me and my failing memory have, please let me know)

Next. I had problems with the fact that Jewish children were demonized in order to show Judas going mad. I've had a heated debate today with my friend who saw it with me, but did not see my point on this one. In the scene, some children approached Judas who was clearly losing his marbles. And in a strange turn of events (just go see the damn movie) the children's faces turned all weird and demonic (loved the special effects even if I didn't like the point). Must we make Jews look more like evildoers and devils than we already have? What I mean is...was it critical to the story? Was there no other way to show he was going mad? I get why they used the Jewish mob to bring Jesus to the Romans (even if I don't like it) but there was no need to make the children look like children of the devil. Really now, how evil do you need the Jews to look?? Tsk. It's just unnecessary is all...there's other ways to accomplish what they wanted.

What else? (damn I know I'm forgetting something) I also have to admit...I wasn't too keen on the portrayal of the Jews at the site of the crucifixion. Again, was it not enough that they were blamed for bringing Jesus to the Romans, now they are taunting him and spitting on him? *sigh*

But in the end there are some things to remember about the movie. Firstly, there were several scenes in which Jews pleaded to stop the crucifixion, mostly in the crowds that lined the path as Jesus walked while carrying his cross. There were several instances where Jews showed great despair and begged the Romans to free him. Hm, I'm pretty sure I don't remember hearing that in the reviews by Jews (hard to call the film antisemitic when there are parts in which Jews are portrayed in a positive light, isn't it?).

Also, the movie was very much about the relationship between Jesus and Mary. You'd have to be souless to not be moved while watching Mary as she tries to be near her child through his torture. You can't tell me you aren't the least bit moved by the heartwrenching scenes in which she is made to watch her child die, helpless to stop it and begging to go with him. It was, in part, a story about a mother and her son. If you put all the other religious stuff aside and see that aspect of it, it is indeed a moving film.

In the end I walked away feeling like both the Jews AND the Romans were painted in a pretty bad light. But there's one other thing to keep in mind....those times back then were brutal, folks. People had their hands cut off just for stealing bread, and some were killed just for being different. Civilization as we know it now was non-existent then. Years later people carried on further heinous acts in the name of religion when the witch hunts began and thousands died for being different (or for only being perceived to be something they maybe weren't). Jesus was not the only Jew crucified, but he was one that has a story that lives on. And like it or not the story will continue to live on, and as Jews we had best start thinking of better ways to deal with controversy than this...because in case you didn't notice all the hoopla has in fact drawn more people to see it than would have without all the press.

Do I think the film was antisemitic? No. Do have issues with how Jews were portrayed? Absolutely. But I didn't walk out of there feeling like my life was in more danger than when I went in (then again, I live in Canada, not France). And I don't believe it will cause the avalanche of antisemitism that everyone fears it will. It may add to it, but it won't be the straw that will break the camels back. Antisemitism is growing and this is not the cause.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
off to investigate the fuss..
Well, I bought some tickets online (things are starting to sell out) and I am getting ready to meet up with my friend to see the movie. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was getting a bit nervous about what the crowd will be like. It's easy to be a loudmouth about wearing my necklace and letting everyone know I'm a Jew.....when I'm sitting in my living room. haha.. However, this IS Canada, perhaps the most polite nation on the earth, so I'm not too concerned. If anything, I'm actually concerned about any Jews who may have decided to protest outside. I'd be surprised if there were any (again, Canada here, follks. lol) but stranger things have happened. My Hebrew teacher begged me last night to not go to the movie, but I said I must. If I intend to understand, I have to. The end.

The first reports are starting to come in, and people seem really shocked by the violence. This article shows a picture of an audience (looking a bit horrified) as they watch. When trying to coax another friend of mine to join me tonight, she declined and cited the violence as one of the reasons she wouldn't go. I was surprised.

What is making MY stomach turn is the merchandise/jewelry being marketed for the movie. Check it out here. Personally I find the spike necklace (a spike on a leather cord, representing the spike put through Jesus' hand) in incredibly poor taste. I can see where Michele would want to kick Gibson in the nuts. If you want people to take your movie seriously as a work of art and an expression of genuine religious love, don't whore yourself out with cheap gimmick junk. It looks bad, Mel, it looks bad.

Anyway, I hope whoever sees it shares their views with the rest of us and let's us know what they think.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004
in my happy place
I'm in a good mood. I just got back from my Hebrew class, which always puts me in a fantastic mood. And on my way home I went to a grocery store that my classmates told me about that carries lots of Israeli products, and got my favourite dessert/pudding from Israel (Milky). I practically lived on the stuff when I was there. *swoon* I'm so happy, even if it *did* cost me an arm and a leg (note to self: check the prices before grabbing stuff off the shelf; it helps to avoid surprises at the cash register). Oh how I love this pudding.

Anyway, have I mentioned that, in an effort to further my Hebrew, I have been listening to a Hebrew language/learning course in my car to and from work? Yeah, that equals a good 40 mins everyday, at least. It's all I play in my car now, coz I'm a big nerd. Sometimes it gets annoyingly repetitive, but it's been helping a lot. I often have a good laugh at how cheesy the lessons are, and at how I must look yakking away to myself while on the highway. A big thanks goes to Dan who let me upload it from him; he was a total sweetie and thought of me when he got a hold of it, so he shared.

Also, I am a very very happy girl because I am lucky enough to have the best audience out there. Seriously, I love you guys to death. The conversations we have been having over the last two weeks has given me such wonderful food for thought, and for that I am grateful. I appreciate you all sharing your views and having respect for one another. It shows we can conduct an intelligent debate, and challenge each other to rise above stereotypes and see the world through the eyes of another. You guys are the best. (as a side note, I'd REALLY like my regular reader from Singapore to stand up and say hi...I know you're on here, and I'd like to hear from you! what's your story? :-)

Tomorrow is the big day; the release of the movie "The Passion of the Christ". The moment we have been debating for. I have invited a (Catholic) friend of mine to come see it with me; I look forward to his views, it's wonderful talking to him about anything. Such an intelligent lad. I joked with him that he should wear a Cross necklace and I'd wear a Magen David (Star of David) necklace and we'd walk in holding hands, just to stir things up. "See?? Why can't we all just get along??"
But seriously, I intend to wear a Magen David necklace, absolutely. I'm sure lots of Jews are gonna tell me it's a stupid thing to do, but I will not hide. I want a Jew to be seen viewing this movie, seen finding out for herself instead letting others make up her mind for her. If that gets my ass kicked, so be it.

In light of the coming film, I have dug up a few more articles.
This article is from a Jewish site, and it covers a strange array of points, including the fact that the Palestinian leader (Arafat) has said that the Palestinian people identify with Jesus ("he lived as a refugee under occupation." oy, don't even get me started).

Here's a (Canadian) article outlining in rather graphic detail, certain parts of the movie. Gives a hint of things to come, as many are already saying it is more bloody and violent than expected. is all over it like white on rice with articles here (check out the gory picture!), here (talks about it opening on more screens than first forecasted), here (a *really* interesting article saying the Pope in fact did NOT endorse the film or say "It is as it was"), and here (where Gibson is reported as having said "The worst has yet to come", meaning, the controversy is only getting started. yeah, no kidding, Mel).

Also, I *highly* recommend checking out Ocean Guy's post in which he does a fabulous job of rounding up reviews of the movie from folks who have already seen it.

