Monday, January 31, 2005
what? can't a girl take a few days off from blogging??
Can someone tell me why I had to find out on an Israeli news site that there is a large protest this week by Jewish students in Toronto because Arab students on the University of Toronto campus are holding weeklong lecture series called "Israeli Apartheid Week"? Apparently I don't pay enough attention to local news coz I didn't hear anything about that. Then again... did it make the news here? Either way it's quotes like this that make me uneasy: "We're trying to educate people on the fact that Israel is an apartheid state and not simply a military occupier of the Gaza," said Hazem Jamjoum, a member of the student group. "Today we'll talk about the origins of the conflict, the 1948 war, when the first half of Palestine was colonized."
Yikes. But just a quick question.... isn't it the Palestinians that want every last Jew out of the West Bank and Gaza, while Israel has all kinds of Arabs living in her land who are (*gasp!*) voting, living and working and (*doublegasp!*) holding political positions in the Israeli Parliament?? So remind me again.... who's the creator of the feeling of apartheid in the region?

Moving right along....
I wasn't even planning to post today either, but an adoring fan has drawn me out with a plea for a new post so here I am. I haven't posted because I was a busy girl all weekend, and then today and tomorrow I am on the road, not in my office. My weekend was pretty good... spent time with the beau, and had a friend of mine crash on my couch Saturday and Sunday night. I like having guests, it doesn't happen too often. :-)

Saturday was a gorgeous day as we experienced warmer temperatures than normal (I think it was a toasty -6C/-21F) and considering we had just lived through a week of -35C/-31F temperatures, we thought we had died and gone to heaven. Indeed the temperatures we SO tropical that I decided to shovel my friend's driveway for him since he was out of town and coming back the next day. I foolishly thought... it's a gorgeous day! I could use some fresh air and exercise! And so I got out the shovel, took my coat off (yes, it was that warm... at least.. to a Canadian it was) and shovelled until I was about ready to drop. Seemed like a good idea at the time but my muscles were *killin'* me the next day.

Sunday I got together with two of my friends and we did a movie marathon at the theatre and saw 3 movies. Million Dollar Baby.... very good (and I need me a body like Hilary Swank's in this film!!). Vera Drake..... also good but quite depressing. By the end of both movies we were feeling a bit low, as they weren't exactly the most light-hearted of films. And then we saw what could quite possibly be classified as the worst movie ever. In fact, it was so craptacular that I'm gonna have to go ahead and kick Van Helsing (or Van Helshit, as I like to call it) out of first place and replace it with Alone in the Dark. What was Christian Slater thinking? Seriously, did it read well on paper?? We may never know, but he could have been spared some embarrassment if only it had gone straight to video.

Anyway! That's all I've got to say for now. If you want to see some cool wintertime pictures that I took this morning head over to my photoblog for a quick peek. As always, be sure to click on the thumbnails to get the larger images.. you wanna see the pretty snow, don'tcha??

Friday, January 28, 2005
Middle East rumble
Well WELL...... things are getting pretty exciting in the Middle East these days, now aren't they? Iraq is having it's first democratic elections in almost 50 years. So far the build up to and during the elections has been riddled with violence but determined Iraqis are doing what they can to get out and vote. As many as 11,000 Iraqis in Canada are registered to vote and are heading to the polls over the next three days. I hope this brings Iraqis some sense of independence......

And in Israel there seems to be change in the wind. Many are afraid to be too optimistic about all this (myself included) but at the same time it's hard not to get hopeful. The IDF chief has ordered a reduction in the number of troops in Gaza as the number of Palestinians police officers deployed has been on the increase. It's nice to see the power being handed over... but the fear of course is whether or not that will come back to bite Israel in the ass. However, even the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has admitted that "the conditions are ripe for a historic breakthrough". Funny how none of this ever happened when Arafat was leader of the Palestinians, hm?

Then again, Hamas (you may recall, a terrorist group responsible for many of the suicide bombers) has just won an overwhelming victory in Gaza Strip local elections. The article says: "The first-ever municipal elections in Gaza, which were held on Thursday, were seen as a test of strength between the Islamic militant group and Abbas". Indeed, it's that bond between the new Palestinian leader, Abbas, and an Islamic terrorist group (not militant, thank you very much) that has me worried. The article goes on to say: "Our people have a consensus on the choice of jihad and resistance and the election has underscored that concept," Hamas spokesman Muhir al-Masri told reporters following the announcement of the results". In other words, the people have voted for the violent leadership method over the negotiation method. Looks like Abbas has his work cut out for him.

Shabat Shalom.

random drivel for anyone who might be interested

Click the button and go vote for me. You know you want to.

Ok, ok.. anyway. A few things I am excited about:

1) I found Red Bull at a gas station last night. What's the big deal? It hasn't be legal in Canada until the last month or so. Apparently Canada had some wacky law whereby you could not add caffeine to a beverage unless it was a cola. (wha??) Anyway, seems we got over that and now I can buy Red Bull at a ridiculous premium like the rest of the world ($3 a can!!!). I'm sure the novelty will wear off soon enough and likely I just wanted it because I couldn't have it.

2) Starting today Blockbuster is doing away with late fees in Canada. This is phenomenal and may just win me back from (on online movie rental system that I have been enjoying). Time will tell, I'll have to give it a try and see.

3) Famous Players movie theatres have reduced the admission price from $13.95 to only $9.95. That is HUGE! And yeeeha! I couldn't be more excited about that since I am a movie slut.

As for what's going on with me... well, last night I spent some quality girl time with my old buddy Princess Blondie. It had been quite some time since we hung out so we hung out, sipped tea and talked about the angst in our lives. Very rejuvenating for the soul.
This weekend I am going to be spending time with my new beau, and on Sunday I am meditating with the same group I got together with a few Sunday's ago (did I mention I was the only white girl in a room full of east indians? lol) and then I'm gonna try for a three movie marathon with a friend of mine in the local theatre. Gotta see all the Oscar nominee films!

