Smooth sailing (so far): Maybe I’m gonna jinx it, but I sail through security and check-in. Forget to take off my bracelet, so the metal detector goes off. Instead of the humiliation of a public pat-down, I am asked to stand on a box-like device while the security guy looks at a screen. “You’re OK,” he says after about two seconds. No taking off shoes, no being groped… quite civilized. I’m willing to be that it is another Israei hi-tech security innovation.
One foot out the door: Bags are packed and I’m outa here. Catch y’all Stateside!
Oh, no, it’s swine flu! The piggies get their revenge on humans for years of bacon abuse. Can it mutate and go pandemic? That sagging pension fund isn’t looking so bad right now, huh?
Itzik the Plumber: My own attempts at unblocking the kitchen sink are useless. Nothing in the trap, and a whole bottle of ersaz Liquid Plumber does nothing. Time to call in Itzik. He calls when he said he would, trudges up the stairs, and spends several minutes patting Terri. “Do you eat a lot of meat?” he asks me. Uh, nooooo. But the previous owners were Russians who ate nothing but meat fried in lots of grease. The grease affects the pipes like a clogged artery. After much energetic work, Itzik unblocks it and the water is whooshing down, easy as pie. He stands and admires his own work. “Look at that!” he chortles, pointing to the water swirling around the drain.
Pack attack: Nothing like starting to pack and discovering that the suitcase is in less-than-ideal condition. The handle won’t go up, and I don’t feel like pulling it along, hunched over like Quasimodo. I dash to the closest shops where my favorite cheap bag guy has a stall, and five minutes later am heading home with a new suitcase.
Almost Yom haAtzama’ut: Yom haZikaron is drawing to a close, and tonight the country will break out in a huge Independence Day celebration. Fireworks, al-ha-eish, you name it. My dear country, you may be 61, but you don’t look a day over 50!
Just a few more days: My trip to the States is looming and I still have a ton to do. Yikes!
What you don’t want to hear: …and right before a Delta flight, no less… This is going to make traveling with an Israeli passport even more fun.
Fun and games with our favorite psychotic troll doll: Lieberman is at it again. Bibi, you couldn’t have found anyone else to be FM?
Let’s finish up! The somber mood of Yom HaShoahis behind us, so we can now return to the frivolous insanity of Eurovision preparations and review the final nine entries.
- Serbia: how low can you go? Nice blond Jewfro, though. I wonder if anyone has ever analyzed the use of an accordion in Eurovision entries, and its effect on the final placement. This will get votes, though, just because it is so outrageous.
- Slovakia: inoffensive and forgettable. Will only get votes from regional neighbors.
- Slovenia: what’s with all the chamber music instruments fronting bands? The only upside is that the singer doesn’t come in until halfway through the number.
- Spain: a real contender this year. No more boy-bands (2007) or joke entries (2008). Spain brought in the big guns with Soraya, who is adorable and is almost wearing a dress. Expect to hear this on all the dance charts.
- Switzerland: another anonymous garage band that could have come from Iowa. No leiderhosen, no yodeling, no cow bells. Boring!
- Turkey: let’s face it, Turkey has become a major power player in Eurovision. With Sertab’s win a few years ago, they’ve been consistently strong. This year they give us Hadise (pronounced kha DEESH eh, I think, but any Turkish linguists out there can correct me), who is already a huge star (sort of Turkey’s answer to Beyonce). This is definitely a top-five entry and will be on all the dance charts throughout Europe.
- Ukraine: oh-so-kinky! Svetlana is doing nasty stuff with that chocolate. Love it.
- United Kingdom: well, at least they aren’t entering a joke song this year, but while it is pleasant, it is as interesting as vanilla ice cream.
So, you still haven’t check them all out! No excuses:
Eurovision Song Contest – Moscow 2009 Preview Player
And that was SOFTball??? Yikes.
We’re getting there! We are right in the middle of the entries, working our way through them.
- Latvia: weird! But they have a Chihuahua in the video, so that’s go to be worth something.
- Lithuania: bluesy and smooth.
- Malta: what is with Malta and fat chics? You would think their tiny island would sink under all that weight.
- Moldava: OK, they’ve got my vote. Half of Israel will vote for a song called Hora Din Moldova. It this doesn’t make you get up and dance (or at least grin your head off), you’re probably on the wrong meds.
- Montenegro: hey, wasn’t that a disco song in the 80s?