This should all be *very* interesting...... (keep your eye on the news for any reports of a mouthy Jewish girl getting her ass kicked in a movie theatre in Toronto. LOL!!!)

And in closing, I'd like to send my condolences to the people of Morocco who suffered a terrible earthquake early today. The reports are vague, but the losses are estimated between 300 - 600. That's huge, folks. And I'm getting nervous of all these quakes in the Middle East (area); Iran, Israel, Turkey and Morocco?? Things are really moving over there.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families who are suffering.

Monday, February 23, 2004
"It's been a hard day's night, and I been working like a dog"
Ok, I'm gonna make this a quick post because I am exhausted; worked both jobs today on 5 hours sleep, and I'm ready to drop.

A couple of other bloggers have weighed in on the debate over "The Passion of the Christ". I think Michele made me laugh the hardest, as she went from an excited self-proclaimed "former" Catholic to an angry one, wishing she could "kick Mel Gibson in the nuts". She sites marketing tasteless merchandise as her reason for change of heart and I certainly can't blame her. Check out her post. Meanwhile Ocean Guy has tackled the subject several times here, here, here and here. Also, if you didn't check out the article that si put up her page (written by the Roman Catholic bishop of San Jose) be sure to check it out here, it's really wonderful.

Also, as you may or may not know, the movie was filmed entirely in the languages of Aramaic and Latin, with English subtitles. There is an interesting article here on the Aramaic language; I highly recommend checking it out.

And here's a disturbing report about 15 swastikas and the words "Kill all Jews" found written on the walls of an apartment building in New York. Gee, why are we Jews gettin' so nervous about this movie, I wonder? lol

And let us not forget those lost in yesterday's terrorist attack in Israel; here is a webpage dedicated to keeping track of the losses Israel has incurred through this fight with terrorism: Casualties of War. Wondering what all the fuss is about? Wondering why Israel wants to build a fence? Check that page out to get a glimpse into the high cost Israel has paid for it's existence. HebrewLion discusses his confusion about the public outcry over the fence, and has some excellent points.

And that's it for me. Bedtime for bonzo. See y'all tomorrow.

Sunday, February 22, 2004
Let me tell you what my morning routine is, ok?
I get up, and I go straight to my computer. I check my e-mail and then I click on to see if things are ok in Israel. If there is news of a bombing, I then start clicking on the Israeli sites for the details.

Today was one of those mornings I dread. I clicked on and saw this. An attack in Israel, splashed all over the front page. And you know what? I didn't cry right away like most mornings when I see this; know why? Because I had a feeling I was going to see that when I got up this morning. I wasn't even surprised. And you know what? I SHOULD be. I damn well should be surprised. I damn well should be crying. Instead I am once again filled with rage. Rage comes first, and then as I read more details the despair will settle in and I will cry. Cry for what my people have to endure, yet again. Lives needlessly lost. 8 dead (others will no doubt die of their wounds in coming days) and 60 wounded (and please remember, losing an arm/leg is considered "wounded). Just 24 days after the last bombing..
If you are brave enough, the survivors tell their stories here.

It was 8:30am, and the bus that was targeted was full of students, many around age 18. Not surprisingly, there are reports of devastated and scared families buckling under the pressure of living in Jerusalem, saying they are considering leaving the hotspot of a city. Can you blame them? How much more can a nation take, all the while having the world condemn them for trying to protect themselves? Israellycool has a quote of the day that sums it up the best.

Build the fence. Faster please.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to check on Rinat and HebrewLion.
Meanwhile, take a hard look at the pics in this post. Those are BODIES, folks. And if you call it anything other than murder, you're wrong. Someone did this. On purpose. And the Palestinians couldn't be more proud.

Saturday, February 21, 2004
"You can't talk to a psycho like a normal human being "
I've had about enough of people shitting on me for their problems. After listening to my friend outline how it's everyone's fault but his own for the mess he's in, I finally started to say my piece on the matter (I let him drone on for 30 mins straight before offering my opinion). He kept cutting me off and finally I told him if he didn't let me speak there was no point in attempting to have a conversation. He said he'd stop, so I continued, and then he cut me off again. In a complete fit of frustration I screamed his name to try and get him to stop and then just said screw it, and hung up on him.

He called back a few minutes later (twice, actually), but I didn't answer. He left two messages. The first one outlined what a rotten friend I was for never calling. The second told me he wants nothing to do with me ever again, and to never call him again (didn't he just accuse me of never calling him anyway?? idiot). Yeah, it's tough when friends don't buy into your bullshit and do what you want them to and don't always agree with you, isn't it? Too bad, his loss. I wish I felt bad that he has walked away but I don't. Partly because I'm not up for his games, as I have been down this road with him too many times to count, including the "I never want to talk to you again" routine. Stop crying wolf, you'll be calling me again in 1 - 3 months when you've calmed down. Ucch. Go help yourself, no one else can anymore. I wish him the best of luck.

Meanwhile I now have a splitting headache and not nearly as much homework done as I wanted. That little weasel has actually gotten to me and now I can't focus. He should be damn lucky I don't go around advertising him and his problems (he's a "famous" actor. yes, many of you would know him. no, I won't tell you who he is, unfortunately I have too much respect for someone's privacy. famous or not, he still has problems and I won't be his punching bag. I was hoping his fame would attract Dr. Phil's attention and help me out, but now I'm regretting even wasting my time with that e-mail).

ANYWAY! No more time wasted on my friend. I am making a nice little dinner for myself, and then I am going out with some friends for the night. The one friend is the girl who lost her father (I went to the funeral on Valentine's Day), so I'm hoping we can cheer her up. THIS is a friend who deserves my time, and so she will get it.

And ...if I may say...I think I may have a date tomorrow. Hmph. Life is funny sometimes.

Friday, February 20, 2004
a friend in need is a friend indeed
What do you do for someone when you have tried everything to help? Do you keep trying? Or do you give up before you lose yourself in his problems and have him drag you down too?

I have a good friend who is very deep trouble. He has been, off and on, for as long as I have known him. I have tried many times to help him in the past, setting him up with the people who could help him, and it has all failed. At one of his worst points I had to walk away, and we didn't speak for a year or so. He called me the other day and as we talked it was clear he is at his brink. He is asking for my help again, but I don't know what I can do that I haven't tried already. I have made calls, and I have asked for the advice of others who know better than I do. Unfortunately it is going to be up to my friend to make some tough changes and I don't know if he has it in him. I told him flat out that he is going to die if he doesn't start making some hard decisions in his life and start fighting to live instead of laying down and giving up. He said he wasn't sure if he wanted to fight anymore. I told him that was his problems and depression talking, and that he would have to deal with that too.

Did I get across to him? Will he finally make a real change, or will it be a failed attempt like all the other times? I don't know, I guess I'll have to wait and see. I'll call him tomorrow and have a talk with him.

Aside from that being on my mind, I have had an okay day. I have been talking to someone by the name of "Lord Blade" online and have started a nice friendship. This makes me happy. And I have had a nice relaxing evening at home. I accidentally had me a looong nap after work, so I'm not sure what to do with the rest of my evening. I just watched my beloved show, Third Watch and maybe now I'll pop in a movie or something. Or maybe go for a walk, I feel like getting out of the house.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend. ;-)

Thursday, February 19, 2004
the hills are alive
Today is one of those days where I am just feeling pretty darn good, and it's partly because it's a beautiful day here in the greater Toronto area. Most would still consider these temperatures freezing cold, but to we hardy Canadians we consider it downright balmy. We begin to get excited because we sense spring in the air, but all that will come crashing down when a storm rolls into town tonight bringing snow and freezing rain. Hey, I don't mind, I like the snow.
But enough about the weather!

