Posts Tagged ‘sukkot’

Apparently it is NaBoloPoMo, yeah, I didn’t know what that meant either until I looked it up. National Blog Posting Month, where folks challenge themselves to blog everyday to get [back] into the habit of it. I’m not sure I can come up with something worth sharing EVERYDAY, but I can go for 2-3x week (at most).

Sunrise in Boulder, CO

Between my new job, (which I started after returning from Labor Day/Rosh Hashanah week Boulder, during in the middle of the High Holidays), commuting, and general house chores I am exhausted most of the time. Thankfully the major holidays are over and things have settled down to our new normal. We attend Segulah Minyan every other week, and blob out at home and maybe stock up on local produce and other items at the farmers market on the alternate weeks. Ben has been keeping me sane by packing my lunch every morning, otherwise I’d be spending all my hard-earned on lunches (plus I’d be breaking my personal policy of not eating out more than 1x week).

Here are a few photos from our week in Boulder. It was SO nice to spend time with friends (and their baby bellies and babies), as well as have some time with Ben where I didn’t feel like I was keeping him from work or where either of us were competing with a laptop for the others attention. Sometimes we have trouble putting our gadgets down, it’s a work-in-progress.

Yom Kippur was a Segulah Minyan event, at a rented church social hall in Sheppard Park/Silver Spring. Services were great and I actually felt present for most of them, but it really punctuated how much we miss CBS in Boulder. Speaking of Congregation Bonai Shalom, the synagogue was CRIPPLED by the flooding in Boulder in mid-September (it started 2 days before Yom Kippur, which was thankfully held at nearby Naropa University’s East Campus). Reading the news out of Boulder in mid-September was terrifying and sad. If you have any pennies to share, I’m sure Bonai would appreciate them (instructions on how to donate via email or phone are on their website).

You’ve already seen our photos of the AMAZING sukkah Ben built on the patio, and my friend Jennifer came down from NY for the day for the first day of sukkot (we dwelled with dinner, brunch over the news paper in the AM, and general lazy lounging in the afternoon after a nice walk exploring my neighborhoof) before she had to head back to the city for work the next day. Boo. We don’t see each other enough. I guess I need to take a turn and go to New York again!

What else is going on….

Weight Watchers as a program is great, but my progress has been glacially slow. lately I’ve either hit a plateau or gotten lazier at tracking than I thought. Blergh. Soon it will be cold enough to blame it on heavy winter clothes, but that trick only works once!

Now that we’ve moved past the craziness of ALL the Jewish holidays feeling like they are ALL AT ONCE (it always feels like that when they swallow Shabbat whole, or turn it into a virtual 3-day chag), and I’ve gotten more used to my 8 hour + lunch day, things are settling down.

In more upbeat news:

In late September we helped my friend Andrea, from way-back-when at IAC, move from her temporary furnished apartment into a gorgeous flat in Adams Morgan. She’s pregnant and her husband was traveling for work and Ben and I didn’t want her trying to unpack without help! We also explored her neighborhood a little (all new to all of us) and ate some awesome falafel and fries for lunch and pizza for dinner, YUM! It was the first real fall-weather day we’d had and it was crisp and beautiful. It was a bit of a shame we spent it unpacking, washing bedding, installing a new printer, and buying what felt like ALL THE THINGS at Target, but it showed off how great her apartment is that the windows really let in the light and air and it was still nice and quiet even though she’s 1/2 a block from a major urban shopping/dining area (think Pearl Street in Boulder). I’m kinda jealous.

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BKS building the sukkah

Ben and I built our first ever sukkah this year. It is HUGE (8×12′), big enough to fit our 6′ table and four comfy chairs around it. It is awesome. We mail ordered the 6×8′ s’chach from The Sukkah Project and built the frame from 2x4s (and two 1x2s) from Home Depot and some metal framing braces.

best sukkah ever

Here’s a photo of our sukkah all lit up and set for a nice dinner. Lovely! The back wall (up against the parking garage) looked bland, so I picked up a plastic shower curtain from the BB&B clearance section to hang up there and it really helps it look less blocky and more festive.

A friend from Interlochen, JMV, came down from New York for the first day of sukkot and I had to remind my new bosses that I wasn’t kidding when I said that there were 3 major Jewish holidays in 3 weeks (really 4 in 4 weeks, but I usually only fully observe two of them, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). Ben worked his spousal magic and had a wonderful dinner waiting for us when we got home (picking up cupcakes at the train station, en route home) for Erev Sukkot (the night before the first day). We had a great time and ate too much together. JMV and I spent the first day of Sukkot living in the sukkah (i.e. vegging out, the weather was lovely!).

That’s the latest from here. I’ll try and catch up on my photos from Boulder and then tell you all about my new J-O-B soon!


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Flatirons (Photo credit: Zach Dischner)

Remember when you were 17/18 years old and waiting to hear back from colleges? I know I certainly had a lot of trouble sleeping and spent a lot of nights staying up reading until my vision went blurry (around 1:30 AM) to avoid thinking about it (yes, I’m starting to do that again, libraries are a very good thing for my budget).

Now, instead of  worrying about if/where -I- will get into college, I’m wondering where Ben will accept a PostDoc position! Last week it was for-sure College Park, now it looks like Harvard might be a contender again. Close-in, old-school suburban Maryland (Silver Spring/Tacoma Park) OR old-school urban Cambridge/Somerville.

