Saved by the Divinity

The war in Israel is still going on and the anti-Israel world is still going shithouse. As if this wasn’t predictable.

But I recently realized something amazing. If I had been accepted to that German internship that I applied for last year, I would be in Germany now, along with other Israelis who may very well be extreme leftists and a group of Palestinians who may also be anti-Israel, and I would be in the midst of an extremely charged political climate which causes Europeans to gravitate to the anti side rather than the pro. And I would be utterly miserable. I mean,  in devastatingly sheer and complete misery. And I would be in it for a full six months. That’s besides the fact that I would worry myself into psychological oblivion thinking about my family in Be’er Sheva under constant fire and missing my boyfriend and my dog.

However! As if I needed any further proof of the Mother Goddess’s existence, She saved me from this misery and borderline insanity by making the organizers decline my application for the program. And now I am in Israel, which is truly the only place in the world where I can feel safe as a Zionist Jew and support my troops with pride.

As I am still going to Germany from July 29 to August 7, I will most likely be forced to hide my identity. I am even inclined to speak to my boyfriend in English during our stay in Europe, which is rather upsetting to say the least. But at least it will be for only 10 days and not six months. And then, I will return to Israel in one piece and resume my unyielding support for my country and its armed forces.

May the Goddess see Her Chosen People through it all.

Peace, love and amen.

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Snail Mail Request

Zombie Bunny stationaryMy mailbox is tragically empty. If I ever get any mail, it’s only bank statements, credit card statements and coupons from Shufersal. I keep checking it in hopes that one of my penpals may have sent a letter, but alas.

Technically, I have penpals from Germany, Greece, Iceland, UK and Canada. I tried starting a mail correspondence with someone from Estonia as well as Sweden and a couple more from Germany, but have gotten no responses.

Meanwhile, I designed some new stationaries in case I do have a chance to write a letter (and I will be starting a couple of new correspondences this week, thank Goddess). Some of them are designed by hand, but the newer ones (and the ones I can’t wait to use!) are designed on Photoshop. I also designed some totally rad envelopes.

I am trying to get in touch with some more people via Interpals, and managed to start something with a girl from France and just recently wrote to another girl in Israel. Though again, no responses yet.

Basically, my point with this post is as follows:

IF YOU ARE INTO SNAIL MAILING AND LOOKING TO HAVE A PLEASANT EXCHANGE WITH AN ISRAELI CHICK, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

Cat and Dog StationaryYou can comment on this post or write me a message via Interpals – check out my profile here. I am open to letters from anywhere in the world (though unfortunately not from Arab countries as the Israeli Post Office does not deliver mail to and from those countries. Sorry!).

Also, I am looking for penpals who are willing to write often, at least once a month, and who want to commit to a a long-term snail mailing relationship.

I’m looking for people who are very open-minded. I do not accept letters from people who are racist, sexist, homophobic, antisemitic, anti-Zionist, anti-religious or anti-secular. I am not interested in a political debates. I use snail mailing to escape all that bullshit, and instead talk about fun stuff like travels, music, entertainment, books, food, zines, animals, etc.

If you are such a person, then you must rock and I would love to find a letter from you in my mailbox! So don’t be shy and drop me a line :)

Peace, love and zombie bunnies.

Posted in DIY Till I Die, Feminism/Riot Grrrl/grrrlVIRUS, Rants at Random | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Code Red

And we’re back. Gone full circle once again. And for the millionth time since Israel’s creation, missiles are flying, people are dying, and the world media is being a totally biased bitch.

And all the posts I see on Facebook are about how Israel is being violent for no apparent reason (ahem), and how all the naive leftist idiots think we should just sit back and let Hamas have their fun.

Well, I don’t give a flying rocket about anything except for the following:

1) My parents are in Be’er Sheva. This past Shabbat, they invited my grandmother to the safety of their shelter room. Then I hear a direct hit in Be’er Sheva destroyed a house and injured an 80-year old woman. Luckily, it wasn’t who I thought it was.

2) My parents are still under fire. I haven’t seen my mom for the past 10 days and I haven’t seen my dad for the past month if not more. And the fear that keeps everyone in Israel within close proximity to a secure location in case of a siren will also keep my parents in Be’er Sheva and will keep me in Jerusalem.

3) There have only been three sirens in Jerusalem since round million and one started, and most of the rockets were either thwarted by iron dome or fell in open areas or fell in Palestinian territory (and, riddle me this, it goes to show how Hamas just doesn’t give a shit about their own people, so why the fuck should we?). During the first siren, I was home, so running to the shelter wasn’t much of a problem. On the second one, I was at the bus station downtown, and scrambled into Hamashbir’s staircase as a last resort. The third one happened while we were at the dog park. With no secure location in sight, I grabbed my dog and hid under a concrete table listening to the explosions filling the air as the dogs started barking and Diamond jerked in my arms with a silent whimper.

