Monday, February 28, 2005

Leavin' on a jet plane

Another entry on the "You Know You Travel Too Much" list, courtesy of me-ander: "You know you travel too much when you can't figure out the time, because your watches, cellphone and computer are all in different time zones." Oh, boy does she have that right. Not a single device of mine shows the same time zone as any other.

I did it, I did it! OK, so I hardly worked this week, but I finished the megillah case

and the fry-up!

I loved working this bag; it taught me so much. Since it's just a lark I felt free to combine knitting and crochet, acrylic, cotton, and wool, and even to add in a few Debbie New-ish touches, like the maple syrup (any guesses on what exctly it's made of?). I also learned that I can't line a bag for beans, so I'm going to have to ask my dad to teach me how to do it when he comes to visit. (He gave up his sewing machine when he retired for the second time.) I learned that twisted handles are stronger than a knitted band, that even acrylic can be blocked, if only a little bit, and that I can do some really basic deisgning (the bread and butter).

Meme! I got tagged by In the Pink on the TiVo meme. Well, OK, I tagged myself, sorta kinda. But I didn't mean she had cheated--I meant that had I considered myself tagged without actually getting tagged, that would have been cheating. So I've been officially tagged, and now, the moment none of you have been waiting for:

How much space is left on your TiVo? Well, we don't have TiVo here. We do have something called "Yes Max," which I think may be like TiVo, but I have a firm rule to pass on any product advertised by showing a man urinating.

Have you ever bought a DVD of a TV series, and if so, which one? Not for myself yet (I'm waiting for the price on To The Manor Born to go down), but I have bought M*A*S*H for A and Little Men for S.

What was the last TV show you watched before reading this message? The Israel version of "Whose Line Is It" on Saturday night.

List five shows you won't miss: There aren't any. I did like watching The Ambassador, and I always try to miss the news. My heart rate is fast enough as is.

List your favorite shows of all time: Eight is Enough Chatzi HaMinashe, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Zehu Zeh, St. Elsewhere.

Who are you tagging? Backspace because I know he watches more TV than I do, Rachel Ann because she actually has cable (every family in my town would have to subscribe 4 times over to be eligible, even the ones without TVs), and Anna. What she watches this year I'll be seeing in two, and with her taste in statuary, I'm sure to enjoy what she likes.

Off I go, off to the wild blue yonder. Got business to do and yarn to fondle (this grope's for you, Zibibbo!).

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Houston, you are cleared for takeoff!

I was sort of afraid the cardiologist would decide I needed more test or something, and therefore couldn't head out to NY and Houston next week. but he gave me the green light to do any old thing I please, as long as I keep an eye on my pulse and blood pressure and take double to triple the amount of beta blockers I'd been taking. W00t! USa yarn stores, here I (and my charge cards) come. Shopping on a working vacation doesn't really count as breaking a stash diet, does it?

Top ten signs you travel too much (in progress):

10. Your favorite restaurant is 10 hours away. By plane.
9. Ditto your LYS.
8. You have your travel agent's phone number on speed dial.
7. Your little black book is filled with frequent flyer numbers.

Any suggestions for more?

I got RAOKed! Anna send me 2 knitting magazines and a delicious bar of soap. Nutmeg and vanilla, which are my current obsessions in cooking. I grabbed the mags away from S long enough for a photo shoot:

More yarn to put on my shopping list; I see at least one pair of socks, a hat, and a jacket I want to make, and quickly.

Wednesdays are for KALs:
The green Romney socks are coming along:

Very rustic, no? Makes me look like I ought to go out and plow the back 40. Wait--I really ought to go out and plow the back 40 before I leave....
Finished S's yarn. Well, 4 skeins of it, anyway. Wanted to finish the rest before I left, but it's a no-go. 4 skeins will hold her over until I get home.

With any luck, tomorrow--the finished Fry-Up bag!

Monday, February 21, 2005

The fix is in!

In more ways than one.