For the rest of the day and much of next week it looks like I'll be doing work on the road. Sometimes my job requires me to do that and I don't mind. Gets me out of the office. I hope the bad weather has subsided somewhat. And... that's about it. What have you kids got planned for the weekend?

Thursday, January 27, 2005
The Liberation of Auschwitz - 60 years later
On January 20th 1942, the Wannsee Conference took place. In the course of that Conference, the Nazi hierarchy formalized the plan to annihilate the Jewish people (here are the actual minutes of the meeting and a list of those who attended). Understanding the horrors of Auschwitz requires that one be aware of the premeditated mass-murder that was presented at Wannsee. Highlighting these events now has become particularly important, as the press reports that '45% of Britons have never heard of Auschwitz'.

The Holocaust, symbolized by Auschwitz, the worst of the death camps, occurred in the wake of consistent, systematic, unrelenting anti-Jewish propaganda campaign. As a result, the elimination of the Jews from German society was accepted as axiomatic, leaving open only two questions: when and how.

As Germany expanded its domination and occupation of Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, the Low Countries, Yugoslavia, Poland, parts of the USSR, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Italy and others countries, the way was open for Hitler to realize his well-publicized plan of destroying the Jewish people.

After experimentation, the use of Zyklon B on unsuspecting victims was adopted by the Nazis as the means of choice, and Auschwitz was selected as the main factory of death (more accurately, one should refer to the "Auschwitz-Birkenau complex" the camp was expanded and consisted of three main parts: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz. It also had over 40 sub-camps). The green light for mass annihilation was given at the Wannsee Conference, January 20, 1942, and the mass gassings took place in Auschwitz between 1942 and the end of 1944, when the Nazis retreated before the advancing Red Army. Jews were transported to Auschwitz from all over Nazi-occupied or Nazi-dominated Europe and most were slaughtered in Auschwitz upon arrival, sometimes as many as 12,000 in one day. Some victims were selected for slave labour or "medical" experimentation. All were subject to brutal treatment.

In all, between three and four million people, mostly Jews, but also Poles and Red Army POWs, were slaughtered in Auschwitz alone (though some authors put the number at 1.3 million). Other death camps were located at Sobibor, Chelmno, Belzec (Belzek), Majdanek and Treblinka.

Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army on 27 January 1945, sixty years ago, after most of the prisoners were forced into a Death March westwards. The Red Army found in Auschwitz about 7,600 survivors, but not all could be saved.

For a long time, the Allies were well aware of the mass murder, but deliberately refused to bomb the camp or the railways leading to it. Ironically, during the Polish uprising, the Allies had no hesitation in flying aid to Warsaw, sometimes flying right over Auschwitz.

There are troubling parallels between the systematic vilification of Jews before the Holocaust and the current vilification of the Jewish people and Israel. Suffice it to note the annual flood of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN; or the public opinion polls taken in Europe, which single out Israel as a danger to world peace; or the divestment campaigns being waged in the US against Israel; or the attempts to delegitimize Israel's very existence. The complicity of the Allies in WW II is mirrored by the support the PLO has been receiving from Europe, China and Russia to this very day.

If remembering Auschwitz should teach us anything, it is that we must all support Israel and the Jewish people against the vilification and the complicity we are witnessing, knowing where it inevitably leads.

For more information, try these links:
Auschwitz Museum,, Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State (PBS), and the photos over at Yad Vashem. If you would like to search for a loved one that was lost in the Holocaust you may try the central database of victims.

Never forget and NEVER again.

A special thanks to all those who participated in today's Blogburst (forgive me if I have missed your name):

A Photo Journey
Alicio i Underlandet
Alpaca Burger Forum
American On Line
Army Wives Serve with Pride
At Level Ground
Barbara's Musings
Bellus Bellum
Blog Gig
Blog Willy No
Cao's Blog
Captain Mainline
Catastrophic Success
Chimera's Ponderings and


Christian Action For Israel
Clarity and Resolve
Crossing the Rubicon2
Crusader War College
Crystal Clear
CUANAS (Christians United Against the

New Anti-Semitism)

Daily Inklings
DANEgerus weblog
Dare to Inquire: Weblog of a

Wondering Jew

David Frankfurter
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Dr. Forbush Thinks
Dreams Into Lightning
Dust My Broom
Earl's log
Elder of Ziyon
Elegance Against


Enter Stage Right
Eurabian Times
Freudian Slippers
Friends of Micronesia
Grandma's House
Harald Tribune
Hasidic Gentile
Heretics' Almanac
Hey Karen
History Rules. But this will do for


il Gabibbo
Inland Empress
Blog Israelnetdaily
It Is What It Is
It's Almost Supernatural
Jerusalem Posts
Jerusalem, G-D'S Eternal City
Josef's Public Journal
Kosher Eucharist
Leaning Right
Life in the Ghetto
Life More Abundant
Locham Yisrael
Mere Rhetoric
Middle East Facts
Mugged by Reality
My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Mystery Achievement
Mystical Paths
National News


Neither here nor there
News for Members of the Tribe
No Oil For Pacifists
Noreen's Knit*che
Ogre's Politics and Views
Okie on the LAM - in LA
Pajama Pundits
Pardon My English
Paul and Carls daily diatribe
Peace For Our Time
Plum Blossoms
Poisoning Pigeons
Pretensions of


Rabbi Jason A. Miller's Blog
Ramblings of a Roman


Random Observer
Ravings of a Mad Tech
Res Publica 2004
Rite Turn Only
Serenity Through Hope


Setting The World To


Simulev - Swedish anti-Israel bias!
Sky Watching My World
Slant Point
Smooth Stone
Snugg Harbor
Soccer Dad
Something... and Half of Something
Somewhere on A1A
Sounding the