4) Despite the low rate of sirens in Jerusalem, I jump out of my skin every time I hear something that remotely sounds like the beginning of a siren – a truck or a motorcycle speeding off on the road below, the high-pitched cry of a gust of wind, a song that opens with a siren (Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”, Arch Enemy’s “Blood on Your Hands”, etc.). Good times.

5) I haven’t been to see the eye doctor yet as a follow-up to my cataract surgery because the only appointments I managed to get were in Rechovot, and there is no way in all the rubble that people’s houses are being reduced to that I will ever take a bus and ride on in an open road while weather forecasts show 100% chance of rocket showers.

6) I am set to go to Germany on July 29. Since Israel is planning a ground strike on Gaza (something I am rather opposed to), I don’t see how this is going to end anytime before my trip. My boyfriend, my dog and I will have no choice but take our chances on the open road to go to Be’er Sheva, drop Diamond off at my parents’ house so they can look after her while we’re away, then take the train to Ben Gurion airport. Once on the plane, I will most likely be so nervous I’ll be throwing my guts up until we’re well past Israel’s airspace. Once in Germany, my sleeve tattoo (with the Star of David) will remain nice and hidden the entire time. And I’ll keep being nervous that my parents are still in the line of fire, this time with my dog who will hear more sirens and louder explosions than she is used to (and she is used to it as we are because we always hear gunfire and fireworks in Gilo).

7) About this ground strike – yes, I am opposed to it. I mean if we can significantly reduce Hamas’s manpower and rocket reserves from the safety of our fighter planes, I think we should stick with that plan. With a ground strike, the death toll on both sides will rise, and there is no doubt that the world community will go shithouse and resume their antisemitic oral defecation with more fervor than ever. But as mentioned above, no flying shrapnel will be given by me when it comes to the world community. Hell, if all Israel ever did was listen to the world, we wouldn’t survive a day, and we’ll be just as big of wusses as the pot-smoking leftist hippies want us to be.

8) For another kind of code RED: Aunt Flo visited me twice this month. Fuck me.

So I’ll just keep about my usual business until the next siren or anything that sounds like it will make my heart miss a couple of arrhythmic beats and make my head spin with a heavy adrenaline OD. This usual business includes new songs on my iPod to listen to (namely Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Slayer and Horrorpops) new Stephen King books to be ordered (online this time because Steimatzky is starting to piss me off), new adventures to embark on (Germany trip and Wacken festival), and a new zine to be written (all about the trip to Germany, snail mail love and art, and the joys of Washi tapes).

Peace, love, and I’m starting to think that I’m not getting any mail because my penpals decided to jump on the “boycott Israel” bandwagon.

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A Sight to Blindfold

I pity those who believe what they see.

They say, look, truth is a subjective perception of reality, you see? But they can’t look and they can’t see. There is no perception of reality. There is only the deception of reality, and reality subjects them to it, and turns any optical illusion into their pathetic version of truth. Reality is tainted by the media, blindsided by society, projects the masses into a pitch black darkness that casts a cataract blanket over their pin-sized pupil. And this is their reality – gives them two black eyes and shoves them into a gigantic black hole.

Your astigmatized friends can’t see past their stubby little noses. Every last one of them is a color-blind cyclops with an eyepatch. They’re all afflicted with the curse of the superficial – seeing is believing. All visual art blurs into visual impairment. Technicolor fades to grayscale. Deceitful reality takes hold though a thousand prescription glasses and blurs again at the bottom of a million wine glasses.

It is only when you start seeing things that aren’t there, or fail to see things that are, that your cataract-inflicted mind sees reality for what it is – carved up and down with bloodshot lies. Reality is blind hope. It is an occular aberration slashed with far-sighted dreams.

Power comes through the unfocused, dissolved visual element. A corroded cornea, a decayed retina. A bat may be blind, but becomes a ferocious hunter in complete darkness.

I am a bat.

“Hab ich die klaren Augen, nimm mir das Licht.”

Peace, love, eyes and lies.

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More Death, Less Metal

CoverSo War Eternal,  Arch Enemy’s new record, came out a couple of days ago. I already downloaded it as I was sure it would take a while until Israel got any copies of it in a record store near me. I was also sure that once it did, I would order it or buy it or whatever.

My first taste of the songs was what everybody else got – “War Eternal” and “As the Pages Burn”. Two superb tracks, with the usual awesome bass lines, face-melting riffs, killer beats, and new but still amazing vocals, which are all integral parts of trademark Arch Enemy material. I figured if these two songs are decent representations of the album as a whole, this ought to be one of the best Arch Enemy releases, right up there with Wages of Sin and Rise of the Tyrant.

