Gefilte Fish Out of Water

My hand is tingling.
January 10, 2010, 1:55 am
Filed under: Infrastructure, Pot Luck | Tags:

Damnit, like I have time for this.  My left hand is tingling.  Not just when I type, but almost all the time now.  It doesn’t hurt, but eff nonetheless.  I’ve already had carpal tunnel surgeries on both my wrists in 2004 and 2005.  Not again!  At least it’s not going numb, which is what it did before I needed the surgery.  Maybe this is something different?  I’m not afraid of doctors; I’ve got a healthy dose of hypochondria.  I’ll get it looked at if it becomes a problem.  But for now, I’m gonna ignore it.

Besides, I’m a rightie…


My favoritest Hebrew sentence ever.
July 21, 2009, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Cultural Differences, Funny Hebrew, Pot Luck


Sometimes Hebrew words just sound real silly to my English ears.

The funniest sentence in all of Hebrew has to be: . תטוסי שנת שעבר  (Ta-toosee schnot sha-ah-var).

Ha !!  Ha!!  Ha!!  Tussy!  Snot!  LMFAO

[Technically, my Hebrew sentence is incorrect.  “Schnot” is only a word if it’s part of a smichoot – a combo word made up of two other words, like “brother-in-law.”  But that doesn’t make it any less funny.]


The (Almost) Kesef Shot
July 17, 2009, 6:47 am
Filed under: Cultural Differences, Pop Culture, Pot Luck


I thought it would be funny to get a shot, juxtaposing the racy & camp image of Bruno’s butt with a Hasidic Jew.

Only trouble is, this ain’t Jerusalem.  You have to park yourself on the street and wait for an Orthodox passerby, and….who has time for that?  My life is so crammed, that it was very hard for me to try and stay still long enough to get a really good shot.

I got so siked as I passed this guy on my bike, going towards the gym.  Ooh!  I’m gonna get my shot!  But even though I got  there ahead of him to get set up, it happened so quickly, and there were other peeps in the way, and I really didn’t have the ideal vantage point (I shouldda been in an apartment, looking down from the 2nd 1st floor).

Anyway, I got what I got, and you get the idea.


Dirty, Dirty Feet.
June 13, 2009, 7:01 pm
Filed under: Identity, Pot Luck


If you are someone I just had a first date with, then do not read this post.  Also, the foot in the pic above belongs to my neighbor.

But actually it’s my foot.  Ew, I know.  I’m taking real good care of my feet these days – pedicure once a month, exfoliate them in the shower.  They are really cute, I swear.  But at the end of a long day in flip flops or sandals, they are just black on the bottoms.  Ew!  And I really don’t want to put them on my ottoman, which is khaki colored. 

Anyway, just sayin.

Cracked Out JC Penney Dad
June 10, 2009, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Identity, Pot Luck, School


WTF am I wearing in this photo ??

(Um, it’s called Monday’s outfit.)

I remember it was so hard deciding which clothes to take to Israel and which to leave behind.  With very little room in 3 suitcases, most stuff had to go into storage.  But I tried to get as much spring and summer dressy stuff (blazers, slacks, button-downs) in my bags as I could fit.  Honestly, my boss told me, all you’re ever wear is tank tops, shorts and flip flops anyway.  

shorts 1What about interviews?  Or, dinners in fancy restaurants?  And in the winter here, it’s about 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime and 50 at night.  Hello, leather jackets?  Hoodies and cool sweaters, anybody?  Let’s not start on shoes.

Guess what?  Boss is totally right.  Now that it’s gotten hot (and Israelis still laugh at you when you think THIS is their summer), all I ever wear are tank tops, shorts and flip flops.  “Dressing up” is, like, a T-shirt.  Now, there are peeps walking around in more stylin’ outfits.  Mainly the chicks – lotta legging action going on, but also cute tops and even cropped jackets, yada yada.  The guys though…still nothing fancier than jeans.  But I’m in 5 hours of intensive language school at 8:15 a.m., and my work afterwards is for a nonprofit with a staff of three.  Style just isn’t mandatory right now.

Anyway.  I was already bored of my shorts rotation, so I started working in the JC Penney-cheesy-WASPy-slacks-ish230R_KHAKIno-one-ever-wears-them-in-real life dress shorts.  You know what I’m talking about – the ones that only exist in the pages of the JC Penney or Sears catalogue, where three generations of handsome waspy men & boys (a 5-yr-old, a youngish hot dad, and a prematurely gray handsome gramps) are all posing and smiling at each other, outdoors on a lawn (maybe a picnic setting?)  [Sidenote: I tried to find examples of these cheesy staples online and couldn’t find them anywhere!  Who knew one day I’d miss that crap?]

Anyway, my dress shorts are GAP.  And the only reason I even bought them was because they were totally on sale, and I was like, “Oh, right – these are perfect to wear once a year to the Father’s Day BBQ at my Aunt Paula & Uncle Ronnie’s house.”  Or, maybe if I got invited to a polo match.