Spiced Sass
Sweet Rose
Tampa Bay Primer
Tex The Pontificator
The Baby Seal Club
The Bad Hair Blog
The Blog from the Core
The Blue Maple Leaf
The Chainik Hocker
The Commons at Paulie World
The Conservative
The Crusader
The Farkhole
The Hidden Nook
The House Of Wheels
The Key Monk
The Lion of Judah
The Moderate Voice
The Original Musings
The Owner's Manual
The Pink Flamingo Bar &


The Raphi's Zionist Site
The Redhunter
The Secret Life of Shoes
The Speakers Action


The Steiner Aid
The Truth about Israel
Theodore's World
Think Israel
This Vehicle Makes Wide Right Turns
To Protect Our Heritage PAC
Uncle Jack
Unicow Farm


Vox Felisi
While yet within the heart
White Pebble
Willow Tree
Yeah, Right, Whatever
Yesha Speaks Out
Yeshayah 62:1
Zibibbo is Good

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
hug a Jew today! (and make it me!!!)
Well I don't think you kids are voting for me *nearly* enough... coz suddenly the front runner is a full 23 votes ahead of me. The floor is being mopped with me! Get out there and make me popular, already! :-P Click here (or on the shiny new button that my sweet supporter Occasional Bitch made for me).

Consequently, I just noticed yesterday that I have also been nominated for "Best Israel Advocacy Blog (Group B)" which is terribly sweet and all... but I don't have a prayer. I appreciate the nomination (whoever you are!) but if you look at the other nominees you will see that there are other Bloggers out there working much harder to get the word out about Israel and it's struggle. Thanks to all those nominated in this category for keeping up the good fight. If we don't do it, who will?

Go support the other bloggers by voting in the Jewish And Israeli Blog Awards today!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
BlogBurst, Jan 27th
I have been haunted by photos as I have been searching through and compiling information for my BlogBurst post on Thursday. What is a BlogBurst, you may ask? A BlogBurst is 'a simultaneous, co-ordinated posting by a large group of webmasters and bloggers on a given topic'.

This Thursday marks 60 years since the liberation of the nazi death camp of Auschwitz, and we are hoping to educate and bring awareness to this occasion and the Holocaust in general. Many would argue that "everyone" knows about what happened during the Holocaust, but just this morning a poll was released suggesting that 'almost three in 10 Canadians couldn't identify that Jews were the main victims of the Holocaust'. But wait...there's more: "The survey discovered that when participants were given a list of groups, almost 30 per cent chose Poles, French, British or Russians or weren't able to identify any group. And just 40 per cent of respondents knew that more than six million Jews died in the Second World War." (more on the survey can be found here)

See anything wrong with this picture? I am especially mortified that Canadians, a people who fancy themselves well educated, are coming up short on information and education on the subject. This has got to change.

For a list of bloggers who are joining the effort to draw attention to this occasion click here. If you would like to join the effort (you don't have to be Jewish, folks! you just have to care enough to not let such a tragedy happen again) you may click here for more info, including ideas on what to post.

Make a post count, and help educate others. Come join the BlogBurst this Thursday.

rock the vote!
Have YOU voted for your favourite blogger today? Don't forget that the Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards are going on, and I am nominated. If you wanna show me a little love and appreciation you can click here, scroll down until you see "celestial blue" [Best Personal Blog (Group B)] and vote! I'm only 9 votes behind the leader which already has me pretty darned flattered, as I am up against some wonderful blogs. So go on... vote for me or vote for someone else.... just vote! And remember you can vote once every 24 hours. :-)

out of sight out of mind?
The death toll from the tsunami is now topping out at 280,000. Ladies and gentleman, that is HUGE.

Now let me ask you this.... how many of you have already started to forget about all this? Where we were once thinking about it several times a day we are now only thinking about it once or twice a day. The news reports are becoming less and less frequent, and now mostly talk about bickering over whether or not certain countries are giving enough. As politics begin to take over people are dying while waiting for things to be sorted out. Money and supplies MUST keep coming in and efforts must not slow or be restricted to one or two months time. This relief effort will mean years of rebuilding and we musn't forget about these people.

If you haven't donated yet I beg you to consider doing so now. It has been a month since the quake and bodies are *still* being recovered, and in many regions food, water and medical supplies are scarce. People are getting sick and need help. If you have already donated I implore you to consider doing so again. Just last week I made second donation myself, and I ask that you think about doing the same. Maybe even set up a monthly donation to Red Cross through your bank or credit card. Is $5 a month too much to ask?

Come on folks, these people need our help and this is a long way from being over.

Monday, January 24, 2005
just another manic Monday
Before I get into the weekend recap let me just point out that the voting is now underway for the Jewish And Israeli Blog Awards over at Israellycool. If you love me like you say you do you will CLICK HERE and vote for yours truly in the category of "Best Personal Blog" (it's listed as "celestial blue"). I'm not one for getting into these types of awards/competitions, but as the saying goes, it's an honour just to be nominated. Thanks for the nomination Solomon, I'm flattered.

Now then... how about the weekend?? What a crazy one.. Snow storms! Johnny Carson died! A glimmer of hope in the negotiations for a truce between Palestinians and Israel! (dare we dream??)

Like much of the northeastern seaboard, we were hit here with a big snow storm on Saturday, the likes of which I have not seen ever in this area. I tried to take a picture but the lens would get covered with blowing snow before I could even take the shot! And the cold snap continued with temperatures hovering around -33C/-27.4F for days on end. The power went out in large areas of the downtown core in Toronto over the weekend leaving many folks freezing their asses off. Today the snowing has stopped (until this afternoon, we're told) and has warmed up to a toasty temperature of -23C/-9.4F. This has got to be one of the wackiest winters on record. (edit: an hour after I posted this the next wave of the snow storm hit. guess I should shut my big trap when is say thing like "today the snowing has stopped".)

My mother called me yesterday to let me know that Johnny Carson had died, and I was pretty sad to hear it. I mean, I wasn't his biggest fan or anything but he was an icon and I respected all that he had done. I remember staying up late enough to watch his show once was I was very little and thinking... wow... I'm actually up late enough to watch Johnny Carson!! It was such a coup.

