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Monday, April 24, 2006

Back Home Sweet Home

We'll, I'm home from my vacation at the Dead Sea. My grandparents returned home tonight unfortunately but on the plus side I get to move back into my room where I have a lot more space. The upcoming two weeks are a bit hellish but I'll leave that for a post once I've gotten through them.

Vacation was a lot of fun. It's nice not having to get up when the first digit on my clock is a 6. Some of the highlights of the trip included the following:

  • A pretty fun Seder. My little bros and I hit the bottle pretty hard making even the Rabbi's long and boring monologues entertaining. If I sang Chad Gadya out of my own free will, you know I was having a good time.
  • A Simon and Garfunkel tribute concert- Saw them last year too and they were just as entertaining.
  • Kareoke- Always fun to watch. Didn't sing (it was Pesach- no alcohol).
  • Simply Tzfat concert- Much better than the last time I saw them. The first time I saw them I didn't really like them but the lead guitarist this time was amazing.
  • Stand up comedy show by the very funny Yisrael Campbell- The journey from Irish Catholic boyhood to peyosed blackhat-ism
  • Etti Ankri concert- Apparently she's pretty well known. I did recognize a few songs.
  • Some interesting lectures including "Jews in American Film" by a film professor from the US, "When is pork Kosher" by a British rabbi and "The Halachik status of an apikores" by a Rosh Yeshiva from the US.
  • Took a trip to Kumeran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. This subject has really interested me lately. I didn't learn all that much about the scrolls but I learned a lot about the people who wrote them and it was quite interesting.
  • Two massages (man am I spoiled), including my fist deep tissue massage (what they called markaba) by this really big scary Russian named Igor.
Halfway through the vacation I was ready to come home. I had relaxed enough, missed my friends at home and was ready to get back to work. Yet somehow upon returning to work yesterday, I felt a pang of longing for the stench of sulfur I had become so accustomed to. Luckily I have plenty of vacation coming up pretty soon.

Thursday night I went salsa dancing again. I did lesson 1 again which I think was smart because I left there feeling very comfortable with the steps and I think I really got the hang of leading. This Thursday I think we'll try for level 2. Afterwards we hit Mike's Place where we made up for the lack of alcohol over Pesach. I got home around 4 and when I woke up I was covered in sand so I think that means a good night.

Saturday night we watched two really good movies: Derailed and Saw II. Derailed was a good suspense movie with great plot twists and a good ending. Saw II was as good if not better than the first. The dialogue and acting was better but the plot wasn't as surprising as the first. To it's defense though it's hard to beat the first one in the plot twist category and I think the sequel did the first one justice. Bottom line- two really good movies I highly recommend.

Last night there was a party for Elie A. who is going in the army tomorrow. I was exhausted from work (got home after 9) but still managed to stay out till almost 1.

Well that's it for now. Saturday night I went to bed at 4 and last night at 2 so I think it's time to get some shut eye. Good Night!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Kashering Army Dishes For Pesach

Kashering Army Dishes For Pesach
Originally uploaded by Benjamin Ludman.
Just before Pesach we have to kasher all the kitchen's dishes for Pesach. That means lots of boiling hot water. Unfortunately, I had kitchen duty on Monday meaning I played a big part in the process.


Last week was extremely busy. I wasn't at home at all as I was taking part in a vary large scale training exercise [Link -MDA site in Hebrew] involving the army, fire department, police and MDA. I spent my time in an army bomb shelter and didn't see the light of day for the better part of a week.

Tonight marks the beginning of Passover, Pesach, in Hebrew; also known as the Holiday of Freedom. Which is why it is so appropriate that I am finally free from the army for a week and a half to go on vacation with the family to the dead sea. I'm really looking forward to catching some sun and relaxing a bit.

To usher in the holiday, check out this funny clip:

Happy (or Merry) Passover!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Turning Twenty- No Longer A Teen

Today I am a fountain pen...No wait, wrong speech. Today marks the day that I am no longer a teenager. Yes, it's my birthday, and I'm turning 20. No, it's not an April fools day joke and yes I have heard every joke around about that.

I still find it hard to believe that I am 20. Some days I feel like a 2 year old, and all I want to do is run around naked through the sprinkler on the front lawn (have I shared too much?). Others I feel like a 70 year old and all I want is a little peace and quiet. I look at others and ask myself how they can be so immature. I guess that's part of being a teenager...But I'm not one anymore and that's a little scary.

I'm not a big fan of birthdays. Sure everyone's nice to you, you get presents and you're the center of attention but it makes you think about you're mortality. I always look back on the previous year and feel I didn't accomplish enough, or as much as I could have. Note to self: seize the day more.

Well, enough with the depressing stuff. Time to go out with a few friends.