taylweaver: (Default)
Yeah, so my computer crashed.

The good news is, I backed it up six weeks ago (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] mbarr for the help with that).

The better news is that I am pretty sure that I have not actually put anything new on there since the backup that is important - except for stuff that is backed up in other places. I am now incredibly grateful for my personal policy of not deleting photos from my camera until I have them backed up in two other places. And for all the files that I sent to other people via e-mail - because now I can download them from my sent mail. And for the things I printed out or copied from handwritten work - because now I have copies of those too.

End result: if the hard drive is permanently fried, I lost very little.

I think the only thing I even marginally care about is the cropped photo that is the background of my most recent papercut - but I should be able to re-crop the original photo to a background that is at least similar if not the same, so no biggie there either.

And [livejournal.com profile] mbarr was helpful last night when he tried to save the computer over the phone (it failed, but not his fault), and then made an appointment for me at the apple store, since I couldn't exactly go online and do it for myself. It is wonderful to have a computer expert friend who is still safe to call at midnight. And he also offered to lend me a computer while mine is out being fixed. So big thanks go out to him for many things.

I won't have the loaner computer until late this afternoon or Saturday night, so if you need to reach me about something, phone is your best option.

Anyway, it feels good to not be panicking over this....
taylweaver: (Default)
First, thank you to all of you who made food suggestions, and to all of you who IMed or called to see how I was doing over the past few days - and also to all of you who IMed or called for other random reasons and then remembered and asked how I was doing. :)

The answer depended on when I was being asked.

So Thursday produced much anxiety - surprise surprise. I made it through with just the novicaine, but I panicked - needlessly, as it turns out - over how much the novicaine shots would hurt - and then I didn't calm down for a good long while. The procedure itself, while it had its unpleasant moments, did not involve much pain - just the sort that comes from having ones mouth open too wide for too long. But once I told him that, he removed the thing that was holding my mouth open, and I was able to close it between steps, and that helped a bit. And, overall, if it took ten minutes (not counting the waiting for my mouth to go numb part) I'd be surprised. It was quick.

And then it took me 20 minutes to calm down. I made it home on my own, though, even though the cab took nearly as long as the subway, and I had to walk an entire avenue block to catch one. Special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] debka_notion for being on-call in case I needed her - even though I managed on my own.

And even more special thanks to my mom, who picked me up before the rush hour traffic got bad, and got me home before the novicaine wore off, such that by the time I was miserable, I was already on the couch in the family room with three different people available to whine to.

Early Thursday evening, I got to feel miserable for a few hours - well, mildly miserable - but I was feeling much better by around 8:30 or so. The feeling better part lasted through Friday, and then I felt worse again as of Saturday morning. Which means I have been using the prescription meds to help me sleep through the night - or rather, taking them later in the night when I realize I have not managed to sleep.

On Friday, I was feeling well enough to make most of a vegetable soup and home-made applesauce - and everyone agreed that the applesauce was yummy. There is very little left of it, in fact. But then I was useless yesterda.

So yesterday was not so fun, but then I took a long nap. And today is hopefully better than yesterday.

Tomorrow had better be better than today, because I plan to go to work.

And yes, [livejournal.com profile] wildblueyonder2, I am now 50% less wise.

And that is the update.
taylweaver: (Default)
So after my summer courses, I had an entire month of vacation. Though two weeks of it were plagued by migraines, I feel, overall, that it was a good vacation, and a good length, and, aside from the exhaustion that comes from suddenly waking up two hours earlier than I have been, I am feeling okay about going back to work.

Some highlights of this past month include: two weekends at home with the family - for differing values of family, low-key hanging out with small groups of friends, Spamalot, Shakespeare in the Park, Shakespeare on the Run - twice, a Shabbat visit from [livejournal.com profile] sen_ichi_rei, a weekday visit from [livejournal.com profile] flintknappy and [livejournal.com profile] daphster, a trip down to visit [livejournal.com profile] rymenhild in her hometown - where [livejournal.com profile] flintknappy was also visiting, a trip to the mets game with [livejournal.com profile] daphster, [livejournal.com profile] flintknappy, and the trip's organizer, [livejournal.com profile] lexiefaye - in from her hometown for a wedding - and about ten other people I know from college, in which the Mets lost in the tenth inning after an exciting game, half a shabbat wih [livejournal.com profile] lexiefaye, and oh, did I mention that it was free drawstring totebag night at the Mets game? That's right. I ended the summer with a cleaner room, a few more pages scrapbooked, new sneakers, and yet another free totebag.

