Saturday, April 30, 2005
So. I went to see this Israeli documentary last night called "Wall", which was about the security fence that Israel is building in and around the West Bank. Before I give my rant allow me to offer a synopsis:

"This austere and cinematic doc explores what is perhaps the most controversial border since the Berlin Wall: Israel's 400-mile security fence. Amidst escalating political, environmental and cultural tensions, filmmaker Simone Bitton calls upon her dual Jewish and Arab heritage to help her straddle the cultures that are physically and symbolically severed by the massive construction project. Wall presents its namesake in severe graphic compositions that articulate an immoderate number of paradoxes: the shield of life, itself lifeless; the security buffer that presents new dangers; the protector of land that scars the countryside. Through interviews with Palestinian and Israeli locals that live along the fence's path, Bitton examines the long-term efficacy of a nation's colossal defensive gambit. Set against stunning visuals of miles and miles of concrete and barbed wire, personal commentaries provide a deeply human context for the cold and monolithic barrier now in their midst."

Let me first start by saying I really didn't like this film. The trouble perhaps lies with me and what I expected and/or hoped the film would be. What I had *hoped* it would be was a fair and balanced examination of the issues. I was hoping it would show the devastation the Israelis have experienced which is forcing them to take this drastic measure and I was hoping it would open my eyes to the suffering of the Palestinians who are losing land and crops to this separation fence. What I got was an unfair and unbalanced look at the issue.

First of all, I did not feel that the woman of Jewish and Arab heritage was as conflicted as she would have us believe. She was clearly on the side of the Palestinians. When discussing who was against the fence she took the route that would impact the audience most, understandably, and interviewed both Israelis and Palestinians who gave stories of suffering and despair. Fine, I have no problem with that, and indeed it helped me understand the plight of the innocent Palestinians (as opposed to the terrorist Palestinians).

However, when discussing who was FOR the fence she only took a factual stance and interviewed just one person (as opposed to the 10+ she interviewed for those who are against). And the person she chose to interview was a military man (Amos Yaron?) who spoke in facts but only in context of the questions the director asked. This is fine as well since it is important to understand from a military point of view why Israel is doing it. But where were the human interest interviews for this side of the debate? We were shown Israelis and Palestinians who were upset by the building of the fence and our emotions and sympathies were stirred for them, but WHERE was the emotional pull in favour of building the fence? In other words..... why did we not see one single interview with a family who lost someone to a suicide bomber? Why were we not shown the remains of a bus, blown from the inside out? Why was it not mentioned that terror attacks are down 90% from the areas surrounded by the fence? The director was too busy finding upset people who would say it wasn't working when in fact it is.

I was disappointed to see that the film was clearly slanted towards the Palestinians. For a woman who claimed to feel torn as an Arab and a Jew I didn't sense much understanding for those Jews who have lost a mother, a father, a brother, sister or even a child because of a terrorist attack perpetrated by a Palestinian. The Jews have been waiting over 55 years for peace and they are tired of waiting. Can you blame them for building a fence? Oh and by the way... it is a FENCE, not a wall. 3 - 5% of the security fence is concrete.... the rest is a chain-link type of fence. Also, as a note, fences can come down. This is not a permanent wall, this is something that can be dismantled when peace is reached (has everyone forgotten about the Berlin Wall?). Until then, I defend Israel's right to protect itself. (for more of what the fence looks like click here and scroll down. for an FAQ go here)

And don't get me wrong... I agree with a lot of what the director was trying to get across. I feel terrible for the Palestinians who cannot reach their fields because they have been cut off. I don't always agree with the route of the fence that Israel has chosen, but in the end a fence can be removed but lives cannot be brought back. However, if you wanted to try and sell the idea that it's bad to those of us who support it you need to make us feel like our side is heard too, and I don't believe it was. I may dislike the film but the director can show what she wants, that's her prerogative. If I don't like it that's my problem, I was just sad to think of what the anti-Israel people who saw it came out of it thinking..

Oh and by the way... Israel was NOT the first to build such a fence. Check this out and ask yourself.... why is it no one tried to stop any of those those fences from being built? Why were those countries not dragged to "The World Court" for defending themselves from their neighbours? Why is Israel held to such a different standard? Why indeed.

Friday, April 29, 2005
random thoughts as I dream of the weekend, mere hours away
First of all, as if I can't stand Bush enough, I'd really like to say a big screw you for ruining Survivor night for me last night. Thanks to your little speech about I-don't-give-a-flying-fig what, you pre-empted Survivor to 9pm instead of 8pm. I ended up going home instead of staying at Princess Blondie's house to watch it because I was so tired I could barely stay awake let alone until 10pm and then drive 20 mins back to my home. Blondie and I had to settle for watching it apart and calling each other when it ended to discuss our sheer annoyance that our favourite played had been voted out. I blame it all on Bush.

On Tuesday I did something interesting... I went and spent the day with my friend 'Melra' (you've seen her comment on here from time to time) and her grade 5 class. It was a great experience and I would happily do it again. It's fun seeing my friends at their jobs! So out of context from how I know them. And kids these days! Pfft! lol

As a wacky side story, I was sitting in the staff room with Melra and another teacher when I remarked outloud that I was going to start calling the other teacher Casper. There was no real reason why I chose that name, I just couldn't remember what his real name was and this was the closest I could come up. And then, I swear not 2 minutes later, a kid came walking into the staff room wearing a Casper shirt. I kid you not!! We were all a little freaked out by the coincidence... it was truly bizarre.

You like books? There's a big book sale going on over at Book I have shopped there several times before and can't recommend them enough. Cheap stuff (even when not on sale) and reasonable shipping cost, so go check 'em out.

You like Paper/Rock/Scissors? Here's an online version and if you scroll down there is a list of links to a whole bunch of other online versions. Maybe if you get real good you can come to Toronto for the world championships! (I tells ya, I can't make this shit up! look how seriously these referees take their jobs!)

Why does Joan of Arcadia make me cry every single time I watch it? Last week I cried when there was a scene involving a synagogue burning down and a firefighter walking out of the flames with the Torah in his arms. For reasons I cannot possibly explain, seeing that the fire fighter went in and specifically rescued the Torah totally made me cry. I know, it's a tv show.

