Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stupid Girl

Watching the TV I see that the world has become obsessed with the idea of the ‘stupid girl’… and it is no wonder, with all the reality TV shows that are around at the moment, the only thing that makes these shows someway entertaining is the token girl making a total fool of herself. Remember Helen Adams (BB2 Runner Up) and Jade Goody from Big Brother. Turn on MTV and you have a choice of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in the Simple Life or the abhorrent Tara Reid in Wild on Tara (I make no comments). And the list goes on… as seen in Pink’s “Stupid Girl” clip where she makes fun of some of our most famous and favoured stupid girls.

I personally cannot watch any of the above. There is too much of an urge in me to shake the girls in the hope that the action may cause some kind of friction among the cells and ignite their brains to regain normal working order. Not likely, but a feign hope that I have!

This week I had the privilege… or however you look at it… to spend some time with one of these stupid girls. Despite suggestions, it had nothing to do with her being American, although it did not help her much. No this girl despite being young and inexperienced and very American was just plain dumb! However, it did make for some serious entertainment in my office:

I don’t hurt them I just hit them (referring to shooting Deer in her backyard in N. California)

SG: Yeah my boyfriend made me eat a whole bowl of hummus
ME: Well they do say that humous is the reason that Israeli women have the largest breasts in the region.
SG: Oh! Maybe that’s why he made me eat it!

I don’t chew gum. I eat the whole pack

SG: I have a job on the beach
ME: But you are only here on holiday! Aren’t you going home tomorrow
SG: Yeah but I like to keep myself busy so asked the guy on the beach for a job and he got me to clean all the deck chairs.
ME: So how much you get paid?
SG: Oh he never paid me!

Is that a cucumber? (pointing at a large round avocado)

I have great judgement... I can spot a two faced person straight away! (was that before or after you noticed everyone laughing at you as opposed to with you)

Work has never been so entertaining!
Please send me any more Stupid Girl comments you have!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

It's All White - The Experiment Begins

As the Big Brother season is now back among us… well among those of you living in the UK and those of us who are avid readers of the Sun Newspaper online, I thought that I would embark on my own form of social experiment… Whitening my teeth! As a typical English girl, my teeth have always had a yellowish tint to them. And finally at the age of 26 I decided that it was time to bite the cosmetic bullet and do something about it. I mean I have pretty great teeth, I’ve never worn a brace (despite begging my orthodontist and my mother to let me have one), so the way I saw it was that I deserved to add the finishing touches to my award winning smile. I mean if I ever am going to become a Hollywood actress staring along side Stephen Dorff in a steamy sex scene, then I should at least try to get my teeth closer to Hollywood, even though my body, my talent, and my chances of snogging Mr. Dorff are a million miles away from nowhere!

In order to proceed with the experiment there were a number of requirements:

  1. 900 NIS to pay the Dentist with (This includes fitting or the retainers and 2 weeks worth of bleach)
  2. 1 retainer provided by dentist
  3. 3 syringes full of bleach (estimated to last over 2 weeks)
  4. 1 tub of Vaseline (to protect the gums from the bleach)
  5. 1 packet of tissues (for cleaning and preparation)
  6. Spare 1.5 hours every day for two weeks

With everything ready to begin the experiment there was no point waiting, I mean Stephen isn’t getting any younger now is he! So on Tuesday 16th May, 2006 (Lag Ba’Omer) in a controlled environment (being my room) I decided to begin the whitening experiment. My dentist had warned me that it would be a very gradual process and that I probably wouldn’t notice the difference until I saw a before and after shot… Yeah I think he underestimated how observant I can be under obsessive circumstances!

Day 1

After popping out at lunchtime to gather the essentials I was itching to get home and try it out. Problem though… Preston was coming to hang before the fireworks on the beach, hence leaving me no alone time to put my retainers in in peace. If I waited until he left then I would miss the fireworks. If I did it in front of him then I would feel like an idiot trying to lisp through a conversation with him with my retainers in my mouth, but hey this was Preston we were talking about… I can handle Preston taking the piss out of me!

The process was pretty easy. Put a splodge of the bleach in each tooth mould that I wanted whitening, grease up the gums with Vaseline, make sure the Vaseline is not on the actual teeth, then place the retainers in the mouth and finally wipe off all excess bleach from around the mouth. Easy enough, although I am a little unclear if I have used too much or too little bleach… one of the bad things about it being transparent… I can’t see if it is evenly covering my entire tooth… Oh well all will be revealed in the end!

