Friday, December 31, 2004
Happy New Year, everyone!
I think I am supposed to say some really deep and reflective stuff about the past year since it's New Year's Eve, but I have always thought the event was overrated to begin with.

For me this has been one of my best and most healing years. After years of struggling I finally feel like I am coming nicely into my own. Though occasionally feeling directionless, I feel good overall and am happier than I have ever been. I got to go back to Israel for the second year in a row, and can't wait to go back again. I love it and can't get enough of it. My relationship with my parents has grown stronger after a few years of resentments and distance gnawing at it. There is still more that can be better, but it is a work in progress and I am happy with how it is going. And I am surrounded by the most awesome group of friends imaginable making me feel positive and happy.

I guess what I am saying (in what is turning out to be one of my cheesiest posts ever) is that life is good, and for that I am grateful. The weather here today is remarkably warm (9C/48F! Better than the -35C/-31F it was a week+ ago!!) and perfect for a celebration tonight with my friends. We will gather, eat food, laugh, play cards and just enjoy the warmth and bond of friendship. And I wouldn't have it any other way...

Have a great new year, folks. And don't make me lecture you about drinking and driving, and about how a best friend of mine was killed by a drunk driver. Just be smart, and be responsible. That's all I ask.

Happy New Year and Shabat Shalom.

imagine all the people
Tsunami death toll tops 135,000.

Can you imagine? I mean can you *possibly* imagine how many people that is?? Think of it in terms of a football or baseball stadium. Now imagine you are at a baseball game, the stands are packed, and suddenly the stadium fills up with water like a giant bowl. Imagine the devastation and terror, and the horror scene of thousands upon thousands of bodies. Everyone is dead. Now imagine that scene about 3 or 4 more times. That is a lot of people.

If you haven't donated yet, I don't know why. As I have said, donations as small as $5 are helpful. It all adds up. Please start the new year off right, and donate.

Gil in Chile
My favourite Israeli blogger has posted more pictures from his trip. Go have a peek.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
and the propaganda machine keeps on rolling..
Ok, I just can't NOT mention this unbelievable piece of Arab hate propaganda going on in Iran. There is an actual tv program that would have it's audience believe that Israelis are harvesting children's eyes. I'm tellin' ya, you can't make this stuff up! (unless of course you are an Arab with a hate on for Jews)

"Iran's Sahar 1 TV station is currently airing a weekly series titled "For You, Palestine," or "Zahra's Blue Eyes." The series premiered on December 13, and is set in Israel and the West Bank. It broadcasts every Monday, and was filmed in Persian but subsequently dubbed into Arabic.

The story follows an Israeli candidate for Prime Minister, Yitzhak Cohen, who is also the military commander of the West Bank. The opening sequence of the show contains graphic scenes of surgery, and images of a Palestinian girl in a hospital whose eyes have been removed, with bandages covering the sockets.

In Episode 1, Yitzhak Cohen lectures at a medical conference on the advances being made by Israeli medicine regarding organ transplants. Later in the episode, Israelis disguised as UN workers visit a Palestinian school, ostensibly to examine the children's eyes for diseases, but in reality to select which children's eyes to steal to be used for transplants.

In Episode 2, the audience learns that the Israeli president is being kept alive by organs stolen from Palestinian children, and an Israeli military commander is seen kidnapping UN employees and Palestinians.

Sahar TV also broadcast an interview with the director of the series, a former Iranian education ministry official, who discussed his motivations for making a series "about children."

I'm sorry, but am I the only one who is dumbstruck by this? Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, it's no secret that most of the Arab world has been feeding lies like this to their people for centuries, but I guess I am just stunned by how blatant this anti-semitism is (then again, it was the Christians who came up with one of the greatest lies of all... that Jews drank the blood of children! nothing like being charged with a blood libel to make you really popular!) For transcript excerpts of the show as well as clips from the show click here. Behold the evil Jewish plot to rob Arab children of their eyes! Bwah ha ha!!

Makes me glad I got a certain book as a gift this holiday season: The Case For Israel, by Allan Dershowitz. It is an extremely well written book designed to help dispel myths and horrible distortions of the truth that Israel faces everyday from the media and the generally misinformed world.

Despite it's heavy material the book is nicely broken down into very digestible and easy to understand chapters devoted to breaking down myths and outlining the facts. Each chapter addresses a particular issue/question, such as: Did European Jews displace Palestinians? Was the U.N. Partition Plan Unfair to Palestinians? Has Israel Engaged in Genocide against Palestinian civilians? Is Targeted Assassination of Terrorist Leaders Unlawful? (see the table of contents) Tough questions, to be sure. And the answers are all backed with facts and it's sources outlined. It's a fantastic read for anyone who speaks in defense of Israel or for anyone who wishes to understand the conflict and read from a source that isn't part of the Arab propaganda machine. I urge all of you to get a copy (libraries do still exist!) though given the lack of response to a recent post on a similar topic I would say there's isn't much chance you will. If you are curious give it a try.... here's a link to a few of the pages of the book for you to read.

And for something a little lighter and amusing check out YidGear, the shirts your Rabbi warned you about! I would personally be overjoyed to own the "I Love Eilat" shirt on this page, but would be as equally happy with any of the Hebrew ones. I wanted to buy a shirt with some Hebrew on it when I was in Israel, but do you know how hard it is to find one (that doesn't suck)??

Oh, and if you haven't donated to the tsunami effort yet, I have to ask.... why not? Is $5 really too much to ask?? Yalla, GO AND DONATE.

all the cool kids are doing it!
What do you mean you haven't chipped in for the tsunami relief effort yet?? You have five bucks you can spare, don't you? Then share it! Or maybe you need to be shocked a little more in order to understand the gravity of the situation? Fine, go here for heart wrenching video. As I watched people being swept away I gasped and cupped my hand over my mouth. When you're done watching, go donate.

Once again, here is a list of organizations you can donate to, or just go to's donation page. As of this post they have raised $1,280,509.18 from 24236 donors. An outstanding amount that is growing by the hour. Come on folks, kick in a few bucks and help save lives and make a difference.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Tears welled in my eyes as I watched the film footage of the tsunami disaster on the news this morning. It wasn't the dead bodies that got to me, it was the clip showing a terrified group of people clinging to a piece of wreckage as racing water flowed around them. Moments later two of them were swept away, likely never to be seen again. I was mortified as I saw the terror on their faces as they were washed away. I can't stand all this pain anymore, it's eating at my soul. I even wrote to World Vision Canada to ask if I could join any volunteers who are heading overseas to help with the relief effort. I feel helpless and wish I could do more.

The numbers being reported seem to change hourly, with some reports saying it's now 56,000. I think we can all agree this is only the beginning and that thousands more will die. This is a catastrophic event that will change our generation and the future of the world. It will go into the history books as one of the worst natural disasters ever.

