Days since...

  • My BMT:
    387 days ago

Neutrophil engraftment ✓
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Jerusalem Post

Chag Sameach! Happy Passover!

pesachFor more Dry Bones goodness (and a new Passover cartoon), please click here.


7 Quick Takes – 15

— 1 —

The last few weeks/months I have been experiencing some GI issues, including some reflux. After consulting the GI specialist, I gave up carbonated drinks, dairy and even coffee for now. We went step by step, and cutting out cola was a big help. Cutting out dairy wasn’t very hard either, and now I really am eating kosher. Now, while I expect coffee and eventually dairy make a come back to my diet, probably cola won’t. At least not for a while. So maybe I need a new blog name. Any suggestions?

— 2 —

Sunday, April 6, 2014 was the day of parliamentary elections in Hungary. As a citizen, I had the opportunity to vote at the Embassy here in Tel Aviv. I also had an oral surgery appointment close to the Embassy. I am not sure what hurt more, two teeth being pulled or the governing party (the right wing FIDESZ) getting another 2/3 and the Neo-Nazi Jobbik gaining strength. Another four years when I won’t consider moving back.

— 3 —

Brace yourself: Passover is coming. We have been cleaning like crazy, ridding the house of any chametz (leavening) we have. As of today any real bread, pasta or other edible things are only to be consumed outside, so I don’t have to clan the house on Sunday all over again.

Monday night we’ll host Seder, which is going to be great. We already know where to hide the afikomen, a piece of matzah that the kids will have to find.

And now comes a miserable week for me. I hate matzah. It tastes like cardboard. It’s awful. And here it’s not like I run out to the grocery store, take off my kipah and pick up a loaf of bread, because the grocery store will only have matzah, too!

— 4 —

Between my love for Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks and cooking show, and being introduced to several cooking blogs, I was just telling Jill yesterday that I’d love to read a cooking blog titled “My Gay Kitchen”. I googled, and there is a Blogspot blog with that title, that hasn’t been updated since last July. So I was thinking, maybe I should start a blog with that title. Of course GoDaddy tells me that mygaykitchen.com is $350 to reserve upon expiration. There is no site associated with the domain, though. So maybe, when I don’t have to save for the trip to Rome, I will buy mygaykitchen.net. Unless, of course, someone buys it seeing this post, so I can’t get my hands on it. Which would be perfectly good business sense, if I would be willing to pay more than the minimum for it.

— 5 —

We have a turkey. No idea where my son got it, but yesterday I came home to a turkey running around in my backyard. We have great plans for Mr. Turkey: he will grow a bit more, and then he will become the late Mr. Turkey, and he will be smoked and very yummy. Some turkey products are hard to find here, some are way overpriced. So now we will try raising our own.

— 6 —

I love the weather forecast for today!

2014-04-11 08.19.34

— 7 —

Today happens to be the Day of Poetry in Hungary. It is celebrated on the birthday of Attila József, a poet born in 1905.  Here  you can find several poems by him in English.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


My God

And the translation:


Sometimes war and fire and hell
Mask the charred body of a baby
Sometimes G-d you make ??us cry

G-d I call upon you, do you hear?
Lord, are you with me? I don’t know
G-d, answer

Sometimes the sea sometimes the falling leaves,
A baby is born, A cripple can walk
The trees bloom again and the children smile
Sometimes G-d you make us thankful

G-d I call upon you, do you hear?
Lord, are you with me? I don’t know
G-d, answer

G-d I’m calling you, do You hear
G-d you’re always with me I know
G-d I’m calling you and You hear!
G-d you’re always with me I know
G-d …

7 Quick Takes – 14

— 1 —

Two posts back I wrote about the tattoo I got for my birthday. I was a gift from my step-mom. I told her a while back that I wanted a tattoo of חי to celebrate the anniversary of being cancer free (the day of the transplant). She gave me a voucher to a local tattoo place that my sons recommended her. She had no idea how big or how complicated a design I wanted, so she ended up getting me a voucher that didn't only cover my tattoo, but Shiri's ears could be pierced as well. I was quite happy about it. Then Thursday morning I got a test that we can go and pick up the second pair of earrings for her that we ordered. I went… and ended up having to pay about NIS 10 only for the shipping!

— 2 —

Converse Outlet Store is getting ready for Easter.

2014-04-03 12.29.03Yes, the shoes are used for easter baskets. Thanks to some of my friends for this photo. It made me LOL. Really.

I love Converse shoes (I usually don't buy them, because my ankle braces wear them out fast), but I really don't get the sandal ones. What is their purpose? They look ugly, they look too hot for sandal weather and not covered enough for shoe weather. So… yeah.