Last night "The Ambassador" ended. Ho-hum. Did anyone really think that Eitan, darling of the media hacks and One of Them, wouldn't win? Just because he's a mechanical wind up toy with the personality of moldy Wonder Bread and the arrogance of an Israeli politician? If you did think anyone had a chance besides Eitan, did you actually think the religious guy (and we all know religious guys are secretly bent on killing as many Arabs as they can, and if they can't get an Arab they'll take an Israeli politician; besides, Tzvika lives on an idelogical settlement. Oh, it's in the Negev, not the West Bank or Gaza? Who cares? One day we'll be giving the Negev away, too, because It's Not North Tel Aviv) or the "woman of color" (Note to Mahareta: you barely speak a word of English, but I noticed how quickly you learned the PC term for your skin color, though you still used 'black' when you spoke Hebrew), both of whom have no Israeli parent, could win over the son of an Israeli woman who left to the Big City? So what if Eitan lost the Diaspora vote and won not a single contest in NYC, where he's going to be working?

The only good thing about Eitan winning? New York's loss is the entire country's gain. If only we could unload all our arrogant wind bags on some other country. I'm starting the bidding on Areil Sharon. Know what? We'll give him for free--as long as *you* feed him.

Who would I like to have seen win? The reporter from the NY Daily News. What honesty, what courage! He won't vote for Tzvika because "I'm not a 15 year old girl." He tells Eitan to stop selling himself as a sex object, because "that's a stretch." And how. Note to Eitan: Hair transplants. Think about it.

Where did the other two go wrong?

Mahareta sold her tragic tale too many times. NYC high school teens just aren't interested in that. You're an actress, woman--tak about movie making! Talk about the TV soaps! Tell them how in Israel, "women of color" don't have to sing rap to be stars! No, it's all, "we starved, we trekked, we longed for Jerusalem." Face it, we live in a post-modern world. Suffering is out.

Tzvika: this isn't "Israeli Idol." The teens already voted for you once, but they couldn't vote at this stage. Nothing makes the media moguls turn on a person like trying to be their pet religious person. Ask Yisroel Eichler. Ask Miriam Lapid. Ask Zevulun Orlev.

Eitan, in retrospect, did everything right: forget your fellow contestants and lick, lick, lick away at the panel's gluetus maximus. Show them you're just like them. Nothing in Israel succeeds like carbon copies.

The fix is in, knitting version: Ripped out the green socks for the fix-along *again*. I liked it, I really did, but realized I might not have enough of the green Romney to last for two socks at that cuff length. So I started again, toe-up this time, and I'll knit on both socks, one ball of wool at a time, until I run out:

Check out the stitch marker! I needed to make 18 for the Clapotis, so I made a few more for whatever. They're addictive.

The Fry-Up is done!

What's that you say? Looks like a hunk of nothing? How clever of you to notice. It's actually face down on the lining fabric. Stay tuned for the big unveiling later this week (because I am *not* shlepping spare fabric with me to NY). Illanna suggested some more Israeli food. If I ever do a matching beret, it'll have a slice of bread with chocolate spread, but I'm not sure that goes so well with hummus.

And last but not least, if you don't ever hear from me again, it's because I got swallowed up by the Great Wall of Mama:

Whenever I travel I put up lots of Post-Its the week before with everything I need to do (I mean everything--pack, shower, eat, knit...). As the week progresses the number of Post-Its varies, but by the time I leave it should be done to none. I hope. A lot of Post-Its give their lives for my travels, but they're just SWAG, so what do I care?

A new link on the sidebar: Check out Zibibbo Is Good. Knitting and anti-idiotarian news. And for the record, I'd put up a Knitters Against Global Jihad button, so make it! Once I finish all this petro-chemical byproduct in my stash I'm grabbing that "Say no to acrylic& hell no to worldwide terrorism" button. The acrylic isn'y my fault; I inherited almost all of it.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Health related post

If you don't like reading about other people's health, just move on to the bottom for some jewelry p_rn.

