Friday, June 30, 2006

Small Updates (Now with a different picture!)

1- I recently finished reading Robinson Crusoe for the first time. Wow! What a story! I so wish I'd read it back in college, when it was first assigned to me. Now I really want to hear the lecture the professor gave about it. Wow. It was amazing!

I didn't realize how many religious themes run through that book. It's all about "who is happy? He who is satisfied with what he has" and "if you only knew how many horrible fates God saves you from every day, you'd spend your life perpetually on your knees, humbly giving thanks." I seriously feel like I'm a better Jew for having read Robinson Crusoe. Thanks, Daniel Defoe!

2- Last week, for a PR client, I attended the Taglit-birthright "mega-event" at the Latrun concert area. Seven thousand young people between the ages of 18-26, all on their first trip to Israel. The energy was amazing. So much enthusiasm! When the main event started and everyone was seated in the stadium, I looked around and thought "wow, if everyone in this group made Aliyah, they could fill up a town all by themselves."

That got me thinking about how there are over 5 million Jews in America, and only 3,000 a year or so make aliyah each year. That's far less than .1 percent. Meanwhile Israel is "converging" its way out of the West Bank largely because of "demographic issues." Gee. I think I see a solution here, what about you?

Actually, it's too late for that. The time for an American solution to the "demographic problem" in the West Bank was 20 years ago. It's too late now.

3- For another PR client, I recently interviewed Ethiopian-Israeli model and aspiring actress Esti Elias. She is beautiful, intelligent, and so nice. God, don't you just hate women like that? If someone is going to be a model, you want them to at least be dumb or mean. But noooooo, Esti has to go and be really sweet, and in law school.

4- I've picked up a new client, a famous pharmaceuticals company - I'll be helping to write their in-house company magazine. This might lead to long-term, stable work, and since I love writing about medicine and pharmaceuticals, please pray that it does!

5- I am still neck-deep in writing content for some magazines for Israeli children who are studying English. Who knew that I could create crossword puzzles from scratch?

6- Mazal tov to Ari and Sarah Beth and company, who moved yesterday into their new home! True, the contractor got behind schedule, so they have no electricity. Not all the pipes are getting water. And they have no stove and no oven. But their front door finally arrived two days ago, just in time to make sure that no wild cats, or burglars, get into the house. They have walls, floors, ceilings, and an electrical wire running from the contractor's house, so they can have a few lights, a working fridge, and some fans. No a/c though. In any case, mazal tov.

7- Last week was "life cycle events" week. I attended a wedding (Nili Chernikoff to Ezra Auerbach) and a bat mitzvah (Yaffa Matitya) in the same evening. Pretty crazy, but fun, and I only had to get dressed up one time. Mazal tov to all the families.

Then the next day, I headed into Efrat to pay a shiva call to Karen Avrech, nee Singer, who was in from Los Angeles mourning her father. How strange, to meet someone for the first time and yet already know so much about her because of her husband's blog! But she and her siblings were extremely gracious. I hope we'll get to meet again under happier circumstances.

8- My herb garden is doing quite nicely, though I had to pull out the dill -- some tiny bugs had chewed it to death. Strangely, they only liked the dill. Anyway the 2 basil plants, the mint, and the tarragon are growing like there's no tomorrow, and the rosemary, oregano, and parsely are doing OK. Most of the geraniums are healthy too. I can't believe I haven't killed these plants. And you know, fresh-from-the-window basil makes amazing pesto!

9- The apartment across the hall from me is up for rent, and I'd really like someone nice, and quiet, to move in there. In case anyone is interested, it's 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, with a porch in the back suitable for a succah. First floor (just up a few steps). Newly painted, and the owners also fixed some plumbing that was old, and installed new electric trissim - so the place is in pretty good shape. They are asking $750 per month, which is a really good deal, the way rents are going up. It's perfect for a couple, or a set of two roommates, or a couple with a small child. If you want more info, email me your phone number and I'll pass it along to the owners. My address is chayyeisarah at yahoo dot com.

Have a Shabbat shalom, everyone.

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