chanaleh: (crow's nest)
Oh, you guys, you guys. I am overdue for about three or four more serious thoughtful entries, but July has flown by since the move. Or washed down the drain, or sublimated in the heat, or something.

Last weekend (for Shabbat Nachamu) I ran up to Boston for a stealth visit just to hang out with [ profile] xiphias, which was highly therapeutic. We went to the Border Cafe and the Deluxe Town Diner, and hiked around the DeCordova Museum (or technically around Flint's Pond, for two hours, before we doubled back and actually went into the museum park itself).

This past weekend, [ profile] happyfunpaul has been visiting from Boston (or rather, en route back to Boston), and as a result I have now met a bunch of the NYC filk crowd, first at a dinner foo on Friday evening and then at a housefilk in Harlem on Sunday afternoon. It seemed very wrong that [ profile] filkerdave was not present for either one, but I enjoyed meeting a lot of other new folks. *waves to [ profile] otherdeb and [ profile] sodyera -- oh, and [ profile] batyatoon, finally*

Also, on Saturday I went to see [ profile] justom's modern-dress production of Hamlet (which closed yesterday). Yup, still in love with him. Come back next month. The thing that was interesting about the production itself was the pacing, particularly of Hamlet, who basically delivered all his speeches (dialogues as well as monologues) in a rush, half the lines practically muttered under his breath, and punctuated with the occasional wild giggle, cackle or eyebrow-waggle. It transformed the whole process into a sort of manic free-association, not to say raving... yet there was method in't. And charisma. I tend to think of Hamlet as sort of a wet blanket, and this made me see for once how, within that little microcosm of the court at Elsinore, this oddball prince's force of personality could basically take over the room every time he showed up. I wasn't at all sold for the first scene or so, and then by the middle he had totally won me over.

New apartment is still all over boxes, but less than it was. Only about 10 more crates and boxes of books (mine, anyway) to deal with, and then maybe we'll be ready to hold an official housewarming.
chanaleh: (scream)
So, Tisha B'Av (the 9th of the month of Av) is a catastrophic day in the history of the Jewish people: anniversary of the destruction of both temples in Jerusalem, and of many many other calamities over the millennia.

"From the moment Av arrives, we are to diminish our rejoicing."
For the nine days preceding Tisha B'Av we observe intensified restrictions. We do not:
• eat meat, except on Shabbat
• drink wine, except on Shabbat
• purchase or wear new clothes
• get haircuts

At the same time, the month of Av is traditionally given the epithet "Menachem Av," Av the consoler. Hurt/comfort, if you will.

Nu, so Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av is Monday, July 8.

Right now I'm trying to pull my moving date back (or is that push it forward?) to Sunday, July 7, in an effort to get the fuck out of here. Because we are done. So very done. We had a chance to end things positively and respectfully, but no. I've often said that [ profile] justom will never be contented until he has driven my expectations all the way down to zero. Well, our relationship has finally descended onto the Kelvin scale.

As noted on Facebook, I signed a lease in Brooklyn with [ profile] alanscottevil the other night. (Pics of the lovely place here. Hoping for some kind of housewarming right after Tisha B'Av.)

I have accordingly begun the sorting/packing blitz, and ordered moving boxes to be delivered tomorrow (Friday) evening. Anyone NYC-local feel like coming over Sunday the 30th to give me a hand packing books and such? I'll feed you. Yes, I know it's the Pride Parade, but this is my own pride parade.

PS: On the topic of relationship recovery, [ profile] capnawkward_rss offers up the poem "Love after Love" by Derek Walcott.

PPS: In happier news, my new band, the Bliss Jockeys, is playing tonight at Cafe Wha? down on MacDougal St., 7:00-8:30pm. I'm not actually singing with the band tonight -- my debut gig will be July 18, also right after Tisha B'Av -- but I'll be there rocking out (and helping out). This is a Perceivable Joy.
"There's more than just one recipe, girl, to feel good about what you choose,
So when it comes down to it, do what you gotta do."
chanaleh: (leila)
Bamidbar was actually last week's Torah portion, not today's, but this is a theme that's been much on my mind the past couple weeks, and then it was borne out further as follows:

This week, I actually managed to drag myself to shul for the 2nd morning of Shavuot. This was a bonus in a couple of ways: reading the Book of Ruth, and also they happened (presumably due to Yizkor) to be doing ASL interpretation during services that day, and I always find that fun and interesting (apart from having a mild crush on the guy who runs the program, but anyway).

In the rabbi's sermon, he started off asking: Why did the b'nei yisrael have to go to the wilderness in order to receive the Torah? What is the connection between wilderness and revelation? And he brought in a concept from the Midrash, which connects it to the notion of hefker, which is a Talmudic technical term meaning "ownerless", denoting a thing that is up for grabs -- like an item of lost or abandoned property, or like the dust of the earth. And apparently the Midrash says "Anyone who does not make himself hefker [open to all] like a wilderness cannot acquire wisdom and Torah." (Bemidbar Rabbah 1:7) You have to go into the wilderness, unmoor yourself, in order to become vulnerable to the wide spectrum of possibility... to make room for the revelation.