The hour and a half went by so slowly, apart from the constant teasing from Preston, who insisted that he couldn’t understand a word I was saying behind my retainers. And when the time was over I removed the retainers to a disappointing smile in the mirror to reveal absolutely no change to my not so pearly white… Channah remember this is a gradual process… you entered the sprint, not the marathon.

Day 2

After the lack of results the day before I decided that perhaps I had not used enough bleach, so today I was a little more liberal with it. However, only problem is the time that I am doing the bleaching is also the time that people decide to call me to plan the night ahead – problem in that I am lisping down the phone and people either can’t understand me, or think I have a speech impediment. Also when you are planning a first date with someone you would rather not sound like you spit when you talk. Maybe I should put an answering machine message on when bleaching explaining that I unable to speak due to social experiment being in progress… you think my dates will get the wrong impression?

Still no real noticeable difference after performing treatment, except that I have almost finished the first of the 3 syringes and they are supposed to be lasting me 2 weeks! Ok less is more!

Day 3

I think I am starting to get the hang of this whitening malarkey! It is now taking me around 1 minute to get the retainers filled with bleach into my mouth, as opposed to the 10 minutes it took me the first day. Today I decided to sleep for the hour and a half that the retainers were in, so that I could be refreshed for my Thursday night, and so that the time would go by quicker. I think I discovered a reason why the dentist did not recommend sleeping with them in… it is pretty uncomfortable… but maybe it is just something I have to get used to. Oh well no rest for the wicked!

Day 4

Another quick in and out with the old retainers and finally I start to notice some difference… the ends of my teeth are virtually white, although the part near the gum is closer to beige, there is a definite difference in the colour. I went to a friends house for dinner a showed them off while drinking red wine (never discussed with the dentist about consuming teeth stainers while teeth whitening). Even my friend said he could see the difference… imagine what they will be like when I get to day 14!

Day 5

I am starting to get so used to the process that I am stricter with myself on it than I am with teeth brushing… had I been this obsessed with brushing my teeth in the first place then perhaps I wouldn’t be forking out 900 sheks to get the problem fixed now! However, there is a down side. The bleach essentially burns the gums, even with the Vaseline on them, so after bleaching, brushing my teeth verges on the painful as the bristles touch my gums.

But no pain no gain they say… and my teeth are starting to look pearly!!

On next weeks Episode of the Whitening Experiment… the before and after shot!

(If you are interested in any of the information discussed here today, please feel free to email me with you questions and I will do my best to answer you, or pass you on to my dentist for a small commission)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lock Out

It feels like we are having every kinda “out” in our apartment. Read back and remember the Black out… ah that was fun! Nooman and Hugh have long been hoping for the Coming Out… (Never gonna happen boys!) Well last night I had to deal with the Lock out… Yes I was locked out of my flat. No, it was not my fault, and no it has nothing to do with having or not having a spare key… although Lev when we do get one cut you will be the first to get it (and probably lose it!). It was one of those accidents where one of nooman’s friends left the key in the door, meaning that we could not open the door from the outside. A simple mistake, and kinda funny in some ways, but when you are the one who has to deal with the simple mistake, the added hassle to your day is not so funny.

Last night I had a busy schedule of teeth whitening (I will explain in a follow up blog), gym, meeting with a friend before going to watch the football (only managed the first half… crazy game!). So standing around waiting for locksmith to fix someone else’s problem was not really part of my itinerary, nor was paying out the fee in order to fix it! But in the case of an accident I guess it takes a bigger man to admit fault and a little chivalry to apologise for putting the person who is saving your bacon out… oh what happened to the days when the English man was the height of gentlemanly behaviour! Now I think they are a little too interested in their football and beer and are more than happy to have a woman mother them instead of laying the cloak at their feet so they can step over the puddle… that may be extreme… giving up your seat on the bus would suffice.

So I returned home last night to stand outside waiting for the locksmith, dying for the toilet, and worrying that it was going to be a half hour job of removing the lock before I would be able to pay the guy and relieve myself! However, the reality was a lot more sinister. When the guy turned up he spent 30 seconds looking at the door and being clear that the door was not locked, just jammed due to key on the other side. Then he looked at me and sighed… at the time my stomach flipped as I thought this was a sigh of hard strenuous work ahead of him. As it turned out it was more like a sigh of relief that this would be a simple job… and simple job it was. The guy took out a plastic sheet and swiped the door until it popped open! So exactly one minute after the guy turned up I was throwing money at the running into the bathroom freaking out over how easy it is to break into our apartment, and making a mental note to insist that Nooman bolt the door when he goes to bed after me.

