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Sep. 22nd, 2017 05:27 am
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
The thing about having quick access to the internet and an out of town spouse is that when one wakes at 5 AM with a strong need to hear "Elsie Marley, " it's possible to do so without even getting out of bed. Being me, though, once I did that, the obvious next thing was to check email and then Dreamwidth, and now something that should have taken three minutes has been half an hour. Also, someone is wrong on the internet. Youtube has many fine renditions of EM, including one in a medley with Byker Hill (as it should be), but there is also a kid karaoke animated thing that pops up with lyrics set to the tune of "London Bridge is falling down." Is the idea that children can't deal with singing along to a jig?
[personal profile] somervilleplanning posting in [community profile] davis_square
Monday, September 25, 6-8 p.m.

Tufts Administration Building (TAB), 167 Holland Street, Senior Center, 2nd Floor

Join the City Planning Department for a special update and discussion on the Davis Square Neighborhood Plan. We’re excited to present this meeting with the help of a facilitator who specializes in a meeting format designed to give participants control of the discussion topics. First, city staff will offer an update on the plan started in 2013/14 as well as a look at next steps. Then, to address outstanding topics and ensure that any new ideas and goals are identified, our facilitator will use the Round Robin meeting format, which asks participants to bring up topics for small-group discussions. In short, participants will set the agenda for the night and also shape topics for the next meeting.

At the second meeting in this series on October 19 (at the Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave. 6-8 p.m.), we’ll take a deeper dive into the community-selected topics and identify action steps to address the goals and needs related to each. City staff will bring in resources and experts on the topic areas selected in the first meeting to serve as a resource during discussions.

Whether your concerns are open space, traffic, parking, streetscape, bicycle infrastructure, housing or more, we hope you’ll join us.

Unfortunately we cannot monitor this page, so if have any questions or need any more information, please contact us at planning@somervillema.org

For more information about Davis Square Neighborhood Planning visit https://www.somervillebydesign.com/neighborhood-planning/davis-square/
lauradi7dw: (Default)
[personal profile] lauradi7dw
I was struck by the image of five blocks of people in a bucket chain, passing along rubble from downed buildings in Mexico City. How long could I stand, moving heavy objects over and over? Credit cards are easy (for me). Could I do something hard?

what does respresenting mean?

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:41 am
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[personal profile] lauradi7dw
In the 1970s, there was a NC state representative in a rural mountain area of the state who said that she counted the letters she got on any particular issue, and voted based on the total.
I think the point of representative democracy is that our elected surrogates are supposed to have the common good in mind, not necessarily going with the loudest voices. Says someone who has been encouraging people to call about Graham-Cassidy. There is a long history of pork barrel politics, but is that really what we want? And when it is money versus money, how to decide? Due to the heartlessness (or cluelessness?) of most GOP senators, as CNN says, it's all in some sense down to Murkowski (R) AK.
The cynical authors of the bill know that if Alaskan will be harmed by this bill, she'll vote against it. So there is a bribe included in the text of the bill - the grants for Alaska will be half again higher than for other states. If she counts the dollars (like counting the letters), I expect she'll go with the bad guys, despite the previous opinions of her constituents and the current remarks of the governor.
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/09/the-gop-wants-to-buy-murkowskis-vote-on-obamacare-repeal.html

trivial clock update

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:39 am
lauradi7dw: (Default)
[personal profile] lauradi7dw
In early August, I mentioned the clock we have that stops and then starts mysteriously. It started ticking again this morning (almost two months after it stopped).

The Chronicles of Nambia

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:31 pm
angerona: (Default)
[personal profile] angerona
I don't know what it says about today's world when it no longer's even major news when the US President speaks to African leaders and talks about a non-existing "African Country" that's doing "very well" -- Nambia.

Namibia?
Zambia?
Narnia?

You take your guess.  

Yom Hazikaron

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:30 am
angerona: (Default)
[personal profile] angerona
Даже когда я еще не отмечала еврейский новый год -- да и даже не знала про него (много ли мы знали про иудаизм в Советском Союзе?  Не то, чтоб я сейчас отличалась особыми знаниями) -- и тогда сентябрь был для меня значительным месяцем в году -- временем вспоминать, что случилось за прошедший год и задумывать про год грядущий.    Связано это, конечно, не столько с моей внутренним еврейским летоисчислением, сколько тем, что мой день рождения как раз в сентябре -- как правило где-то между Рош Ашаной и Йом Киппуром (ну или прямо в один из этих дней). 

Раньше я мысленно перечисляла признаки своего роста (даже просто физического) -- что основное и новое я узнала?  
Чему научилась?    Что попробовала из того, чего раньше боялась?  (например -- подойти к группе детей на детской площадке и заговорить с ними). 

