Listening to “God is a DJ” as the head of the Cantorial School passed my office.
Having spent 8 hours on Friday doing the First Aid course, I’m now officially certifiable (I would be officially certified, but they need to mail me my card).
Interestingly, the people taking the course divided almost perfectly into white girls and Asian guys, and into people who had seen something happen and wanted to know what to do next time, and people who had to take the course as a job requirement. There are some really right-thinking employers out there.
The course was both good and frustrating; eight hours is a long, long time, but I simultaneously felt like they were giving us too much information to soak up in one day. It also didn’t help that the girl teaching the course had never done it before, and while her supervisor occasionally corrected her if she got something wrong, if she was right but vague, the supervisor wouldn’t say anything. Example: “If you need to count out thirty seconds, you can do it by singing ‘the fifteen-second song’ twice,” without telling us that ‘the fifteen-second song’ is ‘Happy Birthday’.
But the main focus of the course was practicing skills over and over again until you got them right: CPR, splinting, First Aid, and my personal favorite, using a defibrilator. Very, very fun, and by the end of the day, I felt like I really had it down.
As long as I was at the Red Cross, I got that CPR mouth guard I’ve been wanting. Now I can just carry it in my purse in case I need it.
So for the third time since moving to New York, I’ve been first at the scene for a medical emergency. This time I knew maybe 60%-70% what the hell to do, and thank freaking God there were two off-duty nurses at the other end of the subway car, who covered the rest. I’ve just signed up for a full First Aid course, because I have freaking had it with only mostly knowing what to do.
This poor girl collapsed on the train and started having seizures, just wham, flat on the floor. We rolled her on her side, I went to use the subway call-system because I knew my cell wouldn’t work, but someone else just waited for the train to stop, held the doors open and started screaming bloody murder, which was faster. She couldn’t talk at first, and the two nurses kept her calm and tried to keep her sitting, and I started asking her what her name was and if she knew what date it was, and she seemed to be recovering okay because on the second try she knew her name and got more cogent. Poor girl must have been scared as hell.
First Aid course and I have to get myself one of those freaking mouth shields, if they even sell them to the public, and carry it in my purse, because the first time this happened the old woman needed CPR, but she was bleeding heavily from the mouth and I was scared of catching something. I never want to have to make that decision again, if I can help it.
I was hoping to take next week off to get my head together, relax a little and do some writing and drawing, so of course, two huge projects land on my desk today and have to get out the door ASAP. Sigh. I’ll see if I can put things off a week, but I have to say I’m really disappointed. Especially since I woke up this morning with the seedlings of a story growing in my brain. Vampires and cowboys and chicken marsala. No, not those vampire chickens. But I’m hoping, once I have a bit to play with it, that it’ll come out really painful and gorgeous.
I finished off Tisha B’Av by baking my mom’s triple chocolate cake at 10:00 last night, so this morning I came in to work hyped on nothing but orange juice and triple chocolate cake. At which point, one of the cantorial students started giving me immediate, practical tips on how to better plan my wedding. Which was very odd, because as I repeatedly told her, I’m not getting married any time soon. She is, though, so I guess I can excuse that.
Tisha B’Av always has very strong associations for me. For one, it’s right around the anniversary of my grandmother’s death. I was very close to her, and as we’d spent the previous year in Israel, I didn’t get to see her for the whole year. She died the day before we were scheduled to come back. The mourning aspects of Tisha B’Av always feel more potent to me because of that.
On top of that, for the longest time, my family spent summers in Jerusalem whenever possible. My most potent memories of Tisha B’Av from childhood are of sitting with my mother on the Tayelet, the stone promenade that overlooks the Old City, quietly murmuring the liturgy of mourning the destruction of Jerusalem as the searchlights illumine the Dome of the Rock.
Despite the massive stress in both our lives right now, my brother and I had a great time on Sunday. It’s funny; I pretty much never called him when I went off to college, and then he was off at college and I was giving him space to come into his own, but after almost ten years, we’ve fallen back into the friendship we had as children. So instead of flopping down on the floor of my room on Shabbes afternoons, reading my comics or drawing together, we flop down on the floor of Barnes and Noble on weekends and have wonderful, rambly conversations. Or we go to his place and cook huge feasts for his roommates, passing each other ingredients and stirring each other’s skillets when needed with barely a question needed.
So Sunday, I got together with my best friend, whom I haven’t seen in forever, and then my brother and I made quiche at my place and I showed him Battlestar Galactica. Which, in typical fashion, mildly impressed him. Sigh.
Man, I really hope we both stay in the city for a few years. I love being able to spend this kind of time with him whenever I want.