Saturday, December 25, 2004

Big News!

Last Tuesday I got a surprise offer. I have good news and bad news. The good news - I'm one of a select few. The bad news - because of this, I can't tell you what the big news is. It would be too easy to identify me if I said exactly what this is. All I'm willing to say is that this just might be the beginning of a future career.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Product Placement Shorts has launched a new project called Amazon Theater. These are short films with such stars as Minnie Driver, Blair Underwood and Chris Noth. Of the four I've seen so far, three are horrible and pointless. Only one, "Tooth Fairy" is kind of cute, but like a good commercial, not like a good short film. But then again - all of these are just commercials. They are all about product placement, and Amazon isn't shy about that fact. The same page that shows the films also has a list of products shown in the short, and the credits list the products alongside the actors.

Amazon has every right to have these commercials on their site, but don't give me that "new venue for young artists" crap.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Long Goodbye

It's taking Arafat forever to die. I have come to the conclusion that this situation is not bad at all. It's so absurd that it's immensely entertaining. Arafat is just about dead, but the Palestinians won't say so, despite the fact that they're already preparing for his burial. The Palestinian leadership is bickering with Suah Arafat. The French made a gesture of friendship by accepting the Ugliest Leader Ever as their patient, and got stuck knee deep in Palestinian politics and power struggles.

I know it isn't nice to gloat. But I am. So sue me.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Return of the Flash

While Barak Obama was busy winning a Senate seat in IL, another Barak from another place with the postal code IL was busy making a comeback. Ehud Barak, who disappeared like a flash of lightening (which, by the way, is what Barak means in Hebrew) when he lost to Ariel Sharon in 2001, is now going to run for chairman of the Labor Party and its candidate for Prime Minister in the next elections (which are scheduled for two years from now, but will probably be held earlier).

I voted for Barak in 2001. Had he stayed in the Knesset opposition after his failure, I would have probably supported him again. But he left and, much like Benjamin Netanyahu had done when Barak defeated him, spent most of his time abroad as a lecturer and consultant. He made some serious mistakes as PM, but when he temporarily abandoned politics he gave up a chance to rectify his mistakes.

It seems the contenders for the chairmanship of Labor will be:
  • Shimon Peres - the 81 year old eternal chairman. Time for him to go.
  • Ehud Barak
  • Amir Peretz - the closest thing to a Bolshevik the Labor Party has seen lately. He's the head of Israel's strongest workers' union, with a far-left social and economic stance. He'd be a horrible PM, and I believe most Israelis know this. Labor would crash even harder with him at the helm.
  • Benjamin Ben-Eliezer - the former Minister of Defense. He's a moderate, but I don't think he'd be a good chief executive.
  • Matan Vilnai - my favorite. Though I don't like retired generals going into politics, I think this retired Maj. Gen. will be the best chance for Labor to get stronger and possibly win the prime ministry. He's a centrist. That's what Israel needs.

Hillary VS Giuliani 2008

Okay. Kerry lost. It isn't the end of the world. No reason to leave the States (wait, I live in Israel anyway. But if I were living in the States, I wouldn't leave it because of the election results). I'm not too thrilled about what I think Bush will do now, but I'm not worried. The country will be okay. Let's face it. Kerry wouldn't have been such a great president anyway. I'm sure he'd be better than Bush, but he wouldn't be nearly as good as Clinton was.

Now I hope 2008 will see Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee and Rudy Giuliani as the Republican nominee. Then I'd have some serious thinking to do. That would be a great race. Unlike 2004, where it was "not good" vs "pretty bad", a race between the Mayor and Senator from New York would be a race between two very worthy candidates. If either one of them would run against some one else, I'd pick them (HRC or Rudy). But with the two of them head to head I'd have to think long and hard. Who knows. With such a matchup, maybe even NY would become a swing state.

But then again, too many people loathe Hillary Clinton, so maybe she wouldn't be such a good candidate. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson might be a good choice. Edwards wouldn't be, since he is inexperienced. Oh hell, it's much too early for such punditry.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

America's Day to Make a Choice

It's Election Day. I already sent in my absentee ballot a few weeks ago. I voted for John Kerry. Hopefully, so will a majority of Americans, especially in the swing states.

In my last post, I wished to wake up the next morning and hear of Arafat's death. That didn't happen (the Palestinians even claim he's recovering, though I take that with a grain of salt). Now I have a new wish for tomorrow morning, or at least tomorrow afternoon because of the time difference between Israel and the States. I hope to discover tomorrow that John Kerry won both the popular vote AND the electoral vote. My Arafat wish did not come true - maybe my Kerry wish will.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

My Wish for Tomorrow Morning

Yasser Arafat's health condition is reportedly very bad. Some reports have even said Arafat is unconscious, though the Palestinians deny this. This horrible man, who I once mistakenly believed had changed his stripes, has been one of the worst leaders the world has ever seen. The damage he has inflicted upon Israel, the world and his own people, is huge.

Arafat is an obstacle to any progress, as long as he is alive. If Israel would kill him, he would remain an obstacle even after death, perhaps even a greater one than he is now. But if he dies naturally, though it may bring a degree of instability in the short term, it will be a very positive turning point in the long run.

So, now I am about to go to sleep. Hopefully, when I wake up tomorrow morning I'll find out that during the night Arafat died, preferably in excruciating pain as a huge gallstone on its way out of the urinal tract brought on a massive heart attack. Just because I want him to die naturally doesn't mean I want him to die in peace...

Friday, October 15, 2004

Disengagement a Very Bad Plan

Last Monday Ariel Sharon lost a symbolic vote in the Knesset when his political statement, a sort of State of the Union Address delivered at the beginning of each session of Parliament (twice a year), was rejected. The main focus of his statement was the disengagement plan.

I'm glad he lost. This was an operatively unimportant vote, but very symbolic. The Labor Party voted against him. The Haaretz editorial from October 13 criticized them for this, saying that if they want to ever be considered for leadership again, they should support Sharon's plan. I totally disagree. To be taken seriously they can't be Sharon's yesmen. They have to be a serious opposition party. Labor says it supports disengagement but did not support Sharon's statement, which also included his social and economic plans, which it opposes. I don't think the party should support the disengagement plan at all. After thinking it over for months, I have come to the conclusion that it is a disastrous plan. Pulling out without an agreement just makes things worse, and it will convince the Palestinians that violence works, just like the withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000 may have encouraged the Intifada that started a few months later.

