Rosh Hashanah 5778 prep

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:00 am
chanaleh: (leaves)
[personal profile] chanaleh
Overall I've been too crazed to journal, but today is weirdly slow* at work so I am taking a few minutes.
*(Edited to add: I suspected it was too good to be true. Of course the shit hit the fan on about 3 different projects as soon as I finished posting this, so, we'll hope I get out on time.)

Cards: mostly sent; I ordered 50, and carefully winnowed down my list to that number, but they actually sent me extras so I still have a dozen or so I can send (probably next week; gmar chatimah tovah!).

Honey cake: baked last night.

Challah: 4 small loaves (2 raisin, 2 plain) currently on second rise to bake later today. This year, I used the King Arthur recipe that I printed out last year but decided against for some reason. I made a double batch since it claims to make 1 9-inch round, let the dough rise overnight, and it looked beautiful this morning. Aria was super interested in the dough as I was rolling it into strands for coiling. "Cookie! Pizza! I hold it? I hold it?" I told her she'll be big enough to help me next year.

12lb. brisket in fridge, waiting to prep for Thurs afternoon. Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] ablock, I fear my brisket-recipe allegiance is permanently switched! even though the simmered-in-wine version will forever smell like the essence of Rosh Hashanah to me.

Matzah ball soup: also tomorrow (using stock from freezer)

Vegetables:
- brisket potatoes & carrots
- tzimmes (I actually found frozen diced butternut squash at Not-Our-Usual-Supermarket)
- salad

Guests: 1 (maybe 2?) Thursday night, 1 Friday night

Shul: by myself tonight (6:30pm) and tomorrow morning (9am); with Aria on Friday. She saw me put on a skirt this morning (since I'm going straight from work) and said "Mama you go shul today! I go shul!"

Still to review: Shacharit davening for first day (ack) and Haftarah. I went over the davening with the rabbi during Sunday school the last two weeks and it was OK - Yom Kippur is more direly in need of practice, but first things first.

Kittel: try on tonight, bring tomorrow morning.

Shanah tovah u'metukah!

Constellations

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:33 pm
alexxkay: (Default)
[personal profile] alexxkay
Kestrell and I went to see Constellations at the Central Square Theater. I quite liked it; Kestrell hated it. Which, to my mind, makes it worth talking about.

The play has only two actors, each of them on stage throughout. They both get to show off their acting chops as almost every scene is repeated multiple times, with slight but significant variations. It’s a bit like Groundhog Day, but none of the characters are aware of what’s going on, it’s merely the audience observing different forks of a branching multiverse. I’ve seen Marianna Bassham in a number of local plays over the years, and gotten to be rather a fan; I thought she was brilliant in this.

Interestingly, one scene was almost entirely in sign language. I’m not sure if it’s more or less funny if you as an audience member don’t understand sign. By the end of the scene, at any rate, I found the communication to be quite effective.

The set is abstract but gorgeous. The floor and (tilted) ceiling are mirrors reflecting the action (which of course reflects itself). The back of the stage is a dark but translucent curtain, behind which are an array of light bulbs of varying sizes and colors; stars in a night sky, lights of a ballroom floor, points of significance slowly dying…

The ads for the play say that it is “about love, possibility, bees, and… quantum physics”. This is true, as far as it goes. It is perhaps more difficult to fill seats with such phrases as “fatal brain cancer”* and “coping with a meaningless universe.” I found the ending bittersweet in a manner reminiscent of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia; Kestrell found it nothing but bleak. Obviously, mileage varies. Hopefully, this random assortment of reactions will give you some idea whether or not you want to go see it. It runs through October 8.

* This play is likely to evoke strong feelings in those who knew Caleb Hanson, especially in his final months.

Can’t Take It With You

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:27 pm
kiya: (akhet)
[personal profile] kiya

Mirrored from Suns In Her Branches | Kiya Nicoll.

The service ended on the vehement command: “Spend the afternoon! You can’t take it with you!”

I feel the church year proper has begun at last.

Rank by rank again we stand,
from the four winds gathered hither.
Loud the hallowed walls demand
whence we come and how, and whither.

There are times I feel that if I got nothing from church but the singing, that would be enough. I grew up sort of Methodist, which perhaps gives me a particular perspective on what Church Is About, but there’s also that… the only times that I felt deeply I could belong, in that church where I was, had to do with music. There is a particular feeling of voices joined in song, a particular sanctity, and it is so important to me. And even if I’m up in the balcony space – the drive means I’m often too late to be in the sanctuary proper – I can sing, I can belong, I can stand and feel the music welling up and my hand can mark the beats and this is important, so important.

Of course, I get more from church than the singing. But the singing would be enough.

The readings included The Little Duck and Pry Me Off Dead Center, which was also the sermon, and I found myself contemplating theology, listening. Theology and action and the necessity to move, and the shape and the change needed in the world, all of these things. One part of the sermon quoted Annie Dillard, and that, too, goes into the pot.

Balance, but also motion; not to be lukewarm, and thus spat out.

I came home and wrote a mythological snippet, titled Mercy, which I put up on my revamped Patreon in the appropriate category. We’ll see how that project rolls.

