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This evening, I removed a stack of glasses from my cabinet. I separated the top one from the one below it, and put the other two back in the cabinet. About five minutes later, we heard a shattering noise. When I reopened the cabinet, there was one glass, with the shattered remnants of the glass that had been above it settled in its bottom and clinging around the upper edges in a way that was still vaguely drinking-glass shaped. The shards looked like the kind you get when a car window breaks, and for a few minutes afterward, just like with the car window (yes, a car window once broke on me - safety glass is very cool), we could hear the glass crackling. Later, when I cleaned all of the glass off the shelf, I discovered that shards of glass had landed in the top glass of another stack of three glasses (remember, the broken one was in a stack of two when it broke) - which means that not only did it shatter, it shattered with enough force to send glass flying upward! It is a very good thing that cabinet door was closed.

I took pictures, but I don't know how to post them here.

It was a rather intriguing experience.
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This was rather frustrating. And quite unexpected. (Stop thinking what you are thinking! That is not how it happened!)

I sat down, and heard a twang, and maybe felt a jolt. My bed is a daybed, which is built like a highriser, minus the underneath bed. The matress is held up on a network of wires, with two supporting metal pieces that span the width of the bed underneath. One of those metal pieces detached from one side of the frame.

I slept on it anyway. Not sure whether it was a good idea or not.

Plus, my water bottle that was in my school bag that was on my bed leaked. It soaked two books in my bag, and also the corner of my bed.

Not a good night for sleeping.

Also, it got cold outside! I need more warm clothing...
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In Israel, people don't plan ahead as much as they do in America. They go with the flow, and plans change with impressive frequency. This means you end up having all sorts of experiences you didn't plan on having - and sometimes, they are rather pleasant surprises.

Last night, I had plans to get together with [livejournal.com profile] boroparkpyro and another friend (if she has an LJ, I don't know it) for dinner. In the end, the second friend could not join us - but instead, [livejournal.com profile] maric23 joined in for one more visit before I head back home - and also five of [livejournal.com profile] boroparkpyro's friends, all in for a wedding today.

It turns out, the eight of us (well, for a while it was eight, but one left before we headed out to dinner, so then it was seven) had an amazing time. There was about an hour of hanging out down at the bottom of Agrippas Street, and then we went to this Italian restaurant that [livejournal.com profile] maric23 knew of. The food was okay - good, but not enough of it, really.

But the food was not the fun part.

The fun part was that all of us (I hope all of us) had such a wonderful time. It was a fairly random assortment of people - five who knew each other, true, but then there was me, who only knew one member of that group - and knew of a second but hadn't met him - and [livejournal.com profile] maric23 who only knew me.

And yet, we were chatting away almost at once, about everything from archaeology to Firefly. ([livejournal.com profile] maric23 and I were pleasantly surprised to hear [livejournal.com profile] sen_ichi_rei call her dessert "shiny"!) We had such a good time, we felt a need to take a group photo - see [livejournal.com profile] maric23's blog for that.

It was really great to meet everyone, and the fun part is, every one of us has a livejournal. Unfortunately, I didn't quite remember all of them... Of course, I already know mine and [livejournal.com profile] boroparkpyro and [livejournal.com profile] maric23, but I also met [livejournal.com profile] alanscottevil, who, buy some odd stroke of happenstance is related rather closely to [livejournal.com profile] boroparkpyro - but don't tell anyone I said that - and whose name I heard many times growing up from [livejournal.com profile] orisnori - so it was exciting to finally meet him in person. I also met... let's see if I get the names right... [livejournal.com profile] sen_ichi_rei, [livejournal.com profile] attackpenguin and one or two others whose user names I am missing.

So if someone wants to fill in the ones I don't have...

Anyway, it was so much more fun that I ever could have expected. A big thank you to all of you for being a part of a fabulous penultimate night in Jerusalem (well, penultimate for this trip - I hope to spend many more nights in Jerusalem in years to come, of course).

I hope all of you who came in for the wedding have a wonderful time.

It's such an amazing feeling to meet a group of people and mesh with them almost instantly - mesh so well, I think, that any stranger who walked by would have thought that each of us had known every one of the others for a long time, not just a matter of hours.
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So, yesterday, I went home to my parents' house because I made a last minute medical appointment. On the way to the doctor, my mom and I stopped at Costco - where none of my toiletries existed in bulk. I bought some shorts, but I am probably returning them.

