taylweaver: (Default)
And thou shalt attend the sedder to which your family has obligated you to attend. Should your family place no such obligation upon you, or should they place upon you two or more conflicting obligations such that the only option is to ignore both or all of them, or should you have the gall to back out of such obligations as are placed upon you by your family, thou shalt attend a sedder of your choosing. And, upon completion of two such seddarim, or one, should you happen to be in Israel, and after darkness has fallen upon the conclusion of the first day or days of the holiday, thou shalt post such thoughts as shall occur to you in regard to this sedder which you have attended, and thus share these thoughts with your friends during the intermediate days of the holiday, that all of your friends may know whether your sedder was fun or stressful, and how much you love or cannot stand to spend holidays with your family.

And so, in fulfillment of the above obligation...

Seddarim were nice. I had the pleasure, once again, of hosting [livejournal.com profile] mbarr for the seddarim, and got to see various members of the immediate and extended family, as well as some family friends.

Going into this year, I felt like it was a year of transition in various ways. Mostly, this is because there is only one relative left in my grandfather's generation who is well enough to make the trip up from South Jersey. Many of you may recall that my grandfather passed away at the end of Pesach three years ago (check out my posts from the end of April/beginning of May three years ago for more info if you haven't heard the story). For two years after that, his surviving brother, sister, and sister-in-law made the trip up. This year, only his brother was able to travel. We weren't sure until erev Pesach whether or not even he would be able to make the trip.

In addition to that, this is my parents' first sedder as grandparents, and my nephew was with our side of the family this year for the sedder. He is almost a year old, adorable, and gets upset when someone tries to break his (egg) matzoh for him. After all, what is the fun of eating matzoh if you can't also play with it?

We also had a toddler at the sedder, along with her father, who is my second cousin.

Of course, my little cousins who live up the block are that generation also, and the oldest of them is nearly ten, so this is not an entirely new phenomenon, though they were at the other side of their family this year, so not at our sedder.

The more interesting change, though, was that my father finally replaced the old haggadot we had been using for so many years, for as long as I can remember, really. Probably longer. We began with over 30 copies of them, I think, and by last year we were down to maybe 20. Up until a few years ago, it was a gradual attrition, but by last year, haggadah after haggadah began to fall apart. Bindings split and pages were falling out all over the place. Of the 20 haggadot that were left, maybe 10 would have survived in one piece past this year. Plus, my father didn't much like them anyway.

So he finally bought new ones. He had his eye on the haggadah by Noam Tzion (or however that is spelled) but it was too big and too expensive to buy 30 of. This year, however, there was an abridged version (which is to say, full text with abridged commentary) that was much more cost-effective. So we had a new haggaddah for the first time in my life.

The Hebrew was the same, but the English was different. There are some English readings we have done every year, to the point where some of us have parts of them memorized. So it was a new experience to miss those familiar (if archaic) turns of phrase.

My father also cut down on the amount of inserts we did - i.e. special readings and songs that I get to fold and stick in to every haggaddah. We did two each night, rather than the three or four of years past. And we had to ask my father specifically to include, as is traditional, the Ballad of the Four Sons on the second night, which is the first "fun" insert we ever had - predating all of those internet parody songs that now get forwarded. So old that half of the copies we have are photocopies of a version that was typed on a typewriter!

Of course, the sedder was probably more the same than different. On the first night, we hit close to maximum capacity with 30 guests or so, and on the second night we had a more intimate sedder with about 20. As usual, the South Jersey contingent headed out early on the second night so that they could get back home, and so we were down to 10 of us, which is always refreshing, since it is 10 of us who know the songs and can read the Hebrew.

My parents were exhausted, as were many of the rest of us, and it was fun to watch them get a bit punchy by Hallel, when they began clapping along with the songs. I laughed so hard, I was crying.

