Sunday, October 4, 2015

A tea party

Today I went to friend Nancy's house for a little tea party.  We are enjoying some wonderful tea sandwiches she made.  I brought the cut up apples.  We enjoyed her cross stiched table cloth and napkins she got from the good will.

What a nice smile!  And a beautiful day!  She just lives nearby and we put together this brunch/tea party with 40 minutes notice.

Somebody worked very hard on this tablecloth.  Wish we knew who. 

It's fun to visit friends....

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Goodbye Migration, Hello Af-Am Lit!

So the Young Professor is teaching a class on Migration to America of different religious groups, especially from the Ottoman Empire.  I went to the first class; he intends to incorporate the current events directly related, ie migration from Syria.  The other students were engaged, some great discussions already.  Three access students out of approx 25.  Looked good!

Then I got thrown out.

Dang.  Something's going on in the History Department,what's the deal?  Have there been some bad actor access students?  Classes dominated by graduate students?  I did have an inkling this could happen as I had been barred from another class and another faculty member had told me that some of these classes were restricted.  But he knows me and there's nothing in the time schedule excluding access students.  I had written him and he hadn't replied, a red flag for sure.  So the department makes the rules, doesn't put it in the schedule and each faculty member has to throw us out to our face.  And I was ticked off.  Grumble grumble.

Oh well, catch you another quarter, Young Professor!

Look at it another way, this is a great opportunity to take a class of African American Literature!

There were two classes, I was confused until Ilana clued me on the word 'Genre'.  Oh, that's why the reading for the class looked really weird.  Really this class as on Afrofuturism, all science fiction authored by African American authors.  You know, alternate universes populated by warring tribes deep in the future. uhhhh, too weird for me.  Though it would have been an experience.

I went to another one on African American literature class, more on the canonical but some recent works.  With a healthy dose of political theory thrown in.  Race, Property, Contract.  Really like the professor, the students, lots  of  variety.  I thought that I would feel funny being the old white lady.  But, who am I fooling, I'm not white!  Actually I felt rather comfortable around other dark-featured people.

Ilana sniffs, but you've enjoyed white privilege all your life.  Yeah, mostly but not always, not completely.

She sent me an add code, I'm in.

A pic of Ralph Ellison

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What they didn't build

Like many projects, getting the chronology right is half the battle.  I'm studying the Old Sanctuary for Temple De Hirsch which was built in 1907 and dedicated in 1908.  But the real decisionmaking was in 1905 and 1906 when the Board went back and forth about what they would build and where they would build it.  They already had a piece of land and the beginnings of a building.  They had built just a first story they could use and intended to build a superstructure when they had the money.  By the end of 1905, they had the money but they realized that the foundation they had built would not support the size of their growing congregation.  They realized that they could sell their current property and buy a bigger lot farther up Capitol Hill.  Eventually they got their offer and did just that. 

They dumped their rabbi at the same time (not sure why, but there's a bunch of innuendo) and their architects before it all settled out.

But this is what they didn't build.  I'm glad!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Supermoon? Lunar eclipse?

It's supposed to be happening now, right now.  But I look outside and can't see anything.  So many trees and hills.  My neighbor thought it was supposed to be this way but I can't see anything.  Neither can he.   Some stars, I don't spend enough time outside at night looking at stars.  I'm missing the whole show.

So I have to go to the internet to see the lunar eclipse which should be right outside my door.  I'm reduced to the NASA feed, I think from Huntsville AL on the LA Times site

Yes, yes it is changing.  On the feed anyway.  Picture shows the lunar eclipse from a little while ago.

In other news, Dennis and I went down and did gleaning again on Capitol Hill at Broadway Farmers Market.  It's a short intense gig.  We show up a little late, Dennis and I and two JFS staff.  The new staff member didn't want to drive their big honking van so we used our Toyota mimvan which worked fine.  We could fit the two  carts in there and the box collection.  We show up and immediately people are looking for us.  Yes, yes, they call out, we have things for the food bank.  Leave us a box.  Somebody comes up and hand me an armload of baguettes.  These are for the food bank, he says, there's more by the manager table.  So, late in the season, the vendors are looking for us.  Especially Alvarez, an organic farm which is particularly generous.  They always give more than anybody.  We got 300 pounds of squash, cucumbers and eggplant from them.  We actually turned down the flats of blackberries.  We took them last time and they're such a mess.  The clients loved them but they get everywhere and go bad too quick.  So boom boom, it's a intense but short-lived deal.  The vendors want to pack up and get out of there.  The vendors are  loading up and we are loading up too.  We get one cart and many many boxes of produce in the van.  The others walk the remaining cart up the hill the 5 blocks or so to the food bank.  We've written down the donors on the boxes.  We weigh the boxes and we're done.  The whole thing takes a little more than an hour.