After the doctor, we went to Gap Outlet - where I bought more shorts (notice a theme?) and then to CVS for some summer toiletry shopping.

Then, my mom was supposed to drive me back to the city.

By the time we pulled into Dunkin Donuts to buy dinner, her eyelids were drooping. Yeah, so much for returning to the city.

Of course, I went home yesterday fully intending to return to the city - so I was completely unprepared for the overnight stay.

Except, of course, that we had just stopped at CVS. I had everything from shampoo to contact lens solution - even a case! - to sunblock!

By the time we got home, I realized that all I was really missing was, of all things, a toothbrush. Well, some digging in the closet "bought" me a new one of those. And a quick rummage through my old dresser provided night clothing.

So all was well with the world.

Anyway, how often does that happen? I just happen to stop at CVS on the way back to the city and I just happen to buy most of my toiletries for the summer on the very same night when my mom just happens to be too tired to drive me back to the city. I mean, how often do you find yourself unexpectedly staying by your parents' with a full bottle of shampoo and a brand new contact lens case that just happen to be sitting in your shopping bags?

And by the way, it's amazing to sleep in a bedroom that actually gets dark enough to see the glowing stars on the walls. It's been too long since I had a night's sleep like that...

Sometimes, I do miss the suburbs.
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That's what I thought the van parked in Chinatown said. It's much more interesting than what the van actually said - "demolition and carting" - and it also shows how tired I was on Friday.

As for what I was doing in Chinatown in the first place - well, that is a happy thing - I finally got my last paycheck for the summer. Now, if only I could get my first paycheck for my current job... that would make me very happy.

In other news, I started wandering around to the new schools on my caseload. I was sitting in an office looking at documents in one of them when a person walked in and introduced herself as a speech teacher. She looked at me for a moment and said something along the lines of, "you look familiar, but you're in the wrong context. What's your name." I told her. Then she asked, "were you AN's roommate?" "Yes. How do you know her?" "I live with her now."

And did I mention that all three speech teachers in that particular school are Jewish? They showed me the one kosher place in the neighborhood - a falafel place, which also sells sushi. Does every single kosher place sell sushi now? It didn't quite match the other foods there - all very Israeli. Made me think of the article in the Times this week (last week?) in the dining section about how Chinese food gets mixed with all sorts of other cuisines - including Kosher. Of course, Sushi is Japanese, but never mind...

On a different note, it's strange enough when I realize people my age are married. Even stranger to meet someone around my age who is divorced.
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Yesterday was stressful.

I spent the whole day wondering and waiting, having looked at an apartment the day before, and having liked it - especially the balcony, but also the location - one block away and around the corner from my current building.

But there was a credit check to be done, with my parents as guarantors, and there was the wait before my apartment mate, Fresh Samantha and her mother swung into the city on the way to camp to see the apartment. And the phone message that said that someone else had put in a credit application before us. And then there was the wait for the phone call - well, I called her, but she needed to call me back...

And then there was a ten minute wait in line at Conway to return a skirt - only to realize I had the wrong receipt on me. And then there was the walk to Macy's to return other clothing, followed by a crowded subway trip after a metrocard malfunction.

Yes, the stress level was very high.

And then there was the meeting in my mother's minivan, in which she was supposed to give me the credit info in hand, and during which I proceeded to spend at least half an hour on the phone while my mother waited patiently in the driver's seat beside me.

Turns out that, after all that, Fresh Samantha did not like the apartment. The converted bedroom would only have one outlet, and we would need to arrange to have the wall built ourselves. Oh, and the management - not so high on the friendly scale.

Turns out that there was still an open apartment in our very own building. And I think that our building manager was more than happy to give it to us. I left her a deposit at 10 PM, after way too many hours spent on the phone and ignoring homework. And then I was on the phone with Fresh Samantha's mother at midnight. So much for sleep... I couldnt' sleep anyway.

So it's ours now. After all that. And after I rejected that very same apartment about two weeks ago.

And now things feel like they will be okay. We have an apartment. We will have a lease as soon as we finalize who will be on it - and then we can add names as necessary. We are staying in the building. I will have my own bedroom - and I love the window! And we will have a window in the livingroom. No air conditioning, but a window.

So now we just need another roommate or two.

But things are calmer.

And instead of being totally stressed out, I am now merely tired.
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Today, in honor of Independence Day, I did something incredibly American - I shopped. For many hours.