Got my blood tests back. Nothing wrong with me, as far as I can tell. My HDL is a touch low, but the HDL/LDL ration is only 2.15, which IIRC, pretty darn good. My triglycerides are a touch high (211 when the highest normal range is 200) but my family tends to high triglycerides and mine have always been a touch high, so this is also OK. My AST is also a teeny bit low (12 when the low end of normal is 13). The iron, which is what really had the cardiologist worried, is just fine. So I guess there are no easy answers in my blood.

I did my stress test yesterday. The tech was flabbergasted when I walked in with a 127 beat per minute baseline (after sitting around the office for half an hour crocheting, so it was certainly not artifically elevated). They stopped the test on me after 7 minutes because my heart rate had gone up to 184, 102% of the target rate, and I was only going 3.3 mph at a 14% incline--pretty much as though I were walking home quickly from my friend down the hill, a normal Shabbat walk for me. They had a doctor in teh room after minute 3, and made me sit down on the treadmill until my heart got back to under 130. The scary part is I didn't feel much difference between 184 and 127 and wanted to continue the test: I love to walk fast. Must ask the doctor about fast walking before I go to NY, since I tend to eat pavement from the Upper West side back to Brooklyn at least every other day when I'm back there, and if I can't tell when the ticker's going dangerously fast....

Of course the cardiologist isn't in today :-( I should be glad he's at a conference: keeping up with the latest is one of the reasons he's such a good doctor (listening and giving patients the benefit of the doubt is the other!) but I wanted to see if he though I should go up to 2 beta blockers a day, which I'm avoiding. I hate taking pills. I'm only 18 (at least in my mind) and the nightly ritual of "Dear, did you take your pills?" "Yes, honey, and did you take yours?" is making my youngest howl with laughter at the Ancient Ones.

After the test I was feeling so lousy that I decided a little retail therapy was in order. Walked down Ibn Gavirol in Tel Aviv to Tzemer Motti. They had 30% wool in the window and I asked oh-so-nicely if they had anything in at least 50% wool. "You mean less than 50%, don't you?" the man behind the counter asked. "No, more than." His wife looked at me like I had sprouted horns. "No," she barks and turns away. Was it something I said, or the fact that I was dressed like a stereotypical settler-girl?

So we went to Jerusalem, and Tzvi at Badei Shani said he's have the South West Trading yarns in within two weeks, but I'll be in the States by then. So I comforted myself with a haul from Notzizim on the pedestrian mall:

And all that for 65 shekel (about $14)! Never let it be said retail therapy doesn't make the world a better place.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Coming out of the closet

Sometimes, when you love someone, you just have to accept they aren't the way you'd envisioned they'd be. Sometimes their--well, I guess you could call it orientation--isn't what you'd dreamed it would be. The time has come for me to accept that about my--

megillah case.

I wanted to do this for the "Love your knits again" fix-along. But it didn't want to be knit. It was clearly attracted to single crochet stitches, and being in the knit closet was killing it. So I accepted its leanings and got this

That's its better half behind it, my megillah, written by B many, many years ago. On a sunny day I'll take a picture of what he's written lately--the difference is amazing.

Now all the megillah case needs is a cover and we're good to go.

When I finish a WIP I'll go back to the green socks, which will become my fixer-upper project, but really, I think the case should count. It used to be knit, but now I love it again.

And since it's Knit-along day, both sides of Fry-Up bag:

Waffles and blueberry syrup

Adam and Eve, minus the raft

I definitely need another waffle and maybe some butter, and I'm thinking I need a slice of bread for the eggs. Then I have to line the sides, because I did them in the round and they'd rather be hats (they're too big to be yarmulkas). Afterwards I'll crochet them together with another line of the gold. But what to do for the handles? I think I want something showier than in the original pattern.

