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16 October 2018 @ 05:04 pm
Another Colleague Gone: I heard that Lance Newman passed away recently. I worked with him for many years, including being his manager for a few of those and having him support me from one of my program office jobs. The last time I saw him was a couple of years ago, when our former secretary organized a luncheon reunion of sorts. It was just after his picture had been in the Washington Post, in an article about the first four African American students at a school in Arlington. He was a good engineer and a nice guy, smart and easy to work with. I will miss him.

A Rant About Scheduling: I am trying to be a responsible adult and schedule a couple of routine medical things. Labs are no issue, because they don’t require scheduling, per se, but just a drop in. The problem is that the person who schedules mammograms is not the same person who schedules anything else. So I had to go through the scheduler to get to the mammogram scheduler and then go back to the regular scheduler to schedule the blood pressure check. (Mammogram slots are a rarer commodity so it made snese to schedule that first.) The fact that I couldn’t do this on-line is particularly annoying to begin with, given my feelings about telephones.

I still have to schedule an ophthalmology appointment, but that is even tougher because I need to do it in the afternoon and I have more afternoon conflicts.

Speaking of Blood Pressure: The Red Sox – and, specifically, Craig Kimbrel, seem determined to raise mine.

Roy Zimmerman: I went to Roy Zimmerman’s house concert in Derwood, Maryland on Friday night. The drive there was really irritating, with two accidents along the way. I noticed the engine temperature in my car rising as I was crawling along and was afraid it would overheat, but it dropped rapidly once I began driving at a faster speed. I probably need to get something looked at.

Anyway, I got to the house just in time for the concert. Fortunately, it was worth going to. Roy sings funny songs about politics and they went over well with the crowd. There were some I’d heard before and several I had not. If you want a sample of his material, my favorite song of the evening was Psychedelic Relic:

By the way, the drive home was only mildly annoying, as they start doing roadwork on the Beltway at 10 p.m. on Friday nights. I really prefer going out to places that are reachable by metro.

Richmond Folk Festival: My friend, Paul, invited me to come down to Richmond and go to their annual Folk Festival with him. I made life far less stressful for myself by taking the train down, instead of coping with the inevitable roadwork on I-95 on the weekend. The catch is that only a few trains serve the Main Street Station downtown, but Paul picked me up at Staples Mill, which also meant a drive along Monument Avenue (and his tour guide commentary) along the way.

The festival is in downtown Richmond, close to the James River. There were 8 stages, though we ignored the children’s area and the Virginia Traditions Stage (which had things like an apple grafting demo and an oyster shucking contest). I wanted to hear Josh Goforth (who tells stories, but focused on ballads for what we were there for) so we went over to the Lyft Stage. That meant we also caught part of Lulo Reinhardt, Django’s great-nephew. He’s an excellent jazz guitarist and I liked his performance so much I bought one of his CDs later in the day, when we found one of the sales tents. Josh’s ballads were more familiar and also worth a listen.

We walked down to Brown’s Island, where we listened to Leroy Thomas and the Zydeco Roadrunners at the Dance Pavilion. I thought they were just okay. Then we got some gelato and walked out on the bridge for Paul to take photos of how high the water was after last week’s storm.

We meandered back up to the Lyft Stage and listened to Tamburaski Sastav Ponoc (a Balkan tamburitza band), who I enjoyed. I wanted to check out the crafts marketplace, so we went back down towards the river. The crafts were, alas, not generally to my taste. Then we walked (slowly, as my knee was aching by then) up the hill to stake out some space within earshot of the Altria Stage, where Mavis Staples was performing. She was, in my opinion, one of the must-sees of the festival, though rather too many other people thought so as well.

By the time she was done, we decided we needed dinner. All the festival food areas were downhill and I didn’t want to have climb back up the hill, so we trudged up through town to Perly’s, a Jewish deli I had heard good things about. I thought it was quite good, which is surprising for Richmond. The matzoh ball soup had lots of stuff in it (chicken, carrots, celery) as well as a matzoh ball with a good texture, though there was rather more dill than I’d have preferred. The tongue sandwich I got was excellent. Paul got something called a Jewish Sailor, which had pastrami, chopped liver, beef sausage, and red cabbage. (Apparently, the Sailor sandwich is a uniquely Virginia and mostly Richmond thing, and normally has pastrami, knockwurst, and cheese, by the way. Supposedly it originated with sailors studying at the University of Richmond during World War II.) I also had potato salad (reasonably good) and Paul had French fries, which he said were light and fluffy. Bottom line is that I would eat there again.

