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OneRepublic, RL and The Republic of Ireland

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I haven’t blogged for over two months, and really, I was contemplating letting the blog quietly go. It would have been okay. I have been blogging at various places since 2002. 12 years have passed and I sometimes wonder how much longer this blog will last.

Now, there are fun times I like to share with my friends, and that was boyband week in Israel. Backstreet Boys performed here the week before Shavuot (Pentecost, Whit Sunday/Monday). Unfortunately I could not go with Kevin, as the same day we had tickets I had a small surgery. He went with his brother and one of our older girls, and they had a blast. Then on the 28th OneRepublic performed in Tel Aviv. Their opening act was the fabulous Harel Skaat, so of course I had to go! The fan base of Mr. Skaat and OneRepublic seems to overlap quite a bit. We saw one of my other favourite Israeli singers in the crowd. It was fun. Here is OneRepublic performing “Budapest” in TA. (Yeah, what other song would I have chosen, really???)

Now I really like OneRepublic, and I am building up quite an immunity to One Direction, so I was willing to accompany my girls to Vienna to see them, but alas, the other health issues attached to the previously mentioned small surgery I won’t be able to do it. 🙁 It would have been a very rushed trip anyway, as the concert is on the 10th, and on the 12th it’s Tel Aviv Pride! Fortunately We found a way for the girls to go. They have been told that they are strictly forbidden to get gifts for the family, they can blow all their savings on One Direction merch.

Now mentioning Pride, I am very proud of my homeland, the Republic of Ireland. Ireland is the first country in the world to grant equal (civil) marriage rights to same sex couples. I know the Pope is pissed off that such a Catholic country would actually be able to recognize the difference between civil rights and church business, but all I can say is, thank you for being a great country! Sometime in the future, this Irishman will travel back home and have the wedding he always wanted. 🙂 Congratulations to all those couples who will shortly be able to get married in Ireland. I know a great, gay-friendly baker in Cork. 😀

Here is some more OneRepublic:

Missing in Action

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So, as a brand new iPhone owner I really should blog more. The last few weeks have been crazy busy! Let me try to remember when I last blogged… Oh yeah, the elections that didn’t end with the results I had hoped for. Let me just stop there. Even though Bibi is, in my opinion, far from the besz thing for this country, he was elected by the people. And that itself is something that needs to be respected.

 

 The week before the elections my oldest daughter got married in Prague,  Czech Republic. It was a sweet and short wedding, with kids taking their job seriously. It was a great trip. We even joined a free walkong tour and the kids did wonderfully on the nearly three hour activity. Judy was carried on Kevin’s shoulders for part of it and walked part of it. The other kids walked the whole time! We stopped at the Bake Shop about halfway through, and I offered the kids some super expensive treats… And they turned me down. That was a first.

Judy turned two, and in the almost two weeks her vocabulary has grown like crazy. So has her curiosity and her independence. The great thing is that there is always someone around to keep an eye on her and only intervene if absolutely necessary. She is starting to play with other kids, and entertains herself surprisingly well for chunks of time. 

Getting back, it has been super busy. Between work, medical appointments, and homeschool I have very little free time. In fact most of our homeschool teaching is done by Kevin’s mom and the Open University. We decided to keep the littles in school for next year, too. They thrive there and are in a mostly Hebrew environment, so there is no reason to change that. 

In my limited free time we caught up on American Idol. I actually enjoy this season, though I wasn’t exactly impressed with most of the 80s week performances. I especially disliked Joey’s awful rendition of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and Jax’s Bon Jovi attempt. Clarke, on the other hand, was great. Nick was the best! I generally thought that the soundtrack of my childhood was trampled on. I know Boy George’s voice is not what it used to be, but he was still the best in the group performance of Karma Chameleon. Which, by the way, is one of my favourite songs from that decade. 

http://youtu.be/xvqlA41mxzY

Another thing I realized is that I must have a Jewdar. I’m not even kidding. We have been binge watching Salem. There are two characters I especially love: Cotton and Isaac. Part of the reason for that is that I find the two actors, Seth Gabel and Iddo Goldberg incredibly hot. After googling them it turns out that the former is a Jew from Florida and the latter is Israeli-British. 