... And that's exactly what I have been feeling the last week and a half. Ownerless. But strangely liberated. Like there are suddenly a hundred possible paths, all of which will lead to good things. Expansive. Sometimes hit with torrents of feeling, yes... but mostly, fundamentally, at peace.

So yeah, it was one of those laser-targeted moments. You know it's reached me when I am sitting there in shul with tears streaming down my face... and in a cleansing way, not a bitter way. Somehow Rabbi Sebert manages to do that to me a lot.

After the service, I saw my friend C (the one who is [ profile] justom's family friend and brought me there in the first place), and when she said "How are you?" I said, "Hefker." It took a minute to get the point across ("Wait, you didn't lose your job?" "No..."), but she got it. And that was helpful too.

Also, to answer the #1 FAQ, yes, I am staying in NYC for at least the next several months. )

Meanwhile, I signed up for a six-week Russian class, Tuesday nights starting June 4. And I'm also planning to try to make contra dancing tonight. (Though of course, I still haven't managed to see Iron Man 3 either. Sigh!)

ETA, 6/27/2013: In thematically related news, this article (which I first saw closer to its original post date, at which time it was at least equally relevant) just floated back up to the top of my Facebook feed, h/t [ profile] shadesong. Yeah. This. Also.

Talley's Folly, 2013

Thursday, May 9th, 2013 09:07 am
chanaleh: (tom + erica)
So on Tuesday night, May 7, [ profile] justom and I went to see Talley's Folly, featuring Danny Burstein and Sarah Paulson.

As many or most of you know, I was in [ profile] theatreatfirst's 2005 production of this play back in Boston, so it's very close to my heart.

not really a review, just some personal commentary )
chanaleh: (tom + erica)
Mikado is officially over. It's been a total blast to work on. Plus, I made a pro blog post over the weekend about my program design work (which, if I may say so, was very well received) for this production: Designs for the Blue Hill Troupe’s 2013 Mikado

[ profile] justom's class is having its LA Showcase performances today, starting in just a few hours (2pm PDT)! Wish them broken legs, or whatever non-fate-tempting expressions of luck you prefer.

And speaking of California: holy crap, my trip with my mom is just 3 days away. I'm packing tonight. Assuming I ever get out of the office tonight.

*hurriedly buckles back down*
chanaleh: Snoopy in a Santa hat (xmas)
Had a really nice Boston trip to [ profile] justom's family Christmas, and also managed to see two shows AND get in a lot of excellent social time with excellent people (even though I had to miss Staxmas to get my return bus the evening of the 25th, in order to be at work today). We were holed up on the South Shore with the family from Sunday night to Tuesday. [ profile] justom's little nieces are 3.5 now, and we had a great (if slightly raucous) time, especially once they figured out they could get us to give them piggyback rides all over the house ;-)

And then there was the art project I made for [ profile] justom's present, which I felt was awesome enough that I finally inaugurated my "professional blog" with a post about it. Go see!
Art Gift Project: The First Folio Panels

See also Pinterest:

Photos from SF

Saturday, May 19th, 2012 10:38 pm
chanaleh: (crow's nest)
Posted: 108 pics from our Bay Area trip.

... Oh look, what does this "Insert Image" button do?

chanaleh: (Default)
I came home to NYC right after Christmas because I had to work, but [ 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 [ 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: (tom + erica)
Here's the Rosh Hashanah postcard I sent out. Let me know if I forgot to send you one!
Note to [ profile] vettecat: I fixed the typo you pointed out. :-}

Click for larger image, or you can also view the PDF.

L'shanah tovah, everyone!

*scurries off to JTS*
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!)
I'm still here! Have been buried in work and other volunteer commitments. But still here.

Put [ profile] justom (with about 80lbs of luggage) on the BoltBus today, marking his "official" move to NYC full-time. More on the emotional ramifications of that later, but for tonight -- does anyone want to come by and help me unload the remainder of his worldly goods from my car into my house? I'll offer you a beer afterwards, or tea or whatever.

Also, Planet Fitness is running a special through tomorrow: $99 for a prepaid 12-month membership. There's one in the Porter Sq. Galleria (downstairs from Pier 1 Imports), which is 0.8 miles from my house and dovetails nicely with my plan for increasing my physical activity in the coming year. I figure for that price, what the hell, I can try it out for a couple months. Anyone have any experience with them that says otherwise? Conversely, anyone already belong there and want me to put you down as my referral... or wanna join too and be my workout buddy? I thought I might go by there at some point tonight (they're open until 11pm) and check it out.

ETA: Did it! Their normal rate is only $10/mo anyway (so we figured this was like getting 2 months free), BUT you normally pay a $60 signup fee up front, so it's actually like getting 8 months free. Let's hope this is motivating.

September calendaring coming tomorrow.

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