- The insane season of Jewish holidays wrapped up nicely at the end of last week. For the first time this semester, I decided to hang out at Penn Hillel some. I keep trying to spend less and less time there, due to the fact that I graduated over 4 years ago and it's kinda weird to be hanging around there. But the trouble is that I keep being told that I'm welcome, and I keep enjoying my time there. I think the real trouble is how sick I am of BZBI, my main synagogue. I should find some way to do something about that.
Anyway. Last Wednesday night I kind of chilled at home. Last Thursday morning I went to BZBI, and then went home. After I napped, my TV conveniently turned itself on just in time for me to watch a depressing NLDS game 2. Thursday evening I headed over to Hillel for Simchat Torah evening. Simchat Torah is supposed to be this really fun, raucous holiday, full of dancing, and Penn supposedly does it really well, but I've been telling myself for a few years that it's always disappointing. It's never quite as fun as you expect it to be. But I had no other good options (couldn't make it to NYC, where from what I've heard it's REALLY good), so I decided to just head to Penn and enjoy it for what it was.
Well, it was a lot of fun. Even though it wasn't that different from previous years, I wasn't expecting the party of the year or anything, and what it was turned out to be pretty great. weis206 was there, so I wasn't even the oldest one around. (Though I was probably still the oldest without any current university affiliation...but whatever.) For part of the dancing, we joined with the Orthodox crowd, went outside, and even went halfway over the bridge! (Back when I was still at Penn, rather than having 1 large new Hillel building, we were spread across 2 buildings, 5 blocks apart. So part of the dancing back then took us from one building, through campus and over the bridge, to the other one. It was always tons of fun to take up the middle of campus for 10 minutes, watching all the pedestrians looking at all the crazy dancing Jews. Someone mentioned that to the current people in charge, and they thought it sounded like fun, so we simulated it, going to the top of the bridge and then back.)
Even better than that, though: Right before the dancing took us outside, I happened to look across the lobby and did a double take. Someone familiar-looking was walking away, but I chased after her. And it turned out that ETRG was in town!!! I quickly forgave her for not telling me beforehand, since I got to see her anyway. She was doing the pre-frosh thing at Penn over the weekend and Swarthmore on Monday. I got to hang out with her a lot through the end of Shabbat. It was fantastic.
Later Thursday night, a bunch of us had dinner outside in front of Hillel, capped off with some loud and singing. I got home rather late. Friday morning was more of the same as Thursday, with the holiday praying capped off by a very well done showtunes-themed musaf led by cynara_linnaea. I had lunch over at the apartment of MJY and BC, and hung out with them and a couple other folks for awhile. I finished up Friday at home, and then decided to go back to Hillel on Saturday morning, hear ETRG read some Torah, and spend the rest of the day in Clark Park relaxing with the same folks I spent Friday afternoon with.
- Now, thank goodness, I'm back to normal full weeks that don't constantly require planning for the next 3-day yom tov around the corner. Trouble is, I don't remember what I used to do with my evenings. For the past month I was always food shopping, cooking, making plans, or doing laundry. Before that, I think I watched baseball every evening. What now? Not sure.
- The weather has been absolutely amazing here. I cannot remember a time when there were 5 or 6 straight weeks of absolutely perfect weather. We almost hit 90 twice this week, in October! Today is the last day of sunny skies and temperatures above 75, but it was an amazing run. Best September ever.
- At work, atthe_algonquin brought in the "Commit-and-Ditch Pony", a little My Little Pony all dolled up. It gets given to whoever most recently checked in some bad code and then left for the day, causing everyone else to scramble around and fix the mistake so some work can get done. d_m has it now, but based on our history, someone else will have it within a week.
- Finally, jennyrhill was curious about seeing people's desks. So here's mine at work:
I just cleaned it about a month ago. It was much messier before then.