Powder Power

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Snow.

No. Just no.

I will never understand Israelis. Why do they like white chips of frozen water falling from the sky and break every fucking thing on the ground? Trees breaking, trees falling on cars, on electric poles, busting water pipes, causing power failures, engine failures, schools and businesses being closed…

I get why my dog loves it. She’s half-Husky. Practically a polar panda bear. Snow makes her happy. So happy, it makes her jump for joy. Look how happy she is!

My kid also digs it because building snow-people rules, right?

Well, I hate it. Israelis don’t get it. And those who know me and who know where I come from also don’t get it.

“But you’re CANADIAAAAAN!” They bleat.

Yes, I am Canadian. But it’s because I’ve suffered 15 fucking winters in this desolate snowy wasteland and decided I’ve had enough, that I moved to Israel. To ESCAPE this awful weather. To not have to deal with snow and ice and freezing rain and temperatures cold enough to crystalize ghosts in mid-air.

But lo and behold, the white curse followed me to Jerusalem and I’m buried in ice once again.

I keep seeing pictures of Jerusalemites on my feed. They all look so happy to be playing in the snow, building snow people, playing with their kids and their dogs in the snow, and I’m sitting there on the verge of tears. What’s wrong with people?! Do they have mammoth skin or what?

The after-effect of the storm hit us on Thursday evening when we lost the power in our house and resorted to freezing our asses off because our heaters are all electrical. The waterworks would have eventually broken if my tears weren’t frozen in my tear ducts. I started fantasizing about summer and declared to my husband and my in-laws:

“Fuck this shit. This summer, we are going on a serious hardcore vacation, like Eilat or Tiberias. I don’t care how far away it is and how long it takes to get there. This is where we’re going. And we’ll book a hotel fucking NOW!”

But while summer is not here yet, I couldn’t wait for Friday afternoon when we could escape to the sunny Negev and spend the weekend at my parents’ nice and warm house. And as luck would have it, our car broke down as we made our way there.

“I’ll be damned if the power outage curse didn’t follow us out of Jerusalem too!” I thought, and I hoped that our curse wouldn’t affect my parents’ power.

It didn’t. With my dad’s help, we managed to get to our destination and we enjoyed a nice unfrosty weekend.

[Update about the car: I was eager to get to work this morning so I had to resort to an expensive cab ride at the crack of dawn to make it here on time. But my husband, my kid and my dog are all still stuck in Be’er Sheva, while the car still refuses to work and the mechanics are trying to figure out what’s wrong with it. If you ask me, this car is long overdue for a date with the crusher.]

So all of this was caused as a direct result of the snow storm. I’m so glad that it’s finally melted and the power is back on in my house. I just hope my husband manages to get our gang back home in one piece at some point today. I really want to reclaim our routine. I’m so done with this season. Man, so done with this bitch.

Peace, love and Sun

The Unfuckening

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I recently started seeing this meme circulating around my Facebook feed.

It has happened to me as I’m sure it has happened to everyone else. But then I thought, surely there must also be the exact opposite. As in, when your day is going so fucking bad but then something good finally happens. And that is the UNfuckening.

The unfuckening happened to me today. Ever since last week, I expected this week to be one hell of a fuck of the purest ray serene. Just how much balls this week could suck, that I did not know or expect. I’m in the middle of three consecutive days where my daughter has plans after gan. Any time there is such a day, it pisses me off because this means I can’t nap, I need to pick up my kid early so that I can have enough time to give her a bath (and not wash her hair because it would take too long) before going to whatever activity we have that evening, and then we get home super late, at which point I need to hustle up some dinner like a fiend, hoping that my daughter hoovers it, and that I won’t have too much trouble getting her to brush her teeth, and that she will agree to have just one bedtime story, so I can get her in bed by 20:00.

So yesterday, she had her Grade 1 Prep class. As we were getting ready to leave, my daughter tripped and hit her cheekbone right on the edge of a stair. We still made it on time to the class, but with a wonderful black eye to show for it. Final bedtime: 21:00.

Today, we have an activity at another school we’re considering for her. And like I did yesterday, I’m planning on taking a cab because of the weather (more on that below). But last night, my phone started acting funny. I couldn’t make any outgoing calls or receive any calls either. It would be impossible for me to call for a cab today, and I will have to struggle with the weather or get my husband to leave work early. Prospective final bedtime: 21:30.

Finally, on Wednesday, she is starting a couple of courses. And although my kid is vaccinated, Covid cases are on the rise again, and I’m nervous as fuck about it. Just adding on to the stress. My own prospective final bedtime: fucking never.

On top of all that, the weather is shiiiiiit! And I mean fucking shiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!! Yesterday, it rained like hell, then it hailed, and it was freezing cold with the whipping wind that was strong enough to keep me from walking a straight line. It literally kept pushing my leg back every time I tried to put it in front of the other. The wind is still going strong today and although the rain abated a bit, it’s still impossible to walk. This is why I had to make do with cab rides. I knew that even if I tried to take my kid home by foot as we usually do, she will simply take off with the wind.