I see this crazy Mel Gibson debate isn't going away. I've actually really enjoyed the conversation, I think everyone has brought up some excellent points (wait until the movie is out! then we'll see a debate). In my Hebrew class on Tuesday my teacher asked if any of us had seen the interview; many had, some had not. My teacher started to rant on and on about how crazy Mel Gibson was, and how evil he is. I was shocked and a little disappointed....she's much more educated than that, I thought she would say something with a little more depth, I guess. So I kept my mouth shut lest we launch into a huge debate instead studying Hebrew as we had paid to do. Our class has a way of getting into interesting conversations and forgetting why we're there. Other than that, class was good. My homework is starting to get pretty tough though and I'm trying to not get discouraged. It helps that I have a teacher that is ALL about positive reinforcement. Truly, she's a woman who clearly loves to teach, it's wonderful.

Last night I worked at my new job at the dive shop. Still have to say that it's overwhelming since I know NOTHING of diving, but I get pretty excited just being around the people and the equipment. lol. I can't wait to get diving!!! I think I'll likely start in the next week or two, we'll see. First I have to go shopping for a bathing suit, as I left mine in Israel last summer. Ugh, I hate shopping, let alone for a bathing suit. And maybe someone can explain to me why such a skimpy piece of clothing costs so much, because I sure don't get it.

Today was ok, I did some driving around for work, so that's good. It gets me out of the office and interacting with other people, and it's such a beautiful day to be out and about. I just had lunch with my neighbour, Princess Blondie, and we'll of course be getting together later tonight for Survivor. woo hoo!!
I also have invited my parents over for dinner. I made my first dish in my new slow cooker, so I thought I'd invite my mom seeing as she bought the slow cooker for me; that will make her feel very good about herself. lol. I decided to make myself a nice Jewish dish for my first meal in this new appliance, so I made dafina (or cholent, as some call it). I've actually never made it, but it seems to be good (it's sure not as good as the one my friend's mom makes...I would give anything for somma that!). I put it on last night before I went to bed and damn if the wonderful aroma didn't wake me up at 3am; mmmm...beefy goodness wafting through my apartment!

Anyway, I'd like to leave a few bits of information at the end here. One ties back to my point in the Mel Gibson debate, and has to do with the growing anti-semitism in Europe. Here is an article had on it this morning (hey, if CNN is reporting it, it MUST be true, right? *wink*). You 'll notice the picture in the article shows a swastika spray painted on a Jewish tombstone in France. A problem? Oh, I'd say so. Here's Jerusalem Post's take on the matter. (also, here is an opinion piece from Jerusalem Post on the Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ)

Also, here's a good post from Little Green Footballs illustrating the tactics of Palestinian "militants" using children for cover during fighting. This is a favourite tactic of theirs because (a) Israel Defense Forces do everything they can to not kill innocent children, so it really slows them down in a fight (unlike Palestinians who go out of their way to kill women and children on buses) and (b) because if Israel *does* kill a child it is all over the media and makes them look bad. Be sure to at least look at the pics in the post, it says it all; pictures of terrorists hiding behind children in a gun battle. Sickening.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004
all work and no play
I know, I promised an exciting post, but frankly, I'm too tired. Worked both jobs today and I'm pretty sure my brain is melting. I'm trying to muster a little energy to make up a meal for tomorrow, as I have myself a brand new slow cooker. Woot! I couldn't be more excited!!! I've always wanted one, and my mother had a moment of kindness strike her so she bought me one. Eeeek! What shall I make in it first??

Anyway before I fall asleep at my computer (I foolishly got groceries after work so I'm beyond exhausted) let me just say that though I am tired I had a great day. Feeling good about both jobs, though still a little overwhelmed in the new one. I hate not knowing how to do anything. I am doing my best to practice great patience, I know these things take time.

And look at the cool present I got for my beloved neighbour across the hall, Princess Blondie; as you can probably figure out, it's a sparkly Princess picture frame. It's perfect coz of her name and coz she loooooves pink. I even put her picture in it for her an everything. Cute, hunh? If you like that girly stuff, I suppose.... haha.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004
out damned spot, out!
(Preface: if you aren't the religious sort, this may bore you. However, I am not the religious sort either, so you may very well find it mildly interesting to watch me struggle to discuss a topic I'm not always comfortable with. Either way, let it be said this won't be a post about what fun things I did today, it will be a rather serious discussion, and I'm sure in the end, a serious debate as well. You are welcomed to join and share your views, but know that I demand respect for others, and if I find any comments bashing Christianity or Judaism I will delete them and ban the offender. Keep it intelligent and fair.)

Well, last night I watched as Diane Sawyer interviewed Mel Gibson about his upcoming film The Passion of the Christ, and I must say that I actually am more worried than ever. (if you happened to miss the first time I brought this topic up go back a few days to my post on Feb 13th and be sure to catch the colourful, if not lively, debate) In fact, I had one of the worst night's sleep in recent months as I tossed and turned and actually dreamt about it all night long! I know, that's sounds crazy, but sometimes my mind has a habit of not letting go of something; if I had half a brain at all I would have written this post last night before going to bed in an effort to get it out of my head, rather than composing it in my head all night in bed.

Before I (perhaps foolishly) dive into this topic again, I think it's important to clarify one thing. I don't think Mel is anti-semitic. I don't believe he did this in an effort to incite hate against Jews, I believe it may be a bi-product of what he has made. Intent DOES matter, and I don't believe that was his intent. However, this calls responsibility into question (he DID realize that there may be some who will take all this to say that Jews killed Jesus).

The whole crux of the debate is this: did Pontius Pilate willingly hand over Jesus to be crucified or was he blackmailed or afraid of the Jews and so handed Jesus over? I decided to look up some Catholic/Christian pages on the matter, since any Jewish pages on the matter would lean towards my bias.

According to Gibson's movie and much of the text in Catholicism, Pilate actually tried to save Jesus from being crucified but it was the throngs of "bloodthirsty Jews" who were screaming for his execution. Here is a quote I found from a bible study page to highlight this image:

"Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor (Pilate). "Barabbas," they answered. "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify Him!" "Why? What crime has He committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify Him!" When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!" All the people answered, "Let His Blood be on us and on our children!" Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed Him over to be crucified. Then the governor's soldiers [see Roman Legions] took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around Him." (Matthew 27:21-27)

And this is as the scene is shown in the movie. An "innocent" Pilate who is merely delivering Jesus to execution, as demanded by an angry crowd of Jews. You can see where Jews might object to this. In fact this same page goes on to say "For whatever it may be worth, Pilate did repeatedly try to have Jesus released because he knew that He was completely innocent of any crime. Pilate's wife also tried to get Jesus released. " Wow, that Pilate sounds like such a nice guy, doesn't he? Well, except that he was known to hate the Jews he ruled over, and killed them as he felt (on whims or for amusement). Oddly, this same bible study page admits: "Pilate was no friend of the Jews", so why would he try and barter for the life of one, let alone "the King of Jews" (what Pilate declared Jesus was, in a sign hung over the cross).

