Saturday, January 24, 2009


So a high school friend of mine just got in touch with me this week and one of the things she told me as we were catching up is a mutual friend of ours died about two years ago in a car crash. Well, it is sad, yes,I'm sorry maybe tragic is a better word for it. And while I have not shed any tears for him, the fact that he has passed on has disturbed my balance. For the last couple of days the idea has been popping up and twisting around inside my brain. She wrote a very moving tribute on her blog, talking about the day she met him, which got me thinking about how I know other people and where we met, etc.
What I find weird is that when I think about it, a lot of my friends chose me. I am not the chatty type, and I often will be content to sit in a corner and watch the interactions of those around me. So for a friendship to have developed it means that we either had class together, or some other function, or that they started talking to me. I wonder what it is that drew these people to me. Was it that I wasn't talking? Or that I look interesting? Or maybe they just wanted to make me feel more comfortable, and so a friendship started. I don't know.
Don't get me wrong, I have made it a point to befriend some people. I can on occasion be outgoing, it just takes so much effort. You've got to think up things to say, and smile and whatnot, it's so much easier to just be quiet and watch. I think it comes from growing up where I never really fit in. I hung out, and did stuff, but I was never really like everyone else. I learned to cope, and now I really like it, but I guess it leaves a mark.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I can't believe that we are now two days into Barack Obama's presidency. (Blogger still hasn't added his name to spell check) It is still amazing to me that we have elected a bi-racial man president. I am a little afraid for him, people's expectations are SO high. People will randomly tell me things about what they are thinking, and I can't imagine that he will be able to be a successful president in the eyes of the people. Everyone seems to think that things are going to get better starting today, and while I think that it is better to have a smart guy in office, I can't believe that it will get better tomorrow. The problems that we are facing are so huge, it will have to take some time to get to even a plateau. So what will happen to his approval ratings in the meantime? Even if he does set up programs that will eventually lead us out of this mess, if people aren't seeing the results they want will they continue to put up with him?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


We are back from the holy land! Over the new year my sister in law got married in Israel. Of course we, the crazy travelers that we are, could not just go to the wedding and come back, so we took a week and made a vacation out of it to see some of what everyone is talking about. We spent four days in Jerusalem and three in Tel Aviv and two on the floor of the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
So what to say about Israel....
Well, I can honestly say that it was a lot different than I imagine, but I suspect that the weather had a LOT to do with that. Jerusalem, instead of being a dusty dry desert city was a cold and wet city. Although when you think about all the places that you are walking hundreds of millions of other people have walked there first it is still pretty awesome. All the history in that tiny little place can be a little overwhelming. I think we saw a lot of the major tourist sites within the old city, although most of them not on purpose. The only thing that I can say for sure that we saw on purpose was Golgotha, or the place of the crucifixion. After that, we generally ended up finding a point of interest on the way to another point of interest that we never did find, that is until we were looking for something else. In this manner we "found" most of the gates to the old city, the wailing wall, the Via Dolorosa, as well as the churches (or maybe chapels) that are built on the site of Jesus' initial trial and flagellation. We found the Dome of the Rock on purpose, but I don't know if that was cheating or not since we asked someone, and also did not find it the first time we looked for it.
Jerusalem also had a HUGE military presence. Everywhere we went, and I mean EVERYWHERE there were groups of soldiers on patrol, standing guard, or just hanging out. It was obvious in Jerusalem that Israel was a country in the midst of conflict. Unfortunately, it was so cold and wet on all the days that we were traveling in Jerusalem that it is hard to come up with something else to say.
Tel Aviv, was nicer weather wise, but I unfortunately had stomach issues that laid me up for an entire day so I didn't get to see anything but Jaffa, the port city where Jonah's journey to Nineveh is supposed to have started. Tel Aviv is a much more relaxed city. I don't know that I saw soldiers there at all, and for the most part people were outside, shopping, eating in restaurants seemingly without a care in the world. It seemed very disconnected from reality.
My sister in law's wedding was very interesting. First of all, Israelis do not attend weddings in suits or dresses. Israelis apparently go everywhere in jeans. There were girls at the wedding in skirts, but they were very casual skirts, like you would go to the mall in. Then, in an Israeli wedding you do not sit nicely in your chairs, but you huddle around the huppa (a traditional wedding canopy) and shout encouragements at the bride and groom. They did not dance a horah (a big circle dance that usually involves everyone at the reception) although they did dance with the bride and groom on their shoulders. Even still it was a beautiful service.
On the way back Paris was snowed in and we spent the night on the floor of Charles De Galle. When we got back to the states, we discovered that our luggage was still on vacation so Babes spent almost a week in Pjs and tights since almost her entire wardrobe was in our luggage. But we all made it back safe and sound and that's all that counts.