Sunday, December 30, 2012

a message to my dad:

we love you!
lo queremos mucho!
!אנחנו אוהבות אותך


Debbie & Ariela

Friday, December 28, 2012

obligatory resolution post, because, duh.

well, SHOCKINGLY ENOUGH, those poor Mayans were wrong, and so now we have another year to look forward to.

do you do New Year Resolutions? Mine used to look something like this: (1) be 100 pounds (2) be 90 pounds (3) be 80 pounds. HEALTHY! (that's my sarcasm voice, by the way).

this upcoming year, I'm turning down several (okay, a million) notches on the anorexia and turning it up when it comes to following my passions. How about that?

{1} aim for some sort of physical activity five times a week (running, yoga, spinning, skiing, hiking, whatever). Also, realize it's not the end of the world if I worked out, say, four times a week on a given week. I'll live. I think.

{2} keep finding that balance between eating healthy, eating in a way that does not trigger my Crohn's, and letting loose and acting my age every once in a while (read: drinks, and drunk food. Because drunk food is delicious).

{3} GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE. Holy shit. How did this creep up on me like this? Where did the past four years go? I remember how desperate I was to leave home senior year of high school...and now I'm graduating!? I'm so, so ready, though.

{4} I already have a gig pretty much secured, but it's from home, so I'd love to find a part-time job I enjoy (e.g. teach creative writing at the YMCA or something).

{5} take the GREs. Hopefully do well on the GREs.

{6} FINISH A ROUGH DRAFT OF MY NOVEL. Ahh. This is the biggie.

oh, the places you'll go

so, obviously I've fallen off the blogging bandwagon lately. I'd blame it on "the holidays," but the truth is that I've been obsessively writing and writing and writing this silly "novel" of mine, because when I love doing something, well, I love doing it. Nonstop.

anyway, I am currently at the airport, much too sleepy (despite being heavily caffeinated, which truthfully in my case means zilch because coffee for some strange reason puts me to sleep) to novel-write, and I am thinking about this conversation that I had with my boyfriend a few days ago. I'm so fortunate to have been born into a family that considers travel so important, a priority, even, and sometimes I don't appreciate all the places I've been. Which is dumb, because I certainly should. One time, my uncle in France told us that if there is one thing worth spending money on, it is travel. I agree wholeheartedly.

so far in my (relatively short) life, I've been to: the United States, Costa Rica, Israel, Turkey, Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, England, Spain, France, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Cuba, the Bahamas, and Nicaragua, I think (do an emergency landing in Jamaica and reaching my hand into Lebanon count?). But there's so many places I'd still love to visit! Especially: Russia (despite the fact that I'm incredibly bitter about the new anti-US adoption law, considering I've been wanting to adopt a Russian child for, oh, I don't know, a good ten years), Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Morocco, Italy, Romania, Egypt (I mean, if shit ever calms down), India, and South Africa, to name a few.

basically, I want to travel the world. Because experiences mean more than material things, wouldn't you agree?

in other news, since I've been "gone," I've been thinking about: how the idea of arming schoolteachers is the dumbest, saddest, and most dangerous thing I've ever heard in my life (also: how it seems like an absolute no-brainer that there needs to be some serious gun control. This is coming from someone whose family was personally affected years ago in a civilian gun-related incident); how I need to study for the GREs and look into MFA programs I'd be interested in; how I am excited about the new direction my life is going in; how I still do not understand what the fiscal cliff means (I'm kind of stupid); how I am avoiding thinking about how much I miss Simba because I might cry; how much I hate airports and New York City (sorry, I'm not sorry).

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/whatever else you might celebrate!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


our trip to Colorado is over. And I miss my sister, a lot, a lot.

I wish all the people I love could be in one place. But they're scattered, all over the world.

Monday, December 17, 2012

a list, because i haven't blogged in forever

forever being, you know, nine days.

