Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Things don't look too great with the new student association. About a week and a half ago I attended a meeting with the people heading the whole thing, and all they did was yell at each other. I feel a bit deceived, since it seems part of what I was told (which I later told people at the stands, believing it was true) was false. Even if we get more than half the students to sign up, we still have no guarantee that we'll replace the current association.

Last week there were elections to the student council of the current association. Because of rules put in by the old council, the new council won't have much power to change anything. People have to be in the council or in another high position in the association's executive branch at least six months to be eligible to be elected chairperson or department head - so even though the new council elects the new execuitves, they won't have anybody new to choose from. It's like saying that the new government after a parliamentary election must be from the outgoing coalition!

Anyway, I still hope that somehow either the new council will be able to make changes from within, or the new association from without. I know four people who were elected to the new council - three of them are good people (the guy I voted for from my department, a friend of mine and one guy who is also active in the alternative association) and I don't like the fourth one very much, but it doesn't mean he's corrupt, though I'm not sure how much he'll work hard to better the system.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Wow, it's been a month since I last posted. I'll make it up by posting a long entry this time:

It's been a busy week. I don't think I've written anything here about our university's student association being corrupt, and that a new one was created. Anyway, a few days ago the president of the university met with the heads of the new association and told them that if more than half the students join them, they'll become the official student association. So on Wednesday they started a campaign to sign up people - they set up stands in the university's entrances and in the Student Center. I volunteered to be in the stands twice - Thursday and Sunday. You know those irritating people that stand at all kinds of places and try to get passersby to sign up for something? Well, that was me two days ago, and will be me again tomorrow. We stood at an entrance from 2 PM to 4:30 and signed up about 300 people. That's quite a remarkable number considering the fact that at that hour on Thursdays people are hurrying to get home (since there are no classes on Fridays).

On Wednesday I was at a friend's birthday party (the same friend I said I'm interested in but I now don't think I have much of a chance with her). A day before the party she and her roommate went door to door in her building so people will know about the party and won't complain about the noise. Half an hour before the guests were supposed to arrive, two of her neighbors, an 80-year old Russian couple, showed up with a cake and 100 shekels as a present. They had misunderstood and thought that they were invited to the party. They don't speak any Hebrew. Lucky for the birthday girl, another friend of ours was there to help her set things up and she knows Russian, so she talked to them. But they felt awkward - they didn't want to insult them and tell them to leave. The Russians ended up staying an hour. When I arrived I thought they were my friend's grandparents or something, though I found it odd that they were there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Well, I told Naomi what's bothering me - the fact that I feel like she asks me for favors way too much. I mean, some favors are okay, but she asks for the irritating type (see Nov 2 post). So she said she's sorry I feel that way, and I hope she'll be less of a pest now. She sounded a bit insulted but I think she knows I'm right. If she decides she doesn't want to be good friends like before that's fine with me. If she still wants to be good friends without the nagging part that's okay too (though I doubt the nagging will end here).

There's this other friend of mine I'm interested in, but I have a feeling it might take a while till this goes anywhere, since she's not a very close friend and I don't have too many chances to be just with her. But I'm not all determined about her - if someone else comes along the way that would be good too (not that I'm a Don Juan).

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Yesterday I attended a family gathering at my uncle's house. The occasion was the birth of his two granddaughters a few weeks ago (each from a different daughter). It was a nice party, though my weird step-cousin urged me to get a girlfriend and knock her up, which was pretty odd. Another cousin and I were talking to her and she said her husband claims she isn't "active enough on the way to getting pregnant" - and I said "stop! I don't want to hear this!" She thought I was shy about sex, but that wasn't it at all, and my other cousin found it funny because he understood what I was talking about - my step-cousin and her husband are big fat slobs. But instead of insulting her I preferred to just let her think I'm a puritan.

The babies are beautiful. Another cousin of mine brought his 4-month old son, who looks like he's on steroids and reminded me a bit of Jay Leno. At least he has beautiful blue eyes.

Naomi continues to be a pest. Today she wanted me to go get her key duplicated because her roommate doesn't have a key and he has to go somewhere so she gave him her key. He said he'd leave it with the neighbors but she wanted me to duplicate it so they'd both have a key. I said no. It's something either she or her roommate should do, not me. And now she called me because the neighbors who have the key aren't home and she asked me what to do - I just said wait a bit more. They'll probably show up sometime. I'm not responsible for her not being organized.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

How can a person break up with someone who isn't his girlfriend? I'm fed up with Naomi - I've discovered she's a bigot (she hates Arabs and doesn't think much better about Sehpardic Jews) and she nags. She treats me like a boyfriend-replacement, getting annoyed when I go somewhere with other friends and without her. I need to get her a bit off my back. I can't wait for either me to get a real girlfriend or for her to get a boyfriend.