Tonight I am heading to the gym after work and then out to see another Israeli documentary called "Wall" about the security fence in Israel. I am very much looking forward to it and will give my thoughts on it tomorrow. Meantime I wish everyone a happy and safe weekend. Mulder, I hope you are ok. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Shabat Shalom

Thursday, April 28, 2005
Radical Jews
Well, last night I met up with fellow blogger Andrea to see another film in the Hot Docs film festival of documentaries (including a spotlight on Israeli films). We saw a film called "The Next War: Radical Zionists in the Holy Land" (aka: Israel's Next War) and WOW was it an eye opener! Here's a synopsis:

"Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Dan Setton follows up on his last film, which explored the violent world of Muslim extremists, with The Next War, an inside look at the increasing militancy of Israel's radical Zionists. This rare glimpse into the realm of extreme Jewish fundamentalists who endorse the use of violence sheds light on a frightening new phase of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Setton follows the arrest and trial of two Israelis charged with the attempted bombing of an Arab girls' school, and explores the convictions of a community determined to cleanse the country of its Arab inhabitants. As Israelis and Palestinians renew efforts to reach an accord, is the biggest threat to peace coming from within Jewish communities that feel "only chaos can change the situation"?"

I wanted to see it because I wanted to understand the struggle of the "settlers" of Israel who fight to live in parts of Gaza and the West Bank. I wanted to understand their view since the media has a way of vilifying them and making it sound like they are the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Also, I wanted to see if what I heard was true... Jews attacking Arabs, cutting down groves of olive trees and shooting at Palestinians. I think that I have had a hard time admitting that Israel or its people could ever be in the wrong, even though deep down inside I knew it to be true.

I achieved exactly what I set out to do and then some. I began to get a glimpse into the struggle of the settlers and why they do what they do. I learned about their beliefs and what drives them to put themselves in such mortal danger. I learned about why they retaliate, and yes, why they instigate. And I saw a side of Jews that hurt me to the core. I saw openly expressed hatred for Arabs and a call for violence in order to expel them from Israel. I saw Jews lowering themselves to tactics I thought only Palestinians were capable of.... I saw them describe an attempt to set off a very large bomb in front of an Arab girls school (thank God they were stopped). My stomach turned as I listened to these Jews declare that only war will solve this "problem" known as Arabs. This was a dark side of Jews I knew existed and I didn't want to believe was true.

In the end I understood and sympathized to some degree with their cause though I can in no way condone their tactics. I understand their feelings of betrayal as the government that once encouraged and financed them to move to these places is now ejecting them from their homes. I understand it all yet I don't, if you know what I mean. All religions have fanatics who take their particular holy book and interpret it and quote it to suit their cause, and Judaism is just as guilty of that as any other religion. I didn't want to admit it, but I can't close my eyes to it anymore.

I want to point out one thing that surprised me about this film and that was the fact that the film did not demonize these people as the media does. They did not paint them as the enemy, but rather told their stories through interviews, showed that they were human and why they feel the way they do. I was fully expecting this film to attack these people and was pleasantly surprised when it did not.

And I couldn't help but think of Mulder's brother who was recently lost while serving in the army whenever I saw soldiers on the screen. And the more footage I see of Israel the more my heart aches to get back there again..

Tomorrow night I will be seeing a movie called "Wall" about, what else?, the controversial security wall that Israel is building to separate itself from the West Bank. This is another one I am very much looking forward to for I think I will be exposed to some interesting views and hopefully some facts.

But for tonight.... it's Survivor night with a pregnant Princess Blondie. I could use a night of fun since the movies (and events) this week have been pretty intense.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
spotlight on Israeli documentaries
This week there is a documentary film festival going on here in Toronto (I'm told the biggest in the world, I think) called Hot Docs and this year there is a special spotlight on Israeli documentaries. I have been able to reap the benefit of this spotlight by getting a few tickets for some of the films.

Last night I went to a double-header and saw one film called "Keep Not Silent (Ortho-Dykes)" and another film called "Say Amen". Here is a synopsis for "Keep Not Silent":

"This award-winning film explores the secret lives of three orthodox Jewish lesbians who join an underground support group to cope with their conflicting worlds. The religious 'ortho-dykes' include Miriam-Esther, a married mother of 10; Ruth, whose husband allows her to see her female lover twice weekly; and Yudith, a rabbi's daughter who openly declares her sexuality. The intensity with which these women struggle with their conflicting worlds of faith and sexuality is profound, and the personal costs of the choices they face - continued self-suppression versus coming out to an intolerant society - are high."

This was an extremely powerful movie as it filmed these woman wrestling with conflicting feelings and values. An amazing film, I highly recommend it.
Here's a synopsis for "Say Amen":

"The walls are closing in around David Dery in his homophobic - and increasingly claustrophobic - world. The youngest in a large, outspoken and orthodox Jewish family, David has yet to share the news of his sexuality with the rest of the Dery clan. The 'don't ask, don't tell' policy is not one that this colourful family ascribes to, and David faces a constant barrage from his brothers and parents, demanding to know when he will bring a nice girl home for Shabbat dinner. As the pressure builds, David must make the difficult decision to fight for acceptance and risk losing his family. David's brave first-person account provides an authentic and moving portrait of the tension between the modern and traditional societies in Israel."

This film was heart wrenching to watch as the young man, David, reveals his homosexuality to his extremely religious family. I often wonder how it is that parents can trade their child in for religious beliefs. Is religion really more important than loving your child? Good film, give you lots to think about.

Tonight I am seeing a film (with fellow blogger Andrea) called "The Next War: Radical Zionists in the Holy Land" which I am really looking forward to. I hope it helps me understand another side of Israel and Judaism and the overall battle for Gaza and the West Bank. Every religion has it's fanatics, and Judaism is no exception.

I just read on Mulder's blog that his brother was killed during his army service (in Israel). As I read the post I clamped my hand over my mouth in shock. I had read about the incident in the news, but I had not seen the name. I didn't know it was his brother.

Baby, I am SO sorry for your loss. My love goes out to you and your family at this extremely difficult time...

UPDATE: Mulder, I am calling and calling and calling your cell but I can't get through!! Damn Israeli phones!! Call me if you can and I will keep trying to reach you.

UPDATE 2: Finally talked to Mulder. He sounded good, all things considered (I was the one doing the crying on the phone!). I have been crying about this on and off all morning. I hate to see a close friend go through such a terrible situation, and I wish there was more I could do. I wish I was in Israel to give him a big hug. I have been pouring over all the news articles about it trying to make sense of it (I am withholding details to protect Mulder's anonymity, though many Israelis likely already know of the event). If you would like to send your condolences why don't you head on over to Mulder's blog and show a fellow blogger a little love and support.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
memes are for Livejournal users!
Alright, I *so* never do this sort of thing but Priss has tagged me and I am obliged to play along. So, without further ado (read: complaining) here are my answers...