Here's my picture taken just after 9 pm Pacific

Friday, September 25, 2015

Working in the food bank

Today, I spent two hours distributing at the food bank.  They needed a volunteer at the last minute and I filled in.  Tables were set up in a "L" shape and I had a spot working with six big boxes.  They said it was a slow day but we served 48 people in the two hours. My large boxes contained canned fruit, canned vegetables, diced tomatoes, vegetable oil and canned soups.  Another box had tuna and peanut butter.  Each person could select an item from each box and could have either tuna or peanut butter.  All the vegetable oil went.  I also helped with my neighbor's station; he had coconut milk, rice, canned chili,, buckwheat, pasta, potatoes and mung beans.  Down the way were some fruits and vegetables, unlimited apples, crackers some milk, yogurt, ground beef and fancy bread.  Sundries were also available (soap, toilet paper, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion).

The mung beans went early; many of the clients were elderly Asian and they like the mung beans.

Made me count my blessings.  Some people said they had no place to prepare food...homeless.. So the staff really looked to find appropriate items. Also some very small can openers.

Glad I could do it.  The picture is not from the food bank I worked in, but a picture from five years ago of the Mount Si food bank from SnoValley Star.  I chose it because it looked most like I saw today.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Duck Crash

Really, could it get any worse?  Could anybody have made up this scenario?

A tragic traffic crash, at least 4 dead, others seriously injured.

Involving the Ride the Duck siteseeing vehicle.  In Seattle, you really hate to injure or kill off your tourists. 

Match it with a bus full of students, many from China from a local community college.  The side of the bus is just gone.  Ditto for your students from other countries, you want to take care of them.

Now, make it right in the middle of the Aurora Bridge, a huge span over the ship canal, hwy 99, from Fremont to Queen Ann Hill and on to the waterfront area.  Major thoroughfare.

Add in that this is the week that the president of China is visiting Seattle with a huge and active schedule.

Nobody could have made this mess up.  Picture from the Seattle Times website

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Suzallo with a what?

Today, down at Special Collections, I was looking through a big box of prints taken during the 1920s.  I never did find the shot of De Hirsch Sinai I was looking for.  But I think I have another version of it.  They give me such grief every single time about photographing their images.  No I don't want a photocopy, I want to use the image for a legit project

The box was full of images of the University of Washington when the buildings were new.  I've been there so long, I recognize most of the buildings.  Then I came upon this image.  What?  The building is clearly Suzallo library, one of the most striking buildings on campus.  On what is now Red Square.

But what is that thing behind it?  That HUGE tower.  There is no tower in Suzallo.  Did the martians land or what?  It almost looks like a photograph.

Turns out that they never built that 300 foot bell tower.  This is an architectural rendering.  I can't quite read the text because I'm taking the picture on the sly with my phone.

They're always scolding me there.

Weird, very weird.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Aron Kodesh

On this Kol Nidre night, I'll write about the biggest artifact from the Old Sanctuary, the aron kodesh or ark.  I had never heard that phrase before I started this project.  It was bought for quite a price ($1100) in 1907 from a local cabinet maker.  That's all I know about how it was made.

It's now in the chapel at De Hirsdch-Sinai.  It's somehow out of place.  A question about the remodel of that difficult space, who knows what will become of it.

I want a good image; I asked a photographer friend if he would take a picture.  I also got in touch with a faculty member crucial to my project and set up a meeting.  This picture was taken by my phone on a recent visit.

I'll do better.

I went to Erev Rosh Hashonah this year, Dennis is good for one service.  Plus the China president is in town and apparently the traffic is a complete mess not far from the location of the service.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cornhole boards - special

Some of Susanna's art.  She made these cornhole boards as wedding presents for some friends (congrats Jenna!)  She's done a variation of the Seattle skyline before on various medium.  She's so good with color and perspective and design.  She makes it look so easy.  But just try it.  She's got an eye for design, always has.

It's some kind of game, maybe beanbags or something, I don't know.