chanaleh: (scream)
Our kitchen sink was out of service for a week. stupid homeowner stuff )

In the end, it was about $270 for each of the two service calls, which I would have felt fine about if we had only had to pay it ONCE for the one that actually worked. But, oh well. It's delightful to have things in working order again.

Spring is here!

Monday, March 9th, 2015 05:00 pm
chanaleh: (breathe)
... Well, it might be. This was the first morning that I walked outside, smelled the air, and thought Yes. Mind, the confluence with the first morning* of DST does seem a little jarring: strictly speaking, the morning was actually darker than it had been on Friday. But still somehow brighter, because warmer? Or, perhaps it's that I got to see more of the sunrise again, which I'd been enjoying a month or two ago.

*First morning *I* experienced; yesterday, Sunday, I didn't wake up altogether until about 11:30am, and then stayed in bed reading until about 12:45pm. So when I got up to eat some breakfast, all of a sudden I realized that since we hadn't changed the clocks yet, it was actually almost 2pm. Oops.

Anyway, so, it makes me happy, even if it depresses [livejournal.com profile] etrace. :-)

Plus, spring means cleaning! )

The 50% Project

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 10:06 am
chanaleh: (Default)
As a project in the vein of decluttering and voluntary simplicity, I have started toying with the notion of cutting my wardrobe down by half.

The motivation for setting this particular benchmark is basically as follows: There is a large swath of my clothing inventory that I just don't need or wear that much, but am loath to part with because it's basically still good or I might eventually need/want it again. But a different way of breaking it down is: if I had to choose between A and B, and could only keep one, which would I keep? And when I frame it that way for myself, the answer is almost always stunningly clear.

The funny thing about it, though, is that much the same dynamic plays out on the local level of choosing what to wear every day. If I could wear either A or B today, which am I going to wear? And if I can acknowledge the truth that I would rather wear A on six occasions out of seven, how many B's do I really need to hold onto? Couldn't I retire six B's and replace them with one more A, which I will love six times as much in the long run?

The corollary to this is: If I didn't have this piece, and saw it in a store tomorrow, would I even try it on? and if I did try this particular garment on, would I like it enough (in terms not just of style, but of fit and of my current needs and habits) to buy it? Very often, if there's a garment I own that I pull out and then decide against wearing over and over again, it's because the fit is not quite right or even downright unflattering. Sometimes, especailly when trying to get dressed for a special occasion, this even leads to the realization that there is never a time when I would choose to wear B in favor of A -- usually because of the fit -- and that's when I definitely send B to the giveaway pile.

Sidebar: When I first mentioned the idea to [livejournal.com profile] justom, he said "Ah, great! Then you'd have room for a whole bunch of NEW things!" I said "I like the way you think, but I don't think that's my goal here." :-) Admittedly, it's kind of like the notion that you should lay off a certain percentage of your workforce each year, in order to "cut the deadwood"... thereby freeing up space/resources for new growth. But I think the idea of reducing the total mass is also essential to the plan -- at least, for me, at this time.

Now, it's tempting to try to stage a one-day blitzkrieg where I would pull every stitch of clothing I own into one giant mountain and force myself to divide it into two giant mountains, In and Out. While this would be tremendously satisfying in some ways (and could make a great promo episode for Jerica Life Counseling), I don't think it's practical. So I'm thinking I might make it into a longer-term smaller-bites project by (1) first taking a complete count and inventory of my current wardrobe and (2) tracking gradual reductions by the numbers. This would allow me to prune the low-hanging fruit all at once in a few early sessions, and then get gradually more ruthless as the weeks wear on.

Mind, this means I would probably claim in my initial count the handful of items that are already sitting in a giveaway pile on the floor of my closet, just to give myself a head start. :-}

Thoughts?
chanaleh: (sleeping)
[livejournal.com profile] justom has been in Boston since Thursday, for various social purposes. I often get weepy/clingy when he's going away, but I managed to not fall into that too much this time, just sort of noted it as a thing taking place in my heart, acknowledged it and moved on. And indeed I had a lot of fun things lined up to do and was (of course) perfectly fine on my own. It's even been a bit of a treat to indulge my inner slob for a couple days: unmade bed, two days' worth of dishes lounging defiantly in the sink. But it's equally a treat to get up earlyish and start puttering about to turn it around: make the bed, sort the mail, take out the trash, do the dishes, start some cooking. Indulging my inner domestic.

Friday night I went to the 20s&30s Shabbat dinner at Town & Village, of which I've gone to 1 or 2 previous ones and always have a nice time -- the services are perfect for my taste, and at the cocktail hour, I seem to manage to home right in on the geeky people so as to have someone good to sit with at the dinner. :-) The only drawback was that their social hall is very acoustically live and thus MUCH TOO LOUD for the conversations I could otherwise have been having. Alas.

But, they also have a couple of people (one guy, one girl) who got up and announced that they're gearing up to launch a 30s&40s group -- NExT, anyone? I'd actually been worrying about this very thing, because they have a HUGE DISCLAIMER on their 20s&30s dinner signup page that says "WE WILL TURN YOU AWAY IF YOU ARE OVER 39 KTHX" which means there's about zero to one more dinners I could attend between now and October 6. (Of course then I'm also told they don't really enforce it, so whatever.) So this would be just the ticket. I cheered immediately and went up to talk to them right after. "Great!" they said. "Do you want to co-chair with us?" "Ummm....!" I said I wasn't sure about co-chairing but I would be glad to join the committee and help make things happen. You can all stop laughing now about how I can't stay away from synagogue organizing.

Amusingly, it also turned out that the woman (Abby, who is adorable) works in admissions for JTS and was very keen to have me come in to chat about that. We'll see. I expect we'll have lots of time to talk in the future.