For more information being continually updated please check out the Tsunami Help Blog. There you will find news and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts. The blog is extremely well done and updates news as fast as it comes in.

If you still haven't donated there is an extensive list of organizations over at The Command Post. I implore you to go, choose one, and donate whatever you feel comfortable with. As the saying goes, every little bit DOES help. I chose the Canadian Red Cross, but you may choose whatever organization you like. However, Red Cross takes donations as small as $5 online (Canadian dollars!) so if you can only afford a little may I suggest you try there.

Sometimes it takes a world crisis to bring us all together to work towards one goal.
Please join the effort.

Monday, December 27, 2004
Asia quake toll tops 21,000 (and growing).
I'm sure you are tired of reading about this in other blogs, and hearing about it on the news but I would be remiss if I didn't say anything. If for no other reason than for my own personal recollection, this event must be marked. The earthquake that caused the tsunami yesterday was the world's fifth-largest since 1900 and the largest since a 9.2 tremor hit Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1964. In other words, this is the largest quake in 40 years.

This catastrophic event will be one of those moments that will never be forgotten and only those who are actually living it right now will truly understand just how devastating this really is. The rest of us can only watch in horror from the comfort of our homes and be grateful that it didn't happen to us. My heart ached as I sorted through 50 pictures in order to choose one for this post and saw some of the most appalling pictures of the chaos. Rooms filled with corpses. Childrens bodies being buried in mass graves. Families surrendering to the overwhelming grief.

I e-mailed a friend of mine living in Thailand to make sure he was ok. I know enough about where he lives to know that he wasn't hit, but the guy likes to travel so I couldn't be sure he was actually at home. I was relieved to get an e-mail back saying he was fine. So many others won't be so lucky.

Take this time to be grateful for all that you have. If you would like to donate to the relief effort go to Unicef, Red Cross or World Vision. And yes, I do as I say and I will be donating. I hope you do too.

Saturday, December 25, 2004
to those who celebrate....
...... I wish you a Merry Christmas. I myself am up bright and early (though slightly confused when my alarm went off. "hunh? what? what day is it? why is my alarm going off?) and I am heading over to my parents place to join them and my grandma for breakfast and presents. Oh the join of getting both Christmas and Chanukah! }:-)

Here's a couple of cute links to amuse you.... "It's a Wonderful Life" in 30 seconds and re-enacted by bunnies. I love the bunny theatre! If you haven't checked it out before, go to the main page for my personal favourite The Exorcist. And if you would like to see more children who are terrified of Santa, check out the Scared of Santa photo gallery for more amusing looks at children utterly terrified by a man dressed in red (hat tip: Israellycool, who hat tipped: Wizbang). There is a bonus page that offers other great activities and photos (celebrities who dressed as Santa, build a snowman of your own, drive Santa's sleigh in a game where you drop presents, and build toys). Go ahead and have fun! I'm off to fill my belly full of food and swap feel-good presents. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2004
Well, I survived the snow storm yesterday. Work was long and tiring (I actually crawled under my desk for a 20 minute nap.. shhh!!) and then when it was time to leave work I was greeted with the task of trying to scrape a thick layer of ice off my car. And I mean THICK (pictures here and here). It took me 45 minutes to clear it off enough to drive!!!!!!!!

By the time I got home I was exhausted but went out for a quick bite of sushi with a friend (yes, I even took pics of that, here and here. I had to, it was a dragon roll! It looked cool!). When I got home I was greeted by two wonderful things, brought to me by fellow bloggers I've never actually met in person. First was a wonderful Christmas card from my beloved Sam (thank you sweetie!!) and then a phonecall from blog buddy, Jonathan (who assuredly has it colder in Montreal than I do here). Wow!! That was such a nice way to end my evening, thank you guys!!

After some shopping and wrapping for tomorrow's festivities (yes I celebrate both Christmas and Chanukak. Some of you know the full story, the rest I'm sure can figure it out) I am ready to go out for the night. I am meeting up with my friend who was unable to fly to her parents yesterday due to the storm (she got a flight for tomorrow), and we're gonna grab dinner and a movie.

To those celebrating, I hope you have a safe and happy Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 23, 2004
ask and ye shall RECEIVE!!!!!!!
Holy wow, Batman..... we have one helluva storm going here (as does most of eastern North America it would seem). It started yesterday and hasn't let up yet. In fact, it's getting worse. All over the news this morning we were being urged to stay off the roads. I knew the roads were bad because my mother called and woke me up at 6:30am this morning just to inform me. This made me especially happy since I was kept awake for half an hour as the snow plow scraped by my window at 4am. I was *well* aware of the snow situation.

I felt like a fool as I stepped outside to head to my car and saw that I was the *only* idiot in my apartment building who was going to attempt to go to work. I was concerned by the fact that the snow was deep, giving NO indication that it had been plowed 4 hours prior. In order to get my Civic to move through the snow I had to move fast and not stop so I gunned it out of my parking space, slide my way towards the driveway and floored it to get up the driveway (since it's on a bit of a hill, I didn't want to slide backwards). I prayed as I headed for the street, hoping no one would be coming because I did NOT want to stop. I slowed enough to let one car past and then I put the pedal to the metal to try and clear the bank of snow across the top of my driveway, left behind by the snow plows. For a fleeting moment the centre of my car got a bit hung up on the snow bank causing me to panic as I saw a snow plow heading my way. I pressed on the gas pedal on and off a few more times and finally got enough momentum to clear the bank. Whew!

Here's the real problem with this storm... it's not longer a snow storm. It's freezing ice. So ice pellets are now bouncing all over the place and sticking to surfaces such as GLASS. Windshields. Windows. (I kid you not, check out the pictures I *just* took of my office window covered in a sheet of ice, here and here) Or metal! Cars. Plows. Traffic lights and signs. Makes for a real adventure when your windshield is ice coated while you drive.

Anyway, I made it into work but hundreds did not. I also spoke to a friend of mine who is trying to catch a flight today to see her parents on the east coast. I wished her the best of luck since hardly, if any, flights are leaving, especially for the east coast where the storm is heading. She has a long hard day ahead, and I told her to call me if she gives up and I would go get her (since I work *right* beside the airport).

I'll tell you what's interesting though... that photo you see from my post 3 days ago (showing me in my car) was featured on a French website that gathers various pictures from photoblogs. Check it out! (for those not familiar with French the post reads: "In Canada... the weather is really cold". Yay!! All that French I was made to learn in school is finally paying off. I knew it would be good for *something* someday!! ) :-P

For those who are also in this storm, I hope you take care. For those who are not...come on, I KNOW you're jealous!!! :-P

Oh..and Happy Birthday, Corey. Hope you have a good one....

a note to the perverted
This post is for the person who has repeatedly typed "very young naked teenage girls free" into his/her Sympatico search engine and come to my page because of the results.

