Friday, July 28, 2006
Hanging By A Moment
Well, I *was* having a good day until I read about this.
Now I'm just sad.... deeply deeply sad.
Is this how it's going to be now? Is this a sign of things to come?

It reminds me of the Hebrew lessons I used to take a few years back and how our classroom (in the Jewish centre I went to) was the only office in the building that had cameras outside the office door and an intercom to get in. I recall how depressing it was when the teacher explained to the class that we must always be careful. Be wary. That there are always going to be people who want to hurt us and that we must always be mindful of that. No matter where we live.

One time I was walking with my Hebrew teacher down the street when a group of kids in an SUV drove by and yelled anti-semetic remarks at us as they drove by and I remember how horrible it made me feel. How angry. And now I wonder..... can I expect more of that to come?

How sad is it that I'm thankful I'm working two weeks straight so that I don't have time to sit glued in front of the tv to watch all this unfold? I can't anymore, I just can't. It saps me of hope.

Shabbat Shalom.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Oy, I am feeling seriously burnt out. 10 hours of driving in a 20 hour period was a bit much and I am feelin' it this morning. Got home at midnight last night from Montreal and I am hopping in the car again now to head up north and be on the road for another 3 days. You can only imagine how excited I am at the prospect of another 7 hours of driving in the next couple of days. Even more exciting is the idea that I won't get a day off again until August 5th. Colour me thrilled!!

And I'd love to comment on what's going on in Israel but what more can really be said at this point? Things are getting far uglier than I thought they would with no promise of relief. I find myself defending Israel in conversations with people and hate that I can detect disbelief in their voices when talking to them. I feel like I'm running out of arguments when things (like UN workers getting killed) happen. While I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for what happened (no I don't believe it was deliberate, come ON people!) it doesn't matter.... the world has already decided the truth. *sigh*

Anyway, I'm heading out the door and will likely not be online again 'til Friday. Until then, be good.

Monday, July 24, 2006
blurry eyed and ready to drop
First of all, let me say that I am righteously pissed off that I have become the recent target of comment spam. I hate that I may be forced to take steps to stop it, and I naively believed that my blog would fly under the radar coz of my tiny readership. Oh well. Anyone who has found a good system (ie: doesn't require readers to register in order to comment) please let me know.... I need to start investigating options.

Anyway, I am home safe and sound from Pennsylvania though the return was a difficult one as many things ran amok all at once. Missed flights and thunderstorms made travel difficult and I am just happy to be home, if but for a moment. Today I am driving to Montreal to take one of my co-workers home (part of that whole flights missed fiasco) to the tune of 5.5 hours on the road. I'll stay the night there, drive home, and then the next drive 4.5 hours north. My week will be spent working (and driving, driving and more driving), including the weekend so it's safe to say I'm starting to feel pretty burnt out just thinking about the next 2 weeks without a day off. Joy!

I am having nightmares about all that is going on in Israel and I am getting frustrated with how the public opinion is shifting against Israel, the longer this goes on. I don't even know what to say about it anymore, I truly don't. Like most I just want it to end, one way or another.....

Take care this week, my friends. I'll post when I can.....

Sunday, July 16, 2006
I close my eyes, but still I see...
I had a long day of traveling, plane catching and driving to get to Pennsylvania today for a week of training for work. When I finally got into my hotel room my phone rang almost immediately and my mom told me I should probably turn on the news if I hadn't already.

I have been glued to the news for the last hour and all I can do is shake my head and read all the Israeli blogs I can to make sure everyone is ok. A co-worker came by my room and sat on the couch watching a bit of the news and started saying a few things about the situation that started getting me riled up and I said something to the effect of "I don't think you want to go there with me, you really don't.". It was a warning to back off and thankfully she took it and backed off. I was just too tired and not in the mood to educate the ignorant.

I don't even know what to say about it all anymore. More than anything I guess I've mellowed from mad to just plain sad.

I want this to stop. I want Israel to get her soldiers back and Hizbollah to go away so that Israel can stop. I want Lebanon to have a chance to rebuild and not have its country hijacked by terrorists who drag them into wars and hide like dirty cowards among Lebanese citizens. I just want peace damnit.