Anyway, it's been a good one. And now it is done.
taylweaver: (Default)
So on Monday, I went to Philly to visit [livejournal.com profile] rymenhild and [livejournal.com profile] flintknappy - because both were there visiting, and so I went to visit both of them.

This involved my being in three states in one day (because one generally travels through a whole lot of NJ when going from NYC to Philly - there is, technically, a way to do it without going through NJ, but it would be a rather roundabout and overall silly way of doing things.) and on four different modes of transportation: subway to bus to train to car on the way there, and car to train to train to subway on the way home. I got to be in various terminals and stations as well: my own subway station, the small local train stations on the other end, the Port Authority bus terminal in NYC, the Market East train station in Philly, the Trenton train station in, yes, Trenton, and Penn Station in NYC. Especially enjoyable was spending about an hour in Trenton with [livejournal.com profile] flintknappy while we waited for a train that would get both of us home to different destinations. We also bonded with the snack vendor and bought those little cracker sadwiches for dinner - I got peanut butter, she got cheese, and then we traded a cracker because we could.

Overall, there was much hanging out and much fun as we browsed more than one website, checking out cool t-shirts that one can buy online. (I am too lazy to make links, but it was threadless.com and thinkgeek.com) We also lamented how geeky t-shirts assume a mostly male audience. Also fun was finding t-shirts appropriate for many of my friends and saying things like, "oh, [livejournal.com profile] nuqotw would like that one" - which led [livejournal.com profile] rymenhild to say, [livejournal.com profile] nuquotw? I know her from college." Oh, right. Forgot.

Also impressive was the impact that the internet and things like instant messaging have had on our lives. For one thing, the three of us managed to have two conversations simultaneously. This did not involve one person talking to a person on either side in two conversations, it involved two of us beginning one conversation with the third one while the third one began a completely different conversation with the other two. Imagine it going something like this (with the topic being rather different, of course):

A: Hey, B. Did I tell you I got a new umbrella?
B: No, you didn't. I knew you were looking for one. What did you find?
A: Well, this thing is awesome. It glows in the dark and it is supposed to be strong enough to stand up to a hurricane. Not that anyone would be crazy enough to walk out in a hurricane...
B: I did - just last week.
A: I mean, hurricanes are dangerous, so it doesn't make sense.
B: Did you hear what I said. I walked in a hurricane just last week.
A: Really? So you were down in Florida after all?
B: Yeah, I was.
A: You told me you weren't going to go down there.
B: Yeah, well, I lied.
A: So tell me about the hurricane.
B: Well, I got soaked.
A: Too bad you didn't have an umbrella like mine. It would have kept you dry. It even comes with a raincoat.
B: Really? Well, I was so wet I came inside and flooded the entryway. But you were telling me about your umbrella...

Okay, so that is a rather silly example, but it went something like that. It involved two completely different but tangentially related topics, and we kept bouncing back and forth between them without missing a beat - like having an IM chat, only in person.

And we all had many good laughs and there was much good bonding and so on - and I was gone from my apartment for about 13 hours, which is to say all day - and over half of that in transit, but so worth it and so much fun. :)
taylweaver: (Default)
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....

And if you feel like you've read this entry before, that's because you have - I pasted the description of what happened from my last entry. Well, it happened again.

Good thing I tied the other crossbeam back on last Tuesday when I did laundry (and thus had a bare matress to lift out of the way) - which meant that I didn't have two broken at once, but also meant it was much quicker work to fix it.

A thank you goes out to [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer for the company while I fixed it, and for helping me lift the matress out of the way. I was very satisfied when I got approval of my rope-making and bed-tying techniques, and I think I would have been a lot more upset if I didn't have someone there to laugh with and keep me occupied while I worked on fixing it - which would otherwise have been a rather annoying experience.

And yeah, I know - it's time for a new bed...

