Camels, Climbing and Crashing :)

3:00 AM.

I was freshly showered, curling up in bed, lights out, dreaming softly.

6:30 AM.

I was jerked awake by the sound of my Madricha’s voice, blasting over the loudspeaker.

“Attention girls! The bus is leaving at 7:00! Get up, get dressed, and get downstairs!”

I groaned, rolled over, counted on my fingers from 3 until 6, added the half hour, and nearly cried. I did whatever I could to avoid coming out of bed, but finally realized that if I wanted to catch our bus, I had better get a move on. Jumping off of my bunk bed in an impossibility if I like my legs the way they are, so I did the usual ladder climb; holding on for dear life, my bare feet gripping the cold, irregularly shaped metal rungs, I landed with a thump on the stone floor of my room that resembles an ice-skating rink. I skidded to a halt in front of my flip-flops, struggled into them and slumped off to the bathroom.

7:10 AM

After frantic packing (throwing sunscreen, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, chap-stick and some water into my backpack, along with my camera, cell phone and possibly some other useless junk) I ran to the bus. Funny enough, I was going with my friend, and we stepped out of our building into the cold Israel air, made an immediate right and walked half a block to where our tour bus usually waits, but lo and behold, it wasn’t there. In confusion, we turned and headed back to our building only to discover the bus was- get this- parked right outside all along; we hadn’t even looked to the left. Oh, the things we do on three and a half hours of sleep.

 

Skipping time. I slept for a while on the bus, we got to a random spot, davened and ate some strawberry yogurt, chocolate pudding, and a baguette. I usually get nauseous on the bus after eating, so I just had a yogurt, saved some food for later, and went back to sleep.

I woke up to a bunch of white plateau-looking mountains. This is the usual scenery in the Dead Sea area- all around the Ein Gedi area, and since this was our third time travelling to the Dead Sea, I wasn’t too impressed. We climbed some sort of stairs-hike, took a thousand pictures, and got back on the buses.

I slept again, as this is obviously my favorite pastime (and I’m generally sleep-deprived) and then we arrived at the camel riding…place.

It was a little after 12:00 PM, possibly 1:00.

We all used the bathroom, and waited around as the Bedouins loaded us up on the camels. My friend and I were partners, as there are two to a camel, but there were no camels left for us, so we had to wait while they went and woke one up.

Our camel was led into the corral roaring and rearing, yawning, chomping and making a terrifying racket. He refused to kneel so that we could mount him, and it took two Bedouins (one with a stick) and a stable hand to get him to cooperate.

We discovered later that he was “ah-yeif” which means tired in Hebrew, but at the time we thought he was INSANE. Everyone was freaking out, but the rule is, if someone screams while on the camels, they get taken off, no questions asked.

So my friend and I held our breaths, and together, we mounted the camel. Camels rise in a three-step process, which I can’t even describe because it is so confusing, but YouTube probably has a delightful movie, so head there to figure it out.

Our camel rose slowly, but jerkily, and I was sitting in the front, holding on for dear life. My friend and I were part laughing and  part crying as our camel was attached by string to the last one in line. Our camel had his face in the girl in front of us’s camel, and she was petrified that he would bite her, but he didn’t, which shocked me. A Bedouin took the lead rope and all the camels began to  clomp around a lame, smooth trail that took about 30 minutes. I am so happy the school payed for this experience, because I would beat myself up if I dished out money for camel riding.

I basically sat for thirty long, painful minutes, getting bumped around and commenting on our ridiculous looking animal. We named him MAD, for Mangy Anorexic Dragon. He looked beat up, skeletal skinny, dirty, and deranged. The Dragon bit came from the insane sounds he made.

I’m getting dizzy just thinking about the dismounting part, and I must conclude with the fact that I like horse-back riding a LOT better. (And I don’t even LIKE horse-back riding.)

After our non-exciting and painful camel tour, we loaded up onto the bus again, where I…how did you guess? Slept!

We ate lunch somewhere, then loaded up again (I think I only snoozed this time.)

Then we went to some place that has awesome colorful rocks which can be smashed into fine sand, so we filled up vials of different colored sand, working mindlessly for who knows how long. We davened Mincha there as well.

