September 30, 2008

It has been a week

And here are some random thoughts.  All things being considered, YES I would rather still be in Israel.  Damn, I miss being there!  Being there was better than perfect (ok except for the driving) LOL  I look at my pictures and remember where I took most of them and what I was doing in some of them.  And, wish I as back there again!  Right now it is 74 degrees in Tel Aviv...and it is fucking far better than the 94 degrees here in Arizona.  In the end, none of that matters though.  In the end it is where you feel home.  Arizona, has never felt like home.  Ever.  California did when my mom was alive.  Not anymore.  Only Israel has given me that feeling and it is not one I want to have disappear.  It is one that in my heart I want to feel again. 

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The party is over -

The end of the world is called off....Stocks rallied today (on Rosh Hoshanna) no less! LOL

So, we resume our regularly scheduled stock craptastic tour!

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September 29, 2008

Good Yontiff

Everyone!  Today is the Jewish New Year!  I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful new year and that this coming year brings all the joy and happiness!

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It's the end of the we know it...and I feel....

Well...umm....the bailout took a flush faster than the toilet!   The dow dropped over 600 points...Everyone is saying that this is the beginning of the Great Depression ver. 2.0.....and well I feel....well lets have REM say it!

Tomorrow will probably be another crappy day for the stock market...but umm....I think we will weather this storm.  Remember this same thing happened in Reagan's last office....

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September 27, 2008

Adina Plastelina

When we were at the Old city of Jaffa we went to this jewelery and glass place called Adina Plastelina.  I bought a Mezzuzah there and the guys got some stuff there.  I was checking out some of the stuff that I got and in the mezzuzah had a note from the company and I checked it out...and they have a website!

Check it out.

I would like to get another mezuzzah from them.    They have gorgeous products! 

This was the guy who told us that oh yeah some of the buildings here are not that old, only 300 years old! LOL

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Paul Newman Clip

From one of the best movies EVER!

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Fed Ex is here!!!


I had one suitcase arrive 2 days ago...but my main shipment of a suitcase and 2 boxes arrived yesterday.  Only a few issues.  One Fed Ex broke some zippers on my suitcases and my chocolate/date spread broke in the box AND a plate I got from the church of the loaves and fishes broke.  Altogether fairly painless.  I am just glad that the important items - the Persian Rug and the gifts from Lital made it safe and sound!

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We must be in a depression

Why you ask?  Simple, Hugh Hefner is now laying off playboy bunnies!! IS THERE NO JUSTICE IN THE WORLD?  Poor playboy bunnies now unemployed in this era of free porn now the icon (and obselete business) known as Playboy is suffering to the point that those playboy bunnies are getting laid off.  The Deuce you say!  There simply is no justice anymore in the world.  Black is white!  Dogs and cats are best friends!

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Paul Newman RIP

Last night the legendary and awesome actor Paul Newman passed away at 83 years of age!  He played in such legendary films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, The Color of Money, Exodus, The Hustler, and recently the animated movie Cars.

He was a great actor and there will never be another Paul Newman.  His style seemed to me reminiscent of Marlon Brando, another Hollywood icon.  Hard to believe there will never be another Paul Newman movie.

RIP Mr. Newman, may you bring heaven as much joy and drama as you did here on Earth.

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September 26, 2008

Burning Down the House......

This is what caused our economic downturn and has crashed 13 banks so far with MORE to come:

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UGH my bank failed

Today I just found out that Washington Mutual - my bank for almost a decade - just failed.   At least it got sold so I have no fear of losing my money- Thank G-d!  But damn....this economic instability fucking SUCKS!  I banked with Wamu for about 10 years, since I was in Pasadena, CA!  Now it is JP Morgan Chase.  I hope they can stay around longer!

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September 25, 2008

My shipping situation!

YAY I got one suitcase today!   So I have clothes finally! 

And my main shipment has been released via customs and it is already in Maricopa county!!! I should have it tomorrow!  IT will be a happy Friday!!!!

