I have actually done something other than reading recently - Livre d'Or








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livredor
I have actually done something other than reading recently
Sunday, 11 May 2008 at 08:10 pm
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But not a whole lot, to be honest. Yesterday I attended the bar mitzvah of one of my pupils, and realized that that was the first time I'd made it to shul in a month. That pretty much means that I've barely socialized at all in that time. Well, not completely, but I have been far more hermitty than is good for me recently.

The week before Pesach I just got to the point where I was overwhelmed by so many community responsibilities. I blamed it on being busy with a lot going on at work plus the Pesach cleaning (which never properly got done, actually), but in retrospect I realize that it was more of a long term problem than that. I basically withdrew from everything, not "making it" to most of the social events I'd planned to attend, not answering any phonecalls or correspondence from anyone local. It wasn't deliberate; on each individual occasion, I happened to be working late, or I was too tired, or there was some reason I couldn't make it. But it was a very bad idea; depriving myself of social contact really does not do me any good. And yes, a lot of my social life at the moment consists of various bits of volunteering, but I enjoy it when I do it, and I'm far happier when I'm almost overwhelmingly busy than when I have plenty of free time.

Friday last week I was invited to supper with someone who is trying to get more young people actively involved in Jewish life. I was sort of dreading it, and actually very rudely didn't even answer her invitation until the last minute. But she turned out to be really lovely, and it was just exactly the way shabbat meals should be. I was also really encouraged because she's about my age, and not a frighteningly competent hostess, but willing to just muddle along. That gives me more hope that I can get my act together about inviting people for meals more often; of course people care more about convivial company than a perfectly laid table, but I need to get over the confidence barrier. The other guests were two couples with babies, and I made a concerted effort to be friendly to the babies, such as holding the smaller of the two while his dad reached something from a high shelf. Inevitably, lots of the conversation was baby focused, but that can be interesting in small doses, and it wasn't the only topic either.

The bar mitzvah this weekend was, well. This is the pupil who wanted to have a Progressive education but a Conservative ceremony, so I wasn't involved in any of the organizing. It was also leaning more towards the American tradition of a lavish occasion rather than the European approach where the event is primarily a religious service that happens to include an element of celebration. But considering that, it was sensitively done, and they'd included some really nice personal touches to involve the whole family in the event. The security guards tried to throw out a friend of mine because the service was a "private party", which is really not on at all, but I don't think that was the fault of the host family.

I don't think anybody intended to patronize me; they invited me to the party because it's perfectly normal to invite your bar mitzvah teacher to the party. But I did feel a little underdressed and out of place all the same. As well as all the dignitaries there were a bunch of disturbingly sexy 13-year-old girls; I eventually worked out that they are the bar mitzvah boy's classmates. Since he attends a specialist music school, the girls have to have proper grownup evening dresses for performance purposes. But I can't imagine what it would be like to be a teenaged boy going to school with so many frighteningly glamourous girls.

Today I spent longer than I'd quite intended playing Civ, (which I won convincingly but with a rather low final score). Then I went out to get some shopping; I succeeded in finding a USB headset. This should mean I can use VoIP (Skype, or Gtalk, or whatever) again. Though I think I should have gone for a slightly higher price band; the headphone part is definitely better than my old stereo headphones, but the microphone doesn't have noise cancelling and it shows. I failed entirely at girl, though; I was looking for some light summer skirts and possibly some underwear, and trailed round four different clothes shops without making a single purchase. This is partly because I'm bad at clothes shopping, and partly because it was hot enough that I was actually uncomfortable, and I didn't quite have the motivation to make a proper lunch so I was hungry as well.

I must must must stop displacing from:


Whereaboooots: Djursholme, Stockholm, Sweden
Moooood: depressedlow
Tuuuuune: Project Pitchfork: KNKA
Discussion: 28 contributions | Contribute something
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 11th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
38 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
*cuddle*
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 11th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
45 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
I failed entirely at girl

Hm, well you probably did a much better girl that you might have done; you might have bought something marginally suitable just to get it over with. (Although I'm probably less spectacularly not a good guide to being a girl than to being christian, which I last recall making this apology for, I am.)
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From:ext_72852
Date:May 11th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
2 hours after journal entry
(Link)
does that last sentence make sense?
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livredor: letters
From:livredor
Date:May 12th, 2008 07:06 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 08:06 am (livredor's time)
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Yes, in that each word is performing its correct grammatical function. No, in that the sense is hard to disentangle by reading the sentence. I actually spent several minutes analysing it to make sure I had the correct answer to your question.
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megamole: default
From:megamole
Date:May 12th, 2008 07:25 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Please explain what it means - I'm confused!
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livredor: letters
From:livredor
Date:May 12th, 2008 07:41 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 08:41 am (livredor's time)
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I am not a good guide to being a girl, although less spectacularly not good than I am as a guide to being a Christian, which was the last thing I apologized for not being good at.
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 12th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Thank you! Yes, exactly (although I might say "which was the last thing I apologized for being spectacularly not good at.")