Thank god I didn't go to Italy with her - I'm sure she'd drive me crazy!

Sunday, October 26, 2003

School started with a weird strike. The national student union, headed by my university's former head of the student association, declared a strike in all universities and colleges, except for Tel-Aviv University and a few small area colleges. My university was officially one of those where the students were striking, but a group of "dissidents" (a rival student organization that opposes the current student association as well as the national student union, because of a long story that goes all the way to a Knesset member who used to be chairwoman of both our university's and the national student organizations), a few hundred out of all the 16,700 students, according to the media, broke the strike and went to classes. Some classes took place as scheduled, some were conducted just partially and some were cancelled.

Anyway, I didn't go to the university. I was supposed to have two classes today - in one only a quarter of the students came so there was only half a lesson that was mostly just an introduction, and one was completely cancelled.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

I made a cake today for no special reason. I just felt like eating something tastey and unusual. So I made a chocolate mousse cake. I had almost made an ice-cream cake but decided against it.

Succot will be over soon, and we'll have to take down the Sukka we built. It came out nice with all kinds of leaves from the garden instead of just palm tree leaves (the tree is too high now). Maybe I'll paint the metal frame of the Sukka for next year. I don't really feel like doing that.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

My nephew had his first haircut yesterday. My sister had already cut his hair a few times, but this was his first trip to the barber. He wanted me to come see him getting the haircut, but he was scared of it. At first he was hysterical, then we explained to him that it's just like his mother does, but better. My sister was worried that he'd become hysterical if they'd sprinkle his hair to make it wet, so she wet his hair from the sink herself. So he sat on her lap, but kept asking if it's over and making sure the barber won't use the hair dryer, which scares him. He seemed nervous even after it was over. It was pretty traumatic, but hopefully next time will be better.

Normal kids are also nervous the first time their hair is cut, but I think they get over it after the deed is done. But for an autistic kid like my nephew, even as advanced as he is, the fact that a stranger cuts his hair in a room full of other strangers is very scary, and it's a trauma for them. But once it becomes routine, maybe he won't have a problem with it.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

It's the middle of the night and I can't sleep. I don't know why. I really need this vacation to end, since I'm getting too bored. I have too much time on my hands and I'm thinking too much about Rachel (I guess I have a tendency to get hung up on women). I haven't heard from her in a while, but that's okay, since she doesn't check her e-mail very frequently.

I've been thinking of starting to read Amos Oz's "A Story of Love and Darkness", which is kind of his autobigraphy, but it's very long. I've also thought of continuing to read The Lord of the Rings, which I started a few years ago but found it too boring (too many goddamn scenery descriptions). All I've been doing is surfing the internet.

I put up a picture of myself at hotornot.com and I didn't get such a high score so I just got pissed and deleted myself from there. People are idiots. I know I look good and I don't need strangers to rate me.

Pure boredom...

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Well, it's Yom Kippur now. I'm not fasting.

Ever since I realized Rachel was flirting with me I can't get her out of my mind. It's weird. Was she just doing it for fun, or is she to some extent in love with me (after all, she did tell my sister at one point that I'm a wonderful person - sounds like admiration). And she ends every e-mail to me with "I miss you guys", something she does not write to my sister. She could be adding the "guys" to seem less obvious. Who knows. Whatever it is, I'm not interested in her. At least, I shouldn't be. I know so many reasons not to be. I guess it's my penis taking over my brain or something.

At least there's no way I'll see her before the summer, so things won't go the wrong way because of my current confusion. School starts on October 26 - hopefully I'll just find a normal girlfriend around my own age, who lives in the same country as me and has no children...

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Today I realized one of the reasons why I had such a good time in Italy, after my sister told me she just realized what bothered her about the trip - she said Rachel kept flirting with me constantly. I guess I noticed it, but I wasn't sure she really was flirting. But I did know, deep down, that it was indeed flirting.

A whole week with a very attractive woman hitting on me. Not bad at all. Very good for my ego. Who knows what would have happened if my sister wasn't with us. But I'm glad she was, since getting involved with Rachel - a single mother who lives on the other side of the ocean, and who is five years older than me - isn't such a good idea. I am a man after all, and I'd certainly be tempted to think with my penis rather than with my brain, if such an opportunity would have occured. And she's too good a friend, and from too religious a background, for a one-night stand with her.