We walked back to Paul’s car and he drove me to the Hampton Inn, where I was spending the night. It's slightly weird, as it occupies the upper floors of a building, with a Homewood Suites on the lower floors. I got a train in the morning from the Main Street Station (much more convenient and quite grand, though with only limited service). Overall, it was a good trip and I got home in time to get a few things done at home, though I always have more to catch up on.

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15 October 2018 @ 04:00 pm
These are from maju01. I am open to any questions anyone else wants to ask. Also, feel free to request your own set.

1. Describe your perfect house. Does where you live now fit this description? I have contradictory desires in a perfect house. Part of me wants a compact cottage, but I also want lots of wall space for art and a huge library wall. I’d love a living room that was large enough to have house concerts in. Also, a solarium and a studio for crafts. As I get older, I am also filled with the desire for single level living.

Where I live now doesn’t come close to perfection. I like the general layout of my condo, but it is up two flights of stairs. (There are elevators in two of the four buildings in the complex, so I could use an elevator and then walk across the garage, but that seems wasteful.) But, overall, it is practical and the location is close to ideal. So it'll do.

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?This is another one for which I want contradictory things. If money were no object, I’m attracted to various islands – Nantucket or Block Island or Shelter Island. But I also want to be reasonably close to a major international airport. More reasonably, I would like to live in Boston most of the year, with a condo in Punta del Este, Uruguay for the few months of the year during which New England is uninhabitable.

3. How is your relationship with your family? (Define family however you like.) The only near relative who is still living is my brother. He and I get along fine, as long as we don’t actually see each other. I refer to this as our family exclusion zone. For example, when we were both in the Bay Area, the number of earthquakes increased significantly.

4. Have you always lived in the area where you live now? If yes, have you ever wanted to move somewhere else? If no, what brought you here? I was born in the Bronx, but we moved away when I was 3, so I don’t really remember living there. I grew up in a very small town on Long Island. Then I went to college in the Boston area and grad school in Berkeley. I ended up in Los Angeles for work and then relocated to the Washington, D.C. area (northern Virginia), also for work. I have a running debate about whether or not to stay here when I retire.

5. What was your childhood like? 1960’s small town suburbia, for better or worse. I went to Hebrew School two afternoons a week after school(and Sunday mornings), took ballet classes and piano lessons. There were still a lot of empty lots (i.e. places where houses were not yet built) and we picked blackberries in them. As houses went up, we played a lot in construction sites and hoped whoever moved in would have kids our age.

All the kids in the neighborhood played softball on the street, with a few of our dads sometimes included. The girls played endless games of hopscotch. We walked or rode our bikes all over town, but mostly halfway into town to Rhodes Delicatessen, which was more or less a general store. My folks would send us there to get a Sunday newspaper and a box of Italian pastries and we were allowed to spend the change on comic books. There was a girl on the next block whose father had a laundry business and on rainy days he would drive us all to school in the laundry truck, with all of the kids sitting on sacks of laundry in the back.

This sounds rather more idyllic than I felt at the time. I couldn’t wait until I could get away to somewhere where people didn’t know everything you were doing.

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11 October 2018 @ 02:38 pm
The theme for Week 41 (October 8-14) is Sports. My family was not really sporty. My parents watched sports on TV, but never played anything at more than a casual level.

However, some people do consider chess a sport and there I do have a notable family member.

Rivka CHWOLES, aka Maria LICHTENFELD, was the daughter of Moshe CHWOLES and Chava-Leah nee BRUSKIN. The latter’s sister was my great-grandmother, Civia BRUSKIN, so Rivka was my paternal grandfather’s first cousin. That made her my first cousin twice removed.

She was born in 1923 (or, according to another source, 1928) in Vilnius, Lithuania. She (and her sister Sonja) escaped the Vilna Ghetto in 1941 and assumed identities as Christian Poles, allowing them to survive the Shoah. It was during this time that she took the name Maria, by which she was known within the chess world. Her parents and three other sisters were murdered at Ponary.

She won the Lithuanian women’s chess championship in 1954 and 1955 and was the vice champion in 1951 and 1952. (I assume that means she placed second.)

