Weekend Wrapup

Weekend Wrapup

I went to hang out at Hillel before Shabbat services started and it was so nice to see Eli, Kim, Silberman (and as Silberman pointed out, it just seemed ‘right’ to see everyone back in the office, especially after the events of last year…it’s good that we’re all coming together again).

The new director realized that we didn’t have wine (something we normally keep in stock)…but fortunately Silberman just bought himself a shiny new car…and I had two bottles of Manischewitz (Concord and Extra Heavy Malaga) in my fridge that I’ve been trying to pawn off on people for a couple of months now so opportunists both, Silberman got to show of his wheels and I got to make space in my fridge with the disclaimer of ‘no backsies’.

We had Shabbat services with maybe eight people in attendance (which was fine, more students will start to show up again once classes are in full swing and we’ll be back to our usual boisterous crowd) and after I decided to go downtown to the club to dance a little and see old friends.

Mostly as I wrote in the post that I made last night and subsequently memory holed (it didn’t express my perceptions accurately) I felt pretty blasé about the whole night, but when I woke up I wasn’t fully sure why I felt the way I did and I didn’t feel that my initial perception of events was entirely accurate either.

I don’t like not knowing why I’m feeling a certain way, so most of today was spent walking around trying to do just that (UB has some nice walking trails which I made use of…as well as some wonderfully air conditioned buildings).

I’ve been going to Club Marcella (in it’s various forms, at it’s various locations) going on six years now (hard to believe I’ve been living in Buffalo that long…it seems like I moved here yesterday).

While I once was a regular there, over the past year, I haven’t been (my priorities have always been my degree first, social life second…and last year was not conducive to having any form of social life period, let alone one downtown). Most of my friends who were regulars there have also stopped going and my old haunts are no longer mine, which is certainly fair and to be expected: groups move on, inner space changes to reflect those who are currently entitled to claim it, regulars become visitors and such is the normal ebb and flow of any area that’s designed for nothing more than socialization and without that flexibility no social establishment has the ability to last.

What I found was actually making me uncomfortable last night (upon reflection) was the very real reality that the age/lifestyle demographic at the club has changed drastically (it used to be 18-35 and now it’s really 18-21) and with it, they’ve changed the inner space to reflect that. Not only do I not fit into that demographic (though while soon-to-be 23, I can still fudge it) but because I consistently seek out relationships with people outside of that demographic (Vince was 25, Glen was 36, and only two of my hookups have ever been 18, most have been mid to late twenties) it is an inappropriate venue for me to find any form of emotional/physical satisfaction. The other reality was that for me to locate a venue where I could both integrate myself into as a regular and that would also be open to the age group of people that I’m looking to socialize with also wouldn’t be terribly productive either since I’m moving out of Buffalo on December 17th, with four-ish months left, there’s not a whole lot of return on the required investment of time.

Fortunately, I do have other social networks that I can (and do) hang out with and take part in: the problem is that they’re not Gay, which is fine (they fill the need to socialize and they are certainly my close friends) but they don’t fill the need of what essentially is a carnal desire.

I think the other issue at play is that I’ve certainly been in a bit of funk of sorts as of late. While I don’t believe it’s anywhere near dysthymia or depression, my sleep cycle has been off more than it normally is, I’ve been avoiding sleep at night and seeking it during the day and haven’t been doing much of anything (which bothers me, because it makes me feel lazy…which sleeping all day, well..is) so I’ve been feeling just ‘off’ in general.

Fortunately, this will be corrected ‘by design’ so to speak once classes kick in, and I have a regular class schedule, a regular TAing schedule, a regular Gym schedule, a regular Wellness/Fitness schedule and a regular Work schedule and I move from this present state of inaction into a regimented lifestyle.

I was originally trying to think ahead and see if this could be a potential problem that I’d have to address in the future, and I was happy to come to the conclusion that it won’t be: the only reason that I’m floating around now with nothing to do is because there is, literally, nothing that I can do at the moment due to forces that are entirely out of my control.