Back on the bus (you got it, slept again! I probably got a full 8 hour nap in 🙂 ) we drove to the Dead Sea, pulled out our food, and had an awesome BBQ of chicken, hot-dogs and great food. We heard close to 30 army planes flying overhead, insanely low and extremely loud, positively petrifying, to be precise. But there’s an army base nearby  so I was reassured with that information.

After dinner, we went back to sem. You’re going to laugh, but I slept on the way home, too. I then planned out my weekend with my friend, which was futile because no one can have us for Shabbos (waiting to hear back from my uncle in PT) and our biking in Binyomina plans got cancelled.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that today rocked, literally, ha ha, and I am looking forward to the rest of my vacation!

Keep UNraveling!

Birthdays, Cats, and Other Israeli Legends

So Life Has Definitely Been Intense.

Welcome to my life.

 

Still can’t spell “Definitely”…argh!

 

Ok. I spent Shabbos with my friend on Sorotzkin, at cousins. We had an amazing time, and one of my favorite moments was standing on the “Promenade” overlooking the mountains. There’s something about the views in Israel that are unparallelled anywhere else. Mountains, sunglight, forests, beaches, trees, the works. Masterworks.

This place is awesome, and if you haven’t yet been here, please change that. Fast.

Anyways. Oh, yes, my birthday.

I’m 18, you guys. It’s kinda scary, so I try not to think of it too much.

My birthday was amazing. I got more phone calls, hugs, cards, birthday signs, presents and balloons (over 18 of them, actually) then I have ever received in my LIFE. I think. And my friend came in and a few of us went out to eat and my sister bought me an ice coffee. I received, amongst other things, Doritoes, earrings, chocolate, Oreos, a ceramic cow, and  a fascinating drawing.

Now I know who my real friends are (LOL).

SO, smashingly successful birthday, and thank you for your kind wishes.

Moving on. Heh heh I can’t wait for my Hebrew birthday lol.

 

So Israel lets you take public transportation, naturally, since you need to be partially insane to own or drive a car here, but anyways, being seventeen up until last week, combined with my Israeli passport, entitled me to half priced rides on all buses and trains.

Which I ddin’t really think of toooooften, so when I would take a cab, or two, or six, I would say, well, it’s only 10 shekel (about $2.50) instead of the usual fare of 6.60 shekel, and I wouldn’t feel too bad.

Turned 18, happy birthday, only NOW do I start paying 6.60-before it was 3.30. SOOOO- should not have hailed that cab.

Moving on. This is funny.

A week before my birthday I purchased 40 rides for half price. (when I purchased in bulk, I recognized they were cheaper, to explian the cab situation.) After my birthday, my card (called a Rav-Kav) stopped working. I went to the Tachana Merkazit (Central Bus Station, where they deal with people like me) na dthey informed me that because I was no longer entitled to half-price tickets, my previous purchase had become invalid.

Imagine that! They won’t even let me use up my card-I assume becuase they foresaw that people like me would just load up a few years worth of rides and travel at half price forever.

Ah well, entering the poorhouse as we speak…

In other news, I volunteered with about half my school at Yad Eliezer today. We packaged over 270 boxes, and it was a BLAST! I literally just dumped a bottle of soap into a cardboard box and then did another one and another one, for over 30 minutes.

Assembly lines rock! And roll. Fast.

LOL

Ok.

My room has been spotless lately.

I talked to my brother on the phone for almost an hour.

I miss my friend.

I tried to write a song.

I had to reward myself with chocolate every five minutes of sitting quietly through a certain class. NO joke.

I need to go study now.

For all you people who have been motivationg me, helping me, guiding, encouraging, thinking of or praying for me, I just wanna shout out to you all from the bottom of my heart, and across half the universe that I miss you and love you and if not for you- you know who you are- I probably wouldn’t be here today.

So thanks.

 

And now for story time.

I was walking with a friend down a shady sort of street one chilly night last weekend. The time was late, our eyes were drooping with lack of sleep and the only thing we wanted at that moment was a nice warm bed- not a freakin’ Chad Gadya episode.