I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m not entirely sure that I care. What I do care about it having fewer shared walls with neighbors (top floor unit, townhouse, end unit, whatever!), having a place to build our own sukkah (or even one on the roof that’s shared with our building!), having hardwood or other non-crappy rental carpeting, and maybe getting to paint walls!

In Silver Spring/Tacoma Park, MD we can afford to buy a townhouse (skwee, ownership! veggie garden! picking paint colors! dishwasher! washer/dryer!) but then we have to budget for interior and emergency maintenance, taxes, and HOA fees. In Cambridge/Somerville we can afford bupkiss. Instead of buying a 3 bedroom, 2 bath townhouse with a spacious patio,laundry closet , and garage (or at least assigned parking), we can afford to rent a two bedroom, 1 bath apartment for the same price. Womp, whomp. Older, charming, urban-ish apartment vs. modern air handling system in a townhouse with a laundry closet. Honestly, both are appealing in their own way! Urban living in a walkable neighborhood or suburban shleps to the grocery store every week? I hope to avoid needing to go to a laundromat, I might have become too princessy to be OK with shlepping my dirty laundry down the block and then folding it in public (though having a folding table IS a nice thing). The idea with doing that with future potential offspring in tow is entirely unappealing.

This is really Ben’s choice. Where will he make the most progress as a physicist? Which advisor is more understanding about taking off work for most of the Jewish holidays AND every Saturday (as well as coming home at a reasonable hour on Fridays, especially once we have a munchkin who is old enough to keep a schedule)?

We only know a few friends in each location. My family is mostly in the DC area and Ben’s parents are in the Boston area. Either way we’d be living at least 30 minutes from either set of parents (a good thing IMHO, I am NOT a fan of drop-in visits). But then my brain gets stuck on the fact that cost-of-living in DC is not much higher than Boulder, being at least 1/3 less than the Boston area. Ugh. So much money squandered on renting (again), rather than buying and just existing in general (milk and gas are both $1 more per gallon in both locations, but insurance and parking will cost more in MA and then my brain just gets stuck running on the hamster wheel and I want to retreat into a book or start trolling townhouses/apartments online and planning for my ever-fluxuating future in my head.

All I know for sure is that I will miss getting to see the flatirons everyday and being able to ski on a world-class mountain for >$45 per day, will less than a 2 hour drive to get there (shout out to: Loveland). Yeah, I’m spoiled, but someday I’ll have a sukkah I can invite people over to share a meal in and then I’ll feel spoiled in a different way!

cartoon sukkah (temporary structure or booth with >2 walls and branches for a roof, many city dwellers use bamboo mats)

PS- I sincerely hope, more than having my own sukkah, that next year I will still be able to invite President Obama into my spiritual sukkah. Otherwise, we might be looking at trying to emigrate to Canada. Ben’s mentioned, with all seriousness, that he would like to find out what the logistics would be of having a Canadian “anchor baby” some day. I kid you not!

END braindump.

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So far, I’ve had a great day, which is odd because so many bizzaro things have happened.

First, this morning there was a crazy car accident where someone drove straight at a T exit off the highway, into the garages for our building! Thankfully no one was injured (only 2 sports cars that were towed before this photo was taken) and the nutso who ran their car through a brick wall was caught and taken to jail after a short foot chase by the officer that hangs out 24/7 at the gas station across the street. That was odd (the accident and the foot chase, the cop is because there of easy access to major roads and a bus station). Yes, what you see in the garage to the right is a small car with a box on top of it, that box in the rafters on a shelf and got knocked onto the car.

Also, I live in the land of the Subaru station wagon, can you tell?


Then, I went into work at the same place I’ve been all week, only to find out that the server crashed last night! Not just crashed, died. Thankfully the hard drives appear to be OK and no work appears to have been lost. They sent me home (let me bill 1 hour) and I’m waiting for a call and an email with a VPN password. Other bummer, I must have accidentally paid with TWO bus tickets this morning because I had to pay cash to get home. Bummer, that’s $4.50 down the toilet.

So, I came home and got Ben’s tallit, picked him up from work, and we got to go to the Sukkot torah service at Bonai! Woohoo! We got there as they were putting the torah away, but we still got to dance around and shake our lulav (branches) and etrog (awesome smelling citrus fruit that you NEVER eat during the holiday of Sukkot), and sit to make kiddish (bless the wine and have a sip) and have snacks in the sukkah (a temporary shelter or booth that has a roof made of branches or other organic materials that the stars can be seen though at night), made plans for dinners next week in the sukkah with friends, and then I went to the grocery store. So observant of me, right? We needed milk, eggs and veggie broth. Everything I’d gone for at the store was on sale, woohoo!

Below, is a gallery of Bonai Shalom’s super-awesome sukkah, that Ben helped build and I helped to decorate and “supervise” the building of (I made sure everyone knew where the coffee was and kept the kids from eating all the brownies at once).

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Just watch the first 28 seconds of the above video….. I’ve been working at a company that prepares briefs since Tuesday, that’s why you haven’t heard from me.

As an anniversary gift to ourselves, I got take-out sushi (which we ate in the new ATLAS building –I wish we could have turned off the noise in there) and Ben bought tickets to see Yamoto last night. AMAZING! But, like in the end of the video, the audience was quite calm. HOW!? I kept wanting to bop around and keep time with all of my body. How can people sit like statues while listening to such an enthusiastically energetic performance? Thankfully, we had seats directly in front of a pillar, so my bopping around hopefully didn’t disturb too many stoic audience members. :-D

Also, HAPPY SUKKOT to everyone!

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