RAOK: 4 small packages going out in tomorrow's mail. I'd say they're going overseas, but that wouldn't mean much, would it? ;-)

Health: Hey, I'm a Jew, I have to discuss this! I'm slowly getting used to the beta-blockers. As for the rest... Oy. What a story. Sunday our car died, so I figured that instead of getting blood drawn by the better stickers in the nearest, I'd do it here. I went at 7:30 to get vampyred, and the nurse tells me that the health service's car isn't starting, so no blood draws. But we have no car, right? So B borrows a neighbor's stick shift (he hasn't driven a stick shift in years) and takes me to town. Insert much hilarity. (If you ever watched Eight is Enough, do you remember the episode with Tom & Abby's first date and how badly Tom drove her car? Sort of like that.) Then we get to the clinic and it turns out you need an appointment to get blood drawn, which of course we have not, nor are there any appointments left. But the nurse knows me (she's the one who did my holter test that got lost and was found at the 11th hour, which in Hebrew is the 90th minute) and says that if we wait until 10 (it's now about 8:30) she can do my bloodwork. But the tow guy is due at 10 to get our car....So we call the tow company and they say they are actually going to get to us at 11. Cool. We wait, and when I'm next-after-the-next-person, the tow guy calls--he'll be there in 20 minutes. But it'll take 20 minutes just to get home, much less wait my turn. I tell B to go home and I'll hitch-hike home. No dice, he says. So he tells Tow Guy to wait for us. I get my blood work done, we fill our neighbor's car up as a thank you, we get home at 11 am, no tow guy. He finally showed up at 11:30.

Tomorrow I go for the stress test. Now, usually you do this stripped from the waist up. But I'm the girl whose childhood nickname was "Dolly Parton." The test administrators told me to show up tomorrow with a selection of foundation garments and they'd see what we could do. Makes me think of the warning "Be careful--you could put someone's eye out with that!"

Politics: Oy. Just oy. If you want to read a really good analysis of what's happening here in Israel, visit Biur Chametz. He's also hosting this week's Hevel Havalim, so contact him if you've seen any really good Israeli/Jewish content in blogs this week.

I want these dep't: Aqua Hubs. Waterglobes with USB ports and a cellphone holder or a pencil holder. How cute is that?
Who doesn't like Viewmasters? Check out these classy reels--Vladmaster! Franz Kafka reels? Wrap your old red toy around that idea.

Check it out dep't (Hebrew): Zibibbo is good had a link to a [boo, hiss] Ha'Aretz article about the Tapuz knitting community. I went, I joined, I got depressed. This group is full of the acrylic scarf-and-poncho crowd, but if we fiber-and-pattern snobs join, the whole level of the board will rise to meet the challenge; they're hungry to learn.

Last and least, a quiz. Is this really me?

You're Mrs. Dalloway!

by Virginia Woolf

Your life seems utterly bland and normal to the casual observer, but inside you are churning with a million tensions and worries. The company you surround yourself with may be shallow, but their effects upon your reality are tremendously deep.
To stay above water, you must try to act like nothing's wrong, but you know that the truth is catching up with you. You're not crazy, you're just a little unwell. But no doctor can help you now.

Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Friday, February 11, 2005

To be continued...

I might be taking a few days off.

You know things are dicey when your cardiologist, who just told your husband, "So you don't want to do tests, don't" tells you "Do these tests and make sure a doctor sees them right away. And come back and see me before you go to America."

So I have to adjust to beta blockers and hope that they can pull my heart rate down from its high of 167.

I'll be back some time next week or when I have an FO to report, whichever is first.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Travel P-rn

Living in Israel means never having nothing to whine about, but despite the February blahs, I'm not in the mood to whine. So instead, I give you a pictorial of where I will be 3 times over the next half a year (for a total of about 2 and a half months. Home? Wazzat?)

Leave guesses about Where In The World (Besides Houston, of which I don't yet have pictures since I haven't been there yet) Is Moze Going in the comments (some of you have a head start, living in one city or knowing that I'm going to the other):

This is just wrong dep't:


Ikea's good, but it's not worth dying for

Just because Amir Lang was booted off the show doesn't mean he won't get a plum hasbara job (in Hebrew). You'd think Bibi would at least wait and pick up one of the two who don't win the final.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Everything comes in twos

Babies x2: Back in the Bais (Bais Yaakov of Queens, that is) we learned that the reason Shimon and Levi were so close is that they were born 2 months apart. When I was grown and found out a friend had two uteruses (uterii?), I wondered if that could have been the reason behind the births, but everyone I told about my theory -- doctors, rabbis, laymen -- told me I was out of my ever-lovin' mind. Out of my mind I may be, but you go argue with the news. Two babies two months apart. Sure sounds familiar to me.