She and her husband, Yosef LICHTENFELD, emigrated to Israel in late 1956 or early 1957, and ran a hair salon in Ashdod. She won the Israeli women’s chess championship in 1957 and continued to teach chess for much of her life.

She was also known as a painter, though less famous than her brother, Rafael CHWOLES. She died in January 2017.

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09 October 2018 @ 04:40 pm
You have probably seen this meme in which one gets 5 questions from someone to answer. These are from [personal profile] zhelana. You can comment either with questions you want to ask me or a request for me to ask you questions.

1. You call yourself a craftswoman - what kinds of crafts do you enjoy? Are there any you don't do currently that you'd like to? I do lots of fiber things – knitting, crocheting, nalbinding, wet felting, tatting, bobbin lace. I also do bookbinding. I’ve done some papermaking and marbling, too. I’ve tried spinning and sprang, but didn’t really care much for either. As for what I don’t do that I’d like to, needle felting is at the top of the list.

2. What's something you like about Virginia, and something you dislike? I think Virginia is really pretty – lots of greenery, deciduous trees, attractive older architecture. I don’t like the obsession with the Civil War, however.

3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Do you think high school you would be happy with where you are now? Depending on the year (and what I was reading) I wanted to be an astronaut or a detective or a chemist or a race car driver. I think high school me would be happier with my non-work life than with my work life, mostly because I don’t think I would have wanted to sit in an office all day.

4. Would you ever consider whitewater rafting or ziplining? How about sky diving? I’ve gone whitewater rafting several times and enjoyed it, but it’s been years. I won’t go ziplining or sky diving, however, as I am terrified of heights.

5. If you were kidnapped and the kidnappers allowed you to continue posting to make things appear normal, what one line would you post to let people know you're not okay without tipping the kidnappers off that you're asking for help? Maybe something about how much I am enjoying looking at the fields of sunflowers where I am. (Sunflowers give me the creeps. I will cross the street to avoid walking next to one. And, yes, I know that is weird.)

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08 October 2018 @ 12:03 pm
Celebrity Death Watch: Joe Masteroff wrote the books for Broadway musicals, including Cabaret and She Loves Me. Otis Rush was a blues guitarist and singer. Marty Balin cofounded Jefferson Airplane. Peter Bjarkman wrote about Cuban beisbol. Charles Aznavour was a French singer of Armenian descent, who was also notable for humanitarian activities. Leon Lederman won a Nobel Prize in Physics for research on neutrinos.

Nevermore: Friday night, I went with a friend to see Nevermore at Creative Cauldron, a small theatre in Falls Church that I like a great deal. This was Matt Conner’s musical, with lyrics from Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry. Stephen Gregory Smith (Conner’s husband) played Poe, who interacts with five women throughout the play – his mother (who died when he was an infant), Virginia (his cousin, who he married when she was 13 but who died of tuberculosis 11 years later), Muddy (Virginia’s mother), Elmira (an early love, who was engaged to Poe when he died), and a whore (a composite character). I have mixed feelings about Poe as a writer, but he and his work were definitely interesting. I mostly enjoyed this show and I thought Smith’s performance was particularly notable. He really captured the emotional agony of Poe’s relationships with the women in his life. It was definitely worth seeing.

By the way, we had dinner beforehand at a Russian restaurant called Troika. The food was just okay, but they are attached to a small grocery store. And I found a container of halvah spread! This is something I had discovered in Israel a few years ago and had never seen in the U.S. before. The brand name is Krelva and it is apparently from Turkey (though I never saw it there). I am pleased to say it is as delicious as I remembered.

Heisenberg: Continuing with theatre going, I saw Heisenberg at Signature Theatre on Sunday afternoon. I have subscribed to Signature for several years now and, other than avoiding seeing plays by Annie Baker (whose work I detest), I see pretty much everything they do. That’s my excuse for having been entirely unaware that the title is completely metaphoric and the play has nothing to do with Warner Heisenberg. Instead, it’s about uncertainty and, specifically, the uncertainties that come up in relationships between people.

The specific relationship is between a 40ish American woman, Georgie, and a 75 year old Irish man, Alex. Both of them live in London and they meet by chance, with Georgie tracking him down to pursue the relationship. We quickly learn that a lot of what she says are lies and it’s hard to tell whether she is just manipulating him to get him to give her money to go to New Jersey and look for her estranged son. We can’t even be sure that the son really exists.

