Also: going to try to dig up some of Stephanie's notes and journal entries, which might provide clues about when she attended SF State. I made contact with the SFSU alumni department last week, after finding an old issue of the university's creative writing magazine in which Stephanie had published a poem. The guy from the alumni office was really nice and helpful, and said he would start working on trying to find out what dates Stephanie attended, what courses she took, and what instructors she might have had contact with. Eventually I'm going to put together a timeline of her life, and hopefully one day get her works published in print.
EDIT: Done! Found some relevant dates and other information, and sent them on to the SFSU guy about an hour ago.
My new prayerbook arrived this morning. It's the version I prefer, called "Shaarei Zion" (Gates of Zion) and redacted by the Ben Ish Hai, the great rabbi who lived in Baghdad about 100 years ago. My old copy was pretty badly worn, plus it had less-than-perfect associations at this point, having been a gift from my ex. I ordered the new one a couple of weeks ago from Eichler's, the big Jewish bookseller in New York City. I like the Sephardic (Middle Eastern) custom prayerbooks (like SZ) because the order of the prayers seems a little more logical to me - although the differences with the Ashkenazic (European) version are fairly minor. Also I appreciate elegant typography and design, which is one reason I like the Chabad prayerbook and use it as a backup when my regular one isn't available. The new book has the same attractive design as the old one, plus a nice dark blue cover. I took it for a spin, so to speak, with minchah (afternoon prayers) and the spiritual vibes are definitely good!
My space program advanced a little today, too, as I was able to organize some old papers and stuff, and cleared about two square meters of floorspace in the living room. If I'm feeling really bold, I might even bring myself to throw some stuff out.
Beautiful weather in Portland, got to get out for a walk. Maybe hit the gym later tonight.