On a second page I found it describes Pilate as follows: "Pilate was a "typical Roman, not of the antique, simple stamp, but of the imperial period, a man not without some remains of the ancient Roman justice in his soul, yet pleasure-loving, imperious, and corrupt. He hated the Jews whom he ruled, and in times of irritation freely shed their blood." . Strangely enough, a few paragraphs later it goes on to say "After this Pilate seemed more resolved than ever to let Jesus go. ". What?? How does that add up?? He hated them, but suddenly felt bad for one particular Jew?? Oy, I'm confused.

So this is the point that becomes the bone of contention for Jews. As Jews see it Pilate was a murderer, a fact that is not denied in Christian liturgy, so to suggest that he suddenly had a heart of gold and was hesitant to kill is just plain unlikely. Jews feel that they are being used as a scapegoat in this story, in order to assign blame and to clear the Romans of their responsibility in the death of Jesus (coz would YOU want to be blamed for killing him?? but if someone else did it...). And if you know anything about Judaism, you would know that life is paramount to anything else, and is to be treasured. ALL life, and I mean above and beyond just the ole "thou shalt not kill". This fact can still be seen in the way Israelis deal with Palestinians now; they absolutely have the power to wipe the Palestinians off the map and remove them from Israel, but they would never just go and annihilate them. Life is precious, no matter who you are (or how many of our people you blow up on buses). So they continue to deal with the Palestinians rather than just remove them.

During the interview with Gibson, they showed clips of the movie and suddenly it became clear to me that it very graphically illustrates a mob of Jews demanding the crucifixion of Jesus, no doubt about it. And accurate or not, this will anger some people. And I know my view confuses some people, but I am not so much concerned with the accuracy (because we will never truly know. either you believe or you don't) as much as I am concerned with how it will be understood and interpreted by viewers. In fact, I'm sure it will be an amazing movie and will move me (how can you watch someone's final torturous days and not be moved?), but if this movie means I have to worry about my safety more, then it has done damage. As it is, Jews in France have been advised to not wear any Star of David jewelry, or a kippah on their heads (instead, wear a baseball cap over it, was the suggestion). Already, Jews are being advised to hide who they are. Can you imagine, as a Catholic, being told you should not wear your cross around your neck, or hang it from your rearview mirror for fear that it could get you beaten up? It's hard to imagine here in North America where such behaviour is not tolerated and is reprimanded wherever possible, but what about in Europe where such thing is common place and laws aren't so strictly enforced?

I don't know...I don't know what else to say. I have never been a very religious person, and I have most certainly avoided any such debate all my life. Yet I am being dragged into this one because it has finally hit home and become personal for me. I am not blaming Catholics, and I'm not blaming Jews. I am merely expressing my concern......

Monday, February 16, 2004
c'est moi
I don't know what's gotten into me today, but I've decided to share a picture of myself. I have never intended to put up a picture of me, but I thought, why not? :-) I'm in a good mood this morning and so I'm feeling all kinds of daring! And now you can compare my pic to the one in the last post when I was about 3 years old. 26 years later the only thing that's about the same is the blue eyes. :-) Much to my mother's disappointment my brother and I got beautiful blue eyes (she wanted us to have gorgeous green ones like she and my dad both have...but recessive genes won! lol)
Anyway, I took this pic just now, so it's about as current as it gets. Now you have a face to go with what you read, something I came to really enjoy on other blogs.

And today I'd like to discuss a Canadian stereotype; the use of the word "eh". I'm not gonna argue that it doesn't happen, because it most certainly does. We Canadians can laugh at it along with everyone else just fine, don't worry. In fact my mother jokes that her business partner doesn't ever say eh until they cross the border, and then sure enough, as soon as he's in the States he starts saying eh like stereotypical Canadian. At one point he whispered to my mother "...omigod, did I just say eh??".

Allow me to explain the purpose of the word "eh".
Eh, quite simply, takes a statement and turns it into a question. Let me illustrate:

statement: "Now that's really good steak!"

question: "Now that's really good steak, eh??"

It allows the speaker to now include someone else in the conversation by drawing them in with a question. Sometimes it seeks a confirmation from a person ("Yes, that IS a really good steak!") or it solicits the input/opinion of the other person ("I've had better steak").

See? Simple. Go ahead and laugh, but it's a good word, damnit!! hahaha...
I myself have done very well to remove it from my vocabulary, but I assure you, when I lived farther north it was much more predominant. The farther away from the cities you get, the worse it gets.

That's it for me. I'm late for work so I gotta run. Have a good week, everyone!

Sunday, February 15, 2004
As my mother tells it, I have adored my brother since the day I was born. I looked up to him, admired him, followed him everywhere, and just generally loved his company. I would let him do anything to me if it meant he would hang out with his little sister. One time when I was about 4 years old my mother found the ponytail of my long blonde hair on the floor. She searched high and low, and finally found me hidden in a closet where my brother had parked me and told me to be quiet. When he was confronted about cutting my hair off he simply said "Mom, it was just something I had to do". lol Gotta try everything once, right?

And while those days are gone (as is the blonde hair, it turned brunette as I got older) I still adore my brother immensely. We have a wonderful bond that defies description. (honestly, I just sat here for a good two minutes staring at the screen trying to think of a way to describe it and came up empty!)

Anyway, you get the point. I love my brother lots and lots. Which is why I am thrilled he and his girlfriend (if you can still call her that after 15 years) are coming over for dinner. They'll be here in an hour or so. You guys behave while I'm gone.
I mean it!!

Saturday, February 14, 2004
a deeper shade of soul
Well well well.....look at the can of worms I opened with one little post about a movie. Perhaps this is why I was hesitant to bring it up in the first place, but thus far I have not regretted it. It's been an interesting meeting of my Christian and Jewish readers. Both sides have points to be made and both are passionate in their beliefs. To me that can only be good, even if agreement will never be reached. I believe an intelligent debate is healthy and is a good exercise in opening one's mind to other points of view. I find myself defending both sides of the arguments, much to my surprise. Perhaps that's because of my own mixed background or perhaps it's my job as the owner of this blog to be mediator. K-Dogg, si, JJ and Jonathan have all participated in the (sometimes heated) debate and all offered different views and points. I thank you all for not having the conversation reduced to swearing and name calling. I am proud that we have kept it civil, and I daresay it gives me hope. I ask that as the debate continues you remain civil and respectful. No doubt we will bring this up again at the end of the month when we have all seen it. Until we have seen the movie for ourselves, we must remember we don't know what the movie contains; all that we know is from the opinion and views of others. In other words, hearsay. Let us make our observations 11 days from now.

Moving right along....
I woke up this morning very upset because of a dream. I don't know what the point of it was, but it really rocked me. It was about my old best friend, and in the dream we were getting along and hanging out and having fun and all that good stuff. So what's the problem? It made me remember the good things about our friendship and made me really miss it. The dream felt SO real and when I woke up I felt empty upon the realization that she's not in my life like that anymore. Most of my dreams of her in the past few months have been about us not getting along, so to have a nice dream about us has really made me mourn the loss of a great (if not troubled) friendship. I dunno, maybe there's a point to this that I'm missing.....

