Thursday, August 28, 2008


I am the first to admit that I have not missed being part of this year's presidential election. I feel, like many do, that it started waaaay to early and has, therefore, gone on for far too long. I have not missed the TV ads, the constant analysis on the 24-hour news channels, or the annoying phone calls (even though we actually do get a few since we have a 202 area code on our landline here). However, since the Democratic National Convention has started I have been obsessed. Waking up every morning and, for at least an hour, watching as many video clips as I can find of the previous day's speeches and analysis by a variety opinionated people. Once I look through all of the video clips, then I start looking for news articles about the previous day. And then, last but definitely not least, I go on facebook and look at pictures people have uploaded from the convention. Those are usually the best part, because they tend to include random celebrities who are attending the convention posing awkwardly with people who I maybe/kinda/sorta know from my time in DC but who I am, of course, friends with on facebook. It is my way of attending the convention vicariously through them. I have the most wonderful memories of the 2004 DNC in Boston, that I am truly sad to miss this one, however, I have decided that there is nothing that will keep me away from the 2012 DNC, wherever it may be.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Blog is Back

That's right, I'm back on the blog! After a long break from blogging, I have decided that it is time to start up again for two reasons. First, I enjoy having records of my "memorable" experiences here in Israel. Second, my friends and family apparently enjoyed the blog quite a lot, and after my cousin recently told me that for her, it was like her weekly dose of "Sex and the City" (minus the fact that it is her cousin writing, minus the fact that it is Tel Aviv and not New York, etc.), I decided, that since she is at home with three little boys (two of which are twins!) I could, at the very least, do this for her and give her something to read during nap time :-)

So, I am currently sitting in a cafe sipping my cafe kar (iced coffee) and munching on my muesli, and feeling a constant throbbing of pain in my legs. This constant throbbing is thanks to a new hobby I have acquired in recent weeks known as Reformer Pilates. A new studio opened a few blocks from us and I figured "why not try something new?" Reformer Pilates is similar to the Pilates that you are probably familiar with, except the entire class takes places on these big wooden machines that look like Midieval torture devices (for a photo- There are springs, and boards, and chains, and loops for arms and legs. It looks quite intimidating, but it provides a really great and productive work out that I usually enjoy very much. However, on this last occasion (on Monday), I got a little lazy in class and did not "maintain my core" in the way that I was apparently supposed to, and over-extended what I believe to be my long adductor (one of the muscles on the inner thigh). I admit, it does make me feel quite athletic to have strained a muscle from such enthusiastic (or, in this case, lazy) exercising, but I would prefer feeling less athletic to having a strained muscle. I guess this will teach me to maintain my core from now on...

Besides my new-found athletic side, all is well here in the Holy Land. I just returned from 2.5 weeks in the states, part for business, part to visit family and friends. Oren just spent 10 days in Japan on a government trip, from which he brought us back many beautiful things that are now on display around our apartment, including a red silky "summer kimono" for me. I look very Asian when I wear it. My business continues to grow and evolve, and I think that now that I am almost a year into this whole "running a business" thing, I am actually feeling like I am getting the hang of it. I have crossed the income threshold that requires me to upgrade my status from "tiny business" to "small business" and I am looking to possibly hire my first employee in coming months, so that will be very exciting. Oren is in the process of starting his own consulting business with his friend Avi, so our apartment has become a busy office space, housing two new businesses. The fun part is that some of our clients overlap, so the three of us have the opportunity to work together which is always a good time.

Israeli politics have become increasingly interesting lately with Prime Minister Olmert deciding to step down and calling a Primary Election. Coincidentally, I am friends with people who work with 3 of the 4 candidates who may become Prime Minister, so I am enjoying seeing this election from both an insiders and outsiders point of view. I am constantly comparing election styles here to what I know and studied in the states (it is what my Masters Degree from GWU is in), and I am constantly surprised by how much more sophisticated campaigning is in the United States. This makes sense, as we have been doing and studying campaign strategy much longer in the states than they have in Israel (I'm not even sure that they have someone here who actually studies it...), but it still surprises me how much room there is for professional campaign management and strategy here.

On a totally separate note, I have to express my enthusiasm over all of the "Pink Berry" copycats that have been popping up all over Tel Aviv. I'm sure most of you are familiar with this concept by now, as I know they are all over the East and West Coasts (and Chicago... and one in Minneapolis that I found while I was home). It is one of my new favorite things and I am highly obsessed with it. Our favorite shop is just a 5 minute walk from our apartment called Kafoo (which means "frozen" in Hebrew). It truly thrills me that, for all of the things that Israel may be lagging behind in (ex. customer service, having quality ziplock bags, campaign strategy, etc.), that a few brilliant people recognized the value in opening Pink Berry style yogurt shops here. After all of this writing about it, I think I have to sign off now and go get some Kafoo (with mango, granola, and bittersweet chocolate- YUM!) I hope to update the blog at least once a week from now on, and hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

Off to Kafoo!