chanaleh: (breathe)
I came home one night (a Thursday) a few weeks ago and promptly had a meltdown over the fact that I constantly feel like I'm too tired to do anything useful. That is, I only have one or two half-hour scraps of baby-free time in a day (at least on weekdays), and even though there are surely small pending tasks I could fruitfully accomplish in that half-hour, all I want to do is sit down and stare at the ceiling. Same on weekends during baby naptime: I think all morning about the things I want to work on when she goes down, and then once it happens, all I do is sit and veg.

thinky )

Oh, and, technically I am taking a vacation next week, except that the occasion is a weeklong visit from my mom, so it's not exactly downtime even though it will be fun times! Hopefully some extra downtime for Etrace though, if he can chill at home while we take Aria and go run around/pay social calls.

Choir

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 12:14 am
chanaleh: (leaves)
I'm joining the synagogue choir at Town & Village this year, and the first rehearsal was tonight! It was great.

I went there for Day 1 of Rosh Hashanah last year (diligent readers may recall that [livejournal.com profile] justom has close family friends who belong there and invited me/us). And in addition to really liking the service and the rabbi (who later, in a classic "small Jewish world" moment, turned out to be a childhood buddy of SCO#1, but that's another story), I actually really enjoyed the cantor and the choir. Which is a big thing for me because I normally am turned off -- almost by definition -- by anyplace that has a cantor, let alone a choir. But this cantor was a terrific young(ish... younger than me, anyway!) woman with great kavannah and an amazing voice that just, I don't know, fits really well with my personal davening style. And the choir was a lay choir performing from the bima (no microphones, no instruments) for just a few selected sections of the liturgy... which, not for nothing, happened to include two or three of my favoritest pieces from my own longstanding High Holiday choir gig back in Boston.

Sidebar on my High Holiday choir history )

And we did one in that category right away tonight: Samuel Naumbourg's "Ana Tavo" (a.k.a. Ono Tovo) -- though I don't know if I'd have heard it there on Rosh Hashanah, because it's particular to Yom Kippur, the introduction to the Vidui, or confessional.
Ana tavo l’fanecha t’filateinu v’al titalam mi-t’chinateinu, she’eyn anachnu azei fanim u-k’shei oref lomar l’fanecha, "Adonai Eloheinu v'elohei avoteinu, tzadikim anachnu v’lo chatanu" -- aval anachnu chatanu.

Let our prayer come before you, and do not turn from our pleas. We are neither so arrogant nor so stubborn as to say to Your face, "Lord our God and God of our fathers, we are righteous and have not sinned" -- rather, we have sinned.

It's a poignant little passage that often gets zoomed past on the way to the Vidui, and the musical setting here lends all the more poignancy to the text. I'd link to it for you all if I could find a sample. Maybe Cantor Shayna will send me the MP3.

(Or, y'know, if anyone needs a place to go for holidays, you could come and hear it.)
chanaleh: (move to nyc)
This past Shabbat morning, August 6th, [livejournal.com profile] tremontstshul had a farewell kiddush in my honor.

I got to stand up and say a few words (it was Parshat Dvarim, get it??) -- although I wasn't sure if I felt more like the Israelites about to cross the Jordan (which, as I pointed out, in Italian is il Giordano), or like Moshe admonishing the Israelites by way of a historical overview of their sojourn. But it seemed to go okay.

And there was lox, and real whitefish (lovingly deboned by B"H Model), and black-and-whites.

There were also a couple of nice tribute parodies offered, which I found so delightful that I wanted to record them here for posterity and share with you all. One was written by father-of-[livejournal.com profile] hilaritea to the tune of the Major General's song from The Pirates of Penzance:

I am the very model of egalitarian orthodox... )

Edited To Add, since someone asked: In fact, no, I don't consider myself Orthodox by any stretch. We noted that privately at the time of the dramatic reading. (But it does rhyme so beautifully with "paradox".)

The other was written by [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_en_rosie and her spouse, RLS formerly of the Menschen, in the vein of Eishet Chayil (A Woman of Valor), which is a passage from Proverbs traditionally sung on Friday nights to the woman of the household:

Erica Chayil )

I was absolutely tickled.

A number of other people very dear to me were specially present, and we had lots of singing, and a fair quantity of Scotch, and it was a lovely sendoff. Thanks to all those of you who were there.

(And if you missed it, it looks like I'm still going to be in town after all for the Community Shabbat Dinner on August 19th, so you can sign up for that. There'll probably even still be some Scotch left.)
chanaleh: (sleeping)
Wow. I just lived through one of the longest, emotionally hardest nights alone that I have had in at least a year. But amazingly, I feel better today. Cleaner.

It seems that one of the things I need right now is some extra validation. You all are my community and, as such, one of my great richnesses. So I turn to you to help me hold the mirror up:

If you please, tell me something about me that you love. Not respect or admire; I'm feeling a little too over-thought these days as it is. What do you see in me? What strikes you as quintessentially me that makes you smile?

Comment anonymously if you want (lurkers can sign their comments or not). You can email me separately if you'd really rather, but I would find it more fun to keep everything here. Deep comments are appreciated, but frivolous ones are enjoyable too.