Ulpana-rama x2: So A went off to test for the high school in Ofra. They only have dorm 2 night s a week, so 3 days a week she'd have to hitch-hike to school, but based on her time-to-hitch yesterday, that shouldn't be a problem. She has lots of friends amongst the girls who are already there for 8th grade (it's one of the local schools), though she wasn't impressed by most of the girls testing with her. At lunch she was surrounded by about 20 girls--some she met this summer at the Maayanot sleep-away camp and some were friends-of-friends. One thing I didn't understand: they had group interviews instead of individual, and part of the interview was a Survivor-like voting out of other girls. A was the Survivor; the other 4 girls had no question that A would get accepted. Now we just have to see if the school administration agrees.

Ofra is a good compromise: A wants a dorm school, I'd like her home. But if she doesn't get into Ofra, Lehava is a perfectly fine place, and having seen one of their films last night on Channel 1 (18 L'Chupa, a romantic comedy), their communications program seems to fit what A wants.

Fry-Up x2: The plate is coming along nicely. Of course, it only took me 3 inches of plate to realize that no one will be able to see the whites of the eggs against a white plate. [sigh]. Now I definitely have to singe the edges of the eggs with a brown marker. I'm Magic Looping the dickens out of this plate. Could someone tell Israeli yarns stores that circs do come in lengths other than 100 cm?

Snow x2: While you're digging out your cars and lamenting yet another round of the white stuff, remember that there are children in the Middle East who go to bed every night hungry for snow.

This is your life. It is a re-run.

I spent the day avoiding the news. Sharm part two thousand and twenty one. Cease fire. We've seen this movie before, haven't we? A law which might well lead to a Jewish civil war passed because of the vote of a non-Jew. Like this is a surprise? The government is in power only because of the Arab vote, too. Now if these were different votes going through on the Charedi MK votes, you know how loud the left would scream. Oy--my ears hurt just thinking about it.

I got a spam with a "from" line that is perfect for today's political situation: Legislating F. Sabotages. Maybe I ought to open it--it might be from MK Baraka.

My Palm Zire 71 died. It needs a new screen. It will cost 2/3 of the price of a new Zire 72 and I may not even have it back before I go to the States. I told the repair people that I couldn't authorize the repair until they told me when I'd get it back. It would be easier to keep with my old Palm--all I'd need to do to get running is hotsync. Then again, the 72 can do some video, has a much better camera, and is only 1/3 more than fixing my old Palm. I had this same decision to make 2 years ago when my IIIxe died. I'm just a serial Palm murderer. [Don't tell the geek cops!]

In memory of ol' Palmie, my favorite Palm pic, the beach at the border of Tel Aviv and Jaffa at sunset:

We had snow!

It was coming down pretty heavy for a while, and lasted on the ground all of a half hour. The one day a year we get snow and all the kids were in school in warmer towns. Think they'll ever let me live it down?

Fry-Up alert: These ladies out-Fried us. But check out the yummies:

I'm thinking I need a few of these on my bag; I'm definitely doing the bread.

I've finally found my plate. No hat for me, at least this year, but the retro yellow bag just didn't do it for me. But what about this baby?

I might spiff it up with a line of gold between the solid and fluted sections, but this is certainly an elegant way to start the day. Arm me with two of these sweeties, my eggs, waffle, bluebarry jam, and bread, and I'm good for a SnB anywhere!

I started my Mariah. No pictures yet--I'm only 4 lines into the first sleeve. I know I'll be the last one to finish it because I'm not taking a huge honking ball of yarn to the States with me. Tough--as long as it's done by next winter.

Poor S re-ran my visits to the frog pond. She was 13" into her sweater when she showed me the pattern. "Um, dear, this says it should be knit in the round...." Rip. Rip. The pattern is a little complicated and this is only her second real year of English language instruction, since you can't call what she got from 4th through 8th grade English lessons.