So after sporadic crying in the morning (because of a dumb dream) I had to clean myself up and head to a funeral. What a bonus. While I didn't know the man, he was the father of one of my long time friends, so our pack of friends got together to show her some support. That's what friends are for, afterall. I felt terrible for her, and I am disturbed by a trend in the last year or two; three of my friend's fathers have died, so I tend to get emotional at these funerals because I think: that could have been MY dad. And I have a habit of taking on someone else's pain for them; my heart ached for my friend and her family. *sigh*

On a lighter note, I had my first shift at my new job last night. I am very excited but very anxious at the same time. I am excited by the possibilities and opportunities this could bring into my life, but I am anxious because there is SO much for me to learn. It's a little overwhelming. But I had a great time and there is one co-worker who absolutely cracks me up she is so funny. At one point I said to her : Holy shit! You may *actually* be funnier than me!! Who knew the Danes were so funny??"
We had a good laugh, and I really look forward to working with her. The other girl I worked with last night was much less fun. We have an ex-boyfriend in common. GOOD FUN! Not uncomfortable at all. Eesh. Let's hope she quits soon. lol

And on this exciting night I am taking the time to chill out and clean my filthy apartment. Tomorrow night I am having my brother and his girlfriend over for dinner. I have a great time when they stop by, so I'm totally looking forward to it. I wonder what I should cook, though..... ok, chicken it is.

Friday, February 13, 2004
poking a sleeping bear
First of all, let me direct you to another blog, Israel Midnight Cafe where JJ tackles two issues that I wanted to draw attention to. First is the huge issue of the Security Fence that Israel is building between themselves and "Palestinian territory". People seem to be forgetting that there are many other fences in the world JUST like them, serving the same purpose, and instead are condemning Israel for reasons that aren't even altogether clear to me (where were these protesters when the U.S. built a similar fence to keep the Mexicans out?? and they only wanted freedom, they weren't even trying to blow up Americans!!). Anyway, go see JJ's post on that.

Secondly, our man JJ has brought up a topic that I have been avoiding mentioning until I have more information; I don't like to launch opinions until I have the facts (and I still won't until I have seen the movie). What I am talking about is Mel Gibson's new film The Passion of the Christ. Many Jews are concerned that it portrays Jews in a negative light and furthers the myth that Jews killed Jesus (read a book, folks. it was the Romans). Anyway, I am still reserving judgment on the matter until I have seen the movie. I am actually afraid of it causing tensions among some of my friends, like si. This will no doubt be a very hot topic, and I for one am concerned that IF this is the case, and Jews are put in a negative light, this could do untold damage and further growing global anti-semitism; it is already reaching levels the likes of which we have not been seen in Europe since the last World War. I'm not saying this movie is going to cause people to hate Jews, I'm just worried that uninformed people will watch it and the fire will be fanned. *fingers crossed* I sincerely hope this is not the case.
JJ's views on this are much less ambiguous (and he brings up some interesting points, give it a read here).

Other than that I don't have a whole lot to say today. I start the new job at the dive shop in just over an hour! That's pretty cool. I came home from my other job a bit early to catch a catnap. Seems I was a punk and was out all night at a Buckwheat Zydeco concert. *grin* It was SO much fun!! That guy has to be...what? 75? (I have no idea..old. lol) and he is the last of the true showmen. He loves his audience, interacts with them, and has a grin on his face the whole time. I was amazed at his level of energy and obvious love for his fans. Really, a great show. Worth staying up late for. I just felt bad for him (and his band) freezing their little butts up here in chilly Toronto (they are from Louisiana). But hey...they lived, and a great time was had by all.

Thursday, February 12, 2004
where there's lemons, there's lemonade!
*yAWn* I just had me a nice long nap. I feel I deserve it, I had a crap night's sleep. Happy to report: headache be gone! Whew, another day of that and I was going to be out of my mind.

Last night I met up with a friend of mine that I haven't seen for a few months. She has been dealing with some harsh personal problems, including her brother having terminal cancer. It was really good to finally see her, I've been worried. We got together for coffee and I just sat there and listened for about an hour straight offering the occasional nod and reassuring touch of the arm. I couldn't believe all that she has and will be going through. Sometimes you have to wonder what the master plan is when you hear about SO much grief piled on to one person's plate.
After that it was my turn to catch up, though my talking was considerably shorter. I almost felt bad describing how happy I've grown over the last few months, but then I thought, it's MY turn to be happy, damnit. I'm allowed.

Anyway, it was great to see her. I had forgotten how much I miss talking to her, for she is truly one the very last people who knows ALL my deep dark secrets. In fact she may well be the last, now that I think about it......
After that I came home and took some pills for that headache of mine and watched Lost In Translation; my darling neighbour across the hall, Princess Blondie, had left it at my door for me to watch. I thought it was a fantastic movie! I had no expectations, but it really surprised me with how funny it was. I don't think it's everyone's type of movie (it keeps a slow pace the entire movie) but if you've ever traveled to a foreign country and felt out of place you'll appreciate this movie.

This morning I woke up after a terrible night's sleep, and though my headache was gone I was feeling horribly nauseous. I'm not sure why I felt so ill, but it kept me from going to work yet again. I got e-mailing Princess Blondie and she suggested I go with her to see her herbalist. I decided I would dare to be different and try her "voodoo doctor" and see what he could suggest for my headaches. As it turns out, it was very interesting indeed!
First interesting thing was the name of the clinic: Elohim. That's the Hebrew word for God (one of many names, actually). What makes it interesting is that the herbalist isn't Jewish. A very lovely Spanish man to be sure, but not Jewish. lol In fact I liked him a lot. I told him of my problems with my breathing, my stomach, and my headaches. He examined me and handed my some bottles of 'herbal goodness' that he suggested I try. He did the same for Princess Blondie (we went in together) and we were done. I've tried everything else for my head and stomach problems, so I'm game for trying this. I'll keep you appraised as to whether or not I see any benefits.

And now that I have had a nap, I'm ready for Survivor night over at Princess Blondie's place (seems we just can't spend enough time together today!). Always fun with her and her boyfriend Bruno. And then I am heading to a late night concert with a friend of mine down at the Horseshoe Tavern. Ten years ago or so we went to see Buckwheat Zydeco (when we were dating) so when he heard Buckwheat was back in town he called me up and suggested we go. :-) Should be really fun, I look forward to it. Buckwheat has this crazy New Orleans music that you just can't help but dance to. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it is fun music.

One last thing..... I got a Valentine's Day card in the mail from my mom and dad (ok, she signed it for my dad, he probably has no idea about it). Sometimes my mom even manages to surprise me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
shake, rattle and roll
Israel had an earthquake this morning that registered at about 5 on the Richter scale. No real harm was done, though it shook up an already perpetually nervous nation. Rightfully so, given the recent quake in Iran. I figured an earthquake would be coming to Israel soon enough, since there were so many tremors going on in the region; I'm just glad there was no real damage. Whew.

As for me, it would seem my brain is attempting to split my head in half. I have had a migraine for two days now and it is showing no signs of relenting. I didn't go to Hebrew class last night (*crycry*) and though I am at work now, I don't expect to last the day. I was in bed by 9:30pm last night and woke up 9 hours later with it STILL hanging in there. This is most definitely challenging my recent good mood.

For now, I will leave you with this survey: when it comes to toilet paper, do you prefer the paper to go over or under the roll? Seems trivial, I know, but I go crazy if it's under, and I keep changing it around in the bathroom here at work coz whoever puts the new roll in puts it under. Really now, how much of the toilet paper do you want touching the wall before it touches your special parts, hm?? You think I'm the only one who has had this debate? Think again. And this guy even invented a gizmo to deal with the conflict.

