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Sunday night I went to a Hanukkah get-together with Keshet, the gay-Jewish group in Portland. I was one of the original members (those who signed the clipboard some six years ago when "Trembling Before G-d" opened in Portland, but I hadn't been to the group's social gatherings in a few months, so it was good to schmooze, renew acquaintances, and meet new people.

BTW, Keshet will be hosting Rabbi Steven Greenberg (the only "out" gay Orthodox rabbi) when he comes to Portland in January.

Monday morning I made it my business to get back on my running program and went out at 8am in twenty-seven-degrees-Fahrenheit weather. [ profile] kitiara, I'm right there with you!

Michael just got back from the Middle East (again). Hoping I can catch him for a beer before I head down to San Francisco next month for a visit with TNG.

Just down the street from where I live, the First Presbyterian Church has recently built a lovely park. The area used to be the Danmore, a venerable red brick building largely dedicated to housing for people in recovery. The recovery facility relocated and the Danmore was torn down last year, and a lot of us on Morrison Street were sorry to see it go, but the new garden is wonderful to look at. And the church's stained-glass window - long obscured by the Danmore - is now illuminated at night.

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I stopped by New Renaissance Books hoping to get a book I'd seen there before - a study of the art of John Waterhouse. It was by a Japanese scholar - I think his name was Minato - whose father had been an artist in Japan. (I'll bet [ profile] mosellegreen knows the book I'm talking about.) They didn't have it in stock, but one of the owners was there and she said she'd try to find it and order it for me. Meanwhile I had to content myself with a book of postcard reproductions of Waterhouse, including the famous "Lady of Shalott".

(I'm working my way through Neal Stephenson's 'The Cryptonomicon' right now and I have to restrain myself from giving the artist's name as "Woe to Hice". But I digress.)

Also got a lovely Mara Friedman calendar. Was hoping to find a Jewish calendar, but no luck. Now, NRB has a great selection of calendars - lunar calendars, astrological calendars, herbal calendars, and even a Maya Natural Time calendar. But Jewish calendars? Those are not to be found at New Renaissance Books. (Grrr.)

Anyway, for your enjoyment, here's the Lady of Shalott.

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If it hasn't happened already, I know it's only a matter of time before somebody on LJ comes up with a Which Hebrew Letter Are You? quiz.

But I digress.

Thanks to [ profile] tyrsalvia for re-awakening my interest in the symbolism of the Hebrew letters. See here.

My meditations on some of the letters:
Aleph, Beth, Mem, Shin )
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Thanks to [ profile] jessicamelusine for posting this lovely music video, which I am now passing on to you:

QANTAL - Von Den Elben
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Go check out Giant Girl Doll (hat tip: [ profile] bluecarp). This is incredible: the superpuppet's expressiveness as she licks the popsicle, and the excitement of the real girls riding on her arms. See also Royal De Luxe - The Sultan's Elephant.

It makes me think of Ghost In the Shell and Ghost In the Shel II - Innocence; both of which I mean to write posts about soon.
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I just think this picture by Trina Schart Hyman is adorable. So, apropos of nothing, here it is. Happy New Year!
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Okay, I am officially ready for 2006. I have my new We'Moon planner:

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