I’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with event and news posts here on my blog, but it’s been over a month since I’ve posted a “miscellaneous stuff” post. It’s great because it makes my life sound exciting! But in reality I’m somewhat a hermit on days that I don’t go out and I spend a ridiculous amount of time with my computers and cats.
After the trip to Hong Kong it took me several days to recover from jet lag, after which I was immediately hit with a very bad cold that I’m still suffering the tail end of.
On November 14th MJ and I headed down to the San Francisco Courthouse to get my name changed officially from Elizabeth Ann Krumbach to Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph. It was all very formal and repetitive and felt like a terrible waste of the judge’s time, but it was done quickly and I got to see other people in the court change their names too. Last week I finally got around to updating my name at the DMV and we’ve been spending all kinds of fun times changing my name everywhere else so I believe all the important stuff is completed now. As for everything else… it’s going to take months. I’ll be updating my passport when I get home from Australia next month.
TV-wise the geek in me got to enjoy both the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who (great episode!) and the 25th anniversary of MST3K (I got the tin!). I’ve also been watching the latest episodes of Sleepy Hollow and Once Upon a Time on Hulu. MJ and I recently started interweaving Stargate Atlantis episodes into our SG1 watching schedule.
For Thanksgiving MJ and I headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to Murray Circle Restaurant at Calavallo Point for a wonderful dinner. I discovered it while browsing OpenTable for places that still had less-than-a-week-out reservations available and it turned out to be quite a gem. It was warm enough to enjoy a super comfortable outdoor table that had a view of the bridge and a spectacular multi-course dinner. I went with the wine pairing too.
I spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend catching up on a lot of Ubuntu and Partimus related work. I hope to write more about the Partimus work soon, but I sent my photos over to Christian Einfeldt and he wrote up a post about some work we did on Sunday, December 1st here.
MJ and I celebrated Hanukkah together again this year.
The day after Thanksgiving we went over to Wexler’s for a Hanukkah dinner. It was really great, particularly since I love and still can’t manage to make latkes myself. And those jelly doughnuts? The stuff that dreams are made of! My dreams anyway.
In addition to satisfying the history geek within with a class at the synagogue, I’m almost finished with the Coursera class A Brief History of Humankind that I mentioned in October. I’m really loving the class and the format, no big homework assignments or essays to write, it’s all very loose which fits my audit-style learning on Coursera well. I’m very often among the students who watches and learns from lectures but doesn’t bother with homework, so sadly I contribute to statistics that say “hardly anyone finishes the classes” but I do learn! I just skip things that I don’t find value in. With this class I’ve been able to take the low pressure multiple choice quizzes and will probably even do the longer final too so I actually complete it.
It also occurred to me recently that I take a lot of photos and should probably learn a thing or two about photography. I had some friends offer some great recommendations, so this weekend MJ and I watched Better Photographic Composition – Beyond the Rule of Thirds recommended by my friend Terri Yu. The B&H videos are great and I’ll be checking out more of them soon. Carla Schroder and a couple others also recommended books by Bryan Peterson, so Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera is on its way to me. Though in the midst of this I have taken Jim Fisher’s suggestion on the subject to heart in order to keep my geek obsessiveness in check, “sometimes it’s ok to do things casually.”
This past week was a bit of a rough one for me. I learned about another downturn in my grandmother’s health and Simcoe’s blood work from a recent vet visit hasn’t turned out great so we had to go back yesterday for more. As I mentioned in a previous post, it was also the anniversary of my father’s death this weekend, and that always puts me in a sad and solemn state.
In more cheerful news, MJ and I have booked a trip to Fort Lauderdale at the end of the month. We’re planning on visiting with some of MJ’s family in Miami, and some of my family in Miami, and taking a drive up to visit more of my family in Palm Bay. After booking I also learned some of my other side of the family will be vacationing in Vero Beach for the new year, so I’m excited to visit with them too. Oh, and go to beaches. And pools. I expect it’ll be too cold for locals but weather in Florida always feels hot to me!
It’s December now. This year has gone by too fast.
I love history and I love the spectacular design and architecture of cathedrals, mosques and synagogues. When I read that Sherith Israel was offering a Sharing the Beauty class I checked my calendar and then immediately sent an email to sign up.
“Discover more of what makes our sanctuary — and Sherith Israel — so special. Two workshops offer an in-depth look at one of San Francisco’s great architectural and spiritual treasures. A third prepares volunteers to serve as docents and to lead tours.
Dec. 2: History, art, and architecture of Sherith Israel
Dec. 9: Religious symbols and worship environment at CSI
Dec. 16: Docent training with Ellen Rosen”
The class started off with introductions and a historical presentation by Ava Kahn, author of several Jews in the American west books. I picked up a copy of her California Jews book a few months ago when I was browsing the local history section of a used bookstore in Point Reyes and noticed the cover featured the fascinating west window from Sherith Israel. I’ll have to write some day about why I find such kinship with the image of Moses handing down the ten commandments with a backdrop of El Capitan in Yosemite.
Kahn’s presentation was very interesting, but since I’m not writing a book myself I won’t copy my notes from the class verbatim here. However, there were some portions that were particularly striking to me:
The congregation was established in 1851, but the building they are in now was completed in 1905 and was one of the only major structures in San Francisco to survive the 1906 earthquake pretty much intact. As such, doubled as the San Francisco courts while the city was rebuilding. As such, “the famous corruption trial of San Francisco political boss Abe Ruef took place at Sherith Israel.” In 1945 the building was also the setting for a meeting of national Jewish organizations to commemorate the founding of the United Nations.
The building was built under the leadership of Rabbi Jacob Nieto, who was a pretty awesome guy. It’s said that he’s responsible for that west window and other beautiful religious iconography in the building as he worked with artist Emile Pissis, brother of Sherith Israel’s architect Albert Pissis. He also known for treating women as equals in the congregation and in 1908, under his leadership, women became voting members of the congregation.
Tomorrow I’ll be going over to class a bit early to join others in a tour of the inside of the dome at 6:30. The class then picks up with an exploration of “Religious symbols and worship environment” during which I hope to take many more pictures!
More photos from that first class here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157638304617065/
December 7th is a tough day for me, it was on this day in 2004 that I lost my father. It was expected after a long illness, but nothing quite prepares you for this kind of thing.
My father inspired my love of learning and pursuit of productive hobbies, especially geeky ones.
In April of this year MJ and I were married. Though I was honored to have my grandfather there with me, there was a particular bit of pain as I didn’t have my father to walk me down the aisle.
But the wedding wasn’t fully without him, in the cozy room where we signed our Ketubah, I brought along a framed photo of him from when I was little:
I love you and miss you Dad.
I had a couple of tasks aside from general review. The first was getting more images on the site prior to launch to make it more engaging to people. I reached out to LoCo teams and got a lot of great photos in, but then got very busy. My second task, finding quotes of community members, got stuck on my poor, long to do list.
But now I shall continue my quest! We need short, 1-2 sentence, quotes from community members.
What do you work on and why?
What inspires you about Ubuntu?
Email me: email@example.com
Please include the name which you want to be credited under for the quote, and what you work on if it’s not part of the quote.
We’d like to scatter these quotes throughout the site, so feedback from folks from a variety of teams will be super valuable. Once I’ve collected all the quotes I’ll submit the full list to the team and get to work adding them to the site.