{1} like so many around me, I'm absolutely devastated about the Sandy Hook shooting last week. I cannot think of anything sadder or more gut wrenching. This needs to stop. Gun control, now (I mean, how is it that you are not psychiatrically evaluated before purchasing a gun?). Better mental healthcare, now.

I'm not going to lie -- as a foreigner, "the right to bear arms" sounds straight up stupid to me. But hey! That's just me. What do I know?

anyway -- here's how to help.

{2} I'm in Colorado at the moment, and I swear to you I have never smelled so much weed just by walking down the street. More power to them, I guess.

{3} my throat is killing me, and I'm pretty peeved about it. I don't want to feel too sick to ski tomorrow (major #firstworldproblem, I know, but sports-wise, to me, it goes: (1) gymnastics, (2) skiing, (3) running).

{4} my sister pointed out to me today how ironic it is that she is dating a German and I am dating an Arab. I bet we're a disappointment to Jews worldwide.

HEY, why can't everyone just love each other? WHY? If we can do it, so can everybody else, I'd say.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say 
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say 
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will live as one -- John Lennon*

{5} you know how you hear of how the Harry Potter series came about to J.K. Rowling, randomly while on a train and in such obsessive detail? I think I may just have experienced the same thing (not that I could ever come up with something as brilliant as Harry Potter, but you know). I've been working on a novel for months now, but this new idea came to me so suddenly and unexpectedly that I've spent the past two days writing and researching feverishly, nearly completing my first chapter and creating an outline for the whole thing. I even have a name for it! Maybe this will be the one for me? I really do hope so! It's historical fiction, also, which is absolutely my favorite genre.

seriously guys? I'd love to be a writer more than anything in the world.

{6} I really, really love my family. My family being, you know, my sister (she is looking so gorgeous these days!) and my dad. And my boyfriend, Mike, because at this point I really do consider him family.

{7} yesterday a young girl (10, maybe?) asked me if my dad and I were married. UM. No. Does he look young or do I look old?

{8} I've taken to calling my dad Shlomi, because that was his nickname when he was in the Israeli army, and I think it's cute.

{9} I'm forgetting my Spanish. And my Hebrew. It's serious. I mean, I always thought the coolest thing about me is that I am trilingual.

{10} I miss Simba so much I can't even bear to think about him right now. I hope he's having a blast at his doggie hotel and that I am worrying over nothing.

*in case anyone is interested, Simba's middle name is Lennon.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

very scientific evidence that it is hanukkah

on the first night of Hanukkah, Crohn's disease came back with a vengeance to remind me that I am, indeed, Jewish (oh HEY, before anyone gets offended, a lot of Jews have Crohn's, okay? It's a thing).

(okay, really it's my fault for eating green beans)

ANYWAY, hag sameach slash happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate, and yes, I am well aware that the above is not a Hanukkah picture; however, we used Hanukkah candles on my roommate's birthday cake last year (because we were too dumb to remember to buy birthday candles, or something. We did buy her a ceramic pig named Chauncy), so I'm hoping this will do.

(let's just say Jessica's birthday cake this year was not quite as holy)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

what's in a name?

"Debbie! Wow, that is such a pretty name," the curly-haired Starbucks barista said as she took my order.

no one has ever said that about my name before.

I couldn't take the compliment. I just couldn't. I hate my name. I always have (sorry, Debbie. You know I love you. We've talked about this. The name, you know).

for one thing, it's ridiculously old-fashioned. Other than the Debbie linked to above, I do not know any fellow Debbies in their 20s. I know plenty of nurse Debbies. And cafeteria lady Debbies. And while they are all (mostly) lovely people, they are in their 40s, 50s, 60s. So being a 21-year-old Debbie just feels plain...out of place.

I feel that, with my background, I am entitled to a cooler know, something more ethnic. Or whatever. But maybe I'm just a brat.

