Archive for April, 2006

Little Lassie


Not Lassie

Not Lassie

On Wednesday i was driving home with Hadar, and outside the village i spotted a little dog that looked a little like a Pug. It had a collar and ran free in an empty place. We thought that it may be lost or abandoned and stopped and ran to look at it. It was female, very cute, trembling of fear or cold (or both). Hadar called a veterenarian she knows and she agreed to check the dog, despite the late hour.

Luckily the dog was tagged with an ID chip and the veterenarian gave us the phone numbers for the county’s pet authorities and also a pack of dog food. All for free – so nice of her. I called her Dr. Aybolit, which is the Russian version of Dr. Doolittle.

We kept her at our place overnight. She was very nervous, but went calm when we would stroke her. Our cats loved her … locked in a separate room.

In the morning Hadar made some phonecalls and found that the owner lives in Nes Harim, which seems to be close to our village when you look at the map, but only if you run through hills and woods (accordingly, our village is called Givat-Yearim, which means Hill of Woods). If one goes through the paved mountainous roads it will be at least half an hour in a car. The dog, however – her name was Clara – may have indeed ran through woods. Which is an adventure. But little Clara is a Very Small Animal, much like Piglet and not a Lassie.

Clara’s owners sent their friend to pick her up. A few hours later they called and said that it is not their dog. Luckily they are good people and veterenarians themselves, so they keep her and ran a few checks. There was some mistake with the number. Different directories list her number as belonging to different owners. At one of them she is listed as a male.

So in the meantime she is waiting for her real owners. Maybe we’ll take her eventually. To be continued.

I’m an Existentialist

What are you?

No Nukes

Twenty years ago in a small town in Ukraine there was a big nuclear explosion.

In 1986 i lived in Moscow. A few months before the explosion i was with my family in Ukraine, in a town called Ostior (i hope it’s the right spelling), which is quite close to Chernobyl. When my parents heard about the explosion, they were rather panicky – they know a couple of things about physics and my father worked in power plants (non-nuclear) all his life. (He also served in Chernobyl as a soldier of the Soviet Army.)

I was only 6 years old, but i liked listening to the news, even though it was 60% about the imperialist armament race (гонка вооружений) and 40% about the great crops of wheat and cotton (перевыполненый план по сборке урожая, и т.д.). A few days later when people started talking openly about the terrible consequences i started connecting things and told my mom:

— “Mama, now the Americans must be really laughing at the USSR – our Soviet government is fighting against nuclear weapons all the time and now we have done a bad nuclear explosion ourselves, didn’t we? Did i get it right?”

— “Yes, dear …”

For No Reason (with translation into Hebrew)

On Saturday there was the inevitable meeting between my parents and Hadar’s, in Petach Tikva. Wedding stuffs. When i came out to meet my folks the first thing father told me was:

בשבת הייתה הפגישה הבלתי נמנעת בין ההורים שלי לבין ההורים של הדר בביתם בפתח תקווה. ענייני חתונה. יצאתי לפגוש את ההורים שלי ולכוון אותם לחניה והדבר הראשון שאבא שלי אמר לי, כבר במכונית, היה:

— “It’s very important that the food will be very good. Because you know, there are such people who like it when meat is fried on both sides…”

— “זה חשוב מאד שהאוכל יהיה טוב, כי אתה יודע, יש אנשים שמאד אוהבים שצולים את הבשר משני הצדדים…”

— “And i like it when there’s no meat at all.”

— “ואני אוהב שאין בשר בכלל”.

He didn’t even consider the possibility that i might have negative feelings about something that he said, let alone the possibility that i don’t want any dead animals on my wedding.

הוא בכלל לא העלה על הדעת את האפשרות שיהיו לי אי-אלו רגשות בקשר למה שהוא אמר, שלא לדבר על האפשרות שאולי אני לא ארצה חיות מתות בחתונה שלי.

Obviously most of the talk focused on that. Hadar’s mother is in denial. She didn’t even want to look on the dairy menus that we brought. Quite expectedly she went to a few banquet halls herself, ’cause she didn’t have the patience to wait for us to choose a place and she doesn’t trust our taste in the first place and that’s before our vegetarianism is even taken into account – and it is not. She showed the proposals and the menus from the other halls to my parents, who liked them. “You see”, she said to them, “this place has fried chicken” – “Oh yes, yes, fried chicken”. I wanted to say: “They’re all the same, they’ve all got fried chicken, and that’s exactly the reason why i’m not going there” – but refrained. Why waste words and nerves.

