Number, please

This morning, we made our usual shopping trip to Lunardi’s. The cashier was very surprised to see the final total: $100.00 – he said he’d never seen that (and the cashier at the next checkstand said she’d only seen it happen one other time in 20 years).

We also visited O’Reilly Auto Parts – the Check Engine light in the 2005 Prius had come on, and they read codes for free. Our code was C1378 – Capacitor Communication Circuit Malfunction, which appears to indicate a possible problem with the ABS system; I’m waiting for our mechanic to call back to set up a time to bring the car in for a definitive diagnosis. The good news, though, was that the Check Engine light went out after they read the code, and it didn’t come back in the few minutes it took to drive home.

Tonight is Kol Nidre, so I’m posting early and will be offline until tomorrow evening. May those who fast have an easy and meaningful fast, and may we all be sealed in the Book of Life for a sweet and healthy year. G’mar Chatima Tova! !גְּמַר חֲתִימָה טוֹבָה

Up I go!

Today was the last day of the Learned League season. I’m in first place in my Rundle and would have had to have forfeited today to have been overtaken. Next season, I’ll be back in A Rundle for the fourth time – I hope I can stay there longer than the one season I managed the last time I got promoted.

931. Every Brilliant Thing

Photo by Christian Pizzirani, City Lights Theatre

Who would have thought that a play which centers on ordered lists and suicide could be so moving and funny? Not me – not until I saw City Lights’s production of Every Brilliant Thing today. It’s playing through October 16, and if you’re in the South Bay, I think you’ll enjoy it. And if you’re not in the South Bay, there’s a good chance it will come to a theatre near you. And if it doesn’t, there’s an HBO film of a production in New York, but attending (and participating in) a live production is better.

The audience plays a big part in the play – the Actor (or, in this case, the Actors – but I’ll come back to that) offers audience members an item from the list to read aloud when its number is called (you’re free to decline, of course). I got number 1 (ice cream), which is reused several times during the play; Diane got 1006 (surprises), which was printed on a kazoo (she chose not to play the kazoo but did read the item when cued). Other audience members got enlisted to play roles in the play, like the Vet, Dad, or the spouse – they improvised their lines and the Actor had to respond appropriately.

This production was “bilingual” – English and ASL, so there were two people filling the role of the Actor. One spoke all the lines and the other signed them – it made the play more visually interesting. Before the play started, they taught us a few signs for items on the list, such as ice cream (licking a cone) and coffee (grinding motion).

I’d like to go back and see how the play changes with a different audience – live theatre always responds to the audience, but this play brings that response to the next level!

Shabbat Shuvah

The Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is known as “Shabbat Shuvah” (or the Sabbath of Return); it’s named for the Haftarah reading (from Hosea) which begins “Shuvah Israel” (Return O Israel). It’s also a time to reflect on the past year and ways in which you missed the mark.

This year, as usual, Shir Hadash’s service was held at Vasona Lake Park. We got there early enough to take a short walk before the service, which isn’t always the case for us!

This year’s service was different from those in the past. We had a Torah reading instead of just reading the Haftarah (in fact, we omitted the Haftarah, probably because of time). The music was different, too. Instead of a sermon, Rabbi Nico gave a talk about Kol Nidre, which is the formal renunciation of vows to God that we are unable to fulfill. It is recited just before Yom Kippur actually begins (and so the Yom Kippur evening service is often called Kol Nidre). Rabbi Nico talked about the history of Kol Nidre, why it talks about vows in the upcoming year, not the previous one, and why the rabbis tried (unsuccessfully) to eliminate it.

After the service, we walked down to the lake and performed Tashlich – throwing rocks into the lake while thinking of ways we’d missed the mark during the past year. It’s an occasion for introspection – spiritual debugging, in a way!

And then it was home for lunch and some catching up on reading and TV.

Modest Progress

I finally admitted to myself that I was never going to read the backlog of Sunday New York Times Magazines, Book Reviews, and other miscellaneous sections – so I put them in the recycle bin and sent them away. That felt good!

We’re going to Australia next year to see the total eclipse; the tour organizer suggested we ask their travel agent to look for flights, so I sent them a note. While they were working on it, I spent some time with Google Flights and found what seemed like a reasonable routing – the travel agent came up with the same flights, but at a significantly higher cost! I booked direct with the airline.

I found a good candidate for a new 4K display – the Dell P2723QE. Reviews seem positive, and it’s got an integrated hub, which is a plus.

I got my phone’s Lightning port de-clogged at the Apple Store.

I reinstalled Homebrew on my new M2 MacBook Air so that I’m using native versions of programs instead of ones compiled for Intel.

And I even culled and labeled more photos from Africa!

As I said, modest progress.