Oh, and I'm going to join the T&V synagogue choir, which starts its rehearsal season August 7. The cantor (who is wonderful, and not at all "cantory" in the way I dislike, but a real shlichat tzibur) started trying to recruit me the first time I showed up back at Rosh Hashanah -- when the choir was on the bimah a certain tasteful amount of the time and performed, a cappella, a couple of pieces that I already knew and loved. I'm definitely there.
chanaleh: (breathe)
10. Last day of work before Passover vacation = veritable ghost town and leaving promptly at 5:30pm
9. Ordered flowers for my mom, to be delivered tomorrow to the rehab center (where she's recuperating from hip replacement surgery, you morons)
8. Picked up library books (one on reserve, a few more at random) for vacation
7. Obtained (with discount coupon from [livejournal.com profile] jessruth, huzzah) three nice bottles of wine to take to two seders
6. Picked up the belated Chanukah gift my brother sent me, and it's a PONY WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS FOR EYES -- WiFi, 32GB, and complete with very Erica-colored lime green Smart Cover. Wow.
5. Reading Little Women, which I haven't read in years and am finding very nourishing
4. Taxes are successfully filed both for Honorable Menschen and for myself
3. Refunds total right around $2000 (yay being unemployed for two months?), which makes me feel better about paying for TurboTax
2. I have all day tomorrow to tackle laundry and grocery shopping -- and eat chametz and kitniyot at my leisure
1. I have decided to adopt an even less onerous de-chametzing process than usual, simply assigning all chametz (overt and residual) to the non-Jewish half of the household.
0. Speaking of whom, [livejournal.com profile] justom was home by 9pm! Hooray!
chanaleh: (Default)
I came home to NYC right after Christmas because I had to work, but [livejournal.com profile] justom stayed in Boston and has been there the entire past 2 weeks, with a brief side jaunt to Lenox this past 2 days. He's coming home this evening.

Last night I did dishes -- and I mean, literally, I had not washed a dish (other than rinsing out my daily coffee mug) in the entire 10 days. And I'd even made a dinner at home in that time: a one-saucepan tuna casserole which I proceeded to eat for three nights in a row.

Left to my own devices, my philosophy on dishes is much like that for laundry: I will do them when (a) they get too annoyingly piled up or (b) I run out of a particular commodity, like spoons (or in this case, cereal bowls).

I'm pretty sure I ought to feel guilty about this habit, but really, every time I got a glimpse of the stack of cereal bowls collecting in the sink, I instead got sort of an exultant feeling, like Muahahaha. It's kind of cool to have two weeks at home alone!

But, we're good now. I also hadn't shaved in two weeks, so I took care of that too. X-D.

Also, right now I'm going to go put chipotle chicken in the crockpot for tonight's dinner, which necessitates changing over all the visible utensils, so I promise there will be lots more dish-doing (and domestic companionship) in my near future.

Shabbat shalom, and see (many of) you at [livejournal.com profile] arisia in a week! ... Don't forget, we're having services (davening) on Friday night, led as always by me, at 5:30pm in an as-yet-undisclosed location (check back at the Facebook link or see flyers at-con). Oh, and also, I'm bringing the yeshiva bochur. :-) Also also, I will again be vending buttons -- I'll be taking pre-requests in an upcoming poll.
chanaleh: Muffin the Vampire Baker: "It's him, Muffin! You have to protect him at all costs!" "I'M ON IT!" (i'm on it!)
So, [livejournal.com profile] justom has arrived in Boston for the summer :-) and we're trying to get him settled into my apartment. Also, [livejournal.com profile] jessruth came up this past weekend and we spent a little time sorting through crap in my office.

So I now have an even larger "giveaway" pile which I'm going to put up here before I start Freecycling it all. If you want any of it, holler and we'll make handoff arrangements. (Takers in the Boston area get first dibs for convenience; otherwise, we can discuss.)

Electronics and tech trash )
Clothes and shoes )
Housewares, crafts & games )

There will be more later, oh yes.
chanaleh: Snoopy at the typewriter, pondering (snoopywriter)
Today is a day for getting things done and catching up in various ways, which at the moment includes this LJ post. (I got some of the more pressing things done earlier this week, partly as a result of bailing on getting together with [livejournal.com profile] c1 on Thursday evening -- sorry, but it did help!)

house things )

I'm going to be vending at a Judaica [art and] Craft Show at Havurat Shalom (on College Ave.) on Sunday, March 6, noon to 6pm. I will mostly be selling my artwork (plus some jewelry and MuffinButtons) -- and have been working on a couple new pieces that are not yet up on my website, so you should all come by to check them out!

work things )

theatre things, or lack thereof )

Last night I missed [livejournal.com profile] sen_ichi_rei's birthday as well as the Hot Foods Party because an Honorable Menschen potluck got scheduled for the same night... and what do you know, it was a lovely time. We sat around and schmoozed, and then we got started singing -- Billy Joel and Simon & Garfunkel and the Beatles and then Jewish liturgy and camp songs -- and it was overall the happiest I've felt in months about being in the group. So while I had meant to put in a cursory appearance and then zoom around to other events, I stayed until 11:30pm and then went home to bed, and I apologize to everyone I missed elsewhere.

Lastly: I've been in a bit of a funk the last couple weeks, although it's better since I got some good amateur therapy from Barbara on Friday night before Shabbat services. :-) But also on Friday, it happened that I started browsing Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project blog, and believe it or not, just reading some of her posts actually made me start feeling a little better and more in control of life -- in other words, well, inspired. some of the good ones )

And now I'm going to go clean the kitchen and run some errands before my afternoon slips away and it's time to head to Menschen rehearsal.

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