If I could be a llama-rider... I'd show camel riders who's boss!

If I could be a bonnie pirate... I'd get me lots of booty! heh. *wink*

If I could be a linguist... I would finally get this crazy Hebrew language figured out.

If I could be a scientist... I would be a MAD scientist for sure!!

If I could be a justice on any one court in the world… it would be THE "World Court" so I could overturn the decisions made by those misinformed and ignorant miscreants (ie: ruling that it was illegal for Israel to build a fence to protect itself)

And now, as curses work, I must tap 3 more people in order to have the curse lifted from myself. So..... Sam, Katie-Yael, and Mulder! Pick five of the options below and tell us what you would do..

* If I could be a scientist…
* If I could be a farmer…
* If I could be a musician…
* If I could be a doctor…
* If I could be a painter…
* If I could be a gardener…
* If I could be a missionary…
* If I could be a chef…
* If I could be an architect…
* If I could be a linguist…
* If I could be a psychologist…
* If I could be a librarian…
* If I could be an athlete…
* If I could be a lawyer…
* If I could be an inn-keeper…
* If I could be a professor…
* If I could be a writer…
* If I could be a llama-rider…
* If I could be a bonnie pirate…
* If I could be an astronaut…
* If I could be a world famous blogger…
* If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…
* If I could be married to any current famous political figure…

If you don't I will cry and you don't want that. Also, I will continue to be cursed and that's a horrible way to be. I think I die in 7 days or something. No wait, that was The Ring. Ok, back to the crying then... you don't want me to cry, right? Besides, we'll all be checking your blogs now to see that you're doing it. You wouldn't want to let us down, now would you? I didn't think so. Any complaints you have may be directed to Priss, not me.

Monday, April 25, 2005
get ...the paddles! .... heart... stopping...
It cost me $84 frikkin' dollars to ship the financial forms to the Livnot offices in Jerusalem today (it had to be Purolator in order to get it there by the May 1st deadline). OUCH!! That was a lot of moolah. I thought I was going to have a stroke when the post office woman told me how much. $84!?! Ack! So far it has cost me about $200 just to apply and *think* about going on this 5 month trip... who knows if I'll even get the financial aid to go! Double Ack!

I think I know the real solution to this.... I just need to find me an Israeli boy to marry. Those willing and able may apply within.

Sunday, April 24, 2005
hope springs eternal
Well, I just spent a stressful hour and a half filling out the forms for financial aid for my (possible) trip to Israel, via the 5 month Livnot program. Of course I say "possible" because it all hinges on this form and how well it's received. I must say, by filling it all out and making a list of my expenses it's no bloody wonder I am so damn poor. I really have no business taking this trip but that's not much going to stop me. All reason is getting tossed out the window if money falls into my lap allowing me to pursue this dream.

Anyway, this form has to be in Israeli hands by May 1st.... Saturday... so I will have to shell out big money to courrier it there on time. I blame myself for dragging my feet (I seem to need a deadline to really inspire me) and I also blame the fact that I got mixed messages on whether or not I could e-mail it, fax it or snail-mail it. As it turns out it *has* to be snail-mailed (due to signatures) which I didn't find out until last week. So mail it I will. Keep your fingers crossed folks, and hope that my letter pleading my case falls into the right hands.

In case you are wondering about the picture of me it's not about vanity (since I just put up a pic of myself recently) it's about me showing off the new toy I got today while at a toy show with my geek friends today. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I finally got my hands on the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) Givati Recon soldier I have been seeking for months now. The gentleman who sold it to me remembered me asking for it last year so he made a point of bringing it to the show today in the hopes I'd be there. I squealed with delight and quickly made this mini-Israeli mine (and I wonder why I'm poor??).

Ugh, between the excitement over my new toy and anxiety about this financial aid application, I'll never get to sleep tonight. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, April 23, 2005
Chag Sameach!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my Jewish readers a Happy Pesach (Passover) and to those not celebrating but are interested in learning what it's all about you can click here and here.

I myself have been on a *very* exciting cleaning frenzy since last night. And I'm not just talking about scrubbing the floors, I'm talking cleaning of closets and drawers too. I have been waiting for this mood to hit me for a year now and I am glad it finally has. Going through all my junk and tossing out stuff I don't really need and hold on to for no reason, is very liberating and does wonders for my overall mood. I am going to continue with this fine mood for as long as it would like to stay. And it's perfect because it's raining all weekend here so it's not like I'm missing out on a sunny day frolic in the park or anything.

Have a great weekend and a great Passover!

Friday, April 22, 2005
I remember
4 years ago today a 19 year old girl decided to drink four times the legal limit and then get in a car and drive. By doing so she took the life of one of my dearest friends and ruined the life of another friend (who was driving but survived). The girl, of course, walked away without a scratch.

Today will be a solemn day as I remember the life of one of my greatest and dearest friends, Shane. I love him and miss him very much... if not for him I probably wouldn't be here either as he was instrumental in my recovery 6 years ago.

If you would like to read more about Shane and see a picture of us please see last year's post.

Shabat Shalom.

Thursday, April 21, 2005
me vs rice
I swear to god it HAS to be easier to construct an atomic bomb than it is to cook rice. When I first moved out on my own I tried various types of rice and all manner of techniques for cooking. Uncle Ben was not my friend. Frankly, I wonder how Aunt Jemima could stay married to such temperamental man. Eventually I settled on basmati rice, my favourite to this day. Love the stuff. However, cooking it was a challenge for a long time until I had finally asked an expert.... my Chinese friend of mine that I have known since highschool.

Her instructions were to put the amount of rice in that you want and then add water until it measures to the first knuckle on your pinky above the level of the rice (in other words, if that wasn't clear, put your fingertip on top of your rice and pour until it comes up to your first knuckle). After that just boil until the water is gone and voila! You have rice. That technique had served me well until my mom told me how to make it in the microwave, and then that became my technique of choice.