And yes, there is talk of negotiating a truce (or "hudna") between Israel and Palestinian "militant groups" (read: terrorists). We have been down this road many a time, so most of us are cautiously optimistic at best. Either way, I am willing to give the new Palestinian leader, Abbas, a chance since he did dispatch 1,000 - 3,000 police to help fight the terrorists who were firing rockets into Israel. Will it work? Does he mean it? It remains to be seen..... I for one am hoping for some real change. Let's keep our fingers crossed....

Friday, January 21, 2005
GayBob Spongepants (or SpongeBob Gaypants, if you prefer)
Here's a disturbing article I found in which "Conservative Christian groups accuse the makers of a video starring SpongeBob SquarePants, Barney and a host of other cartoon characters of promoting homosexuality to children".

Of course what the video is actually trying to do is promote and encourage tolerance and diversity, and yes, that includes GAY PEOPLE. "But at least two Christian activist groups say the innocent cartoon characters are being exploited to promote the acceptance of homosexuality". Uhhhh.... yeah. AND? Would it be such a horrible thing if children learned to accept homosexuals???

It gets better the more they try and explain it: "Christian groups however have taken exception to the tolerance pledge on the foundation's Web site, which asks people to respect the sexual identity of others along with their abilities, beliefs, culture and race". Whew. It's a good thing that these Christian groups are here to keep us safe from the potential danger of growing tolerance and acceptance. Because what kind of a world would we live in then!?!?!

"Their inclusion of the reference to 'sexual identity" within their 'tolerance pledge' is not only unnecessary, but it crosses a moral line," James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, said in a statement released Thursday". But of course.... being gay is so very immoral.

Is there much more I can say about this article without launching into a full out rant? Maybe someone can explain to me exactly what is so wrong about teaching kids to be tolerant of the differences between people, because I can't quite figure this one out.

Shabat Shalom everyone.

even HELL has frozen over!!!!
it is -35C/-31F right now!!!!!!!!!!!!! gaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!
Do you know how hard it is to start my car in temperatures like this?? I have to talk to it nicely...stroke the steering wheel...and promise it I'll love it for ever and ever if it will just do me the favour of starting. And then I let it warm up before driving it, coz otherwise it makes horrible horrible noises as it creaks and complains.

The last few days have been icy cold, as I have mentioned before (though it warmed up yesterday to a balmy -28C/-18.4F, so I thought we were doing well). There's also been a rash of car jackings because people are leaving their cars to warm up outside, unattended. It's tough coz you *gotta* let the car warm up in weather like this, it's not good to run an engine that cold. I'm gonna be taking my chances too, so here's hoping no one steals my car.

Anyway, I'm gonna go get ready for work and warm up the car. I'll post later (my work week has finally calmed down, so I'll be able to) about such delightful topics as SpongeBob Gaypants. Tune in later!

Thursday, January 20, 2005
one day I may have time to write a real post..
Why am I up at 5:30am when my alarm was set for 6am? Because my brain is not my friend, apparently. It's fine, I have to be out the door by 7am today coz I have to go to some damn training seminar somewhere, but still. By 2pm I'm gonna wish I had that 30 mins of sleep.

Yesterday was truly a scary driving experience once I got on the highway. It was the 40 mins of being stuck in solid traffic on the road to the highway that was really annoying. You'd think we had never driven in a snow storm before or something. Anyway, I survived and eventually went on to have an ok day. I went to the gym and saw a movie with a friend (The Aviator. An *amazing* film).

And now I am staring all blurry-eyed wishing for a mug of coffee to wake me up (which is SO unlike me... I don't drink a lot of coffee... maybe once or twice a week, and rarely in the morning). Once again, if I can, I'll post a bit later when I get back to my own office. Be good while I'm gone!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
I won't likely to have a chance to post much today. I am about to head out into a snow storm to drive up north for a meeting. Ooo-ee, am I excited. If it's one thing I adore it's a tension-filled drive on snow covered highways!

Anyway, if you want to see the most tasteless advertisement EVER click here. Somebody needs to tell Volkswagon that suicide bombers are NOT funny under any circumstance since VW evidently lacks common sense. (link hat tip: Jewlicious).

Oh! and I almost forgot....
go on kids, go to her blog and wish her a happy birthday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
It's -33C/-27.4F here right now. I do not want to go outside to go to work. :-(
On a completed unrelated note, I have a new blog crush. You know who you are, and thanks a LOT. lol Why oh why must bloggers charm me with clever writing and beautiful pictures?? *sigh*

Hm. I'll try and write a real post later. Must bundle up and head to work now.

Monday, January 17, 2005
Priss's 12 Step Program to Designing Bad Websites
Ok, you have to check out these amusing tips on how to design a bad website. Here are some of my personal favourite tips (which I found so hilarious because they're true!!):

Step 2: Choosing the most infuriating background imaginable

If you haven't sent your visitors into a fit of rage with your background, leaving them wanting to hunt you down and punch you in the neck, you haven't done your job as a good web designer. Make sure you background is tiled, contains at least 3 contrasting colors, and is reminiscent of the disco era. Animation is always a plus. Make sure your readers can't read the text on your background without popping a blood vessel.

Step 7: Java, java, java

At any given moment, you site must contain no less than 3 java applets. Remember, you want your users to know that you care by using up all their system resources for displaying your site. If your site crashes their browser, all the more reason for them to keep coming back to your site. Show your visitors that you love them.

Step 9: Embed a midi file on each page

People love music. Just look at all the attention the RIAA and file traders are getting. Embed a different midi file on every page with a never-ending loop - the loop works best when it doesn't transition seamlessly. Don't ever give your visitors the option to turn it off - you went through all this trouble for them, the least they can do is show their appreciation for your painstaking efforts.

