Friday, April 07, 2006


A. is taking me to Israel at the end of April for two weeks. It's my birthday present. I'm quite excited although a tad nervous because in addition to being the Holyland, it's also a place where people blow themselves up on buses and in malls and on crowded streets. Still if you're going to visit the middle east I think it's best to go with someone who speaks the language.

His mom is currently staying with me because he thought he'd be done remodeling his place before she got here. He wasn't. So she's been cooking up a storm and loading my refrigerator with more food than it's ever seen. Food that's been fried in oil, an activity that's never before taken place in my house because my mom didn't use oil, hell she barely used butter. I was raised with Pam, the no stick spray, which also contains no calories. Oil has a lot of calories, all from fat, and they get sucked up into the fried food making it oh so tasty and of course, fattening.

So much for my plan to lose 10 pounds before we leave.

As I write this she's at home cleaning my house. I would imagine that my house will never have been so clean. I could choose to feel intruded upon I suppose, but I don't. I'm so damn glad she's there. A. had surgery last week on Thursday. It was back surgery that had been billed as minimally invasive, to remove two large herniations that were protruding into his spinal cord and impinging on a nerve. Althoug he was able to get up and walk around and come home after surgery he's one of those people who won't take pain medication. He said, "I need to feel the pain to process this experience." Seriously, he said that. So I took the pain medication because it's no fun to be around someone who's in a lot of pain. It's painful.

He also got a complication wherein the space that was occupied by the herniation was next occupied by air and this little bubble created a brain splitting headache that wouldn't go away until we went back to the doc on Monday and he fixed it using a looooong needle. I'm really glad I wasn't in the room to watch that. I would've needed some more medication.

So with new roommates (Adi, his mom and for one week his brother) and the drama around the surgery, I kind of forgot to renew my passport. I could've renewed it by mail if I'd taken care of it back in January, but I didn't know I'd be needing it so it expired and I had to go to a Passport Acceptance office with a new application and my old passport.

I got new pictures taken. Twice. The first set I looked insane and I carried a drivers license with one of those photos on it for too long, your passport is fifteen years so I wanted a pretty picture. I chose a lovely blue sweater for the next photos so that my eyes would be blue and the pictures came out good enough that I could live with them on this official document. Except that when I went to the Passport Acceptance office today, with no time to spare, I was informed that the background was too pink. It needs to be white. I tried to talk the officer into seeing how it wasn't really pink, more of a blush which is actually a shade of white and I should know because I just spent a serious amount of time with one of those color chip bricks picking out paint for A.'s kitchen, but she shook her head emphatically and told me NO.

I was too tired to fight with her. A. hasn't been sleeping very well and the last two nights I averaged about four hours, so I submitted to having my photo taken in the back room of the post office. The sign on the mirror had the Erma Bombeck quote on it that says something like, If you look good in your passport photo, you're not sane enough to travel.

All I know is that my passport photo? It's pretty much the exact picture of what I'm going to look like after the twenty hour flight to Tel Aviv.

I'm trying to see this as a good thing since I'm traveling to a country where that stuff really matters.