I gotta admit though, my sister made my day when she said Rachel was flirting...

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Yesterday we retruned from Italy. It was a great trip - we were in Milan, Como, Venice, Verona Bolzano and the Dolomites, as well as an excursion into Innsbruck in Austria.

The first day we arrived at Milan's airport and went straight to Como, without going to Milan itself. We walked around the town. The next day we picked up Rachel, our American friend, from the airport and then took ferries to Tremezzo and Belaggio in Lake Como - it was beautiful. The next day we went to Venice and spent two days there. It was great there. My sister stepped on a pigeon by mistake (the pigeon is fine) in Piazza San Marco and we kept ducking when the pigeons flew close to our heads. They were fascinating and disgusting at the same time. On the fifth day we spent 3 hours in Verona (very nice) on the way to Bolzano in the Dolomites. The dolomites were beautiful - that was the best part of the trip. On the sixth day we decided on a whim to take a 2 hour train ride to Innsbruck - it was worth it just for the great scenery. On the last full day we went to Milan and stayed at a hotel near the airport.

We had a great time wherever we went - only in Milan and Innsbruck it was a bit unpleasant. In Milan the subway looked disgusting and a little kid looked at my sister's pockets, ready to pick them, but then noticed Rachel was looking at him so he went away. In Innsbruck we saw two teenagers wearing army boots, black clothes and shaved heads. In Italy when we were asked where we were from we said that my sister and I are from Israel and Rachel is from the States, but in Austria we said all three of us were Americans. Somehow all three of us felt uncomfortable there.

This was a great trip, even better than my last trip to the States, but somehow I wasn't sorry to come home this time. It was exactly the right amount of time.

Friday, September 05, 2003

My flight to Milan is tomorrow morning. I leave for the airport tonight. How exciting! Our American friend will join us on Sunday.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

A few days ago we saw a report from "60 Minutes", broadcast on Israeli Channel 1's "Roim Olam", about a 14 year old autistic teenager named Tito, who despite the fact that he cannot talk well, he can communicate beautifully through writing. His mother devoted her life to him and made him capable of amazing things. He writes about what it's like to be autistic. After we saw the report we downloaded some of his writings from the Cure Autism Now Foundation and my father read it aloud to us while we sat in the living room. It was like poetry - Shakesperean poetry. His writing abilities are much better than the average person, and he writes about the feelings and thoughts he had - a window into the world of autistic people. He wrote a book and my sister ordered it.

This can help us understand my nephew and understand how to teach him things that autistic children can't do easily. Seeing Tito on TV and reading his writings makes me feel very positive about my nephew's future. I think he'll be even better than Tito, because he speaks fluently. His autistic ticks are much less frequent than they used to be, and from what I saw on TV, his hand ticks are much more subtle than Tito's. I don't think he'll be cured from autism - he'll always be autistic, but he'll be able to function on his own and be happy, and that's what is important.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

I got my last grade for the year today - a 91 on the "Law and ethics in the media" course. So far, I have an 86.1 average, which is excellent. Even an 86.7 average just in the political science courses.

One week and two days left till my trip to Italy. How exciting!

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

I saw Naomi yesterday. She looked sad, but seemed better than when we spoke on the phone. Now I know that her father is the person who is sick (I don't understand why it took her so long to tell me that), he's in a coma, and the odds are against him. She was happy to see me.

Before my trip to the US we decided that, since our birthdays are one week apart, she'll buy me a present here, and I'll buy her a present in the States, which will be both a birthday gift and a memento from the States. I got her a teddy bear with "I love NY" on it. I gave it to her yesterday, along with a self-produced postcard (a picture of me in the States, which was taken with a digital camera and printed, and I left white space next to it and wrote that this was instead of a real postcard). She really liked both the teddy bear and the postcard.

I also told her about the fact that I'm going to Italy with my sister and our American friend. She didn't seem to mind. When she heard the friend was getting a divorce she got a bit scared and said that she hopes her husband isn't a madman who will think there's something going on between us and will kill me or something. It was actually amusing the way she worried.

Monday, August 25, 2003

I got a call from Naomi today. Now I know a lot more. She still didn't tell me what relative this is, she just said it was a close relative, from the nuclear family. She said she doesn't want to tell me who it is exactly, because it's too hard. This person had a simple operation half a year ago, and got an infection as a result. The doctors did not notice this and even when it was discovered, they underestimated the danger. Now he/she is unconcious and it seems that it is near the end.

She doesn't want me to tell any of our friends. So I'm writing this only here, where nobody can identify who I am or who she is.