Anyway, those are just a few of my favourites, but you REALLY need to go check out all twelve steps because it is just so damn funny. I personally found the one about the midi file funny because it's a personal peeve with me, and recently I had one crash my entire page when I surfed onto a blog using BlogExplosion. Grrr!! So infuriating! It just slows everything down and bungs up a browser pretty good.

Oh, and before I forget, I've added a few new blogs to my blogroll, so feel free to check them out if you're looking for something new: Priss's House of Crap (home of the 12 steps I just mentioned), Occasional Bitch (très amusing and really, who doesn't love self-deprecating humour?), Destination Jerusalem (coz we all know I love me some Israeli blogs!), Jewlicious (have I mentioned this blog?? excellent team blog tackling world and Jewish issues), Leah's Life (a great personal blog documenting one woman's personal journey of recovery after abuse), MentalBlog (the more Jewish blogs the merrier!), and On The Face I have no idea what has taken me so long to put this one on my blogroll especially since this Israeli grew up here in Toronto!).
So there ya have it. Go show some of these blogs some lovin' ...tell them I sent ya!

weekend recap
Well well, I had me an action packed weekend! Friday I had dinner and shot some pool with my old highschool buddies which is always great fun. I may suck at it, but I sure do love me some billiards! And Saturday I went and saw the movie Beyond the Sea, the Kevin Spacey flick about Bobby Darin. I quite liked it and felt that Spacey did an amazing job of the singing and dancing (and not only was I the youngest person in the theatre, I was the only one shameless enough to sing along with all the songs). Thanks to this film I have a new respect for the man's talents (it doesn't hurt that I think he's cute). Sunday morning I was up bright and early at 6:20am to join a morning group that gathers for 3 hours of meditation every Sunday. I really enjoyed that and will be trying to make a habit of going every Sunday (though every Sunday at 8am is pretty harsh. lol). And the rest of the day Sunday was spent with a new guy I am smitten with...... HMMMM... could it be??

ANYWAY! I once again successfully procrastinated about doing my Hebrew homework so tonight is the night I do it, I *swear*. I can't keep putting it off, especially since I have class tomorrow. Has anyone found the cure for laziness and procrastination yet? Coz I'd give up my spleen for that.

Oh, and my new love is the tv show Battlestar Galactica. I loved the old show and I am loooooving the new one. Love it. Can't get enough of it. Taping each show and watching it repeatedly. (I bought the mini-series on dvd) If you're a sci-fi geek you need to get into this, it's awesome!!

Friday, January 14, 2005
the norm
Well it seems like everything is back to normal. Temperatures here have plummeted back down to the usual chilly January readings and Palestinian terrorists have been killing Israelis. The newly elected Palestinian leader (Abbas) would do well to show some new leadership at this point and actually DO something, but I'm not exactly holding my breath. As I said, things seem to be back to normal. :-/

I'm looking forward to the weekend, myself. Plans to go out for dinner and billiards with my gang for birthday celebrations tonight. I'm getting together with my favourite aunt and uncle on Saturday for a long awaited date to see the movie Beyond the Sea. I love Bobby Darin, and I have been waiting for months for this movie! Then it's dinner with the family and racing home to catch the new Battlestar Galactica series premiere. *joy!* And Sunday it's 3 hours of meditation with a group nearby and then, all going well, I'm going to knuckle down and do some Hebrew homework. I will not bow to distractions, damnit!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Shabat Shalom.

Thursday, January 13, 2005
wacky weather gods
Ok, I wasn't going to get into this until tomorrow, but what the HELL is going on with the weather?? Tsunamis. Mudslides. Heavy rain. Heavy snow. And see this picture of me? I just took it. That's me standing outside my office in the middle of January with NO coat on. In Toronto. CANADA. Right now it's warmer here than Tel Aviv, Israel. See that in the background? That's what little snow we have left melting away!

It's a balmy 18C/64.4F, when it really should be more like -20C/-4F this time of year. Unbelievable! It feels so weird to be walking around outside without my long coat, scarf and gloves. The weather is getting crazy.... I think the world is pissed off at us for treating her so badly.

take my shortcomings! Please!
I have come to recognize and acknowledge some things about myself. I can admit to them, I'm big about it.

I am addicted to my computer. When I get up in the morning I eat my breakfast in front of it and waste at least 40 minutes reading news, blogs and e-mails. Why can't I just wait and do it when I get to work? I have no idea. Because of this I am late for work by 5 - 10 minutes every single morning. We won't even get into how much time I spend on the internet at work.

I should not be allowed to answer the phones at work. First and foremost I am not a "phone person" by any stretch of the imagination. I am horrible at taking messages and even worse at remembering to actually give them to the intended person. If somebody named Todd called, for example, the message may read: "Todd...Tim or maybe Tony called, about.... that thing. He works for a shipping company". Honest to god, that's how I take a message. And we won't even talk about the number of people I have accidentally hung up on while transferring calls. Why they still let me touch the phones is a mystery to me. I do my best to avoid them.

I am extremely impatient. Anyone who knows me can easily verify this with any number of stories in which I have been annoyed by them over one little matter or another. This is just one of many reasons why I don't have a dog (love them, but can't deal with puppies around the clock) or plan to have any kids. These things require patience, and this is something I know I lack. Hey, admitting you have the problem is the first step in helping yourself, right? Yes yes, I'm short tempered and I know it. Believe it or not, I'm better than I once was. I'm a work in progress, afterall.

I have noticed that I have road rage. Not the uber violent type that leads people to get out and shoot (hello, I'm Canadian) or to even get out and yell (hello, I'M CANADIAN), but the kind that has me cursing other drivers under my breath all the time. It's so second nature now that I don't even notice that I am muttering things all the way to and from work. My favourite phrases: "Drive like you mean it!!" or "Don't you people have somewhere to be?? I know I do!!". I have recognized that this simply can't be good for my mood or outlook, especially at the start of the day. So I have been trying to bring about some awareness and to start noticing when I am doing it. In an effort to curb it (and eventually stop it) I have allowed myself three moments to get mad at another driver and then my freebies are up. After that I have to just take a deep breath, remain calm, and remember that this isn't a big deal and hardly worth ruining my mood. It's actually been going ok, because even when I slip I am at least aware of it and feel dumb for doing it. Baby steps!

