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What’s in a date?

1 Dec

There’s been a great deal of silence on this blog, I know, since landing my gig with Patch.com. My site isn’t due to launch till early next year as I’m flying back to London to renew my work visa shortly… so things are on hold.

Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping busy working for the Daily Mail and the New York Post where I’ve spent most of my time on the Ronni Chasen murder story (along with most of Hollywood).

However, the GREAT news is that my new puppy was finally born on November 28. I’m so excited. She’ll be coming home in eight weeks. You can read all about her adventures on her very own Bronte the Golden Retriever Blog here.

However, I really wanted to reflect on her birthdate. It’s taken me three days because I’m trying to get my emotions in order.

November 28, 2002 was the day I survived an Al Qaeda suicide bomb attack in Mombasa, Kenya. You can read more about it here. For the last eight years this has been a terrible anniversary. However, now that my puppy has been born, it’s no longer such a terrible day. It’s gone from being bitter to bittersweet, and I’m looking forward to being able to celebrate November 28 from here on out as well as honouring the memories of Albert de Havila, Dvir and Noy Anter and the nine Kenyan workers murdered by terrorists.

There’s definitely a symmetry to this universe.

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I have joined Patch.com in Mar Vista

2 Nov

Finally!

I can break the news. I’ve been away, and I’ve been covering crazy celebrity journalism for the New York Post, and doing editing gigs, and grieving over my darling Bridget, and awaiting the birth of my new puppy (10 days from now), but mostly I’ve been interviewing for Patch.com. Click on the link for more information about Patch.

It was a long, gruelling interview process but I’m excited to say that I have been hired as the editor of Mar Vista Patch, which will launch in the coming weeks. I was hired last week and went through three days of training and am now working hard to launch my site.

I’m excited to have  a full time job after years of freelancing, excited to have a regular salary, VERY excited by the EXCELLENT benefits offered, and extremely excited that I still get to work from home. Patch outfits us with a MacBook Pro, a camera, video, iPhone, printer, scanner, fax – pretty much everything you need to run an online journalism site from your home, your coffee shop, the local park, wherever.

Most of all, I’m excited to be back working in community journalism, which is where my roots are and is what I love best. I’m excited to get to know the Mar Vista community and engage the locals and be part of their world.  I’m incredibly excited.

In order to launch, I have to have X number of Twitter and Facebook followers. So please, please go to Mar Vista Patch on Facebook and “like” us. And follow me on MarVistaPatch on Twitter.

I’m also looking for contributors to the site. Please see the next Post if you’re interested!

Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind visit

27 Sep

One of the dogs in training at the centre. It looked so much like Bridget I almost cried!

As promised, I went to the Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind yesterday to catch up again with Noach Braun and check out the latest at Bridget’s alma mater. All the  information (plus pics) are over on my other blog, which you can check out here.

The centre is amazing – do take the time to read about it. It was wonderful to honour Bridget and see her first home – which has grown so much and is a fantastic place.

Also, Noach and I are going to discuss helping raise the centre’s presence when I get back home to Los Angeles. Can’t wait!

I took lots of pics. You can see them all on my flickr account here.

Writing from Jerusalem

26 Sep

Me and my darling Bridget

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last wrote. Unfortunately, I was very very busy dealing with my wonderful dog, Bridget. She got very sick and was diagnosed with inoperable osteosarcoma in her pelvis last month. I had to put her to sleep two weeks after she was diagnosed on August 30. She’d been with me since she was 7 weeks old and passed away at the age of 13 and a half.

It was truly devastating and those  weeks were spent taking care of her, with both of us having sleepless nights. Luckily I discovered the Golden Retriever Dog Forum, which has really helped me start to heal from her loss. In addition,  I’m planning on getting a new puppy in the New Year and have started a blog about it. You can read more about my search, and most importantly – about Bridget – on my other blog here:

I miss Bridget terribly, and the hole in my heart is huge. Luckily, I have managed to get out of my very quiet house and am getting some much needed rest back in Israel (where I lived for 11 years). I’m here for my nephew’s barmitzvah next weekend and to visit the Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind where Bridget originally came from. I raised money in her name for them. All this information and lots of pics and videos are over there on my other blog. Please read!!!!!!