I hoped it did make sense, but wasn't sure, I'm extremely glad it made sense to you: I think the harder a sentence is to detangle, the funnier it is, up to the point where it can't be detangled at all (when it's just wrong) :)
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From:ext_72852
Date:May 12th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
23 hours after journal entry
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thankyou :)
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megamole: default
From:megamole
Date:May 13th, 2008 07:52 am (UTC)
1 days after journal entry
(Link)
Aha. (I think).
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rysmiel: vacant and in pensive mood
From:rysmiel
Date:May 12th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 11:55 am (rysmiel's time)
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I thought it was perfectly clear, myself.
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livredor: letters
From:livredor
Date:May 13th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 10:44 pm (livredor's time)
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I suspect you run the kind of analysis I did consciously in order to answer Mair's question, automatically and without needing to think about it. It is technically a grammatical sentence, just not very transparent. So it makes sense that it would be clear to someone as hyper-verbal as you are. *hug*
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livredor: teeeeeeeeea
From:livredor
Date:May 12th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 08:04 am (livredor's time)
(Link)
This made me laugh when I was feeling miz, so thank you. *hug*

Don't worry, it's not your job to fix every little thing that's wrong with my life. I don't need to come to you for advice about girlness, I have lots of friends who are good at clothes shopping (actually, not all of them are female). And I don't really have major gender anxiety just because of being bad at it, I was being melodramatic.

Now I'm trying to imagine circumstances where I might ask your advice about Christianity...
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 12th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry
(Link)
*hugs*

This made me laugh when I was feeling miz, so thank you.

That was the main aim. I didn't think you probably actually needed any advice, but since it popped into my head, I might as well give it. Except with a humorous disclaimer to say that I'm not instructing you, I'm just leaning over your shoulder in a "I don't know what those things do, but have you tried poking the blue tube?" sort of way :)

Now I'm trying to imagine circumstances where I might ask your advice about Christianity...

Well, someone who was inclined to argue about religion for the sake of it[1] could try to argue that you're less Christian than me :) (Either that belonging to another religion is less Christian than being areligious, or that I picked up some cultural Christianity.)

I'm not sure if that's "why would you ask me, you'd probably know better than I would" or "why would you ask me, you'd ask a christian". You probably do know more about the bible (even the new testament) that I do, but it's quite possible I've picked up things about Christianity that you haven't, so if I happen to be there, or you don't feel like asking a Christian, you might ask something of me... :)

[1] *cough* Rabbinical people *cough* :)
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 11th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
47 minutes after journal entry
(Link)
The security guards tried to throw out a friend of mine because the service was a "private party", which is really not on at all, but I don't think that was the fault of the host family.

What happened?

I can't imagine what it would be like to be a teenaged boy going to school with so many frighteningly glamourous girls.

LOL.
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hatam_soferet: default
From:hatam_soferet
Date:May 11th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry
(Link)
What usually happens is that security guards aren't briefed adequately, and don't realise that a service is a semi-public event. So they think you need to show a party invitation to get into the service, whereas actually all you need to do is not be a terrorist. Then when you can't oblige, they ask you to leave, and depending how much shul savvy you have you either go away feeling miffed or make a fuss and get let in.
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livredor: words
From:livredor
Date:May 12th, 2008 07:08 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 08:08 am (livredor's time)
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Thanks, this is a helpful and clear explanation. In fact my friend did have the guts and savvy to argue and was eventually allowed in. (She doesn't carry on shabbat, so she has problems because sometimes the guards insist on ID.) But I'm really cross that anyone managed to get the impression that a shabbat service was in any way a private party.
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 12th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
18 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Yeah, that makes total sense. I think I've seen something similar a couple of times; it just seemed that most times there was some interesting story of miscommunication (most of the times I've seen, you'd either have lots or none bonus guests, so it becomes a problem like this when there's just one or two, and the fact that the security got the wrong end of the stick isn't immediately apparent, and the guests may think security got it right and they're really not welcome).
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forestofglory: default
From:forestofglory
Date:May 11th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 01:02 pm (forestofglory's time)

Cooking

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Cooking many portions at once and then freezing is good option for cooking for one. I would do this more except my kitchen mates use all the space.