However all that went out the window last night when I decided to continue my quest for healthier eating by changing to brown rice. I blame Princess Blondie for much of my evolved eating habits over the last year and a half that I have known her.. soy milk, whole wheat bread, bran, whole wheat pasta, tofu in my matzo ball soup.... you get the point. Anyway, when I was last grocery shopping I finally found brown basmati rice, something I had been on the hunt for quite some time. I figured it would another easier way for me to slowly change my eating habits to something a little more healthy, so I picked it up. Last night was the night I was going to try it with the chicken korma I had made. Mm! By the time I had gotten home from the gym, showered, and begun cooking the korma I was quite hungry. The korma takes about 20 mins to cook on the stove so I figured I would give it 5 mins and then I would start cooking the rice, since it normally takes about 15 mins to cook in the microwave. However, as I read the side on the bag of rice I noticed that in fact it takes twice as long to cook brown rice than it does white. I began to fear that I might starve and hurried about measuring it, reading the instructions for the mircowave and cooking it.

To make a long story short after carefully monitoring the rice for nearly 40 mins (as per the instructions!) including checking on it every five mins, it was in the final five mins that I pulled it out of the microwave only to find a crusty hunk of rice at the bottom of the bowl. After starving for 40 mins I was back to square one with the rice. Now... normally I can throw a pretty good tantrum at this stage but recognizing (for once in my life) that this wasn't going to help I calmed down and weighed my options. Try again with the brown or make the ole standard white? I decided I was not going to let this rice defeat me.. I was going to try again. This time I would do it on the stovetop to shave about 10 mins off the time (35 - 45 mins, as opposed to the ridiculous 40 - 45 mins in the micro... what the hell are microwaves good for??). So after an hour of starving and waiting and smelling food I was finally ready to try the rice.

So? How was it after such a big build up to the moment? Wellllllll... it tasted for all the world like I was eating hot oatmeal. Mm! Nothing says dinner like a semi-spicy Indian dish on top of some porridge! :-/ I wasn't altogether impressed, but then again, by the time the stuff touched my lips it all seemed so anti-climatic. The lesson here? You may be able to give up the white bread but the white rice may not be so easy. I'll try it again another time.

Oh, and I have decided what I am going to do with some of my lottery winnings when I win. I am going to buy my way into the zoo. I will pay them a ton of money so that they will let me go in and play with baby chimps and koalas and such. Now THAT would make happy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
calling all geeks
You like Star Wars? Lord of the Rings? Comic books? The Matrix? G.I. Joe? Transformers? He-Man? (you DO have a soul, yes?) Then you need to spend some quality time on this iFilm page which has all the fan films you could ever want, and they are *brilliant*. Go on, be a good geek and check it out. I promise you'll laugh your ass off (assuming you subscribe to these aforementioned forms of entertainment. if not don't bother, you won't laugh anything off.).

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
white smoke = new pope
I'm actually kinda sad they picked a pope so soon because I was enjoying the absurdity of the "Vatican Cam" (or Vaticam, as I like to call it) that was doing some crazy 24 hour surveillance and reporting on the colour of the smoke wafting out of the chimney. I loved the serious tone that reporters took when discussing the fact that the smoke (at the time) was black... a "grim" sign that the cardinals were in a voting deadlock. Would we ever see white smoke? Could an agreement be reached? Would there be a new pope??? dun DUN DUN!!! The whole thing was gripping and I had hoped for a few more days of these hilarious reports. But, as it turns out, a German has stepped up to bat and Benedict is now the chief. Mazal Tov!

Meanwhile.... in other religions.....

Last night I was walking through my local grocery store when I saw their obligatory Passover section set up for the coming holiday (it gets moved to a more prominent section for the weeks before and after and then the kosher section is greatly reduced and moved to the back). What made me stop in my tracks and back up to have a look were the toys I saw in the section. My personal favourite was the 10 Plague finger puppets, followed closely by the Bag O' Plagues. Coz nothing says fun quite like re-enacting a plague! :-D For those who find that a little too dark perhaps you'd like to get the Four Questions of Passover finger puppets (a useful tool for reminding you of what the four questions are!). Mazta and karpas and charoset, oh my!

Speaking of Jews, I watched a documentary on Sunday called "One is too Many". It was about the growing anti-semitism in France and how Jews are leaving in greater and greater numbers. The interesting part was that many of them are heading here, to Canada, instead of Israel. Not surprising since there is a large French speaking population in Canada (read: Quebec) but still, I thought it was odd that Israel wouldn't be their first choice. Since that link might not be accurate in a week's time let me quote what the site says about the film:

"A new wave of anti-semitism is sweeping Europe, creating a climate of fear for Jews. Every day, there are more reports of Jews being physically attacked on the streets, rabbis harassed, synagogues fire-bombed and cemeteries desecrated.

The problem has been most acute in France, the country with the largest Jewish population on the continent. Jews have an historical affinity for France: it was the first country to offer the Jews of Europe full citizenship. Jews who survived the Nazi death camps went to France after the war. They have enjoyed what many French writers describe as a love affair with France. But now the Jews of France fear the republic is not protecting them from this latest threat to their security. Thousands have decided to leave the country. Many are going to Israel. But a surprising number have found another place to go - Quebec.

Reporter Carol Off and producer Alex Shprintsen tell this story through two French families, deeply conflicted about leaving France for Canada. Retired French politician and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil and Nobel Peace Prize-winning author Elie Wiesel also appear in this 1-hour long documentary."

Anyway, it was very interesting if not sad and disturbing. It was heartbreaking having to watch a teacher in a Jewish school chastise a student for wearing his kippah outside of the school when he had been told to take it off when he leaves (for his own safety). Once again, Jews have to hide their identity in order to survive...

In lighter news... I was amused by this headline I saw: Tel Avivians face 'mosquito attack'. Seems that when a swarm of mosquitos descend on Tel Aviv it's news worthy! Boy, if we reported mosquito problems in the news here in Canada there's be no time for any other news! Mosquitoes?? you don't say! Pfft.... I'll show you mosquitoes!

Btw, like how I stuck in a pic of me that was completely unrelated to anything in the post? I had actually taken it to show a certain Israeli (*couGILgh*) that there's no snow here anymore, and in fact it's warm enough to run around outside without a jacket on! Not bad for April in Toronto!

Monday, April 18, 2005
Am I the only who never really knew how a trackback works? I see that nearly every blog has it and I have never been altogether sure exactly how I was to utilize this feature... until now! David over at Treppenwitz has finally explained it... now if only I could do it using Blogger...

Sunday, April 17, 2005
happy news from Israel
Stop the presses!!! Phil Collins is going to be doing a concert in Israel this November!!! This is way better than the news of The Scorpions playing in Israel! Could there be more to follow? Could Bobby Brown be next? (no wait... is he in jail again? ok, could Debbie Gibson be next?) Eek! The flood gates may very well be open, can't you just feel the electricity in the air??