Maybe I will get one by the time [livejournal.com profile] mbarr gets his couch? Yeah, right.
taylweaver: (Default)
So it's been nearly a year since I've written anything - and much longer than that since I have worked seriously on a story that went beyond brainstorming and detailed outlines in the form of detached, unordered scenes.

Until this week.

Sunday evening found [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer and me in Barnes and Noble, randomly browsing, first in the scifi/fantasy section, and then in the writing section. And it was probably during the time we spent in the latter section, browsing through random books of anecdotes, exercises, advice and general writing humor that we both started lamenting - again - the fact that it has been far too long since either of us has written.

So we made an agreement. Sort of like how we learned Mishlei by keeping each other on track (if only we could finish Yirmiyahu the same way...) Anyway, we both agreed to write 1000 words of story a day - the same story - though I got her to give me a week to try out different ones until I got one that was working - five days a week (Shabbat sort of messes with Friday and Saturday).

And I have to say, the whole chevruta thing - sharing this goal with a partner - seems to have something to it. Granted, today is only Day 3 (and for my story, it's Day 2, because the first one I tried felt all wrong from the start), but so far, it is a good feeling, both to be writing again, and to have a day in mind.

It is interesting to need to write 1000 words a day. It is also interesting to stop when I reach that point. I could take out my story right now and continue it - but I feel like maybe there is something to be said for restraint. By using 1000 words (or, in my case, about 6 pages, since I am writing by hand) as not only a daily goal, but also a rough daily limit, I am pacing myself in a strange way - and also anticipating another day of writing.

I mean, if I am on a roll and it isn't my stop yet on the subway, I would keep going beyond that mark, but once I stop, I won't go back to it until tomorrow. This not only builds the anticipation and the desire to continue, but also gives my ideas some time to stew so that I don't just keep ploughing forward.

It also helps to know that by stopping when I want to continue, I leave myself with an idea of where to continue tomorrow.

Anyway, pacing myself like this is an interesting exercise in both discipline and restraint and I am enjoying it.

Now, let's see how many days [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer and I can keep this up...

But so far, it feels like it was a good idea.
taylweaver: (Default)
Four hours.

That's how much sleep I got last night.

After five hours the night before. And the night before that as well.

I am totally going to fall asleep in the chicken soup this evening. Or at least on the busride home...

I know it's been a while - I have had a busy few weeks. Hugs to those who deserve them - you know who you are - and thanks to those who gave me the support I needed these past few weeks - a different kind of hug goes out to you - and again, you know who you are.

And, of course, chag kasher v'sameach to all who are celebrating.

Thank you!

Mar. 23rd, 2006 05:06 pm
taylweaver: (Default)
To all the friends who called to check up on me yesterday, and who made sure that yesterday would go smoothly - even if were only providing emotional support because they had other obligations, I just would like to say, thank you.

This applies especially to [livejournal.com profile] mbarr, [livejournal.com profile] mysticengineer and [livejournal.com profile] wildblueyonder2
taylweaver: (Default)
Nice thing about being a teacher instead of a student: less homework
Nice thing about less homework: time to hang out with friends (and occasionally give up a few hours of sleep to do so)

Benefit to being able to hang out on weeknights: saw HARRY POTTER last night.

Big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] mbarr for getting tickets to an advance screening. It was two days before it really hits theaters, and it didn't even have any coming attractions attached - not even a fandango ad or a cell phone warning. The screen turned on - and there it was.

No spoilers. Don't worry. I will only say it was a good movie. Well done. Wonderful job making a 700 page book into a 2.5 hour movie. In fact, I think I liked it better than the book.

Anyway, it was fun.

Another nice thing about being a teacher: on occasion, it feels really great to realize that I am actually good at it (at least in some ways).

Today, we had one of our new teacher orientations. Near the end, the presenter did an activity with us. After having discussed lesson planning, and doing last-minute lesson planning for related services (one on one with the kid - or a max of 3 kids, but usually one - for 30-40 minutes each session), she made us each take one of our handouts and put together/start teaching an on-the-spot lesson during which she played the role of the student.

After I went, I got all sorts of compliments.

