Thursday, March 31, 2005
gone but not forgotten
Terri Schiavo has passed away.
Please, let the bickering about right and wrong subside for today and let there be a quiet time of mourning. No more talk of who's playing God by removing the tube and killing her.... people played God long before that, by adding the tube to keep her alive.

May her soul find peace now.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Danger, Will Robinson, DANGER!!
Ugh. I'm in the early stages of a complete meltdown over this f'n trip to Israel (see prior post if you're just joining us). One minute I am all pumped about going and the next minute I am stressing about the money and overall decision. (my big solution as of right now? must buy lottery tickets this week!)

On Monday when I had put down my deposit I was all happy and excited, if not insanely nervous. Mere hours later I was dragged into the boss' office to get a lecture about talking on the phone too much (which I don't normally do, but that morning I was on my phone talking to a friend overseas) and about spending too much time on the internet. I just sat there and let him say what he wanted and didn't bother defending myself, because it's true. I'm not into my work or my job lately, so what could I say? I was wrong and I knew it. But as he was talking to me, all I could think was... just say 'fuck it', and go. Just quit your job now and start ... start what?? See? This is the crazy side of me coming out. I can't let the crazy side rule because the crazy side loves to make rash decisions. Quitting right now would be THE dumbest thing I could do for oh-so-many reasons.

So anyway, I have been talking to a few other people about my options. Harry has rightly pointed out that I could do a 5 month trip to Israel on far less than the $7,000 I have figured this trip will cost me (which is a foolishly conservative number, it will no doubt be higher). When I thought about this I started to question the wisdom of this whole thing. Then again, this trip is structured and offers me access to places and activities that I likely wouldn't if I did a trip on my own. Ugh, I just don't know. Is this a bad decision??????

Katie-Yael also suggests I just go the full distance and move to Israel. She isn't the first to make this suggestion, but seeing as I can't even debate a 5 month trip without falling apart, I'm not sure I can ever entertain that idea. Sure it would take care of a few of the money problems, but that opens a whole new can of worms (and stress!). I'm just not ready to think about that yet. I'm too busy wondering if I am about to make the worst decision of my life.

And I didn't go to my Hebrew class last night. I'm not sure why.. I made a lot of excuses up in my head. Like if I am going to go to Israel I should start saving money now, and those classes cost money. Then again, learning Hebrew would seem to be a good idea before I go, no? In the end I just didn't go because I was in an anti-social mood because I'm stressed right out. My brain is in overload and I have to walk around amongst people and act like everything is perfectly fine.. I hate it. Inside I'm screaming... outside I am saying "I'm fine, thanks. How are you?"

Monday, March 28, 2005
To Build and To Be Built
Well, I just did it. I put down my deposit (and therefore my acceptance) to secure my slot in the 5 month program for Livnot U'Lehibanot. I am happy I finally stopped dragging my feet but also nervous about taking that next step. Last week I had written to the woman running the program to try and get an idea about what the maximum amount is that they give out in terms of financial assistance, but got no answer. I'm just trying to determine how much more I'll need to get beyond what they may offer. I am likely going to need to knock on several doors in order to get enough funding to actually do this. If I don't get enough money I don't go, plain and simple. A five month trip to Israel is a dream come true for me... I just hope I can make this happen. Let the begging begin!

And........ I start Hebrew classes again this week! Yay!!

Saturday, March 26, 2005
In Between Days
I'm having a great weekend so far. It's a long weekend here (thanks to Jesus doing his thing) so I am taking full advantage of my three days off. Thursday night I spent the evening cleaning my fish tank out. Pretty gripping stuff, no? Yeah well, every so often I have to do a major overhaul and it takes me a few hours (it's a big tank!). Anyway, now the fish are happy and I am happy. Tank looks great.

Yesterday my day started off so awesome I'm not so sure there's much that can top it off. My morning began with a phonecall from my best friend Princess Blondie:

"Hi! I'm so glad you answered your phone!"
"Hey neighbour! what's up?" (yes, we still call each other "neighbour" even though she doesn't live my the building anymore. Old habits die hard)
"I'm pregnant!"
{insert long pause. Princess Blondie just waits for me to say something. pause continues}
"Wow. I am speechless! I... I am without speech!" (a rare event for moi)

Finally I came around and became very enthusiastic. I believe I said something along the lines of "congratulations! Eeeek!! I'm gonna take so many pictures!!".
Truly I am thrilled and I look forward to documenting it all. *grin*
Congratulations to Princess Blondie and her fiance Bruno!! I love you guys!!

Anyway, the rest of my weekend has been spent in a strange cleaning frenzy. I'm gonna blame it on spring fever, because I can't figure out what has come over me. I cleaned out my cupboards and put together a big donation for the food bank. I cleaned my fish tank and my home and did some laundry. I have the window open for a little fresh air coz YAHOO, it's a balmy 5C/41F!!! Throw the windows open! Ditch the jacket and head outside in a t-shirt! It's WARM!!!