So I was surfing around the other day when I came across this wacky headline: Students re-enact Red Sea crossing -- with wine. Seems there was a bizarre contest going on in which "special contraptions had to cross a three-meter (10-foot) distance pool of water representing the Red Sea in the middle, pour wine into a glass and place it on the far side". And of course, those nutty Jews!, it was all timed with the upcoming holiday of Passover (you know, when that whole parting of the Red Sea thing happened).

Ha! See? Israel IS a fun place, kiddies!

Saturday, April 16, 2005
in the partial dark
It's nearly midnight on a Saturday night and right now I have my landlord is in my apartment trying to determine why certain parts of my apartment don't have power. It seems that all the circuits on a wall that runs down the middle of my apartment (dividing the kitchen from the living area) have a greatly reduced amount of power getting to them. When I turn on the lights, for instance, the bulbs give a very faint glow but offer no real light. And luckily for me this is also the wall that my fish tank and refrigerator plug into. So. My landlord has brought in an extension cord and we have the fish tank's heater and filter running now.... but what about all the food in my freezer and fridge? Given that tomorrow is a Sunday and electricians may not be plentiful this is not a good scenario. Hmm..... fish or freezer? Which shall I save? My landlord has gone back to his house to hunt for another extension cord in an effort to save my food since I indicated to him that I was none too pleased at the prospect of replacing all the frozen food I have (it's gotta total upwards of $100).
Do I know how to have fun on a Saturday night OR WHAT?? I think it's because I have to be out the door by 7:40am for my meditation group that this is happening. *sigh*

Moving right along.....

I rushed to get to the theatre for the first showing of the day of Amityville Horror; the 1:30pm show. I went to one of the automatic machines to buy my tickets and was miffed to see that the show was actually at 1:15pm. "What the f@#k??" I thought. I doubled checked the time before I left my house, I was *sure* it was at 1:30pm, and now it's 1:25pm and I will have missed the trailers (come on, who doesn't love the trailers??). I grabbed my ticket from the machine, glanced at what theatre I was supposed to be in (11) and ran towards it. The girl ripped my ticket and told me it was the last one down the hall, and off I went. As I entered I saw that the trailers were still going and that there was one other couple in the theatre. Good, nice and empty just the way I like it. I went to the very back, sat down, and started nibbling on the ice cream cone I snuck in from home. A minute later the movie started.... only I noticed something odd. The lettering for the credits seemed... uncharacteristic for what I was seeing. It seemed kinda...ritzy.. kinda glam. Then I saw Queen Latifah and realized.. oh dear God, I was in the wrong frikkin' theatre. Shit! I stood up, jammed my ice cream cone back into it's wrapper (coz you're not supposed to bring outside food into the theatre), hid it back in my purse and made my way back down the stairs to head out and find the right theatre. As I walked out I pulled the ticket from my pocket to see what the problem was.... was the girl who directed me wrong? Was I wrong? The ticket? Ah yes... indeed I had somehow bought a ticket to Beauty Shop instead of Amityville Horror. I walked back to the girl, explained that I was now going to enter the theatre I *meant* to buy a ticket for and she said it was fine. Whew.

So? Was Amityville Horror the fright-fest I was hoping for? Of course not. But that's not to say that it was bad..... it was just ok. I thought Ryan Reynolds was actually pretty good (and who knew that the guy has a killer bod?? you go, Alanis!!) though the movie was pretty formulaic. But it wasn't the worst film ever (unlike Van Helshit or Alone in the Dark) and would probably frighten lots of people. Just not me. :-/
Oh well, better luck next time.

In very happy news... thanks to one Miss Priss I now am in a state of file sharing bliss! She was kind enough to offer me a program and then kind enough to waste an evening figuring out why it wasn't working on my computer and basically acting like technical support for me until I got it working. Talk about an angel! So I am a very very happy camper now and owe her one, bigtime! I think you should all go on over to her blog and pay her a visit.... to know her is to love her. Thanks, Priss!!!

Also, to add a little excitement to my day I have been having a feud with a seller on eBay that I bought something from a month ago. Perhaps you would like to click on "contact seller" and tell her that you heard she was a petty and bitter woman and that you would never buy anything from her. Don't give her my blog URL or anything, I could do without her flaming my blog (she's already writing plenty of delightful e-mails to me), but since she's screwing me over I'd like to let her know that she's not just losing one customer. I'm sure when you look at that page you'll be able to figure out which buyer is me. lol! If nothing else, I am here to entertain you guys!

And with that I bid you goodnight!

Friday, April 15, 2005
she made me do it
Alright alright.... I'm blogging again. Occasional Bitch has lit a fire under me to get me back into the swing of things, so here we go...

I'm not even going to bother getting into a discussion about this friggin' 5 month trip to Israel. What I will say is that something surprising and perplexing has happened.... I suddenly don't feel like going. And I don't mean like, I was all grumpy so screw it I'm not going to go; I mean I just woke up one day and the desire has left me. I am going to continue to apply for financial aid and proceed to move forward with the idea that this is just some bizarre mood swing and it will pass. I have no idea if actually will or not since I don't understand why I suddenly feel this way. *shrug*

Next, I am going to ask AGAIN since no one replied to me when I asked before and I really need some advice. I need a good file sharing program that isn't riddled with spyware/adware (ie: Kazaa). What do you guys use?

Wow, it's been so long since I last wrote that Blogger has actually made some changes. Finally I can change the font size without great effort and what the hell is this "recover post" button? Hey I got an idea Blogger! How about you just stop swallowing up our posts so we don't need an f'n button to recover them in the first place!

In the news.....
A white supremacist here in Toronto was shot and killed recently. Wow, I'd feel bad if only he wasn't such a Nazi bastard. Good riddance.

A jerk responsible for drowning us in spam has gotten NINE years in jail for his efforts. This pleases me to no end, as I'm sure it does anyone else who hears it.

In food...
Can someone PLEASE explain to me what marketing whiz put the words "sport" and "chocolate" together? Because the fine folks at Ritter have a chocolate bar out called Ritter Sport which is currently getting a lot of advertisement time on my local channels and I watch the commercials in complete bewilderment everytime. What makes it sporty?? The fact that you can snap it in half? HUNH?? Perhaps I am missing something.... or maybe I am just not sporty enough to get it, I dunno.

And yes I am excited about the new Star Wars cereal that's coming out, mostly because you can get a saber spoon. Gah! A SPOON that doubles as a LIGHT SABER!! Does it get any better than that?? (do I need to remind you of a recent post in which I mentioned I am a marketing whore?)