I didn't tell her about going to Italy with my sister and American friend. It didn't seem appropriate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

It's pretty much official. I haven't heard anything from Naomi, and not for lack of trying. I assume our trip is off. I was a bit upset that I wasn't going to Italy, but then my sister offered that I come with her and our American friend (the one I went to the movies with) to Europe. We finally decided on a location after changing plans and cities a million times. We're going to Milane. So it turns out I'm going to Italy anyway.

Two terrible terrorist attacks today in the middle east, about 20 dead in each - the UN headquarters in Baghdad and a bus in Jerusalem. I don't know what the Israeli government is going to do. The Hudna is a sham. A cease-fire without the Palestinian authority fighting terror is nothing more than a temporary break in the fighting, not more. My first reaction after something like this is always to think the army should go in and blast the terrorists to hell, but it isn't that easy. I think we should respond, but in some kind of measured way.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Naomi sent me an SMS saying the situation is very bad and that she'll call me when she can. I hope she'll tell me more soon. I'm totally in the dark here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

I returned from the States last week. I had a great time. I must admit I'm sorry to be back. This year I had 5 birthday parties - one at home with my sisters before I left and then when I was at my relatives' house in New England they invited a different set of people each day and surprised me every day with a birthday cake - one day before, on, and one day after my birthday. Then about a week later, other friends of ours heard that it had just been my birthday so they also got me a birthday cake.

We did some site-seeing but we mostly saw friends and family. I attended my cousin's wedding - American weddings are very different from Israeli weddings, since we don't have the best man, bridesmaids and flower girl and all that. And we're much less official. It was my first time wearing a tie since kindergarten. I had a great time, danced a lot with two second cousins that I never met before. The two of them and one of their boyfriends might come to Israel sometime soon with the Birthright program, to tour, so I'll be their guide for my area.

My self-esteem and self-confidence rose during this trip. Everybody seemed to like me and be impressed by me. As a result, I came to the conclusion that I'm not interested in Naomi. I shouldn't chase around someone who isn't interested in me, and I'm not even sure we're a good match. I'm sure I can find a girl, which in a relationship with her we'll both feel lucky to be together. That doesn't mean I don't want to go to Italy with Naomi. We'll go, but just as friends, and neither of us will want any more than that.

In my trip in the US I went to a movie with a friend of mine. She's five years older, a mother of a 2-year old and now getting a divorce. We went just as friends, but I was attracted to her like crazy. She's smart, she's beautiful (looks much better than Naomi) and most important, she's a nice person. But she didn't know I'm attracted to her, and I didn't try anything. I'm too young to get involved with a woman who has a kid, besides the fact that she lives in the US and I live in Israel. Our families have been friends for decades, and we spent a few days with them. So I talked to her a lot, just because it was nice talking to her, and played with her kid a lot, just because I like playing with kids and he's a cute baby. She later e-mailed my sister writing I'm a great person. I'm happy to hear that she thinks so, though it doesn't mean she's interested in me. I'm not interested in her, either, just attracted to her.

And back to Naomi again - yes, I've come to the conclusion I'm not interested in her, but I'm still concerned about her. Yesterday she finally gave me a little tidbit about her problem - she said she spends most of her days at the hospital because of one of her relatives. She didn't say any more - not which relative, and not what diseas. Yesterday evening I called her and she couldn't talk, today I sent her an SMS message and called her once, and she didn't answer. I'm worried that something might have happened to the relative.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

I talked to Naomi today. Now I understand she just wants to have a good time with a good friend in Italy. She doesn't want me as anything more than that, and although she wants to go where the locals go, she isn't going to go off with some Italian guy and leave me alone. She said we'll get one room with two beds. At least I know what she wants. If I go to Italy with her as a friend and without any expectations to become anything beyond that I can enjoy myself and not be disappointed.

Tonight I'm leaving for the airport and tomorrow I'll reach the States. I probably won't write blog entries from there, since I doubt I'll have enough privacy near a computer. So I assume my next entry will be in August.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Things did not go as planned. Naomi had a test today so she called me from the university and told me to come see her. By the time I came she was with 3 other friends. We all went to a restaurant together and we didn't have any privacy, and we couldn't talk about the trip to Italy, because she doesn't want our friends to know about it. Later, she called me and I told her I had a good time, but I was sorry we didn't have time alone. She sounded surprised. I said, "You know, good friends can want to be alone too." So she said "Yes, but it sounds more like a boyfriend and girlfriend." Then she added "Or two people who are going abroad together." That confused me. But I couldn't talk to her more about it, because I was watching my nephew, and at that point she also heard him in the background so she said she'll let me watch him and that we'll talk later.

