Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Farewell Post
September 4, 2010, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Feelings, Friends, Petey
It’s been 3 months since I’ve posted to G-Fish, and I was starting to slow down before then, too.  Time to admit, it’s time for Gefilte Fish Out of Water to be retired.

It was my 2nd blog, after briefly doing an environmental blog on a stinky Yahoo 360 platform that nobody could see unless they joined, and I started it within a day or two of arriving in Israel.  There were so many new & crazy experiences being thrown at me, I’m so glad I had the dedication to chronicle them here.   

G-Fish helped me tell my stories to all my family & friends back home.  And now, I’m glad it will live in cyberspace indefinitely for those future queens googling “gay” AND “israel” AND “blog” etc. to find out what life might be like for them here, because they are considering making Aliyah.  Seriously, it is very gratifying to get random comments from gay Jews on this blog – men & women I don’t know, but who are searching for specialized information about gay life in Israel.  It’s a huge step what I did (making Aliyah), and I love that I’ve left a trail for men & women excited about taking the same step, and that I continue to help them through my stories’ echoes.  

I also had to get a farewell post up, so that the first thing people see wouldn’t be Helen Thomas’ broom hilda mug on my homepage for all eternity.  I was rightly incensed shen she made her anti-Semitic comments last spring, and I’m glad I posted my reaction to them.  But, G-Fish was never an issues-oriented blog.  It was always just about my new life, adjusting as an Oleh Chadash in Israel.  Helen was not respresentative of what G-Fish was all about, at all.  Deleting her post was one option, making a farewell post was another.  

There are so many stories to tell from my experiences between last May and now – everything from the huge steps I’m taking professionally here, to continued good times w/ friends here to Petey stories and random small stuff.  But, frankly – who has time for all that?  So, I’m just gonna post some pics & vids instead.  

If you’re LGBT and considering making Aliyah to Israel, just know that my experience so far has been great.  I’ve been here a year and a half and am succeeding in starting my own business, have moved into my own great apartment in Tel Aviv, and have had my cute dog Petey for almost a year now.  Still no boyfriend (or really, very much dating or sex, even) – but if you think you could change that, please leave your information in the comments, lol.  Love ya!  -S  

Newton (dog), Yossi, Racheli, Nir, Hilla, Angel (dog) - in our dogpark, Spiegel Park


Anna, Taco & Me (don't ask)


This is what my new website is going to look like ! (


Pete, after I left his harness on overnight, and he chewed through it (2nd time this happened).


This is the sunset I watch every day in the dog park. Can you believe this is my backyard?


Here is the last year and a half (since I made Aliyah) encapsulated in 3 pictures: 

Here I am happy, enjoying my great life in New York & Philly...


Me at JFK doing something totally crazy, moving to Israel only six weeks after I visited for the first time...

Me, a year and a half later, enjoying my life in Tel Aviv.


Check out my website, which I expect to have up before the end of the year.  It will be mostly a professional site, showcasing my work in PR, social media strategy & implementation and copywriting.  But I’ll also have a smaller personal section on there, too.  

Shalom, Bitches !! !! !!


Petey’s Evil, Dasterdly Revenge
May 22, 2010, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Petey

When we first moved into our new place, I had to lock Petey in his crate when I left him alone.  He had graduated to free reign of the old place, but until I was fully unpacked, there was just too much shit to explore and eat all over the floor.

But Pete’s crate is so enormous, that I’m keeping it on our enclosed front porch.  And b/c I wouldn’t take too kindkly to anyone coming in off the street and waltzing into my apartment, I have to close and lock the door to the front porch – effectively leaving Pete doubly locked in – in a crate inside of a small room.  It can’t be that fun for him.

So, finally I got unpacked and tried giving him free reign again.  It worked well….for a while.  I was out working from a cafe – as part of my new plan to “get out there” more and try and meet guys to go on dates with – and feeling exceptionally great.  Look here’s the tweet:

(I know, cute thumbnail.)

So, I come home and find….destruction.  There is foam everywhere.  At first I think it’s just that Pete has eaten his new dog bed.  I’ve caught him doing this when I’m home.  I yell at him, but not really caring all that much.  After all, it’s his bed and he’ll have to lay in it. 

But upon closer inspection, I see that he’s chewed the entire corner of my prized Le Corbusier lounge chair replica.

NO !!!!!  Not the chair, Pete  !!!!!

That thing was ordered specially from NJ Modern back in 2008.  It’s the longest story ever, but it kept being delayed and delayed again, and then I unexpectedly moved to Israel and finally it was ready and I had it shipped here.