This is a really funny play and the performances were excellent. Rachel Zampelli was an intriguing – and somewhat scary – Georgie. Michael Russotto was a charming Alex, especially in a speech about how he really does listen to all types of music. I wasn’t crazy about the ending of the play, but it did make sense. I just like more certainty in theatre.

Pink Martini: I’ve seen Pink Martini perform several times and they continue to be among my favorite musicians. How often does one get to hear songs sung in English, German, French, Spanish, Croatian, Arabic, Italian, Turkish, Armenian, and Greek in one evening? China Forbes has an awesome voice, as do other singers who perform with them. Notably, that includes NPR host Ari Shapiro, who I still think looks like the groom doll on a wedding cake. I do wish there had been somewhat less talking, however. And that they had started on time, as it was a bit late for a Sunday night. Dave Anderson was a sportswriter for The New York Times.

Brett Kavanaugh: I wasn’t going to say anything because I figured that everyone I know is sick and tired of political discussions. But there are a couple of things I don’t think I heard anyone say.

First, my normal instinct is to pretty much ignore things people do before they’re adults. I’m being vague about defining adulthood here, but I did dumb stuff when I was a teenager. My issue with Kavanaugh was his failure to just say something like, "I probably did hurtful things to other people when I was drunk and I don’t remember them, but I’ve grown out of that and I’m sorry." His fitness for the Supreme Court (or, more precisely, lack thereof) has much more to do with his partisan tirade, which he has apologized for.

So now that he has been confirmed, he has a chance to prove he can be a reasonable and impartial judge. I don’t have any real confidence that he will be, but I have been surprised by other Supreme Court justices in the past.

Or he could well turn out to be another Roger Taney. For those who don’t recognize the name, Taney became Chief Justice as a protégé of Andrew Jackson. (He had previously been rejected by the Senate, first for a position as Treasury Secretary, then as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.) He went on to write the majority opinion in the Dred Scott case, generally recognized as a terrible decision. The interesting thing is that, despite that legacy, he is generally recognized by legal scholars as having made a lot of good decisions. I can hope.

Speaking of Politics: I got my sample ballot in the mail this past week. I had no intention of voting for him, but I am still slightly disappointed that Peter Carey (the Whig Party candidate) did not, apparently, get enough signatures to get on the ballot.

And for anyone reading who is in Virginia, it is really really really important to vote for Tim Kaine for Senate. Because his opponent, Cory Stewart, is a racist Confederate whacko.

Speaking of White Supremacist Whackos: The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, which is just a few miles from where I live, was defaced with spray-painted swastikas early Saturday morning. I am furious, but there is not a lot I can say until we find out who the perpetrator(s) wes.

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05 October 2018 @ 03:26 pm

  1. I went back to the periodontist on Wednesday. The area that had the laser surgery is healing well. And I'm done with the giant amoxicillin pills.

  2. I changed the furnace filter this week. I know you're supposed to do it every month, but I don't manage to get around to it. Anyway, it was long overdue and it was pretty disgusting when I took the old filter out.

  3. I ordered check refills. It had been over three years, so maybe it isn't surprising that the website address the old ones had for reorders was no longer correct. Surprisingly, the directions on the bank's website were actually helpful. I don't write a lot of checks, since I pay most of my bills automagically. So I figure the new supply will probably last me as long as I live in my current place.

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04 October 2018 @ 05:04 pm
The theme for week 40 (October 1-7) is Ten. This is, obviously, a theme that could be interpreted a lot of ways. Of the suggestions I read, the one I decided to go with is to write about the person designated at 10 in the Ahnentafel genealogical numbering system, which is one of several standard approaches to organizing an ascending chart of ancestors. You can google the details if you like, but the relevant part is that this particular number refers to one’s paternal grandmother’s father. In my case, that would be Shachne FAINSTEIN. Here’s a copy of his internal passport card from 1920.


Shachne is actually a nickname, an affectionate diminutive for Shokher, which is the Yiddish form of the name Issachar. I mention that because searching for records requires using "Shokher" – even allowing for phonetic searches wouldn’t find him as Shachne. It is, in general, useful to understand nickname patterns. As another example, Shachne FAINSTEIN’s brother was called Itsko, which is a nickname for Yitzchak (Isaac).

