taylweaver: (Default)
For some odd reason, there was a line from the English readings my synagogue uses for Yizkor (the memorial service) stuck in my head today. Something along the lines of, "Grant me the gift of time."

Though the source of the words is a bit depressing, the concept in them kind of captured what today felt like for me. I am in the middle of a very busy month, and having an entire day of extra time suddenly fall into my lap, well, it was just wonderful.

New York City public schools never close. You have to be able to ski in Times Square before they will declare a snow day.

Well, I didn't check Times Square today, but I certainly wasn't expecting to have the day off.

When my alarm went off this morning, my plan was to head straight for my computer, just to confirm that I did, in fact, have school before getting ready for my day. On the way out of my bedroom, I noticed a piece of paper that had been slipped under my door. It read: "Snow day! No school!" A gift from my apartment mate, who also works in the public schools, and who gets up earlier than I do.

I couldn't quite bring myself to believe it. I had to see it with my own eyes. Sure enough, it was a headline on 1010wins.com. Something like, "Snow storm closes New York City Public Schools." I checked the list of closed schools, just to make sure, and yes. Closed.

I still didn't quite trust it. Neither my apartment mate nor I could quite believe it. All day, we kept saying things like, "wow! A snow day!" Or, "We have a snow day!"

Even better, I had a Hebrew school snow day too (this one, I had higher hopes for.) I was supposed to teach Hebrew school and then have a staff meeting until 8 pm, so that meant my snow day really covered the entire day.

Wow.

And I had stuff I needed to get done. First on the list was going back to bed for another two hours (though I got maybe an hour's worth of sleep in.) Then, a gift for a friend's wedding that needed to be worked on (a ketubah frame), work receipts to go through, and, of course, a novel that I am working on revising.

It was so nice to get a gift of time today. Extra time. An entire day of it.

I really appreciated it.
taylweaver: (Default)
Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer for a wonderful (free!) evening yesterday. Three of us went to a concert at the Cooper-Hewitt design museum thanks to the time and money [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer put into buying Time Out NY and looking through it for ideas for stuff to do last night. We never did make it to museums during the day... (that had been our first plan) but this means my room is also a little cleaner.

Anyway, at the Cooper-Hewitt, they have an exhibit related to Israeli design. After the concert, we got to take a peak at part of the exhibit, even though the rest of the museum was closed. The general idea of the exhibit (not followed by all of the designers) seems to have been to take one useful thing and turn it into another useful thing.For example, the lamps made from plastic tubing - the spots that were shaved down let the light through - and they looked cool too. And many different kinds of chairs. One that was held together by strips of cloth (easily dismantled), one made from melted plastic straws, and one from a sliced up plastic trash can - we liked that one.

But the funniest one there had to be the tiffany lamp (their words, not mine) made from milk jugs. Why? Because not only was the date stamp still there, and not only was it in Hebrew, it also said (in Hebrew, but I don't know how to put Hebrew in my LJ) "kosher for Passover." We all had a good laugh over that one. Did someone drink a little too much milk over Pesach? Or get bored over their Pesach vacation? It was funny.

At some point, I'd like to see the rest of the exhibit - I am curious what we missed.

This museum was, for me, a highlight of the free museum night last June (what do they call that night? I forget) when they had the extreme textile exhibit. It was all about using textiles and textile techniques (such as knitting, weaving and even crocheting) to create new and useful things that might not ordinarily be made that way - like buildings. Well, here, again, was an interesting exhibit. I am really starting to like and appreciate this museum. It makes you think about possibilities.

Oh, and since I haven't posted for a while, some things I didn't get to comment on:

The teaching is a bit better (ask me if you want to here more - I won't say more in a public post). Of course, it helps that I now have this week off...

And last Sunday's snowstorm: the worst part was, it was a Sunday. So we didn't miss any school. But a bunch of us did go to Central Park, including [livejournal.com profile] wildblueyonder2 and [livejournal.com profile] nuqotw. There were seven of us in all. Afterward, I heard that this was the most snow that fell in Central Park in one day - close to 27 inches. Well, since we went late in the afternoon, we must have been standing in most of it - that's two feet of snow, plus a bit. It didn't feel at all unusual, though. Maybe because this stuff tends to accumulate. Getting one blast and then having it melt without any more falling is not the way things generally go. So it didn't feel so unusual, but the powdery nature of it made it easy to walk in - and an interesting challenge to make snowballs from. we had to really press the snow between our hands. Afterward, [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer suggested we should have breathed on it. Leave it to the engineer to have a different solution.

Anyway, so that was fun.

Today, I am going to see the dentist. Not fun, per se, but I am hoping he won't find anything to worry about.

So that's my update.
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)
So [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer kindly lent me her copy of Myst IV, now that she is done with it.

I played it for an hour last night.

It's amazing how big a chunk that took out of my evening.

It also doesn't play so well on my computer - every time I move, it is so slow to change - I keep getting that little hourglass in the corner. Also, whole chunks of the screen tend to turn into solid colored blobs where there should be railings or furniture or whole pieces of wall. Rather annoying.

Yeah, don't think I'm going to continue playing - didn't even get to solve any puzzles yet. Oh well.

In other news, trying to figure out how to get to work if there is a transit strike. If there is, I think I may be conveniently sick on Friday - even if I get there, no way I make it back by Shabbat.

However, if it continues beyond Friday, does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get to and from work?

And now I am off to do report cards...
taylweaver: (Default)
So this morning, I was headed to a new teacher orientation (my last one), and so I got on the local train. The doors closed, then opened, then stayed that way. The train conductor announced that there was a problem with the doors and that we would be moving shortly. Then I heard an announcement from the station: "Due to an incident at 96th street, South Ferry bound 1 trains will be running express from 96th st. to 72nd st." Moving shortly? I got on the next local to show up - on the express track.

As we pulled away, I saw that the front half of our train had closed doors. I am glad I was in the back half.

Of course, my subway ride at the end of the day was not quite as smooth.

Because of the orientation, eneded up at a different professional development (it's that day of the week...) and while my subway ride home was no longer than usual - shorter, by a bit - getting to the subway somehow took an hour and a half. (between getting out of the school building, hunting for the car of the person who offered us a ride, getting caught in traffic...)

Yeah. long day.

It's snowing, though.

First Snow

Dec. 4th, 2005 04:37 pm
taylweaver: (Default)
There's something about the first snow of the season that makes me want to just curl up on my bed with a good book and do nothing else all day. And the best part about it is, as long as the snow is on the ground and the sky is a frosty shade of white, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about doing it.

It's nice to feel justified in sitting around for a few hours, doing nothing productive.

It's a shame the sky had to clear up a bit just before sunset and break the spell - not I am off to get stuff done... I hope

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