- The Netherlands: Oh. My. God. “Love will make us glow in the dark”???? Well, sure, if you’re humping in Chernobyl.
- Norway: that kid is going to make a lot of girls start thinking that violin players are hot. Won’t get anywhere (other than votes from other Scandinavian countries).
- Poland: pleasantly forgettable.
- Portugal: another country that isn’t afraid to have a big girl front them. They’ve had a few diva-sized competitors in the past.
- Romania: The Balkan Girls are another group that got a lot of press. They clearly want to be the Spice Girls. Either that, or it is an advertisement for a slutty escort service (or a cautionary tale about the hazards of eye makeup abuse).
- Russia: ever since Israel won two years in a row, countries have been leery of too much success. The costs of hosting Eurovision in this modern security-conscious era can be crippling. This year’s entry for Russia (last year’s winner and therefore this year’s host) fits the bill: don’t embarrass us, but don’t be a shlagger (home run), either.
Stay tuned for the final nine!
And we’re off! More Eurovision pregame analysis, speculation, and blatant mocking, If you haven’t checked them out yourself, you can bypass the main Eurovision site and go straight to their media player:
- Denmark: actually sounds like something that could be get some air play.
- Estonia: I’m all for cellos on stage, but what a boring song! The lead singer wins the Straight Hair Award.
- Finland: Waldo’s People got a lot of publicity. They are definitely a fairly slick band with a house-mix beat, but that is one friggin’ disturbing video.
- France: Say what you will about the French, but they appreciate the charms of a mature woman. Patricia Kaas is way too classy for this Eurovision trash-fest. It is a lovely chanteuse number that will (I predict) get totally ignored.
- FYR Macedonia: guys, the big-hair rockers went out in the 90s, pul-eeze!
- Germany: love that retro vibe. Best laser hair removal results on a male chest. Won’t make it out of the semis.
- Greece: absolutely no Greek flavor this year. Damn! Past few years have been blazing hot. This is generic bubblegum.
- Hungary: these fancy videos are always a setup for a bad letdown at the performance; you can’t replicate that Buck Rogers-meets-Gene Kelly feel on the stage.
- Iceland: instantly forgettable.
- Ireland: funky and fresh (and funny). Great ink on the drummer.
- Israel: OK, it is growing on me, but it isn’t half the song as last year’s. Besides, has anyone else noticed that Mira Awad looks suspiciously like Tzipi Livni?
Stay tuned for more!
Have you been doing your homework? Yes, this is what we do when we should be doing real work—look at Eurovision preview videos. Terri and have dilligently worked our way through the Cs, and here is our report:
- Albania: ho hum. This shouldn’t get more than a handful of votes.
- Andora: cute and inoffensive.
- Armenia: Inga & Anush have the best hats, by far.
- Azerbaijan: best eye makeup on a guy. The shmaltz factor will guarantee votes with some of the Eastern European countries.
- Belarus: so far off the Gay-o-meter that he must be straight.
- Belgium: Elvis lives! Will not do well. Eastern-bloc votes don’t understand or appreciate this kind of humor.
- Bosnia & Herzegovina: fabulous Soviet-era graphics. This one is a good song, but the political symbology may turn off people. Since the lyrics don’t come with a translation, and since they could be in Bosnia, Serbian, or Croatian, I can only wonder.
- Bulgaria: well, at least they make good cheese.
- Croatia: if you’re going to lip-sync, you have to actually mesh up with the music.
- Cyprus: too hip for Eurovision.
- Czech Republic: if you are going to have your band fronted by a spandex-clad Gypsy superhero, pick someone a bit more buff.
Stay tuned for more updates as we work our way through the alphabet. Only 31 more countries to go!
What’s with those German bears? Am I missing something here?
Pass the Kleenex: Well, that was stupid. Just the other day I thought, gee, my allergies haven’t been bothering me this spring. Aha! Like talking about a no-hitter, I jinxed it. The next day I had the start of what is now a three day allergy attack. Red, itchy eyes. Burning sinus pain. Liters of snot. I even sneezed all over Terri and had to wipe her off. Ah, the joys of spring.
So you really are an English teacher? This person claims to be an expert. Hmmm. I feel sorry for all those potential clients. Hat tip to IT.
Meanwhile, if you want to hear more painful English, check out this year’s batch of Eurovision entries. Here’s my update with links to the official site.
Um, where exactly? The English may say Bat Yam, but the Hebrew actually says Holon. This is how we like to mess with tourists. Hat tip to IT.