And it seems I am not the only one in a crazy frenzy because when I went to the grocery store this morning it was PACKED. And I mean, the likes of which I only ever see over the holidays in December. All this because the stores were closed yesterday (it was Good Friday) and (I think) again tomorrow?? People are stocking up like we are expecting a great storm... very odd.

So. I went to the gym this morning and tonight I am having dinner with my gang of friends and then a buddy of mine is crashing at my place. Then it's up and out the door for 9am to drive 2 hours north to grandma's place for a big family dinner. Mmm! I'll never say no to grandma's cooking!! And the card playing with my family is the best, I love it.

Before I go, check out this picture I took the other day when I was leaving my gym. Pretty, no? Have a good weekend, folks!

P.S. They have cancelled my beloved show "Third Watch". I am beyond devastated. I can only pray for some kind of a spinoff with my favourite character. *fingers crossed*

Thursday, March 24, 2005
Testicle Theater
I have no idea what would possess a man to do this, but here you have it; a puppet show using his scrotum.
Enjoy fine re-enactments such films as Empire Strikes Back, Jaws, The Godfather and more...
Go ahead. You know the curiosity is killing you. Click here. (hat tip: Fishbucket)

hold on a sec.. let me get the wax out of my ears... What did you say??
President Bush: "it is wise to always err on the side of life"

Well, thank god he's weighed in on this whole Terri Schiavo case. Hmm.. is this the guy from Texas? The state that loves capital punishment and prefers NOT to err on the side of life? (and correct me if I'm wrong, but Bush IS all for the death penalty is he not? so.. abortion BAD, because it's murder. death penalty GOOD, because.. it's murdering a murderer??) Because I'm sure no one on death row has ever been wrongly convicted before, right? Nah... that would never happen. So *sometimes* it is best to err on the side of life.. in "extraordinary cases" .. but someone on death row does not qualify as an extraordinary case (and I guess in Texas it really wouldn't since it's more common there than any other state).

Then again, this IS the same feller who said a non-contiguous state would never work when he was tossing in his two cents worth about the Israeli-Palestinian road map. Really? A non-contiguous state would never work? Funny... Hawaii and Alaska might have something to say about that theory.

Boy, if it weren't for Bush quotes where WOULD I get my entertainment??

"Neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican"
-declining to take reporters questions during a photo op with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, April 21, 2001

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
"eek, eek! Shiver with fright! Beg for mercy! Race up a tree!"
So I went and saw "The Ring 2" last night. I'm not sure why, considering I didn't much care for the first one (nor did I care much for the second one, but we'll get to that). Perhaps it's part of my quest to find a GOOD scary movie, which I am beginning to believe is akin to searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Or maybe I just can't be scared, I don't know. I did nearly shit my pants the other day when playing Doom 3, just as Solomon had advised me would happen and I think it's because I have an inherent fear of zombies (and rightfully so! did you SEE 28 Days Later???). But these frights are short lived. I want a movie that's going to haunt me long term and I promise you, The Ring 2 is NOT it. You may be frightened of seeping, flooding water ruining your carpets or pasty-faced children, but not much else. The only good thing about the movie is.... The Tape. Other than that ... *hohum*

So my never-ending quest forages on. It's funny... when I was a kid I would never watch scary movies.. and this was in the 80's when Freddy and Jason were at their peak and making it so kids never wanted to sleep or go camping ever again. I think I saw the first Nightmare on Elm Street when I was 10 and called it quits after that. The movies are pretty laughable if you watch them now, but back then it seemed quite real and I was terrified. So now that I am older and wiser I am in search of a movie that scares, and I simply don't scare easily now. Rarely do I jump in the theatre when the cat runs out or there is a bang of any sort, designed to keep you on the edge. It's not the cheap scares or bloody slasher films that get to me... it's the ones that mentally fuck you that do it for me.

There are two things I can name that definitely scared me. The most memorable was Bob from the tv show Twin Peaks. Bob was the bad guy and in the scene when he was finally revealed coming out from behind the girl's dresser... I completely freaked out, and in a way I can't explain. For some reason I stood right up when I saw him... like I was readying to sprint for the door?? I have no idea why I stood up, it was just a knee-jerk reaction. But more notably.... when I saw him I was so very scared that tears actually welled up in my eyes. I almost cried! Wha?? I didn't understand it myself, but there I was pointing at the screen in horror and on the brink of tears and saying to my (then) boyfriend "Look! LOOK!!!". As you can tell, this has had the desired haunting-for-years-later effect I'm going for. It's an image I cannot get out of my mind all these years later. Why was he so scary? What was it about him that triggered such a reaction? I'll never know, but just searching for images of him to link in this post caused me to get all wiggy.... the tears! THE TEARS I tell you!! Remarkably I even had a t-shirt with this picture of him on it, back in the day!

But the last movie I can think of that has had a long lasting impact on me was The Blair Witch Project. This was a movie that you either loved or hated, and I was among those who was terrified by it. Never have I been part of a movie audience that was dead silent and craning their ears to hear what the characters in the movie were hearing. Was that a branch cracking off in the distance? Children laughing? What was that??? The people in the movie didn't know, and neither did we. But we held our breath when the characters did and we listened when they did. We wanted them to run, to get out of there. Like them we could only see as far as their flashlight shone, and we were terrified of what was beyond the light. And the ending! My god... it actually made me well up with tears much like the Bob incident. THAT is the sign of a good fright. }:-) It was scary because it seemed real (unlike, say, Freddy and Jason).