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Tonight's concert

I believe all of them are going to the concert tonight! I hope they all have a great time at the Paul McCartney concert in Tel Aviv!

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Fed Ex is pissing me off

They still have my damned shipments.  They wont clear it via customs so now I have to fill out this Declaration for Free entry of Returned American Products.  I spent like an hour on these documents (yes it is two pages becuase of everything I am bringing back).  I will fax this in the morning once I am at work.  But, damn, all these jumping through hoops is getting annoying.  I hope this is the last hoop that I have to jump!

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September 24, 2008

Some music that will remind me of the vacation

At my last day at Mike's Place I took some notes of the music that was I can blog them once I get back.

Eric Clapton - She's Waiting

The Band - Take a load off

Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee

Beatles - With a Little help from my friends

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Sort of back

The time change is a killer.  Last night...I got in around 8 pm after my sister, brother in law and I went out to dinner.  We ate where we did the day I left (Garcias Mexican Restaurant).  It was fun, just tiring.  I got home gave my sister a couple of those mini-cuban cigars/cigarrettes and showed them some of the stuff I had in my carry on and we split some of the cadburys chocolate that I got in London.  Then I tried to relax.  My body was tired..but damn I couldn't sleep.  I finally got to sleep and woke up at 2:30 am ready to go LOL Obviously still on Israeli time.  I checked my classes and tried to go back to sleep and woke up again around 8:30.  Knowing I have never had a hang over, I guess this is what one must feel like...all sort of blurry and hazy.   Well I got moving and went to my sister's and hung out there for a while...all this energy yet exhaustion at the same time. LOL  After today (Wednesday) I will be back at work.

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September 23, 2008

My airport adventure

Started last night at about 2:30 am.  That was when I had my wake up call.  Yes, way too fucking early.  I think during our time in Israel if we crashed at that was considered going to sleep early! LOL

Anyway, so at 2:30 I have my wake up call and I start getting ready and doing a once over around the room - making sure I did not forget anything...then I jump in the shower to wake myself up and then hop on the PC.  I check my classes once over before I disconnect the PC and then I send a noted to Lital, Yair and Adi - thanking them again for everything and saying my final goodbyes.  By this time it's getting close to 3:30 and I am off downstairs from the 14th floor.

I pay the last meal two meals that I had at the hotel - was just too depressed to go out and at the same time I KNEW I had to get some sleep - so no visit to Mike's Place LOL....and I wait for my cab.  The guy checking me out at the hotel said I am getting at the airport at least an hour too early, but I still went.  I was awake and I know it takes me longer to get to where I need to go - besides customs is a bitch.

Cab shows up, and we head out.  I recorded it on the camcorder - Tel Aviv at night.  It was surreal in a way.  Two weeks ago, we got here now we are leaving.  Two weeks ago we got here VERY EARLY in the morning - almost sunrise.  Now I am leaving before sunrise and everything is dark.  Even that view was beautiful - viewing the beach at 4 am!

I give the taxi a good tip (total cost was 150 NIS).  And, I am off to the terminal - and wait! LOL  Yes, I had to wait for an hour until I knew what part of the terminal my plane was going to be in and what gate I had to go to.
About 5:30 am I find out.  I head out to Gate A and am promptly questioned by IDF security and they put me on hold.  I was like WTF?  The girl questioning me hands me back my passport and walks away and people are passing me and I am just staying there per her instructions.  About 15-20 min of standing there looking stupid I flag another inspector and ask him for some assistance.  Within 5 min I am on my way. 

