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Jul. 21st, 2017 10:46 am
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[personal profile] vvalkyri
Gah. I decided not to go to Rockville to another evening of shiva last night because I really really needed to do something about my apartment and look at flights and such, for my own sanity. Going to the free fringe production of Shakespeare in the Pub then back home with K seemed like it would be a good compromise - how to turn down 11 women who've been drinking, a couple of whom I knew, doing a read through of Titus Andronicus with enough fake blood there were warnings re what clothes to wear? But the info had said 1.5 hrs. I hadn't expected 6:45 to end at 9:05, and I even more regret staying for Abortion Road Trip*.

Because really pathetically I don't trust myself to get anything done alone.

*everybody else seemed to enjoy it a lot more than I did. There were some strong performances, but I really hated the acting of one of the characters, and I was annoyed by the character with the most lines, and I was distracted by finding fault with the initial premise. Also? Neither K nor the guy on the other side of me had any memory of the character,"Mom."

on books

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:59 am
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[personal profile] vvalkyri
crossposted:
when i got home last night there were a bunch of boxes of books by the recycling. They were in good condition and looked like anything from interesting to rare (there were some large Russian English dictionaries on top of one, and some Shostakovitch records on another) so I moved them to my parking space where nothing is supposed to live but I can probably get away with it a couple days, and pinged someone who is already handling getting other stuff to a charity he favors, and grabbed out Katherine Graham's autobiography for immediate reading.

My building has a building library; I'm not sure whether I should've given it first crack, but that would have required getting the boxes up a flight of stairs and through a couple doors at 3am, rather than just 50 feet to my space.

I'm not sure what sorting I should do before they go to support Fairfax Auxilliary. Probably start with grabbing out anything in Russian... .

I'm sad, because I'm pretty sure this is the collection of someone who died. And it also has me thinking of all the books Mom has, some of which are Old and Important, and many of which are outdated and random. And many of which Dad once wanted back.
That last paragraph may be a bit open for my usual friendsfriends security level over there on FB.

It seriously was sad, seeing things like that. I rescue stuff. It's so important to me that it has a home and not a landfill. And yet I do know that getting stuff to goodwill is yet another measure of cope, and even there one needs to be realistic about what they will and will not put out to sell. That's part of why I have so much grandma stuff that needs to be dumped on a "we sell it all on ebay and you get a cut." Because that Eastern Airlines tiny carryon that needs a zipper repair will be thrown out by goodwill, and treasured by the right person. When Allyson was over helping me through a large amount of momclothes she was overjoyed to take the Woodies and Garfinkles boxes from the closet. Cardboard boxes, but she wraps stuff in boxes from defunct stores and she especially loves local defunct stores.

A sweet little old man who lived a few doors down died a few years ago. As part of cleaning out the place, the family had put a box of mugs and glasses in the trash room. I'd looked through it, and seen a small mug, smaller than I usually use, emblazoned with [specific dc high school 50th reunion]. Kept it around to honor the guy, vaguely intending to contact said high school. A year or so later, Shira was over, and I showed it to her, and she took it with her! I don't think it was the high school she'd attended; I'd have to ask. But to her it was a sufficiently meaningful bit of DC history she wanted it.

This is all part of why it's so hard to sort. What is a life? This is part of why it's so hard to get rid of even things I don't really want. I guess I imbue things with a soul. Not just "does it give me joy" but "can I get it to someoen for whom it will?"

I have to stop typing; I decided to keep plans for today and need to leave soon.
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
There's so very much to write. I didn't write about Baitcon. I didn't write much about MomYartzeit. I didn't write about New Story Leadership project (final event today at 630 at Archives). Or the various thought provoking plays I've seen at Fringe.

But I woke up this morning with I helped bury someone yesterday in my head.