The far-right settlers oppose the disengagement plan because they want Israel to keep control over Gaza and the West Bank. I oppose the disengagement plan for the exact opposite reason - because I want to leave the territories, but in a safe and secure manner. If we leave unilaterally, Hamas will take over. Nobody will be able to stop their terrorist activities and we'll end up having to send our military there. On the other hand, if we have a treaty with someone on the other side, there will be someone with responsibility to fight terror. They may not want to do that, but at least the world, and most of all the USA, will pressure them into doing so. This won't be peace, but it will be a cease fire.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

My Take on the Veep Debate

I watched the vice presidential debate last night, despite the fact that it was 3 in the morning here (good thing we moved back our clocks already while the US is still in daylight savings time, so at least it saved me an hour). All the commentary that I've read and heard kept saying that it was a tie, and that each side will think its own candidate won. I disagree. It was very close, but I think Cheney was better than Edwards.

In the presidential debate, Kerry was on the offensive more than he had to defend himself. Here, I felt Edwards was being attacked more than Cheney, and that the vice president's line of attack on Edwards' inexperience was more effective and more prominent than the senator's line on Cheney's extremism. Both men were right, because each of them targeted their opponent's Achilles Heal: Edwards is indeed inexperienced and probably wouldn't make a good chief executive (which is why, even though I'm voting for Kerry and Edwards, I hope the second JFK will complete his term without dying or resigning); Cheney is indeed extremely right wing.

I almost felt sorry for Cheney when they talked about gay marriage. It was an awkward moment when Edwards praised the Cheney family about how they treat their lesbian daughter. Also, Cheney probably agreed with every word Edwards said about the gay marriage issue, but couldn't say so, so as to not contradict the president. That's why he just thanked Edwards for his personal remarks and forfeited about a minute and a half of the time he had to respond - I don't believe we'll see anyone give up so much time in a debate any time soon.

Regarding Cheney's comment about the terrorist attacks in Israel being reduced because of Saddam not being in power: I think that's a load of crap. Sure, Israel, like the US and the rest of the world, is a lot better off without Saddam. He did indeed send millions to the families of suicide bombers, and it's good that it stopped. But still millions are pouring in to the bank accounts of terrorist groups and terrorist families - from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Syria. The US has started getting tougher on Syria, but it is too soft on the others. The reduction in attacks is the result of the fence and Israeli forces stopping attacks before they occur, not because of the current situation in Iraq.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Two Israelis Win the Nobel!

I'm very happy. Today three people got the Nobel prize in chemistry - all of my own (dual) nationality. Two Israelis and one American. Since many Americans have won Nobel prizes and only five Israelis had won before today, I am more excited about the two Israeli scientists who won.

Monday, October 04, 2004

And the Nobel goes to...

A few days ago, the 2004 Ig Nobel prizes were announced. These are the awards given to researchers who have made discoveries nobody really needs. Today, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was announced, and it seemed to me to be a direct continuation of the Ig Nobels. It was given to two American researchers who have extensively investigated the sense of smell and have discovered how we identify different smells. Don't misunderstand me. I think this is important research, but it doesn't seem Nobel-worthy to me. This prize is usually given to people who are researching diseases or ways to ease the pain of the ill. With all due respect to the sense of smell - knowing how it works isn't going to save anybody's life.

The next Nobel prizes will be announced in the next few days. Maybe Amos Oz will finally win in literature (though I doubt it). I hope neither the head of the IAEA, Muhammad al-Baradai, nor the Pope (who yesterday beatified Karl I, the Austro-Hungarian emperor who authorized the use of gas in World War I) will win the peace prize. Neither do I want any Israelis or Palestinians to win. I don't think either side has anybody worthy of the prize right now.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Terror in my City

Last Tuesday, two buses were blown up by homicide-suicide terrorist bombers in my city. 16 people died, ages ranging from 3 to 70. It's absolutely horrible. Though I didn't know any of those killed, it is still very shocking. We never had this kind of terror attack here. The last attack took place about two years ago - but even then it was of much smaller magnitude.

Chechen terrorists took 150 hostages at a school yesterday is Russia. Right now they are still being held. The terrorists probably hope Russian forces will storm in, so they can kill them along with the hostages and themselves. I don't understand how anyone can sympathize with people carrying out these kinds of outrages.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Voting Absentee

About two weeks ago I sent an application for a federal absentee ballot. I haven't gotten anything from the board of elections yet. I hope it wasn't lost in the mail. I hope I'll get my state primary ballot on time - though in my district there's this congressman that has been in office for about 20 years and got around 75% of the vote in the last two elections (good thing the internet exists to check this out). Since no democrat is running against Chuck Schumer there won't be a senate primary. So my vote in the primaries will not be anywhere near being the tie-breaker. But then again, neither will it be in the general election, including the presidential election - my vote for Kerry will just be added to the vast majority of New Yorkers voting for him. But hey, if Kerry has just one more vote than Bush in the legally unimportant national popular vote, I'll know I'm that one vote, symbolically. Anyway, I'll seriously start checking out information about congressional candidates once I get a ballot, to make an informed decision.

This will be the first time I vote in US elections. I've never asked for an absentee ballot before. I wonder how they make sure it's really me voting. Maybe once I get the letter from the board of elections I'll know a little more.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Israeli Gold!

Mistral surfer Gal Fridman made history today with 3 Israeli firsts:

1) First Israeli gold medal in the Olympics (but don't forget - we already have a lot of paralympic gold medals), which means it was the first time the Israeli anthem, HaTikvah ("The Hope") was heard at the Olympics. I think it is the most "Olympian" and optimistic anthem ever heard at the Games. You may not agree with Israeli policy. You may think of Israel as a fascist state (it isn't, but some mistakenly see it that way). But the Israeli anthem is the most hopeful of all anthems I know of. The anthems of all other countries talk about war, about defending the homeland, the greatness of the country and its people. HaTikvah, like it's name, is about hope for a better, independent future. It doesn't say anything about that future being achieved by bloodshed (it turned out that it did involve bloodshed, but that wasn't the vision of HaTikvah).

2) First Israeli to win two Olympic medals. He was a bronze medalist in Atlanta eight years ago.

3) First Olympic games where Israel wins medals in two different fields. We won one medal in Atlanta (mistral surfing) and one in Sydney (Kayaking) - both bronze. The first Games in which we won medals, Madrid 1992, we won two of them, one silver and one bronze, but they were both in the same field - judo. This year Arik Zeevi, who I had been hoping would win a medal, won a bronze in judo.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I am Uncle Emmanuel!

My new niece was born this week! She's so cute and adorable. If we ever feared my sister might have another autistic child, now we are completely confident my niece is absolutely fine. The difference is amazing. When my nephew was born he'd never look at us, and whenever we touched him he'd stiffen up. We now understand what that was, but at the time we didn't really notice. My niece, on the other hand, is very soft and cuddly.

