batyatoon: (ded from laff)
Every so often I remember that (a) most of you here don't follow me on tumblr, and (b) I don't post the kind of personal stuff on tumblr that I used to post here all the time, and what that means is that people aren't getting updated about important stuff in my life. For instance I don't think I've actually posted about it here at all since my relatively recent health troubles started. WOOPS. Some of you already know bits of it; I think I've sort of been stalling on saying anything here until I could put together a coherent and cleverly worded post about it? For some reason?

1. OKAY SO HI EVERYBODY it turns out I've got kidney stones. Have known this for roughly six months, ish, and have been getting various forms of tests and treatment, punctuated by exciting visits to the emergency room -- most recently last Thursday night, just into the last two days of Pesach. I was able to go home Friday afternoon, after another visit to ambulatory surgery to have some new hardware installed; I already had one on the right and now I've got a matched pair. Whee. I'm really hoping to be able to step up the further procedures to finally get rid of the stones (and thus also the hardware, which isn't terribly comfortable). I am assured by my doctor that this is not-repeat-not in any way likely to be a life-threatening issue, and given successful treatment, shouldn't have any long-term impact on quality of life either. I really hope he's right.

2. Unrelated to my health, another thing I really wish I'd posted about sooner: being the Interfilk guest at FKO last month was an honor and a delight, and I hope we get to go back on occasion in future. Phil Mills got some lovely photos of my concert, along with many others; there's also a video of Mark Bernstein leading and directing a choral performance of "Green Hills of Earth." (If anyone here has video of my concert, or knows anyone else who does, please let me know.)

3. This is neither particularly coherent nor particularly cleverly worded, but if I don't just sigh and hit the Post To button anyway, it'll never go up.
batyatoon: (tea dammit)
hello my dearests

i have fallen prey to a foul disease of thus far uncertain identity

which has left me flat on my back with a fever over 101 fahrenheit for most of yesterday evening and today

and apparently also stolen my ability to capitalize or punctuate correctly?

someone tell lynne truss, this is terrible

anyway if you do not see me online when you are expecting to it is because said fever has decided HAHAHAHAHA NOPE

wish me luck in getting over this fast, i am still hoping to make balticon this coming weekend

batyatoon: (the world is quiet here)
The year in review, as seen through public posts in this journal. Leaving out last year's end-of-year memes. (Bolded phrases are subject lines; unbolded are first lines of the post, used where no subject line exists.)

January: "Hello, folks! So yeah, while I will not be leaving LJ behind completely, I am slowly starting to make my way over to DW."
March: "omnomentaschen"
April: "Tonight is the first night of Pesach. Zman cherutenu; the time of our liberation."
May: "traveling plans"
June: "home again, home again"
July: "home again / Home again, in more ways than one."
August: "There's been so much going on this past month that I keep wanting to post about..."
September: "Closing the year"
October: "My pants: so bankrupt."
November: "Signal boost: NYC-area apartment needed, short-term rental"
December: "mumblesomething years ago"
batyatoon: (come further in)
The illustrious [personal profile] ladymondegreen has given me a meme; the premise is "what were you like at a specific age?" and the number she gave me was twenty. My answer is supposed to address relationship, where I was living, what I was doing for work and school, what I feared, and my best memory.

Follow me behind the cut-tag: )

If any of you would like to pick up this meme, ask me for a number and I will give you one! (If I don't already know your age, I may have to ask for at least a ballpark.)
batyatoon: (no swimming)
(Reposted from here.)

We have friends who live in Long Beach, NY. Many of you know them. And their apartment building will be unlivable for the next two to three months thanks to extreme flooding. Thus they are looking for an one bedroom apartment to rent till their regular home is ready. They would like to find something on the island or close to it, but will look into anything that comes along.

If you have any information about anything, please pass it to me and I will pass it along to our friends. Thanks.

November 25, ETA: Our friends have been able to return to their apartment!
batyatoon: (star of stone)
Tonight is the first night of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish New Year, first of the autumn holidays.

As usual, in mundane terms, this means don't expect to see me online between now (well, about half an hour from now) and Tuesday night.

In spiritual terms: the year has come to a close, and as always, the next ten days will be our annual performance review.

It's been a rough year, in a lot of ways, for me and for a lot of the people that I love.

Let the year and its curses conclude, we say, and let the year and its blessings begin.

Amen, amen, amen.
batyatoon: (and we don't know here)
There's been so much going on this past month that I keep wanting to post about -- my first housefilk in over a year, craziness at work, new recipes, seeing Into the Woods in Central Park with [personal profile] sdelmonte and [personal profile] ladymondegreen and [personal profile] skygiants and [personal profile] innerbrat and my dad -- but somehow I keep never doing it.