Dare to dream.

Saturday, July 15, 2006
oh they did NOT just do that....
Being on the road all the time means I am out of touch with the news much of the day. Wednesday I was straining to listen to some damn French news station on the radio (I was in eastern Ontario, near the Quebec border) to try and hear the report about Israel, but my French is so bad I could only make out bits and pieces. Yesterday when I got home and turned on the news I gasped as I heard that an Israeli ship was hit in the water by either an unmanned drone packed with explosives (and flown into the ship) or a missile. 4 soliders missing off the ship, one since found dead.

Then this morning I woke up to hear that Tiberias, another town I loved spending time in last September, was hit by rockets from Lebanon. I am shocked that the rockets could reach that far and I am getting really angry that they are hitting some of the towns that are closest to my heart. I am also stunned with the swift speed at which this has all been escalating... it has been simply breathtaking.

For an amazingly beautiful if not heartbreaking view on the crisis go to the Lebanese Blogger Forum and read a post in which a Lebanese declares his desire for peace with Israel (and declares that Israel is not to blame for the situation! be still my heart!). Be sure to read the comments that follow for an interest dialogue between the two sides. Hat tip: Allison. For a post about my time along the Lebanon border last fall click here.

Meanwhile, it's Saturday and I am off to work for the day. Evidently I no longer have a life or even a desire for one. :-/ Upon my return I am packing up and in the morning I'm flying down to the US (Pennsylvania) for a week of training. I'll probably post again tonight before I head out tomorrow..... I hate to think of what the news will bring when I get out of work later today.

UPDATE: It's 11pm and I have finished all my paperwork for the week and I am packed and ready to head to the airport in the morning; my alarm is set for 5:45am. *groan* I am taking my laptop so if I have the time and energy I'll try and give an update from Pennsylvania, and I will of course be keeping my eyes on the news while I am there (though I will be out of touch during working hours). Let's keep our thoughts and prayers on the crisis....

Friday, July 14, 2006
stress puppy
I've become glued to the news about Israel the likes of which I have not been since the US rolled into Iraq a few years back. I have even been reading Arab versions of the news to see what their take is on this (not surprisingly they say no one has been killed in Israel, when indeed civilians have been killed). Yesterday morning I was in a hotel room when I logged into the internet on my laptop and gasped when I saw reports that Lebanon had hit the northern town of Safed (Tzfat) in Israel, a town close to my heart as I spent a great deal of time there last Sept/Oct. I was worried about those I knew there and was angry that such a beautiful and quiet town was hit with rockets. I stared at the pictures, trying to make out the shops and streets I recognized from walking the streets so many times....

Going into the weekend more reports of Safed getting hit are coming in, not to mention reports of Haifa (another town I love) and various other northern towns. *Hundreds* of rockets have been raining down in Israel over the past few days and Israel has taken to bombing spots in Beirut to cut their supply line and to destroy weapon caches. I'm seriously stressed about the situation and worry about all my friends over there. The feeling of helplessness as I worry about people half a world away well and truly sucks, and having been through it before does not make it any easier this time. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those living through this right now, including the innocents on both sides who are caught in the middle of all.

Shabbat Shalom.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
alive and kicking (but not too much, it gets me out of breath)
Hey all, sorry for the long delay in posting again. It has been a crazy emotional roller coaster over the last week or so. Not being able to breathe well really does something to the psyche, ya know? Not to mention the STEROIDS that I was on. Holy hell, Prednisone is a horrible, horrible drug! Talk about roid rage..... I was a seriously grumpy girl. Dark clouds followed me everywhere and I was simply not a pleasant girl to be around. To add to the joy I had such charming side effects as massive joint pain in the knees and a debilitating back pain, both of which would arrive like clockwork two hours after my dose of Prednisone. Lotsa fun!