By the time Nooman came home, I was already sat wearing my retainers (it’s all part of the whitening process… I’ll explain another time) trying to plan out my evening again. In the end I decided to try and watch some of the football, apparently the Champions League anthem makes for a good wedding march, and then have an early night. But as per the rest of my day, my plans did not come to fruition and I spent the night lying in my bed trying to defend myself from the Kung Fu Mosquito to no avail… and this morning have found myself covered in the itchies… I guess it could have been worse, but thankfully I woke up to find that Nooman had bolted the door shut!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Human Traffic

Yesterday it was Lag Ba’Omer, and despite the fact that I had managed to avoid attending the traditional bonfire, I thought that I should do something in honour of this “just for fun” festival (if you can really call it a festival). So when I heard that there was going to be a massive fireworks display in Jaffa port, I thought that it would be a nice idea to grab some friends, a blanket, and a bottle of wine and head down to the beach to sit and watch the show. A nice idea in theory, but little did I realise the shear size of the event.

In case you live abroad and are unaware, or decided to be one of the clever ones and stay at home last night, Tel Aviv opened up its beaches and streets to what they expected to be somewhere around the region of 200,000 people last night for the Lag Ba’Omer fireworks display. In the end it seemed more than double that amount, not including a large number of the country’s cars stuck on the Ayalon for most of the night.

Walking through the streets last night was totally overwhelming. People were swarming from every direction towards the beach. Vehicles on the road, searching for places to park, were stopped in their tracks by the pedestrian traffic that poured from the pavements on to the roads, leaving the cars and motorcycles jammed in the thick human gloop. And as a pedestrian you could either be dragged along the current of the crowd, or decide to play the game of leap frog over cars and buses, which is how nooman and I decided to deal with the situation.

I grabbed some food on the way down, and as we stood waiting for the food to be ready nooman turns to me;

Nooman: You think this is what the coming of the Messiah is going to look like?

I turn and look at people flowing through the streets, all determined to get to the sea, some running, some carrying their children on their backs, helping their wives with the buggies over the pavements.

Hot dog stand customer: You see these people all heading for the beach… crazy people!

Hot dog stand lady: If a Tsunami came now they would all be fucked!

I had to keep reminding myself of the reality of the situation; that this was for a firework display… did even this many people vote in the last elections? I still am struggling to understand what drew all these people from far and wide to wait in traffic, to come to Tel Aviv, to struggle to find parking, to fight with people to walk the streets, to watch a 17 minute firework display, that may I remind everyone was put on by the FRENCH! And there was I thinking that we would at least get a few frog shaped fireworks… but no, as usual the French have no sense of humour!

So after a thrilling 17 minutes, which caused a Ginrod to cry because “it is so beautiful!” we decided to head back to my apartment for a well deserved bottle of wine. Drinking, I began thinking of the connotations surrounding fireworks… the metaphor for all things sudden, magnificent, wonderful… the first amazing kiss being like fireworks. But the thing with fireworks is that they are always short-lived. They disappear into the night sky almost as quickly as they appeared; only leaving smoke trails etched into the background of the sky to linger in their passing... pretty disappointing. In truth the longest standing light in the sky last night, other than the stars (but who nowadays reaches for the stars?), was the flare shot from a gun to show the end of the display. I thought about it more and saw the flare not only lasts longer, but it also has a purpose, something more than “just for fun”. It can save your life. A thought that can be applied further, but this is where I realised I was a little tipsy and thinking a little too much… what’s wrong with every now and then partaking a little “just good fun
”? Not everything in life needs to be taken so seriously... does it?