First of all, you were obviously looking for something very different when you happened upon my blog, but you have used the exact same search to come back to my site *several* times a day since the initial search a few days ago. Do me a favour and just bookmark me instead of using that filthy search to come back here.

Secondly. Dude. Very young naked teenage girls? What the HELL is wrong with you?? Get some help ya little perv, you're dancing on the edge of the dark side. I now have your ip address which means anyone else could too. See how "innocently" surfing the internet for young girls can be tracked? Watch yourself little man, or you're gonna have either the cops or an angry daddy with a baseball bat knocking down your door.

Incidently, I would love to know what you found so fascinating on here since it took you away from your quest for masturbation material. If you feel brave, feel free to share.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004
me likes the snow!
What a difference a day can make! Yesterday the temperatures were a toasty +2C (35.6F) which is a damn sight warmer than the -35C (-31F) we had a mere 12 hours earlier! Cold snap be gone and now bring on the SNOW!!! That's right, we are just starting into a snowstorm that is forecasted to last for the next 36 hours or so, no doubt causing major havoc on the roads and giving lots of people the day off tomorrow! Yay!! Coz who doesn't want an extra day off?? (most people will be closed down on Friday for Christmas holidays) I am so happy it's snowing!!!

Ok ok, maybe you are all tired of hearing me talk about the weather. Would you rather hear about my sexy new water cooler?? That's right, baby!! I am so ridiculously pumped up about my new water cooler, that I even took some pictures for you to see (head over to my photoblog or click here, here, here and here). Yes I realize this is likely boring to everyone else, but if you love me you will pretend to be interested and happy for me. I've been through hell to get this cooler (this is the second one, the first one poured half a giant bottle of water on my floor), including going back and forth to Walmart in the sub-zero temperatures and battling Christmas holiday shopping and return lineups. But in the end it is all worth it coz now I can have ice cold water at the touch of a button, AND I can have nice hot water at my fingertips for hot tea or chocolate anytime I damn well please! Eeeek!!

Still bored? Ok, how about this. Go watch it and tell me you don't find it at least mildly amusing (wear a tinfoil hat!). Meanwhile, I'm gonna sneak out of the office, grab a handful of snow and bring it back in to pelt someone in the office. Shhhh!!

Monday, December 20, 2004
shiver me timbers!
Let me tell ya.... in these parts of the world 'cold' is a four letter word! (if ya catch my drift. *wink*) I can't rightly recall a time when we have had such a deep freeze in Toronto in December, since this sort of cold is usually reserved for the dark days of January. With temperatures holding at -35C (-31F) there are warnings all over the news that exposed skin can freeze in as little as TEN minutes. Brrrrrrrrrrr!!!

As you can see from the picture on the right, my bathroom window was covered in a layer of thick frost (on the INSIDE) this morning as I climbed in for a shower. And no, steam didn't help any. My mother called as I was getting ready for work to inform me that it is in fact SO cold that her car threatened to not start, and she suggested I give my car plenty of time to warm up before I drove it (yes mom, I had already thought of that!). She also said something to the effect that I should put on a warm sweater because "skinny little things like me" really tend to feel the cold. Yes mom, I was planning to dress warmly. I am 30 years old, afterall. I can now make grown-up decisions on my very own! But hey, once a mom, always a mom. :-)

And so I donned the appropriate clothing: a sweater with a t-shirt underneath, not one but TWO scarves (one under the coat, one around my mouth to help keep my lungs warm), a full length wool coat with hood, and of course gloves.

that's me trying to keep warm in temperatures dipping down to -35C (-31F)I had decided that I would get gas on my way to work, and not only would I get gas, I would pump my own rather than wimping out and going to a full-serve station where they pump it for you. I felt very proud of myself as I stood at the pump filling up my car with barely so much as a shiver. The only part that got cold was my hand that was doing the pumping; apparently my glove was not thick enough. So I alternated hands until the tank was full. Huzzah!, I thought. I am woman, hear me roar! As I stood and waited for my receipt to print out I was amused to watch a man pumping gas who clearly had NOT heeded his mama's warnings to dress warmly and was therefore doing a little dance to try and keep warm. It was at this point that I realized that the receipt was not printing... the machine told me I had to go inside to get my receipt. Suddenly my fine mood was taking a nosedive. *grumblegrumble* Pull the keys out of the car... lock it... walk into gas station. What's the big deal you ask? Well, if you wear glasses you know that when you walk inside they fog up. And due to a cruel twist of irony it is a blindingly sunny day here today and therefore everyone is wearing sunglasses. As I walked into the gas station and stood in line to wait for my receipt (*grumblegrumble*) my glasses fogged up, and then when I left the gas station to head back to my car the fog on my glasses instantaneously froze, creating a delightful layer of frost on my glasses. Good fun. So after defrosting my glasses and car I was on my merry way to work...
(as always, you can go to my photoblog for a full picture-story of my cold morning :-)

Do I hate this cold? Yes and no. I mean I am a Canadian, born and raised, so I am more or less used to it. I would prefer snow (which never happens when it's this cold, btw. the weather man this morning says it's supposed to warm up and snow tomorrow. yay!) but you can't exactly pick and choose the weather. Besides, the cold sort of brings us all together. Gives us something to bitch about. :-D
Which reminds me... as I was driving to work this morning I noticed a bumper sticker on a truck that said "Don't mess with Texas". I laughed, thinking of the cold, and thought... Oh yeah? Well don't fuck with a Canuck!

Sunday, December 19, 2004
hibernation time
It is -27C (-16.6F) here today, so I do NOT want to hear anyone whine about how cold it is where they are (unless it's colder than here, in which case you have every right to). That stands especially true for you thin blooded Israelis who recently complained that it was only 2C (35.6F). Boo hoo for you, I can only dream of what it's like to have balmy temperatues of 2C.

UPDATE: in case you were wondering... yes, it CAN get colder. It's now -35C (-31F). I wouldn't mind the cold so much if only there was snow. Where is my snow!?!?

a few small victories
YEE-HA!!! In a landmark move, spammers have been ordered to pay $1 billion to an internet service provider and I for one couldn't be happier to hear this. I think it's safe to say that every single one of us is fed up with spam, and eagerly await the day when it is outlawed. I have even had to give up a couple of my e-mail addresses because they were so inundated with spam. As I mentioned in a post the other day, I have even been getting spam in my brand new Gmail account but I have been impressed by Gmail's spam filter, which has caught every single one thus far. Please don't ruin my beloved Gmail account, you spam bastards!!!

In another interesting development Blockbuster Video has decided to eliminate their late fees, the number one complaint among customers. "Under the new rental terms, movie and video-game rentals will still have a due date, but there's a one-week grace period on top of that.

But there's a catch. If a customer hasn't returned the rental a week after the due date, they own it. Blockbuster will charge customers' accounts accordingly (the sale price of the item, minus the rental fee).

