Thursday, December 31, 2009

Northern Israel: Days 1-5

Leaving, we watched the sunrise over Mt. Rainier. It was really something amazing...we were so close---truly stunning.

We are back in the land of internet. For a few hairy moments up Mt. Hermon, I wasn't sure we were going to make it. We were up in the parking lot and in the middle of a cloud and couldn't see three parking spaces away, let alone how to get out of tke parking lot or where the heck we were going. Getting down the twisty turny road was done by watching 5 feet ahead. I had an anxiety attack and Adam nearly died laughing. Lissa (my mama) managed to not "hiss" at my father, as is her usual pattern when he drives in a manner she doesn't like...which was a miracle.

Here are just a few pictures-click to see the larger ones.

Buying Bakhlava in the Haifa Wadi.
It was kinda surreal...we went down in the day after the festival of festivals. for the first time ever i saw the wadi totally shut one was moving...and the only thing open was this store. Usually, this quarter--the arab area, is crawling with people, teeming with life, cars and yummy tasting eats. This sunday....silence.

The old City of Akko--a world heritage site. Adam climbed up the city walls to get this photo near the land gate. Akko, also known as Acre and Akka, was a penal colony for the Ottoman Empire and was entirely walled in-with only an entrance by sea and one by land. For many years there was no running water into the city.

The bunker at Mt. Ben Tal . High atop a windy mountain in the Golan, lies this bunker. To get this shot A had to wait out about 200 18 year olds on birthright israel. WHEW.

Orthodox Capernum, Sea of Galilee. Capernum is where Jesus and Peter were said to have lived.

Nimrod's Fortress, Golan Heights, right before the clouds blew in obscurring everything more than 5 feet away.

And finally, coming home was STUNNING. This photo is taken atop the Mt. Carmel ridge looking north. The ridge line in the distance in the photo is the Lebanese border.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My love for Amelia and missing mommies

We are in the big countdown...less that 45 hrs till i leave to go see these folks:
I am soooooo ready to go. My desk at work is all clear, my stuff is packed, i just keep going around in circles mind racing.  The last days are always the hardest for me...i can't stand waiting.  It's highly possible i am the most impatient person on the planet right now, a creature of instant gratification if you will. Leaving them is worse. i don't let them come into the airport because i cry. it's a mess. I worry it will be the last time i see them.

This morning was rough. I am exceptionally blessed to still have five of the most amazing women in my life who i have known since i was 13/14 years old. We all went to an international boarding school together and in many ways i think of them each as my sisters and not as girlfriends. This morning, we got an email from one of them that she was rushing to the airport to fly half way around the world because her mother was passing away. My heart wrenched out of my chest and I made my own mama call me from Israel. I wanted her prayers for Amelia and her mother and also the sound of her voice.

This is how it is for all 6 of us. If anything happened we each be the one at the airport scrambling to fly over oceans and continents to where our families are. We have all chosen lives apart from many of those we wish to be closest to--including each other. We would each be relying on the strength of the others to get us through what will no doubt be the longest flight of our lives.

So, today i bide my time with my thoughts firmly wrapped around Shmeels, for her protection and that she makes it in time. My mama is praying for hers at the Holy Shrines of our Faith. And in just a few short hours, I, too, can lend my prayers in those sacred places. Where there is love...there is always time.

P.S. today we added losing parents to the list of life experiences we have shared....May Mama Samuel's soul rest in peace.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holy law funniness...

Shamelessly jacked from:
After Pablo sent me a link to this blog, i read it alot...most of it is about the dumb shit lawyers do...they have been having a caption contest for this picture however.

ATL Caption Contest: Study Stall

The picture came from a law student at Fordham, in New York, who said:  I attend a law school here in the city, and this is what I walked into after my Property Class. Funny, I don’t find classes this hard — but obviously I am doing something wrong. He probably gains an extra 4.5 hours of studying a week this way! P.S. I am willing to bet that book makes it to the same table as his lunch. I’m just saying.

The caption that was a landslide:  "Pictured in stalls from left to right: 3L, 1L, 2L."

If you don't get it, let me know and explain further, but the summary is that the number in front of an L is how many years you have been torturing yourself in law school.

Friday, December 18, 2009

the inevitable post finals " i AM a slug" day

I feel like i'm dragging my feet a slug. I'm sure if someone dumped a bunch of salt on me i would melt down totally.

I dropped Adam off at the airport last night with his friend Jerome and J's folks. They are off to lie on the beach in Cancun for 5 days and enjoy ruins. I'm green with envy (see yet another thing i have in common with slugs). He will be back ENSHALLAH (God Willing) a whomping 30 hrs before we are to leave for Israel. My control freak nature was doing ok with this until he told me they were flying through O'Hare on the 23rd---at which point it was like said slug salting started and i almost melted down. I threatened him with death a few times and then drove away from the curb.