מובן שרוב השיחה התמקדה בזה. אמא של הדר בהכחשה. היא לא רצתה בכלל להסתכל על התפריטים החלביים שהבאנו. באופן צפוי למדי היא ביקרה בכמה אולמות אירועים בעצמה, כי לא היתה לה סבלנות לחכות לנו שנמצא אולם, וחוץ מזה היא לא סומכת על הטעם שלנו מלכתחילה – וזה עוד לפני שהיא בכלל מתחשבת בצמחונות שלנו, והיא לא. היא הראתה את הצעות המחיר ואת התפריטים להורים שלי, שאהבו אותם. “תראו”, היא אמרה, “יש פה פרגיות בתפריט”. “אה, כן, כן, פרגיות.” רציתי להגיד: “הם כולם אותו דבר, בכולם יש פרגיות, ובדיוק בגלל זה אני לא אלך אליהם”, רציתי להגיד – אבל לא אמרתי. למה לבזבז מילים ועצבים.

My parents don’t take it well too. I try to explain that all their worries are for no reason, that the food will be good even without meat, but it doesn’t help. They say that it’s insensible towards them and their friends – but what about sensibility towards me? They say that i can’t impose my beliefs on the public – but what about the public imposing its beliefs on me? By the way, i don’t have any beliefs – if meat is to be ate, blood must be spilled first, that’s a fact. It’s the public that wrongly believes that it’s necessary to eat meat and completely ignores the fact the many millions of people live and celebrate without it.

גם ההורים שלי לא מקבלים את זה בקלות. אני מנסה להסביר להם שכל הדאגות שלהם הם ללא שום סיבה, שהאוכל יהיה טוב גם אם לא יהיה בשר, אבל זה לא עוזר. הם אומרים שאני מפגין חוסר רגישות כלפיהם וכלפי החברים שלהם, שהם רוצים להזמין – אבל מה עם קצת רגישות כלפיי? הם אומרים שאני לא יכול לכפות את האמונות שלי על הקהל – אבל מה עם הקהל רוצה לכפות את האמונות שלו עליי? לי אין שום אמונות – כדי לאכול בשר צריך לשפוך דם וזו עובדה, לא אמונה. זה הקהל שמאמין ש”צריך” לאכול בשר ומתעלם מכך שיש מיליוני אנשים שחיים וחוגגים בלי זה.

But getting back to sensibility – i admit that i’m rather surprised by people’s insensibility. In one hall to which i went yesterday the marketing guy offered me a dairy menu with fish and when i asked whether i can replace the fish with something else, he told me that i can’t: “Why abuse the guests?” Isn’t it his fucking job to be minimally sensitive to his potential clients?

אבל נחזור לרגישות – אני די מופתע מחוסר הרגישות שחלק מהאנשים מפגינים לנושא. אתמול הסתובבנו בין אולמות ואיש המכירות של אחד מהם הציע לי תפריט חלבי של קייטרינג הבית – דבר יוצא דופן ודי מבורך לכשעצמו – אבל הוא כלל דגים. כששאלתי אם אפשר להמיר את הדגים במגוון רחב יותר של מנות צמחוניות, הוא אמר – “לא, חייבים לקחת דגים. למה להתעלל באורחים?” לעזאזל, חשבתי שהעבודה של איש מכירות זה להראות רגישות ללקוחות עתידיים.

If until yesterday i had doubts about ordering meat, now i’m hundred percent firm: I’m not taking any part in paying fifty thousand sheqels for meat – even if it will be somebody else’s money, and in killing about two hundred chickens and a larger than zero number of cows. Not on my celebration.

בקיצור, אם עד אתמול היו לי עוד הרהורים שאני כן אקנה בשר במקרה קיצוני, עכשיו זה מנוי וגמור: אני לא הולך לקחת שום חלק בקניית בשר בכחמישים אלף שקל, גם אם מישהו אחר ישלם עליו, וברצח של כמאתיים תרנגולות ועוד מספר כלשהו של פרות. לא בחגיגה שלי.

People Speaking – Inclinations

— “If you’re looking for a doctor for your baby, it’s important to go to someone normal. These doctors have … inclinations … For example – if your child is one millimeter over the standard line for his age, they tell you to stop giving him any food. Don’t listen to them. Ever. And it’s very important that you tell your wife not to listen to her mother. And you don’t listen to your mother either.”

Lost With a Graveyard Tan

This is old, but i just love getting back at it. I almost choked laughing:

Audioslave: Out of Exile: Pitchfork Review

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

I didn’t mention Arabs in that entry about NU-NRP for a few reasons, the main of which is that that Arabs are not the problem.

I’ll write more about it one day.



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