Anyway, Shachne FAINSTEIN was born in Josvainiai, Lithuania somewhere between 1876 and 1882, depending on which records you believe. His parents where Shimkha FAINSTEIN and Esther Malka, nee SALOMON. He had two siblings – Itsko (who I just mentioned) and Rachel, who married a man named David VIATRAK.

He moved to Kaunas somewhere before 1906, when he married Khaia Tsipa, nee KHONKEL.Their children were Dvoira Etel (my grandmother, born 14 February 1907), David Mishel (born 5 August 1910), Nachum (born 1916 in Slutsk, now Belarus), Sora Beila (born in 1912 or 1918), and Noson Wulf (known as Velvel, who was possibly born in 1923). There is some confusion because there is also a death record for a daughter named Michle, who died 25 September 1930 at the age of 18. I had been assuming that was a mistake for David Mishel, but there are some documents in the internal passport files which indicate that there was a daughter, Michle, and say nothing about a son named David. (The birth record is definitely for a son, as it has information on his bris.)

A 1941 voter’s list gives his address as Jonavos 48. That street has been torn down and everything replaced, so I was not able to see that building when I was in Kaunas in August. According to my father, he also had a summer house across the river in Slobodka (now Villiampole). He was a brick contractor. Apparently, he started out as a builder / bricklayer and then went into the contracting side of the construction business. I saw a lot of red brick buildings during my trip, so I guess it was a good business.

He was killed on 28 October 1941. The only one of his children who survived was Nachum, who settled in Israel after the war.

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02 October 2018 @ 05:09 pm
The only one of my goals for the year I made any real progress on this quarter is reading. And, even there, I am up to 27 books out of the 52 I want to get through. I need to read shorter books.

  1. Jacqueline Briskin, California Generation. This book follows several students at California High School as they move on to college and jobs during the 1960’s. Issues include drugs, interracial relationships, abortion, homosexuality, and the Vietnam War. This was less trashy than I expected it to be, but it’s definitely not great literature. If it were written now, it would have been a TV soap opera, not a novel.

  2. Lisa See, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. This was a book club selection. I was skeptical, but this story of a woman from the Akha hill tribe in China drew me in immediately. There are some shocking aspects of the Akha culture and this story of a young woman who has to find her way between her traditional upbringing and the modern world was fascinating. Mixed in with it, there’s the story of her abandoned daughter, who is facing a similar, but different, challenge as an adopted Chinese girl in Southern California. I absolutely loved this book and recommend it highly.

  3. Maisie Mosco, Glittering Harvest. This is the third book in the series about the Sandberg family. It includes the deaths of some of the older members of the family, as well as various triumphs and tragedies for the younger members. It was pretty entertaining, but you don’t really need to read it to enjoy the earlier books in the series.

  4. Joe Bden, Promise Me, Dad. I got this for having attended one of Biden’s talks. It’s more or less about his son, Beau, whose death of brain cancer was behind Biden’s decision not to run for President in 2016. There is, however, also a lot of material about how much effort Biden put in on foreign policy issues and how wonderful his relationship with Obama was, and other things that suggest he could be considering a future run. I do (mostly) like Biden, but I’d much rather see someone younger be the Democratic nominee. This book didn’t do much to change my mind on that.

  5. Alexander McCall Smith, The Bertie Project. Oh, how nice to be back on Scotland Street! There are such great characters and such bizarre circumstances (e.g. the extreme sports indulged in by Bruce’s new girlfriend). Another fun entry in a series I love.

  6. Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries. This was another book club selection. What monstrous people voted for an 800 page novel? My wrists hurt while reading it. I don’t mind long novels per se, but there were a lot of characters to keep track of. The story involves some mysterious doings in a gold rush town in New Zealand. While it was a quicker read than I expected, the payoff was disappointing. On the plus side, it led my book club to decide on a 400 page limit for the future.

  7. Stuart Rojstaczer, The Mathematician’s Shiva. Interestingly, the person who recommended this book to me is not Jewish. The story involves Rachaela Karnokovitch, a mathematics professor who may have solved the Navier-Stokes problem. The story of her son (and other relatives), who are set upon by other mathematicians looking for the solution of the problem, is interspersed with her memories of her harsh Polish childhood. The characters are interesting (and, sometimes, bizarre) and the relationships feel real. Recommended.