I wonder if there will only be re-runs tonight on TV?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ulpana-rama and the sucking sound of Knit-Alongs

So A went off this morning to get tested at yet another ulpana (girls' high school), this time the school in Ofra. (Thanks for the reassuring words, me-ander!) She's tested at 3 high schools so far, including the one she really, reaaly [insert teenaged whining here] wants to go to, Kfar Pines, and has heard from two--rejections. Her school is still working on Kfar Pines, though, hoping that enough girls who were accepted will turn the school down and that they will then let A in.

I know A doesn't have the world's best grades--last semester her average was a little over 80. But I don't think that's the sticking point; S, who had an average of 95 at the same point, didn't get into the exact same schools. Part of it is just too few spaces at the dorm schools: I've heard that for every bed in Kfar Pines's incoming class there are 100 girls who test. But if there's such a shortage of spaces and qualified girls aren't getting in, why aren't more dorms being built?

My daughters cynically tell me that the problem is we have no Vitamin P -- protekzia (influence, pull, pressure). That's quite possible; girls who didn't even have A's average and who are known to cry for home during an overnight in the next town over have been accepted to the schools where their mothers, aunts, and sisters have all gone. But how is an immigrant supposed to get influence at a school? If we had known then what we know now, I would have started networking the day we got to Israel.

Not that I have anything against the local (non-dorm) school. S goes there and seems as happy as any teen is at high school. But S is the stay-at-home type and A is definitely the dorm type of kid -- outgoing, a leader, influencing others without being easily influenced. If she doesn't get into a dorm school simply because I didn't go to one, my sister didn't go to one, and her sister didn't get into one -- well, I'm disillusioned enough with Israel most days (see your local newspaper and any news story about the Israel government), so I don't even want to think about how I'll feel come September.

In happier news: That sucking sound you hear is Moze being pulled in two directions at once. I frogged the green Romney socks again. Note to self: yes, cables do pull in, you lunce. Re cast-on with 60 stitches instead of 54; should work this time around. On the other end of the knitting world, I'm being sucked into two more knit-a-longs. The deep purple wool I bought off Ebay and had planned to use as a poncho? Note to self: when you wear head scarves, ponchos are not the world's most practical outerwear. But the wool would look wonderful as a Mariah. And that Wavy is calling me, too. At least it should be a fast finish--if I don't frog it over and over.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Life is good because

* I've been ROAKed. Katie McEvoy of She-Knits-A-Lot sent me a gift certificate to Adagio Tea. She is so right--weather like this just calls out for sitting somewhere cozy, wrapped in a great shawl and sipping good tea. I'm totally thinking about the simpliciTEA pot. Wouldn't this make a great chinik for Shabbat sense? I'm very into white and clean lines. It's really calling me, but I will look around the rest of the site before I commit. Decisions, decisions.

* My Jersey boys didn't show up Shabbat [let's all hiss at their commander], so I have tons of leftovers. No cooking for me this week. And I suppose it'll be a good week for dieting with all this food around. Best diet tip I ever got: Since everything worth pigging out on is dairy (ice cream, chocolate, etc.), when you're tempted, eat meat. You might want to cheat on your diet, but would you cheat on G-d?

* A's teacher found one more ulpana for her to test at. Anyone know anything (pro or con) about the ulpana in Ofra?

* I got some time to take a good look at myself in the mirror yesterday. Hey, what else are you going to do on a rainy Shabbat afternoon? Lots more grey in my hair than the last time I looked--yay, me. No, really. I like the grey. First off, these past few years I've earned a few grey hairs. Second off, they're not really grey, they're silver, and I think they look really good in my hair. Third off, if no one else agrees with me--since I cover my hair, they'll never see it.

* La put me on her list of blogs to check out. And you know that anyone with such good cat-naming sense has got to be right. But don't you all think she ought to finish up her Dead Sea Stole and send it over here to someone who can wear it at the Dead Sea?

* I've got a new tatting shuttle to play with.