I'm also part of a CSA so get a box of veggies every week, which then feel guilty if don't cook. Though it's slightly too much for me. I think I will find a different source of decent tasting veggies next year.

Anyways where you nearby I'd offer to cook dinner for you.
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livredor: yum
From:livredor
Date:May 12th, 2008 07:15 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 08:15 am (livredor's time)
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That's a really good idea. I sometimes do it, or make a huge pot of soup which lasts all week, or similar. It really doesn't take much longer to make several meals than one. What I normally do is make enough for both supper and lunch to take to work the following day, which helps a bit. But I could make even more and then have reheated frozen meals rather than just a bowl of porridge when I'm feeling demotivated. And I have a good big freezer.

I know what you mean about veggies, definitely. It's hard to buy vegetables in a sensible quantity for one, and neither doing without fresh veg nor throwing away food is a satisfactory solution. Your comment reminded me that I have fruit that needs eating, so I had melon for breakfast. That felt slightly decadent but was definitely much better than letting my tasty melon go to waste. Mm.

And thank you for offering to cook for me, that's a really sweet thought! Actually I'm a lot better at cooking when there are other people around; I can always be bothered to cook for a guest, it's just when I'm on my own that it's depressing. The problem is that in order to have guests I need to find the motivation to tidy my flat, and that's another thing that's defeating me right now.
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forestofglory: default
From:forestofglory
Date:May 12th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 01:37 pm (forestofglory's time)
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The ecomonies of scale of cooking effort and ingredient buying definitely do not favour cooking small meals for one person all the time. I'm still working on good solutions that work with my life. My eventual plan is to live in big house with lots of people, but I still have next year as student to get through.

Melon sounds like a nice healthy breakfast to me.

I really like cooking for people. Baking for other people is one my favorate ways to de-stress. Also I'm not a big fan of eating meals by myself though I am general forced too, it is much nicer to have some one to talk too.
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From:rav_hadassah
Date:May 11th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC)
2 hours after journal entry
(Link)
Wow busy times! Yay for CIV... I wish I still have Civ 2, the version I liked best. Isn't it totally addictive?

Yay for b'nei mitzvah's... seems you've become quite the well-respected teacher. 13 year old girls being glamourous is a bit disturbing, but ah well, it is a sign of the times. I guess wearing attire for performance purposes is not as bad as wearing lots of tiny, spandex disco tops ;-)

Please don't be low on confidence with regards to hosting. You're a lot better than you think you are, and I always thought your food was edible (loved the chickpea curry and the crumble!). True, you get a little frazzled, but it's your very forgivable charm. It shouldn't deter you. And besides, with practice one does get better.

As for clothes shopping... ah well... sounds like I should fly in and offer a hand! But alas. Although perhaps we can get in a little shopping here and there when you're in Holland!

Take care, see you pretty soon!
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livredor: portrait
From:livredor
Date:May 12th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 08:29 am (livredor's time)
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Thank you thank you thank you! This is such a lovely supportive comment, just what I needed. And I'm really looking forward to seeing you, it will be such a treat to overcome that evil geography.

I have just recently bought a box set of all the Civ games ever, so I could give you my Civ II, if you like. I was just playing it to remind myself how it goes before I start exploring the newer versions.

The thing is with the underaged glamour chicks, I don't think it's a sign of the times, at least, it's not the same phenomenon as people wring their hands over with toddlers wearing croptops with sparkly rhinestone slogans saying "fuckable" or something. The clothes weren't exactly in your face sexual, but they were adult, seriously posh designer dresses, which to some extent show off the wearer's figure, but that's not the main point of them. I was mainly shocked because the dresses looked so expensive, and it's weird to see kids in clothes that cost like a month of an adult's salary.

There was one kid who looked like Betty Boop, seriously. She had a sort of Vivienne Westwood on speed kind of thing, little black dress, very figure hugging, but with one shoulder bare and a big sparkly thing on the other. From the front she looked kind of ok, like someone small-breasted trying to get away with a dress that is meant to look hourglassy, but from the side, omg, she looked almost two-dimensional!

Thank you for the encouraging words about the hosting. At the moment a big part of my problem is that I am overwhelmed by tidying (yeah, I think I got like this at some point last year and you were wonderful and came over and sorted everything out). But keeping the place tidy is good anyway, and feeling I can invite people is even better, and I'll manage putting the meal together once I've got over that bit.