Mentioning Salem, we need to do some Salem Witch Trial and English phonology and phonetics projects with the kids, lest they believe that Cotton Mather was against witch trials snd Increase Mather was sctive in them. Plus back then Brits spoke like Americans. So yes. I have a week of furlough, we can work on those.

Passover is fast approaching. We are mostly done with cleanong and preparing for eight days of unleavened bread. This is usually. Challenging week for me, because I don’t like matzah, but this year Kevin found some great recipes with it.

While cleaning is mostly done I was dreading all the cookibg for the Seder. Some of my friends suggested to just take it easy and serve a simple salad or sandwiches or something equally simple, but that is the equivalent of a simple salad and sandwiches for Christmas dinner. Luckily my awesome stepmom invited us to Seder! It is partly catered, so everyone wins.

We as a family also decided to spend the days of the counting of the Omer–the seven weeks between the Seder and Shavuot–eating vegetarian, at least till Lag B’Omer. No, not eating vegetarians, just following a meatless diet. We are drawing inspiration from Indian cuisine as well as Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty.

I have finally decided to try filet crochet. 

 

Five For The Weekend

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I know, I know. I fail at blogging these days! Well, I have good excuses…

1. We celebrated my grandson’s 4th birthday yesterday, and we had about two dozen little kids run around the house: most of his classmates, cousins, playground friends. Everyone had fun, we destroyed a small country’s yearly pizza production, and I believe Legos are hiding at the most random spots of the house. The torture of walking over them was so worth that stormy afternoon of fun we had!

I put a movie on repeat in one of the downstairs room, and we had various activities elsewhere in the basement, with the assistance of the kids’ imaginations and my older kids. We initially planned it as a drop off party, giving parents the gift of three free hours on a Friday, but because of the weather most of them decided to stay. We had coffee, cookies, a grown up movie, and adult conversation available for them. We ended up going over two hours over the originally planned time. We lit Shabbat candles and had kiddush together, and just generally had a good time.

2. We are wasting a lot of time watching American Idol. I used to watch it way back, then tried again for season 12, but it was a big disappointment. I missed season 13 (which I now regret. Harry!) and started watching season 14 again. As mentioned earlier, I LOOOOOOVE the judges. And this year I really like about 20 of the top 24. I think Mark is my favourite, and Tyanna from the girls. I also like Trevor and Daniel and Quentin and Rayvon and Adam from the guys a lot, and Jax and Joey and Shi from the girls.

3. I just remembered that I bought the album this song is from with my birthday money for my 14th birthday while we were visiting my brother at college in Utah. I can’t beleive it was 19 years ago!

I loved Star Turtle. We have a turtle called Harry, by the way. Most people think it’s after Harry Potter, but really it’s after Mr. Connick. Our turtle is less musical than his namesake, but he enjoys walking around on the piano’s keyboard. Currently this song is playing, and the fire is on…

4. …because it’s actually cold enough for that. The last few days have been stormy, and there is snow in several areas of the country. Kevin went with some of the kids for a snow ball fight near the capital. They enjoyed it. I don’t mind the rain and storms, being Irish and all. We spend today inside, enjoying the cozyness of our home. I am still not very happy with all the tile we have on the main floor (since we turned the other levels into living areas, those have laminated wood floors), but our house really feels like a home. I am sitting on the couch with a kid (or four), watching Ice Age, enjoying the warmth of a blanket my girls and I made from leftover yarn. Yes, home is not perfect. But we have pizza.

5. OK, I can’t resist posting another song. I love the original, I love the cover involving Ran Danker, but I love this the most.

7 Quick Takes – Bible on CD, Coffee, Rapture, Sukkot, Rain

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— 1 —

I decided Benedict Cumberbatch needs to make a recording of reading the Bible. Wouldn’t that just be awesome? I think it would be a narration that could keep my attention. Plus, after narrating “Did God Create The Universe?”, where Hawking’s conclusion is “no”, it would be awesome hearing Cumberbatch say “Let there be light!”. It would seriously be an awesome project. I would love to hear him read psalms and the Song of Songs.

How handsome you are, my beloved!
Oh, how charming!
And our bed is verdant.

