Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I had every intention of fasting today. We know where this is going right?
But I decided that, since I have a cold, I should at least drink water, because I need to stay hydrated. And then I thought, well I'd hate to add a caffeine headache on top of my sore throat and stuffy nose.
So I decided that God would allow coffee under these extreme circumstances.
But I decided to drink instant coffee instead of the yummy espresso we make with our Nespresso machine. That seemed like the right thing to do, all things considered. Without milk or sugar.
But then that felt more like torture than repentance. So I added milk and sugar. But only a little bit. But it was still so disgusting that I made real coffee also.
Soon after I made toast for the baby from the challah that Mr. Rosen baked last night. But when he started to throw it around the kitchen I decided I needed to model the right way to eat toast, so I had a few bites too, since I'm a good parent. Starting now. At least I didn't have toast from the chocolate chip challah*, which Mr. Rosen made for after Yom Kipur, when we would really deserve such a decadent treat.
Listen, it was a lot easier before we had kids. When we didn't have to prepare food for anyone. When we could sleep until 11:00 am, read a book, watch a movie, loaf around and by then it was over. But when your kids wake you up at 6:00 am, it's a lot of hours of fasting. Anyway, I had a blood test yesterday and fasted for twelve hours. So I'm counting that plus the twelve hours from last night and today. Yom Kipur is cumulative this year.
Better luck next year.
* I did have the chocolate chip challah.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Electrical wires made prettier by colored glass, Jordan Valley
Do you remember in junior high and high school, spending hours of your life learning things that you knew were completely unnecessary? Like geometry? Or the Krebs cycle? Or the Middle Ages? Uch. So boring. I find though, that as an adult, and especially as a parent, all that stuff comes in handy. Because my kids ask questions about everything all the effing time and I don't know is usually met with additional, harder questions. So I mostly make up answers that seem within the realm of possibly true based on my foggy learnings as a young person. I'm usually not too far off. And there's always Google.
But there are some things that I never learned and so I really just don't get, made starkly apparent by our move to Israel, and I'm not talking about Middle East politics, although that is another thing I don't get. I don't get electricity. I mean, I get how to turn on and off switches and that energy gets generated in a number of ways both benign (wind) and nefarious (dinosaur bones). And that it costs a fortune here in Israel and that they never actually check your meter when they bill you; they just make grossly inaccurate assumptions based on past consumption by the family of eight that rented your house before you.
What I don't get is which of my American bought appliances/devices work in Israel. And which needs a transformer or just an plug adapter. For instance, my computer doesn't need a transformer, nor my phone. But my wand mixer does and so does my breast pump (which I thankfully don't have to use anymore). Mr. Rosen's guitar amp needs a transformer. But my son's electric toothbrush charging dock does not. And neither does our portable ipod speaker thingy. But our lamps only work when we have Israeli lightbulbs which are different than lightbulbs in America.
So if my son's Oral-B dock works then my guess is that my dust buster would have worked here too! Damn it! I gave that thing away before we came thinking it wouldn't work. Stupid! That is the one thing I need now more than anything since Trouble McFood Hurler is the kind of little boy who leaves a path of destruction wherever he wanders.
And just yesterday I went to plug in my lightbox* and I basically blew the thing up. Bye bye. I've had that thing for almost twenty years and now, because of my ignorance, it's dead. You see I didn't take physics in high school or college. So for me Hertz is a rental car company and Watts is a bad neighborhood in LA. And don't get me started on voltage. If the little pin thing is the right size for the contraption you want to power, it should work, end of story. Unfortunately this is not the case. Meanwhile, Mr. Rosen, the mechanical engineer that he is, finds this both annoying and amusing. Though I feel I should mention that he has blown out two power drills since we've been here. And looked very sexy while doing it.
But my point is this. As my kids begin their long descent into formal schooling I anticipate a lot of moaning about why we need to learn so many seemingly useless things. Take heed, young friends. Algebra is important. And so is stoichiometry and syntax and Beowolf. And don't skip out on Physics in favor of Anatomy just because the Physics teacher is not as cute as the Anatomy teacher. You will regret this decision, if not while you are dissecting a fetal pig, then when you are bigger and need your hair blower to work in a foreign country.
* a wooden box with a light bulb inside and a glass surface that I use for tracing - like when I finally arrive at a sketch I like but the page is full of erasures, I need to trace it onto a clean piece of watercolor paper so I can paint it. Calligraphers use them to to write in straight lines on envelopes. FYI.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Happy New Year! Last night we had family over to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and my mother-in-law brought along a delightful little service to accompany what I can only describe as the most delicious Jewish New Year meal I've ever had. Just like with Passover we had a seder plate filled with the season's offerings: beets, dates, cabbage, pumpkin, carrots, figs, pomegranate, apple, honey, celery and raisins. And each fruit came with it's own blessing for the New Year. The family favorite this year was "lettuce have a raisin celery". Mr. Rosen accompanied on guitar. The kids were squirrely, as with anything new, but it was a lovely way to begin the evening. And then came the food. Everyone brought their best game and each dish featured some traditional elements. I made a spinach salad with goat cheese and figs, roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, sweet noodle kugel and cabbage salad with carrots, beets, raisins and apples. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law brought a lentil salad with fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds, baked quinoa stuffed onions, vegetarian gefilte fish on sliced apple with fresh horse radish. Mr. Rosen made his green beans and onions. My mother-in-law brought seven vegie and seven herb soup and her famous plum cake for desert. It was as much a feast for the eyes as it was for the tongue. It got us talking about whether beautiful food tastes better than unattractive food. The answer is probably yes for reasons both scientific and psychological. Although I had a steak and eggs this summer at a cafe in Tel Aviv that looked like a dead jellyfish (the waitress warned me) and it was unbelievably delicious. I guess there are exceptions. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, said the jellyfish. Wishing everyone a sweet new year!
Well as it turns out I took the whole summer off. I had every intention of keeping you abreast of our adventures but I was too busy having them. In brief, summer was long and hot and fun-filled. It included a family wedding, many visitors from America, a month-long trip to California and New York and a lot of jetlag. It also included some time thinking about how I'll spend my days once summer is over. So summer is over. And I am back to work with commissions lined up and ideas bursting out of my head. Having taken the summer off from work I've had the chance to step back and evaluate what it is I want to do. But there are so many pieces you see. The art, the blog, the business, the purpose and the nitty gritty stuff like understanding the Israeli tax system! It's a mighty puzzle. For instance, one of the things I've been wanting to do for ages is unify everything I do under one "brand". But how does Inner Toddler fit in with Mishmish. And now that my kids are older, their crazy stories are sometimes disturbing to me and I kind of don't want to write about them. I mostly just want to bury my head and forget about them. And the baby, he's cute, but none of his schtick will provide the kind of frenzied dismay that the others generated simply because I've pretty much seen it all (famous last words). So it's a puzzle which I am slowly figuring out. Numbering all the pieces like a good archeologist and hoping to unearth something extraordinary along the way. In the interim, over here I'll be playing dress up, moving stuff around, seeing what feels right and reconnecting to what I do and why I do it. Stay tuned...