We'll pretend that Blair Witch 2 never happened, because it shouldn't have. Why must movie makers ruin a good movie by making sequels?? (btw, in the trivia section of the IMDb info page on The Blair Witch Project, Toronto gets a mention: "Some theatergoers experienced nausea from the handheld camera movements and actually had to leave to vomit. In some Toronto theatres, ushers asked patrons who where prone to motion sickness to sit in the aisle seat and to try not to "throw up on other people.")

So yeah, none of this happened with me while watching The Ring 2 last night. In fact, halfway through I was silently begging for it to be over. Afterwards my friend and I both mentioned how were considering actually leaving the movie, and had we known that the other was thinking it we actually might have. *snore* Oh well, there goes another 2 hours of my life I'll never get back.

Now I wanna hear from you guys..... what's a movie that scared you? The classics (ie: Poltergeist, Exorcist)? But what about something recently? Anything in the past 5 - 10 years? (and this can definitely include thrillers like Se7en, which scared the pants off me) Tzaddi has suggested Code 46... anyone else seen it?

Monday, March 21, 2005
who am I kidding? I can't stay away from blogging
I'll take the fact that my body is sore and stiff as a sign of a good weekend. Indeed I am so sore that I'm walking like a cowboy who just returned from a long trek, and even the smallest of tasks (like applying deodorant) hurts like hell. Yes, this is all a result of more of my curling activities on Saturday. You may recall I curled a few weeks ago, and since my friends and I had such a laff-riot we decided to do it again. And like most things that cause a delayed hurt, it seemed like a really good idea at the time. We even got an instructor for an hour to actual teach us as opposed to just guessing, and I suppose that's why this time we hurt more than the last..... now we know how to hurt ourselves right proper! Ah yes, I feel so Canadian.

So see? I did break away from my gaming long enough to leave my house. Friday night I went to Princess Blondie's house for a night of (taped) Survivor viewing. Saturday I went to the gym, came home and yes, gamed. Later I went out for a coffee with my friend and his baby (pics here and here) and then it was out for a night of curling. Then I was up and at 'em Sunday morning at 7am yesterday to get to my 8am meditation group for three hours of meditation. Top it off I took a trip to visit my friend yesterday, and had a dinner and laundry night at the parents. I had me an action packed weekend!

Anyway, enough about my boring life..... what's going on in the world?
Oh! First of all, enough with the whole seeing Jesus/Mary/Satan in sandwiches/cereal/rocks thing. It's driving me nuts. The latest is a guy who claims he has a turtle with the image of Satan on its shell. Go ahead, have a look ...stare real hard and maybe you can make it out (took me quite a bit. imagine Diablo, from the pc game). Well, of course it's Satan on his shell! As the article points out, this turtle is the only survivor after a pet store fire! *groan* Next!

And.... I'm gonna do it.. I'm gonna bring up the Terri Schiavo case. When I first heard about this case a year or two ago I thought it was pretty cut and dry. My feelings were... if I were a 'vegetable' incapable of having any kind of real life and was nothing but a burden to my family... I would for sure want to be taken off life support. Indeed, in my family we have all openly had this discussion and we are all aware of the wishes of each other. But this was operating under the assumption that the person is just laying there in a coma or staring off into space. As I have now seen in footage (and as Celti also mentions) this woman has the mental capacity of a 6 - 11 month old child (in other words..she's hardly a 'vegetable'). So her facial expression can change to reflect interaction with her family. She smiles, she frowns. She shows signs of vague and fleeting awareness. And while I personally still wouldn't want to live like that I can certainly see why her family wouldn't be willing to let go. Could you sit by and watch her slowly starve to death? This isn't about switching off a breathing machine and the person dies within minutes... this a long, drawn out death of someone who doesn't have the capacity to understand what's happening to her. I dunno... this is a terrible and tough call. The outcome just can't be a good one.

Anyway, how was everyone else's weekend? See any good movies? Do anything new and different? (may I recommend curling?)

Friday, March 18, 2005
I be Thievin'
Well, you can pretty much say goodbye to me blogging with any kind of regularity for the next little while coz I got me a new sweet-assed computer! (check out my funky looking tower over on my photoblog) Yes, this puppy runs at twice the speed as my last one and has a video card that makes it so that I can finally play the game I have been waiting to play for years, Thief 3. I spent countless hours yesterday playing Doom 3, Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Republic Commando, and of course Thief 3. I have a stack of games calling my name which makes it a sure bet I won't be too social over the coming weeks/months. I'll do my best to keep blogging (hey, I often do it while at work anyway.... shh!) but if I become more and more absent you can blame Mulder. He did this to me. HE got me hooked. He's my pusha.

As Rat says.... avagoodweekend! (go on... imagine it with an Australian accent. it's awesome!)
Shabat Shalom, everyone.