They (the presenter and the supervisors present) said I came alive. They did not expect that - I guess my teacher mode is different from my interacting-with-adults mode. So that was interesting too - to know that I have a distinct teaching personality.

But anyway, it felt good to be complimented. It felt good to be able to pull off a lesson that way too, to know how to do it.

Oh, and one more nice thing: I discovered that my new (as in, from last year) eye doctor is on my insurance plan - so as long as I have a "medical" reason to see him, it will be covered.

Now I just need to make an appointment...
taylweaver: (Default)
Old friends turn up in the most unexpected places - or maybe I should learn to expect it, considering how interconnected the circles I hang out in are - it's almost incestuous, in a way...

It was wonderful to see friends from summer camp - I went to see that one - and from high school - that, rather unexpected, and intriguing to listen to all of them plan for a week that is best described as a cross between a camping trip and a renaissance fair - unless someone else cares to describe it better.
taylweaver: (Default)
Some friends are good, and some friends are evil:

On the good list:

I'd like to give a shout out to O, in the Holy Land, whose mail finally reached me this morning via my father - both cards were appreciated in different ways.

And I'd like to give a birthday shout-out to L - sorry I couldn't make the BBQ and I hope it didn't get rained out - but now there's some really cool lightning outside.

Oops. Guess I'm distractible tonight.

Which reminds me: On the evil list:

A glare in AB's general direction - guess which friend is evil? She let me Myst III, and I think it has so far eaten up about that many hours - 3 - of my time.

But I did solve two puzzles...

Also on the evil list: A and D, who were both in Central Park over the weekend and didn't bother to tell me - I always knew A belonged in Slytherin...

But good or evil, all are still my friends - and on my friendslist as well - so all is well with the world.

An update

May. 3rd, 2005 08:39 pm
taylweaver: (Default)
So my bedroom is right above the dining room, and the weak wireless signal from next door is only in the dining room - but if I try really hard, and move my computer just so, I can pick it up in my bedroom as well - which is what I am going to try to do right now in order to post this.

What to say?

So my grandfather's funeral was today. My father, my brother and my cousin's husband delivered eulogies. Each touched on a different part of my grandfather's life. My brother spoke on behalf all four of us siblings. We got together last night and brainstormed memories.

I realized today and yesterday that there are two kinds of memories. There are the kind that are snapshots, little moments, all separate in your mind, and sometimes choppy - like all of the moments I remember from this past Shabbat - when I went downstairs and my mother held my face in her hands. When my sister and I cried on each other's shoulders. The look on my dad's face after he tried a piece of that awful Pesach birthday cake. All of those are moments. But then there's another sort of memory, one I can't find a good label for - the kind that is a more general sense of something. A picture that spans all those moments, a composite - maybe that's the word. A composite of a bunch of moments. The kind of image or idea that stays in your mind even after all of the moments have been forgotten. A synthesis of moments.

When we brainstormed last night, those were the kind of memories that came most easily. I don't remember my grandfather in moments as much as I remember him as a presence, in the background of my life. I remember who he was - quiet, grateful, stubborn. My brother would add to that proud and humble - that was his synthesis of our brainstorming session last night. I would second that. He had that sort of way about him. He had that balance. My father spoke of that which was most important to my grandfather - his Judaism and his family. He recounted how, when my grandfather moved into my parents' home, they got an intercom so that he could call for them if he needed them. It was because of this intercom that my parents learned that my grandfather said shema every night, and followed it with his own personal prayers for members of his family. More than one person noted how, despite the difficult times my grandfather experienced - he fought in WWII in a unit that suffered many casualties; his daughter (my aunt) and his wife died within four months of each other - he did not lose his faith. My father also said more than once that though my grandfather's life was sometimes difficult, he lived a full life. My cousins' husband talked about how my grandfather became everyone's Pop-Pop and related some of his own experiences as a newer member of our family.

At the end of his eulogy, my cousin-in-law also recounted a comment made by his daughter, my cousin, who is almost seven. She wanted to come to the funeral, and her parents let her. She also wanted to come to the cemetary - so her parents let her. But first, they sat down with her to explain step by step what would happen. They also answered all of her questions. When they were discussing how we would bury my grandfather, she asked, "You mean like we bury a treasure?" Such a beautiful thought.