She's a beautiful baby. I'm objective, I really am. When my nephew was born I thought he was ugly (and he was - big ears and a long nose, good thing that as he grew, the proportions of his face changed, and now he's very good looking. The only big thing on his face now is his big beautiful eyes).

Yesterday I went to visit my sister, mainly to see the baby. But my nephew was there when I came in. I didn't want to insult him so I stayed with him most of the time, and saw the baby for about only a minute. I feel sorry for him. He's flapping his hands a lot lately. He's nervous because of the new situation. I hope he'll get used to it soon.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Athens Olympics

The opening ceremony is underway, 202 national teams are walking through the Olympic stadium in Greece. I hope everything will go well. I'm cheering for two teams - Israel and the United States. Since the US is already the medal champion, I'll be watching Israeli athletes more closely. We so far have only 4 medals - one silver and three bronze medals. Hopefully, we'll get our first gold medal(s) in these Olympics, hosted by our (almost) next door neighbor. I heard wrestling is where we have most chances of getting a gold medal, as well as the pole vault. Personally, I'm hoping Arik Zeevi will win in Judo - he's been number one is so many championships, and though now he isn't at his best, I still hope he'll be able to win.

Also in Judo, Israel has won its first victory - a technical one. When Iranian champion Arash Miresmaeili and Israeli Udi Vaks were randomly drawn to compete against each other in the first round of competition. The Iranian refused to compete with an Israeli, thus redrawing from the Olympics, despite the fact he had a good chance of earning a gold medal. It's a great thing for Israel.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Driving Lessons

I just started driving lessons. It's about time. I'm already 5 years older than the minimum age for driving in Israel. The teacher is a nice guy and I enjoy driving. Until I started I didn't feel like getting a license but now that I've started I'm enthusiastic about it.

I had my 22nd birthday recently. I invited a few friends from the university and it was nice. I had too many beers left over, and since I don't like beer (nothing against alcohol, just don't like the taste) and neither does anyone else in my family, my father used some for Tandori Chicken or whatever it's called. Came out great.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Profile Question

Ever since May when I started my blog's profile, I have had the same silly question there. So now I have decided to change it to another randomly chosen question, but to prevent it from going into oblivion I'll write the old question and my answer here. From time to time I'll ask for a new random question and post the outgoing question here.

You've got to make contact with the alien leader. How will you tell when the conversation is finished?

When limbs start flying.

Shrek 2 and the Hebrew Bob Barker Treatment

Rachel is in Israel now (or at least, is supposed to be but is somewhere else for a few days, which I'm not supposed to know about. Long story). She spent the weekend with us and among other things, we also went to watch Shrek 2 with her. Shrek 2 is great (or like the show that made Jennifer Saunders (the Fairy Godmother) famous - absolutely fabulous). I enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed the first one.

A few days ago controversy erupted here in Israel over the Hebrew dubbing of the movie. The line where donkey says about Puss-in-Boots "let's neuter him, give him the Bob Barker treatment" was translated into "Lets give him the David D'Or treatment". D'Or, an Israeli singer with a feminine singing voice, took offense and demanded that the dubbing be changed. After he threatened to sue, the Israeli distributors of the film agreed to re-dub it. Now it just says something like "Let's neuter the cat". Too bad D'Or had to wreck the joke. The odd thing is that he has been known to joke about his own voice several times, including in a cell-phone commercial. Maybe he only plays along with it when he gets paid (and frankly, I can understand him if that's the case). I watched the English version and didn't understand the Barker joke until I checked the internet and saw he's an advocate of pet population control via neutering.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Edwards for Vice President!

I think John Kerry made a good choice when he picked John Edwards as his running mate. He's a great campaigner and a livelier running mate than Cheney is for Bush (Cheney hates being on the campaign trail). I'd say the two Senators named John complete each other - for example, Kerry has experience but is a poor speaker, while Edwards is inexperienced but is a Clintonesque orator.

I must admit I was kind of hoping Bob Graham would be picked, but Edwards is good too.

Monday, July 05, 2004

More Good Grades

I got two new grades today in courses worth 4 credit points - a 98 and an 87. I'm very happy!

Friday, July 02, 2004

I'm a Gmailer!

As a longtime blogger and google user, I have been given the privilege to test (or in other words, be one of the first to use) G-Mail! So now I've got a new account just for my pseudonym Emmanuel Schiff and this blog, so if you want to comment about my blog and don't want to use the public comments here, or you want to make sure to get a reply, just e-mail me at - no spam please! That reminds me, I hope they have good filters...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Time for Finals

Finals are underway now. I already took three tests and wrote one paper, and I have 2 more tests and 3 papers left. I got the results of my first test already - a 95!

Nothing new on other fronts.

Friday, June 18, 2004

The Best and Worst Week

It's the weekend now, and as I look back at the last few days, I've come to the conclusion that it somehow managed to combine the most positive and most negative things that have happened to me recently. Socially, it was the best week I've had in quite a while. I went out with friends three times and had a great time with them.

But with my family, it has been the worst week since we discovered my nephew is autistic. Now we know that his pedophile teacher definitely molested him. When my middle sister (my nephew's aunt) told my eldest sister (his mother) that she just remembered that a while ago he told her that he had gone to the teacher's apartment to watch television. My eldest sister knew about this - she was told by the teachers that they do that once in a while when she first saw the kindergarten, but then she saw nothing wrong with it, since she assumed a large group of kids go. But now, it sounded alarming.

She asked my nephew whether he went with the teacher to his apartment. He said yes, and when she asked which other people were with them he said the two of them were alone. When she asked what they did there, he looked sad and didn't want to answer. When she asked again he said the teacher told him not to say.

I feel so sad and angry. I hope the police nail the guy. This man cannot be allowed to work with children. He should be in jail - but if that fails, he should at least not be a kindergarten teacher.

What added to the sadness of the week came today, when I found out my uncle is dying of cancer. He has a slowly progressing form of leukemia which has no cure. Half of those with this disease can live on for about 12 more years, half live less. Hopefully, a cure will be found in time.

It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks. Unfortunately, this time the negative has a stronger effect on me, so it was a bad week for me, despite the three social outings.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

I am a RHPS Virgin no more! I just came back from the weirdest movie I have ever seen. Actually, I've seen quite a few odd films and this one isn't necessarily the King of Strange, but it definitely is the weirdest screening I've ever been to. They had a cast from the Israeli RHPS fan club who played the characters on stage while the film was showing, and we, the audience, through rice, confetti and water during the film. I still don't totally understand what the hell went on there - I couldn't hear all that took place in the film because of the audience's shouting, and neither could I understand all the shouting, which might have completed the picture for me.