While I was still watching my nephew I sent her an SMS saying I hope I didn't startle her by saying that I wanted the two of us to be alone. She replied by saying that it was totally okay, because we already discussed this a while back. I assume she meant the time she told me she doesn't date classmates (see June 6). I SMS'd back that she just sounded surprised, and that's why I wrote that last message. I didn't get a reply to that. I later wrote her another SMS, kind of an ice-breaker, about my nephew wanting to put lipstick on me (on my hand, so my hand would kiss some piece of paper). I still haven't talked to her since.

I'll call her tomorrow. I think we better discuss what she wants to do in Italy. Today she said she wants us to meet guys and girls in Italy, and "worst case scenario we'll have each other" (and no - not that kind of have, the word she used in Hebrew doesn't have that meaning). So I said "that's the worst case scenario?" And she said "Well, not the worst, somwhere in the middle." So this doesn't sound promising. I think I've jumped the gun on this one again. The same mistake twice with the same girl - how stupid of me.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

The food I made yesterday was supposed to last for today too - that's why I made three different dishes for just four adults and one little kid. However, my sister and I discovered this morning that there was a short circuit in the kitchen and the refrigerator didn't work all night. So now the chicken dishes I made are probably all bad, so we have a problem with what we'll eat today. We'll have to make something else, but we don't have any ingredients, and finding an open store in Israel on Saturdays isn't easy.

Just remind me next time to go to the switchboard if there's no light in the fridge...

Friday, July 18, 2003

The food came out great. I made three things:
  1. Chicken in soy, ketchup and honey sauce (came out best).
  2. Chicken in Coca-Cola (came out very good, though since I used some soup powder it tasted a bit like chicken soup).
  3. Baked potatoes with rosemary (also came out very good).

I like the whole chef idea. I think I'll do this again, not only when my parents are out of town.

I talked to Naomi today. It's her birthday, and mine is next week, so I suggested we go out to celebrate our birthdays together next week. She said yes, as long as she doesn't have to stay at home. So that will be my chance to check what she expects from our trip to Italy, and whether we're going just as friends or as more than that.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

PS: I've decided what to make tomorrow for my sisters, brother-in-law and nephew. Chicken in soy and honey and baked potatoes. Wish me luck.
Today there was a surprising twist in the Naomi plot. She called me and said that because of her birthday and because of all of what she did to help her family with their problem (which isn't over and isn't getting better, and I don't even know what it is yet), her parents are giving her a trip to Italy as a present. She asked me if I want to come with her, just the two of us. She said that we trust each other, so that's why she wants to go with me.

So now I'm confused. Are we going as platonic friends or as something more? I need to make that clear next time I see her.

She joked about each of us finding an Italian there. Then she said, "actually you already have an Italian" - since she's half Italian I assume she referred to herself. She also joked about me bringing her a cute American from my trip to the States. Maybe I should have said "you already have an American", since I'm half American myself.

She wants to go in September. We haven't talked about details yet. I'm curious how many bedrooms she'll want... Next week I'll make sure to meet her before I leave for the States. If I don't get things clear about where our relationship stands it'll drive me crazy during my trip.

Besides, it won't hurt to be able to say to my American friends and family, "after this trip, I'm going to Italy with my girlfriend".

Monday, July 14, 2003

I had my last test today and I think it went well. Tomorrow, a home-test will be published on the Internet, and I have to turn it in within two weeks. Because of my flight, I'll have to turn it in earlier.

I haven't seen Naomi yet. She's still at home because of her problem. I hope she'll come soon. Maybe she'll tell me what's wrong when she sees me. I'm very confused. We talk every day a few times, we both call each other a lot. She keeps telling me that she likes it when we talk, because it makes her feel better. I'm not sure if she means it as a platonic friend or as something more. I've been wrong about this with her before, so I don't know what to think now.

I just saw Bibi Netanyahu on TV. I feel like puking whenever I see him, no matter what he's talking about.

Tomorrow I'll watch my nephew for two and a half hours while my sister goes to the university to do her research. The ABA kindergarten works only 3 days a week, so she usually needs help the other days.

By the way, next weekend I'll be the cook. I haven't decided what to make yet.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Good news. I got 85 and 93 in the the second and third tests. Those are excellent grades. Today I had a test that everybody said was unfair - it was multiple-choice, with questions about all kinds of petty points. I hope it will turn out okay, since the make-up test is just hours before I have to leave for the airport. Hopefully, it'll be fine. I gotta be optimistic.

