Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween in the 'Burbs

I called the fella, and suggested getting him pizza. He's been obsessed for a while with Domino's Extremely Trayf Steak Lover's Special, or whatever it's called--a friend of mine returned from a year working in China with the term 'trafedik-o-rama' which applies to many of the fella's preferred foods--anyway:

I got paid today, so I called and suggested we go get him one. The burrito place I love (Gordo's, Gordo's, rah rah rah)is right next door.

But I got home, and Halloween is happening. I mean, it's happening all over the place. There are devils, and witches, and princesses, and ninjas, and furry creatures I don't know what they are, all roaming around, accompanied by assorted adults. And it becomes clear that we are not driving anywhere tonight.

If I had thought about this at all, I would have worried about drunks on the road, but the fella is perturbed by all the kids roaming hither and yon in dark outfits (although most of them wear those little sneakers with the flashing lights.)

The fella has also found the colander, and filled it with Hershey's miniatures and little Take Five's. We haven't got a jack-o-lantern, and the porch light turned not on, but he wants to be prepared. It turns out he also wants me to be in charge of distributing the goodies, because he is on line.

I think we've only had four knocks. The neighbors next door have glowing skeleton hands coming out of their lawn, and are clearly friendlier than we are.

Pizza on the way.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pigs in the yard?

Okay, now I KNOW I'm in the 'burbs. The fella insists there were pigs in our (very small) front yard last night.

We've had cats and squirrels, but pigs are a new development.

He bases this on having heard gravel crunching, snorts, and squeals. I slept through it.

I can't imagine where even one pig, let alone more, might have come from, unless someone's pot-bellied Vietnamese minis got loose, or possibly wild boars roam down from the mountainside late at night.

Either way, it is very peculiar.

7 Update

The fella adds that I say "Gottenyu" a lot as well.

I got memed

I don't actually know precisely what a meme is, it seems to be a sort of activity where you do a post according to a set pattern, and then tag others to be it. Wishful But Stuck has tagged me with the 7 Meme. Here we go:

7 Things I Can Do:

Write a mystery novel.
Juggle up to seven phone lines successfully.
Read a Harry Potter novel in one sitting.
Beat the top score consistently on the old arcade 'Galaga' games.
Sew a fourteenth-century Gothic fitted gown.
Make some really good lentil soup.
Walk down a street reading a book without looking up.

7 Things I Can't Do:

Dance. (Don't tell me if you can walk...)
Sing. (Don't tell me if you can talk...)
Understand the rules of football. (The fella has tried.)
CARE about the rules of football.
Get all the parts of my house tidy at one time.
Make my hair behave.
Return books to the library on time.

7 Celebrity Crushes:

Bill Clinton (I am of the generation that imprinted like a baby duck)
Dule Hill (he plays Charlie on West Wing. It's not really a celebrity crush, I mean, he's beautiful, but he's an actor. I don't actually have a crush on Dule Hill, I have a crush on Charlie.)
Alyson Hannigan (or Willow, does it really matter?)
Camryn Manheim (It's the cleavage. And the attitude. And the cleavage. And the hair.)
Denzel Washington (do I really need to explain? No. I do not.)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Serenity. He played a psycho on Buffy, it was lovely to have him cast in a role one can letch after respectably.)
Romaine Bohringer (Lead actress from Mina Tannenbaum. One of the sexiest people I have ever seen on screen in my life.)
If there were more than seven slots I would probably throw Adrian Brody in there somewhere...and Keith Hamilton Cobb.)

7 Things I Find Attractive/Sexy:

Uhhhh...far too idiosyncratic and random to do a list of seven.

7 Things I Say Often: (Obviously to different people.)

"I am waiting for the class to be quiet."
"Hey babe."
"As a Jewish feminist I feel that..."
"What do you want for dinner?"
"It's too early in the morning for this."

7 Things I Hope To Do Before I Die:

Learn to drive/get a driver's license.
Raise a couple of well-balanced multicultural Jewish kids.
Publish a novel.
Buy a house.
See Israel. And Italy. And Spain. And...uh, okay, let's start there.
Learn another language properly, so I can watch movies in it and everything.
Stop biting my nails once and for all.

7 Bloggers I'd Like to Infect with This Meme:

I think most of the ones I know about have already been hit. Can I research this and come back later?

Sunday Mornings...