No matter how I slice it, I have a lazy streak through me about a mile wide. I seem to lack simple motivation to do things (my Hebrew homework, paying bills on time, and pretty much anything at work) and I can't figure out what my problem is. If I am motivated enough I am happy to work my ass off, but it's tricky mustering that motivation. Why is it so difficult to get myself to sit down and do my Hebrew homework? Why is it I welcome ANY distraction that would take me away from that? At work I'm not even interested in having more responsibility coz I'm so damn lazy and to be honest, just don't love my job that much (but that's a whole other rant for another time, now isn't it?). So why do I procrastinate? Why am I so lazy? Where has all my motivation gone? No clue.

Well, I could go on and on, listing all my flaws one by one, but I think my ego has had enough. Got some outstanding flaws you care to be brave enough to openly share? Come on, it feels great being vulnerable in front of strangers. LOL

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Mrs. Celestial Stewart
I'm not sure if you're all aware of this, but I am in love with Jon Stewart. My love affair with him began back in October when I was stuck at home for 4 weeks as I recovered from surgery; it was then that I found him on the 9am timeslot at Comedy Central. Just when I felt my life couldn't get any less funny, this man made me laugh. I enjoy his humour for it is intelligent and well thought out, and often times just silly and ridiculous. Somehow he mixes education and humour when discussing politics and isn't afraid to go out on a limb and say something that much be condemned by the general voting public. He puts "freedom of speech" to the test.

I was lucky enough to get two books of his from my friends this past holiday season: "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction" and "Naked Pictures of Famous People" . The "America" book was banned by Wal-Mart back in October when it came out because it contains a fake photo of the members of the U.S. Supreme Court in the nude. As outlined in this article: "The picture, on page 99 of the book, shows the heads of the Supreme Court justices grafted onto naked, sagging bodies. The book supplies cut-outs of judicial robes so readers can 'restore their dignity by matching each justice with his or her respective robe.'" Not as quick out of the starting gates but just as passionate about the matter, Mississippi libraries banned the book for the very same reason this week. And then a day later the ban was overturned. Seems ya just can't keep people away from Jon. They want Jon! Give them Jon.

If you haven't taken the time to watch his show and are looking for some intelligent political humour, I highly suggest you give him a try. The show seems to be on at a variety of times (11pm, 12am, 9am) so check your local listings and set up the vcr if you have to.

Monday, January 10, 2005
my sexy new look!!
WELL???? Whattya think about my amazing new look for my blog??? Yes, si and I have been keeping this under our hats while she worked, reworked and reworked the template some more over the last month or so. Seems Firefox (my browser of choice) can be a tricky browser to write html coding for. But my beloved si has done it and I think the results are nothing short of gorgeous. She used some of the photos I have taken and made a beautiful banner out of them and has thoughtfully used my favourite colour (blue) to set the tone. Is it not beautiful?? I simply can't gush enough about this.

So if any of you are looking to redesign your website or blog I highly recommend you consider si as your personal website genius and designer extraordinaire. Her time, care, and consideration are beautifully reflected in the work she does. She makes sure she gets it the way YOU want it.


take THAT Sandra Bullock!!
Oh sure...Sandra Bullock may have donated $1 million dollars to the tsnumai relief efforts, but check out this Canadian couple who donated $5 million!! How much have YOU donated??? If you haven't donated yet.... well... I guess you just have no soul.

Sunday, January 09, 2005
missed opportunities
Oh boy, kids....can'tcha just FEEL the electricity and excitement in the air?? The Palestinians are electing a new leader!!! Mark this thrilling day in history as they finally have an opportunity to elect a leader that could actually help them instead of stealing all the funding that is given to them from other governments trying to help out. Watch as the Palestinians snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as they choose a leader who is following the same path as the president before him and will take them nowhere just as Arafat did. A call for change is in order and the Palesintians refuse to answer the call. I can only sit in utter amazement as the Palestinians piss away this opportunity to bring about change and instead choose more of the same bad leadership that has left them without a country to call their own. Then again... I guess their options were pretty limited. Who else were they going to elect?

a law against skinny models??
Check this out! There is a proposed Israeli law that would prevent models from being underweight! "They've introduced a bill to the Knesset [parliament] requiring that models undergo health examinations, and have their BMI (body mass index) checked before entering the modeling profession. It's apparently the first bill of its kind in the world." Yeah, no kidding...I can't imagine anyone else daring to suggest such a law. Personally I think it's *brilliant* though I can't see it actually taking root worldwide. I would love to see this happen...come on Israel! Blaze a trail!!

As for me, I'm blazing my own trail. Oh yeah... you heard me. Between getting back into Hebrew class last week (for the first time in months) and three months in the gym under my belt I am a force to be reckoned with! Booyah!! Ok, so maybe I'm not quite blazing a trail, but I am feeling pretty good about these things. My long absence from Hebrew class is making it difficult to recapture what I had learned earlier, but I dug myself into that hole by not practicing so I'll have to dig myself back out. And this gym thing has been awesome! I have reached a point in my workouts where they actually feel good and I don't hate every minute of it. LOL. And talk about 'Hulking out'.... I got me a whole whack of muscles now that I can safely say have never been this big. I've put on weight which as actually good for me, and I like to think it's all muscle mass. Ok, *some* of it might be holiday feasting weight, but for the most part I'm thinking it's weight from muscle. I was out trying on clothes while shopping yesterday and I actually had to try on clothes that were smaller sizes than I have ever tried on before and I am weigh the most I have ever been! Talk about bizarre. I'm a lean mean fightin' machine!!