I always thought the name Debbie belonged to an early '80s high school cheerleader. One with purple mascara and a really dreadful perm. Preferably with a mullet.

and then there's high school, when all the awkward, oh-hello-my-voice-is-cracking-and-I'm-growing-an-ugly-mustache-just-because-I'm-finally-hitting-PUBERTY boys concluded that old pornos were, like, the best thing since bra straps, or something.

"oh hey, Debbie! Debbie does Dallas!" they'd yell down the hallway and explode in a fit of ridiculous guffaws. And I was like, what? So one day I enlisted the help of my trusty old friend, Google, and then it was, like, OH. I see.

don't even get me started on Little Debbies. Yeah, I'm short. No, I don't like Little Debbies, even though, hardy-har-har, my name is Debbie and I am little.

and "Debbie downer"? Please. It's as if I was never even given a chance (Negative Nancy, I feel your pain).

I always felt bad admitting to my intense dislike for my name for fear of upsetting my dad (my mom, not so much. She's done enough harm for me to consider sparing her feelings on the matter). But then, a year or so ago, my dad told me that he didn't really have a say in my name. "I wanted something more Israeli," he said.


{can we pause for a second to discuss the fact that my sister, Ariela, got the pretty name? What is that nonsense about? Ariela. Ugh, such a beautiful name. And Debbie? Blergh}

let me explain my life story. Or, like, my pre-life story. I was born in February of 1991. During the Gulf War. When Saddam Hussein thought it might be fun and games to shoot Scud missiles Israel's way, unprovoked.

anyway. My parents lived in Haifa at the time, spending many a night in a bomb shelter with gas masks strapped to their faces (there was a fear of biochemical warfare, or something. I don't know. I need to brush up on my history). My mother was pregnant. Her father, a Polish Holocaust survivor living in Costa Rica, freaked out. So my mother flew to him, at least until things settled down in Israel.

my father had just been called on reserve duty, in case Israel decided to retaliate (it didn't).

I was born early, after my mother's water broke at a Chinese restaurant.

my mother's family called my father in Israel. "You have a daughter, and her name is Debbie."

and that was that. Cute turtle that he is (my dad is a turtle. I promise), he was too thrilled to have a child to even care what my name was.

so that makes me feel better. Because at least my horrific name is not exactly my dad's fault.

sometimes people ask me why I don't go by Hannah, which is my actual first name. I like Hannah better, after all. Well, nobody has ever called me Hannah. My parents always called me Debbie. And so if you were to go, "Hey, Hannah!" I'd be like, who are you even talking to? A ghost?

which is why I don't think I would ever change my name, whether it is to Hannah or anything else. How does one get used to a new name, anyway?

did anyone seriously just make it through this word vomit of a post?

p.s. NO OFFENSE IF YOUR NAME IS DEBBIE. Promise. I'm sure you're really nice.

a gift idea this holiday season

here's a disclaimer: I can't claim credit for this idea. It wasn't mine. It was my roommate's. But, hey, it's a great idea, so I thought I'd share it.

instead of dropping big bucks on clothes and movies for your friends and family this holiday season (let's face it -- clothes that they will probably never wear and movies they will never watch), I think we should all donate to a good cause in that person's name (e.g. my sister is passionate about ending world hunger, so Stop Hunger Now it was for her). After all, there are so many less fortunate than us, and to be honest, most of us already have every material possession we could ever possibly need. Or even want.

I know gifts are nice...but if you have a few dollars to spare, I really encourage you to do this.

I'd rather know someone gave in my name, really. I don't need any other presents.

the images above link to the charities that I donated to in honor of my loved ones.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

things i've learned in the past year

...things that I should've learned a long time ago.

I'm doing 12 things. For 2012. '12, get it?

You must be really dumb if you don't.

{1} I am a terribly flawed human being (aren't we all?), which I already knew, of course, but what I did not know was that my flaws are not that I am unlovable or fat or a failure. My flaws are that I am insecure, that I take things out on people that do not deserve it, that I am overly sensitive (which is sometimes good, sometimes bad), and that I have no patience to speak of. Which are all problems I should work on, and, you know, try to fix. At least a little bit. Especially the part about taking things out on others, because that's just not very nice. Also, I should watch my language. You know, in front of the child (i.e. Simba).