Me & the chair in happier times, 2009

I lost it and smacked Pete’s face hard.  I think he peed a little.  I’m not sure what I’ll do about the chair – either try and have my tailor dressmaker restuff the corner and sew it up.  Or, buy new fabric (maybe chocolate brown to match the wall?) and have her cut a whole new pattern and sew a replacement cushion.  Probably the former (cheaper).  Who cares if the bottom tip is a little asymmetrical? Right?

Besides beating his ass, I started giving him the silent treatment for like the next 24 hours.  Anytime he tried to approach me,  I got on the ground so my face was next to/level with the destroyed chair and he’d have to focus on it, and I raised my voice to him.  He knew what he had done.  In fact, he exiled himself to the front porch the whole next day and hid out there, even though the door was not closed.  Serves you right, bitch.

Oh, it only that were the end of Pete’s maniacal wrath!  Next day, I took him on a leash out jogging with me.  Out of nowhere he jumps up to Michael Jordan heights and pulls out my $100 Bose in-ear headphones out of my ears!  I think maybe I’ve lost a plastic tip, but that’d be no biggie, b/c I have extras.  But no – Pete has ripped the plastic casing from the right earbud, and it has fallen under the boardwalk.  No way I could yell at him for this, he has no idea what he’s done this time, and it was purely an accident.  Plus, I think since I have an older, defunct pair of the same ‘phones at home, I can maybe pull off some MacGyver-like repair job by affixing a piece of the old ‘phones onto the new ones and krazy gluing it there.

[Pats self on back], And it worked!  But #fail nonetheless, as it appears Pete’s chomp has destroyed the speaker’s bass and that ain’t comin back.  A failure made worse by the fact that my friend Evan brought these back from the States for me only last winter, so I’ve had them just a few months.

Damn.  So, I immediately become obsesses w/ purchasing a replacement ASAP.  I don’t need much – travel, clean floors, a husband – but fuck w/ my ability to have top quality mobile digital music I can bike, jog or workout to, and watch out.  I try both ebay and Amazon.  I find them for as low as $44.00.  But no one ships to Israel – not even the vendor w/ “international” shipping.  #Failey McFail.  Alcoholic obsession serves me well occasionally except when it almost ruins my life every other time, and I found the Israeli ebay, called “GetIT.”  Yes, they have the headphones!  And bonus, the site integrates automatically w/ Google Translate quite well.  I could pay 329 shekels ($87.00) if I bid on them, or 500 shekels ($132.00) if I “get it now.”  Even though the site translates into English well, I don’t want to have to bid repeatedly, so I just buy them now, and I’m waiting to receive them.

Having an evil, monsterous, rabid, Lord of the Flies type dog is expensive!

So no more jogging w/ Pete.  And, no more free reign in the apartment when I’m away.  Sorry, Pete – it’s the crate for you until you’re at least one and a half years old  (currently 11 months).

Why was Pete doing this to me, you guys?  My mom and a few other peeps chimed in that Pete could be feeling uncomfortable in the new apartment still.  B/c I work from home, I’m here a lot, so it’s not so much as an issue for him.   But once I leave him alone, it kicks in and he goes berserk?  (It’s a theory.)  Yoda Jeremy also said to double-down on the Kong toys I have for him (stuffed with treats).  So, I bought a few more (another $30), and now whenever I leave him alone in the crate, he gets one of his three Kongs in rotation, each stuffed with a different kind of treats, and I’ve even started putting them in the freezer, to give him an additional sensation.

And still – I come home to find he’s completely destroyed his other dog bed that lines his crate. 

WTF, Pete?  He is definitely acting out about being kept in this crate inside the locked porch.  But, tough!  I tried giving him free reign in the apartment, and he ate my fucking chair.


Sleeping with Petey
May 8, 2010, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Mistakes, Petey, Struggles

As much as I love my dog, I was sticking to my “not allowed in the bed” rule.  I just didn’t want to become the metaphorical “Crazy Cat Lady” – you know, the guy who sleeps with his dog.

[Sidebar: people are really divided on this issue!  When I posted about it on Facebook, there was a strong Of course you let them into the bed! camp and just as emphatic No! They are dirty animals! posters.]

But anyway, I was SO stressed leading up to my concurrent move and job change that I couldn’t take the pressure, and I invited him in.  I have to say, cuddling w/ Pete is pretty wonderful.  Like a live-action teddy bear!  But, you know, he sheds so badly, that after one night, the bed looked like a crackhouse.

Then, of course he began to think the bed was his, too.  So, I’d get up from the computer to get a drink or something, and he’d be nowhere to be found…until I peered into the bedroom and found:

Then, we moved, and I haven’t gotten my loft bed immediately, so he continued sleeping w/ me in the bed in our new place – and lounging on it behind me while I worked (totally sprawled out like that famous Marilyn Monroe centerfold (wish I had a real pic).

