Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Animal House

Cousin Neil reminded me that I've been neglecting the blog and so, before the parents and brother invasion that is imminent, I'm going to try to do a very quick update on life.

My brother arrived on Christmas Day and well, he certainly has turned out to be the gift that just keeps on giving. He insisted that he not eat ANY meals in this house - breakfast, lunch, dinner and all snacks included. In a week, I've gained 7 pounds because he needs someone to eat with and so I've been going with him places.

Wednesday night, we went to Olive on Emek Refaim because it was in walking distance and The Dude wanted a piece of meat. He was disappointed in the size of his beef but fortunately, we were able to appease him with food over the course of the week so he wasn't so unhappy. That night, at 10:00 p.m., pidgeon had an ultrasound scheduled over at the Terem near the entrance of the City. We drove over and they were extremely efficient, and we were in and out within the half hour. Fortunately, what the ultrasound discovered was something manageable, so I was able to breath a great big sigh of relief. I know pidgeon wasn't too worried going into the ultrasound, but I was petrified. Hopefully, this will just be another blip in our lives and we can move on.

Pidgeon let me drive home to practice for my big driving test Thursday morning. It was fun to drive through town so late at night and B"H, we got home no problem. I was up extra early the next morning for my driving lesson and Avi, my favorite driving instructor, picked me up right on time. We drove around Arnona, Baka, Talpiot area and past the driving exam center, before he dropped me back home and promised to pick me up 15 minutes before the test. He told me to eat breakfast to help stave away the nerves so I took him up on his suggestion and grabbed a bite. My brother went to the Kotel to daven and then Pidgeon met him at Caffit on Emek Refaim for breakfast. They were both disappointed with the food but then they went to the Supreme Court and the Knesset for guided tours. They were very happy with that. Meanwhile, I was in the midst of my driving test and was in the back seat of Avi's car when we picked up the driving examiner. The British Chassid went first, I drove second, and the Christian Arab was last. Fortunately, my test lasted a total of 5 minutes and I didn't have to do anything like I did 14 years ago in NYC on my driving test. I guess since I've been driving for 14 years, he just wanted to make sure I could handle the car. Fortunately, I could. 

Avi promised me that he was going to drive us home and then, right when the test was over, he informed us all that we had to figure out other ways of getting back. I ended up walking 45 minutes through industrial Talpiot to get to the apartment. Needless to say, I wasn't so happy and told pidgeon to rip Avi a new asshole if I failed the test. Anyway, once the Dude got home we decided to relax a little and then we took a cab to the Malha Mall for some lunch and shopping. We ate at KFC and, well, since I've had the real stuff it was a bit disappointing. The Dude was thrilled and claimed it the best meal he's had in Israel thusfar. Oh well, we're trying. We ended up buying some hats for my sisters, a pair of Naot for my brother, a comic book for pidgeon and a People magazine for me before the night was over. We came back to the apartment and rested before we headed out to Emek again for dinner. We were also going to the Kotel to do the tunnel tours at 10:00 p.m., so I honestly don't remember where we went to eat but I know that the Dude wasn't too impressed. The tunnel tours were much better this time than last because it was in English. Some yeshiva guy asked whether or not the tunnel would cave in and we were unimpressed but the question. There was also a lot of sludge leaking through from the Muslim Quarter and all I wanted was some purelle. It was nasty that the sewage just leaks on down - they need to get in there and fix that problem. I was very happy when we got home as my day had been exhausting and I fell into bed and to sleep. 

Friday, the Dude took me to the zoo after I spent the morning peeling a sack full of pearl onions for the Beef Bourginone. It was a big time hassel, but it turned out really well so I was pleased. The zoo was exhausting, since the Dude made me walk all over the place. He kept asking me why I was huffing and puffing and I explained that I haven't done this much exercise in months! The zoo starts off in the valley and ends at the top of the mountain, so that was pretty much a big ass hike for me. It wasn't even so worth it when I saw my favorite animals, but the day was beautiful and it was nice to be outside. I complained the whole time - mind you - but that's just my way of saying I was having fun. Shabbos came in early and we ate dinner with pidgeon's parents and then walked home. We told my brother the walk would take 25 minutes but we decided to go the long way home to walk a bit with pidgeon's brother, so the walk actually took 37 minutes (oh yeah, my brother kept track). The house and warm and inviting and we all just fell asleep as soon as we could.