I've known Sonya Schultz since her son Ben and I dated back in high school. Sophomore and Jr years. It was at their house I first was part of Havdalah. It was with them I first went to Simchas Torah - Ben and I went in all our Sadie Hawkins finery before going on to the dance. In the years that followed, she included me in her huge seders when I wasn't in Cleveland. In recent years other friends have offered invites first, or I've been in Cleveland. It's been a while since I've been to the house. My last sure memory of talking in person was shortly after Ben's now three year old was born. It was some years before that, in that apartment, when she said to me, "Marry one of my sons; I don't care which!" At the house last night, I was reminded by more than one of the family that she would have adopted me in, regardless.

I spent much of the day yesterday with Cathie and later Lauren. They would each occasionally run into Sonya and sometimes also David at Strathmore, or at Costco. I am envious.

It's kinda weird. In a certain way she and I were more regularly in touch the last couple years because she would respond in my facebook here and there. But I had no idea she was ill, because it had been so long since she and I had spoken in person. And tbh, I might not have known anyway -- people commented last night they'd just seen her at shul a week ago.

The funeral was long and full. Cathie and I were some of the few who ended up parking on the street because the parking lot was full. There were some beautiful stories and some heartbreak, and as is always the case for me, I learned more and was sad not to know it earlier. Bits about just how fiercely there she was for her kids, bits about her involvement with the shul, or defying being told "no woman can pass this econ test," or that they'd been on their most recent cruise only in May. Or that they'd planned to remodel the kitchen. I could so visualize that kitchen, the house. It wasn't the house they had when Ben and I dated; I don't remember that one, now.

At the gravesite, there was a traditional handwash station. One washes on leaving a graveyard. She and Ben had been at my grandmother's funeral at Arlington. Memories came flooding back of her coming up to me to give me wet wipes in the absence of the two handled cup. "al natitlat yadayim."

I've only been to a couple gravesites that weren't Jewish funerals*. Even so, there were things that were new to me. More traditional. That we all process together with the coffin but stop 7 times in reluctance. That one should add at least three shovelfulls of earth because 3 makes it not an accident or coincidence. That the first shovelful should be the back of the shovel, because we don't really want to be efficient in saying goodbye. That we shouldn't hand the shovel along to the next but instead put it back into the pile.

I've never before been to a funeral with real shovels adding the earth that had just been dug out, rather than symbolic trowelsful. After a while there was one person who went back and was shoveling more, for real, and Ben's younger brother for a while, and if there had been more than two shovels and I had been more clear whether it was okay or I was too far from the family I wanted to as well, despite the dress and shoes. It was hot, very hot. We said kaddish and we all went to the cars. Last night I learned that J had finished shoveling all the dirt for his grandparents, and would really have preferred to have done so here. And that the small bucket I'd wondered about that his girlfriend troweled from may have been Jerusalem dirt, but the part that was important to her was it also contained a vegan truffle she'd made for Sonya, but which Sonya had suggested bringing on Saturday but then not felt up to eating. This sounds so odd, written, but brought tears to my eyes in person.

I'd planned on going to a couple fringe plays last night, and I'm glad I hadn't preticketed. I spent the afternoon with Lauren, and then was in the right part of town to go over to shiva last night rather than trying to force getting there on Thursday. And the reason why shiva is traditionally in the deceased's house was so very apparent. So many memories in these rooms. A memory of a shiva, even. Sonya's mother.

I need to get moving. There's more to write and there isn't. There's contrasts with my mom's death, and after. Maybe later.


*One was Steve Devoney's dad, a couple months ago, after which everybody retired to the house and there were stories and video. One was a close friend, 8 years ago. The funeral itself had been a mass in latin at which there happened to be a coffin; the gravesite was in English and I think maybe mentioned her name. After everybody left her aunt started wedging flowers in any part of the coffin handles and hinges she could, and a couple of us joined in this until the coffin was covered in flowers, and then after the people came and lowered the coffin we dropped more flowers on top. And they put the concrete or whatever cover on and uncovered the dirt and I commented that in Jewish funerals we add the dirt. To make it final, real. And the four of us still there we each did add a handful. And that's when the aunt cried.