Thursday, March 17, 2005
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Boy, it's days like this that I wish I drank....coz who doesn't love green beer!! Well, maybe I can console myself with the ever-delicious McDonald's Shamrock Shake. Mmmm.. a minty milkshake that makes you feel like your drinking chilled toothpaste. Oh how I love you Shamrock Shake! Even if you do make me feel a little nauseous afterwards, each and every time.

Yes indeed, this holiday brings out the Irish in me and I've had to resist buying one of those ridiculous "Kiss Me, I'm Irish!" shirts. It also makes me wish I got the surname of my grandmother instead of my dad's.. coz Quigley has to be one of the coolest Irish names ever. Yes, that's right... if you dig far enough into my family heritage you'll find I'm in fact Irish. My ancestors have been in Canada since...well since white folk landed here. And it's crazy little holidays like this that remind me of my roots.

Anyway, if you are wondering about the history behind this occasion click here. Coz it's actually NOT about beer, four leaf clovers OR little leprechauns. Hard to believe, I know!

And speaking of funny little people... didja hear about the Lord of the Rings musical that's being developed? That's right kiddies, Toronto is going to be the first host city for the brand new musical that is set to open up this time next year. And you're damn right I'm going! Woot!!

Waitaminute.... do they even MAKE the Shamrock Shake anymore??

a friend indeed
Life is a funny thing, ya know. We struggle to do the best we can given the circumstances we are in at any given time, and hopefully push to do better in the future. It has it's up and downs and no matter what how we feel about it time marches on, like it or not. Throughout our lives people come and go and hopefully we choose to surround ourselves with those that nurture our soul and well being. Every so often you really luck out and someone great comes into your life and changes everything for you. Brings happiness and hope that, hey... life ain't so bad. This is the kind of friend that would do anything for you at any time, and in return you offer the same fierce loyalty. Friends like these are harder to find than the rarest of gems and certainly more precious.

Me? I'm pretty damn lucky.... coz Mulder just happens to be one of those friends.
Thanks for all that you do, sweetie. Your endless generosity and immeasurable kindness inspire me and amaze me. You truly are one of the good ones.
Toda raba.

"I got my freaks to the East
I got my freaks to the West
Let's get together...
Let's celebrate...
You know I can't say no to a good time with my friends
Where would I be...
without my friends...
I would be nowhere,
And I would have nothing..."
-Luscious Jackson

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Yay Israel!!! Boo Israel!
Surely you've heard in the news by now that Israel has just opened the largest Holocaust museum/memorial in the world, drawing all kinds of politicians and dignitaries to the opening this week. It's a great accomplishment and a wonderful memorial to those who were lost. Yay Israel!

Also, it's important to note that the new memorial honours the homosexuals that were killed in the holocaust... something that often goes unmentioned when talking about the history of the Holocaust. Let's face it, Hitler didn't like anyone who was different... Jews...gays...blacks... Anyway, I am thrilled to see that this is finally being acknowledged. Yay Israel!

However, I just read a disturbing report that 30 Knesset (parliament) members in Israel are going to sign a petition to cancel the gay pride parade in Jerusalem this year. Wha??? This IS the very same town in which the gays were just honoured in a memorial, right? Much more disturbing than that is the following quote from Pastor Leo Giovinetti, an influential Christian leader from California:

"If Israel continues this way, bad things will happen," Giovinetti warned. "Every time God's people go against the five books of Moses, bad things happen. Homosexuality grieves God's heart, and God judges. Historically, God has judged and there is no reason to believe that he won't judge now."

No wait... I lied.. THIS quote from Rabbi Yehuda Levin, a spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of American, is *far* more disturbing (if that's possible after the "homosexuality grieves God's heart" remark):

"This is not a parade, this is a 10-day radical, militant, anti-family, anti-God celebration of sodomy and pornography. Are we crazy that we need to provoke God again?"

I'll say it again... wha??? Radical and militant? Are you joking?? Anti-family? Don't even get me started. And anti-God??? No really, don't get me started.

Boo Israel! BOO!! If this parade gets cancelled thanks to 30 narrow minded politicians I am gonna be SOME disappointed, let me tell ya.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
wandering without direction
I have come to realize a major problem with me.... I really and truly don't know what I want. And I mean in nearly *every* respect, in the grand scheme of things.

After the demise of a recent relationship I came to realize that maybe I actually *don't* want to be in a relationship. I felt so liberated when it ended and I was thrilled to get my free time back. I could lounge in my pajamas or go out with friends after work.... whatever I wanted! Without complaints from someone that I wasn't spending enough time with him! It feels great and I have to wonder... am I happier when I am single?? I always suspected that, but now I'm left wondering..... am I happier when I am single or is it just that I haven't found someone that I am willing to give up my "free time" for?