Because my nephew was present, and because we sing an African American Spiritual (let my people go/go down moses) at our sedder - good thing it is also in the new haggadah - I got to thinking about what my nephew's future connection to the sedder will be. He is part African American (he is adopted, for those who are wondering how this makes sense) - as in, some of his ancestors were almost certainly slaves here in America, not too many generations ago. So slavery is in his much more immediate past, not a story from long ago. I wonder how this will affect his connection to seddarim in the future, and how he will feel, as he gets older, when he joins us in singing that song.
taylweaver: (Default)
So a few friends and I were going to go shopping for bridesmaid dresses for [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer's wedding. [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer suggested that Sunday the 23rd, the Sunday after Purim (Jewish holiday coming up this Friday, for those who do not know) would be a good day for her. The rest of us agreed that it would be a good day.

Then, on Friday, as I was walking from one school to another, I noticed a grocery store sign that said it would be closed on Sunday the 23rd so that its employees can celebrate Easter. Later, I saw an ad for the Macy's flower show, and it, too, will be closed on Easter Sunday.

Right. Easter. Stores close.

Maybe we can't go to the bridal store after all. Oops.

Anyway, it was a weird realization, because I am not used to noticing that things close on Easter. For that matter, I forgot that Easter was even coming up. Oddly, I was incredibly aware of Good Friday, but totally forgot that Good Friday on the 21st meant Easter on the 23rd. Of course, why am I aware of Good Friday? Because it is a weekday and my schools are closed for it. Oh, and it also has the good fortune of being the same day as Purim, such that I don't have to take a day for Purim, since it happens to be a day off anyway.

I guess the thing is that, in the vast majority of years, Easter Sunday falls in the middle of Passover. So either we are too busy celebrating our own holiday to notice what the majority of the US is celebrating, or it is the middle of the holiday and I am home with my family, which lives in a county where the stores are still closed *every* Sunday, so Easter doesn't feel any different.

(by way of explanation to those who don't know: Passover is 8 days long and the first two days and the last two days are "holidays" in the full sense of the word - observed in pretty much the same fashion as the Jewish Sabbath - no doing "work", including e-mail, driving a car, shopping, etc. The days in the middle are only half-holidays, in a sense. There is still celebration going on, but most of that "work" is allowed - which makes it a wonderful time to go shopping at the mall, or go see the circus, or whatever.)

Anyway, this is the first year in a long time where Easter has fallen on a "normal" Sunday for me, in a sense. And it's weird.
taylweaver: (Default)
... you go to a baseball game and there is a kosher hot dog stand
... it seems perfectly normal to spend $4.50 for the aforementioned kosher hot dog ($2.50 for a bag of chips, on the other hand...)
... the pre-game entertainment is provided by a chorus from a Jewish high school
... the principal of the aforementioned Jewish high school throws the opening pitch

Yeah, so I went to go to a Mets game last night. Apparently, they won, but I missed that part, since I needed to leave after the sixth inning to get home in time to get a good night's sleep (it didn't work. Still exhausted. Oh well.)

I didn't know people were going until I got a phone message at work from [livejournal.com profile] flintknappy, and I didn't know I was going until everyone else was running late and I was able to make it to the meeting place - and decided to ride the train with everyone (yay unlimited metrocard) just to hang out with the people who were going: [livejournal.com profile] daphster, [livejournal.com profile] flintknappy, and [livejournal.com profile] hampsblog. It wasn't until we got there that I actually decided to go to the game.

Anyway, it was fun, so a huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] daphster for thinking of it. This is my first time going to a major league baseball game in NYC - rather impressive when one considers I grew up in NJ, where we didn't have our own teams, so the NY teams were "ours" also.


Apr. 12th, 2006 05:49 am
taylweaver: (The author)
Got a haircut.

My hair is now 12 inches shorter/

The guy who cut it is Jewish and from Queens. His name is Fabio.

Go figure.