The learn to tat site I'm using to learn how to tat recommends using two shuttles, and that happened to be one of the few things the "yarn store" in Tel Aviv had. Now I just have to figure out if I like it with the bobbin and with the crochet hook thingy at the end.

*I'm glad I ripped out what I had done on my green Romney socks and enrolled them in the February fix-a-long. I love the new stitch; it's exactly what I wanted. A little chunky, a little funky. A lot like me.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Everyone talks about the weather

Someone want to explain this weather? It's supposed to snow, no it won't. It's nearly freezing, tomorrow it's 70 degrees. No wonder everyone is getting sick.

You can take the boy out of the East Coast, but you can't take the East Coast out of the boy department: When they predicted snow, what did B go and buy?

Like any good East Coaster--toilet paper!

Breakfast is coming along nicely.

I still haven't decided what color to use for the bag itself; I went to a yarn store in Tel Aviv (in the back of one of the ubiquitous underwear stores) and was looking at colors when B joined me. "But it's all--acrylic," said he in horror. That's my sweetie--a fiber snob in training. Didn't find the 6 or 9 mm circs I needed, either. If I can't find them in Jerusalem next week I'll just have to put in a Patternworks order (horrors!). It'll give me a good excuse to buy that blocking board I've been coveting [evil snicker].

And now, off to cooking. For how many? Beats me. There are 2 soldiers in town who are originally from New Jersey, and if their commander gives them permission they may join us for some or all of the meals, so I'd better cook for 2 extra hungry stomachs.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

It's not raining, it's not pouring

And thanks to some judicious elbows-to-the-ribs work, last night at the play the Old Man was not snoring.

me-ander asked how the play was. The nice thing about Shuli Rand is you know what you're getting. If you liked Yahrzeit and Ushpizin, you'll like Mayim Achronim. If you didn't, you won't. He had some wonderful lines in the play, which I won't repeat here because my Israeli readers might want to go (and should).

I do wish, though, he'd get a professional director instead of his wife. It's so clear she is a neophyte. Shuli plays everything to the back row--of the Yad Eliezer stadium. Zero Mostel did a lot of the same types of schtick, but he knew how to do subtlety. Actors need to be held back or they'll explode on stage, and Michal just didn't restrain him. Oh, and I know they invested a lot of money on the smoke machine, but note to the Rands: make it pay off over the course of two or three plays. At the rate you're using it in this play, it'll burn out before the year is over.

Everyone enjoying the storm? 54 degrees F and sunny. Note to TV news producers: Danny Rupe is not worth his salary if this is what you get.

And if we're on the subject of Israeli entertainment: Am I the only one who watches The Ambassador? Obviously not, since The View From Here does a TV Without Pity thing on the show, but he's a few weeks behind. Note to Rona: Yes, you are Yael's poodle. Deal.

Purchasing power: While we were at the play last night S had 3 unanswered calls from a number she didn't know. The person called back as we left the theater; it was her co-counselor AD calling from "her family's other phone line. They have 3 phone lines in their house," said S, somewhat in awe. I reminded her that we have 4. "But only 3 at home." (One is in B's office down the block.) "OK, but we have another phone line in the States," said I, desperate (why?) to impress. "And 5 cell phones." Well, today was find-a-US-cellphone day. We'll probably go with Cingular prepaid, unless someone comments me with horror stories. A monthly plan doesn't work for us--I'm only in the States 2-3 months a year and B is there 5-6, and most of our calls are to or from the kids, so our Israeli cellphones will still get a workout. Probable phone line total as of the end of the day: 7 cell phones, 5 land lines, 1 voice mail number, and 3 net fax numbers. Reach out and touch us!

In other news: I spun a full bobbin of S's wool yesterday while trying to Zen out from the ticket mess and plied it. She should have it dried and ready before she goes away for the weekend. I'm totally unenthusiastic about the colors of acrylic I have for the Fry-Up bag and hat; I may buy something today while I'm in Tel Aviv. I ripped the megillah cover again; it's just too fiddly to deal with as knitting. I re-crocheted it back up to about where I had it re-knit, and to keep up with the Fix-a-thon, I ripped the green Romney socks. (4 cables on each needle? Get over yourself, Moze. Socks are my popcorn--12 cable patterns are not mindless knitting.) I've re-ribbed and will start on the pattern later today--the Cable Fabric stitch (April 7) from the 365 Knitting Stitches a Year perpetual calendar.