–Song of Solomon 1:16, NIV

— 2 —

As some of my readers know (Waves at all four of you), our income dropped significantly. One of the results was my changing coffee habits: Every other day morning coffee at Aroma was replaced by once (or at most, twice) trips to Cofix, where every drink, cake, sandwich, and salad costs ₪5.00. At home my usual high quality, fair trade, somewhat fancy coffee beans have been replaced with the cheaper local brands and (gasp) instant coffee. I am still a fan of American style over-flavoured coffees (that I like to refer to as dessert coffees), so I make my own. I know I have written about that before, but now there is a post on my new food blog (that I hope to keep up with for a change) about how to make good pumpkin spice latte at home for pennies.

A while back the Priest’s Wife posted on Facebook about the content of PSLs sold at Starbucks and McDonald’s, and the infographic immediately discredited itself by asking “Where is the pumpkin?” Pumpkin spice lattes are not supposed to have pumpkin: they have pumpkin spice. Regardless of the absolute stupidity of the graphic shared, anyone can make much better coffee drinks at home.

— 3 —

With the new Left Behind movie coming out, Netflix was pushing the old Left Behind movie in my face. I gave it a try and I was “OMH, what a craptastic movie!” and I actually liked the first three books. I am a sucker for conspiracy theory novels. Then I realized that the author actually believed what he was writing about. Even if we set aside the fact that when the messiah prophesized about in the Bible finally comes, he will fulfill all of those prophecies in one coming, not too, the rapture theology is still unbiblical.  Unbiblical it may be, the movies could have been good. It is due to some unspoken rule that Christian cinema is usually subpar to other low budget, independent productions. I have no idea why.

When I first became LDS most of the Mormon cinema was Church produced videos and movies, like Legacy, Mr. Kruger’s Christmas and Johnny Lingo. While Mr. Kruger’s Christmas was quite good, and Legacy was less cheesy than expected, and Johnny Lingo with his 8-cow-wife was quotable, these films were… erm… not very good. Then came Richard Dutcher and made God’s Army, and then Brigham City, and others followed with The Singles WardThe R.M., and many new movies… that were actually good. They were LDS in theme and values, but they were good. Other Side of Heaven was even made by Disney, and people outside the LDS circles were watching it.

I do believe Christian cinema can be good, too. So far Left Behind has been a disappointment. Besides, it’s not Biblical.

— 4 —

Oh my gosh, Ebola was sent by g-d to punish America for allowing gay marriage! Except not. It’s not Biblical.

— 5 —

So it’s Sukkot. Sukkot is celebrated by building a sukkah, or temporary abode, where people are supposed to spend as much time as possible, but definitely eat as many meals as possible. Of course the day of the first evening of Sukkot the first rain of the season came. Our sukkah leaks. Of course. So the first night our dinner was… interesting. Luckily mostly everything dried. Because after all, it’s Israel, and it’s warm. So now we are enjoying our time in the sukkah. Luckily the cold porcelain decos I made for Independence day with the kids and recycled for Sukkot didn’t get wet.

BTW? Sukkot is Biblical.

— 6 —

Conchita Wurst, who won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest addressed the European parliament. I think that is pretty awesome.

— 7 —

As I said the first rain came, kind of early, kind of, to me, unexpectedly. I am Irish, and I love rain. I was sitting outside on my lunch break, with my sandwich and with a big jug of grapefruit juice, listening to Ivri Lider’s New York BaShemesh (New York in the sun) when the first drops of rain began to fall.

When the next song on my playlist was Geshem (Rain) I couldn’t help but stay in the rain, grinning, enjoying my Irish moment while getting soaked for the first time in years in the rain. It was the perfect moment for me, a son of the rain, a son of the desert.

When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings out the wind from His storehouses.

Jeremiah 10:13

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Because Harel Skaat

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THE WIND WILL CHANGE DIRECTION  (translation from hebrewsongs.com)
Lyrics: Esther Shamir; Music: Uri Zah

Sometimes when Tel Aviv doesn’t shut down
I go down to the Café in the corner
I look at the traffic which doesn’t stop
Even when something happens in the country
I am like a falling leaf when something happens
But order another cup of coffee to the table
What is my stand if every week
Anyone can make the world insane (more…)

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