Monday, July 04, 2005
weekend recap and birthday wishes
Happy Birthday to my big brother (see an adorable picture of my brother and I as kids here) and to the United States of America! I hope you guys are enjoying your long weekend and having a great time!

What a crazy weekend I had. Friday I just kind of kicked back and obsessively played Deus Ex 2 on my computer (actually, I obsessively played it at every opportunity this weekend.... I'm so close to finishing it!!). Saturday I was up at the crack of dawn to meet up with my friend to put up signs for our garage sale (we had technical difficulties on Friday and couldn't) and then the madness began. The signs said the sale was from 9am - 2pm, but people were swarming us at 8am as we were setting up. By the end of the day I had made $100 towards my trip on stuff that I otherwise would have given away or tossed out, so that was good. The second day was much less successful, and I only brought in about $10 (most of the good stuff was gone by Sunday). Overall it was a great weekend and I made just over $200 towards my trip to Israel. Slowly, slowly...

I learned two thing during my garage sale this weekend.... (1) that I may never know what it's like to have a tan. I only burn. (2) I don't have the personality to do garage sales and tend to get very grumpy with people who don't try to barter on a price so much as wear you down and annoy you until you agree to their price.

I got burned again, which is just plain stupid considering I got burned last weekend. Happily I didn't get burned in the exact same parts I did before, but rather, foraged a new burn in fresh territory. You can clearly see where I could reach my back and shoulders when applying the sunblock and where I could not. I have the dumbest looking burns ever; a triangle here, a stripe there. Red patches look pretty damn sexy when you're nekkid, lemme tell ya.

One thing that North Americans are not very good at is bartering. We live in nations where there aren't so many markets, just mostly malls where pricing is fixed and usually non-negotiable. Not so with the foreigners who came to my garage sale and drove me batty. In particular there was an old Asian lady (and this is not a racist thing so please don't go there... in these parts the Asians are renowned for being particularly aggressive in their bargaining) who would NOT stop asking for a lower price despite being told repeatedly what the final price was. She used the language barrier as a vehicle in her bartering by only saying numbers (which often she would gesture instead) and saying nothing else. "How much?" "4 dollars" "2 dollars" (a statement, not a question, I should point out). "No, 4 dollars." "2 dollars?" "4 dollars." "2 dollars!" "I'll go 3 dollars, but that's it" (much hand gesturing at this point) "2 dollars" "NO." Finally she would laugh and walk away. This may have been amusing to me too... if only she hadn't come back 3 times over 6 hours on Saturday to repeat this same performance. I let my friend handle her after a while because I wasn't amused.

All in all I can't complain too much. I got to spend lots of time with one of my bestest friends and the weather was beautiful. And for all the annoying customers I had, I got a few very nice ones as well. I struck up a long conversation with a Chinese woman when she bought a book I had for sale.... "Teach Yourself How To Read Hebrew". I was of course curious as to why she would want the book, and so we talked for a long time about how she is Christian and would like to be able to read some Hebrew scriptures. We also talked about her daughters interest in languages and so on.... she was really quite wonderful to talk to, and she too came back later in the day. I was really happy she stopped by and had a great time talking with her.

Sunday night I got home from the garage sale, showered and changed, and had dinner with my family. It was a birthday dinner for both my brother and my mother's birthday. The highlight of the evening was watching my father's reaction to accidentally eating a chili pepper in his meal. He tried to be cool about it but his face went red, eyes popped out and his spit all over his plate. My mother looked mortified, my brother and I amused and my brother's girlfriend concerned. The waiters tried to hide their amusement and finally came over with more water when they saw him stuffing his cloth napkin into his mouth. Ah yes..... good times.

As for today.... well, it's a new day. And my week has started off right! (with the exception of the cold I woke up with) I just got a delivery in the mail from MBGD (My Big Gay Daddy) down in the States who shipped up my brand new camera to me. I have to turn in the camera I use now since it's a company camera, and get a new one for my adventures in Israel. So with MBGD's help I got myself a kick ass camera at an affordable price. There's no way I could have afforded this without you, sweetie... thanks for your continued love and support! And now everyone will benefit, as I will take all kinds of amazing pics while traveling all over Israel!

Now... if only I could get an answer about my financial aid application.... then I could finally start making solid plans for my trip. Like booking an airline ticket and buying luggage!!