If a customer decides not to buy the movie or game they've rented after all, there's an additional 30-day grace period. Blockbuster says customers can return a rental after 30 days, and get a refund. But, they will be charged with a small restocking fee. In the U.S., that fee will be $1.25."

"The company said it plans to get rid of late fees on March 31 in Canada. In the U.S., the new policy takes effect on January 1."

I have actually debated this news with a couple of friends, trying to figure out just how this is going to work for Blockbuster. While I commend them for making the move, I can't see how this will logistically work. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Before I go, here are a few blogs you might find intriguing:

Query Letters I Love, "Actual, honest to god query letters I've received in Hollywood." This blog has *hilarious* letters written by people trying to pitch their ideas to Hollywood. A must read.

In Context is a great blog I stumbled upon that takes news headlines about Israel, picks them apart and analyzes them. May not be for everyone, but it's very interesting.

The Art of Getting By (aka: Planet Janet). A brilliantly funny blog, I *highly* recommend!

Jewlicious. Coz come on... you love Jews, right? This woman gives insightful and often amusing takes on world issues, with focus on Jewish and Israeli issues. Go check it out, it's funny and well written.

Ladies and gentleman, in this post I am asking a favour. I am asking that you take the time to read this entire post, as lengthy as it is, in order to understand what is really going on in Israel. To understand the history over whose land is whose and the lies that have been sold to the world by the media. I know this post is a bit long, but if there is ever one post I want you to read on my blog it is THIS one. I ask this especially of my non-Jewish readers who probably don't read much about Israel except for what they occasionally see in the news. I know those readers have no real stake in what happens in Israel, but I would love for you to read this, understand, and hopefully have some compassion. At the very least, I ask that you read the points marked in the paragraphs with 'bullets'.

Without further ado here is a post that I have taken directly from Smooth Stone, a guy who always chases facts and puts it in a way that we can all understand:
Who really owns Palestine?

Folks, daily we hear assertions that Israel is occupying Palestinian land.

This is, of course, propaganda of the first order, since there is no such thing as Palestinian land, and to use that phrase is to promote a blatantly political — anti-Israel — agenda.

The excellent article below, by Lawrence Auster, lays bare the historical facts of the matter: Israel has never taken land from the Palestinians, and the Palestinians have no legal claim to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) or Gaza.

We urge you, whenever you see unquestioning reports of ”Palestinian land“, to write your editor with clarification. This article will supply you with all the facts you need.

There is a myth hanging over all discussion of the Palestinian problem: the myth that this land was "Arab" land taken from its native inhabitants by invading Jews. Whatever may be the correct solution to the problems of the Middle East, let's get a few things straight:
  • As a strictly legal matter, the Jews didn't take Palestine from the Arabs; they took it from the British, who exercised sovereign authority in Palestine under a League of Nations mandate for thirty years prior to Israel's declaration of independence in 1948. And the British don't want it back.
  • If you consider the British illegitimate usurpers, fine. In that case, this territory is not Arab land but Turkish land, a province of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years until the British wrested it from them during the Great War in 1917. And the Turks don't want it back.
  • If you look back earlier in history than the Ottoman Turks, who took over Palestine over in 1517, you find it under the sovereignty of the yet another empire not indigenous to Palestine: the Mamluks, who were Turkish and Circassian slave-soldiers headquartered in Egypt. And the Mamluks don't even exist any more, so they can't want it back.

So, going back 800 years, there's no particularly clear chain of title that makes Israel's title to the land inferior to that of any of the previous owners. Who were, continuing backward:

  • The Mamluks, already mentioned, who in 1250 took Palestine over from:
  • The Ayyubi dynasty, the descendants of Saladin, the Kurdish Muslim leader who in 1187 took Jerusalem and most of Palestine from:
  • The European Christian Crusaders, who in 1099 conquered Palestine from:
  • The Seljuk Turks, who ruled Palestine in the name of:
  • The Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad, which in 750 took over the sovereignty of the entire Near East from:
  • The Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus, which in 661 inherited control of the Islamic lands from:
  • The Arabs of Arabia, who in the first flush of Islamic expansion conquered Palestine in 638 from:
  • The Byzantines, who (nice people—perhaps it should go to them?) didn't conquer the Levant, but, upon the division of the Roman Empire in 395, inherited Palestine from:
  • The Romans, who in 63 B.C. took it over from:
  • The last Jewish kingdom, which during the Maccabean rebellion from 168 to 140 B.C. won control of the land from:
  • The Hellenistic Greeks, who under Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. conquered the Near East from:
  • The Persian empire, which under Cyrus the Great in 639 B.C. freed Jerusalem and Judah from:
  • The Babylonian empire, which under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. took Jerusalem and Judah from:
  • The Jews, meaning the people of the Kingdom of Judah, who, in their earlier incarnation as the Israelites, seized the land in the 12th and 13th centuries B.C. from:
  • The Canaanites, who had inhabited the land for thousands of years before they were dispossessed by the Israelites.

As the foregoing suggests, any Arab claim to sovereignty based on inherited historical control will not stand up. Arabs are not native to Palestine, but are native to Arabia, which is called Arab-ia for the breathtakingly simple reason that it is the historic home of the Arabs. The territories comprising all other "Arab" states outside the Arabian peninsula—including Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria, as well as the entity now formally under the Palestinian Authority—were originally non-Arab nations that were conquered by the Muslim Arabs when they spread out from the Arabian peninsula in the first great wave of jihad in the 7th century, defeating, mass-murdering, enslaving, dispossessing, converting, or reducing to the lowly status of dhimmitude millions of Christians and Jews and destroying their ancient and flourishing civilizations. Prior to being Christian, of course, these lands had even more ancient histories. Pharaonic Egypt, for example, was not an Arab country through its 3,000 year history. The recent assertion by the Palestinian Arabs that they are descended from the ancient Canaanites whom the ancient Hebrews displaced is absurd in light of the archeological evidence.

There is no record of the Canaanites surviving their destruction in ancient times. History records literally hundreds of ancient peoples that no longer exist. The Arab claim to be descended from Canaanites is an invention that came after the 1964 founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the same crew who today deny that there was ever a Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Prior to 1964 there was no "Palestinian" people and no "Palestinian" claim to Palestine; the Arab nations who sought to overrun and destroy Israel in 1948 planned to divide up the territory amongst themselves. Let us also remember that prior to the founding of the state of Israel in 1948, the name "Palestinian" referred to the Jews of Palestine.