It was odd. It was fun. It was quite an experience. It was definitely a one-time thing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Pedophile in Kindergarten

This week we discovered that my nephew's male kindergarten teacher is probably a pedophile. In this kindergarten, the two teachers are a husband and wife. They have this thing where a kid that misbehaves is taken by the husband to a sort of "isolation" in the library room for a few minutes while the wife stays with the other children (that's weird in and of itself - it's an odd punishment). One 4 year old girl complained to her parents that he showed her his penis while they were in the library. The parents decided to remove their daughter from the kindergarten. The teachers called a meeting with the parents, and most parents decided to support them and keep their kids there.

Lately, my nephew has been rejecting my father and me, preferring to be with mostly women. Also, other signs have made my sister worry that he might have been molested. He doesn't seem upset - he looks very happy, but maybe something small happened that bothered him a bit but wasn't very traumatic. So my sister wisely decided to stop taking him to that kindergarten before anything more serious happens.

If the guy did anything to my nephew, and I suspect he probably did, I feel like waiting for him in a dark alley with a baseball bat. It's too bad nobody has gone to the police - a pedophile should not work with children. His wife pisses me off as well, since she seems to be turning a blind eye to this.

It's good my nephew is out of there. I hope he hasn't been too traumatized. The last two days he hasn't been rejecting me, so that's a good sign.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Skydiving and Dead Presidents

Today was Reagan's funeral. Former President George H. W. Bush, Reagan's VP, is supposed to sky dive right afterwards (either today or tomorrow, I'm not sure). At first I thought it was inappropriate for him to celebrate his 80th birthday in such a manner so close to his predecessor's funeral. I didn't watch the ceremony (I guess I subconsciously decide to watch famous funerals only if those who died did so tragically, like Yitzhak Rabin or Princess Diana), but I heard that Bush seemed very emotional, even choking up a bit during his eulogy. I've come to the conclusion that I was wrong. Bush is truly sad about Reagan's death, but life goes on. And tomorrow he will become an octogenarian, and he has every right to celebrate in any way he chooses.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The State of Israel is run by clowns

Prime Minister Sharon fired the National Union ministers, Avigdor Lieberman (no relation to Senator Joe) and Benny Elon. Elon tried to avoid getting his pink slip, since it comes into effect 48 hours after he receives it, so he'd be able to vote against the disengagement plan in today's government meeting. He didn't succeed.

Members of Knesset Elon and Lieberman (it's great not to write Minister before their names) are far right wingers. Other than the fact that their policies don't match with the rest of the government's policies, the facts that Lieberman actively lobbies the idea of transferring Arab Israelis and that Elon was a bad tourism minister are themselves good causes for their dismissal. The government is much better without them.

But the farce didn't end there. All kinds of arm twisting went on till the very last second, when Benjamin Netanyahu (Treasury), Limor Livnat (Education) and Silvan Shalom (Foreign Affairs) stopped the government meeting in the middle. In the end an agreement was achieved. I'm not sure what I think of this compromise disengagement plan. I'm not crazy about it (but neither am I crazy about Sharon's original plan).

So what'll happen now? Political predictions aren't a good idea, especially in Israel, since everything could change. But here's my guess: The National Religious Party (Mafdal) will leave the government, Peres will try to get labor into the coalition, but most other Laborites will rightly bar him from doing so. They don't want to go to elections yet, though, so they'll be fighting oppositionists on most issues but will support the disengagement plan. Some Likud members might try to replace Sharon with Bibi, but Bibi himself doesn't want to be PM yet. I think he'll want to be elected PM with the next Knesset, which he hopes will be more comfortable for him.

So I think there will be a narrow government now, with a minority in the Knesset with just the Likud and Shinui's 55 MKs. There's going to be a long deadlock until either Bibi or Labor decide it's a good time for new elections (for themselves, of course, not for the country).

All this speculation, of course, goes down the drain if Sharon is indicted.
Sixty years since D-Day. Lots of world leaders and old war veterans are gathered in Normandy, France today. It's a historical date worth mentioning, though I don't really have anything special to say about it. I could wax philosophical about how the world has changed, but I'm sure that corny stuff was covered in all the speeches. Besides, just like they say that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything, the same goes about when you don't have anything smart or meaningful to say.
Former President Ronald Reagan has passed away. I was just a kid when he was in office but I remember I liked the guy. He had the charisma to make a kid like me like him. He was just one of the two politicians I was familiar with at the time (the other one was NYC Mayor Ed Koch), during the years I spent in the States. Of course, at that young age I had no idea what his policies were and, well, when it's still the decade you were born in, you don't care about those things. In retrospect, I think he was a good leader on some issues (such as bringing an end to the Cold War) and bad on others (like the Iran-Contra scandal). All in all, he did more good than bad.

Just sad to think he died not knowing he was ever president.
Happy birthday to my blog!

One year ago, I started this blog to rant about my love-life (or lack thereof). That was back when I was hung up on Naomi, who I bearly speak to now, mostly just "hi how are you" when we pass by each other. Now I'm hung up on someone else who has a boyfriend and looking for someone available to get hung up on instead.

So, some statistics about the first 12 months of my blog (not including June 2004):

This is my 85th post. I posted an average of a bit under 7 posts per month. The month where I was most active was June 2003 (12 posts), followed by January 2004 (11 posts). I posted only twice each month during September, November and December 2003.

Anyway, today isn't just this blog's first anniversary. These are historical times, but I'll post a seperate post for each reason it's a historical day. That way, every person can comment about only what he wishes to comment (hey, a guy can dream that he has any readers), and besides, it's a way to raise the number of posts I have, I admit... :)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Student Day 2004!

At the risk of some of my anonymity slipping away when some people might figure out which university I study in, I'll tell you about the big two-day student festival we had the last two days at a Mediterranean beach. 30 hours of shows. Some people camped there overnight, but I went back home and returned the next day. I was there less than most other people - arriving around sunset and leaving around two AM each night, since those hours were the main attraction, with Israeli artists performing. I had a great time, and each night I was with a different set of friends. On the way to and from the beach we passed by the army camp where I had my basic training - seems as disgusting from the outside as from the inside, but much less depressing (boot camp is certainly the worst time I had in the army).
Here's an incident that demonstrates how my nephew thinks, a story that can tell us something about the autistic mindset. My sister didn't feel well the other day while they were at our house, and she ran to the bathroom to throw up, but she didn't make it and puked just outside the bathroom. Sorry for the disgusting part - I don't mean to make readers feel sick, it's just important for the story. My nephew seemed like he doesn't understand how this can happen. First of all, he has never seen his mother throw up, and secondly, he knows that when people feel sick they should go to the bathroom. He was confused and didn't understand how she couldn't control herself. Also, he asked her "do you still don't want me to feel uncomfortable?" as if to check if her attitude hasn't changed, if she's still the same person despite the fact that she is now in a different situation from what he's used to. Last week, he asked a similar question when he first came to their apartment after a new air-conditioner was installed, and asked whether it was still the same home.