I also went on a memorial sailing trip for Bridget on my friend Fred’s boat. Just me and a few friends and we scattered Bridget’s ashes in the ocean. You can see the pictures here.

Rest in peace my darling Bridget: January 30, 1997- August 30, 2010

For now, I’m using my time in Israel to get back to writing for ME, editing my novel, which is finally almost ready to be sent out – hooray! and chilling out and mourning Bridget.

My dog is cancer free!

22 Aug

Great, great news!

Bridget, who as I mentioned last week underwent surgery, just passed her biopsy test. Relief all around. Not only did they remove the entire lump and it was deemed clean, vet says that the pathology results revealed that it may not even have been cancer. They can’t be 100 percent sure. But the great news is whatever that nasty lump was is gone, and she has bounced back wonderfully. Hip, hip hooray. Stitches come out next week. Here is a cool shot of her where you can see her scar if you look closely. And if you can’t there’s a second pic too. Not for the squeamish, though.

She has been an absolute trouper and I’m just thrilled she’s back to her old self.

BridgetPostSurgery1

Here’s the gory pic. Don’t look if you’re squeamish! For what it’s worth, she doesn’t even seem to know it’s there, and it now looks much better – this was taken on the day of surgery, eight days ago.

Bridget's scar

Staying on top of everything

18 Aug

frog-pondWhere I come from, we used to say “I’ve been buzzing around like a blue-arsed fly,” but given that I’m now in the grand old U.S. of A., I guess I have to say I’ve been hopping around like a crazy green frog. That, I suppose is my excuse for not having written for a few days. Today, hopefully that has changed. I am now much more prone to resting on a lily pad and going out of my way to avoid pond scum (Names withheld to protect me from being beaten to a pulp at a later date).

I’m still waiting on my dog’s biopsy although she is happily resting on her own pond of happiness. Three days of cool painkillers saw to that, and now she’s back to her old self. Hooray. Biopsy results should be in tomorrow.

I’ve also suddenly been bombarded with some great editing work  at the Levan Institute at USC (thank you Nick!), and things are moving ahead with the articles on the former child star. All in all things are going swimmingly.

Dog days

15 Aug

I confess to doing no work today. It has been such an emotional drain.

I took Bridget to the vet this morning for her surgery. She was in high spirits (although frustrated that I didn’t give her breakfast – she had to fast from midnight the night before), I on the other hand was a wreck and cried in the vet’s office. He was so sweet he told me he would telephone as soon as her surgery was over so that I could come and wait for her while she was still under. That way when she woke up I’d be the first person she saw.

I got the call at 12:15 p.m. – after trying to spend a couple of hours working in a cafe because I just didn’t want to be home in my house without Bridget. She came through the surgery fine. It took her about an hour to wake up fully before I could take her home, though. She has a huge set of stitches and her bum is all shaved. Poor baby. And she looked, well, stoned!

Vet said that he got the whole mass out and it looked to be contained and didn’t appear to have spread, but we won’t know anything for certain till the lab comes back with the biopsy results – hopefully Monday or Tuesday next week. I brought her home with pain meds and one of those god-awful plastic cones that she has to wear when I’m not supervising her.

She refused to drink for five hours and didn’t move, was clearly in pain. But when the pain killers kicked in, she finally got up and was wagging her tail, drank and ate and seemed to be herself, if not slow, stiff and groggy. She’s now lying on the floor with the silly cone because I’m off to bed shortly and don’t want to risk her going for her stitches. Vet says he will call tomorrow morning to see how she is doing.

I was supposed to go to the premiere of Legally Blonde – the musical tonight and review the show, but had to abandon that plan following Bridget’s surgery. There’s no way I’m leaving her side at all this whole weekend. My friend Sally and her boyfriend were going to take the tix and write the review but that fell through too after she was left dealing with the aftermath of being hit by a car (luckily she’s physically fine, just a little bruised). Wow.

I plan to catch up on the writing bent over the weekend. Dog surgery took over everything today though.