Tel Aviv Diary July 19-23, 2007- - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - July 19, 2007

July 19, 2007

I seem to have come down with a sinus thing from going in and out of air conditrioners, so i stuck close to home today and only went out at length this afternoon to take out the dog before the reading tonight (Benny Berson has published a dual-language book of poetry and I'm reading the English poems at Hateiva on Salame and Jerusalem Avenue at 7:30 tonight). I got all dressed to go to the reading and just wanted to get the dog walked properly before. But it is so muggy I came home and have to shower and start all over.

Among other things I missed going to the recording of "Panic Ensemble" - the disk should be out soon - and it is pretty fantastic. I even do a little bit of reading in it.

Last night I got taken to Yokimono and got a chance to talk to the manager Shlomi. If there is someone who knows Japanese food, it is Shlomi, and he complained about the lack of tuna in the world market. Gotta go.

July 20, 2007

Lost my train of thought when I got back. Maybe it's my sinuses.

We like to talk alot in stereotypes. It's traditionally politically incorrect - romanians are assumed to be thieves, persians cheap, moroccans violent, etc. This only works in short jokes. "Why do you say I'm Romanian? Is something missing?" etc. etc. But the biggest stereotypes is the -frigid-Polish-Jewish-woman, or Polania for short. They are equivalent to the JAP(jewish american princess) of pre-PC humor. The are so engrained in daily speech we barely notice them. Today, however, as I was on my way to a lecture by Brett Lott in Hertzlia, thinking that I'm not focusing enough and need to really pay attention, I tuned in to an interview with the vice-ambassador of Israel to Poland, something Avni. He had just written a book in which he came out of the closet. Here are the questions: "So do you have a partner?" "Yes, I do." "Is he an Israeli partner?" "No, he's Polish." "Oh...Listen, I know this is irregular but I have to ask you. Does he just lie on his back in bed and look up at the ceiling and say, 'beige - we have to paint the ceiling beige?'" I missed my turn off.

July 21, 2007

The truth is finally out - In the last book of the series it emerges that Harry Potter is Jewish. At least that's what I figure. Otherwise why we would be having such big parties around here at bookstores on SHABBAS?

July 22, 2007

What does the word "hedge" mean? We had a hedge around our yard on Clfford Avenue in Rochester, N.Y. But the verb has according to Webster's at least 8 meanings in itself. Here are some: 4. to enclose with or separate by a hedge: to hedge a garden. 5. to surround and confine as if with a hedge; restrict (often fol. by in, about, etc.): He felt hedged in by the rules of language. 6. to protect with qualifications that allow for unstated contingencies or for withdrawal from commitment: He hedged his program against attack and then presented it to the board. 7. to mitigate a possible loss by counterbalancing (one's bets, investments, etc.). Now while I was talking investments to an Israeli broker today he mentioned a kind of fund I'd not heard of before, "Gader" or "Fence." How interesting a translation error, I thought. The fund that is supposed to provide for alternatives, as in definition #6 becomes in Hebrew the fund that is defined as something that closes one off. This struck me as even more interesting as I watched the Israeli interpretations of Assad visit with Ahminajhad. He was hedging his bets, but it was seen as closing off peace talks.

July 22, 2007

Tisha B'Av. I am watching Daniel Galai's composition on tv of Uri Avi Greenberg's poet "kingdom of the cross," performed so movingly by Noa Bizansky.

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Home

you are visitor numberCounter