A bald man with a black jacket holding  a red leash was yelling at his huge black dog. Screaming “Attack, Attack!” at the top of his lungs, he pointed his dog toward an (innocent?) black and white cat who freaked out and lurched forward- right towards me and my friend.

The man (he seemed to be an arab) screamed hysterially with drunken laughter, and followed his eager dog, who was literally pulling at the leash to attack the cat who was headed right towards US!

The fight or flee instinct seemed to evade my friend and myself- to be precise, it was simply a “flee” instinct that pushed us to scream hysterically and run as fast as we could out of that dark street. We ran until we could no longer see the cat and crew, who had taken off on a wild chase in the opposite direction. I was panting, and my friend was laughing, and trying to pull me along, and we suddenly noticed a man with headphones talking to us.

When we looked at him inquiringly, though, he ignored us, and this went on for some time until, still panting, we had caught up to him. At this point, he turned towards us and asked, smilingly, with an Indian sounding accent,

“whatever is dee matter?”

So we told him about the dog and cat, and the crazy man, and he laughed and said in his funny accent,

“Do not worry. I am here, I am here.” and we thanked him, and asked if he knew how to fight dogs, to which he reassured us he did, and then, after saying “I am here now” once more,  he walked off.

My friend and I just looked at each other, and we were all like, “where?”

So then we walked home and went to bed. The end. Lol.

Keep UNraveling.

SemGirl Ramble 2

You know that feeling you get when things are looking great, everything is falling into your lap and for the life of you, you can’t just imagine anything better? And then everything just…gets better? Sounds rare, crazy, idealistic and possibly insane, but…

Welcome to the past week of my life.

So, quick updates and sign-in is coming up in less than ten minutes. (Actually, the madrichot just signed us in without making us climb four flights of stairs, so I get to stay in the computer room in the basement. See what I mean about insanely awesome?)

To review, because you’ve probably forgotten about my existance, so how can you recall where I’m up to in life?

Rosh Hashana was phenom- went to Karmiel with my sister and stayed at great family friends, had a blast and spent some quality time with my BFF.

The time leading up to Yom Kippur was slightly stressful, classes and much emotional junk going on, think I wrote about that, but I did OK.

Yom Kippur spent at Medrash Shmuel, beautiful choirs with soloists galore, lots of walking and broke my fast twice. Lol. Spending the fast day in the holiest city in the world was INCREDIBLE and hopefully I will never ever forget it.

And then came Sukkos prep. Prepare for some breathtaking stories because this girl is living in the Holy City, where miracles happen. Every. Day.

The day after Yom Kippur, a Thursday, our sem took us on a crazy long full day trip. Woken up before 8:00 am by our Trip Coordinator, with cheery words and loud, boy-choir music, we stumbled down to the bus, most of us feeling slightly “post-fast” and very tired.

We first went sand duning,  just cimbing massive hills of sand and running or rolling down, and this was near Ashdod. After sweating like we were in the Sahara desert, we made our way to the stunning beach of the Mediteranian Sea, somwhere in Hertzlya, I think. The water was a stunning blue-green, the sky bright with the sun streaming through, and the sand white as a set of Crest Whitestrips enhanced teeth (um, what?). We splashed and jumped and squealed, and the salty water washed over us, to the point that our eyes and noses were quite sore. No joke, I thought I would get washed away at one point, and the lifeguards had to keep yelling,

“Banot!” Which means “girls”, and then a whole string of Hebrew warnings would follow, all of which we gaily ignored. Our time at the beach was glorious, and stay tuned for pictures.

Now, since we beached in our clothes, we had to make our wet and sandy way back to the bus for the third time, and sat uncomfortably until we got to the boat docks.

This part of Hertzlya was beautiful, and as the sun began to sink in the sky, the first shift of sem girls, myself included, boarded a massive speedboat with a net in the back. Ten girls would take turns lying in the net, which meant we were flying inches above the water. Since the boat was going so fast, it would bump up and down, crashing over the incoming waves, causing enourmous amounts of water to spray up and down, and throwing us around so we quite literally were like fish in a net. The experience was horrifying, frightening, exhilerating and enjoyable, all twined up in one salty, confused, bumpy ride.