AF and I began our adventures on the Upper West Side with a failed visit to Ann Taylor - which was closed - and a more successful visit to Staples, where I bought chalk - in case the school doesn't have any tomorrow. (Did I mention I begin my new job tomorrow?)

Then we headed down to Loehmanns (or however it is spelled) where we spent... was it four hours? That store has that effect. After trying on tons of clothing, I managed to purchase an entire two skirts.

After a quick lunch at J-2, AF and I parted ways, and that was where my adventure truly began - with a trip to Conway, where I bought four skirts, at least one of which I knew I was going to return (I bought two in different colors and need to make a decision which one to keep). I was satisfied with the knowledge that I have 30 days to decide.

Then I got to H+M - and discovered that I had lost the receipt.

This was a bad thing.

At first, I didn't panic. After all, my gut was telling me all was not lost - or rather, that the receipt was not lost. If it had truly been irretrievable, I would have had that icky, sinking feeling in my aforementioned gut. The kind that means, react how you want - it's not getting found. Say goodbye to whatever it is that is missing. (Incidentally, I get that same feeling when I have forgotten to pack something like my toothbrush - or when I have made a particularly bad decision.) This time, there was a noticeable absence of such a feeling in my gut.

I still panicked. At first, I was calm. I looked around the dressing room at H+M, shook out all of my purchases, then searched the store... then, I started to ignore the absence of the sinking feeling in my gut, and began to panic. A frantic walk back to Conway followed, in which I turned over every stray paper on the pavement, and wondered if my receipt hadn't decided to float over to the East River to watch the Fireworks.

Then I got to Conway, and, in a total panic, began to ask people what I could do - would I still be able to at least get store credit - no, just an exchange. Could they print me another receipt? Of course not. (Macy's, by the way, can apparently do this if you have paid by credit card. But not Conway.) So I was freaking out in a big way. Of all the receipts - this one was one I knew I would need again.

In desperation, I searched the floor by the cash register - where I had stuck the receipt in my shopping bag specifically so that I would not lose it. The bag was even stapled shut - not that this had stopped the receipt from falling out, it seems...

I stumbled toward the exit, incredibly upset, still searching the floor - but no longer expecting to find anything - and then, about ten feet from the door - and not even the door I originally exited through, there was a piece of paper. I turned it over - and I was very happy and relieved.

Then I went to Macy's.
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This evening, while heading over to AB's for dinner and learning (only one of which actually happened), I was stopped from crossing Amsterdam at 96th street by a bus in the crosswalk. It wasn't just sticking out into the crosswalk - it was right in the middle of it. The sign said walk, but there was no safe way to walk around it until after the light had long since changed. This frustrated me because what right did the bus have to sit right there? It wasn't like another bus was parked in front of it! (Granted, there probably was a bus in front of it when it first stopped, but still...) But all I could do was walk past and glare in the driver's general direction. Then I turned my head the other way, and there was Associated (a supermarket, for those who don't know). That was when I remembered that I was supposed to buy eggs to use for dinner. As it turns out, the bus in the crosswalk was rather helpful.

Of course, it is not hard to figure out why I was in a state of mind that lent itself to my forgetting that I was supposed to stop for eggs. Which is why I could get all philosophical and metaphorical, and talk about other, more figurative obstacles and detours. Especially because people seem to like to say that things are "meant to be."

But the whole thing is still a bit too fresh in my mind. So I will have to save these thoughts for later.

And, on a different note, thank you to all who were involved in the second part of my birthday gift - the digital camera now has a memory card that can hold more than 15 pictures. I really appreciate it.

And thank you to AB for having lots of huggable things in her apartment (herself included). And also for making dinner.
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Last night, M took me out for my birthday/graduation to La Creperie. The food was good; the dessert was excellent. (of course, the company was great as well...) I had sea bass, and I ate everything on my plate. Including a fishbone. Though that one took a while to swallow - it was stuck in my throat for a few rather annoying minutes. So that was also a new experience. For dessert, we both had crepes. They got my order confused, which means they managed to read my mind. Instead of peach and whipped cream, I got peach, ice cream and raspberry sauce. It was wonderful. And the peaches made my tongue tingle - like the way my tongue tingles when I drink fizzy wine. And it did the same to M's tongue, so there was something interesting about those peaches.

Anyway, it was great. But M and I both agreed it works better as a dessert place. It's much more cost-effective to eat dinner elsewhere.