In the 30 hrs when he's back, we are doing Christmas eve with his family. I haven't done Christmas in a really long time. I don't remember anything about the couple times i think we went to church with friends as kids. All i remember is the Winegarden's Christmas lights. His family isn't particularly religious, which is good for me considering i AM. Although being Baha'i is frequently much more like a lifestyle and foundation for spirituality than a religion in my head.  Anyways, back to Christmas eve. Haven't ever done it as a grown-up, but I do appreciate that this is when humanity celebrates the birth of Christ. So, for the gift exchange i got these handmade wine glasses. I don't drink---but i wanted to get something pretty, perhaps useful (sparking cider is good in them too!) and support a local artist. I got the glasses from my friend Brooke's man: Justin Bagley. They are hand blown---black stems with irridescent gold cup parts. Really lovely.

In the meantime, I get to do all the things I have wanted to do for quite a while---like make it to a devotional called Unity Night at the Simmons home, take a whole bunch of stuff to Goodwill, buy Mona a bridal shower present, get the brakes checked, wash and clean out the truck and deep clean the apartment before the trip!!  If anyone's got free time, I would love to do coffee/dinner/Skype/see Avatar with you :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Zealand Hip Hop

Alright, here's my shameless plug of my best friend's hubby's new album:
<a href="">Usual Suspects - Dream Big by Breakin Wreckwordz</a>

One more final. Big Ups to Saia and the Usual Suspects.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

quirky is why i love you.

i should have gotten a picture...but this one, which i have used before will suffice, but it kinda portrays the behavior...just keep this guy in your head while you read the story...

he was manically cradling my admin law e&e (a study guide) and running his fingers over the pages to make the prrrrft sound that pages make when you flip them really fast. OVER and OVER and OVER again. When i attempted to take the book away (that sound is ALL KINDS of annoying) he looked like i had tried to kill his kitten and steal his favorite blanket all in one.

"Nooo, its sooo sofffffft" he kinda hissed at me. If you aren't picturing Gollum from Lord of the Rings please look at the picture again--because A and Gollum got all mixed up into one person with a mountain of studying to do being impeded by the complusive page petting. "Give me the book, NOW!" i demand. At which point he uses his whole body as a sheild to protect the stupid book while never stopping the page petting. i finally wrestled it away only to find him having grabbed the study guide i was working with to start petting it instead. It must have gone on like this for like half an hour. 

Every once in a while, A asks why i love him....well, babe, this is the answer, because you are quirky as all bloody get out...and i spend so much of my time with you laughing and happy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

recurring theme: I'm cold.

TENGO FRIO. en serio. Hace 21 F.

Yeah. so this morning as we headed into work in our carpool (yes i carpool three days a week--two reasons, cheaper parking and less gas) at 7:30am it was 21 degrees F. 21. that's nonsense. There's no snow and there's nothing to show for this deep freeze except me, shivering, rueing the winds coming from the Fraiser River Valley. Yes, i am blaming Canada.

So i get to work, only to find that there are crazy people still riding their bikes to work. Seriously?? Which leads me to two important thoughts:
1. i must eat more. if all 103 lbs of me cannot survive this cold, there's no way we (royal we, meaning me myself and i) are surviving Alaska next winter.
2. i must buy ear muffs immeadietly. The metal in my ears is freezing and it gives me headaches.

To distract myself from the inevitable turning into a snowperson, i've been reading this website: it makes me laugh.

Friday, December 4, 2009

t minus 3 weeks

the other morning i woke up to find my car covered in a slick cold substance i call evil and most people call frost. digging through the jeep of wonders, i located a pair of gloves and a scraper and proceeded to blow my morning timetable scraping the car free of the evil icyness.  later, the local news said this was the first time it had dropped below freezing at the airport since March seems winter has actually come. This poses two problems to my morning schedule:
1. it means i am going to have to account for time scraping the car.
2. it means i am going to have to account for time drying my hair, so it doesn't freeze when i walk outside.

i'm not a morning person. i have never been, so far as i am aware, a morning person. in fact, i have spent the vast majority of the last 20 years being nocturnal. at one point i completely reversed my sleeping pattern--getting up at 6pm and going to bed at 6am. It was nice. i liked it. the world is quiet and there is less traffic.

classes are over and the ramp up to finals is on. I have one on the 12th and one on the 16th. gratefully, i am much more on top of things this semester and will actually have time to prepare. Colelctive deep breath---its the home stretch of the marathon.