— 3 —

…And here I am, halfway through Friday morning, working on the third quick take… and after a busy week, my mind is blank about what I should write about, besides the tattoo and Craig's birthday yesterday, which was awesome. We had some of his friends over, including our old neighbours from Tel Aviv. It had been a while since we saw them, and it was great to have them over. While it was several degrees colder than on Itamar's birthday, we had a lovely time swimming and grilling and generally having fun.

— 4 —

Craig is already done with the coursework for this school year, and he is starting to work on the last year's work. He is sitting exams early, and even while we are working on finishing up that aspect, he is considering enrolling for more courses at the Open University. He is committed to compelte a dual degree in Computer Science and Cognitive Science by the time he goes into the army, or very early in his miltary career. Nirel is also taking his first course there, and they are both doing fabulously.

— 5 —

Oh yes, in the busy time with birthdays and holidays, it is now time for me to get all the tests and appointments for my big, one-year-post-transplant check up. I've already had some of them, including one that required some sedation this morning. Based on all the other tests I've had, I'm fairly sure that everything will come back good. It's just annoying that my mornings are filled with doctors.

— 6 —

You know my teddy bear, who has been having lots of adventures

He is on the left. He is going to have a lot more adventures, and he had one just on Craig's birthday. You see, after all these neat and tidy kids it was inevitable to have a child who is a hider. Because the Teddy Bear and I got matching bags from my dear friend Jill, I wanted him to wear his. Except he was nowhere to be found. We were sure Yehudit had something to do with it, because her teddy bear was sitting on my bookshelf where my Teddy Bear lives. There were a lot of us, searching for the teddy, but he just disappeared. I was going through trashcans, because Judy is fascinated by the rotating top ones. I was trying to remember when we last saw the bear, and when the last garbage day was. He was simply gone.

Then, giving up ever finding him, went to change Judy's bed sheets. As I was lifting her matress to put in fitted sheets (how on earth can those be neatly folded?) I was greeted with a slightly flattened bear. He is back to his normal 3D self. I, however, have no idea how Judy got him there!

— 7 —

Wolowitz with Spock. Sheldon must be jealous.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


Busy Day

I woke up early as I wanted to listen to the Kerényi monologue on TV. He called for right wing revolution again! It was a wonderful feeling to listen to Hungary's greatest stage director calling people with morals to finally stand up for what they believe. I also wanted to attend a early appearance of Prime Minister Orbán Viktor, so I had to get ready. I wore my best suit with a striped shirt and unmatching tie; just like Viktor does!

On the way to the campaign meeting I tore down some of the blasphemous posters of the Liberal Democrats. I can't believe they would make fun of the Lord's Prayer! I passed by a “memorial” fopr Holocaust Day. These Commies… They should pay more attention to their own massacres. Eh, what do I expect?

The meeting was wonderful! Viktor delivered a very moving speech about lowering social security premiums, and giving retirees the 14th month pension and lowering the price of electricity and taking away the high family benefits, but lower the taxes for those who raise three or more kids… well, I am already on minimum wage and don't pay taxes, but still, it is such a brilliant idea to get tax breaks instead of this… pity money the Commies are giving us. We sang a few hymns and the local priest gave a blessing and I bought several orange giant hands and gave Viktor some flowers… Such a wonderful experience!

On the way out I stopped by the signature collection booths and I signed both petitions to ban abortions and to make gay marriages illegal in the whole European Union. Those pervs! What are they thinking! They should all reform and return to the Holy church and repent… Or they should just move elsewhere.

At home I went to the White House's website and sent an e-mail to former President George W. Bush, thanking him for the heroic work he did for the welfare of all people on the face of the earth. I expressed my gratitude for protecting me from Osama Bin Laden and his lackies by killing all those potential terrorists before they can even think of suicide bombing.

Now I shall pray and read the newest teachings of the Pope before bed.

Have a Blessed night, everyone. Unless you are a Commie, of course.


(Happy April's Fool! This is a repost from Rabbit Hole Day 2006 from my LiveJournal. The views expressed above may belong to someone, but that someone is not me. Always check your sources before posting praise for afred aphelps based on The Onion.)



Today is my birthday. Three days ago I celebrated the first anniversary of the transplant that saved my life. Today I got a tattoo.

As I type this, I can hear my more observant friends' exclaim in my head, “But Leviticus!” No, not 18:22 or 20:13. There are other verses in Leviticus, too. They are thinking of 19:28, the verse forbidding marking one's body. (Which, by the way, would be just as binding for Christians as 20:13, if either of those would have ever been intended for anyone outside the House of Israel. Luckily, neither were.)