The room at the funeral home where we held the service was filled not only with people who know my father and my family, but also with people who knew my grandfather, many from having grown up with my father or from interacting with my family. One of our family friends, who has known my grandfather for many years, told us she didn't know his first name until yesterday, because he was always just Pop-Pop. All of the grandchildren and spouses of grandchildren escorted the casket out of the room. It was draped with an American flag because of my grandfather's service in the military - of which he was very proud, even though he told us very little about his experiences. At the cemetary, members of the family stayed - the rest of us went back, because my grandfather's two remaining siblings couldn't stay for too long as it was chilly out - to completely fill in the grave.

Then back to our house with all the family - including some people I haven't seen in years - for food and reminiscing. We swapped stories, looked at old photos, and also caught up on our own lives. Then the family left, and things were quiet for a bit. My cousin who lives up the block came down with her three kids and they played for a bit - in the main room, because the only person paying a shiva call was their aunt (not related to us). Later, after dinner, things got busy. I learned today that there is a certain shiva ettiquette in Teaneck, that people do not pay shiva calls between 6 and 7 PM.

That having been said, that hour was the perfect time for my friends to pay me a visit, first A then M. (And thank you so much for making such an effort to come out here!) We escaped from the more public areas of the house, and I didn't realize just how much I appreciated their company until they got a ride back right after Ma'ariv, and I didn't want to let them go. I miss you guys! All of you! I feel a bit out of place at home, but I also don't feel quite right leaving when I can just stay here. I do plan on coming back for Shabbat. I need some quality friend time. I am feeling a bit needy right now. Maybe some of the stuff i wasn't feeling before is starting to catch up with me, or maybe it's just the general mood in the house right now. I am almost, but not quite, in the mood to cry on someone's shoulder right now. I can't quite articulate why. I just feel a little teary. Maybe I should have brought home the Godiva after all.

On a lighter note, A finally got to see my house. Now she knows how "cozy" my room is. And I want to apologize for not receiving guests so well today. I am not so familiar with shiva ettiquette - which food I can offer, which food I can't offer, etc. And I was caught a bit off-guard, because normally, I'd bring a guest home and walk in the door with them, not wait for them to show up while I am in the middle of hearing a story from someone else. Anyway, I really did appreciate your visit - I just wish your ride back were leaving a little later. I definitely miss everyone.

Thank you!

May. 2nd, 2005 08:03 pm
taylweaver: (Default)
I found out this afternoon that, around 2AM this morning, a number of my friends were shooting e-mails back and forth trying to figure out if there was any way they could get themselves out to Teaneck to be there for me. So I just want to say thank you to all of you, and also to let you know that I was also awake at 2 AM, but what were the rest of you doing up so late? But seriously, it feels wonderful to know that all of you care so deeply.

That having been said, you should know that there really is no need for you to come out to Teaneck, especially if it is so logistically difficult. If I weren't so free this week in terms of my own responsibilities, I would be returning to the city tomorrow evening. Because I have only one class this week (too soon after the funeral to get back for, so I'm missing it anyway) and because I have no student teaching responsibilities anymore, I was free to stay in Teaneck and be helpful to my parents.

But thank you so much for thinking of me and trying so hard to find a way to be there for me. Especially at 2 AM.

Anyway, no updates right now, and I will have less e-mail access starting tomorrow, since the neighbors' wireless is only available in the dining room, where I will not be able to check e-mail once shiva starts. (Dial-up does not sound like fun.) That having been said, I do plan to check my e-mail at least once tomorrow, and if you want to call, you are, of course, welcome to.

And I have to say, this whole blog thing is rather intriguing: the idea that I can just put information out there, and passively let everyone know what's doing, without sending out an e-mail to a specific list of people. It's like posting a message on a bulletin board in a busy hallway and hoping people will stop to check it on their way from Point A to Point B, at their leisure, because they want to know, instead of getting on the loudspeaker and making an announcement so that everyone has to listen, whether they care or not. There's something nice about that. Maybe because it's less intrusive. Maybe because the people on the other end have to put in a bit of effort and choose to read/listen.

Anyway, it's interesting.

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