Shabbos day, I missed shul while pidgeon and The Dude went to Pelech, and spent the morning getting ready for lunch. We were having a whole bunch of guests so I tired my best to be a good hostess. Unfortunately, the two big shots of scotch from the night before didn't help and I was hung over and grumpy. I managed to get a smile on my face before our guests showed up and we had a very nice lunch. My food turned out really good and everyone ate well. We went to nap late and woke up an hour and a half after Shabbos ended.

We were really, really lazy that night and we all decided just to hang out at home and call it an early night. I was very appreciative that my brother was ok with that, since I was wiped and all I wanted to do was sleep. Fortunately, he let me do that, and I was very thankful.

Sunday morning came and we had a ton on our list to do. I found out that I passed my driving test and pidgeon had to take me to the DMV to pick up my drivers license. Unfortunately, we got there when the DMV was on a 20 minute break and the line was out the door. I feared we would be there forever, but once break time was over it was very efficient. We went to pick up the license and the woman yelled at us because she was closed on Sunday. Don't ask - completely messed up - but pidgeon yelled back and she ended up helping us. She was pissed because I started my driver license process under my maiden name, and had since officially changed my name to my married name, and apparently I was supposed to come back to the DMV and deal with the name change. Whatever, she gave me the paper and we were on our way home.

Pidgeon went to the office quickly and I got back to the apartment to clean up and check in with The Dude. He decided to go to Mini Israel and Latrun, while we went to the airport to meet my parents plane. It was so nice to see them and even nicer to get the second suitcase worth of goodies from the wedding. We put them in a cab to Tel Aviv and then drove back home so that I could unpack. The Dude just got back from his day trip and we decided to go to Selena's on Emek for dinner. We all got steaks - which were very yummy - and then we came back to the apartment. I finished putting everything away and we went to bed.

Yesterday, the Dude left for his day/night with my parents in Tel Aviv and we had the house all to ourselves. I went to the post office to pay for my driver's license and then came back to the apartment and completely vegged out. Originally, since it was New Year's Eve, our plan was to go out to a nice dinner and just celebrate together. We are both so tired and sick of eating out, that I just warmed up leftovers and we had a nice dinner at home. We watched some TV and then we went to bed. I fell asleep at 11:30 and pidgeon woke me at Midnight to give me a kiss. It was very, very sweet and, after listening to some of the fireworks in the distance, we went to sleep.

This morning was our 6:30 a.m. wake up and I got pidgeon out of bed with much difficulty. That's what happens when you stay up until Midnight! But, I made him a great lunch of shnitzel on a whole wheat roll with some salad, and then helped him get out the door. I called Cousin Neil to check in and wish him a Happy New Year and then I went back to sleep. I asked pidgeon to call me to wake me up at 9:30 and I was not happy to hear the phone ring. But, since the parents are arriving today for the rest of their stay here in Israel, I really had to get up and moving.

I had so much cleaning to do that I didn't know where to even begin! I decided to take care of us first, and pack us up since we'll be spending the next two nights at pidgeon's parents. I went to the Mamad to the suitcase corner and that's when I discovered the mold. The entire corner of the room is COVERED in green mold. I looked down and all of my suitcases are full of green shit. That's when I noticed it had spread underneath the window too and I started to freak out. I can't believe this is happening and my parents are going to come in and see this! 

I called our contractor and told him the problem and begged him to come and check it out, then I SMSed pidgeon to call me immediately and then I called pidgeon's Mom to ask her about the situation. Well, I tidied up as best as I could and moved all my suitcases away. I have to call Samsonite and ask them how to remove mold from my suitcase and lord knows how the hell I'm going to clean that wall. My parents are going to freak out when they get here but I swear, I had no idea this was growing in the room next door! How the hell it happened it another mystery and I'm not looking forward to finding out what's the cause.

I quickly packed us up and then tackled the master bedroom and bathroom. I put all new sheets and blankets and towels, and even moved away the beds and cleaned the dust bunnies. I lit a candle to freshen up the place and then I was done. I'm now doing two loads of our laundry, so when they leave we'll have clean sheets and towels to put back onto the bed, and I'm just waiting for the folks to arrive.

Hopefully, when they drop off their stuff and head out to dinner, I'll be able to do some cleaning so they won't be that unhappy. That being said, today is my Zaydie's Yahrzeit and I know my Mom is just not in a good mood.

Well, that's it for now, more to follow once they leave! Hope everyone reading this is having a fantastic New Years Day and is sleeping in - and sleeping it off - and just enjoying their start to 2008!

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