Made the fella turkey ham and eggs, now he is happy and watching the news.

I think we need a larger house, with lots of bookshelves. We took five boxes out of the garage to unpack last night, only to discover that most of them were full of the fella's books, and that we had run out of shelf space.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ethics Question

Let us say that you are getting on a bus. The fare meter has a little LED readout that tells you how much you have paid already toward the fare, so you can make sure you put the right amount in. (When you reach $1.50, it beeps, and the readout disappears.)

And let us say the meter already has ten cents on it. What is your obligation? Do you have to pay the full buck fifty, since that is the fare, or can you pay one forty and let the dime be a present from an earlier traveller who overpaid? I have, in the past, simply put two bucks in because I did not have change, and I would not be troubled to hear that the extra fifty cents was saved by someone else. The bus company is getting the right amount regardless. But I just don't know.

There is also an element in town that believes we should refuse to pay the new, higher, fare at all, out of concern for poor workers whose neighborhoods are already underserved, but I am going to leave that whole argument out of this.

What do you all think? Can you take the extra ten cents or not?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Etrog Vodka

Good Simchat Torah in the middle of a rotten week.

I went back to Netivot Shalom, and had a good time singing loudly and dancing badly. Drank a couple of shots of home-infused etrog vodka. Ran into some people I haven't seen in ages. Noted that we only seem to have about a dozen hakafah-suitable songs. Why aren't there more? We have been doing this for a while.

I have decided I feel a little sorry for Protestants. Not because they don't have a perfectly good religion, but just because they have to go to Burning Man to see a woman dancing with a Calistoga water bottle balanced on her head, wearing a purple glow necklace. I just have to go to my local shul.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

King of night vision, king of insight...

(If you recognize the quote, yes, there's something about Galileo in this post, but you'll have to wait...)

The fella is recovering from a bout of something that he thinks was a stomach inflammation brought on by mixing burritos and Cinnastix, and I think was a flu bug. His mother thinks it was bird flu, but since the parakeet seems in good health and spirits, I'm tending to dismiss that possibility.

He threw up a bit, and the fella does not deal well with bodily fluids. He did, however, FEEL better after throwing up, and began to refer to this as 'post-vomit euphoria'. I'm afraid I've now got a bulimic on my hands. Following this, he became nervous that I would mention all this on the blog--which honestly, I hadn't thought of doing up until then. He said he didn't mind having the detail of his life (anonymously) on this blog, just asked me to make it funny.

There's only so much funny you can do with a flu virus, but we're working on it...

He was off work for four days while recovering, and did not eat for three. He did try to eat. He asked for white rice, and for chicken and rice soup, and for chicken broth, and for various other bland foods. He ate about two bites of each. Today I've been slowly clearing the house of small, bland, uneaten meals, which have been scattered all across the fella's living space. Mostly soup and rice in various combos, although he also tried with oatmeal and Golden Grahams. Night before last, though, he ate scrambled eggs and a Hebrew National hot dog, and last night we went to friends and ate a small amount of tortellini and some salad. So far, so good.

The friends in question have a puppy who is going to be (they swear) a Christmas present for her father in Montana. There may be something cuter than a two month old beagle, but I'm not sure exactly what. He fell asleep upside down on the fella.

In other news, yesterday I had to go to a teacher induction 'Saturday Seminar'. This is a hideous thing I have to do six times a year, inflicted by my district's state mandated teacher induction program.

It takes place on Shabbos.

It takes place on Shabbos and I have to get up at five thirty to get there on time.

It takes place on Shabbos, I have to get up at five thirty, and then I have to take a cab from the Lafayette BART station to St. Mary's College in Moraga because buses do not run to Moraga that early on a Saturday morning.

Also, the usefulness of the workshops is pretty hit or miss.


But I got there, and there was a pretty good keynote speaker, and I stayed for her workshop. This was a massive improvement over last year's October keynote speaker, an incredibly earnest young woman who had been national teacher of the year after saving a bunch of urban teenagers no one wanted by making them read Anne Frank's diary. It was not what I needed at that point in my career, especially the parts where she would pause (twice, this happened) and tearfully ask "If Shakespeare could write, 'a rose is a rose, is a rose', isn't a child, a child, a child?" Sadly, Shakespeare didn't write that, and, well, I wasn't in a forgiving mood.