Anniversary Dinner at O Ya

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:19 pm
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[personal profile] lillibet
Today was the twentieth anniversary of our first date and our seventeenth wedding anniversary, so Jason booked us an early dinner at O Ya. We've been there twice before. The first time we had the omakase (chef's whim) of seventeen courses, just to see what they were about. The second time we sort of wanted to order a la carte, but their menu is extensive and the portions are small and trying to figure out a dozen or more courses on the fly seemed overwhelming. So this time I sat down with their online menu several days in advance and made notes on what we wanted, not really a solid plan, but enough so that we were able to come up with an order on the fly. Here's what we ended up with:

KUMAMOTO OYSTER watermelon pearls, cucumber mignonette

ORA KING SALMON Vietnamese dashi caramel, spicy rau ram salsa

BLUEFIN MAGURO Republic of Georgia herb sauce

SANTA BARBARA UNI TOAST "NIGIRI" smoked trout roe, truffle honey

HAMACHI TARTARE ginger verjus sauce, spiced chile oil

WARM EEL Thai basil, kabayaki, fresh kyoto sansh

BLUEFIN TORO TARTARE ginger kimchee jus

LOCAL SHRIMP TEMPURA bacon truffle emulsion, scallion ginger oil

MARTHA'S VINEYARD SMOKED BLUEFISH rainbow trout roe, wasabi vinaigrette, micro celery

AVOCADO TEMPURA kabayaki, truffle salt, yuzu zest

CHICKEN BROTH foie gras shumai, Tokyo leek, shitake

WAGYU TSUKUNE 2 oz., confit egg yolk, green onion, dried mushroom

CRISPY PORK BELLY Akashi glaze, celery root purée

We declined to order dessert, but they decided that our anniversary merited something sweet, so they gave us coconut tapioca with lime granita and yuzu sesame dice and moshi donuts with jasmine caramel dipping sauce.

We decided that the next time we go--in another few years--we will concentrate more on the nigiri portion of the menu, because those were our favorites, but everything was delicious and fascinating and special.

Amusing, and accurate

Sep. 12th, 2017 09:32 am
mermaidlady: heraldic mermaid in her vanity (Default)
[personal profile] mermaidlady
Yup, this was pretty much what it was like last Tuesday.

Writing and Reading Short Fiction

Sep. 11th, 2017 03:13 pm
kiya: (rune)
[personal profile] kiya

Mirrored from Kiya Nicoll.

I never used to be a big short fiction reader. I mean, I read it, a lot of golden age SF compiled into books, but it wasn’t really the thing that grabbed me. The pieces were the wrong shape, I suppose. I would have things that stuck with me – the story I’m working on at the moment owes so much to the normalcy of flight in Heinlein’s “The Menace From Earth”, even though I suspect that nobody I don’t say that to will spot how it circles on that particular story’s thermal.

Something shifted, somewhere. I’ve written a couple of fairy tales – one published in Les Cabinets des Polytheistes, one still being anxiously polished like an Arkenstone while I try to figure out what to do with it – and those are shorts. When I read the call for submissions for The Death of All Things I immediately had what grew into “Delayed Exchange Deferred” right there, at my fingertips, the shape and the kick of it. A few other things exist for me now, as shorts that I can work on, which is… remarkable to me as someone who has mostly lived in half-stewed novels for a very long time.

And, occasionally, I’m venturing into reading short a bit more. Perhaps because that’s something I can fit into my life – between the kids and everything else it is complicated to sit down and do anything long, and a short I can swallow in one gulp.

Which is part of how I read “Avi Cantor Has Six Months To Live”. Which – given I saw that it was World Suicide Prevention Day yesterday – I am finally getting my act together to comment on.

I’m not Jewish, or of Jewish heritage, but I’ve long had the traditional fannish appreciation of Jewish minutiae, and there are those there. And there is the quiet endurance of the main character, Avi Cantor, and his ongoing struggle with life and death and identity and…

… it is one hell of a story.

I don’t know what to say about it, honestly. Avi’s struggle, that story, is a piece of why I wrote “Delayed Exchange Deferred”, though, so maybe we can get the stories out there that will make the world whole again. If we just tell enough of them. If people read or hear or see enough of them.

Tikkun olam.

Unitarian Revival Meeting

Sep. 10th, 2017 05:31 pm
kiya: (purify)
[personal profile] kiya

Mirrored from Suns In Her Branches | Kiya Nicoll.

The new church year begins, and as is the habit at ours when the weather allows, it began out on the common with music and performance and bagpipers.

We were exhorted to wake up and see wonders. The children played on the grass.

A second staff has been added where the rainbow pride flag blows, so that it is joined by the rose-to-blue trans flag, which the senior minister has been exhorting us to add for a while. “Long may he, she, and they wave!” he proclaimed as he introduced the new flag to the congregation.

We brought water. This is the custom: that given we separate over the summer, we bring back water from where we have gone, we pour it all together, we make it holy by our communion, and this is how we bless the children who come for blessing. I wrote up on the board where we had gotten ours, including “eclipse track, Kentucky”. (Right on the Kentucky/Tennessee border, but technically Kentucky.)

May justice roll down like waters.

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