Guess that means I'll be needing a new userpic...
taylweaver: (Default)
Assign the first bracha to someone at one end of the long table. Then assign the second bracha to someone at the other end of the table. Repeat five more times. It is especially entertaining if you manage to pick two people who are sitting next to each other for non-consecutive brachot, and have the one person between them sitting at the opposite end.

My father got his exercise yesterday evening.

My family hosted a sheva brachot at his office. It was about... 30 people? Take two tables, put them end to end. Repeat on the other side. Then put a table crosswise at the head and at the foot, making one large square. Feels roomy, but also cozy. It was good. Also low-key and casual.

The wedding on Sunday was beautiful as well. It was also wonderful that the entire family was invited. We got a wonderful photo of ourselves.

And the bride and groom got about five sets of photos via people who used Snapfish (myself included - did I mention I uploaded 75 photos of the wedding?) and yesterday, two days after the wedding, they had already ordered over 100 photos to be printed - and were going to pick them up from Walgreens (you can do that on Snapfish) on the way home.

Digital cameras are a wonderful invention.
taylweaver: (Default)
Happy belated Purim to all who celebrated yesteday (or today)!

My Purim was exhausting, but so worth the lack of sleep.

It began with a cab ride to KOE with [livejournal.com profile] mbarr - because we both cut it so close that it's a good thing we didn't walk. Granted, I was reading the second chapter, not the first... Did I mention I read megillah. By the way, it's fun to sit there chanting Hebrew on the subway - just because it's fun to look strange on the subway - at least, strange in a nonthreatening and nonsmelly sort of way...

After that, I should have gone to bed, but it was Purim, and who goes to bed early when there are drunken spectacles to enjoy at [livejournal.com profile] margavriel's apartment. A small but festive gathering that included all sorts of interesting hats - hard hats and black hats and caps and paper crowns. I did not wear any hat, but [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer, [livejournal.com profile] nuqotq and [livejournal.com profile] margavriel were posing in them and passing them around. Let's just say there was much merriment - and yes, I have pictures, and yes, they will eventually make it online...

Somehow got to bed after midnight.

And woke up about four and a half hours later - well, that's when my alarm went off, but I may have woken up even earlier - to make it to megillah reading at the shul around the corner. I even dressed in my usual Purim day "costume" - only this time, a slightly more professional version of frum, the kind of outfit that one can buy at Old Navy and The Gap (well, Gap Outlet, anyway...) - so that I would fit in at shul. I think the only person wearing pants was AF - and I'm not sure she was, but if she was, it was only because she was in an actual costume - her gi from taekwondo. (She teaches six-year-olds, and wanted to hear every word of Megillah before hearing bits and snatches in school.)

Megillah reading was introduced in a way that went something like this: "Ladies and gentlemen, before we start megilla reading, please check that your cell phones are turned off. For those of you who haven't been here before, I want to let you know that this megilla reading will be fast. I hope you are able to hear every word. I will stop once briefly for Haman's name, the first time it is read. After that, I won't be stopping, and if you make noise, you risk causing yourself or others to miss words of the megillah." That is VERY paraphrased, but all of the ideas are in there...

And yes, it was fast.

And I even got to work on time.

And my coworkers got all excited about the hamantashen - so much so that I brought them some more today.

And the best part was, I left early and missed my least favorite class.

And then I got all sorts of exercise shlepping around the UWS delivering mishloach manot. By the way, [livejournal.com profile] shirei_shibolim - I have one for you and [livejournal.com profile] terriqat. I tried to deliver it but somehow had the wrong address. Perhaps we can connect later so I can give it to you. But all the others got delivered, even if I was an hour (hour fifteen?) late to seudah. Of course, it helped that [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer was running equally late, and so I had company.

Plus, I got to deliver one to my family - which then got passed along to a family friend who was in the car - my dad came to get my sister for seudah at home, and I got there with her mishloach manot at just the right moment - plus the one for the family.

And the seudah at JH's shul was lots of fun. Low-key, lots of meat, and some very good wines. Especially the Merlot.

