Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Pool Is Not A Library

Today, I heard 6 brilliant words come out of 1 not-so-brilliant woman’s mouth:

“A pool is not a library.”

Wow. Such brilliance. So astute. Like an answer to a really sneaky SAT analogy question.

All I can say is that if your ability to respond to a noise complaint boils down to an obvious premise that actually has no bearing on a resolution to the matter at hand, then shove that cigarette down your hoarse throat and deal with the problem instead of perpetuating it. I say you. But not you. Her. That one brilliant woman with pearls of not-such-brilliance sullied so by ignorance, temerity, and deeply ingrained self-interest. She from whom I can see the sparks of a congenial and benevolent relationship.

BACKGROUND: We live on a kibbutz. A kibbutz is a friendly place to live. While not communal in practice (as most kibbutzim [plural of kibbutz] have become), the kibbutz is basically a private community with a general sense of peace of quiet – with lots of sidewalks, trees, grassy fields, kids playing in the streets, a corner store, lots of dogs, and unlimited water provisions. Oh yeah, and a pool. The kibbutz pool. That enshrined kibbutz entity that puts any kibbutz one league ahead of anywhere else you’d consider taking up residence. Cool. Refreshing. Relaxing.

And a giant pain in my butt. You see, the pool in our kibbutz is currently managed by a duo of lowlifes – characterized by cheap marketing tactics, a passion for obnoxious (and really bad) Middle Eastern music (with heavy bass), and an overall disregard for any human beings other than the ones that get to feed off the pathetic few pennies that grace their barely surviving credit-free bank accounts. I.e. Them, and them alone. They like to play music at the pool, which is all good and well, because, as one of them so kindly pointed out to me, a pool is not a nursing home. Really? Because I thought that water was actually an emergency water supply for the rapidly aging kibbutz members. Another brilliant n0n-analogy. These are the kind answers you receive if your house/apartments faces the pool 100 meters away and the bass is so heavy that it’s drilling a hole through your cranium while serving as an unreliable artificial pacemaker. Or the whiny voices of untalented Middle Eastern singers are shattering the glass of the windows you’ve sealed so tightly that you may suffocate at any moment.

So you decide to take it to the next level. Talk with the kibbutz manager. (I will spare you of the other astounding conversations I’ve shared with kibbutz management et al.)  It seems like a sound idea. Air your concerns with someone in a superior position. She’s about to start a meeting. If “about to” means “we’re sitting around the table laughing waiting for half the participants to arrive and I’m twiddling a cigarette in my fingers because if I don’t smoke, I might just die right here.” Ironic. She grants me a moment of her time when I make it clear that I will not leave until I get it. Thanks. I explain as calmly as I can – without shedding a single emotionally drenched syllable – that this cannot go on. That as a resident-renter, I was asked to keep music down in my home to avoid disturbing the neighbors, and that as such something has gone terribly awry if I’m now complaining about the exact thing the kibbutz was so adamant to ensure I would avoid. I tell her that I work from home and that the noise is a terrible nuisance that prevents me from working in peace.

And that’s when it happens. That’s when she says it. Those 6 brilliant words that will forever live on in infamy as the phrase that proved to me once and for all that she’s probably no better (guilty until proven innocent) than the two good-for-nothings at the pool.

“A pool is not a library.”

Well, duh. Last I checked, books are not waterproof. Oh, if your point is that I should put up with this crap because this  pool that is in my backyard is not a library and can therefore play as much music as it wants whenever it wants (except for between the hours of 2 and 4), then maybe I’ll bring some books and shelves. And a librarian. (I can think of one.) Then, the pool WILL be a library. How cool is that?? And then your logic is broken. Oh, is that not what you meant? Reluctantly, I stoop to her level with an argument for which I can only thank Introduction to Deductive Logic. An analogy so correct that it left her speechless. If but for a moment. An argument so powerful that it could not be refuted. I raised my head up high, looked her in the eye, and stated:

“A house is a house.”

For now, I will sit in patience, if also in agony, waiting to see if she keeps her word that she’ll “take care of it tomorrow”.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of finding out which house is her’s and buying a blow up pool…



p.s. I know this post sounds embittered, and while that does not represent the whole of me, at the moment, I am.


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Filed under Think About It

Coffee Hack of the Century

Coffee Shops.

I like to think of them as a semi-private office with really low rent.

But sometimes, my “landlords” get in a little over their heads. You see, I’m a new convert to the wonderful Americano. Simple, light, and just the right amount of jolt. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with this wonderful coffee shop specialty, let me explain. The Americano consists of a double shot of espresso with water instead of milk, and optional milk and sugar (which I indulge in).

Based on my calculation, the Americano should cost no more than an Espresso – maybe a bit more for the “effort”, but definitely not the price of a cappuccino, which has the addition of being an entire cup of heated milk. However, lately, I’ve been ordering Americanos that cost just as much as their frothy counterparts. What’s more, if I ask for it cold, well that’s just a whole new pricing model that’s called “the customer will never realize the difference”.

Let me explain by example. The standard cappuccino costs 12 shekels, and an Americano about 10. Ask for a cold Americano and you should get charged no more than 11. However, my most recent coffee shop (which charges 12 shekels for the HOT variety – already thievery) thinks that asking for something COLD justifies a 16 shekel price tag! As if!

16 shekels for a shot of espresso and a glass of water!

And therein lies the hack. Today, I requested:

  1. 1 cup of cold water – free!
  2. 1 double shot of espresso – 10 shekels
  3. a bit of cold milk on the side – free

Add in the free sugar packets on the table, stir, and there you have it…my very own COLD Americano for no more than 10 shekels  (+ tip).

Bite me, Cafe Cafe.

Double Espresso
Cup of Water


Filed under Experiments