Remember when I was saying that I am looking for something really scary? A movie that actually leaves me terrified to be alone and maybe even scars me emotionally for life? Well, I haven't found a movie that scary yet, but I was playing a game on my computer the other day (Thief 3) and there was a level that scared me so bad that when a zombie jumped out at me I actually screamed outloud. Awesome!!! Eventually I had to stop playing and watch some tv in order to calm down before I went to bed. Damn haunted insane asylums!!

Speaking of scary, Amityville Horror comes out today! Could this be it? Could this be the scary movie I've been looking for?? It LOOKS scary, no? I'll let you know... I'll go see it this weekend.

Like me as a South Park figure? I just had to add a few nerdy touches coz I *am* a she-geek afterall (we won't mention the fact that I have a countdown clock on my Firefox browser that is counting down the days to the opening of the new Star Wars movie next month). Anyway, if you want to make yourself up as a South Park character go here.

Anyway, I'm back to blogging and might even spend the time finishing up that big long post I started to write on Monday (perhaps I should break into parts so I don't bore you guys with one long post?). I thank you all for your words of encouragement, it's very much appreciated. I was really starting to wonder if I'd come back... because like my mood about going to Israel, I also suddenly just didn't feel like blogging anymore. What's gotten into me??

So I guess I'll still be seeing you guys around.... ya didn't quite get rid of me! Thanks for the kick in the ass, Occasional Bitch. (and as a postscript, I'd like to welcome back si after HER extended break from blogging. I missed you! now put your comment system back up!)

Shabbat Shalom!

Monday, April 11, 2005
can't get my groove back
Janet asked (in the comments section of my last post) if I was taking a break from blogging and rightly pointed out that I should be venting now more than ever. And although the plan wasn't to take a leave from blogging it just seems to be happening because I am feeling so confused and lost right now.... I don't seem to know what to say. I started writing a really long post today (and I mean *long*) but lost my ambition halfway through and didn't finish it. I decided it was just too long and that I have been whining quite enough lately. While venting on here is great for me, it's boring as all hell for my readers.

Anyway, I hope this pity party of mine won't go on much longer and I can get back into my usual writing groove. Laurie over in Livnot has offered some more words of encouragement and leads to pursue (toda raba!) and I got a great supportive call from a friend overseas last night (thanks, Stimpy!).

Thanks for your patience, I hope to resume regular programming soon.

Saturday, April 09, 2005
at a loss
You may have noticed I have had nothing to say for the last few days....
After I wrote that last post I packed up, left work and had a good cry in my car on my way home. It was then I realized how much this trip means to me. And it was then that I realized that I don't know what I'm going to do if I can't go.
I'm still feeling very disheartened and emotional about all this. Deep inside I don't feel like this is going to happen so now I am left to ask myself.... what do I want to do?

I'll be back when I have something more substantial to say.
Thank you for your support, everyone. As always, you have been great.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005
and so it begins
Well, I got my first "rejection" letter this morning. I have sent out several e-mails to various people/groups to inquire about possible financial assistance for my trip to Israel and the first one back read:

"Dear {celestial blue}
I am sorry that your request for a scholarship can not be accepted by the
Canadian Zionist Federation (that's where I take my Hebrew classes). The Kronitz Scholarship is for a full year study at a recognised educational institution or yeshiva and not for the program you wish to attend

{woman who won't give me money}"

Ah well, one down, a half dozen or so to go. A few of these contacts are long shots and I know it, but given that I am on the hunt for several thousands of dollars I need some positive responses early on or this is gonna be over before it's even begun. Another response I got back was a delivery error telling me that the address was wrong for the Canadian contact on this list, so that didn't go especially well either. *sigh*
If first you don't succeed.... you buy lottery tickets for all three draws this week. lol! Yes, that's my big backup plan. Yes, I realize it's an even longer shot but desperate times call for desperate measures.

I just got another rejection letter.

"I am sorry, but the only scholarship funds available at this moment are for university/yeshiva studies. A limited amount of funds have been granted to youth movements for their Israel programs as well.
I would suggest that you attempt to secure funds through those community organizations you may be affiliated with (synagogue, religious/Zionist movement, etc.)

I wish you success in your endeavors.
Best regards,
{another lady who won't be giving me money}"

Ok, now I'm starting to get depressed. I was really counting on these people (UJA of Toronto) to be able to help me, so that was a big loss for me. Most of the other people I will be writing to are smaller fish in comparison. This is what I get for being too old for a free Birthright trip.... and for being a bad Jew and not being affiliated with any "synagogue or religious/Zionist movement". :-(
Ugh. I think I'll go home and drown my sorrows in a night of tv viewing and gaming.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
the Livnot rollercoaster ride
I thought I would write about my (possible) 5 month trip to Israel today since I am in a positive mood about it, and we all know my level of positivity about this fluctuates from day to day (sometimes hour to hour... I am a woman, afterall).

I'm feeling good about my chances of being able to do this trip today because I woke up this morning to find a lovely and supportive e-mail from a woman named Laurie over in the Livnot program. She had visited my blog (I had given out my URL in my phone interview when applying for this trip/program) and I guess had seen that I was having a bit of a meltdown about financing. I still am, I'm just hiding it a bit better now. (LOL!) Anyway, she had offered a link to point me in the right direction of where to look and was just overall very lovely to me. That was nice, thanks Laurie!

Recently I was chatting up my good buddy Rinat, over in Jerusalem (via e-mail, of course). She had pointed out something that ... well I guess I sort of realized, but was amazed to see that someone noticed in me. And she noticed it because she said she was the same way... just before she moved to Israel. She said that although she was a Brazilian and living in Brazil... she was worried more about Israel than Brazil. When she said that I thought.... wow, that's exactly how I am. I am a proud, happy Canadian but all my thoughts and energy are with Israel. I read 6 Israeli news sites a day and I don't know *how* many Israeli blogs... but how many Canadian news sites do I read? Zero. I know more about what is going on in Israel and the Israeli government than I do in my own country and Canadian government. What does that say about me??

