a good day

Feb. 28th, 2002 03:11 pm
magid: (Default)
For no particularly good reason, it's a good day. Yes, I'm too tired (enticed past my bedtime by eggcellent eggtreme egg-creativity), but that doesn't seem to matter, either.

Purim day turned out to be just as rushed as it always is, no matter how I think it won't be. I made it to the latest megillah reading at Hillel, and was pleased to hear Brian's reading, with silly voices :-). I ducked out just before the end to avoid the crush of the mad mishloach manot traders (having graduated from that state of dragging huge bags to shul myself), though there were a few who managed to catch me.

Breakfast was lovely, indulging in an improptu frittata (breakfast food for breakfast! what a novel thought.). Then to assemble my mishloach manot and walk around delivering them. It was a beautiful day for a walk (hard to believe 24 hours later it was snowing), which would have been better had I not been stupid enough to have my winter coat with me that I had to carry around (how silly, a winter coat in February). Then a dash over to Harvard to hang out with Z and hold her baby while she met with a student. Followed by a dash home before driving to the Diesel. The windows were open, and friends were sitting at the front, rather than the back... I almost missed them! Some Boggle games later, I headed out for my official Purim seudah, which included the obligatory drunk guy, a friend who I've never seen drunk before. Luckily he was easy to manage, and rather complimentary...

Yesterday was dinner with Cthulhia (ok, I'm far too proud that I managed to get a real meal on the table in about half an hour), followed by pysanky at her house. I continue to be amazed & impressed with the designs she draws. I wish my fine motor control were half so good... (and of the 2 eggs made last night, only 1 had a Jewish theme. And neither of the Sunday eggs did, either....) Yet again the difference between what I can imagine creating and what I manage to create is huge. Ah, well. Perhaps this will jumpstart me on some of the other projects I've thought about.

Tonight is potluck, and another ginger dough is already rising at home. This time, no crystallized ginger in the dough, just ginger powder & ginger tea. I'm planning to roll out the dough & put chopped up crystallized ginger and chocolate chips on it, roll up, and bake. Another experiment by the currently ginger-obssessed baker. (Only about 20 lb of flour to use before Pesach, after all... Anyone need bread? :-).
magid: (Default)
(Note to self: if I ever decide to start snorting powders, DO NOT start with ginger powder...)

I left work a bit earlier than usual (though I got in early, to make up for it), which was good, because the fast was making me a bit spacier than usual, and it was harder than it should've been to focus on the drive. Then Tigerbright joined me, and we walked to Harvard Hillel, making it in time for the first maariv (evening) service. This year there were many more options for maariv and megillah reading, at least 3 different times for standard Orthodox davening, at least one egalitarian, and a women's group as well (and, for the first time, I think, a kid's service). I like this, esp since it means there are options, people don't have to rush home from work, and it's not as crowded at any particular reading. But I also miss having almost everyone crammed into one room, knowing I'd see just about everyone. (and all the cool costumes. This year one I liked the most (so far) was someone who had painted her face white and blue all over, in a particular way, and signed it Picasso on her jaw. Really nicely done!)

There was a lull before things got started, so, since they took checks, I was able to do matanot l'evyonim (gifts to the poor) (I hadn't made it to an ATM as planned.). One mitzvah (commandment) of the day completely done! The megillah reading was decent, though I miss having the reader do voices. Still, just hearing the megillah trope (cantillation) is lovely. I always get shivers for those verses that are sung in eicha (lamentations) trope, the slow sadness of the destruction of the Temple in the midst of rather upbeat (music? chant? tune? none seem quite right.).

I didn't dress up. One person asked me about it, and I said I was dressed up as myself on a non-Purim day (which for me is a costume indeed :-). I'd thought to grab a silly hat, but in the rush to get there on time, forgot. Ah, well. Perhaps tomorrow.

There was a crush of people afterwards, some already giving out mishloach manot. I ducked getting one from someone I just can't stand; I'm sure he's a perfectly nice person, but I just cannot deal with him, at all. I did get a nice one from Luis and Danila, though, with beautiful hamantashen (just eaten now. yum).

Finally, over to Z's to break my fast. We reheated leftovers from Shabbat (that would be the pasta with mushrooms, which is of course distinct from the other pasta with mushrooms, not to be confused with the peanut pasta; it was a starchy lunch on Shabbat), chatted, while she fed the baby & slowly eased him towards sleep. I stayed as long as I could; her husband is on a business trip, and dealing with a relatively new baby alone at night is not such an easy thing. But in the end my tiredness won out, so back home. And now the experimental bread is in the oven. (I am totally ginger-obssessed, I admit it).

purim

Feb. 25th, 2002 12:37 pm
magid: (Default)
purim is traditionally one of my favorite holidays - dressing up, giving food, making noise - what could be better?

in past years, i've burned through 3 or 4 costumes over the course of the day: a new costume at night; top hat and tails for the morning megillah (book of esther) reading, then one or two others from years past over the course of the day, depending on my schedule of mishloach manot delivery and purim seudah(s).

(note 1: mishloach manot are portions of food sent to a friend (or 2 or 3 or... the social implications can mean making dozens. at my worst, i made at least 50 packages, and was a basket case, schlepping it all to shul in the morning to give them all out. in recent years, in a burst of sanity, i decided to deliver mine after shul. if i don't know where you live, or if you're in a big building and i can't get to your door, well, sorry. this cut my list down considerably. last year, maybe 10. this year, i think 6-8 will do.
(the minimum is 2 kinds of food (as determined by the blessing before eating that food, ie 2 different blessings) to 1 person.))

(note 2: purim seudah = purim festive meal. this is frequently marked by excessive drinking, though this is not a requirement.)

this year, i find myself completely uninspired for a costume. it's depressing to think that this will be the first time i just grab a silly hat from the bin of silly hats and let it go at that. but nothing has popped into my mind.

(previous costumes have included:
* dressing up as the chapter of tractate sanhedrin i was learning: the 4 types of death the court can mete out, and kippa (really, if you want to know, i'd rather do it in person. it'll be easier, trust me).
* being a "purim math" teacher, with a 10-question quiz of math questions i gave out, all based on the numbers given in the megillah. (amazingly, no one did the quiz...)
* wearing a crown, and holding a koosh ball in one hand, a picture of a turkey in the other (for a really bad bilingual pun, about ruling from "hodu" (turkey) to "kush" (ethiopia)...).

and there have been others less idea-based, more for visual effect.)

then there's a purim meal. i'd planned, in absence of invitations, to take myself out to lunch, bringing a funny book along to read. which i may still do, since the invitation i just got today is for a meal starting while i'm planning on being at the diesel.
(really, it's becoming a bit more of a nuisance than i'd thought that i'm looking after z's baby from 2-3. otherwise, i'd go to the diesel earlier than usual, then go on to the seudah when it starts. but i don't want to skip going to the diesel at all...)

i just hope i get cheerier at the megillah reading tonight. i have the gragger (noise-maker) i made at the worcester jcc when i was about 8 :-).

and i'm thinking of going to the women's megillah reading, a first for me.

so, really, as long as i focus on the positives, it looks like it'll be good, though different than usual.

(and i have to start making for for the mishloach manot! i haven't done anything yet! eek!)

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