taylweaver: (Default)
Grumble.

So I've been trying to reach two doctors all week to ask them about two different medications (not anything major - one for my eyes and one for digestion-related stuff) - one because it's done its job and I need to know if I should keep using it, and the other because the medicine is not doing its job, and I need to know if I should stop taking it.

Finally, on the third day (today), I got both doctors to call me back - one called my home phone before I got home; the other called my cell, which had fallen out of my pocket while on vibrate, so I didn't hear it ring, of course, and found the message ten minutes later. Neither doctor told me whether to keep using the medications.

This made me rather frustrated. Especially the cell phone one, because I was there, and could have picked up - except that I was in the other room.

Which doesn't really do much for the icky mood I've been in the past couple of days to begin with,

And no, it isn't that anything in particular is wrong. I think someone else's slump just managed to rub off on me (you know who you are, and no, I am not scowling at you. Just generally grumpy and slumpy). Or maybe I'm just randomly feeling slumpy. (yes, that's my newest word.)

hmm...

I thought venting was supposed to make me feel better...

Oh well.

Oh, and just for continuity's sake, got the new sneakers a week or two ago. There is something wrong with my foot now - they are not doing a very good job breaking in.

Blah.

And that is all.
taylweaver: (Default)
Has it really been 20 days since I last posted? On the one hand, that seems unreasonably long. On the other, so much has happened over the past 20 or so days that I feel like it has to have been far longer.

And now for an update:

Days 1-2: Transit Strike, alas, continues. Slightly worn sneakers carry me half an hour by foot to the alternate site I got myself assigned to (so that I could actually call it a work day) and half an hour by foot back home. Day 1 also included a detour to Teachers College (I was sort of in the neighborhood) to order a document I need in order to get my salary up to where it should be. It also included a stop at the Bank Street bookstore on the way home. Did you know they sell packages of blank dice? With label stickers? They're great when you want your dice to only go up to 3 so that your students don't win the game too quickly.

On Day 2, (3rd day of the strike, as my last post was the first day), the strike officially ended some time during the day. It did not end on a more practical level until the following day, however, so my now considerably more worn out sneakers carried me home to pack a heavy suitcase, and then outside to catch a cab so I could catch the charter bus that I rode to where I spent the next seven days...

Days 3-9: USY Convention. For those who don't know, this is a gathering of over 1,000 Jewish teenagers (was it 1,150 this year?) from all across the US and Canada for a week of learning, praying, social action, socializing, and other general fun.

Day 3: Now worn-out sneakers and worn-out feet carry me all over the hotel as I help to get ready for the teen-agers, who will arrive on Day 5. This year, I got to make signs (as usual) with schedules, room info, etc. Then Shabbat began - but I will call all of that Day 4 (a la Jewish calendar time)

Day 4: Shabbat. A very special Shabbat that I look forward to every year. This is a day when my dress shoes get to carry my tired feet and body to amazing services (because the people on staff care) and some okay meals... but the special parts are the Friday night gathering in the director's suite (some of you know who the director is - but I will give no further detail in a public entry) at which home-made dessert foods play a starring role - my own bar cookies included. This year, I was too tired to enjoy all this - but I did enjoy a good night's sleep in the cozy hotel bed ([livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer would love these beds - all poofy and squashy and down-filled. Those with allergies to down would probably hate them.) The following morning, I got to enjoy waking up when it was already light out, reading from the Torah - and pretty well, too, I think - and hearing my father teach about the weekly Torah portion - specifically about Joseph. There are times when I really love hearing my father teach, and this was one of them. He is all about group discussion, and it was pretty interesting to think of Joseph in new ways. One take on him that I really appreciated: Joseph as the equivalent of the straight-A student who wants people to like him, and thinks that boasting about his good grades is the way to get there - because he has little concept of how to be liked by others. Or something like that. Another interesting idea that came up: Maybe he wasn't in touch with his father during his time in Egypt because he thought his dad was in on the conspiracy - having sent him out to check on his brothers in the field (which leads to the pit and the sale and Egypt) when his dad knew his brothers disliked him. Shabbat also included an extra long nap.

Saturday night, it was back to work, getting everything ready for...

Day 5: USY Convention begins. The usual excitement. Plus an unusual event: family Chanukah party in Philadelphia with a combination of local relatives and cousins who were visiting other local relatives. Cousins as in three little kids who were very cute and photogenic. Yay digital camera! So the first night of Chanukah was really special.