Monday, February 09, 2004
cloud ten
Today's lesson is "never say never". When I left my retail job 3 years ago to get into merchandising stores I said I would never go back to retail. Yet tonight when I was offered a job in a store again I couldn't yes fast enough. :-D
That's right ladies and gentlemen, I am now gainfully employed in a second job. I have concerns about working two jobs, but the possibilities this job offers me are just too great to ignore. I decided this year would be different, and if I'm going to make that true I need to start taking risks and doing things I wouldn't normally do. I set my sights on something and I attained it, and I'm feeling pretty darn good about it.

The interview (if you can call it that, the guy had pretty much hired me over the phone before he even met me) was casual and we got along very well. We both have the same sarcastic sense of humour, so we meshed well. He told me that he gets resumes handed in everyday there (coz apparently "everyone" wants to work at a scuba shop. this was news to me, I thought everyone wanted to work in a record store, which I've also done btw) and the reason he wanted to hire me is because of my merchandising skills. He wants me to help him reset/redesign the layout of his store and help it look better. I told him that I would be thrilled to help him out with that, since it IS what I do for a living afterall, and I'm good at it, if I do say so myself. So that felt pretty good, it was nice to be excited about that part of my job again. It reminded my why I have my current fulltime job...that this is a passion of mine that has just sort of taken a backseat to office work.

Anyway, I start on Friday. Wheeee!! And of course, he's gonna get me into some diving lessons. Wheee again!!

*sigh* I sure didn't know today was gonna turn out so well.

I just got a call from the owner of that diving shop!!! (I wasn't expecting a call for at least a week!!)
We had a great conversation on the phone, and really hit it off. I'm going to stop by after work to see him (sounds like it'll be an informal interview type of thing).
EEEEEEK!! I'm so excited!!! This totally made my day; I have been grumpy thanks to a heated debate with a stupid woman I had bought something from on eBay. Forget her, I got something bigger and better to spend my energy on!

Hurray. A big thank you to all of you who sent some mojo my way. Your vibes were great.
All except Dogg who never seems to have anything nice to say to me anymore. *pout* :-P

I'll post later tonight after I get back from the interview.

Sunday, February 08, 2004
walking on the moon
I have had this feeling come over me like a wave for the last few months now. Somehow I have moved from a place and time in my life where I always felt like there was a cloud over me. I was miserable and unhappy, and every little thing that went wrong seemed like the end of the world. I was depressed, not eating or sleeping well, and had a bleak outlook on my life. I felt like I was going nowhere and I was nobody, and I just didn't care about myself much. This had been my state of mind for longer than I can remember.

But in the last few months this cloud has lifted and I am feeling damn good. At first I didn't want to believe it or even talk about it. It's in my nature to assume the worst, and I just figured this was a passing moment of happiness. Much to my surprise not only did this happiness not pass, it grew. And it continues to grow week by week. Things that once would have sent me into the depths of depression (like finding out last week that I owe $3000 in back tax, for example) are now looked upon as obstacles or problems for which a solution can always be found if you look hard enough. Remarkably, now more than ever before, I feel like the world is my oyster and there are so many things I'd like to try and maybe pursue. THIS is how I should have felt at age 20, not 29.

I dropped off my resume yesterday to that dive shop, for instance. I looked around and got so excited about the possibilities this could open up for me if I let it. I watched people in the diving pool as they learned and I looked at all the diving equipment and felt butterflies of excitement in my stomach. What will come of this I wonder? Once upon a time fear of failure may have kept me from even trying, but now I feel like I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I stood in the shop and talked with the owners wife for a long time and we really hit it off. I was straight up with her and said I had no real diving experience, but I had lots of retail experience (a whopping 14 years) which is what they apparently really need. She said it was no problem that my diving experience was limited, I could always learn. By the time I walked out of that dive shop I was on cloud nine. I know that if I get this job I will be working long days from now on, maybe even a 50 -60 hour work week between my fulltime and part time job. But then I ask myself, how badly do I want this? Am I willing to work my ass off to get what I want? Isn't happiness worth it? There was a time when I was working 3 jobs at a time, so I am no stranger to hard work, I'm just a little out of practice. haha..
So. I am excited, but trying to keep myself grounded. That other side of me has not completely left, and it's trying to tell me not to get my hopes up. I don't even know if they were hiring! We'll see, time will tell. The woman said it would be at least a week before they got back to me, as they are busy this week. I'll have to stay patient.

And what of this Hebrew class I take? I can't believe how ridiculously happy this one little class makes me. It's so silly. I worry about my ability to study if I am working two jobs, but I will find a way. I'll do it on my lunch break or something. I can't let my studies suffer when it's something I really want. I will have to find a way to balance everything.

Other than that I have made a few changes to my habits this month too. I have been trying to eat better and get a little exercise, and would you believe that I am feeling SO much better for it?? haha... Wow there might be something to this whole "eating well and exercising" thing I've heard so much about. I have made the changes slowly so that it's attainable, not overwhelming. I know I can't change everything overnight, so I am taking baby steps towards change. And I give myself space for taking a step back once in a while; you have to be able to give yourself a break, you can't follow all the rules all of the time. If I want a cookie instead of an orange after lunch one day, then damnit, I will! It's all good. These things take time. So far it's gone well, and I'm feeling better everyday. A nice change from the lung problems I had last month (I'm including breathing exercises in my new regime and I am already starting to notice I can breathe better).

Anyway, I just thought I'd share that. :-)

Yesterday was spent with a bunch of my guy friends, and then when I came home I went across the hall to Princess Blondie's apartment and hung out a bit with her and her boyfriend Bruno and a friend she had over. A nice way to end my evening. :-)
Tonight I'm getting together with my brother and his girlfriend, and my parents, for dinner. Should be a really nice dinner with my family....a lovely way to finish off the weekend. :-) Hope everyone had a nice weekend, and Chag Sameach to those who celebrated Tu b'Shevat!

Friday, February 06, 2004
I almost thought it was Monday
Talk about a morning from hell. Started when I tried to convince my boss to let me work from home (not an unusual occurrence) since I had everything I needed for the day and there was a monster storm sweeping the city. I was shot down. All pissy because I didn't get my way I drove to work (approximately a 40 min commute in crappy weather). Once at work I sat through a meeting oozing attitude like a 12 year old, and then began to work. As I began my work I realized I had left something I needed to do the day's work at my house. There was no getting around it, I had to go back. Now pissy beyond belief I stormed out of the office and got back into my car and headed for home. I had to make a conscious effort to control my rage as my concentration was needed for the drive; cars were going in the ditch, left and right. Finally I made it home and I took a second to calm down, check my e-mail, and have a glass of water. Feeling like I had relaxed a little I got back in the car and headed back to work. The storm was worse than ever and there were 6 cars in the ditch between my house and work. Yikes.

Anyway, I eventually gave up being a drama queen and got over the morning's events. I was just severely pissed off at having wasted 2 hours in the morning driving in a friggin' storm. However, it seemed like it was the longest day of my entire life. You know the kind...when time seems to crawl. You find yourself checking your watch every few minutes only to be disappointed everytime. You begin to dream up excuses you might be able to use to get out of work early. For me it hit it's peak at 1pm when I was *convinced* it was at least 3pm. So in disbelief was I that I checked my watch against a clock in the office, thinking maybe my batteries were dying on my watch. No such luck, the day was just moving THAT slowly.

