Sunday, 7 March 2010

Hunting For William Holman Hunt: Part 2--The House

Part two of our journey took us to William Holman Hunt's Jerusalem residence on Rehov Ha Neviim (the road of the Prophets). My friend Becky with whom i do the majority of my nerd-splorations acts as our tour guide, shedding some light on Israeli cultural history:

Although i am not sure that we correctly identified the house. We tried to make up for it here, though:

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Tools of the Trade (for Tali)

When i was in the States, i got to pick up some new tools at the Woodworking Shows, about which i have blogged. That was in Columbus. When i was in New York, i experienced the awesomeness that is Sephora. How do i explain Sephora? Well, it's kind of like the Veritas or Lee Valley of makeup, and going into the shop is like going into Woodcraft (i'm dying to see Highland Woodworking, mostly because the people there are super-nice) or Rockler, etc. CIMG1052 Sorry to belabour the point with all these shop names, but i am trying to make clear the comparison; Home Depot would be the equivalent to buying makeup at CVS (there's no judgement there--sometimes you pick up a mascara at CVS, but not necessarily foundation; when you need the odd forstner bit or hearing protection, you get it at Home Depot, but you wouldn't go there for a hand plane).

I didn't get so much at Sephora, and when i go to a woodworking shop, i take it slow as well. But sometimes, there are some breakthrough purchases that make a difference in your work. My sister Tali bought me a set of brushes (thank God these things are labelled--it makes things a bit easier), and it was the equivalent to receiving a set of chisels. Different tools for different jobs. No matter if your toolkit is for makeup, fine woodworking, or home repairs, your kit must be diversified for different tasks in order to ensure that the job gets done properly.

I'm not going to compare or rate the experiences. I was just thinking about how i felt a bit out of place at the Woodworking shows, where the vast majority of ppl there were white dudes over 40. When Chuck Bender told me i hit like a girl (the chisel with the mallet, and perhaps not hard enough?), i thought it was hilarious--he was right, and i want to emphasise that he was making a joke in good spirit--but it reminded me of my surroundings. Testosterone town.

When my sister wrinkles her nose at my woodworking tools, it's actually pretty ironic. She's got LOADS of makeup 'tools'. And when some guys wonder quizzically why women have so many different makeup accoutrements, let's call them, i would direct them to their own toolboxes (well, some. You know who you are!). Basically, everyone likes tools, no matter the format; they're adult-toys.

Rabbi David Debow pointed out to me that i'm in a pretty fortunate position--i get to play with makeup tools and woodworking tools. So i just want to end with a salute to my heroes; woodworking women, who walk in both worlds. I was very excited to see that the managing editor of Popular Woodworking is a woman--Megan Fitzpatrick (and fellow English PhD nerd--nice!). Of course, Kari Hultman's blog, the Village Carpenter is an inspiration. And, as always, my mother, who owns and uses all the tools in the house.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Purim 2010=First blogaversary

Mishloach Manot
It's Purim again, and it's hard to believe it. I think my first real blog post was about Purim 2009--so it's been a whole year since i've been blogging. I suppose i should take stock of what i have blogged about and reflect on whether it's making a contribution...

In a very different vein, check out my Mishloach Manot! My friend thought that throwing out plane shavings (or rather, wood shavings) was a waste; and i am sure that the recipients of my Mishloach Manot really appreciated their food being covered with fragrant pine shavings...

Mishloach Manot2Also included (just to crank up the nerdiness and perhaps ensure my identity as the sender, since i inevitably forgot to sign these things) was an article entitled 'The Tree of Death and the Tree of Life: The Hanging of Haman in Medieval Jewish Manuscript Painting', by Katrin Kogman-Appel, courtesy of my friend Menachem Butler of the Michtavim Blog fame.

My friend Hoffy reported to me that she was very happy about the enclosed article. Turns out she was awake for a few hours last night (as some of my friends know, i had no such problem! Dori--i'm sorry, again!) and needed to read something to put her to sleep! Turns out my mother still keeps my Master's thesis in her bedside table for the same reason...