Then there's my job. Once upon a time I really liked my job, and every now and then I still have moments in which I enjoy it. But for the most part I am drifting in and out of the office with no real recollection of the days events. I have become lazy because I lack motivation and drive. I don't like feeling lazy because it leaves a horrible feeling of deceit in my gut (pretending to be busy can be like that), but there I am being flat-out lazy. I hate it, and while I joke that it's just how I am..... I'm really not. Given the right job and right circumstance I am willing to work my ass off. Afterall it's far more fulfilling and rewarding to accomplish something rather than just sit and pass time. So what to do? I hear time and time again that I should do what I love. But what is that exactly? Certainly nothing I could earn a living at, I assure you. If I am to answer my calling I need that calling to speak up.... because I have no idea what I truly want to do. If I did, I'd be making moves towards it, I assure you. I have spent the better part of the last year trying to figure out what it is I want to do...... and I still have no answer.

And what about this trip to Israel? As I wrote to a friend of mine in an e-mail last night: "Do I really wanna go? Am I dragging my feet about applying (for financial aid) because I am afraid? Probably. I fear for all that I could lose because I have a hard time imagining what I can gain." Writing that last night helped me put a name to things.... I mean, I knew fear was holding me back, but I realized it was because I could only predict what could go wrong... I have no way of predicting how right things could go. This trip could open up a lot of doors for me, in ways that I cannot imagine. And that's the problem... it's in ways that I cannot imagine. If I could it would alleviate my fears.

At any rate, I have decided to push ahead with my application process and fight my fears. I obviously need something to shake up my world and give me new perspective and maybe this trip is it. But I'll have to fight my laziness and fear and knock on many doors for funding. If this is going to happen I need to buck up here and work towards making it happen rather than letting it pass me by and making excuses as to why I couldn't go. If I don't go on this 5 month trip to Israel it had best not be because I didn't try and make it happen.

As Yoda once said: "Do, or do not. There is no try".

Sunday, March 13, 2005
at a loss for posts
Have ya noticed I haven't had much to say lately? I have. I'm not sure if it's because I am at a loss for words or because there just isn't that much going on worth talking about.... *shrug*

Here's a few bits and bites.

4 Gay Israelis came to Toronto to get married this past week. Yay! I love Israelis and I love that gay Israelis can get married here!! Yay for Canada and I am thrilled for these fine gentlemen who are showing their love and commitment. Best of luck to them in the future (especially when they try and get their marriage recognized in Israel).

Speaking of Israelis, one of my favourite Israelis, Harry, survived yet another stone being thrown at his car by Palestinian terrorists while driving home. When you hear of these stone throwers do you imagine little stones that do little damage? Think again... these aren't pebbles, and yes, they are extremely dangerous. Read Harry's story and see an example what Israelis are up against every day. Glad to hear you are ok, my friend.

I wrote to the fine folks at Livnot about my program/financial aid application to ask if I really had to add info about my parents income. She said if I was financially independent I didn't have to. Whew! Now I can begin the application process. Keep your fingers crossed, folks. I have a long road of money begging ahead of me if I plan to go to Israel for 5 months.

Here's a picture of the cool gift my dad brought back from China for me. It's a bronze reproduction of one of the horses in the Terra Cotta Army of the Qin Dynasty. My dad has good taste in souvenirs, no?

Below you see a picture of me I took earlier today. My parents and I went up to my grandma's to visit with her. She lives 2 hours north of us and in the wintertime, WOW, 2 hours can make a difference. It was *way* colder and way WAY more snowy. As you can see in the picture, the snow was really coming down. So yeah, we drove up, had lunch, played cards and drove back home. Four hours in the car is nothing if it makes my snowbound grandma happy. :-) For more cool snowy pictures from the great white north head over to my photoblog Dreaming In Blue.

Hope you have all had a great weekend... and have a great week!

Thursday, March 10, 2005
what the HELL is happening in my country??
Chaos in Canada!

Last week in Alberta, 4 RCMP (Mountie) officers were killed in the line of duty, rocking the country in a way that I don't quite comprehend. My father was in China at the time and he said the news of this was splashed all over the front page of the newspapers there, as it has been worldwide, in fact. While I agree that this was an incredible tragedy and loss, I am wondering why this is receiving such huge attention... sadly police officers are killed in the line of duty more often than we know. And for the record I don't believe this had anything to do with the fact that it was a marijuana grow-op. The man responsible was known to be violent... he was a ticking time bomb that finally went off, and unfortunately took 4 good people with him. My prayers go out to the families.

This Sunday in Toronto a man took his 5 year old daughter up on top of a highway overpass and threw her off it into the traffic below. Apparently he was on the phone to his estranged wife threatening to throw the girl off the bridge, which he eventually did and then proceeded to jump from the overpass as well. He died and the girl is in the hospital in critical condition.

This Tuesday morning, at 7am, a man wielding a knife taunted police to shoot him during a standoff in the middle of downtown Toronto. The man was quickly surrounded by cops and eventually pinned by a police car against a pole and then disarmed. The footage of the incident was all over the news for the rest of the day.

Yesterday a man went crazy in a rental truck, ramming police cars that were surrounding a protest in downtown Toronto and then eventually set himself ablaze. For some of the most bizarre and disturbing footage of the incident click here. Be warned, it's graphic.