342R_TAUPEThey’re not right with flips, so I paired them with beaten-up docksides; and I have been sometimes wearing them with the obligatory polo shirt.  But it’s too hot now, so I wore them with a free, souvenier New York Road Runners club tank top.

The result?  Why, clearly it’s that old archtype: Cracked Out JC Penney Dad.

Excuse me, can you tell me where the line for the Worst Dressed List begins?

Excuse me, can you tell me where the line for the Worst Dressed List begins?

This is what I wore to SCHOOL !!   What’s even sadder is that no one even blinked.  Half the olim had just rolled out of bed.  At least I showered.

Excuse me, do you speak English?
June 5, 2009, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Pot Luck


Most times, it’s me asking, “At medeberet Anglit?” (transliterized Hebrew for “Do you speak English?”)

Sometimes, it’s somone asking me for directions in Hebrew, and me having to answer with “Slicha, ani medeber Anglit.” (Sorry, I speak English.)

This time, though, it was a young woman, waiting next to me for a traffic light to change by Dizengoff Center (before my whole day turned to shit), who asked, “Excuse me, do you speak English?”  Sure, I’m from New York.  “Do you know your way around here?”  Yeah, I live her now.  I made Aliyah 3 months ago.  “Which way is the fountain – is it this way (points)?”  Yeah, it’s just down there, 3 blocks.  “Thank you.”  You’re welcome.

She really lucked out, being next to me.  I love helping people.

The Old Guy Thing
May 30, 2009, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Pot Luck


So it was nothing really.  But at the time it was odd:  two consecutive days where a random senior citizen guy took an extraordinary interest in me, for no reason at all.

Tuesday, it was outside my apartment building.  I had just rushed home to make myself a salad, after running a few errands after school.  I passed this big bellied guy on the phone as I headed out to my bike and thought nothing of it.  A minute later, as I’m futzing with the lock on my bike, he comes up to me, speaking in Hebrew and handing me the phone.

“אנ’ מדבר אנגל’ט” I said, and he changed over to English.  He thrusts me the phone and says, “Tell her I’m the fattest thing you ever saw, and she needs to have a healthy lunch with me,” he says.


He continues: “Tell her!  Tell her!” he insists, and then says to me in an aside: “I’m trying to get her to say yes to a lunch date.  Tell her I look terrible and fat, so she will accept my offer to eat at a vegetarian place.”

(This is this guy’s technique?)

I grab the phone and am charming.  “Well, he’s not the thinnest I’ve ever seen him,” I say (not wanting to insult him.)  When he encourages me silently, I go for it: “Seriously, he’s so big that he took up the whole sidewalk, and I can’t ride around him,” I say.  He yanks the phone from me and asks her, “Did you hear that?  I am so big that he can’t ride his bike around me!” 

He shoves the phone back at me, and I improvise some more: “You should definitely come over here and go out with him.  He’ll take you to a nice place…”  He cuts me off with, “No, I will pick her up and take her to a beautiful place!” he says.  I backpedal, “I mean, you should let him pick you up and take you out.  It’s a beautiful day.  You two can sit outside, he’ll take you shopping afterwards and buy you some nice things…”  (His eyes open wide, but he’s into my performance and still encouraging me.)

Eventually I get myself out of this by saying I have to go to work (it was true).  He’s still on the phone with her, but he leaves her hanging and asks me how we can stay in touch.  I just give him my number, because I don’t expect to have this phone for much longer.

15 minutes later, I’m in the office when the phone rings.  It’s him.  “That was great,” he says.  “It didn’t work for this time, and she doesn’t love me yet, but I thnk I will get her next time.”  I tell him I’m glad.  He thanks me for helping him out on the spot like that and makes a comment like, “This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.”    Um, didn’t we just meet? (I’m thinking.)  He says, “I’m not gay or coming onto you like that or anything, not that there’s anything wrong with that…”  He senses that he’s putting his foot in his mouth and says, “Sorry, sometimes I make stupid jokes.”  I tell him, “No, it was clever,” but secretly I’m pushing the silent alarm under my desk for the authorities to come get this guy and haul him away.

Anyway, I don’t think he was a gay psychopath, just a jovial dude with a big personality.  But my plate is so full, I don’t have time to see and stay in touch with the great friends I already have here and abroad.  I don’t need to add Fyvush Finkel to the mix.

Then, the next day, as I entered the mall where the Maccabi eye doctor’s office was in Azorei Chen, I meet a securityn1138233430_30129402_8848 guard who I ask for directions.  His name is Moshe, and he tells me he likes my “I Love New York” shirt that my friend Jeffrey made for me.  He tells me he is also from New York and made Aliyah more than 30 years ago.  He yaks some more, but I get away from him.

On the way out, he asks me if I’ve signed up with the AACI (Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel) yet.  I tell him I haven’t, and he praises them and says he volunteers there.  Then, he asks for my number and tells me he wants to stay in touch.  Him, too?  I doubt this guy was gay or lascivious either, but two old guys wanting my number in just as many days – what, do I have “Pop Pops of the world, let’s be BFFs” tattooed on my forehead suddenly or something???