Then there was Marx Brothers, but I was too tired to really enjoy it. Good thing we left to go to [livejournal.com profile] mbarr's apartment, where I was able to enjoy a different DVD while curled up half-asleep in a pile of pillows on their very comfy couch.

Wine or exhaustion? You tell me. (Or, then again, maybe I shouldn't encourage opinions on this one...)

Anyway, it was a very comfy end to a very happy day.

And it was so hard to get up so that I could drag myself to bed...

Once again, happy belated Purim! I hope all of you had just as great a holiday.
taylweaver: (Default)
So today, I went on an (unsuccessful) hunt for bowls with lids. This hunt took me to the two huge discount stores on Avenue M - Bargain Hunters and Amazing Savings. In Bargain Hunters, especially, before I even walked into the store, there were the rows of mishloach manot - baskets filled with Purim goodies, stacked up in the front windows. Once I got in, Purim was everywhere. A sign wished the customers happy Purim. and one aisle was labelled "Mishloach Manot baskets." There were all sorts of candies and cookies and crackers and other Purim stuff... it was amazing. I wanted to buy and buy and buy (total Purim purchases so far: zero. I obviously restrained myself)

It was such a wonderful feeling to leave with as I picked up my kosher take-out on the way to the subway (well, okay, so it took me a few feet further from the subway to go get the food - the take-out place being on the fat side of Amazing Savings, but you get the general idea.

About an hour later, having arrived on the Upper West Side, I entered my local CVS to buy something - and lo! there were more baskets! Only these were a riot of pastel-y colors. And there were eggs and bunnies and all sorts of colorful - pastel - chocolates! Help! It was the attack of the Easter aisle! And this, before the St. Patrick's Day goodies have been removed from the little shelf space they take up. (As an aside, it's amazing how so many holidays in America have their own special color scheme. Hallmark must have done some great marketing. Chistmas: red and green. Easter: pastel. Halloween: orange and black. Thanksgiving: fall colors. Valentines Day: pink and red. St Patricks Day: green. July 4th: red, white and blue. Granted, some of these were pretty intuitive, but still...)

Anyway, no offense to those who celebrate Easter and such, but I much preferred the Purim aisles. It's amazing how the aisles and CVS didn't bother me until I could contrast them with the aisles in Bargain Hunters. And even more amazing was how I walked into Bargain Hunters and took for granted the fact that it was filled with Purim stuff and bereft of Easter stuff. It's like a little reminder of what it's like to be in Israel - only I was in Brooklyn.

It's so wonderful to work in a Jewish neighborhood...

It felt so great to be in that store and to start to think about how Purim is just two weeks away, and how I have so many resourcs at my disposal to help me get ready for it.
taylweaver: (Default)
It's amazing how I go to a book sale, and I want to buy ten times more than I can afford...

There's something really addictive about books and buying books. Especially Jewish ones. There's something really special about owning some of these books.

Plus, I just got a new (well, gently used) bookcase from [livejournal.com profile] mbarr a few weeks ago, and it needed some books to make it happy.

Where was I, you ask, that I was tempted to feed the addiction? I went with [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer to the Yeshiva University seforim (Jewish book) sale.

They have so much stuff there... the more traditional "seforim" (I, personally, am more inclined to spell it as s'farim, but I will use their spelling, as it is their book sale) such as Torah and Tanach sets, Shas sets, and various classic commentators. But they also had more modern books - contemporary commentators, haggadot (well, the original text is far from modern, but there are always all sorts of new takes on it), novels, children's books, philosophy books, etc, etc.

Thankfully, I had a goal going in. I knew I wanted a Mikraot Gedolot set - that would be Torah with a bunch of classic commentators - and the biggest question I faced was, which size should I buy? (The medium size was worth the extra $5 to be readable more than a few inches from my face) It ended up running me $46 - that's less than $10 a volume, if you think about it. And by volume, I mean hardcover book.