And I am not the only one wondering what the hell is going on. This article reads:
"A man douses himself with gasoline and sets himself on fire.
A father grabs his helpless five-year-old and throws her from an overpass, before jumping to the highway below.
A knife wielding suspect holds police at bay, as cops close in.
A stranger invades a woman’s home and shoots himself in the head, as a murder victim lays dead in a van outside.
What in the world is going on? You can't blame G.T.A. (Greater Toronto Area) residents for wondering if their city has gone mad over the last two weeks. It’s not just the level of violence that’s disturbing. It’s the way those scenarios have played themselves out that’s simply bizarre."

Bizarre indeed.

Monday, March 07, 2005
why do I like Israeli boys so much?
I think this may illustrate just one reason.

But seriously, Lisa has written a post about an Israeli photographer named Adi Nes, the one who has taken the fine photo you see here. If you want to see more of his work and learn more about him I suggest you check out her post. I think you may find it very interesting!

Well, I am starting my week feeling like I got the world by the ass! A welcome change from a week or so ago when it felt like the world was falling. My what a difference a week can make..

The day started off right for me when I got a call from Princess Blondie at 7:30am this morning. She called just to share with me, basically, that she was really glad that we were good friends and that our friendship had stood the test of time and separate homes (since we became friends when she moved into my apartment building, we were worried what would happen when she moved out). Our Thursday night ritual of getting together for Survivor is really just a great way to make it a regular habit of seeing each other all while bonding over a mutual love for a reality show. Anyway, it was a nice call as we talked a bit about how much we mean to each other and how important our friendship is for us both. May sound a little cheesy to you guys, but it was a nice thing for me to hear while getting ready for work on a Monday morning. :-)

And this is shaping up to be a good week..... I'm getting a new computer (EEEEEEEEEK!!! I'm so excited I can barely stand it!!!) and I am going to be out of the office a little more. I will be out on the road getting back to the basics of my job, which means more time out in stores and talking to vendors (no, not selling). It's something I am looking forward to as I am getting a bit of cabin fever as winter (hopefully) begins to wind down. A little freedom from the office is a welcome change. Hoo whee... I am just feeling all good and liberated these days. May I recommend to any of you that you try the same thing... if someone in your life is causing you more stress than joy, cut the person loose! You WILL feel better. :-D

As for my potential trip to Israel.... I have been looking over the financial aid application this morning and I am seeing that I have to fill out info with regards to my parents income. They seem rather adamant that I include financial information about them, and this is where things may come to a screeching halt for a few reasons. Firstly, I am NOT telling my parents about this until I have to, let alone ask them to provide such sensitive info. Not only will they not be supportive emotionally about this choice, they will in no way help me financially. And they will NOT be impressed with me asking for a copy of their tax return. They have nothing to do with the money equation and I am deeply annoyed that the program would make such a suggestion to someone who is 30 and has been living on her own for sometime. Secondly, by including my parents income on this form I assure you it will look like I come from a family that makes a very comfortable living and therefore lower my chances of getting better financial aid. That would be bad because as I said... my parents will never chip in for the cost of this. Ever. So by supplying this info I will only be hurting my chances... but if I don't the form says it will not be accepted. I'm damned if I do, I'm damned if I don't. If they won't take my application without my parents info this whole thing will be over before it even started, and I'll be very sad. I'm going to write the program leader today and see what I can do about this..... coz financial info about my parents just ain't gonna happen...

Sunday, March 06, 2005
for those who happened to be interested in what I did this weekend...
Well it has been quite a weekend and it's not quite over yet. I spent Friday night at home... yes, at home and I'm not ashamed to say it!! I had gone out earlier in the day to reconnect with an old friend of mine (see my prior post) and it went really well. We apologized for the fallout and agreed we were both just in terrible places in our lives at that time. We both needed someone and we were too screwed up with our own stuff to be able to help each other. We talked about what had gone on with us over the last 6 years we were apart and did a little catching up. We will have to take more time to get re-acquainted, but we're happy to have reconnected. :-)

Saturday was a pretty shitty day.... I decided it was time to break up with the guy I had been seeing. I don't care to get into details, as I don't believe in trampling on the privacy of those in my life... but sadly it wasn't the smoothest of partings. On the one hand I feel really terrible that I hurt this guy.... because I care for him, relationship or not. On the other hand, it has been a stormy relationship and I am glad that stress is no longer in my life. It was an emotional rollercoaster and I am glad to have gotten off it. Time to heal and move on....
Saturday night was an improvement as I went out to dinner with my mom and my brother and his girlfriend. I don't see my brother as much as I should, so it was very cool. And of course the cherry on top of my relaxing evening was another episode of Battlestar Galactica. *dreamy* Oh how I love it so.

Today has been all about chilling and getting back into my 'being single' routine, and I must say... I forgot how much I love it! I might not be in a hurry to give it up again anytime soon. I was at Walmart by 8am this morning doin' a little shopping and then it was home watching movies and tidying up my apartment for the rest of the day. I had a quick stopover at the parents house to see my dad, back from his business trip to China. Tomorrow I'll post a picture of the really cool gift he got me so you can check out my dad's excellent taste in souvenirs.