Day 6: Convention, second day. A highlight: the keynote speaker was a family friend. She is disabled, and spoke about her experiences in USY, her disability, and her life story in general. The USYers gave her a standing ovation, and I learned things about her life that I never knew before.

Day 7: Convention, third day. Since the educational theme was disabilities, this day of social action projects, which carried groups of USYers all over the Philly area, ended with all of us at Temple University, watching a wheelchair basketball game. Then some USYers who won raffles got to try out wheelchair basketball for themselves. I got to give out boxed dinners. And then I got to help man the lost and found, which had tons of stuff in it, because things fell beneath the bleachers and had to be collected afterward.

Day 8: Fourth day of Convention. Concluded with a dinner dance. Loud and chaotic for the USYers, quieter for the staff - we ate, then began packing up - more wear on my shoes...

Day 9: Convention ended. We watched a fun video, then said tefillat haderech (the traveller's prayer) together before heading our separate ways until next year. I got to go home via NYC, so I could get my computer. Then home with my family for a few days (as opposed to at the convention with them)...

Day 10: Got to sleep in late. Put in an effort to find time for the purchase of new sneakers - except that my sister's coat made its way into that same lost and found (not via the bleachers, but because she was helping to sort the stuff back at the hotel and forgot to take her coat at the end of that) and so her coat was in a box, being shipped back to the USY office, so her issue took priority - but in the end, we got to neither.

Day 11: Quiet Shabbat with my family. After such an exhausting week, not nearly enough time to nap. Also gave my sneakers another good workout with a 30-minute walk to shul, and the same walk back. Wore my new Shabbat coat for the first time - and got snow on it! Managed to nap through an an exciting snowstorm in the afternoon. Also managed to get a ride back into the city that evening - New Years party at NU's - only she was sick, so we only saw her roommate. Fireworks from the roof of [livejournal.com profile] mbarr and [livejournal.com profile] wildblueyonder2's building - they looked small and less impressive than last year - I guess I wasn't in the same mood. Oh well.

Day 12: recovering from Day 11 - no, didn't have anything too toxic... - and also a little Chanukah get-together at [livejournal.com profile] mbarr and [livejournal.com profile] wildblueyonder2's apartment. They let me fry beignets in their kitchen. Much fun. Much tasty sugary goodness.

Day 13: last day to recuperate before returning to work. I think that was also the day I realized that wearing the sneakers was hopeless, as they had worn too far and were now rubbing my toe. Didn't do anything too interesting that I can recall.

Day 14-17: Back to work. Wearing shoes other than my sneakers. A different pair each day, as each set was rubbing in a different place. Also saw two doctors - turns out I have enflamed eyelashes - or eyelids, anyway. And $35 later (plus the appointment cost), I have a prescription cream to put on my eyelids. And was it on Day 16 that I went to Barnes and Noble and had fun buying calendars half price? A crochet calendar (as in, a whole box of crochet patterns that just happen to have dates on them) for myself, a magnetic poetry calendar, and two weather calendars for my students, since I may be teaching Earth Science next quarter. And on Day 14, I ordered new sneakers online.

Day 17 also included a trip down to JH's synagogue, and the usual hour walk back up - which my feet somehow survived.

Day 18 saw me reunited with [livejournal.com profile] rymenhild, who was here too briefly, but who also got me back in touch with [livejournal.com profile] terriqat and [livejournal.com profile] shirei_shibolim, and I followed them back to their apartment after lunch for more hang-out time. That evening, [livejournal.com profile] rymenhild was off again, and I got to see the second Star Wars movie (as in, the second one made, NOT Episode II) with friends.

I also began to crochet a mobius strip shawl. As [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer pointed out, this is not only a fun project for me, but a way for me to understand the mobius strip a bit better.

Day 19 was mostly spent cleaning up from Day 18. And I think I did some other random stuff too...

Day 20's big highlight was hearing Neil Gaiman speak at the 92nd Street Y. He spent a lot of time speaking about the writing process, which I found useful. And he is also rather entertaining. Plus, I got three books signed (two of which I have actually read before...) I bought all three at Barnes and Noble beforehand - and the best part was, one of them, Anansi Boys, was 50% off - just begging me to buy it! So that was a really great evening.