Definitely, clothes shopping with you was a much less scary experience than on my own. If we do go shopping while I'm visiting, I think my main priority is to find Judaica; I need to get presents for all my BM pupils, and I have the impression there's likely to be more choice in Holland than here.
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cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:May 12th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC)
17 hours after journal entry
(Link)
At the moment a big part of my problem is that I am overwhelmed by tidying

I'm firmly convinced your place is always tidy, because that's how I saw it :) I know what you mean about overwhelmed.

For what it's worth, I strongly suspect that when you have the time to get organised, you host better than I do, but my suggestion from a limited amount of experience feeling a bit like you describe is not to worry about having time to host properly more, it's having people round even when you don't have time to do it properly. Finding an excuse to say, "hey, come round for supper" even if it's just toast or whatever, as that's more fun than not being able to do so at all. (That can be difficult if you don't know people quite well enough to have round in slob, but I think is useful to think about.)
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rysmiel: mary magnum
From:rysmiel
Date:May 12th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 11:59 am (rysmiel's time)
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I have just recently bought a box set of all the Civ games ever, so I could give you my Civ II, if you like. I was just playing it to remind myself how it goes before I start exploring the newer versions.

This may not be the best approach in the world; there are some things about Civ 3 that are specifically to weaken strategies in Civ 2 that are over-easy ways to win.

The thing is with the underaged glamour chicks, I don't think it's a sign of the times, at least, it's not the same phenomenon as people wring their hands over with toddlers wearing croptops with sparkly rhinestone slogans saying "fuckable" or something. The clothes weren't exactly in your face sexual, but they were adult, seriously posh designer dresses, which to some extent show off the wearer's figure, but that's not the main point of them. I was mainly shocked because the dresses looked so expensive, and it's weird to see kids in clothes that cost like a month of an adult's salary.

That sort of thing has become much more disturbing to me since getting to the point at which I am seeing it on people who could plausibly on age grounds be my children.
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megamole: default
From:megamole
Date:May 13th, 2008 07:54 am (UTC)
1 days after journal entry
(Link)
Civ2 was easy! Just build Leonardo, Sun Tzu and Adam Smith and watch all your troops automagically update themselves :).

Civ4 has too many artificial blocks. But I have some favourite civs - Incas (Ind/Fin), English (Elizabeth II - Phi/Fin) and Germans (Frederick - Phi/Org). If your Philosophical civ builds early Great Wall, Stonehenge or Pyramids, you're away...
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rysmiel: nuclear weapons
From:rysmiel
Date:May 12th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
6 hours after journal entry, May 11th, 2008 09:13 pm (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
At risk of sounding obsessive, which version of Civ ?

*hug* Am headachey. Will have better words after some sleep.
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livredor: geekette
From:livredor
Date:May 12th, 2008 07:34 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry, 08:34 am (livredor's time)
(Link)
Civ II on King level. I just wanted to remind myself of the game before I try the newer versions. I thought I played pretty well, I was in charge of the game the whole way, and I got to Alpha Centauri in 1920, before any of the AIs had completed their spaceships. But I was very conservative about population expansion, only ended up with about 13 million, and I think that's where the points come from. I need to branch out and start experimenting with democracy, I think, partly because I know I can do Communism now, and partly because it's hard to get a really big empire with that slightly militaristic strategy.

I hope you feel better from the headache. And thank you for words and hugs, they both help a lot.
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rysmiel: make in hell for us a heaven
From:rysmiel
Date:May 12th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 12:06 pm (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
I thought I played pretty well, I was in charge of the game the whole way, and I got to Alpha Centauri in 1920, before any of the AIs had completed their spaceships. But I was very conservative about population expansion, only ended up with about 13 million, and I think that's where the points come from. I need to branch out and start experimenting with democracy, I think, partly because I know I can do Communism now, and partly because it's hard to get a really big empire with that slightly militaristic strategy.

I can't think of the last time I used Communism in Civ 2, actually. Getting to it early does not fit with my preferred tech goals, and by the time I do get to it, I'm usually in a working democracy anyway. Going straight to democracy from republic is a nightmare; I tend to go republic->fundamentalism->democracy and build up a huge stockpile of cash so I can buy up enough improvements to keep a democracy stably happy, and often that overshoots and I have enough left over to bribe nearby cities. (I know you're not a warmonger, but you are ethically OK with bribing cities, yes ?) A sizable well-managed fundamentalist empire can basically reduce a neighbouring civilisation to its capital that way if well-timed, and that addresses the population growth problem, that and minimising science and maximising luxuries while your spaceship is in flight so your last ten turns or so are spent doing mad population expansion.

I hope you feel better from the headache. And thank you for words and hugs, they both help a lot.

Good. I am entirely recovered from the headache, rest helped, though for yesterday evening I had so little brain the only thing I could read was Harry Potter.
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