This keynote lady was very good, and I was even able to deal well enough with the horrible lunch that followed. Sadly, I was not able to deal well with the breakout session that followed, but never mind...after that I had to go deal with the woman who is theoretically in charge of the homework assignments for this farce.

Things pretty quickly went sour. The problem with my teacher induction is that no one seems entirely clear on what the requirements are, and they always tell me to talk to someone else. There were six homework assignments last year for the St. Mary's extravaganza, and by the end of summer I had only completed/passed three of them. I needed to know if I could make them up this year, or if I was in real trouble.

The blue-suited lady in charge (theoretically) of all this, told me that I should get to work on this year's homework.

I asked about LAST year's again.

She told me that my incomplete had been changed to an F. I was mildly surprised to hear this, since no one had told me I was being graded.

Shortly after that she realized that I was not taking the classes for credit, so actually, no, I wasn't being graded on it.

I explained that my understanding was that I needed to finish all the homework assignments for St. Mary's.

She said that NO, my district decided what I had to do.

I told her that my district thought St. Mary's decided what I had to do.

She refused to believe that this was possible, since, as she explained, "We provide you with opportunities for professional development and an chance to meet the state requirements." She said this four times in the course of the conversation.

Basic problem: my district has NO CLUE what the requirements are, and assumed St. Mary's would explain it to us. St. Mary's has no jurisdiction, and refused to believe my district had not made this clear. She also suggests I might, if I am so stressed and short of time, like to NOT take the St. Mary's classes. I explain that I didn't want to take the St. Mary's classes, but my district made me. She says that my district did not make me. I assure her they did.

At this point we began to descend into what I like to call a 'Galileo conversation'. A Galileo conversation occurs when there is a difference of opinion or perception of reality between you and the person you are talking to, and not only do they disagree, but they won't allow the conversation to end until you submit to their interpretation, and possibly do some form of public penance for having questioned it to begin with.

We are standing in the middle of the Moraga Room, under lights, surrounded by chairs, and I am starting to get slightly panicky, and am trying to break off the conversation. I explain that clearly, I did not get good information from my district, and I will need to e-mail some people with the new information. She says that she would NOT advise e-mail, I need to sit DOWN, right away with my support provider, and find out exactly what the requirements are.

I say that e-mail is probably the best place to start, and I will need to find out who has the information. She informs me that my district has the information. I say I'm not sure, they seem to think she does. She repeats the policy statement about providing me with professional development opportunities.

I am now desperately repeating that I need to check in with my district again in light of the fact that they gave me bad information, but for some reason this woman is now the defender of the Unnamed Unified School District, and won't back off this point. She tells me with enormous condescension that people from my district are doing this work, 'successfully', and maybe I need to look at their portfolios.

I tell her that's not the issue, I need to know what is required. She repeats that people from my district are doing this work successfully.

I eventually sort of peel away. It was not a good experience.

But now I want a copy of "Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites", and I have a cool idea for teaching vocabulary. And leads about how to work out what the heck is going on here...not a total loss.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Earl Does Teshuvah

I should probably have posted about this before Yom Kippur, but anyway, I'm addicted to a new TV show called My Name Is Earl.

Earl has a fairly ordinary, parody-of-redneck life when the show begins. He is married to a trashy blond with whom he is raising two children (neither is biologically his, longish story), he has a nice trailer, a loving brother, and a local crab shack/bar where they give him free, slightly over-date crab. Then disaster strikes: Earl gets a winning lottery ticket for $100,000, and is promptly struck by a car, losing the ticket. While in the hospital, his wife visits, asking him to sign some papers next to the 'sticky yellow thingies', whereupon he discovers he has signed both a divorce and the trailer over to his now ex-wife.

Shortly after this, Earl watches the Carson Daly show, learns about karma, and becomes convinced that he needs to fix all the bad things he has done in his life, or 'karma is going to kill me'. He creates a list of all the bad things he's ever done on a yellow pad--two hundred fifty something--and sets out to make amends. In the process he finds his lottery ticket again, enabling him to finance the project.

It's a yuck-a-minute sitcom, but it's actually pretty interesting to watch a show dedicated solely to a man trying to fix all the things he's done to others. In the last episode I watched, he contacts a man who went to prison for two years for a crime Earl committed. His victim found Jesus in jail, and is willing to forgive Earl, however the victim's mom is not. In fact, she beats him up with an oversize Bible (large type. VERY large type), and demands to be added to the list herself. He owes her two years with her son. He finds a way to deliver--and it's classic, weird, and very funny.