  8. Helen Van Slyke,Always is Not Forever. My mother had a lot of trashy novels. This one involves a young woman who marries a famous musician whose controlling mother can’t accept her. The great tragedy comes when their daughter is born deaf. I realized how much times have changed when I found myself thinking, "what’s the big deal?" There’s rather too much of the stand by your man, regardless of how badly he treats you, crap here.

  9. Andy Raskin, The Ramen King and I. What do you do if you can’t stop cheating on the women you claim to love and your mentor from your support group says you need to find a higher power, but you’re an atheist? If you’re Andy Raskin, you write letters to Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant ramen noodles. Those letters – along with Raskin’s attempts to meet the great man – make for a surprisingly amusing book, with a serious point.

  10. Benjamin Alire Saenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. When a teenager recommends a young adult novel to you, you listen. And when [personal profile] piefessor also recommends it, you really listen. This story of two teenage boys and their complicated relationships with each other and with their parents was charming and moving. I can now add my recommendation.

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28 September 2018 @ 03:54 pm
I am pretty sure I won't see any movies this weekend, so I am getting a head start on quarterly things.

  1. Three Identical Strangers: I saw this as part of the year-round component of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. This is a documentary about triplets who meet accidentally at the age of 19, after having been separated at birth and placed with three very different families. There’s a fascinating – and disturbing – story about the circumstances behind that separation. There are lots of interesting issues that get raised, as well as unsolved questions at the end. Recommended.

  2. The Catcher Was a Spy: As many of you know, I am obsessed with the subject of Jewish baseball players. That explains why I went to see this in an actual movie theatre. Moe Berg was one of the most interesting of those players – not a great ball player, but a Princeton alumnus, with a wide knowledge of foreign languages. This film (based on the book of the same name) is focused on his having been sent on a mission to find out how close Heisenberg was to creating an atomic bomb. There’s plenty of action – which detracts from what Berg’s strengths as a spy were. The story is interesting, but the execution in this movie was disappointing. I also had some issues with the way Berg’s relationships (and possible homosexuality) were addressed. Aviva Kempner is working on a documentary about Berg and I expect that to be better.

  3. The Leisure Seeker: I saw this on an airplane. It’s the story of an elderly couple who go off for one final adventure in their RV. Ella has cancer and has chosen to stop treatment. John has Alzheimer’s. Their adult children are concerned, but unable to stop them from making the drive to Florida. Various things go wrong along the way, but lots of things go right. I particularly loved a scene when a group of younger people at a campsite choose to spend the evening with them watching old home movies. There’s excellent acting from Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland as the leads. I thought this was a warm and touching movie, with plenty of humor. I highly recommend it for people who are over 50 and/or those dealing with aging parents.

  4. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: This was the first of two movies I saw on my flight home from vacation. I have a confession to make. I have never seen an entire episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I do, however, appreciate how influential he was. After watching this documentary, I came away with an added appreciation of what a fundamentally good person he was and what he was trying to do. I do wish, however, that the documentary had more to say about his personal life. For example, there are hints about childhood trauma, but they were rather too vague for me. I did appreciate that the filmmakers stopped short of hagiography, e.g. by addressing how slow Mr. Rogers was to come to terms with homosexuality. I still have no particular desire to watch (old episodes of) the show, but this was a good documentary.

  5. Lady Bird: This was the other movie I watched on my way home. Being a teenager is rough enough without having a father who is out of work, a mother who works too hard to support the family, and living in Sacramento. I thought the conflicts (choosing friends, exploring sexuality, hating one’s home town, deciding where to go to college) were realistic, although the anger in the mother-daughter relationship felt more prolonged than I expected. (I spent much of my teen years in screaming matches with my parents, but they tended not to last for weeks. Or maybe I’ve just forgotten?) The acting was excellent, with Saoirse Ronan convincingly sincere in the title role. Overall, worth watching.

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28 September 2018 @ 11:35 am
The theme for week 39 (September 24-30) is On the Farm.

There’s not really much farming in my family history. My ancestors were mostly craftspeople – tailors, cobblers, and the like.

But Leib EDIDIE, who was apparently the uncle of my great-great-great-grandfather, Izrael Itsik FAINSTEIN, is shown as wanting to be a farmer on state land in an 1847 census list of Kaunas district farmers. And his father, Movsha, was a market gardener, which one could count as a small-scale vegetable farmer.

However, Leib ended up becoming first an innkeeper and then a distiller. And Izrael Itsik became a tailor. There were probably some cucumbers in backyards, but that’s about it for farming.

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