So that about does it for me. I've been chilling, centering and enjoying my alone time this weekend. Feels DAMN good, I must say. Hope y'all had a good weekend!

Oh and to my friend Melra.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Friday, March 04, 2005
it's a mad mad mad mad world
Oh the humanity! They are going to take Bubba's poor body and stuff it and put it on display. Poor Bubba. I'm sorry you are being treated like a circus freak. I'm sorry you had just been minding your business at the bottom of the Atlantic when you got scooped up by us dumb humans who made a story out of you only to have you forgotten by next week. Poor Bubba. Rest in peace little buddy.

And what is going on with this world?? First Brad & Jen broke up and now Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen?? And she's pregnant?? Man, he musta done something really bad for her to walk away while she's pregnant. Oddly, this makes me like her more.... I never really liked her in Stormship Troopers and it's just kinda stuck with me. But I like Charlie too, so I'm sad they are divorcing.
Wait! I'm over it. *shrug* Sorry.. I just don't care that much.

This is the first picture that makes me think that the ridiculous "The Gates" art exhibit in New York might actually have some artistic value. I said I might think that.... the jury is still out on the matter.

To the person who found my blog my searching for "how often do most Jewish girls masturbate" I'm going to say this for the last time.... religion really has nothing to do with it. Only how often you will admit to it, at best.

I left work early yesterday because I was getting sick. I am home today sick and it feels like I have been gargling razor blades all night. Throat sore, food BAD. Beverage good. I'm eating chicken soup even as I type this. When I figure out who gave this to me I will hunt the person down and scratch his/her eyes out.

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

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

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

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

Yesterday I saw this guy's dad again in Walmart. I gave my card with my e-mail to his dad. My friend wrote me last night, I called him about an hour ago. I am leaving in five minutes to go see and talk to him again. He was extremely welcoming to the idea of becoming friends again. He didn't kill me like I thought he'd want to! I am very happy and excited to be going to see him. Hopefully I won't give him my cooties. This soup had better be as good as they say it is for curing colds.

Shabat Shalom.

Thursday, March 03, 2005
Bubba and the Pope
Did you all hear about this giant lobster named Bubba? Bubba was a 22 lb (10 kg) lobster that had been caught off the east coast of the United States. What was such a big deal was that Bubba was huge and therefore obviously old. Estimates put him somewhere around 100 years old. Imagine that!! This creature has lived longer than our grandparents... beyond two world wars... and dodged fisherman's nets for decades. When he was caught a big media frenzy ensued and there were squabbles over what to do with this overgrown crustacean. PETA wanted him spared and released back into the wild, but it was decided to move him to an aquarium the "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" museum. Leave it to us humans to exploit animals. *sigh* And of course as often happens in cases where we exploit fellow creatures, Bubba ended up dying. I actually gasped when I read about it this morning... I felt terrible that this poor creature survived all this time only to die at the hands of bickering, greedy human beings. Not a glorious death for such an old noble creature. Yes, he was a lobster, but he didn't deserve to die like that. Poor Bubba.

According to the Pope: "Homosexual marriages are part of "a new ideology of evil" that is insidiously threatening society". Words cannot express the rage this stirs in me. I feel a rant coming on about this soon. I apologize to my Catholic readers, but I have no love lost for your Pope. I think he keeps his head in the sand and is not in touch with the reality of what's really going on in the world. He tries to apply old ideologies to a new world, and clearly they don't stand the test of time. Sadly, it's comments like this that will continue to breed hate and gay bashing. This is right up there with him telling people not to wear condoms in a world where AIDS is a very real and growing issue. And he's supposed to be a leader.

Animal right groups are freaking out over a new gummy/candy that is out on the market that depicts roadkill. There are a thousand things I could say on this, but I'll refrain (for Bubba's sake). Just click this link and have a look at the picture showing the candy... snake roadkill, complete with tire treads across his back. You will also find chicken and squirrel roadkill which makes me wonder... just where are YOU from that chickens are often roadkill?? Maybe I'm just being a crazy Canadian here, but I'm thinking roadkill is mostly squirrels, skunks, raccoons and occasionally rabbits. Mostly I am amused that not only did someone dream this little gem up one day in a marketing office, but that his boss actually stamped his approval on it thinking it wouldn't offend. Hoo boy, someone's gonna git fired!

For your daily dose of Israel goodness I'd like to direct your attention to a new blog, Israelity. I would like for both my Jewish, and more importantly, my NON-Jewish readers to go check it out. Why? Because there you will find a group blog written by Israelis as they discuss everyday life in Israel. Why is it different? You will see no talk of politics. You will get a feel for what actual day-to-day life is like there. This is important because the world needs to understand that Israelis are just people too.. trying to make their way in life. Please pay it a visit.

Oh and for something amusing go check out the blog Go Fug Yourself. It's a hilarious blog that takes a look at stars and their atrocious fashion faux-paus, with a recent additions from the Oscars, of course. As the blog says, "Fugly is the new Pretty".