There’s only so much laundry that can be done (I mean after it’s washed and folded…it doesn’t make much sense to re-wash it and re-fold it), only so many times you can scrub the floors and due to location I’m in an area (geographically) where my entire focus is the University…so when the University is closed, and I’ve done all my chores, and there’s nothing going on at the local museums that’s new or different or compelling, and my friends are out of town or unavailable there’s not a whole lot left to do (well, there’s always reading which I’ve been doing. There’s also entertainment…but too much of that and again, I feel like a slacker)…right now, until classes start in 28 beautiful hours, my options essentially are (and for the past week, have been): bars, restaurants, tattoo and body modification shops, casinos (I don’t gamble), the movies or the zoo…and I feel pretty iffy about the Zoo here…mostly because I feel bad for the lion who was resting peacefully in Africa, and wham/bam wakes up with a killer hangover in Buffalo, NY and has to wear a parka in the winter (of all places to put a zoo…). We have an elephant that paints, but I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that’s part of therapy for the elephant who must be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Coming to an understanding of why I was feeling the way I was feeling and realizing that it was incredibly temporary, I went to socialize, and while not a gamer, I have a large group of friends who are, so I hung out a bit and watched the LARP in the foyer of Baldy Hall (from what I was able to gather, it was about Vampires who were in different clans setup around the City of Buffalo dealing with an impending Nuclear strike…I think…) and hung out there for a bit before I went home.

After taking the inter-campus bus to South Campus, I started walking to my apartment, as I was turning the corner I caught one smell of the Chinese Food place at the end o the street and that quickly answered the question as to what I was going to be having for dinner. I went in and placed an order for take out, then went home without further delay and had some wonderful food and watched a movie and just chilled for a bit.

Out of all this though, I think I’m going to observe Shabbat a little more closely than I have been; at times I need a gentle application of the clue-by-four to get the message…like how I’ve been friends with Alice for five years, knew that both her parents were respected linguists, took a plethora of language classes starting in my sophomore year (Sanskrit, Hebrew, Arabic), but it didn’t dawn on me until more than four years that – maybe – I should look into this thing called linguistics…and upon reflection, when I would sit with Sarah on Shabbat after services for the past year and a half and just talk with her, and sit in quiet, drinking coffee and talking about our week or about recent current events I felt more recharged and well rested than when I’d go out and have a night on the town…(gee gosh golly Batman…you mean…Shabbat is about rest!?…no wai! yes wai! ZOMG!!one!1!eleven…ORly?YARly!)…not that I plan on going totally Shomer Shabbas, but I think I’ll be seeking out more relaxing venues for after Shabbat activities…actually, a Shabbat Yoga/Pilates Mat Class could be fun.

“I read most of your emails Matan, but that one you sent while you were in Tiberias…I took one look at how long that was and said ‘hey, let’s see if my delete key still works’…and I clicked it and went ‘yup…still works'” ~ Eli

Ahh, I’ve missed Eli…actually, I’ve missed Israelis in general.

Anyways, I finished writing the Chai Line Program Procedures Manual (which indicates how the entire program can be implemented and run given three different budget scenarios that will pretty much let any Hillel have the program regardless of how much money they have as their base operating budget). Right now, it needs to be reviewed by the director so we can move it from Version 1.2 to 2.0 so I can bring it to Group Legal Services and have them check to make sure that we aren’t opening ourselves up for any kind of major liability and that we’re in compliance with University Regulations and NYS Law (will we need health department permits?, what aren’t we allowed to do?, what if someone has allergies do we need warnings on the containers?…these are things I don’t have experience in or the answers to…fortunately, we do have an accountant on the Board of Directors so at least that part’s taken care of).

Right now I’m writing for/in the process of completing:

1. Wellness Center Grant (Max $500.00)
1. Hillel Grant (I’m thinking their Tzedek Grant for Chai Line, but they have a few others I can apply for as well for other initiatives)
1. Nefesh B’Nefesh Packet (I’m asking for $4,700.00 out of $5,000.00)…oddly, NBN wants far more information than the Aliyah Organization did; the only thing I’m missing is the letter attesting to my Judaism, and two letters of recommendation that I should have by Monday…I sent an email gently poking my Rabbi last night and I’ll see Scott on Monday.

Noah asked me if I would help her with her paperwork which I told her I would…so I have that to keep me busy until homework sets in later next week.

Anyways, time for some sleep and then hanging out with friends later today.


– Matan