But it’s not. Not even close.

I still think “War Eternal” and “As the Pages Burn” kick ass, and so does the first song off the album, “Never Forgive, Never Forget”. The 10th track “On and On” is also somewhat ok and so is “You Will Know My Name”. The latter reminds me a bit of “I Will Live Again” (Rise of the Tyrant)  and “No Gods, No Masters” (Khaos Legions) – the songs that Arch Enemy released with a radio-friendly sound to them. After the video release of “War Eternal” and “As the Pages Burn”, I was sure that the next to come will be “You Will Know My Name” and I was right.

However, what really bothers me about the album is its extensive use of keyboards on almost all the songs.

Keyboards on Arch Enemy? I thought, Really?

I’m sorry, but keyboards are not made for death metal. They’re good for black metal, power metal, folk metal, opera metal, even sometimes for heavy metal. King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, yes. Absolutely. Other non-metal bands like The Doors, of course. They totally own the keyboards. But not death metal and certainly NOT Arch Enemy. The keyboards on War Eternal sound so out of place. It reminds me of some of the songs from Anthems of Rebellion, like “Instinct” which starts off sounding like some techno tune.

The next, and most recent video to be released from War Eternal is “No More Regrets.” This song has got to be the most awful Arch Enemy song I have ever heard. It starts off rather well. The first verse even got me headbanging a little. But then, on comes the chorus to bludgeon the track into the fiery pits of almighty hell. On any other times, that metaphor could be seen as positive when used to describe a metal track, but not this time. This time, it’s as horrible as it sounds.

At first, I laughed when I first heard the chorus, but now I cringe and then feel like crying. It sounds way too cheery to be an angry remorseless song as the name of the track would suggest. It actually reminded me of one of those French songs that my parents sometimes listen to, like Enrico Macias or some shit. I can’t bring myself to listen to it again. I finally deleted it from my iPod.

No way, I thought, I refuse to believe that such a terrible song was composed by a genius like Michael Amott.

But it was, and it makes me want to cry again.

The other songs, I can dig to a certain extent. But again, too many keyboard sounds, and every time they become obvious, I cringe yet again. I have to ask myself, is this where Arch Enemy’s decline begins? Where the death of the band’s greatness finally takes hold, and the true purpose of honest in-your-melted-face metal is lost?

The guitar riffs and solos and bass and drums are still as amazing as they come. Even the vocals are great. Even if it’s not Angela, Alissa does a pretty damn good job with her vocal work. So why throw up in there some regurgitated and utterly unnecessary keyboards and ruin the whole thing?

I’m starting to question my will to buy this record. I’ve also finally decided that in case Amon Amarth and Arch Enemy’s live shows do overlap at Wacken, I will go see Amon Amarth. I’ve seen Arch Enemy three times, with Angela in the lead, growling along to songs with no keyboards at all, or with a tiny bit of some minor and barely audible sound effects. So I can afford to miss them this time, especially if they plan on adding “No More Regrets” to their setlist.

Give me the good old sounds of “Ravenous” and “Blood on Your Hands,” and be done with it.

What a monstrous slap in the face.

Peace, love and *sigh*

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Looking Forward and Seeing It

Since the last time I wrote here, I got my metal plates out my elbow and the corner ghost (medically known as cataract) out of my right eye. The eye surgery took place just yesterday, but I’m feeling just fine. My distance vision has significantly improved. I can actually make out things from a distance that I couldn’t see at all before that. I’ve also noticed how much sharper the colors are around me. Blacks are much deeper, whites are much brighter, and everything in between is like Technicolor.

Of course, there are things I wish I didn’t have to see. Like, now I understand why my dog’s fur on the floor bothers my boyfriend so much. There really IS a lot of it. But my dog herself even looks more beautiful now with her deeper blacks and brighter whites and gorgeous pale blue eyes. Even I look different. Just this morning, I saw just how much white hair I have, how much darker my skin looks, and how much hair I have on my legs.

I think the best thing is seeing reality for the first time in a long time. With the corner ghost, not being able to see things that are there was bad enough. But what was worse was seeing things that are not there. My corner ghost had the annoying habit of shifting along with the many squiggly lines on my cornea and trick me into thinking I saw a movement on the corner of my eye and I’d jump out of my skin thinking it’s a roach or a spider. So now I know that if there’s a movement on the corner of my eye, I would be right to jump out of my skin and scream bloody murder.