Monday, May 15, 2006

When all else fails.... VENT

So it has not gone unnoticed that I have not blogged in a while. Possibly due to the fact that I don’t like to blog about nothing. Also another problem I am finding is that I have a great urge to use my blog to vent, which is all good and well in an anonymous blog, but when my parents, my brother-in-law and the “others” I want to vent about are all regular readers, it is somewhat difficult to write the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

So in brief so that the overseas people can catch up on the last month…

  • Yes I am still alive
  • Yes I am still single
  • No I am not ‘seeing’ anyone on a casual basis
  • Yes I have had my heart broken in the last few months
  • No this is not why I am abstaining from dating
  • No this is not an invitation to set me up with your nice but single friend
  • No I am not a lesbian

So now that we have that all cleared up, I wanted to share a little gripe I have with working in an Office full of women. Although let me be clear, I don’t want it to be believed that I am a self hating woman, I love being a woman! However, when working in a female dominated office you have to expect a number of irrevocable certainties:

  1. You will be bitched to on a regular basis
  2. You will be bitched about on a regular basis
  3. You will need earplugs to eat your lunch as the lunchtime banter can get out of control
  4. There is no such thing as a personal life: Work life and Personal life are not separate – it is all gossip!
  5. Every sentence you hear the office will begin with “You’ll never guess… who said/ what happened/ who’s getting fired”
  6. Daily there is the communal prayer for a decent looking man to work in the office.
  7. You might find it difficult sitting back in your chair with that knife in your back

I regularly have to deal with backhanded compliments such as, “Oh isn’t it cute how your nose slants to one side!” or “You do have a beautiful complexion, but at least I don’t have bags under my eyes.” I know that I try to go with the ethos “Just say thank you”, and I do to their faces, but as I am using this time to vent… here I go:

Firstly, I am aware of my nose, I love my nose! At least it isn’t an oversized Jewish one like yours with hairs coming out of both nostrils. Yes I am blessed, with genes that mean that I have a good complexion and yes I am too blessed with wonderful friends and a decent social life which mean that from time to time I will come into work looking a little grey under the eyes… What is your excuse?? Oh and while we are on the subject of throwing around compliments: I think you have an interesting dress sense! I am sure one day (possibly on your death bed) you will see your feet again! The over the shoulder bolder holder you just bought yourself is... well I wouldn’t use the word sexy… er… practical! No I don’t value your opinion on the best places to go out in Tel Aviv, no I don’t want to go round to your house and meet your very interesting totally loser friends and finally yes I am pretty pleased with myself because I was fortunate not to be born a ginger minger!

Wow! Venting is good!!!

On a similar note, it was reported today that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has apparently fired the president of a phone company and has had four people arrested and accused of colluding with the Israeli foreign intelligence service, Mossad (it’s always gotta involve Israel!), the anti-government website Rooz Online reports. Why you may ask? Over an anonymous text message claiming that he does not wash enough! Ha ha ha… sounds like a piece of gossip from my office! Or maybe it was Jeru Guru... Gurok got anything else to confess?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sleepless Nights and Mosquito Bites

The last two days have been pretty eventful, what with Israel's birthday, a day off work, and all. Tuesday night was a spent in the company of some of the coolest people I have the great priviledge of knowing, including four very non Israeli Israeli guys... Even Eli loved them! The evening began in it's usual way of turning up at Susi's to find that I had some serious catching up to do, and proceeded to glug down two glasses of vodka redbull, only realising later that while I had been drinking out of a half pint glass, the other girls had been drinking theirs from Martini glasses! Something about mass and volume. Anyway, once we had drunk the flat dry we decided to head on to the rooftop party we had heard about. The party was rammed with people, most of whom I had no clue who they were, but later discovered that the masses had come to Sin City from Jerusalem. One of the Israeli guys turned to me a little overwhelmed by all the women on heat staring at his fresh blood and said "I feel like I am in England..." I was totally offended and replied, "This isn't England dude! It's Long Island with a Katamon twist."

After going to bed at 4am, my body decided that as it was a weekday 8am was the time to get up! Despite my frustration at not being able to fall back to sleep I was a little relieved that I managed to sleep as long as 8, when usually I automatically wake up around 6 on a week day... funny, because on the weekend i can sleep all day! I proceeded to get out of bed, have a drink, watch TV, mooch around the apartment muttering under my breath, go back to bed, struggle to go back to sleep and then start the whole process again. After a few hours of this song and dance I decided that a nervous breakdown was not becoming a 26 year old, so I decided to get a grip and get up. By the time I showered and got to grips with myself, I found that I had made plans to go to a Barbeque in Herzlia and go and hang out with my buddy who I haven't seen in ages... so he agreed to walk me to my pick up point so we could do a quick catch up.