This one thing I kind of have to post about, though.

Today I stayed home from work, and went with my mother-in-law to see my dad off at the airport, where he got on the plane to Israel. Where he plans to live from now on, in the same neighborhood as my brother and his family.

I'm still a little weepy. I'm going to miss him terribly.

At least video chat is a thing.
batyatoon: (the world is quiet here)
The year in review, as seen through public posts in this journal. (Bolded phrases are subject lines; unbolded are first lines of the post, used where no subject line exists.)

January: "hitting the road again"
February: "I am smug like a smug thing and posting about it very belatedly."
March: "I'd Do NEFilk For You"
April: "Tomorrow night is the first night of Pesach. Zman cherutenu; the time of our liberation."
May: "[unfiltered] here's how it is."
June: "Tonight is Shavuot."
July: "write like a girl"
August: "That Icon Meme Again"
September: "closing, closing, closing the year"
December: "i'm still here. i'm not gone."
batyatoon: (the world is quiet here)
Man, have I really not posted in here since September? *brushes dust off of random flat surfaces*

Things I could post about but haven't been:

  • Recipes! I have recently made, among other things: low-carb kishka, sugar-free and dairy-free chocolate ganache frosting, and whole-wheat sourdough bread stuffing.
  • Books! For some reason, this year I've been reading a lot more new things than I have in previous years. Including finally picking up the Hunger Games series, which oh my god, you guys.
  • Music! I have been living on the acapella offerings that my wonderful friendslist supplied me with back in the summer, further fortified by the various albums available on Spotify. (College acapella has changed some since I was in college. Everybody has vocal percussion now, apparently.)
  • TV! Doctor Who is on hiatus, Supernatural has not been making me as happy this year as it has in years past, and ... truth to tell, most of what I've been watching lately has been older stuff. Some of it much older, including original-series Who.
  • Writing! Seriously, did I never even post links to my purimgifts fics from last year? WTF, past me?
  • Work! ALWAYS FUN.
  • Homestuck! I got sucked into this webcomic about a year ago and have been mildly obsessed with it ever since. It is bizarre and amazing and there needs to be filk about it. Speaking of which:
  • How much I miss conventions and housefilks. But that's a sad topic. :(
  • Another sad topic: how much I miss my mother.

It's been getting better.

I was talking to somebody recently about why I haven't posted a lot, and it seems to be at least in part that I have lacked the energy to polish anything I write -- and the inclination to post anything I haven't polished. As my dear [ profile] sdelmonte says: the perfect is the enemy of the good.

This post isn't perfect, but it's going up anyway.

Hi, gang. You know I love you.
batyatoon: (let there be light)
Tonight begins Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, the first of the autumn High Holidays.

In mundane terms, this means I will be absent from the internet between now and Saturday night, as per usual.

In more spiritual terms: we are in the last few hours of the old year, and about to enter the new. This past month, the month of Elul, is supposed to be about beginning the spiritual and personal self-evaluation that reaches its peak over the next ten days. I haven't been able to get into the right frame of mind yet this year, and as the song goes, that's a fault of mine that I'm working on.

Let the year and its curses conclude, we say in the liturgy; and let the year and its blessings begin.

Amen, amen, amen.
batyatoon: (star of stone)
The thanks

I received in the mail over the past week (1) a gift certificate for the Digestive Wellness website, and (2) a notification that a donation has been made to Sloan-Kettering in memory of my mother, Cynthia Galler Levin. Both of these had [ profile] phoenixchilde's name on them, but she tells me that both of them are group efforts from The Internet.

All of you who contributed to this: thank you. Thank you guys so much. I love you all.

The request

(But first, an explanation)

So as many of you already know: in keeping with Jewish (Orthodox) law and tradition regarding mourning, I will be refraining from certain things during the year following my mother's death. These things include parties and group celebrations of any kind (including conventions), buying new clothes (except for serious necessities), and ... listening to music.

If you know me at all, you know the last one is the one that's going to be hardest. However, there is an exception: I can listen to recorded music, provided it is acapella. Voices only.

My current collection of acapella music is about 19 hours' worth. Much as I love it all, it is not going to last me a year.

This is where the request comes in. I would love it if all of you out there could recommend or share any acapella music you may have or know of. I'm going to post a list of what I already have so's to avoid duplicates -- look for that in the next hour. (Note that this is not limited to acapella groups; plenty of singers do tracks with no instrumental accompaniment.)

There's no immediate rush on this, but it would help a lot.

ETA: And since LJ doesn't seem to want to let me post a new entry (wtf?), my list of current acapella is here. I hope. *prods GoogleDocs suspiciously*
batyatoon: (each of us is one small light)
My mother passed away early yesterday morning.