There was one wave so big, for a second the boat seemed to hang in midair, and then it came crashing down in such a way that I was completely blinded, screaing with my hands pressed against my eyes and nose (oh, that water was salty!) and my feet went completely over my head as I smashed into the wall of the boat.

Thankfully, there were no injuries, and I can happily say that I still had a smile on my face (my dripping wet face) as I clambered up the slippery deck, grabbing onto poles and friends alike as I raced for a seat before the next wild wave. Many girls felt sea-sick, but I just felt thrilled, like a true sailor at sea.

I got incredible pictures of the setting sun, sailboats, and all water related things, and unfortunatly, all too soon, our trip came to an end.

We changed in a mall on the pier, walking past Gap in sopping, dripping clothes and flip-flops was not awkward at ALL (the restroom cleaner got a little ticked off) but we apologized and cleaned up as best as we could.

We ate dinner, davened mincha and bussed (again!) to a park where people work out and adults can play and be children there.

My friends and I made a chain down a massive tunnel slide, which resulted in many bruises. Surprisingly, sand duning, swimming in a sea and rocking a boat ride are not problematic for seminary girls, but going down a tunnel slide is.

Through all this time, I had not yet made Sukkos plans for second days and I was FREAKING out (they kept blasting music on the bus, I got wrong numbers, busy signals…) but when we got back to seminary, I finally got my Sunday night and Monday lunch meals in order.

Here I will stop, give you a few minutes of a break, see if I can get pictures up, and then start a new post!

Stay tuned, comment hard!

Keep UNraveling!

Late Grad

 

And so the time has come again; that awful, awful time, like missing the alarm clock ring, or getting soaked as a road-enraged driver forces his vehicle through a muddy puddle; the time where tears of laughter turn to tears of heartbreak, where the deer waits with bated breath for a sign of the jaguar, and this time is imminent upon us.

Therefore, without further ado, I must declare with most sincere apologies, once again, that this time which I have been referring to is time too long. 

 

So. There you have it. Sorry (as usual) for keeping you waiting for so long. These blog posts take their time coming out.

But, now that we got the hard part out of the way, it’s onto fun, fun, fun!

The first thing I have to say is that I am no longer a victim!

Victim? What is this, one might say, that unravel can be a victim? How so?

Well, when a stranger wishes to know where I’m from and what school I go to, instead of answering “Detroit, Homeschooled“, (and then going into a lengthy description of the latter, replete with handouts and PowerPoint presentations, hence, the victimization) I can smile smugly and say, “Detroit. None.”

 

Upon hearing this, they may peer closely at me and say, “Do you mean to tell me that you’re….-gasp- homeschooled?”

“Nope.” I will reply. “None means none.”

“Aha! So you are UNschooled!”

“Even better!” I will respond. “I am DE-schooled!” This sentence will throw them off-balance (quite literally) so I will save them and say, “You know how it is, deplaning means getting off of a plane after a flight journey, Deschooling means….leaving school after a fright journey.”

Hope they didn’t have a fright journey

Blank stares.

“Graduation? Get it?”

“Oh.”

Yes. Well, to be very, very, very clear, I am officially (well….unofficially-the ceremony is on Wednesday) a high school GRADUATE! Which, in essence, means I am on summer vacation, I am NO LONGER a senior…and all this happened today!

I had hours of schoolwork and no time and I prayed to G-d which is the only ONLY way it all turned out good in the end! And since I have spent the day reflecting how I slept for four hours last night, I will end this post promptly and say goodnight.

(Just wanted to add, fright journey was purely for the heck of it; high school-even as a homeschooler was REALLY not that bad but if I had to do it over…I wouldn’t.

Keep UNraveling!

Hi Again

May - Oct 2006 Calendar

May - Oct 2006 Calendar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know, it’s been too long, but don’t expect this post to be a lengthy one to make up for the length of time I have kept you waiting. To justify myself and this inexcusable lack of activity on this here blog, I must say that I have been lazy in the past months; to be precise, I have been EXTRAORDINARLIY lazy.

However, I don’t apologize because…well, I’m too lazy to!

So, let me send you some basic updates on the life of the great and wonderful me. (Gosh, it does feel kinda good to be writing again!)
So I haven’t written or drawn in a LONG time (for pleasure/leisure I mean, not for classes) so it feels great to just let loose!