And today, I auditioned to work for Kaplan - I practically swore, many years back, that I would not work there on principal. But they pay well, and I actually stand a chance of getting a job. The audition went well. A five minute how-to lesson - well, she let them go for six, and I just barely finished. Mine was on how to remember names. One person did one on how to bake a cake in a dorm. Apparently, cake mixes work in the microwave if you cook them for 30 times how long it takes to heat up bread - about 3-6 minutes, it seems, depending on the microwave.

Who knew?

One application she didn't think of: really great for when Shabbat is approaching way too quickly. I shall have to give it a try some time.
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Oh wow! I just did a Google search, and came up with one, and only one result! Granted, one of my two "words" was a phrase, but I had it in quotes, so it was still two search terms - I was trying to find more information on the school where I will be interviewing later this week, so I put in the name of the school, and the word "school" - and the best part is, the one result I found was the one I needed.

Just wanted to share that.

Oh, and I also wanted to share that I am once again the proud owner of a monthly metrocard. Hooray for being able to go wherever I want in the city without feeling like I am spending money.
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This afternoon, I got a headache. I took advil - no help. So I took a nap. Woke up an hour later. Felt better. Then I got out of bed. And there was the headache. So what did I do? I went and took another nap. This time, it worked.

After the second nap, it was down to Old Navy - last day for me to get 20% off with my card. I had a fun subway ride down to 34th st. I was on the local train with a bunch of Tsofim - Israeli scouts. Some were wearing their shirts - that's how I know. Plus, it was this big bunch of people talking in Hebrew - but not in an annoying way. In a hanging out sort of way. And there was English too. But I understood the Hebrew. And Y will be pleased - or perhaps jealous - to note that they were singing Hadag Nachash as well - the sticker song. I was so tempted to say something, but I didn't.

And while I am posting, I just want to share that I had a wonderful weekend visiting N in Long Beach with AF and M. I rode the LIRR for the second time in my life - and it was much less eventful than last time - when I went to visit AB's family, and the train schedule got all messed up and we ended up on the wrong train. I also rode the LIRR for the third time - because we took it back to the city also on Saturday night.

The weekend included such interesting moments as ten straight minutes of uncontrollable laughter on my part - I really have no idea how that happened. It hurt. But it was also rather funny - which, of course, just made me laugh harder - AB, would that be metalaughter? But that just shows how good a time we had. And there were three walks on the boardwalk, which was almost on the way to shul (a block out of our way) and gorgeous weather. And we ate lunch on the terrace. And we heard a report on the radio about how a terrorist's computer had been found, and all the data was easy to access on it because he didn't encrypt it or whatever, and so the newscaster urged everyone listening to remember to protect the data on their computers. Then she said something like, "but if you're a terrorist, remember that this advice is coming from a woman who is also an infidel." Or something like that (those of you who were there can feel free to correct me.)

There were also numerous other interesting and entertaining moments, including a failed culinary experiment - avocado soup. We experimented further while sitting at the table, and found ways to make it... edible, but then we all gave up and poured it down the sink. On the flipside, dessert was a smashing success and a wonderful team effort, involving AF's brownies - heated up, my fruit salad - which took a forever to make, N's parve ice cream, and M's dessert wine. So that was wonderful.

In general, it was a fun weekend, and I'd say more, but I need to go to sleep now...

"Pah!"

Apr. 19th, 2005 07:33 pm
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That's the sound that goes with the sign that means "finally!" As in, the paper is finally finished. All 40-something pages of it, plus two appendices that are nearly as long. (This is what happens when I get self-reflective.)

And now I shall rejoice by cleaning my apartment for Pesach.

I would also like to relate a story about a slightly unsettling elevator experience at Teachers College this afternoon. I got in the elevator and pressed 7. Someone else got in and pressed 3. And then looked out and pressed 4. And then looked out and pressed 5. She wasn't sure what floor she needed. But this is not the unsettling part, though it is a good thing I was not in a rush. Then she pressed 6 as the elevator announced, "5th floor. Going up." It is a talking elevator, and it does this every floor, but this time, it lied, because then we went down. And not in a normal elevator-y sort of down. More of an I felt it in my stomach before the elevator stopped on the fourth floor, decided not to stay long enough to open its doors, and climbed back up to six. I did not stay in the elevator long enough to find out if it made it to 7. I was very willing to climb a flight of stairs. Still, the entire thing left me a bit unsettled.

Anyway, off to clean...

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