Потом, с переездом в Америку -- то есть с планируемым переездом в Америку, -- когда я впервые побывала в синагоге на services -- в Харьковской старинной синагоге, в 1992м году все еще больше напоминающей большой спортзал, стоя за непонятной ширмочкой, которой женщины были отделены от мужчин и от раввина -- я думала о приблежающихся изменениях и даже не могла загадать, как я буду отмечать через год. 


И уже через год -- в переполненной реформисткой синагоге, снаружи напоминающей почти прилегающие к ней строения Mira Costa Community College (где я тогда брала дополнительные классы) -- я думала о том, как же все изменилось, и опять с волнением загадывала, что и как будет меняться дальше: что через год в это время я буду уже подавать заявки в колледжи, а потом через год уже буду, если повезет, студенткой колледжа, а потом...  -- "а потом, наверное, когда-нибудь все перестанет меняться за год так радикально."

Но и потом были свои изменения: новые работы, новые отношения, новые дома и новые дети.  И трудности и радости, и подведение итогов и планы о том, как продолжать меняться и расти.

В последние годы изменения, к сожалению, далеко не такие радостные.    Два года назад в Йом Киппур умер мой сотрудник Фил.  Я его здесь в записях называла "Федей", но на самом деле его звали Фил, и сейчас, когда его нет, кажется неправильным не использовать его настоящее имя.  Вот такая у меня была нехитрая конспирация.  Мне вчера позвонил один из контракторов, который работал тогда с нами с Федей вместе -- вспомнить и поговорить и пожелать Шана Това у Метука.

Год назад в Рош Хашану делали операцию моему любимому дедушке Мише.   Утром, перед тем как идти на services с детьми, я позвонила дедушке.  Он как раз ехал в госпиталь -- его везла моя мама -- и оба они были в отличном настроении, с надеждой и настроем на лучшее.  Мы очень хорошо поговорили и посмеялись о чем-то, хоть я и не помню о чем. 

А потом, после services, пока мы шли к озеру на церемонию Ташлих, мне позвонила мама (кажется, мама.  Но может брат?) сказать, что операция прошла неплохо, только либо сразу после операции, либо еще во время нее, у него случился массивный инсульт, и прогнозы на будущее как-то не очень хороши.  И я помню, как стояла растерянная возле озера, пока дети бросали сухарики в воду, и рассказывала про это своему свекру, который как раз был тогда у нас в гостях. 


А детям пока не говорила, надеясь, что каким-то невообразимым образом все  обойдется, и можно будет рассказать "потом, когда все будет уже хорошо."


И как потом, на следующий день, придя на services опять уже сама, рассказала об этом раввину.

В день Йом Киппура в прошлом году я постилась, молилась за здоровье дедушки и других родственников, и летела в Калифорнию, побыть с ним в больнице.  Его уже перевели в обычную палату из ICU, но он был парализован с левой стороны, и анализы крови каждый день ухудшались.  Дедушка иногда спал, а иногда просыпался и просил встать или дать ему кусачки -- он всю жизнь был мастером-ремонтником абсолютно всего -- чтоб он мог перекусить провода, мешавшие ему и приносившие ему боль.  Иногда он разговаривал, но немного -- ему было тяжело говорить и тяжело дышать.  Он нас всех узнавал и многое помнил, но в то же время он уже был не совсем с нами и не совсем он. 

И даже в этом своем "не совсем уже он", дедушка все же оставался собой в самых своих невыразимо прекрасных чертах:  он заботился о других, он иногда даже старался шутить, он говорил мне спасибо и целовал мне руку, он старался не жаловаться несмотря на постоянную боль.  Уже совсем в последние дни, когда ему отключили питание и оставили только на кислороде, чтоб помогать дышать, и на морфии, чтоб снимать хоть немного боль -- когда уже не так важно было его постоянно переворачивать в предосторожности от пролежней -- одна из медсестер спросила, хочет ли дедушка, чтоб его повернули на другой бок опять или чтоб оставили как есть.   Пусть делают "как им легче" -- ответил дедушка.  Как им легче!  Не ему.

Через неделю после моего приезда, дедушка Миша умер.  Мир ему и память ему навсегда и любовь нас всех.