So I'm taking the night to just chill out and rest. I'm whipped and need SLEEP. I had a quick nap on the couch after work when I thought I had plans tonight, but mercifully they fell through and I couldn't be happier. I went to the grocery store, picked up a few items, and yet another lottery ticket. Yes, I know I won't win but I like to dream, and what's the harm of investing $5 in a dream?? If I win the 32.5 million dollars we'll see who'll be laughing then. You can all come with me on a trip, howzabout that? We'll take a poll as to where.

So yeah, those are my glamorous plans for the night. Watch my most beloved t.v. show Third Watch and sleeeeeeeeep.

Oh, and just for Laurie, here's a page with all of Triumph the Insult Dog's best work (including the infamous Bon Jovi concert and Star Wars geek lineup). Enjoy, and don't say I don't give you anything!!

Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, February 05, 2004
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Stunningly, I seem to have even less to say today than I did yesterday. Egads, does this mean I'm becoming woefully boring, or that I'm becoming happier and so my rants are fewer and far between?? Nah, must be because there wasn't anything exciting in the news today.

Here, let's try a little Toronto can be exciting, I swear! Like....uh...well ok! ok...Conan O'Brien is taping his shows here all next week!! Crazy friggin' guy, doesn't he know how cold it is here in February?? haha... Sounds like it's going to be pretty funny actually, I can't wait to watch.

What else? Hmm.....well there's a big story going around here about dogs being poisoned in a local park. Seems the dog owners and non-dog owners have had an ongoing feud, and someone tried to bring it to an end. Unreal, I'm a little stunned by the whole thing. We Canadians fancy ourselves an animal loving people, so for some asshole to go and poison dogs like that.....tsk. Makes me angry. One dog has died with a dozen others sick; an investigation is underway, and the park has been closed off. Crazy stuff, man.

And uh....yeah. I got nothing else, gang. Sorry. Work was long, and tonight is Survivor. WOOT WOOT! And everyone get ready we're about to get another big storm!!! What could be better!?!? Booyah! Life is good. :-D

Wednesday, February 04, 2004
shootin' blanks
I feel like I have little to say today. Just one of those day when not much happens, I suppose. One thing I forgot to mention the other day was a bizarre sign I saw down the street; on my way to work I noticed a giant sign outside a car dealership that read: "Meet Dave Coulier (Joey from Full House!)". I, is that what he has been reduced to?? Appearances at car dealerships to help boost sales??! That is so.....depressing. And seriously, would that make you go in and buy a car??

Also, I'd like to address a pet peeve of mine, and I'm sorry if I insult anyone who does this (and I already know of a few of my readers who do). When expressing a laugh in text, use HEE HEE, not HE HE or the variant hehe. "Hee" denotes a little laugh, a giggle perhaps. "He" is a pronoun denoting the male gender. "He couldn't wait to give celestial blue a million trillion dollars". "Hee...." she giggled "'re so funny!!"
I'm sorry if I'm seeming nitpicky, that's just the kind of day I'm having.

Yesterday was a crazy day followed by a crazy night. I left my house at 7am and didn't arrive home again until 9pm and I had a headache that lead me to believe my brains were leaking out my ears. Hebrew class was good (I won't even get into the new student, a 50-something British man who thinks he knows it all. He makes me wanna jam a pencil up his nose for being such a snooty know-it-all) but by the time I got home I was ready to crawl under a rock and die. I get headaches a lot, and this was just another treasure to deal with.
Anyway, I woke up this morning with what I like to call "headache residue". This is when you have a slight inkling of the headache from the night before, but not an all-out headache, and you feel just generally crappy. And you know you have to take care of yourself or that inkling will revert back to a full blown migraine.

Blah blah blah...the long and the short of it is that by 10:30am this morning I was not a fun person to be around at work. Finally I went home, I ate some lunch and went to bed....and sleep for 4 hours straight. Now I'm feeling way better and I have a nice dinner in the oven. Hurray for feeling better! I think all those sleepless nights I've had for the last few weeks finally caught up with me and my body just crashed. So I'm trying to make some nice healthy food and take care of myself. I cancelled my plans for tonight so I can take it easy, and I'm just gonna relax. Maybe do some homework. *grin*

In parting I'm going to offer a link to another blog. Ocean Guy's post about how Arabs treat the Palestinians is one that begs the question....why do the Arabs treat their own brothers so badly? It's a good read. Go on, educate yourself a little.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004
close encounters
I've added a new link to my blogroll for Rat. Go pay him a visit and show his (relatively) new blog a little support. I especially like to hear him discuss the hardships of catching a good wave to surf when my morning was spent commuting for 45 minutes in a complete blizzard. Of course, I love big storms like this so who am I to complain? Then again I have always wanted to go to Australia, and this storm reminds me that Rat is someone I'd like to trade places with for a few reasons right about now. *sigh* I need to get certified in diving and I need to go to the Great Barrier Reef!!! *crycry* I think I'll be buying another lottery ticket this week. lol Dare to dream, baby!!

So let me tell you about my encounter with Grocery Gateway last night. I was scheduled for a delivery between 9 - 10:30pm, which normally isn't a problem since I'm usually up late, but by 9:30pm I was really regretting my decision; I was extremely tired and had to get up early the next morning. Finally at 10:25pm the delivery guy called to say he'd be there in 15 minutes (they are always supposed to call to let you know they're on their way). Now I'm friggin' mad coz it's really getting late and I'm whipped and dying to go to bed. Finally the guy arrives on my doorstep at 10:50pm, and as he is bringing in the groceries I am plotting the venomous e-mail I am going to write to Grocery Gateway about how late the service was and perhaps threaten them that I would never use their service again (hey, I average about $140 each time!). Oh yes, this was going to be one bitter letter, I thought.

Then as the young man hands me my bill for payment he asks me a question:

Deliver Guy: "You... speak Hebrew?"

At first I'm shocked...what would even make him ask that?? Oh...DUH...maybe the Hebrew alephbet letters on my fridge??? (much like the alphabet magnets you can get for a child to put on the fridge, I have Hebrew ones) And only now do I hear his thick Israeli accent since we had not spoken until now.

me: "Do I speak Hebrew? haha...well, I'm trying. Desperately. I'm learning...I have classes I go to.."

(now I feel really embarrassed for some reason. maybe a bit silly for having these magnets on my fridge)

We talked briefly about Israel and his reasons for coming here with his family. I tried to figure out how old he was, and if he had served in the army. I decided his family probably brought him here before he had to serve. He spoke fondly of Israel and his desire to go back one day, but he also talked of how financially challenging it is to live there. As he said : "Even if you have a really good job, you don't make a lot of money".

We talked a bit about my trip last year and how very much I wish I had the money to go back. The two of us just sorta stood there for a minute dreaming of Israel and then he asked me " are Canadian? no?". I think he was confused by my extreme desire to learn Hebrew and to go back to Israel. I again felt a bit embarrassed for some reason (yikes, do I seem THAT Canadian?? is that a bad thing??) I think mostly felt embarrassed because I just seemed so.....white. LOL. Like a cultureless little white Canadian girl dreaming of far away lands.
I don't know, I can't explain it.