Which brings us to today. I wonder if my new sneakers have arrived yet...
taylweaver: (Default)
Today, I had occasion to ride the shuttle from Grand Central to Times Square. I am inclined, however, to call it the Eddie Bauer train, since that was the ad that covered nearly every surface of the car's interior.

And by every surface, I don't just mean the usual advertising space. I am used to seeing one company take over all the ad space along one side of the car. I could even see it happening on both sides. But this was on the walls too. And the doors. And the ceiling. Even the seats were covered with what looked like a picture of snow-covered mountains.

I didn't check the floor. I wonder if that was covered too.

It actually had a rather interesting effect, seeing as the ad was mostly a mix of snow-covered mountains and brilliant blue skies with white clouds. Rather soothing.

But definitely something I have never seen before.

And I think it was the entire train. Plus the columns outside the train in Times Square, that have recently been used for advertising in general.

It seemed a bit like overkill, though. I wonder how much it cost.

Oh, and by the way, I confirmed today that it is, indeed, possible to recycle old sneakers at Nike stores. Granted, I don't know what happened to my sneakers after I dropped them off, but they did accept them - all three pairs - and they did say they would be recycled.

Recycle your sneakers. Then you won't have to throw them away. They get used for things like playground turf.

This public service announcement brought to you by... oh, never mind.

Hairspray

Aug. 19th, 2005 11:11 am
taylweaver: (Default)
Last night, my parents treated my sisters and me to a Broadway show. The three of us went to see Hairspray - and we had Orchestra seats. For the first time in my life, I was not all the way up in the rear mezzanine.

We were six rows back, close enough to see the sweat dripping from one of the actors, and close enough to appreciate everything from costumes to facial expressions.

Granted, the seats would have been better if I weren't sitting behind someone who was head and shoulders above everyone else - and blocked my view of center stage, with the angle of the seats. But other than that...

The show was amazing. Every actor played their part wonderfully, from the overweight idealist daughter to the geeky sidekick - she was amazing - to the young black girl to the mother, Edna Turnblat, played by Bruce Vilanche - who was the reason we went in the first place. (He is an old friend of my father.) For those who do not know the show, he plays an obese hosewife who irons for a living, and who is the lead's mother. He wears a 30 pound fat suit - and apparently a 40 pound dress in the final scene. And there is one scene where it is just Edna and her husband dancing and singing together onstage, and there is a moment reserved for ad-libbing. As Edna is being fondled by her husband, the following lines emerged:

"This is better than Harry Potter."
"Watch out, I'm a desperate housewife."
"Pretty soon, Brittney Spears will look just like me"

But it was great to see Bruce as an actor - he uses the silences even better than his lines. The expressions on his face... wow.

And, as I said, all the others were great as well. And the costumes were so colorful and went together so well, and the scenery - the color, the style, the way all of it was lit...

Not to mention the script itself - great music for dancing to - which is what they kept doing - and great words - humorous lines, and also a wonderful message.

That's how my father describes the show: "It has such a great message." Can you tell he thinks like an educator? But he's right. And he says it is even more powerful for people like him who grew up (were teenagers) in the 60's. For that matter, Bruce Vilanche himself was growing up in the 60's, seeing as he's around my father's age - maybe a few years older.

I feel like there were some very specific parts I wanted to share with people - but the whole thing was so good that I can't recall which ones they are.

In other news, I got new sneakers yesterday - before my old ones were completely worn out...
And I looked online this morning and found out that I was right - there is a way to recycle old sneakers. Nike collects them and makes them into playground and sports turf. And small quantities of shoes can be dropped off at Niketown here in the city - I think it is in the 50's. So now I can recycle all of my old sneakers instead of just throwing them away. If only I could do the same with my dress shoes.

I also discovered that New Balance makes shoes other than sneakers - they have this other brand they make - was it Dunham? - and while it seems from the catalogue to be focused more on work boots, this company also makes more casual shoes - that have some of the same features as the sneakers in terms of comfort and support. Alas, the shoe I liked on the shelf (a lace-up that looked like it would be great for teaching in) has been discontinued.

Another interesting feature of the catalogue, though: if you ever need a pair of steel-toed sneakers... who knew such things existed? (Steel-toed boots, those I have heard of - and seen in certain people's closets. But sneakers? Yes, I know they serve a purpose. I just never thought about it.)

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