Earl is likable. There's something compelling about a man who's so relentlessly honest with himself, and willing to go to such lengths of self-examination, while still being a very ordinary, with a not so borderline criminal personality.

It's fun. I can imagine a slightly modified version being told by some Chasidic rebbe. (Less crab.) Check it out.

Oh, and I Forgot

The other highlight of Yom Kippur at my shul--the couple who were in a Libyan synagogue in Rome in 1978, and brought back a fabulous tune for El Nora Alilah, which they lead every year. (Okay, if you know my shul, you now have enough information to know exactly where I go in SF. But my identity is not a big secret.)

Question re the Cohen Gadol

While reading the service of the Cohen Gadol on Yontiff, I came up with this question. It says that he recited a passage from Bamidbar from memory, since it would be an imposition on the congregation to make them wait while he rolled the scroll back.

In the Temple, for the Cohen Gadol, on Yom Kippur they couldn't get another Torah scroll, pre-rolled to the correct place? Why not? There can't have been just one.

The Yom Kippur Report

We went back to the old homestead, my San Francisco shul. But of course, it's not that easy, because my ever-sensitive school district decides to schedule a district ELD department meeting at 3:45 on Erev Yom Kippur.

Prior history: there was a staff meeting after school Erev Rosh Hashanah. I intended to slip out early, since I have miles to go before I sleep. I, moron that I am, mention this to the principal when she sits down next to me.

"Hey, Principal, I'm going to slip out a little early from this one. Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown."

"Well, what time is sundown?"

HUH? That's not the response. The response is "Have a wonderful holiday Ms. Balabusta." Or perhaps a self conscious "Shana tov-uh--is that right?"

I explain, as briefly as I can, that I need to get in to San Francisco in order to join up with my family. She determines that if I wait until the end of the meeting at four I should be okay.

The Woman I Would Like To Be would have explained that this was non-negotiable, and walked. I stayed. I got a lift into the city with a coworker.

So then I realize that the district ELD meeting is scheduled for Erev Yom Kippur, and my soul is confused within me. Because, you see, I feel as though I've been just adequate as the ELD coordinator at my school, and want to be fabulous, but I also want to get into San Francisco in time to eat pasta and drink a few glasses of water.

I went to the meeting, but did comment that in future it would be nice for us not to have meetings on Erev Yom Kippur. The organizer says in confusion that she thought the holiday was tomorrow. (I have an idea--why don't we schedule a meeting until five on Christmas Eve, and see how that flies?) Anyway, she was nice about it, and apologetic that she hadn't understood, although she did NOT suggest that I might need to leave early.

But there was bottled water, so I drank it while I took notes.

Departed meeting, got lift with coworker to BART. Unclear how long I had until sun went down. Stopped at BART station cafe, ordered a mozzarella-tomato sandwich with salad, and ate it. More water. Now really need ladies room, luckily the ones at the BART station in question have stayed open. (SF ones permanently closed on account of terrorism.)

Arrived at shul half an hour early, with enormous duffel bag. Explained myself--tickets coming with parents, just came from work, I am harmless. Luckily, the gabbai knows who I am.

Kol Nidre beautiful, but at this point I've been going since 5:30 AM, and am wrecked. Finally we get home, and I sleep.

I should mention also that my parents live, literally, less than a block from a Conservative synagogue I used to attend, when my parents lived farther away from it, but that we have tickets at the last synagogue I used to be a member of, which is on the other side of Golden Gate Park. My father has rented a car and drives us over, to the glee of people going to the synagogue down the street, as he opens a plush parking space.

Morning, we sleep in a little, get dressed slowly, and leave for shul again, arriving just in time for the Torah service. The Balabusta's father takes off again.

At about noon, the rabbi (who takes "a day like Purim" seriously), begins to walk the aisles, doing a pantomime of writing on a pad, and asking people for their lunch orders.

My main problem, which gets steadily worse through Musaf, is that although the fast is easy, I'm having one heck of a time staying conscious. I realize, giving this some thought, that most of my days are spent running on necessity and adrenaline, and now that I've been placed in a serene environment, without screaming, shouting, paper airplanes, or vicious administrators, the only thing my body can imagine to do is pass out cold. I sit in my chair and think serious thoughts about my relationship to God and fellow human being. My eyes close. Perhaps I will meditate about all this. Wait...I think what I'm doing is technically called 'falling asleep'.