In the past few months, aside from being incredibly lazy about some things, I have been even more busy in other areas. I got accepted to Seminary, and I’m super excited to go!

I keep seeing BLOUSES in every store and am TEMPTED to buy them, but I’m waiting to find out when seminary even starts, and if they have a uniform! So far, they have been pretty quiet about everything.

Life has been insane. I have a crazy awesome HP story to share with you all. But in the meantime, I took the ACT’s, MME’s and WorkKeys (being homeschooled, I didn’t have the opportunity to take them in Junior year) so THAT was a hassle!

Purim was phenom…I dressed up like a pirate 

and drank like one as well…kidding.

Pesach cleaning and cooking has turned my house into a mini matzah factory, minus the matzah, so far, and there’s a quick article to come on the Pesach Baking Horrors…I specialize in those. As I complained to my friend…no one’s gonna want to marry me, because I can’t bake for Pesach! Um, try a bakery?

 

Pesach away

Pesach away (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok, so that being said, I just cleaned out my closet and have filled an ENTIRE LAUNDRY BASKET OVERFULL with clothes and random bits of STUFF that are GOING, GOING, GOING, GONE! So if anyone wants to sort through stuff…I can’t think at the moment what’s going on in there, but there is One Skirt that I am Sad to Say Goodbye To…a BCBG MaxAzria size 4 black skirt, that’s so cute it makes me cry, but unless I start working out again -another thing  I have been lazy about in these past 2 months- it’s not happening 😦Ellen Tracy Skirt, Flared Godet

The weather has challenged our sanity time and agian, to the point that I have both fan and heater plugged into my power strip, each growling with tension, waiting to be used.

We had no winter this year, just mild slush and rain, then a crazy 80 degree heat spell and now, FiNALLY, we are following “nature”  and having crisp, fresh sunny days with a light nip in the air that makes us pull our sweatshirts a wee bit tighter around us.

Oh MY GOSH HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN….

I went on the Ohr Naava Shabbaton again (see pix here: http://ohrnaava.smugmug.com/Events/Purim-week-end-2012/21814124_v7z3X2#!i=1739275714&k=wDtNJFD), and the group and I have brought it back to Detroit with us! We are starting this thing, we don’t have an official name, and it’s all very unofficial, so why I’m posting this online I have no idea, but who cares, so we started with a small group of girls who I’ve been learning Hilchos Tzniyus  (modesty laws) with and then we expanded and had speeches and stuff, all occurign every Shabbos and we now have 15-20 girls. We are not looking to expand-yet, but rest assured, this will OVERTAKE the WORLD! WHOOO!!!

I have no idea what I’m saying anymore. I sound like the head of a cult. Uh OH! LOL…kidding!

 

So this guy is in an interview, and the InterviewER leans forward, cupping his fingers together lightly and, tilting his head to one side and squinting a bit, says in an intense, probing voice: “If you were to describe yourself in one word, one word only, what would it be?”

The InterviewEE leans back, thinking, trying to keep his cool, running his sweaty palms up and down his dressiest pants. After a moment he looks up and, with a question in his voice, he says, “Paul?”

LOL

Keep UNraveling!

Fool-O The Leader

I just went through my Followers page and apparently I have over 30 followers and I know barely a third of them, which is pretty petrifying if you think of it.

I mean, who are you, O Follower of My Blog? You, yes you! You never comment, and do you actually read my blog?  I’m not subscribed to yours; should I be?

Some of you have been subscribed to my blog for over a YEAR and I didn’t even know it!

This makes me confused.

"Confused" (61/365)

I don’t know why.  But then again, that’s probably because I am confused.

It’s holiday time now, and I guess a lot of us are sitting around with family and friends, or maybe, sadly, but more likely, we are sitting with our computers.

We are all checking our Inbox and Walls, and our Dashboards, of course.

Anna checking facebook

Image by TIFFANY DAWN NICHOLSON (TDNphoto) via Flickr

Of course. But how many of us actually read the 37 blogs we are subscribed to?

How many of us actually have the time, patience, or interest to do that?

Not many, I guess.