I told my husband: “Seriously this week just keeps getting worse. I bet if I had a car, it would have probably broken down by now.”

The unfuckening came in a few levels. First, my mother-in-law said she’ll be home all day (she lives right above us), so if my phone still doesn’t work, I can use hers to call a cab. One problem solved. New prospective bedtime for today: 20:30.

Second, as we left the house, we spotted a rainbow. A full one, from one end to the other. It was the first time my daughter ever saw a real rainbow, and such a perfect one at that. She was so excited about it and I was thrilled for her. This is the one good thing that came out of this supremely shitty weather.

Finally, my phone somehow fixed itself. I called my husband and then he called me back and saw that everything works again. It was weird but unfuckening indeed.

Now, I’m under no illusions. I’m sure there is more trouble in store for me this week, and the next, and the one after that. With Covid looming high and mighty, gan could be closed, classes and courses could be cancelled or postponed, the Lindemann concert might be cancelled too, we might be slapped with yet another season of Holidays in Lockdown, predictions of doom abound… So rainbow or no rainbow, we never got our white dove with the olive branch in its beak. All we have is a fat, ugly crow with the decapitated leg of a roadkilled cat in its beak.

I hope that some kind of rainbow and dove will appear when this Covid storm is over, so we can get back to our regular programming, and resume bitching about things like politics and global warming and the prices of cottage cheese. You know, like we used to do before all this load of true fuckening was dumped on us.

Peace, love and we talk about red countries as if it was the Cold War all over again.

Seasoning

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During times like these, when winter is getting on everybody’s nerves, I decided to take a step back to try and understand why some people in my midst love winter and hate summer. If you’re like me, then you must be a normal human being and simply do not understand how liking winter is even remotely possible.

One of our clients suggested that the reason people like winter is so that they can wear winter clothes. I admit, I like my long metal hoodies which I can wear only during winter. But that is far from being a satisfactory reason for which people like winter.

So if you’re a normal human being, I think we can all agree on the following pros and cons of both summer and winter.

(I will focus on seasons in Israel and more specifically Jerusalem).

Summer pros:

  • You can go to the beach and/or and outdoor pool
  • It takes you nothing of a time to get dressed
  • Blue skies
  • Blooming flowers and trees
  • Green grass
  • You can wear tank tops and shorts to show off your awesome bod
  • No need to turn on the water heater to take a shower, especially if you have a sun dude which kicks everything’s ass
  • Travelling is a breeze
  • Summer breeze in Jerusalem is warm yet constant and keeps you from getting overheated
  • A bunch of kickass summer events, festivals, open air concerts
  • Ice cream and popsicles a-plenty
  • Summer nights are nice and warm (except in Jerusalem where you will need a light jacket)
  • The sun actually exists
  • Rain? What’s that?

Summer cons:

  • Wildfires
  • Sand storms
  • Sunstroke (unless you wear a hat)
  • Dehydration (unless you drink enough water)
  • Melanoma (unless you wear sunscreen)
  • Stinky smelly sweat (which I personally don’t really mind but I’m trying to stay objective and most people don’t like that)
  • No gan, so kids get super bored and parents lose their minds
  • Moving the clock forward so you sleep less

Winter pros:

I listed them a few posts back, but I’ll add a couple more.

  • Krembo season!
  • Sunsets
  • Metal hoodies
  • Moving the clock back so you get to sleep more
  • Drinking soup becomes your life’s purpose
  • Drinking tea becomes your life’s greatest pleasure
  • The Kinneret is happy
  • Snails come out to play

Winter cons:

Oh lord, where do I begin?

  • It’s so cold you get ice forming on your cornea
  • Anything that requires use of hands takes a hell of a lot longer
  • Getting dressed takes for fucking ever
  • Getting your kids dressed is damn near impossible
  • You dread taking a shower because that involves getting naked in a freezing cold bathroom
  • Pneumonia
  • You need to get a flu shot
  • You need to get your kids vaccinated as well
  • You get sick anyway
  • Your kids get sick anyway too
  • The wind is so strong, it makes it impossible to move and makes your kids fly away
  • Floods, endless floods
  • Indoor leaks
  • Electricity bill arrives as an active grenade because you blast every heater known to humans in a futile effort to heat up your house
  • Electricity bill explodes because you turned on the water heater and forgot to shut it off
  • You leave the office when it’s pitch black outside and it’s not even 5 p.m.
  • Your player/smartphone breaks when it comes into contact with the rain because you neglected to put it in a plastic bag
  • You cover everything in plastic bags
  • Everything gets wet anyway
  • You slip, you fall, you break your face, your car won’t start, your car won’t stop and you slam into a tree
  • Rain turns dogshit into diarrhea and smears the streets with it
  • In the event of snow, plowers don’t plow your street because there’s like a grand total of three plowers in all of Jerusalem
  • Power failures a-plenty
  • You can’t decide if you should suffer the cold coming in through the windows of your house, or leaving them closed and suffer the awful smell of dirty socks in your house
  • Your body is dry as fuck, your knuckles crack and bleed, your lips are chapped and they bleed every time you try to smile
  • Your laundry takes forEVER to dry

So there you have it.