And oh, the best news--it looks like I AM going to be going to see Betty Buckley at the Carlyle, and with my hero and inspiration, CN. I swear, everyone should have a tape of her laughter; it's just so real you can't help but laugh along. She's had a rogh time of things lately and has come through with her usual style and grace. I'm privileged to call her my friend. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Just--argh! Ever have one of those months (OK, it's only the 2nd--anyone want to promise me it'll get better)?

I bought a loom yesterday. At least I thought I did--8 harness, gently used. We were working out the details of shipping when the seller emailed me that she sold it to someone else. I can understand she wanted to make a quick sale so she'd have the money, but we were in the middle of emailing back and forth in real time--you'd think she could have said, "I've got someone else who's interested; could you give me a quick yes or no about whether you're buying it, and if it's yes, could you give me a down payment"? I would have, if given the chance.

[Sigh] Maybe it's just as well. I think an 8 harness would have been more loom that I could handle to start, and I've really become intrigued by the Xenakis Technique, so I guess it's back to looking at rigid heddles. I'm thinking Kromski, because where on earth would I put the beast?

And then there's tonight. B, S, and I are spposed to go to a play, Mayim Achronim (with Shuli Rand). Only tonight's supposed to be miserable, and I don't want B to have to drive in the storm. No problem--the next town over has chartered a bus. Now, for those of you who do not live out where I do (me-ander and Rachel Ann, I consider you locals), chartered rides are the way to go anywhere. Public transportation, well, to put it nicely, sucks, and does a lousy job of that, too. Who wants to drive in one's own car? The roads are not well maintained (especially in winter), and that's before you start dealing with the wild animals on the roads and driving through hostile towns. Whenever you hear there's a hasa'ah arranged, it's time for the Snoopy dance.

Great. Wonderful. Snoopy dance time. We even called the woman organizing the bus to triple-check that there was room for us and that we could get on the bus closer to our town. We're so yekke it hurts.

Then last night we get a call. They're downsizing the bus to a van. No room for you, you out-of-towners. So we decide we're not going to go after all, and S makes plans to run an activity with her Bnei Akiva group. We call to cancel and are told to call back this morning.

We do, and are told that we can't cancel, that it's not their problem that they've cancelled our ride, and that, basically, the shekel stops with us. So we call S, she rearranges her activity for tomorrow night (I hope it doesn't snow; I don't want her to miss the only snow of the year because she's out of town) and we'll be going tonight after all.

Either we have to start finding more responsible people to hang out with or we have to learn to pass the buck as well as the rest of them.

Or maybe I just need to break my diet and have some chocolate.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Anyone for breakfast?

February is Knit-Along month. I've already started the megillah case again for the Fix-a-thon, but it doesn't look substantially different than it did the last time, it's just narrower.

But for the Fry-Up: anyone for an egg?

I think I need to get out the markers and give it a face-lift. A little brown around the edges, some specks of spices here and there. If this were anything but for Purim, I'd probably duplicate stitch it, but for one day a year, markers will be enough.

About Israel: I don't know if it's the weather, or because my ever-cheeful bat bayit (I don't know how to put that in English--she's a girl who spends so much time here we consider her a sort of daughter) hasn't been around this week, but I'm feeling very pessimistic. The news today is full of minor incidents--a Molotov cocktail near Shilo, rockets in Gaza, shooting in North Shomoron--just like the early days of this war. I've read that the givernment wants to temporarily hire rent-a-cops to do the dirty work of "disengagement," and I've read that some people are threateneing to go on a hunger strike to the death in protest of the plan, about parents threateneing to commit suicide if needed to prevent the givernment digging up dead children to "disengage" them from their graves. Maybe all this insanity would be easier to take if it were sunny and warm.