On the other hand, after my sister puked he said that he wants to hug her and seemed concerned. Empathy from an autistic kid. That's really remarkable.

Monday, May 31, 2004

My mother is such a worrier that it's rediculous. Today my sister was in reserve duty, and she didn't answer her cellphone. So my mother dragged my father to where my sister was to see if everything is okay. They saw she's just in a meeting, so they left.

Oy, ima polania (Polish mother in Hebrew, which is pretty much the equivilant Israeli stereotype of Jewish and Italian mothers in America).

Saturday, May 29, 2004

It seems like Ariel Sharon might decide to move up the election (which is supposed to take place in November 2006 or 2007) if his disengagement plan isn't approved by the government. I have mixed feelings about this - for one thing, I think his plan isn't good enough. But I'd be happy to get rid of him when election time comes. The problem is that there's nobody who'll be much better. Whoever it is, I don't want him to be an ex-general (like Shaul Mofaz or Ehud Barak), a hawk (like Bibi Netanyahu) or an extreme peacenik (like Yossi Beilin). I want a moderate leftist (in peace and security issues) and a moderate center-rightist (in economic issues). Maybe Avrum Burg (the former Knesset Speaker) would be best of all the current politicians, though he has his share of flaws as well.

I have the same problem with the US election. I think Bush is doing a terrible job, and I think he should be voted out. I'm not that crazy about Kerry either, though, despite the fact that he was, and still is, my favorite among the Democratic primary candidates. I'd be happy to vote for McCain (for president, not VP).

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Here's a silly SAT question I just thought up. Wisconsin : US States, as is Shavuot : Jewish holidays. Why? WI is the dairy state, and Shavuot (or Shavous as Americans call it) is when we eat a lot of dairy products. I have no idea how milk and cheese have anything to do with getting the Torah from Mount Sinai or with the end of the 7 weeks of the Omer (which starts the first day of Passover), but hey, I'm enjoying all the blintzes (rolled up pancakes with a cheese filling) and cheese cake.

I'm also feeling a bit under the weather, but why put a damper on things...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Something is wrong with Blogger's post counter. It says I have 77 posts and 7 recent posts. I've written 2 or 3 posts since then and it still has the same number. The profile also quotes up to the last post before the counter froze. I should check the help forums to see if they know about this problem.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Dana has a new boyfriend. I'm very disappointed. Maybe if I would have had guts last week or even before that, it wouldn't have been too late. Then again, it could be that she never thought of me as boyfriend material anyway so it would have just been awkward. Who knows.

Anyway, time to look for someone else. Maybe the fact that I'm actively looking for someone but without going out much prevents me from actually finding a girlfriend. The only girl who seems interested in me is not too bright, doesn't look good and smokes. I'm not deperate enough to go out with her, since that won't just be a compromise on some little issues - that's totally giving up on finding someone who has anything I look for in a girl, who is worth anything, someone at least on my level. I'm a great guy, dammit! Maybe a bit geeky, but still a great guy!

Saturday, May 15, 2004

My sister wants to write a book about our experiences with her son and autism. She has written some stuff over the last few months and she wants us to write too. I think I'll use all I've written about my nephew here, I'll just translate it into Hebrew. Though I'll have to explain that I've already written about him for quite a while without revealing the fact I have a blog.
The peace rally seems to have been a success. The media is reporting between 120 and 250 thousand participants. It's good to see the left is finally waking up, even if I don't entirely agree with all the people that were there (which isn't suprising - different groups with different views took part in this rally). It was apparently such a success, that there were people that wanted to go but there wasn't enough room for them on the bus.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Now testing the new Comments option.
It's been a horrible week. 11 dead soldiers in Gaza. There's a big peace rally in Tel-Aviv's Rabin Square tomorrow, calling for a withdrawal from Gaza and resuming peace talks. Despite the fact that I'm swamped with papers to prepare, I've considered going (maybe because Dana said she'll be there), but I probably won't go. I've got mixed feelings - I don't think we should stay in Gaza, but I'm not sure if a one-sided retreat is a good idea. Who knows - it worked in Lebanon, so maybe it'll work here too. Anyway, I'm against Sharon's seperation plan, because it's partial and won't be effective enough. We should start talking to someone on the other side. Not Arafat himself, but even people who are his yesmen can be partners - a treachurous counterpart treated cautiously while keeping in mind that he's treachurous is better than what we have now.

Nothing much is new with Dana. We've started working on the paper together. So far I haven't detected any signals from her (positive or negative), so there's nothing much to discuss at this point. I'll just keep on trying, and maybe soon enough I'll have the nerve to be more direct.

This week I saw my nephew's regular kindergarten for the first time. There was a class and he didn't seem to do what others were doing. It was a bit depressing, but I hope he was just distracted by us being there.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

It's Independence Day now! Happy 56th birthday Israel! I'm home, not going out to party or anything. Earlier today Dana called to tell me something about the paper we have to do. Too bad I didn't ask her whether she's in the city or at home. If she's here I could have asked her where she's going and joined her. Maybe. Anyway, bygones.

I had a dream the other night. I was with my family playing with the new baby and my nephew was alone in the corner. I noticed this and went over to him and stayed with him in the corner, while everyone else stayed with the baby. Odd. I could understand if he had that dream. Kids get worried before their siblings are born. But why am I getting worried for him. I mean, I never thought he'll be neglected when his sister is born. Do I subconciously think that he'll suddenly get lonely, because everyone will prefer to be with his (hopefully) healthy baby sister rather than with him? He's a cute kid, but he still has a lot of autistic quirks, despite the fact that he's in such great shape that others can't even tell he's autistic.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

There's something I feel a bit awkward about. I have this female friend, who I'm not interested in, despite the fact that she's very cute, because she's 28 years old. Anyway, we study together, but weren't really friends until recently. We just said hi to each other and that's it. Anyway, we recently started talking frequently on-line, but we still don't get to talk much in person. The other day, as I was waiting for a ride home, she passed by and asked if I want to get coffee. I'm sure she has no romantic intentions (I believe she has a boyfriend), just friends hanging out together. For some reason, a harsh "no" came out of my mouth (I don't know why), and I said I don't have time. Frankly, I could have just called my sister and told her not to wait for me, but I guess I'm like a damn teenager embarassed to admit my sister is giving me a ride. Either that or I don't feel like explaining why my sister takes her son from kinergarten not far from the university, while she lives on the other side of the city (it's the special school).