I was also looking for more modern commentators, and since the one I really wanted was out of my price range, I bought a book of divrei Torah from Bar Ilan University professors for $12.50. It's a big, thick book. The kind that looks like it would be over $20 even in paperback. So that felt like a true bargain. I also explored the haggadah table for my father - bought three - and got a book on the teaching style of Nechama Leibowitz - the one whose actual books were out of my price range.

And then there was all the stuff I didn't buy...

I was so tempted to buy a full set of shas... not the Artscroll set (with the English translation) - that one would have been about $1700 - but the Steinsaltz one, with the translation into modern Hebrew on the side. I don't do so well with the Aramaic, but the modern Hebrew solves the problem nicely for me - especially because if I don't know a word, I can refer to a standard Hebrew-English dictionary. That set was only ("only") $350. They had a normal set (the kind without any modern translation) that was under $100, actually, but it was also fairly microscopic. Still, I was impressed by the price.

Anyway, I overcame the temptation. Maybe in a future year, I will be willing to spend $350 - but not this year.

And then we found dinner - an adventure in itself, but not a terribly interesting one - and ate it on the subway home (the floor of the subway car had some dinner too, in fact), then I got to watch the figure skating that wasn't live to begin with on an even further time delay because I took full advantage of [livejournal.com profile] mbarr's DVR/Tivo. Thankfully, [livejournal.com profile] wildblueyonder2 managed to restrain himself and only came close to giving away the ending, but somehow did not actually do so.

Anyway, books are heavy. And they cost money. But now they are on my shelf.

They look like they need company.

That will be expensive...

It's amazing how I see Jewish books, and I want to buy so many of them.

PS. in case I totally lost any of you with my discussion of Jewish books, here's a mini glossary:

sefer - the Hebrew word for book. In America, often used to refer specifically to books that are religious texts such as a prayer book or the text of the Torah.
seforim/s'farim - the plural of sefer
Tanach - the entire Jewish Bible. From the acronym: TNK (Torah, Nevi'im, Ketubim - the three segments of the Bible) - the acronym, when spelled in English, does not look at all like an acronym - remember, in Hebrew, vowels are marks in, on and under the letters.
Shas - another word for Gemarra, a Jewish oral law text that has many, many volumes. If you learn a (two-sided) page every day, which some people do, it takes over seven years to get through all of it.
Haggadah (plural: haggadot) - the book we use at the Passover Sedder that, among other things, tells the story of Passover. It has a standard text, but different editions have different commentators or other extras - especially the ones that are more lighthearted about it and have things like cute songs or comic strips
d'var Torah - literally, word or thing of Torah. It is generally a lesson taught based on the weekly Torah portion. (and by lesson, I mean that it should be a practical lesson - from this week's Torah portion, we can learn this thing that we can apply to our lives today sort of lesson)
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)
(by way of explanation, for those who are not Jewish, a mezuzah is a scroll with a specific passage from the Bible that is rolled up in a case and hung on doorposts of Jewish homes)

So yesterday afternoon, I went to a different school than I usually go to in order to observe a more expereienced teacher. I had looked up the location on Mapquest, and was delighted to note that it was less than a mile away. Plus, the weather was gorgeous. So I decided to walk.

As I started my walk, I was a bit vigilant. This was not a street I had walked down before, and though I knew I wouldn't get lost - it was straight down the same road until I turned down one side street at the end - I had no clue what neighborhoods I was passing through.

Well, it was encouraging to pass by an assortment of single-family homes, surrounded by trees and even a few patches of grass. It seemed almost suburban. As I walked, I also began to count the mezuzot. On one block, I was thinking in my head: Mezuzah... Mezuzah... Mezuzah... screen door (couldn't see the post)... Mezuzah... Building with a Jewish name... And, a few blocks later: Site of future Yeshiva (Jewish school)...

Is it weird that knowing I was in a Jewish neighborhood made me feel that much safer?


taylweaver: (Default)

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