So, now that we established that tattoos are forbidden, let me tell you what I had tattooed on me.

The above word reads as “chai”, with a hard “h” sound, not like the tea Starbucks sells for like five bucks.

“חי” in Hebrew means alive or living. These few days I'm celebrating the fact that I'm alive. And in a few weeks we will celebrate that the children of Israel, against all odds, are alive.

This is one of those songs that literally everyone in Israel knows. I think even Rose, the winner of the X Factor knows this song. I definitely do. And it was certainly funny that during those four minutes (or less) that it took to get the letters on my hip, this song was playing.

Of course, being a chicken, I took the Bar Refaeli route, and I got a white tattoo that doesn'tbshow that much now, and will fade with time. Adding the fact that it's not on the side of my hip, few people other than Kevin will ever see it. The choice of location is not random, though: I had three radiation tattoo marks that served as some of the starting points, and a white radiation scar is incorporated. So yes. I'm alive.

ETA: I just saw that Harel Skaat chose to commemorate my 32nd birthday with getting a tattoo of his own.


7 Quick Takes – 13

— 1 —

Today (Friday) marks one year since I had my bone marrow transplant. Wow. One year. It sounds like such a long time and the anniversary seem to be such an important milestone. In a way it is. It a way it is an extremely stressful, and rather painful day. PTSD (not self-diagnosed) kicks in. So today is not an easy day for me.

Don’t take me wrong, I’m grateful for the medical knowledge and technology that allowed me to live, but the time surrounding my BMT, including the day itself, was traumatic. So I decided to attach good memories to this day.

— 2 —

2014-03-28 12.26.25

My first real ice cream of the season. Today was just the perfect weather for it, and when it came to choosing between McDonald’s and the nearby “Italian” place, the latter won.

— 3 —

$7 shoes.

2014-03-28 15.01.26

One of my coworkers thinks I have small feet. Indeed, I wear shoes between sizes 40 and 42, depending the type of shoes. But this way I can buy the colours in these type of shoes from the Ladies’ section, too. The style is the same, but thy have more colour options. Yes, these new shoes are already dirty, because I did quite a bit of walking through some constructions the last two days.

— 4 —

Tuesday we celebrated Itamar’s 15th birthday. We had a movie party, because he cannot go to the cinema now because if the danger if infections. We borrowed a projector and made a lot of popcorn and nachos, and had a lot of cola, orange and citrus syrups for our SodaStream Fountain and two Hobbit movies. I have to admit that I used the movie time to catch up on season two of The Following. Seriously, if Tolkien’s shopping list would be discovered, Peter Jackson would turn it into three movies of two and a half hours each. (I read something to that effect somewhere online once, so it’s not my original brilliance.)

We had two of Itamars friend visit from the kibbutz he used to live at, and both his grandparents could come and join us. His grandma has Alzheimer’s, but we were blessed with a very good day for her as well. Things sometimes just work out.

— 5 —

After much consideration, I finally ordered an iPod Touch and a cute case to go with it. I also ordered new batteries for my old phone. While the memory problem it has doesn’t really allow me to use many apps on it, it still works really well as a mobile hotspot for my wifi only devices, and I’ll just use the iPod for apps. Plus TA is very free wifi saturated, so normally I will be able to use it a lot as if I were just home.

— 6 —

I am really a lover of acoustic versions. I love Matisyahu’s Spark Seeker: Acoustic Sessions (the iTunes version has my favourite song, Silence as well), and I absolutely love the above version of Achshav by Harel Skaat. It totally beats the official music video, especially since he doesn’t look like a creepy serial killer in the studio!

— 7 —

I gave up all my ideals and bought tickets for the Vatican Museum online. Serious rip of, if you ask me. The entrance fee is €16. That is $22. And in addition to that, they charge €4 for online purchases. That is if you buy your tickets from the Vatican Museum directly. But when you Google, there are like six hits before the official museum page, and they either ask for €16 and the €14 of online fee per ticket, or just tell you it costs €28.50, either including or excluding a €8.50 online fee. Mind you, several of these sites are various Catholic tour groups and organizations. I’m really not impressed by them.


I wonder if this time we get to see the Borgia Apartments and if they will charge me another gazillion Euros for pictures? Last time I went they asked full price for a ticket and neither the Borgia Apartments or the Sistine Chapel were open due to an impending conclave. I wasn’t impressed by that either.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


My 2 Cents on the World Vision Fiasco

I was asked to share my thoughts on World Vision deciding to hire gays living in legal marriages.

Then I was asked to share my thoughts on Christians willing to let children and communities go without food, education, clean water etc. because World Vision decided to hire gays living in legal marriages.

