Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

F*ck War

I've been reading a lot about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from, what I think is, both sides of the argument. I follow a new acquaintance on Facebook who has been posting a lot about the conflict from the Palestinian perspective. She works as a photographer who has documented 1) domestic abuse in Palestine, 2) the last generation of Palestinian children born before the wall went up and 3) children imprisoned by Israel. For her full description of the projects, you can click here:  http://www.samarhazboun.com.

On the other hand, I've also read the accounts from old high school friends who live in Israel and the stance of the AJC, a Global Jewish Advocacy group in Chicago.

Unlike many of my friends, it's not possible for me to blankly say "I stand with Israel." I do not think the IDF is doing everything 100% right. I think if you look at Samar's website, you'll agree.


For every ten pictures I see that says Palestinians use their children as shields, I see one saying the same thing about the IDF. Just to provide more information, here's an entire IDF blog post about how Hamas uses children as human shields as a defense tactic http://www.idfblog.com/hamas/2012/01/14/hamas-human-shield-tactics/ and above, a picture demonstrating an IDF soldier crouched over what looks like a Palestinian teen "using him as a shield."


Then there are several sources that show Israel as the aggressor. To the left, a video called "Israel teaches children to hate and kill."

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I've heard arguments from both sides: (paraphrase) "please don't call this a war when it's between the fourth largest military in the world and a nation with no army, no navy and no airforce; this is genocide."

And on the other hand: "no other nation in the world would standby while there are hundred of rockets being shot daily into towns and villages.


The two videos I found most helpful to me in providing background and perspective for Israel's actions:



The Bottom Line: While I'm Jewish and believe Jews in Israel have a right to a state and to live peacefully without threats, I also think we need to be open-minded, diplomatic and understand other perspectives.It's hard to follow everything, but I encourage people to read instead of following blindly.

I also got more perspective, when one of my friends was impacted personally by a not-so-distant war: she found out this weekend that her boyfriend was deployed to Afghanistan. He will work to break down equipment so other soldiers can go home to their families after serving their tours. He will be serving for six months, time away from his family, girlfriend and friends. Time away from his daily life, time away from the safety we feel at home. I pray for his safety, for the safety of all of our soldiers, and for the safety for the people in Israel and Gaza. The only thing I wish would cease to exist is war, misunderstanding and conflict.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

On December 2, I will have a new member of my family...I'm getting a puppy. It will be one of the females out of Ella's litter and you can view them here:

After much deliberation and vetoes of popular votes like "noodle the doodle," her name will be Yoshimi for a favorite Flaming Lips song. Yoshimi will be my mini protector :-)


Lyrics:Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
Her name is Yoshimi
she's a black belt in karate
working for the city
she has to discipline her body
'Cause she knows that
it's demanding
to defeat those evil machines
I know she can beat them
Oh Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots eat me
Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots defeat me
Those evil-natured robots
they're programmed to destroy us
she's gotta be strong to fight them
so she's taking lots of vitamins
'Cause she knows that
it'd be tragic
if those evil robots win
I know she can beat them
Oh Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots defeat me
Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots eat me
Yoshimi
'Cause she knows that
it'd be tragic
if those evil robots win
I know she can beat them
Oh Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots defeat me
Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots defeat me
Oh Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots eat me
Yoshimi, they don't believe me
but you won't let those robots eat me
Yoshimi

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Mom, My Pimp

One of my favorite articles of all time :-). While things didn't last with the guy, this is a great memory for me. Enjoy the read.

Matchmaking Moms
They mean well, but they usually find Dr. McSlimy or Howie the Putz for their daughter
March 28, 2008

BY PAIGE WISER

Ashley Currie says she could write a book. She'd call it My Mom, My Pimp.

"She carries around pictures of me in her purse and whenever she meets a decent-looking single guy, she goes on the prowl," says Currie, who lives in Naperville and works in Chicago.

Victoria Gorbokon is seeking a mate for daughter Alexandra after finding one for her sister.
(Keith Hale/Sun-Times)

At first it was funny. Currie would get phone calls out of the blue from mom-approved men, and even met a few of them for coffee.

Then it got extreme. Currie's mom called her from the drive-through lane at the bank, and told her to hold for a moment. Currie heard a giant sucking sound, and some clanging; her mother had put her phone through the pneumatic tube so that the cute bank teller could say hi to her. "I was a bit stunned," says Currie.

Mom's latest target is a doctor from Rush Hospital. "My dad was there for surgery!" says Currie. "She called it multitasking."

Too bad for Currie, but Alix Strauss has beat her book to the bunch. She's edited the collection "Have I Got a Guy for You": What Really Happens When Mom Fixes You Up (Polka Dot Press, $14.95), which hits bookstores Tuesday. The free-lance journalist and fiction writer compared notes with her friends, and put down on paper some blind date horror stories.

One chapter is titled "Howie the Putz."

There was the mother who sent a series of letters to "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" producer Michael Gelman, insisting he date her daughter. And then there was the mother who set her daughter up with a nice dentist who turned out to be Garnok, Dental Warrior, who brought a costume for her to wear to a Dungeons & Dragons convention.

Moms mean well, Strauss says. "I think what happens is that bad judgment is clouded by a swarm of well meaning. They want to see their daughters happy."

But what the mothers see in a cute guy often is vastly different from what their daughters experience. Out of the 26 stories in the book, only one has a happy ending.

For her part, Strauss had to finally tell her mother to stop giving out her number to random men.

Strauss, who is single, has some requirements for a future husband. He needs to be ambitious but artistic, a best friend, a team player, someone who wants to make her day better.

"Of course it's hard to have someone else find that person for you," Strauss says. "My mom is great at finding a great pair of black pants for me. But love is more complicated. Like a pair of jeans. Women love their jeans, but nobody can buy a pair of jeans for you."

That hasn't stopped generations of mothers from trying. Genesa Garbarino and her mother, who lives in Arlington Heights, went out to dinner in the city at Morton's, and then to Le Passage. Garbarino left to get some drinks, and by the time she got back, her mother already had picked up a nice spinal surgeon for her.

After an uninspired lunch date, the doctor took her home. "He was way out of line, groping, grabbing, eww!" remembers Garbarino. "Dr. McSlimy. Yikes."

Despite the odds, sometimes mother knows best. Alexandra Gorbokon watched when her mother pushed her 18-year-old sister out the door to go on a trip with a Russian youth group. Sure enough, her sister met a "nice Russian boy" and they began dating.

Now, 12 years later, they're married with two small children. "And my mother has refocused her efforts on me," says Gorbokon.

She "forced" her to go on a Russian Hillel camping trip, and sure enough, Gorbokon met a "nice Russian boy."

"It'll be two years in August!" says Gorbokon. "Needless to say, my mom is thrilled. Mission accomplished."