I was asked basically the same questions:  What was the purpose of my visit (business or pleasure).  Who did I see?  I start giving names, then he was like do you have phone numbers.  I said Yes.  I start pulling out my blackberry and he laughs and said no he doesn't need to see LOL.  He asks me if I am Jewish (looking at my necklace) and I laugh and said yes.  Then he asks if I am apart of a community, and I say no.  That prompts a couple minute conversation there.  A couple minutes later, he puts a sticker on my bag and I am cleared. (far easier than Shawn's experience I take it)

The Security is EXTREMELY detailed with the bag inspections.  I think one of the reasons I was potentially flagged was that I was there in Israel for 15 days yet I was only returning with my carry on bag.  It raised questions, though I kept telling them I had fed ex-ed the majority of my luggage previously in the week and even once pulled out my fed ex receipt.  Anyway, I get through border security and at this point I am in the Terminal waiting. 

A little side note, I found a Kosher McDonalds at the airport.  Now, let's get this straight right now.  Kosher McDonalds is an oxymoron.  How can you NOT have cheese on your burgers at McDonalds?  Honestly, it's the only thing that makes the burgers somewhat palatable.  Needless to say I was not impressed LOL  But I do think this is the one that the girls were at before they left on their vacation (though I could be wrong LOL)

While I am waiting to go through the last security checkpoint and get to passport control I start using my camcorder LOL...this is where security comes to me and asks me to turn it off - they dont want me to record the planes.  With that my camcorder goes in the bag and I head to passport control.  (this was the last thing I filmed in Israel)

They take forever to get the luggage cleared!  I tihnk that alone took about 40 min and by this time I start getting concerned if I will make it to my flight.  Between the security checks and passport control that alone ate up about 45 min!  During this time I wondered, ok what happens IF I miss my flight?  What do I do? Anyway, I didn't have to worry, I get to passport control and she doesn't even ask me a question - just stamps my exit visa and I am off to the gate and I manage to get there with literally 10 minutes to spare before they begin boarding.

I board the flight and am instantly depressed again.  Feeling regret that I am leaving. Yet I do - leave.  In about 5 hours I was in London.  With a 3 hour layover there...and then a nearly 11 hour flight to Phoenix.

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Terror attack in Jerusalem

Guys, I don't know if you know where this attack was, but it was near where we stayed in Jersualem!  Probably a mile from our hotel in the Jersualem Inn:

Ten people were wounded - one seriously, two moderately and seven lightly - on Monday night in a terror attack at a busy Jerusalem intersection.

Rescue services said an Arab driver plowed his pedestrians into a group of people at Zahal Square.

Police said the driver was shot and killed by citizens.

The intersection is near the Old City's Jaffa Gate.

Monday's attack was the third of its kind since July - where a terrorist used a vehicle as a weapon rather than a gun or a bomb. In late July, an Arab bulldozer driver from east Jerusalem rammed his construction vehicle into a city bus and several cars on a central thoroughfare in the capital, wounding 15 people before being shot dead by a Druse border police officer and a civilian passerby.

How crazy is this?  At least no one died (I could care less about the Paleo-Arab).  Wow!!!!

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It is 3 am

And I have just woken up. LOL ready for the day, as if I was still in Israel.  Man I still wish I was there!  

Back at home.....everything seems back to normal....the cats are very happy that I am back....hovering around me the entire time.  But, I don't feel home here. I know I will slip right back into my daily routine and it will happen seamlessly. 

Well, my internal clock is very skewed so far...LOL, as I think its breakfast already - well brunch already since its about 1 pm already in Israel.  I guess I will try to clean up...unpack my carry on luggage and hope that my suitcases and souvineers clear customs in Israel.

Oh I did find the fed ex on BOTH shipments. WHOOO!!!  That was a huge concern for me.

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September 22, 2008

Back in Laveen

Yep, I am home now.  I want to say it sucks because some of it does...but I am also glad to be back.  It just feels like the entire trip was a dream....that it didn't really happen, yet I know it did. 

I had a very nice send off from Lital and Yair the day before I left.  That was really cool of you guys, thanks again!!!!   And until next time!  Yes, I am already looking for next time!

This morning all of them sent me a message, and that was even cooler.    Until next time!  That will be my watchword!  Next time in Israel!

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