Friday, March 24, 2006

Discipline soured (check the date)

The pressure’s increasing, but I’m doing (mostly) ok.  It’s sort of like a black hole, increasingly great quantities of schoolwork are being squeezed into an ever-shrinking timeframe with deadlines approaching at nearly the speed of light.  Maybe as the deadlines get closer, time will slow down.  The deadlines will get closer and closer slower and slower, so that I’ll have an infinite amount of time to do less than infinite work.

YES! That is how I will get through grad school!  Unfortunately, it also means my internet connection will be equally lentitudinous (to use a seasonally appropriate word of different etymology than the Catholic season- huh?  Well, lentus in Latin means “slow,” whereas “Lent” is short for “Lenten,” which refers to spring in Old English, probably from langez in Middle High German means “long” because in the spring the days get longer).

You know, the whole point of this post was to toot my own horn that I worked all day Wednesday (except for a three-hour nap, but I needed that) instead of procrastinating.  But what happened?  I got caught up in etymological irrelevance and procrastinated my way over to the OED.

It’s because I’m tired.  I’ve been tired since yesterday afternoon, after a busy day.  But I did go to minyan today.  Yay me.

Shabbat Shalom, y’all    

Friday, March 10, 2006

A baker's life for me

It’s always exciting doing a מצוה for the first time, even if it is דרבנן. Last week my mother asked me about it and I realized it hadn’t even occurred to me. I guess taking challah is not just a feminist’s mitzvah. Or maybe the fact that I’m doing it is a feminist statement. Well, a masculist statement. Well, it just means that anyone can do whatever they want to do (within reason) without defining strict roles or chores for each gender, though I believe that some of these are strictly male or female, sometimes from a social perspective (a male parent can never be a mother) or religious (some prescriptives of the תורה and הלכה are not flexible or subject to human judgement).

Anyway, it all started with this from

Best Bread Machine Bread
Submitted by: Karen K "This recipe is easy and foolproof. It makes a very soft and tasty loaf of bread with a flaky crust."
Original recipe yield: 1 - 1 1/2 pound loaf.


  1. 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

  2. 2 tablespoons white sugar

  3. 1 (.25 ounce) package bread machine yeast

  4. 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  5. 3 cups bread flour

  6. 1 teaspoon salt
Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast. Select Basic or White Bread setting, and press Start.

I added some chopped onion, thyme, and rosemary. We’ll see how it goes. We’re visiting friends and going to a shabbaton on Torah and environmentalism. Should be interesting.

Update: I goofed- the שעור for challah is 5 cups of flour. If you're baking with less than that, you don't take challah or make a bracha.

Like sand through the hourglass...

I feel like I’m falling behind in school. Now, my classmates generally feel the same way, but I really am in trouble. Sure, that’s what they all say.

In actuality, I’ll probably squeeze by like I always do. You see, I’m Mr. Last-Minute. I don’t know why I am, it just makes things more stressful, but that’s what I do and that’s what I’ve always done. When I should be working, I’m doing things like this (although I think I really don’t post to my blog enough) or just generally spacing out online, making myself more tired and lethargic.

This week was a doozy. Officially it’s Spring Break, but it’s more like a reading week, since we start midterms next week. I’ve been so draggy and lethargic all week. Let’s see, what did I do?
Monday- nuthin’
Tuesday- more nuthin’ (although I forced myself out to dinner with T when her two-week
crazy-making project at work was finished)
Wednesday- a little less nuthin’ (superficially reading a few pages of my notes)
Thursday- actual studying (though not much) and going to school for a Stats review

I kept to the apartment except to move the car for alternate side parking. The weather has been getting progressively nicer this week and I always am surprised my how nice and bright it is when I step outside. Out apartment is dim and gloomy, even with the lights on. When we move, it’s got to be somewhere with more natural light. This literal valley of shadows we live in presently is too much.

Basically, I felt this week like I was devoid of resources to deal with the world. I knew it wasn’t permanent, I just wanted the world to stop for a while until I caught up. Obviously this worries me in terms of school, but as I said before, I usually come out ok. It does strike me as a negative prognostic indicator for my ability to handle my responsibilities when we have a baby, בעזרת השם.
T’s work so far has really put me in the position of homemaker and keeper. Now, I’m also supposed to be doing my schoolwork. When we have a baby and she returns to work, I will have added responsibilities. Now, I know that all the millions of parents out there have responsibilities they didn’t used to. What worries me is that this new state of affairs will mean I have to be diligent all around in all my responsibilities, no time wasted.

The long and short of it is that this week showed me I have a long way to go in terms of discipline and diligence.