Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Yesterday started out like an ordinary day. I was running late, as usual. But it made no big difference, as 1) I am due to finish my job Sept 13 and 2) There is absolutely no work to be done in my office. My boss took off a month in June and allowed no new projects to come in during that time,and that coupled with the fact that all of my clients are currently on vacation, means I've spent a lot of time chatting with friends. A bit of a waste on a 3 hour commute (round trip).

So, since I had already missed the bus I figured I would take some time to carefully examine the new knapsacks I've been coveting. I am 4 weeks shy of 25, starting my 3rd degree. I have an LL Bean bookbag that I got for my first day of 9th grade. In high school we called them "nerdpacks" and I think you can see why. Mine is bright purple, and has survived 2 different high schools, two colleges, law school and now nursing school. When I was 13 that knapsack was the coolest! Even cooler if you had your intials monogrammed on it, which at $5 per letter, my mom though wasteful for 5 kids ($75 extra).

I've been thinking that the time has come to splurge on a new one, even though those knapsacks come with a lifetime guarantee -- and I've never needed to invoke that privilege. No zipper has quit on me, no strap has frayed.

But I saw a really beautiful knapsack, with lots of compartments, expandable to fit my huge nursing books, place for a cellphone (which in 1993, when I bought that LLBean nerdpack, no one even had them). And it was from Outdoor, a subsidiary of Kal-Gav, and Israeli company. So I bought it, and I am in heaven! Next up, pencils, pens and notebooks.

* Then, while on my bus on my way to work my boss called. To say there was really no need to come in today. Or for the rest of this month. Apparently she too noticed there was no work ot be done, so she gave me the rest of the month as paid vacation because, as she said "it's silly for you to keep shlepping to Bet Shemesh to play on the computer all day".

The deal is that I will be on vacation til September 1st. Which is the day I told her I wanted to stop working by. If in a week enough work has accrued to keep me busy, then I will return and work 2 more weeks til rosh Hashana, which is what she wanted me to do originally. So YAY! I'm looking up cheapie last-minute deals to Italy, Turkey, Greece and Northern Israel. My mom wants to go up North, but I want to go out of the country. If any of you are interested in joining me for a cheap, 2-3 day excursion to an unknown mediterranean locale, let me know.

* I went to a 5:30 pm movie with my parents, sister and Mia. I haven't gone to a matinee in a long time. Because I am usually working then. My mom wanted to see this film Ushpizin, which in the Jerusalem Post was advertised as Hebrew with English "Titles". So we all went. And the Jerusalem Post did not lie, per se. The movie had "Ushpizin", written in English, and nothing else. (except a one paragraph description of the movie before it started). I watched the entire movie and did not miss a second of it. I understood the movie perfectly. In fact, I ended up translating/explaining to the rest of the group, who missed out a bit.

This was the first time ever that I did that. I felt so......Hebrew! So fluent! So unstoppable. I never realized my hebrew was good enough to do that. I never went to Hebrew only films, because I figured I would miss out too much. But I got everything. Every nuance, every laugh, every pain. I am amazed. And, for reasons unrelated I hope, the movie was great. Not saccharine, not full of Hollywood unrealities. As a plus, Jerusalemites will recognize almost every scene in the movie. I enthusiastically reocmmend this movie to anyone, even anti-charedim like myself.

And those were my milestones of yesterday....I moved on from my old knapsack, my job, and the belief that my Hebrew is still not "good enough".


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