I'm worried about Naomi. It seems she has some problems at home. I don't know what it is, she isn't willing to tell me at this point. She has to stay at home to take care of something. I have a feeling it's something really bad, maybe a terminally ill family member or something like that. She is very pessimistic and sounds a bit depressed. She says talking to me on the phone makes her feel better. Maybe she'll trust me enough sometime to tell me what's going on.

It's sad that those two 29-year-old Iranian siamese twins died after the operation to seperate them.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

My mother travelled to the States yesterday. My father will join her on Thursday - then I'll have the house totally to myself for two weeks till I myself leave for the US. Of course, I'm sure my sister Shira will come with my nephew a lot, and my other sister Yael, who studies in Jerusalem, will be here on the weekends.

This would be a great time to have a girlfriend, with the house being empty and all at my disposal for two weeks. But I don't have a girlfriend. So bummer.

No new grades yet, by the way.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

It's July, my favorite month of the year. For one thing, it's the beginning of summer, and near the end of it awaits my birthday. This year I'll be in the United States on my b-day. It should be quite an experience (though I've already had a few birthdays there).

I was at my cousin's son's briss today. I came in before the rest of my family and the first thing my aunt did was volunteer me to be the video-cameraman. So I filmed the guests coming in, but I didn't film the briss ceremony itself (who'd want to watch that again?). I ended up filming a total of six minutes only, but hey, I was nice enough to stand there with the camera. People who don't know me might have thought I was a hired cameraman.

I forgot to write this in the blog before - I had a nest on the ledge of my window, and a pigeon layed two eggs there. They've been there for about a week. This morning I saw that one egg was missing, then a few hours later the second egg was missing too, but there were no chicks. I went to the back yard to see if the eggs fell there and there's no trace of them. So this is a mystery - no broken eggs downstairs, no eggs at all, and no chicks. And the pigeon stopped coming. All that is left is an irritating ugly nest.

Monday, June 30, 2003

Good news! I got the results of the first test, the one I thought I screwed up, and I got a 75 in the test itself and an 81 as the course's final grade. That's excellent, considering the fact that I didn't finish one of the four questions in the test. All the other tests went well, and although I don't have their grades yet I think they'll all be higher than this one. I need as good an average as possible to get into a masters (graduate) program. This is only my first year of three, but every grade counts.

Yesterday's test went well. The first question was excellent, and the second one was so-so, but the professor wasn't present at the test, contrary to university regulations, so maybe he'll be lighter on us when grading and he'll have the good impression left over from the first question, where I wrote 3 pages as opposed to just one in the second.

By the way, it was my parents' 32nd anniversary last Friday. I didn't get them anything (bad bad son) but we had a mini-party, and we made whipped cream and put it on a cake we bought, and added chocolate chips. Sounds like something 10 year olds would do, I know, but we're all over 20, all college students (my sisters are graduate students even) - but we have a good excuse. We didn't have much time because of tests.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

I just added a new feature - comments. So, if for some reason you've found this blog, feel free to comment.

Anyway, I have a test tomorrow, and I feel well prepared.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

This morning I had this semester's 3rd test and it went very well. I have a feeling I might end up with more than 90 in this course. I studied with Naomi, both at my house and at her apartment. It was good studying with her. I think it was more effective than studying alone. My next test is on Sunday.

My nephew came over today. I had a good time playing with him. He's doing well, he's very cute.

It's the weekend! But I'll be studying all weekend, at least this test is easier and with less stuff to study.

Monday, June 23, 2003

I had the second test today. Unlike the first one, this time it went very well. It was a semiotics test, which is a field somewhere between linguistics and communications, but closer to the latter. By the way, communication is my minor (academics here are different from the States - most Israeli students study just one subject without minors, but sometimes combinations can be made in social sciences, so I study political science with a minor in communication).

There was a test in another course called "Uses of the Internet in Political Science" today, but because I have two tests scheduled for the same day I'll take the test in July instead. I heard from a friend of mine that one of the questions was "What is a blog?" - I don't know what other questions there were, but if they were as easy as this one I could have gone straight from the semiotics test to the internet test. I know how to answer the blog question even without studying for the test as a blog-owner myself, though not a world renowned blog like Salam Pax of Baghdad or Dave Barry (who, well, didn't exactly get his fame from the blog, but vice-versa).

It's exactly one month before I leave for the US. I'll be there two weeks (too short) after I haven't been there 3 years (too long). I'll be in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont, and among other things I'll attend my cousin's wedding. It should be interesting to see if American weddings are like they look in the movies. One thing is certain, it'll be totally different from Israeli weddings. I have to wear a suit - which I don't do in Israeli weddings.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

I got a phone call from someone who studies with me. She wanted to work on a home-test with me, but I didn't want to. I have a feeling she's not too uptodate about the course, and I'd do all the work, and she'd just put her name on it.

