Happy June, everyone! Even though summer doesn't officially start until June 21 (also Father's Day), I've always felt that the unofficial start of summer is June 1st. I mean, does anyone out there consider June to be a part of spring? No.
I leave for Israel on June 9th at 5:30pm, and I'm so excited. Sadly, I won't be visiting Istanbul this time around due to flight conflicts, but maybe next time! Still, there's going to be plenty to see and do in Israel, some of which we've already planned out. I will get the opportunity to:
- Visit Jerusalem, including the Wailing Wall, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Dome of the Rock
- Hike around the Sea of Galilee, and see the Mount where Jesus gave his famous sermon
- Meet Yuval's aunt and cousin and stay at the kibbutz where they live
- See the Dead Sea (and possibly float in it?)
- Attend a concert featuring the most popular Israeli rock singer, Yehuda Poliker
- Go to the beach in Tel Aviv many, many times
All in all, it sounds like a very excellent trip. You can see why I'm so excited! Also, if there's a prayer you want me to put in the Wailing Wall for you, let me know and I will.
Summer always means BBQ to me, and good Lord have I been participating in a lot of it. Saturday Yuval's flatmate, Alex, smoked a total of 26 pounds of meat (most pork), and all of it was consumed by about 30 people. It made me feel like a viking, seeing this giant hunk of pig shoulder smoking on the grill. And it was delicious pulled pork! And then Sunday, Yuval's parents hosted an art party at their house and, of course, kebabs were grilled (although I didn't eat any because they had lamb in them, and I don't eat baby animals).
I finally managed to donate blood for the second time this year. I tried back in March, but my iron count was too low--something that was especially puzzling considering I take iron supplements with 150% of my daily recommended dose. But the technician at that appointment told me I should take them with a Vitamin C pill, too, because that helps the body absorb the iron. Apparently it worked, because my iron count was equal to that of a crowbar when I went to donate on the May 19th. And I got a coupon for $5 off at Uno's for donating!
Last Friday was Shavuot, which saw me at the Shavit household consuming large amounts of dairy-based food. Shavuot is the Spring holiday, and the "food theme" is dairy because spring is when all the cows start giving milk to their calves. Summer fruit (like pears, grapes, etc.) are also a central theme. And I learned my favorite Hebrew word so far: "mishmish" (meesh-meesh), which means "apricot." I will never call them apricots again. Mishmish 4 life!
This weekend I'll be dragging Yuval to the Franklin Park Zoo for 1/2 price tickets before noon--they do it the first Saturday of every month. They have pygmy hippos! I will also most likely be going to see Pirates! (Or Gilbert & Sullivan Plunder'd) at the Huntington on Sunday. I can't wait for the Opera Workshop memories to start resurfacing.
Also, I have started a new blog with Yuval. No, it's not a cutesy, gag-inducing "couples" blog. It's a blog where we will document every instance that we run across a misuse of the word "bemused," which I'm convinced is the most misused word in the English language. If you run across an abuse of this word, please let me know. All perpetrators must be brought to justice!
The Last Action Hero