Sunday, January 30, 2005

In Memory

Friday night was a very bad night. Jagger, one of Jess's rats died, so she was understandably hysterical. We're going to bury him later today.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I beleive the proper term is "dog tired"

okay... before my parents ask why I filled the gas tank three times in four days and spent MOnday night at a hotel... I can explain. No, really.
See, there were these puppies at a shelter in Ohio, and they were gonna kill the lot of them on Friday afternoon. Jess found out about it through Petfinder, and, being who she is, couldn't allow that to happen. So she talked me into driving out to Ohio to pick them up. Now, I understood this meant we'd have to keep them somewhere until we could arrange for someone else to take them off our hands. All five of them. So they spent the weekend in my bedroom. Which means I got very little sleep. Monday afternoon after classes, we drove across Pennsylvania a good 150+ miles to make the handoff. We left at 3:30, and arrived at the designated meeting place about 7ish, I think. We then waited in a parking lot for an hour and a half because traffic from NEw Jersey (where the nice lady was coming from) was all backed up due to a jack-knifed tractor-trailer. By the time we got on the road again, it was very very dark, the roads were icy, and the only other traffic was giant trucks that sprayed salt and slush onto my windshield sop I couldn't see anything. Needless to say, I was going about 45mph th whole way back. 'Round about midnight we decided it wasn't safe for me to be driving when I was so sleepy, so we found a hotel and crashed for the night. We left in the morning, just in time for me to make my 9:30 class Tues morning. I've been cleaning a lot since then. ANd I'm going to go wash everything I own later today.
I feel good about the whole thing because I didn't want dead puppies on my conscience, and they really are sweet little things, all they're screaming in the middle of thenight, messes, and destruction aside. But I think once is plenty.
okay. enough ranting. I have to get ready for class.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

back at school

classes started Wed, soI've had all of them at least once now. My philosophy class should be interesting, I really like prof Bywater and was dissapointed when I had to drop his class last semester.
My advanced Fiction Writing class seems enjoyable, but tough. I'm gonna have to write two stories that total 30 pages. Hopefully my Junior Sem (FIction and the City) will help me get ideas.
MY Shakespeare class weith Bulman, of course will be very fun. I love SHakespeare, and BUlman is a grweat teacher. I've been wanting to take this class sincve I got to Allegheny, and now I am. Yay me!

Monday, January 17, 2005

got back into the US yesterday. Long flight from Tel Aviv, then six hours in Newark waiting for a flight to Cleveland, where I waited for an hour and a half, in view of my plane, to actually get on board and fly to Erie.
Went to bed at like, 6 last night. Am at school now, and I feel better having unpacked and sort of settled in again.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

was up in Galilee yesterday. Saw the church of the beattitudes, the church of the multiplication (supposedly where Jesus did the whole thing with the fish and the loaves), as well as Caperneaum, where he spent a lot of his time as St Peter was from there.
Went up the mountain in the afternoon to get a look at an artist's colony, but the roads were confusing and we got lost repeatedly. Plus, it beaing nearly Sabbat (which begins Fri at sundown), everything was closed by the time we got there, so we were lucky to grb the last three slices of pizza from this little hole in the wall place that was still open. There were a few galleries open still, and they had neat stuff, but it would be good to see everything. Oh well. Some other time. PRobably could have gotten there earlier if Dad hadn't wanted to go to Bet'saida (mostly because it sounds like Bethesda, where his mother lives. There wsn't a whole lot there- a big hill wit a semi-decent view of the sea of Galilee (which is actually a lake, because it's fresh water)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

update from Isreal

sorry for the long delay. My parents have been having computer problems.