Then I was asked to share my thoughts on World Vision deciding not to hire gays living in legal marriages because of Christians willing to let children and communities go without food, education, clean water etc. because World Vision decided to hire gays living in legal marriages.

There is only one thing I'd like to say about it:

It's extremely backward that they or any other company are allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation at all. In normal, democratic countries that is not allowed, and it would not even be an issue.

I was also asked, before they decided to give in to the pressure of the ever so loving and caring for the poor Christian sponsors, if I'd consider now sponsoring through World Vision to make up for their lost supporters. No, I wouldn't have, in part of the things laid out in this article, and partly because of some personal experiences with them over the years. They are, however, a very valid option for charity for someone, who doesn't feel so strongly about evangelization.

ETA: World Vision Canada stated that they do not ask about sexual orientation of their employees. I think that is actually the law in Canada, and they are a law abiding organization. So there.

Single Point Of Contact

From: Oleg K
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 4:26 PM
To: Office Leads
Subject: Testing new server

Hi all,

We will perform a company-wide high load test for the new server on Sunday. Can you provide us with a SPOC for your site?



From: Hevel Cohen
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 5:16 PM
To: Oleg K
Subject: RE: Testing new server




Happy Birthday to Leonard Nimoy!

7 Quick Takes – 12

— 1 —

We are in the middle of spring cleaning. I'm a pack rat, and I have to clean the house out twice a year, or stuff would overtake us. Let us not forget that we have absolutely no storage space in this house. For the past three months a set of boxes and cases were neatly stocked in front of my wardrobe, so I never opened the doors. I removed the boxes yesterday, and I found a bottle of Zubrowka on my summer shirt shelf. I was saving it for Purim, nut I completely forgot about it! Good thing that Purim is an annual thing, it will roll around in 5775 as well.

— 2 —

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the mass murder of the Jews of Hungary. There is quite a kerfuffle about the Holocaust Memorial Year in Hungary right now. The current Hungarian government blames the German take over for the Hungarian Holocaust and refuses to acknowledge any responsibility on the parts of Hungarians. The major Jewish organizations thus refuse to take part in the official memorial year. It's also election year, so everyone is trying to chime in on the issue, but without any real effort, lest they lose votes. It's ugly as usual.

In the mean time a Jewish cemetary was vandalized, with a message spray painted: “There was no Holocaust, but therewill be.” Just lovely. Of course now there is no German “invasion”. But no, there is no anti-semitism, and no, there was no anti-semitism in the remark just recently made by representatives if the governing party….

— 3 —

In connection with the above, it has been 70 years since my family was rounded up and forced to the ghetto near the Great Synagogue. My great-uncles and grandpa taken to forced labour, it would be only a few weeks before the rest of the family was deported to Auschwitz, where most of them would perish.

— 4 —

Did I mention a stomach bug striking just last night? Yep, just what we needed right now. So far it has found Kevin and I, but Bella assures me it was brought home by my grandson. Lovely. Truly lovely. Not. So today is the day when we have store bought challah and gefilte fish from a can, and take out chicken for Shabbat dinner, because I really shouldn't touch food.

— 5 —


— 6 —

We, as a family, are watching the second season of Bron Broen (The Bridge), a Swedish-Danish show that was both remade by the Americans (The Bridge) and the British and french (The Tunnel). I haven't watched The Tunnel yet, but I have blogged about season one of both the original and the American versions before.

Season two is following a similar pattern as season one: you can never be sure who is actually important for the story, who is not, who will survive and who won't. By episode four not only are my kids able to distinguish Swedish and Danish being spoken, but about half the characters I'd thought to last through the season are dead. It's quite awesome, to be honest. I mean their deaths are giving twists to the story at places where I'd least expect it.

So Saga and Martin are back, and Saga is still displaying signs of Autism and Martin is still dealing with grief and anger. And they still have that great chemistry. And I just wish Americans would watch this instead of remaking it… The American show became enjoyable at the point it deviated from the original story, and I'm looking forward to season two, which, I hope, will have nothing to do with the original show. Not that I don't like it, but why watch it twice?

— 7 —

On Tuesday, after confirming with my beloved family members that no one plans to give me Amazon gift certificates for my birthday, I will order the iPod Touch I've been eyeing for months. If you have an Amazon affiliate link, please comment with where it is, so I can use one of my readers' links. :) Thank you, everyone, who shopped through my links!

I am excited to get it by mid-April. It will make life so much easier, and my backpack lighter. I am excited about the freedom in communication this little thing will provide me with. Not to mention the much better camera than my current phone. Instagram, I'll be back!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!