The funeral will be held tomorrow at 1pm at the Schwartz Brothers funeral home. The shiva will be at the home of my father, Rabbi David Levin, in Kew Gardens Hills. If you wish to pay a condolence call, please contact [ profile] sdelmonte for the address and directions.
batyatoon: (fallen)
Because a lot of people saw my last friendslocked post and didn't know what was going on. I realized I've been remiss in telling people about the state of my mother's health; it's been really hard to talk about.

Last spring my mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She's been in and out of the hospital (Sloan-Kettering) since then, with varying frequency; they had it under control for a good while, and then they didn't.

I cannot overstate how excellent Sloan-Kettering was through all of this. They took such good care of her, I can't even begin to tell you.

Yesterday they released her to home hospice care. And while it's good that she can be home now, the reason they released her is that at this point there isn't anything else they can do.

They've said weeks.

So this is why [ profile] sdelmonte and I aren't at Balticon this weekend as we'd hoped to be. I'm sorry to miss all of you who will be there.

My brother and his family have come in from Israel, and my sister and her family from Rochester, and my mother's siblings, and family friends. And our whole community is organizing to help. And my mother is as comfortable as we can make her, and she's in good spirits, and ... that's pretty much all there is to say.

Again: those of you who are inclined towards prayer, please pray for her.
batyatoon: (Default)
For auld lang syne, my friends: here's the year in review as seen through public posts in this journal.

January: "o hai"
February: "Return of the Revenge of the Son of the Bride of the Icon Meme"
March: "I participated in the [ profile] purimgifts fic exchange again this year."
April: "HI SO UM this."
May: "I really should announce these things farther in advance...."
June: "Memery"
July: "Housefilk in Queens, July 25"
August: "... ... ..."
September: "oh also"
October: "The meme goes: Comment and I'll give you a color that I think represents you..."
November: "I heard Talis Kimberley sing this at DucKon this past summer."
December: "What I Did On My Vacation to Israel"

ETA: Also, behind the cut-tag: Books I read in 2010. )
batyatoon: (jerusalem cat)
by B. Wittenberg, age 35 1/2

a list in four parts

1. En Route )

2. In Ramat Beit Shemesh )

3. In Yerushalayim )

4. Going Home )

All in all: a week wasn't anything like long enough. I want to go back.
batyatoon: (each of us is one small light)
I heard Talis Kimberley sing this at DucKon this past summer. Today she posted a recording of it for Remembrance Day.

Go. Listen.

And somebody's wearing a poppy
That most symbolic of flowers
How the silence spreads when they’re bringing them home
At fourteen hundred hours
batyatoon: (each of us is one small light)
Because there are a lot of kids out there who need to hear this:
It Gets Better.
"...I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better...."

And because there are some for whom it won't:
Spirit Day.
"...On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools...."

Because bullying doesn't get taken seriously enough, and doesn't get stopped often enough. Because there are a lot of ways to be a designated victim, and this is one of the ways in which I wasn't. Because it's bad out there. Because I cried when I heard. Because, as a wise man once said, you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if you're in a situation like that there's only one thing you can do.

we write it down 'cause it's something we have to do
and you can find your voice for the ones who come after you
and you can be the one to tell the kids: hang in there
there's a way to survive, you can believe me, i've been there
i'm not that strong, i can't fight this crime
i can't right this wrong, but i can write this rhyme
if i can write this song, well then it might just shine
and i swear to god i'm a get it right this time

oh also

Sep. 2nd, 2010 08:09 pm
batyatoon: (no swimming)
Yeah, that whole crosspost-to-Facebook thing. I probably don't have to say it, but plz not to on any locked posts?

Spiffy. *thumbs up*

*and headdesks* WHYYYYY, ELJAY.
batyatoon: (back off man)
Hello, folks. If you haven't seen the Old Spice ad the subject line is referencing, take a look at the ad. Now back to me.

...sorry. couldn't resist. ANYWAY.

As I was perusing my flist the other day, I saw [ profile] autographedcat's link, under the subject heading "Old Spice and Gender Politics in Advertising," to [ profile] xiphias's interesting rumination on the commercial here. (Some of the comments to the original post are kind of fascinating too.) I quote, in part:

In the Axe Body Wash commercials, women have no agency. If you (and "you" means "a male" -- the commercials ignore the possibility that half their audience might be female; females don't exist as PEOPLE in those commercials) use Axe, women will flock to you without any free will of their own....

[The Old Spice commercial is] addressed to women, with the impression that WOMEN are people who can make choices. It's not terribly feminist, yes, but there IS a difference between the commercials for men's deodorant which treat women as props and these, which at least make a nod to the idea that women are people.


So tell me, friends and acquaintances: what do you think?


batyatoon: (Default)

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