The only nations that have perfect continuity between their earliest known human inhabitants and their populations of the present day are Iceland, parts of China, and a few Pacific islands. The Chinese case is complicated by the fact that the great antiquity of Chinese civilization has largely erased the traces of whatever societies preceded it, making it difficult to reconstruct to what extent the expanding proto-Chinese displaced (or absorbed) the prehistoric peoples of that region. History is very sketchy in regard to the genealogies of ancient peoples. The upshot is that "aboriginalism"—the proposition that the closest descendants of the original inhabitants of a territory are the rightful owners—is not tenable in the real world. It is not clear that it would be a desirable idea even if it were tenable. Would human civilization really be better off if there had been no China, no Japan, no Greece, no Rome, no France, no England, no Ireland, no United States?

Back to the Arabs: I have no problem recognizing the legitimacy of the Arabs' tenure in Palestine when they had it, from 638 to 1099, a period of 461 years out of a history lasting 5,000 years. They took Palestine by military conquest, and they lost it by conquest, to the Christian Crusaders in 1099. Of course, military occupation by itself does not determine which party rightly has sovereignty in a given territory. Can it not be said that the Arabs have sovereign rights, if not to all of Israel, then at least to the West Bank, by virtue of their majority residency in that region from the early Middle Ages to the present?

To answer that question, let's look again at the historical record. Prior to 1947, as we've discussed, Palestine was administered by the British under the Palestine Mandate, the ultimate purpose of which, according to the Balfour Declaration, was the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. In 1924 the British divided the Palestine Mandate into an Arabs-only territory east of the Jordan, which became the Kingdom of Trans-Jordan, and a greatly reduced Palestine Mandate territory west of the Jordan, which was inhabited by both Arabs and Jews. Given the fact that the Jews and Arabs were unable to coexist in one state, there had to be two states. At the same time, there were no natural borders separating the two peoples, in the way that, for example, the Brenner Pass has historically marked the division between Latin and Germanic Europe. Since the Jewish population was concentrated near the coast, the Jewish state had to start at the coast and go some distance inland. Exactly where it should have stopped, and where the Arab state should have begun, was a practical question that could have been settled in any number of peaceful ways, almost all of which the Jews would have accepted.

The Jews' willingness to compromise on territory was demonstrated not only by their acquiescence in the UN's 1947 partition plan, which gave them a state with squiggly, indefensible borders, but even by their earlier acceptance of the 1937 Peel Commission partition plan, which gave them nothing more than a part of the Galilee and a tiny strip along the coast. Yet the Arab nations, refusing to accept any Jewish sovereignty in Palestine even if it was the size of a postage stamp, unanimously rejected the 1937 Peel plan, and nine years later they violently rejected the UN's partition plan as well. When the Arabs resorted to arms in order to wipe out the Jews and destroy the Jewish state, they accepted the verdict of arms. They lost that verdict in 1948, and they lost it again in 1967, when Jordan, which had annexed the West Bank in 1948 (without any objections from Palestinian Arabs that their sovereign nationhood was being violated), attacked Israel from the West Bank during the Six Day War despite Israel's urgent pleas that it stay out of the conflict. Israel in self-defense then captured the West Bank. The Arabs thus have no grounds to complain either about Israel's existence (achieved in '48) or about its expanded sovereignty from the river to the sea (achieved in '67).

The Arabs have roiled the world for decades with their furious protest that their land has been "stolen" from them. One might take seriously such a statement if it came from a pacifist people such as the Tibetans, who had quietly inhabited their land for ages before it was seized by the Communist Chinese in 1950. The claim is laughable coming from the Arabs, who in the early Middle Ages conquered and reduced to slavery and penury ancient peoples and civilizations stretching from the borders of Persia to the Atlantic; who in 1947 rejected an Arab state in Palestine alongside a Jewish state and sought to obliterate the nascent Jewish state; who never called for a distinct Palestinian Arab state until the creation of the terrorist PLO in 1964—sixteen years after the founding of the state of Israel; and who to this moment continue to seek Israel's destruction, an object that would be enormously advanced by the creation of the Arab state they demand. The Arab claim to sovereign rights west of the Jordan is only humored today because of a fatal combination of world need for Arab oil, leftist Political Correctness that has cast the Israelis as "oppressors," and, of course, good old Jew-hatred.

Lawrence Auster is the author of Erasing America: The Politics of the Borderless Nation. He offers his traditionalist conservative perspective at View from the Right.

With gratitude to FLAME for their dedication to defending the sovereign nation of Israel.
If you have made it to the end, I applaud you and thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you have learned something (heck, even *I* did!) and that you carry that knowledge with you now, and look at the news a little differently. "Read more, learn more, change the globe".
Thank you, everyone. Especially you, Smooth Stone, for fighting the good battle.

Friday, December 17, 2004
sunny days make me feel fine
Sunset in my front yardBeen a few days since I have written a post.... mostly because I just haven't had much to say. I mean...are you really interested in knowing that I bought some new fish to put in my aquarium? Do you really care that I got together with my buddy Princess Blondie and her beau Bruno to watch the Survivor finale? How about the fact that I got a new pair of running shoes for the gym? Not exactly mind blowing news bits to share. But there ya have it, just some of the highlights of the week. I could talk about the dating going on in my life, but I keep that stuff away from my blog, mostly out of respect for whomever I am seeing.

Life has marched on and I am feeling pretty good these days. The whole gym thing is working out pretty well and I am sticking with it and feeling great because of it. I sleep like a babe at night, though I seem to be having a hard time with my ankles. Having weak ankles seems like a ridiculous thing to hold me back, but it really is keeping me from getting the most out of my workout. Thus me buying new shoes to try and remedy the problem, but it's too early yet to determine if it's helping. Time will tell.

Anyway, we have also had a few good snow storms, including one last night, but it keeps melting away!!! *crycry* I want a big snow storm and I want it to STAY on the ground! But hey, we don't always get what we want, right?

I hope to do some relaxing this weekend and take in a whole slew of movies with a few friends. Maybe go on a date. Maybe clean my home up a bit too. Maybe do some reading. Maybe do some meditating. And maybe finally do some Hebrew homework; I am months behind.

The picture I included in this post was taken the other day from my apartment building. The sunset was just so beautiful, I couldn't resist. For a much bigger and more amazing version of it click here. As always you can just head over to my photoblog to check it out along with a few other pics I have put up. Oh, and I had an amusing dream last night.. you can go read about it in my dream blog.

shabat shalom!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Forget MTV, I want my internet!
The winning combination of no internet at work during the day and an active social life at night is responsible for my lack of posting. Believe me, work is a MUCH less fun place to be with no internet. While I have been extremely productive on some projects at work, I don't always have a lot to do and it's getting real boring real fast. And after work, well, what can I say? I'm a social butterfly. And I am...dare I say it?... dating someone. I wouldn't exactly qualify it as a boyfriend/girlfriend scenario yet, but we do seem to be spending an awful lot of time together. *shrug* Who knows... I guess we'll wait and see (note my "cautiously optimistic" attitude).