I think about Israel, and this trip, and maybe moving there one day.... all the time. I do a lot of driving on any given day and so I have plenty of time to ponder all this. Seriously, I can promise that when I am alone in the car I am thinking about Israel every time. Should I go on this trip? Should I just move there? Should I forget the whole thing? (shyeah, right!) And see that first picture in this post? The one that says Zim? That is an Israeli shipping company and I took that picture from my car one day last year. It's funny because I see those Zim shipping containers *everywhere* and I see at least 5 a day when I am out driving. Often I will be driving around, thinking about Israel, and then a Zim truck will drive by. It feels like a bizarre sign of some sort... calling me to Israel. lol. Ok, maybe not, but still! Everytime I see that little bit of Hebrew writing while driving around Toronto I feel an odd stir. Heck, I even saw a Zim container when I was on the east coast of Canada (Halifax) last year when I was on a mini vacation! Better still, I saw a Zim container in the background of an episode of Fear Factor, as the stunt was set in a shipping yard and I have an eye for spotting Zim containers.

As for that other picture... well, any Israeli here will know what that is. That's one of my favourite Israeli dairy products.... Milki. It's a delicious chilled pudding and I love it. I actually managed to find a local grocery store around here that carries it but MAN was it expensive! I know it's imported and all, but it was way too pricey. But hey.. I bought it coz I love it and miss it. And I like to support Israeli businesses and encourage importing of Israeli foods (now, if only they would import a good hummus!!).

But I have digressed. My point to all this is that I have a feeling, deep down inside, that my future is tied to Israel somehow. I am just searching to find out what the connection is. Will I live there? Will I live here but work for a foundation/program that works with Israel? I just don't know... but I think I have to find a way to afford this trip, because I think I will find my answers there (hey, maybe I'll end up staying, who knows??). The only question is.... will these financial groups offer me enough for me to go? *fingers crossed* Maybe I need to find me an Israeli sugar daddy. *wink*

(btw, I had a dream the other night that I was trapped in an Israeli mall as it was closing for the night and I couldn't find the exit. I kept trying to find my way out and people would stop and try to help me, but all I kept saying was: "Ma? Ani lo mevinah, ani lo medeberet Ivrit!" ("What? I don't understand, I don't speak Hebrew!"). I was really stressed out in the dream because I couldn't make anyone understand me and I couldn't find my way back to my car. Oh no!...don't leave me trapped in an Israeli mall !! haha..)

Monday, April 04, 2005
the Pope, Mother Nature and Sin City
Ok so... once again, at the risk of sounding insensitive.. can I tell you how badly I wish they would stop showing the Pope's dead body in the news? Really, it's very creepy. And in this particular photo you see in this post... it looks a lot like a court jester is standing guard over him. It does! Check out the guy in the colourful stripes! (it's just an observation, no need to flame me kids!) Anyway, may the man rest in peace now... he certainly deserves it.

In other news.... it's official, Mother Nature is an evil bitch. Check out what it looked like outside my building yesterday morning! WTF?? It was warm last week! I was wearing a t-shirt outside and everything! Then we got bitch-slapped with a wicked snowstorm yesterday. But I'll stop complaining now because it's warm again, the snow has melted, and much of the American eastern seaboard is still digging their way out. Poor Buffalo.... you guys always get way worse snow than we do.

In a somewhat related weather topic, have a looksee at a picture I took yesterday of a van advertising a local karate club. I bet they liked their name a lot better before the disaster on December 26th. The quote on the side, "You must survive!", is an especially nice touch.

I need to get some help from you guys.. I need to find me a good file sharing program. Er.. no reason of course.. I don't want to put Kazaa on my brand new computer coz it'll bung it all up with spyware. I have looked at a bunch of other alternatives (Limewire, Emule, etc..) but they all have spyware/ad-aware (though often they deny that they do). Mulder has suggested BitComet, though they charge a small fee and Bittorrent is apparently a nightmare for downloading small files (like MP3's.... not that I am into downloading those sorts of things... no, no) because it is sooooooo slooooow. What do you guys use?

Anyway, how was everyone's weekend? Mine was pretty good. I went and saw the movie Sin City with 7 of my closest geek friends. The movie was ok... very true to the comic book and very well executed. But I must say... I didn't fall in love with it. It took a very 1930's hardboiled detective type of narrative (ie: "The dame had gams that could bring a grown man to his knees weeping") and to me it sounded kinda cheesy. But I liked that it was different because different is hard to find these days. Would I recommend it? Well.. it's certainly not everyone's cup o' tea, but like I said... if you're shopping for something unique, this is it. Go for it!

After the movie one of my buddies crashed on my couch and then the next day he and I bummed around the next day. I went to Costco to pick up my favourite hummus, so I was happy. Then we holed up in my apartment and watched movies coz the weather was so cruddy and we didn't feel like going out. Foolishly I went out for a coffee with my friend 'Melra' late that night, defying the weather gods. Bah. The weather was horrible.

So my friend crashed at my place for another night and in the morning I got up and went for my usual Sunday morning meditation with my group. It was possibly the dumbest thing I had done in a while coz I only got 5 hours sleep (bloody time change!) and it was freezing ice (and eventually snow) when I went. But the meditation was great so it was worth it.

TV was good this weekend! Joan of Arcadia..... check. Battlestar Galactica... oh yeah!... check. Desperate Housewives... check! I've also been watching this new show.... Grey's Anatomy. It's ok, but it's taken over Boston's Legal's timeslot, so it needs to find a home of it's own so I can get William Shatner back. Oh how I love the Shatner. I the only one that adjusts rather slowly and begrudgingly to this daylight saving time thing?? I know it's "only" an hour, but it mucks everything up for me! But hey... are we not the most excited people *ever* in the fall when we get that hour back?? It's like it's our birthday all over again!

Friday, April 01, 2005
you know you're getting old when.....
As we all know I have an ongoing quest to find a GOOD scary movie, and have thus far come up short in my findings. In the course of this quest I have had numerous conversations with friends about the topic, often in the hopes of finding out about a scary movie I have perhaps not yet tried. In doing so I have noticed a curious trend among my friends and acquaintances, which is that they have begun to steer *away* from scary movies as they've gotten older because they are too scary! To clarify, it's not that the movies have gotten scary so much as their tolerance for scary movies has dwindled. Evidently in their youth they were able to rebound from a scary night of movie viewing much better than they can now. I found that to be an odd thing since I thought that you became harder to scare as you grew older... such is the case with me. I couldn't watch scary movies as a kid and now I can't get enough of them.