Anyway, it was nice talking to him and when he left I cursed him a bit coz now I can't go and write that angry letter to the company. I have a soft spot for Israelis, what can I say?? Damnit! He's lucky I liked him....coz OOO that was gonna be a bitter, bitter letter!!

Oh well. At least I can enjoy another glorious snow storm! WHEEEE!!!

Monday, February 02, 2004
Hellya, I'm in a good mood. Last night I spent some time loitering across the hall in my neighbour's apartment, and then three of us (me, Princess Blondie and her beau Bruno) watched a movie (Bend it Like Beckham) and then we watched Survivor. woot woot!!! We had lotsa fun.

And today...I dunno, I didn't dread heading into work like I normally do. I've just been in this fine mood that cannot be shaken, even by my unhappiness with my job. On a MONDAY no less! Unbelievable. So work went by quickly since I actually had work to do, and that kept me busy all day. That's good, I like being productive instead of just sitting at my computer all day trying to look busy.
Then after work I got in the door at the same time as Princess Blondie and I was invited over to her apartment to have a wonderful dinner that Bruno had made. Fun times with the neighbours!! Hee. I love them so.

In fact, I'm in SUCH a good mood that I finally knuckled down and did my resume and cover letter for this scuba shop job I want. This has me pretty excited, I hope I get it (even if it means I'll be working like a dog...probably have to give up weekends, and put in a 50 - 60 hour work week between the two jobs). I'll do my best not to drop to my knees and beg him for the job, but one never knows what I will do in a stressful situation. I shamelessly begged for the job I had before my current one, and luckily the guy had a sense of humour and gave it to me. Sometimes you just gotta straight out ask for what you want (or beg and plead). Anyway, I'm not going to have time to drop it off until Wednesday, which is killing me now that I finally have it ready. So until then..... *fingers crossed*

I just remembered that I am expecting a huge grocery delivery sometime between 9 - 10:30pm. Yeeha!! Food can *only* improve my already stellar good mood. Food makes me happy. lol And I think $140 worth of groceries can likely buy my happiness for quite some time, don't you?

Anyway, I don't have anything of any real value to say today, and I think I'll give you guys a break from my usual Israel rants. I will be pretty busy again tomorrow, including taking my beloved grandma to a doctor's appointment in the afternoon and then Hebrew class at night (which ALWAYS makes me a happy girl).

Oh, and one quick question....what the hell happened with Janet Jackson and that freestylin' right breast of hers?? hahaha......I'm sorry but I couldn't help but laugh, that was hilarious.

Sunday, February 01, 2004
jive talkin'
I've noticed I don't seem to have much to say on Saturdays, as I have not written a post for last two Saturdays now. Maybe because it's my day of rest. My day to do whatever I want, and that often results in nothing exciting to post about. Lounging around isn't what people come on here to read about (incidentally, I wonder why people DO come on here. lol).

Friday night I gathered with a few friends at someone's house and we barbequed some chicken and sausages (picture doing THAT in the blizzard we had here Friday night. we're a hardy bunch, we Canadians are. haha). Then we watched a movie called 24 Hour Party People. If you're a fan of Joy Division, Happy Mondays, New Order and that type of Manchester music you should check it out, it's very interesting. If you're not it will likely bore you to tears and I'd advise you to steer clear of it.

Yesterday was spent in my home. I cleaned my apartment, which always makes me feel more centered. The rest of the night was spent watching a bit of t.v. and doing lots of Hebrew homework. *couNERDgh* What a wild and crazy night, hunh?? Yeah, no hot dates for me. Don't even ask, but I've recently been reminded of why I hate dating. Once or twice a year I'll be daring and try it again only to be reminded why I avoid the opposite sex much of the time. *sigh* So frustrating.
Oh, and let me mention what NOT to do before going to bed; don't read books like "Can It Happen Again?: Chronicles of the Holocaust" just before you nod off. It can produce some spectacular nightmares, assuming you can get to sleep at all. Reading first hand accounts of what went on in the concentration camps has a way of keeping me awake. Good book though, and I managed to pick it up for only $5! If anyone wants me to pick up a copy let me know, and I'll go get one for you.

What else......
Oh yes, I think it's important to note that it was one year ago today that we lost the space shuttle Columbia. When I saw that in the news today all I could think was, has it really been a year already?? Unbelievable. It was a tragic event that brought many countries together, as there were people of all kinds of races and religions on board that shuttle; we were united in our tragedy. The loss for Israel was beyond devastating, as they lost their very first astronaut. When Ilan Ramon went up in the shuttle it was a huge ray of hope, a beacon of light, for a country struggling to overcome great hardships. Interestingly enough, pages of Ilan's diary have recently been found scattered in Texas and were returned to his wife for translation (they were of course written in Hebrew).
Anyway, I don't mean to single out Ilan as the only great loss in that accident, because it was a huge loss for the world. My heart goes out to the families of the lost astronauts.

I've also noticed in the news that the hits just keep on coming in Iraq. Are we still feeling good about that war, ladies and gentlemen? I'm getting very frustrated with radical Muslim groups committing suicide bombings. It's making it challenging for me to not direct my rage towards Muslims in general, which in turn makes me more mad that I should even have to work this hard at not disliking a group of people. I do not wish to believe all Muslims are bad, because I don't, not at all. But it's hard when there are suicide bombings taking place all over the world and radical Muslim-based groups are more than happy to take the credit for their handiwork. They are proud to become martyrs if it means removing some infidel Jews or Americans. Muslim leaders are destroying the world's perception of the religion by openly and publicly encouraging their people to hate and attack. Grrrr. It makes me so mad. I'm not going to go farther into this today because I'm in a good mood today, and I'm not going to jeopardize that. I'll save that rant for a crappy Monday morning when I need to vent. lol

Meanwhile, about 2 million Muslims have gathered in Mecca for their journey of faith, a pilgrimage called the Hajj. This is an annual event in Saudi Arabia that lasts for five long days. Already things have gone horribly awry as 244 have been killed with an additional 244 injured. Stampeding is often a problem at this event, as can be expected when you get 2 million people together into a small space. It's an unfortunate event, and is sadly not the first time this has happened (and likely won't be the last). New measures had been implemented this year to try and avoid this problem, but clearly they were ineffective, to say the least.

Anyway, I have a lot I want to get done today. I'm gonna get some groceries (online of course, like a good little nerd) and write out a rent cheque to the landlord; I'm gonna try my best to get this to him on time, I'm not always that punctual. Maybe I'll wait until some really late hour, when he's sleeping, and then ring his doorbell to give it to him; that would be a sweet payback for all the night's his woken me up in the last two weeks when he's decided to shovel snow at 1am. Stupid bastard and his obsessive nocturnal shoveling.
I'm also going to begin something new. I'm going to start recording all my spending for the month. I'm not going to try and budget myself yet, I'm just going to track my spending for a month so I can get a better grasp of where all my money is going (pizza comes to mind..). THEN maybe I can think about a budget, as much as I loathe the idea. Can you tell I didn't win the lottery on Friday?

And today is the Superbowl. I personally couldn't care less, but I'm happy for those of you who do. Have fun. As for me, I am eagerly awaiting what comes on AFTER the Superbowl. The All-Star Survivor Season!! woot woot!!

One last thing...can someone tell me why a person would put the words "she clamped my nose" into a search engine? Disturbingly enough it brought that insane person to MY blog. Take from that what you will.