There still are things I wish I could see more clearly. The doctor told me I will need reading glasses once I get the surgery done, so since I don’t have any for now, I can’t read any books. More importantly, I can’t read any Stephen King. And at the moment, even more importantly, I can’t finish the book I started a couple of weeks ago – Needful Things. The suspense is killing me and I can’t read it. The left eye doesn’t help much, because the corner ghost is haunting that side as well. I probably won’t exorcise the motherfucker until I come back from my trip to Germany.

Oh yeah! My trip to Germany! I’m leaving on July 29, spending about four days at Wacken, headbanging myself to metalhead oblivion, then going to Berlin on August 3 and back to Israel on August 7. We have everything set up, the plane tickets, the hotel reservations, the car, the train, the festival tickets. I’m so psyched about it, I can’t even see straight. So much for the cataract! Haha!

Besides that, I’m planning a bunch of things – write letters to my penpals, write a new zine, design a few ads for different things, get a new tattoo, make a bracelet out of the metal plate extracted from my arm – but they’re just plans and I need to make time for them and as long as I don’t get all the medical stuff sorted out, none of these will happen. I’m so sick of it already. I spend more time in the hospital and in clinics than I do at work or at home. I feel utterly lazy, except for when I’m practicing the art of wallowing in my own self pity. I keep daydreaming about the day where my elbow is fully functional, where my eyes are healed, where I get my reading glasses and where normalcy resumes. I’m expecting this to happen sometime around autumn of this year, unless something else befalls me until then. All I have left is hope for the best.

Peace, love and two down one to go

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Germany, Here I Ain’t

I’ve been holding off on talking about it because I don’t like to talk about plans that may or may not happen. But now that I know for sure that it won’t happen, here it is.

I applied for this scholarship program that takes Israeli and Palestinian journalists to Germany to learn German and work in the field for six months. It seemed like a great idea, except for the fact that six months is a longass time to be away from everything I know and everyone I love. But I applied for it anyway because I was looking for a challenge, and also because I didn’t know then what I know now.

Back then, my eyes were still seeing somewhat clearly, and my elbow surgery had not yet been postponed for three times in a row. But now, things have changed and require immediate action, and I can’t be limited by these six months I would have been out of the country.

My elbow is still stuck with this goddamn plate that looks like it will never come out. I am trying to do everything in my power to get a date for a surgery and to not have it postponed yet again. Now that I am not going to be out of the country for six months, I feel much more flexible in that respect.

Also, my cataract is getting worse every time I open my eyes. My right eye is virtually blind. The other day I tested it in front of a computer screen. I closed my left eye and the screen went completely white as if the email that was there a fraction of a second ago just disappeared. The left eye itself, although better than the right, is still showing the early signs of cataract. If I wait any longer to have the surgeries on both eyes, I will be walking into walls in no time. So again, I’m relieved to have the free time to maneuver with my dates and not be limited by the six-month scholarship.

My health issues aside, I am SO relieved I will not have to miss my boyfriend and his big bear arms, my parents and their food and their phone-calls twice a day, my dog and her wet kisses, my house and its coziness, my job and its comfortable predictability, my family and their loud Moroccan craziness, as well as the country I love, and my soul which I am always forced to leave behind whenever I leave its borders. I’m still somewhat upset at not having the chance to take on this challenge, but I think it’s for the best.

Alright. Back to the order of the day.

I am planning ahead, but this time it’s plans that will definitely happen unless something absolutely tragic happens, Goddess forbid. So I can talk about these plans now. I already have a list of things to look forward to and to buy for the next few months. Seeing as I have yet to set dates for the Wacken trip (see more on that below) as well as the cataract and elbow surgeries, this list will only grow longer:

May 13: XScape by Michael Jackson
June 3: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
June 9: War Eternal by Arch Enemy
November 11: Revival by Stephen King

Wacken is coming up this summer, so I will still find myself in Germany, but it will be for about a week or two. I keep checking the Wacken website to see if they finally posted the festival schedule – who will be playing where and when, and if there are any overlaps with the shows that I want to see. I am also super excited to go visit Berlin at some point in that trip and hopefully meet some of my friends there. I was a bit worried on how any of this will play out if I were to be accepted to the program as I will be taking intensive German courses at that time. But nope, not anymore!

I am still studying some introductory German online on Duolingo, and maybe later on, I’ll consider some further courses at the Goethe Institute or something. But that won’t be before I get all my health issues sorted out and until I am absolutely sure I am ready for a challenge.

The Mother Goddess knows best when it comes to such things and if She felt I wasn’t ready for it, then She was probably right. I just pray that She’ll see me through my surgeries, that they’ll come at the right time, that they’ll be successful, and that I’ll fully recover quickly and easily.

Peace, love and more things to look forward to.

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