Before I go...anyone else getting spam in their Gmail account? I guess I knew it was inevitable, but it still makes me sad. I'm getting about 2 - 4 a day now, but I am really happy to see that the Gmail's spam filtering system has caught every single one of them thus far, and they haven't made it into my inbox. Kudos to Gmail! However, I send a big poopoo-on-you to Hotmail and Yahoo Mail for taking e-mails from Gmail accounts and dumping them into the Bulk folder, usually causing them to be missed. I sent a Gmail invite to a Yahoo account and it got thrown in the Bulk folder. Had the person not known I was sending one it would have been missed, since she often empties her bulk folder without looking to see what's in it (since it's all junk). I am not surprised by Hotmail doing this, but I am a bit disappointed with Yahoo, who has so far not done me wrong. I guess everyone is scared of Gmail's competition. And they should be!

Sunday, December 12, 2004
celebrating Chanukah, Israeli-style
I am thrilled to see Gil is posting again...and from Argentina no less! He is backpacking around South America and has posted wonderful pictures. Be sure to scroll down and watch the footage of Gil and his friends lighting Chanukah candles and singing at an altitude of 3300m! The clip is incredibly moving and heartwarming.

It's nice to have something wonderful like this when you get terrible news of another 5 Israeli soldiers killed at the hands of Palestinians. In the end good and bad find a way to strike a balance. I am grateful Gil could share his amazing experiences.

Friday, December 10, 2004
yes, I am a marketer's dream.
My ability to both write a new post and read other blogs has been seriously impaired thanks to a highly incompetent IT guy we have at work. We have been without internet access of any sort for nearly two days. The first day was sheer panic coupled with a twinge of depression, but today I reached of point of just giving in to the reality of the situation. Not surprisingly I was the most productive I have been in months at work today because I had nothing better to do. Yes, I am somewhat ashamed to admit that.

Moving right along, I'd like to talk about a creepy new product on the market that Pepsi has put out called "Holiday Spice". It is apparently a "spiced cola". The first time I saw it was in a commercial, and while I am a loyal Coke drinker I am also a sucker for marketing and new food products so my interest was piqued. However, I presumed immediately that it was likely only available in the United States, since we get a LOT of American commercials for stuff we don't get here (like short lived, and in all likelihood, bad marketing ploys). Anyway, I felt it was my duty to try it when I spotted it in the refrigerator section at the gas station.

So here it is beside me. First observation: it's red. Not black. RED. In my world that means it is no longer a cola. Second observation: this stuff is UBER bubbly. Yeah, I know, it's a carbonated beverage. But this stuff is so bubbly it looks like there is a bubble wall in it, constantly blowing bubbles up to the surface. It's bizarre. Ah but how is the taste, you ask? Loathe as I am to admit it, it's not the worst thing I have ever tasted. I won't be buying it ever again, but it was worth a try. The "holiday spice" is of course cinnamon and ginger, and it took a few sips for me to get past the cola taste and really hone in on the spices (which can only mean my tastebuds are shot all to hell because now I can taste nothing BUT the spice. I cannot possibly explain what took my tastebuds so long to wake up). Once I got a good taste of it I had terrible flashbacks to the time I ate Scooby-Doo cereal, the worst cinnamon cereal I have ever let touch my lips (in fact, it has ruined all cinnamon flavoured cereal for me. thanks for nothing, Scoob!).

In the end I have to say that if you want to try something different you might as well give it a shot, though I am proud that Coke hasn't turned out such a ridiculous product for the season. And if you're into strange flavoured beverages give Sprite Ice a try. At first I was repulsed by the idea of adding mint to a lemon-lime pop, but in fact it was quite tasty and refreshing. What can I say? I will try almost any new product at least once. Of course my favourites are still Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke. Oh how I love them so. Which are your favourites? (here's a really cool list of Coke products, sorted into a timeline. some I didn't even know were from the makers of Coke!)

Shabat Shalom and a continued Happy Chanukah.

Thursday, December 09, 2004
So I woke up at 5:55am this morning because I had a nightmare that I was going to die next Wednesday. It was kinda tough to get back to sleep after that, ya know? If you want to read more about it the post is here on my dream blog.

*pause the writing of this blog entry. I got an e-mail just now that has me fuming*

Here's the e-mail I received (unedited, so take the spelling errors for what they are, I didn't do it. I only removed his link because I won't help the bastard by giving him traffic):
"ear Celestialblue, (yes, his cut and paste technique leaves much to be desired. "ear" Celestialblue somehow seems less sincere)

My name is Joseph Butch, and I'm with [editingouthebastardslink].com. and I
wanted to inquire about a link inquire about adding our link to your
site (again, he can't even be bothered to get the correct link and is strangely repetitive, strangely repetitive)

Our site information is:

Title: Drunk Driving Lawyer
Description: Find drunk driving lawyers in your area by your zip code
also has drunk driving related news and legal topics.

If this is acceptable to you please let me know when and where you place our link. If you require a reciprocal link we will be more then happy to immediately place your link on our site with the site description and link text you provide. I will contact you and let you know the placement of your link.

Again, thank you very much for your time and consideration.


Joseph Butch
SWI Digital, Inc.
Phone: 800-631-5158 Ext.218
Fax: 866-810-4531"
My reply:

"Joseph Butch:

You have GOT to be kidding me.
I am not sure why on earth you thought my blog would be the place for a link like this considering I had a best friend killed by a drunk driver 3 years ago. And to add insult to injury, the girl who killed my friend got off the charges thanks to people like you.

My blog has links to Mothers Against Driving and Alcoholics Anonymous
on it, and I assure I would never support a site like yours.

I highly suggest you make no further attempts to contact me. Swine
like you make the world a more dangerous place, and spit on memories
of people like my friend.

celestial blue"

Now I am mad as all hell, and am no longer in the mood to write the happy-go-lucky post I had planned on. For those new to my blog and don't know about my best friend Shane who was killed by a 19 year old drunk driver, go read my post about him here. And I know there are going to be a lot of parties over the next few weeks, so I am going to turn all "public service announcment" on you now and ask that you PLEASE not drink and drive. It's just that simple.

Happy-go-lucky posting will resume again soon.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004
blogging for love in all the wrong places
I've done a strange thing. I have signed up to something called Blog Explosion (click the banner for more info). It is basically a site that is designed to help raise awareness (and therefore traffic) for your blog, and increase readership.

I have done this for a couple of reasons: (1) while I am not actually all that concerned with how many people visit my site (statistically speaking), I *am* interested in having more readers who interact, comment, and join conversations and debates on my blog. I can safely say that my life has been greatly enriched over the past year by the people I have met through my blog; some through e-mails, some through phonecalls, and many I have even met in person (and on a trip the other side of the world, no less!). Without my blog I likely would never have met these people and I cannot imagine not having them in my life.

(2) I want to raise awareness about things I am passionate about (ie: educating people with regards to the truth about Israel and the challenges it faces). More importantly, I hope blogs like Israellycool and Smooth Stone join Blog Explosion so that they can raise awareness to their blogs, because theirs are far more informative about the issues than mine.