If you aren't interested in her why are you so bothered? - you probably ask. Well, I'd like as many friends as possible, and I hope she won't think I'm one of those freaks who only talk to people on-line and run away from being around people in person.

My nephew told my sister and me that there's a kid who hits him at his kindergarten (the regular one he attends 3 hours each day before going to the special one). It's good that he told us, otherwise we wouldn't have known. My sister's husband is returning from reserve duty tomorrow, and I'm sure the two of them will discuss what they should do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

My sister told my nephew she's pregnant today, after he asked what's in her belly. "Guess what's in there," she asked. After a short pause he answered, "a baby". Apparently he figured it out already. He seemed happy about it, though he didn't want to talk about it much. That's okay. That's just an attention problem, not a problem with his unborn sister.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Well, my two weeks of vacation are up, and I still haven't finished the two papers I had to prepare. One is due tomorrow afternoon, the other is due on Wednesday. At least they aren't anything complicated.

My sister is pregnant with a baby girl. That's great, because there's less of a chance for girls to be autistic, so hopefully, we'll have a normal kid this time. I just noticed I wrote "we". I'm not one of the parents, just the uncle, yet I write "we". How odd. My mother was told by a psychologist friend of hers that the way she talks about her grandson and her commitment to her family is typical of holocaust survivors. This was very surprising to me. My mother was born a refugee during World War II - she isn't what you'd typically call a holocaust survivor. And I, who also speak in a similar way, am in no way a holocaust survivor. Maybe it's true about my mother, and because I live at home I'm stuck deep inside my sister's and nephew's lives. They don't live with us, but they're just 10 minutes away and visit often. Maybe it's an overdose.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Passover is nice so far. I baked brownies today and made matza balls on Monday for the Seder. The Seder was nice, but I'm glad that we here in Israel only have one Seder as opposed to Jews outside of Israel who have two.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

We didn't bbq, since some of my friends decided to go home already. So now I'm on vacation till mid-April.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

My friends and I are planning to have a bbq tomorrow. It's the last day before passover vacation and just a few days after one of the friends' birthday, so it's a double celebration. We're doing it in the middle of the day and I'll skip one of my classes for this.

Rachel sent me e-mail. She has a week off next month, when neither me or my sister have a vacation. I don't know whether she wants to come to Israel or meet us in Europe, but either way, it's bad timing so we can't make time for her. It's odd, doesn't she have enough friends in the States to spend her weeks off with?!?

Friday, March 26, 2004

I attended the Israeli Association of Political Science's annual conference today. It was pretty interesting. There was one panel there about whether or not the Israeli democracy is going down the drain. Some said it is, some said it isn't. I think that we're in bad shape, but we haven't reached the point of no return yet. We have to get out of the apathy in our society, which was created in no small part due to the Intifada and the end of the peace process. We need to get rid of some very bad politicians and set standards of accountability. They kept repeating the fact that there's no word in Hebrew for "accountability", the closest terms are responsibility and something that's closer to reporting. Anyway, it's too late at night for me to write more intelligently about the conference, maybe some other time, if I don't forget.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, leader of the terrorist organization Hamas, is dead! I'm very happy about this. I don't buy into the notion that they'll jack up their attempts to attack Israelis, since they try as hard as they can anyway, and security forces usually manage to stop them.

Yassin was not a spiritual leader. He was a terrorist mastermind, he's more the Osama Bin Laden of Israel than anybody else is. Anyone who mourns his passing should be ashamed of himself for being the follower of such a person.

Monday, March 22, 2004

It's funny. Lately I've been chatting with this girl on the internet, on a site for students (depsite the fact she isn't a student herself), and I have a feeling she's been trying to get me to ask her to meet. I don't want to, since I have a policy of not meeting people I chat with, unless I know them in person anyway. She kept saying stuff like she wishes she had someone to go on vacation with her, and she jokingly asked me if she should be jealous when I mentioned the fact I would be working on a paper with Dana. This amuses me. I'm not desperate enough to meet people from the Internet.

Thursday, March 18, 2004


I'm happy with myself about how I handled a certain situation this week. There's this paper that has to be done by teams of two people each (as opposed to individually or in threes). One guy, Dan, who I know but isn't really a friend of mine, asked me to do it with him and I said yes, though I wasn't certain how reliable he is. So I kept thinking about it, and decided to check with Dana if she found a partner yet and ask if she wants to do the paper with me. She said yes, and I called Dan to say I'm doing it with someone else.

I upgraded. I added one letter to the name of my partner (good thing the alias I picked for Dana when I first wrote about her fits in with this story, because the two really do have similar names in reality), and I trust her much more than I trust Dan. Besides, it's a good way to see her more often. I'm not expecting another upgrade, this time of the relationship, so I won't get disappointed. But if something does happen, I'll be happy.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Sometimes I'm very amused by the related searches suggested in the google ad above. Usually it really has something to do with what my blog is about (the middle east, for example). But sometimes, it has something that I mentioned once, and no matter how small a part it has in my posts, when it's up in the banner, one could think my blog is primarily about that.

For instance, last time I came in, the link was to some baby product store, and the related searches were "sister" and "congratulations". Someone might think that I keep talking about babies, my sisters and hallmark greeting cards or something. My ego will get a boost if one of these days the banner will have related searches: "sexy bloggers" and "genius Israelis".

On a more solemn note - the terrorist attack in Madrid last Thursday was a horror that I believe will occur again around Europe and any place the radical Islamists see as full of infidels. I miss the days when international organizations bent on destruction were just the figment of scriptwriters' imagination.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I was right when I said the semester can only get better. Now it turns out I didn't fail the course that I though I had failed. Turns out I got a 91! Yesterday, I got a message saying my grade is 800, which is the code for someone who didn't take the test, but I thought it is the code for a failing grade. The 800 was about the first test (called in Hebrew Moed A), which indeed I did not take. I attended the "second chance" test (Moed B), and today I discovered that I got a 91 in the test and as a final grade in the course. I'm still worried about the last test I took. I hope I passed it.

My nephew started going to a regular kindergarten this week, two hours a day with one of the people from the special kindergarten staying with him. He's doing much better that we've ever expected. He's almost like the other children, and he's even having a great time. The first day he was there he didn't even want to leave.

