It’s July 4th, and as promised, I’m back blogging. Things have been quite topsy turvy since I last posted. Though I (somehow) got out of one major assignment which would have been due two days ago, I was not afforded any extra time for blogging because I’ve been taking care of the insurance claim on a stolen car for someone near and dear to me. That has occupied the past week, and dealing with some insensitive people and major bureaucratic hurdles sent me into an outrage so deep that on Sunday I was ready to pack a small bag, take a taxi to the airport, get my open ticket stamped, and get on the next flight back to the States. I recovered towards Sunday evening, but it happened again on Monday. I recovered once again, but suffice it to say that if the insurance company comes up with some lame ass excuse not to dole out a full settlement (or anything at all)…
Here’s what’s been going on:
- The heat in Jerusalem was unbearable last week and did not even give the usual nightly respite of your typical Jerusalem summer. Thankfully, a cool front moved in on Saturday night and the weather has been hot, but pleasant.
- Israel’s eighth president, Moshe Katsav, was offered–and accepted–a watered down plea bargain which is an affront to the justice system and any woman who has ever stepped forward in Israel after being sexually assaulted. While Katsav is indeed innocent until proven guilty, it boggles the mind that this case was allowed to circumvent the court system. No detailed explanation has been proffered, as of yet, from Israel’s attorney general, who drafted and offered the plea deal.
- Israelis enjoy the various satirical programs offered on television, but nothing comes close to the incisiveness and intensity of satire and criticism found in Anglo blogs writing on life in Israel (my own included). Here is an article (Hebrew only) from the Israeli portal Nana (Israel’s “Yahoo”) which reflects on the electronic musings of Anglos, with specific reference to the blog Zabaj, which I have mentioned here in the past. As is my custom, I perused through the comments to the article to assess how Israelis handle their portrayal. Some comments are flattering towards Anglos, while others (surprise, surprise) assert the superiority of Israeli tact, poor pronunciation of English, and overall bad manners.
- Wine, as you know, plays a central function in my
sociallife. In a period of snobbishness, in which I shunned Merlot and vowed to drink only Cabernet, I completely lost my appreciation for other red varietals and especially white wines. So I resolved that I would get back into whites, especially considering that I deem my palate for whites much more evolved than for reds. (It’s easier to say that a wine has aromas and flavors of peach, pear, and apple than blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry when I am much more attuned to the differences between the former group than the latter.) I enjoyed, along with company, an inexpensive bottle of Gamla Sauvignon Blanc last week, which was delicious considering that it was chilled and the heat oppressive. I’ve also been foraying into Rose`, but haven’t yet found anything to write home about.
- Speaking of wine, Gary Vaynerchuk, the host of Wine Library TV, the daily video blog which I urged you to watch over the “break,” was featured in TIME Magazine. I haven’t had the fortune of meeting Gary personally, but having watched the show for a few months now, I agree with everything stated in the article. Go Gary!
- MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is my hero. Watch this video to understand why.
- The iPhone is now a reality. As much as I covet the device, I’ll hold out (minimally) until the next generation of the phone.
- Pursuant to this article and the appended recipe, I prepared my first batch of cold brewed iced coffee. I’ll let you know how it is after I’ve mustered up the bravery to drink it.