I also have this odd feeling about her... She keeps striking up conversations with me despite the fact that we aren't friends. I know I've been wrong recently about stuff like this, but this time I really do hope I'm wrong about her being interested in me. She looks like she's about 30 (I'll be 21 next month). She isn't attractive, doesn't seem too intelligent either.

Anyway, my next test is in two days, then there's another test 3 days later which I'm going to study for with Naomi. Last time we studied in her apartment. Now we'll study in my house. It'll be the first time she gets to a part of the city that's not in close proximity to the university. How rediculous is it to live in a city a whole year and not see anything of it outside a certain area? For some reason they put the University in the crappiest part of town (probably to make the neighborhood better, but it didn't really work), so most students who aren't from this city think it's all the same crap. So, I've decided it's my personal mission, as a local, to bring as many friends of mine to my part of the city to show them that this city isn't a hell-hole like its stereotype.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

I had the test yesterday and it didn't go too well. I have a feeling I'll have to do a make-up test (the way it goes, every student gets two chances). My next test in on Monday.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

I am currently studying for the most boring of all courses I've had to take this year. It's so boring I keep feeling like doing something else (writing a new blog entry, for example). I'm studying alone now, but tomorrow I'll start studying for this with friends, so at least when I'll be with them it's going to be more of a studying environment. Besides, studying alone beforehand will make me more able to contribute to the collective studying.

The only good thing about the test I'm studying for now, is that after I'm done with it I won't have to hear the horrible professor anymore...

Thursday, June 12, 2003

I had a good time at the party. I danced a lot. I have a feeling I dance like a stiff, but that's better than sitting like a stiff. It was fun. Two guys who never met Naomi hit on her. Apparently she has that effect on a lot of guys, not just me. I still feel silly for grossly misinterpretting her (either that, or she was just practicing on me, thinking I wouldn't have the guts to ask her out, so she can later more effectively hit on somebody she really is interested in - which is probably her roommate). Anyway, we're planning to study together, part of the time just the two of us and some of the time with a third friend of ours, fake-named Daniel. Again, it's all platonic. Even if I were interested in her (and I'm not) I wouldn't stand a chance. I didn't realize until yesterday that a lot of guys are interested in her. I guess I didn't realize that since I never was interested in her myself before what I described to you in a previous post.

Anat liked the present we got her and the present I helped Naomi pick. She didn't notice the odd wrapping. Nice party. Lots of people came. Came home at 2 am. At least this morning I started classes only at 12, so I had a good night's sleep. Today was the last day of the semester. Now finals start.

Oh, and I got my new US passport in the mail today (I'm a dual citizen of Israel and the United States of America), so now the road is set for a trip to the States this summer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

It's official. I was very very wrong when I thought my friend (let's call her Naomi) was interested in me. Apparently she has a crush on her roommate. I don't know if there's anything actually going on between the two of them, but I can forget about something going on between Naomi and me. I'm fine with that (really, I am. I have no reason to lie - you don't know who the hell I am and I've already written secrets here that most of those who know me should not know).

Anyway, Anat, one of my other platonic friends (not that I currently have any non-platonic friends) is having a birthday party today. I bought her a book, together with a friend fake-named Ron (I should remember which fake names I give to every person so I'll use the same name all the time - because remember, I don't write fake stuff other than changing people's names). I hope she'll like it. I helped Naomi and a friend of hers pick a present (platonicly, I was NOT hitting on her or anything like that). The problem is that I think Anat will like the present I helped them choose more than she'll like the present I myself bought her. And you should see how awful Ron and I wrapped the present. It looks like one of those space ships from Star Trek, with those huge engines (or whatever they are) on either side. Anyway, it's not the wrapping that counts, but the present itself. Though I hope she'll like it, she can always replace it with something she likes better.

I have a headache, so I think I'll go to sleep for a while and get refueled for tonight's party.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

I had a good weekend. I got a lot of school work done and played a lot with my nephew. He's adorable. We jumped around and sang songs. As cute and smart as he is, it takes lots of energy to be with him.

He's 2 and a half years old and he's autistic. He isn't what you'd expect of an autistic child. He's what the professionals call a high-performance autistic case. He's very communicative, and he has a huge vocabulary. His main problems are with changes in routine, eye contact, and he doesn't always answer questions , sometimes repeating the question, other times just saying something that has nothing to do with the question. The professionals say there's a chance that with the right treatment he might totally recover and be a normal kid by the time he's six years old. For that reason, we're not telling people yet, not to stygmatize him. Only a few close friends and relatives have been told about this.