pulled from FB for posterity

Jul. 13th, 2017 11:18 am
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[personal profile] vvalkyri
yesterday:
Learned: sunscreen and greek yogurt look a lot like one another smeared on one's plastic wallet. It's understandable to confuse them if both have been in that bag recently, but you really don't want to lick the former off the plastic wallet. Also? That would explain why the fruit and yogurt tupperware seemed still sound and yet the wallet was smeared.
(when Petrona asked, "Did you lick it? Enquiring minds want to know") my response was
I have it on good authority that I am very much a cat when I have tasted something I actively dislike (which is very infrequent -- my concept of okay is pretty vast) - Ken can attest to my reaction to reduced stout in an icecream. I would assume that E derived some amusement from my reaction to the taste of Neutrogena Dry Touch.


Today:
Been listening to wamu's the 1a about the gun debate. is noted that on certain things almost the entire country is in agreement e.g. background checks. NRA didn't join the discussion but the National African American Gun Association did.
A comment I found worth remembering -- that rural vs urban makes for very different attitudes and associations re weapons. It dovetailed with something from the other day -- I'd driven up to a part of Maryland where the lots are 5 acres and my friends have a bunch of woods on their property. During and after dinner there kept being booms that might have been someone shooting targets on their property or might have been someone doing stuff with fireworks*. The older kid kept yelling toward the neighbors (who obviously wouldn't have heard) to stop it already; the dad pointed out that it was perfectly legal to shoot on one's own property around here. The kid, of course, remembers when they used to live in Hyattsville, and the sound of shooting meant the family and cats would hunker down in the basement.
*it still being broad daylight I found the latter possibility confusing but in MD I suppose visible fireworks wouldn't go well.

(semirelated, I had an insanely long and occasionally very frustrating thread about The fist of truth NRA ad in which the husband of the NRA spokeslady came in to insist the vid I and many found practically a call to war against the Left wandered in and insisted it was an antiviolence ad. Ping me and I'll send you a link; I don't publicly link this account to my given name)

Goat update

Jul. 13th, 2017 10:59 am
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[personal profile] reedrover
Mouse (or Maus, if you want to be picky) is slowly coming back from anemia and her latest flirt with death. Her sister Tuma was headed onto the downslope as well, but I think she'll be fine. Mouse will probably have some growth stunting from this episode, but - if Pan is any indication of recovery - shouldn't suffer any long term effects.

The kids continue to get big and bigger. Blair is still my buddy. William is still gorgeous and LOUD. Poppy is still so so soft. Hix has gone back to hating me since he got his ear tag. Casamir keeps catching his teeth in his fleece. I'm glad they are still baby teeth. He looks a little snaggletoothed at the moment.

In the wind

Jul. 12th, 2017 04:56 pm
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[personal profile] grail76
So, I just catch sight of my brother leaving as I arrived at the rehab center. The nurse comes in and says she just has 10 min. to get this permission to perform a ttransfusion on the schedule for tomorrow. I sign it and try to calll my brother. Voicemail. I get my sister who says, yes she needs it. I call my son who says he can get her there by the 8:00 kickoff time. My brother calls me back, having already talked to my sister.
Say what you will, this is getting us to talk more.

Getting it right

Jul. 10th, 2017 02:28 pm
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[personal profile] grail76
Recently we were trying to figure out what my mother would eat while she was in the hospital. I heard this buzz of everyone trying to work out what she'd want in the way of Pizza toppings.
The difficulty lies in how infrequently my mother will insist she likes something -- she normally just goes along with what others choose.
While they were waiting, I drove down to 7-11 and got her an actual hot dog. *I* remembered once we were on the road and both were hungry and as I stopped at McD's for some sort of elaborate burger, she wanted a hot dog.
She ate all of it -- a major turn around from the hospital's attempts to give her something she'd want to eat.
,,, and I remembered because it was unusual for her to make a personal selection.

I was thinking of scenes that had gone south in the past. Read more... )

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