Lord of the Rings won 11 Oscars. Will John Kerry win 10 primaries today?

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Today the second semester started on the wrong foot. First of all, I didn't sleep all night because I was working on a paper due in today. Then I discovered I failed a course (I'll ask to do another test, but I'm not sure if they'll let me). I have a bad feeling about the test I had last Thursday. I have a feeling I may have failed it too.

I've had some excellent grades this semester, but by the last two tests I needed a break, and I guess I gave myself too much time off and I didn't study enough. This is really annoying, and I can't blame anybody but myself. I'm in a crappy mood because of this, and being very tired doesn't help much.

I should try to be optimistic - a semester that starts this way can only get better.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

I got an 87 on the test I had about a week and a half ago. Most people got grades in the 60's and 70's, so I'm very happy with what I got. I still have one more test and one more paper to write. I can't wait for some time off!

I've changed the title and description of my blog. I think that you might still be able to see the old title and description in the archives (at least until the next time I hit the "Re-Publish All" button). So, what do you think of the change?

Sunday, February 22, 2004

My sister is pregnant. She's due in September. I wonder how my nephew will react when he'll hear he's about to be a big brother. He'll be 4 years old by the time the baby is born, and since he's making a lot of progress maybe he'll even be happy to have a brother or sister. It might even be good for him.

When a person is pregnant, the expecting parents as well as their close family, always have certain worries about the baby. Will it be healthy? Will it have some terrible disease that cannot be detected during pregnancy? There is a lot of anxiety as it is, but when you already have one child with one of the unthinkable disorders, the anxiety is even greater. The odds aren't lower now because you already have one child like this. It's a whole new pregnancy with exactly the same chances as the previous one - and while hopefully the next baby will be normal, you still have a chance of another sick baby, and not necessarily with the same illness. Sometimes you might even fear the odds are even more against you, when there's a chance of the illness being genetic. But I'm optimistic, though still anxious. I'm fairly certain this time around, I'll learn how it is to be an uncle of a healthy niece or nephew.

Don't get me wrong. I love my nephew. I find him adorable. I've seen him grow almost every day of his life. In a way, I have a feeling that I had a greater infuence on him than I would if he were not autistic. The time I spent, both before and after we found out he's autistic, and still spend with him, being a fun and crazy uncle, constantly telling him how cute he is, contributed to the fact that he's making a lot more progress than most other children born with his condition. It takes a crazy family to cure an autistic child, with the addition of proper professional counciling of course. Thanks to all of us, his adoring parents, grandparents, uncle and aunt (my sister's side of the family only - my brother-in-law's family doesn't live in the same city and they don't see them much), he's going to be as normal as possible. I really feel like I'm taking part in saving his life.

The next baby better be healthy though. This whole savior thing is so damn tiring!

Saturday, February 14, 2004

It's Valentine's Day and I've got no valentine. Well, whatever. It's only been in recent years that Valentine's has been celebrated in Israel. We also have a Hebrew version of Valentines - 15th of Av (Tu B'Av) which is usually sometime in August. I wonder if I'll be girlfriendless then too. I hope not. But I'm not desperate either. Nothing is new with Dana - I don't know if anything ever WILL be new with her. Next semester we'll see even less of each other than we did until now.

Last Thursday I had a big test. I think it went well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I got an 81 on the test I had a week ago. I'm a bit disappointed, but I have nothing to complain about, since my other two test scores from last week are in the mid 90's.

Tomorrow I'll study with friends for Thursday's test. I better study some more alone, so I'll know what I know and what I don't know.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Tomorrow I'll know how much I got in the test I had last Sunday, but in the meantime I had two more tests and already got my grades in them - 94 and 96. Other than the 55, I'm on a roll (almost like John Kerry)!

Monday, February 02, 2004

I had a test yesterday that went very well. I expect to get something between 85-95. Last week I had my first test and I didn't feel that I did too well, and I expected to get around 70. Yesterday I found out that I failed it (55), so I'll have a second test in this subject later this month. The score in the second test will be the one that counts, so it isn't the end of the world, but it sure is irritating (and it also means I won't have any vacation before the second semester starts).

My nephew was cute again this weekend. He had more ticks than a few weeks ago, but less than last week. So I don't know if it's the gluten or not.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

I shouldn't be up at this late hour during finals. I promise to go to sleep right after I write this!

Israel has been an irritating place the last few days (well, even more than usual), because of the two national tragedies that happened on Thursday - the terrorist attack in Jerusalem and the swap with Hizbullah. The swap is a tragedy not just because the three soldiers were confirmed dead - they were declared dead in 2001 already, about a year after they were abducted, and also, our soldiers die almost every day, and that's tragic, but not more than usual. The tragedy is the fact that this was a deal that I think will endanger all Israelis. I'm sick of Sharon. He hasn't made any real moves with the Palestinians and he has all kinds of criminal charges that might be brought against him, so he made this terrible deal to get the spotlight off of his wrongdoings. The saddest thing is that there's nobody that would really be much better than him, not on the left and not on the right. There are two people, though, that I'm sure would be even worse than Sharon - Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.

I have a feeling Tenenabaum told Hizbullah all the secrets he knows. Otherwise, he wouldn't look so good. The guy looks better fed than before he was captured! I'm sure Hizbullah tortured him at first, then he squealed, and then they figured they had all the info he knows and decided to look humane, so by the time he was released he recovered from the tortures and even became a bit chubby.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I got very frustrated today when I was with my nephew and I'm angry at my brother-in-law. A few weeks ago he decided to stop my nephew's gluten-free diet without even asking my sister. My sister believes the diet helps, since some scientists say gluten is like poison for autistic children, so the diet helps them recover. My nephew has been on the diet for about 9 months, and it takes a while for it to take effect - and indeed in the last couple of months he was absolutely adorable with a minimum of autistic behavior. We weren't sure whether it was the special kindergarten he goes to or the diet.

So a few weeks ago my brother-in-law started giving him regular food (with gluten). My sister still gives him gluten-free food, because she thinks that at least that way the damage will be less than if he stops the diet altogether (the best option of convincing my brother-in-law to start my nephew's diet again seems impossible now).

My nephew had been great even after the diet ended. But today he had autistic ticks and wanted to do nothing but change CDs all the time and do repetitive things. I haven't had such a hard time with him in months. I'm afraid the gluten kicked in (unfortunately, it took a few months for the gluten to wear off, but it took just a few weeks to kick back in). I hope I'm wrong and he just had a stressful day today and will be back to normal, so we'll have to wait and see the next few days.