As a bonus to all this I get to expand my blogroll by visiting all kinds of new blogs that are listed in the Blog Explosions directory. Though I spend *far* too much time reading blogs as it is, I am always open to new views from other bloggers. It keeps things fresh. So if you are interested, go ahead and click on the banner and have a peek.

UPDATE: since writing this entry I have been surfing other blogs from the directory and been finding quite a few gems, such as The Impulsive Buy: Product Reviews Gone Wild! and the hilarious Jluster (funny AND Jewish! bonus!). Both will be added to my blogroll asap. Now I must break away from all this surfing and actually get in the shower and start my day. I'm late!!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Chag Sameach!
Happy Chanukah!!At sundown tonight the Festival of Lights, aka Chanukah, begins. I wish all those celebrating a warm and wonderful Chanukah. Eat some potato cakes and doughnuts and feel no guilt! I personally am going to be making a stop in at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to get my jelly filled goodness. (hey, I'm not the only one!)

For those interested check out more information here or go check out Israellycool's post where he has compiled links, quotes and jokes. When my chanukiyah is fully lit (in eight days) I will post a picture of it (or you can go to my post from last year for a pic, but this year's picture will be taken from outside!). For a real American-style chanukiyah check out this picture. Yikes!

Meanwhile I'm gonna go do a little snow dance in the hopes of driving the rain away. Yes, it's RAINING now, and it's melting the snow away. It's made for a helluva drive into work this morning having traded blowing snow for super thick fog. Check it out, I took a picture of it on my way to work this morning (or as usual, go to my photoblog). More snow please!!!

Monday, December 06, 2004
enjoying the snow while it lasts...
If you know me at all by now you know that I love it when it snows. The more the better, and I get excited by big storms and all the chaos that ensues. Snow storms are great and if you don't get a chance to experience them wherever you live you are really missing out. You can come here and read all about it if you like, and drink up my bubbly enthusiasm. :-)

This morning I woke up to a giant snow storm outside my window and I am not ashamed to say I clapped my hands together and squealed with glee. Sure my drive into work would end up being a nightmare, but it would be worth it if it meant I got to have snow on the ground.

As you can see from the picture I was very excited, unlike the people in the second picture there who had the misfortune of running into each other. I eventually lost count of how many accidents I saw as I drove into work, and narrowly escaped being in one myself. My drive into work usually takes me 20 - 30 mins, but today it took me over an hour. However, as always happens with December snow in Toronto, this is all expected to melt as it warms up over the next few days and rains. Rain makes snow melt which makes me a very unhappy girl. *pout* This is why I always try and enjoy it while it lasts. For more pictures and the full story head over to my photoblog, Dreaming In Blue.

Sunday, December 05, 2004
one more reason why Microsoft BITES.
By now many of you have already heard that Microsoft has finally decided to get in on the blogging game by introducing it's blogging service "MSN Spaces". (Way to be on the cutting edge, Bill. Did you only just now hear of this "blogging" phenomena??) What isn't so well advertised is the fact that Microsoft is playing the role of Big Brother by censoring blogs names and content as they see fit.

Taken from this article from CNET: "Unlike rival services such as Blogger, MSN Spaces forces new users to grant Microsoft permission to "use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat" their blog postings." Many people have been trying to bypass the filters by giving their blogs names with subtle innuendoes: "But the fun started for many users when blogs with tricky titles that resembled innocuous terms--think of a racier version of "tit for tat," for example--cleared Microsoft's censorship filters."

So unless you plan on starting a blog about kittens or basket weaving, this probably isn't the place you wanna go to keep a blog. Bill Gates seems to have missed the point of a blog entirely.... blogging is freedom of expression in the grandest sense. Censorship of this format is not only laughable, it offends. Take your blogging service and shove it. Be ready, Microsoft..... Gmail is going to kick Hotmail to the curb, or at the very least, have it scrambling to keep up. And the only people who will blog with you will be 11 year old girls who want to talk about Hilary Duff and Avril Lavigne. Best of luck to ya, coz it's high time someone gave you a run for your money.

As for me... sorry about the three day hiatus. I guess I was drained after those two big posts and just plain ran out of things to say. Something I didn't think was possible! *shrug* But what I can't let pass without mentioning is the fact that I got a phonecall last week from one of my most favourite bloggers, Sam. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It made me very happy. I have had such wonderful opportunities to get to know people through my blog, I must say. And while I have never met Sam in person I have talked to him through e-mails and our blogs, and now we got a chance to put a voice to the names. It was fantastic to talk to him live. :-) I love meeting other bloggers!! *sigh*
I wonder who will be next...... I think it's gotta be K-Dogg. He's kinda close in that "10 hour drive" kind of way. lol! NYC - Toronto.... how far can it be?? Come play a gig up here, already!!!

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great weekend and you're feeling refreshed and ready for a new week. I know I am. This week's activity: Chanukah! Woot woot!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Bush whackin'
Bush Visits CanadaAs you have probably already heard, President Bush is in Canada right now, paying us a "friendly" visit. You may have also heard that he received less than a warm reception. But what you probably didn't hear is that this is the first time an American president has visited Canada in nearly TEN years. Can you possibly explain why that is? Every single president prior to Bush had made Canada their first country to visit after being elected, except Mr. Bush. He went to Mexico. Not Canada, America's biggest trading partner (to the tune of 1 billion dollars going across the border EVERY DAY, folks). Mexico. So he didn't exactly start off on the right foot with Canadians, and throughout his presidency he has continued to snub Canada, further endearing himself to his neighbours to the north.

This point came up when I met with HebrewLion and (his lovely wife) Elana a couple of weeks ago, and we sat around discussing American and Canadian relations (they being American, and I Canadian). They asked me how Canada felt about Americans and Bush. I said that things really started to sour after 9/11 when Bush stood up to give a big speech and thanked pretty much every other country in the world but Canada. Americans snorted that we were being too sensitive, but most don't seem to understand all that we did. When we heard that our dearest neighbours to the south were attacked we did everything we could to help. We felt like WE had been attacked too, and we were prepared to help out however we could. Hundreds lined up at the blood bank to donate blood until finally people were actually turned away. Firefighters from all across Canada crossed the border and went down to help in the cleanup and rescue effort. And over 7,000 Americans were taken in by kind Canadians on the east coast because airliners bound for the States were grounded in Canada. And by take in people, I mean that in many parts Americans were brought in to stay in the homes of Canadians willing to offer a hand by opening their homes to complete strangers. They fed them, sheltered them and helped them get in touch with loved ones to let them know they were ok. To this day, friendships from those times have endured and some Americans go back to visit the Canadians that helped them through one of the most terrifying times in their lives. Canada opened it's heart, home and pocketbook to help up out. And Bush stood up and thanked everyone BUT Canada. So yeah, pardon us if that pissed us off just a bit.

