Spring, Summer, Autumn, Corpse

0

I’ve been a winter hater, like, forever. But never like this. This winter is getting on my last nerve and if I don’t get sunshine any time soon, I’m gonna fucking scream.

This past weekend, I was in Be’er Sheva.

And it simply. did not. stop. raining.

You know these people who love rain because it’s awesome to be indoors, in bed, under a big fat winter blanket, with a blasting heater, drinking tea or some shit. The problem with this so-called pleasure that these amoeba-brained winter-lovers seem to forget is that they are not bears and they don’t hibernate. They will not spend their entire winter in bed, under big fat winter blankets being all warm and cozy. Eventually, they will have to get their ass up, get out of their warm winter covers and into heavy winter gear – coat, tuque, gloves, scarf, boots, the works – and out into the wet, coldass, winter wind and frost and suffer every miserable minute of this crappy weather. Your warm cozy ass is nothing more than an illusion. Get your ass out there and face the everyday reality of the chicken leg you keep in your freezer.

After going through a whole weekend of nothing but rain, I got back home, doubled and tripled my layers, blasted every heater known to man and resumed detachment from this frosty reality under my enormous winter blanket.

This morning, when I woke up, I wanted to murder my blanket because it only served to remind me that I am indeed not a bear.

When is it gonna be summer already??? I want the sweltering scorching heat. I want to dress my daughter in shorts and a tank top. Fuck all these layers already! I wanna sleep in my underwear and wake up in a pool of my own sweat. Fuck these ice-cold fingers! I’ve so had it!!!

I honestly do not understand you people who love winter. You might as well love swimming in a pool of diarrhea. It’s all the same to me. The love of winter simply sabotages my common sense.

Peace, love, cold and stiff.

Advertisements

Snow Blows

0

Diamond in the SnowAnother weather rant. But seeing as I survived this past weekend, I pretty damn well earned it.

Israel is not the place I expected to be snowed in. And although the temperatures were not entirely reminiscent of my years in Montreal, where they reached the lowest of the low, -20, -30, even -40, they were cold enough to make me utterly miserable.

The snow started falling on Thursday morning. I received an SMS from my boss informing me that the office will be closed and to enjoy the long weekend. From my perspective, the long weekend was already ruined due to the snow. My boyfriend came back from work early even after being stuck in traffic for three hours. He was also one of the lucky ones as many people were stranded mostly at the entrance to Jerusalem. Some even abandoned their vehicles and either walked or hitched a ride to a temporary shelter and out of the cold.

We had warm soup, doubled our pajama layers and blasted both the wall heater and the one with the spiral beams. My boyfriend went back to sleep for a ridiculous four hours while I read a book. At around 17:00, I got dressed (this took me about 20 minutes considering the extra layers) and took Diamond out for her evening walk.

Diamond happily trotted by my side, every once in a while slipping into a pile of snow. As I zigzagged my way across the unplowed sidewalk, and seeing Diamond getting covered in snow which kept on falling endlessly, I looked up at the sky through the sliver between the hem of my tuque and the thick wool scarf which covered half of my face. I flashed back to the time in Montreal when I would take out my dog, Buxy, during the coldest nights of the year. He hated the snow just as much as I did since his feet were webbed and the snow would accumulate between his toes and turn to ice. He would then proceed to limp the rest of the way back home. That was until we bought him socks, which he also hated.

I remember the Montreal nights being bright since the snow and the clouds reflected back all the street lights and lit up the night as if it was day. One of the things I love about Israel is that most of the year, there are no clouds and there is no snow. None of the lights are reflected and the nights are as dark as it is within the confines of my inner child’s shelter room. The moon and the stars are clearly visible on the background of a pitch black sky. There was no such thing in Canada.

So flashing back to my years in Montreal, while I was still walking the streets of Jerusalem, was surreal. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was just surreal.

When we got home, my boyfriend was just beginning to wake up. I took a steaming hot shower and got back into my double layered PJs, carrying my hotwater bottle around like a teddy bear. Outside my living room window, the snowflakes fell in clumps and completely blurred out the wadi and the parallel street overlooking our backyard. The wind made the night even more dreadful. The electric company employees and technicians were all on overdrive as thousands of citizens were left in the dark, as the cool air seeped into the houses through the poorly insulated walls.

We were of the lucky few who had a short power failure in the early evening hours on Friday, which lasted no more than 10 minutes. But others weren’t so lucky. Some had power failures that lasted up to 24 hours, sometimes longer. It was reported that 30,000 retirement homes were left with no electricity. One can only hope they had gas heaters or at least a few generators to keep the elderly and the bedridden from freezing to death.