And, in asking for this, I am not sure how to handle responding to comments; I rather think I would like to *refrain* from responding to them, or otherwise I will feel obligated to come up with something similarly insightful to offer in response to each of you, which is also a valuable exercise but more taxing than I can commit to right now. :-} So, please know that I will value anything you share with me, and that if you could use some similar validation, I will do my best to return it later.

repeats to self: Growth. Love. Connection.
chanaleh: (sleeping)
Things of which [livejournal.com profile] chanalehs require an inexhaustible supply:

Novelty socks
Umbrellas
Mary Chung's egg drop soup
Cobalt blue glassware
Dichroic glass (jewelry and otherwise)
Peanuts memorabilia (in general)
Snoopy Band-Aids (in particular)
Lip balm
Mineral bath salts (anything from Epsom to Dead Sea)
Read more... )
Sunshine
Lenience for tardiness :-}

... and with that, it's off to the grocery store with me.
chanaleh: Snoopy at the typewriter, pondering (snoopywriter)
I woke up at 5:30 today -- worse than usual, I've been getting to 6 or 6:30 and occasionally even to the 7:15 alarm of late -- so hey, I'm using the time to finish up this long-overdue entry.

Reply to this meme [by yelling (or even saying gently) "Words!"] and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you.

It's taken me several days -- perhaps because I got rather more rambly than was strictly necessary! Having seen this meme go by a whole bunch in the meantime, I find that I tend to prefer (aesthetically) the responses that stick to one reasonably pithy paragraph per word. But the words that [livejournal.com profile] lillibet gave me are pretty major themes in my life, obviously (heh, almost all of them are existing tags in my LJ, for that matter), so I just wrote on... and here they are.

Acting. Judaism. Music. Marriage. Community. )
chanaleh: (Default)
Here's a meme that was going around again recently.
    Five random idiosyncratic things about me you probably don't know:
  1. I have to have at least two kinds of shampoo and three kinds of conditioner in my shower at all times. (Not always the same two or three kinds, although I certainly go through phases. But I have to have an active rotation.)
  2. I have never lived in a house with cable television.
  3. I have a thing for radiant heat. Saunas, hot tubs, sunbathing. (This is apparently one of the traits I inherit from my dad. Unless I was a salamander in some previous life.)
  4. Breakfast just does not taste as good unless eaten in pajamas. Bathrobe is an acceptable second-best. But the only reason to put on the day's actual clothes before breakfast is pressure of time, and I hate that. (I make an exception for breakfast or brunch out.)
  5. I am drawn to objects that use text as a decorative motif. E.g.: My cookie jar is green glass with the words for "cookie" in a dozen languages embossed on it. My old coworker Sadi said this was because I was a typographer at heart. I believe it.
    Five more facts about me which I consider obvious but are apparently not universally known:
  1. I converted to Judaism at the age of 23. (Really, it amazes me that more people do not know this. But I 'pass' extremely well.)
  2. I grew up in northwest Indiana, about an hour outside of Chicago.
  3. I have only one sibling (my brother Rick, two years younger than me) and four cousins (two on each side, all girls).
  4. I graduated high school at 16 and college at 20.
  5. Every job I have had since graduating college has had to do with books (retail or publishing).

... And now, I'm off to meet Tiger Boy at Burdick's. :-)
chanaleh: (Default)
Today, I went to morning minyan for the second time in two days. I haven't been going for the past year and a half, since I started commuting out to Wellesley (given that originally I had to leave Cambridge right around the 7am start time to catch my train... so by the time I bought a car and started driving, I was off the radar). One might argue that now that I have the opportunity to sleep in, I should be even *more* reluctant to get up early... but overall I don't mind keeping to an earlier schedule. So when they pleaded for volunteers to show up these two days, I said I could.

aside on the looming Festival of Liberation )

Anyway, minyan. ruminations on my weekday morning prayer experience )

The last time I was attending semi-regularly, I spent a fair bit of time browsing for texts to put on my tallit. tangent on what my business card calls 'handcrafted Judaica' )

on burnout

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007 07:15 pm
chanaleh: (breathe)
Some friends of Tiger Boy's have a regular games night. I went with him one night several weeks ago, and what we played when I got there was Frank's Zoo.

I'd never heard of it. "It's fun," they said. "It's a trick-taking game." Crap, I thought. Well, I ought to at least be a good sport and try it.

What I knew from before was that I cannot play trick-taking games. Not just "suck at," although I do, but literally "cannot play" -- because they stress me out enough that it simply is no longer playing.

What was interesting to notice on this particular occasion was that it stressed me out in essentially the same ways that my job had been stressing me out. Strategizing. Prioritizing. Being supposed to keep track of a dozen factors, their relative weights, and -- oh yeah -- when not to play the thing that looks obvious because it might be better used down the road, if I could think far enough ahead (and understand enough of the relevant factors) to predict what that would be. Or then again, not. Duh.

Add this to the cold I was acutely fighting off, and the general run-down exhausted feeling I'd had for a couple of weeks, and... it really pushed my buttons. It was totally fascinating to observe (in a third-party kind of way) myself approaching the verge of a nervous breakdown. I had to get up from the table for a few minutes to escape to the bathroom and try to collect myself.

I just now took the "Are You Burned Out?" quiz du jour, putting in the answers from the past several weeks, and I got 68%. "You are very burned out. You need a huge break from your responsibilities, starting as soon as possible. And you need this time to reevaluate what you really want out of your life. Because you're working hard and going no where... and that would burn anyone out!"

Luckily, I figured that out in the interim -- and have taken the appropriate steps.

Yesterday was my first official day of full-time self-employment. Today, I had a massage in the morning (yay!) and a really energizing screening interview with PSG in the afternoon.

Tonight, there's another games night.
I think I'm ready. :-D

Scents

Thursday, November 30th, 2006 06:25 pm
chanaleh: (breathe)
Someone asked me this a few months back, and in the interest of the upcoming holiday giftgiving season, I thought it might make an interesting meme.

In terms of commercially-available scented things,
what kinds of scents do you like?

Yes, in fact, I do buy/wear more men's fragrances than women's. What's your point? )

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