И сейчас, когда опять пришло время вспоминать и подводить итоги, я вспоминаю дедушку, и я вспоминаю все, что произошло за прошлый год.  Наверное, это был трудный год.  Год перемен (не всегда к лучшему).  Год выборов и политики -- когда мой личный мир во многом сильно изменился из-за мира внешнего.  Год пересмотра и переоценок людей и отношений -- тоже из-за политики и мира внешнего.  Год разачарований.  Год идей и начинаний, которые растворились, не успев начаться.  Год попыток, которые пошли в никуда.  Год волнений за близких (операция на сердце у папы, здоровье мамы, настроение бабушки и т.д.). 

Но и год для себя: понимания того, что мне важно, что я хочу в жизни и для чего.  Год семейных туристических поездок с друзьями и родителями (аж три!  Для нас это много: в Вашингтон D.C., Францию и Сан Франциско)И год продвижений и успехов у детей.  Теперь их очередь расти, узнавать новое и учить новому меня.

И пусть новый год... пусть новый год будет не хуже, а лучше.  Здоровья всем и счастья.  Шана това у метука.

И простите меня все, кого я обидела. 

Rosh Hashanah 5778 prep

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:00 am
chanaleh: (leaves)
[personal profile] chanaleh
Overall I've been too crazed to journal, but today is weirdly slow* at work so I am taking a few minutes.
*(Edited to add: I suspected it was too good to be true. Of course the shit hit the fan on about 3 different projects as soon as I finished posting this, so, we'll hope I get out on time.)

Cards: mostly sent; I ordered 50, and carefully winnowed down my list to that number, but they actually sent me extras so I still have a dozen or so I can send (probably next week; gmar chatimah tovah!).

Honey cake: baked last night.

Challah: 4 small loaves (2 raisin, 2 plain) currently on second rise to bake later today. This year, I used the King Arthur recipe that I printed out last year but decided against for some reason. I made a double batch since it claims to make 1 9-inch round, let the dough rise overnight, and it looked beautiful this morning. Aria was super interested in the dough as I was rolling it into strands for coiling. "Cookie! Pizza! I hold it? I hold it?" I told her she'll be big enough to help me next year.

12lb. brisket in fridge, waiting to prep for Thurs afternoon. Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] ablock, I fear my brisket-recipe allegiance is permanently switched! even though the simmered-in-wine version will forever smell like the essence of Rosh Hashanah to me.

Matzah ball soup: also tomorrow (using stock from freezer)

Vegetables:
- brisket potatoes & carrots
- tzimmes (I actually found frozen diced butternut squash at Not-Our-Usual-Supermarket)
- salad

Guests: 1 (maybe 2?) Thursday night, 1 Friday night

Shul: by myself tonight (6:30pm) and tomorrow morning (9am); with Aria on Friday. She saw me put on a skirt this morning (since I'm going straight from work) and said "Mama you go shul today! I go shul!"

Still to review: Shacharit davening for first day (ack) and Haftarah. I went over the davening with the rabbi during Sunday school the last two weeks and it was OK - Yom Kippur is more direly in need of practice, but first things first.

Kittel: try on tonight, bring tomorrow morning.

Shanah tovah u'metukah!
sorcyress: Just a picture of my eye (Me-Eye)
[personal profile] sorcyress
At GenCon, I was summing up the job search thusly:

18 applications
4 interviews
1 second interview
Bupkiss.

This summer was way more frustrating about teaching jobs than it has been in the past, in no small part because I really truly was doing an awesome job of applying places. I thought I was doing relatively well at interviewing. Maybe my references weren't as good as they could be, but in general, I was really putting myself out there and trying...and still getting nothing.

On Wednesday the 23rd of August, I got a call --would you be willing to come in?
On Thursday the 24th of August, I had an interview.
On Friday the 25th of August, I got a call.

On Monday the 28th of August, my perfect birthday, I woke up unbearably early and biked to school. Monday and Tuesday were teacher days, Wednesday was the first day with students. It's now partway through the fourth week of school, and I have finally gotten the HR bullshit sorted out and a paycheck into my bank account and that means it's really truly officially real.

I am a professional high school mathematics teacher.

For the whole year, from the beginning. At a public high school, with all the diversity and benefits that implies. With five classes and about eighty students (a frankly amazing average ratio) and oh my _dear sweet weeping gods_.

I am fully, blessedly, employed, in a place I love, doing exactly the thing I want to be doing with my life. Yes, it's frustrating that all my work searching this summer was for naught, but I can forgive the universe its machinations.

I've been sitting tight on announcing this until it was real, and it's been killing me. No matter how much I will complain over the next ten months about the early mornings and endless prep work, I am so so unbelievably very happy.

On Monday, August 28th, I celebrated my perfect birthday by starting at my perfect job.

~Sor
MOOP!