Have been all over Isreal now. Was down by the Dead Sea last weekend, and took a hike into the mountains up to about 50m above sea level (the Dead Sea is the lowest place on the earth's surface- some 3000ft below sea level or somesuch). Saw a herd of ibex crossing the road, but didn't have my camera (d'oh!). Went to a spa, soaked up some Dead Sea mud and sulphur in the hot springs. Went to Masada, which was an old fort, then a temple under Herod the Great around the turn of BC to AD, then a stronghold for some Jewish rebels 60 years laterwho were fighting the Romans and, realizing they were horribly outnumbered, decided to kill themselves along with their women and children instead of be captured and enslaved.
Took a tour of Jerusalem on Monday. Saw a whole bunch of stuff, like the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (where I got assaulted by a Greek Orthodox priest), and the Holacaust Museum. That was really moving. THey have a very well done tribute to the 1.5 million chidren who were killed (onw part was a reading of all their names with age and where they were from. that alone will take somwthing like 20 years to get through), in adition to a lot of things that I didn't have time to see.
Was in Ceasarea today looking at another HErodian palace that was also a fort before he got there, and was also used repeatedly after he was done with it for various things. Went and met my 2nd cousin once removed (my father's mother's mother's sister's grandson). He's my father's generation, but is much older-he has great grandchildren who are in grade school (the reason for the age difference is that my grandmother was born late- her mother was 45 at the time with two grown children already). He's a neat old guy with a great sense of humor, and his wife is an excellent cook (she insisted on sending me home with more food). They were both survivors of the second World War, and hearing their stories of fleeing from Germany and Egypt respectively was interesting. I'm always learning more things about my family than I thought I could. Guess that's a side-effect of all this traveling my parents' do-- we're bound to have relatives in at least some of te countries they go to.

My parent's took me out for Indian food Monday night, which was a real treat. I get horrible craving living in Meadville. The lady who owns the place has apparently taken a shine to my parents-- she insisted on sending us more food than we could possibly eat "in honour or your son being here". I've been living on the leftovers the last couple days. I was sorely tempted by the chicken tikka, but I've managed to hold out so far. She apparent;y has a twin sister who runs a restaurant in Buffalo-- sounds like a road trip to me! Also, she has a line of frozen Indian dinners that she's marketed here and in Europe, and is trying to get into the States. She runs several restaurants, her family, a business... It's quite amazing really.

Took it easy yesterday- did some reading, worked on a puzzle (one of those mystery ones where you don't know what it looks like), walked along the beach and collected old Roman glass bits (there's this Crusader castle that's collapsed over a cliff into the water, so there are wall fragments and columns just scattered over the beach).

We're going to the Galilee tomorrow, so I'll see Nazareth and some stuff like that. I've taken a bunch of photos, so it'll be interesting to getthem developed and see how much of everything I can remember at that point. There's still so much I want to see, but I'll be back at some point.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

more from Isreal

it's 10:30am. I've been up for at least an hour and a half.
Went out yeterday with my mom. Did some grocery shopping and took a walk along the beach. It was weird to be in a store and see products I recognized with Hebrew on them. It's like my worst nightmare, literarily speaking- knowing what something is without being able to read what it says. You'd think I'd have gotten used to that in India when I saw everything written in Hindi.
THe beach was nice. It's like, 2 blocks from the house. Nice to have the Medditeranean so close, even if it is too cold to go for a swim. The beach was mostly rocks and shells. Apparently, most of the sand has washed away in the last month since my mother was there last. The sea makes neat noises washing over them, though. And theres this abandoned cafe-type place that some guy built years ago from washed up debris. Wish I could get inside for a better look, but its boarded up pretty tightly. Once the tide goes out some, I should be able yto go over to Appolonia, which is an old Crusader castle there on the beach.
It's odd to have the old and the new so juxtaposed. I guess it seemes stranger than the same phenomenon in India because the modern is so much moreso. Also because it's more "western".
My parent's have a nice house, but it's eerie to see all their stuff in a house I don't recognize. Again, like some scary dream.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Tel Aviv

got in here... I honestly don't know how long ago. It's about 7pm local time, And I'm exhausted. 9.5 hours crammed into a middle seat in coach will do that to you. The flight out of Dulles was a good hour and a half late, which left us little time to grab a quick dinner in Newark before being subjected to two meals worth of airline food. I think Dad and/or Mom was nice enough to request a vegetarian meal for me though, and that's much appreciated.
Their house here is nice; not as big as the one in India of course, but that always felt like too much space anyway.
I'll write more when I'm fully capable of making some first impressions.

oh yeah, happy 2005.