We stayed indoors the entire weekend. Going out anywhere was impossible. No plowers passed on our small street. We couldn’t even go grocery shopping and we still have no food at home (luckily, my boyfriend’s parents live right upstairs from us and they had plenty of food). We were forced to keep walking Diamond in piles of snow, wearing about four to five layers of clothes, two layers of socks covered in plastic bags to keep our feet dry in case water seeps into our boots, and it did.

Diamond’s Husky side became more evident as the snow levels grew. She kept begging us to take her out again and again, to play in the snow in the backyard. I was worried to leave her outside on her own. Husky or not, she’s still Israeli and not used to such weather.

Now it’s Sunday. The snow started melting a little last night but most businesses and government offices are still closed. There is no public transportation and taxis are the only ones profiting from that. By some miracle, I managed to make it to work today. I was hoping to finally get one of Hasalatia’s awesome soups, which have eluded me since last week due to bad timing. But of course, they too were closed. I have yet to figure out how to make it back home and how to take out Diamond for a walk through the streets, which have now become all icy and slippery.

Now all my Canadian and North US friends will probably tell me to suck it up – that at least I don’t have to suffer through five months of that white shit, that the temperatures never get lower than -5, that the worst that could ever happen in Israel right now is buckets of rain. Well, no. I won’t suck it up. Israel is a country which is built and organized according to hot weather. There is no insulation because there is no need for it. The plowers can’t plow everywhere, and there aren’t enough of them because there is no need for them most of the time. There is no readily available street salt also because there is no need for it either, and there hasn’t been any need for it for dozens of years. So no, Israel was not ready for a snowpocalypse. Despite my prior flashbacks, this still isn’t Montreal. At least, a city like Montreal is always ready for the absolute worst because it’s bound to happen. So being completely unprepared, snow in Jerusalem is pure hell and I still hate snow with every fiber of my being.

Peace, love and have we paid our dues? Good, now let’s see some sunshine!

Daughter of Thunder

0

I woke up to a cold and dreary morning. Gray skies, non-stop rain, winds blowing through the edges of the door and windows, making a loud and annoying whistling sound to scare the wits out of the dead.

Every year, I dread this time and pray that it will stop raining around me and instead rain only where it’s really needed (like in the Kinneret or on crops or whatever…)

I never deluded myself thinking I’m a typical Israeli or anything. I moved to Israel still not liking falafel, hummus, tehini or schwarma. And I never liked the cold. I never liked rain. I’ve liked snow only when I’ve never seen it, and once I did, I hated it every single time it reared its ugly white flaky head. I love heat. I love sweating. I try my best to stay as warm as possible. Rarely do I ever turn on the AC during the summer. And the heater is always on during winter. In winter, I never wear less than two layers of socks, two layers of pants, four layers of shirts, plus a sweater and a winter coat, with all the rest of my winter gear. And of course, I go on a healthy diet of teas and soups.

But besides all that, if there is one thing that can help me survive this horrible time of the year, it’s music. Music is my savior. The sky can be as gray as a corpse and the rain can be pounding down like hammers on an anvil, and none of it matters as long as my eardrums are vibrating to the sounds of my iPod. My inner child completely tunes out to the terrifying reality of winter, and imagines she’s in a huge crowd, watching the respective band or artist onstage. No matter how unrealistic or how impossible it may be. Jim Morrison may be dead, but she sees him live onstage. Same goes for Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, Mia Zapata, all of them come to life in her world, and they all fill it with sunshine, blue skies, blooming flowers, and steaming hot temperatures.

Hoodie 2

And since my iPod is one of the only things keeping me from spiraling down into utter depression, I need to keep it safe as well. So before going out, I put my player in its pouch, put it in a plastic bag, wrap it up tight, put it in my backpack and cover it with other objects to keep it dry. I take it out only once I’m on the bus and go on to drown in my fantasy world of endless live shows.

Speaking of live shows, some of those aren’t so far fetched. Eluveitie, Arafel, Funset, Habanot Nechama, Aviv Geffen, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Rob Zombie, HaShlooliyot, and others have all been realities. Arch Enemy and King Diamond have also been realities and will be once more in August at Wacken. Amon Amarth will eventually become a reality also at Wacken. Amon Amarth is so cool. I’m still psyched over the hoodie I got. It’s currently my favorite item of clothing, and it also helps to keep me warm. Wrapped in the arms of wholesome, heart-warming viking metal, both in fabric and auditory form.

Ah, that’s the life!

Peace, love and swing that hammer Thor!

Winter Guits

0

Winter is here. I can feel it. The light is gone. The nights are getting colder. And so am I.

Yesterday, I woke up with an inexplicable sense of complete and total emptiness and all-encompassing apathy. I walked through my routine, wondering why am I doing any of it. There was no sense in anything. I felt old and tired the entire day.