FAQs: No I won't tell you where specifically online. Algebra 1, Discrete Math, and Calculus. Some 9th graders, mostly 12th graders. Yes the commute sucks less than the private school one. Yes the pay is better --I'm making a bit over $50k this year. Yes, I am so so so so happy.

A, C, D

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:28 am
lauradi7dw: (Default)
[personal profile] lauradi7dw
It dawned on me the other day that the US issues that worry me most* can be summarized by the first few letters of the alphabet. There is so much going on that a frightening number of people are unaware that the ACA might really be destroyed in the next couple of weeks by the heartless GOP.
Short, terrifying summary (the vote is expected before a new CBO score could happen:
https://mobile.twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/908072873964826624/photo/1
Clear, almost snide opinion piece
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/09/18/on-health-care-cassidy-flunks-his-own-jimmy-kimmel-test/?utm_term=.692efd8a31ea

I called my parents' senators about C-G last week while I was in NC. I thought about going to DC today to participate in the rally outside the Capitol building (it's at 12:15, if you're around), but decided to send the money that would be spent on transportation by donating to organizations like Indivisible. Bernie's timing promoting single-payer, as is often the case, seems self-aggrandizing rather than useful. It's a good idea, but right now we need to save lives that depend on the current system.

Updated - saw on twitter that Senator Murkowski (R) AK is accepting out of state calls, so I'm on hold, listening to patriotic music played by a brass band, presumably one of the military bands. Hard to beat the Stars and Stripes Forever ( about the fifth song I heard. The phone answerer was surprised to hear that I was calling from MA, so maybe it was just a rumor, but I thanked her).

Or, alphabetically, (ADA), one could worry about the House instead, and oppose HR 620. That's a bad thing, but proportionally the effects won't be as (literally) deadly as Cassidy-Graham.
https://www.aclu.org/other/hr-620-myths-and-truths-about-ada-education-and-reform-act

And of course, there is the whole DACA business.

*(other than individual things like three people dying in a bus crash in NYC yesterday)

First 100 mile week in a while

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:25 pm
nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
[personal profile] nosrednayduj
I haven't had a chance to ride to or from work in ages, due a combination to meeting schedules, weather, and evening conflicts.

Jocelyn has a new circus class on Sunday mornings in Somerville, and needs to be driven there, because there's no train. So, this week I had the plan, drive her to Somerville, continue on to work, and then bicycle home! It was eerie at work -- I was the only car in the parking structure (thus scoring a parking place closest to the gym entrance), and there wasn't anyone in the building (I stopped in to use the restroom and put my lunch for Monday in the fridge).

It was cold and clammy at the start of the ride; wearing my fleece turned this into hot and muggy. Bleah. This may have contributed to my lame performance.

Today I rode in after an early morning meeting. (I'm kind of getting tired of all these morning meetings with Europe and Asia... Oh well. Gotta finish this before sleeping for tomorrow's early morning meeting!) More ordinary performance. I had a bit of a problem after a pit stop -- something I did in locking or unlocking the bike or moving it into or out of the bike rack disengaged the chain from the rear derailleur in a weird way that was really hard to disentangle. I was concerned at first that I'd completely broken the bike and would need to call for rescue, but I managed.

I added up my previous week's exercise mileage (with increasing size of error bar, since I hadn't recorded it, and had to just remember), and it got me to a hundred! Yay! Haven't had one of those in a while either. I'd wait and get accurate mileage for later, except we're getting a visit by the remnants of Jose and it'll rain all week.

Tuesday: 7 RT to bank
Wednesday: 13.8 RT to new yoga location
Thursday: 5.8 short exercise loop
Friday: 9.81 RT to other bank and store
Saturday: 14.48 RT to Mansfield library
Sunday: 25.64 in 2:28 for an average of 10.3
Sunday: 0.75 dorking around after adjusting front derailleur
Monday: 25.82 in 2:23 for an average of 10.8
Total: 103.1

Procrastinating

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:27 pm
spryng: (Default)
[personal profile] spryng
Baby's asleep and I feel like procrastinating on finishing this round of edits, so

Here's some random thoughts on a Monday afternoon:

1) Omg we almost have a one year old. She is doing so much, and she's so much more aware of what's going on around her. She's more and more her own tiny person instead of just a baby.

2) After only getting on a plane once in the last 12+ months, we're going to break our dry spell hardcore and I'm a little afraid. I have a convention at the end of October which will be my first time away from Lady Jr. Then we're planning on going to Germany in November (!) and Minnesota for Christmas and then Tucson in March. I'm a little afraid, not gonna lie. Lady Jr did fine on the one plane ride we've been on so far, but she was 4 months old and a whole lot less wiggly. Oh well. We'll handle it.