Oooh! Speaking of fighting, I must mention two things. First: the new Battlestar Galactica series. This show will mean very little to those who aren't aware of the original series (which I absolutely love), but for those who are familiar I just have to ask... did you SEE the new mini-series?? The mini-series came out in 2003 and it was (I believe) a 3 part series. A certain sweet Israeli made me a copy of the mini series and I finally got around to watching it. It was AMAZING!!!! I was so surprised because I was dreading the changes they made from the original series, but I am happy to report it was nothing short of fantastic. I actually found myself saying that I wish the crappy new Star Wars movies could be like this. Yeah, you heard me George Lucas, you SUCK. Thanks for taking my favourite movie series and piledriving it into the ground. Anyway! That's a rant for another day. You MUST get your paws on the new Battlestar Galactica mini-series because the actual tv series is starting next week. Eeeek! I can't wait!!

Speaking of Star Wars there is a new game I must have: Star Wars Battlefront. This is the perfect game for geeks like me. It takes actual battle scenes and settings from the movie (Endor, Hoth, Tattoine, etc..) and let's you fight in them as pratically anything (pilot, gunner, Wookiee, Stormtrooper... almost anyone! good or bad!!!!!!!). Anyway, I could go on and on about that but I don't want to bore the non-geeks who might be still reading after my geek rant in the last paragraph. If you are a Star Wars geek go click the link and check out this awesome game. And um...if anyone has a copy... I wouldn't say no to one. Oh, and I might need a vid card... the requirements ask for a 64mb card and mine's only 32mb. So if you wanna just send those over this way that would be great. Thanks. :-P

Oh and before I finally go... am I the only one upset to hear that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston broke up?? When I read the news the other day I actually gasped and said 'no!!'. So sad. I thought those kids were tight and were gonna make it. Too bad. :-/ It's tough being multi-millionaires and super hot celebrities trying to find love.

Friday, January 07, 2005
Ha guf sheluch sexy uvul ha partsoof shel uch cmo Texi.
How lucky for us. has put out an article entitled "Who is Mahmoud Abbas?" to help us get to know the wonderful new Palestinian leader likely to be elected this Sunday. It outlines how this terrific new leader "believes the only way to peace with Israel is through negotiation" and yet "has campaigned for the votes of Palestinian militants, many of whom continue to reject Israel's right to exist and who have refused to stop their attacks on Israelis despite his appeals." How fabulous! It sounds like peace finally has a chance! Because, historically, when you give 'militants' (aka: terrorists) what they want they just go away, right?

Anyway, for something amusing go check out this great site I found on how to swear in Hebrew. Full points go to Israelis for coming up with such colourful phrases as "Your body is sexy, but your face is like a Taxi".

Shabat Shalom.

I dream of snow
I didn't write for a few days, didja notice that? I spout three posts in one day and then don't write for another three. I'm funny that way. Sometimes I think I have plenty to say, and some days I got nothin'.

Yesterday I was going to write an entire post about snow, but then I thought maybe you guys were tired of hearing about me go on and on about snow and how I love it (besides, I didn't get *nearly* as much snow as Celti did). It seems all I have to do is complain that the snow we had melted in order to make it snow again. Yesterday morning we got bitch-slapped with another storm with some of the craziest weather I have ever seen. Fine drifting snow one minute, ice pellets the next, and then giant beautiful snow flakes after that. I had decided in my infinite wisdom to go out and scrape my car periodically throughout the day so I wouldn't have a huge buildup of ice like I did before (here and here) that took 45 mins to get off. When I went out to scrape the car before lunchtime I actually found those little ice pellets hurt as the bounced off my ears and face. Ow! OW!! Rotten little buggers were pinging off everything, it was really quite the sight.

Anyway, that's all over now and it doesn't look much like we had a storm yesterday; today it is bright, beautiful and sunny (if not a wee bit chilly). According to the weatherman we're supposed to get more snow tonight. And then, because the weather is freaky this year, it's supposed to warm up to 14C/57F next week. Say what?? Ok, that's downright bizarre for January in Toronto.... this time last year it was -40C/-40F. But hey, I'll take it. :-)

Oh and folks.... I hope you have donated to the tsunami relief. I don't wanna have to nag you in every post, but it's important we don't forget what's going on just because it's been a week or two (not that we CAN forget with all the news coverage). I know you can spare five bucks, so skip the Iced Caramel Macchiato with skim milk and no caramel, and instead give the money to help those in distress. We are all in this world together.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005
the kosher aisle
The other day I found something very strange in the kosher section of my local grocery store. Head over to my photoblog for the full picture story.

Arafat the 2nd
I don't know why I thought this, but I had really hoped and believed that real change would come from the death of Arafat. I had hoped that the next person to take power, Mahmoud Abbas, would finally take control of an out of control situation with the Palestinians and seek real peace. Yes, I realize I was naive but like everyone else who cares about Israel I wanted to believe it was possible with new leadership. And in the beginning it looked like this could be it. Abbas talked of change and negotiations instead of armed struggle.

However, his true colours are now showing as he calls Israel the "Zionist enemy", and in a campaign speech Monday, he vowed never to take up arms against militant groups. He believes in working with terrorist oraganizations rather than squashing them. In other words, you can lop off the head of Arafat, but a new one will grow in its place.

I am deeply saddened and grieve for the peace process.

Jewish Blog Awards
Dave over at Israellycool has organized the first Jewish Blog Awards, having created all manner of categories. I had not even really read over much of it because I know that my blog isn't "Jewish enough" for most of those specifically seeking a Jewish blog. Laughably, that's the story of my life... I'm not Jewish enough for many Jews! lol

Anyway, I had paid little attention to these awards for there are many fabulous and much better blogs out there than mine (that focus more on Israel and Jewish issues than I do), and therefore there was little chance I would be nominated. Just see my blogroll for examples of some the excellent Jewish blogs out there. I was content to continue flying under the radar of such awards, as they seem to stir a strange and often competitive frenzy in some folks. And heck, the pressure of having to write for a bigger audience can be a bit daunting. That and it changes the way you write.... you end up writing for others instead of yourself, ya know?