Many a time have I glanced warily at a blog that landed in my inbox, scanned the title, hesitated, and then firmly hit “Delete”.

Simply because I don’t have the time, patience or interest.

It’s not personal; I subscribed because I enjoyed one or two posts (or maybe I OD’d on your entire blog and enjoyed all of it!) but it’s been a while since then and I don’t remember why I liked it, what you wrote about, or even the fact that I subscribed!

This leads me to a sad truth; most of my subscribers are probably the same way!

I guess I am no longer confused, or petrified, because all of you 30-something Followers are not letting my words penetrate further than your inbox!

While this brings about a feeling of relief, it’s also a bit of a let-down, because if it isn’t you reading this, who is it?

Well, whoever you are, I will probably never know, and as my bedtime has fast approached, hovered, and passed, I must bid you a good night and a Happy Holidays!

Thanks for reading!

Keep UNraveling!

This! Is! Funny!

"Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases - As ...

Hiccups, Coughs and Torture All in One

“Whatever you say goes back to you” is a stupid, childish phrase that I hate to repeat, yet I can’t think of a more fitting sentance to describe what just happened to me moments ago.

 

I was eating supper with my brothers (pizza, actually!) and we were discussing torture methods, such as tying up a guys arms, legs and mouth and passing his favorite hot food under his nose for three seconds, then leaving for 24 hours, before repeating the process.

Somehow, our conversation switched to riddles and I repeated this one I heard a few weeks ago:

“Bob is walking through the desert, when suddenly he needs a drink. He walks into the nearest bar, and asks for a drink of water. The bartender pulls out a gun, holds it up, and scares Bob. Bob says thanks, and leaves” Obvious question; what is going on here?

Well, my brothers tried guessing various things; water gun, what’s a bar doing in the desert, etc, etc, but to no avail. Meanwhile, I filled my mother in on my day, crazy application story, how I tried to buy a phone off of craigslist from some druggie, you know, the usual.

 

Suddenly, I coughed on my water (can’t remember why) splurted it out over my pizza, backwashed it into my cup, and caught the remaining leaks in my hand. Awkward, and I don’t think I’ve done that since I was three.

As I was alternating coughing and laughing, I said, “OH, NO! I hope I don’t get the hiccups!” You see, when I cough a lot, I get the hic-hiccups.

My body did not fail me this time. DANG! My brothers cracked up, because of course, “I hope I don’t hic!…” sounds pretty funny. So there I was hiccuping for all I was worth, and it’s a lot, let me tell you that, when I suddenly thought of the riddle.

“That’s the answer, by the way!” I said, “Bob has the hiccups. He needs a drink- to stop the hiccups, and the bartender scares them out of him by holding up a gun”

We all cracked up, because who says a hiccup riddle and gets the hiccups? We then discussed hiccup-removal methods, and if water, thinking of giraffes, or being scared works. My 13 year old brother gave a little “ROAR” but I just raised my eyebrows. And made a cute little “hic!”

Then I went to tell my mom the riddle’s answer (my misfortunate plight) and my little brother kept bugging me until I turned and barked/hiccuped, “WHAT?”

“I wanna show you something” he said. It immediatly entered my mind that 13 year old brother was hiding behind the staircase, ready to jump at me and scare the hiccups out of me, but I followed, still talking to my mother.

Just as I took a breath in to cough, my mother moved away from where she was standing and my brother jumped out from the bathroom entance- NOT where I had been expecting him to come from at ALL- and he yelled

“RAHHHHHH!” I screamed almost as loud as him, mid-cough, so it sounded worse, and LITERALLY jumped in the air. After I had finished gasping and laughing…I realized my hiccups were gone. GONE! It works! He scared the “hic” outta me!

Though he didn’t hold me up with a gun, well, my brother jumping out of the wall is nearly as scary, and so, what I had spoken about before all came straight back to me.

So, my dear children, watch what you say…but don’t come running to me if you’ve been discussing Mercedes and iPhones and they haven’t appeared. I’ll just tie you up and wave some pizza under your nose…heh heh heh…

Anyways, I know I’ve been neglecting you, bloggie, but that’s because I started a new one, just between me and some friends…but I haven’t been keeping that one going either! Oh, well…

Keep UNraveling!

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