Stefanella's Drive Thru

Israel, U.S., conflict, war, peace, humor, travel, romance, fashion, fun

OMG!! October 31, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 4:52 pm

Happy Halloween!! What I wouldn’t give to usher young Rapha around from house to house for trick or treating and then steal goodies from his bag after he’s in bed. *sigh*

Forgetting that this was the day is definitely indicative of….OY VEY!!


We Have Arrived!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 3:41 pm

Rapha & I are fully moved into our new place/out of the old. Spent yesterday relocating and today cleaning/painting the old place. Hectic, it was. But now we can settle in, unpack, get acquainted with our new neighborhood and la-dee-da. A good sign: Two neighbors in the new digs introduced themselves in the hallway. Offered help if we need anything.

The sheer number of people who helped us get here – from my lawyer cousin Peggy who advised when trouble started with the ex-landlord (which is how this mess began) to lawyer friends Revital, Eli and Maital who looked over potential apartment contracts so’s I wouldn’t get myself into another contractual mess to countless others who listened, offered leads & soup (you know who you are, Big D), to my parents and siblings to the friendly people in blogoland who supported via the comments section when the doo doo was really hitting the fan…It definitely takes a village and anyone who says different is neglecting his/her village.

A wee share before I run out to scout refrigerators and coffee machines: My friend R who shall remain anonymous called to ask if I think she should attend the Chicago University MBA Meet & Greet Night in Tel Aviv. This was very surprising to moi.

“You’re thinking of getting an MBA in the States?”I asked.

Of course not, darling. I want to pull men.

Ahhh…life back to normal


Addiction October 29, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 4:31 pm

Today, my dear friends, I internally discovered the driving force behind addiction. I’ve known on an intellectual level for years what the outward symptoms are and I studied the mechanics behind the “Big A” in a theory course. However, today the floodlight switched on in one of those “A-Ha” insightful moments.

Reading an anticipated e-mail, I learned that work I had counted on/really hoped for fell through.

At the instant of realization, I found myself simultaneously doing and feeling an assortment of things. I couldn’t sit still. I went to the kitchen for a glass of tea. Made coffee while sipping tea. Looked at the fridge contents to discern if there might be something I could either consume or prepare. Closed the fridge door. Frustration.

I wanted to cry. I panicked. “Who can I call? Mom? A friend? A cousin?” They’ve had their fill. No burdening.

I polarized to the opposite end of the spectrum. Lethargy. Craving the warmth of bed, burrowing & blocking it all out beneath blankets. But the house move is tomorrow. No such luxury possible (it never is). Return to mania. Get out of the house. Maybe do laundry. Take a walk. Ride the bike.

As I stood, paced and went through the emotional range, I watched myself from a detached somewhere else. And the knowledge that I’ve visited this funky fear place in the past slowly dawned as did the reckoning: “Look Ma. I’m still in one piece!”

And so it was that I came to understand – but REALLY understand beyond the conceptual – what Ms. Genevieve Howe, therapist, professor and director of a therapeutic institute in San Francisco, described as “Standing on the Edge of the Unknown” in a course she taught on Anger & Conflict/Love, Passion & Obsession.

Genevieve lectured on the human potential for building thresholds that render us capable of staying with and riding through uncomfortable and stressful feelings instead of turning to addiction or blocking. According to Ms. Howe, the more frequently we sit there, the better at sitting we become. And IF we learn to direct the distraction towards creative passion or endeavor, we reach an ever higher level still. Sort of like Beethoven or Picasso or Thomas Edison.

I don’t paint or compose or invent scientific “stuff”…But I make a very good Thai Coconut-Lemon Grass soup.

That’s Philosophy Sunday for you…Amen.


No Need for Cars Here! October 27, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 4:27 pm

Compliments of my U.S. based cousin David: Images from Vietnam.


The Fear of Doing Business October 26, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 5:41 pm

People who live in Holy Land Central are going to relate to this next one:

There’s a healthy dose of mistrust in these parts surrounding money/business matters for very legitimate reasons. It may be holy terrain but corruption-free it ain’t. Ask the politicians – they’ll vouch (off the record only, of course).

Imagine my alarm yesterday when trying to withdraw funds from an ATM machine only to be repeatedly denied with a flashing warning message that I had exceeded my daily limit. Yet I hadn’t taken any cash out that day. The card, incidentally, is linked to a foreign account.

So I get home and gingerly ring up the bank linked to the card to ascertain the reason for denial. And find out that the first ATM machine which denied my attempt also registered the try as the Real McCoy. In other words, the Israeli bank is saying I received cash when I didn’t.

Now it’s up to the other side to investigate and I can just imagine the scenario: “She got it. We are sure. No doubt. We saw her. I personally saw her. I happened to be watching the ATM machine through the window just then. Promise. Really.” Mama mia.

When I went into a different bank today and offered the story in passing, the listening clerk smiled knowingly. Christ! (no offense to Christian contingencies. But wait one minute. Didn’t JC go after the money changers?)

I need this right now like I need …*sigh*

Just another calm day in HLC. Peace Out.


Signed, Sealed, AHHHH!!! October 25, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 10:01 am

We have officially signed on the non-dotted line for our new apartment.

One FINAL share – something I forgot to offer up prior: Going to see a place, the building elevator suddenly jolted to a halt between floors. (Luckily, young Rapha wasn’t with me) I was terrified. Oh my god I’m stuck in an elevator and it’s going to fall! This is how I’m going to die!! I rang the alarm. Nada. An excruciating half minute later, the lift began moving again.

Upon sharing the info with the current tenant: Oh yeah he says in blase mode. I should’ve said something about that. If you get too close to the door it stops and won’t move again unless you move away from the sensors.


Anyhow… Rapha approves of the new place and favors his new downsized room. He had to contain his joy upon seeing the adjacent park.

Now up to eyeballs in boxes and deciding what goes with and what gets sold. Anyone need a bright blue, child’s clothing cabinet? My stuff simply won’t fit into the new place. I’m very much a non-chatchke person so minimalism here we come.

To the supporters and bearers of kind wishes: Mucho gracias

To the Tel Aviv housing market: Le’Azazel!!

To onward and upward: I’ll drink to that

Cheers & beers. Moving day is on the horizon


Extra Tidbit

Filed under: Uncategorized — stefanella @ 4:09 am

Friend: When I met with AP’s (Associated Press) bureau chief he just seemed distracted and not as friendly as he’d been in the past. But that could be because one of his photographers was kidnapped in Gaza.

Naaah…Ya think?

Conversation with a friend