[photo courtesy of Robert Roberts]

Anyway, last week I was out at the dog park w/ Petey, Jeremy, Samadar & Merlin (dog), and said to Samaderemy – I really can’t wait until I get my loft bed.  The bed is just so disgusting with dog hair and bits of bone from Petey chomping in there, I can’t stand to sleep in there anymore, it’s disgusting.  Jeremy countered w/ Why wait?  Kick him out tonight.  I felt so guilty though!  I knew Petey wouldn’t understand, and he’d be like Wha- WTF – what’s happening? What’d I do?  Why?  Why ???  And I’m sensitive, and I didn’t him to feel this way and be racking his little dog brain and shiz.  But then Jeremy Yoda said, Are you gonna give him a bath tonight?  I’m like, No, why?  And he’s like, ‘Cause look at him!  [Petey was chasing a few dogs and rolling around w/ them in the dirt in the dog park.]  Look where he is and what he’s  doing – you’re really gonna let that into your bed tonight?  That settled it – NO.  Sorry, sleeping-w/-your-dogs camp, even if I’m 49% with you, I”m 51% OCD/Miss Priss/no way!

So, I kicked him out, and he reacted as I expected he would – not understanding at all.  That first night, even though I’d moved his dog bed next to my bed, I’d keep waking up to discover he had climbed in with me, and I had to yell and throw him out.  Other times, I would turn around from the PC where I was working, or walk back into the room to find him sprawled out on the bed, Marilyn-style.  Pete, no !!

So, this week, I bought him a new dog bed.  This way, his old one can remain in his crate, which I’m locking him in when I leave the apartment (even though he had free reign in the old place; there is just too much stuff on the ground and not packed away here yet; too much for him to eat and destroy), and he has a nice, new, bigger one next to mine for when I’m working or sleeping.  I can lean over and pet him and let him lick my face.  He loves it, and that’s the end of this story.

Petey’s Bad Week
May 8, 2010, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Petey


This was a few weeks ago, and I really don’t feel like going into the whole story, but I brought it up, so I guess I have to.  #Fail   

Pete and I were walking in Park Hayarkon; not even the dog park, but the regular park.  Powerwalking in fact, as I was fighting my downward spiral into fat-assdom.  When all of a sudden, this enormous, unleashed German Shephard attacks Pete!  His owner was standing to the side, kibbitzing w/ some other people, and the dog just lunged from out of nowhere and chomped his jaw closed around Petey’s face.    


Poor Petey screamed super intensely!  But one leash-pull from me freed him from the Shep’s clutches, and we continued on our walk.  The whole thing didn’t last more than two seconds.  Except when I took a few steps and noticed something wrong w/ the side of Pete’s gums.  I touched it, and – HORRORS !! – he was bleeding.   

I turned right around, held my hand out all dramatically so they could see the blood on it, and said My dog’s bleeding.  The owner was a 60-ish, thin man, who was pretty reticent and unforthcoming about the whole thing.  The only thing he said was I don’t know what he [meaning Pete] did to aggrivate him [meaning Cujo]As if !!!   Um, maybe *breathing*, you dipshit !?  Walking !?  Petey did nothing to aggrivate his monster, we were simply mall-walking like goobers when his menace lunged on us.  Fool!   


Anyway, I wish I handled the next part differently.  The criminal owner had an adult daughter w/ him.  I said to them Has he ever done this before?  She answered No!  I said Well, is he fully vaccinated?  She said, Oh, yes.  Then, I just gave her the stink eye and left.  My BlackBerry was rebooting at that very moment, or maybe I would have thought to take a picture of them or Petey.  Plus, I should have asked for their names and phone numbers, and I wish I had something like Your dog attacked us unprovoked, and now I have to treat my dog and get him medical care, and you’re going to pay for it.  But I didn’t.   

Anyway, we finished our walk, and then I photographed Pete and put the story out immediately on Facebook.  My friend Maya told me where the 24-hour veterinary hospital was, but my friend Danny said we could wait until tomorrow.  I put triple-antibiotic ointment on Petey’s three wounds, but he tried to scratch band-aids off, so I didn’t use them.  He wasn’t bleeding anymore, but as you can see the skin was definitely torn in two places, and open in a third.  Danny said he might need to get his skin stapled.  And my mom said Petey should definitely be put on a course of antibiotics.   

We went to our vet, and he did in fact put Pete on a course of antibiotics.  190 shekels !!!  Prick (the owner of the Shephard).  In a possible lucky break, my friend Danny thinks the A-Hole owner might be his neighbor, and he watched his neighbor’s shephard attack another dog.  So, as much as I don’t feel like turning up the heat and expending the energy to insist this turd fool reimburse me for Pete’s treatment, if it turns out to be the guy, I will probably do this.  Not so much for the money, but b/c if this guys’ dog is going around biting other people’s dogs, he has to be told that his dog is a problem and needs to stay at home or be muzzled if he goes out.   