Wednesday, March 02, 2005
and the clouds opened up...and suddenly... there was light!
WHEW!!! Glad that bad mood is over with! Talk about a horrible energy drainer that went on for over a week. *wipes brow* My mood lifted when I was venting on the phone to someone last night about my stress over decision making, which in of itself was not unusual since I have been venting most of the week to any of my poor friends (and readers!) who would listen... but for some reason I felt better after ranting to this one person in particular. Maybe his insight and advice was just different, I dunno. And THEN my evening only got better when I hopped on to MSN Messenger and chatted up my bestest buddy Sam, down in North Carolina. He made my night by telling me he's trying to sort out plans for a possible trip up to Toronto in June. YAY!!!!!! I am so excited, you have no idea. I can't wait to see you, baby!!

So yeah, both those things finally dragged me out of my week long wallow in misery and I am feeling worlds better today. I really can't thank you all enough for your support and patience while I whined and bitched. I appreciate it, you guys are the best.

That being said, let me recap the fun and frolic of my weekend! Yes, Friday night from 11pm to 1am my friends and I made complete fools of ourselves out on the ice at a curling club in downtown Toronto. It was really quite comical as a group of six of us stood around and tried to figure out just how you even play the game. I mean sure... we had seen it plenty of times on tv (we're in Canada, afterall) but that doesn't mean we have much of a grasp on how to play it. I think this became abundantly clear as we started off by standing on the ice with a sheet of instructions in our hands that we had printed off the internet; this contained our rules including how calculate the score (which I am still not entirely clear on). Much of our time was spent saying things like "But on tv they do [this]" or "aren't you supposed to do it like [that]?? that's how they do it on tv!!". It felt much like trying to perform surgery based on what I have seen while watching E.R. Eventually we got it figured out and slowly but surely we had ourselves a few games going. It was a ton o' fun and we certainly plan on doing it again. For $10 a person it was a cheap and certainly amusing night of entertainment. If you are interesting in learning more about curling click here (there is a flash animation showing you how it's done under the "how to play section", but don't be fooled...they make it look easier than it really is!) and here. I have posted pictures of me making a fool of myself over on my photoblog, Dreaming In Blue if you'd like to go have a look (for the sake of archiving, look in the March archives of the photoblog).

Saturday night I was out with one of my very favourite friends from highschool, Melra (you have seen her in the comments) and had a fabulous time. We ate, we drank, we talked, we laughed, we bitched. It's good for the soul, and I definitely needed it. Thanks, buddy!

Sunday night was Oscar night....yeeha! A friend of mine decided to invite us all over to her place to partake in an Oscar night ritual of food eating and ballot casting. A few of us went out to the grocery store to round up some grub (we thought we'd do it all sophisticated-like and got things like seafood hors d'oeurves in philo pastry, and spinach & artichoke dip with pumpernickel bread..... but we also got nachos and other junkfood, who are we kidding here??). And then, being the uber-geeks that we are, we all sat down and filled out our ballots using a two tiered system whereby we guessed which movies we thought would likely win and which movies we'd like to see win. Then, being the nerds we are, sat eagerly as each category was announced and checked off on our sheets who the winners were in each category. It made for a strange geek competition to see who had the most guesses right. It was no big surprise that the hostess, who is a film student grad, took first place with 16 correct guesses... I came in second with 12 correct guesses. You can see my ballot here (ooo! and you find out one of my far lesser known nicknames!). Go ahead and laugh, but it made for a wickedly fun night with my friends and took what could otherwise be a boring night of award presentations and watching of beautiful people (hell-O Kate Winslet! ya looked faboo!) and made the evening a total blast.

Did anyone else see the Oscars? Did anyone else find some of the time cutting measures they took this year a bit odd? I mean, I appreciate the efforts to cut down on time (I usually can't stay up until 1am on a Sunday night, so it was nice that they finished around 11:30pm) but didn't it seem mean to march all the nominees up onto the stage and then announce the winner so that s/he could step forward and leave the losers just standing their with their proverbial dicks in their hands?? I felt really bad for those left standing there like losers of a beauty pageant or those who didn't get picked first for the baseball team in public school. It's bad enough you have to pretend like you're happy for the guy who won, but to have to stand up on stage and do it... yikes. And to add insult to injury they only did it for the 'less important' categories like "sound editing", not the big players like "best actor" or "best picture". Coz of course you don't want to embarrass THEM by having them on stage when they find out they didn't win. Oy.... makes me so happy I'm not in that industry. I don't think my delicate ego could take it. Here's "E!"'s review of the night if you are curious.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
lost in a mood funk
Well it looks like I just can't conjure up anything to say. I am feeling a tad depressed thanks to over analyzing the pros and cons of a 5 month stay in Israel, and now I am anti-social and don't want to mingle with the general population. I'm sure this mood will lift soon, and when it does I will post something delightful about the snowstorm gripping my city.... or about my adventures in curling.... or maybe the hijinx of Oscar night. Meanwhile, I think you should pick a random blog from my blogroll and try something new.

P.S. you should go check out the new look of Gil's blog. It looks awesome!
*sigh* Love dem Israeli boys!