As we walked down the street Tel Aviv's smell was changing from the usual fragrance of Jasmine trying to cover up the smell of canabis that wafts out of every apartment window, to the pungeont smell of meat. Lucky, his bitch, was going crazy, running in every direction trying to grab a piece of the steak that was waving itself in her face, and pulling her owners arm out of its socket in the process. At the barbeque French girls hovered around the grill as soon as the meat was ready, so I decided to perch myself on a blanket, drink a beer (a rarity for me) and talk to anyone who wanted to make the effort. Despite the overwhelming European vibe, there were a couple of desent people wanting to chat, other than the lovelies I came with. So the afternoon floated by, as I sat in the sun and enjoyed rolling around on the blanket, laughing with two girls... with Hugh and Doron watching closely to see if things were heating up enough to take some decent/ indecent photographs.

Aching, tired and slowly gaining the meat sweats I returned from Herzlia to drink some wine and unwind with friends only thinking about my bed and how much I have missed her/ him (I haven't chosen a sex for my bed yet). But as the smell of meat began to drift out to sea and normality return to my little city of sin, the wind changed, the air moved, and the mosquitos arrived. Mosquito season has officially begun! This morning I awoke to find bites covering my body. Why is it that the little bastards always bite me in the most annoying of places; behind my knee, on my back right where my bra strap moves against my skin, in my cleavage so that everyone at work can laugh at me scratching my boobs throughout the day! Tonight I am staying up and playing out the mosquito masacre... It's them or me!! Only one of us will get out alive.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

58 years of memorials and parties

I just stood for the two minute silence for Yom HaZikaron, in my office, watching the traffic stop, and wondering what it is I should be thinking about. Around this time of year I guess I should be reflecting how I feel about myself as an Israeli, how I feel about this society I live in of upside down, back to front, topsy turvey and totally "Hafuch".

I started thinking about the end of a BBC programme I caught the other day, where the presenter (a pompous 50 something English guy – god I love them!) was in America trying to disperse the preconceptions most of the world has about America and Americans. You know the score; being stupid, arrogant, self inflated, stupid, fat, stupid. On a personal level I know many Americans who when asked to rate the Anglos (British, South African, Australian, and American) from best to worst, will place themselves at the bottom of the pack… this is as long as we leave Canada out of it. Anyway, I only managed to catch the end of the programme, which was a shame because it looked pretty entertaining. Regardless, the presenter compared the States to a stropy Teenager, throwing himself around the shop, with no fear, and no consideration for the repercussions of his actions, unlike his older, more experienced and therefore wary relatives across the pond. The presenter went on to state that it is precisely this behaviour that although highly annoying and tiresome to the more mature nations among this teenager, is what also makes America in a way endearing… plus we all live in hope that she will grow up soon enough.

So in following this theory, if Europe is the elder, the US is the young adult, then Israel is the troublesome toddler. She is still into stealing her mother’s makeup, making mud pies, standing on her head for hours on end until she gets the chocolate bar, and yes playing war with the kids down the street. She pulls on the coat tails of her elders when they do not give her the attention she requires, she stomps her feet and throws her toys out of her play pen when she does not get her way. She switched moods so quickly, one minute sobbing her heart out because she was not allowed choco for breakfast and then giggling uncontrollably as she discovers a butterfly in the garden.

Last night I attended a memorial for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel to commemorate Yom HaZikaron. All the time I sat there, looking at the pictures of the town’s lost sons and daughters, seeing their names on the stone memorial wall, I heard the sound of children giggling during Yizkor, and despite the sombre occasion, it made me smile. These children will help see Israel into her teens and onwards to adulthood and what do we teach these young children? We teach them the importance of an entire community standing together to remember those who died defending our home. Many countries have memorial days; however these are mainly an excuse for a day off work and a barbeque. I remember being in Brent Cross in London the day after the July bombings and I was the only person in Monsoon who stood still for the minute silence! Unlike the rest of the world, Israel, the teething tot who usually cannot stand still long enough for a small queue, stands in unison and pauses to commemorate her people, her heritage, and her losses. We teach the children of Israel that today, we sit and remember those who fought and died for this beautiful country of ours, and tomorrow, well tomorrow we honour them further by celebrating the fact that we still have this country… Yom Haatzmaut!

Whatever you are doing to celebrate Israel’s 58th birthday, in Israel or abroad, be well, be safe and remember there is a time to mourn, and a time to dance, so please for the love of Israel, dance your asses off!!!