Right now my sister is trying two things simultaneously - a Gluten-free diet for my nephew and a special school that uses the A.B.A method (I don't remember what the initials stand for, but it seems to be working wonderfully).

Friday, June 06, 2003

This week has been quite a week. I started it thinking this female friend of mine was interested in me, and as the days went by I became more convinced she was interested. But by the end of the week, when I had so much confidence that I was reading her correctly, I was shot down like those ducks in the old Atari game.

It started last week with little things that made me think she might be interested, but I wasn't sure. For instance, she'd poke me in the ribs if I was standing with my back to her, said stuff like "I should always have you around as my guard". Of course, that alone didn't mean much.

Than, this week she suggested we go eat lunch together and started asking me a million questions. I thought she was probing to see if there's a chance for a relationship there. She made references, jokingly, to the two of us going on a trip abroad together. Then, when a friend of ours came by and asked her if she's got anything going on in her love life she said "No, I'm not thinking in that direction now. Neither is Emmanuel". I wasn't sure what to read into that. Was she just trying to repell the friend from asking questions, while making it clear to me that she didn't really mean it, by putting me and her in the same situation? Or was she trying to tell me we're just friends? But then, why would she have to add that I'm not thinking in that direction either? It's like telling me, "You're either with me or with nobody".

There were other things she said that seemed like blunt hints to me. I was walking with her and another friend of ours, and the friend and I were talking, and she said to him jokingly "Hey, Danny, don't steal my boyfriend." Than she quickly added, maybe to cover for her slip of the tongue, "I don't have so many friends as it is". Later, she said we should make plans for the next day to go out somewhere. I thought she meant just the two of us.

The next day, she mentioned the fact that she was wearing the same thing a few others were wearing. "Who looks best?" She asked me. "Wait, don't answer that. You're biased because of -" and she pointed at me and herself. Now, I interpretted that as saying "There's something starting between us, and it's clear to the both of us, and that's why you're biased towards me." Or did she simply mean I was biased because we were good friends?

Two hours later, when we next saw each other, I said "Let's go out tonight".
"Okay, do you know where Anat is going?"
"I don't know", I answered, "I didn't ask her."
"Why not?"
"I want to go out with you, just the two of us, without our other friends." You should have seen her face. She really seemed like she didn't have a clue this was coming (and had I interpretted her signals correctly, she wouldn't be that surprised, maybe just surprised I had the guts to ask her that early).
"Just the two of us as friends, right? Because I don't date classmates."
I should have said, "No, I mean like a real date. But if you aren't interested that's fine." Instead, I said "Yes, just as friends. You're a better friend than the others. That's why I wanted to go out just with you, platonicly."

Lame. She probably understood I just said that to save face. At least I would have left a better impression without that lame "Oh no, of course as friends" line.

A few minutes later a mutual female friend of ours hugged her, and she joked, "Leave me alone, I like Emmanuel better." By then, I stopped trying to interpret her. I guess it's just the way she talks.

What bothers me about this is how I don't understand women. I mean, I'm not in love with her. I wasn't even interested in her till I started thinking she was interested in me. But seems I was way off in reading her signs, which it turns out, were probably not really signs. Maybe the only real sign was when she said it wasn't a good time for her in the romance departmemt. That's the only sign I should have listened to and layed off.

So anyway, no harm done. At least I asked her out and got rejected, instead of me still thinking she was interested and wasting more of my time around her.

I won't ignore her now. No reason to be ashamed of asking her out and being rejected. I'll just go back to normal friends mode. I'll hang out with her the same way I hung out with her before I thought we had a mutual interest in each other. If she changes her mind, she'll have to come to me. I won't play hard to get or anything like that, but I won't give her more attention than I give my other friends.
This is my first on-line blog. I have a real diary, but I rarely use it. At the end of fifth grade, in June 1993, our teacher gave all her students diaries. My entries are so infrequent that I still have that same diary ten years later, still with three quarters of its pages blank.

Just to demonstare how rarely I used it, here's an amusing story. At the end of 8th grade, about a year and a half after my previous entry, I wrote that at this rate my next entry would be written when I'm released from the army. A few years later, as I was moving stuff around because of renovations, I found my diary. It was two weeks before the end of my army service. I guess I'm prophetic.

Anyway, I hope I'll use this blog more frequently than I used my diary (where the last entry is dated November 2002).