On this visit to Canada Bush is now trying to remedy his error by thanking Canada for opening it's homes to those stranded when flights were grounded but, big surprise, no one cares to hear it 3 years later. And he wonders why people not only don't give a shit that he's here, but are protesting that he is?

Most annoyingly, American media has taken the protests out of context and blown it out of proportion and sensationalized it to make it look like we bloody near attacked him. Certain clips of protests-gone-wrong have been shown on the news making it look like there was a mob of thousands trying to lynch Bush. It was a protest; people yell, people do stupid things. Such is the nature of protests, and I have to say I wasn't particularly impressed by those protesters who make the rest of Canada look bad. Protest if you must, but let's be civil.

Do I wish that American and Canadian relations were better? You're damn right I do. And I am tired of Americans calling Canadians "anti-American". Canada doesn't dislike the States... Canada doesn't like Bush. And yes, there IS a difference. A big one. And for those who have their panties in a bunch after reading this, don't worry. Not ALL of Canada hates Bush. Heck, thanks to his handiwork, our dollar is better than ever against America's! In fact it's the highest it's been in ten years. go figure!
Thanks, Mr. Bush!

echoes from the past.....
For a number of years I have been trying to track down an old childhood friend of mine. I tried Googling her, looking up her phone number, the phone number of her mom, anyone I could think of.. and couldn't find her. I knew she was a bit of a wanderer, having lived all over Canada and so I had no idea where she could be now. This was a girl I had known for 21 years and I was sad that I couldn't find her.

To make a long story short, in August I woke up one morning with her on my mind. As I laid in bed trying to fully wake up I was thinking about my search and decided I would try and spell her name slightly differently (not the usual way to spell it, but it was worth a shot) in Google. I got up, I entered her name, and damned if I didn't find a family webpage her cousin had made. It was sort of a newsletter for the whole family to keep everyone in touch about what was new, who had a baby, etc.. Much to my utter surprise my friend's cousin... had married into MY family!! There I was, jaw dropped, as I was reading "news" about someone from my family! Having recovered from that shock I scrolled down until I found out about my friend. Wow...she's married, since 2001. WOW...she's living in Switzerland!?! I was beyond excited I had finally found her.

I wrote her cousin and asked about my friend and how to reach her. He passed along her e-mail address so I e-mailed her and told her I had been searching high and low for her and was thrilled to find her. I sent a pic and told her a bit about what I am up to now. She wrote back just as enthusiastic as me, said she too had been looking for me and that she was moving back to Canada with her husband in the Fall. We were elated to have found each other again. I tried calling her but she had already moved out and was backpacking across Europe before coming back to Canada, and just as she was to return, I was heading to Israel. We didn't communicate again after those initial two e-mails, but I left my address and phone numbers with her cousin.

This weekend a friend of mine called me up to tell me about the second night of The Pixies concert he went to see (there were two shows, I went to the first, my friend went to both). He said the strangest thing had happened... he saw this girl and he thought she looked familiar so he approached her (oh yeah... life is weird!). He said to her that she was familiar but that he couldn't place her. The two of them stood for quite some time guessing at how they might know each other before she finally said... "Waitaminute... didn't you used to date [you don't need to know my full name]?", and he said yes. And so it dawned on them both, that this was my old friend talking to a guy who was my boyfriend 10 years ago. She asked about me and what was going on (she was amazed we were still friends, but it's been so long I don't even call him my "ex" anymore) and gave him her new number to give to me.
How crazy is that??? So I think I'll call her today or tomorrow. She lives somewhere about 3 hours from here I think, judging by the area code on the phone number. YAY!!!

With that in mind there is something else I have been meaning to mention (and only now as I type do I realize there's a bizarre connection). In the last year or so I have been having dreams about a guy I used to work with and became good friends with. Eventually we had a terrible falling out (I place the blame on us both, not him alone) and we have not spoken to each other since. That must have been.... hm... about 6 or 7 years ago. I had moved on and I'm sure he did the same. Every so often I see his dad at Wal-mart (his dad is a retiree, now happily taking the post as Greeter at Wal-Mart) but the man never seemed to recognize me, much to my relief. Once I even saw my old friend in the Wal-Mart but ducked between aisles to hide from him. It was bad, but I didn't know what else to do. His friendship was a can of worms I was not interested in opening again at that point.

However. As I said, I have had a number of dreams about this guy recently and have started to wonder about him and how he is doing. A lot has changed in my life and I am at a good point, with an overall feeling of being content (with the occasional twinge to move to a foreign country. LOL). When I look back at the falling out I feel a bit guilty about what happened. I know what he did was wrong, but I also know I had been wrong too. And part of me has been re-examining all this and wondering... should I track him down and apologize to him? Would he even want to hear from me or would it be too painful? Would I want to be friends with him again? What would I want out of this? I have been debating this for months. I looked online but the only trace I could find of him was a review of a White Stripes concert he wrote for a website 2 years ago. No e-mail address. :-/

As I stood in line last week for The Pixies concert last week I noticed something. The guy ahead of me... his walk was familiar. I KNOW that walk, I thought. Could it be? Could I actually be standing right behind him?? It was pouring rain at the time, and most of us had pulled a hood over our heads, and were keeping our heads down. It was dark, it was wet and it was miserable. I hurried my pace a bit as the line moved to try and get a look at this guy from the side (he was wearing a hat... the back view wasn't giving me any answers). Just as I got a glance and a confirmation it was him he turned around. Not knowing what to do I quickly (and obviously) turned around too, only now I ended up facing the person he had turned to talk to, who had walked up behind me. It was a mutual friend of ours that I hadn't seen since the falling out. I was stuck in an awkward ex-friend sandwich. Luckily, neither of them paid any attention and didn't notice/recognize me (it helps that I look a great deal different than I did back then). Part of me really wanted to grab his sleeve and reveal myself to him, but part of me felt like the timing, in the pouring rain and all, was poor. And on top of that, I was meeting other friends (the guy from the story prior) who most certainly would NOT have wanted to spend the rest of the concert hanging out and catching up. So I let the moment pass.

Of course I dreamt again about him that night and now I am left wondering... should I or shouldn't I try and contact him? I combed the internet once more, but couldn't find him. I found his parents phone number, and he is likely living with them..... but is a phone call the best way? I would rather put out feelers with an e-mail. I don't want to put the guy on the spot by just calling him up, coz I know that I might not appreciate that if someone did that to me. Is it really my place to shake his world up again? I know I have a few friends from my past that I don't ever want to hear from again, so I'd be pissed if they contacted me. Then again... I am coming with an apology, which would change everything for me if I were in that position.

*sigh* I don't know. I have to think there is a reason these people are coming back into my life.... I just want to figure out what that is, and what my role is.