{2} A year and a half ago I did not think I could say this, but I am okay without my mother. Better off, in fact. Infinitely happier and more confident.

{3} there is no way that I do not have trichotillomania. No way. At least, like, mildly. And it needs to stop. Tips?

{4} the world is beautiful, but it can also be a very, very ugly place. Therefore, it is our responsibility to support and promote things like peace, human rights, clean energy, etc. I feel strongly about this. If we don't do it, who will? (That said, if the Mayans were correct and the world is indeed coming to an end, well, then, who cares.)

{5} feeling "fine" does not mean I can get off my medication without a doctor's supervision. DO NOT DO IT. STOP DOING IT. WHEN WILL I LEARN MY LESSON? Good God.

{6} and on that note, do not ever ever take medication that was not prescribed to you, especially if you have never taken it before and have no idea how you will react to it (not the sharpest tool in the shed, am I? Is that how that saying goes?)

{7} I've always had an irrational fear of being a terrible mom like mine was. Of being incapable of loving my children. But now I know that would never happen, because judging by how much I love Simba, I cannot even imagine how obsessed I would be with an actual future child.

{8} running is the best, and I have no idea why I ever hated it.

{9} it's about high time I come to terms with the fact that I missed the boat when it comes to gymnastics. My body is not healthy. I cannot do it anymore. Too bad.

{10} all I've ever wanted to do was write -- why deny myself this love for writing for fear of failing? Ridiculous.

{11} do not ever plan out your life in a neatly curated timeline. It won't happen that way. Things will change. I guarantee you that it is written in the stars that they will. And at first you might agonize over it, cry over it, struggle over it, but here's the exciting truth: it always, always is all for the best. Bigger and better things, kids. Bigger and better things.

{12} people change. For better and for worse. And that's okay. Life is not stagnant. It just is.*

*how Zen is that!?

my goals; december {a little late}

November was an odd month. There was both really, really good, and really, really bad. There was illness and loss. There was love like I've never known before. Life is very strange sometimes, isn't it? And so I'm just trying to deal with the day to day...

let's review my November goals, shall we?

{1} keep running! I've recently fallen in love with running, and I really hope to get better and faster. There's really no greater feeling than after you're done with a run...serious endorphins there. -- minus the time when I got horribly sick (seratonin syndrome is dreadful and deadly, by the way), and minus the time I spent a week in Albany with no access to a gym, I ran like a champ. So go me.

{2} do well in school. I don't know why this has fallen down the wayside this semester...senioritis? -- I'm trying. I really am. But when bad things happen, motivation tends to fall by the wayside. Luckily, I think I did well in my sociology final today. And I hope I'm not jinxing this now. 

{3} write something for my novel every day...even if it's just a word. Just something. -- big, fat, huge fail. But in my defense -- somedays I could hardly muster the energy to get out of bed. 

{4} look into more (hopefully paid) freelancing opportunities. -- yes. I wrote plenty and even made a little money.

{5} eat healthier. -- I mean, if you forget Thanksgiving.

{6} laugh more. -- despite all the heartache, it might surprise you to hear that I have laughed like I have never laughed before in the month of November. And I have my incredible boyfriend to thank for that.

and on to the December goals:

{1} write fiction. I have a new novel forming itself in my head (actually, I have three, but this one seems almost imperative that I write now), and although I am not quite sure how I feel about juggling two novels at once, I think I'm going to give it a shot.

{2} do something each day to relax. Even if it's a little thing, like read a book for pleasure, or indulge in a glass of red wine.

{3} get through the semester. Just get through it.

{4} reach out to my friends when I am hurting more. I have so much trouble with this.

{5} stay active. Staying active makes me feel great, whether it be yoga, running, or skiing. 

{6} advocate for peace. In little ways, maybe, but in any way that I can.