I'm furious with my brother-in-law. He didn't consult my sister, he just told her he was doing it and didn't want to argue about it. He's a real jackass sometimes. In this case, while he said the diet was interfering with my nephew's life without any proof that it helps (and I don't think it really bothers my nephew at all), I think it actually bothered him that he had to be careful about what he ate around his son. That really pisses me off.

On a lighter, more optimistic note, John Kerry won in New Hampshire! Yippie! I looked into registering with Democrats Abroad to get information about elections, but then I came to the conclusion I might get more mail than I'm interested in.

By the way, Blogger just added a new RSS feed feature, so I now have an RSS version of my blog. Since I don't use any newsreaders, I wouldn't know if it works or not until someone actully tells me. It might be stupid to rely on readers when I don't know if I have any (last week was the first time a reader commented about my posts - but a one-time thing like that doesn't mean I actually have regular readers who check out the blog from time to time).

Monday, January 26, 2004

Finals are here again. I had my first test yesterday and it didn't go too great, but neither was it awful. I have a feeling it is possible I got anywhere between 60 to 85, hopefully closer to the latter. My next test is on Sunday - but even though I have a whole week without tests, I have 3 tests next week, so I have to study for all 3 this week and finish a paper for one of my classes.

The deal with Hizbullah is horrible. We're giving them more than 400 Palestinian prisoners and a few Arab prisoners from other nationalities, and we're getting one Israeli citizen who was captured by Hizbullah while he was trading in something that was probably illegal, like arms or drugs, and the bodies of three soldiers abducted more that 3 years ago. We're giving Hassan Nassrallah too much. We're making him the Arab world's most successful leader at a time when Hizbullah is losing its power (and we're giving it back to them). We should not have even negotiated with this terrorist organization - we should have negotiated with Lebanon or Syria.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Yesterday I noticed I have a weird lump on the back of my wrist. I don't know what it is, but I'm not too worried. I assume it is only a cyst - I've already had a cyst removed from my scalp about a year ago. I won't wait too long with it though. I have a lot to do (final exams are coming up) so I'll go to the doctor the first chance I get, probably next week.

John Kerry won the Iowa caucuses yesterday. I'm very happy about that for two reasons. For one thing, I think Kerry is the best candidate and has the best chances of beating Bush. Also, Howard Dean seems like an asshole to me and I'm glad he got only to 3rd place. I thought of registering to vote absentee (I have dual Israeli-US citizenship) mainly to vote for Kerry in the primaries, but then decided not to do that. Since I haven't lived in the States since my age was just one digit, I shouldn't vote in the elections (even though the president of the USA has a crucuial impact on Israel and the middle east situation).

Saturday, January 17, 2004

For some reason, the last few days I've tried to publicize my blog on several sites, including Yahoo! and various blog directories. I even considered starting a new blog in Hebrew - but two blogs for one person is just too much.

The more places that link to this blog, the greater the risk of it being discovered by someone who knows me. But hey, if I get a kick out of the risk, why not? But no, it isn't that. I want people to read this. I want to get comments from readers. I just don't want them to be those who might recognize me.

Anyway, gotta read a book. Tests are coming up and I have to study for six of them and write two papers.

Friday, January 16, 2004

As a follow-up to my previous posts, and after reading an article about Israeli blogs in Haaretz, I've come to the conclusion that part of the fun of writing an anonymous blog is the risk of being discovered by those who know me. Yes, I have absolutely no readers (so I assume, since nobody ever added any comments about my posts) and the fact that I'm writing a blog in English here at rather than a blog in Herbew at, both minimize the chances of being identified. But there's still some risk in it. Maybe that's why I write in my on-line blog more often than I ever did in a regular diary - it's somewhat more exciting. That's also the reason I didn't turn this into a private blog.

I figured this out just now. All this has been subconcious until now.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Correction - he'd identify Dana, since he was present at something I mentioned a few posts back (I could say exactly where, but then I'd save you the job of scrolling/looking at the archive, wouldn't I...).
It's late and I don't feel like going to sleep. My last post about the fact that I have enough details here to be identified made me wonder if there's a chance that could happen. So I decided to look for blogs written by people from my university and see if I can identify who it is.

I found one blog that attempts to remain anonymous, but even though I don't know him that well I know for certain who he is. He's one of the new memebers of the student council and studies with me in my department. I'm not so sure he really tries that hard to remain anonymous since he has tons of information that people like me, who aren't even his friends, can identify (among other things he writes a blog in English under his real name that includes some of the things he mentions in his Hebrew blog).

So I read quite a bit of his blog, and now I feel guilty. It's the first time I've read a blog written by someone I know who supposedly doesn't want to be identified. I feel as if I've invaded his privacy. I almost feel like sending him my own blog, not telling him who I am, but at the risk of being identified by him. However, I don't think he knows me well enough to understand who I am from what I wrote here (if I'd mention another thing we have in common he might understand who I am - though I'm not that sure he'd understand which people I talk about throughout the blog - Dana, Naomi, Anat etc).

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I've been trying to figure out lately whether or not I have a chance with the friend I wrote about in two previous entries. I guess I better name her now, since I have a feeling I might talk about her quite a bit - let's call her Dana. Anyway, I really like her - she's smart, funny and she looks absolutely stunning. We don't see each other much, but when we do we talk a lot, though almost never just the two of us, and not about personal stuff, we just joke around or talk about general stuff or about things we're studying. I'm definitely interested in her, but I don't know if I have a chance. But I've decided I wouldn't have ANY chance if I wouldn't at least try - but I'm going to be subtle about it. Just talk to her casually and see how it goes.

I won a pizza on the Internet. It was a very silly competition but I won't say anymore to avoid being identified (though I'm pretty sure this blog has zero hits as it is).
I just looked at some of my previous entries and I think that someone who knows me will probably figure out that it's me and more or less who the people I'm talking about are, so it's a bit silly not to say how I won the pizza (but I still won't say).

Friday, January 02, 2004

2004 is here! Happy New Year!

On Wednesday I spoke to one of those heading the new student association, and it seems it's rapidly going towards an early demise. It seems the university authorities are doing everything to kill it - they don't let us sign people up anymore on campus or even at the gate. They even threatened to bring any student who comes to the new association's meetings on campus before the discipline committee (I'm not sure if that's how it's called in English). A lot of this seems to be against the laws of the State of Israel. As far as I know, these kinds of rules are only imposed in my university and not in any other in Israel. Now I guess the only recourse is legal action by the new association against the current association and the university.

Anyway, as I've said before - I hope the new council will bring positive change as soon as possible, even before any legal action comes to fruition.