However, I *have* noticed something that I am losing the stomach for as I have gotten older (perhaps moreso since hitting the big three-oh)...... consumerism. This is odd because I have, until recently, been a self-admitted marketing whore. I love shiny packaging and gimmicks. I love being a consumer and going to malls and stores. I don't actually buy that much (funny how lack of funds will do that) but I love having the option. I am happiest when I am being a consumer, and often use retail therapy as a means of lifting my spirits when I am in a foul mood. If I could have a 24 hour Wal-Mart and grocery store right in my back yard I would be thrilled because I am more than a marketing whore... I am a convenience slut. The corporate world has taught that I should be able to get whatever I want, when I want and it should be no farther than a 10 minute drive away.

But recently I have been disturbed by this feeling I get when I go through a mall... this "buy, buy, BUY!!!" feeling that's being shoved in my face. For instance, there is a new mall in my area that has just opened up and it has a very "American" feel to it (this is not a slight on my American brothers, it's just an observation). Everything is bigger, shinier and louder and just more aggressive in getting the consumer to spend. It has a lot of American stores in it that had not been in Toronto prior. Anyway, I felt like I was on another planet as I walked by store after store that was aimed at teens and all the trendy fashion that goes with being a teen. I can't put the words to it... but it all seemed so geared towards sucking the kids in and making them want to buy and consume and be trendy. It seemed so seedy and insidious as I passed these stores that all looked the same and had the same nondescript teen-angst music blaring from it. Again, maybe I'm showing my age here...

And then there is the "big box" trend (thank you again to my American neighbours for exporting that concept to us). For those who are not sure, the big box concept refers to large store setups (often as tall as a warehouse, maybe even as big) that are all stuck together, usually taking up a whole corner of an area/intersection and creating what is then referred to as a "power centre". Often you will see the same 5 - 10 stores all clumped together making it the same from town to town. Around here, as an example, you will often see the giant movie theatre lumped together with several restaurants and a bookstore. Makes sense, right? Give the consumer something to do before and after the movie. Some big box concepts like to keep certain brands together.... Club Monaco, Gap, Roots, Hallmark, Jones New York, Liz Claiborne, Ikea, Staples/Business Depot, Wal-Mart... are all good examples. I personally have always hated the big box concept because the stores seem to be close together but in fact are so huge that, door to door, they are way far apart. And maybe I'm just being a lazy consumer here, but if you've just bought a bunch of stuff, you don't wanna walk half a block to the next store and then another half block to the next store after that only to have to walk back a block or two to get back to where you originally parked). It's far enough that if you are in a real shopping mode you actually gotta go to your car between stores to either deposit your purchases or drive the 2 seconds to the next store. Think I'm lazy? Let's see you walk from one store to the next in during a Canadian winter. This is one of the compelling reasons why I love malls. Everything is indoor... you can just take a leisurely stroll and take it all in. Bring back the malls, I say!

But I digress. My point is that I have noticed recently that I find this 'need' to consume a bit disturbing. Is this what has become of us as a society? North America really IS the land of consumerism and it's starting to freak me out a bit. I just have to walk around Wal-mart for a while and before I know it I want to buy things! Things I don't even really need or want.... but I am compelled to get anyway. And as I look around I see the same thing happening all over the store with other people. I'll see a person strolling along.. just passing by and looking.. and then suddenly stop and pick up something. It just caught his eye and despite not actively looking for it, he now feels he needs it. It's BIZARRE!!

I dunno...sadly I am getting the feeling that I am not articulating my point well. I guess I'm just saying that I am worried I am going down a path of consumerism that I can never get out of. I am a child of the 80's afterall, a decade in which money was abundant as were all the toys and junk I could ever want. And now stores are being built all over the place and closer together than ever so I never need to go far to get what I need. Part of me, that convenience slut, is loving every minute of it. But another part of me feels like.... like we have lost total sight of what's important anymore. We are taught to want, and taught to consume, at any cost. And part of me wants to get away from this lifestyle... break away from it... before I drown myself in debt from my need to acquire more stuff. I am addicted to immediate gratification and I know it. But I want..things! And... stuff!!
Am I the only one feeling like this??

Anyway... Shabat Shalom, everyone. Have a great weekend.

12 things
1) I don't know why but part of me really wants to believe Michael Jackson is innocent.

2) Wanna see something kinda weird? Check this out.

3) Tonight I am going to join my friends and eat sushi and see the movie Sin City (check out the trailer!). It's based on a comic book so we geeks are really quite excited. That and I love sushi, so it's shaping up to be an awesome night.

4) I hate to sound like an insensitive Jew here, but come on people.... let the Pope go! He's old and he's tired. He just wants to rest. His job here is done. We get it, homosexuals and condoms are bad. Peace, good.

5) I was mortified when I heard about the earthquake in the Indonesia area the other day. Haven't these poor people had enough?? My thoughts are with those who are suffering..

6) I have downgraded my status about this trip to Israel from 'total meltdown' to 'mild nervous breakdown'. I still have to go to my doctor to get a medical form filled out so that I can finish my paperwork for Livnot and begin the process of applying for financial assistance. I have been told it will take 45 days to hear back once I have put in my application. By the time the paperwork is in we're looking at TWO MONTHS before I will have a real idea of whether or not this is feasible. This is not helping me feel optimistic about this.

7) I saw Princess Blondie last night. We watched Survivor, played with makeup (we're trying to decide how to do her makeup for her wedding in June), and had dinner. I brought her a baby naming book so we could ponder what to call her baby when it's born (sometime in Dec).

8) Due to scheduling confusing with my vcr I missed watching Lost this week on tv. I am a bitter woman, because not only am I a consumer whore I am a tv addict. I'm hoping that Joan of Arcadia tonight and Battlestar Galactica tomorrow night will help me get over missing Lost.

9) I got a skirt in the mail today that I bought on eBay. Hell MUST be freezing over because if you know me at all you will know I am SO not a skirt/dress kinda girl. At all. I don't know what's come over me, but I plan only to wear it among people I don't actually know in order to avoid annoying (though well meaning) comments. Another skirt is in the mail. What has become of me???

10) I literally squealed with delight and clapped my hands when I opened up my Gmail account this morning and saw that they have *finally* added the option of enriched text writing. Now I can change my font and colours and add links to websites. AND they are increasing the storage of accounts from 1GB to 2GB!! How sweet is THAT?? I am a happy girl and I even wrote them to tell them how happy I was. If you don't have a Gmail account by now (which I can't imagine, but I suppose anything is possible) then let me know and I'll shoot one your way.

11) I simply cannot stop playing games on my computer. Thief 3 and Star Wars: Battlefront are my life now. Pretty sad, I know.

12) Do you like M&M's? Do you like Star Wars? then check this out.. it's pretty cute.