But I am off the steroids and am feeling better. At least I thought I was doing better until I went to the doctor for my follow up and she put the stethoscope to my back to listen to my breathing and said I still had recovered from my asthma attack 9 days earlier. I was a bit pissy about the news, actually. She then proceeded to lecture me about not using my inhalers everyday in my recover as I was told to and said I "had to, had to, HAD TO" start using them twice a day. I have to go back in a week to see her again. *groan*

Thanks for all your support gang, I really appreciate your sweet words and encouragement. (especially that Italian devil who anonymously posted that he thought I was beautiful! A-prrowl!) Thanks to all your support and some good lovin' in my life I am feeling worlds better... my mood is better than ever. Toda raba! (Thank you!!)

On to other topics....

I can no longer ignore the events in Israel and not comment. First it was the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit (an Israeli soldier snatched by Hamas) and Israel's re-entry into Gaza to get him (which they have yet to do). Now I just read that Israeli troops have entered Lebanon in response to two more soldiers being kidnapped by Hizbollah. I find all this extremely disturbing and upsetting.... I know Israel has to defend herself and all, but I also know the world sees this as a bullying tactic and I hate that Israel is constantly misunderstood. The world wouldn't bat an eyelash if the US launched a huge incursion to get one of their own back, but somehow Israel is a big bad monster when they do it. Hell, the US would launch a massive effort to rescue one of their own and then make a damn MOVIE about it and the world would applaud. Israel is spanked by the UK, the UN and half the planet for being this oppressive beast always picking on the little Palestinians. I am so SICK of it.

What's Israel supposed to do? Just sit back and let rockets get lobbed into their country from Gaza? Because hundreds had been falling into various towns for weeks before the kidnapping, you understand. The kidnapping was just the final straw that finally made Israel say "enough". Is Israel supposed to apologize for their policy of doing whatever it takes to save one of their own? This is a country that would not exist if not for its soldiers standing guard each and every day, so you're damn right Israel will do what it takes to protect her guardians (read this moving article truly understand why Israel goes to such lengths to save but one soldier). Do I like that Israel has to stage massive operations in order to do it? No. But I know Israel has to stand up and fight or else more soldiers and civilians will be kidnapped.

Go get your soldiers back Israel, and make no apologies to anyone.

Saturday, July 01, 2006
how I spent my Canada Day holiday
In a nutshell, I spent my holiday in the emergency room of my local hospital. Luckily (?) I have spent so much time in this very place that I knew where the washrooms, blankets and drinks are to be found. When the nurse registering me asked if I had been to this hospital before I snickered and said "Yes. Plenty of times". I counted at least 3, maybe 4 surgeries in this hospital not to mention the countless other scans, x-rays and ultrasounds.. Good times.

Anyway, my normally dormant and mild asthma decided today was the day it was going to rear it's head to enough an extent that I would be forced to seek greater measures than my usual inhaler in order to catch a breath. This did not exactly thrill me since, though the healthcare is free in this country, it means spending hours upon hours waiting around in the hospital to see a doctor. Not appealing when all I want to do is sleep because I'm not getting enough air to keep me awake.

Part of the fun of this trip was that there was no one around to go with me to keep me company. My parents are out of town and my beau lives nowhere near here. I was on my own, but hey... not my first time alone in emerg. *shrug*

When a nurse finally came in to take my vitals and check my breathing it went a little like this:
(places stethoscope to my back)
"Ok, take a deep breath"
(I attempted to breath)
"Are you breathing??"
"Yes, I'm breathing!!"
"Ok, take a DEEP breath then"
"Look, that's as good as it gets, that's why I'm here"
"Oh. Well that's not good, we better get something for that."

What I got was 5 hours of sitting in a hospital, a dose of prednisone (a steroid), and many hauls from two separate inhalers, one of which tasted so vile I wretched and coughed for 3 minutes straight after each puff. I also got some chest x-rays and three prescriptions to go home with (more prednisone! lucky me! *ugh*).

Anyway, now I gotta take this nasty-ass inhaler every 4 hours and if I feel like I can't make it the 4 hours in between the doses I need to go back to the hospital. *snore* What fun is that? I FINALLY get a long weekend off from working my ass off all week and this is my reward??

When I get my breathing back under control I'm going to post some pictures and stories from my trip out to the east coast last week. Stay tuned and have a great weekend.