October 31, 2007


An Israeli version of a scary Halloween.
Yael, my two-year-old, fell yesterday. Result? Very bad bruise and scratch on her big toe. She's scared of a bandage, terrified of using her foot at all.
- Limping and all, she is sent to Gan anyway (guilt trip). A couple of hours later, my cell phone rings. Caller ID shows Yael's Gan. Heart thumping. Kidergarten teacher says Yael isn't doing too well, plus she has a fever. I panic (tetanus shot? X-rays?) Drop everything and rush back to pick her up.
- Outside the doctor's clinic (a new pediatrician, 5 minute walk from home) Yael sees the stethoscope. Still traumatized by her vaccine a couple of weeks ago, she goes into a tantrum.
- New doc shows special "funny monkey." She's clinging to mom. He blows bubbles. Yael is not impressed.
- "Dr. Red Nose" takes out a pink balloon and makes her a cute dog (yes, I'm serious.) Yael finally smiles. Result? Mom is reassured.

Yael's fever is down, her big toe has not changed in size or color. And in case I had any doubts, she's now jumping on the couch. Sigh of relief.

But then I open my inbox after a 12-hour lapse. Boooo!

October 29, 2007

Dormir, dormir

According to an article in New York magazine, loss of sleep is responsible for many of the ailments we face today:

  • "Sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories yet recall gloomy memories just fine"
  • "Sleep loss also elevates the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is lipogenic, meaning it stimulates your body to make fat,"
  • "... experiment shortening adults’ sleep to six hours a night. After two weeks, they reported they were doing okay. Yet on a battery of tests, they proved to be just as impaired as someone who has stayed awake for 24 hours straight."
Here's something for the parents amongst us
  • "On average, children who sleep less are fatter than children who sleep more."
  • Sleep deficiency "has the power to set [kids'] cognitive abilities back years."
Here's one for Mrs. Maristhany (and the rest of the principals at Colegio Interamericano):

“Of all the arguments I’ve heard over school start-times, not one person has argued that children learn more at 7:15 a.m. than at 8:30.” (Dr. Mark Mahowald, U Minnesota professor who runs a sleep clinic)

Too late. 14 years too late.

October 22, 2007

Grumpy green

I like red. I love blue. I don't like green.

But these days, everyone is going green. So I take a deep breath, clear my mind and "embrace" green.

I collect plastic bottles (and dutifully put my 3.75 shekel's worth of deposit money in the pushke next to the cashier.) But then I learn from the newspaper that the underworld controls bottle recycling around here. So what can I do? Drag the stacks IHT/Haaretz dailies into the trunk, drive to the nearest paper recycling bin and hope that my well-intentioned road won't lead to environmental hell.

There's much I still have to learn from my Permaculture-versed cousin (and current India backpacker.) She's a self-defined eco-freako that looks ultra cool cool in her perennial knapsack of recycled clothes. I, however, have to worry about clothes that won't wrinkle and chemicals in dry cleaning and the carbon footprint of my 52 km car journey for my low-fat extra hot large 7:15 am cup.


When I was growing up, "green" was a uphemism for dollars. It stood for materialism and extremism and unripeness.

Today, it's a statement, a mindset and a business proposition. Or at the very least, a nice blog template color.

October 21, 2007

Information R/Evolution

As someone interested in, working with and pushing for information, this is simply a pleasure.

Facebook sins

"So you too have given into the vortex?" is what a friend wrote to me (privately, not on my wall) after having "ran into me" in Facebook. And less than 3 months after that original sin, my poor soul must confess to three other ones:

1. Last week I sent my cousin a birthday greeting through Facebook after having learned what he actually did for his 29th birthday (jumping from a plane, seriously) from his Facebook updates. We live 50 km apart (no time zone difference, no long distance calling or VoIP failure=no real excuses.)

2. I then sent my sister a happy birthday greeting through Facebook (okay, she lives halfway around the world) BUT.... I tried to make up for it by using my one free gift (chose cute chocolate birthday cake, which she -publically- said she liked very much)

And the worst of them all:

3. My bosses' boss found me on Facebook. I had the honor of being his friend. Big Brother is officially watching, and I let him.

Guess I now have to say three Hail Zombies and install the super-enlightened-extra-fun-fun wall as pennance.

October 06, 2007


I like frameworks. I feel comfortable with a plan, a timetable, a path. Does that mean I'm not spontaneous? Not at all. But I like the peace of mind that comes from knowing I'm not dropping too many of the important things at once.
Last week (and the previos one) was supposed to have been annual vacation.
Instead, I worked on two major projects (no, didn't finish), had a houseguest, juggled new schedules for my kids in their respective kindergartens, squeezed in three dozen visits to the supermarket (hey, it was erev chag 4 times in the past 2 weeks) and a visit to the doctor (ear infection for me) and home-sick-from-Gan-day (for Yael). Didn't quite have the patience for my soon-to-be-new-neighbors remodeling their apartment (thump thump, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - with no break during Israel's theoretical siesta between 2 and 4 pm.)
I need my framework back.
On shabbat and holidays I turn off the cell phone. I don't turn on my computer. Then I have a legitimate excuse to put off everything else, and just focus on my family (and myself) and the rest of the really big things that don't even make it to the to-do list.
Would my partners in the new biz venture be happier had I spent today working on my deliverables for Tuesday? Absolutely. Will M have a fit tomorrow when I tell him I didn't yet finish the set of presentations? Quite likely...
But did Ari and the kids enjoy the time that I finally had for them? Hey, they even said so.
I'm happy.