Other than my embarassing problem with consciousness, it's a lovely service. Our rabbi's daughter is also a rabbi, and she comes in and leads parts of the service on the holidays. There are tons of cute children running around doing cute things. We are using the synaogogue's slightly outdated Machzors, which have been slightly updated by a team of volunteers who have gone through and pasted an Avot that includes the matriarchs throughout.

At the end of Musaf, the rabbi, who told us not to look at our watches as we absorb the awesome power of the day, can't resist telling us to look at our watches now, so we can see we're right on schedule. It is a very Yeky shul, did I mention?

The Balabusta and her mother skip out on Mincha and the study groups to go take a walk on Ocean Beach. As we head out the door, we can hear an announcement being made that men are indeed allowed to attend the rabbi's study group about Jewish women in history. (The Rabbi tends to favor girls, particularly harassing all the women under forty in the congregation to become rabbis. I have seen him preside over a baby naming for a newly adopted child, read the announcement of her conversion, and point out that right now she could go to JTS. Kid in question is 18 months. At Shavuos, three kids from the confirmation class gave drashes from the bimah--I hope the boys were not too hurt that the rabbi only suggested the one girl should apply to JTS, and merely told the young men that their talks were very good. My mother says turnabout is fair play.)

Ocean gorgeous. Beach gorgeous. Sky gorgeous. A beautiful fall day, just crisp enough. As we walk, my mother tells me about Yom Kippurs of her childhood in Los Angeles--97 degrees in the shade, in a synagogue without air conditioning. We discuss how lucky we are to live in San Francisco.

Back for Yizkor, sermon, Neilah. At Neilah, as I could have predicted, it all starts to come together for me. The tiredness is gone, and the awe, finally, starts to creep in. At the end of the day, we have everyone in the synagogue with a shofar up on the bimah, and the congregation calls the tekiah gedolah.

I close my eyes, and see blue horizon, and then I open them because I want to see the congregation. One man manages to extend the note impossibly long, and then it finishes, and everyone is laughing, and talking, and we start Havdalah.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Went In To Work

On a Sunday. Didn't want to, but my room was chaotic, and I NEEDED to put in six hours or so of real work uninterrupted by teaching classes. So I went.

Not easy. The Balabusta does not have a car. The fella could not drive, as a result of the the van having an iffy wheel he does not want to take on the freeway. And the Balabusta does not have a front door key to the school. That has to be taken from the flowerpot of a science teacher who lives about a mile and a half from the school. No problem with a car. Without a car...

I took BART to Fruitvale, and got a cab. When I arrived at Fruitvale, there were two cabs, both driven by sober-looking middle-aged Sikh men in turbans, and my heart rejoiced. Unfortunately, both these cabs were claimed before I got over there, and I got the one driven by a battered-looking Anglo dude of a certain age, whose cab smelled like cigarettes, and who was mightily hacked that I needed to go to two different addresses.

We made it. I worked in my room from nine to three, which was fine, except that the building is totally abandoned, and I cannot get the hall lights to turn on.

I walked to the science teacher's house, afterward, dropped the key off, and got the bus. And it was all basically okay. But I don't feel okay. I feel sad. I feel overwhelmed by all the junk in my life. The friends I don't call much anymore. The job that eats all my emotional energy. The STUPID new teachers induction program, which eats too much time--and requires I spend six Shabbosim a year attending stupid classes and eating sandwiches out of my backpack because the only veggie options they serve are just too awful to be considered. My masters thesis, which I'm making no progress on, less, now that all my notes are in a computer which has died, and I don't know how I'm ever going to get it fixed, since the van can't go on the freeway. Books late to the library, bills overdue. I feel as though I've been working too hard for years now, and I'm still always behind. A day late and a dollar short, for way too long.

And I've completely killed my nails. I only bite them when I'm under stress these days. I've had to stop biting, this weekend, because I am out of nail.