Anyway, that was only Part of Petey’s bad week.  He was also on a chewing frenzy.  Now, we never really had this problem when he was younger.  If you’re a regular G-Fish reader, you know that he had his potty training issues, but he was not a furniture destroyer.  Until recently anyway.  My mom thinks it’s b/c I’ve been incredibly stressed out the last few weeks, with major changes of housing and employment coming simultaneously.  She thinks Pete had defintely picked up on that and was acting out as a result.  (She could be right, he’s kind of stopped now that we’re more settled in our new place.)  Some things Pete destroyed or effed up:   

My bluetooth headset. (Thanks, Anna, for bringing back a new one from the States!)


The punk loves to go through the trash can and bring trash back to his crate to munch on.


Knocked my coffee cup over onto carpet


On the lighter side, we did go to the dog beach a few weeks ago, and here’s a vid I took of The Petester chasing a doppleganger doggie down the beach.  I’m glad he’s behaving better lately.   

Also, here’s how his wounds have healed:   


Trix r 4 Petey
March 27, 2010, 8:24 pm
Filed under: Petey | Tags: ,

When my new dog friend Shasa showed me how her dog gives her paw on command – and even gives both of them when she says Want a manicure?, I knew I had to get busy.  This Sit and Stay stuff was kid stuff.  Yes, I’m thrilled Petey is finally housetrained, but I want him to impress my friends with tricks!

So, I taught him some.  Getting him to give me the first paw on command was hard work.  I just kept picking up his paw while I said Gimme your paw! – over and over and over again.  I’d do this at the end of our walk, when he was used to just getting a treat and going inside.  I think I really confused him and made him weary.  He was like What is this !?  and would start to lose his balance sometimes.  But finally – he just knew to pick it up when I said it.  Yay !!!   This took about two days of these 10-minute training sessions 4-5 x a day.

Once he got it, I was reluctant to start teaching him Gimme the OTHER paw!, because I didn’t want to mess with his head.  Sure enough, when we started on that, he was, like Whaddya mean, Gomer – I AM giving you my freakin paw, now shut up and gimme the treat, A-hole !!  But I just kept at it, the same process where I picked up his right paw while saying Gimme the OTHER paw!  This time, it only took 20 minutes for him to get it!  Yay !!!

Now, I make him do it for a treat every time.  It’s so cute – especially the way he gives me the 2nd paw.  The first one, he just gives me straight forward.  But the 2nd one, maybe it’s a balance thing as he simultaneously puts down the first one while picking up the other, but he sort of “winds up” and gives me his other paw in a roundabout arc, as if he were throwing a pitch.  I totes love it, it’s the cutest.

Best Shabbat Ever
March 20, 2010, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Petey | Tags:

Last night I didn’t go to bed until 6am.  It’s not that it was such a great night.  Neither of my favorite dance parties were happening, so I bar-hopped solo – went to EVITA (Tel Aviv’s main gay bar; NYers, think: SPLASH), Ashmoret, stood outside Minus One (where I couldn’t get past the velvet rope) and Laika.  I was home by 3am, but then putzed around online and finished the night w/ some junk food and an episode of glee while Petey slept across my chest.

I got up to walk Petey @ 10am, then went back to bed @ until 2pm.  My choices were clean the apartment, blog, or take Petey to the beach.  Obviously, I chose the beach.  We got a late start, and it was windy – but totes sunny.  We went to the dog beach and I read TIME magazine while Petey frolicked his tits off.  He really had an amazing time.  I wound up seeing my friends Michael and Tali and their dogs Lizzie & Lucky Sky.

Then, we came home and Petey crashed while I ate some cake & ice cream.  Then, I crashed.  Then, we woke up and watched an episode of glee w/ him sleeping on my chest.  Now, I just blogged these two posts, and we’re gonna watch the mid season finale of glee then go to sleep.

No cleaning, only two posts blogged (there is more to tell from the week, work-related shiz), junk food consumed.  What Shabbat is all about.

Petey Finds Out if He Makes the Top 12
March 20, 2010, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Petey | Tags: ,

Dork Alert !   Sometimes after watching American Idol, I like to hold my dog Petey’s face in my hands and say to him dramatically as if I were Ryan Seacrest –

Petey,…America has voted….and after the nationwide vote, you…..ARE SAFE !!!

[the ability to crack oneself up is highly underrated]

Anyway, last week, I thought to try and capture it w/ video.  The results speak for themselves.