Finally this morning I decided to look over the categories and toss in my nominations for the blogs I like when I came across a nomination for MY blog!! Thanks to the kindest, sweetest blogger ever, Solomon, I have been nominated for Best Personal Blog. I was surprised and incredibly flattered. And now I understand what all those celebrities mean when they say "It's an honour just to be nominated", because it is. Thank you for thinking of me Solomon! I appreciate it. :-)

seeking advice
Scenario: A friend of mine (I dare say, one of my best friends for the better part of 16 years) wrote me a strange e-mail over the weekend to tell me about something that she admitted she should have told me about earlier but felt too awkward about it. She confessed the information to me in the e-mail, admitting it's wimpy to do it in writing rather than over dinner we had just hours prior. The whole thing struck me as odd, and things didn't seem to add up. The e-mail was very out of character for her, and I was perplexed as to why she hadn't told me sooner. What she "confessed" to wasn't a big deal at all, or at least it wouldn't have been if she had just told me when it first happened. Now I was left wondering WHY she hadn't told me sooner and how long she had known. Perplexed as to what to do I didn't immediately reply because I had mixed emotions. Why hadn't she just told me? What was I missing?

I found out from another source that she had lied a bit in her confession. She lied about why she hadn't told me and she lied about how long she had known. Now I was starting to get mad because as far as I am concerned, if you're going to come clean with someone (especially your best friend) then come clean, damnit. Don't do a half assed job. So now I am more angry and hurt than I ever would have been if she had just told me in the first place. If it is one thing I cannot STAND it's when friends lie to me.

Question: So? Do I confront the friend (I cannot reveal my source to call her on the lying) and ask her why she lied (risking further lying from her)? Do I just let it go and adopt the "choose your battles wisely" stance, remembering that this wouldn't have been such a big deal in the first place? Do I go with the silent treatment to give me some time to cool off (which admittedly, I am doing right now. I never answered her e-mail and didn't return a call she had made while I was out last night)?

What say you, honourable readers?

Monday, January 03, 2005
ice, ice baby
I am a bitter bitter woman today. Yesterday I was supposed to head up north for a day-long meditation retreat but we were smacked with one of the worst ice storms I have ever seen. Being the hearty Canadian I am I attempted to drive in it anyway, coz hey, if we stopped driving everytime the weather got bad we'd never go anywhere in the winter. I've driven in some pretty treacherous conditions, I figured this wouldn't be much worse. But halfway there I realized I made an incredibly foolish decision and was putting my life in great peril. The highways were terrifying to be on. They were, in essence, skating rinks. As I drove along I thought to myself...where are the sand trucks? WHERE are the salt trucks??? Taxpayers want to know!!! Soon the windshield wipers were covered in thick ice (check out the pic!!) and were no longer doing their job. It became clear that I was in deep shit, so I called my mom, discussed the matter with her, and decided to turn around and go back to my place. I had to stop twice to smash the ice off the windshield wipers. I did stop and get groceries on the way home (well I was out anyway!) and that made me feel like the entire trip wasn't wasted. But I was *very* disappointed I didn't get to the retreat, I had been looking forward to it for a month.

Of course the weather warmed up later in the day to a "sweltering" 9C/48F, melting the ice and any remaining snow we had. Figures. It was so warm I got out one of my lighter jackets to wear for the rest of the day, and cursed the weather gods for making it icey just long enough to ruin something I was looking forward to. Today is the same, with temperatures that are unseasonably warm. It's nice and all, even if the timing is all wrong.
Anyway, the day ended on a nice note as my parents and I went to Princess Blondie's house to visit and play cards all night. A good time was had by all.

Today has been pretty productive so far (we'll ignore the fact that I had a nightmare while sleeping last night about dead bodies floating by me in a river. I think I've been reading too much about the tsunami disaster), having already gone to the gym this morning and for lunch (dim sum!) with a couple of my friends. Now I'm gonna have a nap, maybe write a "Dear John" e-mail, and then I'm off to see 3, count 'em, THREE movies with a friend of mine starting at 5pm. We're looking to spend the night in the theatre catching Darkness, The Aviator and Meet the Fockers. What can I say, I have a bit of a movie habit and a day off. Back to the grindstone tomorrow.

Saturday, January 01, 2005
I began the new year as I have the last several.... surrounded by my nearest and dearest friends, often drinking themselves stupid and making complete asses of themselves. I love my friends to death and all, but I forgot how annoying it can be in a room full of drunken people when you yourself are not partaking. Drunkards come in all varieties, from the quiet, happy and smiling drunk to the loud, obnoxious and attention seeking delinquent. It was due to the latter that I finally got up and left the party at 3am, saying I had had enough of his bullshit. It was this chap in particular that I recall having annoyances with in the past when he drank, but had forgotten since I hadn't be privy to this vile behaviour since last year.

But I digress. Overall it was a wonderful night; we ordered food, shared laughs, took piles of pictures, played cards, played a board game (that the aforementioned asshole spilled beer all over. what a joy since I *just* got the game and was playing it for the first time at this party), watched the countdown, played more cards, ate more junkfood, laughed some more and eventually went home to bed. When all was said and done I was crawling into bed by around 4am. Not too bad.

Today was a nice laid back day. I didn't sleep in (ugh, I just can't seem to. it's not for lack of want, I assure you) so I'm pretty bagged now. 4 hours simply isn't enough, I see that now. My old neighbours (Princess Blondie and Bruno) came over to my place, and we exchanged gifts and hung out a bit. It was lovely. And I just got in from having dinner with a couple of friends. Mmm... Thai. And now I am ready for bed and it's not even 9pm. Tomorrow I'm getting up early and heading up north for the day for an all day meditation event and then I'll be back down to go over to Princess Blondie's for a night of card playing.

Now that I look at it, this could well be the most boring post I've ever written and I apologize for that. I'm tired and prone to rambling so I'll spare you now, and bid you goodnight. Hope you all had a safe and Happy New Year.