3) It's been autumning for a few weeks now. August was really cool and the leaves started turning that last week. Now it's 80+, of course, but half the trees are vibrant and there's a syrupy quality to the light in the mornings and evenings that I just want to drink up.

4) I feel not exhausted for the first time in 2 weeks. Lady Jr got some kind of fever around my birthday and then gave it to me, but it wasn't just a fever - it was also severe fatigue. Now it seems like Lady is coming down with it and I don't envy her one bit.

5) My editor gave me my edits a few weeks ago for books one & two and they're not nearly as bad as I'd feared/expected. I just have to cut 20k from book two which is a little daunting, not gonna lie. Also fix some character stuff in book one. But that's pretty much it and I've been riding that high all week.

6) Current pub date for book one is March 2019. So far. So soon? I have to have book one 100% done and edited and copy-edited and proofed by this February, and then it's out of my hands. Kinda crazy that by the time book one comes out, I'll be done with the other two books. Publishing is slow, but also maybe the fact that I wrote book 2 first might have something to do with it.

7) I'm all legit & shit and have a page on my agency's website. You can even read the current "query" for book one if you're bored.

8) Despite all of that, I keep having crippling flashes of impostor syndrome. Yay!

9) No, we don't know where we're moving next. Probably not for another year +.

10) Punching class is now punching + kicking class and I love it except for last week when I was exhausted/fatigued all the time. Makes me miss Crossfit and it's more close-knit, cultish society tho.

11) Aaand the baby's starting to wiggle. Till next time!

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 06:06 pm
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
[personal profile] sorcyress
So here's a thing.

Back near the start of June, Captain Awkward1 posted a link to the Ingrid Michaelson video "Girls Chase Boys". I'd seen it before, but not in a while, so hell yeah it was time for a rewatch.

And somewhere in the thirty or fifty rewatches I've done this summer, I came to a really striking realization about my sexuality. I feel queer2 or straight entirely independent of the gender of the person I am being attracted towards.

Like, this is probably a pretty logical end result of not having a gender myself. I can't be a lesbian if I'm not a woman3, but I'm also not able to be het with a woman if I'm not a man. Bisexual has served me fine as a term for years now (and queer even moreso). I am content and secure in my attractions4.

But it was a weird moment of clarity when I realized that the attraction I feel for the men in that video is decidedly queer attraction. And weirder still to realize that I can, and often do, feel straight attraction towards men. And continually weird to realize that my attraction towards women can be either queer or straight as well. Like, these are two markedly different feelings for me, apparently. They both have the same root (I want to get romantic and-or sexual with this person because I am aesthetically or otherwise pleased by them) but they feel different.

After some soul-searching5, I determined that a big part of what makes me feel queer vs straight attraction is whether the person I am attracted to is giving out queer vs straight signals. These can be either gender-queer or sexuality-queer, but apparently I save my straight attraction for the hets.

I don't know what to do with all this information. Hell, I don't even know if it's useful information to have, or if the back of my brain has latent transphobia in this regard (many of the attractive trans women I know are some variation of enby, almost all of them are sexuality-queer --I don't tend to feel straight attraction to people who I don't perceive as relatively straight, but would I automatically feel queer attraction to any trans woman, even a straight one?)

But it's a thing my brain is doing, and I like paying attention to those.

~Sor
MOOP!

1: Captain Awkward is probably the single best advice blog on the internet, and I highly recommend pawing through her archives occasionally. She is better at teaching people how to be adults than just about anyone else, and I try very very hard to behave as would make her happy.

2: "Gay" would also be accurate here, but I very much prefer queer.

3: TRANS LESBIANS ARE LESBIANS. TERFS CAN FUCK OFF.

4: This is absolutely not true, I'm into a lot of straight men for an enby. The fact that I'm demonstrably more androsexual than gynosexual freaks me out on the regular, because boy howdy, is it hard to actually be "bisexual". But for the sake of this post, let's pretend I feel not-weird about myself.

5: Translation: Looking at a lot of different attractive people for science.
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
Friends just pointed me to this nerd comedy event coming up at the Armory. I am a fan of new ways to reach out on science topics in fun ways, and this sounds good to me. 

Saturday, September 30 at 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT. Ticketing info over at facebook. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/116424495686654/

Come hang out with Boston Skeptics and enjoy a night of comedy between science friends.

"You know how Larry the Cable Guy's act pretty much consists of him yelling "Git 'er done!" every five minutes or so? Scientist-turned-comic Tim Lee's material is the diametric opposite. Lee, who got his PhD before realizing where his true talents lay, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high-school chem teacher with George Carlin"
- The Boston Phoenix

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