Usually, when I feel this way, there is a pretty damn good reason. But this time I couldn’t find it. When I consulted with the inner child, she was as clueless as I was.

“Is it this?” No. “Is it that?” No. “Then what is it?” Silence.

By the evening, I was near tears, but since there was still no reason, the tears wouldn’t come.

I took out Diamond for her evening walk. And just as I was heading back home, it hit me like a brick to my face.

It’s winter. I’m under-exposed to sunlight as it is already pitch black when I go back home from work. It’s getting dark, gray, cold and rainy. Even my hoodie fails to heat me up. And the weather will only be getting worse.

I forgot how much the weather affects me and I am reminded again and again, every year, of how much I hate the cold.

The tears came again, but I was too cold to cry. So my boyfriend hugged me for a while.

“It’s not that cold,” he said, then quickly retracted the statement when he felt my hands which had turned to ice.

“It’s gonna get colder, you know?” He said.

“That doesn’t exactly comfort me,” I rebutted with a frown.

“There’s nothing you can do about it,” He said. Yet another unnecessary statement.

“I KNOW! That’s what makes me feel so miserable,” I said with mounting frustration.

My boyfriend can’t possibly understand. He is not as sensitive to the cold as I am. And it’s not even the physical effect of winter and dropping temperatures that affect me. For me, it’s a psychological blow. The lack of light, the lack of heat, the lack of a dry midday breeze, subsequent lack of inspiration – it’s all so depressing and emotionally draining.

“I’m not the only one, you know?” I told my boyfriend. “My therapist told me that some people do suffer from seasonal depression due to lack of sunlight. Some have it so bad that they go as far as having some sort of artificial sunlight lamp installed in their house, and they lie under it for a couple of hours, every day, throughout winter. Otherwise, their depression just consumes them.”

For me, it’s not just that. The cold doesn’t only make me feel cold, but it also makes my myotonia worse than it already is. Now, my hands get paralyzed not only when I strain them, but with even the slightest movement. If I rummage around my purse for my keys, my fingers curl up and refuse to open. So even if I do manage to find my keys under the piles of garbage I keep in my purse, I can’t fish them out, because my hand won’t respond. The weather has made my fingers ice cold and insufferably stubborn.

“You just have to find things to do that make you happy,” my boyfriend suggested.

“Playing guitar,” I responded. “Playing guitar makes me very happy.”

The problem is that my fingers need to cooperate if I’m to bang out some tunes. So far, the temperature indoors is still somewhat ok. So last night, my boyfriend and I hit a couple of bowls, hoovered a large pizza, and rehearsed some songs.

However, it will no doubt get colder and the lack of insulation in our apartment will require some powerful heating system if I am planning on playing some more. And I am.

 Peace, love and frost

Open Letter to Winter

2

Dear Winter,

Thank you for making an appearance this year. There are a lot of people in Israel who like you and enjoy your presence.

Personally, I’m happy that you’re here because it makes me appreciate summer a lot more. I also like the sunsets you bring with you because the angle of the sun shifts and the clouds change colors and give a beautiful nuance to the dusk skies of Jerusalem.

I also appreciate the temperatures to a certain degree because depanneurs can resume selling Krembo without it melting.

Also, I enjoy my bedroom, and being wrapped in the heat of my warm bedsheets, my heater and my boyfriend’s body, which is a pleasure I can only get when you’re around.

However, I escaped you in Canada when I moved to the Middle East, hoping I would find a nicer version of you, a warmer version. But you’re still just as cold as I remember you. And this time, not only do you freeze the exposed parts of my body, but somehow you manage to penetrate me all the way down to my bone marrow. It’s times like these I think the Canadian -40 doesn’t hold a candle to the Jerusalemite 7. Please try to make a little more sense next time you come around, because 7 degrees is supposed to feel warmer than -40. MUCH warmer.

Another thing, please try to distribute the rain clouds in a more useful manner. We need rain in Israel. We need it in the fields, so that we may have awesome fruits and vegetables. We need it in the Kinneret, as it’s our only source of drinking water. But when you stick a rain cloud in the middle of Central Jerusalem or on Arlozorov street in Tel Aviv, this water serves absolutely no purpose, and all of it is drained down to the sewer. Please be smarter next time you come around because watering the pavement and cars and busses yields no benefits.

Finally, for the love of all that is mortal, please let up on the wind. Why do you have to be so cruel? Is it really that hard for you to see us suffer in the cold and the rain without slapping us in the face with such powerful gusts of wind that even our umbrellas can’t withstand?

I eagerly look forward to your favorable response in the form of a surprise heat wave, topped with clear skies and sunshine.

Peace, love and send my regards to Summer.

Signed frozen and blue.