If you’re a normal human being, you should be hating winter with every miserable frozen fiber of your being.

Peace, love and drainage

Septemberrr

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Yes, this is a weather rant, and no you don’t need to read this. I just need to vent. If the weather has the right to vent* so hard I feel my face flying off, then so do I.

As you all know, I am a professional winter-hater extraordinaire. If I could make a living off of hating winter, I’d be smoking rolled-up Shekel bills.

But seriously though, winter depresses me. And living in Israel, I sort of got used to winter coming rather late. September is still pretty warm. Last year, it was even warm enough for sleeveless shirts and beach outings. This year, September is showing no mercy. Winter came far too early. The skies are gray, the wind is strong and cold, the sun makes its random cameo appearances, but not for long and it’s back to gray depressing skies.

And so, fighting winter blues must also come early this year. I decided to make a list of things I DO like about winter because (surprise!) there are some.

  1. Krembo:
    At the very fucking top. The number one awesome thing about winter-time, Krembo season! In summer, it’s far too hot, and the thing would be all melted anyway. Chomp!
  2. Hoodies:
    I really love my metal hoodies and I never get a chance to wear them in the summer because, again, it’s way too fucking hot. Also, my boss doesn’t mind it too much if I wear them in the office because I’m cold. Metal t-shirts is a different story.
  3. Sunsets:
    In winter, the shifting angle of the sun and the reflections of the clouds make for beautiful breathtaking sunsets coloring the skies with shades of purple, red, blue and black.
  4. Moving the clock back:
    There are good things and bad things about this. I love sleeping an extra hour. That’s always a plus. But this also means that it gets very dark very soon and it sucks.

That’s basically it. Everything else about winter sucks. fat. hairy. dick.

Peace, love and icy fingers all over my hands.


*French word for wind

Zinester Beats Winter

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I feel pretty damn happy with myself today! A rare occurrence on a day where the sky is so gray, it’s practically black.

Though Tai Chi Thursday didn’t happen because I woke up with excruciating cramps, I decided to finish up on the mini zine I started yesterday about fighting winter blues. Here’s a picture of the finished product. I shot this photo in the office today while our central heating didn’t help me with my icy fingers, and I had to work with my gloves on.

20190117_134140_1

One of the tips I give is to create anything at all. “Creation beats destruction,” I write. And as is pretty obvious by my mood today, creating this zine made me super happy, and winter skies didn’t stand a chance.

This pretty mini is now off to the press and then, on Zine-Making Monday, after I write the final piece for my PMS Perzine, I’ll go to the post office to send a bunch of zines including this one.

Peace, love and victory is mine!

 

 


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War on Winter Mini-Zine

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My activity for today was to create a mini zine. So I spent my day at the office making a mini zine with tips for fighting winter blues because seriously that’s what I’m trying to do and it’s becoming pretty fucking difficult when we have a combination of crazy winds, hail, rain, snow and thunderstorms in the forecast.

Yes, shit.

As my luck would have it, I ran out of glue, so my mini zine is all in pieces which is why I can’t share it with you at the moment. But this is the cover I will be using:

covercollagecopy

It’s a computer collage I made a few years back as the cover for the freedom issue of Af magazine. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to use it for one of my own zines, but yes, I’m using it for my new mini zine.

I think the zine as a whole came out rather nicely. I’m especially proud of myself because instead of using computer graphics and Google Image searches, I drew my own stuff! My lack of talent at drawing was not so bad, if I do say so myself, and my attempt was successful. So hell yay!!

Peace, love and dear winter, prepare to meet your doom!

White-Out the Winter

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Since renewal is pretty much the theme of the new issue of my PMS Perzine, I decided to try a new style of writing and wrote a very short fiction story.

Originally, I wanted the story to be about a 20-something-year-old woman who tries to fight her winter blues by doing one of the things she loved most which is going to her favorite office supplies store and look at the cute journal designs, only to find that the store has closed until further notice.

Which, by the way, is exactly what happened to me today, except I’m a 30-something-year-old-woman, and I have better ways to fight my winter blues. But yes, woe is unto me, my favorite office supplies store is closed until further notice, and I’m upset as fuck. Where do I get my zine ammo now? How do I fight my winter blues?

My short fiction story turned out quite different than what I had intended, but I think it’ll do. It’s about a 30-something-year-old woman trying to fight the winter blues by looking for a best friend.

Which, by the way, also hits pretty close to home. Looking out the window this morning, I saw the first blue sky since last week. It’s been gray and depressing this whole time. So as I was doing my meditation part of Tai Chi Thursday, I thought “If the sky can clear, maybe my future can, too. Maybe I will find a best friend at some point.”

The story also ends on a positive note. I felt it necessary after the “closed until further notice” sign on my favorite store stared me in the face. Just a bit of positivity in a fiction story. At the very least.

Peace, love and your mind is like a boundless sky.

 


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Spring, Summer, Autumn, Corpse

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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.

Snow Blows

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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

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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!