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Little Bites 11 (Hebrew Edition)

Back when Josh and I first started dating, there was a television show that we liked in Israel called Florentine.  This was back in the olden days, when we had to walk to school uphill both ways and the only Israeli television you could get in the States was Rechov Sum-Sum which was inexplicably aired at 3 am for nocturnal preschoolers.  The way you could see Florentine in America was via screenings where they’d show six back-to-back episodes in a theater.

Whoever made the films simply put all six episodes back-to-back sans commercials but with the opening and closing credits.  Which meant that if you went to see the television show, you sat in the theater and heard the opening theme song six times.  And if you went the next week to see the next six episodes, you heard the theme song another six times.  And if you happened to see all of season one and season two in a one-month period of time, you heard the theme song a total of 26 times.

It was a very catchy theme song performed by the band Monika Sex, which was sort of the Soul Asylum of Israel.  By the fourth episode or so, the repetitive theme song portion of evening turned into a Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque version with everyone singing along and pretending to be Tutti spraying her chocolate milk (er… that was chocolate milk… right?)  And then we’d all settle down, watch the episode, and then go back to singing along with the theme song at the next section break.

I was thinking about the song — “Maka Afora” — this week, and I decided to buy it on iTunes as a reward after completing a very difficult scene in the sequel of Life from Scratch.  And Josh made it into our ring tones for each other.  Which replaces my old ring tone for Josh which was Jon Ronson reading from his book, The Psychopath Test.


Which, you know, raised some eyebrows when the phone went off in the food store.


We are so in love with our new ring tone that we have taken to calling each other from inside the house.  When one of our phones goes off, we rush to be in the same room and dance to the song while the children look on in horror.  I love it because it reminds me of those first awkward months when you’re dating and you don’t really know each other well and you’re making up all these private jokes with one another that you hope you’ll still be able to repeat ten years later and have the other person around to hear them.  And then one day it happens: you marry the person and realize that all the inside jokes you created years earlier while watching an Israeli tv show are still accessible and you can dance around the kitchen, pretending to be Tutti spraying her chocolate milk.  And the other person gets it.

Plus, this song is so much better than Jon Ronson listing off predatory animals, nu?


I know the words aren’t exactly happy, but it sounds like such a happy song.  And it reminds us of such a happy, giddy time.  What is your happy song, and why the hell isn’t it your ring tone (if it isn’t)?


The Wolvog showed us how to switch to typing in Hebrew in Gmail (I believe it only works on Macs), which is supremely unhelpful because you have no idea which button on the keyboard corresponds with which letter.  I commented that back in graduate school, I had a paper template that slipped over the keyboard that told me where everything was if I was using my Hebrew program. (I had to type in Hebrew for the translation portion of my degree.)  Josh said, “I bet it would be much easier on the iPad because it has a pop-up keyboard.”

The Wolvog went upstairs and got the iPad, and lo and behold, he set it up so that it now has two keyboards — one Hebrew and one English — and I can switch between the two with a click of one button.  I really don’t have an enormous need to write in Hebrew anymore, and I’m fairly certain that if I started posting tweets in Hebrew, I’d confuse all but maybe two followers.

But the Wolvog is so smitten with being able to write in Hebrew that he has begun typing up long manifestos of gibberish with the program since he can’t really write anything more than his name at this point.  Which means that random people have received said gibberish manifestos since the iPad is tied to my email account.  Which is a long way of saying that if you get a long string of random Hebrew letters emailed to you, it is just the Wolvog.  Though we’ve been telling people that it’s our orangutan banging on the iPad.


1 Rachel { 12.19.11 at 12:14 pm }

Omg. Florentine!! LOve love. And that song totally brought me back to 2001 when I lived there. I miss Israel so much!

2 Elizabeth { 12.19.11 at 1:11 pm }

My happy song – “these are the days”, 10,000 Maniacs. Totally dates me, eh?

3 Eggs In A Row { 12.19.11 at 1:47 pm }

Oh…and my “happy” song is “Good” by Better Than Ezra. But the whole reason it’s my happy song is that it randomly comes on during points of my life that I need it, so I can’t wear it out. Does that make sense?

4 JustHeather { 12.19.11 at 3:06 pm }

My happy song for when my husband calls is Take On Me by A-ha. Unfortunately, my phone doesn’t want to cooperate and play it when he calls.

5 Mo { 12.19.11 at 3:47 pm }

Ahh that post made me smile! 🙂
Mel – you have to check this out, you will love love love it:
it’s a mash up with maka afora that actually became almost as big a hit as the original.
My happy songs are threefold:
Don’t stop me now by queen
The River is Wild by the Killers
and an awesome song called “LA” by an israeli band called “Gingiot”:
(don’t know what the elephant thing is about but the song is there, and awesome as usual)

6 a { 12.19.11 at 4:35 pm }

Your orangutan banging on the iPad? Priceless! And I love the idea of your children looking at you like you’re crazy when you’re dancing to your ringtone.

7 Chickenpig { 12.19.11 at 4:37 pm }

That IS a catchy tune. Now I really want to know…what is the show about? Why is that chickie spraying chocolate milk? Hmmmmm…

8 Eggs In A Row { 12.19.11 at 6:01 pm }

Mo: I’m obsessed with that mash-up! Israel flashback!

9 Alexicographer { 12.19.11 at 7:23 pm }

This post made me laugh, in a good way. Mostly at Wolvog’s emails, but also at the thought of you and Josh and the happiness of calling each other while in the same house. And young love — early love. I mean, I know you’re writing about being at a different point but it’s lovely how you still remember that.

DH has Jimi Hendrix “Foxy Lady” for me, which is sweet, though I don’t think he really means it. But it’s funny, because DS (4) tells me, “Mama, you call us on the phone and we say, ‘What’s UP, foxy lady?'” Which is true, they do. So there’s that. Were I organized/motivated enough to get a custom ringtone for DH it would be the Pretenders, “Gotta have some of your attention, give it to me!” because, well, yeah.

10 Denver Laura { 12.20.11 at 12:30 pm }

My “happy” song is Foster the People “Pumped Up Kicks.” I had it on my iPod and my 13 month old joined me in whistling to the music. (Yeah, I totally take credit for her intelligence even though I know she didn’t inherit it from me).

I changed the lyrics to “run faster then my brother” and “outrun my son” because honestly I don’t want the responsibility of causing harm to a growing brain.

11 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 12.20.11 at 8:32 pm }

That intro: OMG the 90s.

DH’s ringtone when I call is the one that I use for my ringtone for everyone but him, and my ringtone when he calls is the one that he uses for his ringtone for everyone but me. Which made for a very awkward moment when our real estate agent called me from the house phone the other day to say that the house showing was over, and I thought it was DH calling and I said, “Hellooooooooo!” Which actually is a lot more innocuous than how I answer his phone calls much of the time, such as “Yo yo yo mofo.”

12 Emily { 12.22.11 at 1:47 pm }

Hehehe. I can totally picture you and you Hubby dancing around to it!
I have a lot of happy songs. Every one reminds me of a special person or time in my life. Right now my ringtone for my Hubby is At The Beginning by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis. http://youtu.be/kSHUVcVjdgg

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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