I know that tomorrow I will get up and go to work. I will make a bunch of photocopies, and send jobs to the copy center. I will practice my Fred Jones schtick where I pretend to be Queen Victoria (feh, murmurs the Irish-American, but I can't think of a better example of a nonresponsive face). I will teach my classes, and finally maybe call and find out why I didn't get credit for the full forty hours of the class I took in August. I will try, again, to set up a time to talk to the vice principal about my discipline issues. I will write a lesson plan for the sub on Yontiff, and choose between going by the district office to sign my contract or going in to Berkeley to return library books. I will set up a doctor's appointment, and pay a couple of bills, and maybe e-mail my thesis advisor to apologize for falling off the face of the earth again. Maybe I'll call the USF library and find out how much I owe them in late fees. Maybe I'll even call the woman who set up an independent study for me last semester that I completely flaked on, and apologize.

Maybe I will even call my therapist and tell her that I feel the depression creeping back, and set up an appointment. Maybe.

But right now I just feel cornered. Tired. Really sad. Out of steam. I don't feel ready to deal with Yom Kippur. I don't feel ready to deal with much.

The fella says I need another job, and strongly suggests going back to my first plan of teaching high school, and NOT ESL. Sounds good to me. Anything that doesn't involve fighting on a daily basis with kids whose learning disabilities are being masked by their bilingualism sounds GREAT right now.

I actually like the vilde chayas. Sometimes. Sort of.

Celery and Crock-Pot Fear

Why can't you buy a little bit of celery?

I always end up buying a whole thing of celery, and I never USE more than a couple of stalks in any given recipe. Say I make a pot of lentil soup and put in some celery, and then I make a chicken stew, and put in some celery. And the rest of the celery turns yellow, and gets thrown out. Then I buy another whole thing of celery. Can you freeze it? I can't imagine it would freeze well.

I guess I could pack celery sticks for lunch. But then you end up with celery strings in your teeth.

Also, while grocery shopping, I got a brisket. I plan to Crock-Pot it, with prunes and carrots. Then make soup (perhaps with some celery) from the leftovers.

What I need, is to get over my fear of leaving the Crock-Pot unattended during the day. I always assume it will set the house on fire. I realize this is not rational.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Odd teacher moment

I gotta tell ya. The vilde chayas are plenty interesting.

My advanced intermediate ESL class took a test on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, with their substitute teacher. When I came back, of course, I had to correct them.

One of the short-answer questions after a selection of the book in which they read about Diego Rivera's murals, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Pablo Neruda's gate was this: If you were going to make a memorial, who would it be for? Why? And what would it look like? (These are out of the book, I do not make these suckers up.)

Some of the kids had beautiful answers, some were bad for various reasons. Then I was correcting the test of one of my fairly new-to-the-country Chinese students. Her answer read: I would make a memorial for Robert W. Napier because he was brave and fought in the war.

I look at it and think who? I have never heard of this person. Should I have? I resolve to Google him. I correct the test and move on.

Then I get another one. I would make a memorial for Mark Hambleton, because he was brave and he died in the war.

Who ARE these people? I'm now completely baffled. Both students are Chinese, fairly new in the country. Who are Napier and Hambleton, and how did they learn about them? Why do they care? When the first one came up, I wondered if he was possibly a U.S. officer who served in China during the war, and has been remembered, but TWO of them?

Suddenly, I get a suspicion. I get out their textbook, and turn to the page where the photograph of the Vietname Memorial is. Sure enough, Napier and Hambleton's names are carved on the section of wall closest to the camera, close enough to read.

I HOWLED. We gotta work harder on the idea of application questions, and the whole issue of answers that may not be in the book. But still...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Jews Go To The Beach

My San Francisco shul is four or five blocks from the Pacific Ocean, so we take advantage of this for tashlich each year. It's spectacular.

I still have sand in my shoes.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Happy Cleaning

I'm funk and panic mode right now--too much to do at work, Elul basically over, and feeling kind of inadequate on so many levels--so today I tried to do nice things that would help during the week.

I went to Kinkos and spent some money that will make work tomorrow easier--copying, etc. And I cleaned the bathroom.

It looks smashing. The bathroom is our only really coordinated space, anyway, and I tidied and shined and scrubbed and dusted and swiffered.

Right now, I'm trying to get the bathtub clean. The bathtub is where I fall down. I have all these sprays that are supposed to clean the tub without scrubbing, but they don't. Even with scrubbing. I have no idea how this is supposed to work, but it just doesn't.

Maybe when we go grocery shopping later, I will get Ajax and gloves, and go old-fashioned.